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Amenophis IV. (about B.C. 1500), took place against the supremacy of
Amen in the middle of the XVIIIth dynasty, but it was unsuccessful. This
king hated the god and his name so strongly that he changed his own name
into that of "Khu-en-Aten," _i.e._, "the glory of the solar Disk," and
ordered the name of Amen to be obliterated, wherever possible, on
temples and other great monuments; and this was actually done in many
places. It is impossible to say exactly what the religious views of the
king were, but it is certain that he wished to substitute the cult of
Aten, a form of the Sun-god worshipped at Annu (_i.e._, On or
Heliopolis) in very ancient times, for that of Amen. "Aten" means
literally the "Disk of the Sun," and though it is difficult to
understand at this distance of time in what the difference between the
worship of R[=a] and the worship of "R[=a] in his Disk" consisted, we
may be certain that there must have been some subtle, theological
distinction between them. But whatever the difference may have been, it
was sufficient to make Amenophis forsake the old capital Thebes and
withdraw to a place [Footnote: The site is marked by the ruins of Tell
el-Amarna.]some distance to the north of that city, where he carried on
the worship of his beloved god Aten. In the pictures of the Aten worship
which have come down to us the god appears in the form of a disk from
which proceed a number of arms and hands that bestow life upon his
worshippers. After the death of Amenophis the cult of Aten declined, and
Amen resumed his sway over the minds of the Egyptians.

Want of space forbids the insertion here of a full list of the titles of
Amen, and a brief extract from the Papyrus of the Princess Nesi-Khensu
[Footnote: For a hieroglyphic transcript of the hieratic text, see
Maspero, _Mémoires_, tom. i., p. 594 ff.] must suffice to describe the
estimation in which the god was held about B.C. 1000. In this Amen is
addressed as "the holy god, the lord of all the gods, Amen-R[=a], the
lord of the thrones of the world, the prince of Apt (_i.e._, Karnak),
the holy soul who came into being in the beginning, the great god who
liveth by right and truth, the first ennead who gave birth unto the
other two enneads, [Footnote: _i.e._, the great, the little, and the
least companies of the gods; each company (_paut_) contained nine gods.]
the being in whom every god existeth, the One of One, the creator of the
things which came into being when the earth took form in the beginning,
whose births are hidden, whose forms are manifold, and whose growth
cannot be known. The holy Form, beloved and terrible and mighty.... the
lord of space, the mighty One of the form of Khepera, who came into
existence through Khepera, the lord of the form of Khepera; when he came
into being nothing existed except himself. He shone upon the earth from
primeval time, he the Disk, the prince of light and radiance.... When
this holy god moulded himself, the heavens and the earth were made by
his heart (_or_ mind).... He is the Disk of the Moon, the beauties
whereof pervade the heavens and the earth, the untiring and beneficent
king whose will germinateth from rising to setting, from whose divine
eyes men and women come forth, and from whose mouth the gods do come,
and [by whom] food and meat and drink are made and provided, and [by
whom] the things which exist are created. He is the lord of time, and he
traverseth eternity; he is the aged one who reneweth his youth.... He is
the Being who cannot be known, and he is more hidden than all the
gods.... He giveth long life and multiplieth the years of those who are
favoured by him, he is the gracious protector of him whom he setteth in
his heart, and he is the fashioner of eternity and everlastingness. He
is the king of the North and of the South, Amen-R[=a], king of the gods,
the lord of heaven, and of earth, and of the waters and of the
mountains, with whose coming into being the earth began its existence,
the mighty one, more princely than, all the gods of the first company."

In the above extract, it will be noticed that Amen is called the "One of
One," or the "One One," a title which has been explained as having no
reference whatever to the unity of God as understood in modern times:
but unless these words are intended to express the idea of unity, what
is their meaning? It is also said that he is "without second," and thus
there is no doubt whatever that when the Egyptians declared their god to
be One, and without a second, they meant precisely what the Hebrews and
Arabs meant when they declared their God to be One. [Footnote: See
Deut., vi. 4; and _Koran_, chapter cxii.] Such a God was an entirely
different Being from the personifications of the powers of nature and
the existences which, for want of a better name, have been called

