Život i smrt Ramzesa II

Život i smrt Ramzesa II



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Ramzes II je vjerojatno jedan od najvećih faraona drevnog Egipta, a ujedno i jedan od njegovih najpoznatijih. Ramzes II, treći faraon 19 th Dinastija, koja je stupila na egipatsko prijestolje u kasnim tinejdžerskim godinama 1279. pne., Nakon smrti svog oca, Setija I. Poznato je da je vladao drevnim Egiptom ukupno 66 godina, nadživivši mnoge svoje sinove u tom procesu vjeruje se da je rodilo više od 100 djece. Kao rezultat svoje duge i prosperitetne vladavine, Ramzes II je mogao poduzeti brojne vojne pohode protiv susjednih regija, kao i izgraditi spomenike bogovima i, naravno, sebi.

Drevna statua Ramzesa II. Izvor: BigStockPhoto

Jedna od pobjeda Ramesses II vladavine bila je bitka kod Kadeša. Ovo je bila bitka između Egipćana, koju je vodio Ramzes II, i Hetita pod Muwatallijem, za kontrolu Sirije. Bitka se odigrala u proljeće 5 th godine vladavine Ramzesa II, a uzrokovano je prebjegom Amurrua iz Hetita u Egipat. Ovaj prebjeg rezultirao je pokušajem Hetita da vrati Amurru u njihovu sferu utjecaja. Ramzes II ne bi imao ništa od toga i odlučio je zaštititi svog novog vazala marširajući svoju vojsku na sjever. Faraonova kampanja protiv Hetita također je imala za cilj tjerati Hetite, koji su stvarali probleme Egipćanima još od vremena faraona Tutmosija III, natrag izvan njihovih granica.

Faraon Ramzes II sa lukom i strijelom. Izvor: BigStockPhoto

Prema egipatskim izvještajima, Hetiti su ih porazili, a Ramzes II je ostvario veliku pobjedu. Priča o ovoj pobjedi najpoznatije je monumentalna u unutrašnjosti hrama Abu Simbela. Na ovom reljefu prikazan je veći od života faraon kako jaše na kočijama i ruši svoje hetitske neprijatelje. Zaista, ova slika uspijeva prenijeti osjećaj moći i trijumfa koji je Ramzes II težio postići. Ipak, prema hetitskim izvještajima, čini se da egipatska pobjeda ipak nije bila tako velika i da ju je Ramzes II pretjerao u svrhu propagande. Jasno je, međutim, da su se odnosi moći na drevnom Bliskom istoku značajno promijenili nakon ove bitke. Prvi poznati mirovni ugovor potpisan je između Egipćana i Hetita, a Hetiti su priznati kao jedna od velesila u regiji. Ovaj ugovor bi također postavio pozornicu za egipatsko-hetitske odnose u narednih 70-ak godina.

Hram Abu Simbel kralja Ramzesa II, remek -djelo faraonske umjetnosti i građevina u Starom Egiptu. Izvor: BigStockPhoto

Iako je bio jedan od najmoćnijih ljudi na svijetu tokom svog života, Ramzes II nije imao mnogo kontrole nad svojim fizičkim ostacima nakon njegove smrti. Dok je njegovo mumificirano tijelo prvobitno bilo sahranjeno u grobnici KV7 u Dolini kraljeva, pljačka pljačkaša grobova navela je egipatske svećenike da njegovo tijelo premjeste na sigurnije počivalište. Postupci ovih svećenika spasili su mumiju Ramzesa II od pljačkaša, da bi ona pala u ruke arheologa. 1881. mumija Ramzesa II, zajedno s onima više od 50 drugih vladara i plemića, otkrivena je u tajnom kraljevskom predgrađu u Dier el-Bahriju. Mumija Ramzesa II identifikovana je na osnovu hijeroglifa, koji su detaljno premjestili njegovu mumiju od strane svećenika, na platnu koje je prekrivalo tijelo faraona. Otprilike stotinu godina nakon što je njegova mumija otkrivena, arheolozi su primijetili pogoršanje stanja mumije Ramzesa II i odlučili da je odlete u Pariz radi liječenja od gljivične infekcije. Zanimljivo je da je faraon dobio egipatski pasoš u kojem je njegovo zanimanje navedeno kao "kralj (pokojni)". Danas mumija ovog velikog faraona počiva u Kairskom muzeju u Egiptu.

Mumija Ramzesa II. Izvor fotografije .

Istaknuta slika: Kip Ramzesa II . Izvor fotografije: BigStockPhoto.

Od Ḏḥwty


    Opcije stranice

    Ramzes II je najpoznatiji od faraona i nema sumnje da je to namjeravao biti. U astronomskim terminima, on je Jupiter faraonskog sistema, i jednom je superlativ prikladan, budući da džinovska planeta sjajno sjaji na daljinu, ali pri pomnom pregledu ispada da je kugla plina. Ramzes II, ili barem njegova verzija koju je odabrao da prikaže u svojim natpisima, hijeroglifski je ekvivalent vrućeg zraka.

    U današnje vrijeme ime ovog vladara poznato je svakom prodavaču sitnica u dolini Nila, potomstvu koje ga ni najmanje ne bi posramilo. Ramesses je stekao multimedijski zagrobni život: njegova mumija leti iz Kaira u Pariz kako bi bila izložena i autopsirana, a niz bestselera francuskih pisaca Christiana Jacqa u sapunici daje verziju njegovog života .

    Ramzes II. je hijeroglifski ekvivalent vrućeg zraka.

    Yul Brynner je suštinu svoje ličnosti uhvatio u filmu iz 1956. godine Deset zapovesti, a u popularnoj mašti Ramzes II je postao faraon Izlaska. O istoriji koja se krije iza ovoga mnogo se raspravlja, ali se može slobodno reći da se lik Ramzesa uklapa u sliku prekomjernog vladara koji odbija božanske zahtjeve. Kraljeva bitka protiv Hetita kod Qadeša u Siriji bila je blizu poraza, uzrokovanog elementarnim neuspjehom vojne obavještajne službe, a spašena je tek u zadnji čas dolaskom pojačanja s libanonske obale. Na Ramzesovom računu, koji zauzima čitave zidove na mnogim njegovim spomenicima, ovo izvlačenje bez golova pretvara se u majku svih pobjeda, koje je sam osvojio sam.

    Jedan od najboljih vodiča za Egipat koji je ikada sastavljen bilo je djelo Jamesa Baikiea (1866-1931), koji je napisao svoj detaljan prikaz zemlje, a da to mjesto nije ni vidio. Baikiejeva prizemna reakcija na beskonačne izvještaje o ovoj bici glasi ovako:


    Rani život i vladavina

    O Ramzesovom ranom životu malo se zna. Njegova tačna godina rođenja nije potvrđena, ali se vjeruje da je 1303. pne. Njegov otac je bio Seti I, drugi faraon 19. dinastije, koji je osnovao Ramzes I, djed Ramzesa II. Najvjerovatnije je Ramzes II došao na prijestolje 1279. godine prije nove ere, kada je imao otprilike 24 godine. U nekom trenutku pre toga, oženio se sa svojom budućom kraljicom, Nefertari. Tokom svog braka imali su najmanje četiri sina i dvije kćerke, a možda i više, iako povjesničari imaju nesigurne dokaze o djeci iznad šestero koja se jasno spominju u dokumentima i na rezbarijama.

