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THE GREAT ATEN

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Bianca
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« Reply #105 on: March 15, 2008, 03:40:44 pm »









p. 69



her son's reign. What appears to be an excellent portrait of her is reproduced on Plate XXXIII of Mr. Davis's book on her tomb.

But his respect for Ti and the honour in which he held her did not prevent Amenhetep from marrying other wives, and we know from the Tall al-'Amarnah tablets that he married a sister and a daughter
of Tushratta, the King of Mitanni.

His marriage with Gilukhipa, the daughter of Shutarna and sister of Tushratta, took place in the tenth year of his reign. And he commemorated the event by making a group of large scarabs inscribed on their bases with the statement that in the tenth year of his reign Gilukhipa, the daughter of Shutarna, prince of Neherna, arrived in Egypt with her ladies and escort of 317 persons.

1 Exactly when Amenhetep married Tushratta's daughter Tatumkhipa is not known, but that he received many gifts with her from her father is certain, for a tablet at Berlin (No. 296) contains a long list of her wedding gifts from her father.

In marrying princesses of Mitanni Amenhetep followed the example of his father, Thothmes IV, whose wife, whom the Egyptians called Mutemuaa, was a native of that country.

It follows as a matter of course that the influence of these foreign princesses on the King must have been very considerable at the Theban Court, and they and the high officials and ladies who came to Egypt with them would undoubtedly prefer the cult of their native gods to that of Amen of Thebes.

Ti's son, Amenhetep IV, and his sisters would soon learn their religious views, and the prince's hatred of Amen and of his arrogant priesthood probably dates from the time when he came in contact with the princesses of Mitanni, and learned to know Mithras, Indra, Varuna and
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« Reply #106 on: March 15, 2008, 03:45:12 pm »










p. 70



other Aryan gods, whose cults in many respects resembled those of Horus, Ra, Tem and other Egyptian solar gods.

During the early years of his reign Amenhetep spent a great deal of his time in hunting, and to commemorate his exploits in the desert he caused two groups of large scarabs to be made. On
the bases of these were cut details of his hunts and the numbers of the beasts he slew.

One group of them, the "Hunt Scarabs," tells us that a message came to him saying that a herd of
wild cattle had been sighted in Lower Egypt. Without delay he set off in a boat and, having sailed all night, arrived in the morning near the place where they were.

All the people turned out and made an enclosure with stakes and ropes, and then, in true African fashion, surrounded the herd and with cries and shouts drove the terrified beasts into it. On the occasion which the scarabs commemorate 170 wild cattle were forced into the enclosure, and then the King in his chariot drove in among them and killed 56 of them. A few days later he slew 20 more. This battle took place in the second year of Amenhetep's reign.

1.The other group of "Hunt Scarabs" was made in the tenth year of his reign, and after enumerating the names and titles of Amenhetep and his wife Ti, the inscription states that, from the first to the tenth year of his reign, he shot with his own hand 102 fierce lions.

2 No other King of Egypt used the scarab as a vehicle for advertising his personal exploits and private affairs. That Amenhetep had some reason for so doing seems clear, but unless it was to secularize the sacred symbol of Khepera, or to cast

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« Reply #107 on: March 15, 2008, 03:48:23 pm »









p. 71



good-natured ridicule on some phase of native Egyptian belief which he thought lightly of, this use
of the scarab seems inexplicable.

The reign of Amenhetep III stands alone in Egyptian History.

When he ascended the throne he found himself absolute lord of Syria, Phoenicia, Egypt and the Egyptian Sudan as far south as Napata.

His great ancestor Thothmes III had conquered the world, as known to the Egyptians, for him.

Save in the "war" which he waged in Nubia in the fifth year of his reign, he never needed to strike
a blow to keep what Thothmes III had won. And this "war" was relatively an unimportant affair. It
was provoked by the revolt of a few tribes who lived near the foot of the Second Cataract and, according to the evidence of the sandstone stele, which was set up by Amenhetep to commemorate his victory, he only took 740 prisoners and killed 312 rebels.

