Ramesses II, Egypt’s Ultimate Pharaoh

Coming January 2023

By Peter J. Brand



Ramesses II was the most magnificent and iconic pharaoh in Egyptian history. His reign was the longest, the most “monumental” in buildings and artwork, the most innovative in diplomacy, and even the most procreative, with over one hundred royal offspring. Drawing on the latest research, Peter J. Brand digs deep into Egyptian culture and archeology, revealing the mindset and motivations of Ramesses II. We find what his grand monuments reveal, and equally what they conceal. On the international scene, we peruse the diplomatic letters—often surprising, sometimes amusing—between Pharaoh and the kings of Babylon, Assyria, and the Hittite Empire. A courageous warrior in his prime, Ramesses was also a wise and visionary statesman. He ended six decades of war with the Hittite Empire by signing the first peace treaty in recorded history. In his later years Ramesses II became a living god, and finally an immortal legend. Forty years after Kenneth Kitchen’s Pharaoh Triumphant, here at last is a fresh, engaging look at Ramesses II, Egypt’s ultimate Pharaoh.


About the author

Dr. Peter J. Brand (PhD University of Toronto, 1998) is an ancient historian and Egyptologist specializing in history and culture of ancient Egypt during its imperial age (ca. 1550–1100 BCE). He is author of The Monuments of Seti I and their Historical Significance: Epigraphic, Historical and Art-Historical Analysis (Brill, 2000), and has written numerous articles on Egyptian kingship, monumental art and construction, history, popular religion, warfare, and diplomacy during the late Eighteenth Dynasty and Ramesside period. Ramesses II, Egypt’s Ultimate Pharaoh is his fourth book. Since 2001, Brand has served as director of the Karnak Hypostyle Hall Project, which is recording, conserving, and interpreting hundreds of scenes and hieroglyphic texts carved on the walls and columns of the Great Hypostyle Hall. The project uses cutting-edge technology to model and reveal the inscriptions on this forest of 134 giant columns. Brand has appeared in over twenty documentaries for the History Channel, Discovery, and National Geographic.

Ramesses II, Egypt’s Ultimate Pharaoh

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    7 x 10 inches

    600 pages, 242 full color illustrations

    978-1-948488-48-8 (paperback) $39.95

    978-1-948488-47-1 (hardcover) $79.95

    978-1-948488-49-5 (PDF) $32.00

    978-1-957454-96-2 (Epub) $29.99

    January 2023

  • Table of Contents



    List of Figures



    Map of Egypt and Nubia


    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: Rise of the Ramessides: The Reigns of Ramesses I and Sety I

    Chapter 3: Crown Prince Ramesses and His Career under Sety I

    Chapter 4: The Early Reign of Ramesses II

    Chapter 5: The Battle of Kadesh 

    Chapter 6: Great of Victories: Ramesses II’s Later Wars

    Chapter 7: All the King’s Wives: Ramesses II’s Royal Women

    Chapter 8: The Royal Children and their Ideological Role

    Chapter 9: The Path to Peace: International Diplomacy and the End of the Egyptian-Hittite Conflict

    Chapter 10: The Silver Treaty: The Egyptian-Hittite Peace Accords

    Chapter 11: Peace and Brotherhood: Diplomatic Relations Between the Egyptian and Hittite Courts

    Chapter 12: A Time of Wonders: The Earliest Royal Jubilees of Ramesses II and the First Hittite Marriage Alliance

    Chapter 13: Ramesses the Great God

    Chapter 14: Rich in Years: Monumental Construction and Hittite Relations during the Jubilee Period

    Chapter 15: Twilight of the Great God: Ramesses II’s Last Years and His Descendants

    Chapter 16: Afterlife: The Legacy of Ramesses II