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The gods and practices of the various cults all represented the same end: eternal harmony and balance.

Amenhotep III ruled over a land whose priesthood, centered on the god Amun, had been steadily growing in power for centuries.

He was the son of Amenhotep III and his wife Tiye, husband of Queen Nefertiti, and father of both Tutankhamun (by a lesser wife named Lady Kiya) and Tutankhamun’s wife Ankhsenamun (by Nefertiti).

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The polytheism of the ancient Egyptians encouraged a world view where peace and balance were emphasized and religious tolerance was not considered an issue; there is not even a word directly corresponding to the concept of `religious tolerance’ in the ancient Egyptian texts.The historian Barbara Watterson writes: By the ninth year of his reign, Akhenaten had proscribed the old gods of Egypt, and ordered their temples to be closed, a very serious matter, for these institutions played an important part in the economic and social life of the country.Religious persecution was new to the Egyptians, who had always worshipped many deities and were ever ready to add new gods to the pantheon.By the time of Amenhotep IV, the Cult of Amun owned more land than the king.In the 5th year of his reign, Amenhotep IV outlawed the old religion and proclaimed himself the living incarnation of a single, all-powerful, deity known as Aten and, by the 9th year, he had closed all the temples and suppressed religious practices.

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