Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egyptian texts: The second story of Khamuas
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The second story of Khamuas:
Prince Khamuas and Si-Osiri

    //////// she dreamed (a) dream of herself , they were speaking to her [saying: "Are] you Meh-wesekht [the wife] of Setme, who lies [in vain seeking (?)] to receive healing? //////// [when the morning of tomorrow has] come, go to the entrance [of the rooms (?) of urinating (?) of Setme you[r hus]band. Behold! you shall (?) find a vine of melon (?) [that] grows there. ///////// wound (?) it with its gourds (?), and you shall put it back (?), [and you shall make it (?)] into medicine, and you shall cause (?) ////////// [you will conceive from his semen] in [the night] named." - -Khamuas: Khaemwase, son of Ramses II and Isis-nefert. He died in the 55th year of the reign of his father. He was sem-priest of Ptah and chief artificer.
-Setme: also Setne - sem, the title of Khaemwase
-from his semen: in a liquid of conception] from him (Griffith)
    Meh-wesekht awoke [from] the dream, (and) these were (?) the things that she had seen. She acted according to [everything that she had been told (?) in (her) dream: she lay down by] the side of [Setme], her husband, (and) she conceived from his semen. There came her [time, behold! she showed] the signs [of women who are pregnant. Setme made (the) announcement of it before Pharaoh]. His heart [was] exceedingly [glad] because of [it]. He bound on her an amulet, he read to her writing. Setme laid [himself] down one night [and dreamed a dream, (in which) they (?) spoke] to him, saying: "Me-wesekht, your wife, has conceived in the night (?)]. The child that will be born [shall be named] Si-Osiri. Numerous are the marvels that he shall do in the land of Egypt." -her [time: The time of her monthly period.
-Si-Osiri: meaning Son of Osiris
    Setme awoke] from the [dream], (and) these were (?) the things that he had seen. [His heart was] exceedingly [glad]. [She (?)] lived through [her months (?) of] pregnancy, she divided (?) /////////// [came her time of giving birth], she bore a [ma]le child. They let Setme know about it. [He named him] Si-Osiri, according with what had been said in [the] dream that [he kept (?)] in (his) heart (?).
    ////////// of pregnancy (?), [they] nurtured him. It happened that (when) the child [Si-Osiri was one year old, people] might have (?) said he was two years old. (When) he was two [years] (old), they might have (?) said he was three years (of age).
////////// [Setme never passed an hour] without looking at the child Si-Osiri. The love [that he had for him] was very great. He grew big and strong, and was sent to school (?).
-lived through [her months (?) of] pregnancy: made [her months (?) of] pregnancy (Griffith)
-heart: bosom (Griffith)
////////// he rivalled the scribe who had been appointed to give him instruction. The ch[ild Si-Osiri] grew (and) [he] began (?) to learn magic (?) with the scribes of the House of Life in the temple of Ptah (?)] //// [made] wonder [of] the world at him, and Setme loved (the fact) [that Pharaoh should order] him to be taken to the εορτη before Pharaoh and that /////////// and that he should be presented to them, all. [And on a certain day it happened that] Setme (was) purified for εορτη according to (?) ///////// his dwellings. ////////// the child Si-[Osiri was going to the] εορτη before [him as well.
    Then] Setme heard the voice of a wailing //////// looked ///////// of his dwellings //////// [a rich man] whom they were carrying out (to ?) the desert, the wailing was verily loud] ///////// much being [the] glory [in which he was compared to that in which (?)] he himself [was].
    He gazed [again], he [looked (?)] at his feet (?). Behold! he saw [a poor man being carried out from Memphis to the cemetery] ///// he was wrapped [in] a mat, there was ///// no [man (?) on earth w]as walking [after him. Said] Setme: "By [Ptah, the great God, how much better it shall be in Amenti for the great men (?)] w[hom they glorify (?)] with loud [wailing (?)] compared (?) to poor men (?) whom they take to the desert [without the glory of a funeral (?)]."
-learn magic: say writings (Griffith)
-//// [made] wonder [of] the world at him: Lichtheim: All who heard him thought him] the wonder of the land.
-εορτη: Lichtheim: banquet
-be presented: make for himself face (?)
-Then: At a time] that which happened, behold! (Griffith)
-Amenti" the netherworld.
    But Si-Osiri said: "You shall be treated in Amenti like this poor man will be treated in Amenti. [That which shall be done to this rich man in Amenti shall not be done to you] ////////// you shall [go (?)] into Amenti
    ///////// the heart [of Set]me was much grieved [on account of] it //////////// hear (?) the voice ///////////// said the child ////////// Si-Osiri ////////// to his ///////// wailing (?), asked [Setme] ////////// after these things ////////// find ////////// went Setme [to] a place ///////// in them ///////////// you [see (?)] ////////// his nobles //////////////////// that is upon the [desert (?) //////////////// life ////////////// his ////////// in them (?) ////////////// they did ///////////.
