On This Day

Ramesses II

Pharoah of Ancient Egypt Ramesses II

Profession: Pharoah of Ancient Egypt


Biography: Ramesses II who ruled for 66 years 1279-13 BC is often regarded as the most powerful and successful of all the Egyptian pharaohs. He was the third ruler of the 19th dynasty and had the second-longest reign of any Egyptian ruler. He followed his father Seti I and grandfather Ramesses I who had established the 19th dynasty and rebuilt Egypt after the earlier tumultuous reigns of Akhenaton and Tutankhamun.

Ramesses' reign was marked by military campaigns, first against the Canaan in the Levant and later in Nubia in the south. In 1274 BC he fought the battle of Kadesh against the Hittites, which ended in a draw and a peace treaty between the two empires, the first recorded in history.

Ramesses is also known for the building work he undertook throughout his reign. These include his memorial complex, the Ramesseum in west Thebes and the rock temples of Abu Simbel near Aswan. He also established a new capital Pi-Ramesses.

Dying at the age of about 90, he was originally buried in the Valley of the Kings before being moved in a later century to a tomb near modern Luxor where his mummified remains were discovered in 1881. They are now housed in the Cairo Museum.

Birthplace: , Egypt

Historical Events

  • 1279-05-31 BC Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great becomes Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (19th Dynasty)
  • 1968-09-22 Ceremony to mark relocation of ancient Egyptian Abu Simbel temples, honoring Ramesses II after rebuilt 200 meters inland away from Aswan Dam

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