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Ra

Ra (rä) [key] or Re rā, in Egyptian religion, sun god, one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt. Ra was chief of the cosmic deities and was sometimes called the creator and father of all things. Early Egyptian kings alleged descent from him and added his name to their own royal titles. Ra had several manifestations, the most common being those of the hawk and the lion. He was depicted as sailing across the sky in a celestial barge during the day and battling the forces of evil and darkness by night. Various other Egyptian gods were frequently identified with him, such as Amon and Atum.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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