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Ancient Egypt: The decree of Neferirkare Kakai exempting the personnel of a temple from corvée duties
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The layout of this inscription is, to say the least, unconventional.
Layout
The numbering without brackets is Moret's, in brackets Strudwick's.
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The decree of Neferirkare Kakai exempting the personnel of a temple from corvée duties

1 The Horus Userkhau.2 Royal decree for the overseer of prophets, Hemwer.
3 I have not permitted that any man shall have power to 4 take any of the prophets 5 who are in the nome where you are, 6 to (be put) in the position of labourer or (for) any corvée work 7 of the nome, apart from the service rendered 8 to the god personally in the temple where he is 9 and for the good maintenance of the temples 10 by the prophets who are there, 11 to impose any corvée labour 13 in any field of the god 14 which is in the care 15 of all the prophets, 12 to take any meritu who are 13 in any field of the god 14 which is in the care 15 of all the prophets, 16 for the labour or any corvé work of the nome.
- -Userkhau: Neferirkare Kakai, (c.2475-2455)
-to (be put) in the position of labourer or (for) any corvée work: Strudwick, op.cit.: for the purpose of compulsory labor or any (other) work.
-prophets: Strudwick: priests
-service: Strudwick: cult rites
-by the prophets who are there Strudwick: in which they (the rites) are
-which is in the care: Strudwick: on which priestly duty is done by
-meritu:: The term mr.wt is not very well understood. It is sometimes rendered as "serfs" or "servants". Strudwick: dependents.
17 For they are freed for the duration of eternity, 18 according to the decree of the king of the South and the North, Neferirkare, and there is no duty concerning this in any service.
19 Any man of the nome who takes 20 any prophets who are 21 (in) the field of god of which they are in charge in this nome, 22 any meritu 23 who are in the field of the god, 24 for labour or any corvée work of the nome, 25 you have to send him to the House of Agriculture of the temple, (to be) put in the position of labourer or (subjected) to forced labour 26 of this service of field work in this temple.
-there is no duty concerning this in any service: Strudwick: you do not have any legal claim against it with respect to any duty.
-(in) the field of god of which they are in charge: Strudwick: on the land of the god who does priestly service
-House of Agriculture of the temple: Strudwick: Great Mansion
-(to be) put in the position of labourer or (subjected) to forced labour: Strudwick: he shall be made to work in the stone quarry
-of this service of field work in this temple: Strudwick: and to harvest barley and emmer wheat.
27 All supervisors of the South, any Sar known to the king, chief of police (?) who will act contrary to this decree 28 taken to the hall of Horus, one will dispose in favour of the field of the god of the people, any possessions belonging to them, he will be put in the position of labourer [and for any corvée work (of the nome)]. -All supervisors of the South, any Sar known to the king, chief of police (?): Strudwick: any noble, royal acquaintance, or person concerned with revisionary offerings
-taken to the hall of Horus: Strudwick: which has been registered in the Great Mansion
-one will dispose in favour of the field of the god of the people, any possessions belonging to them: Strudwick: (his) house, land, people, and everything he owns shall be taken away
29 Sealed in the presence of myself, the king, month 2 of the season of Shemu, day 10. -myself, the king: Strudwick: the king himself
-day 10: Strudwick: day 11 (at least; could be higher)

After M. A. Moret, "Chartes d'immunité dans l'Ancien Empire égyptien",
in E. Leroux, ed., Journal asiatique, Paris 1917


Bibliography:
M. A. Moret, "Chartes d'immunité dans l'Ancien Empire égyptien", in E. Leroux, ed., Journal asiatique, Paris 1917
Nigel C. Strudwick, (Ronald J. Leprohon ed.), Texts from the Pyramid Age, Brill 2005, ISBN 9004130489, pp.100f.

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