But, besides R[=a], there existed in very early times a god called
HORUS, whose symbol was the hawk, which, it seems, was the first living
thing worshipped by the Egyptians; Horus was the Sun-god, like R[=a],
and in later times was confounded with Horus the son of Isis. The chief
forms of Horus given in the texts are: (1) HERU-UR (Aroueris), (2)
Connected with one of the forms of Horus, originally, were the four gods
of the cardinal points, or the "four, spirits of Horus," who supported
heaven at its four corners; their names were HAPI, TUAMUTEE, AMSET, and
QEBHSENNUF, and they represented the north, east, south, and west
respectively. The intestines of the dead were embalmed and placed in
four jars, each being under the protection, of one of these four gods.
Other important gods of the dead are: (1) ANUBIS, the son of R[=a] or
Osiris, who presided over the abode of the dead, and with AP-UAT shared
the dominion of the "funeral mountain"; the symbol of each of these gods
is a jackal. (2) HU and SA, the children of Temu, or R[=a], who appear
in the boat of the sun at the creation, and later in the Judgment Scene.
(3) The goddess MA[=A]T, who was associated with Thoth, Ptah, and Khnemu
in the work of creation; the name means "straight," hence what is right,
true, truth, real, genuine, upright, righteous, just, steadfast,
unalterable, and the like. (4) The goddess HET-HERT (Hathor), _i.e._,
the "house of Horus," which was that part of the sky where the sun rose
and set. The sycamore tree was sacred to her, and the deceased prays to
be fed by her with celestial food from out of it (5) The goddess
MEH-URT, who represented that portion of the sky in which the sun takes
his daily course; here it was, according to the view held at one period
at least, that the judgment of the deceased was supposed to take place.
(6) NEITH, the mother of SEBEK, who was also a goddess of the eastern
portion of the sky. (7) SEKHET and BAST, who are represented with the
heads of a lion and a cat, and who were symbols of the destroying,
scorching power of the sun, and of the gentle heat thereof,
respectively. (8) SERQ, who was a form of Isis. (9) TA-URT (Thoueris),
who was the genetrix of the gods. (10) UATCHET, who was a form of
Hather, and who had dominion over the northern sky, just as NEKHEBET was
mistress of the southern sky. (11) NEHEB-KA, who was a goddess who
possessed magical powers, and in some respects resembled Isis in her
attributes. (12) SEBAK, who was a form of the Sun-god, and was in later
times confounded with Sebak, or Sebek, the friend of Set. (13) AMSU (or
MIN or KUEM), who was the personification of the generative and
reproductive powers of nature. (14) BEB or BABA, who was the "firstborn
son of Osiris." (15) H[=a]pi, who was the god of the Nile, and with whom
most of the great gods were identified.

The names of the beings who at one time or another were called "gods" in
Egypt are so numerous that a mere list of them would fill scores of
pages, and in a work of this kind would be out of place. The reader is,
therefore, referred to Lanzone's _Mitologia Egizia_, where a
considerable number are enumerated and described.



