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AMUN RA GOD: Who Is ? Myths and Powers

Meaning of the God Amun-Ra

Egyptian Supreme God. Also known as AMUN-RE, AMEN-RA, AMEN-RE, AMON-RA, AMON-RE, AMMON-RA, AMMON-RE

The god Amun-Ra, the supreme god of the Egyptians, as well as some of the myths related to him. Amun-Ra was fundamental for the Egyptian culture, so, knowing him, we will know better the ancient Egyptians.

Amun-Ra retained the greatest importance in the Egyptian pantheon throughout the New Kingdom. During the period from the 16th to the 11th century BC, he maintained the position of transcendental and self-created creative deity “par excellence”; he was the benefactor and caretaker of the poor or troubled and the center of personal piety. His position as King of the gods developed to the point of a virtual monotheism where other gods became manifestations of him. As the main deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra was also worshipped outside Egypt, according to the testimony of ancient Greek historians. He was identified with Zeus, god of the Greeks. He is one of the most recorded gods of the Egyptian culture. However, Amun-Ra should never be confused with Ra.

The latter was the Egyptian god of the sun, while the former was considered “King of God”. Amun means “The Hidden One”, more or less, while “Ra” means “sun”. Amun-Ra, therefore, is the result of the amalgamation of the two deities. In short, the fusion of Amun and Ra led to a Creator Sun God that was worshipped mainly in Thebes. The deity was also often called “King of God”.

Most of the Egyptian gods and goddesses were born in the world at various points in the history of the Egyptian civilization. Many also floated in and out of popularity. Amun-Ra, however, was the supreme creator god, among the whole multitude of Egyptian divine beings, and seems to have been present in the culture and mythology of the Egyptian people virtually from the very beginning of this nation.

The secret, or hidden attribute of Amun allowed him to synchronize easily and to associate with other deities. In Thebes, Amun first identified himself with Montu, but soon replaced him as the protector of the city. His association with Re grew in importance when Amenemhet I moved the capital of Egypt to Itjtawy at the apex of the Nile Delta, where the relationship was probably both theologically and politically expedient.

However, this association with D actually grew as Thebes gained importance. Soon, Amun also identified with other gods, taking the names (among others) Amun-Re-Atum, Amun-Re-Montu, Amun-Re-Horakhty, and Min-Amun. However, it should be noted that, with all this synchronization, Amun was not absorbed to create a new god. Instead, there was a unity of divine power with these other gods.

Amun-Re became associated with the Egyptian monarchy, and theoretically, instead of threatening the power of the pharaoh, Amun-Re supported the throne. Ancient theology made of Amun-Re the physical father of the king. Therefore, the Pharaoh and Amun-Re enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, with the king deriving power from Amun-Re. In return, the king supported the temples and worship of Amun. In theory, Amun-Re could even take the form of a king to impregnate the main royal wife with the successor to the throne (first documented during Hatshepsut’s reign during the new reign).

Furthermore, according to the official theology of the state during the New Kingdom, Egypt was ruled by Amun-Re through the pharaohs, and the god revealed his will through the oracles. In fact, the god actually threatened the monarchy, as the cult of Amun-Re became so powerful that his priesthood became very large and influential, and at one point, the priests of the deity came to rule Egypt (during the 21st Dynasty).

In other occasions, Amun-Re created difficulties for the king, as in the case of Akhenaton, who sought to change the basic structure of the Egyptian religion. In this case, Amun-Re eventually proved to be more powerful than the king, for although Akhenaton desperately tried to change the nature of the Egyptian religion, by such efforts he himself became the scorn of the later pharaohs. After the reign of Akhenaton, the Egyptian religion returned almost immediately to its previous form and to the worship of Amun-Re.

Who is the God Amun-Ra ?

Amun-Ra, was a protector of both the Egyptian state and the monarchy of Egypt. The great sun god, the father of gods and humanity. Ra is the first heavenly being who created the universe, life and order instead of chaos. Ra was the supreme creator who ruled the land of the living and the dead. He looked like a child in the morning, an adult at noon and an old man at night, wearing a crown with a solar disk.

He was the most powerful god that would protect other gods and souls from the primordial serpent “Apophis”, even when the god Amon ascended to the Power, Ra’s position was intact, and even he merged with it and became the supreme god Amun-Ra.

“Lord of the truth, Father of gods, Creator of men, Creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, Creator of the staff of life”. So the Egyptians sang the hymn of Amun-Ra, supreme god, representation of the sun and life.

