Pharaoh Ramesses II And The Battle Of Kadesh-The Earlier Art Of Spin And Propaganda

In Egypt at the age of fourteen, Rameses or Ramesses was appointed Prince Regent by his father Seti I. Rameses probably took the throne in his early 20s. He ruled Egypt from about 1279 BC to 1213 BC, 66 years.

Princess of Egypt

A little music while you read?

Once upon a time there was an Egyptian Pharaoh named Rameses II. He had a beef with the Hittites .

In about the fifth year of his reign, the Pharaoh was determined to take Kadesh from the powerful Hittites.

Now this was around 1275 BC. So let’s do some math here…2010 plus 1275 equals 3285 years ago. Yikes! This was 1500 years after the Pyramid Age. Egypt had collapsed and revived twice since then.

So anyway, Rameses had this big fight with the Hittites. When the dust settles he tells everybody how it went down.

He went on and on.

Nobody could shut him up.

He spread grand art throughout Egypt, in stone no less, depicting how he, the Pharaoh, won the battle almost single handedly. He passed this story about his battle down through centuries- as it was etched in stone.

The version of the Battle of Kadesh that Rameses likes:

Rameses (“he who was the majesty of Horus, the Mighty Bull, Beloved of Truth; King of Upper and Lower Egypt; Son of Re, given life forever”) (a little pretentious don’t you think?) says the campaign against the Hittite began on the ninth day of the ninth month of the fifth year of his reign, just after his birthday. Apparently killing people was a desired manner of celebrating one’s birthday.

The Pharaoh marched north through Sinai and the land of Canaan. Most people would either prostrate themselves before the Pharaoh or wet their pants.

After many days this put them at Usermare-Meriamon.

From here they amazed the folks in Shabtuna which was within striking distance of Kadesh. So it’s here that two members of the local Shasu (Bedouin-type wanderers who became the Israelites) tell the Pharaoh, “Our families, who are among the greatest of the Hittites, have instructed us to say to Pharaoh: ‘We will be your subjects, O Pharaoh, and we will abandon the King of Kheta, King Muwatalli; for he is currently in the land of Aleppos, to the north of Tunip, and he will not come south because he fears you.’”

But these guys are spies. They’re working for King Muwatalli. They were all trying to mess with the Egyptians and wanted the Egyptians to be unprepared.

Believing this story, Rameses splits his forces and he marches on to Kadesh.

Well, you know it! King Muwatalli was there and had invited everybody from the ends of the earth to kick the daylights out of Rameses and the Egyptians.

Of course very soon the Pharaoh and his army were looking like Custer’s Last Stand a few thousand years earlier.

Pharaoh became infuriated. “How dare they kill me!” He said. He became enraged and “became like Baal in his fury”. Rameses charged into the army of King Muwatalli and all his allies! As he looked around he saw that his army did not follow. 2500 enemy chariots surrounded him. The Pharaoh’s rage knew no bounds. He was like Sutekh the great in strength.

He was slaying, smiting, hurling them headlong, one after the other and then he got really mad!

King Muwatalli was a great loser and laid the capital of the Hittite Empire at Rameses feet and ceded all claim to Kadesh.

So this is the “digested version” of the story Rameses told all his friends and enemies far and wide.

He added toward the end that:

“I attacked the Kheta (Hittites) and their allies while I was alone, my infantry and my chariots having forsaken me. Not one of them stood to turn about. I swear, as Re loves me, as my father, Arum, favors me, that, as for every matter which I have stated, I did it in truth, in the presence of my infantry and my chariots.”

The Truth- Lucky To Be Alive

I guess most folks could figure that one man, blood-doping with EPO and steroids, couldn’t overtake thousands on chariots and what-not.

The country’s reputation was at stake. Rameses couldn’t let the truth get out that he had his behind handed to him.

16,000 Hittites were hiding behind the city. Rameses sent messengers to summon his other three divisions that were sent away. But the Hittites attacked! The Hittites were sporting the latest in killing tools and fashion. They were using iron weapons and three men chariots. The Egyptians were using old, war surplus, bronze weapons. The Hittites went through the Egyptians faster than a politician can lie.

The Pharaoh was surrounded by a few of his own old, used, repossessed, chariots. But the Pharaoh was lucky. A division of his infantry appeared and prevented the total defeat. Also, the Hittite army didn’t chase the Egyptians but started pillaging. The Hittite soldiers worked for free but could keep all that they could pillage. They were going through the tents and bodies of the dead.

