Amun

Last updated
Amun
Amun.svg
Typical depiction of Amun during the New Kingdom, with two plumes on his head, the ankh symbol and the was sceptre.
Name in hieroglyphs
AmunAmun
Amun
Amun
Major cult center Thebes
Symboltwo vertical plumes, the ram-headed Sphinx (Criosphinx)
Consort
Offspring Khonsu
Greek equivalent Zeus

Amun (also Amon, Ammon, Amen; Greek ἌμμωνÁmmōn, ἍμμωνHámmōn) is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty (c. 21st century BC), Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu. [1]

Ancient Greek Version of the Greek language used from roughly the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD

The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.

Ancient Egyptian deities gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt

Ancient Egyptian deities are the gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Egypt. The beliefs and rituals surrounding these gods formed the core of ancient Egyptian religion, which emerged sometime in prehistory. Deities represented natural forces and phenomena, and the Egyptians supported and appeased them through offerings and rituals so that these forces would continue to function according to maat, or divine order. After the founding of the Egyptian state around 3100 BC, the authority to perform these tasks was controlled by the pharaoh, who claimed to be the gods' representative and managed the temples where the rituals were carried out.

Ogdoad (Egyptian) eight primordial deities worshipped in Hermopolis, Ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom period

In Egyptian mythology, the Ogdoad were eight primordial deities worshipped in Hermopolis.

Contents

After the rebellion of Thebes against the Hyksos and with the rule of Ahmose I (16th century BC), Amun acquired national importance, expressed in his fusion with the Sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra or Amun-Re.

Hyksos Asian invaders of Egypt, established 15th dynasty

The Hyksos were a people of diverse origins, possibly from Western Asia, who settled in the eastern Nile Delta some time before 1650 BC. The arrival of the Hyksos led to the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty and initiated the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. In the context of Ancient Egypt, the term "Asiatic" refers to people native to areas east of Egypt.

Ahmose I Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt

Ahmose I was a pharaoh and founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He was a member of the Theban royal house, the son of pharaoh Seqenenre Tao and brother of the last pharaoh of the Seventeenth dynasty, Kamose. During the reign of his father or grandfather, Thebes rebelled against the Hyksos, the rulers of Lower Egypt. When he was seven years old, his father was killed, and he was about ten when his brother died of unknown causes after reigning only three years. Ahmose I assumed the throne after the death of his brother, and upon coronation became known as nb-pḥtj-rꜥ "The Lord of Strength is Ra".

National gods are a class of guardian divinities or deities whose special concern is the safety and well-being of an ethnic group (nation), and of that group's leaders. This is contrasted with other guardian figures such as family gods responsible for the well-being of individual clans or professions, or personal gods who are responsible for the well-being of individuals. These guardian roles augment the functions that a divinity might otherwise have.

Amun-Ra retained chief importance in the Egyptian pantheon throughout the New Kingdom (with the exception of the "Atenist heresy" under Akhenaten). Amun-Ra in this period (16th to 11th centuries BC) held the position of transcendental, self-created [2] creator deity "par excellence"; he was the champion of the poor or troubled and central to personal piety. [3] His position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other gods became manifestations of him. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most widely recorded of the Egyptian gods. [3]

Atenism Monotheistic religion from ancient egypt

Atenism, or the "Amarna heresy", refers to the religious changes associated with the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, better known under his adopted name, Akhenaten. In the 14th century BC, Atenism was Egypt's state religion for around 20 years, before subsequent rulers returned to the traditional gods and the Pharaohs associated with Atenism were erased from Egyptian records.

Akhenaten 18th dynasty pharaoh

Akhenaten, known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. He is noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monolatristic, henotheistic, or even quasi-monotheistic. An early inscription likens the Aten to the sun as compared to stars, and later official language avoids calling the Aten a god, giving the solar deity a status above mere gods.

