THE TEMPLE OF RAMESSES AT ABU SIMBEL
Ancient Public Relations on a Colossal Scale
Sometimes what makes a ruler "great" is that ruler's ability to manage their PR. Ramesses II (aka "the Great"), this pharaoh of the 19th dynasty, was just that sort. From his braggadocio following the Battle of Kadesh - at best, a draw - to his monumental self-glorifying building projects, Ramesses blew his own horn better than nearly anyone before or since.
The greatest example is his monumental temple down by the border with Nubia, which today we call Abu Simbel. This wonder has been an engineering marvel twice: once in its original creation, and once as it was moved brick by brick to protect it from rising Lake Nasser.
On their last appearance, Dominic Perry of the History of Egypt podcast appears to discuss Ramesses and his impact, while Lantern Jack of the Ancient Greece Declassified podcast talks about his own travels in Southern Egypt, including the fascinating site of Philae.
In this episode, we talk about Ramesses' reign and visiting Aswan. Plus ancient graffiti, singing kids on boats, and pudding: specifically mahalabia, a scrumptious milk pudding.
Healy, Mark.The Warrior Pharaoh: Ramses II and the Battle of Qadesh
The Lonely Planet Guide to Egypt
Time-Life Books. Ramses II: Magnificence on the Nile
Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt
Photo by ovedc on wikicommons