Pharaoh Ramses II, also known as Ramses or Ramses the Great, was born in 1303 BC. The son of Pharaoh Seti I and Queen Tuja, Ramses II, probably grew up with extensive military training that began when he was a small child. At the age of 10, he received the rank of captain in Pharaoh’s army, although that title was more honorable than functional. However, he became the official heir to the throne at the age of 14 and began to join his father on the battlefield, which gave him first-hand experience in conducting military campaigns. By the time he founded 22, he was already campaigning with his Egyptian comrades in Nubia (today northern Sudan and southern Egypt along the Nile) and became his father’s co-ruler.
Rise to power
After his father’s death in 1279 BC, Ramses II ascended the throne and began his reign. With his new title, Ramses II inherited numerous problems and conflicts in the kingdom. Internally, Ramses II, like Seti I before him, had to deal with the social unrest that resulted from the domination of previous pharaohs. Although up to this point he was the ruler of the largest known empire of the ancient world, the kingdom is externally facing enemies from all directions. In the early years of his reign, he focused on architectural improvements, such as the construction of cities, monuments, and temples, constantly participating in military campaigns.
During his reign, Ramses II became best known for his leadership in terms of military campaigns and the erection of massive monuments. His most famous battles were through campaigns in Syria against the Hittites, the Indo-European people responsible for the destruction of the Babylonian Empire. The campaigns in Syria lasted for 20 years and eventually led to the earliest known peace treaty, Ramses II and the Hittite king Hattusili III. He was pulled out. Among his architectural achievements, Ramses II created a new capital for his kingdom in the Nile Delta, which he named Pi-Ramesses. This city, though now in ruins, at one time grew into one of the largest and most advanced cities in all of Egypt. He also oversaw the construction of the Ramesseum, a large memorial temple dedicated to his reign.
The largest ancient empire of Egypt was surrounded by enemies on all sides. Ramses II had to take on the task of combating the social disorder that had developed among his angry citizens within the empire. This became especially bad in areas taken from enemies, where Ramses II had to defend himself against the Hittites, Libyans, and Nubians, each of whom ravaged these countries. Egypt’s conflicts with the Hittites began long before Ramses II. And although Sethi I had defeated the Hittites many times in his life, it was not enough to drive them out completely, and Ramses II was forced to continue his father’s legacy until he got it.
Death and legacy
Incredibly for the day and age he lived, Ramses II was about 90 years old when he died. His mummy revealed that at the time of his death, he was suffering from a number of medical problems, including arthritis, hardened arteries and dental problems. During his long life with his 200 wives he gave birth to over 150 children, many of whom he survived. Later, in memory of those children and women who died before him, he had many great monuments erected, such as the tomb of Nefertari, his first wife and queen. Ramses II brought military and economic success to his country and is considered one of the greatest Egyptian pharaohs, who ruled at the head of the Egyptian empire. Less than 150 years after his death, the empire will fall and the New Kingdom will end.