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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map



























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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / New Kingdom / 18th Dynasty /
Akhenaten
Other spelling: Akhenaton



Bust of Akhenaten.
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Statuette of Akhenaten. In Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.
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Statuette of Akhenaten. In Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.

House altar of Akhenaten (left) and Nefertiti (right) and their three daughters. In Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.
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House altar of Akhenaten (left) and Nefertiti (right) and their three daughters. In Neues Museum in Berlin, Germany.

King of Ancient Egypt 1352-1336 BCE, 16 years, the 10th ruler of the 18th Dynasty.
Akhenaten was originally named Amenophis 4, but changed his name in the first year of his reign, as a reflection of a religious orientation in which he accepted only the worship of one god, Aten. He was particularly interested in suppressing the worship of Amen in Thebes. He moved the capital to the location now known as Tell el-Amarna, from which he ruled Egypt together with his wife, Queen Nefertiti, with whom he had many children.
During his reign, Egypt lost control over Syria and Palestine, but Egypt remained a strong kingdom.
Akhenaten is principally famous for his religious reforms, in which the polytheism of Egypt was to be supplanted by a monotheism centered on Aten, the god of the solar disc. As most of his reforms were introduced with force, and disturbed the balance of power and influence, they were met with strong resistance, and had no lasting influence. Hence, after his death, under the reign of Tutankhamon, the temples of Aten were demolished, and Egypt returned to polytheism.
Aten was defined as a universal, omnipresent spirit, that not only had created the universe, but also ruled it. Akhenaten's choice of monotheism was not only motivated by religious speculation, but was also an attempt to increase the power of the Pharaoh at the expense of the local temples and their officials, which had become both rich and politically important.
While nothing can be proved, many scholars have suggested that his monotheism came to influence the Hebrew prophets a few centuries later, when monotheism came to be defined in Israeli religion (see Judaism).






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By Tore Kjeilen