In religion, transcendence is the aspect of a deity's nature and power that is wholly independent of the material universe, beyond all known physical laws. This is contrasted with immanence, where a god is said to be fully present in the physical world and thus accessible to creatures in various ways. In religious experience, transcendence is a state of being that has overcome the limitations of physical existence, and by some definitions, has also become independent of it. This is typically manifested in prayer, séance, meditation, psychedelics and paranormal "visions".

As the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra also came to be worshipped outside Egypt, according to the testimony of ancient Greek historiographers in Libya and Nubia. As Zeus Ammon, he came to be identified with Zeus in Greece.

Ancient Libya region west of the Nile Valley

The Latin name Libya referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to the Atlantic Mountains according to Diodorus. Its people were ancestors of the modern Libyan. They occupied the area for thousands of years before the beginning of human records in ancient Egypt. Climate changes affected the locations of the settlements.

Nubia region along the Nile river, which is located in northern Sudan and southern Egypt

Nubia is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between Aswan in southern Egypt and Khartoum in central Sudan. It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, with a history that can be traced from at least 2500 BC onward with the Kerma culture. The latter was conquered by the New Kingdom of Egypt under pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC. Nubia was home to several empires, most prominently the kingdom of Kush, which conquered Egypt during the 8th century BC during the reign of Piye and ruled the country as its Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

Zeus Ruler of the gods in Greek mythology

Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. His mythologies and powers are similar, though not identical, to those of Indo-European deities such as Jupiter, Perkūnas, Perun, Indra and Thor.

Early history

Statue of Ramesses II with Amun and Mut at the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy. Triad of Ramesses II with Amun and Mut.jpg
Statue of Ramesses II with Amun and Mut at the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy.

Amun and Amaunet are mentioned in the Old Egyptian Pyramid Texts . [4] The name Amun (written jmn) meant something like "the hidden one" or "invisible". [5]

Pyramid Texts literary work

The Pyramid Texts are the oldest known corpus of ancient Egyptian religious texts dating to the Old Kingdom. Written in Old Egyptian, the pyramid texts were carved onto the subterranean walls and sarcophagi of pyramids at Saqqara from the end of the Fifth Dynasty, and throughout the Sixth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, and into the Eighth Dynasty of the First Intermediate Period.

Amun rose to the position of tutelary deity of Thebes after the end of the First Intermediate Period, under the 11th Dynasty. As the patron of Thebes, his spouse was Mut. In Thebes, Amun as father, Mut as mother and the Moon god Khonsu formed a divine family or "Theban Triad".

A tutelary is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of "tutelary" expresses the concept of safety, and thus of guardianship.

The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a well-attested group of rulers. Its earlier members before Pharaoh Mentuhotep II are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, whereas the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom. They all ruled from Thebes in Upper Egypt.

Mut Egyptian deity

Mut, also known as Maut and Mout, was a mother goddess worshipped in ancient Egypt. Her name literally means mother in the ancient Egyptian language. Mut had many different aspects and attributes that changed and evolved a lot over the thousands of years of ancient Egyptian culture.

Temple at Karnak

The history of Amun as the patron god of Thebes begins in the 20th century BC, with the construction of the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak under Senusret I. The city of Thebes does not appear to have been of great significance before the 11th Dynasty.

Major construction work in the Precinct of Amun-Re took place during the 18th Dynasty when Thebes became the capital of the unified ancient Egypt. Construction of the Hypostyle Hall may have also begun during the 18th Dynasty, though most building was undertaken under Seti I and Ramesses II. Merenptah commemorated his victories over the Sea Peoples on the walls of the Cachette Court, the start of the processional route to the Luxor Temple. This Great Inscription (which has now lost about a third of its content) shows the king's campaigns and eventual return with items of potential value and prisoners. Next to this inscription is the Victory Stela, which is largely a copy of the more famous Israel Stela found in the funerary complex of Merenptah on the west bank of the Nile in Thebes. [6] Merenptah's son Seti II added two small obelisks in front of the Second Pylon, and a triple bark-shrine to the north of the processional avenue in the same area. This was constructed of sandstone, with a chapel to Amun flanked by those of Mut and Khonsu.

