Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: The Stela of Piye
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Northern Upper Egypt
Roman numerals: Upper Egyptian nomes
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The Stela of Piye

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    Year 21, first month of the first season, under the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Meriamon-Piankhi, living forever.
    Command which my majesty speaks: "Hear of what I did, more than the ancestors. I am a king, divine emanation, living image of Atum, who came forth from the womb, adorned as a ruler, of whom those greater than he were afraid; whose father knew, and whose mother recognized that he would rule in the egg, the Good God, beloved of the gods, achieving with his hands, Meriamon-Piankhi.
Piye 716-711 BCE
    One came to say to his majesty: " A chief of the west, the great prince of Neter, Tefnakhte is in the nome of ..... , in the nome of Xois, in Hapi, in .... in Ayan, in Pernub, and in Memphis. He has seized the whole west from the back-lands to Ithtowe, coming southward with a numerous army, while the Two Lands are united behind him, and the princes and rulers of walled towns are as dogs at his heels. No stronghold has closed [its doors in] the nomes of the South: Mer-Atum, Per-Sekhemkheperre, the temple of Sebek, Permezed, Theknesh, and every city of the west, they have opened the doors for fear of him. He turned to the east, they opened to him likewise: Hatbenu, Tozi, Hatseteni, Pernebteptih. Behold, [he] besieges Heracleopolis, he has completely invested it, not letting comers-out come out, and not letting goers-in go in, fighting every day. He measured it off in its whole circuit, every prince knows his wall; he stations every man of the princes and rulers of walled towns over his (respective) portion. Piye is warned of Tefnakht's advance
 
-Neter : in the central Delta
-Hapi : Nile, also the name of the Nile god
-Pernub : in the western Delta
-Mer-Atum : Meidum
-Per-Sekhemkheperre : at the mouth of the Fayum, 21st nome of Upper Egypt
-Sebek : Sobek, Crocodilopolis, capital of the Fayum
-Permezed : Oxyrhynchus, capital of the 19th nome of Upper Egypt
-Theknesh : TkAnS in the nome of Oxyrhynchus (15th nome of Upper Egypt)
-west : west of the Nile
-Hatbenu : capital of the 18th nome of Upper Egypt
-Tozi : tAiwDAt, in the 19th nome of Upper Egypt
-Hatseteni : in the 18th nome of Upper Egypt
-Pernebteptih : Atfih, in the 22nd nome of Upper Egypt
    Then [his majesty] heard [the message] with courageous heart, laughing, and joyous of heart.
    These princes and commanders of the army who were in their cities sent to his majesty daily, saying: "Wilt thou be silent, even to forgetting the Southland, the nomes of the [court]? While Tefnakhte advances his conquest and finds none to repel his arm.
    Namlot ... ... , prince of Hatweret, he has overthrown the wall of Nefrus, he has demolished his own city, for fear of him who might take it from him, in order to besiege another city. Behold, he goes to follow at his heels, having cast off allegiance to his majesty. He tarries with him like one of [his vassals in] the nome of Oxyrhyncos, and gives to him gifts, as much as he desires, of everything that he has found."
-Namlot : Name in cartouche: Namart
-Hatweret : in the 16th nome of Upper Egypt
-Nefrus : in the 16th nome of Upper Egypt
-at his heels : following Tefnakht
-his majesty : Piye
-tarries with him : with Tefnakht
-gives to him gifts : to Tefnakht
    Then his majesty sent to the princes and commanders of the army who were in Egypt: the commander Purem, and the commander Lemersekeny, and every commander of his majesty who was in Egypt (saying): "Hasten into battle line, engage in battle, surround .... , capture its people, its cattle, its ships upon the river. Let not the peasants go forth to the field, let not the plowmen plow, beset the frontier of the Hare nome, fight against it daily. " Then they did so. Piye's army is deployed
 
