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Author Topic: AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN  (Read 75262 times)
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« on: April 02, 2007, 03:44:48 pm »


                                                    T H E   G R E A T   H Y M N

Thou arisest fair in the horizon of Heaven, O living Aten, Beginner of Life.

When thou dawnest in the East, thou fillest every land with thy beauty.

Thou art indeed comely, great, radiant and high over every land.

Thy rays embrace the lands to the full extent of all that thou hast made, for

thou art Re and thou attainest their limits and subduest them for thy beloved son.

Thou art remote, yet thy rays are upon the earth

Thou art in the sight of men, yet thy ways are not known.

When thou settest in the Western horizon,

the earth is in darkness after the manner of death.

Men spend the night indoors wth the head covered,

the eye not seeing its fellow.

Their possessions might be stolen, even under their heads,

and they would be unaware of it.

Every lion comes forth from its lair and all snakes bite.

Darkness lurks, and the earth is silent

when their Creator rests in his habitation.

The earth brightens when thou arisest in the Eastern horizon

and shinest forth as Aten in the daytime.

Thou drivest away the night when thou givest forth thy beams.

The Two Lands are in festival.

They awake and stand upon their feet for thou hast raised them up.

They wash their limbs, they put on raiment

and raise their arms in adoration at thy appearance.

The entire earth performs its labours.

All cattle are at peace in their pastures.

The trees and herbage grow green.

The birds fly from their nest, their wings [raised] in praise of thy spirit.

All animals gambol on their feet,

all the winged creation live when thou hast risen for them.

The boats sail upstream, and likewise downstream.

All ways open at thy dawning.

The fish in the river leap in thy presence.

Thy rays are in the midst of the sea.

Thou it is who causest women to conceive and makest seed into man,

who givest life to the child in the womb of its mother,

who comfortest him so that he cries not therein,

nurse that thou art, even in the womb,

who givest breath to quicken all that he hath made.

When the child comes forth from the body on the day of his birth,

then thou openest his mouth completely and thou furnishest his sustenance.

When the chick in the egg chirps within the shell,

thou givest him the breath within it to sustain him.

Thou createst for him his proper term within the egg,

so that he shall break it and come forth from it

to testify to his completion as he runs about on his two feet when he emergeth.

How manifold are thy works!  They are hidden from the sight of men,

O Sole God, like unto whom there is no other!

Thou didst fashion the earth according to thy desire when thou was alone

 - all men, all cattle great and small, all that are upon the earth

that run upon their feet or rise up on high, flying with their wings.

And the lands of Syria and Kush and Egypt -

thou appointest every man to his place and satisfiest his needs. 

Everyone receives his sustenance and his days are numbered.

Their tongues are diverse in speech and their qualities likewise,

and their colour is differentiated for thou hast distinguished the nations.

Thou makest the waters under the earth and thou bringest them forth

at thy pleasure to sustain the people of Egypt

even as thou hast made them live for thee,

O Divine Lord of them all, toiling for them,

The Lord of every land, shining forth for them,

The Aten Disk of the day time, great in majesty!

All distant foreign lands also, thou createst their life.

Thou hast placed a Nile in heaven to come forth for them

and make a flood upon the mountains
like the sea in order to water the fields of their villages.

How excellent are thy plans, O Lord of Eternity! - a Nile in the sky

is thy gift to foreigners and to beasts of their lands;

but the true Nile flows from under the earth for Egypt.

Thy beams nourish every field and when

thou shinest they live and grow for thee.

Thou makest the seasons in order to sustain all that thou hast made,

the winter to cool them, the summer heat that they may taste.

Thou hast made heaven afar off that thou mayest behold

all that thou hast made when thou wast alone,

appearing in thy aspect of the Living Aten, rising and shining forth.

Thou makest millions of forms out of thyself,

towns, villages, fields, roads, the river.

All eyes behold thee before them, for thou art the Aten of the daytime,

above all that thou has created.

