|This article is about A pharaoh of Egypt during the Amarna Period. For other uses, see Amenhotep.|
Akhenaten (died c. 1335 BCE), also known as Amenhotep IV, was a pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the Amarna Period. The son of Amenhotep III and Tiye, he was married to Nefertiti and was the father of Meritaten and Tutankhamun, and possibly Smenkhkare, his successor.
At some point during his reign, Amenhotep IV acquired an Apple of Eden, which he associated with Aten, the disk of the sun in ancient Egyptian mythology. Revering the Apple's power, he and his wife Nefertiti introduced a new monotheistic religion to Egypt centered around "Aten", changing his name to Akhenaten in the process. As a result, many Egyptians were forced to celebrate their gods in secret.
In the aftermath of his death, Akhenaten was branded a heretic by most of the Egyptian population. His monuments were dismantled and hidden, his statues were destroyed, and his name excluded from the king lists, all in an attempt to erase him from Egyptian history.
Nevertheless, Akhenaten continued to be worshipped by a group of followers, who later constructed a sanctuary in Thebes, which was eventually replaced by the Temple of Karnak. By the 1st century BCE, the cult resided in a farmlands situated outside of the city.
The Aten was later passed down to his successor, and eventually to his son Tutankhamun who, instead of continuing his father's monotheistic beliefs, decided to restore the old Egyptian gods to prominence and passed the artifact to the priests of Amun.
In 38 BCE, Akhenaten's spirit, alongside those of his wife and son, Tutankhamun, and the Great Pharaoh Ramesses II, were seemingly returned to the world of the living by the God's Wife of Amun, Isidora, who had possession of the Aten. The Hidden One Bayek, having investigated this, eventually travelled to Akhenaten's afterlife, where he sprinkled dust from a statue of Amun on his throne, summoning the spirit of the deceased pharaoh to combat him. Bayek eventually defeated the spirit, supposedly bringing his spirit to rest.
After being reanimated back to life, Akhenaten showed great physical combat prowess and significantly higher endurance than most of the opponents that Bayek has ever faced.
Behind the scenes
Akhenaten's original name, Amenhotep, meant "Amun is satisfied", while the name which he took reflect the new religion he created, meaning "Effective for the Aten".
Akhenaten's legacy, both in-game and in real life, was short-lived. Akhenaten's alleged sons, Tutankhamun and Smenkhkare, both chose to reject his monothestic worship of the Aten. Whilst Tutankhamun, in-game, chose to relinquish completely the relic of his father, Smenkhkare instead chose to found the Order of the Ancients in deference to the "gods" Akhenaten had abandoned.
- Assassin's Creed: Revelations (appears in Abstergo Files only)
- Assassin's Creed: Origins – The Curse of the Pharaohs (first appearance)