Ramesses II

Greatest of Pharaohs

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Ramesses II rose to power around 1279 after the death of his father, Seti I. He was around 30 years old at the time, he went on to rule for nearly 67 years, becoming known as one of the greatest Pharaohs.

He was known to be very skilled in tactics and military, but he also had a bit of a flair for embellishment when it came to recording history. Ramesses II flourished in his power, and may have been slightly vain - seeing as there are hardly any cities without mention of his name and his greatness.

Ramesses was also one of the first kings to document his large number of children, ranging somewhere in the hundreds. His first wife was Nefertari, who was the most famous of his many wives, and was particularly influential in Upper Egypt. Nefertari was loved greatly by Ramesses, he built extravagant shrines and her tomb is one of the most decorated tombs in the Valley of the Queens. His second wife was a woman named Istnofret. She was close to Nefertari in importance and after Nefertari's death she became chief queen and bore some of Ramesses most important sons (his successor Merenptah is one of them.) After Istnofret's death, he resorted to his daughters as consorts.


Ramesses II was one of the great pharaohs and he built quite a few statues of himself as well as a variety of buildings. The main building being the Ramesseum. Which is a large memorial temple built close to Luxor. The next most significant temple is the Abu Simbel, which is actually a pair of stone temples located near Lake Nasser that were created to commemorate he and his first wife's, Nefertari's, reign. Ramesses was also well known because he put a lot of importance in recording history for the later generations, he built Abydos, a city, for the purpose of recording history.

As stated previously, Ramesses was known for his military prowess, during the first 20 years of his reign he managed to take back a lot of the territories of Egypt that were lost by the previous pharaoh. He also secured the borders, from pirates and invaders, and in doing so, increased the stability of his kingdom. The most famous battle he was involved in was the Batlle of Kadesh. This was a battle agaisnt the hitties and the largest chariot battle recorded.

Many people suspect that Ramesses II was the pharaoh of the Exodus in the Bible. He established the city, Pi - Ramesses, which was believed to be the city where the jews lived and worke das slaves. Ramesses was also the main contributor to the return of the Egyptians polytheistis religion, which had been changed under the previous pharaoh's rule. He also created the Sed Festival, in which a Pharaoh is turned into a God.

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After a very successful rule of around 67 years, Ramesses II died of suuspected health issues, such as arthritis, arterial issues, and dental infections. His health had been failing him recently, so it seemed that he passed away due to his old age and poor health.

Ramesses had actually outlived many of his children, so it was his 13th son, Merenptah, who succeded him. Ramesses II was so great a Pharaoh, that 9 pharaohs were named after him. However none could live up to him, and none could govern the Egyptian empire that he had worked so hard to build up. And so, a century and a half after his death, the kingdom of Egypt fell.

Works Cited

Mark, Joshua J. "Ramesses II." Ancient History Encyclopedia. N.p., 2 Sept. 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2014

"Ramses II." (Ramesses 2)| Facts, Biography, Mummy, Statues. Attic Designs, 2008. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

"Rameses II." Discovering Ancient Egypt. N.p., 2014. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Berk, Anneke. "Ancient Egypt." Ramesses II. N.p., Oct. 2007. Web. 09 Dec. 2014.