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Ramesses II-self publicist

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Introduction

WAS RAMESSES II THE GREATEST MILITARY PHARAOH OR MERELY A GREAT SELF-PUBLICIST? Ramesses II, ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, is perhaps most known for his extensive and monumental building programs glorifying not only the name of the gods, but that of this own as a competent and formidable military leader. Thus prompts the question: is their truth behind this self-elevating portrayal or is it all purely a misleading cover-up for his incompetency? To assess whether Ramesses II is really deserving of the title of "a great military pharaoh", it is in right doing to establish a criteria to which the military aspects of Ramesses II reign could be measured. A great military pharaoh could be defined as one that participates in a variety of campaigns with resounding success through the application of effective military strategies and the display of expertise and superior strength. ...read more.

Middle

This scope of involvement signifies an active involvement in the military dimension of pharaoh-ship. Whether or not Ramesses II has been successful in such campaigns, however, is debatable. Ramesses II led energetic campaigns in the north against the Libyans and the Hittites. The campaigns undertaken in Libya were, to his merit, of great success. The Battle of Kadesh, on the other hand, did not achieve the same victory as that of Libya, despite sources saying otherwise. Evidence, such as the accounts inscribed on the First Pylon at Luxor and the Second Pylon of Ramesses II's Mortuary Temple (the Ramesseum), suggest that Ramesses II, solely, slaughtered an opposing army of 2500 chariots- a highly unlikely event. ...read more.

Conclusion

Ramesses II lacked the ability to foresee his imminent losses. The eventual signing of a peace treaty after 20 years of armed conflict illustrates Ramesses II's failure to perceive the realities of war and to cut his losses. The end result saw none of his initial plans follow through and many years of efforts, resources and lives wasted away. Although, to his credit, Ramesses II attained some success as a military pharaoh, to name him the "greatest military pharaoh" is an overstatement of Ramesses II's expertise in the field and is an undermining of his predecessors. Upon inspection of sources and through logical reasoning, it is safe to say that much of Ramesses II's buildings and monuments did not seek to provide an accurate description of the events that took place, but rather to glorify and publicise his own name. -Danielle Khouri =] ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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