The failed reforms of Akhenaten and Muwatalli

Itamar Singer

In his fifth regnal year Akhenaten founded his new capital Akhet-Aten in Middle Egypt, thereby crowning his religious reform intended to promote the cult of Aten to the exclusion of the rest of the Egyptian pantheon. Half a century later Muwatalli founded his new capital at Tarhuntassa in the Lower Land, as the apex of a religious reform promoting the cult of the Storm-god of Lightning at the expense of other major deities of the Hittites.

Both reforms collapsed shortly after the death of the 'heretic' kings, but Tarhuntassa continued to exist as the seat of a competing Great King. The similarities and the differences between these major religious reforms of the Late Bronze Age will be examined in the light of the contemporary sources and some historical analogies.

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To reference this article we suggest
Singer, I., 'The failed reforms of Akhenaten and Muwatalli', BMSAES 6 (2006), 37-58, http://www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/bmsaes/issue6/singer.html

Contact the author
singer@post.tau.ac.il