    U prvih nekoliko godina svoje vladavine, Ramses je nagovijestio svoju kasniju moć borbama protiv morskih gusara i početkom velikih građevinskih projekata. Njegova prva poznata velika pobjeda dogodila se u drugoj godini njegove vladavine, vjerovatno 1277. godine prije nove ere, kada je pobijedio Sherdenske gusare. Sherdeni, koji su najvjerojatnije potjecali iz Jonije ili Sardinije, bili su flota gusara koji su stalno napadali teretne brodove na putu za Egipat, oštećujući ili potpuno osakaćujući egipatsku pomorsku trgovinu.

    Ramses je također započeo svoje velike građevinske projekte u prve tri godine svoje vladavine. Po njegovom nalogu, drevni hramovi u Tebi bili su potpuno obnovljeni, posebno u čast Ramzesa i njegove moći, cijenjene kao gotovo božanske. Metode rezbarenja kamena koje su koristili prošli faraoni rezultirale su plitkim rezbarijama koje su njihovi nasljednici lako mogli preraditi. Umjesto toga, Ramses je naručio mnogo dublje rezbarije koje bi ubuduće bilo teže poništiti ili promijeniti.


    Prosperitet tokom vladavine Ramzesa II

    Jedna mjera prosperiteta Egipta je količina izgradnje hrama koju su kraljevi mogli priuštiti da izvode, pa je na toj osnovi vladavina Ramzesa II najznačajnija u egipatskoj povijesti, čak i uzimajući u obzir njegovu veliku dužinu. Bilo je to ono što je, u kombinaciji s njegovim junaštvom u ratu kako je prikazano u hramovima, navelo egiptologe 19. stoljeća da ga proglase "Velikim", i da su ga, u stvari, njegovi podanici i potomci gledali na njih kralj par excellence. Devet kraljeva 20. dinastije (1190–1075 pne) nazvali su se njegovim imenom čak i u razdoblju pada koji je uslijedio, bila je čast moći tvrditi da potječu od njega, a podanici su ga nazivali nježnom skraćenicom Sese.

    U Egiptu je završio veliku hipostilnu dvoranu u Karnaku (Teba) i nastavio rad na hramu koji je izgradio Seti I u Abidosu, a oba su ostala nepotpuna njegovom smrću. Ramzes je takođe dovršio pogrebni hram svog oca na zapadnoj obali Nila u Luksoru (Teba) i sagradio sebi, koji je danas poznat kao Ramesseum. U Abydosu je sagradio vlastiti hram nedaleko od oca svog. U njegovom gradu prebivalištu postojala su i četiri velika hrama, da ne spominjemo manja svetišta.

    U Nubiji (Nilotic Sudan) sagradio je ne manje od šest hramova, od kojih su dva isklesana sa litice u Abu Simbelu, sa svoja četiri kolosalna kipa kralja, najveličanstveniji i najpoznatiji. Veće od njih započelo je pod Setijem I, ali ga je uveliko izvršio Ramzes, dok je drugi u potpunosti zaslužan za Ramzesa. Osim izgradnje Per Ramessua, njegovo najznačajnije svjetsko djelo do sada poznato je potonuće bunara u istočnoj pustinji na putu do nubijskih rudnika zlata.

    O Ramzesovom ličnom životu praktično se ništa ne zna. Njegova prva i možda omiljena kraljica bila je Nefertari, manji hram u Abu Simbelu bio joj je posvećen. Čini se da je umrla relativno rano u vrijeme vladavine, a njena fina grobnica u Dolini kraljica u Tebi dobro je poznata. Ostale kraljice čija su imena sačuvana bile su Isinofre, koja je kralju rodila četiri sina, među kojima su bili i Ramzesov mogući nasljednik, Merneptah Merytamun i Matnefrure, hetitska princeza. Osim službene kraljice ili kraljica, kralj je po običaju posjedovao i veliki harem i ponosio se svojom velikom porodicom od preko 100 djece. Najbolji portret Ramzesa II je lijepa statua mladog čovjeka, sada u egipatskom Muzeju Torina njegova mumija, sačuvana u Egipatskom muzeju u Kairu, je slika vrlo starog čovjeka s dugim uskim licem, istaknutim nosom , i masivne čeljusti.

    Vladavina Ramzesa II označava posljednji vrhunac egipatske carske moći. Nakon njegove smrti, Egipat je bio prisiljen na obranu, ali je uspio zadržati svoj suverenitet nad Palestinom i susjednim teritorijima do kasnijeg dijela 20. dinastije, kada je migracija militantnih morskih naroda na Levant okončala moć Egipta izvan njegovih granica. Ramzes II je morao biti dobar vojnik, uprkos neuspjehu u Kadešu, inače ne bi uspio prodrijeti tako daleko u hetitsko carstvo kao što je to činio narednih godina, čini se da je bio nadležni administrator, budući da je država je bio prosperitetan i zasigurno je bio popularan kralj. Dio njegove slave, međutim, svakako se mora pripisati njegovom osjećaju za publicitet: njegovo ime i zapisi o njegovim podvizima na bojnom polju pronađeni su posvuda u Egiptu i Nubiji.


    Život i smrt Ramzesa II

    Ramzes II je vjerojatno jedan od najvećih faraona drevnog Egipta, a ujedno i jedan od njegovih najpoznatijih. Ramzes II, treći faraon 19. dinastije, stupio je na egipatsko prijestolje u kasnim tinejdžerskim godinama 1279. godine prije Krista nakon smrti svog oca, Setija I. Poznato je da je vladao starim Egiptom ukupno 66 godina, nadživjevši mnoge njegovih sinova u procesu - iako se vjeruje da je rodio više od 100 djece. Kao rezultat svoje duge i prosperitetne vladavine, Ramzes II je mogao poduzeti brojne vojne pohode protiv susjednih regija, kao i izgraditi spomenike bogovima i, naravno, sebi.

    Jedna od pobjeda Ramesses II vladavine bila je bitka kod Kadeša. Ovo je bila bitka između Egipćana, koju je vodio Ramzes II, i Hetita pod Muwatallijem, za kontrolu Sirije. Bitka se dogodila u proljeće 5. godine vladavine Ramzesa II, a uzrokovana je prebjegom Amurrua iz Hetita u Egipat. Ovaj prebjeg rezultirao je pokušajem Hetita da vrati Amurru u njihovu sferu utjecaja. Ramzes II ne bi imao ništa od toga i odlučio je zaštititi svog novog vazala marširajući svoju vojsku na sjever. Faraonova kampanja protiv Hetita također je bila usmjerena na vraćanje Hetita, koji su stvarali probleme Egipćanima još od vremena faraona Tutmosija III, natrag izvan njihovih granica.

