Ramses III

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Osirid statues of Ramses III at Karnak.
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Osirid statues of Ramses III at Karnak.

Ramses III was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. He is considered the last native Egyptian pharaoh to wield any real authority, and reigned in the 20th Dynasty from 1186 BC to 1154BC (alternate dates are 1196–1164 BC). His name is sometimes rendered as Ramesses; the Ancient Greeks knew him as Rhampsinitus.

During his long tenure Egypt was beset by foreign invaders (including the so-called Sea Peoples) and experienced the beginnings of the increasing economic difficulties and internal strife that would eventually lead to the collapse of the 20th Dynasty. The severity of these difficulties is witnessed by the fact that the first labour strike in recorded history occurred during Ramses' reign, when the food rations upon which the favoured royal tomb-builders in the village of Set Maat her imenty Waset (now known as Deir el Medina) depended for their survival, could not be provisioned.

These realities are completely ignored by the images of continuity and stability presented in Ramses' official monuments - most of which seek to emulate his more famous predecessor, Ramses II. He built important additions to the temples at Luxor and Karnak, and his funerary temple and administrative complex at Medinet-Habu is amongst the largest and best preserved in Egypt - however the uncertainty of Ramses' times is apparent from the massive fortifications which were built to enclose the latter. No Egyptian temple in the heart of Egypt prior to Ramses reign had ever needed to be protected in such a manner. Template:Hiero/2cartouche Ramses' two main names, shown left, transliterate as wsr-m3‘t-r‘–mry-ỉmn r‘-ms-s–ḥḳ3-ỉwnw. They are normally realised as Wesermaatre-meryamun Ramesse-hekaiunu, meaning 'Powerful one of Mat and Ra, Beloved of Amun, Ra bore him, Ruler of Heliopolis'.

Thanks to the recent discovery of papyrus trial transcripts Ramses III is now known to have been assassinated as a result of a harem conspiracy. The conspiracy was instigated by one of his two principal wives who was motivated by the desire to secure the throne for her son.

The mummy of Ramses III was discovered by antiquarians in 1886. His tomb (KV 11) is one of the largest in the Valley of the Kings.

Preceded by:
Setnakhte
Pharaoh of Egypt
Twentieth Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Ramses IV
he:רעמסס השלישי

de:Ramses III. fr:Ramss III pt:Ramss III zh:拉美西斯三世

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