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The Egyptian Version of the Peace Treaty of Ramses II with Hattusilis of Kadesh
The Poem of Pentaur
Cuneiform Version
Hieroglyphic Version
Ramses II Version
The Hittites
Excerpts of the Peace Treaty of Ramses II
as found on the walls of the Karnak Temple of Amon in Egypt. A clay copy of the Babylonian version was found in Asia Minor.

A. The Literary Record


Here beginneth THE VICTORY OF THE KING OF UPPER AND LOWER EGYPT USIMARE`RE`SETPENRE`, the Son of RE`RA`MESSE-MIAMUN, given life eternally, which he achieved in the land of Khatti, Nahrin, in the land of Arzawa, in Pidasa, in the land of Dardany, in the land of Masa, in the land of Karkisha and Luka, in Carchemish, Kedy, [the] land of Kadesh, in the land of Ugarit, Mushanet. Now his majesty was a youthful lord, active and without his peer; his arms powerful, his heart stout, his strength like Mont at his moment; goodly of form like Atum, one rejoices at seeing his beauty; great of victory over all foreign countries, one knows not when he will begin to fight; a strong wall about his army, their shield on the day of fighting; a bowman without his like; he is braver than hundreds of thousands combined; going ahead and entering in among multitudes, his heart trusting in his strength; powerful of heart in the hour of close combat; like a fir at its time of consuming; firm of heart like a bull ready upon the battlefield; he cares not for all lands combined; a thousand men are unable to stand firm before him; hundreds of thousands are discomfitted at beholding him; inspiring fear; loud of roarings in the hearts of all lands; great of majesty and powerful of renown like Sutekh; ... in the hearts of foreigners; like a savage lion in the valley of desert animals; advancing bravely and returning (only) when he has triumphed face to face; not speaking boastfully; effective of counsel and good of plan; one finds (what one needs) through his first reply; saving his army on the day of fighting; [great protector of] his chariotry; bringing (home) his followers and King of Upper and Lower Egypt Usimare`- setpenre`, the Son of Re`,Ra`messe-miamun, given life.

Now His Majesty had made ready his infantry and his chariotry, and the Sherden of His Majesty's capturing whom he had brought back by the victory of his strong arm; supplied with all their weapons, and the plan of fighting having been given to them. His Majesty journeyed northward, his infantry and his chariotry with him, and he made a good beginning upon the march in Year 5, second month of the summer season, day 9. His majesty passed the fortress of Tjel, being powerful like Mont in his going forth, all foreign countries trembling before him and their chiefs bringing their gifts, all those who were disaffected being come bowing down through fear of His Majesty's might. His army went along the narrow defiles like one which is upon the roads of Egypt. Now when days had passed over these things His Majesty was in Ra`messe-miamun, the town which is in the Valley of the Cedar. And His Majesty proceeded northward. But when His Majesty had reached the hill country of Kadesh, then His Majesty went ahead like Mont, the lord of Thebes,and he crossed the ford of the `rnt' [10] with the first army of Amun-gives-victory-to- Usima`re-setpenre`. His Majesty arrived at the town of Kadesh, and now the wretched Fallen one of Kadesh was come and had collected together all the foreign countries as far as the end of the sea; the entire land of Khatti was come, that of Nahrin likewise, that of Arzawa, Dardany, that of Karkisha, Luka, Kizzuwadna, Carchemish, Ugarit, Kedy, the entire land of Nukhashshe, Mushanet, Kadesh; he left no foreign country not to bring it of every distant land, their chiefs there with him; every man with his infantry and their chariotry exceeding many, without limit of the like of them. They covered mountains and valleys and they were like the locust by reason of their multitude. He left no silver in his land, he stripped it of all its possessions and gave them to all the foreign countries in order to bring them with him to fight.

Now the wretched one of Khatti, together with many foreign countries which were with him, stood concealed and ready to the northeast of the town of Kadesh, but His Majesty was alone by himself with his followers, the army of Amun marching after him, the army of Pre` crossing the ford in the neighborhood south of the town of Shabtuna at a distance of 1 iter from where His Majesty was, the army of Ptah being to the south of the town of Aronama, and the army of Sutekh marching along the road, and His town of Aronama, and the army of Sutekh marching along the road, and His Majesty had made the first battle-force out of all the leaders of his army, and they were upon the shore of the land of Amor. But the wretched Chief of Khatti stood in the midst of the army which was with him and did not come out to fight through fear of His Majesty. But he had sent men and horses exceeding many and multitudionous like the sand, and they were three men on a chariot and they were equipped with all weapons of warfare. They had been made to stand concealed behind the town of Kadesh, and now they came forth from the south side of Kadesh and broke into (?) the army of Pre` in its midst as they were marching and did not know nor were they prepared to fight.

