Reference : Akhénaton
Books : Book published as author, translator, etc.
Arts & humanities : Art & art history
Arts & humanities : Archaeology
Arts & humanities : History
[en] Akhenaten
Laboury, Dimitri mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences historiques > Archéologie égyptienne >]
Pygmalion - Flammarion
Les grands pharaons
[en] Akhenaten ; Amarna Age ; Aten
[en] Amenhotep IV, ninth Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty (ca 1352 - 1335 B.C.), who changed his name into Akhenaten, is probably the most debated figure of Ancient Egyptian History. Known as the first founder of a monotheistic religion in the history of mankind, he holds an exceptional position in modern collective memories about Ancient Egypt, despite the fact that he was rejected into oblivion by his direct successors. His modern fame is fundamentally due to the reappropriation of his character by various and incredibly numerous occidental or contemporary ideologies. In this context of highly culturo-centric reinterpretation, it is often very difficult, for the layman or the laywoman as well as for the scholar, to comprehend the king who actually ruled Egypt in the middle of the 14th century B.C. The book attempts to address this issue by proposing an archaeological biography of Akhenaton, i.e. a description of the historical facts of his reign that are physically - or archaeologically - attested, with the constant aim of distinguishing these facts from their interpretations. Such an approach allows the reader to understand how egyptological knowledge is constructed. The book is structured according to the different phases of the actual life of Akhenaten: after a necessary appraisal of his modern rediscovery and reinterpretations, a chapter is respectively devoted to his childhood and the Egyptian Empire in which he grew up, to the first years of his reign, to the invention of real Atenism, in year 4, to the king’s project when he moved his capital to Akhet-Aten - Amarna, in Middle Egypt, and, at last, to his post-mortem survival, in the reactions of his successors and followers. The book ends with some conclusions about the epistemological capabilities of archaeological biography and about the particularity of Akhenaten and his Atenist ideology.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students ; General public
Compte rendu de J.-L. Chappaz dans Bibliotheca Orientalis 68 (2011), p. 73-6

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