Who gave Ancient Egypt a new religion?

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In ancient Egypt, the people believed in many gods. Individuals could join cults for whatever god they chose, but still revered all of the gods. Egyptians were accustomed to respecting each other's belief systems and rituals. The most popular religious sects in the Egyptian system were the Cults of Ra,...

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In ancient Egypt, the people believed in many gods. Individuals could join cults for whatever god they chose, but still revered all of the gods. Egyptians were accustomed to respecting each other's belief systems and rituals. The most popular religious sects in the Egyptian system were the Cults of Ra, Osiris, and Amun. By the Eighteenth Dynasty when Amenhotep IV came to power as pharaoh, the Amun Cult was very prestigious and wielded significant political influence. The Aten Cult did exist also but was not as popular.

Amenhotep was not pleased with this fact and found it unfathomable that the priests of the cult would own more land than the pharaoh. Amenhotep resolved this situation by moving the capital from Thebes, changing his name, and introducing a new religion.

Amenhotep changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of the sun disk. He elevated Aten to become the official god of the state. He essentially instituted a monotheistic religion and discredited the priests of the other cults. As you can imagine, this did not go over well with the elite priest class. The lower classes were not on board either. After Akhenaten died, King Tutankhamen reinstituted the traditional religious traditions.

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