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Ramses: Rise Of Empire


The New Kingdom - Part Two and the Age of DeclineIn this chapter, we will learn about two pharaohs, one from Dynasty XIX (19) and the other from Dynasty XX (20). These two men were the last great leaders of ancient Egypt. After the rule of these kings, Egypt went into an age of decline. The country was attacked and conquered by various people, until finally, Egypt became part of the Roman Empire. Ramses II (the Great) Pharaoh of Dynasty XIX A fresco of Nefertari on the walls of her tomb, built by her husband Ramses II Ramses II, also known as the Great, is one of the most talked about pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Ramses II reigned for 67 years, lived to an incredible age of almost 100 years, and had almost one hundred children. Many of his sons predeceased their father, never having the chance to rule themselves. Ramses II had many wives, but his favorite, and most famous, was Nefertari. When Nefertari died, Ramses II had a beautiful burial chamber made for her, complete with frescoes on the walls and ceiling. In the tradition of the warrior pharaohs, Ramses II is known for his military campaigns. Ramses II built a new capital on the east bank of the Nile delta called Pi-Ramesses (House of Ramses' great victories). From this capital, Ramses built war equipment, and was within striking distance of Syria, where he had many battles, the most famous being the Battle of Kadesh. Ramses II battles the Hittites at Kadesh (Qadesh) 1279 BC) The Battle of Kadesh was fought on war chariots, it was most likely the largest chariot battle of all time. Kadesh was an important city at the border of the Egyptian and Hittite Empires. We have talked about the Hittites before. The Hittites were iron-makers, who had raided the city of Babylon in the 1500s BC. Now they had a mighty empire and there was tension between the two empires at the border city of Kadesh, which had just changed its loyalty from Egypt to the Hittites. On this map you can see Kadesh (Qadesh) along with Pi-Ramesses, the new capital of Ramses II. Hattusa was the capital of the Hittite Empire (red area). Ramses II set out with three divisions of chariots to Kadesh. This was an interesting battle, in that the Hittites crossed the Orontes River into Egyptian territory and came upon one division of Egyptian chariots by complete surprise. There was much confusion in the battle as the Egyptians continued on to their camp, with the Hittite chariots in pursuit. The Hittites attacked the Egyptian camp. Ramses II was lucky to escape the camp alive, with his two pet lions. The Hittites, rather than pursuing the fleeing Egyptians, stayed to rob any items left behind in the Egyptian camp. This was a mistake. The third Egyptian chariot division, which had not fought, attacked the Hittites and chased them back over the Orontes River. The river was deeper at this crossing, and many Hittites drowned in the river. Ramses II boasted back home about his great victory over the Hittites, when in fact, there was no clear winner to this battle; both sides suffered heavy causalities, and no territory was lost or gained by either side. These details meant nothing to Ramses II, he did everything possible to inflate his big ego. One important moment in history to come from this battle was a peace treaty signed by both Ramses II and the Hittite king. It was written both in cuneiform, and hieroglyphics. The treaty has survived to this day, and a replica of the cuneiform version was donated to the United Nations, a modern peace-keeping organization, by the people of Turkey, the modern country where the Hittites once lived. The Hittites and Egyptians pledged to assist one another, as both empires feared the rising power of the Assyrians. As part of the treaty, Ramses II agreed to marry the Hittite princess. This made the Egyptian people angry with their leader. The Egyptians had a high opinion of themselves and looked down on other people. Was an Egyptian woman not good enough for Ramses, that he should marry this foreigner? Ramses, the Builder Four colossal statues of Ramses II flank the opening of the temple of Abu Simbel in Nubia. Ramses II built the new city of Pi-Ramesses, and monuments and temples all along the Nile. Two of his greatest building achievements were the Ramesseum, a mortuary temple (a temple located near a tomb) on the west bank of the Nile, across from Thebes, and Abu Simbel, a temple carved into the rock