Loading...

Akhenaton

AKHENATON (a'kĕn-a't'n, he who is beneficial to Aton). The name chosen by Amenhotep IV (1377-1360 b.c.), ruler in the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, when he changed the religion of his country, demanding that all his subjects worship only the sun god under the name Aton. Politically his reign was disastrous. Internal disorders prevailed, and Egypt’s Asian possessions began to slip away. His external troubles are illustrated by clay tablets found at Tell el-Amarna, the site of Akhetaton, the capital he established. Hundreds of letters from vassal governors in Syria and Palestine tell of invasions and intrigue and make appeals for help. Many of these tablets refer to invaders called the Habiru. Some feel that this name designates the Hebrews; others say that it speaks of a non-Semitic people. Akhenaton is credited by many as being the first monotheist and, indeed, the inspiration for the monotheism of Moses. However, Akhenaton clearly worshiped the sun itself and not the Creator of the sun