was a pharaoh from the 18th Dynasty (1570-1293 BC) who was a prolific builder and a relatively benevolent ruler. His reign lasted almost 40 years and was both stable and prosperous. He took the throne of Egypt at the early age of 12. His great-grandfather was Thutmosis III. His parents were Thutmosis IV and Queen Mutemwiya. He had many wives, one chief wife was Tiy, daughter of Yuya and Tuya (whose mummies are among the best preserved in Egypt). Amenhotep had two sons, The older died leaving Amenhotep IV to succeed to the throne. Amenhotep IV, after succeeding to the throne would later change his name to Akhenaten!
Amenhotep III’s reign was one of relative peace and the prosperity during his time was due to more to international trade and a strong gold supply, not from conquest and expansionism. He did lead campaigns, but mainly earlier on in his reign. Amenhotep built many splendid temples and statuary, including many large lifelike statues of himself.
||One of Amenhotep III’s greatest building achievements was the Temple of Amun, now in modern day Luxor. One of the famous reliefs on the east side of this temple consists of a royal birth scene, which served to establish the legitimacy of his rule by Continue reading Amenhotep III
Amenhotep IV (throne name Nefer-kheperue-re) becomes Akhenaten, the famous “heretic” pharaoh.
Akhenaten (1352-1336 BC) was son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. During his reign both the art and religion in Egypt were marked by rapid change. When he initially succeeded the throne he was known as Amenhotep IV, but changed his name to Akhenaten in his fifth regnal year, and began to build a new capital called Akhetaten (“horizon of the sun”), in Middle Egypt. This phase, encompassing Akhenaten’s and Smenkhkara’s reign and the beginning of Tutankhamun’s, is now referred to as the Armarna Period, and the site of the city of Akhetaten is now known as el-Amarna.
|Late-Amarna style sculpture of Akhenaten, probably from the workshop of Thutmose
||Akenaten and his family, shown adoring the Aten sun-disc.
||Bust of Akhenaten, Cairo Museum
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Fall of Assyria’s Empire and Rise of the Moses Legend
Assyria’s great empire lasted no longer than would the empires that began in the late nineteenth century — about seventy-five years. Assyria weakened itself economically by continuous wars to maintain its empire, including defending against invasions by an Indo-European tribal people, the Cimmerians, who came upon the Assyrians from the northeast. The Assyrians spent themselves expanding into Egypt and in quelling the rebellions of Egyptian princes. The Cimmerian menace increased, and more rebellions occurred within the empire. Assyria was burdened by the expense of maintaining its army. Soldiers had to be paid. Massive numbers of horses had to be cared for and fed. Siege engines had to be moved against rebellious cities. Continue reading Zoroastrians and Judaism