1 In the Sudan he made a royal progress through the country, and the princes and nobles not only acclaimed him as their over-lord but worshipped him as their god. And year by year, under the direction of the Egyptian Viceroy of Kash, they dispatched to him in Thebes untold quantities of gold, precious stones, valuable woods, skins of beasts, and slaves.

When he visited Phœnicia, Syria, and the countries round about he was welcomed and acknowledged by the shekhs and their tribes as their king, and they paid their tribute unhesitatingly. The great independent chiefs of Babylonia, Assyria, and Mitanni vied with each other in seeking his friendship, and probably the happiest times of his pleasure-loving
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« Reply #108 on: March 15, 2008, 03:52:37 pm »









p. 72



life were the periods which he spent among his Mesopotamian friends and allies.

His joy in hunting the lion in the desert south of Sinjar and in the thickets by the river Khabur can
be easily imagined, and his love for the chase would gain him many friends among the shekhs of Mesopotamia.

His visits to Western Asia stimulated trade, for caravans could travel to and from Egypt without let 
or hindrance, and in those days merchants and traders from the islands and coasts of the Medi-
terranean flocked to Egypt, where gold was as dust for abundance.

Amenhetep devoted a large portion of the wealth which he had inherited, and the revenues which he received annually from tributary peoples, to enlarging and beautifying the temples of Thebes. He had large ideas, and loved great and splendid effects, and he spared neither labour nor expense in creating them.

He employed the greatest architects and engineers and the best workmen, and he gave them a
"free hand," much as Hatshepsut did to her architect Senmut.

On the east bank he made great additions to the temple of Karnak, and built an avenue from the river to the temple, and set up obelisks and statues of himself. He completed the temple of Mut and made
a sacred lake on which religious processions in boats might take place. He joined the temples of Karnak and Luxor by an avenue of kriosphinxes, each holding a figure of himself between the paws, and at Luxor he built the famous colonnade, which is to this day one of the finest objects of its kind in Egypt.

On the west bank he built a magnificent funerary temple, and before its pylon he set up a pair of obelisks and the two colossal statues of himself which are now known as the "Colossi of Memnon."

A road led from the river to the temple, and each
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« Reply #109 on: March 15, 2008, 03:53:37 pm »



COLOSSI OF MEMNON
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« Reply #110 on: March 15, 2008, 03:56:35 pm »









p. 73



side of it was lined with stone figures of jackals.

He also built on the Island of Elephantine a temple in honour of Khnemu, the great god of the First Cataract and, as already said, he rebuilt and added largely to the temple which had been founded
by Amenhetep III at Sulb.

All these temples were provided with metal-plated doors, parts of which seem to have been deco-
rated with rich inlays, and colour was used freely in the scheme of decoration.

The means at the king's disposal enabled him to employ unlimited labour, and most of his subjects must have gained their livelihood by working for Amen and the king. Under such patrons as these the Arts and Crafts flourished, and artificers in stone, wood, brass, and faïence produced works the like of which had never before been seen in Egypt.

Throughout his reign Amenhetep corresponded with his friends in Babylonia, Mitanni, and Syria, and the arrival and departure of the royal envoys gave opportunity for dispensing lavish hospitality, and
for the display of wealth and all that it produces.

The receptions in his beautifully decorated palace on the west bank of the river must have been splendid functions, such as the Oriental loves. The king spent his wealth royally; and, in many ways, probably as a result of the Mitannian blood which flowed in his veins, his character was more that of
a rich, luxury-loving, easygoing and benevolently despotic Mesopotamian Shekh than that of a king
of Egypt.

Very aptly has Hall styled him

                                               "Amenhetep the Magnificent."

He died after a reign of about thirty-six years, and was buried in his tomb in the Western Valley at Thebes. On the walls of the chambers there are scenes representing the king worshipping the gods
of the Underworld, and on the ceiling are some very interesting astronomical paintings.
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« Reply #111 on: March 15, 2008, 03:58:15 pm »









p. 74



The tomb was unfinished when the king was buried in it.

It was pillaged by the professional robbers of tombs, and the Government of the day removed his mummy to the tomb of Amenhetep II, where it was found by Loret in 1899.

