Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egyptian texts: The biography of Amenemhab
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 biography of Amenemhab
Reigns of Thutmose III and Amenhotep II

1 As for me, I was the very faithful [instrument] of the sovereign, the half of the heart of the king of the south, the light of the heart of the king of the north, while I followed 2 my master in his expeditions to the regions of the north or of the south, [those which] he desired, for I was as the companion of his feet, and that 3 in the midst of his valour and his power, in order to give testimony. - -sovereign: Thutmose III (ca. 1504-1450 BCE)
-in the midst of his valour and his power, in order to give testimony: Breasted: he was upon the battlefield of his victories, while his valor fortified his heart.
Now I captured in the country of 4 Nekeb, and brought back (certain) Asiatics, three men as prisoners, alive. -Nekeb: Breasted: ngbA [1], the Negev desert in southern Canaan. The 14th campaign of the Annals of Thutmose III (year 39) was directed against the Shasu, the bedouin.
When his majesty reached Naharain 5 I brought thither the three men as booty, whom I placed before thy majesty, as living prisoners. According to Breasted this campaign probably took place in the 33rd year of the reign.
-Naharain: nhrn [1], western Mesopotamia, the country of Mitanni.
6 Another time I captured (it was in the expedition to the country of mount Uan, to the west of Aleppo), and I brought back 7 (certain) captured Asiatics, as living prisoners 13 men, 70 asses alive, 13 basons of iron /// basons of worked gold ////// -mount Uan: Ts.t wan [1] Breasted: possible Gebel Sin north west of Aleppo
-Aleppo: xArAbw [1] Khalep
-basons of iron: Breasted: bronze [spears (?)]
-basons of worked gold: Breasted: the bronze was wrought with gold.
8 ////// Another time I captured (it was in an expedition to the country of Carchemish) and brought away . . . 9 ////// as living prisoners. I traversed the water of Naharain without letting them escape, 10 [and] I [set] them before my master. Behold, therefore, he rewarded me with a great reward, namely 11 ////// I saw the victory of the king, the king of the south and of the north, even Ra-men-kheper, the life-giver, in the country of Senzar. He made ////// 12 ////// them. There I captured before the king and I brought back a. hand. He gave me the gold of guerdon, namely 13 2 rings [of gold] and silver. -the water of Naharain: according to Virey the Euphrates.
-Ra-men-kheper: Menkheperre, Thutmose III.
-Senzar: snDArA [1] Breasted: Zinzar of the Amarna letters, the modern Kal at Seidjar on the Orontes.
-////// ////// them: Breasted: a [great] sl[aughter] [among] them
-gold of guerdon: gold of honour
When I began again to behold his valour, I was among his bodyguard, at the capture of 14 Kadesh, without quitting the place which was under him. I brought back of the Marinas 2 personages as [living prisoners]. 15 before the king, the lord of the two worlds, Thothmes ///// who gives life eternally. He gave me gold for my valour in the presence of the master, 16 namely the collar of the lion of gold, 2 shebi collars, 2 helmets and 4 bracelets. -Marinas: Maryannu (mrAjnA), local noblemen.
-the two worlds: the Two Lands, i.e. Upper and Lower Egypt, which, in the eyes of the Egyptians, were the only parts of the physical world that counted.
-in the presence of the master: Breasted: before the whole people /// /// ///.
-the collar of the lion of gold, 2 shebi collars, 2 helmets: Breasted: of the finest gold: a lion, 2 necklaces, 2 flies
And I saw my master ////// 17 ///////// 18 ////ha; then afresh [it was] overthrown. As for me, I ascended towards /////. -///////// 18 ////ha: Breasted: /// /// /// in all his forms in the country of the ends of [the earth (?)] /// /// /// Ha ///
This was probably on the march from the coast to Naharin, on the second campaign against that country.
-I ascended towards //////: Breasted: I was raised to be the //// /// /// /// of the army
19 I began again to see his valour in the country of Takhis; //////. 20 I captured there before the king and brought away (certain) Asiatics 3 men alive as prisoners. Then 21 my lord gave me the gold of guerdon, namely, 2 collars, 4 bracelets [with] 2 helmets [and] a tame lion. -Takhis: tjxsj - Breasted: Tikhsi
-//////: Breasted: the wretched, in the city of Mero///
-captured: Breasted: fought hand to hand
-helmets [and] a tame lion: Breasted: flies, a lion, a female slave, and a male slave
22 I began again to see another perfect action performed by the master of the two worlds in the country of Nii. He took in hunting 120 elephants for their tusks /////. 23 The largest among them attempted to fight face to face with his majesty. As for me, I cut off his foot, although he was alive ////// 24 //////. I entered for thee into the water which is between the two stones ; then my master rewarded me with gold. 25 ////// -cut off his foot: Breasted: cut off his hand, i.e. his trunk.
