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Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Passport of Ozymandias King Of Kings

Pharaohs are enigmatic figures in human history; since the discovery of these rulers in slumber, there are many tales of curses and other mysteries linked to their name. Despite these mysteries and the tales of curses, it did not stop the Egyptian authorities to make an unexpected move: issue a passport to a ruler from 3000 years ago. Not just another unknown Pharoah, but Ozymandias himself, the King of Kings. It turned out that Rameses II had a fungoid problem and needs to be transported to Paris, France, for radiation treatment.
Ozymandias, Passport, Pharoah, Mummy
Image: Wiki Commons

Rameses II is one of the popular pharaohs ever lived. His influence in history, literature, and mass media is only second to Cleopatra. His 67-year-rule of the New Kingdom in the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt is marked by prosperity and increased territorial expansion throughout his long rule. He is one of the most celebrated rulers of Ancient Egypt and is dubbed as the Great Ancestor.

Yul Brynner's role in the classic biblical epic Ten Commandments(1956) may have contributed to the popular belief that the Pharoah in the Bible was Ramses II. Contrary to popular belief, Rameses II is not the arch-enemy of Moses in the Book of Exodus. The Pharaoh was unnamed in Exodus chapters and historians and Bible scholars often point out that the candidate for the mysterious unnamed pharaoh in the Bible is Merneptah son of Rameses II himself. Some scholars also believe that it was neither Rameses nor Merneptah, instead, the Pharaoh in Exodus is Thutmose III.

Image: Today Online

His 67-year rule has marked the zenith of Ancient Egyptian arts, architecture, and culture. The most grandiose of these structures is Abu Simbel. For thousands of years, the Nile River drenched the Abu Simbel with 4 imposing statues of Rameses. It was only during the construction of Aswan High Dam in the 1960s when the Abu Simbel was seen in its full glory.

Another masterwork of his reign is the Ramesseum Temple, an enormous complex of interconnected temples, it is called the million years temple for its opulence and dedication to the Egyptian God Amun. It took more than 2 decades to construct and needed at least 10,000 laborers to complete. The way he commanded thousands of people to erect these statues in his name earned his reputation as one of the greatest monument builders of Ancient Egypt.

Rameses II, Egypt, Abu Simbel, Pharaoh
Image: Pinterest

His brilliance as a Pharaoh was showcased in the popular poem by P.B Shelly titled Ozymandias. Along with Horace Smith, they wrote their own renditions of Ozymandias. 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'. This line is the most notable and often cited and referenced in many later works in literature, T.V, and even movies.

The discovery of his mummy in 1881 is also a crowning achievement in archeology. For nearly a century after his discovery, there was a clear sign of deterioration of Rameses II. To prevent total decay he was transported to Paris, so that his mummy will receive a radiation treatment to curb further decay or deterioration. He was issued a passport so that his remains will be transferred legally. His legacy as a pharaoh will continue to live on.

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