Ramesses II /ˈræməsiːz, ˈræmsiːz, ˈræmziːz/ (variously
spelled also Rameses or Ramses; born c. 1303 BC; died July or
August 1213 BC; reigned 1279–1213 BC), also known as
Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty of
Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most
powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. His successors and later
Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor". He is known as Ozymandias
in the Greek sources, from a transliteration into Greek of a part
of Ramesses' throne name, Usermaatre Setepenre, "The justice of
powerful—chosen of Rê".
Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant,
reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan. He also led expeditions to
the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali
and Gerf Hussein. The early part of his reign was focused on building
cities, temples, and monuments. He established the city of Pi-Ramesses
in the Nile Delta as his new capital and used it as the main base for
his campaigns in Syria.
At age fourteen, Ramesses was appointed
Prince Regent by his father
Seti I. He is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens
and is known to have ruled
Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC. Manetho
Ramesses II a reign of 66 years and 2 months; most
Egyptologists today believe he assumed the throne on May 31, 1279 BC,
based on his known accession date of III Shemu day 27.
Estimates of his age at death vary; 90 or 91 is considered most
Ramesses II celebrated an unprecedented 14 sed
festivals (the first held after 30 years of a pharaoh's reign, and
then, every three years) during his reign—more than any other
pharaoh. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of
the Kings; his body was later moved to a royal cache where it was
discovered in 1881, and is now on display in the
1 Campaigns and battles
1.1 Battle against
Sherden sea pirates
1.2 First Syrian campaign
1.3 Second Syrian campaign
1.4 Third Syrian campaign
1.5 Later campaigns in Syria
Peace treaty with the Hittites
1.7 Campaigns in Nubia
1.8 Campaigns in Libya
2 Sed festival
3 Building activity and monuments
3.3 Abu Simbel
3.4 Other Nubian monuments
3.5 Tomb of Nefertari
3.6 Tomb KV5
3.7 Colossal statue
4 Death and legacy
6 In popular culture
6.1 As the pharaoh of the Exodus
7 See also
9 Further reading
10 External links
Campaigns and battles
Ramesses II as a child (
The great Sesostris (Rameses II) in the Battle of Khadesh
Early in his life,
Ramesses II embarked on numerous campaigns to
restore possession of previously held territories lost to the Nubians
Hittites and to secure Egypt's borders. He was also responsible
for suppressing some Nubian revolts and carrying out a campaign in
Libya. Although the
Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh often dominates the scholarly
view of the military prowess and power of Ramesses II, he nevertheless
enjoyed more than a few outright victories over the enemies of Egypt.
During Ramesses II's reign, the Egyptian army is estimated to have
totaled about 100,000 men; a formidable force that he used to
strengthen Egyptian influence.
Sherden sea pirates
In his second year,
Ramesses II decisively defeated the
pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt's
Mediterranean coast by
attacking cargo-laden vessels travelling the sea routes to Egypt.
Sherden people probably came from the coast of Ionia, from
Anatolia or perhaps, also from the island of
Sardinia. Ramesses posted troops and ships at strategic
points along the coast and patiently allowed the pirates to attack
their perceived prey before skillfully catching them by surprise in a
sea battle and capturing them all in a single action. A stele from
Tanis speaks of their having come "in their war-ships from the midst
of the sea, and none were able to stand before them". There probably
was a naval battle somewhere near the mouth of the Nile, as shortly
Sherden are seen among the pharaoh's body-guard where
they are conspicuous by their horned helmets having a ball projecting
from the middle, their round shields, and the great Naue II swords
with which they are depicted in inscriptions of the Battle of
Kadesh. In that sea battle, together with the Sherden, the pharaoh
also defeated the Lukka (L'kkw, possibly the later Lycians), and the
Šqrsšw (Shekelesh) peoples.
First Syrian campaign
The immediate antecedents to the
Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh were the early
Ramesses II into Canaan. His first campaign seems to have
taken place in the fourth year of his reign and was commemorated by
the erection of what became the first of the Commemorative stela of
Nahr el-Kalb, near modern Beirut. The inscription is almost totally
illegible, due to weathering.
