THE KADESH BATTLE INSCRIPTION OF KING RAMSES II
Quotes from the Poem of Victory, part I
IMAGE : Statue of King Ramses II crowned with the Khepresh, the “Blue Crown of War”,
and holding the Heqa-scepter in His right hand; Egyptian Museum, Torino
“His majesty was a youthful lord,
active and without His like;
His arms mighty, His heart stout,
His strength like Montu in His hour.
of perfect form like Atum,
hailed when His beauty is seen;
Victorious over all lands,
Wily in launching a fight.
Strong wall around His soldiers,
Their shield on the day of battle;
a bowman without His equal,
Who prevails over vast numbers.
Head on He charges a multitude,
His heart trusting His strength;
Stout-hearted in the hour of combat,
like the Flame when it consumes.
Firm-hearted like a bull ready for battle,
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.
Who goes forth in valour, returns in triumph,
looking straight and free of boasting;
Firm in conduct, good in planning,
Whose first response is ever right.
Who saves His troops on battle day,
greatly aids His charioteers;
brings home His followers, rescues His soldiers,
with a heart that is like a mountain of copper:
The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, UserMaatRa-SetepenRa,
The Son of Ra, Ramses, Beloved of Amon”
THE KADESH BATTLE INSCRIPTION OF KING RAMSES II-
Quotes from the Poem of Victory, part II
‘Then His Majesty drove at a gallop and charged the forces of the foe from Khatti,
being alone by himself, none other with him.
His Majesty proceeded to look about him and found 2,500 chariots ringing him on his way out,
of all the fast troops of the foe from Khatti and the many countries with him-Arzawa, Masa, Pidasa,
Keshkesh Irun, Kizzawadna, Khaleb, Ugarit, Kadesh and Luka,
three men to a team acting together.’
Words of King Ramses II:
“No officer was with me, no charioteer,
no soldier of the army, no shield-bearer;
my infantry, my chariotry yielded before them,
not one of them stood firm to fight with them.
I call to Thee, my father Amon,
I am among a host of strangers;
all countries are arrayed against me,
I am alone, there’s none with me!
My numerous troops have deserted me,
not one of my chariotry looks for me;
I keep on shouting for them,
but none of them heeds my call.
I know Amon helps me more than a million troops,
more than a hundred thousand charioteers,
more than ten thousand brothers and sons who are united as one heart.
The labours of many people are nothing,
Amon is more helpful than they;
I came here by the command of Your mouth,
O Amon, I have not transgressed Your command!
Now though I prayed in the distant land,
My voice resounded in Southern Heliopolis (Thebes, Diospolis Megale).
I found Amon came when I called to Him,
He gave me His hand and I rejoiced.
He called from behind as if nearby:
‘Forward, I am with you,
I, your father, my hand is with you,
I prevail over a hundred thousand men,
I am the Lord of Victory, and the Lover of Valor!’
I found my heart stout, my breast in joy,
all I did succeeded, I was like Montu.
I shot on my right, grasped with my left,
I was before them like Seth in His moment.
I found the mass of chariots in whose midst I was
scattering before my horses;
not one of them found his hand to fight,
their hearts failed in their bodies through fear of me.
Their arms all slackened, they could not shoot,
they had no heart to grasp their spears;
I made them plunge into the water as crocodiles plunge,
they fell on their faces one on the other.
I slaughtered among them at my will,
Not one looked behind him,
Not one turned around,
Whoever fell down did not rise.”