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The Egyptian Book of the Dead

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Josie Linde
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« on: December 21, 2008, 09:50:11 pm »

The Papyrus of Ani
Introduction  Translation


Because of the substantial amount of hieroglypics interspersed in the original text, I have omitted the ### 'glyph' placeholder where context permits, for readability. Only actual illustations have been inserted into the file. Due to space considerations the interlinear translation, which is primarily of interest to students of Ancient Egyptian, will not be posted. This should not be a hardship, since the Dover reprint edition is still in print and widely available.
The file above, which appears at on the Internet at Sacred-Texts for the first time is a faithful e-text of the 1895 edition of the E.A. Wallace Budge translation of the Egyptian Book of the Dead.

In November of 2000 I inventoried my library and found that I was missing Budge's Book of the Dead. So when a copy of the Dover reprint came up at the local used bookstore, I purchased it. To my dismay, the version of the text widely posted on the Internet did not seem to match the Dover reprint of the 1895 version.

According to John Mark Ockerbloom, the proprietor of the excellent Online Books Page, the version circulating on the Internet is a highly edited version of Budge from a much later date (1913). He writes:

"I did a little legwork, and it appears that the "mystery text" is in fact from the Medici Society edition of 1913. According to a 1960 reprint by University Books, for this edition "The translation was rewritten... [and the] greater part of the Introduction was also rewritten by Sir Wallis, who concluded a preface to it with the pleased words, 'and the entire work thus becomes truly a "New Edition"'". It's unclear whether Budge himself did the rewrite of the translation, but it's clear that he at least claims responsibility for it,. and it does appear to draw fairly heavily on his earlier translation."
Thanks to Mr. Ockerbloom for clearing up this mystery.

In any case, the version now at sacred-texts is a completely new e-text, which I believe to be a much better version of this text.

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 09:51:50 pm »

The Papyrus of Ani
Late keeper of Assyrian and Egyptian Antiquities
in the British Museum
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Josie Linde
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 09:52:43 pm »


The Papyrus of Ani, which was acquired by the Trustees of the British Museum in the year 1888, is the largest, the most perfect, the best preserved, and the best illuminated of all the papyri which date from the second half of the XVIIIth dynasty (about B.C. 1500 to 1400). Its rare vignettes, and hymns, and chapters, and its descriptive and introductory rubrics render it of unique importance for the study of the Book of the Dead, and it takes a high place among the authoritative texts of the Theban version of that remarkable work. Although it contains less than one-half of the chapters which are commonly assigned to that version, we may conclude that Ani's exalted official position as Chancellor of the ecclesiastical revenues and endowments of Abydos and Thebes would have ensured a selection of such chapters as would suffice for his spiritual welfare in the future life. We may therefore regard the Papyrus of Ani as typical of the funeral book in vogue among the Theban nobles of his time.

The first edition of the Facsimile of the Papyrus was issued in 1890, and was accompanied by a valuable Introduction by Mr. Le Page Renouf, then Keeper of the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities. But, in order to satisfy a widely expressed demand for a translation of the text, the present volume has been prepared to be issued with the second edition of the Facsimile. It contains the hieroglyphic text of the Papyrus with interlinear transliteration and word for word translation, a full description of the vignettes, and a running translation; and in the Introduction an attempt has been made to illustrate from native

{p. vi}

Egyptian sources the religious views of the wonderful people who more than five thousand years ago proclaimed the resurrection of a spiritual body and the immortality of the soul.

The passages which supply omissions, and vignettes which contain important variations either in subject matter or arrangement, as well as supplementary texts which appear in the appendixes, have been, as far as possible, drawn from other contemporary papyri in the British Museum.

The second edition of the Facsimile has been executed by Mr. F. C. Price.



January 25, 1895.

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 09:53:09 pm »
















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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2008, 09:54:08 pm »

The four great Versions of the Book of the Dead.

THE history of the great body of religious compositions which form the Book of Dead of the ancient Egyptians may conveniently be divided into four[1] of the periods, which are represented by four versions:--

1. The version which was edited by the priests of the college of Annu (the On of the Bible, and the Heliopolis of the Greeks), and which was based upon a series of texts now lost, but which there is evidence to prove had passed through a series of revisions or editions as early as the period of the Vth dynasty. This version was, so far as we know, always written in hieroglyphics, and may be called the Heliopolitan version. It is known from five copies which are inscribed upon the walls of the chambers and passages in the pyramids[2] of kings of the Vth and VIth dynasties at Sakkâra;[3] and sections of it are found inscribed upon tombs, sarcophagi, coffins, stelæ and papyri from the XIth dynasty to about A.D. 200.[4]

[1. See Naville, Todtenbuch (Einleitung), p. 39.

2. Hence known as the "pyramid texts."

3. I.e., Unâs, Tetâ, Pepi I., Mentu-em-sa-f, and Pepi II. Their pyramids were cleared out by MM. Mariette and Maspero during the years 1890-84, and the hieroglyphic texts were published, with a French translation, in Recueil de Travaux, t. iii-xiv., Paris, 1882-93.

4. In the XIth, XIIth, and XIIIth dynasties many monuments are inscribed with sections of the Unâs text. Thus lines 206-69 are found in hieroglyphics upon the coffin of Amamu (British Museum, No. 6654. See Birch, Egyptian Texts of the Earliest Period from the Coffin of Amamu, 1886. Plates XVII.-XX.); Il. 206-14 and 268-84 on the coffin of Apa-ankh, from Sakkâra (see Lepsius, Denkmäler, ii., Bl. 99 b; Maspero, Recueil, t. iii., pp. 200 and 214 ff.); Il. 206-10 {footnote page x.} and 268-89 on the coffin of Antef (see Lepsius, Denkmäler, ii., Bl. 145; Maspero, Recueil, t. iii., pp. 200, 214); line 206 on a coffin of Menthu-hetep at Berlin (see Lepsius, Aelteste Texte, Bl. 5); lines 269-94 on the sarcophagus of Heru-hetep (see Maspero, Mémoires, t, i., p. 144). A section is found on the walls of the tomb of Queen Neferu (see Maspero, Recueil, t. iii., p. 201 ff.; Mémoires, t. i., p. 134); other sections are found on the sarcophagus of Taka (see Lepsius, Denkmäler, ii., Bll. 147, 148; Maspero, Guide au Visiteur, p. 224, No. 1053; Mémoires, t. i., p. 134); lines 5-8 occur on the stele of Apa (see Ledrain, Monuments Égyptiens de la Bibl. Nationale, Paris, 1879, foll. 14, 15); lines 166 ff. are found on the stele of Nehi (see Mariette, Notice des Mon. à Boulaq, p. 190; Maspero, Recueil, t. iii., p. 195); and lines 576-83 on the coffin of Sebek-Aa (see Lepsius, Aelteste Texte, Bl. 37; Maspero, Recueil, t. iv., p. 68). In the XVIIIth dynasty line 169 was copied on a wall in the temple of Hatshepset at Dêr el-baharî (see Dümichen, Hist. Inschriften, Bll. 25-37; Maspero, Recueil, t. i., p. 195 ff.); and copies of lines 379-99 occur in the papyri of Mut-hetep (British Museum, No. 10,010) and Nefer-uten-f (Paris, No. 3092, See Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Bl. 197; Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXXII., p. 3; and Naville, Einleitung, pp. 39, 97). In the XXVIth dynasty we find texts of the Vth dynasty repeated on the walls of the tomb of Peta-Amen-apt, the chief kher-heb at Thebes (see Dümichen, Der Grabpalast des Patuamenap in der Thebanischen Nekropolis, Leipzig, 1884-85); and also upon the papyrus written for the lady Sais ###, about A.D. 200 (see Devéria, Catalogue des MSS. Égyptiens, Paris, 1874, p. 170 No. 3155). Signor Schiaparelli's words are:--"Esso è scritto in ieratico, di un tipo paleografico speciale: l' enorme abbondanza di segni espletivi, la frequenza di segni o quasi demotici o quasi geroglifici, la sottigliezza di tutti, e l'incertezza con cui sono tracciati, che rivela una mano più abituata a scrivere in greco che in egiziano, sono altrettanti caratteri del tipo ieratico del periodo esclusivamente romano, a cui il nostro papiro appartiene senza alcun dubbio." Il Libro dei Funerali, p. 19. On Devéria's work in connection with this MS., see Maspero, Le Rituel du sacrifice Funéraire (in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. xv., p. 161).]

