The worship of Aten saw massive religious and spiritual changes in Ancient Egypt Akhenaten started a religious revolution but the priests of the old gods and many of the ancient Egyptians were totally against giving up their old gods in favor of Aten.
Pictures and Images of the Aten
Facts about Aten
Aten Profile & Fact File
Egyptian Name: Aten
Role & Function: The function of Aten is described as being the god of the sun
Rise of the god: Within four years of his reign, Akhenaten declared that all the old gods should be abandoned and replaced by one single god - the Aten
Status: Aten, was established and worshipped as the single deity of Egypt.
Egyptian Religion: The people of Egypt was forced to change from a polytheistic religion, the worship of many gods, to monotheism, meaning the worship of one god
Alternative Names: Aton
Symbols: The sun disk and the ankh
Title: "The Ra-Horus who rejoices in the horizon, in his/her Name of the Light which is seen in the sun disc."
Cult center: The new city of el Amarna (aka Akehetaten) was built which was located mid-way between Thebes and Memphis.
Worship of Aten: Aten was worshipped for 16 years from 1349BC - 1333BC
Temples: The Aten temples differed from the normal style of temples as they were open-roofed to allow the temples to be flooded with the rays of the sun
Statues: There were no statues to the God Aten as these were viewed as idolatry
Priests: Priests lost most of their power and concept of the Divine Kingship was further emphasised with Arkhenaten as the sole representative of Aten on earth.
Decline of Worship: The worship of Aten died after the death of the Pharaoh Akhenaten. In 1331 BC there was a growing backlash against the new religion and the new, young pharaoh changed his name from Tutankhaten to Tutankhamun and the new city and cult center at Armana was abandoned.
The Worship of
The worship of the Aten by the Heretic
Pharaoh Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti and
his son, Tutankhamen
Nefertiti, the wife of
The above picture depicting the worship of Aten is interesting as it shows the changes caused by the religious revolution instigated by Akhenaten:
Aten in Egyptian Mythology
Mythology and Facts about the Aten
Fact 1: There was just one short period of monotheism (the worship of one god) when Akhenaten promoted the worship of the Aten and built a new city called Armana where the only god Aten would be worshipped
Fact 2: The worship of the sun god Aten led to the belief that Aten was visible everywhere and was the fundamental life-giving force in the universe - not just a main god but the only god.
Fact 3: The role of Aten was that of a benevolent god
Fact 4: There is no direct Creation Myth relating to Aten, he was believed to have created everything. There was no family tree of gods
Fact 5: During the reign of Akhenaten the worship of any other gods were and even temples were demolished. The cult of the god Amun was particularly targeted. Akhenaten ordered the statues of the old gods to be destroyed.
Fact 6: Only Akhenaten knew the commandments of Aten. Akhenaten forced the population of Thebes, totalling over 20,000, to move to the new city of Amarna abandoning their businesses, homes and religion at Thebes.
Fact 7: The god Aten remained distant and incomprehensible to the Ancient Egyptians
Fact 8: As the sole, ruling god Aten received a royal title, inscribed like royal names in two oval cartouches
Fact 9: One of the sanctuaries of Aten was called the Hwt-benben (meaning 'mansion of the Benben'). This emphasized the relationship between Aten and the Sun cult of Heliopolis and the ancient myth of the Benben stone.
Fact 10: The Benben symbolized the primeval mound on which the sun god emerged from the primeval waters of Nun to create the universe
Fact 11: The Cult of Amun revived soon after the death of Akhenaten and Amun became the national god of ancient Egypt.