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Words from GOD – Words to GOD

Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World

The Context of Scripture


Canonical Compositions from
the Biblical World
Associate Editor


Cover: “Man and his God” (Text 179) lines 97–112, on a tablet from the collections of the University Museum, University of Pensylvania (CBS 15205), published by Samuel Noah kramer in M. noth & D. Winston Thomas (eds.), Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East (FS H.H. Rowley; VTS 3; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1960), Pl. iv (opp. p. 175).
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The context of Scripture / editor, William W. Hallo; associate editor, K. Lawson Younger.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographic references and index.
Contents: V. I. Canonical compositions from the biblical world.
ISBN 9004106189
I. Bible. O.T.—Extra-canonical parallels. 2. Middle Eastern literature—Relation to the Old Testament. 3. Bible. O.T.—History of comtemporary events—Sources. 4. Middle Eastern literature—Translations into English. I. Hallo, William W. II. Younger, K. Lawson.
BS1180.C66 1996
220.9´5—dc21 96–48987

Die Deutsche Bibliothek – CIP-Einheitsaufnahme

The context of scripture: canonical compositions, monumental inscriptions, and archival documents from the biblical world / ed. William W. Hallo. – Leiden; New York; Köln: Brill
NE: Hallo, William W. [Hrsg.]
Vol. I Canonical compositions from the biblical world. — 1997
ISBN 90–04–10618–9
ISBN 90 04 10618 9 (Vol. I)
ISBN 90 04 09629 9 (Set)

© Copyright 1997 by Koninklijke Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Koninklijke Brill provided that the appropriate fees are paid directly to The Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Suite 910 Danvers MA, 01923, USA. Fees are subject to change.
Abbreviations and Symbols
List of Contributors
Introduction: Ancient Near Eastern Texts and their Relevance for Biblical Exegesis
From the “Book of Nut” (1.1)
From Coffin Texts Spell 714 (1.2)
From Pyramid Texts Spell 527 (1.3)
From Pyramid Texts Spell 600 (1.4)
From Coffin Texts Spell 75 (1.5)
From Coffin Texts Spell 76 (1.6)
From Coffin Texts Spell 78 (1.7)
From Coffin Texts Spell 80 (1.8)
From Papyrus Bremner-Rhind (1.9)
From Coffin Texts Spell 335 = Book of the Dead Spell 17 (1.10)
Coffin Texts Spell 261 (1.11)
From Coffin Texts Spell 647 (1.12)
From a Ramesside Stela (1.13)
From the Berlin “Hymn to Ptah” (1.14)
From the “Memphite Theology” (1.15)
From Papyrus Leiden I 350 (1.16)
From Coffin Texts Spell 1130 (1.17)
Book of the Dead 175 (1.18)
Coffin Text 157 (1.19)
Book of the Dead 112 (1.20)
The Repulsing of the Dragon (1.21)
The Legend of Isis and the Name of Re (1.22)
The Legend of Astarte and the Tribute of the Sea (1.23)
The Destruction of Mankind (1.24)
The Great Cairo Hymn of Praise to Amun-Re (1.25)
The Great Hymn to Osiris (1.26)
Two Hymns to the Sun–god (1.27)
The Great Hymn to Aten (1.28)
Prayer to Re-Harakhti (1.29)
The Song from the Tomb of King Intef (1.30)
The Song from the Tomb of Neferhotep (1.31)
Execration Texts (1.32)
Dream Oracles (1.33)
Daily Ritual of the Temple of Amun-Re at Karnak (1.34)
Merikare (1.35)
Amenemhet (1.36)
King Lists (1.37)
1. Karnak List (1.37A)
2. Abydos List (1.37B)
3. Sakkara King List (SL) (1.37C)
4. Turin Canon (1.37D)
Sinuhe (1.38)
The Shipwrecked Sailor (1.39)
The Two Brothers (1.40)
The Report of Wenamun (1.41)
The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage: the Admonitions of Ipuwer (1.42)
The Eloquent Peasant (1.43)
The Complaints of Khakheperrē-Sonb (1.44)
The Prophecies of Neferti (1.45)
Instruction of Any (1.46)
Instruction of Amenemope (1.47)
Dua-khety or the Satire on the Trades (1.48)
Papyrus Harris 500 (1.49)
Cairo Love Songs (1.50)
Papyrus Chester Beatty I (1.51)
Ostracon Gardiner 304 (1.52)
The Famine Stela (1.53)
The Legend of the Possessed Princess (“Bentresh Stela”) (1.54)
Elkuniršaand Ašertu (1.55)
The Storm-god and the Serpent (Illuyanka) (1.56)
The Wrath of Telipinu (1.57)
Appu and his Two Sons (1.58)
The Sun God and the Cow (1.59)
Plague Prayers of MuršiliII (1.60)
The “Ritual Between the Pieces” (1.61)
Puliša’s Ritual Against Plague (1.62)
Uḫḫamuwa’s Ritual Against Plague (1.63)
Zarpiya’s Ritual (1.64)
Ritual and Prayer to Ishtar of Nineveh (1.65)
The First Soldiers’ Oath (1.66)
The Second Soldiers’ Oath (1.67)
Purifying a House: a Ritual for the Infernal Deities (1.68)
The Storm God at Liḫzina (1.69)
Establishing a New Temple for the Goddess of the Night (1.70)
The Queen of Kanesh and the Tale of Zalpa (1.71)
Proclamation of Anitta of Kuššar (1.72)
Crossing of the Taurus (1.73)
Deeds of Suppiluliuma (1.74)
The Hittite Conquest of Cyprus: Two Inscriptions of Suppiluliuma II (1.75)
The Proclamation of Telipinu (1.76)
Apology of ḪattušiliIII (1.77)
Excerpt from an Oracle Report (1.78)
Assuring the Safety of the King during the Winter (1.79)
Hittite Proverbs (1.80)
Fragment of a Wisdom Text (?) (1.81)
Excerpt from the Hurro-Hittite Bilingual Wisdom Text (1.82)
Instructions to Priests and Temple Officials (1.83)
Instructions to Commanders of Border Garrisons (1.84)
Instructions to the Royal Guard (1.85)
The BaʿluMyth (1.86)
Dawn and Dusk (1.87)
Ugaritic Prayer for a City Under Siege (1.88)
The Prayer of Nabonidus (4QPrNab) (1.89)
Ugaritic Birth Omens (1.90)
Ugaritic Lunar Omens (1.91)
Ugaritic Extispicy (1.92)
Ugaritic Dream Omens (1.93)
Ugaritic Liturgy Against Venomous Reptiles (1.94)
Ugaritic Rites for the Vintage (KTU1.41//1.87) (1.95)
Ugaritic Incantation Against Sorcery (1.96)
ʾIluon a Toot (1.97)
A Punic Sacrificial Tariff (1.98)
The Aramaic Text in Demotic Script (1.99)
A Ugaritic Incantation Against Serpents and Sorcerers (1.100)
The London Medical Papyrus (1.101)
The Kirta Epic (1.102)
The ʾAqhatuLegend (1.103)
Ugaritic King List (1.104)
The Patrons of the Ugaritic Dynasty (KTU1.161) (1.105)
Hippiatric Texts (1.106)
Abecedaries (1.107)
The Descent of Ishtar to the Underworld (1.108)
Nergal and Ereshkigal (1.109)
Nergal and Ereshkigal (Amarna Version) (1.110)
Epic of Creation (1.111)
The Theogony of Dunnu (1.112)
Erra and Ishum (1.113)
Prayer to Marduk (1.114)
Prayer to Gods of the Night (1.115)
Diurnal Prayers of Diviners (1.116)
The Shamash Hymn (1.117)
A Neo-Babylonian Lament for Tammuz (1.118)
An Assyrian Elegy (1.119)
Mesopotamian Omens (1.120)
Old Babylonian Incantation Against Cattle Disease (1.121)
Rituals from Emar
The Installation of the Storm God’s High Priestess (1.122)
The ZukruFestival (1.123)
Six Months of Ritual Supervision by the Diviner (1.124)
Two Months Joined by the Underworld, with Barring and Opening of Doors (1.125)
Two KissuFestivals (1.126)
A Psephomancy Ritual from Assur (1.127)
Love Lyrics of Nabu and Tashmetu (1.128)
The Adapa Story (1.129)
Atra-Ḫasis (1.130)
Etana (1.131)
Gilgamesh (1.132)
The Birth Legend of Sargon of Akkad (1.133)
Babylonian King Lists (1.134)
Assyrian King Lists (1.135)
Assyrian Eponym Canon (1.136)
Babylonian Chronicles (1.137)
The Weidner Chronicle (1.138)
A Hymn Celebrating Assurnasirpal II’s Campaigns to the West (1.139)
A Prayer from a Coronation Ritual of the Time of Tukulti-Ninurta I (1.140)
A Hymn to Nanaya with a Blessing for Sargon II (1.141)
Assurbanipal’s Coronation Hymn (1.142)
An Assurbanipal Hymn for Shamash (1.143)
An Assurbanipal Prayer for Mullissu (1.144)
Dialogue between Assurbanipal and Nabu (1.145)
A Late Piece of Constructed Mythology Relevant to the Neo-Assyrian and Middle Assyrian Coronation Hymn and Prayer (1.146)
The Adad-guppi Autobiography (1.147)
The Autobiography of Idrimi (1.148)
The Marduk Prophecy (1.149)
The Dynastic Prophecy (1.150)
Dialogue between a Man and his God (1.151)
A Sufferer’s Salvation (1.152)
The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer (1.153)
The Babylonian Theodicy (1.154)
Dialogue of Pessimism or the Obliging Slave (1.155)
“At the Cleaners” (1.156)
The Song of the Hoe (1.157)
The Eridu Genesis (1.158)
Enki and Ninmaḫ (1.159)
The Exaltation of Inanna (1.160)
Inanna and Enki (1.161)
To Nanshe (1.162)
The Blessing of Nisaba by Enki (1.163)
Letter-Prayer of King Sin-Iddinam to Nin-Isina (1.164)
Letter-Prayer of King Sin-Iddinam to Utu (1.165)
Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur (1.166)
A “Non-Canonical” Incantation (1.167)
From “Evil Spirits” (1.168)
Dumuzi-Inanna Songs (1.169)
The Women’s Oath (1.169A)
Bridegroom, Spend the Night in our House Till Dawn (1.169B)
Love by the Light of the Moon (1.169C)
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta (1.170)
Gilgamesh and Akka (1.171)
The Birth of Shulgi in the Temple of Nippur (1.172)
The Sacred Marriage of Iddin-Dagan and Inanna (1.173)
Sumerian Proverb Collection 3 (1.174)
Proverbs Quoted in Other Genres (1.175)
Shuruppak (1.176)
Ur-Ninurta (1.177)
The Heron and the Turtle (1.178)
“Man and his God” (1.179)
The Disputation Between Ewe and Wheat (1.180)
The Disputation Between the Hoe and the Plow (1.181)
The Disputation Between Bird and Fish (1.182)
The Disputation Between Summer and Winter (1.183)
The Dialogue Between Two Scribes (1.184)
The Dialogue Between a Supervisor and a Scribe (1.185)
The Dialogue Between an Examiner and a Student (1.186)
The genesis of this project may be said to lie in the four Summer Seminars for College Teachers which the undersigned conducted under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities at Yale in 1978, 1980, 1987 and 1990. In these, I sought to salvage what was worthwhile of the older comparative approach to biblical history and literature by replacing it with the more nuanced “contextual approach.” Nearly fifty papers by the participating scholars resulted from these seminars, and most of them were published, together with my introductory essays, in the four volumes that go under the general title of Scripture in Context. The fourth of these volumes was edited by K. Lawson Younger, Jr., who had written and published his doctoral dissertation at Sheffield.2 He was in contact with David Orton at the very time that Dr. Orton was moving from Sheffield to Leiden to take up the post of Senior Editor (Religion) for E. J. Brill. At the same time (Spring 1991), I was spending a sabbatical in Leiden, so Orton sought me out at Younger’s suggestion to assess my interest in a major new project to bring ancient Near Eastern texts to bear on the study of biblical literature and history. I was interested in what promised to serve as a test of some of my long–held and long–taught methodologies: not only the contextual approach, but also my taxonomy of ancient documentation, and my theories of translation. I submitted a detailed proposal in which my conception of such a project was outlined. This became the basis of further discussions with Dr. Orton in Leiden, at the International Conference of the Society of Biblical Literature in Rome (1991), and the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem (1993). At the last venue, in particular, I had the opportunity to test some of the proposals on a well informed and critical audience by presenting portions of what is now the introduction to the present volume. Trenchant advice was offered, i.a., by the late Jonas C. Greenfield.
After lengthy negotiations, a contract was signed and I then proceeded to secure the collaboration of Prof. Younger as Associate Editor. He has been a tower of strength to the project, lending his expertise in all matters relating to West Semitic and often enough to the other four sections as well. In addition, he prepared camera–ready copy of all the contributions. In matters Egyptian, I consulted my then Yale colleague Robert Ritner (now of the University of Chicago), and in matters Hittite, I benefitted from the wise counsel of Harry A. Hoffner, Jr. (University of Chicago).
My own task consisted in the first place of preparing the initial outline of texts to be translated. In their selection I was guided by a number of principles. Other things being equal (though they rarely are), preference was given to newly recovered or newly (re–)edited texts, though place was also made for some of the well–known older stand–bys; to texts able to be presented in their entirety; to well–preserved rather than fragmentary texts; and to texts whose relevance for biblical studies, by way either of comparison or of contrast, had been demonstrated or argued in the secondary literature. All four of these criteria were rarely met by any one text, and when they were, it was not always possible to find a translator for them.
On the whole, however, we consider ourselves fortunate in attracting so many of the leading talents in the field for this ambitious enterprise. All of them deserve unstinted thanks, with special credit to those recruited late in the day who thus had to meet tight deadlines (see the List of Contributors to Volume 1, below).
The aim was to provide the best and latest possible translations in every case. In a few instances this combination could be achieved only by reprinting previously published versions, and making special arrangements to this end. A list of the publishers who graciously cooperated in this regard follows this Preface.
To deal with so many contributors and publishers required the capable help of an administrative assistant furnished by the publisher in the person, initially, of Anne Folkertsma and, subsequently, of Mattie Kuiper. Thanks to the marvels of modern communication, it was possible to maintain almost instantaneous three–way contact among them and the three editors. But even the best mechanical devices are only as proficient as those who handle them, and Mesdames Folkertsma and Kuiper both performed to perfection. Without their steady ministrations, the project could not have reached its present milestone. A special tribute is due to David Orton, who not only conceived the project, but who lent it his unflagging support and provided experienced counsel at editorial meetings in Leiden (1992–96), and at SBL meetings in Chicago (1994) and Philadelphia (1995).
Some of the aids to the reader, notably the index, glossary, and gazetteer, are of necessity postponed to the third and concluding volume in the series. But it is hoped that even without them, the present initial volume will take its place as a vade mecum in the libraries of all those interested in the ancient Near East, its ongoing rediscovery, and its bearing on “The Context of Scripture.”
William W. Hallo
October 3, 1996
The following publishers permitted the reprinting of portions of books:
Texts 1.24; 1.26; 1.27; 1.28; 1.30; 1.31; 1.35; 1.36; 1.38; 1.39; 1.40; 1.41; 1.46; 1.47; 1.48; 1.53; 1.54 (pp. 36–37, 41–46, 48–50, 61–68, 77–93, 110–125, 130–136): Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature. 3 Volumes. The University of California Press,© 1973–1980. Regents of The University of California.
Text 1.56 (pp. 150–151): Reprinted by permission of the editors of the Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Society 14 (1982).
Text 1.80 (p. 215): Reprinted from Journal of Near Eastern Studies. The University of Chicago Press.© 1986 by the University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Text 1.99; 1.100 (pp. 309–327, 327–328): Reprinted from Journal of Near Eastern Studies 43 (1984) and 51 (1992) by permission of The University of Chicago Press.© 1984 and 1992 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Texts 1.108; 1.109; 1.110; 1.113; 1.131 (pp. 381–391, 404–416, 453–457): © Stephanie Dalley 1989. Reprinted from Myths from Mesopotamia translated by Stephanie Dalley (1989) by permission of Oxford University Press.
Texts 1.111; 1.114; 1.115; 1.116; 1.117; 1.129; 1.130; 1.132; 1.133; 1.151; 1.152; 1.153; 1.154 (pp. 390–402, 416–419, 449–453, 461, 485–495): Translation is reprinted, with permission, from Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature by Benjamin R. Foster (CDL Press, 1993).
N.B. the explanatory material (introductions, biblical analogies and notes) is the work of the editors.
Texts 1.158; 1.170; 1.173 (pp. 511–513, 545–548, 552–557): Reprinted from Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that once … Sumerian Poetry in Translation (1987) by permission of Yale University Press.
Text 1.171 (pp. 548–550): Reprinted from D. Katz, Gilgamesh and Agga, Library of Oriental Texts 1 (1993) by permission of Styx Publications.
AA Archäologischer Anzeiger.
ÄA Ägyptologische Abhandlungen.
AAA Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology (University of Liverpool).
AAT Ägypten und Altes Testament.
AB Anchor Bible.
ABC A. K. Grayson. Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles. Locust Valley, NY: J. J. Augustin, 1975.
ABD D. N. Freedman, Editor. The Anchor Bible Dictionary. 5 Vols. New York: Doubleday, 1992.
ABL R. F. Harper. Assyrian and Babylonian Letters. London/Chicago, 1892–1914.
ACF Annuaire du Collège de France.
ACh C. Virolleaud. Astrologie Chaldéenne.
ActOr Acta Orientalia.
ActSum Acta Sumerologica.
ADAIK Abhandlungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Insti-tuts Kairo.
AEL M. Lichtheim. Ancient Egyptian Literature: A Book of Readings. 3 vols. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California, 1973–1980.
AEO Ancient Egyptian Onomastica. Text. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1947.
AfO Archiv für Orientforschung.
AGI Archivio Glottologico Italiano.
AHAW Abhandlungen der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften.
AHw W. von Soden. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. Wiesbaden, 1959–1975.
AION Annali dell’ Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli
AIONSup Annali dell’ Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, Supplemento
AJA American Journal of Archaeology
AJBI Annual of the Japanese Biblical Institute
AJSL American Journal of Semitic Languages
ALASP Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palästinas. Münster: Ugarit–Verlag.
ALASP 1 M. Dietrich and O. Loretz. Die Keilalphabete. Die Phönizisch-kanaanäischen und altarabischen Alpha-bete in Ugarit. 1988.
ALASP 2 J. Tropper. Der ugaritische Kausativstamm und die Kausativbildungen des Semitischen. Eine morphologisch–semantische Untersuchung zum Š-Stamm und zu den umstrittenen nichtsibilantischen Kausativstämmen des Ugaritischen. 1990.
ALASP 3 M. Dietrich and O. Loretz. Mantik in Ugarit Keilalphabetische Texte der Opferschau — Omensammlungen — Nekromantie. Mit Beiträgen von H. W. Duerbeck, J.-W. Meyer, and W. C. Seitter. 1990.
ALASP 7 M. Dietrich and O. Loretz, Editors. Ugarit — ein ostmediterranes Kulturzentrum im Alten Orient. 1994.
AnBib Analecta Biblica.
ANET J. B. Pritchard, Editor. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament. 3d ed. with supplement. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969.
AnOr Analecta Orientalia.
AnSt Anatolian Studies.
AO Aula Orientalis. Revista de estudios del próximo oriente antiguo.
AOAT (S) Alter Orient und Altes Testament (Sonderreihe).
AoF Altorientalische Forschungen.
AOS American Oriental Series.
AOSup Aula Orientalis Supplementa.
APAW Abhandlungen der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
ARAB D. D. Luckenbill. Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia. 2 Vols. Chicago, 1926–27.
Arch. Archaeologia.
ARI A. K. Grayson. Assyrian Royal Inscriptions. 2 Vols. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1972–76.
ARM (T) Archives royales de Mari (texts in transliteration and translation).
ArOr Archiv Orientální.
AS Assyriological Studies.
ASAE Annales du Service des Antiquités de l’Égypte.
Asarh. R. Borger. Die Inschriften Asarhaddons Königs von Assyrien. AfO Beiheft 9. Graz: Ernst Weidner, 1956.
ASOR American Schools of Oriental Research.
ASORDS American Schools of Oriental Research Dissertation Series.
ASSF Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae.
Assur Assur. Monographic Journals of the Near East. Malibu: Undena, California.
Aspects A. Spalinger. Aspects of the Military Documents of the Ancient Egyptians. YNER 9. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1983.
ASTI Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute.
ATANT Abhandlungen zur Theologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments.
BA Biblical Archaeologist.
BAH Bibliothèque archéologique et historique.
BAL2 R. Borger. Babylonische-assyrische Lesestücke. 2nd ed. AnOr 54. Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, 1979.
BAM F. Köcher. Die babylonisch-assyrische Medizin in Texten und Untersuchungen. Berlin, 1963.
BaM Baghdader Mitteilungen.
BAR Biblical Archaeology Review.
BASOR Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
BASORSup Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research Supplementary Studies.
BBVO Berliner Beiträge zum Vorderen Orient. Berlin.
BDB F. Brown, S. R. Driver and C. A. Briggs. A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament with an Appendix containing the Biblical Aramaic. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907.
BdÉ Bibliothèque d’étude.
BE Babylonian Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania, Series A: Cuneiform Texts.
BeO Bibbia e oriente.
BES Brown Egyptological Studies.
BFOP Babylonian Fund Occasional Publications.
BHLT A. K. Grayson. Babylonian Historical-Literary Texts. Toronto and Buffalo, 1975.
BHS K. Elliger, W. Rudolph, et al., Editors. Biblica hebraica stuttgartensia. Stuttgart, 1977.
BIFAO Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale.
BiMes Bibliotheca Mesopotamica.
BiOr Bibliotheca Orientalis.
BJRL Bulletin of the John Rylands Library.
BJS Brown Judaic Studies.
BKAT Biblischer Kommentar: Altes Testament.
BM British Museum.
BM B. R. Foster. Before the Muses. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 1996.
BMOP British Museum Occasional Paper. London: British Musuem.
Bo Inventory numbers of Boghazköy tablets excavated 1906–12.
BP William W. Hallo. The Book of the People. BJS 225. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1991.
BR Biblical Research. Chicago.
BSOAS Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
BSAg Bulletin of Sumerian Agriculture.
BTAVO Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients. Wiesbaden.
BTB Biblical Theology Bulletin.
BWANT Beiträge zur Wissenschaft vom Alten und Neuen Testament.
BWL W. G. Lambert. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1960.
BZ Biblische Zeitschrift.
BZAW Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft.
CAD A. L. Oppenheim, et al., Editors. The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1956-.
CAH3 The Cambridge Ancient History. 3d ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973–75.
CANE J. M. Sasson, Editor. Civilizations of the Ancient Near East. 4 Vols. New York: Scribner, 1995.
CBC Cambridge Bible Commentary.
CBQ Catholic Biblical Quarterly.
CBQMS Catholic Biblical Quarterly Monograph Series.
CCT Cuneiform Texts from Cappadocian Tablets.
CdÉ Chronique d’Égypte.
CH R. F. Harper. The Code of Hammurabi.
CHD H. G. Güterbock and H. A. Hoffner, Jr., Editors. The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1989-
CIS Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum. Paris, 1881.
COS W. W. Hallo, Editor. The Context of Scripture. 3 Volumes. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997-.
CRAIBL Comptes rendus de l’Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres.
CT Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum.
CTA A. Herdner. Corpus des tablettes en cunéiformes alphabétiques découvertes à Ras Shamra–Ugarit de 1929 à 1939. Mission de Ras Shamra 10. BAH 79. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale; Geuthner, 1963.
CTH Laroche, E. Catalogue des textes hittites. Paris: Klincksieck, 1971.
DCPP E. Lipiński, et al., Editors. Dictionnaire de la Civilisation Phénicienne et Punique. Paris: Brepols.
DDD The Dictionary of Deities and Demons. Leiden: Brill.
DM Deir el-Medineh (Ostraca).
DNWSI J. Hoftijzer and K. Jongeling. Dictionary of the North-West Semitic Inscriptions. Handbuch der Orientalistik 1/21. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1995.
DOTT D. Winton Thomas, Editor. Documents from Old Testament Times. London, 1958.
Dreams A. L. Oppenheim. The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East, With a Translation of an Assyrian Dream–Book. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, n.s. 46/3. Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1956.
EA J. A. Knudtzon, et al., Editors. Die El-Amarna-Tafeln. Vorderasiatische Bibliothek 2. Leipzig, 1915.
EAK Einleitung in die assyrischen Königsinschriften. R. Borger, Vol. 1. W. Schramm, Vol. 2.
EI Eretz-Israel.
ELS P. Attinger. Elements de linguistique sumerienne. OBO, Sonderband. 1993.
Emar D. Arnaud. Recherches au pays d’Aštata, Emar VI.e: textes sumériens et accadiens, texte. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1986.
EPRO Études préliminaires aux religions orientales dans l’empire Romain. Leiden.
Erl. K. Sethe. Erläuterung zu den aegyptischen Lesestücken. Leipzig, 1929.
Erra L. Cagni. L’Epopea de Erra. Studi semitici 34. Rome, 1969. Idem. The Poem of Erra. SANE 1/3. Malibu, 1977.
ERTR Egyptian Religious Texts and Representations.
EVO Egitto e Vicino Oriente.
FAOS Freiburger Altorientalische Studien.
FAT Forschungen zum Alten Testament.
FDD B. R. Foster. From Distant Days: Myths, Tales, and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press, 1995.
FIFAO Fouilles de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale.
FOTL R. Knierim and G. M. Tucker, Editors. The Forms of Old Testament Literature. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
FRLANT Forschungen zur Religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testament.
FTH A. R. Millard, et al., Editors. Faith, Tradition and History. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1994.
GAG W. von Soden. Grundriss der Akkadischen Grammatik. AnOr 33. Rome, 1952.
GM Göttinger Miszellen.
HAK H. Hunger. Babylonische und assyrische Kolophone. AOAT 2. Keukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1968.
HAE J. Renz and W. Röllig. Handbuch der Althebräischen Epigraphik. 3 Volumes. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1995.
HED J. Puhvel. Hittite Etymological Dictionary. 2 Vols. in 1. Berlin, 1984.
HHI H. Tadmor and M. Weinfeld. History, Historiography and Interpretation. Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Literatures. Edited by H. Tadmor and M. Weinfeld. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1983.
Hiero. Texts British Museum. Hieroglyphic Texts from Egyptian Stelae, etc. 2nd ed. London, 1961-.
HKL R. Borger. Handbuch der Keilschriftliteratur. 3 Vols. Berlin, 1967–1973.
HO J. Černý and A. H. Gardiner. Hieratic Ostraca I. Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1957.
HPBM 2 E. A. W. Budge, Editor. Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum. 2nd series. London: British Museum, 1923.
HPBM 3 A. H. Gardiner. Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum. 3rd series. 2 Vols. London: British Museum, 1935.
HPKMB Hieratische Papyrus aus dem königlichen Museen zu Berlin.
HS Hebrew Studies.
HSM Harvard Semitic Monographs.
HSS Harvard Semitic Studies.
HT Hittite Texts in the Cuneiform Character in the British Museum. London, 1920.
HTR Harvard Theological Review.
HSAO D. O. Edzard, Editor. Heidelberger Studien zum alten Orient. Wiesbaden, 1967.
HUCA Hebrew Union College Annual.
HUCASup Hebrew Union College Annual, Supplements.
HW 1., 2., 3., Erg J. Friedrich. Hethitisches Wörterbuch. Heidelberg, 1952 (-54).
HW2 J. Friedrich and A. Kammenhuber. Hethitisches Wörterbuch. 2nd ed. Heidelberg, 1975-.
IBoT Istanbul Arkeoloji Müzelerinde Bulunan Boğazköy Tabeltleri (nden Seçme Metinler). Istanbul, 1944, 1947, 1954; Ankara, 1988.
IBS Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft (Sonderheft). Innsbruck.
ICC International Critical Commentary.
IDB G. A. Buttrick, Editor. The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible. 4 Vols. New York and Nashville: Abingdon, 1962.
IEJ Israel Exploration Journal.
IF Indogermanische Forschungen.
IM Istanbuler Mitteilungen.
IntB G. A. Buttrick, Editor. The Interpreter’s Bible. 12 Vols. New York and Nashville: Abingdon, 1951–57.
IRSA E. Sollberger and J.-R. Kupper. Inscriptions royales sumériennes et akkadiennes. Paris: Cerf, 1971.
JANES Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society.
JAOS Journal of the American Oriental Society.
JARCE Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt.
JBL Journal of Biblical Literature.
JCS Journal of Cuneiform Studies.
JEA Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.
JEOL Jaarbericht van het Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap: Ex Oriente Lux.
JESHO Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.
JETS Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.
JIES Journal of Indo-European Studies.
JJS Journal of Jewish Studies.
JNES Journal of Near Eastern Studies.
JNSL Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages.
JPOS Journal of the Palestine Oriental Society.
JQR Jewish Quarterly Review.
JRAS Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
JSOR Journal of the Society of Oriental Research.
JSOT Journal for the Study of the Old Testament.
JSOTSup Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Supplement Series.
JSS Journal of Semitic Studies.
JSSEA Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquity.
JSSSup Journal of Semitic Studies, Supplement Series.
KAI H. Donner and W. Röllig. Kanaanäische und aramäische Inschriften. 3 Vols. Wiesbaden, 1962–64.
KAR E. Ebeling. Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiösen Inhalts.
KAT Kommentar zum Alten Testament.
KB1 L. Koehler and W. Baumgartner. Lexicon in Veteris Testamenti Libros. Leiden: Brill, 1958.
KB3 L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner, and J. Stamm, et al., Editors. Hebräisches und aramäisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament. Leiden: Brill, 1967.
KBo Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköi. (vols. 1–22 are a subseries of WVDOG). Leipzig & Berlin.
KlF Kleinasiatische Forschungen.
KKU W. Sallaberger, Der Kultische Kalender der Ur III Zeit. Untersuchungen zur Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 7/1. Berlin & New York: de Gruyter, 1993.
KRI K. A. Kitchen. Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical. Oxford, 1969-.
KTU M. Dietrich, O. Loretz, and J. Sanmartín. Keilalphabetische Texte aus Ugarit einschliesslich der keilalphabetischen Texte außerhalb Ugarits. Teil 1 Transkription. AOAT 24/1. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1976.
KTU2 M. Dietrich, O. Loretz, and J. Sanmartín. The Cuneiform Alphabetic Texts from Ugarit, Ras Ibn Hani, and Other Places (KTU: Second, enlarged edition). Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1995.
KUB Keilschrifturkunden aus Boghazköi. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Vorderasiatische Abteilung. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1921-.
KZ Historische Sprachforschung = Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung (“Kuhns Zeitschrift”)
LAPO Littératures anciennes du Proche–Orient.
LAS S. Parpola. Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. 2 Vols. AOAT 5. Neukirchen-Vluyn, 1970, 1983.
LCL Loeb Classical Library.
LdÄ Lexikon der Ägyptologie.
LIH L. W. King. The Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi.
LMAOS Liverpool Monographs in Archaeology and Oriental Studies.
LKA E. Ebeling. Literarische Keilschriftexte aus Assur.
LSS Leipziger semitistische Studien.
LV Late Version.
MAOG Mitteilungen der altorientalischen Gesellschaft.
MARI Mari, Annales de recherches interdisciplinaires.
MÄS Münchner ägyptologische Studien.
MAV Middle Assyrian Version.
MDAIK Mitteilungen des deutschen archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo.
MDOG Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft.
MIO Mitteilungen des Instituts für Orientforschung.
MLE Materiali lessicali ed epigrafici.
MMEW A. Livingstone. Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986 (reprint 1987).
MRS Mission de Ras Shamra. Paris.
MSL Materialien zum sumerischen Lexikon; Materials for the Sumerian Lexicon.
MVAG Mitteilungen der vorderasiatisch-ägyptischen Gesellschaft.
NABU Nouvelles assyriologiques brèves et utilitaires.
NAWG Nachrichten der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen.
Nbn. J. N. Strassmaier. Inschriften von Nabonidus.
OA Oriens Antiquus. Rivista del Centro per le Antichità e la Storia dell’Arte del Vicino Oriente.
OBO Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis.
OBV Old Babylonian Version.
OCPR E. Matsushima, Editor. Official Cult and Popular Religion in the Ancient Near East: Papers of the First Colloquium on the Ancient Near East – The City and Its Life, held at the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan (Mitaka, Tokyo), March 20–22, 1992. Heidelberg: Winter, 1993.
OECT Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts.
OIP The University of Chicago, Oriental Institute Publications.
OLA Orientalia lovaniensia analecta.
OLP Orientalia lovaniensia periodica.
OLZ Orientalistische Literaturzeitung.
Or Orientalia. n.s.
OrSuec Orientalia Suecana.
OTL The Old Testament Library, Westminster Press.
OTS Oudtestamentische Studiën.
PAAJR Proceedings of the American Academy of Jewish Research.
PAPS Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society.
PBS Publications of the Babylonian Section, University Museum, University of Pennsylvania.
PEQ Palestine Exploration Quarterly.
PIBA Proceedings of the Irish Biblical Association.
PIHANS Publications de l’Institute historique et archéologique néerlandais de Stamboul.
PJ Palästina-Jahrbuch.
PKB J. A. Brinkman. A Political History of Post-Kassite Babylonia 1158–722 B.C. Rome, 1968.
POTT D. J. Wiseman, Editor. Peoples of Old Testament Times. Oxford: Clarendon.
PRU J. Nougayrol/Ch. Virolleaud. Le Palais royal d’Ugarit. II-VI. MRS. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1955–1970.
PSBA Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology.
PSD Ȧ. Sjöberg, Editor. The Sumerian Dictionary of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvannia. Philadelphia, 1948-.
PPYEE Publications of the Pennsylvania-Yale Expedition to Egypt.
R H. C. Rawlinson, The Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia.
RA Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale.
RAI Recontre Assyriologique Internationale.
RAI 26 B. Alster, Editor. Death in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia 8. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag.
RAI 38 La circulation des biens, des personnes et des idées dans le Proche-Orient ancien: Actes de le XXXVIIIe R.A.I. Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1992.
RAKM H. D. Galter, Editor. Die Rolle der Astronomie in den Kulturen Mesopotamiens. Beiträge zum 3. Gräzer Mor-genländischen Symposion (23.–27. September 1991). Graz: GrazKult.
RÄRG H. Bonnet. Reallexikon der ägyptischen Religionsgeschichte. Berlin, 1952.
ResQ Restoration Quarterly.
RB Revue biblique.
RdÉ Revue d’Égyptologie.
RES Répertoire d’épigraphie sémitique.
RGBK B. Janowski, et al., Editors. Religionsgeschichtliche Beziehungen zwischen Kleinasien, Nordsyrien und dem Alten Testament. Internationales Symposion Hamburg 17.–21. März 1990. OBO 129. Freiburg/Schweiz: Universitätsverlag.
RGTC Réportoire géographique des textes cunéiformes, B TAVO, Reihe B 7, 1ff. Wiesbaden, 1974-.
RHA Revue hittite et asianique.
RHR Revue de l’histoire des religions.
RIDA Revue internationale des droits de l’antiquité. 3rd series. Brussels.
RIH Field numbers of tablets excavated at Ras Ibn-Hani.
RIMA 1 The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia. Assyrian Periods. Volume 1. A. K. Grayson. Assyrian Rulers of the Third and Second Millennia BC (To 1115 BC). Toronto: University of Toronto, 1987.
RIMA 2 The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia. Assyrian Periods. Volume 2. A. K. Grayson. Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium BC (1114–859 BC). Toronto: University of Toronto, 1991.
RISA G. A. Barton. The Royal Inscriptions of Sumer and Akkad. Library of Ancient Semitic Inscriptions 1; New Haven: Yale, 1929.
RlA E. Ebeling and B. Meissner, et al., Editors. Reallexikon der Assyriologie.
RS Field numbers of tablets excavated at Ras Shamra.
RSF Rivista di Studi Fenici.
RSO Rivista degli Studi Orientali.
RSOu Ras Shamra – Ougarit. Publications de la Mission Française Archéologique de Ras Shamra – Ougarit. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1983-.
RSOu 3 M. Yon, Editor. Le centre de la ville. 38e–44e campagnes (1978–1984). RSOu 3. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1987.
RSOu 4 D. Pardee. Les textes para–mythologiques de la 24e campagne (1961). RSOu 4. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1988.
RSOu 6 M. Yon, et al., Editors. Arts et industries de la pierre. RSOu 6. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1991.
RSOu 7 P. Bordreuil, Editor. Une bibliothèque au sud de la ville. RSOu 7. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1991.
RSOu 11 M. Yon, M. Sznycer, P. Bordreuil, Editors. Le Pays d’Ougarit autour de 1200 av.J.C. Historie et archéologie. Actes du Colloque International, Paris, 28 juin — 1er juillet 1993. RSOu 11. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, 1995.
RT Recueil de travaux relatifs à la philologie et à l’archéologie égyptiennes et assyriennes.
SAA State Archives of Assyria.
SAAB State Archives of Assyria Bulletin.
SAAS State Archives of Assyria Studies.
SAHG A. Falkenstein and W. von Soden. Sumerische und akkadische Hymnen und Gebete. Zürich and Stuttgart, 1953.
SÄK Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur.
SANE Sources from the Ancient Near East.
SAOC Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilizations. Chicago: The Oriental Institute.
SARI Jerrold S. Cooper. Sumerian and Akkadian Royal Inscriptions. Vol. 1: The Pre-Sargonic Texts. The AOS Translation Series 1. New Haven, CN: AOS, 1986.
SBAW Sitzungsberichte der bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
SBH G. A. Reisner. Sumerisch-babylonische Hymnen nach Thontafeln griechischer Zeit.
SBL Society of Biblical Literature.
SBLDS Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series.
SBLRBS SBL Resources for Biblical Study.
SBLWAW SBL Writings from the Ancient World.
SBT Studies in Biblical Theology.
SBV Standard Babylonian Version.
SCO Studi Classici e Orientali.
ScrHier Scripta Hierosolymitana.
SDB Supplément au Dictionnaire de la Bible. Paris.
SEL Studi Epigrafici e Linguistici sul Vicino Oriente antico.
SGL A. Falkenstein and J. van Dijk. Sumerische Götterlieder. Heidelberg, 1959.
Shnaton Shnaton. An Annual for Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. (Hebrew).
SJOT Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament.
SIC 1 C. D. Evans, W. W. Hallo, and J. B. White, Editors. Scripture in Context: Essays on the Comparative Method. Pittsburgh, 1980.
SIC 2 W. W. Hallo, J. C. Moyer, and L. G. Perdue,Editors. Scripture in Context II: More Essays on the Comparative Method. Winona Lake, Indiana, 1983.
SIC 3 W. W. Hallo, B. W. Jones, and G. L. Mattingly, Editors. The Bible in the Light of Cuneiform Literature. Scripture in Context III. Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Studies 8. Lewiston: Mellen, 1990.
SIC 4 K. L. Younger, Jr., W. W. Hallo, and B. F. Batto. Editors. The Canon in Comparative Perspective. Scripture in Context IV. Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Studies, 11. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1991.
SMEA Studi micenei ed egeo-anatolici.
SO Sources orientales.
SÖAW Sitzungsberichte der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaft, Phil.-hist. Kl., Vienna.
SPAW Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaft, Phil.-hist. Kl., Berlin.
SPHC Select Papyri in the Hieratic Character from the Collections of the British Museum. Part 2. London, 1860.
SRT E. Chiera. Sumerian Religious Texts. Upland, PA, 1924.
SSEAJ Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities Journal.
SSI J. C. L. Gibson. Textbook of Syrian Semitic Inscriptions. 3 Vols. Oxford, 1973–79.
SSU Studia Semitica Upsaliensia.
StBoT Studien zu den Boğazköy Texten.
STT O. R. Gurney, J. J. Finkelstein and P. Hulin. The Sultantepe Tablets.
Studia Aramaica M. J. Geller, J. C. Greenfield, and M. P. Weitzman, Editors. Studia Aramaica: New Sources and New Approaches. JSS Supplement 4. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Studies Alp H. Otten, H. Ertem, E. Akurgal and A. Süel, Editors. Hittite and Other Anatolian and Near Eastern Studies in Honour of Sedat Alp. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1992.
Studies Ahlström W. B. Barrack and J. R. Spencer, Editors. In the Shelter of Elyon: Essays on Ancient Palestinian Life in Honor of G. W. Ahlström. JSOTSup 31. Sheffield: JSOT, 1984.
Studies Bounni P. Matthiae, et al., Editors. Resurrecting the Past. A Joint Tribute to Adnan Bounni. Uitgaven van het Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut te Istanbul 67. Istanbul: Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut te Istanbul, 1990.
Studies Brunner M. Görg, Editor. Fontes atque Pontes. Eines Festgabe für Hellmut Brunner. AAT 5. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1983.
Studies Brunner-Traut I. Gramer-Wallert and W. Helck, Editors. Festschrift für Emma Brunner-Traut. Tübingen: Attempto Verlag, 1992.
Studies Cazelles A. Caquot and M. Delcor, Editors. Mélanges bibliques et orientaux en l’honneur de M. Henri Cazelles. AOAT 212. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1981.
Studies Dussaud Mélanges syriens offerts à Monsieur René Dussaud: secretaire perpetuel de l’Academie des inscriptions et belles-lettres. 2 Vols. BAH 30. Paris: Geuthner, 1939.
Studies Ehrman Y. L. Arbeitman, Editor. Fucus. A Semitic/Afrasian Gathering in Remembrance of Albert Ehrman. Current Issues in Linguistic Theory 58. Philadelphia: Benjamins, 1988.
Studies Fecht J. Osing and G. Dreyer, Editors. Form and Mass, Festschrift für G. Fecht. AAT 12. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1987.
Studies Fensham W. T. Claassen, Editor. Text and Context. Old Testament and Semitic Studies for F. C. Fensham. JSOTSup 48. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1988.
Studies Finkelstein M. deJong Ellis, Editor. Essays on the Ancient Near East in Memory of Jacob Joel Finkelstein. Memoirs of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, December, 19. Hamden, CT: Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, Transactions, 1977.
Studies Fitzmyer M. P. Horgan and P. J. Kobelski, Editors. To Touch the Text. Biblical and Related Studies in Honor of Joseph A. Fitzmyer, S.J. New York: Crossroad, 1989.
Studies Freedman C. Meyers and M. O’Connor. Essays in Honor of David Noel Freedman in Celebration of his Sixtieth Birthday. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983.
Studies Galling A. Kuschke and E. Kutsch, Editors. Archäologie und Altes Testament. Festschrift für Kurt Galling zum 8. Jan. 1970. Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck), 1970.
Studies Gibson N. Wyatt, W. G. E. Watson and J. B. Lloyd, Editors. Ugarit, Religion and Culture. Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Ugarit, Religion and Culture Edinburgh, July 1994. Essays Presented in Honour of Professor John C. L. Gibson. UBL 12. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1996.
Studies Glueck James A. Sanders, Editor. Near Eastern Archaeology in the Twentieth Century. Essays in Honor of Nelson Glueck. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970.
Studies Gordon H. A. Hoffner, Jr., Editor. Orient and Occident. Essays Presented to Cyrus H. Gordon on the Occasion of his Sixty–fifth Birthday. AOAT 22. Kevelaer: Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchen–Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1973.
Studies Gordon2 G. Rendsburg, et al., Editors. The Bible World. Essays in Honor of Cyrus H. Gordon. New York: KTAV/ New York University, 1980.
Studies Griffith S. R. K. Glanville, Editor. Studies Presented to F. Ll. Griffith. London: Oxford University Press, 1932.
Studies Güterbock K. Bittel, et al., Editors. Anatolian Studies Presented to Hans Gustav Güterbock on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday. PIHANS 33. Istanbul:NederlandsHistorisch-Archaeologisch Instituut in het Nabije Oosten, 1974.
Studies Güterbock2 H. A. Hoffner, Jr., and G. Beckman, Editors. Kaniš-šuwar. A Tribute to Hans G. GüterbockonhisSeventh- Fifth Birthday. AS 23. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Studies Hallo M. E. Cohen, D. C. Snell and D. B. Weisberg, Editors. The Tablet and the Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo. Bethesda, MD: CDL, 1993.
Studies Hospers H. L. J. Vanstiphout, et al., Editors. Scripta Signa Vocis: Studies about Scripts, Scriptures, Scribes, and Languages in the Near East, Presented to J. H. Hospers by his Pupils, Colleagues, and Friends. Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1986.
Studies Hughes Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes. SAOC 39. Chicago: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Studies Jacobsen S. J. Lieberman, Editor. Sumerological Studies in Honor of Thorkild Jacobsen. AS 20. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.
Studies Kramer B. L. Eichler, et al., Editors. Kramer Anniversary Volume. AOAT 25. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag.
Studies Kramer2 Jack M. Sasson, Editor. Studies in Literature from the Ancient Near East … Dedicated to Samuel Noah Kramer. AOS 65. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1984.
Studies Kraus G. van Driel, et al., Editors. Zikir Šumim. Assyriological Studies Presented to F. R. Kraus on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday. Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten Studia Francisci Scholten Memoriae Dicata 5. Leiden: Brill, 1982.
Studies Kutscher A. F. Rainey, Editor. kinattūtu ša dārâti: Raphael Kutscher Memorial Volume. Tel Aviv Occasional Publications 1. Tel Aviv: Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, 1993.
Studies Laroche E. Masson, Editor. Florilegium Anatolicum. Mélanges offerts à Emmanuel Laroche. Paris: Éditions E. de Boccard, 1979.
Studies Leslau A. S. Kaye, Editor. Semitic Studies in Honor of Wolf Leslau on the Occasion of his Eighty–fifth Birthday November 14th, 1991. 2 Volumes. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1991.
Studies Loewenstamm Y. Avishur and J. Blau, Editors. Studies in Bible and the Ancient Near East Presented to Samuel E. Loewenstamm on His Seventieth Birthday. Jerusalem: Rubenstein, 1978.
Studies Meek W. W. McCullough, Editor. The Seed of Wisdom: Essays in Honour of T. J. Meek. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1964.
Studies Moran T. Abusch, J. Huehnergard and P.Steinkeller,Editors. Lingering Over Words: Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran. HSS 37. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990.
Studies Naster R. Doncel and R. Lebrun, Editors. Archéologie et relireligions de l’Anatolie ancienne: mélanges en l’honneur du professor Paul Naster. Homo Religiosus 10. 2 Volumes. Louvain-la-Neuve: Centre d’histoire des religions, 1983.
Studies Oppenheim R. D. Biggs and J. A. Brinkman, Editors. From the Workship of the Assyrian Dictionary. Studies Presented to A. Leo Oppenheim. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964.
Studies Otto J. Assmann, E. Feucht and R. Grieshammer, Editors. Fragen an die Altägyptischen Literature. Studien zum Gedenken an E. Otto. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1977.
Studies Pope J. H. Marks and R. M. Good, Editors. Love and Death in the Ancient Near East: Essays in Honor of Marvin H. Pope. Guilford: Four Quarters Publishing Company, 1987.
Studies Reiner F. Rochberg-Halton, Editor. Language, Literature, and History: Philological and Historical Studies presented to Erica Reiner. AOS 67. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1987.
Studies Rowley M. Noth, Editor. Wisdom in israel and in the Ancient Near East Presented to Professor Harold Henry Rowley. VTSup 3. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1955.
Studies Sachs E. Leichty, et al., Editors. A Scientific Humanist: Studies in Memory of Abraham Sachs. Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 9. Philadelphia: University Museum, 1988.
Studies Schott W. Helck, Editor. Festschrift für Siegfried Schott zu seinem 70. Geburtstag am 20. August 1967. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1968.
Studies Seeligmann Y. Zakovits and A. Rofé, Editors. SepherYiṣḥaqArieh Seeligmann. Jerusalem: Rubenstein, 1983.
Studies Segert E. M. Cook, Editor. Sopher Mahir: NorthwestSemitic Studies Presented to Stanislav Segert. Santa Monica, 1990 = Maarav 5–6.
Studies Sjöberg H. Behrens, et al., Editors. Dumu–e2–dub–ba–a. Studies in Honor of Ȧke W. Sjöberg. Occasional Publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer Fund 11. Philadelphia: University Museum, 1989.
Studies Speiser William W. Hallo, Editor. Essays in Memory of E. A. Speiser. AOS 53. New Haven: American Oriental Society, 1968.
Studies Stinespring J. M. Efird, Editor. The Use of the Old Testament in the New and Other Essays. Studies in Honor of William Franklin Stinespring. Durham: Duke University Press, 1972.
Studies Tadmor M. Cogan and I. Ephʾal, Editors. Ah, Assyria, … Studies in Assyrian History and Ancient Near Eastern Historiography Presented to Hayim Tadmor. ScrHier 33. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1991.
Studies Talmon M. Fishbane and E. Tov, Editors. ‘Sha’arei Talmon’: Studies Presented to Shemaryahu Talmon. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1992.
Studies Wilson G. Kadish, Editor. Studies in Honor of John A. Wilson. SAOC 35. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1969.
Studies Wright F. M. Cross, W. E. Lemke, and P.D. Miller,Editors. Magnalia Dei, The Mighty Acts of God: Essays on the Bible and Archaeology in Memory of G. Ernest Wright. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1976.
SWBAS The Social World of Biblical Antiquity Series.
TB Tyndale Bulletin.
TCL Musée du Louvre, Département des Antiquités orientales, Textes cunéiformes.
TCS Texts from Cuneiform Sources.
TDOT G. Johannes Botterweck and H. Ringgren, Editors. Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. Rev. ed. Trans. by J. T. Willis. Grand Rapids: 1974-.
THeth Texte der Hethiter. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Verlag.
ThS Theologische Studien.
TLB Tabulae cuneiformes a F. M. Th. de Liagre Böhl collectae.
TLZ Theologische Literaturzeitung.
TMH Texte und Materialien der Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities im Eigentum der Universität Jena. Leipzig, 1932–37.
TUAT O. Kaiser, Editor. Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments. Gütersloh, 1984-.
TZ Theologische Zeitschrift.
UBL Ugaritisch–Biblische Literatur.
UET Ur Excavations, Texts.
UF Ugarit-Forschungen.
Ugaritica 5 C. F. A. Schaeffer, Editor. Ugaritica5. MRS 16; BAH 80. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale; Geuthner.
Ugaritica 6 J.–C. Courtois, Editor. Ugaritica6. MRS 17; BAH 81. Paris: Mission Archéologique de Ras Shamra; Geuthner.
Ugaritica 7 C. F. A. Schaeffer, Editor. Ugaritica7. MRS 18; BAH 99. Paris: Mission Archéologique de Ras Shamra; Geuthner.
UMBS University of Pennsylvania. The University Museum, Publications of the Babylonian Section.
Unity and Diversity H. Goedicke and J. J. M. Roberts, Editors. Unity and Diversity: Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of the Ancient Near East. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.
Urk. IV K. Sethe and W. Helck, Editors. Urkunden des ägyptischen Altertums, Abteilung IV: Urkunden der 18. Dynastie. Fascicles 1–22. Leipzig and Berlin, 1906–1958.
UT C. H. Gordon. Ugaritic Textbook. AnOr 38. Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1965.
VAB Vorderasiatische Bibliothek.
VAT Tablets in the collections of the Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
VO Vicino Oriente.
VT Vetus Testamentum.
VTSup Supplements to Vetus Testamentum.
Wb A. Erman and H. Grapow, Editors. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache. 7 Vols. Leipzig, 1926–1963.
WBC Word Biblical Commentary.
WCJS World Congress of Jewish Studies.
WHJP World History of the Jewish People.
WMANT Wissenschaftliche Monographien zum Alten und Neuen Testament.
WO Die Welt des Orients.
WVDOG Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft.
YBC Yale Babylonian Collection.
YES Yale Egyptological Studies.
YNER Yale Near Eastern Researches.
YOS Yale Oriental Series. Babylonian Texts.
YOR Yale Oriental Series. Researches.
ZA Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie.
ZÄS Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde.
ZAW Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft.
ZDMG Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft.
ZDPV Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins.
ZThK Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche.
Abbr. abbreviation
Akk. Akkadian
ANE ancient Near East
Aram. Aramaic
BH Biblical Hebrew
ca. circa
col(s). column(s)
ED Early Dynastic Period
ed. edition
Eg. Egyptian
esp. especially
GN geographical name
Heb. Hebrew
imperf. imperfect
JPS Jewish Publication Society
K Kuyunjik Collection, British Museum
KJV King James Version
LH Late Hebrew
LXX Septuagint
MH Middle Hittite
MS Middle Hittite Script
ms(s) manuscript(s)
MT Masoretic Text
n (n). note(s)
NJPS New Jewish Publication Society translation
NRSV New Revised Standard Version
NS New Hittite Script
n.s. New Series
OB Old Babylonian
obv. obverse
OH Old Hittite
P. Papyrus
perf. perfect
Phil.-hist. Kl. Philosophisch-historische Klasse
Phoen. Phoenician
pl. plural
pl(s). plate(s)
prep. preposition
r. reverse
rev. revised
SBV Standard Babylonian Version
Sel. Selection
Sum. Sumerian
WS West Semitic
Sam. Samaritan Pentateuch
Ug. Ugaritic
Gen Genesis
Exod Exodus
Lev Leviticus
Num Numbers
Deut Deuteronomy
Josh Joshua
Judg Judges
1–2 Sam 1–2 Samuel
1–2 Kgs 1–2 Kings
Isa Isaiah
Jer Jeremiah
Ezek Ezekiel
Hos Hosea
Joel Joel
Obad Obadiah
Amos Amos
Jonah Jonah
Mic Micah
Nah Nahum
Hab Habakkuk
Zeph Zephaniah
Hag Haggai
Zech Zechariah
Mal Malachi
Ps (pl.: Pss) Psalm(s)
Job Job
Prov Proverbs
Ruth Ruth
Cant Canticles (= Song of Songs)
Eccl (= Qoh) Ecclesiastes (= Qoheleth)
Lam Lamentations
Esth Esther
Dan Daniel
Ezra Ezra
Neh Nehemiah
1–2 Chr 1–2 Chronicles
Add Esth Additions to Esther
Bar Baruch
Bel Bel and the Dragon
1–2 Esdr 1–2 Esdras
4 Ezra 4 Ezra
Jdt Judith
Ep Jer Epistle of Jeremiah
1–2–3-4 Macc 1–2–3-4 Maccabees
Sir Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)
Sus Susanna
Tob Tobit
Wis Wisdom
b. Šabb. Babylonian Talmud, Šabbat
b. ʿAbod. Zar. Babylonian Talmud, ʿAboda Zara
y. Sanh. 18a Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin

Metropolitan Musuem of Art
University of Copenhagen
University of Chicago
University of Michigan
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Emory University
Oxford University
Bar-Ilan University
University of Munich
University of Chicago
New York University
Yale University
University of Wisconsin, Madison
University of Chicago
University of Pennsylvannia
Yale University
University of California, Berkeley
Wheaton College
University of Chicago
University of Amsterdam
Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Harvard University
Bar-Ilan University
New York University
University of California, retired
University of Birmingham
Westminster Theological Seminary
University of New Hampshire
University of Liverpool
University of Chicago
University of Chicago
Bar-Ilan University
University of Haifa
Yeshiva University
University of Groningen
LeTourneau University
William W. Hallo
Classical and Near Eastern parallels have been used to illuminate the biblical text for as long as there have been biblical studies. Already according to Philo Judaeus, writing in Greek and living in the shadow of the great Greek library of Alexandria in the first half century of the Common Era,3 Abraham “becomes a speculative philosopher,” a role-model for the sect of Jewish ascetics that he described as Therapeutae.5 Nine centuries later, Saadiah Gaon, likewise born in Egypt7 but living in the equally stimulating atmosphere of Abbasid Baghdad, freely employed his knowledge of Arabic to solve cruces of Biblical Hebrew.9 But it again took almost another millennium before biblical names, words, and themes, were to be juxtaposed, not just to those of the contemporary world, but to those long lost to sight and mind in the buried cities of the past.
The nineteenth century of our era opened Egypt and the Asiatic Near East to large-scale excavations, and witnessed the decipherments of the hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts. The results revolutionized what can best be described as “the first half of history” — that 2500-year stretch between the invention of these earliest forms of writing and their replacement by the simpler “alphabetic” scripts of the Hebrew and Greek traditions, and their derivations. The period 3000–500 BCE (more or less), ostensibly the context of the biblical record, was thrown into wholly new relief. The inevitable transformation of biblical studies was not long in ensuing.
It is sufficient to recall in this connection those great syntheses that characterized German biblical scholarship of the comparative variety beginning in 1872 with Eberhard Schrader and his The Cuneiform Inscriptions and the Old Testament. A second, revised edition appeared as early as 1883, and twenty years later, in 1903, the compendium, by now classic, was completely revised and updated by two leading Assyriologists of the time, Heinrich Zimmern and Hugo Winckler.13 Winckler had himself entered the lists with a compendium of his own by now in its second edition.
The following year, 1904, the scope of coverage was extended to the hieroglyphic sources from Egypt in The Old Testament in the Light of the Ancient East, by Alfred Jeremias. The popularity of this work can be judged by the fact that it went through three further editions, each one thoroughly revised.16
Meantime Hugo Gressmann widened the scope of such works still further by introducing the pictorial element in “Ancient Near Eastern Texts and Pictures to the Old Testament,” in two volumes and as many editions.
The appeal of these works of synthesis was by no means limited to a German–speaking readership. On the contrary, many of them appeared in English translations and have been cited by their English titles here. Thus Schrader appeared in translation as early as 1885–8, and Jeremias in 1911.19 At the same time, German scholarship, both biblical and ancient Near Eastern, was having a profound impact in the English–speaking world through more personal, direct means: British and particularly American students coming to Germany for graduate and post–graduate study on the one hand, and on the other, German scholars coming to American universities to teach. Among many other examples of the former category, we may cite Julian Morgenstern, who received a doctorate in Assyriology from Heidelberg in 1904 with a dissertation on “The Doctrine of Sin in the Babylonian Religion.” A good example of the latter category would be Paul Haupt (1858–1926), brought from Göttingen in 1885 to head the new Oriental Seminary at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Haupt’s most famous student, and the leading figure in the comparative approach to biblical studies in America through most of the twentieth century, was unquestionably William F. Albright (1891–1971). Last of the polymaths who were equally at home in cuneiform, hieroglyphics, and Northwest Semitics, he had to forego a career in Assyriology or Egyptology on account of defective eyesight, but continued to integrate every new archaeological and epigraphic discovery into his ever expanding panorama of the total experience of biblical Israel. Beginning with a dissertation on “The Assyrian Deluge Epic” written under Haupt in 1916 but never published, he spent the years between the two world wars in publishing an unending stream of articles; then, beginning in 1940, he devoted himself to longer monographic works, elegant and wide–ranging syntheses of his views on biblical history, archaeology, literature, religion and theology. The volumes entitled From the Stone Age to Christianity: Monotheism and the Historical Process (1940), The Archaeology of Palestine (1949), The Biblical Period from Abraham to Ezra: an Historical Survey (1963), History, Archaeology and Christian Humanism (1964), and Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (1968) attest to his scope.
Although the German model of compendia of comparative texts was thus avoided by Albright, it was followed by other American scholars, notably R. W. Rogers and G. A. Barton,23 whose Archaeology and the Bible appeared in its seventh and last edition in 1937. But with the approach of the Second World War and the shift of Ancient Near Eastern scholars and scholarship to America, the creation of a new compendium on an American model became a top priority. In James B. Pritchard an editor was found who was able to carry the task forward. He recruited Albright and a dozen other leading (North) American specialists, among them four outstanding emigre scholars.25 He used Gressmann as his proximate and most recent model, both in the initial selection of texts and in the creation of a companion volume of pictures27 which was his own work based on his archaeological training and interests.
Pritchard’s volume, or ANET as it is frequently called, quickly established itself as the pre–eminent compendium of its kind in the post–war period. Comparable efforts by British, French and even German teams made no attempt to replace it, but rather to offer complementary works answering to different requirements. Thus for example the British “Society for Old Testament Study” published Documents from Old Testament Times (1958) on the occasion of its fortieth anniversary. But D. Winton Thomas, its editor, had no intention of matching or even approaching the scope of ANET (which was freely cited in the volume). The French series Littératures anciennes du Proche–Orient, published under the patronage of École Biblique et Archéologique Française of Jerusalem, covers much of the same ground as ANET and does so, if anything, more extensively. But its separate volumes are appearing at lengthy intervals as each is completed by the relevant contributor(s); hence the series cannot replace ANET as a handy reference work covering all or at least most of the “ancient Near Eastern texts relating to the Old Testament.” Even the Germans have re–entered the lists with Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments, edited by Otto Kaiser. In three volumes, it is an ambitious attempt to revive the older tradition of German compendia and to combine that with some of the best features of the newer ones — including the depth of the French series and the breadth of ANET. But in spite of its title, it makes little or no reference to biblical parallels or contrasts.
As for ANET itself, it has spawned a veritable cottage-industry of by–products. Mention has already been made of the companion volume of The Ancient Near East in Pictures (1954) familiarly known as ANEP. There have also been two combined abridgements of ANET and ANEP, published respectively in 1958 and 1975,29 both widely used as textbooks. There is a 1969 volume combining the new material of the third edition of ANET with a second edition of ANEP. Finally there is the third edition of ANET itself, which appeared at the same time. But unlike the previous two editions, the new edition did not so much break new ground as give wider circulation to new translations of Ancient Near Eastern texts that had appeared elsewhere in the interim. To quote my own review at the time,
The great appeal of (ANET) rested on sound foundations: for the first time it assembled some of the most significant Ancient Near Eastern texts in authoritative, generously annotated English translations based on the accumulated insight of several generations of scholarship scattered, till then, in a bewildering variety of publications not readily accessible to the average biblical scholar. The new edition (1969) fulfills some of the same desiderata.… But by its very nature it is essentially different from the original edition, for in great measure it concentrates on texts newly discovered or recovered, and by and large available in current publications, for the most part in English, which are complete with readable translations and scholarly apparatus.31
The trend noted in my review was not about to stop. On the contrary, the trickle observed there has meantime become a mighty stream. As ever more new texts are made available, the relationship between biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies has assumed an ever growing importance if only as measured by the sheer output of books and articles inspired by their comparison. Moshe Yitzhaki of Bar–Ilan University has even devised a whole new “bibliometric approach” to provide such a yardstick. Defining “citation analysis” as “the analysis of the reference in scholarly publications of a certain subject field in order to describe patterns of citation,”33 he applies this new technique to the fields of biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies and concludes that, at least in the small and somewhat random sample tested, “the figures indicate a relatively low use of the research literature of one field by the other.”
If his sample is representative, we face an anomalous situation: an ever increasing stream of ancient Near Eastern texts — recovered, reconstructed, edited and translated — which is relevant for biblical studies, but a statistical reluctance to employ them. Under the circumstances, a new compendium is called for all the more urgently. We do not, it is true, need a new ANET to provide us with a first authoritative English rendering of the texts, and as far as I know none is contemplated. But we do need a new compendium to assemble the existing renderings, update them where necessary, and indicate their relevance for biblical scholarship. That is what The Context of Scripture proposes to do. The project was conceived by David E. Orton, Senior Editor of E. J. Brill Publishers, and developed along lines set forth in a detailed proposal submitted to him by the undersigned in 1991. The collaboration of K. Lawson Younger, Jr. of LeTourneau University (Longview, Texas) as Associate Editor was secured shortly thereafter.
How does the new compendium differ from its predecessors? This question will here be considered from two perspectives — what may be called the horizontal and the vertical dimensions respectively — and the resulting theoretical formulations will then be illustrated with a concrete example or two.
The “context” of a given text may be regarded as its horizontal dimension — the geographical, historical, religious, political and literary setting in which it was created and disseminated. The contextual approach tries to reconstruct and evaluate this setting, whether for a biblical text or one from the rest of the ancient Near East. Given the frequently very different settings of biblical and ancient Near Eastern texts, however, it is useful to recognize such contrasts as well as comparisons or, if one prefers, to operate with negative as well as positive comparison.36 According to Pritchard, already Gressmann had maintained that “translations should serve … not only for comparison and illustration, but for contrast.”
But even where (positive) comparison is asserted, it is useful to raise questions of category and genre so that, as nearly as possible, like is compared with like. In the present project, the broader literary context, or category, will actually serve as the basic unit of organization. That is, recognizing that the relevant corpus has outgrown the bounds of a single volume, even a folio–sized volume, its three volumes are devoted respectively, to “canonical,” “monumental” and “archival” texts from the ancient Near East. Since the biblical text (in its “canonical” form) is entirely canonical in the sense in which I choose to employ that term, the reader will be immediately alerted to the categorical contrasts involved even when a comparison is suggested.
On a lower level of literary context, due attention is paid to genre (Gattung) and to the associated concept of life setting (“Sitz im Leben”). Thus, for example, within the volume devoted to “canonical” texts, the basic division is by “focus”: divine, royal, or individual, with the divine focus embracing such genres as myths, hymns, prayers, divination, incantations and rituals. Finally, the questions of where, when and in what direction an alleged borrowing may have occurred is occasionally raised in the commentary, even if the question frequently cannot be answered.
But a text is not only the product of its contemporary context, its horizontal locus, as it were, in time and space. It also has its place on a vertical axis between the earlier texts that helped inspire it and the later texts that reacted to it. We can describe this feature of its interconnectedness as its vertical or, in line with current usage, its intertextual dimension. The field of biblical studies has been rather slow to employ the term itself and the field of ancient Near Eastern studies even slower. But of course the concept as such has long been part of the stock–in–trade of both fields. Thus it is wholly appropriate to call attention to perceived instances of intertextuality both within each linguistic tradition and among separate traditions — and to do so, not in more or less random footnotes or enigmatic indices, but overtly and systematically in the margins of the translations.
The translations themselves, however, need to meet new standards if they are to serve as springboards for the recognition and designation of contextual and intertextual comparisons and contrasts. There is no need, it is true, to translate every significant text de novo, to reinvent the wheel, so to speak. But one can aspire to match the native terms and idioms with their English counterparts in such a way as to approach the ideal of a 1:1 relation in which each word (and only that word) is rendered by a given English equivalent, each derivative of that word with a derivative of that equivalent. This ideal cannot, of course, be carried out perfectly in practice, not even when the target language is German, though it was attempted with great determination by Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig in their translation of the Bible, nor in French, where the same principle was applied by Andre Chouraqui, and certainly not in English, where a similar effort by Everett Fox has now given us a valuable new translation of the Pentateuch.41 Nor has the method ever been applied to ancient Near Eastern texts apart from the Bible. But with the help of a data base, it should theoretically be possible — though difficult in practice — to make the attempt, and to see how many improvements emerge in the understanding, both of the text itself and of its relation to other texts.
To illustrate all the theoretical principles outlined above would take at least a half dozen examples, preferably chosen from a wide variety of ancient literary corpora. But the salient points can be illustrated adequately by one example that, for all its brevity, has a fairly wide set of evidentiary implications. The “Sumerian Sargon Legend” has been known in part since 1916 from an Uruk tablet subsequently acquired by the Louvre Museum, and was duly noted in studies of Mesopotamian historiography, notably by H. G. Güterbock in 1934. But a larger and nearly complete tablet belonging to the composition was excavated at Nippur in the season of 1951–52, assigned to the Baghdad Museum, and finally published by Jerrold Cooper and Wolfgang Heimpel in 1983. Thus nearly seventy years elapsed before the full import of the text emerged.44
Apart from sharing a common protagonist, the text as reconstituted has little or nothing to do with the better known Akkadian Sargon Legend, sometimes cited as a possible source of the Moses birth legend, though with little justification. It is in Sumerian, a product most likely of the neo–Sumerian period (ca. 2100–1800 BCE in linguistic terms), while the later text is in Akkadian, quite possibly commissioned by Sargon II of Assyria (722–705 BCE) or at least intended to celebrate his earlier namesake. The Sumerian text is, of course, not included in ANET, but as now known it includes at least one passage that bears comparison with a biblical pericope.
Lines 53–56 as translated by Cooper read:

In those days, writing on tablets certainly existed, but enveloping tablets did not exist;
King Urzababa, for Sargon, creature of the gods,
Wrote a tablet, which would cause his own death, and
He dispatched it to Lugalzagesi in Uruk.
As both editors noted, “Line 53 parodies the famous passage in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta 503ff.” — a passage, it may be added, not without its own echoes in the biography of Moses.47 What was quickly pointed out by others, however, was that the motif of a king dispatching a potential rival to a third party carrying instructions to that party to put the rival to death so that the messenger becomes the means to his own demise, corresponds to a familiar folklore motif, with echoes not only in the Bible but also in classical literature and even in Hamlet.
In the Iliad, Bellerophon was sent to the king of Lycia with a similarly deadly message. In 2 Samuel 11, King David rid himself of Uriah with a message that Uriah carried to David’s general Joab. These parallels have been recognized in varying degrees by Herman Vanstiphout, Veronika Afanas’eva,50 and especially Bendt Alster. They show that the Uriah pericope is made up, at least in part, of traditional literary topoi or folkloristic motifs, and justify the inclusion of the newly recovered Sumerian legend in the discussion of the biblical treatment of the theme.
The most recent treatment of the Uriah pericope well illustrates the use and usefulness of ancient Near Eastern parallels for the understanding of biblical texts — if only by showing the danger of ignoring them. In “Nations and nationalism: adultery in the House of David,” Regina M. Schwartz uses the pericope to condemn not only David, his people, and all his progeny, but those who have repossessed the City of David and the land of Israel in his name to this day. The study fails, not because of its political overtones, but because it presumes the historical validity of the episode, utterly ignoring its literary character. Where but in the Bible could one find national literature preserving the materials for so scathing a self–examination? And within the Bible, where more so than in the “court history of David” in 2 Samuel? And what if the author has not written history, but woven a traditional story of the “deadly letter” into an imaginative recasting of the succession narrative? Familiarity with the motif and its antiquity would at least suggest this alternative possibility.
The Sumerian Sargon Legend well illustrates the vertical component we have spoken of, depending as it does quite clearly on the earlier Sumerian Epic of Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, and echoed as we have seen by the later stories of Uriah in 2 Samuel and Bellerophon in the Iliad. But it also illuminates the “horizontal” context of any given text. Its focus on royalty in general, and on the spectacular rise to power of Sargon of Akkad in particular, is of a piece with the literary and ideological interests of the Ur III and Isin I dynasties of the neo–Sumerian cultural era (ca. 2100–1800 BCE).
It allows us to raise the same question as one which has repeatedly been raised with regard to comparable biblical material, namely: can we, in fact should we, separate literary and ideological considerations in assessing ancient sources? Can we and should we divide our sources strictly into literary and historical ones?
I have long pleaded for using literary and historical sources to illuminate each other — treating literary sources as precious aids in reconstructing history, and reconstructing history as the essential context for literature. Recently,
Marc Brettler has come to a similar conclusion from other premises. Using the story of Ehud as his point of departure, he faults both those who, like Robert Alter, see it as “only” literature, and those who, like Baruch Halpern, see it as genuine history.
The tale of Ehud has, in fact, more in common with the Uriah pericope than at first meets the eye — including the echo of a traditional motif first associated with the great kings of the Sargonic dynasty in Mesopotamia. I refer to the assassination of a ruling monarch by an ostensibly unarmed courtier. In the Mesopotamian historiographic tradition as enshrined in its most characteristic form, the omen literature, the dastardly deed was committed by resort to the cylinder seal, or more particularly (in my opinion) to the wooden pin on which it was mounted and by which it was attached to a necklace worn by its owner; if sharpened to a point, this pin could serve as a deadly weapon when whipped off the neck and plunged into the body of the unsuspecting victim, as was apparently the fate of no less than three of the Sargonic kings: Rimush, probably his (twin?) brother Man–ishtushu, and Shar–kali–sharri. The case of Ehud, who rid Israel of its Moabite oppressor with a well–timed thrust from the dagger concealed on his right side under his cloak, is not so very different, considering the relatively greater rarity of cylinder–seals in Israel.
Thus I do not necessarily agree with Brettler in regarding the chief historical value of the Ehud story as lying in the attitude toward Moab on the part of Israel in the time of the author of the pericope (whenever that was!) that it reveals, but I agree with him in seeing the value of a concept of “literature as politics.” Such a concept had previously been recognized in Assyrian literature by Peter Machinist,56 as Brettler later acknowledged, and before that in Hittite literature by Harry Hoffner,58 and in Egyptian literature by R. J. Williams. What it implies is the rejection of any hard–and–fast dichotomy between “history” and “literature” in favor of a recognition that, often enough, history is literature, and vice versa. The old conceit held that biblical literature can be validated as history only when reflected in extra–biblical historical sources such as the Stele of Merneptah or the Mesha Stele, but is falsified as history and reduced to “mere literature” when anticipated or echoed in extra–biblical literary sources such as the Akkadian Sargon Legend or now the Sumerian Sargon Legend. This alone would justify a separation of the comparative material into historical monuments, canonical compositions, and archival documents. But the new attitude goes further. It recognizes that the assessment of a biblical text, so far from ending with the identification of an extra–biblical parallel, begins there.
In conclusion, the combination of an intertextual and a contextual approach to biblical literature holds out the promise that this millennial corpus will continue to yield new meanings on all levels: the meaning that it holds for ourselves in our own contemporary context, the meanings it has held for readers, worshippers, artists and others in the two millennia and more since the close of the canon; the meaning that it held for its own authors and the audiences of their times; and finally the meanings that it held when it was part of an earlier literary corpus. It is to the clarification of that oldest level of meaning that The Context of Scripture is dedicated. It may also serve as a memorial to Pritchard, whose death occurred on January 1, 1997, as this volume was going to press.
Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World

James P. Allen

This text consists of a series of captions accompanying the image of the goddess Nut stretched out as a representation of the sky, held off the earth by the atmosphere (Shu). Originally perhaps of Middle Kingdom composition, it appears on ceilings of the cenotaph of Seti I (Dynasty 19, ca. 1291–1279 BCE) at Abydos and the tomb of Ramesses IV (Dynasty 20, ca. 1163–1156 BCE) at Thebes; the texts were also copied, with exegesis, in two Demotic papyri of the second century CE. Together, the representation and its texts describe the ancient Egyptian concept of the universe.
Outside the Cosmos (Texts Dd-Ee, on Nut’s right)
The uniform darkness, ocean2 of the gods, the place from which birds come: this is from her northwestern side up to her northeastern side, open to the Duat that is on her northern side, with her rear in the east and her head in the west. These birds exist with their faces as people and their nature as birds, one of them speaking to the other with the speech of crying.3 After they come to eat plants and to get nourished in the Black Land, alighting under the brightness of the sky, then they change into their nature of birds.
(Text L, above Nut) The upper side of this sky exists in uniform darkness, the southern, northern, western and eastern limits of which are unknown,c these having been fixed in the Waters, in inertness.4 There is no light of the Ram there: he does not appear there — (a place) whose south, north, west and east land is unknownc by the gods or akh’s, there being no brightness there. And as for every place void of sky and void of land,7 that is the entire Duat.
Description of Nut (Texts Ll, Gg, Q, and P)
Her right arm is on the northwestern side, [the left] on the [north]eastern side. Her head is the western Akhet, her mouth is the west. (The goddess’s mouth is labeled) Western Akhet, (her crotch) Eastern Akhet.
Cycle of the Sun (Texta Aa-Bb, to the winged sun-disk at Nut’s mouth)
The Incarnation of this god enters at her first hour of evening,10 becoming effective again in the embrace of his father Osiris, and becoming purified therein. The Incarnation of this god rests from life in the Duat at her second hour of pregnancy.12 Then the Incarnation of this god is governing the westerners, and giving directions in the Duat. Then the Incarnation of this god comes forth on earth again, having come into the world, young, his physical strength growing great again, like the first occasion of his original state. Then he is evolved into the great god, the winged disk. When this god sails to the limits of the basin of the sky, she causes him to enter again into night, into the middle of the night, and as he sails inside the dusk these stars are behind him. When the Incarnation of this god enters her mouth, inside the Duat, it stays open after he sails inside her, so that these sailing stars14 may enter after him and come forth after him. Where they course is to their locales.
(Texts G, F, and E, to the sun-disk before Nut’s foot)
The redness after birth, as he becomes pure in the embrace of his father Osiris. Then his father lives, as he becomes effective [again] through him, as he opens in his splitting16 and swims in his redness.
(Texts M-O, to the sun-disk on Nut’s foot)
The Incarnation of this god comes forth from her rear. Then he is on course toward the world, apparent and born. Then he produces himself above. Then he parts the thighs of his mother Nut. Then he goes away to the sky.
(Texts J-K and H, to the winged scarab at Nut’s thigh)
When the Incarnation of this god comes forth from the Duat, these stars come forth after him at the birthplace. Then he is reared in the birthplace. Then he becomes effective again through his father Osiris, in the Abydene nome, on the first occasion of his original state. Then he is evolved and goes away to the sky, in the hour of “She Has Gone to Rest.”18 Then he is dominant, having come into the world. Then his heart and his physical strength evolve. Then Geb sees the Chick, when the Sun has shown himself as he comes forth. Then he is entered into this (winged scarab).20 Then he is evolved, like his original evolving in the world on the first occasion.

Frankfort 1933 I:72–86, II pl. 81; Parker 1960 I:36–94, pl. 30–51; Hornung 1972:485–86; Allen 1988a:1–9.
James P. Allen

This text is part of a series inscribed on coffins of the First Intermediate Period and Middle Kingdom, designed to aid the deceased’s spirit in its daily journey from the Netherworld of the tomb to the world of the living. This particular spell, in which the deceased is identified with the primordial source of all matter as it first existed within the primeval waters, has so far been found only on one coffin.
The background of creation (CT VI 343j)
I am the Waters, unique, without second.
The evolution of creation (CT VI 343k-344d)
That is where I evolved,
on the great occasion of my floating that happened to me.
I am the one who once evolved —
Circlet, who is in his egg.
I am the one who began therein, (in) the Waters.
See, the Flood is subtracted from me:
see, I am the remainder.
I made my body evolve through my own effectiveness.
I am the one who made me.
I built myself as I wished, according to my heart.

CT VI 343j-344d; Faulkner 1977:270; Allen 1988a:13–14.
James P. Allen

The Pyramid Texts were inscribed on the walls of the substructures of royal pyramids at the end of the Old Kingdom, with the same purpose as their descendants, the Coffin Texts. This spell begins by describing the material derivation of the first two elements of the world — the atmospheres above and below the earth (Shu and Tefnut) — from the single source of all matter (Atum), as a “mythological precedent” for the daily rebirth of the deceased king.
The birth of Shu and Tefnut from Atum (Pyr. 1248)
Atum evolved growing ithyphallic,2 in Heliopolis. He put his penis in his grasp that he might make orgasm with it, and the two siblings were born — Shu and Tefnut.

Pyr. 1248a-d; Faulkner 1969:198; Allen 1988a:13–14.
James P. Allen

The beginning of this spell, another “mythological precedent,” combines three images of the first moments of creation. The first lines invokes the divine source of all matter (Atum) in his evolution as the sun (“Scarab”) and the world-space within the primeval waters. This is followed by references to the “etymological” origin of Shu and Tefnut and to the source of their life force.
Atum as the First Things (Pyr. 1652–1653a)
Atum Scarab!
When you became high, as the high ground,
when you rose, as the benben in the Phoenix3 Enclosure in Heliopolis,
you sneezed Shu, you spat Tefnut,
and you put your arms about them, as the arms of ka,
that your ka might be in them.

Pyr. 1652a–1653a; Faulkner 1969:246–247; Allen 1988a:13–14.
James P. Allen

Spells 75–81 of the Coffin Texts, which identify the deceased as a manifestation (ba) of the first element of the world (Shu), are a major source for the evolutionary view of creation promulgated in Heliopolis. In at least two MSS (S1C and S2C), these seven spells were treated as a single text, with the title “Spell of the ba of Shu and evolution into Shu” (CT I 314a). Spell 75, one of the most frequently copied of all Coffin Texts, describes the birth of Shu. In the cosmogony of Heliopolis, this is the first stage in the evolution of Atum that produced the created world.
Shu’s relationship to Atum (CT I 314/315b–326/327a)
I am the ba of Shu, the self-evolving2 god:
it is in the body of the self-evolving god that I have evolved.
I am the ba of Shu, the god mysterious (?) of form:
it is in the body of the self-evolving god that I have become tied together.
I am the utmost extent of the self-evolving god:
it is in him that I have evolved.
I am the one who stills the sky for him,
I am the one who silences the earth for him. a
I am the one who foretells him when he emerges from the Akhet,
putting fear of him into those who seek his identity.
I am one who is millions, who hears the affairsof millions.
I am the one who transmits the word of the self-evolving god to his multitude.
I am the one who officiates over his boat-crew,
being stronger and more raging than every Ennead.
The origin of Shu (CT I 326/327b–338/339b)
The speech of the original gods, who evolved after me, has been repeated to me, when they asked of the Waters my evolution, seeing my strength in the great boat that the self-evolving god sails, and how I have acted9 among them, causing my reputation according to my evolution.
I shall speak. Become still, Ennead! Become silent, gods, and I will tell you my evolution myself. Don’t ask my evolution of the Waters.
When the Waters saw me, I was already evolved. He does not know where I evolved. He did not see with his face how I evolved.
It is in the body of the great self-evolving god that I have evolved,
for he created me in his heart,
made me in his effectiveness,
and exhaled me from his nose.
Shu’s nature (CT I 338/339c–344/345c and 354/355b–358/359a)
I am exhale-like of form,
created by that august self-evolving god
who strews the sky with his perfection,
the total of the gods’ forms,
whose identity the gods who sail him do not know,
whom the “sunfolk” follow.
It is in his feet that I have grown,
in his arms that I have evolved,
in his limbs that I have made a void.
He created me himself in his heart,
he made me in his effectiveness.
I was not born by birth.

I am one exhale-like of form.
He did not give me birth with his mouth,
he did not conceive me with his fist.
He exhaled me from his nose,
he made me in the midst of his perfection,
which excites those who are in the inaccessible places
when he strews the sky with his perfection.
Shu’s relationship to the rest of creation (CT I 372/373b–376/377c, 384b–385c, and 405b-c)
I do not have to listen to magic:
I evolved before it.
My clothes are the wind of life: c
it came forth about me, from the mouth of Atum.
I evolved in the god who evolved on his own,
alone, older than the gods.
I am the one who touches for him the height of the sky.d
I am the one who brings to him his effectiveness,
who unites for him his million of ka placed in protection of his associates.

For it is through creation in its entirety that I evolved,
at the utterance of that august self-evolving god
who does not turn back on what he has said. e
For I am the one who made to the limit, according to his command.

I am the god mysterious (?) of form,
but I am in the utmost extent of sunlight.

CT I 314/315b–405c; de Buck 1947; Faulkner 1964; Zandee 1971–72; Faulkner 1973:72–77; Allen 1988a:14–18.
James P. Allen

This text continues the tale of Shu’s birth by describing how the structure of the world-space and its contents derive from the initial creation of the atmosphere. It also contains one of the first references to the four negative qualities of the primordial waters, later developed by the theologians of Hermopolis into a cosmogony of four divine couples, the Ogdoad.
Initial invocation: the deceased as Shu (II 1a–2a)
O you eight Infinite Ones, who are at the parts of the sky,a
whom Shu made from the efflux of his limbs,
who tie together the ladder for Atum!
Come to meet your father in me!
Give me your arms,
tie together a ladder for me.
I am the one who created you,
I am the one who made you,
as I was made by my father Atum.
Shu’s nature (CT II 2b–3c)
I am weary at the Uplifting of Shu,
since I lifted my daughter Nut atop me
that I might give her to my father Atum in his utmost extent.
I have put Geb under my feet:
this god is tying together the land for my father Atum,
and drawing together the Great Flood for him.
I have put myself between them
without the Ennead seeing me.
Shu’s birth (CT II 3d–4d)
It is I who am Shu,
whom Atum created on the day that he evolved.
I was not built in the womb,
I was not tied together in the egg,
I was not conceived by conception.
My father Atum sneezed me in a sneeze of his mouth,
together with my sister Tefnut.
She emerged after me,
while I was still hooded with the air of the Phoenix’s throat,
on the day that Atum evolved —
out of the Flood, out of the Waters,
out of darkness, out of lostness. c
Shu’s relationship to the gods (CT II 5a–6b)
It is I who am Shu, father of the gods,
in search of whom, together with my sister Tefnut,
Atum once sent his Sole Eye.
I am the one who made brightening the darkness possible for it.
It found me as a man of infinite number:
I am the begetter of repeated millions —
out of the Flood, out of the Waters,
out of darkness, out of lostness.
It is I who am Shu, begetter of the gods.

CT II 1a–6b; Faulkner 1973:77–80; Zandee 1973a; Allen 1988a:18–21.
James P. Allen

This text follows Coffin Texts Spell 76 after a few lines (Spell 77) that describe the birth of Shu through the combined metaphors of masturbation and spitting. The major theme in Spell 78 is the identification of this event with the evolution of Time in its two aspects: the permanent pattern of existence, identified with Tefnut; and the eternal repetition of life, identified with Shu.
Shu as the atmosphere (CT II 19a-b)
I am the ba of Shu,
to whom was given Nut atop him and Geb under his feet.
I am between them.
Shu as the cycle of time (CT II 22a-b)
I am Eternal Recurrence, father of an infinite number.
My sister is Tefnut, daughter of Atum, who bore the Ennead.
Tefnut as the pattern of time (CT II 23a-c)
I am the one who bore repeated millions for Atum:
Eternal Sameness is (my sister) Tefnut.

CT II 19a–23c; Faulkner 1973:81–82; Zandee 1973b; Allen 1988a:21–27.
James P. Allen

Following a short reprise of Spell 76 (Spell 79), this text continues the temporal theme first sounded in Spell 78 and expands it through the additional concepts of Life, identified with Shu, and the natural Order of the universe, associated with Tefnut. As part of its exposition, the spell concentrates on the notion of the One (Atum) evolving into the multiplicity of life. This includes the phenomenon of generational death and rebirth (codified in Osiris and Isis), the creation of people, and the interrelationship of all living things. The spell’s physical description of Shu as the atmosphere is one of the clearest statements of the Egyptian concept of divinity immanent in the elements of nature. Together with a short summation (Spell 81), this text completes the theological exposition of the meaning of Shu’s birth that began in Spell 75.
Introduction (CT II 23d–28d)
O you eight Infinite Ones — an infinite number of Infinite Ones,
who encircle the sky with your arms,
who draw together the sky and horizon of Geb!
Shu has given you birth
out of the Flood, out of the Waters,
out of lostness, out of darkness, a
that he might allot you to Geb and Nut,
Shu being Eternal Recurrence,
and Tefnut, Eternal Sameness.
The nature of Shu (CT II 28e–32a)
I am the ba of Shu, who is at the Great Flood,
who goes up to the sky as he wishes,
who goes down to the earth as his heart decides.
Come in excitement to greet the god in me!
I am Shu, child of Atum.
My clothing is the air of life,
which emerged for it around me, from the mouth of Atum
and opens for it the winds on my path.
I am the one who made possible the sky’s brilliance after the Darkness.
My skin is the pressure of the wind,
which emerged behind me from the mouth of Atum.
My efflux is the storm-cloud9 of the sky,
my fumes are the storm9 of half-light.
The length of the sky is for my strides,
and the breadth of the earth is for my foundations.
I am the one whom Atum created,
and I am bound for my place of Eternal Sameness.
It is I who am Eternal Recurrence,
who bore repeated millions;
whom Atum sneezed,
who emerged from his mouth,
as he used his hand that he desired, in order to let fall for the earth.
The origin of Shu and Tefnut (CT II 32b-35h)
Then said Atum:
My living daughter is Tefnut.
She will exist with her brother Shu.
Life is his identity,
Order is her identity.
I shall live with my twins, my fledglings,
with me in their midst —
one of them at my back,
one of them in my belly.
Life will lie with my daughter Order —
one of them inside me,
one of them about me.
It is on them that I have come to rely,
with their arms about me.
It is my son who shall live,
he whom I begot in my identity,
for he has learned how to enliven the one in the egg, in the respective womb,
as people, that emerged from my eye —
(the eye) that I sent forth when I was alone with the Waters, in inertness,
not finding a place in which I could stand or sit,
before Heliopolis had been founded, in which I could exist;
before the Lotus had been tied together, on which I could sit;
before I had made Nut so she could be over my head and Geb could marry her;
before the first Corps was born,
before the original Ennead had evolved and started existing with me.
Then said Atum to the Waters:
I am floating, very weary, the natives inert.18
It is my son Life, who lifts up my heart, that will enliven my heart
when he has drawn together these very weary limbs of mine.
The Waters said to Atum:
Kiss your daughter Order.
Put her to your nose and your heart will live.
They will not be far from you —
that is, your daughter Order and your son Shu, whose identity is Life.
It is of your daughter Order that you shall eat,
it is your son Shu that shall elevate you.
Shu as Life (CT II 35i-36e and 39b–40b)
I, in fact, am Life, son of Atum —
from his nose he bore me,
from his nostrils I emerged.
I shall put myself at his collar,
that he may kiss me and my sister Order,
when he rises every day and emerges from his egg,
when the god is born in the emergence of sunlight
and homage is said to him by those whom he begot.

I am Life, lord of years,
Life of Eternal Recurrence, lord of Eternal
Sameness —
the eldest that Atum made with his effectiveness,
when he gave birth to Shu and Tefnut in Heliopolis,
when he was one and evolved into three,
when he parted Geb from Nut,
before the first Corps was born,
before the two original Enneads evolved and were existing with me.
In his nose he conceived me,
from his nostrils I emerged.
He has placed me at his collar
and he does not let me get far from him.
The process of Life (CT II 40c-43h)
My identity is Life, son of the original god:
I live in the … (?) of my father Atum.
I am Life at his collar, the one who freshens the throat —
whom Atum made as Grain when he sent me down to this land,
and to the Isle of Fires, when my identity became Osiris, son of Geb.
I am Life, for whom the length of the sky and the breadth of Geb were made:
it is from me that presented offerings emerge for the god.
My father Atum will kiss me as he emerges from the eastern Akhet;
his heart will rest at seeing me as he proceeds in rest to the western Akhet.
He will find me on his way,
and I will tie on his head and enliven his uraeus.
I will fix the head of Isis on her neck,
and assemble Osiris’s bones.
I will make firm his flesh every day
and make fresh his parts every day —
falcons living off birds, jackals off prowling,
pigs off the highlands, hippopotami off the cultivation,
men off grain, crocodiles off fish,
fish off the waters in the Inundation e —
as Atum has ordered.
I will lead them and enliven them,
through my mouth, which is Life in their nostrils.
I will lead my breath into their throats,
after I have tied on their heads by the Annunciation that is in my mouth,
which my father Atum, who emerged from the eastern Akhet, has given me.
I will enliven the little fish and the crawling things on Geb’s back.
I, in fact, am Life that is under Nut.

CT II 27d-43h; Faulkner 1973:83–87; Zandee 1974; Allen 1988a:21–27.
James P. Allen

The papyrus from which this text is taken (pBM 10188) is a collection of theological treatises and magic spells against the dangers of the Netherworld (represented in sum by the demon Apophis), compiled from various sources at the beginning of the Ptolemaic Period. This selection, originally composed perhaps as early as the Ramesside Period, describes the evolution of multiplicity from the unity of Atum, who is both the “Lord to the Limit” (of the created world) and the sun at the dawn of creation (“Evolver”). It is unusual for its use of abstract terminology, based on the verb ḫpr “evolve,” in addition to the physical metaphors that Egyptian theologians regularly used to describe the process of creation.
Evolution of the many from the one (26, 21–24)
The Lord to the Limit, speaking after he evolved:
I am the one who evolved as Evolver.
When I evolved, evolution evolved.
All evolution evolved after I evolved,
evolutions becoming many in emerging from my mouth,
without the sky having evolved,
without the earth having evolved,
without the ground or snakes having been created in that place.
I became tied together in them out of the Waters, out of inertness,
without having found a place in which I could stand.
I became effective in my heart,
I surveyed with my face.
I made every form alone,
without having sneezed Shu,
without having spat Tefnut,
without another having evolved and acted with me.
I surveyed in my heart by myself
and the evolutions of evolutions became many,
in the evolutions of children
and in the evolutions of their children.
The first generation (26, 24–27, 2)
I am the one who acted as husband with my fist:
I copulated with my hand,
I let fall into my own mouth,
I sneezed Shu and spat Tefnut.
It is my father, the Waters, that tended them,
with my Eye after them since the time they became apart from me.
After I evolved as one god,
that was three gods with respect to me.
The sun (27, 2–4)
When I evolved into this world,
Shu and Tefnut grew excited in the inert waters in which they were,
and brought me my Eye after them.
And after I joined together my parts,
I wept over them:
that is the evolution of people,
from the tears that came from my Eye.
She raged against me after she returned
and found I had made another in her place
to replace her as (my) effective one.
So I promoted her place on my face,
and afterward she began to rule this entire land.
When their rage fell to their roots
I replaced what she had taken from her.
The creation of multiplicity (27, 4–6)
When I emerged from the roots
I created all the snakes and everything that evolved from them. c
Then Shu and Tefnut gave birth to Geb and Nut.
Then Geb and Nut gave birth to Osiris, Horus Fore-Eyed, Seth, Isis and Nephthys,
from one womb, (one) after the other,
and they gave birth to their multitude in this world.

Faulkner 1933:59, 15–61, 12; Faulkner 1937:172–73; Faulkner 1938:41–42; ANET 6–7; Piankoff 1955:24; Sauneron 1959):48–51; Allen 1988a:28–30.
James P. Allen

This spell, the most frequently copied of all major Egyptian funerary texts, equates the deceased’s passage from the tomb to daylight with the sun’s journey from night to day, a theme summarized in its title. It originated in the Coffin Texts and was subsequently incorporated in their New Kingdom descendant, the so-called Book of the Dead, which was known by the same title. Almost from its inception, the spell accumulated extensive glosses on the original text. The excerpt below contains its opening lines along with the most important of their glosses from both the Coffin Texts and Book of the Dead. The text deals with the concept of the sunrise as both the culminating act of Atum’s evolution and the determining factor in the newly-created world.
Title (CT IV 184/185a)
Introduction (CT IV 184/185b–186/187a)
The word evolved, totality was mine when I existed alone.
The first sunrise (CT IV 186/187b)
I am the Sun in his first appearances.
Glosses (CT IV 187d-f, BD 17)
CT That is him rising in the east of the sky. Variant: it is the beginning of the Sun appearing over the world.
BD Who then is he? It is the Sun when he began the reign he has exercised. It is the Sun’s beginning to appear in the kingship he has exercised, when Shu’s uplifting had not yet evolved and he was on the high ground in Hermopolis, when the children of exhaustion6 had been given to him as the Hermopolitans.
The sun as Atum (CT IV 188/189a–190/191b)
I am the great self-evolving god,
Glosses (CT IV 188/189b-c, BD 17)
CT Who is he, the great self-evolving one? It is water: it is the Waters, father of the gods.
BD Variant: it is the Sun.
who created his identities, lord of the Enneads,
Glosses (BD 17)
BD Who then is he? It is the Sun when he created the identities of his parts. It is those gods who are after him evolving.
the unopposable one of the gods.
Glosses (CT IV 191c-d, BD 17)
CT Who is it? It is Atum in his disk.
BD Variant: it is the Sun rising in the eastern Akhet of the sky.
The sun determines time (CT IV 192/193a)
Yesterday is mine; I know tomorrow.
Glosses (CT IV 192/193b-c and 193d-f, BD 17)
CT As for yesterday, it is Osiris; as for tomorrow, it is the Sun. Who is it? The day of We Are Enduring. It is the burial of Osiris and causing his son Horus to rule.
BD Who then is he? As for yesterday, it is Osiris; as for tomorrow, it is the Sun, on the day when the enemies of the Lord to the Limit were destroyed and his son Horus was caused to rule. Variant: It is the day of We Are Enduring. It is the burial of Osiris being directed by his father the Sun.
The sun establishes order (CT IV 194/195a–196/197a)
The gods’ battleship/battleplace was made in accordance with my say.
Glosses (CT IV 194/195b-d, BD 17)
CT As for the god’s battleplace, it is the West. It was made in order to battle the gods’ enemies.
BD What then is it? It is the West. It was made for the gods’ ba’s in accordance with the command of Osiris, lord of the western cemetery. Variant: It is the West. This is what the Sun caused every god to descend to. Then he fought it for them.
I know the identity of that great god who is in it.
Glosses (CT IV 196/197c, BD 17)
CT The Acclaimed, the Sun, is his identity.
BD Who then is he? It is Osiris. Variant: the Acclaimed, the Sun, is his identity. It is the ba of the Sun, by means of which he himself copulates.
The sun as the determinant of all things (CT IV 198/199a–200/201a)
I am the great Phoenix that is in Heliopolis,
the accountant of that which exists.
Glosses (CT IV 200b–203b)17
CT Who then is he? It is Osiris. As for that which exists, it is Eternal Recurrence and Eternal Sameness. As for Eternal Recurrence, it is day; as for Eternal Sameness, it is night.

CT IV 184/185a–201f; Faulkner 1973:262–269; Rößler-Köhler 1979:157–158, 212–215; Allen 1988a:30–35.
James P. Allen

While the Heliopolitan accounts of creation concentrate primarily on the material origins of the world, they also acknowledge the role played by magic, the divine force that translated the creator’s will into reality. In Egyptian thought, magic has two components: conceptualization (“Perception”), which takes place in the heart; and Annunciation, the creative expression of a thought through the medium of the spoken word. Spell 261 of the Coffin Texts identifies the deceased with this force; as such, it presents a good exposition of the role that magic played in the creation.2
Title (CT III 382a)
Invocation (CT III 382b-d)
O noble ones who are before the Lord of Totality!
Behold, I am come to you.
Be afraid of me, in accordance with what you have learned.
The role of Magic (CT III 382e–387b)
I am the one whom the Sole Lord made
before two things had evolved in this world,
when he sent his sole eye,7
when he was one,
when something came from his mouth,
when his million of ka was in protection of his associates,
when he spoke with the one who evolved with him, than whom he is mightier,
when he took Annunciation in his mouth.
I, in fact, am that son of Bore-All,
and I am the protection of that which the Sole Lord commanded.
I am the one who gave life to the Ennead.
I am Acts-As-He-Likes, father of the gods, high of stand,
who made the god functional in accordance with that which Bore-All commanded,
a noble god, who speaks and eats with his mouth.
The status of Magic (CT III 387c–389e)
Become still for me!
Bow down to me!
I have come to tread on the bulls of the sky and sit on the bulls of the sky
in my great rank of Lord of Ka’s, the heir of Atum.
I have come to take my seat and receive my rank.
All was mine before you evolved, gods. a
Go down, you who came at the end!
I am Magic.

CT III 382a–389e; te Velde 1970:180; Faulkner 1973:199–201; Allen 1988a:37–38; Ritner 1993:17.
James P. Allen

The conceptual link between the creator’s fiat and its material realization in the forces and elements of the world was conceptualized by the theologians of Memphis in the creative role of their god Ptah. The earliest exposition of this theology appears in Spell 647 of the Coffin Texts. Attested in only one copy, it is a long spell identifying the deceased with all aspects of the Memphite god. The excerpts below concern Ptah’s role in the creation.
Title (CT VI 267a)
Ptah’s etiology (CT VI 267f-s)
Thus said Atum:
“Let my vertebra be fixed,
let my egg be firm on the vertebrae of the Great Flood.
Oh, oh, my son!
How good is your disposition,
how creative is he whom I have begotten!”
That is the evolution of my identity of Ptah,
good of disposition, great of strength.
“He to whom report is made in the palace of the lord of life,
to whom his places report,
for whom his ranks are promoted beyond those greater than him,”
said Perception about me.
That is the evolution of my identity of helper,
lord of order, Scribe at the fore of the Great House.
Order is excited at my command [for] life and dominion.
Thoth is on my “great flood” against that from which my pen is barred,
there being nothing the gods can do.
Ptah establishes order (CT VI 267t-268b)
I am one noble in his place,
who is in the heart of the Lord of the Shrine.
I emerge from and enter into the shrine of the Lord to the Limit,
elevating Order on the offering-slab of Shu and him in the sarcophagus,
causing the Sound Eye to enter,
punishing disorder in the council,
and driving off the Sun’s abomination from his boat,
while every god is exalting me,
every akh is in awe of me,
and the subjects are worshipping my goodness.
Ptah governs all life (CT VI 268c-o, 269j-k, and 269r-u)
I am the one who makes plants grow,
who makes green the shores of the Nile Valley;
lord of desert lands, who makes green the wadis,
chief of the Nubians, Asiatics, and Libyans.
The Nine Bows have been netted for me,
and totality has been given me by the Sun, Lord to the Limit.
I am South of His Wall, sovereign of the gods.
I am king of the sky,
distributor of ka’s, who officiates over the Two Lands;
distributor of ka’s, who gives ba’s, manifestations,15 ka’s, and beginnings.
I am distributor of ka’s, and they live according to my action:
when I wish, I make it possible for them to live,
there being none of them who can speak to me
except for [the one who made] that unique identity of mine,
because I am Annunciation in his mouth and Perception in his body.

