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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 11222 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2008, 07:23:52 pm »

                                                  The Cult of the Disk

For a very long period of time, the worship of the Aten (also spelled Aton) was held to be a heretical doctrine invented by Akhenaten, source of such upheavals that religious tradition in Egypt never fully recovered. A few comments on certain aspects of the problem will suffice to set the picture straight.


                      Dynasty XVIII Nefertiti making an offering to the Aten

                      Low relief from the antechamber
                      Tell el Amarna, civilian necropolis, the tomb of Mahu

In the first place, Akhenaten did not invent the Aten.

His name appears as early as in the Old Empire Pyramid Texts, where it is listed under the Litanies as one
of the avatars of Re, manifested in the form of a Disk. Moreover, it is a fact that worship of the Disk took
root in Thebes well before Akhenaten's arrival on the scene.

It seems that Tuthmosis IV already embraced this old Heliopolitan doctrine with great fervor. Although one
cannot go so far as to say he abandoned the official cult of Amon (also spelled Amun), it is interesting to
note that he was one of the first pharoahs of the New Empire to recognize the authority of Re, thus link-
ing up with an already millenary theological system.

By having the famous "Dream Stela" carved between the paws of the Giza Sphinx, he asserted that he
owed his throne to Re-Harakhty, Re of the Two Horizons:

"I shall give you," the god says, "royalty on earth at the head of the living, you will wear the White Crown

and the Red Crown."

Thus, at a time when orthodoxy still held a firm grip, Amon was deprived of his basic right of deciding
for himself who was worthy of manifesting him on earth, who was his son the sovereign.

After Thutmose IV, Amenophis III went even a step further, as testified by a block found in the founda-
tions of the tenth pylon at Karnak. Here the king is shown in the company of the same Re-Harakhty,
designated as the "Jubilant in the Horizon in his name of Shu which is the Aten."
« Last Edit: January 31, 2008, 07:31:31 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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