Ancient Egypt / Religion / Gods /
Other spelling: Amen, Amun
Amon's name means "hidden", and his image was typically rendered in blue, which was the symbol of invisibility. His wife was Mut, with whom he had the son, Khonsu, the god of the moon.
Originally Amon was a god of Thebesand, perhaps, even earlier, a god of Hermopolis. Amon had significance for fertility and was represented as a ram (cf. illustration). In Thebes, Amon formed a triad with his wife and son. He became the patron of the pharaohs, and, therefore, a national god of Egypt.
Later, in Heliopolis, he came to be identified with the god Re, and the names of both were united into Amon-Re. Amon-Re was the father of all gods, the creator of every human being and all creatures.
The cult of Amon-Re proved to be very powerful, and his high priest came to be one of the most important persons in Egypt, rivalling the power of the pharaohs. The largest temple structure for Amon-Re was the temple at Karnak (today Luxor).
Amon was strongly disputed by Akhenaten, who introduced Aten as the sole god, leading to the destruction of Amon's cult. However, under subsequent pharaohs, Amon was gradually restored as the god of the nation and its ruler.
Around 1500 BCE, Amon entered a new triad with Ptah and Re, but by many he was seen as the sole power, and hence all other gods were manifestations of him.
During the last millennium BCE, his cult even spread beyond Egypt, and was established among the Cushites (in modern Sudan).
Around 85 BCE, Thebes was sacked, and the cult of Amon was severely weakened. In 27 BCE an earthquake destroyed Thebes even further, and the cult of Amon entered the last stages before its final extinction.
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