Well, are there examples of the distant past, when people contrary to everything: education, public opinion, traditions, opposed religion and God, or gods (the latter, of course, required special courage, because in the era of polytheism, the amount of people's knowledge was very small!) . Are there any facts? Yes there is!
Anubis weighs the heart of the deceased in the scales of truth of the goddess Maat.
Here, for example, is the history of ancient Egypt. What is she talking about? That there reigned a universal cult of death. People only engaged in that, as far as possible and prepared to prepare to continue their existence in the next world. The pharaohs built tombs, and even the poor, gathered uhebti from clay. Moreover, they were also embalmed, although in a very simple way. So ... did they believe in their gods? But here we read the “Rechki” of a certain Ipuser (beginning of the 18th century BC) and so what? In them he reports not only that "the king is captured by poor people", but also that the most "hot heads" have come to disbelief in God. He writes that they say: “If I knew where God is, then I would make a sacrifice to him.”
But most, perhaps, a wonderful monument, expressed doubt ancient Egyptian in the divine, is the "Song of the Harper" extant recording the XIV century. BC er And that's what it says:
No one comes from there,
to tell - what about them,
To tell about their stay,
To cheer our hearts ...
Follow your heart as long as you live
Put myrrh on your head,
put on thin fabrics,
Wear yourself with the wonderful real ointments of the gods,
Multiply your pleasures even more
Do not let your heart grieve,
Follow his desire and your good,
Do your work on earth
according to the dictates of your heart
And do not be sad until you come
crying day for you
The one whose heart does not beat does not listen to complaints
And crying will not return anyone from the grave.
So, celebrate the joyful day and do not be sad,
For no one takes his good with him,
And none of those who went there,
not yet come back.
That is, it is obvious that even in Egyptian society there were atheistic ideas and they were based on the denial of faith in the afterlife. Although the reality of the gods themselves was not contested, they recognized the natural phenomena surrounding man, plants and animals.
And here is the text of some ancient rationalist: “A man died, and his body became dust, and all his relatives died, but the scriptures do what he remembers in the reader’s mouth, because a scroll is more useful than a builder’s house than a prayer house in the west; it is better than a fortified castle and a plate dedicated to the temple ”(Translation M. E. Mathieu). Just think of his words: a scroll is more useful than a chapel! This happened in the Middle Ages, the author would have been waiting for the fire as the most vile of heretics!
However, this is passive atheism, at the level of the expressed opinion, even if it became (most likely, became) the property of the broad masses of the people. But whether in ancient times were people so shameless and courageous to use their disbelief in personal wholes?
The Mayan Indians, when they came under the rule of the Spaniards, were known to “The Book of Chilam Balam” from Chumaiel (the name of the village where it was discovered), which preserved a sample of the ancient Mayan epic. In it, an unknown copyist recorded an ancient legend: “A Song about the Taking of the City of Chichen-Itza”. In the translation of Yu. V. Knorozov, it sounds like this:
Such a trace was left by Vladyka Hunak Keel.
... I was a young youth in Cheech'en Itza,
When he came to seize the country evil leader of the troops.
They are here!
In Chich'en Itza now grief.
Enemies are coming!
Hey! On the day of 1 Imish
Vladyka (Chich'en Itza) was captured at the West Well.
Hey! Where were you, god?
Hey! That was the day of 1 Imish, he said.
In Chich'en Itza now grief.
... I speak in my song about what I remembered.
It is clear that "The Song of the Seizure of the City of Chiche'en Itza" was composed by an eyewitness to the events connected with the defeat of this city-state. He cries about the terrible invasion of enemies and calls the name of the leader of the enemies who destroyed the city of Chichen-Itza, - "the lord Hunak Keel". But who is this Hunak Keel and why did he go to war with the city of Chich'en Itza? "Song" does not give an answer to these questions. However, we were lucky, we still know a lot from this story.
An important source of information about the life of the Maya Indians are extant "codes", texts written on sheets of ficus and the book "Chilam Balam", which appeared after the arrival of the Spaniards. There is also the famous temple in Bonampack, which in Mayan language means “painted wall”, which gave the city its modern name. Today it is widely known for its wall murals, which are outstanding works of art from pre-Hispanic America. Wall murals are located in the first temple of Bonampak, the only multiplex building of the city. The total area occupied by the frescoes in the three rooms is 144 m². Each room is a room with a length of 9 and a height of 7 meters. On the walls and ceiling are depicted a ruler and his follower, military scenes, court, dance scenes, and the sacrifice of women from high society. Murals help to represent the social structure of Mayan society in the second half of the first millennium AD. er This is how these murals look unvarnished.
And this is a reconstruction of images.
It is known that after the invasion of the Toltecs, the pantheon of local gods was enriched by the new supreme deity - K'uk'ulkan, the Feathered Serpent. The fact that the name of God is named in Mayan language suggests that not only culture was perceived by the newcomers, but even Maya language, otherwise why did they need to translate the name of their god the Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl into their language?
“The Temple of Kukulkan” - a nine-step pyramid (height of 24 meters) - “Mecca” for modern tourists in Yucatan.
