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ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HYMNS

Examples also exist from the civilization of Ancient Egypt. The Pharoah Akhenaten, who died between 1336 and 1334 BC, wrote a hymn addressed to the Aton: the sun disc deity. Some of its lines of praise are:

How manifold it is, what thou hast made!
They are hidden from the face of men.
O sole god, like whom there is no other!
Thou didst create the world according to thy desire,
Whilst thou wert alone:
All men, cattle, and wild beasts,
Whatever is on earth, going upon its feet,
And what is on high, flying with its wings.

‘The Hymn to the Aton’, Translated by John A. Wilson in James B. Pritchard (ed.), The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011).

A section of the Hymn to Aten was set to music by Philip Glass in his opera Akhnaten:

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