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Transition 18th - 19th dynasty; Role Amun priesthood
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ImageOfAten wrote:
... I don't think it can be spun as ineffective ruling either since we do not know the reason behind the actions that were or were not taken.
Reason? What reason could there be not to obey the order of the king? When Aziru's father did much the same (less actually) A-III dispatched a task force to kill him and end the matter.

Things were deteriorating rapidly though and in just a few years, the king was unable to assert his will as in days gone. That speaks for itself and doesnt need 'spin'.

Between the Armana letters (including the letter from Akhenaten demanding Aziru come to court - and 'darn it, this time I mean it!') , the Hittite archives, the Ugarit archines and the adventures of Suppiliumas written by his son we know an awful lot about what went on.
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ImageOfAten
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Between the Armana letters (including the letter from Akhenaten demanding Aziru come to court - and 'darn it, this time I mean it!') , the Hittite archives, the Ugarit archines and the adventures of Suppiliumas written by his son we know an awful lot about what went on.


Very true, but there is also a lot we may never know about what went on.
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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The extent and wealth of the temple of Amun in the twilight of the New Kingdom was staggering. On the death of Ramesses III it owned 600,000 acres of land, 421362 head of cattle, 433 gardens, 65 towns (9 in Canaan), 46 carpenter's shops, and a fleet of 83 cargo boats. Over 85,000 chattels and farmers labored on the god's estate, exclusive of the priests. The bequests of a single Pharoah (Ramesses III) to Amun included nearly 1.5 tons of gold and silver, 2.5 tons of copper, over 1000 jars of incense, over 25,000 jars of wine, 310,000 measures of grain, besides substantial amounts of flax, vegetables and fowl. In the 21st Dynasty Amun's estate is coextensive with Upper Egypt. Here the high priests were virtually sovereign, and their wives, the "Divine Adoratresses" of Amun, were gicen the double cartouches as though they were queens."

- Redford, 1967, _Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times_, p288
footnote indicates the source is the Great harris Papyrus

It would be hard to extrapolate back from R-III to Armana estimate the extent of Amun's wealth then because so much would have been donated by Horemheb, R-II, Seti and R-III, but there it is.

The donation of entire towns is interesting. Apparently the tax levies from them went to the gods as a form of yearly donation. To an extent that makes the donation support the temple annually without additional yearly outlays by the king. Sort of clever.

This is by no means unique to Amun. Elsewhere he notes that Re owned some 105 cities, many in Canaan.

I do think that part of the 'soverign' aspect stems as much from a succession of weak Pharoahs as strong gods. Nature abhors a vacuum and if a king didnt exert control or command respect, someone else will step in. It looks like and early stage I.P. in a way.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did the deities a pharaoh prefer affect the priesthood?

Like I see the temples that SetiI & RamesesII built. Seti's monuments have the Amun & his triad(is that what you call it?) While Ramses' seemed to have the Ennead prominently featured in his own.

Or is it what the artists at the time preferred?
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2005 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Did the deities a pharaoh prefer affect the priesthood?


Yes, this had a very significant impact on the religion of the state. Amun is a good example, an obscure god at best until the Middle Kingdom when the Theban rulers drove out the Hyksos and promoted the worship of Amun...who himself supplanted the worship of the original prominant Theban deity, Montu. Amun became the prominent god of the New Kingdom, and your examples of Seti and Ramesses are good. Re had his focus of worship in Heliopolis, in the north (from where the early Ramessides came), and to boil it down in very simple terms, Amun could not be dismissed so the god joined with the sun deity to become the great god, king of the gods, Amun-Re.

Artists then were not like the artists of today--the liberal free thinkers. At the state level they were basically tools of the government, and their skills were put to use to express the socio-religious preferences of the ruling powers.
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is also noteworthy that cities had their own local patron god and that the gods of the major cities eventually became state gods: Thebes-Amun, Heliopolics-Re as kmt noted, but there was also Abydos-Osiris and Memphis-Ptah, later Seth started to join them

Depending on where a king or Dynasty hailed from that god could get greater attention as was the case with Montu. Even though Montu was the fad for the start of the Hyksos ejection, Amun benefitted most. As late as the first sole-reign campaigns of Thuthmosis III he was acting to push the Hyksos further and further back from the border and in the name of Amun.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2005 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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...but there was also Abydos-Osiris and Memphis-Ptah, later Seth started to join them


And then there was Sobek and Kom Ombo, and let's not Min of Akhmim. Archaeologists have a hell of a lot of work left to do at the temple site of Akhmim, and they've begun to see how massive it once was--I've read that it might actually rival Karnak in size. Unfortunately Akhmim seems to be as much in ruins as Karnak is wonderfully preserved, so no one is certain yet as to its actual size.

Quote:
As late as the first sole-reign campaigns of Thuthmosis III he was acting to push the Hyksos further and further back from the border and in the name of Amun.


Old Amun became the rallying deity for many pharaonic campaigns in the New Kingdom. He was a favorite of Ramesses II's also, and Ramesses II proclaimed on countless temple walls how he owed his magnificant "success" at Qadesh to the great god Amun. Laughing
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