I emerge from and enter into [the shrine of the Lord] to the Limit,
telling him the conduct of the Two Lands
in accordance with how I make it possible for them to live there,

giving life and conducting gifts to the gods who have offerings.
It is I who am lord of life, who officiates in Nut,
while Seth is my escort because he knows the conduct of what I do.
I am the lord of life.

CT VI 267a, 267f-268o, 269j-k/r-u; Faulkner 1977:221–23; Allen 1988a:38–42.
James P. Allen

In the Middle Kingdom Coffin Texts, the creative role of Ptah is clearly secondary to that of Atum, the material source of creation. In the New Kingdom, however, it evolved into a full cosmogony in its own right, combining the intellectual principle of Ptah with the material role of Ta-tenen (“Rising Land”), the deified Primeval Hill representing the first instance of created matter. One of the most concise expositions of this Memphite system appears on a private stela of the Ramesside Period, now in Copenhagen (GNC 897/AEIN 54).
Introduction (col. 1)
Yours truly is worshipping your perfection,
great Ptah, South of His Wall,
Ta-tenen in the midst of the Walls.
Ptah as creator (cols. 1–4)
Noble god of the first occasion,
who built people and gave birth to the gods,
original one who made it possible for all to live;
in whose heart it was spoken, who saw them evolve,
who foretold what was not and thought of what is.
There is nothing that has evolved without him,
he whose evolution is their evolution in the course of each day,
anterior to what he has determined.
Ptah as king (cols. 4–5)
You have set the world to its laws as you made it,
and the Black Land is fixed under your command, like the first occasion.

Koefoed-Petersen 1936:57; Koefoed-Petersen 1948:37 and pl. 37A; Assmann 1975b:466; Allen 1988a:38–42.
James P. Allen

Although much of what we know about Egyptian cosmogony derives from funerary compositions such as the Pyramid Texts, Coffin Texts, and Book of the Dead, informative reflections of these creation accounts are also preserved in hymns designed for use in daily temple rituals. One such hymn to Ptah, preserved on a papyrus from the reign of Ramesses IX now in Berlin (pBerl. 3048), is an important source for the Memphite cosmogony centered on the creative role of Ptah Ta-tenen.
Introduction (2, 1–2 and 3, 1–2)
Worshipping Ptah, father of the [god]s,
Ta-tenen, eldest of the originals, [at] daybreak.
Greetings, Ptah, father of the gods,
Ta-tenen, eldest of the originals,

who begot himself by himself, without any evolving having evolved;
who [craf]ted the world in the design of his heart;
evolution of his evolutions,
model who gave birth to all that is,
begetter who created what exists.
Ptah as creator (4, 3–5, 1)
PHARAOH has come before you, Ptah:
he has come before you, god distinguished of form.
Greetings before your originals,
whom you made after you evolved in the god’s body,
(you) who built his body by himself,
without the earth having evolved, without the sky having evolved,
without the waters having been introduced.
You tied together the world, you totalled your flesh,
you took account of your parts and found yourself alone,
place-maker, god who smelted a the Two Lands.
There is no father of yours who begot you in your evolving,
no mother of yours who gave you birth:
your own Uniter, b
active one who came forth active.
When you stood up on the land in its inertness,
it drew together thereafter,
you being in your form of Ta-tenen,
in your evolution of the one who totals the Two Lands.
The one whom your mouth begot and your arms have created —
you took him from the Waters,
your action modelling your perfection:
your son, distinguished in his evolving,
who dispels for you the uniform darkness with the radiance of his two eyes.12
Ptah’s character (11, 4–8)
O be fearful of him, O be afraid of him —
this god who made your needs.
Give adulation to his might
and become content in the presence of his two sound eyes.
Since his words are the balance of the Two Lands,
there is no bypassing the utterance he has made.
The great identity that lays storms,
which [every] face fears when his ba [e]volves;
magic that has control of the gods,
whose respect is great in the Ennead:
the reckoning [of him] is in what he has begun,
his control is among that which he has made.

Möller 1905:36–46; Wolf 1929; Sauneron 1953; Assmann 1975b:322–33; Allen 1988a:38–42.
James P. Allen

Perhaps the most famous of all Egyptian creation accounts is preserved on a worn slab of black granite, created for erection in the temple of Ptah at Memphis during the reign of the Nubian pharaoh Shabaqo and now in the British Museum (BM 498). As its dedicatory text records, the stone was purportedly inscribed in order to preserve a much older document, probably on papyrus or leather; lacunae deliberately incorporated in the copy support this claim. For a long time the original was thought to derive from the Old Kingdom or even earlier, but advances in our understanding of Egyptian grammar and theology have now made a date in the Nineteenth Dynasty more likely. The text is remarkable not only for its history but more importantly for the content of its closing section, translated here.
Dedication (line 2)
His Incarnation copied this writing anew in the house of his father Ptah South of His Wall,3 when His Incarnation found it as something that the predecessors had made, worm-eaten and unknown from beginning to end. Then [His Incarnation] copied [it] anew — and it is better than its former state — for the sake of his name enduring and making his monuments last in the house of his father Ptah South of His Wall, for the length of eternity, as something that the Son of Re [SHABAQO] did for his father Ptah Ta-tenen that he might achieve given life eternally.
Creation by thought and expression (cols. 53–56)
There was evolution into Atum’s image through both the heart and the tongue. And great6 and important is Ptah, who gave life to all the [gods] and their ka’s as well through this heart and this tongue, as which Horus and Thoth have both evolved by means of Ptah.
It has evolved that heart and tongue have control of [all] limb[s], show[ing] that he is preeminent in every body and in every mouth — of all the gods, all people, all animals, and all crawling things that live — planning and governing everything he wishes.
His Ennead is before him, in teeth and lips — that seed and those hands of Atum: (for) Atum’s Ennead evolv[ed] through his seed and his fingers, but the Ennead is teeth and lips in this mouth that pronounced the identity of everything, and from which Shu and Tefnut emerged and gave birth to the Ennead.
The eyes’ seeing, the ears’ hearing, the nose’s breathing of air send up (information) to the heart, and the latter is what causes every conclusion to emerge; a it is the tongue that repeats what the heart plans.
The result of creation (cols. 56–58)
So were all the gods born, Atum and his Ennead as well, for it is through what the heart plans and the tongue commands that every divine speech has evolved.
So were the male life-principles made and the female life-principles set in place b — they who make all food and every offering — through that word that makes what is loved and what is hated.14
So has life been given to him who has calm and death given to him who has wrongdoing. c
So was made all construction and all craft, the hands’ doing, the feet’s going, and every limb’s movement, according as he governs that which the heart plans, which emerges through the tongue, and which facilitates everything.
The role of Ptah (cols. 58–61)
It has evolved that Ptah is called “He who made totality and caused the gods to evolve,” since he is Ta-tenen, who gave birth to the gods, from whom everything has emerged — offerings and food, gods’ offerings, and every good thing. So is it found understood18 that his physical strength is greater than the gods’.
So has Ptah come to rest after his making everything and every divine speech19 as well, having given birth to the gods, having made their towns, having founded their nomes, having set the gods in their cult-places, having made sure their bread-offerings, having founded their shrines, having modelled their bodies to what contents them. So have the gods entered their bodies — of everykind of wood, every kind of mineral, every kind of fruit, everything that grows all over him, in which they have evolved.
So were gathered to him all the gods and their ka’s as well, content and united in the lord of the Two Lands.

Breasted 1902; Erman 1911; Sethe 1928:1–80; Junker 1939; ANET 4–6; Sauneron 1959:62–64; Lichtheim 1973:51–57; Allen 1988a:42–47.
James P. Allen

While the cosmogonies of Heliopolis and Memphis were concerned with the material source and the means of creation, respectively, that of Thebes was devoted to its ultimate cause, the creator himself, conceptualized in the god Amun. Among the many texts of New Kingdom and later date describing the role of Amun in the creation, the most extensive is that preserved on a papyrus from the end of Ramesses II’s reign, now in Leiden (I 350). It is divided into a series of eulogies, artificially numbered as “chapters,” each dealing with a different aspect of the god. The five “chapters” excerpted below deal most directly with Amun’s nature and his role as creator.
Amun as self-generating (2, 25–28)
The one who crafted himself, whose appearance is unknown.
Perfect aspect, who evolved into a sacred emanation.
Who built his processional images and created himself by himself.
Perfect icon, whom his heart made perfect.
Who tied his fluid together with his body
to bring about his egg in his secret interior.
Evolution of evolution, model of birth.
Who finished himself in proper order,
[…] who crafted 40.
Amun as the source of all evolution (3, 22–28)
The Hermopolitans were your first evolution
until you completed these, while you were alone.
Your body was secreted among the elders,
you hiding yourself as Amun, at the head of the gods.
You made your evolution into Ta-tenen,
in order to cause the original ones to be born from your first original state.
Your perfection was raised aloft as Bull of His Mother,
and you distanced yourself as the one in the sky, fixed in the sun.
You are come in fathers, maker of their sons,
in order to make functional heirs for your children.
You began evolution with nothing,
without the world being empty of you on the first occasion.
All gods are evolved after you,
Amun as the source of creation (3, 28–4, 8)
The Ennead is combined in your body:
your image is every god, joined in your person.
You emerged first, you began from the start.
Amun, whose identity is hidden a from the gods;
oldest elder, more distinguished than these.
Ta-tenen, who smelted [himself] by himself, in Ptah:
the toes of his body are the Hermopolitans.
Who appeared in the Sun, from the Waters, that he might rejuvenate.
Who sneezed, [as Atum, from] his [mouth,
and gave birth to] Shu and Tefnut combined in manifestation.
Who appears on his throne as his heart prompts,
who rules for himself all that is, in his [disk].
Who ties together for himself the kingship of Eternal Recurrence,
down to Eternal Sameness, permanent as Sole Lord.
Light was his evolution on the first occasion,
with all that exists in stillness for awe of him.
He honked by voice, as the Great Honker,
at the District, creating for himself while he was alone.
He began speaking in the midst of stillness,
opening every eye and causing them to look.
He began crying out while the world was in stillness,
his yell in circulation while he had no second,
that he might give birth to what is and cause them to live,
and cause every person to know the way to walk.
Their hearts live when they see him.
His are the effective forms of the Ennead.
Amun as pre-existing (4, 9–11)
Who began evolution on the first occasion.
Amun, who evolved in the beginning, with his emanation unknown,
no god evolving prior to him,
no other god with him to tell of his appearance,
there being no mother of his for whom his name was made,
and no father of his who ejaculated him so as to say “It is I.”
Who smelted his egg by himself.
Icon secret of birth, creator of his (own) perfection.
Divine god, who evolved by himself
and every god evolved since he began himself.
Amun as transcendent (4, 12–21)
Secret of evolution (but) glittering of forms,
wonderful god of many evolutions.
All gods boast in him,
in order to magnify themselves in his perfection, like his divinity.
The Sun himself is joined with his person.
It is he who is the Great One in Heliopolis,
who is also called Ta-tenen.
Amun, who emerged from the Waters that he might lead everyone.
Another of his evolutions is the Hermopolitans.
Original one who begot the original ones and caused the Sun to be born,
completing himself in Atum, one body with him.
It is he who is the Lord to the Limit, who began existence.
His ba, they say, is the one who is in the sky.
It is he who is the one who is in the Duat, foremost of the east.
His ba is in the sky, his body in the west,
and his cult-image in Southern Heliopolis, elevating his appearances.
Amun is one, hiding himself from them.
He is concealed from the gods, and his aspect is unknown.
He is farther than the sky, he is deeper than the Duat. d
No god knows his true appearance,
no processional image of his is unfolded through inscriptions,
no one testifies to him accurately.
He is too secret to uncover his awesomeness,
he is too great to investigate, too powerful to know.
Instantaneously falling face to face into death
is for the one who expresses his secret identity, unknowingly or knowingly.35
There is no god who knows how to invoke him with it.
Manifest one whose identity is hidden, inasmuch as it is inaccessible.36
Amun as One (4, 21–26)
All the gods are three:
Amun, the Sun, and Ptah, without their seconds.
His identity is hidden in Amun,
his is the Sun as face, his body is Ptah.
Their towns are on earth, fixed for Eternal Recurrence:
Thebes, Heliopolis, and Memphis, unto Eternal Sameness.
When a message is sent from the sky, it is heard in Heliopolis,
and repeated in Memphis to (Ptah) of good disposition,
put in a report, in Thoth’s writing,
for the town of Amun, bearing their concerns,
and the matter is answered in Thebes
by an Oracle emerging, intended for the Ennead.40
Everything that comes from his — Amun’s — mouth,
the gods are bound by it, according to what has been decreed.
When a message is sent, whether for killing or for giving life,
life or death are in it for everyone
except him — Amun together with the Sun [and Ptah:] total, 3.

Gardiner 1905; Erman 1923; Zandee 1947; Fecht 1964:46–52; Assmann 1975b:312–21; Allen 1988a:48–55.
James P. Allen

Egyptian cosmogonies were concerned primarily with explaining the origin of the world and its elements. The creation of human beings was considered part of this process, and as such was not given special attention in and of itself: if noted at all, it is usually explained by a simple “etymological” metaphor, which derives people (rmṯ) from the “tears” (rmyt) of the creator’s eye. By the same token, the establishment of social and moral norms is generally absent from the creation accounts, since these were considered part of the natural order governing the operation of the world as a whole. Spell 1130 of the Coffin Texts is perhaps the major exception to this tradition. Like all Egyptian cosmogonies, it equates the creation with the establishment of order and the attendant quelling of chaos; but unlike most, it describes this process in largely human terms — the relationship of people to nature and to one another. The spell is also unusual in its reference to the end of the world, which is conceived essentially as a return to chaos, a reversal of the process of creation itself.
Introduction (CT VII 461c–462c)
RECITATION BY INACCESSIBLE-OF-IDENTITIES, the Lord to the Limit, speaking before those who still the storm during the sailing of the entourage: Please proceed in calm, and I will repeat to you the four deeds2 that my own heart did for me inside the Coil a for the sake of stilling disorder.
The establishment of order (CT VII 462d–464f)
I have done four good deeds inside the portal of the Akhet.
I have made the four winds,
so that every person might breathe in his area.
That is one of the deeds.
I have made the great inundation,
so that the poor might have control like the rich. c
That is one of the deeds.
I have made every person like his fellow.
I did not decree that they do disorder:
it is their hearts that break what I said.
That is one of the deeds.
I have made their hearts not forget the West,
for the sake of making offerings to the nome gods.
That is one of the deeds.
The operation of order in the world (CT VII 464g-467d)
I made the gods evolve from my sweat,
while people are from the tears of my Eye.
I shine anew every day in this my rank of Lord to the Limit.
I made night for Weary-hearted,
while I am bound for sailing aright in my boat.
I am lord of the Flood in crossing the sky.
I do not have to show respect for any of my parts:
Annunciation and Magic are felling for me that evil-charactered one
that I might see the Akhet and come to sit at its head,
that I might separate the needy from the rich, e
and do likewise to the disorderly.
Life is for me, I am its lord:
the scepter will not be taken from my hand.
The end of creation (CT VII 467e–468b)
And when I have spent millions of years between myself and that Weary-hearted one, the son of Geb,
I will come to sit with him in one place,
and mounds will become towns, and towns mounds:
one enclosure will destroy the other.

CT VII 461c–468b; ANET 7–8; Lichtheim 1973:131–33; Faulkner 1978:167–169; Hermsen 1991:227–234.
BOOK OF THE DEAD 175 (1.18)
“Rebellion, Death and Apocalypse”
Robert K. Ritner

Through a series of dialogues between divine speakers, this famous theological treatise details the corruption of the original creation with the introduction of death and concomitant anxiety regarding an afterlife, as well as apocalyptic pronouncements of the world’s ultimate dissolution and recreation. A final section relates an ontological myth describing the origin of ritual, deities and names. Thought to have been composed as early as the First Intermediate Period (Kees 1956:207), the six surviving manuscripts range in date from the 18th Dynasty to the Roman Period. In addition to the basic manuscript in Naville (1886, vol. 1, pls. cxcviii–cxcix), primary bibliography may be found in Hornung (1979:517–518), adding the published translations in Allen (1974:183–185), Barguet (1967:260–263), Faulkner (1985:175), Hornung (1979:365–371), and Wilson (ANET 9–10). No previous translation has included detailed critical analysis of the differing versions.
“O, Thoth, what is it that has happened through the children of Nut? They have made war. They have raised disturbance. When they committed evil, then they created rebellion. When they committed slaughter, then they created imprisonment. Indeed, they have converted what was great into what is small in all that I have done.
Hail (?), O great one Thoth” – so says Atum.
“You shall not see evil. You shall not suffer. Curtail their years, hasten their months, since they have betrayed secrets in all that you have done.”
“Mine is your palette, O Thoth. To you I have brought your ink pot. I am not among those who betray their secrets. No injury shall be done through me.”
“O, Atum, what does it mean that I go to the desert, the Land of Silence, which has no water, has no air, and which is greatly deep, dark, and lacking?”6
“Live in it in contentment.”
“But there is no sexual pleasure in it.”
“It is in exchange for water and air and sexual pleasure that I have given spiritual blessedness, contentment in exchange for bread and beer” – so says Atum.
“It is too much for me, my lord, not to see your face.”
“Indeed, I shall not suffer that you lack.”
“But every god has taken his throne in the bark Millions (of Years).”
“Your throne belongs to your son Horus” – so says Atum. “He now will dispatch the elders.12 He now will rule the two banks. He will inherit the throne14 which is in the Island of Flames.”
“Then command that the god see his equal, for my face will see the face of my lord Atum.”16
“What is the span of my life” — so says Osiris.
“You shall be for millions of millions (of years), a lifetime of millions.20 Then I shall destroy all that I have made. This land will return into the Abyss, into the flood as in its former state. It is I who shall remain together with Osiris, having made my transformations into other snakes which mankind will not know, nor gods see. How beautiful is that which I have done for Osiris, exalted more than all the gods! I have given to him rulership22 in the desert, the Land of Silence, while his son Horus is the heir upon his throne which is in the Island of Flames. I have made his seat24 in the bark of Millions (of Years). I have caused that he dispatch the elders. I have caused that his monuments be founded, while love of him is on earth, while the falcon is distant,26 secure in his palace through the desire of founding his monuments. I have sent28 the soul of Seth distinct from all30 the gods. I have caused that his soul be under guard in the bark through the desire that he not frighten the god’s limbs.”
“O, my father Osiris, may you do for me what your father Re did for you. May I endure upon earth, may I found my throne, may my heir be healthy, may my tomb stand firm. They are my servants upon earth.33 May my enemies be as split sycamore figs, with Selqet over their bonds.
I am your son, O my father Re. May you make for me this life, prosperity, and health, while the falcon is distant,36 secure in his palace. May one go forth to this lifetime of one who seeks for reverence among these revered ones.”
The sound of praise is in Heracleopolis, joy in Naref, since Osiris has appeared as Re, having inherited his throne, ruling the two banks completely. The Ennead is satisfied concerning it; Seth is as a great split sycamore fig.
“0 my lord Atum,” so says Osiris.40 “May Seth be afraid of me when he sees that my form is as your form. May all people come to me — all patricians, all commoners, all sunfolk, gods, blessed spirits and the dead — in bowing when they see me, since you have placed fear of me and created respect for me.”
Then Re [acted] in accordance with all that he said. Then Seth came with his head downcast, touching the earth, since he had seen what Re had had done for Osiris. Blood then descended from his nose. Then Re42 hacked the blood that came forth from his nose. That is how there came to be the ritual hacking of the earth in Heracleopolis.
Then Osiris became ill in his head, through the heat of the Atef-crown that was on his head — on the first day when he put it on his head — through the desire that the gods might fear him. Then Re returned in peace to Heracleopolis45 to see his son Osiris, and he found him sitting in his house, his head fallen into swelling47 through the heat of the Atef-crown that was on his head. Then Re emptied out these swellings, extracting the blood, pus and corruption, so that they ended up in a swamp. Then Re said to Osiris: “From the blood and pus descended from your head you have made a swamp.” Thus came to be the great49 swamp that is in Heracleopolis.
Then Osiris said to Re: “How healthy and how relieved is my face! How uplifted I am regarding what you commanded for my face regarding the ornament.”
Then Re [said] to Osiris: “Let your face be secure, your front be uplifted! How great is fear of you, how vast your respect! Behold the beautiful name come forth to you from my mouth! Behold your name remains for millions of many millions (of years)”! That is how there came to be the name of Harsaphes, foremost of his place in Heracleopolis, while the great52 Atef-crown is on his head, with millions and hundreds of thousands of bread, beer, bulls for slaughter, birds for wringing, everything good and pure, greater than the fluid of his spirit, while his spirit is before him, the spirit of sexual pleasure elevating to him all offerings.55
Then Re said to him: “How beautiful is this that has been done for you. Never has the like been done.”57
Then Osiris said: “It is by the authoritative power of my speech that I did it. How good is the king with authoritative utterance in his mouth!”
Then Re said to Osiris: “Behold, goodness has come forth to you from my mouth. By means of it your primal state has come into being. Then your name is fixed through it for millions of millions (of years).” That is how the name of Heracleopolis came to be.59
“How great is fear of you, how vast your respect! So long as there exists Horus, son of Osiris, born of Isis the goddess, may I exist as he exists, may I endure as he endures, my years like his years, his years like my years on earth for millions of many millions (of years).”
Words to be said over an image of NN made of lapis lazuli, given to a man at his neck. It is a great protection on earth and enhances a man in the necropolis. It gives love of him to people, gods, blessed spirits and the dead. It protects him from the assault of a god and protects a man from everything evil. Truly effective, (proved) millions of times.

Naville 1886 1:cxcviii–cxcix; Allen 1974:183–185; Barguet 1967:260–263; Faulkner 1985:175; Hornung 1979:365–371, 517–518; Kees 1930; 1956; ANET 9–10.
COFFIN TEXT 157 (1.19)
“Cultic Abominaton of the Pig”
Robert K. Ritner

This spell for “Knowing the Souls of Pe” (with its descendant Book of the Dead 112) provides a theological explanation for the Egyptian pork taboo, a prohibition never uniformly accepted (Darby et al. 1977:171–209; Miller 1990). The conclusion to the companion Coffin Text spell 158 is instructive: “Not to be said while eating pork.” No less interesting is the medical aspect of spell 157, since it details the first recorded opthalmological exam, perhaps including reference to a type of eye chart with “strokes.” The form of the myth is aetiological, explaining the origin of animals and customs.
O female souls of night, female marsh dwellers, Mendesian women, women of the Mendesian nome, dwellers in the Mansion of Iapu, shadowy ones ignorant of praise, brewers of Nubian beer, do you know the reason for which Pe was given to Horus? You do not know it, but I know it. It was Re who gave it in recompense for the mutilation in his eye. I know it. It was the case that Re said to Horus: “Let me see your eye since this has happened to it.” He then saw it and he said: “Look, pray, at that stroke while your hand covers the healthy eye which is there.” Then Horus looked at that stroke. Horus then said: “Behold, I see it completely white.” THAT IS HOW THE ORYX (“See–white”) CAME TO BE.
Re then said: “Look at that black pig.” Then Horus looked at that black pig. Then Horus cried out over the condition of his throbbing (“raging”) eye, saying: “Behold, my eye feels as at that first wound which Seth inflicted against my eye.”
Then Horus lost consciousness (“swallowed his heart”) before him. Re then said: “Place him on his bed until he is well.” It was the case that Seth made transformations against him as that black pig. Then he cast a wound into his eye. Re then said: “Abominate the pig for Horus.” “Would that he be well,” SO SAID THE GODS. THAT IS HOW THE ABOMINATION OF THE PIG CAME TO BE FOR HORUS BY THE GODS AND THEIR FOLLOWERS.
NOW when Horus was in his childhood, his sacrificial animal came to be a pig though his eye had not yet suffered. As for Imsety, Hapy, Dua-mutef, and Qebehsenuef, their father is Horus the elder and their mother is Isis. It was the case that Horus said to Re: “Give to me two in Pe and two in Hierakonpolis from this corpus of brethren to be with me in eternal assignment so that the earth might flourish and disturbance be extinguished in this my name of Horus upon his papyrus column.”

Textual edition: de Buck 1938:326–348. Further discussion and translations: ANET 9–10; Faulkner 1973:135–136.
BOOK OF THE DEAD 112 (1.20)
(Variant of CT 157)
Robert K. Ritner

The primary manuscript (18th Dynasty) appears in Naville (1886: pl. cxxiv), with translations in Barguet (1967:148–150), Allen (1974:91) and Faulkner (1985:108–109). A vignette depicts the seated gods Horus, Imsety and Hapy.
It is NN who shall say: “O marsh dwellers, those among the marsh dwellers, Mendesian women, those of the Mendesian nome, lady trappers who are in Pe, shadowy ones who know no return, brewers of beer who knead bread, do you know the reason for which Pe was given to Horus? I know it, but you do not know it. It was Re who gave it in recompense for the mutilation in his eye by this which Re said to Horus: ‘Let me see this which happened in your eye.’ When Re investigated, then he saw. Re then said to Horus: ‘Look, pray, at that black boar.’ Then he looked. And then his throbbing (“raging”) eye suffered greatly. Horus then said to Re: ‘Behold, my eye feels as at that wound which Seth inflicted against my eye.’ The he lost consciousness (“swallowed his heart”). Re then said to the gods: ‘Place him on his bed. Let him recover.’ It was the case that Seth had made his transformations into a black boar. Then that one cast a wound into his eye. Re then said to the gods:
‘Let the pig be abominated for Horus. Let him recover.’ That is how the pig came to be the abomination of Horus by the Ennead that is in his following.
When Horus was in his youth, his sacrificial animal came to be as his cattle and his pigs, though his followers abominate (them). Imsety, Hapy, Duamutef, and Qebehsenuef, (he is) their father, and Isis is their mother. Horus then said to Re: ‘May you give to me two brothers in Pe, and the remaining two in Hierakonpolis from this corpus together with me, to be in eternal assignment so that the earth might flourish, and disturbance be extinguished. That is how his name came to be as ‘Horus upon his Papyrus Column.’ I know the souls of Pe. One is Horus. One is Imsety. One is Hapy.
Lift up your heads, O gods who are in the underworld. It is so that you might see him having become as a great god that I have come before you.”

Naville 1886: pl. cxxiv; Barguet 1967:148–150; Allen 1974:91; Faulkner 1985:108–109.

(Coffin Text 160)
Robert K. Ritner

During the course of each day’s journey, the sun god confronted a serpent adversary whom he vanquished with the assistance of the militant god Seth and the force of divine magic. Within the following Coffin Text spell, this battle with the “dragon” is located at Bakhu, the mountainous western support of heaven where the sun sets. Elsewhere the serpent is styled Apep (Apopis), who threatens to devour the solar boat in the seventh and twelfth hours of night and thereby destroy the created order, returning the world to a state of chaos. Various temple, and even private, rituals were devised to ensure the victory of Re and the consequent maintenance of world stability (Ritner 1993:210–212). By the recitation of a victorious “mythic precedent” on the divine plane, this Coffin Text spell was designed to accomplish a variety of positive goals for the living and the dead, including protection against deadly serpents.a
I know that mountain of Bakhu upon which the sky leans. Of crystal (?) it is, 300 rods in its length, 120 rods in its width. On the east of this mountain is Sobek, Lord of Bakhu. Of carnelian is his temple. On the east of that mountain is a serpent, 30 cubits in his length, with three cubits of his forefront being of flint. I know the name of that serpent who is on the mountain. His name is “He overthrows.” Now at the time of evening he turns his eye over against Re, and there occurs a halting among the (solar) crew, a great astonishment (?) within the voyage, so that Seth bends himself against him.5 What he says as magic:
Let me stand against you so that the voyage be set right. O you whom I have seen from afar, close your eye since I have bound you! I am the male! Cover your head so that you may be well and I may be well!7 I am “Great of Magic.” I have used (it) against you. What is it? It is effectiveness.9
O you who goes on his belly, your strength belongs to your mountain. But watch me as I go off with your strength in my hand! I am one who lifts up strength. I have come just so that I might plunder the (serpent-formed) earth gods.
As for Re, may he who is in his evening (i.e. Re) be satisfied with me when we have circled the sky, while you (the serpent) are in your fetters. It is what has been commanded against you in the divine presence. Thus does Re set in life.

Primary textual edition: de Buck 1938:373–388. Further discussion and translations: ANET 11–12; Faulkner 1973:138–139.
(P. Turin 1993)
Robert K. Ritner

Few texts illustrate so clearly the ritual significance of the personal name. Felt to be an intrinsic element and source of power, the name did not simply identify but defined an individual. a For hostile purposes, the destruction of a name could effect the death or misfortune of its owner, and this belief underlies both the prominent role of naming in execration texts (see text 1.32 below) and the well attested expunging of royal names in dynastic feuds. Divinities were often said to have secret names guarded from devotees and other deities alike. The inherent power of such divine names is stated directly in the late Papyrus BM 10188, in which Re–Atum declares: “Magic is my name.”2 In similar fashion, bodily “relics” are repositories of personal energy and equally subject to manipulation. In this spell, it is the spittle of the creator that serves to animate lifeless clay, in conformity with traditional Egyptian accounts of the creation.
SPELL of the divine god, who came into being by himself, who made heaven, earth, water, the breath of life, fire, gods, men, flocks, herds, reptiles, birds, and fish, the kingship of gods and men altogether, with limits beyond numerous years, […] and with numerous names. One did not know that (name); one did not know this (name).
Now, Isis was a wise woman. Her heart was more devious than millions among men; she was more selective than millions among the gods; she was more exacting than millions among the blessed dead. There was nothing that she did not know in heaven or earth, like Re, who made the substance of the earth. The goddess planned in her heart to learn the name of the noble god.
Now, Re entered every day in front of the crew (of the solar bark), being established on the throne of the two horizons. A divine old age had weakened his mouth so that he cast his spittle to the earth. He spat out, it lying fallen upon the ground. Isis kneaded it for herself with her hand, together with the earth that was on it. She formed it into a noble serpent; she made (it) in the form of a sharp point. It could not move, though it lived before her. She left it at the crossroads by which the great god passed in accordance with his heart’s desire through his Two Lands. The noble god appeared outside, with the gods from the palace in his following, so that he might stroll just like every day. The noble serpent bit him, with a living fire coming forth from his own self.5 It raged (?) among the pines. The divine god worked his mouth; the voice of his majesty reached up to heaven. His Ennead said: “What is it? What is it?” His gods said: “What? What?” He could not find his speech to answer concerning it. His lips were quivering, and all his limbs were trembling. The poison seized upon his flesh as the inundation seizes what is behind it. The great god regained his composure and cried out to his followers: “Come to me, you who have come to be from my body, gods who came forth from me, so that I might let you know its development. Something painful has stabbed me. My heart does not know it. My eyes did not see it. My hand did not make it. I cannot recognize it among any of the things that I have made. I have not tasted a suffering like it. There is nothing more painful than it.”
“I am a noble, son of a noble, the fluid of a god come forth from a god. I am a great one, son of a great one. My father thought out my name. I am one who has numerous names and numerous forms. My form exists as every god. I am called Atum and Horus of Praise. My father and mother told me my name. I have hidden it in my body from my children so as to prevent the power of a male or female magician from coming into existence against me. I went outside to see what I had made, to stroll in the Two Lands that I created, and something stung me. I do not know it. It is not really fire; it is not really water, though my heart is on fire and my body is trembling, all my members giving birth to a chill.”
“Let the children of the gods be brought to me, whose words are magically effective, who know their spells, whose wisdom reaches up to heaven!”
The children of the god then came, each man of them bearing his boasting. Isis came bearing her effective magic, her speech being the breath of life, her utterance dispelling suffering, her words revivifying one whose throat is constricted. She said: “What is it, what is it, my divine father? What, a serpent has inflicted weakness upon you? One of your children has raised his head against you? Then I shall overthrow it by efficacious magic, causing him to retreat at the sight of your rays.”
The holy god opened his mouth: “It was the case that I was going on the road, strolling in the Two Lands and the deserts. My heart desired to see what I had created. I was bitten by a serpent without seeing it. It is not really fire; it is not really water, though I am colder than water and hotter than fire, my entire body with sweat. I am trembling, my eye unstable; I cannot see. Heaven beats down rain upon my face in the time of summer!”
THEN SAID Isis to Re: “Say to me your name, my divine father, for a man lives when one recites in his name.”
(Re said:) “I am c the one who made heaven and earth, who knit together the mountains, who created that which exists upon it. I am the one who made the water, so that the Great Swimming One came into being. I made the bull for the cow,12 so that sexual pleasure came into being. I am the one who made heaven and the mysteries of the horizons; I placed the ba–spirits of the gods inside it. I am the one who opens his two eyes so that brightness comes into being, who closes his two eyes so that darkness comes into being, according to whose command the inundation surges, whose name the gods do not know. I am the one who made the hours so that the days came into being. I am the one who divided the year, who created the river. I am the one who made living fire, in order to create the craft of the palace. I am Khepri in the morning, Re at noon, and Atum who is in the evening.”
The poison was not repelled in its course; the great god was not comforted.
Then Isis said to Re: “Your name is not really among those that you have said to me. Say it to me so that the poison might go out, for a man lives when one pronounces his name.”
The poison burned with a burning; it was more powerful than flame or fire.
Then the majesty of Re said: “May you give to me your two ears, my daughter Isis, so that my name might go forth from my body to your body. The most divine one among the gods had hidden it, so that my status might be broadened within the Bark of Millions. If there occurs a similar occasion when a heart goes out to you, say it to your son Horus after you have bound him by a divine oath, placing god in his eyes.”16 The great god announced his name to Isis, the Great One of Magic.
“Flow out, scorpions! Come forth from Re, Eye of Horus! Come forth from the god, flame of the mouth. I am the one who made you; I am the one who sent you. Come out upon the ground, powerful poison! Behold, the great god has announced his name. Re lives; the poison is dead. NN, born of NN, lives; the poison is dead, through the speech of Isis the Great, the Mistress of the Gods, who knows Re by his own name.”

Primary manuscript: P. Turin 1993 (19th Dyn.): Pleyte and Rossi 1869–76 pls. cxxxi:12 – cxxxiii:14; and lxxvii + xxi:1–5); excerpted in Möller 1927:29–32). Other contemporary exemplars: HO 2 and HO 3, 2; O. Deir el–Medineh 1263; and Papyrus Chester Beatty 11. Bibliography and translations: ANET 12–14; Borghouts 1978:51–55; Ritner 1993:76, n. 337. For methodological commentary, see Ritner (ibid., 76, 83, 95–96, and 164).
P. Amherst (Pierpont Morgan) XIX–XXI
Robert K. Ritner

The tattered remains of a once magnificent manuscript, the “Astarte Papyrus” nevertheless provides tantalizing evidence of Egyptian traditions regarding the Asiatic goddess who had been adopted into cult and mythology by the beginning of the New Kingdom. While this legend has been shown to have an indigenous Egyptian setting, it is yet parallel to, and likely inspired by, the Ugaritic story of the Fight between Baal and the sea god Yam (text 1.86), whose Semitic name is also used for the threatening deity in the Egyptian tale. Helck, in contrast, has suggested that the tale is an adaptation derived from the Hurrian “Song of Ullikummi.” In the Egyptian legend, the Sea seems to threaten to overwhelm heaven, earth and mountains unless provided with tribute. When Astarte is sent to deliver the tribute, the Sea demands further that she be given to him in marriage, perhaps with a dowry including the seal of the earth god and the beads of the sky goddess. From other sources, it appears that the Sea is ultimately vanquished in combat by Seth (the Egyptian counterpart of Baal), mentioned in the fragmentary concluding lines.
(Col. 1) […] … his two bulls. “Let me praise […] … Let me praise the [earth (?) …] … Let me praise the sky [in its (?)] place […] the earth.” […] Ptah. Now after […] the earth. The earth rested […] “[…] I strip off her.” […] Then they bent like … […] Then [each (?)] man embraced [his fellow (?). Now] after [seven (?)] days, the sky did […] descending upon […] the Sea. The [… the] earth gave birtha to […] the four banks of the [Sea (?)] […] in its midst like the suspension […] his throne of Ruler. He […] carry for him the tribute. […] in the council. Then Renenutet carried […] as Ruler […] sky. Now, behold, one brought to him the tribute […] or his […] he will seize us as plunder […] our own to […] Renenutet his tribute in silver and gold, lapis lazuli [and turquoise (?) …] the boxes. Then they said to the Ennead: “[…] the tribute of the Sea, so that he might hear for us [all] the matters of the earth (?)], protected from his hand. Will he […]”
(Col. 2) […] Now they were fearful of […] the [tribute] of the Sea. Give […] the tribute of the Sea. […] evil. Renenutet took a […] Astarte. Then the […] said: “[…] birds hear what I might say. May you4 not depart […] another.” Hurry, go to Astarte […] her house. And you should cry out below [the window of the room in which (?)] she sleeps. And should say to her: “If you are [awake, …] If you are asleep, may I wake you. [… the] Sea as Ruler over the [earth and the mountains and (?)] the sky. Please, may you come before them at this [moment.” (?) …] Asiatics. Then Astarte […] the daughter of Ptah.
Now […] of the Sea, the […] “[…] you go yourself bearing the tribute of [the Sea” …] Then Astarte wept […] its Ruler was silent. […] “Lift up your7 face. […] Lift up your face. And you should […] away.” Then he lifted up [his face …] the […] singing and laughing at him. [… Then the Sea] saw Astarte while she was sitting on the edge of the Sea. Then he said to her: “Where have you come from, O daughter of Ptah, O angry and raging goddess? Have you worn out your sandals that are on your feet; have you frayed your clothes that are on you, by the going and coming that you have done from the sky and the earth?” Then [Astarte] said to him […]
(Col. 3) The Sea instructs Astarte to carry a message to the Ennead, probably demanding the goddess in marriage as security against his further depredations.
[… say to Ptah before (?)] the Ennead. “If they give to me Your [daughter (?) …] them. What would I do against them for my part?” Astarte heard what the Sea said to her. She lifted herself up to go to the Ennead to the place where they were gathered. The greater ones saw her; they stood up before her. The lesser ones saw her; they lay down on their bellies. She was given her throne and she sat down. She was presented with the (Col. 4) [tribute of the Sea (?) …] [the ] earth […] the beads. […] Then the beads […] the messenger of Ptah going to say these words to Ptah and to Renenutet. Then Renenutet took off the beads that were on her neck. Behold, she placed [them] on the balance […]
(Col. 5) […] Astarte. “O my […] It means an [argument (?)] with the Ennead. Therefore he will send and he will demand […] the seal of Geb […] the balance in it.” Then (Col. 6) […] (Col. 7) […] my basket of […] (Cols. 8–9) […] (Col. 10) [… tribute (?)] of the Sea [… pass (?)] by the gates […] the gates, go out (Col. 11) […] If they come again […] (Cols. 12–13) […] (Col. 14) [… the] Sea. And he shall […] to cover the earth and the mountains and (Col. 15) [the sky. (?)] […] to fight with him to the effect that […] he sat down calmly. He will not come to fight with us. Then Seth sat down. […]
(Verso) […] “Behold, I am with your10 […]” The Sea left […] the seven […] together with the sky and […]

Text: Gardiner 1932a:74–85; 1932b:76–81. Studies: ANET 17–18; Stadelmann 1975; Helck 1983; van Dijk 1986:31–32; Ritner 1989:112–113.
Miriam Lichtheim

This mythological tale forms the first part of a longer text known as “The Book of the Cow of Heaven,” which is inscribed in five royal tombs of the New Kingdom (the tombs of Tutankhamun, Seti I, Ramses II, Ramses III, and Ramses VI). The first part relates how the sun-god Re set out to destroy the human race because mankind was plotting rebellion against him. But after an initial slaughter, carried out by the “Eye of Re,” the sun–god relented and devised a ruse to stop the goddess from further killing. The interest of the tale lies, of course, in the theme of human wickedness arousing the divine wrath and resulting in a partial destruction of mankind, a theme that received its classic treatment in the Mesopotamian and biblical stories of the Flood.
The second part of the text (not translated here) tells how the sun–god, weary of government, withdrew into the sky and charged the other great gods with the rule of heaven and earth.
Though recorded in the New Kingdom, the text is written in Middle Egyptian, and it probably originated in the Middle Kingdom. The tale thus stands apart from stories which are written in Late Egyptian, the vernacular of the New Kingdom.
(1) It happened [in the time of the majesty of] Re, the self–created, after he had become king of men and gods together: Mankind plotted against him, while his majesty had grown old, his bones being silver, his flesh gold, his hair true lapis lazuli. When his majesty perceived the plotting of mankind against him, his majesty said to his followers: “Summon to me my Eye,1 and Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, and the fathers and mothers who were with me when I was in Nun, and also the god Nun; and he shall bring his courtiers (5) with him. But bring them stealthily, lest mankind see, lest they lose heart. Come with them (the gods) to the Palace, that they may give their counsel. In the end I may return to Nun, to the place where I came into being.”
The gods were brought, the gods were lined up on his two sides, bowing to the ground before his majesty, that he might make his speech before the eldest father, the maker of mankind, the king of people. They said to his majesty: “Speak to us, that we may hear it.” Then Re said to Nun: “O eldest god in whom I came into being, and ancestor gods, look, mankind, which issued from my Eye,5 is plotting against me. Tell me what you would do about it, for I am searching. I would not slay them until I have heard what you might (10) say about it.”
Then spoke the majesty of Nun: “My son Re, god greater than his maker, more august than his creators, stay on your throne! Great is fear of you when your Eye is on those who scheme against you.” Said the majesty of Re: “Look, they are fleeing to the desert, their hearts fearful that I might speak to them.” They said to his majesty: “Let your Eye go and smite them for you, those schemers of evil! No Eye is more able to smite them for you. May it go down as Hathor!”
The goddess returned after slaying mankind in the desert, and the majesty of this god said: “Welcome in peace, Hathor, Eye who did what I came for!” Said the goddess: “As you live for me, I have overpowered mankind, and it was balm to my heart.” Said the majesty of Re: “I shall have power over them as king (15) by diminishing them.” Thus the Powerful One (Sakhmet) came into being.
The beer–mash of the night for her who would wade in their blood as far as Hnes. Re said: “Summon to me swift, nimble messengers that they may run like a body’s shadow!” The messengers were brought immediately, and the majesty of this god said: “Go to Yebu and bring me red ochre8 in great quantity!” The red ochre was brought to him, and the majesty of this god ordered the Side–Lock Wearer in On to grind the ochre, while maidservants crushed barley for beer. Then the red ochre was put into the beer-mash, and it became like human blood; and seven thousand jars of beer were made. Then the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Re came together with the gods to see the beer.
Now when the day dawned (20) on which the goddess would slay mankind in their time of traveling south, the majesty of Re said: “It is good;11 I shall save mankind by it!” And Re said: “Carry it to the place where she plans to slay mankind!” The majesty of King Re rose early before dawn, to have this sleeping draught poured out. Then the fields were flooded three palms high with the liquid by the might of the majesty of this god. When the goddess came in the morning she found them flooded, and her gaze was pleased by it.12 She drank and it pleased her heart. She returned drunk without having perceived mankind. The majesty of Re said to the goddess: “Welcome in peace, O gracious one!” Thus beautiful women came into being in the town of Imu.

Maystre 1941; Erman 1927:47–49; ANET 10–11; Piankoff 1955:27–29; Brunner–Traut 1965:69–72; Lichtheim AEL 2:197–199.

P. Cairo 58038 (P. Bulaq 17)
Robert K. Ritner

While the initial sections of this universalist hymn are carved on a statue of the Second Intermediate Period (12th-17th Dynasties; see Hassan 1928:157–193), the best preserved manuscript is a Theban papyrus of the early 18th Dynasty (Amenhotep II). The papyrus text is published in Mariette (1872: pls. xi–xiii) and excerpted in Möller (1927:33–34). Commentary, bibliography, and translations are found in Grébaut 1874; Wilson ANET; Assmann 1975b:199–207, 549–553; and Römer 1987. Later New Kingdom excerpts are well–attested on ostraca from Deir el–Medineh (see Römer 1987:406).
The bull resident in Heliopolis, Chief of all the gods,
The good god, the beloved,
Who gives life to every warm being
And to every good herd.
Hail to you, Amon–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands,
Foremost of Karnak,
Bull of his Mother, foremost of his fields,
Wide of stride, foremost of Upper Egypt,
Lord of the Medjay Nubians, Ruler of Punt,
Oldest One of heaven, Eldest of earth,
Lord of what exists, enduring in all things.
Goodly bull of the Ennead,
Chief of all the gods,
Lord of Truth, Father of the gods,
Who made mankind, who created the flocks,
Lord of what exists, who created the tree of life,
Who made the herbage, who vivifies the herd,
Goodly Power, whom Ptah engendered,
Youth, beautiful of (2/1) love,
To whom the gods speak praise,
Who made what is below and what is above, illuminating the Two Lands,
Ferried across the sky in peace,
King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Re, triumphant, Chief of the Two Lands,
Great of strength, Lord of respect,
Chief who made the land in its entirety.
At whose beauty the gods rejoice,
For whom jubilation is spoken in the great shrine of El–Kab,
With festal processions in the fire shrine at Pe,
Whose fragrance the gods love,
When He returns from Punt,
Great of perfume, when He descends (from) the Medjay,
Beautiful of face, returned from God’s land.
DOGGING whose feet are the gods,
As they recognize His Majesty as their Lord,
Lord of fear, rich in terror,
Great in wrathful manifestations, powerful in appearances,
Whose offerings flourish, who made foodstuffs,
Jubilation to you, who made the gods,
Who suspended heaven, who laid down the ground!
II. Awake soundly, Min–Amon,
Lord of eternity, who made endlessness,
Lord of praise, foremost of the [Ennead],
Whose horns are firm, whose face is beautiful,
Lord of the uraeus, lofty of plumage,
With beautiful fillet, lofty of White Crown,
Before whom coil the two uraeus cobras,
Fragrant One who is in the palace,
(with) Double Crown, Headdress, Blue Crown,
Beautiful of face when He receives the Atef-Crown,
Whom Upper and Lower Egypt love,
Lord of the Double Crown when He receives the Ames–sceptre,
Lord of the Mekes–sceptre, bearer of the Flail.
Lord of solar rays, who made brightness,
To whom the gods speak jubilation,
Who extends His arms to the one He loves,
While His enemies fall to the flame.
It is His Eye that overthrows the rebels,
Placing its spear into the one who sucks up the Abyss,
Forcing (4/1) the villain to disgorge what it has swallowed.
HAIL TO YOU, Re, Lord of the Two Truths,
Whose shrine is hidden, Lord of the gods,
Khepri in the midst of His bark,
Who issued command that the gods might be,
Atum, who made the common man,
Who distinguished their forms, who made their lives,
Who separated the races, one from another,
Who hears the prayer of the one who is in distress,
Graciously disposed when He is entreated.
Who judges the wretch and the ruined,
Lord of perception, with effective utterance on his mouth,
For love of whom the Inundation has come,
Lord of sweetness, rich in love,
Coming so that the common man might live,
Who gives movement to every eye,
Formed in the Abyss,
Whose grace created brightness,
At whose beauty the gods rejoice,
(5/1) Their hearts living when they see him.
Grand of appearances in the Mansion of the Benben,
Heliopolitan, Lord of the new moon festival,
For whom are performed the six–day and quarter month festivals,
Sovereign — life, prosperity, health! — Lord of all the gods,
Falcon (?) in the midst of the horizon,
Chief of patricians of the Land of Silence,
Whose name is hidden from His children
In this His name of “Amon.”
Lord of joy, powerful in appearances,
Lord of the uraeus, lofty of plumage,
With beautiful fillet, lofty of White Crown,
You, whom the gods love to see,
The Double Crown fixed on Your brow,
Love of You pervading the Two Lands,
Your rays shining in the eyes.
The patricians are happy when You rise;
The flocks languish when You shine.
Love of You is in the southern heaven,
(6/1) Your sweetness in the northern heaven.
Your beauty captivates hearts,
Love of You wearying the limbs,
Your beautiful form relaxing the hands.
Thoughts go astray at the sight of you.
One, alone, who made that which is,
From whose two eyes mankind came forth,
On whose mouth the gods came into being,
Who made the herbage [for] the herds,
The tree of life for the sunfolk,
Who made that on which the fish live [in] the river,
And the birds flying through heaven,
Who gave breath to the one in the egg,
Who vivifies the son of the slug,
Who made that on which the gnat lives,
The worm and the flea likewise,
Who made the sustenance of the mice in [their] holes,
Who vivifies the winged creatures in every tree.
One, alone, with numerous arms,
Who spends the night (7/1) watchful, while everyone sleeps,
Who seeks what is useful for his flock,
Amon, enduring in all things,
Atum, Horachty,
Praise to you, as they all say.
Jubilation to you, because you have wearied yourself with us.
Let the earth be kissed for you, because you have created us.
HAIL TO YOU — by all flocks,
Jubilation to you — by all foreign lands,
To the heights of heaven, to the breadth of the earth,
To the depths of the ocean,
The gods bowing to Your Majesty,
Exalting the might of Him who created them,
Rejoicing at the approach of Him who begot them,
Saying to you: “Come in peace,
Father of the fathers of all the gods,
Who suspended heaven, who laid down the ground.
Sovereign, — life, prosperity, health! — Chief of the gods.
Let us adore your might (8/1) in as much as you have made us,
Let {us} act for you because you have borne us.
Let us give you jubilation because you have wearied yourself with us.”
Lord of Truth, Father of the gods,
Who made mankind, who created the flocks,
Lord of Grain,
Who made the life of the desert flocks,
Amon, the bull, beautiful of face,
Beloved in Karnak,
Grand of appearances [in] the Mansion of the Benben,
Repeating investments in Heliopolis,
Who judges the two contestants in the great broad hall,
Chief of the Great Ennead.
Foremost of Karnak,
Heliopolitan, foremost of His Ennead,
Living on Truth every day,
Horizon–dweller, Horus of the East,
For whom the desert creates silver and gold,
Genuine lapis lazuli for love of him,
Balsam and various incenses among the Medjay,
(9/1) Fresh myrrh for your nostrils,
O Beautiful of face, returned {from} the Medjay,
Amon–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands,
Foremost of Karnak,
Heliopolitan, foremost of His harem.
IV. Unique king, like whom among the gods?
With numerous names, the number unknown,
Who rises in the eastern horizon,
Who sets in the western horizon,
Who overthrows His enemies
In the course of every day,
Whose two eyes Thoth elevates,
Pacifying Him with his efficacious spells,
At whose beauty the gods rejoice,
He whom His solar apes exalt.
Lord of the Night bark and the Day bark,
They traversing for you the Abyss in peace,
When they see the rebel overthrown,
His body licked by the knife,
(10/1) The flame having eaten him,
His ba-spirit more destroyed than his corpse.
That VILLAIN, his movement is removed,
While the gods rejoice,
The crew of Re at peace,
Heliopolis rejoicing,
For the enemies of Atum are overthrown,
Karnak at peace, Heliopolis rejoicing.
The Lady of Life, her heart is glad,
For the enemy of her lord is overthrown,
The gods of Babylon in jubilation,
Those in their shrines kissing the ground,
Power of the gods,
True One, Lord of Karnak,
In this Your name of Maker of Truth,
Lord of sustenance, bull of offerings,
In this Your name of Amon, Bull of His
Maker of all peoples,
Creator and Maker of all that exists,
In this Your name (11/1) of Atum–Khepri,
Great falcon, with festive breast,
Beautiful of face, with festive chest,
Pleasing of form, lofty of feather,
Before whom the uraeus cobras sway,
To whom the hearts of patricians draw near,
For whom the sunfolk turn about,
Who makes festive the Two Lands in His epiphanies.
Hail to You, Amon–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands,
Whose city desires that he rise!
IT IS COMPLETED, satisfactorily, as found.

Assmann 1975b:199–207, 549–553; Grébaut 1874; Hassan 1928:157–193; Mariette 1872: pls. xi–xiii; Möller 1927:33–34; Römer 1987:406; ANET 365.
(On the Stela of Amenmose — Louvre C 286)
Miriam Lichtheim

A round–topped limestone stela, 1.×.62 m, of fine workmanship dating from the 18th Dynasty. In the lunette there are two offering scenes showing, on the left, the official Amenmose and his wife Nefertari seated before an offering table and, on the right, a lady named Baket, whose relationship to Amenmose is not stated. Before Amenmose stands a son with his arms raised in the gesture of offering. Another son stands behind the couple, and more sons and daughters are seated below. A priest also performs offering rites before the lady Baket. Below the scenes is the hymn to Osiris in twenty–eight horizontal lines.
This hymn contains the fullest account of the Osiris myth extant in Egyptian, as distinct from Greek, sources. Allusions to the Osiris myth are very frequent in Egyptian texts, but they are very brief. It seems that the slaying of Osiris at the hands of Seth was too awesome an event to be committed to writing. Other parts of the story could be told more fully, especially the vindication of Osiris and of his son Horus, to whom the gods awarded the kingship of Egypt that had belonged to Osiris. The latter, though resurrected, no longer ruled the living but was king of the dead in the netherworld. The final part of the hymn praises the beneficent rule of Horus and, since each living Pharaoh represented Horus, the praise is directed to the reigning king as well.
(1) Adoration of Osiris by the overseer of the cattle of [Amun], [Amen]mose, and the lady Nefertari. He says:
Hail to you, Osiris,
Lord of eternity, king of gods,
Of many names, of holy forms,
Of secret rites in temples!
Noble of ka he presides in Djedu,
He is rich in sustenance in Sekhem,
Lord of acclaim in Andjty,
Foremost in offerings in On. a
Lord of remembrance in the Hall of Justice,
Secret ba of the lord of the cavern,
Holy in White–Wall,
Ba of Re, his very body.
Who reposes in Hnes,
Who is worshiped in the naret–tree,
That grew up to bear his ba.
Lord of the palace in Khmun,
Much revered in Shashotep,
Eternal lord who presides in Abydos,
Who dwells distant in the graveyard
Whose name endures in people’s mouth.
Oldest in the joined Two Lands,
Nourisher before the Nine Gods,
Potent spirit among spirits.
Nun has given him his waters,
Northwind journeys south to him,
Sky makes wind before his nose,
That his heart be satisfied.
Plants sprout by his wish,
Earth grows its food for him,
Sky and its stars obey him,
The great portals open for him.
Lord of acclaim in the southern sky,
Sanctified in the northern sky,
The imperishable stars are under his rule,
The unwearying stars are his abode.
One offers to him by Geb’s command,
The Nine Gods adore him,
Those in the Duat kiss the ground,
Those on high bow down.
The ancestors rejoice to see him,
Those yonder are in awe of him.
The joined Two Lands adore him,
When His Majesty approaches,
Mightiest noble among nobles,
Firm of rank, of lasting rule.
Good leader of the Nine Gods,
Gracious, lovely to behold,
Awe inspiring to all lands,
That his name be foremost.
All make offering to him,
The lord of remembrance in heaven and earth,
Rich in acclaim at the wag–feast,
Hailed in unison by the Two Lands.
The foremost of his brothers,
The eldest of the Nine Gods,
Who set Maat throughout the Two Shores,
Placed the son on his father’s seat.
Lauded by his father Geb,
Beloved of his mother Nut,
Mighty when he fells the rebel,
Strong–armed when he slays (10) his foe.
Who casts fear of him on his enemy,
Who vanquishes the evil–plotters,
Whose heart is firm when he crushes the rebels.
Geb’s heir (in) the kingship of the Two Lands,
Seeing his worth he gave (it) to him,
To lead the lands to good fortune.
He placed this land into his hand,
Its water, its wind,
Its plants, all its cattle.
All that flies, all that alights,
Its reptiles and its desert game,
Were given to the son of Nut,
And the Two Lands are content with it.
Appearing on his father’s throne,
Like Re when he rises in lightland,
He places light above the darkness,
He lights the shade with his plumes.
He floods the Two Lands like Aten at dawn,
His crown pierces the sky, mingles with the stars.
He is the leader of all the gods,
Effective in the word of command,
The great Ennead praises him,
The small Ennead loves him.
His sister was his guard,
She who drives off the foes,
Who stops the deeds of the disturber
By the power of her utterance.
The clever–tongued whose speech fails not,
Effective in the word of command,
Mighty Isis who protected her brother,
Who sought him without wearying.
Who roamed the land lamenting,
Not resting till she found him,
Who made a shade with her plumage,
Created breath with her wings.
Who jubilated, joined her brother,
Raised the weary one’s inertness,
Received the seed, bore the heir,
Raised the child in solitude,
His abode unknown.
Who brought him when his arm was strong
Into the broad hall of Geb.
The Ennead was jubilant:
“Welcome, Son of Osiris,
Horus, firm–hearted, justified,
Son of Isis, heir of Osiris!”
The Council of Maat assembled for him
The Ennead, the All–Lord himself,
The Lords of Maat, united in her,
Who eschew wrongdoing,
They were seated in the hall of Geb,
To give the office to its lord,
The kingship to its rightful owner.
Horus was found justified,
His father’s rank was given him,
He came out crowned by Geb’s command,
Received the rule of the two shores.
The crown placed firmly on his head,
He counts the land as his possession,
Sky, earth are under his command,
Mankind is entrusted to him,
Commoners, nobles, sunfolk.
Egypt and the far–off lands,
What Aten (20) encircles is under his care,
Northwind, river, flood,
Tree of life, all plants.
Nepri gives all his herbs,
Field’s Bounty brings satiety,
And gives it to all lands.
Everybody jubilates,
Hearts are glad, breasts rejoice,
Everyone exults,
All extol his goodness:
How pleasant is his love for us,
His kindness overwhelms the hearts,
Love of him is great in all.
They gave to Isis’ son his foe,
His attack collapsed,
The disturber suffered hurt,
His fate overtook the offender.
The son of Isis who championed his father,
Holy and splendid is his name,
Majesty has taken its seat,
Abundance is established by his laws.
Roads are open, ways are free,
How the two shores prosper!
Evil is fled, crime is gone,
The land has peace under its lord.
Maat is established for her lord,
One turns the back on falsehood.
May you be content, Wennofer!
Isis’ son has received the crown,
His father’s rank was assigned him
In the hall of Geb.
Re spoke, Thoth wrote,
The council assented,
Your father Geb decreed for you,
One did according to his word.
An offering which the king gives (to) Osiris Khentamentiu, lord of Abydos, that he may grant an offering of bread and beer, oxen and fowl, ointment and clothing and plants of all kinds, and the making of transformations: to be powerful as Hapy, to come forth as living ba, to see Aten at dawn, to come and go in Rostau, without one’s ba being barred from the necropolis.
May he be supplied among the favored ones before Wennofer, receiving the offerings that go up on the altar of the great god, breathing the sweet northwind, drinking from the river’s pools: for the ka of the overseer of the cattle of [Amun], [Amen]mose, justified, born of the lady Henut, justified, and of his beloved wife, [the lady Nefertari, justified].

Moret 1931; Erman 1927:140–145; Lichtheim AEL 2:81–86.
From a Stela of the Brothers Suti and Hor — BM 826
Miriam Lichtheim

In the course of the 18th Dynasty, the rise to prominence of Amun of Thebes resulted in his assimilation to the supreme god, the sun–god Re. Furthermore, the conceptual dominance of sun worship had turned the sun–god into the all–embracing creator–god who manifested himself in many forms and under many names. Thus he absorbed Amun and Horus, and he was Atum, Harakhti, and Khepri. And his visible form, the sun–disk (Aten) became yet another manifestation of the god himself. The hymns to the sun–god of the twin brothers Suti and Hor, who lived in the reign of Amenhotep III, address the god in these various forms, and they accord a prominent place to the Aten, the most recently evolved personification of the god. In the first hymn the sun–god is addressed as Amun, Harakhti, Re, and Khepri; in the second hymn he is Aten, Khepri, and Horus.
The hymns are inscribed on a rectangular stela in door form, of gray granite and measuring 1.×.88 m. The central portion of the surface is carved to resemble a round–topped stela. In the lunette are the standing figures of Anubis and Osiris who are adored by the brothers Suti and Hor and their wives. The figures of the worshiping couples have been erased. Below the figures are twenty–one horizontal lines of text. The first hymn ends in the middle of line 8. The second runs from the middle of line 8 to near the end of line 14. The remaining lines consist of personal statements and prayers of the two brothers.
First Hymn
(1) Adoration of Amun when he rises as Harakhti by the overseer of the works of Amun, Suti, (and) the overseer of the works of Amun, Hor. They say:
Hail to you, Re, perfect each day,
Who rises at dawn without failing,
Khepri who wearies himself with toil!
Your rays are on the face, yet unknown,
Fine gold does not match your splendor;
Self–made you fashioned your body,
Creator uncreated.
Sole one, unique one, who traverses eternity,
[Remote one], with millions under his care;
Your splendor is like heaven’s splendor,
Your color brighter than its hues.
When you cross the sky all faces see you,
When you set you are hidden from their (5) sight;
Daily you give yourself at dawn,
Safe is your sailing under your majesty.
In a brief day you race a course,
Hundred thousands, millions of miles;
A moment is each day to you,
It has passed when you go down.
You also complete the hours of night,
You order it without pause in your labor.
Through you do all eyes see,
They lack aim when your majesty sets.
When you stir to rise at dawn,
Your brightness opens the eyes of the herds;
When you set in the western mountain,
They sleep as in the state of death.
Second Hymn
Hail to you, Aten of daytime,
Creator of all, who makes them live!
Great falcon, brightly plumed,
Beetle who raised himself.
Self–creator, uncreated,
Eldest Horus within Nut,
Acclaimed (10) in his rising and setting.
Maker of the earth’s yield,
Khnum and Amun of mankind,
Who seized the Two Lands from great to small.
Beneficent mother of gods and men,
Craftsman with a patient heart,
Toiling long to make them countless.
Valiant shepherd who drives his flock,
Their refuge, made to sustain them.
Runner, racer, courser,
Khepri of distinguished birth,
Who raises his beauty in the body of Nut,
Who lights the Two Lands with his disk.
The Two Lands’ Oldest who made himself,
Who sees all that he made, he alone.
Who reaches the ends of the lands every day,
In the sight of those who tread on them.
Rising in heaven formed as Re,
He makes the seasons with the months,
Heat as he wishes, cold as he wishes.
He makes bodies slack, he gathers them up,
Every land rejoices at his rising,
Every day gives praise to him.
The overseer of works, Suti; the overseer of works, (15) Hor. He says:
I was controller in your sanctuary,
Overseer of works in your very shrine,
Made for you by your beloved son,
The Lord of the Two Lands, Nebmare, given life.
My lord made me controller of your monuments,
Because he knew my vigilance.
I was a vigorous controller of your monuments,
One who did right (maat) as you wished.
For I knew you are content with right,
You advance him who does it on earth.
I did it and you advanced me,
You made me favored on earth in Ipet–sut,
One who was in your following when you appeared.
I was a true one who abhors falsehood,
Who does not trust the words of a liar.
But my brother, my likeness, his ways I trust,
He came from the womb with me the same day.
The overseer(s) of Amun’s works in Southern Ipet, Suti, Hor.
When I was in charge on the westside,
He was in charge on the eastside.
We controlled great monuments in Ipet–sut,
At the front of Thebes, the city of Amun.
May you give me old age in your city,
My eye <beholding> your beauty;
A burial in the west, the place of heart’s content,
As I join the favored ones who went in peace.
May you give me sweet breeze when I land,
And [garlands] on the day of the wag–feast.

Text: Hiero. Texts, Part 8:22–25 and pls. xxi; Varille 1942; Urk. IV 1943–1947; Stewart 1957:3–5. Translations: Sainte Fare Garnot 1948; 1949; Helck 1961; Fecht 1967; ANET 367–368; Lichtheim AEL 2:86–89.
In the Tomb of Ay — West Wall, 13 Columns
Miriam Lichtheim

The texts in the tomb of the courtier Ay have yielded the most extensive statements of Aten worship. Here we have not only several short hymns and prayers but, above all, the long text which has come to be known as “The Great Hymn to the Aten.” The east wall of the tomb is inscribed with three hymns and prayers to the Aten and to the king, and the west wall contains the great hymn. The long text columns begin at the top of the wall. Below the text are the kneeling relief figures of Ay and his wife.
“The Great Hymn to the Aten” is an eloquent and beautiful statement of the doctrine of the one god. He alone has created the world and all it contains. He alone gives life to man and beast. He alone watches over his creations. He alone inhabits the sky. Heretofore the sun-god had appeared in three major forms: as Harakhti in the morning, as Khepri in midday, and as Atum in the evening. His daily journey across the sky had been done in the company of many gods. It had involved the ever-recurring combat against the primordial serpent Apopis. In traversing the night sky the god had been acclaimed by the multitudes of the dead who rest there; and each hour of the night had marked a specific stage in his journey. Thus the daily circuit of the sky was a drama with a large supporting cast. In the new doctrine of the Aten as sole god all these facets were eliminated. The Aten rises and sets in lonely majesty in an empty sky. Only the earth is peopled by his creatures, and only they adore his rising and setting.
(1) Adoration of Re-Harakhti-who-rejoices-in-lightland In-his-name-Shu-who-is-Aten, living forever; the great living Aten who is in jubilee, the lord of all that the Disk encircles, lord of sky, lord of earth, lord of Lower Egypt, who lives by Maat, the lord of the Two lands, Neferkheprure, Sole-one-of-Re; the Son of Re who lives by Maat, the Lord of Crowns, Akhenaten, great in his lifetime; (and) his beloved great Queen, the Lady of the Two Lands, Nefer-nefru-Aten Nefertiti, who lives in health and youth forever. The Vizier, the Fanbearer on the right of the King, —– [Ay]; he says:
Splendid you rise in heaven’s lightland,
O living Aten, creator of life!
When you have dawned in eastern lightland,
You fill every land with your beauty.
You are beauteous, great, radiant,
High over every land;
Your rays embrace the lands,
To the limit of all that you made,
Being Re, you reach their limits,
You bend them <for> the son whom you love;
Though you are far, your rays are on earth,
Though one sees you, your strides are unseen.
When you set in western lightland,
Earth is in darkness as if in death;
One sleeps in chambers, heads covered,
One eye does not see another.
Were they robbed of their goods,
That are under their heads,
People would not remark it.
Every lion comes from its den,
All the serpents bite;
Darkness hovers, earth is silent,
As their maker rests in lightland.
Earth brightens when you dawn in lightland,
When you shine as Aten of daytime;
As you dispel the dark,
As you cast your rays,
The Two Lands are in festivity.
Awake they stand on their feet,
You have roused them;
Bodies cleansed, (5) clothed,
Their arms adore your appearance.
The entire land sets out to work,
All beasts browse on their herbs;
Trees, herbs are sprouting,
Birds fly from their nests,
Their wings greeting your ka.
All flocks frisk on their feet,
All that fly up and alight,
They live when you dawn for them.
Ships fare north, fare south as well,
Roads lie open when you rise;
The fish in the river dart before you,
Your rays are the midst the sea.
Who makes seed grow in women,
Who creates people from sperm;
Who feeds the son in his mother’s womb,
Who soothes him to still his tears.
Nurse in the womb,
Giver of breath,
To nourish all that he made.
When he comes from the womb to breathe,
On the day of this birth,
You open wide his mouth,
You supply his needs.
When the chick in the egg speaks in the shell,
You give him breath within to sustain him;
When you have made him complete,
To break out from the egg,
He comes out from the egg,
To announce his completion,
Walking on his legs he comes from it.
How many are your deeds.
Though hidden from sight,
O sole God beside whom there is none!
You made the earth as you wished, you alone,
All peoples, herds, and flocks;
All upon the earth that walk on legs,
All on high that fly on wings,
The lands of Khor and Kush,
The land of Egypt.
You set every man in his place,
You supply their needs;
Everyone has his food,
His lifetime is counted.
Their tongues differ in speech,
Their characters likewise;
Their skins are distinct,
For you distinguished the peoples.
You made Hapy in the Duat,
You bring him when you will,
To nourish the people,
For you made them for yourself.
Lord of all who toils for them,
Lord of all lands who shines for them,
Aten of daytime, great in glory!
All distant lands, you make them live,
You made a heavenly Hapy descend from them;
(10) He makes waves on the mountains like the sea,
To drench their fields and their towns.
How excellent are your ways, O Lord of eternity!
A Hapy from heaven for foreign peoples,
And all lands’ creatures that walk on legs,
For Egypt the Hapy who comes from the Duat.
Your rays nurse all fields,
When you shine they live, they grow for you;
You made the seasons to foster all that you made,
Winter to cool them, heat that they taste you.
You made the far sky to shine therein,
To behold all that you made;
You alone, shining in your form of living Aten,
Risen, radiant, distant, near.
You made millions of forms from yourself alone,
Towns, villages, fields, the river’s course;
All eyes observe you upon them,
For you are the Aten of daytime on high.
… — …
You are in my heart,
There is no other who knows you,
Only your son, Neferkheprure, Sole-one-of-Re,
Whom you have taught your ways and your might.
<Those on> earth come from your hand as you made them,
When you have dawned they live,
When you set they die;
You yourself are lifetime, one lives by you.
All eyes are on <your> beauty until you set,
All labor ceases when you rest in the west;
When you rise you stir [everyone] for the King,
Every leg is on the move since you founded the earth.
You rouse them for your son who came from your body,
The King who lives by Maat, the Lord of the Two Lands,
Neferkheprure, Sole-one-of-Re,
The Son of Re who lives by Maat, the Lord of crowns,
Akhenaten, great in his lifetime;
(and) the great Queen whom he loves, the Lady of the Two Lands,
Nefer-nefru-Aten Nefertiti, living forever.

Text: Davies 1903–08 6:29–31 and pls. xxvii and xli; Sandman 1938:93–96. Translation: ANET 369–371; Gardiner 1961:225–227; Simpson 1973:289–295; Lichtheim AEL 2:96–100; Studies: Auffret 1981:133–316.

Michael V. Fox

This is an individual supplication in a fairly stereotypic form, probably designed for use by different people in various situations. The worshipper asks for acceptance of his prayers without praying for anything in particular and confesses his sins and folly without reference to specific transgressions.
The worshipper seems to be a pilgrim to the temple at Heliopolis. The prayer is an expression of “personal piety,” a form of religion prominent in the Ramesside period (see, e.g., Fecht 1965). It emphasizes the individual’s humility and frailty and his dependence on god.
Some biblical psalms speak out of a similar context: a pilgrim expressing his confidence and joy when visiting the temple, where he imagines himself dwelling always in God’s presence. Compare Pss 23:6; 26:8; 27:4; 84, esp. vv 3, 5, 11; 42:3; 43:3–4; 122:1. Other psalms resemble this prayer in confessing frailty and sinfulness, e.g. Pss 25:7; 51; 40:13.
Prayer to Preʿ-Harakhty
(1) Come to me, Preʿ-Harakhty,
that you may perform (your) will.
You are the one who takes action,
there being none who takes action apart from you,
but (one can act) only if you are acting with him.
(6) Come to me, Atum, every day!
You are the noble god.
My heart has gone forth,
travelling southward to Heliopolis.
(11) My heart rejoices,
my bosom exults.
Hear my prayers —
my supplications by day,
(15) my hymns by night.
For my petitions are constant in my mouth,
They are heard throughout the day.
O sole one, unique!
(20) O Preʿ-Herakhty,
the likes of whom does not exist here.
Protector of millions,
who deliverers hundreds of thousands,
the helper of the one who cries to him,
(25) the lord of Heliopolis.
Visit not my many offenses upon me,
I am one ignorant of himself.
I am a mindless man,
who all day follows his mouth,
(30) like an ox after grass.
If my evenings (?) […]
I am one who to whom repose comes.
I spend the day walking about in the (temple) court,
(35) I spend the night […]

Assmann 1975b; Barucq and Daumas 1980; Caminos 1954; Fecht 1965; Gardiner 1937; Hornung 1982.

Miriam Lichtheim

The song is preserved in two New Kingdom copies. First, on pages vi, 2–vii, 3, of the Ramesside Papyrus Harris 500 (= P. British Museum 10060); and, second, carved on a wall of the tomb of Paatenemheb from Saqqara, now in Leiden, which dates from the reign of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten). The latter copy, which is incomplete, is written above the heads of a group of four musicians led by a blind harpist. The song’s introductory line states that it reproduces a song inscribed in the tomb of a King Intef — a name that was borne by a number of kings of the 11th and of the 17th Dynasties. Since the two New Kingdom copies reproduce a genuinely Middle Egyptian text, we need not doubt that an original text, carved in a royal tomb of the Middle Kingdom, existed.
The phrase “make holiday” (ir hrw nfr), which the singer of the Intef Song addresses to the audience, was a term employed in situations of daily life as well as in reference to death and the afterlife. Furthermore, it is known that funerary banquets were held in the cemeteries on feast days. It is thus quite possible that Harpers’ Songs were sung at such funerary banquets, and that they employed the “make holiday” theme in its multiple meanings. In the context of the funerary banquet the various meanings would blend into one.
The theme of sorrow over death properly belonged to the Laments on Death which were an integral part of the burial ceremony. What is noteworthy is that these laments juxtapose sorrow and joy in a manner similar to the Intef Song and subsequent Harpers’ Songs, and move rapidly back and forth between grief and joy:
I have wept, I have mourned!
O all people, remember getting drunk on wine,
With wreaths and perfume on your heads!
The dead too had joy: “How good is this which happens to him!”
Given the multiple meanings of the “make holiday” theme, it follows that it was not the use of this theme which made the Intef Song so startling, but rather its skepticism concerning the reality of the afterlife and the effectiveness of tomb–building. It was this skepticism which injected a strident note of discord into a class of songs that had been designed to praise and reassure. The incongruity is of the same order as that which one observes in the Dispute between a Man and His Ba. For there the ba, though itself the guarantor of immortality, is given the role of denigrating death and immortality, denying the worth of tombs, and counseling enjoyment of life. The incongruity was not lost on the Egyptians, as the subsequent development of Harpers’ Songs reveals. The Harpers’ Songs of the New Kingdom show two responses to the Intef Song: an outright rejection of its “impious” thoughts, and a toning down of its skepticism so as to remove the sting. Both solutions are found side by side in two Harpers’ Songs carved on the walls of the New Kingdom tomb of a priest Neferhotep.
The objection to the skeptic–hedonistic message is phrased thus:
I have heard those songs that are in the tombs of old,
And what they relate in extolling life on earth,
And in belittling the land of the dead.
Why is this done to the land of eternity,
The just and fair that holds no terror?
There follows the praise of eternal life.
The toning down of the skeptical approach took various forms, and resulted in Harpers’ Songs that were eclectic and lacked unity. But though toned down, the note of skepticism could be heard, sometimes faintly, sometimes clearly, in Harpers’ Songs and in other compositions, as a haunting suspicion that the struggle to win immortality was at best beset by uncertainties and at worst, futile.
(vi 2) Song which is in the tomb of King Intef, the justified, in front of the singer with the harp.
He is happy, this good prince!
❐Death is a kindly fate❒.
A generation passes,
Another stays,
Since the time of the ancestors.
The gods who were before rest in their tombs,
Blessed (vi 5) nobles too are buried in their tombs.
(Yet) those who built tombs,
Their places are gone,
What has become of them?
I have heard the words of Imhotep and Hardedef,
Whose sayings are recited whole.
What of their places?
Their walls have crumbled,
Their places are gone,
As though they had never been!
None comes from there,
To tell of their state,
To tell of their needs,
To calm our hearts,
Until we go where they have gone!
Hence rejoice in your heart!
Forgetfulness profits you,
Follow your heart as long as you live!
(vi 10) Put myrrh on your head,
Dress in fine linen,
Anoint yourself with oils fit for a god.
Heap up your joys,
Let your heart not sink!
Follow your heart and your happiness,
Do your things on earth as your heart commands!
When there comes to you that day of mourning,
The Weary-hearted hears not their mourning,
Wailing saves no man from the pit!
Refrain (vii 2): Make holiday,
Do not weary of it!
Lo, none is allowed to take his goods with him,
Lo, none who departs comes back again!

Text: Budge 1910:23–24, pls. xlv–xlvi; Müller 1899:29–30, pls. xii–xvi; Holwerda–Boeser 1905–1932 4:pl. 6 (the tomb copy). Translation: Erman 1927:133–134; Breasted 1933:163–164; Lichtheim 1945:192–193; AEL 1:194–197; ANET 467–468; Daumas 1965:404.
(Theban Tomb No. 50)
Miriam Lichtheim

When they first appeared in the Middle Kingdom, the texts known as Harper’s Songs were designed to praise death and the life after death. But in the famous Harper’s Song from the Tomb of King Intef, preserved in a papyrus copy, the praises of the afterlife were replaced by anxious doubts about its reality, and by the advice to make merry while alive and to shun the thought of death. Such a skeptic–hedonistic message may have originated in songs sung at secular feasts; but when transmitted as a funerary text inscribed in a tomb and addressed to the tomb–owner, the message became incongruous and discordant. The incongruity did not pass unnoticed. In the tomb of the priest Neferhotep there are three Harper’s Songs, each expressing a particular response. One song continued the skeptic–hedonistic theme but blended it with elements of traditional piety in an attempt to tone down and harmonize the contrary viewpoints. The second song is an outright rejection of skepticism and hedonism, coupled with a praise of the land of the dead. The third is a description of life after death in traditional ritualistic terms. Thus, the three songs in one and the same tomb reflect the Egyptian preoccupation with the nature of death and the varying and conflicting answers and attitudes which continued side by side.
The second and third songs, and the figures of the harpers who recite them, form part of a banquet scene on the left rear wall of the hall. The first song occurs in the context of an offering–table scene, in the passage leading from the hall to the inner shrine. The second song, the one that deliberately rejects the skeptic message, is translated below.
Says the singer–with–harp of the divine father of Amun, Neferhotep, justified:
All ye excellent nobles and gods of the graveyard,
Hearken to the praise–giving for the divine father,
The worship of the honored noble’s excellent ba,
Now that he is a god everliving, exalted in the West;
May they become a remembrance for posterity,
For everyone who comes to pass by.
I have heard those songs that are in the tombs of old,
What they tell in extolling life on earth,
In belittling the land of the dead.
Why is this done to the land of eternity,
The right and just that has no terrors?
Strife is abhorrent to it,
No one girds himself against his fellow;
This land that has no opponent,
All our kinsmen rest in it
Since the time of the first beginning.
Those to be born to millions of millions,
All of them will come to it;
No one may linger in the land of Egypt,
There is none who does not arrive in it.
As to the time of deeds on earth,
It is the occurrence of a dream;
One says: “Welcome safe and sound,”
To him who reaches the West.

Text: Pierret 1874–1878 2:134–138; Gardiner 1913:165–170; Erman 1927:253–254; Hiero. Texts, 9:25–26, pls. xxi–xxiA. Translation: Lichtheim 1945:178–212 and pls. i–vii; AEL 2:115–116; ANET 33–34.

Robert K. Ritner

From the Old Kingdom through the Roman era, priests performed official ritual cursings of the potential enemies of Egypt. The ceremonies included the breaking of red pots a and figurines inscribed with formal “Execration Texts” listing Nubians, Asiatics, Libyans, living and deceased Egyptians, as well as generally threatening forces. The texts themselves contain no explicit curses, but instead serve to identify the fate of the enemies with that of the destroyed pot or image. The texts were seemingly compiled by the state chancellory, since they were updated to reflect changes in rulers and territories. This translation follows the Middle Kingdom Berlin bowls (mid-12th Dynasty), supplemented by slightly earlier parallel texts from an intact deposit at the Nubian fortress of Mirgissa.
A. Nubia
The ruler of Kush, Auau, born of […], and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Saï, Seteqtenkekh, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Webasepet, Bakuayt, called Tchay, born of Ihaas, born to Wenkat, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Webasepet, Iauny, born of Gem-hu[ (?) …], born to Ti[…], and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The Medjay, Wah–ib, born of […]tpuhia, born to Wenkat, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Ausheq, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
Every Nubian of Kush, of Muger, of Saï, of Irs[…], of Nasem, of Rida, of Irsukhet, of Iamnas, of Ia[…], [of …]amu, of Tuksa, of Bahass, of Ma[…]ia, of Ibis, of Gas (?), of Ausheq, of Webasepet, of Iaat– …, of Iaat, of Tcheksis, of Megseruia, of Ruhpubawit (?),
Their strong men, their messengers, their confederates, their allies, who will rebel, who will plot, who will fight, who will say that they will fight, who will say that they will rebel, in this entire land.
B. Asia
The ruler of Iy–anq, b Erum, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Iy–anq, Abi–yamimu, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Iy–anq, Akirum, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Shutu, c Ayyabum, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Shutu, Kushar, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Shutu, Zabulanu, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾIymwʿrrw, Ḫâlu-barîḥ, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Qhrmw, ‘Ammu– (y)atar, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Qhrmw, Hmṯnw, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Qhrmw, ʿAmmu-yakûn, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Arḥâbu, ʿprwhq, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Arḥâbu, Iymʿnʿwmw, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾIsʾinw, Iykwḏdʾ’s son ʿmmwtʾi, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾIsʾinw, ʿwḏwšnw, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾIsʾinw, Mʾʾmwt, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾInhʾiʾ, Malkî-ilum, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾInhʾiʾ, ʾqḥm, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾInhʾiʾ, Kamarum, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾInhʾiʾ, Yapʿânu, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾqhʾi, Iyqʾḏmw, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʾqhʾi, Šmšwʾirʾim, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ‘Irqatum, Iʾwmqhtʾi, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Ashkelon, d Ḫʾykm, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Ashkelon, Ḫkṯnw (?), and all the stricken ones who are with him.
[The ruler of …, and all the stricken ones who are] with him.
The ruler of Mutî-ilu, Mnṯm, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Jerusalem, e Yaqar-ʿAmmu, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Jerusalem, Seti-ʿAnu, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of ʿḫmt, […]ksʾm, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
The ruler of Alhânu, Iymʿʾiʾw, and all the stricken ones who are with him.
All rulers of ʾIysʾipʾi, and all the stricken ones who are with them.
All the Asiatics of Byblos, of Ullaza, of Iyanq, of Shutu, of ʾIymwʿrrw, of Qhrmw, of Arḥâbu, of Yarmût, of ʾInhiʾ, of ʾqhʾi, of ʿIrqatum, of Yarmût (sic.), of Isʾinw, of Ashkelon, of Dmʾitʾiw, of Mutî-ilu, of Jerusalem, of Alhânu, of ʾIysʾipʾi,
Their strong men, their messengers, their confederates, their allies, the tribesmen in Asia, who will rebel, who will plot, who will fight, who will say that they will fight, who will say that they will rebel, in this entire land.
C. Libya
The chiefs in Libya, all Libyans and their rulers.
Their strong men, their messengers, their confederates, their allies, who will rebel, who will plot, who will fight, who will say that they will fight, who will say that they will rebel, in this entire land.
D. Egyptians
All people (i.e., “Egyptians”), all patricians, all commoners, all men, all eunuchs, all women, all nobles, who will rebel, who will plot, who will fight, who will say that they will fight, who will say that they will rebel, every rebel who will say that he will rebel, in this entire land.
The deceased Ameni, tutor of Sit–Bastet, who raised Sit–Hathor, daughter of Neferu.
The deceased Senwosret–seneb, the younger, called “Little One,” tutor of Sit–Ipi, daughter of Sit–Hathor, who raised Kamu, daughter of Sit–Hathor.
The deceased Sehetep–ib, tutor of Sit–Hathor, who raised Iwt-rehu–ankh.
The deceased Sobekhotep, born of Renes–ankh.
The deceased Seni–ankh, born of Iwrw, born to Hetepi.
The deceased Senwosret, called Witu, born to Ameny.
The deceased Amenemhat, born of Hepiu, born to Mutchau.
The deceased Ameny, born of Hetep, born to Senwosret.
E. Evil Things
Every evil word, every evil speech, every evil slander, every evil intent, every evil plot, every evil fight, every evil disturbance, every evil plan, every evil thing, every evil dream in every evil sleep.

Texts: Sethe 1926; Koenig 1990. Translations and studies: ANET 328–329; Ritner 1993:136–190.
(P. Chester Beatty III, P. BM 10683)
Robert K. Ritner

The Chester Beatty “Dream Book” is currently the oldest surviving manual of dream interpretation. Perhaps deriving from a 12th Dyn. original, the present manuscript dates from the 19th Dynasty and was the property of senior scribes at the royal workmen’s village of Deir el–Medineh. The book comprises eleven columns in tabular form, each preceded by the vertically–written heading: “If a man see himself in a dream.” The horizontal lines of the columns briefly detail the dream image, whether or not it is favorable, and the prognostication for the dreamer. The text is arranged in discrete units, with good dreams listed before bad ones (highlighted by red ink), and a concluding incantation to avert any evil results. The entire pattern was repeated twice, once for “followers” of Horus and again for those associated with Seth.2 The interpretations are often based on religious symbolism or paronomasia (“puns”), with many sexual situations and ironic reversals.
For the Egyptians, as for many cultures, dreams provided a point of contact between the divine and human worlds, so that dreams might be sought for inspiration or healing (incubation), or for communication with the dead; see Vernus 1986. Conversely, enemies might send evil dreams, and the execration texts (above, pp. 50–52) specifically combat “every evil dream in every evil sleep.” For other protections against night terrors, see Ritner 1990.
If a man see himself in a dream:
(2/7) Shooting at a target. [Good.] It means something good will happen to him.
(2/9) [Mentioning] his wife to a husband. Good. It means the retreat of evils attached to him.
(2/11) His penis having become large. Good. It means an increase of his property.
(2/12) [Taking (?)] a bow in his hand. Good. The giving to him of his (most) important office.
(2/13) Dying adversely. Good. It means living after the death of his father.
(2/14) Seeing the god who is above. Good. It means much food.
(2/20) His mouth filled with dirt. Good. Living off of his townsmen.
(2/21) Eating the flesh of a donkey. Good. It means his promotion.
(2/22) Eating the flesh of a crocodile. Good. [It means] living off the property of an official.
(2/24) Looking through a window. Good. The hearing of his cry by his god.
(2/25) Being given papyrus reeds. Good. It means hearing his cry.
(2/26) Seeing himself atop a house. Good. [It means] finding something.
(3/2) [Seeing] himself in mourning. Good. An increase of his property.
(3/3) His hair having become long. Good. It means something at which his face will light up (i.e., “be joyful”).
(3/4) Being given white bread. Good. It means something [at which his face] will light up.
(3/5) Drinking wine. Good. It means living in Truth.
(3/7) Copulating with his mother … Good. [It means] cleaving to him by his relatives.
(3/8) Copulating with his sister. Good. It means the transferral to him of property.
(3/17) Being given a head. Good. The opening of his mouth to speak.
(4/1) Killing a snake. Good. Killing a quarrel.
(4/2) Seeing his face as a panther. Good. Acting as chief.
(4/3) Seeing a large cat. Good. It means a large harvest will occur for him.
(4/4) Drinking wine. Good. The opening of his mouth to speak.
(4/5) Binding malefic people at night. Good. Taking away the speech of his enemies.
(4/6) Crossing in a ferry–boat. Good. It means coming forth from all quarrels.
(4/7) Seated on a sycamore. Good. Driving off all his ills.
(4/12) Destroying his clothes. Good. Releasing him from all ills.
(4/13) Seeing himself dead. Good. A long life before him.
(4/14) Binding his own two legs. Good. It means dwelling among his townsmen.
(4/15) Falling from a wall. Good. It means coming forth from all quarrels.
(5/5) [Drinking] his own urine. Good. It means eating the property of his son.
(5/19) Submerging in the Nile. Good. It means purification from all evil.
(6/1) Burying an old man. Good. It means prosperity.
(6/24) Seeing Asiatics. Good. The love of his father when he dies comes into his presence.
(7/4) Drinking warm beer. BAD. It means suppurating illness infects him.
(7/6) Chewing cucumber. BAD. It means quarreling with him occurs when he is met.
(7/8) Eating a filleted catfish. BAD. His seizure by a crocodile.
(7/11) Seeing his face in a mirror. BAD. It means another wife.
(7/12) God dispelling his tears. BAD. It means fighting.
(7/13) Seeing himself enchanting his side. BAD. Exacting property from him.
(7/17) Copulating with a woman. BAD. It means mourning.
(7/18) Bitten by a dog. BAD. His being touched by magic.
(7/19) Bitten by a snake. BAD. It means the occurrence of a quarrel against him.
(7/20) Measuring barley. BAD. It means the occurrence of a quarrel against him.
(7/21) Writing upon a papyrus roll. BAD. The reckoning of his transgressions by his god.
(7/22) Moving his house. BAD. [It means] his illness.
(7/23) Enchanted by another with his spell. BAD. It means mourning.
(7/24) Acting as helmsman in a boat. BAD. Regarding any judgment of him, he will not be victorious.
(7/25) His bed catching fire. BAD. It means the driving off of his wife.
(7/27) Being pricked by a thorn. BAD. It means telling lies.
(7/28) Seeing the trapping of birds. BAD. It means the seizure of his property.
(8/1) Seeing his penis hard. BAD. Victory to his enemies.
(8/5) Looking into a deep well. BAD. Putting him in prison.
(8/6) He catching on fire. BAD. His being slaughtered.
(8/12) His teeth falling out. BAD. It means the death of a man among his dependants.
(8/13) Seeing a dwarf. BAD. Taking away half of his life.
(8/25) Carrying off temple goods. BAD. Seizure of his property before him.
(9/3) An Asiatic cloak upon him. BAD. His removal from his office.
(9/9) Seeing a woman’s vulva. BAD. The ultimate in misery against him.
(9/10) Uncovering his own rear. BAD. He will be orphaned in the end.
(9/14) Placing his face to the ground. BAD. The seeking of something from him by the dead.
(9/15) Seeing a blazing fire. BAD. It means the seizure of his son or his brother.
(9/16) Copulating with a sow. BAD. Being deprived of his property.
(9/22) Copulating with his wife in the daylight. BAD. The seeing of his transgressions by his god.
(9/27) Guarding monkeys. BAD. A reversal is before him.
(9/28) Bringing mice from the field. BAD. A bad heart.
(10/9) Breaking a pot with his feet. BAD. It means fighting.
“Come to me, come to me, my mother Isis! Behold, I am seeing what is far from me in my city.”
“Behold me, my son Horus, as one come forth bearing away what you have seen, so that your deafness be ended as your dream recedes, and fire go forth against him who frightens you. Behold, I have come so that I might see you, that I might drive off your ills, and that I might eradicate all terror.”
“Hail, good dream seen (by) night and by day. Drive off every evil terror that Seth, son of Nut, has made. As Re is victorious against his enemies, so I am victorious against my enemies.”
THIS SPELL IS SAID by a man when he awakes in his place. Pesen–loaves are placed in (his) presence with some fresh herbs moistened with beer and myrrh. The man’s face is to be wiped with them and all evil dreams that he has seen are driven off.

Text: Gardiner 1935:9–23. Translations: ANET 495; Borghouts 1978:3–4; Ritner 1990.
P. Berlin 3055 – A Selection
Robert K. Ritner

Dating from the 22nd Dynasty, this Theban ritual papyrus is one of the best sources for the standardized morning liturgy used for divine and royal cults throughout Egypt from the New Kingdom until Roman times. The Seti temple at Abydos depicts thirty–six chapters or “spells,” with nineteen represented at the Ptolemaic temple of Edfu and six at the contemporary temple of Dendera. In contrast, this Berlin papyrus adapted for Amon (together with P. Berlin 3014 + 3053 designed for his consort Mut), contains sixty–six recitations. No single source provides the complete ritual, but the constituent elements are easily reconstructed. The royal representative enters the chapel, censes and opens the naos to reveal the cult image. Thereafter follow spells of prostration, praise and offerings, after which the cult statue is removed, salved, clothed, adorned, and provided with unguent and eyepaint. In the concluding rites, fresh sand is strewn on the chapel floor, and the god is purified by water and natron and replaced in the naos. On exiting, the priest sweeps away his footprints, banishing impurities and demonic forces.
BEGINNING OF THE SPELLS of the divine ritual enacted in the temple of Amon–Re, king of the gods, in the course of every day by the chief wab–priest who is in his daily service.
SPELL FOR striking the fire.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “Come, come in peace, Eye of Horus, luminous, sound, rejuvenated in peace! May it shrine like Re in the two horizons, since the power of Seth has hidden himself before the Eye of Horus, who took it and brought it to put in its place for Horus. Concerning his Eye, Horus is triumphant, while the Eye of Horus repels the enemies of Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, in all their places. May the King give an offering! I am pure.”
SPELL FOR taking the censer.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “Hail to you, [censer of the gods] who are in the following of Thoth; my arms are upon you as (those of) Horus, my hands upon you like (those of) Thoth, my fingers on you like (those of) Anubis, foremost of the divine booth. I am the living servant of Re. I am a wab–priest, since I am pure (wab). The purity of the gods is my purity. May the King give an offering! I am pure.”
[SPELL FOR] PLACING the incense–bowl on the censer arm.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “Hail to you, incense–bowl of […] the field in Mendes, the clay in Abydos. I am purified by the Eye of Horus so that I might perform the rites with you, they being pure for Amon–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, and his Ennead. May the King give an offering! I am pure.”
SPELL FOR putting incense on the flame.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “To the ba–soul of the East, to Horus of the East, to Kamutef within the solar disk, to the Terrible One who shines with his two Sound Eyes, to Re-harakhti,5 the great god, the winged power, foremost of the two southern conclaves of heaven.”
SPELL FOR advancing [to] the sacred place.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “O ba–souls of Heliopolis, as you are sound, so I am sound, and vice–versa. Your ka-spirits are sound precisely because my ka–spirit is sound before all the ka–spirits of the living. As all live, so I live. The two jugs of Atum are the protection of my body. For me Sakhmet the great, beloved of Ptah, placed life, stability and dominion around all my flesh by an oath of Thoth. I am Horus the chief, beautiful of respect, lord of terror, great of respect, high of plumage, great in Abydos. May the King give an offering! I am pure.”
“Awake happily in peace, Karnak, mistress of the temples of the gods and goddesses who are in her! O gods and goddesses who are in Karnak, gods and goddesses who are in Thebes, gods and goddesses who are in Heliopolis, gods and goddesses who are in Memphis, gods and goddesses who are in heaven, gods and goddesses who are in the earth, gods and goddesses who are in the South, North, West and East, the kings of Upper and Lower Egypt, children of kings, who took the White Crown, who made monuments for Amun in Karnak, may you awaken, may you be in peace. May you awaken happily in peace.”
SPELL FOR breaking the cord.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “The cord is broken, the seal is loosened. Bringing to you the Eye of Horus, I have come. You have your Eye, O Horus.”
SPELL FOR breaking the clay seal.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “The clay seal is broken, the waters are breached, the vessels of Osiris are drained. I have come not to drive the god away from his throne. It is to put the god upon his throne that I have come. May you be established upon your great throne, O Amun–Re, Lord of the thrones of the Two Lands. I am the one whom the gods initiated.9 May the King give an offering! I am pure.”
SPELL FOR unfastening the naos.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “The finger of Seth is withdrawn from the Eye of Horus so that it be well. The finger of Seth is released from the Eye of Horus so that it be well. The hide is loosened from the back of the god. O Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, receive for yourself your two plumes and your White Crown as the Eye of Horus, the right (plume) being the right Eye, the left (plume) being the left Eye. You have your beauty, O Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands. Naked one, be clothed. Dressed one, be dressed, though I am but a prophet. It is the king who sent me to see the god.”12
SPELL FOR revealing the god.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “The doors of heaven are opened. The doors of the earth are opened. Hail to Geb, as the gods have said, established on their thrones. The doors of heaven are opened so that the Ennead might shrine. As Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, is exalted, so the great Ennead is exalted upon their thrones. You have your beauty, O Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands. Naked one, be clothed. Dressed one, be dressed.”
SPELL FOR seeing the god.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “My face is protected from the god and vice–versa. O gods, make way for me so that I might pass. It is the king who has sent me to see the god.”
SPELL FOR kissing the ground.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “I have kissed the ground; I have embraced Geb. For Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, have I performed the chants {by which} I am purified for him. You have your sweat, O gods. You have your perfumes, O goddesses. You have the perfumes of your bodies.15 My kiss is life for Pharaoh, praise for the Lord of the Two Lands.”
SPELL FOR prostrating.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “Hail to you, Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, enduring upon your great throne. I have prostrated (myself) through fear of you, fearful of your dignity. I have embraced Geb and Hathor so that she might cause that I be great. I shall not fall to the slaughter of this day.”
SPELL FOR prostrating and for rising.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “Hail to you, Amun–Re, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands. I have not acted with your secretions; I have not removed your dignity.19 I have not conflated your appearance with that of another god. I have prostrated myself through fear of you, so that I might perceive what you desire. You shall not fall to your enemies on this day. Your enemies whom you hate, may you overthrow them as your enemies of this day.21 There is no wretchedness for the one who adores his lord.”
SPELL FOR kissing the ground with the face bowed.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “I have kissed the ground with my face bowed; I have caused Truth to ascend to you. There is no god who has done what I have done. I have not lifted up my face. I have not inflicted impurities. I have not conflated your appearance with that of another god.”
… (col. 5, 3)
SPELL FOR adoring Amun.
WORDS TO BE SAID: “Into your presence
Pharaoh has come, O male one of the gods, primordial one of the Two Lands, He of the Sacred arm, Amun–Re, Lord of the two plumes, great one with the crown of greatness on your head, king of the gods resident in Karnak, image of Amun,23 enduring in all things in your name of ‘Amun, more powerful than all the gods.’ They will not turn their backs on you in their name of ‘Ennead.’ ”

Text: Königlichen Museen zu Berlin (1901: pls. I–XXXVII). Translations: Moret 1902; Roeder 1960:72–141; ANET 325–326; Assmann 1975:260–273; and Barta 1980: cols. 841–45.

