The Decline of the New Kingdom

ATTENTION: the students have their second Egypt test this Thursday, October 29. They have received their study guide. Please make sure that they are studying.

Ramses II (r. 1279-1213 BC) was the last great pharaoh of Egyptian civilization. Like other great pharaohs before him, his greatness was attributed to his efforts to expand the empire’s territory and to his commitment to monument building. With the exception of Ramses III (r. 1186-1155 BC), the subsequent pharaohs of the New Kingdom would be middling, ineffectual leaders, incapable of governing Egypt’s domestic affairs, and Egypt would never again be the international power that it was during its zenith. Without the absolute, centralizing power that pharaohs in the past had used to keep Egypt from splintering, the nation was subjected to internal strife. In what is called the Third Intermediate Period, Egypt, as in times past, was split between the North and South, with the high priests of Amen-Re ruling from the South and Libyan kings ruling from the North.