Thursday, August 03, 2006

3rd Pharaoh of the 19th dynasty - Ramessu (II) [pictured below] [Ramessu, Ramses, Ramesses]
A son of Sethy (I) and Queen Tuya. His titles are as follows: Horus name "Kanakht Meryma'at" Strong bull, Beloved of Ma'at. Nebty name "Mekkemet Wafkhasut" The protector of Egypt, The conqueror of neighbouring countries. Golden Horus name "Userrenput Aanehktu" Rich in years, Great in victories. Throne name "Nesu-bit Userma'atra Setepenra" The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Powerful is the justice of Ra, Chosen by Ra. Birth name "Sa-Ra Ramessu Meryamun" Son of the Sun, Ra bore him, Beloved of Amun.

Like his father and grand-father, Ramessu (II) was probably born a non-royal, but it would have been very early in his life that his grand-father, Ramessu (I) came to the throne. Ramessu (II) was previously know as Ramses, but he changed the spelling of his name to Ramessu during his 20th regnal year. Although it remains unknown why he changed his name, it is not an uncommon thing for the Ancient Egyptians to do. Ramessu (II) had many wives that we have information on, as well as concubines that are less well known. This led him to be the father of between 50-150 children, as he had an exceptionally long reign from approximatey 1279-1212 BC; some of these children being extremely well documented by him.
Ramessu's (II) queen was named, Nefertari, and she bore him at least 4 sons. Firstly, Amunherkhepshef whom was originally named Amunherwenemef; he changed his name to Amunherkhepshef very early in his father's reign. He then changed his name again in his father's 20th regal year to Sethherkopshef. It is likely that he was buried at King's Valley 5. There were also at least three other sons born to Nefertari named, Pareherwenemef, Meryatum, and Meryre. Ramessu (II) and Nefertari also had at least two daughters named Meryetamun and Henuttawy. Meryetamun was raised to the position of "Great Royal Wife" of Ramessu (II) after the death of her mother, and on her own death was buried at Queen's Valley 68).

[Upper left picture is of Henutmira beside her mother, Tuya, from the Vatican Museum, supplied by Anneke Bart. Above is a red-granite column depicting Ramessu (on right) making an offering to the god, Khnum (on left) taken at the Manchester Museum, which reads: "...he is joyful. I have given you kingship. Lord of the Two Lands, Userma'atra Setepenra. Lord of Appearances, Ramessu Meryamun. Producing incense for his father, Given Life."]

[Right - Photo of a statue piece of Khaemwaset from the Berlin Egyptian Museum. Photo supplied by Sesen.]

Another wife of Ramessu (II) was Queen Isetnofret. She had at least three sons with Ramessu (II); Khaemwaset [pictured right], Prince Ramses-Meryatum (otherwise referred to as Ramses Junior), and Merenptah. These sons appear to have held important roles at court, with Khaemwaset being the High Priest of Ptah and conducting restorations to old monuments on behalf of his father. Khaemwaset's burial place has never been discovered, but it's believed that he may have been buried at Saqqara close to the Serapeum, due to a golden mask that was discovered there. Prince Ramses-Meryatum was buried in King's Valley 5, and Merenptah was Ramessu's (II) eventual successor to the throne. There are two known daughters of Isetnofret, called Bintanat and Isetnofret (II). Bintanat later became her father's wife, too. Prince Suty who was buried at King's Valley 5, and Princess Nebettawy may have also been the offspring of Queen Isetnofret. Like Bintanat, Nebettawy also married her father, Ramessu (II).

Links to my favourite sites containing information on Ancient Egyptian Royalty:
Ancient Egypt - Site by Anneke Bart, containing details on Egyptian royalty and officials, priests etc .
Foreign rulers of Egypt - Names of Egypts foreign rulers.

Title's links are from: Sethy1 and eGlyphica. Picture link is from: Egyptarchive.

Egyptian Dreams

'Scribes of Thoth'

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