    [They entered the fourth hall ////////// Setme saw some men that were scattered and separated (?), and great at eating besides (?), there] were some others, their /////////////
    There were some others, their provision, water and bread, was hung over them. They were running to take it down, (but) some others were digging pits at their feet to prevent them from reaching it.
-Amenti: the netherworld
-some men that were scattered and separated (?), and great at eating besides (?), there]: Lichtheim: people who were [plaiting ropes, while donkeys were chewing them up].
These punishments are reminiscent of the fates of Tantalus who was condemned to eternal hunger, and of Sisyphus labouring endlessly to no avail.
    They entered the fifth hall and behold! Setme saw the noble spirits, standing in their positions, (and ?) those who were accused of violence, were standing at the entrance praying. The bolt (?) of the door of the fifth hall was being fixed in the right eye of a man, who was praying and uttering loud lamentation.
    They went into the sixth hall, and Setme saw the gods of the [council] of the inhabitants of Amenti standing in their order of standing, the attendants (?) of Amenti were standing, making a proclamation.
    They went into the seventh hall, and Setme saw the figure of the great god Osiris. He (was) seated upon his throne of good gold, crowned with the Atef, the great god Anubis was on his left, the great god Thoth on his right, the gods of the council (of the ?) inhabitants of Amenti (were) standing to the left and right of him. The balance was set in the middle before them. They (were) weighing the evil deeds against the good deeds. The great god Thoth (was) writing, Anubis (was) giving the word to his colleague.
Cf. The Judgment of the Dead
 
-positions: places (?) of standing (Griffith)
-were accused: had complaints (Griffith)
-Atef: The double-feathered crown of Osiris
    (The law) was that he who was found to have done more evil deeds than good ones was thrown (?) to Ama of the Lord of Amenti, (who) destroyed his soul (and) his body and did not allow him to breathe ever again.
    (The law) was that he who was found to have committed more numerous good deeds than evil deeds was taken to the gods of the council of the Lord of Amenti, and his soul went to heaven with the noble spirits.
    (The law) was that he who was found to have committed as many good deeds as evil deeds, was taken amongst the excellent (?) spirits that serve Sokari-Osiris.
-(The law) was: It being (Griffith)
-Ama: Ammit, the devourer of hearts
    And Setme saw a great man clothed in raiment of byssus who was near the place where Osiris was. His position was elevated. Setme marvelled at the things that he saw in Amenti.
    Si-Osiri walked out in front of (?) him (and) said to him: "My father Setme, don't you see this great man, who is clothed in garment of byssus and is near the place where Osiris is? That poor man whom you saw being carried out from Memphis and not a man walking after him, was wrapped in a mat. They brought him to the Tê, they weighed his good deeds that he had done upon earth. They found his good deeds had been more numerous than his evil deeds, according to the measure (?) of his term of life that Thoth determined (should) be allotted (?) to him, according to the measure of his greatness of eye (sic) upon earth. It was commanded before Osiris that the burial outfit of that rich man whom you saw being carried out from Memphis, the praise that was made of him being great, be given to this poor man named, and that they should take him amongst the noble spirits as a man of God who follows Sokaris Osiris, he being near to the place in which is Osiris.
    That great man whom you saw, they took him to the Tê, they weighed his evil deeds against his good deeds. They found that his evil deeds were more numerous than the good deeds that he did upon earth. It was commanded to imprison (?) him in Amenti. He is that man that [you saw] with the bolt (?) of the gate of Amenti being fixed on his right eye. They were shutting and opening out on his eye, his mouth was open in loud lamentation. By the great god Osiris, Lord of Amenti, behold! I say to you upon earth: 'There shall be done] to you just as is being done to this poor man, there shall not be done to you according to which is being done to that great man,' and I know what will become of him."
- elevated: exceedingly great (Griffith)
-marvelled: made wonder of the world
-Tê: the underworld
-good deeds: evil deeds (sic) (Griffith)
-determined: wrote down for him
 
-according to the measure of his greatness of eye (sic): another translation: according to his luck
 
-with the bolt (?) of the gate of Amenti being fixed on his right eye. They were shutting and opening out on his eye: another translation: with the pivot of the door of the netherworld fixed in his right eye, so that it opens and shuts on his eye
    Said Setme: "My son Si-Osiri, many are the marvels that I have seen in Amenti. In the course of time tell me what has happened to these men who are scattered (?) apart (?) who are great at eating in addition, some others whose provision, water, and bread was hung above them, were running to bring them down, (while) some others were digging pits at their feet to prevent them reaching them." -In the course of time: After a time
    Said Si-Osiris: "It is a just word, my father Setme, these men whom you saw who were scattered (?) and apart (?), who were great at eating in addition (?). They are like the men who are on earth , who are under the curse of the god. They work night and day for their livelihood, their women rob (?) them in addition (?), they find no bread to eat. They came to Amenti again. They found their evil deeds to be more numerous than their good deeds. They found that what had become of them on earth, they became in Amenti.