Miriam Lichtheim

The text is preserved in three fragmentary papyri which only partly complement one another. They are Papyrus Leningrad 1116A, dating from the second half of the 18th Dynasty; P. Moscow 4658, from the very end of the 18th Dynasty; and P. Carlsberg 6, from the end of the 18th Dynasty or later. Unfortunately, the most complete manuscript, P. Leningrad, is also the most corrupt. The numerous lacunae and the many scribal errors make this text one of the most difficult.
The work is cast in the form of an Instruction spoken by an old king to his son and successor. The fragmentary beginning has preserved the name of the son: Merikare. But that of the father is lost except for the still visible outline of the cartouche and traces of two vertical hieroglyphs forming the end of the king’s name. This name is assumed to be that of one of the several kings of the 9th/10th Dynasties who bore the nomen Khety (Akhtoi). However, since the order of the kings of this dynasty has not yet been fully clarified, it has not been determined which of the several Khetys preceded Merikare. J. von Beckerath (1966:13–20) has proposed as the most suitable candidate the Khety whose prenomen was Nebkaure.
As an Instruction, it continues the genre Instruction which originated in the Old Kingdom. But a new element has been added: it is a royal instruction, and specifically, a royal testament. It is the legacy of a departing king which embodies a treatise on kingship.
The treatise on kingship in the form of a royal testament is a literary genre that was to flourish many centuries later in the Hellenistic world and subsequently in the Islamic East as well as in medieval Europe: the speculum regum. It is, of course, not possible to draw a connecting line from the ancient Egyptian type to its Hellenistic and medieval counterparts — far too little is preserved from all ancient literatures to make it possible to reconstruct their interconnections — but it is interesting to see the emergence of the genre. Not that the Instruction to Merikare was the first work of this type (an Instruction of an earlier king Khety is referred to in the text), but it is the earliest preserved, and probably also an early work of the genre, for it shows compositional weaknesses that suggest experimentation.
I believe the work to be pseudepigraphic in the sense of not having been composed by King Khety himself, but genuine in the sense of being a work composed in the reign of King Merikare, designed to announce the direction of his policy and containing valid, rather than fictitious, historical information.
Set beside such literary antecedents as the Maxims of Ptahhotep, the work shows intellectual and literary progress. Its morality has grown in depth and subtlety; and there is a parallel growth in the ability to formulate concepts, and to develop themes and topics at greater length. A fully sustained compositional coherence as found in comparable works of the 12th Dynasty has not been achieved. There are several instances in which the same topic reappears in different places, and in which a buildup to a climax is deflected. Yet an overall plan and progression can be recognized.
The first major portion, of which almost nothing is preserved, deals with rebellion and how to overcome it. The second major section gives advice on dealing wisely and justly with nobles and commoners and is climaxed by a view of the judgment in the hereafter. Next comes advice on raising troops and on performing the religious duties. Then follows the “historical section” in which the old king describes his accomplishments and advises on how to continue them. At this point there is the beginning of a paean on the glory of kingship which is interrupted by a reference to the tragic destruction of monuments in the holy region of Abydos, a matter that had previously been alluded to. This leads to a reflection on divine retribution and rises to the recognition that the deity prefers right doing to rich offerings. Then comes the true climax: a hymn to the creator god, the benefactor of mankind. The concluding section exhorts acceptance of the royal teachings.
The scribes of the New Kingdom divided the work into sections by means of rubrication. At an average such sections consist of twelve sentences and clauses. Where these rubrics were logical I have maintained them; but not all of the rubrics of the principal manuscript, P. Leningrad, are judicious, for the scribes often introduced rubrics mechanically without regard to content. The major topics encompass more than one rubricated section. The building blocks within each section are the small units of two, three, and four sentences, which are joined together by parallelism in its several forms, such as similarities, elaborations, and contrasts. And since all sentences and clauses are of approximately the same length, there results a clearly marked, regular, sentence rhythm.
All Instructions are composed in this rhythmic style marked by symmetrical sentences which I call the orational style. On occasion, when specific events are told, it turns into prose. At other moments it rises into poetry, as in the hymn to the creator–god which crowns the Instruction addressed to Merikare.
(25) The hothead is an inciter of citizens,
He creates factions among the young;
If you find that citizens adhere to him,
Denounce him before the councillors,
Suppress [him], he is a rebel,
The talker is a troublemaker for the city.
Curb the multitude, suppress its heat,
(30) ——
May you be justified before the god,
That a man may say [even in] your [absence]
That you punish in accordance [with the crime].
Good nature is a man’s heaven,
The cursing of the [furious] is painful.
If you are skilled in speech, you will win,
The tongue is [a king’s] sword;
Speaking is stronger than all fighting,
The skillful is not overcome.
—— on the mat,
The wise is a [❐school❒] to the nobles.
Those who know that he knows will not attack him,
No [crime] occurs when he is near;
Justice comes to him distilled,
Shaped in the sayings of the ancestors.
(35) Copy your fathers, your ancestors,
See, their words endure in books,
Open, read them, copy their knowledge,
He who is taught becomes skilled.
Don’t be evil, kindness is good,
Make your memorial last through love of you.
Increase the [people], befriend the town,
God will be praised for (your) donations,
One will ——
Praise your goodness,
Pray for your health —.
Respect the nobles, sustain your people,
Strengthen your borders, your frontier patrols;
It is good to work for the future,
One respects the life of the foresighted,
While he who trusts fails.
Make people come [to you] (40) through your good nature,
A wretch is who desires the land [of his neighbor],
A fool is who covets what others possess.
Life on earth passes, it is not long,
Happy is he who is remembered,
A million men do not avail the Lord of the Two Lands.
Is there [a man] who lives forever?
He who comes with Osiris passes,
Just as he leaves who indulged himself.
Advance your officials, so that they act by your laws,
He who has wealth at home will not be partial,
He is a rich man who lacks nothing.
The poor man does not speak justly,
Not righteous is one who says, “I wish I had,”
He inclines to him who will pay him.
Great is the great man whose great men are great,
Strong is (45) the king who has councillors,
Wealthy is he who is rich in his nobles.
Speak truth in your house,
That the officials of the land may respect you;
Uprightness befits the lord,
The front of the house puts fear in the back.
Do justice, then you endure on earth;
Calm the weeper, don’t oppress the widow,
Don’t expel a man from his father’s property,
Don’t reduce the nobles in their possessions.
Beware of punishing wrongfully,
Do not kill, it does not serve you.
Punish with beatings, with detention,
Thus will the land be well–ordered;
Except for the rebel whose plans are found out,
For god knows the treason plotters,
(50) God smites the rebels in blood.
He who is merciful ––– lifetime;
Do not kill a man whose virtues you know,
With whom you once chanted the writings,
Who was brought up … ––– before god,
Who strode freely in the secret place.
The ba comes to the place it knows,
It does not miss its former path,
No kind of magic holds it back,
It comes to those who give it water.
The Court that judges the wretch,
You know they are not lenient,
On the day of judging the miserable,
In the hour of doing their task.
It is painful when the accuser has knowledge,
Do not trust in length of years,
(55) They view a lifetime in an hour!
When a man remains over after death,
His deeds are set beside him as treasure,
And being yonder lasts forever.
A fool is who does what they reprove!
He who reaches them without having done wrong
Will exist there like a god,
Free-striding like the lords forever!
Raise your youths and the residence will love you,
Increase your subjects with ❐recruits❒,
See, your city is full of new growth.
Twenty years the youths indulge their wishes,
Then ❐recruits❒ go forth …
Veterans return to their children …

(60) I raised troops from them on my accession.
Advance your officials, promote your [soldiers],
Enrich the young men who follow you,
Provide with goods, endow with fields,
Reward them with herds.
Do not prefer the well born to the commoner,
Choose a man on account of his skills,
Then all crafts are done ––– …
Guard your borders, secure your forts,
Troops are useful to their lord.
Make your monuments [worthy] of the god,
This keeps alive their maker’s name,
A man should do what profits his ba.
In the monthly service, wear the white sandals,
Visit the temple, rob ❐observe❒ the mysteries,
Enter (65) the shrine, eat bread in god’s house;
Proffer libations, multiply the loaves,
Make ample the daily offerings,
It profits him who does it.
Endow your monuments according to your wealth,
Even one day gives to eternity,
An hour contributes to the future,
God recognizes him who works for him.

Troops will fight troops
As the ancestors foretold;
Egypt (70) fought in the graveyard,
Destroying tombs in vengeful destruction.
As I did it, so it happened,
As is done to one who strays from god’s path.
Do not deal evilly with the Southland,
You know what the residence foretold about it;
As this happened so that may happen.
❐Before they had trespassed❒ … —
I attacked This ❐straight to❒ its southern border ❐at Taut❒,
I engulfed it like a flood;
King Meriyebre, justified, had not done it;
Be merciful on account of it,
—— renew the treaties.
(75) No river lets itself be hidden,
It is good to work for the future.
You stand well with the Southland,
They come to you with tribute, with gifts;
I have acted like the forefathers:
If one has no grain to give,
Be kind, since they are humble before you.
Be sated with your bread, your beer,
Granite comes to you unhindered.
Do not despoil the monument of another,
But quarry stone in Tura.
Do not build your tomb out of ruins,
(Using) what had been made for what is to be made.
Behold, the king is lord of joy,
(80). You may rest, sleep in your strength,
Follow your heart, through what I have done,
There is no foe within your borders.
I arose as lord of the city,
Whose heart was sad because of the Northland;
From Hetshenu to ❐Sembaqa❒, and south to Two-Fish Channel
I pacified the entire West as far as the coast of the sea.
It pays taxes, it gives cedar wood,
One sees juniper wood which they give us.
The East abounds in bowmen,
❐Their labor❒ ——
The inner islands are turned back,
And every man within,
The temples say, “you are greater (85) than I.”
The land they had ravaged has been made into nomes,
All kinds of large towns [rare in its];
What was ruled by one is in the hands of ten,
Officials are appointed, tax–[lists drawn up].
When free men are given land,
They work for you like a single team;
No rebel will arise among them,
And Hapy will not fail to come.
The dues of the Northland are in your hand,
For the mooring–post is staked in the district I made in the East
From Hebenu to Horusway;
It is settled with towns, filled with people,
Of the best in the whole land,
To repel (90) attacks against them.
May I see a brave man who will copy it,
Who will add to what I have done,
A wretched heir would ❐disgrace❒ me.
But this should be said to the Bowman:
Lo, the miserable Asiatic,
He is wretched because of the place he’s in:
Short of water, bare of wood,
Its paths are many and painful because of mountains.
He does not dwell in one place,
Food propels his legs,
He fights since the time of Horus,
Not conquering nor being conquered,
He does not announce the day of combat,
Like a thief who darts about a group.
But as I live (95) and shall be what I am,
When the Bowmen were a sealed wall,
I breached [their strongholds],
I made Lower Egypt attack them,
I captured their inhabitants,
I seized their cattle,
Until the Asiatics abhorred Egypt.
Do not concern yourself with him,
The Asiatic is a crocodile on its shore,
It snatches from a lonely road,
It cannot seize from a populous town.
Medenyt has been restored to its nome,
Its one side is irrigated as far as Kem–Wer,
It is the ❐defense❒ against the Bowmen.
(100) Its walls are warlike, its soldiers many,
Its serfs know how to bear arms,
Apart from the free men within.
The region of Memphis totals ten thousand men,
Free citizens who are not taxed;
Officials are in it since the time it was residence,
The borders are firm, the garrisons valiant.
Many northerners irrigate it as far as the Northland,
Taxed with grain in the manner of free men;
Lo, it is the gateway of the Northland,
They form a dyke as far as (105) Hnes.
Abundant citizens are the heart’s support,
Beware of being surrounded by the serfs of the foe,
Caution prolongs life.
If your southern border is attacked,
The Bowmen will put on the girdle,
Build buildings in the Northland!
As a man’s name is not made small by his actions,
So a settled town is not harmed.
Build ——
The foe loves destruction and misery.
King Khety, the justified, laid down in teaching:
(110) He who is silent toward violence diminishes the offerings.
God will attack the rebel for the sake of the temple,
He will be overcome for what he has done,
He will be sated with what he planned to gain,
He will find no favor on the day of woe.
Supply the offerings, revere the god,
Don’t say, “it is trouble,” don’t slacken your hands.
He who opposes you attacks the sky,
A monument is sound for a hundred years;
If the foe understood, he would not attack them,
There is no one who has no (115) enemy.
The Lord of the Two Shores is one who knows,
A king who has courtiers is not ignorant;
As one wise did he come from the womb,
From a million men god singled him out.
A goodly office is kingship,
It has no son, no brother to maintain its memorial,
But one man provides for the other;
A man acts for him who was before him,
So that what he has done is preserved by his successor.
Lo, a shameful deed occurred in my time:
(120) The nome of This was ravaged;
Though it happened through my doing,
I learned it after it was done.
There was retribution for what I had done,
For it is evil to destroy,
Useless to restore what one has damaged,
To rebuild what one has demolished.
Beware of it! A blow is repaid by its like,
To every action there is a response.
While generation succeeds generation,
God who knows characters is hidden;
One can not oppose the lord of the hand,
He reaches all (125) that the eyes can see.
One should revere the god on his path,
Made of costly stone, fashioned of bronze.
As watercourse is replaced by watercourse,
So no river allows itself to be concealed,
It breaks the channel in which it was hidden.
So also the ba goes to the place it knows,
And strays not from its former path.
Make worthy your house of the west,
Make firm your station in the graveyard,
By being upright, by doing justice,
Upon which men’s hearts rely.
The loaf of the upright is preferred
To the ox of the evildoer.
Work for god, he will work for you also,
With offerings (130) that make the altar flourish,
With carvings that proclaim your name,
God thinks of him who works for him.
Well tended is mankind — god’s cattle,
He made sky and earth for their sake,
He subdued the water monster, a
He made breath for their noses to live.
They are his images, who came from his body,
He shines in the sky for their sake;
He made for them plants and cattle,
Fowl and fish to feed them.
He slew his foes, reduced his children,
When they thought of making rebellion.
He makes daylight for their sake,
He sails by to see them.
He has built (135) his shrine around them,
When they weep he hears.
He made for them rulers in the egg,
Leaders to raise the back of the weak.
He made for them magic as weapons
To ward off the blow of events,
Guarding them by day and by night.
He has slain the traitors among them,
As a man beats his son for his brother’s sake,
For god knows every name.
Do not neglect my speech,
Which lays down all the laws of kingship,
Which instructs you, that you may rule the land,
And may you reach me with none to accuse you!
Do not kill (140) one who is close to you,
Whom you have favored, god knows him;
He is one of the fortunate ones on earth,
Divine are they who follow the king!
Make yourself loved by everyone,
A good character is remembered
[When his time] has passed.
May you be called “he who ended the time of trouble,”
By those who come after in the House of Khety,
In thinking of what has come today.
Lo, I have told you the best of my thoughts,
Act by what is set before you!

Text: Golenischeff 1916 pls. ix–xiv; Volten 1945:3–82 and pls. 1–4. Translation: Gardiner 1914:20–36; Erman 1927:75–84; ANET 414–418; Scharff 1936 (lines 69–110 and most of lines 111–144); Lichtheim AEL 1:97–109. Discussion: Posener 1950; 1962; 1963; 1964; 1965; 1966; Drioton 1960:90–91; Williams, 1964:16–19; Seibert, 1967:90–98; Müller 1967:117–123; Kees 1962:86.
Miriam Lichtheim

When first studied, the text was regarded as the genuine work of King Amenemhet I, composed by him after he had escaped an attempt on his life. The currently prevailing view is that the king was in fact assassinated in the thirtieth year of his reign, and that the text was composed by a royal scribe at the behest of the new king, Sesostris I.
The attack on the king’s life is told in a deliberately veiled manner; yet there are sufficient hints in the account and elsewhere in the text to convey to the Middle Kingdom audience that the speaker is the deceased king who speaks to his son in a revelation, and to later audiences, including the sophisticated one of the New Kingdom, that the work was composed by a court writer.
It is a powerful and imaginative composition, distinguished by its personal tone and by the bitterness born of experience with which the old king castigates the treachery of his subjects, and warns his son not to place trust in any man. The theme, then, is regicide. In contrast with the theme “national distress,” regicide was not a topic that could be treated fully and openly, for it conflicted too strongly with the dogma of the divine king. Hence the work is the only one of its kind.
The orational style is used throughout, except in the description of the assassination which is rendered in prose.
The text was preserved in Papyrus Millingen of the 18th Dynasty, a copy of which was made by A. Peyron in 1843. Subsequently the original papyrus was lost. Portions of the work are preserved on three wooden tablets of the 18th Dynasty, some papyrus fragments, and numerous ostraca of the New Kingdom.
The line numbers are those of Papyrus Millingen, which is a good manuscript but fragmentary in the final portion.
(I.1) Beginning of the Instruction made by the majesty of King Sehetepibre, son of Re, Amenemhet, the justified, as he spoke in a revelation of truth, to his son the All–Lord. He said:
Risen as god, hear what I tell you,
That you may rule the land, govern the shores,
Increase well–being!
Beware of subjects who are nobodies,
Of whose plotting one is not aware.
Trust not a brother, know not a friend,
Make no (I.5) intimates, it is worthless.
When you lie down, guard your heart yourself,
For no man has adherents on the day of woe.
I gave to the beggar, I raised the orphan,
I gave success to the poor as to the wealthy;
But he who ate my food raised opposition,
He whom I gave my trust used it to plot.
Wearers of my fine linen looked at me as if they were needy,
Those perfumed with my myrrh ❐poured water while wearing it❒.
You my living peers, my partners among men,
Make for me mourning such as has not (I.10) been heard,
For so great a combat had not yet been seen!
If one fights in the arena forgetful of the past,
Success will elude him who ignores what he should know.
It was after supper, night had come. I was taking an hour of rest, lying on my bed, for I was weary. As my heart (II.1) began to follow sleep, weapons for my protection were turned against me, while I was like a snake of the desert. I awoke at the fighting, ❐alert❒, and found it was a combat of the guard. Had I quickly seized weapons in my hand, I would have made the cowards retreat ❐in haste❒. But no one is strong at night; no one can fight alone; no success is achieved without a helper.
(II.5) Thus bloodshed occurred while I was without you; before the courtiers had heard I would hand over to you; before I had sat with you so as to advise you. For I had not prepared for it, had not expected it, had not foreseen the failing of the servants.
Had women ever marshaled troops?
Are rebels nurtured in the palace?
Does one release water that destroys the soil
And deprives people of their crops?
No harm had come to me since my birth,
No one equaled me as a doer of deeds.
(II.10) I journeyed to Yebu, I returned to the Delta,
Having stood on the land’s borders I observed its interior.
I reached the borders of ❐the strongholds❒
By my strength and my feats.
I was grain–maker, beloved of Nepri,
Hapy honored me on every field.
None hungered in my years,
None (III.1) thirsted in them,
One sat because I acted and spoke of me,
I had assigned everything to its place.
I subdued lions, I captured crocodiles,
I repressed those of Wawat,
I captured the Mediai,
I made the Asiatics do the dog walk.
I built myself a house decked with gold,
Its ceiling of lapis lazuli,
Walls of silver, floors of [acacia wood],
(III.5) Doors of copper, bolts of bronze,
Made for eternity, prepared for all time,
I know because I am its lord.
Behold, much hatred is in the streets,
The wise says “yes,” the fool says “no,”
For no one knows it ❐without your presence❒,
Sesostris my son!
As my feet depart, you are in my heart,
My eyes behold you, child of a happy hour
❐Before the people as they hail you❒.
I have made the past and arranged the future,
I gave you the contents of my heart.
You (III.10) wear the white crown of a god’s son,
The seal is in its place, assigned you by me,
Jubilation is in the bark of Re,
Kingship is again what it was in the past!

Raise your monuments, establish your strongholds,

Text: Griffith 1896:35–51; Maspero 1914; Volten 1945:104–128; Lopez 1963:29–33; Helck 1969. Translation: BAR 1:474–483; Erman 1927:72–74; ANET 418–419; Lichtheim AEL 1:135–139. Discussion: Posener 1956; Gardiner 1939:479–496; Malinine 1934:63–74; de Buck 1939:847–852; 1946:183–200; Faulkner 1932:69–73; Anthes 1957:176–190; 1958:208–209; Goedicke 1968:15–21.

James K. Hoffmeier

King–lists of various types abound in ancient Egyptian sources. Technically, a collection of three or more names is a “group” and a true king–list arranges names in proper historical order and provides the length of reign. Following this definition, the only Egyptian source that meets these requirements is the Turin Canon, and it is not fully preserved. Nevertheless, the term king–list has been applied to a wider variety of lists, including the funerary offering lists, such as those at Karnak, Abydos and Sakkara. Such “cultic assemblages of deceased kings,” as Donald Redford calls them, are abundant, and vary considerably in length. Of this type, dozens are known, but they are rarely consulted in historical reconstructions because of their brevity and, in some cases, confused order.
While no direct ties exist between the Old Testament and the king-lists presented here, they do shed light on genealogical lists such as those found in Genesis, 1 Chronicles and elsewhere. The Turin Canon contains what is believed to have been an exhaustive list of kings who ruled beginning with Meni (Menes) down into the empire period, complete with the duration of reigns. Prior to the beginning of 1st Dynasty in column II of the papyrus, the initial column contains a list of deities who are called “king of Upper and Lower Egypt.” Following this title, the deity’s name is written in a cartouche, the cylindrical enclosure reserved for royal names. The length of the reigns are also added after the name, and the figures are extremely long, e.g. Thoth 7726 years and another deity whose name is lost, 7718 years. Once the dynastic kings are introduced, the figures are realistic. A parallel might be drawn between this practice and that found in the Sumerian King–list and the Genesis 5 and 11 genealogies. In both of these cases, very long reigns are listed prior to the flood, but the numbers are reduced significantly thereafter. Unfortunately, the fragmentary state of column I prevents us from knowing how the Egyptian scribes understood the difference between the pre–dynastic divine rulers and Meni and his successors. The inclusion of pre–dynastic (legendary?) divine rulers along with historical kings from the 1st Dynasty on, indicates that the Egyptians made no distinction between “historical” and “mythic” or “legendary” individuals as modern historians do.
Unlike the original Turin Canon, the famous king–lists at Abydos and Sakkara are not complete lists of the kings from Dynasties 1–19. Rather they are selective. For instance, the kings of the 1st and 2nd Intermediate periods, as well as Queen Hatshepsut and Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay, the so called Amarna kings are omitted in the Abydos list. Similar selectivity is found in the Sakkara list. The practice of omitting entire epochs, such as the Amarna and Hyksos periods, were ways that later kings could expunge embarrassing forebears and not make offerings to them. On the other hand, there is no evidence that superfluous names were added to the Egyptian lists. Selectivity, apparently, violated no literary or political expectations in ancient Egypt. By extension, it holds that the omission of individuals or groups of ancestors from Israelite genealogies in the Bible was practiced for ideological or structural purposes, while not violating any Near Eastern canons of historiography.
1. KARNAK LIST (1.37A)
A small chapel once stood in Thutmose III’s Akh–menu temple complex at Karnak. Over 150 years ago it was removed to the Louvre in Paris. While its list is offertory in nature, it is made up of seated figures of the kings with various regal titles before the cartouche. The names are grouped in eight parts, but the particular alignments are not always clear. The importance of these name–lists is that they include names omitted from AL and SL, such as earlier Theban 11th Dynasty kings, and some from 2nd Intermediate Period, are included. There has been considerable scholarly discussion about the criteria used for the compilation of the lists. Suggestions include that these were monarchs who actually ruled from Thebes or those who engaged in building activities there; that the figures represent actual statues of royal forebears at Karnak or that lists were comprised of ancient offering lists. Regardless of how this list originated, its use for historical reconstruction is of limited value.
(Group I)
1. [lost]
2. Sneferu
3. Sahure
4. Inen/Iny
5. Isesi
6. [lost]
7. [lost]
8. Sekhemre–semntawyre
(Group II)
1. [lost]
2. Intef
3. In[tef]
4. Mon[tuhotep]
5. Mayor Int[ef]
6. [Sa Re T]eti
7. [P]epy
8. Merenre
(Group III)
1. Sehetepibre (Amenemhet I)
2. Nebkaure (Amenemhet II)
3. [lost]
4. [lost]
5. Maakherure (Amenemhet IV)
6. Sobekneferu
7. Intef
(Group IV)
1. Kheperkare (Senusert I)
2. Sekennenre
3. Senakhtenre
4. Niuserre
5. Nebkheperre (Senusert II)
6. Nebhepetre (Montuhotep II)
7. Sneferkare
8. //////re
(Group V)
1. [lost]
2. Khaneferre
3. Khasekhemre
4. Sekhemre–snefertawy
5. Sekhemre–khuitawy
6. Seankhibre
7. Sewadjenre
8. ////kau–[re]
(Group VI)
1. [lost]
2. Merisekhemre
3. Merikaure
4. ///s re-wesertawy
5. ////////re
6. Snefer///re
7. Khahe[tep]re
8. Khaankhre
(Group VII)
1. [Sekhem]re–wahkhau
2. Sewahenre
3. Merihetepre
4. Khuitawyre
5. [lost]
6. [lost]
7. Sekhemre–wadjkhau
(Group VIII)
1. ///////re
2. Snefer///re
3. Sewadjenre
4. Sekhemre–[///]tawy
5. [lost]
6. [lost]
7. [lost]
2. ABYDOS LIST (AL) (1.37B)
In the cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos, which was completed by Ramesses II, is found a sequential list of kings from Dynasty 1 through reigning monarch Seti of Dynasty 19. To the left of the list, stand Seti and crown–prince Ramesses who holds a papyrus containing the list that is recorded to the right. The accompanying inscription indicates that the list was made up of the beneficiaries of the offerings being made. Because this list was made up of the royal ancestors whom the reigning monarch wished to honor, it was selective. Thus while historians may wish to consult this list, and ones like it (e.g. the Sakkara list), it is not relied upon for historical reconstruction without the aid of more complete lists, like the Turin Canon or an annalistic report such as the Palermo Stone.
(Dynasty 1)
1. Meni
2. Teti
3. Iti
4. Ita
5. Semti
6. Merpabia
7. (Not translatable)
8. Qebeh
(Dynasty 2)
9. Bedjau
10. Kakau
11. Baninetjer
12. Wadjnes
13. Sendi
14. Djadjay
(Dynasty 3)
15. Nebka
16. //djeser–sa
17. (Djeser)–teti
18. Sedjes
19. Neferkare
(Dynasty 4)
20. Sneferu
21. Khufu
22. Djedefre
23. Khaefre
24. Menkaure
25. Shepseskaf
(Dynasty 5)
26. Userkaf
27. Sahure
28. Kakai
29. Reneferef
30. Niuserre
31. Menkauhor
32. Djedkare
33. Unas
(Dynasty 6)
34. Teti
35. Userkare
36. Meryre (Pepy I)
37. Merenre
38. Neferkare (Pepy II)
39. Merenre–Antyemsaef
(1st Intermediate Period)
40. Netjerkare
41. Menkare
42. Neferkare
43. Neferkare–Neby
44. Djdekare–Shema
45. Neferkare–Khenedu
46. Merenhor
47. Sneferka
48. Nikare
49. Neferkare–Teruru
50. Neferkahor
51. Neferkare–Pepysenb
52. Sneferka–Anu
53. Ka[//]kaure
54. Neferkaure
55. Neferkauhor
56. Neferirkare
(Dynasty 11)
57. Nebhepetre (Montuhotep II)
58. Sankhkare (Montuhotep III)
(Dynasty 12)
59. Sehetepibre (Amenemhet I)
60. Kheperkare (Senusert I)
61. Nebkaure (Amenemhet II)
62. Khakheperre (Senusert II)
63. Khakaure (Senusert III)
64. Nimaare (Amenemhet III)
65. Maakherure (Amenemhet IV)
(Dynasty 18)
66. Nebpehtyre (Ahmose)
67. Djeserkare (Amenhotep I)
68. Aakheperkare (Thutmose I)
69. Aakheperenre (Thutmose II)
70. Menkheperre (Thutmose III)
71. Aakheperrure (Amenhotep II)
72. Menkheperrure (Thutmose IV)
73. Nebmaatre (Amenhotep III)
74. Djeserkheperure–setepenre (Horemheb)
(Dynasty 19)
75. Menphtyre (Ramesses I)
76. Menmaatre (Seti I)
Carved on the Sakkara tomb of the “Overseer of Works” from the reign of Ramesses II is the so called “Sakkara King List.” Like its counterpart at Abydos, this is an offering list which originally recorded the names of 58 monarchs. Above each cartouche is the word nsw, “king” with determinative of a seated king, a white or red crown; they alternate throughout. Below each cartouche is the epithet mʾʿ ḫrw, “justified,” indicating that these kings were deceased. While this list is laid out much like Seti I list from Abydos, it includes kings not mentioned at Abydos. For instance, while AL records the names of eight 1st Dynasty kings, SL has but two. Among those excised is Meni, the legendary Menes of Herodotus. Owing to the selectivity, and sequential problems with this list, it is not relied upon in serious historical reconstruction.
(Dynasty 1)
1. Merbiapen
2. Qebehu
(Dynasty 2)
3. Baunetjer
4. Kakau
5. Banetjeru
6. Wadjnes
7. Senedj
8. Neferkare
9. Neferkasokar
10. Hudjefa
11. Beby
(Dynasty 3)
12. Djeser
13. Djeser–Teti
14. Nebkare
15. Huny
(Dynasty 4)
16. Sneferu
17. Khufu
18. Djedefre
19. ////uf
20. [lost]
21. [lost]
22. [lost]
23. [lost]
24. [lost]
(Dynasty 5)
25. Userka[ef]
26. [S]ahure
27. Neferirkare
28. Shepseskare
29. Khaneferre
30. Menkahor
31. Maakare
32. Unas
(Dynasty 6)
33. Teti
34. Pepy (I)
35. Merenre
36. Neferkare (Pepy II)
(Dynasty 11)
37. Nebhepetre (Montuhotep II)
38. Sankhkare (Montuhotep III)
(Dynasty 12)
39. Sehetepibre (Amenemhet I)
40. Kheperkare (Senusert I)
41. Nebkare (Amenemhet II)
42. Khakhepere (Senusert II)
43. Khakare (Senusert III)
44. [Nimaa]re (Amenemhet III)
45. Maakherure (Amenemhet IV)
46. Sobekkare
(Dynasty 18)
47. Nebpehtyre (Ahmose)
48. Djeserkare (Amenhotep I)
49. [lost] (Thutmose I)
50. [lost] (Thutmose II)
51. [lost] (Thutmose III)
52. [lost] (Amenhotep II)
53. [lost] (Thutmose IV)
54. [lost] (Amenhotep I)
55. [Djeserkhepere S]etepen[re] (Horemeheb)
(Dynasty 19)
56. Men [pehtyre] (Ramesses I)
57. Men [maatre] (Seti I)
58. [Usermaatre] Setepenre (Ramesses II)
4. TURIN CANON (1.37D)
Located in the Museo Egizio in Turin, Italy, this papyrus is the most important source for the historical and chronological reconstruction of ancient Egypt. It is more than a list. Rather it originally contained a sequence of kings from Dynasty 1, with regnal years assigned to each king. Beginning with Menes (Meni), it continues down to the 19th Dynasty, the period to which this papyrus dates. According to Sir Alan Gardiner who published a hieroglyphic transcription of the hieratic original (1959), it is a “genuine chronicle remarkably like the Manetho of Africanus and Eusebius” (1962:47). This papyrus was apparently in near perfect condition when discovered by Drovetti in 1822 in western Thebes. However, by the time Champollion studied it a few years later, it was regrettably in a poor, fragmented state, with large sections having been lost or destroyed in the intervening years. This sad fact has long been lamented by historians because knowledge of certain kings and durations of certain reigns remain lost. Nevertheless, the Turin canon continues to be the most important document from pharaonic times for historical reconstruction. The list begins with a series of deities, such as Seth, Horus and Thoth who are called “King of Upper and Lower Egypt” and whose names are written in a cartouche. Following this in column II is the sequence of kings beginning with Meni, the legendary Menes. In the following translation, the three columns represent: the column and line number of the manuscript, the royal name, and the year/month/day.
(Dynasty 1)
II.11 Meni lost
II.12 It// lost
II.13 lost lost
II.15 //[H]ori lost
II.16 Semti lost
II.17 Merbiapen lost
II.18 Semsem lost
II.19 [Ke]beh lost
II.20 Bau[netjer] lost
II.21 [Ka]kau lost
(Dynasty 2)
II.22 [Bau]netjeren lost
II.23 lost lost
II.24 Senedj lost
II.25 Aaka lost
III.1 Neferkasokar 8 / 3 /[//]
III.2 Hudjefa [11]/ 8 / 4
III.3 Bebty 27 / 2 / 1
(Dynasty 3)
III.4 Nebka 19/0/0
III.5 Djeserit 19
III.6 Djeserti 6
III.7 [Hudje]fa 6
III.8 Hu[ni] 24 / [lost]
(Dynasty 4)
III.9 Sneferu 24 / [lost]
III.10 [Khufu] 23 /[lost]
III.11 [Djedefre] 8 /[lost]
III.12 Kha[efre] lost
III.13 lost lost
III.14 [Menkaure] 18 /[lost]
III.15 lost 4
III.16 lost 2
(Dynasty 5)
III.17 [User]ka[f] 7
III.18 [Sahure] 12
III.19 lost lost
III.20 lost 7
III.21 lost // + 1
III.22 lost 11
III.23 Menkauhor 8
III.24 Djedy (Djedkare) 28
III.25 Unas 30
(Dynasty 6)
IV.1 lost lost
IV.2 lost lost / 6 / 21
IV.3 lost 20
IV.4 lost 44
IV.5 [Pepi II] 90 + X
IV.6 [Merenre] 1 / 1 /
IV.7 lost lost
IV.8 Nitikerty lost
IV.9 Neferka, child lost
IV.10 Nefer 2 / 1 / 1
IV.11 Ibi 4 / 2
IV.12 lost 2 / 1 / 1
IV.13 lost 1 / 0 /1/2 day
IV.14–19 [Poorly preserved or lost]
(Dynasties 9–10)
IV.20 Neferkare lost
IV.21 Khety lost
IV.22 Senenh/// lost
IV.23 //////// lost
IV.24 Mer///// lost
IV.25 Shed//// lost
IV.26 H////// lost
(Dynasty 11)
V.1–11 lost lost
V.12 Wah/// lost
V.13 lost lost
V.14 lost 49
V.15 lost 8
V.16 Nebhepetre 51
V.17 Sankhka[re] 12
V.18 Total 143 years
(Dynasty 12)
V.19 [Kings of ]the Capital Itjtawy
V.20 [Sehet]epib[re] lost
V.21 [Kheper] ka[re] 45/ lost
V.22 lost 10 +
V.23 lost 19 / lost
V.24 lost 30+ /lost
V.25 lost 40+ /lost
VI.1 Maakherure 9 / 3 / 27
VI.2 [Sobek]nefer[u]re 3 / 10 / 14
VI.3 Kings of the [Capital Itjtawy] 8,
total 213 / 1 / 16
(Dynasty 13)
VI.5 [Khitawy]re 2 / 3 /24
VI.6 [Sekhemka]re lost
VI.7 //amenemhet 3 /lost
VI.8 Sehetepibre 1
VI.9 Iufni lost
VI.10 Sankhibre lost
VI.11 Smenkare lost/lost/4
VI.12 Sehetepibre lost/lost/3
VI.13 Sewadjkare lost/lost/6
VI.14 Nedjemibre / /lost
VI.15 Re–Sobek[hote]p 2
VI.16 Ren[se]neb, he function for 4 months
VI.17 Autibre / 7 /
VI.18 Sedjefakare lost
VI.19 Sekhemre–khuitawy–Sobekhetep lost
VI.20 User[ka]re – //re//ndjer lost
VI.21 [Smenekh]kare the General lost
VI.22 /////ka[re] – Intef lost
VI.23 /////ib–Seth blank
VI.24 Sekhemkare–Sobekhetep 3 / 2/lost
VI.25 Khasekhemre–Neferhotep 11/ 1 /lost
VI.26 Sihathor lost/ 3 /lost
VI.27 Khaneferre–Sobekhetep lost
VII.1 Khahetepre 4 / 8 / 29
VII.2 Wahibre–Iaib 10 / 8 / 28
VII.3 Merneferre 23 / 8 / 18
VII.4 Merhotepre 2 / 2 / 9
VII.5 Seankhenswadjtu 3 / 2 / lost
VII.6 Mersekhemre–Ined 3 / 1 / 1
VII.7 Sewadjkare–Hori 5 / 8 /
VII.8 Merika[//]–Sobek[hetep] 2/ // / 4
VII.9 lost lost/lost/11
VII.10 lost lost/lost/3
VII.11 lost lost
VII.12 lost lost
VII.13 ////mose lost
VII.14 ////maatre– [I]bi lost
VII.15 ////webenre–Hor[i] lost
VII.16 ////kare lost
VII.17 ////enre lost
VII.18 //////re lost
VII.22Merkheperre lost
VII.23 Merika[re] lost
VIII.1 Nehesy lost/ 3 /
VIII.2 Khatyre lost/3 /
VIII.3 Nebefautre 1 / 5 / 15
VIII.4 Sehebre 3 / lost / 1
VIII.5 Merdjefare 3 /lost
VIII.6 Sewadjkare 1 / lost
VIII.7 Nebdjefare 1 / lost
VIII.8 Webenre 1
VIII.9 lost 1 / 1 / lost
VIII.10 /// djefa[re] 4 /
VIII.11 ///[w]eben[re] 3 /
VIII.12 Autibre lost
VIII.13 Heribre lost/lost/ 29
VIII.14 Nebsenre lost / 5 / 20
VIII.15 //////re lost / lost / 21
VIII.16 Sekheperenre 2 / /1
VIII.17 Djedkherure 2 / /5
VIII.18 Sankhibre lost / lost / 19
VIII.19 Nefertumre lost / lost / 18
VIII.20 Sekhem//re lost
VIII.21 Kakemutre lost / lost
VIII.22 Neferibre lost / lost
VIII.23 Ia////re lost / lost
VIII.24 Kha///re lost
VIII.25 Aaka///re lost
VIII.26 Smen///re lost
VIII.27 Djedi///re lost
IX.1–6 lost lost
IX.7 Senefer[ka/]re lost
IX.8 Men////re lost
IX.9 Djedi//[re] lost
IX.10–13 lost lost
IX.14 Inek/// lost
IX.15 Ineb/// lost
IX.16 Ip//// lost
IX.17–27 lost lost
IX.28 ////ren–Hapu lost
IX.29 ///ka[re?]–Nebennati lost
IX.30 ///ka[re?]–Bebnem lost
IX.31 lost lost
X lost lost
X.20 Khamudy
X.21 [Total of] Foreign [Chieftains] 8, they functioned 100+ years.
X.21–30 (very fragmentary)
(Dynasty 17)
XI.1 Sekhemre–//// 3 /
XI.2 Sekhemre–//// 16 /
XI.3 Sekhemre–s[menttawy] 1 /
XI.4 Sewadje[n]re ///1 /
XI.5 Nebiryautre 29 /
XI.6 Nebitautre lost
XI.7 Semen[wadj?]re lost
XI.8 Seweser///re 12 /
XI.9 Sekehre–Shedwaset lost
XI.10–15 lost lost
XI.16 Weser///re lost
XI.17 Weser///// lost
XI.18–end (lost or too fragmentary for translation)

Caulfeild and Saint Thomas 1902:pl.43; Gardiner 1959; 1962:430–445; Kitchen 1992:328–329; Redford 1986; Swelim 1983; Urk IV.

SINUHE (1.38)
Miriam Lichtheim

The numerous, if fragmentary, copies of this work testify to its great popularity, and it is justly considered the most accomplished piece of Middle Kingdom prose literature.
The two principal manuscripts are: (1) P. Berlin 3022 (abbr., B) which dates from the 12th Dynasty. In its present state, it lacks the beginning of the story and contains a total of 311 lines; (2) P. Berlin 10499 (abbr., R) which contains 203 lines and includes the beginning. It dates to the end of the Middle Kingdom.
A third major copy is on a large ostracon in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, which gives 130, partly incomplete, lines. It is, however, an inferior copy, dating to the 19th Dynasty. Its principal value lies in the detailed commentary of its editor, J. Barns. In addition, small portions of the text are preserved on papyrus fragments and on numerous ostraca.
The present translation uses as principal manuscripts the text of R for the beginning and of B for the bulk, and incorporates an occasional variant from other manuscripts.
(R 1) The Prince, Count, Governor of the domains of the sovereign in the lands of the Asiatics, true and beloved Friend of the King, the Attendant Sinuhe, says:
I was an attendant who attended his lord, a servant of the royal harem, waiting on the Princess, the highly praised Royal Wife of King Sesostris in Khenemsut, the daughter of King Amenemhet in Kanefru, Nefru, the revered.
Year 30, third month of the inundation, day 7: the god ascended to his horizon. The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Sehetepibre, flew to heaven and united with the sun–disk, the divine body merging with its maker. Then the residence was hushed; hearts grieved; the great portals were shut; (10) the courtiers were head–on–knee; the people moaned.
His majesty, however, had despatched an army to the land of the Tjemeh, with his eldest son as its commander, the good god Sesostris. He had been sent to smite the foreign lands and to punish those of Tjehenu. (15) Now he was returning, bringing captives of the Tjehenu and cattle of all kinds beyond number. The officials of the palace sent to the western border to let the king’s son know the event that had occurred at the court. The messengers met him on the road, (20) reaching him at night. Not a moment did he delay. The falcon flew with his attendants, without letting his army know it.
But the royal sons who had been with him on this expedition had also been sent for. (B I) One of them was summoned while I was standing (there). I heard his voice, as he spoke, while I was in the near distance. My heart fluttered, my arms spread out, a trembling befell all my limbs. I removed myself in leaps, to seek a hiding place. I put (5) myself between two bushes, so as to leave the road to its traveler.
I set out southward. I did not plan to go to the residence. I believed there would be turmoil and did not expect to survive it. I crossed Maaty near Sycamore; I reached Isle–of–Snefru. I spent the day there at the edge (10) of the cultivation. Departing at dawn I encountered a man who stood on the road. He saluted me while I was afraid of him. At dinner time I reached “Cattle-Quay.” I crossed in a barge without a rudder, by the force of the westwind. I passed to the east of the quarry, (15) at the height of “Mistress of the Red Mountain.” Then I made my way northward. I reached the “Walls of the Ruler,” which were made to repel the Asiatics and to crush the Sand-farers. I crouched in a bush for fear of being seen by the guard on duty upon the wall.
I set out (20) at night. At dawn I reached Peten. I halted at “Isle-of-Kem-Wer.” An attack of thirst overtook me; I was parched, my throat burned. I said, “This is the taste of death.” I raised my heart and collected myself when I heard the lowing sound of cattle (25) and saw Asiatics. One of their leaders, who had been in Egypt, recognized me. He gave me water and boiled milk for me. I went with him to his tribe. What they did for me was good.
Land gave me to land. I traveled to Byblos; I returned to Qedem. I spent (30) a year and a half there. Then Ammunenshi, the ruler of Upper Retenu, took me to him, saying to me: “You will be happy with me; you will hear the language of Egypt.” He said this because he knew my character and had heard of my skill, Egyptians who were with him having borne witness for me. He said to me: “Why (35) have you come here? Has something happened at the residence?” I said to him: “King Sehetepibre departed to the horizon, and one did not know the circumstances.” But I spoke in half-truths: “When I returned from the expedition to the land of the Tjemeh, it was reported to me and my heart grew faint. It carried (40) me away on the path of flight, though I had not been talked about; no one had spat in my face; I had not heard a reproach; my name had not been heard in the mouth of the herald. I do not know what brought me to this country; it is as if planned by god. As if a Delta-man saw himself in Yebu, a marsh-man in Nubia.”
Then he said to me: “How then is that land without that excellent god, fear of whom was throughout (45) the lands like Sakhmet in a year of plague?” I said to him in reply: “Of course his son has entered into the palace, having taken his father’s heritage.”
He is a god without peer,
No other comes before him;
He is lord of knowledge, wise planner, skilled leader,
One goes and comes by (50) his will.
He was the smiter of foreign lands,
While his father stayed in the palace,
He reported to him on commands carried out.
He is a champion who acts with his arm,
A fighter who has no equal,
When seen engaged in archery,
When joining the melee.
Horn–curber who makes hands turn weak,
His foes (55) can not close ranks;
Keen–sighted he smashes foreheads,
None can withstand his presence.
Wide–striding he smites the fleeing,
No retreat for him who turns him his back;
Steadfast in time of attack,
He makes turn back and turns not his back.
Stouthearted when he sees the mass,
He lets not slackness fill his heart;
(60) Eager at the sight of combat,
Joyful when he works his bow.
Clasping his shield he treads under foot,
No second blow needed to kill;
None can escape his arrow,
None turn aside his bow.
The Bowmen flee before him,
As before the might of the goddess;
As he fights he plans the goal,
(65) Unconcerned about all else.
Lord of grace, rich in kindness,
He has conquered through affection;
His city loves him more than itself,
Acclaims him more than its own god.
Men outdo women in hailing him,
Now that he is king;
Victor while yet in the egg,
Set to be ruler since his birth.
Augmenter of those born with him,
(70) He is unique, god–given;
Happy the land that he rules!
Enlarger of frontiers,
He will conquer southern lands,
While ignoring northern lands,
Though made to smite Asiatics and tread on Sand–farers!
“Send to him! Let him know your name as one who inquires while being far from his majesty. He will not fail to do (75) good to a land that will be loyal to him.”
He said to me: “Well then, Egypt is happy knowing that he is strong. But you are here. You shall stay with me. What I shall do for you is good.”
He set me at the head of his children. He married me to his eldest daughter. He let me choose for myself of his land, (80) of the best that was his, on his border with another land. It was a good land called Yaa. Figs were in it and grapes. It had more wine than water. Abundant was its honey, plentiful its oil. All kinds of fruit were on its trees. Barley was there and emmer, and no end of cattle of all kinds. (85) Much also came to me because of the love of me; for he had made me chief of a tribe in the best part of his land. Loaves were made for me daily, and wine as daily fare, cooked meat, roast fowl, as well as desert game. (90) For they snared for me and laid it before me, in addition to the catch of my hounds. Many sweets were made for me, and milk dishes of all kinds.
I passed many years, my children becoming strong men, each a master of his tribe. The envoy who came north or went south to the residence (95) stayed with me. I let everyone stay with me. I gave water to the thirsty; I showed the way to him who had strayed; I rescued him who had been robbed. When Asiatics conspired to attack the Rulers of Hill–Countries, I opposed their movements. For this ruler of (100) Retenu made me carry out numerous missions as commander of his troops. Every hill tribe against which I marched I vanquished, so that it was driven from the pasture of its wells. I plundered its cattle, carried off its families, seized their food, and killed people (105) by my strong arm, by my bow, by my movements and my skillful plans. I won his heart and he loved me, for he recognized my valor. He set me at the head of his children, for he saw the strength of my arms.
There came a hero of Retenu, d
To challenge me (110) in my tent.
A champion was he without peer,
He had subdued it all.
He said he would fight with me,
He planned to plunder me,
He meant to seize my cattle
At the behest of his tribe.
The ruler conferred with me and I said: “I do not know him; I am not his ally, (115) that I could walk about in his camp. Have I ever opened his back rooms or climbed over his fence? It is envy, because he sees me doing your commissions. I am indeed like a stray bull in a strange herd, whom the bull of the herd charges, (120) whom the longhorn attacks. Is an inferior beloved when he becomes a superior? No Asiatic makes friends with a Delta–man. And what would make papyrus cleave to the mountain? If a bull loves combat, should a champion bull retreat for fear of being equaled? (125) If he wishes to fight, let him declare his wish. Is there a god who does not know what he has ordained, and a man who knows how it will be?”
At night I strung my bow, sorted my arrows, practiced with my dagger, polished my weapons. When it dawned Retenu came. (130) It had assembled its tribes; it had gathered its neighboring peoples; it was intent on this combat.
He came toward me while I waited, having placed myself near him. Every heart burned for me; the women jabbered. All hearts ached for me thinking: “Is there another champion who could fight him?” He <raised> his battle–axe and shield, (135) while his armful of missiles fell toward me. When I had made his weapons attack me, I let his arrows pass me by without effect, one following the other. Then, when he charged me, I shot him, my arrow sticking in his neck. He screamed; he fell on his nose; (140) I slew him with his axe. I raised my war cry over his back, while every Asiatic shouted. I gave praise to Mont, while his people mourned him. The ruler Ammunenshi took me in his arms.
Then I carried off his goods; I plundered his cattle. What he had meant to do (145) to me I did to him. I took what was in his tent; I stripped his camp. Thus I became great, wealthy in goods, rich in herds. It was the god who acted, so as to show mercy to one with whom he had been angry, whom he had made stray abroad. For today his heart is appeased.
A fugitive fled (150) his surroundings —
I am famed at home.
A laggard lagged from hunger —
I give bread to my neighbor.
A man left his land in nakedness —
I have bright clothes, fine linen.
A man ran for lack of one to send —
I am (155) rich in servants.
My house is fine, my dwelling spacious —
My thoughts are at the palace!
Whichever god decreed this flight, have mercy, bring me home! Surely you will let me see the place in which my heart dwells! What is more important than that my corpse be buried in the land (160) in which I was born! Come to my aid! What if the happy event should occur!11 May god pity me! May he act so as to make happy the end of one whom he punished! May his heart ache for one whom he forced to live abroad! If he is truly appeased today, may he hearken to the prayer of one far away! May he return one whom he made roam the earth to the place from which he carried him off!
(165) May Egypt’s king have mercy on me, that I may live by his mercy! May I greet the mistress of the land who is in the palace! May I hear the commands of her children! Would that my body were young again! For old age has come; feebleness has overtaken me. My eyes are heavy, my arms weak; (170) my legs fail to follow. The heart is weary; death is near. May I be conducted to the city of eternity! May I serve the Mistress of All! May she speak well of me to her children; may she spend eternity above me!
Now when the majesty of King Kheperkare was told of the condition in which I was, his majesty sent word (175) to me with royal gifts, in order to gladden the heart of this servant like that of a foreign ruler. And the royal children who were in his palace sent me their messages. Copy of the decree brought to this servant concerning his return to Egypt:
Horus: Living in Births; the Two Ladies: Living in Births; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Kheperkare; the Son of Re: (180) Sesostris, who lives forever. Royal decree to the Attendant Sinuhe:
This decree of the King is brought to you to let you know: That you circled the foreign countries, going from Qedem to Retenu, land giving you to land, was the counsel of your own heart. What had you done that one should act against you? You had not cursed, so that your speech would be reproved. You had not spoken against the counsel of the nobles, that your words should have been rejected. (185) This matter — it carried away your heart. It was not in my heart against you. This your heaven in the palace lives and prospers to this day. Her head is adorned with the kingship of the land; her children are in the palace. You will store riches which they give you; you will live on their bounty. Come back to Egypt! See the residence in which you lived! Kiss the ground at the great portals, mingle with the courtiers! For today (190) you have begun to age. You have lost a man’s strength. Think of the day of burial, the passing into reveredness.
A night is made for you with ointments and wrappings from the hand of Tait. A funeral procession is made for you on the day of burial; the mummy case is of gold, its head of lapis lazuli. The sky is above you as you lie in the hearse, oxen drawing you, musicians going before you. The dance of (195) the mww-dancers is done at the door of your tomb; the offering-list is read to you; sacrifice is made before your offering-stone. Your tomb-pillars, made of white stone, are among (those of) the royal children. You shall not die abroad! Not shall Asiatics inter you. You shall not be wrapped in the skin of a ram to serve as your coffin. Too long a roaming of the earth! Think of your corpse, come back!
This decree reached me while I was standing (200) in the midst of my tribe. When it had been read to me, I threw myself on my belly. Having touched the soil, I spread it on my chest. I strode around my camp shouting: “What compares with this which is done to a servant whom his heart led astray to alien lands? Truly good is the kindness that saves me from death! Your ka will grant me to reach my end, my body being at home!”
Copy of the reply to this decree:
The servant of the Palace, Sinuhe, (205) says: In very good peace! Regarding the matter of this flight which this servant did in his ignorance. It is your ka, O good god, lord of the Two Lands, which Re loves and which Mont lord of Thebes favors and Amun lord of Thrones-of-the-Two-Lands, and Sobk-Re lord of Sumenu, and Horus, Hathor, Atum with his Ennead, and Sopdu-Neferbau-Semseru the Eastern Horus, and the Lady of Yemet — may she enfold your head — and the conclave upon the flood, and Min-Horus of the hill-countries, and Wereret lady of (210) Punt, Nut, Haroeris-Re, and all the gods of Egypt and the isles of the sea — may they give life and joy to your nostrils, may they endow you with their bounty, may they give you eternity without limit, infinity without bounds! May the fear of you resound in lowlands and highlands, for you have subdued all that the sun encircles! This is the prayer of this servant for his lord who saves from the West.
The lord of knowledge who knows people knew (215) in the majesty of the palace that this servant was afraid to say it. It is like a thing too great to repeat. The great god, the peer of Re, knows the heart of one who has served him willingly. This servant is in the hand of one who thinks about him. He is placed under his care. Your Majesty is the conquering Horus; your arms vanquish all lands. May then your Majesty command to have brought to you the prince of Meki from Qedem, (220) the mountain chiefs from Keshu, and the prince of Menus from the lands of the Fenkhu. They are rulers of renown who have grown up in the love of you. I do not mention Retenu — it belongs to you like your hounds.
Lo, this flight which the servant made — I did not plan it. It was not in my heart; I did not devise it. I do not know what removed me from my place. It was like (225) a dream. As if a Delta-man saw himself in Yebu, a marsh-man in Nubia. I was not afraid; no one ran after me. I had not heard a reproach; my name was not heard in the mouth of the herald. Yet my flesh crept, my feet hurried, my heart drove me; the god who had willed this flight (230) dragged me away. Nor am I a haughty man. He who knows his land respects men. Re has set the fear of you throughout the land, the dread of you in every foreign country. Whether I am at the residence, whether I am in this place, it is you who covers this horizon. The sun rises at your pleasure. The water in the river is drunk when you wish. The air of heaven is breathed at your bidding. This servant will hand over his possessions (235) to the brood which this servant begot in this place. This servant has been sent for! Your Majesty will do as he wishes! One lives by the breath which you give. As Re, Horus, and Hathor love your august nose, may Mont lord of Thebes wish it to live forever!
I was allowed to spend one more day in Yaa, handing over my possessions to my children, my eldest son taking charge of my tribe; (240) all my possessions became his — my serfs, my herds, my fruit, my fruit trees. This servant departed southward. I halted at Horus-ways. The commander in charge of the garrison sent a message to the residence to let it be known. Then his majesty sent a trusted overseer of the royal domains with whom were loaded ships, (245) bearing royal gifts for the Asiatics who had come with me to escort me to Horus-ways. I called each one by his name, while every butler was at his task. When I had started and set sail, there was kneading and straining beside me, until I reached the city of Itj–tawy.
When it dawned, very early, they came to summon me. Ten men came and ten men went to usher me into the palace. My forehead touched the ground between the sphinxes, (250) and the royal children stood in the gateway to meet me. The courtiers who usher through the forecourt set me on the way to the audience-hall. I found his majesty on the great throne in a kiosk of gold. Stretched out on my belly, I did not know myself before him, while this god greeted me pleasantly. I was like a man seized by darkness. (255) My ba was gone, my limbs trembled; my heart was not in my body, I did not know life from death.
His majesty said to one of the courtiers: “Lift him up, let him speak to me.” Then his majesty said: “Now you have come, after having roamed foreign lands. Flight has taken its toll of you. You have aged, have reached old age. It is no small matter that your corpse will be interred without being escorted by Bowmen. But don’t act thus, don’t act thus, speechless (260) though your name was called!” Fearful of punishment I answered with the answer of a frightened man: “What has my lord said to me, that I might answer it? It is not disrespect to the god!21 It is the terror which is in my body, like that which caused the fateful flight! Here I am before you. Life is yours. May your Majesty do as he wishes!”
Then the royal daughters were brought in, and his majesty said to the queen: “Here is Sinuhe, (265) come as an Asiatic, a product of nomads!” She uttered a very great cry, and the royal daughters shrieked all together. They said to his majesty: “Is it really he, O king, our lord?” Said his majesty: “It is really he!” Now having brought with them their necklaces, rattles, and sistra, they held them out to his majesty:
Your hands (270) upon the radiance, eternal king,
Jewels of heaven’s mistress!
The Gold gives life to your nostrils,
The Lady of Stars enfolds you!
Southcrown fared north, north crown south,
Joined, united by your majesty’s word.
While the Cobra decks your brow,
You deliver the poor from harm.
Peace to you from Re, Lord of Lands!
Hail to you and the Mistress of All!
Slacken your bow, lay down your arrow,
(275) Give breath to him who gasps for breath!
Give us our good gift on this good day,
Grant us the son of north wind, Bowman born in Egypt!
He made the flight in fear of you,
He left the land in dread of you!
A face that sees you shall not pale,
Eyes that see you shall not fear!
His majesty said: “He shall not fear, he shall not (280) dread!” “He shall be a Companion among the nobles. He shall be among the courtiers. Pro-
ceed to the robing-room to wait on him!”
I left the audience–hall, the royal daughters giving me their hands. (285) We went through the great portals, and I was put in the house of a prince. In it were luxuries: a bathroom and mirrors. In it were riches from the treasury; clothes of royal linen, myrrh, and the choice perfume of the king and of his favorite courtiers were in every (290) room. Every servant was at his task. Years were removed from my body. I was shaved; my hair was combed. Thus was my squalor returned to the foreign land, my dress to the Sand-farers. I was clothed in fine linen; I was anointed with fine oil. I slept on a bed. I had returned the sand to those who dwell in it, (295) the tree-oil to those who grease themselves with it.
I was given a house and garden that had belonged to a courtier. Many craftsmen rebuilt it, and all its woodwork was made anew. Meals were brought to me from the palace three times, four times a day, apart from what the royal children gave without a moment’s pause.
(300) A stone pyramid was built for me in the midst of the pyramids. The masons who build tombs constructed it. A master draughtsman designed in it. A master sculptor carved in it. The overseers of construction in the necropolis busied themselves with it. All the equipment that is placed in (305) a tomb–shaft was supplied. Mortuary priests were given me. A funerary domain was made for me. It had fields and a garden in the right place, as is done for a Companion of the first rank. My statue was overlaid with gold, its skirt with electrum. It was his majesty who ordered it made. There is no commoner for whom the like has been done. I was in (310) the favor of the king, until the day of landing came.
(Colophon) It is done from beginning to end as it was found in writing.

Publication: Gardiner 1909; Blackman 1932:1–41; Barns 1952; Sethe 1924:3–17; 1927:5–21. Translation and commentary: Gardiner 1916; Grapow 1952. Translation: Erman 1927:14–29; Lefèbvre 1949:1–25; ANET 18–22; Edel 1968:1–12; Lichtheim AEL 1:222–235. Analysis and evaluation: Posener 1956:87–115. Comments (selection): Alt 1923:48–50; 1941:19ff; Blackman 1930:63–65; 1936:35–40; de Buck 1932:57–60; Clère 1939a:16–29; 1939b 2:829ff.; Brunner 1955:5–11; 1964:139–140; Goedicke 1957:77–85; 1965:29–47; Huffmon 1965; Yoyotte 1964:69–73; Lanczkowski 1958:214–218; Barns 1967:6–14; Westendorf 1968:125–131.
Miriam Lichtheim

The tale is set in a narrative frame. A high official is returning from an expedition that apparently failed in its objective, for he is despondent and fearful of the reception awaiting him at court. One of his attendants exhorts him to take courage, and as an example of how a disaster may turn into a success, tells him a marvelous adventure that happened to him years ago. At the end of his tale, however, the official is still despondent.
The only preserved papyrus copy of the tale was discovered by Golenischev in the Imperial Museum of St. Petersburg. Nothing is known about its original provenience. The papyrus, called P. Leningrad 1115, is now in Moscow. The work, and the papyrus copy, date from the Middle Kingdom.
(1) The worthy attendant said: Take heart, my lord! We have reached home. The mallet has been seized, the mooring-post staked, the prow-rope placed (5) on land. Praise is given, god is thanked, everyone embraces his fellow. Our crew has returned safely; our troops have had no loss. We have left Wawat behind, we have passed (10) Senmut; we have returned in safety, we have reached our land. Now listen to me, my lord! I am not exaggerating. Wash yourself, pour water over your fingers. You must answer (15) when questioned. You must speak to the king with presence of mind. You must answer without stammering! A man’s mouth can save him. His speech makes one forgive him. (20) But do as you like! It is tiresome to talk to you.
But I shall tell you something like it that happened to me. I had set out to the king’s mines, and had gone (25) to sea in a ship of a hundred and twenty cubits in length and forty cubits in width. One hundred and twenty sailors were in it of the pick of Egypt. Looked they at sky, looked they at land, their hearts were stouter (30) than lions. They could foretell a storm before it came, a tempest before it broke.
A storm came up while we were at sea, before we could reach land. As we sailed (35) it made a ❐swell❒, and in it a wave eight cubits tall. The mast — it (the wave) struck (it). Then the ship died. Of those in it not one remained. I was cast (40) on an island by a wave of the sea. I spent three days alone, with my heart as companion. Lying in the shelter of trees I hugged (45) the shade.
Then I stretched my legs to discover what I might put in my mouth. I found figs and grapes there, all sorts of fine vegetables, sycamore figs, unnotched and notched, (50) and cucumbers that were as if tended. Fish were there and fowl; there is nothing that was not there. I stuffed myself and put some down, because I had too much in my arms. Then I cut a fire drill, (55) made a fire and gave a burnt offering to the gods.
Then I heard a thundering noise and thought, “It is a wave of the sea.” Trees splintered, (60) the ground trembled. Uncovering my face, I found it was a snake that was coming. He was of thirty cubits; his beard was over two cubits long. His body was overlaid (65) with gold; his eyebrows were of real lapis lazuli. He was bent up in front.
Then he opened his mouth to me, while I was on my belly before him. He said to me: “Who brought you, who brought you, fellow, (70) who brought you? If you delay telling me who brought you to this island, I shall make you find yourself reduced to ashes, becoming like a thing unseen.” <I said>: “Though you speak to me, I do not hear (75) it; I am before you without knowing myself.” Then he took me in his mouth, carried me to the place where he lived, and set me down unhurt, (80) I being whole with nothing taken from me.
Then he opened his mouth to me, while I was on my belly before him. He said to me: “Who brought you, who brought you, fellow, who brought you to this island (85) of the sea, whose two sides are in water?” Then I answered him, my arms bent before him. I said to him: “I had set out (go) to the mines on a mission of the king in a ship of a hundred and twenty cubits in length and forty cubits in width. One hundred and twenty sailors were in it of the pick of Egypt. (95) Looked they at sky, looked they at land, their hearts were stouter than lions. They could foretell a storm before it came, a tempest before it struck. Each of them — his heart was stouter, (100) his arm stronger than his mate’s. There was no fool among them. A storm came up while we were at sea, before we could reach land. As we sailed it made a ❐swell❒, and in it a wave (105) eight cubits tall. The mast — it struck (it). Then the ship died. Of those in it not one remained, except myself who is here with you. I was brought to this island (110) by a wave of the sea.”
Then he said to me: “Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, fellow; don’t be pale-faced, now that you have come to me. It is god who has let you live and brought you to this island of the ka. (115) There is nothing that is not in it; it is full of all good things. You shall pass month upon month until you have completed four months in this island. Then (120) a ship will come from home with sailors in it whom you know. You shall go home with them, you shall die in your town.
“How happy is he who tells what he has tasted, when the calamity has passed. (125) I shall tell you something similar that happened on this island. I was here with my brothers and there were children with them. In all we were seventy-five serpents, children and brothers, without mentioning a little daughter whom I had obtained through prayer. Then a star (130) fell, and they went up in flames through it. It so happened that I was not with them in the fire, I was not among them. I could have died for their sake when I found them as one heap of corpses.”
“If you are brave and control your heart, you shall embrace your children, you shall kiss your wife, you shall see your home. It is better than everything else. (135) You shall reach home, you shall be there among your brothers.”
Stretched out on my belly I touched the ground before him; then I said to him: “I shall speak of your power to the king, I shall let him know (140) of your greatness. I shall send you ibi and ḥknw oils, laudanum, ḥsyt-spice, and the incense of the temples which pleases all the gods. I shall tell what happened to me, what I saw of your power. One will praise god for you in the city before the councillors of the whole land. I shall slaughter (145) oxen for you as burnt offering; I shall sacrifice geese to you. I shall send you ships loaded with all the treasures of Egypt, as is done for a god who befriends people in a distant land not known to the people.”
Then he laughed at me for the things I had said, which seemed foolish to him. (150) He said to me: “You are not rich in myrrh and all kinds of incense. But I am the lord of Punt, and myrrh is my very own. That ḥknw–oil you spoke of sending, it abounds on this island. Moreover, when you have left this place, you will not see this island again; it will have become water.”
Then the ship (155) came, as he had foretold. I went and placed myself on a tall tree, I recognized those that were in it. When I went to report it, I found that he knew it. He said to me: “In health, in health, fellow, to your home, that you may see your children! Make me a good name in your town; that is what I ask (160) of you.” I put myself on my belly, my arms bent before him. Then he gave me a load of myrrh, ḥknw-oil, laudanum, ḥsyt-spice, tišpss-spice, perfume, eyepaint, giraffe’s tails, great lumps of incense, (165) elephant’s tusks, greyhounds, long–tailed monkeys, baboons, and all kinds of precious things.
I loaded them on the ship. Then I put myself on my belly to thank him and he said to me: “You will reach home in two months. You will embrace your children. You will flourish at home, you will be buried.”
I went down to the shore (170) near the ship; I hailed the crew which was in the ship. I gave praise on the shore to the lord of the island, those in the ship did the same. We sailed north to the king’s residence. We reached the residence in two months, all as he had said. I went in to the king; (175) I presented to him the gifts I had brought from the island. He praised god for me in the presence of the councillors of the whole land. I was made an attendant and endowed with serfs of his.
See me after (180) I had reached land, after I saw what I had tasted! Listen to me! It is good for people to listen.
He said to me: “Don’t make an effort, my friend. Who would give water at dawn (185) to a goose that will be slaughtered in the morning?”
(Colophon) It is done from beginning to end as it was found in writing, by the scribe with skilled fingers, Imenaa, son of Imeny — life, prosperity, health!

Publication: Golenischev 1912; 1916:pls. 1–8; Erman 1906:1–26; Blackman 1932:41–48. Translation: Erman 1927:29–35; Lefebvre 1949:29–40; Keimer 1928a:288 ff.; 1928b:50 ff.; Gardiner 1908:65; Brunner-Traut 1963:5–10; Lichtheim AEL 1:211–215.
(P. D’Orbiney = P. BM 10183)
Miriam Lichtheim

This is a complex and vivid tale, rich in motifs that have parallels in later literatures. The two protagonists have some connection with a myth of the two gods, Anubis and Bata, that was told as a tradition of the Seventeenth Nome of Upper Egypt. The myth is preserved in a late form in the Papyrus Jumilhac (see Vandier 1962). More important than the mythological connection is the depiction of human characters, relationships, and feelings in a narration of sustained force. The episode of Bata and his brother’s wife has a remarkable similarity with the tale of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife, a similarity that has often been commented on. References to the recurrence in other literatures of the tale’s folkloristic motifs will be found in the works cited, especially in Lefebvre’s and Brunner–Traut’s comments to their translations.
Papyrus D’Orbiney is written in a beautiful hand by the scribe Ennana who lived at the end of the 19th Dynasty.
(1.1) It is said, there were two brothers, of the same mother and the same father. Anubis was the name of the elder, and Bata the name of the younger. As for Anubis, he had a house and a wife; and his young brother was with him as if he were a son. He was the one who made clothes for him, and he went behind his cattle to the fields. He was the one who did the plowing, and he harvested for him. He was the one who did for him all kinds of labor in the fields. Indeed, his young brother was an excellent man. There was none like him in the whole land, for a god’s strength was in him.
Now when many days had passed, his young brother [was tending] his cattle according to his daily custom. And he [returned] to his house in the evening, laden with all kinds of field plants, and with milk, with wood, and with every [good thing] of the field. He placed them before his [elder brother], as he was sitting with his wife. Then he drank and ate and [went to sleep in] his stable among his cattle.
Now when it had dawned and another day had come, [he took foods] that were cooked and placed them before his elder brother. Then he took bread for himself for the fields, and he drove his cattle to let them eat in the fields. He walked behind his cattle, and they would say to him: “The grass is good in such–and–such a place.” And he heard all they said and took them to the place of (2.1) good grass that they desired. Thus the cattle he tended became exceedingly fine, and they increased their offspring very much.
Now at plowing time his [elder] brother said to him: “Have a team [of oxen] made ready for us for plowing, for the soil has emerged and is right for plowing. Also, come to the field with seed, for we shall start plowing tomorrow.” So he said to him. Then the young brother made all the preparations that his elder brother had told him [to make].
Now when it had dawned and another day had come, they went to the field with their [seed] and began to plow. And [their hearts] were very pleased with this work they had undertaken. And many days later, when they were in the field, they had need of seed. Then he sent his young brother, saying: “Hurry, fetch us seed from the village.” His young brother found the wife of his elder brother seated braiding her hair. He said to her: “Get up, give me seed, (3.1) so that I may hurry to the field, for my elder brother is waiting for me. Don’t delay.” She said to him: “Go, open the storeroom and fetch what you want. Don’t make me leave my hairdo unfinished.”
Then the youth entered his stable and fetched a large vessel, for he wished to take a great quantity of seed. He loaded himself with barley and emmer and came out with it. Thereupon she said to him: “How much is what you have on your shoulder?” He said to her: “Three sacks of emmer and two sacks of barley, five in all, are on my shoulder.” So he said to her. Then she [spoke to] him saying: “There is [great] strength in you. I see your vigor daily.” And she desired to know him as a man. She got up, took hold of him, and said to him: “Come, let us spend an hour lying together. It will be good for you. And I will make fine clothes for you.”
Then the youth became like a leopard in [his] anger over the wicked speech she had made to him; and she became very frightened. He rebuked her, saying: “Look, you are like a mother to me; and your husband is like a father to me. He who is older than I has raised me. What (4.1) is this great wrong you said to me? Do not say it to me again! But I will not tell it to anyone. I will not let it come from my mouth to any man.” He picked up his load; he went off to the field. He reached his elder brother, and they began to work at their task. When evening had come, his elder brother returned to his house. And his young brother tended his cattle, loaded himself with all things of the field, and drove his cattle before him to let them sleep in their stable in the village.
Now the wife of his elder brother was afraid on account of the speech she had made. So she took fat and grease and made herself appear as if she had been beaten, in order to tell her husband, “It was your young brother who beat me.” Her husband returned in the evening according to his daily custom. He reached his house and found his wife lying down and seeming ill. She did not pour water over his hands in the usual manner; nor had she lit a fire for him. His house was in darkness, and she lay vomiting.
Her husband said to her: “Who has had words with you?” She said to him: “No one has had words with me except your (5.1) young brother. When he came to take seed to you, he found me sitting alone. He said to me: ‘Come, let us spend an hour lying together; loosen your braids.’ So he said to me. But I would not listen to him. ‘Am I not your mother? Is your elder brother not like a father to you?’ So I said to him. He became frightened and he beat <me>, so as to prevent me from telling you. Now if you let him live, I shall die! Look, when he returns, do [not let him live]!2 For I am ill from this evil design which he was about to carry out in the morning.”
Then his elder brother became like a leopard. He sharpened his spear and took it in his hand. Then his elder <brother> stood behind the door <of> his stable, in order to kill his young brother when he came in the evening to let his cattle enter the stable. Now when the sun had set he loaded himself with all the plants of the field according to his daily custom. He returned, and as the lead cow was about to enter the stable she said to her herdsman: “Here is your elder brother waiting for you with his spear in order to kill you. Run away from him.” He heard what his lead cow said, and (6.1) when another went in she said the same. He looked under the door of his stable and saw the feet of his elder brother as he stood behind the door with his spear in his hand. He set his load on the ground and took off at a run so as to flee. And his elder brother went after him with his spear.
Then his young brother prayed to Pre–Harakhti, saying: “My good lord! It is you who judge between the wicked and the just!” And Pre heard all his plea; and Pre made a great body of water appear between him and his elder brother, and it was full of crocodiles. Thus one came to be on the one side, and the other on the other side. And his elder brother struck his own hand twice, because he had failed to kill him. Then his young brother called to him on this side, saying: “Wait here until dawn! When the Aten has risen, I (7.1) shall contend with you before him; and he will hand over the wicked to the just! For I shall not be with you any more. I shall not be in the place in which you are. I shall go to the Valley of the Pine.”
Now when it dawned and another day had come, and Pre–Harakhti had risen, one gazed at the other. Then the youth rebuked his elder brother, saying: “What is your coming after me to kill me wrongfully, without having listened to my words? For I am yet your young brother, and you are like a father to me, and your wife is like a mother to me. Is it not so that when I was sent to fetch seed for us your wife said to me: ‘Come, let us spend an hour lying together?’ But look, it has been turned about for you into another thing.” Then he let him know all that had happened between him and his wife. And he swore by Pre–Harakhti, saying: “As to your coming to kill me wrongfully, you carried your spear on the testimony of a filthy whore!” Then he took a reed knife, cut off his phallus, and threw it into the water; and the catfish swallowed it. And he (8.1) grew weak and became feeble. And his elder brother became very sick at heart and stood weeping for him loudly. He could not cross over to where his young brother was on account of the crocodiles.
Then his young brother called to him, saying: “If you recall something evil, will you not also recall something good, or something that I have done for you? Go back to your home and tend your cattle, for I shall not stay in the place where you are. I shall go to the Valley of the Pine. But what you shall do for me is to come and look after me, when you learn that something has happened to me. I shall take out my heart and place it on top of the blossom of the pine. If the pine is cut down and falls to the ground, you shall come to search for it. If you spend seven years searching for it, let your heart not be disgusted. And when you find it and place it in a bowl of cool water, I shall live to take revenge on him who wronged me. You will know that something has happened to me when one puts a jug of beer in your hand and it ferments. Do not delay at all when this happens to you.”
Then he went away to the Valley of the Pine; and his elder brother went to his home, his hand on his head and smeared with dirt. When he reached his house, he killed his wife, cast her to the dogs,c and sat mourning for his young brother.
Now many days after this, his young brother was in the Valley of the Pine. There was no one with him, and he spent the days hunting desert game. In the evening he returned to sleep under the pine on top of whose blossom his heart was. And after (9.1) many days he built a mansion for himself with his own hand <in> the Valley of the Pine, filled with all good things, for he wanted to set up a household.
Coming out of his mansion, he encountered the Ennead as they walked about administering the entire land. Then the Ennead addressed him in unison, saying: “O Bata, Bull of the Ennead, are you alone here, having left your town on account of the wife of Anubis, your elder brother? He has killed his wife and you are avenged of all the wrong done to you.” And as they felt very sorry for him, Pre-Harakhti said to Khnum: “Fashion a wife for Bata, that he not live alone!” Then Khnum made a companion for him who was more beautiful in body than any woman in the whole land, for <the fluid of> every god was in her. Then the seven Hathors came <to> see her, and they said with one voice: “She will die by the knife.”
He desired her very much. She sat in his house while he spent the day (10.1) hunting desert game, bringing it and putting it before her. He said to her: “Do not go outdoors, lest the sea snatch you. I cannot rescue you from it, because I am a woman like you. And my heart lies on top of the blossom of the pine. But if another finds it, I shall fight with him.” Then he revealed to her all his thoughts.
Now many days after this, when Bata had gone hunting according to his daily custom, the young girl went out to stroll under the pine which was next to her house. Then she saw the sea surging behind her, and she started to run before it and entered her house. Thereupon the sea called to the pine, saying: “Catch her for me!” And the pine took away a lock of her hair. Then the sea brought it to Egypt and laid it in the place of the washermen of Pharaoh. Thereafter the scent of the lock of hair got into the clothes of Pharaoh. And the king quarreled with the royal washer-men, saying: “A scent of ointment is in the clothes of Pharaoh!” He quarreled with them every day, and (11.1) they did not know what to do.
The chief of the royal washermen went to the shore, his heart very sore on account of the daily quarrel with him. Then he realized that he was standing on the shore opposite the lock of hair which was in the water. He had someone go down, and it was brought to him. Its scent was found to be very sweet, and he took it to Pharaoh.
Then the learned scribes of Pharaoh were summoned, and they said to Pharaoh: “As for this lock of hair, it belongs to a daughter of Pre-Harakhti in whom there is the fluid of every god. It is a greeting to you from another country. Let envoys go to every foreign land to search for her. As for the envoy who goes to the Valley of the Pine, let many men go with him to fetch her.” His majesty said: “What you have said is very good.” And they were sent.
Now many days after this, the men who had gone abroad returned to report to his majesty. But those who had gone to the Valley of the Pine did not return, for Bata had killed them, leaving only one of them to report to his majesty. Then his majesty sent many soldiers and charioteers to bring her back, and (12.1) with them was a woman into whose hand one had given all kinds of beautiful ladies’ jewelry. The woman returned to Egypt with her, and there was jubilation for her in the entire land. His majesty loved her very very much, and he gave her the rank of Great Lady. He spoke with her in order to make her tell about her husband, and she said to his majesty: “Have the pine felled and cut up.” The king sent soldiers with their tools to fell the pine. They reached the pine, they felled the blossom on which was Bata’s heart, and he fell dead at that moment.
When it had dawned and the next day had come, and the pine had been felled, Anubis, the elder brother of Bata, entered his house. He sat down to wash his hands. He was given a jug of beer, and it fermented. He was given another of wine, and it turned bad. Then he took his (13.1) staff and his sandals, as well as his clothes and his weapons, and he started to journey to the Valley of the Pine. He entered the mansion of his young brother and found his young brother lying dead on his bed. He wept when he saw his young brother lying dead. He went to search for the heart of his young brother beneath the pine under which his young brother had slept in the evening. He spent three years searching for it without finding it.
When he began the fourth year, his heart longed to return to Egypt, and he said: “I shall depart tomorrow.” So he said in his heart. When it had dawned and another day had come, he went to walk under the pine and spent the day searching for it. When he turned back in the evening, he looked once again in search of it and he found a fruit. He came back with it, and it was the heart of his young brother! He fetched a bowl of cool water, placed it in it, and sat down according to his daily <custom>.
When night had come, (14.1) his heart swallowed the water, and Bata twitched in all his body. He began to look at his elder brother while his heart was in the bowl. Then Anubis, his elder brother, took the bowl of cool water in which was the heart of his young brother and <let> him drink it. Then his heart stood in its place, and he became as he had been. Thereupon they embraced each other, and they talked to one another.
Then Bata said to his elder brother: “Look, I shall change myself into a great bull of beautiful color, of a kind unknown to man, and you shall sit on my back. By the time the sun has risen, we shall be where my wife is, that I may avenge myself. You shall take me to where the king is, for he will do for you everything good. You shall be rewarded with silver and gold for taking me to Pharaoh. For I shall be a great marvel, and they will jubilate over me in the whole land. Then you shall depart to your village.”
When it had dawned (15.1) and the next day had come, Bata assumed the form which he had told his elder brother. Then Anubis, his elder brother, sat on his back. At dawn he reached the place where the king was. His majesty was informed about him; he saw him and rejoiced over him very much. He made a great offering for him, saying: “It is a great marvel.” And there was jubilation over him in the entire land. Then the king rewarded his elder brother with silver and gold, and he dwelled in his village. The king gave him many people and many things, for Pharaoh loved him very much, more than anyone else in the whole land.
Now when many days had passed, he entered the kitchen, stood where the Lady was, and began to speak to her, saying: “Look, I am yet alive!” She said to him: “Who are you?” He said to her: “I am Bata. I know that when you had the pine felled for Pharaoh, it was on account of me, so that I should not live. Look, (16.1) I am yet alive! I am a bull.” The Lady became very frightened because of the speech her husband had made to her. Then he left the kitchen.
His majesty sat down to a day of feasting with her. She poured drink for his majesty, and he was very happy with her. Then she said to his majesty: “Swear to me by God, saying: ‘Whatever she will say, I will listen to it!’ ” He listened to all that she said: “Let me eat of the liver of this bull; for he is good for nothing.” So she said to him. He became very vexed over what she had said, and the heart of Pharaoh was very sore.
When it had dawned and another day had come, the king proclaimed a great offering, namely, the sacrifice of the bull. He sent one of the chief royal slaughterers to sacrifice the bull. And when he had been sacrificed and was carried on the shoulders of the men, he shook his neck and let fall two drops of blood beside the two doorposts of his majesty, one on the one side of the great portal of Pharaoh, and the other on the other side. They grew into two (17.1) big Persea trees, each of them outstanding. Then one went to tell his majesty: “Two big Persea trees have grown this night — a great marvel for his majesty — beside the great portal of his majesty.” There was jubilation over them in the whole land, and the king made an offering to them.
Many days after this, his majesty appeared at the audience window of lapis lazuli with a wreath of all kinds of flowers on his neck. Then he <mounted> a golden chariot and came out of the palace to view the Persea trees. Then the Lady came out on a team behind Pharaoh. His majesty sat down under one Persea tree <and the Lady under the other. Then Bata> spoke to his wife: “Ha, you false one! I am Bata! I am alive ❐in spite of you❒. I know that when you had <the pine> felled for Pharaoh, it was on account of me. And when I became a bull, you had me killed.”
Many days after this, the Lady stood pouring drink for his majesty, and he was happy with her. Then she said to his majesty: “Swear to me by God, saying: ‘Whatever she will say, I will listen to it!’ So you shall say.” He listened (18.1) to all that she said. She said: “Have the two Persea trees felled and made into fine furniture.” The king listened to all that she said. After a short while his majesty sent skilled craftsmen. They felled the Persea trees of Pharaoh, and the Queen, the Lady, stood watching it. Then a splinter flew and entered the mouth of the Lady. She swallowed it, and in a moment she became pregnant. The king <ordered> made of them whatever she desired.
Many days after this, she gave birth to a son. One went to tell his majesty: “A son has been born to you.” He was fetched, and a nurse and maids were assigned to him. And there was jubilation over him in the whole land. The king sat down to a feast day and held him on his lap. From that hour his majesty loved him very much, and he designated him as (19.1) Viceroy of Kush. And many days after this, his majesty made him crown prince of the whole land.
Now many days after this, when he had spent [many years] as crown prince of the whole land, his majesty flew up to heaven. Then the king10 said: “Let my great royal officials be brought to me, that I may let them know all that has happened to me.” Then his wife was brought to him. He judged her in their presence, and they gave their assent. His elder brother was brought to him, and he made him crown prince of the whole land. He <spent> thirty years as king of Egypt. He departed from life; and his elder brother stood in his place on the day of death.
(Colophon) It has come to a good end under the scribe of the treasury, Kagab, and the scribes of the treasury, Hori and Meremope. Written by the scribe Ennana, the owner of this book. Whoever maligns this book, Thoth will contend with him.

Publication: SPHC pls. 9–19; Möller 1927 1:1–20; Gardiner 1932b:9–29; Translation: Lefèbvre 1949:137–158; Schott 1950:193–204; Brunner-Traut 1963:28–40; Wente 1973:92–107. Comments: Yoyotte 1952:157–159; Vandier 1962:45–46, 105–106, 114–115; Jesi 1962:276–296; Blumenthal 1973:1–17; von Deines and Westendorf 1961–62 2:194; Lichtheim AEL 2:203–211.
(P. Moscow 120)
Miriam Lichtheim

In its present state the papyrus consists of two pages with a total of 142 lines. The first page has numerous lacunae, and the end of the story is missing. The papyrus was written at the end of the 20th Dynasty, that is to say, directly after the events which the report relates. Whether or not the report reflects an actual mission, it depicts a true historical situation and a precise moment. It is the third decade of the reign of Ramses XI (1090–1080 BCE), during which the king yielded power to the two men who shared the effective rule of Egypt: Herihor in the south and Smendes in the north. The empire had been lost, and thus so simple an enterprise as the purchase of Lebanese timber could be depicted as a perilous adventure.
What makes the story so remarkable is the skill with which it is told. The Late–Egyptian vernacular is handled with great subtlety. The verbal duels between Wenamum and the prince of Byblos, with their changes of mood and shades of meaning that include irony, represent Egyptian thought and style at their most advanced. What Sinuhe is for the Middle Kingdom, Wenamun is for the New Kingdom: a literary culmination. The differences between them are not only that the one reflects political power and the other political decline, but more importantly that almost a millennium of human history has gone by, a time during which the peoples of the ancient world lost much of their archaic simplicity. Wenamun stands on the threshold of the first millennium BCE, a millennium in which the modern world began, a world shaped by men and women who were the likes of ourselves.
(1.1) Year 5, fourth month of summer, day 16, the day of departure of Wenamun, the Elder of the Portal of the Temple of Amun, Lord of Thrones-of-the-Two-Lands, to fetch timber for the great noble bark of Amun–Re, King of Gods, which is upon the river and [is called] Amun-user-he.2
On the day of my arrival at Tanis, the place where Smendes and Tentamun are, I gave them the dispatches of Amun–Re, King of Gods. They had them read out before them and they said: “I will do, I will do as Amun–Re, King of Gods, our lord has said.”
I stayed until the fourth month of summer in Tanis. Then Smendes and Tentamun sent me off with the ship’s captain Mengebet, and I went down upon the great sea of Syria in the first month of summer,5 day 1. I arrived at Dor, a Tjeker town; and Beder, its prince, had fifty loaves, one jug of wine, (1.10) and one ox–haunch brought to me. Then a man of my ship fled after stealing one vessel of gold worth 5 deben, four jars of silver worth 20 deben, and a bag with 11 deben of silver; [total of what he stole]: gold 5 deben, silver 31 deben.
That morning, when I had risen, I went to where the prince was and said to him: “I have been robbed in your harbor. Now you are the prince of this land, you are the one who controls it. Search for my money! Indeed the money belongs to Amun–Re, King of Gods, the lord of the lands. It belongs to Smendes; it belongs to Herihor, my lord, and (to) the other magnates of Egypt. It belongs to you; it belongs to Weret; it belongs to Mekmer; it belongs to Tiekerbaal, the prince of Byblos!” He said to me: “Are you serious? ❐Are you joking?❒ Indeed I do not understand the demand you make to me. If it had been a thief belonging to my land who had gone down to your ship and stolen your money, I would replace it for you from my storehouse, until (1.20) your thief, whatever his name, had been found. But the thief who robbed you, he is yours, he belongs to your ship. Spend a few days here with me; I will search for him.”
I stayed nine days moored in his harbor. Then I went to him and said to him: “Look, you have not found my money. [Let me depart] with the ship captains, with those who go to sea.”
[The next eight lines are broken. Apparently the prince advises Wenamun to wait some more, but Wenamun departs. He passes Tyre and approaches Byblos. Then he seizes thirty deben of silver from a ship he has encountered which belongs to the Tjeker. He tells the owners that he will keep the money until his money has been found. Through this action he incurs the enmity of the Tjeker].
They departed and I celebrated [in] a tent on the shore of the sea in the harbor of Byblos. And [I made a hiding place for] Amun–of–the-Road and placed his possessions in it. Then the prince of Byblos sent to me saying: “[Leave my] harbor!” I sent to him, saying: “Where shall [I go]? ––––––. If [you have a ship to carry me], let me be taken back to Egypt.” I spent twenty–nine days in his harbor, and he spent time sending to me daily to say: “Leave my harbor!”
Now while he was offering to his gods, the god took hold of a young man [of] his young men and put him in a trance. He said to him: “Bring [the] god up! Bring the envoy who is carrying him! (1.40) It is Amun who sent him. It is he who made him come!” Now it was while the entranced one was entranced that night that I had found a ship headed for Egypt. I had loaded all my belongings into it and was watching for the darkness, saying: “When it descends I will load the god so that no other eye shall see him.”
Then the harbor master came to me, saying: “Wait until morning, says the prince!” I said to him: “Was it not you who daily took time to come to me, saying: ‘Leave my harbor’? Do you now say: ‘Wait this night,’ in order to let the ship that I found depart, and then you will come to say: ‘Go away’?” He went and told it to the prince. Then the prince sent to the captain of the ship, saying: “Wait until morning, says the prince.”
When morning came, he sent and brought me up, while the god rested in the tent where he was on the shore of the sea. I found him seated in his upper chamber with his back against a window, and the waves of the great sea of Syria broke behind (1.50) his head. I said to him: “Blessings of Amun!” He said to me: “How long is it to this day since you came from the place where Amun is?” I said to him: “Five whole months till now.” He said to me: “If you are right, where is the dispatch of Amun that was in your hand? Where is the letter of the High Priest of Amun that was in your hand?” I said to him: “I gave them to Smendes and Tentamun.” Then he became very angry and said to me: “Now then, dispatches, letters you have none. Where is the ship of pinewood that Smendes gave you? Where is its Syrian crew? Did he not entrust you to this foreign ship’s captain in order to have him kill you and have them throw you into the sea? From whom would one then seek the god? And you, from whom would one seek you?” So he said to me.
I said to him: “Is it not an Egyptian ship? Those who sail under Smendes are Egyptian crews. He has no Syrian crews.” He said to me: “Are there not twenty ships here in my harbor that do business with Smendes? As for Sidon, (2.1) that other (place) you passed, are there not another fifty ships there that do business with Werekter and haul to his house?”
I was silent in this great moment. Then he spoke to me, saying: “On what business have you come?” I said to him: “I have come in quest of timber for the great noble bark of Amun–Re, King of Gods. What your father did, what the father of your father did, you too will do it.” So I said to him. He said to me: “True, they did it. If you pay me for doing it, I will do it. My relations carried out this business after Pharaoh had sent six ships laden with the goods of Egypt, and they had been unloaded into their storehouses. You, what have you brought for me?”
He had the daybook of his forefathers brought and had it read before me. They found entered in his book a thousand deben of silver and all sorts of things. (2.10) He said to me: “If the ruler of Egypt were the lord of what is mine and I were his servant, he would not have sent silver and gold to say: ‘Carry out the business of Amun.’ It was not a royal gift that they gave to my father! I too, I am not your servant, nor am I the servant of him who sent you! If I shout aloud to the Lebanon, the sky opens and the logs lie here on the shore of the sea! Give me the sails you brought to move your ships, loaded with logs for <Egypt>! Give me the ropes you brought [to lash the pines] that I am to fell in order to make them for you –––. –––––– that I am to make for you for the sails of your ships; or the yards may be too heavy and may break, and you may die <in> the midst of the sea. For Amun makes thunder in the sky ever since he placed Seth beside him! Indeed, Amun has (2.20) founded all the lands. He founded them after having first founded the land of Egypt from which you have come. Thus craftsmanship came from it in order to reach the place where I am! Thus learning came from it in order to reach the place where I am! What are these foolish travels they made you do?”
I said to him: “Wrong! These are not foolish travels that I am doing. There is no ship on the river that does not belong to Amun. His is the sea and his the Lebanon of which you say, ‘It is mine.’ It is a growing ground for Amun–user–he, the lord of every ship. Truly, it was Amun–Re, King of Gods, who said to Herihor, my master: ‘Send me!’ And he made me come with this great god. But look, you have let this great god spend these twenty-nine days moored in your harbor. Did you not know that he was here? Is he not he who he was? You are prepared to haggle over the Lebanon with Amun, its lord? As to your saying, the former kings sent silver and gold: If they had owned life and health, they would not have sent these things. (2.30) It was in place of life and health that they sent these things to your fathers! But Amun–Re, King of Gods, he is the lord of life and health, and he was the lord of your fathers! They passed their lifetimes offering to Amun. You too, you are the servant of Amun!
If you will say ‘I will do’ to Amun, and will carry out business, you will live, you will prosper, you will be healthy; you will be beneficent to your whole land and your people. Do not desire what belongs to Amun–Re, King of Gods! Indeed, a lion loves his possessions! Have your scribe brought to me that I may send him to Smendes and Tentamun, the pillars Amun has set up for the north of his land; and they will send all that is needed. I will send him to them, saying: ‘Have it brought until I return to the south; then I shall refund you all your expenses.’ ” So I said to him.
He placed my letter in the hand of his messenger; and he loaded the keel, the prow–piece, and the stern–piece, together with four other hewn logs, seven in all, and sent them to Egypt. His messenger who had gone to Egypt returned to me in Syria in the first month of winter, Smendes and Tentamun having sent: (2.40) four jars and one kakmen-vessel of gold; five jars of silver; ten garments of royal linen; ten ḫrd–garments of fine linen; five hundred smooth linen mats; five hundred ox–hides; five hundred ropes; twenty sacks of lentils; and thirty baskets of fish. And she had sent to me:16 five garments of fine linen; five ḫrd–garments of fine linen; one sack of lentils; and five baskets of fish.
The prince rejoiced. He assigned three hundred men and three hundred oxen, and he set supervisors over them to have them fell the timbers. They were felled and they lay there during the winter. In the third month of summer they dragged them to the shore of the sea. The prince came out and stood by them, and he sent to me, saying: “Come!” Now when I had been brought into his presence, the shadow of his sunshade fell on me. Then Penamun, a butler of his, intervened, saying: “The shadow of Pharaoh, your lord, has fallen upon you.” And he was angry with him and said: “Leave him alone.”
As I stood before him, he addressed me, saying: “Look, the business my fathers did in the past, I have done it, although you did not do for me what your fathers did for mine. Look, the last of your timber has arrived and is ready. Do as I wish, and come to load it. For has it not been given to you? (2.50) Do not come to look at the terror of the sea. For if you look at the terror of the sea, you will see my own! Indeed, I have not done to you what was done to the envoys of Khaemwese, after they had spent seventeen years in this land. They died on the spot.” And he said to his butler: “Take him to see the tomb where they lie.”
I said to him: “Do not make me see it. As for Khaemwese, the envoys he sent you were men and he himself was a man. You have not here one of his envoys, though you say: ‘Go and see your companions.’ Should you not rejoice and have a stela [made] for yourself, and say on it: ‘Amun–Re, King of Gods, sent me Amun–of–the-Road, his envoy, together with Wenamun, his human envoy, in quest of timber for the great noble bark of Amun–Re, King of Gods. I felled it; I loaded it; I supplied my ships and my crews. I let them reach Egypt so as to beg for me from Amun fifty years of life over and above my allotted fate.’ And if it comes to pass that in another day an envoy comes from the land of Egypt who knows writing and he reads out your name on the stela, you will receive water of the west like the gods who are (2.60) there.”
He said to me: “A great speech of admonition is what you have said to me.” I said to him: “As to the many <things> you have said to me: if I reach the place where the High Priest of Amun is and he sees your accomplishment, it is your accomplishment that will draw profit to you.”
I went off to the shore of the sea, to where the logs were lying. And I saw eleven ships that had come in from the sea and belonged to the Tjeker (who were) saying: “Arrest him! Let no ship of his leave for the land of Egypt!” Then I sat down and wept. And the secretary of the prince came out to me and said to me: “What is it?” I said to him: “Do you not see the migrant birds going down to Egypt a second time? Look at them traveling to the cool water! Until when shall I be left here? For do you not see those who have come to arrest me?”
He went and told it to the prince. And the prince began to weep on account of the words said to him, for they were painful. He sent his secretary out to me, bringing me two jugs of wine and a sheep. And he sent me Tentne, an Egyptian songstress who was with him, saying: “Sing for him! Do not let his heart be anxious.” And he sent to me, (2.70) saying: “Eat, drink; do not let your heart be anxious. You shall hear what I will say tomorrow.”
When morning came, he had his assembly summoned. He stood in their midst and said to the Tjeker: “What have you come for?” They said to him: “We have come after the blasted ships that you are sending to Egypt with our enemy.” He said to them: “I cannot arrest the envoy of Amun in my country. Let me send him off, and you go after him to arrest him.”
He had me board and sent me off from the harbor of the sea. And the wind drove me to the land of Alašiya. Then the town’s people came out against me to kill me. But I forced my way through them to where Hatiba, the princess of the town was. I met her coming from one of her houses to enter another. I saluted her and said to the people who stood around her: “Is there not one among you who understands Egyptian?” And one among them said: “I understand it.” I said to him: “Tell my lady that I have heard it said as far away as Thebes, the place where Amun is: ‘If wrong is done in every town, in the land of Alašiya right is done.’ Now is wrong done here too every day?”
She said: “What is it (2.80) you have said?” I said to her: “If the sea rages and the wind drives me to the land where you are, will you let me be received so as to kill me, though I am the envoy of Amun? Look, as for me, they would search for me till the end of time. As for this crew of the prince of Byblos, whom they seek to kill, will not their lord find ten crews of yours and kill them also?” She had the people summoned and they were reprimanded. She said to me: “Spend the night ______

Publication: Golenishchev 1899:74–102; Gardiner 1932b:61–76; Korostovtsev 1960. Translation: Erman 1900:1–14; 1927:174–185; Lefebvre 1949:204–220; ANET 25–29; Gardiner 1961:306–313; Edel 1968:41–48; Wente 1973:142–155; Lichtheim AEL 2:224–230. Comments: Nims 1968:161–164.