Additional records tell us that he was forced to fight a Canaanite
prince who was mortally wounded by an Egyptian archer, and whose army
subsequently, was routed. Ramesses carried off the princes of Canaan
as live prisoners to Egypt. Ramesses then plundered the chiefs of the
Asiatics in their own lands, returning every year to his headquarters
Riblah to exact tribute. In the fourth year of his reign, he
captured the Hittite vassal state of Amurru during his campaign in
Second Syrian campaign
Main article: Battle of Kadesh
Ramesses II storming the Hittite fortress of Dapur
Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh in his fifth regnal year was the climactic
engagement in a campaign that Ramesses fought in Syria, against the
resurgent Hittite forces of Muwatallis. The pharaoh wanted a victory
at Kadesh both to expand Egypt's frontiers into Syria, and to emulate
his father Seti I's triumphal entry into the city just a decade or so
earlier. He also constructed his new capital, Pi-Ramesses. There he
built factories to manufacture weapons, chariots, and shields,
supposedly producing some 1,000 weapons in a week, about 250 chariots
in two weeks, and 1,000 shields in a week and a half. After these
preparations, Ramesses moved to attack territory in the Levant, which
belonged to a more substantial enemy than any he had ever faced in
war: the Hittite Empire.
Ramesses's forces were caught in a Hittite ambush and outnumbered at
Kadesh when they counterattacked and routed the Hittites, whose
survivors abandoned their chariots and swam the Orontes river to reach
the safe city walls. Ramesses, logistically unable to sustain a
long siege, returned to Egypt.
Third Syrian campaign
Egypt's sphere of influence was now restricted to
Canaan while Syria
fell into Hittite hands. Canaanite princes, seemingly encouraged by
the Egyptian incapacity to impose their will and goaded on by the
Hittites, began revolts against Egypt. In the seventh year of his
Ramesses II returned to
Syria once again. This time he proved
more successful against his Hittite foes. During this campaign he
split his army into two forces. One force was led by his son,
Amun-her-khepeshef, and it chased warriors of the Šhasu tribes across
Negev as far as the Dead Sea, capturing Edom-Seir. It then marched
on to capture Moab. The other force, led by Ramesses, attacked
Jerusalem and Jericho. He, too, then entered Moab, where he rejoined
his son. The reunited army then marched on Hesbon, Damascus, on to
Kumidi, and finally, recaptured Upi (the land around Damascus),
reestablishing Egypt's former sphere of influence.
Later campaigns in Syria
Ramesseum showing the siege of Dapur
Ramesses extended his military successes in his eighth and ninth
years. He crossed the Dog River (Nahr al-Kalb) and pushed north into
Amurru. His armies managed to march as far north as Dapur, where
he had a statue of himself erected. The Egyptian pharaoh thus found
himself in northern Amurru, well past Kadesh, in Tunip, where no
Egyptian soldier had been seen since the time of Thutmose III, almost
120 years earlier. He laid siege to the city before capturing it.
His victory proved to be ephemeral. In year nine, Ramesses erected a
stele at Beth Shean. After having reasserted his power over Canaan,
Ramesses led his army north. A mostly illegible stele near Beirut,
which appears to be dated to the king's second year, was probably set
up there in his tenth. The thin strip of territory pinched between
Amurru and Kadesh did not make for a stable possession. Within a year,
they had returned to the Hittite fold, so that Ramesses had to march
against Dapur once more in his tenth year. This time he claimed to
have fought the battle without even bothering to put on his corslet,
until two hours after the fighting began. Six of Ramesses's youthful
sons, still wearing their side locks, took part in this conquest. He
took towns in Retenu, and
Tunip in Naharin, later recorded on
the walls of the Ramesseum. This second success at the location
was equally as meaningless as his first, as neither power could
decisively defeat the other in battle.
Peace treaty with the Hittites
Main article: Ramses–Hattusili Treaty
Tablet of treaty between
Hattusili III of Hatti and
Ramesses II of
Egypt, at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum
The deposed Hittite king, Mursili III, fled to Egypt, the land of his
country's enemy, after the failure of his plots to oust his uncle from
Hattusili III responded by demanding that Ramesses II
extradite his nephew back to Hatti.
This demand precipitated a crisis in relations between
Egypt and Hatti
when Ramesses denied any knowledge of Mursili's whereabouts in his
country, and the two empires came dangerously close to war.
Eventually, in the twenty-first year of his reign (1258 BC),
Ramesses decided to conclude an agreement with the new Hittite king,
Hattusili III, at Kadesh to end the conflict. The ensuing
document is the earliest known peace treaty in world history.
The peace treaty was recorded in two versions, one in Egyptian
hieroglyphs, the other in Akkadian, using cuneiform script; both
versions survive. Such dual-language recording is common to many
subsequent treaties. This treaty differs from others, in that the two
language versions are worded differently. While the majority of the
text is identical, the Hittite version says the Egyptians came suing
for peace and the Egyptian version says the reverse. The treaty
was given to the Egyptians in the form of a silver plaque, and this
"pocket-book" version was taken back to
Egypt and carved into the
Temple of Karnak.
