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Ancient Egypt: A petition by a priest of Amen serving during the reign of Darius
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The petition by Pediese, a priest of Amen serving during the reign of Darius I

May Amen give that the span of his life be long!
In the 9th year of the reign of pharaoh Darius, in the 3rd month of the
prt-season: Ahmose, son of Pedihornep, came to Teudjoi from the Southland. He said to Djedbastetiufankh, son of Irethoreru, as he was mr Sn of Amen: "One used to give to me yearly my priest's income in Teudjoi, ever since the sntj has appointed me prophet of Amen at Teudjoi."
Djedbastetiufankh, son of Irethoreru, the
mr sn, said to him: "May your breath be hale! (By) the life of Amen who dwells here. Behold, it is the 3rd month of the "prt-season, (but) there is no wheat in the granary of Amen, there is no silver in the shrine of the temple. From now on we shall seek credit in order to supply the requirements of the store house. These people whose hands are tied (?) in this city, it is not our fault (?) if there are people but them."
- This document may be a literary work or a draft rather than a real petition.
 
-9th year of the reign of pharaoh Darius: 513 BCE
-Teudjoi: Greek Ankyrononpolis, modern el-Hiba, capital of the 18th nome of Upper Egypt.
-Southland: Upper Egypt
-Djedbastetiufankh: Bastet-has-Spoken:He-will-Live
-Irethoreru: The-Horus-Eye-is-Against-Them
-mr Sn: Greek lesonis, administrative rank
-sntj: Greek dioketes, chief administrator of a domain
-prophet: Egyptian Hm-nTr, high priestly rank, lit. servant of the god.
-peret: Season of growth, winter
-silver: used to denote money. The most frequently used metal in commerce was copper or bronze.
Ahmose said to him: "Whom can I ask who can tell me how this city was ruined?"
Djedbastetiufankh, the
mr Sn, said to him: "There is no person capable of telling you how this city was ruined but Pediese, son of Wedjasematawy. He will tell you the truth."
Ahmose summoned me. He said to me: "Please tell me how this city was ruined."
I said to him: "Is the first thing (?) you will do ordering me to be beaten? I have made my peace with [///] of man. I shall not be able to tell you the things which have happened to this city."
Ahmose [said]: "You are the one who ruins the city more than the people who have ruined it." He ordered his people to guard me. He had [me thrown into his ship], saying: "I shall take you to the
sntj. If I have not beaten you this is (only) because you are an old man. You would have died."
Ahmose reached Heracleopolis. He asked me until this day: "Will you tell me how Teudjoi was ruined?"
I said to him: "When I come to the
sntj and find that [the sntj] will protect Teudjoi, then I shall report to him what is happening in Teudjoi."
Ahmose said to me: "You are not a man."
He ordered two men to guard me and said: "Make him stand in the sun!"
I suffered great pains in the sun. I said to him: "Order a sheet of papyrus to be given to me so that I may write down everything that has happened."
Ahmose gave me a sheet of papyrus. I wrote down everything that had been done in order to ruin Teudjoi. Ahmose read the papyrus. He let out a cry. He said to me: "By Re! I realize that you were right (when) you said: 'If I tell you the things which happen to me these priests will kill me.'"
He sealed the papyrus (and) made me seal it with him. He gave it to a man. He ordered it to be taken to the house in which the
sntj was. Ahmose stayed in Heracleopolis attending to his business. He dismissed me. I returned to Teudjoi.
A few days later Pakap, son of Payeftchawawyamen, came to Teudjoi. He brought the papyrus which Ahmose had made me write to the priests. They seized me, my son and four brothers of mine. They put us into instruments of torture. They incarcerated us in a pastophorion. Pakap dismissed Djedbastetiufankh, son of Irethoreru, as
mr Sn. He had him bound with handcuffs. He ordered him to be thrown into the place where we were. He caused Irethoreru, son of Pedihapi, to follow him.
The second month of the
prt-season, (day) 13, the festival of Shu. All the people who were in Teudjoi began to drink beer. The guards watching us drank beer. They fell asleep. Djedbastetiufankh, son of Irethoreru, went away. The guards woke. They did not find Djedbastetiufankh. The guards who watched us left. Irethoreru, son of Pedihapi, the mr Sn heard it. He came with his brothers and their staffs into the temple. They fell over us and (almost) killed me with their beatings. They desisted saying: "They are dead."
Pediese's family tree
The writer of this papyrus is Pediese III who lived during the reign of Darius I.

Synopsis
653: Pediese I administers Upper Egypt jointly with his cousin Pediese, the Ship Master. He restores the fortunes of the Amen temple of Teudjoi. He receives the portion of Amen of Teudjoi from Pediese, the Ship Master.
651: Pediese's inherited priestly offices are confirmed by Psamtik I.
Pediese's daughter Nitemhat marries Horwedja who is given part of Pediese's income.
648: Pediese the Ship Master dies. His son Sematawitaifnakht is appointed to his offices.
Pediese I resigns from his office.
626: The priests of Teudjoi murder the sons of Horwedja. Pediese receives police protection. He restores the fortunes of the temple at Teudjoi. Pediese's rights are inscribed on a stela. He signs over his prophet's portion to his son Wedjasematawi I.
Pediese II follows his father Wedjasematawi I in his offices.
591: Pediese II accompanies Psamtik II on his campaign to Syria. While he is away, the priests of Teudjoi offer the portion of Amen to Ptahnefer, son of the lord of Heracleopolis. Pediese loses in court. The priests of Teudjoy keep all his income.
556: Ahmose, Superintendent of Fields, confiscates part of the temple's possessions. The priests sign over he portion of the prophet of Amen to the brother of Kherkhonsu, the pharaoh's musician. Kherkhonsu brought a court action against Ahmose. Wedjasematawi II flees from Teudjoi because the priests try to force him to sign over his rights to Pasenemtekmenenpe, son of Hor. They loot his house, tear it down and destroy the stela of Pediese I. Pediese III, son of Wedjasematawi II, makes friends with the scribe Imhotep who lodges a complaint on his behalf before the supervisor of the anteroom who orders the lord of Heracleopolis to investigate. Djedbastetiufankh, the mr Sn, and Hor, son of Psamtekmenenpe cannot be found and cannot be prosecuted. The priests of Teudjoi are obliged to pay a small compensation. Pediese  III rebuilds his house.
522: The priests of Teudjoi sign over the portion of the prophet of Amen to Hor, son of Psamtekmenenpe.
513: Pediese III is arrested when he refuses to testify in an inquiry into the conditions at Teudjoi. After his release Pediese, his son, and his brothers are mistreated by the priests of Teudjoi. Pediese brings an action against the priests before the sntj. The priests of Teudjoi offer the portion of Amen to Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja. The case of Pediese collapses. The priests burn down Pediese's house. The investigation comes to nothing.

-priests: Egyptian wab.w, lit. pure ones, served part time in the temples.
-Pakap: Birdcatcher
-Payeftchawawyamen: His-Life-Breath-is-in-the-Hands-of-Amen
-pastophorion: s.t-H.t-nTr: courtyard of the house of god, i.e. temple.
-beer: beer was the (alcoholic) beverage of choice. It became popular even among the immigrant Greeks. Wine was less popular. Cf. Drink
-Pedihapi: Nile-Given
They carried us to an old tower which was on top of the gate of the temple. They threw us in, saying that they would cause it to collapse on top of us.
Nesiirdietes(?), son of Pediese, came crying: "Do you want to kill people in full daylight. What you are doing will reach (the ear) of the
sntj. It will even reach the highest in Egypt. These are six priests whom you are killing, saying: 'We will cause a tower to collapse on top of them.' I will have to send a report of it to the sntj. When it will become known then you will be killed and they will say: 'Destruction, destruction to Teudjoi because of it.' One will be in a city in which there are no people."
They got us out of the tower. They carried us away from the temple. It happened that there was no old man among them but me. My heart was destroyed. I did not know anything that had happened in this world. They thought: "Pediese will not live (another) hour."
They had me carried to my house. I spent four days without being aware of any circumstances in which I was. I spent three months in the hands of the physicians before my wounds were healed.
-Nesiirdietes: He-Belongs-to-Him-Who-has-Given-Him
-the highest in Egypt: in these days of Persian occupation the satrap.
-heart: seat of the mind, cf. Body and Soul
-physicians: cf. Ancient Egyptian Medicine
At night I boarded a ship (laden) with timber and I came to Memphis. I spent seven months instituting proceedings before the sntj and his great ones, while Pakap, son of Payeftchawawyamen, ordered everybody: "Do not let him reach the sntj!"
But Sematawitaiefnakht, son of Ankhwennefer, recognized us. I told him everything that had happened to me. And he let me appear before the
sntj. The sntj sent for them 4 times, but they did not come. They only came at the fifth time. The punishment which was given them (consisted of) giving everyone 50 lashes of the whip, and then they were let go. They went to Sematawitaiefnakht, son of Ankhwennefer, (and said:) "We will furnish you and your brother and your five sons with god's offerings, a total of 5 god's offerings. Have papyrus brought so that we can make the leases of your five god's offerings."
