Ramses II


Ramses II was known to the Egyptians as Userma’atre’setepenre , which means “Guardian of Harmony and Balance, Strong of Law, Chosen of Ra . He was also known as Ozymandias and as Ramses the Great. He was the third pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty who claimed to have won a decisive victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh and who used this event to enhance his reputation and to make himself known as a great warrior . In reality, the battle was more of a draw than a decisive victory for either side, but it resulted in the world’s first known peace treaty in 1258 B.C. Although it is regularly associated with the pharaoh of theBiblical Book of Exodus , there is no historical or archaeological evidence for this claim.


Personal information

  • When was he born: 1300 BC
  • Where was born: unknown
  • When he died:  1213 BC
  • Where he died:  Pi-Ramses, Egypt

Who was Ramses II?

He was one of the main rulers of ancient Egypt named heir to the throne with only 10 years and who managed to make the economy , administration , culture and army of his nation flourish and grow .

  • What did
  • Biography of Ramses II
  • Death
  • Reign of Ramses II
  • Politics
  • buildings
  • Ramses II personality
  • Physical characteristics
  • Parents
  • Relations
  • Sons
  • Importance of Ramses II
  • Phrases
  • Curiosities

What did

Ramses II was a king who managed to grow the economy of Egypt, improved the administration of his government, the army and the culture , for which he was considered the last great pharaoh of Egypt. He carried out large constructions and managed to find gold from the south to finance all his projects. He looked for a way to expand the borders and established alliances with Asia Minor and Syria and managed to reconquer the borders of the Asian and African lands

Biography of Ramses II

Ramses II was the son of Seti I and Queen Tuya and was born in 1303 BC . He accompanied his father on military campaigns in Libya and Palestine when he was just 14 years old. During his childhood he lived in Luxor next to his brothers where he was also educated to fulfill the task of future heir, and in addition, he was taught astronomy , mathematics, geometry and religion . When he turned 16, he continued his education in politics and began his war campaigns and the construction of buildings.

By his 22nd birthday, Ramses II was leading his own campaigns in Nubia with his own sons, Khaemweset and Amunhirwenemef, and was appointed co-ruler with Seti . After the death of Seti I, Ramses II assumed the throne and immediately began military campaigns to restore Egypt’s borders , secure trade routes, and recover from the Hittites .


According to historians, Ramses II died when he was 90 years old, in 1213 BC.  As a cause of death, it is believed that he died of a cavity that caused an infection in the blood . After his death, power in Egypt began to decline dramatically. 

Reign of Ramses II

After Seti I passed away, 24-year-old Ramses II was named Pharaoh of Upper and Lower Egypt and Sun of the Nine Arches . During his reign he concentrated on keeping Egypt under peace and for that he made it clear to his priests that he would exercise the powers by appointing Nebumenef , who was of his trust, as high priest .

He made a series of important constructions and began to drill wells to get water for his temples. He used the gold from the south to finance his projects and fought to expand the borders , a situation that led to a confrontation against the King of Hatti. Ramses II dedicated himself to reconquering the borders with Asian and African lands . After several years of struggle, the first peace agreement in the world was signed between Ramses II and King Hattusil of Hatti and a mutual aid agreement was established in it in case of being attacked.


With its policy Egypt knew its time of maximum splendor , since it managed to achieve economic prosperity favoring the development of literature and science , and carrying out large constructions. He transferred the court to Memphis before the definitive transfer to Pi-Ramses , he was seen as a skilled politician and understood very well the importance of being close to the north, as close to the Mediterranean Levant.


He built a new city which he called Per-Ramses that became the capital , enlarged the city of Memphis and built important temples such as those of Abu-Simbel , the temple dedicated to Ptah , Hathor , Ptahtatenen and himself, he also built a temple for Nefertari and Hathor . He also built the famous Karnak and Luxor temples and built a huge courtyard with a peristyle and a pylon in the Temple of Amun . He built the Ramesseum which was a hugefunerary complex covering approximately ten hectares, the Temple of Osiris at Abydos, further expanded the cities of Avaris by making it his Delta residence.