cliffs in Nubia, an area Ramses II had conquered and added to Egypt's Empire south of the first cataract. Abu Simbel took about 20 years to build, and features four colossal statues of Ramses II. The building was meant to impress the newly conquered Nubians and show the power of the religion of the Egyptians. Ramses II might have been a great builder, but it was at the expense of the Egyptian people. Ramses II placed so much time and effort on these buildings that roads and irrigation canals fell into disrepair. Ramses did much for himself, but little for his people. Ramses II, Pharaoh during the time of Moses? Moses and Aaron approach pharaoh demanding that he let their people, the Hebrews, return to their homeland in Canaan. As you remember from the chapter on the Second Intermediate Period, the Hebrews were welcome in Egypt during the rule of the Hyksos. This changed when Egypt drove out the Hyksos during the start of the New Kingdom. Hebrews remaining in Egypt were placed into slavery. Many historians believe that Ramses II was pharaoh when Moses, the Hebrew leader, struggled with the pharaoh to allow the Hebrews to leave Egypt and return to their homeland. This struggle, and eventual victory, is celebrated by the Jewish people during Passover. Ramses III Dynasty XX (20) Pharaoh Ramses III was the last of the great Egyptian pharaohs. During his reign, Ramses III had to deal with a crisis, Egypt was attacked by the land and sea by a group of people known as the Sea Peoples. There are many theories as to who these people actually were, and we will go into this topic further when studying ancient Greece. The movement of the Sea Peoples into other lands suggests that they were refugees, looking for a new place to settle. A great battle took place on the Nile around 1185 BC. Ramses III wore his blue warrior crown and watched the battle on his chariot along the shore. The Sea Peoples' boats were meant to travel by sea, but they were no match for the more nimble Egyptian boats, designed to travel by river. The Sea Peoples' navy was destroyed and the army could not advance into Egypt. This painting comes from looking at a carving in the walls of an ancient Egyptian building, showing the battle between the Sea-peoples and the Egyptians on the Nile. The Sea Peoples settled in Canaan, taking this part of the Egyptian Empire as their own. They are known in the Torah and Bible as the Philistines. Egypt's empire and power was diminishing. The Hittites were not so lucky, their empire was totally destroyed by the Sea peoples' invasion. The Egyptian Age of Decline (1100-30 BC) Nubia was the land south of the first cataract Pharaoh Ramses III was the last great leader of Egypt. After Ramses III, Egypt went into an age of decline. Sometime after 1100 BC, Egypt split into two Kingdoms. In 728 BC, the Nubians, a people the Egyptians had once partially conquered, attacked Egypt from the south and conquered the Egyptians. King Piye (pronounced "pie") of Nubia began Dynasty XXV (25), the first of a family of Nubian rulers. The Nubians had taken on the culture and religion of the Egyptians, so it was natural for these Nubian rulers to call themselves pharaoh. In fact, there were more pyramids built in Nubia, than there were in Egypt. In 671 BC, the Assyrians, under the command of Sennacherib's son, attacked the Nile Delta. Egypt was crumbling, unable to stop these foreign invasions. In 525 BC, the Persians, from Asia, conquered Egypt. You may remember from an earlier chapter that they also conquered Babylon, ending the Neo-Babylonian Empire. We will learn more about the Persians when we study ancient Greece. Finally, in 332 BC, Egypt was freed from Persian rule by Alexander the Great, a Greek-speaking, Macedonian king who came to Egypt as he attacked the vast Persian Empire. The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as their ruler, as he respected Egyptian customs. Alexander placed the Double Crown on his head and proclaimed himself pharaoh. After Alexander died, one of his generals, named Ptolemy became pharaoh Ptolemy I in 305 BC. This began the last dynasty of Greek-speaking pharaohs known as the Ptolemaic Dynasty. It was during this time in 196 BC, that the Rosetta Stone was carved. The last ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty was Cleopatra VII, who died in 30 BC. Egypt became part of the Roman Empire after her death. We will learn more about Alexander and Cleopatra in chapters on Greece and Rome. large viewRamses II Sphinx