Sematawitaiefnakht ordered a sheet of papyrus to be brought. They made the leases for his five god's offerings. Sematawitaiefnakht went to the
sntj and said: "May he live the lifetime of Re! These priests, behold, the sntj had them punished. Their cause here is lost. May the sntj send them away!"
He brought it about that the
sntj called out thus: "They shall go away!"
-Sematawitaiefnakht: Somtus-is-his-Guardian
-Ankhwennefer: May-Onophris-Live
-god's offerings: Htp, a priest's stipend.
It so happened that I stood together with Sematawitaiefnakht before the sntj in the evening. I said before the sntj: "The portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi belonged to my father together with another 16 prophet portions of the gods of Teudjoi. And they gave him 16 god's offerings in their name. But it was my father who went to Syria with the pharaoh Psamtik Neferibre and the bouquet of Amen."
(In the meantime) the priests went to Horwedja, son of Horkheb, lord of Heracleopolis and said: "The portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi is the portion of Pharaoh. But a priest of Amen has taken it when he was lord of Heracleopolis. Behold it is in the possession of his son's son to this day, since he went to the land of the Syrians with Pharaoh. Let your son Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja, come that we may sign over to him the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi."
-portion of the prophet: According to Hermann Kees (Zur Organisation des Ptahtempels in Karnak und seiner Priesterschaft, MIO 3/3, 1955) a prophet who was employed full-time by the temples was paid about twenty times as much as a wab-priest. Pediese's father with 17 prophet's portions would have been very wealthy indeed.
-Psamtik Neferibre: Psamtik II, 594-587 BCE
-Horwedja: Horus-is-Hale
-Horkheb: Horus-in-Chemmis
-lord: Hrj, superior, chief, supervisor or the like.
-son's son: for five generations.
-he went to the land of the Syrians with Pharaoh: Psamtik II campaigned in the Middle East in about 592 BCE, after the Babylonians had conquered Jerusalem in 597 BCE.
-Ptahnefer: Ptah-is-Good
He let his son Ptahnefer come to Teudjoi. They signed over to him the portion of the prophet of Amen. The priests took the other 16 portions. They distributed them among the phyles. They amounted to four portions for every phyle.
The
sntj said to me: "The tales you are telling me are numerous. Please, go into the house. Have Sematawitaiefnakht give you a sheet of papyrus. Write down everything that has happened to your forefathers since the day when this portion was in their possession! Write down how it and these other portions were taken from your father. Write down the events which have happened to you until today."
The next day I took a sheet of papyrus in my hand. It happened that I wrote down everything concerning which the
sntj had said: "Write them down!"
-phyles: the Greek name meaning 'clan' or 'people' for Egyptian sA, administrative groupings of priests for the purpose of work assignment. Four phyles took turns serving the god for a month at a time.
The priests came to the door of the house where I was. They said: "Pediese, do you think that the sntj had us beaten for your sake? As Re lives! He had not had us beaten for your sake. He had us beaten because he had sent for us (a number) of times and we did not come."
I told them: "(By) the life of Ptah! It has happened that you have witnessed the punishment he will still give you for my sake," not knowing that Sematawitaiefnakht had achieved that the
sntj had dismissed them.
In the evening Sematawitaiefnakht came from the House of Writings. I gave him the papyrus I had written saying: "Read it!"
He gave me the following answer: "The
sntj has dismissed the priests. They have left. You won't have any profit from bringing him a papyrus. Is he going to order them to be pursued?"
I wept in the face of Sematawitaiefnakht, saying: "Have I come here in order to spend my seven months, petitioning the
sntj and his great ones daily, (just) for these two lashes of the whip which were given these priests? Do I complain daily before the sntj and his great ones for these two lashes of the whip which one has given these priests, saying: 'You were late! When you were sent for you did not come.' As Re lives! I have come to petition the sntj so that I shall never be expelled from my city again!"
I did not know that they had written (a document) for Sematawitaiefnakht furnishing him with a prebend, neither did I know that it had been him who had had them released.
Sematawitaiefnakht said to me: "Do not worry! As Re lives, they shall never cease fearing you. Come, I shall order Ahmose, the prophet of Horus, to write them a letter, (and) on my behalf I shall write them a private(?) letter, letters they shall respect more than the letter of the
sntj."
He accompanied me to Ahmose, prophet of Horus. He ordered him to write them a letter. He himself also wrote them a letter. Then I was dismissed. I came to the South (and) reached Heracleopolis. I met Nesiirdietes(?), son of Pediese, and Ahmose Horneweres as they were travelling downriver. They said to me: "Are you Pediese? Are you on (your) way to Teudjoi? Do not trouble yourself! Your house has been burned down!'
I travelled downriver. I called to the
sntj: "My house has been burned down!"
He said to me: "By whom?"
I told him: "By these priests concerning whom I have petitioned you for seven months until today. One has let them go without punishing them."
-Nesiirdietes: He-Belongs-to-Him-who-has-Given-Him
The sntj sent for Ahmose, son of Pedihornep and said: "Go with Pediese to Teudjoi! Bring me these priests who have burned down his house!"
Ahmose spent a few days saying: "I shall come with you to the South."
They (i.e. the priests) brought it about that I withdrew (?) him again. One day Ahmose, the prophet of Horus, descended and sent for Wahibremerre, a Blemmyite, saying: "Go to Teudjoi! Bring these priests against whom Pediese is complaining."
Wahibremerre came to Teudjoi. They gave him five silver kite. He did not take any priest to the North with the exception of Irethorru, son of Pedihapi, the
mr Sn. They said to Irethorru, son of Pedihapi: "What is this that you have caused the house of Pediese be burned down."
He answered: "I do not know."
It was ordered that Irethorru, son of Pedihapi, receive fifty lashes of the whip. They threw him out. I spent many days in the quarter of the administration petitioning and complaining daily. They did not conclude any of my business, neither did they dismiss Irethorru, son of Pedihapi, the
mr sn. Ahmose, the prophet of Horus, said to me: "Are you going to die in this administrative quarter? Come, I'll have Irethorru, the mr Sn swear as follows: 'I shall go and support you in all of your affairs.'"
-Blemmyite: the Blemmyes were possibly descendants or perhaps just successors of the Medjay, Nubians who had migrated into Egypt in the second millennium and been employed as a kind of police force. The earliest mention of the Blemmyes dates to the 7th century BCE (H.Barnard, 2004). We may safely ignore Pliny the Elder's description the Blemmyes are reported to have no heads, their mouth and eyes being attached to their chests as being unfounded. Pediese would probably have commented on such an appearance.
-Wahibremerre: Wahibre-Beloved-of-Re
-kite: one tenth of a deben. About 9.1 grams.
Ahmose, the prophet of Horus, caused Irethorru, son of Pedihapi, to swear to me: "I shall go and support you in all your affairs."
The prophet of Horus dismissed me. I returned to Teudjoi with Irethorru, the
mr Sn without receiving justice. I took people to them (?) in order to reconcile them with me.
 
May Amen prolong his life span.
 
(The following is written) to make known to the
sntj the events which have happened to my father.
Year 4 of pharaoh Psamtik the Elder. The Southland from the southern guard station of Memphis to Assuan was under the command of Pediese, son of Ankhsheshe(n)q, the Ship Master. Pediese, son of Ankhsheshe(n)q, the Ship Master, was the son of a priest of Amen-Re, king of gods. He had been brought into the household of the pharaoh before he had become a priest of Amen, when he was priest of Harsaphes, (and) when he was priest of Sobek. He had a relative, a son of the younger brother of his father. Pediese, son of Ireturu (was) his name. He was second to the Ship Master Pediese. He it was who inspected from the southern guard station to Assuan. -Year 4 of pharaoh Psamtik the Elder: 653 BCE
-Southland: Upper Egypt began just south of Memphis.
-Ankhsheshe(n)q: May-Sheshonq-Live
-Ship Master: aA n mr, lit. great of (the) ship or fleet.
-Harsaphes: creator god, cf Harsaphes
-relative: lit. brother. Ancient Egyptians used 'brother' for many personal relationships: lovers, cousins, colleagues etc.
In year 4 of Pharaoh Psamtik Pediese, son of Ankhsheshenq appeared before the pharaoh. He said: "My great lord. May he achieve the lifespan of Re! I have grown old. May pharaoh show me this favour: I have a relative named Pediese, [son] of Ireturu. It is he who administers the Southland and brings forth its silver and wheat. It happens that (things are) well with the Southland. Its money and grain have increased by half. May he be brought before the pharaoh. May he be told something beautiful by the pharaoh. May he be told: 'The Southland is in your charge, and it is in my charge as well, so that he may shine in its name."
