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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 14940 times)
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« on: November 09, 2007, 03:03:44 pm »

Amen-hetep IV succeeded his father without difficulty, even though his mother was not a member of the royal family of Egypt, and for the first few years of his reign he followed the example of the earlier kings of his dynasty, and lived at Thebes, where he no doubt ruled according to his mothers wishes.

He offered up sacrifices to Amen-Ra at the appointed seasons and was, outwardly at least, a loyal servant of this god, whose name formed a part of his name as "son of the Sun."

We may note in passing, that he adopted on his accession to the throne the title "High-priest of Ra-Heru-khuti, the exalted one of the horizon, in his "name of Shu who is in Aten," which is clear proof that he was not only a worshiper of Ra-Harmachis, another of the forms of the Sun-god Heliopolis, but also that he endorsed the views and held the opions of the old College of Priests at Heliopolis, which assigned the disk {Aten} to him for a dwelling-place.

Amen-hetep's titles as lord of the shrines of the cities of Nekhebet and Uatchet, and as the Horus of gold also prove his devotion to a Sun-god of Heliopolis. During the early years of his reign at Thebes he built a massive Benhen, in honor of Ra-Harmachis at Thebes, and it is probable that he took the opportunity of restoring or enlarging the temple of Aten which had been built by his father.

At the same time we find that he worshipped both Amen and Aten, the former in his official position as king, and the latter in his private capacity.

It was, however, impossible for the priests of Amen -Ra to tolerate the presence of the new god Aten and his worship in Thebes, and the relations between the king and that powerful body soon became strained. On the one hand the king asserted the superiority of Aten over every god, and on the other the priests declared that Amen-Ra was the king of the gods.

As, however, Amen-Ra was the center of the social life of Thebes, and his priests and their relatives included in their number the best and greatest families of the capital city, it came to pass that the king found himself at the worship of Aten wholly supported by the great mass of its population, whose sympathies were with the old religion of Thebes, and by those who gained their living in connection with the worship of Amen-Ra.

The king soon realized that residence in Thebes was becoming impossible , and the fifth year of his reign he began to build a new capital on the east bank of the Nile, near a place which is marked to-day by the Arab villages of Haggi Kandil and Tell el-Amarna ; he planned that it should include a great temple to Aten, a palace for the king, and houses for those who were attached to the worship of Aten and were prepared to follow their king there.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 05:45:16 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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