When he became king he was already married to Nefertiti, his beautiful life-companion, advisor and co-ruler.
This was a zenith period in Egyptian history.
The conquered territories made Egypt the largest empire the ancient world had ever known. Riches flowed into the country, the standard of living was at its height and social order and structure were firmly established.
Amenhotep III, father of Akhenaten, was a strong, forceful man who maintained a powerful military presence. He was an able leader and manifested courage and commitment to the life and well being of his subjects.
Although as pharaoh, he was a god and was placed well above all others separate and apart from the fact that he was the king. Amun Re was the primary deity and it is said that he spoke only to the pharaoh. The Amun priests were a force that even the pharaoh had to reckon with.
They had exceedingly great power and control of the minds and hearts of the people. They were highly visible and represented absolute authority. They controlled all aspects of education and were in control of a great deal of the wealth of the country.
By any standard, they were a powerful force to be dealt with, even for the pharaoh. As the years went on, there became more and more reasons why the king and the Amun priests did not always see eye to eye.
Even in modern history, the power of the church came into conflict with the state. Power struggles between the church leaders and the kings occurred and history tells us that more often than not, the church was to manifest more power and control in the end.
For some reason, the priests of Amun did not approve of Queen Tiye, who, as time went on, seemed to be given more and more power. She was seen as a foreign person, not of royal blood and was resented.
Some historians tell us that in the latter years of the reign of Amenhotep III, there was a plague in Egypt and in spite of the wealth and position, this was a force of nature which could not be controlled. Eva Panagiotakopulu of Sheffield University in England found evidence of what could have been Bubonic plague in the remains of animals in Amarna.
Other researchers believed that the plague occurred during the time of Amenhotep III. The priests doubtless blamed the king and in turn, he could have believed that even Amun Re was not powerful enough to do anything about it.
Akhenaten (r. BCE) was a pharaoh of Egypt of the 18th Dynasty. He is also known as `Akhenaton’ or `Ikhnaton’ and also `Khuenaten’, all of which are translated to mean `successful for’ or `of great use to’ the god Aten. Akhenaten born as Amenhotep IV, was the son of Amenhotep III, the Magnificent, the ninth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty and Queen Tiye who was of non-royal origin and Amenhotep III’s Great Royal Wife. Akhenaten’s father ruled for about forty years and his rule is believed to have been successful. Amenhotep IV Becomes Akhenaten. Amenhotep IV may have been co-regent with his father, Amenhotep III, and it has been noted that the sun-disk known as the `Aten’ is displayed on a number of inscriptions from this period of the earlier king’s reign.
What we do know is that he began to direct his attention more and more to the Aten, the sun god. The king had an older son who was being groomed to succeed his father.
When this prince died suddenly the second son was in the wings. The youngest son, it is believed, was educated in religion and may have been prepared for the roll of a priest. When Amenhotep IV came to the thrown after the death of his older brother, it may be reasonable to believe that more and more conflictual issues concerning the power of the pharaoh and the Amun priest may have increased.
It has been reported that the criticism of Queen Tiye continued. Some historians believe that a new location for the seat of power, the place which was to became known as Amarna, was introduced to Amenhotep IV by his father.
It might be reasonable to believe that the rift between the king and the priests mounted to an ultimate crescendo. The first step could have been to physically distance the state from the church by moving bag and baggage to the new area some two hundred miles to the north.
It is reasonable to assume that the general population may have sided with the king as opposed to the church because the people may have had enough of the type of control manifested by the priests. As is the case in modern times, there is seldom an overwhelming majority of the population on very many issues.
The fact seems to be that there were many followers of Amenhotep IV who accompanied him to the new city.Amenhotep IV, during the fifth or sixth year of his rule, changed his name to Akhenaton and then built a new capital named as Akhetaten which now lies at modern Armarna.
The area is not linked with any god. Akhenaten (r. BCE) was a pharaoh of Egypt of the 18th Dynasty. He is also known as `Akhenaton’ or `Ikhnaton’ and also `Khuenaten’, all of which are translated to mean `successful for’ or `of great use to’ the god Aten.
Akhenaten, also spelled Akhenaton, Akhnaton, or Ikhnaton, also called Amenhotep IV, Greek Amenophis, king (–36 bce) of ancient Egypt of the 18th dynasty, who established a new cult dedicated to the Aton, the sun’s disk (hence his assumed name, Akhenaten, meaning “beneficial to Aton”).
Shortly after coming to the throne, the new pharaoh Amenhotep IV, a son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye, established worship of the light that is in the orb of the sun (the Aten) as the primary religion, and the many-armed disk became the omnipresent icon representing the god.
Akhenaten born as Amenhotep IV, was the son of Amenhotep III, the Magnificent, the ninth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty and Queen Tiye who was of non-royal origin and Amenhotep III’s Great Royal Wife.
Akhenaten’s father ruled for about forty years and his rule is believed to have been successful. Akhenaten died in his Year 17 and was buried in his tomb at Amarna, which had previously received the interments of a number of his family. He was succeeded by Tutankhaten/ amun, but steps were soon taken to .