    Prema egipatskim izvještajima, Hetiti su ih porazili, a Ramzes II je ostvario veliku pobjedu. Priča o ovoj pobjedi najpoznatije je monumentalizirana u unutrašnjosti hrama Abu Simbela. Na ovom reljefu prikazan je veći od života faraon kako jaše na kočijama i ruši svoje hetitske neprijatelje. Zaista, ova slika uspijeva prenijeti osjećaj moći i trijumfa koji je Ramzes II težio postići. Ipak, prema hetitskim izvještajima, čini se da egipatska pobjeda ipak nije bila tako velika i da ju je Ramzes II pretjerao u svrhu propagande. Jasno je, međutim, da su se odnosi moći na drevnom Bliskom istoku značajno promijenili nakon ove bitke. Prvi poznati mirovni ugovor potpisan je između Egipćana i Hetita, a Hetiti su priznati kao jedna od velesila u regiji. Ovaj ugovor bi također postavio pozornicu za egipatsko-hetitske odnose u narednih 70-ak godina

    Iako je bio jedan od najmoćnijih ljudi na svijetu tokom svog života, Ramzes II nije imao mnogo kontrole nad svojim fizičkim ostacima nakon njegove smrti. Dok je njegovo mumificirano tijelo prvobitno bilo sahranjeno u grobnici KV7 u Dolini kraljeva, pljačka pljačkaša grobova navela je egipatske svećenike da njegovo tijelo premjeste na sigurnije počivalište. Postupci ovih svećenika spasili su mumiju Ramzesa II od pljačkaša, da bi ona pala u ruke arheologa. 1881. mumija Ramzesa II, zajedno s onima više od 50 drugih vladara i plemića, otkrivena je u tajnom kraljevskom predgrađu u Dier el-Bahriju. Mumija Ramzesa II identifikovana je na osnovu hijeroglifa, koji su detaljno premjestili njegovu mumiju od strane svećenika, na platnu koje je prekrivalo tijelo faraona. Otprilike stotinu godina nakon što je njegova mumija otkrivena, arheolozi su primijetili pogoršanje stanja mumije Ramzesa II i odlučili da je odlete u Pariz radi liječenja od gljivične infekcije. Zanimljivo je da je faraon dobio egipatski pasoš u kojem je njegovo zanimanje navedeno kao "kralj (pokojni)". Danas mumija ovog velikog faraona počiva u Kairskom muzeju u Egiptu.


    ŽIVITI SVOJU VELIČINA

    Kao znak diplomatske dobre volje, Ramzes II se oženio najstarijom kćerkom hetitskog kralja. Pridružila mu se, Nefertari (njegova glavna kraljica) i njegova ogromna porodica - on je imao više od stotinu djece - u njegovoj novoj prijestolnici, Per Ramessu, prikladno, iako drsko, nazvanom po njemu. (Pogledajte unutar vjenčanja Ramzesa II i hetitske princeze.)

    Bogatstvo vladavine Ramzesa II evidentno je u njegovoj bogatoj građevinskoj kampanji, najvećoj koju je poduzeo bilo koji faraon. Hramovi u Karnaku i Abu Simbelu jedno su od najvećih egipatskih čuda. Njegov pogrebni hram, Ramesseum, sadržavao je ogromnu biblioteku od oko 10.000 papirusa. Počastvovao je i svog oca i sebe dovršavajući hramove u Abidosu.

    Za sve napore Ramzesa II da osigura da njegovo naslijeđe nastavi živjeti, postojao je jedan dokaz njegove moći koji nije mogao predvidjeti. Nakon njegove smrti, devet narednih faraona uzelo je njegovo ime pri stupanju na prijestolje, učvršćujući njegov status "velikog" među egipatskim vladarima. (Pročitajte zašto je mumija Ramzesa II izdala moderan pasoš.)

    Abu Simbel, monumentalni hram

    Ramzes II je želio da se apsolutno ne postavlja pitanje koji je faraon sagradio veličanstveni hram u Abu Simbelu. Na njegovom ulazu, četiri sjedeće statue visine 60 stopa služe kao stražari. Posvećen bogovima sunca, hram se prostire 185 stopa u liticu kroz niz od tri visoka dvorana. Scene prikazuju Ramzesa II u bitci kod Kadeša, kao i faraona i njegovu glavnu suprugu Nefertari koji prinose bogove sunca. Ramzes je naredio drugi, manji hram sagrađen u blizini za Nefertari.

    Zbog svoje udaljene lokacije, Abu Simbel nije bio otkriven do 1813. Godine 1959., kada je izgradnja visoke brane u Asuanu zaprijetila da će poplaviti to mjesto, UNESCO je krenuo u neviđene, 20-godišnje spasilačke napore koji su preselili oba hrama Abu Simbela-kamen po kamen - do višeg tla nekih 200 stopa dalje uz liticu.

    Princ Khaemwaset

    Među više od 100 potomaka Ramzesa II, princ Khaemwaset zaista se izdvaja. Bio je na prestižnoj funkciji velikog sveštenika Ptaha, boga zaštitnika Memfisa. Bas-reljefi prikazuju ga u njegovoj važnoj dužnosti da čuva grobnicu Ptahovih svetih bikova Apisa u podzemnom kompleksu poznatom kao Serapeum.

    Khaemwasetovo veće naslijeđe njegova je revolucionarna uloga jednog od prvih poznatih arheologa. Bio je zadivljen hiljadugodišnjim znamenitostima iz Starog kraljevstva koje su ga okruživale u Memfisu. Pregledao je i obnovio nekoliko hramova i piramida. Prilikom svake restauracije upisivao je imena i titule prvobitnih "vlasnika zgrade", kao i njegova i očeva imena. Milenijum nakon njegove smrti, bio je cijenjen kao učenjak i predstavljen u nizu priča o njegovim postignućima.


    Život i dostignuća Ramzesa II

    Do kraja vladavine osamnaeste dinastije, politička situacija u starom Egiptu pogoršala se. Zbog lošeg upravljanja, Amenhotep nikada nije razmatrao vanjsku i unutrašnju politiku, fokusirajući se isključivo na vjerske reforme. Njegova smrt nije pomogla poboljšanju političkih prilika, međutim, zamijenio ga je Ramzes, osnivač nove dinastije. Prije nego što je Ramzes II došao na vlast, Egipat je vodio ratove protiv Libijaca, Nubijaca i Hetita. Potonji je predstavljao najveću prijetnju. Kad je Seti I došao na prijestolje, egipatska je civilizacija djelomično oživjela, stvarajući preduvjete za daljnji razvoj. Kasnije je Seti I ustupio mjesto svom sinu Ramzesu II, koji je tokom svoje vladavine postigao prosperitet i bogatstvo. Cilj ovog rada je razmotriti život Ramzesa II, njegova glavna postignuća, kao faraona.

    Kao egipatski faraon u Novom Kraljevstvu, šef države bio je odgovoran za osiguranje prosperiteta i održivosti zemlje i svog naroda. Da bi to učinio, morao je održavati Ma & rsquoat, što znači poštovati religiju. Takođe, morao je imati jaku vojsku. Ramzes II vladao je tokom 19. dinastije. Općenito, Ramzes II je živio 97 godina, od kojih je vladao većinom svog života. Nakon njegove smrti, Egipat je doživio pustoš, pa je većina povjesničara tvrdila da je on bio slavni i uspješni kralj. Među njegovim brojnim postignućima može se primijetiti da je Ramzes II bio jedan od najpoznatijih faraona u povijesti da je imao 100 djece (Brand, 2016). U ovom trenutku povjesničari znaju više o njegovoj djeci nego o svim kraljevima osamnaeste dinastije (Brand, 2016). Zaista, broj kraljevske djece koja se pojavljuju na popisima čudi se da su mnogi od tih ljudi bili njegovi unuci.

