Pharaoh. The second pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty, he ruled Egypt from about 1183 to 1154 BC. In year 8 of his reign, the Sea Peoples obliterated the Hittite Empire and invaded Egypt. Ramses III defeated them in two great battles but financially strapped his empire in the process. The first labor strike in recorded history occurred during the 29th year of Ramses' reign. He built additions to the temples at Luxor and Karnak, and his funerary temple and administrative complex at Medinet-Habu is still one of the largest and best preserved in Egypt. Ramses reconstructed the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak on the foundations of an earlier temple of Amenhotep III and completed the Temple of Medinet Habu around year 12 of his reign. Most significantly, perhaps, was an widespread conspiracy against the pharaoh which originated in the rivalry between his chief wives Isis and Tiye, both of whom wanted their sons to succeed. Tiye and her son, Pentawere, seven royal butlers, two treasury overseers, two army standard bearers, two royal scribes, and a herald were all involved in the assassination plot. Because the body of Ramses III shows no obvious wounds, it is unsure as to whether the plot succeeded, but he certainly did not long survive the conspirators. There is a theory that poison was the cause of his death as his mummy included an amulet to protect him from poison in the afterlife. About forty conspirators were arrested, the lesser ranking among them were condemned and burned alive, their ashes scattered in the streets. Higher placed conspirators, including Pentawere, were apparently given the option of committing suicide in order to preserve their bodies for the afterlife. The pharaoh died after a reign of 31 years and was considered the last of the great pharaohs. His mummy was discovered in 1886 and his tomb, KV11, is one of the largest in the Valley of the Kings. His name has also been written as Ramesses or Ramses.
Bio by: Iola