Ramesses II [Usermaatre-setepenre; Ramesses the Great]
[Usermaatre-setepenre; Ramesses the Great]
(regc 1279–c. 1213 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron of the 19th Dynasty. He was responsible for the largest number of buildings and statues in the whole of ancient Egyptian history (even including those from the 18th Dynasty reign of Amenophis III). His most important and well-preserved works (buildings and notable bas-reliefs) are, from north to south, at Abydos; several sites in Thebes (see Thebes, §II, 1), including Luxor (the Peristyle Court and second Pylon), Karnak (in particular the decoration of the Hypostyle Hall and the outer wall of the great Temple of Amun) and the Ramesseum; and six Nubian temples (Beit el-Wali, Gerf Hussein, Wadi Sebua, el-Derr and the two temples at Abu Simbel; for illustration see Abu Simbel). Most of the Nubian temples were cut into the cliff-face. At this time the Egyptian temple acquired its classic form; widespread use was made of smooth-sided columns with papyrus-bud capitals....