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King of Egypt
THAMES AND HUDSON
The strength of thesebeliefsowed much to the intellectualvigour of the priesthoodof the sun-cult in Heliopolis.the traditional wise men. iempaaten. by which time the sky-god Horus. or intelligentsia of Egypt. retired to the heavens leaving his son the pharaohto rule on earth in his stead. The myth had alreadydevelopedthat Rê. beganto reassert itself during the reign of Tuthmosis I.r3 kilometresto the northeast of Memphis. the against esit almost than of any ntions of a the bizarre rf the royal lmost exact rins not the CHAPTER 2I The Heresy The culture of Upper Egypt. The dominance Lower Egypt is seenparticularlyin the revivedsun-cult of of Heliopoliswhich under the Hyksoskingsmaintainedits supremacy during the SecondlntermediatePeriod. As has already been mentioned. had always influencedthe dynastic cult of Ptah and may have experienced reinvigorationfrom ideasintroduced from Asiatic sun-cults. and the dominanceof Lower Egypt. wearyingof mankind and its affairs.Theologicalspeculation ever has been the peculiar character of the Egyptian genius.from the sands that engulfed greatsphinxat Giza.asdid AmenophisII beforehe became the of king. whether in pagan or Christiantimes. and particularly of its ancientcapital. whose reputation was celebrated beyondthe borders far ofthe land. the first king to rule Egypt.or under lslam. had becomeassimilatedto the sungod Rë. r problems.and conrinued to be important under the Ramessides.declinedin its influenceafter the reignsof the first two pharaohsof the Eighteenth Dynasty. incarnatein a falcon and the king. or Tuthmosis the son of AmenophisIII who was alsoappointedHigh Priest of Ptah in the reign of his father.lrown.The his sun-religion had in fact beencloselyidentified with the kingship from the days of Djoser at the inceptionof the Third Dynasty. Intervention at the highest level is seen in the undertakingof Tuthmosis IV to uncoverthe giant imageof Rë-Herakhte.Heliopolis.It hasmaintained vitality evenin periodsof its .It becamethe custom for the eldest son of the pharaoh to assume governorship Memphis. which had colouredthe outlook of the princesof Thebes. which wasstill flourishing at the end of the dynasty. the godof Lower Egypt. this king founded a great palace complex at Memphis. despitethe rise of the Delta residence of Pi-Ramesse. colonnade. The must 5uise. a Officials of Lower Egyptian origin had risen to high position by the middle of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
called with the 'Flesh of Rë'. while TheBoobof Gates found in the tomb of King Haremhabsoonafter the Amarna period. and in the burial chamber enigmaticallyon the second largelyconcerned of Ramesses The Boohof What is in the Und. amulets. enabling the deceased. asthe coffin wasdecorated with her enfoldingwings Pls.erporld. the godat sunrise.s3. is winding sheetof TuthmosisIII. is written on a makesits appearance.l Il : Àl l '1. Thus the intervention of the solargodswasthe besthopeof eternallife in Egypt during the EighteenthDynasty. the scarabKhepri. progressive nightly transformationof a chrysalid divine power.when the private tomb emergedin in its developed form.THE HERESY political decline. into the nerv sun. from the primaeval mound in Heliopolis.is YI. These ideas continued to expand after the Middle Kingdom.eroorld) Another work. This took placeduring the twelve-hour iourney of the'Flesh of Ré' metamorphosis regionsofthe underworld. and eventhe kingly uraeus. . This ideais givensubstance the new religioustextsthat decorate walls in the of the tombs of the kings at Thebesfrom the time of Tuthmosis I. In this the sun-godRë is called''TheLord of the Aten'. which the godsof the morning lift up at every dawn in the eastern horizon of heaven.i I I l . on stelae or held by kneeling statues the tomb-owner. which had been exclusiveto the king and his entourage the Old Kingdom. the superstructure crowned with a pyramidion representing the solar symbol of rebirth. the universal sky-mother of the sun-cult. The Litany of the Sun. Hymns to the rising and setting sun were inscribed at the entrance to the chapel.and by the reign of TuthmosisIII was well established the Theban necropolis. to a resurrectionat the next da\iln.t 48 . followingthe daily birth of the and his inert gestation during the hours of night. bringing light for eachhour the cavernous through I . The eternal return of the sun-godis the motive force that activates universe.as is expressed the the in later name of Akhenaten's deity. at the break of day. to enter the bark of the sun-godand take part in the like transformationsthat would occur during its triumphal passage across sky.The solar destiny. in This increasedinfluence can be seen in the arrogation of royal privileges. extendedits scopein the Middle Kingdom. to descend and embrace him as the imperishablestarswhich werein her. such as kilts. such of All ritual was to ensure a destiny that was royal and dynamic. iewels. The exhortation of the dead king in the Pyramid Texts. when the first known version of the Imy Det (The Book of l(hat is in the Und. now became essential prayerinscribed an just upon the sarcophagus. particularly in the items of royal dress pictured on the interior of 'palace' coffins of private burials of the period. in a featherpattern which wasstill in fashionfor royalty in the caseof Queen s4 Kiya.However lowly their position on earth. the king. all the dead who could afford such coffins expectedto becomeas kings in the other world.sceptres. calling upon Nut. a theme which is illusnated most shrineof Tutankhamun.
A namecompounded with the Aten wasconferred upon at leastoneof his children.This is but oneaspect the of rising ferment in the theology of the solar culr.as is carriedby'Flesh'through the regions the night. There wasthus a progressive increase the mentionand importance the in of Aten asa separate divinity throughoutthe period.During this transit. the Aten. which was also through the star-studdedbody of the sky-goddessNut.'I sawhis person his true form. The constant elementin this ever-changing transfiguration the Aten.the vizier of Tuthmosis III. In the reign of AmenophisIII references the Aten as a solar divinity to becomemore numerous.the Lord of Heaven. while his successor.THE HERESY to its denizens and awakening them from deathor sleep. Geb and Nut. perhapseven to the king himself. of He is hailed as. The same poetic expressionis revived to announce the death of AmenophisI.The name 'Radiance the Aten' is applied to his of statebargeon the commemorative scarabs his RegnalYear r r.the Aten when he reveals himself. z9 l t'cvr ç lr1*- . the Aten is referredto on a largescarab a god of battleswho makes pharaoh as the mighty in his domains and brings all his subjectsunder the swayof the sun-disk.. with sharphorns.Under TuthmosisIV.rhe in Lord of Upper and Lower Egypt when he rises.He is 'the solegod who hasmadehimselffor eternity'. Tefnut. the entirefirst andsecond generarion the solardeities. supreme power whose forms are his transformations when he makessuccessively appearance the Aten or his as solar disk'.. the disk of the sun. and to the of Malkata palacecomplex before his first jubilee. This dogma is alreadycloseto that proclaimedby the titles and didactic name of Akhenaten'sgod.-. Shu. Fig. Rë.' In the reign of AmenophisII. of the invisible source of energy of the solar divinity was identified as RëHerakhte. in conjunction with such manifestations the samebeliefsevidentin the religiousrexrsthat appearin of the tombsof the kingsand their moreintimateofficials. refersto the closeness his relations of with his king as. choseas one of his titles the 'Horus-Rë. and are Thus Rê is the bodies ofAtum.. The Aten had beenknownby the beginning the Twelfth Dynastyat least. the divine fleshmingling with him who had begot him. In the Litany he is invokedunder his seventy-five nameswhich are his bodies (or aspects). 239 .while the visible manifestation such power appeared of under the name of Aten. During'the Amarnaperiod. the symbol of the sun-diskappears with a pair of enveloping arms. Tuthmosis I. if not identical with it. Rekhmirë. The new concept Rë of is that he is morethan a sun-god. the Great. is the Universewho hasassimilated the He all other godsin his being. 'Rê of the Disk. thesebodies the gods. of when AmmenemesI is referred toin TheStory of Sinuheas dyingand flying to heavento unite with Aten. the dead king like the sun-god would be born again at the dawn.who comesfrom the Aren'. the Living..Mighty Bull phrase.
