The Egyptian God Amun | Amun-Re
The Egyptian God Amun | Amun-Re: When it comes to myths and legends. The most common theme in creation across cultures is the will of a creator god who separates the earth from heavens. He / She shapes the landscape and creates people. The land of Egypt is full of mysteries and often termed as the mysterious land by many. Egyptian Mythology is no different, it’s fascinating to say the least. In ancient Egyptian mythology, there was a god who brought himself into existence then followed the creation of every single thing in the universe.
Now let’s take a deep dive into Egyptian Mythology and learn about one of the most prominent Gods of the Egyptian Mythology, Amun who is also referred as Amun-Ra or Amun-Re.
How Amun-Re rose to Prominence
In ancient Egyptian culture, Amun was believed to be the god of air. The word Amun means “The Hidden” or “The Hiddenness”. Amun was one of the eight primordial deities. There has been an evolution in the role of Amun over the centuries. Later in the Middle Kingdom, Amun became the major or King of the deities and was worshiped across the nation.
In the Middle Kingdom he was merged with ‘Ra’, after which Amun was referred to as Amun-Ra or Amun-Re.
‘Re’ or ‘Ra’ was an ancient god who first appeared as the primary manifestation of the sun god in Heliopolis. The word ‘Re’ means “The Sun” or “The Divinity in the power of Sun”. With time, the local God rose to prominence and became one of the most significant Gods of the nation.
It is believed that Amun first created himself and then created everything. But he distanced himself from his creations. This is the reason that he is also called the “Invisible Creator”. Later, when he was merged with ‘Re’, he became visible. Then the God Amun-Re became a representation of two things, the invisible power and the divine radiant light which is required for all the creatures and functioning of the universe.
Rise and Fall of The Supreme God
By 1353 BCE, Amun-Ra was the most prominent, popular God in Egypt. His priests and followers owned a lot of lands across Egypt and were compelling and influential among the masses. The might of Amun-Ra’s cult became a rival to the power of the Pharaohs. Pharaoh Akhenaten began implementing religious reforms to minimize and reduce the powers of the priests of Amun-Ra. Akhenaten attempted to reduce the influence of Amun-Ra by building a new capital, closing temples, and forbidding worship of any gods other than ‘Aten’ or ‘Aton’. Aten or Aton was a Sun God, an aspect of the ancient god ‘Ra’. Images of Amun-Ra were removed and priests were persecuted throughout Egypt for worshipping Amun-Ra. When Tutankhamun came to power, after the death of his father ‘Pharaoh Akhenaten’, he eased out the strict religious rules and laws made by his father.
Earlier Akhenaten had shifted the Capital city of Egypt which was re-established back to Thebes, the old capital city of Egypt by his son Tutankhamun. With this, Amun-Ra again rose to prominence and was worshiped openly in temples.
The Cult and Significance of Amun-Re
The massive temple complex of Karnak is enough to state the Cult and significance of Amun-Re. It was a principal religious centre of the god Amun-Re in Thebes during the ‘The New Kingdom’. Which lasted from 1550 until 1070 B.C.E. This complex remains one of the largest religious complexes in the world.
Also Read: 10 Leadership Styles That Are Common