II. Ramses

II. Ramses, (d.

II. Ramses

thumb|222px|right|II. Ramses`in Simbel`deki heykeli.]

II. Ramses, (d. M.Ö. 1302 – ö. M.Ö. 1213). Eski Mısır`da, 19. Hanedan`a mensup bir firavun.

20`li yaşlarında hükümdar olduğu ve Mısır`ı M.Ö. 1279`dan M.Ö. 1213`e dek, toplam 66 yıl 2 ay yönettiği tahmin edilmektedir.<ref>Michael Rice, Who`s Who in Ancient Egypt, Routledge, 1999</ref> 99 yaşına kadar yaşadığı söylentileri varsa da büyük ihtimalle ya 90, ya da 92 yaşında ölmüştür. Kadeş savaşında ise tanrı Amon`un onu ilahi bir güç ile hititlerin 43.500 kişilik bir orduya karşı başarı kazandığı söylenir.Bununla birlikte eşi Neferteri ile uzun yıllar ülkeyi refah içinde yönetirler.Kraliçe Nefertari`nin ölümünden sonra yerine Ramses`in ikinci karısı ve ilk aşkı olan Güzel İset geçer.Ne varki o Nefertari kadar başarılı olamaz.Çünkü o Neferteri`nin sahip olduğu yetilere sahip değildir.Kadeş Savaş`ından yıllar sonra Hitit imparatoru Hattuşil barışı sağlamlaştırmak için kızını Ramsesle evlendirip onu ana kraliçe yapmak ister.Güzel İset`inde Truvalı Helen olayındaki gibi yeni bir savaşa sepep olmak istemediği için intahar ettiği sanılmaktadır. }



As with most pharaohs, Ramesses had a number of names. The two most important, his ``praenomen`` (regnal name) and ``nomen`` (birth name) are shown in Egyptian hieroglyphs above to the right. These names are transliterated as wsr-m3a€˜t-ra€˜&ndash;stp-n-ra€˜ ra€˜-ms-sw&ndash;mry-ỉ-mn, which is usually written as ``Usermaatra-setepenra Ramessu-meryamen``. It translates as "Powerful one of Maat, the Justice of Ra is Powerful, chosen of Ra, Ra bore him, beloved of Amun". In the Hittite copy of the above-mentioned peace treaty with Hattusilis, the Pharaoh`s name appears as ``Washmuaria Shatepnaria Riamashesha Maiamana``. Some scholars believe this is possibly a closer approximation of the actual vocalization of the Egyptian king`s name.


left|thumb|Tablet of the treaty between Hattusili III of Hatti and Ramesses II of Egypt, contained within the Archaeology Museum.] Ramesses II was the third king of the 19th dynasty, and the second son of Seti I and his Queen Tuya. Ramessses` older brother predeceased him before adulthood. The most memorable of Ramesses` wives was Nefertari. Earlier wives, among others, were Isisnofret and Maathorneferure<ref>Wolfram Grajetzki, Ancient Egyptian Queens, Golden House, 2005</ref>, Princess of Hatti. The writer Terence Gray stated in 1923 that Ramesses II had as many as 20 sons and 20 daughters; more recent scholars, however, believe his offspring were far fewer. His children include Bintanath and Meritamen (princesses and their father`s wives), Sethnakhte, the Pharaoh Merneptah (who succeeded him), and prince Khaemweset.

Ramesses led several expeditions north into the lands east of the Mediterranean (the location of the modern Israel, Lebanon and Syria). At the Second Battle of Kadesh towards the end of the fourth year of his reign (1274 BC), Egyptian forces under his leadership engaged the forces of Muwatallis, king of the Hittites. The battle almost turned to disaster as Ramesses fell into a well-laid trap set by Muwatallis whose infantry and chariotry were well hidden behind the eastern bank of the Orontes river under the command of the king`s brother, Hattusili III. The Egyptian army had been divided into two main forces &ndash; the Re and Amun brigades with Ramesses and the Ptah and Seth brigades &ndash; separated from each other by forests and the far side of the Orontes river<ref>Tyldesley, ``Ramesses``, pp.70-73</ref>. The Re brigade was almost totally destroyed by the surprise Hittite chariot attack and Ramesses II had barely enough time to rally his own Amun brigade and secure enough reinforcements from the Ptah Army Brigade (who were just arriving upon the scene) to turn the tide against the Hittites. While Ramesses II in theory `won` the battle, Muwatallis effectively won the war because the Pharaoh was compelled to retreat south while the Hittite commander Hattusili III relentlessy harried the surviving Egyptian forces as far as Damascus, according to the Hittite records at Boghazkoy. <ref>Tyldesley, ``Ramesses``, p.73</ref>

Egypt`s sphere of influence was now restricted to Canaan while Syria fell into Hittite hands. Over the ensuing years, Rameses II would return to campaign against the Hittites and even achieved several spectacular victories (at a time of Hittite weakness due to an dispute over Muwatallis` succession) to briefly capture the cities of Tunip, where no Egyptian soldier had been seen since the time of Thutmose III and the Kadesh in his 8th Year. However, neither power could effectively defeat the other in battle. Consequently, in the twenty-first year of his reign (1258 BC), Ramses decided to conclude an agreement with the new Hittite king at Kadesh, Hattusili III, to end the conflict. The ensuing document is the earliest known peace treaty in world history.