Nili Shupak

The “Admonitions” was composed during the First Intermediate period (c.a. 2000 BCE) or the late Middle Kingdom. The text is preserved on Papyrus Leiden 344, dating to the 18th or 19th Dynasty (1580–1200 BCE).
The original composition contained a narrative frame which has been lost, and which established the setting of the utterances of the sage as a council at the royal court, in a manner similar to that of the “Prophecies of Neferti” (text 1.45 below).
The speeches of the sage are arranged in six poems, each of which opens with an identical formula, although the poems are not continuous with regard to content.
A considerable portion of this work is concerned with an account of ordeals and calamities of the times. The second part of the composition consists of exhortations to the people to repent by destroying the enemy and fulfilling their religious obligations. The climax of the work is in the third part, which portrays an ideal monarch who will rehabilitate the country, and concludes by pinning the blame for the decline into evil days on an unnamed regnant king4 and presenting the fortunate conditions in store for Egypt once the nation is redeemed.
The composition closes with an obscure passage which speaks of an aged monarch, and may allude to actual historical circumstances.
The work, which is clearly a document of social criticism and contains some sections referring to events in the future, has common features with the biblical prophecy.6 Note: l.p.h. = “life, prosperity, health!” — the traditional blessing over the king.
Calamities of the Times (1.1–10.6)
Introduction (1.1–1.9)
(1.1) The doorkeepers say: “Let us go and plunder” …,
The washerman refuses to carry his load […],
The bird [-catchers] have drawn up in line of battle,
[The inhabitants] of the Delta marshes carry shields …,
A man looks upon his son as his enemy …,
(1.8) The virtuous man goes in mourning because of what has happened in the land …
(1.9) Foreigners have become Egyptians8 everywhere.
First Poem (Introduction Formula — iw ms) (1.9–6.14)
(1.9) Indeed, the face is pale,
(1.10) What the ancestors foretold has happened […].
Indeed […] the land is full of gangs,
A man goes to plough with his shield …
Indeed, the Nile overflows, none plough for it;
Everyone says: “We do not know what has happened throughout the land.”
(2.4) Indeed, women are barren, and none conceive,
Khnum does not create because of the condition of the land,
(2.4–2.5) Indeed, poor men have become owners of wealth,
He who could not make for himself sandals owns riches.
(2.6–7) Indeed, many dead are buried in the river,
The stream is a grave, and the tomb has become a stream.
(2.7–2.8) Indeed, the noblemen are in mourning and the poor man is full of joy,
Every town says: “Let us expel the powerful among us.”
Indeed, men are like ibises; dirt is throughout the land,
There is none indeed whose clothes are white at this time.
Indeed, the land turns around like a potter’s wheel,
The robber is a possessor of riches and [the rich man has become (?)] a plunderer …
(2.10) Indeed, the river is blood, yet one drinks from it,
Men shrink from people and thirst after water.
Indeed, gates, columns and walls are burning,
While the hall of the palace l.p.h. stands firm and endures …
(2.12–2.13) Indeed, crocodiles are glutted on their catch,
People go to them of their own will …
(2.14) Indeed, the well born man … passes without being recognized,
The child of his lady has become the son of his maid.
(3.1) Indeed, the desert is throughout the land,
The nomes are laid waste,
Foreign tribes come into Egypt …
(3.6) Indeed, the builders [of pyramids have become] farmers of fields,
Those who were in the sacred bark are yoked [to it].
None, indeed, sail northward to (3.7) Byblos today,
What shall we do for cedar trees for our mummies?
The priests are buried with their produce,
The [chiefs] are embalmed with their oil,
As far as (3.9) Crete, they come no more,
Gold is lacking …
(3.10–3.13) Indeed, Elephantine and Thines (?) [the dominion of] Upper Egypt are not taxed because of civil war.
Lacking are grain, charcoal …
To what purpose is a treasure-house without its revenues?
Glad indeed is the heart of the king, when gifts come to him.
Look, every foreign country [says?]: “This is our water! This is our fortune!”
What shall we do about it? All is ruin!
Indeed, merriment has perished, is [no longer] made,
There is groaning throughout the land mingled with laments …
(4.2–4.3) Indeed, great and small [say] “I wish I were dead,”
Little children say “He should not have caused [me] to live.” b
Indeed, the children of princes are dashed against walls,
And the infants are laid on the high ground.
Indeed, those who were in the place of embalming are laid on high ground,
And the secrets of the embalmers are thrown away …
(4.5) Indeed, the whole Delta will no longer be hidden,
Lower Egypt will trust trodden roads.
What shall one do?…
Behold, it is in the hands of those who do not know it, like those who know it,
The foreigners are skilled in the crafts of the Delta …
Indeed, all maid servants are rude in their tongue,
When their mistress speaks it is irksome to the servants …
(5.2–5.3) Indeed, princes are hungry and perish,
Servants are served …
Indeed, the hot-tempered man says: “If I knew where god is, then I would serve him.”
Indeed, [justice] is throughout (5.4) the land in its name,
but what they (men) do in appealing to it, is wrong …
Indeed, all animals, their hearts weep,
Cattle moan because of the state of the land.
Indeed, the children of princes are dashed against walls,
The infants are laid on the high ground,
(5.7) Khnum groans in weariness …
(5.9–5.11) Indeed, a slave (?) [has the power?] throughout the land,
The strong man sends to all people.
A man strikes his maternal brother —
What has been done?
Indeed, the ways are (blocked), the roads are watched,
Men sit in the bushes, until the night traveller comes, in order to plunder his load.
What is upon him is taken away;
He is thrashed with blows of a stick and criminally slain.
Indeed, perished is what yesterday was seen …
If only this were the end of men,
No conceiving, no birth,
Then the land would be quiet of noise, and tumult be no more.
Indeed [men eat] herbs and wash (them) down with water,
No seeds nor herbs are found for the birds …
(6.5–6.6) Indeed, the writings of the private council-chamber are taken away,
Laid bare are the secrets which were in it …
(6.7–6.8) Indeed, (public) offices are opened and their records are taken,
The serf becomes lord of serfs. (?)
Indeed, [scribes?] are killed and their writings stolen,
Woe is me because of the misery of this time!
Indeed, the scribes of the land-register — their writings are destroyed,
The grain of Egypt is common property.
Indeed, the laws of the council-chamber are thrown out,
Men walk on them in public places,
Beggars break them up in the streets.
Indeed, the beggar has attained the state of the Nine Gods,
The instructions of the House of the Thirty are divulged.
(6.12) Indeed, the great council chamber is a public resort,
Beggars come and go in the Great Houses.
Indeed, the children of princes are cast out in the streets,
The wise man says: “Yes”, the fool says: “No”
And it is pleasing to him who knows nothing about it.
Second Poem (Introduction Formula — mṯn, mṯn is) (7.1–9.7)
(7.1) Behold, the fire has risen high,
Its burning goes forth against the enemies of the land.
Behold, things have been done that have not happened for a long time,
The King has been disposed of by beggars.
Behold, he who was buried like a falcon … has no bier,
What the pyramid concealed has become empty.
Behold, it has befallen that the land is deprived of kingship by a few people who ignore the custom,
Behold, men have fallen into rebellion against the Uraeus.
The […] of Re, who pacifies the Two Lands,
(7.4) Behold, the secrets of the land, whose limits are unknown, are divulged,
The Residence is thrown down in a minute …
(7.5) Behold, the Ḳrḥt serpent is taken from his hole,
The secrets of Egypt’s kings are bared …
(7.8) Behold, the possessors of tombs are cast on high ground,
He who could not make a grave is [possessor] of a treasury.
Behold, the change among the people:
He who could not build a room for himself is (now) a possessor of walls …
Behold, noble ladies are on rafts,
Magnates are in the workhouse;
He who could not even sleep on a wall is (now) possessor of a bed …
(7.11–7.12) Behold, the possessors of robes are (now) in rags,
He who never wove for himself is (now) the possessor of fine linen.
Behold, he who never built for himself a boat is (now) the possessor of ships,
He who possessed the same looks at them, (but) they are not his …
(8.1) Behold, he who had no property is (now) a possessor of wealth,
The magnate sings his praise.
Behold, the poor of the land have become rich,
The possessor of property has become one who has nothing …
Behold, he whose hair had fallen out and lacked oil,
Has become a possessor of jars of sweet myrrh.
(8.5) Behold, she who had no box is a possessor of a coffer,
She who looked at her face in the water is possessor of a mirror.
Behold, a man is happy when he eats his food,
Consume your goods in gladness,
Without being hindered by anybody;
It is good for a man to eat his food,
God commands it for him whom he favours …
(9.2) Behold, all the offices, they are not in their (right) place,
Like a herd running at random without its herdsman,
Behold, cattle stray and there is none to collect them …
(9.3) Behold, a man is slain beside his brother …
(9.5) Behold, he who had no dependents (?) is (now) a lord of serfs,
He who was a [magnate] does commission himself …
Third Poem (Introduction Formula — ḥḏ) (9.8–10.6)
(9.8) Destroyed is […] in that time …
Destroyed is […]
Their food [is taken?] from them …
(10.3) Lower Egypt weeps,
The storehouse of the king is the common property of everyone;
The entire palace l.p.h. is without its revenues:
To it belong wheat and barley, fowl and fish
To it belong white cloth and fine linen, copper and oil …
Exhortations (10.6–11.11)
Fourth Poem (Introduction Formula: ḥḏ) (10.6–10.12)
Destroy the enemies of the noble Residence,
Splendid of magistrates …
(10.7) Destroy the enemies of the noble Residence …
(10.8) [Destroy the enemies] of the formerly noble Residence,
Manifold of laws …
Fifth Poem (Introduction Formula: sḫʾ) (10.12–11.10)
Remember to immerse […]
Him who is in pain when (?) he is sick in his body …
Remember to … to fumigate with incense,
To offer water in a jar in the early morning.
(11.1–11.2) Remember [to bring] the fatted r geese, trp geese and st geese,
To offer offerings to the gods.
Remember to chew natron and to prepare white bread,
A man (should do it) on the day of wetting the head.
(11.3–11.4) Remember to erect flagstaffs and to carve stelae,
The priest cleansing the shrines,
The temple being plastered (white) like milk.
Remember to make pleasant the perfume of the sanctuary,
To set up the bread-offerings.
Remember to observe regulations, to adjust dates,
To remove him who enters the priestly office with impure body, for to do so is wrong …
(11.6) Remember to slaughter oxen …
Remember to come forth pure …
Redemption (11.11–13.9)
Criticism of the Sun-God and the Description of the Ideal Monarch (11.11–12.11)
(11.11) Lack of people … Re who commands […] worshipping him …
Behold, why does he see (11.13) to fashion (men)?
The timid man is not distinguished from the violent one.
He has brought coolness upon the heat,
(12.1) Men say: “He is the herdsman of all, and there is no evil in his heart.”
His herds are few (but) he spends a day collecting them, c
(12.2) (Because) fire is in their heart.
Would that he had perceived their nature in the first generation,
Then he would have smitten the evil,
He would have stretched out his arm against it,
He would have destroyed (12.3) their seed and their heirs,
While the people still desired to give birth.
Sadness overwhelms, misery is everywhere …
(12.4) Combat has gone forth,
(12.5) The redresser of evil is one who commits it.
There is no pilot in their hour,
Where is he today?
Is he asleep? Behold (12.6), his power is not seen …
Criticism of the King (12.11–13.9)
Authority, Knowledge and Truth are with you,
Yet confusion is what you set throughout the land,
And the noise of tumult.
Behold, one fights against another,
For men obey what you have commanded.
If three men travel (12.14) on the road,
They are found to be only two,
For the many kill the few.
Does a herdsman desire death?
Then may you command it done …
It is your doing that brought those things to pass,
You have told lies.
The land is weed which destroys men,
None is named among the living.
All these years are strife,
A man is murdered on his roof top …
(13.5) O that you could taste something of the misery of it,
Then you would say …
The Happy Days (Contrasted with the Contemporary Adversities) (13.9–16.1)
Sixth Poem (Introduction Formula: iw ir.f ḥmw nfr)
[It is indeed good] when ships sail upstream …
(13.10) It is indeed good when […]
[It is indeed] good when the net is drawn,
And birds are tied up […] …
It is indeed good when the hands of men build pyramids,
(13.13) Ponds are dug and orchards made for the gods.
It is indeed good when people are drunk,
When they drink myt and their hearts are glad …
It is indeed good when shouting is in (men’s) mouths …
(14.1) It is indeed good, when beds are made ready,
The head-rests of magistrates are safely secured …
The door is shut upon him who slept in the bushes,
(14.10) […] [in their midst] like Asiatics …
None are found who would stand up to protect them …
Every man fights for his sister and to save his own skin.
(14.11) Is it the Nubians? Then we will protect ourselves!
Warriors are made many in order to repel foreigners;
Is it the Libyans? Then we will turn them back!
The Medjai are pleased with Egypt.
How does it come that every man kills his brother?
The troops (15.1) we raised for ourselves have become foreigners and taken to ravaging,
What has come to pass has caused the Asiatics to know the state of the land …
(15.13) What Ipuwer said when he answered the majesty of the All-Lord:
[…] all herds …
You have done what pleases their heart,
You have nourished the people among them,
Yet, they cover (16.1) their faces in fear of tomorrow.
Obscure Proverb (16.1–17.2)
(16.1) There was an old man who was about to die,
While his son was a child without knowledge;
He has not yet opened his mouth to speak to you,
When you seize and kill him (?)

Barta 1974:19–33; Faulkner 1964:24–36; Fecht 1972; Gardiner 1909; Goedicke 1967:93–95; Hornung 1990:83–100, 190–191; Lichtheim AEL 1:149–163; Otto 1951; Shupak 1989–90:1–40; 1993; Van Seters 1964:13–23; Westendorf 1973:41–44; ANET 441–444.
Nili Shupak

This work was composed during the Middle Kingdom (in the 12th or 13th Dynasty) and has been preserved on four papyri of that time. Three of these, known as B1 and B2 and R, are now in Berlin, and the fourth, Pap. Butler, is in London.
The composition, which pertains to the class of speculative wisdom literature, contains a narrative frame and text set out in verse form. This structure is common to works composed during that period, such as “The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage,” “The Prophecies of Neferti,” “The Dispute between a Man and his Ba.” The frame narrates the circumstances that gave rise to the peasant’s complaint, i.e., his having been robbed of his property. The body of work consists of nine complaints that the peasant addresses to the high steward Rensi, son of Meru. These are spoken in an eloquent rhetorical style in which images and proverbs are employed, as well as word plays and assonances.
The grievances that the peasant puts to the judge contain no more than allusions to his private misery and are primarily concerned with the broad issue of doing justice. This is, therefore, essentially a moral document which is at once an earnest appeal for the preservation of social order and justice (mʾʿt) and a condemnation of the corruption of the times.
Frame-Story: Introduction (R1–41)
There was a man Khu-n-Anup was his name. A peasant of Salt-Field was he. He had a wife. [M]ryt was her name.
This peasant said to his wife: “Behold, I am going down to Egypt to bring provisions from there for my children. Go and measure for me the barley (4) which is in the storehouse, the (barley) remaining from [yesterday].” Then he measured [twenty]-six gallons of barley. Then this peasant said to his wife: “Behold, (I give) you twenty gallons of grain for provisions for you and your children and you will make for me six gallons into bread and beer for every day (on which) [I will live].”4
(7) This peasant went down to Egypt after he had loaded his donkeys with vines, rushes, natron, salt, wood … panther skins, wolf hides … (35) full (measure) of all the good products of Salt-Field.
This peasant went south toward Heracleopolis and he reached the region of Per-fefi north of Medenit.6
He met a man there standing on the river bank, Nemty-nakht was his name. He was son of a man whose name was Isri and he was a subordinate of the high steward, Rensi, son of Meru.
Frame-Story (cont.): The Robbery (R 42–60; B1 1–30)
Then this Nemty-nakht said, when he saw this peasant’s donkeys which were tempting to his heart, “Would that I had some effective idol that I might steal the goods of this peasant with it!” Now the house of Nemty-nakht was at the beginning of a path8 which was narrow, not so wide as to exceed the width of a loin-cloth. One side of it was under water; the other side of it was under barley. And then this Nemty-nakht said to his servant “Go and bring me a cloth from my house.” It was brought to him immediately. Then he spread it out on the beginning of the path so that its fringe was on the water and its hem on the barley.
This peasant came along the public road. Then this Nemty-nakht said, “Be careful peasant. (2) Will you tread on my clothes?” And then this peasant said “I shall do as you wish, my way is good.”
So he went upwards. And then this Nemty-nakht said, “Will my barley be your path?” Then this peasant said “My way is good. The bank is high. The (only) way is under barley, for you are blocking our path with your clothes. Will you then not let us pass by on the road?”
(R 59) He had just reached saying (this) word (B1 9) when one of these donkeys filled his mouth with a wisp of barley. Then this Nemty-nakht said: “Behold, I will take away your donkey, peasant, for eating my barley. Behold, it will tread out (grain) because of its offense (13).”
And then this peasant said “My course is good. (Only) one (wisp) has been damaged. Could I buy back my donkey for its (the wisp’s) value if you seize it for filling its mouth with a wisp of barley? (15–16). But I know the lord of this district, it belongs to the high steward Rensi, son of Meru. He indeed is one who punishes every robber in this land. Shall I be robbed in his district?”
(19) This Nemty-nakht said: “Is this the proverb which men say: ‘The name of a poor man is pronounced for his master’s sake?’ I am the one who is speaking to you, yet the high steward it is whom you have invoked!” Then he took a stick of green tamarisk and thrashed all his limbs with it, and his donkeys (24) were seized and driven into the district.
Then this peasant wept very greatly because of the pain of what had been done to him. And then this Nemty-nakht said “Do not raise your voice peasant! Behold you are in the city of the Lord of Silence.”
Then this peasant said: “You beat me, you steal my goods and now you take away the complaint of my mouth! O Lord of Silence may you give me back my property! Then I shall stop screaming which you fear.”
Frame-Story (cont.): The Peasant Appealed to Rensi Son of Meru (B1 31–51)
Then this peasant spent a period of ten days appealing to Nemty-nakht who did not pay attention to it (32). So this peasant went to Herakleopolis to appeal to the high steward, Rensi, son of Meru. He met him going out of the door of his house to his court17 boat. And then this peasant said, “Would that I might be permitted to inform you concerning this complaint. It is a case of letting your favourite servant come to me so that I might send him back to you about it.”
And then the high steward Rensi, son of Meru, allowed his favorite servant to go in front of him and this peasant sent him concerning his case in its entirety.
Then the high steward Rensi, son of Meru accused this Nemty-nakht before the magistrates20 who were at his side. And then they said to him “Probably it is a peasant of his who has gone to someone else beside him. Behold, that is what they do to a peasant of theirs who goes to (46) others beside them. Is it a case of one punishing this Nemty-nakht for a little natron and a little salt? Let him be ordered to give compensation for it, and he will give compensation.”
Then the high steward Rensi, son of Meru, was silent; he did not reply to these magistrates; he did not reply to the peasant.
First Petition (B1 52–71)
Then this peasant came to appeal to the high steward Rensi, son of Meru; he said:
“High steward, my lord,
Greatest of the great, leader of all that is and all that is not!
If you embark on a lake of justice
May you sail on it with fair breeze,
Let not the fastener of your sail unravel!
Your boat shall not lag,
No misfortune shall take your mast,
Your yards will not break (59) …
You will not taste the river’s evils,
You will not see the face of fear.
(62) For you are father to the orphan,
Husband to the widow,
Brother to the rejected woman,
Apron to the motherless. a
Let me make your name in this land according to every good law:
Leader free from covetousness,
A great man free from baseness,
(67) Destroyer of falsehood,
Creator of justice,
Who comes at (68) the voice of the caller, b
When I speak may you hear!
Do justice you praised one,
Whom the praised ones praise!
Remove my grief, I am burdened with sorrow,
I am weak on account of it,
Examine me, I am lacking!”
Frame-Story (cont.) (B1 71–87, R 117–138)
Now this peasant made this speech in the time of the majesty of King of Upper and Lower Egypt Nebkaure, the justified. Then the high steward Rensi, son of Meru, went before his majesty. He said: “My lord, I have found one of those peasants who is really eloquent of speech. His goods have been stolen, and, behold, he has come to appeal to me about it.” And then his majesty said: “If you wish to see me in health, you shall retain him here without replying to anything he says. In order to keep him (80) talking, be silent. Then have it brought to us in writing, that we may hear it. But provide for his wife and his children. For one of those peasants comes here (only) just before his house is empty. And provide for this peasant himself. You shall cause food to be given to him without letting him know that it is you who are providing it.”
Then he was given ten loaves and two jugs of beer every day. The high steward Rensi, son of Meru, gave it. He gave it to a friend of his and he gave it to him (the peasant). Then the high steward Rensi, son of Meru, wrote to the mayor of Salt-Field about providing food for this peasant’s wife, a total of three measures of grain every day.
Second Petition (B1 88–138)
Then this peasant came to appeal to him a second time; he said:
“High steward, my lord
Greatest of the great, richest of the rich,
Great for his great ones, rich for his rich ones!
Steering oar of heaven, beam of earth,
Plumb-line which carries the weight!
(91) Steering oar, do not diverge
Beam, do not tilt
Plumb-line, do not swing awry!
The great lord takes possession of the ownerless, stealing from the lonely man. Your portion is in your house: a jug of beer and three loaves. But what are you doing to satisfy the hunger of your dependents? A mortal man, along with his underlings, must die. Will you be a man of eternity?
Is it not wrong: a balance that tilts,
A plummet that strays,
(97) The straight becoming crooked?
Behold, justice flees from you,
Banished from its (98) seat!
When the magistrates do wrong, d
When he who is in charge of examining the plea shows partiality,33
When judges snatch what has been stolen.
He who trims a matter’s rightness makes it swing awry,
The breath-giver languishes on the ground (?)” …
(104) This peasant said:
“The measurer of grain-piles trims for himself.
He who fills for another diminishes the other’s share;
He who should rule by law, commands theft,
Who then will punish wrongdoing?
The straightener of another’s crookedness supports another’s crime …
(115) You are strong and mighty. Your arm is active, your heart greedy, mercy has passed you by … (121) He who has bread should be merciful. Violence is for the criminal; robbing suits him who has nothing. The stealing done by the robber is the misdeed of one who is poor. One cannot reproach him; he (merely) seeks for himself. But you are sated with your bread, drunken with your beer, rich in all” …
Third Petition (B1 139–193)
Then this peasant came to appeal to him a third time; he said:
“High steward, my lord,
You are Re, the lord of heaven, with your courtiers.
Men’s sustenance is from you as from the flood,
You are Hapy who makes green the fields
And re-establishes destroyed mounds.
Punish the robber and protect the miserable.
(144) Be not flood against the pleader!…
(148) Does the hand-balance deviate?
(148–149) Does the stand-balance tilt?
h Does Thoth show favour
So that you may do wrong?…
(156) By the sail-wind you should steer,
Control the waves to sail aright,
Guard from landing by the helm-rope …
(160) Speak not falsely — you are the standard,
You are the one with the hand-balance,
If it tilts you may tilt …
(165) Your tongue is the plummet,
Your heart is the weight,
Your two lips are its arms (167) …
(180) Hearer, you hear not! Why do not you hear!… (182) When the secret of truth is found, falsehood is thrown on its back on the ground. Trust not the morrow before it has come; one knows the trouble in it.”37
Now this peasant had made this claim to the high steward Rensi, son of Meru, at the entrance of the judgement hall.39 Then he had two guards stand up against him bearing whips and they thrashed all his limbs. The peasant said:
“The son of Meru goes on erring. His face is blind to what he sees, deaf to what he hears, forgetful about what he should have remembered.
Behold, you are a town (190) without a mayor,
Like a group without its ruler,
Like a ship without a captain,
Like a band without a leader.
Behold, you are an officer who steals,
A mayor who accepts (bribes),
A district overseer who should punish crime
Who is the model for him who does (it).”
Fourth Petition (B1 194–225)
And then this peasant came to appeal to him a fourth time … he said:
(197) “Goodness is destroyed, none adhere to it
(198) Throwing falsehood’s back to the ground (has also perished) …
(201) Who can sleep until daybreak? Gone is working by night, travel by day and letting a man defend his own right case.42
Behold, it is of no use telling you this; mercy has passed you by. How miserable is the wretch whom you have destroyed!…
(215) He who eats tastes; he who is asked answers; he who sleeps sees (217) the dream; and a judge who deserves punishment is a model for him who does evil. Fool, you are attacked! Ignorant man you are questioned!…
(221) Steersman, let not drift your boat
Life-sustainer, let not one die
Provider, let not one perish.
Shadow, be not sunlight
Shelter, let not the crocodile snatch!
The fourth time I apply to you! Shall I go on all day!”
Fifth Petition (B1 225–239)
And then this peasant came to appeal to him a fifth time; he said:
“High steward, my lord … (231) Rob not a poor man of his property, a weak man whom you know. Breath to the poor is his property; he who takes it away stops up his nose. You are appointed to investigate complaints and pass judgement between two (litigants), to punish the robber. But behold, supporting the thief is what you do! One puts his trust in you, but you have become a transgressor. You were placed as a dam for the poor, as a safeguard against drowning. But, behold, you are his lake, a water pourer!”
Sixth Petition (B1 239–265)
And then this peasant came to appeal to him a sixth time; he said:
“High steward, my lord!…
(247) Look with your own eyes:
The arbitrator is a robber,
The peace-maker is one who makes grief,
He who should soothe causes suffering …
(260)You are learned, skilled, accomplished,
But not in order to plunder!
You should be the model for all men,
But your affairs are crooked!
(263) The standard for all men cheats the whole land!…”
Seventh Petition (B1 266–289)
And then this peasant came to appeal to him a seventh time; he said:
“High steward, my lord!
You are the steering oar of the whole land,
This land sails around by your command.
(268) You are brother to Thoth,
The judge who is not partial …
(275) Indeed my belly is full, my heart is heavy. Therefore it has come out from my belly.
When there is a breach in a dam its waters rush out. (278) So my mouth opened to speak.
I have fought my sounding pole. I have boiled (279) out my water. I have emptied what was in my belly; I have washed my soiled linen. My speech is over; my grief is all before you.
Eighth Petition (B1 289–322)
Then this peasant came to appeal to him an eighth time; he said:
“High steward, my lord …
(303) Do justice for the Lord of Justice
Whose justice is always true;
(305) Pen, papyrus, palette of Thoth,
May you be afar from wrongdoing!
When good is good, it is really good.
For justice is for eternity;
It enters the Necropolis with its doer,
When he is buried and interred.
His name does not pass from the earth,
He is remembered because of (his) goodness,
This is the rule of god’s command.
The hand-balance — it tilts not; the stand-balance — it leans not to one side. (313) Whether I come or whether another comes, you will have to address (us). Do not answer (us) with the answer of silence. Do not attack one who cannot attack you. You have no pity, you are not troubled, you are not disturbed! You do not repay my good speech53 which comes from the mouth of Re himself …”
Ninth Petition (B2 91–115)
And then this peasant came to appeal to him a ninth time; he said:
“High steward, my lord! (92–93) The tongue is men’s stand-balance. It is the hand-balance that detects deficiency. Punish him who should be punished … (98) If falsehood walks it goes astray. It cannot cross in the ferry; it cannot advance. He who is enriched by it has no children, has no heirs on earth. He who sails (102) with it cannot reach land; (103) his boat cannot moor at its landing place … (113) Behold, I have been appealing to you (but) you do not listen to it. I shall go and appeal to Anubis about you.”
Frame-Story: Conclusion (B2 115–142)
And then the high steward, Rensi, son of Meru caused two guards to go to bring him back. Then this peasant was fearful, thinking it was done so as (118) to punish him for the claim he made … (123) And then the high steward, Rensi, son of Meru said: “Just stay here so you can hear your petitions.”
Then he caused them to be read from a new papyrus-roll, each petition in its turn. The high steward, Rensi, son of Meru, presented them to his majesty, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nebkaure, the justified. And then it pleased the heart of his majesty more than anything in this whole land. And then his majesty said: (133) “May you yourself judge, son of Meru!” And then the high steward, Rensi son of Meru, caused two guards to go to [bring Nemty-nakht] (135). He was brought and a report was made of [all his property] … his wheat, his barley, his donkeys … of this Nemty-nakht [which was given] to this peasant …

ANET 407–410; Urk. IV; Berlev 1987:78–83; Fensham 1962:129–139; Gardiner 1923:5–23; Gilula 1978:129–130; Griffiths 1960:219–221; Herrmann 1963:106–115; Kuhlmann 1992:191–207; Lichtheim AEL 1:169–184; 1983; Parkinson 1991a:171–181; 1991b; Perry 1986; Shupak 1992:1–18; 1993.
Nili Shupak

The work was composed during the Middle Kingdom and has been preserved on a writing tablet from the 18th Dynasty. This tablet, no. 5645 in the BM, is the single surviving copy. The author is a priest of Heliopolis and his name contains the pronomen of Sesostris II who ruled during the 12th Dynasty.
Unlike other compositions pertaining to the genre of speculative wisdom literature — “The Eloquent Peasant,” “The Prophecies of Neferti,” “The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage,” and “The Dispute between a Man and His Ba” — this one does not contain a narrative frame in prose that serves as a setting for a rhetoric section in verse. But it has a title which is usually characteristic of the wisdom instructions (Lebenslehre) and which informs us of the nature of the subject and gives us the name of the author.
The items enumerated in the title as making up the contents of the work are called — “words,” “maxims,” and “phrases.” These words are used again in the prologue of Khakheperre-sonb’s instruction where he announces his literary ambition to say things that have never been said before.3 Nevertheless, when he comes to speak of the grievous state of society, his observations differ in no way from the utterances of either his predecessors or those who would come after him. Like them Khakheperre-sonb gives an account of adversities and calamities falling on the land and describes the ruin of the country. It also contains social admonition concerning inversion of normal social hierarchies and religious censure.
It is not clear whether the text is complete or not; it may have continued on another tablet. The author Kha-kheperre-sonb was famous in the Ramesside period, as one may conclude from the appearance of his name among the eight great Egyptian scribes in Papyrus Chester Beatty IV. On the manuscript, the verses of the composition are marked off by red dots.
Title (Recto 1)
The collection of words,
The gathering of maxims,
The quest of phrases with a searching heart,5
Made by the priest of Heliopolis, the … Khakheperre-sonb called Ankhu.
Prologue: the Aim of the Composition or the Author’s Literary Ambitions (Recto 2–7)
He says:
Would I had unknown phrases,
Maxims that are strange,
Novel untried words,
Void of repetitions;
Not maxims of past speech,
(3) Spoken by the ancestors.
I empty my belly of that which is in it,
In loosing all that I have said (before);
For what has been said is repetition,
When what was said is said.
There is no boasting in the speech of the ancestors,
When those of later times find them.
(5) One who has spoken should not speak,
But one should speak who has something to speak,
May another find what he will speak,
Not a teller of tales afterwards,
This is vain endeavour, it is lies,
And no one will mention his name to others.
I said this in accord with what I have seen:
From the first generation,
Down (7) to those who come after,
They imitate that which is past.d
The Author’s Complaint about His Inability to Speak to His Heart about It (Recto 7–9)
Would that I knew what others do not know,
Things that have never been repeated,
Then I would say them and my heart would answer me! e
(8) Then I would explain to it my distress,
Then I would shift to it the burden which is on my back,
The matters that oppress me,
I would express to it what I suffer through it
(9) And I would say “ah” with relief.
The Calamities of the Times: The Description of the Ruined Land (Recto 10–12)
I meditate on what has happened,
The events that have passed throughout the land.
Changes have taken place, it is not like last year,
One year is more burdensome than the others,
The land is in confusion and is destroyed,
Made as …
(11) Right is cast outside,
Wrong is in the council hall;
The plans of the gods are violated,
Their ordinances neglected,
The land is in turmoil,
Mourning is in everyplace,
The towns (12), the districts are in grief.
Everybody alike is subjected to wrongs,
(As for) reverence, backs are turned to it,
The Lords of Silence are disturbed;
(When) morning comes every day,
The faces shrink back from what has happened.
The Author Tries to Speak with His Heart about These Calamities (Recto 12 – Verso 1)
I cry out about it,
My limbs are weighed down;
I grieve in my heart, f
It is hard to keep silent about it.
Another heart would bend,
(But) a stout heart in trouble,
It is companion to his master.
Would that I had (such) a heart (14) that knew how to suffer,
Then I would find relief in it,
I would load it with my words of grief,
I would impose on it my malady.
(Verso 1) He said to his heart:
Come my heart, that I may speak to you —
Answer me my maxims,
And explain to me what is going on in the land,
Why those who were bright have been cast down.
Description of the Bad State of the Land (cont.) and the Inability to Speak with the Heart about It (Verso 1–6)
I meditate about what has happened,
Misery enters in today,
Strange deeds will not cease (also) tomorrow,
And all are silent about it.
The whole land is in great confusion,
Nobody is free from wrong,
All people alike are doing it,
Hearts are greedy.
He who used to give commands (3) is (now) one to whom commands are given,
And the hearts of both of them are content.
One awakes to it every day,
And the hearts do not reject it,
The state of yesterday is like today;
And one passes over it because it (the bad) is much,
(Thus) the faces (stay) solid.
None is wise (enough) to recognize it,
(4) None is angry (enough) to cry out,
One awakes to suffer every day.
Long and heavy is (my) malady,
There is no strength in the wretched man to save himself from one who overwhelms him.
It is painful to remain silent about what one hears,
It is misery to answer the ignorant.
To oppose speech makes enmity,
The heart does not accept the truth,
None endures contradiction,
Every man loves his own words.
Every man is lying in crookedness,
Right speaking is abandoned.
I speak to you (6) my heart,
Answer me!
A heart that is approached does not keep silent,
Behold the affairs of the slave are like those of his master,
There is much that weighs upon you!

Urk. IV; Wb.; Junge 1977:275–284; Kadish 1973:77–90; Lichtheim AEL 1:145–149; Ockinga 1983:88–95; Shupak 1990:81–102; 1993.
Nili Shupak

The single complete version of this composition is preserved on Pap. Petersburg 1116B which derives from the 18th Dynasty. This is augmented by fragments preserved on writing tablets and ostraca. “The Prophecies of Neferti” is a political document which was apparently composed in the court of the King Amenemhet I (1990–1960 BCE) who is here cast in the role of a redeemer-king. The text is introduced by a narrative frame, setting the work in the court of King Snefru of the Fourth Dynasty. The king wishing to be entertained, a lector-priest named Neferti is brought before him. Neferti is also a sage, able to utter “good words” and “choice maxims,” qualities that place him in the same category as Khakheperre-sonb and the “Eloquent Peasant.” His speech, which is presented as a prophecy, contains two main topics: The calamities of the time followed by redemption by a royal deliverer called Ameni; and social admonition concerning a variety of wrong-doings (murder, family rivalry, inversions of normal social hierarchies). But the pattern of prophecy is here only a literary disguise. The aim of the composition is to criticize the current government of the realm on the one hand, and to legitimize the monarchy of Amenemhet I on the other.
Frame-story: Introduction (1–18)
It happened when his majesty the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Snefru, the justified, was potent in this entire land. On one of these days it happened that the administrative council of the residence entered the palace l.p.h. to greet (the king). And they went out after they had greeted (him) according to their daily custom. Then his majesty l.p.h. said to the seal-bearer who was at his side: “Go and bring me back the administrative council of the residence who have gone from here after greeting (me) on this day.”
They were brought to him (5) at once and they were on their bellies before his majesty l.p.h. once more. His majesty l.p.h. said to them: Fellows, behold I have caused you to be called that you seek for me a son of yours who is wise, a brother of yours who is excellent, a friend of yours who has done a good deed, who will tell me some good words, choice formulations, which should entertain my majesty on hearing them.
Frame-Story (cont): The Summoning of Neferti (8–19)
They were on their bellies before his majesty once more. Then they said before his majesty l.p.h.: “There is a great lector priest of Bastet, O sovereign, our lord, Neferti3 is his name. He is a citizen valiant with his arm; he is excellent with his fingers; he is a wealthy man, who has greater wealth (11) than any peer of his. Let him [be permitted] to see his majesty.” Then said his majesty l.p.h. “Go and bring him to me.” And he was brought to him immediately. And he was on his belly before his majesty l.p.h. Then his majesty l.p.h. said: “Come now Neferti (13) my friend, tell me some good words, choice formulations, which will entertain my majesty on hearing them. And the lector-priest Neferti said: “Something that happened or something that is going to happen, O sovereign l.p.h., my lord.” (15) Then his majesty l.p.h. said “Something that is going to happen. It is (still) today and the passing of it already happens.” He stretched out his arm to a writing case and then he took for him a papyrus roll and a palette and put in writing what the lector-priest Neferti said;6 A sage from the east he was, one belonging to Bastet when she appears, a child of the Heliopolitan nome. He was concerned about what was happening in the land, calling to mind the state of the east with the Asiatics8 travelling in their strength (19) upsetting those who were harvesting and grabbing the taxes (assigned) for the time of ploughing.
Neferti’s Prophecies (20–71)
I. Calamities (20–57)
The Ruin of the Country (20–24)
He said:
Stir, my heart,
Bemoan this land from which you derived.
He who is silent is a wrongdoer.
Behold, there was something of which one talks respectfully,
Behold, he who was official is cast to the ground.
Weary not of what is in front of you,
(22) Stand against that which is before you!
Behold, officials in the governance of the land are no more;
What is to be done is no (longer) done,
Re should begin to recreate.
(23) The land is entirely lost, no remnant is left,
Without that the black of a nail (remains) from its taxes,
(24) This land is destroyed, none cares about it,
None speaks and none sheds a tear: “How will this land be?”
Natural Disasters (25–29)
The sun is covered and does not shine for the people to see, a
No one can live when the clouds cover (the sun),
Every face is numb from lack of it.
I shall say what is before me,
I cannot foretell what has not yet come.
The river of Egypt is empty,
One can cross the water on foot,
One will seek water for the ships to sail on.
Its course has become a riverbank,
A riverbank will be water,
What is in the water place will be riverbank. b
Southwind will combat northwind,
So that sky will lack the single wind.
Disasters Caused by Human Beings (29–57)
1. Infiltration of Delta by Asiatics (29–38)
Strange birds will breed in the marshes of the Delta
After making a nest near the people.
The people let them approach because of the shortage,
Perished indeed are those good things,
Those fish ponds (where there were) those who clean fish,
Overflowing with fish and fowl.
All good things have passed away,
(32) The land is burdened with misfortune
Because of those looking (?) for food,
Asiatics roaming the land.
Foes (33) have arisen in the east,
Asiatics have descended into Egypt.
The fortifications are destroyed …
(34) When one will enter the fortifications,
When sleep will be banished from my eyes,
I spend the night wakeful.
The wild beasts of the desert will drink from the river (36) of Egypt,
They will be content on their banks by the absence of anyone to chase them away.
For the land is seized and recovered (lit., brought)
And no one knows the result.
What will happen is hidden according to the saying,
(38) “When sight and hearing fail, the mute leads.”
2. Civil Disasters (38–54)
I show you the land in turmoil,
(39) That which has never happened has happened.
One will seize the weapons of warfare,
The land lives in (40) confusion.
One will make arrows of copper,
One will beg for bread with blood,
One will laugh at distress;
None will weep over death,
None spends the night fasting because of death,
The heart of a man cares only for himself.
Mourning is no (longer) carried out today,
Hearts have quite abandoned it.
A man sits with his back turned,
While one man kills another.
I show you a son as an enemy,
A brother as a foe,
A man (45) killing his (own) father. f
Every mouth is full of “love me,”
Everything good has disappeared.
The land has perished, laws are destined for it,
Deprived of produce, lacking in crops,
What was done is (47) as if it were not done.
One will take the property of a man, and give it to a stranger,
I show you a lord in worries, the stranger satisfied.
(48) He who has never filled up for himself is now empty. g
One will give something (only) out of hatred,
In order to silence the mouth that speaks;
One answers a complaint with an arm holding a stick
And says, Kill him!
The words fall on the heart like fire,
(50) None can endure a saying.
The land diminishes but its rulers are numerous,
Bare, (but) its taxes are great.
The grain is low (51) the measure is large,
One measures it in overflow.
Re separates himself (from) mankind
If he shines the hour exists
(But now) none knows when noon comes;
None can discern his shadow,
None is dazzled by seeing (him),
Nor do the eyes fill with water.
As he is in the sky like the moon,
But his time of nightfall cannot be transgressed (i.e., remains unchanged),
(54) His rays will be on the face again as in former times.
3. The World Upside Down: Inversion of Social Order (54–57)
I show you the land in turmoil,
The weak of arm is (now) the possessor of an arm,
One salutes him who (formerly) saluted.
I show you the lowly as superior …
One lives in the necropolis.
The poor man will make wealth,
The great one will [pray] to live.
The beggar will eat bread,
The slaves will be exalted (?). g
The Heliopolitan nome, the birthplace of every god, will not (longer) be.
II. Redemption (58–71)
The Redeemer King (58–62)
Then a king will come from the south,
Imeny, the justified, is his name,
A son is he of a woman of the land of Nubia,
A child is he of Upper Egypt.
He will take the white crown,
He will wear the red crown;
(60) He will unite the Two Mighty Ones, j
He will appease the Two Lords with what they desire,
The field-encircler in his fist, the oar in motion.
Rejoice, O people of his time,
The son of man will make his name forever and ever.
The Rehabilitation of the Country: Driving Away the Enemy and Restoring Order (62–71)
They who incline toward evil,k
Who plot rebellion,
(63) They subdued their mouth in fear of him.
The Asiatics will fall to his slaughter,
The Libyans will fall to his flame,
The rebels to his wrath, the traitors to (65) his might,
The serpent which is on his forehead will still the traitors for him.
One will (66) build the Walls of the Ruler l.p.h.,
To prevent Asiatics from descending to Egypt;
They will beg for water in the customary manner,
In order to let their herds drink.
Then order will come into its place
While wrongdoing is driven out.
Joyful will be he who will observe and he who will serve the king.
The wise man will pour out water for me,
When he sees that what I have spoken comes to pass.
It has come to its end successfully by the scribe …

Barta 1971; Blumenthal 1982; Derchain 1972; Goedicke 1977; Helck 1970a; Lichtheim AEL 1:139–145; Shupak 1989–90:1–40; 1993; Westendorf 1973.

Miriam Lichtheim

The Instruction of Any has long been known through a single manuscript: Papyrus Boulaq 4 of the Cairo Museum, which dates from the 21st or 22nd Dynasty. Of the first pages only small fragments have remained, and the copy as a whole abounds in textual corruptions due to incomprehension on the part of the copying scribe. The introductory sentence of the work is preserved on a tablet in the Berlin Museum (No. 8934), and small portions of the text are found in three papyrus fragments in the Musée Guimet, in Papyrus Chester Beatty V of the British Museum, and in four ostraca from Deir el Medina.
Given the corruption and lacunae of the main text copy and the absence of sizeable duplicate copies, the text has presented great difficulties to editors and translators. In the words of Gardiner: “The papyrus known as P. Boulaq IV, to the contents of which Chabas gave the name Les Maximes du scribe Anii, has long enjoyed the unenviable reputation of being the obscurest of all Egyptian wisdom texts” (1959a:12).
The work itself was composed in the New Kingdom, almost certainly in the 18th Dynasty. It combines traditional themes with a certain amount of innovation. Two aspects, in particular, distinguish it from most earlier Instructions. One is the fact that the Instruction of Any comes from the sphere of the middle class and is meant for the average man. The author presents himself as a minor official, and the advice he dispenses, in the usual form of a father instructing his son, is suited to the thinking of anyone who possessed a modicum of education and of material comforts. Thus there is nothing specifically aristocratic about the values that are taught. This is, of course, in keeping with the evolution of Egyptian society and with the growth of the middle class.
The other novel feature appears in the epilogue. In earlier Instructions the epilogue had consisted either in the grateful acceptance of the teaching by the listeners, or in the teacher’s conclusion urging compliance. The epilogue of Any, however, is a debate between father and son in which the son makes the objection that the father’s teachings are too difficult to be understood and obeyed. By making the son disinclined to learn and obey, the author of the work introduced a new dimension into the concept of didactic literature: the thought that instruction might fail to have an impact. The thought is introduced in order to be refuted. The father has the last word as well as the more telling arguments. Yet the expression of a negative point of view adds a fresh and realistic note to the Instruction genre by showing an awareness that the efficacy of teaching could be questioned and that the teachability of man had its limitations.
The page and line numbering used here is that of Suys’s publication (1935) which was also employed by Volten (1937–38). My translation begins with page 3.1 preceded by the title of the work found on the Berlin tablet.
Beginning of the educational instruction made by the Scribe Any of the Palace of Queen Nefertari.
(3.1) Take a wife while you’re young,
That she make a son for you;
She should bear for you while you’re youthful,
It is proper to make people.
Happy the man whose people are many,
He is saluted on account of his progeny.
Observe the feast of your god,
And repeat its season,
God is angry if it is neglected.
Put up witnesses (3.5) when you offer,
The first time that you do it.
When one comes to seek your record,
Have them enter you in the roll;
When time comes to seek your purchase,
It will extol the might of the god.
Song, dance, incense are his foods,
Receiving prostrations is his wealth;
The god does it to magnify his name,
But man it is who is inebriated.
Do not (3.10) enter the house of anyone,
Until he admits you and greets you;
Do not snoop around in his house,
Let your eye observe in silence.
Do not speak of him to another outside,
Who was not with you;
A great deadly crime

Beware of a woman who is a stranger,
One not known in her town;
Don’t stare at her when she goes by,
Do not know her carnally.
A deep water whose course is unknown,
Such is a woman away from her husband.
“I am pretty,” she tells you daily,
When she has no witnesses;
She is ready to ensnare you,
A great deadly crime when it is heard.

Do not leave when the chiefs enter,
Lest your name stink;
In a quarrel (4.1) do not speak,
Your silence will serve you well.
Do not raise your voice in the house of god,
He abhors shouting;
Pray by yourself with a loving heart,
Whose every word is hidden.
He will grant your needs,
He will hear your words,
He will accept your offerings.
Libate for your father and mother,
Who are resting in the valley;
When the gods (4.5) witness your action,
They will say: “Accepted.”
Do not forget the one outside,
Your son will act for you likewise.
Don’t indulge in drinking beer,
Lest you utter evil speech
And don’t know what you’re saying.
If you fall and hurt your body,
None holds out a hand to you;
Your companions in the drinking
Stand up saying: “Out with the drunk!”
If one comes to seek you (4.10) and talk with you.
One finds you lying on the ground.
As if you were a little child.
Do not go out of your house,
Without knowing your place of rest.
Let your chosen place be known,
Remember it and know it.
Set it before you as the path to take,
If you are straight you find it.
Furnish your station in the valley,
The grave that shall conceal your corpse;
Set it before you as your concern,
A thing that matters in your eyes.
Emulate the great departed,
Who are at rest within their tombs.
No blame accrues to him who does it,
It is well that you be ready too.
When your envoy (5.1) comes to fetch you,
He shall find you ready to come
To your place of rest and saying:
“Here comes one prepared before you.”
Do not say, “I am young to be taken,”
For you do not know your death.
When death comes he steals the infant
Who is in his mother’s arms,
Just like him who reached old age.
Behold, I give you these useful counsels,
For you to ponder in your heart;
Do it (5.5) and you will be happy,
All evils will be far from you.
Guard against the crime of fraud,
Against words that are not <true>;
Conquer malice in your self,
A quarrelsome man does not rest on the morrow.
Keep away from a hostile man,
Do not let him be your comrade;
Befriend one who is straight and true,
One whose actions you have seen.
If your rightness matches his,
The friendship will be balanced.
Let your hand preserve what is in your house,
Wealth accrues to him who guards it;
Let your hand not scatter it to (5.10) strangers,
Lest it turn to loss for you.
If wealth is placed where it bears interest,
It comes back to you redoubled;
Make a storehouse for your own wealth,
Your people will find it on your way.
What is given small returns augmented,
❐What is replaced brings abundance.❒
The wise lives off the house of the fool,
Protect what is yours and you find it;
Keep your eye on what you own,
Lest you end as a beggar.
He who is slack amounts to nothing,
Honored is the man who’s active.

(6.1) Learn about the way of a man
Who undertakes to found his household.
Make a garden, enclose a patch,
In addition to your plowland;
Set out trees within it,
As shelter about your house.
Fill your hand with all the flowers
That your eye can see;
One has need of all of them,
It is good fortune not to lose them.
Do not rely on another’s goods,
Guard what you acquire yourself;
Do not depend on another’s wealth,
Lest he become master in your house.
Build a house or find and buy one,
Shun ❐contention❒
Don’t say: “My mother’s father has a house,
❐‘A house that lasts,’❒ one calls it;”
When you come to share with your brothers,
Your portion may be a storeroom.
If your god lets you have children,
They’ll say: “We are in our father’s house.”
Be a man hungry or sated in his house,
It is his walls (6.10) that enclose him.
Do not be a mindless person,
Then your god will give you wealth.
Do not sit when another is standing,
One who is older than you,
Or greater than you in his rank.
No good character is reproached,
An evil character is blamed.
Walk the accustomed path each day
Stand according to your rank.
“Who’s there?” So one always says,
Rank creates its rules;
A woman is asked about (6.15) her husband
A man is asked about his rank.
Do not speak rudely to a brawler,
When you are attacked hold yourself back;
You will find this good (7.1) when your relations are friendly,
When trouble has come it will help you bear up,
And the aggressor will desist.
Deeds that are effective toward a stranger
Are very noxious to a brother.
Your people will hail you when you are joyful,
They will weep freely <when you are sad>;
When you are happy the brave look to you,
When you are lonely you find your relations.
One will do all you say
If you are versed in writings;
Study the writings, put them in your heart,
(7.5) Then all your words will be effective.
Whatever office a scribe is given,
He should consult the writings;
The head of the treasury has no son,
The master of the seal has no heir.
The scribe is chosen for his hand,
His office has no children;
His pronouncements are his freemen,
His functions are his masters.
Do not reveal your heart to a stranger,
He might use your words against you;
The noxious speech that came from your mouth,
He repeats it and you make enemies.
A man may be ruined by his tongue,
Beware and you will do well.
A man’s belly is wider than a granary,
And full of all kinds of answers;
(7.10) Choose the good one and say it,
While the bad is shut in your belly.
A rude answer brings a beating,
Speak sweetly and you will be loved.
Don’t ever talk back to your attacker,
❐Do not set a trap <for him>❒;
It is the god who judges the righteous,
His fate comes and takes him away. f
Offer to your god,
Beware of offending him.
Do not question his images,
Do not accost him when he appears.
Do not jostle him in order to carry him,
Do not disturb the oracles.
Be careful, help to protect him,
Let your eye watch out (7.15) for his wrath,
And kiss the ground in his name.
He gives power in a million forms,
He who magnifies him is magnified.
God of this earth is the sun in the sky,
While his images are on earth;
When incense is given them as daily food,
The lord of risings is satisfied.
Double the food your mother gave you,
Support her as she supported you;
She had a heavy load in you,
But she did not abandon you.
When you were born after your months,
She was yet yoked <to you>,
Her breast in your mouth for three years.
As you grew and your excrement disgusted,
She was not disgusted, saying: “What shall I do!”
When she sent you to school,
And you were taught to write,
She kept watching over you daily,
With bread (8.1) and beer in her house.
When as a youth you take a wife,
And you are settled in your house,
Pay attention to your offspring,
Bring him up as did your mother.
Do not give her cause to blame you,
Lest she raise her hands to god,
And he hears her cries.
Do not eat bread while another stands by
Without extending your hand to him.
As to food, it is here always,
It is man (8.5) who does not last;
One man is rich, another is poor,
But food remains for him ❐who shares it.❒
As to him who was rich last year,
He is a vagabond this year;
Don’t be greedy to fill your belly,
You don’t know your end at all.
Should you come to be in want,
Another may do good to you.
When last year’s watercourse is gone,
Another river is here today;
Great lakes become dry places,
Sandbanks turn into depths.
Man does not have a single (8.10) way,
The lord of life confounds him.
Attend to your position,
Be it low or high;
It is not good to press forward,
Step according to rank.
Do not intrude on a man in his house,
Enter when you have been called;
He may say “Welcome” with his mouth,
Yet deride you in his thoughts.
One gives food to one who is hated,
Supplies to one who enters uninvited.
Don’t rush to attack your attacker,
Leave him to the god;
Report him daily to the god,
(8.15) Tomorrow being like today,
And you will see what the god does,
When he injures him who injured you.
Do not enter into a crowd,
If you find it in an uproar
And about to come to blows.
Don’t pass anywhere near by,
Keep away from their tumult,
Lest you be brought before the court,
When an inquiry is made.
Stay away from hostile people,
Keep your heart quiet among fighters;
An outsider is not brought to court,
One who knows nothing is not bound in fetters.
(9.1) It is useful to help one whom one loves,
❐So as to cleanse him of his faults;❒
❐You will be sage from his errors,❒

The first of the herd leads to the field.

Do not control your wife in her house,
When you know she is efficient;
Don’t say to her: “Where is it? Get it!”
When she has put it in the right place.
Let your eye observe in silence,
Then you recognize her (9.5) skill;
It is joy when your hand is with her,
There are many who don’t know this.
If a man desists from strife at home,
He will not encounter its beginning.
Every man who founds a household
Should hold back the hasty heart.
Do not go after a woman,
Let her not steal your heart.
Do not talk back to an angry superior,
Let him have his way;
Speak sweetly when he speaks sourly,
It’s the remedy that calms the heart.
Fighting answers carry sticks,
And your strength collapses;

Do not vex your heart.
He will return to praise you soon,
When his hour of rage has passed.
If your words please the heart,
(9.10) The heart tends to accept them;
Choose silence for yourself,
Submit to what he does.
Befriend the herald of your quarter,
Do not make him angry with you.
Give him food from your house,
Do not slight his requests;
Say to him, “Welcome, welcome here,”
No blame accrues to him who does it.

The scribe Khonshotep answered his father, the scribe Any:
I wish I were like (you),
As learned as you!
Then I would carry out your teachings,
And the son would be brought to his father’s place.
Each man (9.15) is led by his nature,
You are a man who is a master,
Whose strivings are exalted,
Whose every word is chosen.
The son, he understands little
When he recites the words in the books.
But when your words please the heart,
The heart tends to accept them with joy.
Don’t make your virtues too numerous,
That one may raise one’s thoughts to you;
A boy does not follow the moral instructions,
Though the writings are on his tongue!
The scribe Any answered his son, the scribe Khonshotep:
Do not rely on such worthless thoughts,
Beware of what you do to yourself!
I judge your complaints to be wrong,
I shall set you right about them.
There’s nothing [superfluous in] our words,
Which you say you wished were reduced.
The fighting (10.1) bull who kills in the stable,
He forgets and abandons the arena;
He conquers his nature,
Remembers what he’s learned,
And becomes the like of a fattened ox.
The savage lion abandons his wrath,
And comes to resemble the timid donkey.
The horse slips into its harness,
Obedient it goes outdoors.
The dog obeys the word,
And walks behind its master.
The monkey carries the stick,
Though its mother did not carry it.
(10.5) The goose returns from the pond,
When one comes to shut it in the yard.
One teaches the Nubian to speak Egyptian,
The Syrian and other strangers too.
Say: “I shall do like all the beasts,”
Listen and learn what they do.
The scribe Khonshotep answered his father, the scribe Any:
Do not proclaim your powers,
So as to force me to your ways;
❐Does it not happen to a man to slacken his hand,❒
So as to hear an answer in its place?
Man resembles the god in his way
If he listens to a man’s answer.
❐One (man) cannot know his fellow,❒
If the masses are beasts;
❐One (man) cannot know his teachings,❒
And alone possess a mind,
If the multitudes are foolish.
All your sayings are excellent,
But doing them ❐requires virtues❒
Tell the god who gave you wisdom:
“Set them on your path!”
The scribe Any answered his son, the scribe Khonshotep:
Turn your back to these many words,
That are ❐not worth❒ being heard.
The crooked stick left on the ground,
With sun and shade attacking it,
If the carpenter takes it, he straightens it,
Makes of it a noble’s staff,
And a straight stick makes a collar.
You foolish heart,
Do you wish us to teach,
Or have you been corrupted?
“Look,” said he, “you ❐my father,❒
You who are wise and strong of hand:
The infant in his mother’s arms,
His wish is for what nurses him.”
“Look,” said he, “when he finds his speech,
He says: ‘Give me bread.’ ”

Text: Mariette 1871 pls. 15–28; Suys 1935. Other fragments: Gardiner 1935a 2:50 and 2:27: P. Chester Beatty V, verso 2, 6–11 (= P. Boulaq 4, 3, 1–3 and 6, 1–4); Posener 1935: nos. 1063, 1257, 1258, 1259. Translation: Volten 1937–38; Erman 1927:234–242. ANET 420–421 (excerpts); Volten 1941:373–374; Gardiner 1959a; Lichtheim AEL 2:135–146.
Miriam Lichtheim

With this long work, the Instruction genre reaches its culmination. Its worth lies not in any thematic richness, for its range is much narrower than, for example, that of the Instruction of Ptahhotep. Its worth lies in its quality of inwardness. Though it is still assumed that right thinking and right action will find their reward, worldly success, which had meant so much in the past, has receded into the background. Even poverty is no longer viewed as a misfortune.
The shift of emphasis, away from action and success, and toward contemplation and endurance, leads to an overall regrouping of values and a redefinition of the ideal man. As early as Ptahhotep, the ideal man lacked all martial values; he was a man of peace who strove for advancement and was generous with his wealth. The new ideal man is content with a humble position and a minimal amount of material possessions. His chief characteristic is modesty. He is self-controlled, quiet, and kind toward people, and he is humble before God. This ideal man is indeed not a perfect man, for perfection is now viewed as belonging only to God.
The style of Amenemope is rich in similes and metaphors which are sustained at length and with skill. The work as a whole is carefully composed and unified, both through the device of thirty numbered chapters and through a concentration on two basic themes: first, the depiction of the ideal man, the “silent man,” and his adversary, the “heated man”; second, the exhortation to honesty and warnings against dishonesty. All other themes are subservient to these central ones.
The composition of the work is now usually assigned to the Ramesside period, although all the manuscript copies that have reached us are of later date. It was during the Ramesside age that the tribes of Israel became a nation, and much of Israelite knowledge of things Egyptian, as reflected in the Bible, resulted from contacts during this period. The most tangible literary evidence of these contacts is found in the chips from the Instruction of Amenemope that are embedded in the Book of Proverbs. It can hardly be doubted that the author of Proverbs was acquainted with the Egyptian work and borrowed from it, for in addition to the similarities in thought and expression — especially close and striking in Proverbs 22 and 23 — the line in 22:20: “Have I not written for you thirty sayings of admonition and knowledge” derives its meaning from the author’s acquaintance with the “thirty” chapters of Amenemope. Ever since Adolf Erman pointed this out there has been a consensus among scholars on a literary relationship, although some scholars have tried to interpret it in reverse by claiming priority for the Hebrew text, or have proposed to derive both works from a lost Semitic original.
The Instruction of Amenemope is completely preserved in the British Museum Papyrus 10474. Small portions of it are found on a papyrus in Stockholm, three writing tablets in Turin, Paris, and Moscow, respectively, and an ostracon in the Cairo Museum. In the British Museum papyrus and on the Turin and Louvre tablets the text is written stichically, that is to say, in lines that show the metrical scheme. This is unusual and important, for it allows us to see the metrical organization rather than having to guess it. And since the work is also divided into thirty numbered chapters, we are here precisely informed about two basic features of Egyptian prosody as applied to a particular work: the organization of the metrical line and the grouping of lines into sections or chapters.
The metrical line turns out to be exactly what one expects it to be. It consists of self–contained sentences or clauses. Through parallelism and related devices the lines are grouped loosely into distichs, tristichs, and quatrains. There is no indication that these groups of lines were further gathered into strophes or stanzas. Nor would such strophes be suited to the nature of instructional works. For the Instructions consist of thoughts developed freely over greater or lesser length, and the natural divisions occur when one topic is concluded and another taken up. In earlier Instructions such divisions were not marked by graphic or verbal devices; in Amenemope they are brought out clearly through the use of numbered chapters.
Amenemope is a difficult text. It abounds in rare words, elliptic phrases, and allusions whose meaning escapes us. Furthermore, the copying scribes introduced numerous errors. But we are fortunate to have the complete text preserved in the British Museum Papyrus, where it occupies all twenty–seven pages of the recto and the first line of the verso.
I.1 Beginning of the teaching for life,
The instructions for well–being,
Every rule for relations with elders,
For conduct toward magistrates;
5 Knowing how to answer one who speaks,
To reply to one who sends a message.
So as to direct him on the paths of life,
To make him prosper upon earth;
To let his heart enter its shrine,
10 Steering clear of evil;
To save him from the mouth of strangers,
To let (him) be praised in the mouth of people.
Made by the overseer of fields, experienced in his office,
The offspring of a scribe of Egypt,
15 The overseer of grains who controls the measure,
Who sets the harvest–dues for his lord,
Who registers the islands of new land,
In the great name of his majesty,
Who records the markers on the borders of fields,
II.1 Who acts for the king in his listing of taxes,
Who makes the land–register of Egypt;
The scribe who determines the offerings for all the gods.
Who gives land–leases to the people,
5 The overseer of grains, [provider of] foods,
Who supplies the granary with grains;
The truly silent in This of Ta–wer,
The justified in Ipu,
Who owns a tomb on the west of Senu,
10 Who has a chapel at Abydos,
Amenemope, the son of Kanakht,
The justified in Ta-wer.
<For> his son, the youngest of his children,
The smallest of his family,
15 The devotee of Min–Kamutef,
The water-pourer of Wennofer,
Who places Horus on his father’s throne,
Who guards him in his noble shrine,
Who –––––
III.1 The guardian of the mother of god,
Inspector of the black cattle of the terrace of Min,
Who protects Min in his shrine:
Hor–em–maakher is his true name,
5 The child of a nobleman of Ipu,
The son of the sistrum–player of Shu and Tefnut,
And chief songstress of Horus, Tawosre.
Chapter 1
He says:
Give your ears, hear the sayings,
10 Give your heart to understand them;
It profits to put them in your heart,
Woe to him who neglects them!
Let them rest in the casket of your belly,
May they be bolted in your heart;
15 When there rises a whirlwind of words,
They’ll be a mooring post for your tongue.
If you make your life with these in your heart,
You will find it a success;
IV.1 You will find my words a storehouse for life,
Your being will prosper upon earth.
Chapter 2
Beware of robbing a wretch,
5 Of attacking a cripple;
Don’t stretch out your hand to touch an old man,
Nor ❐open your mouth❒ to an elder.
Don’t let yourself be sent on a mischievous errand,
Nor be friends with him who does it.
10 Don’t raise an outcry against one who attacks you,
Nor answer him yourself.
He who does evil, the shore rejects him,
Its floodwater carries him away.
The northwind descends to end his hour,
15 It mingles with the thunderstorm.
The storm cloud is tall, the crocodiles are vicious,
You heated man, how are you now?
He cries out, his voice reaches heaven,
It is the Moon who declares his crime.
V.1 Steer, we will ferry the wicked,
We do not act like his kind;
Lift him up, give him your hand,
Leave him <in> the hands of the god;
5 Fill his belly with bread of your own,
That he be sated and weep.
Another thing good in the heart of the god:
To pause before speaking.
Chapter 3
10 Don’t start a quarrel with a hot-mouthed man,
Nor needle him with words.
Pause before a foe, bend before an attacker,
Sleep (on it) before speaking.
A storm that bursts like fire in straw,
15 Such is the heated man in his hour.
Withdraw from him, leave him alone,
The god knows how to answer him.
If you make your life with these (words) in your heart,
Your children will observe them.
Chapter 4
As for the heated man in the temple,
He is like a tree growing ❐indoors❒;
A moment lasts its growth of ❐shoots❒.
Its end comes about in the ❐woodshed❒;
VI.5 It is floated far from its place,
The flame is its burial shroud.
The truly silent, who keeps apart,
He is like a tree grown in a meadow.
It greens, it doubles its yield,
10 It stands in front of its lord.
Its fruit is sweet, its shade delightful,
Its end comes in the garden.
Chapter 5
Do not falsify the temple rations,
15 Do not grasp and you’ll find profit.
Do not remove a servant of the god,
So as to do favors to another.
Do not say: “Today is like tomorrow,”
How will this end?
VII.1 Comes tomorrow, today has vanished,
The deep has become the water’s edge.
Crocodiles are bared, hippopotami stranded,
The fish crowded together.
5 Jackals are sated, birds are in feast,
The fishnets have been drained.
But all the silent in the temple,
They say: “Re’s blessing is great.”
Cling to the silent, then you find life.
10 Your being will prosper upon earth.
Chapter 6
Do not move the markers on the borders of fields,
Nor shift the position of the measuring-cord.
Do not be greedy for a cubit of land,
15 Nor encroach on the boundaries of a widow.
The trodden furrow worn down by time,
He who disguises it in the fields,
When he has snared (it) by false oaths,
He will be caught by the might of the Moon.
VIII.1 Recognize him who does this on earth:
He is an oppressor of the weak,
A foe bent on destroying your being,
The taking of life is in his eye.
5 His house is an enemy to the town,
His storage bins will be destroyed
His wealth will be seized from his children’s hands,
His possessions will be given to another.
Beware of destroying the borders of fields,
10 Lest a terror carry you away;
One pleases god with the might of the lord
When one discerns the borders of fields.
Desire your being to be sound,
Beware of the Lord of All;
15 Do not erase another’s furrow,
It profits you to keep it sound.
Plow your fields and you’ll find what you need,
You’ll receive bread from your threshing-floor.
Better is a bushel given you by the god,
20 Than five thousand through wrongdoing.
IX.1 They stay not a day in bin and barn,
They make no food for the beer jar,
A moment is their stay in the granary,
Comes morning they have vanished.
5 Better is poverty in the hand of the god,
Than wealth in the storehouse;
Better is bread with a happy heart
Than wealth with vexation.
Chapter 7
10 Do not set your heart on wealth,
There is no ignoring Fate and Destiny;
Do not let your heart go straying,
Every man comes to his hour.
Do not strain to seek increase,
15 What you have, let it suffice you.
If riches come to you by theft,
They will not stay the night with you.
Comes day they are not in your house
Their place is seen but they’re not there;
20 Earth opened its mouth, leveled them, swallowed them,
X.1 And made them sink into dat.
They made a hole as big as their size,
And sank into the netherworld;
They made themselves wings like geese,
5 And flew away to the sky.
Do not rejoice in wealth from theft,
Nor complain of being poor.
If the leading archer presses forward,
His company abandons him;
10 The boat of the greedy is left (in) the mud,
While the bark of the silent sails with the Wind.
You shall pray to the Aten when he rises,
Saying: “Grant me well–being and health”;
He will give you your needs for this life,
15 And you will be safe from fear.
Chapter 8
Set your goodness before people,
Then you are greeted by all;
One welcomes the Uraeus,
20 One spits upon Apopis. Guard your tongue from harmful speech,
XI.1 Then you will be loved by others.
You will find your place in the house of god,
You will share in the offerings of your lord.
When you’re revered and your coffin conceals you
5 You will be safe from the power of god.
Do not shout “crime” against a man,
When the cause of (his) flight is hidden.
Whether you hear something good or evil,
Do it outside where it is not heard.
10 Put the good remark on your tongue,
While the bad is concealed in your belly.
Chapter 9
Do not befriend the heated man,
Nor approach him for conversation.
15 Keep your tongue from answering your superior,
And take care not to insult him.
Let him not cast his speech to catch you,
Nor give free rein to your answer.
Converse with a man of your own measure,
20 And take care not to ❐offend❒ him.
XII.1 Swift is the speech of one who is angered,
More than wind ❐over❒ water.
He tears down, he builds up with his tongue,
When he makes his hurtful speech.
5 He gives an answer worthy of a beating,
For its weight is harm.
He hauls freight like all the world,
But his load is falsehood.
He is the ferry-man of snaring words,
10 He goes and comes with quarrels.
When he eats and drinks inside,
His answer is (heard) outside.
The day he is charged with his crime is misfortune for his children.
15 If only Khnum came to him,
The Potter to the heated man,
So as to knead the ❐faulty❒ heart.
He is like a young wolf in the farmyard,
He turns one eye against the other,
XIII.1 He causes brothers to quarrel.
He runs before every wind like clouds,
He dims the radiance of the sun;
He flips his tail like the crocodile’s young,
5 ❐He draws himself up so as to strike.❒
His lips are sweet, his tongue is bitter,
A fire burns in his belly.
Don’t leap to join such a one,
Lest a terror carry you away.
Chapter 10
Don’t force yourself to greet the heated man,
For then you injure your own heart;
Do not say “greetings” to him falsely,
While there is terror in your belly.
15 Do not speak falsely to a man,
The god abhors it;
Do not sever your heart from your tongue,
That all your strivings may succeed.
You will be weighty before the others,
XIV.1 And secure in the hand of the god.
God hates the falsifier of words,
He greatly abhors the dissembler.
Chapter 11
5 Do not covet a poor man’s goods,
Nor hunger for his bread;
A poor man’s goods are a block in the throat,
It makes the gullet vomit.
He who makes gain by lying oaths,
10 His heart is misled by his belly;
Where there is fraud success is feeble,
The bad spoils the good.
You will be guilty before your superior,
And confused in your account;
15 Your pleas will be answered by a curse,
Your prostrations by a beating.
The big mouthful of bread — you swallow, you vomit it,
And you are emptied of your gain.
Observe the overseer of the poor,
XV.1 When the stick attains him;
All his people are bound in chains,
And he is led to the executioner.
If you are released before your superior,
5 You are yet hateful to your subordinates;
Steer away from the poor man on the road,
Look at him and keep clear of his goods.
Chapter 12
Do not desire a noble’s wealth,
10 Nor make free with a big mouthful of bread;
If he sets you to manage his property,
Shun his, and yours will prosper.
Do not converse with a heated man,
So as to befriend a hostile man.
15 If you are sent to transport straw,
Stay away from its container.
If a man is observed on a fraudulent errand,
He will not be sent on another occasion.
Chapter 13
Do not cheat a man <through> pen on scroll,
The god abhors it;
XVI.1 Do not bear witness with false words,
So as to brush aside a man by your tongue.
Do not assess a man who has nothing,
And thus falsify your pen.
5 If you find a large debt against a poor man,
Make it into three parts;
Forgive two, let one stand,
You will find it a path of life.
After sleep, when you wake in the morning,
10 You will find it as good news.
Better is praise with the love of men
Than wealth in the storehouse;
Better is bread with a happy heart
Than wealth with vexation.
15 Chapter 14
Do not recall yourself to a man,
Nor strain to seek his hand.
If he says to you: “Here is a gift.
❐No have-not❒ will refuse it,”
Don’t blink at him, nor bow your head,
Nor turn aside your gaze.
Salute him with your mouth, say, “Greetings,”
XVII.1 He will desist, and you succeed.
Do not rebuff him in his approach,
❐Another time he’ll be taken away.❒
Chapter 15
5 Do the good and you will prosper,
Do not dip your pen to injure a man.
The finger of the scribe is the beak of the Ibis,
Beware of brushing it aside.
The Ape dwells in the House of Khmun,
10 His eye encircles the Two Lands;
When he sees one who cheats with his finger,
He carries his livelihood off in the flood.
The scribe who cheats with his finger,
His son will not be enrolled.
15 If you make your life with these (words) in your heart,
Your children will observe them.
Chapter 16
Do not move the scales nor alter the weights,
Nor diminish the fractions of the measure;
20 Do not desire a measure of the fields,
Nor neglect those of the treasury.
The Ape sits by the balance,
XVIII.1 His heart is in the plummet;
Where is a god as great as Thoth,
Who invented these things and made them?
Do not make for yourself deficient weights,
5 They are rich in grief through the might of god.
If you see someone who cheats,
Keep your distance from him.
Do not covet copper,
Disdain beautiful linen;
10 What good is one dressed in finery,
If he cheats before the god?
Faience disguised as gold,
Comes day, it turns to lead.
Chapter 17
15 Beware of disguising the measure,
So as to falsify its fractions;
Do not force it to overflow,
Nor let its belly be empty.
Measure according to its true size,
20 Your hand clearing exactly.
Do not make a bushel of twice its size,
For then you are headed for the abyss.
The bushel is the Eye of Re,
XIX.1 It abhors him who trims;
A measurer who indulges in cheating,
His Eye seals (the verdict) against him.
Do not accept a farmer’s dues
5 And then assess him so as to injure him;
Do not conspire with the measurer,
So as to defraud the share of the Residence.
Greater is the might of the threshing floor
Than an oath by the great throne.
10 Chapter 18
Do not lie down in fear of tomorrow:
“Comes day, how will tomorrow be?”
Man ignores how tomorrow will be;
God is ever in his perfection,
15 Man is ever in his failure.
The words men say are one thing,
The deeds of the god are another.
Do not say: “I have done no wrong,”
And then strain to seek a quarrel;
20 The wrong belongs to the god,
He seals (the verdict) with his finger.
There is no perfection before the god,
But there is failure before him;
XX.1 If one strains to seek perfection,
In a moment he has marred it.
Keep firm your heart, steady your heart,
Do not steer with your tongue;
5 If a man’s tongue is the boat’s rudder,
The Lord of All is yet its pilot.
Chapter 19
Do not go to court before an official
In order to falsify your words;
10 Do not vacillate in your answers,
When your witnesses accuse.
Do not strain <with> oaths by your lord,
<With> speeches at the hearing;
Tell the truth before the official,
15 Lest he lay a hand on you.
If another day you come before him,
He will incline to all you say;
He will relate your speech to the Council of Thirty,
It will be observed on another occasion.
20 Chapter 20
Do not confound a man in the law court,
In order to brush aside one who is right.
XXI.1 Do not incline to the well–dressed man,
And rebuff the one in rags.
Don’t accept the gift of a powerful man,
And deprive the weak for his sake.
5 Maat is a great gift of god,
He gives it to whom he wishes.
The might of him who resembles him,
It saves the poor from his tormentor.
Do not make for yourself false documents,
10 They are a deadly provocation;
They (mean) the great restraining oath,
They (mean) a hearing by the herald.
Don’t falsify the oracles in the scrolls,
And thus disturb the plans of god;
15 Don’t use for yourself the might of god,
As if there were no Fate and Destiny.
Hand over property to its owners,
Thus do you seek life for yourself;
Don’t raise your desire in their house,
20 Or your bones belong to the execution-block.
Chapter 21
XXII.1 Do not say: “Find me a strong superior,
For a man in your town has injured me”;
Do not say: “Find me a protector,
For one who hates me has injured me.”
5 Indeed you do not know the plans of god,
And should not weep for tomorrow;
Settle in the arms of the god,
Your silence will overthrow them.
The crocodile that makes no sound,
10 Dread of it is ancient.
Do not empty your belly to everyone,
And thus destroy respect of you;
Broadcast not your words to others,
Nor join with one who bares his heart.
15 Better is one whose speech is in his belly
Than he who tells it to cause harm.
One does not run to reach success,
One does not move to spoil it.
Chapter 22
20 Do not provoke your adversary,
So as to <make> him tell his thoughts;
Do not leap to come before him,
XXIII.1 When you do not see his doings.
First gain insight from his answer,
Then keep still and you’ll succeed.
Leave it to him to empty his belly,
5 Know how to sleep, he’ll be found out.
❐Grasp his legs,❒ do not harm him,
Be wary of him, do not ignore him.
Indeed you do not know the plans of god,
And should not weep for tomorrow;
10 Settle in the arms of the god,
Your silence will overthrow them.
Chapter 23
Do not eat in the presence of an official
And then set your mouth before <him>;
15 If you are sated pretend to chew,
Content yourself with your saliva.
Look at the bowl that is before you,
And let it serve your needs.
An official is great in his office,
20 As a well is rich in drawings of water.
Chapter 24
Do not listen to an official’s reply indoors
XXIV.1 In order to repeat it to another outside.
Do not let your word be carried outside,
Lest your heart be aggrieved.
The heart of man is a gift of god,
5 Beware of neglecting it.
The man at the side of an official,
His name should not be known.
Chapter 25
Do not laugh at a blind man,
Nor tease a dwarf,
10 Nor cause hardship for the lame.
Don’t tease a man who is in the hand of the god,
Nor be angry with him for his failings.
Man is clay and straw,
The god is his builder.
15 He tears down, he builds up daily,
He makes a thousand poor by his will,
He makes a thousand men into chiefs,
When he is in his hour of life.
Happy is he who reaches the west,
20 When he is safe in the hand of the god.
Chapter 26
Do not sit down in the beer–house
XXV.1 In order to join one greater than you,
Be he a youth great through his office,
Or be he an elder through birth.
Befriend a man of your own measure,
5 Re is helpful from afar.
If you see one greater than you outdoors,
Walk behind him respectfully;
Give a hand to an elder sated with beer,
Respect him as his children would.
10 The arm is not hurt by being bared,
The back is not broken by bending it.
A man does not lose by speaking sweetly,
Nor does he gain if his speech bristles.
The pilot who sees from afar,
15 He will not wreck his boat.
Chapter 27
Do not revile one older than you,
He has seen Re before you;
Let <him> not report you to the Aten at his rising,
20 Saying: “A youth has reviled an old man.”
Very painful before Pre
XXVI.1 Is a youth who reviles an elder.
Let him beat you while your hand is on your chest,
Let him revile you while you are silent;
If next day you come before him,
5 He will give you food in plenty.
A dog’s food is from its master,
It barks to him who gives it.
Chapter 28
Do not pounce on a widow when you find her in the fields
10 And then fail to be patient with her reply.
Do not refuse your oil jar to a stranger,
Double it before your brothers.
God prefers him who honors the poor
To him who worships the wealthy.
Chapter 29
Do not prevent people from crossing the river,
If you stride freely in the ferry.
When you are given an oar in the midst of the deep,
Bend your arms and take it.
20 It is no crime before the god,
XXVII.1 ❐If the passenger is not passed up❒
Don’t make yourself a ferry on the river
And then strain to seek its fare;
Take the fare from him who is wealthy,
5 And let pass him who is poor.
Chapter 30
Look to these thirty chapters,
They inform, they educate;
They are the foremost of all books,
10 They make the ignorant wise.
If they are read to the ignorant,
He is cleansed through them.
Be filled with them, put them in your heart,
And become a man who expounds them,
15 One who expounds as a teacher.
The scribe who is skilled in his office,
He is found worthy to be a courtier.
That is its end.
XXVIII.1 Written by Senu, son of the divine father Pemu.

Text: Budge 1923:9–18 and 41–51 and pls. 1–14; Lange 1925. Translation: Erman 1924b cols 241–252; Budge 1924:93–234; Griffith 1926:191–231; Lexa 1929:14–49; von Bissing 1955:80–90; ANET 421–424 (excerpts); Simpson, 1972:241–265; Grumach 1972; Lichtheim AEL 2:146–163. Discussion: Erman 1924 no.15; Simpson 1926:232–239; Humbert 1929 ch. 2; Williams 1961:100–106; Peterson 1966:120–128 and pls. xxxi-xxxiA (the Stockholm fragment); Posener 1966:45–62 and pls. 1–2 (the three tablets); Anthes 1970:9–18; Posener 1973:129–135; Loprieno 1980:47–76; Ruffle 1977:29–68.
Miriam Lichtheim

Like the other Instructions, this work has a prologue and an epilogue which frame the actual teaching and set its stage. A father conducts his young son to the residence in order to place him in school, and during the journey he instructs him in the duties and rewards of the scribal profession. In order to stress the amenities and advantages that accrue to the successful scribe, he contrasts the scribal career with the hardships of other trades and professions, eighteen of which are described in the most unflattering terms.
Ever since Maspero called this Instruction “Satire des Métiers,” scholars have understood it to be a satire, that is to say, a deliberately derisive characterization of all trades other than the scribal profession. Helck, however, in his new edition of the text has denied its satiric character and has claimed it to be a wholly serious, non–humorous work. I continue to think of it as a satire. What are the stylistic means of satire? Exaggeration and a lightness of tone designed to induce laughter and a mild contempt. Our text achieves its satirical effects by exaggerating the true hardships of the professions described, and by suppressing all their positive and rewarding aspects.
If it were argued that the exaggerations were meant to be taken seriously we would have to conclude that the scribal profession practiced deliberate deception out of a contempt for manual labor so profound as to be unrelieved by humor. Such a conclusion is, however, belied by all the literary and pictorial evidence. For tomb reliefs and texts alike breathe joy and pride in the accomplishments of labor. Moreover, the principal didactic works, such as Ptahhotep and the Eloquent Peasant, teach respect for all labor.
In short, the unrelievedly negative descriptions of the laboring professions are examples of humor in the service of literary satire. The result is obtained through unflattering comparisons and through exaggerations that rise to outright fabrications. What if not a fabrication for the sake of caricature is a bird–catcher who does not have a net — the very tool of his trade? What if not a caricature is a potter who is compared to a grubbing pig, a cobbler whose hides are termed “corpses,” a courier terrorized out of his wits by the dangers of the road, and a fisherman blinded by his fear of crocodiles?
The text is preserved entirely in P. Sallier II, and partially in P. Anastasi VII (both in the British Museum), both of which were written by the same Nineteenth Dynasty scribe. Small portions are preserved on an Eighteenth Dynasty writing board in the Louvre, the Eighteenth Dynasty P. Amherst in the Pierpont Morgan Library, P. Chester Beatty XIX of the British Museum, and numerous, mostly Ramesside, ostraca.
Though ample, the textual transmission is exceedingly corrupt. Helck’s comprehensive new edition has advanced the understanding considerably. But the corruptions are so numerous and so extreme that there remains much room for differing conjectures and interpretations.
(3.9) Beginning of the Instruction made by the man of Sile, whose name is ❐Dua–khety❒, for his son, called Pepi, as he journeyed south (4.1) to the residence, to place him in the school for scribes, among the sons of magistrates, with the elite of the residence. He said to him:
I have seen many beatings —
Set your heart on books!
I watched those seized for labor —
There’s nothing better than books!
It’s like a boat on water.
Read the end of the Kemit–Book,
You’ll find this saying there:
A scribe at whatever post in town,
He will not suffer in it;
As he fills another’s need,
He will ❐not lack rewards❒.
I don’t see a calling like it
Of which this saying could be (5) said.
I’ll make you love scribedom more than yourmother,
I’ll make its beauties stand before you;
It’s the greatest of all callings,
There’s none like it in the land.
Barely grown, still a child,
He is greeted, sent on errands,
Hardly returned he wears a gown.
I never saw a sculptor as envoy,
Nor is a goldsmith ever sent;
But I have seen the smith at work
At the opening of his furnace;
With fingers like claws of a crocodile
He stinks more than fish roe.
The carpenter who wields an adze,
He is wearier than a field–laborer;
His field is the timber, his hoe the adze.
There is no end to his labor,
He does more (5.1) than his arms can do,
Yet at night he kindles light.
The jewel–maker bores with his chisel
In hard stone of all kinds;
When he has finished the inlay of the eye,
His arms are spent, he’s weary;
Sitting down when the sun goes down,
His knees and back are cramped.
The barber barbers till nightfall,
He betakes himself to town,
He sets himself up in his corner,
He moves from street to street,
Looking for someone to barber.
He strains his arms to fill his belly,
(5) Like the bee that eats as it works.
The reed–cutter travels to the Delta to get arrows;
When he has done more than his arms can do,
Mosquitoes have slain him,
Gnats have slaughtered him,
He is quite worn out.
The potter is under the soil,
Though as yet among the living;
He grubs in the mud more than a pig,
In order to fire his pots.
His clothes are stiff with clay,
His girdle is in shreds;
If air enters his nose,
It comes straight from the fire.
He makes a pounding with his feet,
And is himself crushed;
He grubs the yard of every house
And roams the public places.
(6.1) I’ll describe to you also the mason:
His loins give him pain;
Though he is out in the wind,
He works without a cloak;
His loincloth is a twisted rope
And a string in the rear.
His arms are spent from exertion,
Having mixed all kinds of dirt;
When he eats bread [with] his fingers,
❐He has washed at the same time❒.
The carpenter also suffers much

The room measures ten by six cubits.
A month passes after the beams are laid,

And all its work is done.
(5) The food which he gives to his household,
It does not ❐suffice❒ for his children.
The gardener carries a yoke,
His shoulders are bent as with age;
There’s a swelling on his neck
And it festers.
In the morning he waters vegetables,
The evening he spends with the herbs,
While at noon he has toiled in the orchard.
He works himself to death
More than all other professions.
The farmer wails more than the guinea fowl,
His voice is louder than a raven’s;
His fingers are swollen
And stink to excess.
He is weary …
… (7.1) …
He is well if one’s well among lions.

When he reaches home at night,
The march has worn him out.
The weaver in the workshop,
He is worse off than a woman;
With knees against his chest,
He cannot breathe air.
If he skips a day of weaving,
He is beaten fifty strokes;
He gives food to the doorkeeper,
To let him see the light of day.
The arrow–maker suffers much
As he goes out (5) to the desert;
More is what he gives his donkey
Than the work it does for him.
Much is what he gives the herdsmen,
So they’ll put him on his way.
When he reaches home at night,
The march has worn him out.
The courier goes into the desert,
Leaving his goods to his children;
Fearful of lions and Asiatics,
He knows himself (only) when he’s in Egypt.
When he reaches home at night,
The march has worn him out;
Be his home of cloth or brick,
His return is joyless.
The ❐stoker❒, his fingers are foul,
Their smell is that of corpses;
His eyes are inflamed by much smoke,
(8.1) He cannot get rid of his dirt.
He spends the day cutting reeds,
His clothes are loathsome to him.
The cobbler suffers much
Among his vats of oil;
He is well if one’s well with corpses,
What he bites is leather.
The washerman washes on the shore
With the crocodile as neighbor;
❐“Father, leave the flowing water,”❒
Say his son, his daughter,
❐It is not a job that satisfies❒

His food is mixed with dirt,
No limb of his is clean
❐He is given❒ (5) women’s clothes,

He weeps as he spends the day at his wash-board

One says to him, “Soiled linen for you,”

The bird–catcher suffers much
As he watches out for birds;
When the swarms pass over him,
He keeps saying, “Had I a net!”
But the god grants it not,
And he’s angry with his lot.
I’ll speak of the fisherman also,
His is the worst of all the jobs;
He labors on the river,
Mingling with crocodiles.
When the time of reckoning comes,
He is full of lamentations;
He does not say, “There’s a (9.1) crocodile,”
Fear has made him blind.
❐Coming from❒ the flowing water
He says, “Mighty god!”
See, there’s no profession without a boss,
Except for the scribe; he is the boss.
Hence if you know writing,
It will do better for you
Than those professions I’ve set before you,
Each more wretched than the other.
A peasant is not called a man,
Beware of it!
Lo, what I do in journeying to the residence,
Lo, I do it for love of you.
The day in school will profit you
Its works are for ever …

I’ll tell you also other things,
So as to teach you knowledge.
Such as: if a quarrel breaks out,
Do not approach the contenders!
If you are chided …
And don’t know how to repel the heat,
❐Call the listeners to witness❒,
And delay the answer.
When you walk behind officials,
Follow at a proper distance.
When you enter a man’s house,
And he’s busy with someone before you,
Sit with your hand over your mouth.
Do not ask him for anything,
Only do as he tells you,
Beware of rushing to the table!
Be weighty and very dignified,
Do not speak of (10.1) secret things,
Who hides his thought shields himself.
Do not say things recklessly,
When you sit with one who’s hostile.
If you leave the schoolhouse
When midday is called,
And go roaming in the streets,
❐All will scold you in the end❒.
When an official sends you with a message,
Tell it as he told it,
Don’t omit, don’t add to it.
He who neglects to praise,
His name will not endure;
He who is skilled in all his conduct,
From him nothing is hidden,
He is not ❐opposed❒ anywhere.
Do not tell lies (5) against your mother,
The magistrates abhor it.
The descendant who does what is good,
His actions all emulate the past.
Do not consort with a rowdy,
It harms you when one hears of it.
If you have eaten three loaves,
Drunk two jugs of beer,
And the belly is not sated, restrain it!
When another eats, don’t stand there,
Beware of rushing to the table!
It is good if you are sent out often,
And hear the magistrates speak.
You should acquire the manner of the well-born,
As you follow in their steps.
The scribe is regarded as one who hears,
For the hearer becomes a doer.
You should rise when you are addressed,
Your feet should hurry when you go;
❐Do not❒ (11.1) ❐trust❒.
Associate with men of distinction,
Befriend a man of your generation.
Lo, I have set you on god’s path,
A scribe’s Renenet is on his shoulder
On the day he is born.
When he attains the council chamber,
The court …
Lo, no scribe is short of food
And of riches from the palace.
The Meskhenet assigned to the scribe,
She promotes him in the council.
Praise god for your father, your mother,
Who set you on the path of life!
This is what I put before you,
Your children and their children.
(5) It has come to a happy conclusion.

Text: Budge 1910:pls. 65–73. Brunner 1944; Helck 1970. Translation: Erman 1927:67–72; Van de Walle 1949:244–256; ANET 432–434; Lichtheim AEL 1:184–192; Studies: Piankoff 1933:51–74; Théodoridès 1958–1960:39–69; Van de Walle 1947:50–72;11; Seibert 1967:99–192.

The extant Egyptian love song texts all date from the 19th dynasty (ca. 1305–1200 BCE) and the early 20th dynasty (ca. 1200–1150 BCE). The songs’ composition too seems to date from the Ramesside period. They are collected on large papyri or inscribed on ostraca. They are sometimes labelled “Entertainment” (lit. “diverting the heart”) and probably served to entertain guests at banquets. Numerous tomb murals show musicians singing to the guests and urging them to “divert” their hearts.
The sex of the speakers is indicated by grammatical gender. They all seem to be adolescents living under their parents’ control. For a hieroglyphic transcription, translation, commentary, see Fox (1985). The numbering in the following is according to the numeration in Fox 1985 (see 5–7). Some of the following are stanzas extracted from longer songs. The translation below presupposes some minor emendations and supplies some pronouns and minor connectives.
Michael V. Fox

BM 10060 (HPBM 2, pls. XLI-XLVI). The manuscript is a sort of literary anthology, containing two stories (“The Doomed Prince” and “The Capture of Joppa”), a mortuary song (the “Harper’s Song”) and three groups of love songs.
(Girl) (Number 4)
My heart is not yet done with your love,
my wolf cub!
Your liquor is your lovemaking. b
I will not abandon it
until blows drive me away
to spend my days in the marshes, (or)
to the land of Syria with sticks and rods,
to the land of Nubia with palms,
to the highlands with switches,
to the lowlands with cudgels.
I will not listen to their advice.
(Boy) (Number 6)
I will lie down inside,
and then I will feign illness.
Then my neighbors will enter to see,
and then my sister
will come with them.
She’ll put the doctors to shame
for she (alone) will understand my illness. c
(Girl) (Number 10)
The voice of the goose cries out,
as he’s trapped by the bait.
Your love restrains me,
so that I can’t release it.
I’ll take my nets,
but what shall I say to Mother,
to whom I go every day
laden down with birds?
I set no trap today —
your love captured me.
(Girl) (Number 11)
The goose soars and alights:
while the ordinary birds circle,
he has disturbed the garden.

I am excited (?) by your love alone.
My heart is in balance with your heart.
May I never be far from your beauty!
(Girl) (Number 12)
I have departed [from my brother].
[Now when I think of] your love,
my heart stands still within me.
When I behold sw[eet] cakes,
[they seem like] salt.
Pomegranate wine, (once) sweet in my mouth —
it is (now) like the gall of birds.
The scent of your nose alone d
is what revives my heart.
I have obtained forever and ever
what Amun has granted me.
(Girl) (Number 13)
The most beautiful thing has come to pass!
My heart [desires] (to tend)
your property (?)
as the mistress of your house,
while your arm rests on my arm,
for my love has surrounded you.
I say to my heart within me in prayer:
[“Give me] my prince tonight,
or I am like one who lies in her grave!”
For are you not health and life itself?
The approach [of your face
will give me j]oy for your health,
for my heart seeks you.
The Beginning of the Song of Entertainment
(Girl) (Number 17)
my heart is in balance with yours.
For you I’ll do what it wills,
when I’m in your embrace.
It is my prayer that paints my eyes.
Seeing you has brightened my eyes.
I’ve drawn near you to see your love,
O prince of my heart!
How lovely is my hour (with you)!
This hour flows forth for me forever —
it began when I lay with you.
In sorrow and in joy,
you have exalted my heart.
Do not [leave] me.
(Girl) (Number 18)
In it are sʿʾm–trees;
before them one is exalted:
I am your favorite girl.
I am yours like the field
planted with flowers
and with all sorts of fragrant plants. e
Pleasant is the canal within it,
which your hand scooped out,
while we cooled ourselves in the north wind:
a lovely place for strolling about,
with your hand upon mine!
My body is satisfied,
and my heart rejoices
in our walking about together.
To hear your voice is pomegranate wine (to me):
I draw life from hearing it.
Could I see you with every glance,
it would be better for me
than to eat or to drink.
(Deir el-Medineh 1266 + Cairo cat. 25218; Posener 1972)
Michael V. Fox

The following are stanzas from the second of two seven-stanza love songs (numbers 21A-21G) written on a vase, now shattered.
(Boy) (Number 21A)
If only I were her Nubian maid,
her attendant in secret!
She brings her [a bowl of] mandragoras …
It is in her hand,
while she gives pleasure.
In other words:
she would grant me
the hue of her whole body.
(Boy) (Number 21B)
If only I were the laundryman
of my sister’s linen garment
even for one month!
I would be strengthened
by grasping [the clothes]
that touch her body.
For it would be I who washed out the moringa oils
that are in her kerchief.
Then I’d rub my body
with her cast–off garments,
and she …
[Oh I would be in] joy and delight,
my [bo]dy vigorous!
(Boy) (Number 21C)
If only I were her little seal–ring,
the keeper of her finger!
I would see her love
each and every day, …
[and it would be I who] stole her heart …
(Gardiner 1931)
Michael V. Fox

A large papyrus containing three groups of love songs, the tale of “Horus and Seth,” two hymns to the king, and a short business note.
From Pap. Chester Betty I, C1,1-C5,2; the first group of love songs.
The Beginning of the Sayings of the Great Entertainer
(Boy) (Number 31)
One alone is my sister, having no peer:
more gracious than all other women.
Behold her, like Sothis rising
at the beginning of a good year:
shining, precious, white of skin,
lovely of eyes when gazing.
Sweet her lips when speaking:
she has no excess of words.
Long of neck, white of breast,
her hair true lapis lazuli.
Her arms surpass gold,
her fingers are like lotuses.
Full (?) her derrière, narrow (?) her waist,
her thighs carry on her beauties.
Lovely of walk when she strides on the ground,
she has captured my heart in her embrace.
She makes the heads of all men
turn about when seeing her.
Fortunate is whoever embraces her —
he is like the foremost of lovers.
Her coming forth appears
like (that of) the one yonder — the Unique One. h
(Girl) (Number 32)
Second Stanza
My brother roils my heart with his voice,
making me take ill.
Though he is among the neighbors of my mother’s house,
I cannot go to him.
Mother is right to command me thus:
“Avoid seeing him!”
Yet my heart is vexed when he comes to mind,
for love of him has captured me.
He is senseless of heart —
and I am just like him!
He does not know my desires to embrace him,
or he would send word to my mother.
O brother, I am decreed for you
by the Golden One.
Come to me that I may see your beauty!
May father and mother be glad!
May all people rejoice in you together,
rejoice in you, my brother!

(Girl) (Number 34)
Fourth Stanza
My heart quickly scurries away
when I think of your love.
It does not let me act like a (normal) person —
it has leapt from its place.
It does not let me don a tunic;
I cannot put on my cloak.
I cannot apply paint to my eyes;
I cannot anoint myself at all!
“Don’t stop until you get inside” —
thus it says to me, whenever I think of him.
O my heart, don’t make me foolish!
Why do you act crazy?
Sit still, cool down, until (my) brother comes to you,
when I shall do many such things (?).
Don’t let people say about me:
“This woman has collapsed out of love.”
Stand firm whenever you think of him,
my heart, and scurry not away.

(Girl) (Number 36)
Sixth Stanza
I passed close by his house,
and found his door ajar.
My brother was standing beside his mother,
and with him all his kin.
Love of him captures the heart
of all who stride upon the way —
a precious youth without peer!
A brother excellent of character!
He gazed at me when I passed by,
but I exult by myself.
How joyful my heart in rejoicing,
my brother, since I (first) beheld you!
If only mother knew my heart —
she would go inside for a while.
O Golden One, put that in her heart!
Then I could hurry to my brother
and kiss him before his company,
and not be ashamed because of anyone. i
I would be happy to have them see
that you know me,
and I’d hold festival to my goddess.
My heart leaps up to go forth
to make me gaze on my brother tonight.
How lovely it is to pass by!
(Boy) (Number 37)
Seventh Stanza
Seven whole days I have not seen my sister.
Illness has invaded me,
my limbs have grown heavy,
and I barely sense my own body.
Should the master physicians come to me,
their medicines could not ease my heart.
The lector–priests have no (good) method,
because my illness cannot be diagnosed.
Telling me, “Here she is!” — that’s what will revive me.
Her name — that’s what will get me up.
The coming and going of her messengers —
that’s what will revive my heart.
More potent than any medicine is my sister for me;
she is more powerful for me than the Compendium.
Her coming in from outside is my amulet.
I see her — then I become healthy.
She opens her eyes — my limbs grow young.
She speaks — then I become strong.
I hug her — and she drives illness from me.
But she has left me for seven days.
This song is from another group of seven independent songs on the Papyrus Chester Beatty I (ro. 16, 9–17:13; nos. 41–47) that are ascribed to the scribe Nakhtsobek.
(Boy) (Number 43)
How skilled is she — my sister — at casting the lasso,
yet she’ll draw in no cattle!
With her hair she lassos me,
with her eye she pulls me in,
with her thighs she binds,
with her seal she sets the brand.
Recto (HO I, 38)

Michael V. Fox

A number of ostraca, mostly written as school exercises, hold love songs or phrases typical of love songs. This ostracon dates to the reign of Ramses III (ca. 1182–1151 BCE).
(Boy) (Number 54)
My sister’s love is in the …
Her necklace is of flowers;
her bones are reeds.
Her little seal–ring is [on her finger],
her lotus in her hand.
I kiss [her] before everyone,
that they may see my love. j
Indeed it is she who captures my heart,
when she looks at me,
I am refreshed.

Texts and translations: Fox 1985; Gardiner 1931; Schott 1950.

(On Sehel Island)
Miriam Lichtheim

The inscription is carved in thirty–two columns on the face of a granite rock where it was given the shape of a rectangular stela. The rock face is split by a broad horizontal fissure, which already existed when the inscription was carved. After the carving, further ruptures occurred in the rock, and they have caused a number of textual lacunae. Above the text is a relief scene showing King Djoser offering to Khnum–Re, Satis, and Anukis, the gods of the cataract region.
The stela purports to be a decree by King Djoser of the Third Dynasty addressed to a “Governor of the South” at Elephantine. In it the king informs the governor that, distressed over the country’s seven–year famine, he had consulted a priest of Imhotep. After a study of the sacred books, the priest had informed him in detail about the temple of Khnum at Elephantine, and how Khnum controlled the inundation. The priest had also named to him all the minerals, precious stones, and building stones found in the border region. In the following night the king had seen Khnum in his dream, and the god had promised him an end to the famine. In gratitude to the god, the king now issues a decree granting to the temple of Khnum of Elephantine a share of all the revenue derived from the region extending from Elephantine south to Takompso, a distance of “twelve iter.” In addition, a share of all Nubian imports was to be given to the temple. The governor was charged with carrying out the decree.
In its present form, the text is undoubtedly a work of the Ptolemaic period. Some scholars have surmised that it was based on a genuine Old Kingdom decree from the time of Djoser. Others take it to be a complete fiction. In any case, the text puts forth a claim to revenue on behalf of the Khnum temple of Elephantine.
Who stood behind this claim? According to P. Barguet, it was Ptolemy V who issued the decree as a means of proclaiming Ptolemaic control of this Nubian region. H. de Meulenaere countered this suggestion by asking whether the “governor of the south,” who bore the non–Egyptian name Mesir, may not have been a Nubian chief ruling the area in defiance of the Ptolemaic king. The most plausible hypothesis, it seems to me, is the one that sees the inscription as the work of the priesthood of the Khnum temple, who were anxious to strengthen their privileges in the face of the encroaching claims made by the clergy of Isis of Philae.
The extent of the “12–iter land” or, Dodekaschoinos, has also been much discussed, for the location of Takompso, its southern limit, is not known, and the length of the iter appears to have varied. The problem now seems to have been settled in favor of an iter usually averaging 10.5 km, except for a much shorter iter indicated by the boundary stelae of Akhenaten at El–Amarna. Thus, the “12–iter land” would designate the northern half of Lower Nubia, extending south from Elephantine for a length of about eighty miles. Barguet’s good edition has greatly advanced the understanding of this difficult text. There remain a number of problems and uncertainties.
(1) Year 18 of Horus: Neterkhet; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Neterkhet; Two Ladies: Neterkhet; Gold-Horus: Djoser; under the Count, Prince, Governor of the domains of the South, Chief of the Nubians in Yebu, Mesir. There was brought to him this royal decree. To let you know:
I was in mourning on my throne,
Those of the palace were in grief,
My heart was in great affliction,
Because Hapy had failed to come in time
In a period of seven years. a
Grain was scant,
Kernels were dried up,
Scarce was every kind of food.
Every man robbed (3) his twin,
Those who entered did not go.
Children cried,
Youngsters fell,
The hearts of the old were grieving;
Legs drawn up, they hugged the ground,
Their arms clasped about them.
Courtiers were needy,
Temples were shut,
Shrines covered with dust,
Everyone was in distress.
I directed my heart to turn to the past,
I consulted one of the staff of the Ibis,
The chief lector–priest of Imhotep,
Son of Ptah South–of–his–Wall;
“In which place is Hapy born?
Which is the town of the Sinuous one?
Which god dwells there?
That he might join with (5) me.”
He stood “I shall go to Mansion–of–the–Net,
❐it is designed to support a man in his deeds❒;
I shall enter the House of Life,
Unroll the Souls of Re,
I shall be guided by them.”
He departed, he returned to me quickly,
He let me know the flow of Hapy,
[His shores] and all the things they contain.
He disclosed to me the hidden wonders,
To which the ancestors had made their way,
And no king had equaled them since.
He said to me:
“There is a town in the midst of the deep,
Surrounded by Hapy, (7) Yebu by name;
It is first of the first,
First nome to Wawat,
Earthly elevation, celestial hill,
Seat of Re when he prepares
To give life to every face.
Its temple’s name is ‘Joy–of–life,’
‘Twin Caverns’ is the water’s name,
They are the breasts that nourish all.
It is the house of sleep of Hapy,
He grows young in it in [his time],
[It is the place whence] he brings the flood:
Bounding up he copulates,
As man copulates with woman,
Renewing his manhood with joy;
Coursing twenty–eight cubits high,
He passes Sema–behdet (9) at seven.
Khnum is the god [who rules] there,
[He is enthroned above the deep],
His sandals resting on the flood;
He holds the door bolt in his hand,
Opens the gate as he wishes.
He is eternal there as Shu,
Bounty–giver, Lord–of–fields,
So his name is called.
He has reckoned the land of the South and the North,
To give parts to every god;
It is he who governs barley, [emmer],
Fowl and fish and all one lives on.
Cord and scribal board are there,
The pole is there with its beam

(11) His temple opens southeastward,
Re rises in its face every day;
Its water rages on its south for an iter,
A wall against the Nubians each day.
There is a mountain massif in its eastern region,
With precious stones and quarry stones of all kinds,
All the things sought for building temples
In Egypt, South and North,
And stalls for sacred animals,
And palaces for kings,
All statues too that stand in temples and in shrines.”
“Their gathered products are set before the face of Khnum and around him; likewise (13) tall plants and flowers of all kinds that exist between Yebu and Senmut, and are there on the east and the west.”
“There is in the midst of the river — covered by water at its annual flood — a place of relaxation for every man who works the stones on its two sides.”
“There is in the river, before this town of Yebu, a central elevation of difficult body which is called grf-ʾbw.”
“Learn the names of the gods and goddesses of the temple of Khnum: Satis, Anukis, Hapy, Shu, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Horus, Isis, Nephthys.”
“Learn the names of (15) the stones that are there, lying in the borderland: those that are in the east and the west, those [on the shores] of Yebu’s canal, those in Yebu, those in the east and west, and those in the river: bẖn, mtʾy, mḫtbtb, rʿgs, wtšy in the east; prḏn25 in the west; tšy in the west and in the river.”
“The names of the precious stones of the quarries that are in the upper region — some among them at a distance of four iter — are: gold, silver, copper, iron, lapis lazuli, turquoise, ṯḥnt, red jasper, ḳʿ, mnw, emerald,30 tm-ʾiḳr. In addition, nšmt, tʾ-mḥy, ḥmʾgt, (17) ibht, bḳs-ʿnḫ, green eye–paint, black eye–paint, carnelian,37 shrt, mm, and ochre40 are within this township.”
When I heard what was there my heart ❐was guided❒. Having heard of the flood <I> opened the wrapped books. <I> made a purification; <I> conducted a procession of the hidden ones; <I> made a complete offering of bread, beer, oxen, and fowl, and all good things for the gods and goddesses in Yebu whose names had been pronounced.
As I slept in peace, I found the god standing before me. <I> propitiated him by adoring him and praying to him. He revealed himself to me with kindly face; he said:
“I am Khnum, your maker!
My arms are around you,
To steady your body,
To (19) safeguard your limbs.
I bestow on you stones upon stones,
❐That were not found❒ before,
Of which no work was made,
For building temples,
Rebuilding ruins,
Inlaying statues’ eyes.
For I am the master who makes,
I am he who made himself,
Exalted Nun, who first came forth,
Hapy who hurries at will;
Fashioner of everybody,
Guide of each in his hours,
Tatenen, father of gods,
Great Shu, high in heaven!
The shrine I dwell in has two lips,
When I open up the well,
I know Hapy hugs the field,
A hug that fills each nose with life,
(21) For when hugged the field is reborn!
I shall make Hapy gush for you,
No year of lack and want anywhere,
Plants will grow weighed down by their fruit;
With Renutet ordering all,
All things are supplied in millions!
I shall let your people fill up,
They shall grasp together with you!
Gone will be the hunger years,
Ended the dearth in their bins.
Egypt’s people will come striding,
Shores will shine in the excellent flood,
Hearts will be happier than ever before!”
The Donation
I awoke with speeding heart. Freed of fatigue I made (23) this decree on behalf of my father Khnum. A royal offering to Khnum, lord of the cataract region and chief of Nubia:
In return for what you have done for me, I offer you Manu as western border, Bakhu as eastern border, from Yebu to Kemsat,46 being twelve iter on the east and the west, consisting of fields and pastures, of the river, and of every place in these miles.
All tenants who cultivate the fields, and the vivifiers who irrigate the shores and all the new lands that are in these miles, their harvests shall be taken to your granary, in addition to (25) your share which is in Yebu.
All fishermen, all hunters, who catch fish and trap birds and all kinds of game, and all who trap lions in the desert — I exact from them one–tenth of the take of all of these, and all the young animals born of the females in these miles [in their totality].
One shall give the branded animals for all burnt offerings and daily sacrifices; and one shall give one–tenth b of gold, ivory, ebony, carob wood, and ochre, carnelian, shrt, diw-plants, nfw-plants, all kinds of timber, (being) all the things brought by the Nubians of Khent–hen–nefer (to) Egypt, and (by) every man (27) ❐who comes with arrears from them.❒
No officials are to issue orders in these places or take anything from them, for everything is to be protected for your sanctuary.
I grant you this domain with (its) stones and good soil. No person there ——- anything from it. But the scribes that belong to you and the overseers of the South shall dwell there as accountants, listing everything that the kiry–workers, and the smiths, and the master craftsmen, and the goldsmiths, and the …, (29) and the Nubians, and the crew of Apiru, and all corvee labor who fashion the stones, shall give of gold, silver, copper, lead, baskets of …, firewood, the things that every man who works with them shall give as dues, namely one–tenth of all these. And there shall be given one–tenth of the precious stones and quarrying stones that are brought from the mountain side, being the stones of the east.
And there shall be an overseer who measures the quantities of gold, silver, copper, and genuine precious stones, the things which the sculptors shall assign to the gold house, (31) (to) fashion the sacred images and to refit the statues that were damaged, and any implements lacking there.
Everything shall be placed in the storehouse until one fashions anew, when one knows everything that is lacking in your temple, so that it shall be as it was in the beginning.
Engrave this decree on a stela of the sanctuary in writing, for it happened as said, (and) on a tablet, so that the divine writings shall be on them in the temple twice. He who spits (on it) deceitfully shall be given over to punishment.
The overseers of the priests and the chief of all the temple personnel shall make my name abide in the temple of Khnum–Re, lord of Yebu, every mighty.

