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Sun Gods and Sun Goddesses

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Greek Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion
Harald Sund/ Photographer's Choice RF/ getty Images

In ancient cultures, where you find gods with specialized functions, you'll probably find a sun god or goddess. Many are humanoid and ride or drive a vessel of sort across the sky. It may be a boat, a chariot, or a cup. The sun god of the Greeks and Romans rode in a 4-horse (Pyrios, Aeos, Aethon, and Phlegon) chariot.

There may be more than one god of the sun. The Egyptians differentiated among the aspects of the sun, and had several gods associated with it: Khepri for the rising sun, Atum, the setting, and Ra, at noon, who rode across the sky in a solar bark. The Greeks and Romans also had more than one sun god.

You may notice that most sun deities are male and act as counterparts to female moon deities, but don't take this as a given. There are goddesses of the sun just as there are male deities of the moon.

 

Name Nationality/Religion God or Goddess or ? Notes
Amaterasu Japan Sun Goddess  
Arinna (Hebat) Hittite (Syrian) Sun Goddess The Iconography of Religion in the Hittite, Luwian, and Aramaean Kingdoms PDF
Apollo Greece and Rome Sun God  
Freyr Norse Sun God Not the main Norse sun god, but a fertility god associated with the sun.
Garuda Hindu Bird God  
Helios (Helius) Greece Sun God Before Apollo was the Greek sun god, Helios held that position.
Hepa Hittite Sun Goddess The consort of a weather god, she was assimilated with the sun goddess Arinna.
Huitzilopochtli (Uitzilopochtli) Aztec Sun God  
Hvar Khshaita Iranian/Persian Sun God Earlier than Mithras.
Inti Inca Sun God  
Liza West African Sun God  
Lugh Celtic Sun God  
Mithras Iranian/Persian Sun God "Mit(h)ra(s) and the Myths of the Sun" David H. Sick. Numen (2004).
Re (Ra) Egypt Mid-day Sun God An Egyptian god shown with a solar disk. Center of worship was Heliopolis. Later associated with Horus as Re-Horakhty. Also combined with Amun as Amun-Ra, a solar creator god.
Shemesh/Shepesh Ugarit Sun goddess Female solar deities (Jürg Eggler) PDF
Sol (Sunna) Norse Sun Goddess She rides in a horse-drawn solar chariot.
Sol Invictus Roman Sun God The unconquered sun. A late Roman sun god. The title was also used of Mithras.
Surya Hindu Sun God Rides the sky in a horse-drawn chariot.
Tonatiuh Aztec Sun God  
Utu (Shamash) Mesopotamia Sun God  

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