Amun-Ra is a deity of the Egyptian and Berber tradition. Amun-Ra or Amun represents the essential that is hidden and Ra represents the revealed divinity. He had no parents and created himself. He was the king of the gods and one of the best known along with Osiris. His three wives are Wosret, Ammunet and Mut.

Symbols of the God Amun- Ra

  • The Amun crown: The Amun crown consisted of a cylindrical crown base with a flat top (called modius) that was crowned by high double ostrich feathers.
  • The ostrich was a symbol of creation and light. The Amun crown was another style of Shuti’s headdress, specifically associated with Amun, although it was originally associated with the god Min.
  • The ankh: is a cross with a looped top that, in addition to the concept of life, also symbolizes eternal life, the morning sun, the male and female principles, the heavens and the earth. Its form incorporated these concepts in its key form; by wearing the ankh, one held the key to the secrets of existence. The union of the opposites (man and woman, earth and sky) and the extension of earthly life into the eternal, time into eternity, were all represented in the form of the looped cross.
  • The Beetle: This is the famous image of the beetle seen in Egyptian art and iconography, representing the Scarabaeus sacer, a species of the dung beetle. The dung beetle was associated with the gods because it rolled the dung into a ball in which it laid its eggs; the dung served as food for the young when they hatched. In this way, life came from death.
  • Goose: The sacred animal of Amon was originally the goose, and like Geb, sometimes he was known as the “Great Cackler”.
  • Ram: Amon was closely associated with the Ram, a symbol of fertility.

Attributes of the God Amun- Ra

Representations of Amun-Ra:

  • Amun Ra, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands: in this version he is represented as a man crowned with two feathers, red and green or red and blue and with a scepter in his hand.
  • Amun-Ra-Atum, god of Thebes: in this version he appears as a man with the head of a hawk or as a man crowned by the solar disk surrounded by a snake,
  • Ammon-Min-Kamutef, his mother’s bull: in this version, he is a calf in the morning that grows old and dies at the rhythm of the setting and disappearing sun. The next morning, both the sun and the bull come back to life.
  • On several occasions he also appears as a man with the head of a frog, the head of a ureus, the head of a crocodile, or as a monkey. However, when he is depicted as a king, he wears the two-tufted crown, a symbol taken from Min, and often sits on a throne.
  • In this way, he is one of the nine deities that make up the company of the gods of Amen-Ra.
  • In the Greek period (and somewhat earlier, to attribute many attributes to Amun-Re, he was sometimes represented in bronze with the bearded head of a man, the body of a beetle with the wings of a hawk, the legs of a falcon).
  • The man and the toes and claws of a lion. In addition, he was given four hands and arms and four wings. Occasionally his frescoes show him as a lion or a monkey.

Powers of the God Amun- Ra

  1. The powers of the god Amun-Ra were unlimited. He possessed basic powers of a god as eternity, strength over human, among others. And he also possessed special powers like the power of life, death and resurrection.
  2. Egyptians described him as “Lord of the truth, father of gods, creator of men, creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, creator of the staff of life”.
  3. According to many scholars, Amun-Ra symbolizes the combination of the invisible force (of the wind) with the visible majesty (of the life-giving sun), thus establishing an all-encompassing deity that covers most aspects of creation.

History of the God Amun-Ra

Amun-Ra symbolized life and fertility. However, he played several roles in Egyptian mythology. His first role led him to become the patron saint of Thebes, an ancient Egyptian city. It was also the place where the ruling pharaoh resided, as well as his royal family.

It was also here that Amun united with the Sun God, Ra, and both eventually assimilated and became Amun-Ra in the 18th dynasty. He was only surpassed by Osiris as the most important gods in ancient Egypt.

To paint a picture of his supremacy, Amun-Ra was the role of the creative power responsible for all life on earth, both in heaven and in the Tuat (underworld). Finally, Amun was also considered the father of the pharaoh.

He was depicted wearing a double feathered headdress with the feathers alternating in red and blue or red and green. His clothing was a tunic or a kilt with decorated straps. He also had many names, such as Am, Amon, Amen, Amon and Hammon. If we were to compare him with the Greek version of the gods, then Zeus would be the most suitable comparison.

Actually, Amun-Ra became a god around 2040 BC. Previously, the Egyptians worshipped two different divinities: Amun and Ra. We will briefly develop the profile of each one of them separately to make it possible to better understand the enormous importance that Amun-Ra later had.

Amun, God of Thebes

Amun was originally a god of Thebes. His name means hidden god. This was because he represented abstract concepts related to air. The Egyptians said he is everywhere, but cannot be seen. He was also the god of fertility.

