Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: The Konosso Inscription of Thutmose IV
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The Konosso Inscription of Thutmose IV

1  Live Horus: (titulary) the King of Upper and Lower Egypt; Menkhperure (Thutmose IV), who is given life, forever, 2 Year 8, third month of the second season, day 2.
Behold, his majesty was in the Southern City, at the town of Karnak. His two hands were pure with the purity of
3 a king, and he performed the pleasing ceremonies of his father Amon, because he had given to [him] eternity as king, everlastingness while abiding upon the Horus-throne. One came to say to his majesty: "The Negro descends 4 from above Wawat; he hath planned revolt against Egypt. He gathers to himself 5 all the barbarians and the revolters of other countries."
- -purity: ritual purity was required for the performance of temple duties. They included physical cleanliness (washing, depilation), sexual abstinence, and eating ritually clean foods.
-revolters: anybody, whether subject to the Egyptian king or not, who opposed him was seen as a rebel against the proper world order, Maat.
The king proceeded in peace to the temple at the time 6  of morning, to cause that a great oblation be offered to his father, the fashioner of his beauty. [Behold, (?)] his majesty, he himself petitioned in the presence of 7 the ruler of the gods, that he might counsel him concerning the [affair of his going (?)] /// and inform concerning that which should happen to him; leading for him upon a goodly road 8 to do that which his ka desired, as a father speaks to his son, [/// /// ///]. He went forth from him, his heart 9 rejoicing [/// ///] /// /// /// (for) he sent him with might and victory. -his father: Amen
-ruler of the gods: by the New Kingdom Amen had become the main deity.
-inform concerning that which should happen to him: as time went by oracles became ever more popular in Egypt. While we have quite a good idea how public oracles worked, very little is known about private communications between kings and gods which took place inside the sanctuaries.
-ka: cf. the meaning of the ka
After these things bis majesty 10 proceeded to overthrow the [Negro] in Nubia (tA-pD.t); mighty in his barge of [///] like Re when he shows himself in the celestial barque 11 //////// His army 12 of his victories, was with (him) on both banks, while the recruits were upon its (one) shore, and the ship was equipped with his attendants, 13 as the king proceeded upstream like [Orion. (?)] He illuminated the South with his beauty; men shouted because of his kindness, 14 women danced at the message. Montu was in Erment as the protection of [his] every limb; Irerti (jrrtj) led before; every god of the South 15 bore the [///] before him; Nekbet, the White, of El Kab, she fastened the adornments of my majesty, her two hands were behind [me (?)], she bound for me the Nine Bows together 16 ////////// I stopped in the city of Edfu, the beautiful god come forth like Montu in all his forms, 17 girded with his arms and weapons, [raging (?)] like Set of Kom Ombo //////// 18 ///////////
His army came to him,
19 numerous /// with his mighty sword. The fear of him entered into every body; Re put the fear of him among the lands, like Sekhmet in the year of 20 the dew. ///////// He coursed through the eastern highland, he traversed the ways like 21 a jackal /////// He found all [his (?)] foes [scattered (?)] in inaccessible valleys./////////////////
-tA-pD.t: lit. land of the people of the bow. Nubians often served as arcjers in the armed formes or the constabulary (the Medjay), but pD.t can refer to non-Egyptians in general. Killing such 'rebellious barbarians' was the cause of much rejoicing (cf. Hymn to Senusret III)
-celestial barque: cf. solar barques
-his army ...: Breasted: Apparently we have here the disposition of troops as the king embarked, the veterans ("of his victories") on either bank. the young recruits on one bank, and the royal bodyguard in the royal barge.
-Montu: wargod at Thebes and Hermonthis (Erment). He was largely superseded by Amen.
-Nekbet: protective goddess of Upper Egypt
-Nine Bows: traditional enemy peoples of Egypt whose identities changed through history.
-Set: Seth became almost wholly destructive and evil only during the first millennium BCE.

J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part Two, §§ 825ff.


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© March 2007