 
-Purem : from Egyptian p (the) and Nubian urum (black)
-Hare nome : 15th nome of Upper Egypt, capital Hermopolis (Khmunu)
    Then his majesty sent an army to Egypt, charging them earnestly: "[Delay] not [day nor] night, as at a game of draughts; (but) fight ye on sight. Force battle upon him from afar. If he says to the infantry and chariotry of another city, 'Hasten;' (then) ye shall abide until his army comes, that ye may fight as he says. But if his allies be in another city, (then) let one hasten to them; these princes whom he has brought for his support: Libyans and favorite soldiers, force battle upon them [first[. Say, 'We know not what he cries in mustering troops. Yoke the war horses, the best of thy stable; draw up the line of battle! Thou knowest that Amon is the god who has sent us.' " -Libyans : The Libyans had been settled in the western Delta for generations by then, were involved in Egyptian society and supplied the Egyptian army with professional soldiers.
    "When ye arrive at Thebes, before Karnak, ye shall enter into the water, ye shall bathe in the river, ye shall dress in [fine linen], unstring the bow, loosen the arrow. Let not the chief boast as a mighty man; there is no strength to the mighty without him, He maketh the weak-armed into the strong-armed, so that multitudes flee from the feeble, and one alone taketh a thousand men. Sprinkle yourselves with the water of his altars, sniff the ground before him. Say ye to him, 'Give us the way, that we may fight in the shadow of thy sword. (As for) the generation whom thou hast sent out, when its attack occurs, multitudes flee before it.' " -Thebes : the centre of Amen worship
-unstring the bow : A bow not in use had to be unstrung, otherwise the bowstring would become unusable quickly. Stringing a composite bow often took two men (cf Bow and Arrow).
-him. He : Amen
-sniff the ground : prostrate oneself
-generation : lit. young men
    Then they threw themselves upon their bellies before his majesty (saying): "It is thy name which endues us with might, and thy counsel is the mooring-post of thy army; thy bread is in our bellies on every march, thy beer quenches our thirst. It is thy valor that giveth us might, and there is strength at the remembrance of thy name; (for) no army prevails whose commander is a coward. Who is thy equal therein? Thou art a victorious king, achieving with his hands, chief of the work of war." Declaration of allegiance of the army
    They sailed down-stream, they arrived at Thebes, they did according to all that his majesty had said.
    They sailed down-stream upon the river, they found many ships coming up-streams bearing soldiers, sailors, and commanders, every valiant man of the Northland, equipped with weapons of war, to fight against the army of his majesty. Then there was made a great slaughter among them, (whose) number was unknown. Their troops and their ships were captured, and brought as living captives to the place where his majesty was.
    They then went to the [frontier] of Heracleopolis, demanding battle.
Battle on the Nile
 
-They sailed down-stream upon the river : The advance through Nubia had been largely by land. The exact place of the battle is uncertain; but as Piankhi's commanders were already besieging Hermopolis, it could hardly have been south of that city.
-commanders : Or perhaps "troops"
-where his majesty was : Napata
 
List of the princes and kings of the Northland, namely:
  1. King Namlot and
  2. King Yewepet
  3. Chief of Me, Sheshonk, of Per-Osiris, lord of Ded
  4. Great chief of Me, Zeamonefonekh, of Per-Benebded together with
  5. His eldest son, who was commander of the army of Per-Thutuprehui.
  6. The army of the hereditary prince, Beknenef, together with
  7. every chief wearing a feather who was in the Northland; together with
  8. King Osorkon, who was in Per-Bast and in the district of Ranofer
  9. Every prince, the rulers of the walled towns in the West, in the East, (and) the islands in the midst, were united of one mind as followers of the great chief of the West, ruler of the walled towns of the Northland, prophet of Neit, mistress of Sais, sem priest of Ptah, Tefnakhte.
 
List of Piye's opponents
 
-Me : Meshwesh, Libyans
-Per-Osiris : Busiris
-Per-Benebded : Mendes
-Per-Thutuprehui : Hermopolis Parva in the western Delta
-Per-Bast : Bubastis
    They went forth against them; then they made a great slaughter among them, greater than anything. Their ships were captured upon the river. The remnant crossed over and landed on the west side before Per-Peg.
    When the land brightened early in the morning, the army of his majesty crossed over against them. Army mingled with army; they slew a multitude of people among them; horses of unknown number; a rout ensued among the remnant. They fled to the Northland, from the blow, great and evil beyond everything.
List of slaughter made among them:
People: .... men.
The battles near Heracleopolis
 
