The Papyrus of Ani



Late keeper of Assyrian and Egyptian Antiquities
in the British Museum




Vignette: The scribe Ani, standing with hands raised in adoration before a table of offerings consisting of haunches of beef, loaves of bread and cake, vases of wine and oil, fruits, lotus, and other flowers. He wears a fringed white and saffron-coloured linen garment; and has a wig, necklace, and bracelets. Behind him stands his wife "Osiris, the lady of the house, the lady of the choir of Amen, Thuthu," similarly robed and holding a sistrum and a vine (?)-branch in her right hand, and a menat in her left.

Text: [Chapter XV.] (1) [1] A HYMN OF PRAISE TO RA WHEN HE RISETH IN THE EASTERN PART OF HEAVEN. Behold Osiris Ani the scribe who recordeth the holy offerings of all the gods, who saith: "Homage to thee, O thou who hast come as Khepera, Khepera, the creator of the gods. Thou risest, thou shinest, making bright thy mother [Nut], crowned king of the gods. [Thy] mother Nut doeth homage unto thee with both her hands. The land of Manu receiveth thee with content, and the goddess Maat embraceth thee at the two seasons. May he give splendour, and power, and triumph, and a coming-forth [i.e., resurrection] as a living soul to see Horus of the two horizons to the ka of Osiris, the scribe Ani, triumphant before Osiris, who saith: Hail all ye gods of the Temple of the Soul, who weigh heaven and earth in the balance, and who provide food and abundance of meat. Hail Tatunen, One, creator of mankind and of the substance of the gods of the south and of the north, of the west and of the east. Ascribe [ye] praise unto Ra, the lord of heaven, the Prince, Life, Health, and Strength, the Creator of the gods, and adore ye him in his beautiful Presence as he riseth in the atet boat. They who dwell in the heights and they who dwell in the depths worship thee. Thoth and Maat both are thy recorders. Thine enemy is given to the fire, the evil one hath fallen; his arms are bound, and his legs hath Ra taken from him. The children of impotent revolt shall never rise up again.

The House of the Prince keepeth festival, and the sound of those who rejoice is in the mighty dwelling. The gods are glad [when] they see Ra in his rising; his beams flood the world with light.The majesty of the god, who is to be feared, setteth forth and cometh unto the land of Manu; he maketh bright the earth at his birth each day; he cometh unto the place where he was yesterday. O mayest thou be at peace with me; may I behold thy beauties; may I advance upon the earth; may I smite the Ass; may I crush the evil one; may I destroy Apep in his hour; may I see the abtu fish at the time of his creation, and the ant fish in his creation, and the ant boat in its lake. May I see Horus in charge of the rudder, with Thoth and Maat beside him; may I grasp the bows of the seket boat, and the stern of the atet boat. May he grant unto the ka of Osiris Ani to behold the disk of the Sun and to see the Moon-god without ceasing, every day; and may my soul come forth and walk hither and thither and whithersoever it pleaseth. May my name be proclaimed when it is found upon the board of the table of offerings; may offerings be made unto me in my presence, even as they are made unto the followers of Horus; may there be prepared for me a seat in the boat of the Sun on the day of the going forth of the god; and may I be received into the presence of Osiris in the land of triumph!


The following versions of this chapter are taken from: I. Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Pl. xiv. II. Naville, Todtenbuch, Bd. I., Pl. xv.; III. British Museum Papyrus No. 9901 and IV. British Museum Papyrus No. 10,471.

I. A HYMN OF PRAISE TO RA WHEN HE RISETH IN THE EASTERN PART OF HEAVEN. Behold Osiris, Qenna the merchant, who saith: "Homage to thee, in thy rising thou Tmu in thy crowns of beauty. Thou risest, thou risest, thou Ra shinest, thou shinest, at dawn of day. Thou art crowned like unto the king of the gods, and the goddess Shuti doeth homage unto thee. The company of the gods praise thee from the double-dwelling. Thou goest forth over the upper air and thy heart is filled with gladness. The sektet boat draweth onward as [Ra] cometh to the haven in the atet boat with fair winds. Ra rejoiceth, Ra rejoiceth. Thy father is Nu, thy mother is Nut, and thou art crowned as Ra-Harmachis. Thy sacred boat advanceth in peace. Thy foe hath been cast down and his head hath been cut off; the heart of the Lady of life rejoiceth in that the enemy of her lord hath been overthrown. The mariners of Ra have content of heart and Annu rejoiceth."

