Originally Posted by bunyip
Indeed. Ramsese 11 had a first rate PR department and built some grandiose edifices,the most famous probably being Abu Simbel.
In terms of military/ political accomplishments, he seems a lightweight compared with his father Seti 1 or Thutmose 111.
According to the History Channel documentary Ancient Discoveries -- Egyptian Warfare
(DVD), early in his reign, Pharaoh
Rameses II modernized Egypt's military. In particular, he ordered the construction of a fleet of advanced chariots, of lighter & faster & (then) more modern design, even than those of the Hittites (whose were, admittedly, heavier). It was with these 2000 new chariots that Pharaoh
Rameses faced the Hittites (who had nearly 4000 chariots), under king Muwatalli II, at Kadesh, in 1274 BC
. Without Pharaoh
Rameses massive military modernization, then, Egypt could not have projected power, as far afield, as Kadesh, against the heavily-armed Hittites, at that time.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypRhCf10DoY"]YouTube - Ancient Discoveries Egyptian Warfare 1/5[/ame]Epilogue:
The chariot fleet was based at Pi Rameses
, of Biblical fame, and which was abandoned by Rameses' son & successor, Pharaoh
Merneptah -- which could, conceivably, be construed as consistent with the claims, of the Bible, about those chariots being destroyed, at the Red Sea, during the Israelite Exodus (Ex 14). (Indeed, an Exodus c.1210 BC works well with the archaeology of neighboring Canaan, which shows clear indications of incoming Israelites, at the beginning of the Iron Age, c.1200 BC [William G. Dever. Who were the Israelites & where did they come from ?].)