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Ancient Egypt: The Inscription of Pepinakht
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The Inscription of Pepinakht

Custodian of the domain, scribe of the phyle of the pyramid (called): "Neferkere-Remains-Alive", wearer of the royal seal, sole companion, Hekib (HqA-jb); governor of the pyramid-city: "Pepi-Remains-Beautiful", sole companion, ritual priest, caravan conductor, who brings the products of the countries to his lord, Pepi-nakht; chief of the phyle of the pyramid: "Mernere-Shines-and-is-Beautiful"; who sets the terror of Horus [among] the countries, the revered Hekib, count, sole companion, chamber attendant, judge attached to Nekhen, lord of Nekheb, revered by the great god, Pepi-nakht.
I was one who said that which was good, and repeated that which was loved. Never did I say anything evil to a powerful one against any people, (for) I desired that it be well with me in the great god's presence. I gave bread to the hungry, and clothing to the naked. Never did I judge two brothers in such a way that a son was deprived of his paternal possession. I was one beloved of his father, praised of his mother, whom his brothers and sisters loved.
The majesty of my lord sent me, to hack up Wawat (wawa.t) and Irthet (jrTt). I did so that my lord praised me. I slew a great number there consisting of chiefs' children and excellent commanders of [/// (?)]. I brought a great number of them to the court as living prisoners, while I was at the head of many mighty soldiers as a hero. The heart of my lord was satisfied with me in every commission with which he sent me.
- Seemingly an efficient official under Pepi II, Pepinakht Heqaib was ennobled (saH) under the 12th dynasty and sanctified as nTr anx, a living god. Like other deified humans such as Imhotep he was seen as a mediator between people and the gods.
-phyle: the priesthood of a temple was divided into a few - generally four- groups (phyle in Greek). Priests belonging to the same phyle served together according to a roster.
-Neferkere: Pepi II (c. 2279-2181)
-Hekib: also Heqaib etc, was the "beautiful" name of Pepinakht
-Mernere: (c. 2279-2270) , son of Pepi I (Meryre) (c. 2313-2279)
-Never did I say anything evil...: Compare I have not vilified a slave to his master. (The "negative confessions")
-Never did I judge two brothers ...: The wealth of the parents was generally distributed among all their children, though the portions were not even: the eldest son who had to take care of the mortuary offerings of the deceased got a larger part than did his brothers.
-Wawat: northern Nubia
Now, the majesty of my lord sent me to pacify these countries. I did so that my lord praised me exceedingly, above everything. I brought the two chiefs of these countries to the court in safety, bulls and live [goats (?)] which they [///] to the court, together with chiefs' children, and the two commanders of [///], who were with them. /// /// that which the lords of the South do, because I was excellent in watchfulness and because I did that which my lord desired.
Now the majesty of my lord sent me to the country of the Asiatics (aAm[w]) to bring for him the sole companion, [ commander (?)] of the sailors, the caravan conductor, Enenkhet (ananxt), who was building a ship there for Punt, when the Asiatics belonging to the Sand-dwellers (Hr(j)w-Sa) slew him, together with a troop of the army which was with him. .......
////// ////// among his people. I [///] and I slew people among them, (I) and the troop of the army which was with me.
-country of the Asiatics: generally referring to regions north-east of Egypt. Based on this geographical reference one may conclude that the ships were reassembled by the Bitter Lakes or on the north shore of the Red Sea. Breasted thought it to be more likely for the Sand-dwellers to have advanced southward along the Red Sea coast and reached the Qoseir region, from where Egyptian ships have traditionally set out for Punt.
-Sand-dwellers: bedouins. Egypt always had problems controlling the nomads of the east and the west.

J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, §§ 356ff.


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© March 2006