The belief that the deeds done in the body would be subjected to an
analysis and scrutiny by the divine powers after the death of a man
belongs to the earliest period of Egyptian civilization, and this belief
remained substantially the same in all generations. Though we have no
information as to the locality where the Last Judgment took place, or
whether the Egyptian soul passed into the judgment-hall immediately
after the death of the body, or after the mummification was ended and
the body was deposited in the tomb, it is quite certain that the belief
in the judgment was as deeply rooted in the Egyptians as the belief in
immortality. There seems to have been no idea of a general judgment when
all those who had lived in the world should receive their reward for the
deeds done in the body; on the contrary, all the evidence available goes
to show that each soul was dealt with individually, and was either
permitted to pass into the kingdom of Osiris and of the blessed, or was
destroyed straightway. Certain passages in the texts seem to suggest the
idea of the existence of a place for departed spirits wherein the souls
condemned in the judgment might dwell, but it must be remembered that it
was the enemies of R[=a], the Sun-god, that inhabited this region; and
it is impossible to imagine that the divine powers who presided over the
judgment would permit the souls of the wicked to live after they had
been condemned and to become enemies of those who were pure and blessed.
On the other hand, if we attach any importance to the ideas of the Copts
upon this subject, and consider that they represent ancient beliefs
which they derived from the Egyptians traditionally, it must be admitted
that the Egyptian underworld contained some region wherein the souls of
the wicked were punished for an indefinite period. The Coptic lives of
saints and martyrs are full of allusions to the sufferings of the
damned, but whether the descriptions of these are due to imaginings of
the mind of the Christian Egyptian or to the bias of the scribe's
opinions cannot always be said. When we consider that the Coptic hell
was little more than a modified form of the ancient Egyptian Amenti, or
Amentet, it is difficult to believe that it was the name of the Egyptian
underworld only which was borrowed, and that the ideas and beliefs
concerning it which were held by the ancient Egyptians were not at the
same time absorbed. Some Christian writers are most minute in their
classification of the wicked in hell, as we may see from the following
extract from the life of Pisentios, [Footnote: Ed. Amélineau, Paris,
1887, p. 144 f.] Bishop of Keft, in the VIIth century of our era. The
holy man had taken refuge in a tomb wherein a number of mummies had been
piled up, and when he had read the list of the names of the people who
had been buried there he gave it to his disciple to replace. Then he
addressed his disciple and admonished him to do the work of God with
diligence, and warned him that every man must become even as were the
mummies which lay before them. "And some," said he, "whose sins have
been many are now in Amenti, others are in the outer darkness, others
are in pits and ditches filled with fire, and others are in the river of
fire: upon these last no one hath bestowed rest. And others, likewise,
are in a place of rest, by reason of their good works." When the
disciple had departed, the holy man began to talk to one of the mummies
who had been a native of the town of Erment, or Armant, and whose father
and mother had been called Agricolaos and Eustathia. He had been a
worshipper of Poseidon, and had never heard that Christ had come into
the world. "And," said he "woe, woe is me because I was born into the
world. Why did not my mother's womb become my tomb? When, it became
necessary for me to die, the Kosmokratôr angels were the first to come
round about me, and they told me of all the sins which I had committed,
and they said unto me, 'Let him that can save thee from the torments
into which thou shalt be cast come hither.' And they had in their hands
iron knives, and pointed goads which were like unto sharp spears, and
they drove them into my sides and gnashed upon me with their teeth. When
a little time afterwards my eyes were opened I saw death hovering about
in the air in its manifold forms, and at that moment angels who were
without pity came and dragged my wretched soul from my body, and having
tied it under the form of a black horse they led me away to Amonti. Woe
be unto every sinner like unto myself who hath been born into the world!
O my master and father, I was then delivered into the hands of a
multitude of tormentors who were without pity and who had each a
different form. Oh, what a number of wild beasts did I see in the way!
Oh, what a number of powers were there that inflicted punishment upon
me! And it came to pass that when I had been cast into the outer
darkness, I saw a great ditch which was more than two hundred cubits
deep, and it was filled with reptiles; each reptile had seven heads, and
the body of each was like unto that of a scorpion. In this place also
lived the Great Worm, the mere sight of which terrified him that looked
thereat. In his mouth he had teeth like unto iron stakes, and one took
me and threw me to this Worm which never ceased to eat; then immediately
all the [other] beasts gathered together near him, and when he had
filled his mouth [with my flesh], all the beasts who were round about me
filled theirs." In answer to the question of the holy man as to whether
he had enjoyed any rest or period without suffering, the mummy replied:
"Yea, O my father, pity is shown unto those who are in torment every
Saturday and every Sunday. As soon as Sunday is over we are cast into
the torments which we deserve, so that we may forget the years which we
have passed in the world; and as soon as we have forgotten the grief of
this torment we are cast into another which is still more grievous."