Ramses II personality

Ramses II was an extremely passionate man, although it is not known exactly what type of personality the pharaoh had. However, in some historical texts it is said that he had different nuances, he was megalomaniac , cruel and indifferent , a womanizer and was also a bit neglected in the care of his children because he had too many tasks with his government.

Physical characteristics

His numerous statues and reliefs show his physical characteristics among which it can be mentioned that he had a prominent nose with a rounded face with high cheekbones, arched , slightly bulging eyebrows , almond- shaped eyes , full lips and a small square chin .


Ramses II was the son of Pharaoh Seti I who was the son of Ramses I and Sitra and who was the second pharaoh of the XIX dynasty; and of his Great Royal Wife, Tuya , who was an Egyptian queen of the XIX dynasty, of modest origin and of military class.


When he was 17 years old, Ramses II married Nefertari . She was not his only wife as he had many women throughout his life. His second wife was Isetnefret and he married a third wife Hentmire who was his sister to follow and preserve the purity of royal blood. He also married a daughter he had with Nefertari named Merytamón . Finally he married Bentanat , who was the daughter of Isetnefret.


There were many children of Ramses II but among the most important we mention:

Born of Nefertari:

  • Amenhirjopshef : He was her firstborn and the crown prince for the first 25 years of her father’s reign. At first it was called Amenherwenemef but later it would change its name to Amenhirjopshef. He held a high post in the army and was killed by a blow to the side of the head during a battle.
  • Meritamón : she was the fourth of his daughters and the first born to Nefertari. It was she who replaced Nefertari in numerous ceremonies.
  • Paraheruenemef , Meriatum , Merira and Nebettauy . He was also the father of Princess Henuttauy , whom he married but never rose to the rank of Great Royal Wife .

Born of Isis-Nefert:

  • Ramses : The second son of the pharaoh, and one of the strong men of the first half of the reign.
  • Bintanat : the eldest daughter of the king whom he also married. She was the mother of a girl, Bintanat II, who would become Great Royal Wife of the next monarch.
  • Jaemuaset : the fourth and best known son of Ramses II. He was High Priest of Ptah and was seen as the wisest man in the country.
  • Merenptah : was the one destined to succeed him on the throne . He was married to his sister Isis-Nefert II.

Importance of Ramses II

Ramses II was important because it managed to give prosperity to Egypt and that his kingdom is the most remarkable in the history Egyptian. Combined with his prowess in warfare as displayed in temples, which led 19th century Egyptologists to call him “the Great,” and so he was viewed by his subjects; for them he was the king par excellence . His reign marks the last peak of Egypt’s imperial power . After his death, Egypt managed to maintain its sovereignty over Palestine and the adjacent territories, was a competent administrator, who made a prosperous country and was a popular king.


Some of the phrases of Ramses II were:

  • With my love , I will wrap your soul with a wall so solid that demons will not be able to penetrate it.
  • If the hand and the spirit do not work together, man becomes evil.
  • A man changes depending on what he wants to achieve ; mine is the greatness of my country and it will never change.
  • He walked as he read and wrote , with a serenity quite rare at his age.
  • Rare are the beings who are content to follow their own path without envying that of others. As the sages well write, envy is a deadly disease that no doctor is capable of fighting.


Some believe that King was a handsome , brave and good – hearted and well represented in Egyptian Christian Jacq novels, and a man more lonely and complicated in ” The Mummy “ by Anne Rice.

On the big screen , he was featured in the 1909 film, ” The Mummy of King Ramses, “ and in 1923, he became the great pharaoh in Cecil B DeMille’s silent screen epic, ” The Ten Commandments . ” DeMille’s most famous 1956 film of the same name, and recently, it was not portrayed with great precision in DreamWorks’ animated rendition of the Exodus called ” Prince of Egypt .”

During his coronation ceremony, he was given four names : “mighty armed bull of justice , ” “defender of Egypt , ” “rich in years and victories,” and “chosen of Ra . 

He was known as ” Ramses the Great” , as he led several military campaigns and extended the Egyptian empire from Syria in the east to Nubia.

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