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The Chaotic Reign Of Akhenaten Essay

1607 words - 6 pages

Amenhotep III was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt from around 1388 BC till about 1350 BC. During his rule of Egypt, was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendor (Wiki: Amenhotep III). The art from this time showed several gods that ancient Egyptians worshiped, such as Amun, Anubis, Aten, Ra, and many others. Most art was drawn in a way that most of the body parts were sized according to standard proportions, yet the poses were so rigid that they seem to have little sense of movement, if any at all. Many of these drawings were reliefs on walls and pottery. The art was known for its boldness and controlled vitality. Most of the architecture and sculptures were made from heavy materials, mostly stone, which helped to emphasize bulk, solidity, and impersonality. Some examples of these would be the Luxor Temple and the Colossi of Memnon. This was the art of the New Kingdom, which combined the monumental forms of the Old Kingdom and the drive and inspirations of the Middle Kingdom.
Amenhotep III had two sons Thutmose (“Thutmose V”) and Amenhotep IV. With Thutmose being the elder of the two, he was the one recognized as the heir of his father. Unfortunately Thutmose had died at a young age and the cause of death is still unknown. Due to Thutmose’s death, after Amenhotep III passed away his second son, Amenhotep IV, took his place as pharaoh.
Amenhotep IV was crowned in Thebes which is where he started ruling from. Once crowned he started building programs, just like many pharaohs of ancient Egypt. He decorated the temple of Amun-Re (or “Amun”, King of the gods and god of the Wind), with himself worshipping Re-Harakhti (or “Ra” god of the Sun) (Wiki: Akhenaten). Soon after he decided to construct a temple dedicated to Aten (The disc of the sun or an aspect of Ra) called Gempaaten. Within this temple there were offering tables, statues made of red granite, a sphinx with the name of the Aten inscribed within it, and sandstone statues of Amenhotep IV. The temple appeared to not have a roof in order for the offering tables to be exposed to direct sunlight. Smaller temples, such as the Rud-menu, the Teni-menu, and Hwt benben (Redford), were also constructed as Aten temples.
These upcoming drastic changes have been thought to be either that Amenhotep has somehow lost his sanity, that he found a new religious revelation, or for political reasons like the fact that pharaohs may have been heading towards a direction where they would lose their powers over the people to the gods or the cults following them. In Amenhotep IV’s fifth year of his reign, He chose to change his name to Akhenaten. This was due to the name “Amenhotep” is directed to the god Amun by meaning “Amun is satisfied” and “Akhenaten” meaning “Spirit of the Aten”. At this time is when most of what we know as Egypt had changed for a short period in history. Soon after his change of name he found a new city called Akhentaten (“Horizon of Aten”, known now as Amarna) and started the...

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