It is impossible to give a date for the composition of this document.
The surviving papyrus (Papyrus
Leiden 334) itself is a copy made during the New Kingdom.
Ipuwer is generally supposed
to have lived during the Middle Kingdom or the Second Intermediate
Period, and the catastrophes he bewails to have taken place four
centuries earlier during the First Intermediate Period.
Lacunae in the papyrus text are marked by [...].
[. .] The door [keepers] say: "Let us go and plunder."
The confectioners [. . .].
The washerman refuses to carry his load [. . .]
The bird [catchers] have drawn up in line of battle [. . . the
inhabitants] of the Delta carry shields.
The brewers [. . .] sad.
A man regards his son as his enemy. Confusion [. . .] another. Come and
conquer; judge [. . .] what was ordained for you in the time of Horus,
in the age [of the Ennead . . .]. The virtuous man goes in mourning
because of what has happened in the land [. . .] goes [. . .] the tribes
of the desert have become Egyptians everywhere.
Indeed, the face is pale; [. . .] what the ancestors foretold has
arrived at [fruition . . .] the land is full of confederates, and a man
goes to plough with his shield.
Indeed, the meek say: ["He who is . . . of] face is as a well-born man."
Indeed, [the face] is pale; the bowman is ready, wrongdoing is
everywhere, and there is no man of yesterday.
Indeed, the plunderer [. . .] everywhere, and the servant takes what he
Indeed, the Nile overflows, yet none plough for it [I/1]. Everyone says:
"We do not know what will happen throughout the land."
Indeed, the women are barren and none conceive. Khnum fashions (men) no
more because of the condition of the land.
Indeed, poor men have become owners of wealth, and he who could not make
sandals for himself is now a possessor of riches.
Indeed, men's slaves, their hearts are sad, and magistrates do not
fraternize with their people when they shout.
Indeed, [hearts] are violent, pestilence is throughout the land, blood
is everywhere, death is not lacking, and the mummy-cloth speaks even
before one comes near it.
Indeed, many dead are buried in the river; the stream is a sepulcher and
the place of embalmment has become a stream.
Indeed, noblemen are in distress, while the poor man is full of joy.
Every town says: "Let us suppress the powerful among us." [II/1]
Indeed, men are like ibises. Squalor is throughout the land, and there
are none indeed whose clothes are white in these times.
Indeed, the land turns around as does a potter's wheel; the robber is a
possessor of riches and [the rich man is become] a plunderer.
Indeed, trusty servants are [. . .]; the poor man [complains]: "How
terrible! What am I to do?"
Indeed, the river is blood, yet men drink of it. Men shrink from human
beings and thirst after water. [II/2]
Indeed, gates, columns and walls are burnt up [II/3], while the hall of
the palace stands firm and endures.
Indeed, the ship of [the southerners] has broken up; towns are destroyed
and Upper Egypt has become an empty waste.
Indeed, crocodiles [are glutted] with the fish they have taken, for men
go to them of their own accord [II/4]; it is the destruction of the
land. Men say: "Do not walk here; behold, it is a net." Behold, men
tread [the water] like fishes, and the frightened man cannot distinguish
it because of terror.
Indeed, men are few, and he who places his brother in the ground is
everywhere. When the wise man speaks, [he flees without delay].
Indeed, the well-born man [. . .] through lack of recognition, and the
child of his lady has become the son of his maidservant.
Indeed, the desert is throughout the land, the nomes are laid waste, and
barbarians [III/1] from abroad have come to Egypt[III/2].
Indeed, men arrive [. . .] and indeed, there are no Egyptians [III/3]
Indeed, gold and lapis lazuli, silver and turquoise, carnelian and
amethyst, Ibhet-stone and [. . .] are strung on the necks of
maidservants. Good things are throughout the land, (yet) housewives say:
"Oh that we had something to eat!"
Indeed, [. . .] noblewomen. Their bodies are in sad plight by reason of
their rags, and their hearts sink when greeting [one another]. Indeed,
chests of ebony are broken up, and precious ssndm-wood is cleft asunder
in beds [. . .].
