ARCE Northern CA: Ramses II and the Hittite Empire: War & Peace in the Late Bronze Age

Presented by: Dr. Peter Brand

  • 3:00 PM PTNorthern California
  • UC BerkeleyRoom 126 Social Sciences Building (formerly Barrows Hall)
    Berkeley, California
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Lecture Information

Ramesses II was both a great warrior and visionary statesman. For two decades, he fought the mighty Hittite Empire for control of Syria including the famous Battle of Kadesh. His military campaigns were the culmination of over six decades of hostilities between these ancient superpowers. Yet Ramesses had the vision to make a lasting peace with Egypt’s bitter rival, when he concluded a treaty in his twenty-first regnal year with his Hittite counterpart Hattusili III. A remarkable cache of diplomatic letters, second only to the famous Amarna Letters, offers a fascinating glimpse of the pharaoh’s boisterous and often tense diplomatic exchanges with Hattusili III with his formidable consort, the Hititte Queen Puduhepa. Fifteen years later, Ramesses negotiated with Pudahepa to marry a Hittite princess. His lively debates with the Hittite king and queen reveal a very different Ramesses II than God-king and warrior pharaoh we see on his documents. 

Speaker Bio

Dr. Peter Brand is a Canadian Egyptologist from Toronto and naturalized American citizen. He is a Professor of Ancient History in the Department of History at the University of Memphis. Since 2001 Dr. Brand has served as the Director of the Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project sponsored by the University of Memphis, which aims to record and publish all the monumental inscriptions and reliefs from this huge building. 

Dr. Brand studied at the University of Texas at Arlington and University of Memphis before completing his PhD in Ancient Egyptian Language and Literature at the University of Toronto in 1998. His dissertation, The Monuments of Seti I: Epigraphic, Historical, and Art Historical Analysis, was published by Brill in 2000. Dr. Brand’s area of focus in Egyptology is the history and culture of the New Kingdom, particularly the late 18th Dynasty and Ramesside Period. In his research and teaching he uses a multi-disciplinary approach that integrates history, art history, language, and epigraphy.