Text: Brugsch 1891; Barguet 1953a. Translation: Roeder 1915:177–184. Translation of excerpts: Vandier 1936:38–44 and 132–139; ANET 31–32. Studies: Sethe 1901; 1904:58–62; Schubart 1910:154–157; de Meulenaere 1957:33–34; Brunner 1967:cols. 2255–2256. Wildung, 1969:85–91; Schwab–Schlott 1969; 1972:109–113; 1975:cols. 1112–1113. Lichtheim 1977:142–144; AEL 3:94–103; Harris 1961.
(From Karnak, Louvre C 284)
Miriam Lichtheim

A stela of black sandstone, 2.×.09 m, found in 1829 in a small, no longer extant, Ptolemaic sanctuary near the temple of Khons erected at Karnak by Ramses III. The stela was brought to Paris in 1844. The scene in the lunette shows King Ramses II offering incense before the bark of Khons–in–Thebes–Neferhotep. Behind the king, a priest offers incense before the smaller bark of Khons–the–Provider–in–Thebes. Below the scene is the text in twenty–eight horizontal lines.
Though made to appear as a monument of Ramses II, the stela is in fact a work of either the Persian or the Ptolemaic period. It tells a wondrous tale of healing performed by the Theban god Khons–the–Provider. If the tale had been written on papyrus it would rank with other stories told about the gods. But in the guise of a monument of Ramses II it possessed a propagandistic purpose. Just what the purpose was does not emerge very clearly. Was it meant to glorify the two principal manifestations of the Theban god Khons: Khons–the–Merciful (nfr-ḥtp) and Khons–the–Provider (pʾ ir sḫr)? Or did it project a rivalry between their two priesthoods? Was it also designed to recall the glory of Egypt’s native kings at a time of foreign — Persian or Ptolemaic — domination?
(1) Horus Mighty bull beautiful of crowns; Two Ladies abiding in kingship like Atum; Gold-Horus: Strong–armed smiter of the Nine Bows; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands Usermare–sotpenre; the Son of Re, of his body: Ramesses beloved of Amun, lord of Thrones–of–the–Two–Lands, and of the Ennead, mistress of Thebes.
Good god, Amun’s son,
Offspring of Harakhti,
Glorious seed of the All–Lord,
Begotten by Kamutef,
King of Egypt, ruler of Red Lands,
Sovereign who seized the Nine Bows;
Whom victory was foretold as he came from the womb,
Whom valor was given while in the egg,
Bull firm of heart as he treads the arena,
Godly king going forth like Mont on victory day,
Great of strength like the Son of Nut!
When his majesty was in Nahrin according to his annual custom, the princes of every foreign land came bowing in peace to the might of his majesty from as far as the farthest marshlands. Their gifts of gold, silver, lapis lazuli, (5) turquoise, and every kind of plant of god’s land were on their backs, and each was outdoing his fellow. The prince of Bakhtan4 had also sent his gifts and had placed his eldest daughter in front of them, worshiping his majesty and begging life from him. The woman pleased the heart of his majesty greatly and beyond anything. So her titulary was established as Great Royal Wife Nefrure. When his majesty returned to Egypt, she did all that a queen does.
It happened in year 23, second month of summer, day 22, while his majesty was in Thebes-the-victorious, the mistress of cities, performing the rites for his father Amun–Re, lord of Thrones-of–the–Two–Lands, at his beautiful feast of Southern Ipet, his favorite place since the beginning, that one came to say to his majesty: “A messenger of the prince of Bakhtan has come with many gifts for the queen.” He was brought before his majesty with his gifts and said, saluting his majesty: “Hail to you, Sun of the Nine Bows! Truly, we live through you!” And kissing the ground before his majesty he spoke again before his majesty, saying “I have come to you, O King, my lord, on account of Bentresh,7 the younger sister of Queen Nefrure. A malady has seized her body. May your majesty send a learned man to see her!”
His majesty said: “Bring me the personnel of the House of Life and the council (10) of the residence.” They were ushered in to him immediately. His majesty said: “You have been summoned in order to hear this matter: bring me one wise of heart with fingers skilled in writing from among you.” Then the royal scribe Thothemheb came before his majesty, and his majesty ordered him to proceed to Bakhtan with the messenger.
The learned man reached Bakhtan. He found Bentresh to be possessed by a spirit; he found him to be an enemy whom one could fight. Then the prince of Bakhtan sent again to his majesty, saying: “O King, my lord, may your majesty command to send a god [to fight against this spirit!” The message reached] his majesty in year 26, first month of summer, during the feast of Amun while his majesty was in Thebes. His majesty reported to Khons–in–Thebes–Neferhotep, saying: “My good lord, I report to you about the daughter of the prince of Bakhtan.” Then Khons-in–Thebes–Neferhotep proceeded to Khons–the-Provider, the great god who expels disease demons.10 His majesty spoke to Khons–in–Thebes-Neferhotep: “My good lord, if you turn your face to (15) Khons–the–Provider, the great god who expels disease demons, he shall be dispatched to Bakhtan.” Strong approval twice. His majesty said: “Give your magical protection to him, and I shall dispatch his majesty to Bakhtan to save the daughter of the prince of Bakhtan.” Very strong approval by Khons–in–Thebes–Neferhotep. He made magical protection for Khons-the-Provider-in-Thebes four times. His majesty commanded to let Khons-the-Provider-in-Thebes proceed to the great bark with five boats and a chariot, and many horses from east and west.12 This god arrived in Bakhtan at the end of one year and five months. The prince of Bakhtan came with his soldiers and officials before Khons–the–Provider. He placed himself on his belly, saying: “You have come to us to be gracious to us, as commanded by the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Usermare–sotpenre!” Then the god proceeded to the place where Bentresh was. He made magical protection for the daughter of the prince of Bakhtan, and she became well instantly.
Then spoke the spirit who was with her to Khons-the–Provider–in–Thebes: “Welcome in peace, great god who expels disease demons! Bakhtan is your home, its people are your servants, I am your servant! (20) I shall go to the place from which I came, so as to set your heart at rest about that which you came for. May your majesty command to make a feast day with me and the prince of Bakhtan!” Then the god motioned approval to his priest, saying: “Let the prince of Bakhtan make a great offering before this spirit.”
Now while this took place between Khons–the-Provider–in–Thebes and the spirit, the prince of Bakhtan stood by with his soldiers and was very frightened. Then he made a great offering to Khons–the–Provider–in–Thebes and the spirit; and the prince of Bakhtan made a feast day for them. Then the spirit went in peace to where he wished, as commanded by Khons-the-Provider-in-Thebes. The prince of Bakhtan rejoiced very greatly together with everyone in Bakhtan.
Then he schemed with his heart, saying: “I will make the god stay here in Bakhtan. I will not let him go to Egypt.” So the god spent three years and nine months in Bakhtan. Then, as the prince of Bakhtan slept on his bed, he saw the god come out of his shrine as a falcon of gold and fly up to the sky toward Egypt. (25) He awoke in terror and said to the priest of Khons–the–Provider–in-Thebes: “The god is still here with us! He shall go to Thebes! His chariot shall go to Egypt!” Then the prince of Bakhtan let the god proceed to Egypt, having given him many gifts of every good thing and very many soldiers and horses.
They arrived in peace in Thebes. Khons–the-Provider–in–Thebes went to the house of Khons-in–Thebes–Neferhotep. He placed the gifts of every good thing which the prince of Bakhtan had given him before Khons–in–Thebes–Neferhotep, without giving anything to his (own) house. Khons–the–Provider–in–Thebes arrived in his house in peace in year 33, second month of winter, day 19, of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Usermare-sotpenre, given eternal life like Re.

Text: Tresson 1933:57–78 and pl. i; de Buck 1948:106–109; Kitchen KRI 2:284–287. Translation: Lefebvre 1949:221–232; ANET 29–31; Brunner-Traut 1965:163–167; Bresciani 1969:533–536; Lichtheim AEL 3:90–94. Studies: Erman 1883:54–60; Spiegelberg 1906:181; Posener 1934:75–81; Lefebvre 1944:214–218; Donadoni 1957:47–50.

1934 The Vocalization of the Egyptian Syllabic Orthography. New Haven: American Oriental Society.

1974 The Book of the Dead or Going Forth by Day. SAOC 37. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

1988a Genesis in Egypt, the Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts. YES 2. New Haven: Yale Egyptological Seminar.
1988b “Funerary Texts and Their Meaning.” Pp. 38–49 in Mummies & Magic, the Funerary Arts of Ancient Egypt. Ed. by S. D’Auria, P. Lacovara, and C. Roehrig. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts.

1923 “Zwei Vermutungen zur Geschichte des Sinuhe.” ZÄS 58:48–50.
1941 PJ 37:19ff.

1957 “The Legal Aspect of the Instruction of Amenemhet.” JNES 16:176–191.
1958 “A Further Remark on the Introduction to the Instruction of Amenemhet.” JNES 17:208–209.
1970 Pp. 9–18 in Studies Galling.

1970 Der König als Sonnenpriester. ADAIK Ägyptologische Reihe, 7. Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin.
1975a Zeit und Ewigkeit im alten Ägypten. AHAW Phil.-hist. Kl. 1. Heidelberg: Karl Winter, Universitätsverlag.
1975b Ägyptische Hymnen und Gebete. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
1990 Maʿat, Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im Alten Ägypten. Munich: C. H. Beck.

1981 Hymnes d’Egypte et d’Israël: études de structure littéraires. OBO 34. Freiburg: Universitätsverlag.

1964 JEA 50:179–180.

1953a La stèle de la famine à Séhel. Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Bibliothèque d’étude 34. Cairo.
1953b “Khnoum-Chou patron des arpenteurs.” CdÉ 28:223–227.
1967 Le Livre des Morts des anciens Égyptiens. LAPO 1. Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf.

1952 The Ashmolean Ostracon of Sinuhe. London: Oxford University Press.
1967 “Sinuhe’s Message to the King.” JEA 53:6–14.

1971 “Zu einigen Textpassagen der Prophezeiung des Neferti.” MDAIK 27:35–45.
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1980 “Kult,” LdÄ 3:cols. 839–848.

1980 Hymnes et prieres de l’Egypte ancienne. Paris: Cerf.

1966 “Die Dynastie der Herakleopoliten (9./10. Dynastie).” ZÄS 93:13–20.
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1987 “The Date of the Eloquent Peasant.” Pp. 78–83 in Studies Fecht.

1955 Ältagyptische Lebensweisheit. Die Bibliothek der alten Welt. Reihe der Alte Orient. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

1930 “Notes on Certain Passages in Various Middle Egyptian Texts.” JEA 16:63–72.
1932 Middle Egyptian Stories. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 2. Brussels: Fondation égyptologique reine Elisabeth.
1936 “Some Notes on the Story of Sinuhe and Other Egyptian Texts.” JEA 22:35–44.

1973 “Die Erzählung des Papyrus d’Orbiney als Literaturwerk.” ZÄS 99:1–17.
1982 “Die Prophezeiung des Neferti.” ZÄS 109:1–27.

1978 Ancient Egyptian Magical Texts. Nisaba 9. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
1987 “Akhu and Hekau. Two Basic Notions of Ancient Egyptian Magic, and the Concept of the Divine Creative Word.” Pp. 29–46 in La Magia in Egitto ai Tempi dei Faraoni. Ed. by A. Roccati and A. Siliotti. Milan: Ressegna internazionale di cinematografia archeologica.

1902 “The Philosophy of a Memphite Priest.” ZÄS 39: 39–54
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1933 The Dawn of Conscience. New York.

1969 Letteratura e poesia dell’ antico egitto. Turin.

1891 Die biblischen sieben Jahre der Hungersnoth. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs.

1944 Die Lehre des Cheti, Sohnes des Duauf. Ägyptologische Forschungen 13. Glückstadt: J. J. Augustin.
1955 ZÄS 80:5–11.
1964 ZÄS 91:139–140.
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1969 BiOr 26:71.

1963 Altägyptische Märchen. Märchen der Weltliteratur. Dusseldorf-Cologne: Diederichs. 2nd edition, 1965.

1972 BeO 14:241–264.

1932 Pp. 57–60 in Studies Griffith.
1938 The Egyptian Coffin Texts. vol. 2. OIP 49. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
1939 Pp. 847–852 in Orient Ancient. Institut Français d’Archéogie Orientale. Mémoires 66. Cairo.
1946 Le Muséon 59:183–200.
1947 “Plaats en betekenis van Sjoe in de egyptische theologie.” Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandsche Akademie van Wetenschappen, afd. Letterkunde 10: 215–249.
1948 Egyptian Readingbook. Leiden: Nederlandsh Archaeologisch–Philologisch Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten.

1910 Facsimiles of Egyptian Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum. London.
1923 Facsimiles of Egyptian Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum, Second Series. London.
1924 The Teaching of Amen–em–apt, Son of Kanekht. London.

1954 Late-Egyptian Miscellanies. London: Oxford University.

1902 The Temple of the Kings at Abydos I. London: B. Quaritch.

1958 BIFAO 57:208–209.

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1939a JEA 25:16–29.
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1994 Creation Accounts in the Ancient Near East and in the Bible. CBQMS 26. Washington: Catholic Biblical Association.

1977 Food: the Gift of Osiris. London, New York and San Francisco: Academic Press.

1965 La civilisation de l’Egypte pharaonique. Collection les grandes civilisations 4. Paris: Arthaud.

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1961–62 Wörterbuch der medizinischen Texte. 7 volumes. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

1972 “Intelligenz als Karriere (Neferti 10–11).” GM 3:9–14.

1987 Editor. La création dans l’orient ancien. Paris: Cerf.

1986 “Anat, Seth and the Seed of Pre.” Pp. 31–51 in Studies Hospers.

1957 MDAIK 15:47–50.

1960 RdÉ 12:90–91.

1955–1964 Altägyptische Grammatik. 2 volumes. AnOr 34/39. Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum.
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1968 Pp. 1–12 in Textbuch zur Geschichte Israels. Ed. by K. Galling. 2nd Edition. Tübingen: Mohr (Siebeck).

1978 Akh — une notion réligieuse dans l’Égypte pharaonique. Boreas, 11. Uppsala: University of Uppsala.

1883 ZÄS 21:54–60.
1900 ZÄS 38:1–14.
1906 ZÄS 43:1–26.
1911 Ein Denkmal memphitischer Theologie. SPAW Phil.-hist. Kl. 1. Berlin: Verlag der Königlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
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1924 OLZ 27:241–252.
1927 The Literature of the Ancient Egyptians. Trans. by A. M. Blackman. London: Methuen & Co. Reprint New York, 1966 as The Ancient Egyptians; A Sourcebook of Their Writings. Original: Die Literatur der Aegypter. Leipzig, 1923.

1932 Pp. 69–73 in Studies Griffith.
1933 The Papyrus Bremner-Rhind (British Museum No. 10188). Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 3. Brussels: Édition de la Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth.
1937 “The Bremner-Rhind Papyrus — III.” JEA 23:166–185.
1938 “The Bremner-Rhind Papyrus — IV.” JEA 24:41–53.
1964 “Notes on ‘The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage’.” JEA 50:24–36.
1969 The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
1964 “Some Notes on the God Shu.” JEOL 18:266–71.
1973 The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. Vol. 1: Spells 1–354. Warminster: Aris & Phillips.
1977 The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. Vol. 2: Spells 355–787. Warminster: Aris & Phillips.
1985 The Book of the Dead. Rev. edition. London: The British Museum.

1964 “Die Form der altägyptischen Literatur: metrische und stylistische Analyse.” ZÄS 91: 11–63.
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1972 Der Vorwurf an Gott in den “Mahnworten des Ipu-wer”. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.

1962 “Widow, Orphan and the Poor in Ancient Near Eastern Legal Wisdom Literature.” JNES 21:129–139.

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1946 “The Opening Lines of the Antef Song.” JNES 5:259.
1960 “The ‘Transformations’ in the Coffin Texts: A New Approach.” JNES 19:241–257.

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1985 The Song of Songs and the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs. Madison: University of Wisconsin.

1933 The Cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos. 2 vols. Egypt Exploration Society, 39th memoir. London: Egypt Exploration Society.

1984–85 “The Root Meaning of ʾḫ: Effectiveness or Luminosity.” Serapis 8:39–46.

1905 “Hymns to Amon from a Leiden Papyrus.” ZÄS 42: 12–42.
1908 “Notes on the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor.” ZÄS 45:60–66.
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1913 “In Praise of Death: A Song from a Theban Tomb.” PSBA 35:165–170.
1914 “New Literary Works from Ancient Egypt.” JEA 1:20–36.
1916 Notes on the Story of Sinuhe. Paris: Libraire Honore Champion.
1923 “The Eloquent Peasant.” JEA 9:5–23.
1931 The Chester Beatty Papyri, No. I. London: Oxford University Press.
1932a “The Astarte Papyrus.” Pp. 74–85 in Studies Griffith.
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1935a HPBM 3.
1935b “A Lawsuit Arising from the Purchase of Two Slaves.” JEA 21:143.
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1939 Pp. 479–496 in Orient Ancien. Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Mémoires 66. Cairo.
1959a “A Didactic Passage Re-Examined.” JEA 45:12–15.
1959b The Royal Canon of Turin. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
1961 Egypt of the Pharaohs. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

1978 “Peasant B1 141–145.” JEA 64:129–130.

1957 “The Route of Sinuhe’s Flight.” JEA 43:77–85.
1965 “Sinuhe’s Reply to the King’s Letter.” JEA 51:29–47.
1967 “Admonitions 3.6–10.” JARCE 6:93–95.
1968 “The Beginning of the Instruction of King Amenemhet.” JARCE 7:15–21.
1977 The Protocol of Neferyt. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

1899 “Papyrus hiératique de la collection W. Golénischeff.” RT 21:74–102.
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1953 “Sabbatical Cycle or Seasonal Pattern? Reflections on a New Book.” Or 22:79–81.
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1952 Der stilistische Bau der Geschichte des Sinuhe. Untersuchungen zur ägyptischen Stilistik 1. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

1952 “Sur un passage de l’inscription de Shabaka.” ArOr 20:484–486.

1874 Hymne à Ammon–Ra. Paris: A. Franck.

1896 “The Millingen Papyrus.” ZÄS 34:35–51.
1926 “The Teaching of Amenophis the Son of Kanakht.” JEA 12:191–231.

1960 “Wisdom about Tomorrow.” HTR 53:219–221.

1972 Untersuchungen zur Lebenslehre des Amenope. MÄS 23. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag.

1961 Lexicographical Studies in Ancient Egyptian Minerals. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Institut für Orientforschung, Veröffentlichung 54. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

1928 Hymnes réligieux de moyen empire. Cairo: IFAO.

1961 Urkunden der 18. Dynastie: Übersetzungen zu den Heften 17–22. Urk. IV. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.
1961–1970 Materialien zur Wirtschaftsgeschichte des neuen Reiches. Teil 1–6 und Indices. Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Mainz. Abhandlungen der geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 1960, 10–11; 1963, 2–3; 1964, 4; 1969, 4; 1969, 13. Mainz: Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur.
1969 Der Text der “Lehre Amenemhets I. für seinen Sohn”. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
1970a Die Prophezeiung des Nfr. tj. Kleine ägyptische Texte. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
1970b Die Lehre des Dwʾ-Ḫtjj. Kleine ägyptische Texte. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
1983 “Zur Herkunft der Erzählung des sog. ‘Astartepapyrus.’ ” Pp. 215–223 in Studies Brunner.

1991 Die zwei Wege des Jenseits. OBO 112. Freiburg: Universitätsverlag.

1963 “Steuerruder, Waage, Herz und Zunge in ägyptischen Bildreden.” ZÄS 79:106–115.

1983 “Some Thoughts on Genesis 1 & 2 and Egyptian Cosmology.” JANES 15:39–49.

1905–1932 Beschreibung der aegyptischen Sammlung. 14 Volumes. Leiden. Rijksmuseum van Oudheden. The Hague.

1963–67 Das Amduat. 3 parts. ÄA 7. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.
1972 Ägyptische Unterweltsbücher. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
1973 Der Eine und die Vielen. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.
1975–76 Das Buch der Anbetung des Re im Westen. 2 vols. Aegyptiaca Helvetica, 2–3. Geneva: Ägyptologisches Seminar der Universität Basel and Centre d’études orientales de l’Université de Genève.
1979 Das Totenbuch der Ägypter. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.
1982 The One and the Many. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University press.

1990 Gesänge vom Nil. Dichtung am Hofe der Pharaonen. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

1965 Amorite Personal Names in the Mari Texts. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

1929 Recherches sur les sources égyptiennes de la littérature sapientiale d’Israel. Memoires de l’Université de Neuchatel 7. Neuchatel: Secrétariat de l’Université.

1962 “Il tentato adulterio mitico in Grecia e in Egitto.” Aegyptus 42:276–296.

1973 “Zur Fehldatierung des sog. Denkmals memphitischer Theologie oder Der Beitrag der ägyptischen Theologie zur Geistesgeschichte der Spätzeit.” MDAIK 29: 195–204.
1977 “Der Welt der Klagen.” Pp. 275–284 in Studies Otto.

1939 Die Götterlehre von Memphis. APAW 23. Berlin: Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften.

1973 “British Museum Writing Board 5645: The Complaints of Kha-kheper-Rēʿ-senebu.” JEA 59:77–90.

1930 “Göttinger Totenbuchstudien. Ein Mythus von Köningtum des Osiris in Herakelopolis aus dem Totenbuch Kap. 175.” ZÄS 65:65–83.
1956 Totenglauben und Jenseitsvorstellungen der alten Ägypter. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs. 4th ed., Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1980.
1962 “Ein Handelsplatz des MR im Nordostdelta.” MDAIK 18:1–13.

1928a ActOr 6:288 ff.
1928b BIFAO 28:50 ff.

1979 “The Basic Literary Forms and Formulations of Ancient Instructional Writings in Egypt and Western Asia.” Pp. 236–257 in Studien zu altägyptischen Lebenslehren. Ed. by E. Hornung and O. Keel.
1992 “Egypt, History of (Chronology).” ABD 2:321–331.

1936 Recueil des inscriptions hiéroglyphiques de la Glyptothèque Ny Carslberg. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 6. Brussels: Édition de la Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth.
1948 Les stèles égyptiennes. Publications de la Glyptothèque Ny Carlsberg, 1. Copenhagen: Glyptothèque Ny Carlsberg.

1990 “Les textes d’envoûtement de Mirgissa.” RdÉ 41:101–25.

1901 Rituale für den Kultus des Amon und für den Kultus der Mut. HPKMB 1. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs.

1960 Puteshestvie Un–Amuna v Biblos: Egipetskii ieraticheskii papirus no 120 Gosudarst. Muzeia im A. S. Pushkina. Pamiatniki literatury narodov Vostoka. Teksty. Bol’shaia seriia, 4 Moscow: Akademia Nauk S.S.S.R. Institut Vostoknedemia.

1992 “Bauernweisheiten.” Pp. 191–207 in Studies Brunner-Traut.

1977 Une chapelle d’Hatshepsout à Karnak, vol 1. Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

1958 “Die Geschichte vom Riesen Goliath und der Kampf Sinuhes mit dem Starken von Retenu.” MDAIK 16:214–218.

1925 Das Weisheitsbuch des Amenemope, aus dem Papyrus 10,474 des British Museum. Danske videnskabernes selskab, historisk-filologiske meddelelser 11/2 Copenhagen: A. F. Host & Son.

1944 “Encore la stèle de Bakhtan.” CdÉ 19:214–218.
1949 Romans et contes égyptiens de l’époque pharaonique. Paris: A. Maisonneuve. Reprint 1988.

1929 ArOr 1:14–49.

1945 JNES 4:178–212.
1973–76 AEL. 1–2.
1977 “The Naucratis Stela Once Again.” Pp. 142–144 in Studies Hughes.
1983 Late Egyptian Wisdom Literature in the International Context: A Study of Demotic Instructions. OBO 52. Freiburg: Universitätsverlag.

1974 “ ‘Anaq-Kiryat ʾArba’ — Hébron et ses sanctuaires tribaux.” VT 24:41–48.

1963 “Le Papyrus Millingen.” RdÉ 18:29–33 and pls. 4–8.

1980 Vicino Oriente 3:47–76.

1968 “The Expression Šms-ʾib.” JARCE 7:41–54.

1943 Untersuchungen über religiösen Gehalt, Sprache und Form der ägyptischen Totenklagen. MDAIK 11. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

1977 “Das Totenbuch des Ptahmose.” ZÄS 104:46–75.

1934 BIFAO 34:63–74.

1871 Les papyrus égyptiens du musée de Boulaq. Vol. 1. Paris: A. Franck.
1872 Les papyrus égyptiens du musée de Boulaq. Vol. 2. Paris: A. Franck.

1914 Les enseignements d’Amenemhat Ier à son fils Sanouasrit Ier. Cairo.

1941 “Le livre de la vache du ciel.” BIFAO 40:53–115.

1957 “Review of Barquet 1953a.” BiOr 14:33–34.

1990 “Hogs and Hygiene.” JEA 76:125–140.

1905 Hymnen an verschiedenen Götter. HPKMB 2. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs.
1927 Hieratische Lesestücke für den akademischen Gebrauch. 3 fascicles. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs. Reprint, 1961.

1902 Le rituel du culte divin journalier en Égypte. Paris: Ernest Leroux.
1931 BIFAO 30:725–750 and 3 plates.

1967 “Grabausstattung und Totengericht in der Lehre für König Merikare.” ZÄS 94:117–124.

1899 Die Liebespoesie der alten Ägypter. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs.

1886 Das aegyptische Todtenbuch der XVIII. bis XX. Dynastie aus verschiedenen Urkunden zusammengestellt und herausgegeben. 2 vols. Berlin: A. Asher & Co.

1968 “Second Tenses in Wenamūn.” JEA 54:161–164.

1983 “The Burden of Khaʿkheperrēʿ-sonbu.” JEA 69:88–95.

1976 Die Nominalbildung des Ägyptischen. 2 vols. Mainz/Rhein: Philipp von Zabern Verlag.

1951 Der Vorwurf an Gott. Hildesheim.

1960 Egyptian Astronomical Texts. Vol. 1. The Early Decans. BES 3. Providence: Brown University Press.

1979 The Edifice of Taharqa. BES 8. Providence: Brown University Press.

1991a “The Date of the ‘Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.’ ” RdÉ 42:171–181.
1991b The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

1986 A Critical Study of the Eloquent Peasant. Ph.D. dissertation. Johns Hopkins University.

1982 “Who were the Owners, in the ‘Community of Workmen’, of the Chester Beatty Papyri.” Pp. 155–172 in Gleanings from Deir el-Medîna. Ed. by R. Demarée and J. Janssen. Egyptologische Uitgaven 1. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voorhetNabijeOosten.

1966 “A New Fragment of The Wisdom of Amenemope.” JEA 52:120–128.

1933 “Quelques passages des ‘Instructions de Douaf’ sur une tablette du Musée du Louvre.” RdÉ 1:51–74.
1955 The Shrines of Tut-Ankh-Amon. Bollingen Series 40. ERTR 2. New York: Pantheon Books. Reprint: Harper Torchbook.

1874–1878 Recueil d’inscriptions inédites du Musée Égyptien du Louvre. 2 Volumes. Paris.

1869–76 Papyrus de Turin. 2 vols. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

1973 “Notre connaissance du néo-egyptien.” Pp. 133–141 in Textes et langages de l’Égypte Pharaonique: Hommage à Jean-François Champollion, 1. BdÉ 64/1. Cairo.

1934 BIFAO 34:75–81.
1935 Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques littéaires de Deir el Médineh. Vol. 1. FIFAO 1. Cairo.
1949 “Les richesses inconnues de la littérature égyptienne (Recherches littéraires I).” RdÉ 6:27–48.
1950 “Trais passages de l’enseignement à Merikarê” RdÉ 7:176–180.
1956 Littérature et politique dans l’Égypte de la xiie dynastie. Bibliothèque de l’École des Hautes Études 307. Paris.
1962 “L’enseignement pour le roi Mérikarê.” ACF 62:290–295.
1963a “Aménémopé 21, 13 et bjʾj.t au sens d’«oracle».” ZÄS 90:98–102.
1963b “L’enseignement pour le roi Mérikarê.” ACF 63:303–305.
1964 “L’expression bjʾj.t ʿʾ.t «maurais caractère».” RdÉ 16:37–43.
1965 “L’enseignement pour le roi Mérikarê.” ACF 65:305–307.
1966a “L’enseignement pour le roi Mérikarê.” ACF 66:342–345.
1966b “Quatre tablettes scolaires de basse époque (Aménéopé et Hardjédef).” RdÉ 18:45–62 and pls. 1–2.
1968 Pp. 106–111 in Studies Schott.
1972 Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques littéraires de Deir el Médineh. Vol. 2. FIFAO 18. Cairo.
1973 “Le chapitre IV d’Aménémopé.” ZÄS 99:129–135.
1977–80 Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques littéraires de Deir el Médineh. Vol. 3. FIFAO 20. Cairo.

1986 Pharaonic King–Lists, Annals and Day Books. Mississauga: Benben.

1987 “Review of H. J. Thissen, Die Lehre des Anchscheschonqi (P. BM 10508).” BiOr 44:641–646.
1989 “Horus on the Crocodiles: A Juncture of Religion and Magic in Late Dynastic Egypt.” Pp. 103–116 in Religion and Philosophy in Ancient Egypt. Ed. by W. K. Simpson. YES 3. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
1990 “O. Gardiner 363: A Spell Against Night Terrors.” JARCE 27:25–41.
1993 The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice. SAOC 54. Chicago: The Oriental Institute.

1984 “Lessico Meteorologico.” Pp. 343–354 in Studien zu Sprach und Religion Ägyptens zu Ehren von Wolfhart Westendorf. Volume 1: Sprache. Ed. by F. Junge. Göttingen: Hubert & Co.

1915 Urkunden zur Religion des alten Ägypten. Jena.

1960 Kulte, Orakel und Naturverehrung im alten Ägypten. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

1987 “Der kairener Hymnus an Amun–Re zur Gliederung von pBoulaq 17.” Pp. 405–428 in Studies Fecht.

1979 Kapitel 17 des ägyptischen Totenbuches. Göttinger Orientforschungen, IV. Reihe: Ägypten, 10. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

1976 “Dimorphic Structure and the Problem of the ʿApirû-ʿIbrîm.” JNES 35:13–20.

1977 “The Teaching of Amenemope and its Connection with the Book of Proverbs.” TynBul 28:29–68.

1948 CRAIBL 1948:543–549.
1949 “Notes on the Inscriptions of Suty and Ḥor (British Museum Stela No. 826).” JEA 35:63–68.

1938 Texts from the Time of Akhenaten. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 8. Brussels: Édition de la Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth.

1953 “L’Hymne au soleil levant des Papyrus de Berlin 3050, 3056, et 3048.” BIFAO 53: 65–102.
1959 “La naissance du monde selon l’Égypte ancienne.” in Sources orientales 1: La naissance du monde. Paris: Éditions du Seuil.
1960 “La différenciation des langages d’après la tradition égyptienne.” BIFAO 60:31–41.

1936 Der historische Abschnitt der Lehre für König Merikare. SBAW 8. Munich: Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

1980 Der Gott Ta-tenen. OBO 29. Freiburg: Universitätsverlag.

1938 “Die beiden Neunheiten als Ausdruck für ‘Zähne’ und ‘Lippen’.” ZÄS 74: 94–96.
1950 Altägyptische Liebeslieder, mit Märchen und Liebesgeschichten. Zürich: Artemis Verlag.

1910 “Dodekaschoinos.” ZÄS 47:154–157.

1969 Die Ausmasse Ägyptens nach altägyptischen Texten. Dissertation, University of Tubingen.
1972 “Altägyptische Texte über die Ausmaße.” MDAIK 28:109–113.
1975 “Dodekaschoinos” in LdÄ. 1:cols. 1112–1113.

1967 Die Charakteristik. Untersuchungen zu einer altägyptischen Sprechsitte und ihren Auspragungen in Folklore und Literatur. ÄA 17. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

1901 Dodekaschoinos das Zwölfmeilenland an der Grenze von Aegypten und Nubien. Untersuchungen 2/3. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs. Reprint: Hildesheim, 1964.
1904 “Schoinos und Dodekaschoinos.” ZÄS 41:58–62.
1924 Ägyptische Lesestücke. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs.
1926 Die Ächtung feindlicher Fürsten, Völker und Dinge auf altägyptischen Tongefässscherben des Mittleren Reiches. Berlin: Akademie der Wissenschaften.
1927 Erläuterung zu den aegyptischen Lesestücken. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs.
1928 Dramatische Texte zu altaegyptischen Mysterienspielen. Untersuchungen zur Geschichte und Altertumskunde Aegyptens 10. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs. Reprint: Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1964.

1989–90 “Egyptian ‘Prophecy’ and Biblical Prophecy: Did the Phenomenom of Prophecy, in Biblilcal Sense, Exist in Ancient Egypt? JEOL 31:1–40.
1992 “A New Source for the Study of the Judiciary and Law of Ancient Egypt: ‘The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.’ ” JNES 51:1–18.
1993 Where Can Wisdom Be Found? The Sage’s Language in the Bible and in Ancient Egyptian Literature. OBO 130. Freibourg: Universitätsverlag.

1926 “The Hebrew Book of Proverbs and the Teaching of Amenophis.” JEA 12:232–239.

1973 Editor. The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions and Poetry. 2nd edition. New Haven: Yale University Press.
1974 The Terrace of the Great God at Abydos. PPYEE 5. New Haven: Peabody Museum.

1984 “An Alarming Parallel to the End of the Shipwrecked Sailor.” GM 73:91–95.

1906 “Zu der Datierung der Bentresch-Stele.” RT 28:181.

1975 “Astartepapyrus.” LdÄ 1:cols. 509–511.

1994 Dor, Ruler of the Seas: Twelve Years of Excavations at the Israelite-Phoenician Harbor Town on the Carmel Coast. Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society.

1957 “A Possibly Contemporary Parallel to the Inscription of Suty and Ḥor.” JEA 43:3–5.

1935 La sagesse d’Ani: Texte, traduction et commentaire. AnOr 11. Rome: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum.

1983 Some Problems on the History of the Third Dynasty. The Archaeological Society of Alexandria, Archaeological & Historical Studies 7. Alexandria.

1963 “The Fragment of the Chapter CLXXV of the Book of the Dead preserved in Sekoski’s Papyrus.” Rocznik Orientalistyczny 26:123–142.

1970 “The God Heka in Egyptian Theology.” JEOL 21: 175–186.

1958–1960 Bruxelles Annuaire 15:39–69.

1933 RB 42:57–78.

1964 “A Date for the ‘Admonitions’ in the Second Intermediate Period.” JEA 50:13–23.

1971 Les guerres d’Amosis, fondateur de la XVIII dynastie. Monographes reine Elisabeth 1. Brussels: Fondation égyptologique reine Elisabeth.

1936 La famine dans l’Egypte ancienne. Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Recherches 7. Cairo.
1949 BiOr 6:15.
1962 Le Papyrus Jumilhac. Paris.

1942 BIFAO 41:25–30.

1978 Athribis. BdÉ 74. Cairo: Institut françyais d’archéologie orientale.
1986 “Traum.” LdÄ 6:cols. 745–749.

1937–38 Studien zum Weisheitsbuch des Anii. Danske videnskabernes selskab, historisk–filologiske meddelelser, 23/3. Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard.
1941 “Ägyptische Nemesis–Gedanken.” Pp. 371–379 in Miscellanea Gregoriana: raccolta di scritti pubblicati nel i centenario dalla fondazione del Pont. Museo egizio. Rome: Tipografia poliglotta vaticana.
1945 Zwei altägyptische politische Schriften. Analecta Aegyptiaca 4. Copenhagen: E. Munksgaard.
1963 Les Sagesses du proche-orient ancien. Colloque de Strasbourg 17–19 mai 1962. Paris.

1947 “La thème de la satire des métiers dans la littérature égyptienne.” CdÉ 22:50–72.
1949 “Review of Brunner 1944.” CdÉ 24:244–256.
1969 L’Humour dans la littérature et dans l’art de l’ancienne Egypte. Scholae Adriani de Buck memoriae dicatae 4. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten.

1994 Wealth and poverty in the Instruction of Amenemope and the Hebrew Proverbs. SBLDS 142. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

1973 Pp. 92–107 in Simpson, Literature.

1968 Pp. 125–131 in Studies Schott.
1973 “Die Qualitäten des Weisen Neferti.” GM 4:41–44.

1969 Die Rolle ägyptischer Könige im Bewusstsein ihrer Nachwelt. MÄS 17. Berlin: B. Hesslin.
1977 Imhotep und Amenhotep. Gottwerdung im alten Ägypten. MÄS 36. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag.

1961 JEA 47:100–106.
1964 Pp. 16–19 in Studies Meek.
1969 “Some Egyptianisms in the Old Testament.” Pp. 93–98 in Studies Wilson.

1969 ANET.

1929 “Der Berliner Ptah-Hymnus (P 3048, II-XII).” ZÄS 64: 17–44.

1952 “Sur Bata, maître de Sako.” RdÉ 9:157–159.
1962 “Processions géographiques mentionnant le Fayoum et seo localités.” BIFA0 61:79–138 and pl. vii.
1964 “À propos du panthéon de Sinouhé (B 205–212).” Kemi 17:69–73.

1968 A Study of the Ba Concept in Ancient Egyptian Texts. SAOC 34. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

1947 Hymnen aan Amon van Pap. Leiden I 350. Oudheidkundige Mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van Oudheiden te Leiden, Nieuwe Reeks 28. Leiden: E. J. Brill.
1971–72 “Sargtexte Spruch 75.” ZÄS 97: 155–162; 98:149–155; 99:48–63.
1973a “Sargtexte Spruch 76.” ZÄS 100:60–71.
1973b “Sargtexte Spruch 78.” ZÄS 100:141–144.
1974 “Sargtexte Spruch 80.” ZÄS 101:62–79.

Gary Beckman

Although the particular events of this tale are not known from the mythological tablets recovered at Ugarit, the story certainly belongs to the corpus of northern Syrian myths which they represent. This composition has come down to us in a number of fragments which originally belonged to two or three separate manuscripts, but only two portions of the text are well-enough preserved for connected translation. The Hittite translator has misunderstood the Canaanite phrase “El, Creator of Earth” as a simple divine name, which he has rendered as Elkunirša.
Fragment 1
(A i 1´-7´) (Ašertu said to Baal:) “[Get behind me, and I will get behind] you. I will press [you] down with [my] word. I will pierce [you] with [my] little spindle (?). I will stimulate (?) you […]” Baal heard (this) [and he] stood [up]. He came to the headwaters of the Euphrates River. [He came to] Elkunirša, husband of Ašertu. He entered the tent [of] Elkunirša.
(A i 8´-21´) [Elknunirša] saw Baal and asked him, “[Why] have you come?” Baal said, “When I came into your house, [just then] Ašertu sent girls to me (with the message): ‘Come sleep with me!’ I refused. She … me and said [as follows]: ‘Get behind me, and I will get behind you. I will press you down with my [word. I will pierce] you [with] my [little spindle (?)].’ On that account I have come, my father. I have not come to you [as] a messenger. I [have come] to you on my own behalf. Ašertu is rejecting your manhood. […] your wife. She keeps sending to me: ‘[Sleep with me]!’ ” Elkunirša [replied] to Baal: “Go, … her!… my [wife Ašertu]! Humiliate her!”
(A i 22´-27´) [Baal] heard the word [of Elkunirša] and he [went] to Ašertu. Baal said to Ašertu: “I have slain your seventy-seven [sons]. I have slain eighty-eight.” [When] Ašertu heard the humiliation, she was troubled in her soul and had mourning [women] take their places. She wailed for seven years. [The …] ate and drank for them (the sons).
Fragment 2
(A ii 1´-3´) (Ašertu said to Elkunirša:) “[…] I will press [down Baal with my word. I will pierce him with my little spindle (?). Then] I will sleep with you.” [Elkunirša] listened and said to his wife: “Come, [I will turn] Baal [over to you. Do] with him as you wish.”
(A ii 4´-16´) Astarte overheard these words and became a goblet in the hand of Elkunirša. She became an owl and perched on his wall. Astarte overheard the words which husband and wife spoke to one another. Elkunirša and his wife went to her bed and they slept together. Astarte flew like a bird across the desert. In the desert she found Baal, [and said] to him: “O Baal, [the husband (?)] of Ašertu […] Do not drink wine together [… do not …] against […] she (?) will seek […]”
It seems that despite Astarte’s warning Ašertu took her vengeance on Baal, for the remaining fragments of the text, which are very badly broken, discuss the treatment of various parts of Baal’s body, including his penis, tendons, and muscles, as well as his ritual purification. Also mentioned are the “Dark Earth,” the Hittite term for the Netherworld, and the Annunaki-deities, known from Mesopotamian texts as the rulers of this dismal portion of the universe. Thus it seems that Baal must have died and been brought back from the dead, an impression strengthened by the presence of the Mother-goddesses in this portion of the composition.

Text: CTH 342; Fragment 1: A. KUB 36.35 i. B. KUB 36.34 i. Fragment 2: A. KUB 36.37 + KUB 31.118. B. KUB 12.61 ii. Literature: ANET 519; Bernabé 1987:127–29; Hoffner 1965; 1990:69–70; Laroche 1968b:25–30; Otten 1953.
Gary Beckman

The conflict between the Storm-god and the forces of chaos represented by the serpent (illuyanka- in Hittite) was the focus of two different tales known in second-millennium Anatolia, both of which served as etiological cult myths of the important Hittite festival called purulli, a term whose precise meaning remains unknown.
(A i 1–4) (This is) the text of the purulli (festival) for the […] of the Storm-god of Heaven, according to Kella, [the “anointed priest”] of the Storm-god of (the town of) Nerik: When they speak thus —
(A i 5–8) “Let the land grow and thrive, and let the land be secure!” — and when it (indeed) grows and thrives, then they perform the festival of purulli.
(A i 9–11) When the Storm-god and the serpent came to grips in (the town of) Kiškilušša, the serpent smote the Storm-god.
(A i 12–14) (Thereafter) the Storm-god summoned all the gods (saying): “Come in! (The goddess) Inara has prepared a feast!”
(A i 15–18) She prepared everything in great quantity — vessels of wine, vessels of (the drink) marnuwan, and vessels of (the drink) walḫi. In the vessels [she made] an abundance.
(A i 19–20) Then [Inara] went [to] (the town of) Ziggarata and encountered Ḫupašiya, a mortal.
(A i 21–23) Inara spoke as follows to Ḫupašiya: “I am about to do such-and-such a thing — you join with me!”
(A i 24–26) Ḫupašiya replied as follows to Inara: “If I may sleep with you, then I will come and perform your heart’s desire.” [And] he slept with her.
(B i 3´-8´) Then Inara transported Ḫupašiya and concealed him. Inara dressed herself up and invited the serpent up from his hole (saying): “I’m preparing a feast — come eat and drink!”
(B i 9´-12´) Then the serpent came up together with [his progeny], and they ate and drank. They drank up every vessel and became intoxicated.
(B i 13´-16´) They were no longer able to go back down into (their) hole, (so that) Ḫupašiya came and tied up the serpent with a cord.
(B i 17´-18´) The Storm-god came and slew the serpent. The (other) gods were at his side.
(C i 14´-22´) Then Inara built a house on a rock (outcropping) in (the town of) Tarukka and settled Ḫupašiya in the house. Inara instructed him: “When I go out into the countryside, you must not look out the window. If you do look out, you will see your wife and your children.”
(C i 23´-24´) When the twentieth day (after Inara’s departure) had passed, he looked out the window and [saw] his wife and [his] children.
(C i 25´-27´) When Inara returned from the countryside, he began to whine: “Let me (go) back home!”
(A ii 9´-14´) Inara spoke as follows [to Ḫupašiya: “…] away […”] through an offense […] the meadow of the Storm-god […] she [… killed (?)] him.
(A ii 15´-20´) Inara [went] to Kiškilušša and how she set her (?) house and [the river (?)] of the watery abyss [into] the hand of the king — because (in commemoration thereof) we are (re-)performing the first purulli festival — the hand [of the king will hold (?) the house (?)] of Inara and the [river (?)] of the watery abyss.
(A ii 21´-24´) (The divine mountain) Zaliyanu is first (in rank) among all (the gods). When he has allotted rain in Nerik, then the herald brings forth a loaf of thick bread from Nerik.
(A ii 25´-29´) He had asked Zaliyanu for rain, and he brings it to him [on account of (?)] the bread …
[Several badly damaged lines are followed by a break.]
(D iii 2´-5´) That which [Kella, the “anointed priest,”] spoke — [The serpent] defeated [the Storm-god] and took [ (his) heart and eyes]. And the Storm-god […] him.
(A iii 4´-8´) And he took as his wife the daughter of a poor man, and he sired a son. When he grew up, he took as his wife the daughter of the serpent.
(A iii 9´-12´) The Storm-god instructed (his) son: “When you go to the house of your wife, then demand from them (my) heart and eyes.”
(A iii 13´-19´) When he went, he demanded from them the heart, and they gave it to him. Afterwards he demanded from them the eyes, and they gave these to him. And he carried them to the Storm-god, his father, and the Storm-god (thereby) took back his heart and his eyes.
(A iii 20´-28´) When he was again sound in body as of old, then he went once more to the sea for battle. When he gave battle to him and was beginning to smite the serpent, then the son of the Storm-god was with the serpent and shouted up to heaven, to his father:
(A iii 29´-33´) “Include me! Do not show me any mercy!” Then the Storm-god killed the serpent and his (own) son. And now this one, the Storm-god
(A iii 34´-35´) Thus says Kella, [the “anointed
priest” of the Storm-god of Nerik: “…] when the gods […]”
[A break intervenes.]
(D iv 1´-4´) [Then] for the “anointed priest” they made the foremost gods the humblest, and the humblest they made the foremost gods.
(D iv 8´-10´) The cultic revenue of Zaliyanu is great. Zašḫapuna the wife of Zaliyanu is greater than the Storm-god of Nerik.
(D iv 8´-10´) The gods speak as follows to the “anointed priest” Taḫpurili: “When we go to the Storm-god of Nerik, where will we sit?”
(D iv 11´-16´) The “anointed priest” Taḫpurili speaks as follows: “When you sit on a diorite stool, and when the ‘anointed priests’ cast the lot, then the ‘anointed priest’ who holds (the image of) Zaliyanu — a diorite stool will be set above the spring, and he will be seated there.”
(A iv 14´-17´) “All the gods will arrive, and they will cast the lot. Of all the gods of (the town of) Kaštama, Zašḫapuna will be the greatest.”
(A iv 18´-21´) “Because she is the wife of Zaliyanu, and Tazzuwašši is his concubine, these three persons will remain in (the town of) Tanipiya.”
(A iv 22´-23´) And thereafter in Tanipiya a field will be handed over from the royal (property) —
(A iv 24´-28´) Six kapunu-measures of field, one kapunu-measure of garden, a house together with a threshing floor, three buildings for the household personnel. It is recorded [on] a tablet. I am respectful [of the matter], and I have spoken these things (truly).
(A iv 29´-33´) Colophon: One tablet, complete, of the word of Kella, the “anointed priest.” [The scribe] Piḫa-ziti wrote it under the supervision of the chief scribe Walwa-ziti.

Text: CTH 321; A. KBo 3.7. B. KUB 17.5. C. KUB 17.6. D. KUB 12.66. E. KUB 36.54. F. KBo 12.83. G. KBo 12.84 (+) KBo 13.84. H. KBo 22.99. J. KUB 36.53. Bibliography: ANET 125–126; Beckman 1982; Bernabé 1987:29–37; Gonnet 1987; Hoffner 1990:10–14; Laroche 1968b:65–72; Pecchioli Daddi and Polvani 1990:39–55.
Gary Beckman

In the Hittite view, the operation of the universe required that each deity and human conscientiously perform his or her proper function within the whole. Calamity manifested in some sector of the cosmos was an indication that the god or goddess responsible for it had become angry and had abandoned his or her post. The remedy for this evil situation was the performance by both human and divine practitioners of an expiatory ritual which included a mythological account of the deity’s displeasure, departure, and reconciliation. Such “disappearing god texts” (Parker 1989) are attested for at least a dozen Hittite divinities. The example translated here, the best preserved and consequently best known to non-specialists, is addressed to Telipinu, who belonged to the large class of Anatolian Storm-gods.
[The beginning of the text has been lost.]
(A i 1´-4´) Telipinu [became angry and said]: “Do not practice intimidation!” He slipped (?) his right [shoe] on his left (foot). [He slipped (?)] his left [shoe] on his right.
(A i 5´-9´) Mist seized the windows. Smoke seized the house. On the hearth the logs were stifled. [On the altars] the gods were stifled. In the fold the sheep were stifled. In the corral the cows were stifled. The sheep refused her lamb. The cow refused her calf.
(A i 10´-15´) Telipinu went off and took away grain, the fertility of the herds, growth (?), plenty (?), and satiety into the wilderness, to the meadow and the moor. Telipinu proceeded to disappear into the moor. The ḫalenzu-plant spread over him. Barley and wheat no longer grow. Cows, sheep, and humans no longer conceive, and those who are (already) pregnant do not give birth in this time.
(A i 16´-20´) The mountains dried up. The trees dried up, so that buds do not come forth. The pastures dried up. The springs dried up. Famine appeared in the land. Humans and gods perish from hunger. The great Sun-god prepared a feast and invited the Thousand Gods. They ate but were not sated; they drank but were not satisfied.
(A i 21´-25´) The Storm-god concerned himself for his son Telipinu: “My son Telipinu is not here. He became angry and took away for himself everything good.” The great gods and the lesser gods began to search for Telipinu. The Sun-god dispatched the swift eagle: “Go search the high mountains!
(A i 26´-31´) Search the deep valleys! Search the blue sea!” The eagle went, but he did not find him. He brought back a report to the Sun-god: “I didn’t find him, the honored god Telipinu.” The Storm-god said to the Mother-goddess: “What will we do? We will perish from hunger!” The Mother-goddess said to the Storm-god: “Do something, Storm-god! You go search for Telipinu!”
(A i 32´-35´) The Storm-god set out and began to search for Telipinu. He [comes] to his city, to the city gate, but he is not able to open (it). He broke his mallet and wedge. The Storm-god […], covered himself (with his garment), and sat down. The Mother-goddess [dispatched a bee]: “You go search for Telipinu!”
(A i 36´-´) [The Storm-god] spoke [to the Mother-goddess]: “The great gods and the lesser gods repeatedly searched for him, but [they did not find] him. Now [will] this [bee] go [find] him? His wingspan is small, he himself is small, and further-more they (the gods) …”
[A break intervenes. Parallel texts inform us that despite the scepticism of the Storm-god, the bee indeed succeeded in finding the lost god, who was asleep in a meadow. The bee stung Telipinu on his hands and feet, awakening him and only increasing his rage. It is to placating this anger that the program of ritual action which constitutes the remainder of this text is directed. Here the actions of the human magical specialist and of Kamrušepa, goddess of magic, are inextricably intertwined.]
(A ii 3´-8´) And Telipinu […] And she (the human practitioner) ground up (?) malt and beer-bread. […] came forth (?). She cut off good […] at the gate. [Let] the pleasant smell [summon (?) you], Telipinu. Choked (with rage), [may you be reconciled (with gods and humans)]!
(A ii 9´-11´) Here (before you) [lies] water of walḫeššar. [Let] your soul, O Telipinu, [be … Turn] to the king in favor.
(A ii 12´-14´) Here lies galaktar. Let [your soul, O Telipinu], be pacified. Here [lies parḫuena-]. Let (its) form entice you (!), [O Telipinu].
(A ii 15´-18´) Here lie šamama-nuts. Let [your soul, O Telipinu], be sated with oil. Here [lie] figs. As [figs] are sweet, let [your soul, O Telipinu], likewise become sweet.
(A ii 19´-21´) As the olive [holds] its oil in its heart, [and as the grape] holds its wine in its heart, may you, Telipinu, likewise hold goodness in your soul and heart.
(A 22´-27´) Here lies liti-wood. Let it anoint [your soul (?)], O Telipinu. As the malt and beer-bread are joined in their essence, let your soul likewise [be] joined, [O Telipinu], to the words of the humans. [As …] is pure, let Telipinu’s soul likewise become pure. [As] honey is sweet and as ghee is mild, let [the soul] of Telipinu likewise become sweet and likewise become mild.
(A ii 28´-32´) I have now sprinkled the paths of Telipinu with fine oil. O Telipinu, tread the paths sprinkled with fine oil. Let boughs of šaḫi- and ḫappuriya- be your bed. As (stalks of) lemon grass (?) are intertwined, may you, O Telipinu, be reconciled (with gods and humans).
(A ii 33´-iii 2) In fury Telipinu came. He thunders with the lightning bolt. He smites the Dark Earth below. Kamrušepa saw him, [took] an eagle’s wing (as an instrument of magic), and carried him off. She [brought] it, the displeasure, [to an end]. She brought it, the wrath, to an end. She brought [the offense] to an end. She brought the anger to an end.
(A iii 3–7) Kamrušepa speaks to the gods: “Go, O gods. Ḫapantali [is] now [herding] the sheep of the Sun-god. Cut out twelve rams so that I may treat the karaš-grain of Telipinu.” I (the human practitioner) have taken for myself a sieve with a thousand ‘eyes,’ and I have sifted (in it) the karaš-grain, the rams of Kamrušepa.
(A iii 8–12) I have burned (a purificatory substance) over Telipinu on this side and that. I have taken his evil from Telipinu, from his body. I have taken his (perceived) offense. I have taken his displeasure. I have taken his wrath. I have taken his irritation. I have taken his anger.
(A iii 13–20) Telipinu is wrathful. His soul and [his] figure were stifled (like) kindling. As they have burned this kindling, let the displeasure, wrath, (perceived) offense, and anger of Telipinu likewise burn. As [malt] is meager (in fertility), and one does not take it to the field to use as seed, nor does one make it into bread, [nor] does one place [it] in the storehouse, so let the displeasure, [wrath], (perceived) offense, and anger of Telipinu likewise become meager (in effect).
(A iii 21–23) Telipinu is wrathful. His soul [and his figure] are a burning fire. As this fire [is extinguished], let (his) displeasure, wrath, and anger likewise [be extinguished].
(A iii 24–27) O Telipinu, let go of displeasure. [Let go of] wrath. Let go of anger. As a rain spout does not flow [backwards], so [let the displeasure, wrath], and anger of Telipinu not [come] back.
(A iii 28–34) The gods [take their seats in the place] of assembly beneath the hawthorn tree. Beneath the hawthorn tree [are set] long […] All of the gods are seated (including): [Papaya], Ištuštaya, the Fate-deities, the Mother-goddesses, the Grain-deity, the Spirit of growth, Telipinu, the Tutelary Deity, Ḫa-pantali, [and …] I have treated the deities for long years [and for …] I have purified him (Telipinu).
(C 9´-12´) [I have taken] evil from Telipinu, [from his body]. I have taken his [displeasure. I have taken his] wrath. I have taken [his (perceived) offense. I have taken his] anger. I have taken [the evil] tongue. [I have taken] the evil […]
[There is a break. The preserved text resumes with an address to the hawthorn tree.]
(A iv 1–3) [The ox goes beneath you, and] you pluck [his] coat (?). The sheep [goes] beneath you, and you pluck her fleece. Pluck from Telipinu (his) wrath, displeasure, (perceived) offense, and anger.
(A iv 4–7) In fury the Storm-god comes, and the man of the Storm-god (his priest) brings him to a halt. A pot comes to a boil, and the wooden spoon (?) brings it to a halt. Furthermore, let my words, those of the human, likewise bring displeasure, wrath, and anger to an end for Telipinu.
(A iv 8–13) Let them depart, the displeasure, wrath, (perceived) offense, and anger of Telipinu. Let the house release them. Let the central … release them. Let the window release them. Let the door-pivot <release them>. Let the central courtyard release them. Let the city gate release them. Let the gate structure release them. Let the royal road release them. They shall not go to the fertile field, or garden, or grove. They shall go along the road of the Sun-goddess of the Earth.
(A iv 14–19) The doorkeeper opened the seven doors; he drew back the seven bolts. Below, in the Dark Earth, there stand bronze kettles. Their lids are of lead. Their latches are of iron. Whatever goes into (them) does not come up again, but perishes therein. Let them capture the displeasure, wrath, (perceived) offense, and anger of Telipinu, so that they do not come back.
(A iv 20–26) Telipinu came back home and concerned himself for his land. The mist released the window. The smoke released the house. The altars were reconciled with the gods. The hearth released the log. In the fold he (Telipinu) released the sheep. In the corral he released the cows. Then the mother tended her child. The sheep tended her lamb. The cow tended her calf. And Telipinu <tended> the king and queen. He concerned himself for them in regard to life, vigor, and future (existence).
(A iv 27–31) Telipinu concerned himself for the king. An eya-tree stands before Telipinu. From the eya-tree hangs a hunting bag (fashioned from the skin) of a sheep. In it is mutton fat. In it are grain, the fertility of the herds, and the grape. In it are cow and sheep. In it are long years and progeny.
(A iv 32–35) In it is the gentle bleating of the lamb. In it are … and renown. In it is the … In it is the right shank. In it [is growth (?), plenty (?), and sateity].
[The preserved text ends.]

Text: CTH 324.1; A. KUB 17.10. B. KUB 33.2. C. KUB 33.1. D. KUB 33.3. E. KBo 24.84. Bibliography: ANET 126–128; Bernabé 1987:49–54; Hoffner 1990:14–17; Kellerman 1986; Laroche 1965b:89–98; Parker 1989; Pecchioli Daddi and Polvani 1990:71–84.
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

This text has been translated here as an independent story. According to Güterbock (1946), the text is continued in the tale of the Sun God, the Cow, and the Fisherman. Although the extant copies of the Appu story are New Hittite, archaic language indicates an archetype composed in the Old or Middle Hittite period. The story has a moral, which is stated in the proemium. The unnamed deity who is praised for always vindicating the just person will also thwart the evil son of Appu who attempts to defraud his honest brother. Only a little bit of the beginning is lost. Where the text becomes intelligible, a proemium is in progress.
He/she it is (i.e., some deity) who always exonerates just men, but chops down evil men like trees, repeatedly striking evil men on their skulls (like) … s until he/she destroys them.
There was a city named Šudul. It was situated on the seacoast in the land of Lulluwa. Up there lived a man named Appu. He was the richest man in all the land. He had many cattle and sheep. He had amassed silver, gold and lapis lazuli like a huge heap of threshed grain. There was nothing which he lacked but one thing: he had neither son nor daughter. a
The elders of Šudul sat eating in his presence. One gave bread and a piece of grilled meat to his son; another gave his son a drink. But Appu had no one to whom to give bread. The table was covered with a linen cloth and stood in front of the altar. Appu arose, went home, and lay down on his bed with his shoes on.
Appu’s wife questioned their servants: “He has never had success before. You don’t think he has now had success, do you?” The woman went and lay down with Appu with her clothes on. Appu awoke from his sleep, and his wife questioned him: “You have never had success before. Have you now had success?” When Appu heard this, he replied: “You are a woman and think like one. You know nothing at all.” b
Appu rose from his bed, took a white lamb, and set out to meet the Sun God. The Sun God looked down from the sky, changed himself into a young man, came to him, and questioned him: “What is your problem, that [I may solve] it for you?”
When [Appu] heard this, he replied to him: “[The gods] have given me wealth. They have given [me cattle and sheep]. I lack only one thing: I have neither son nor daughter.” When the Sun God heard this, he said: “Get drunk, go home, and sleep with your wife. The gods will give you a son.”
When Appu heard this, he went back home, but the Sun God went back up to the sky. Now Teššub (the Storm God) saw the Sun God coming three miles distant, and said to his vizier: “Look who’s coming: the Sun God, Shepherd of the Lands! You don’t suppose that somewhere the land is laid waste? Might not cities somewhere be devastated? Might not troops somewhere be put to rout? Tell the cook and cupbearer to provide him with food and drink.”
[The Sun God] came, […], and [Teššub … ed] him there. Teššub [… ed] the Sun God, and began to question him: “Why [have you come, O Sun God of the Sky?…”]
[Long break.]
[Beginning of column iii broken.]
Appu’s wife became pregnant. The first month, the second month, the third month, the fourth month, the fifth month, the sixth month, the seventh month, the eighth month, the ninth month passed, and the tenth month arrived. Appu’s wife bore a son. The nurse lifted the boy and placed him on Appu’s knees. Appu began to amuse the boy and to clean him off (?). He put a fitting name upon him: “Since my ancestral gods didn’t [take] the right way for him, but followed a wrong way, let his name be Wrong.”
Again, a second time Appu’s wife became pregnant. The [tenth] month arrived, and the woman bore a son. The nurse lifted [the boy] and (Appu) put the right name upon him, “Let them call him by a right name. Since my ancestral gods took the right way for him, let his name be Right.”
[Appu’s boys] grew up and matured and came into manhood. [When] Appu’s boys had grown up [and matured] and come into manhood, they parted [from] Appu, and [divided up] the estate.
Brother Wrong said to Brother Right: “Let us separate and settle down in different places.” Brother Right said [to Brother Wrong]: “Then who […]?” Brother Wrong said to Brother Right: “Since the mountains dwell separately, since the rivers flow in separate courses, as the very gods dwell separately — I say these things to you: The Sun God dwells in Sippar. The Moon God dwells in Kuzina. Teššub dwells in Kummiya. And Šawuška dwells in Nineveh. Nanaya [dwells] in Kiššina. And Marduk dwells in Babylon. As the gods dwell separately, so let us also settle in different places.”
Wrong and Right began to divide up (the estate), while the Sun God looked on from heaven. Brother Wrong took [a half] and gave the other half to his brother Right. They […]ed among themselves. There was one plow ox and [one] cow. Wrong took the one healthy plow ox, and [gave] the unhealthy cow to his brother Right. The Sun God looked [on] from heaven (and said): “Let [Right’s unhealthy] cow become healthy, and let her bear […]” c
(Colophon:) First tablet of Appu: incomplete.
[A separate fragment offers part of the continuation. Beginning broken away.]
[But when they] arrived in Sippar and took their stand before the Sun God for judgment, [the Sun God] awarded the judgment to Brother Right.
[Then Brother Wrong] began to curse. The Sun God heard the curses [and] said: “I will not [decide] it for you. Let Šawuška (a goddess), Nineveh’s Queen, judge it for you.”
[Wrong and Right] set out. And when they arrived at Nineveh and stood before Šawuška [for judgment, …] drew one acre in one direction [and … in the other direction].
[Rest of the text lost.]

Hoffner 1975a; 1990.
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

[Güterbock believes that this story is a continuation of Appu and his Two Sons. Beginning of the preserved portion is too broken for connected translation.]
The cow thrived and … -ed. The Sun God looked down from the sky, and his desire leaped forward upon the cow. [He became] a young man, came down from the sky, and began to speak to the cow: “Who do you think you are, that you continually graze on our meadow […]? When the grass is tender and young, [and you graze here], you destroy the meadow.”
[The cow] replied: “Is […] hire […] in its […]?” Then the Sun God responded: “[…] and it [is] in bloom […] me […]” [The Sun God] spoke [further] to the cow: “[…]”
[The rest of the column is broken away, as are the first lines of the next column.]
The Sun God drove the cow […], and the Sun God […] the cow, [and …] cattle […]
[Most of three lines missing.]
… the second, third, [fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth], ninth and tenth month arrived, [and the cow gave birth]. The cow [called] back up to the sky [and] glowered [at the Sun God]. She said [to the Sun God]: “Now I ask you please: [My calf] should have four legs. Why have I borne this two-legged thing?” Like a lion, the cow opened her mouth and went toward the child to eat (it?). The cow made her … as deep as the Deep Blue and set out toward the child [to …].
The Sun God looked down from the sky. [He came down] and took his stand beside the cow. He began [to say to her:] “And who are you, [that you have approached …] to gulp down […]?”
The Sun God [… -ed] the cow [and …]. And (s)he [… -ed …]. When the child [… -ed, …] grass […] his eyes […]. The Sun God […] and him […].
[Break of about 17 lines.]
“The great rivers […] are troubled. The […] are troubled for washing. […] of blood […] for washing. […] let it keep on living.” The day becomes warm […]
When the Sun God had set out to go back up to the sky, he [… -ed] the child […]. He strokes (?) its members along with [its head]. The Sun God spoke to […]: “Take a staff in hand, put the winds on [your feet as] winged [shoes]. Make the trip in one stage. Over the child […] birds, … -birds, […] … –birds, eagles […] Let them … their pegs away from over him. […] snakes intertwined […]”
[The rest of column iii and the beginning of column iv lost.]
[A fisherman] said [to …]: “I will go see. [The … –s] are standing in the mountains […” The fisher-man] arrived at the child.… -birds […] shelducks fly up. […] are ascending (?) and they […] to the sky.
[When the fisherman approached], the poisonous snakes retired to a distance. […] strokes (the child’s) members along with its head. He strokes […] He strokes its eyes […] The fisherman said to himself: “Somehow I have pleased (?) the gods, so that they have removed the unfavorable bread from the rock. I have struck the Sun God’s fancy, and he has led me out (here) for the sake of [the child]. Do you perhaps know about me, O Sun God, that I have no child, that you have led me out (here) for the sake of the child? Truly the Sun God puts […] bread out for him who is dear to him!” The fisher-man lifted the child up from the ground, tidied him up, rejoiced in him, held him close to his chest, and carried him back home.
The fisherman arrived at the city of Urma, went to his house, and sat down in a chair. The fisherman said to his wife: “Pay close attention to what I am about to say to you. Take this child, go into the bedroom, lie down on the bed, and wail. The whole city will hear and say: ‘The fisherman’s wife has borne a child!’ And one will bring us bread, another will bring us beer, and still another will bring us fat. A (n ideal) woman’s mind is clever. She has cut (herself) off from command (ing others). She is dependent on the authority of the god. She stands in woman’s subordination, and she does not disobey (her) husband’s word.”
(The fisherman’s wife) heard the man’s word, went into [the bedroom], lay down on the bed, [and began to wail]. When the men of the city heard, they said: “[The fisherman’s] wife [has borne a child!”] The men of the city [said this] and began to bring [things to her. One] brought [bread, and another] fat [and beer].
[The colophon indicates that the story was continued on another tablet.]

Hoffner 1975a; 1981; 1990.

Gary Beckman

When he came to the throne, the Great King Muršili II was confronted with both the fragmentation of the Hittite empire and the raging of an epidemic of uncertain character which had carried off in short succession both his father Šuppiluliuma I and his brother Arnuwanda II. Innumerable ordinary Hittites had perished as well. While Muršili mastered the political situation within the first decade of his rule, the plague continued unabated for many more years. To persuade the gods to bring the suffering to an end, the king (or his scribes) composed several prayers in which he confesses his own guilt and that of his land for various offenses, and details the reparations which have already been made. He also points out to the gods that they will only harm themselves by thinning out the ranks of their human servants. The order of the prayers is not indicated in the texts themselves but has been postulated by modern scholars on the basis of the development of Muršili’s argumentation over the course of the series.
First Prayer
(A obv. 1–7) O [all of] you [male deities], all female deities, [all] male deities [of the oath], all female deities of the oath, [all] primeval [deities], all [male] deities and all female deities who were summoned to assembly for witnessing an oath in this [matter]! O mountains, rivers, springs, and underground watercourses! I, Muršili, your priest and servant, have now pled my case before you. O gods, my lords, [listen] for me to my concern about which I present you my justification.
(A obv. 8–15) O gods, [my] lords, a plague broke out in Ḫatti, and Ḫatti has been beaten down by the plague. It [has been] very much [oppressed]. This is the twentieth year. Because Ḫatti is (still) experiencing many deaths, the affair of Tudḫaliya the Younger, son of Tudḫaliya, began to haunt [me]. I inquired of a god through an oracle, [and] the affair of Tudḫaliya the Younger was ascertained by the god (as a source of our suffering). Because Tudḫaliya the Younger was lord of Ḫatti, the princes, the noblemen, the commanders of the thousands, the officers, [the subalterns (?)], and all [the infantry] and chariotry of Ḫattuša swore an oath to him. My father also swore an oath to him.
(A obv. 16–22) [But when my father (Šuppiluliuma I)] mistreated Tudḫaliya, all [the princes, the noblemen], the commanders of the thousands, and the officers of Ḫattuša [went over] to my [father]. Although they had sworn an oath (to him), [they seized] Tudḫaliya, and they killed [Tudḫaliya]. Furthermore, they killed those of his brothers [who stood by] him. […] they sent to Alašiya (Cyprus). [Whatever] was their […] they […] in regard to him. [Thus the …] and the lords transgressed the oath.
(A obv. 23–40) [But] you, [O gods], my [lords], safeguarded my father. […] And because Ḫattuša [had been burned down (?)] by the enemy, and the enemy had taken [borderlands] of Ḫatti, [my father repeatedly attacked the enemy lands] and repeatedly defeated them. He took back the borderlands of Ḫatti which [the enemy had taken]. He [settled] them anew (with Hittites). Furthermore, [he conquered] additional foreign lands [during] his reign. He sustained Ḫatti and [secured] its frontiers on every side. All of Ḫatti prospered in his time. [Humans], cows, and sheep became numerous in his time. The civilian captives who [were carried off] from the land of the enemy survived; none died. But later you came, O gods, [my lords], and have now taken vengeance on my father for this affair of Tudḫaliya the Younger. My father [died] because of the blood of Tudḫaliya. And the princes, the noblemen, the commanders of the thousands, and the officers who went over [to my father] also died because of [this] affair. This same affair also affected the (entire) land of Ḫatti, and [Ḫatti] began to perish because of [this] affair. And Ḫatti [wasted (?)] away. Now the plague [has become] yet [worse]. Ḫatti has been [very much] oppressed by the plague and has become diminished. I, Muršili, [your servant], cannot [master] the turmoil [of my heart]. I cannot [master] the anguish of my body.
[The end of the obverse and the beginning of the reverse are too fragmentary for translation.]
(A rev. 8´-12´) [… Because] my father [killed] this Tudḫhaliya, my father therefore later [performed] a ritual of (expiation of) bloodshed. But Ḫattuša did not [perform] anything. I came along, and I performed [a ritual of bloodshed], but the population did [not] perform anything. [No one] did anything [on behalf of] the land.
(A rev. 13´-20´) Now because Ḫatti has been very much beaten down by the plague, and Ḫatti continues to experience many deaths, the affair of Tudḫaliya has begun to trouble the land. It was ascertained for me (through an oracle) by [a god], and I made (further) oracular inquiries [about it]. They will perform before you, [the gods], my lords, the ritual of (transgressing of) the oath which was ascertained for you, [the gods], my lords, and for your temples in regard to the plague. They will purify [… before you]. And I will make restitution to you, the gods, my lords, with reparation and propitiatory gift on behalf of the land.
(A rev. 21´-40´) Because you, the gods, my lords, have taken vengeance for the blood of Tudḫhaliya, those who killed Tudḫhaliya have made restitution for the blood. This bloodshed has again ruined Ḫatti. Ḫatti has already made (sufficient) restitution for it. Because I have now come along, I and my household will make restitution for it through reparation and propitiatory gift. Let the souls of the gods, my lords, again be appeased. May you, the gods, my lords, be well-disposed toward me once more. Let me appear [before you]. May you listen to what I say to you. I have [not] done anything evil. (Of) those who sinned and did do evil, not one is still here today. They all died off previously. But because the affair implicating my father has devolved upon me, on behalf of the land I am now giving to you, the gods, my [lords], a propitiatory gift on account of the plague. I am making restitution. I am making restitution to you with propitiatory gift and reparation. May you, the gods, my lords, [be] well-disposed toward me once more. Let me appear before you. Because Ḫatti has been oppressed by the plague, [and] has been diminished, [they prepared] the offering bread and libation for you, the gods, my lords. He (the murderer?) is very much beaten down by the plague, and it (Ḫatti?) was […] from the plague. Meanwhile, the aforementioned plague does not simply take it (Ḫatti) away, but people continue to die. These few bakers of offering bread and libation bearers who [are still here] — if they perish, no one will any longer give you offering bread or libation.
(A rev. 41´-51´) May you, [the gods, my lords], be [well-disposed toward me once more] because of the offering bread and libation which [they prepare]. Let me appear before you. Send the plague [out of Ḫatti]. Let (no one) beat down any further these few bakers of offering bread [and libation bearers] who [are still here] for you. Let them not [continue to die in great numbers]. They shall prepare [offering bread] and libation for you. [Come], O gods, my lords. Send the plague [away]. Whatever evils […] to the enemy land, [or which] occurred in the midst of Ḫatti concerning [Tudḫaliya], send them [… away], O gods. Send them to the enemy land. May you be well-disposed toward Ḫatti. Let [the plague] abate once more. [Because] I am appearing before you as your priest and your servant, may you be well-disposed [toward me]. Send away the turmoil from my heart. Take away the anguish from my body.
(A Colophon): [One tablet], complete. When Muršili [pled] his case.
Second Prayer
(C i 1–18) O Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, [and gods], my [lords, King] Muršili, your servant, has sent me (saying): Go speak to the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, and to the gods, my lords, as follows: What is this that you have done? You have allowed a plague into Ḫatti, so that Ḫatti has been beaten down severely by the plague. In the time of my father (Šuppiluliuma I) and of my brother (Arnuwanda II) people were dying, and since I have become priest of the gods, people are continuing to die in my time. This is the twentieth year that people have been dying in Ḫatti. By no means has the plague been removed from Ḫatti. I cannot master the turmoil of my heart. I can no longer master the anguish of my body.
(C i 19–28; A obv. 2´-5´) Furthermore, when I performed festivals, I paced back and forth (in worship) for all the gods. I did not privilege any single temple. I have pled my case concerning the plague to all the gods, and I have repeatedly offered [votive gifts to you (saying)]: “Listen [to me, O gods], my [lords, and send the plague out of Ḫatti. Ḫattuša simply cannot …] master [the plague. Let the matter on account of which] people have been dying [in Ḫatti either be established through oracle], or [let me see] it [in a dream, or let a prophet (lit., ‘man of god’)] speak [of it].” But the gods [did not listen] to me, [and] the plague did not abate [in] Ḫatti. [Ḫatti has been beaten down severely].
(A obv. 6´-12´) The [few] bakers of offering bread [and libation bearers] of the gods who [still] remained died off. [The affair of …] continued to trouble [me. I sought (the cause of) the anger] of the gods, [and I found] two old tablets. One tablet [dealt with the ritual of the Euphrates River …] Earlier kings [performed] the ritual of the Euphrates […], but since the time of my father (Šuppiluliuma I) [people have been dying] in Ḫatti, [and] we have never performed [the ritual] of the Euphrates.
(A obv. 13´-24´) The second tablet dealt with (the town of) Kuruštama — how the Storm-god of Ḫatti took the men of Kuruštama to Egyptian territory, and how the Storm-god of Ḫatti made a treaty concerning them with the Hittites. Furthermore, they were put under oath by the Storm-god of Ḫatti. And although the Hittites and the Egyptians had been put under oath by the Storm-god of Ḫatti, the Hittites came to repudiate (the agreement), and suddenly the Hittites transgressed the oath. My father sent infantry and chariotry, and they attacked the border region of Egyptian territory in the land of Amka. He sent (them) again, and they attacked again. When the Egyptians became frightened, they came and actually asked my father for his son for kingship. When my father gave them his son, and when they took him off, they killed him. My father became hostile, went to Egyptian territory, and attacked Egyptian territory. He killed the infantry and chariotry of Egypt.
(A obv. 25´-34´) And at that time the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, gave my father the upper hand in the lawsuit (manifest in the armed conflict), so that he defeated the infantry and chariotry of Egypt. He killed them. When the prisoners of war who had been captured were brought back to Ḫatti, the plague broke out among the prisoners of war, and they [began] to die in great numbers. When the prisoners of war were carried off to Ḫatti, the prisoners of war introduced the plague into Ḫatti, and from that time people have been dying in Ḫatti. When I found the tablet mentioned earlier dealing with Egypt, I made an oracular inquiry of a god about it: “Has this matter discussed earlier been brought about by the Storm-god of Ḫatti because the Egyptians and the Hittites had been put under oath by the Storm-god of Ḫatti?”
(A obv. 35´-46´; C iii 3´-7´) It was ascertained (through an oracle) that the cause of the anger of the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, was the fact that (although) the damnaššara-deities (guarantors of the oath?) were in the temple of the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, the Hittites on their own suddenly transgressed the word (of the oath). Due to the plague I also made an oracular inquiry about the ritual of [the Euphrates], and at that point it was ascertained that I should appear before the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord. I have (therefore) now confessed (my) [sin before the Storm-god]: It is true. We have done [it. But the sin] did [not] take place in my time. [Rather, it took place] in the time of my father. […] I am certainly aware. […] The Storm-god [of Ḫatti, my lord], is angry about […] If people have been dying in Ḫatti, I am [now] pleading my [case] concerning this [to] the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord. I kneel down to you and [cry out]: “Have mercy!” Listen to me, O Storm-god, my lord. Let the plague be removed from Ḫatti.
(C iii 8´-19´; B iii 16´-20´; A rev. 8´-9´) I will dispose of the matter which I thoroughly researched (through oracular inquiry) [and] of the affairs which were ascertained concerning the plague. I will make full restitution for them […] In regard to the matter of [the oath] which was ascertained concerning the plague, I have offered the ritual [of] the oath for the Storm-god of Ḫatti, [my lord. For the gods, my lords], I have offered [it]. They have [… a ritual] for you, the Storm-god of Ḫatti, [my lord], and [they have …] a ritual for you, [the gods, my lords]. Because [the ritual of the Euphrates] was ascertained for me [concerning the plague], and because I am now on my way [to] the Euphrates, O Storm-god [of Ḫatti], my lord, and gods, my lords, leave me alone concerning the ritual of the Euphrates. I shall perform the ritual of [the Euphrates], and I shall perform it fully. In regard to such matter as I will do it, namely the plague — may the gods, my lords, be well-disposed toward me. Let the plague abate in Ḫatti.
(A rev. 10´-19´) O Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, and gods, my lords — so it happens: People always sin. My father sinned and transgressed the word of the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord. But I did not sin in any way. But so it happens: The sin of the father devolves upon his son. The sin of my father has devolved upon me, and I have now confessed it to the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, and to the gods, my lords: It is true. We have done it. Because I have confessed the sin of my father, let the souls of the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, and of the gods, my lords, again be appeased. May you be well-disposed toward me once more. Send the plague away from Ḫatti again. Let those few bakers of offering bread and libation bearers who remain not die.
(A rev. 20´-36´) I am now pleading my case concerning the plague to the Storm-god, my lord. Listen to me, O Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, and save me! [I say] to you [as follows]: The bird takes refuge in the nest, and the nest [saves] it. Or if anything has become troublesome to some servant, and he pleads his case to his lord, his lord will listen to him and correct for him whatever had become troublesome [to him]. Or if a sin (hangs over) some servant, and he confesses the sin before his lord, then his lord may treat him however he wishes. But since he confesses his sin before his lord, the soul of his lord is appeased, and his [lord] does not call that servant to account. I have confessed the sin of my father: It is true. I did it. [If] there is any reparation (due), then there has indeed already been much because of this [plague introduced by] the prisoners of war whom they brought from the territory of Egypt and the civilian captives whom [they brought]. What is [this]? Ḫattuša has made restitution through the plague. It [has made restitution] twenty-fold. So it happens. And the souls of the Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord, [and of] the gods, my lords, are simply not appeased. Or if you wish to impose upon me some special restitution, tell me about it in a dream so that I can give it to you.
(A rev. 37´-40´) I repeatedly plead my case [to you], Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord. Save me! [If] perhaps people have (indeed) been dying because of this matter, let those bakers of offering bread and libation bearers who remain not continue to die while I am correcting it.
(A rev. 41´-44´; C iv 14´-22´) [Or] if people have been dying because of some other matter, let me either see it in a dream, or [let] it [be discovered] by means of an oracle, or let a prophet speak of it. Or the priests will sleep long and purely (in an incubation oracle) in regard to that which I convey to all of them. […] Save me, O Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord! Let the gods, my lords, reveal to me their providence. Let someone then see it in a dream. Let the matter on account of which people have been dying be discovered … Save me, O Storm-god of Ḫatti, my lord! Let the plague be removed from Ḫatti.
(C Colophon): One tablet, complete. [When] Muršili […] because of the plague [… pled his case].
Third Prayer
(obv. 1–6) O Sun-goddess of (the town of) Arinna, my lady, and gods, my lords, what [have you done]? You have allowed a plague into Ḫatti, so that Ḫatti has been beaten down severely [by the plague]. In the time of my father (Šuppiluliuma I) and of my brother (Arnuwanda II), [people were dying]. Now I have become priest of the gods, [and] people are continuing to die [in my time]. This is the twentieth year [that] people have been dying [in great numbers in Ḫatti]. Ḫatti [has been very much oppressed] by the plague.
(obv. 7–13) Ḫatti has been very much beaten down by the plague. [If someone] produces a child, the […] of plague [will …] to him. He may attain adulthood, but he will not [grow old …] will remain for someone. He [will experience the plague (?)]. To [his] previous condition [he will] not [return]. If he should become old […], he will not be warm.
[The bottom of the obverse and the upper portion of the reverse have been lost.]
(rev. 2´-14´) Now I, Muršili, [have pled my case. Listen] to me, O gods, my lords. [Send (?) away] the turmoil from my heart. [Let] the plague [be removed] from Ḫatti. Send [it] to the enemy lands. In Ḫatti […] If you, the gods, my lords, [do not send] the plague [away] from Ḫatti, the bakers of offering bread and the libation bearers [will die]. And if they die off, [the offering bread] and the libation will be cut off for the gods, [my lords]. Then you will come to me, O gods, [my lords], and hold this (to be) a sin [on my part] (saying): “Why [don’t you give] us offering bread and libation?” May you now be well-disposed to Ḫatti once more, O gods, my lords. Send the plague away again. [Let the plague abate] in Ḫatti. Let it (Ḫatti) thrive and grow. Let it [return] to its previous condition.
Fourth Prayer
(A i 1–16) O gods, my lords: Exalted Storm-god, the two lords of Landa, Iyarri, the deities of Ḫattuša, the deities of Arinna, the deities of Zippalanda, the deities of Tuwanuwa, the deities of Ḫupišna, the deities of Turmitta, the deities of Ankuwa, the deities of Šamuḫa, the deities of Šarišša, the deities of Ḫurma, the deities of Ḫanḫana, the deities of Karaḫna, the deities of Illaya, Kamrušepa of Tani-wanda, the deities of Zarruiša, the Storm-god of Liḫzina, the Tutelary Deity of the Army Camp of the father of My Majesty which is in Maraššantiya, Uliliyašši of Parmanna, the deities of Kattila, the Storm-god of Ḫašuna, the deities of Muwanu (?), the deities of Zazziša, the Telipinus whose temples (?) in the land have been destroyed, the deities of Šalpa, and the Storm-god of [Arziya (?)].
(A i 17–20) O gods, my lords, I, Muršili, your priest, have now bowed down to you. Lend an ear and listen for me to the matter on account of which I have bowed down to you.
(A i 21–35) O gods, my lords, since earliest times you have been concerned with [humans], and you have [not] abandoned humankind. [You have] (rather) very much [safeguarded] humankind. Your divine servants [were] numerous, and they (!) set out for the gods, my lords, offering bread and libation. But now you have turned on humankind, so that it happened that in the time of [my] grandfather (Tudḫaliya III) Ḫatti was oppressed. [It was devastated] by the enemy. Then humankind [was diminished] by the plague; your [divine] servants [were reduced in number]. And of you, [the gods], my lords, [one had no] temple, and [the temple] of another [fell into ruin]. Whoever [served] before a god perished. [No] one performed for you the rites [which …]
(A i 36–46) [But] when my [father] took his seat in kingship, [you], the gods, my lords, stood with him. He resettled once more the [depopulated] lands. [And for you], the gods, my lords, in whatever temple there were no [furnishings], or whatever divine image had been destroyed — my father made up that which he was able to do. He did not make up that which he was not able to do. O gods, [my] lords, you were never troublesome to my father, and you were never troublesome to me, but now you have troubled me.
(A i 47–55) When it happened that my father [went] to Egypt — since the time of (the campaign against) Egypt, the plague has persisted in [Ḫatti]. And from that [time] (the population of) Ḫatti has been dying. [My] father repeatedly made oracular inquiries, but he did not discover (the mind of) you, the gods, <my> lords, through the oracles. And I have repeatedly made oracular inquiries of you, but I have not discovered (the mind of) you, the gods, my lords, through the oracles.
[For the following section the scribe of the primary manuscript indicates that the tablet from which he was copying had been destroyed.]
(B ii 3´-11´) Because the gods, my lords, not […] Because your eyes […] I am already aware in regard to you [… I will make] up [everything (?) for you]. I will restore the [furnishings] for whatever [god] has [a temple] but no divine [furnishings]. I will rebuild a temple for whatever god [has no temple]. I will restore whatever divine image has been destroyed, [as] the image [had been] previously […]
[A long break intervenes.]
(A iv 1–5) […] Should I have restored it for [the gods], my lords, either with (the resources of) the land, or with the infantry and chariotry? If I should reestablish the gods — since my household, land, infantry, and chariotry continue to die, by what means should I reestablish you, O gods?
[Here the earlier tablet had once more been damaged.]
(A iv 16–28) And since they (!) died, by what means should I reestablish [you]? O gods, be well-disposed to me once more because of this [fact]. Bring me peace. Send the plague away from the land once more. Let it abate in the towns where people are dying. Let the plague not return to the towns in which it has (already) abated. [I have said] to myself (?) thus: “[If] the previously-mentioned matter concerning the god is true, my father [could not discover it (the mind of the gods)] through an oracle, nor could I discover it [through an oracle]. But Ḫatti [has made an oracular inquiry], and [has now discovered] it through an oracle.” I have pled my case. […]
[The final few lines are too fragmentary for translation.]

Text: CTH 378; First Prayer: A. KUB 14.14 + KUB 19.1 + KUB 19.2 + KBo 3.47 + 1858/u + Bo 4229 + Bo 9433. B. KUB 23.3. Second Prayer: A. KUB 14.8. B. KUB 14.11 + 650/u. C. KUB 14.10 + KUB 26.86. Third Prayer: KUB 14.12. Fourth Prayer: A. KUB 14.13 + KUB 23.124. B. KBo 22.71. Bibliography: ANET 394–396 (Second Prayer only); TUAT 2/6:808–810 (First Prayer only); Malamat 1955; Bernabé 1987:279–284; Hoffner 1971b; Goetze 1930; Lebrun 1980:191–239.

Billie Jean Collins

This ritual is written on a Sammeltafel, which, judging by the use of double paragraph dividers, contains at least ten separate compositions. The final composition is a lustration ritual to performed in the event of military defeat. It has been dated to the Middle Hittite period. The tablet itself, however, was copied in the Empire period.
If the troops are defeated by the enemy, then they prepare the “behind the river” ritual as follows: Behind the river they sever a human, a billy–goat, a puppya (and) a piglet. On one side they set halves and on the other side they set the (other) halves. In front (of these) they make a gate of hawthorn and stretch a cord (?) up over (it). Then, before the gate, on one side they burn a fire and on the other side they burn a fire. The troops go through,c but when they come alongside the river, they sprinkle water over them (selves). They perform the ritual again in the steppe. They celebrate the ritual of the steppe in the same way.

Text: CTH 426; KUB 17.28 iv 45–56. Editions: Collins 1990; Kümmel 1967:150–152; Masson 1950. Discussion: Eitrem 1947; Moyer 1983.
Billie Jean Collins

Puliša’s Ritual was recorded on a Sammeltafel. It is one of a handful of Hittite scapegoat rituals, all of which were performed to counteract plague. This particular ritual uses human beings as the scapegoats, both belonging to the enemy population and therefore expendable. They act as substitutes for the king, with whom responsibility for divine disfavor and the welfare of the population ultimately lay. Both a male and a female substitute were required to allow for a deity of either sex. The rituals with the man and the woman are followed immediately by identical rites involving a bull and a ewe.
§1 [T]hus says Puliša [… when the king] strikes an enemy [la]nd and marches [away from the border of the enemy land, if then …] either some [male] deity [or female deity of the enemy land is angered (?) and (as a result) among] the people a plague occur[s, I do the following:]
§2 As he [is marching a]way from the border of the land of the enemy, they take one prisoner and one woman of the (enemy’s) land. [On which (ever) road] the ki[ng] came from the land of the enemy, the king tr[avels] on that road. All of the lords travel with him. One prisoner and one woman they bring before him. He removes the garments from his body. They put them on the man. But on the woman [they p]ut the garments of a woman. To the man the king says as follows (if it is [not] convenient for the king, then he sen[ds] another and that one takes care of the ritual) that one [sa]ys [to] the man as follows: “If some male god of the enemy land has caused this plague, for him I have just given an adorned man as a substitute. This o[ne is gr]eat with respect to his head, this one is great with respect to his heart, and this [one is gr]eat with respect to his limb. You male god, be pacified with t[his ad]orned man. Turn [agai]n in friendship to the king, the [lords], the ar[my, and] to the land of Ḫatti. […] but [let] this prisoner be[ar] the plague and transport (it) ba[ck into the land of the enemy.]”
§3 He speak[s t]o the woman also in the same way in case of a fema[le dei]ty.
§4 Afterward, [they drive up] one bull and one e[we and …] of the la[nd] of the enemy. Th[ey …] him, his ears, an earrin[g …]. Red wool, yellow–green wool, bla[ck] wool, [white wool …] he dra[ws] forth from the king’s mouth. [He says as follows:] “Because the king kept becoming blood[–red, yellow–green, b]lack [and white …, let t]hat […] back to the land of the en[emy] and [for] the person of [the king], the lords, the inf[antry], the [cha]riotry [… do not] take notice, (but) take notice of it for the land of the enemy.” … The ašušant– bull [they bring before him (?) and] he [s]ays as follows: “The god [of ]the enem[y] who [caused this plague], if he is a male god, to you I have gi[ven] an [ado]rned, ašušant–, and powerful (?) [bull]. You, O male god, be pacified. Let [th]is bull carry [this plague] back into the land of the enemy. [Turn again in friendship to the king, to the prin]ces, the lords, the army and to the la[nd of Ḫatti].”
§5 Afterwards, he speaks to the ado[rned] ewe [also in the same way] in case of a female deity.
§6 Then th[ey] send the ašušant– bull [and the ewe] to run in front [of the prisoner] and the woman.
§7 Then afterwards […].

Text: CTH 407; Duplicates: A. KBo 15.1 i 1 – ii 4, B. KBo 21.9 (= A i 34–39); Edition: Kümmel 1967:111–125; Translation: Wright 1987:45–47. Discussions: Gurney 1977:47–58; Moyer 1983:35; Janowski and Wilhelm 1993.
Billie Jean Collins

§1 Thus says Uḫḫamūwa, man of Arzawa. If in the land there is continual dying and if some god of the enemy has caused it, then I do as follows:
§2 They bring in one wether and they combine blue wool, red wool, yellow–green wool, black wool and white wool and they make it into a wreath and they wreathe the one wether and they drive the wether forth on the road to the enemy and they say to him (the god) as follows: “What god of the enemy has made this plague, now this wreathed wether we have brought for your pacification, O god! Just as a fortress is strong and (yet) is at peace with this wether, may you, the god who has made this plague, be at peace in the same way with the land of Ḫatti. Turn again in friendship to the land of Ḫatti.” Then they drive the wreathed sheep into the enemy territory.
§3 Afterward they bring fodder for the god’s horses and sheep fat, and they recite as follows, “You have harnessed your horses. Let them eat this fodder and let them be satiated. Let your chariot be anointed with this sheep fat. Turn toward your land, O Storm God. Turn in friendship toward the land of Ḫatti.”
§4 Afterward they bring one billy goat and two sheep. He consecrates the goat to the Ḫeptad, and one sheep he consecrates to the Sun God, but the other sheep they kill and (then) they cook it. Then they bring one cheese, one rennet, one pulla–vessel, a sour–bread, one ḫūppar–vessel of wine, one ḫūppar–vessel of beer, and fruit. They prepare these for the god of the journey.

Text: CTH 410; Duplicates: A. HT 1 ii 17–47 (NS), B. KUB 9.31 ii 43–iii 13 (NH), C. KUB 41.17 ii 18–24. Translations: Friedrich 1925:10; ANET 347; Wright 1987:55–57. Discussions: Gurney 1977:47–58; Janowski and Wilhelm 1993:135 and passim.
Billie Jean Collins

The Ritual of Zarpiya is the second of three scapegoat rituals contained on a single Sammeltafel. The author of the text is from Kizzuwatna and as a result the text is laden with Luwian words and incantations, often rendering translation difficult. The first half of the ritual involves an oath–taking on the part of the participants; the second half is a scapegoat ritual of sorts. The human scapegoats in this case are nine young boys. The theme of the number nine is repeated throughout the ritual. The gods at whom the ritual is directed are Šantaš and the Innarawanteš, a group of deities perhaps totalling nine.
§1 [Thus says Zarp]iya, physician of Kizzuwatna, (regarding) [when the year] is ruinous (and) in the land there is continual dying. [Then] in which (ever) city (there is) ruin as a result, [the master of (each)] house will do as follows:
§2 I hang up the kelu– [of the cli]ent. Its ḫuppali– is bronze. Its [kariu]lli-[cloth] is of a shaggy lion-skin. But its footstool is of basalt, and its (the footstool’s) ḫazziul is a paw (?) of lapis, the strong paw (?) of a bear, […] but he h[angs the …] of a wild goat.
§3 And the ali–s are of black wool and red wool (and) the yellow wool of the town of Ḫarnuwašila. Before the sinew of a dog is … ed, he […] three [… s]. On one side he hangs one (piece) on a peg (made of) apricot (?)-wood, while on the other side he hangs one (piece) on a peg (made of) cornel wood.
§4 First and foremost, in front on that side he hits the apricot (?)–wood peg into the gate. He hangs a cooked kuggulaš of barley flour, a kuggulaš of ḫariyanti-barley flour, and one jug of wine. On this side, however, he hits [the peg] of cornel wood i[nto the gate], and from it (the peg) he hangs a cooked kuggulaš of barley flour, a kuggulaš of ḫariyanti-barley flour, and one jug of wine.
§5 With the pegs, a white bush is stuck in/planted. Downwards from the ground […] downwards at the front. On either side he buries wašši–, whose name is ḫuwallari. Furthermore, the gate behind the door of the courtyard on which he hangs the kelu–s — down in front of the kelu–s he places a wicker table and on top of it he sets an ax of bronze, one warm bread, thick bread (and) cheese. Thereon (he sets) a bronze ax, a bronze dagger, a strung bow, [and] one arrow.
§6 Down in front on the wicker table he places one ḫuppar–vessel of wine from the puri-stand, and from the puri–stand he places one pitcher of PIḪU drinking beer. Into the pitcher of PIḪU drinking beer he inserts one straw.
§7 They bring in one billy–goat and the master of the estate libates it with wine before the table for Šantaš. Then he holds out the bronze ax and says as follows: “Come Šantaš! Let the Innarawanteš-deities come with you, (they) who are wearing bloodied (clothes), who have bound on (themselves) the sashes (?) of the mountain dwellers,
§8 who are girt (?) with daggers, who hold strung bows and arrows. “Come and eat! We will swear (an oath).” When he is finished speaking, he places the bronze ax down on the table and they slit (the throat of) the billy-goat.
§9 He takes the blood and the straw that was left in the mug — he anoints that with the blood. Then they bring the raw liver and the heart and the master of the estate holds them out for the gods. Further he takes a bite (and) they imitate (him). He puts (his) lips on the straw and sips and says as follows:
§10 “O Šantaš and Innarawanteš-deities, we have just taken the oath.
§11 We have bitten from the raw liver; from a single straw we have drunk. O Šantaš and Innarawanteš-deities, do not approach my gate again.” They cook the liver and heart on a fire and they butcher the entire goat “plain.”
§12 Then, when the fat arrives, they bring out the liver and heart and the flesh — everything — to the god. With it they bring two times nine thick loaves (made) from wheat flour of one-half handful (of flour). He breaks nine loaves. Over these they place the liver and heart and he sets them back on the table and says as follows: “Eat, O Sun God of Heaven above and below. Let the gods of the father of the house eat! Let the thousand gods eat.
§13 And for this oath be witnesses.” Next he libates the wine nine times before the table of the Innarawanteš-deities. He takes the shoulder and the breast (of the sacrifice) and breaks nine loaves of bread.
§14 He scatters them on the potstand and pours wine opposite. Then they bring (in) nine (!) boys who have not yet gone to a woman. On one boy they put a goatskin and that one walks in front and calls (out) in the manner of a wolf. They surround the tables and devour the shoulder and breast.
§15 But [when they] wish to eat […], he brings (them) in the same way and they devour the li[ver and heart]. They also drink. [He brings] the pitcher [of PIḪU drinking beer] and they drink the pitcher of PIḪU beer.
§16 The master of the house <holds> a staff/ branch from a šuruḫḫa–tree, steps into the gate and in Luwian conjures as follows:
§§17–18 {Luwian incantation}
§19 He breaks a thick bread, while reciting as follows in Luwian:
§§20–21 {Luwian incantation}
§22 They take up the ritual implements and he closes the door. He anoints it with fine oil, and says:
§23 “Let (the door) shut out evil and let it keep in good.”
§24 One tablet. Finished. The word of Zarpiya, physician from Kizzuwatna. If a year is ruinous and the land is dying, then the kelu– rituals he offers in this way.

