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Questions about several things, mainly Maat
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Mandi
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Questions about several things, mainly Maat Reply with quote

Maat is a goddess yes??? Because that was my understanding.... It seems too Maat is an ethical standard? The goddess of ethics.... And proper balance etc...

I am wondering to about the Amarna period, the religion of Aten, which is allegedly a monotheist religion based on Akhenaten's new sun god based on the symbol Aten. Why, is it Akhenaten maintains himself a debvotee of Maat during his "monotheistic" persuasion??? If there is 1 god, how can there be 2 without it being polytheism? I am confused.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Akhenaten considered himself a devotee of Maat.
There's a more gradual process where he seems to move away from the gods. I believe there are scenes of Akhenaten offering MAat, but I think those would have dated to the earlier part of his reign.

Later he offers images of himself or the Aten in somewhat similar scenes.

At the high point of his rejection of the other gods he even writes the name of his father - Nebmaatre - without using the glyph for Maat as the goddess, but spells out the "maat" part of the name "phonetically"
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 7:38 pm    Post subject: Interesting... Reply with quote

Honestly, i think he was just a power hungry lunatic, more interested in gathering power and maintaining power rather than worshipping anyone or anything. They say his temples had no roof so that everyone could see his god or maybe in part to save financially? more bricks=more expensive? And why spend more than you must to rid yourself of the cult of Amun giving you a difficult time? I could be very very very wrong... I am simply speculating... And you are likely right as time progressed he did seem to move further and further away. But even after his move of the capital i wish i had the reference in my book to quote but i would have to look it up... It claims he was very much.... i dunno..."up keeping Maat" so to speak.... which later egyptian "monarchs" apparently considered rediculous... But againl, i am just a lowly student.... Trying to wrap my braina round all this stuff. I am not interested in making things up or promoting un truths... I am a strong believer in evidence.... (Which kinda irritates me when it comes to all this feminist archaeology of late.... I want to believe.... But lack of evidence... I can't.) The point is, i am not a sheep. I have a mind of my own always have always will. I like to explore subjects of debate etc and draw my own conclusions *based on evidence* As well as know what the traditional views are (often i find i agree with them atleast mostly if not entirely) And every once in a while somethin seems off base to me... But this is actually something i have been thinking about lately and scratching my head over. So thank you for your response it is very very helpful!
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 8:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Questions about several things, mainly Maat Reply with quote

Mandi wrote:
..... which is allegedly a monotheist religion based on Akhenaten's new sun god based on the symbol Aten. If there is 1 god, how can there be 2 without it being polytheism?


The egyptians did not have in their vocabulary : words ending in theism, heresy, religion, devout. Most egyptologists put so much passion when they discuss Akhenaten, I wish you good luck to sort everything out.

Aten is not a new sun god created by Akhenaten; at the origin the word aten means disk, AFAIK Thutmose I was the first one to make a god out of it.

Looking into W.Murnane's book 'Texts from Amarna' confirms what Anneke was saying above about Maat : "earlier part of his reign".

Maat personified the concepts of truth, justice and cosmic order. Many aspect of the egyptian life was personnified by a god or a goddess. J.Assmann wrote a book which will give you a good knowledge of the concepts represented by Maat.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:04 pm    Post subject: Yes a sun disk Reply with quote

part of the religion for some tiome in that capacity.... But not as a god? Or maybe as an aspect of a god? My text said it didn't become a major god anyway till Akhenaten. And i have not come across the word for monotheist either as far as ancient egyptian goes. (However, my knowledge of the language is very limited and almost non existant.) So i will assume youa re right and know more about that than i do. And Tut didstanced himself from it as much as he could as both his parents were likely killed by many unhappy forced converts. Their inscriptions and i do believe their statues have been... Abused, by later generations as well as to some degree the ppl of their own time. So if it wasn't Akhenaten that declared a single god while (maybe) worshipping or accepting or whatevering 2.... Then perhaps the scientist who first declared it a montheistic religion should be taught to count? Or maybe i am way off.... As i don't have a full understanding of the concepts related to Maat.... I don't really understand it....As it seems it was used in more than 1 way... I am not sure how to interpret the claims in my book. Which can be annoying when one is working very hard to get a good understanding of a subject.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: Yes a sun disk Reply with quote

