Study Guide

Aten - Symbols of Sunny Delight

Symbols of Sunny Delight

Who says the sun doesn't shine all the time? These gods and goddesses might not be physically present, but they're represented in tons of art by symbols that show off their sunny sides up.

Taranis

This Celtic sky god doesn't always show up. In his place, he sends a picture of a wheel or disK, which symbolizes his solar domain. Aten isn't always too happy about that, so he hitches the wheel to a wagon and sends it packing.

Shamash

Shamash is one fly dude! This Mesopotamian sun god is often shown as a winged sun disk. He is also a divine judge, so the others do their best not to get on his (really) bad side.

Amaterasu

The sun goddess of Japan, Amaterasu rules over the islands with a solar (iron) fist. She's repped by a big circle (the rising sun), which might just give Japan its nickname (a.k.a. "the Land of the Rising Sun"). Ama keeps busy - she's the founder of the Japanese nation and the source of all living things. That's a lot to keep track of.

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