Bata

Egyptian - A shepherd. Brother of Anpu. He lived with his elder brother and his wife and served both of them almost as a servant. When his sister-in-law tried to seduce him he rejected her advances, whereupon she accused him of rape. Anpu would have killed his brother but, warned by an ox, Bata fled, with his brother in hot pursuit. The gods caused a river full of crocodiles to appear between them and Bata made good his escape to the land of the acacias where his soul lived in the blossom of an acacia tree. Here the gods gave him a beautiful wife who, when the king heard of her beauty and sent her gifts, proved unfaithful, leaving Bata and going to Egypt to live in luxury. At the woman's request the king had the acacia tree cut down and Bata died, but his brother collected some of the seed, steeped it in water and Bata was reborn, becoming a bull. Again, to please the woman, the king had the bull slaughtered and when two drops of its blood fell near the city entrance gates, two huge trees sprang up overnight. Again Bata was alive in a tree and once more she tried to get rid of him by persuading the king to fell the trees. A small chip of wood from the feller's axe flew into her mouth and she swallowed it, becoming pregnant as a result. In due course the child, Bata again, succeeded his 'father' the king and made Anpu his heir. In his royal role he judged his faithless wife and condemned her to death. When he died, Anpu became king. Occasionally referred to as Bata, Anpu, Anpu, Bat, Bat, Two Brothers or Two Brothers.

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