Who Was King Ramses?


Quick Answer

Ramses was the name of 11 kings of Egypt, though the most famous of the Ramses was Ramses II. This pharaoh reigned during the 19th dynasty from 1279 to 1213 B.C. and died at age 90 or so. It is possible that he was the pharaoh mentioned in the Book of Exodus.

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Full Answer

Ramses was very young when he became Prince Regent, and his father, Seti I, was his co-regent for a time. One of Ramses' first acts as king was to end the Hittite rule over Syria. To this end, he fought and won a battle against them at Kadesh in 1274 B.C. In 1258 B.C., Ramses II signed a treaty with the Hittites that divided Syria between them. Many historians believe that this was the first peace treaty.

Though Ramses II is mostly known for defeating the Hittites, he and his armies defeated many of Egypt's enemies. He is said to have had at least 100,000 men under arms. During the rest of his reign, Ramses devoted himself mostly to building. He raised a new capital on the Nile Delta, saw the completion of the hall at Karnak and built the rock temples at Abu Simbel.

The mummy of Ramses II is preserved at the Cairo Museum.

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