In the tomb of Parennefer. Furthermore.The Aten. To a rays.whose Amarnais a heavenly with that of the king. to Ay. together with their male offspring. he \ilasmost triumphantly proclaimedin the heavenlyking that Akhenatenaffirmed. 'Son of the Sun-god'. Sekhmetand Nefertemof Memphis. Nevertheless. as though god and king wereregardedas co-regents. the tombs of Ipy and Meryrë I for instance. yet their names The god that Akhenatenadjured in the Boundary Stelaeat in cartouches.' A featureof the religiousdevelopment worshipof a group of godswho New Kingdom wasthe widespread during the as were represented a Father and Mother figure. and Osiris.'Thy son who issuedfrom thy Thou transferrestto him thy duration and thy years. Meryrê II. is the motherand fatheiof mankind.The monotheismthat Akhenatenproclaimsis not of the henotheism earlier times.Thou listenestto him and that had evolved what is in his heart. sometimes 'Father father and mother of all that thou hast made'.likethe the Atqn canalsocelebrate he king whomRekhmirësalutes. enclosinghis name cartouches. having no female counterpart. 'Ruler of Eternity'. As a pharaoh. The full development the king's thought is seenin the careful in it suppression laterin the reign of the plural form of 'god' wherever appears earliertexts. courtieraddresses lord as 'the radiantchild of the Aten who hasvouchsafed sightof thyselfto us(?)'.in publicizing one Aten'. the king's relationship the Aten is.THE HERESY Thus a syncretismof religiousbeliefsin the Eighteenth Dynasty wasalready embracing a monotheistic conception of a supreme solar divinity. pharaoh. Indeed. moon<hild: other triadswerePtah. is true that other gods like Amun or Osiris had been It iiharaoh conceivedof as kings and given titles.but the worshipof an omnipotentand singular assertion of of divinity. such a deity takeson the aspectof king in conformity with the ideasof the time at the level of the control of human affairsffrhile the sun-god from his inception in Egypt had beensuch a ruler. and the king was his prophet. in This intimate relationship\tras expressed a familial form.but now with the addition of 'The beautiful the his child of the Aten'. gainsthe impression ) 240 .'Divine and Regal'. There was now but one god.Isis and Horus the Child of Abydos. The king is still calledby a title that the pharaohhad borne since the days of the early Old Kingdom. however. 'Lord of the Thrones of Upper and werenot enclosed Lower Egypt'. jubileesaftera periodof rule. and to the reign of Akhenaten the tomb of Like a king.the durbar of Year Iz is datedto the reign began in of the Aten in the tomb of Huya. he is predominantly that Akhenaten. reign a'Good God'.and giving him titles and epithets like a in double-bordered par excellence. the belief in one supremegod without any his unique nâture.wasa solegod who createdhimself daily.Although he is as 'the in addressed. and their sonKhons the Egyptians.aloneby himselfwithout an equal. andsoon. a trinity which appealedstrongly to the love of family among the Thus Amun of Karnak had a consortMut.