-although: Breasted: while
-//////24 //////: Breasted: [before] his majesty
-//////: Breasted: [he] gave /// /// /// and 3 changes of clothing.
Behold, the prince of Kadesh drove a mare 26 straight against ///// as it charged among the soldiers I hurried to meet it 27 on foot, with my dagger, [and] I opened its stomach. I cut off its tail [and] made of it a trophy 28 in the royal work of giving thanks to God because thereof. That caused joy to take possession of my heart [and] cheerfulness to alight upon my limbs. -mare: according to Breasted a mare in heat, with the purpose of exciting the stallions of the Egyptian chariotry and confusing their line of battle.
29 His majesty despatched the most valiant of his soldiers to force the newly-constructed rampart of Kadesh. It was I who 30 forced it, for I was in advance of the most valiant; no other [was] before me. When I left (it) I brought back (with me) of the Marinas 31 2 personages as living prisoners. My master began again to reward me because of this with every sort 32 of good thing, for it was pleasing to the king that I had made this capture. -most valiant: Breasted: every valiant
-force the newly-constructed rampart: Breasted: pierce the wall for the first time
-Marinas: Breasted: lords
-it was pleasing to the king that I had made this capture: Breasted: satisfying the heart of the king's presence
Being an officer ////// 33 it was I who directed the manoeuvre in ////// as captain of his body-guard. 34 ////// in his fair festival of Apet, when men [were] full of joy ////// 35 Behold, for the king, the age he passed of years abundant and happy, as a strong man, as a ///// 36 as a truth-speaker, from his happy first year until his 54th year, the last day of the month Phamenoth. Then the king of the south and of the north, 37 Ra-men-kheper, the truth-speaker, ascended to heaven, to unite himself with the solar disk, and to follow God, who penetrates when he makes himself luminous 38 under the form of the solar disk which illuminates the sky at the same time that it shines. -as captain of his body-guard: Breasted: commander of [his] [vessel (?)]
-Apet: Opet
-as a /////36 as a truth-speaker: Breasted: in [migh]t, and in triumph
-month Phamenoth: the third month of the second season
The king of the south and of the north, Ra-aa-khepru, the son of the Sun, Amen-hotep, the giver of life, 39 establishing himself on the throne of his father, reduced under the royal banner all that made opposition to him. He pierced the wretches ////// 40 and of the desert; he immolated their chiefs, rising like Horus the son of Isis, taking possession of ///// 41 ////// the extremity (?) of all those who exist and breathe, all the mountain and plain, bowed as it were before his wishes, their tributes on their backs. 42 [He] granted unto them the breath of life. Behold, his majesty saw me sailing with him in his bark 43 named Kha-m-suten-uaa, while I was at ////// of the fair festival of Apet-rest, conformably to custom. 44 ////// when I re-ascended, even I, into the interior of the palace, an order [was given] to stand in the presence [of the king] ////// Ra-aa-khepru; it was 45 a great honour. I flew, even I, on the spot, into the presence of his majesty. He said to me: "I know thy conduct ////// 46 serving my father. Advance in dignity, be tennu of the army, and from the moment that this is said watch over the royal forces." The tennu Mahu executed all his words. -Ra-aa-khepru: Akheperure, Amenhotep II, (ca.1450-1412)
-reduced under the royal banner all that made opposition to him. He pierced the wretches //////: Breasted: he assumed the royal titulary. He [/// ///] all, he mingled with [///] in ///
-immolated: cut off their heads
-rising: Breasted: diademed
-the extremity (?) of all those who exist and breathe: Breasted: the Kenemetyew,
-sailing: Breasted: rowing
-Kha-m-suten-uaa: Breasted: Khammat
-I was at ////// of the: Breasted: I was rowing [with] both hands at his
-conformably to custom: Breasted: likewise in the splendours
-when I re-ascended, even I: Breasted: I was brought
-I flew, even I, on the spot, into the presence of his majesty: Breasted: I bowed down immediately before his majesty
-conduct: Breasted: character
-/////46 serving my father: Breasted: I was abiding in the nest while thou wert in the following of my father.
-tennu: Breasted: deputy
-royal forces: Breasted: élite troops of the king

P. Virey, The Official Life of an Egyptian Officer from the Tomb of Amen-em-heb at Thebes
A. H. Sayce (ed.) Records of the Past, Series 2, Vol.IV, 1890


- -Index of Texts
-[1] Transliteration and pronunciation of Ancient Egyptian
-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
Tumba de AmenemhabTumba de Amenemhab
Four tombs of military officersFour tombs of military officers

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

© September 2005