Ramses the Great, or Ramses II, ruled ancient Egypt for 66 years. During his rule Egypt was a large and wealthy empire. As a military leader Ramses the Great brought peace to Egypt. As a politicaland religious leader, he oversaw the building of many grand temples and government buildings. For future pharaohs, or kings, of Egypt, he set an example of greatness by which others would be measured.|
Ramses was the son of Seti I and Queen Tuya. Seti I was the second king of the Nineteenth Dynasty. Seti taught his son how to lead the kingdom because the young Ramses would oneday rule. During this time Ramses began training as a soldier. Records show that at the age of ten, Ramses was already a captain in the Egyptian army. Records also show that the young boy went withSeti I to fight battles in Libya and Nubia. |
Nineteenth Dynasty |
While his father Seti I was still king, Ramses became co-ruler of Egypt. Around 1290 B.C. Seti died and Ramses became Egypt'spharaoh. During the second year of his rule, he began to battle against the Hittites (HIH•tyts). The Hittites were Indo-European people from the land now known as Turkey. The Egyptian Empire at thistime reached as far north as present-day Syria, which borders Turkey. At this time the Hittites were invading Syria to try to enlarge their kingdom. | |
In the fifth year of Ramses' rule, agreat battle between the Egyptians and the Hittites occurred outside the walled city of Kadesh. From Egypt, Ramses arrived at the city with 20,000 soldiers. The Hittite king Muwatallis had 37,000soldiers. Although neither side really won the Battle of Kadesh, both claimed victory. The story of the battle is written in historical records called the Poem and the Record, or Bulletin. Ramses alsoordered that accounts of the battle be written on the walls of many temples. In the stories, Ramses claimed to win the battle alone without the help of his soldiers. |
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