Akhenaten: The Heretic Pharaoh

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Akhenaten: the Heretic Pharaoh Pharaoh Akhenaten’s religious reforms greatly impacted all aspects of Egyptian government, culture, and history. Known as the Heretic Pharaoh, Akhenaten upended the classic and traditional ideals of Egyptian religion, and replaced them with entirely unique principles that rocked the Egyptian world. Why is the artwork and culture from his reign dramatically different from classic Egyptian norms? However, most importantly, why was Akhenaten almost written out of Egyptian history? Born Amenhotep IV, Akhenaten ruled in the New Kingdom period of Egyptian history, (1550 – 1070 B.C.) in the 18th Dynasty. The exact years of his reign are debated by historians, but they generally agree that he reigned between 1350 and…show more content…
“when the one religion severely condemns any kind of magic or sorcery which flourishes so abundantly in the other; or when the insatiable zest of the Egyptian for making images of his gods in clay, stone and metal, to which our museums owe so much, is contrasted with the way in which the making of the image of any living or visionary being is bluntly forbidden” (Freud 33). Here, Freud highlights the discrepancy between the Egyptian endorsement and Christian opposition to idolatry and witchcraft found in Exodus 20:3-6, “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God…” and in Leviticus 19:31, ““Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God (NIV).” Egyptian custom encouraged witchcraft, and was consummately based upon idol worship, while Moses was forthright about God’s condemnation upon these acts. The claim that Judaism could be a counterfeit of Akhenaten’s new religion is

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