{p. x}

II. The Theban version, which was commonly written on papyri in hieroglyphics and was divided into sections or chapters, each of which had its distinct title but no definite place in the series. The version was much used from the XVIIIth to the XXth dynasty.

III. A version closely allied to the preceding version, which is found written on papyri in the hieratic character and also in hieroglyphics. In this version, which came into use about the XXth dynasty, the chapters have no fixed order.

IV. The so-called Saïte version, in which, at some period anterior probably to the XXVIth dynasty, the chapters were arranged in a definite order. It is commonly written in hieroglyphics and in hieratic, and it was much used from the XXVIth dynasty to the end of the Ptolemaic period.

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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2008, 09:54:58 pm »

Early forms of the Book of the Dead.

The Book of the Dead.

The earliest inscribed monuments and human remains found in Egypt prove that the ancient Egyptians took the utmost care to preserve the bodies of their

{p. xi}

dead by various processes of embalming. The deposit of the body in the tomb was accompanied by ceremonies of a symbolic nature, in the course of which certain compositions comprising prayers, short litanies, etc., having reference to the future life, were recited or chanted by priests and relatives on behalf of the dead. The greatest importance was attached to such compositions, in the belief that their recital would secure for the dead an unhindered passage to God in the next world, would enable him to overcome the opposition of all ghostly foes, would endow his body in the tomb with power to resist corruption, and would ensure him a new life in a glorified body in heaven. At a very remote period certain groups of sections or chapters had already become associated with some of the ceremonies which preceded actual burial, and these eventually became a distinct ritual with clearly defined limits. Side by side, however, with this ritual there seems to have existed another and larger work, which was divided into an indefinite number of sections or chapters comprising chiefly prayers, and which dealt on a larger scale with the welfare of the departed in the next world, and described the state of existence therein and the dangers which must be passed successfully before it could be reached, and was founded generally on the religious dogmas and mythology of the Egyptians. The title of "Book of the Dead" is usually given by Egyptologists to the editions of the larger work which were made in the XVIIIth and following dynasties, but in this Introduction the term is intended to include the general body of texts which have reference to the burial of the dead and to the new life in the world beyond the grave, and which are known to have existed in revised editions and to have been in use among the Egyptians from about B.C. 4500, to the early centuries of the Christian era.

Uncertainty of the history of its source

The home, origin, and early history of the collection of ancient religious texts which have descended to us are, at present, unknown, and all working theories regarding them, however strongly supported by apparently well-ascertained facts, must be carefully distinguished as theories only, so long as a single ancient necropolis in Egypt remains unexplored and its inscriptions are untranslated. Whether they were composed by the inhabitants of Egypt, who recorded them in hieroglyphic characters, and who have left the monuments which are the only trustworthy sources of information on the subject, or whether they were brought into Egypt by the early immigrants from the Asiatic continent whence they came, or whether they represent the religious books of the Egyptians incorporated with the funeral texts of some prehistoric dwellers on the banks of the Nile, are all questions which the possible discovery of inscriptions belonging to the first dynasties of the Early Empire can alone decide. The evidence derived from the

{p. xii}

Its antiquity.

enormous mass of new material which we owe to the all-important discoveries of mastaba tombs and pyramids by M. Maspero, and to his publication of the early religious texts, proves beyond all doubt that the greater part of the texts comprised in the Book of the Dead are far older than the period of Mena (Menes), the first historical king of Egypt.[1] Certain sections indeed appear to belong to an indefinitely remote and primeval time.

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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 09:55:28 pm »

Internal evidence of its antiquity.

The earliest texts bear within themselves proofs, not only of having been composed, but also of having been revised, or edited, long before the days of king Meni, and judging from many passages in the copies inscribed in hieroglyphics upon the pyramids of Unas (the last king of the Vth dynasty, about B.C. 3333), and Teta, Pepi I., Mer-en-Ra, and Pepi II. (kings of the VIth dynasty, about B.C. 3300-3166), it would seem that, even at that remote date, the scribes were perplexed and hardly understood the texts which they had before them.[2] The most moderate estimate makes certain sections of the Book of the Dead as known from these tombs older than three thousand years before Christ. We are in any case justified in estimating the earliest form of the work to be contemporaneous with the foundation of the civilization[3] which we call Egyptian in the valley of

[1. "Les textes des Pyramides . . . . . . nous reportent si loin dans le passé que je n'ai aucun moyen de les dater que de dire qu'elles étaient dejà vieilles cinq mille ans avant notre ère. Si extraordinaire que paraisse ce chiffre, il faudra bien nous habituer à le considérer comme représentant une évaluation à minima toutes les fois qu'on voudra rechercher les origines de la religion Égyptienne. La religion et les textes qui nous la font connaître étaient déjà constitués avant la Ire dynastie: c'est à nous de nous mettre, pour les comprendre, dans l'état d'esprit où était, il y a plus de sept mille ans, le peuple qui les a constitués. Bien entendu, je ne parle ici que des systèmes théologiques: si nous voulions remonter jusqu'à l'origine des é1éments qu'ils ont mis en œuvre, il nous faudrait reculer vers des ages encore plus lointains." Maspero, La Mythologie Égyptienne (in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. xix., p. 12; and in Études de Mythologie et d'Archéologie Égyptiennes, t. ii., p. 2 36). Compare also "dass die einzelnen Texte selbst damals schon einer alten heiligen Litteratur angehörten, unterliegt keinem Zweifel, sie sind in jeder Hinsicht alterthümlicher als die ältesten uns erhaltenen Denkmäler. Sie gehören in eine für uns 'vorhistorische' Zeit und man wird ihnen gewiss kein Unrecht anthun, wenn man sie bis in das vierte Jahrtausend hinein versetzt." Erman, Das Verhältniss des aegyptischen zu den semitischen Sprachen, in Z.D.M.G., Bd. XLVI., p. 94.

2. "Le nombre des prières et des formules dirigées contre les animaux venimeux montre quel effroi le serpent et le scorpion inspirait aux Égyptiens. Beaucoup d'entre elles sont écrites dans une langue et avec des combinaisons de signes qui ne paraissent plus avoir été complètement comprises des scribes qui les copiaient sous Ounas et sous Pepi. Je crois, quant à moi, qu'elles appartiennent an plus vieux rituel et remontent an delà du règne de Mînî." Maspero, La Religion Égyptienne (in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. xii., p. 125). See also Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 62.

3. So sind wir gezwungen, wenigstens die ersten Grundlagen des Buches den Anfängen den Aegyptischen Civilization beizumessen." See Naville, Das Aegyptische Todtenbuch (Einleitung), Berlin, 1886, p. 18.]

{p. xiii}

the Nile.[1] To fix a chronological limit for the arts and civilization of Egypt is absolutely impossible.[2]

Evidence of the antiquity of certain chapters.

