1. Amun (Amun-Ra) “The Creator God” was a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amunet. With the 11th Dynasty (c. 21st century BC), Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu. After the rebellion of Thebes against the Hyksos and with the rule of Ahmose I (16th century BC), Amun acquired national importance, expressed in his fusion with the Sun god, Ra, as Amun-Ra (alternatively spelled Amon-Ra or Amun-Re). Amun-Ra retained chief importance in the Egyptian pantheon throughout the New Kingdom (with the exception of the “Atenist heresy” under Akhenaten). Amun-Ra in this period (16th to 11th centuries BC) held the position of transcendental, self-created creator deity “par excellence”; he was the champion of the poor or troubled and central to personal piety. With Osiris, Amun-Ra is the most widely recorded of the Egyptian gods. As the chief deity of the Egyptian Empire, Amun-Ra also came to be worshipped outside Egypt, according to the testimony of ancient Greek historiographers in Libya and Nubia. As Zeus Ammon and Jupiter Ammon, he came to be identified with Zeus in Greece and Jupiter in Rome.
New kingdom When the army of the founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty expelled the Hyksos rulers from Egypt, the victor’s city of origin, Thebes, became the most important city in Egypt, the capital of a new dynasty. The local patron deity of Thebes, Amun, therefore became nationally important. The pharaohs of that new dynasty attributed all of their successes to Amun, and they lavished much of their wealth and captured spoil on the construction of temples dedicated to Amun.The victory against the “foreign rulers” achieved by pharaohs who worshipped Amun caused him to be seen as a champion of the less fortunate, upholding the rights of justice for the poor. By aiding those who traveled in his name, he became the Protector of the road. Since he upheld Ma’at (truth, justice, and goodness), those who prayed to Amun were required first to demonstrate that they were worthy, by confessing their sins. Votive stelae from the artisans’ village at Deir el-Medina record: [Amun] who comes at the voice of the poor in distress, who gives breath to him who is wretched … You are Amun, the Lord of the silent, who comes at the voice of the poor; when I call to you in my distress You come and rescue me … Though the servant was disposed to do evil, the Lord is disposed to forgive. The Lord of Thebes spends not a whole day in anger; His wrath passes in a moment; none remains. His breath comes back to us in mercy … May your kꜣ be kind; may you forgive; It shall not happen again.
Temple at karnak the history of Amun as the patron god of Thebes begins in the 20th century BC, with the construction of the Precinct of Amun-Re at Karnak under Senusret I. The city of Thebes does not appear to have been of great significance before the 11th Dynasty. Major construction work in the Precinct of Amun-Ra took place during the 18th Dynasty when Thebes became the capital of the unified ancient Egypt. Construction of the Hypostyle Hall may have also begun during the 18th Dynasty, though most building was undertaken under Seti I and Ramesses II. Merenptah commemorated his victories over the Sea Peoples on the walls of the Cachette Court, the start of the processional route to the Luxor Temple. This Great Inscription (which has now lost about a third of its content) shows the king’s campaigns and eventual return with items of potential value and prisoners. Next to this inscription is the Victory Stela, which is largely a copy of the more famous Merneptah Stele found in the funerary complex of Merenptah on the west bank of the Nile in Thebes.