Pediese, son of Ireturu, was brought before the pharaoh.
The pharaoh said to him: "The Ship Master has told me what a man of wonders you are."
The pharaoh said: "May he be given a
rhops-ship! May he be given a yoke of horses!" The pharaoh said to him: "You are inspecting the Southland. I shall order that one shall do the accounts with you."
Pediese said: "My great lord. (But) it is in the charge of the Ship Master Pediese."
The pharaoh said to him: "In future it shall still be in his charge together with you, but one will talk to you concerning its affairs."
Gold and byssus was given him before the pharaoh. Pediese, son of Ireturu, came to the South, inspecting from the southern guard station to Assuan. Pediese, son of Ankhsheshenq, the boat master, settled in Heracleopolis, and everything which happened in the Southland was reported to him. Pediese, son of Ireturu, reached Teudjoi. He went to the temple. He inspected every place that was in the temple. He found that the temple of Teudjoi was (built) in the manner of a very big house, but people were lacking. He did not find a person in the temple but an old
wab-priest and a pastophorus. Pediese, son of Ireturu, sent for the priest. He said to him: "Behold, as you are not young, tell me please how this city was ruined."
-byssus: Ss-nsw royal linen
-wab: pure one, responsible for libations for the deceased and other rituals
The priest spoke to him: "It happened that there were no other priests but the priests of Amen-Re, king of the gods. It was your grandfathers who were priests in this temple with everything illuminated. A rich sacrifice foundation belonged to Amen of Teudjoi. This was the house about which was said: 'This is the foremost location of Amen-Re, king of the gods.' Then came these bad times. One made the great temples of Egypt pay taxes. This city had high taxes imposed on it. They could not pay the high taxes imposed on them. They left. Behold, despite having exempted the great temples of Egypt, they come to us, saying: 'Pay the taxes!' to this day." -One made the great temples of Egypt pay taxes: during much of Egyptian history temples were exempt from paying taxes.
Pediese travelled downriver to Heracleopolis. He stood before Pediese, the Ship Master. He told him of all the circumstances which he had found in Teudjoi. He told him the tale which the old priest whom he had found in Teudjoi, had related to him. He said to him: "This priest has told me: 'No one was priest here but the priests of Amen-Re, king of gods.'"
Pediese, the Ship Master, said to him: "As Amen-Re, god of kings, lives! Everything has happened. Everything you say I used to hear from the mouths of our noblemen."
He sent for the scribes of the nome and the agents. He sent for the people he would be able to interrogate. They were all interrogated before the Ship Master: "(As concerns) Teudjoi, were they used there to paying taxes before these bad times came?"
They all agreed in their answers: "They did not pay anything at all there. It is one of the great houses of this nome."
-noblemen: lit. great people
-nome: Greek, administrative district. Cf. Nomes, Cities and Sites.
-houses: temples
The Ship Master ordered them to be given a great thrashing, saying: "You have never told me: 'We make it (i.e. the city) pay!'"
The Ship Master said to Pediese, son of Ireturu: "Go! Have a document brought (stating) the amount paid in (or by) Teudjoi since the great temples of the Southland were exempted. It shall be returned to the priests of Amen of Teudjoi!"
-a great thrashing: not an extraordinary occurrence when a potentate was displeased.
Pediese, son of Ireturu, came to Teudjoi. He sent for the workmen. He gave them 200 silver (deben) of full value and 20 (pieces) of gold. He told them to work it into bowls of silver and gold for Amen. He ordered them to build the shrine of Amen-who-is-on-the-Great-Throne. He had the priests, the pastophores (and) the classes of people belonging to the temple brought to Teudjoi. There were among them some who had reached Thebes. He had them all brought back. -deben: about 91 grammes. The Egyptians often omitted units, such as in this case.
-classes of people belonging to the temple: temples were not just spiritual institutions but also economic enterprises which needed large numbers of labourers etc.
-Thebes: nw.t cf. biblical No.
He had the sacrificial foundation of which he had found that it belonged to Amen, returned. He brought about that 1000 arouras of fields were added to the sacrificial foundation of Amen. He ordered sacrificial donations and clothes to be laid before Amen (and) Osiris of Tawedja. He furnished Teudjoi in the manner of a great temple of the Southland. He appointed his children priests of Amen of Teudjoi.
He had built a house of 40 by 40 god's cubits, and there was yard of a schoine surrounding it. He had built his temple court (pastophorion).
-aroura: about 2700 m²
-cubit: mH-nTr, slightly more than half a metre.
-schoine: xt-nH, according to Herodotus: Each schoine, which is an Egyptian measure, is equal to sixty stadia, ca. 11 km
He went through the Southland, inspecting. He reached Elephantine. He had cut a stela of the stone of Elephantine and two blocks for statues of vmgj-stone. He had them brought to Teudjoi. He sent for the masons, the sculptors, the scribes of the House of Life and the draughtsmen. He had them write on the stela all the favours he had lavished on Teudjoi. He had them carve his two statues from tmgj-stone. They (the statues) were kneeling on their knees, an image of Amen was in the lap of one (statue), there was an image of Amen in the lap of one and an image of Osiris in the lap of the other statue. He had one (statue) raised by the entrance of the chapel of Amen, he had the other raised by the entrance of the chapel of Osiris. -Elephantine: Yebu, city on the southern border of the country. Nearby there were granite quarries.
-statues: cf. Portraiture. cf. the statue of Wahibre.
Pediese, son of Ireturu, travelled downriver to Heracleopolis. He stood before the Ship Master. He made his report concerning all he had done in Teudjoi. Pediese, the Ship Master, said to him: "May Harsaphes, king of both lands, praise you! Amen will grant you favours as a reward. You know that the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi and his Ennead belongs to me. As you have chosen Teudjoi as your place of residence, I shall make over to you the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi and his Ennead."
The Ship Master sent for a scribe of the school. He signed over to him his portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi and his Ennead.
Pediese, son of Ireturu, came to the South. He reached the nome of Oxyrhynchos, inspecting. He found a priest of Amen-Re, king of the gods, whom the priests of Amen had sent to tend the cattle and fowl supplied by the nome. Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, was his name. It was (thus): The priest sent to guard the cattle was called superintendent of the treasury of Amen on the days which he spent leading (the cattle) to pasture.
-Ennead: psD.t all the important deities of a location, not necessarily nine in number as the Greek Ennead suggests.
Pediese, son of Ireturu, took Horwedja son of Paiftjauawibastet, the superintendent of the treasury of Amen, with him to Teudjoi. He had him purify himself (i.e. ate) with him in his house which he had had built in Teudjoi. He sent for his wife and daughters, while before them (by them ?) beer was drunk. Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, saw a daughter of Pediese. She was called Nitemhat.
Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, said to Pediese: "May our (?) lord give that I find my service. Behold, our lord is priest of Amen-Re, king of the gods. My father used to perform a priest's duties here in Teudjoi. I shall have our (?) lord know the fact that he performed a priest's duties here. I shall present the records of my father to our lord. May our(?) lord grant that the girl Nitemhat be given to me as wife."
-Nitemhat:Neith-at-the-Top
Pediese said to him: "Her time (of menarche) has not arrived yet. Be a priest of Amen-Re, king of the gods. I shall give her to you. On all the days which you spend being entrusted with leading (the cattle) to pasture at Oxyrhynchos you shall dwell in Teudjoi. Behold, it is a wonderful house (i.e. temple). It is a house for priests. There are only two kinds of people: the priest and him who belongs to the temple."
Horwedja greeted (him). He said: "Certainly."
In the year 15 of the pharaoh Psamtik the Southland's affairs went well. They took Pediese, son of Ireturu, to the archive of documents. Its (the Southland's) silver and wheat had doubled. They took Pediese, son of Ireturu, before the pharaoh. They anointed him with lotos (oil). The pharaoh said to him: "Is there a favour of which you say: 'May it be rendered to me.'?" -year 15 of the pharaoh Psamtik: 651 BCE
Pediese spoke before the pharaoh: "My father was a priest of Amen-Re, king of the gods. He was a priest of the temples of the nome of Thebes. He was a priest of Harsaphes. He was a priest of Sobek."
The pharaoh sent for the letter writer: "Write letters to the temples of which Pediese, son of Ireturu, says: 'My father was a priest in them.' Write: 'May Pediese be a priest in them if it is suitable!'."
Letters were written to the temples of which Pediese had said: "My father was a priest in them."
Pediese, son of Ireturu, was dismissed by the pharaoh. He went to the South. He became priest of Harsaphes. He became priest of Sobek of Crocodilopolis. He became priest of Amen-Re, king of the gods. He became priest of Osiris, lord of Abydos. He became priest of Onuris of This. He became priest of Min.
