Great Hymn to the Aten

From Academic Kids

The Great Hymn to the Aten was found in the tomb of Ay, in the rock tombs at Akhetaten. It is attributed to Pharaoh Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) himself, and gives us a glimpse of the artistic outpouring of the Amarna period.

The hymn suggests that Akhenaten considered Aten as the only god, and creator of the universe, particularly in the verses translated as:

How many are your deeds,
Though hidden from sight,
O Sole God beside whom there is none!
You made the earth as you wished, you alone,
All peoples, herds, and flocks;
All upon earth that walk on legs,
All on high that fly on wings,
The lands of Khor and Kush,
The land of Egypt.

Akhenaten's religious reforms (later regarded heretical and reverted by his sucessor Tutankhamun) are the earliest known example of monotheistic thought.

The Hymn has a remarkable similarity to Psalm 104, with which it is frequently compared. The implifications of this, are heavily controversial, since they touch many nerves in those of fundamentalist Judao-Christian religion.

The "Hymn to the Aten" was set to music by Philip Glass in his opera Akhnaten.

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