Amun was represented by a man dressed in a wrap. On his head he carried a mortar, and from it two feathers came out. Sometimes he had the head of a ram. His wife was Amunet, the goddess of heaven, who had the form of a woman with the head of a snake.

Thebes was a relatively important city in ancient Egypt. But by 2040 BC, a momentous event occurs: Thebes is named the capital of Egypt. It remained the capital for more than a thousand years and, when it was no longer, it was the main religious center of the kingdom. In this way, the Theban god Amon became the god of all Egypt.

Ra, the God of the Sun

Unlike Amun, Ra was always a god of great importance. He represented the sun and, therefore, was the origin of life. Also, the first Pharaohs were considered incarnations of Ra. Ra is the sun, and when the sun rises and dies every day, Ra also was the symbol of reincarnation, of life after death.

Ra was represented as a man with the head of a hawk. On this head, he carried the solar disk. While the capital of Egypt was in Memphis, Ra was the supreme god. But in 2040 b.C., the capital moved to Thebes and there Ra met the main Theban god, Amun. From this union the god Amun-Ra was born, who will be the most important god in the most splendid times of the Egyptian empire.

Amun-Ra, the Great God

By 2040 BC, the two deities had become one: Amun-Ra. This god had the characteristics of Amun and those of Ra. So, he was, like Amon, the god of the hidden, and, like Ra, he was the god of the sun and reincarnation. He was the supreme god of the Egyptians, the protector of the Pharaohs who identified themselves with him.

Myths of the God Amun- Ra

Ra appeared in many myths and legends, and the stories about him varied.

  • As the sun god, he crossed the sky in a golden ship, bringing light and warmth to all creatures living on earth.
  • When the sun set in the afternoon, he descended to the underworld and brought light and air to the people who lived there. Every night, Ra’s servants helped him fight his eternal enemy, the powerful serpent Apep (also known as Apophis), who tried to swallow.
  • According to a series of myths, Ra first ruled during a golden age. All that he saw was perfect, and the sight of such wonders made him cry.
  • The tears fell to the earth and they became human beings. However, in time, Ra became angry with humans for their actions.
  • She summoned her divine eye, the beautiful goddess Hathor, and transformed her into Sekhmet, a wild lioness. Ra sent the lioness to earth to kill humans, but after she caused massive bloodshed, she decided to save the remaining humans.
  • He played a trick on Sekhmet, getting her so drunk on beer that she forgot to keep killing. However, death had now entered the world.
  • In another myth, the goddess Isis wished to learn the secret name of Ra. The name contained a great power, which Isis planned to use to strengthen her magic spells.
  • By this time, Ra had become quite old. Isis collected some of the saliva drooling on her chin, mixed it with clay and made a poisonous snake.
  • One day, while Ra was walking, the snake bit him. Tormented by a terrible pain, Ra summoned the other gods to help him. Isis promised to relieve his suffering, but only if he revealed his powerful secret name.

Finally he accepted, and Isis used the name in a magical spell to remove the poison and heal the sun god.

Sons of the God Amun- Ra


Also known as Khons Khensu, Khuns

Khonsu was the son of Amun and Mut, with whom he formed Theban’s triad. He was a moon god represented as a man with a hawk’s head with a crescent moon headdress crowned by the full moon disc.

Like Thoth, who was also a lunar deity, sometimes he is represented as a baboon. It was believed that Khonsu had the ability to cast out evil spirits. Ramses II sent a statue of Khonsu to a friendly Syrian king to cure his daughter of an illness. His temple was within the precincts of Karnak.

Ra had four Sons:

Nut (Heaven) – Shu – Tefnut – Geb (Earth)

Temples of the God Amun- Ra

Karnak Temple

The story of Amon as patron god of Thebes begins in the 20th century BC with the construction of the enclosure of Amon-Ra in Karnak under Sesostris I. The city of Thebes does not seem to have been of great importance before the 11th dynasty.

The main construction works in the Precinct of Amun-Re took place during the 17th Dynasty, when Thebes became the capital of the unified Egypt. The construction of the hypostyle hall may also have begun during the 18th Dynasty.

Other Temples: Dier el-Medina on the western bank of the Nile and Luxor.

Related Topics

Other Gods of Mythology in ALPHAPEDIA

Other Topics of Interest in ALPHAPEDIA

Images of the God Amun Ra

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AMUN RA GOD: Who Is ? Myths and Powers
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AMUN RA GOD: Who Is ? Myths and Powers
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The God Amun Ra. The Great Sun God, Father of Gods and Humanity. Attributes That Accompany Him. His Symbols, Sons and Temples
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