Thou art in my heart, but there is none other who knows thee save thy son

Akhenaten.  Thou hast made him wise in thy plans and thy power.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2007, 11:17:20 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2007, 03:59:40 pm »

The character and deeds of Akhenaten, who for seventeen years directed the

fate of Egypt and the civilized world in the fourteenth century BC, continue to
engross and mystify the historians.  From being one whom his people did their

best to forget, he has become, thirty centuries later, the celebrated subject of

novels, operas and other works of the imagination.

In essence his doctrine rejected the universal concept of idolatry.  He taught that the graven images in which Egyptian gods revealed themselves had been invented by man and made by the skill of artisans.  He proclaimed a new god, unique, mysterious, whose forms could not be known and which were not fashioned by human hands.

The single-minded zealotry with which Akhenaten promoted the worship of a spirit, self-created daily, and transcendental, in place of a tangible repository of numinous power, reveals a self-assurance which has
provoked modern critics to class him and his chief queen Nefertiti, as religious fanatics; just as their subjects
in their day recognized their exceptional charisma with backs bent low in adoration.  Nevertheless, although the royal pair share in the divinity of their god, they recognize itssupremacy and prostrate themselves abjectly in its presence.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 06:18:33 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2007, 04:16:15 pm »

This new found deity was yet a very old one - the sky god Horus, that since pre-historic times had been incarnate in the king and carried the Aten, the disk of the daytime sun, Re, across the heavens upon giant
falcon wings. 

In the Re-Herakhte of Akhenaten, however, the falcon was soon transformed from the bearer of the solar disk upon its vertex into the disk itself, shooting forth its rays, each ending in a human hand, thus manifesting
itself as an active force, a heavenly king like Re, reigning over the Horizon where lay the realms of light. 

Within a few months this solar symbol of deity had devoloped into an abstraction and a sole god. 

During the remainder of the reign it became increasingly regal, predominatly abstract and, at the last, 
brooked no rival.

This belief, however was almost as old as the pharaonate itself.  Every pharaoh was an incarnation of the
great sky god Horus, and since early times had borne the title "Son of Re", the active solar deity to whom
he would be assimilated at death.
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2007, 05:17:47 pm »

                          T H E   D I S C O V E R Y   O F   A K H E N A T E N     

Almost 300 Kilometres south of Cairo, about midway between ancient Memphis
and Thebes, on the west bank of the Nile, lie the ruins of Hermopolis.  This was the seat in pagan times of the
moongod Thoth, whom the Greek equated with their Hermes, and the capital of a thriving district that extended to  a depth of nearly 20 kilometres, to meet the verges of the Libyan Desert on the west.  By contrast with this still fertile and populous tract, the opposite bank presents an inhospitable face with sheer limestone cliffs, plunging headlong into the Nile and scarcely affording space for a continuous highway at the water's edge.  The vast escarpment extends further south for some 65 kilometres when, at Sheikh Sa'id, the bluffs recedes from
the river in an abrupt curve, for a distance of 12 kilometres and a maximum depth of five, before resuming their southward course.  This opening in the rocky wall forms the sandy plain of Amarna, a vast natural amphitheatre in which one of the great dramas of ancient Egypt was played out in little more than a decade in the fourteenth century BC, when it became "a chance bivouac in the march of history, fulled for a moment with all the movement and colour of intense life, and then was abandoned to a deeper silence, as the camp was hurriedly struck and the course of Egyptian history relapsed again into more wonted highways."

For this was the site to which Akhenaton, visionary and religious reformer, was directed by divine inspiration, in his fifth regnal year, as the place where his sole god, Re-Herakhte, immanent in the sunlight that streamed from the Aten, or disk of the sun, had manifested himself at the creation of the world.  It was here that the Pharaoh founded a capital city on virgin ground, which was built for the Aten, extended during the remaining twelve years of his reign, and forsaken soon after his death.
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2007, 05:36:39 pm »


