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Pharaoh Akhenaten: An Alternative View of the Heretic King

May 3, 2019 - General
Akhenaten, relief of the pylons of the house of Panehsy, Chief Servitor of the Aten. It depicts Akhenaten making offerings to the Aten.

Amenhotep IV, also known as the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was destined to be remembered for his attempt at a religious conversion of ancient Egypt; one that saw the old gods put aside and replaced by a single god, the Aten.

Akhenaten took on the might of the priesthood of Amun-Ra; and, enforced by the military, temples were closed and the names of the gods were removed from statues and inscriptions the length and breadth of the land. Akhenaten and his family were more concerned with their new religion, and left the empire unprotected and weakened – led by an ineffectual king more interested in poetry and nature rather than ruling.

Statues and inscriptions depict Akhenaten and his family with long thin necks, sloping foreheads and elongated skulls, and this has led to claims that the king suffered from various disorders, or even that he was female. He was an ugly, misshapen man struggling with his own mental and physical abnormalities. This is the story that most people know—but it is true?

Pharaoh Akhenaten (center) and his family worshiping the Aten, with characteristic rays seen emanating from the solar disk.


Source: origins

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