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The Literature of Ancient Egypt

The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, and Poetry

Edited and with an introduction by WILLIAM KELLY SIMPSON
Robert K. Ritner
William Kelly Simpson
Vincent A. Tobin
Edward F. Wente
Copyright Date: 2003
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 624
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vm2m5
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  • Book Info
    The Literature of Ancient Egypt
    Book Description:

    The latest edition of this highly praised anthology of ancient Egyptian literature offers fresh translations of all the texts as well as some twenty-five new entries, including writings from the late literature of the Demotic period at the end of classical Egyptian history. The book also includes an extensive bibliography.Praise for the earlier editions:"An elegant, easily readable, and most serviceable volume."-K. A. Kitchen,Journal of Near Eastern Studies"A reliable rendering of the Egyptian text that can be useful to students of Egyptology and provide the layman with delightful reading material."-Mordechai Gilula,Cultura

    eISBN: 978-0-300-12856-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-X)
  3. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. XI-XIV)
  4. Illustrations
    (pp. None)
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)
    William Kelly Simpson

    We are reasonably familiar with the art and architecture of ancient Egypt, with the pyramids and sphinx, the great temples of Karnak, Luxor, Edfu, Dendereh, and the wall reliefs and paintings in the chapels of the mastabas of the Old Kingdom and in the tombs of the nobles of the New Kingdom at Thebes. The tomb equipment of Tutankhamun and the head of Queen Nefertiti are well known and can be appreciated through color photography. The visual aspects of Egypt of the pharaohs have now become part of our heritage.

    Yet its no less remarkable literature is still relatively unknown...

  6. PART I NARRATIVES AND TALES OF MIDDLE EGYPTIAN LITERATURE

    • KING CHEOPS AND THE MAGICIANS
      (pp. 13-24)

      [… His Majesty] / the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khufu (Cheops), the vindicated, [said: Let there be given…], one hundred jugs of beer, an ox, [… to] the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Djoser, the vindicated, [and may there be given…], a haunch of beef, [… to the lector priest…]. [For I] have seen an example of his wisdom. And [they] did according to [everything which His Majesty] commanded.¹

      The king’s son Khaefre (Chephren) arose [to speak, and he said: I should like to relate to Your Majesty] another marvel, one which happened in the time of,...

    • THE TALE OF THE ELOQUENT PEASANT
      (pp. 25-44)

      There was once a man whose name was Khunanup. He was a peasant of Sekhet-Hemat,¹ and he had a wife named Merit. Now this peasant said to his wife, “Behold, I am going down to Egypt in order to bring provisions from there for my children. Go and measure for me the barley which is in the storehouse, that which remains from last year’s barley.” (His wife did as he had requested),² and then he set out for her six measures of barley. / Then the peasant said to his wife, “Behold, (there are) twenty measures of barley as food...

    • THE SHIPWRECKED SAILOR
      (pp. 45-53)

      Then the able retainer spoke: Be of good cheer, commander; We have now reached home.

      The mallet has been taken off, the mooring post driven in, The bowline cast ashore.

      Praise has been offered, and God has been thanked.

      Every man embraces his comrade.

      Our shipmates have returned safe Without loss to our expedition.

      After we reached the limits of Wawat, We passed the island of Senmet.¹

      See us now, we are returning safely, And we are reaching our land.

      Listen now to me, commander, I do not exaggerate.

      Wash up, place water on your fingers So you can reply...

    • THE STORY OF SINUHE
      (pp. 54-66)

      The hereditary noble and commander, warden and district officer of the estates of the sovereign in the lands of the Asiatics,¹ this truly beloved royal acquaintance, the follower Sinuhe, said:

      I was a follower who followed his lord, a servant of the king’s harem and of the hereditary princess, greatest of praise, wife of [King] Senwosret in Khnumet-sut and daughter of [King] Amenemhet in Ka-nofru, Nofru, the possessor of an honored state.²

      Year 30, month 3 of Akhet, day 7. The God ascended to his horizon, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sehetepibre. He penetrated the sky, being joined...

  7. PART II LATE EGYPTIAN STORIES

    • THE QUARREL OF APOPHIS AND SEKNENRE
      (pp. 69-71)

      It came to pass that the land of Egypt was in misery, as there was no Lord, l.p.h., (functioning) ⟨as⟩ a (proper) king of the time. It happened that¹ King Seknenre, l.p.h., was (but) Ruler, l.p.h., of the Southern City,² and misery was in the city of ⌜the Asiatics⌝,³ while Prince Apophis, l.p.h., was in Avaris, and the entire land paid tribute to him, delivering their taxes in full as well as bringing all good produce of Egypt.