                                      T H E   D I S C O V E R Y   O F   A K H E N A T E N

All this, of course was unknown to the European travellers who came to this spot in
the early years of the nineteenth century.  They found a desert tract covered with scrub and low mounds of pebble-strewn rubbish, sloping from the crescent of east-
ern hills to a narrow strip of cultivation, bordering the river and scored by shallow wadis.  This untamed place was not made any more inviting by the evil reputation of the inhabitants of the wretched villages, strung along the river bank from north to south at EtTil, El Hagg Qandil, El Amirya and El Hawata.  These were occupied by the sullen and quarrelsome descendants of the Beni Amran, nomads who had left the Eastern Desert in the early eighteenth century and settled on the river banks, giving their name to the whole region.  The full description of their northernmost village, Et Til el Amarna, was mis-heard by early travellers as Tell el Amarna, and still persists, though it is a misnomer, since there is no single 'tell' or great mound marking the ancient site.  Scholars have now generally agreed to call the place El Amarna, or more simply, Amarna.

Despite such deterrents, in 1824 the first of the notable modern explorers stopped at Et Eil and visited some of the open tombs cut in a terrace that extended half-way up the cliffs at the northern edge of the site.  This was John Gardner Wilkinson, who had come to Egypt three years earlier in search of a more congenial climate in which to cosset his fragile health, and stayed for a further decade investigating the monuments, particularly those at Thebes.

He returned to Amarna in 1826, this time in company with James Burton, an elder brother of the more famous architect Decimus and a member of a team that had made a geological survey of Egypt for Mohammed Ali in 1822.  Wilkinson and Burton copied scenes and made squeezes in the tombs of the High Steward of the Queen Mother, Huya; Pharaoh's Private Secretary, Ahmose;  the High Priest, MeryreI; the Chief Servitor, Pinhasy; the Cupbearer, Parennefer; the Chamberlain, Tutu and the Master of the Horse, Ay.
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2007, 05:58:53 pm »

THE DISCOVERY OF AKHENATON                                                              continued

Not that the two copyists were aware of the names and titles of the former owners of these tombs.  At this time, the knowledge of how to decipher hieroglyphs, follow-
ing upon Champollion's initial discoveries of 1822, had hardly been sufficiently developed to enable Wilkinson and Burton to read the names  of the ancient site, which they identified as the late Roman Alabastronopolis, from a nearby alabaster quarry, one of several in the northern hills.  It is under this name that Wilkinson published the source of his copies and extracts from the tomb scenes in his
"Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians", which in its various editions had such a profound influence on Victorian ideas of ancient Egypt.  Apart from this, and
a page in Burton's "Excerpta Hierogliphica", nothing was published from the site, although in subsequent years, several expeditions and individuals examined the monuments at Amarna.  The Scottish midshipman Robert Hay, later laird of Linplum, and his team of copyists worked there in 1830 and 1833 and, not only examined all the tombs that were open, but cleared others from beneath extensive drifts of sand in the foothills on the southern limits of the site.  In this way, they added to
the tally the tombs of the Overseer of the Royal Harim, another Meryre; and the Governor of the City, Neferkheperuhersekheper.  The careful and often exquisite copies of the scenes, that they secured with the aid of the camera lucida, have never been published, except in extracts.  The original drawings and notes have
survived in their portfolios, among the manuscripts of the British Library.
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2007, 06:25:55 pm »

THE DISCOVER OF AKHENATON                                                               continued

A similar fate befell the copies made by the French draughtsman Nestor L'Hote, who had accompanied Champollion on his expedition in 1828 and again, on his own account, ten years later.  His manuscripts and drawings are in the Bibliotheqe Nationale in Paris.  So are those of the Breton archaeologist and artist Prisse
d'Avennes, who went to Egypt to work as an engineer for Mohammed Ali and stayed on to excavate and explore.  He came to Amarna in the early 1840s and copied in the northern tombs there.

