Akhenaten was a Pharaoh of Egypt during the kingdom’s 18th dynasty. He was both reviled and respected during his reign by his subordinates. But who is this Pharaoh that garnered such high respect and loathing at the same time? Here is a quick rundown on the reasons on why this Pharaoh gave such contrasting views to his people during his time on the throne.
Fact 1: Akhenaten was originally known as Amenhotep IV after his father, Amenhotep III, but changed it to Akhenaten which translates to ‘œHorizon of Aten.’ Aten is the Sun disk god which Akhenaten viewed as the one true god.
Fact 2: He was dubbed ‘œThe Heretic Pharaoh’ due to his breaking the tradition of worshipping multiple gods.
Fact 3: He tried to remove the Egyptian religion’s main God, Amun, and tried to replace it with the god Aten throughout his reign.
Fact 4: He is widely believed to be the first to promote a monotheistic religion by worshipping only a single god.
Fact 5: Akhenaten was married to Nefrititi, another popular historical figure that was known for her beauty.
Fact 6: He supported the growth of art and is viewed as the main proponent for the radical art movement in Egypt and founded the city of Amarna.
Fact 7: After his death, worshippers of the god Amun tried to remove all signs of Akhenaten’s religious movements and anything that was connected to the ‘œHeretic Pharaoh’ but were unsuccessful.
Fact 8: Akhenaten’s mummy was never found as he was buried as a heretic by the priests.
Fact 9: Akhenaten is widely believed by scholars to be a better artist than a Pharaoh as while Egypt’s artistic merits flourished, the kingdom itself saw a steep decline due to Akhenaten devoting most of his time to art.
Fact 10: Akhenaten was diagnosed by scientists as possibly having Froehlich’s Syndrome based on his portraits. This is seen as the main reason for his rather androgynous look. Other effects of this disorder are retardation and impotence.