-Per-Peg : uncertain, probably in the vicinity of Heracleopolis, on the west bank of the Nile
    King Namlot fled up-stream southward, when it was told him: "Hermopolis is in the midst of the foe from the army of his majesty, who capture its people and its cattle." Then he entered into Hermopolis, while the army of his majesty was upon the river, in the harbor of the Hare nome. Then they heard of it, and they surrounded the Hare nome on its four sides, not letting comers-out come out, and not letting goers-in go in. The siege of Hermopolis
    They sent to report to the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Meriamon-Piankhi, given life, on every conflict which they had fought, and on every victory of his majesty.
    Then his majesty was enraged thereat like a panther (saying): "Have they allowed a remnant of the army of the Northland to remain? allowing him that went forth of them to go forth, to tell of his campaign? not causing their death, in order to destroy the last of them? I swear: as Re loves me! I will myself go northward, that I may destroy that which he has done, that I may make him turn back from fighting, forever."
Piye goes north himself
    "Now, afterward when the ceremonies of the New Year are celebrated, I will offer to my father, Amon, at his beautiful feast, when he makes his beautiful appearance of the New Year, that he may send me forth in peace, to behold Amon at the beautiful Feast of Opet; that I may bring his image forth in procession to Luxor at his beautiful feast (called): "Night of the Feast of Opet," and at the feast (called): "Abiding in Thebes." which Re made for him in the beginning; and that I may bring him in procession to his house, resting upon his throne, on the "Day of Bringing in the God," in the third month of the first season, second day; that I may make the Northland taste the taste of my fingers."
    Then the army which was there in Egypt, heard of the wrath which his majesty felt toward them. Then they fought against Per-Mezed of the Oxyrhynchite nome, they took it like a flood of water, and they sent to his majesty; (but) his heart was not satisfied therewith,
    Then they fought against Tetehen, great in might. They found it filled with soldiers, with every valiant man of the Northland. Then the battering-ram was employed against it, its wall was overthrown, and a great slaughter was made among them. of unknown number; also the son of the chief of Me, Tefnakhte. Then they sent to his majesty concerning it, (but) his heart was not satisfied therewith.
    Then they fought against Hatbenu, its interior was breached, the army of his majesty entered into it. Then they sent to his majesty, (but) his heart was not satisfied therewith.
Capture of Oxyrhynchus, Tetehen, Hatbenu
 
-Per-Mezed : Per-medjed - Oxyrhynchus
-Oxyrhynchite nome : the 19th nome of Upper Egypt
-Tetehen : Modern Tehneh. According to Lichtheim: the Crag Great-of-Victories, a fortress in the 18th nome.
-the battering-ram was employed against it: Lichtheim: A siege tower was made against it
    First month of the first season, ninth day; his majesty went northward to Thebes, and completed the Feast of Amon at the Feast of Opet. His majesty sailed northward to the city of the Hare nome; his majesty came forth from the cabin of the ship, the horses were yoked up, the chariot was mounted, the terror of his majesty reached to the end of the Asiatics, every heart was heavy with the fear of him.
    Then his majesty went forth .... .... to hate his soldiers, enraged at them like a panther (saying): "Is the steadfastness of your fighting this slackness in my affairs? Has the year reached its end, when the fear of me has been inspired in the Northland? A great and evil blow shall be smitten them."
-the city of the Hare nome : Hermopolis
-.... .... to hate his soldiers: Lichtheim: revile his troops
    He set up for himself the camp on the southwest of Hermopolis and besieged it daily. An embankment was made, to inclose the wall; a tower was raised to elevate the archers while shooting, and the slingers while slinging stones, and slaying people among them daily. The siege of Hermopolis
 
-Hermopolis : Hemenu (Hmnw)
-tower : according to the word's determinative seemingly made of wood
    Days passed and Hermopolis was foul to the nose without her usual fragrance. Then Hermopolis threw herself upon her belly, and plead before the king. Messengers came forth and descended bearing everything beautiful to behold: gold, every splendid costly stone, clothing in a chest, and the diadem which was upon his head, the uraeus which inspired the fear of him; without ceasing during many days, pleading with his diadem.
    Then they sent his wife , the king's wife, and king's daughter, Nestent, to plead with the king's wives, king's concubines, king's daughters, and king's sisters, to throw herself upon her belly in the harem, before the king's wives (saying): "We come to you, O king's wives, king's daughters, and king's sisters, that ye may appease Horus, lord of the palace, whose fame is great and his triumph mighty. Grant that he .... .... .... me; lo, he ........... him. Lo, [... ...] ........... [....] ............ him. Lo, [... ...] .......... [Speak] to him, that he may incline to the one that praises him ............
The surrender of Hermopolis
 
