Friday, 19 January 2018
Military History Photo Friday: The Pharaoh Ramesses II Smiting the Enemies of Egypt
This carving is from the National Museum in Cairo and shows Pharaoh Ramesses II (1279-1212 BC) smiting the traditional enemies of Egypt. Shown from left to right are a Nubian, a Libyan, and an Asiatic (perhaps a Hittite). The "smiting pose" was a popular one for pharaonic imagery. Ramesses has an axe in his hand.
Ramesses II campaigned against all three of these peoples, but is most famous for his long war with the Hittites, an empire based in what is now Turkey that had spread into the Levant and threatened Egypt. His victory at the Battle of Kadesh was recorded in a long and bombastic text that was copied onto many later buildings.
Sorry for the grubby picture and the light reflection. The National Museum needs to clean its display cases!