    Za početak, Ramzes II je bio treći faraon svoje dinastije rođen u porodici Setija I i njegove supruge Tuje u c. 1303. pne. I sa 10 godina, dječak je rangiran kao kapetan vojske (& ldquoRamesses II. Biografija & rdquo). Nekoliko godina kasnije Ramzes II je postao princ namjesnik (& ldquoRamesses II. Biografija & rdquo). Do tada je mladi faraon sa ocem već počeo sudjelovati u vojnim četama. Ramzes je stupio na prijestolje nakon smrti Setija I 1279. godine prije nove ere, u kasnim dvadesetim godinama. (& ldquoRamesses II. Biografija & rdquo).

    Prvo se fokusirao na različite građevinske projekte. Prve godine njegove vladavine obilježene su izgradnjom gradova, spomenika i hramova. On je takođe osnovao novu prestonicu u delti Nila, koja se nalazila u severoistočnom delu zemlje pre nekoliko hiljada godina. Lokacija ovog novog kapitala nije bila slučajna, jer je novi glavni grad postao najbolja strateška tačka za odbranu susjednih zemalja (Brand, 2016). Unatoč tome što je Ramesses II & rsquo putovao po cijeloj zemlji, sve menadžerske odluke dolazile su iz Memphisa ili Pi-Ramessesa. Grad je bio podijeljen na četiri dijela, svaki je bio posvećen zasebnom božanstvu. U Egiptu su azijska božanstva postajala sve popularnija, dok je Ramzes II također imao strast prema njima.

    Kasnije je mladi faraon pokušao osigurati granice Egipta i osvojiti nove teritorije. Vladavinu faraona obilježile su bitke s Libijcima i Nubijcima. Ustanak u Nubiji postao je posebno značajan, pa ga je faraon morao ugušiti. Ovdje je njegova pobjeda protiv Hetita u bici kod Kadeša bila jedna od najpoznatijih. Ta je bitka izbila između Hetitskog i Egipatskog carstva. Ime je dobio po gradu Kadesh, u kojem su se događaji odigrali. Ova priča je započela kada je Ramzes II napao Hetite i napao hetitska kola, stigavši ​​do Kadeša s juga (& ldquoRamesses II. Biografija & rdquo). Hetiti su pobijedili jer Egipćani nisu uspjeli zauzeti Kadeš i poraziti hetitsku vojsku, što je dovelo do neuspjeha invazije. Kao rezultat toga, obje strane pripisale su pobjedu sebi. Moderni historičari zaključili su da u ovoj bitci nije bilo pobjednika, moralnom pobjedom Egipćana, koji su razvili nove tehnologije, ujedinili svoju vojsku i preokrenuli tok rata, izbjegavajući smrt i zarobljeništvo. Marino se pozvao na različite izvore, napisavši da je Ramzes II ubio samo dvije hiljade neprijatelja (Marino, 2017). Autor je sumnjao u istinitost ove priče, međutim, primijetio je da je faraon vjerojatno pokazao izvrsne liderske vještine (Marino, 2017). Svi osim faraona odustali su kad im je stvarni život bio u opasnosti (Marino, 2017). Kad su povjesničari uspjeli protumačiti istinita zbivanja toga dana, shvatili su zašto je Ramzes II zaključio mirovni ugovor između Egipćana i Hetita. Faraon je znao da Hetiti predstavljaju prijetnju, jer su imali jaku liniju odbrane. Mirovni ugovor bio je jedini način da se osigura javna sigurnost, a Ramzes II je bio prvi kralj, koji je uspio pregovarati sa svojim neprijateljima. Obje strane uspostavile su diplomatske odnose, a faraon se oženio najstarijom kćerkom hetitskog kralja. Povjesničari su također pretpostavili da je kasnije uzeo još jednu hetitsku princezu kao kraljicu (& ldquoRamesses II. Biografija & rdquo).


    Sadržaj

    U antici je Ozymandias (Ὀσυμανδύας) bilo grčko ime za egipatskog faraona Ramzesa II.

    Šeli je svoju pjesmu počeo pisati 1817. godine, ubrzo nakon objave Britanskog muzeja da su nabavili veliki fragment statue Ramzesa II iz 13. stoljeća prije nove ere [ SZO? ] vjeruju da je Shelley inspirirana akvizicijom. Ulomak glave i torza statue od 7,25 kratkih tona (6,58 t 6.580 kg) uklonjen je 1816. iz hrama mrtvačnice Ramzesa (Ramesseum) u Tebi od strane italijanskog avanturista Giovannija Battiste Belzonija. Ugled kipa u Zapadnoj Evropi prethodio je njegovom dolasku: Napoleon ga je pokušao nabaviti za Francusku nakon ekspedicije u Egipat 1798. godine. [5]

    Očekivalo se da će kip stići u London 1818. godine, ali je stigao tek 1821. [6] [7] Pjesme su objavljene prije nego što je kip stigao u Britaniju. [7]

    Knjiga Les Ruines, ou méditations sur les révolutions des empires (1791) Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney (1757-1820), prvi put objavljen u engleskom prijevodu kao Ruševine ili Pregled revolucija carstava (London: Joseph Johnson, 1792) Jamesa Marshalla, imao je utjecaj na Shelley. [8] Shelley je istraživao slične teme u svom djelu iz 1813 Queen Mab.

    Shelley je obično objavljivao njegova djela anonimno ili koristeći pseudonim. Pjesmu je objavio pod imenom "Glirastes", nastalu kombinacijom latinskog glīs (genetski glīris), što znači "puh", sa grčkim nastavkom ἐραστής (erastēs, "ljubavnik"). [9] Ime se odnosilo na njegovu suprugu Mary, čiji je nadimak bio "do [o] rmouse". [10]

    Istorija publikacija Uredi

    Bankar i politički pisac Horace Smith proveo je božićnu sezonu 1817–1818 sa Percy Bysshe Shelley i Mary Shelley. U to su vrijeme članovi književnog kruga Shelleys ponekad izazivali jedni druge da pišu konkurentne sonete na zajedničku temu: Shelley, John Keats i Leigh Hunt napisali su konkurentne sonete o Nilu otprilike u isto vrijeme. Shelley i Smith su odabrali odlomak iz spisa grčkog historičara Diodorusa Siculusa u Bibliotheca historica, koji opisuje masivnu egipatsku statuu i citira njen natpis: "Kralj kraljeva Ozymandias sam. Ako neko želi znati koliko sam veliki i gdje ležim, neka me nadmaši u mom poslu." U Šelijevoj pesmi Diodor postaje "putnik iz antičke zemlje". [11] [12] [13] [14]

    Pesma je štampana godine Ispitivač, [2] sedmični list koji je objavio Leighin brat John Hunt u Londonu. Hunt se divio Shelleyevoj poeziji i mnogim drugim njegovim djelima, poput Pobuna islama, objavljeni su u Ispitivač. [15]


    Ramzes II: Povijest i rekonstrukcija faraona ratnika koji je živio do 90

    Ilustracija Angus McBride

    Ramzes II (poznat i kao Ramzes, staroegipatski: rꜥ-ms-sw ili riʕmīsisu, što znači "Ra je onaj koji ga je rodio") smatra se jednim od najmoćnijih i najutjecajnijih drevnih egipatskih faraona - poznatih po svojim vojnim i domaćim dostignućima u doba Novog kraljevstva. Rođen oko 1303. pne. (Ili 1302. pne.), Kao kraljevski član Devetnaeste dinastije, on je stupio na prijestolje 1279. pne. I vladao 67 godina. Ramzes II je u grčkim izvorima bio poznat i kao Ozymandias, pri čemu je prvi dio nadimka izveden iz Ramessesovog kraljevskog imena, Usermaatre Setepenre, što znači - ‘Raat maat je moćan, izabran od Ra’.

