The name of the sun god Re's greatest enemy, a monster in the shape of a snake. The name Apophis (Apep in Egyptian) probably means 'giant' or 'giant snake'. Like various other hostile snakes met with in the literature, the creature is the personification of everything that threatens the sun's light, for example the darkness caused by eclipses, clouds, etc. Every day Apophis tries to prevent the sun god's bark from sailing across the heavens, for example by gulping down all the water so that the bark runs aground. Using magic, the animal is forced to regurgitate the water. The coils of Apophis are sometimes likened to sandbanks in the water. Every day when he rises, the sun god has to enter into battle. An illustration found in Book of the Dead papyri and on tomb walls shows a tomcat (a form of the sun god Re) seated under a tree on the eastern horizon cutting off the head of the Apophis snake. Re is supported by many gods in his struggle, including Seth, who in another context is a hostile god himself. Humans can also help the sun god, for example by reciting hymns extolling the successful passage of the bark -- the magical power of the words will turn it into reality. All kinds of ways of rendering the enemy harmless are advanced, and thus effectuated, in texts and illustrations, including cutting him into pieces, impaling him on a spear, burning him, etc. One collection of spells from the end of the fourth century BC, the Bremner-Rhind papyrus, now in the British Museum, London, with the title 'The Book of Overthrowing Apophis', was intended to be recited daily in the temple of Amon at Karnak. Similar rituals are known from other temples, such as the temple of Edfu. The spells are based on much older texts which already appear in the Coffin Texts and the Book of the Dead. They were considered to be effective not only against Apophis but also against other enemies, including the earthly opponents of the king.