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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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The Dawn of the Amarna Period

The Dawn of the Amarna Period

(p.62) Chapter 3 The Dawn of the Amarna Period
Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism

James K. Hoffmeier

Oxford University Press

This chapter introduces the earlier years of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), seeking to understand his early religious preferences. Why did he develop an aversion for Amun-Re, and how could this once powerful god be so quickly demoted? The developments in Akhenaten’s religion are followed, as well as the changes that took place in or shortly after his first year in office. The old god, Re-Harakhty, initially became associated with the earliest expression of Aten, and his first didactic name is introduced no later than the king’s second year in power. Then slowly this falcon god was replaced by just the sun-disc and its rays, and this iconic representation of Aten would remain the official way of presenting Akhenaten’s god.

Keywords:   Re-Harakhty, sun-god, Aten, Amenhotep IV, Akhenaten

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