Every lion comesforth of under their heads. is that the the name of the universehas been fashionedby the sun-godimmanentin the Aten. And while the Aten shareshis divinity with no female principal. Darkness from its lair and all snakes lurks.It runs as follows: Thou arisest in the horizonof Heaven.a. z4 housesat Amarna. its the eyenot seeing fellow. Ay refers to him as 'my god who fashionedme'. the king and the the queen. for Pentu he is 'the god who fashionsmankind. is consciously otherwisecreatinga significanticon of a holy family or as a focus of daily worship. longer compositionwhich is The longest extractis found in the tomb of Ay. Thy rays embrace landsto the full extentof all that thou hastmade.Thou art in [Akhenaten]. Their invocationsto the Aten are alsq addressedto the king. fair O When thou dawnestin the East. yet thy waysare not kno\iln. thou fillest every land with thy beauty. at containprayers. When the living Aten goes rest to dark and hostile. bite. The prayers that no\il appear in the tomb inscriptions expressing quintessential the tenetsofthe new creedquote fror4. to addressed this trinity of powers.i 't I t.when all creationby the powerof the Aten awakens and reioices.great.wherethey arecomplete.for thou art RE the and thou attainesttheir limits and subduestthem for thy beloved son Thou art remoteyet thy raysare upon the earth. and makesthe Two Lands live'. and the earthis silentwhen their Creator restsin his habitation.evenwhen and they would be unaware it. generallytakento be the work of the king himself. and he hand is upon all that he hasmade.the earth is in darkness in after the mannerof death. Aten.and sleeps afterthe mannerof deathuntil the world becomes the next day dawns.thoughit is not entirelyfree from corruptions.THE HERE. Beginnerof Life. The doctrineenshrined the psalm. Their possessions might be stolen. The a to door-jambs the entrance the tombsat Amarna. j I 24r . particularly in the chapelsattachedto the private Pl.Men spendthe night indoorswith the headcovered. both in that the erotic extravagance in the epithets lavished upon her. the sight of men.to which in 'Great Hymn' has beengiven in modern times. At leastthe courtiers addressed their king as an incarnation of the solegod the Aten.radiantand high over everyland. Tutu hails him as his 'god who fashionedand fosteredhim'. li: i his domestic life as the family man with Nefertiti and one or more of their children. one suspects given to Nefertiti. Thou art indeedcomely. Living Aten. have the effect of her appearanceand elevatingher into a love-goddess. Venus figure like Hathor or Astarte. When thou settest the Westernhorizon. alonecaresfor his creation/Hismysterious althoughhe is afaroff in thiremote heavens. who asoneof the king'sprivate secretaries must havefound a goodcopyfor his scribeto follow.SY t .
all that are upon the earththat run upon their feet or rise up on high flying with their wings. the Aten Disk of the day time. waysopen at thy dawning. the Lord of everyland. Thou drivest awaythe night when thou givest The Two Lands arein festival.their wings [raised] and herbage in praiseof thy spirit.nursethat thou art. Thou hastplaceda Nile in heaven comeforth for them and makea floodupon the mountains to like the seain orderto waterthe fieldsof their villages. all the winged creation live when thou hast risen for them. entire The earth performsits labours. shiningforth for them. their feet for thou hastraisedthem up. toiling for them. of Thy beams nourisheveryfield and when thou shinestthey live and grow for thee.Thou makest seasons orderto sustain that thou hastmade. as How manifold are thy works!They are hidden from the sight of men.and likewisedownstream. evenin the womb. They washtheir limbs. How excellent thy are plans. O Sole God.all men.thou createst their life.thou appointest everyman to his placeand satisfiest needs. All animalsgambol on their feet. The boats sail upstream.sothat he shallbreakit and comeforth from it to testifyto his completion he runs abouton his two feetwhen he emergeth. all cattlegreatand to small. they put on raiment and raise their arms in adorationat thy appearance. leap in thy Thy rays are in the midst of the sea.And the landsof Syria and Kush and Egypt .The fish in the river All presence. his When the chick in the eggchirpswithin the shell.They awakeand standupon forth thy beams.When the child comesforth from the body on the day of his birth. who comfortesthim sothat he criesnot therein. the Thou makest watersunder the earthand thou bringestthem forth [as the the Nile] at thy pleasure sustainthe peopleof Egypt even as thou hast to madethem live for thee.but the true Nile flowsfrom under the earthfor Egypt. great in majesty! All distantforeignlandsalso.O Lord of Eternity! .SY The earth brightenswhen thou arisestin the Easternhorizon and shinest forth asAten in the daytime. who givestbreath to quickenall that he hath made.The birds fly from their nests. thou givesthim the breathwithin it to sustainhim.who seed givestlife to the child in the womb of its mother. the in all 242 . Thou createstfor him his properterm within the egg. then thou openesthis mouth completelyand thou furnishest sustenance. Thou it is who causest womento conceive makest and into man.Their tonguesare diversein speech their qualities and likewise.O Divine Lord of them all. like unto whom there is no other! Thou didst fashionthe earth according thy desirewhen thou wastalone. and their colouris differentiated thou for hast distinguished nations. The trees gro\ry green.a Nile in the sky is thy gift to foreignersand to beasts their lands.All cattle are at peacein their pastures. his Everyone receives his sustenance and his days are numbered.THE HERE.
