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By James K. Hoffmeier

Pharaoh Akhenaten, who reigned for seventeen years within the fourteenth century B.C.E, is without doubt one of the so much exciting rulers of historic Egypt. His ordinary visual appeal and his preoccupation with worshiping the solar disc Aten have inspired educational dialogue and controversy for greater than a century. regardless of the various books and articles approximately this enigmatic determine, many questions on Akhenaten and the Atenism faith stay unanswered.
In Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism, James okay. Hoffmeier argues that Akhenaten used to be now not, as is usually stated, an intensive advocating a brand new faith yet fairly a primitivist: that's, person who reaches again to a golden age and emulates it. Akhenaten's notion was once the previous state (2650-2400 B.C.E.), whilst the sun-god Re/Atum governed because the unmatched head of the Egyptian pantheon. Hoffmeier unearths that Akhenaten used to be a real convert to the worship of Aten, the only writer God, in keeping with the Pharoah's personal testimony of a theophany, a divine stumble upon that introduced his monotheistic spiritual odyssey.
The booklet additionally explores the Atenist religion's attainable dating to Israel's faith, delivering a detailed comparability of the hymn to the Aten to Psalm 104, which has been pointed out by way of students as motivated via the Egyptian hymn.
Through a cautious analyzing of key texts, works of art, and archaeological reports, Hoffmeier offers compelling new insights on a faith that predated Moses and Hebrew monotheism, the effect of Atenism on Egyptian faith and politics, and the aftermath of Akhenaten's reign.

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7, 19. 105 Urk. 7. 12 Sphinx Stela of Thutmose IV (Giza). Photo James K. Hoffmeier. These two 18th Dynasty stelae clearly associate the sphinx with his various solar forms. Moreover, the link between the pharaoh and Atum as the son of Re is firmly re-established, showing the continuity of the tradition that goes back a thousand years earlier. The Sun-Disc Reliefs of the king in action with vulture, falcon, or the sun-disc hovering overhead to represent the presence and protection of the deity are a staple of New Kingdom royal art.

Photo James K. Hoffmeier. Florence Friedman, “Notions of Cosmos in the Step Pyramid Complex,” Studies in Honor of William Kelly Simpson (ed. Peter der Manuelian; Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1996), 338. 70 Jean-Philippe Lauer, Saqqara: The Royal Cemetary of Memphis (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1976), 90–136. W. Stevenson Smith, The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1965), 30–38. 71 Lauer, Saqqara, 94. 72 Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, 181, 307.

118 26 Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism “Inventory in On,” apparently in the temple complex in Heliopolis. Khufu orders Djedi to get it for him, but he declines, indicating “the eldest of the three children who are in the womb of Ruddedet . . ” “Who is this Ruddedet” the king asked. The answer: “she is the wife of a priest of Re, lord of Sakhbu, who is pregnant with three children of Re, lord of Sakhbu. ” News of kings who would reign that were not his offspring was troubling to the monarch.

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