Aten is known as the sun disk god. He was first introduced in the Middle Kingdom as a characteristic of the sun god Re. He was consider a separate god for the first time under Tuthmosis IV. Under Tutmosis son Amenhotep III, a cult was formed to worship Aten.
With the reign of Amenhotep IV the worship of Aten came to its pinnacle. Amenhotep IV started his reign in the capitol city of Thebes. He had difficulties with the powerful priesthood of Amen-Re which had its main temple at Karnak. In the fifth year of his reign, he disbanded the priesthood of all the other gods in Egypt except Aten. He changed the religion from polytheistic to monotheistic. The King changed his name to Akenaten, meaning"servant of Aten." In addition, he moved the capitol city from Thebes to a newly constructed city of Akhetaten.
During his reign, a new type of art was developed. The art moved in the direction of a more realistic form away from the stiff formality of traditional Egyptian Art.
After Akenaten's death, he was succeeded by the boy King Tutankhaten. Tutankhaten returned the capitol to Thebes and changed his name to Tutankhamen in honor of Amen-Re. The kingdom was returned to it's earlier tradition of a polytheistic religion with Amen-Re as the prominent god of state. The recently built city of Akhetaten was abandoned. The majority of temples of Aten and inscriptions of Akenaten were dismantled or destroyed.
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