Amenhotep III
(The Dazzling Sun-Disk)

- At his accession, Egypt was the unrivalled leader of the known world
- Reaped the benefits from the conquests of predecessors Thutmose III, Amenhotep II and Thutmose IV; Egypt’s Syrian, Nubian and Libyan neighbours were dominated
- Gardiner: Egypt reached a “zenith of magnificence”
- Ruled using diplomacy rather than force
- His messengers traveled freely throughout kingdoms and states of the East. Communicated and exchanged gifts with the kings of Babylon and Mitanni.
- Enormous wealth poured into Egypt through trade and tribute; allowed Amenhotep III to initiate greatest building boom of 18th dynasty, from the delta to Nubia
- Lavished attention on city of Thebes and dedicated vast wealth to Amun
- Built temples at Karnak and Luxor
- Built enormous mortuary temple and complex of palaces on west bank of Nile
- Time of great artistic flowering
- Redford: craftsmen displayed “a confident and complete command of their medium, which was never again equalled in the 1500 years Egypt’s pharaonic culture survived”
- Court life was fashionable and elegant
- Amenhotep III surrounded himself with a group of brilliant administrators
- Throughout reign, Amenhotep was supported by the Great Royal Wife Queen Tiye, whose influence on the government of Egypt was not only considerable but unquestioned


- Inscriptions on stelae found at Thebes, the First Cataract, Konosso, Semna and Bubastic in the delta. Most important: Building Inscription, stood in Amenhotep’s mortuary temple and recorded his building works in honour of Amun-Re.
- Scarab bulletins: while small seal scarabs inscribed with a few words were used by earlier kings for commemoration of important events, Amenhotep III issued large scarabs inscribed with “a whole narrative or its equivalent” – Gardiner
- Walls of the temples of Amun-Re at Luxor (painting of his divine birth) and Karnak (a pylon records building details) and the Temple of Soleb in...