Thus, whatever views Amenhetep III may have held about Aten, he was buried in Western Thebes, with all the pomp and ceremony befitting an orthodox Pharaoh.
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« Reply #112 on: March 15, 2008, 03:59:25 pm »







                                                           Footnotes





61:1 Stele of Piankhi, l. 102.

63:1 Pyramid Texts, II. N. 663, p. 372.

66:1 See Davis, The Tomb of Queen Tiyi, London, 1910.

66:2 See Davis, Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou, London, 1907.

67:1 For an example see No. 4094 in the British Museum (Table Case B. Fourth Egyptian Room).

67:2 See Nos. 4096 and 16988.

69:1 See No. 49707 in the British Museum.

70:1 For a fine example of this group of scarabs, see No. 55585 in the British Museum.

70:2 Fine examples in the British Museum are Nos. 4095, 12520, 24169 and 29438.

71:1 The stele was made by Merimes, Viceroy of the Northern Sudan, and set up by him at Samnah, some 30 miles south of Wadi Halfah. It is now in the British Museum. (Northern Egyptian Gallery, No. 411, Bay 6.) An illustration of it will be found in the Guide, p. 115.


http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/tut/tut07.htm




FOR THE FULL STORY OF ATENISM,  PLEASE GO TO:


AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMEN

http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,706.0.html
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« Reply #113 on: March 16, 2008, 09:32:33 am »









p. 75



                             DEVELOPMENT OF THE CULT OF ATEN UNDER AMENHETEP IV.





Amenhetep III was succeeded by his son by his beloved wife Ti, who came to the throne under the name of Amenhetep IV. He reigned about seventeen years, and died probably before he was thirty.

The accuracy of the latter part of this statement depends upon the evidence derived from the
mummy of a young man which was found in the Tomb of Queen Ti, and is generally believed to be
that of Amenhetep IV.

It is thought that this mummy was taken from a royal tomb at Tall al-'Amarnah in mistake for that
of Ti, and transported to Thebes, where it was buried as her mummy.

Dr. Elliot Smith examined the skeleton, and decided that it was that of a man 25 or 26 years of age, "without excluding the possibility that he may have been several years older."

His evidence 1 is very important, for he adds,

"The cranium, however, exhibits in an unmistakable manner the distortion characteristic of a con-
dition of hydrocephalus."

So, then, if the skeleton be that of Amenhetep IV, the king suffered from water on the brain; and
if he was 26 years old when he died, he must have begun to reign at the age of nine or ten. But
there is the possibility that he did not begin to reign until he was a few years older.

Even had his father lived, he was not the kind of man to teach his son to emulate the deeds of
warrior Pharaohs like Thothmes III,
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« Reply #114 on: March 16, 2008, 09:36:44 am »









p. 76



and there was no great official to instruct him in the arts of war, for the long peaceful reign of Amenhetep III made the Egyptians forget that the ease and luxury which they then enjoyed had
been purchased by the arduous raids and wars of their forefathers.

To all intents and purposes, Ti ruled Egypt for several years after her husband's death, and the
boy-king did, for a time at least, what his mother told him. His wife, Nefertiti, who was his father's daughter probably by a Mesopotamian woman, was no doubt chosen for him by his mother, and it
is quite clear from the wall-paintings at Tall al-'Amarnah that he was very much under their influence.

 His nurse's husband, Ai, was a priest of Aten, and during his early years he absorbed from this group of persons the fundamentals of the cult of Aten and much knowledge of the religious beliefs of the Mitannian ladies at the Egyptian Court.

These sank into his mind and fructified, with the result that he began to abominate not only Amen,
the great god of Thebes, but all the old gods and goddesses of Egypt, with the exception of the
solar gods of Heliopolis.

In many respects these gods resembled the Aryan gods worshipped by his grandmother's people, especially Varuna, to whom, as to Ra, human sacrifices were sometimes offered, and to them his sympathy inclined. But besides this he saw, as no doubt many others saw, that the priests of Amen were usurping royal prerogatives and, by their wealth and astuteness, were becoming the dominant power in the land. Even at that time the revenues of Amen could hardly be told, and the power of
his priests pervaded the kingdom from Napata in the South to Syria in the North.