The oldest form or edition of the Book of the Dead as we have received it supplies no information whatever as to the period when it was compiled; but a copy of the hieratic text inscribed upon a coffin of Menthu-hetep, a queen of the XIth dynasty,[3] about B.C. 2500, made by the late Sir J. G. Wilkinson,[4] informs us that the chapter which, according to the arrangement of Lepsius, bears the number LXIV.,[5] was discovered in the reign of Hesep-ti,[6] the fifth king of the Ist dynasty, about B.C. 4266. On this coffin are two copies of the chapter, the one immediately following the other. In the rubric to the first the name of the king during whose reign the chapter is said to have been "found" is given as Menthu-hetep, which, as Goodwin first pointed out,[7] is a mistake for Men-kau-Ra,[8] the fourth king of the IVth dynasty, about B.C. 3633;[9] but in the rubric to the second the king's name is given as Hesep-ti. Thus it appears that in the period of the XIth dynasty it was believed that the chapter might alternatively be as old as the time of the Ist dynasty. Further, it is given to Hesep-ti in papyri of the XXIst dynasty,[10] a period when particular attention was paid to the history of the Book of the Dead; and it thus appears that the Egyptians of the Middle Empire believed the chapter to date from the more

[1. The date of Mena, the first king of Egypt, is variously given B.C. 5867 (Champollion), B.C. 5004 (Mariette), B.C. 5892 (Lepsius), B.C. 4455 (Brugsch).

2 See Chabas, Aeg. Zeitschrift, 1865, p. 95. On the subject of the Antiquity of Egyptian Civilization generally, see Chabas, Études sur l'Antiquité Historique d'après les Sources Égyptiennes, Paris, 1873--Introduction, p. 9.

3 The name of the queen and her titles are given on p. 7 (margin) thus:--


4 It was presented to the British Museum in 1834, and is now in the Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities.

Todtenbuch, Bl. 23-25.

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 09:56:19 pm »

6. the Ou?safaï's ui!o's of Manetho.

7 Aeg. Zeitschrift, 1866, p. 54.

8. See Guieyesse, Rituel Funéraire Égyptien, chapitre 64e, Paris, 1876, p. 10, note 2.

9. The late recension of the Book of the Dead published by Lepsius also gives the king's name as Men-kau-Ra (Todtenbuch, Bl. 25, l. 30. In the same recension the CXXXth Chapter is ascribed to the reign of Hesep-ti (131. 53, l. 28).

10. Naville, Todtenbuch (Einleitung), pp. 33, 139]

{p. xiv}

remote period. To quote the words of Chabas, the chapter was regarded as being "very ancient, very mysterious, and very difficult to understand" already fourteen centuries before our era.[1]

Antiquity of Chapter LXIV.

The rubric on the coffin of Queen Menthu-hetep, which ascribes the chapter to Hesep-ti, states that "this chapter was found in the foundations beneath the hennu boat by the foreman of the builders in the time of the king of the North and South, Hesep-ti, triumphant";[2] the Nebseni papyrus says that this chapter was found in the city of Khemennu (Hermopolis) on a block of ironstone (?) written in letters of lapis-lazuli, under the feet of the god";[3] and the Turin papyrus (XXVIth dynasty or later) adds that the name of the finder was Heru-ta-ta-f, the son of Khufu or Cheops,[4] the second king of the IVth dynasty, about B.C. 3733, who was at the time making a tour of inspection of the temples. Birch[5] and Naville[6] consider the chapter one of

[1. Chabas, Voyage d'un Égyptien, p. 46. According to M. Naville (Einleitung, p. 138), who follows Chabas's opinion, this chapter is an abridgement of the whole Book of the Dead; and it had, even though it contained not all the religious doctrine of the Egyptians, a value which was equivalent to the whole.

2. See Goodwin, Aeg. Zeitschrift, 1866, p. 55, and compare the reading from the Cairo papyrus of Mes-em-neter given by Naville (Todtenbuch, ii-, p. 139)

3 Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., B1. 76, L 52.

4 Lepsius, Todtenbuch, Bl. 25, 1. 31.

6 "The most remarkable chapter is the 64th . . . . . It is one of the oldest of all, and is attributed, as already stated, to the epoch of king Gaga-Makheru or Menkheres . . . . . This chapter enjoyed a high reputation till a late period, for it is found on a stone presented to General Perofski by the late Emperor Nicholas, which must have come from the tomb of Petemenophis,
  • in the El-Assasif
  • and was made during the XXVIth dynasty Some more recent compiler of the Hermetic books has evidently paraphrased it for the Ritual of Turin." Bunsen, Egypt's Place in Universal History, London, 1867, p. 1142. The block of stone to which Dr. Birch refers is described by Golénischeff, Inventaire de la Ermitage Impérial, Collection Égyptienne, No. 1101, pp. 169, 170. M. Maspero thinks it was meant to be a "prétendu fac-similé" of the original slab, which, according to the rubric, was found in the temple of Thoth, Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. XV., p. 299, and Études de Mythologie, t i., p. 368.

6 Todtenbuch (Einleitung), p. 139. Mr. Renouf also holds this opinion, Trans. See. Bibl. Arch., 1803, p. 6.

* I.e., the "chief reader." Many of the inscriptions on whose tomb have been published by Dümichen, Der Grabpalast des Patuamenap; Leipzig, 1884, 1885.

+ I.e., Asasîf el-bahrîyeh, or Asasif of the north, behind Dêr el-baharî, on the western bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes.]

{p. xv}

the oldest in the Book of the Dead; the former basing his opinion on the rubric' and the latter upon the evidence derived from the contents and character of the text; but Maspero, while admitting the great age of the chapter, does not attach any very great importance to the rubric as fixing any exact date for its composition.[1] Of Herutataf the finder of the block of stone, we know from later texts that he was considered to be a learned man, and that his speech was only with difficulty to be understood,[2] and we also know the prominent part which he took as a recognized man of letters in bringing to the court of his father Khufu the sage Tetteta.[3] It is then not improbable that Herutataf's character for learning may have suggested the connection of his name with the chapter, and possibly as its literary reviser; at all events as early as the period of the Middle Empire tradition associated him with it.

[1. "On explique d'ordinaire cette indication comme une marque d'antiquité extrême; on part de ce principe que le Livre des Morts est de composition relativement moderne, et qu'un scribe égyptien, nommant un roi des premières dynasties memphites, ne pouvait entendre par là qu'un personnage d'époque très reculée. Cette explication ne me paraît pas être exacte. En premier lieu, le chapitre LXIV. se trouve déjà sur des monuments contemporains de la Xe et de la XIe dynastie, et n'était certainement pas nouveau au moment où on écrivait les copies les plus vieilles que nous en ayons aujourd'hui. Lorsqu'on le rédigea sous sa forme actuelle, le règne de Mykérinos, et même celui d'Housapaiti, ne devaient pas soulever dans l'esprit des indigènes la sensation de l'archaïsme et du primitif: on avait pour rendre ces idées des expressions plus fortes, qui renvoyaient le lecteur au siècles des Serviteurs d'Horus, à la domination de Ra, aux âges où les dieux régnaient sur l'Égypte." Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, t. xv., p. 299.

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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2008, 09:56:59 pm »

2 Chabas, Voyage, p. 46; Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte, p. 191. In the Brit. Mus. papyrus No. 10,060 (Harris 500), Herutataf is mentioned together with I-em-hetep as a well known author, and the writer of the dirge says, "I have heard the words of I-em-hetep and of Herutataf, whose many and varied writings are said and sung; but now where are their places?" The hieratic text is published with a hieroglyphic transcript by Maspero in Journal Asiatique, Sér. VIIième, t. xv., p. 404 ff., and Études Égyptiennes, t. i., p. 173; for English translations, see Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., vol. iii., p. 386, and Records of the Past, 1st ed., vol. iv., p. 117.

