Featured Online Content Rare Book Selections Thanks to the digital age, the stacks are open and searchable—everyone can access these untold treasures through our newly released web portal. The unique materials of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, now totaling over 800,000 items, include books, broadsides, pamphlets, theater playbills, prints, posters, photographs, and medieval and Renaissance manuscripts.
At the center is Thomas Jefferson's book collection, which was sold to Congress in 1815.
, he had become a major god in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun.
In later Egyptian dynastic times, Ra was merged with the god Horus, as Ra-Horakhty ("Ra, who is Horus of the Two Horizons").
He was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the earth, and the underworld. When in the New Kingdom the god Amun rose to prominence he was fused with Ra as Amun-Ra.
During the Amarna Period, Akhenaten suppressed the cult of Ra in favor of another solar deity, the Aten, the deified solar disc, but after the death of Akhenaten the cult of Ra was restored.
The cult of the Mnevis bull, an embodiment of Ra, had its center in Heliopolis and there was a formal burial ground for the sacrificed bulls north of the city.
All forms of life were believed to have been created by Ra, who called each of them into existence by speaking their secret names.
Alternatively man was created from Ra's tears and sweat, hence the Egyptians call themselves the "Cattle of Ra." In the myth of the Celestial Cow it is recounted how mankind plotted against Ra and how he sent his eye as the goddess Sekhmet to punish them.
When she became bloodthirsty she was pacified by drinking beer mixed with red dye.
To the Egyptians, the sun represented light, warmth, and growth.
This made the sun deity very important, as the sun was seen as the ruler of all that he created.