Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: The Abydos stela of Ramses IV
Main menu Main Index and Search Page History List of Dynasties Cultural Chronolgy Mythology Aspects of Life in Ancient Egypt Glossary of ancient Egyptian terms Herodotus on the Pharaohs Ancient Egyptian Reader Apologia and Bibliography
  For best results save the whole web page (pictures included) onto your hard disk, open the page with Word 97 or higher, edit if necessary and print.
  Printing using the browser's print function is not recommended.


The Abydos stela of Ramses IV

1 Year 4, Athyr, day 10, under his majesty Horus of the Sun, bull living by the truth, lord of feasts (like his father Ptah), lord of the Two Lands, protector of Egypt and oppressor of the barbarians, Golden Horus, rich in years, great in might, leader of divine birth who gives being 2 to the Two Lands, king of Upper and Lower Egypt, lord of the Two Lands (Ra-hik-Ma-sotep-en-Amen-Ra), beloved of Osiris who resides among the Westerners, of Horus rendering homage to his father, of Isis-Thermutis and the great divine cycle of Abydos. May they accord him millions of feasts and an eternity on the throne of Horus.
3 He says to his father Osiris: "O father! prince /// august god, begotten by Seb, divine son, sovereign of the divine cycle, whose atef is endowed 4 with the double horn, august god /// may his uraeus rise at my voice (?). Mysterious are the transmutations of thy (?) shape 5 /// I come to thee, having come forth from thy breath. Support me like thy son Horus, protect me. 6 /// I am thy son, I give thee pleasure, I am facing thee like Horus, as (?) he was made to be, I was made to be (?). 7 /// crossing the earth I have cast down the impious towards thy holiness, 8 all I have subdued under thee. I do not exaggerate, I am telling the truth. /// the place where I speak, at Abydos (?) (my instructor) is he not the god Hu? Have I not been tutored by thee 9 among all the great ones of thy city (of Abydos)?
- Ramses IV Hekmaatre-setpenamun (c. 1166-1159 BCE)
- Athyr: 3rd month of Akhet, 17th September - 16th October
- (Ra-hik-Ma-sotep-en-Amen-Ra): Nowadays read as Hekmaatre-setepenre, i.e. Ramses IV
- Westerners: the deceased, who were preferably buried on the western bank of the Nile.
- Thermutis: Renenutet, harvest goddess, known as Lady of the Granaries etc.
- atef: the crown of Osiris and Re.
- Seb: the earth god Geb
- Hu: Hu and Sia were created from the blood which was shed during the circumcision of Re. Hu was the personification of the word of Re, Sia that of thought. They accompanied Re and helped the king as the son of Horus.
I have not reaped the wheat in its entirety, when it was young seed //// I have not eaten /// (but I have celebrated)? 10 the feast of the Six. I have not outraged the gods by an evil act. I have not //// my adoration (?). (I have celebrated) the feast of ///// 11 the goddess on her day ///// I have not scorned the acts of cult (?) of the gods ///// (I have not) 12 permitted theft. I have not damaged anyone's property. I have not ///// (on the contrary) prosperity has increased ///// 13 his father. I only address him by his title. My heart does not cease to ///// the day of my feast. (I have rendered homage to thy statue in) thy temple, as a visit is made to thy person every day, that which is made to this image of thy intimate substance (?) it is thee who is in my kingship;
After Paul Pierret, Prière de Ramsès IV à Osiris (stèle inédite d'Abydos), Revue archéologique, Nouvelle série, vol. XIX (1869) pp. 273-283 [1]
- feast of the Six: feast of the sixth day of the month of which Osiris was the lord:
I am with Horus on the day[s] of the festivals of Osiris, at the making of offerings and oblations, namely, on the festival which is celebrated on the sixth day of the month, and on the day of the Tenat festival in Anu.

E.A.W. Budge The Papyrus of Ani

15 And thou shalt give to me health, life, long existence, a prolonged reign, endurance to my every member, sight to my eyes, hearing to my ears, pleasure to my heart daily. 16 And thou shalt give me to eat until I am satisfied; and thou shalt give me to drink until I am drunk: and thou shalt establish my issue (as) kings in the land, forever and ever. 17 And thou shalt grant me contentment every day, and thou shalt hear my voice in every saying, when I shall tell them to thee, and thou shalt give them to me with a loving heart. And thou shalt give to me 18 high and plenteous Niles, in order to supply thy divine offerings, and to supply the divine offerings of all the gods and goddesses of South and North; in order to preserve alive the 19 divine bulls; in order to preserve alive the people of all thy lands, their cattle and their groves, which thy hand has made. 20 For thou art he who has made all, and thou canst not forsake them to carry out other designs with them; (for) that is not right - high and plenteous Niles: Inundations which were too high could be almost as bad as those which were too low. (Cf. The Nile and ancient Egypt)
And thou shalt be pleased with the land of Egypt, t[hy] 21 land, in my time; and thou shalt double for me the long duration, the prolonged reign of King Ramses II, the Great God; for more are the [mighty] 22 deeds, and the benefactions which I do for thy house in order to supply thy divine offerings, in order to seek every excellent thing, every sort of benefaction to do them for thy sanctuary 23 daily during these four years, than those things which King Ramses II, the Great God, did for thee in his sixty-seven years. And thou shalt give to me the long existence 24 with the prolonged reign which thou gavest [him] as [king (?)] /// /// upon /// his child /// while I sit upon his throne.
For thou art he, who hast said it with 25 thy own mouth, and it shall not be reversed ///// For thou art the great lord of Heliopolis, for thou art the 26 great lord of Thebes, for thou art the great lord of Memphis. Thou art he in whom is might, and that which thou doest is that which shall come to pass. Give to me 27 the reward of the great deeds which I have done for thee, even life, prosperity and health, long existence, and a [prolonged] reign; and thou shalt make /// the limbs and preserve the members, 28 being with me as my good guardian and excellent protector. And thou shalt [give to (?)] me every [land (?)] and every [country (?)] /// /// /// /// /// that I may present their tribute to thy ka and to thy name.
- thou shalt be pleased: It was hoped that good behaviour in this world would not only affect one's lot in the next world, but that it might be recompensed in this one as well.
- sixty-seven years: This is the source of our knowledge concerning the length of the reign of Ramses II.

James Henry Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Four, §§ 470f


- -Index of Texts
-Index of Topics
-Main Index and Search Page
Offsite links(Opening in a new window)
I do not assume any responsibility for the availability or content of these websites
-Paul Pierret, Prière de Ramsès IV à Osiris (Go to page 273)

Feedback: Please report broken links, mistakes - factual or otherwise, etc. to me.Thanks.

© December 2004
xhtml validated