3 According to the Westcar papyrus, Herutataf informed his father Khufu of the existence of a man 110 years old who lived in the town of Tettet-Seneferu: he was able to join to its body again a head that had been cut off, and possessed influence over the lion, and was acquainted with the mysteries of Thoth. By Khufu's command Herutataf brought the sage to him by boat, and, on his arrival, the king ordered the head to be struck off from a prisoner that Tetteta might fasten it on again. Having excused himself from performing this act upon a man, a goose was brought and its head was cut off and laid on one side of the room and the body was placed on the other. The sage spake certain words of power whereupon the goose stood up and began to waddle, and the head also began to move towards it; when the head had joined itself again to the body the bird stood up and cackled. For the complete hieratic text, transcript and translation, see Erman, Die Märchen des Papyrus Westcar, Berlin, 1890, p. it, plate 6.]

{p. xvi}

The Book of the Dead in the IInd dynasty.

Passing from the region of native Egyptian tradition, we touch firm ground with the evidence derived from the monuments of the IInd dynasty. A bas-relief preserved at Aix in Provence mentions Âasen and Ankef,[1] two of the priests of Sent or Senta, the fifth king of the IInd dynasty, about B.C. 4000; and a stele at Oxford[2] and another in the Egyptian Museum at Gizeh[3] record the name of a third priest, Shera or Sheri, a "royal relative" On the stele at Oxford we have represented the deceased and his wife seated, one on each side of an altar,[4] which is covered with funeral offerings of pious relatives; above, in perpendicular lines of hieroglyphics in relief, are the names of the objects offered,[5] and below is an inscription which reads,[6] "thousands of loaves of bread, thousands of vases of ale, thousands of linen garments, thousands of changes of wearing apparel, and thousands of oxen." Now from this monument it is evident that already in the IInd dynasty a priesthood existed in Egypt which numbered among its members relatives of the royal family, and that a religious system which prescribed as a duty the providing of meat and drink offerings for the dead was also in active operation. The offering of specific objects goes far to prove the existence of a ritual or service wherein their signification would be indicated; the coincidence of these words and the prayer for "thousands of loaves of bread, thousands of vases of ale," etc., with the promise, "Anpu-khent-Amenta shall give thee thy thousands of loaves of bread, thy thousands of vases of ale, thy thousands of vessels

[1. Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte, p. 170. In a mastaba at Sakkara we have a stele of Sheri, a superintendent of the priests of the ka, whereon the cartouches of Sent and Per-ab-sen both occur. See Mariette and Maspero, Les Mastaba de l'ancien Empire, Paris, 1882, p. 92.

2. See Lepsius, Auswahl, Bl. 9.

3. See Maspero, Guide du Visiteur au Musée de Boulaq, 1883, pp. 31, 32, and 213 (No. 1027).

4 A discussion on the method of depicting this altar on Egyptian monuments by Borchardt may be found in Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXXI., p. i (Die Darstellung innen verzierter Schalen auf aeg. Denkmälern).

6 Among others, (1) ###, (2) ###, (3) ###, (4) ###; the word incense is written twice, ###. Some of these appear in the lists of offerings made for Unas (l. 147) and for Teta (11. 125, 131, 133; see Recueil de Travaux, 1884, plate 2).

6 ###.

7 The sculptor had no room for the ### belonging to ###.]

{p. xvii}

of unguents, thy thousands of changes of apparel, thy thousands of oxen, and thy thousands of bullocks," enables us to recognise that ritual in the text inscribed upon the pyramid of Teta in the Vth dynasty, from which the above promise is taken.[1] Thus the traditional evidence of the text on the coffin of Menthu-hetep and the scene on the monument of Shera support one another, and together they prove beyond a doubt that a form of the Book of the Dead was in use at least in the period of the earliest dynasties, and that sepulchral ceremonies connected therewith were duly performed.[2]

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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2008, 09:57:25 pm »

The Book of the Dead in the IVth dynasty.

With the IVth dynasty we have an increased number of monuments, chiefly sepulchral, which give details as to the Egyptian sacerdotal system and the funeral ceremonies which the priests performed.[3] The inscriptions upon the earlier

[1. ###. Teta, II. 388, 389. (Recueil, ed. Maspero, t. v., p. 58.)

2 The arguments brought forward here in proof of the great antiquity of a religious system in Egypt are supplemented in a remarkable manner by the inscriptions found in the mastaba of Seker-kha-baiu at Sakkara. Here we have a man who, like Shera, was a "royal relative" and a priest, but who, unlike him, exercised some of the highest functions of the Egyptian priesthood in virtue of his title xerp hem. (On the ###
  • see Max Müller, Recueil de Travaux, t. ix., p. 166; Brugsch, Aegyptologie, p. 218; and Maspero, Un Manuel de Hiérarchie Égyptienne, p. 9.)

Among the offerings named in the tomb are the substances ### and ### which are also mentioned on the stele of Shera of the IInd dynasty, and in the texts of the VIth dynasty. But the tomb of Seker-kha-baiu is different from any other known to us, both as regards the form and cutting of the hieroglyphics, which are in relief, and the way in which they are disposed and grouped. The style of the whole monument is rude and very primitive, and it cannot be attributed to any dynasty later than the second, or even to the second itself; it must, therefore, have been built during the first dynasty, or in the words of MM. Mariette and Maspero, "L'impression générale que l'on reçoit au premier aspect du tombeau No. 5, est celle d'une extrême antiquité. Rien en effet de ce que nous sommes habitués à voir dans les autres tombeaux ne se retrouve ici . . . Le monument . . . . est certainement le plus ancien de ceux que nous connaissons dans la plaine de Saqqarah, et il n'y a pas de raison pour qu'il ne soit pas de la Ire Dynastie." Les Mastaba de l'ancien Empire; Paris, 1882, p. 73. Because there is no incontrovertible proof that this tomb belongs to the Ist dynasty, the texts on the stele of Shera, a monument of a later dynasty, have been adduced as the oldest evidences of the antiquity of a fixed religious system and literature in Egypt.

3. Many of the monuments commonly attributed to this dynasty should more correctly be described as being the work of the IInd dynasty; see Maspero, Geschichte der Morgenlänsdischen Völker im Alterthum (trans. Pietschmann), Leipzig, 1877, p. 56; Wiedemann, Aegyptische Geschichte p. 170.

* Ptah-shepses bore this title; see Mariette and Maspero, Les Mastaba, p. 113.]

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monuments prove that many of the priestly officials were still relatives of the royal family, and the tombs of feudal lords, scribes, and others, record a number of their official titles, together with the names of several of their religious festivals. The subsequent increase in the number of the monuments during this period may be due to the natural development of the religion of the time, but it is very probable that the greater security of life and property which had been assured by the vigorous wars of Seneferu,[1] the first king of this dynasty, about B.C. 3766, encouraged men to incur greater expense, and to build larger and better abodes for the dead, and to celebrate the full ritual at the prescribed festivals. In this dynasty the royal dead were honoured with sepulchral monuments of a greater size and magnificence than had ever before been contemplated, and the chapels attached to the pyramids were served by courses of priests whose sole duties consisted in celebrating the services. The fashion of building a pyramid instead of the rectangular flat-roofed mastaba for a royal tomb was revived by Seneferu,[2] who called his pyramid Kha; and his example was followed by his immediate successors, Khufu (Cheops), Khaf-Ra (Chephren), Men-kau-Ra (Mycerinus), and others.

Revision of certain chapters in the IVth dynasty.

In the reign of Mycerinus some important work seems to have been under taken in connection with certain sections of the text of the Book of the Dead, for the rubrics of Chapters XXXB. and CXLVIII.[3] state that these compositions were found inscribed upon "a block of iron(?) of the south in letters of real lapis-lazuli under the feet of the majesty of the god in the time of the King it of the North and South Men-kau-Ra, by the royal son Herutataf, triumphant." That a new impulse should be given to religious observances, and that the revision of existing religious texts should take place in the reign of Mycerinus, was only to be expected if Greek tradition may be believed, for both Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus represent him as a just king, and one who was anxious to efface from the minds of the people the memory of the alleged cruelty of his

[1. He conquered the peoples in the Sinaitic peninsula, and according to a text of a later date he built a wall to keep out the Aamu from Egypt. In the story of Saneha a "pool of Seneferu" is mentioned, which shows that his name was well known on the frontiers of Egypt. See Golénischeff, Aeg. Zeitschrift, p. 110; Maspero, Mélanges d'Archéologie, t. iii., Paris, 1876, p. 71, 1. 2; Lepsius, Denkmäler, ii., 2a.

