Akhenaten is often not credited as being one of the great pharaoh’s of ancient Egypt; his name is not as recognized as his son, Tutankhamen. However he deserves acknowledged for being a revolutionary leader. Akhenaten is most well-known as being a spiritual enthusiast and instigator of revolution within the kingdom of Egypt. Many historians have recognized Akhenaten with being solely responsible for developing a religious revolution in Egypt. Nevertheless his struggles defined as the first true effort at instituting a monotheistic state in a polytheistic society, his efforts were not eternal. The reasoning behind his decisions to change Egypt's faith is still observed though to this day. “Today most historical resources believe Akhenaten
The Ancient Egyptian were polytheistic most of the time, which means that they believed in multiple gods. When Akhenaten was pharaoh, the Egyptians were monotheistic, meaning they worshiped only one god. He ended the worship of other gods and claimed that Aten, the lord of all was the only god in Egypt. The Egyptians didn't like this idea, so on their own,
Amenhotep even changed his name to Arkhenaten which means, servant of Aten. Before the consideration of monotheism, Atenism was a henotheistic religion, the honoring and respect to one god but knowing there are others also. When praying or practicing this religion, it was done in the sunlight rather than in dark temple which was the common doing. Aten became the supreme god, with Akhentaten being the only other consideration. Although Atenism is considers to be a Monotheistic religion, it falls on the border line because Akhentaten was believed to be both man and a type god. Akhentaten closed all other temples making Aten the only god that can be worshipped. Unlike the other two religions mentioned, most of the population did not accept their kings religion simply for the fact that, it was not that simple to erase the other gods and pretend they never existed. This is a fact because as soon as Akhenaten died, his religion went with him. The Egyptians simply went back to their own religions and Akhenaten became known as a heretic king. Atenism is one of the shortest religion ever, which only lasted about twenty
Amenhotep IV commenced his reign in 1353 BCE and was of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. When Amenhotep IV came to power, the priests of Amun had been gradually growing in power and were almost equal with the royal house in terms of wealth and influence. During the 5th year of his reign he outlawed the ancient religion which was centered on the worship and offerings to many Gods in particular those of the composite deity Ra-Amun-Horus (Ra- daytime sun, Amun- underworld sun, - Horus- the sunrise). He then changed his name to Akhenaten, proclaiming himself to be the living incarnation of the all-powerful, single deity known as ‘Aten’ (The visible sun). Traditionally, as described in the Coffin Texts of the Middle kingdom, the ‘Aten’ was the name for the sun-disk and in the "Story of Sinuhe", Amenemhat I is described to have soared into the sky, uniting with the Aten, his creator. The early stages of "Atenism" was as a henotheistic religion (devotion to a single god but recognising the existence of others), but quickly developed into a monotheistic system where the worship of all other Gods was banned, including the making and worship of idols, allowing only the rayed sun-disk to be displayed as a representation of ‘God’, for the ‘Aten' was the sole deity. Ordinary people could not worship the Aten
Amenhotep III’s reign is often referred to the “Golden Age”, a time of political stability and economic prosperity for Egypt. With an abundance of tribute, booty, and access/exploitation of natural resources in conquered areas of Nubia, and its sphere of influence in Syria-Palestine; Egypt’s affluence only flourished. This enabled Amenhotep’s expanse/magnificent building programs, also resulting to advances in art and religion. Furthermore, changes in the importance and role of the queen progressed in this period; to the extent of Tiye’s deification, as evident in the temple at Sedeinga, built in dedication to her worship. Despite Amenhotep III’s reputation as a great diplomat, the effectiveness of his
When Akhenaten took over the throne he made many religious changes. Firstly, he changed the religion from polytheism to monotheism. The people of Egypt have traditionally worshipped many Gods who were in human or animal forms, but when Akhenaten took over he introduced the idea of worshipping in one God; Aten or sun-disc (BBC). This shows he is a visionary because he is one of the first people in history to introduce such an idea. Now many religions worship one God, but the first person to ever think of this idea was Akhenaten, which shows he thought ahead of his time and developed a new trend. Moreover, he changed the temples to being open to more people and not just high priests. He introduced a new form of temple which had open roofs so the sunlight can shine on the worshippers. The temple was more open to the public and more accessible. In modern society areas of worship are open to the public, this is similar to what Akhenaten tried to accomplish. He tried to show that a place of worship
The ruler of Egypt noted for his monotheism religious beliefs and relocation of the capital to Amarna was named Akhenaten.