    Kralj mladog ratnika -

    Izvor: Civilization Wiki

    Za sina faraona Setija I i kraljice Tuye, Ramzes II je učestvovao u bitkama i kampanjama svog oca od nepune 14 godine (nakon što je izabran za princa namjesnika). Da bismo sada dali kontekst zašto je tako mlad tinejdžer (a i on također član kraljevske porodice) učestvovao u potencijalno opasnim ratnim scenarijima, moramo shvatiti da je upravo ta epoha-oko 15. do 13. stoljeća prije nove ere, bila potaknuta egipatskom imperijalističkom politikom nizom moćnih faraona. A vladari devetnaeste dinastije čak su prikazani kao inkarnacije boga rata i hrabrosti Montu (bog sokola) ili kao personifikacije samog Egipta.

    Dovoljno je reći da su u ovom okviru simbolike i imperijalizma faraon i njegova muška linija bili najvažnije figure u državnoj mašineriji starog Egipta. Tako su članovi kraljevske porodice dobili vojno obrazovanje koje je odgovaralo zapovjednicima novonastalog carstva. Ova obuka za ratovanje, koju su često pružali veterani koje je imenovala država, ne samo da je uključivala fizičke režime i rukovanje oružjem, već je uključivala i lekcije iz taktičkog i strateškog planiranja (pri čemu je potonje daleko važnije za vojne kampanje). I kao što su dokumentirani događaji dokazali, faraon i njegova kraljevska pratnja oličavali su vrh egipatske vojske sa svojim elitnim kolima. Tako su se figure poput Amenofisa II i Ramzesa II posebno ponosile manevriranjem kočijama, rukovanjem lukovima (percipiranim kao oružjem poštovanja) i ličnim vođenjem svojih armija u bitkama.

    Rani vojni uspjesi Ramzesa II -

    Nubijski Medjay u prvom planu i Sherden u pozadini. Ilustracija Angus McBride.

    Kao što smo ranije spomenuli, devetnaesta dinastija, kao i njena prethodnica (osamnaesta dinastija) vodila je politiku vojnih pohoda i osvajanja izvan tradicionalnih granica drevnog Egipta. Tako su se njihove vojske često sukobljavale sa susjednim kraljevstvima i poljima, uključujući Hetite, Libijce i Nubijce. Međutim, nakon što je Ramzes II zauzeo prijestolje, smrću svog oca Setija I, oko 1279. godine prije nove ere, mladi faraon (još u ranim dvadesetim godinama) usmjerio je svoju pažnju na novog neprijatelja. Ovaj neprijatelj se odnosio na Sherden morski gusari (jedan od misterioznih ljudi na moru) odgovorni za opustošenje mediteranske obale drevnog Egipta napadajući dragocjene teretne brodove koji su putovali ovim strateškim trgovačkim putem (povezujući se s Levantom i Sirijom).

    Tako je u drugoj godini svoje vladavine Ramzes II odlučio da prijetnju okonča jednom radnjom. Slijedom toga, nakon pažljivog planiranja, Sherden bili su zarobljeni zajedničkim naporima egipatske vojske i mornarice - budući da su potonji taktički čekali da se gusari približe lukama, a zatim ih opkolili iz stražnjeg kuta. Ovi gusarski bendovi tada su vjerovatno poraženi u odlučnom sukobu u blizini ušća Nila. Zanimljivo je da su kasnije neke od njih Sherden, poznati po svojoj borbenoj sposobnosti, uvedeni su u jedinice kraljevske straže Ramzesa II. Osim toga, mladi faraon je pobijedio i druge grupe ljudi iz mora, poput Lukka (L’kkw, vjerojatno kasniji Likijci), i Šqrsšw (Šekeleš).

    Na južnom frontu bilo je poznato da je Ramzes II marširao protiv pobunjenih Nubijaca, čije su zemlje kolonizirali Egipćani (oko 15. stoljeća prije nove ere). U tom smislu, jedna od poznatih savezničkih trupa uključivala je Medžaje, koji su u osnovi bili nubijski pustinjski izviđači drevne egipatske vojske raspoređeni kao elitna paravojna policijska snaga u razdoblju Novog kraljevstva. Na kontroverzan način, Ramzes II se također mogao boriti protiv polunomadskih libijskih plemena na zapadu (koja su potvrđena kao Libu ili R’bw na egipatskom).

    Sada kontroverza sama po sebi proizlazi iz činjenice kako egipatski izvještaji nastoje veličati podvig Ramzesa II u osvajanju i uništavanju ovih nomada. Međutim, nedavni arheološki dokazi ukazuju na to da su stari Egipćani mirno prakticirali berbu usjeva i uzgoj stada goveda na teritoriju koji se tradicionalno smatrao libijskim (ili barem pod utjecajem lokalnih libijskih nomada). Jednostavno rečeno, postoji šansa da su takvi izvještaji možda bile propagandne mjere ili zapisi koji su uspoređivali (ili brkali) podvige slavnog faraona s onima njegovog prethodnika (i njegovog oca) Setija I.

    Azijske avanture -

    Ilustracija Johnny Shumate

    Međutim, izvan dosega Nubije i Libije, Sirija je dovela do složene geopolitičke borbe između Egipta i drugog uzlaznog carstva - Hetita (Male Azije). Now from the military perspective, by the time of Ramesses II, there were four military headquarters spread across the burgeoning Egyptian empire, each named after the god of the region, while being commanded by the chosen senior officers of the army. These massive military complexes were used for training new recruits, creating supply and reinforcements points, and providing royal escorts and even parade troops during triumphal occasions.

    Bolstered by such a massive network and encouraged by the homegrown military power, the young Pharaoh marched into Canaan (southern Levant), a vassal state of the Hittites, in circa 1275 AD. The subsequent campaign was probably successful, with records mentioning the capturing of Canaanite (and possibly even Hittite) royal members who were brought back to Egypt, along with a fair share of assorted plunder. Other records also allude to how Ramesses II defeated a Canaanite army by routing it after its leader was killed by an Egyptian archer.