The attaction that brought these men and the general tourist to the private tombs at Amarna, in spite of hardships, was the unique nature of the reliefs with which they were decorated.  Unlike those of other tombs in Egypt, they were large, unified compositions, the subject-matter of which was exclusively concerned with the activities of a royal family, consisting of a king and queen and several of their infant daughters.  They were shown not in the formal attitudes of worship repeated so insistently on every temple wall, or as triumphant conquerors smiting the foreign foes, but in intimate and vivid detail as human beings engaged in every day domestic affairs, embracing their children, riding in their chariots to attend worship  in the local shrines, feasting in the privacy of their palaces, or honouring their followers with valuable rewards taken from their treasure chests.  In all these scenes there was an entire absence of that funerary ambiance which tinged the decoration of the painted tombs of Thebes, and even the reliefs in the stone mastabas of the Old Kingdom at Saqqara. 

Indeed, the scenes radiated a vibrancy in the pose of the participants in the drama, with onlookers expressing excitement and even ecstasy in the presence of their rulers, and joy and pride in the awards that were bestowed upon them.  There was also a fervency evident in the sacrifices which the royal pair offered up before a heaped altar under a radiant sun.  Everywhere strings by the expressive fingers of the musicians who were so much in evidence, in the dances of jubilation by onlookers and the waving of palm fronds and olive branches in the hands of those welcoming the subjects whom royalty had honoured
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« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2007, 06:49:37 pm »

THE DISCOVERY OF AKHENATEN                                                              continued

There was also, however, a certain prevailing mystery.  The royal figures in the scenes were drawn in a style that differed markedly from what was generally
accepted as the ancient Egyptian mode.  The king and, to a lesser extent, the
queen, was represented as though his head were deformed, with a long nose, thick
lips, a hanging chin and  a long serpentine neck.  His physique, too, was distincti-
vely feminine, with its heavy breasts, swelling hips and ample thighs.  The question arose of whether a king and his consort were in question at Amarna, or two queens, one masquereding as a pharaoh.  This enigma, so far from discouraging
visitors, only enhanced the appeal of the place.

Despite such attractions, the tombs lying open on the northern hill terraces were in a sorry condition.  Most of them were badly damaged and polluted by the attentions of generations of squatters in early Christian times, and colonies of bats ever since.  The Christians had damaged the walls and built their rude houses in the forecourts: some of the innermost chambers had been used as burial places.  The tomb of Pinhas had even been extensively remodelled as a Coptic church, with a deep font for total immersion before the apse.  But, apart from such desecration, it was apparent to early visitors, that the reliefs had also suffered from the hammers of iconoclasts who had defaced the figures of the king and queen and removed their names from the inscriptions.  So throughly had this destruction been wrought , that it was not easy to find an intact cartouche bearing the name of the king or queen, and still less was it possible to come upon an undamaged portrait of the royal pair.  Nevertheless, there were oversights, in places difficult of access or evidently inaccessible by the time that the work of defacement began.

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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2007, 07:16:28 pm »

THE DISCOVERY OF AKHENATEN                                                                  continued

In this predicament, is was customary for early visitors to Amarna to refer to the people represented on the reliefs as the "Disk Worshippers", from the image of the sun shooting forth a dozen or more rays, each ending in a hand, which dominated the upper part of nearly every scene and which was clearly a special symbol of veneration.  It did not require particularly acute perception to see that this rayed disk with its protective uraeus, had a special connection with the royal pair.  Its hands brought the ankh or sign of life to their nostrils, or clasped their limbs or persons as though to support them; but such privileges were denied to their subjects, however exalted.  It, too, was accompanied by two cartouches enclosing its names, like the two great names of a king, but they were larger than the cartouches of the pharaoh and surrounded by a double border.  The signs within these were difficult to interpret but were evidently the same as those which accompanied a representation of the sun-god, ReHerakhte, as a falcon-headed man, found on a few monuments elsewher, though not at Amarna. 

Eventually, following the opinion of German scholars, the contents of the two great cartouches were recognized as a 'didactic' name of an age-old kingly god in his aspect of the entire day-time sun, 'Re-Horus, who rejoices in the horizon in his name of the light which is in the sun-disk".

Whatever this name meant, and new interpretations were to appear with each generation of scholars, the important element was (hieroglyph), ATEN, the sun's disk, which was frequently used alone as though it were an abbreviated form of the longer name.  It did not go unobserved either that a different version of the didactic name also existed.