but thereis noneother who knowstheesavethy son Akhenaten. the god of writing and learning.roads. f$s universalist sentiment. Thou art in my heart. the summerheatthat they may taste[of thy quality]. properto a kingdomat the heightof its imperialgreatness. He is referredto as: Father of the Gods.belongs the very end ofthe to Amarnaperiod.inthe hymn had appearedin similar compositions addressed other gods during this samedynasty. .Its noveltylay not in what it expressed in what it left out. villages.He it is who hasmadethat whereonthe fish live in the river. It and the birds in the heavens. and speaks the god almost of in exclusively his solaraspectwhich had resultedfrom his identificationwith Rë-Atum. above all that thou has created. who fashioned mankind.Thou hast made him wise in thy plans and thy power. An epithet of Thoth. revealsthe samejoy in nature. Lord of the sunbeams createst who light . is he who givesbreathto him in the egg. but which haselements of greaterantiquity. concept a which is of greatantiquity. Thou art the SoleOne who madeall that thereis: the Unique One who made what exists.A hymn to to Amun which datesto the reign of AmenophisII.THË HERESY the winter to cool them. .An earlierhymn to the Theban Amun.the river. and the which sustains herbage cattle.barbaricas well as Egyptian.It is thus to of clear that even from the haphazardbody of texts that has survived from an earlier time. He it is who hasmadepasturage cattle. . rising and shining forth.Yet it appears havebeenalready someantiquity. . which echoes many of its 243 .and the fruit tree for for mankind. He is alsoidentifiedwith Atum'who fashioned men of differentnatures and createdtheir life. All the sentiments expressed the above in hymn havelittle that is revolutionary aboùtthem. Thou hast made heavenafar off that thou mayestbehold all that thou hast made when thou wast alone. .fields. for thou art the Aten of the daytime. but it is expressed more powerfully in the hymn to the Aten. Thou makest millions of forms out of thyself. towns. the Great Hymn to the Aten containedideasand phraseswhich had long beenfamiliar in the religiousliterature.referring to him as he 'who made different the tongueofone land from another'.and sustainsthe son of the worm. All eyesbeholdtheebeforethem. and would havebeenapproved most worshippers the world in by of ancient Egypt. He madethem differ in colour. The sun-god is regardedas the demiurge who createdthe Universe'whenhe wasalone'(in Chaos). . Nowhere is there the slightestmention of but other gods.are is God's creatures. appearingin thy aspectof the Living Aten.that all the nations.and madethe beasts. Many of the other ideas expressed.eachfrom the other'.