    The Clash of the Superpowers at Kadesh –

    Opposing forces at the Battle of Kadesh, circa 1274 BC. Izvor: Pinterest

    Consequently, Ramesses II, following up on his predecessors’ steps, secured a foothold in the southern section of the Levant. On the other hand, the Hittites (Hatti – as called by Egyptians) had already established themselves along the northern reaches of the Levant. Suffice it to say, this momentary standoff hinted at a greater power struggle that would pit the two (Late) Bronze Age empires against one another. According to historian Susan Wise Bauer –

    He [Ramesses II] did not wait long before picking up the fight against the Hittite enemy. In 1275, only three years or so after taking the throne, he began to plan a campaign to get Kadesh back. The city had become more than a battlefront it was a symbolic football kicked back and forth between empires. Kadesh was too far north for easy control by the Egyptians, too far south for easy administration by the Hittites. Whichever empire claimed it could boast of superior strength.

    Unfortunately, for Ramesses II, his army, divided into four brigades, marched uninterrupted almost up to the vicinity of Kadesh – unaware of the Hittite army in proximity (possibly hidden by the very walls of Kadesh). The trap was laid by the Hittite king Muwatallis II who paid two Bedouin spies to intentionally misdirect Ramesses II. According to the Egyptian account, these spies were ultimately caught, but the act was too late –

    When they had been brought before Pharaoh, His Majesty asked, ‘Who are you?’ They replied, ‘We belong to the king of Hatti. He has sent us to spy on you.’ Then His Majesty said to them, ‘Where is he, the enemy from Hatti? I had heard that he was in the land of Khaleb, north of Tunip.’ They replied to His Majesty, ‘Lo, the king of Hatti has already arrived, together with the many countries who are supporting him…. They are armed with their infantry and their chariots. They have their weapons of war at the ready. They are more numerous than the grains of sand on the beach. Behold, they stand equipped and ready for battle behind the old city of Kadesh.’

    The predicament for Ramesses II was exacerbated since two (Ptah and Seth brigades) of his total four brigades were separated by forests and the Orontes River. The remaining two (Re and Amun brigades) were under his personal command. So in the initial phase, the Hittite chariot regiments successfully ran down the Re brigade – and their charge was only stymied by the valor of Ramesses II and his Amun brigade (according to Egyptian accounts). The counterattack by the Pharaoh’s own chariot regiments bought some time for the other Egyptian brigades to arrive on the battlefield. However, in his wrath and frustration, the ever-impulsive Ramesses II advanced too far from his army and was almost trapped between the remnant Hittite forces and the river.

    Fortuitously, the Hittite ruler Muwatallis didn’t pursue his apparent advantage, thus allowing Ramesses II and his personal forces to escape. In the aftermath of this incredible battle (in circa 1274 BC), the Egyptian Pharaoh declared a great victory for himself, although, in terms of practicality, the outcome was a stalemate at best. Even more intriguing is the fact that Ramesses II continued to persevere with his expansionist policies in the Levant and Syria. In the following years, the Egyptians captured Moab (in Jordan), Upi (around Damascus), Tunip (western Syria), and even attacked Jerusalem and Jericho. But given the autonomous nature of the realms in this region, along with the balancing power of the Hittites, most of these conquests were only temporary in nature.

    The Momentous Peace –

    The Treaty of Kadesh (inscribed in Akkadian), circa 1258 BC.

    As it turned out, it was once again Muwatallis’ family line that played its role in framing the geopolitics of the region. To that end, after Muwatallis death in circa 1272 BC, his eldest son Mursili III succeeded to the throne of the Hittites. But his reign (possibly 7 years) was cut short by his own uncle Ḫattušili III who took over the power. As a result, Mursili III fled to the court of Ramesses II, with the latter providing him with refuge. Unsurprisingly, Ḫattušili III demanded his nephew’s extradition from Egypt, But Ramesses II refused to even acknowledge the presence of Mursili III within his territories. And this turn of events almost resulted in yet another war between the empires.

    But all of that changed in the year 1258 BC when Ramesses II arranged for an official peace treaty – one of the first of its kind in the ancient world. The treaty, with its two versions recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphs (that maintained how the Hittites sued for peace) and Akkadian – the lingua franca of the Near East (that maintained how the Egyptian caved in), contained 18 statutes. Related records from the time, like the Anastasy A papyrus, mention how the Egyptians still controlled some coastal Phoenician towns, with their northernmost border set at the Sumur harbor (in present-day Lebanon).

    However, as a consequence of this momentous accord, military campaigns into Canaan were stopped from Ramesses’ side – thereby leading to unexpected peace along the Levant frontier. Thus Syria conclusively passed into the Hittite hands. As for Mursili III, while there was a clause for his extradition in the peace agreement, the historical figure vanishes from the annals of history after the arrangement of the treaty.

    The Domestic Scope –

    Depictions on the Temple of Nefertari. Source: EgyptToday

    According to most ancient accounts and many modern-day estimates, Ramesses II probably lived till the ripe old age of 90 or 96. In fact, such was his influence in Egypt, buttressed by the length of his reign (67 years), that his death was thought to be the coming of end-times by many of his subjects – some of whom were born long after Ramesses II himself. Furthermore, in his domestic life, the Pharaoh had around 200 wives and concubines, and possibly over a hundred children (according to some accounts, he had 96 sons and 60 daughters) – and he outlived many of his scions.

    But among his numerous wives and companions, Ramesses II probably favored Nefertari (not to be confused with Nefertiti) as his beloved queen and chief consort. And in spite of what might have been her early death (possibly during childbirth), Nefertari was depicted quite frequently by murals and statues – with one famous example pertaining to the glorious wall painting inside her tomb. In any case, after the demise of Nefertari, Ramesses’ secondary wife Isetnefret (or Isetnofret) was elevated to the position of the chief consort – and their son Merneptah (or Merenptah) was the successor to the throne (who was already 70 years old during the time of his ascension).

    And since we talked about the reign of Ramesses II, the Pharaoh celebrated his jubilee after 30 years of ruling Egypt by hosting the famous Sed festival. Named after the Egyptian wolf god Sed (or Wepwawet), the particular celebration symbolized the continued rule of the Pharaoh. The festival entailed opulent processions and elaborate temple rituals amidst much fanfare and concluded with the raising of the djed – the symbol representing the strength and potency of the king’s rule. Ramesses II himself celebrated around 13 or 14 Sed festivals, by breaking the protocol and sometimes hosting them at two-year intervals (instead of the traditional three years after the jubilee).

    Building Projects of Ramesses II –

    Abu Simbel. Source: WorldAtlas

    The balance of Late Bronze Age geopolitical powers in the Levant and Syria involving both the Egyptians and the Hittites and the resulting status quo ironically allowed for some ‘breathing space’ for Ramesses II to focus on his building projects back home – that ranged from magnificent complexes to massive military settlements. One of the latter pertained to the renowned Pi-Ramesses (or Per Ramessu – meaning ‘House or Domain of Ramesses’), the new capital built by the Pharaoh, situated in the north-eastern part of the Nile Delta in Egypt.

    The site already served as the summer palace of Seti I, but was later expanded upon by his son and successor Ramesses II. And while there are scant archaeological pieces of evidence for Pi-Ramesses, ground-penetrating radar has revealed arrangements of temple compounds, mansions, residences, stables, cisterns, and canals inside the city. Also, based on its strategic location, the settlement was possibly used as a staging ground for the military campaigns directed towards the Levant and Syria.

