Ramses II (ca. 1304
), the third ruler in Ancient Egypt
's 19th dynasty
, was the greatest of the pharaoh
s, and also lived the longest (90 years), built the most temples (countless), and had the most children (about 125
). Ramses II was a capable general, extending Egyptian holdings in Syria
at the expense of the Hittite
s in a series of war
s, despite a defeat at Kadesh
in the early part of his reign. Ramses II was also one of the earliest propagandists
, claiming Kadesh was actually a great victory and incribing his version of the battle all over Egypt.
Ramses was an insatiable temple builder, constructing some of the largest temples in Egpytian history, including the massive hypostyle temple of Amon at Karnak, twin temples to himself and his first wife Nefertari at Abu Simbel, and his gargantuan funeral temple, the Ramesseum.
Ramses II was the pharaoh who tossed Moses and the Jews out of Egypt in the Biblical Book of Exodus, and one of the many statues he had made of himself was the inspiration for Shelley's poem Ozymandias.