Abstract: All in the Family: the Ideological Role of Ramesses II’s Royal Family


Pharaoh Ramesses II (ruled 1279-1212 BCE) is famous for his huge family of at least 50 sons and 50 daughters. He was also married to at least a dozen major and minor queens. While the family lives of many pharaohs remain largely a mystery, we are well informed about Ramesses II’s prodigious brood because he chose to publicize them on the monuments. What political and ideological roles did his family play during the king’s reign? Was this large pharaonic family unique?  In this lecture we will explore the every increasing growth of Ramesses’s, the lives of his main queens, the political role of his many sons and the question of just why a pharaoh chose to have such a vast family.


Short  bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Kent R. Weeks, The Lost Tomb, (1995).

Joyce Tyldesley, Ramesses II: Egypt’s Greatest Pharaoh (Penguin 2001)



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