Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Pharaoh Akhenaten's Hymn to the Sun

Part of the hymn..

How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face (of man).
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone: All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon (its) feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.
The countries of Syria and Nubia, the land of Egypt,
Thou settest every man in his place,
Thou suppliest their necessities:
Everyone has his food, and his time of life is reckoned.
Their tongues are separate in speech,
And their natures as well;
Their skins are distinguished,
As thou distinguishest the foreign peoples.
Thou makest a Nile in the underworld,
Thou bringest forth as thou desirest
To maintain the people (of Egypt)
According as thou madest them for thyself,
The lord of all of them, wearying (himself) with them,
The lord of every land, rising for them,
The Aton of the day, great of majesty.

Aton or Aten was the sun-god that was brought to importance from being a minor god to the sole god, it was in fact a step forward from the worship of many gods to the worship of one god. It was the pharaoh Amenhotep 111 that established this change, his son Akhenaton established this solar god then took it on himself to create another new city, and abandoning Thebes chose a place by a river's curving bank and built the city of Akhetan. He moved here with his wife Nefertiti and their three children. There were two temples, one dedicated to the rising of the sun Aton, the other to its setting, this temple was presided over by Nefertiti. Of course it did'nt last long, jealous priests saw to that, and the city was overthrown and the fate of Akhenaton and his family unknown.

ref; Man and the Sun - Jacquetta Hawkes.

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