    As for magnificent temple complexes, Ramesseum served as the massive mortuary temple of Ramesses II. Constructed in a typical New Kingdom architectural style, the gargantuan project boasted its imposing pylons, courtyard, and the main structure with hypostyle walls – all complemented by statuary representations of Ramesses II, along with depictions of war scenes. One particular example portrays the scene of the Pharaoh defeating his Hittite foes at Kadesh, thereby cementing his status (albeit in form of propaganda) as the victorious warrior-king.

    Other incredible architectural and artistic building projects patronized by Ramesses II include the famous Abu Simbel temples and statues, along with other complexes, constructed in Nubia (as opposed to Egypt proper), the tomb of Nefertari, the colossal statues of himself at Karnak, and a range of monumental temples across Egypt (including Giza).

    Reconstruction of Ramesses II –

    Mummy of Ramesses II. Source: VintageEveryday

    After 67 years of long and undisputed reign, Ramesses II, who already outlived many of his wives and sons, breathed his last in circa 1213 BC, probably at the age of 90. Forensic analysis suggests that by this time, the old Pharaoh suffered from arthritis, dental problems, and possibly even hardening of the arteries. Interestingly enough, while his mummified remains were originally interred at the Valley of the Kings, they were later shifted to the mortuary complex at Deir el-Bahari (part of the Theban necropolis), so as to prevent the tomb from being looted by the ancient robbers. Discovered back in 1881, the remains revealed some facial characteristics of Ramesses II, like his aquiline (hooked) nose, strong jaw, and sparse red hair.

    YouTube channel JudeMaris has reconstructed the face of Ramesses II at his prime, taking into account the aforementioned characteristics – and the video is presented above.

    Conclusion – Character Profile of Ramesses II

    Source: HistoricalEve

    In terms of history, Ramesses II, without a doubt, is considered as one of the most powerful and celebrated Pharaohs of ancient Egypt – the warrior-king who epitomized the supremacy of the New Kingdom, so much so that his successors venerated him as the ‘Great Ancestor’. On the other hand, recent archaeological projects have revealed that on some occasions, the military achievements of Ramesses II have rather been exaggerated by his own state machinery, thereby almost alluding to an ancient personality cult.

    This has led to debates in the academic circles regarding the epithet of ‘Great’ when attached to the name of Ramesses II. Few have argued that Thutmose III of the Eighteenth Dynasty is probably more deserving of the ‘Great’ title, because of his hand in creating the largest Egyptian empire. However, even if we go by an objective assessment viewed through the lens of history, Ramesses II was regarded as a mighty and noble ruler, not only by his subjects but also foreign powers, even during his own lifetime.

    And while a case can be made for his ‘megalomaniac’ tendencies, the same character flaws can be attributed to many of his contemporaries (and later rulers), especially considering the very symbolic gravity of the Egyptian throne (that was fueled by its fair share of propaganda). Moreover, Ramesses II was probably not a keen commander or a resourceful strategist – but his larger-than-life aura was propelled by his courage and tenacity on the battlefield, as demonstrated at Kadesh. Added to that, in spite of the Pharaoh’s ambitious (and sometimes overambitious) military campaigns in Asia, Ramesses did agree to a momentous peace treaty – which suggests some form of sagacity that tempered the warrior inside him.

    As for the domestic scope, like many ancient Egyptian rulers, Ramesses II ‘advertised’ his achievements and legacy by patronizing massive architectural projects and propagandist depictions across Egypt and Nubia. But in contrast to such extravagant endeavors (that alluded to the larger-than-life image of the ruler), the Pharaoh possibly led a disciplined lifestyle focused on the Egyptian ideals of domesticity and family-oriented values. To that end, in spite of having so many wives, consorts, and concubines, Ramesses II was known to have treated most of them and their children with utmost respect and regard.

    Honorable Mention – The Exodus Angle

    Painting by Winifred Mabel Brunton. Source: Magnolia Box

    Ramesses II is popularly associated with the Pharaoh figure during the Biblical Exodus, and the first mention of this association can possibly be ascribed to Eusebius of Caesarea, the 4th century AD Christian historian. On an intriguing note, Ramesses II being depicted as the Exodus Pharaoh was rather reinforced by 20th century Hollywood productions, with the most famous ones pertaining to Cecil B. DeMille’s classic The Ten Commandments (1956) and Disney’s The Prince of Egypt (1998).

    However, from the historical and archaeological perspectives, researchers have not found any evidence or record that could point to mass migration or exodus from Egyptian settlements like Per-Ramesses (although, the city is mentioned in the Bible as a center of Israelite laborers). In fact, the assessment of ancient Egyptian structures and sources suggest how the Egyptians didn’t make use of slave labor for their construction projects. On the contrary, they were keen to use skilled workers with experience along with volunteering civilians, so as to maintain high levels of precision and workmanship in their buildings and sculptures. In essence, the association of Ramesses II to the Exodus was probably a later invention for a narrative, as opposed to a historical event.

    Featured Image: Illustration By Angus McBride

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    Why Was Ramesses II “Great” and How Did He Influence the History of the Ancient Near East?

    Ramesses II (ruled ca. 1290-1224 BC), commonly known today as Ramesses “the Great,” was arguably not only ancient Egypt’s greatest king to have the name Ramesses, but quite possibly the greatest king to rule the Nile Valley. Truly, Ramesses lived up to his nickname as his endeavors and achievements far surpassed those of his predecessors and continue to inspire modern scholars and amateur Egyptologists alike. During his exceptionally long rule, Ramesses II earned his nickname and profoundly influenced the history of Egypt and that of the adjoining kingdoms of the Near East. Empowered by the ancient gods Re and Seth – his name is translated into English as “He is born of Re” – the mighty pharaoh became known for being a warrior as well as a diplomat.

    Ramesses II made sure that his rule would be remembered for eternity by commissioning numerous temples and statues to be built in his name and he was equally prolific in his familial affairs, counting a plethora of wives in his royal harem and siring over 100 children! All of these factors influenced the course of ancient Near Eastern history and helped to make Ramesses II the greatest of all his namesakes and arguably of all kings in the ancient Near East.

    Ramesses the Warrior and Diplomat

    Ramesses was born into a life of privilege during the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt’s New Kingdom. The New Kingdom was a period when ancient Egypt was at the pinnacle of wealth and power, which was largely the result of military campaigns and colonization in Nubia and the Levant [1] Ramesses was the son of King Seti I (ruled ca. 1305-1290 BC) and his chief queen Tuy, making him the crown prince of Egypt. As a young crown prince, Ramesses was expected to learn the ways of the Egyptian government and religion, but also to be a fighting pharaoh. In that regard he truly excelled.

    When Ramesses II ascended to the Egyptian throne, he inherited a large empire that included a number of Canaanite colonies in the Levant, which was an area roughly congruent with the modern day nation-states of Israel, Lebanon, and part of Syria. The mighty Egyptian army easily ruled over the often quarrelling Canaanite city-states of the region, but had to contend with the equally powerful Hittite Empire known as Hatti for control over the northern Levant. The border dispute between the Egyptian and Hittite empires eventually came to a head during Ramesses II’s fifth year of rule when border skirmishes turned into full-scale war.

