Online Encyclopedia

AMMON

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 861 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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AMMON, the Graecized name of an Egyptian deity, in the native language Amin, connected by the priests with a root meaning " conceal." He was, to begin with, the local deity of Thebes, when it was an unimportant town on the east bank of the river, about the region now occupied by the temple of Karnak. The XIth dynasty sprang from a family in the Hermonthite nome or perhaps at Thebes itself, and adorned the temple of Karnak with statues. Amenemhe, the name of the founder of the XIIth dynasty; was compounded with that of Amun and was borne by three of his successors. Several Theban kings of the later part and slew the priests. Ammon had yet another outburst of glory. There was an oracle of Ammon established for some centuries in Libya, in the distant oasis of Siwa. Such was its reputation among the Greeks that Alexander journeyed thither, after the battle of Issus, and during his occupation of Egypt, in order to be acknowledged the son of the god. The Egyptian Pharaohs of the XVIIIth dynasty had likewise been proclaimed mystically sons of this god, who, it was asserted, had impregnated the queen-mother; and on occasion wore the ram's horns of Ammon, even as Alexander is represented with them on coins. The Egyptian goose (chenalopex) is figured in the XVIIIth dynasty as sacred to Ammon; but his most frequent and celebrated incarnation was the woolly sheep with curved (" Ammon") horns (as opposed to the oldest native breed with long horizontal twisted horns and hairy coat, sacred to Khnum or Chnumis). It is found as representing Ammon from the time of Amenophis III. onwards. As king of the gods Ammon was identified by the Greeks with Zeus and his consort Mut with Hera. Khnum was likewise identified with Zeus probably through his similarity to Ammon; his proper animal having early become extinct, Ammon horns in course of time were attributed to this god also. See Erman, Handbook of Egyptian Religion (London, 1907) ; Ed. Meyer, art. " Ammon " in Roscher's Lexikon der griechischen and romischenMythologie; Pietschmann, arts. " Ammon," " Ammoneion" in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopadie; and works on Egyptian religion quoted under EGYPT, section Religion. (F. LI,. G.)
End of Article: AMMON
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SCIPIONE AMMIRATO (1531-16or)
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CHRISTOPH FRIEDRICH VON AMMON (1766—185o)

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