Ramesses: Egypt’s Greatest Pharaoh, Penguin/Viking 2000.
Ramesses II was the archetypal Egyptian pharaoh: a mighty warrior, an extravagant builder and the father of scores of children. His monuments and image were to be found in every corner of the Egyptian empire and the name of Ramesses was known and respected throughout the ancient world.
Death merely enhanced the king’s reputation. The late Ramesses was a role model for all subsequent pharaohs, many of whom adopted his name. Meanwhile, the cult of the divine Ramesses flourished and outlasted the dynasties, so that the pious still offered to him many centuries after his death. With the passage of time the real Ramesses gradually evolved into a semi-mythological figure, and the Greek and Roman tourists who visited Egypt’s ancient ruins at the end of the dynastic age were entertained with epic tales of this mighty pharaoh.
This book uses a combination of historical and archaeological evidence to explore the life and times of Egypt’s greatest king.