Aten or Aton is a great disk of the sun in the early Egyptian myth; he also signified the influence of the god Re. He was the principal deity of the great pharaoh, Amenhotep IV, who eventually took the name of Akhenaten. God Aten also symbolized the life and energy of Egypt because of the immense rejuvenating power of the sun. The main title of Aten is The Rahorus, the one who rejoices and celebrates in the horizon, in the name of the light emanated from the disk of the great sun. However, this name was too long to spell and address and as a result, the name became Re-Horus-Aten or just Aten, as many Egyptologists believe after their intensive research.

Both Re and Horus are the essential part of a single god, with combined power of both male and female sexuality; Aten was somewhere in between with both of them as the significant part of the sun, that is the pronounced disk. Aten makes his first appearance, sometime during the 12th Dynasty as mentioned in the Story of Sinuhe. In fact, Re-Horus-Aten is a combination of several old ideas that took shape over a period of several years. However, with the advent of the great king Akhenaten, the god Aten got his due in terms of religious and mythological contexts.


Aton, also spelled Aten, in ancient Egyptian religion, a sun god, depicted as the solar disk emitting rays terminating in human hands, whose worship briefly was the state religion. The pharaoh Akhenaton (reigned 1353–36 bce) returned to supremacy of the sun god, with the startling innovation that the Aton was to be the only god (see Re). To remove himself from the preeminent cult of Amon-Re at Thebes, Akhenaton built the city Akhetaton (now Tell el-Amarna) as the centre for the Aton’s worship….”

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Credit “Aten” by User:AtonX – Image:Aten.JPG. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

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