Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: Inscriptions of Sebni
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Inscriptions of Sebni

1 ///// [Then came (?)] the ship captain, Intef (jntf), and the overseer of /// [///] /// Behkesi (bhksj), to give information that the sole companion and ritual priest 2 Me[khu] [was dead (?)].
[Then I took (?)] a troop of my estate, and 100 asses with me, bearing ointment, honey, clothing, oil (THnt) and [///] of every sack, in order to [make presents (?)] [in] these countries [and I went out to (?)] these countries of
3 the Negroes.
///// [Then I sent (?)] people who were in the door, and I made letters to give information that I had gone out to bring this my father from Wawat (wAwA.t) and Utheth (wTT).
I pacified
4 these countries ///// [in (?)] the countries of [///] the name of which is Mether (mTr). [I loaded (?)] the body of this sole companion upon an ass, and I had him carried by the troop of my estate. 5 I made for him a coffin ///// I brought [///] /// /// /// /// in order to bring him out of these countries. Never did I send [///] or any Negro-caravan 6 //////. I was greatly praised on account of it.
I descended to Wawat and Uthek (wTk) and I [sent (?)] the royal attendant Iri (jrj) with two people of my estate as [///],
7 bearing incense, clothing, /////, 3 cubits long, one tusk, in order to give information that my [best one (?)] was 6 cubits long; one [hide (?)], and that I had brought this my father and all kinds of gifts from these countries.
- Hieroglyphic text (Opening in a new window)
Sebni lived under Pepi II, his titles were Count, wearer of the royal seal, governor of the South, sole companion, ritual priest, Sebni (sAbnj)
-Behkesi: According to Breasted probably a Nubian.
-Wawat: northern Nubia
-sole companion: of the king, a title you could hardly avoid if you were anywhere near the king.
-cubit: about half a metre.
8 When I descended to give information ////// from the bend (war.t) behold, Iri [came (?)] from the court, [as I (?)] came to embalm the count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion, ritual priest, 9 this Mekhu (mxw). He brought /// /// embalmers, the chief ritual priest, jmj-wab, /// sHD, the mourners and all offerings of the [White (?)] House. He brought festival oil from the double White House 10 and secret things from the double wab.t-house, /// /// from the aHA-house, clothing of the double White House, and all the burial equipment which is issued from the court, like the issuance for the hereditary prince, Meru.
-count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion, ritual priest: titles Sebni inherited.
-jmj-wab the wab-priest performed mortuary rituals, such as the offering of libations. He ranked below Hm nTr (servant of the god) generally translated as prophet. The jmj-wab was the supervisor of the wab-priests. [1]
-White House: the treasury.
-wab.t: "pure place". Embalmer's workshop.
The wab.t n.t aHa.w was the hall where a mummy was kept.
Now, when this 11 Iri arrived, he brought to me a command (also) [to (?)] praise me on account of it. It was said in this command: "I will do for thee every excellent thing, as a reward for this great deed, because of bringing thy [father] ///////. 12 [N]ever has the like happened before.
I buried this my father in his tomb of the necropolis; never was one of his rank (so) buried [before].
-[N]ever has the like happened before: phrases like this denoting uniqueness were used quite often and probably denoted little more than extraordinariness.
-one of his rank: Breasted: lit. "his equal"
I [went north] to Memphis bearing the gifts 13 of these countries which this count had brought. I deposited every gift which this my father deposited /// before this my army and the Negroes [/// ///]. 14 The servant there was praised at the court, and the servant there [gave praise (?)] to the king, because the servant there was so greatly favored by [the king (?)] 15 [///]. There was given to me a chest of carob wood, /// containing /// and containing ointment; there was given [to me] [///] /// /// /// with clothing; 16 there was given to me the gold of praise; there was given to me rations, meat, and fowl. Now, when [///] /// /// [///] /// /// 17 by my lord. -this count: used instead of "I".
-The servant there: frequently used for "I".
-gold of praise: golden ornament received for bravery, cf. The Rewards of Military Life.
Said this servant there: "There came to me a command of the chief judge /// /// /// [lord of] Nekheb, 18 the inferior prophet Ini (jnj) while he was [///] in Per-Hathor-Resit (pr-HtHr-rsj.t) [saying that I might bring (?)] this [my father (?)] immediately 19 that I might bury this [my father (?)] in his tomb of Nekheb.
There were given to me 30 (+x)
stat of land in the North- and Southland, in the domain of the pyramid: "Neferkere-Remains-Alive", /// /// in order to honor the servant there.
-Nekheb: in the 3rd Upper Egyptian nome. Modern el Kab.
-stat: often called aroura, c.2700 m²
-in the domain of the pyramid: Breasted: Or possibly "as custodian of the domain of the pyramid", meaning that he received the gift by virtue of his office.

J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, §§ 364-374


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Prophets, Initiation and the Egyptian Temple[1] John Gee, Prophets, Initiation and the Egyptian Temple, JSSEA 31 (2004), pp.97ff.

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