Figure of standing Amun - ROM2016_15146_39


Figure of standing Amun

Medium:Bronze, solid cast
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 525-404 BC
Period: 27th (Persian) Dynasty, Late Period
32 x 5.5 x 8 cm
Object number: 910.17.40
Not on view

The god Amun-Re was one of the most important and complex deities in Ancient Egypt.  He was associated with the king, who was his bodily son, and with the sun god, Re.  He was also a popular deity noted for his mercy and kindliness, known as ‘the widow’s husband, the orphan’s father, the poor man’s lawyer.”

In this image, he strides forth as a king, powerfully muscled as the war-god he was during the most expansionist periods of Egyptian history, the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties. He wears the royal pleated kilt over a smooth underkilt; his broad collar and wrist bands were originally decorated with gold leaf. His now empty-hands are pierced and once held a sceptre and a curved sword. His crown is a flat-topped modius surmounted by the disk of Re in front of two tall plumes.  These represent hawk tail feathers, which associate him with the god Horus. (At this scale, the feathers, though damaged, are quite realistic in size, but when images of the god were scaled up to human size or larger, the feathers, to be proportionately correct, had to be enlarged well past the size of actual hawk feathers.)

The name Amun was mentioned in the Pyramid Texts, and seems originally to have referred to his subtle and hidden nature. He rose to prominence in the Middle Kingdom when the rulers of the Twelfth Dynasty honoured him as their patron.  He grew in importance during the New Kingdom and his theology continued to develop into the Late Period. The vast temple of Karnak was his home.  It contained a small chapel dedicated to the ‘Hearing Ear’ where ordinary people could bring their petitions and speak with him directly.  Some of the finest Egyptian hymns are addressed to Amun-Re.

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