I wrote that title in all caps, because no matter how many times that fact is repeated, no matter how much evidence is proffered, the mistake, inaccuracy or downright lie is constantly being put forth that Horus was NOT a sun god. This blatant error is made not by professional Egyptologists, of course, but by people who have apparently scanned a couple of encyclopedia articles, which they evidently feel makes them experts on this vast and deep subject.
If you encounter anyone making this BLUNDER – which shows a lack of even the basic knowledge of ancient Egyptian religion – please be sure to point out their mistake to them, although I don’t have any great hope that they will correct themselves, as the “anti-ZEITGEISTers” are about as delusional and fundamentalist as typical religious fanatics. You can also be sure that if these “experts” are making THIS basic error, they are also making many others as well, as demonstrated quite thoroughly by my voluminous writings on this subject, which include a nearly 600-page book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection. This book has been out since 2009, and is available for searching at Google Books, so there is no excuse for this abject ignorance. I likewise demonstrate this fact of Horus being a sun god in my book Suns of God, which came out in 2004, so this mistake is doubly inexcusable. (The reader is referred to these two books for citations of the quotes below.)
PROOF THAT HORUS WAS A SUN GOD, FROM PRIMARY SOURCES AND THE WORKS OF HIGHLY CREDENTIALED AUTHORITIES
As is the case with many gods in other parts of the world, several Egyptian gods (and goddesses) possess solar attributes, essentially making them sun gods. These Egyptian sun gods included not only the commonly known Ra or Re, but also Osiris and Horus, among others. This fact of Horus as a sun god was confirmed five centuries before the common era by the Greek historian Herodotus (2.144, 156), when he equated Osiris with the Greek god Dionysus and Horus with the Greek sun god Apollo: “In Egyptian, Apollo is Horus, Demeter is Isis, Artemis is Bubastis….”
In the first century BCE, the Greek writer Diodorus Siculus described Osiris as the sun, while his sister-wife, Isis, is the moon:
Now when the ancient Egyptians, awestruck and wondering, turned their eyes to the heavens, they concluded that two gods, the sun and the moon, were primeval and eternal: they called the former Osiris, the latter Isis….
The ancient writer Porphyry (c. 235-c. 305 AD/CE) related (according to early Catholic Church father/historian Eusebius):
But the fiery power of [the sun’s] revolving and circling motion whereby he ripens the crops, is called Dionysus… And whereas he revolves round the cosmical seasons [Grk. horas] and is the maker of “times and tides,” the sun is on this account called Horus.
In my book Suns of God (112), I discuss the equation of Horus with Apollo and the sun by ancient writer Macrobius (4th cent. AD/CE):
The newborn sun god about whom he writes is Horus, whom Macrobius equates with Dionysus. Both Dionysus and Apollo are identified with Horus, as is further evidence by the fact that Apollo and Horus were represented by the hawk. Macrobius too equates Apollo with Horus…
As concerns primary sources, in Christ in Egypt (47), I write (47):
In ancient Egyptian writings such as the Pyramid Texts, in which he is called the “Lord of the Sky,” along with other solar epithets such as “He Whose Face is Seen,” “He Whose Hair is Parted,” and “He Whose Two Plumes are Long,” Horus’s function as a sun god or aspect of the sun is repeatedly emphasized, although this singularly pertinent fact is seldom found in encyclopedias and textbooks, leaving us to wonder why he would be thus diminished. In the Coffin Texts as well is Horus’s role as (morning) sun god made clear, such as in the following elegantly rendered scripture from CT [Coffin Text] Sp. 255:
“…I will appear as Horus who ascends in gold from upon the lips of the horizon…”
In CT Sp. 326, Horus is even called “Lord of the sunlight.”
Concerning the nature of certain Egyptian gods, Dr. James P. Allen, Curator of Egyptian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, remarks:
…Ruling over the universe by day, the Sun was identified with Horus, the god of kingship; at sunset he was seen as Atum, the oldest of all gods. The Sun’s daily movement through the sky was viewed as a journey from birth to death, and his rebirth at dawn was made possible through Osiris, the force of new life… …In the middle of the night the Sun merged with Osiris’s body; through this union, the Sun received the power of new life while Osiris was reborn in the Sun.
As we can see, these various gods are often interchangeable, and their attributes and stories may overlap. As stated by Egyptologist Dr. Erik Hornung:
Many Egyptian gods can be the sun god, especially Re, Atum, Amun, and manifestations of Horus. Even Osiris appears as the night form of the sun god in the New Kingdom. It is often not defined which particular sun god is meant in a given instance.
In this regard, I also relate in CIE (45):
…Horus of the Horizon or Horakhty is a solar deity and the morning sun, part of the combined Re-Horakhty, whose name Egyptologist Dr. Rudolf Anthes renders, “Re, the heavenly Horus of the horizon in which he appears as the sun..” As Egyptologist Sir Dr. Gaston Maspero remarks:
Horus the Sun, and Ra, the Sun-God of Heliopolis, had so permeated each other that none could say where the one began and the other ended…
Once more, Maspero says:
When the celestial Horus was confounded with Ra, and became the sun…he naturally also became the sun of the two horizons, the sun by day, and the sun by night.
Egyptologist Dr. Allen further discusses Horus’s solar attributes:
Horus was the power of kingship. To the Egyptians this was as much a force of nature as those embodied in the other gods. It was manifest in two natural phenomena: the sun, the most powerful force in nature; and the pharaoh, the most powerful force in human society. Horus’s role as the king of nature is probably the origin of his name: hrw seems to mean “the one above” or “the one far off”… This is apparently a reference to the sun, which is “above” and “far off” in the sky, like the falcon with which Horus is regularly associated…
Illustrating certain motifs including the sun god’s movement through the night and day, Sir Dr. E.A. Wallis Budge (1857–1934), noted English Egyptologist, Orientalist, and philologist who worked for the British Museum and published numerous works, remarks:
The Sun has countless names, Ptah, Tmu, Ra, Horus, Khnemu, Sebek, Amen, etc.; and some of them, such as Osiris and Seker, are names of the Sun after he has set, or, in mythological language, has died and been buried…. All gods, as such, were absolutely equal in their might and in their divinity; but, mythologically, Osiris might be said to be slain by his brother Set, the personification of Night, who, in his turn, was overthrown by Horus (the rising sun), the heir of Osiris.
As can be seen, both Osiris and Horus are essentially sun gods, who both also battle with the “Prince of Darkness,” the god Set or Seth. Summarizing, Egyptologist Dr. Edmund Meltzer states:
Horus the falcon was predominantly a sky god AND a sun god.
There is much, much more to this subject, including a 39-page chapter “Horus, Sun of God” in my book Christ in Egypt. You will not get this important information from all the critics out there who are clearly not experts on this subject, as this one issue so roundly demonstrates. If you see this basic error, you would not be remiss in clicking off the page since the rest will likely be just as erroneous.
Sources & Further Reading