-Hermopolis : Hemenu (Wnw)
-his head : Namart's (Namlot's) head
 
The description of the act of surrendering has been destroyed.
    "Lo, who has led the? who has led thee? Who, then has led thee? Who has led thee? .... .... thou didst [forsake] the way of life. Did heaven rain with arrows? I am [content] when the Southerners do obeisance and the Northerners (say): 'Put us in thy shadow.' Lo, it is evil [...] ... ... bearing his food. The heart is a steering-oar; it capsizes its owner through that which is from the god. It seeth flame as coolness [in] the heart .... .... There is no old man, ....... Thy nomes are full of youths."
    He threw himself upon his belly before his majesty (saying): "[Be appeased], Horus, lord of the palace, it is thy might which has done it. I am one of the king's slaves, paying impost into the treasury [.........] their impost. I have brought for thee more than they."
    Then he presented much silver, gold, lapis lazuli, malachite, bronze, and all costly stones. Then he filled the treasury with this tribute; he brought a horse in the right hand and a sistrum in the left hand, of gold and lapis lazuli.
Piye addresses Namart
 
-steering-oar : The rudder was unknown in ancient times (cf. ships and boats)
    Then his [majesty] appeared in splendour in his palace, proceeded to the house of Thoth, lord of Hermopolis, and he slew bulls, calves, and fowl for his father, lord of Hermopolis, and the eight gods in the house of the eight gods. The army of the Hare nome acclaimed and rejoiced, saying: "How beautiful is Horus, resting in his city, the Son of Re, Piankhi! Celebrate for us a jubilee, even as thou hast protected the Hare nome."
    His majesty proceeded to the house of King Namlot, he entered every chamber of the king's house, his treasury and his magazines. He caused that there be brought to him; the king's wives and king's daughters; they saluted his majesty in the fashion of women, (but) his majesty turned not his face to them.
    His majesty proceeded to the stable of the horses and the quarters of the foals. When he saw that they had suffered hunger, he said: "I swear, as Re loves me, and as my nostrils are rejuvenated with life, it is more grievous in my heart that my horses have suffered hunger, than any evil deed that thou hast done, in the prosecution of thy desire. It has borne witness of thee to me, the fear of thy associates for thee. Didst thou not know that the god's shadow is over me? and that my fortune never perishes because of him? Would that another had done it to me! I could not but condemn him on account of it. When I was fashioned in the womb, and created in the divine egg the seed of the god was in me. By his ka, I do nothing without him; he it is who commands me to do it."
    Then his possessions were assigned to the treasury, and his granary to the divine offerings of Amon in Karnak.
Piye enters Hermopolis
 
-calves: Lichtheim: shorthorns
-eight gods: the Ogdoad
-jubilee : Heb-sed
-It has borne witness of thee to me, the fear of thy associates for thee: Lichtheim: [I would teach you to respect your neighbors (?)]
    The ruler of Heracleopolis Pefnefdibast came, bearing tribute to the palace: gold, silver, every costly stone, and horses of the choicest of the stable. He threw himself upon his belly before his majesty; he said: "Hail to thee, Horus, mighty king, Bull subduer of Bulls! The Nether World had seized me, and I was submerged in darkness, upon which the light has (now) shone. I found not a friend in the evil day, who was steadfast in the day of battle; but thou, O mighty king, thou hast expelled the darkness from me. I will labor together with (thy) subjects, and Heracleopolis shall pay taxes into thy treasury, thou likeness of Harakhte, chief of the imperishable stars. As he was, so art thou king; as he perishes not so thou shalt not perish, O King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Piankhi, living forever." The ruler of Heracleopolis reaffirms his loyalty
 
-Bull : Epithet of kings since earliest times (cf. the Narmer Palette)
    His majesty sailed north to the opening of the canal beside Illahun; he found Per-Sekhemkhperre with its valiant wall raised, and its stronghold closed, filled with every valiant man of the Northland. Then his majesty sent to them, saying: "Ye living in death! Ye living in death! Ye insignificant .... and miserable ones! Ye living in death! If an hour passes without opening to me, behold, ye are of the number of the fallen; and that is [painful] to the king. Close not the gates of your life, to be brought to the block this day. Love not death, nor hate life ......... before the whole land. The surrender of Per-Sekhemkhperre
 
