Ramesses II was known by his successors as the ‘Great Ancestor’, he is regarded as the greatest and most powerful Pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire, known for his military campaigns that reasserted Egyptian authority and control.  
He came to the throne in 1279BC, aged in his late teens or early twenties. At this time, he began a large program to build cities, temples and monuments. He built the city of Pi-Ramesses, establishing it as his capital, dominating it with large temples and the Pharaoh’s palace with its own personal zoo. 
Ramesses was a great military leader and led many campaigns during his reign. His armies totalled over one hundred thousand men that fought and won many formidable victories, increasing Egypt’s influence over others and strengthening his territories. 
His chief wife was Nefertari, and Ramesses built memorials to her and his other wives all over Egypt. He managed a large harem and is believed to have sired over ninety sons and sixty daughters during his lifetime, there are depictions of these children on many monuments. 
After reigning for thirty years, Ramesses celebrated a jubilee, the Sed festival, at this he was transformed into a god. 
Ramesses II ruled for sixty-six years, bringing peace to Egypt and making it more powerful than it had been for over one hundred years. He built more extensively than any other before him, ensuring his legacy would remain for many years. 
He is believed to have died in 1213BC aged around ninety, being buried in the Valley of the Kings. At the time of his death, Egypt was a very rich and powerful country. 
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