9.10.07

Ramses II (1279-1212 B.C)

King Ramses II (or Ramses 2), the great king in the world, ruled for 67 years during the 13th Century BC. He was a pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty. When the young Ramses came to power, 1300 years had already passed since the time of the Fourth Dynasty, the dynasty which is traditionally associated with the famous pyramids and Sphinx of the Giza (although much evidence suggests that they were constructed many years before even the first historical dynasty).

If, today, In the life of technology, at the end of the twentieth century, one were to ask the average person to name an Egyptian pharaoh, the reply would probably be, "King Tutankhamon." This, of course, is due to the highly unusual discover by one of the great scholars, Howard Carter in 1922 of the child-kings small but almost intact tomb.

Tutankhamon died at age 17. Outside of the contents of king Tut's tomb, little is known of his reign and his life, and he is not considered to be a pharaoh of major importance. Returning to our (name that pharaoh) question, if the average person were to be able to name a second pharaoh, it would almost surely be Ramses II. Even if little importance is currently placed on knowledge of ancient history, legends of this great ruler still live on.

Many may remember him from Shellys famous, if historically inaccurate, poem, "Ozymandias." Some associate him with "Pharaoh" from the Biblical story of the Exodus. A series of best selling novels has recently been written based on the life of Ramses II. Finally, the astute history student will know that Ramses II, popularly known as "Ramses the Great," built more temples, statues and obelisks than any other pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and in the world.

Cartouche of pharaoh Ramses IICartouche of pharaoh Ramses II

Ramses place in Ancient Egyptian History (the period of the power)

In an effort to handle the 3000 years of Egyptian history which includes 170 or so pharaohs, Egyptologists have divided Ancient Egypt into Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom, with intermediate periods in between. The system of dynasties dates back to the third century BC, when the High Priest of Heliopolis, Manetho, defined the basic Egyptian chronology still in use today.

The pharaohs of the New Kingdom were kings of a massive nation, and many of their tremendous works, temples and fortresses are still extant today as testament. It was a power period for Egypt.

Ramses came to the throne approximately 46 years after the death of Tutankhamon who didn't present any service to Egypt except his remained tomb. Tutankhamons reign marked the end of what is known as the Amarna Interlude, a sixteen-year period of revolution in Ancient Egypt when the religious fanatic Akhenaten mandated that his "personal god," Aten, be the only one worshiped. Akhenaten moved the capital out into a desert city that was abandoned after the traditional religion and government were restored.

After Tutankhamon, a series of three military leaders and government officials in turn assumed the throne. Their primary role was to reestablish the ancient ways and to assure that no foreign countries took advantage of the temporary disorganization. The last of these, Ramses I, was the first of the Nineteenth Dynasty, and the first of the so-called Ramesside Period. He was the grandfather of king Ramses II.

Historically, the New Kingdom pharaohs seem to have experienced more attacks by foreign invaders than their predecessors. The Libyans, the Syrians, the Nubians and the Hittites alternately invaded the borders of Egypt. The most famous war that Ramses undertook, and indeed one of the most famous in ancient times was the Battle of Kadesh.

In Year 4 of King Ramses reign, the Pharaoh was forewarned of an enormous coalition of forces being headed by the Hittites. In the spring of Year 5 Ramses gathered an army of 20,000 men and headed north to contend with the force. The Egyptian forces were divided into four divisions: Amon, Re, Ptah and Seth. The Hittite army was much larger, 37,000 men, plus 2500 chariots, and due to faulty intelligence that King Ramses received, had the element of surprise.

The Hittites power attacked, their chariots cut off Ramses from his men, and confusion reigned among the Egyptians. The young Ramses beseeched Amon for help. According to the inscriptions, Amon himself incarnated in Ramses and the Pharaoh began to rally his troops, single-handedly slaying many Hittites himself.

In fact, Peace was eventually offered by the Hittite king. Today, we know from a variety of sources that the Battle of Kadesh was a historical event. However, it is also clear that the event was considered to be symbolic and didactic, and was included at many temples. It was even used in the education of the youth.

4 years historians have supposed that Merneptah, Ramses son and successor, was the (Pharaoh) referred to in the Bible. This was due to the fact that one of the only known related references to the issue was found on his (Victory) stele: Israel is listed as one of the conquered lands. Currently, however, scholars favor Ramses II as the Biblical (Pharaoh) due to chronological considerations. It is hoped that evidence will be discover in KV5 that will shed additional light on the matter.

Ramses II loved and Focused in building cities and other monuments. He established new capital in Delta called Pi-Ramesses. It is build over the stones of Avaris (the past capital of the Hyksos enemy).

Maybe Bows like those which used in Kadesh battle.

The temple of Ramses II in the city of Sohag in Upper Egypt, On the north side of the temple of Seti I. The tourist can travel to Sohag from Cairo by train or by air.

Other Articles:

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Family, Life and Childhood of Ramses II
- Egypt Under Ramses II
- The Death of Ramses II
- Monuments of Ramses II
- Ramses II's Father, Sons and Daughters
- The Journey of Ramses II to Abydus
- Ramses II and the War With Khita
- Ramses II and The Inferiority of Buildings and Sculptures
- Previous Campaigns of Ramses II Against Kadesh
- Wars of Ramses II With Tunep and Canaan
- Treaty Between Ramses II and Khitasir of Khita
- The Granite Statue of Ramses II
- Ramses II Tomb (KV 7)
- Ramses II Mummy
- Pictures of Battle of Kadesh

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