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Akhenaten: Religiously or Politcally Motivated?

 
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Bella
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Akhenaten: Religiously or Politcally Motivated? Reply with quote

Hey all, I'm writing an essay on this particular subject. I have most of it finished, I was just interested to know your views on the subject. I personally believe it was a bit of both, however probably more politcally so. What do you think? Smile
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that separation between politics and religion is a very modern (from the 1700s) stuff.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Akhenaten: Religiously or Politcally Motivated? Reply with quote

Bella wrote:
Hey all, I'm writing an essay on this particular subject. I have most of it finished, I was just interested to know your views on the subject. I personally believe it was a bit of both, however probably more politcally so. What do you think? Smile


I think it was possibly a combination of the two. The Aten had slowly gained in importance during the reigns of Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III, and it seems there was a connection between Aten and Ra.

At the same time there is some attempt to diminish the role of Amun with the virtual disappearance of the God's Wife of Amun during Amenhotep III. That already amkes me wonder what happened to the estates that supported the God's Wife? Did they revert to the royal family? Did they get assimilated into the wealth of the Amun temple?

There's a big difference in one cult rising to prominence and one cult rising while banning the others. One cult becoming more prominent happens occasionally, but the prohibition of some of the cults (erasure of the names of Amun Mut etc) is taking that to a whole new level.

I would say Robson is right (IMO) in pointing out that religion and politics were intertwined in AE. They were not separate entities back then. The separation of church and state would have been a very alien concept to the ancient Egyptians.
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nicky_too
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I realise this is an old thread, but I am interested in the issue myself.
I always used to think (because of what I read and heard) that the change Akhenaten made was quite abrupt. Just this week I read in my study material that actually during the reign of Amenhotep III there was a shift in the role of the king with regards to the rituals for the sun-god. Also, the sun-god was more and more portrayed as standing above all the other gods. The step Akhenaten took was therefore seemingly logical.

I agree with the previous posters that religion and politics were very close together, if not perceived as the same.
Don't forget that if there was a bad harvest (for example), the Egyptians 'blamed' that on their pharaoh and the fact that he was very likely out of favour with the gods.
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