Amun | Gods and Goddesses | Origin, Significance & Facts
The god Amun-Ra is considered one of the most important and most powerful ancient Egyptian gods, and often his cult spread or began to spread from the Middle Kingdom and continued to the end of the Ancient Egyptian civilization even until the Greco-Roman era. Meanwhile, the Amun cult was known among the peoples who had relations with Egypt, such as Babylon and Assyria since the The New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The cult of Amun was the most powerful and popular in Egypt for centuries.
The name of the god is derived from the verb Ameen, meaning the hidden. Thus, in the texts of the Middle Babylonian era in the name of Aman.
Likewise, in the Assyrian texts, as in Greek, was called by some attributes, such as the good God, the king of the gods. We know that the name of Amun appeared in the names of Some of the kings, and high officials besides the names of some regions.
in addition, Luxor was called Niwt Imn means the city of the God Amun. Among his most important names and attributes as stated in the Pyramids Texts was Amun.
Origin of God Amun
We have many opinions about the origin of the Amun and the area from where he came. One of the oldest mentions of Amun came in the Pyramids texts No. 466 in the Pyramid of Unas.
Archeologists took this reference, as well as in some other texts from the Eleventh Dynasty that this pair of gods from Ogdoad Al-Ashmunein to Thebes, specifically to the Luxor region in the eleventh dynasty. In other words, Amun was a local god during the middle kingdom and he became the supreme god after Hyksos were driven out of the country by Ahmose.
Meaning of Amun
The name of the god Ayman, meaning the hidden, the self-created od, and the king of all the gods. Later on, he became associated with the sun god Ra and became Amun-Ra.
There is an Egyptian song for Amun that says
The 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. Firstly, the Egyptians worshipped two gods Amun and Ra but both became one god in about 2040 B.C.
How Amun was represented?
- Amun was portrayed as a bearded man wearing a headdress with a double plume
- Sometimes Amun was depicted as a goose
- Sphinx with the body of the lion and the head of the ram
- As a ram-headed god
- He held a bodily color in light blue, perhaps to express that he is one of the heavens
- In the tomb of Ramesses XI, there is a depiction of God Amun as a ram with four heads called Amun-Ra-Horakhty.
- Sometimes in the form of a snake.
The important area where Amun was worshipped
Thus, we can identify the most important areas where Amun was worshipped in the Karnak since the Middle Kingdom. Also, in the south of Luxor, and Medinet Habu Temple.
As well as in the temples in the funerary temples on Luxor west bank.
Celebrations Associated with Amun
Amun had several celebrations, the most important of which were New Year’s Day, the harvest feast, and the Opet feast, where he visited the Luxor Temple.
The beautiful feast of the valley when he visited the funeral temples on the western bank of the Nile.
The Power of Amun
Amun was among the most powerful Egyptian deities, this appears from the gifts and endowments, along with herds of cattle.
Amun’s priests, employees, and high priests, and through the strength of this belief, the power of his priests infuse great strength, especially for their links with kings and rulers until they managed at one time to bring the job of the high priest and the minister.
The power of the high priest remained in a situation close to the king near the end of the New Kingdom, which is the stage that begins the third intermediate period.
Temples in Amun’s Honor
Many Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs kings-built temples in order to show gratitude to Amun. The most notable of these is the great Karnak temple and the Luxor Temple.
Karnak temple was the main and oldest temple of Amun on Luxor East Bank. Amun was the Egyptian manifestation of Zeus for the Greeks. Meanwhile, Amun was worshipped outside of Egypt such as in Libya, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Nubia.
Alexander the great when he came to Egypt, traveled 800km to consult Amun’s oracle in Siwa Oases.