      So King Apophis, l.p.h., adopted Seth for himself as lord, and he refused to serve any god that was in the entire...

    • THE CAPTURE OF JOPPA
      (pp. 72-74)

      […] 220+ Maryan-warriors¹ […] them ⌜like⌝ baskets [… replied] to Djehuty, “Let him be [given] 100+ [soldiers]² ⟨from⟩ the garrison of Pharaoh, l.p.h.” […] their faces.³

      Now after a time they were intoxicated, and Djehuty said to [the Rebel of Joppa, “I shall deliver] myself along with (my) wife and children ⟨unto⟩ your city for yourself personally. Let the / gro[oms] drive in [the chariot horses a]nd have fodder [giv]en to them; otherwise an Apir may pass by [and steal one of] them.”⁴ So the chariot horses were secured and given fodder. And [… the great baton of] King Menkheperre,...

    • THE TALE OF THE DOOMED PRINCE
      (pp. 75-79)

      Once upon a time there was a king, so the story goes, to whom no son had ever been born. [But when His Majesty, l.p.h., re]quested a son for himself from the gods of his time, they ordered a birth to be granted him, and he went to bed with his wife that night. Now when she [had become] pregnant and had completed the months of childbearing, a son was born.

      Presently the Hathors¹ came to determine a fate for him and said, “He shall die through a crocodile, or a snake, or even a dog.” So the people who...

    • THE TALE OF THE TWO BROTHERS
      (pp. 80-90)

      Once upon a time there were two brothers, so the story goes, having the same mother and the same father. Anubis was the name of the elder, and Bata was the name of the younger. Now as for Anubis, he [possessed] a house and had a wife, [and] his younger brother was just like a son to him, so that it was he (Anubis) who made clothes for him while he (Bata) followed after his cattle to the fields, since it was he who had to plow. It was he who reaped for him, and it was [he] who did...

    • THE CONTENDINGS OF HORUS AND SETH
      (pp. 91-103)

      [There came to pass] the adjudication of Horus and Seth, mysterious in (their) forms and mightiest of the princes and magnates who had ever come into being. Now it was a young [god] that was seated¹ in the presence of the Universal Lord, claiming the office of his father Osiris, beautiful in (his) appearances, the [son of Pt]ah, who illumines [the west with] his [shee]n, while Thoth was presenting the sound Eye to the great prince who is in Heliopolis. Then said Shu, the son of Re, in the presence of [Atum], the great [prince] who is in Heliopolis, “Justice...

    • THE BLINDING OF TRUTH BY FALSEHOOD
      (pp. 104-107)

      [… / and … ] went [… the Ennea]d [… : … a dagger of which the Moun]tain of E[l forms the blade, of which the ⌜woods⌝ of Coptos form the haft], of which the / god’s tomb forms the scabbard, and of which [the herds of] Kal form the belt.¹ Then Falsehood said to the Ennead, “Let [Tru]th [be brought] and blinded ⟨in⟩ both his eyes and assigned to be doorkeeper of my house.” [The] Ennead then did according to all that he said.

      Now many days after this, Falsehood raised his eyes to have a look, and he...

    • ASTARTE AND THE INSATIABLE SEA
      (pp. 108-111)

      […] / his two oxen. I will adore you […]-men. I will adore the […]. I will adore the Sky [in] her ⌜dwelling⌝ place […] the Earth […] the Sky.¹

      Now af[ter² …] the Earth, the Earth became satisfied³ […] in order that I might [un]cover her [… Then] they proceeded to bend down as if ⌜impelled⌝⁴ […]. / Thereupon [each] one embraced [the other. Now] after ⌜seven⌝ days the Sky [...]ed […] and descended upon […] the Sea, and [… the Ear]th gave birth to⁵ […] the four regions of the [Earth⁶ …] in its midst as if ⌜suspended⌝...

    • A GHOST STORY
      (pp. 112-115)

      [… according to] his habit […] after the way [he] had done [… He¹ ferried] across and reached his house. He caused [offerings to be] prepared, [saying, “I will provide him² with] all sorts of good things ⌜when⌝ I go to the west side.” He went up onto the roof / [of his house and invoked] the gods of the sky and the gods of the land, southern, northern, western and eastern, and ⟨the⟩ gods of the necropolis, saying to them, “Send me that august spirit.” And so he came and said to him, “I am your [… who must...

