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The monotheism of Akhenaton

 
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Heirwolf
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Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:34 pm    Post subject: The monotheism of Akhenaton Reply with quote

Hi
I am a bit bewildered by the religion of Akhenaton. The old sun-gods were Amon-Re, Re-Herakty or Ra ,but Akhenaton instigated monotheism by worshipping Aton. This is translated as worshipping the sun disc. What kind of crap is that ? Why would anyone go to such lengths (moving the capitol , abolishing the whole pantheon etc.) just to make people worship the sun disc instead of the sun. I think there must be much more to this story than most egyptologists claim. Maybe someone out there can clarify this topic.
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maatkara
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 705
Location: Valle d'Aosta- Italy

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you'll have a look at the whole site, you'll find something like...THOUSENDS of similar questions which were already answered in many different ways....actually the main aim of Akhenaton was of a politic nature, not religious, of course... Wink

just have a look around, then come back with more detailled questions...even on other topics, if you prefer...

ciao and welcome here at KTO!! Wink
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Niankhkhnum
Egyptian Architect


Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 110
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, one theory is that Dear Akky was, to one degree or another, a raving nutcase. Several respected archaeologists have actually advanced this idea, Dr. Donald Redford among them. The relocation of the capital from Thebes would have been just one step in removing the various priestly cults from access to the halls of power. In the long run, of course, the results were disastrous for the followers of Atenism. Immediately upon the death of the "heretic" Pharaoh, the retribution of the Priests of Amon (in particular) was swift and terrible.

Regards,

Niankhkhnum
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Osiris II
Pharaoh


Joined: 13 Mar 2004
Posts: 914
Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2005 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Maatkara says, you could find thousands of sites that would tell you about Akhenaton and his "so-called" religious reforms. Studying events that happened, and realizing the order in which they happened, convinces me that his revolution was, indeed, more political that religious. The idea of his One God starts, not with him, but with his father, perhaps even earlier.
One God was never worshipped at Amarna. Excavation has show that the people still believed in the "regular" gods, and in fact, Akhenaton himself had the Apis bull brought to Amarna.
The idea of worshipping one god, the Aten, is not quite accurate either. True, you could pray to Aten--to one god--but you had to pray that Akhenaton to get his to speak to Aten for you.
It's an extremely interesting period, though. It seems as if the more questions that are answered, the more questions arise!
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maatkara
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Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Valle d'Aosta- Italy

PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

exactly, Osiris II!!!..and so with the precise aim to concentrate all the decisional power in his own hands....he never denied the existance of the other gods, but just stated that the most important of them all was Aton and that NO PRIEST could interprete his needs, except the Pharaoh Akhenaton.....this tells us a lot a bout the political meaning of this...manouvre, no? Wink
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Heirwolf
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Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for these replies.
I feel however what we "moderns" call political was something altogether different to the ancient egyptians.
We just have to look at the cultural achievements of the Amarna period with its eerie ,almost "alien" qualities to see that this was more than just politics or the rantings of a nutter.
I will search this site (and others) for more info on this enigmatic subject
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maatkara
Pharaoh


Joined: 21 Oct 2004
Posts: 705
Location: Valle d'Aosta- Italy

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if your aim is to prove some sort of alien interference to the Amarnian King....well, simply try to be more realistic! these are bullshits!...surely you'll find a lot of materials about that, because crazy people are more numerous than the smart ones, but if you'll look carefully you'll also see that noone can produce CONCRETE PROVE of whatever they state!!!....so, my advice is to be carefull to what you read!...keep your feet on the ground, eyes and mind wide opened: this way you'll be able to read everything and form your own opinions, that is what an intelligent guy should always do! Wink
Then, everything you'll find that will leave you perplexed, you can always discuss with us on KTO, you'll always find somebody who will be glad to help you understand!....me included, for what I can do! Very Happy

Ciao! Wink
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Heirwolf
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Joined: 11 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops -treading on some toes here.
I put "alien" in quote signs to distinguish alien from extraterrestial but I can see that this sentence is open for (mis)interpretations.
I meant that his (akhenaten) inspiration and vision came from something outside the Blue Nile -like jewish priests ,Hyksos or others Embarassed
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maatkara
Pharaoh


