Amenhotep III in Wikipedia
Amenhotep III (sometimes read as Amenophis III; Egyptian *ˀAmāna-Ḥātpa; meaning Amun is Satisfied) was the ninth pharaoh of the
Eighteenth dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1386 to 1349 BC or June 1388 BC to December 1351
BC/1350 BC after his father Thutmose IV died. Amenhotep III was the son of Thutmose by Mutemwia, a minor wife of Amenhotep's
His reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and
international power. When he died (probably in the 39th year of his reign), his son initially ruled as Amenhotep IV, but later
changed his own royal name to Akhenaten.
The son of the future Thutmose IV (the son of Amenhotep II) and a minor wife Mutemwiya, Amenhotep was born around 1388 BC. He was
a member of the Thutmosid family that had ruled Egypt for almost 150 years since the reign of Thutmose I.
Amenhotep III was the father of two sons with his Great Royal Wife Tiye, a queen who could be considered as the progenitor of
monotheism through her first son, Crown Prince Thutmose, who predeceased his father, and her second son, Akhenaten, who
ultimately succeeded Amenhotep III to the throne. Amenhotep II also may have been the father of a third child-called Smenkhkare, who
later would succeed Akhenaten, briefly rule Egypt as pharaoh, and who is thought to have been a woman.
Amenhotep III and Tiye may also have had four daughters: Sitamun, Henuttaneb, Isis or Iset, and Nebetah. They appear frequently
on statues and reliefs during the reign of their father and also are represented by smaller objects-with the exception of
Nebetah. Nebetah is attested only once in the known historical records on a colossal limestone group of statues from Medinet
Habu. This huge sculpture, that is seven meters high, shows Amenhotep III and Tiye seated side by side, "with three of their
daughters standing in front of the throne--Henuttaneb, the largest and best preserved, in the centre; Nebetah on the right; and
another, whose name is destroyed, on the left."
Amenhotep III elevated two of his four daughters-Sitamun and Isis-to the office of "great royal wife" during the last decade of his
reign. Evidence that Sitamun already was promoted to this office by Year 30 of his reign, is known from jar-label inscriptions
uncovered from the royal palace at Malkata. It should be noted that Egypt's theological paradigm encouraged a male pharaoh to
accept royal women from several different generations as wives to strengthen the chances of his offspring succeeding him. The
goddess Hathor herself was related to Ra as first the mother and later wife and daughter of the god when he rose to prominence in
the pantheon of the Ancient Egyptian religion. Hence, Amenhotep III's marriage to his two daughters should not be considered
unlikely based on contemporary views of marriage.
Amenhotep III is known to have married Gilukhepa, the first of a series of diplomatic brides and the daughter of Shuttarna II of
Mitanni, in the tenth year of his reign. Around Year 36 of his reign, he also married Tadukhepa, the daughter of his ally
Tushratta of Mitanni.
Amenhotep III enjoyed the distinction of having the most surviving statues of any Egyptian pharaoh, with over 250 of his statues
having been discovered and identified. Since these statues span his entire life, they provide a series of portraits covering the
entire length of his reign.
Another striking characteristic of Amenhotep III's reign is the series of over 200 large commemorative stone scarabs that have been
discovered over a large geographic area ranging from Syria (Ras Shamra) through to Soleb in Nubia. Their lengthy inscribed texts
extol the accomplishments of the pharaoh. For instance, 123 of these commemorative scarabs record the large number of lions (either
102 or 110 depending on the reading) that Amenhotep III killed "with his own arrows" from his first regnal year up to his tenth
year. Similarly, five other scarabs state that the foreign princess who would become a wife to him, Gilukhepa, arrived in Egypt
with a retinue of 317 women. She was the first of many such princesses who would enter the pharaoh's household.
