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Rameses II
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:21 pm 
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I thought it'd be nice to have an entire post dedicated to:
Usermaatre Setepenre Ramessu Meriamen: Rameses II, Beloved of Amen.

He seems to be very interesting. Like how he had so many temples built for himself, (I'm sure a lot of other pharaohs did as well, but it seems a lot of Rameses lasted through the years. The man who was born a commoner, ended up becoming one of Egypt's greatest kings. The thing is rameses never seems to acknowlege his common roots, I guess back then it wasn't looked upon highly. :o
I just wish we knew more of his private life, my goodness why didn't these pharaohs write in journals??

PHOTOS-
http://www.knoware.co.uk/Travelogues/Eg ... Museum.JPG

http://www.livius.org/a/1/egypt/ramses_ii_bm.JPG

http://www.gris.uni-tuebingen.de/~bartz ... msesII.jpg


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:30 pm 
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My father appreciates your thoughtful gesture!

Thanks, Joy!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:32 am 
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my pleasure ramsekh :)
Someone I know from a fellow Egyptian board has a great site on Rameses II:
http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/Faculty/bart/ ... es-II.html

A few Pictures of Rameses II:
http://www.knoware.co.uk/Travelogues/Eg ... Museum.JPG
http://www.livius.org/a/1/egypt/ramses_ii_bm.JPG
http://www.touregypt.net/egyptianmus45.jpg
http://argoul.blog.lemonde.fr/photos/un ... ses_ii.jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 9:58 am 
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Here are some nice pictures of Ramses II that I've come across:

Colour photograph of Ramses II's remains
http://anubis4_2000.tripod.com/mummypages2/Ramesses%20II%20mummy2.jpg

Ramses II chariot picture with his pet lion
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/chariot19.jpg


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:46 am 
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In the museum at Alexandria I was shown 1 of his shoes - made to fit his ego - Actualy it was a slipper coffin.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:55 am 
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JOY! wrote:
Someone I know from a fellow Egyptian board has a great site on Rameses II:
http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/Faculty/bart/ ... es-II.html


I'm here too :D (just different screen name)

I just updated the page on Ramesses II. I added some info about the Queens and the princes and princesses. I was able to get one of Kitchen's books about Ramesside inscriptions from my library and that allowed me to add some interesting information.

On one of the Luxor inscriptions for instance there are some titles mentioned for the royal princesses and they seem to have served as chantresses of different deities: Amun, (P)Re, Hathor, Isis, etc.

I have illustrated the page with some of my own paintings based on linedrawings by Lepsius. I tried to pick some lesser known depictions of the royals.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:49 pm 
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Joy!, are you sure that Ramesses the Second was born a commoner? I think you must have misread or misinterpreted a source. Remember that Ramesses was born into the wealthiest family in Egypt - the son of Seti I and Thuya. He became Prince Regent at 14, and took to the throne when he was about 24 or 25.

Where did you read that he was a commoner? Perhaps by commoner you mean that he did not expect to become Pharaoh? This indeed was the case, and it was only by misfortune that his elder brother predeceased him. :(


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:03 pm 
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Psusennes I wrote:
Joy!, are you sure that Ramesses the Second was born a commoner? I think you must have misread or misinterpreted a source. Remember that Ramesses was born into the wealthiest family in Egypt - the son of Seti I and Thuya. He became Prince Regent at 14, and took to the throne when he was about 24 or 25.


Given the combined length of the reigns of Ramesses I and Sety I it's fairly certain that Ramesses II was born before his grandfather ever took the throne. So he was indeed born a commoner.


The elder brother never existed from what I understand. This was due to a misinterpretation of some inscriptions.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:45 am 
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Merytre-Hatshepsut,

I am bemused by your statement. I have never come across any such claims that Ramesses II was a commoner in any book, textbook or historical source that I have encountered. The unanimous opinion seems to be that Ramesses was born of Thuya and Seti I, and that (at least) one of his elder brothers predeceased him and for this reason he took to the throne.

Let's just go through your statements step by step. Because I find them confusing:

"Given the combined length of the reigns of Ramesses I and Sety I it's fairly certain that Ramesses II was born before his grandfather ever took the throne."