-Sobek...Onuris...Min: cf Ancient Egyptian Deities
Pediese, son of Ireturu, went to the North, inspecting. He reached Oxyrhynchos. He found Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, priest of Amen, who had been sent to tend (the cattle). He went with Pediese, son of Ireturu, to Teudjoi. Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet,brought the documents of his father to Pediese. He had him state that his father Paiftjauawibastet had been a priest of Amen-Re of Teudjoi. Pediese had Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, made priest of Amen of Teudjoi. He gave him his daughter Nitemhat as wife. Pediese, son of Ireturu, travelled downstream to Heracleopolis. He had his wives and his children brought aboard and had them taken to Thebes. He reached Teudjoi. He found Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, in Teudjoi. Pediese ascended to his house which was in Teudjoi. He said to Horwedja: "It is appropriate for us to spend this day drinking beer before Amen of Teudjoi, before we go to Thebes." -his wives: cf. polygamy
Pediese spent the day drinking beer with his wives, his children and with Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet. Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet. said to him: "Behold, as our lord is going to Thebes, what are the (things) of which our lord says to me: 'Do them!'?"
Pediese said to him: "Settle in Teudjoi! I shall have the priests of Amen settle your account. I shall give them the amount which you will be owing. The excess which will be your part when the (cattle) tending is entrusted to you, I shall send it to you, while you have settled here in Teudjoi without having to suffer hardship. Behold the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi belongs to me together with another 16 portions. (As) it is you who will perform the cult services for Amen and the Ennead. You will be given one fifth of the god's offerings of Amen. The amount which you will remain owing you shall give to me."
Nitemhat, daughter of Pediese, spoke weeping: "Take me with you to Thebes!"
Pediese said to her: "What do you want to come to Thebes for? I shall leave you while your livelihood is better than that of all (the other) children. Take this house which is in Teudjoi! Name a prophet's portion of which you want me to sign it over to you!"
Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, her husband, said: "May our lord sign over to her the portion of the prophet of Khons!"
Pe[di]ese signed over to her the portion of the prophet of Khons. Pediese sailed to Thebes with his wives and his children.
-Khons: cf Khons
Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, settled with Nitemhat, daughter of Pediese, in Teudjoi, performing the cult services for Amen and his Ennead and being given one fifth of the god's offerings.
Pediese, son of Ireturu, reached Thebes. He had his wife (and) his children ascend to Thebes. He left them in the house of his father which was in Thebes.
In the year [1]8 of the pharaoh Psamtik Pediese, son of Ankhshesheq went to his fathers. The pharaoh sent for Pediese, son of Ireturu. He said to him: "The Southland is in your charge. It is you who will be able to administer it."
Pediese spoke before the pharaoh: "(By the) life of your countenance! I shall only be able to administer it if there is an official in whose charge it will be put together with mine."
The pharaoh said to him: "Name the official of whom you say: 'May it be put in his charge'."
Pediese said: "My great lord! Pediese, son of Ankhshesheq, had a son. He is a man who belongs to the household of the pharaoh. He is very much a marvel of a man. Sematawitaifnakht is his name. Pharaoh will find what a marvel of a man he is. May Pharaoh give that the office of his father be entrusted to him."
The pharaoh asked his officials about it. The agreed (all) in their answer: "May it be done! He is a marvel of a man."
-year [1]8 of the pharaoh Psamtik: 648 BCE
-Sematawitaifnakht: Somtus-is-his-Protection
-the office of his father be put entrusted to him: while offices often were passed on from father to son, this succession was not automatic.
The pharaoh appointed Sematawitaifnakht Ship Master. The Southland was put in his charge in the manner as it had happened with his father. Sematawitaifnakht was dismissed (from the presence) before the pharaoh. He came to Heracleopolis. He said to Pediese, son of Ireturu: "Go to the South! Inspect the nome! Do not let anything go to ruin! I shall remain here in Heracleopolis until the Ship Master is buried."
Pediese, son of Ireturu, came to the South, inspecting in his (habitual) manner. Pediese, the Ship Master, spent 70 days in the tent of embalmment. He was buried in his tomb in Perosiririr(?).
-spent 70 days in the tent of embalmment: this seems to have been the usual period for embalmment. Cf. Mummification
-Perosiririr: perhaps modern Abusir-el-Melek
Pediese, son of Ireturu, began to administer the Southland is accounts being made with him yearly (and) it (the Southland) not being (in a) bad (state) as every year its silver and wheat were increased.
In the year 19 of the pharaoh Psamtik they made the accounts with Pediese. His account was good. Pharaoh said to him: "Is there something of which you say: 'May it be done!'?"
Pediese spoke before the pharaoh: "May I be granted this favour by the pharaoh. I have grown old. May I be dismissed by the pharaoh. I shall not be able to take hardship on myself (anymore)."
The pharaoh said to him: "Have you a son who will be able to work?"
He said to the pharaoh: "Numerous are the servants of the pharaoh who can work. They will work under the supervision of the Ship Master. They will not let anything go to ruin."
The pharaoh said to him: "Is there something you want?"
Pediese said: "Pharaoh has made me rich. There is no favour which Pharaoh has not (already) granted me."
The pharaoh said to Sematawitaifnakht: "Listen to what Pediese says,namely: 'I have grown old. May I be dismissed!' Shall I dismiss him? Will you be able to administer the Southland?"
Sematawitaifnakht said to him: "May he be dismissed! Our great lord! He (Pediese) is our father spending the rest of his life in peace. (But) he shall still be in charge of us."
Pediese, son of Ireturu, was dismissed before the pharaoh. He came to the South. He reached Teudjoi. He ascended. He fell down before Amen. He sacrificed burned offerings. He offered libation before Amen. He was carried to his house in Teudjoi. There he cleansed himself (i.e. ate) with Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet. He explained the state of affairs before Horwedja thus: "I have succeeded being dismissed before the pharaoh."
Horwedja said: "Do not let the priests hear of this! They are scoundrels."
Pediese said to him: "Behold, I shall take you to Sematawitaifnakht, the Ship Master. The thing which shall fail you shall go tell him about."
Pediese sent for the elder brothers (colleagues) of the priests. He had them cleanse themselves before him. He spent a pure day (?) in Teudjoi. He sailed to Thebes.
In the year 31, 3rd month of the prt-season they brought the wheat destined for the god's offering of Amen of Teudjoi. It was poured out in the temple. The priests gathered in the temple. They said: "Say, (as) Re lives, shall he still take a fifth of the god's offering? This coward of a Southlander is before us." -year 31: of the reign of Psamtik I,626 BCE
They ordered a few young scoundrels: "Come with your staffs this evening. Lie down on this grain. Bury your staffs in it until tomorrow!"
Now it so happened that Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, had two strong sons. In the morning the priests came to the temple in order to distribute the corn to the phyles. The two youngsters of Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, came to the temple. They said: "Let a fifth be measured!"
The young priests got their staffs out of the wheat, they surrounded the boys of Horwedja. They beat them. They ran up to the sanctuary before them. They ran after them. At the entrance of the chapel of Amen they caught up with them. They killed them. They threw them into a storeroom of the chapel of the platform (?) of stone.
It so happened that Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, was not in Teudjoi. He was in the West in the houses of Taqehi. Nitemhat, daughter of Pediese, mother of the two boys, had her house fortified. Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, heard that his two sons had been killed. He put on clothes of mourning.
He went to the chief of the Ma of Taqehi. He informed him of it. The chief of the Ma assembled the Calasirians of Taqehi. He led them, armed with shields and spears, to Teudjoi. He set guards around the house in which Nitemhat was.
Horwedja hurried to Thebes wearing his clothes of mourning. When Horwedja reached Pediese, Pediese set sail together with his children and his people. He sailed downstream. When he reached Teudjoi he did not encounter anybody at all in Teudjoi but the men of the chief of the Ma who guarded the house in which Nitemhat was on all sides.
Pediese went to the temple. He did not encounter anybody in the temple but two old priests and a pastophorus. They fled before Pediese into the sanctuary. Pediese had some people pursue them. He sent information to Heliopolis to the Ship Master Sematawitaifnakht concerning all the events which had happened while Pediese was in Teudjoi. The Ship Master sent for a general. He said (to him): "Go and arrest all the people of whom Pediese says: 'Seize them!'"
-clothes of mourning: lit. clothing of finest linen
-Ma: Libyans who had entered Egypt in the previous centuries and constituted a warrior class.
-Calasirians: gr-Sr.w soldiers.
The general came to Teudjoi. Pediese had the two priests arrested. He travelled downriver with them to the house of the pharaoh. Pediese told all that they had done before the pharaoh. The pharaoh had the two priests punished.
Pediese was dismissed by the pharaoh. Pediese reached Heracleopolis. He met the Ship Master. Sematawitaifnakht, the Ship Master, said to him: "I have heard the things which these cowardly scoundrels and evil (?) people of Teudjoi whom you have made rich, have done to you."
Pediese said to him: "Has your honour not heard that he who nourishes the wolf, perishes by him? (By ) the life of Re! This is what has happened to me with the priests of Amen of Teudjoi."
