James P. Allen

Akhenaten had Aten’s didactic name written in two cartouches (as the pharaohs had their names written) to indicate that the sun disk was the ruler of the universe. The two cartouches shown here read, from right to left: “The living one, Re-Harakhti [the bird crowned with the sun disk], who becomes active in the Akhet in his identity of the light that is in the sun disk.” The second cartouche, at left, contains the didactic name after the word “Akhet.” Akhenaten later replaced “Re-Harakhti,” the name of the sun god, with a word for “light” not associated with any god—thus divorcing his religion from traditional Egyptian polytheism.