During the 38 years of reign by Amenhotep III, Egypt reached what Gardener praises as "a zenith of magnificence." Referred to in his time as "The Dazzling Sun Disk" modern historians have dubbed the prosperity and peace of his period the "Golden Age". However, many argue that upon Amenhotep IIIs accession, solid diplomatic policies established by Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV, along with the conquests of Thutmose III prior to them, had assured that Egypt was the richest country in the world and little needed to be done by Amenhotep III to maintain its high status. It is through the evaluation of the relative significance of the main features of Amenhotep IIIs' rule in his Administration, Foreign Policy, Building Program and Religion as forces for change and continuity we are able to assess his contributions and the extent of his impact.
Even though Amenhotep III simply continued his predecessors stable system of collective administration, he was particularly successful.
Official documentation suggests the entire population enjoyed prosperity. Particularly in the kings' crucial jubilee year 30 the "Overseer of the Double Granary of Upper and Lower Egypt" Khaemhet recorded a "bumper" harvest of grain. While Betsy Bryan states that "...it is impossible to compare the fortunes of the rich with the poor...whether the peasants' life was economically improved due to the overall wealth in Egypt is unknown.." evidence that the king was remembered even 1000 years later as a fertility god, associated with agricultural bounty is an indication of the prosperity during his time and suggests the lasting impact of his affluence.
The prosperity achieved during his reign can be linked to the effectiveness of the key officials appointed by Amenhotep III, which illustrates his competence in the conduct his administration. Hereditary posts were not the norm during...