The treaty was concluded between Ramesses II and
Hattusili III in year 21 of Ramesses's reign
(c. 1258 BC). Its 18 articles call for peace
Egypt and Hatti and then proceeds to maintain that their
respective deities also demand peace. The frontiers are not laid down
in this treaty, but may be inferred from other documents. The
Anastasy A papyrus describes
Canaan during the latter part of the
reign of Ramesses II and enumerates and names the Phoenician
coastal towns under Egyptian control. The harbour town of Sumur, north
of Byblos, is mentioned as the northern-most town belonging to Egypt,
suggesting it contained an Egyptian garrison.
No further Egyptian campaigns in
Canaan are mentioned after the
conclusion of the peace treaty. The northern border seems to have been
safe and quiet, so the rule of the pharaoh was strong until
Ramesses II's death, and the waning of the dynasty. When the
King of Mira attempted to involve Ramesses in a hostile act against
the Hittites, the Egyptian responded that the times of intrigue in
support of Mursili III, had passed. Hattusili III wrote to
Kadashman-Enlil II, King of Karduniash (Babylon) in the same
spirit, reminding him of the time when his father, Kadashman-Turgu,
had offered to fight Ramesses II, the king of Egypt. The Hittite
king encouraged the Babylonian to oppose another enemy, which must
have been the king of Assyria, whose allies had killed the messenger
of the Egyptian king. Hattusili encouraged Kadashman-Enlil to come to
his aid and prevent the Assyrians from cutting the link between the
Canaanite province of
Egypt and Mursili III, the ally of
Campaigns in Nubia
Ramesses II in his war chariot charging into battle against the
Photo of the free standing part of Gerf Hussein temple, originally in
Ramesses II also campaigned south of the first cataract of the Nile
into Nubia. When Ramesses was about 22, two of his own sons, including
Amun-her-khepeshef, accompanied him in at least one of those
campaigns. By the time of Ramesses,
Nubia had been a colony for 200
years, but its conquest was recalled in decoration from the temples
Ramesses II built at Beit el-Wali (which was the subject of
epigraphic work by the Oriental Institute during the Nubian salvage
campaign of the 1960s), Gerf Hussein and
Kalabsha in northern
Nubia. On the south wall of the Beit el-Wali temple,
Ramesses II is
depicted charging into battle against the Nubians in a war chariot,
while his two young sons, Amun-her-khepsef and Khaemwaset, are shown
behind him, also in war chariots. A wall in one of Ramesses's temples
says he had to fight one battle with the Nubians without help from his
Campaigns in Libya
During the reign of Ramesses II, the Egyptians were evidently active
on a 300-kilometre (190 mi) stretch along the Mediterranean
coast, at least as far as Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham. Although the
exact events surrounding the foundation of the coastal forts and
fortresses is not clear, some degree of political and military control
must have been held over the region to allow their construction.
There are no detailed accounts of Ramesses II's undertaking large
military actions against the Libyans, only generalised records of his
conquering and crushing them, which may or may not refer to specific
events that were otherwise unrecorded. It may be that some of the
records, such as the
Stele of his year 2, are harking back to
Ramesses's presence on his father's Libyan campaigns. Perhaps it was
Seti I who achieved this supposed control over the region, and who
planned to establish the defensive system, in a manner similar to how
he rebuilt those to the east, the Ways of Horus across Northern Sinai.
Main article: Sed festival
After reigning for 30 years, Ramesses joined a select group that
included only a handful of Egypt's longest-lived rulers. By tradition,
in the 30th year of his reign Ramesses celebrated a jubilee called the
Sed festival. These were held to honour and rejuvenate the pharaoh's
strength. Only halfway through what would be a 66-year reign,
Ramesses already had eclipsed all but a few of his greatest
predecessors in his achievements. He had brought peace, maintained
Egyptian borders, and built great and numerous monuments across the
empire. His country was more prosperous and powerful than it had been
in nearly a century.
Sed festivals traditionally were held again every three years after
the 30th year; Ramasses II, who sometimes held them after two years,
eventually celebrated an unprecedented 13 or 14.
Building activity and monuments
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Younger Memnon part of a colossal statue of Ramesses from the
Ramesseum, now in the British Museum
Egypt – Statue of Ramses II, Luxor, n.d., This slide colored by
Joseph Hawkes. Goodyear. Brooklyn Museum Archives
Ramesses built extensively throughout
Egypt and Nubia, and his
cartouches are prominently displayed even in buildings that he did not
construct. There are accounts of his honor hewn on stone, statues,
and the remains of palaces and temples—most notably the
western Thebes and the rock temples of Abu Simbel. He covered the land
from the Delta to
Nubia with buildings in a way no monarch before him
had. He also founded a new capital city in the Delta during his
reign, called Pi-Ramesses. It previously had served as a summer palace
during Seti I's reign.
