Avenue of Sphinxes in Karnak temple

Amun

Amun was the name of a deity, in Egyptian mythology, who became one of the most important deities in Ancient Egypt. The name also spelled Amon, Amoun, Amen, and sometimes Imen. It means “The Invisible”.

The ancient Egyptians depicted the god Amun in different shapes. Amun appeared in a form of man with a ram-head, a frog-headed man, a ram, a man wearing an ostrich plumed crown, and a goose.

He began as a Theban wind and fertility god whose power grew as the city of Thebes grew from an unimportant village, in the old Kingdom, to a powerful metropolis in the Middle and New Kingdoms. He rose to become a member of the eight gods collectively called the Ogdoad of Hermopolis. He then became a member of the three gods referred to as the Triad of Thebes. At that time, he was titled the patron of the Theban pharaohs and was eventually combined with sun god, Ra who had been the dominant deity of the Old Kingdom, to become Amun-Ra, King of the Gods and ruler of the Great Ennead. Amun-Ra was hailed as a national god, the creator of the universe, the pharaoh’s personal protector, and the god of war.

The temple of Karnak was Amun’s chief temple. Amun’s fame extended well beyond the boundaries of Egypt. His cult spread to Ethiopia, Nubia, Libya, and through much of Palestine. The Greeks thought he was an Egyptian manifestation of their god Zeus. Even Alexander the Great thought it worthwhile consulting the oracle of Amun.

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