eternal.Sinceprehistoric symbols timesthe godsof Egypt had existed as graven images.to which he often referson his monuments.an austeremonotheism vi'hich is quite unprecedentedin the world of the Late Bronze Age. all other examples which must have but of been diligently suppressed after his death as utter heresy. The remarkable feature of this revolution in religious thought is that it apparentlyspringsinto life from the moment of the king's advent.universaland omnipresent ( in the daylight. and brought to noticeby Redford. though they took no accountof sympatheticmagic which could transform into actuality. thus identifying him with Atum and Ptah in the samebreath.It givesthe only hint of the king'snew'teaching'. But though thesegods might havebeenmadeof gold and precious stones they had somehow died or ceased function and were now ineffective.In this respect ProfessorRedford is justified in speakingof Akhenaten as â literal atheist. their forms defined in the manuals preserved in temple libraries.Thus when King NeferhotepI of the Thirteenth Dynasty wishedto make a statue of Osiris for his monument in Abydos. but. on the contrary. In its place\ilaspresented far lesstumultuous monodramaenacted a in the presence worshipping mankind with its ioyous offerings. Rë. The truths that the king expoundedwere to a large extent self-evident. in The drift of his discourse seems be that the original forms of the godswereknown to from the catalogues specifications and which werepreserved templelibraries in and consultedonly perhapsby wise men or scholars. This is emphasized a fragmentof woefully damaged by text found inscribed on two blocks from the interior of the Tenth Pylon at Karnak.and spelt his name in its first didactic form though not yet enclosed double cartouches. he searchedamong ancient archivesin a temple at Heliopolis to ensurethat the image should be fashioned its properand correctform. It apostrophizes him as the One and Only Creator from whose tears men originated and from whose mouth the gods came into existence. Min. unique. and bringing a brief hour of light and life to the deadin the variousregionsof the Underworld by night. The Aten of roseand setin solitarymaiesty a heaven in devoidof othergods. ideas. There is no suchpantheismevidentin the hymns to the Aten. Khepri and Atum. to The mysteriousgod which the king proclaimedwasself-created.speaks Amun as the SoleGod yet equates of him with Ptah. Suchimages in lived in 'greatmansions' 244 .Only disiointed phrases be extractedfrom this inscription which is evidently from a homily can which the king addressed his followers very early in his reign when he still to sanctioned the representationof Rë-Herakhte in the traditional form of a z7 falcon-headed man bearingthe disk of the sun on his vertex.THE HERESY Pl.The curtain falls on the old drama of the sun-god's progressacrossthe heavenswith his divine retinue deféatingthe ever-resurgent forcesofevil by day.
and the chiefservitors his of the Aten cult. : All this is new.opento the sunlight. Meryrë I and Tutu.the many-armeddisk of the sun. This dichotomyexisted Egyptianreligionuntil paganism replaced by Christianityin the third centurync. The artisans. for later he had to rally them to his views by declaringthat it would be 'evil' if they listenedto rumours concerning burial arrangements Akhetaten. but as early as the Fifth Dynasty the Pyramid Texts had made it evident that the funerary cult of Osiris had penetrated solarbeliefs concerning pharaonic the the destiny.and that the dead i . Thus on the BoundaryStelae.whom no craftsmanhas devised. The imagesof the proscribedgodswere fashioned their shrines were refurbished. anointed. the traditionaleschatology and fervently embraced.r. but it would have required the initiative and authority of the pharaoh to promote them.their priesthoodsrestored.The worship of a god in aniconic at form simplified temple architecturewhich no longer had to consist of a 'mansion'butreverted the court. but it is doubtful whetherwhole-hearted supportwassecured outsidecourt circles. or rather expressed the first timel for it is to be suspected for that not all the ideas were entirely of the king's invention.and to the colonnades to . despitethe nature of the destiny that he cult of the resurrected promisedall believers: eternity at once blessed ân and agrarian. of necessary beliefsconcerning after death. But for little more than a decade elevation an abstractand intangible the of god to the positionof a lonesupremacy wroughtimportantchanges religious in practices Amarna and in Egypt beyond. Such sentiments must have been abroadat this time. The 'Teaching' which he promulgatedwas dutifully followed by his friends and favourites.and were protectedand tended by 'servants'(priests)who daily them. cleaned. labourers and ordinary folk appearto haveclung to their old godsand superstitions.iAkhenaten apostrophizes Aten as one w. an elaborate his form of the hieroglyph for sunlight .who dismissedthe gods.particularlyin the influential in life god Osiris. The suppression other godsmadeinnovations of the ancientsun-temples.such as his old childhoodservant Parennefer.hofashions the himself with his two hands.THE HERESY t.fed and put them to rest asthough awakened they were living grandees. its laterdevelopment a followingof the sun-godin the regions or in \ilas light. Even amongthe king'sentourage therewerethosewho appear havebeenno more than luketo rvarm to some of his ideas. to Osirisand his chthonicrealmswereopposed the ideaof an after-lifeamong as of the stars.abandonedtheir habitations and soon represented sole divinity by a symbol.\ 245 . the old anew.clothed. worship re-established. iI il rl E il it tl t! (temples).banishedtheir images.The proof of the shallow rooting of his reforms is at seenin the almostcompletewitheringthat occurredassoonashis immediate successors achievedpower.'-. father-in-lawAy. but more glorious.such as the had deceased enjoyedin life amongthe 6elds of Egypt.All this ritual was condemned as a vanity by Akhenaten.