His memorial temple, known today as the Ramesseum, was just the
beginning of the pharaoh's obsession with building. When he built, he
built on a scale unlike almost anything before. In the third year of
his reign, Ramesses started the most ambitious building project after
the pyramids, which were built almost 1,500 years earlier. The
population was put to work changing the face of Egypt. In Thebes, the
ancient temples were transformed, so that each one of them reflected
honour to Ramesses as a symbol of his putative divine nature and
power. Ramesses decided to eternalize himself in stone, and so he
ordered changes to the methods used by his masons. The elegant but
shallow reliefs of previous pharaohs were easily transformed, and so
their images and words could easily be obliterated by their
successors. Ramesses insisted that his carvings be deeply engraved
into the stone, which made them not only less susceptible to later
alteration, but also made them more prominent in the Egyptian sun,
reflecting his relationship with the sun deity, Ra.
Ramesses constructed many large monuments, including the
archaeological complex of Abu Simbel, and the
Mortuary temple known as
the Ramesseum. He built on a monumental scale to ensure that his
legacy would survive the ravages of time. Ramesses used art as a means
of propaganda for his victories over foreigners, which are depicted on
numerous temple reliefs.
Ramesses II erected more colossal statues of
himself than any other pharaoh, and also usurped many existing statues
by inscribing his own cartouche on them.
Main article: Pi-Ramesses
Ramesses II moved the capital of his kingdom from Thebes in the Nile
valley to a new site in the eastern Delta. His motives are uncertain,
although he possibly wished to be closer to his territories in Canaan
and Syria. The new city of
Pi-Ramesses (or to give the full name,
Pi-Ramesses Aa-nakhtu, meaning "Domain of Ramesses, Great in
Victory") was dominated by huge temples and his vast residential
palace, complete with its own zoo. In the 10th century AD the Bible
exegete Rabbi Saadia Gaon, believed that the biblical site of Ramesses
had to be identified with Ain Shams. For a time, during the early
20th century, the site was misidentified as that of Tanis, due to the
amount of statuary and other material from
Pi-Ramesses found there,
but it now is recognised that the Ramesside remains at Tanis were
brought there from elsewhere, and the real
Pi-Ramesses lies about
30 km south, near modern Qantir. The colossal feet of the
statue of Ramesses are almost all that remains above ground today. The
rest is buried in the fields.
Main article: Ramesseum
Blue faience piece showing the cartouche of pharaoh Ramesses II,
inscribed in ink, 19th dynasty – from Kurna, Egypt, the Petrie
Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Younger Memnon digitally placed atop its base still in the
The temple complex built by
Ramesses II between Qurna and the desert
has been known as the
Ramesseum since the 19th century. The Greek
Diodorus Siculus marveled at the gigantic temple, now no
more than a few ruins.
Oriented northwest and southeast, the temple was preceded by two
courts. An enormous pylon stood before the first court, with the royal
palace at the left and the gigantic statue of the king looming up at
the back. Only fragments of the base and torso remain of the syenite
statue of the enthroned pharaoh, 17 metres (56 ft) high and
weighing more than 1,000 tonnes (980 long tons; 1,100 short tons).
Scenes of the great pharaoh and his army triumphing over the Hittite
forces fleeing before Kadesh are represented on the pylon. Remains of
the second court include part of the internal facade of the pylon and
a portion of the Osiride portico on the right. Scenes of war and the
alleged rout of the
Hittites at Kadesh are repeated on the walls. In
the upper registers, feast and honor of the phallic deity Min, god of
fertility. On the opposite side of the court the few Osiride pillars
and columns still remaining may furnish an idea of the original
Scattered remains of the two statues of the seated king also may be
seen, one in pink granite and the other in black granite, which once
flanked the entrance to the temple. Thirty-nine out of the forty-eight
columns in the great hypostyle hall (41 × 31 m) still stand in the
central rows. They are decorated with the usual scenes of the king
before various deities. Part of the ceiling, decorated with gold
stars on a blue ground, also has been preserved. Ramesses's children
appear in the procession on the few walls left. The sanctuary was
composed of three consecutive rooms, with eight columns and the
tetrastyle cell. Part of the first room, with the ceiling decorated
with astral scenes, and few remains of the second room are all that is
left. Vast storerooms built of mud bricks stretched out around the
temple. Traces of a school for scribes were found among the
A temple of Seti I, of which nothing remains beside the foundations,
once stood to the right of the hypostyle hall.
Main article: Abu Simbel
In 1255 BC Ramesses and his queen
Nefertari had traveled into
Nubia to inaugurate a new temple, the great Abu Simbel. It is an ego
cast in stone; the man who built it intended not only to become
Egypt's greatest pharaoh, but also one of its deities.
