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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 12019 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2008, 12:07:13 pm »

To depict Akhenaten's entire immediate family—and only them—in such an unusual manner
must signify something. Perhaps their different look is meant to highlight exactly that, the
fact that they're different.

Maybe the royal family is supposed to represent something alien, transcendental, not bound
to human or earthly distinctions such as gender. It's easy to see why this would appeal to
Akhenaten, nor is it hard to understand why Nefertiti might go along with being designated
as super-special, and the children would, of course, have been too young to have a choice
or even know the difference.

All this concurs well with Akhenaten's religion, where the pharaoh was said to serve as the
conduit between humanity and the Aten. In other words, it's through and because of him
the sun-disk bestows life on the planet. In his own words, a hymn Akhenaten claims to
have composed himself about the Aten,

"There is no other who knows you except your son, Akhenaten."

That makes the pharaoh and his family some species of divine beings among humankind,
earth-bound extraterrestrials on whose good will the benefits of the sun, and thus all life,

One way or another, before this Akhenaten's day, the Egyptians had always held the sun
as a god and the royal family was always seen as divine, but as the only divine presence
in the universe? That, indeed, was something different.

The imagery of Amarna culture with all its strangeness has attracted not only scholars but
a wide range of iconoclasts, revolutionaries and weirdos of every ilk, who have latched onto
this radiant, unworldly, rebel pharaoh and more often than not caught the reflection of their
own oddity in his slouching, fat-lipped silhouette. The many answers posited to the riddle of
Akhenaten are, in any case, less important than the few, frail realities we know about his
reign and the questions they leave at our feet.

Among them, how did he sustain such a bizarre reordering of the celestial kingdom? For more
than a decade, we must remember, Akhenaten kept his divine fantasies afloat even as he
faced down the Amun priesthood, traditional cults in Egypt and a nation long nurtured on a
pantheon of gods numbering by that day in the thousands. Before we can ask why any of this
happened or what happened to it, we must first try to understand how it happened at all.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 12:11:58 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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