Amenhotep IV ascended the throne of Egypt following the death of his father, Amenhotep III.This new ruler proved to be different in almost every way from both his predecessors and the pharaohs who ruled after him.The purpose of this essay is to present the issues of religion, art, architecture, literature and foreign policy in relation to the rule of this unique pharaoh.
Newby (1980) states that the most noticeable difference rested in the religious beliefs of Amenhotep IV.In the past, Egypt had worshipped many gods, but under this new pharaoh's rule, polytheism would be replaced by a religion that believed in a single god.In one of hisfirst decisions as pharaoh, Amenhotep IV proclaimed Aten to be the only true god, and named himself high priest of the deity (Weigall, 1923).The symbol of this new god featured rays drawn from a solar disk with each ending in a tiny hand stretched out as if in benediction over all lands (Mayer & Prideaux, 1961).This new religion advocated by the pharaoh was more than the simple worship of the sun itself, his god was the intangible energy that penetrated the earth in the sun's rays and gave all things life.His encouraged his followers to worship in truth, simply and without lavish ceremony.Weigall (1923) states that is without doubt the most enlightened religion the world had ever known.In the sixth year of his reign, to further signify his repudiation of Aten and demonstrate his devotion to his god, he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means'Glory of Aten'.
Because of growing opposition by the high priest of Thebes, Akhenaten decided to leave the'City of Amen" and make a new beginning in a capital where Amen and his priests would have no power (Sheppard, 1960).This new capital was named Akhetaten, was to be dedicated to the glory of Aten.Weigall (1923) writes that there, like the Pope in the Vatican, Akhenaten would remain within the city a…

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