Indeed, the builders [of pyramids have become] cultivators, and those
who were in the sacred bark are now yoked [to it]. None shall indeed
sail northward to Byblos today; what shall we do for cedar trees for our
mummies, and with the produce of which priests are buried and with the
oil of which [chiefs] are embalmed as far as Keftiu? They come no more;
gold is lacking [. . .] and materials for every kind of craft have come
to an end. The [. . .] of the palace is despoiled. How often do people
of the oases come with their festival spices, mats, and skins, with
fresh rdmt-plants, grease of birds . . . ?
Indeed, Elephantine and Thinis [...] of Upper Egypt, (but) without
paying taxes owing to civil strife. Lacking are grain, charcoal, irtyw-fruit,
m'w-wood, nwt-wood, and brushwood. The work of craftsmen and [. . .] are
the profit of the palace. To what purpose is a treasury without its
revenues? Happy indeed is the heart of the king when truth comes to him!
And every foreign land [comes]! That is our fate and that is our
happiness! What can we do about it? All is ruin!
Indeed, laughter is perished and is [no longer] made; it is groaning
that is throughout the land, mingled with complaints.
Indeed, every dead person is as a well-born man. Those who were
Egyptians [have become] foreigners and are thrust aside.
Indeed, hair [has fallen out] for everybody, and the man of rank can no
longer be distinguished from him who is nobody.
Indeed, [. . .] because of noise; noise is not [. . .] in years of
noise, and there is no end [of] noise.
Indeed, great and small [say]: "I wish I might die." Little children
say: "He should not have caused [me] to live."
Indeed, the children of princes are dashed against walls, and the
children of the neck [IV/1] are laid out on the high ground [IV/2].
Indeed, those who were in the place of embalmment are laid out on the
high ground, and the secrets of the embalmers are thrown down because of
Indeed, that has perished which yesterday was seen, and the land is left
over to its weakness like the cutting of flax.
Indeed, the Delta in its entirety will not be hidden, and Lower Egypt
puts trust in trodden roads. What can one do? No [. . .] exist anywhere,
and men say: "Perdition to the secret place!" Behold, it is in the hands
of those who do not know it like those who know it. The desert dwellers
are skilled in the crafts [IV/3] of the Delta.
Indeed, citizens are put to the corn-rubbers, and those who used to don
fine linen are beaten with . . . Those who used never to see the day
have gone out unhindered; those who were on their husbands' beds, let
them lie on rafts. I say: "It is too heavy for me," concerning rafts
bearing myrrh. Load them with vessels filled with [. . . Let] them know
the palanquin. As for the butler, he is ruined. There are no remedies
for it; noblewomen suffer like maidservants, minstrels are at the looms
within the weaving-rooms, and what they sing to the Songstress-goddess
is mourning. Talkers [. . .] corn-rubbers.
Indeed, all female slaves are free with their tongues, and when their
mistress speaks, it is irksome to the maidservants.
Indeed, trees are felled and branches are stripped off [IV/4].
I have separated him and his household slaves, and men will say when
they hear it: "Cakes are lacking for most children; there is no food [.
. .]. What is the taste of it like today?"
Indeed, magnates are hungry and perishing, followers are followed [. .
.] because of complaints.
Indeed, the hot-tempered man says: "If I knew where God is, then I would
Indeed, [Right] pervades the land in name, but what men do in trusting
to it is Wrong.
Indeed, runners are fighting over the spoil [of ] the robber, and all
his property is carried off.
Indeed, all animals, their hearts weep; cattle moan because of the state
of the land.
Indeed, the children of princes are dashed against walls, and the
children of the neck are laid out on the high ground. Khnum groans
because of his weariness.
Indeed, terror kills; the frightened man opposes what is done against
your enemies. Moreover, the few are pleased, while the rest are . . . Is
it by following the crocodile and cleaving it asunder? Is it by slaying
the lion roasted on the fire? [Is it] by sprinkling for Ptah and taking
[. . .]? Why do you give to him? There is no reaching him. It is misery
which you give to him.
