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Development & Importance of the Cult of Amun
Transcript of Development & Importance of the Cult of Amun
'More than any other deity Amun was the creation of political circumstances' Wilson
The rulers of Thebes had worshiped the god Amun since the Middle Kingdom (11th & 12th Dy) when he replaced the local god Montu.
Amun's name means 'the hidden one' as he was the invisible strength of the wind. His name also derives from the Libyan word aman, meaning water. This connects him with the creation of Egypt from the primeval waters of chaos and explains why Egyptians worshipped him in the form of a goose. Amun was also depicted as a ram with curved horns, which refers his role as the fertility God. A further animal form of this god was Kematef, a creator god, who could renew himself by taking the form of a snake shedding its skin. In his human form, Amun appeared as a man wearing a double plumed headdress. In the New Kingdom, Amun was part of the Theban triad - that is the 3 patron gods of Thebes and his wife mut and son, moon god Khons.
wearing double plumed headdress and carries a was sceptre
amun depicted as a ram headed god symbol of fertility
The Theban triad: Amun seated accompanied by his wife Mut and his son, Khons.
Amun-Re of Thebes
Politics and religion were very closely related in ancient Egypt and reasons for Amun's rise to preminence can be seen in both spheres. Politically, Amun's prestige was bound to rise -he was the patron deity of Thebes, home of the kings who had expelled the Hyksos. Amun's cult noe became the state cult of the newly formed dynasty. The rulers of a reunited Egypt was forging a new political identity that parallels the development of the god and his cult (medcalf and Murrey)
The major religious reason for the rise of the Amun cult was its syncretism with that of Re to form what Eric Hornung believes was a new God, Amun-re, who existed alongside the 2 older gods. Why would this change have taken place? Barry Kemp sees it as a deliberate theological move to overcome the difficulties of sun worhsip, namely that without given Amun Re a human form, the Egyptian people would have found it hard to understand him in a personal way. With Amun represented as a crowned man, the god could now be the divine father who looked after the king and the royal family, giving victories and wealth to them and the egyptian people.