The excision of the names of the king and queen and, sporadically of the god himself, and of other members of the royal family, suggested that the "Disk Worshippers" had incurred some kind of odium.  Their names did not appear on the lists of pharaohs which about this time were coming to light at Saqqara, Karnak and elsewhere.  The family at Amarna bore all the signs of being figures and faces and names that were anathema.  Such marks of execration only added to the mistery of the place.
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2007, 07:35:18 pm »

THE DISCOVERY OF AKHENATON                                                             continued

In 1842, however, fresh light was admitted to dispel some of the obscurities when the Prussian Epigraphic Expedition under Richard Lepsius, a disciple of Champollion and the foremost Egyptologist of his day, arrived
in Egypt to begin their immense survey.  The team paid two visits to Amarna in 1843 and 1845, where in the
course of a total of twelve phenomenally busy days, they copied scenes and inscriptions and took paper
squeezes of reliefs in the northern tombs and of those in the southern group, which had been opened by Hay
a dozen years earler. 

These records, still happily housed in Berlin, are invaluable, since not infrequently they are now the only
evidence we have of what existed on walls that have since been damaged or totally destroyed. 

Lepsius' explorations were mostly concerned with a more accurate and complete knowledge of monuments
already brought to light, rather than with an increase in the sum-total of new excavations and discoveries. 
But his main contribution to the advance of the subject was the worthy publication of results in the twelve
mighty volumes of the "Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopen", which were devoted solely to illustrations
and the five volumes of letter press, which appeared posthumously. 

It was this work that enabled scholars in subsequent years, with their increasing knowledge of ancient Egyptian archaeology and philology, to improve their understanding and elucidation of the Amarna monuments and to begin
a serious attempt to write the history of the site.
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2007, 07:53:13 pm »

THE DISCOVERY OF AKHENATEN                                                               continued

Notwithstanding the excised cartouches of the main actors in the drama, it soon became apparent that they were indeed a male pharaoh and his chief queen, whose names did not appear in the official king-lists.  His name was read as
Khuenaten, but by the end of the century this version had been corrected to Akhenaten.  Further study revealed that the king had at some stage in his career changed his nomen from Amenophis(Amenhotep), a name which was the same as that of his predecessor, though accompanied by a slightly different epithet, "Divine
ruler of Thebes', in place of "Ruler of thebe".  This revocation of the name of Amun seemed to have some connection with the excision of the name and figure of this god, wherever they appeared, though they had generally been restored at a later date, apart from oversights.

The chief queen, whose figure appeared inseparably with her husband's in most of their representations, retained her name of Nefertiti without alteration; but after a time she added an epither to it, Neferneferuaten (Fair in the Beauty of the Aten) in an expanded version.  The names of their six daughters were also recovered, as was that of the ancient township which had stood in the plain at Amarna and which
was still visible as a straggle of dark sandy mounds dappled with withe pebbles. 
This was found to be Akhentaten, "the Horizon (or seat) of the Aten", an appellation not encountered in the records, except for chance scribbles on the rocks at Aswan.

More than a century of study and exploration has torn the veil from the mystery, without however plucking out its heart; and Akhenaten, so far from being execrated and forgotten, bids fair to become the most over-exposed of all the pharaohs, while the features of his wife, Nefertiti, thanks to the much publicized painted bust found at Amarna, are probably more familiar now than Cleopatra's, that 'femme fatale' of the Hellenistic world.

Such a turn of Fortune's wheel would have appealed to the Egyptian of Roman days, who frequently offed his prayers to the gryphon of Nemesis.


