Notable Sandwiches #9: A Tale of Two…

Time hollows us all out in the end, grinds our legacies into dust. Percy Shelley did a rather famous riff on this timeless axiom, with his poem “Ozymandias”: vast and trunkless legs of stone, the whispering desert winds carrying off the once-omnipotent emperor’s mouthy little epitaph—look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair. But Ozymandias the historical figure is rather a curious choice to use to make this point. Ozymandias is his Greek name; he was known to his Egyptian subjects as Rameses II, or more commonly Rameses the Great, he was known as the “Great Ancestor” by his successor kings, and considered to be the most exalted and mightiest of all Ancient Egypt’s pharaohs. Three thousand, two hundred and thirty-three years ago, he was entombed, not under a broken statue, but in the Valley of Kings. His life and extensive military campaigns have been exhaustively documented, surviving in Greek, Hittite, Nubian, Punic and Egyptian sources from the time. His consort Nefertiti remains a worldwide symbol for alluring and sensual beauty; he built her tomb, which survives, along with the enormous and imposing temple at Abu Simbel.

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