“The syncretism did not imply the absorption of one deity by the other; nor did it imply the creation of yet another god.”

“Amun’s nature tended toward syncretism, and the name Amun-Re appeared on a stela erected by the governor Intef of Thebes before 2000 BCE. Amun’s growth was accelerated when Amenemhet I seized power in Thebes and founded the twelfth dynasty in 1991 BCE.

The hidden aspect of Amun enabled him to be easily syncretized and associated with other deities. Amun was identified with Montu and he soon replaced Montu as protector of Thebes. As the power of Thebes increased, Amun’s identification with Re became more pronounced. That identification was probably encouraged by the moving of Egypt’s capital from Thebes to Itjtawy, at the apex of the Nile Delta, under Amenemhet I… Amun and Re were thereby placed in closer contact, and a syncretism of the two would have been very astute, both theologically and politically. The syncretism did not imply the absorption of one deity by the other; nor did it imply the creation of yet another god. Amun and Re still remained as separate hypostatic deities, but their syncretism was an expression of the unity of divine power.”  – Vincent Arieh Tobin, The Ancient Gods Speak

In our third novel, there is a character who is an amalgamation of various divinities — a chimera of discarded parts, mainly from Egyptian gods, that forms what basically amounts to a griffin. In my attempts to fact-check the Narrator, I found this book. This quote, I think, captures how it is possible for him to be more than one god, yet have those gods still exist apart from him. Fascinating stuff.

-Gabs

 

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