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AKHENATEN

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Author Topic: AKHENATEN  (Read 1044 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2007, 06:51:44 am »








T H E   R E L I G I O U S   B A C K G R O U N D



THE ROYAL SED FESTIVAL                                                                     continued


In many cases, mention of a sed-festival does not constitute evidence for an act-
ual celebration.  Every pharaoh hoped to complete 30 years of rule and to be re-
generated in a sed-festival, often articulating this wish in formulaic expressions from
the very beginning of his reign; real celebrations of the festival cannot be inferred
from such statements.

Kings especially counted on continuing their festivals of renewal after their deaths -
thus, for example, the young Tutankhamun was wished "millions of years and hund-
reds of thousands of sed-festivals" - and inscriptions containing such wishes were
often carved on buildings dedicated to their continued existence.







FRESCO OF AMENOPHIS III' S SED-FESTIVAL



Pharaoh wore a special vestment during most of the ceremonies of the festival, a
mantle-like garment that also distinguished statues prepared for the sed-festival
from other statues.  Akhenaten affords the earliest example of a god who was also
able to celebrate a sed-festiva; later Osiris, in particular, was included in its sybol-
ism, for the desired regeneration played a special role in his case.

Otherwise, however, the festival was a renewal of rulership, a purely royal festival.

Officials participated as supernumeraries, but they could celebrate no sed-festivals
of their own.
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