    Concerning those other men whom you saw, whose food, water and bread is hung over them, and who are running to bring them down, while some others are digging a pit at their feet to prevent them from reaching them: the kind of men that are on earth, whose life is before them, the god is digging a pit at their feet to prevent their finding it. They came to Amenti. They allowed (sic) that which had become of them on the earth to become of them again (?) [in Amenti]. Behold! They received their soul in the Tê.
    Find it in your heart, my father Setme, namely, that he who is good upon the earth, they are good to him in Amenti, [while] he who is evil, they are evil to him.
    These matters are established (?), [they shall not be changed] ever. The things that you see in the Tê in Memphis happen in those 42 nomes in [which are the assessors (?)] of the great god Osiris. ///////// Abydos, the place of the oracle (?) the dwelling of princes ///////// and in Philae (?)."
    (Si)-Osiri ended these words spoken before his father. He went upon the desert of Mem[phis, his father Setme em]bracing him, his hand was in his hand. Setme asked [saying: "My] son Si-Osiri, separate is the place down there (where we are) going, separate is the place from which we have come up.
-place down there (where we are) going: place of going down there (Griffith)
    Si-[Osiri did] not answer Setme even with one word. Setme marvelled (?) at the words that he had heard, saying: "He will (?) be able to become (?) like the noble spirits as a man of God.
    [I was walking] with him, saying: 'This is my son.' Setme pronounced [writing of /////// from the] book of exorcising demons. He marvelled at [the things] he had seen in Amenti which weighed upon him heavily since he was not able to reveal (them) to [any man on earth.
    Behold! The b]oy Si-Osiri passed twelve years and there was no [good scribe or learned man (?)] who rivalled (?) him in Memphis in reading (or) registering pledges.
-even with one word: by a word on earth. (Griffith)
-that he had heard: that he was in (Griffith)
-registering pledges: writing of taking pledge
    Afterwards one day Pharaoh Osir[mare went] to the court (?) of Pharaoh's house in Memphis. [The council], the princes, the generals, the great men of Egypt [were standing] according to their rank at court. Came (?) //////// [saying (?)]: "This is a communication that an ate of Ethiopia made [a sealed (?)] letter (carried) on my body."
    The announcement of it was made before Pharaoh. He was brought to the court and prayed: "Is there someone who reads his letter which I have brought (?) to Egypt before Pharaoh without spoiling its seal (?), who will read the writing in it without opening it. Should there be [no good scribe and learned man in] Egypt who is able to read it without opening it, I will take the humiliation of Egypt to the land of Nehes, my country."
-rank at court: style (?) of standing in the court.
-ate: Griffith: from the determinative may mean 'foreigner' or 'negro', unless it be an expression for sorcerer or an abusive term.
-[a sealed (?)] letter (carried) on my body: [who is sealed (?)] on his body with a letter
-prayed: he made prayer (?) [saying (Griffith). address oneself to a god
-Nehes: Ethiopia
    When Pharaoh heard these words [with his princes who did not know the place on] earth where they were, they said: "By [the great god (?)] Ptah, [is there (?)] the strength in the hand of a good scribe and learned man to read writings of which he shall see their country, or is it possible (?) to read a letter [without opening it?"
    Said] Pharaoh: "Let there be summoned Setme [Kham]wesy my son."
    They ran and brought him at that instant. He bowed to the ground. He saluted [Pharaoh]. He [raised] himself, stood on his feet, making the blessings of the salutation of Pharaoh.
    Pharaoh said to him: "My [son] Setme, have you heard the words that this
ate [of Ethiopia] has said before me: 'Is there a good scribe or learned man in Egypt who shall be able to read this letter that is in my hand without breaking its seal, and shall know what is written in it without opening it?' "
-When Pharaoh heard these words : The time of hearing the words that Pharaoh did (Griffith)
-did not know the place on] earth where they were: seemingly meaning they were at a complete loss.
    When Setme heard these words he did not know the place on earth where he was and he said: "My great lord, who is he that shall be able to read writing without opening it? Give me ten days of delay (?) that I may see what I shall be able to do, to prevent the humiliation of Egypt being reported in the land of Nehes, the country of eaters of gum."
    Said Pharaoh: "They are for my son Setme."
    Apartments were given (to Setme) of turning (?) the face to the Ethiopian, there was made for him wickedness (?) like an Ethiopian. Pharaoh rose from court, his heart was heavy with grief. He lay down without drinking and eating. Setme went to his apartments without knowing the place in the world he was going to. He covered himself with his clothes from head to foot, not knowing the place on earth in which he was.
