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THE GREAT ATEN

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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 10784 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #165 on: August 09, 2008, 05:38:01 pm »










However, while the hymn seems to provide exclusive rights to the Aten only to the king, his family appears to have been included within this inner circle.

The new myths of the religion were filled with the ruler's family history and it is not surprising that the faithful of the Amarna period prayed in front of private cult stelae that depicted the royal "holy" family.

Yet, Aten was not a god of the people during the reign of Akhenaten.

Far from it, in fact, considering that Egyptian religion had become more democratized around the god, Osiris. Aten had to be forced on the Egyptian people, and outside of Akhetaten (and really even there) and the official state religion, Aten never replaced all the traditional Egyptian gods. 

In effect, among the common Egyptians, if anything, the situation created a religious vacuum which
was unstable from the beginning.

And while it is clear that the elite of Akhetaten certainly paid respect to Aten, there is no real evidence for personal individual worship of the god on the part of the ordinary Egyptians whose only access to the god was through the medium of the king. On the contrary, at even the workers' village in eastern Amarna, there has been unearthed numerous amulets of traditional gods, as well as some small private chapels probably dedicated to ancestor worship but showing no traces of the official religion.

Around the ninth year of of Akhenaten's reign, the name of the god Aten was once more changed.

Now, all mention of Horakhty and Shu disappeared. Horakhty was replaced by the phrase,


                                                  "Ruler of the Horizon".


No longer was the hawk form of the god acceptable and this image was definitively replaced with new iconography and a purer form of monotheism was introduced. Now, Aten became


"the Living One, Sun, Ruler of the Horizon, who rejoices on the horizon in his name, which is Sunlight,

which comes from the disk".
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