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Amenhotep III

The northern
The northern Colossus of Memnon

Amenhotep III (called Nibmu(`w)areya in the Amarna letters) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the XVIIIth dynasty. According to different authors he ruled ca. 1413-1377 BC, 1405-1367 BC, or 1386-1349 BC, following on from his father Thutmose IV. With his Chief Queen Tiy, he fathered Akhenaten, who would succeed him on the throne.

Amenhotep appears to have been crowned while still a child, perhaps between the ages of 6 and 12. His lengthy reign was a period of peace and prosperity and of artistic splendour. He built extensively at the temple of Karnak, including at least two pylons, a colonnade behind the new entrance, and a new temple to the goddess Ma'at. He also oversaw construction of another temple to her at Luxor.

His mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile was, in its day, the largest religious complex in Thebes but, unfortunately, he chose to build too close to the floodplain and less than 200 years later, it stood in ruins. Much of the masonry was purloined by later pharaohs for their own construction projects. The Colossi of Memnon—two massive 18-meter stone statues of Amenhotep that stood at the gateway of his mortuary temple—are the only elements of the complex that remained standing. Amenhotep's names are shown in Egyptian hieroglyphs to the left. The etymology of the name Amenhotep can be interpreted as "Amun is pleased". His nomen is transliterated as ỉmn-ḥtp ḥḳ3-w3st, which is usually realised as Amenhotep Hekawaset. His epithet, Hekawaset, means "ruler of Thebes". In Greek, Amenhotep was called Amenophis. Upon his accession to the throne, Anenhotep took the praenomen Nebmaatre. This is transliterated as nb-m3t-r, and is the name written Nibmu(`w)areya in the Amarna letters.

Last updated: 06-02-2005 14:00:40
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