Ennead (Greek, meaning a collection of nine things) was a group of nine
deities in Egyptian mythology. The Ennead were worshipped at Heliopolis
and consisted of the god Ra, his children Shu and Tefnut, their
children Geb and Nut and their children Osiris, Isis, Set
Egyptian mythology established multiple such groupings of deities, known as Pesedjets. The Pyramid Texts of the 5th and 6th dynasties mention the Great Pesedjet, the Lesser Pesedjet, the Dual Pesedjet, plural Pesedjets, and even the Seven Pesedjets.
The Greek term Ennead, denoting a group of nine, was coined by Greeks exploring Egypt, its culture and religion, especially after the conquest by Alexander the Great and during the subsequent rule of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Greek became the language of learned studies and hence Greek terms were used by Greek and Roman authors to describe Egyptian phenomena.
Among Egyptian pesedjets, the most important was the Great Pesedjet, also called the Ennead of Heliopolis, after its centre of worship. Heliopolis (Egyptian: Aunu, "place of pillars") was dedicated to the worship of the god Atum and thrived from the Old Kingdom until its decline under the Ptolemaic rulers.
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