It so happened that Horwedja, son of Paiftjauawibastet, was in Heracleopolis with Pediese. Pediese took Horwedja by his hand. He took him to the Ship Master with the words: "Here is my brother from Teudjoi. May the Ship Master instruct the chief of the Ma of Taqehi to protect him."
Sematawitaifnakht said to him: "I shall give orders to all the people who are with me, as follows: Any man from Teudjoi whom you find, shall be brought to me so that I let him die in the prison of Heracleopolis."
Pediese said to him: "May the Ship Master not do this! (By) the life of Amen! May the breath of the Ship Master be hale. I shall not go to Thebes without having (re)furnished Teudjoi and returned its people to it."
The Ship Master said: "I shall praise Harsaphes, king of both lands, as one says: 'Your love for Teudjoi which you had has not ceased yet."
Pediese said to him: "May you be kept safe! May your breath be hale! It is a house to which Amen-Re, king of gods, uses to come. Numerous are the divine things which I have learned there."
The Ship Master dismissed Pediese. He came to the South. He reached Teudjoi. He spent a day in Teudjoi. It so happened that the chief of the Ma came to Teudjoi with 50 warriors. He came before Pediese. He showed him his respect. The chief of the Ma said to Pediese: "What bitter affair is it which has caused your honour to have the Ship Master write to me?: 'May the people of Pediese who are in Teudjoi, be protected!'? Is it not our lord who has nourished us? When I heard that these priests were insolent, did I not come immediately, setting guards around this house, as they would have insulted this noble lady. If our(?) lord says to me: 'Come to Thebes!', shall I be able not to come?"
Pediese said to him: "Amen shall let you live! I have had the Ship Master write to you in order to prevent you having even more worries. Do this job for me: Go, cross the nome of Oxyrhynchos and the nome of Hardai, asking for the people of Teudjoi whom you will find. Assemble them in a location of which they want me to come to, so that I shall undertake by oath not to have them be anything done to. Tell them: 'The abuse you have committed, I have had you pay for it. Would it be right to have Amen kill the remainder of these fellows in order to destroy his city.'?"
Pediese took the chief of the Ma by his hand. He led him to the entrance-way (leading to) Amen. He sealed his undertaking with an oath before him, saying: "All the people which you will bring to me, (if) they belong to Teudjoi I shall not permit that any evil shall be done to them. I shall swear to them not to permit that any evil shall be done to them. I make this undertaking before you by oath because (otherwise) they would have said: 'The chief of the Ma is asking for us in order to have evil done to us.'"
-nome of Oxyrhynchos: 19th Upper Egyptian nome
-nome of Hardai: 17th Upper Egyptian nome. Hardai: Greek Kynopolis.
-entrance-way: xft-Hr presence; Greek dromos.
The chief of the Ma prostrated himself on the ground. He showed his respect. The chief of the Ma went to the houses of the nome of Oxyrhynchos, of the nome of Hermopolis, and the nome of Hardai. He assembled the people of Teudjoi in Hardai. The chief of the Ma returned to Teudjoi. He reported to Pediese, son of Ireturu as follows: "I reached Hermopolis. Up to Hermopolis I did not leave any man from Teudjoi whom I did not take to Hardai, it is the place on which they had agreed with the words: 'May one swear to us here. May Wedjashematawi, son of Pediese, come. May he at last make a sworn undertaking, or one of the servants who are with our lord.'"
Pediese said: "(As) Amen lives! I shall go myself."
-nome of Hermopolis: 15th nome of Upper Egypt.
Pediese sailed to Hardai. He swore before the priests, the pastophores and all the people who belonged to the temple: "I shall not allow anything to happen to you because of a matter which is finished."
Pediese returned with the people of the Teudjoi whom he had found, to Teudjoi. All their wives and their children returned. Pediese had all the priests gather in the temple. He said to them: "O may they live! Have I done to you anything except that which you wanted? Behold, when I was dispatched have I done anything in the manner of a potentate? You have said to me: 'Four prebends are given to the prophet of Horus, lord of Heracleopolis, (and) the prophet of Anubis, lord of Hordi.' I have said to you: 'These are the ones you should give me.' You have said: 'One prebend is given as portion of the prophet.' I have said to you: 'This is the one you shall give.' I have a further 16 prebends in the name of the gods whose prophet I am, a total of 20 prebends. You are 20 priests per phyle (...), (per) priests' phyle. And it (i.e. a priests' phyle) is one fifth of the god's offerings."
The priests pulled their clothes up to their necks, (and) prostrated themselves before Pediese on the ground. They said: "Do we not know that it is our lord who has let us live, as he furnished our city and as you made it equal to the great houses (temples) of Egypt. These young men who have left the path, may our(?) lord have them brought! May they be thrown into an oven! The good deeds which our lord has done for Amen, they remain in all eternity."
Pediese said: "The good deeds which I have done before Amen - I know that I have not done them for your fathers. I have done them for Amen. These priests who have killed my boys could I not have brought them here? But I had (only) their fathers punished. I leave them to god. Behold, after I have been double crossed by you, even though I am still strong and alive, the time may come when a son of mine who will be here, will be weaker than you. You will be able to deny him and take away his portions which are his in this city. Can one know what will happen? This stela which I ordered made carrying it into the sanctuary - I have had it made before these priest's portions which are in the city, have been signed over to me. You might say: 'You were no priest in it!'"
The priests said: "What is it of which our(?) lord says: 'Do it!'?"
Pediese, son of Ireturu, said to them: "I shall have a stela written on the platform(?) of stone by the path on which Amen will enter the sanctuary, I shall put on it the good deeds which I have done for Amen. I shall put on it my priestly offices."
The priests said: "All that is beneficial to the affairs of our(?) lord shall be done! We will recognize that we live through our(?) lord if our lord has it done."
Pediese sent for the scribes of the House of Life and the draughtsmen. He ordered them to inscribe the stela on the platform of stone saying: "If the priests (and) the nobles will come in order to inspect the temple, they will see it."
Pediese, son of Ireturu, had himself taken aboard saying: "I shall sail to Thebes."
Nitemhat, his daughter, cried before him, saying: "As concerns the boys who have been killed, they are in the temple. They have not (yet) been brought out."
Pediese went to the temple. He ordered to look for the two boys. One found them in a store room. He had them brought down. One wrapped them in bandages. A loud dirge was (heard) in the city. The boys were buried. Pediese went to go onboard. Nitemhat wept before him: "Take me with you to Thebes! If not these priests will kill me."
Pediese said to her: "They will not be able to do (that). (As) Amen lives! They shall never cease fearing you!"
Nitemhat said: "If it is thus that you will leave us here, may Wedjasematawi, son of Pediese, stay here with me, performing the cult of Amen."
Pediese had Wedjasematawi, son of Pediese, live in Teudjoi. He said to him: "Take for yourself the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi and his Ennead!"
Pediese sent for a papyrus. He signed over the offices of prophet of Amen of Teudjoi and his Ennead to Wedjasematawi, son of Pediese.
-A loud dirge was (heard) in the city: cf. On Mourning and Burial
Wedjasematawi established himself with his sister Nitemhat and her husband Horwedja in Teudjoi. Wedjasematawi , son of Pediese, lived in Teudjoi, performing the cult of Amen and his Ennead. And they gave him a fifth of the god's offerings of Amen.
Wedjasematawi, [son] of Pediese, left. He stood before Sematawitaiefnakht, the Ship Master. He said to him: "It is I whom Pediese has made live in Teudjoi in order to perform the cult of Amen and his Ennead. He has signed over to me the portion of the prophet of Amen and his Ennead."
The Ship Master ordered a golden ring to be given to Wedjasematawi. He said to him: "(The reason why) I have not given you any byssus that the reception of the linen of Amen is with you. Do not neglect report your affairs any time!"
Wedjasematawi, son of Pediese, spent the days he lived performing the cult of Amen and his Ennead. And they were to give him a fifth of the god's offerings.
Wedjasematawi went to his fathers. Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi, followed him. He performed the cult of Amen and his Ennead and they were to give him one fifth of the god's offerings of Amen.
In year 4 of the pharaoh Psamtik Neferibre one sent (a message) to the great temples of Upper and Lower Egypt as follows: "The pharaoh is going to the land of the Syrians. May the priests with the bouquets of the gods of Egypt come in order to take them to the land of the Syrians with the pharaoh."
One sent (the message) to Teudjoi as follows: "May a priest with the bouquet of Amen come in order to go to the land of the Syrians with the pharaoh!"
-year 4 of the pharaoh Psamtik Neferibre: 591 BCE. Psamtik Neferibre: Psamtik II
The priests assembled. By consent they said to Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi: "It is you who is qualified to go with the pharaoh to the land of the Syrians. There is no one in this city who could go to the land of the Syrians, except you. After all, you are a scribe of the House of Life. There is nothing they could ask you to which there is no answer. You are the prophet of Amen. It is the prophets of the great gods of Egypt who go to the land of the Syrians with the pharaoh."
