Ramses ii

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Name of Ramses II.
Ramesses II in the Turin Museum24.jpg
Seated statue of Ramses II; Museo Egizio , Turin
Horus name
C10 N36
( on obelisk in Luxor )
Strong bull, lover of mate
C2 U6
( on obelisk in Luxor )
Strong bull, lover of Re
G20 V31
With great respect, protector of Egypt
Gold name
U6 M17 M17 N17
N21 N21
ˁ3-ḫpš-mrj-t3.w (j)
Great in clout, lover of the two countries
Throne name
Hiero Ca1.svg
N5 F12 C10
Hiero Ca2.svg
Strong / mighty is the Maat des Re
Hiero Ca1.svg
N5 F12 C10 N5 U21
Hiero Ca2.svg
Strong / Mighty is the Maat des Re, chosen by Re
Proper name
Hiero Ca1.svg
i mn
ms s sw
Hiero Ca2.svg
Ramesisu meri Amun
Rˁ msj sw mrj Jmn
Re is the one who gave birth to him, lover of Amun
Hiero Ca1.svg
S29 S29 X1 M23 V1
Hiero Ca2.svg
Hiero Ca1.svg
S29 X1 M23 V1
Hiero Ca2.svg
Greek Herodotus , possibly: Ῥαμψίνιτος rhampsinit
Diodor : Ὀσυμανδύας Osymandyas
Hermapion (after Ammianus Marcellinus ): Ῥαμέστης Rhaméstēs
Manethon variants:
Josephus : Ἁρμέσσης Μιαμοῦν Harméssēs Miamoûn (Ἀρμέσσης Μιαμοῦ Arméssēs Miamoû ) Ῥάμψης Rhámpsēs
africanus (after Synkellos ): Ῥαμεσσῆς Rhamessēs , Ῥαψάκης Rhapsákes
Eusebius (after Synkellos ): Ῥαμψής Rhampsḗs
Eusebius, A-Version : Ռամփսէս Ṙamp'sēs , Ռամեսէս ՄԻամուն Ṙamesēs Miamown

Ramses II. , Also called Ramses the Great (* around 1303 BC; † June 27, 1213 BC ), was the third ancient Egyptian king ( Pharaoh ) from the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom . He ruled for around 66 years from 1279 to 1213 BC. And is one of the longest serving heads of state in the world . He is considered one of the most important rulers of ancient Egypt.

During his reign, Egypt achieved an economic and cultural boom that has never been achieved under any pharaoh after him. Through his diplomatic action he managed to keep a peace for almost fifty years with his neighboring peoples, including the Hittites .

To person

Ramses was the son of Seti I and his great royal wife Tuja . He probably had two siblings: a brother named Nebchasetnebet who died at a young age, and a sister named Tia . For a long time Henutmire was also taken for a daughter of Sethos I and thus a sister of Ramses II. But she was actually the daughter of Ramses II who was raised to the rank of Great Royal Wife .

He possibly had more than 15 children from his three Great Royal Wives , Nefertari , Isisnofret, and Maathorneferure . The Egyptologists are only certain of the following:

  • Nefertari gave birth to several sons, the firstborn and crown prince Amunherchepeschef (from the year 20: Sethherchepeschef ), Paraherwenemef , Seti and Meriatum , as well as the daughters Meritamun (another great royal consort), Henuttaui , Baketmut and Nefertari.
  • Isisnofret gave birth to the daughters Bintanat (another Great Royal Wife), Nebettaui (another Great Royal Wife) and Isisnofret as well as the sons Ramses , Chaemwaset and Merenptah , the successor to Ramses II.
  • In the middle of his reign, around the 34th year of his reign, Ramses married the Hittite princess Sauškanu , who was given the Egyptian name Maat-Hor-Neferu-Re . Little is known about her, although she was still living in the 61st year of the ruler's reign. Children from this connection are not known.

40 daughters and 45 sons are known to have descended from Ramses II. Designated successors are in turn Amunherchepeschef (son of Nefertari), Ramses (first son of Isisnofret) and Chaemwaset (second son of Isisnofret). His real successor was Merenptah, the third son of Isisnofret.

Judging by his mummy, Ramses II was about 172 cm tall, fair-skinned and had reddish hair that had turned white with age (now discolored yellow). During the last 20 years of his life, he suffered from a stiffening of the spine , which was also associated with more frequent inflammations . For this reason, in old age, he could only stoop low and probably walk with a stick. When the mummy was examined, he was around 80 years old when he died, and around 90 years according to the chronology.

The childhood

The first big event in the young life of Ramses was probably the accession of his grandfather Ramses I to the throne . At that point, Ramses was about five years old. Since his grandfather only had two years of reign until his death, the next major event was the coronation of his father Seti I in 1290 BC. When Ramses was young, his sister Tia married a man of the same name, Tia .