-reported in: taken to (Griffith)
    His wife Meh-wesekht was informed of it. She came to the place where Setme was. She reached inside his clothes and did not find any warmth. He lay quiet (?) in his clothes. She said to him: 'My brother Setme, there is no warmth in your lap, sheby (?) in the flesh, illness, (and) sadness of heart."
    He said to her: "Do not bother me, my sister Me-wesekht, the matter on account of which my heart is grieved is not a things that it is right to reveal to a woman."
    The child Si-Osiri came in. He stood over Setme his father and said to him: "My father Setme, what are you lying here for with a sad heart? Tell me the things that are enclosed in your heart that I may make them cease."
-brother: often used for beloved.
-Do not bother me: Cease from me (Griffith)
-my sister: like 'brother' often used as a term of endearment
    He said: "Don't bother me my son Si-Osiri, about the things in my heart. You are young of age, you are not grown yet, look after yourself."
    Si-Osiris said: "Tell me so I may lighten your heart."
    Setme said: "My son Si-Osiri, an
ate of Ethiopia has come to Egypt, carrying a sealed letter on his body and he says: 'Is there somebody who will (?) read it without opening it? And if there is no good scribe and learned man in Egypt who is able to read it, I will carry the news of the humiliation of Egypt to the land of Nehes, my country.'
Behold! I lay down, my heart saddened because of this, my son Si-Osiri."
-you are not grown yet, look after yourself: thou art not great (?), take heed (?) to thyself. (Griffith)
    When Si-Osiri heard these words he laughed for a long time. Setme said to him: "Why are you laughing?"
    He answered: "I am laughing because you are lying, telling me that your heart is sad because of small matter like this one. Get up, my father Setme, I shall be able to read the letter that was brought to Egypt without opening it and to know what is written in it without breaking its seal."
    When Setme heard these words he got up at once and said: "What is your pledge that you are speaking the truth, my son Si-Osiri?"
    He said to him: "My father Setme, go to the apartments on the ground floor. (With) every book you take out of the case I will tell you what book it is, (and) I will read it without seeing it, standing above you in your apartments on the ground floor."
-apartments on the ground floor: apartments of the ground of thy apartments (Griffin)
-every book which you take out of the case: Every book that thou bringest from the case (Griffin)
    Setme got up and stood on his feet. He did everything that Si-Osiri had said to him. Si-Osiri read every book that Setme his father lifted up, without opening them. Setme came up from the apartments on the ground floor and his joy was boundless.
    He hurried to the place where Pharaoh was. He related before him everything that the child Si-Osiri had said to him. His heart was very glad because of it.
    Pharaoh washed himself for feasting with Setme. He ordered Si-Osiri to be brought to the feast before him. They drank and made merry.
    The morning of the next day came. Pharaoh came forth to the court between his great men. Pharaoh ordered the
ate of Ethiopia to be fetched. He was brought to the court, the sealed (?) letter on his body. He stood in the middle of the court. The child Si-Osiri advanced to the centre (and) stood near the ate of Ethiopia. He spoke against him: "Woe! Wicked one of Ethiopia, may Amen, his god, smite him! You have come up to Egypt, the beautiful garden of Osiris, the footstool of Ra-Harakht, the beautiful horizon of the Spirit, saying: 'I will report [its] humiliation to the land of Nehes.'
    The inspiration (?) of your god Amen is cast on thee. The words that I shall narrate are written in this latter. Do not utter falsehoods concerning them before Pharaoh, your sovereign!"
-Si-Osiri: in the text mistakenly: Setme
-his joy was boundless: he being in gladness of the earth (Griffith)
-made merry: they made a good day (Griffith)
-Amen, his god: The Amen worship had taken root in Kush
-come up to Egypt: topographically Egypt was lower than Kush. (Similarly in Hebrew: la'alot - to ascend, is used meaning for Jews to immigrate to Israel.)
    When the ate of Ethiopia looked at the child Si-Osiri standing in the court, he put his head to the ground. He said: "I will not speak falsehood concerning any word that you will say."
    Si-Osiri began relating before Pharaoh and his nobles and the people of Egypt paid close attention to what he said: "What is written in the letter of the
ate of Ethiopia who is standing in our midst is as follows: Once upon a time in the days of Pharaoh Menkh-pa-Ra Si-Amon ruled as the beneficent king of the whole land, Egypt was overflowing with everything in his time, he was abundant in giving expenditure, work in the great temples of Egypt. There happened a day, the Kwr (?) of the land of Nehes making ///////// in the fields /////////// of the land of Amen, behold! he heard the voice of three ate of Ethiopia [in the (?) draughthouse (?), one of them said in a loud voice: 'That Amen may not find for me evil nor the Kwr of (?) Egypt cause [abomination be done to me], I would (?) cast my magic up to Egypt that I might cause the people of Egypt to pass three days (and) three nights without seeing light except the kiki (?).'
