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News: Ruins of 7,000-year-old city found in Egypt oasis
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Author Topic: AKHENATEN  (Read 1090 times)
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« Reply #30 on: September 09, 2007, 07:34:24 am »


From the third to the fifth year of his reign, Akhenaten carried out a "perestroika"
that affected every area of life and which cannot be compared to any phase in
Egyptian history.

The vast extent of the reorganization was unique - religion, art, language and lite-
rature were affected, and surely also the administration and the economy, for a
little later the temples of the traditional deities would be closed and their priests dis-
missed from state sevice or "reindoctrinated."

But there was no persecution at this time though, in year 4, the high priest of Amun
was sent literally "into the desert" on a quarrying expedition.

Only a few weeks before the founding of the new Residence, the administrator Ipi re-
ported to the king from Memphis that all was in order in the temple of Ptah and that
all the deities were receiving their prescribed offerings.


Though his measures were considered and gradual, there was certainly opposition.  In the
text of his boundary stelae, the king himself speaks of "bad things" he had heard in his
fourth and preceding regnal years, though without identifying the opposition by name; in
the highly damaged continuation of the text, he seems to be precluding future opposition.

Indicative is the military presence that we encounter already on the Theban TALATAT and
then later in the rock-cut tombs at Amarna.  Scurrying soldiers, predominantly a guard of
Asiatics and blacks, surround the king and prevent any resistance.

Indeed, Akhenaten was the only founder of a religion to have all the instruments of state
power at his disposal, and we should assume that he employed them ruthlessly to realize
his ideas.

Only underground opposition was possible, and "lamentations" gave expression to a wide-
spread sentiment among the common people and the former elite.
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