Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: The Ahmose memorial
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The Ahmose memorial

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Horus, great of forms, nbtj born in beauty, Golden Horus who knotted together the two lands, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the lord of both lands Nebpehtyre, son of Re, beloved by him, Ahmose - may he live forever - son of Amen-Re, of his body and beloved by him, his heir to whom was given his throne, a good god in truth with strong arms, no lie is in him, Mighty-of-deeds like Re, the two sisters of Geb, his heir, who jubilates in joy, the son resembling his father Re (and) created by him, the avenger he placed on earth, who leads a shining kingdom, lord of joy giving breath to the women's noses, abundant in power who subdues the /////, who gives life, who enforces truth, the king of the kings in all the countries, the king - may he live, prosper and be healthy - who has reduce to obedience the two lands, great of awe, mighty in apparition in [///] as those who bow down, their gods bring (him) life and fortune, the first in the heavens, the second on earth, whose brilliance creates light, beloved of Amen who creates the offices just as the One-beautiful-of-Face, lord of the years like the majesty of Re, who makes his chapel known to the god and knows all the needs for the feasts of every god, king of Upper Egypt in Buto, ruler in Ta mery, rafter of the heaven, rudder of the earth, who has taken possession of all the sun encircles, the white and red crowns remain on his head, the parts of the two lords, Horus and Seth, are under his supervision, shining of appearance in his youth, a double wonder in all of his hours for the crown, with high feathers, the two snakes are powerful before him, just as Horus when he took possession of his two lands, a king - may he live, prosper and be healthy - who took the crowns in Chemmis, lord of the crown, Horus, blessed with love, to whom come the southerners, the northerners, the easterners and the westerners; he remains the lord who has secured his two lands, he has acceded to the inheritance of his begetter; the two lands give way before him; his magnificent father has given them to him. Ahmose I Nebpehtyre (c. 1570-1546 BCE)
 
-nb.tj: The two mistresses, i.e. Nekhbet, the vulture goddess of Upper and Uto, the snake goddess of Lower Egypt.
-Golden Horus: Third royal title
-King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Fourth royal title
-Mighty-of-deeds: Princely title, came into use during the Middle Kingdom
-the two sisters: Brother and sister, here Isis and Osiris
-One-beautiful-of-Face: Name of Ptah
-the years: years of reign
-king of Upper Egypt in Buto: Ahmose was an Upper Egyptian who conquered Lower Egypt represented by Buto, its traditional capital.
-Ta mery: The beloved land, Egypt
-white and red crowns: white crown - Upper Egypt, red crown - Lower Egypt
-parts of the two lords, Horus and Seth: To begin with Horus was associated with Upper and Seth with Lower Egypt.
-two snakes: Egypt was often represented by two cobras, hence the double uraeus worn by the pharaohs
-Chemmis: Khebet, birthplace of Horus in the marshes of the Delta near Buto.
-magnificent father: Amen
He has seized the people, he has taken hold of of the subjects, people honour him, every person says: 'He is our lord;' all (?) the Haw-nebet say: 'We belong to him;' he is a king whom Re has made ruler, whom Amen has made great; they give him the countries and lands all at once and everything over which the sun shines.
The barbarians are submissive, they are standing before the gate of his palace. Fear of him is in the people of Khenethennefer, his war cry is (heard) in the lands of the Phoenicians.
Fear of his majesty is in the heart of this land, like the fear of Min in the year in which he comes. They are bringing beautiful valuables, being laden with gifts for the king.
He goes out, his retinue by his side is like the moon in the midst of the stars, walking with beautiful posture, calm steps, firm foot, oppressing sole. The magnificence of Re soars over him, Amen is his protection. His magnificent father who loves him opens the path for him.
The two lands say: 'If only we could see him.' Every body is filled with his love. The eyes are (full) of astonishment at this king, the hearts skip because of him. He is seen like Re when he rises, as the sun begins to shine, as Kheperi appears to the eyes, his beams are in the faces, like those of Atum in the east of the sky, when the ostrich dances in the desert valleys, as the god Yakhu shines in the midst of the day when all worms are hot.
The one king raised by Sothis, praised by Seshat. The respect of Thoth is at his side, he gives him knowledge of things. He directs the scribes to be precise.
Rich in magic is he, master of love more than all (other) kings; Horus, beloved of Re, he gives so that the hearts honour him and the hearts praise him in the bodies.
-every person: lit. every face
-Haw-nebet: HAw-nb.wt generally identified as the inhabitants (HAw) of the Aegean islands (nb.wt).
-Khenethennefer: Region in Nubia
-Phoenicians: fnxw A Syrian people (Beinlich)
-this land: Egypt
-Kheperi: The dung beetle, identified with the rising, re-created sun
-Atum: Atum, sun god of Heliopolis, is generally identified with the setting, not the rising sun.
-Sothis: spd.t Sirius, soul of Isis, mother of Horus.
-Seshat: She who presides over the House of Books, goddess of writing and mathematics.
-Rich in magic: With the divine determinative, therefore seemingly referring to Thoth.
-he: according to Sethe - probably referring to Re rather than the king.
Listen, people, mankind, subjects, every person, who accompany this king who is striding, put his fame into the hands of others, purify yourselves by his name, cleanse yourselves by his life. Behold, he is a god on earth. Honour him like Re, praise him like the moon god, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebpehtyre, who has subdued every foreign land. -by his name, by his life: using oaths.
Give praise to the lady of the land, the princess of the countries of the Haw-nebet, with noble name in every foreign land, who made the plan for the masses, wife of the king and sister of the king - may he live, prosper and be healthy - the daughter of a king and mother of a king, the magnificent; who knows the things, who bound (?) Egypt, she gathered its officials, she protected it, she gathered its refugees and encompassed its emigrants; she calmed Upper Egypt and removed its rebels, the royal wife Ahhotep - may she live. -Ahhotep: apparently referring to the wife and sister of Tao II, daughter of Tao I, mother of Kamose and Ahmose I
His majesty ordered to build memorials to his father Amen-Re, consisting of great wreaths of gold, chains of genuine lapis lazuli, amulets of gold, a great water jug of gold, water vessels and jugs of silver, a libation pitcher of gold, an offering table of gold and silver, collars of gold and silver and lapis lazuli and malachite, a TAb-n-kA vessel of gold, its stand of silver, a TAb-n-kA vessel of silver, gold rimmed, its stand of silver, Tnj vessels of silver, water containers of red granite, filled with oils; big wSm of silver rimmed with gold, their //// of silver; a harp of ebony with gold and silver; sphinxes of silver; a spt of gold; a spt of gold. -genuine lapis lazuli: lapis lazuli had to be imported and was difficult to come by. Blue glazed materials were often used instead.
-Tab-n-kA vessel: container with a rounded bottom, needing a stand.
[My] majesty ordered to [build the great ship which] floats on the river, wsr-HAt-imn is its name, of new cedar wood of the best of the terraces to make [its] beautiful progress [of the beginning of the year]. [////] I erected pillars of cedar wood, the roof and the attic likewise. I gave [////////].

My translation after Kurt Sethe, Urkunden der 18. Dynastie Band I, pp. 8ff.
J. C. Hinrich, Leipzig, 1914

-wsr-HAt-imn: Mighty is the bust of Amen.
-new cedar wood: freshly cut, cf. The journey of Wenamen.
-the terraces: the coastal mountains of Lebanon

 


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March 2004

 

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