Ramses II


Ramses II was born around the 1303 B.C and was ascended to the throne at the age of 25. He was the son of Seti I & Queen Tuya, and is regarded as the greatest pharaoh in the Egyptian history. His father took great care of him, providing him with the best in education back then, teaching him about politics, history and as well as religious practices. He started ruling during the 19th dynasty, and led Egypt to its greatest height of power. He was tested by previous kings and figures of authority before he became the new pharaoh. This was done to see if Ramses II was able to keep the tranquility of the current state. Ramses II considered himself a living god, therefore he had more temples built to him compared to any other pharaohs.


Pharaohs were also considered as gods by the Egyptian people, thus creating a symbol of power. Things such as the weather and the success of harvesting were believed to be controlled by the pharaoh. Consequently, most Egyptians would dedicate their life to the creation of a pharaoh’s tomb. As a result of serving the pharaoh, they themselves would have a secure place in the afterlife. Abu Simbel was one of the many temples that were built during the ruling of Ramses II. The Abu Simbel was built by Ramses II, in show of supremacy and his celestial nature. One being the Temple of Re-Herakhte (The Temple of Ramses II), which was made for him and the second, is the Temple of Hathor, better known as the Small Temple, which was dedicated to his beloved wife Nefertari. Ramses II had numerous wives however his favourite wife would be Nefertari. He loved her greatly and at Abu Simbel, one of the temples were built and devoted to her to show the affection he has towards her. It is called the Hathor as Hathor was the wife of the Sun God and this symbolizes a unity between Ramses II, Nefertari, Harthor and the Sun God.


The Temple of Re-Herakhte is located in the ancient Nubia, with four massive statues of the gods at about 65 feet high, sitting in pairs at the main entrance. On the statues, one is able to see them wearing the double crown which is the symbol of Ramses II. The great temple is carved out of concrete rock and taller than the colossi of Memnon of Thebes. This temple faces the east, and Re-Horakhty, one manifestation of the sun god, is shown inside the slot directly above the entrance. The alignment of the temple is such that twice a year the sun’s rays reach into the innermost sanctuary to enlighten the seated statues of the four gods, Ptah, Amun-Re, Ramses II, and Re- Horakhty.


Tha façade of the temple is 108 feet high and 125 feet high. The sacred temple consists of a series of halls and rooms, expanding back a total of 185 feet from the grand entrance. The small statues of Ramses II’s family are sculptured between the legs of each colossus, starting from left would be Queen Nefertari, Prince Amenhirkhopshef, the Kings mother Muttuya, Princess Bent\'anta, unnamed, but most probably Esenofre, Princess Nebettawy, Queen Muttuya, Princess Nofretari, Princess Merytamun, Princess Beketmut, Prince Ri\'amsese, and Queen Nofretari, who where all members of Ramesses II\'s family.


The sun god is situated right above the entrance of the temple, as well as a falcon headed Ramses II holding a war scepter which shows the head and the neck of an animal which is read as user, in his right and a figure of Ma\'at in his left. At the side of the thrones next to the entrance are decorated with Nile gods symbolically uniting Egypt, while below are prisoners, representing conquered nations, to the left, African and to the right, Asian.


The temple of Hathor on the other hand, is much simpler than the Temple of Re-Herakthe. It consists only of one sanctuary and one hypostyle hall. Images of Ramses II in battles, with Nefertari there can be seen in the hall. Other scenes such as Ramses II being crowned by Horus can also be seen. Another scene would be during the presenting of the Ma’at to Amun, given by Seith. One can find a