Amen (Amun) the Egyptian Sun God

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Amen (also known as Amun or Amon) is the sun god. He can be compared to the Greek equivalent of Zeus.

Known as “king of the gods” and equated to the sun, Amen is immensely powerful. He is often depicted as a ram, representing leadership and confidence. His name is translated as “the hidden one.

In Egyptian mythology, there are countless creation stories. Yet Amen was seen as a creator god, who not only created the world, also created himself. It is likely that cults of Amen linked the creation of the world to him, while other cults linked creation to different gods or goddesses. It could also be that Amen perhaps did not solely create the world, but played a key role.

Being the sun god, Amen was ritually prayed to during sunrise and sunset. There are many prayers and hymns dedicated to Amen in ancient Egyptian texts such as the Pyramid Texts.

Amunet (and various spellings) is the known wife of Amen. She is a primordial goddess, existing before time. Like Amen, her name is also translated as “the hidden one,” but in feminine form.

Amen is connected to Ra, who is similarly, an Egyptian sun god. In many instances, the two gods have been fused together in ancient texts as “Amen-Ra” or “Amun-Ra.” Amen-Ra is the most highly recorded god of ancient Egypt that is known to this day, right along with Osiris.

Amen is also connected to Ptah — Amen, Ra, and Ptah are linked together as a trinity. They are seen as three distinct gods who come together as one — Amen as the hidden name, Ra as the appearance to the face, and Ptah as the body.

There is a well-known myth about Isis attempting to steal power from Ra by tricking him into revealing “his secret name” — it is possible that this is where “Amen” or “Amun” comes from — the true name of Ra that was once only known to the pharaohs. However, this theory would conflict with the idea of Amen and Ra being separate gods.

Is there a connection between the Egyptian god “Amen” and the term “amen” said at the end of prayers in Hebrew/Christian context? This is a controversial question. Some sources claim the connection to be factual, some call it coincidental. In the Hebrew and Christian use, “amen” has it’s roots in Greek and Latin, the word meaning agreement and confirmation.

It is highly likely that the Greeks adopted Zeus after legends of Amen-Ra, as they draw many similarities. Worship of Amen-Ra became so popular that it eventually spread far beyond Egypt. Both Zeus and Amen-Ra are seen as ultimate creator gods with power over the others gods and goddesses.

Eventually, by the rise of the Roman Empire, Amen/Amen-Ra lost popularity and was replaced with Isis and Osiris. This also links back to the Isis myth, in which she attempts to take Ra’s power because he has grown old and weak. In some versions, Isis and Osiris take over ruling the world. In another version, Isis shares her power with Ra (or Amen-Ra.)

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