(Thus) they convinced Pediese to go to the land of the Syrians with the pharaoh. He got ready. Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi, went to the land of the Syrians, and there was nobody with him except his servant and a doorkeeper (or astronomer-astrologer) named Osirmose.
(When) the priests learned that Pediese had gone to the land of the Syrians with the pharaoh they went to Horwedja, son of Horkheb, a priest of Sobek who was supervisor of Heracleopolis. They said to him" Is our(?) lord aware that the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi is the portion of the pharaoh. It belongs to our(?) lord. Pediese, son of Ireturu, has seized it when he was supervisor of Heracleopolis. Behold, it is in the possession of the son of the son to this day."
Horwedja, son of Horkheb said to them: "Where is he, this son?"
The priests said to him: "We have caused him to go to the land of the Syrians with the pharaoh. Let (your son) Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja, come to Teudjoi, so that we sign over to him the portion of the prophet of Amen."
Horwedja sent Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja, to Teudjoi. They signed over to him the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi. They divided the other 16 portions among the four phyles, 4 portions per phyle. They went to look for Ptahnefer, son of Horkheb. They fetched him. They had him sprinkle (water) for the five epagomenes. They had him perform the cult of Amen. -five epagomenes: five days not belonging to any of the 12 months of the year. cf The Religion of the People
Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi, came down from the land of the Syrians. He reached Teudjoi. They told him everything that the priests had done. Pediese hurried north to the house of the pharaoh. Something bad happened to him(?). They said to him: "The pharaoh is ill. The pharaoh cannot come forth."
Pediese complained before the vizier (and) the judges. They sent for Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja. They wrote their explanations in the house of the judge, as follows: "Ptahnefer, this portion which has become his possession when his father was supervisor of Heracleopolis, is the portion of the pharaoh."
Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi, spent many days in court together with Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja. Pediese was defeated in the house of the judge. He returned to the South. He left for Thebes saying: "I shall go in order to inform my relatives who are in Thebes."
He encountered the children of Pediese, son of Ireturu, who were priests of Amen in Thebes. He told them about every event which had happened to him (because) of the priests of Amen of Teudjoi. They received Pediese. They presented him before the priests of Amen. The priests of Amen spoke to him: "What is it of which you say: 'Do it!'? It so happened that the priests of Amen were informed that the pharaoh Psamtik Neferibre has died. Behold, one said: 'The pharaoh has died.' (otherwise) we would have sent (a message) to the house of the pharaoh concerning all that the priests of Amen have done to you. You should bring an action before the vizier. Those who have made in writing their depositions in the house of the judge and this priest of Sobek who is taking your portion, they will not delay to dispose of this matter of yours at this time."
The priests handed 5 silver (deben) to Pediese. His relatives gave him another 5 silver (deben), a total of 10 silver (deben). They said to him: "Go to court with this man who is taking your portion! When you have used these silver (deben) come (to us) so that we give you more silver."
Pediese, son of Wedjasmatawi, went to the North. He reached Teudjoi. The people whom he met said to him: "It is useless to go to court. Your opponent is richer than you. If you had 100 silver (deben) he would win against you."
They persuaded Pediese not to go to court. The priests did not give him any of the 16 portions which the priests had divided among the phyles. It was the priests who performed the cult office in their names. 4 god's offerings did they give Ptahnefer, the portion of the prophet of Amen from year 1 of pharaoh Wahibre until the year 15 of pharaoh Ahmose -year 1 of pharaoh Wahibre: 589 BCE
-year 15 of pharaoh Ahmose: 556 BCE
In the year 15 of pharaoh Ahmose the Superintendent of Fields came to Heracleopolis. He sent for the scribes of the nome at Heracleopolis. He said to them: "Has Hormaakheru, son of Ptahirdis, a benefice in this nome. The superintendent of fields is angry at Hormaakheru."
Paieftjawawibastet son of Ankhpakhered, a scribe of the nome, who was not a priest of Amen of Teudjoi, said to him: "Hormaakheru son of Ptahir[dite]s has no benefice in this nome. But if the Superintendent of Fields wishes to cause harm to Hormaakheru, I shall be able to have done something to him about which he will be more upset than about his benefice."
-Superintendent of Fields: mr-AH
-Hormaakheru: Horus-is-Justified
-Ptahirdis: Ptah-Given
-benefice: sanx
-Paieftjawawibastet: His-Life-Breath-is-in-Bastet's-Hands
-Ankhpakhered: May-the-Child-Live, khered (Xrd): child, also divine child, animal young
The Superintendent of Fields said to him: "Say it!"
Paieftjawawibastet said to him: "Hormaakheru has nobody in this world but these priests of Amen of Teudjoi. He has appointed his brothers to be priests of Amen of Teudjoi. There is an island in the possession of the priest of Amen of Teudjoi. 484 arouras of arable land are appropriated to them. It will amount to 1000 arouras of arable land. They brought the statue of the pharaoh Ahmose to Teudjoi. He had Ptahirdis son of Meribptah appointed as priest of the statue. He had 120 arouras of arable land conveyed to the statue of the pharaoh Amen of Teudjoi without one (single) aroura of arable land being given to the statue of the pharaoh which had been brought to Heracleopolis."
-aroura: sTA.t about 2700 m²
The Superintendent of Fields sailed south. He reached the island of Teudjoi. He landed at its furthest edge. He had two land surveyors ascend. He had them walk around the island. They included sandy and forested areas in the island. They made it that it measured [9]29 arouras. He confiscated the island of Teudjoi.
The 120 arouras of arable land belonging to the statue were in a location (called) "The field of Sekek". He confiscated them as well.
-land surveyors: nH, from nH - rope. The measuring rope was their main tool.
The Superintendent of Fields sent for the general Maaenwahibre, saying: "May the priests of Amen of Teudjoi give 4000 (sacks) of grain, 40 hin, from the harvest of this island which was in their possession."
The general came to Teudjoi. He took over the granaries. He ordered all the grain which he found in the granaries of the houses to be transported to the temple. It was locked up in the temple.
The priests hurried north to the house of the pharaoh. The pastophorus of Ptah in whose house they purified themselves (i.e. had dinner) said to them: "There is no man of the pharaoh who can protect you but Kherkhonsu, son of Hor. He is the man who makes music for the pharaoh in the royal bedroom. It is said that there is nobody in the house of Pharaoh to whose words one listens as to his."
-Maaenwahibre: Wahibre-has-Looked-upon-Us
-sack: 4 oipe, almost 20 litres after the New Kingdom. On the one hand the ancient Egyptians often omitted mentioning measuring units, on the other they often had to define these units, see below.
-hin: 40 hin to an oipe.
-pastophorus: irj-aA, (Greek), a priest(ess) carrying a model of a naos (sanctuary). According to another explanation they were wearing the pastos, a sacred shawl.
-Kherkhonsu: Servant-of-Khonsu
-there is nobody in the house of Pharaoh to whose words one listens as to his: the influence personal servants had over their masters is well known throughout history.
They had the pastophorus of Ptah fetch the eunuch of Kherkhonsu. They met him. They said to him: "If Kherkhonsu takes us under his wing and brings about that this island which belongs to Amen will be returned to us, then we shall give him as his annual god's offerings 300 (sacks) of wheat, 200 hin of castor oil, 50 hin of honey and 30 fowl altogether." -sack: omitted in the text, measure of capacity, cf. Counting and Measuring
-hin: measure of capacity, cf. Counting and Measuring
-castor oil: smelly oil pressed from the castor bean, very good lighting oil.
Horkheb left. He told Kherkhonsu. Kherkhonsu said: "These Southlanders open their mouths wide(?). They shall give it to me this year. If they learn that I have patronized them they will not give me anything. Tell them that I am a priest of Horus of Pe and Buto. I have a brother. He is priest of Horus of Pe. Sign over to him a prophet's office in your temple and write (it) down for him that you will give him these things as his income every year and I will be your patron."
It so happened that Necho son of Ptahnefer, the priest of Sobek who was (now also) priest of Amen of Teudjoi, was in Memphis. The priests went to him. They said to him: "Necho! The superintendent of fields confiscates the god's offerings of Amen of Teudjoi, (adding) it to the field of portions. Will you be able to protect us? If not, behold we have gone to an official. He said to us: 'Sign over to me the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi, so that I will be your patron in all your affairs.' And are you also aware that it was us who signed the portion of the prophet of Amen to your father Ptahnefer, son of Horwedja, when his father Horwedja, son of Horkheb, was lord of Heracleopolis? There is no portion which would have belonged to him. We gave it to him so that he would be our patron." -Horkheb: Horus-in-Chemmis
Necho, son of Ptahnefer, said to them: "Go, sign over the portion of the prophet of Amen to all the people who will be your patrons! Sobek be with you! Bring me the papyrus you will make so that I sign it."
