July 17, 2024 11:38 pm

Battle of Kadesh by Ramses II

One of the ancient Egyptian wars is the battle of Kadesh, which took place in 1274 BCE. The forces of Ramses II, Egypt’s youthful pharaoh, and Muwatal II, ruler of the Hittites Empire, with the latter’s allies, fought in this conflict.  It took place along the Orontes River in what is now Syria, near the town of Kadesh. It took place along the Orontes River in what is now Syria, near the town of Kadesh.

The Great Battle of Kadesh

Historians and archaeologists have based the specifics of the battle of Kadesh on depictions found in the walls of ancient Egyptian temples, where Pharaoh Ramses II recounted the progress of the conflict through the drawing of the reliefs, making this fact the major topic of his reign. Archaeologists have discovered numerous similar depictions of the war in the temples of Hattusa, the Hittites’ capital. The Conflict of Kadesh has the unique distinction of being the first battle described in ancient sources, making it the subject of a thorough examination by all military science aficionados and scholars, analysts, historians, Egyptologists, and military personnel from across the world. The Battle of Kadesh, also known as the Battle of Kadesh, is a battle that took place in the ancient city of Kades It’s also the first to result in a written peace treaty. Kadesh also holds the distinction of being the last epic battle in history fought exclusively using Bronze Age weapons.

Reason for the Battle of Kadesh

During the reign of Pharaoh Seti I, father of Ramses II, the Hittites army conquered numerous Syrian cities that belonged to Ancient Egypt, intensifying the rivalry between the two major powers of the period. Muwatalli II is well remembered as the Hittite monarch who conquered Qadesh and turned it into a strategic location for the Hittites in Syria. This war, however, was not fought until 1274 B.C. between the newly appointed Pharaoh Ramses II and Muwatalli, who was still in power.

The Battle of Kadesh Facts

Battle of Kadesh Facts - Egypt Fun Tours

Egypt had 20,000 troops for this battle, divided into four military divisions named after gods: Amun, Ra, Ptah, and Seth. Chariots, archers, and Lancers made up these divisions. The Hittite country, for its part, assembled a 27,000-strong army after forming an alliance with twenty Syrian and Anatolian kingdoms in order to combat Egypt’s armed power. Ramses entered Syria with four divisions known as Amun, Ra, Ptah, and Seth, who were made up of Egyptian battalions, some ferocious black Nubian soldiers, and a huge force of Amorites who despised the Hittites. He arrived at Kadesh and flanked it from the west to the north, unknowing that the Hittites had done the same from the east to the south (along the eastern bank of the Orontes river).

The Hittite monarch Muwatalli displayed tremendous ingenuity by sending soldiers to be caught, assuring the Egyptians that the Hittites were further north. Rameses had rushed forward with the Amun and Ra divisions, ignoring the prudent advice of his officers, without waiting for the rest of his army. It was too late for Rameses to know the truth. He prepared the fortifications nervously while attempting to send messages to the Ptah and Seth divisions to hurry up the march. The Hittites, unlike the Egyptians, were extremely well organized and devised a strategy based on firm and concrete steps. They crossed the Orontes River from east to west, through southern Kadesh, and launched a devastating attack. The Egyptians barely managed to defend themselves, famished and exhausted from the march. The Ra section came under fire. Because the bodies of the Egyptian army of Ptah and Seth had not yet arrived, and the division Ra had been virtually destroyed, except for a portion of their chariots, King Muwatalli mobilizes a large number of chariots to the camp where Ramses II and his division Amun were reorganizing, this second attack seemed logical to tilt the battle in favor of the Hittites. Because the Egyptian army of Ptah and Seth has yet to arrive, and the division Ra has been virtually destroyed except for a few chariots, King Muwatalli mobilizes a large number of chariots to the camp where Ramses II and his division Amun are reorganizing, this second attack seemed logical to tilt the battle in favor of the Hittites. When the Hittite attack on the camp begins, it is reinforced with chariot and shield fragments, allowing a nearly unimpeded corridor for Egyptian soldiers and archers to approach the camp. Just at that time, a body of chariots known as Ne’arin arrives, and it’s unclear if it’s part of the division Seth or the amorous kingdoms of the Egyptians summoned by Ramses II. The reality is that they ambushed the Hittite chariots on the flank and tipped the fight in the Egyptians’ favor, but the conflict eventually resulted in a ceasefire, the famed Treaty of Kadesh, and a year-long peace.

The infantry resistance and the onslaught of the experienced Egyptian archers were successful in stopping the tired Hittite horses and men and forcing them to flee, resulting in a slaughter. Even though the Hittites lost the first battle and the element of surprise, there was still a battle ahead; they had only utilized a portion of their formidable chariots, and the infantry had not participated, and the cavalry had not appeared as a body of the army in those days.

The Battle of Kadesh’s Consequences

Approximately 5,000 Egyptians died as a result of this (both armies had about 20,000 men, which gives an idea of the tragedy). The Amun division, on the other hand, was in dire straits. Ptah and Seth’s divisions continued to advance, oblivious to the peril they were about to face. Also, regions ravaged by battle, communities, or small towns that were totally erased off the map (due to the military soldiers’ ravenous march, which razed them all to the ground), and so on. But, most significantly, a treaty: the Kadesh Treaty.

In the Battle of Kadesh, Ramses retreats.

Rameses fled south to Damascus after the fight, from whence he was compelled to return to Egypt without a victory and with significant material losses. This did not stop him from commissioning a beautiful epic poem (The Poem of Pentaur ), in which he depicts the fight as his own triumphant victory (which is false, as can be seen in the Hittite chronicles). Muwatal, on the other hand, decided not to prolong the battle and sent Rameses a peace offer. After some additional conflicts, the following peace pact would serve as the foundation for a later, more permanent accord, the Treaty of Kadesh, which would be signed by Hattusili III, not Muwatal. The Battle of Kadesh was the final significant battle between the Egyptians and the Hittites before they agreed not to enter each other’s zone of influence.

Kadesh Political Peace Treaty

Battle of Kadesh Political Peace Treaty - Egypt Fun Tours

The Treaty of Kadesh was a historic peace pact between Egypt and the Hittites Empire. It was the first documented peace treaty between two kingdoms in the history of mankind. After Muwatalli’s death, Hattusili III, Muwatalli II’s brother, was anointed as King of the Hittites 16 years after the fight. This agreement was meant to create new borders between the two countries, as well as their leaders’ commitments not to go to war with each other again and the establishment of a succession plan for both kingdoms’ thrones. With this Treaty, Egypt relinquished control of the city of Kadesh and the rest of the Litani Valley states, and it was established that, sometime after the signing of the peace treaty, King Ramses II married a princess of the Hittite people, in this case, Hattusili III’s daughter, to seal the agreement in a definitive way for both parties. Other versions, such as the set of clay tablets preserved at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, matching the Hittite version of the treatise, have also been passed down to us, inscribed on more horrible materials and having the same text. And there is no better way to witness the glory of King Ramses II at his miraculous temples at Abu Simbel and at Karnak and Luxor temples than boarding a Nile River Cruise or booking one of the best Egypt Tour Packages with the most trusted travel agent Egypt Fun Tours.


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