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Canaan, Retenu and Nahrin

Ramses II: The reconquest of Canaan

The indecisive outcome of the battle of Kadesh and the retreat of the Egyptian forces caused a rash of rebellions in Canaan, supported by the Hittites. In the eighth year of his reign Ramses II retook the towns of Galilee one by one. Eighteen fortresses, among them Acre, Meron, Asher and Saturna in the Lebanon were taken by assault. So is the
wretched town of Askalon, which has rebelled, but is glad to submit again
in the South of the country and
Dapur in the land of Amurru in the neighbourhood of Tunep
in the North. Ramses reconquered Canaan up to Kadesh in a short time.

During later (undated) campaigns, Tunep was retaken and Egyptian lists mention Nahrina, the lower Retenu, Arvad and Qatna among the conquered nations. Likewise it seems that at about this time Ramses, like Thutmose III before him, received gifts from Sengar, Assyria, Alasya and others which were thus considered to be tributary peoples, in accordance with Egyptian tradition.

After curbing the Hittites in Canaan, Ramses did his best to foment unrest among his enemies, such as giving support to Mursili III, the son of Muwatalli, who he had been deposed by his uncle, Hattusili III, first financially and later by granting him asylum.


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