-When the ate of Ethiopia looked at the child Si-Osiri: The time of seeing that made the ate of Ethiopia at the child Si-Osiri (Griffith).
-ate Lichteim: chieftain
-Kwr: Lichtheim: ruler
-Nehes: Lichtheim: Nubia
-up to Egypt: see above
-kiki (?): Seemingly the burning oil from the castor oil plant (ricinus communis) used in lamps. Lichtheim has: only darkness
Said the other of them after saying: 'Let (?) Amen not find for me misfortune nor the Kwr of Egypt cause abomination to be done to me: I would (?) cast my magic up to Egypt that I might cause the Pharaoh of Egypt to be brought to the land of Nehes, and cause him to be beaten with a scourging, 500 blows of the stick (?) in the midst before the Viceroy, and cause him to be brought back up to Egypt in six (?) hours precisely.'
When the viceroy heard what the three men of Ethiopia had said, he ordered them to be brought before him. He said to them: 'Who of you is he that said, "I will cast my magic up to Egypt, I will not allow them to see light in three days (and) three nights" ?'
They said: 'It is Hor, the son of the Sow.'
Said he: 'Who is he that said, "I will cast my magic up to Egypt, I will bring Pharaoh to the land of Nehes, I will cause him to be beaten with a scourging, 500 blows of the stick (?) in the midst of the Viceroy, I will cause him to be taken back to Egypt in six (?) hours precisely" ?'
They said: "It is Hor, the son of the Negress.'
He said: 'Who is he that said, "I will cast my magic up in Egypt. I will not allow the land to be fertile until three years" ?'
They said: 'It is Hor, the son of the Princess (?).'
-When the viceroy heard what the three men of Ethiopia had said: The time of hearing the word that the Viceroy did, from the voice of the three men of Ethiopia (Griffith)
The Viceroy said (to Hor, the son of the Negress): 'Do your feat of magic in writing. By the life of Amen, the bull of Meroe my god, if your hand will satisfy me, I will shower you with an abundance of good things.'
Hor, the son of the Negress, made of wax a group of four runners (?), he read some writing to them, he gave them the breath of life, he made them come alive. He commanded them: 'Go up to Egypt and bring Pharaoh of Egypt to the place where the Viceroy is. He shall be beaten with a scourging, 500 blows of the stick before the Viceroy, and (then) you will take him back up to Egypt in six (?) hours.'
They said: 'Certainly. We will not let anything go amiss.'
The sorceries of the Ethiopian proceeded up to Egypt by night, they overpowered Pharaoh Menkh-pa-Ra Si-Amon, they took him to the land of Nehes, to the place where the Viceroy was. He was beaten with scourging, 500 blows of the stick, before the Viceroy, (then) they returned him up to Egypt in six hours precisely."
-Meroe: Capital city of the kingdom of Kush (4th century BCE to 4th century CE).
-The Bull of Meroe: Amen-Re
-made of wax a group of four runners: made a litter of wax of four runners (Griffith)
-wax: wax was often used in magic for forming figurines, which could then be destroyed. (cf. Ancient Egyptian Magic)
-breath of life: breath of respiration (Griffith)
-We will not let anything go amiss: We will not allow a thing to pass away (Griffith)
    Si-Osiri finished narrating the story before Pharaoh and his princes, and the people of Egypt heard his voice. He said: "The inspiration of your god Amen is cast on you. Are the words I have recounted those that are written in the letter which is in your hand?"
    The
ate of Ethiopia said: "Continue reading! Every word you have said is true."
    Si-Osiri said to Pharaoh: "After these things had happened, they returned Pharaoh Si-Amon up to Egypt, his hinder parts beaten with many lashes. He lay down in the shrine of Per-Hor (?) his hinder parts hurting from the cruel beating. The morning of the next day arrived. Pharaoh said to his courtiers: 'What has happened in Egypt when I (was made to ?) depart from it?'
Shame on (?) the words of the courtiers who said: 'Probably Pharaoh has lost his mind.'
They said: 'You are well, you are well, O Pharaoh, our great lord. The great goddess Isis will stop ////// your troubles (?). What is the meaning of the words that you have said before [us, O Pharaoh], our great lord? You were lying down [in] the shrine [of Pi-]Hor, the gods protect you.'
Pharaoh got up, showed his courtiers his back which had been beaten exceedingly and he said: 'By the life of the (great) god Ptah someone (?) took me to the land of Nehes in the night, someone beat me with 500 blows of the stick before the Viceroy, and they returned me up to Egypt in six hours.'
