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Kneph is a motif in Ancient Egyptian religious art, variously a winged egg, a globe surrounded by one or more serpents, or Amun in the form of a serpent called Kematef.[1] Some Theosophical sources tried to syncretize this motif with the deity Khnum, along with Serapis and Pluto.[2][3] Under the Greek theonym Chnuphis, this figure adopts a serpent-bodied, lion-headed ("leontoeidic") visage, being particularly common in magical artifacts in Late Antiquity.[4] It is by proxy frequently associated with the Gnostic Demiurge.

A lion-faced Chnuphis figure found on a Gnostic gem in Bernard de Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée et représentée en figures, often associated with Yaldabaoth.


  1. ^ The Egyptian revival: ancient Egypt as the inspiration for design motifs in the west by James Stevens Curl, p.445, Psychology Press, 18 Nov 2005
  2. ^ An essay on symbolic colours: in antiquity--the middle ages--and modern times, by Frédéric Portal (baron de), p. 53, J. Weale, 1845.
  3. ^ The Secret Doctrine: Anthropogenesis by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, p. 26, Aryan theosophical press, 1888
  4. ^ Lynn Thorndike (1958). A History of Magic and Experimental Science. Columbia University Press. pp. 317–318, 379. ISBN 0-231-08794-2.

Further reading

  • Klotz, David (2012). Caesar in the City of Amun: Egyptian Temple Construction and Theology in Roman Thebes. Brepols. ISBN 978-2-503-54515-8.