The merchant Qenna saith: "I have come to thee, O Lord of the gods, Tmu-Harmachis, who passest over the earth . . . . . . . I know that by which thou dost live. Grant that I may be like unto one of those who are thy favoured ones [among the followers] of the great god. May my name be proclaimed, may it be found, may it be lastingly renewed with . . . . . . . The oars are lifted into the sektet boat, and the sacred boat cometh in peace. May I see Ra when he appeareth in the sky at dawn, and when his enemies have fallen at the block. May I behold [Horns] guiding the rudder and steering with [his] two hands. May I see the abtu fish at the moment of his creation; and may I see the ant fish when he maketh himself manifest at creation, and the ant boat upon its lake. O thou Only One, O thou Mighty One, thou Growing One, who dost never wax faint, and from whom power cannot be taken. . . . . . . . . . . . . . the devoted servant of "the lord of Abtu."

"The merchant Qenna saith: "Homage to thee Heru-Khuti-Tmu, Heru-Khepera, mighty hawk, who dost cause the body [of man] to make merry, beautiful of face by reason of thy two great plumes. Thou wakest up in beauty at the dawn, when the company of the gods and mortals sing songs of joy unto thee; hymns of praise are offered unto thee at eventide. The starry deities also adore thee. O thou firstborn, who dost lie without movement, arise; thy mother showeth loving kindness unto thee every day. Ra liveth and the fiend Nak is dead; thou dost endure for ever, and the fiend hath fallen.

"Thou sailest over the sky with life and strength. The goddess Nehebka is in the atet boat; the sacred boat rejoiceth. Thy heart is glad and thy brow is wreathed with the twin serpents."

II. (I) A HYMN OF PRAISE TO RA WHEN HE RISETH IN THE EASTERN PART OF HEAVEN. Behold Osiris, Qenna the merchant, triumphant, who saith: "Homage to thee, O thou who risest in Nu, and who at thy birth dost make the world bright with light; all the company of the gods sing hymns of praise unto thee. The beings who minister unto Osiris cherish him as King of the North and of the South, the beautiful and beloved man-child. When he riseth, mortals live. The nations rejoice in him, and the Spirits of Annu sing unto him songs of joy. The Spirits of the towns of Pe and Nekhen exalt him, the apes of dawn adore him, and all beasts and cattle praise him with one accord. The goddess Seba overthroweth thine enemies, therefore rejoice within thy boat; and thy mariners are content thereat. Thou hast arrived in the atet boat, and thy heart swelleth with joy. O Lord of the gods, when thou dost create them, they ascribe praises unto thee. The azure goddess Nut doth compass thee on every side, and the god Nu floodeth thee with his rays of light. O cast thou thy light upon me and let me see thy beauties, me, the Osiris Qenna the merchant, triumphant! When thou goest forth over the earth I will sing praises unto thy fair face. Thou risest in the horizon of heaven, and [thy] disk is adored [when] it resteth upon the mountain to give life unto the world."

Saith Qenna the merchant, triumphant: "Thou risest, thou risest, coming forth from the god Nu. Thou dost become young again and art the same as thou wert yesterday, O mighty youth who hast created thyself. Not . . . . . . . my hand. Thou hast come with thy splendours, and thou hast made heaven and earth bright with thy rays of pure emerald light. The land of Punt is established for the perfumes which thou smellest with thy nostrils. Thou risest, O thou marvellous Being, in heaven, the twin serpents are placed upon thy brow, and thou art lord of the world and the inhabitants thereof; [the company] of the gods and Qenna the merchant, triumphant, adore thee."