Text: CTH 757. Duplicates: A = KUB 9.31 i – ii 42 (MH/NS); B = HT 1 i – ii 16 (MH/NS); C = KUB 35.9; D = KUB 35.10; E = Bo 4809 (Otten and Rüster 1978:276, no. 68); F. KBo 34.243 (Rüster 1992:477f.). Edition: Schwartz 1938; Parital Translation: Starke 1985b:46–55. Discussion: Collins 1989:55f.
Billie Jean Collins

The beginning of this text, containing a ritual for the goddess, is broken. In §4, where the text becomes legible, the officiant is reciting an invocation.
§3 […] they cover [her?] with a cloth […] all the singers play [the … –instruments] and sin[g]. […] outside on seven paths […] they go to […] and […]. The diviner [sets (?)] down a table.… red, what are la[id] for soldier breads […] he takes, and the singers pull […] of the path (or: for the paths?).
§4 […] He says as follows “… O Ištar […] I will keep […]ing and for you … [If you are in Nineveh] then come from Nineveh. (But) if you are [in] R[imuši, then come from Rimuši]. If you are in Dunta, then come from Du[nta].
§5 (O Ištar,) [if you are] in [Mittanni], then come from Mittanni. [If you are in …, then come from.… I]f you are in Dunippa then [come from] Duni[ppa. If you are in Ugarit] then com[e] from Ugarit. [If you are in … then come from …]. Come from Dunanapa. [Come from.… Come from.… Come] from Alalḫaz. [Come from.… Come from] A[murra.] Come from Zīduna. [Come from ….] Come from Nu[ḫašša]. Come from Kulzila. [Come from ….] Come from Zunzurḫa. Come from Aššur. [Come from….] Come from Kašga. Come from every land. [Come from] Alašiya. Come from Ālziya. Come from Papanḫa. [Come from.…] Come from Ammaḫa. Come from Ḫayaša. [Come from ….] Come from Karkiya. [Come] from the lands of Arzauwa. [Come from ….] Come from the land of Maša. [Come] from Kuntara. [Come from.…] Come from Ura. Come from Luḫma. [Come from …]. Come from Partaḫuina. Com[e] from Kašula. [Come from.…]
§6 If (you are) in the rivers and streams [then come from there.] If for the cowherd and shepherds [you …] and (you are) among them, then come away. If (you are) among [the …], if you are with the Sun Goddess of the Earth and the Primor[dial Gods] then come from those.
§7 Come away from these countries. For the king, the queen (and) the princes bring life, health, streng[th], longevity, contentment (?), obedience (and) vigor, (and) to the land of Ḫatti growth of crops (lit., grain), vines, cattle, sheep (and) humans, šalḫitti-, mannitti– and annari–.
§8 Take away from the (enemy) men manhood, courage, vigor and māl, maces, bows, arrows (and) dagger(s), and bring them into Ḫatti. For those (i.e., the enemy) place in the hand the distaff and spindle of a woman and dress them like women. Put the scarf on them and take away from them your favor.2
§9 But from the women take away motherliness, love (and) mūšni– and bring it into the Ḫatti-land. Afterwards care for the king, the queen, the sons of the king (and) the grandsons of the king in wellbeing, life, health, vigor, (and) long years forever. Sustain it and make it rich. Let the land of Ḫatti, (which is) for you (both) bride and offspring, be a pure land.
§10 I have handed over to you the land of Ḫatti (which) again (has been) damaged. O Ištar of Nineveh, Lady, do you not know how the land of Ḫatti is damaged by this deadly plague?
§11 The diviner breaks one thin loaf for Ištar of Nineveh and crumbles it into the spring. Afterward he again breaks one thin loaf for Ištar of Nineveh and sets it down on the table. He sprinkles oatmeal before the table. Next he sprinkles meal into the spring.
§12 Further, before the table on the oatmeal he sprinkles sweet oil cake (and) meal. He libates wine three times into the spring and libates three times before the table.
§13 The diviner says these words, and when they attract (lit., pull) her with the thick loaf, they fill a KUKUB–vessel with water besides. Then in that place they open up ritual pits, and the diviner pulls the deity up from there seven times with “ear” loaves. He says, “If the king, queen, or princes — anyone — has done something and has buried it, I am now pulling it from the earth.” He recites the same words again, and they do the same in that place also.
§14 He cuts into one thin loaf and sets it on a pine cone. He pours fine oil on it and the diviner having taken the “ear” bread pulls the deity from the fire fourteen times and says as follows: “I have pulled it from the fire.”
§15 He recites the same words again. He sets down the “ear” bread at the soldier loaves and buries one large bird for Ištar of Nineveh and ḫūwalzi–s. But they burn two birds for unalzi.
§16 When he is finished, the diviner takes up the table and in front of the red headband that lies on the table he holds another, and they bring (it) in to the goddess. The singers play the INANNA-instrument and the cymbals (?) and sing. They bring the god back into the temple.
[The remaining §§ are too fragmentary for translation.]

Text: CTH 716. Duplicates: A = KUB 15.35 + KBo 2.9 (MH/NS); B = KBo 2.36; C = KBo 21.48 (MH/NS). Discussions: Archi 1977; Bossert 1946:34f.; Ehelolf 1937:68; Hoffner 1966:331; 1967:391f.; Sommer 1921.
Billie Jean Collins

The following is the second tablet of a two-tablet text of a military oath, known as the first soldiers’ oath. The language of the composition indicates that it was composed in the Middle Hittite period (late 15th century BCE), although the copies that survive were inscribed in the Empire period. The text is especially interesting for its parallels in the literature of other cultures, including Indian, Mesopotamian, Greek and Israelite.
§1 […] he places [cedar in] their [hands]. […] they [… it]. He [spread]s [out] a net […] and he says to them, [“this …] is it not [… in (?)] his house? Do the gods [not …] them? Just as cedar […] its fragrance […].3
§2 [… these oa]th d[eities …].5
§3 [The diviner (?) …]s and says, [“Becaus]e [this person wa]s living and used to find heaven above, now they have blinded him in the place of the oath. […] Who transgre[sses] these oaths and takes deceptive action against the king of Ḫatti, and sets (his) eyes upon the land of Ḫatti as an enemy, may these oath deities seize him and [may they] blind his army too, and further, may they deafen them. May comrade not see comrade. May this one not hear [that one]. May they give them a horrible d[eath]. May they fetter their feet with a wrapping below, and bind their hands above. Just as the oath deities bound the troops of the land of Arzawa by their hands and feet and set them in a heap, in the same way may they bind his troops too, and set them in a heap.
§4 He places yeast in their hands and they lick it. Then he says as follows: “What is this? Is it not yeast? Just as they take a little of this yeast and mix it into the kneading bowl and (as) they let the bowl sit for one day, and it (i.e., the dough) rises, who transgresses these oaths and takes deceptive action against the king of Ḫatti and sets his eyes upon Ḫatti as an enemy, may these oath deities seize him. May he be completely broken up by diseases. May he carry off (i.e., suffer) a horrible death.” They say, “(So) be it.”
§5 He places wax and sheep fat in their hands and he casts (some) on the flame and says, “Just as this wax melts  and just as the sheep fat is rendered,9 who breaks the oath and takes deceptive action against the king of Ḫatti, may he melt like the wax and may he be rendered like the sheep fat.” They say, “(So) be it.”
§6 He places sinew (and) salt in their hands and he casts (some of) them into the flame. He says as follows: “Just as this sinew melts (?) on the hearth, just as salt disintegrates on the hearth, so may he who transgresses these oaths and takes deceptive action against the king of Ḫatti and sets (his) eyes upon the land of Ḫatti as an enemy, may these oaths (var. oath deities) seize him and like the sinew may he melt (?) and like the salt may he disintegrate. Also, just as the salt does not (produce) its seed, for that man, may his name, his progeny, his household, his cattle, and his sheep perish in the same way.”
§7 He places malt and beer seasoning in their hands and they lick it. He says to them as follows: “Just as they mill this beer seasoning with a millstone and mix it with water and cook it and mash it, who transgresses these oaths and takes part in evil against the king, the queen or against the princes or against the land of Ḫatti, may these oath deities seize him and in the same way may they mill his bones and in the same way may they heat him up and in the same way may they mash him. May he carry off a horrible death.” They say, “(So) be it.”
§8 “Just as this malt has no propagation, (and) they do not carry it to the field and make it (into) seed, and they do not make it (into) bread and store it in the storehouse, for him who transgresses these oaths and takes part in evil against the king, queen or against the princes, may the oath deities destroy his future in the same way, and may his wives not bear him a son or a daughter. In the plain, the field and the meadow may the vegetation not grow. May his cattle and sheep not bear calf or lamb.”
§9 They bring a woman’s garment, a distaff and a spindle and they break an arrow (lit., reed). You say to them as follows: “What are these? Are they not the dresses of a woman? We are holding them for the oath–taking. He who transgresses these oaths and takes part in evil against the king, queen and princes may these oath deities make (that) man (into) a woman. May they make his troops women. Let them dress them as women.b Let them put a scarf on them. Let them break the bows, arrows, and weapons in their hands and let them place the distaff and spindle in their hands (instead).”
§10 They lead before them a woman, a blind man and a deaf man and you say to them as follows: “Here (are) a woman, a blind man and a deaf man. Who takes part in evil against the king and queen, may the oath deities seize him and make (that) man (into) a woman. May they b[li]nd him like the blind man. May they d[eaf]en him like the deaf man. And may they utt[erly] destroy him, a mortal, together with his wives, his sons, and his clan.”
§11 12 He places [in] their hands a fig[urine of a man] with its [in]sides full of water, and says as follows: “Who is this? Has he no[t] taken an oath? He took [an oath] before the gods, then he [tra]nsgressed the oath, and the oath deities seized him. His insides filled (with water). With his hands he holds his stomach lifted up in front. May these oath deities seize whoever transgresses these oaths. May his insides fill (with water). Within his insides may the child (ren?) of Išḫara14 (i.e., disease) [dwell (?)] and may they devour him.”
§12 He holds out [a …] and he [thro]ws it face (lit., eyes) down and they trample it with their foot. He says to them as follows: “Who breaks these oaths let it happen that the [troop]s of Ḫatti trample his city with (their) foot in the same way, and that they render the settlements deserted.”
§13 They inflate a [bl]adder and [tra]mple it with their foot, so that the air is [ex]pelled. He says, “As this has been emptied, let the house of who (ever) transgresses these oaths be emptied of people, his cattle and his sheep in the same way.”
§14 You set an oven down before them and you set down before (them) models of a plow, a wagon and a chariot. They break them up. And he says as follows: “Who transgresses these oaths, for him may the Storm God break up (his) plow. Just as vegetation does not come up from an oven, may wheat and barley not come up in his field. Let cress (var. weeds) go up (instead).”
§15 You give to them a red pelt and he says, “Just as they make this red pelt blood colored and from it the bl[oo]d color does not leach out, in the same way may the oath deities seize you and may it (i.e., the blood color) not leave you.”
§16 He sprinkles water on the fire and says to them as follows: “As this burning fire was extinguished, who[ever] breaks these oaths, let these oath deities seize him, and also may his life, his youth, (and) his prosperity in future — together with his wives and his sons — be extinguished in the same way. May the oath deities curse him cruelly. May the meadow not thrive for his herd, his flock (and) his livestock. And from his field and furrow may vegetation not come for him.”
§17 Second Tablet. When they bring the troops for the oath.

Text: CTH 427. Duplicates: A = KBo 6.34 + KUB 48.76; B = KUB 40.16 + KUB 7.59 (+) 342/u (+) 524/u (+) 1087/z + 797/v; C = KUB 40.13. Editions: Friedrich 1924; Oettinger 1976. Translations: ANET 353f.; Cornil 1994:102–108. Discussions: Börker-Klähn 1992; Burde 1974; Hoffner 1966; 1977.
Billie Jean Collins

This text is of New Hittite date and shows many developments from the older example translated above. Among other things, there are marked Hurrian influences.
§1´ [… If you transgress these oaths …] may they […], may they […], may they […].
§2´ But [if you keep them], for you (pl.). […] he says: […]
§3´ [He] h[olds] out torches [to them, and says,] “[…] these torches […], if [you transgress] these [words,] may Umpa and Šarruma3 [destroy you along with your …].”
§4´ “And as [the fire (?) …] burns [the torches …] again [he …]s, (so) he who [transgresses] these wor[ds … entir]ely (?) from the dark [netherworld …] again to the dark netherworld [may he not (?) …].
§5´ “[But if] you [keep them (i.e. the words), may it be] wel[l] with you.”
§6´ [Afterwards] they extinguish [the torches], [and he says] to them [as follows: “… just as] the torches […] and no one [… s] him/it, [… in the same way who transgresses these words may] no one [… him …].”
§7´ “[Just as you have] extinguish[ed the torches, …], may he [who transgresses] these wo[rds b]e extinguished [in the same way along with] his [progeny,] his house, his wife […] and to you (pl.) […].”
§8´ [He places bowls in their hands and] they break [them] up […] at the same time [saying] as follows: “[These are not bowls], they are your heads. [If] you do [not] keep [them (i.e., the words)] may the gods break [up your heads in the same way], and [may they …] you in the [same way.]
§9´ “Bu[t if] you keep them may [the gods] break up [a horrible death] for [yo]u in the same way.”
§10´ [Aft]erwards they pour out water [and simultaneously] he sa[ys as follows]: “Just as the earth [swallows down] this water and afterward no trace of it is visible, may the earth swallow [you] down in the same way, and, like the water, may no [trace] of you be visible afterward.”
§11´ [Aft]erwards he pours out wine, and simultaneously [he says as follows:] “[This] is not w[ine], it is your blood. [Just as] the earth swallowed (this) dow[n], may the earth swallow down your [blood] and […] in the same way.”
§12´ [After]wards he pours water into the wine and [simultaneously] says as [follo]ws: “Just as this water [is mixed] with the wine, may these oath deities mix sick[ness] within your bodies in the same way.”
§13´ (Concerning) t[his wh]ich is from the head, may the Moon God continually strike you. May […] flee from [your] insides and for you [may] the inside [be …], and may the Moon God make …, and for you (pl.) … […], and may he [not] go to see the lands.
§14´ [Afterwards] they hold a rock with their hands underneath (it) and [simultaneously] they say [as fol]lows: “As this rock is h[eavy], [in the same way] may the oath and sickness become heavy [in your insides].
§15´ [If] you keep these oaths, [just as] they are [everla]sting for you, in the same way [may you be] everlasti[ng].”
§16´ If (it is) a patili–priest then […] him in [but if (it is) a … then … be]fore the gate […].

Text: CTH 427; KUB 43.38. Edition: Oettinger 1976.

Billie Jean Collins

This text offers a tantalizing glimpse into Hurro–Hittite mythology. The underworld deities, referred to as the Primordial or Ancient Gods, are solicited on behalf of a house possessed of various types of uncleanness, to come up from below the earth and carry the uncleanness back down into the underworld with them.
The ritual is completed over two days, the location alternating between the house and various outdoor locales, including, at the end of the ritual, the steppe, where the ritual paraphernalia can be disposed of safely. The main recensions of this narrative were composed in the Middle Hittite period. The copies date to the Empire Period.
§1 When [they] cleanse a house of blood, impuri[ty], threat, (and) perjury, its treatment (is) as follows:
§2 In the morning the exorcist opens the house [and] he goes [in]. He holds a hoe, a spade and a shovel (?). He digs the ground (with) the hoe, (and) he [clears (?)] the (resulting) pit2 with the spade.
§3 He digs in this same way at the four corners (of the house) and he digs in this very same way [to the side of (?) the hea]rth. The (resulting) pit [he clears (?) with] the shovel (?).
§4 He says as follows: “O Sun Goddess of the Earth, we are taking this m[atter …]. Why is this house gasping? Why does it look upward to heaven?
§5 Either a human has perjured (himself), or he has [shed] blood and has turned [up] his šeknu–garment to these houses, or someone has made a threat, or someone has spoken a curse, or someone having shed blood or having committed perjury has entered,
§6 or someone has practiced (witchcraft (?)) and [has] en[tered], or bloodshed has occurred in the house. May this now release the evil, impurity, perjury, bloodshed, curse, threat, tears (and) sin of the house. May the floor (lit., earth), the floorboard, the bedroom, the hearth, the four corners, (and) the gates of the courtyard release (them).
§7 He goes forth to the courtyard. He takes mud in the courtyard and speaks in the same way. He takes mud in the gatehouse and speaks in the same way.
§8 He goes out. He cuts a reed off with an ax before the gate and says as follows: “Just as I cut this reed and it does not (re)attach (itself), now in the same way let it cut the evil bloodshed of the house, and let it not come back.”
§9 [Then] at the top (lit., back) of the rain pipe they pour a ḫanešša-vessel of wine [and he says], “As water flows down [from the roof] and it does not go [back (up)] the rain pipe [again], may the evil, impurity, perjury, blood, tears, sin, curse, and threat of this house pour out and may they not come back again.”
§10 He throws the ḫanešša–vessel down from the roof and smashes it. But the mud that he had taken, that6 he carries to (the place) where all the ritual paraphernalia has been placed.
§11 He goes to the river bank and takes oil, beer, wine, walḫi–drink, marnuan–drink, a cupful (of) each in turn, sweet oil cake, meal, (and) porridge. He holds a lamb and he slaughters it down into a pit. He speaks as follows:
§12 “I, a human being, have now come! As Ḫannaḫanna takes children from the river bank and I, a human being, have come to summon the Primordial Deities of the river bank9, let the Sun Goddess of the Earth open the Gate and let the Primordial Deities and the Sun God (dess) of the Earth (var. the Lord of the Earth) up from the Underworld (lit., earth).
§13 Aduntarri the diviner, Zulki the dream interpretess, Irpitiga Lord of the Earth, Narā, Namšarā, Minki, Amunki, Ābi — let them up! I, a human, have not come independently, nor have I come in quarrel. In a house, blood, tears, perjury, quarrel, (and) sin have occurred. Heaven above has been angered, and the Underworld below has been angered.
§14 The exorcist of the Storm God sent12 you, the Primordial Deities, from the underworld. He said this word to you:
§15 “[In this house] evil impurity, [blood, tears], quarrel, sin, (and) perjury [have occurred]. The exorcist [has] summon[ed you,] the [Primord]ial Deities. […] go back and go […]. Cleanse [the house from] the evil, impurity, blood, [perjury, sin], quarrel, curses, tears, (and) [threat].
§16 “Bind [their (i.e., each evil’s)] [fee]t (and) hands and carry them down to the Dark Underworld.” He takes the clay of the river bank, but in its place he sets sweet oil cake, meal (and) porridge. He libates beer, wine, [walḫi]–drink, (and) [m]arnuan–drink. He takes [up] (what has) bubbled and binds it in.
§17 He stretches out a scarf along the ground [… and] walks along the scarf […] and he goes in.
§18 He sprinkles the clay of the river bank with oil and honey. (With it) he fashions [the]se gods: Aduntarri the exorcist, Zulki the dream interpretess, Irpitiga, Narā, Namšara, Minki, Amunki, Ābi. He fashions them as (i.e., in the form of) daggers. Then he spreads them along the ground and settles these gods there (–šan).
§19 He takes four jugs of wine, a thick loaf, meal, porridge, (and) gangati–vegetable soup and goes to the water and says as follows: “(Concerning) the matter for which I have come, let the spring, the water, ask me. With me the Lady (Ištar) has come from the vegetation.
§20 In her [le]ft ear they set earrings (in the form) of a šuraššura– (bird). It is important. But she does not [re]move (her) cloak. She holds an empty vessel in her hand. […] On her head was placed a wreath (?) of string.
§21 She spoke to the spring, and she spoke to the swamp, she spoke to the deity [of (?)] the piten[…] water, “The water for which I have come, give that water to me — the water of purification that cleanses bloodshed and perjury, that cleanses the gatehouse, that cleanses com[mon gossip, cur]se, sin, (and) threat.”
§22 [The spring (?)] answered Ištar: “Draw the water seven times or draw the water eight times. Pour out [the water seven or eight times]. But on the ninth time what water you request, draw that [wa]ter and ta[ke] it.”
§23 Her h[air fl]owed down from the throne to Kumarbi. Her hair flowed to [the under]world, to the Sun Goddess of the Earth. While you are carrying [tha]t water, the falcon then brings other water from the sea. He holds the water in the right hand, while in the left hand he holds the words.
§24 Ištar is able to fly. She flew from Nineveh to meet the falcon. In her right hand she took water, while in her left hand she took the words. The water she sprinkles to the right, while the words she speaks toward the left:
§25 “May good enter the house. May it seek out the evil with (its) eyes and cast it out. May the pure water cleanse the evil tongue, impurity, bloodshed, sin, curse (var. adds: threat, [and] common gossip). Just as the wind blows away the chaff and carries it across to (var. into) the sea, let it likewise blow away the bloodshed and impurity of this house, and let it carry it across to (var. into) the sea.
§26 “Let it go into the sacred mountains. Let it go into the deep wells.” He breaks a thick loaf and libates wine. He draws water seven times and pours (it) out. [On the eighth] time what he draws, that [he] k[eeps. Further,] two times seven stones he takes from the spring and he throws [them] in[to the …]. Into a cup he throws two times seven kappi-measures. He takes red wool and binds it to < … >.
§27 He brings the water into the house and carries that also there where all the implements are placed, and puts it on the pūriya-stands. All the paraphernalia he places before the Anunnaki-deities. He mingles (?) silver, gold, iron, tin, stone, oil, honey, baked clay implements, wicker implements, the mud of the house, (and) the mud of the gatehouse.
§28 He fashions it (–an) (into a figurine of) the Deity of Blood and seats it (–an) before the taršanzipa–. He takes all the seeds and grinds them (–at) with the millstone.
§29 He pounds (them) with the basalt (?) of the millstone and wipes them off and they fashion it (–an) (into) a kugulla–vessel. What is left over they fashion it (–at) (into) a kurtal-container and he fills it (–at) with mud. He sets it with/below the God of Blood and seats the gods thereon. He places the kugulla–vessel before the deity.
§30 He washes his hands. He takes porridge and gangati–vegetable soup. The water that he had brought from the spring he libates into the water. Afterward he libates one lamb with the water and they slit it (s throat). The blood flows into a clay basin and he sets it down before the God of Blood and recites as follows: āliš mammaš, O Anunnaki–deities, I have invoked you in this matter. (So) decide the case of this house. What evil blood is present, you take it and give it to the God of Blood. Let him carry it down to the Dark Underworld, and there let him nail it down.
§31 Before the Anunnaki–deities he opens up a Pit with a knife and into the Pit he libates oil, honey, wine, walḫi–drink, and marnuwan-drink. He also throws in one shekel of silver. Then he takes a hand towel and covers over the Pit. He recites as follows: “O Pit, take the throne of purification and examine the paraphernalia of purification.
§32 “Examine the silver, gold, iron, tin, lapis lazuli, and carnelian with (your) scales. What the God of Blood has said, the exorcist has set it all up. But since the exorcist set up the implements of the gods, … the exorcist … […] broke, and he cast it into the hearth.
§33 “But if you (O Anunnaki) do not decide the case of this house fairly may the earth below you become the ‘striker’ and may the sky above become the ‘crusher,’ and may the sky (?) crush [you (?)] therein.23 May no one break a thick loaf for you and may you not taste the fragrance of cedar!”
§34 He takes three birds and offers two of them to the Anunnaki deities, but the other bird he offers to the Pit and he says as follows: “For you, O Primordial Deities, cattle and sheep will not be forthcoming. When the Stormgod drove you down to the Dark Underworld he established for you this offering.”
§35 He cooks the birds with fire (and) places them before the deity. He also places PIḪU-beer before the deity for drinking and provides four straws. He places assorted seeds before the deity: barley, wheat, šeppit-grain, p[arḫ]uena–grain, chick peas, broad beans, lentils, karaš-grain, malt, beer–bread, coriander, apr[ico]t (?), white cumin, black cumin, titapala–seed, salt, lakkarwan–plant, šeniya(?)–plant, a little (of) [ea]ch, and all these [he …].
§36 The priest [ta]kes […]. For the PIḪU–beer for drinking […] he makes the offering rounds [for the god]s. Day one is finished.
§37 [In the morning (?)] the exorcist [tak]es one sheep, one container of PIḪU–beer, one thick loaf, wine, […] and goes into the house. […] he prepares. […] he inscribes (?). The earth […] he says as follows:
§38 “[Memešarti of Heaven] and [Earth], Moon God, Išḫara, — gods [of perjury, curse, si]n, (and) bloodshed — I have […]–ed [you …] … he (?) comes.”
§39 [this § is too fragmentary for translation]
§40 “Push yourselves back! O Dark Underworld, restrain their inclination and swallow down the bloodshed, sin, impurity, perjury, evil step (?) (lit., “foot”) and common gossip of the house (and) city.”
§41 He cooks the liver and cuts it (in half). He also breaks thick loaves and lays them upon the hole and upon the hearth. He also libates wine and pours PIḪU–beer for drinking and he provides straws. But no one drinks!
§42 He says, “Memešarti of Heaven and Earth, Moon God, Išḫara — gods of perjury, curse, and death — who (ever) is hungry, who (ever) is thirsty (among) the gods, come, eat and drink, and join with me. From the house and city may you cleanse the evil impurity, bloodshed, perjury, sin, and curse. He bound them, (each evil’s) feet and hands, so let the Dark Underworld keep them in!”
§43 Those who are in the house, the guardians of the hearth, sit down and they eat the fat but they do not drink the PIḪU–beer. The exorcist comes back into the city and goes into the house and bows to the gods. He offers porridge, gangati–vegetable soup, beer, and wine to the gods.
§44 And he says as follows: “O Anunnaki–deities, I have just been on the steppe.… […] restrain! O Memešarti of He[av]en and Earth!
For you (gods) PIḪU–beer (has been) poured out for drinking. Let them bind them (var. him) (with (?)) a ḫaputri to the evil impurity, perjury, sin, bloodshed (and) curse. Let it pull those forward, and may you push them from behind.
§45 The exorcist stands a ram and a ewe before the gods and says as follows: “The ram mounts the ewe and it becomes pregnant. Let this town and house become a ram, and in the steppe let it mount the dark earth and let the dark earth become pregnant with the blood, pollution, and sin. Just as the pregnant woman and ewe give birth, let this city and house bear evil blood in the same way, and let the Dark Underworld keep it in.
§46 “As the downpour washes urine and mud from the city, (as) the water washes the roof, and flows down the rain gutters, let this ritual likewise clean away the evil tongue of this city (and) house and let the downpour carry it into the sea.”
§47 When he is finished, the exorcist sets the ritual paraphernalia on the copper vessel. He sets the gods thereon and picks it up and carries it to the steppe. He settles the deities where (the spot) is marked, and their ritual paraphernalia he sets before (them). He libates wine. He offers one lamb and eight birds to the Anunnaki-deities. On three hearths he burns (them) together with flat breads, cedar, oil and honey and he libates wine and says as follows:
§48 “O Anunnaki–deities, your tribute has just been set up. Accept these offerings to you. Chase out the bloodshed, impurity, sin, perjury, (and) threat of the house and carry them down (with you to the Dark Underworld).
§49 “You, O Primordial deities, who […] come and [turn (?)] down from that […].”
§50 Tablet One finished. [When they cleanse a house of] bloo[dshed, impurity, sin, perjury (and) threat, this is its treatment.]

Text: CTH 446; Duplicates: A = KUB 7.41 (MH/NS), B = KBo 10.45 (MH/NS), C = KUB 41.8 + 251/w (MH/NS), D = KUB 12.56 (MH), E = IBoT 2.128 (MH/NS), F = KBo 7.57, G = 218/v, H = 427/t, I = lll2/u, J = 208/u, K = 1621/u, L = 729/t, M = KBo 39.12. Edition: Otten 1961:114–157. Discussion: Hoffner 1967:391; Moyer 1983:21–24.
Billie Jean Collins

This is a mythological text belonging to the group of Anatolian myths known as the missing deity myths. The original composition dates to the period of the Hittite Old Kingdom. The supreme Storm God is the deity whose absence is the focus of this particular narrative. Presumably the Storm God absented himself in the first column of the tablet, after which chaos ensued for man and livestock. When the text picks up in col. ii, a ritual incantation is underway that successfully contains the evils resulting from his absence in copper cauldrons lying beneath the sea, where they can no longer cause harm. Mankind is thus restored. What follows then is a resumption of the mythological portion of the narrative relating the Storm God’s interlude in the town of Liḫzina, where he spent his time cultivating crops and fruit trees. He makes a triumphal return from Liḫzina, meeting nine divinities on the way, who inquire of his whereabouts. His supremacy is proclaimed and sacrificial animals are assembled for a celebration. Col. iv may have contained details of this celebration.
§2´ The palms [gave] it [to] the fingers, the fingers [gave] it to the nails, the nails gave it to the dark e[arth].
§3´ The dark earth [carried] it to the Sun God, and the Sun God carrie[d] it to the sea.
§4´ “In the sea are lying cauldrons of copper. Their lids (are) of lead. a [Everything (?)] he put therein: he put a demon (tarpin), b he put par[– …], he put bloodshed, he p[ut] ḫapanzi,
§5´ he put “red,” he put tears, he put […], he put …,6 [he put] fog, he put “white,” he p[ut] disease.
§6´ It became luminous on the human’s [entire (?)] body: On <his> head ditto (i.e., it became luminous), on the eyes ditto, on the walulaša–s ditto, on the white[s] of the eyes ditto, on his forehead ditto, [on] the eyebro[ws] ditto, and on the eyelashes [ditto]. As (he was) formerly, just so did he become [again (?)].
§7´ The Storm God went and keeps striking t[hem (?)] and he kills him […]. [In] Ziḫz[ina] he worked [the land (?)] and he harvested it.
§8´ He planted an orchard and [opened (?)11 it]. He [came] back from Liḫzina.
§9´ The Storm God [met] nine lesser gods on the road, and they bowed to him (saying), “O Storm God, [we were searching (??)] for you. Where were you?” (He replies,) “In Liḫzina [I worked the land (?)] and I harvested it. I planted an or[chard] and [I] ope[ned (?)] it.”
§10´ (They reply,) “Leave (it). In the fallow land the […] of things/words is/are weak. W[e] are small, we are […], we are in the land … […].” The Storm God their father […] them/it and [he] conquered the lands
§11´ Down in the holes […] them/it and they assembled an ox, [they assembled] sheep, they assembled human beings.
§12´ […] Ziḫz[ina …]

Text: CTH 331; KUB 33.66 (OH/MS). Discussions: Haas 1993:67–85; Hoffner 1968b:61–68; 1973a:197–228; Josephson 1979:177–184; Laroche 1965:70–71; Moore 1975:180–183; Moyer 1983:19–38; Otten and von Soden 1968:27–34.
Billie Jean Collins

This is a four column tablet composed in the period of the Hittite Empire. It is the first of two tablets. The second tablet is not preserved, although the first tablet has survived in four recensions. The main tablet describes the procedure for establishing a satellite temple for the Goddess of the Night. Her cult was centered in Kizzuwatna in southeastern Anatolia, and thus many Hurrian offering terms appear in this text. The nature of this deity is ambiguous.2
§1 Thus says the priest of the Deity of the Night (var. [Thus says mNÍG.BA–dU] the Babylonian [scrib]e (?) and Ulippi, priest of the Deity of the Night).4 If a person becomes associated with the Deity of the Night in some temple of the Deity of the Night and if it happens that, apart from that temple of the Deity of the Night, he builds still another temple of the Deity of the Night, and settles the deity separately, while he undertakes the construction in every respect:
§2 The smiths make a gold image of the deity. Just as her ritual (is prescribed) for the deity, they treat it (the new image) for celebrating in the same way. Just as (it is) inlaid (?) (with) gems of silver, gold, lapis, carnelian, Babylon–stone, chalcedon (?), quartz (?), alabaster, sun disks, a neck (lace), and a comet (?) of silver and gold — these they proceed to make in the same way.
§3 One sun disk of gold of one shekel (weight), its name is Pirinkir. One gold navel. One pair of gold purka– — they are set with Babylon stone. The priest assigns these to the smiths as their task. One (vessel) for “carrying forth” (made) of stone inlaid (?) with silver, gold, lapis, carnelian, Babylon stone, quartz (?), NÍR-stone, (and) alabaster.
§4 Two broaches of iron inlaid with gold, two pegs of iron, two ḫalwani–vessels of silver, two cups of silver, two ētmari– of silver, two ētmari– of bronze (and) a potstand of bronze are included. Six sun disks of bronze, among them three inlaid with silver and three inlaid with gold. Two knives of bronze, two pairs of bronze GÌR.GÁN-vessels, one set of bronze cymbals (?), one set of tambourines (?) either of boxwood or of ivory, one drum.
§5 One bull’s horn (full of) fine oil, one set of cups either of boxwood or of ivory. One set of combs either of boxwood or ivory. Two wooden stands, two wooden tables, two wooden potstands. One set of kišḫita–chairs, six šekan in height — they are doubly pazzanān–ed. One set of kišḫita–chairs for sitting. One footstool, one set of wooden tarmalla.
§6 They take red wool, blue wool, black wool, green wool and white wool and they make two pair of āzzalli–. They again take blue wool, red wool, black wool, green wool and white wool and they make a šuturiya. They nail two bronze pegs into the entryway of the courtyard of the (new) temple — one on one side and one on the other side. The šuturiya (is made to) hang down (from them). One basket (?) either of wicker or of tamalata. One (bolt of[?]) ḫūpara–fabric, one red scarf, two bowls (?) of wine.
§7 These NÍG.BA–dU dispatched: One door, one […, two …] — one for setting down and one for carr[ying] forth […] — one set of small bed(s) of boxwood […], one bronze cutting implement, one bronze–handled pitcher for viewing, one bronze […]–vessel, one small copper cauldron, seven TAKITTUM of bronze, one small bronze wash basin of one mina weight for the washing of the deity.
§8 One gathered garment, one trimmed tunic, one hood, one cap, one kaluppa–garment, one set of belted tunics, one set of silver broaches — these are (the garments) of a woman. One garment, one set of tunics, one set of Hurrian tunics, one trimmed (and) ornamented cloth belt, one trimmed tunic, one set of robes, one set of ŠATURRATU–garments, one set of belted tunics, one bow, one quiver, one axe and one knife — these are (the garments) of a man. When they complete the making (of) the deity (’s image), all this they arrange in (its) place. The officiant who is settling the goddess separately, the priest and the katra-priestesses wash on the following day. (Thus) that (first) day passes.
§9 When on the morning of the second day the Sun God has not yet risen, they take these things of his from the house of the officiant: One skein/strand of red wool, one skein/ strand of blue wool, one plain (i.e. undyed) wool, one shekel of silver, one (bolt of[?]) gazzarnul fabric, a small amount of fine oil, three flat breads, one pitcher of wine. They go for drawing to the waters of purification and they draw the waters of purification. They carry them to the temple of the Deity of the Night from the temple of the Deity of the Night — (that is from) the temple of the Deity of the Night which is being built to that (old) temple of the Deity of the Night. They set it (the water) on the roof and it spends the night (lit., sleeps) beneath the stars. On the day on which they take the waters of purification, (they attract) the previous deity with with red wool and fine oil along seven roads and seven paths from the mountain, from the river, from the plain, from heaven and from the earth.
§10 On that day they attract (lit., pull) (the deity). They attract (lit. pull) her into the previous temple and bind the uliḫi to the deity (’s image). The servants of the deity take these things: One skein/strand of red wool, one skein/strand of blue wool, one plain (i.e. undyed) wool, one white scarf, one gem, one kirinni-stone, one shekel of silver, a little fine oil, five flat breads, two mūlati–loaves of ½ handful (of flour), one small cheese, one pitcher of wine — these they take for the ritual of “pulling up.” One skein/strand of red wool, one skein/strand of blue wool, one loop of white wool, two mūlati–loaves of ½ handful (of flour), five flat breads, a little fine oil — these they take for the ritual of dupšaḫi–.
§11 One white scarf, one skein/strand of blue wool, one skein/strand of red wool, one plain (i.e. undyed) wool, one set of blankets four layers thick, two shekels of silver of which one shekel is for the ritual pit and one shekel is for the gangata–, ten flat breads, two mūlati-loaves of ½ handful (of flour), one small cheese, a little fine oil, ½ handful of vegetable oil, ½ handful of honey, 1½ handfuls of butter, one wakšur of wine, and either a lamb or a kid — these they take for the ritual of blood. Five flat breads, three mūlati–loaves of ½ handful (of flour), one measure of wine and one sheep they take for the ritual of praise. Twenty flat breads, two mūlati–loaves of ½ handful, one measure of wine, ½ handful of vegetable oil, ½ handful of honey, ½ handful of butter, one handful of barley flour, one lamb — these they take for the ambašši– ritual. All this they arrange each in (its) place. The second day is finished.
§12 On the third day, at dawn, the officiant comes into the temple first thing in the morning. The stars are still standing (in the sky). Then they bring the waters of purification down from the roof and the officiant enters into the presence of the deity and bows to the deity. He then proceeds with the ritual of “pulling up.” The priest pulls the deity up from the pit seven times.a The officiant also pulls (the deity) up seven times.
§13 Furthermore, they come forth from the temple into the storehouse. In the storehouse they perform the dupšāḫi– ritual. For the dupšāḫi– ritual they take one mūlati–loaf, but the single mūlati–loaf that remains they take later for the dupšāḫi– ritual (or) for the ritural of praise. Wher (ever) it is acceptable to the officiant, he goes thither. But when on the evening of that day a star rises (lit., leaps), the officiant comes into the old temple. He does not bow to the deity. He proceeds with the ritual of blood. They offer the ritual of blood with a bird. Afterward they offer either a kid or a lamb. They …14 the officiant, and he stands up.
§14 He then proceeds with the ritual of praise. They make the sacrifice of praise with a sheep. Further, they purify the officiant along with the deity with silver and gangati-vegetable. Af[ter]ward, they burn the lamb for the ambašši– (ritual). The o[ffici]ant bows and goes back home to his house.
§15 During the [night on that da]y, while the Sun God is still standing (in the sky), the servants of the deity [take these (things): one skein/ strand] of red wool, one skein/strand of blue wool, one plain (i.e. undyed) wool, [one shekel of silver, one (bolt of[?]) gazza]rnul fabric, three flat breads, one pitcher of wine, a [l]ittle fine oil. They go to the waters of [purif]ication and the waters of purifica[tio]n they bring to the old temple. They set it on the roof and it spends the night (lit., sleeps) [be]neath the stars. But those things (also they take): one sheep, one moist bread of ½ ŠĀTU, five loaves (made of) GÚG of a handful (of flour), three oil cakes of ½ handful, one mūlati–loaf of ½ handful, ten flat breads, three ḫaršpauwant-breads, their flour of ½ handful, gangati-soup, porridge, chick pea soup, broad bean soup, lentil soup, euwan-stew, stew of ARSANNU-meal, each of ½ handful, dried fruits, a small quantity of each, cress, ŠU.KIŠ-herb, a little fine oil, two skeins/strands of red wool, two skeins/strands of bl[ue] wool, one plain (i.e. undyed) wool, one jug of beer, one pitcher of wine — these they take up to the roof for the wellbeing (of) Pirinkir. One shekel of silver for the pit, two skeins/strands of red wool, two skeins/strands of blue wool, two plain (i.e. undyed) wools, a little fine oil, ½ handful of vegetable oil, ½ handful of butter, ½ handful of honey, one (bolt of[?]) gazzarnul fabric, one mūlati–loaf of ½ handful, three oil cakes of ½ handful, one loaf (made of) GÚG, one sweet bread of a handful, twenty flat breads, two ḫutḫūtalla-breads of ½ handful, three ḫaršpauwant-breads, their flour of ½ handful,
§16 gangati-vegetable soup, porridge, chick pea soup, broad bean soup, lentil soup, euwan-stew, stew of ARSANNU–meal, each of ½ handful, dried fruits, a small quantity of each, one SŪTU–measure of barley flour, one sheep, one jug of beer, one pitcher of wine, cress, ŠU.GÁN-herb — these they take inside before the deity (for the ritual) of wellbeing. The officiant prepares a gift for the deity, either a neck (lace) of silver, or a “wannuppaštalla–star” of silver. Day three is finished.
§17 But when on the fourth day a star comes out (lit., leaps), the officiant comes into the temple and looks after Pirinkir. For Pirinkir they offer the ritual of wellbeing. But when they celebrate it, then they bring the deity down from the roof and for her they scatter dough balls and fruits and they bring her (i.e. the divine image) into the temple.
§18 Inside, before the deity they offer for well-being. The officiant rewards the deity, the priest and the katra–women. The officiant bows and goes out. Day four is finished.
§19 On the fifth day when it is morning, they take five flat breads, one mūlati–loaf of ½ handful, gangati–vegetable soup, cress, ŠU. KIŠ-herb, one pitcher of beer. They offer [to the deity for tuḫal]zi. The officiant […] does not come again. The [ri]tual of the old temple is finished.
§20 The new temples which have been built […] because they were turned in, and them […]. They wave […] and a lamb. Afterward […] they wave. A new gold ❐garment❒ […] together with her implements they carry into the new temple and set it down on the table from the basket (?) thusly.
§21 When those <perform> the tuḫalzi ritual in the temple of the old deity, they pour fine oil into the tallai–container and he speaks thus to the deity: “You, honored goddess, protect your person/body, divide your divinity, come to these new temples, take an honored place.” When she goes and take<s> the aforementioned place, then they pull the deity out from the wall with red wool seven times and he sets the uliḫi in the tallai–container of fine oil.
§22 The tallai–container is stoppered, and they carry it into the new temple and set it down apart. They do not put it with the deity.
§23 If it is acceptable to the officiant, on the day on which they offer tuḫalzi in (?) the old temple, on that day they also attract (lit., pull) the new deity into the new temples. If it is not acceptable to him, then they will attract (lit., pull) her on the second day. These (things) they will take for the attracting (lit., pulling): One skein/strand of red wool, one red scarf, a little fine oil, a tallai–container, twenty flat breads, two mūlati–loaves of ½ handful, one small cheese, one pitcher of wine. They go out to the river.
§24 They attract (lit., pull) the deity from Akkad, from Babylon, from Susa, from Elam, from Ḫursagkalamma to the city which she loves, from the mountain, from the river, from the sea, from the valley, from the meadow, from the ušarunt–, from the sky, from the earth by means of seven roads and by means of seven paths. The officiant goes behind.
§25 When they are finished attracting (lit., pulling) the deity, the tents have already been constructed before the river, and they carry the uliḫi– into the tents and set it on the wicker table. They (also) set (down) a little fine oil, a naḫzi–measure of vegetable oil, a naḫzi– of honey, a naḫzi– of fruit, twenty flat breads, three mūlati–loaves of ½ handful, three oil cakes of ½ handful, three small cheeses, one handful of barley flour, three pitchers of wine.
§26 They offer the ritual of blood with a kid. Afterward, they offer the ritual of praise with a lamb. Afterward the lamb is burned for the ambašši– (ritual). Afterward, with (the help of) a table man, they bring for the deity all the stews, one warm bread of ½ ŠĀTI, one loaf (made of) GÚG, one sweet bread of one handful, one jug of beer, one pitcher of wine and give to the deity to eat. Then they carry the uliḫi– into the house of the officiant with (the accompaniment of) a drum and cymbals (?). They scatter sour bread, crumbled cheese and fruits down for him/her. Then they circle the deity with a ḫūšti-stone. Then they seat the deity in the storehouse.
§27 For the ambašši– (ritual): One lamb, twenty flat breads, one mūlati–loaf of ½ handful, one oil cake of ½ handful, one handful of barley meal, ½ handful of vegetable oil, ½ handful of ghee, ½ handful of honey, ½ handful of fruit are arranged. They dedicate the lamb to the deity for the ambašši– (ritual). Then they bring in the uliḫi– for the deity and they bind the uliḫi– to the new deity. There is no ritual of blood and no ritual of praise. The officiant leaves.
§28 Those take one skein/strand of red wool, one skein/strand of blue wool, one shekel of silver, one (bolt of[?]) gazzarnul fabric, one plain (i.e. undyed) wool, a little fine oil, three flat breads, one pitcher of wine and they go to the waters of purification. They carry the waters of purification to the new temple and set them on the roof and they spend the night (lit., sleep) beneath the stars. On that day they do nothing (more).
§29 Those ones take twenty flat breads, two mūlati–loaves of ½ handful, three oil cakes of ½ handful, three ḫaršpauwant–breads, their flour (is) a tarna– in weight, porridge, gangati-vegetable stew, euwan–stew, chick pea soup, broad bean soup, stew of ARSANNU-meal, each of ½ handful of flour, cress, ŠU.GÁN-herb, one jug of beer, one pitcher of wine, one moist bread of ½ ŠĀTI, one loaf (made of) GÚG, one sweet bread (of) one handful, and a little fruit.
§30 The uliḫi– which had been brought from the temple of the old (deity), they open that tallai-container and they wash the wall of the [tem]ple with this water. They mix that [in] with the old fine oil of the tallai–container and they wash the wall with that. The wall (is) pure. But the officiant does not come (in).
§31 The old uliḫī– they bind to the red [s]carf of the new deity.
§32 When at night on the second day (of the ritual) a star comes out (lit., leaps), the officiant comes to the temple and bows to the deity. They take the two daggers that were made along with the (statue of) the new deity and (with them) dig a ritual pit for the deity in front of the table. They offer one sheep to the deity for enumaššiya and slaughter it down in the hole. However, there is no [pulling] from the wall. The table (that) had been built they remove (?). They bloody the golden (image of the) deity, the wall and all the implements of the new [dei]ty. Then the [ne]w deity and the temple are pure. But the fat is burned up. No one eats it.
colophon: Tablet One. The word of the priest of the Deity of the Night. When someone settles the Deity of the Night separately, for her/ it this is the ritual. Not finished. Hand of Ziti, son of Mr. “Gardener” written under the supervision of Anuwanza, the eunuch.

Text: CTH 481. Duplicates: A = KUB 29.4 + KBo 24.86; B = KUB 29.5; C = KUB 12.23; D = KBo 16.85 + KBo 15.29 (+) KBo 8.90 (+) KUB 29.6 + KUB 32.68 + KBo 34.79 (edited as 102/f by Otten and Rüter 1981:123, 127f.). Edition: Kronasser 1963. Discussions: Beckman 1983:169; Carruba 1971:355; Haas 1993:74–76; Haas and Wegner 1979; Hoffner 1967; Lebrun 1976:28–31; Ünal 1993.

Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

The Queen of Kanesh
The Queen of Kanesh in the course of a single year gave birth to thirty sons. She said: “What a multitude (?) a I have begotten!” She filled (the interstices of) baskets with grease,3 put her sons in them, and set them into the river. b The river carried them down to the sea, to the land of Zalpuwa.6 The gods recovered the children from the sea and raised them.
After several years had passed, the queen gave birth again — (this time) to thirty daughters. These she raised herself. The sons are on their way back to Neša, driving a donkey. When they reached the city of Tamar[mara], they say: “Heat up an inner-chamber here, and the donkey will climb (?).” The men of the city replied: “Where we came, a donkey [never (?)] climbs (?).” The sons said: “Where we came, a woman gives birth to [one or two] sons (at one time). Yet (our mother) begot us at one time!” The men of the city said: “Once our Queen of Kanesh8 gave birth to thirty daughters at one time. (Her) sons had disappeared.” The boys said to themselves: “We have found our mother, whom we have been seeking. Come, let us go to Neša (= Kanesh).” When they had gone to Neša, the gods made them look different (?), so that their mother […] did not recognize them. She gave her daughters in marriage to her sons. The older sons did not recognize their sisters. But the youngest [said]: “Shall we take [th]ese our own sisters in marriage? You must not go near them. [It is certainly not] right, that [we should] sl[eep] with them. […]
When morning came, [they] wen[t] to the city of Zalpa. […] thick bread to the Earth Goddess, the daughter of the Sungod […] The Sungod strewed meal into her mouth […], and she tasted it. The Sungod said: “[…] May it come about that the city of Zalpuwa prospers […].”
When later on war broke out, […] made peace with the grandfather of the king. […] was the king of Zalpa, and to him in that same way […] Allu[- … was] the chamberlain of the king of Zalpa. He put to death […] daughter […], and Tabarna’s […] you put to death. And my daughter to/for … […] The [grand (?)]father of the king [went (?). Towards (?)] Zalpa, in Mt. Kapa[kapa], Alluwa died in that very defeat. […] defeated [the allies (?) of] Zalpa. They […] sixty houses […] the “lord of his word(s).” And he brought them and settled them in Tawiniya. […]ed.
Hittite King gives prince Ḫakkarpili to govern Zalpa.
The men of Zalpa heard, and they let him down from the city of [… –]pina. [… –ed] them in Ḫatti peacefully. The [grand]father of the king [… ed] the city Ḫurma to the old father of the king. […] and Ḫatti. And the elders of Zalpa c asked for a son from him. He [sent] them his son Ḫakkarpili. [And] he instructed [him] as follows: “What separately […] you place, in the same way […] on whose head [he … s] a tupalan.”
When Ḫakkarpili w[ent] to Zalpa, [he … –ed] and he said to them: “The king gave this to me. He holds evil [in his heart (?)]. So make war. He sows (?) for himself […]. So let the sword cut […] down to the second and third generations.” d Now Kišwa said: “[…] defeated [them (?)] as far as Mt. Tapazzili. They defeated […] So I will request a long weapon (?). Let him give […], and indeed much.” Ḫakkarpili replied: “I will request it from the king.” Thus he said: “[…] we will […], and […] to us a weapon (?).” Kišwa came and […]
(Continuation lost in large break in the text.)
Ḫappi and Tamnaššu Incite Zalpa to Revolt.
[…] my brother […] was king […] the king of the city Zi[– …] turned […] Tamna[ššu …] m[ade …] king […] a gold throne […] this to you […] … […] the gods […]. Ḫappi [… “…] if […] let me take […] I will fill for you […] with a shovel.” He wrote (thus). He set out […] and went back to Kummanni. But Zalpa made war. He went away [to/from] the city of […] But Ḫappi [went (?)] to the city of Alḫiuta.
Ḫappi spoke to the men of Zalpa: “I am not loved by my father. I went to Ḫatti to die. Were there not 100 troops, men of Zalpa, with me? Yet they did not die.”
The Battle of Ḫaraḫšu.
The king (of Ḫatti) heard (about this). He set out (for Zalpa) and arrived at Ḫaraḫšu. The troops of Zalpa came against him. The (Hittite) king defeated them, but Ḫappi escaped. They captured Tamnaššu alive and brought him to Ḫattuša.
The Siege and Destruction of Zalpa.
In the third year the king went and blockaded Zalpa. He remained there for two years. He demanded the extradition of Tabarna and Ḫappi, but the men of the city would not give them up. So (the Hittite troops) besieged them until they all died. The king returned to Ḫattuša to worship the gods, but he left the old king there. He went up against the city (saying) “I will become your king”. Troops were with them. And he destroyed the city.
(The End)

Otten 1973; Tsevat 1983.

Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

Reign of Pitḫana of Kuššar
§1 (lines 1–4) (Thus speaks) Anitta, son of Pitḫana, king of Kuššar. Say: (Pitḫana) was dear to the Stormgod of the Sky. When (Pithana) was dear to the Stormgod of the Sky, the king of Neša3 was … to the king of Kuššar (= Pitḫana).
§2 (lines 5–9) The king of Kuššar ca[me] down out of the city (of Kuššar) with large numbers and to[ok] Neša during the night by storm. He captured the king of Neša but did no harm to any of the citizens of Neša. He treated [them] (all) as mothers and fathers.
Reign of Anitta, son of Pitḫana
§3 (lines 10–15) After (the death of) [Pit]ḫana, my father, in the first year I suppressed a revolt. [Whate]ver land arose (in revolt) from the direction of the east, I de[feated] them all.
§4 (lines 13–16) […] the city of Ullamm[a …] the king of Ḫatti8 c[ame (?) …] back […] in (the city of) [T]ešma I defeated. Neša f[ire (??) …].
§5 (lines 17–19) [I took] the city of Harkiuna in broad daylig[ht]. I took the city [Ullam]ma at night. [I took] the city Tenenda in broad daylight.
§6 (lines 20–26) I devoted (them) to the Stormgod of Neša. We [all]otted12 (them) to the Stormgod [of Neša(?)] (as) a de[voted thing]. Whoever after me becomes king, whoever resettles [the cities of Ullamma, Tenend]a, and Harkiuna, [the enemies of] Neša, let him be enemy to [the Stormgod] of Neša. a And he — let him be […] of all the lands. Like a lion the land […].
§7 (lines 27–29) (If) he [doe]s (any other) [harm], (if) he settles […] upon […], and [… s] it to the Stormgod […].
Year Two
§8 (lines 30–32) After (the death of) my father, [in the … year, I proceeded (?)] to the s[ea] of the city of Zalpuwa. The sea of [Zalp]uwa [was my boundary].17
§9 (lines 33–35) [I have copied] these [words] from the tablet(s) in my gate. Hereafter for all time [let no] one de[face] th[is tablet]. But whoever defaces it, [let him] b[e] an enemy of [the Stor]mgod.19
Additions to the Original Monumental Inscription in the Gate
§10 (lines 36–37) A second time Piyušti, king of Ḫattuša, came. At the city Šalampa [I defeated (?)] his auxiliary troops which he brought in (to aid him).
§11 (lines 38–48) [I … ed] all the lands […] this side of Zalpuwa by the sea. Previously Uḫna, king of Zalpuwa, had carried off (the cult statue of) our goddess (Ḫalmaššuit) from Neša to Zalpuwa, and I brought [Hu]zziya, king of Zalpuwa, back alive to Neša. P[iyusti] had [f]ortified Ḫattuša. So I left it alone. But subsequently, when it became most acutely beset with famine (?), their22 goddess Ḫalmaššuit gave it over (to me), and I took it at night by storm. In its place I sowed cress.23
§12 (lines 49–51) Whoever after me becomes king and resettles Ḫattuša, [let] the Stormgod of the Sky strike him.
§13 (lines 52–54) Toward Šalatiwara [I] tur[ned] my face. šalatiwara drew out [its] … […] (and) troops to meet me. I carried them off to Neša.
§14 (lines 55–56) I built various city (fortifications) in Neša. Behind I built the temple of the Stormgod of the Sky and the temple of our goddess (Ḫalmaššuit).
§15 (lines 57–58) I built the temple of Halmaššuit, the temple of the Stormgod my lord, [and the temple of …].25 And those goods which I had brought back from my campaign(s) I dedicated (?) to that place.
§16 (lines 59–63) I made a vow. And [I went on] a hun[t]. On the first day (I captured): two lions, seventy boars, one boar of the canebrake, and 120 (other) wild animals, whether leopards, lions, mountain sheep, wild sheep, or […], and I brought this to my city Neša.
Year Four
§17 (lines 64–67) In the following year I went to battle (again) a[gainst Šalatiwa]ra. The “man” (= ruler) of Salatiwara arose together with his sons and came against me. He left his land and his city behind and took up a position on the Hulanna River.
§18 (lines 68–72) [The army of] Neša came around behind him (stealthily) and set fire to his city. Them in[side (?) …] in the city […] his […], 1400 troops, chariots, horses, … […] … […] he drew up and marched off.
Year Five
§19 (lines 73–79) When I went on a campaign [to …], the “man” of Purušḫanda […] of his ḫengur-gift. He brought to me as a ḫengur-gift one iron throne and one iron crook. But when I returned to Neša, I brought with me the “man” of Purušḫanda. When he goes to the inner chamber, he shall sit before me on the right.31

Text: CTH 1. A= KBo 3.22, B = KUB 26.71 i 1–19, C = KUB 36.98 (+) 98a (+) 98b obv.-rev.6´. Bibliography: Edition Neu 1974. Discussions: Badalì 1987; Güterbock 1936:139ff.; 1983:23–25; Otten 1961b:335–336; Hoffner 1980:291–293; Singer 1995; Steiner 1984; 1989; 1993.
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

§1 Thus (says) Puḫanu, the servant of Šarmaššu […] A person to him […] is dressed in a colorful tunic/garment. On his head a basket has been placed. He holds his bow (variant: a bow). He has called for help, (saying:) “What have I done? What?”
§2 “I haven’t taken anything from anyone. I haven’t taken an ox from anyone. I haven’t taken a sheep from anyone.2 I haven’t taken anyone’s male or female servants.”
§3 “Why have you (plural) treated me so and bound this yoke upon me? (Therefore) I must always bring ice3 in this basket and keep fighting (until) I destroy the land(s) with these arrows. You, (O arrow,) will plunge into (i.e., penetrate) their heart(s).”
§4 “Isn’t that opponent of mine whom you (plural) escorted to Arinna my donkey? I will sit upon him,6 and you (plural) shall escort me there!”
§5 “Who holds all the lands? Don’t I fix in place the rivers, mountains and seas? I fix the mountain in place, so that it cannot move from its place. I fix the sea in place, so that it cannot flow back.”
§6 [Beh]ind them he became a bull, and its horns were a little bit bent. I ask [him:] “Why are its horns bent?” And he said: “[…] Whenever I went on campaigns/trips, the mountain was difficult for us. But this bul[l] was [strong]. And when it came, it lifted that mountain and [m]oved it, so that we reached (?) the sea. That is why its horns are bent.”
§7 The Sungod (dess) of […] is sitting […], and he sends out messengers, (saying:) “Go to Aleppo.” Say […] to the troops: “Šuppiyaḫšu and Zidi are there. […] The goddess Inara of Ḫatti and Zidi. […] of Ḫatti […]. [… g]o, say: ‘Come (plural) to [Za]lpa! Come! […] their/ your land!’ ”
[The remainder of the tablet is too broken and disconnected for reliable translation.]

Text: CTH 16a; A = KUB 31.4 + KBo 3.41, B = KBo 12.22 i 1–14, C = KBo 13.78 obv. 1–15. Editions: Otten 1963b; Soysal 1987:173–176, 179–180, 183–190. Bibliography: Hoffner 1971; Otten 1963b; Soysal 1987.
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

Among the Hittite kings Šuppiluliuma I was the greatest conqueror. To him was due the destruction of the great and powerful rival kingdom of Mitanni and the eastward expansion of the Hittite state into North Syria during the first half of the 14th Century BCE. The story of his reign has often been told. Among the more recent attempts Güterbock 1960, Kitchen 1962, Bryce 1989, and Kempinski 1993 may be named. Letters from Šuppiluliuma to the Egyptian pharaoh Amenophis IV, which show the Hittite king’s prestige and power, were found in the corpus of Akkadian tablets found at Amarna (Moran 1992). His reign was a long one, during which he established his sons as dynastic rulers in strategic Syrian urban centers such as Aleppo and Carchemish.
The Hittite text called “The Deeds of Šuppiluliuma” (CTH 40) was composed by one of his younger sons, who reigned as his second successor under the throne name of Muršili II. A first son and successor, Arnuwanda, was sickly and ruled only a few years. This composition was part of a large historiographic work by Muršili II comprising three compositions (Hoffner 1980, Güterbock 1983). The deeds of his father, the subject of the first part, served as a kind of prologue to the second and third parts: two sets of annals of his own reign, one a chronicle of his first ten regnal years, and the second a more detailed account of his entire reign. Muršili II’s ten–year and extensive annals were edited by Goetze (1933). As might be expected, the Annals of Muršili II and the Deeds of Šuppliluliuma (abbreviated “DS”), since they are products of the same author, show many similarities in literary style.
In DS Muršili refers to Šuppiluliuma only as “my father,” and Šuppiluliuma’s father, Tudḫaliya, as “my grandfather.” Even during the reign of his father, Šuppiluliuma was active as a battlefield commander, and on at least one occasion volunteered to lead campaigns when his father was ill (fragment 14, see also 11). Among the opponents faced by Tudḫaliya and Šuppiluliuma were armies from Ḫayaša and the Kaška, both located to the north or northeast of the Hittite capital. When campaigning in this region, the Hittite king used the city of Šamuḫa as a base of operations (fragment 10). Strategic maneuvers mentioned in this text included ambush (fragments 10, 14 and 17). Although usually the battles are described in a very general way, we occasionally meet with vivid details. In fragment 15 Šuppiluliuma fought Arzawan troops in the vicinity of Tuwanuwa and Tiwanzana. The text describes how he encountered them unexpectedly, while he was driving his own chariot in advance of his own supporting chariotry, and how the enemy assaulted him with arrows. In fragment 28 a plague broke out in the Hittite army, which must have been common enough in military encampments with so many people living together in close quarters. The glorification of the Hittite king as a warrior does not exclude the mention of the role of his commanders, Lupakki, Ḫimuili and Ḫannuti, or the activities of the corps of engineers (fragment 28), whose duties included the fortifying of towns and strong points along the way. Hittite princes, brothers of Muršili, such as Arnuwanda, Zita and “The Priest,” are also mentioned by name. Rarely, even the name of an enemy commander — such as Takuḫli the Hurrian (fragment 28, A ii 15–20) — is mentioned. The author lays stress on the military organization of his father’s various opponents, calling some of them “tribal groups” (see Güterbock 1956:62 note c and Hoffner 1979). This organization especially characterizes the Kaška people, who in Muršili’s own annals are described as not being ruled by kings (Goetze 1933:88f., lines 73–75]). Such tribal fighting groups must have been quite elusive, since the author states that his father only defeated them when he was able to “catch” them (fragment 14). The Kaška enemy sometimes attacked by night (fragment 28, A i 21ff., ii 1ff.). Often the author indicates how many of such tribes or tribal groups were fighting in the confederation: nine in fragment 13, twelve in fragment 14, seven in fragment 15. This recalls the various groupings of the Israelite tribal confederacy involved in the localized wars of the Book of Judges. In one instance (fragment 13) an enemy surrenders to the Hittite army only to take up arms again behind its back and sabotage its recently built fortifications. Relocations of enemy population are also recorded. Both in this text (e.g., fragments 18, 19, 26) and in Muršili’s own annals exchanges of messages by tablet are recorded, among which are several which challenge the enemy force to combat. Similar exchanges of messages prior to battle are recorded in Judg 11:12–28. The longest messages whose contents are recorded are those exchanged between Šuppiluliuma and the Egyptian queen in fragment 28.
The surviving colophons to the various tablets reveal not only that the native title of the work was “The Manly Deeds of Šuppiluliuma” (fragment 28, colophon of E3), but also that the text of the Deeds was to be subsequently inscribed on a bronze tablet (fragment 28, colophon to copy A). Such a bronze tablet, although not containing this composition, was unearthed by Peter Neve in the 1986 season of excavations at Boğazköy (Otten 1988). It contained the full text of a state treaty between Tudḫaliya IV of Ḫatti and Kurunta of Tarḫuntašša.
A large part of the narrative is fragmentary, not lending itself to connected, easily understandable translation. We have limited ourselves therefore to the best preserved and most familiar parts. The full text with its many breaks and discontinuities may be found in Güterbock’s edition.
This composition was first recognized by Emil Forrer, who collected all fragments he could identify in Forrer 1922, 1926) under numbers 31–37. These tablets were gradually republished in cuneiform, mostly by Goetze, in KUB 14 (1926: Nos. 22, 23), 19 (1927: Nos. 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 18), 21 (1928: No. 10), 26 (1933: Nos. 73, 84), but some by Heinrich Otten and J. Sturm in KUB 31 (1939: Nos. 6, 7, 21, and 8). In addition, some fragments that Forrer had not recognized were published in cuneiform copies, in particular KUB 19: 4, 12, 47, 23: 2, 7, 8, 50, 31: 11, 25, 33 and 34. Excavations conducted by Kurt Bittel after 1931 added a large number of new fragments, almost all from Archive A in the south–east part of the acropolis. Hans Ehelolf made hand copies of some Šuppiluliuma fragments, which eventually appeared in two posthumous volumes, KUB 32 and 34.
An edition of the entire composition was published as Güterbock (1956). Further small fragments have continued to be identified since 1956, but none which adds appreciably to the text base used by Güterbock. Güterbock’s numbering of the fragments has been retained. But since not all fragments are sufficiently well–preserved to allow coherent translation, there will be gaps in the numbering of fragments translated here.
Second and Third Tablets (Fragments 9–17)
(Fragment 10, D col. i) [beginning broken]
(2) When my father ma[rched on], he [did not] meet the Ḫayaša enemy in [the land of …]. My father went [after the Ḫayaša] enemy, but again he did not [meet] him. (Instead) he met the Kaška enemy, all of their tribal troops, in [the midst of the land]. The gods stood by him: [the Sun Goddess of Arinna], the Storm God of Ḫatti, the Storm God of the Army, and Ištar of the Battlefield, (so that) the en[emy] suffered many casualties. He also [took] ma[ny] prisoners and brought them back to Šamuḫa.
(11) Again [my] fa[ther] set out from [Šamuḫa]. And [in the land (?) of …] which had been laid waste by i[ts] enemy, there stood the a[rmy (?)] of the enemy. [ (Even) the …] and the shepherds [had come to] help. [My father] laid an ambush [for them] and [attacked] the Ka[ška men]. [He also attacked] the auxiliaries who had come, (so that) the Kaška troops and the au[xiliary] troops [suffered many casualties]. But the captives whom [he took were beyond counting].
(Fragment 11, A ii // B ii and C)
“[…] let him go. […] There […] because [… does not (?)] die, kill him […].” — Thus (spoke) my father to my grandfather: “O my lord, send me on that [campai]gn. Then the gods will fulfill what is in my [heart].”
(8) So my grandfather sent forth my father from Šamuḫa. [And when he (my father)] arrived in the land of Ḫatti, since [the … had been] burned down by the enemy, my father began to cast away the kunzi. And they cast it away [and] took […].…
(Fragment 13, D iv // E i) [Beginning of the column in E is broken away.]
(end of D iii) [When my father] (iv 1) heard this, he set about […].
(3) He proceeded to lay an ambush in front of [… And] he [slew (?)] the enemy who (?)] had arrived [at …]. [The Kaška men (?)] assembled nine tribal groups. [My father took away] from him [what] he was holding. (8) And everyone [went away] to his own [town]. When my father [arrived with] l[arge numbers of troops], the Kaška enemy was afraid, and they put their weapons down.
(12) Si[nce] my father had built fortifications behind the empty towns of the whole land which had been emptied by the enemy, he brought the inhabitants back, everyone to his own town, and they occupied their towns again.
(E 7) My grandfather became well again and came down from the Upper Land. And since the troops of the lands of Maša and Kammala kept attacking the land of the Ḫulana River and the land of Kaššiya, my grandfather went to attack them. My father went along too on the campaign. (13) The gods went before my grandfather, (so that) he proceeded to destroy the land of Maša and Kammala. While my grandfather [was] in the land of Kammala, my father was with him. In the rear the Kaška enemy took up arms again; and the enemy for a second time destroyed the empty towns behind which my father had built fortifications.
(D 29) Now when my grandfather [came] back from the land of Maša — the lands of Katḫariya and Kazzapa which kept destroying [towns (?)] (as) the Kaška [troops] carried away their goods, silver, gold, bronze utensils and everything — my grandfather went to those towns in order to attack (the troops of Katḫariya and Kazzapa). [Then] the gods marched before my grandfather, (so that) he destroyed (the towns of) Katḫariya and Kazzapa and burned them down. The gods marched before my grandfather, (so that) he also defeated the Kaška troops who had come to help Katḫariya — and those Kaška troops […] died en masse.
(40) When my grandfather came back from there, he went to the land of Ḫayaša. And my father was still with him. When my grandfather arrived in the land of Ḫa[yaša], Karanni (or: Lanni?), king of Ḫayaša, [came] to (meet him in) battle below (the town of) Kummaḫa. [… broken]
(Colophon of E) Third (tablet), (text) not complete, of the Deeds of Šuppiluliuma, the great king, the hero. [erasure]
(Fragment 14, F iii) [beginning broken]
(2) [… laid an] am[bush for the K]aška people. [… Piy]apili (nom.) […] they kill. [… Pi]yapili (nom.) … … […] tr[eated] nothing [badly]. (7) But [when] my grandfather heard [of the … of] Piy[apili] — since my grandfather was still [si]ck, my grandfather (spoke) thus: “[Who] will go?” My father answered: “I will go.” [So] my grandfather sent my father out.
(12) When my father arrived in the land, (he found that) the Kaška enemy who had entered the land of Ḫatti had badly damaged the land. The Kaška enemy whom my father met inside the land consisted of twelve tribal groups. The gods marched before my father, (so that) he defeated the aforementioned Kaška enemy, the tribal troops, wherever he caught them. My father took away from (the enemy) what he was holding, and gave it back to the Hittites. (22) My grandfather became well again and came down from the Upper Land. And when he arrived at (the town of) Zitḫara, he met a[ll] the troops of (the town of) […] in Zitḫara. (26) The gods marched before my grandfather, (so that) he defeated [the enemy].…
(38) [My father said] to my grandfather: [“O my lord, send] me aga[inst the Arz]awa enemy.” [So my grandfather sent my father (?)] aga[inst] the Arzawa enemy. (41) [And when] my father [had marched for] the first [day (?), he came (?) to (the town of?) K]ašḫa. [The gods] — [the Sun Goddess of Arinna, the Storm God of] Ḫatti, the Storm God of the A[rmy, and Ištar of the Battlefield] — marched before [my father] (45) [ (so that) my father defeated the] Arzawa [enemy …] and the enemy troops [died in] lar[ge numbers … [end of column, continuation of text lost]
(Fragment 15, F iv // G i) [beginning broken]
(1) [… on Mo]unt Allina [… l and […] it with (its) goods; […] bu[ilt …] again. [But when (?)] he arrived [at …], they brought [word to] my father below (the town of) […]: “The enemy who had gone forth to (the town of) Aniša, is now below (the town of) […]-išša.” (So) my father went against him. And the gods — the Sun Goddess of Arinna, the Storm God of Ḫatti, the Storm God of the Army, and the Lady of the Battlefield — marched before my father (so that) he slew that whole tribal group, and the enemy troops died en masse.
(11) Furthermore again he met six tribes in (the town of) Ḫuwana[– …], and he (var: my father) defeated these, too, (so that) the enemy troops died en masse. He met still another seven tribal groups in (the towns of) Ni[– …] and Šapparanda and defeated them, (so that) the enemy troops died en masse. Still another Arzawa enemy was out in the land of Tupaziya and on Mount Ammuna in order to attack. Anna (?) was helping (?) as an ally (?), and he attacked Mount Ammuna, the land of Tupaziya and the […] Lake, and kept its goods, along with the inhabitants, cattle and sheep. (21) When he arrived at (the town of) Tuwanuwa, he stopped below Tuwanuwa and fought against Tuwanuwa. My father defeated the enemy in (the towns of) […], Naḫḫuriya and Šapparanda. Then he [we]nt back to (the town of) Tiwanzana to spend the night, and my father spent the night in Tiwanzana.
(26) In the morning my father drove down from Tiwanzana into the land, (while) in the rear his charioteers and six teams of horses were supporting him. And as my father was driving, he encountered (?) that whole enemy all at once, and my father engaged him in battle. Then the gods — the Sun Goddess of Arinna, the Storm God of Ḫatti, the Storm God of the Army, and [Ištar of the Battlef]ield — marched before my father (so that) he (var.: my father) defeated that enemy. [And] because [the …] was [v]ery (?) large, he cast away the civilian captives, cattle and sheep [which] they had taken. (36) [When the enemy had abandoned the boot[y] (?), [he] fled and took to the moun[tain]. [And … (?)] they attacked with arro[ws]. When my father saw the attack, he drove up to Tuwanuwa [and] bound the […].… (end of tablet)
(Colophon of F) Second tablet, (text) not complete, of the [De]eds of Su[ppiluliuma …]. [Hand of (?) …]-su–ziti (?).
(Fragment 17, G iv) [beginning broken]
(1–2) … (3) against my father [ (4) Then the gods helped him, [ (so that) he defeated the enemy, and the enemy] died [en masse]. The auxiliaries (?) [… –ed] Takkuri [and] Ḫimuili […].
(7) And when he had slain the enemy, he defeated […] and made it again [into Hittite land]. Then [he went] to (the town of Anz[iliya …].
(10) And when Anzi[ilya … …]. But my father haste[ned … …]. And when my fa[ther … …, they brought word] to my father:
(14) “The enemy who was […], now [attacked (?) (the towns of) …] and Pargalla.” (17) “But besides [he attacked (?) (the towns of) …], Ḫattina, [and] Ha[– …] and holds [their goods, inhabitants], cattle and sheep, and […].” (20) When my father he[ard (this), he …] and [laid] an ambush for the enemy. [And the gods] marched before [my father, (so that) he defeated] the en[emy, and the enemy troops died] en masse.
(24) And the civilian captives, cattle, sheep and go[ods] which [the enemy held], he took away from him and ga[ve] them back [to the Hittites]. Then […] forth […] (end of tablet in G; continuation of text lost)
Fragments (18–27) Whose Tablet Numbers are Unknown
(Fragment 18, No. 4 i) (beginning of tablet) // No. 5 iv
(A i 1) The scout (?) troops of (the town(s) of) Peta [and Maḫuirašša who] had [gon]e […] … in the land of Arza[wa], tho[se] he brought back [and] settled [them again (?)] in their own lands.
(A i 4) Furthermore, while [my father (?)] was campaigning against the […]–s, (the towns of) Maḫuirašš[a, …,] and Peta rose u[p]. And he went [… into] the land of Arzawa to meet Anzapaḫḫ[addu … …]. (8) And for (?) them Anza[paḫḫddu, …,] Alaltalli, Zapalli [… …] gov[erned] these. (10) [And] my father [wrot]e [to Anzapaḫḫaddu]: “These (are) m[y subjects …], but you [ha]ve [taken them away from (?)] me. And […] [ . 1 … (14) [… for] struggle [… …”] And [he …] to him […: “…] my subjects up [in] the tow[n …”] And it happened (that) my father […] said: “Go to [the land] (of) [… and] give [me ba]ck [my subjects]. But if [you do not] deli[ver my] subjects, then be [my ene]my and be … […].” (21) […] my father […] to the people of Arza[wa …] and he […] deli[ver]ed nothing.
(23) [Then] my father consequently sent [out Ḫimui]li, the commander, [and gave him (?) troops and ch]ariots. [And Ḫi]muili we[nt, and] attacked [the land of] Ma (ḫ)uirašša [… and] held [it. But] w[hen A]nzapaḫḫaddu [and (?) hea]rd [ (this) thing], they [came] after (him) out of […] and to[ok] him [by surpri]se on the way (28) [and defeated him]. When my father [heard] of the defeat o[f Ḫimu]ili, [his an]ger ro[se, and] he mobilized the troops and chariots [of Ḫatti at once and went into the land of Arzawa. [When] he [arri]ved [in the land of] Arzawa, he [… –ed] the land of Mira [… (broken)
(Fragment 19, KBo 14.6 i) [beginning broken]
(2) […] defeated [… …]. But (the town of) Ma (ḫ)uirašši [.] and al[l the inh]abitants of Arzawa took [Mount Tiwatassa, but …] kept Mount Kuriwanda apart and [turned] it into (?) three fortified c[amps. But] the enemy held [Mount Tiwatašša] with his force. […] Alantalli [and] Zapalli [were …] below (?) Mount Tiwatašša. […] (10) He surrounded it and [besieged (?)] it. [And] when [he] besieged it, […] came [wi]th troops and chariots, and he […].
(13) When my father heard [thi]s, [he … and] besieged the mountain. [And he wrote him: “Come], let us fight.” [But] Anzap[aḫḫaddu] did not […] come to a battle and was […]. Of the mounta[in …] held, and he […] spoke […] [broken]
(Fragment 20, KBo 14.7 i) [beginning broken]
(1) [… ch]ariot[s …].… (2) [When] my father hear[d … …], he gave [troops and ch]ariots [to Mammali] and […]. And [the enemy (?) overtook (?)] Mammali [on the] wa[y], and [captured] his troops, chariots, (and) depor[tees]. Mammali alone d[ied (?) …]. (7) My father (abandoned (?)] Mount Tiwa[tašša]. When Zapalli [and …] were [no longer (?)] besieged, they went […] into (the town of) Hapalla. [But] my father […], and so to his chariots […] (end of column, continuation of text lost)
(Fragment 25, KUB 34.23 i) [beginning broken]
(1) [… …] to the troops [… the peop]le of Ḫul[– … had] gone over [… …] kept attacking [… …] in [som]e rich tow[n (?) the … of Ḫ]atti he took away and […] their father(s), their mother(s) (and) their brothers […] to his own father, mother, and portico […] who [had gone] over to […] (10) […] (he) led (away? the population, cattle and sheep, [and] brought [them to … …]. And everyone took [… …]. But the people of Išuwa were […], and to them, to (the things that had been) carried (away), they […]–ed. But the Hittite civilian captives to them […, …] (he) took away. (16) […] … (he) left […] … (he) hrought. [… …] (he) was. But my father […] revenge against […] (20) [and] went [into the land of] Zuḫḫapa and [burned] it down: [What] was around [the town, that] he burned down, and [all] of the town of Zuḫḫapa he burned [dow]n, (too). But the civilian captives went (sg.!) [… … in]to (the land of) Ḫayaša, [… …]-ed, and they […]–ed them from Mount Laḫa.
(27) [The …] which […] in the land of Išuwa, […]; they belonged to Ḫatti. […] something to someone […] (30) […] even in the winter (he) went [and] attacked [the land of …]-šeni. And the civilian captives, [cattle, sheep, and bron]ze [utensils] which the army had left behind [in …, those bronze utensils] he brought from there. [… … …] (he) came, and in the land of Išuwa […] which [in (?)] Išuwa [… …] chariots [… [broken] [gap of about 25 lines]
(Fragment 26, KUB 34.2:3 ii) [beginning broken]
(2) from the battle […]. And the civilian captives, cattle [and sheep … …] back to the army […] whom they held back (?) […]. Then in the land of Ha[tti …] empty granaries (?) [… …] and him […] broke (?) […] 370[+ …]
(11) And when [my father … …, he sent a message] to the k[ing of Mitanni and [wrote] him thus: [“… I] came before […] (the town of) Carchemish (acc.), the to[wn …] I attacked, but to you [I wrote thus]: ‘Come, let us fight.’ But you] did not come [to battle]. So now [… …] and the land to you wi[th … …]. (20) So come and [let us] fight. […”] But he stayed in (the town of) [Wašukanni], he did not and did not [come] to a battle. [So my father went] there after [him]. (25) The harvest which was […, …] in Wašukanni …] there was no water at all […] the towns which (nom.) [… were] looted (?) […] (30) around […] with fru[it] … …]. And again [… …] to drink [… t]o my father [broken]
Tablet Seven (Fragment 28, KBo 5.6 and duplicates)
(A i 1) Then he went back to Mount Zukkuki and built (fortified) two towns: Atḫulišša and Tuḫupurpuna. While (the Hittite) built the towns, the enemy kept boasting: “Down into the land of Almina we shall never let him (come).” But when he had finished building the towns, he went into Almina, and none of the enemies could any longer resist him in battle.
(A i 9) So he set out to fortify (the town of) Almina. In the rear, in the army, a plague broke out. Then my father took a stand on Mount Kuntiya. Ḫimuili, the commander, held the river Šariya, and Ḫannutti, the marshal, held a position in (the town of) Parparra. But the corps of engineers was still fortifying Almina. And because all Kaška-land was at peace, some of the Hittite people had inns behind Kaška towns, (while) some had again gone to the town.
(A i 18) But when the Kaška men saw that there was a plague in the army, they seized the people who had again gone into their towns.
(A i 21) They killed some and seized others. Then the enemy came by night and deployed. They went to fight against all the fortified camps which the lords were holding. The gods of my father marched before the lords at whichever of the fortified camps they went for battle, so that they defeated them all, and the enemy died en masse. No one could resist the army of my father. When my father had killed the enemy, all the Kaška enemy feared him.
(A i 31) While he was fortifying Almina, he sent out Urawanni and Kuwalana–ziti, the Great Shepherd, to attack the land of Kašula. The gods of my father marched before them, so that they conquered all of the land of Kašula and brought its people, cattle and sheep before my father. There were one thousand civilian captives whom they brought. Then my father conquered all of the land of Tumanna and rebuilt it and reestablished it and made it again part of the Hittite land.
(A i 40) Afterwards he came back to Ḫattuša to spend the winter. When he had celebrated the year festival (in the spring), he went into the land of Ištaḫara. And since the Kaška enemy [had] taken Ištaḫara, Hittite territory, [my father] drove the enemy out of it and refortified the town of […], Manaziya[na (?)], Kalimuna, and the town of […] and reestablished them and made them again part of [the Hittite land]. And when he had reestablished [the land of Ištaḫara], he came back to Ḫattuša to spend the winter.
(A ii 1) Tribal troops came en masse and attacked his army by night. Then the gods of his father marched before my brother, so that he defeated the tribal troops of the enemy and [killed] them. And when he had defeated the tribal troops, [the land] of [the enemy] saw him, and they were afraid, and all the lands of Arziya and Carchemish made peace with him, and the town of Murmuriga made peace with him (too).
(A ii 9) In the land of Carchemish, Carchemish itself, as the one town, did not make peace with him. So the Priest, my brother, left six hundred men and chariots and Lupakki, the commander often of the army, in the land of Murmuriga, (while) the Priest came to Ḫatti to meet my father. And since my father was in the town of Uda performing festivals, he met him there. (A ii 15) When the Hurrians saw that the Priest was gone, the troops and chariots of the Hurrian land came — Takuḫli, the amumikuni, was among them — and surrounded Murmuriga. And they were superior to the troops and chariots of Ḫatti who were there.
(A ii 21) Egyptian troops and chariots came to the land of Kinza, which my father had conquered, and attacked the land of Kinza (Kadesh). My father was informed: “The Hurrians have surrounded the troops and chariots that are up in Murmuriga.” (A ii 26) So my father mobilized troops and chariots and marched against the Hurrians. When he arrived in the land of Tegarama, he reviewed his troops and chariots in (the town of) Talpa. Then he sent his son Arnuwanda and Zita, the Chief of the Royal Guard, from Tegarama ahead into the Hurrian country. When Arnuwanda and Zita arrived in the country, (A ii 33) [the enemy] attacked them. Then the gods of my father marched before them, [ (so that) they defeat]ed [the enemy]. But the enemy […] below the town and went [down] from the town [in order to escape (?) … the moun]tains of the land of Tegarama […]. When [my father he]ard: “He [is trying to] escape from the town ahead of time” — (A ii 42) when my father came down into the land, he did not meet the enemy from the Hurrian land (variant adds: below the town). So he went down to (the town of) Carchemish and surrounded it and (E2 6) […]–ed [… on this side] and that side, (so that) he [surr]ounded it [completely]. The river […] below the place […] ships … […] (he) took, then […] [broken]
(A iii 1) While my father was in the land of Carchemish, he sent Lupakki and Tarhunta (?)–zalma into the land of ʿAmqa. They went to attack ʿAmqa and brought civilian captives, cattle and sheep back to my father. (5) When the people of Egypt heard of the attack on ʿAmqa, they were afraid. And since their lord Nibḫururiya (=Tutankhamun) had just died, the Queen of Egypt (=Ankhesenamun), who was the king’s wife, f sent a messenger to my father (10) saying: “My husband has died, and I have no son. They say you have many sons. If you will give me one of your sons, he will become my husband. I do not wish to choose a subject of mine and make him my husband … I am afraid.” (16) When my father heard this, he convened the Great Ones for council (saying): “Nothing like this has ever happened to me in my whole life.” (20) My father sent Ḫattuša-ziti, the chamberlain, to Egypt (with this order): “Go bring back the true story to me. Maybe they are trying to deceive me. Maybe (in fact) they do have a son of their lord. Bring back the true story to me.”
(A iii 26) (In the meantime) until Ḫattuša-ziti came back from Egypt, my father finally conquered the city of Carchemish. He had besieged it for seven days. Then on the eighth day he fought a battle against it for one day and [took (?)] it in a terrific battle on the eighth day, in [one] day. And when he had conquered the city — since [my father] fear[ed] the gods — on the upper citadel he let no one in[to the presence (?)] of (the deities) [Kubaba (?)] and LAMMA, and he did not intrude into any [of the temples]. (Rather,) he bowed (to them) and gave […]. But from the lower town he removed the inh[abitants], the silver, gold, and bronze utensils and carried them to Ḫatti. (42) And the civilian captives whom he brought to the palace numbered three thousand three hundred and thirty, (E3 iii 15) [whereas] those whom the Hitti[tes] brought (home) [were beyond counting]. Then [he …] his son Šarri-Kušuḫ and [gave] him the land of Carchemish [and] the city of [Carchemish] to govern and ma[de] him a king in his own right.
(E3 iii 21) When he had e[stablished] Carchemish, he [went] back into the land of Ḫatti and spe[nt] the winter in the land of Ḫatti.
(E3 iii 24) When spring arrived, Ḫattuša-ziti [came back] from Egypt, (A iii 44) and the messenger of Egypt, Lord Ḫani, came with him. Now, since my father — when he sent Ḫattuša-ziti to Egypt — had given him these orders: “Maybe they have a son of their lord. Maybe they deceive me and do not want my son for the kingship.” — therefore the queen of Egypt wrote back to my father as follows: “Why did you say ‘they deceive me’ in that way? If I had a son, would I (A iv l) have written about my own and my land’s embarrassing predicament to a foreign land? You did not believe me and have dared to speak this way to me. My husband has died, (6) and I have no son. I do not wish to take one of my subjects and make him my husband. I have written to no other land, only to you. They say you have many sons. Well then, give me one of them. To me he will be a husband, but in Egypt he will be king.” (A iv 13) So, since my father was kindhearted, he granted the woman’s wish and set about choosing the son he would send. (end of tablet in A)
(Colophon of A) Seventh tablet, (text) not complete. Not yet made into a bronze tablet.
[Gap of 6 to 12 lines. Šuppiluliuma speaks to … Ḫani]
… [“…] (E3 iv 1) I [myself] was […] friendly, but you, you suddenly did me evil. You [came (?)] and attacked the man of Kinza whom I had [taken away (?)] from the king of Hurri–land. (5) When I heard (this), I became angry and sent my own troops and chariots and the lords. They attacked your territory, the land of ʿAmqa. And when they attacked ʿAmqa, which is your territory, you were afraid. (10) (Therefore) you keep asking me for one of my sons (as if it were my) obligation. But [h]e will probably become a hostage, and you will not make him [king].” (13) Then Ḫani (replied) to my father: “O my lord, this [is …] our land’s humiliation. If we had any [a son of the king] at all, would we have come to a foreign land and kept asking for a lord for ourselves? Nibḫururiya, who was our lord, has died. He had no son. Our lord’s wife is childless. We are seeking a son of (you,) our lord, for the kingship of Egypt. And for the woman, our lady, we seek him as her husband. Furthermore, we went to no other land. We only came here. Now, O lord, (25) give us one of your sons.” — So my father busied himself on their behalf with the matter of a son. Then my father asked for the tablet of the treaty again, (in which there was told) how formerly the Storm God took the people of Kuruštama, sons of Ḫatti, carried them to Egyptian territory, and made them Egyptian subjects, how the Storm God (30) concluded a treaty between the lands of Egypt and Ḫatti, and how they remained on friendly terms with each other. And when they had read aloud the tablet before them, my father addressed them: (35) “Ḫatti and Egypt have been friends a long time. Now this too on our behalf has taken place between t[hem]. Thus Ḫatti and Egypt will keep on being friends.” [End of tablet in E3]
(Colophon of E3) [… the table]t of the Deeds of Šuppilu[liuma]
Fragments Following “Seventh Tablet”
(Fragment 31, KUB 19.4) [beginning broken] (5) [When] they brought this tablet, they spoke thus: [“The people of Egypt (?)] killed (Šuppiluliuma’s son) [Zannanza and brought word: ‘Zannanza [died.’ ” And when] my father heard] of the slaying of Zannanza, (8) he began to lament for [Zanna]nza, [and] to the god[s …] he spoke [th]us: “O gods, I did [them no h]arm, [yet] the people of Egy[pt d]id [this to me], and they have (also) [attacked] the frontier of my land.” [broken]
(Fragment 34, A. KUB 19.13 + KUB 19.14 i) [beginning broken]
(1) […] before [… And the gods helped my father]: the Sun Goddess of Ari[nna, the Storm God of Ḫatti, the Storm God of the Army, and Ištar of the Battlefield, (so that)] he defeated the enemy. [… … he burned down (the towns of) …] and [Pa]lḫuišša […]. And [ag]ain [he went] to (the town of) Kamm[ama and] burned] down the town of [Kamm]ama.
(7) [When my father] had burned down [these] lands, he went [from there into] the land of Istaḫara. [From Istaḫara] he went into (the town of) Ḫattena, (10) [and] ascended [Mount …]-šu. And he proceeded to burn down [the land of … and the land of] Teššita. [From there] he went into (the town of) Tuḫpiliša [and ref]ortified [it]. Furthermore, while my father was there, [the people of Zida]parḫa brought (him) word: “If you, O my Lord, (15) were to go [to …] but not [to come] into the land of Zidaparḫa, [then] we would not hold out in front of the enemy.” (17) [But my father] spoke [th]us: “If I from here I were [to march] along at the foot of [Mount …]–mitta, [then I would] (have to) turn very much out [of my way.” And he] (20) [marched on] from there and went into the land of T[ikukuwa. And he] spent the night [in T]ikukuwa. [From there he (went on and)] spent the night in Ḫurna [and] burned down [the land of Ḫurna. From there he ascended Mou]nt Tiḫšina and burned [down] the land of Ḫauri[– … and came t]o the river Marass[anta]. (25) [Then he went] in[to the land of D]arittara. [And becau]se it [was at pe]ac[e (?), he did not destroy (?)] the land of Daritta[ra]. But [Pitak]katalli mobilized [… in] (the town of) Š[apidduwa (?) …], and he [came (?) against my father (?)]. But when my father [saw (?)] h[im (?)], he did [no]t wait but […
(31) My father [marched] away from there, as[cended] Mount Illuriya and spent the night in (the town of) Wašḫaya. He burned down the land of Zina[– …]. From there he (went on and) spent the night in (the town of) Kaškilušša] (35) and burned down the lands of Kaškilušša and Tarukka. From there he (went on and) spent the night in (the town of) Ḫinariwanda and burned down the land of Ḫinariwanda and Iwatallišša. From there he (went on and) spent the night (in the town of) Šapidduwa and burned down the land of Šapidduwa.
(40) When he had burned down these lands, my father went into the land of Tumanna. And from [Tuma]nna he ascended Mount Kaššû and burned down [the land of …]–naggara. And (the land of) the river Daḫara, [which] he had [con]quered, opened hostilities once again. (45) [So he] went into (the land of) the river Daḫara and burned down Daḫara and [the land of Ta]papinuwa. Then he came back [into (the town of) T]imuḫala. The town of Timuḫala was a place of pride [of the] Kaška men. He [would have] destroyed it, but they were afraid (50) [and] came to meet [him] and fell [down] to his feet; consequently, he did not destroy it, [but] made [it again part of the Hittite] land. [From there he marched away] and [went] into (the town of) […, and from there he marched] into [the town of …] [broken]
(Colophon) [… the tablet] of the Deeds [of Šuppiluliuma]. (Text) not complete.

Bryce 1989; Federn 1960; Forrer 1922; 1926; Goetze 1933; Güterbock 1956; 1960; 1983; Hoffner 1979; 1980:283–332; Houwink ten Cate 1966; Kempinski 1992; Kitchen 1962; Krauss 1978; Malamat 1955; Moran 1992; Otten 1988; Owen 1981.
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.

The present text derives from a single tablet found in the 1961 season of excavations at Boğazköy in the area of the House on the Slope. It was published in cuneiform copy by Heinrich Otten in 1963 in Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköi, Heft XII, No. 38, and was partially transliterated and translated in the same year by Otten (1963a). The definitive edition was by Hans Güterbock in 1967 (see also Carruba 1968), who cites all anterior literature.
The tablet has four columns and contains two distinct compositions of related subject matter separated by a double horizontal rule near the bottom of column II, between lines 21 and 22. Both compositions describe Hittite military victories over the people of Cyprus, the first during the reign of the Hittite emperor Tudḫaliya IV (ca. 1239–1209) and the second under his direct successor Šuppiluliyama (=Šuppiluliuma II, ca. 1205–1175?), who was the last Hittite ruler reigning from Ḫattuša. Šuppiluliyama’s own military operation included the first known Hittite sea battle, followed by disembarkation on Alašiya and a land battle.
Both compositions are by Šuppiluliyama, paralleling Muršili II’s authoring of both the Deeds of his father Šuppiluliuma I and two sets of his own annals. Šuppiluliyama tells us at the close of the first text (ii 4–21) that he made an image of his father Tudḫaliya, inscribed upon it his father’s “true manly deeds,” and installed it in a permanent royal mausoleum, called in Hittite NA4ḫegur SAG.UŠ. Güterbock translated this expression as “Everlasting Peak.” The determinative NA4shows the structure was at least partly of stone, the verb “I built” (Hittite wedaḫḫun) shows it was man–made, and other texts inform us that it was reached by going “up,” that it contained a shrine–like structure called the kuntarra, and that there was an inscription in it. But it is still unclear whether it was actually an entire hilltop or mountain top, or if it was a building or complex on an elevated part of the city. The most recently published Hittite textual reference to a NA4ḫegur SAG.UŠ is found in the bronze tablet treaty between this same Tudḫaliya (IV) and King Kurunta of Tarḫuntašša. The passage is difficult, and various translations and interpretations of the incident have been proposed.3 But in it the above–mentioned characteristics of a NA4ḫegur SAG.UŠ are confirmed.
The second text in KBo XII 38 tells of a Hittite victory over Alašiyan ships, followed by further operations on Alašiyan soil. Güterbock has suggested that the originals of both texts were display inscriptions in Hieroglyphic Luwian: the first inscribed on a lost statue of Tudḫaliya, and the second on a relief of Šuppiluliyama, perhaps the famous Nişantaş relief. The latter, which is so badly worn as to be virtually illegible, is being studied by J. David Hawkins with a view to editing it. Since Güterbock’s edition of the present text, a monumental hieroglyphic text of this same Šuppiluliyama has been unearthed in the Upper City in the area known as the “Southern Citadel” (German Südburg) and published by Hawkins. It is not only not the source of the present text, but Alašiya is not mentioned among the many geographical areas it lists where the king campaigned. This fact does not necessarily call into question the historicity of the Alašiya campaign, but it is somewhat disappointing that the newly discovered inscription does not confirm and elucidate our text. Although it is true that the opening words “I am (king so–and–so)” can be found on royal hieroglyphic display inscriptions, these inscriptions are sometimes accompanied by a relief or statue which actually depicts the king in battle dress. It is this which gives meaning to the words “I (the royal figure whom you see here) am PN.” It is likely, therefore, that accompanying the second text which begins with these words was a relief or statue of Šuppiluliyama.
Since in ancient Israel it was forbidden to make an image representing God or a human ruler (see Exod 20), the mighty acts of Israelite kings were never inscribed on statues, as was the custom elsewhere in the ancient Near East. Instead the king’s acts were commemorated in song (see the song about Saul and David in 1 Sam 18:6–7) and eventually in written records (2 Chr 32:32; 35:26). The mighty acts of Yahweh, Israel’s true king, were similarly celebrated and remembered in song and story. But in addition certain artifacts associated with Yahweh’s miraculous deeds were kept in the sacred ark: the manna, the stone tablets of the law, and Aaron’s staff that budded (Exod 16:34; 25:16, 21; Deut 10:5; Num 17:25). In principle this corresponds to the commemoration of Tudḫaliya’s mighty acts on an inscribed statue.
The First Text: About Tudḫaliya
[As an example of the nature of tribute imposed by an overlord on a vassal this text sheds light on many incidental references to paying tribute to overlords. In Num 31 the Mosaic laws governing the division of plunder and the share to be given to Yahweh’s temple are regulated.]
(i 3–9) […] I seized […] with his wives, his children, [and …]. I [re]moved all the goods, [including silver, go]ld, copper and all the captured people and [bro]ught them home to Ḫattuša. I [subjugated] the land of Alašiya and subjected it to tribute payment on the spot. I imposed [the fol]-lowing as tribute upon it:
(i 10–12) Let this tribute from the king of Alašiya and the pidduri–commissioner be (owed) to the Sungoddess of Arinna and to the Tabarna, the Great King, priest b of the Sungoddess of Arinna:
(i 13–14) […] of gold, one talent of copper, twenty-five liters of gayatum–grain for the Sungoddess of Arinna;
(i 15–16) […] of gold, one talent of copper, twenty-five liters of gayatum–grain for the Stormgod of Zippalanda;
(i 17–18) [… of gold, one ta]lent of copper, three [sūtu–measures] of gayatum–grain [for the Stormgod] of Ḫatti;
(i 19–20) [… of gold, one ta]lent of copper, three sūtu–measures of gayatum–grain [for the Stormgod] of Nerik;
(i 21–23) [… mi]ll (?), utensils […] in [Ḫattu]ša they shall present.
(i 24–25) […] all […] they shall […].
(ii 1–3) […] arises […] reverent […]
(ii 4–10) [My father,] Tudḫaliya, [did] not [make] this statue; I, Šuppiluliyama, [Great King,] King of Ḫatti, son of Tudḫa[liya,] Great King, grandson of Ḫatt[ušili,] Great King, great–grandson of Muršili, Great King, made it.
(ii 11–16) And just as my father Tudḫaliya, Great King, was a true king, so I have engraved upon it true exploits in the same way. What I have not accidentally omitted, I have also not deliberately suppressed.
(ii 17–21) I built a permanent mausoleum. I made the statue and had it carried into the permanent mausoleum. I installed and appeased (?) [the statue representing the deceased king].
The Second Text: About Šuppiluliyama
(ii 22–26) I am Your Majesty, the Tabarna, Šuppiluliyama, Great King, King of Ḫatti, Hero, son of Tudḫaliya, Great King, King of Ḫatti, Hero, [gra]ndson of Ḫattušili, Great King, H[ero].
(ii 27–28) [My father,] Tudḫaliya, […]
[The bottom of column II and the top of column III are broken away.]
(iii 1–4) And my father […] I mobilized and I, Šuppiluliyama, Great King, immediately [crossed (?)] the sea.
(iii 5–9) Ships of the land of Alašiya met me in battle three times on the high seas. I defeated them. I captured the ships and set fire to them in the sea.
(iii 10–16) When I disembarked on the shore, a large number of enemy troops came against me for battle. [I defeated] them [in] b[attle …] and to me […] sent […]
[The following badly broken paragraph mentions troops and the land of Ḫatti. The rest of column III and the beginning of IV are lost.)
(iv 1–4) [My father, Tudḫaliya, Great King,] did [not] make [this statue.] Nothing belonging to any [… did I …] I, Šuppiluliyama, Great King, built for him this permanent mausoleum.
(iv 5–8) I installed and app[ea]sed (?) the statue […]. I gave … (As for) villages (to support the mausoleum) they will designate seventy.
(iv 9–14) Whoever takes (the mausoleum) away from him or subjects it to feudal duty, [the gods] who recognized Tudḫaliya (as king) will [ (punish) him (in some way)].

