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, Ancient Egyptian : jmn , reconstructed [jaˈmaːnuw] ; Greek ἌμμωνÁmmōn, ἍμμωνHámmōn) was 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]

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.

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]

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.

Early history

Statue of Ramesses II with Amun and Mut at the Museo Egizio of Turin, Italy Le musee egyptien (Turin) (2865505031).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 imn) meant something like "the hidden one" or "invisible". [5]

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".

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 Merneptah Stele 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.

See also

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' interactions 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 divine powers by virtue of their positions. 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.

Aten Ancient Egyptian god

Aten also Aton, Atonu, Itn was the focus of Atenism, the religious system established in ancient Egypt by the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten. The Aten was the disc of the sun and originally an aspect of Ra, the sun god in traditional ancient Egyptian religion, but Akhenaten made it the sole focus of official worship during his reign.

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 during many periods of ancient Egyptian history. 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.

Akhenaten 18th Dynasty pharaoh

Akhenaten, also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning c. 1353–1336 or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Before the fifth year of his reign, he was known as Amenhotep IV.

Amunet Ancient Egyptian primordial goddess

Amunet or Imnt ; also spelled Amonet or Amaunet; Koinē Greek: Αμαυνι) is a primordial goddess in ancient Egyptian religion. Thebes was the center of her worship through the last dynasty, the Ptolemaic Kingdom, in 30 BC. She is attested in the earliest known of Egyptian religious texts and, as was the custom, was paired with a counterpart who is entitled with the same name, but in the masculine. They were thought to have existed prior to the beginning of creation along with three other couples representing primeval concepts.

Mut Ancient Egyptian mother goddess

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.

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.

[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.

New Kingdom of Egypt Period 1550 to 1070 BC in ancient Egypt

The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the sixteenth century BC and the eleventh century BC, covering the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.

Atenism Monotheistic religion from ancient egypt

Atenism, the Aten religion, the Amarna religion, or the "Amarna heresy" refers to a religion and the religious changes associated with the Ancient Egyptian Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten. The religion centered on the cult of the god Aten, the disc of the Sun and originally an aspect of the traditional solar deity Ra. In the 14th century BC, Atenism was Egypt's state religion for around 20 years, before subsequent rulers returned to the traditional polytheistic religion and the pharaohs associated with Atenism were erased from Egyptian records.

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.

Opet Festival

The Opet Festival was an annual Ancient Egyptian Festival celebrated in Thebes (Luxor), especially in the New Kingdom and later periods, during the second month of the season of Akhet, the flooding of the Nile. The festival was celebrated to promote the Fertility of Amun-Re and the Pharaoh, who was also believed to be the spiritual offspring of Amun-Re; the Son/Daughter of Amun-Re. John Darnell argues that “Opet began on II Akhet 15 under Thutmose III and lasted 11 days ; by the beginning of the reign of Ramesses III, the festival stretched over 24 days”. The Festival included a ritual procession of the Barque of the cult statue of “Amun-Re, supreme god, his wife, Mut, and his son, Khons.”. This procession carried the statue for 2 km from Karnak Temple to “Luxor Temple, destination of the Opet Feast”. Once at the Luxor Temple, a ritual marriage ceremony between the Pharaoh and Amun-Re took place in the Birth room, spiritually linking them to ensure the Pharaoh’s fertility and reinstate the Pharaoh as the intermediary between the gods and Egypt. During the marriage ceremony, the Pharaoh was ceremoniously reborn through a re-crowning ceremony, emphasising the fertile nature of the Pharaoh and legitimising his divine right to rule. The ancient festival has been survived by the present-day feast of Sheikh Yūsuf al-Haggāg, an Islamic holy man whose boat is carried around Luxor in celebration of his life.

The Great Temple of the Aten was a temple located in the city of el-Amarna, Egypt. It served as the main place of worship of the deity Aten during the reign of the 18th dynasty Pharaoh Akhenaten. Akhenaten ushered in a unique period of ancient Egyptian history by establishing the new religious cult dedicated to the sun-disk Aten. The king shut down traditional worship of other deities like Amun-Ra, and brought in a new era, though short-lived, of seeming monotheism where the Aten was worshipped as a sun god and Akhenaten and his wife, Nefertiti, represented the divinely royal couple that connected the people with the god. Although he began construction at Karnak during his rule, the association the city had with other gods drove Akhenaten to establish a new city and capital at Amarna for the Aten. Akhenaten built the city along the east bank of the Nile River, setting up workshops, palaces, suburbs and temples. The Great Temple of the Aten was located just north of the Central City and, as the largest temple dedicated to the Aten, was where Akhenaten fully established the proper cult and worship of the sun-disk.

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.

Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt Dynasty of Egypt between 1550 BCE and 1295 BCE, notably comprising Akenaten and Hatshepsut

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.

<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 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. Ithaca, 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