Akhenaten Birthday & Fun Facts

Height, Age, Net Worth, Biography & More

Christian Mba
Feb 08, 2024 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Dec 06, 2023
A head statue of Pharaoh Akhenaten
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Read time: 4.9 Min

About Akhenaten

Akhenaten (1370-1335 BCE) was the ruler of Ancient Egypt for 17 years, and although the exact date estimate for which he ruled isn't certain, it's dated to be around 1353-1335 BCE. He played a significant role in Egyptian history during the 18th dynasty, known as the New Kingdom Of Ancient Egypt. He was the tenth Egyptian king of this dynasty.

The period in history in which Akhenaten was the pharaoh of Ancient Egypt came to be known as the Amarna Period. It is the period most written about, studied, and debated by scholars, historians, and experts due to the many changes that he introduced in Egyptian history. For this reason, some historians refer to Akhenaten as the 'heretic king', as he did not conform to the traditions and the other gods that the Egyptians worshipped at the time.

He stopped the traditional religious rites and closed the temples to the famous gods and goddesses, including those dedicated to Amun.

Childhood And Education

Amenhotep IV, or Akhenaten, as he came to be known, was born around 1370 BCE as Amenhotep IV to the then pharaoh of Egypt, Amenhotep III, and his chief wife, Queen Tiye. His elder brother was Thutmose, who was the heir to the throne. He is also believed to have had sisters: Nebetah, Sitamun, Iset, Henuttaneb, and Beketaten.

The parents of Akhenaten were Amenhotep III, who, according to different scholars, ruled Ancient Egypt from 1386-1349 BCE, and his chief queen, Tiye. He was their second son but became the king of Ancient Egypt as his brother, Prince Thutmose, the heir to the throne, died.

While there aren't many details about his early life and childhood of Akhenaten when he was prince Amenhotep IV, sources claimed that he received education in religious texts and literature.

Family And Relationships

The wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten was Nefertiti, a renowned Egyptian queen in Egyptian history. The exact wedding date is not known. Queen Nefertiti played a crucial role in supporting her husband's religious ideas. From her portrait, Nefertiti is believed to be a princess from Mitanni, a place in Asia. She was the chief queen of Akhenaten and was elevated to divine status by him.

Pharaoh Akhenaten's Nefertiti was considered one of the most influential Egyptian queens in ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe Nefertiti was just 12 years old when she married Akhenaten. Akhenaten had multiple wives, including Kiya, his second wife, about whom little information is available.

According to various inscriptions on the monuments of that time, Akhenaten had about eight children. He had six daughters: Meketaten, Meritaten, Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferure, and Setepenre. He also had two sons: Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun.

Akhenaten was succeeded by his son, Tutankhaten, one of the prominent pharaohs among the ancient Egyptians. It is said that Tutankhaten underwent a dramatic religious transformation, such as changing his name to Tutankhamun to signify his return to the old religious traditions and beliefs, including the god, Amun. He also destroyed the new city built by his father and erased all references to Akhenaten and the new religion that he established during his reign.

Career And Professional Highlights

Best Known For…

When Amenhotep IV became the ruler of Egypt, his family had been the kings in this region for about 200 years. His kingdom covered Phoenicia, Palestine, and Nubia.

This Egyptian king was named Amenhotep IV after his father, Amenhotep III. As, at that time, the worship of Amun was quite prevalent, Amenhotep means 'Amun is pleased'. However, during the fifth year of this rule, he changed his name to Akhenaten, which means 'the Servant of Aten'. This is because he started a religious revolution by abolishing the old Egyptian religion and establishing a new religion based on one god, Aten, the sun god.

This new religion worshipped a single deity or god, Aten, the sun god. He also founded a new city, which he named Horizon of Aten. It is now known as Tell el-Amarna or Amarna. This new city, which became the new capital of Ancient Egypt, was on the eastern bank of the River Nile, about 200 mi (321 km) north of the then-capital city of Thebes.

This period in the history of ancient Egypt came to be called the Amarna Period as Akhenaten moved the capital of Egypt from Thebes to Amarna, a city that he built. One of the structures he built, known as the Temple of Amenhotep IV, was quite famous during his rule.

Unlike the old religion of ancient Egypt, in this new form, the sun god, Aten, was never represented in animal or human form. Instead, it was depicted as a sun disk. Each extended ray of this form ended in a tiny hand, which was believed to give and sustain life. Akhenaten had several Aten temples built during his reign as king of Egypt.

The time that Akhenaten ruled as the pharaoh of Egypt was when many significant changes were made to the cultural heritage of this region. For example, Egyptian art was unique; pictures and depictions of this time became more realistic. In these pictures and depictions, members of the royal family, including the queen, Queen Nefertiti, are shown to have large conical-shaped heads and thin spindle-like arms.

Other Interesting Akhenaten Facts And Trivia

  • The name Akhenaten translates to many but similar meanings, such as 'of great use to Aten' or 'successful for Aten'.
  • Some of the other names he is also known by are Ikhnaton and Khuenaten.
  • This ruler of Ancient Egypt has been described by James Henry Breasted, a noted American archeologist in his writings, as 'the first individual in history' because he practiced monotheism.
  • Akhenaten's death and burial site came with uncertainties. Although some experts believe that he died around 1336-1334 BCE, the royal tomb made for him at his new capital city, Amarna, did not contain anything to suggest that it had been used as a site for a royal burial or that one had taken place there, adding to the mysteries of Egyptian history.

Akhenaten Birthday & Fun Facts Facts

Nationality

Egyptian

Height

0 cm

Child Star?

No

Occupation

Egyptian Pharoah

Partner

Nefertiti

Parents

Amenhotep III, Queen Tiye

Siblings

Thutmose, Nebetah, Sitamun, Iset, Henuttaneb, Beketaten
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Sources

euler.slu.eduwww.historyskills.compharaoh.sewww.britannica.comnhs-vic.libguides.comwww.ancient-egypt-online.comwww.ducksters.comwww.ucl.ac.ukmirror2.polsri.ac.idwww.thecollector.comwww.europeana.eu

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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