In their haste for shiny objects, Rameses and the military nobility of Egypt got away.

The Egyptian archers played a big role as the Hittites plundered and bogged down in bodies of men, horses, and chariots.

The battle for Kadesh was about a tie. The Egyptians forced the Hittites to retreat but Rameses was unable to capture Kadesh.

Both armies were exhausted. The leaders agreed on a truce. Rameses was allowed to get the heck out of Kadesh with his behind intact.

The majority of accounts of this battle are Egyptian but there are many Hittite sources that paint a balanced picture.

Battle of Kadesh (Part 1/3)

The Battle of Kadesh between the Hittites and Egyptians has been tauted as the first true battle for study.

Battle of Kadesh (Part 2/3)

It is the first time in history where enough historical evidence survives, to paint an accurate picture.

Battle of Kadesh (Part 3/3)

It was a mess!


Why did Rameses create his fictional version?

Rameses was a builder, warrior, king, and living god (self portrait). He had a huge ego but was also embarrassed by his humble beginnings.

His Grand-dad was a minor Egyptian official who “was in the right place at the right time.” What does that mean? Was there an earthquake?

But “that right place and time” made him Pharaoh. Rameses II was to make sure his name would be remembered, even more than his father, Seti I.

Rameses II ruled for 66 years. He had extensive military and building programs. He built many new cities, temples, and monuments.

Pharaoh II erased the names of other pharaohs from buildings and monuments and etched his own where their names were. He placed statues of himself all over the land as far as he could. Rameses was etched in cliffs.

No matter where you went THERE HE WAS! Geez!

Much of the Pharaoh’s fame was gained by this ridiculous account by Rameses. He couldn’t live with the reality of Kadesh.

So on his return from the battle of Kadesh, Rameses inscribed in dozens of his temples, straight-away, that he was the big cheese at Kadesh. His army abandoned him. He hurled himself at the thousands of Hittites. He was smiting right and left and rivers ran red with the blood of his enemies!

With no contrary sources of information (evidently the media was owned by the Pharaoh like it is today), the ancient Egyptians chose to believe that Rameses and Governor Connelly were shot by the same bullet….oops! Excuse me. Egyptians chose to believe that the World Trade Center fell at the rate of gravity …oops!

Sorry. So without any media to support any other theories, the Egyptians chose to believe that Rameses was Superman.

This legacy that he invented enabled him to retain Egypt’s possessions and military reputation to the extent that Egypt was not seriously challenged for 150 years.

Kadesh Peace treaty
Kadesh Peace treaty

Of course there were other leaders who claimed “improbable victories” such as Pharaoh Thutmose III’s campaign against the Mitanni of 1445 BC but the evidence that survives doesn’t refute the events.

An Ancient Spindoctor

2 minutes 54 seconds - the digested version

Ramesses II, The Builder

One minute 34 seconds of Ramses the builder.

There's a slow train coming.
There's a slow train coming.

I’m just glad that we’re living in an age where you can trust everything our government says.

I'm thankful that no one would dare try such cover-up campaigns to salvage the reputation of a government on this present world stage!

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Comments 50 comments

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

History has always been written by the victors and they have always made up the fairy tales we are suppose to believe. Whether they manipulate the truth to justify their actions or to prove their "greatness", makes little difference since the "official version" will be enough to brainwash generations.

Tatjana-Mihaela profile image

Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

History repeats itself...unfortunately...I hope this will change one day... Polititians have always been great story tellers who create myths to cover their incompatibility .

I loved your Hub and it´s message, thank you Mickey.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Amen Petra. History is written by power. It's having a "spin-cycle".

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi Tatjana-Mihaela! We do pray the Lord's Prayer for change. Praying the Lord's Prayer is asking that our earth resemble what we desire heaven to be. It has to be.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

My brother, Micky. You come up with useful information. I learn much from this hub. I like something about history. I always interest with everything about Egypt and everything beside the mystery of Pharaoh. I just wanna say, "the pictures really amazing", the video describe well about this topic. I am not sure, I can make such of informative hub like this. Good work, Micky. Vote up as usual.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yo yo Prasetio! God bless you Brother Man! I know the world is okay if I can see you avatar! God bless!

ralwus 6 years ago

The machine has an updated centrifuge now doesn't it? Great hub Mick.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thanks Ralwus. Hey- great spin! Updated centrifuge!

