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Ancient Egyptian Gods
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Re (Ra)

Father of the gods

Symbols: sun, falcon, obelisk, pyramid, Udjat (Eye of Horus), Bennu (phoenix)

Depiction: Depictions of Re showed him as a hawk or falcon or hawk-headed man. Some depictions showed Re as the combination of Ra-Hoor-Khuit (Re who is Horus of the Horizons) and Horus, the falcon god.

Re

Mythology: Re was the god of the sun and was associated with Horus, the god of the sky. Re was known as the creator of men by some and became the state deity during the Fifth Dynasty. An ancient god, Re was the father of Shu and Tefnut, the grandfather of Geb and Nut, the great-grandfather of Seth, Nephthys, Isis, and Osiris. According to myth, Re traveled through the waters of heaven in two different boats each day. The first boat, Madjet (“becoming strong”), was a galley that rose out of the east behind the Mount Manu and then passed between two sycamore trees. The second boat, a small barge called Semektet ("becoming weak"), took Re to sunset. Ma’at determined the course of this boat. Re did not navigate the boats himself, Horus, accompanied by Ma’at, navigated the boat for Re. In front of the boat swam Abtu and Ant, two pilot fish. Geb, Hu, Sia, and Hike traveled with Re. And at night, the god Upuaut stood on the boat’s prow. Re’s travels were impeded by three monsters, Sebau, Nak, and Apep. In order for the sun to rise, Re fought and defeated these monsters every night. Apep, the personification of darkness, was the most powerful of the three monsters and was depicted either as a serpent or crocodile. If Apep defeated Re, then the weather was stormy. If Apep swallowed Re’s ship then a solar eclipse occurred. The Book of Overthrowing Apep provided incantations and information on how to defeat Apep.


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