AfricaAncient EgyptEgypt

Ramesses II, great builder of Egypt

Ramses II (in ancient Egyptian Ousirmaâtrê Setepenrê, Ramessou Meryamon), born around 1304 B.C and died in Pi-Ramses around 1213, is the third pharaoh of the 19th Egyptian dynasty. He is also called Ramses the Great or Ozymandias. Manetho calls him Ramses (or Ramesses Miamoun, Rampses).

He reigns from 1279 B.C  to 1213 B.C.

His reign, which was exceptionally long for the time, alone covered half the number of years of the XIXth dynasty. In addition to the many monuments he had built throughout the country (hence his nickname “builder pharaoh”), he had numerous statues carved in his image and had his name engraved on almost all the temples, including those other pharaohs, as if he had had them built himself. This extraordinary quantity of works of art and architectural elements in his name explains why we find his trace in almost all the museums of the world having a department of Egyptian antiquities.

Like other historical figures whose glory spanned the centuries, he is reputed to be a great warrior and conqueror, which largely earned him the epithet of Great in historical works dealing with this period of history. He fights against the Hittites and, ensuring the domination of Egypt over Nubia and its gold deposits, he builds a series of temples there, the most famous of which are those of Abu Simbel. After the battle of Qadesh in year IV of his reign against the army of the emperor of the Hittites, Muwatalli II, the border on the Orontes is stabilized.

Her action in the kingdom of Kush and especially in the Syro-Canaanite corridor must have marked the spirits of the time because the legend was still told under the Ptolemies of the extraordinary journey of “the princess of Bakhtan” who came to offer herself in marriage to the great king of Egypt, a distant echo of the famous marriage with the daughter of Hattusili III who had then succeeded Muwatalli II on the throne of Hatti.

Ramesses II is often regarded as the pharaoh opposed to Moses from the Book of Exodus, at least for those who consider the events in this account to have a historical basis, although there is no evidence that can attest to this and that his name does not appear anywhere in the Torah.

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