The second king of the Twentieth Dynasty, Rameses III has often been called ‘the last great pharaoh’. Coming to the throne after the civil conflicts of the late Nineteenth Dynasty, he consolidated the regime established by his father, Sethnakhte, embarked on a considerable programme of public works, and defended Egypt from the assaults of the Sea Peoples, who had previously devastated much of the eastern Mediterranean. But by the last few years of his reign, the Egyptian economy was in tatters, with even the royal tomb workmen striking for lack of pay. Against this background he fell victim to a palace conspiracy, his demise ushering the final decline and fall of the New Kingdom.


Prof Aidan Dodson has taught Egyptology at the University of Bristol, UK, since 1996, and has been Honorary Professor of Egyptology since 2018. He was Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo for the Spring of 2013, and Chairman of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2011 to 2016. His 24th book is Rameses III, King of Egypt: his life and afterlife (American University in Cairo Press, 2019).

This lecture is free to attend and no booking is necessary.