    • THE REPORT OF WENAMON
      (pp. 116-124)

      Year 5, fourth month of the third season, day 16, day on which Wenamon, the Elder of the Portal of the Temple of Amon, [Lord of the Thrones] of the Two Lands, departed to obtain lumber for the great and noble riverine barge of Amon-Re, King of the Gods, [the name of which is A]mon-Userhat.¹ On the day when I arrived at Tanis, at the place [where Smen]des and Tanetamon are,² I gave them the rescripts from Amon-Re, King of the Gods, and they / had them read out in their presence. They said, “Will do, will do according to...

  8. PART III INSTRUCTIONS, LAMENTATIONS, AND DIALOGUES

    • THE INSTRUCTION OF HARDEDEF (FIRST PART)
      (pp. 127-128)

      I. The beginning of the instruction which the hereditary prince and count, the king’s son Hardedef made for his son whom he raised up, named Auibre. He says: Reprove yourself in your (own) eyes, take care that another man does not reprove you. If you would be excellent, establish a household and acquire for yourself a caring wife; that a male child will be born to you.

      II. May you build a house for your son, for [I] have built for you the place where you are. Equip your house in the necropolis and make excellent your place in the...

    • THE MAXIMS OF PTAHHOTEP
      (pp. 129-148)

      The beginning of the Instruction written by the hereditary noble, the prince, the father of the god,¹ the beloved of the god, the judge of the six law courts, the arbiter who causes contentment throughout the entire land, the mayor of the city, the vizier Ptahhotep, under the Majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Isesi who lives for ever and eternity. The mayor of the city, the vizier Ptahhotep says:

      “My Sovereign Lord: Old age has arrived, infirmity has descended, Misery has drawn nigh, and weakness increases.

      One must take a nap like a child every day,...

    • THE TEACHING FOR THE VIZIER KAGEMNI
      (pp. 149-151)

      … the submissive man prospers, the moderate man is praised, the tent is open for the silent man, and the place of the contented man is wide.¹

      Do not talk (freely), for the flint knives are sharp against the one who strays from the road; ⌜there is no hastening, except indeed against his misdeed⌝.²

      If you sit with a crowd, abstain from the food you desire, for controlling your desire is (only for) a brief moment. Gluttony is despicable, / and one points one’s finger at it. A cup of water quenches thirst, and a mouthful of ⌜rushes⌝ makes the...

    • THE TEACHING FOR KING MERIKARE
      (pp. 152-165)

      [The beginning of the Instruction made by the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khet]y, for his son, Merikare.

      […] Be not indulgent in the matter of (any) crime which (you) have discovered; Rather you should punish […] […] their […] in every detail, For this is the start of [rebellion].

      […] which has been caused When dissentious men are numerous.

      / […] with their plots against you.

      […] As for someone who makes a report […] After your decision has been made concerning […] […] biased.

      […] […] He will make half of it as an allotment.

      The one...

    • THE TEACHING OF KING AMENEMHET I FOR HIS SON SENWOSRET
      (pp. 166-171)

      The beginning of the Instruction given by his Majesty the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sehetep-ib-Re (l.h.p.!), Son of Re, Amenemhet, justified, when he spoke revealing truth to his son, the Lord of all. He said:

      You who have risen as a god ,¹ Give heed to what I shall say to you, So that you may reign over the land, rule the shores (of the Nile), And bring about an abundance of what is good and beneficial.

      Maintain your vigilance against those who should be subordinate to you, But who turn out not to be so, Men in...

    • THE LOYALIST INSTRUCTION FROM THE SEHETEPIBRE STELA
      (pp. 172-174)

      The beginning of the teaching which he made for his children:

      I have something important to say; I shall have you hear it, and I shall let you know it: the design for eternity, a way / of life as it should be and of passing a lifetime at peace.

      Adore the king, Nymaatre,¹ living forever, in your innermost parts. Place His Majesty in friendly fashion in your thoughts.

      He is Perception, which is in (all) hearts, and his eyes pierce through every being.

      He is Re, by whose rays one sees, for he is one who illuminates the Two...

    • THE INSTRUCTION OF A MAN FOR HIS SON (FIRST SECTION)
      (pp. 175-177)

      The beginning of the instruction which a man made for his son, as he says:

      Listen to my voice. Do not neglect my words, do not be indifferent about what I shall say to you.

      Exhibit a (good) character without transgressing, for laziness on the part of a wise man should not come to pass.

      A silent, just man, well disposed, who bends the arm, one who carries out what is said.

      There is no valorous man who speaks in front of a strong man.

      There is no brave man who extols(?) advice.