The great temple of
Ramesses II at
Abu Simbel was discovered in 1813
by the Swiss Orientalist and traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. An
enormous pile of sand almost completely covered the facade and its
colossal statues, blocking the entrance for four more years. The
Giovanni Battista Belzoni
Giovanni Battista Belzoni reached the interior on 4
Other Nubian monuments
As well as the temples of Abu Simbel, Ramesses left other monuments to
himself in Nubia. His early campaigns are illustrated on the walls of
Beit el-Wali (now relocated to New Kalabsha). Other temples dedicated
to Ramesses are Derr and Gerf Hussein (also relocated to New
Tomb of Nefertari
Main article: Tomb of Nefertari
Tomb wall depicting Nefertari
The tomb of the most important consort of Ramesses was discovered by
Ernesto Schiaparelli in 1904. Although it had been looted in
ancient times, the tomb of
Nefertari is extremely important, because
its magnificent wall painting decoration is regarded as one of the
greatest achievements of ancient Egyptian art. A flight of steps cut
out of the rock gives access to the antechamber, which is decorated
with paintings based on chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead. This
astronomical ceiling represents the heavens and is painted in dark
blue, with a myriad of golden five-pointed stars. The east wall of the
antechamber is interrupted by a large opening flanked by
Osiris at left and
Anubis at right; this in turn
leads to the side chamber, decorated with offering scenes, preceded by
a vestibule in which the paintings portray
Nefertari presented to the
deities, who welcome her. On the north wall of the antechamber is the
stairway down to the burial chamber, a vast quadrangular room covering
a surface area of about 90 square metres (970 sq ft), its
astronomical ceiling supported by four pillars entirely decorated.
Originally, the queen's red granite sarcophagus lay in the middle of
this chamber. According to religious doctrines of the time, it was in
this chamber, which the ancient Egyptians called the golden hall, that
the regeneration of the deceased took place. This decorative pictogram
of the walls in the burial chamber drew inspirations from chapters 144
and 146 of the Book of the Dead: in the left half of the chamber,
there are passages from chapter 144 concerning the gates and doors of
the kingdom of Osiris, their guardians, and the magic formulas that
had to be uttered by the deceased in order to go past the doors.
Main article: KV5
In 1995, Professor Kent Weeks, head of the Theban Mapping Project,
rediscovered Tomb KV5. It has proven to be the largest tomb in the
Valley of the Kings, and originally contained the mummified remains of
some of this king's estimated 52 sons. Approximately 150
corridors and tomb chambers have been located in this tomb as of 2006
and the tomb may contain as many as 200 corridors and
chambers. It is believed that at least four of Ramesses's sons,
including Meryatum, Sety,
Amun-her-khepeshef (Ramesses's first-born
son) and "the King's Principal Son of His Body, the Generalissimo
Ramesses, justified" (i.e., deceased) were buried there from
inscriptions, ostracas or canopic jars discovered in the tomb.
Joyce Tyldesley writes that thus far
"no intact burials have been discovered and there have been little
substantial funeral debris: thousands of potsherds, faience ushabti
figures, beads, amulets, fragments of Canopic jars, of wooden
coffins ... but no intact sarcophagi, mummies or mummy cases,
suggesting that much of the tomb may have been unused. Those burials
which were made in
KV5 were thoroughly looted in antiquity, leaving
little or no remains."
Giant statue of
Ramesses II in Memphis
Statue of Ramesses II
Statue of Ramesses II (Mit Rahina)
The colossal statue of
Ramesses II dates back 3,200 years, and was
originally discovered in six pieces in a temple near Memphis. Weighing
some 83-tonne (82-long-ton; 91-short-ton), it was transported,
reconstructed, and erected in Ramesses Square in
Cairo in 1955. In
August 2006, contractors relocated it to save it from exhaust fumes
that were causing it to deteriorate. The new site is near the
future Grand Egyptian Museum.
Death and legacy
By the time of his death, aged about 90 years, Ramesses was suffering
from severe dental problems and was plagued by arthritis and hardening
of the arteries. He had made
Egypt rich from all the supplies and
riches he had collected from other empires. He had outlived many of
his wives and children and left great memorials all over Egypt. Nine
more pharaohs took the name Ramesses in his honour.
