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Akhenaten


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#1 Elisa

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Posted 10 July 2014 - 05:26 AM

So who here knows much about Akhenaten and Nefertiti? I am curious about them after having seen a few different documentaries. Some say they were heretics and that's why they were "removed" (as best as possible) from history. Yet others say that they were trying to rescue an Egypt that had strayed from their original beliefs, by returning to the type of culture they had previously. But that the Priests of Amun were too powerful and corrupt...thoughts anyone?



#2 CraigD

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 07:18 AM

By the accounts I’ve heard and read, Akhenaten wasn’t heretical in sense of rejecting the entirely rejecting the traditional religion of his culture (Egypt ca 1353 BC), but in the sense or revising it be more monotheistic, changing the role ascribed to their various deities to have the formerly obscure Sun god Aten be supreme. The theology is complicated, and it’s hard to say who if any modern student of ancient Egypt has it correct in detail – this wikipedia article is one of many that provide a starting place on the subject.

Even harder to know with surety is Akhenaten’s motives, and whether he was the chief of them, or collaborated with others. They may have been due to secular power politics, seeking to reduce the political power of priests by reducing the importance of their patron gods. They may have been sincere religious motives – Egypt and its vicinity was a hot-bed of religious thought then – the stories that would eventually find their way into the Jewish and Christian scripture had origins in this culture.

What is clear is that Akhenaten’s changes were not long-lasting, provoking a backlash that restored the previous religious and political structure quickly after his death.


#3 Celestia

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 11:30 AM

You have some really great points, the biggest one being that the changes weren't long lasting. I find it fascinating that there seemed to be such a powerful resistance to his ideals during his life and then such a quick return to them after his death. In my mind, this is one of the signs that he was either a heretic or a pioneer of his time.