-the words I have recounted: the words of which I am master (?) (Griffith)
-Continue reading!: Read after thy readings (Griffith)
-What has happened in Egypt when I (was made to ?) depart from it?: What is it that hath found Egypt until I (be made to ?) depart from [it] (Griffith)
-Pharaoh has lost his mind: the word of the heart of Pharaoh has gone away (Griffith)
When they saw the hinder parts of Pharaoh which had been beaten cruelly, they made a great noise. Menkh-pa-Ra Si-Amen had a librarian (?) who was called Hor, son of Pa-neshe, who was a highly [learned] man. He came to the palace where Pharaoh was and he exclaimed: 'My [great lord], these were the sorceries of the Ethiopians. By the life of your //////// I will order them to be thrown into your house of torment (?) and execution (?).'
[The pharaoh] said to him: 'Come quickly to me! Don't let me be taken to the land of Nehes another night.'
The librarian (?) Hor, son of Pa-neshe, came at once. He took his books and amulets [to the place] where [Pharaoh] was. He read spells to him and fastened an amulet on him to prevent the sorceries of the Ethiopians from getting power over him.
He left Pharaoh, taking his offerings and libations, and went on board a boat and sailed to Khmun without delay. He went into the temple of Khmun, [he made his] offerings (and) libations before Thoth the great great great great great [great great great], the lord of Khmun, the great god. He said a prayer before him: 'Look upon me favourably, my lord Thoth. Let not the Ethiopians report the humiliation of Egypt to the land of Nehes. It is you who ///////// magic in writing, you suspended the heaven, established the earth, the underworld, and placed the gods among the stars (?). Let me know how to save Pharaoh [from the sorceries of the] Ethiopians.'
-spells: writings (Griffith)
-Khmun: Hermopolis Magna in Middle Egypt, cult centre of Thoth.
-Look upon me favourably: Give thy face to me (Griffith)
Hor, son of Pa-neshe (?), lay down in the temple. He dreamed a dream that night in which the great god Thoth spoke to him: "Are you Hor, son of Pa-neshe (?), the librarian of Pharaoh Menkh-pa-Ra Si-Amen? When the morning of tomorrow comes, go to the library of the temple of Khmun. You shall find a shrine (which is) closed and sealed. Open it. You shall find a box in that shrine. There is a roll of papyrus (?) in it, which I wrote with my own hand. Bring it up, make a copy of it, and return it to its place. Its name is 'The Book of Magic'. It protected me from the impious, it shall protect Pharaoh, that he may be saved from the sorceries of the Ethiopians.'
Hor, son of Pa-neshe, awoke from the dream, he remembered what he had seen. It was in the hand of the god. He did everything according to what he had been told in his dream. He hurried to the place where Pharaoh was. He made for him an amulet against sorceries in writing (?). The next day arrived.
-that shrine: the shrine named (Griffith)
-It was in the hand of the god: he found the event that it was matter (?) of god (Griffith)
The sorceries of Hor, the son of the Negress, returned to Egypt by night, to the place where Pharaoh was. They returned to the place where the Viceroy was at that time. They could not get power over Pharaoh because of the amulets with the spells that the librarian Hor, son of Pa-neshe, had bound (?) upon him. The morning of the next day arrived.
Pharaoh told the librarian Hor, son of Pa-neshe, about everything that he had seen by night, and how the sorceries of the Ethiopians had turned away, unable to get power over him. Horus, son of Pa-neshe, ordered pure and abundant wax brought to him. He made a group [of] four bearers. He pronounced spells over them. He gave them the breath of life. He made them come alive. He commanded them: 'Go to the land of Nehes tonight. Bring the Viceroy up to Egypt, to the place where Pharaoh is. After he has been beaten with 500 blows of the stick before Pharaoh, you shall return him to the land of Nehes in six hours.'
They said: 'Certainly, we will not let anything go amiss.'
The sorceries of Hor, son of Pa-neshe, travelled under (?) the clouds of heaven, they hurried to the land of Nehes by night. They overpowered the Viceroy. They brought him up to Egypt, he was beaten with 500 blows of the stick before Pharaoh. They returned him to the land of Nehes in six hours, all the way."
-breath of life: breath of respiration (Griffith)
    Si-Osiri narrated this story before Pharaoh and his nobles, the people of Egypt heard his voice, saying: "The power of your god Amen is cast upon you, O wicked one from Ethiopia. The words I have spoken, are they written in this letter?"
The Ethiopian, his head turned to the ground, said: "Continue reading! Every word you have spoken is written in this letter."
Si-Osiri said: "After all these events had happened, after they had brought back the Viceroy to the land of Nehes in six hours, they put him in his place, he lay down.
He rose in the morning, badly beaten by the blows that had been given him above in Egypt.
'(They) beat me with 500 blows of the stick before Pharaoh of Egypt. They returned (me) to the land of Nehes.'
He turned his back towards the princes, they uttered loud lamentations. The Viceroy ordered them to go after Hor, son of the Negress. He said: 'May Amen curse you, the bull of Meroe, my god! You went to the men of Egypt, consider and let me see the method with which you will save me from the hand of Hor, son of Pa-neshe.'
