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00:02: Hi, Emily Briffett here from the History Extra Podcast to let you know that we've just
00:07: launched a brand new podcast channel. Take a deep dive into the past as we bring you the
00:13: very best of BBC History magazine in our brand new Longreads channel. For fascinating
00:20: and enlightening articles from leading historical experts, covering a broad sweep of percentories.
00:27: the scandals of Georgian society to the horrors of the First World War.
00:32: Revolutions, rebellions and more.
00:35: All from Britain's best-selling history magazine.
00:39: Simply search for History Extra Longreads or click the link in the description.
00:45: And here's a taste of what you can expect from our upcoming episodes.
00:49: Ramisees the Second, the greatest Pharaoh?
00:54: In the long annals of ancient Egyptian history, only one Pharaoh is accorded the epithet, the Great.
01:01: Ramesses II, Third ruler of the 19th dynasty, who reign for 66 years and two months in the 13th century BC, 1279-1213.
01:13: Lorddard, like all Pharaohs during his lifetime, Ramesses also achieved lasting, posthumous
01:19: fame as an exemplar of royal majesty and might.
01:23: For the discovery of Tutton-Karmans' tomb, a century ago, Ramesses II was without doubt the most famous Pharaoh.
01:31: When writers wanted to conjure up the world of ancient Egypt, its divine kingship and
01:36: monumental architecture, its abundance and imperial grandeur, they thought of Ramesses.
01:42: A simple list of his achievements is impressive enough.
01:46: He sired, more children, and left behind more monuments than any other Pharaoh.
01:51: He celebrated 13 Jubilies and lived into his 90s.
01:55: He fortified Egypt's borders and maintained its commercial and diplomatic influence.
02:01: He negotiated the earliest known comprehensive peace treaty in history with Egypt's arch-enemy
02:06: and presided over a littering court which drove innovations in literature, art, architecture and scholarship.
02:14: But other pharaohs could and did claim similar accomplishments.
02:19: made Ramesses the second a truly great king.
02:23: To examine that question we might first turn to the opening five books of the Hebrew Bible,
02:28: compiled 700 years after Ramesses' death, where the Pharaoh is mentioned by name no fewer
02:34: than four times. The Greek writer Herodotus, now regarded as the father of history, recounted
02:41: tales he heard about a Pharaoh called Ramp Sinetus, and claimed to have seen some of the King's
02:46: constructions in the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis. In the first and second centuries
02:52: AD, the Roman authors Pliny and Tacitus mentioned Ramisees and Ramisees respectively. Most
03:00: influential in terms of Ramisees' enduring reputation was the first century BC Greek
03:05: historian Diodorus Siculus. He had heard of a pharaoh called Remfus, yet when writing
03:12: about his magnificent memorial temple on the west bank of the Nile opposite modern
03:17: Luxor, a building known today as the Ramiseum, Deodorus referred to it as the tomb of Ozemandius,
03:24: a garbled Greek rendering of Ramisees' throne name, Uzamatra. Thus the legend of Ozemandius
03:31: was born. Deodorus claimed fictitiously to have read an inscription carved into the stones
03:37: of the temple. King of kings am I, Osymandius, if anyone would know how great I am and where
03:43: I lie, let him surpass one of my works. These lines would later prove the inspiration
03:50: for Shelley's famous sonnet. My name is Osymandius, King of kings, look on my works, ye mighty and
03:57: despair. Osymandius was published in January 1818 as a colossal bust of ramaisees the
04:05: second, hauled from its resting place in the Ramecium, was making its way to England
04:10: to become the prize exhibit at the British Museum. Its acquisition confirmed 19th century
04:16: Britain's own aspirations, a new empire, basking in Rameces as aura.
04:23: The excitement surrounding Rameces and his achievements was rekindled too in the 20th
04:28: century. In the 1960s, the UNESCO campaign to salvage the monuments of Nubia from the
04:34: rising waters of Lake NASA was exemplified by the rescue of Ramassees as great temples
04:40: at Abu Simbal. In 1976, the French brought the mummified body of Ramassees to Paris
04:47: for conservation and scientific study. The dead Pharaoh was received with full military
04:53: honors at Paris's Le Borje Airport. His return journey to Cairo the following year was
04:58: in a casket draped with a mantle of deep blue velvet, adorned with the water lily and
05:04: papyrus, symbolising upper and lower Egypt, embroidered in gold thread.
05:10: Intoxicated with Ramisees' legend, the wilder elements of the press ran the story that
05:15: he had been issued with his own passport, listing his occupation as King deceased.
05:24: Simply search for History Extra Longreads or click the link in the description.
05:28: Episodes will be released every Monday.