Ramesses II (Re has fashioned him) (1279-1212)
Ramesses II, who acceded to power at the age of 15, can rightly be said to merit his popular title, Ramesses the great.
During his long reign of 67 years, every thing was done on a grand scale.
He is the only king and pharaoh constructed so many huge temples and erected so many colossal statues and beautiful obelisks. Also no other pharaoh is a father of so many children.
His great victory over the Hittites ( people from the east ) at Kadesh was celebrated in one of the most repeated Egyptian texts ever put on record.
By the time he died, he lived more than 90 years, he had set his stamp on the face of the Egyptian history and land.
Ramsiss the young prince
when he was young The smart prince Ramesses was imbused with the military tradition established by his family specially his grandfather. after whom he was named.
From Ramsiss’s II earliest years all hopes for the grat kingdom were pinned on him.
At the age of ten he was recognized as Eldest King’s son by title and by his mid-teens he is found associated with Seti as a diminutive figure in the reliefs of the Libyans campaigns against the Hittites in Syria.
Ramesses is often found referred to in inscriptions, overseeing the cutting of obelisks from the granite quarries at Aswan, involved in Set’s great building projects.
Many wives ,but only one queen
Queen Nefertari was his main wife and was always the Chief queen until her death after about 24 years of his reign.
Istnofret took Nefertari’s place, but only for some ten years as she seems to have died about year 341 Nefertari bore Ramesses’ first son, the Crown prince Amenhirkhopshef, and at least three other sons and two daughters.
First nofret bore a son named Ramesses, plus two other important sons, Khaemwaset later became famous as a magician, and is often referred to today as the first archaeologist who was interest in ancient monuments of the royal family and God’s temples and their restoration.
The Hittite wars
Relations with the Hittites on Egypt’s Syrian frontier were far from friendly during the first part of Ramesses’ reign In set’s time, Egypt had kept her influence on the southern Phoenician coastline ports while the Hittites retained the northern city of Kadesh Ramesses gathered together one of the greatest forces of Egyptian troops ever seen 20,000 men basically in four divisions of 5000 each, named respectively after the gods of Amun, Re, Ptah and Seth. Accounts of the battle and Ramesses’ personal bravery under the hand of Amun were later inscribed on the walls of the temples at Karnak, Luxor, the Ramesseum (twice) and Ramesses’ temples at Abydos, Abu Simbel and Der.
Further campaigns were launched against the Hittites in later years
Ramesses the builder
As a monument builder Ramesses II stands pre- eminent amongst the pharaohs of Egypt. Although Khufu had created the great pyramid, Ramesses’ hand lay over the whole land./He added to the great temples at Karmak and Luxor, completed his father Seti’s mortuary temple at Gourna (Thebes) and also his Abydos temple, and built his own temple nearby at Abydos On the west bank at Thebes he constructed a giant mortuary temple, the Ramesseum/her major mortuary temples rose in Nubia at Beit el Wali, gerf Hussein, Wadi el Sabua, Derr and even as far south as Napata as well as the two temples of Abou simple.
In year 67 Ramesses “, perhaps 92 years of age, was called to the west to join the gods, His tomb had long been prepared in the valley of the kings (KV 7).
His mummy was found in the great cache of royal mummies at Deir el Bahari in 1881 and now you can see it at the national civilization museum at Cairo.