In Akhenatenundertook the care of his subjectsin the afterlife. such as mummification.videntified in the cenotaphof King Dier.when all mention of Osiris. kings had built shrinesand cenotaphs at Abydos. The votive block-statuein the form ofa pilgrim to Abydos.and so reconsecrated their memorialsanew. Grant me pure food which hasbeenplaced before thee from the surplus of thy Father Aten every day. but the cult of Osiris at Abydos received an unstinted rehabilitation. not only were the templesand statuesof Amun.in the Table of Ancestors commencing carved on the wall of a corridor in the greattempleassociated with his cenotaph. and the depositofgrave goodswith the deceased. From the earliestDynastic period.especially under the early Ramessides. Ay addresses as'this cool North wind.In the reign of Amenophis III this activity reacheda climax with the clearingup of the royal necropolisat Abydos. . with Menes. though much of the old funeral practice was retained.fu Pls. an Upper Egyptian focusof the cult of Osiris and the royal ancestors. Giùer of Longevity. Parenneferhails him as 'Lord of Burial. to legitimize their claims to the long tradition of sovereignty.a substitutefor the deceased the corvée the in of wasnot discarded.squattingin his cloak. The proscription of Osiris by Akhenaten ensured that the gods of burial were banishedtogether with the pantheon. The gods of the Osirian cycle have in fact becomethe third generationof the solar gods in the great enneadof Heliopolis. while his successor champion of his murdered father and the ruler of the living.flut this pious duty ceased abruptly under Akhenaten. The shawabti figure.THE HERESY Pl. and it is to him that they pray for patronageand succourafter death. in my tomb which thou hastordainedfor me .'alife prolonged thy favours. however. SethosI. and an antiquarian searchfor the tomb of Osiris which the pundits of the $g. the king had becomeassimilated Osiris. burial in an anthropoid coffin and Canopic jars. and the Osirian epithet of iustified'with the force of 'deceased' wasdrbpped from the titles of the defunct. but it wereconsiderably modifiedand lackedthe magicspellthat would activate it.Ramesses II did likewisein his temple on the neighbouringsite.' 246 . the so-called Osireion. t. . togetherwith the godsof his cycle. rz t Pl.' he prays. at the sight of whom there is life'. by awardme a goodlyburial . entered the namesof kings whom he consideredhis legitimate predecessors. for instance. and is not revived until the reign of King Ay. placeofthe old funerarydeities. the third king of the First Dynasty.the first pharaoh. the breathby him which I live. .and a new eschatology had to be invented. 'Grant me. . Mut and other important gods restoredon a lavish scale. In the reaction that followed the death of Akhenaten. Lord of the Life-span. or other holy places. an infinity of Niles pouring forth its waterdaily'.5r to stood asHorus.wassuppressed the in funerary texts. the textsinscribedupon OsirianUnderworld.disappeared from the repertoire offunerary sculpture.
