Ramses II

Ramses II

Table of contents

  1. The life of Ramesses II
  2. The reign of Ramesses II and his most important battles
  3. Monuments and temples
  4. Tomb of Ramses II

Ramesses II is considered one of the most important and famous kings, whether in the ancient or modern era, he is the most famous king of the Nineteenth Dynasty, and has done many achievements.

The life of Ramesses II

King Ramses II is the son of King Seti I, the second king of the Nineteenth Dynasty, the grandson of King Ramses I, and the founder of the Ramesside era. His mother was Queen Tuya, who was not of pure royal blood and was a commoner, but her family was prominent.

His father saw Ramses II as competent and capable of being a ruler of the Egyptian Empire, although his blood was not purely royal, he qualified him for this purpose from a young age, and even called him the co-ruler of his father. Ramses II was already present with his father, Seti I, in his military campaigns that he was carrying out, his father used to assign him many tasks, so that he led a military campaign himself at the age of twenty-two, and he supervised the temples, palaces, and most of the important buildings in the state himself, the most famous of these buildings is the Abydos Temple, which earned him multiple military, administrative and other experiences.

In addition to his interest in the affairs of the country next to his father, Ramses II was personally known for his love for women, so he had many wives, the most famous of whom was Queen Nefertari, and because of his many marriages, he had about 27 sons and 11 daughters.

In 129 BC, when Ramesses II was twenty-five, his father, King Seti I, died, and he took over the rule of the Egyptian empire.

The reign of Ramesses II and his most important battles

There were conflicts earlier between the Kingdom of Egypt and the Kingdom of Hittite, but when Ramesses II seized power, there was a period of truce between the two kingdoms, which made the king devote himself to taking care of the country’s internal affairs such as completing projects and buildings that were being built, controlling internal rebellions, supervising quarries and mines, monitoring the state’s general treasury, and other internal affairs.

After about five years of his reign, he decided to confront the Hittites and eliminate them, so he began preparing and mobilizing soldiers to wage the most famous battle in his history, the Battle of Kadesh, which took place over several rounds.

At that time, the army was divided into four army corps, the Amun Corps, the Ra Corps, the Ptah Corps, and the Sitt Corps. During the war, several machinations occurred, as the commander of the Hittite army tried to send incorrect news in order to disperse the army, and indeed he was able, due to the haste of Ramesses II, to eliminate the Second Legion (Corps of Ra), but with Ramses II realizing this matter and with the help of the support that came to him from Canaan, he was able to control the Hittite army and besieged it between his army and the Orontes River, so the Hittite soldiers fled, leaving their equipment, despite this, the war did not end with the victory of either army.

Another round of the Kadesh Wars was the Battle of Dabur during which Ramesses II and his soldiers were able to cross the border and pass until they reached the Dabur region, which is located in Syria. Indeed, they were able to besiege and subdue it with an overwhelming victory, but upon his departure from the Canaan region, the Hittites controlled that region again, but due to the king’s preoccupation with other matters, he left the matter like this for long periods, but when he finished his affairs, he wanted to recover that area again, so he put 6 of his sons at the forefront of the army, but the battle also did not achieve victory for either of the two armies, given the parity between them.

After all these wars, Ramesses II and the King of the Hittites decided to conclude a peace treaty, which is one of the most important, oldest and most famous peace treaties in history.

Among the wars that Ramesses II fought also was his war against Sea Peoples, who were pirates controlling the Mediterranean and plundered any ship in the sea, they were experts, but with the intelligence of Ramesses II and his plan, he was able to eliminate and destroy them.

After the famous peace treaty between him and the Hittites, the Hittite king decided to come on a visit to Egypt through a delegation, and this procession included many important and prestigious leaders and personalities in the Hittite kingdom. Due to the enormity of this event at the time, Ramesses II himself went to receive the Hittite king in the land of Palestine, and they returned to Egypt together. One of the daughters of the Hittite king came in that delegation to marry King Ramesses II, indeed, at the end of the ceremonies that they held to welcome the delegation, his marriage to her was announced, and she was named the queen, “Maathorneferure”, which Ramesses II used to highlight the extent of his power and influence over other kingdoms in front of his people and other peoples.

Monuments and temples

Ramesses II built many temples and many monuments, and the temples he built are known to have been carved into the rocks and not by cutting and moving stones.

Among the temples he built was the Temple of the Governor’s House in the Nuba region, which was distinguished by the beauty and coordination of its walls. The murals of this temple bear a true portrayal of the life of the ancient Egyptian, in addition to real perceptions of the life of King Ramses II, and to prove his influence on this region (Nubia), he documented his victories on the walls.

He also built the Temple of Beit Ptah or Jurf Hussein, which directly overlooks the Nile River.

One of the most famous and important temples is the Great Temple of Abu Simbel, which is considered the largest building of this era. It is famous for the annual event that people come to see, which is the sun’s rays perpendicular to the face of the statue of Ramses II for several minutes during the twenty-first of February and the twenty-second of October of each year, which shows the extent of the ancient Egyptian’s development in all fields.

There is also the small Temple of Abu Simbel, the Temple of Hathor, or the Temple of Nefertari, which was built by Ramesses II to perpetuate the name of his wife, Queen Nefertari, and the statues he built for his wife on the front of the temple, which are similar in size to his statues as a king, show his love for her, this temple is located approximately 100 meters from the Great Temple.

He also established expansions in the Luxor Temple, and completed the Great Column Hall in the Karnak Temple.

Tomb of Ramses II

King Ramesses II died, leaving a cemetery of the most beautiful tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but unfortunately, due to the systematic campaigns that were taking place to steal the tombs of Ramesses, the cemetery was found stolen and full of sand and mud, but it has now been restored. Due to the knowledge of the kings who followed Ramses II about these thefts, they were transporting the mummies to a cache in Luxor, and indeed the mummy of Ramesses II was later found.

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