Humanities West Presents Ramses the Great
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Ramses the Great ruled Egypt more than 3,200 years ago, but he made sure we would still be talking about him today. He ruled for 67 years, probably starting on May 31st (III Season of the Harvest, day 27 to ancient Egyptians) in 1279 BC. He soon set about creating a new capital city in the Nile delta, where he had chariot, weapon and shield factories built. Not long thereafter he defeated the Sherden pirates who were seriously harassing sea traders in the Mediterranean, and "won" the Battle of Kadesh against the Hittites in the largest chariot battle ever fought. He also had enormous temples, obelisks and statues erected all over the New Kingdom, and ordered lots of gold objects.
Dozens of those objects are on display until February 12 at the de Young Museum in a state-of-the-art exhibit featuring the greatest collection of Ramses objects and Egyptian jewelry ever to travel to the United States. Along with colossal royal sculpture, the exhibit highlights recently discovered animal mummies and treasures from the royal tombs of Dahshur and Tanis. Visitors can also immerse themselves in multimedia productions that re-create moments from Ramses's life or take a virtual tour of Abu Simbel and Nefertari's tomb. The de Young's ancient art curator, Renée Dreyfus, will share with us the stories of some of these art objects and how the de Young organized this outstanding and rare exhibit.
Egyptologist Rita Lucarelli will explain the evolution of the funerary beliefs of ancient Egyptian society from their origins in prehistory to the time of Ramses. She will draw on her scholarly work on the Book of the Dead to discuss the magical texts found in royal and elite tombs and how they compare to the "personal piety" or "popular religion" of the Ramesside period, about which there are many sources to draw upon from that well-documented society.
Among those documents is the earliest known peace treaty in world history—between Ramses II and Hattušili III, the Hittite king. It was recorded in two versions―one in Egyptian hieroglyphs and the other in Hittite using a cuneiform script. The two versions are nearly identical, but in the Hittite version the Egyptians are the ones who sue for peace, while in the Egyptian version the Hittites are the ones who sue for peace. Some things never change.
This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. For online viewing, pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.
Safety Protocols for in-person attendance:
- We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
- We strongly recommend vaccination for guests, staff, and volunteers.
- Masks are strongly encouraged while indoors (if you do not have one and would like one, inquire at our front desk for a complimentary mask).
- We reserve the right to require different rules for specific events as necessary.
Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.
We welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our online programming.
A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.
All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.
The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
George and Judy Marcus Distinguished Curator, Curator in Charge, Ancient Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young / Legion of Honor
Associate Professor of Egyptology, Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of California, Berkeley; Faculty Curator of Egyptology, Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley; Fellow, Digital Humanities in Berkeley
Author, Conversations With Socrates—Moderator
4:15 p.m. doors open & check-in
5–7 p.m. program
(all times PDT)
Free for students (with valid I.D.)
Free for students (with valid I.D.)
-- Sent from my Linux system.
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