Two Ladies

In Ancient Egyptian texts, the "Two Ladies" (Ancient Egyptian: nbtj, sometimes anglicized Nebty) was a religious euphemism for the goddesses Wadjet and Nekhbet, two deities who were patrons of the ancient Egyptians and worshiped by all after the unification of its two parts, Lower Egypt, and Upper Egypt. When the two parts of Egypt were joined together, there was no merger of these deities as often occurred with similar deities from various regions and cities. Both goddesses were retained because of the importance of their roles and they became known as the Two Ladies, who were the protectors of unified Egypt.

After the unification, the image of Nekhbet joined Wadjet on the uraeus, thereafter, they were shown together as part of the crowns of Egypt. The two ladies were responsible for establishing the laws, protecting the rulers and the Egyptian countryside, and promoting peace.

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Usage in euphemisms and examples

The holiest of deities in the Egyptian pantheon usually were referred to by such euphemisms or other euphemistic titles—sometimes in great chains of titles—in order to keep their names secret from enemies and disbelievers and to show respect for their powers.

An example of the use of this term in text references may be found in the following commemoration of a military campaign under pharaoh Amenhotep III recorded on three stelas carved from rock. In the text he is referred to as Nebmaatra. They are from his fifth year and were found near Aswan and Sai Island in Nubia. The official account of his military victory emphasizes his martial prowess with the typical hyperbole used by all pharaohs, but notes that the Two Ladies appeared to him to provide advice and a warning about the leader of the Kush army.

Image from a ritual Menat necklace, depicting a ritual being performed before a statue of Sekhmet on her throne where she is flanked by the goddess Wadjet as the cobra and the goddess ...read more
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