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Bust of Tutankhamun with uraeus above the forehead.

Alternative formsEdit


From Latin uraeus, from Ancient Greek οὐραῖος (ouraîos). This is traditionally assumed to be from Egyptian jꜥrt (cobra in threat posture),
, from jꜥr (to rise, climb); however, on phonetic grounds, Gundacker, following Fecht, argues for an origin in Egyptian wrrt (white crown, literally the great one) instead.[1]



uraeus (plural uraei or uraeuses)

  1. A representation of the sacred asp, symbolising supreme power in ancient Egypt.
    • 1914, The Times, 20 May 1914, p.7 col. A:
      In front is an inlaid cobra, the Royal uræus, and around the band are attached 15 rosettes, each composed of four flowers and four leaves of openwork inlaid.
    • 1983, Norman Mailer, Ancient Evenings:
      even a fair amount of the gold His caravans returned from the Granite Mountains near the Red Sea, were now being fashioned by royal artisans into amulets, breast pieces, gold collars, bracelets, scarabs, uraei, even gold and silver shabti [...].
    • 2004, Michael Haag, Egypt‎, page 305
      In the small chamber opposite are Isis and Selket, and Nefertari's cartouche between two uraeuses.



  1. ^ Gundacker, Roman (2011) “On the Etymology of the Egyptian Crown Name mrsw.t*: An “Irregular” Subgroup of m-Prefix Formations” in Lingua Aegyptia, volume 19, page 37