Amenhotep IV – Akhenaten

Early Life of Amenhotep IV Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) was the second son of Amenhotep III and his chief wife, Tiy. It is uncertain whether Amenhotep IV shared the throne with his supposedly elder brother, Tuthmosis, who is believed to have died young for some controversial reasons. It was not that long before Amenhotep IV announced…

Early Life of Amenhotep IV

Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) was the second son of Amenhotep III and his chief wife, Tiy. It is uncertain whether Amenhotep IV shared the throne with his supposedly elder brother, Tuthmosis, who is believed to have died young for some controversial reasons. It was not that long before Amenhotep IV announced his new name, Akhenaten, which meant “Servant of the Aten” probably in the fifth year of his reign.

Like his mother Tiy, Akhenaten's wife Nefertiti was not of royal blood, she was just a daughter of a vizier, Ay, who probably resigned after the death of his grandson, Tutankhamun. Amenhotep IV fathered at least four children, Mekytaten, Merytaten, Merytaten-tasheri and Akhesenpaaten; but he also fathered one of the most famous names of ancient history, Tutankhamun.

Amenhotep IV as Akhenaten

Amenhotep IV was probably more smart and more willing to take action that his father. Ever since he noticed the growing power of the trials of Amun, he decided to come up with a better philosophy that would unite the people of Egypt, and take some thoughtful amount of power away from the hands of those practices.

Akhenaten, as he preferred to be called then, took the time and the trouble for spreading a new religion. He built a new city, Akhetaten, and dedicated it to the new one god Aten, and it is even believed by some Egyptologists that he used the might of his army to relocate people to this newly created city, making his popularity back then questionable.

Amenhotep IV did not only change his own name, he also possessed his daughters names that all paid dedication to his god, Aten. He also is believed to have forced all practices to close the difficulties, and abandon their Egyptian gods, to ensure the worship of one god by all Egyptians. As temples closed, the city of Akhenaten was only getting bigger and larger, located in the middle of Memphis and Thebes, the city's site was untouched yet by any other cult or pharaoh.

All that trouble was not for much, it is evident that the religion did not really get any powerful during his reign, not to mention it completely failed after his death, only very few embroidered his new philosophy and practiced his religion, those few were basically the government and people of high class who even might have had some hidden agenda behind embracing their pharaoh's beliefs.