Now, it is easy to see from the above description of the torments which
the wicked were supposed to suffer, that the writer had in his mind some
of the pictures with which we are now familiar, thanks to the excavation
of tombs which has gone on in Egypt during the last few years; and it is
also easy to see that he, in common with many other Coptic writers,
misunderstood the purport of them. The outer darkness, _i.e._, the
blackest place of all in the underworld, the river of fire, the pits of
fire, the snake and the scorpion, and such like things, all have their
counterparts, or rather originals, in the scenes which accompany the
texts which describe the passage of the sun through the underworld
during the hours of the night. Having once misunderstood the general
meaning of such scenes, it was easy to convert the foes of R[=a], the
Sun-god, into the souls of the damned, and to look upon the burning up
of such foes - who were after all only certain powers of nature
personified - as the well-merited punishment of those who had done evil
upon the earth. How far the Copts reproduced unconsciously the views
which had been held by their ancestors for thousands of years cannot be
said, but even after much allowance has been made for this possibility,
there remains still to be explained a large number of beliefs and views
which seem to have been the peculiar product of the Egyptian Christian

It has been said above that the idea of the judgment of the dead is of
very great antiquity in Egypt; indeed, it is so old that it is useless
to try to ascertain the date of the period when it first grew up. In the
earliest religious texts known to us, there are indications that the
Egyptians expected a judgment, but they are not sufficiently definite to
argue from; it is certainly doubtful if the judgment was thought to be
as thorough and as searching then as in the later period. As far back as
the reign of Men-kau-R[=a], the Mycerinus of the Greeks, about B.C.
3600, a religious text, which afterwards formed chapter 30B of the Book
of the Dead, was found inscribed on an iron slab; in the handwriting of
the god Thoth, by the royal son or prince Herut[=a]t[=a]f. [Footnote:
See _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, Translation, p. 80.] The original
purpose of the composition of this text cannot be said, but there is
little doubt that it was intended, to benefit the deceased in the
judgment, and, if we translate its title literally, it was intended to
prevent his heart from "falling away from him in the underworld." In the
first part of it the deceased, after adjuring his heart, says, "May
naught stand up to oppose me in the judgment; may there be no opposition
to me in the presence of the sovereign princes; may there be no parting
of thee from me in the presence of him that keepeth the Balance!... May
the officers of the court of Osiris (in Egyptian _Shenit_), who form the
conditions of the lives of men, not cause my name to stink! Let [the
judgment] be satisfactory unto me, let the hearing be satisfactory unto
me, and let me have joy of heart at the weighing of words. Let not that
which is false be uttered against me before the Great God, the Lord of

Now, although the papyrus upon, which this statement and prayer are
found was written about two thousand years after Men-kau-R[=a] reigned,
there is no doubt that they were copied from texts which were themselves
copied at a much earlier period, and that the story of the finding of
the text inscribed upon an iron slab is contemporary with its actual
discovery by Herut[=a]t[=a]f. It is not necessary to inquire here
whether the word "find" (in Egyptian _qem_) means a genuine discovery or
not, but it is clear that those who had the papyrus copied saw no
absurdity or impropriety in ascribing the text to the period of
Men-kau-R[=a]. Another text, which afterwards also became a chapter of
the Book of the Dead, under the title "Chapter of not letting the heart
of the deceased be driven away from him in the underworld," was
inscribed on a coffin of the XIth dynasty, about B.C. 2500, and in it we
have the following petition: "May naught stand up to oppose me in
judgment in the presence of the lords of the trial (literally, 'lords of
things'); let it not be said of me and of that which I have done, 'He
hath done deeds against that which is very right and true'; may naught
be against me in the presence of the Great God, the Lord of Amentet."
[Footnote: _Chapters of Coming Forth by Day_, p. 78.] From these
passages we are right in assuming that before the end of the IVth
dynasty the idea of being "weighed in the balance" was already evolved;
that the religious schools of Egypt had assigned to a god the duty of
watching the balance when cases were being tried; that this weighing in
the balance took place in the presence of the beings called _Shenit_,
who were believed to control the acts and deeds of men; that it was
thought that evidence unfavourable to the deceased might be produced by
his foes at the judgment; that the weighing took place in the presence
of the Great God, the Lord of Amentet; and that the heart of the
deceased might fail him either physically or morally. The deceased
addresses his heart, calling it is "mother," and next identifies it with
his _ka_ or double, coupling the mention of the _ka_ with the name of
the god Khnemu: these facts are exceedingly important, for they prove
that the deceased considered his heart to be the source of his life and
being, and the mention of the god Khnemu takes the date of the
composition back to a period coaeval with the beginnings of religious
thought in Egypt. It was the god Khnemu who assisted Thoth in performing
the commands of God at the creation, and one very interesting sculpture
at Philae shows Khnemu in the act of fashioning man upon a potter's
wheel. The deceased, in mentioning Khnemu's name, seems to invoke his
aid in the judgment as fashioner of man and as the being who is in some
respects responsible for the manner of his life upon earth.

