Nubiana

Ramesses II divided the army into two contingents: one, perhaps smaller and made up of his Syro-Pal- estinian allies, was sent along the coast. The oth- er, divided into 4 divisions (Amun, Re, Ptah and Seth divisions), under the direct leadership of the pha- raoh and confident of an easy victory, marched in- land. According to Egyptian estimates, the Hittites (with 2,500 chariots and 37,000 soldiers) outnum- bered the Egyptians two to one, and King Muwatalli II (1295-1272 BC), who led them, had arranged them into a single force. After about a month’s journey into Syria, Ramesses II, at the head of the Amun di- vision, pitched camp near the enemy city of Kadesh. Assured by some locals (later revealed to be Hittite spies) that the enemy was far away, he decided to besiege the city the following day. But it was soon discovered that Muwatalli was stationed nearby with his army, ready to attack the Egyptians, while the other Egyptian divisions were still marching to join the rest of the army. The Re division, which was nearest, was immediately wiped out. It was there- fore unable to join up with the division that had al- ready pitched camp, which had to face the enemy on its own. The battle began favorably for the Hit- tites who ambushed the enemy. But later, owing to the providential – although expected – arrival of the forces originally sent along the coast, the Egyptians were able to counterattack effectively. The battle eventually ended the following day, after the arriv- al of the remaining Egyptian forces, in a stalemate. However, considering his army’s own losses and the presence of a huge enemy contingent, Ramesses II decided to withdraw leaving the region under Hittite control. The hostile atmosphere continued until the Egyptians and Hittites signed a definitive and endur- ing peace treaty about sixteen years later (1259 BC). II “He heeds not all the lands combined; a thousand men cannot withstand him, a hundred thousand fail at his sight. Lord of fear, great of fame, in the hearts of all the lands; great of awe, rich in glory, as is Seth upon his mountain; [casting fear] in foreigners’ hearts, like a wild lion in a valley of goats.” POEM ON THE BATTLE OF KADESH , NEW KINGDOM

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy MTI4OTY=