The last major change to the Precinct of Amun-Re's layout was the addition of the first pylon and the massive enclosure walls that surrounded the whole Precinct, both constructed by Nectanebo I.

Amon-Ra (l'esprit des quatre elements, lame du monde material), N372.2., Brooklyn Museum Amon-Ra (l'esprit des quatre elements, lame du monde material),N372.2.jpg
Amon-Ra (l'esprit des quatre elements, lame du monde matérial), N372.2., Brooklyn Museum

New Kingdom

Bas-relief depicting Amun as pharaoh Amun5.jpg
Bas-relief depicting Amun as pharaoh

Identification with Min and Ra

Amun depicted as Amun-Ra. Amun-Ra mirror.svg
Amun depicted as Amun-Ra.
Fragment of a stela showing Amun enthroned. Mut, wearing the double crown, stands behind him. Both are receiving offerings from Ramesses I, now lost. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London Fragment of a stela showing Amun enthroned. Mut, wearing the double crown, stands behind him. Both are being offered by Ramesses I, now lost. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London.jpg
Fragment of a stela showing Amun enthroned. Mut, wearing the double crown, stands behind him. Both are receiving offerings from Ramesses I, now lost. From Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

When the army of the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty expelled the Hyksos rulers from Egypt, the victor's city of origin, Thebes, became the most important city in Egypt, the capital of a new dynasty. The local patron deity of Thebes, Amun, therefore became nationally important. The pharaohs of that new dynasty attributed all of their successes to Amun, and they lavished much of their wealth and captured spoil on the construction of temples dedicated to Amun. [7]

Amun depicted as Amun-Min. Min mirror.svg
Amun depicted as Amun-Min.

The victory against the "foreign rulers" achieved by pharaohs who worshipped Amun caused him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the rights of justice for the poor. [3] By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma'at (truth, justice, and goodness), [3] those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy, by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans' village at Deir el-Medina record:

[Amun] who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him who is wretched..You are Amun, the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor; when I call to you in my distress You come and rescue me ... Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive. The Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger; His wrath passes in a moment; none remains. His breath comes back to us in mercy ... May your kꜣ be kind; may you forgive; It shall not happen again. [8]

Amun-Min as Amun-Ra ka-Mut-ef from the temple at Deir el Medina. Amun-Ra kamutef 2.jpg
Amun-Min as Amun-Ra ka-Mut-ef from the temple at Deir el Medina.
Ka-mut-ef, "Bull of His Mother" as a ram-headed lion in the Avenue of Sphinxes at Karnak Temple Amun ram statue at Karnak Temple in Luxor.JPG
Ka-mut-ef, "Bull of His Mother" as a ram-headed lion in the Avenue of Sphinxes at Karnak Temple

Subsequently, when Egypt conquered Kush, they identified the chief deity of the Kushites as Amun. This Kush deity was depicted as ram-headed, more specifically a woolly ram with curved horns. Amun thus became associated with the ram arising from the aged appearance of the Kush ram deity, and depictions related to Amun sometimes had small ram's horns, known as the Horns of Ammon. A solar deity in the form of a ram can be traced to the pre-literate Kerma culture in Nubia, contemporary to the Old Kingdom of Egypt. The later (Meroitic period) name of Nubian Amun was Amani, attested in numerous personal names such as Tanwetamani, Arkamani, and Amanitore. Since rams were considered a symbol of virility, Amun also became thought of as a fertility deity, and so started to absorb the identity of Min, becoming Amun-Min. This association with virility led to Amun-Min gaining the epithet Kamutef, meaning "Bull of his mother", [9] in which form he was found depicted on the walls of Karnak, ithyphallic, and with a scourge, as Min was.