Ramesses II originally was buried in the tomb
KV7 in the Valley of the
Kings, but because of looting, priests later transferred the body to a
holding area, re-wrapped it, and placed it inside the tomb of queen
Inhapy. Seventy-two hours later it was again moved, to the tomb of the
high priest Pinudjem II. All of this is recorded in hieroglyphics on
the linen covering the body. His mummy is today in Cairo's
The pharaoh's mummy reveals an aquiline nose and strong jaw. It stands
at about 1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in). Gaston Maspero, who
first unwrapped the mummy of Rameses II, writes, "on the temples there
are a few sparse hairs, but at the poll the hair is quite thick,
forming smooth, straight locks about five centimeters in length. White
at the time of death, and possibly auburn during life, they have been
dyed a light red by the spices (henna) used in embalming...the
moustache and beard are thin...The hairs are white, like those of the
head and eyebrows...the skin is of earthy brown, splotched with
black...the face of the mummy gives a fair idea of the face of the
Microscopic inspection of the roots of Ramesses II's hair proved that
the king's hair originally was red, which suggests that he came from a
family of redheads. This has more than just cosmetic significance:
Egypt people with red hair were associated with the deity
Seth, the slayer of Osiris, and the name of Ramesses II's father, Seti
I, means "follower of Seth."
Mummy of Ramesses II
In 1974 Egyptologists visiting his tomb noticed that the mummy's
condition was rapidly deteriorating and flew it to Paris for
Ramesses II was issued an Egyptian passport that
listed his occupation as "King (deceased)". The mummy was received
at Le Bourget airport, just outside Paris, with the full military
honours befitting a king.
During the examination, scientific analysis revealed battle wounds,
old fractures, arthritis, and poor circulation.
Ramesses II's arthritis is believed to have made him walk with a
hunched back for the last decades of his life. A recent study
excluded ankylosing spondylitis as a possible cause. A significant
hole in the pharaoh's mandible was detected. Researchers observed "an
abscess by his teeth (which) was serious enough to have caused death
by infection, although this cannot be determined with certainty".
After Ramesses' mummy returned to
Egypt it was visited by President
Anwar Sadat and his wife.
In popular culture
Ramesses is the basis for Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem "Ozymandias".
Diodorus Siculus gives an inscription on the base of one of his
sculptures as: "
King of Kings
King of Kings am I, Osymandias. If anyone would know
how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works."
This is paraphrased in Shelley's poem.
The life of
Ramesses II has inspired many fictional representations,
including the historical novels of the French writer Christian Jacq,
the Ramsès series; the graphic novel Watchmen, in which the character
Adrian Veidt uses
Ramesses II to form part of the inspiration for
his alter-ego known as 'Ozymandias'; Norman Mailer's novel Ancient
Evenings, which is largely concerned with the life of Ramesses II,
though from the perspective of Egyptians living during the reign of
Ramesses IX; and the
Anne Rice book The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned
(1989), in which Ramesses was the main character.
As the pharaoh of the Exodus
In entertainment and media,
Ramesses II is one of the more popular
candidates for the
Pharaoh of the Exodus. He is cast in this role in
the 1944 novella
The Tables of the Law
The Tables of the Law by Thomas Mann. Although not a
major character, Ramesses appears in Joan Grant's So
Moses Was Born, a
first person account from Nebunefer, the brother of Ramoses, which
paints a picture of the life of Ramoses from the death of Seti,
replete with the power play, intrigue, and assassination plots of the
historical record, and depicting the relationships with Bintanath,
Tuya, Nefertari, and Moses. In
The Kane Chronicles
The Kane Chronicles Ramesses is an
ancestor of the main characters Sadie and Carter Kane.
In film, Ramesses was played by
Yul Brynner in Cecil B. DeMille's
classic The Ten Commandments (1956). Here Ramesses was portrayed as a
vengeful tyrant as well as the main antagonist of the film, ever
scornful of his father's preference for
Moses over "the son of [his]
body". The animated film The Prince of
Egypt (1998) also featured
a depiction of Ramesses (voiced by Ralph Fiennes), portrayed as Moses'
adoptive brother, and ultimately as the film's villain. More recently,
Joel Edgerton played Ramesses in the 2014 film Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Battle of Kadesh
List of Pharaohs
19th dynasty of
Egypt Family Tree
^ a b Clayton 1994, p. 146.
^ a b c Tyldesly 2001, p. xxiv.
Mortuary temple of
Ramesses II at Abydos". Retrieved
^ a b Anneke Bart. "Temples of Ramesses II". Retrieved
^ "Rameses". Webster's New World College Dictionary. Wiley Publishing.
^ "Ramses". Webster's New World College Dictionary. Wiley Publishing.
^ Or 1276–1210, according to
^ a b Putnam (1990)
^ (Greek Text) Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, 1.47.4 at the
^ "Ozymandias". Retrieved 2008-03-30.
^ Rice (1999), p. 165.
^ von Beckerath (1997), pp. 108, 190
^ Brand (2000), pp. 302–05
^ von Beckerath (1997), pp. 108, 190.
^ Brand (2000), pp. 302–05.
^ O'Connor & Cline (1998), p. 16.
^ Christian Leblanc. "Gerard". Archived from the original on
2007-12-04. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
^ Rice (1999), p. 166.
^ R. Gabriel, The Great Armies of Antiquity, 6.