O.K. Seti I ruled for c.14 years, as an average of various historical records, and Ramesses I ruled for c.3 years. This makes their combined period of rule around 16 years. We know, as I have said, that Seti I made Ramesses II Prince Regent when he was fourteen, at some stage during the late period of his rule - it is therefore perfectly plausible that Ramesses II was born when Ramesses I was on the throne, but not 'fairly certain' that he was born a before. It's *just about* possible to my mind. Either way, it's largely irrelevant. At that stage in Egyptian history there was no such thing as 'royal blood.' Horemheb, the predecessor to Ramesses the First was not born of royal blood, and since he had no firm heirs, it was clear that a military commander or vizier would take over from him. Ramesses I was both. He may have been of no royal heritage, but there was no royal heritage left at the time! Ramesses I founded a *new* dynasty!

Let's say you're correct, and let's say Ramesses was born in the last few years of Horemheb's reign (which, with current datings is barely possible - it puts Ramesses II's total life span at around 90 years, and also makes impossible the commonly agreed suggestion that he became Prince Regent at 14). He would have grown up in hugely affluent surroundings with his grandfather - the Grand Vizier and high priest of Amun, a man who had probably had a strong feeling that he was to become King long before the birth of his grandson, and also with his father who was high up the Royal administration. Hardly a commoner's birth. By the time he was fourteen, his father had already been on the throne for several years. He knew he was to become King.

Basically, I see what you're saying, but by the time Ramesses was able to think for himself (around 5 or 6), he would have known that his father (and later he himself) was to become King. Commoner is far too strong a word.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 3:55 pm 
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Psusennes I wrote:
I have never come across any such claims that Ramesses II was a commoner in any book, textbook or historical source that I have encountered. The unanimous opinion seems to be that Ramesses was born of Thuya and Seti I, and that (at least) one of his elder brothers predeceased him and for this reason he took to the throne.

The statement that Ramesses II was a commoner (i.e. non-royal) when he was born is mentioned in:

K.A. Kitchen, Pharaoh Triumphant: The Life and times of Ramesses II, Aris and Philips Ltd.,1982

J. Tyldesley, Ramesses: Egypt's Greatest Pharaoh, Viking Publishers, 2000

Tyldesley specifically states the following (pg 11):
Quote:
Ramesses, although raised as a future king, was neither descended from a long line of pharaohs nor born to a King's Great Wife (queen consort). Like his father and grandfather before him he was born a commoner,...


Kitchen mentions that Ramesses was born during the reign of Horemheb. He states that Seti and Tuya had a first-born son who probably died early, doubtless in infancy. They had a daughter named Tjia and then a son named Ramesses. He specifically mentions that the aged Horemheb had chosen a successor who was a father and a grand-father, a dynasty already (as he put it).
Kitchen has Ramesses at age 8 or 9 when Sety I takes the throne after Ramesses I ruled for 1 or 2 years.


Psusennes I wrote:
Seti I ruled for c.14 years, as an average of various historical records, and Ramesses I ruled for c.3 years. This makes their combined period of rule around 16 years. We know, as I have said, that Seti I made Ramesses II Prince Regent when he was fourteen, at some stage during the late period of his rule

There is some debate as to when and for how long exactly the coregency took place.
Murnane has an interesting article:
Murnane, W.J., The early reign of Ramesses II and his co-regency with Sety I, Journal of Near Easter Studies, 1975

He argues that the coregency was likely only for the last 2 years of Sety I's reign. It is interesting to note that the inscriptions at Beit-el-Wali are dated to this co-regency period (based on the presence of a Viceroy known to have served during that time only). In these inscriptions Ramesses II is accompanied by at least 4 of his sons. So he likely became co-regent at a much later age then 14 or 15. It's unlikely that he would have had 4 sons old enough to accompany him on a military campaign if he were in his mid-teens.

Kitchen estimates that he is 24 or 25 when he becomes sole ruler, and must have been in his early 20's when he became co-regent.
This seems to fit the evidence from the inscriptions rather nicely.


Psusennes I wrote:
Horemheb, the predecessor to Ramesses the First was not born of royal blood, and since he had no firm heirs, it was clear that a military commander or vizier would take over from him. Ramesses I was both. He may have been of no royal heritage, but there was no royal heritage left at the time! Ramesses I founded a *new* dynasty!