      He who has access to (good) discourse...

    • THE MAN WHO WAS WEARY OF LIFE
      (pp. 178-187)

      The beginning of the manuscript has been lost, although there remain of it a few fragments which, as is obvious from the context, constitute the conclusion of a speech by the man’sba.

      […] your […] in order to speak […] for their decision is unbiased […] bribery, for their decision is unbiased.

      I opened my mouth in response to myba, answering what he had said:

      “This is become too onerous for me today; mybais not in accord with me. This is even worse than opposing me; it is like forsaking me!

      But mybashall not...

    • THE ADMONITIONS OF AN EGYPTIAN SAGE
      (pp. 188-210)

      ……… The door[keepers] say, “We shall go and pillage!” And the makers of sweets […]

      ……… The laundryman refuses to take up his load, And the sailors (?) […]

      ……… The catchers of birds have marshalled their fighting forces.

      ……… [The men of] the Delta marshes bear shields,

      And the brewers of beer/ […]

      [Verily, (every) face goes white with fear]

      ………

      [Verily, every man] is distressed, for a man sees his son as his foe, And rancor [is everywhere.]

      [Verily, (every) face goes white with fear]

      ………

      [And one man incites] another: “Come, take control of the mob.”

      [Verily...

    • THE LAMENTATIONS OF KHAKHEPERRE-SONBE
      (pp. 211-213)

      The gathering together of sayings, the culling of phrases, the search for words by an inquisitive mind, which thewab-priest of Heliopolis, Seny’s son Khakheperre-sonbe, who is called Ankhu, wrote./

      He said: Would that I had unknown speeches, erudite phrases in new language which has not yet been used, free from (the usual) repetitions, not the phrases of past speech / which (our) forefathers spoke. I shall drain myself for something in it in giving free rein to all I shall say. For indeed whatever has been said has been repeated, while what has (once) been said has been said....

    • THE PROPHECIES OF NEFERTY
      (pp. 214-220)

      Now it came to pass that the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Snefru, justified, was a mighty ruler over this entire land. On one of those days, the Court of the Residence made a solemn entrance into the Great House (l.p.h.!)¹ to pay their homage. Then they took their departure after they had paid homage according to their daily custom. Then his Majesty said to the seal-bearer who was attending him, “Go! Bring to me the Court of the Residence which has just departed after paying homage this morning.” So they were brought to him / immediately and they...

    • THE INSTRUCTION OF AMUNNAKHTE
      (pp. 221-222)

      (1) The beginning of the teaching instruction, the utterances for the way of life, (2) which the scribe Amunnakhte made (for) his apprentice Hor-Min. He says: Are you a man who hears (3) a speech to distinguish what is good from what is bad? Pay then attention and hearken to (4) my sayings. Do not neglect what I say. It is very fine to encounter a man able (5) in every work. Make your heart become like a great restraining dyke, while the flood (6) is turbulent at its side. Accept my words in all their import. Do not refuse...

    • THE INSTRUCTION OF AMENEMOPE
      (pp. 223-244)

      The beginning of the instruction about life , The guide¹ for well-being, All the principles of official procedure, The duties of the courtiers;

      To know how to refute the accusation² of one who made it, And to send back a reply to the one who wrote;³

      To set one straight on the paths of life, And make him prosper on earth;

      To let his heart settle down in its chapel,⁴ As one who steers him clear of evil;⁵

      To save him from the talk of others, As one who is respected in the speech of men. Written by the superintendent...

  9. PART IV FROM THE RELIGIOUS LITERATURE

    • SELECTIONS FROM THE PYRAMID TEXTS
      (pp. 247-262)

      Hail, Unis!¹ Take heed of the lake! (these words to be spoken four times) The messengers of yourkahave come for you, The messengers of your father have come for you, The messengers of Re have come for you.

      Follow behind your sun, that you may purify yourself.

      Your bones are the divine falcons and the uraei which are in the sky.

      You will abide at the side of the god, You will entrust your house to your son whom you have begotten.

      As for anyone who speaks evil against the name of Unis when you go out, Geb²...

    • SELECTIONS FROM THE COFFIN TEXTS
      (pp. 263-266)

      To make a transformation into a falcon:

      A thunderbolt claps. The gods become afraid. Isis awakes pregnant with the seed of her brother Osiris. The woman gets up in a hurry, her heart joyful over the seed of her brother Osiris. She says,

      “O you gods, I am Isis, Osiris’s sister, who wept for the father of the gods, Osiris, who settled the massacring of the Two Lands. His seed is within my womb. It is as son of the foremost of the Ennead who will rule this land, become heir to Geb, speak on his father’s behalf, and slay...