In Chapter 30A there is no mention made of the "guardian of the
balance," and the deceased says, "May naught stand up to oppose me in
judgment in the presence of the lords of things!" The "lords of things"
may be either the "lords of creation," _i.e._, the great cosmic gods, or
the "lords of the affairs [of the hall of judgment]," _i.e._, of the
trial. In this chapter the deceased addresses not Khnemu, but "the gods
who dwell in the divine clouds, and who are exalted by reason of their
sceptres," that is to say, the four gods of the cardinal points, called
Mestha, H[=a]pi Tuamutef, and Qebhsennuf, who also presided over the
chief internal organs of the human body. Here, again, it seems as if the
deceased was anxious to make these gods in some way responsible for the
deeds done by him in his life, inasmuch as they presided, over the
organs that were the prime movers of his actions. In any case, he
considers them in, the light of intercessors, for he beseeches them to
"speak fair words unto R[=a]" on his behalf, and to make him to prosper
before the goddess Nehebka. In this case, the favour of R[=a], the
Sun-god, the visible emblem of the almighty and eternal God, is sought
for, and also that of the serpent goddess, whose attributes are not yet
accurately defined, but who has much to do with the destinies of the
dead. No mention whatever is made of the Lord of Amentet - Osiris.

Before we pass to the consideration of the manner in which the judgment
is depicted upon the finest examples of the illustrated papyri,
reference must be made to an interesting vignette in the papyri of
Nebseni [Footnote: British Museum, No. 9900.] and Amen-neb. [Footnote 2:
British Museum, No. 0964.] In both of these papyri we see a figure of
the deceased himself being weighed in the balance against his own heart
in the presence of the god Osiris. It seems probable that a belief was
current at one time in ancient Egypt concerning the possibility of the
body being weighed against the heart, with the view of finding out if
the former had obeyed the dictates of the latter; be that as it may,
however, it is quite certain that this remarkable variant of the
vignette of Chapter 30B had some special meaning, and, as it occurs in
two papyri which date from the XVIIIth dynasty, we are justified in
assuming that it represents a belief belonging to a much older period.
The judgment here depicted must, in any case, be different from that
which forms such a striking scene in the later illustrated papyri of the
XVIIIth and following dynasties.

We have now proved that the idea of the judgment of the dead was
accepted in religious writings as early as the IVth dynasty, about B.C.
3600, but we have to wait nearly two thousand years before we find it in
picture form. Certain scenes which are found in the Book of the Dead as
vignettes accompanying certain texts or chapters, _e.g._, the Fields of
Hetep, or the Elysian Fields, are exceedingly old, and are found on
sarcophagi of the XIth and XIIth dynasties; but the earliest picture
known of the Judgment Scene is not older than the XVIIIth dynasty. In
the oldest Theban papyri of the Book of the Dead no Judgment Scene is
forthcoming, and when we find it wanting in such authoritative documents
as the Papyrus of Nebseni and that of Nu, [Footnote: British Museum, No.
10,477.] we must take it for granted that there was some reason for its
omission. In the great illustrated papyri, in which, the Judgment Scene
is given in full, it will be noticed that it comes at the beginning of
the work, and that it is preceded by hymns and by a vignette. Thus, in
the Papyrus of Ani, [Footnote: British Museum, No. 10,470.] we have a
hymn to R[=a] followed by a vignette representing the sunrise, and a
hymn to Osiris; and in the Papyrus of Hunefer, [Footnote 2: British
Museum, No. 9901.] though the hymns are different, the arrangement is
the same. We are justified, then, in assuming that the hymns and the
Judgment Scene together formed an introductory section to the Book of
the Dead, and it is possible that it indicates the existence of the
belief, at least during the period of the greatest power of the priests
of Amen, from B.C. 1700 to B.C. 800, that the judgment of the dead for
the deeds done in the body preceded the admission of the dead into the
kingdom of Osiris. As the hymns which accompany the Judgment Scene are
fine examples of a high class of devotional compositions, a few

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