Ancient Egypt: The autobiography of Bekenkhonsu
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Luxor obelisk, 23 metres tall, weighing 220 tons
Excerpt of lithograph by David Roberts
The autobiography of Bekenkhonsu
Hereditary prince, count, High Priest of Amon, Beknekhonsu, triumphant; he says:
I was a truthful witness, profitable to his lord, extolling the instructions of the god, proceeding upon his way, performing the excellent ceremonies in the midst of his temple. I was chief overseer of works in the house of Amon, satisfying the excellent heart of his lord. O all ye people, take account in your hearts; ye who are on earth, who shall come after me, in millions of millions of years, after old age and inirmity, whose hearts are versed in discerning worth. I will inform you of my character while I was upon earth, in every office which I administered, since my birth.
I passed four years in extreme childhood.
After 4 years as a toddler Bekenkhonsu began twelve years of training during which he learned to fill the position of a nobleman in command.
I was a good father to my serf-laborers, training their classes, giving my hand [to] him who was in trouble, preserving alive him who was in misfortune, performing the excellent duties in his temple. I was chief overseer of works before Thebes for his son, who came forth from his limbs, King Ramses II, given life, maker of monuments for his father, Amon, who place him on his throne.
He says as follows: I performed the excellent duties in the house of Amon, being chief overseer of works of my lord. I made for him a temple (called) Ramses-Meriamon-Hearer-of-Petitions, at the upper portal of the house of Amon. I erected obelisks therein, of granite, whose beauty approached heaven. A wall was before it of stone over against Thebes; it was flooded, and the gardens were planted with trees. I made very great double doors of electrum; their beauty met the heavens. I hewed very great flagstaves, and I erected them in the august forecourt in front of his temple.
I hewed great barges of the Beginning-of-the-River, for Amon, Mut and Khonsu; by the hereditary prince, High Priest of Amon, Beknekhonsu.
Inscription of Bekenkhonsu
J.H.Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, part III, §§ 563 to 568
|Apart from his priestly duties, Bekenkhonsu was an administrator, responsible among other things for the erection of temple buildings, which under Ramses II took on monstrous sizes.|
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