Mandi wrote:
1. My text said it didn't become a major god anyway till Akhenaten.
2. And Tut didstanced himself from it as much as he could as both his parents were likely killed by many unhappy forced converts.
3. Their inscriptions and i do believe their statues have been... Abused, by later generations as well as to some degree the ppl of their own time.
4. So if it wasn't Akhenaten that declared a single god

1. Correct, however he did not invented it.
2. lol.
3. at a much latter time.
4. Akhenaten made Aten THE state god.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maat = "Logos"
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Logos? Reply with quote

I will look that one up. And thank you for trying to help me understand.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject: Akkk! Reply with quote

Not to be rude, is there anything else you can direct me to? The Bible and it's references and the stuff it contains i am less familiar with than probably anything else in this world. I see what you are doing trying to give a common reference point so to speak who isn't familiar with the bible? but ummm, seriously, i am not. I will have a read thoug about logos and see if it helps me though. Again, thank you.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Egyptian word for this balance was the Egyptian word for "truth," ma'at; this is perhaps the single most important aspect of Egyptian culture that you can learn. For once you really understand this concept, the whole of Egyptian culture begins to make sense. The order of the universe (ma'at ) functioned with unswerving accuracy; it was maintained by the goddess Ma'at. This meant that the concept of "truth" meant for the Egyptian the the rational and orderly working of the universe rather than its diverse phenomena. The Egyptian, then, believed that he or she understood how the universe operated; all phenomena could be explained by an appeal to this understanding of the rationality of the universe.

........... This idea that the universe is rational and that the "truth" of the universe is the underlying rationality and order of the universe rather than its diverse phenomena, passed from the Egyptians to the Greeks. The Greeks called the underlying order of the universe, logos, or "meaning," "order," "pattern." The early Christians adopted the logos in order to explain the moral order of the universe; the first line of the Gospel of John is, "In the beginning was the logos , and the logos was with God, etc." But the concept for the Greeks and the Christians was more or less the same as ma'at . The Egyptians believed that the ma'at of the universe was a god that benevolently ruled all aspects—human, material, and divine—of the universe; the Christians would likewise make the underlying rationality of the universe into God: "And the logos was God."
________________________________________________________________________

I copied and pasted it for you! Laughing
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maat
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 5:57 pm    Post subject: amazing... Reply with quote

Now i understand the flaw in many belief systems. Thank you. Truly enlightening. There is a fundimental flaw though in such beliefs of truth and a goddess who over sees them all or of truth being with God so to speak. This issue then becomes a very subjective thing and a question of perspective. Founding one's way of life on such a belief that it is universal and even systematic... Then Akhenaten's claim to have been so "ma'atly" (so to speak) and all would have been rather, accurate a statement from his perspective. So it wasn't an issue of Goddess worship but more an issue of accepting a form of universal truth and balance, and in performing one's function with in it. Buit if that is the case, then why was his rule questioned? Was it really about religion? As the Egyptians seemed to accept their king kinda as a god or messenger there of almost stearing them where they were supposed to go, part of the structure of the universe. The asassination of the king and queen, must have been... I can't imagine. Later they were viewed as "so out of balance" their inscriptions were destroyed? yes obviously they were destroyed. But for that reason? Or was it more sheer hatred and if so at such a later date why? Those living in that time, were hardly subjected to the rule of Akhenaten. It seems odd one could hate a dead person that much. Would it have to do with restoring Ma'at? But then, was Ma'at in actuallity ever undermined?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2008 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An article on this subject for those who read german R.Anthes Die Maat des Echnaton von Amarna, JAOS Suppl, XIV, 1952
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Maat = "Logos"
Sound like a shortcut Confused
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is maat the same as Ma'at?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

conorp wrote:
Is maat the same as Ma'at?

They're just two different spellings. Ma'at or Maat is a goddess, and ma'at or ma'at is an idea or concept of justice and balance. That's why Ma'at (the goddess) was regarded as the goddess of ma'at (justice). Wink
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