Akhenaten was one of the most influential of all of the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. He courted controversy and admiration in equal measure and gave inspiration to thousands of lines of ancient poetry documenting his life and achievements. And yet despite that, one mystery remains. What inspired this remarkably influential man to become the most revolutionary religious innovators to have ever lived?
Akhenaten, the father of Tutankhamun and the husband of Queen Nefertiti, ruled over Egypt for seventeen years during the eighteenth dynasty. The most dramatic feature of his long reign was the abandonment of the traditional polytheistic practices of the Ancient Egyptians which Akhenaten replaced with a monotheistic system. He was a pioneer in this regard as he existed many years before the emergence of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Akhenaten allowed for the worship of only one god, Aten, or the Sun Disk who was viewed as the creator god.
The pharaoh’s devotion to this particular God was so intense that he oversaw the construction of a new capital city, Amarna, which was dedicated as a monument of worship to the Sun God. Curiously, Akhenaten characterised his affiliation with the Sun God as a personal relationship saying; “There is only one God, my father. I can approach him by day, by night.” While some may think that the pharaoh was only speaking metaphorically in this instance, it has been written in ancient poetry that Akhenaten was visited by beings who descended from the sky.
It is said that these creatures gave the ruler counsel and had a singularly influential effect on his policy making and endeavours. This detail has given rise to speculation that Akhenaten was visited and guided in his construction of a new era in Egyptian society by some form of alien species. Some have even suggested that the pharaoh may have even been an alien himself, noting that there is a reference to him descending to Earth from the stars in the literature of the period. Whether or not this is true, there was certainly something incredibly special about this mysterious Egyptian pharaoh.
In 1899, celebrated Egyptologist noted after reviewing Akhenaten’s views of the cosmos that this ancient man appeared to have equal knowledge of the workings of the solar system as the men of science of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This article (Akhenaten -
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