Pharaoh Seti IThe Pharaohs - The People
Father to the Infamous Pharaoh Ramses II or Ramses the Great, was it Seti who taught Ramses how to be a great Pharaoh?
Pharaoh Seti I
Born: Approx. 1323BC
Died: Approx. 1279BC
Reigned for: 11 years
Throne Name: Menma’atre “Eternal is the Justice of Re”
Regnal Name: Seti Merenptah “Man of Set, beloved of Ptah”
Capital City: Memphis
Known for: Restoring an effective Foreign Policy; implementing a stronger and more organised military presence after the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten; his monuments in Abydos, Karnak and the Valley of the Kings
Seti was the son of Pharaoh Ramses I and his Great Royal Wife, Queen Sitre, the first royal couple of the 19th Dynasty. Crown Prince Seti was married to Tuya who was not from Royal Blood. She was the daughter of Raia and Ruyya. Raia was a highly ranked Military Leader within Egypt, holding the title Lieutenant of the Chariotry. So, both their fathers were from a Military background and it could be conceived that Seti and Tuya may well have known each other when they were younger through their families. To learn more about Queen Tuya, click here.
The couple had 4 children together:
- Ramses, the future Pharaoh Ramses II, to learn about the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II, click here
Pharaoh Seti I inherited the Throne from his father, Pharaoh Ramses I, and is generally considered by Egyptologists to be the greatest ruler of the 19th Dynasty, despite his son’s title as Pharaoh Ramses the Great! Unfortunately, Seti died before he could outshine his son’s immense building projects, and this is how Ramses is the greater-known Pharaoh of this period.
Pharaoh Seti I’s primary Task was to reassert Egypt’s presence as an Empire through the Foreign Policy and a rejuvenated Military.
Regnal Year 1
Pharaoh took his military and moved along the Horus Military Road which led, along the coast, from the north eastern corner of the Nile Delta to Canaan and was dotted throughout with Military Forts and Garrisons, each of which had their own internal Well for water. Egyptologists are aware of these details due to Reliefs that Pharaoh commissioned on the Northern Wall of the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. This was a strategic move for a newly crowned Pharaoh in order to “sure up” his weakest link. Pharaoh Akhenaten had lost Egypt’s grasp over the Hittite’s after the death of his mother left the Foreign Policy of Egypt is very less capable hands and they were now encroaching into Egypt’s lands more frequently and with more voracity. To learn more about this period, click here and scroll down to the Reign of a new Pharaoh section.
During his Campaign down the Horus Military Road, Pharaoh and his Army met and fought with local Shasu Bedouins; then in Canaan he captured the City States of Yenoam and Beth Shan; and on into Lebanon where the local Chieftains handed Pharaoh valuable Cedar Wood as a tribute to him. Egyptologists are aware of all these details due to Stelae that Pharaoh had commissioned in these Cities.
His main foe in this regard was that of the Hittite Empire and concentrating the attack on the now Syrian town of Kadesh, their Capital. His Military Campaign was successful in reclaiming the City and with his son, Crown Prince Ramses II, they entered the city triumphantly. He went on to regain most of the land that Egypt had lost during the reigns of Pharaoh Akhenaten, his son Pharaoh Tutankhamun, and Pharaoh Ay through his phenomenally successful Military Campaigns. For more information about Egypt’s ongoing dealings with the Hittite Empire, click here.
Pharaoh Seti I’s Military successes were recorded throughout Egypt in massive Reliefs on Temple Walls.
Regnal Year 3 or 4
Pharaoh defeated the Libyan Tribesmen who penetrated Egypt’s border to the West although this would only force them to regroup and play havoc during the reigns of Pharaoh’s grandson and later.
Regnal Year 8
Pharaoh sent his son, Crown Prince Seti I, with the Egyptian Army to put down a revolt in Nubia.
Regnal Year 9
Pharaoh personally opened a new Quarry at Aswan and commissioned them to hew massive Statues and Obelisks for his use at Temples throughout Egypt. Regrettably these were not completed by the time of his death in Regnal Year 11, and most were finished by his son, Pharaoh Ramses II, during the first year of his reign.
It appears that Pharaoh Seti I died of old age or at least natural causes. He was buried by his son and wife in the Valley of the Kings, in Tomb KV17. To visit the Tomb, click here.
Tuya out lived her husband and continued as a solid influence at the court of her son, Pharaoh Ramses II. It is known that she was often called on to act as Regent when Pharaoh and his Great Royal Wife, Nefertari, were away from the Royal Capital.
To learn about many of the Monuments that Pharaoh Seti I created during his reign, see below.
Temple to the Goddess Hathor, Deir el Medina
Additions to Karnak Temple
Pharaoh’s Theban Mortuary Temple
Pharaoh Seti I constructed 2 Mortuary Temples. The First was in Abydos, see below, and the Second is on the Theban Necropolis but it is nowhere near as complex as Mortuary Temples were in this period.
That may have been due to Pharaoh’s short reign. Meaning that he did not have the time to complete this Mortuary Temple to its full extent and it may have been his son, Pharaoh Ramses II, completed this Mortuary Temple on his father’s behalf.
As Pharaoh Seti I’s father, Pharaoh Ramses I, failed to erect any sort of Mortuary Temple during his short reign, it appears that Pharaoh Seti I decided to dedicate one of the Chambers inside the Temple to his father as a Shrine.
Regrettably, most of this Theban Mortuary Temple is now under the modern town of Qurna and the remains are ruins.