2 The building of the pyramid of Mêdûm has usually been attributed to Seneferu, but the excavations made there in 1882 did nothing to clear up the uncertainty which exists on this point; for recent excavations see Petrie, Medum, London, 1892, 40.

3 For the text see Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. II., Bl. 99; Bd. I., Bl. 167.]

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predecessor by re-opening the temples and by letting every man celebrate his own sacrifices and discharge his own religious duties.[1] His pyramid is the one now known as the "third pyramid of Gizeh," under which he was buried in a chamber vertically below the apex and 60 feet below the level of the ground. Whether the pyramid was finished or not[2] when the king died, his body was certainly laid in it, and notwithstanding all the attempts made by the Muhammadan rulers of Egypt[3] to destroy it at the end of the 12th century of our era, it has survived to yield up important facts for the history of the Book of the Dead.

Evidence of the Inscription on the coffin of Mycerinus.

In 1837 Colonel Howard Vyse succeeded in forcing the entrance. On the 29th of July he commenced operations, and on the 1st of August he made his way into the sepulchral chamber, where, however, nothing was found but a rectangular stone sarcophagous[4] without the lid. The large stone slabs of the floor and the linings of the wall had been in many instances removed by thieves in search of treasure. In a lower chamber, connected by a passage with the sepulchral chamber, was found the greater part of the lid of the sarcophagus,[5] together with portions of a wooden coffin, and part of the body of a man, consisting of ribs and vertebrae and the bones of the legs and feet, enveloped

[1. Herodotus, ii., 129, 1; Diodorus, i., 64, 9.

2. According to Diodorus, he died before it was completed (i., 64, 7).

3. According to 'Abd el-Latif the Khalif's name was Mâmûn, but M. de Sacy doubted that he was the first to attempt this work; the authorities on the subject are all given in his Relation de l'Égypte, Paris, 1810, p. 215-221. Tradition, as represented in the "Arabian Nights," says that Al-Mâmûn was minded to pull down the Pyramids, and that he expended a mint of money in the attempt; he succeeded, however, only in opening up a small tunnel in one of them, wherein it is said he found treasure to the exact amount of the moneys which he had spent in the work, and neither more nor less. The Arabic writer Idrîsî, who wrote about A.H. 623 (A.D. 1226), states that a few years ago the "Red Pyramid," i.e., that of Mycerinus, was opened on the north side. After passing through various passages a room was reached wherein was found a long blue vessel, quite empty. The opening into this pyramid was effected by people who were in search of treasure; they worked at it with axes for six months, and they were in great numbers. They found in this basin, after they had broken the covering of it, the decayed remains of a man, but no treasures, excepting some golden tablets inscribed with characters of a language which nobody could understand. Each man's share of these tablets amounted to one hundred dinars (about £50). Other legendary history says that the western pyramid contains thirty chambers of parti-coloured syenite full of precious gems and costly weapons anointed with unguents that they may not rust until the day of the Resurrection. See Howard Vyse, The Pyramids of Gizeh, vol. ii., pp. 71, 72; and Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night; 1885, vol. v., p. 105, and vol. x., p. 150.

4 Vyse, The Pyramids of Gizeh, vol. ii., p. 84. A fragment of this sarcophagus is exhibited in the British Museum, First Egyptian Room, Case A, No. 6646.

5 With considerable difficulty this interesting monument was brought out from the pyramid by Mr. Raven, and having been cased in strong timbers, was sent off to the British Museum. It was embarked at Alexandria in the autumn of 1838, on board a merchant ship, which was supposed to have been lost off Carthagena, as she never was heard of after her departure from Leghorn on the 12th of October in that year, and as some parts of the wreck were picked up near the former port. The sarcophagus is figured by Vyse, Pyramids, vol. ii., plate facing p. 84.]

{p. xx}

in a coarse woollen cloth of a yellow colour, to which a small quantity of resinous substance and gum adhered.[1] It would therefore seem that, as the sarcophagus could not be removed, the wooden case alone containing the body had been brought into the large apartment for examination. Now, whether the human remains' there found are those of Mycerinus or of some one else, as some have suggested, in no way affects the question of the ownership of the coffin, for we know by the hieroglyphic inscription upon it that it was made to hold the mummified body of the king. This inscription, which is arranged in two perpendicular lines down the front of the coffin reads:--[3]

Ausar suten net[4] Men-kau-Ra anx t'etta mes en pet aur

King of the North and South Men-kau-Ra, living for ever, born of heaven, conceived of

Nut a a en Seb[5] mer-f peses-s mut-k Nut her-k

Nut, heir of Seb, his beloved. Spreadeth she thy mother Nut over thee

[1. As a considerable misapprehension about the finding of these remains has existed, the account of the circumstances under which they were discovered will be of interest. "Sir, by your request, I send you the particulars of the finding of the bones, mummy-cloth, and parts of the coffin in the Third Pyramid. In clearing the rubbish out of the large entrance-room, after the men had been employed there several days and had advanced some distance towards the south-eastern corner, some bones were first discovered at the bottom of the rubbish; and the remaining bones and parts of the coffin were immediately discovered all together. No other parts of the coffin or bones could be found in the room; I therefore had the rubbish which had been previously turned out of the same room carefully re-examined, when several pieces of the coffin and of the mummy-cloth were found; but in no other part of the pyramid were any parts of it to be discovered, although every place was most minutely examined, to make the coffin as complete as possible. There was about three feet of rubbish on the top of the same; and from the circumstance of the bones and part of the coffin being all found together, it appeared as if the coffin had been brought to that spot and there unpacked.--H. Raven." Vyse, Pyramids, vol. ii., p. 86.

2. They are exhibited in the First Egyptian Room, Case A, and the fragments of the coffin in Wall Case No. 1 (No. 6647) in the same room.

3. See Lepsius, Auswahl, Taf. 7.

4. Or suten bat; see Sethe, Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXVIII., p. 125; and Bd. XXX, p. 113; Max Müller, Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXX., p. 56; Renouf, Proc. Son Bibl. Arch., 1893, pp. 219, 220; and Lefébure, Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXXI., p. 114 ff.

5. It seems that we should read this god's name Keb (see Lefébure, Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXXI., p. 12 5); for the sake of uniformity the old name is here retained.]

{p. xxi}

em ren-s en seta pet ertat-nes un-k em neter

in her name of "mystery of heaven," she granteth that thou mayest exist as a god

an xeft-k suten net Men-kau-Ra anx t'etta

without thy foes, O King of the North and South, Men-kau-Ra, living for ever!

Now it is to be noted that the passage, "Thy mother Nut spreadeth herself over thee in her name of 'Mystery of Heaven,' she granteth that thou mayest be without enemies," occurs in the texts which are inscribed upon the pyramids built by the kings of the VIth dynasty,[1] and thus we have evidence of the use of the same version of one religious text both in the IVth and in the VIth dynasties.[2]

Even if we were to admit that the coffin is a forgery of the XXVIth dynasty, and that the inscription upon it was taken from an edition of the text of the Book of the Dead, still the value of the monument as an evidence of the antiquity of the Book of the Dead is scarcely impaired, for those who added the inscription would certainly have chosen it from a text of the time of Mycerinus.

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« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 09:58:17 pm »

The Book of the Dead in the Vth dynasty.