Tia was the son of the royal scribe and stock manager , Amunwahsu, at the royal court. Tia became the king's scribe and treasurer and achieved such a high level of trust with Ramses that he later became its administrator of the Temple of Millions of Years . The double grave Tia and Tia was later discovered right next to the tomb of the haremhab in Saqqara .

Ramses II as a child

As a ten-year-old Ramses received the honorary title of Supreme Commander of the Army from his father . He experienced his first battles around two years later in the Nile Delta , when his father went into battle against the Tjehenu and Meschwesch and the young prince accompanied him. In the following year the Egyptian army moved towards Syria to push back the Hittites and to get the city of Kadesh on the Orontes back under Egyptian control.

After the peace agreement with the Hittites, calm returned to the Egyptian court and at the age of 15, Seti I made his son co-regent.

As co-regent

It is very likely that the palace of Ramses, which was built for him as co-regent of his father, was in Memphis . The two royal wives Nefertari and Isisnofret have been recorded since the time of the co-regents. Ramses was married to them when he was 15 years old. Nothing is known about the origin of both. Suspicions of Egyptologists go in the direction that Isetnofret could possibly have been a Syrian princess, as the first daughter Bintanath was called. The name means daughter of the goddess Anat . Anat was an Asian goddess from the Syrian region.

1287 BC Ramses witnessed the suppression of an uprising in the land of Kush . His father managed to do this in just a week. In doing so, he made almost a thousand prisoners. At the age of 22, Ramses was officially entrusted by his father Sethos I with the acceptance of tribute payments from the countries of Wawat and Kush. He also fought against rebellious Bedouins in the land of Canaan . Now the young co-regent appeared for the first time on temple inscriptions as a full-fledged pharaoh. In a sea ​​battle , Ramses managed to repel the quarries that had invaded the Nile delta and that had allied themselves with the Libyans .

Takeover of government

When, shortly afterwards, his father Sethos in the 25th year of Ramses on the 26th Schemu III 1279 BC Died a day later, on 27th Schemu III (31st May July / 20th May greg. ) Ramses took over the sole rule. According to numerous Egyptologists, the new moon date in the 52nd year of Ramses' reign represents a so-called "chronological anchor" . The first day of the lunar calendar fell on the 27th Peret II that year .

Ancient Egyptian sources indicate when the first lunar day began. In the coffin texts , the second lunar day of the month is considered "the day on which the moon is small". A Ptolemaic text from the Chonsu temple in Karnak describes the first two lunar days of the month: "The moon is received on the day of invisibility and is born on the second day of the lunar month." Jürgen von Beckerath calculated the new moon date and decided on the years in question, 1203 , 1228 and 1253 BC For the middle possibility, since it was 1304 BC regarding the accession to the throne. BC as "too early" and the year 1254 BC. Classified as "too late". Starting from the year 1228 BC. Thus, Beckerath's calculations in back calculation resulted in the year 1279 BC. BC as the date of assumption of government. The determination of the new moon date is controversial, however, since other calculation bases are also available.

Date of the new moon festival in 1228 BC Chr. (Calculation: Jürgen von Beckerath)
event Reference point Gregorian calendar Egyptian calendar
Last safe visibility of old light
December 7, around 5:50 a.m. local time
Egypt 6-7 December 25. Peret II
Day of the New Moon Festival :
Beginning with sunrise on December 8th
Egypt 8th-9th December 27. Peret II

According to new research by Rita Gautschy, the astronomical new moon day fell in 1228 BC. On the 28th Peret II. Due to the short period of visibility of the old light crescent moon in Peret II of the year 1228 BC. There is the possibility that on December 19, Jul. / 8 December greg. another sighting could be made. However, a definite statement cannot be made, so that only for December 18th July. / 7 December greg. an unequivocal sighting of the old light can be assumed. An alternative astronomical new moon date with respect to the 27th Peret II is, according to Gautschy's assignment, for the year 1239 BC. BC before. However, that date with similar visibility problems is the year 1228 BC. Connected.


Ring of Ramses II with his favorite horses ( Louvre )

Around August 7th, Greg. ( 12. Achet II ) 1279 BC His father Sethos was buried, traditionally at least 70 days after death, and was mostly linked to the king's mythological ascension into the sky on the second lunar day of the month . Then the young prince was prepared for his coronation ceremony . When Ramses finally wore the ostrich- plumed Chepresch crown , his five-name royal statute was announced.

Usermaatre Setepenre (Strong is the Maat des Re , chosen by Re; also nicknamed: Sign of Re, Plan of Re, Ruler of Thebes, Heir of Re, Beloved of Re, possessor of clout, strong as Month .)

