Chapter

Imperial Millennialism The Monotheist Pharaoh Akhenaten (1360–1347 <span class="smallCaps">bce</span>)

Richard Landes

in Heaven on Earth

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753598
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897445 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753598.003.0006
Imperial Millennialism The Monotheist Pharaoh Akhenaten (1360–1347 bce)

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This chapter identifies the “heretic pharaoh” Akhenaten as a millennialistavant la lettre. His version constitutes an unusual form of millennialism, a top-down, success driven apocalyptic scenario rather than the more familiar, bottom-up catastrophe-driven ones. Beginning with the spectacular reign of Akhenaten's father, Amenhotep III, the “sun-king,” the chapter traces the bizarre career of the “monotheist” Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti's move to their millennial capital, Akhetaten, where an exceptionally lively period of Egyptian art unfolded in the brief period before the rapid unraveling of the movement.

Keywords: Akhenaten; Amenhotep III; Egypt; monotheism; iconoclasm; hierarchical millennialism; Amenhotep sa-Hapu; Sed festivals; Jubilee

Chapter.  18906 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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