Known as Rameses the Great, he ruled Egypt for more than 60 years and built many of ancient Egypt's greatest monuments.
Rameses became the third king of the 19th Dynasty at the age of 25.
His reign is best known for the buildings he commissioned. Early in his reign, he constructed a new capital, Piramesse, in the Nile delta. He built the rock temples of Abu Simbel and his own mortuary temple at Thebes. The tomb of his principal wife Nefertari, also at Thebes, is one of the best-preserved royal tombs.
Rameses reasserted Egyptian control over the Levant in the east and Nubia to the south. The most momentous event of his reign was the Battle of Kadesh (now in Syria) in 1274 BC. Rameses claimed a great victory against the Hittites, who were long-standing enemies of the Egyptians. It is now thought the battle was more of a draw. Perhaps more significant was the treaty signed afterwards between the Egyptians and the Hittites, which is believed to be the first written peace treaty between foreign powers.
This brought Egypt an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity that continued until Rameses' death.
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