Horus name

Mighty bull, loved by Maat, Lord of Sedfesten like his father Ptah - Tatenen , lover of Re, who tramples every foreign land under his feet, who rejoices at Maat, who raises Thebes with mighty strength, rich in strength, son of Atum with great victories, who fights with his clout, with great kingship, with great respect, who exalts the mate, rich in clout with pointed horns, who beats every country that unites the two countries, with constant will and mighty power, with great Sed festivals, beloved of the two countries, Strong bull of Re, who smashes the Asians, bull of rulers, Great at Sed festivals like Tatenen.

Sebastian names

Protector of Egypt, who subjugates the two countries, Re who produces the statues of gods, who founded the two countries, Divine image of Chepri, with great respect, Protector of Egypt, who excellently executes the monuments in Luxor for his father Amun, who placed him on his throne who is happy about the mate like the horizontal, fighter for millions, lion with a strong will, who fights with his clout, who protects his army, who brings down those who attack him, who reaches the end of the world.

Gold names

Goldhorus, rich in years, great in victories, rich in clout, lover of the two countries, a pillar like The One-Who-is-in-Thebes, who does useful things for those who created him, with mighty clout, the nine Bow (Egyptian enemy) subdues, with great victories in every foreign country, with great prestige and powerful force, who conquers the foreign countries and overthrows the rebels.

After a subsequent anointing, a priest completed the enthronement. A night ceremony and a ceremony in the life house followed . Then the new Pharaoh could finally get into his gold-clad chariot and show himself to his cheering people in a big procession.

Pharaoh Ramses II

Reclining colossal statue in Memphis

Ramses mother Tuja ruled in the first years of the rule together with his two main wives Nefertari and Isisnofret as the great royal consort at his side. This is documented on many inscriptions dating from the early years of the reign. Tuja then died in 1258 BC. And was buried in the valley of the queens in tomb QV80 . Ramses raised his daughter Bintanat to Great Royal Wife the following year. 1255 BC Meritamun was offered this high office.

In 1255 BC The Great Royal Wife Nefertari died , whom Ramses literally adored on many inscriptions because of her beauty and his love for her. Her death must have been a severe blow to the pharaoh. The burial took place in the Valley of the Queens. The grave ( QV66 ) of Nefertari was discovered in 1904 by Ernesto Schiaparelli and is now considered one of the most beautiful and best preserved graves in all of Egypt.

When the Great Royal Wife Isisnofret in 1246 BC Died, Ramses married a Hittite princess, who was named Maathorneferure by him, for political reasons .

If the son of Ramses Sethherchepeschef mentioned in later inscriptions is identical with Amunherchepeschef, he died around the year 1244 BC. He was buried in the grave KV5 in the Valley of the Kings .

For the year 1239 BC Chr. Inscriptions record the marriage with another Hittite princess, whose name is not mentioned.

Prince Chaemwaset , who died in 1230 BC. Was proclaimed as Rameses successor, but died five years later, so that 1225 BC. Prince Merenptah was installed as the new heir to the throne.


A very important member of the pharaoh's court was the vizier Paser . He already held this office under Ramses father Sethos I. Paser also played a major role in the Egyptian Empire under Ramses II. He not only supported the Pharaoh in domestic affairs, Paser also had a say in foreign affairs .

Even under the rule of Seti I, the main enemies were the Libyan tribes in the north-west and the Syrian vassal states , which repeatedly rose against Egyptian rule. Towards the end of the reign, the army of Seti I first encountered the Hittite Empire , which had begun to expand towards Egypt and conquered the city of Kadesh in northern Syria.

Ramses II was also forced to defend himself against the same opponents. The Hittites in particular caused him great difficulties at the beginning of his reign.

During the reign of Ramses II, a climate change began in the area of ​​the eastern Mediterranean, which led to extremely dry phases and which lasted from 1250 to 1100 BC. BC stretched. In the late Bronze Age , from approx. 1220 BC onwards, Major changes in sea trade in the Mediterranean region. These difficulties already showed with the Hittites around 1210 BC. First effects because Egypt supported the Hittites, who had got into a supply shortage, with grain deliveries. Apparently the economic situation could not be stabilized for long. Only a few years later, the Hittites were already looking for new settlement options. Archaeological finds and written documents show the emerging collapse of the entire trade as far as the Aegean region .

Campaigns in Syria

Ramses II in a chariot (Abu Simbel)
Ramses II slays an enemy (Abu Simbel)

As early as the summer of the fourth year of his reign, 1276 BC. BC, Ramses moved with his army against Syria. The army took the way inland and recaptured the Principality of Amurru , which was under the rule of Bentešina . With this blow, Ramses formally called on the Hittites to face a decisive battle for supremacy in the Syrian region.

Ramses equipped an army of about 20,000 men and moved with it in 1274 BC. Along today's Gaza Strip to Syria. Around 16 kilometers from the town of Kadesch am Orontes in the forest of Labwi , the army came to a standstill at the beginning of May. The Hittite king Muwatalli II had also raised an army which, with two divisions of almost 19,000 men each and a force of 2,500 to 3,500 chariots, was allegedly almost twice as large as the Egyptian army. Here it came on May 12, 1274 BC. For the decisive battle at Kadesch, which is the best-documented confrontation between two ancient states up to this point in time, as its course is preserved in many temple inscriptions by Ramses II.

