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Ancient Egyptian texts: The inscription of Udjahorresne
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The inscription of Udjahorresne

The one honored by Neith-the-Great, the mother of god and by the gods of Sais, the prince, count, royal seal-bearer, sole companion, true beloved King's friend, the scribe, inspector of council scribes, chief scribe of the great outer hall, administrator of the palace, commander of the royal navy under the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Khenemibre, commander of the royal navy under the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Ankhkare, Udjahorresne; engendered by the administrator of the castles (of the red crown), chief-of-Pe priest, rnp-priest, priest of the Horus Eye, prophet of Neith who presides over the nome of Sais, Pettuaneith; he says: - -The one honored by Neith-the-Great....: from Lichtheim's translation (Lichtheim, Miriam: Ancient Egyptian Literature Vol. 3, University of California Press, 1980, pp.36ff.), not included in Renouf's rendition
-Khenemibre: Ahmose II (569-526 BCE)
-Ankhkare: Psammetic III (526 BCE)
Cambyses II toppled Psammetic III and ruled Egypt from 525 to 522. His successor was Darius I (521-486 BCE). -Udjahorresne: alternatively Udjahorresnet, Udjahoresne, Wedjahorresne, Wedjahoresnet etc.
1 When the great King of all lands, Cambyses, came to Egypt, the people of all (foreign) lands were with him. He exercised sovereignty in the land in its entire extent; they settled down in it, he being the great King of Egypt, the mighty Sovereign of this country. His Majesty conferred upon me the dignity of Chief San, and granted that I should be by him as Smer and Provost of the temple.
He assumed the official title in his name of Mestu-Ra.
-came to Egypt: actually he conquered Egypt.
-He exercised sovereignty: Lichtheim: When he had conquered
-the mighty Sovereign of this country: Lichtheim: Great Chief of all foreign lands
-dignity of Chief San, and granted that I should be by him as Smer and Provost of the temple: Lichtheim: the office of chief physician. He made me live at his side as companion and administrator of the palace
-He assumed the official title in his name of Mestu-Ra: Lichtheim: I composed his titulary, to wit his name of King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Mesutire (Offspring of Re)
I made known to His Majesty the grandeur of Sais, as being the abode of Neith, the Great Mother, who gave birth to the Sun-god Ra, the First-born, when as yet no birth had been, together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the house of Neith, as being a Heaven in its whole plan; together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the (other) temples of Neith, and of all the gods and goddesses who dwell in them, also of the grandeur of the Hat-nat, as being the abode of the Sovereign and Lord of Heaven, together with the doctrine of the grandeur of the South Chapel, and of the North Chapel, of the house of Ra, and of the house of Tmu, as being the mysterious abodes of all the gods. -Neith, the Great Mother, who: Lichtheim:Nekh-the-Great, the mother, who
-temples of Neith: Lichtheim:castles of Neith
-Hat-nat: Lichtheim:Palace
-South Chapel, and of the North Chapel: Lichtheim:Resenet and Mehenet sanctuaries
-Tmu: Atem
-the mysterious abodes: Lichtheim:the mystery
The one honored by his city-god and all the gods, the prince, count, royal seal-bearer, sole companion, true beloved King's friend, the chief physician, Udjahorresne, born of Atemirdis, he says:
2 I made supplication to the King Cambyses against the people who had taken up their abode in this temple of Neith, that they should be dislodged from it in order that the temple of Neith should be restored to all its splendours as formerly.
-The one honored by his city-god....: From M.Lichtheim, not in Renouf's translation.
-people: Lichtheim: foreigners
His Majesty ordered that all the people should be dislodged who had taken up their abode in the temple of Neith, that all the houses should be destroyed, and that all their belongings which were in the temple, they should themselves carry out of the precincts of this temple. His Majesty gave order that the temple of Neith should be purified, that all its own people should be restored to it ////// people, Hours of the temple. His Majesty gave order that the sacred revenue should be restored to Neith, the Great Mother, and the great gods of Sais, as formerly. His Majesty gave orders to (restore) all their panegyries, and all their possessions as formerly. His Majesty did this because I had instructed him as to the grandeur of Sais, as being the city of all the gods who dwell upon their thrones within it for evermore. -their belongings: Lichtheim: all their unclean things
-Hours: Lichtheim: hour-priests
-sacred revenue: Lichtheim: divine offerings
-panegyries, and all their possessions: Lichtheim: festivals and all their processions
The one honored by the gods of Sais, the chief physician, Udjahorresne, he says:
3 When King Cambyses arrived at Sais, His Majesty came himself to the temple of Neith. He made a great prostration before her majesty, as every king has done. He made presents to the almighty goddess of all good things, to Neith, the mighty one, the Divine Mother, and to the gods who are in Sais, as all pious kings have done. His Majesty did this because I had instructed him as to the grandeur of the goddess, as being the Mother of the Sun-god himself.
-The one honored by the gods: translation by Lichtheim, not in Renouf's version.
-He made a great prostration before her majesty, as every king has done.: Lichtheim, not in Renouf's version.
-pious: Lichtheim: beneficent
The one honored by Osiris-Hemag, the chief physician, Udjahorresne; he says:
4 His Majesty performed all the rites at the temple of Neith. He established the offering of a libation to the Lord of Eternity within the temple of Neith, as all Kings had done of old. His Majesty did this because I had instructed him as to all the rites at this temple performed by all the Kings on account of the grandeur of this temple, as being the dwelling of all the gods who abide for evermore.
-The one honored by Osiris-....: not in Renouf
The one honored by Osiris-Hemag, the chief physician, Udja-horresne; he says: His majesty did every beneficence in the temple of Neith. He established the presentation of libations to the Lord of Eternity in the temple of Neith, as every king had done before. His majesty did this because I had let his majesty know how every beneficence had been done in this temple by every king, because of the greatness of this temple, which is the seat of all the gods everlasting. -The one honored by Osiris-Hemag....: not in Renouf's translation