-sailed north : on the Bahr Yussuf
-the opening of the canal : gap through which Lake Moeris is replenished
-Illahun : at the entrance of the Fayum
-Per-Sekhemkhperre : According to its name, this town was built by Osorkon I
    Then they sent to his majesty, saying: "Lo, the shadow of the god is over thee; the son of Nut, he gives to thee his two arms; the thought of thy heart comes to pass immediately, like that which comes forth from the mouth of a god. Lo, thou art fashioned as the face of a god; we see by the decree of thy hands. Lo, thy city, his stronghold; [do] thy [pleasure] therewith. Let the goers-in go in there, and the comers-out come out. Let his majesty do what he will."
    Then they came out, with the son of the chief of Me, Tefnakhte. The army of his majesty entered into it, without slaying one of all the people. He found ............ and treasurers to seal his possessions. His treasuries were assigned to the Treasury, and his granaries to the divine offerings of his father, Amon-Re, lord of Thebes.
    His majesty sailed northward; he found that Mer-Atum, the house of Sokar, lord of Sehez, had been closed, and was inaccessible. It had set fighting in its heart, taking .... ..... Fear [seized] them; terror sealed their mouth. Then his majesty sent to them, saying: "Behold, two ways are before you; choose ye as ye will: open, and ye shall live; close and ye shall die. My majesty will not pass by a closed city." Then they opened immediately; his majesty entered into this city, and offered .... .... .... [to] Menhy of Sehez. His treasury was assigned [to the Treasury], his granaries to the divine offerings of Amon of Karnak. The surrender of Meidum
 
-Mer-Atum : Meidum
-Sehez: Sehedj.
    His majesty sailed north to Ithtowe; he found the rampart closed, and the wall filled with the valiant troops of the Northland. Then they opened the stronghold, and threw themselves upon [their] bellies [before] his majesty (saying): "Thy father has assigned to thee his inheritance. Thine are the Two Lands, thine is what is therein, thine is all that is on earth."
    His majesty entered to cause a great oblation to be offered to the gods residing in this city, consisting of bulls, calves, fowl, and everything good and pure. Then his treasury was assigned to the Treasury and his granaries to the divine offerings [of Amon].
The surrender of Itjtawy
 
 
-Ithtowe : Itjtawy - Aphroditopolis, 22nd nome of Upper Egypt
    [His majesty sailed north to] Memphis; then he sent to them, saying: "Shut not up, fight not, thou abode of Shu in the beginning. As for him that would go in, let him go in; as for him that would come out, let him come out; and let not them that would leave be hindered. I would offer an oblation to Ptah and to the gods dwelling in Memphis, I would sacrifice to Sokar in the mysterious place, I would behold 'Him-Who-is-South-of-His-Wall,' that I may sail north in peace. [The people] of Memphis [shall be] safe and sound; not even a child shall weep. Look ye to nomes of the South; not a single one has been slain therein, except the enemies who blasphemed against the god, who were dispatched as rebels." Piye demands the surrender of Memphis
 
-Shu : God of the air, brother and husband of Tefnut, goddess of moisture, father of the Sky-goddess Nut and the Earth-god, Geb
-not even a child shall weep: Lichtheim: one will not weep over children.
    Then they closed their stronghold; they sent forth an army against some of the soldiers of his majesty, being artisans, chief builders and sailors .... .... .... the harbor of Memphis. -being artisans, chief builders and sailors: The cities had to rely on their citizens for their defense. Opposing a trained and at least partly professional army like Piye's would not have been to their liking.
    Lo, that chief of Sais arrived at Memphis in the night, charging his infantry and his sailors, all the best of his army, a total of 8000 men, charging them very earnestly: "Behold, Memphis is filled with troops of all the best of the Northland; (with) barley and spelt and all kinds of grain, the granaries are running over; (with) all weapons of [war. It is fortified with] a wall; a great battlement has been built, executed with skilful workmanship. The river flows around the east side, and no opportunity of attack is found there. Cattle yards are there, filled with oxen; the treasury is supplied with everything: silver, gold, copper, clothing, incense, honey, oil." Tefnakht reinforces Memphis
 
-chief of Sais : Tefnakht
    "I will go, and I will give something to the chiefs of the North, and I will open to them their nomes. I will be .... .... [There will be but a few] days until I return." He mounted upon a horse, he asked not for his chariot, he went north in fear of his majesty. -asked not for his chariot : almost a millennium after the domestication of the horse, mounting a horse still seems to have been the exception. Lichtheim: he did not trust his chariot
    When day broke, at early morning, his majesty reached Memphis. When he landed on the north of it, he found that the water had approached to the walls, the ships mooring at [the walls of] Memphis. Then his majesty saw it was strong, and that the wall was raised by a new rampart, and battlements manned with mighty men. There was found no way of attacking it. Every man told his opinion among the army of his majesty, according to every rule of war. Every man said; "Let us besiege [it] .... ; lo, its troops are numerous." Others said: "Let a causeway be made against it, let us elevate the ground to its walls. Let us bind together a tower; let us erect masts and make the spars into a bridge to it. We will divide it on this (plan) on every side of it, on the high ground and ..... on the north of it, in order to elevate the ground at its walls, that we may find a way for our feet."
    Then his majesty was enraged against it like a panther; he said: "I swear, as Re loves me, as my father, Amon [who fashioned me], favors me, this shall befall it, according to the command of Amon. This is what men say: '[The Northland] and the nomes of the South, they opened to him from afar, they did not set Amon in their heart, they knew not what he commanded. He (i.e. Amon) made him (i.e. Piankhi) to show forth his fame, to cause his might to be seen.' I will take it like a flood of water. I have commanded .... ..... ..... ."
    Then he sent forth his fleet and his army to assault the harbor of Memphis; they brought to him every ferry-boat, every [cargo]-boat, every transport, and the ships, as many as there were, which had moored in the harbor of Memphis, with the bow-rope fastened among its houses. [There was not] a citizen who wept, among all the soldiers of his majesty.
The storming of Memphis
 
