Nun , the primordial Egyptian God

Nun , the primordial Egyptian God

Nun, the Egyptian God of Primordial WatersNun, also known as Nu, is a significant deity in ancient Egyptian mythology, representing the primordial waters from which all creation emerged.

As one of the oldest and most fundamental gods in the Egyptian pantheon, Nun plays a crucial role in various creation myths and cosmological beliefs.

Key Points

• Personification of the primordial waters and chaos
• Considered the father of the gods and the origin of all creation
• Part of the Ogdoad, a group of eight primordial deities
• Associated with the annual flooding of the Nile River

Aspect Description
Powers Control over primordial waters, chaos, and creation
Pronunciation "noon"
Symbol Water, frog, palm frond
Name in Hieroglyphs 𓇋𓈖𓈖𓅆
Family Consort: Naunet, Son : Ra
Meaning "Watery One" or "Inert One"


Nunis a fundamental concept in Egyptian mythology, representing the watery abyss that existed before creation. His significance lies in his role as the source of all life and the potential for both creation and destruction.

Origins and Mythology

Nun was believed to be the primordial waters from which the creator god emerged. In various creation myths, Nun is described as the chaotic, boundless ocean that existed before the formation of the world.

The most common narrative involves the first land, often referred to as the primeval mound, rising from Nun's waters, marking the beginning of creation.

As part of the Ogdoad, a group of eight primordial deities worshipped in Hermopolis, Nun was paired with his female counterpart, Naunet.Together, they represented the male and female aspects of the primordial waters.

Primordial waters


Iconography and Representation

Nun was typically depicted in Egyptian art in several forms:
  1. As a bearded man with blue or green skin, symbolizing water and fertility.
  2. As a frog or frog-headed man, particularly when represented as part of the Ogdoad.
  3. Sometimes shown with female breasts, emphasizing his dual nature.
  4. Often portrayed holding a palm frond, a symbol of long life.

In some depictions, Nun is shown lifting the solar barque or the sun disc, representing his role in supporting the daily journey of the sun god Ra.

nun egyptian god hieroglyph


Role in Egyptian Cosmology

Although Nun was not actively worshipped like other Egyptian deities, he held a significant place in Egyptian cosmology:
  1. Creation: Nun was seen as the source from which all creation emerged, including the creator god himself.
  2. Underworld: The waters of Nun were believed to surround the ordered cosmos, playing a role in the afterlife journey.
  3. Renewal: Nun was associated with the annual flooding of the Nile, symbolizing fertility and renewal.
  4. End Times: It was believed that the world would eventually return to the chaotic waters of Nun, completing the cosmic cycle.

Influence on Egyptian Culture

While Nun did not have dedicated temples or a formal cult, his presence was acknowledged in various ways:
  1. Sacred lakes in temple complexes symbolically represented Nun.
  2. The laying of temple foundations was associated with Nun, as it symbolized building upon the primordial waters.
  3. Nun's waters were linked to the source of the Nile, emphasizing his importance in Egyptian life and agriculture.

Nun represents a fundamental concept in Egyptian mythology, embodying the primordial waters that both preceded and will outlast creation.

His dual nature as a source of both life and potential destruction made him a complex and significant figure in ancient Egyptian cosmology and religious thought.


  1. Was Nun worshipped like other Egyptian gods?
    No, Nun did not have dedicated temples or priests, unlike many other Egyptian deities.
  2. How did Nun influence Egyptian creation myths?
    Nun represented the primordial waters from which the first god emerged, setting the stage for creation.
  3. What was Nun's relationship with other Egyptian gods?
    Nun was considered the father of the gods, particularly Ra, and played a supportive role in many myths.
  4. How did Nun relate to the concept of chaos in Egyptian mythology?
    Nun embodied both the potential for creation and destruction, representing the chaotic forces that existed before and would exist after the ordered universe.
  5. Did Nun have any connection to the afterlife in Egyptian beliefs?
    Yes, the waters of Nun were believed to surround the underworld, and the deceased had to cross these waters in their journey to the afterlife.



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