Beal 1993; Carruba 1968; Del Monte 1991–92; Goetze 1933; Güterbock 1956; 1967; Hawkins 1990; Heinhold–Krahmer 1991–92; Hoffner 1992; Houwink ten Cate 1966; 1992; Otten 1955; 1963a; 1988; Stefanini 1992:143; Sürenhagen 1992.

Th. P. J. van den Hout

The Proclamation or Decree of King Telipinu (ca. 1500 BCE) is an attempt to put an end to the inner-dynastic strife and bloodshed which seems to have held the Hittite Empire in its grip since Ḫattušili I (ca. 1600 BCE). In order to do so, Telipinu refrained from killing his own opponents, sending them away unharmed, and firmly established rules of succession (§28) and of how to deal with such offenders in the future (§§29–34). As is characteristic of Hittite literature and political thinking, the need is felt to justify this ruling by giving an historical account of the reasons that led up to this decision (§§1–27). This first part of the Decree of Telipinu, thereby, is the major source for our knowledge of the Old Hittite Empire; for an historical overview of the Old Hittite Kingdom see Gurney, CAH 2:1235–1255. The second part of the text (§§35–50) seems to deal “with an agricultural-administrative reform” (Singer 1984:103) but is much less well preserved. Being a “comparatively unreligious” document (Hoffner 1975b:53) as opposed to, for instance, the Apology of Ḫattušili (text 1.77 below) there are not as many possible links to the Old Testament as in the latter.
This originally Old Hittite composition has come down to us only in thirteenth century copies of which there may have been as many as at least seven exemplars (Starke 1985a:101). There also existed an Akkadian version of which we have fragments of two different manuscripts. Usually this Akkadian version is taken to be a translation of the Hittite original (cf. Beckman 1985:571; Starke 1985a:109–111 vs. Hoffmann 1984:8–9).
The translation basically follows the Hittite text as given by Hoffmann 1984; for criticism see the reviews by Beckman 1985 and Starke 1985a. Where relevant the Akkadian text is used and referred to in the footnotes.
§1 (Column 1:1–4) [Thus] the Tabarna, Telipinu, Great King:
Historical outline: Labarna
[Fo]rmerly, Labarna was Great King and his [son]s, [brother]s, as well as his in-laws, his (further) family members and his troops were united.
§2 (1:5–6) The land was small but wherever he went on campaign, he held the enemy country subdued by (his) might.
§3 (1:7–9) He destroyed the lands, one after another, stripped (?) the lands of their power and made them the borders of the sea. When he came back from campaign, however, each (of) his sons went somewhere to a country:
§4 (1:10–12) The cities of Ḫupišna, Tuwanuwa, Nenašša, Landa, Zallara, Paršuḫanta (and) Lušna, the (se) countries they each governed and the great cities made progress.6
Historical outline: Ḫattušili I
§5 (1:13–16) Afterwards Ḫattušili was King and his sons, too, his brothers, his in-laws as well as his (further) family members and his troops were united. Wherever he went on campaign, however, he, too, held the enemy country subdued by (his) might.
§6 (1:17–20) He destroyed the lands one after the other, stripped (?) the lands of their power and made them the borders of the sea. When he came back from campaign, however, each (of) his sons went somewhere to a country, and in his hand the great cities made progress.
§7 (1:21–23) When later on, however, the princes’ servants became corrupt, they took to devouring their properties, they took to conspiring continually against their lords and they began to shed their blood.10
Historical outline: Muršili I
§8 (1:24–27) When Muršili was King in Ḫattuša, his sons, too, his brothers, his in-laws, his (further) family members and his troops were united. The enemy country he held subdued by (his) might, he stripped (?) the lands of their power and made them the borders of the s[e]a.
§9 (1:28–34) He went to the city of Ḫalpa, destroyed Ḫalpa and brought Ḫalpa’s deportees (and) its goods to Ḫattuša. Now, later he went to Babylon, he destroyed Babylon and fought the Hurrian [troops]. Babylon’s deportees (and) its goods he kept in Ḫat[tuša]. §1015 And Ḫantil[i] was cupbearer and he had Muršili’s sister Ḫar[apši]li for his wife. §11 Zidanta,18 <[the …, had …] …, the daughter of Ḫantili, for a wife, and he> stole up to Ḫantili and they [committ]ed an evil dee[d]: they killed Muršili and shed (his) blood.
Historical outline: Ḫantili I
§12 (1:35–38) Ḫantili got afraid (saying): “Will I be pro[tected? The go]ds pr[ote]cted him. […] … wherever (he) went, the populatio[n …] … the cities of Aš[tat]a, [Šukzi]ya, Ḫurpana, Carchemi[sh …] … [troops] they began to [giv]e and troo[ps …].
§13 (1:39–42) And [when Ḫ]antili reac[hed] the city of Tegarama a he began to sa]y: “What (is) [t]his (that) I have done? [Why] did I listen to [the words of] Zidan[ta, m]y (?) [son-in-law]? [As soon as] he (however) [reig]ned [as King], the gods sough[t] (revenge for) the blood [of Muršili24].
§14 (1:43–46) [… the H]urrian [tr]oops, chased (like) foxes in the b[ushes,] they [c]alled. [When the Hurrian enemy (?)26] came [t]o Ḫatti-L[an]d, he [… -]ed [ and …] in (?) [the l]and he roamed (?). […] … they called and the[m …].
§15 (1:47–52) (almost completed lost).
§16 (1:53–57) [… a]nd the Queen of the city of [Šukziy]a [… The Que]en was dy[in]g. [… Ilal]iuma secretly s[e]n[t] out palace [attendant]s and [… -]ed: “May the Queen of Šukziya die!”, so [they seized] her [and ki]lled (her) [together with her children28 ].
§17 (1:58–62) When Ḫantili inquired into (the case of) the Queen of Šu[kziya and her children (saying:) “Who [has] ki[lled] them?”, the Chief of the palace attendants brought word. They rounded up h[er fam]ily and [drove] them to Tega[rama].a They chased them in the bushes and [they] d[ied (?)].
§18 (1:63–65) And when Ḫantili [gre]w ol[d] and began to become a god, Zidanta killed Ḫantili’s son, [Pišeni] together with his sons, [and] his [chie]f servants he killed.
Historical outline: Zidanta I
§19 (1:66–68) And Zidanta bec[a]me King. The gods sought (revenge for) the blood of Pišeni, so the gods made him Ammuna, his begotten (son), his enemy32 and he killed his father Zidanta.
Historical outline: Ammuna
§20 (1:69–71) And Ammuna became King. The gods sought (revenge for) the blood of his father Zidanta and [they did] no[t make] him, the grain, wine, oxen (and) sheep [prosper (?)] in his hand [but it all …] in (his) hand.
§21 (Column 2:1–7) Now, the land became his enemy: the cities of … agga, [Mat]ila, Galmiya, Adaniy[a], Arzawiya, Šallapa, Parduwata and Aḫḫula. But wherever (his) troops went on campaign, they did not come back successfully. When Ammuna, too, became god, Zuru, the Chief of the Royal Bodyguard, in those same days secretly sent, of his own offspring, his son Taḫurwaili, Man of the Gold Spear, and he killed Titti (ya)’s family together with his sons.
Historical outline: Ḫuzziya I
§22 (2:8–12) He sent Taruḫšu, a courier, as well and he killed Ḫantili together with [his] sons. Now, Ḫuzziya became King and Telipinu had Ištapariya, his sister of first rank, <as his wife>. When Ḫuzziya wanted to kill them, the matter came to light and Telipinu chased them away.
Historical outline: Telipinu
§23 (2:13–15) Five (were) his br[ot]hers and he assigned houses to them (saying): “Let them go (and) live! Let them each eat (and) drink!” May nob[ody] do harm to them! And I declare: “They did evil to me, but I [will not do] evil to them.”b
§24 (2:16–19) When I, Telipinu, had sat down on my father’s throne, I went on campaign to the city of Ḫaššuwa39 and I destroyed Ḫaššuwa. My troops were in the city of Zizzilippa as well and in Zizzilippa a battle ensued.
§25 (2:20–25) When I, the King, came to the city of Lawazantiya, Laḫḫa41 was [hostile to me] and made Lawazantiya rebellious. The gods put him at my mercy. Of the Chiefs (there were) many: the Commander of Thousand, […], Karruwa, the Commander of the Chamberlains, Inara, the Commander of the Cupbearers, Kill[a, the Commander of the …], Tarḫumimma, the Commander of the Staffbearers, Zinwašeli and Lelli, and they secretly sent (a message) to Tanuwa, the Staffbearer.
§26 (2:26–30) I, [the Ki]ng, did not k[no]w [and he killed Ḫ]u[zzi]y[a] and his brothers as well. [W]hen I, the King, heard (of it), they brought Tanuwa, Taḫurwaili [and] Taruḫš[u] and the Council sentenced them to death. And I, the King, said: “[Wh]y do they die? They will hide (their) eyes concerning them!44 I, the King, made them into tru[e] farmers: I have taken their weapons from the shoulder and have given them a yok[e (?)46].
§27 (2:31–35) The blood of the whole royal family spread: Ištapari[y]a, the Queen, died, later it happened that Ammuna, the prince, died. The “Men of the Gods”, too, each said: “Behold, blood (shed) is widespread in Ḫattuša.” So I, Telipinu, summoned an assembly in Ḫattuša. From now on in Ḫattuša, let nobody do evil to a son of the family and draw a dagger on him.
Succession rules
§28 (2:36–39) King shall become a son (who is a) prince of first rank49 only. If there is no first rank prince, he who is a son of second rank shall become King. If there is no prince, (no) male, she who is a first rank princess, for her they shall take an in-marrying (son-in-law) and he shall become King.
§29 (2:40–45) Who will become king after me in future, let his brothers, his sons, his in-laws, his (further) family members and his troops be united! You will come (and) hold the country subdued with (your) might. And do not speak as follows: “I will clean (it) out,” for you will not clean anything. On the contrary, you will get involved yourself. Do not kill anybody of your!52 family. It (is) not right.
§30 (2:46–49) Furthermore, whoever becomes King and seeks evil for (his) brother (or) sister, you too are his Council and tell him straight: “This (is) a matter of blood.” Look at the tablet (that says): “Formerly, blood (shed) became excessive in Ḫattuša, and the gods took it out on the royal family.”
§31 (2:50–58) If anyone does evil amongst both (his) brothers and sisters and lays eyes on the king’s head, summon the assembly and, if h[i]s testimony is dismissed,55 he shall pay with his head. They shall not kill secretly, however, like Zuruwa, Tanuwa, Taḫurwaili and Taruḫšu. They shall not commit evil against his house, his wife (and) his children. So, if a prince sins, he shall pay with (his) own head, while they shall not commit evil against his house and his children. For57 the reason for which princes usually die (does) not (affect) their houses, their fields, their vineyards, their male (and) female servants, their oxen (and) their sheep.
§32 (2:59–65) So now, if some prince sins, he shall pay with (his) own head while you shall not commit evil against his house and his son. Giving (away) even a princes’ blade of straw (or) a chip of wood is not right. Those who commit these evil deeds, the [Chiefs of Staff (?)], (that is,) the Major-Domos, the Chief of the Palace Attendants, the Chief of the Royal Bodyguard and the Chief-of-the-Wine,59 [if?] they want to take a prince’s houses and [s]ay thus: “I wish that city to be mine,” then he commits evil against the city lord.
§33 (2:66–73) But now, from this day onwards in Ḫattuša you, palace attendants, royal bodyguards, golden-chariot fighters, cupbearers, w[aite]rs, cooks, staff bearers, grooms, commanders of a [field] ba[tallion], remember this word. Let Tanuwa, Taḫurwaili and Taruḫšu be a warning to you! [I]f someone commits evil again, either the Major Domo, the Chief of the [pala]ce attendants or the Chief of the Royal Bodyguard or the Chief of commanders of a field batallion — whether a lo[w]er (or) higher ranking one — you too, Council, seize (him) and devour him with your teeth!
§34 (Column 3:1–3) Now, in Ḫattuša they must take the Chiefs of Staff, (that is,) the Major-Domos, the Chief of the Palace Attendants, the Chief-of-the-Wine, the Chief of the Royal Bodygu[ard], the Chief of the Chariot Fighters, the Commander of the Bailiffs, the troop[s], those who are grea[t (?)] in [the King’s (?) h]ouse, [as well as furthe]rmore their subordinates.
Administrative and other reforms
§35 (3:4–6) Now, [in (the territory of) Ḫat]tuša the fortified cities [must be] protected. Do not leave them! The fortified cities [… w]ater, but divert it 10 (to) 20 times to the grain.
§36 (3:7–16) (hardly anything is preserved here; line 7 mentions “T[e]lipinu, Great King”)
§37 (3:17–33) (fragmentarily preserved; contains a list of at least “60 [+ x?] cities (and their) storehouses”)c
§38 (3:34–42) (fragmentarily preserved; contains a list of “34 cities (and their) storehouses for (fodder) mix”)
§39 (3:43–48) I made the grain abundant again […] the farmers those very fields … […] they must [s]eal. All those the population … […, but (?) let] them [not (?)] commit fraud! Beyond (their) ration (?) they kept binding either one or two cubits (?), so they drank out the country’s blood. But do not let them do (it) now! Whoever does it, may they give65 him an evil death!
§40 (3:49–54) (You) who in future will bec[om]e king after me, always seal the gra[i]n with your name. Behold, the administrators of the seal house will leave you and speak to you thus: “[… there (is) n]ot (?).67 Do not seal it, however, for yourself (?), always [se]al [it …”] And, behold, the[y will] lift you up …
§41–43 (3:55–68) [except for a few traces not preserved]
§44 (3:69–75) [Who from n]ow on [will become king after] m[e and …] … humili[ates and] says thus [to yo]u: “[…].” Do not listen! […] If you [have] harnesse[d] a deportee, you shall always compensate the equipment. The troops […,] and […] him to either your wife o[r …].
§45–47 (Column 4:1–20) [partly lost, partly too fragmentarily preserved to be translated]
§48 (4:21–26) [Wh]en [lat]er on the karpinattiš(?) of mortals took to div[id]ing …, and [they were], oh so70 disr[espectful] and therefore they were struck by the god(s). But now, from no[w on, …] if he somehow calls on them, (his) living parents because of (his) share, and whatever he calls on them with (his) mouth to share, they must throw him out of the house, and he must forfeit his own share.
§49 (4:27–29) And the procedure in case of bloodshed (is) as follows: whoever commits bloodshed, only (that) which the “lord of the blood” says (will happen): if he says “He shall die,” let him die, but if he says “He shall pay” let him pay. For the king (there will be) nothing, however.
§50 (4:30–34) (The procedure in case) of witchcraft in Ḫattuša (is) as follows: You must clear all matters of (it). Whoever within the family knows witchcraft, you must seize him from the family and bring him to the palace gate. But [wh]oever does not bring him, for that man a bad end will come.d
Colophon (4:35–36) First tablet of Telipinu. Finished.

Text: CTH 19. Translation: TUAT 1/5:464–470; CAH 2/1:235–255; Discussion: Beal 1988; Beckman 1985; Bryce n.d.; Carruba 1964; 1974; Dinçol, Dinçol, Hawkins, and Wilhelm 1993; Forrer 1926; Haase 1984; Helck 1984; Hoffmann 1984; Hoffner 1975b; 1982:507–509; Melchert 1977; Singer 1984; Starke 1985a; Sturtevant and Bechtel 1935:182–200.
Th. P. J. van den Hout

The so-called “Apology” of Ḫattušili III (1267-ca. 1240 BCE) is one of the major Hittite historical texts that have come down to us. At least eight different manuscripts must have existed among which were one-tablet and two-tablet versions, thus illustrating the relative importance the Hittites must have attached to it. All fragments have been found in the eastern storerooms of the Great Temple (Temple 1) in the Lower City of Ḫattuša/Boğazköy; this corresponds to the repeated mention of the deposition of historical texts “before the deity” (e.g. cf. below Apology §5 end). Since Götze (1925:113 n. 2), scholars have taken the peace treaty with Ramesses II in 1259 BCE as a terminus post quem for the composition of the text, because of §12b (“(Those) who had been enemies in the days of my fathers (and) grandfat[her]s, concluded peace with me”); for a late date towards the end of Ḫattušili’s reign see Tadmor (1983:37–38, 54–57), and Houwink ten Cate (1992:265–267 n. 47).
The composition is notoriously difficult to categorize as to its genre, cf. the discussion in Wolf (1967:12–22); see further Archi (1971:186), Hoffner (1975b:49), Cancik (1976:41–44), Otten (1981:3 with n. 8 and 23 with n. ad IV 1f) Güterbock (1983:30). The designation “Apology” was first used by Sturtevant in 1935 in the heading of the relevant chapter, although he spoke of a “Justification” in the introduction (1935:84). The text may be described as a decree instituting the cult of the goddess Ištar, appointing Ḫattušili’s son Tutḫaliya and future descendants as her priests, and granting tax freedom to her temple, all this more than amply justified by Ištar’s divine providence which Ḫattusili claims to have experienced in his rise to power, so that the composition takes on the character of a eulogy to Ištar, but above all an apology as well as a religious legitimization of his usurpation. The text as a whole has often been compared with the story of David and Samuel in 1 Sam 15–2 Sam 8; for details see Wolf 1967. For an historical overview of Ḫattušili’s life and times see Ünal 1974 and van den Hout 1995.
The following translation is based on the edition by Otten 1981. The main manuscript is KUB I 1+ (A), restored where necessary by its duplicates. Only twice a reading from KBo III 6+ (B) is preferred: in ii 32 and 40 as indicated in the footnotes. Variants other than merely orthographic have been noted in the footnotes as well. The division into paragraphs also follows A except for the subdivisions in §§10 (a-d) and 12 (a-b) according to the manuscripts B and F.
Introduction: Genealogy
§1 (Column 1:1–4) Thus Tabarna Ḫattušili, Great King, King of Ḫatti, son of Muršili, Great King, King of Ḫatti, grandson of Šuppiluliuma, Great King, King of Ḫatti, descendant of Ḫattušili, King of Kuššar.
§2 (1:5–8) Ištar’s divine providence I will proclaim. Let man hear it! And may in future His Majesty’s son, his grandson (and further) offspring of His Majesty be respectful among the gods towards Ištar!
Ḫattušili’s early youth; Ištar’s first intervention
§3 (1:9–21) My father Muršili begot us four children: Ḫalpašulupi, Muwatalli, Ḫattušili and Maššanauzzi, a daughter. Of all these I was the youngest child. As long as I was still a boy, I was a ‘one-of-the reins.’4 (Now,) Ištar, My Lady, sent Muwatalli, my brother to Muršili, my father, through a dream (saying): “For Ḫattušili the years (are) short, he is not to live (long). Hand him over to me, and let him be my priest, so he (will) live.” My father took me up, (while still) a boy, and handed me (over) to the service of the goddess, and as a priest I brought offerings to the goddess. At the hand of Ištar, My Lady, I experienced prosperity, and Ištar, My Lady, took me by the hand and provided for me.
Ḫattušili under Muwatalli; Armatarḫunta’s first lawsuit
§4 (1:22–60) When my father Muršili became god, my brother Muwatalli seated himself on the throne of his father, while I became army commander in front of my brother. My brother installed me as Chief of the Royal Bodyguard and gave me the Upper Country8 to govern. So I was in command of the Upper Country. Prior to me, however, Armatarḫunta, son of Zida, used to govern it. (Now,) since Ištar, My Lady, had shown me her recognition, and my brother Muwatalli had been benevolent towards me — when people saw the recognition of Ištar, My Lady, and my brother’s benevolence towards me, they envied me. Armatarḫunta, son of Zida, and other people as well began to cause me harm, they were evil to me, and defeat hung over me. My brother, Muw[at]alli summoned me ‘to the wheel’. But Ištar, My Lady, appeared to me in a dream, and through the dream she said this to me: “To the deity (of the process) I will leave you, so do not fear!” and through the deity I was acquitted.12 Since the goddess, My Lady, held me by the hand, she never exposed me to an evil deity (nor) to an evil lawsuit, never did she let an enemy weapon sway over me: Ištar, My Lady, took me to her in every respect. Whenever illness befell me, sick as I was, I looked on (it) as the goddess’ providence. The goddess, My Lady, held me by the hand in every respect. But, since I was a man divinely provided for, since I walked before the gods in divine providence, I never did an evil thing against man.14 You goddess, My Lady, always take me to you in every respect, wasn’t it? The goddess, My Lady, never passed me over in time of fear, she never let me down before the enemy, nor did she ever let me down before my opponent in court (or) before (my) enviers: whether it (concerned) an enemy’s word, or <the word> of an opponent or some word from the palace, it was Ištar, My Lady, who held (her) mantle over me in every respect, took me to her in every respect. Ištar, My Lady, put my enemies and enviers at my mercy and I finished them off.b
Ḫattušili’s early military successes
§5 (1:61–74) Now, when my brother Muwatalli looked into the matter, not one evil thing was left against me. So he took me back and put me in charge of all the troops (and) chariots of Ḫatti Land, and all the troops (and) chariots of Ḫatti Land I commanded. My brother Muwatalli kept sending me out, and now that Ištar, My Lady, had shown me (her) recognition, wherever I cast my glance towards enemy country, no enemy cast a glance back at me and each of the enemy countries I conquered: the recognition of Ištar, My Lady, was mine. And whoever was an enemy within the Lands of Ḫatti, I expelled him right out of the Lands of Ḫatti. Which enemy countries I conquered one after the other, while still young, these I will describe separately on a tablet and I will lay it down before the goddess.
Muwatalli moves the capital to Tarḫuntašša; Ḫattušili suppresses the Kaškaeans
§6 (1:75–76) Now, when my brother Muwatalli at the behest of his own deity went down to the Lower Land, he left (the city of) Ḫattuša behind.
(Column 2:1–30) He took up [the gods] of Ḫatti and the Manes and [c]arried them to the land of [Tarḫuntašša]. Thereupon, however, (of) all the Kaška Lands Pišḫuru (and) Daištipašša revolted. The land of Išḫupi[tta], Marišta and the fortresses they destr[oye]d. The enemy crossed the Maraššanda river and began to raid the land of Kaneš, began to ra[i]d the cit[y of …]. The cities of Ḫa[…], Kuruštama and Gazziura turned hostile on the spot. They began to raid the cities of Ḫatti, while the enemy of the land of Durmitta began to raid [T]uḫuppiya. […] the land of Ippaššana, however, was uninhabited, [so the enemy troops] penetrated as far as the land of Šuwadara. Both the cities of [Ḫakpiš] and Ištaḫara, however, escaped [but since the land] was cut off, they did not till their fields for ten years. Further, during the years that my brother Muwatalli was in Ḫatti, all Kaška Lands became hostile and they destroyed the lands of Šaddupa and Dankuwa. So he laid siege to the city of Pittiyariga. And my brother Muwatalli sent me, but gave me troops (and) chariots in small numbers. I took along auxiliary troops in small numbers from the country and went: I oppressed the enemy at the city of Ḫaḫḫa and fought him. The Lady, My Lady, marched ahead of me, I defeated him and erected a monument (?).25 What (population of the city of) Ḫattuša he held, that I took away and resettled it all. The (enemy) commanders, however, I seized and handed them to my brother. This, now, was my first manly deed (and) Ištar, My Lady, for the first time proclaimed my name on this campaign.
Ḫattušili’s further successes against the Kaškaeans
§7 (2:31–47) It so happened, however, that the Pišḫurean enemy invaded (the country), and Karaḫna (and) Marišta [were] within the enemy country. On one side the country of Takkašta was its border, on the other the city of Talmaliya was its border. Eight hundred teams of horses were (there) whereas the troops were innumerable. My brother Muwatalli sent me and he gave me one hundred and twenty teams of horses, but not even a single military man was with me. There too Ištar, My Lady, marched ahead of me, and there too, I personally conquered the enemy. When I killed the man who was in command, the enemy fled. The cities of Ḫatti Land which had been cut off, they each fought and began to defeat the enemy. A monument (?) in the city of Wištawanda I erected. There, too, the recognition of Ištar, My Lady, was mine. The weapon that I held there, I had it inlaid and I deposited it in front of the goddess, My Lady.
Ḫattušili becomes King of Ḫakpiš
§8 (2:48–68) My brother Muwatalli followed me and fortified the cities Anziliya and Tapiqqa, (then) he went right off, did not come near me at all and he let31 the troops (and) chariots of Ḫatti-Land march ahead and led them home. Then he gathered the gods of Ḫatti and the Manes on the spot, carried them down to the city of Tarḫuntašša and took (up residence in) Tarḫuntašša. To Durmitta (and) Kuruštama, however, he did not go. In these countries he left me (behind), and these desolate countries he gave me to govern. The lands of Išḫupitta, Marišta, Ḫiššašḫapa, Katapa, Ḫanḫana, Daraḫna, Ḫattena, Durmitta, Pala, Tumanna, Gaššiya, Šappa, the Ḫulana River (and their) chariots and ‘golden’ chariot fighters I commanded all. The lands of Ḫakpiš and Ištaḫara he gave me in vassalship and in Ḫakpiš he made me king. Concerning these desolate countries, which my brother had put me in charge of — because Ištar, My Lady, held me by the hand, some enemies I defeated, while others concluded peace with me.36 Ištar, My Lady, sided with me and these desolate lands I resettled on my own and made them Hittite again.
The battle at Kadesh; Armatarḫunta’s second attempt to bar Ḫattušili; Ḫattušili’s marriage to Puduḫepa
§9 (2:69–82) Now, when it happened, that my brother went to Egypt, I led for my brother on campaign down to Egypt the troops (and) chariots of those lands which I had resettled, and I commanded the troops (and) chariots of Ḫatti-Land of which I was in charge in front of my brother. But when Armatarḫunta, son of Zida, saw the benevolence of Ištar, My Lady, and of my brother towards me, they (i.e. Armatarḫunta) with his wife (and) his son then began to cast spells over me, because they were not successful in any (other) way. Even Šamuḫa, the city of the goddess, he filled with spells. When, however, I returned from Egypt, I marched to the city of Lawazantiya39 to bring offerings to the goddess and worshipped the goddess.
(Column 3:1–13) [A]t the behest of the goddess I took Puduḫepa, the daughter of Pentipšarri, the priest, for my wife: we joined (in matrimony) [and] the goddess gave [u]s the love of husband (and) w[i]fe. We made ourselves sons (and) daughters. Then the goddess, My Lady, appeared to me in a dream (saying): “Become my servant [with] (your) household!” so the goddess’ [serv]ant with my household I became.d In the house which we made ourselves, the goddess was there with us and our house thrived: that was the recognition of Ištar, My Lady. [Then] I [w]ent and [fo]rtified the cities of Ḫawarkina and Dilmuna. Ḫakpiš, however, turned hostile. I sent Kaškaeans and on my own I set it straight again. I became King of Ḫakpiš while my wife became [Queen of] Ḫakpiš.
Armatarḫunta’s downfall; Muwatalli succeeded by Urḫitešub; Ḫattušili declares war on Urḫitešub
§10a (3:14–30) Now, when it happened, that the lawsuit was somehow reopened by the palace, Ištar, My Lady, at that moment too showed (her) divine providence. The process resulted again in the verdict: They found witchcraft on Armatarḫunta, with his wife (and) his sons, and they charged him with it. He had filled Šamuḫa, the city of my goddess, with witch[craf]t, so the goddess, My Lady, made him succumb to me. And with his property, his wife (and) his son my brother turned him over to me and my brother said to me: “Šippaziti (is) not in (volved).” So, because my brother had made me triumph over [Arma]tarḫunta through the process, I did not fall back into further evil against him, and [be]cause Armatarḫunta was a blood relative of mine, (and because) moreover, he was an old man, he provoked (feelings of) pity in me [a]nd I let him go. Šippaziti, to[o], his [son], I let go. I did not harm them in any way.45 Armatarḫunta’s [wi]fe and his (other) son, however, I sent [t]o Alašiya (in exile). I took half [ (his) estate] and gave it back to Armatarḫunta. §10b (3:31–54) Because my [broth]er Muwatalli had [gi]ven [me the cities of … -]ta, Durmitta, Zip[lanta, Ḫat]tena, Ḫakpiš (and) Išt[aḫar]a [in vassalship], I resettled [… the (se) deso]late (territories). [When] my [bro]ther became [go]d — because I [co]mmanded [Ḫatt]uša and (because) he had […] me in lordship, I di[d] not [do] anything (evil) out of regard for [the love] for [m]y br[other. T]herefore, sin[ce] my brother did not have a [l]egitimate son, I took up Urḫitešub, son of a concubine. [I put] him into lordship over [Ḫa]tti Land and laid all of [Ḫattuša] in (his) hand, so that he was Great King over the Ḫatti Lands, while I was king of Ḫakpiš. With the troops (and) chariots […]. Because the city of Nerik had been destroyed since the days of (king) Ḫantili, I rebu[il]t it and (of) the countries that surrounded Nerik, [I ma]de the cities of Nera (and) Ḫaštira the border. I [s]ubdued them completely and [made them m]y tributaries. [The mountain of] Ḫaḫarwa and the Maraššanda River […], whatever they held in oppression towards Nerik (and) Ḫakpiš, I subdued them completely. §10c (3:54–79) However, when Urḫitešub thus saw the benevolence [o]f the goddess towards me, he became envious of me, he [beg]an to harm me: he took away from me all those in my service, and (all) the desolate countries which I had resettled, those too he took away from me. He humiliated me, but at the behest of the goddess he did not take away Ḫakpiš from me. Be[cau]se I was priest to the Storm-god of Nerik, he therefore did not take that (city) away from me (either). Out of regard for the love for my brother I did not react at all and during seven years I complied. He, however, sought my destruction at divine and human behest and he took away from me Ḫak-piš and Nerik. Now I no longer complied and I became hostile to him. But when I became hostile to him, I did not commit a moral offence by revolting against him on the chariot or by revolting against him within (his) house. (No,) in a manly way I declared to him: “You opposed me. You (are) Great King, whereas I (am) king of the single fortress that you left me. So come! Ištar of Šamuḫa and the Stormgod of Nerik will judge us.” When I wrote thus to Urḫitešub — if someone speaks thus: “Why did you at first install him in kingship, but why do you now declare war on him in writing?” (I will answer:) “If he had in no way opposed me, would they (i.e. the gods) really have made a Great King succumb to a petty king?” Because he has now opposed me, the gods have made him succumb to me by (their) judgement.
§10d (Column 4:1–6) When I declared him these words: “Come!”, he, however, hastened away from the city of Maraššantiya and went to the Upper Country, and Šippaziti, son of Armatarḫunta, was with him. He summoned him to the troops of the Upper Country. Since Šippaziti, however, was evil towards me, he did not … towards me.
Downfall of Urḫitešub
§11 (4:7–40) Because Ištar, My Lady, had already early (fore)told kingship for me, Ištar, My Lady, appeared at that moment to my wife in a dream (saying): “I will march ahead of your husband and all of Ḫattuša will turn to (the side) of your husband. Since I elevated him, I never ever exposed him to an evil trial (or) an evil deity. Now, too, I will lift him and install him in priesthood for the Sungoddess of Arinna, and you must worship me as Ištar parašši!” Ištar, My Lady, backed me, and as she promised me, it happened too. Ištar, My Lady, provided for me there as well in abundance. To the generals whom Urḫitešub had dismissed to some place, Ištar appeared in a dream, while she strengthened them, the exhausted ones54 (saying): “All Ḫatti Lands I have turned over to Ḫattušili.” There, too, I experienced the divine providence of Ištar in abundance. When she had left Urḫitešub no other way whatsoever, she locked him up in Šamuḫa like a pig in a sty. The Kaškaeans, meanwhile, who had been hostile to me, backed me and all Ḫattuša backed me. Out of regard for the love of my brother I did not do anything (evil). I went back down to Urḫitešub and brought him down like a prisoner. I gave him fortified cities in the country of Nuḫašše and there he lived. When he plotted another plot against me, and wanted to ride to Babylon — when I heard the matter, I seized him and sent him alongside the sea. They made Šippaziti cross the border as well, while I took away his property and gave it to Ištar, My Lady. That to Ištar, My Lady, I gave, while Ištar, My Lady, promoted me step by step.
Ḫattušili’s career in retrospect; Kurunta King in Tarḫuntašša; transfer of properties to Ištar;
Tutḫaliya priest of Ištar
§12a (4:41–48) I was a prince and became Chief of the Royal Bodyguard. As Chief of the Royal Bodyguard I became King of Ḫakpiš. As King of Ḫakpiš I then became Great King. Finally, Ištar, My Lady, had put (my) enviers, enemies (and) my opponents in court at my mercy. g Some died by the sword, others died on (their appointed) day: all these I finished off. Ištar, My Lady, had given me kingship over Ḫatti Land.
§12b (4:48–80) I had become Great King: She took me as a prince and let me (rise) to kingship. The kings (who were) my elders (and) who had been on good terms with me, they remained on just those good terms with me, and they began to send envoys to me. They began to send gifts to me, and the gifts they ke[ep] sending me, they never sent to any (of my) fathers and grandfathers.60 The king supposed to respect me, respected me, and the (countries) that had been my enemies, I conquered them. For the Ḫatti Lands I [a]nnexed territory upon territory. (Those) who had been enemies in the days of my fathers (and) grandfat[her]s concluded peace with me. Because the goddess, My Lady, had thus shown me (her) recognition, I did not do anything (evil) out of regard for the love for my brother. I took up my [nephew] Kurunta and installed him into kingship there on the spot which my brother Muwatalli had built into the city of Tarḫuntašša. How often had Ištar, the Lady, taken me! She had installed me on ‘the high place,’ into kingship over Ḫatti Land! I, then, gave Ištar, My Lady, the property of Armatarḫunta: I withdrew it and handed it over. What had been (there) formerly, that I handed over to her, and what I had had, that too I handed over. I withdrew it (all) and handed it over to the goddess.i The property of Armatarḫunta which I gave to her and whatever settlements were Armatarḫunta’s, behind every single cult monument they will erect her (statue) and they will pour a vessel. (For) Ištar (is) my goddess and they will worship her as Ištar the High. The mausoleum which I made myself, I handed it over to the goddess, (and) I handed over to you in subservience my son Tutḫaliya as well. Let Tutḫaliya, my son, administer the house of Ištar! I (am) the servant of the goddess, let him be servant of the goddess as well! The property which I gave the goddess, let everyone strive and strain (?) for the goddess.
Vindication clause
§13 (4:81–85) Whoever will take away in future the offspring of Ḫattušili (and) Puduḫepa from the service of Ištar (or) desires (so much as) a blade of straw from the storehouse (or) a chip of wood from the threshing floor of Ištar of Šamuḫa, let him be Ištar of Šamuḫa’s court opponent! Let no one take them for levy (and) corvée!
§14 (4:86–89) Whoever in future stands up against the son, grandson (or) offspring of Ḫattušili (and) Puduḫepa, may he among the gods be fearful of Ištar of Šamuḫa!

Text: CTH 81. Translation: TUAT 1/5:481–492. Discussion: Archi 1971; Cancik 1976; Götze 1925; 1940; Hoffner 1968c; 1975b; van den Hout 1995; Houwink ten Cate 1992; Neumann 1985; Nowicki 1985; Otten 1981a; 1988; von Schuler 1982; Sturtevant and Bechtel 1935; Tadmor 1983; Ünal 1974; Wegner 1989; Wolf 1967.

Gary Beckman

Since the Hittites believed that divine displeasure was the ultimate source of most evils, they developed a science of divination in order to communicate with their gods, ascertain the reasons for their anger, and bargain about required restitution. The Hittite diviners carefully researched the problems referred to them, making sure both to determine the exact aspect of a situation which had caused a deity’s anger and to assure that no additional factors lay behind his or her rancor. Although the responses given by the gods to the questions put to them are characterized as “favorable” or “unfavorable,” and indeed were probably originally held to portend in themselves good or ill fortune, they have become arbitrary signs in the later binary system documented in texts available to us. That is, in each particular instance the practitioner stipulates whether a “favorable” or an “unfavorable” response will constitute a “yes” answer to the query posed. For essential bibliography concerning the Hittite practice of divination see REFERENCES below.
The inquiry documented in the text excerpted here was occasioned by the sickness of the Great King. Since the members of the royal family are referred to only by their titles, and most of the other individuals mentioned are not found elsewhere, the precise period to which this text should be assigned is uncertain. However, various linguistic and historical considerations suggest that it was composed early in the reign of Tudḫaliya IV (second half of the thirteenth century BCE).
The technical details of the extispicies and bird oracles have been omitted in this translation.
(obv. 1–3) In regard to the fact that His Majesty (Tudḫaliya IV?) became ill, […] have not you, [O deity] of (the town of) Arušna, somehow been provoked [in connection with the illness of His Majesty? If you, O deity, are angry about this, let the first extispicy be favorable and the latter] unfavorable. First extispicy: favorable … unfavorable. Latter [extispicy: …] Unfavorable.
(obv. 4–5) In regard to the fact that in connection with the illness you, O deity of Arušna, were ascertained to be angry — are you, O god, angry in some way in your temple? (If so), let the extispicy be unfavorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 6) If you, O god, are angry only (about something) in your temple, but are not in any way angry with His Majesty, let the extispicy be favorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 7–10) In regard to the fact that you, O deity of Arušna, were ascertained to be angry with His Majesty, is this because the queen (Puduḫepa?) cursed Ammattalla before the deity of Arušna? Because Ammattalla began to concern herself with the deity, yet did not go back and forth (in service to the deity)? Because the son of Ammattalla has dressed himself in garments entrusted to his mother and was summoned to the palace? If you, O god, are angry about this, let the extispicy be unfavorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 11) If you, O god, are angry only about this, let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 12–27) In regard to the fact that it was once more unfavorable, is this because Mala spoke as follows: “The queen made for herself a crown of gold in the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity. In a dream the deity of Arušna demanded it from the queen, but the queen did not give it. She set it aside in the storehouse of the treasurer, and in its place the queen made two other crowns of silver for the deity of Arušna. And as long as she had not sent it (the crown of gold) to the deity of Arušna, the matter brought trouble for the queen, and she was expelled from the palace. Then it happened that the queen wrote back to His Majesty from (the town of) Utruli: ‘The crown of gold which the deity of Arušna demanded from me in a dream is now lying in the storehouse of the treasurer. The inlay pieces (?) and the precious stones which were left over (from its manufacture) are now lying in the container for adupli-garments. Send them off to the deity!’ ” They found that crown of gold, and with it lay a falcon of gold, a grape cluster (made up of) precious stones, eight rosettes, ten knobs (?), and eyebrow(s) and eyelid(s) of precious stones. Then they took them to the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity, to the statue of the queen. But they did not find the inlay pieces (?) which (supposedly) lay in the container for adupli-garments. (Of) the two crowns of silver (!) which the queen made for the deity (in fulfillment) of (her) vow, they found (only) one crown of silver (!), and they sent it off to the deity. But they did not find the (other) crown of silver (!). Is it because they spoke as follows: “Whatever is found among the furnishings of the deity will certainly be given to the deity. It will not be exchanged (for something inferior).” Is it because we did not know about the single falcon of gold, the grape cluster (made up of) precious stones, the eight rosettes, the knobs (?), the eyebrow(s) and the eyelid(s), and because they were taken to the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity, to the statue of the queen? (And because) they did not find the inlay pieces? If you, O god, are angry about this, let the extispicy be unfavorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 28) If you, O god, are angry only about this, but not in regard to anything else, let the extispicy be favorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 29–30) In regard to the fact that it was once more unfavorable, (is this) because the great princess (daughter of the king of Babylon and wife of Tudḫaliya IV?) secretly [brought] Ammattalla up into the palace? If you, O god, are angry about this, let the extispicy be unfavorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 31–32) We have not yet investigated what Ammattalla said — whether the testimony is true, or how (it is to be taken). It has not been included in an oracular inquiry. Now if the omen has occurred because of this, let the extispicy be unfavorable … Unfavorable.
(obv. 33) If only this (is the cause of the divine anger), and (there is) nothing else in addition, let the first duck oracle be favorable and the latter unfavorable. The first duck oracle was unfavorable and the latter favorable.
(obv. 34–40) In regard to the fact that it was once more unfavorable, (is this) because the affair of Naru was postponed? Because Naru was brought and spoke of (the affair of the woman) Pattiya? Pattiya was expelled from the palace and will be given to the deity. Concerning the affair of Palla she said: “The queen said: ‘May you, O deity, take cognizance of that which I gave to Palla, so that you will keep after Palla (about it).’ ” We interrogated the associates of Palla, and they said: “We do not know about that affair.” And that affair will (therefore) be postponed, (but) we will make inquiries about it. If there is not anything in addition (as the cause of the divine anger), let the first extispicy be favorable and the latter unfavorable. The first extispicy: … Unfavorable. The latter extispicy: … Favorable.
(obv. 41–48) In regard to the fact that an omen of the deity of Arušna occurred once more, (is this) because the queen saw a dream? In the dream someone repeats: “Why will you give the furnishings which are in the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity to the deity of Arušna? Leave something!” If this omen has occurred because of this, let the extispicy be unfavorable. The extispicy was favorable.… In regard to the fact that it was once more unfavorable, (is this) because Naru […] said: “Because Pattiya has stayed too long up in the palace, two women shall be included as reparation when she is given to the deity. They shall be clothed in palace garments. And although the queen might die because of that deity, they (still) have not put away (that is, satisfied?) the deity on her account.” Because of [that, the reparation was determined upon]. Some [furnishings] will be left behind in the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity. Those of the royal household will be kept separate. If [… In regard to the fact that] Pattiya has not (yet) been given [to the deity] of Arušna — if you, O deity, have given the omen in respect to this, ditto. Let it be kept separate from the [affair of the palace]. Let the extispicy be favorable …
(obv. 49–50) In regard to the fact that it was once more unfavorable, (is it) because an offense remains in the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity? We will make an oracular inquiry about it. Whatever is ascertained will be given to the deity. If you, O deity, have likewise approved, let the extispicy be favorable … Favorable.
(obv. 51–52) In regard to the fact that that offense in the mausoleum of the Tutelary Deity was determined to remain, should they proceed to give it (that is, a present) with precious stones to the deity? Ditto (= If you, O deity, have approved), let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 53) Should they give it with gold to the deity? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 54) Should they give it with gold and precious stones to the deity? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 55) Have you, O deity, sought something with a sumptuous garment for yourself? (If so), let the duck oracle be favorable. Favorable.
(obv. 56) Should they proceed to give (a gift) with gold, precious stones, and a sumptuous garment to the deity? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 57) Should they proceed to give (a gift) with a sumptuous garment and a person to the deity? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 58) In regard to the fact that a (gift) with a sumptuous garment was ascertained — should they proceed to give one garment to the deity? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 59) Should they give one garment and one cowl? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Unfavorable.
(obv. 60) Should they give one garment, one cowl, and a woman’s kinanta-garment? Ditto. Let the duck oracle be favorable. Favorable.
Thus after 60 lines of text, a preliminary conclusion has been reached about some causes of the deity’s anger and the necessary compensatory gifts. The report continues, however, for a further 94 lines in which other matters displeasing to the deity and the means by which they might be put right are discussed.

Text: CTH 566; KUB 22.70 obv. 1–60. Bibliography: Archi 1974; 1975; 1982; Hoffner 1987; Kammenhuber 1976; Laroche 1952; 1958; 1970; Ünal 1978; Ünal and Kammenhuber 1975; Schuol 1994:73–124.
(KUB 5.4 + KUB 18.53 and KUB 5.3 + KUB 18.52)
Richard H. Beal

The purpose of the texts comprising this selection is to assure the safety of the king while he is cooped up through the cold central Anatolian winter, by discovering ahead of time any problems that the gods foresee arising, and by ascertaining the correct method of correcting these. The selection is made up of two texts containing parallel sets of questions. The translation follows the better preserved tablet until the second tablet goes off on a tangent. Each section of the tablet not being translated at any one time can be followed in the footnotes.The texts date from the later part of the Hittite Empire period.
The texts, like other Hittite oracle texts, asks the gods a series of questions each phrased so that the gods can give a yes or no answer. If the validity of a good or optimistic statement is being ascertained, the deity is asked to give a “favorable” result. Conversely, if the validity of a bad or pessimistic statement is being ascertained, the deity is asked to give an “unfavorable” answer. A favorable answer to a request for a favorable response or an unfavorable answer to a request for an unfavorable confirms the statement. That is the answer is “yes.” An unfavorable answer to a favorable request or vice versa indicates that the question is not true, that is, the answer is “no.”
The primary method chosen by the questioner in these texts for the deity to indicate the answer is the “symbol” oracles.3 In this type of oracle the questions are presented to the deity by the female diviner/exorcist. In this method, native to Anatolia, some symbolically named thing “takes” other symbolically named things and “gives” them to another symbolically named thing. There is no indication how this was performed in practice, but Archi’s5 idea of an animal running over or past certain marked spots on a large gameboard will fit the known evidence. This is particularly true since a rarer related type of oracle, the snake oracle, is clearly performed by having a symbolically named watersnake swim around past symbolically named places in a basin.
The questioner in the second text also employs on occasion another type of oracle known as “flesh,” “exta” or in earlier periods “liver” oracles. These questions are presented and interpreted by the male diviner/exorcist. In this method, borrowed from the Mesopotamians via the Hurrians, he asks the god to reply via telltale marks to be found in the exta of sheep.8
(KUB 5.4 + KUB 18.53 i 1 – ii 42)
(i 1–10) [Thi]s y[ear His Majesty proposes to wi]nter [in Ḫattuša.] [He will celebrate the customa]ry [festivals,] the festival of the ye[ar], the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. [The birds of the neighborho]od (?) will congregate in Ḫattuša for him. [If] we have nothing to fear for the head of His Majesty up in Ḫattuša and you [O gods] have approved wintering in Ḫattuša for His Majesty, le[t the symbol oracle be favorab]le. ‘The deity’ took for himself ‘the whole soul’ and ‘blood’ and gave them to ‘the king.’ On the second ‘day’: ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘well–being,’ and gave it to ‘the assembly.’ One the third ‘day’: ‘The dais’ arose and took ‘the ye[ar?].’ Into ‘good.’ Favorable.
(11–15) We placed symbols of confirmation as a countercheck. Let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose and took ‘the kindlinesses of the gods.’ Into ‘long life.’ On the second ‘day,’ ‘the deity’ took for himself ‘hidden (?) anger.’13 Into ‘emptiness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘The assembly’ to[ok] for itself ‘rightness’ and ‘good of the house’ and gave them to ‘Tarḫunt.’ Favorable.
(16–25) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. [The bird]s of the neighborhood (?) will congregate in Ḫattuša for him. If high fever will not find His Majesty while he is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The Sungod of Heaven’ arose and took ‘thick–bread’ and gave it to ‘the assembly.’ On the second ‘day’: ‘The anger of the gods’ was taken. To ‘the lesser sickness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘Good’ took ‘the kindlinesses of the Fates.’17 ‘To the Fates’ whole soul.’ Fourth track: ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘the le[sser sickness (?)]’ and gave it to ‘the assembly.’ Favorable.
(26–32) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will congregate in Ḫattuša for him. If we have nothing to fear from revolt while His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The king’ took for himself ‘rightness’ and ‘the word.’ ‘The revolt which they make’ he placed in ‘misbehavior’ for them. Unfavorable.
(33–34) Since the oracle was unfavorable, will someone inside revolt? Let the symbol–oracle be unfavorable. ‘Evil’ was taken and given to ‘the assembly.’ Unfavorable.
(35–36) Will someone outside revolt? Let the symbol–oracle be unfavorable. ‘The deity’ took for himself ‘the whole soul’ and ‘fire.’ They are placed to the right of the ‘king.’ Unfavorable.
(a blank paragraph follows)
(37–43) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will congregate [in Ḫat]tuša [for him.] If we have nothing to fear from birds while [His Majesty] is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable.
‘Tarḫunt’ arose and took […], ‘vigor,’ and ‘the great misdeed’ and [gave] them [to … Favorable.]
(44–50) This year His Majesty proposes to w[inter] in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the th[under] festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborho[od (?)] will congregate in Ḫattuša [for him]. If we have nothing to fear [from impurity while] His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable.[…] took […] and ‘the hand.’ To ‘the gods.’ Unfavorable.
(51–ii 1) They will go and give sworn instructions to the kitchen personnel […] and they will have them swear. If this will make the e[vil] disappear,20 let the symbol oracle be favorable.‘The dais’ arose and took ‘the king’s […].’ To ‘the gods.’ On the second ‘day’: ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose and took ‘the year’ and ‘the good of the land.’ To ‘the great sickness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘The assembly’ took for itself ‘hidden (?) misdeed.’ Into ‘emptiness.’ Favorable.
(ii 2–7) This year [His Majesty] proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will co[ngregate] in Ḫattuša for him. If we have nothing to fear from a downpour while His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘Evil’ was taken. To ‘the gods.’ Unfavorable.
(8–13) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will congregate in Ḫattuša for him. If we have nothing to fear from fire while His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The assembly’ took ‘sinisterness’ and ‘fire.’ Unfavorable.
(14–19) They will go and give sworn instructions concerning fire. If this will make the evil disappear, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘life’ and gave it to ‘the assembly.’ On the second ‘day’: The ‘angers of the gods’ were taken. To ‘the lesser sickness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose and took ‘life’ and ‘well–[being].’ To ‘the big sickness.’ Favorable.
(20–26) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will congregate in Ḫattuša for him. If we have nothing to fear from accident while His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The assembly’ took for itself ‘rightness.’ Into ‘evil.’ Unfavorable.
(27–29) They will go and give sworn instructions26 concerning accidents. If this will make the evil disappear, let the symbol oracle be favorable.
(No answer is recorded in the blank lines provided.)
(30–36b) This year His Majesty proposes to wi[nter] in Ḫattuša. He will celebrate the customary festivals, the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Ḫattuša. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will congregate in Ḫattuša for him. If we have nothing to fear from road accident while His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The king’ took for himself ‘hidden (?) misdeed.’ […] Unfavorable.
(37–42) [They will go and give sworn instructions] to the chariot–drivers concerning road accidents. [If] this will [make] the evil [disappear, let the symbol oracle be favorable …] took […] ‘life.’ To ‘the gods.’ [… Int]o ‘emptiness.’ [… were tak]en. To the ‘lesser sickness.’ […].
(Another text as far as preserved gives the same series of questions. In this second text, after discovering that road accidents will be a problem, it asks:)
(KUB 5.3 + KUB 18.54 i 23–iii)
(i 23–25) Since a road accident was ascertained for His Majesty, is this road accident due to the anger of some deity? Let the flesh oracle be unfavorable. The nipašuri, šintaḫi, and keldi. The thing (?) took them inside itself.36 The zizaḫi, is placed. Twelve turns of the intestines. Favorable.
(26–29) The question by the female diviner/exorcist is the same. Let the symbol (oracle) be unfavorable. ‘The deity’ took for himself ‘the whole soul,’ ‘the good of the house’ and ‘the good of the land.’ Behind the ‘dais.’ On the second ‘day’: ‘The angers of the gods’ were taken from ‘long life.’ To ‘the lesser sickness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘The Sungod of Heaven’ arose and took ‘an evocation ritual’ ‘fire’ and ‘the great misdeed.’ Into ‘emptiness.’ F[avorable].
(30–31) Will the road accident happen to His Majesty due to the negligence of a person? Let the flesh oracle be unfavorable. The gallbladder was ḫilipšiman. Unfavorable.
(32–33) The question by the female diviner/exorcist is the same. Let the symbol (oracle) be unfavorable. ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘an evocation ritual’ and gave it to ‘the assembly.’ Unfavorable.
(34–37b) They will go and give sworn instructions to the c[hariot–drivers] concerning road accidents. If this will make the evil disappear, let the f[irst fle]sh oracle be favorable and the latter unfavorable. The first flesh: nipašuri–s […] on the right and left. A ‘bolt’ is above them. The šintaḫi, tanani (and) keldi. The enti of the left. […] Favorable. The latter flesh: The SAG.ME. Unfavorable.
(38–41) The question by the female diviner/exorcist is the same. Let the symbol (oracle) be favorable. ‘Tarḫunt’ [arose and took …] and gave them to ‘the king.’ On the second ‘day’: ‘The Sungod of Heaven’ arose and took ‘the king’s […’]. Behind ‘the dais.’ ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose (and) [took] ‘life’ […] To ‘the lesser sickness.’ Favorable.
(42–49) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Ḫattuša. If, while His Majesty is up in Ḫattuša there will not be an epidemic among the standing army troops (i.e., the šarikuwa and UKU.UŠ) — we are not concerned here if the day of death arrives this year for 10 or 20 soldiers —– if there will not be an epidemic up in Ḫattuša and if a general sudden death does not make us flee down from Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The deity’ [took] ‘the whole soul’ and gave it to ‘the assembly.’ Unfavorable.
(50–53) The question by the male diviner/exorcist is the same. Let the first flesh oracle be favorable and let the second be unfavorable. The first flesh oracle: The nipašuri, šintaḫi, keldi and the path. The thing (?) took them inside itself. Ten turns of the intestines. Favorable. The second flesh oracle: It is favorable, but behind it is šuri. Unfavorable.
(54–57) Concerning an epidemic that was ascertained to occur up in Ḫattuša among the standing army troops, is some deity going to cause the plague up in Ḫattuša? Let the symbol oracle be unfavorable. ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘good.’ They (!) placed it in ‘anger’ for ‘the deity.’ [Unfavorable.]
(58–63) [I]f the plague up in Ḫattuša within the year […], let [the symbol oracle be u]nfavorable. ‘The gods’ arose and to[ok] ‘life’ and ‘well–being.’ […] to ‘the whole soul’ for ‘the deity.’ [On the second ‘day’: …] took ‘evil of […]’ into ‘emp[tiness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘The Sungod] of Heaven’ arose and took ‘a long life’ and pl]aced [it] […]. Favorable.
(ii 1–4) Since the anger of a god was ascertained to be the cause of the plague, will some new deity be causing the plague up in Ḫattuša? Let the symbol oracle be unfavorable. ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘life’ and ‘the great misdeed.’ They gave them to ‘the assembly.’ Unfavorable.
(5–8) If only a new deity and not also some other deity will be causing the plague up in Ḫattuša, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose and took ‘the kindlinesses of the gods’ and gave them to ‘the deity.’ Unfavorable.
(9–12) Will it be some Hittite god also causing the plague up in Ḫattuša? Let the symbol oracle be unfavorable. ‘The deity’ took for himself ‘the whole soul’ and placed it in ‘anger.’ Unfavorable.
(13–18) If it will be only a new deity and the Hittite gods who will be causing the plague up in Ḫattuša, and further ditto (= not also some other deity causing it), let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The deity’ took ‘the whole soul.’ Into ‘good.’ On the second ‘day’: ‘Evil’ was taken. Into ‘emptiness.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘The Sungod of Heaven’ arose and took the ‘angers of the gods.’ Into ‘the lesser sickness.’ Favorable.
(19–22) Is the new deity who was determined to be causing the plague a new god of kingship? Let the symbol oracle be unfavorable. ‘The deity’ took for himself ‘the whole soul.’ Into ‘good.’ Unfavorable.
(23–26) If it will be only a new deity of kingship who will be causing the plague in Ḫattuša and not some further deity, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose and took ‘good’ and placed it ‘in anger’ for ‘the deity.’ Unfavorable.
(27–29) Is it a new deity (resident) in Ḫattuša who will be causing the plague in Ḫattuša? Let the symbol oracle be unfavorable. ‘The assembly’ took for itself ‘sinisterness.’ To the ‘great sickness.’ Unfavorable.
(30–34) Is the new deity of kingship who was ascertained a new deity of kingship wh[o lives] in a temple? Is that one somehow angry? Let the sym[bol oracle be unfavorable.] ‘Ḫannaḫanna’ arose and took ‘good’ and placed it ‘in anger’ for ‘the deity.’ Unfavorable.
(35–39) If it is the new deity of kingship who lives in a temple […] and another new deity is in no way angry, let the [symbol oracle be fav]orable. ‘The deity’ took for himself ‘the whole soul’ (and) ‘good.’ To ‘the lesser sickness.’ Unfavorable.
(40–44) Is it a new deity of kingship who […] among the gods […] and that one also is somehow angry? Let the symbol oracle be unfavorable. ‘The assembly’ took for itself ‘sinisterness’ and ‘the great sickness.’ To the ‘whole soul’ for ‘the deity.’ Unfavorable.
(45–49b) Since concerning the plague, you, O new [de]ity of kingship, have been determined to be in anger, is it because you have not yet been put on the road (i.e., satisfied)? Let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The angers of the gods’ were taken from ‘long life.’ To ‘Ḫannaḫanna.’ Unfavorable.
(50–56) (The next section is too broken to translate, but seems to be asking if this is the only problem.) (Column iii preserves little more than traces. Presumably it contained questions on how to soothe the divine anger.)
(The top two–thirds of column iv are uninscribed. We return to the KUB 5.4 for its next question. KUB 5.3 resumes with a question parallel to the second question of KUB 5.4.)
(KUB 5.4 + KUB 18.53 iii)
(iii 1–2) His Majesty proposes to winter beside the Temple of Tarḫunt of Aleppo. Let the symbol oracle be favorable. (No answer is recorded in the space provided.)
(3–12) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Kātapa. He will celebrate the customary festivals,43 the festival of the year, the thunder festival in Kātapa. The birds of the neighborhood (?) will congregate in Kātapa for him. If we have nothing to fear for the head of His Majesty up in Kātapa and if you O gods approved wintering in Kātapa for His Majesty, let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The king’ took for himself ‘rightness’ and ‘the city.’ To ‘the whole soul’ for ‘the deity.’ On the second ‘day.’ ‘The dais’ arose and took ‘the year’ and gave it to ‘Ḫannaḫanna.’ On the third ‘day’: ‘Good’ took ‘the kindlinesses of the gods.’ To ‘long life.’ Favorable.
(uninscribed paragraph)
(13–14) His Majesty proposes to winter47 in Ānkuwa. Let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘The gods’ arose and took ‘the city.’ To ‘the Sungod of Heaven.’ Unfavorable.49 (KUB 5.4 + KUB 18.53 ends here; KUB 5.3 + KUB 18.52 iv continues:)
(iv 13–15) This year His Majesty proposes to winter in Zitḫara. Ditto. Let the symbol oracle be favorable. ‘Tarḫunt’ arose and took ‘protection’ and ‘the great misdeed.’ They are given to ‘the assembly.’ Unfavorable. (End of text).

Archi 1974; 1975; 1982; Beal 1994; Berman 1982; Goetze 1962; Gurney 1981; Hoffner 1993; van den Hout 1991; Kammenhuber 1976; Laroche 1952; 1958; 1970; Lebrun 1994; Schuol 1994:73–124; 247–304; Ünal 1973; 1974; 1978; Ünal and Kammenhuber 1975.

Gary Beckman

The sayings and generalizing anecdotes by which the Hittites expressed the received wisdom of their civilization were not collected for use in scribal instruction as was the practice in earlier Mesopotamia, but are rather to be found scattered throughout texts of various types. The following is a selection of proverbs and proverbial allusions:
1. [In a prayer, a queen addresses the chief goddess of Ḫatti, asking her to cure her husband’s illness, in return for service which she herself has rendered to the deity’s child:] Among humans one often speaks the proverb as follows: “A god is well-disposed to a midwife.” I, Puduḫepa, am a midwife, (and since) I have devoted myself to your son (the Storm-god of Nerik), be well-disposed to me, O Sun-goddess of Arinna, my lady! Give to me [what I ask of you]; grant life to [Ḫattušili (III)], your servant.
2. [It is probably the same queen who writes in irritation to a young man who had married into the royal family:] Why does one speak thus: “The son-in-law whose wife has died remains in every sense a son-in-law?” You were my son-in-law, but you do not recognize my relationship (?).
3. [A high Hittite authority in Syria addresses King Ammurapi of Ugarit concerning his impending divorce from the daughter of the Hittite Great King:] A proverb of the Hittites: “A man was held in prison for five years. When they said to him, ‘You will be released in the morning,’ he was annoyed.” Now you have acted in this manner. Did the daughter of His Majesty perhaps remove herself from her estate? (Or) [did] you somehow [do (it)? You removed her!]
4. [A Hittite law reads:] If someone elopes with a woman, and a rescuer goes after them — if two or three men die, there is no legal compensation. “You have become a wolf!”
5. The sin of the father devolves upon his son.
6. Since humanity is depraved, rumors constantly circulate.
7. The will of the gods is severe! It does not hasten to seize, but when it does seize, it does not let go again!
8. (When) a bird takes refuge in its nest, the nest preserves its life.
9. The tongue is a bridge.
10. This one disappears, but that one’s still here!
11. [Something] is on hand, (but) something (else) is not on hand.

Texts: 1. KUB 21.27 ii 15–21; 2. KUB 23.85:7–9; 3. RS 20.216:5–19; 4. KBo 6.2 + ii 10–12; 5. KUB 14.8 rev. 13; 6. KBo 5.13 iv 8–9; 7. KUB 13.4 ii 22–24; 8. KUB 14.8 rev. 22; 9. KBo 11 iii 17; 10. KUB 13.35 iv 45–46; 11. KUB 40.88 iii 9; Bibliography: Beckman 1986; Nougayrol 1960.

Gary Beckman

The type of composition to which this small piece of a tablet belongs is uncertain.
[If a city is in ruins (?)], then [the builders] will build [it a second time]. If a rhyton [is cracked (?), then] the artisans [will cast] it a second time, [and] they will renew it a second time.
[If someone damages] a plated horse chariot, then its owner [will repair] it [a second time].
[If] a flood carries off an orchard (!), [then] its [owner will establish] the orchard a second time.
[You] are not a town, nor are you [the wall] of a structure, [so that] the builders will build you a second time.
You are not a rhyton, so that the artisans will cast you a second time. You are not a plated [horse chariot, so that] they will repair you a second time.
You are not an orchard, so that [they will establish] you a second time.

Text: KUB 57.30: 1´-15´; Bibliography: van den Hout 1990:425–26.
Gary Beckman

The recent discovery at Bogazköy/Ḫattuša of a multi-tablet composition in Hurrian with Hittite translation is very important for the study of the former language, which is still poorly understood. This text is also of significance because the genre of wisdom literature was previously only scantily represented at the Hittite capital. This translation is based primarily on the Hittite text.
(ii 1–15) A mountain expelled a deer from its expanse (lit., ‘body’), and the deer went to another mountain. He became fat and he sought a confrontation. He began to curse the mountain: “If only fire would burn up the mountain on which I graze! If only the Storm-god would smite it (with lightning) and fire burn it up!” When the mountain heard, it became sick at heart, and in response the mountain cursed the deer: “The deer whom I fattened up now curses me in return. Let the hunters bring down the deer! Let the fowlers capture him! Let the hunters take his meat, and the fowlers take his skin!”
(ii 17–21) It is not a deer, but a human. A certain man who fled from his own town arrived in another land. When he sought confrontation, he began to undertake evil in return for the town (of his refuge), but the gods of the town have cursed him.
(ii 23–25) Leave that story. I will tell you another story. Listen to the message. I will speak wisdom to you.
(ii 26–30) There is a deer. He grazes the pastures which lie beside the streams. He always casts (his) [eyes] upon the pastures which are on the other side, but he does not reach the pastures of (the other) side. He does not catch sight of them.
(ii 31–38) It is not a deer, but a human. A certain man whom his lord made a district governor — although he was made governor of one district, he always cast (his) eyes upon a second district. Then the gods taught him a lesson, and he did not arrive at that (first) district, nor did he (even) catch sight of the second district.
(ii 39–41) Leave that story. I will tell you another story. Listen to the message. I will speak wisdom to you.
(ii 42–51) A smith cast a cup in a praiseworthy fashion. He cast and moulded it. He inlaid it with ornaments and engraved it. He put a shine on it with a woolen cloth. But the foolish piece of copper began to curse the one who had cast it: “If only the hand of the one who cast me were broken! If only his right forearm were palsied!” When the smith heard, he became sick at heart.
(ii 52–60) He began to say to himself: “Why has this piece of copper which I cast cursed me in return?” The smith uttered a curse against the cup: “Let the Storm-god smash the cup and rip off its ornaments! Let the cup fall into an irrigation ditch and the ornaments fall into a river!”
(iii 1–5) It is not a cup, but a human. A certain son who was hostile to his father became an adult and he moved to (a better) circle. He no longer looks after his father. The gods of his father have cursed him.
(iii 6–8) Leave that story. I will tell you another story. Listen to the message. I will speak wisdom to you.
(iii 9–12) A dog absconded with a loaf of bread from an oven. He pulled it out of the oven and dipped it in grease. He dipped it in grease, sat down, and set about eating it.
(iii 13–19) It is not a dog, but a human. <A certain man> whom his lord had made a district administrator later increased the tax payments in that town. He was very confrontational and no longer looked after the town. They managed to denounce him before his lord, and he began to disgorge before his lord the taxes which he had swallowed up.
(iii 20–22) Leave that story. I will tell you another story. Listen to the message. I will speak wisdom to you.
(iii 28–32) A rodent (?) dragged a loaf of bread from an oven. He pulled it out of the oven and dipped [it] in grease. He dipped it in grease, sat down, and set about eating it.
[It is not] a rodent (?), but a human. <A certain man> whom his lord had made a provincial governor later increased the tax payments in that [town]. He was very confrontational and no longer [looked] after the town. They managed to denounce him before his lord, and he began to disgorge before his lord the taxes which he had swallowed up.
(iii 34) Leave that story. I will tell you another story. Listen to the message. I will speak wisdom to you.
(iii 41–47) [A builder] built a tower in a praiseworthy fashion. He [sank] the foundation trenches down to the Sun-goddess of the Earth. He made the battlements (?) reach up nearly to heaven. Then the foolish [tower] began to curse the one who had built it: “If only the hand of the one who built me were broken! If only his [right] forearm were palsied!” The builder heard and he [became sick] at heart. [The builder] said to himself: “Why has the wall which I built cursed me?” Then the builder uttered a curse [against the tower]: “Let the Storm-god smash the tower and pull up the foundation blocks! Let its […] fall down into an irrigation ditch and the brickwork fall down into a river!”
(iii 52) It is [not] a tower, but a human. A certain son who was an enemy of his father became an adult, and he attained [an honorable position (?)]. He no longer looks after his father. The gods of his father have cursed him.

Text: KBo 32.14 ii 1-iii 52; Bibliography: Oettinger 1992; Otten 1984:54–60.

Gregory McMahon

This text is preserved in at least eight copies, several of which have been reconstructed through multiple joins of tablet fragments. The tablets are to be found in both the Istanbul and Ankara tablet collections. The copies date to the Empire period, but the text itself seems to go back to the pre–New Hittite period, before the reign of Šuppiluliuma I. The main text is KUB 13.4, a large well preserved four column tablet with the tops of columns i and ii broken away. Unless otherwise noted, line numbers given are for that tablet.
§1 (1´–13´) The first paragraph is too broken to translate meaningfully. An estimated twelve lines are missing completely, and lines x+1 through 12´ are only partially preserved. The preserved remnant includes allusions to measures (probably of grain), the palace, and a few prohibitions. Line 13´, although mostly preserved, is not intelligible without the context of previous lines.
§2 (i 14´–33´) Further: Let those who make the daily bread be clean. Let them be washed and trimmed. Let (their) hair (?) and finger[nails] be trimmed.1 Let them be clothed in clean garments I[f] (they are) [not], let them not prepare (them). Let those who normally [propit]iate the spirit and body of the gods prepare them. The baker’s house in which they bake them must be swept and sprinkled down. Further, neither pig nor dog may come through the doors into the place where the bread is broken. (Are) the mind of man and god somehow different? No! In this which (is concerned)? No! The mind (is) one and the same. When the servant stands before his master, he (is) washed. He has clothed (himself) in clean (clothes). He gives him (his master) either to eat or to drink. Since the master eats and drinks, (in) his spirit he (is) relaxed. He is favorably inclined toward him (the servant). When he (is) solicitous (?), his master) does not find fault (with him). Is the mind of the god somehow different? If the servant at some point angers his master, either they kill him, or they injure his nose, eyes, (and) ears. Or he (the master) [will sei]ze him, (and) his wife, his children, his brother, his sister, his in–laws, (and) his family, whether his (master’s) male or female slave. They (may) only call (him) over. They (may) do nothing to him. If ever he dies, he does not die alone. His family (is) also included with him.
§3 (i 34´–38´) If, however, someone angers the mind of a god, does the god seek it (revenge) only from him alone? Does he not seek it from his wife, [his children,] his descendants, his family, his male and female servants, his cattle, his sheep and his grain? He utterly destroys him with everything. Be very afraid of a god’s word for your own sake.
§4 (i 39´–49´) Further: The festival of the month, the festival of the year, the festival of the stag, the festival of autumn, the festival of spring, the festival of thunder, the festival of ḫiyara-, the festival of pudaḫa-, the išuwa- festival, the festival of šatlašša-, the festival of the rhyton, the festivals of the holy priest, the festivals of the old men, the festivals of the šiwanzanni- priestesses, the festival of daḫiya-, the festivals of the upati– men, the festivals of pula–, the festivals of ḫaḫratar, or whatever festival (there is) up in Ḫattuša: If you do not perform them with all the cattle, sheep, bread, beer and wine set up, (or if) you officials of the temple make a deal with those who provide them (the offering materials), you will cause them (the offerings) to fall short of the will of the gods.
§5 (i 50´–59´) Or if you take them (the offerings) when set up, and do not bring them forth for the pleasure of the gods, (but rather) carry them away to your own houses, and your wives, children, and servants eat them up, or a relative or some important (?) guest comes to you and you give them to him: You are taking them from the pleasure of the god. (If) you do not bring them straight in to him, (or if) you present them (divided) into several portions, that matter of dividing will be upon your head. Do not divide them. And he who does divide them shall die. Let there be no turning back for him.
§6 (i 60´–66´, KUB 13.5+ ii 6–16) Keep all of the bread, beer, (and) wine up in the temple.3 Let no one omit the thick bread or thin bread of the god. e And let no one pour out beer (or) wine off the top of the cup. Render it all to the god. Then speak (this) word for yourselves before the god: “Whoever took from your divine bread (or) libation vessel, may the god my lord pursue him. May he seize his house from bottom to top.” If [you are able] to eat (and) drink [everyth]ing on that day, eat and drink it. If, however, you are unable to do so, eat and drink [it within] three days. The piyantalla– bread, however, [you may not give] to your wives, children, (or) female or male servants.6 The beer and wine is not to [cross] the threshold of the gods. If a guest comes to anyone, if he (the host) in order to go up to the temple normally crosses the threshold of the god [or the king, that] one (the host) may [take] him up. He may eat and drink. If, however, he (is) a [forei]gner, (if) he (is) not a native of Ḫattuša (and) he approaches the gods, [he will die]. And it (is) a capital offence for whoever takes him (in).
§7 (KUB 13.5 ii 17–33) [If] some [ox or] sheep (is) driven in for the gods to eat, but you take away either the fattened ox or fattened sheep; and you substitute a thin one which you have slaughtered; (and) either you eat up that ox, or you put it into a pen, or you put it under a yoke; or you put the sheep into the fold, or you kill it for yourselves, (or) [you do] as you wish, or [you give] it in exchange to another man and you accept a payment: You are withholding [a morsel] from the mouth of the god. (If) [you give] it [for your own desire], or you give it to another and you think thus: “Because he (is) a god, he will say nothing. He will do nothing to us:” Look at the man who grabs the morsel you desire from (before your) eyes! Afterwards, when it acts, the will of the gods (is) strong. It is not quick to seize. But once it seizes, it does not let go. Be very fearful of the will of the gods.
§8 (ii 25´–51´) Further: Whatever silver, gold, clothing, (and) bronze implements of the gods you hold, (you are) their guards (only). (You have) no (right) to the silver, gold, clothing (or) bronze implements of the gods. What (is) in the house of the gods (is) not (for you).8 It is for the god. Be very careful. There is to be no silver or gold for the temple official. Let him not carry it on his own body. Let him not make it into an adornment for his wife (or) child. If, however, they give him silver, gold, clothing, (or) implements of bronze as gifts from the palace, let them be listed: “The king gave it to him.” As much as its weight (is), let it also be set down. Further, let it be set down as follows: “At this festival they gave it to him.” And at the end let the witnesses be set down: “When they gave it to him, this one and this one were standing there.” Further, let him not leave it in his house. Let him offer it for sale. When he sells it, he must not sell it in secret. Let the lords of Ḫatti be present and watch. Let them set down on a wooden tablet whatever he buys, and let them seal it. When the king comes up to Ḫattuša, let him take it (the tablet) into the palace. Let them seal it for him. If he sells it as he wishes, it (is) a capital offence for him. But whoever is not selling the gift of the king, on which the king’s name (is) stamped, but is nevertheless selling silver, gold, clothing, (or) implements of bronze; whoever gets hold of him, and hides him, and does not bring him to the gate of the kings, it (is) a capital crime for both of them. Let them both die. There is no […] from the god. There is to be no pardon for them.
§9 (ii 52´–72´) Further, you who (are) temple officials: If you do not perform the festivals at the time of the festivals; (if) you do the spring festival in fall, (or) the fall festival in spring, (or) if the right time for doing the festival (has) arrived, and he who is to do it comes to you, the priests, the “anointing priests,” the šiwanzanni- priestesses, to you the temple officials, and he seizes your knees, (saying) “The harvests (are) before me,” or a marriage or a journey or some other matter. “Let me off. Let that matter finish for me, and when that matter is finished for me, I will do the festival thus”: Do not do according to the wish of (that) man. He must not persuade10 you. Do not conduct business concerning the will of the gods. (If) a man persuades you, and you take payment for yourselves, the gods will demand it of you at a later time. They will stand in evil against your spirit, wives, children, (and) servants. Work only for the will of the gods. You may eat bread, you may drink water, you may make a house. But do not do the will of a man. Do not sell death, neither buy it.
§10 (ii 73´–iii 20) Further: You who are temple officials, be very careful in the matter of the watch. At nightfall go quickly down and eat and drink. And if anyone has thoughts of a woman, he may sleep with a woman. As soon as the s[un (is) up], let him [immediately bathe]. Let him come up pr[omp]tly into the temple to sleep. Whoever is a temple official — all [high] priests, lesser priests, anointing priests — whoever regularly crosses the threshhold of the gods: let each not neglect to sleep up in the temple. Further, let sentries be posted11 at night, and let them continue to make the rounds all night. Outside, let the guards keep their watch. But inside the temples let the temple officials make the rounds all night. Let there be no sleep for them. Each night one high priest is to be in charge of the sentries. And further, of those who are priests, someone shall be (assigned) to the temple gate and shall guard the temple. No one (with this duty) is to sleep with his wife in his own house. It (is) a capital offence for whoever they find down in his own house. Guard the temples very carefully, and let there be no sleep for you. Further, let the watch be divided among you. In whose watch a sin12 occurs, he shall die. Let him not be pardoned.
§11 (iii 21–34) Whatever rite (there is) for someone up in Ḫattuša: If someone normally admits a priest, an anointing priest, or guards, let him admit them only. If there is a guard for anyone, he also must go into the precinct enclosure. Let him not speak as follows: “I am protecting the temple of my god, but I will not go in there.” If there is some enemy idea that someone will attempt to cause damage, and those on the outer wall do not see him, (but) the temple officials inside see him,14 the guard must go after him. Let that (guard) not neglect to sleep next to his god. If, however, he does neglect (to do so), and they do not kill him, let them subject him to public humiliation. Naked — let there be no clothing on his body at all — let him carry water three times from the Labarna’s spring into the temple of his god. Let that be his humiliation.
§12 (iii 35–43) Furthermore you priests, anointing priests, šiwanzanni- priestesses (or) temple officials: [I]f some x[ ]–tuḫmeyanza person becomes drunk in the temple or another sacred building, and if he causes a disturbance or a quarrel in the temple and disrupts a festival, let them beat him. [Furth]er, he must celebrate that festival as established with cattle, sheep, bread, (and) beer. He may not omit (even) the thin loaf. Whoever neglects it and does not celebrate the festival (as) established, let it be a great sin to that one. Let him make up the festival. Be very careful about quarrels.
§13 (iii 49–54) Further: In the matter of fire be very careful. If (there is) a festival (going on) in the temple, guard the fire well. When night falls, however, extinguish well with water any fire that remains on the hearth. If, however, (there is) in the matter of fire some (burning?) dry wood here and there: Whoever is to extinguish it, even if only the temple in which (this) sin occurs is destroyed, while Ḫattuša and the king’s goods are not destroyed, he who commits this sin will perish along with his descendants. Of those in the temple none will be left living. They will perish together with their descendants. Be extremely careful concerning the matter of fire.
§14 (iii 55–83) Furthermore: You who (are) kitchen attendants of all the gods: Cupbearers, tablemen, cooks, bakers, (or) vintners, be very respectful regarding the will of the gods for you. Maintain great respect for the sacrificial loaves (and) libation vessel(s) of the gods. The place for breaking bread must be swept and sprinkled by you. Neither pig nor dog is ever to cross the threshold. You yourselves are to be bathed. Wear clean clothes. In addition, your hair and fingernails are to be trimmed. Let the will of the gods not find fault with you. If a pig or dog does somehow force its way to the utensils of wood or clay that you have, and the kitchen worker does not throw it out, but gives to the gods to eat from an unclean (vessel), to that one will the gods give excrement and urine to eat and drink. Whoever sleeps with a woman, as he performs a rite for the gods (and) gives them to eat and drink, let him go to the woman thus (clean). Furthermore, [break of 2–3 words].18 As soon as the sun (is) up, he must immediately bathe, and arrive promptly at the time of the gods’ eating in the morning. If, however, he neglects (this), it is a sin for him. Whoever sleeps with a woman and his superior (or) his supervisor presses (him), let him say so. However, if he does not dare tell (his superior), let him tell a fellow servant. He still must bathe. However, if he intentionally delays, and without bathing he forces his way near the gods’ sacrificial loaves (and) libation vessel (while) unclean,i and his fellow servant knows about him, and he appears to him (!): If he conceals (it), but afterward it becomes known, it (is) a capital offence for them and both must die.
§15 (iv 1–11) [Further: All you who (are) far]rm[ers of the god,] i[f …] there is anything … Or a sacrific[ial l]oaf o[r …]. The first fruitsj of animals which you, the farmers, present for the pleasure of the gods, present them promptly at the right time. Before anyone has eaten of them, bring them promptly for the pleasure of the gods. Let the gods not be kept waiting for them. If you delay them, it (is) a sin for you. They will consult an oracle about you, and as the gods your lords command, thus will they do to you. And they will fine you an ox and ten sheep and will (thus) calm the mind of the gods.
§16 (iv 12–24) Further: If you plant grain, and if the priest does not send you someone to sow the seed, (and if) he entrusts it to you for sowing, and you sow much, but you declare before the priest that it (was) little, or (if) the god’s field (is) productive, but the farmer’s field (is) ruined, and you call the god’s field yours and your field the god’s field, or (if) while you are storing the grain, you declare half (of it), while half (of it) you hide, and you later come and divide it amongst yourselves, (if) it afterward becomes known: You may steal it from a man, but you cannot steal it from a god. It (is) a sin for you. They will take away all your grain and pour it onto the threshing floor of the gods.
§17 (iv 25–33) Further: You who have the plow oxen of the threshing floor (of the temple): If you sell a plow ox, or you kill and eat it, and you (thus) steal it for yourselves from the gods (saying) “It died of emaciation,” or “It kept breaking (things),” or “It ran off,” or “A steer gored it,” but you yourselves eat it up, and it later becomes known, you will replace that ox. If, however, it does not become known, you will go (before) the god. If you are shown to be innocent, it (is due to) your protective deity. If, however, you are impure (guilty), it is a capital sin for you.
§18 (iv 34–55) Further: You who (are) cowherds (and) shepherds of the god. If (there is) a rite for any god at the time of bearing young, and you are to have either a calf, a lamb, a kid, or ŠALLITE ḪAGGARATE, do not delay it. Present it at the appropriate time. Let the gods not be kept waiting for it. Before anyone eats from the first fruits, bring them promptly to the gods. Or if there is a festival of milk25 for a god, while they are scraping (the cream off?) the milk, do not put it (the festival) off. Perform it for him. If you do not bring the first fruits of the gods promptly, but first eat of them yourselves, or you send them to your superiors, and it afterwards becomes known, it (is) a capital sin for you. If, however, it does not become known, whenever you bring them, you will bring them before the god (speaking) as follows: “If we have given these first fruits for our own desire first, or given them to our superiors, or to our wives (and) children, or to some other person, (then) we have offended the will of the gods.” Then you will drain the rhyton of the god of life. If you (are) innocent, (it is) your protective deity. If, however, you (are) guilty, you will perish together with your wives (and) children.
§19 (iv 56–77) Further: If you ever cut out a selection (of animals) and they drive them to the gods your lords, the cowherd and shepherd must go with the selected group. As it (was) selected from the enclosure (and) the fold, thus let them bring it in to the gods. They may not change it later on the road. If some cowherd or shepherd creates a deception while on the road, and turns aside either a fattened ox or fattened sheep, and receives a price (for it), or they kill it and consume it, and they put an emaciated one in its place: If it becomes known, it is a capital sin for them. They have taken the god’s most desired portion. If, however, it does not become known, whenever they arrive, they must take the rhyton of the god of life from the offering stand and declare as follows: “If we have withheld the best portion from the mouth of the gods for ourselves and given it to ourselves for our own desire or (if) we have sold it or exchanged it, or accepted a payment for ourselves, (or) put an emaciated one in its place, you, O god, pursue us together with our wives (and) children for the sake of your special portion.
Colophon (iv 78–81) First tablet of the rules of all the temple officials, of the kitchen attendants of the gods, the farmers of the gods, and of the cowherds of the god and shepherds of the god. Completed.

Text: CTH 264. Studies: Gurney 1967:94; Hoffner 1973a:220; Hulin 1970; Kühne 1978:179–184; Moyer 1983:35–37; Sturtevant and Bechtel 1935; Süel 1985.
Gregory McMahon

An essential element in Hittite administration of provinces was the auriyaš išḫaš, literally “lord of the watch tower/ guard post,” often written with the Akkadogram BEL MADGALTI. This was the officer in charge of garrisons and administration in sensitive frontier provinces of the empire. The Hittite term is often translated “border governor”;
Hoffner has proposed “margrave,” which implies the idea of governors assigned to frontier provinces. The very detailed instructions for these officials make it clear that they were responsible not only for military command and reconnaissance, but also for administering the city in which they were stationed. This text is perhaps the most important source we have for understanding the nature of the Hittite treatment of conquered territories.
The text is extant in many copies and fragments; the importance of the margraves and their proper understanding of their duties may be inferred from the great number of copies of their instructions. The critical edition of the text is found in von Schuler (1957), which must be supplemented by Goetze’s edition of the first fifteen paragraphs in JCS.2 The text is number 261 in Laroche’s CTH. The main text is KUB 13.2. The first fifteen paragraphs are best preserved in KUB 13.1. Line numbers, unless otherwise noted, are for KUB 13.2.
§1 (KUB 13.1 i 1–3) Thus speaks His Maje[sty Arnuwanda the great king …] Thus let the margra[ves] be [instructed].
§2 (KUB 13.1 i 4–5) Let [tho]se forward [cities] be [well guarded]. Let the enclosure [be] well guarded.
§3 (KUB 13.1 i 6–8) While the guards have not yet come down from (their) watch, let the scouts [com]e down from the city.
§4 (KUB 13.1 i 9–11) Let them thoroughly inspect the kuranna– and bring back a report. The watchmen are to come down from (their) watch in the same way.
§5 (KUB 13.1 i 12–14) The main road scouts must take (their) posts.4 The sc[outs] must drive down from the city to in[spe]ct the kuranna–, and (then) inspect the kuranna–.
§6 (KUB 13.1 i 15–16) The scouts who [hold] the p[osts] on the main road, [whatever] they are to find, if […]
§7 (KUB 13.1 i 17) (Then) they may let out the cattle, sheep, and workers from the city.
§8 (KUB 13.1 i 18–22) But when night falls let the scouts make […] and take (their) posts. [… the roads (?)] which the scouts wa[tched] by day, they will [in the same way] watch [by night]. They must get the workers, cattle, sheep, horses, (and) donkeys moving and move [them] up [into the city].
§9 (KUB 13.1 i 23–28) Then let the scouts who [hold] po[sts] go up into the city. Let them bar the gates (and) posterns and shoot the bolts.b [Further] they must post troops behind the postern gates; they are to sleep behind the gate. Further, let them relieve the guards from (their) watch. They will keep (their) watch carefully.
§10 (KUB 13.1 i 29–32) But in the morning, the scouts [come out (?)] from the city. They must inspect the kuranna–s thoroughly […] and take (their) posts. They may [the]n let the workers, cattle, sheep, horse(s) and donkey(s) down out of the city.
§11 (KUB 13.1 i 33–34) Let the scouts hold (their) posts on the main road and let them keep […] at a distance. Let the city be guarded.
§12 (KUB 13.1 i 35–36) The garrison which holds the posts [must] also [be] protected. The scouts must cover the roads carefully and watch for signs of the enemy.
§13 (KUB 13.1 i 37–38) Furthermore, let the margrave [keep] the garrison [together] at (their) posts. [The garrison] of the post [is to be] gone from the city for two days (maximum).5
§14 (i 5´–6´) Since the roads (are) covered, when the scouts see any sign of the enemy, they will send a message immediately.
§15 (i 7´–12´) Let them (then) close up the cities; they are not to let out the fieldworkers, cattle, sheep, horses (or) donkeys. Let them guard (them). The margrave must have kept account and written record of the posts which are most forward and of the enemy’s routes. Further: Three scouts shall hold each road. Over the (whole system) three officers are to be in charge.
§16 (i 13´–19´) He (the margrave) must keep an account of the troops of the post and put it in writing. He will know the officers of second, third, and fourth rank in (each) place. And wherever the enemy attacks, the troops are to follow the enemy’s track for three days. They are to hold the roads for two days. The margrave must arrest and send before His Majesty anyone who does not kill the enemy, (whether) officer of the second, third, (or) fourth rank.
§17 (i 20´–21´) If, however, His Majesty (is) nearby, the margrave must appear before His Majesty and bring the offenders (with him).
§18 (i 22´–29´) Let them keep an account of the supplies (?) of the fortified cities which (are) in the province. Those posts (and) cities which (are) forward, into which the enemy can (most) quickly penetrate: When the [mar]grave […] those cities, as long as […], let him guard. Within, he […] [Two lines of cuneiform missing.]
§19 (i 30´–?) [Too broken to translate: Bottom of column i broken away; uncertain how long §19 was, or how many more paragraphs are lost.]
§20´ (KUB 31.84 ii 1–4) … the tower of … should be x gipeššar at the top, but around the bottom it should be six8 gipeššar. Further, it must be encircled with a gutter and a wooden mariyawanna-. The mariyawanna– is to be six gippeššar around the front, but let it (protrude?) five šekan.
§21´ (KUB 31.86 ii 6´–12´) [When] you fortify a [city],c let ḫutanu-s [of x] m[eters] be taken/removed. Up on top, let there be x [met]ers. Before you complete the fortifying of the city, the moat is to be three meters deep and two meters across. Before he refills [it] with water, let them pave [it] with stones.
§22´ (KUB 31.86 ii 13´–18´) Furthermore, let the gates, posterns, heads of stairways (and) windows of city–walls [b]e furnished with doors (and) bolts. Let nothing (of these) be lost.10 [Do not neglect] to apply plaster to the city-wall. And let it be smoothed. A thatched roof may become leaky. Let it not (happen).
§23´ (KUB 31.86 ii 19´–25´) In the … which you build, let the coppersmith make a […] drain. Let the gates of the city–walls [be equipped with drains (?)] of stone inside and outside in the same way. Furthermore: allow no one to dig in the city wall or burn near it. The owners must not let (their) horses, mules, (or) donkeys near the plaster (of the city-wall).
§24´ (KUB 31.86 ii 26´–32´) No one is to put a torch on a wooden (?) […] inside or outside. No one may take (part of) the city wall for an inn,11 nor may anyone start a fire near the wall. Allow no one to quarter their horses (or) m[ules there]. The city drains must not become clogged; they must be cleared out every year.
§25´ (ii 5´–10´) The margrave should organize the firewood for the fortified cities as follows: It should be twelve fingers in diameter13 and 2/3 meter in length. The diameter of the [x] wood is to be three fingers, with a length of ½ meter. The wood for the … should also be (stored) in great quantity. […] (and) ḫarduppi-, all are to be (stored) in great quantity.
§26´ (ii 11´–15´) Let it (the wood (?)) be stored under seal. Every year he (the margrave) is to take account of it and deposit it with the šaramna-. Let them (the troops (?)) scrape the buildings of the king, cattle barns, storehouses and baths which are older. They must replaster them with new stucco and renew them.
§27´ (ii 16´–20´) Let them regularly remove from the (interior) walls the plaster which is crumbling. Let them uncover the foundation stones (for inspection).14 Furthermore, the threshing floor, the straw barn, the temple, the baths, (the buildings associated) with the orchards, the vegetable gardens, and the vineyards must be built properly.
§28´ (ii 21´–25´) The drains of the bath, the cupbearers’ building, and the portico must flow freely; let (the men) regularly inspect them. Any that is stopped up with water they should clear out. And let the bird ponds which are in your district be well looked after.
§29´ (ii 26´–31´) In a city through which the margrave drives, he shall take account of the elders, priests, anointing priests, (and) šiwanzanni- priestesses. He shall speak to them thus: “A temple which (is) in this city, either that of the Stormgod, or of some other god, is now neglected,” or (“)It (is) ruined. (”)
§30´ (ii 32´–35´) (“)It (is) not attended to with regard to priests, šiwanzanni- priestesses, (and) anointing priests. Now attend to it again. (”) Let them restore it. As it was built before, let them rebuild it in the same way.
§31´ (ii 36´–41´) Furthermore: Reverence for the gods must be maintained, and special reverence for the Stormgod is to be established. If some temple (roof) leaks, the margrave and the city commander must repair it. Or (if) some rhyton of the Stormgod or any cultic implement of another god (is) ruined, the priests, anointing priests, and šiwanzanni- priestesses will renew it.
§32´ (ii 42´–46´) Furthermore: The margrave is to write down the cultic implements of the god and send it (the record) in to His Majesty. Further, they are to worship the gods at the (proper) times. Whatever is the (proper) time for any god, let them worship him at that time. (If) there is no priest, šiwanzanni- priestess, or anointing priest for any god, they must immediately assign one.
§33´ (KUB 40.56+31.88 iii 2, KUB 13.2 iii 1–3) Or whatever old cultic stela (there is), (if) it has not been kept track of, do an accounting of it now. Let them set it up, and furthermore whatever sacrifices (there were) for it formerly, let them provide for them.
§34´ (iii 4–8) Whatever springs (are) in the city, sacrifices are established for (those) springs: Let them celebrate them and attend to them. They must definitely attend (also) to those springs for which there is no sacrifice. Let them not omit them. They must consistently sacrifice to the mountains and rivers for which there are rites.
§35´ (iii 9–16) Further: the margrave, the city commander (and) the elders must consistently judge cases properly, and carry out (their decisions), as the rule for serious crimes (has been) done from of old in the (particular) country: In a city in which they are accustomed to execute, let them continue to execute. In a city, however, in which they are accustomed to exile, let them continue to exile. Furthermore, afterward (the people) of the city must bathe, and further let it be announced: Let no one allow (the exile) back. Whoever does allow him back, they will keep him under observation (?).
§36´ (iii 17–21) And when they worship the gods, let no one cause a disturbance in the presence of the gods, and let no one cause a disturbance in the festival house. Furthermore, let reverence be established toward priests, temple workers, anointing priests, (and) šiwanzanni-priestesses. Let the priests, anointing priests, and šiwanzanni- priestesses be reverent to the gods. If, however, anyone brings a case (in the form of) a sealed wooden (or) clay tablet, the margrave must judge the case properly and make things right. If, however, the case is too great (for him), he is to send it before His Majesty.
§37´ (iii 25–28) Let him not, however, decide for (his) superior (or) for (his) brother, his wife, or his friend. Let no one take a bribe. He is not to make the stronger case the weaker, or the weaker the stronger one. Do what (is) just.g
§38´ (iii 29–35) In whatever city you enter, call all the people of the city. Judge a case for anyone who has one and make things right. If a man’s slave, or a man’s female slave or a widow has a case, judge it for them and make things right. People of Kašiya, Ḫimmuwa, Tegara[ma] or Išuwa (may be) there. Supply them with everything.
§39´ (iii 36–41) A deportee who (has been) settled on the land you must supply with winter food stores, seed, cattle, (and) sheep. Provide him also with cheese, rennet (and) wool. Sow seed for whoever stays in the place of a deportee who leaves your province, and let him have sufficient fields. Let them promptly assign him a plot.
[§40´ (KUB 13.2 iii 42–44, KUB 31.84 iii 45´-46´) and §41´ (KUB 31.84 iii 47´–51´) are too fragmentary to translate. §40´ mentions field, orchard, garden, and the palace. § 41´ mentions horses and the palace.]
§42´ (KUB 31.84 iii 52´–56´) […] … [… Let] him build the walls [of the orchard]s well. In addition, irrigate them with water. Irrigate the meadow also with water. Let the meadow not be grazed.
§43´ (KUB 31.84 iii 57´–59´) Furthermore: Let the vine[yards] be well cultivated and constructed and the canals kept clean. Further, the word of the scout (?)19 must be taken seriously.
§44´ (KUB 31.84 iii 60´–65´) When, however, they distribute the seed to the deportees, the margrave must keep an eye on all of them. If someone speaks in this way: “Give me seed. I will plant it in my field, and further I will add (it) to my food supply,” then the margrave must keep an eye on (him). When harvest arrives, he (the margrave?) [is to] harvest that field.
§45´ (KUB 31.84 iii 66´–71´) All must be written down for you — the abandoned fields of a craftsman who has left, and those which (are) plots. When, however, they give out deportees, let them promptly assign places to them.20 Keep an eye concerning the matter of building on those who (are) assigned (?) to the fields. Let (things) be built well.
[§§ 46´–51´ are too broken for connected translation.]
§51´ (iv 13´–20´) Investigate thoroughly the palaces (and) dignitaries’ houses which (are) in your province, whether someone has damaged anything or taken anything, or (if) someone has sold something, or (if) someone has broken into a granary or killed any of the king’s cattle, or eaten (from) the granaries and then falsified the record tablets. Keep careful account of these (things).
§52´ (iv 21´–26´) Or (if) someone has taken something away from the servants, the margrave must arrest him and send him into His Majesty’s presence. He must keep an eye on the king’s cattle in winter. Support the work of winter (and) of harvest. Let the soup–places22 be well looked after. Let ice be collected, and let an ice storage house be built.
§53´ (iv 27´–?) Keep account of the plantings of the vegetable garden(s) and fields. Let them be enclosed (with fences). The portion which (is) for the pirešḫanna- cattle, let them eat that portion.
[The remainder of the paragraph is partially or completely broken away.]
§54´ [Only one sign remains of this paragraph. Uncertain how many more paragraphs are lost at the end of the tablet.]

