Egyptian Society during the Ramesside period, Dynasties XIX and XX

- Syllabus Content - Map - Pharaohs -

Religion, death and burial

4.6 Temples: architecture and function: Karnak, Luxor, the Ramesseum, Medinet Habu

See also Nicole Pan.'s presentation for this topic

Photographs and some information for each of these sites can be accessed at the Digital Imaging Project, Bluffton University.
Wikipedia: - This page has links to Wikipedia entries on Karnak, the Ramesseum and Medinet Habu

Tour Egypt website has excellent articles on each of these:

For each site:
  • find when and by whom it was built
  • outline the purpose and function of the site
  • describe the main architectural features

The following is an extract from Diodorus Siculus (Book I, XLVII, 4) which provided the inspiration for Shelley's sonnet "Ozymandias".
And it is not merely for its size that this work merits approbation, but it is also marvellous by reason of its artistic quality and excellent because of the nature of the stone, since in a block of so great a size there is not a single crack or blemish to be seen. The inscription upon it runs: "King of Kings am I, Osymandyas. If anyone would know how great I am and where I lie, let him surpass one of my works."

And here is the sonnet:


I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley – 1792-1822