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Ancient Egyptian texts: Hymn to Senusret III
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Hymn to Senusret III

I
1
Horus: Divine of Form; the Two Ladies: Divine of Birth; Gold-Horus; Being; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Khakaure, the Son of Re: Sesostris-he has seized the Two Lands in triumph
M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol.1, p.198
Homage to thee, Khakaure:
   our Horus, divine of beings!
Protecting the land and widening its boundaries:
   Restraining the foreign nations by his kingly crown.
Enclosing the two lands within the compass of his hands:
   [seizing (?)] the nation in his grip.
Slaying the Pedti without a stroke of the club:
   shooting an arrow
5 without drawing the bow-string.
Dread of him hath smitten the Anu (?) in their plain:
   his terror hath slain the nine races of men.
His (written) dispatch (?) hath caused the death of thousands of Pedti [////// who had (?)] reached his frontier:
   shooting the arrow as doth Sekhet, he overthroweth thousands of those who know not his mighty spirit.
The tongue of his majesty bindeth Khent in fetters:
   his utterances put to flight the Setiu.
Sole One of youthful vigour [guarding (?)] his frontier:
   suffering not his subjects to faint, but causing the Pat
10 to repose unto the daylight.
As to his trained youth in their slumbers:
   his heart (intellect) is their protection.
His decrees have formed his boundaries:
   his word hath armoured the two regions.
F. Ll. Griffith, ed., Hieratic Papyri from Kahun and Gurob, p.2
This hymn was written on a papyrus which was found at Kahun. Each stanza is composed of ten lines. It is a perfect example of ancient Egyptian poetry. The last two stanzas are mostly destroyed.
 
-Khakaura: Senusret III (c. 1878-1841)
-[seizing (?)] the nation in his grip: Lichtheim: [Who subdues foreign] lands by a motion of his hands
-Anu: Lichtheim: Bowmen
-nine races of men: Nine Bows
-(written) dispatch: Lichtheim: slaughter
-Pedti: Bowman
-Sekhet: Lion headed goddess, Eye of Re
-Khent: Nubia
-Setiu: Asiatics. cf. The Tale of Sinuhe: He was made to smite the Setiu, and to crush the Sandfarers.
-Pat: the people. According to Lichtheim with connotations of nobility.
-armoured the two regions: Lichtheim: joined the Two Shores
II
1
Twice joyful are the gods,
   thou hast established their offerings.
Twice joyful are thy princes,
   thou hast formed their boundaries.
Twice joyful are thy ancestors before thee,
   thou hast increased their portions.
Twice joyful is Egypt at thy strong arm,
   thou hast guarded the ancient order.
5 Twice joyful are the aged with thy administration,
   thou hast widened their positions.
Twice joyful are the two regions with thy valour,
   thou hast caused them to flourish.
Twice joyful are thy young men of support,
   thou hast caused them to flourish.
Twice joyful are thy veterans
   thou hast caused them to be vigorous
Twice joyful are the two lands in thy might,
   thou hast guarded their walls.
10 Twice joyful be thou, O Horus! widening thy boundary,
   mayest thou renew an eternity of life.
 
-Twice joyful: Lichtheim: How (they) rejoice throughout the stanza.
-princes: Lichtheim: [people]
-administration: Lichtheim: guidance
-flourish: Lichtheim: enlarged their holdings
III
1
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a multitude and an host
.
Twice great are the owners of his city,
   for he is a flood-gate pouring forth streams of its water-floods.
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a bower, letting every man lie down in the mid-day heat
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a screen like walls built of the sharp stones of Kesem.
5 Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a refuge, shutting out the robber.
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is an asylum, shielding the timid from his enemy.
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a shade in the high Nile to provide coolness in the summer.
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a warm corner of shelter in the winter.
Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is a rock shielding from the blast in the stormy day.
10 Twice great are the owners of his city
   for he is the goddess Sekhet to the foes who tread on his boundary.
 
-Twice great are the owners of his city for he is a multitude and an host: Lichtheim:How great is the lord of his city, he is Re, little are a thousand other men
-flood-gate: Lichtheim: canal
-bower: Lichtheim: cool room
-a screen like walls built of the sharp stones of Kesem: Lichtheim: walled rampart of copper of Sinai
-shutting out the robber: Lichtheim: whose hold does not fail
-in the high Nile: Lichtheim: overflowing
IV
1
He has come to us, he has taken the land of the well,
   the double crown is placed on his head.
He has come, he has united the two lands.
   he has joined the kingdom of the upper land with the lower.
He has come, he has ruled Egypt,
   he has placed the desert in his power.
He has come, he has protected the two lands,
   he has given peace in the two regions.
5 He has come, he has made Egypt to live,
   he has destroyed its afflictions.
He has come, he has made the aged to live,
   he has opened the breath of the people.
He has come, he has trampled on the nations,
   he has smitten the Anu, who knew not his terror.
He has come, he has protected (?) his frontier,
   he has rescued the robbed.
He has come ...........
   of what his mighty arm brings to us.
10 He has come, we bring up our children,
   we bury our aged by his good favour.
W.M.Flinders Petrie A History of Egypt Part One, pp 190f
-  
-he has taken the land of the well: Lichtheim: to take the Southland
-the upper land with the lower: Lichtheim: the Sedge to the Bee
-Egypt and the desert: Lichtheim prefers to translate kmt as Black Land in contrast to the Red Land, the desert.
-in the two regions: Lichtheim: to the Two Shores
-has made the aged to live: Lichtheim: nourished the people
-........... : Lichtheim: [showed the power (?)]

 


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