AmunAmun
Amun
Amun
Amun
Amun
Amun-Ra
in hieroglyphs
Re-Horakhty ("Ra (who is the) Horus of the two Horizons"), the fusion of Ra and Horus, in a depiction typical of the New Kingdom. Re-Horakhty was in turn identified with Amun. Re-Horakhty.svg
Re-Horakhty ("Ra (who is the) Horus of the two Horizons"), the fusion of Ra and Horus, in a depiction typical of the New Kingdom. Re-Horakhty was in turn identified with Amun.

As the cult of Amun grew in importance, Amun became identified with the chief deity who was worshipped in other areas during that period, namely the sun god Ra. This identification led to another merger of identities, with Amun becoming Amun-Ra. In the Hymn to Amun-Ra he is described as

Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of men, creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, creator of the staff of life. [10]

Atenist heresy

Hieroglyphs on the backpillar of Amenhotep III's statue. There are two places where Akhenaten's agents erased the name Amun, later restored on a deeper surface. The British Museum, London Hieroglyphs on the backpillar of Amenhotep III's statue. There are 2 places where Akhenaten's agents erased the name Amun, later restored on a deeper surface. The British Museum, London.jpg
Hieroglyphs on the backpillar of Amenhotep III's statue. There are two places where Akhenaten's agents erased the name Amun, later restored on a deeper surface. The British Museum, London

During the latter part of the eighteenth dynasty, the pharaoh Akhenaten (also known as Amenhotep IV) disliked the power of the temple of Amun and advanced the worship of the Aten, a deity whose power was manifested in the sun disk, both literally and symbolically. He defaced the symbols of many of the old deities, and based his religious practices upon the deity, the Aten. He moved his capital away from Thebes, but this abrupt change was very unpopular with the priests of Amun, who now found themselves without any of their former power. The religion of Egypt was inexorably tied to the leadership of the country, the pharaoh being the leader of both. The pharaoh was the highest priest in the temple of the capital, and the next lower level of religious leaders were important advisers to the pharaoh, many being administrators of the bureaucracy that ran the country.

The introduction of Atenism under Akhenaten constructed a monotheist worship of Aten in direct competition with that of Amun. Praises of Amun on stelae are strikingly similar in language to those later used, in particular, the Hymn to the Aten:

When thou crossest the sky, all faces behold thee, but when thou departest, thou are hidden from their faces ... When thou settest in the western mountain, then they sleep in the manner of death ... The fashioner of that which the soil produces, ... a mother of profit to gods and men; a patient craftsman, greatly wearying himself as their maker ... valiant herdsman, driving his cattle, their refuge and the making of their living ... The sole Lord, who reaches the end of the lands every day, as one who sees them that tread thereon ... Every land chatters at his rising every day, in order to praise him. [11]

Originally, Amun was depicted with red-brown skin but after the Amarna period, he was painted with blue skin, symbolizing his association with air and primeval creation. Amun was also depicted in a wide variety of other forms. Amun post Amarna.svg
Originally, Amun was depicted with red-brown skin but after the Amarna period, he was painted with blue skin, symbolizing his association with air and primeval creation. Amun was also depicted in a wide variety of other forms.

When Akhenaten died, the priests of Amun-Ra reasserted themselves. Akhenaten's name was struck from Egyptian records, all of his religious and governmental changes were undone, and the capital was returned to Thebes. The return to the previous capital and its patron deity was accomplished so swiftly that it seemed this almost monotheistic cult and its governmental reforms had never existed. Worship of Aten ceased and worship of Amun-Ra was restored. The priests of Amun even persuaded his young son, Tutankhaten, whose name meant "the living image of Aten"—and who later would become pharaoh—to change his name to Tutankhamun, "the living image of Amun".

