Akhenaten, also know as Amenhotep or Amenophis IV, was an Egyptian pharaoh belonging to the 18th dynasty in the New Kingdom of Egypt who reigned between the years 1353 - 1336 BC. (approximately).
He is known to be the heretical pharaoh due to the religious reform that he carried out basing the cult on the god Aten, sun god.
He came to the throne when he was just 18 years old. It was known as Amenhotep or Amenophis in honor of his father, Pharaoh Amenophis III.
He was married to the beautiful Nefertiti. After five years of reign, he decided to change the established order and impose a new religion. He decided to put aside the numerous Egyptian pantheon and center worship on the sun god, Aten.
The new cult focused on the superiority of the god Aten above the other Egyptian gods, that is, a religion with a monotheistic basis. Pharaoh himself would be the god's go-between.
Ordered close the temples of the other gods, confiscate all your property and destroy all symbols that were related to the rest of the gods, especially with the god Amun-Ra. Thus the pharaoh could recover the power lost at the hands of the priests of this god.
He even changed his own name to Akhenaten, which is pleasing to Aten. He even decided to move the capital to a new city, Aketaton, which would be located between the 2 capitals of the Egyptian Empire, Thebes in Upper Egypt and Memphis in Lower Egypt.
This change had serious consequences. There was strong discrepancies between society, since the cult of the old gods, deeply rooted among the population, had been eliminated from the roots.
It also caused an economic crisis caused by the dismantling of the activities that revolved around the places of worship and by obtaining a large amount of resources for the construction of the new capital and the temples dedicated to Aten.
Due to the economic centralization carried out, the management began to be corrupt and chaotic. All this made him win lot of enemies not only in the village, but also among the Egyptian noble families and even the clergy. Furthermore, all of this made neglect foreign policy affairs, so Egypt was losing strength in favor of the Hittites of the Middle East.
The positive point was taken the art. A time of greater creative freedom characterized by the realism and known as the Amarna period.
Throughout his life had no male heirsHe only had daughters. Because there was no heir, the throne passed to his son-in-law, Tutankhamen, who undid what was done by his predecessor and the country returned to its previous state.
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