Indeed, slaves . . . throughout the land, and the strong man sends to
everyone; a man strikes his maternal brother. What is it that has been
done? I speak to a ruined man.
Indeed, the ways are [. . .], the roads are watched [V/1]; men sit in
the bushes until the benighted traveler comes in order to plunder his
burden, and what is upon him is taken away. He is belabored with blows
of a stick and murdered.
Indeed, that has perished which yesterday was seen, and the land is left
over to its weakness like the cutting of flax, commoners coming and
going in dissolution [. . .].
Would that there were an end of men, without conception, without birth!
Then would the land be quiet from noise and tumult be no more.
Indeed, [men eat] herbage and wash [it] down with water; neither fruit
nor herbage can be found [for] the birds, and [. . .] is taken away from
the mouth of the pig. No face is bright which you have [. . .] for me
Indeed, everywhere barley has perished and men are stripped of clothes,
spice, and oil; everyone says: "There is none." The storehouse is empty
and its keeper is stretched on the ground; a happy state of affairs! . .
Would that I had raised my voice at that moment, that it might have
saved me from the pain in which I am.
Indeed, the private council-chamber, its writings are taken away and the
mysteries which were [in it] are laid bare [VI/1].
Indeed, magic spells are divulged [VI/2]; smw- and shnw-spells [VI/3]
are frustrated because they are remembered by men.
Indeed, public offices are opened and their inventories are taken away;
the serf has become an owner of serfs.
Indeed, [scribes] are killed and their writings are taken away. Woe is
me because of the misery of this time!
Indeed, the writings of the scribes of the cadaster are destroyed, and
the corn of Egypt is common property [VI/4].
Indeed, the laws of the council chamber are thrown out; indeed, men walk
on them in public places, and poor men break them up in the streets.
Indeed, the poor man has attained to the state of the Nine Gods, and the
erstwhile procedure of the House of the Thirty [VI/5] is divulged.
Indeed, the great council-chamber is a popular resort, and poor men come
and go to the Great Mansions.
Indeed, the children of magnates are ejected into the streets; the wise
man agrees and the fool says "no," and it is pleasing in the sight of
him who knows nothing about it.
Indeed, those who were in the place of embalmment are laid out on the
high ground, and the secrets of the embalmers are thrown down because of
Behold, the fire has gone up on high, and its burning goes forth against
the enemies of the land.
Behold, things have been done which have not happened for a long time
past; the king has been deposed by the rabble.
Behold, he who was buried as a falcon [VII/1] [is devoid] of biers, and
what the pyramid concealed has become empty.
Behold, it has befallen that the land has been deprived of the kingship
by a few lawless men.
Behold, men have fallen into rebellion against the Uraeus, the [. . .]
of Re, even she who makes the Two Lands content.
Behold, the secret of the land whose limits were unknown is divulged,
and the Residence is thrown down in a moment.
Behold, Egypt is fallen to pouring of water, and he who poured water on
the ground has carried off the strong man in misery.
Behold, the Serpent is taken from its hole, and the secrets of the Kings
of Upper and Lower Egypt are divulged.
Behold, the Residence is afraid because of want, and [men go about]
unopposed to stir up strife.
Behold, the land has knotted itself up with confederacies, and the
coward takes the brave man's property.
Behold, the Serpent [VII/2] [. . .] the dead: he who could not make a
sarcophagus for himself is now the possessor of a tomb.
Behold, the possessors of tombs are ejected on to the high ground, while
he who could not make a coffin for himself is now [the possessor] of a
Behold, this has happened [to] men; he who could not build a room for
himself is now a possessor of walls.
Behold, the magistrates of the land are driven out throughout the land:
[. . .] are driven out from the palaces.
Behold, noble ladies are now on rafts, and magnates are in the labor
establishment, while he who could not sleep even on walls is now the
possessor of a bed [VII/3].
