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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 11380 times)
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« Reply #165 on: August 09, 2008, 05:22:06 pm »

Amenhotep IV, who would change his name to Akhenaten to reflect Aten's importance, first replaced the state god Amun with his newly interpreted god.

The hawk-headed figure of Re-Horakhty-Aten was then abandoned in favor of the iconography of the solar disk, which was now depicted as an orb with a uraeus at its base  emitting rays that ended in human hands either left open or holding ankh signs that gave "life" to the nose of both the king and the Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti.

It should however be noted that this iconography actually predates Amenhotep IV with some examples from the reign of Amenhotep II, though now it became the sole manner in which Aten was depicted.

Aten was now considered the sole, ruling deity and thus received a royal titulary, inscribed like royal names in two oval cartouches. As such, Aten now celebrated its own royal jubilees (Sed-festivals).

Thus, the ideology of kingship and the realm of religious cult were blurred.

The Aten's didactic name became "the living One, Re-Harakhty who rejoices on the horizon, in his name (identity) which is Illumination ('Shu, god of the space between earth and sky and of the light that fills that space') which is from the solar orb."

This designation changes everything theologically in Egypt.

The traditions Egyptians had adopted since the earliest times no longer applied. According to Akhenaten, Re and the sun gods Khepri, Horakhty and Atum could no longer be accepted as manifestations of the sun. The concept of the new god was not so much the sun disk, but rather
the life giving illumination of the sun. To make this distinction, his name would be more correctly pronounced, "Yati(n)".

Aten was now the king of kings, needing no goddess as a companion and having no enemies who could threaten him.

In effect, this worship of Aten was not a sudden innovation on the part of one king, but the climax of a religious quest among Egyptians for a benign god limitless in power and manifest in all countries and natural phenomena. 
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 11:03:48 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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