Joined: 21 Oct 2004
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Location: Valle d'Aosta- Italy

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oopppss! Embarassed ...no, that's my silly english, don't worry too much!...as you probably already understood it is not my mothertongue.... Laughing ...if you'll read other posts you'll find similar misunderstandings I had!...That's my fault! sorry... Rolling Eyes
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daz
Tomb Robber


Joined: 20 Feb 2005
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey guys,
just found the site, i will try not to step on any toes....

it seems to me that the problem with akhenaten is that the pharaoh's after him, tried to eliminate all information about him. The fact that his tomb (and nefertiti's tomb) havent been found only adds to the curiosity.

there seems to be so many opinions about the changes he made, whether they were political, religious or the rumminations of a madman. i have heard the whole alien theory, as i am sure most people have, well its a theory (not a very good one, but a theory none the less!). doesnt make alot of sense to me, but not much about akhenaten does..

Unfortunately there are almost as many facts on that theory as there are on others about him (ie not many).

i am new here, so i will have a look around to catch up with all the akhy posts that i have missed


daz
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Si-amun
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Joined: 02 Jul 2004
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Location: London, England

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, welcome anyway! If you need any help just post and one of us will try our best for you! Very Happy
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Osiris II
Pharaoh


Joined: 13 Mar 2004
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Location: Long Beach, CA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daz, Akhenaton's tomb is well-known. It's located in the Royal Wadi at Aketaten (Amarna).
It has been robbed in antiquity, and massive damage has been done, not only to the sarcophagus, but also to the wall decorations, in an effort to destroy all references to Akhenaton, Nefertiti or the Aton. It is also thought that Nefertiti may have been buried there, but it seems unlikely to me. A couple of her shabtis were found there.
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daz
Tomb Robber


Joined: 20 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2005 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i didnt even realise i said 'tomb' rather then body. i had heard of the desecration of his tomb. if they hadnt done such a bloody good job of it, we may have more answers then we do now!!

daz

(had to fix up spelling)
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rich
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Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 71

PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2005 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Repost:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akhenaten
"The early stage of Atenism appears a kind of henotheism familiar in Egyptian religion, but the later form suggests a proto-monotheism."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atenism
"Akhenaten's reforms cut away both the philosophical and economic bases of priestly power, abolishing the cults of multiple deities, and with them the large and lucrative industry of sacrifices and tributes that the priests controlled."

"Initially Akhenaten presented Aten as a variant of the familiar supreme deity Amun-Ra (itself the result of an earlier rise to prominence of the cult of Amun, resulting in Amun becoming merged with the sun god Ra), in an attempt to put his ideas in a familiar Egyptian religious context. Indeed Aten is the name given to the solar disk, whereas the full title of Akhenaten's god was Ra-Horus, who rejoices in the horizon in his name of the light which is in the sun disk. (This is the title of the god as it appears on the numerous stelae which were placed to mark the boundaries of Akhenaten's new capital at Akhetaten.) However in Year 9 of his reign Akhenaten declared a more radical version of his new religion by declaring Aten not merely the supreme god, but the only god, and that he, Akhenaten, was the only intermediary between the Aten and his people. He even staged the ritual regicide of Amun, and ordered the defacing of Amun's temples throughout Egypt."

"In Year 9 Akhenaten strengthened the Atenist regime, declaring the Aten not merely the supreme god but actually the only god, a universal deity, and forbidding worship of all others, including the veneration of idols, even privately in people's homes - an arena the Egyptian state had previously not touched in religious terms."

"Aten's name is also written differently after Year 9, to emphasise the radicalism of the new regime. No longer is the Aten written using the symbol of a rayed solar disc, but instead it is spelt phonetically."



--"The context appears to have been an Egypt hit by catastrophe,
seeming abandoned by the old gods: a series of pandemics is known to have occurred throughout the Near East of this period"


--"The Amarna letters tell of a band of rebels, referred to as the Apiru, who were reported to be wreaking havoc in the empire. This reference has led to speculation that the report may be one of the earliest historical references to the Hebrew tribes."
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