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Amarna referenses to Ra, Horus and other deities?

 
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Mennefer
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:49 am    Post subject: Amarna referenses to Ra, Horus and other deities? Reply with quote

Are there any explanations as to why Akhenaten retained his thronename Neferkheperure Waenre, as well as his other royal names (preceded by glyphs for Horus and the two ladies)? There are also if I recall correctly references to Ra-Harakhty and other deities or manifestations of the Sun God in royal inscriptions after year 5. Although Iím aware of the fact that Ra, Ra-Harakhty, and Aten were considered to be manifestations of the same solar deity in Egyptian tradition, I thought that Aten made all other deities including their numerous aspects and forms obsolete, at least in Akhenatens official state religion?
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neseret
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Amarna referenses to Ra, Horus and other deities? Reply with quote

Mennefer wrote:
Are there any explanations as to why Akhenaten retained his thronename Neferkheperure Waenre, as well as his other royal names (preceded by glyphs for Horus and the two ladies)? There are also if I recall correctly references to Ra-Harakhty and other deities or manifestations of the Sun God in royal inscriptions after year 5. Although Iím aware of the fact that Ra, Ra-Harakhty, and Aten were considered to be manifestations of the same solar deity in Egyptian tradition, I thought that Aten made all other deities including their numerous aspects and forms obsolete, at least in Akhenatens official state religion?


It is a common misconception that Akhenaten rejected all other deities after Year 5. The main deities who were the subject of proscription were, by and large, the Amunic triad (Amun-Mut and Khonsu).

There are clear indications, for example, on the boundary stelae of Akhetaten that Akhenaten set aside certain areas for other deities, such as Thoth and Ptah. Further he did not require that the inhabitants of Akhetaten necessarily worship the Aten as Stevens (2003) showed that worship of the usual household deities (Bes, Hathor, etc.) was well-established at Amarna.

In all, Akhenaten's religion was apparently a monolatry (worship of one deity without claiming it is the ONLY deity), while the religion of his subjects - in Akhetaten/Amarna and throughout Egypt - often followed much of the traditional religion's cults. Atenism was never a true monotheism, according to Redford (1997), but more likely a political tool to elevate the status of the king (Meyers 1981).

See:

Allen, J. P. 1989. The Natural Philosophy of Akhenaten. In W. K. Simpson, Ed. Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt: 89-101. Yale Egyptological Studies (YES) 3. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Meyers, E. L. 1981. A Program of Political Theology in Amarna Tomb Art: Imagery as Metaphor. Ph. D. Dissertation (Unpublished), Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia.

Redford, D. B. 1997. The Monotheism of Akhenaten. In H. Shanks and J. Menhardt, Eds., Aspects of Monotheism: How God is One: 11-26. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Biblical Archaeological Society.

Stevens, A. 2003. The Material Evidence for Domestic Religion at Amarna and Preliminary Remarks on its Interpretation. JEA 89: 143-68.

HTH.
_________________
Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

Doctoral Candidate
Oriental Institute
Oriental Studies
Doctoral Programme [Egyptology]
Oxford University
Oxford, United Kingdom

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