    • BOOK OF THE DEAD 125: “THE NEGATIVE CONFESSION”
      (pp. 267-277)

      Recitation by NN: “Hail to you, great god, Lord of the Two Truths! I have come before you, my lord, just so that you might bring me so that I might see your beauty. I know you and I know your name and the names of the forty-two gods who are with you in this Hall of the Two Truths, who live on those who preserve evil, who swallow their blood on that day of the reckoning of characters in the presence of Wennefer.³ Behold, The Two Daughters, His Two Eyes, {Lord} of Truth is your name. Behold, I have...

    • THE HYMN TO THE ATEN
      (pp. 278-283)

      Worshipping (The Living One) Re-Horakhty who Rejoices in the Horizon)| (In his Identity as the Light who is in the Aten)| living forever and ever, the Living Aten, the Great One who is in Jubilee, Master of all that the Aten encircles, Master of Heaven, Master of the Earth, Master of the Per-Aten in Akhet-Aten;¹ and the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the one Living on Maat, Lord of the Two Lands (Nefer-kheperu-Re Wa-en-Re)|, son of Re, living on Maat, Master of Regalia (Akhenaten)|, the long lived; and the Foremost Wife of the King, whom he loves, the Mistress...

    • PENITENTIAL HYMNS
      (pp. 284-288)

      Giving praise to Amon: I make to him adorations in his name.

      I give him praises to the height of the sky, To the breadth of the earth.

      I declare ⌜the greatness⌝ of his power To the one traveling north and the one traveling south.

      Beware of him!

      Herald him to son and daughter, To those senior and junior.

      Declare him to generations (now) and generations still yet to come.

      Declare him to fish in the deep, To fowl in the sky.

      Herald him to him who knows him not and him who knows him.

      Beware of him!

      You are...

    • THE BOOK OF THE HEAVENLY COW
      (pp. 289-298)

      Once it came to pass [under] the Majesty of Re, the self-generated god, that when he had been in the kingship over mankind and the gods combined, mankind proceeded to contrive a plot against the person of Re now that His Majesty, l.p.h., had grown old, his bones being of silver, his flesh of gold and his hair of genuine lapis lazuli. His Majesty became aware of the plot being contrived against him by mankind, and so His Majesty, l.p.h., said to those who were his retinue, “Please summon to me my Eye, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, and Nut as well...

  10. PART V SONGS AND ROYAL HYMNS

    • CYCLE OF SONGS IN HONOR OF SENWOSRET III
      (pp. 301-306)

      The Horus Godlike of Transformations, the Two Ladies Godlike of Births, the Falcon of Gold Kheper, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Khakaure, the Son of Re Senwosret who takes possession of the Two Lands as one vindicated:¹

      Salutations to you Khakaure, our Horus Godlike of Transformations,² Who has protected the land, and has extended its borders,³ Overwhelming the foreign lands with your crown, Enclosing the Two Lands with the deeds of your hands, [Encompassing] the foreign lands with the strength of your arms, Slaying the bowmen,⁴ without striking a blow, Shooting an arrow, without drawing a bow.

      Terror...

    • THE LOVE SONGS AND THE SONG OF THE HARPER
      (pp. 307-334)

      ……… If I am not beside you, where will you set your desire? If [you] do not embrace [me and seize] the moment, [Whom will you] approach (for) pleasure? But if you woo me to touch my breasts and my thighs, […]

      Would you depart because you have the urge to eat? Are you a man who is devoted to his stomach? Would [you depart] in your fine clothing, While I am left with nothing but the bed sheets?

      Would you leave me for the sake of drink² […]? Then take my breast, for its milk wells up for you....

  11. PART VI ROYAL STELAE

    • THE SEMNA STELA
      (pp. 337-338)

      (1) Live the Horus Divine of Manifestations, He of the Two Ladies Divine of Manifestations, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Khakaure, granted life, (2) Live the Falcon of Gold Manifestations, the Son of Re of his body, beloved of him, lord of the Two Lands Senwosret (III), granted life, endurance, and dominion forever.

      (3) Regnal Year 16, third month of Proyet. His Majesty’s making the southern boundary at Heh (Semna).

      (4) I have made my border, having gone (farther) south than my ancestors. I gave (5) more than what was entrusted to me. I am a king who speaks...

