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61 EGYPT-CIVIL AND MILITARY ANNALS.

 

of the preceding dynasty. The offspring of this marriage was Ramses II, who on arriving at years was associated with his father in the government.

After an interval Seti abdicated in favor of his son, not, however, until he had signalized his reign with some of the finest architectural works of Egypt. Chief among these may be mentioned the great Hall of Columns at EI-Karnak, containing in a series of magnificent sculptures,

posed a tribute of ivory, ebony, and gold. On the Red Sea he built a fleet of four hundred ships the first war vessels ever constructed by the Egyptians and subdued by land and water the islands and sea coasts as far as India. The whole of Asia to the Ganges and beyond yielded to his arms, whereupon, turning to the north, he conquered Scythia as far as the river Tanai's, dividing Asia from Europe.

The story of Seti's campaigns and victories.

Ramses1 II. (1388-1322 B. C.) was the most illustrious of all the kings of Egypt. He is surnamed the Great. Already at ten years of age he took part in his father's wars. After the death of that sovereign the young prince, fired with military ambition, began to meditate the conquest of the world. According to Herodotus, Diodorus, and Manetho though the narratives are by no means consistent throughout Ramses first brought into subjection what neighboring nations soever had shown signs of rebellion against the domination of Egypt. Then dividing the country into thirty-six Nomes, and appointing his brother Armais to the regency in his absence, he collected a vast army of six hundred thousand foot soldiers, twenty-four thousand horse, and twenty-seven thousand war chariots, and set out on his campaign for the conquest of the nations.

Over the grand divisions of his army King Ramses placed in command certain military comrades who had been educated under his father's direction in the same discipline with himself. First of all, he directed his forces into Ethiopia, and subduing the country im in Greek, Sesostris, Sesosis, or Sethosis.

Thence passing into Thrace the king continued his career until the severity of the climate and scarcity of food brought him to a pause. Everywhere in his triumphant course he set up pillars bearing the inscription: "This land Sesostris, king of kings and lord of lords, conquered with his arms." After nine years the victorious monarch returned laden with the untold spoils of war and captives taken from many nations.

Such is the rather florid account left by Herodotus and Diodorus of the foreign campaigns of Ramses II. Modern research has shown, by deciphering the inscriptions on the rocks of Beyrout, in the ruins of Tanis, in the Ramesseum at Karnak, and in a temple built by Ramses in Nubia, that the praises of the great monarch's wars have been sounded in too high a key, and that his real exploits