Funerary stela featuring Re on the left with a sun disk on
his head and a scepter in his hands (E2044). From Thebes, Dynasty
22 or 23 (945-712 B.C.).
To the ancient
Egyptians, the sun was considered to be the god, Re. Re was worshipped
at his primary cult center at the city of On (Heliopolis) as well
as throughout the country. During the Fifth Dynasty (2500-2350 B.C.),
Egyptian kings first called themselves the "Son of Re," a designation
that remained part of the royal titulary thereafter. Re could be
combined with a variety of different gods; for example, he joined
with Horus to form Re-Horakhty, or "Horus
in the Horizon," a form of the morning sun. Re was often shown as
a man with a falcon head similar in appearance to the god Horus.
He was believed to travel across the sky as the sun in a solar boat
together with his daughter Maat, and steered
by the god Thoth.