    • THE NEFERHOTEP STELA
      (pp. 339-344)

      The round top stela has in its lunate the winged sun disk with uraei and the label:Behdet, the great god, lord of the sky. Beneath this is the king’s titulary in equally large hieroglyphs:The Horus: Founder of the Two Lands, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Kha-sekhem-Re, Son of Re Neferhotep, beloved of Osiris-Foremost-of-the-Westerners, Lord of Abydos, The Falcon of Gold: Lasting of Love, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Kha-sekhem-Re, Son of Re Neferhotep, beloved of Osiris-Foremost-of-the-Westerners, Lord of Abydos.

      Below the lunate are forty lines of text.

      Regnal Year 2 under the Majesty of the Horus:...

    • THE KAMOSE TEXTS
      (pp. 345-350)

      Regnal Year 3 (of ) the Horus: He who has appeared upon his throne; The Two Ladies: Repeating of Monuments; The Golden Falcon: He who contents the Two Lands; King of Upper and Lower Egypt [Wadj-kheper-Re Son of Re] Kamose the valiant, granted life, beloved of Amun-Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands like Re, forever and ever. The victorious King within Thebes, Kamose the valiant, given life forever, is the effective King. It is Re [who has placed him] as King, himself, to whom he has given victory in very truth.

      His Majesty spoke in his palace...

    • THE POETICAL STELA OF THUTMOSE III
      (pp. 351-355)

      Thus speaks Amun-Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands:

      Come to me and rejoice at the sight of my beauty, My son, my defender, Men-Kheper-Re,¹ who lives to eternity.

      I shall shine through love for you, My heart/gladdened at your joyful entry into my temple.

      My hands shall endow your person with protection and life, For your comeliness is exceedingly pleasant to my breast.

      I shall establish/you in my sanctuary and delight in you, I shall give you dominion and victory over all foreign lands.

      I shall establish your power and the awe of you in all the...

    • THE ISRAEL STELA
      (pp. 356-360)

      Year 5, third month of the third season, day 3, under the Majesty of Re-Harakhti, Mighty Bull, who rejoices over Maat; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Baenre-miamon; the Son of Re, Merenptah-hetephimaat: magnifying the strength and exalting the might of Re-Harakhti, Mighty Bull, who has smitten the Nine Bows and set his name for all eternity, and recounting his victories in all lands so as to cause every land combined to know and to cause perfection to be beheld in his valorous deeds.

      The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Baenre-miamon; the Son of Re, Merenptah-hetephimaat; the Bull,...

    • THE BENTRESH STELA (LOUVRE C 284)
      (pp. 361-366)

      The Horus: “Strong Bull, whose crowns are pleasing”; (The Two Ladies): “He whose kingship endures like Atum”; the Golden Horus: “He whose arm is powerful, who repels the Nine Bows”;³ the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Usermaatre-setepenre, the bodily Son of Re, Ramses-beloved-of-Amon, beloved of Amon-Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, and of the entire Ennead of Thebes.

      The Good God, Son of Amon, Offspring of Horachty, The effective seed of the Lord of the Universe, Whom Kamutef has begotten, The King of the Black Land, The ruler of the Red...

    • THE VICTORY STELA OF PIYE (CAIRO JdE 48862+47086–47089)
      (pp. 367-385)

      Regnal year 21, first month of Inundation, under the Majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Piye, beloved of Amon, living forever. The decree which My Majesty has spoken:

      “Hear what I have done in exceeding the ancestors. I am the king, the representation of god, the living image of Atum, who issued from the womb marked as ruler, who is feared by those greater than he, [whose father] knew and whose mother perceived even in the egg that he would be ruler, the good god, beloved of the gods, the Son of Re, who acts with his...

    • THE FAMINE STELA
      (pp. 386-391)

      Regnal year 18 of the Horus: Netcherkhet, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Netcherkhet, the Horus of Gold: Djoser, under the authority of the count, hereditary prince and ruler of southern estates, overseer of Nubians in Elephantine, Mesir. This royal decree was brought to him to inform you:

      “I was despondent upon my throne, and those in the palace were in grief. My heart was extremely sad since the Inundation had not come on time for a period of seven years. Grain was scarce, the kernels dried out, everything edible in short supply. Every man was so restrained by...

    • THE SATRAP STELA (CAIRO JdE 22182)
      (pp. 392-398)

      Regnal year 7, first month of Inundation season, under the Majesty of the Horus: “The youthful one, great of strength”; The Two Ladies: “The beloved of the gods, to whom was given the office of his father”; The Horus of Gold: “The ruler in the entire land”; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands, Haaibre-Setepenamon,² the Son of Re, Alexander (II), living forever, beloved of the gods of Pe and Dep. He is king in the Two Lands and the foreign countries. His Majesty is in the midst of the Asiatics, while a great Prince...