Nonetheless, during the 12th Dynasty, there was a temple built for Amun’s worship and toward the end of the 18th Dynasty, Amun’s status increased even more and he became known as “…the great royal deity who was “Father of the Gods” and ruler of Egypt and the people of its empire (Rosalie 104).
During the New Kingdom of Egypt (from 1552 through 1069 B.C.), there came a sweeping change in the religious structure of the ancient Egyptian civilization. "The Hymn to the Aten" was created by Amenhotep IV, who ruled from 1369 to 1353 B.C., and began a move toward a monotheist culture instead of the polytheist religion which Egypt had experienced for the many hundreds of years prior to the introduction of this new idea. There was much that was different from the old views in "The Hymn to the Aten", and it offered a new outlook on the Egyptian ways of life by providing a complete break with the traditions which Egypt held to with
had grown up in the most powerful family in ancient Egypt. Once he became pharaoh and ruler of Egypt’s empire in 1378 BCE, he changed his name to Akhenaten, “effective spirit of Aten”, and was known to the people as “the heretic king. Early in his reign, Akhenaten encouraged ideas by using art as a way of emphasizing his political and religious intentions of doing things differently; therefore,
Akhenaten, a pharaoh of ancient Egypt, had big shoes to fill when he stepped up to the throne. His father, Amenhotep III, had helped restore their country to its former glory by being a diplomat. Amenhotep negotiated with bordering nations to provide stable political alliances, and trade routes. Egypt,
Although Egyptians were polytheistic, they worshiped the sun god, Atum or Re, as he was the source of life. This is important because the Egyptian king took the title of “Son of Re”. The king, hence the descendant of the god, was the mother and father of all men without equal. The king akin to the living god, and his rule was law. Despite there being no laws, the words out of the king’s mouth were the law. As a king, he handles the army to protect his possessions and people.
Amun-Re is often referred to as the most important and powerful god of Ancient Egypt. Amun-Re was the god of the sun. “Amun-Re is the main name of the sun god, but also has three different names in which describe the phases of life that Amun-Re goes through each day.”(Budge, Pg. 92) When examining the ancient Egyptian god Amun-Re, four main points must be understood, including: the origin of Amun-Re, the characteristics of Amun-Re, how Amun-Re was worshiped, and how Amun-Re impacted Egyptian life.
Tell el-‘Amarna, the city built by Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten was located between Luxor and Cairo along the Nile. The city was occupied during the reign of Akhenaten and abandoned after his death by his son, Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Although the city was along occupied for a short period of time, archaeologists have been able to reconstruct a fairly accurate representation of the city. However, because the city was associated with Aten and the religion of the heretic king, the city was partially destroyed and nearly all evidence of the culture during the reign of Akhenaten was destroyed. Although the Egyptian people attempted to erase this pharaoh from history, the city tells the story of the time through the few pieces of art, the tombs, and the city plans. The articles written by Croker and one of the ones written by Kemp discuss the value of architecture and how it related to status within the society of the time. The other articles written by Ikram, and Kemp, Stevens, Dabbs, Zabecki, and Rose discuss the art, religion, and ritual practices. The city of Amarna was created on the basis of abandoning the old gods in favor of the worship of a single god, Aten. Societies in ancient history were based primarily on religion, and while archaeologists try to use Amarna as a basis for the study of New Kingdom Egypt because the religions changed Amarna should not be used as a template. Akhenaten aimed to abandon the old ways
Amenhotep IV was the first pharaoh to challenge the Egyptian culture and religious beliefs. His decision to make Aten, “The God of the Sun Disk”, the only god, took power away from the temple priests. Before Amenhotep IV made the changes, Egypt practiced polytheism not only worshiping the Sun Disk God, but around 12 other gods with roles such as fertility, the sky, the Nile River, childbirth, etc. With Egypt practicing monotheisms the temple priest have lost control of any political or religious gain they once held. This will be the first time Egypt practices monotheism. In making this change Amenhotep IV became known as Akhenaten, “Shining Spirit of Aten”. Becoming Akhenaten was not the only changes reflected from his reign as pharaoh.