Behold, the possessor of wealth now spends the night thirsty, while he
who once begged his dregs for himself is now the possessor of
Behold, the possessors of robes are now in rags, while he who could not
weave for himself is now a possessor of fine linen.
Behold, he who could not build a boat for himself is now the possessor
of a fleet; their erstwhile owner looks at them, but they are not his.
Behold, he who had no shade is now the possessor of shade, while the
erstwhile possessors of shade are now in the full blast of the storm.
Behold, he who was ignorant of the lyre is now the possessor of a harp,
while he who never sang for himself now vaunts the Songstress-goddess
Behold, those who possessed vessel-stands of copper [. . .] not one of
the jars thereof has been adorned.
Behold, he who slept wifeless through want [finds] riches, while he whom
he never saw stands making dole.
Behold, he who had no property is now a possessor of wealth, and the
magnate praises him.
Behold, the poor of the land have become rich, and the [erstwhile owner]
of property is one who has nothing.
Behold, serving-men have become masters of butlers, and he who was once
a messenger now sends someone else.
Behold, he who had no loaf is now the owner of a barn, and his
storehouse is provided with the goods of another.
Behold, he whose hair is fallen out and who had no oil has now become
the possessors of jars of sweet myrrh.
Behold, she who had no box is now the owner of a coffer, and she who had
to look at her face in the water is now the owner of a mirror.
Behold, [. . .].
Behold, a man is happy eating his food. Consume your goods in gladness
and unhindered, for it is good for a man to eat his food; God commands
it for him whom He has favored [. . .].
[Behold, he who did not know] his god now offers to him with incense of
another [who is] not known [to him].
[Behold,] great ladies, once possessors of riches, now give their
children for beds.
Behold, a man [to whom is given] a noble lady as wife, her father
protects him, and he who has not [. . .] killing him.
Behold, the children of magistrates are [ . . . the calves] / of cattle
[are given over] to the plunderers.
Behold, priests transgress with the cattle of the poor [. . .].
Behold, he who could not slaughter for himself now slaughters bulls, and
he who did not know how to carve now sees [. . .].
Behold, priests transgress with geese, which are given [to] the gods
instead of oxen.
Behold, maidservants [. . .] offer ducks; noblewomen [. . .].
Behold, noblewomen flee; the overseers of [. . .] and their [children]
are cast down through fear of death.
[Behold,] the chiefs of the land flee; there is no purpose for them
because of want. The lord of [. . .].
[Behold,] those who once owned beds are now on the ground, while he who
once slept in squalor now lays out a skin-mat for himself.
Behold, noblewomen go hungry, while the priests [IX/1] are sated with
what has been prepared for them.
Behold, no offices are in their right place, like a herd running at
random without a herdsman.
Behold, cattle stray and there is none to collect them, but everyone
fetches for himself those that are branded with his name [IX/2].
Behold, a man is slain beside his brother, who runs away and abandons
him to save his own skin.
Behold, he who had no yoke of oxen is now the owner of a herd, and he
who could find for himself no ploughman is now the owner of cattle.
Behold, he who had no grain is now the owner of granaries, and he who
had to fetch loan-corn for himself is now one who issues it.
Behold, he who had no dependents is now an owner of serfs, and he who
was [a magnate] now performs his own errands.
Behold, the strong men of the land, the condition of the people is not
reported [to them]. All is ruin!
Behold, no craftsmen work, for the enemies of the land have impoverished
[Behold, he who once recorded] the harvest now knows nothing about it,
while he who never ploughed [for himself is now the owner of corn; the
reaping] takes place but is not reported. The scribe [sits in his
office], but his hands [are idle] in it.
Destroyed is [. . .] in that time, and a man looks [on his friend as] an
adversary. The infirm man brings coolness [to what is hot . . .] fear [.
. . / . . .]. Poor men [. . . the land] is not bright because of it.