  12. PART VII AUTOBIOGRAPHIES

    • THREE AUTOBIOGRAPHIES OF THE OLD KINGDOM
      (pp. 401-413)

      Weni’s career is the subject of this long inscription from his tomb at the Middle Cemetery at Abydos. The false door and other elements of the tomb mentioned in the text are preserved in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. The sarcophagus of Merenre, which he had quarried and brought back from Nubia, according to the text, is still in the burial chamber of the king’s pyramid. In his analysis of the career, Eyre sums up Weni’s personality: “His entire career was spent in close personal contact with the king in a period of real political tension. By the end of the...

    • THE STELA OF TJETJI
      (pp. 414-417)

      The Horus Wah-Ankh,¹ King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Son of Re, Intef, born of Nefru, he who lives eternally like Re: His faithful servant who was loyal to his wishes, foremost of rank in the palace of his lord, a magnanimous nobleman who knew the concerns of his lord’s heart, who followed him in his every venture, unique of His Majesty’s affection in very truth, foremost of the notables of the royal house, supervisor of the treasury in the secret place which his lord kept private even from the nobles, one who gladdened the heart of Horus with what...

    • AMENEMHET AND KHNUMHOTEP II AT BENI HASAN
      (pp. 418-424)

      Regnal Year 43 under the Majesty of the Horus Ankh-Mesut, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Kheper-ka-Re, living forever, He of the Two Ladies Ankh-mesut, Falcon of Gold Ankh-Mesut, Son of Re Senwosret (I), living forever and ever, corresponding to Year (=counting) 25 in the Oryx Nome as (?) hereditary noble, count, gracious of arm, Ameny, the vindicated, Regnal Year 43, month 2 of Akhet, day 14.

      O you who love life and hate death, say a thousand bread loaves and jugs of beer, a thousand cattle and fowl for theKaof the hereditary lord, count, gracious of arm,...

    • THE STELA OF IYKHERNOFRET
      (pp. 425-428)

      Main text:Live the Horus Divine of Transformations, He of the Two Ladies Divine of Manifestations, Falcon of Gold Transformations, King of Upper and Lower Egypt Kha-kau-Re, Son of Re Senwosret (III), granted life like Re forever.

      Royal decree to the hereditary lord, governor …, king’s sealbearer, sole companion, overseer of the double house of gold, overseer of the double house of silver, overseer of sealbearers, Iykhernofret, possessor of an honored state:

      Now my Majesty has decreed that you proceed southward to Abydos in the Thinite Nome to make a monument for my father, Osiris-Foremost-of-the-Westerners, and to make effective his...

  13. PART VIII SCRIBAL TRADITIONS

    • THE SATIRE ON THE TRADES: THE INSTRUCTION OF DUA-KHETY
      (pp. 431-437)

      1. The beginning of the teaching which the man of Tjel¹ named Dua-Khety² made for his son named Pepy, while he sailed southwards to the Residence to place him in the school of writings³ among the children of the magistrates, the most eminent men of the Residence.

      2. Thereupon he spoke to him: Since I have seen those who have been beaten, it is to writings that you must set your mind. See for yourself, it saves one from work.⁴ Behold, there is nothing that surpasses writings! They are like [a boat] upon the water. Read then at the end of the...

    • THE SCRIBAL TRADITIONS IN THE SCHOOLS
      (pp. 438-442)

      The overseer of the record-keepers of the treasury of Pharaoh, l.p.h., Amunemone speaks to the scribe Pentawere. This letter is brought to you saying: I have been told that you have abandoned writing and that you reel about in pleasures, that you have given your attention to work in the fields, and that you have turned your back on hieroglyphs. Do you not remember the condition of the field hand in the face of the registration of the harvesttax, the snake having taken away half of the grain and the hippopotamus having eaten the remainder? The mice are numerous in...

  14. PART IX DEMOTIC LITERATURE

    • THE PROPHECY OF THE LAMB (P. VIENNA D. 10,000)
      (pp. 445-449)

      [… Pasaenhor read the] book of the days that [happened in Egypt together with those that] will happen regarding a [… He said to me the punishments that will happen in the town,] the field and the [entire] district. [I said to him: ‘‘Shut] your mouth!’’ I spoke previously about the […].

      Pasaenhor [discovered] the fate [of the children who] will be born to us. We did not [know what we should do(?) … The] great water of Egypt will become [blood(?) … Afterwards, there occurred for her] the hour of birth, [and she bore two children], but she was...