50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 6 years ago from Arizona

Mic, great example of the spoils of victory, history is part of them, or is it? Perhaps obama will be written the greatest due to his awakening and uniting of America as we kick him to the curb? hehe, 50

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yo 50 Brother Dude! America will elect another Obama, another Bush. We have the greatest system of government that money can buy.

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

Isn't this the truth? Money has always talked and apparently raising one's self to 'god status' has worked for many in history. Great presentation and excellent reading.

SilverGenes 6 years ago

Thanks for the history lesson and the political view with my coffee this morning. Keep shining the light! One of these days we'll have a clear picture and no amount of shuffling around in the Bushes or statue building will obscure the truth. Well done! :)

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Definitely thank you for the history lesson and the pictures are terrific! History is a funny thing and I'm always amazed at what does NOT change over time.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hi Bobbi! The best thing to do is buy or kill all the opponents. If someone could buy "a" political party, why not buy "two" parties?!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

What can i say ? I,m speechless. You put a lot of work in this and it,s a great history lesson. The only thing i knew about Ramses was the movie Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. I t seems like there has always been evil people who want to rule the people, and i think there will always be until the end of time, so iv,e desided to stop worrying about something i have no control over, just live a good life, help others, obey God,s commandments, be ready when Jesus returns, and be happy and at peace, we can,t undo the past, all we can do is go forward, now , that said, i,ll be the first to admit this will be difficult but is possible. I have to ask for forgiveness several time a day because i get so angry over things i can do nothing about. My my how i go on, i just want you to be happy and don,t worry too much. Not only was this hub educational, it was funny, and i like that, laughter is the best medicine.

Love and Peace

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Howdy SilverGenes! We just want to "see" don't we Girl? My goodness. We want to be good citizens. We want to pull our weight. We just wonder "who's really helping?" God bless you SilverGenes!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

akirchner!!! History is so funny. A professional comedian could have a field day with Rameses.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hey Always Exploring! I feel like I need forgiving all the time too. Even when I'm not doing anything wrong. Maybe I have too much guilt from not doing things right, good enough, etc. I want to evolve. I want humanity to evolve. That's about it. Thank you Dear.

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

Micky, I love ancient history. Your presentation is impressive – short and sweet, only crucial facts and – this is what makes it absolute unique – embellished with your amazing wit and sense of humor. Thanks for this enjoyable read!

2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

Very impressive hub on this - lots of work has gone into it and it has resulted in an interesting and informative article which is also entertaining. Hope this gets lots of visits and reads - it deserves. BTW - the Romans did that thing of blanking out names on monuments too, in Rome - the Forum area - you can see where they covered the names over with copper plates or removed them if the said person 'fell from grace'. Their version of five minutes of fame or maybe longer depending on the next lot in power?

Well done Micky, you put as much work and effort into your hubpages as you do with the cycle challenges.

poetvix profile image

poetvix 6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

Thank you Micky. Once again you have presented the truth in a clearcut, organized, witty way w/ no political correctness or sugar coating. I wish the media would take lessons from you... but then they are currently controled by peeps just like the man you wrote of.

Love, love, love the comparisions to modern people and events. I guess some things never really change... just a new name on the same ole same ole.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Oh thank you MartieCoetser! You are so kind. You are so smooth with your writing. God bless!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hey 2uesday! The Romans were always messing with something or somebody- like everybody else. God bless you 2uesday!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

poetvix!!! Isn't it odd that there are movies like "Long Kiss Goodnight", "Conspiracy Theory", "Bourne Identity", and endless others that depict "unsettling people, parts of our government, and hidden agendas". Yet the mention of a "conspiracy" to control people, something, anything, money, power - and people fail to see what is right in front of them.

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Great post, and very appropriate!!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Yo Carolina! The Pharaoh lives!

Sa`ge profile image

Sa`ge 6 years ago from Barefoot Island

mornng Micky

as usual love your hub, great history lesson, long day, you worked on this one really good one. wow, is all i can say. my brain is so on melt down as you know. so pardon my lack of any other response. this is good! Hope you getting less pain and more joy.. i wanna break right now. know how you feel most of the time! alls going in the good flow right now. ok, enough lol love you peace! aloha hui

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hey Super Sa'ge. You've been under a supper-siege.