-Continue reading!: Read after thy readings (Griffith)
He made his sorceries and bound them on the Viceroy to save him from the sorceries of Hor, son of Pa-neshe. The night of the next day came.
The sorceries of Hor, son of Pa-neshe, travelled to the land of Nehes. They carried the Viceroy up to Egypt. He was beaten with 500 blows of the stick before Pharaoh. He was taken back to the land of Nehes in six hours all told.
This happened to the Viceroy for three days, the sorceries of the Ethiopians were not able to save the Viceroy from the hand of Hor, son of Pa-neshe.
The Viceroy was in deepest anguish. He ordered Hor, the son pf the Negress, to be brought to him. He said to him: 'Woe, you enemy from Ethiopia, you have caused me to be humiliated by hand of the men of Egypt. You could not save me from their hands. By the life of Amen, the bull of Meroe my god, should it be that you should not be able to save me from the aerial cars of the men of Egypt,I will order them to put you to an evil death.'
He said: 'My master, the Viceroy, sent me up to Egypt that I may meet him who does magic among them, that I may strive against him, that I may let him see the scorn that is (?) in my heart (?) for his skill.'
-skill: hand (Griffith)
Hor, the son of the Negress, was sent away from before the Viceroy. He came to the place where his mother the Negress was.
'You are going up to Egypt to do sorcery there, beware of the men of Egypt. You will not be able to contend with them. Don't let yourself be caught by their hands, so that you will not return to the land of Nehes forever.'
He said: 'There is nothing to what you are saying. I shall not be able to avoid going up to Egypt in order to cast my magic on it.'
The Negress his mother said to him: 'Should it happen that you do go to Egypt, let us agree on some signs between me and you: Should you fail I will come to you in order to see whether I be able to save you.'
He said to her: 'Should I be overcome (?) then should you be drinking [or eating flesh (?)], the water before you will turn the colour of blood, the food that are before you will turn the colour of flesh, the sky shall turn the colour of blood before your eyes.'
Hor, the son of the Negress, having set the signs between (?) himself and his mother, went up to Egypt, crammed (?) with magic. He traversed from that which Amen made //////// as far as Memphis, to the place where Pharaoh was, hunting after him who was doing magic in Egypt.
He came to the court, (stood) before Pharaoh and spoke in a loud voice: 'Ho! you who do magic against me in the court of Pharaoh, the people of Egypt looking at him, you two scribes of the House of Life (or) you, scribe of the House of Life, who casts magic spells on the Viceroy, bringing him up to Egypt in spite of me.'
As he was speaking these words, Hor, son of Pa-neshe was standing in the court before Pharaoh. He said: 'Ho! Enemy from Ethiopia, are you not Hor, son of the Negress, whom I saved (?) in the reeds of Re, (with) your companion from Ethiopia who accompanied you, you were drowning (?) in the water, you were cast (?) down from the hill on the east of On? Did you not repent the freeing (?) of Pharaoh, your sovereign, after you had caused his hinder parts to be beaten in the place where the Viceroy was? You have come up to Egypt, asking: "Is he who does magic against me, here?" By the life of Atum, lord of On, the gods of Egypt have brought you to requite you in their country.'
When Hor, son of the Negress, heard the words spoken by Hor, son of Pa-neshe, he answered him: 'Is it he to whom I taught jackal-language (?) who does sorcery against me?'
The man of Ethiopia made an effort to cast a written spell: he caused fire to come out in the court. Pharaoh with the princes of Egypt uttered a loud cry: 'Hasten to our side, librarian Hor, son of Pa-neshe!'
Hor, son of Pa-neshe, cast a written spell. He caused the sky to open up with southern rain over the flame. It was extinguished in an instant.
-On: Heliopolis
The Ethiopian made another effort of magic in writing. He created a great covering (?) over the court. No one (could) see his brother or his companion. Hor, son of Pa-neshe, read a spell to the sky. He caused it to cease. It cleared from the evil wind.
Hor, the son of the Negress, made another effort of written magic. He caused a great vault of stone, 200 cubits in length by (?) 50 cubits of width, to appear above Pharaoh and his princes, with the intention to leave Egypt without a king, the world (?) deficient of a sovereign. Pharaoh looked at the sky, he saw the vault of stone above him. He opened his mouth and uttered a loud cry, together with the people that were in court. Hor, son of Pa-neshe, pronounced a magic formula: He caused an air-boat of papyrus to appear, which proceeded with the vault of stone. Behold! It flew with it forward to the Mighty Pool, the great water of Egypt.