The battle did not bring any of the opponents involved a clear advantage, even if Ramses clearly missed the goal of the campaign, the capture of Kadesh . Back in Egypt, however, he had the battle presented as a great victory for his troops. In the following years the Hittite influence stabilized in the north, but the Hittites could not penetrate as far as Egypt. Ramses led his army north three more times (see: Battle of Dapur ). After about 15 years, however, the Hittites saw themselves threatened by a new enemy, the Assyrians , so that King Hattušili III. Ramses offered a peace treaty, even an alliance pact.

While there was relative calm on this front, Ramses had to make an effort to secure the other national borders. For example, in 1236 BC he undertook A punitive expedition south to Nubia.


After months of negotiations, it finally succeeded on November 21, 1259 BC. BC, the peace treaty between Ramses II and Hattušili III. to sign.

1246 BC BC Hattusili III struck. Ramses' marriage to one of his daughters, Maathorneferure, was also proposed in order to deepen the alliance between the two countries. Two more weddings were to follow.

The peace with the Hittites, which is considered the oldest known written peace agreement, lasted until after the death of Ramses II. Even his son and successor to the throne of the pharaohs, Merenptah, supplied grain to the Hittite king Šuppiluliuma II. When a famine broke out in his kingdom. But Merenptah did not take to the field against enemies of the Hittites, as the peace treaty actually provided. Shortly afterwards the Hittite empire fell.

The court

The ruler's court is relatively well documented. Many of its officials are documented by numerous and significant monuments. In the first place the viziers should be mentioned: Nebamun , Paser , Rahotep , Chay and Neferrenpet . Above all, Paser seems to have been an important person who even wrote a letter to the great king Hattušili III. sent. Of the other officials, the viceroy of Kush, Setau , should be mentioned, who himself had his name put on the ruler's temples.


Ramses' lively building activity, which began with the completion of the works his father had begun, has essentially passed down his story to us. This results from the enormous number of inscriptions that he had carved into the temples, palaces and steles.

Ramses had a preference for buildings of extraordinary size and imposingness, which, however, lost some of their effect after a few centuries due to poor foundations and other construction errors / volatility.

Below is a small selection of the buildings and extensions:


Shortly after the death of his father, Ramses declared the summer palace built by his father near the old Hyksos town of Auaris in the eastern Nile Delta to be the core of his new capital. He had it expanded into a huge metropolis on the Pelusian arm of the Nile, which probably covered an area of ​​over 30 km² .

The city's temples were dismantled by later dynasties, especially the 22nd dynasty , and used to build their capital Tanis , as the Pelusian arm of the Nile began to silt up as early as the 20th dynasty and the port facilities became useless.

Abu Simbel

Probably the best-known building that Ramses II had built is the temple of Abu Simbel . The temple complex, consisting of two temples, is located about 300 km south of Aswan , on the edge of the Nasser Reservoir , in what was then Nubia. It is believed that he had this magnificent structure built there to deter the subjugated Nubians. The outer wall of the larger temple ( Meha in ancient Egypt ) is adorned with four larger than life seated statues of Ramses II and several smaller ones of his wives and children. The small temple of Abu Simbel ( Ibschek in ancient Egypt ) is dedicated to Ramses Great Royal Wife Nefertari.

In a major international campaign, the temple complex was saved from the Nile floods, which rose ever higher due to the newly created Lake Nasser, from 1964 onwards , by moving it to a 64 m higher level.

The Ramesseum

The Ramesseum

At the place in Thebes-West , where his father Seti I had already built a shrine , Ramses built the palace of Ramses II, united with Thebes in the kingdom of Amun .

Already in ancient times the palace was used as a quarry and other Egyptian dynasties used its stones to build their own temples. In the early 19th century, during the Egyptian expedition , Champollion explored the complex and gave it the name Ramesseum.

Death and mummification

Mummy of Ramses II, Cairo Egyptian Museum (JdE 61078)

Ramses II died in 1213 BC. After 66 years and two months reign on June 27th Greg. ( 18. Achet I ) in his capital Pi-Ramesse . After his death, his son Merenptah ascended the throne a day later (19th Achet I). After the mummy priests took over the body to carry out the seventy-day mummification , the priesthood put Ramses II on the embalming table. His left side was opened to remove the organs. Since the heart was the center of life according to Egyptian belief, this organ was returned to the body. The remaining organs were then placed in specially made canopic jugs and buried.