God bless you Girl! You rest up.

twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 6 years ago

I'm always interested with pharaohs and this hub bout Ramses is witty and such great analogies you have there. You're so smart Mik. Always love your wise hubs :)

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Thank you twentyfive! This computer makes me look smart. God bless you twentyfive!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..I will be taking this hub with me into the afterlife because it's a keeper like you my friend .... so well-researched and written that I really need to take these 3,000 year old bandages off - and live a little before I shuffle off to my mortal coil and have you 'will' this life-affirming hub (irony intended) to me .....

..and if there is a hub Pharoah here then it's you !!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Epigramman!! You are a mess! I bet you have written ten poems since my last visit. I'd better go check you out! Thanks Bud!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago can't believe the laugh I just had - with the comment - EPIGRAMMAN - you're a mess!!!! How true how true - but a beautiful mess just the same!!! lol lol

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You're a beautiful mess!

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...six hours later and I'm still a beautiful mess and I still love this hub - you are the spokes in my wheel!

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Micky, that was absolutely fantastic, yet still you made me laugh- (right place, right time, ? Was there an earthquake?)

Of course modern day governments would never do such things. Cover up? What cover up?

I´ve also heard that some of the Roman Ceasers used to kill a person on their birthday celebrations. Not really the kind of birthday bash I´d like to be invited to. Wonderful hub. Take care. xx

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You're a beautiful mess and you're 10 hours older now Epigramman!!!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Hey Dim! He was in the right place at the right time! Supposedly- red hair helped at the right time too. That Rameses had red hair which was favored back then. So back then- you had to be at the right place and in the right time and maybe have red hair! Those birthdays parties were not fun for everybody!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

History repeats itself time and time again. Politicians are the biggest actors, liars and cheats. Why do you think so many in Hollywood vie for a political life, they want to continue to act and no better place than in the political arena. Thanks Micky for this very informative and yet funny hub, I always wondered about those Egyptians and especially Rameses.

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

.....still here ... still a beautiful mess - and you're just beautiful .... hubs and all - including bike and sense of humor!!!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

No man rhymes like Epigramman!

He's faster with rhyme than any man.

He can fire them off, yes he can.

But, then, again, he's that Epigramman!

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

YIKES !!! Micky.... I´m a redhead !!(well mixed up with grey now, of course)

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Wow Saddlerrider! I think your comment was "obscured from me for a while. Gee- it could be that I'm senile...nah! Thanks Bud. It never ends with folks. Someone has to rule the roost.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Dim!!! You could have been Queen of the Nile! I had a wife that was queen of "denial". Yuk yuk!

Hummingbird5356 profile image

Hummingbird5356 6 years ago

You told this story very well and showed that nothing has changed even though centuries have passed.

I like your similes too, "faster than a politician can lie".

By the way, do you think in rhyme? Or dream in rhyme? They pop out of you without any notice.

Thanks Micky.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

Oh Hummingbird! Thank you Beautiful Bird! I don't think I dream in rhyme but I think in rhyme occasionally. Some of the rhymes are better left un-popped.

pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

Whoa I bow to you fellow historian. One good thing can be said about modern technology. It assist in delivery of a passage in the Bible "what is done in the dark will soon come to light".

As it has been said before, those in power will always grab the glory unless the truth be told.

Our nation's history is a prime example, regarding it's discovery by Columbus. A guy who couldn't find his butt if you put it on a map, and was always "discovering" lands with people already residing there. Excellent hub and subject matter, voted up, marked useful, awesome, beautiful and shared.

Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunter.

An African Proverb

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago Author

You know I love you Pmccray! I love your vision. People sah things like, "let's get back to the Constitution. Our forefathers would roll over in their graves. What really went down was -"Our" forefathers used to own "your" forefathers. The Constitution is a lot of wonderful pretty words but, in the hands of OUR forefathers- it ain't worth the HEMP it's written on. The Constitution in the hands of our recent leaders - is not worth the hemp it's written on. The way things are going this wonderful document will never be defended by a US Senator or Representative. Truth is out of their reach. Thank you Dear!

George 2 years ago

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Elaine 2 years ago

鵬哥,I am going to 上海 at the end of this month, I would like to contact Ah Jiang, could I have his email or phone nuembr?Thanks a million!salinarobinson1256@yahoo.comSalina

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