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and when the army came to the south of the town of Shabtûn,
majesty and become his vassals. They then went on to say Defeat of that the chief of the Cheta was in the land of Chirebu to the the Cheta.
north of Tunep some distance off, and that he was afraid to
in battle array behind Kadesh. Shortly after these men had
presence bringing with him two spies from the army of the
duty, and they admitted their fault. Orders were straightCapture of way issued for the Egyptian army to march upon Kadesh, Kadesh.
and as they were crossing an arm of the river near that city
It was only with great difficulty he succeeded in cutting his
In the eighth year of his reign he led an expedition against towns in southern Syria, and Ascalon among others fell into his hands, and within a few years Mesopotamians, Syrians, dwellers on the coast, Libyans, the Shaásu and Ethiopians all submitted to him. In the twenty-first year of his reign he made a treaty with Māutenure, chief of the Cheta at Egyptian Tanis, the favourite dwelling-place of Rameses. This treaty the Cheta.
treaty with sets out at full length the relations which had existed between the two nations for some time before, and each party solemnly promises not to make war on the other, and to assist the other in war if required ; to cement the alliance Rameses married a daughter of the chief of the Cheta called Maa-ur-neferu-Rā.
Notwithstanding his activity in war, Rameses II. found Rameses time to make himself famous as one of the greatest builders builder. that ever sat on the throne of Egypt, and his name is found on stelæ, obelisks, temples, etc., etc., from Beyrût in Syria to remote Napata. He built a temple of granite at Tanis, a town which seems to have been founded four hundred years before his time by Nubti, one of the so-called Hyksos kings. Near this city ran the wall from Pelusium to Heliopolis, which Rameses is supposed to have built to keep out the Asiatics. At Heliopolis he set up obelisks, none of which has come down to our time; at Memphis he added largely to the temple of Ptah; and at Abydos he completed the temple begun by his father Seti I. At Thebes he finished the buildings begun by his father and grandfather; he repaired the temples of Thothmes III. and Amenophis III., adding walls and doors, and occasionally usurping monuments of the kings who went before him; he set up statues of himself and two splendid obelisks before a building which he
made adjoining the temple of Amenophis III.; on the western
executed sculptures representing the bringing of tribute to Rock him by Asiatics and Ethiopians. At Abu Simbel, the temple at
classical Aboccis, he hewed out of the solid rock a large temple Simbel.
to Rā Harmachis to commemorate his victory over the
Rameses II. is generally thought to have been the Oppression oppressor of the Jews in Egypt, and it was probably for him of the
that they built the treasure-cities of Pithom and Raamses. Jews.
Rameses reigned sixty-seven years, and at his death he left Egypt one of the largest and most powerful kingdoms upon earth ; under him this country reached its highest point of prosperity and glory. The tribute brought in by conquered nations enriched the country, the hosts of foreign workmen
employed by the king produced articles of luxury and beauty, art and literature flourished unfettered, and the tombs and sepulchres of the dead were scarcely less splendid than the palaces of the king or the houses of his nobles. After the death of Rameses Egypt declined rapidly, chiefly through the inertness and want of national spirit possessed by the hosts of foreigners who lived there, and the country became a mart and a home of traders rather than of warriors.
Mer-en-Ptah, the thirteenth son of Rameses II., had been associated with his father in the rule of the kingdom before he ascended the throne. The chief event in his reign was an expedition against the Lebu, Kehak, Māshuash, Akauasha, Tursha, Leku, Sharetana and Shekelasha in the fifth year of his reign. The Lebu, thought by some to be the Libyans, under Māroi, the son of Titi, had advanced to the city of PaBairo, and were preparing to march upon Heliopolis and Memphis; Māroi himself had reached Pa-áru-shep, when the god Ptah appeared to Mer-en-Ptaḥ in a dream and promised Defeat of
allied him victory. On the third day of Epiphi the hostile forces joined in battle. Māroi fled, about thirteen thousand of his people were slain, and all his and their property fell into the hands of the Egyptians. The Akauasha have by some been identified with the Achaeans, the Sharetana with the Sardinians, the Shekelasha with the Sicilians, the Lebu with the Libyans, the Tursha with the Etruscans, the Leku with the Lycians, etc., etc. These identifications, based on a suggestion made by de Rougé, cannot be accepted, lacking as they do any historical evidence in support of them. It is quite certain, however, that the tribes against which Mer-en. Ptaḥ fought were comparatively close neighbours of Egypt. The Exodus is thought by some to have taken place during the
Exodus. the reign of this king.
Of Mer-en-Ptah's successor, Seti II., but little is known ; his reign was very short, and was not distinguished by any remarkable event. The rule of the XIXth dynasty was brought to an end by the reigns of Amen-mes and Se-Ptah.