In the Vth dynasty we have--in an increased number of mastabas and other monuments--evidence of the extension of religious ceremonials, including the

[1. See the texts of Teta and Pepi I. in Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. V., pp. 20, 38 (ll. 175, 279), and pp. 165, T73 (ll. 60, 103), etc.

2. So far back as 1883, M. Maspero, in lamenting (Guide du Visiteur de Boulaq, p. 310) the fact that the Bûlâq Museum possessed only portions of wooden coffins of the Ancient Empire and no complete example, noticed that the coffin of Mycerinus, preserved in the British Museum, had been declared by certain Egyptologists to be a "restoration" of the XXVIth dynasty, rather than the work of the IVth dynasty, in accordance with the inscription upon it; but like Dr. Birch he was of opinion that the coffin certainly belonged to the IVth dynasty, and adduced in support of his views the fact of the existence of portions of a similar coffin of Seker-em-sa-f, a king of the VIth dynasty. Recently, however, an attempt has again been made (Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXX., p. 94 ff.) to prove by the agreement of the variants in the text on the coffin of Mycerinus with those of texts of the XXVIth dynasty, that the Mycerinus text is of this late period, or at all events not earlier than the time of Psammetichus. But it is admitted on all hands that in the XXVIth dynasty the Egyptians resuscitated texts of the first dynasties of the Early Empire, and that they copied the arts and literature of that period as far as possible, and, this being so, the texts on the monuments which have been made the standard of comparison for that on the coffin of Mycerinus may be themselves at fault in their variants. If the text on the cover could be proved to differ as much from an undisputed IVth dynasty text as it does from those even of the VIth dynasty, the philological argument might have some weight; but even this would not get rid of the fact that the cover itself is a genuine relic of the IVth dynasty.]

{p. xxii}

Evidence of the texts of the pyramid of Unas.

celebration of funeral rites; but a text forming the Book of the Dead as a whole does not occur until the reign of Unas (B.C. 3333), the last king of the dynasty, who according to the Turin papyrus reigned thirty years. This monarch built on the plain of Sakkâra a stone pyramid about sixty-two feet high, each side measuring about two hundred feet at the base. In the time of Perring and Vyse it was surrounded by heaps of broken stone and rubbish, the result of repeated attempts to open it, and with the casing stones, which consisted of compact limestone from the quarries of Tura.[1] In February, 1881, M. Maspero began to clear the pyramid, and soon after he succeeded in making an entrance into the innermost chambers, the walls of which were covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions, arranged in perpendicular lines and painted in green.[2] The condition of the interior showed that at some time or other thieves had already succeeded in making an entrance, for the cover of the black basalt sarcophagus of Unas had been wrenched off and moved near the door of the sarcophagus chamber; the paving stones had been pulled up in the vain attempt to find buried treasure; the mummy had been broken to pieces, and nothing remained of it except the right arm, a tibia, and some fragments of the skull and body. The inscriptions which covered certain walls and corridors in the tomb were afterwards published by M. Maspero.[3] The appearance of the text of Unas[4] marks an era in the history of the Book of the Dead, and its translation must be regarded as one of the greatest triumphs of Egyptological decipherment, for the want of determinatives in many places in the text, and the archaic spelling of many of the words and passages presented difficulties which were not easily overcome.[6] Here, for the first time, it was shown that the Book of the Dead was no compilation of a comparatively late period in the history of Egyptian civilization, but a work belonging to a very remote antiquity; and it followed naturally that texts which were then known, and which were thought to be themselves original ancient texts, proved to be only versions which had passed through two or more successive revisions.

[1. Vyse, Pyramids of Gizeh, p. 51

2. Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. iii., p. 78.

3. See Recueil de Travaux, t. iii., pp. 177-224; t. iv., pp. 41-78.

4. In 1881 Dr. Brugsch described two pyramids of the VIth dynasty inscribed with religious texts similar to those found in the pyramid of Unas, and translated certain passages (Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd., xix., pp. 1-15); see also Birch in Trans. Son Bibl. Arch., 1881, p. iii ff.

5 The pyramid which bore among the Arabs the name of Mastabat el-Far'ûn, or "Pharaoh's Bench," was excavated by Mariette in 1858, and, because he found the name of Unas painted on certain blocks of stone, he concluded that it was the tomb of Unas. M. Maspero's excavations have, as Dr. Lepsius observes (Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XIX., p. 15), set the matter right.]

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The Book of the Dead in the VIth dynasty

Evidence of the text of the pyramid of Teta;

Continuing his excavations at Sakkâra, M. Maspero opened the pyramid Of Teta,[1] king of Egypt about B.C. 3300, which Vyse thought[2] had never been entered, and of which, in his day, the masonry on one side only could be seen. Here again it was found that thieves had already been at work, and that they had smashed in pieces walls, floors, and many other parts of the chambers in their frantic search for treasure. As in the case of the pyramid of Unas, certain chambers, etc., of this tomb were found covered with inscriptions in hieroglyphics, but of a smaller size.[3] A brief examination of the text showed it to be formed of a series of extracts from the Book of the Dead, some of which were identical with those in the pyramid of Unas. Thus was brought to light a Book of the Dead of the time of the first king 4 of the VIth dynasty.

and of the pyramid of Pepi I., Mer-en-Ra, and Pepi II.

The pyramid of Pepi I., king of Egypt about B.C. 3233, was next opened.[5] It is situated in the central group at Sakkâra, and is commonly known as the pyramid of Shêkh Abu-Mansûr.[6] Certain chambers and other parts of the tomb were found to be covered with hieroglyphic texts, which not only repeated in part those which had been found in the pyramids of Unas and Teta, but also contained a considerable number of additional sections of the Book of the Dead.[7] In the same neighbourhood M. Maspero, cleared out the pyramid of Mer-en-Ra, the fourth king of the VIth dynasty, about B.C. 3200;[8] and the pyramid of Pepi II., the fifth king of the VIth dynasty, about B.C. 3166.[9]

[1. The mummy of the king had been taken out of the sarcophagus through a hole which the thieves had made in it; it was broken by them in pieces, and the only remains of it found by M. Maspero consisted of an arm and shoulder. Parts of the wooden coffin are preserved in the Gizeh Museum.

2. The Pyramids of Gizeh, vol. iii., p. 39.

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3. They were copied in 1882, and published by M. Maspero in Recueil de Travaux, t. v., pp. 1-59.

4. The broken mummy of this king, together with fragments of its bandages, was found lying on the floor.

5. See Vyse, Pyramids of Gizeh, vol. iii., p. 5

6. It had been partially opened by Mariette in May, 1880, but the clearance of sand was not effected until early in 1881.

7. The full text is given by Maspero in Recueil de Travaux, t. v., pp. 157-58, Paris, 1884; t. vii., pp. 145-76, Paris, 1886; and t. viii., pp. 87-120, Paris, 1886.

8. It was opened early in January, 1880, by Mariette, who seeing that the sarcophagus chamber was inscribed, abandoned his theory that pyramids never contained inscriptions, or that if they did they were not royal tombs. The hieroglyphic texts were published by Maspero in Recueil de Travaux, t. ix., pp. 177-91, Paris, 1887; t. X, pp. 1-29, Paris, 1388; and t. xi., pp. 1-31, Paris, 1889. The alabaster vase in the British Museum, NQ 4493, came from this pyramid.

9. This pyramid is a little larger than the others of the period, and is built in steps of small stones; it is commonly called by the Arabs Haram el Mastabat, because it is near the building usually called Mastabat el-Far'ûn. See Vyse, Pyramids, vol. iii., p. 52. The hieroglyphic texts are published by Maspero in Recueil de Travaux, t. xii., pp. 53-95, and pp. 136-95, Paris, 1892; and t. xiv., pp. 125-52, Paris, 1892. There is little doubt that this pyramid was broken into more than once in Christian times, and that the early collectors of Egyptian antiquities obtained the beautiful alabaster vases inscribed with the cartouches and titles of Pepi II. from those who had access to the sarcophagus chamber. Among such objects in the British Museum collection, Nos. 4492, 22,559, 22,758 and 22,817 are fine examples.]

