According to Wikipedia, Ancient Egyptian belief in the sun god Ra started sometime before 2500 BC. In that Wikipedia article, it also states, "The rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire put an end to the worship of Ra by the citizens of Egypt." But I can't seem to find a time frame for that. Obviously, some time after 0 CE, but how long after?

I know there won't be exact dates for the beginning and end of the time frame that the Ancient Egyptians worshipped Ra and his pantheon of associated gods. But I'd like to get a reasonable number, rounded to the nearest hundred years if possible, to complete this sentence: "The ancient Egyptians worshipped Ra for ____ years."

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    @Tyler Durden, your comment is based on nothing more than conjecture and has no foundation of proof. The word "amen" can be traced back to the early Hebrew and Greek languages. Jan 16 '15 at 20:44
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    i love the Wikipedia reference to tylers idea, after explaining the origins of the word it says, btw some conspiracy theorists believe it came from the worship of amun ra.
    – Himarm
    Jan 16 '15 at 21:44
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    @TylerDurden so the Hebrews were kicked out Egypt? i thought the consensus was the Hebrews were never in Egypt to begin with.
    – Himarm
    Jan 16 '15 at 21:46
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    @TylerDurden lol yes watch tv for knowledge, most non-religious scholars believe the Hebrews were never in Egypt and were just natives of the area of present day Israel. however the belief that the Hebrews were in egypt comes straight out of the bible, and should you believe that the bible is a historical account, then you'll also see the Hebrews did not worship the Egyptian gods. you cant mix and match ideas to fit your own preconceived notions.
    – Himarm
    Jan 16 '15 at 21:52
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    it was in both technically, it was part of unified israel, then when they split it was in part called judah, the other half still being called israel.
    – Himarm
    Jan 16 '15 at 22:25

The Wikipedia article on Egyptian Temples has a rough estimate as to when the last temple of the Old Egyptian Religion, The Temple of Isis at Philae, was closed - as early as 456 if one goes by inscriptions found at the site, or as late as 535, if one believes Procopious. They source the claim from the 2011 edition of The Archaeology of Late Antique Paganism, which argues a gradual and organic decline that culminated in the abandonment of cult activities well before the hard cut-off of Justinian's command to destroy the temple. While cult activities may have continued in isolation, this is the end of the Old Egyptian Religion in recorded history.

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    Thank you for an answer to the question, citing research and avoiding argument.
    – MCW
    Jul 23 '15 at 12:22
  • Yes. Note, however, that this is a lower bound: they show that open worship continued at least that long, but not how long it may have continued in secret, since the believers would not have dared to make their worship public. So an absolutely accurate answer is probably impossible.
    – jamesqf
    Jul 23 '15 at 19:56
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    @jamesqf History is, by definition, the record written by contemporaries, or archaeological evidence in support of a hypothesis. Anything else is woolgathering. Jul 24 '15 at 2:06
  • So, I could reasonably say, "the ancient Egyptians worshipped Ra for about 3000 years." Cool.
    – Questioner
    Jul 24 '15 at 6:01
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    @Questioner - The cult of Ra began to formalize its mythology and worship practices around the time of the Second Dynasty, so that's a good ballpark. It was integrated into a larger religious system during the Middle Kingdom, so Ra worship would be present in a temple to Isis and her cult at the end. Jul 24 '15 at 11:28

Christianity became the official religion of Rome under Constantine (306-337 AD). Soon after that there were major doctrinal disputes between the Bishops of Alexandria that had to be arbitrated between his sons. So by 350 AD at the latest you'd have to say Christianity was well established.

Of course, long before that Greek and Roman influence might have replaced Amon Ra.

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    It is a delusion to think that paganism disappeared in the Roman Empire at the time of Constantine. We have a record of a major persecution of pagans (and of Jews) by order of the archbishop of Alexandria in 415. The pagan philosophical schools survived in Athens until they were shut down by order of Justinian (ruled 527-565).
    – fdb
    Jan 17 '15 at 16:20
  • Ra was more of a state god, so determining when the state stopped supporting it provides a working number, as per his assertion that Christianity was the tipping point. The problem with your 'non delusional' comment is that it provides no useful information for the original poster.
    – Oldcat
    Jan 20 '15 at 23:15
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    It is better to provide no information than to provide misinformation.
    – fdb
    Jan 21 '15 at 0:28

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