Apedemek, “the lord of royal power,” was a Nubian lion god, and at the Apedemek Temple at Naqa, south of Meroe, relief’s show Apedmek worshiped by the royal family. The kings were always seated upon lion thrones. Temple relief’s show the enemies of the king subdued by, and in some cases devoured by, lions. It has been stated that lions were kept in the Lion Temple, as living symbols of Apedemek. Interestingly, research has revealed that the worship of the ancient Egyptian lioness goddess, Sekhmet, could have been originally introduced into Egypt from Sudan. One wonders what other leonine-related mysteries exist unrevealed and unknown at the sites of the civilization of Nubia.
The lion of ancient times was also a symbol of wisdom. King Solomon was at times symbolized as a lion. In first Book of Kings (10: 19-20) Solomon’s throne is described: “The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind: and there were stays [handrests] on either side on the place of the seat and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other upon the six steps there was not the like made in any kingdom.”
The lion was the emissary of the sun, symbolizing light, truth, regeneration, and a god of fertility.