Apparently there existed in ancient Egypt 11 Pharaohs named Ramesses: Ramesses I, Ramesses II, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV, Ramesses V, Ramesses VI, Ramesses VII, Ramesses VIII, Ramesses IX, Ramesses X and Ramesses XI.
Wikipedia tells us: “Ramesses II (variously transliterated as “Rameses” (/ˈræməsiːz/) or “Ramses” (/ˈræmsiːz/ or /ˈræmziːz/); born c. 1303 BC; died July or August 1213 BC; reigned 1279–1213 BC), also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire. His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor”. Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan. He also led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein.”
Definition: There were many New Kingdom pharaohs named Ramses. The second Ramses, son of Seti I, is called Ramses the Great. Among his accomplishments, Ramses is said to have had more than 100 children with, among others, his two main wives Queens Nefertari and Asetnofret. Ramses II built a record number of monuments and won the Battle of Kadesh. The third pharaoh named Ramses fought off invasions of the Libyans and the Sea Peoples.
We’ve no idea where do these people get their names from. Now anybody in any street in Cairo would tell you the name is not Ramesses or Ramses but Rʻmassu.
The problem with these English, French, German, etc. archaeologists is that they don’t have in their languages a letter like ‘ayn’ (IPA ʻ) so they make their lives simple by changing the difficult letter to a common vowel like ‘a’.
What they don’t know is that the languages of ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Phoenicians, Amorites, and what have you, are built on bilaterals or mono syllabic root morpheme. When changing a single letter (like ʻ) they change 50% of the root.
If they didn’t change it, life would be very simple. The name “Ramesses or Ramses or Rʻmassu” is not a proper noun but a designatory description aimed at legalizing his rule. The exact meaning is “the one who’s anointed by God Rʻ (Ra)” and many followed with this anointment thing, also for legitimacy and antiquity.
So the name, like Khafra’s (ra = Rʻ), is a linguistic structure we called “Nucleitic Compound (NC)” made of two different roots:
1- Ra = Rʻ, 2- *MS. The two letters ‘s’ and ‘š’ (sh) are substituted in hundreds of words. Sometimes because ‘s’ is softer than ‘sh’ but in other times it was changed by priests to conceal its origin which is quite lowly. However, we need some background before we tell you why exactly and will keep you posted.
Until then, MŠ /*MS is a category with several meanings such as “to touch, to wipe, to clear” etc.
Linguistically speaking if somebody is to be “anointed” by Rʻ or a table to be wiped by my wife, the same word would be used ‘massah’ (‘h’ = IPA ‘ḥ’) “wipe” but the ‘s’ is converted from ‘sh’.
Image: “RamsesIIEgypt” by Hajor – Own work, Hajor.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RamsesIIEgypt.jpg#/media/File:RamsesIIEgypt.jpg