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Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism$
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James K. Hoffmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199792085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.001.0001

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Far Frontiers Sky and Sun Together

Far Frontiers Sky and Sun Together

(p.32) Chapter 2 Far Frontiers Sky and Sun Together
Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism

James K. Hoffmeier

Oxford University Press

The emergence of Amun, the sky god of Thebes, is examined here, along with the establishment of Karnak Temple. Amun is an obscure deity whose origin remains uncertain, and yet he was elevated to the top position in the 12th Dynasty. Then the merger between the sun-god, Re, with Amun occurred around 2000 B.C.. This merger seems to have been initiated by Amenemhet I, who sought to unify northern and southern Egypt after the previous era of civil strife. Amun-Re’s ascendency continues into the 15th century, when he vaulted to the top of the pantheon and was the unquestioned “king of the gods.” The penetrating question is, how does Amun-Re within less than a decade go from occupying such a lofty perch by Akhenaten’s predecessors to being ostracized and then persecuted by Akhenaten?

Keywords:   Amun, Re, Karnak Temple, Thebes, Amenemhet I

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