The article explores the relationship between the religious reform of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt and changes in the government system. The analysis, which is based on historical data and relies on the diagram of the concept of the early totalitarian state by the author, reveals that Akhenaten's governing system (almost) entirely corresponds to that of an early totalitarian state in terms of historical-political causes and factors of ideology, partly in terms of administrative and legislative system, and only few features of early totalitarianism could be found in the economy and the social order. Akhenaten's foreign politics reveal no features of early totalitarianism. It can be concluded, quite confidently, that Pharaoh Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) was moving towards the early totalitarian rule of government and it is possible that Akhenaten's experiment was one of the first known attempts to create an early totalitarian state in the history of mankind.
Tarmo Kulmar, University of Tartu, Faculty of Theology, Ulikooli 18, 50090 Tartu, Estonia
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