Akhenaten and the amarna letters essay

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Akhenaten and the amarna letters essay

There is no way to describe the founders of the three great monotheisms of the West without first glancing back at the pattern laid down by Akhenaten, whose great experiment already forecasts their advent. Akhenaten was not only the first founder of a religion that we have on record as being founded by a single individual, but unlike Christ, Moses and others such as the Buddha, he was the first such religious founder to have the power of an entire state apparatus at his disposal.

Indeed, Akhenaten establishes the prototype for the religious zealot with which the West, unfortunately, has become familiar over the millenia. His acts already look forward to those of the Emperor Theodosius the Great who, at the conclusion of the fourth century AD, would proscribe paganism and have all of its cults and practices shut down, including the writing of Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Akhenaten was the first man in history to go to war against polytheism. Now we must try to understand why. Spatially configured, we could imagine the Egyptian picture of the cosmos during the time of the New Kingdom in terms of the four aspects of the sun god Re: In his mode at the sixth hour of the night, midnight, he became Osiris, the god of the dead in the underworld.

Along Akhenaten and the amarna letters essay way, he encounters various helping deities and demons who try to stop him, such as the Apopis serpent. At the sixth hour of the night, Re is united with the corpse of Osiris from whence he is regenerated and prepared for rebirth. The deities known as Seth and Selket slay the Apopis serpent for him pictured belowand his solar barge travels through the body of a huge serpent until he is reborn in the form of the scarab beetle known as the god Khepri on the eastern horizon at dawn.

This netherworld cartography was painted on the walls of the tombs of the pharaohs clear down to the time of Akhenaten, who was the first pharaoh to eschew the rites and myths of the Egyptian netherworld, known as the Duat. In his youth, Akhenaten may have served as the High Priest of the god Ptah in Memphis, although he also resided for a time in a palace at the city of Heliopolis, whose official god was Re-Harakhty, a god which Akhenaten adopted as his own.

A history of akhenaton in ancient egypt

By the Fifth Dynasty, great sun temples are being built to glorify him, with huge obelisks erected as frozen sunbeams petrified in stone.

During the Middle Kingdom, however, the cult of Re had fallen out of favor due to the rise of a hitherto obscure god from the city of Thebes known as Amun.

After the civil wars associated with the time of the First Intermediate Period c. Correspondingly, we start finding pharaohs with the name of the god as part of their throne name: They ruled Egypt from the city of Avaris in the Delta for nearly a century and a half until they were expelled by Theban rulers.

Akhenaten and the amarna letters essay

The pharaoh Ahmose was the first to completely expunge their presence from Egypt, and so, once again, a new dynasty, the 18th, ruled Egypt from the city of Thebes as its capital and with the god Amun as its patron.

To Amun was given the credit for helping the Egyptians to expel the Hyksos, and consequently, we have more rulers who have taken his name: An attempt was made on the part of the Theban priesthood to compete with the old priesthood of Heliopolis by syncretizing their god with Re in the form of Amun-Re.

But the young pharaoh, Amenhotep IV i. Akhenatenhaving spent his apprenticeship years in the north of Egypt at the cities of Memphis and Heliopolis, regarded Amun as a mere usurper.

The Amarna Letters and tablets - BC. Conquest of Joshua from Egyptian cuneiform I had learned that, soon after his early death, the previously displaced priesthood obliterated all traces of his capital and his revolution. The question then arose:
A Skeptic Considers His Jewish Origins | SAGE Society Blog It is important because it usually allowed people to urbanize but not always.

It was Re-Harakhty, not Amun, who had been the god of his ancestors of the Old Kingdom, and so it was the god Re-Harakhty, under his aspect as the Aten or visible sun disc, that Amenhotep IV worshipped and eventually made the great, one and only god of Egypt.

To flatten Egyptian culture out by forcing it into the mold of a god who was ubiquitous, just as light is ubiquitous; a god who sees all things everywhere, and from whom no one could hide, since there are no dark corners left for anyone to retreat to: The Truth Event The peculiar geometry of the flattening out of the Egyptian mentality which Akhenaten imposed upon his culture also extends to its famous art style, in which the figures of Akhenaten and his family appear as strangely elongated forms, with extended skulls, long arms and torsos and legs, as though they had been compressed with enormous force and then squeezed until they had flattened out and lengthened, like Giacometti sculptures.

Physiologically, he was perfectly normal, as recent genetic studies performed under the supervision of Zahi Hawass have shown. And although the Amarna style radically departs from the canon of traditional Egyptian art, it is not true to say that it is a complete innovation, either.

Rather, as Arthur Weigall who, in the s, wrote the very first biography of Akhenaten, was the first to point out — and which seems to have been forgotten since — the Amarna style was actually a retrieval of an extremely archaic canon of Egyptian proportions, one dating back, it seems, to the art of the predynastic period before the Old Kingdom.

On several of these Egyptian Neolithic ivory statues of rulers, and also on relief work see image belowwe find forms represented with the same exaggerated proportions, with long, narrow faces, elongated torsos, rubbery arms and thick, bulky thighs. It is very likely, as Weigall pointed out, that Akhenaten, during the days of his apprenticeship in Lower Egypt, had encountered some of these ivory figurines and assumed that they represented the original canon of Egyptian art.

As he puts it: This means that it was discovered before but once again got covered up.Essay on The Origins of Akhenaten Words | 8 Pages. The Origins of Akhenaten There is much that is known about Akhenaten the heretic pharaoh.

More lies in speculation. Since his time, the Amarna period is one the ancient Egyptians themselves wished to . The Amarna Letters (Late Bronze Age, 14th century BCE) after the Amarna Revolution To the King my lord, my sun, my god, the breath of .

The name “Amarna Letters” derives from the place where the tablets were found: the ancient city of Akhetaten (built by order of the Pharaoh Akhenaten), but nowadays known as Tell el-Amarna, in Egypt. The majority of the tablets are letters (hence the modern designation “Amarna Letters”) written from rulers of the lands north of Egypt, but a few are letters from the Egyptian king, and there are also tablets inscribed with myths, epics, syllabaries, lexical texts, and other lists—the kinds of texts that were used to learn cuneiform writing.

• C. Aldred, "Chapter The Amarna Letters" and "Chapter The Heresy" (in Akhenaten King of Egypt) • P. Green, "The Treasures of Egypt" Terms, People, Places and Things to know for Section 6 (New Kingdom Egypt). He is possibly also the Nibhurrereya of the Amarna letters, and likely the 18th dynasty king Rathotis who, according to Manetho, an ancient historian, had reigned for nine years — a figure which conforms with Flavius Josephus's version of Manetho's Epitome.[4].

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