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The largest of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, winner of the Hittites and Builder of the most impressive Egyptian temples.
Ramses and Nefertari
Grandson of Ramsés I and Seti I's son, believed that Ramsés II was not the firstborn of the Pharaoh, but he had one older brother whose name has not endured. But his father wanted to ensure the succession in life by appointing him heir and linking it to power as a co-regent. The young Prince was given then a Royal Palace and an important harem, and should accompany Seti in the military campaigns undertaken to quell rebellions in Palestine and Syria. Also supported him in the war against the Hittites who had occupied the territories of Syria.
So when in 1301 came to the throne, had extensive military experience, despite his extreme youth. At birth he had received the name Ramses - II which has preserved the history- and in the ceremony of Coronation, in addition to receiving the scepter and the whip (the sacred logos designed to introduce you to the range of the great gods), you were awarded four names: «powerful bull armed justice», «defender of Egypt», «rich in years and victories» and «chosen RA». From that moment his life was that of a God-King, son of gods, object of worship and general worship. He was a Pharaoh as absolute as his father and came to identify with God more than previous leaders. The distance between the people was even higher than the cheops.
Ramses and Nefertari
He began his reign with the transfer of the capital from Thebes to Tanis in the delta, in order to situate the Royal residence near the point of greatest danger to the Empire, bordering on Asia. Their first military campaigns went to recover the fertile lands of «entre rios», in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and already in the fourth year of his reign began raids by Asia. The first one aimed at subjecting Palestine, in order to obtain a base of operations, allowing him to invade Syria, as had his father with relative success. The following year, the Hittites installed there left him to move to the Orontes River, at the foot of the ramparts of Kadesh, where he was surrounded by the enemy army. Believing to have won the battle, the Hittites attempted to the assault on the fortress of Pharaoh to distribute it. Amid the confusion, Ramses loaded against them and turned defeat into a relative victory. His feat in Kadesh was sung in one of the brightest examples of Egyptian epic poetry: the Poem of Kadesh, lavishly engraved at temples.
Thirteen years after the battle of Kadesh, in 1294, managed to sign a peace treaty, the first of which is history-making news, with the Hittite King Hattusili. That Treaty was reinforced a decade later thanks to successive marriages of Ramses with two daughters of the King.
Strengthened relations between both empires and placated the problems of borders, the management of Ramses gave his reign splendor image bequeathed to posterity. Given the prosperity of the country, is that he was a competent administrator and a popular King: his name is found in all the monuments of Egypt and Nubia. His instinct led him to become the "Builder King" by excellence: it waxed great, even Thebes, completed the funerary temple of Luxor, erected the Ramesseum, ended the Hypostyle Hall of Karnak and made major reforms in the Temple of Amenhotep III.
His family included several wives: the first and perhaps favorite was Nefertari, who died early. Other Queens were Isinofre, who gave him four children - among them Merenpta, the successor- and the Hittite Princess Merytamun, and Matnefrure. Pharaoh also possessed a vast harem and said that in his long life he came to have more than a hundred children.
His reign corresponds, according to some historians argue the first "exodus" of the Jews. Ramses the great, had, on the other hand, a strange destiny: its existence was so long that he survived many of his descendants, including his favorite son Khaem-uaset, renowned magician and high priest of Ptah. He died almost centenarian and his Mummy, discovered in 1881, is an old man, of elongated face and prominent nose. It was without doubt the last great Pharaoh, since his successors, Merenpta, and Ramsés III, were forced to take a defensive policy to maintain sovereignty in Palestine. Subsequently, internal decline would have put an end to the power of beyond Egypt's borders.
Chronology of Ramses II
|1314 B.c.||Ramesses I founded the 19th dynasty.|
|1301 BC||Ramses II accede to the throne.|
|1300 BC||He moved the capital from Thebes to Tanis.|
|1298 BC||It began its first military campaigns in Asia.|
|1294 BC.||Battle of Kadesh against the Hittites.|
|1278 BC||Signing of the peace Alliance with the Hittite King Hattusili.|
|1271 BC.||Starts the construction of the temples of Abu Simbel, the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, his own tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Amun at Karnak and the Temple of Osiris at Abydos.|
|1262 B.c.||Death of Nefertari.|
|1256 BC||They have successfully completed the works of the temples of Abu Simbel.|
|1235 BC||The death of Ramsés II Merenpta happens.|
Legacy of Ramses II
The Egyptian Pharaoh Ramsés II erected it as one of the most powerful monarchs of the ancient world. During his reign, between 1301 and 1235 B.c., consolidated a large Empire that swept through the northeast of Africa and the Middle East. His figure was decisive for consolidating the fascination for Egypt, evident from antiquity to our days.
The military Ramses
Ramses II was a skilled soldier who knew how to organize an effective and powerful army. Her figure went down in history mainly thanks to the battle of Kadesh, in which Egyptians were imposed to the Hittites. This outstanding war episode was referred in two main sources: the Poem of Kadesh - reproduced in various Papyri and copied in hieroglyphics on the walls of Luxor, Karnak and Abydos - and the official battle report, carved on the walls of the shrines of Thebes, Abydos and Abu Simbel, among others. Ramses II was a popular monarch, who brought prosperity to his Kingdom. For this reason, its name was recorded in numerous monuments of Egypt and Nubia.
His architectural legacy
However, the main legacy of Ramsés II to posterity were magnificent buildings constructed during his reign. The temples that ordered lift are among the most beautiful of the ancient Egypt. Particularly beautiful are the two temples excavated in the rock at Abu Simbel. These buildings are monumental sculptures that represent hieratic form, in the first case the Pharaoh and the second this with his wife Nefertari. Now, these were not the only noteworthy buildings erected at time of Ramsés II: the Pharaoh also ordered the construction of the funerary temple of the Ramesseum at Thebes, and the Osireion in Abydos. In the same way, he commanded to build the impressive Hypostyle Hall of Karnak architectural complex.