During the first five or six years of his reign Amenhetep IV, probably as the result of the
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« Reply #115 on: March 16, 2008, 09:37:59 am »



Portion of a painted stone tablet with a portrait figure of
Amenhetep IV in hollow relief.

On him shine the rays of Aten which terminate in human
hands.

British Museum,
No. 24431.
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« Reply #116 on: March 16, 2008, 09:41:10 am »



Portion of a head of a portrait figure of
Amenhetep IV.

British Museum,
No. 13366.

 

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« Reply #117 on: March 16, 2008, 09:47:08 am »









p. 77



skilful guidance of his mother, made little or no change in the government of the country.

But his actions in the sixth and following years of his reign prove that, whilst he was still a mere
boy, he was studying religious problems with zeal, and with more than the usual amount of boyish understanding. He must have been precocious and clever, with a mind that worked swiftly; and he possessed a determined will and very definite religious convictions and a fearless nature.

It is also clear that he did not lightly brook opposition, and that he believed sincerely in the truth
and honesty of his motives and actions.

But with all these gifts he lacked a practical knowledge of men and things. He never realized the
true nature of the duties which, as king, he owed to his country and people, and he never under-
stood the realities of life.

He never learnt the kingcraft of the Pharaohs, and he failed to see that only a warrior could hold
what warriors had won for him. Instead of associating himself with men of action, he sat at the
feet of Ai the priest, and occupied his mind with religious speculations; and so, helped by his adoring mother and kinswomen, he gradually became the courageous fanatic that the tombs and monuments of Egypt show him to have been.

His physical constitution and the circumstances of his surroundings made him what he was.

In recent years he has been described by such names as "great idealist," "great reformer," the
"world's first revolutionist," the "first individual in human history," etc.

But, in view of the known facts of history, and Dr. Elliot Smith's remarks quoted above on the distortion of the skull of Amenhetep IV, we are fully justified in wondering with Dr. Hall if the king

                                                 "was not really half insane."

1 None but a man half insane
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« Reply #118 on: March 16, 2008, 09:49:22 am »










p. 78

would have been so blind to facts as to attempt to overthrow Amen and his worship, round which
the whole of the social life of the country centred. He

 



Aten, the great god, lord of heaven,
from whom proceeds "life";

beneath is Amenhetep IV who is here
represented conventionally as a Pharaoh.

 



suffered from religious madness at least, and spiritual arrogance and self-sufficiency made him oblivious to everything except his own feelings and emotions
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« Reply #119 on: March 16, 2008, 09:55:15 am »









p. 79



Once having made up his mind that Amen and all the other "gods" of Egypt must be swept away, Amenhetep IV determined to undertake this work without delay.

After years of thought, he had come to the conclusion that only the solar gods, Tem, Ra and Horus
of the Two Horizons were worthy of veneration, and that some form of their worship must take the place of that of Amen.

The form of the Sun-god which he chose for worship was ATEN, i.e., the solar Disk, which was the abode of Tem and later of Ra of Heliopolis.

But to him the Disk was not only the abode of the Sun-god, it was the god himself, who, by means
of the heat and light which emanated from his own body, gave life to everything on the earth. To Aten Amenhetep ascribed the attributes of the old gods, Tem, Ra, Horus, Ptah, and even of Amen, and he proclaimed that Aten was "One" and "Alone."

But this had also been proclaimed by all the priesthoods of the old gods, Tem, Khepera, Khnem, Ra, and, later, of Amen. The worshippers of every great god in Egypt had from time immemorial declared that their god was

                                                            "One."

"Oneness" was an attribute, it would seem, of everything that was worshipped in Egypt, just as it is
in some parts of India.

It is inconceivable that Amenhetep IV knew of the existence of other suns besides the sun he saw, and it was obvious that Aten, the solar disk, was one alone, and without counterpart or equal.

Some light is thrown upon Amenhetep's views as to the nature of his god by the title which he gave him. This title is written within two cartouches and reads:--



"The Living Horus of the two horizons,

exalted in the Eastern Horizon in his name of

Shu-who-is-in-the-Disk."
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