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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 11991 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #75 on: March 15, 2008, 09:51:24 am »

p. 151

philosophers a thousand years later.

It is, however, very probable that he wished Aten, as the god of absolute truth and justice, to become the national god of Egypt and divine ruler of all the countries of the Sudan and Western
Asia that formed his dominions.

If that be so, he was born too late to bring this about, even supposing that he was physically and mentally fit to undertake such a task.

When he ascended the throne, Amen, or Amen-Ra, the King of the Gods, the Lord of the world, was actually what Amenhetep wished Aten to be.

Amen had expelled: the Hyksos and set the first king of the XVIIIth dynasty upon his throne, and he had given victory to the successors of Aahmes I and filled Egypt with the wealth of the Sudan and Western Asia.

Amen had become the overlord of the gods, and his fame filled the greater part of the world that was known to the Egyptians.

It was impossible to overthrow the great and wealthy priesthood of Amen, to say nothing of the social institutions of which Amen was the head.

The monotheism of Amenhetep from a religious point of view was not new, but from a political point
of view it was. It consisted chiefly of the dogma that Amen was unfit to be the national god of Egypt, the Sudan and Syria, and that Aten was more just, more righteous, and more merciful than the upstart god of Thebes, and that Aten alone was fitted to be the national god of Egypt and her dominions.

When Amenhetep tried to give a practical form to his views, his attempt was accompanied, as has frequently been the case with religious "reformers," by the confiscation of sacrosanct property, and
by social confusion and misery.

It was fortunate for Egypt that she only produced one king who was an individualist and idealist, a pacifist and a religious "reformer" all in one.
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