Introduction- Pharaoh Ramses IIReferred to as Ramses the Great, Pharaoh Ramses II (also spelled Ramesses) is regarded as one of the greatest pharaohs of ancient Egypt which he ruled for over sixty six years. During his reign he accomplished great things including the building of great temples, monuments, and cities. He also organized successful military campaigns to secure his empires borders and trade routes. As testament to his greatness is the fact that at almost all the ancient sites discovered of this great civilization are statues of him or at least mention of his name. Below are lists of interesting facts and information written for kids and adults alike about this great pharaoh.
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Interesting Facts about Pharaoh Ramses II
- His father was Pharaoh Sethi I, his mother was Queen Tuya, and his grandfather was Ramses I (who he was named after).
- His older brother who would have become pharaoh upon their fathers death died when Ramses was fourteen years old; leaving Ramses next in line to become ruler.
- This great pharaoh took the throne while very young; possibly at the age of 25.
- Ramses II was the 3rd pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty.
- He reigned over ancient Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC.
- So highly regarded by generations of ancient Egyptians that followed him he was referred to as the "Great Ancestor".
- It is possible, according to some historians, that Ramses II was the pharaoh who Moses freed the Israelite slaves from.
- Some historians believe he had up to two hundred children.
- Ramses II established a new capital. The city, located in the Nile delta, was named Pi-Ramesses which translates to "House of Ramesses, Great in Victory".
- Ramses II died at around the age of 91 and was initially buried in the Valley of the Kings. His mummy was later moved to a royal cache at Deir el-Bahari to protect it from tomb robbers.
- In 1881 his mummy was discovered and moved to the Cairo Museum where it is currently on display.
- Succeeding the great pharaoh as ruler of Egypt was his son Merenptah. He was sixty years old when his father died.
Facts about Pharaoh Ramses II Military Leadership
- Ramses II's father raised him to be a military leader. He took him on military campaigns starting in his teenage years; in his early twenty's he started leading battles.
- He increased the strength of the ancient Egyptian army which is believed to have numbered 100,000 soldiers during his reign.
- He led his strong army against numerous enemies which included the Hittites, Libyans, Nubians, and Syrians.
- Around 1274 BC he led his military force in what is probably the most famous battle during his reign; the Battle of Kadesh. The Egyptians fought the Hittite Empire at the city of Kadesh which was in modern day Syria. This is often regarded as the largest chariot battle in history, with anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 chariots involved. There was no clear winner of this battle.
- Under Pharaoh Ramses II rule ancient Egypt reestablished its control over Canaan. Canaan was a region in the Ancient Near East which is today Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian territory, and parts of Jordan and Syria. This region was fought over by many groups including the Egyptians and Hittites.