AKA Usermare Ramses
Born: 22-Feb-1303 BC
Died: c. 1213 BC
Location of death: Egypt
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Mummified, Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: Ancient Egypt
Executive summary: Pharaoh, fought the Hittites
Ramses II was the third king of the 19th dynasty of ancient Egypt, and is often cited as the most powerful of the Pharaohs, or simply "Ramses the Great". Named for his grandfather, Ramses I, he was appointed as successor to the throne when he was only 14, and took his first wife almost immediately. Even before assuming full power he was regarded as co-ruler with his father, Pharaoh Seti I.
In the fourth year of his rule, his armies invaded Syria and went to war against the Hittites, culminating in the bloody Battle of Kadesh. Despite Egypt's eventual retreat, Ramses often spoke of his own heroism on the battlefield, including implausible tales of being cornered alone, yet single-handedly defeating numerous enemy soldiers. Several years after Kadesh, he again led Egypt in war against the hated Hittites, but after more than a decade of bloody war he consented to a peace treaty, which led to a long period of general peace and prosperity for both peoples.
He reigned for more than 66 years, and had about 200 wives, 100 sons, and 60 daughters. Two of his daughters were eventually "promoted" to become his wives, and after peace had been accomplished with the Hittites, Ramses took the eldest daughter of the Hittite king as another wife. His other accomplishments include putting down several uprisings among his own people, and the construction of some of Egypt's most famous monuments and architecture, including many large statues of himself. He also oversaw the construction of the Ramesseum, a temple built solely to honor him.
Though the factual evidence is scant, Ramses II has traditionally been identified as the Pharaoh who ruled during the Jewish exodus from Egypt, as reported in Biblical and Hebrew scriptures. If so, then Moses would have been adopted into Ramses' family as a child. Among the movies that tell this tale, Ramses was memorably played as an arch villain by Yul Brynner in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, and portrayed more sympathetically by the voice of Ralph Fiennes in the DreamWorks film The Prince of Egypt.
Father: Seti I (Pharaoh)
Mother: Tuya (Queen)
Daughter: Bintanath (became a wife of Ramses II)
Daughter: Meritamen (became a wife of Ramses II)
Son: Merenptah (successor Pharaoh)
Risk Factors: Arthritis
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