Amenhotep III (äˌmĕnhōˈtĕp, āˌ–) [key] or Amenophis III ăˌmĕnōˈfĭs, d. c.1372 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XVIII dynasty. He succeeded his father, Thutmose IV, c.1411 B.C. His reign marks the culmination and the start of the decline of the XVIII dynasty. It was the age of Egypt's greatest splendor; there was peace in his Asian empire (in spite of incursions by Bedouins and Hittites), and he invaded Nubia only once. This was the period of extreme elaboration in Egyptian architecture and sculpture. Amenhotep III built extensively at Thebes, Luxor, and Karnak. His wife Tiy was given an unprecedented position as queen consort and exerted much influence over her husband and his son and successor, Ikhnaton (Amenhotep IV). The sources of the "solar monotheism" of the god Aton, elaborated by Ikhnaton, may be traced to the reign of Amenhotep III. Tablets found at Tell el Amarna shed light on the sociopolitical conditions in Egypt and Asia Minor in the 14th cent. B.C.
See biographies by J. Fletcher (2000) and A. P. Kozloff (2011); study by D. O'Connor (2001).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.