Theology

In the New Kingdom, Amun became successively identified with all other Egyptian deities, to the point of virtual monotheism (which was then attacked by means of the "counter-monotheism" of Atenism). Primarily, the god of wind Amun came to be identified with the solar god Ra and the god of fertility and creation Min, so that Amun-Ra had the main characteristic of a solar god, creator god and fertility god. He also adopted the aspect of the ram from the Nubian solar god, besides numerous other titles and aspects.

As Amun-Re, he was petitioned for mercy by those who believed suffering had come about as a result of their own or others' wrongdoing.

Amon-Re "who hears the prayer, who comes at the cry of the poor and distressed...Beware of him! Repeat him to son and daughter, to great and small; relate him to generations of generations who have not yet come into being; relate him to fishes in the deep, to birds in heaven; repeat him to him who does not know him and to him who knows him ... Though it may be that the servant is normal in doing wrong, yet the Lord is normal in being merciful. The Lord of Thebes does not spend an entire day angry. As for his anger – in the completion of a moment there is no remnant ... As thy Ka endures! thou wilt be merciful! [12]

In the Leiden hymns, Amun, Ptah, and Re are regarded as a trinity who are distinct gods but with unity in plurality. [13] "The three gods are one yet the Egyptian elsewhere insists on the separate identity of each of the three." [14] This unity in plurality is expressed in one text:

All gods are three: Amun, Re and Ptah, whom none equals. He who hides his name as Amun, he appears to the face as Re, his body is Ptah. [15]

Henri Frankfort suggested that Amun was originally a wind god and pointed out that the implicit connection between the winds and mysteriousness was paralleled in a passage from the Gospel of John: "The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going." [John 3:8] [16]

A Leiden hymn to Amun describes how he calms stormy seas for the troubled sailor:

The tempest moves aside for the sailor who remembers the name of Amon. The storm becomes a sweet breeze for he who invokes His name ... Amon is more effective than millions for he who places Him in his heart. Thanks to Him the single man becomes stronger than a crowd. [17]

Third Intermediate Period

Theban High Priests of Amun

While not regarded as a dynasty, the High Priests of Amun at Thebes were nevertheless of such power and influence that they were effectively the rulers of Egypt from 1080 to c. 943 BC. By the time Herihor was proclaimed as the first ruling High Priest of Amun in 1080 BC—in the 19th Year of Ramesses XI—the Amun priesthood exercised an effective hold on Egypt's economy. The Amun priests owned two-thirds of all the temple lands in Egypt and 90 percent of her ships and many other resources. [18] Consequently, the Amun priests were as powerful as the pharaoh, if not more so. One of the sons of the High Priest Pinedjem would eventually assume the throne and rule Egypt for almost half a decade as pharaoh Psusennes I, while the Theban High Priest Psusennes III would take the throne as king Psusennes II—the final ruler of the 21st Dynasty.

This Third Intermediate Period amulet from the Walters Art Museum depicts Amun fused with the solar deity, Re, thereby making the supreme solar deity Amun-Re. Egyptian - Amun-Re - Walters 571417.jpg
This Third Intermediate Period amulet from the Walters Art Museum depicts Amun fused with the solar deity, Re, thereby making the supreme solar deity Amun-Re.

Decline

In the 10th century BC, the overwhelming dominance of Amun over all of Egypt gradually began to decline. In Thebes, however, his worship continued unabated, especially under the Nubian Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, as Amun was by now seen as a national god in Nubia. The Temple of Amun, Jebel Barkal, founded during the New Kingdom, came to be the center of the religious ideology of the Kingdom of Kush. The Victory Stele of Piye at Gebel Barkal (8th century BC) now distinguishes between an "Amun of Napata" and an "Amun of Thebes". Tantamani (died 653 BC), the last pharaoh of the Nubian dynasty, still bore a theophoric name referring to Amun in the Nubian form Amani.