-spell: writing (Griffith)
-It cleared from the evil wind: it being clear from the evil wind in which it was (Griffith)
-200 cubits in length by (?) 50 cubits of width: about 100 metres by 25 metres
The man of Ethiopia knew that he was not able to contend with [the Egyptian]. He made an effort to cast a written spell to prevent his seeing him in court, with the intent of translating himself to the land of Nehes, his city. Hor, son of Pa-neshe, pronounced a spell causing the sorceries of the Ethiopian to be revealed, causing Pharaoh to see him, with the people of Egypt that were standing in the court. He was (in the ) form of a bad fox-gander and was about to depart. Hor, son of Pa-neshe, pronounced a spell causing him to turn back, and there was a fowler standing over him, his piercing knife in his hand. He was going to do to it an abomination.
After all these things had happened, the signs which Hor, son of the Negress, had set between himself and his mother, they all happened in front of her (eyes). She immediately went up to Egypt, taking on the form of a fox-goose. She stood over the palace of Pharaoh bewailing (?) her son with her voice, while he was in the form of an evil fox-gander and the fowler was standing over him.
-Egyptian: in the text mistakenly: Ethiopian
Hor, son of Pa-neshe, looked at the sky, He saw the Negress in the guise in which she was. He knew that it was the Ethiopian Negress. He pronounced a spell causing her to be turned on her back with a fowler standing over her about to kill her with his knife.
She changed from the form in which she was, she took on the guise of an Ethiopian woman, praying: 'Do not make an end (?) to us, Hor, son of Pa-neshe, let go for us this occasion of failure (?). Should you give us an aerial boat, we will not return to Egypt ever.'
-her to be turned on her back: the back to be turned for her (Griffith)
Horus, son of Pa-neshe, swore an oath by Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt, saying: 'I will not remove my spell, until you have sworn an oath to me not to return up to Egypt for any kind (?) of purpose (?).'
The Negress raised her hand (and swore) not to come up to Egypt for all eternity. Hor, the son of the Negress, swore an oath, saying: 'I will not come up to Egypt for 1500 years.'
Hor, son of Pa-neshe withdrew his hand from his written spell. He gave an aerial boat to Hor, the son of the Negress, and the Negress, his mother. They proceeded to the land of Nehes, their city."
-written spell: feat of writing (Griffith)
    Si-Osiri made this narration before Pharaoh, the people of Egypt heard his voice. Setme, his father, saw everything. The head of the man from Ethiopia was facing the ground. Si-Osiri said: "By the life of your face, my great lord, this man who is standing before you, is Hor, the son of the Negress. This man, whose words I am relating, who has not repented of those things that he did long ago, has come up to Egypt at the end of 1500 years to cast the sorceries here.
By the life of Osiris, great good lord of Amenti, before (?) whom I rest (?), I am Hor, son of Pa-neshe, this man who stands before Pharaoh, found this out, that the wicked one of Ethiopia would cast his sorceries up into it and there would be no good scribe and learned man in Egypt at the time able to contend with him.
I prayed before Osiris in Amenti to let me come forth to the world again, to prevent reporting the humiliation of Egypt to the land of Nehes. Osiris commanded to bring me out into the world. I awoke. I flew to the crown of the head to find Setme, the son of Pharaoh, upon the
gebel of On (or) the gebel of Memphis. I grew as this vine with the intent of returning to the body again, that I might be born to the world to do magic against this enemy from Ethiopia who stands in court."
    Hor, son of Pa-neshe, in the shape of Si-Osiri, cast a written spell on the man of Ethiopia. He caused the fire to surround him, it consumed him in the middle of the court. Pharaoh saw him together with the nobles and the people of Egypt.
    Si-Osiri passed away as (?) a shadow from the company of Pharaoh and Setme, his father. They did not see him. Pharaoh marvelled with his great men at the things they had seen in the court and they said: "There is no good scribe and learned man like Hor, son of Pa-neshe. There will not be his like ever."
-it: Egypt
    Setme opened his mouth and shouted loudly when Si-Osiri had passed away as a shadow, and he had not seen him. Pharaoh rose (from) court, anger in his heart at the things that he had seen. He started preparations to be made before Setme to lodge him because of Si-Osiri, his son, to refresh his heart.
    When evening fell Setme went to his apartments, his heart exceedingly sad. Meh-wesekht lay at his side. She conceived from him that night. She did not delay (and) gave birth to a male child, who was given the name of Wesy-Ment-Hor (?).
    Setme did not cease to make offerings and libations before the genius of Hor, son of Pa-neshe, at every occasion.
    This is the end of this book, written /////////////
-before Setme to lodge him: ?
-did not cease to make offerings and libations: did not make intermission of those that make offerings and libations (Griffith)
 

Source: Griffith, F. Ll, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis; The Sethon of Herodotus and The Demotic Tales of Khamuas [1]
Minor alterations were made by me.

 


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-[1] Griffith, F. Ll, Stories of the High Priests of Memphis; The Sethon of Herodotus and The Demotic Tales of Khamuas
-Prince Khamwas and Si-Osire - Another translation of the story
 

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