Re: Falcon, Cobra, Scarab, Ram

Re: Falcon, Cobra, Scarab, Ram
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Re: the sun god (Falcon, Cobra, Scarab, Ram)

It could be convincingly argued that Re was ancient Egypt’s most important god. As the sun god and central figure of the sun’s daily cycle, Re’s associations with other deities were extensive and ensured his place as a god of great significance.

The word Re simply means “sun” in ancient Egyptian, and Re was therefore primarily identified with the orb of the sun. The Egyptians believed that each day the sun god traveled on his solar bark across the sky and was reborn in the east every morning after successfully overcoming the dangers of the Underworld. Since the Egyptians witnessed this continual “death” and “rebirth” of the sun, Re became a god that represented all aspects of what ancient Egyptians hoped to achieve after death: a successful journey through the dangers of the Underworld and a rebirth that was everlasting.

Kings in particular identified with Re. The sun god was said to be the “father of the king” and New Kingdom pharaohs extensively decorated their tombs with scenes from the Amduat, a text which described the sun god’s perilous journey through the twelve hours of the night and his successful rebirth in the morning. It was the king’s hope that by associating himself with the successful rebirth of Re that he would experience the same success in his own rebirth into the afterlife.

Re was depicted in a variety of ways. As a sun disk, he was usually surrounded by a protective cobra, sometimes with outstretched wings. Re could also be represented as a man with the head of a scarab, ram, or more commonly, a falcon. In full animal form he was often shown as a falcon wearing a sun disk on its head. Based on his extensive associations with aspects of other gods, Re had a very wide variety of depictions.