Destroyed is [. . .] their food is taken from them [. . . through] fear
of his terror. The commoner begs [. . .] messenger, but not [. . .]
time. He is captured laden with goods and [all his property] is taken
away. [. . .] men pass by his door [. . .] the outside of the wall, a
shed, and rooms containing falcons. It is the common man who will be
vigilant, the day having dawned on him without his dreading it. Men run
because of [. . . for] the temple of the head, strained through a woven
cloth within the house. What they make are tents, just like the desert
Destroyed is the doing of that for which men are sent by retainers in
the service of their masters; they have no readiness.
Behold, they are five men, and they say: "Go on the road you know, for
we have arrived."
Lower Egypt weeps; the king's storehouse is the common property of
everyone, and the entire palace is without its revenues. To it belong
emmer and barley, fowl and fish; to it belong white cloth and fine
linen, copper and oil; to it belong carpet and mat, [. . .] flowers and
wheat-sheaf and all good revenues . . . If the . . . it in the palace
were delayed, men would be devoid [of . . .].
Destroy the enemies of the august Residence, splendid of magistrates [.
. .] in it like [. . .]; indeed, the Governor of the City goes
Destroy [the enemies of the august Residence,] splendid [. . .].
[Destroy the enemies of] that erstwhile august Residence, manifold of
laws [. . .]. [Destroy the enemies of] that erstwhile august [Residence
. . .].
Destroy the enemies of that erstwhile august Residence [. . .] none can
stand [. . .].
Destroy the enemies of that erstwhile august Residence, manifold of
offices; indeed [. . .].
Remember to immerse [. . .] him who is in pain when he is sick in his
body; show respect [. . .] because of his god that he may guard the
utterance [. . .] his children who are witnesses of the surging of the
Remember [XI/1] to [. . . . . .]. . . shrine, to fumigate with incense
and to offer water in a jar in the early morning.
Remember [to bring] fat r-geese, trp-geese, and ducks [XI/2] and to
offer god's offerings to the gods.
Remember to chew natron [XI/3] and to prepare white bread; a man [should
do it] on the day of wetting the head.
Remember to erect flagstaffs and to carve offering stones, the priest
cleansing the chapels and the temple being plastered (white) like milk;
to make pleasant the odor of the horizon and to provide bread-offerings.
Remember to observe regulations, to fix dates correctly, and to remove
him who enters on the priestly office in impurity of body, for that is
doing it wrongfully, it is destruction of the heart [. . .] the day
which precedes eternity, the months [. . .] years are known.
Remember to slaughter oxen [. . .].
Remember to go forth purged [. . .] who calls to you; to put r-geese on
the fire [. . .] to open the jar [. . .] the shore of the waters [. . .]
of women [. . .] clothing [. . . / . . .] to give praise . . . in order
to appease you.
[. . .] lack of people; come [. . .] Re who commands [. . .] worshipping
him [. . .] West until [. . .] are diminished [. . .].
Behold, why does he seek to fashion [men . . .]? The frightened man is
not distinguished from the violent one.
He brings coolness upon heat; men say: "He is the herdsman of mankind,
and there is no evil in his heart." Though his herds are few, yet he
spends a day to collect them, their hearts being on fire.
Would that he had perceived their nature in the first generation; then
he would have imposed obstacles, he would have stretched out his arm
against them, he would have destroyed their herds [XII/1] and their
heritage. Men desire the giving of birth, but sadness supervenes, with
needy people on all sides. So it is, and it will not pass away while the
gods who are in the midst of it exist. Seed goes forth into mortal
women, but none are found on the road.
Combat has gone forth, and he who should be a redresser of evils is one
who commits them; neither do men act as pilot in their hour of duty.
Where is he today? Is he asleep? Behold, his power is not seen.
If we had been fed, I would not have found you, I would not have been
summoned in vain; "Aggression against it means pain of heart" is a
saying on the lips of everyone. Today he who is afraid . . . a myriad of
people; [. . .] did not see [. . .] against the enemies of [. . .] at
his outer chamber; who enter the temple [. . .] weeping for him [. . .]
that one who confounds what he has said . . . The land has not fallen [.