Iron Age and classical antiquity

Depiction of Amun in a relief at Karnak (15th century BC) Amun-Ra.jpg
Depiction of Amun in a relief at Karnak (15th century BC)

Nubia and Sudan

In areas outside Egypt where the Egyptians had previously brought the cult of Amun his worship continued into classical antiquity. In Nubia, where his name was pronounced Amane or Amani, he remained a national deity, with his priests, at Meroe and Nobatia, [19] regulating the whole government of the country via an oracle, choosing the ruler, and directing military expeditions. According to Diodorus Siculus, these religious leaders were even able to compel kings to commit suicide, although this tradition stopped when Arkamane, in the 3rd century BC, slew them. [20]

In Sudan, excavation of an Amun temple at Dangeil began in 2000 under the directorship of Drs Salah Mohamed Ahmed and Julie R. Anderson of the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM), Sudan and the British Museum, UK, respectively. The temple was found to have been destroyed by fire and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and C14 dating of the charred roof beams have placed the construction of the most recent incarnation of the temple in the 1st century AD. This date is further confirmed by the associated ceramics and inscriptions. Following its destruction, the temple gradually decayed and collapsed. [21]

Libya

In Libya there remained a solitary oracle of Amun in the Libyan Desert at the oasis of Siwa. [22] The worship of Ammon was introduced into Greece at an early period, probably through the medium of the Greek colony in Cyrene, which must have formed a connection with the great oracle of Ammon in the Oasis soon after its establishment. Iarbas, a mythological king of Libya, was also considered a son of Hammon.

According to the 6th century author Corippus, a Libyan people known as the Laguatan carried an effigy of their god Gurzil, whom they believed to be the son of Ammon, into battle against the Byzantine Empire in the 540s AD. [23]

Levant

Amun is mentioned as a deity in the Hebrew Bible, and in the Nevi'im, texts presumably written in the 7th century BC, the name נא אמוןNo Amown occurs in reference to Thebes: [24]

The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, said: "Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him."

Jeremiah 46:25 (KJV)

Greece

Zeus Ammon. Roman copy of a Greek original from the late 5th century BC. The Greeks of the lower Nile Delta and Cyrenaica combined features of supreme god Zeus with features of the Egyptian god Amun-Ra. Staatliche Antikensammlungen Munich. Zeus Ammon (Antikensammlung Munchen).jpg
Zeus Ammon. Roman copy of a Greek original from the late 5th century BC. The Greeks of the lower Nile Delta and Cyrenaica combined features of supreme god Zeus with features of the Egyptian god Amun-Ra. Staatliche Antikensammlungen Munich.

Amun, worshipped by the Greeks as Ammon, had a temple and a statue, the gift of Pindar (d. 443 BC), at Thebes, [25] and another at Sparta, the inhabitants of which, as Pausanias says, [26] consulted the oracle of Ammon in Libya from early times more than the other Greeks. At Aphytis, Chalcidice, Amun was worshipped, from the time of Lysander (d. 395 BC), as zealously as in Ammonium. Pindar the poet honored the god with a hymn. At Megalopolis the god was represented with the head of a ram (Paus. viii.32 § 1), and the Greeks of Cyrenaica dedicated at Delphi a chariot with a statue of Ammon.

Such was its reputation among the Classical Greeks that Alexander the Great journeyed there after the battle of Issus and during his occupation of Egypt, where he was declared "the son of Amun" by the oracle. Alexander thereafter considered himself divine. Even during this occupation, Amun, identified by these Greeks as a form of Zeus, [27] continued to be the principal local deity of Thebes. [7]

Several words derive from Amun via the Greek form, Ammon, such as ammonia and ammonite . The Romans called the ammonium chloride they collected from deposits near the Temple of Jupiter-Amun in ancient Libya sal ammoniacus (salt of Amun) because of proximity to the nearby temple. [28] Ammonia, as well as being the chemical, is a genus name in the foraminifera. Both these foraminiferans (shelled Protozoa) and ammonites (extinct shelled cephalopods) bear spiral shells resembling a ram's, and Ammon's, horns. The regions of the hippocampus in the brain are called the cornu ammonis  – literally "Amun's Horns", due to the horned appearance of the dark and light bands of cellular layers.

