Harleen Sangha/The Washington Post
Only chaos was born during the 6th year of Akhenaten’s reign when a devotional civilian who attended the Thebes festival, held particularly for the sun disc, Aten, was ruthlessly attacked by a terrorist, not confirmed as an individual or group act, who was making statements against the support for the Hittite empire.
In this ongoing conflict between the Mitannis, a Syrian empire who have been allied with Egypt in the past, and the Hittites in Anatolia, there is much to be discussed and done. As both sides ask for aid from the Pharaoh for the war waging between both parties, the council of Akhenaten was conflicted and concerned as to which side to choose, or whether to choose a side at all.
While members such as the great Nefertiti, the king’s royal wife, believed that the Mitannis are the ones to be trusted because they agree to convert the Atenism and based on her avid support for the king and his decisions. However, these such decisions cannot be seen as credible as the council saw a fair amount of condemnation of the forgery of documents from Ptahmose, Royal Secretariat. On the contrary, members like Rib-Hadda, the King of Byblos believed that the Hittite’s offer for the help in the development of Egypt’s iron industry was a more entertaining proposal, especially in wake of the economic condition of Egypt presently.
When looking for alternate solutions on conversion of the populace to Atenism, Ahmose, the Overseer of Upper Egypt, suggested that there may be a festival held in honour of Aten, as a form of intricate propaganda for the conversion campaign and a means for reaching economic stability once again.
However, it is important to note how figures like Horemheb, the General and cousin of the King, constantly stressed the need for more funding the stationing of troops for more protection of the citizens and royal members during this arduous dilemma. He stated that this happened because, “[The council was] bickering over marriage and kingdoms, wasn’t [using the time] to put up security. Years of being a general payed off, [however] I warned them they never listened.”
General Horemheb also clarifies the use of the soldiers as, “[I] wouldn’t give anyone [the soldiers at this time], the men might be used to kill others rather than do their duty to defend. [I] only rent the soldiers and don’t own them, so I don’t give [them] now.”
In response, Tutankhaten, the Prince, stated how this was a small festival to being with and did not seem to need security. As of now members like Nefertiti and Ahmose agree that terrorism and their organization must be addressed and the innocent must be protected. Negotiation with the organization may have to happen.
Shortly afterwards, the council decided as a whole in supporting the Hittite Empire despite the attack primarily for their iron resources and seeing it as the best solution for Egypt as of now. The Mitannis have not responded yet, however we can only speculate as to whether or not it will be hostile, as only time can tell.