Very true, but I think that the fact that they were not related to Horemheb is still relevant. And by definition anyone related to Horemheb would have been considered royal at that point.
When Ramesses II was born it was not obvious yet that he would get the throne. His grand-father may have been in line for the throne at that point, but any son of Horemheb would have replaced them. And I can't imagine Horemheb not trying to get some children.
It's really a rather large dose of luck (for the Ramesses family) that there was apparently no male issue from Horemheb.

Psusennes I wrote:
Let's say you're correct, and let's say Ramesses was born in the last few years of Horemheb's reign (which, with current datings is barely possible - it puts Ramesses II's total life span at around 90 years, and also makes impossible the commonly agreed suggestion that he became Prince Regent at 14).

There are no problems according to the books/articles I have read. Ramesses did live to be very old, and Kitchen, who is probably one of the greatest experts in this area, does not assume a co-regency at age 14 at all. And neither does Murnane.

Psusennes I wrote:
He would have grown up in hugely affluent surroundings with his grandfather - the Grand Vizier and high priest of Amun,

This is an aside :D Do you know a reference for Paramessu being High Priest of Amun? I have been doing some research on the High priests and I can't find too much from this period.
The HPA from the time of Tutankhamen-Horemheb is a man named Parennefer, who later changed his name to Wennefer. And under Sety I we have Nebneteru, called Tenry. I would be very interested in other references.

Psusennes I wrote:
Basically, I see what you're saying, but by the time Ramesses was able to think for himself (around 5 or 6), he would have known that his father (and later he himself) was to become King. Commoner is far too strong a word.

I see what you're saying :D Non-royal at birth would be better.
That's pretty much what I take the term "commoner" to mean in this context. He was not of a lowly birth by any means. Not exactly peasant stock. :wink:

It's definitely an interesting time period.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 1:05 pm 
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I think we both think more or less the same thing - I see how you're intepreting the information. I do however stick by my statement that Ramesses wasn't born a 'commoner' - he was of non-royal birth, but that's not a hugely unusual occurence in most royal family lineages, a non-royal entering the family tree or being offered the succession.

I seem to recall reading somewhere that Paramessu was High Priest of Amun, but I'll look into it for you.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 25, 2006 8:31 pm 
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Yeah, from what I know he was born a commoner. I believe that was one of the reasons why Horemheb chose Rameses I to succeed him. Because he had a son, and a young grand son. I've heard rumours of the elder brother theory, and I do doubt that Seti I and his wife just had 2 kids, there is no evidence of another one. ( might not have worded this right, as I have just got off work)

Quote:
I'm here too (just different screen name)


LOL what a great suprise :)

The Ramesside pharaohs were most likely from the North.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 1:45 am 
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Originally posted by TmRees

Quote:
In the museum at Alexandria I was shown 1 of his shoes - made to fit his ego - Actualy it was a slipper coffin.


What size was it?

On the other prevailing point I have to agree with Joy. I'll search through my books again but in everything i've come across, books i've read and if they were a while ago I won't be able to remember the title:-), it has always been stated that Horemheb's main reason for choosing Ramses I to suceed him was his prooven ability to father a son and a grandson. He hadn't been able to do it and egypt needed stability.

Originally posted by Pusennes

Quote:
however stick by my statement that Ramesses wasn't born a 'commoner' - he was of non-royal birth


If you weren't a royal then you were a commoner, whether you were rich and of noble blood or poor and a nobody. Non royals were commoners. His sister Tiia was certainly born a commoner other she wouldn't have been able to marry her husband, also called Tiia. Princesses did not marry beneath themselves.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:09 am 
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JOY! wrote:
I've heard rumours of the elder brother theory, and I do doubt that Seti I and his wife just had 2 kids, there is no evidence of another one. ( might not have worded this right, as I have just got off work)

Apparently the older brother of Ramses II was called Neb-en-khaset-neb known from inscriptions at Karnak. There's more information here.
Ramses II wasn't born into the royal family, but he was born into a wealthy family, as Ramses I was in the military. (I would imagine it was a pretty good job to have in ancient Egypt). :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:15 am 
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According to Dodson (and others) this elder brother of Ramesses II never existed. He was based on a mis-interpretation of the inscriptional evidence.


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