Ancient Egypt / Middle Kingdom / 12th Dynasty /
Other spellings: Amenenkhet
Amenemhet was vizier under King Mentuhotep 4, allowing him to build a strong position in the administration of Thebes. Upon Mentuhotep's death, there was no strong contender to the throne, and Amenemhet took power and had his opponents defeated.
During his reign the capital of Egypt was moved from Thebes to a new capital south of Memphis, which he named Itj-Tawny. Amenemhet brought prosperity back to a troubled Egypt, he limited the power of the nobility, and he had the government reorganized.
He was also active in neighbouring countries, like Libya, Sinai and Nubia. He secured the borders toward Asia by having built the Walls of the Prince. Many fortresses were built in Nubia, increasing his control over this region of rebellious tribes.
A number of monuments were erected in his name. A text possibly containing instructions he gave to his son Sesostris 1, has been found.
In the 20th year of his reign he made Sesostris co-regent, putting him in control of the army and foreign policy. The co-regency lasted 10 years. Sesostris could peacefully ascend the throne upon his father's death.
Amenemhet had his pyramid built at Lisht, 50 km south of the capital. The construction quality of the pyramid was poor, and little remains today.
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