But the Rameseum, or Memnonium, was his greatest architectural work, approached by an avenue of sphinxes and obelisks, in the centre of which was the great statue of Ramesis himself, sixty feet high, carved from a single stone of the red granite of Syene.
The third king of this dynasty—Ramesis III.—built palaces and tombs scarcely inferior to any of the Theban kings, but under his successors the Theban power declined. Under the twenty-first dynasty, which began B.C. 1085, Lower Egypt had a new capital, Zoan, and gradually extended its power over Upper Egypt.
And jest under you as you look down, you see the ruff of the Egyptian Museum where the body of Ramesis lays, once rulin' with a high hand he and his folks, as many as a dozen of 'em, over all the land our stranger eyes looked down on. But now they're nothin' but a side show, as you may say in a museum.
He built the famous “Hall of Columns,” in the temple of Karnak, and the finest of the tombs of the Theban kings. On the walls of this great temple are depicted his conquests, especially over the Hittites. But the glories of the monarchy, now decidedly military, culminated in Ramesis II.—the Sesostris of the Greeks.
Farewell Osiris, Anubis and Set, Horus and Ra, and gentle Meskenhet, Ye sacred gods of old, O must we leave you yet? The mighty works of Ramesis the Great, Memphis, Karnak and Thebes asseverate The pomp and glory, Egypt, of your ancient state. Bright cloudless land! Your skies of heavenly blue Bend o'er your fellaheen the whole day through; Night scarce diminishes their sweet celestial hue.
In 215 years, they became exceedingly numerous, but were doomed, on the change of dynasty which placed Ramesis on the throne, to oppressive labors. Joseph died at the age of 110—eighty years after he had become governor of Egypt. In his latter years the change in the Egyptian dynasty took place.