-enraged against it: Lichtheim: raged against them
-I will take it like a flood of water. I have commanded .... ..... .....: Lichtheim: I shall seize it like a cloudburst, for [Amen-Re] has commanded me!
-citizen: Lichtheim: common soldier
    His majesty himself came to line up the ships, as many as there were. His majesty commanded his army (saying): "Forward against it! Mount the walls! Penetrate the houses over the river. If one of you gets through upon the wall, let him not halt before it, [so that] the (hostile) troops may not repulse you. It were vile that we should close up the South, should land [in] the North and lay siege in 'Balances of the Two Lands'."
    Then Memphis was taken as (by) a flood of water, a multitude of people were slain therein, and brought as living captives to the place where his majesty was.
-'Balances of the Two Lands' : The boundary between Upper and Lower Egypt
-a multitude of people were slain : in stark contrast to the cities which surrendered and were treated leniently, Memphis bore the full brunt of Piye's wrath.
    Now afterwards, when it dawned, and the second day came, his majesty sent people into it, protecting the temple of the god. He .... the holy of holies of the gods, offered to the community of gods of Hatkeptah, cleansed Memphis with natron and incense, installed the priests in their places.
    His majesty proceeded to the house of [Ptah], his purification was performed in the Dewat-chamber, and every custom that is practised upon a king was fulfilled upon him. He entered into the temple, and a great oblation was made for his father, "Ptah-South-of-His-Wall", consisting of bulls, calves, fowl, and everything good. His majesty proceeded to his house.
-Hatkeptah : Memphis
    Then all the nomes which were in the district of Memphis, heard (of it): Herypedemy, Penineywe, the Tower of Beyew, the Oasis of Bit; they opened the strongholds, and fled away; none knew the place whither they had gone.
    King Yewepet came, and the chief of Me, Akenesh, and the hereditary prince, Pediese, together with all the princes of the Northland, bearing their tribute, to behold the beauty of his majesty.
Surrender of the Memphis region and of Delta dynasts
    Then the treasuries and granaries of Memphis were assigned to the divine offerings of Amon, of Ptah, and of the gods dwelling in Hatkeptah.
    When the land brightened, very early in the morning. his majesty proceeded eastward, and an offering was made for Atum in Khereha, the divine ennead in the house of the ennead, the cavern and the gods dwelling in it; consisting of bulls, calves, and fowl; that they might give life, prosperity, and health to the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Piankhi, living forever.
    His majesty proceeded to Heliopolis, upon that mount of Khereha, on the highway of (the god) Sep to Khereha. His majesty proceeded to the camp, which was on the west of Eti. His purification was performed, and he was cleansed in the pool of Kebeh, and he bathed his face in the river of Nun, in which Re bathes his face.
    Proceeding to the Sand-hill in Heliopolis, a great oblation was made upon the Sand-hill in Heliopolis, in the presence of Re, at his rising, consisting of white oxen, milk, myrrh, incense, and every sweet-smelling wood.
    He came, proceeding to the house of Re, and entered into the temple with great praise. The chief ritual priest praised the god, that rebels might be repelled from the king. The Dewat-chamber was visited, that the sedeb-garment might be fastened on; he was purified with incense and libations; garlands for the pyramidion-house were presented to him, and flowers were brought to him. He ascended the steps to the great window, to behold Re in the pyramidion-house. The king himself stood alone, he broke through the bolts, opened the double doors, and beheld his father, Re, in the glorious pyramidion-house, the Morning-Barque of Re, and the Evening-Barque of Atum. He closed double doors, applied the clay, and sealed (them) with the king's own seal. He charged the priests: "I have proved the seal; no other shall enter therein, of all the kings who shall arise." They threw themselves upon their bellies before his majesty, saying: "To abide, to endure, without perishing, O Horus, beloved of Heliopolis."
    He came and entered into the house of Atum, following the image of his father, Atum-Khepri, the Great, of Heliopolis.
Piye at Heliopolis
 