The body of Ramses was now cleaned in a soda bath . After it was rubbed with palm wine, the actual mummification process began. The body was brought back to its previous shape with small leather pillows . The mummy was then stuffed with countless herbs and flowers . Finally, as in the Egyptian mythology of Osiris , the penis was removed, separately mummified and reattached. The body was wrapped in bandages made of the finest linen . Everything happened under the chants and incantations of the reading priest.

Before the burial, the mummy jewelry and death mask were put on. Then she was completely tied into the shroud with long linen bandages and covered in a semicircle from chin down with persea leaves and blue lotus flowers . The dead king was then placed in the sarcophagus .

The grave

Ramses II was buried in the Valley of the Kings ( KV7 ). Already under Ramses III. attempted according to the strike papyrus of the Turin Museo Egizio looters into the grave by clearing away a few stone blocks above the entrance.

The first reburial of the body took place in the 21st dynasty . Ramses II was transferred to the grave KV17 of his father Sethos I, but shortly afterwards to the grave of Queen Inhapi and then to TT320, the so-called Cachette of Deir el-Bahari .

His old grave KV7 is in a very unfavorable deep place in the Valley of the Kings. Again and again it was seriously affected by flash floods, so that the rubble blocked the entrance. KV7 is believed to have suffered destruction from at least ten major flash floods.

In 1798 it was described as a filled tomb by the researchers who came to the Valley of the Kings during the Egyptian expedition . Henry Salt was the first to dig there. However, the removal of the debris from the floods caused the walls to dry out, so that salt from the walls was drawn into the reliefs and paintings. Also Rosellini and Champollion studied the grave. In 1845 Karl Richard Lepsius visited the grave and drew the first precise site plan. At the turn of the 20th century, flash floods hit the grave again and buried it again. Christian Leblanc is currently excavating the grave. He is trying to clear debris from it so that it can be better examined.


Head of the mummy Ramses II.

On July 5, 1881, the accused grave robber Muhammad Abd el-Rassul from the Upper Egyptian village of Qurna led officials from the Egyptian antiquity administration and the German Egyptologist Emil Brugsch to the grave of High Priest Pinudjem II, which he and his family had long known ( TT 320 near Deir el -Bahari ). There were several mummies of the most famous pharaohs of Egyptian antiquity from the 18th to 20th dynasties, including that of Ramses II.

Fearing grave robbers, Brugsch had the depot cleared within two days and with the help of three hundred workers, everything was transported on a steamship to Cairo to the Boulaq museum there. The news of the transport, which had been officially declared as dried fish , spread like wildfire among the Egyptian population. On the banks of the Nile stood crying and screaming women as well as men who fired gun salutes into the sky with their rifles as if at a funeral ceremony.

On June 1, 1886, the mummy Ramses II was unwrapped by Gaston Maspero in the Museum of Boulaq in just fifteen minutes. This resulted in a number of damage to the mummy. Since 1902 it has been stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Ramses II in Paris

During the exhibition in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the conditions for the storage of the Ramses II mummy were not ideal, so that it fell into disrepair. So it was decided to examine the mummy in the Louvre in Paris in detail and to prepare it again for the exhibition.

For the legal entry of Ramses II into France, he needed a valid passport, although he had been dead for over 3000 years. This was issued to him in 1974 by the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The Transall machine with the mummy landed on the afternoon of September 26, 1976 at 5 p.m. at the French military base in du Bourget, where it was received with full military honors. The French President had sent the Minister for Education and Research, Madame Saunier-Seité , to greet the Pharaoh. A team of almost 100 French and Egyptian scientists accompanied the mummy to a special laboratory, in which a constant temperature of 19.5 ° C and the humidity of 55% to 60% were kept.

In the following investigations, it was found that Ramses was naturally red-haired. In old age he had a back problem that forced him to walk with a stick. He was probably around 85 when he died. (Wente and Harris give the estimated age of the mummy of Ramses II at around 55 years, which is in stark contradiction to the chronology.) Further investigations yielded considerable additional knowledge about the ancient Egyptian techniques for mummification.

The mummy was in poor condition because it was infected with several types of fungus that could be removed. It was then subjected to cobalt-60 irradiation to sterilize it . Then it was re-preserved and flown back to its homeland in Cairo on May 10, 1977, where it now occupies a prominent place among the mummies in the Egyptian Museum.

The importance of Ramses II in history


The importance of Ramses II in historiography does not only refer to ancient Egypt. As an important ruler of his time in the Middle East , his name appears in numerous variations in many different scripts. In the Bible his name is mentioned indirectly as part of the capital Pi-Ramesse . The Egyptian priest Manetho wrote about Ramesses Miamun , or Rapsakes , in Greek , while the Greek historian Herodotus used the name Rhampsinitus . Diodorus Siculus, who was particularly impressed by the buildings known today as the Ramesseum, named it around 60 BC. BC Osymandyas , which was a misinterpretation of the first part of the throne name Usermaatre . The historians Pliny and Gaius Cornelius Tacitus wrote about the king Rhamsesis or Rhamses in later years .

