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Akhenaten - Pharaoh of Egypt

Pharaoh AkhenatenPharaoh Akhenaten was born as the son of the great military leader Amenhotep III, he was originally named Amenhotep IV after the God Amen (or Amun). Later as Amenhotep IV begun to worship the Aten (Sun Disc) he changed his name to Akhenaten, meaning Glory to the Sun Disc. Akhenaten reigned in what is described by Egyptologists as the New Kingdom which is dated from around 1500BC to 1000BC.

Akhenaten was a pacifist and turned his back on notions of military conquest and empire, concentrating more on spiritual and religious goals. He wanted all of Egypt to worship the sun God - the Aten, and moved the capital of Egypt from Thebes (now present day Luxor) to Akhet-Aten (now Amarna). A controversial figure in Egyptian history, Akhenaten's name was later stricken from every history book and statue and the enigmatic pharaoh was referred to only as "The Heretic King". Akhenaten was branded a heretic because of his belief in following the Aten , the Sun Disk. He rejected the traditional notions of Egyptian worship and was seen as a freak because of this. There is evidence to suggest that during his reign, he forbade depictions of traditional Egyptian deities and some commentators have branded him the worlds first religious oppressor.

akhenatenRepresentations of the Pharaoh are unique in that he is often depicted in statues and pictures as having an elongated head and swollen hips with a swollen stomach. Some theories have imaginatively speculated that Akhenaten was a sexual deviant or a woman posing as a man, more recent theories suggest that Akhenaten had advanced knowledge of the sun. The elongated head and swollen parts of the body (genital areas) suggest a knowledge of fertility and its connection to sun-rays. This is knowledge that modern scientists are only now discovering, but evidence suggests that Akhenaten knew this over 3000 years ago. Akhenaten’s wife and children are also depicted in some reliefs as having ‘swollen' features.

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