Ancient city, western Syria. Located just southwest of modern Hsubdotimssubdot, it was seized by the Egyptian king Thutmose III in the 15th century BC. It remained an outpost of Egypt until it came under Hittite rule in the mid-14th century BC. The Egyptian king Seti I captured the city, and in 1275 BC it was the scene of a battle between Ramses II and the Hittite Muwatallis. After invasion by the Sea Peoples circa 1185 BC, Kadesh disappeared from history.
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Kadesh (also Qadesh) was an ancient city of the Levant, located on or near the Orontes River, and is today thought to be identical to the ruins at Tell Nebi Mend, about southwest of Homs (ca. ) near Al Qusayr in what is now western Syria. Kadesh was once controlled by Egypt and one of many outlying possessions lost due to southernly encroachments of the Hittite Empire during the 13th century BC in the reign of the father of Ramesses II, Seti to the Hittites. In the fifth year of Ramesses' reign, he lead a large force of chariots and infantry to retake the walled city. In a meeting engagement, the Battle of Kadesh, the two forces clashed in what is widely regarded as the largest chariot vs. chariot battle (5,000—6,000 between both sides) in history on the plain south of the city and west of the Orontes River.
The city was captured by the great pharaoh Seti I during his campaign to Syria. Kadesh had been lost to Egypt since the time of Akhenaten. Tutankhamun and Horemheb had both failed to recapture the city from the Hittites. Seti I was successful here and defeated a Hittite army that tried to defend it. He triumphally entered the city together with his son Ramesses II and erected a victory stela at the site. His success was only temporary. As soon as Seti I returned to Egypt, the Hittite king, Mursilis II, marched south to take the town of Kadesh on the Orontes River. Once taken, Kadesh became the stronghold of the Hittite defenses in Syria, although the Hittites ruled through a viceroy in Carchemish.
The city is best known as the location of one of the best documented battles of the ancient world, the Battle of Kadesh, staged between the superpowers of the 13th century BC: the Egyptian and the Hittite Empires. An Egyptian vassal for approximately 150 years, Kadesh eventually defected to Hittite suzerainty, thereby placing the city on the contested frontier between the two rival empires. In response to this Hittite ascendancy and expansion southwards, the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II prepared an aggressive military response and captured the coastal state of Amurru. The next year, the Hittites moved south to recover Amurru, while the Egyptians moved north to continue their expansion into Syria. The inhabitants of the city of Kadesh had cut a channel from the river to a stream south of town, which had turned the town into a virtual island. The subsequent battle, fought at Kadesh, very nearly witnessed an Egyptian military disaster. After Hittite spies convinced the Egyptians that the Hittites were further away than they were, the Hittites surprised the Egyptians in their own camp. The Egyptian army was only saved by the arrival of a supporting force from coastal Amurru. Ramesses II was able to recover the initiative, and the two armies withdrew in stalemate, both claiming victory. Kadesh, however, remained under Hittite overlordship, Amurru returned to the Hittite fold, and the Hittite army continued its conquests southward as far as Upi, the territory around Damascus.
The subsequent impasse between Egypt and Hatti ultimately led to what is now recognised as one of the earliest surviving international peace treaties, concluded several decades later between Ramesses II and his Hittite counterpart, Hattusili III.
55 YEARS AGO: ISRAEL LAUNCHES OPERATION KADESH IN RESPONSE TO EGYPT'S VIOLATIONS OF THE ARMISTICE, FRANCE, ENGLAND AND ISRAEL LAUNCHED A CAREFULLY PLANNED EIGHT DAY CAMPAIGN.
Oct 26, 2011; JERUSALEM, Israel -- The following information was released by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF): Author: IDF Website A brief IDF...