Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: The four hundred year stele erected by Ramses II in honour of his father Seti I
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The 400 year stela

Seti I offering wine to Seth     May the strong bull [1] beloved of Ma'at [2] live, the lord of the Sed festival [2] , like his father Ptah-Tanen , the King of Upper and Lower Egypt , User-Ma'at-Re , Setep-en-Re , son of Re , Ramses-Meri-Amen [4] , endowed with life,
    he who is under the tutelage of the two Ladies [5], the protector of Egypt, the conqueror of neighbouring countries, Re who gave birth to all gods, who ordered the Double-land [6], Golden Horus rich in years and great in victories,
    the King of Upper and Lower Egypt User-Ma'at-Re Setep-en-Re, son of Re, Ramses Meri-Amen, the prince who furnished the Double-Land with monuments in his name
    in order that the sun may shine in all its love, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt User-Ma'at-Re Setep-en-Re, son of Re, Ramses-Meri-Amen
 
    His Majesty has commanded to raise a great stela in granite for the great name of his fathers, in order to raise the name of the father of his fathers
    ( and for ) his father the King Men-Ma'at-Re, son of Re, Seti Mer-ne-Ptah lasting for eternity, like Re every day.
 
    Year 400, the fourth month of the season of Shammu, the fourth day of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Seth-Great-of-valor, son of Re whom he loves, Nubti [11], beloved by Re-Hor-akhty, may he live for ever.
 
    The Regent came, the mayor of the town, the vizier, the fanbearer on the right hand of the King [7], the leader of the bowmen, the chief of the archers, the governor of the fortress of Tjarw [8], the great of Medjay [9], the royal scribe, the administrative officer of the chariotry
    the lord master of the ceremonies of the Feast of the He-goat [10], the master of Smendes, the first prophet of Seth, the lector-priest of Wadjet-Opet-Tawy, the head of all priests of all the gods, Seti, right of voice, son of the Prince regent, the mayor of the town, the vizier,
    the chief of the archers, the governor of the fortress of Tjarw, the royal scribe, the administrative officer of the chariotry, Paramesse [12], right of voice, born from the mistress of the house, the songstress of Re, Tiw, right of voice, he says :
 
    Hail to thee, o Seth, son of Nut, great of strength in the boat of millions of years, in the bow of the ship of Re, the great screamer ....
    .. [ mayest thou ] give me a good time for following [13] your Ka and may I be lasting in ....
After a French translation by R.Monfort

 
For comparison: the translation in J.B.Pritchard's Ancient Near Eastern Texts.


The stela was erected in the eastern Delta by Ramses II in honour of his father, Seti I. The origins of the family are in Avaris, former capital of the Hyksos. Seth was the main god of Avaris and was considered a forebear by the Ramessids.
[1] strong bull: Symbol for the pharaoh since earliest times. cf. the Bull Palette and the Narmer Palette
[2] Ma'at: Goddess of order, and thus also of justice.
[3] Sed festival: festival celebrated after 30 years of rule or more frequently.
[4] Ramses-Meri-Amen: Begotten by Re, beloved of Amen
[5] two Ladies: Nekhbet and Wadjet, the Crown Goddesses of Upper- and Lower Egypt
[6] Double-land: Upper and Lower Egypt
[7] fanbearer on the right hand of the King: a much coveted position
[8] Tjarw: Fortress on the eastern border, Sile
[9] Medjay: Nubians who had become the police force in the country
[10] Feast of the He-goat: The only major centre of goat worship was at Mendes
[11] Nubti: The Nubtian, i.e. the man from Nubt (Ombos)
[12] Paramesse: Ramses I
[13] Following: serving

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