Akhenatens drastic changes made to religion upturned the Egyptians way of life

Essay by tellu2High School, 11th grade September 2007

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Akhenaten can be seen as revolutionary of his time, but were his ideas too extreme for his time? His changes upturned the Egyptians way of life, so much so that they felt that they needed to eradicate all evidence of his reign. His drastic changes threw Egypt into a time of chaos. He made many changes to the Egyptian way of life he changed the art forms, architectural designs and most importantly the religion.

Lack of evidence of Akhenaten's childhood makes it hard to know much about his early background. As the younger son of Amenhotep III he was not expected to reign as pharaoh, it was his older brother who was expected to rule but he died at a young age, leaving Akhenaten to take on the responsibility. Lawless (1997 P.61) believes that he reined co-regent with his father for some time. This also supports the assumption that he was not meant to be pharaoh as it was his father that taught him to be pharaoh.

We assume that he was an outcast as he is not depicted in any of the statues etc. This may have been what lead to his unique way of thinking and the drastic changes he made. DB Redford believes that he reigned from 1377-1360 BC but this is controversial to what A. Gardiner believes. This controversy is caused by the fact that the rulers after him tried to erase every part of the Amarna period. In year six of his reign he changed his name from Amenhotep III to Akhenaten, this marks an important part in his reign as it is when he made one of the important steps to changing the Egyptian way of life.

One of the major changes that Akhenaten made was to religion. The main change made was the...