-Heliopolis : Iunu
    King Osorkon came to see the beauty of his majesty.
    When the land brightened, very early in the morning, his majesty proceeded to the harbor, and the [best] of his ships crossed over to the harbor of the nome of Athribis. The camp of his majesty was set up on the south of Keheni. on the east of the nome of Athribis.
    Then came those kings and princes of the Northland, all the chiefs who wore the feather, every vizier, all chiefs, and every king's confidant, from the west, from the east, and from the islands in the midst, to see the beauty of his majesty.
    The hereditary prince, Pediese, threw himself upon his belly before his majesty, and said: "Come to Athribis, that thou mayest see Khentikhet, that thou mayest worship Khuyet, that thou mayest offer an oblation to Horus in his house, consisting of: bulls, calves, and fowl; and that thou mayest enter in my house. My treasury is open to thee, to [...] thyself with my paternal possessions. I will give to thee gold, as much as thou desirest; malachite shall be heaped up before thee; many horses of the best of the stable, and the first of the stall."
    His majesty proceeded to the house of Harkhentikhet, and there were offered bulls, calves, and fowl to his father, Harkhentikhet, lord of Kemwer. His majesty went to the house of the hereditary prince, Pediese; he presented to him silver, gold, lapis lazuli, and malachite, a great heap with fine linen; myrrh and ointment in jars; horses, both stallions and mares, of all the best of his stable.
    He purified himself by a divine oath, before these kings and great chiefs of the Northland (saying): "Every one of them, if he conceals his horses and hides his obligation shall die the death of his father. So be it to me, till ye bear witness of the servant there, in all that ye know of me; say ye, (whether) I have concealed (aught) from his majesty, of all the possessions of my father's house: [of] gold, silver; of costly stone; of all kinds of vessels, [....]; of golden bracelets, of necklaces, and collars wrought with costly stones; amulets for every limb, chaplets for the head, rings for the ears: all the adornments of a king; all the vessels of the king's purification, in gold and .... all costly stones. All these I have presented in the (royal) presence: garments of royal linen by thousands of all the best of my house, wherewith I knew thou wouldst be pleased. Go to the stable that thou mayest choose as thou desirest, of all the horses that thou willst." Then his majesty did so.
Piye visits Athribis
    Said these kings and princes to his majesty: "Dismiss us to our cities, that we may open our treasuries, that we may choose as much as thy heart desires, that we may bring to the the best of our stables, the first of our horses." Then his majesty did so.
    List of names belonging thereto:
  1. King Osorkon of Bubastis, the district of Ranofer
  2. King Yewepet in Tentremu and Tayan
  3. The prince Zeamonefonekh in "The Granary of Re," of Per-Benebded
  4. His eldest son, commander of the army, in Per-Thutuprehui, Enekhor.
  5. The prince Akenesh in Sebennytos in Per-heby and in Samhudet
  6. The prince, chief of Me, Pethenef, in Per-Soped and in "Granary of Memphis"
  7. The prince, chief of Me, Pemou, in Per-Osiris, lord of Ded
  8. The prince, chief of Me, Nesnekedy in the nome of Hesebka
  9. The prince, chief of Me, Nekhtharneshenu in Per-Gerer.
  10. The chief of Me, Pentewere.
  11. The chief of Me, Pentibekhenet.
  12. The prophet of Horus, lord of Letopolis, Pediharsomtous
  13. The prince, Hurabes in the house of Sekhmet, mistress of Sais, and the house of Sekhmet, mistress of Rehesu.
  14. The prince Zedkhiyu in Khentnofer
  15. The prince Pebes in Khereha in Per-Hapi
Bearing all their good tribute: gold, silver, ...., ....., couches laid with fine linen, myrrh in jars, .... .... .... ...., as goodly dues; horses of ..............
-Per-Benebded : Mendes, 16th nome of Lower Egypt
-Sebennytos : Tjebnutjer, 12th nome of Lower Egypt
-Per-Soped : in 20th nome in the eastern Delta
-Per-Osiris : Busiris, 9th nome of Lower Egypt
-nome of Hesebka : 11th nome of Lower Egypt
-Per-Gerer : in the eastern Delta
-Rehesu : near Letopolis
    [Many days after] this, came one to say to his majesty: "The .... .... army .... .... .... .... his wall [for fear] of thee; he has set fire to [his] treasury [and to the ships] upon the river. He has garrisoned Mesed with soldiers and .... .... .... Then his majesty caused his warriors to go and see what had happened there, among the force of the hereditary prince, Pediese. One came to report to his majesty, saying: "We have slain every man whom we found there." His majesty gave it as a reward to the hereditary prince, Pediese. Revolt of Mesed
 