King of Egypt

by Cyril Aldred
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« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2007, 12:19:06 pm »

Akhenaton -- Encyclopaedia Britannica
In the god's honor, the pharaoh changed his name to Ikhnaton, which means “It is well with Aton.” Ikhnaton (also Akhenaton)

 Since the disappearance of Melchizedek in the flesh, no human being up to that time had possessed such an amazingly clear concept of the revealed religion of Salem as Ikhnaton. In some respects this young Egyptian king is one of the most remarkable persons in human history. During this time of increasing spiritual depression in Mesopotamia, he kept alive the doctrine of El Elyon, the One God, in Egypt, thus maintaining the philosophic monotheistic channel which was vital to the religious background of the then future bestowal of Michael. And it was in recognition of this exploit, among other reasons, that the child Jesus was taken to Egypt, where some of the spiritual successors of Ikhnaton saw him and to some extent understood certain phases of his divine mission.

Never in all history did any king so methodically proceed to swing a whole nation from polytheism to monotheism as did this extraordinary Ikhnaton. With the most amazing determination this young ruler broke with the past, changed his name, abandoned his capital, built an entirely new city, and created a new art and literature for a whole people. But he went too fast; he built too much, more than could stand when he had gone. Again, he failed to provide for the material stability and prosperity of his people, all of which reacted unfavorably against his religious teachings when the subsequent floods of adversity and oppression swept over the Egyptians.

Had this man of amazingly clear vision and extraordinary singleness of purpose had the political sagacity of Moses, he would have changed the whole history of the evolution of religion and the revelation of truth in the Occidental world. During his lifetime he was able to curb the activities of the priests, whom he generally discredited, but they maintained their cults in secret and sprang into action as soon as the young king passed from power; and they were not slow to connect all of Egypt's subsequent troubles with the establishment of monotheism during his reign.

Very wisely Ikhnaton sought to establish monotheism under the guise of the sun-god. This decision to approach the worship of the Universal Father by absorbing all gods into the worship of the sun was due to the counsel of the Salemite physician.  Ikhnaton took the generalized doctrines of the then existent Aton faith regarding the fatherhood and motherhood of Deity and created a religion which recognized an intimate worshipful relation between man and God.

Ikhnaton was wise enough to maintain the outward worship of Aton, the sun-god, while he led his associates in the disguised worship of the One God, creator of Aton and supreme Father of all. This young teacher-king was a prolific writer, being author of the exposition entitled "The One God," a book of thirty-one chapters, which the priests, when returned to power, utterly destroyed. Ikhnaton also wrote one hundred and thirty-seven hymns, twelve of which are now preserved in the Old Testament Book of Psalms, credited to Hebrew authorship.

The supreme word of Ikhnaton's religion in daily life was "righteousness," and he rapidly expanded the concept of right doing to embrace international as well as national ethics. This was a generation of amazing personal piety and was characterized by a genuine aspiration among the more intelligent men and women to find God and to know him. In those days social position or wealth gave no Egyptian any advantage in the eyes of the law. The family life of Egypt did much to preserve and augment moral culture and was the inspiration of the later superb family life of the Jews in Palestine.

The fatal weakness of Ikhnaton's gospel was its greatest truth, the teaching that Aton was not only the creator of Egypt but also of the "whole world, man and beasts, and all the foreign lands, even Syria and Kush, besides this land of Egypt. He sets all in their place and provides all with their needs." These concepts of Deity were high and exalted, but they were not nationalistic. Such sentiments of internationality in religion failed to augment the morale of the Egyptian army on the battlefield, while they provided effective weapons for the priests to use against the young king and his new religion. He had a Deity concept far above that of the later Hebrews, but it was too advanced to serve the purposes of a nation builder.

Though the monotheistic ideal suffered with the passing of Ikhnaton, the idea of one God persisted in the minds of many groups. The son-in-law of Ikhnaton went along with the priests, back to the worship of the old gods, changing his name to Tutankhamen. The capital returned to Thebes, and the priests waxed fat upon the land, eventually gaining possession of one seventh of all Egypt; and presently one of this same order of priests made bold to seize the crown.

But the priests could not fully overcome the monotheistic wave. Increasingly they were compelled to combine and hyphenate their gods; more and more the family of gods contracted. Ikhnaton had associated the flaming disk of the heavens with the creator God, and this idea continued to flame up in the hearts of men, even of the priests, long after the young reformer had passed on. Never did the concept of monotheism die out of the hearts of men in Egypt and in the world. It persisted even to the arrival of the Creator Son of that same divine Father, the one God whom Ikhnaton had so zealously proclaimed for the worship of all Egypt.

