Countess - The Mad Pharaoh





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Published on Mar 27, 2012

From the album "Burning Scripture" (2010). Though there are examples of earlier cultures who worshipped a single deity, the first known occurrence of the worship of one god as an institutionalized religion - monotheism - lies in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians had a rich polytheistic religion, until a pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty appeared named Amenophis (Amenhotep) IV. He claimed the god Ra had told him that Ra was the only real god. The king changed Ra's name to Aton (Aten), meaning the sun, to underline his uniqueness and the pharaoh forbade the worship of other gods. He even changed his name to Echnaton (Akhenaten), meaning 'breath of Aton'. This mad pharaoh not only forbade the worship of his people's true gods but actively destroyed their statues and temples and persecuted their priests. In short, he was the world's first religious persecutor, thereby setting a pattern that subsequent monotheistic religions have been eager to follow.
Because he was fully obsessed with his religious aberration, Amenophis IV paid little attention to his duties. He wasn't interested in politics or military concerns and Egypt suffered under his rule. When he died, the people eagerly did away with Aton and turned back to their true gods. Sadly, the damage had been done and the cursed seed of Aton lingered.

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