The name Ozymandias gained some notoriety when Percy Bysshe Shelley published his poem about the Egyptian king Ozymandias in 1818 . At the time, however, Ozymandias was not necessarily equated with Ramses II, but rather regarded as his unknown predecessor or even his successor.

Only when the deciphering of hieroglyphics by Jean Francois Champollion the many temple inscriptions of Egypt were interpretable in 1822, and the person took the Ramses II. To a tangible form. Through constant new discoveries that could be assigned to him, his name became legendary over time.


Ramses II is considered by some scholars to be the pharaoh of the Exodus , under which the people of Israel left Egypt. This thesis is often very controversial. Other candidates are Ahmose I , who boasts of having expelled the Hyksos and who has set up the storm stele, as well as Thutmose III. , to which the time according to ( 1 Kings 6,1  LUT ) refers. Since there are no Egyptian sources that describe or even mention the process of an exodus at the time of Ramses or Thutmose, it remains in the realm of speculation so far. Some archaeologists and ancient historians now strongly doubt whether it ever existed.

In this context, for example, the chronology critics David Rohl and Immanuel Velikovsky suggested an adaptation of the Egyptian chronology to the biblical time frame. Scientific evaluations of ancient Egyptian astronomical texts and the Amarna letters as well as existing synchronisms with other Mesopotamian kings, however, exclude the theories of epoch shift published by Rohl and Velikovsky.

Today's view

Colossal statue of Ramses II.

It is undisputed that the Egyptian economy and culture had reached a high point during the reign of his father Seti I. Ramses tried to maintain this level, which is not only reflected in the completion of the buildings his father had begun. Even so, the quality of the work carried out under his rule is not as high as that carried out under his ancestors.

The person of Ramses II was not undisputed among the researching Egyptologists. The Egyptologist Banson described him in the 1950s as "an unbridled despot with a reign that has no parallels, usurping the achievements of his father and his ancestors to emphasize his own importance."

In 1959, William C. Hayes described him as a "pushy young man who was not very intelligent, but tasteless, but had enormous energy and attraction."

Kenneth A. Kitchen , who dealt a lot with Ramses II during his research, said that “his actions and behavior appear arrogant and megalomaniac in the consensus of our own social values, but in his own environment and the norms and ideals of the time Time should be seen ”.

The French Egyptologist Claire Lalouette sees in him on closer inspection only a "blender", whose ancient descriptions represent only idealizations of the person of Ramses II.

There are, however, other voices: he is a “far-sighted politician and master in the art of diplomacy” (H. Schlögl), a “symbol of this civilization like the pyramids. His government is by far the most glorious ”( Nicolas Grimal ).

Reception in art and literature

For the Egyptologist Christian Jacq , the life of Ramses II was the model for his five-volume historical novel series.

Percy Bysshe Shelley was inspired for his poem Ozymandias by a head of a colossal statue of Ramses II, exhibited in London from 1816 .

The Jesuit Giovanni Riccioli named in his New Almagest (1651) a moon crater in reference to Ramses II after Ozymandias.

The two American films The Ten Commandments (1923) and The Ten Commandments (1956) are set at the time of Ramses II, who is played by Yul Brynner in the latter film . Likewise the film Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014), in which Joel Edgerton is the ruler.

In the graphic novel Watchmen , the character Ozymandias names his superhero - Alter-Ego after Ramses II.


(sorted chronologically)


To the mummy

  • L. Balout, C. Roubet, Christiane Desroches Noblecourt , and others. a .: La momie de Ramsès II. Contribution scientifique à l'égyptologie. Paris 1985.
  • Bob Brier : Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art. Michael O'Mara, London 1996, ISBN 1-85479-799-9 , pp. 195-207.
  • Renate Germer: The secret of the mummies. Rowohlt Taschenbuch, Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-499-19357-4 , pp. 109–111, 154–155.
  • Grafton Elliot Smith : Catalog général des Antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire, nos 61051–61100, The Royal Mummies. Cairo 1912, p. 62.

