Egyptian Pharaoh. He was born Amenhotep, and was probably the younger son of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. There are indications that as a child the young Amenhotep was a family outcast. In 1352 BC Akhenaten, a teenager at the time, ascended the throne and was crowned at Karnak, succeeding his father under the name Amenhotep IV, the tenth King of the 18th Dynasty. The beginning of his reign marked no great change from his predecessors. By the fifth or sixth year of his reign, however, he changed his name to Akhenaten and began a policy of sweeping reforms that sent the Egyptian empire into turmoil. He is best known, however, for his religious reforms, replacing the traditional polytheism of Egypt with a monotheism centered on Aten, the god of the solar disc. Since most of his reforms were introduced with force, and disturbed the balance of power and influence, they were met with strong resistance. He seemed particularly interested in suppressing the worship of Amen in Thebes and moved the capital to a location now known as Tel el-Amarna. All of his changes to established lifeways were possibly no more than a move to lessen the political power of the priesthood. The Pharaoh, not the priests, became the sole link between the people and the god Aten which effectively put an end to the power of many temples. It is generally accepted that Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti had six daughters; Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhenspaaten, Neferneferuaten, Neferneferure and Setepenre, as no son was ever shown in the many reliefs depicting the family. Akhenaten died about 1334 BC, probably in the 16th or 17th year of his reign, putting him in his mid-thirties at the time of his death. He was buried at his new capital, Amarna initially but it is almost certain that his body did not remain at there. It has been suggested that he was reburied in the notoriously mysterious tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings, Thebes, though other possibilities are just as likely. His remains have never been identified. After Akhenaten's death, the temples of Aten and many of his buildings and monuments were demolished, Egypt returned to polytheism and the capitol to Thebes.
Bio by: Iola