III. (1, 2) A HYMN OF PRAISE TO RA WHEN HE RISETH IN THE EASTERN PART OF HEAVEN. Behold Osiris Hunefer, triumphant, who saith: "Homage to thee, O thou who art Ra when thou risest and Tmu when thou settest. Thou risest, thou risest; thou shinest, thou shinest, thou who art crowned king of the {p. 251} gods. Thou art the lord of heaven, [thou art] the lord of earth, [thou art] the creator of those who dwell in the heights and of those who dwell in the depths. [Thou art] the One god who came into being in the beginning of time. Thou didst create the earth, thou didst fashion man, thou didst make the watery abyss of the sky, thou didst form Hapi [the Nile], and thou art the maker of streams and of the great deep, and thou givest life to all that is therein. Thou hast knit together the mountains, thou has made mankind and the beasts of the field, thou hast created the heavens and the earth. Worshipped be thou whom the goddess Maat embraceth at morn and at eve. Thou dost travel across the sky with heart swelling with joy; the Lake of Testes is at peace. The fiend Nak hath fallen and his two arms are cut off. The sektet boat receiveth fair winds, and the heart of him that is in his shrine rejoiceth. Thou art crowned with a heavenly form, the Only one, provided [with all things]. Ra cometh forth from Nu in triumph. O thou mighty youth, thou everlasting son, self-begotten, who didst give thyself birth, O thou mighty One, of myriad forms and aspects, king of the world, Prince of Annu, lord of eternity and ruler of the everlasting, the company of the gods rejoice when thou risest and when thou sailest across the sky, O thou who art exalted in the sektet boat. Homage to thee, O Amen-Ra, thou who dost rest upon Maat, thou who passest over the heaven, and every face seeth thee. Thou dost wax great as thy Majesty doth advance, and thy rays are upon all faces. Thou art unknown and canst not be searched out . . . . . . . . his fellow except thyself; thou art the Only One . . . . . . [Men] praise thee in thy name [Ra], and they swear by thee, for thou art lord over them. Thou hast heard with thine ears and thou hast seen with thine eyes. Millions of years have gone over the world; I cannot tell the number of them, through which thou hast passed. Thy heart hath decreed a day of happiness in thy name [of Ra]. Thou dost pass over and travellest through untold spaces of millions and hundreds of thousands of years; thou settest out in peace, and thou steerest thy way across the watery abyss to the place which thou lovest; this thou doest in one little moment of time, and thou dost sink down and makest an end of the hours."

Osiris, the governor of the palace of the lord of the two lands (i.e., Seti I.), Hunefer, triumphant, saith: Hail my lord, thou that passest through eternity and whose being is everlasting. Hail thou Disk, lord of beams of light, thou risest and thou makest all mankind to live. Grant thou that I may behold thee at dawn each day."

IV. A HYMN OF PRAISE TO RA by Nekht, the royal scribe, captain of soldiers, who saith: "Homage to thee, O thou glorious Being, thou who art provided [with all things]. O Tmu-Heru-khuti, when thou risest in the horizon of heaven, a cry of joy cometh out of the mouth of all peoples. O thou beautiful Being, thou dost renew thyself in thy season in the form of the Disk within thy mother Hathor; therefore in every place every heart swelleth with joy at thy rising, for ever. The eastern and the western parts of heaven come to thee with homage, and give forth sounds of joy at thy rising. O Ra, thou who art Heru-khuti (Harmachis), the mighty man-child, the heir of eternity, self-begotten and self-born, king of earth, prince of the netherworld, governor of the mountains of Aukert (i.e., the netherworld), thou dost rise in the horizon of heaven and sheddest upon the world beams of emerald light; thou art born from the {p. 252} water, thou art sprung from Nu, who fostereth thee and ordereth thy members. O thou who art crowned king of the gods, god of life, lord of love, all the nations live when thou dost shine. The goddess Nut doeth homage unto thee, and the goddess Maat embraceth thee at all times. They who are in thy following sing unto thee with joy and bow down to the earth when they meet thee, the god of heaven, the lord of earth, the king of right and truth, the god of eternity, the everlasting ruler, the prince of all the gods, the god of life, the creator of eternity, the maker of heaven by whom is established all that therein is. The company of the gods rejoice at thy rising, the earth is glad when it beholdeth thy rays; the peoples that have been long dead come forth with cries of joy to see thy beauties. Thou goest forth over heaven and earth, made strong each day by thy mother Nut. Thou passest through the uppermost heaven, thy heart swelleth with joy; and the Lake of Testes is content thereat. The Enemy hath fallen, his arms are hewn off, the knife hath cut asunder his joints. Ra liveth in Maa the beautiful. The sektet boat draweth on and cometh into port; the south, the north, the west and the east turn to praise thee, O thou unformed substance of the earth, who didst create thyself. Isis and Nephthys salute thee, they sing unto thee in thy boat hymns of joy, they shield thee with their hands. The souls of the East follow thee, the souls of the West praise thee. Thou art the ruler of all gods and thou hast joy of heart within thy shrine; for the Serpent Nak is condemned to the fire, and thy heart shall be joyful for ever. Thy mother Nut is adjudged to thy father Nu."