More detailed questions

  • Franz Graf Calice : The name Ramses . In: Georg Steindorff (Hrsg.): Journal for Egyptian language and antiquity . Forty-sixth volume. Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1909, p. 110–111 ( archive.org [accessed April 12, 2016]).
  • Klaus-Peter Kuhlmann: The temple of Ramses II in Abydos. Preliminary report on a new recording. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo Department. (MDAIK) Vol. 35, 1979, pp. 189-193.
  • Rainer Stadelmann : The long government of Ramses II. In: Communications of the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo department. (MDAIK) Volume 37, 1981, pp. 457-463.
  • Klaus-Peter Kuhlmann: The temple of Ramses II in Abydos. Second report on the new addition. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo Department. (MDAIK) Vol. 38, 1982, pp. 355-362.
  • Gerhard Fecht: Ramses II. And the battle of Qadesch (Quidsa). In: Göttinger Miscellen . (GM) Volume 80, 1984, pp. 23-54.
  • Hourig Sourouzian: Standing Royal Colossi of the Middle Kingdom Reused by Ramesses II. In: Communications of the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo Department. (MDAIK) Vol. 44, 1988, pp. 229-254.
  • Horst Klengel : Hattuschili and Ramses, Hittites and Egyptians - their long way to peace . von Zabern, Mainz 2002, ISBN 3-8053-2917-2 .
  • Erik Hornung : The New Kingdom. In: Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, David A. Warburton (eds.): Ancient Egyptian Chronology (= Handbook of Oriental studies. Section One. The Near and Middle East. Volume 83). Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006, ISBN 978-90-04-11385-5 , pp. 197-217 ( archive.org ).