Ramses: Rise of Empire



Economic and political unrest also led to the weakening of the Ancient Egyptian empire. There were huge inequalities in the distribution of wealth among the elites and the rest of the population. Many people began to distrust the government and religious authority. The continuous wars created huge expenses and weakened the economic power of the Pharaoh.


5 "woven" -- no, "pressed" 5 "4000 years old" books -- no, possibly 3000 or so for some sections 30a Greek not a dying language in 313 (EDICT OF TOLERATION in 311?) 31 codex not an innovation of Christians 42 (and 43b) "Adam" not mentioned in Gen 1? (misleading) 45 Adam is derived" from Heb for man -- misleading 47 4000 year figure for creation account impossible 48 Pope John Paul II never recognized Darwin's theory as valid 99 Moses is placed and found "in the reeds," not floating down the river 103 only lamb's blood (not goat's) was specified at passover 125 not 4000 years ago; more than 3,000 ? 194 inconsistant on death date for Solomon (925? 922?) 215 (see 195) inconsistent on date of Solomon's death (928 twice !) 233 death of Jeremiah probably after 580 (OAB), not in 587 244 clarify Aramaic as a dialect, nuance its rel to Hebrew, correct info on what bibl materials are in Aramaic 253 no "Syrian" empire defeated 277 Ps 13 is NIV not KJV 279 Ps 27 is unidentified transl, between ESV and NASB 279f Ps 42 is NIV not KJV ("hart" not "deer" in KJV Ps 42) 287 "rabbi" anachronism, occasion to mention Sirach 307 "Marduk" is not found in bible, Evil-Merodach is (2 K 25.27, Jer 50.2) 309 at 167 -- (nuance) Syria(n) but Greek; and did Antiochus "outlaw" Judaism? (see also 314 "eradicate" terminology) 320b not "heal" Sarah, but free her from demonic power 323 correct claims about 1-4 Macc! and say something about 3 Macc! 324 correct info on "2 Esdras" (4 Ezra) 329 correct ref to "Turkish Jew" (Paul!) 330 correct "200 centuries" (read 20) 330 correct Aramaic as Syriac (lang of Jesus) 333 on "conversion" of Constantine in 313 (why not 311 ?) 333 correct chronolog. rel. of NT epistles to gospels 335 TaNaKh not written over a period of 1000 years 335 date for NT writings (not 60-110) 336 Josephus dates (to after 100) 337 on number of NT MSS "thousands ... of fairly early NT docs" 337 correct statement about extra-canonicals and Q 338 confusion of Marcion and Montanus on women leaders 346 at 4 bce -- Herod's kingdom more than Judea 351 magi were astrologers, not magicians 351 check: was Saturnalia orgiastic? 351 "paganism" is not a term for the Roman empire's state religion! 352 calendar based on founding of Rome in 753 bc ?? 357 (error) should read Hosea, not Numbers 366 Luke's youthful Jesus meets with sages in the Temple (not outside) 367 same repeated 370 (error) John, not Mark, has Nathaniel story (as on next page) 383 (error) not Greek, but Aramaic or semitic 384 (error) the Lazarus story is in John, not Luke (see 385 top) 409 (error) crucifixion not exclusive to Romans 416 at 41 CE (error) Caligula reigns only 4-5 years (not 11) 416 at 54 Claudius was allegedly murdered by Agrippina (not clear) 417 at 68 when did Caesar's dynasty start? 48 bce? (not 60 bce) 425 Matthias in Acts 1 is not described as "young" 426 who stones Stephen? the council that tries him? (not "a mob") 427b why did Paul persecute Christians? (is "blasphemy" mentioned?) 429 (error) Acts does not describe Paul as writing letters! 442 (error) it is not generally thought that Paul wrote 2 Thess 452b James: meaning of ref to authorized NT in 2nd c 453 James: (check) Luther's attitude to book, ripped it out?! 455 1-2 Peter: treat separately (errors) 461 clarify/correct reason for author's exile, 2nd coming language 461 (error) Nero to Domition is 30 years, not 20 461 check details about Nero's extravagences? 462 dates of Tacitus usually c 55 - c 117/120 (wrote ca 115) 465 at 177 (error) too late for start of persecution 465 at 303-311 (error) years for Diocletian, ref to old religion (singular) 465 at 312 (error?) when does Constantine hear the voice 492 bible: (error) biblia is not Latin but Greek 492 bible: traditional Hebrew numbers 22 (not 24) 041b061a72


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