Failure of Akhenaton’s Cultural Revival (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: Akhenaton attempted to establish a new religion based on the worship of Aton, building a new city where the god could be honored, but the new faith never caught on among the Egyptian people.
Summary of Event
In about 1350 b.c.e., Akhenaton, whose father was Amenhotep III, became pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom (c. 1570-c. 1069) of Egypt. Akhenaton began his reign as Amenhotep IV with his capital at Thebes. There is an apparently insoluble dispute about his age at the time he succeeded to the throne, a question of some importance in the light of the claims he made for his achievements.
The reign of Akhenaton’s predecessor, Amenhotep III, had been a long and peaceful one of nearly forty years marked by military expeditions in the first decade and followed by three decades of affluent ease. During the latter period, there was a remarkable outpouring of artistic talent resulting in splendid architectural achievements. Amenhotep III was influenced by his queen, Tiy, the daughter of a commoner who became the mother of Akhenaton. In the last decade of his reign, Amenhotep was a sick man, unable to attend to affairs of government. Meanwhile, Syria was restive, and Egypt was suffering from sporadic attacks by invaders. When the outlying districts sent pleas to the capital for military help, their requests were ignored. Conditions called for a vigorous new ruler. Instead, Egypt...
(The entire section is 1340 words.)
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