Ancient Egyptian Series – Ramesses the Great

Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt within the period known as The New Kingdom. Ramesses grandfather came to power after the ruling pharaoh died on the throne. His grandpa Ramesses I was a high-profile, high-ranking military officer in the Egyptian army.  He most definately had to have been a man of unmatched stature, cunning, and political prowess to gain possession of the then super powers throne.

Ramesses I

Ramesses I

Seti I

Seti I

The elder Ramesses would not reign long, but his lineage would go on to be two of the most notable pharaohs and perhaps two of the most successful in Ancient Egyptian history — based on territories conquered, years on the throne, and wealth accumulated during the 19th Dynasty. Seti I must have prepared his son Ramesses II at an early age to not only rule as a God King but to do so with military power and a manipulation of the people any modern politician would be envious of.

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New Kingdom Territories — Most of which were conquered by the military campaigns of Ramesses the Great

Historical accounts place Ramesses II aka Ramesses the Great in the throne in his late teens. He essentially goes from prince to King over night and commences to build his own legacy. Military campaigns and construction across the Egyptian empire was something he did early in his reign.

Ramesses II is undoubtedly the most prominent and succuessful Pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty which ruled for more than a century. During this period from approximately 1190-1064 BC he and his successors were able to do gain territory and settle lands that reached deep into Africa and the Middle East.

Ramesses II

Ramesses II — Ramesses the Great

Ramesses II Monument

Ramesses II Monument

Many speculate that Ramesses II is the pharaoh in the Exodus Bible story. Along with the mystery of exactly who this man was remains exactly what he looked like, and who his family could have been. If you have been following my Ancient Egyptian Series you know that Ancient Egypt was a multicultural civilization that lasted approximately 5,000 years. Imagine the diversity and culture that must have made up the population. There were Black Africans from various places within the East African and Sub-Saharan regions and lighter skinned people known as Ancient Semitic People from as far north as Modern Syria and Iraq. Many of the people from Nubia or Kush (modern-day Sudan) were known as fierce and superior warriors. This enabled them to move up within the ranks over the Egyptian army, politics, and nobility since Lower and Upper Egypt were unified by Narmer.

I think it is it is entirely possible that Ramesses II, considered maybe the greatest of all the Pharaohs was the son a Nubian warrior of noble lineage. We are now thousands of years removed and have an extremely Eurocentric view of what Ancient Egypt was like and the people who lived there and ruled it. I am 100% confident that Black people not only inhabited Ancient Egypt since its inception. But we’re since its beginning, Pharaohs, Priest, generals, and countless other roles throughout its history. It is my assessment that there were times when outside forces would invade and rule for decades or even centuries. But Africans as we know them today were entirely displaced or removed from the region.

The now famous Nubian or Black  Pharaohs of the 25th dynasty were not the first Black people to rule this abounding land. They were simply one of the only dynasty’s to be accurately researched. The ideals that were prominent then, were not as popular as they were when ancient Egypt became known to “modern” historians and archeologist.

After the fall of the 20th Dynasty Egypt was once again conquered, this time by tribes from the west – the area we know today as modern day Libya. The 21st Dynasty would hold the throne for more than 200 years. During this time Egypt would loose a great deal of territory and wealth. The 22nd through 24th Dynasties are not as well known. Many historians think Libyan mercenaries and various people from the region took up positions of importance and nobility. This period would span from approximately 1065-750 BC. The foreign rulers were not accepted by all Egyptians, and eventually Lower and Upper Egypt would become divided again.

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