Political Climate During Ramses II’s Dynasty

Before Ramses II became pharaoh, his father, Seti I, had been dealing with massive social disorder from the aftermath of Akhenaten, Horemheb, and Ramses I’s previous reigns. In addition, his father had to continually reaffirm Egypt’s sovereignty over Canaan and Syria and had to constantly deal with the ever increasing Hittite attacks which caused pressures on the pharaoh to protect the kingdom.

The Hittites were an Indo-European people that had destroyed the Babylonian Empire and thus were feared throughout. Although Ramses II’s father had realized many victories in retaining the disputed territories for Egypt during his reign, he was not able to totally destroy the Hittites before he died; thus, this task was left to Ramses II to handle as the new pharaoh of Egypt. Today we know of Ramses II father’s military victories and successes because these were captured and recorded on the front of the temple of Amun located in Karnak.

Ramses II came to rule over the largest empire known in the ancient world. His rule overlooked territory from the African Desert to the Mediterranean Sea. Overseeing territory of this size was both an advantage and a curse. It was an advantage because it gave him power; however, it was also a curse in that it brought upon many enemies causing much turmoil throughout his kingdom.