    Like all New Kingdom pharaohs, Ramesses II personally led his army north as the commander in chief of the army and head of the elite chariot corps. Not unlike modern armies, Ramesses’ army was divided into five divisions named for the most popular gods of the New Kingdom: Re, Ptah, Seth, and Amun for a total of around 20,000 men [2] The pharaoh led his troops out of Egypt and followed the coastline until they arrived near the northern Levantine city of Kadesh, which is about 120 miles south of the modern day city of Aleppo.

    Once the Egyptian forces came close to Kadesh, Ramesses received faulty intelligence reports that the Hittites were much further to the north than they really were. Demonstrating that confidence can quickly turn to hubris, the young pharaoh led the Amun division across the Orontes River where he was then surrounded by Hittite troops. Ramesses II was rescued when a contingent of Canaanite allies arrived, but the battle ended in a strategic defeat for the Egyptians, although the borders remained unchanged so it was a political stalemate. [3] Instead of seeing the results of the Battle of Kadesh as a failure, though, Ramesses II instead embarked on one of the earliest known propaganda campaigns in history.

    In true fashion befitting of a pharaoh who would later be known as “great,” Ramesses II had scribes record the Battle of Kadesh in inscriptions and pictorial reliefs on the walls of eight temples throughout Egypt. In the Kadesh inscriptions, not only does Ramesses II claim to have led Egypt to victory over the Hittites, but he also contended to have done so alone! In the text of the Battle of Kadesh known as the “poem,” Ramesses exclaimed:

    I call to you, my father Amun, I am among a host of strangers All countries are arrayed against me, I am alone, there’s none with me! My numerous troops have deserted me, Not one of my chariotry looks for me I keep shouting for them, But none of them heeds my call. I know Amun helps me more than a million troops. [4]


    After the Battle of Kadesh, the political situation in the Levant stabilized and in the twenty-first year of his reign, Ramesses II was able to try his hand at diplomacy. Ramesses II was able to affect a permanent peace treaty and alliance between Egypt and Hatti, which was further solidified when the Hittite king, Hattusili III, betrothed one of his daughters to the Egyptian king. [5] The alliance between the two Near Eastern kingdoms helped usher in an era of peace and prosperity that has not since been replicated in the region.

    The Prolific Builder

    Any visitor to modern Egypt cannot escape the presence of Ramesses the Great. He commissioned hundreds of statues to be made in his name and usurped many more that were made in the image of previous kings. Everything that Ramesses II had created was usually on a colossal scale, which probably says as much about the king’s ego as his influence on the history of ancient Egypt. Among the most impressive monuments that Ramesses had built were the several so-called “mortuary temples” where the spirit of the dead king was worshipped as a god.

    Ramesses II had more mortuary temples built than any other Egyptian king. [6] Among the mortuary temples that Ramesses II had built throughout Egypt were the “Ramesseum” on the west bank of the Nile River near Thebes, an addition to the massive Karnak Temple in Thebes, and the Luxor Temple also in Thebes. Construction of the Luxor Temple began during the reign of Amenhotep III (ruled ca. 1403-1364 BC), but later became known as Ramesses II’s temple due to the large amount of work he did there, which included a pylon and courtyard at the north end and several colossal statues of the king. [7] The Luxor Temple served as the national shrine for the cult of the deified Ramesses II throughout the remainder of pharaonic history.

    Ramesses II’s building activities also extended outside of the confines of Egypt proper. He built a number of mortuary temples between the First and Second Cataracts of the Nile River, which was the traditional boundary that separated Egypt from Nubia. The most impressive of all of the boundary temples was the one that is located near the modern town of Abu Simbel. The temple was cut into a sandstone cliff above the Nile River with four nearly seventy foot high seated statues of Ramesses II proudly keeping guard over all who enter his land. [8] Ramesses II was clearly prolific in his construction activities, which helped secure his legacy and influenced Egypt, but he was just as prolific in his familial affairs.

    The Many Loves of Ramesses II

    Because Ramesses II lived so long and because Egyptian kings practiced polygamy, he was able to collect a considerable number of wives and to produce a vast number of children that rivaled the number of his monuments. By the time he died, Ramesses II could count over 100 children, seven “Great Royal Wives” and scores of lesser wives and concubines as part of his royal family. Among the seven “Great Royal Wives” of Ramesses II, Nefertari was clearly his favorite. The marriage between Ramesses II and Nefertari was probably arranged while he was still the crown prince and by all accounts the two shared a definite affinity for each other. Nefertari probably accompanied her husband to the Battle of Kadesh along with some of their children. [9] For his part, Ramesses showed his admiration for his chief queen by constructing a mortuary temple for her at Abu Simbel yards away from his temple. Although he clearly loved his queen, Ramesses II could not let Nefertari have top billing even in her own temple as four of the colossal statues in the façade of the temple are of him but only two are of Nefertari. When Nefertari died, Ramesses had her buried in one of the finest tombs in the Valley of Queens on the west bank of the Nile River near Thebes. [10]

    Despite demonstrating a definite love for Nefertari, Ramesses II took several other wives and concubines. After Nefertari died, she was replaced by Isitnofret as the “Great Royal Wife.” Isitnofret gave Ramesses the Great many children, including Merenptah (ruled ca. 1224-1204 BC), who would eventually assume the kingship of Egypt when his father finally died [11] Isitnofret was also the mother of Khaemwese, who was a high-priest of Ptah and considered by many modern scholars to be the world’s first Egyptologist for his efforts to preserve the pyramids and other Old Kingdom monuments. [12]

    Ramesses the Great also married two of his daughters, Bitanata and Merytamun, which is difficult for modern sensibilities to grasp, but was an acceptable part of ancient Egyptian culture. Incestuous marriage among royal Egyptians was practiced but not especially common before Ramesses II. By marrying his two daughters, who he probably never would have seen before the marriage, Ramesses II hoped to start a tradition by which the Nineteenth Dynasty would keep the integrity of their noble blood lines. [13] Although the practice fell out of favor for quite some time, it was renewed when the Greek Ptolemies ruled Egypt from the fourth through first centuries BC.

    The Legacy of Ramesses the Great

    The legacy that Ramesses II created through his efforts as a warrior, diplomat, monument builder, and family man influenced the course of history in ancient Egypt and the Near East and continue to be felt today. After his death, nine other kings took the birth name “Ramesses” with the most famous being the second king of the Twentieth Dynasty, Ramesses III (ruled ca. 1184-1152 BC). Although Ramesses III was of no direct relation to Ramesses the Great, he attempted to emulate different aspects of his namesake’s career. Like Ramesses II, Ramesses III earned the reputation as a great warrior pharaoh and a prolific builder. In fact, Ramesses III even had a chapel built within the confines of his own mortuary temple at Medinet Habu to worship the spirit of the deceased Ramesses II.

    Due to a combination of his longevity, ambition, and confidence, Ramesses II was able to influence the course of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern history in a way that few pharaohs were able to do before or after him. During his long career, Ramesses II was able to establish himself as both a warrior and peace maker while making sure that none would forget his name through his prolific building, propaganda efforts, and family life. Because of his endeavors, Ramesses II is one of the most recognizable pharaohs today proving that he truly was “Great.”


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