The priests went to Horkheb, son of Irethoru, the man of Kherkhonsu. They signed over the portion of the prophet of Amen to Pasenemtek-menenep, son of Hor, the brother of Kherkhonsu. They took the document to Kherkhonsu.
Kherkhonsu, son of Hor, brought an action before pharaoh as follows: "My father was the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi, a well-known temple in the nome of Heracleopolis. The Superintendent of Fields went to it. He confiscated its god's offerings. He had everything that was in the city removed saying: 'I shall make them give the harvest tax for the fields which he had confiscated."
-Irethoru: The-Horus-Eye-is-Against-Them
-Pasenemtekmenenep: Psamtik-is-Always-in-Pe
One brought the Superintendent of Fields before the pharaoh. He said: "My great lord! I found an island in the middle of the river opposite Teudjoi. The scribes of the nome said to me: 'It encompasses 1000 arouras. I had it measured. It encompassed 929 arouras of arable fields. By the countenance of the pharaoh! It is not appropriate to make it a god's offering for a god (or) a goddess. It is (just) right for the pharaoh. It will amount to 20 (sacks) of grain, (the oipe at) 40 hin per aroura. I asked the scribes: 'Is it dedicated to Amen?' They said to me: '484 ½ arouras of arable land of it belong to Amen.' I said to the priests of Amen: 'Come, may I have it given to you beside your god's offerings which are in the field on the mainland of Teudjoi.' (But) they /// did not listen to me. (Concerning) Amen of Teudjoi, I found a god's offering of a very great temple in his possession. I found 33 ½ (sacks) of corn, (the oipe measuring) 40 hin, which are dedicated to Amen of Teudjoi daily. I shall pay them (the priests) from it."
There were many quarrels which Kherkhonsu and the Superintendent of Fields had. The end of the matter was that the Superintendent of Fields could not be persuaded to let go the island of Teudjoi. Kherkhonsu had him write an official letter to cause that the 484 ½ arouras of arable land were added to the god's offering of Amen which was in the country of the mainland of Teudjoi (as) compensation for the 484 ½ arouras of arable land of which had been concluded that it had been dedicated to the god's offering on the island of Teudjoi, and that he would let go of the wheat which had been supplied from Teudjoi,they were saying: "It shall be taken from the harvest of the island of Teudjoi which has been confiscated."
Pasenemtekmenenpe, son of Hor, brother of Kherkhonsu, went to Teudjoi. He anointed himself for the Akhmenu. He performed the service for Amen. They gave him the things which they had promised Kherkhonsu. Pasenemtekmenenpe said to them: "This papyrus which you have made for me concerning this portion of the prophet of Amen, I have taken it to court. A judge has said to me: 'It is invalid because the priests have said to you: Did this portion not have an owner? His owner will come at some time and say: It belongs to me, and one will decide that he has justice on his side rather than you.' Behold, I have heard that the priests had signed it over to this priest of Sobek in whose possession it was, when his father was lord of Heracleopolis. Had it not had an owner before?" -Akhmenu: part of the temple at Karnak, but possibly a feast.
Djedbastetiufankh, son of Iahor, the mr-Sn, said to him: "I shall bring to you the owner. I shall make him sign over the portion to you."
It so happened that Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi (I), joined his (fore)fathers in the year 13 of Pharaoh Apries. (But) Wedjasematawi (II), his son, was alive. A man came to Wedjasematawi (II) and said: "They are coming in order to force you to sign over the portion of the prophet of Amen to Pasenemtekmenenpe, son of Hor."
-Djedbastetiufankh: Bastet-has-Said-He-will-Live
-year 13 of Pharaoh Apries: 577 BCE
At night Wedjasematawi (II) went aboard a boat with his wife (and) his children. He went to Hermopolis. The next morning the priests and the mr-Sn heard of it. They went to his house. They removed all his possessions. They tore down his house and his pastophorion. The sent for a stone-mason. The ordered him to chisel out the stela which Pediese, son of Ireturu, had had erected on the platform of stone. They went to the other stela of stone of Elephantine which was in the sanctuary, saying: "We shall have it chiseled out."
The stone-mason said: "I shall not be able to chisel it out. Only a granite worker(?) will be able to chisel it out. My tools would become dull."
-stone of Elephantine: inj n jb there were granite quarries near Elephantine.
-granite worker: the ordinary stone-mason was called a kherti (Xrtj), the specialist is referred to as gi (gj).
A priest said: "Let it be! Behold, nobody can see it. And moreover he had the stela made before he became a priest and before the Ship Master Pediese signed over to him the portion of the prophet of Amen. We shall be able to dismiss his claim based on (the writing) on it, saying: 'Your father was no priest of Amen.'"
They left the stela of stone of Elephantine. They did not chisel it out. They went to his (i.e Pediese's) two statues of
tmgj stone. (The) one at the entrance of the chapel of Amen in whose lap was an image of Amen. They threw it into the river. They went to his other (statue) which stood in the temple of Osiris at the entrance to the shrine of Osiris, and in its lap was an image of Osiris. They threw it into the river.
-tmgj: stone of Elephantine, i.e. granite.
Wedjasematawi (II) heard all that the priests of Teudjoi had done to him. It so happened that there was an accountant of the supervisor of the anteroom named Imhotep, son of Pasherese, which had been sent for by the supervisor of the anteroom in order to learn the affairs of Hermopolis. Wedjasematawi (II), son of Pediese, said to his son Pediese (III): "As you are used to writing, go and write with Imhotep, son of Pasherese, this accountant of the supervisor of the anteroom. When he comes to know your proficiency he will be able to institute proceedings with the supervisor of the anteroom for your sake and bring about that we will be having a patron."
Pediese went and wrote with Imhotep, son of Pasherese. He attended to the matters for which he had been sent to Hermopolis to deal with them in writing. I went to Memphis with Imhotep.
He had the scribes of the supervisor of the anteroom write down the business of Hermopolis. He made a report about it to the supervisor of the anteroom. The supervisor of the anteroom treated him kindly. Imhotep brought his complaint before the supervisor of the anteroom saying: "I have a colleague. He is priest of Amen of Teudjoi. Djedbastetiufankh, son of Iahor, the
mr Sn of Amen of Teudjoi, went with his brothers in his (i.e. Wedjasematawi II's) house and his pastophorion. They took everything that belonged to him with them. They tore down his house (and) his pastophorion."
-Pasherese: Son-of-Isis
-I: The writer of the papyrus, Pediese III
The supervisor of the anteroom had a letter made to Horbes, son of Paneferiu, the lord of Heracleopolis, saying: "The scribe Imhotep, son of Pediese, who is my subordinate, has lodged the following complaint before me: 'I have a colleague, he is a priest of Amen of Teudjoi. His name is Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi. Djedbastetiufankh, son of Iahor, the mr Sn of Amen, went with his brothers to his house and his pastophorion. They took everything in them away. They tore down his house and his pastophorion.'
As soon as this letter reaches you, go to Teudjoi! Have all the people seized of whom Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi, this priest, says to you: 'Let them be seized!' Have them brought in fetters (?) to the house in which I am!"
-Paneferiu: The-Beautiful-One-has-Come
He had a copy of it made for Pasenemtekawinit, the general who was in the nome of Heracleopolis. One sent the letters with a Hermotybian. He came with me to Heracleopolis. We reached the lord of Heracleopolis and the general. We stood before them in the House of Writing. They read the letters of the supervisor of the anteroom. Horbes, the lord of Heracleopolis said: "(By) the life of Osiris! Djedbastetiufankh, the mr Sn of Amen in Teudjoi is not in this nome! I have heard that he has gone to Buto in order to mourn Hor, the father of Kherkhonsu who has gone to his forefathers. -Pasenemtekawinit: Psamtik-is-in-the-Hands-of-Neith
-general: mr mSa, i.e. head of the army
-Hermotybian: rmT Dm a Djem-man, a member of the military caste
-House of Writing: archive
He (Horbes) called for his follower Pedihorshef and said to him: "Go to Teudjoi! Take 50 men with you! Have all people seized of whom Pediese, the priest says: 'Have them seized!' Bring them to me in fetters(?).
The general called his follower (and) said: "Go to Teudjoi! Take many men with you! Have all the people brought of whom Pediese, son of Wedjasematawi, will say: 'Have them seized!' Have them seized! Bring them to me in fetters(?)"
We returned to Teudjoi in two ships. We did not find Djedbastetiufankh, the mr Sn in Teudjoi. His brothers which we found were arrested. They were brought to Heracleopolis before the lord of Heracleopolis (and) the general. They lamented before the (lord) of Heracleopolis (and) the general: "(By) the life of Pharaoh! We have not taken any property of Pediese! We have not torn down his house! It was Pasenemtekmenenpe, son of Hor, the prophet of Amen, who has had the house and the pastophorion torn down." -brothers: sn.w, referring to those close to him, i.e. relatives and colleagues.
