Alternatively Aman, Ammon, Amon, Amun, Amon-Ra, Amon-Re, Amum, Atum, Am, Amen-Ra, Amen-Ur, Amun-Re, Hammon, Niu, Zeus-Ammon and Jupiter-Ammon.
A god of ancient Egyptian religion, patron deity of the city of Thebes, known as "The Hidden One," his image came to be painted blue, which was the symbol of invisibility.
Amen's temple in Karnak was the largest in terms of square footage, and he was the most important landowner in Egypt.
In Greece Amen was identified with Zeus, and in Rome with Jupiter, thus the names Jupiter-Ammon and Zeus-Ammon, under which he was worshipped at the oasis of Siwah, in the Libyan desert the famous sanctuary and oracle Alexander the Great consulted to "confirm" his divine lineage and to enhance his "Greek character" among his soldiers.
Amen was the son of Thoth and Maat, and his wife was Mut, with whom he had the son Khonsu, the god of the moon. In some traditions, Amen was self created, without mother and father, and his sacred animals were the ram and less often the Nile goose.
Originally being a god of Thebes, or perhaps even earlier, a god of Hermopolis, Amen was connected to reproduction in the representation of a ram. In Thebes, Amen formed a triad with his wife and son, becoming the patron of the pharaohs, and therefore a national god of Egypt. Later, in Heliopolis, he came to be identified with the god Re or Ra, and the names of both were united into Amen-Re or Amon-Ra.
At around the Twelfth Dynasty Amon-Ra was elevated to the status of supreme god, the father of all gods, the creator of every human being and all creatures. An ancient Theban inscription reads:
"The concealed spirit, a mystery for him whom he hath created, is Ammon of the ancient of days, who is from the beginning, the creator of heaven, earth, the depth, and the mountains".
The cult of Amon-Ra proved to be very powerful, and his high priest came to be one of the most important persons of Egypt, rivaling the power of the pharaohs. The largest temple structure for Amon-Ra was the temple at Karnak (today Luxor).
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Sources: (1) Turner, Patricia and Coulter, Charles R., Dictionary of Ancient Deities, Oxford University Press; (2) Faulkner, Raymond (Translator), The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day, Chronicle Books; (3) Brace, C. Loring, Unknown God or Inspiration Among Pre-Christian Races, Kessinger Publishing.
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