Amenhotep III

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King of the 18th Dynasty, son of Tuthmosis IV, husband of Queen Tiy and father of Amenhotep IV, who later became Akhenaten. Whether he was also the father of Tutankhamun is still disputed. His reign is mainly characterised by peace with the surrounding countries, although vassals in parts of the Egyptian empire in Asia continued to fight among themselves necessitating occasional forays by Amenhotep III. In general, the impression is that Amenhotep was not particularly interested in military affairs and only wanted to preserve the situation created by his predecessors. Within Egypt it was also occasionally unsettled, mainly because the steadily increasing dichotomy between the king on the one hand and the high officials and priests on the other. The king ruled for a long time; he celebrated Sed festivals in his 30th, 34th and 37th regnal years. Amenhotep chose the Aten as his personal god, as is shown by various sources, but continued to worship the other gods as well. He thus prepared the way for the religious revolution of his son Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten. Under Amenhotep III, Egyptian art attained previously unknown quality. Massive construction works were begun, such as in the temple of Luxor, the Third Pylon in the temple of Karnak, a temple in Nubia, and the king's mortuary temple on the west bank at Thebes, of which no more survives than two colossal statues of the king, now known as the Colossi of Memnon.