^ Grimal (1992), pp. 250–53.
^ Drews 1995, p. 54: "Already in the 1840s Egyptologists had
debated the identity of the "northerners, coming from all lands," who
assisted the Libyan King Meryre in his attack upon Merneptah. Some
scholars believed that Meryre's auxiliaries were merely his neighbors
on the Libyan coast, while others identified them as Indo-Europeans
from north of the Caucasus. It was one of Maspero's most illustrious
predecessors, Emmanuel de Rougé, who proposed that the names
reflected the lands of the northern Mediterranean: the Lukka, Ekwesh,
Tursha, Shekelesh, and Shardana were men from Lydia, Achaea, Tyrsenia
(western Italy), Sicily, and Sardinia." De Rougé and others regarded
Meryre's auxiliaries-these "peoples de la mer Méditerranée"- as
mercenary bands, since the Sardinians, at least, were known to have
served as mercenaries already in the early years of Ramesses the
Great. Thus the only "migration" that the
Karnak Inscription seemed to
suggest was an attempted encroachment by Libyans upon neighboring
^ Gale, N.H. 2011. ‘Source of the Lead Metal used to make a Repair
Clamp on a Nuragic Vase recently excavated at Pyla-Kokkinokremos on
Cyprus'. In V. Karageorghis and O. Kouka (eds.), On Cooking Pots,
Drinking Cups, Loomweights and Ethnicity in Bronze Age Cyprus and
Neighbouring Regions, Nicosia.
^ O'Connor & Cline 2003, pp. 112–13.
^ Tyldesley (2000), p. 53.
^ "The Naue Type II Sword". Retrieved 2008-05-30.
^ Grimal (1994), pp. 253 ff.
^ Tyldesley, Ramesses, p. 68.
^ Ancient Discoveries: Egyptian Warfare. History Channel Program:
Ancient Discoveries: Egyptian Warfare with panel of three experts.
Event occurs at 12:00 EDST, 2008-05-14. Archived from the original on
April 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-15. Egyptian monuments and great
works of art still astound us today. We will reveal another surprising
aspect of Egyptian life—their weapons of war, and their great might
on the battlefield. A common perception of the Egyptians is of a
cultured civilization, yet there is fascinating evidence that reveals
they were also a war faring people, who developed advanced weapon
making techniques. Some of these techniques would be used for the very
first time in history and some of the battles they fought were on a
truly massive scale.
Battle of Kadesh
Battle of Kadesh in the context of Hittite history Archived
2013-10-14 at the Wayback Machine.
^ 100 Battles, Decisive Battles that Shaped the World, Dougherty,
Martin, J., Parragon, pp. 10–11.
^ Grimal (1992), p. 256.
^ Kitchen (1996), p. 26.
^ Kitchen (1979), pp. 223–24.
^ Kitchen (1996), p. 33
^ Kitchen (1996), p. 47.
^ Kitchen (1996), p. 46.
^ Kitchen (1982), p. 68.
^ Kitchen (1982), p. 74.
^ Grimal, op. cit., p. 256.
^ Kitchen (1983), pp. 62–64, 73–79.
^ Grimal (1992), p. 257.
^ Stieglitz (1991), p. 45.
^ Kitchen (1982), p. 215.
^ "Beit el-Wali". University of Chicago. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
^ Ricke & Wente (1967)
^ Geoff Edwards. "Zawiyet Umm el-Rakham". Retrieved 2008-04-07.
^ "Sed festival". The Global Egyptian Museum. Retrieved
^ "Renewal of the kings' Reign : The Sed Heb of Ancient
^ Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards. "Chapter XV: Rameses the Great".
^ Wolfhart Westendorf, Das alte Ägypten, 1969
^ Kitchen (1982), p. 119.
^ a b Kitchen (2003), p. 255.
^ Saadia Gaon, Judeo-Arabic Translation of Pentateuch (Tafsir), s.v.
Exodus 21:37 and Numbers 33:3 ("רעמסס: "עין שמס); Rabbi
Saadia Gaon's Commentaries on the Torah (ed. Yosef Qafih), Mossad
Jerusalem 1984, p. 164 (Numbers 33:3) (Hebrew)
^ Dearman, John Andrew; Graham, Matt Patrick; Miller, James Maxwell,
eds. (2001). The Land that I Will Show You: Essays on the History and
Archaeology of the Ancient Near East in Honour of J. Maxwell Miller.
Sheffield Academic Press. "The Geography of the Exodus", by John Van
Seters, p. 265. ISBN 1-84127-257-4. Retrieved 27 February
Diodorus Siculus (1814). The Historical Library of Diodorus the
Sicilian. Printed by W. MʻDowall for J. Davis. pp. Ch.
