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お願いします (7) If Memphis were the brain of Egypt's operations, Thebes was its heart. Instead of government offices and business centers, temples sprawled across the landscape. There were so many columns gracing so many entrances to so many temples that Homer called the city "Hundred-Gated Thebes." (8) When the royal barge docked at Thebes, priests would have greeted the king. What would Amenhotep IV have thought when he watched the power-hungry priests approach his father? Were they humble? Or had they grown too big for their kilts? The temples of Amun acquired more and more land with each passing year. Their farms were not meager vegetable plots feeding servants of the gods, but a thriving mini-kingdom lorded over by the priests. If the priesthood didn't eat away at his father's power, it certainly ate away at his father's treasury. With each conquest, Thebes received a share of the plunder. With every tribute or trade mission, Thebes took its cut. It was the gods' goodwill that had brought Egypt to this level of glory; payment was expected. (9) Although there were temples to many gods at Thebes, the main god of Thebes was Amun, "the hidden one." Amenhotep IV would have been left behind when his father followed the priests into the dark recesses of the inner temple. Only the holiest of holy could enter the inner sanctum where secret rituals were performed. Amenhotep IV was left out again. (10) Then, in a flash, everything changed. Amenhotep IV's older brother, groomed for the throne, died. All eyes turned to Amenhotep IV. And what did they see?

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(7) メンフィスがエジプトの活動の脳にあたるならば、テーベはその心臓でした。 官庁と商業の中心の代わりに、神殿がその景色に広がっていました。 多くの神殿の多くの入り口を美しく飾る多くの円柱があったので、ホメロスは、その都を「百の門のあるテーベ」と呼びました。 (8) 国王の船がテーベに停泊した時、神官たちは王に挨拶したことでしょう。 権力に飢えた聖職者たちが彼の父親に近づくのを見たとき、アメンホテプ4世は何を考えたでしょうか? 彼らはつつましかったでしょうか? あるいは、彼らは僧衣の割にはあまりに強大になったでしょうか? アメン神をまつる神殿は、年々ますます多くの土地を得ました。彼らの農場は、神への奉仕者に食料を供給するちっぽけな菜園ではなく、神官たちによって支配された繁栄する小王国となっていました。 神官が彼の父親の権力をむしばんでいないとしても、神官は彼の父親の金蔵を確かにむしばんでいました。 征服が行われるたびに、テーベは略奪の分け前を受け取りました。 貢物や交易を求める使節団があればいつも、テーベはその取り分を得ました。エジプトをこれほどまでに繁栄させたのは、神の有難い御意思でした; (神への)支払いが期待されたのです。 (9) テーベには多くの神々をまつる神殿がありましたが、テーベの主神は、「隠れしもの」であるアメン神でした。 彼の父親が神官の後について神殿の内陣の暗い奥まった場所に入って行ったとき、アメンホテプ4世は後に残されたことでしょう。神聖な中でも最も神聖なものだけが、秘密の儀式が行われる内陣の聖所に入ることができました。 アメンホテプ4世は、再び除外されました。 (10) それから、瞬く間に、すべてが変わりました。 王位継承者として訓練されていたアメンホテプ4世の兄が、死んだのです。 すべての目は、アメンホテプ4世に向けられました。 そして、それらの目は何を見たでしょうか?

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    お願いします。 (4) Different towns in Egypt worshipped differnt gods. The leaders of the town would try to convince everyone that their god was the most powerful. If their god was powerful, it meant they were powerful, too. Before Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, each had its own capital with its own goddess. Upper Egypt's goddess looked like a vulture. Lower Egypt's goddess looked like a cobra. After Upper and Lower Egypt unified, the kings wore a crown with both a vulture and a cobra to symbolize the joining of the regions. (5) One of the pharaoh's most important jobs was to take care of the gods. If the gods were happy, the Egyptians figured they would be happy, too. The crops would grow, the Nile would flood to the right level, and Egypt would be at peace with its neighbors. Life would be in balance, or ma'at. The pharaohs built great temples to show respect to the gods. Inside each temple, in the innermost room, they placed a shrine. And inside the shrine, they kept a statue of the god for whom the temple had been built. Every day the priests served the statue as if it were alive. (6) One pharaoh, King Neferhotep (who ruled about 1741 to 1730 BCE), paid special attention to the temple at Abydos. King Neferhotep wanted to be sure the priests were taking care of the statue exactly as they were supposed to take care of it. After all, those priests were the king's representatives. So if they displeased the gods, then the gods were displeased with the king as well. Ma'at would be thrown all out of whack.

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    お願いします (14) About the time that Amenhotep IV took the throne, he also took a wife―Nefertiti, which means "The Beautiful Woman Has Come." His parents' unusually close relationship could have been the model that led Amehotep IV to break tradition again and share his power with "the Foremost Wife of the King, whom he loves, the Mistress of the Two Lands,... Nefertiti, living and young, forever and ever." Amenhotep IV's devotion to Nefertiti was displayed on temple walls. Traditional paintings of the king as a muscled, fierce warrior were replaced with paintings of the king as a loving, doting famiky man―Amenhotep kissing his wife, Amenhotep with a daughter on his knee, Amenhotep surrounded by his family. (15) Soon Amenhotep IV found another obsession. He latched onto an obscure sun god that his father had fancied, Aten, which means "the disk." In the fifth year of Amenhotep IV's reign, he changed his name to Akhenaten which means "Spirit of the Sun Disk." The name change was not as shocking as what followed. Akhenaten announced that the gods Egyptians had been worshiping for thousands of years no longer existed. The Aten was the one and only. Akhenaten cut off funds to the temples. There would be no more tributes to these false gods, no more temples built in Thebes, no more revenues funneled into the priesthood. Those riches woukd now go directly to the Aten and (perhaps rather shrewdly) to his representative on Earth, the king himself―Akhenaten. (16) The Aten needed his own city, a new capital built on new ground. Akhenaten sailed the Nile in search of the right spot to build the city. On the east bank of the Nike, halfway between Memphis and Thebes, a semicircle of cliffs rose above an arc of windswept desert. It was there, on an isolated strip of land, that Akhenaten built the city we know as Amarna.

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