Ramesses II also campaigned south of the first cataract into Nubia. He constructed many impressive monuments, including the renowned archeological complex of Abu Simbel, and the mortuary temple known as the Ramesseum. It is said that there are more statues of him in existence than of any other Egyptian pharaoh <ref> Ramesses II (touregypt.net)</ref>, not surprising as he was the longest-reigning pharoah by many years. <br clear=all>


thumb|175px|Mummy of Ramesses II He was buried in the Valley of the Kings, in KV7, but his mummy was later moved to the mummy cache at Deir el-Bahri, where it was found in 1881 and placed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo five years later, where it is still exhibited with pride by the Egyptian people. Ramesses` mummy featured a hooked nose, strong jaw and was of above average height for an ancient Egyptian, standing some five feet and seven inches tall.<ref>Tyldesley, ``Ramesses`` p. 14</ref> He suffered from arthritis in his joints, tooth cavities and poor circulation during the last years of his life. <ref> Ramses II (thinkquest.org)</ref>. His successor was ultimately to be his thirteenth son Merneptah.

Was he the Pharaoh of Exodus?

At least as early as Eusebius of Caesarea, Ramesses II was identified with the pharaoh of whom the Biblical figure Moses demanded his people be released from slavery.

The identification is sometimes disputed for several reasons:

  • Ramesses II was not drowned in the Sea, although the biblical account makes no specific claim that the pharaoh was with his army when they were "swept ... into the sea." In fact, Jewish tradition says that he was the only Egyptian first born to have survived and would later become the King of Nineveh in the Book of Jonah. <ref>Exodus 14</ref>

  • There is nothing in the archaeological or textual record of his reign to record the Plagues of Egypt or any related events, which is surprising given the large number of Egyptian texts still in existence.

  • The dates now ascribed to Ramesses`s reign by most modern scholars do not match the dates when Moses was believed to be in Egypt.

Scholars like George Mendenhall<ref>Mendenhall, "The Hebrew Conquest of Palestine," ``Biblical Archaeologist`` (25, 1962)</ref> associate the Israelite`s arrival in Palestine more closely with the Hapiru mentioned in the Amarna letters and Hittite treaties of that time than with Ramesses II.

The Bible does however state that the Israelites toiled in slavery and build "for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Ra`amses" in the Egyptian Delta. <ref>Exodus 1:11</ref> The latter city is probably a reference to the city of Pi-Ramesse Aa-nakhtu or the "House of Ramesses, Great-of-Victories" (modern day Qantir) which had been Seti I`s summer retreat<ref>Tyldesley, ``Ramesses``, p.82</ref>. Ramesses II greatly enlarged this city as his principal northern capital and as an important forward base for his military campaigns into the Levant and his control over Canaan. According to Kenneth Kitchen, Pi-Ramesses was largely abandoned from c.1130 BC onwards; as was often the practice, later rulers removed much of the stone from the city to build the temples of their new capital: Tanis. <ref>Kitchen, ``On the Reliability of the Old Testament``, p.662</ref>. Therefore if the identification of the city is correct, it strengthens the case for identifying Ramesses II as the Pharaoh who reign during Moses` lifetime.

On the other hand, Ramses` own stele erected in the late 13th century BC in the city known to the Bible as Bet-Shan mentions two conquered peoples who came to "make obeisance to him" in his city of Ramses but mentions neither the building of the city nor, as some have written, the Israelites or Hapiru <ref>Stephen L. Caiger, "Archaeological Fact and Fancy," ``Biblical Archaeologist``, (9, 1946).</ref>.

Speculation that Ramesses II was the Biblical Pharaoh named ``Shishak`` who attacked Judah and seized war bounty from Jerusalem in Year 5 of Rehoboam is unfounded because both Ramesses II and his 19th Dynasty successors (ie: Merneptah, Seti II, Siptah, Twosret) retained firm control over Canaan during their reigns. Neither Israel nor Judah could have existed as independent states at this time.


The life of Ramesses II has also inspired a large number of historical novels, including the five volume series, ``Ramsí¨s,`` by the French writer Christian Jacq. (Translated editions are available for non-French readers.)

Ramesses is also claimed as a King of Quendor in Zork I although he is not mentioned in any of the games or literature in the series.

Ramesses was the main character in the Anne Rice book ``The Mummy`` or ``Ramses the Damned``.

Ramesses was portrayed by Yul Brynner in the classic film The Ten Commandments (1956).

In the film "The Prince of Egypt" Ramesses is portrayed as Moses` adopted brother.

The song "User-Maat-Re" by death metal band Nile is about Ramesses II.

See also

Further reading

  • James, T. G. H. 2000. ``Ramesses II``. New York: Friedman/Fairfax Publishers. A large-format volume by the former Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum, filled with colour illustrations of buildings, art, etc. related to Ramesses II
  • Von Beckerath, Jürgen. 1997. ``Chronologie des Pharaonischen í„gypten``, Mainz, Philipp von Zabern.
  • Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. 1982. ``Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II, King of Egypt``. Monumenta Hannah Sheen Dedicata 2. Mississauga: Benben Publications. ISBN 0856682152. This is an English language treatment of the life of Ramesses II at a semi-popular level
  • Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. 1996. ``Ramesside Inscriptions Translated and Annotated: Translations. Volume 2: Ramesses II; Royal Inscriptions``. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0631184279. Translations and (in the 1999 volume below) notes on all contemporary royal inscriptions naming the king.
  • Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. 1999. ``Ramesside Inscriptions Translated and Annotated: Notes and Comments. Volume 2: Ramesses II; Royal Inscriptions``. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers
  • Kitchen, Kenneth Anderson. 2003. ``On the Reliability of the Old Testament``. Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8028-4960-1.
  • Tyldesley, Joyce. 2000. ``Ramesses: Egypt`s Greatest Pharaoh``. London: Viking/Penguin Books



1302 BC births 1213 BC deaths Pharaohs of the Nineteenth dynasty of Egypt Mummies -->


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