14 Facts About Aten


The Aten was the disc of the sun and originally an aspect of Ra, the sun god in traditional ancient Egyptian religion.

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The worship of Aten was initially dismantled by Tutankhamun and later eradicated by Tutankhamun's former military general Horemheb.

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High relief and low relief illustrations of the Aten show it with a curved surface, therefore, the late scholar Hugh Nibley insisted that a more correct translation would be globe, orb or sphere, rather than disk.

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Solar Aten was extensively worshipped as a god in the reign of Amenhotep III when it was depicted as a falcon-headed man much like Ra.

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Principles of Aten's religion were recorded on the rock tomb walls of Akhetaten.

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Aten cares for every creature, and created a Nile river in the sky for the Syrians.

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Akhenaten represented himself not as a god, but as a son of Aten, shifting the previous methods of pharaohs claiming to be the embodiment of Horus.

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Aten is an evolution of the idea of a sun-god in Egyptian mythology, deriving a lot of his concepts of power and representation from the earlier god Ra but building on top of the power Ra represents.

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Aten carried absolute power in the universe, representing the life-giving force of light to the world as well as merging with the concept and goddess Ma'at to develop further responsibilities for Aten beyond the power of light itself.

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Cult-centre of Aten was at the new city Akhetaten; some other cult cities include Thebes and Heliopolis.

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The principles of Aten's cult were recorded on the rock walls of tombs of Amarna.

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Temples to the Aten were open-air structures with little-to-no roofing to maximize the amount of sunlight on the interior making them unique compared to other Egyptian temples of the time.

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Akhenaten was considered the 'high priest' or even a prophet of Aten, being the main propagator of the religion in Egypt during his reign.

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The cult of the Aten was still in Egypt for another ten years or so as it faded and there was no purge of the cult after Akhenaten's death.

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