In Paradise Lost , Milton identifies Ammon with the biblical Ham (Cham) and states that the gentiles called him the Libyan Jove.

Related Research Articles

Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals that formed an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians' interaction with many deities believed to be present in, and in control of, the world. Rituals such as prayer and offerings were provided to the gods to gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaohs, the rulers of Egypt, believed to possess a divine power by virtue of their position. They acted as intermediaries between their people and the gods, and were obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain Ma'at, the order of the cosmos. The state dedicated enormous resources to religious rituals and to the construction of temples.

Thebes, Egypt Ancient Egyptian city

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city of ancient Egypt during its heyday. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and where the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.

Amunet Egyptian goddess

Amunet is a primordial goddess in ancient Egyptian religion.

Montu was a falcon-god of war in ancient Egyptian religion, an embodiment of the conquering vitality of the pharaoh. He was particularly worshipped in Upper Egypt and in the district of Thebes, despite being a Delta-native, astral deity.

[Ramesses II] whom victory was foretold as he came from the womb,
Whom valor was given while in the egg,
Bull firm of heart as he treads the arena,
Godly king going forth like Montu on victory day.

Karnak Ancient Egyptian temple complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.

Monolatry is belief in the existence of many gods but with the consistent worship of only one deity. The term "monolatry" was perhaps first used by Julius Wellhausen.

Amenhotep III Ninth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

Amenhotep III, also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent, was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1386 to 1349 BC, or from June 1388 BC to December 1351 BC/1350 BC, after his father Thutmose IV died. Amenhotep III was Thutmose's son by a minor wife, Mutemwiya.

Gods Wife of Amun

God's Wife of Amun was the highest-ranking priestess of the Amun cult, an important religious institution in ancient Egypt. The cult was centered in Thebes in Upper Egypt during the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth dynasties. The office had political importance as well as religious, since the two were closely related in ancient Egypt.

The history of the Karnak Temple complex is largely the history of Thebes. The city does not appear to have been of any significance before the Eleventh Dynasty, and any temple building here would have been relatively small and unimportant, with any shrines being dedicated to the early god of Thebes, Montu. The earliest artifact found in the area of the temple is a small, eight-sided column from the Eleventh Dynasty, which mentions Amun-Re. The tomb of Intef II mentions a 'house of Amun', which implies some structure, whether a shrine or a small temple is unknown. The ancient name for Karnak, Ipet-Isut only really refers to the central core structures of the Precinct of Amun-Re, and was in use as early as the 11th Dynasty, again implying the presence of some form of temple before the Middle Kingdom expansion.

High Priest of Amun position

The High Priest of Amun or First Prophet of Amun was the highest-ranking priest in the priesthood of the ancient Egyptian god Amun. The first high priests of Amun appear in the New Kingdom of Egypt, at the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

Ra ancient Egyptian solar deity

Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, and the sky.

Horned deity

Deities depicted with horns or antlers are found in many different religions across the world.

The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1549/1550 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.

The Colossal Statues of Akhenaten at East Karnak depict the 18th dynasty pharaoh, Akhenaten, in a distorted representation of the human form. The statues are believed to be from early in his reign, which lasted arguably from either 1353 to 1336 BCE or 1351 to 1334 BCE. The excavation, begun by Henri Chevrier in 1925, uncovered twenty-five fragments of the broken colossi in Eastern Karnak in Thebes, which are now located in the Cairo Museum in Egypt.

Soleb

Soleb is an ancient town in Nubia, today's Sudan. The site is located north of the third cataract of the Nile, on the western side of the Nile. It was discovered and described by Karl Richard Lepsius in 1844.

