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Episode V: LIVIA


First of all, if you have The Facebooks, The Vocate has a page all manner of up there for you to Like and begin weighty theological discussions upon!

Akhenaten's attempt to turn Egypt into a monotheistic state is interesting in much the same way as Gautama Buddha's run at Hinduism is, with the caveat that Buddha was a good deal more selfless and human than Akhenaten, which is probably why his reforms stuck a bit better. In both cases, however, you had a hugely powerful class of priests who made their bank on a proliferation of gods too diverse for the average person to know how to propitiate, and then a single figure arrives and cuts the floor out from under said priests by saying, as Akhenaten did, "There's only one, and he's MINE!" or, as Buddha did, "There's quite possibly none, and in any case you can't possibly know, so stop frontin'." To be clear, I am not saying that the polytheistic structure was necessarily power hungry and corrupt - as I've said, I think that polytheism was, at its heart, separate from the priests who maintained it, a much more beautiful and human system than the universalist monotheisms that succeeded it. In any case, Akhenaten's reforms remained in place during his seventeen year reign, and about ten years thereafter, then were swallowed up again. Ah well.

Today's translation:

Livia: Publicus, advise your customers. I have ... matters... to discuss. - Count Dolby von Luckner