Was Oedipus, the parricide who sired children by his mother, a product of the subconscious mind as Freud thought? Was he a mythological figure? Or was he a real, historical person?
Such questions have provoked interest among historians and authors for centuries. In Oedipus and Akhnaton, Immanuel Velikovsky identifies the scene and all the personages of the Greek Oedipus legend with the life patterns of the family of the Egyptian King Akhnaton, reputedly the first monotheist during the most famous period of Egyptian history.
As a feat in unraveling myth, lore, and fact, Immanuel Velikovsky's startling new approach can be likened to the evidence of Schliemann's discovery of Troy, of the discovery of the Minoan civilization, or of the deciphering of Mycenaean.
The legend of the Oedipus cycle, in which Dr. Velikovsky finds a parallel to the House of Akhnaton, involves the family of Oedipus, King of Thebes -- his blinding and exile, his curse on his sons who subsequently slew each other at the gates of Thebes, and the courage of his daughter, Antigone, who entombed her fallen brother despite contrary official decree and was herself immured in a pit-tomb as punishment. The tale, filled with unsurpassed suspense, becomes even more compelling as it is related to historical fact.
Dr. Velikovsky uncovers and examines the parallels between the myth and the fact; he solves a number of mysteries concerning the tombs in the Valley of Kings, Tutankhamen's famed burial ground, which have long puzzled archaeologists; and he brings vividly to life all the figures of both ancient tragedies.
This thoroughgoing analysis, as the author's far-ranging mind makes clear, has much more than archaeological implications, for it illuminates the nature of classical tragedy and has bearing on Freud's own unresolved conflicts. It presents, in fact, a rewriting of ancient history at exactly its most renowned period. Oedipus and Akhnaton is an extraordinary literary and historical study.
Books by Velikovsky:
Further studyReviews and criticisms of Velikovsky's work have tended to be inaccurate, inconclusive or just plainly wrong. Velikovsky did make mistakes, but his key proposal, that in historical times mankind witnessed global catastrophes of cosmic origin, endures with increasing numbers of organisations and people investigating his work.