Amenhotep IV

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King of the 18th Dynasty ('c.'1351 - 1334 BC), the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. He was the husband of the famous queen Nefertiti. Amenhotep decided early in his reign to break with existing religious beliefs. He concentrated entirely on worshipping only one god (who had been worshipped before), called Aten, who was embodied in the visible sun disk. The existence of all other gods was denied by Amenhotep IV, and eventually these gods were persecuted by him. All over Egypt depictions and texts mentioning them were hacked out. Even the plural form 'gods' was not permitted. As a result of these actions, Amenhotep is often called the heretic king. During his reign, Amenhotep changed his name to Akhenaten ('He who acts beneficently for Aten') and moved his residence from Thebes to a place previously uninhabited, which he called Akhetaten ('horizon of Aten'). This city is now known as El-`Amarna, which has given its name to the entire period and its art. The art - and in this aspect, too, the period was revolutionary - is characterized by exageration of the forms of the human body.