Akhenaten : The Heretic King

2302 Words Nov 17th, 2014 10 Pages
Akhenaten: The Heretic King

Janine Douglas
HST 559 Professor Jean Li
Ryerson University
November 18, 2014 The Ancient Egyptian pantheon was an extremely diverse and often very complicated one. Egyptians did not take their religion lightly, and according to the Greeks, they were the most pious of men. It is no surprise, then, that religion and politics were closely linked for the Ancient Egyptians, and Pharaohs found themselves in the epicentre of both worlds. Akhenaten 's religious views came into direct conflict with the religious views of basically every other Egyptian person at the time, as well as the very powerful priesthood of Amun, thus straying into political conflict as well. Whether Akhenaten 's controversial religious views were meant to serve some genius political motives, or were simply a result of religious fanaticism is widely debated. However, Akhenaten 's tendency to neglect political duties, with most of his reign concentrating on his religious ideas, does not help the suggestion of his political genius, and makes it seem more like he was simply a religious fanatic, though perhaps not as controversial as some scholars may think. Akhenaten had been born Amenophis IV, named so because his father, Amenophis III, had been particularly loyal to Amun. When he ascended the throne, he still held that name, but was already showing signs of loyalty to a different god. However, Donald Redford points out in his article, Akhenaten: New Theories and…
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