'a sight of the Aten in the necropolis'.THE HERESY Such petitions are commonplacein the inscriprions that the courtiers have left in their tombsat Amarna. In this addressthe deceased asksfor mortuary favours from the king who is now the only donor of such privileges.that is my prayer. Both the deadand the living were believedto lapseinto sleepwhen the Aten sank beneaththe western horizon. and similar supplicationsaddressed the king. There wasin this a return to an earlierconceptof immortality which was revived by the Aten-religionand opposedto the agriculturaleternity of the Osirianbeliefs. and the living their habitations. haspointedout that the Aten-worshippers held that the souls(bai) of the dead cameforth by day at sunriseto enioy a full life in someimmaterialworld.Fairman. The wanderingsoul could no longer passthrough dangersand hazardsto reachthe Hall of the Two Truths where his deeds earth would be weighedin the balance on and his fate decidedat a Last JudgmentbeforeOsiris.followingEtienneDrioton.but in a more poetic form: May I breathethe sweetair that issuesfrom thy mouth. I receiveit and live by it. and Mayest thou ever call upon my name and it shall not fail on thy lips.The deadleft their by tombs.May I hearthy sweetvoicein the North Wind. relief of the settingof the Aten and the the putting of its creation rest. returning to the tomb at nightfell. two for each day of the year. heapedwith consecrated food for the benefitof the deadaswell asthe living. The prayer on the footboard of Kiya's to coffin makesvirtually the samerequestsby the queento Akhenaten.erporld is replaced the scene the eastern wall of chamberalphaof the rising of the by on Aten and the awakeningof the templeand its royal worshippersto life and ioy.an imagerysuggested from the habitsof sand-martins Egypt that in nestin holesin the sandyriver-banks and cliffs. Mayest thou give me thy two handsbearingthy sustenance. May I behold thy beautyeveryday. 'departure in the morning from the Underworld to [see]the Aten ashe risesevery day' alternatewith simpler appeals for 'unguent'. and by his 247 . In the RoyalTomb at Amarnathe dramaof the sun's daily circuit as representedin the Booh of lVhat is in the Und. On the western wall is the counterpoise.and wereall awakened its raysin the morning. 'lvater from the swirl of the river'. is an indicationof its importancein the cult. Akhetaten and supersedes apparatus the to The of godsanddemons that belongs the old eschatology.Requests for'a gift of loaves the templeof the in Aten'. immense extentof the temple with its forest of offering-tables. and all accompanied Aten to his the gracewere permitted to sharein the servicesand the food temple. May my body grow vigorouswith life through thy love.The part that the GreatTemple of the Aten at to playsin this daily cycleis paramount.
Aten wasto live near his god and his king in the temple on earth. wereprominent in the return of the ancien The novelideas the king won no wide acceptance of evenamonghis privileged as soonafter entourage werequickly abandoned an unfortunateaberration and from the scene.Others may have found it convenientto pay him lip-service. are not heardof againafter the king's death.Someof thesefollowers.but with moretangiblerewards.and exactions a new rapacious by breedof reverses tax-collectorsin place of the old tithe-gathererscausedresentmentat home.Its cult wassimple. no of Outsideof Akhetaten and wasno betterthan beforeand may. There must have been among Akhenaten'scourtiers sincere men who in sharedhis convictionsand were whole-hearted following a charismatic leader.its worshipenhanced the by invisibleand self-created pageantry.It soughtto establish relationship the dead with the living. and mankind and all the natural world with a unique. and régimeothers. often to the king himself and to occasionally the queen. indeed.food and drink from the royal the table.splendidtombs and burial equipment. gold of honour.rumours of military ominous.like Pentu and Ay.' Such a creedrevealsan attempt to rationalizebeliefsthat had developed of the accretions from prehistorictimes.Such not disciples wererewarded only with lucrativeofficeandthe king'sfavour.THE HERESY t'ig. z offerings. god. his disappearance 248 .havebeenmore burdensome were becomingendemic.suchas Tutu.Thereafter they were to be imaginedascontinuing near their hornes 'Life after deathfor the wOrshipper the of of and'houses eternity'until sunset. The prayersfor long life and for benefitsafter death by are addressed the dcad man to the Aten.Plagueand sickness percolated from abroad. Parennefer Meryrê I. and near his former home and tomb. it seems But to ofthe artsandthe excitement a daily of enchantment life havesatisfied deepneedin the mass the people.
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