. .] the statues are burned and their tombs destroyed [. . .] he sees
the day of [. . .]. He who could not make for himself [. . .] between
sky and ground is afraid of everybody.
. . . if he does it . . . what you dislike taking.
Authority, knowledge, and truth are with you, yet confusion is what you
set throughout the land, also the noise of tumult. Behold, one deals
harm to another, for men conform to what you have commanded. If three
men travel on the road, they are found to be only two, for the many kill
Does a herdsman desire death? Then may you command reply to be made,
because it means that one loves, another detests; it means that their
existences are few everywhere; it means that you have acted so as to
bring those things to pass. You have told lies, and the land is a weed
which destroys men, and none can count on life. All these years are
strife, and a man is murdered on his housetop even though he was
vigilant in his gate lodge. Is he brave and saves himself? It means he
When men send a servant for humble folk, he goes on the road until he
sees the flood; the road is washed out and he stands worried. What is on
him is taken away, he is belabored with blows of a stick and wrongfully
slain. Oh that you could taste a little of the misery of it! Then you
would say [. . .] from someone else as a wall, over and above [. . .]
hot . . . years . . . [. . .].
[It is indeed good] when ships fare upstream [. . . . . .] robbing them.
It is indeed good [. . .]. [It is indeed] good when the net is drawn in
and birds are tied up [. . .].
It is [indeed] good [. . .] dignities for them, and the roads are
It is indeed good when the hands of men build pyramids, when ponds are
dug and plantations of the trees of the gods are made.
It is indeed good when men are drunk; they drink myt and their hearts
It is indeed good when shouting is in men's mouths, when the magnates of
districts stand looking on at the shouting in their houses, clad in a
cloak, cleansed in front and well-provided within [XIV/1].
It is indeed good when beds are prepared and the headrests of
magistrates are safely secured. Every man's need is satisfied with a
couch in the shade, and a door is now shut on him who once slept in the
It is indeed good when fine linen is spread out on New Year's Day [. .
.] on the bank; when fine linen is spread out and cloaks are on the
ground. The overseer of [. . .] the trees, the poor [. . . / . . .] in
their midst like Asiatics [. . .]. Men [. . .] the state thereof; they
have come to an end of themselves; none can be found to stand up and
protect themselves [. . .].
Everyone fights for his sister and saves his own skin. Is it Nubians?
Then will we guard ourselves; warriors are made many in order to ward
off foreigners. Is it Libyans? Then we will turn away. The Medjay are
pleased with Egypt [XIV/2].
How comes it that every man kills his brother? The troops whom we
marshaled for ourselves have turned into foreigners and have taken to
ravaging [XV/1]. What has come to pass through it is informing the
Asiatics of the state of the land; all the desert folk are possessed
with the fear of it. What the plebs have tasted [. . .] without giving
Egypt over [to] the sand. It is strong [. . .] speak about you after
years [. . .] devastate itself, it is the threshing floor which
nourishes their houses [. . .] to nourish his children [. . .] said by
the troops [. . . . . .] fish [. . .] gum, lotus leaves [. . .] excess
What Ipuwer said when he addressed the Majesty of the Lord of All: [. .
.] all herds. It means that ignorance of it is what is pleasing to the
heart. You have done what was good in their hearts and you have
nourished the people with it. They cover their faces through fear of the
That is how a man grows old before he dies, while his son is a lad of
understanding; he does not open [his] mouth to speak to you, but you
seize him in the doom of death [. . .] weep [. . .] go [. . .] after
you, that the land may be [. . .] on every side.
If men call to [. . .] weep [. . .] them, who break into the tombs and
burn the statues [. . .] the corpses of the nobles [. . . / . . .] of
[I/1] the Nile overflows,
yet none plough for it: The collapse of the Old Kingdom civilisation is
generally attributed to a repeated failure of the Nile to inundate the
flood plain. A few consecutive crop failures can result in many
subsequent years of suffering, as all the grain that can be grown and
which is to serve as seed, will been consumed as food.
