And I recall that certain deities were still worshipped (secretly?) outside Akhetaten.
This is definitely true. In his seclusion at Akhetaten, Akhenaten could not maintain such rigid control over all
of Egypt. The old ways were never entirely abandoned, as is evidence by numerous tombs of the period whose decorative schemes continue to show Osiris and other vignettes of the old deities.
I thought..."Wasn't Akhenaten a PEACEFULL Pharaoh? I mean, this is the SAME MAN who didn't respond to his neighboring countries when enemies came in and attacked them.
I don't know how peaceful Akhenaten may have been. Closing important temples, stripping them of their lands and titles and personnel, proscribing against traditional worship...all of this smacks of a certain tyranny. Akhenaten was no doubt at war against the powerful priesthood of Amun, and this could not have been a pleasant time for many people of ancient Egypt. I have no problem seeing Akhenaten as something of a visionary and a renaissance man who preferred peace and idleness to conflict, but he had to stomp on a lot of people to get there.
As for foreign powers like the Hittites effectively encroaching on the vassal states of Egypt, is this evidence of a desire in Akhenaten to avoid warfare, or a sign of apathy and self-involvement in the cult of the Aten? Whatever the case, it certainly infuriated men of action like Horemheb, who couldn't act fast enough to restore the integrity of the Egyptian empire once the "criminal of Akhetaten" was dead and a puppet (Tut) was on the throne.
You must hate me for my dim views on this period, tutness. Where you see peace and serenity, I see strife and political intrigue (and that's one of the things that so draws me to this period). I'm such a cynic.
Yes, I need the symbol for the Aten disc, and as for the moon symbol, it doesn't have to do with the Amarna period. It can be any symbol of the moon, or of Khonsu, who I believe is the God of the moon. That's what I meant! ^__^
is simple: it's just a sun disk sporting a uraeus whose rays terminate in hands touching ankhs to the lips or faces of the supplicants (usually Akhenaten and clan).
The moon is trickier because it was represented by various deities, depending on when and where you lived in ancient Egypt. You're right that Khonsu
is one of the primary lunar deities. His crown often contains a sliver of moon topped by a sun disk (not the Aten, though).
Another prominent lunar deity was our good friend Thoth,
particularly in baboon form. As a baboon he might sport the same kind of crown as Khonsu.
I'm never quite sure just how Akhenaten might have viewed Thoth. As far back as the Pyramid Texts it is said that Re traveled across the sky on the wings of Thoth, so there were strong solar connotations, and Akhenaten tended to be kinder to gods that were related to Re. But Thoth's connections with Osiris are even closer, so in the end I'll bet Thoth was just one more of the many deities against which Akhenaten set proscriptions.
Here's a fun Thoth fact. The legend as preserved in the "Contending of Horus and Set" states that Thoth was the son of Horus. Thoth emerged from the forehead of Set, who had consumed some of Horus' semen on lettuce leaves.