The weakness of Ikhnaton's doctrine lay in the fact that he proposed such an advanced religion that only the educated Egyptians could fully comprehend his teachings. The rank and file of the agricultural laborers never really grasped his gospel and were, therefore, ready to return with the priests to the old-time worship of Isis and her consort Osiris, who was supposed to have been miraculously resurrected from a cruel death at the hands of Set, the god of darkness and evil.

The teaching of immortality for all men was too advanced for the Egyptians. Only kings and the rich were promised a resurrection; therefore did they so carefully embalm and preserve their bodies in tombs against the day of judgment. But the democracy of salvation and resurrection as taught by Ikhnaton eventually prevailed, even to the extent that the Egyptians later believed in the survival of dumb animals.

Although the effort of this Egyptian ruler to impose the worship of one God upon his people appeared to fail, it should be recorded that the repercussions of his work persisted for centuries both in Palestine and Greece, and that Egypt thus became the agent for transmitting the combined evolutionary culture of the Nile and the revelatory religion of the Euphrates to all of the subsequent peoples of the Occident.

The glory of this great era of moral development and spiritual growth in the Nile valley was rapidly passing at about the time the national life of the Hebrews was beginning, and consequent upon their sojourn in Egypt these Bedouins carried away much of these teachings and perpetuated many of Ikhnaton's doctrines in their racial religion.

Ikhnaton-  (Akhenaton)
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« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 09:31:25 pm by Majeston » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2007, 08:13:00 pm »

« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 09:52:47 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2007, 05:00:46 pm »

                                                                    The Aten

During the reign of Akhenaten The Aten was installed as the principal god of Egypt, and the worship of the old gods was rejected. The Aten was not a new god but an obscure aspect of the sun god, worshipped as early as the Old Kingdom. "Aten" was the traditional name for the sun-disk itself and so the name of the god is often translated as "the Aten" (for example, in the coffin texts of the Middle Kingdom) the word "Aten" represents the sun disc, and in the 'Story of Sinuhe' (also from the Middle Kingdom) Amenemhat I is described as soaring into the sky and uniting with Aten, his creator. During the New Kingdom, the Aten was considered to be an aspect of the composite deity Ra-Amun-Horus. (Ra represented the daytime sun, Amun represented the sun in the underworld and Horus represented the sunrise). Akhenaten proclaimed "the Aten" (the visible sun itself) to be the sole deity, taking sun worship a stage further. Because of the naturalistic qualities of some of the art works of the time, some have suggested that his religion was based on the scientific observation that the sun's energy is the ultimate source of all life.

In its early stages Atenism is best described as a henotheistic religion (a religion devoted to a single god while accepting the existence of other gods) but it developed into a proto-monotheistic system. The full extent of his religious reforms were not apparent until the ninth year of his reign. As well as proclaiming the Aten the only god, he banned the use of idols with the exception of a rayed solar disc. He also made it clear that the image of the Aten only represented the god, but that the god transcended creation and so could not be fully understood or represented. This aspect of his faith bears a notable resemblance to the religion of Moses, prompting Freud to suggest that Akhenaten was the first Monotheist.

A number of hymns to the Aten were composed during Akhenaten's reign, some apparently by the king himself. They describe the wonders of nature and hail the sun as the absolute and universal lord of all things. In particular, the Hymn to the Aten (recorded in the tomb of Ay, the vizier Akhenaten who became pharaoh after Tutankhamun) has become famous as many commentators have argued that it closely echoes Psalm 104 which describes the wonders of nature and ascribes ultimate power to Yahweh, the Hebrew God. There is indeed a certain similarity in the type of language and the content matter, but those who argue the two texts are the same are perhaps exaggerating slightly.

The Aten was worshipped in the open sunlight, rather than in dark temple enclosures, as the old gods had been.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 06:37:25 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2007, 04:53:07 pm »

« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 09:45:08 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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