Web links

Commons : Category: Ramses II.  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Ramses II.  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Herodotus Historiae or Historien, Book 2, Chapter 121 - z. B. Herodoti Historiae edidit Carolus Abicht . Vol. I. Editio stereotypa , Leipzig, 1869, p. 145 u. P. 148 or Herodoti Historiae. Recensuit Heinricus Stein. Tomus I. , Berlin, 1869, p. 212 u. 216 - in connection with Meyer's large conversation lexicon , keyword Ramses ( zeno.org ). Rhampsínitos is from others with Ramses III. identified, sometimes with an addition such as likely , for example in Herders Conversations-Lexikon , keyword Ramses ( zeno.org ) and in Brockhaus' Kleinem Konversations-Lexikon , 5th edition, keyword Rhampsinít ( zeno.org ).
  2. Bibliotheca historica ex recensione Ludovici Dindorfii [= Ludwig Dindorf ]. Vol. I. Pars ILI-V. Leipzig, 1828, pp. 66, 67, 69 - in connection with Meyer's Large Conversation Lexicon , keyword Osymandias ( zeno.org ).
  3. Hermapion quoted in Ammianus Marcellinus' rerum gestarum libri qui supersunt lib. XVII., Cap. IV.
    • Ammiani Marcellini rerum gestarum qui de XXXI supersunt, libri XVIII. Ope MSS. codicum emendati from Frederico Lindenbrogio & Henrico Hadrianoque Valesiis cum eorundem integris Observationibus & Annotationibus, item Excertpa vetera de Gestis Constantini & Regum Italiae. Omnia nunc recognita from Jacobo Gronovio . Lugduni Batavorum, 1693, pp. 176–178 (spelling: Ραμέϛης - defective without alcohol in capital letters - and in a note translated into Latin Rhamestes)
    • The Loeb Classical Library. Edited by TE Page, E. Capps, WHD Rouse. Ammianus Marcellinus I. - Ammianus Marcellinus with an English translation by John C. Rolfe in three volumes I. 1935, pp. 326–331 and 568 (spelling: Ῥαμέστης). In the Index of Names on p. 568 Ῥαμέστης is identified with Ramses II.
  4. ^ Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Volume 1, London 2008, p. 308.
  5. Flavii Iosephi opera edidit et apparatu critico instruxit Benedictus Niese [= Benedikt Niese ]. Vol. V De iudaeorum vetustate sive contra Apionem libri II. Berlin, 1889, p. 17 (lines 7f.) In 97
  6. ^ Flavii Josephi Opera. Graece et latine. Recognovit Guilelmus Dindorfius [= Wilhelm Dindorf ]. Volume secundum. Paris, 1847 (p. 337ff. Contains Flavii Josephi de antiquitate judaeorum, contra Aprionem ), p. 346
  7. ^ Corpus scriptorum historiae byzantinae. Editio emendatior et copiosior, consilio BG Niebuhrii CF instituta Georgius Syncellus et Nicephorus CP. Ex Recensione Guilielmi Dindorfii. Volume I. Bonnae, 1829, pp. 133f.
  8. ^ Corpus scriptorum historiae byzantinae. Editio emendatior et copiosior, consilio BG Niebuhrii CF instituta Georgius Syncellus et Nicephorus CP. Ex Recensione Guilielmi Dindorfii. Volume I. Bonnae, 1829, pp. 135f.
  9. Եւսեբի Պամփիլեայ կեսարացւոյ Ժամանակականք երկմասնեայ [...] Մասն Ա. Ժամանակագրութիւն պատմական / Մասն Բ. Քրոնիկոն կանոն - Eusebii Pamphili caesariensis episcopi chronicon bipartitum nunc primum ex armeniaco textu in latinum conversum adnotationibus auctum graecis fragmentis exornatum opera P. Jo: Baptistae Aucher Ancyrani. Pars I. Historico-Chronographica. / Pars II. Chronicus canon. Venetiis (՚Ի Վէնէտիկ), 1818, pars IS 216 a. 231f. and pars II. p. 14
  10. For orientation, the Middle Kingdom (around 2000–1650 BC) can be referred to as the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom (around 1550–1070 BC) as the Late Bronze Age (see also 13th century BC ) .
  11. ^ A b Heike C. Schmidt, Alberto Siliotti, Joachim Willeitner: Nefertari. Wife of Ramses' II (= Zabern's illustrated books on archeology. ) 2nd edition, von Zabern, Mainz 1997, pp. 26-27.
  12. ^ KA Kitchen: Pharao Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II. Warminster 1982, p. 18.
  13. ^ HC Schmidt, A. Siliotti, J. Willeitner: Nefertari. Wife of Ramses' II. Mainz 1997, pp. 34-35.
  14. ^ HC Schmidt, A. Siliotti, J. Willeitner: Nefertari. Wife of Ramses' II. Mainz 1997, pp. 17-18.
  15. ^ HC Schmidt, A. Siliotti, J. Willeitner: Nefertari. Wife of Ramses II. Mainz 1997, p. 33.
  16. ^ GE Smith: Catalog General Antiquites Egyptinnes du Musee du Caire, nos 61051-61100, The Royal Mummies. Cairo 1912, p. 62.
  17. Ceccaldi, Pierre-Fernand: Recherche sur les momies Ramses II. Ed .: Bulletin de l'Académie de Médecine. tape 171 , no. 1 , p. 119-127 ( bnf.fr ).
  18. ^ KA Kitchen: Pharao Triumphant: The Life and Times of Ramesses II. Warminster 1982, p. 28.
  19. Wolfgang Helck : History of ancient Egypt. Brill, Leiden 1981, ISBN 90-04-06497-4 , p. 186.
  20. Winfried Barta In: Studies on ancient Egyptian culture (SAK) 8 . Buske, Hamburg 1980, p. 39.
  21. ^ New moon on December 9th (December 20th) at 6:20 a.m. ( Memento of March 23, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  22. ^ Rita Gautschy: Project moon data and eclipses: application of astronomical chronology in the ancient sciences. ( Moon data from the Illahun archive: Chronology of the Middle Kingdom) . Journal of Egyptian Language and Archeology 178, Volume 1. 2011.
  23. Winfried Barta: Accession to the throne and coronation ceremony as different testimonies of royal takeover . In: Studies on Ancient Egyptian Culture (SAK), No. 8 . Buske, Hamburg 1980, p. 47.
  24. Karin Kloosterman: Ancient pollen yields dramatic finds at Sea of ​​Galilee. Israel21c, November 10, 2013, accessed December 29, 2013 .
  25. Wolfgang Helck: History of ancient Egypt. Brill, Leiden 1981, ISBN 90-04-06497-4 , p. 191.
  26. B. Geßler-Löhr: Mummification and equipment of mummies in ancient Egypt. ( Memento from October 31, 2002 in the Internet Archive )
  27. ^ Christiane Desroches Noblecourt: Ramsès II. La Véritable Histoire. Éditions Pygmalion, Paris 1996, ISBN 2-85704-481-X , p. 23.
  28. ^ Philip Swindells: The Master Book of the Water Garden. Salamander, London 1997, p. 15.
  29. It is the so-called wreath of justification . It proves that the deceased is a justified person who has successfully passed the examination of the judgment of the dead : See Christiane Desroches Noblecourt: Ramses. Sun of Egypt. Bergisch Gladbach 1997, p. 23.
  30. Theban Mapping Project: The Grave KV 7 ( Memento of the original from January 28, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.thebanmappingproject.com archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . On: thebanmappingproject.com ; last accessed on June 23, 2017.
  31. Theban Mapping Project: Grave plans, 2D and 3D . (PDF file; 512 kB)
  32. Completed projects (Erhart Graefe). Cachette TT 320. ( PDF file )
  33. ^ Ramses II. Mummy - 12 facts , Badisches Landesmuseum
  34. Ramses II received an Egyptian passport in 1974 , Radio Zürisee, January 3, 2019
  35. Bob Brier: Egyptian Mummies: Unraveling the Secrets of an Ancient Art. London 1996, pp. 200-201.
  36. Erik Hornung: The New Kingdom. In: Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, David A. Warburton (eds.): Ancient Egyptian Chronology. Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006; here p. 197.
  37. William C. Hayes: The Scepter of Egypt II. New York 1959, p. 334: "A brash young man ... not overburdened with intelligence and singularly lacking in taste [...] tremendous energy and magnestism ..."
  38. ^ Giovanni Riccioli: Almagestum novum astronomiam veterem novamque complectens observationibus aliorum et propriis novisque theorematibus, problematibus ac tabulis promotam, Vol. I-III, Bologna 1651;
predecessor Office successor
Seti I. Pharaoh of Egypt
19th Dynasty