31 May: Ramesses The Great Propagandist

Becoming Pharaoh at the age of 24, Ramesses ‘The Great’ II had his coronation on 31st May, 1279 BC – a fact we know because he had it chiselled into stone. Repeatedly.

He lived until the age of 90 and reigned for 66 years – which gave him plenty of time to commission statues of himself, name towns after himself, and generally make sure that even in 2022 we have a reasonable idea of what he actually looked like. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain why he was so keen on commemorating his achievements; consider what he had in common with Donald Trump; and ask just how young is too young to inherit an Empire…

But the story of Ramesses doesn’t end with today’s episode…

… there’s also the mysterious tale of what happened when he was DUG UP over 3,000 years later – as Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal in today’s bonus bit, cut-for-time from the main show and exclusively available to supporters of the show. To hear it – and a bonus bit like it each and every week – subscribe to ‘The Bonus Pack’ on Apple Podcasts, or at https://patreon.com/Retrospectors. Thanks!

Further Reading:

• ‘Was Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II Really That Great?’ (History Extra, 2019):


• ‘Museum of the World: Statue of Ramesses II, The ‘Younger Memnon’’ (British Museum With Google): https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/object/statue-of-ramesses-ii-the-younger-memnon

• ‘Ramses, Master of Diplomacy: Lost Treasures of Egypt ‘ (National Geographic, 2021):