He had the knowledge of the kingdom, and became the focus of the court at an early age. Ramses and his father spent most of their time together. As a young crown prince, Ramses II was appointed a co-ruler by his aging father, Seti I, and fully inherited the throne at age 24 when his father died. Even before he became Pharaoh, the young prince was known as a courageous warrior. At 22, he was sent to quell a minor revolt in Nubia. He brought along two little sons, and they took part in a chariot charge, according to a scene depicted in a carved relief on the walls of the Beit El-Wali Temple south of Aswan.
After his ascent to the throne, the kingdom prospered and the young Pharaoh poured his energies and national treasures into building temples and monuments honoring his father, Egypt’s gods and himself. In Nubia he constructed six temples, two of which were carved out of a Cliffside at Abu Simbel, with their four colossal statues of the king, are the most magnificent and the best known. Engineers designed the temple so every year on February 22 and October 22 the earliest sunrays shine on the back wall of the innermost chamber and lights up the pharaoh’s statue, and fitting, he sits with the three gods of the sun. In all of his monuments he had his name cartouche and texts engraved so deep that no successor would be able to remove it. When Ramses became pharaoh, he had as many women as his heart desired and they were his greatest supporters. Ramses II built a king-size family with a considerable harem of wives and concubines’.
He had 5 or 6 main wives and is known to have had more than 100 children with all of his wives. His favorite wife was the beautiful Nefertari, his chief queen and mother of his first-born son and other children. Ancient statues and inscriptions suggest she often appeared at her husband’s side on state occasions and during religious ceremonies early in his reign. Ramses spent most of his 67-year reign reviving the empire and fighting the Hittites of Asia Minor. Ramses the Great, known for his fighting, went into battle with about 2,000 men in 1275 B.
C. , Ramses II was encamped with his army near the city of Kadesh in Syria. They were planning a surprise attack on the Hittites. While Ramses was waiting for his army to assemble, Hittite chariots showed up out of nowhere and attacked.
Frightened, the Egyptian forces fled and left Ramses to face the enemy alone. Luckily, he managed escaped with his life. Later, Ramses had scenes from the battle carved on temple was all over Egypt. According to the carvings, Ramses prayed to Amon, the chief Egyptian god, to save him.
He said, “My soldiers and charioteers have forsaken me, but I call and find that Amon is worth more to me than millions of foot soldiers and hundreds of thousands of chariots. ” After that, the carvings show that he rallied his forces and had victory over the Hittites. Ramses II recorded ‘his’ victory on several monuments, showing him slaying the Hittites in person. Furthermore, Ramses II raised many monuments to commemorate all of his victories. Despite their battle, in 1284 B. C.
, Ramses and the Hittites signed a treaty that set the borders of two empires, which ended the costly struggle between them. He also, A few years later, married a Hittite princess which strengthened the treaty. Ramses II was-one of Egypt’s longest reigning monarchs, ruling the Ancient Kingdom for 66 years until he died in 1213 B. C. at about 90 years of age.
He was mummified and put into a temple. The process of mummification took about 70 days. Ramses II must have been a good soldier or else he would not have been able to go so far into the Hittite Empire as he did in the following years. He also must have been a good king, since the country was prosperous, and was certainly a popular one.
Some of his fame, however, surely be his publicity. His name and the record of his feats on the field of battle were found everywhere in Egypt and Nubia. It is easy to see why, in the eyes both of his subjects and of later generations, he was looked on as a model of what a king should be.