The city of Chich'en Itza ruled over other Mayan cities for over 200 years. This time is called the hegemony of the city of Chiche'en Itza. “Chen” in Maya means “well”, and “Chich'en” is translated literally as “mouth” or “hole”. “Itza” is the self-name of one of the Maya-Kiche tribes, so Cheech'en Itza can be translated as “Well of the people”. And, yes, indeed, within the city limits there still exists a gigantic well (cenotes, as they are called here) created by nature itself.
The famous cenote of Chichen Itza! Depth about 50 m.
And not only the name of the city is connected with it, but also the beginning of the end of the two hundred year hegemony of its rulers over other Mayan cities. Here is what the well-known historian Yu. V. Knorozov writes about in his monograph “The Writes of Maya Indians”: “In the end, the hegemony of Chichen-Itza began to cause discontent in other cities. The beginning of internecine wars is attributed by all sources to the name of the ruler of Mayapan Hunak Keel (from the Kavich clan), who was first in the service of the ruler of Mayapan Ah Mesh Cook.
But the dredge, with the help of which from this well, his first explorer, the American consul Edward Thompson, got from the bottom of the cenote various archaeological finds in 1904 - 1907.
At this time there was a custom to throw living people into the Sacred Well of Chich'en Itza as "messengers" to the gods. These "messengers", of course, never returned. Ah Mesh Cook chose Hunak Keel as such a victim, but the latter managed to somehow get out of the well, and then as a messenger who visited the gods, he achieved the proclamation of himself ruler (Ahav) of Mayyapan ... "
Procession of the priests on the fresco from Bonampak.
So wrote Yuri Knorozov, but now let's see what could be behind these words. First, the famous well is simply amazing in its size: it is almost round, as if it was drilled with a giant drill, and reaches a diameter of about sixty meters!
And you think that someone could get out of here without help?
From the edge of the well to the surface of its water - twenty meters, so hit the surface of the water (if you get thrown there), the pleasure is below average. But even if you were jumping there yourself, then ... in lush dresser "a messenger to the gods", with ornaments made of jade and gold on his hands and legs, it was easier to drown in him!
Temple in Bonampack: another modern reconstruction.
Looking down on the blue-green waters of the Sacred Well, it is impossible to imagine how a person could get out of there without help. But Hunak Keel, no one not only helped, on the contrary, priests stood at the edges of the well, and if the "messenger" to the gods had a desire to get to the surface, they would dissuade him from the correctness of such an intention by a hail of stones.
The temple was erected in 790 year in honor of the victory of the city over the neighboring kingdom. Here it is to the right of the stele under the roof. There are three entrances in the room. The murals in one of the rooms are not finished.
And here is how this is described in the book by V.A. Kuzmischeva "The Secret of the Mayan Priests": this event happened in the "twentieth anniversary" of 8 Ahab. (In the transfer from the “short count” Mayan 1185 - 1204 years of our era.) en Itza, because of the conspiracy of Hunak Keel, the ruler of Mayapan-fortress ... "
Mayapan: pyramids and observatory.
"The Pyramid of the Miracle Worker" - the city of Uxmal.
That is, it seemed little to the marked Hunak Kael that he escaped from the well and the priests made him the ruler of Mayapan. He held in his heart a fierce resentment against ... ruler Chuck Shib Chuck, who saw him there in the well and sent him, and overthrew him!
Scene of the battle of Bonampak.
That is, look what happens: this Hunak Keel A didn’t believe in gods (it’s Maya ?!), didn’t believe in their revenge, didn’t believe in priests, B — besides him there were at least two people who helped him. A - save yourself in the well (so how did he get there that he wasn’t seen from above and how he breathed until the priests left, we can only guess), B - escape from the well, which required a rope ladder or at least a rope with knots. B — they hid him for three days; G — they took out red paint and helped him down the well again on the third day, when the priests came to ask the messenger if he had returned from the gods.
The Caracol Observatory in Tsichen Itza.
Well, okay, Copernicus, okay, Giordano Bruno and Galelevo Galileo - there is already science and a telescope. And besides, they did not deny the existence of God. Martin Luther did not deny him either, he wanted a cheap church. However, Maya had their own observatories ... Almost in every city of them!
Ahab - to win, and before it defeated enemies with torn nails. Such they certainly will not escape! The white rectangle below is the door.
And then the man knew that he was a “messenger to the gods,” that the well-being of the people depended on him, whether it would rain or not, and whether there would be a harvest or a famine. And now he was not afraid of this, he managed to organize his salvation and appearance in advance, that is, he found people who were also not afraid of the wrath of the gods and did not report on him. Could this be the priests themselves?
The complete storyboard of the “Hall of Battle” at Bonampack.
No, they could not! Reason had to tell them that they create a dangerous precedent in the eyes of the people. And what could he, the returning messenger, give them, the almighty priests of all-powerful gods, who sent hundreds of people to the sacrificial tables of the all-powerful Kukulkan. After all, he himself was on horseback, that is, the commander, but come and you - hit the well as a sacrifice! That is, they sacrificed everyone, regardless of the faces! And only one person, who did not believe in anything, managed to use the faith of other people in his own favor. And neither the gods nor the people punished him!
Halac Vinic Bonampak.