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The Oedipus - Akhenaten theory
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2004 2:23 am 
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I'm sure this topic was already broght up but we didn't talk about it too much. Do you think the story of Oedipus can be based on Akhenaten's story?
Some similarities:

* Laius and Amenhotep III both were rulers of Thebes

* Oedipus lives away from his parents, and returns to his homeland only in adulthood. Akhenaten is not seen on any monuments before he became king.

* Oedipus kills his father. Akhenaten erased Amun's name even from his faher's name on insriptions.

* Oedipus defeats the Sphynx. Akhenaten destroys several monuments (including sphynxes maybe?)

* Oedipus marries his mother Jocosta. Akhenaten rules with the help of his mother Tiye.

* According to an older myth Oidipus had a second wife and the 4 children that are Jocosta's children in Sophocles' play, are in truth the children of this 2nd wife. (Nefertiti/Kiya?)

* Oedipus has 2 sons who become king after Oedipus goes to exile, but they die after a short reign and Jocosta's brother Creon becomes king. Smenkhkare and Tutankhamen rule for a relatively short time and after them Tiye's brother Ay becomes king.
(There's also a theory that Akhenaten didn't die, but went to exile and returned later, see Ahmed Osman's "Moses, the Pharaoh of Egypt")

* Antigone is not allowed to bury Polyneikes. Smenkhkare might have been buried in secret (in a woman's coffin).


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Akhenaten and Oedipus
PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:15 am 
Hi Meritaten,

Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky first considered the identification of Akhenaten with Oedipus. Dr. Velikovsky was a pychoanalyst, and studied under a student of Dr. Sigmund Freud. Dr. Freud will be remembered for his Oedipus Complex. Where men develope an unnatural feeling for their mothers. He wrote Moses and Monotheism and it is after reading this book that Dr. Velikovsky developed his Akhenaten and Oedipus theory during the 1930's. Publishing it in 1960 under the title Oedipus and Akhnaton: Myth and History, Doubleday Publishers. (i have read it)

Sophocles (496-406 BCE) a Greek playwrite, wrote the Oedipus plays. Do i believe he knew enough about Queen Tiye, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, Meritaten, and Ankhesenamun to write a play about them set in Greece over 900 years after they died and were forgotten by Egyptians? No i don't.

Greece had it's own Thebes, and in fact the Greeks renamed Egypt's No-Amun, Thebes. By the time of Sophocles No-Amun had been sacked by the Assyrians, and then by the Persians. It was no longer the great place it had been when Akhenaten turned his back upon it.

Oedipus didn't move after becoming King, he stayed in Thebes, Akhenaten moved.

Do i believe that Akhenaten lived on as a traveling poet similar to Sophocles, Oedipus? No, because 1. Pharaohs didn't just walk off the throne. 2. Akhenaten ruled as a divine God. It was to him that followers and Egyptians were to pray to. Then he would intercede with his God the Aten for them. He couldn't do that if he was no longer Pharaoh.

When Dr. Velikovsky first thought of the comparisions between Akhenaten and Oedipus. Many in the field of Egyptian Archaeology misunderstood Akhenaten, labeled him a Hereitic, and thought he was pushing for some kind of monotheism. Today he is better understood in relation to his Aten religion. Which first gained notice, position under his grandfather Thutmosis IV, further notice under his father Amenhotep III.

Akhenaten's father and grandfather who were both sons of lessor wives of their father's raised their mother's position up to that of God's wives, but there is no proof that they married their mothers. Nor in any other period of Egyptian history did mothers marry their sons, unless one of the Greek Ptolomies did.

Queen Tiye's relationship with her son Akhenaten appears no more different then any elderly Queen Mother with her ruling son. Who was actually the 2nd son and not the one trained from childhood to rule. There is no testement that he married her. All there are the thoughts of one man well trained in Oedipus Complex to cloud the issue.

There is no proof that Akhenaten wasn't rasied as a favored son of Amenhotep III and his Queen. In fact there is a docket ticket found in the No-Amun area that shows Akhenaten, the son of the King, actually had an estate in the area. There is no reason to be believe that he didn't live on his estate while his older brother was being groomed for Kingship.

That Akhenaten, his brother, or his own sons (if he had them) were not shown as boys was not unusal in Egyptian Royality. Actually Seti I's (19th Dynasty) notice of his son Ramesses as Crown Prince is unusal in Egyptian history. It harkens back to the beginnings of the 12th Dynasty, when it's founder while still alive pushed forward his own son as heir. Both dynasties 19th and 12th were founded by men that came to the throne after grave successional difficulties.

The comparsion of Antigone not being allowed to bury Polyneikes with Smenkhkare. That the KV55 royal male body (presumed to be Smenkhkare's) was buried in a woman's coffin is a for sure. However it had been converted into a man's coffin certainly not a secret undertaking. That the sealings of KV55 were of Tutankhamun's make it a for sure it wasn't done in secret.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 8:00 am 
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I've never heard of this Oedipus guy. Can you tell me about him, or his myths?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2004 4:04 pm 
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Urgh!! Psychology and Ancient Egypt go together like gasoline and fire. Conclusion: While people may look at it and go "ooh cool!", the result is just not good.

The idea of psychoanalyzing people who have been dead for thousands of years with very little evidence is just wrong on SOO many levels. As in, it's the wrongest thing since the idea to make a Tut movie!


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some help :)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2004 1:45 am 
AmeliaEgypt wrote:
I've never heard of this Oedipus guy. Can you tell me about him, or his myths?


