Also known as Tem, Temu, Tum or Atem. Being one of the most important and oldest gods of ancient Egypt, Atum was the essential part of the Egyptian cosmology. In fact, Atum was the god of earth and he became a close associate of the Sun god Re; interestingly, he represented the waning side of sun or the setting phase of the sun. Like other well-known gods of Egypt, he associated himself with the god Ptach and eventually with the great Osiris. The honorable priests of Heliopolis believed that Atum was the first among many, who originated from the cool waters of Nun during the time of creation.

In an art form, Atum represented the double crown of Upper and Lower Egypt regions. Curiously, most Egyptian gods were all, forms and shapes of animals, but Atum is the first living man as conceived by the well-learned Egyptians. Interestingly, Atum was responsible for two children (Shu and Tefnut) because of masturbating; though it sounds highly impossible, Egyptians believed that Atum was a bisexual god, with characters of both male a female in his body. In old Egyptian analogy, Atum is the “Great He-she” which really meant “the complete one”.

Image Source: “Atum” by Jeff Dahl – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons

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