Best known for: Ruling Egypt during the peak of the Ancient Egyptian civilization
Amenhotep III ruled the Egyptian Empire during the peak of its international power and prosperity. It was a time of peace when art and Egyptian culture flourished.
Amenhotep III was the son of Pharaoh Thutmose IV and the great-grandson of the legendary Pharaoh Thutmose III. He grew up in the royal palace as the crown prince of Egypt. He would have been educated on the workings of the Egyptian government as well as the religious responsibilities of the pharaoh.
When Amenhotep was around twelve years old his father died and Amenhotep was crowned pharaoh. He likely had an adult regent who ruled for him for the first few years as he grew older and learned how to lead.
Amenhotep took over Egypt at a time when the country was very rich and powerful. He was a very capable politician. He maintained his power over Egypt by reducing the power of the priests of Amun and elevating the sun god Ra. He also made strong alliances with foreign powers by marrying the daughters of foreign kings from Babylon and Syria.
Just a few years after becoming pharaoh, Amenhotep married his wife Tiye. Tiye became his queen and "Great Royal Wife." They had several children together including two sons. Amenhotep's first son, Crown Prince Thutmose, died at a fairly young age. This made his second son Amenhotep IV first in line for the crown. Amenhotep IV would later change his name to Akhenaten when he became pharaoh.
In order to strengthen alliances with foreign nations, Amenhotep married several princesses from bordering kingdoms. Despite having so many wives, it seems that Amenhotep had strong feelings for his first wife Queen Tiye. He built a lake in her honor in her home town and also had a mortuary temple built for her.
Colossi of Memnon Author: Unknown photographer
During his time as pharaoh, Amenhotop III built many monuments to himself and the gods. Perhaps his most famous construction was the Temple of Luxor in Thebes. This temple became one of the grandest and most famous temples in Egypt. Amenhotep also built hundreds of statues of himself including the Colossi of Memnon. These two giant statues tower around 60 feet tall and show a giant Amenhotep in a sitting position.
Amenhotep III died around the year 1353 BC. He was buried in the Valley of Kings in a tomb along with his wife Tiye. His son, Amenhotep IV, became pharaoh upon his death. His son would change his name to Akhenaten and make huge changes to the Egyptian religion.
Interesting Facts About Amenhotep III
The name Amenhotep means "Amun is Satisfied." Amun was the main god of the Egyptians.
He built an extravagant mortuary temple to himself. It was later flooded by the Nile River and much of it is in ruins today.
There are more surviving statues (around 250) of Amenhotep III than any other Pharaoh.
Although Amenhotep married many foreign princesses, when the King of Babylon asked to marry Amenhotep's daughter, he refused.
He is sometimes called Amenhotep the Magnificent.
He was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
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