Akhenaton Essay

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Akhenaton (Amenhotep IV) was an eighteenth dynasty pharaoh who is known for his attempt to change Egyptian culture and religion. As the younger son of Amenhotep III, he would have not been pharaoh but when his elder brother (crown prince Thutmose) died he had a claim for the thrown and became the Pharaoh of Egypt. Akhenaton had many wives and fathered many children. His wives (or consorts) include Nefertiti and Kiya; some Egyptologists suggest that (like his father) Akhenaton may have taken some daughters as wives or consorts. Akhenaton’s known children are: Tutankhaten (later known as Tuankhamun and King Tut), Smenkhkare, Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten (later wife of Tuankhamun), Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Neferneferure and Setepenre. Akhenaton’s reign lasted from 1353 BC-1336 BC or 1351 BC–1334 BC (the dates are subject to debate). After 4 years of his reign he built a new capital of Egypt (Amarna) and dedicated the city to the supreme deity Aten. Akhenaton attempted to change the religion in Egypt and attempted to unite all of the traditional gods and goddesses of Egypt into one supreme deity (History records were careful not to mention Aten as a god but compared him to the sun and the stars to make him more important than a normal god.) Aten was the deity Akhenaton tried to convert everyone to. At the time many nobles changed their names to names related to Aten instead of names based on the traditional Egyptian gods. Akhenaton means: the effective spirit of Aten. His son Tutankhaten’s name means living spirit of Aten. All of Akhenaton’s children’s names have meanings related to the deity Aten with the exception of Smenkhkare who was born before Akhenaton became the Pharaoh of Egypt. Akhenaton began his change of religion gradually he began in year 5 of his reign with disbanding the priesthood of all other gods and took all their income and spent the money to support Aten. Also during year 5 the pharaoh changed his name from Amenhotep IV to...
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