11, p. 33.
^ a b c Skliar (2005).
^ a b Guy Lecuyot. "The
Ramesseum (Egypt), Recent Archaeological
Research" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-29.
^ "À l'école des Scribes" (in French). Retrieved 2008-04-21.
^ Kitchen (1982), pp. 64–65.
^ a b c Siliotti (1994).
^ "Tomb of Ramses II sons". Retrieved 27 February 2015.
^ a b Tyldesley (2000), pp. 161–62.
^ "Giant Ramses statue gets new home". BBC NEWS. 2006-08-25. Retrieved
^ Hawass, Zahi. "The removal of Ramses II Statue". Retrieved
^ "La momie de Ramsès II. Contribution scientifique à
l'égyptologie". Retrieved 27 February 2015.
^ "Egypt: Rulers, Kings and Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: Ramesses
^ Tyldesley (2000) p. 14.
^ Romer, John. Valley of the Kings. Castle Books. p. 184.
^ Maspero, Gaston (1892). Egyptian Archaeology. Putnam.
^ Bob Brier, Egyptian Mummies: Unravelling the Secrets of an Ancient
Art, New York: William Morrow & Co. Inc, 1994, p. 153.
^ Brier, Egyptian Mummies (1994), pp. 200–01.
^ John Ray. "Ramesses the Great". BBC. Retrieved 2008-05-15.
^ "Engineering Egypt". National Geographic. Archived from the original
on April 14, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
^ Stephanie Pain. "Ramesses rides again". New Scientist. Retrieved
^ Bob Brier, The Encyclopedia of Mummies, Checkmark Books, 1998, p.
^ Can. Assoc. Radiol. J. 2004 Oct; 55(4):211–17, PMID 15362343.
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Historical and Art Historical Analysis. NV Leiden: Brill.
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Dodson, Aidan; Dyan Hilton (2004). The Complete Royal Families of
Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-05128-3.
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dictionary. London: Golden House Publications.
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Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of
Ramesses II, King of Egypt. London: Aris & Phillips.
Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson (2003). On the Reliability of the Old
Testament. Michigan: William B.
Eerdmans Publishing Company.
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and Annotated: Translations. Volume 2: Ramesses II; Royal
Inscriptions. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
ISBN 0-631-18427-9. Translations and (in the 1999 volume
below) notes on all contemporary royal inscriptions naming the king.
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and Annotated: Notes and Comments. Volume 2: Ramesses II; Royal
Inscriptions. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
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Herbert Ricke; George R. Hughes; Edward F. Wente (1967). The Beit
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Merneptah Stela," Bulletin of
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Ägyptologie 11. Leiden: Brill Publishers. ISBN 90-04-10984-6
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Origin of Israel" in Beth Alpert Nakhai (ed.), The Near East in the
Southwest: Essays in Honor of William G. Dever, pp. 19–44.
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American Schools of Oriental Research. ISBN 0-89757-065-0
Hasel, Michael G. 2004. "The Structure of the Final Hymnic-Poetic Unit
on the Merenptah Stela." Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche
James, T. G. H. 2000. Ramesses II. New York: Friedman/Fairfax
Publishers. A large-format volume by the former Keeper of Egyptian
Antiquities at the British Museum, filled with colour illustrations of
buildings, art, etc. related to Ramesses II
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ramses II.
Egypt's Golden Empire: Ramesses II
Ramesses II Usermaatre-setepenre (c. 1279–1213 BC)
Egyptian monuments: Temple of Ramesses II
Ramesses II at Find a Grave
List of Ramesses II's family members and state officials
Newly discovered temple
Full titulary of
Ramesses II including variants
Protodynastic to First Intermediate Period (<3150–2040 BC)
Narmer / Menes
Narmer / Menes
Merenre Nemtyemsaf I
Merenre Nemtyemsaf II
Neferkare III Neby
Neferkare IV Khendu
Neferkare V Tereru
Neferkare VI Pepiseneb
Middle Kingdom and Second Intermediate Period (2040–1550 BC)
Sekhemkare Amenemhat V
Ameny Antef Amenemhet VI
Mershepsesre Ini II
New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period (1550–664 BC)
Osorkon the Elder
Late Period and Hellenistic Period (664–30 BC)
Alexander the Great
Philip III Arrhidaeus
Ptolemy I Soter
Ptolemy II Philadelphus
Ptolemy III Euergetes
Ptolemy IV Philopator
Ptolemy V Epiphanes
Ptolemy VI Philometor
Ptolemy VII Neos Philopator
Ptolemy VIII Euergetes
Ptolemy IX Soter
Ptolemy X Alexander I
Ptolemy XI Alexander II
Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos
Ptolemy XV Caesarion
21st to 23rd
List of pharaohs
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