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Is Oedipus Akhenaten??
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:37 pm    Post subject: Is Oedipus Akhenaten?? Reply with quote

I read somewhere that some have theorized that the plays by Sophocles, the Theban plays, are really the story of Akhenaten.
Oedipus , whose name means "swollen ankles" returns to Thebes and marries his mother Jocasta. They have 4 children: Antigone, Ismene, Polynices and Eteocles. Jocasta's brother Creon also plays a large role.

Oedipus = Akhenaten
Jocasta = Tiye combined with Nefertiti
Creon = Aye
Antigone = Ankhesenamon
Ismene = Meritaten
Polynices = tutankhamen
Eteocles = Smenkhare

Sophocles wrote his plays in ca. 400BC, and were based on well-known legends. I think that the idea is that just like the story of Troy, this series of plays depicts the memory of what happened in Egypt.

It is interesting that Oedipus finds out what has really happened when the city is hit by a plague. This plague is the blame for the city's misfortune.
Most of the royal family die in a short time period. And ultimately it is Creon (=Ay) who becomes King.

What do you think? Did the Amarna episode live on in this legend?
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Broadway_Babe
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read that play earlier this year. I don't think it is Ak. I just don't buy it. The Egyptians tried to erase him from history, it wouldn't make sense for the Greeks to write a play about it. An interesting idea though.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Egyptians tried to erase the Amarna family from history, but they clearly did not succeed. Manetho's Kinglist does include Kings and a Queen from that period. So even in Ancient Egypt, part of the story was remembered.

See for instance:
http://www.geocities.com/scribelist/names.html

Quote:
Manetho continues his Eighteenth Dynasty with:
Thutmosis = Thutmose IV
Amenophis = Amenhotep III
"Orus" Unrecognizable in the 18th Dynasty
Now comes the interesting part: Manetho says "then his daughter 'Akencheres' for 12 years 1 month, then her brother 'Rathotis' for 9 years". "Rathotis" is perhaps Tutankhamun from the part of his name that had survived in the oral tradition from "Neb-Kheperu-RA-TUT-ankh-Amun" because it is not likely that Manetho ever read these names in cartouches. At any rate, the length of reign given (9 years) for Rathotis makes sense as far as we can tell, and most scholars have reached the same conclusion about the identity as myself. However this is far from certain.



Furthermore, the story from Amarna must have made quite an impression on the neighbouring countries. Surely a superpower ravaged by the plague, and royal troubles including a letter to the Hittite King requesting he send over a son so he can marry the widow queen must have been fodder for some spectacular stories.

I would not be surprised at all if this story (likely in some twisted form) made it into some legend.

Sophocles based his plays on very well known legends. Changes from the actual events would be accounted for by the fact that he wrote the plays some 900-1000 years after the fact.

Remember that the Illiad was long believed to be "just a story", until Heinrich Schliemann started excavating.....


To backtrack just a teeny bit: I'm not convinced either that Oedipus is Akhenaten, but I won't dismiss it out of hand.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked WOW thats crazy.. and fun to think about.. i just looked up the story but i dont find too many resemblences.. perhaps there is.. but yeah.. Smile im in school everything is so damn interesting .. when im not doing my work.. right now uim supposed to be doing some work on .. Quarks? weee! Razz
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find quirks much more fun to study than quarks .....


The common threads I see in the Oedipus/Akhenaten question are:
1. The decline of the royal house coincides with the plague.
2. There is a war. (yeah, I know there are always wars...)
3. The young generation has two rivalling young kings.
4. The women in the family play a large role. This indicates to me that this story cannot take place in Greece itself.
5. It is the brother of the old queen who ends up with all the power.

What detracts from the identification:
1. Tut and Smenkhare never were at war (for as far as we know)
2. Akhenaton was married to Nefertiti, not his mother. (That theory has been discarded I think)

But then again the story is told some 900 years after the Amarna period, so some faulty memory is acceptable I think.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I won't dismiss it either, it just seems like a major stretch. Oedipus never tried to change the religion. The whole nailing the ankles together thing is just gross!! There are too many things that are hard to grasp....just my opinion though!
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, there's no real religious revolution. If you read Antigone though, there is some argument between Creon and Antigone concerning her worship of Hades I believe.
It would be difficult to get the concept of monotheism accross to people who were polytheistic. I could see them taking that part out of the story.

The problem with the ankles refers to the fact that he had swollen ankles. Comparing that to the general description of Akhenaten as having "pendulous tighs" is interesting.

I have just found it rather interesting to reread the plays with this conjecture in mind. It adds a whole new level to reading these plays.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a book on this some time ago. The idea was intriguing but the author stretched the few coincidental facts WAY too much. At the beginning he sounded like he knew what he was talking about but by about halfway through I was spotting errors and inconsistencies, and I am a raw neophyte.

Most of the basis came down to the "swollen ankles" thing, both occurring in "Thebes", the fact that there is a sphynx in the Oedipus myth, and a few odd interpretations of historical "facts" he possibly made up.

The book was possibly Oedipus and Akhnaton Myth and History
by Immanuel Velikovsky but possibly not. I checked it out from the library some years ago, and I think it was written in the 60s.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Velikovsky has written some books, that at best are speculative and at their worst just wrong Very Happy

Ahmed Osman has written a book "Out of Egypt" I have no idea how well done this book is. Some of these are more like fun fantasy books that anything else (but that's just my opinion).

Another one who writes about this topic is Charles Pope:
http://.domain.com/book/cover.html

Pope reviewed Osman's book at:
http://.domain.com/ankhemmaat/osman.html

If you want to see a really elaborate family tree check this out.
(It's a PDF file so make sure you have adobe acrobat to read it)
http://.domain.com/book/chart_17.pdf
(I don't buy it, but that's just me)[/url]
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a "conspiracy theory" Cool somewhere about Akhenaten, where the author (sorry, forgot who came up with the idea) writes that Akhenaten was in fact MOSES! When one thinks about it, it's not a totallyt *bad* theory...but I'm still scratching my head after reading that... Rolling Eyes anyway, it's good fantasy reading! Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since Ak was an F'n Fruitcake is plausible someone would base a play on it.

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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isis wrote:
I read a "conspiracy theory" Cool somewhere about Akhenaten, where the author (sorry, forgot who came up with the idea) writes that Akhenaten was in fact MOSES! When one thinks about it, it's not a totallyt *bad* theory...but I'm still scratching my head after reading that... Rolling Eyes anyway, it's good fantasy reading! Wink


I think there are even people who combine Akhenaten - Moses - Oedipus.
They then try to "reverse engineer" the story and come up with theories based on the stories.

I agree with you. They are fun reading, but I would never draw any conclusion based on myths and legends.
I think the whole point is that myths and legends take a historical story and then run with it. If it were historically accurate it would be called a documentary after all Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:


Remember that the Illiad was long believed to be "just a story", until Heinrich Schliemann started excavating.....


The major part of it is indeed a story, but the comparison between Oedipus and Akhenaten is interesting! Although the Trojan War was around 1200BC and Akhenaten lived between 1353BC and 1336BC!
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes but the oedipus play came some 900 years after the time of Akhenaten. Plenty of time for the story to evolve and change...
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can believe that the Oedipus story has its origins in the Amarna age but I wouldn't swear by my life that it's true Smile Anyway I found these 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 father'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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