Ramses (Person)

This was the name of 11 kings of the 19th and 20th Egyptian dynasties (also spelled Rameses). The most famous were Ramses II and Ramses III.
Ramses II reigned for some 67 years (around 1290-1224 BC). He was known as Ramses the Great, mostly because of his extensive building activities. These included his mortuary (funeral) temple at Thebes (the Ramasseum), the rock-cut temple of Abu Simbel in Nubia, and his additions to the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Pictured on his temple walls as a great military leader, he fought with the Hittites at Kadesh on the Orontes. There, because of a serious tactical blunder on his part, he nearly lost his life. The battle was at best a draw, but he depicted it as an Egyptian victory in the Ramasseum and Abu Simbel. His treaty with the Hittites is the earliest known international nonaggression pact. He has often been suggested as the pharaoh of the oppression of the Hebrews (Exodus 1:8-11).
Ramses III (around 1195-1124 BC), of the 20th dynasty, saved Egypt from an invasion by the Sea Peoples in a land and sea battle in the Nile Delta. He built a large mortuary temple complex and royal residence in the Theban area, at Medinet Habu. On the northern exterior wall of the temple area are the first known representations of a naval battle. Among the captives are the Peleset, who are believed to be Philistines. The exterior walls also bear excellent reliefs of lion and wild-bull hunts. From late in the reign of Ramses III comes the famous Harris Papyrus, which lists the gifts the king made to Amon. Because of withheld wages in kind, workers in the royal necropolis went on strike. From the end of the reign of Ramses III come records of the court trial of a harem conspiracy in which Ramses III apparently was killed.
The other Ramses were minor rulers who played no great part in history except to allow deterioration in the nation. The instability of the country is shown by evidence of widespread looting of the royal tombs. A complicated and dubious investigation of these robberies was conducted in the reign of Ramses IX.

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