The first monotheist in history? When Akhenaten came to power in 1350 BC he reformed Egypt’s religious beliefs from Polytheistic to Monotheistic. Traditionally, Egyptians worshipped many gods and goddesses.

It was Akhenaten’s sudden change of direction, art style and religious beliefs that sealed his fate.

He felt so strongly in the worship of the sun god Aten, that he moved the Egyptian capital to Akhetaten (named after himself and the god he worshipped). The extreme tangent wasn’t widely accepted and before his new capital could be finished he died. It was left unfinished and his name was struck from the king lists, his temples razed to the ground and his cult was all but demolished.

It wasn’t until modern times that Akhenaten’s existence was rediscovered. He was labelled a heretic in his own time and was almost completely lost to history. The act of Damnatio Memoriae after his death wasn’t enough to erase his existence completely.

This ‘destruction of memory’ has essentially had the opposite effect. Akhenaten is now considered one of the most unique and interesting pharaohs to have existed.

He is remembered and talked about often.