The Political Approach to the Classical World 39 lis great opportunity, and had to content himself with his policy Df encroaching on Egyptian territory in Syria, down to the borders of Palestine. When he died, in about 1350 B.C., his successors carried on his work, and it was left for the vigorous Pharaohs of the next dynasty to re-establish Egypt's position in Asia. Sethos I, in a series of brilliant campaigns, came into conflict with a Hittite confederation and defeated them more than once. His son Ramesses II advanced farther into Syria and met the coalition in the plain of Coele- Syria, between the mountains of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. Here at Kadesh on the Orontes was fought that great battle between the Egyptian army, with its auxiliaries from the still loyal Phoenician cities, and the Hittites with their host of allies from Asia Minor and Syria, which became an epic theme for the Egyptian court poets. Rashly advancing in divisions too widely spaced, Ramesses found himself ambushed near the city and cut off from the bulk of his army. But his bravery in charging the enemy, and the timely arrival of reinforcements from the coast, saved the situation. The battle was to neither side, though the Egyptians claimed to have routed their enemies, and the king caused long hymns of victory to be inscribed on the walls of his temples. Both nations were weary of the struggle and not long after, on the accession of a less bellicose king to the Hittite throne, hostilities came to an end. A treaty, of which we have both the Egyptian and the Hittite versions, was drawn up between Hattusil and Ramesses II, and cemented by vows of eternal friendship and the marriage of the Pharaoh to a Hittite princess. By the terms of the treaty the status quo was maintained—in writing at least. But there has been a tendency in recent years to underestimate the extent of Ramesses' achievement, and evidence has recently been accumulating that in reality much of Syria renewed its allegiance to Egypt not long after the battle of Kadesh. Centres of commercial activity, especially those on the Phoenician coast.