{p. xxiv}

Summary of the monumental evidence.

Thus we have before the close of the VIth dynasty five copies of a series of texts which formed the Book of the Dead of that period, and an extract from a well-known passage of that work on the wooden coffin of Mycerinus; we have also seen from a number of mastabas and stelæ that the funeral ceremonies connected with the Book of the Dead were performed certainly in the IInd, and with almost equal certainty in the Ist dynasty. It is easy to show that certain sections of the Book of the Dead of this period were copied and used in the following dynasties down to a period about A.D. 200.

The Book of the Dead a collection of separate works.

The fact that not only in the pyramids of Unas and Teta, but also in those of Pepi I. and his immediate successors, we find selected passages, suggests that the Book of the Dead was, even in those early times, so extensive that even a king was fain to make from it a selection only of the passages which suited his individual taste or were considered sufficient to secure his welfare in the next world. In the pyramids of Teta, Pepi I., Mer-en-Ra and Pepi II. are found many texts which are identical with those employed by their predecessors, and an examination of the inscription of Pepi II. will show that about three-fourths of the whole may be found in the monuments of his ancestors. What principle guided each king in the selection of his texts, or whether the additions in each represent religious developments, it is impossible to say; but, as the Egyptian religion cannot have remained stationary in every particular, it is probable that some texts reflect the changes in the opinions of the priests upon matters of doctrine.[1] The "Pyramid Texts" prove that each section of the religious books of the Egyptians was originally a separate and independent composition, that it was written with a definite object, and that it might be arranged in any order in a series of similar texts. What preceded or what followed it was never taken into

[1. A development has been observed in the plan of ornamenting the interiors of the pyramids of the Vth and VIth dynasties. In that of Unas about one-quarter of the sarcophagus chamber is covered with architectural decorations, and the hieroglyphics are large, well spaced, and enclosed in broad lines. But as we advance in the VIth dynasty, the space set apart for decorative purposes becomes less, the hieroglyphics are smaller, the lines are crowded, and the inscriptions overflow into the chambers and corridors, which in the Vth dynasty were left blank. See Maspero in Revue des Religions, t. xi., p. 124.]

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consideration by the scribe, although it seems, at times, as if traditions had assigned a sequence to certain texts.

Historical reference.

That events of contemporary history were sometimes reflected in the Book of the Dead of the early dynasties is proved by the following. We learn from the inscription upon the tomb of Heru-khuf at Aswân,[l] that this governor of Elephantine was ordered to bring for king Pepi II.[2] a pigmy,[3] from the interior of Africa, to dance before the king and amuse him; and he was promised that, if he succeeded in bringing the pigmy alive and in good health, his majesty would confer upon him a higher rank and dignity than that which king Assa conferred upon his minister Ba-ur-Tettet, who performed this much appreciated service for his master.[4] Now Assa was the eighth king of the Vth dynasty, and Pepi II. was the fifth king of the VIth dynasty, and between the reigns of these kings there was, according to M. Maspero, an interval of at least sixty-four, but more probably eighty, years. But in the text in the pyramid of Pepi I., which must have been drafted at some period between the reigns of these kings, we have the passage, "Hail thou who [at thy will] makest to pass over to the Field of Aaru the soul that is right and true, or dost make shipwreck of it. Ra-meri (i.e., Pepi I.) is right and true in respect of heaven and in respect of earth, Pepi is right and true in respect of the island of the earth whither he swimmeth and where he arriveth. He who is between the thighs of Nut (i.e., Pepi) is the pigmy who danceth [like] the god, and who pleaseth the heart

[1. The full text from this tomb and a discussion on its contents are given by Schiaparelli, Una tomba egiziana inedita della VIa dinastia con inscrizioni storiche e geografiche, in Atti della R. Accademia dei Lincei, anno CCLXXXIX., Ser. 4a, Classe di Scienze Morali, etc., t. x., Rome, 1893, pp. 22-53. This text has been treated by Erman (Z.D.M.G., Bd. XLVI., 1892, p. 574 ff.), who first pointed out the reference to the pigmy in the pyramid texts, and by Maspero in Revue Critique, Paris, 1892, p. 366.

2 See Erman in Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXXI., p. 65 ff.

3 On the pigmy see Stanley, Darkest Africa, vol. i., p. 198; vol. ii., p. 40f; Schweinfurth, Im Herzen von Africa, Bd. II., Kap. 16, p. 131 ff. That the pigmies paid tribute to the Egyptians is certain from the passage "The pigmies came to him from the lands of the south having things of service for his palace"; see Dümichen, Geschichte des alten Aegyptens, Berlin, 1887, p. 7.

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4. ###.]

{p. xxvi}

of the god [Osiris] before his great throne. . . . The two beings who are over the throne of the great god proclaim Pepi to be sound and healthy, [therefore] Pepi shall sail in the boat to the beautiful field of the great god, and he shall do therein that which is done by those to whom veneration is due."[1] Here clearly we have a reference to the historical fact of the importation of a pigmy from the regions south of Nubia; and the idea which seems to have been uppermost in the mind of him that drafted the text was that as the pigmy pleased the king for whom he was brought in this world, even so might the dead Pepi please the god Osiris[2] in the next world. As the pigmy was brought by boat to the king, so might Pepi be brought by boat to the island wherein the god dwelt; as the conditions made by the king were fulfilled by him that brought the pigmy, even so might the conditions made by Osiris concerning the dead be fulfilled by him that transported Pepi to his presence. The wording of the passage amply justifies the assumption that this addition was made to the text after the mission of Assa, and during the VIth dynasty.[3]

Authorship of the Book of the Dead.

Like other works of a similar nature, however, the pyramid texts afford us no information as to their authorship. In the later versions of the Book of the Dead certain chapters[4] are stated to be the work of the god Thoth. They certainly belong to that class of literature which the Greeks called "Hermetic,"[5] and it is pretty certain that under some group they were included in the list of the forty-two works which, according to Clement of Alexandria,[6] constituted the sacred books of the Egyptians.[7] As Thoth, whom the Greeks called Hermes, is in Egyptian texts styled "lord of divine books,"[8] "scribe of the company of the gods,"[9] and "lord of divine speech,"[10] this ascription is well founded. The

[1. For the hieroglyphic text see Maspero, Recueil de Travaux, t. vii., pp. 162, 163; and t. xi., p. ii.

2 Pietschmann thinks (Aeg. Zeitschrift, Bd. XXXI., p. 73 f) that the Satyrs, who are referred to by Diodorus (i., XVIII) as the companions and associates of Osiris in Ethiopia, have their origin in the pigmies.

3. The whole question of the pigmy in the text of Pepi I. has been discussed by Maspero in Recueil de Travaux, t. xiv., p. 186 ff.

4. Chapp. 30B, 164, 37B and 148. Although these chapters were found at Hermopolis, the city of Thoth, it does not follow that they were drawn up there.

5. See Birch, in Bunsen, Egypt's Place in Universal History, vol. V., p. 125; Naville, Todtenbuch (Einleitung), p. 26.

6. Stromata, VI., 4, 35, ed. Dindorff, t. iii., p. 155.

7. On the sacred books of the Egyptians see also Iamblichus, De Mysteriis, ed. Parthey, Berlin 1857, pp. 260, 261; Lepsius, Chronologie, p. 45 ff.; and Brugsch, Aegyptologie, p. 149.

8. ###.

9. ###.

10. ###.]

