Great Hymn to Aten

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A Hymn of praise of Her-aakhuti (14th century BCE) 
by Akhenaten, translated by E. A. Wallis Budge
Great Hymn to Aten (also known as Great Hymn to the Aten) discovered in the tomb of Ay was most likely composed by Akhenaten.

Translation by Budge (1923)

Source: E.A.W. Budge, Tutankhamen: Amenism, Atenism and Egyptian Monotheism (1923), "A Hymn to Aten by Ai, Overseer of the House", pp. 122-135.

Great Hymn to Aten (in hieroglyphs)

1

A Hymn of praise of Her-aakhuti, the living one exalted in the Eastern Horizon in his name of Shu who is in the Aten, who liveth for ever and ever, the living and great Aten, he who is in the Set-Festival, the lord of the Circle, the Lord of the Disk, the Lord of heaven, the Lord of earth, the lord of the House of the Aten in Aakhut-Aten, [of] the King of the South and the North, who liveth in Truth, lord of the Two Lands (i.e., Egypt), NEFER-KHEPERU-RA UA-EN-RA, the son of Ra, who liveth in Truth, Lord of Crowns, AAKHUN-ATEN, great in the period of his life, [and of] the great royal woman (or wife) whom he loveth, Lady of the Two Lands, NEFER-NEFERU-ATEN NEFERTITI, who liveth in health and youth for ever and ever.

2

He (i.e., Ai, a Fan-bearer and the Master of the King's Horse) saith: Thy rising [is] beautiful in the horizon of heaven, O Aten, ordainer of life. Thou dost shoot up in the horizon of the East, thou fillest every land with thy beneficence. Thou art beautiful and great and sparkling, and exalted above every land.. Thy arrows (i.e., rays) envelop (i.e., penetrate) everywhere all the lands which thou hast made.

3

Thou art as Ra. Thou bringest [them] according to their number, thou subduest them for thy beloved son. Thou thyself art afar off, but thy beams are upon the earth; thou art in their faces, they [admire] thy goings. Thou settest in the horizon of the west, the earth is in darkness, in the form of death. Men lie down in a booth wrapped up in cloths, one eye cannot see its fellow. If all their possessions, which are under their heads, be carried away they perceive it not.

4

Every lion emergeth from his lair, all the creeping things bite, darkness [is] a warm retreat (?). The land is in silence. He who made them hath set in his horizon. The earth becometh light, thou shootest up in the horizon, shining in the Aten in the day, thou scatterest the darkness. Thou sendest out thine arrows (i.e., rays), the Two Lands make festival, [men] wake up, stand upon their feet, it is thou who raisest them up. [They] wash their members, they take [their apparel]

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and array themselves therein, their hands are [stretched out] in praise at thy rising, throughout the land they do their works. Beasts and cattle of all kinds settle down upon the pastures, shrubs and vegetables flourish, the feathered fowl fly about over their marshes, their feathers praising thy Ka (person). All the cattle rise up on their legs, creatures that fly and insects of all kinds

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spring into life, when thou risest up on them. The boats drop down and sail up the river, likewise every road openeth (or showeth itself) at thy rising, the fish in the river swim towards thy face, thy beams are in the depths of the Great Green (i.e., the Mediterranean and Red Seas). Thou makest offspring to take form in women, creating seed in men. Thou makest the son to live in the womb of his mother, making him to be quiet that he crieth not; thou art a nurse

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in the womb, giving breath to vivify that which he hath made. [When] he droppeth from the womb ... on the day of his birth [he] openeth his mouth in the [ordinary] manner, thou providest his sustenance. The young bird in the egg speaketh in the shell, thou givest breath to him inside it to make him to live. Thou makest for him his mature form so that he can crack the shell [being] inside the egg. He cometh forth from the egg, he chirpeth with all his might, when he hath come forth from it (the egg), he walketh on his two feet. O how many are the things which thou hast made! They are hidden from the face, O thou

8

One God, like whom there is no other. Thou didst create the earth by thy heart (or will), thou alone existing, men and women, cattle, beasts of every kind that are upon the earth, and that move upon feet (or legs), all the creatures that are in the sky and that fly with their wings, [and] the deserts of Syria and Kesh (Nubia), and the Land of Egypt. Thou settest every person in his place. Thou providest their daily food, every man having the portion allotted to him, [thou] dost compute the duration of his life. Their tongues are different in speech, their characteristics (or forms), and

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likewise their skins [in colour], giving distinguishing marks to the dwellers in foreign lands. Thou makest Hapi (the Nile) in the Tuat (Underworld), thou bringest it when thou wishest to make mortals to live, inasmuch as thou hast made them for thyself, their Lord who dost support them to the uttermost, O thou Lord of every land, thou shinest upon them, O ATEN of the day, thou great one of majesty. Thou makest the life of all remote lands. Thou settest a Nile in heaven, which cometh down to them.

10

It maketh a flood on the mountains like the Great Green Sea, it maketh to be watered their fields in their villages. How beneficent are thy plans, O Lord of Eternity! A Nile in heaven art thou for the dwellers in the foreign lands (or deserts), and for all the beasts of the desert that go upon feet (or legs). Hapi (the Nile) cometh from the Tuat for the land of Egypt. Thy beams nourish every field; thou risest up [and] they live, they germinate for thee. Thou makest the Seasons to develop everything that thou hast made:

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The season of Pert (i.e., Nov. 16-March 16) so that they may refresh themselves, and the season Heh (i.e., March 16-Nov. 16) in order to taste thee. 1 Thou hast made the heaven which is remote that thou mayest shine therein and look upon everything that thou hast made. Thy being is one, thou shinest (or, shootest up) among thy creatures as the LIVING ATEN, rising, shining, departing afar off, returning. Thou hast made millions of creations (or, evolutions) from thy one self (viz.) towns and cities, villages, fields, roads and river. Every eye (i.e., all men) beholdeth thee confronting it. Thou art the Aten of the day at its zenith.

12

At thy departure thine eye ... thou didst create their faces so that thou mightest not see. ... ONE thou didst make ... Thou art in my heart. There is no other who knoweth thee except thy son Nefer-kheperu-Ra Ua-en-Ra. Thou hast made him wise to understand thy plans [and] thy power. The earth came into being by thy hand, even as thou hast created them (i.e., men). Thou risest, they live; thou settest, they die. As for thee, there is duration of life in thy members, life is in thee. [All] eyes [gaze upon]

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thy beauties until thou settest, [when] all labours are relinquished. Thou settest in the West, thou risest, making to flourish ... for the King. Every man who [standeth on his] foot, since thou didst lay the foundation of the earth, thou hast raised up for thy son who came forth from thy body, the King of the South and the North, Living in Truth, Lord of Crowns, Aakhun-Aten, great in the duration of his life [and for] the Royal Wife, great of majesty, Lady of the Two Lands, Nefer-neferu-Aten Nefertiti, living [and] young for ever and ever.
This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was first published outside the United States (and not published in the U.S. within 30 days), and it was first published before 1989 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities (renewal and/or copyright notice) and it was in the public domain in its home country on the URAA date (January 1, 1996 for most countries).

The author died in 1934, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 75 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.