Oedipus was a maybe real King of Thebes in Ancient Greece. He is best known as the subject of 3 plays written by Sophocles (496-406 BCE) the Greek playwrite.

The first play is titled Oedipus. It is about how as the rightful son of King Laius and his Queen Jocosta of Thebes. Oedipus is exsposed as a baby to the wilds by command of his father. Because a prophecy made at his birth predicts he will kill his father and marry his mother. He is saved as a baby and grows up as the adopted son of another Greek King. Somehow Oedipus learns of the prophecy made at his birth. To stop such a horrible thing from happening he leaves his adopted parents. On the road during his travels he meets King Laius. They argue and Oedipus kills him without knowing he is really his father.
By the time Oedipus arrives at Thebes. Thebes is being tormented by a terrible creature called the Sphinx. Part woman, part lion, part eagle she asks a riddle to everyone that wants to pass into Thebes. If the correct answer is given. She lets them pass. When Oedipus arrives and is put to the Sphinx's riddle. Thebes is offering in marriage the widow of King Laius to whoever rids Thebes of the Sphinx.
Oedipus answers the riddle correctly, the Sphinx in anger at being bettered by a human. Throws herself off a cliff and dies. Thebes is free and Oedipus marries his mother still not knowing she is really his mother.
The horrible prophecy at his birth comes true. Despite Laius' horrible solution of exsposing his own son to death to stop it.

The 2nd play is called Oedipus Rex and is about the last days of his time as King of Thebes. When he learns. That his wife Queen Jocosta is actually his mother and that he had killed his father. In a state of repentence Oedipus blinds himself, quits the throne leaving it to his sons to rule as he goes into exile as a begger.

Antigone is the last of the 3 Oedipus plays by Sophocles. Its main character Antigone, is Oedipus' daughter by Jocosta. She surivies the war of succession caused by her father's actions, the death of her brothers. Only to stand up for the right to bury her brother that had fought against their Uncle Creon and Thebes for what was rightfully his anyway. The new King Creon refuses, Antigone goes ahead and buries her brother only to face a horrible death sentence for breaking King Creon's law.

If you take any classic classes in school you will run into the Oedipus plays by Sophocles. Where you will learn that they are not so much based upon historical people, events. But are morality plays to teach Greek thought that you can't escape the fate one is born too.

Hope this helps you AmeliaEgypt, doing a web search on Oedipus, and or Sophocles is another way you can learn more. Have a great day.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 07, 2004 10:29 am 
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Oh thanks!
i think i remember hearing of him, a couples of years ago, now that i think about it! :lol:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2004 7:38 am 
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Hi Guest,

You're right in most of what you said. I'm not saying I'm believing the Oedipus-Akhenaten theory, but I'm not saying i'm not believing it either.

However, I don't think Akhenaten's story couldn't affect the Oedipus story. True that Sophocles probably never heard about Akhenaten but he didn't made up the story, it was a well known story at that time and he just wrote a play about it (like Shakespeare wrote about Romeo and Juliet, that was based on a true story too.) So I thought maybe the legend could have its origins in Ancient Egypt.


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Free thinking
PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:43 am 
Meritaten,

All things are possible, many are probable, most are unlikely.

Seti I wrote a Royal Chronology that jumped from Amenophis III to Horemheb. Horemheb, Ramesses I, and Seti I wiped the names of Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamen, and Ay off and out of Egypt. Nearly 900 years later Sophocles lived. He lived not quite 300 years before Manetho wrote his Chronology of Ancient Egyptian Kings. Manetho did not list any of the Amarna Kings in his History. They remain forgotten and unknown until modern archaeology rediscovered Amarna in the late 19th century AD.

You state that "it was a well known story at that time and he just wrote a play about it"
i don't understand... was the story of forgotten Egyptian kings, and queens, well known 900 years later to Greek playwrites?

It isn't impossible i guess, by the time of Sophocles. Greeks had been visiting and learning things of Egyptian origin for at least 200 years.

Have you read Oedipus and Akhnaton: Myth and History? There are a lot of folks that have made a fortune when it comes to the fabled 18th Dynasty by plying the public with fanstic stories about it's Kings and Queens.

Up until Kiya was discovered in the later part of the 20th century Akhenaten was described as the Heretic Pharaoh One God and One Wife! Today we know better, his grandfather started the promotion of the Aten and Akhenaten had more than one wife! Dr. Fletcher has had her rights to work in Egypt suspended because she violated the new rules regarding discoveries in Egypt. These new rules are an attempt to stop some of these fanstic stories and with regards to the 18th Dynasty these new rules are long past due.

You are most welcome to believe whatever it is that you believe. I believe that if one truly cares about the Ancients one should attempt to honor them as once living beings not all that much different from us today. The same joys, cares, and attempts to solve them as we would.

When fanstic theories come around that defy normal human, and or cultural mores alarm bells should sound off Meritaten.
Ex. Akhenaten had one wife in a time when men of his rank and power had many. Alarm bells should have gone off, instead it took the discovery of Kiya decades later to prove those believers were wrong. What else are they wrong about especially regarding the Amarna Royals and the 18th Dynasty?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:20 am 
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I meant the Antigone story was well known even before Sophocles, I didn't mean the Egyptian history was known to them. I just thought maybe Antigone's story has its origins in Egypt. But you're right, it seems unlikely.


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Thanks
PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:05 am 
Meritaton wrote:
I meant the Antigone story was well known even before Sophocles, I didn't mean the Egyptian history was known to them. I just thought maybe Antigone's story has its origins in Egypt. But you're right, it seems unlikely.


Thanks Meritaton for clearifing that for me. I really didn't understand what you meant.


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