Historiography of the problem of assessment of Akhenaten's reign





Egypt, Akhenaten, Amarna, religious reform, historiography


The article is devoted to the historiography of the study of the scientific problem of assessment of Akhenaten's reign (Amenhotep IV) (1349 - 1333 years BC.), the Egyptian Pharaoh of 18th dynasty. Amarna period was marked by the unprecedented scale of construction activity, motivated by new religious reform. Pharaoh Akhenaten abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism and introduced worship centered on the sun god Aten.

The author presents a profile of some historiography studies of Amarna Period, analyses the changes of the assessment of Akhenaten's reign in general since XIX century, shows different evaluations of his religious reform in the scientific literature. During the XX century's first decade the idealistic perception of Akhenaten prevailed in scientific literature. Further researches of the second half of XX -XXI centuries perceived the political causes in his religious reform. For example, D. Redford argued that Akhenaten's milieu interpreted his reign as tyranny. N. Reeves believes that king Akhenaten strengthened his power by the use of a new religious ideology, his reign was inherent by despotism and religious intolerance.

The author comes to conclusion that in spite of the available historiography studies, that make it possible to study Amarna Period, the outstanding figure of king Akhenaten still remains controversial.

Author Biography

Olha Zapletniuk, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Candidate of Historical Sciences


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How to Cite

Zapletniuk, O. (2017). Historiography of the problem of assessment of Akhenaten’s reign. Skhid, (3(149), 43–47. https://doi.org/10.21847/1728-9343.2017.3(149).108123