Thereupon the infantry and the chariotry of His Majesty were discomfited before them, but His Majesty stood firm to the north of the town of Kadesh an the western side of the `r-n-t' [see reference to 1)]. Then they came to tell it to His Majesty. Then His Majesty appeared in glory like his father Mont, he assumed the accoutrements of battle, and girded himself with his corslet, he was like Ba`al in his hour, the great horse which bore His Majesty being Victory-in-Thebes of the great stable of Usimare`re`-setpenre`, beloved of Amun. After much self praise it goes on................

Thereupon the wretched chief of Khatti sent and did homage to my name like that of Re', saying `Thou art Sutekh, Ba'al in person. The dread of thee is a brand in the land of Khatti.' Then he caused to come his envoy bearing a letter in his hand in the great name of My Majesty, of the Residence of Re'-Harakhati The-Strong-Bull- beloved-of-Truth, sovereign who protects his army, mighty on account of his strong arm, a wall for his soldiers on the day of fighting, the King of Upper and LowerEgypt Usimare`re`-setpenre`, the Son of Re`, lion lord of the strong arm Ra`messe-miamun, given life eternally. `Thy servant speaks and causes it to be known that thou art the Son of Re who came forth from his body. He has given to thee all lands combined in one place. As for the land of Egypt and the land of Khatti, thine they are, thy servants, they are under thy feet. Pre` thy noble father has given them to thee. Prevail not over us. Behold, thy might is great, thy strength is heavy upon the land of Khatti. Is it good that thou killest thy servants, thy face savage towards them, and hast no pity? See, thou didst spend yesterday killing hundreds of thousands. Thou art come today and hast left no heirs. Be not hard in thy dealings, victorious king. Peace is better than fighting. Give us breath.

...... Then Thy Majesty gave command to hearken to his words and I made a move peacefully southwards.His Majesty turned back in peace to Egypt together with his infantry and his chariotry, all life, stability and dominion being with him,.........

Reaching Egypt in peace to Pi-Ra`messe-miamun-Great- of-Victories, and resting in his palace of life and dominion like Re` who is in his horizon, the gods of this land coming to him worshipping and saying, `Welcome, our beloved son, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Usima`re`-setpenre`, the Son of Re`Ra`messe-miamun and they gave to him millions of Sed-festivals forever on the throne of Re`, all the lands and all the foreign countries being fallen prostrate beneath his sandals for eternity and everlasting.
[For a technical treatment of the `Peace Treaty' see S. Langdon & Alan Gardiner, The Treaty of Alliance Between Hattusili, King of the Hittites, and the Pharaoh Ramses II of Egypt, JEA, Vol. VI, 1920.] The End

Notes & References

[10] In conventional history `r-n-t' is interpreted to be `Orontes'. We must remember that in the Papyrus Sallier dealing with the same campaign the river's name is given as `n-r-t' and that the designations ``r-n-t', `n-r-t', and `p-n-r-t' are found in numerous hieroglyphic documents and could mean either Orontes or Euphrates. We must also remember that the `Orontes river' was called `Typhon' before the 4th century BC according to Strabo, `Geography', transl. M.L.Jones, Vol. XVI, 750.
[Hogarth, `Carchemish', Pt. 1, p.2, 4; Alexander Drummond, Travels...as Far as the Banks of the Euphrates (London, 1754)]
A discussion of this relief carving may be found in `Biblical Archaeology', Sep/Oct 1990. The evidence for Merneptah's Palestinian ventures come from Karnak where Frank Yurko found the cartouche of Amenmesse (Amasis II, about 558-525 BC) superimposed over that of Ramses II and his again superimposed by Seti II (Psammetichus II, for 6 months in 525 BC ) The battle scene of Kadesh/Carchemish carved by the artists of Ramses II also was replaced by those of Merneptah/Hophra against Ashkelon by plastering over those of Ramses II and carving his own there. But the most telling detail of the covered up battle scene of Ramses II are the remaining wavy lines indicating water which Amasis and Seti II did not destroy in their changeover.

Water Wheels on the Orontes River by Hamath show it was not much more than a miller's stream. This color enhanced image of the Orontes River at Hamath shows it was not much more than a miller's stream and not the size of a river which would deter the Egyptian army from any battle or escape plans. Egyptians knew large rivers, their own Nile was to them an example of a river, not the Orontes. A river is smaller the closer one gets to its source depending on the number and size of contributory rivers. Hamath was further down-stream than Riblah and therefore the river was probably even smaller at Riblah.

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