Ramses 2’s contact with his neighbors were almost always on the battle field. As his troops might have been nervous, the great King led them again and again without fear into battle. In most times he stood alone in a 2 person chariot fighting to the death. We would always sacrifice his enemy to the great glory of Egypt and their Gods. These enemies often included Nubians, Libyans, and Asiatics. He would make them suffer by attacking even when they weren’t a threat.
The great pharaoh always won his battles and his enemies would grovel at his feet. As you may think the King wasn’t as good of a leader as he was a frontline soldier, but he did have good campaigns and Ramses 2 extended Egypt’s territory, even in southern Syria. Egypt had walls that bordered it and it was a very religious place that was for the Gods. The King had protected it from a fairly early age and he was trained well in the art of warfare by his father. As he grew older Seti 1 placed him in various military actions.
With all this skill though, he put it all towards the East and for good reason too. Since Nubia was practically part of Egypt on the West there was nothing to gain from that side. To the Southern area was Syria and there was little to be gained from there. During his father’s life, Seti 1 did gain a lot of land, even as far as Kadesh. Most of it was lost though by the time of his death so the King had to gain it all back. As early as the 4th year that he reigned he gained all the land back. Ramses 2 was a very succesful military leader, warrior, and king.
Ramses 2 probably had one of the largest families consisting of 50 sons, 50 daughters and many wives. In most cases though he might have sired children they he has never known about. The first woman Ramses was ever involved with,was actually his mother. After the death of Seti 1, Nefertari took the position of Queen and his mother took the position of Ramses mother. Since Ramses was born of such an important mother, he changed the tale of his birth so that people would believe that he was born from the god Amun.His mother soon died after his 22nd year as a ruler and she was buried in the Valley of the Queens.
Most of the women tha he had children with, he never even met. The women he married were called consort because of the lack of a specific religious celebration of marriage. The ideal wives of Kings were often half or full blood sisters of royal blood. This ment that they kept outsiders far from the royal family and they had a limited number of children to inherit the thrown. The women of the family were never allowed to marry under them which lowered the potential number of grooms so they usually ended up to be brothers or maybe even fathers. The Princesses were even denied foreign royalty.
Ramses 2’s chief wife , Nefertari, was the daughter or at least related to King Ay. Other wives that Ramses had been Istnofret, Bent’anta, Merit-Amun, and others. They were all his daughters also. But, Nefertari was the highest woman, she even held some power over him. It was probably love but no one knows. We do know she had power over him though because of the temple at Abu Simbel and her wonderful tomb in The Valley of the Queens. Even with all these great things she was a dutiful wife that supported her husband and gained many high titles in their reign.
The Battle of Kadesh took place in the Spring of 5th year of Ramses 2 reign. The Hittities wanted to bring Amurru back to them, the Egyptians had other plans. They wanted to keep their new vassal. During the battle the Egyptians used Karkemesh as a battle base, while the Hittities wanted to use Kadesh as an opperation. Ramses 2’s army was mostly made up of Egyptians but there were some Nubian contingents and some Sherden mercenaries. Ramses 2 army possibly consisted of about 5000 footmen and four divisions of 20,000.
The Hittities had about 37,000 footmen and 3500 chariots hiding in the tell of Kedash. Although, Ramses 2 heard rumors that they were still somewhere near Haleb. While Amen was setting up their camp, they were attached by 2500 Hittities chariots in two waves of Re divisions. The other two divisions where still by Sabtuna. The Hittities killed all the Amen and being to pillage the Egyptian camps. At that point Ramses 2 look completely lost.
Luckly at this time a force known as Nearin arrived and drove out the Hittities. Muwatalli sent about 1000 chariots led by Aleppo and Karkhemish, but kept most of the infantry to himself on the other side of the river. The Hittities escaped being surrounded by the Egyptians by going towards Kadesh. After hearing a message from Muwatalli, Ramses descided to retreat. He chose to go through Upe the region of Damescus.
Ramses 2 was one of the most powerful and influential pharaohs of Egypt. He was born in 1303 BC and died around 1213 BC, he was about 90 years of age. His parents were Tuya, mother, and Seti 1, father. Ramses’s spouse was Nefertari and they lived in the New Kingdom/ 19th dynasty. King Ramses was the 3rd ruler of the 19th dynasty and he took the throne in his early twenties around 1279 BC. Although he was one of the greatest ruler, his greatest achievements is his architecture. For example the temples of Abu Simble. They were built to commemorate his wife Nefertari.
Ramses 2 was also known greatly for his military strengths. In his army he had about 100,000 men strong. His most famous battle was The Battle of Kadesh when he fought the Hittities, which was the largest the chariots battle ever. In that battle Ramses had to retreat on account of logistic difficulties. Soon after they mad peace treaties it helped to solidify Egypt on all sides allowing to increase stability. They were completed the first 20 years of Ramses reign.
After 30 years of being king, Ramses 2 finally celebrated the Sed Festival. in which he was turned from a king into a God. Since the people worshiped Ramses 2 like a God, it made sure that no one would even threaten to take the throne from his son. Ramses 2 was buried in the Valley of Kings, but had to be replaced because of possible looting. After that he was moved near Deir El- Bahri. In 1881 his body was found and moved to Cairo’s Egyptian Museum.
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