Pharaoh Ramses IThe Pharaohs - The People
First Ruler of the Golden 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt
The future Pharaoh Ramses I was called Paramessu when he was born. He was born to a noble Military family who were based in the Nile Delta region of Egypt. We know that his father was called Seti, hence the name he later chose for his own son, but we do not have records for the name of his mother. His father, Seti was a Troop Commander, his Uncle, Khaemwaset was an Army Officer and was married to the Matron of the Harem of Amun, named Tamwadjesy. She in turn, was a relative of the Viceroy of Kush, named Huy. So, their family was well intermingled with the royals and nobles of the time.
Paramessu was married to a Noble woman called Tia and together they had the future Pharaoh Seti I. To learn more about Queen Sitra, click here.
Before coming to the Throne of Egypt at the end of his lifespan, Pharaoh Ramses I, was High Priest of Set and Vizier for Pharaoh Horemheb and so he was poised to take over power as Vizier’s are second only in terms of power to the Pharaoh, and the High Priests of any deity were imbued with their own power. For more information about Viziers, click here. It is quite possible that future Pharaoh Ramses I would have played a large part in assisting Pharaoh Horemheb with settling the nation after the turmoil caused by Pharaoh Akhenaten and his move to Amarna.
Pharaoh Horemheb’s own life was close to the one followed by Paramessu as he also worked his way up in the Army before becoming close to the Throne with Pharaoh Tutankhamun and eventually succeeding Pharaoh Ay. But Pharaoh Horemheb had no surviving children. This could be the reason why Pharaoh Horemheb chose to make Paramessu his heir as he had Administrative, Military and Religious experience and a surviving heir who also had his own heir. The future Pharaoh Seti I and the future Pharaoh Ramses II, respectively.
On reaching the Throne, Paramessu and Tia changed their names to Pharaoh Ramses I and Great Royal Wife, Queen Sitra, respectfully. Unfortunately, by this time, Pharaoh Ramses I was a fairly elderly man, so he only reigned for approx. 2 years before peacefully handing the Crowns of Egypt down to his son Pharaoh Seti I. This would have been seen as a relief to those who remembered the upheaval of the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten and then the removal of his policies under the reigns of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, Pharaoh Ay and Pharaoh Horemheb. Click here to learn more about this period.
Pharaoh Seti I erects a Shrine to Pharaoh Ramses I in his 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.