-Mesed : in the western Delta
    Then the chief of Me, Tefnakhte, heard of it and caused a messenger to come to the place where his majesty was, with flattery, saying: "Be thou appeased! I have not beheld thy face for shame; I cannot stand before thy flame, I tremble at thy might. Lo, thou art Nubti, presiding over the Southland, Montu, the Bull of mighty arm. To whatsoever city thou hast turned thy face, thou hast not found the servant there, until I reached the islands of the sea, trembling before thy might, and saying: 'His flame is hostile to me.' Is not the heart of they majesty appeased, with these things that thou hast done to me? For I am verily a wretched man. Thou shouldst not smite me according to the measure of the crime; weighing with the balances, knowing with the kidet-weights. Thou increasest it to me threefold; leave the seed that thou mayest [spare] it in [time]; do not hew down the grove to its [root]. By thy ka, the terror of thee is in my body, and the fear of thee in my bones. I have not sat in the beer-hall, nor has the harp been played for me; but I have eaten bread in hunger, and I have drunk water in thirst, since that day when thou heardest my name. [Disease] is in my bones, my head is bare, my clothing is rags, till Neit is appeased toward me. Long is the course which thou hast brought to me; [thy face is against me .... the year has undone me]. Cleanse (thy) servant of his fault, let my possessions be received into the Treasury, of gold and every costly stone, and the best of the horses, (even) [payment for] everything. Send to me a messenger quickly, that he may expel fear from my heart. Let me go forth before him to the temple, that I may cleanse myself with a divine oath.
    His majesty dispatched the chief ritual priest, Pediamenest-towe, and the commander of the army, Purme. He presented him with silver and gold, clothing , and every splendid, costly stone. He went forth to the temple, he worshiped the god, he cleansed himself with a divine oath, saying: "I will not transgress the command of the king, I will not overstep that which the king saith. I will not do a hostile act against a prince without thy knowledge. I will do according to that which the king says, and I will not transgress that which he has commanded. Then his majesty was satisfied therewith.
Tefnakht's surrender
 
-trembling before thy might, and saying: 'His flame is hostile to me : Lichtheim: For I fear your wrath on account of those fiery words which are hostile to me!
-sat in the beer-hall : caroused
    One came to say to his majesty: "The temple of Sebek, they have opened its stronghold, Metenu throws himself upon its belly, there is not a nome closed against his majesty of the nomes of the South and North; the west, the east, and the islands in the midst are upon their bellies in fear of him, causing that their possessions be presented at the palace where his majesty is, like subjects of the palace."
    When the land brightened, very early in the morning these two rulers of the South and two rulers of the North, with serpent crests, came to sniff the ground before the fame of his majesty, while, as for these kings and princes of the Northland who came to behold the beauty of his majesty, their legs were as the legs of women. They entered not into the king's house, because they were unclean and eaters of fish; which is an abomination for the palace. Lo, King Namlot, he entered into the king's house, because he was pure, and he ate not fish. There stood three upon their feet, (but only) one entered the king's house.
Surrender of the last opponents
 
-Metenu : Aphroditopolis
-serpent crests : uraei
to sniff the ground: Lichtheim: ) to kiss the ground
-unclean : written with a phallus determinative - uncircumcised
    Then the ships were laden with silver, gold, copper, clothing, and everything of the Northland, every product of Syria, and all sweet woods of God's Land. His majesty sailed up-stream, with glad heart, the shores on his either side were jubilating. West and east, they seized the [....], jubilating in the presence of his majesty; singing and jubilating as they said: "O mighty, mighty Ruler, Piankhi, O mighty Ruler, thou comest having gained the dominion of the Northland. Thou makest bulls into women. Happy the heart of the mother who bore thee, and the man who begat thee. Those who are in the valley give to her praise, the cow that hath borne a bull, Thou art unto eternity, thy might endureth, O Ruler, beloved of Thebes." Piye returns to Kush
-God's Land: Referring to foreign regions in Asia and Africa, especially if they were covered with forests.
-Those who are in the valley: the inhabitants of the Nile valley
   
The Piankhi Stela
James Henry Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt. (Chicago: 1906), Part IV §§ 816 ff

 


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2003

 

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