The one honored by the gods of the Saite nome, the chief physician, Udhahorresne, he says:
5 I established the property of Neith, the mighty one, the Divine Mother, as His Majesty had ordered, for an everlasting duration, I provided the monuments of Neith, the Mistress of Sais, with all good things, as does every dutiful servant for his lord.
I was a good man before his face. I saved the population in the dire calamity which took place throughout the whole land, such a one as had never happened in this land. I shielded the weak against the strong, I protected him who honoured me, and was to him his best portion. I did all good things for them when the time came to do them.
-The one honored by the gods...: not in Renouf's translation
-monuments: Lichtheim: (pious) foundation
-every dutiful servant for his lord Lichtheim: does a servant who is useful to his lord
-a good man before his face Lichtheim: a man who is good in his town
-I protected him who honoured me, and was to him his best portion Lichtheim: I rescued the timid man when misfortune came to him.
The one honored by his city-god, the chief physician, Udja-horresne, he says:
6 I was pious towards my father and did the will of my mother; kind-hearted towards my brethren. I established for them what His Majesty had ordered, giving to them splendid lands for an everlasting duration, as His Majesty had pleased. I made a good sarcophagus for one who had no coffin. I made all their children to live, I made firm all their houses, I did for them all good things as a father does for his son when the calamity came to pass in this nome, yea when the dire calamity befell the entire land.
-The one honored by his city-god....: not in Renouf.
-I was pious towards my father and did the will of my mother; kind-hearted towards my brethren: Lichtheim: I am one honored by his father, praised by his mother, the intimate of his brothers.
-His Majesty: According to John Baines [1] the identity of this king is unclear. As the place of these passages in the narrative is uncertain, this could be a reference to Psammetich III, Cambyses or Darius I. The calamity would accordingly refer to the Persian conquest or a suppressed Egyptian rebellion against the foreigners.
-sarcophagus: Lichtheim: tomb
The prince, count, royal seal-bearer, sole companion, prophet of those by whom one lives, the chief physician, Udjahorresne, born of Atemirdis, he says:
7 His Majesty, the King Darius, everliving, gave orders that I should come to Egypt whilst His Majesty was in Arma -for he was Sovereign of all provinces and great King of Egypt- to re-establish the school of the Hierogrammatists and (restore) what had fallen in ruin.
And strangers conveyed me from province to province, bringing me in safety to Egypt according to the command of the Lord of the Two Lands. I did what His Majesty had commanded. I chose them from their (schools?) out of the children of the inhabitants to the great sorrow of the childless. I gave them to a skilful teacher who should instruct them in every kind of work. I provided all those who distinguished themselves with all that was necessary for the scribe's profession according to their progress. His Majesty did this in consequence of his knowing that this work was the best means of restoring what had fallen into ruin, of rendering firm the names of the gods, their temples, their revenues, and the celebration of their festivals for evermore.
-The prince, count....: not in Renouf
-Majesty, the King: Lichtheim: majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt,
-Arma: Lichtheim: Elam
-school of the Hierogrammatists: Lichtheim: House of Life
-I chose them from their (schools?) out of the children of the inhabitants to the great sorrow of the childless: Lichtheim: I furnished them with all their staffs consisting of the wellborn, no lowborn among them.
-I provided all those who distinguished themselves with all that was necessary for the scribe's profession according to their progress: Lichtheim: His majesty had commanded to give them every good thing, in order that they might carry out all their crafts.
-restoring what had fallen into ruin...: Lichtheim: making live all that are sick, in making endure forever the names of all the gods, their temples, their offerings
The chief physician, Udjahorresne, he says:
8 I was devoted to all the masters that I had, and they bestowed upon me decorations of gold and gave me all glory.
9 O all ye gods who are in Sais! declare all the glorious things which the Chief San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, hath done; O grant to him all glory, establish for him a good name in this land for evermore.
10 O Osiris, Lord of Eternity! the Chief San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, puts his arms behind you to guard your image. Be there done to him all glorious things as he has done who protects your shrine for evermore.
11 A royal table of offerings grant Osiris Hemaka, abundance of bread, beer, beeves, geese, and all good and pure things to the image of the Chief San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, pious towards the gods of Sais.
12 A royal table of offerings grant Osiris abiding in Hat-nat, funeral offerings, bread, beer, beeves, geese, mummy bands, incense, and all good things to the image of the great San, Ut'a-Hor-Resenet, pious towards all the gods.
-The chief physician, Udjahorresne, he says: not in Renouf
-devoted to all the masters: Lichtheim: honored by all his masters
-establish for him a good name: Lichtheim: make his good name endure
-puts his arms behind you: Lichtheim: placed his arms about you. The statue this inscription was carved into is holding a naos of Osiris.
[Image: Udjahorresne's naophorous statue]
-abundance: Lichtheim: A thousand
-pious towards: Lichtheim: honored by
-Hat-nat: Lichtheim: the Palace, the "mansion of the bee" (Hwt-bit), the Osiris sanctuary.

The Pastophorus of the Vatican (XXVIth Dynasty)
translated by Peter Le Page Renouf
S. Birch, ed. Records of the Past, Series I, vol.X, 1878

 


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-The Egyptian Response to Persian Imperialism
-[1] John Baines: On the Composition and Inscriptions of the Vatican Statue of Udjahorresne
 

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