I t is evident, therefore, that Atenism was not the sudden break with all the religious past of Egypt which it is often represented as being; nor was there anything especially novel in the exaltation of the Sun-god as the object of worship. The process of solarisation in religion had been going on for many centuries, and did not cease, but only took another form, with the successive rises of local divinities to prominence, as the seat of government shifted with changing conditions. Ptah of Memphis or Amen of Thebes might assert predominance in the Egyptian Pantheon, as Memphis or Thebes became the seat of the ruling dynasty; but the root idea of a solar god never failed to impose itself upon the new supreme god, and even Amen, in all the pride of the supremacy of Thebes, had to assimilate himself to the ancient faith, and to become Amen-Ra, another aspect of the Sun-god. Side by side with this general acceptance of solar worship as a fundamental thing in Egyptian religion went another equally remarkable strain of religious thought, and all through the process of solarisation was paralleled by that of Osirianisation. The reason for this parallel development of two very diverse aspects of religious thought lies in the natural conditions of life in the Nile Valley. " As we examine Egyptian religion in its surviving documents," says Breasted, "it is evident that two great phenomena of nature"had made the most profound impression upon

the Nile-dwellers and that the gods discerned in these two phenomena dominated religious and intellectual development from the earliest times. These are the Sun and the Nile. In the Sun-god, Re, Atum, Horus, Khepri, and in the Nile, Osiris, we find the great gods of Egyptian life and thought, who almost from the beginning entered upon a rivalry for the highest place in the religion of Egypt-a rivalry which ceased only with the annihilation of Egyptian religion at the close of the fifth century of the Christian era. He who knows the essentials of the story of this long rivalry will know the main course of the history of Egyptian religion, not to say one of the most important chapters in the history of the early East."