Early egyptian religious beliefs and akhenatens

Akhenaten the Heretic — BC Akhenaten Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten and defied tradition by establishing a new religion that believed that there is but one god; the sun god Aten.

Early egyptian religious beliefs and akhenatens

Builders under Pharaoh Akhenaten worked so hard they broke their backs The priesthood of Amun had reinforced the strength of their god by declaring him an aspect of Ra, and it was that association that made Amun acceptable to the rest of Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian religion - Wikipedia

This gave an unprecedented amount of power to the Amun priesthood, allowing them, through the god, to control not only the country, but also the king. The divinity of kingship now included a claim to being a son of Amun.

When the vizier Ptahmose, High Priest of Amun died, Amenhotep III, instead of promoting the next High Priest, as was expected, conferred the viziership on the nobleman Ramose, neatly sidestepping the priesthood and effectively moving towards a separation of state and religion.

Given these prevailing moods within the royal family, it should not really be any surprise that the young Amenhotep IV began his reign with certain goals and Early egyptian religious beliefs and akhenatens already set in his mind.

The early name Aten. Courtesy Ted Loukes On his ascension, he began building at Karnak, the long established home of Amun-Ra, decorating the southern entrance with scenes of himself worshipping Ra-Horakhti, as well as building his open-air temple to the east of the main precinct, suggesting that he understood and appreciated the legitimacy of Amun-Ra and that he needed that very legitimacy to underwrite his new religious stance; to give it both credibility and acceptability to the Egyptian people.

It is in these remains that we see the new artistic tendencies known as the Amarna style. Temples and Taxation Despite this religious coexistence, a text from Karnak refers to new taxes that were imposed on temples and municipalities by the king in order to fund the Aten buildings.

This was unusual, as generally temples were exempt from taxation.

Early reign

Temples were not merely places of worship, but also centers for the storage of grain and other necessities, as well as being substantial landowners in their own right. The king parceled out land either as favors or as remuneration to courtiers and the nobility, who were then heavily taxed.

The common classes worked the land in return for a percentage of the crop produced. They were usually free from military service, but had to pay taxes.

Early egyptian religious beliefs and akhenatens

The artisanal classes and merchants were obliged to do military service and pay taxes. The only ones who escaped these obligations were the priesthood, who naturally grew rich faster than anyone else.

Talatat blocks from Akhenaten's Aten temple in Karnak. A letter from his Memphis steward, dated year 5, 3rd Peret, day 19, greets the king as Amenhotep with all his titles, informing him that his establishments are flourishing.

The reforms of Akhenaten

Only twenty-four days later, the first proclamation of the Amarna boundary markers was made in the name of Akhenaten. Although it is impossible to say exactly why Akhenaten felt the need to leave Thebes, he made the point in the Amarna proclamations, that the new site was fresh ground, owing allegiance to neither god, nor person.

A fresh start in the center of Egypt, rather than to the north or the south, may have seemed the ideal solution for the young king. Maybe he saw a place in between the two as a balance, as a restoration of Maat. Archaeology has shown that even people living in Amarna continued worshipping their own household gods.Akhenaten was an intellectual and philosophical revolutionary who had the power and wealth to indulge his ideas.

However, the ancient Egyptians were a deeply religious people who loved their ancient traditions and were not ready to embrace such radical changes. Akhenaten, also spelled Akhenaton, Akhnaton, or Ikhnaton, also called Amenhotep IV, Greek Amenophis, king (–36 bce) of ancient Egypt of the 18th dynasty, who established a new cult dedicated to the Aton, the sun’s disk (hence his assumed name, Akhenaten, meaning “beneficial to Aton”).

Early Egyptian Religious Beliefs and Akhenaten's Reforms Words | 12 Pages.

History Behind the Heresy

Early Egyptian Religious Beliefs and Akhenaten's Reforms During the New Kingdom of Egypt (from through B.C.), there came a sweeping change in the religious structure of the ancient Egyptian civilization.

Ancient Egyptian religion: Ancient Egyptian religion, indigenous beliefs of ancient Egypt. ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA. Start Your Free Trial Egyptian religious beliefs and practices were closely integrated into Egyptian society of the historical period.

His religious beliefs differed from traditional ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. He and his family moved from Thebes to Amarna, a city he built in dedication of the sun god he worshiped.

While in Amarna, the conditions in Egypt declined. The Old Kingdom of Egypt (from to B.C.), saw the commencement of many of the rigid, formal beliefs of the Egyptian civilization, both in regards to their religious and political beliefs, as they were very closely intertwined.

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