Against the backdrop of the most astonishing reign in Egyptian history, here are the dramatic events that unfolded among the vassal states of Syria in the Near East. Letters to the heretic-king, Akhenaten, plead for his intercession in conflicts and trade from allies who had relied on help from his father, Amenhotep III. These letters were discovered at the site of Amarna, Akhenaten's capital city in the late 19th century. Here, Sir William Flinders Petrie gives context and meaning to the translations of the letters. Originally written in the diplomatic script of cuneiform, the letters reveal a violent and unsettled region being allowed to slip out of the Egyptian sphere of influence, while Akhenaten dreams away about his revolutionary religion.