One of the pharaohs that is surrounded by more unknowns is Amenophis IV, who called himself Akhenaten and that was commonly known as "the heretic”. It is not known where his mummy may be if he still exists, but what is known of his life has caused a lot of ink to flow and will continue to do so.
Today almost all experts recognize it as the introducer of monotheism in Egypt. It is also thought that Akhenaten may have wanted to introduce a new sculptural style into his kingdom, for having made himself represent realistically in his statues and not idealized like all the other pharaohs. But how Amenophis came to those decisions so disruptive and blunt? Answering this question can reveal a unhappy life in his childhood and adolescence stage. Let's see.
In the main hall of the Cairo museum, right at the bottom of it, stands out above all the rest a huge statue of the Pharaoh Amenophis III and Queen Tiyi, Akhenaten's parents. Right at the base of the statue, three of the four children who had this royal marriage are represented, two women and a boy, but young Amenophis is not. ¿Why is young Akhenaten not pictured with the rest of his family?
To begin to glimpse the answer, let's visit the room dedicated to Akhenaten in the Cairo museum. The first thing you see when you approach her are the two huge realistic statues of the pharaoh. A visitor who was a few steps ahead of me exclaimed aloud "But what is that?”, She was not able to distinguish whether it was the figure of a man or a woman, such is the uncertainty that Akhenaten's statue awakens when seeing it for the first time, it seems something very ambiguous.
Of course is the portrait of AkhenatenBut the pharaoh's hips are so wide that they truly look like a woman's hips. On the other hand, the face, arms and all the fingers (feet and hands) are excessively thin and long. ¿Was this the true aspect of Akhenaten? Everything seems to indicate that yes, it was the realistic way of being represented because they have even put wrinkles on his face.
Akhenaten's portrait has also caught the attention of doctors. These, after examining the portrait, came to the conclusion that the pharaoh suffered from two diseases that are obvious: according to that statue, Akhenaten He suffered from “Marfan Syndrome”, which is characterized by endowing the patient with a thin face and slanted eyes, very thin and long fingers and toes, as well as heart disorders.
The another pharaoh disease It could be what is called "muscular lipodystrophy", this disease is characterized by the disappearance of body fat from the waist up, but the accumulation of that fat from the waist down, giving the individual its characteristic feminine hips because of the width.
¿Akhenaten suffered from these diseases from his earliest childhood? ¿What impact might the answer to the first question have had on your life?? Well what her physical appearance departed from the canon of beauty that prevailed at that time. The child Amenophis was like the ugly duckling of the family, he was someone with whom it was not pleasant to appear in public, and his own parents ostracized their youngest son, thus becoming the true culprits of the forceful response which would later be given by Pharaoh Akhenaten.
In the midst of these circumstances, Pharaoh Amenophis III and his wife Queen Tiyi they sent the unfortunate child to his maternal grandparents (the priest Juya and Mrs. Tui) in the city of Heliopolis and there he must have spent a long time being where the unfortunate boy found all the affection and attention he needed.
It is presumable that the grandmother and her royal grandson spent many times in each other's company, she would tell the child about their origins (she was of Semitic origin, from Mesopotamia), what were their customs, what were their beliefs, what was their homeland like, etc. All this sank deep into the mind of the child Amenophis, and the boy's own ideas grew along with his deformed body.
Circumstances led to the young Amenophis was crowned as the new pharaoh of all Egypt. And once Amenophis IV he was invested with all the royal power, once no one dared to contradict him, then the pharaoh did those two things for which he would be remembered forever in history: he imposed the worship of a single god whom he called Aten and he had himself portrayed as he was physically, with all his deformities.
If he had been rejected before because of his physical appearance, now they would have to accept it as it was. This has all the appearance of a kind of rebellion against the unfair family treatment received during his childhood.
Akhenaten Sphinx Image: Leoboudv on Wikipedia
I was born in the Mediterranean city of Barcelona 62 years ago. I have always liked history, especially the history of Pharaonic Egypt, but also all that history that has to do with biblical sources of which I consider myself a good follower. I have been able to visit all the countries of the Mediterranean balcony, with which my modest knowledge of some ancient cultures has been enriched, Egypt on two occasions.Apart from traveling I have liked and still like museums, reading about archeology, good cinema . As an occupation from which I have lived there are the Graphic Arts and then as a public employee. Anyway, my life does not stand out in a special way from the lives of my peers, it is quite normal. I already participate in an Egyptology forum, and now I have been given the opportunity to participate in redhistory, I hope that from time to time I can contribute modestly.