Ozymandias is identified as the 13th century BCE pharaoh Ramesses II. The poem was inspired by a passage by Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, which described an inscription on a huge Egyptian statue: "King of Kings Ozymandias am I. If any want to know how great I am and where I lie, let him outdo me in my work." Both Shelley and a friend, Horace Smith, chose the passage as the basis for a poem. Shelley's caught a wider imagination and is better known.