{p. xxvii}

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Josie Linde
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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2008, 10:00:36 pm »

Influence of the priests of Annu on its compilation.

pyramid texts are versions of ancient religious compositions which the priests of the college or school of Annu[1] succeeded in establishing as the authorized version of the Book of the Dead in the first six dynasties. Ra, the local form of the Sun-god, usurps the place occupied by the more ancient form Tmu; and it would seem that when a dogma had been promulgated by the college of Annu, it was accepted by the priesthood of all the great cities throughout Egypt. The great influence of the Annu school of priests even in the time of Unas is proved by the following passage from the text in his pyramid: "O God, thy Annu is Unas; O God, thy Annu is Unas. O Ra, Annu is Unas, thy Annu is Unas, O Ra. The mother of Unas is Annu, the father of Unas is Annu; Unas himself is Annu, and was born in Annu."[2] Elsewhere we are told that Unas "cometh to the great bull which cometh forth from Annu,[3] and that he uttereth words of magical import in Annu."[4] In Annu the god Tmu produced the gods Shu and Tefnut,[5] and in Annu dwelt the great and oldest company of the gods, Tmu, Shu, Tefnut, Seb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set and Nephthys.[6] The abode of the blessed in heaven was called[7] Annu, and it was asserted that the souls of

[1 Annu, the metropolis of the thirteenth nome of Lower Egypt; see Brugsch, Dict. Géog., p. 41; de Rougé, Géographie Ancienne de la Basse-Égypte, p. 81; and Amélineau, La Géographie de Égypte a l'Époque Copte, p. 287. Annu is ###, Genesis xli., 45; ###, Genesis xli., 50; ### Ezekiel xxx., 17; and Beth Shemesh, ### 4:11 Jeremiah xliii., 13; and the Heliopolis of the Greek writers (H?liou'polis, Strabo, XVII., 1., §§ 27, 28; Herodotus, II., 3; Diodorus, I., 57, 4).

2. ###. Maspero, Unas, II. 591, 592; and compare Pepi I., II. 690, 691.

3. See line 596.

4. ###.

5. ###. Maspero, Pepi I., 1. 465, 466.

6. The Pyramid of Pepi II., 1. 665.

7. In reading Egyptian religious texts, the existence of the heavenly Annu, which was to the Egyptians what Jerusalem was to the Jews, and what Mecca still is to the Mubammadans, must be remembered. The heavenly Annu was the capital of the mythological world (see Naville, Todtenbuch (Einleitung), p. 27), and was, to the spirits of men, what the earthly Annu was to their bodies, i.e., the abode of the gods and the centre and source of all divine instruction. Like many other mythological cities, such as Abtu, Tattu, Pe, Tep, Khemennu, etc., the heavenly Annu had no geographical position.]

{p. xxviii}

the just were there united to their spiritual or glorified bodies, and that they lived there face to face with the deity for all eternity.[1] judging from the fact that the texts in the tombs of Heru-hetep and Neferu, and those inscribed upon the sarcophagus of Taka, all of the XIth and XIIth dynasties, differ in extent only and not in character or contents from those of the royal pyramids of Sakkâra of the Vth and VIth dynasties, it has been declared that the religion as well as the art of the first Theban empire are nothing but a slavish copy of those of northern Egypt.[2]

The Theban version.

The Theban version, which was much used in Upper Egypt from the XVIIIth to the XXth dynasty, was commonly written on papyri in the hieroglyphic character. The text is written in black ink in perpendicular rows of hieroglyphics, which are separated from each other by black lines; the titles of the chapters or sections, and certain parts of the chapters and the rubrics belonging thereto, are written in red ink. A steady development in the illumination of the vignettes is observable in the papyri of this period. At the beginning of the XVIIIth dynasty the vignettes are in black outline, but we see from the papyrus of Hunefer (Brit. Mus. No. 9901), who was an overseer of cattle of Seti I., king of Egypt about B.C. 1370, that the vignettes are painted in reds, greens, yellows, white, and other colours, and that the whole of the text and

[1. The importance of Annu and its gods in the VIth dynasty is well indicated by a prayer from the pyramid of Pepi II. (for the texts see Maspero, Recueil, t. x., p. 8, and t. xii., p. 146), which reads:

"Hail, ye great nine gods who dwell in Annu, grant ye that Pepi may flourish, and grant ye that this pyramid of Pepi, this building built for eternity, may flourish, even as the name of the god Tmu, the chief of the great company of the nine gods, doth flourish. If the name of Shu, the lord of the celestial shrine in Annu flourisheth, then Pepi shall flourish, and this his pyramid shall flourish, and this his work shall endure to all eternity. If the name of Tefnut, the lady of the terrestrial shrine in Annu endureth, the name of Pepi shall endure, and this pyramid shall endure to all eternity. If the name of Seb . . . . . flourisheth the name of Pepi shall flourish, and this pyramid shall flourish, and this his work shall endure to all eternity. If the name of Nut flourisheth in the temple of Shenth in Annu, the name of Pepi shall flourish, and this pyramid shall flourish, and this his work shall endure to all eternity. If the name of Osiris flourisheth in This, the name of Pepi shall flourish, and this pyramid shall flourish, and this his work shall endure to all eternity. If the name of Osiris Khent-Amenta flourisheth, the name of Pepi shall flourish, and this pyramid shall flourish, and this his work shall endure to all eternity. If the name of Set flourisheth in Nubt, the name of Pepi shall flourish, and this pyramid shall flourish, and this his work shall endure to all eternity."

2. Maspero, la Religion Égyptienne d'après les Pyramides de la VIe et de la VIIe dynastie, (In Revue des Religions, t. xii., pp. 138, 139.)]

{p. xxix}

Palæography of the version.

vignettes are enclosed in a red and yellow border. Originally the text was the most important part of the work, and both it and its vignettes were the work of the scribe; gradually, however, the brilliantly illuminated vignettes were more and more cared for, and when the skill of the scribe failed, the artist was called in. In many fine papyri of the Theban period it is altar that the whole plan of the vignettes of a papyrus was set out by artists, who often failed to leave sufficient space for the texts to which they belonged; in consequence many lines of chapters are often omitted, and the last few lines of some texts are so much crowded as to be almost illegible. The frequent clerical errors also show that while an artist of the greatest skill might be employed on the vignettes, the execution of the text was left to an ignorant or careless scribe. Again, the artist at times arranged his vignettes in wrong order, and it is occasionally evident that neither artist nor scribe understood the matter upon which he was engaged. According to M. Maspero[1] the scribes of the VIth dynasty did not understand the texts which they were drafting, and in the XIXth dynasty the scribe of a papyrus now preserved at Berlin knew or cared so little about the text which he was copying that he transcribed the LXXVIIth Chapter from the wrong end, and apparently never discovered his error although he concluded the chapter with its title.[2] Originally each copy of the Book of the Dead was written to order, but soon the custom obtained of preparing copies with blank spaces in which the name of the purchaser might be inserted; and many of the errors in spelling and most of the omissions of words are no doubt due to the haste with which such "stock" copies were written by the members of the priestly caste, whose profession it was to copy them.

Theban papyri.

The papyri upon which copies of the Theban version were written vary in length from about 20 to go feet, and in width from 14 to 18 inches; in the XVIIIth dynasty the layers of the papyrus are of a thicker texture and of a darker colour than in the succeeding dynasties. The art of making great lengths of papyrus of light colour and fine texture attained its highest perfection in the XIXth dynasty. An examination of Theban papyri shows that the work of writing and illuminating a fine copy of the Book of the Dead was frequently distributed between two or more groups of artists and scribes, and that the sections were afterwards joined up into a whole. Occasionally by error two groups of men would transcribe the same chapter; hence in the papyrus of Ani, Chapter XVIII. occurs twice (see within, p. cxlviii.).

[1. Recueil de Travaux, t. iv., p. 62.

2. Naville, Todtenbuch (Einleitung), pp. 41-43.]

{p. xxx}

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