Thursday, January 23, 2020

Amenhotep IV and Art and Religion Essay -- History Historical Amenhote

Amenhotep IV and Art and Religion The influence Amenhotep IV had on art and religion of his time caused him to be one of the most controversial Egyptian pharaohs of all time. The 10th king of the 18th dynasty, he has been called the most remarkable king to sit on Egypt’s throne. He has also earned the honor of being called "the first individual in human history."1 The cult of Aten did develop before his rule, perhaps as early as 1411 B.C. It paid homage to the sun, its central idea was ‘living on ma’at,’ that is, variously translated as "righteousness", "justice", and "truth." The doctrine of this religion failed to win the approval or support of any but Akhenaten’s followers. It is said that cult of Aten did not have an ethical code. It centered around gratitude towards life the sun for life and warmth. Ankh was life the force that the sun-disk (Aten’s ) rays bestowed on man in most of the art. The people could not pray directly to Aten. They directed their prayers instead to the king, who was the only person who could directly pray to Aten. The religion was such an intellectual and introspective nature that the people couldn’t understand it. Therefore, it was inevitable that it would not gain popularity.2 Akhenaten’s father was Amenhotep III, who reigned from 1358-1340. He made a break from tradition when he married a commoner, Tiy, who became Akhenaten’s mother.3 He was raised in a traditional manner, but he eventually showed a preference to worship the god Aten, rather than the traditional Amun. For some time he ruled as co- regent with his father. He changed his name early in his reign from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten, meaning "One who pleases Aten." His wife, commonly known as Nefertiti, became Neter-Nefru-Aten, meaning, "Beautiful is the beauty of Aten."4   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  When he changed his name, it was like a formal declaration of his new religion. He moved the capital of Egypt to a place now called Tell el - Amarna Akhenaton and in year 6 of his reign began to build a new city which he called Akhenetaton "The Place of Aten’s Effective Power." He swore an oath never to go beyond the bounds of the city. This is today taken not to mean that he would never leave it, but that he wouldn’t push the bounds of the city beyond designated boundary stones.5 In the first few years Akhenaten instituted some changes. He began to build a place to worship a n... ...nally, with the excavation of Amarna and Thebes, his existence was beyond question. For a good ten years, there records had shown no pharaoh at all.23 Endnotes 1Edward Malone, Akhenaton. n.p. 1997, 1. 2Breasted, James Henry. A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 201. 3Edward Malone, Akhenaton. 4Ibid.,1. 5Ibid. 2. 6H.W. Janson. History of Art. (New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc. 1962), 57. 7Ibid., 48. 8Ibid., 58. 9Ibid., 57. 10Phillip Vandenberg. The Golden Pharoah. (New York: Macmillian Publishing Co., 1980), 49. 11Ibid., 51. 12"Akhenaton" Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 1, 1989, 188. 13Ibid., 189. 14Phillip Vandenberg. The Golden Pharoah. 299. 15H.W. Hanson. History of Art. 49. 16Ibid., 57. 17Phillip Vandenberg. The Golden Pharoah. 299. 18James Henry Breasted. A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to The Persian Conquest.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  202 19R.J. Williams. "Amenhotep and the Hymn to Aten" Gods of the Ancient and Near East.   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚  (London: Thomas Nelson, 1958), 2. 20Ibid., 1. 22Edward Malone. Akhenaton.3. 23Phillip Vandenberg. The Golden Pharoah. 97.

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