When Thothmes IV. ascended the throne he was confronted by a very serious political problem. The Heliopolitan priesthood at this time was chafing against the power of Amon, and was striving to restore the somewhat fallen prestige of its own god Ra, who in the far past had been the supreme deity of Egypt, but had now to play an annoying second to the Theban god. Thothmes IV., as we shall presently be told by Akhnaton himself, did not altogether approve of the political character of the Amon priesthood, and it may have been due to this dissatisfaction that he undertook the repairing of the great Sphinx at Gizeh, which was in the care of the priests of Heliopolis. The sphinx was thought to represent a combination of the Heliopolitan gods Horakhti, Khepera, Ra, and Atum, who have been mentioned above; and, according to a later tradition, Thothmes IV. had obtained the throne over the heads of his elder brothers through the mediation of the Sphinx—that is to say, through that of the Heliopolitan priests. By them he was called “Son of Atum and Protector of Horakhte, ... who purifies Heliopolis and satisfies Ra,” and it seems that they looked to him to restore to them their lost power. The Pharaoh, however, was a physical weakling, whose small amount of energy was entirely expended upon his army, which he greatly loved, and which he led into Syria and into the Sudan. His brief reign of somewhat over eight years, from 1420 to 1411 B.C., marks but the indecisive beginnings of the struggle between Amon and Ra, which culminated in the early years of the reign of his grandson Akhnaton.