Another eleven scarabs record the excavation of an artificial lake he had built for his royal wife, Queen Tiye, in his eleventh
" "Regnal Year 11 under the Majesty of...Amenhotep (III), ruler of Thebes, given life, and the great royal wife Tiyi; may she
live; her father's name was Yuya, her mother's name Tuya. His Majesty commanded the making of a lake for the great royal wife Tiyi--
may she live--in her town of Djakaru. (near Akhmin). Its length is 3,700 (cubits) and its width is 700 (cubits). (His Majesty)
celebrated the Festival of Opening the Lake in the third month of Inundation, day sixteen. His Majesty was rowed in the royal barge
Aten-tjehen in it [the lake]." "
Amenhotep appears to have been crowned while still a child, perhaps between the ages of 6 and 12. It is likely that a regent acted
for him if he was made pharaoh at that early age. He married Tiye two years later and she lived twelve years after his death. His
lengthy reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity and artistic splendour, when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and
international power. Proof of this is shown by the diplomatic correspondence from the rulers of Assyria, Mitanni, Babylon, and Hatti
which is preserved in the archive of Amarna Letters; these letters document frequent requests by these rulers for gold and numerous
other gifts from the pharaoh. The letters cover the period from Year 30 of Amenhotep III until at least the end of Akhenaten's
reign. In one famous correspondence-Amarna letter EA 4--Amenhotep III is quoted by the Babylonian king Kadashman-Enlil I in firmly
rejecting the latter's entreaty to marry one of this pharaoh's daughters:
" "From time immemorial, no daughter of the king of Egy[pt] is given to anyone." "
Amenhotep III's refusal to allow one of his daughters to be married to the Babylonian monarch may indeed be connected with Egyptian
traditional royal practices that could provide a claim upon the throne through marriage to a royal princess, or, it be viewed as a
shrewd attempt on his part to enhance Egypt's prestige over those of her neighbours in the international world.
The pharaoh's reign was relatively peaceful and uneventful. The only recorded military activity by the king is commemorated by three
rock-carved stelas from his fifth year found near Aswan and Sai Island in Nubia. The official account of Amenhotep III's military
victory emphasizes his martial prowess with the typical hyperbole used by all pharaohs.
" "Regnal Year 5, third month of Inundation, day 2. Appearance under the Majesty of Horus: Strong bull, appearing in truth;
Two Ladies: Who establishes laws and pacifies the Two Lands;...King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Nebmaatra, heir of Ra; Son of Ra:
[Amenhotep, ruler of Thebes], beloved of [Amon]-Ra, King of the Gods, and Khnum, lord of the cataract, given life. One came to tell
His Majesty, "The fallen one of vile Kush has plotted rebellion in his heart." His Majesty led on to victory; he completed it in his
first campaign of victory. His Majesty reached them like the wing stroke of a falcon, like Menthu (war god of Thebes) in his
transformation...Ikheny, the boaster in the midst of the army, did not know the lion that was before him. Nebmaatra was the fierce-
eyed lion whose claws seized vile Kush, who trampled down all its chiefs in their valleys, they being cast down in their blood, one
on top of the other." "
Amenhotep III celebrated three Jubilee Sed festivals, in his Year 30, Year 34, and Year 37 respectively at his Malkata summer palace
in Western Thebes. The palace, called as Per-Hay or "House of Rejoicing" in ancient times, comprised a temple of Amun and a
festival hall built especially for this occasion. One of the king's most popular epithets was Aten-tjehen which means "the
Dazzling Sun Disk"; it appears in his titulary at Luxor temple and, more frequently, was used as the name for one of his palaces as
well as the Year 11 royal barge, and denotes a company of men in Amenhotep's army.
Proposed co-regency by Akhenaten
There is currently no conclusive evidence of a co-regency between Amenhotep III and his son, Akhenaten. A letter from the Amarna
palace archives dated to Year 2-rather than Year 12-of Akhenaten's reign from the Mitannian king, Tushratta, (Amarna letter EA 27)
preserves a complaint about the fact that Akhenaten did not honor his father's promise to forward Tushratta statues made of solid
gold as part of a marriage dowry for sending his daughter, Tadukhepa, into the pharaoh's household. This correspondence implies
that if any co-regency occurred between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten, it lasted no more than a year at the most. Lawrence Berman
observes in a 1998 biography of Amenhotep III that,
"It is significant that the proponents of the coregency theory have tended to be art historians [ie: Raymond Johnson], whereas
historians [such as Donald Redford and William Murnane] have largely remained unconvinced. Recognizing that the problem admits no
easy solution, the present writer has gradually come to believe that it is unnecessary to propose a coregency to explain the
production of art in the reign of Amenhotep III. Rather the perceived problems appear to derive from the interpretation of mortuary