<i>A God Against the Gods</i> book by Allen Drury

A God Against the Gods is a 1976 historical novel by political novelist Allen Drury, which chronicles ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten's attempt to establish a new religion in Egypt. It is told in a series of monologues by the various characters.

References

  1. Warburton (2012:211).
  2. Dick, Michael Brennan (1999). Born in heaven, made on earth: the making of the cult image in the ancient Near East. Warsaw, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. p. 184. ISBN   1575060248.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Arieh Tobin, Vincent (2003). Redford, Donald B. (ed.). Oxford Guide: The Essential Guide to Egyptian Mythology. Berkley, California: Berkley Books. p. 20. ISBN   0-425-19096-X.
  4. "Die Altaegyptischen Pyramidentexte nach den Papierabdrucken und Photographien des Berliner Museums". 1908.
  5. Hart, George (2005). The Routledge Dictionary of Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Abingdon, England: Routledge. p. 21. ISBN   978-0-415-36116-3.
  6. Blyth, Elizabeth (2006). Karnak: Evolution of a Temple. Abingdon, England: Routledge. p. 164. ISBN   978-0415404860.
  7. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain :  Griffith, Francis Llewellyn (1911). "Ammon". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 860–861. This cites:
    • Erman, Handbook of Egyptian Religion (London, 1907)
    • Ed. Meyer, art. "Ammon" in Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie
    • Pietschmann, arts. "Ammon", "Ammoneion" in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopädie
    • Works on Egyptian religion quoted (in the encyclopædia) under Egypt, section Religion
  8. Lichtheim, Miriam (1976). Ancient Egyptian Literature: Volume II: The New Kingdom. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. pp. 105–106. ISBN   0-520-03615-8.
  9. Hart 2005, p. 21
  10. Budge, E.A. Wallis (1914). An Introduction to Egyptian Literature (1997 ed.). Minneola, New York: Dover Publications. p. 214. ISBN   0-486-29502-8..
  11. Wilson, John A. (1951). The Burden of Egypt (1963 ed.). Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. p. 211. ISBN   978-0-226-90152-7.
  12. Wilson 300
  13. Morenz, Siegried (1992). Egyptian Religion. Translated by Ann E. Keep. Ithica, New York: Cornell University Press. pp. 144–145. ISBN   0-8014-8029-9.
  14. Frankfort, Henri; Wilson, John A.; Jacobsen, Thorkild (1960). Before Philosophy: The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man . Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company. p. 75. ISBN   978-0140201987.
  15. Assmann, Jan (2008). Of God and Gods. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 64. ISBN   978-0-299-22554-4.
  16. Frankfort, Henri (1951). Before Philosophy. Penguin Books. p. 18. ASIN   B0006EUMNK.
  17. Jacq, Christian (1999). The Living Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. New York City: Simon & Schuster. p. 143. ISBN   0-671-02219-9.
  18. Clayton, Peter A. (2006). Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. London, England: Thames & Hudson. p. 175. ISBN   978-0500286289.
  19. Herodotus, The Histories ii.29
  20. Griffith 1911.
  21. Sweek, Tracey; Anderson, Julie; Tanimoto, Satoko (2012). "Architectural Conservation of an Amun Temple in Sudan". Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies. London, England: Ubiquity Press. 10 (2): 8–16. doi:10.5334/jcms.1021202.
  22. Pausanias, Description of Greece x.13 § 3
  23. Mattingly, D.J. (1983). "The Laguatan: A Libyan Tribal Confederation in the Late Roman Empire" (PDF). Libyan Studies. London, England: Society for Libyan Studies. 14: 98–99. doi:10.1017/S0263718900007810.
  24. "Strong's Concordance / Gesenius' Lexicon". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-10-10.
  25. Pausanias. Description of Greece. ix.16 § 1.
  26. Pausanias. Description of Greece. iii.18 § 2.
  27. Jeremiah. xlvi.25.Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. "Eponyms". h2g2 . BBC Online. 11 January 2003. Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2007.

Sources

Further reading