It is not useful to discuss a topic like this in terms or concepts which apply to 2009 but have no application in 2009BC. From all my reading, the ancient Egyptians had a very different mind-set when it came to gender, sexuality, promiscuity, and sexual maturity. All that students of this time can consider now regarding Ahkenaton, is whether he expressed both maleness and femininity within his public persona, and the answer from the Amarna period art, is definitely 'yes'.
It is further argued that Akhenaton had significant input into the new style of art which developed, and therefore there was no mistake about the representations or him and his family. Having said that, remember that all royal Egyptian pictorial representations in wall inscriptions were not 'pictures', but 'diagrams' designed to convey meaning. So it can be argued strongly that Akhenaton was trying to convey a sense of him containing both male and female qualities in a spiritual or conceptual sense. To that degree, there would be no difference between him and those theories of personality which acknowledge that all humans have feminine and masculine within them.
But the literal question of whether he or any other pharoah (eg Unas) bedded, or had a love affair, with another man, will not be answered definitively.
Personally, I think the fact that Nefertiti and Smenhkhare both share the same name is a big issue, especially when linked to the detail that nether appears to be around when the other is on the record. There are a number of good books around on this aspect of D18, but I don't think any of them has a killer argument.
tnrees said :
Had another talk at our society.
The lecturer did not think Akhenaten was gay but did say he was a tyrant.
He had a priest while he was alive - other pharohs became gods after they died.
There are a lot of grovelling people on his inscriptions - even litter bearers on their knees.
No one except the royal family could worship the Aten - ordinary people had to worship him.
The army is shown a lot on his monuments.
He was no pacifist - he enjoyed the tribute from the empire & claimed to have carried out at least 1 campaign (though he probably did not actualy go in person but it is the thought that counts).
Well, Akhenaton is also shown giving away valuable items from the "viewing balcony" more than any other pharoah, and also shown in numerous pictures in affectionate tableaux with members of his family. Again the definition of tyrant we use now is hardly applicable to dynastic Egypt - all pahroahs were tyrants by modern standards of democracy.
But Akhenaton was engaged in a power struggle with the increasingly wealthy and dictatorial priesthood at Thebes, who eventually continued to become so powerful in the TIP that they started crowning themselves King of all Egypt (eg Herihor). Evidence of this is shown in the boundary stela where he alludes to conflict which started even in his father's time, referring to what we might term today - slander.
And in Akhenaton's time the monarchy was on the back-foot compared to the Amun priesthood. But the evidence shows that he started off his 'new' religious concept more tentatively and later either grew in confidence or became more frustrated with resistance from Thebes.
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you mean by your third line, ntrees. All pharoahs had priests when they were alive. I think what your society is referring to is that Akhenaton deemed himself the essence of the Aten on earth. But of course all pharoahs had been deemed the essence of Horus on earth while alive, and Osiris once dead. So once again his position can be seen simply as opposition to the power of the Theban priesthood and the worship of Amun. In essence, he positioned himself somewhat like the modern pope of the Catholic Church.
With regard to pacifism, all pharoahs were shown personally smiting enemies - this was a format representation of Egypt overcoming its enemies and not a record of the pharoah's personal exploits !!