Ramses II


Ramses II (c. -1303 to -1213) was also known as Ramesses II, Ramses the Great or, as the Greeks called him, Ozymandias. He ruled Egypt from about -1279 to -1213. In our time he is the best known pharaoh after King Tut, who died some 20 years before Ramses was born.

Ramses is best known for:

  • Being the (probable) pharaoh of the Book of Exodus in the Bible.
  • Building more temples, obelisks and statues (of himself) than any other pharaoh – even if you do not count the stuff he put his name on built by other pharaohs.
  • The Battle of Kadesh (May -1274) with the Hittite Empire, the biggest chariot battle ever.
  • Being the pharaoh of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias” (1818), famous for the lines: “My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings / Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
  • Pi-Ramses, his new capital, the largest…

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