    • THE TALE OF AMASIS AND THE SKIPPER
      (pp. 450-452)

      A day occurred in the reign of Pharaoh Amasis when Pharaoh said to his great men: “I want to drink a vat² of Egyptian wine!” They said: “Our great lord, drinking a vat of Egyptian wine is overpowering.” He said to them: “Do not oppose what I shall say!” They said: “Our great lord! The wish of Pharaoh, may he do it.” Pharaoh said: “Let them set off for the sea shore!” They acted in accordance with what Pharaoh had commanded.

      Pharaoh washed himself for a meal³ together with his wives, with no other wine before them at all except...

    • THE ROMANCE OF SETNA KHAEMUAS AND THE MUMMIES (SETNA I)
      (pp. 453-469)

      […]

      “You are the one who irritates me. If it happens that I have but two children, is it the custom to cause that they dwell with each other? I shall cause Naneferkaptah to dwell with the daughter of a general, [and I shall cause] Ihweret [to dwell] with the son of another general. May it happen that our family will multiply!”

      The time came for setting up the festival in the presence of Pharaoh. They came for me, and they took me to the festival, [though my heart was] exceedingly sad, nor did I have my demeanor of yesterday....

    • THE ADVENTURES OF SETNA AND SI-OSIRE (SETNA II)
      (pp. 470-489)

      [Setna and his wife Meheweskhe desire a child so she sleeps in a temple and there sees … a] dream, while they spoke with her, [saying: “Are] you Meheweskhe, [the wife] of Setna, who sleeps here [in the temple] to gain a remedy? [… When] tomorrow [morning] has come, go to the entrance [of the] cistern of Setna, your husband. There you will find a melon vine³ growing. […] to them. Break it with its gourds, and grind it. [Make it] into a remedy and put [it in water and drink it. … You will conceive in a fluid of...

    • THE CHILDHOOD OF SI-OSIRE (JUG STRASSBURG)
      (pp. 490-491)

      The petition of Nesmetu, […] before his superior as a greeting: “O may Pre lengthen his lifetime! Bear witness [... the story(?)] of my father and a […] today: He did that which these superiors said, which is with[in] this writing that Khonsu [wrote(?) ...]. My mother went while she was […] very young. My father found a wife […] She was a [priestess] of the goddess. She was very beautiful. Her name was Meheweskhe. Her menstrual cycle came, [and she did not menstruate,¹ and her heart was very happy that she would] / give birth. [There came her time...

    • THE MAGICIAN HIHOR (JUG BERLIN 12845)
      (pp. 492-493)

      Hihor the Magician. Hereafter is the petition of Hihor the magician of the royal palace:

      [The petition of Hihor the magician] before Pharaoh: “My [great] lord! If it happens that it is granted, I shall present him: The brother of Taneith² and his birds and everything pertaining to him and Pharaoh in its entirety.” There[after, Hi]hor the magician, the chief scribe […]. He presented the brother of Taneith and his birds and everything pertaining to him and Pharaoh in its entirety.

      It happened that [Hihor the] magician was imprisoned in the prisons of Pharaoh at Elephantine. /Thereafter occurred the time...

    • THE FABLE OF THE SWALLOW AND THE SEA
      (pp. 494-496)

      The [petition of ] Ausky, the chief of the land of Arabia, before Pharaoh: ‘‘Hear the goodness of Pre [regarding(?) the] chiefs of the land [of Arabia]. Great is my lord! O may he celebrate millions of jubilees! What does it mean that Pharaoh, my great lord, has said: ‘I shall devastate⁴ the land of Arabia’? Come, may Pharaoh, my great (lord), hear the tale of what happened to the swallow when it was giving birth beside the sea. When she was coming and going out to seek food for her young, she said: ‘O sea, watch over my young...

    • THE INSTRUCTION OF ‘ONCHSHESHONQY (P. BRITISH MUSEUM 10508)
      (pp. 497-530)

      […] It happened that they had sprinkled [… two priest]s(?) of P[re.(?)] The one among [them was called Tchaine]fer son of ‘Onch[sheshonqy, and] the other was called [Ramose son of …, amounting to] two persons. There occurred to each of them a male child. […] The child [of Tchainefer] was called [‘Onch]sheshonqy by name, and the child [of Ra]mose [son of ... was called Har]si[ese by name. They were given to]/the nurses. They were nourished and [they] grew strong. [… They were made students at the school.⁵ It happened that] there was not a youth among the priests of Pre...

  15. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 531-598)