Moses and Akhenaten
one and the same person
By Ahmed Osman
Following his marriage to Nerfertiti, Amenhotep decided to make Akenaten his co-regent, which upset the priests of Amun. The conflict between Amhenhotep and the priests had started sixteen years earlier, as a result of his marriage to Tiye, daughter of Yuya and Tuya. On his accession to the throne as co-regent, Akhenaten took the name of Amenhotep IV. At Thebes, during the early years of his co-regency, Nefertiti was active in supporting her husband and more prominent than Akhenaten in official occasions as well as on all monuments. However, the climate of hostility that surrounded Akhenaten at the time of his birth surfaced again after his appointment as co-regent. The Amun priesthood opposed this appointment, and openly challenged Amenhotep IIIís decision.
When the Amun priests objected to his appointment, Akhenaten responded by building temples to his new God, Aten. He built three temples for Aten one at the back end of the Karnak complex and the other at Luxor near the Nile bank and the third at Memphis. Akhenaten snubbed the Aumn priests by not inviting them to any of the festivities in the early part of his co-regency and, in his fourth year when he celebrated his sed festival jubilee, he banned all deities but his own God from the occasion. Twelve months later he made a further break with tradition by changing his name to Akhenaten in honour of his new deity. To the resentful Egyptian establishment Aten was seen as a challenger who would replace the powerful State god Amun and not come under his domination. In the tense climate that prevailed, Tiye arranged a compromise by persuading her son to leave Thebes and establish a new capital at Amarna in Middle Egypt, on the east bank of the Nile, some two hundred miles to the north of Thebes.