Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: Inscription of Djau
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Inscription of Djau

His eldest son, his beloved, of his body; ... ... ... his favorite, his darling, prince of the palace, wearer of the royal seal, commander of a stronghold, real sole companion, great lord of the nome of Cerastes-Mountain, Zau. I say: "I was one beloved of his father, praised of his mother, whom his brothers and sisters loved. -   commander of a stronghold: Djau was Keeper of the Door of the South under Pepi II, who was in command of Elephantine on the Nubian border.
  the nome of Cerastes-Mountain: 10th Upper Egyptian nome
I buried my father the count, Zau, beyond the splendor, beyond the godliness of any [equal] of his who was in his South. I requested as an honor from the majesty of my lord, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Neferkere (Pepi II), who lives forever, that there be taken a coffin, clothing, and festival perfume for this Zau. His majesty caused that the custodian of the royal domain should bring a coffin of wood, festival perfume, (sft)-oil, clothing, 200 (pieces) of prime (HAtjw) linen, and of fine southern linen of [...], taken from the double White House of the court for this Zau. Never had it been done to another of his rank.   count: ruler of a nome, nomarch
  Neferkere: Neferkare, Pepi II (2279-2181)
  this Zau: the late nomarch
  White House of the court: the royal treasury
Now I caused that I should be buried in the same tomb with this Zau, in order that I might be with him in one place; not, however, because I was not in a position to make a second tomb; but I did this in order that I might see this Zau every day, in order that I might be with him in one place."
The count, commander of a stronghold, sole companion, Zau; I say: "O ye living, who are upon earth, servants like me; those whom the king shall love and their city-god shall favor, are they who shall say: 'A thousand loaves, beer, oxen, geese, clothing for Zau, son of Zau.' "
city-god: see the relationship between cities and their gods
I requested [fro]m [his majesty] that I might fulfill the office of count, of this Zau.
His majesty caused that there be issued the decree appointing him count, as an offering which the king gives.

Source: J.H.Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One, § 381ff


  I requested ... : The nomarchy was hereditary, but the heir had to be approved by the pharaoh
  appointing him count: It is unclear whom him refers to - Djau, the son, following his request or perhaps, as has been suggested, the father had only been acting as a nomarch and now received posthumous recognition.

 


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-Inscription of Djau (the younger), translated from Urkunden des Alten Reiches by Kurt Sethe
 

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October 2003

 

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