[II/1] Let us suppress the powerful among us: Let us banish many from us
[II/2] Indeed, the river is blood, yet men drink of it. Men shrink from
human beings and thirst after water: Why really, the River is blood. If
one drinks of it, one rejects (it) as human and thirsts for water.
[II/3] gates, columns and walls are burnt up: doors, columns, and floor
planks are burned up (Wilson)
[II/4] crocodiles [are glutted] with the fish they have taken, for men
go to them of their own accord: crocodiles [sink] down because of what
they have carried off, (for) men go to them of their own accord.
[III/1] barbarians : Egyptians saw themselves as the pinnacle of
creation: their land was The Land, their people were The People. In this
their attitude was similar to that of other ancient (and not so ancient)
[III/2] from abroad have come to Egypt: Times of weak central power
opened opportunities for foreigners to infiltrate the country in even
larger numbers than ordinarily: The Nubian Medjay during the First
Intermediate Period, the Hyksos during the Second. Still, they probably
numbered in the thousands rather in the hundred thousands.
[III/3] Egyptians: people (Wilson) cf. [III/1]
[IV/1] ...the children of the neck (i.e. holding onto the neck of the
carrying grown-up): The (once) prayed-for children (Wilson)
[IV/2] on the high ground: burial ground above the flood plain. [IV/3]
crafts: work (Wilson)
[IV/4] trees are felled and branches are stripped off: the wholesale
destruction of trees causes serious fuel problems, as witnessed nowadays
in the Sahel region of sub-saharan Africa
[V/1]the ways are [. . .], the roads are watched: the ways [are not]
guarded roads (Wilson)
[VI/1] the private council-chamber, its writings are taken away and the
mysteries which were [in it] are laid bare the writings of the augurs
enclosure are read. The place of secrets which was (so formerly) is
(now) laid bare (Wilson)
[VI/2] magic spells are divulged: Magic has always shunned the light of
day and becomes ineffectual when scrutinized with a critical mind.
Strangely, this has never prevented people from believing in it.
[VI/3] smw- and shnw spells: Go-spells and Enfold-spells (Wilson)
[VI/4] the corn of Egypt is common property: The grain-sustenance of
Egypt is (now) a come-and-get-it. (Wilson) The storage of surplus grain
and its redistribution was one of the corner stones of the Egyptian
[VI/5] House of Thirty: Tribunal, cf. Hail Eater of entrails who came
forth from the House of Thirty, I have not committed perjury. from the
Book of the Dead transl. by Allen and Faulkner
[VII/1] Falcon: the pharaoh, son of Horus
[VII/2] Serpent: (guardian-)serpent (Wilson)
[VII/3] Behold, noble ladies are now on rafts, and magnates are in the
labor establishment, while he who could not sleep even on walls is now
the possessor of a bed. Behold, nobles' ladies are (now) gleaners, and
nobles are in the workhouse. (But) he who never (even) slept on a plank
is (now) the owner of a bed. (Wilson)
[VII/4] Songstress-goddess: goddess of music (Wilson)
[IX/1] priests: king's men (Wilson)
[IX/2] everyone fetches for himself those that are branded with his
name: Every man takes for himself and brands (them) with his name.
[XI/1] Remember: The things to remember are the duties of the priests,
first among them the pharaoh as High Priest, to their gods. In
accordance with the magical thinking of the day (and which still
persists among many believers) the meticulous fulfilment of duties
brings with it the favour of the gods and thus the well-being of the
[XI/2] ducks: sat-geese (Wilson)
[XI/3] natron: used for cleaning teeth, cf.
[XII/1] their herds: the seed thereof (Wilson)
[XIV/1] well-provided within: firm-bellied (Wilson)
[XIV/2] The Medjay are pleased with Egypt: The Madjoi fortunately are
with Egypt. (Wilson); The Medjai are content with Egypt." (Lichtheim)
[XV/1] foreigners and have taken to ravaging: barbarians, beginning to
destroy that from which they took their being (Wilson)