The (lord) of Heracleopolis said: "Pediese! As one has not found Djedbastetiufankh, the mr Sn, what profit will you have from taking these priests before the supervisor of the anteroom? They will go and say before the supervisor of the anteroom: 'We have not taken any property from you! We have not caused that a house of yours was torn down.;"
I said to the lord of Heracleopolis: "Has Imhotep, the scribe of the supervisor of the anteroom, let me stand before the supervisor of the anteroom after he had written before me to the lord of Heracleopolis (and) the general: 'Our lord will cause that my affair here in the nome will be liquidated.'"
The (lord) of Heracleopolis seized my hand. He took me aside. He said to me: "(By) the life of Osiris! I love you more than these priests. It so happened that Kherkhonsu has spoken with the supervisor of the anteroom and prevailed that one would let them (go) and your case would collapse. Behold, the private letter which Imhotep has had brought to me is the reason why I am inflamed on your behalf. (He wrote) as follows: 'He is my brother. Have him protected! Make sure that importance will be attached to the matter in which he comes to you! (Concerning) these priests, I shall have them give you 10 silver (deben) and 50(?) (sacks) of barley (?). I shall order them to tie themselves to you by oath before Harsaphes and before Osiris of Nenaref, saying: 'We have not taken any property from you. We have not torn down any house of you.'
I shall moreover have them furnish this man of the supervisor of the antechamber."
-Nenaref: location in the region of Heracleopolis.
Horbes , the (lord) of Heracleopolis, persuaded me to let the priests go. The (lord) of Heracleopolis said to the priests: "Behold, I have persuaded Pediese to let you go. You will give him 20 silver (deben)."
They shouted loudly: "We will not be able to give him 5 silver (deben)!"
I said to the lord of Heracleopolis: "Hale be the breath of our lord! They have taken beams and doors of these buildings which they have torn down with a value of 10 silver (deben). They have ruined stonework with the value of a further 20 silver (deben)."
The (lord) of Heracleopolis said to them: "(By) the life of Osiris!" I have heard everything that you have done to him. If they take you to the supervisor of the anteroom, even 50 silver (deben) will not get you out. Have him given 10 silver (deben)! I shall bring it about that he will waive the remaining 10 silver (deben). And swear to him: 'We have not taken any property from you. We have not caused that anything be taken away. We have not ordered that your house and pastophorion be torn down.
-beams and doors: Houses consisted mostly of cheap mud bricks. There were wooden parts which, being expensive, were used again: doors, posts, roof beams and the like. Among the rich lintels etc were at times made of stone.
-ruined stonework: the stela from which they had erased the inscription and the statues which they had thrown into the river.
In the end the priests had to vouch for the 10 silver (deben) and had to swear an oath before Harsaphes and before Osiris, and give the man of the supervisor of the anteroom who was before me, 1 silver (deben), and I had keep my distance from the priests and the (lord) of Heracleopolis said to me: "Do not worry! (By) the life of Osiris! When Djedbastetiufankh, the mr Sn comes to the South I shall force him to give you the remainder of the sum which the priests have given you. I myself shall show you my favour. (By) the life of Re! I have heard of the damage they have caused you. I have not had these priests brought before the supervisor of the anteroom so that Kherkhonsu could not dismiss your case and your cause be lost."
The lord (of) Heracleopolis (and) the general dismissed me. I went to Hermopolis. I took my father Wedjasematawi, my mother, my brothers and my people all together to Teudjoi. We had bricks painted. We had our house built. Its lower storey was finished. We established ourselves in it. Its pastophorion is torn down to this day.
A few days passed and Pasenemtekmenenpe, son of Hor, went to <his> fathers. To this day, Pasenemtekmenenpe, son of Hor, has not come to Teudjoi. He sent somebody to fetch his property until the year 44 of Ahmose.
In the year 3 of Cambyses Hor, son of Psamtekmenenpe, came to Teudjoi. He met with the priests. They did not speak to him in the manner of human beings on earth. They did not allow that the rations were given him. They went to Pasheriah, son of Horkhebwesigem(?). They signed over to him the portion of the prophet of Amen of Teudjoi in the year 4 of Cambyses.
-year 44 of Ahmose: 527 BCE
-the year 3 of Cambyses: 522 BCE
-Pasheriah: Son-of-the-Moon
Copy of the songs which Amen made when he came to these chiseled out stelae when he went into the sanctuary of his shrine, turning towards the superintendent of the singers and nodding towards him:
 
The testimonials of the evil ones are their children.
Who is successful among them does not say "God" to you.
The people of Abydos throw stones at them.
Those of Akhmim say: "Do not raise them!"
Heated are they and numerous committing crimes saying:
"Amen is silent towards us."
He is not silent towards them.
They are like birds.
They have found a field of herbs.
They have not cooled their heart.
Woe to you, mother of birds!
One will catch them because of their bellies
-Amen made when he came: Divine statues, identified with the gods themselves, were taken on processions, thus leaving and reentering their sanctuaries.
-nodding towards him: the statue of the god interacted with bystanders by retreating and advancing - being moved back and forth by its bearers, or by "nodding" - probably by being tilted (Cf. the role of oracles in the justice system)
-bellies: their voracity
 
Another song:
 
Amen!
When they call upon you, do not turn around in order to be merciful towards the "Heated Ones".
Bad are their hearts
Evil are their eyes.
Numerous are the wicked among them.
Their mouth is sweet only in misery.
Bad are they making off.
Who is successful among them does not say "God" to you.
They have built their houses as new buildings while yours is only half-finished.
They have broken yours into pieces.
Everybody robs some.
Their houses in which they have gathered their loot will be destroyed, while yours is firmly founded.
You have slaughtered them together with all the cattle with which they were endowed.
Who will remain of them you will let him in order to depress their heart.
You have not made them knowledgeable on the day of their birth.
Their bellies have not been robbed.
That (which) they are (greedy like) a crocodile to obtain(?) the demons have taken from them by force.
That which they have not given to your god's offering the demons shall rob(?).
They have not acted for you on the day of acting.
Why have given consideration to them?
They have not acted for you when they were successful.
They are like cow herds without grass.
They have not acted for you when they were in their office(?) before the demons destroyed them.
You have done to them according to the manner of their heart.
You have let the demons (loose) after them.
You have let the demons (loose) after them.
They are not giving them peace
They are causing them harm because of what they have done.
You have let them spend the night in their evil.
You have let them spend the day in it as well.
You have made them speak humbly(?) to those who are lower than them.
You have made them implore their servants.
You have made them spend the night in their handcuffs.
You have made them spend the day in their fetters.
You have made it so that they beg for death because of that which is happening to them.
You have made it so that they spend the night in the hands of the guardian(-demons ?).
When they rise in order to complain(?) one will not listen to them in order to punish them.
Your wrath is on them.
But they do not say "God" to you.
They only say "God" to you when you have delivered them into the hands of the demons.
They turn full of remorse to implore in your name when they have inclined towards sin(?).
What you have said has come to pass.
What you have predicted has happened.
And they say: "Just is what Amen has done."
It is in their heart to say: "We shall act."
They nourish the flesh.
They make their complexion beautiful.
Amen, lord of slaughter!
They truly are people after their own hearts.
They walk and wrong is in their breast.
They have suppressed the weak before the strong.
They have done what you detest, what you hate.
They have diminished the corn measure.
They have stolen from your god's offerings.
They have entered their houses, they have not opened your naos.
Those standing in your forecourt, kill them one after the other!
For they do not say, (the) wrath (of god) is against them.
You shatter their sons(?) before them, because they do not say: "What is it that we have done?"
They say: "Just is what Amen has done," after their heart has been turned to stone.
 
Another song:
 
-wrong is in their breast: throughout Egyptian history the duty of the powers that be (gods and pharaohs) was to defend the right world order, justice and truth.
The following lines refer to the so-called Negative Confessions in which the deceased asserts his innocence of a number of the most heinous crimes.
Vengeance is not idly asleep.
Amen does not cease retributing.
The robber can not dissipate(?) his loot.
The oppressor cannot but protect.
The scales remain in Amen's hand.
They move among his servants.
He does not accept a cow from the hand of the strong in order to overlook oppression.
His (i.e. of the unjust) cow stinks more than fish. His cattle rots.
The sacrificial cake of the just is what he has eyes for.
Come to us!
O Amen, save us from their detestable crimes!
-scales: Amen was the upholder of Maat, justice.
-overlook oppression: Amen was also the great champion of the oppressed, cf. The religion of the people
-stinks more than fish: fish being eaten all along the Nile, the Egyptians certainly knew what a stench they could produce, cf. Behold, my name is detested, Behold, more than the smell of fishermen (Debate between a man tired of life and his soul)

pRylands 9
After the transliteration and German translation on the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae website, G. Vittmann ed.
Demotische Textdatenbank, Akademie für Sprache und Literatur Mainz => administrative und dokumentarische Texte => Petitionen => P. Rylands 9

 


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