I realize that my opinion of ancient rulers is not a popular one, and that it is rather jaded, world-weary, and reminiscent of sour grapes. I, like the author of Genesis, recognize the need for authority and order, but am deeply suspicious of those who seek wealth and power, not only today but in the distant past.
I also feel that most people who enjoy learning about ancient Egypt develop a highly romanitized view of that world. The glory we see in the tomb of Tut was enjoyed by only a few, and probably not even by the crippled Tut himself. We can't just attribute the suffering of Tut and his nation to the choices of Akhenaten. It was the outcome of an oppressively superstitious culture with a rigid caste system of exploitation.
Even Egyptologists often take the propaganda of kings at face value. We want to believe that leaders care about followers and the world (as an extension of a loving God), but in general people get to be leaders for the wrong reasons. They usually care more about themselves and their own personal agenda than serving others. The most selfish and devious eventually rise to the top in all organizations/societies. They have to lie, kill, and destroy in order to execute their agenda and convince their organizations/nations and the public that it is all for their good. There are very few safeguards to prevent this from happening over and over.
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© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.