By Dominic Montserrat
The pharaoh Akhenaten, who governed Egypt within the mid-fourteenth century BCE, has been the topic of extra hypothesis than the other personality in Egyptian historical past. This provocative new biography examines either the genuine Akhenaten and the myths which were created round him. It scrutinises the historical past of the pharaoh and his reign, which has been continuously written in Eurocentric phrases inapplicable to historic Egypt, and the archaeology of Akhenaten's capital urban, Amarna. It is going directly to discover the pharaoh's awesome cultural afterlife, and how he has been invoked to validate every little thing from psychoanalysis to racial equality to Fascism.
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Extra resources for Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt
These are the questions of what Akhenaten himself actually believed, and the ultimate purpose of his religious reforms. These have been seen either as a genuine religious revelation or as a cynical way of exploiting religion to justify political despotism. But to separate motives out like this is rather simplistic and does not address the complicated interplay between religion and politics in ancient Egypt. It also seems to be based on a western assumption that history is about a succession of conflicts between church and state, most famously formulated by the nineteenth-century British historian Lord Acton.
They are inscribed in the same parts of the tomb that would be inscribed with a eulogy to the sun in the Theban necropolis. Yet the Theban compositions are not about the king in the same way as the Amarna 'hymns'. ' and continues: '0 living Aten, who is born in the sky daily, so that without ceasing he might give birth to his august son, just like himself - the son of Re' who exalts his beauty (titles qfAkhenaten). 'so Everything is focused on the king, who acts as the upholder of Ma'at, a thoroughly conventional component of pharaohs' political role.
14 The boundary stelae, temples and the royal tomb apparently form a series of rectangles which mirror the proportions of the principal 21 SldaA c. 4 Map of ancient Akhet-aten and the area of modern Amarna HISTORIES OF AKHENATEN Aten temple in the centre of the city. The entire city was thus defined spatially as a temple to the Aten on a colossal scale. Akhet-aten was the site of the Aten's creation and his perpetual rebirth which maintains the cosmos, and all that the Aten created was contained within its boundaries.
Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt by Dominic Montserrat