Text: CTH 261. Translation: ANET 210–211; Goetze 1959a; 1959b; 1960; Hoffner 1971; 1973b; Melchert 1980; von Schuler 1957.
Gregory McMahon

The royal bodyguard of the Hittite court are denoted by the Akkadogram MEŠEDI. One extant tablet contains instructions for them, primarily detailing their duties as they assume responsibility for the king’s safety from the palace staff and as they escort him while he travels. Areas of responsibility are clearly delineated among the officials who see to guarding the palace and the king, primarily certain members of the palace staff, the MEŠEDI guard, the men of the golden spear and the gatekeepers. These last carefully monitor the movements of the guard.
The tablet, which is housed in Istanbul, is an unusual and difficult one, primarily because a number of additions in a smaller script were made to the text after its initial composition. Deciding how to fit these into the text of the instructions is a formidable problem. I have followed Güterbock and van den Hout’s transliteration (1991), which included a good deal of reconstruction of the text in placing the additions. The text is full of technical terms for various ranks and offices within the Hittite army and bureaucracy, discussion of which continues among Hittitologists. I have in general followed Güterbock and van den Hout in their translation of these terms. These terms are discussed very thoroughly in Beal 1992. I have also in general followed Güterbock and van den Hout in their understanding of technical terms for various structures within the Hittite palace complex; a section of their work is devoted to commentary on architectural terms.
Column I
§1 (i 1–8b, 19b–21b) [The first line is broken away, the second partially broken.] [When] the guards [go] up [to the palace], they [parade] before the gatekeepersb and courtyard sweepers. They go in and take their place at the courtyard’s gates. Their eyes are turned outward, and they cover one courtyard of the palace. c Then (the courtyard sweepers) sweep. (added): In the morning they raise the gate’s bolts on the outside, but they […]. The guards [wa]lk in front; they lift them as well as the kuranna–. The bolt of the gatehouse, however, they do not raise. The [guar]ds, the gatekeepers, (and) the courtyard sweepers come out. However, if inside, on one side of a building, a bolt (has) not (been) raised, or they are going to open some storehouse and the key (?) is lacking; if a low–ranking member of the palace staff comes out, the man of the golden spear does not give it to him. (However), when an upper level member of the palace staff comes out, either a commander of ten or an army bailiff (or) a [gua]rd comes, they give the key (?) to that one. If […] comes out, (then) either a guard or a man of the go[lden spear …] comes and […] [end of addition]
§2 (i 9–15) The guards take up (their) position in the courtyard of the guards. At the wall which is on the inside, against the palace, twelve guards stand and hold spears. If twelve guards (can) not stand up — either someone (has been) sent on a journey, or someone (has been) given leave (to go) to his home — and there are too many spears, they take away the spears that remain and leave them with the gatekeepers.
§3 (i 16–19, B–C 1´, D–E 1´–5´) At the wall, however, which (is) on the gate side, the men of the golden spear are standing. One guard, however, stands near the gates on one side, against the wall of the guard. And one man of the golden spear stands near the gates on the other side, against the wall of the men of the golden spear. They stand the watch in the daytime. […] But in the courtyard of the guards only a commander of ten of the men of the golden spear is to command. If someone stands (at attention) poorly o[r …] … […] Only the commander of ten of the men of the golden spear com[man]ds them. […] … One member [of the palace staff …] If, however, (it is) a guard, each says [it] to the other. If […] turns, once again […] at the wall says the same to […].
§4 (i 22–26) When the chief of the guard and the commander of ten of the guards come up: Because the chief of the guard has a staff, when he bows before the Tutelary Deity of the Spear, a guard who is high ranking takes the staff away from him. He places it on the altar. However, the staff which the commander of ten of the guard is holding he gives to a […] guard, who holds it for him.
§5 (i 27–32) All the [guard]s, however, w[ho hav]e staffs: Whenever they come [u]p, the g[uards] surrender [the staffs to the g]atekeeper. If, however, the king [does not designate a man], he [does not send] out a palace attendant, guard, or man of the golden spear. [If,] however, the king does designate [him], he sen[ds] him out. If, [however,] it (is) the last man, he does not sen[d] him out willingly.
§6 (i 33–38) The guard [does not go] to the gate at his own discretion. If he has only to urinate, he walks behind all the guards and says to the guard who is standing in front of him: “I (need to) go to the toilet.” (That) guard will speak to the next guard, that one will speak to a man of third rank, and the man of third rank will speak to a man of second rank.
§7 (i 39–42) The man of second rank, however, will speak to the commander of ten of the guard. If a chief of the guard is in the formation, (that is) he is in the [court]yard of the guard, the commander of [ten of the guar]d brings it (before) the chief of the guard: “He (needs to) go to the toilet.” The chief of the guard will say: “He may go.”
§8 (i 43–47) If, however, a bowel movement presses someone, he will tell it one to another, (until) it reaches the chief of the guard: “He (needs to) go relieve himself.” The chief of the guard will say, “He may go.” However, (if) His Majesty notices the guard who is going to relieve himself, (then) the matter of relieving oneself has reached the palace. But he may not go at his own discretion.
§9 (i 48–52) A guard does not step into the portico on his own. If, however, he does step (in) on his own, the gatekeeper will become angry at him (and say) “Either go up, or else go down.” If, however, a guard goes out through the portico, he carries (his) spear through the portico, but (when) he arrives at the postern, he leaves the spear with the gatekeeper, and he goes on down.
§10 (i 53–59) If, however, a guard slips away and takes (his) spear down through the postern, the gatekeeper shall seize him in (his) offence, and shall loosen his shoes. If however, the guard fools the gateman and takes (his) spear down, and the gatekeeper does not see him, the guard will seize the gatekeeper in (his) fault, (and say) “Since you did not see the spear, if some man tried to enter, how would you see him?” They will inform the palace about him, and they will question the gatekeeper. That (much) care regards the spears.
§11 (i 60–63) The guards (and) the palace staff do not go down through the main gate. They are to go down through the postern. One guard who is escorting a defendant, (or) someone whom the commander of messengers sends out, he may go down through the main (gate). Lords and commanders of a thousand also may go down through the main (gate).
§12 (i 64–69) When, however, the king goes out, one palace attendant comes out of the palace and calls out “Taḫaya” in Ḫattic. Taḫaya (is what) they call the barber in Ḫattic. A guard, a man of the golden spear, and a gatekeeper go to the gatehouse. They lift off the doorbolt from the main gate. They open the doors inward, and the man of the [gold]en spear […] … The barber, however, holds a galama– and wipes off the doors.
§12a (i 69–74) The grooms turn the carriage, but the guards step next to the vestibule on the right. If, however, in some city setting up on the right (is) not possible, they take their place on the left. What (is) constant (is) their setting up next to the vestibule. The guard who holds the stool […] for the carriage lets no one in or out. They leave from the court of the guards.
§13 (i 75–77) Two zinzinuil– men stand (there). They hold maces [and …] An officer of the army stands with them; he [holds] a staff. Further, they are clothed in [go]od [clothes], like ḫilammi- men. They […]
§14 (i 78–89) [After] that (there is) an interval of [one I]KU, (then) two m[en … stand]. They hold […] [Two more illegible lines to the bottom of the column.]
Column II
§15 (ii 1–4) After that (there is) again an int[erval of one IKU …] Two men of a field army unit are standing. With them stand [a commander of a field unit] and an army bailiff. [They hold …, and they] (are) walking before [the king].
§16 (ii 5–8) After that again (there is) an interval of one IKU. […] stand and hold spears. With them stand [a commander of a field unit] and an army bailiff. They hold sticks. They (are) walking before the king.
§17 (ii 9–14) Two officers of the spear-men, however, sta[nd] on the right opposite the king. They do not hold spears. A man of the golden spear [stands] wi[th them]. He holds a gold–plated [spe]ar. The palace attendant of the spear, however, holds a […], a whip, and the sistrum of the carriage. He (is) walking in front of [the king]. He goes and takes his place on the left of the carriage, next to the wheel.
§18 (ii 15–19) The guard sets up the stool. The king comes forth. The chief of the palace staff is holding him by the hand. The king sits in the carriage. The officers of the spear–men bow. Then they run (up) and walk in front. They march with the man of the [golden] spear.
§19 (ii 20–25) The man of the golden spear who stood with them, however, … […]. But the palace attendant of the spear gives the whip to the chief of the palace staff. The chief of the palace staff gives it to the king. The chief groom (is) walking in front of the carriage; he holds a staff. And when the carriage moves out, the chief of the palace staff bows after it, and gives over the king to the chief of the guards.
§20 (ii 26–31) The guard, however, who holds the stool, marches with the palace attendant of the spear at the wheel of the carriage on the left side. But when it reaches the gatehouse, he steps behind a widuli–. When the guards and palace staff are lined up with him, he gives the stool to the ma[n of the st]ool. He takes a spear and marches with the guards.
§21 (ii 32–38) While the guards march, two guards (are) walking in front. They hold spears, and they (are) in formation. [On] (their) left a palace attendant marches, carrying a lituus. He also (is) in formation with the two g[uard]s, so the three of them together (are) in formation. The guards (and) the [palace] attendants march in three groups: two groups of guards and one of palace attendants. They march one IKU behind the carriage.
§22 (ii 39–43) One palace attendant, however, goes; the supply officer gives him one strung bow, enclosed in a case, (and) one quiver (added: of a spear–man) filled with arrows. He goes behind, and moves along separated from the guards and palace attendants. He goes and takes his place at the left wheel of the carriage.
§23 (ii 44–46) After that (there is) an interval of one IKU. (Then) a man of the golden spear holds a plated spear, and the physician holds a sistrum (?). They march together, and the physician recites spells.
§24 (ii 47–50) After that (there is) an interval of one IKU. (Then) two spear-men march. They (are) either high–ranking or low–ranking officers. They are clothed in good ceremonial garments (and) shoes like ḫilammi- officials. A chief of the spear–men and an army bailiff march with them. They hold staffs.
§25 (ii 51–55) After that (there is) again an interval of one IKU. Then two men of a field unit march. They hold spears and (are) either high-ranking or low–ranking officers. They are clothed in good ceremonial garments (and) shoes like ḫilammi- officials. A field unit commander and an army bailiff march with them. They hold staffs.
§26 (ii 56–59) After that (there is) again an interval of one IKU. Then two men of a field unit march, holding spears. They are clothed in good ceremonial garments (and) shoes like ḫilammi- officials. A field unit commander (and) an army bailiff march with them. They hold staffs (?).
§27 (ii 60–63) The soldiers who (are) from a field unit keep the peaceful (crowd) lined up on the side. The left (group) keep (it) lined up on the left, the right (group) keep (it) lined up on the right. They march three IKU apart. If, however, somewhere ahead of one the road (is) narrow, he moves in tighter.
§28 (ii 64–67) Then if someone of the first (two) allows something in — whether horses or an out of control ox, it (is) the fault of the first one. If, however, some one of the last (two) allows something in, it (is) the fault of the last one.
§29 (ii 68–75) [If], however, they bring in a defendant, … […] … spears. Him … […] They set up […] [Five lines lost at the end of column ii.]
Column III
§30 (iii 1–5) [The gu]ard who [brings in] the defendants [takes his place] behind the man of the golden spear. [But when] the king requests a case, the guard [picks] it [out] and pl[aces] it in the hand of the chief of the guard. He tells the chief of the guard [what] the case (is), but the chief of the guard [tells the king].
§31 (iii 6–11) Then the chief of the guard goes, and two lo[rds stand] behind him; whether chiefs of chariot-fighters or commanders of ten, they stand [behind] the chief of the guard. One (man) holds the outside, whether a gu[ard or] some official. The guard who brings in the defendants runs back. He goes and takes his place (next) to the man of the golden spear. Then they pick out one case.10
§32 (iii 12–16) The chief of the palace staff, however, stands with the palace staff. Behind him stand two members of the palace staff; they are three. When they release a defendant, however, the chief of the guard stays in (his) place, but the two lords who stand behind him (added: either lords o[r gu]ards,) they go back and rejoin the guards.
§33 (iii 17–22) But when the guard who holds the outside brings in another defendant, the two lords who stand behind the chief of the guard march beside the defendant on the inside. The guard who holds the outside, however, goes behind the defendant when they line up the defendant with the guards. He walks on the outside of the defendant, on (his) right.
§34 (iii 23–26) If, however, a palace attendant brings in a message later, he comes in on the left only, behind the palace attendants. But when he comes back, he comes the same way, but he comes across in front of the guards.
§35 (iii 27–30) The guard who goes behind (him) goes on the right behind the guard. He goes back the same way, on the right. However, he does not go in front of the guards. He goes with the palace attendant.
§36 (iii 31–34) If, however, a defendant is standing (there), but (there is) a case for a guard or for a palace attendant, he does not go in front of the defendant. He goes behind him, and takes his place with the guard who holds the outside.
§37 (iii 35–40) But if the king calls out some foreign soldiers, either soldiers of the enemy Kaška, or soldiers of Kummaḫa or whatever soldiers, all the guards go behind (them). If, however, the spears prove to be too few for them, they take spears away from the spear-men and (then) go behind. They call that “encircling.”
§38 (iii 41–46) Armed with staffs, however, they do not go behind, it (is) not proper for them. If someone among the guards who remain has no spear, because they (can) take (only) staffs, they are not to be formed up with the pal[ace] attendant of the lituus. Two different palace attendants step forward into for[ma]tion with him. The guards however who are holding staffs [wal]k [behind (?)] them.
§39 (iii 47–50) If however a ḫazannu or commander of army bailiffs [is part of the form]ation, they13 form up with them. For them it (is) proper. However, [if] they go behind the carriage, [they] may not go behind (it) armed (thus) with staffs; they take spears.
§40 (iii 51–54) When the defendants have been completed, when the last defendant whom they escort out goes in front, the guard who brings the defendants says to the chief of the guard (added: or to … (or) to the guard who holds the inside): “It (the group of defendants) has been encircled.” The chief of the guard, (added: or the commander of ten guards or the army bailiff) tells the king. “It is completed.”
§41 (iii 55–59) If the king requests a chariot, a guard brings the stool and places it. The king grasps the chariot. The guard (responsible) for finishing (the process) holds a staff and takes the right horse by the bit in (his) right hand. With (his) left, however, he holds a kapur15 along with the staff. He holds the chariot down in front (so that) it does not tip.
§42 (iii 60–62) The guards give the spears which they are holding to the groom […]. When the carriage gets back home the groom gives the spears to the gatekeeper. He takes them up to the portico.
§42a (iii 63–65) If, however, (the king) returns by carriage, one guard waves with a spear to the guards and to the palace attendants and speaks thus in Hittite: “Over to the side.”
§43 (iii 66–70) The guards and palace attendants run around to the rear, and the grooms [reach (?)] over the left mule and turn the carriage around. The spears, however, of the spear–men and field unit men turn around; (thus) the first becomes the last.
§44 (iii 71–75) He (the king) goes to the palace by carriage. [As] he draws near the gates, the chanters [and] the r[eciter fall in] behind the spears of the spear–men. When the chanters [come] within the gates they cry out “Welcome!” The reciter, however, does not [cry out].
§45 (iii 76–78) When, however, the carriage[’s mules] reach [the gates,] the chanters [and the reciter] cry out.
Column IV
§46 (iv 1–7) [Men of] the city Ḫaḫḫa (are) walking behind. The spear[s] of the spear–men and [of the men] of the golden spear (are) walking in front, but the men of Ḫaḫḫa [ma]rch behind and sing. When however, the chanters come within the [gat]es of the portico, they cry out “Welcome!,” although the reciter [sti]ll does not cry out. However, when the mules reach the gates, the chanters and the reciter cry out. They go down through the postern.
§47 (iv 8–13) When just half [of] the spear–men has gone through the portico, it goes into that (place) where the spear–men (normally) go (after having) put down (their) spears. But a guard takes the stool and detaches himself from the palace attendants on the left. He walks to the wheel on the left side. When they turn the carriage, he sets up the stool.
§48 (iv 14–17) The men of Ḫaḫḫa (during this) are quiet. They do not come up to the gates [of the pal]ace. If (there are) two por[ticoes, however,] they come up to the lower gate. They do not, however, come up to the upper gate.
§49 (iv 18–24d) When the king steps down from the carriage, if a chief of the guard is standing (there), the chief of the guard prostrates himself behind (the king). He hands the king back over to the palace chief of staff. If, however, some other dignitary is lined up there in the front line, he (also) prostrates himself. But if no high dignitary is lined up there, the guard who is standing (there) prostrates himself. (added): Whenever he (the king) goes somewhere via chariot, however: When the king step[s] down from the chariot, [the chief of the gu]ard along with the guards prostrates himself behind the king. The guard (responsible) for finishing up prostrates himself opposite the right wheel of the chariot. The chariot driver, however, prostrates himself opposite the left wheel.
§50 (iv 25–27) The king goes [into] the palace. A guard, a man of the golden spear, (and) a gatekeeper g[o] in. They [come] up from the main gatehouse. They throw the doorbolt.
§51 (iv 29–30) The man of the golden spear leaves the plated spear which he holds in the courtyard where the guards normally step into the inne[r cha]mber.
§52 (iv 31–33) However, the guards who [hold] spears go out to the courtyard of the guards and take up (their) [position]. They stand there, hold[ing] spears. They do not put [them down].
§53 (iv 34–36) The guard, however, whom they [send (?)] goes out, holding a spear. He [comes down from (?)] the palace. But [when] he arrives at the postern, [he leaves] (his) spear with the gatekeeper [at the portico]. Ditto (i.e. he goes [out].)
§54 (iv 37–39) As soon as [the food] is done the footman [brings] from the ki[tchen …] (and) one cooked joint. And from the creamery [he brings] one pitcher of [sweet milk]. He gives [it to] the guards, and they eat it.
§55 (iv 40–41) They give […], one cooked joint, (and) one pitcher of sweet milk to the palace attendants also. And [they eat] it.
§56 (iv 42–44) But when […] comes [into the] inn[er chamber]. He calls out as follows to the man [of the golden spear and (?) … in Hitti]te: “[Let] them bring [it].”
§57 (iv 45–46) However, the man of the golden spear […] calls out as follows to the spear-men in Luwian: [“…”]
§58 (iv 47–49) A spear–man, however, [takes] a spe[ar]. The bronze (blade) [ of the sp]ear (is) tu[rned] down. He goes into the kitchen. [The spear–man (?)] speaks as follows: “To the inner chamber […].”
§59 (iv 50–52) Then the spear–man […]. The bronze (blade) of the spear, however, [is turned] up[ward …] The […] man […] [of (?)] the palace […]
Colophon (iv 53) First tablet of the Rules of the Guard. Not finished.

Text: CTH 262; IBoT 1.36; Jakob–Rost 1965; Güterbock and van den Hout 1991. Discussion: Alp 1940; Beal 1992; Goetze 1960; Melchert 1980; von Schuler 1957.

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1937 “Die Tontafeln.” MDOG 75:61–70.

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1984 “Die Šukzija-Episode im Dekret des Telipinu.” WO 15:103–108.

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1965 “The Elkunirsa Myth Reconsidered.” RHA XXIII/76:5–16.
1966 “Symbols for Masculinity and Femininity: Their Use in Ancient Near Eastern Sympathetic Magic Rituals.” JBL 85:326–334.
1967 “Second Millennium Antecedents to the Hebrew ʾôb.” JBL 86:385–401.
1968a “Birth and Namegiving in Hittite Texts.” JNES 27:198–203.
1968b “Hittite tarpiš and Hebrew terāphim.” JNES 27:61–68.
1968c “A Hittite Analogue to the David and Goliath Contest of Champions?” CBQ 30:220–225.
1971a “Hittite ega– and egan–.” JCS 24:31–36.
1971b Or 40:327–329.
1973 “The Hittites and Hurrians.” In POTT 197–228.
1974a Alimenta Hethaeorum. AOS 55. New Haven: American Oriental Society.
1974b “The Arzana House.” Pp. 113–122 in Studies Güterbock.
1975a “Hittite Mythological Texts: A Survey.” Pp. 136–145 in Unity and Diversity.
1975b “Propaganda and Political Justification in Hittite Historiography.” Pp. 49–62 in Unity and Diversity.
1977a “Hittite Lexicographic Studies, 1.” Pp. 105–107 in Studies Finkelstein.
1977b “Review of E. Neu 1974.” BASOR 219:78–79.
1979 “The Hittite Word for ‘Tribe’.” Pp. 261–266 in Studia Mediterranea Piero Meriggi dicata. Ed. by O. Carruba. Pavia: Aurora Edizioni.
1980 “Histories and Historians of the Ancient Near East: The Hittites.” Or 49:283–332.
1981 “The Hurrian Story of the Sungod, the Cow and the Fisherman.” Pp. 189–194 in Studies on the Civilization and Culture of Nuzi and the Hurrians in Honor of E. R. Lacheman. Ed. by M. Morrison and D. I. Owen. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
1982 “The Old Hittite Legal Idiom šuwaye- with the Allative.” JAOS 102:507–509.
1987 “Ancient Views of Prophecy and Fulfillment: Mesopotamia and Asia Minor.” JETS 30/3:257–265.
1990 Hittite Myths. Writings from the Ancient World 2. Atlanta: Scholars Press.
1992 “The Last Days of Khattusha.” Pp. 46–52 in The Crisis Years: The 12th Century B.C. From Beyond the Danube to the Tigris. Ed. by W. A. Ward. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
1993 “Akkadian šumma immeru Texts and Their Hurro-Hittite Counterparts.” Pp. 116–119 in Studies Hallo.
1995 “On Safari in Hittite Anatolia.” JIES 23.

1990 “Review of Archi 1989.” BiOr 47:423–432.
1991 “Hethitische Thronbesteigungsorakel und die Inauguration Tudḫalijas IV.” ZA 81:274–300.
1995 “Khattushili III, King of the Hittites.” In CANE 2:1107–1120.

1966 “A New Fragment of the ‘Deeds of Suppiluliuma as Told by his Son Mursili II’.” JNES 25:27–31.
1992 “The Bronze Tablet of Tudhaliyas IV and its Geographical and Historical Relations.” ZA 82:233–270.

1970 “A New Duplicate Fragment of the Hittite Instructions to Temple Officials.” AnSt 20:155–157.

1965 “L’autobiografia di Hattusili I.” SCO 14:40–85.

1965 “Beiträge zum hethitischen Hofzeremoniell (IBoT I 36).” MIO 11:165–225.

1993 “Der Bock, der die Sünden hinausträgt. Zur Religionsgeschichte des Azazel–Ritus Lev 16, 10.21f.” Pp. 109–169 in RGBK.

1979 “Anatolien tarpa/i–, etc.” Pp. 177–184 in Studies Laroche.

1976 Orakelpraxis, Träume und Vorzeichenschau bei den Hethitern. THeth 7. Heidelberg: Carl Winter.

1986 “The Telepinu Myth Reconsidered.” Pp. 115–124 in Studies Güterbock2.

1993 “Suppiluliuma I: The Early Years of His Career.” Pp. 81–91 in Studies Kutscher.

1962 Suppiluliuma and the Amarna Pharaohs. LMAOS. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

1965 “Die Rolle der ‘Ältesten’ (LÚ.MEŠ ŠU.GI) im Kleinasien der Hethiterzeit.” ZA 57:223–236.

1993 “Die Staatwerke von Ḫattuša.” Linguistica 33:107–112.

1978 “Sōʾ, König von Ägypten — ein Deutungsvorschlag.” MDOG 110:49–54.

1963 Die Umsiedelung der Schwarzen Gottheit: Das hethitische Ritual KUB XXIX 4 (des Ulippi). SÖAW 241.3. Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften.

1978 “Instructions.” Pp. 179–184 in Near Eastern Religious Texts Relating to the Old Testament. Ed. by W. Beyerlin. Philadelphia: Westminster.

1967 Ersatzrituale für den hethitischen König. StBoT 3. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

1952 “Élements d’haruspicine hittite.” RHA XII/54:19–48.
1958 “Lécanomancie hittite.” RA 52:150–162.
1965 “Textes mythologiques hittites en transcription. Première Partie.” RHA XXIII/77:63–178.
1966 Les Noms des Hittites. Études linguistiques 4. Paris: Klindsieck.
1968a “Textes mythologiques hittites en transcription. Deuxième Partie.” RHA XXVI/82:7–90.
1968b Textes mythologiques hittites en transcription. Paris: Klincksieck.
1970 “Sur le vocabulaire de l’haruspicine hittite.” RA 64:127–139.

1976 Samuha. Foyer religieux de l’empire hittite. Publications del’institut orientaliste 11. Louvain: Université Catholique de Louvain.
1980 Hymnes et prières hittites. Homo Religiosus 4. Louvain-la-Neuve: Centre d’Histoire des Religions.
1994 “Questions oraculaires concernant le nouveau déroulement de fêtes secondaires de printemps et d’automne = CTH 568.” Hethitica 12:41–77.

1980 The Sargon Legend: a Study of the Akkadian Text and the Tale of the Hero who was Exposed at Birth. ASORDS 4. Cambridge, MA: American Schools of Oriental Research.

1955 “Doctrines of Causality in Hittite and Biblical Historiography.” VT 5:1–12.

1950 “A propos d’un rituel hittite pour la lustration d’une armée: Le rite de purification par le passage entre les deux parties d’une victime.” RHR 137:5–25.

1977 Ablative and Instrumental in Hittite. Ph.D. Dissertation. Harvard University. Cambridge, MA.
1980 “The Use of IKU in Hittite Texts.” JCS 32:50–56.

1970 Studies in Levitical Terminology. Berkeley: University of California Press.

1975 The Disappearing Deity Motif in Hittite Texts: A Study of Religious History. B.A. Thesis. Oxford University.

1992 The Amarna Letters. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

1983 “Hittite and Israelite Cultic Practices: A Selected Comparison.” In SIC2:19–38.

1974 Der Anitta-Text. Ed. by Otten. StBoT 18. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

1985 “Review of Otten 1981.” IF 90:288–295.

1960 “Une fable hittite.” RHA XVIII/67:117–19.

1985 “Ein Deutungsvorschlag zum “Großen Text” des Ḫattušili III.” KZ 98:26–35.

1976 Die Militärischen Eide der Hethiter. StBoT 22. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
1992 “Achikars Weisheitssprüche im Lichte älterer Fabeldichtung.” Pp. 3–22 in Der Äsop-Roman. Motivgeschichte und Erzählstruktur. Ed. by N. Holzberg. Tübingen: G. Narr.

1953 “Ein kanaanäischer Mythus aus Boğazköy.” MIO 1:125–50.
1955 “Neue Fragmente zu den annalen des Mursili.” MIO 3:153–179.
1961a “Eine Beschwörung der Unterirdischen aus Boğazköy.” ZA 54:114–157.
1961b “Das Hethiterreich.” In Kulturgeschichte des Alten Orient. Ed. by H. Schmökel. Stuttgart: Alfred Kröner Verlag.
1963a “Neue Quellen zum Ausklang des Hethitischen Reiches.” MDOG 94:1–23.
1963b “Aitiologische Erzählung von der Überquerung des Taurus.” ZA 55:156–168.
1973 Eine althethitische Erzählung um die Stadt Zalpa. StBoT 17. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
1981 Die Apologie Ḫattušilis III. Das Bild der Überlieferung. StBoT 24. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
1984 “Blick in die altorientalische Geisteswelt. Neufund einer hethitischen Tempelbibliothek.” Jahrbuch der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Göttingen 50–60.
1988 Die Bronzetafel aus Boğazköy: Ein Staatsvertrag Tuthalijas IV. StBoT Beiheft 1. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

1978 “Textanschlüsse und Duplikate von Boğazköy-Tafeln (61–70).” ZA 68:270–279.
1981 “Textanschlüsse und Duplikate von Boğazköy-Tafeln (71–80).” ZA 71:122–134.

1968 Die akkadisch–hethitische Vokabular KBo I 44 + KBo XIII 1. StBoT 7. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

1981 “An Akkadian Letter from Ugarit at Aphek.” Tel Aviv 8:1–17.

1989 “KTU 1.16 III, the Myth of the Absent God and 1 Kings 18.” UF 23:283–296.

1990 La mitologia ittita. Testi del Vicino Oriente antico 4/1. Brescia: Paideia Editrice.

1978 Kultobjekte in der hethitischen Religion. Warsaw: Warsaw University.

1987 “Notes on Fruit in the Cuneiform Sources.” BSAg 3:115–144.

1992 “Zu einem neuen Fragment des Telipinu–Mythos.” Pp. 475–481 in Studies Alp.

1957 Hethitische Dienstanweisungen für höhere Hof– und Staatsbeamte. Graz: Private. Reprint: Osnabrück: Biblio–Verlag, 1967.
1982 “Die Einleitung der “Autobiographie” Ḫattušilis.” Pp. 389–400 in Serta Indogermanica. Festschrift für Günter Neumann zum 60. Geburtstag. Ed. by J. Tischler. IBS 40. Innsbruck.

1994 “Die Terminologie des hethitischen SU-Orakels. Eine Untersuchung auf der Grundlage des mittelhethitischen Textes KBo XVI 97 unter vergleichender Berücksichtigung akkadischer Orakeltexte und Lebermodelle, I.” AoF 21:73–124, 247–304.

1938 “The Hittite and Luwian Ritual of Zarpiya of Kezzuwatna.” JAOS 58:334–355.

1984 “The AGRIG in the Hittite Texts.” AnSt 34:97–127.
1995 “ ‘Our God’ and ‘Their God’ in the Anitta Text.” Pp. 471–480 in Atti del II congresso internazionale di hittitolgia. Ed. by O. Carruba, M. Giorgieri and C. Mora. Studia Mediterranea 9. Pavia: Gianni Iuculano.

1921 “Ein hethitisches Gebet.” ZA 33:85–102.

1987 “KUB XXXI 4 + KBo III 41 und 40 (Die Puḫanu-Chronik). Zum Thronstreit Ḫattušilis I.” Hethitica 7:173–253.
1990 “Noch einmal zur Šukziya-Episode im Erlass Telipinus.” Or 59:271–279.

1963 “Unrecognized Dedication.” IEJ 13:69–73, repr. in Biblical and Oriental Studies.

1977 Die Funktionen der dimensionalen Kasus und Adverbien im Althethitischen. StBoT 23. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
1979 “Halmasuit im Anitta-Texte und die hethitische Ideologie vom Königtum.” ZA 69:47–120.
1985a “Der Erlaß Telipinus. Zur Beurteilung der Sprache des Textes anläßlich eines kürzlich erschienenen Buches.” WO 16:100–113.
1985b Die keilschrift–luwischen Texte in Umschrift. StBoT 30. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

1992 “On the Tenth Paragraph of the Bronze Tablet (ii 91 – iii 1).” AGI 67:133–152.

1984 “Struktur und Bedeutung des sogenannten Anitta-Textes.” OA 23:53–73.
1989 “Kültepe-Kaniš und der ‘Anitta-Text.’ ” In Anatolia and the Ancient Near East. Ed. by K. Emre, B. Hrouda, M. Mellink and N. Özgüç. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi.
1993 “How Was the City of Hattusa Taken by ‘Anitta’?” In Uluslararasi 1. Hittitoji Kongresi Bildirileri (19–21 Temmuz 1990). Çorum: Uluslararası Çorum Hitit Festivali Komitesi Başkanliǧı.

1991 The Biblical Ḥerem. BJS 211. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

1935 A Hittite Chrestomathy. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.

1985 Hitit Kaynaklarında Tapınak Görevlileri ile ilgili bir Direktif Metni. Aüdtcfy 350. Ankara: Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Çoğrafya Fakültesi Basımevi.

1992 “Untersuchungen zur Bronzetafel und weiteren Verträgen mit der Sekundogenitur in Tarḫuntašša.” OLZ 87:341–371.

1983 “Autobiographical Apology in the Royal Assyrian Literature.” In HHI 36–57.

1983 “Two Old Testament Stories and Their Hittite Analogues.” JAOS 103:35–42 = Studies Kramer 321–326.

1973 “Zum Status der ‘Augures’ bei den Hethitern.” RHA XXXI:27–56.
1974 Ḫattušili III. Teil I, Ḫattušili bis zu seiner Thronbesteigung. Band 1: Historischer Abriß. THeth 3. Band 2: Quellen und Indices. THeth 4. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Verlag.
1978 Ein Orakeltext über die Intrigen am hethitischen Hof. (KUB XXII 70 = Bo 2011). THeth 6. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Verlag.
1993 “The Nature and Iconographical Traits of ‘Goddess of Darkness.’ ” Pp. 639–644 in Aspects of Art and Iconography: Anatolia and its Neighbors. Studies in Honor of Nimet Özgüç. Ed. by M. J. Mellink, E. Porada and T. Özgüç. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi.

1975 “Das althethitische Losorakel KBo 18.151.” KZ 88:157–180.

1989 “:karnan:marnan. Eine hethitische Reduplikation.” AoF 16:383–384.

1967 The Apology of Ḫattušiliš Compared with Other Political Self-Justifications of the Ancient Near East. Ph.D. Dissertation. Brandeis. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University Microfilms.

1987 The Disposal of Impurity. Elimination Rites in the Bible and in Hittite and Mesopotamian Literature. SBLDS 101. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press.

Dennis Pardee

The Baʿlu myth constitutes, by its length and relative completeness, the most important literary work preserved from those produced by the West Semitic peoples in the second millennium BCE. Before the discovery of this and related lesser works in the third and fourth decades of this century, virtually all our knowledge of West Semitic religious beliefs came from later descriptions emanating from cultures more or less alien to the one in which these myths were recounted, e.g., the Hebrew Bible or Philo of Byblos as preserved by the fourth–century (CE) Christian writer Eusebius. More recent discoveries show that the Ugaritic form of the Baʿlu myth had a long prehistory among the Amorite peoples (Durand 1993; Bordreuil and Pardee 1993). The presence in the Hebrew Bible of motifs similar to those in the Ugaritic myths indicates the existence of a Canaanite mythology very similar to the Amorite one, though determining the degree of similarity awaits the discovery of texts like the Ugaritic ones at a southern site.
The discovery of the Ugaritic mythological texts, in poetic form, has already demonstrated the high degree of similarity between second millennium poetic conventions in the northern part of the Syro–Palestinian area, surely descended from the old Amorite poetic tradition, and those of the Canaanite areas in the first millennium, visible in the poetic sections of the Hebrew Bible. The organization of a poem by parallel lines forming verses of two or three line–segments (“bicola” and “tricola”) appears to be characteristic of poetry throughout the old Northwest Semitic area. Though meter in the strict sense of the term appears absent from all these traditions, the parallel lines are everywhere characterized by terseness and roughly comparable length.
In spite of formal differences among them, the six tablets translated here are considered by most scholars to have originally belonged to a single work that would have consisted of some 2350 lines, approximately 1500 poetic verses. At one evidential extreme is the fact that the text is manifestly continuous from the last line of CTA 5 to the first of CTA 6; at the other is the fragmentary nature of CTA 1 and CTA 2, the latter consisting of two fragments that are not even certainly from the same tablet. The principal formal dissimilarity is in the number of columns in which the text is written on the tablets: CTA 1, 3, 5, and 6 are arranged in three columns per side, while CTA 2 apparently was in two columns (judging from the width of the one well–preserved column), and CTA 4 was in four columns per side. On the other hand, a virtually certain point of similarity is the script: CTA 4 and 6 bear a colophon identifying the scribe as ʾIlīmilku, a very high priestly official in the court of one of the kings named Niqmaddu, and the script of all six texts appears to be identical, making it highly probable that ʾIlīmilku inscribed them all. But did he write them and intend them as a sequence, or do some of these tablets belong to another sequence or to none at all? There is simply no empirical answer to that question, and the approach to the problem is therefore usually a literary one, which can be rephrased as another question: Can the six tablets be organized into a meaningful narrative sequence? To this question most scholars have responded positively, though the form of the response and the related organization of the six tablets have varied. The order most commonly accepted in recent years is followed here. It assumes that, for reasons not made clear in the text in its present state, ʾIlu, the head of the Ugaritic pantheon, at one time favors Yammu/Naharu, the god of bodies of water, but he allows Baʿlu to challenge Yammu; Baʿlu defeats his rival, then orders the construction of his own royal palace; Môtu, the god of death, challenges Baʿlu and eventually brings about his death; after a time in the underworld, Baʿlu returns to life. There appears to be a substantial qualitative difference between the kingship for which Baʿlu and Yammu vie and that of the other deities in this text who are ascribed kingship: each of these exercises kingship in his own way and in his own sphere (ʾIlu, Baʿlu, ʿAṯtaru, and Môtu are the four others who are described as kings), whereas Yammu and Baʿlu appear to be in competition for the same kingship. We have information from these texts on the domains over which Baʿlu, ʿAṯtaru, and Môtu rule (see notes 50, 98, 250), but no specific data on Yammu’s sphere of kingship. From the projection that Baʿlu gives of his defeat of Yammu (CTA 2 iv, up to line 5), we may plausibly infer that Yammu’s kingdom corresponded to his name, i.e., the sea. If so, how is it that he and Baʿlu are vying for the kingship in a sense that is not true of Baʿlu and ʿAṯtaru or Baʿlu and Môtu? Two considerations for the formulation of a response: (1) Whatever the nature of ʿAṯtaru’s kingship, that deity is negligible as a world power (CTA 6 i 56–67), while Yammu is a powerful foe to be defeated in battle (CTA 2 iv); (2) Yammu has a palace, location unknown, though it is unlikely that it is on the ‘heights of Ṣapānu’ where Baʿlu eventually had his palace built (CTA 4). Plausibly, therefore, Yammu’s palace was in the sea, while Baʿlu’s dwelling was on the heights of Ṣapānu, and the question was which of these two features of the earth was the appropriate place from which to exercise executive authority over the entire earth.
Because the myth deals with Baʿlu, the principal weather god of the Levantine peoples, and his vicissitudes, most authorities have interpreted the cycle as somehow reflecting the vegetative cycle, though the approaches have varied considerably. The symbolism apparent in the divine names appears to demand some form of naturalistic approach, though the precise interpretation of each element, as well as the overall interpretation of the myth, may be in doubt. Particularly problematic is the negative rôle, parallel to that of the god of death, of the watery elements, who are presented as enemies of Baʿlu, for in a naturalistic interpretation, such bodies of water might be seen as in cooperation with the god that produces rain, rather than inimical to him. Some scholars avoid the problem of conceptual origins and satisfy themselves with a description of the antiquity and broad spread of the motif; others consider that it is the superficial phenomenon of the effects of a storm on a body of water that is reflected in the mythological motif of animosity. Perhaps an appeal to the destructive aspect of the dual nature of water, beneficent in reasonable quantities, harmful when overly abundant or in turmoil, is in order. The explanation of the enmity of Baʿlu and Yammu/ Naharu as reflecting the rôle of water in a cosmological myth (Smith 1994:84–87) deserves further attention, but Smith does not explain why the enemy is Yammu/Naharu rather than one of the entities designated by the root thm (cf. Tiamat in the Mesopotamian version and tehōm in the Hebrew one; on forms of thm in Ugaritic, see below, note 45). It, in any case, only pushes the question back a stage: one must still ask why these watery forces were seen as the enemy of the creator deity (probably ʾIlu at Ugarit, though no cosmological myth is yet attested). An explanation by social/agricultural systems, i.e. dry farming vs. irrigation, does not appear plausible, for the salt sea (ym), unsuitable for irrigation, is clearly the principal antagonist of Baʿlu (the opposition of dry farming and irrigation is more appropriately evoked to explain the contrasted rôles of Baʿlu and ʿAṯtaru [see notes 48, 245, 250]).
CTA 17
ʾIlu Sends Messengers to ʿAnatu (ii?–13)
[Now you shall head off
to ʾInbubu,
Through a thousand courts,
ten thousand.…
At the feet of ʿAnatu bow and fall,
do homage and honor her.
Say to Girl ʿAnatu, b
repeat to the sister–in–law of Liʾmu:
Message of the Bull, your father ʾIlu,
word of the Gracious One, your sire:
Present bread offerings in the earth,
place love–offerings in the dust;
Pour well–being out into the earth,
calmness into the fields.15
Hurry, press, hasten,
to] me let your feet [run,
to me let] your legs [hasten;
To Mount X …]

The Envoys Go to ʿAnatu and Deliver ʾIlu’s
Message (ii 13–?)
Then [they head off
to] ʾInbubu,
Through a thousand courts,
[ten thousand.…
At the feet] of ʿAnatu [they bow and fall,
do] homage and [honor her.
They raise their voices and say] aloud:
Message of [the Bull, your father ʾIlu,
word of the] Gracious One, your sire:
[Present bread] offerings [in the earth,]
place [love–offerings] in the dust;
[Pour well–being out] into the earth,
[calmness into the] fields.
Hurry, [press, hasten,
to me] let your [feet] run,
[to me let] your [legs hasten];
To Mount [X …].

ʾIlu Sends for Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu (iii 1–16)
[Then they head off
to Memphis, (to) the god of it all,
(To) Crete (which is) the] throne [on which he sits, (to) Memphis (which is) the land of his own possession20],
Through a thousand yards,
ten [thousand furlongs.
At the feet of Kôṯaru] they bow and fall,
they [do homage and honor him].
They say to Kôṯaru-[wa-Ḫasīsu,
repeat to Hayyinu] the handicrafter:
[Message of the Bull, your father ʾIlu],
word of the Gracious One […]:

Hurry, press, hasten,
[to me let your feet run,]
to me let [your] legs hasten;
[To Mount?], the mountain of KS.
For [I have something to tell you],
a matter to recount to you:
[Words regarding wood, whisperings regarding stone],
conversings of heaven with [earth,
of the deep with the stars];
A matter (which) men cannot know,
[ (which) the hordes of the earth cannot understand].
Come and I will explain [it (for you)
in Mount X …].
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu Obeys the Summons (iii 17–end)
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu replies:
[Come, come, attendants of the gods],
you, you may tarry, but I’m [off
(From) Crete] for the most distant of gods,
(from) Memphis [for the most distant of deities]:
By double stretches below [the springs of the earth,
triple lengths] (in) the low places.
So off he [heads,
towards the Gracious One], the kindly god,
to Mount [?, the mountain of KS].
He penetrates Ilu’s abode,
[enters the dwelling of the King], father of
At [ʾIlu’s feet he bows and falls],
does homage [and honors him.
the Bull ʾIlu […]

ʾIlu’s Feast (iv)
Unknown (v)
CTA 234
Yammu’s Message (i 11–19)
Yammu sends messengers,
[Ruler Naharu sends an embassy].h
They rejoice …
Go, lads, [don’t dally],
head for
the Great Assembly,
for [Mount Lalu.
At the feet of ʾIlu] do not fall,
do not prostrate yourself (to) the Great [Assembly.
Standing, say (your) speech],
repeat your information.
Say to the Bull, [my] father [ʾIlu,
repeat to the Great] Assembly:
Message of Yammu, your master,
of your lord Ruler [Naharu]:
Give (up), O gods, the one whom you obey,
the one whom the hordes (of the earth) fear.
Give (up) Baʿlu [and his attendants],
(give up) the Son of Dagan, that I might take possession of his gold.
At the Sight of the Approaching Messengers, the Gods Panic (i 19–29)
The lads head off, don’t hesitate;
they head
for Mount Lalu,
for the Great Assembly.
The gods have sat down to eat,
the sons of the Holy One to dine,
Baʿlu attending on ʾIlu.
The gods see them,
see Yammu’s messengers,
the embassy of Ruler [Naharu].
The gods lower their heads
onto their knees,
onto their princely thrones.
Baʿlu rebukes them:
Why, gods, have your lowered (your) heads
even to your knees,
even to your princely thrones?
As one must the gods answer,
the tablet of Yammu’s messengers,
the embassy of Ruler Naharu!
Lift, O gods, your heads
off your knees,
off your princely thrones.
And let me answer Yammu’s messengers,
the embassy of Ruler Naharu.
The gods then raise their heads
off their knees,
off their princely thrones.
The Messengers Arrive, Deliver Their Lines (i 30–35)
Thereafter the messengers of Yammu arrive,
the embassy of Ruler Naharu.
At the feet of ʾIlu they [do not] fall,
they do not prostrate themselves (to) the Great Assembly.
Standing, they [say] (their) speech,
[repeat] their information.
They look like a fire, two fires,
their [tongue] like a sharpened sword.
They say to the Bull, his father ʾIlu:
Message of Yammu, your master,
of your [lord], Ruler Naharu:
Give (up), O gods, the one whom you obey,
the one whom the [hordes (of the earth)] fear.
Give (up) Baʿlu and his attendants,
(give up) the Son of Dagan, that I might take possession of his gold.
ʾIlu Declares That He Accedes to the Demand (i 36–38)
The Bull, his father ʾIlu, [replies]:
Baʿlu (is) your servant, O Yammu,
Baʿlu (is) your servant, [O Naharu],
the Son of Dagan (is) your prisoner.
He will indeed bring you tribute,
like (one) of the gods he will bring [you a gift],
like one of the sons of the Holy One (he will bring you) presents.
Baʿlu Defends Himself (i 38–end)
Then Prince Baʿlu is sick (with rage),
[moreover he takes] in his hand a striking weapon,
in his right hand a smiting weapon,
the lads he [strikes].
[ʿAnatu] grasps [his right hand],
ʿAṯtartu grasps his left hand:
How could [you smite Yammu’s messengers,
the] embassy of Ruler Naharu?

Then Prince Baʿlu is (again) sick (with rage),
(to) the–field–of–a–man …
… Yammu’s messengers
the embassy of Ruler Naharu.

I, for my part, hereby say to Yammu your master,
(to) [your] lord [Ruler Naharu]:
[…] the word of Haddu the Avenger …
Hostilities Continue (ii)
Someone Sends Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu to ʾIlu (iii 2–3)

[ (From) Crete] to the most distant [of gods,
(from) Memphis to the most distant of deities:
By double stretches below the springs of the earth,
triple lengths (in) the low places].
Off He Goes (iii 4–6)
[So] off he heads
to ʾIlu at the source of [the double river,
midst the upspringings of the deeps. k
He enters] ʾIlu’s dwelling,
goes into the home of the King, [father of Šunama;
At ʾIlu’s feet he bows] and falls,
does homage and honors [him].
ʾIlu Enjoins the Building of Yammu’s Palace (iii 6–11)
[Thereafter, the Bull, his father ʾIlu, responds];
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu be off:
(go) build a house (for) Yammu,
raise a palace (for) Ruler Naharu,

Be off, Kôṯaru-wa[-Ḫasīsu:
you] are to (go) build a house (for) Prince Yammu
[you are to raise] a palace (for) [Ruler] Naharu,

[Hurry!] build the house,
Hurry! raise [the palace]:
A house [covering a thousand acres,
a palace (covering) ten thousand] hectares.

The Solar Deity Addresses ʿAṯtaru (iii 15–18)
Šapšu, luminary of the gods, responds,
she raises her voice and [cries aloud]:
[Hear now, ʿAṯtaru]:
The Bull, your father ʾIlu, [will take blood] vengeance
for Prince Yammu,
for Ruler Naharu.
[Surely] he would not listen to you,
— the Bull, your father ʾIlu —
Surely he would pull up [the foundations of your] seat,
overturn [the throne of] your kingship,
break the staff of your rulership. m
ʿAṯtaru’s Reply (iii 18–23)
[ʿAṯtaru] responds […]:
[…] in me,
the Bull, my father ʾIlu.
As for me, I [have] no house [as (do)] the (other) gods,
[nor] court [as (do) the sons of the Holy One].
X will go down my throat,
they will be washed …
In the house of [Prince] Yammu,
in the palace of Ruler Naharu.
The Bull, his father ʾIlu, may take blood vengeance
for Prince Yammu,
[for] Ruler [Naharu].
But I am king […] am indeed king,
whereas you [have] no wife as (do) [the (other) gods,
nor young bride as (do) the sons of the Holy One].
Yammu Responds (iii 23–24)
Prince Yammu [speaks up],
Ruler Naharu [replies]:
[…] will send.
ʿAṯtaru’s Reply (iii 24–?)
ʿAṯtaru responds […]
Baʿlu Swears the Destruction of His Enemies, Particularly Yammu (iv?–5)
[…] I will indeed force them to leave,
moreover I will drive out […].
And in Yammu I will indeed destroy the resting place,
in Yammu, at (his) very heart, (I will destroy) the […],
[ (as for) Ruler] Naharu, (I will destroy) (his) neck.
There with the sword I will lay waste,
I will assault (his) house:
The powerful one will fall to the earth,
the mighty one to the dust.
Yammu’s Response (iv 6–7)
Hardly has the word left his mouth,
the utterance his lips,
When his voice is heard, there is a cry
(from) under the throne of Prince Yammu.
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu Prepares the Weapons Needed to Defeat Yammu (iv 7–27)
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu speaks up:
I hereby announce to you, Prince Baʿlu,
and I repeat, Cloud–Rider: n
As for your enemy, O Baʿlu,
as for your enemy, you’ll smite (him),
you’ll destroy your adversary.
You’ll take your eternal kingship,
your sovereignty (that endures) from generation to generation.
The First Mace (iv 11–18)
Kôṯaru prepares two maces
and proclaims their names:
You, your name is Yagrušu;
Yagrušu, drive out Yammu,
drive Yammu from his throne,
Naharu from his seat of sovereignty.
You’ll whirl in Baʿlu’s hand,
like a hawk in his fingers,
Strike Prince Yammu on the shoulder,
Ruler Naharu on the chest.
(So) the mace whirls in Baʿlu’s hand,
like a hawk in his fingers,
Strikes Prince Yammu on the shoulder,
Ruler Naharu on the chest.
(But) Yammu is strong, he does not collapse,
his joints do not go slack,
his body does not slump.
The Second Mace (iv 18–27)
Kôṯaru prepares two maces
and proclaims their names:
You, your name is ʾAyyamurru;
ʾAyyamurru, expel Yammu,
expel Yammu from his throne,
Naharu from his seat of sovereignty.
You’ll whirl in Baʿlu’s hand,
like a hawk in his fingers,
Strike Prince Yammu on the head,
Ruler Naharu on the forehead.
Yammu will go groggy
and will fall to the ground.
So the mace whirls in Baʿlu’s hand,
[like] a hawk in his fingers,
Strikes Prince [Yammu] on the head,
Ruler Naharu on the forehead.
Yammu goes groggy,
falls to the ground;
His joints go slack,
his body slumps.
Baʿlu grabs Yammu and sets about dismembering (him),
sets about finishing Ruler Naharu off.
ʿAṯtartu Intervenes (iv 28–30)
By name ʿAṯtartu reprimands (him):
Scatter (him), O Mighty [Baʿlu],
scatter (him), O Cloud–Rider,
For Prince [Yammu] is our captive,
[for] Ruler Naharu is our captive.
Baʿlu Carries Out the Order (iv 30–31)

Mighty Baʿlu disperses him

Someone Announces Yammu’s Death (iv 32)
Yammu is certainly dead, Baʿlu,
Yammu is certainly […]

CTA 366
Baʿlu’s Feast (i)

He serves Mighty Baʿlu,
regales the Prince, master of the earth.
The Food (i 4–8)
He arises, prepares,
and gives him food:
He cuts the breast (–cut) before him,
with a salted knife (does he cut) a slice of fatling.
The Drink (i 8–17)
He arises, serves,
and gives him drink:
He puts a cup in his hand,
a goblet in his two hands,
A large vessel, mighty to look upon,
belonging to the furnishings of the heavens,
A holy cup (which) women may not see,
a goblet (which) ʾAṯiratu (herself) may not eye;
One thousand kd–measures he takes from the new wine,
ten thousand he mixes into his mixture.
The Entertainment (i 18–22)
He arises, chants, and sings,
cymbals (being) in the hands of the goodly one;
The good–voiced youth sings
for Baʿlu in the heights of Ṣapānu.
Baʿlu’s Offspring (i 22–?)
Baʿlu sees his daughters,
eyes Pidray, daughter of ʾAru,
even Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu.
Pidar he recognizes […]
ʿAnatu Does Battle with Men (ii)
… (with) henna (sufficient for) seven girls,
(with) scent of coriander and ʾANHBM.
The gate of ʿAnatu’s house is closed
and she meets the lads at the base of the mountain.
The First Battle (ii 5–16)
Thereupon ʿAnatu’s begins to smite (her adversaries) in the valley,
to attack (them) between the two cities.
She smites the peoples (dwelling) on the seashore,
wreaks destruction on the humans (dwelling) to the east.
Under her are heads like balls,
above her are hands like locusts,
heaps of fighters’ hands are like (heaps of) grasshoppers.
She attaches heads around her neck,
ties hands at her waist.
Up to her knees she wades in the blood of soldiers,
to her neck in the gore of fighters.77
With (her) staff she drives out the (potential) captors,
with her bowstring the opponents.
ʿAnatu Goes Home, but is not Satisfied (ii 17–22)
Then ʿAnatu goes to her house,
the goddess arrives at her palace.
But she is not sated with smiting (her adversaries) in the valley,
with attacking (them) between the two cities.
She prepares chairs for the fighter(s),
prepares tables for the armies,
footstools for the warriors.
The Second Battle (ii 23–30)
Much she smites, then looks,
attacks and then gazes (on her handiwork), does ʿAnatu.
Her liver swells with laughter,
her heart is filled with joy,
ʿAnatu’s liver with success,
As to her knees she wades in the blood of soldier(s),
to her neck in the gore of fighters.
Until she is satisfied, she smites (her adversaries) in the house,
attacks (them) between the tables.
The Peaceful Aftermath (ii 30 – iii 3)
They wipe up the blood of the soldiers in the house,
they pour out oil of peace in a bowl.
Girl ʿAnatu bathes her hands,
the sister–in–law of Liʾmu (bathes) her fingers.
She bathes her hands in the blood of the warriors,
her fingers in the gore of the fighters.
She prepares chairs (in addition) to chairs,
tables (in addition) to tables,
footstools she prepares (in addition) to footstools.
She gathers water and washes,
dew of heavens, oil of earth,
the showers of Cloud–Rider.
The dew (that) the heavens pour down,
the showers (that) the stars pour down.
She beautifies herself with ʾANHBM,
that range [a thousand furlongs] in the sea.

Someone Sings (iii 4–8)
[She? will take lyre in hand],
pull the harp to (her?) breast:
A song for the love of Mighty Baʿlu (she? will sing),
the affection of Pidray, daughter of ʾAru,
the love of Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu,
the ardor of ʾArṣay, daughter of Yaʿibdarru.
Baʿlu’s Message to ʿAnatu (iii 8–31)
Then, lads, enter,
at ʿAnatu’s feet bow and fall,
do homage, honor her.
Say to Girl ʿAnatu,
repeat to the sister–in–law of Liʾmu.
Message of Mighty Baʿlu,
word of the mightiest of heroes:
Present bread offerings in the earth,
place love–offerings in the dust;
Pour well–being out into the earth,
calmness into the fields.
Hurry, press, hasten,
to me let your feet run,
to me let your legs hasten;
For I have something to tell you,
a matter to recount to you:
Words regarding wood, whisperings regarding stone,
conversings of heaven with earth,
of the deep with the stars;
I understand lightning which not even the heavens know,
a matter (which) men do not know,
(which) the hordes of the earth do not understand.
Come and I will explain it (for you)
in my mountain, Divine Ṣapānu,
in the holy place, in the mountain that is my personal possession,
in the goodly place, the hill of my victory.
ʿAnatu’s Response (iii 32 – iv 51)
When ʿAnatu sees the two deities,
her feet shake,
behind, her back muscles snap,
above, her face sweats,
her vertebrae rattle,
her spine goes weak.
She raises her voice and says aloud:
How is it that Gupanu-wa-ʾUgāru have come?
What enemy has arisen against Baʿlu,
(what) adversary against Cloud–Rider?
I have smitten ʾIlu’s beloved, Yammu,
have finished off the great god Naharu.
I have bound the dragon’s jaws, have destroyed it,92
have smitten the twisting serpent,
the close–coiled one with seven heads.
I have smitten ʾIlu’s beloved ʾArišu (Demander),
have wreaked destruction on ʾIlu’s calf ʿAtiku (Binder).
I have smitten ʾIlu’s bitch ʾIšatu (Fire),
have finished off ʾIlu’s daughter Ḏabibu (Flame).
I have smitten for silver, have (re)possessed the gold of
him who would have driven Baʿlu from the heights of Ṣapānu,
him who would have caused (him) to flee like a bird (from) (the seat of) his power,
Him who would have banished him from his royal throne,
from (his) resting–place, from the seat of his dominion.
So, what enemy has arisen against Baʿlu,
(what) adversary against Cloud–Rider?
The Envoys Deliver Their Message (iv 52–67)
The lads answer up:
No enemy has arisen against Baʿlu,
(no) adversary against Cloud–Rider.
(Rather we have a) message (from) Mighty Baʿlu,
a word (from) the mightiest of warriors:
Present bread offerings in the earth,
place love–offerings in the dust;
Pour well–being out into the earth,
calmness into the fields.
Hurry, press, hasten,
to me let your feet run,
to me let your legs hasten;
[For I have something] to tell you,
a matter [to recount to you]:
[Words regarding] wood, whisperings regarding [stone,
a matter (which)] men [do not] know,
[ (which) the hordes of the] earth [do not] understand.
[Conversings of heaven with] earth,
of the deep [with the stars];
[I understand lightning] which not even the heavens [know].
[Come and] I will explain [it (for you)
in] my mountain, Divine Ṣapānu,
in the holy [place, in the mountain that is my personal] possession.
ʿAnatu Agrees to Baʿlu’s Request (iv 68–83)
Girl ʿAnatu replies,
yet again [the sister–in–law of] Liʾmu:
I will indeed present bread offerings [in the earth],
place love–offerings in the dust;
I will pour [well–being] out into the earth,
calmness into the fields.
May Baʿlu place his watering devices in [the heavens],
may [Haddu] bring the [rain of] his X.
(Then) I, for my part, will surely present bread offerings in the earth,
place love–offerings [in] the dust;
I will pour well–being out into the earth,
calmness into the fields.
Moreover, I say this:
Come, come, attendants of the gods,
you, you may tarry, but I’m off
(From) ʾUǵaru for the most distant of gods,
(from) ʾInbubu for the most distant of deities:
By double stretches below the springs of the earth,
triple lengths (in) the low places.
ʿAnatu Visits Baʿlu (iv 84–?)
So off she heads,
toward Baʿlu in the heights of Ṣapānu.
(From) a thousand yards off,
ten thousand furlongs,
Baʿlu sees his sister coming,
his father’s daughter striding along.
He shoos the (other) women away,
places beef in front of her,
a fatling before her.
She gathers water and washes,
dew of heavens, oil of earth.
The dew (that) the heavens pour down,
the showers (that) the stars pour down.
She beautifies herself with ʾANHBM,
that [range a thousand furlongs in the sea.]

Baʿlu’s Claim to a Palace (iv 94–99)
[For Baʿlu has no house as (do) the (other) gods,
(no) court] as (do) the sons of [ʾAṯiratu,
(No) dwelling (as does) ʾIlu, (no) shelter (as do)] his sons,
(no) dwelling (as does) [the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea],
(No) dwelling (as does) Pidray, [daughter of ʾAru,
(no) shelter] (as does) Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu,
[ (no) dwelling (as does) ʾArṣay], daughter of Yaʿibdarru,
[ (no) dwelling (as do)] the honored [brides].
ʿAnatu’s Reply (iv 99 – v 4)
[Girl ʿAnatu] replies:
The Bull, [my father] ʾIlu, will come around to me,
he’ll come around to me and to him […].

[I’ll] trample him to the ground like a lamb,
[I’ll cause] his gray hair [to flow] with blood,
the gray hairs of his beard [with gore],
That is if he does not give a house to Baʿlu like (that of) the (other) gods,
[a court] like (that of) the sons of ʾAṯiratu.
ʿAnatu Is Off to Visit ʾIlu (v 4–9)
[She digs in] (her) feet,
[takes off across] the earth;
She [heads] off
[towards ʾIlu] at the source of the [double] river,
midst the [upspringings] of the [deeps].
She penetrates Ilu’s abode,
enters the dwelling of the King, father of [Šunama],
She bends over and enters the abode,
addresses the lord of the gods.
ʾIlu Responds (v 10–18?)
The Bull, her father ʾIlu, hears her voice,
[responds] (from) within seven rooms,
[ (from) within] eight locked [chambers]:
You [must cry] aloud to ʾIlu [your lord]

Šapšu, luminary of the gods, [glows hot],
the heavens are powerless under the control of [Môtu, the beloved of ʾIlu].
ʿAnatu Gets Tough (v 19–25)
Girl ʿAnatu replies:
[In the grandeur of] your house, O ʾIlu,
in the grandeur of [your] house do not rejoice,
do not rejoice in the height of [your] palace.
Will I not seize them in my right hand,
squeeze [them] in my broad grasp?110
I’ll [smite the …] of your head,
I’ll make your gray hair flow [with blood],
the gray hairs of your beard with gore.
ʾIlu Reacts Placatingly (v 25–29)
ʾIlu responds (from) within seven rooms,
(from) within eight locked chambers:
[I] know [you], (my) daughter, (I know) that [you] are a manly sort,
and that among goddesses there is none so emotional as you.
What do you request, Girl ʿAnatu?
ʿAnatu Tries Flattery (v 29–34)
Girl ʿAnatu replies:
Your decision(s), ʾIlu, (are) wise,
your wisdom is forever,
your decision(s) (provide) a life of good fortune.
(Now,) our king is Mighty Baʿlu,
(he is) our ruler and there is none above him.
All of us (other gods) bear his vessel,
all of us bear his cup.
Again, Baʿlu’s Claim to a Palace (v 35–44)
(But) groaning he does cry out to the Bull, his father ʾIlu,
to the king who established him, ee
He cries out to ʾAṯiratu and to her sons,
to the goddess and the host of her kin:
Baʿlu has no house as (do) the (other) gods,
(no) court as (do) the sons of ʾAṯiratu,
(No) dwelling (as does) ʾIlu, (no) shelter (as do) [his sons],
(no) dwelling (as does) the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
(No) dwelling (as does) Pidray, daughter of ʾAru,
[ (no) shelter] (as does) Ṭallay, [daughter of] Rabbu,
(no) dwelling [ (as does) ʾArṣay, daughter of Yaʿibdarru],
(no) dwelling [ (as do) the honored brides].

The Summons to Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu (vi)
Cross the mountain, cross the height,
cross the shores of heavenly Nupu.
Have (your nets) drawn in, O fisherman of ʾAṯiratu,
come, O Qudšu-ʾAmruru.
You must head off
to Memphis, (to) the god of it all,
(To) Crete (which is) the throne (on which) he sits,
(to) Memphis (which is) the land of his own possession,
Through a thousand yards,
ten thousand furlongs.
At the feet of Kôṯaru bow and fall,
do homage and honor him.
Say to Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu,
repeat to Hayyinu the handicrafter:
Message of Mighty [Baʿlu],
word [of the mightiest of warriors:]

CTA 4120

Yet Again, Baʿlu’s Claim to a Palace (i 4–19)
[ (But) groaning he does cry] out to the Bull, [his father ʾIlu],
to ʾIlu, the king [who established him],
[He cries] out to ʾAṯiratu [and to her sons],
to the goddess [and the host of] her [kin]:
[Baʿlu has no house as (do) the (other) gods,
(no) court as (do) the sons of] ʾAṯiratu,
(No) dwelling (as does) ʾIlu, (no) shelter (as do) his sons,
(no) dwelling (as does) the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu
of the Sea.
(No) dwelling (as do) the honored brides:
(no) dwelling (as does) Pidray, daughter of ʾAru,
(no) shelter (as does) Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu,
(no) dwelling (as does) ʾArṣay, daughter of Yaʿibdarru.
Gifts Suggested and Prepared (i 20–44)
I must also say this to you:
You really should prepare a gift for the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
a present for the Progenitress of the Gods.122
Hayyinu steps up to the bellows,
in the hands of Ḫasīsu are the tongs.
He casts silver, causes gold to flow,
he casts silver by the thousands (of shekels),
he casts gold by the ten thousands (of shekels).
He casts ḪYM and TBTḪ:
A (throne–)stand for ʾIlu of twenty thousand (shekels’ weight),
a (throne–)stand for ʾIlu with silver decorations,
interspersed with (decorations of) ruddy gold;
A chair for ʾIlu, a seat of finest (gold),
a footstool for ʾIlu (!) covered with the brightest (metal);
A bed for ʾIlu of the finest sort,
above, he places an engraving;
A table for ʾIlu filled with creatures,
creepy–crawlers from the foundations of the earth;130
A bowl for ʾIlu, hammered thin as (they do in) ʾAmurru,
formed as (they do in) the land of YMʾAN,
which has on it bulls by the ten thousands.

ʾAṯiratu at Home (ii 3–?)
She has taken her spindle [in hand],
a spindle befitting her high station in her right hand.
As her flesh has become soiled,
she puts her garments into the sea,
her twice–soiled (body) into the rivers.
She places a pot on the fire,
a pan on top of the coals,
So as to prepare a (warm) drink for the Bull, the kindly god,
so as to make a present to the Creator of creatures.136
Baʿlu and ʿAnatu Arrive with ʾAṯiratu’s Gifts (ii 12–29)
When she looks up and sees Baʿlu coming,
when ʾAṯiratu (!) sees Girl ʿAnatu arriving,
the sister–in–law of [Liʾmu] striding along,
Her feet [shake],
behind, her back muscles [snap,
above], her face sweats,
her [vertebrae] rattle,
[her] spine goes weak.
She raises her voice and says aloud:
How is it that Mighty Baʿlu has come?
How is it that Girl ʿAnatu has come?
Have those who would smite me smitten my sons,
or (have) [those who would finish me off] (smitten) the host of my kin?
(But) when ʾAṯiratu spies the [works] of silver,
the works of silver and [the objects] of gold,
they bring joy to the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea.
ʾAṯiratu Enjoins her Attendant to Complete an Unknown Task (ii 29–?)
Aloud [she cries] to her lad:
Look at the skillfully wrought thing(s) and [behold!]
O fisherman of the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu [of the Sea],
take the net in your hand,
the great [X] upon your two hands.
[…] in Yammu, the beloved of ʾIlu,

Baʿlu Complains of His Treatment By the Other Gods (iii 10–22)
Again Mighty Baʿlu (speaks),
Cloud–Rider tells his story:
[…] they stood up and cast scorn upon me,
they arose and spat upon me
in the assembly of the sons of the gods;
[X] was set upon my table,
mockery in the cup from which I drink.
Now there are two (kinds of) feasts (that) Baʿlu hates,
three (that) Cloud–Rider (hates):
An improper feast,
a low–quality feast,
and a feast where the female servants misbehave.
There, impropriety was certainly seen,
there, misbehavior of the female servants (was certainly seen).
Baʿlu and ʿAnatu Arrive chez ʾAṯiratu, Present their Gifts, and Feast (iii 23–?)
Thereupon Mighty Baʿlu arrives,
Girl ʿAnatu arrives.
They offer the gifts to the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
the presents to the Progenitress of the Gods.
The Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea, responds:
How is it that you offer gifts to the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
presents to the Progenitress of the Gods?
Have you offered gifts to the Bull, the kindly god,
presents to the Creator of creatures?
Girl ʿAnatu replies:
We would (now) offer gifts to the Great Lady,
ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
presents to the Progenitress of the Gods.
[Afterwards] we will also present him with gifts.
[…] Mighty Baʿlu
[…] the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
[…] Girl ʿAnatu.
[Thereupon the gods] eat and drink,
[they take] sucklings,
[with] a salted [knife] cutlets from [a fatling].
[They drink] wine from goblets
[red] wine [from golden cups].

ʾAṯiratu Prepares to Visit ʾIlu (iv 1–19)
[The Great Lady], ʾAṯiratu of [the Sea, responds:
Listen, O Qudšu-]wa-ʾAmruru,
[O fisherman of the Great Lady], ʾAṯiratu of the Sea:
[Saddle the donkey], harness the ass,
[put (on it) trappings of] silver,
[decorations] of yellow (gold),
prepare the trappings of [my] jennet.
Qudšu-wa-ʾAmruru listens:
He saddles the donkey, harnesses the ass,
puts (on it) trappings of silver,
decorations of yellow (gold),
prepares the trappings of her jennet.
Qudšu-wa-ʾAmruru grasps (her),
puts ʾAṯiratu on the donkey’s back,
on the ass’s beautiful back.
Qudšu sets off, bright as fire,
ʾAmruru like a star in front,
behind (came) Girl ʿAnatu.
As for Baʿlu, he went off to the heights of Ṣapānu.
The Visit (iv 20 – v 81)
So off she goes
to ʾIlu at the source of the double river,
midst the upspringings of the deeps.
She penetrates ʾIlu’s abode,
enters the dwelling of the King, father of Šunama;
At ʾIlu’s feet she bows and falls,
does homage and honors him.
ʾIlu Expresses His Happiness at the Sight of ʾAṯiratu (iv 27–39)
When ʾIlu sees her,
his brow unfurrows and he laughs;
He taps his feet on the footstool
and snaps his fingers.
He raises his voice and says aloud:
How is it that the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea, has come?
How is it that she has entered (here), the Progenitress of the Gods?
Are you really hungry (because) you’ve been wandering?
Are you really thirsty (because) [you’ve been] traveling all night?
Eat or drink,
eat some bread at the table,
drink some wine from a goblet,
some red wine from golden cups.
Or is it the ‘hand’ of ʾIlu the king that has excited thoughts in you,
the love of the Bull that has aroused you?
ʾAṯiratu Recites her Message, Including Baʿlu’s Claim to a Palace (iv 40–57)
The Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea, replies:
Your decision(s), ʾIlu, (are) wise,
(they are) eternal wisdom,
your decision(s) (provide) a life of good fortune.
(Now,) our king is Mighty Baʿlu,
(he is) our ruler and there is none above him.
All of us (other gods) [bear] his vessel,
all of us bear his cup.
(But) groaning he does cry out to the Bull, his father ʾIlu,
to ʾIlu the king who established him,
He cries out to ʾAṯiratu and to her sons,
to the goddess and the host of her kin:
Baʿlu has no house as (do) the (other) gods,
(no) court as (do) the sons of ʾAṯiratu,
(No) dwelling (as does) ʾIlu, (no) shelter (as do) his sons,
(no) dwelling (as does) the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea,
(No) dwelling (as do) the honored brides:
(no) dwelling (as does) Pidray, daughter of ʾAru,
(no) shelter (as does) Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu,
(no) dwelling (as does) ʾArṣay, daughter of Yaʿibdarru.
ʾIlu Gives the Go–Ahead (iv 58 – v 63)
The Gracious One, the kindly god replies:
So I am a servant, an attendant on ʾAṯiratu!
So I am a servant, accustomed to tools!
And ʾAṯiratu is a servant–girl (who) will make the bricks! jj
Let a house be built for Baʿlu like the (other) gods’ (houses),
a court like (the courts of) the sons of ʾAṯiratu.
ʾAṯiratu Congratulates ʾIlu on the Positive Results of his Decision (v 64–73)
The Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea, replies:
Great indeed, ʾIlu, is (your) wisdom,
your gray beard surely instructs you,
the respite that is yours alone (surely instructs you).
For now Baʿlu (can) send his rain in due season,
send the season of driving showers;
(can) Baʿlu shout aloud in the clouds, kk
shoot (his) lightning–bolts to the earth;
A house of cedar he may complete,
Even a house of bricks he may raise.
ʾAṯiratu Announces That He May Undertake Preparations (v 74–81)
Let them announce to Mighty Baʿlu:
Summon an (entire) caravan to your house,
wares to your palace;
Let the mountains bring you massive amounts of silver,
(let) the hills (bring you) the choicest gold,
let them bring you magnificent gems.
Then build a house of silver and gold,
a mansion of purest lapis–lazuli.
The Message is Borne by ʿAnatu (v 82–97)
(This) brings joy to Girl ʿAnatu.
She digs in her feet,
takes off across the earth;
She heads off
toward Baʿlu in the heights of Ṣapānu.
(While still) a thousand yards off,
ten thousand furlongs,
Girl ʿAnatu laughs,
raises her voice and shouts aloud:
You have good news, Baʿlu!
I bring you good news!
They may build for you a house like (those of) your brothers,
a court like (those of) your kin.
Summon an (entire) caravan to your house,
wares to your palace;
Let the mountains bring you massive amounts of silver,
(let) the hills (bring you) the choicest gold,
Then build a house of silver and gold,
a mansion of purest lapis–lazuli.
Baʿlu Makes the Preparations (v 97–102)
(This) brings joy to Mighty Baʿlu:
He summons an (entire) caravan to his house,
wares to his palace;
The mountains bring him massive amounts of silver,
the hills (bring him) the choicest gold,
they bring him magnificent gems.
Then He Sends for Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu (v 103–105)
He sends a message to Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu:
Go back to the recitation: “When the two lads take the message …”
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu Arrives, Is Feted, and Urged to Work (v 106–119)
Thereafter Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu arrives.
They place beef in front of him,
a fatling before him.
A chair is prepared and they seat (him)
at the right hand of Mighty Baʿlu,
while [the gods] eat and drink.
Mighty [Baʿlu] speaks up:

Hurry! (raise) a house, O Kôṯaru,
hurry! raise a palace,
hurry! you must build a house.
Hurry! you must raise a palace
on the heights of Ṣapānu,
A house covering a thousand acres,
a palace (covering) ten thousand hectares.
Owner and Contractor Argue About a Window (v 120 – vi 15)
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu replies:
Listen, O Mighty Baʿlu,
understand, O Cloud–Rider:
Must I not put a latticed window in the house,
a window–opening in the palace?
Mighty Baʿlu replies:
You must not put a latticed window in [the house],
[no window–opening] in the palace!
Kôṯaru[–wa]-Ḫasīsu replies:
You’ll come around, Baʿlu, to [my view].
Kôṯaru[–wa–]Ḫasīsu repeats (his) speech:
Listen, please, O Mighty Baʿlu:
Must I not put a latticed window in the house,
a window–opening in the palace?
Mighty Baʿlu replies:
You must not put a latticed window in the house,
no window–opening in the palace!
Lest Pidray, daughter of ʾAru, do [X],
[lest] Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu, [do Y].
[…] ʾIlu’s beloved, Yammu,
[…] cast scorn upon me,
and spit upon me […].
Kôṯaru-[wa-Ḫasīsu] replies:
You’ll come around, Baʿlu, to my view.
The Palace is Built (vi 16–40)
[Hurriedly] they build his house,
[hurriedly] they raise his palace.
(Some workers) [go] to Lebanon and its trees,
to Siryon (and) its choicest cedars;
[They X] Lebanon and its trees,
Siryon (and) its choicest cedars.
Fire is placed in the house,
flames in the palace.
For a day, two (days),
the fire consumes (fuel) in the house,
the flames (consume fuel) in the palace;
For a third, a fourth day,
the fire consumes (fuel) in the house,
the flames (consume fuel) in the palace;
For a fifth, a sixth day,
the fire consumes (fuel) in the house,
the flames (consume fuel) in the palace;
Then on the seventh day,
the fire is removed from the house,
the flames from the palace.
(Voilà!) the silver has turned into plaques,
the gold is turned into bricks.
(This) brings joy to Mighty Baʿlu:
You have built my house of silver,
my palace of gold.
(Then) Baʿlu completes the furnishing of [his] house,
Haddu completes the furnishing of his palace.
The Inaugural Banquet (vi 40–?)
He slaughters bovids [and] caprovids,
he fells bulls [and] fattened goats,
yearling calves,
lambs (and) great numbers of kids.
He invites his brothers into his house,
his kin into his palace,
He invites the seventy sons of ʾAṯiratu:
He provides the gods with rams (and) wine,
he provides the goddesses with ewes (and) [wine];
He provides the gods with bulls (and) wine,
he provides the goddesses with cows (and) [wine];
He provides the gods with chairs (and) wine,
he provides the goddesses with seats (and) [wine];
He provides the gods with jars of wine,
he provides the goddesses with barrels of [wine].
So the gods eat and drink,
they take sucklings,
with a salted knife cutlets from [a fatling].
They drink wine from goblets,
red [wine from] golden cups.

Baʿlu Takes Possession of His Cities (vii 7–12)
He goes? from [city] to city,
goes again from town to town.
He takes possession of sixty–six cities,
of seventy–seven towns;
Eighty does Baʿlu [X],
ninety does he [Y].
Baʿlu Decides He Wants a Window After All (vii 13–25)
(Then) Baʿlu [returns] to (his) house.
Mighty Baʿlu speaks up:
I am going to charge Kôṯaru, this very day,
Kôṯaru, this very moment,
With opening up a window in (my) house,
a latticed window in (my) palace,
With opening up a rift in the clouds,
according to the pronouncement of Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu.
Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu breaks out laughing,
he raises his voice and says:
Didn’t I tell you, O Mighty Baʿlu,
(that) you, Baʿlu, would come around to my word?
The Window Is Put to Immediate Use (vii 25–37)
(So) he opens up a window in the house,
a latticed window in the palace.
Baʿlu (himself) opens up the rift in the clouds,
Baʿlu emits his holy voice,
Baʿlu makes the thunder roll over and over again.
His [holy] voice [causes] the earth [to tremble],
[at his thunder] the mountains shake with fear.

the high places of the earth totter.
Baʿlu’s enemies grasp hold of (the trees of) the forest,
Haddu’s adversaries (grasp hold of) the flanks of the mountain(s).
Baʿlu’s Powers Incite Him to Hubris (vii 37 – CTA 5 ii)
Mighty Baʿlu speaks up:
Enemies of Haddu, why do you shake with fear?
Why do you shake with fear, you who take up arms against Dimārānu?
Baʿlu looks ahead of (where) his hand (will strike)
when the cedar (shaft) dances in his right hand.
Since Baʿlu has taken up residence in his house
is there or is there not a king
(who) can establish himself in the land of (Baʿlu’s) dominion?
Why don’t I send a courier to Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
a messenger to the beloved warrior of ʾIlu?
(For) Môtu is always proclaiming,
The beloved one (of ʾIlu) is always claiming:
I am the only one who rules over the gods,
who fattens gods and men,
who satiates the hordes of the earth.
Baʿlu Calls his Messengers (vii 52–?)
When Baʿlu calls to his lads:
Look, [Gupanu–]wa-ʾUgāru:
The sea [is enveloped] in darkness,
in obscurity the [highest] peaks.…

The Directions (viii 1–32)
So head off
for Mount Tarǵuziza,
for Mount Ṯarrummagi,
to the two ruin–mounds that mark the borders of the earth.
Lift up (one) mountain on (your) hands,
(one) wooded hill on (your) palms.
Then go down to the place of seclusion (within) the earth,
you must be counted among those who go down into the earth. ww
Once (down there) head
for his city Hamray,
(for) Mukku where his throne is established,
(for) Ḫôḫu, the land of his own possession.
But be careful, couriers of the gods:
Don’t get near Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
Lest he take you as (he would) a lamb in his mouth,
lest you be destroyed as (would be) a kid in his crushing jaws.
Šapšu, luminary of the gods, glows hot,
the heavens are powerless under the control of Môtu, the beloved of ʾIlu.
(From) a thousand yards off,
ten thousand furlongs,
At the feet of Môtu bow and fall,
do homage and honor him.
Say to Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
repeat to the beloved warrior of ʾIlu:
The Message (viii 32–47)
Message of Mighty Baʿlu
word of the mightiest of heroes:
I have built my house [of silver],
my [palace of gold].

Môtu’s Reply to Baʿlu (viii 48 – CTA 5 i 8)
[Message of Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
word of the beloved warrior of ʾIlu:
My throat is the throat of the lionaaa in the wasteland,
and the gullet203 of the ‘snorter’ in the sea;
And it craves the pool (as do) the wild bulls,
(craves) springs as (do) the herds of deer; ccc
And, indeed, indeed,
my throat consumes heaps (of things),206
yes indeed, I eat by double handfuls;
And my seven portions are in a bowl,
and they mix (into my) cup a (whole) river.
So invite me, Baʿlu, along with my brothers,
have me over, Haddu, along with my kin,
And eat bread with my brothers,
drink wine with my kin!
Have you forgotten, Baʿlu, that I can pierce you through?
… ]
Colophon (left edge)
[The scribe: ʾIlīmilku, ṯāʿi]yu–official of
Niqmaddu, king of Ugarit.
CTA 5210
When you smite Lôtan, the fleeing serpent,
finish off the twisting serpent,
the close–coiling one with seven heads,
The heavens wither and go slack
like the folds (?) of your tunic.
(Then) I, with groans, am devoured,
(like) a piece of dung I die.
(So) you must (for your part) descend into the throat of Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
into the watery depths fff of the beloved warrior of ʾIlu.
Môtu’s Message is Delivered to Baʿlu (i 9–?)
The gods do not hesitate;
they head off
for Baʿlu on the heights of Ṣapānu.
Gupanu-wa-ʾUgāru report:
Message of Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
word of the beloved warrior of ʾIlu:
My throat is the throat of the lion in the wasteland,
and the gullet of the ‘snorter’ in the sea;
And it craves the pool (as do) the wild bulls,
(craves) springs as (do) the herds of deer;
And, indeed, indeed,
my throat consumes heaps (of things),
yes indeed, I eat by double handfuls;
And my seven portions are in a bowl,
and they mix (into my) cup a (whole) river.
So invite me, Baʿlu, along with my brothers,
have me over, Haddu, along with my kin,
And eat bread with my brothers,
drink wine with my kin!
Have you forgotten, Baʿlu, that I can pierce you through?
When you smite [Lôtan, the] fleeing [serpent],
finish off [the twisting serpent],
the close–coiling one [with seven heads],
[The heavens] wither [and go slack
like the folds (?) of] your [tunic].
[ (Then) I, with groans, am devoured,
(like) a piece of dung I die.
(So) you must (for your part) descend the throat of Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
into the watery depths of the beloved warrior of ʾIlu].

Baʿlu Reflects on Môtu’s Threat (ii?–7)
[He puts (one) lip to the] earth, (the other) lip to the heavens,
[he X] (his) tongue to the stars. ggg
Baʿlu will enter his insides,
(will go down) his mouth like a roasted olive,
(like) the produce of the earth and the fruit of (its) trees.
Mighty Baʿlu will fear him,
Cloud–Rider will be frightened of him.
Baʿlu’s Message, Very Brief, in Reply to Môtu’s Threats (ii 8–13)
Go say to Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
Repeat to the beloved warrior of ʾIlu:
Message of Mighty Baʿlu,
word of the mightiest of heroes:
Salutations, Môtu, son of ʾIlu!
Your servant am I, and forever (will be)!
Be off and do not tarry, O gods.
The Message is Delivered (ii 13–20)
So they head off
toward Môtu, son of ʾIlu,
to his city Hamray,
to Mukku where <his> throne is established,
to Ḫôḫu, the land of his own possession.
They raise their voices and say aloud:
Message of Mighty Baʿlu,
word of the mightiest of heroes:
Salutations, Môtu, son of ʾIlu!
Your servant am I, and forever (will be)!
Môtu’s Reaction (ii 20–?)
(This) brings joy to Môtu, son of ʾIlu:
[He raises] his voice and cries out:
[Baʿlu] will indeed invite me [along with my brothers],
Haddu will have me over [along with my kinsmen].

Invitation and Preparations for the Feast in Honor of Môtu (iii)
A Banquet (iv)
Baʿlu Receives the Final Invitation (v?–17)

and I will put him/it down amongst the gods of
the underworld.
As for you, take your clouds, your wind,
your watering devices, your rain,
With you your seven lads,
your eight officers,
With you Pidray, daughter of ʾAru,
with you Ṭallay, daughter of Rabbu.228
Head off
for the mountains of my covert;
Lift up (one) mountain on (your) hands,
(one) wooded hill on (your) palms.
Then go down into the place of seclusion (within)
the earth,
you must be counted among those who go down into the earth,
And the gods will know that you are dead. jjj
Baʿlu Assures Himself a Form of Afterlife (v 17–?)
Hearing (this), Baʿlu loves a heifer in the pasture
a cow in a field on the edge of death’s realm.
Seventy–seven (times) he lies with her,
eighty–eight she bears him up.
She conceives and bears a male,
Mighty Baʿlu clothes him.

ʾIlu Learns of Baʿlu’s Death (vi?–25)
[Off they head
to ʾIlu at the source of the double river,
midst the upspringings of the deeps.
They enter ʾIlu’s dwelling],
go into [the home of the King, father of] Šunama.
[They raise their voices and say aloud]:
We have done the rounds of [ (some part) of the
unto (its) well–watered portions.
We arrived at the best part of the earth, the pasture
at the most beautiful field on the edge of death’s realm. lll
We arrived at where Baʿlu was fallen to the earth:
Dead was Mighty Baʿlu,
perished the Prince, master of the earth.
Thereupon the Gracious One, the kindly god,
descends from the throne, sits on the footstool,
(descends) from the footstool, sits on the earth.
He pours dirt of mourning on his head,
dust of humiliation on his cranium,
for clothing, he is covered with a girded garment.
With a stone he scratches incisions on (his) skin,
with a razor he cuts cheeks and chin.
He harrows his upper arms,
plows (his) chest like a garden
harrows (his) back like a (garden in a) valley.
He raises his voice and cries aloud:
Baʿlu is dead, what (is to become of) the people,
the Son of Dagan (is dead), what (is to become of) the hordes (of the earth)?
After Baʿlu, I also shall descend into the earth.
ʿAnatu Finds and Buries Baʿlu (vi 25 – CTA 6 i 32)
ʿAnatu also goes and searches
every mountain to the heart of the earth,
every hill to the heart of the fields.
She arrives at the best part of [the earth], the pasture land,
at the most beautiful field on [the edge of] death’s realm.
She [arrives] at where Baʿlu was fallen [to the] earth;
[for clothing], she is covered with a girded garment.
CTA 6241
(Belonging) to (the) Baʿlu (cycle).
With a stone she scratches incisions on (her) skin,
[with a razor] she cuts cheeks and chin.
[She harrows] her upper arms,
plows (her) chest like a garden
harrows (her) back like a (garden in a) valley.
Baʿlu is dead, what (is to become of) the people,
the Son of Dagan (is dead), what (is to become of) the hordes (of the earth)?
After Baʿlu, we also shall descend into the earth,
with him Šapšu, luminary of the gods, shall descend.
She drinks (her) weeping until she is sated,
(she drinks her) tears like wine.
(Then) she calls aloud to Šapšu, luminary of the gods:
Bear for me, please, Mighty Baʿlu.
Šapšu, luminary of the gods, agrees:
She lifts Mighty Baʿlu up onto ʿAnatu’s shoulder.
Once (Šapšu) has placed him (on her shoulder), she takes him up
to the heights of Ṣapānu.
(There) she weeps for him and buries him,
places him down amongst the gods of the underworld.
She slaughters seventy wild bulls
as a GMN (for) Mighty Baʿlu;
She slaughters seventy domesticated bovids
[as] a GMN (for) Mighty Baʿlu;
[She] slaughters seventy domesticated caprovids
[as a] GMN (for) Mighty Baʿlu;
[She] slaughters seventy deer
[as a GMN] (for) Mighty Baʿlu;
[She slaughters] seventy wild goats
[as a GMN] (for) Mighty Baʿlu;
[She slaughters seventy] asses
[as a] GMN (for) Mighty Baʿlu.

ʿAnat Informs ʾIlu of Baʿlu’s Death (i 32–43)
Then off she goes
to [ʾIlu] at the source of the double river,
midst the upspringings of the deeps.
She enters ʾIlu’s dwelling,
goes into the home of the King, father of Šunama;
At ʾIlu’s feet she bows and falls,
does homage and honors him.
She raises her voice and says aloud:
So now let ʾAṯiratu and her sons rejoice,
(let) the goddess (rejoice) and the host of her kin;
For Mighty Baʿlu is dead,
perished the Prince, master of the earth.
ʾIlu and ʾAṯiratu Confer on a Replacement for Baʿlu (i 43–55)
ʾIlu cries aloud
to the Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea:
Listen, O Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea:
Give one of your sons that I might make him king.
The Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea, replies:
Must we not appoint someone as king (who) knows (how) sap flows?
The Gracious One, the kindly god answers:
One of meager strength cannot run (with Baʿlu),
with Baʿlu cannot handle the lance,
(for when he vies) with the son of Dagan, he falls prostrate.
The Great Lady, ʾAṯiratu of the Sea, replies:
Must we not, then, appoint terrible ʿAṯtaru as king?
Let terrible ʿAṯtaru be king!
‘Terrible’ ʿAṯtaru Attempts, Unsuccessfully, to Fill Baʿlu’s Rôle (i 56–?)
Thereupon terrible ʿAṯtaru
climbs the heights of Ṣapānu,
sits on Mighty Baʿlu’s seat.
(But) his feet do not reach the footstool,
his head does not reach the top (of the seat).
(To this) terrible ʿAṯtaru responds:
I will not be king on the heights of Ṣapānu.
Terrible ʿAṯtaru (then) descends,
he descends from the seat of Might Baʿlu,
And rules over the earth, god of it all,
[…] will draw in jars,
[…] will draw in jugs.

ʿAnatu Punishes Môtu (ii 4–37)
A day, two days pass
and [Maid ʿAnatu] interrogates him.
Like the heart of a cow for her calf,
like the heart of a ewe for her lamb,
so is the heart of ʿAnatu after Baʿlu.
She seizes Môtu by the hem of his clothes,
grasps [him] by the extremity of his garment.
She raises her voice and shouts aloud:
You, Môtu, give me my brother!
Môtu, son of ʾIlu, replies:
(You don’t know) what you’re asking, Girl ʿAnatu.
I went searching
every mountain to the heart of the earth,
every hill to the heart of the fields.
There were no humans for me to swallow,
no hordes of the earth to swallow.
I arrived at the best part of the earth, the pasture land,
at the most beautiful field on the edge of death’s realm.
(There) I met up with Mighty Baʿlu,
I took him as (I would) a lamb in my mouth,
he was destroyed as a kid (would be) in my crushing jaws.
(Now) Šapšu, luminary of the gods, glows hot,
the heavens are powerless under the control of Môtu, the son of ʾIlu.
A day, two days pass,
the days become months,
(and) Maid ʿAnatu interrogates him.
Like the heart of a cow for her calf,
like the heart of a ewe for her lamb,
so is the heart of ʿAnatu after Baʿlu.
She seizes Môtu, son of ʾIlu:
with a knife she splits him,
with a winnowing–fork she winnows him,
with fire she burns him,
with grindstones she pulverizes him,
in the field she sows him;
The birds eat his flesh,
the fowl finish off his body parts,
flesh (–eaters) grow fat on flesh.
In a Dream ʾIlu Understands that Baʿlu has Revived (iii 1–21)
[… that Mighty Baʿlu is dead,]
that the Prince, [master of the earth], has perished.
And if Mighty [Baʿlu] is alive,
if the Prince, lord of [the earth], exists (again),
In a dream of the Gracious One, the kindly god,
in a vision of the Creator of creatures,
The heavens will rain down oil,
the wadis will run with honey.
Then I’ll know that Mighty Baʿlu is alive,
that the Prince, master of the earth, exists (again).
In a dream of the Gracious One, the kindly god,
in a vision of the Creator of creatures,
The heavens rain down oil,
the wadis run with honey.
(This) brings joy to the Gracious One, the kindly
he taps his feet on the footstool
his brow unfurrows and he laughs.
He raises his voice and cries out:
(Now) I can again get some rest,
my innermost being can get some rest,
For Mighty Baʿlu is alive,
the Prince, master of the earth, exists (again).
ʾIlu Seeks Confirmation of the Dream (iii 22 – iv)
ʾIlu calls aloud to Girl ʿAnatu:
Listen, Girl ʿAnatu:
(Go) say to Šapšu, luminary of the gods:
Dried up are the furrows of the fields, O Šapšu,
dried up are the furrows of ʾIlu’s fields,
Baʿlu is neglecting the furrows of the plow-land.
Where is Mighty Baʿlu?
Where is the Prince, master of the earth?
(So) Girl ʿAnat leaves,
she heads off
for Šapšu, luminary of the gods.
She raises her voice and says aloud:
Message of the Bull, your father ʾIlu,
word of the Gracious One, your sire:
Dried up are the furrows of the fields, O Šapšu,
dried up are the furrows of ʾIlu’s fields,
Baʿlu is neglecting the furrows of the plowland.
Where is Mighty Baʿlu?
Where is the Prince, master of the earth?
Šapšu, luminary of the gods, replies:
Pour sparkling wine in (your) tent,
Put garlands on your kinfolk,
For I will go looking for Baʿlu.
Girl ʿAnatu replies:
Wherever you go, O Šapšu,
wherever you go, ʾIlu will protect [you],
[…] will protect you.

Baʿlu Gets Revenge, Resumes His Kingly Estate (v 1–6)
Baʿlu seizes the sons of ʾAṯiratu,
numerous (as they are) he smites them with the sword,
crushers (as they are) he smites them with the mace;
Môtu’s scorching heat he tramples to the ground.
Baʿlu [takes his place] on his royal throne,
[on (his) resting–place], on the seat of his dominion.
Môtu Seeks His Own Form of Revenge (v 7–?)
The days turn into months,
the months into years.
In the seventh year,
Môtu, son of ʾIlu, [comes]
to Mighty Baʿlu.
He raises his voice and says aloud:
On account of you, Baʿlu, I experienced abasement,
on account of you I experienced winnowing with <the winnowing–fork,
on account of you I experienced splitting with> the knife,
on account of you I experienced burning in fire,
on account of you [I experienced] pulverization with grindstones,
on account of [you] I experienced [being strained] with a sieve,
on account of you I experienced [scattering] in the fields,
on account of you I experienced sowing in the sea.
(So) give one of your brothers (for) I would devour (him)
and the anger with which I (now) am sick would go away.
If one of your brothers […]
then […].
Now I eat [men],
I finish off the hordes [of the earth].

The Final Battle (vi 10–22)
Here now Baʿlu has given (me) my own brothers
to devour,
my own siblings to finish off.
He returned to Baʿlu on the heights of Ṣapānu,
raised his voice and said aloud:
You have given (me), Baʿlu, my own brothers to
my own siblings to finish off.
They eye each other like finished (warriors),
Môtu is strong, Baʿlu is strong;
They butt each other like wild bulls,
Môtu is strong, Baʿlu is strong;
They bite each other like snakes,
Môtu is strong, Baʿlu is strong;
They trample each other like running (animals),
Môtu falls, Baʿlu falls.
Šapšu Intervenes (vi 22–29)
On high Šapšu cries out to Môtu:
Please listen, O Môtu, son of ʾIlu:
How can you fight with Mighty Baʿlu?
How can the Bull, your father ʾIlu, continue to listen to you (if you do)?
Surely he would pull up the foundations of your seat,
overturn the throne of your kingship,
break the staff of your rulership.
Môtu Capitulates (vi 30–?)
Môtu, son of ʾIlu, is afraid,
frightened, the beloved warrior of ʾIlu.
Môtu arises at (the sound of) her voice,
he [lifts up his voice and says aloud]:
Let them place Baʿlu [on] his royal [throne],
on [ (his) resting–place, on the seat of] his dominion.

Praise to Šapšu and her Allies (vi 42–52)
Also, please eat the bread of oblation,
drink the wine that is presented (to you).
Šapšu, you rule the Rapaʾūma,
Šapšu, you rule the divine ones;
In your entourage are the gods,
even the (divinized) dead.
In your entourage is Kôṯaru your companion,
and Ḫasīsu whom you know well.
In the sea are ʾArišu (Demander) and the dragon;
may Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu drive (them) out!
may Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu drive (them) away!
Colophon (vi 53–57)
The scribe: ʾIlīmilku the Šubbanite, disciple of ʾAttānu-purulini, (who is) chief of the priests (and) chief of the cultic herdsmen; ṯāʿiyu–official of Niqmaddu, (who is) king of Ugarit, lord (of) YRGB, (and) master (of) ṮRMN.

Astour 1980; Attridge and Oden 1981; Baumgarten 1981; Bordreuil 1991; Bordreuil and Pardee 1991; 1993; forthcoming; Brooke 1979; Caquot 1992; Caquot, Sznycer, and Herdner 1974; Cassuto 1938; Caubet and Poplin 1987; Clifford 1972; Dietrich and Loretz 1978b; 1986c; Dijkstra and de Moor 1975; Driver 1956; Durand 1993; Freilich 1992; Gachet 1992; Gibson 1978; Ginsberg 1941; 1950; Gordon 1947; Greenstein 1977; Healey 1983b; Held 1973; Herdner 1963; Korpel 1990; Lambert 1985; Margalit 1983; Meier 1986; de Moor 1968; 1971; 1987; Niehr 1994; Nougayrol 1968; 1970; del Olmo Lete 1981; Pardee 1980; 1984; 1987; 1988a; 1988b; 1988c; 1989–90; 1991; forthcoming; Pope 1955; 1977b; Ribichini and Xella 1984; Rummel 1978; Sanmartín 1978; Schaeffer 1949; 1954; Smith 1986; 1994; Van Soldt 1989; 1991; Vaughn 1993; Virolleaud 1931; 1932; 1934a; 1934b; 1935; 1938; 1944–45; Walls 1992; Watson 1980; 1989b; Williams–Forte 1983; Yon 1989; 1990; 1991.
(The Birth of the Gracious and Beautiful Gods)
Dennis Pardee

The text recounting the birth of the double deity Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu, “Dawn and Dusk,” constitutes one of the most important of the texts discovered during the early years of excavations at Ras Shamra and which stand outside the principal cycles of texts (Baʿlu, Kirta, and ʾAqhatu). The text is inscribed on a single tablet, discovered during the second campaign in the building located between the two principal temples and which is known as the “High Priest’s Library” (editio princeps by Virolleaud 1933). The tablet is relatively well preserved and the text on it appears to have been complete, for not only are both the upper and lower edges extant, with neither archival notation on the former nor colophon on the latter, but there is space for at least one more line of writing at the bottom of the verso which the scribe has left blank.
The text has two peculiar features: (1) it deals with the origin and characteristics of what must be judged, on the basis of other Ugaritic texts, to be a pair of relatively minor deities; (2) the text itself contains rubric indications which have been interpreted as reflecting a cultic usage of the text.
As regards the first point, there are two indications as to why the birth of Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu may be thought to have occupied a particular position in Ugaritic thought. The first is visible in the mythological narrative of this text, viz., that the mothers of these deities are not described with terms characteristic of divinity, indeed are termed simply ʾaṯtm, “two women.” We seem to be dealing, therefore, with the motif of divine engenderment well known in classical literature, in this case the impregnation by the god ʾIlu of two human females, who each give birth to one of the deities who make up the pair Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu. Though a text identifiable as a theogony has not appeared yet among the Ugaritic literature, the fact that the goddess ʾAṯiratu bears the title of qnyt ʾilm, “progenitress of the gods,” has led most scholars to see her as the divine mother of ʾIlu’s central family, known in the ritual texts as bn ʾil, dr bn ʾil, and mpḫrt bn ʾil, “the sons of ʾIlu,” “the circle of the sons of ʾIlu,” and “the assembly of the sons of ʾIlu.” In one of these texts ʾIlu bears the title of ʾab bn ʾil, “the father of the sons of ʾIlu,” and in the mythological texts he bears the name of bny bnwt, “the producer (lit. builder) of progeny (lit. that which is built).” Into this picture may be introduced the facts that the deity Šalimu is the last deity named in the two “pantheon” texts known at Ugarit up to the present (on RS 1.017 and RS 24.643, see Pardee forthcoming) and that he is the last deity named in a sacrificial sequence repeated in three texts (RS 1.001:8, RS 1.003:17, RS 18.056:18 — see Pardee forthcoming on RS 1.001:8). The identification of this deity with one member of the binomial Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu appears plausible, though not certain, and his place in the pantheon may be interpreted as indicating that he was seen as the deity who most appropriately brought up the rear of the procession of the gods. In the light of the present myth, the rank of the deity is perhaps best interpreted as reflecting his birth, not by ʾAṯiratu and perhaps, to the extent that time was a factor in divine genealogy, after ʾIlu’s children by ʾAṯiratu. The double deity Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu also appears in a rather enigmatic ritual text of which the central part is a list of divine names (RS 24.271:11, see Virolleaud 1968:583–586). On these matters see the bibliographical data and discussions in Pardee 1989–90:456–458 and forthcoming.
These details concerning Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu may be of use in identifying the “gracious gods” (ʾilm nʿmm), mentioned in lines 1, 23, and 67 (in line 60 the text has ʾilmy nʿmm), who are sometimes identified with Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu, sometimes not. The sequence of the presentation requires either that they be seen as born after Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu or that they be identified with Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu whose birth would have been twice reported. The former solution appears narratologically the more plausible, but it requires that the description of the “gracious gods” as having “(one) lip to the earth, (the other) lip to the heavens” (lines 61–62) be applied to an unknown group of divinities, whereas that description and the following lines seem quite graphically to describe the gods of dawn and dusk. If Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu are indeed somehow identifiable with the single deity Šalimu, it is in any case unlikely that the “gracious gods” are to be identified with the rest of the Ugaritic deities or even with the majority of ʾIlu’s offspring, as many scholars have thought, for there is simply no reason to believe that the circumstances described by this poem correspond to the circumstances of the birth of the children of ʾAṯiratu. It appears preferable, therefore, to see the double birth narrative simply as a narrative device expressing the birth by two women of two deities. This position is defended below in the note to lines 55–64. According to that interpretation, the text has as its central focus from beginning to end the deities Dawn and Dusk, who are, in this text, ascribed significant powers of blessing.
The second peculiarity, in comparison with the other mythological texts, is the organization of this text. The first twenty–nine lines are divided by horizontal lines across the tablet into nine sections, some of which seem to contain snippets of mythological texts, bearing motifs both familiar and unfamiliar, while others contain indications of liturgical activity, though the identity of the participants is not clear. Then the rest of the text, lines 30–76, relates, without a break by horizontal lines, the story of the birth of Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu, the “gracious gods” (lines 30–64), their characteristics and banishment to the desert (lines 64–67), and a final section dealing with the discovery by the “gracious gods” of agricultural products (lines 67–76). Beyond the basic problems of interpretation of the first nine sections, the matter of their relationship to the principal myth has exercised the minds of students of this text, with some seeing the short mythological texts as mere incipits, unrelated to the longer story, while others have attempted to discern an overarching story line. The intermingling of liturgical rubrics and mythological elements seems to favor the latter interpretation, for although one could without difficulty picture a tablet inscribed with a series of incipits, it is more difficult to posit the existence of an aleatory liturgical text from the ancient Near East. The motifs of agricultural plenty of the first sections may provide the pattern for the myth, according to which Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu are born voracious devourers of birds and fish who must be put in a situation where they will desire to live, like the other gods, from the produce of the fields (cf. Caquot, Sznycer and Herdner 1974:363–64). To the extent that this myth is reflected in the ritual prescriptions written in prose, one may assume the domestication of Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu to have succeeded, for, as mentioned above, Šalimu appears in those texts, and his diet is no different from that of any of the other deities. These facts regarding the divine diet may be interpreted as reflecting general Ugaritic sacrificial practice, where the deities normally receive the products of agricultural activity rather than of fishing and fowling; this sacrificial practice would in turn reflect alimentary patterns in the ancient Levant (cf. Houston 1993). One could posit a view of the universe in which the alimentary world reflected by the sacrificial system is viewed as an improvement, because of the organized distribution of agricultural products that it implies, over a more primitive system, more dependent on nature’s whims, presented here as one in which the voracity of certain spoiled children of ʾIlu could provoke shortages and famine.
Is it possible to identify the ceremony at which this liturgical series would have been played out? There is one specific feature and one of a more general nature that may serve to fix this ceremony in the cultic cycle. The specific feature is the mention of “dwellings of the gods, eight …” in line 19 (mṯbt ʾilm ṯmn), for that phrase finds its closest parallel in a ritual text (RS 1.003:50–51, see text 1.95 below) where “dwellings (of the gods)” are distributed four by four on a roof, probably that of the temple of ʾIlu, on the first day of an unnamed month that follows the month named Raʾšu Yêni, “the beginning of the wine.” Though most scholars have seen the text as referring to only one month and have assumed Raʾšu Yêni to have been the first month of the year, the structure of RS 1.003 and a host of other arguments indicate that Raʾšu Yêni was in all likelihood the last month of the year, the lunar month preceding the fall equinox, during which the grape harvest and vinification would have begun, and that the ceremony indicated in RS 1.003:50–55 is that of the first month of the new year3. As in the Hebrew system, where the feast of “booths” (sukkōt) began on the fifteenth day of the first month of the year (according to the calendar beginning in fall), the Ugaritic harvest festival would have taken place after the August–September harvest, though RS 1.003 indicates that at Ugarit it began on the first day of the new month/year, rather than the fifteenth. The more general feature of this text to which reference was made above is the mention of “wine” in lines 6 and 75 and the several allusions to viticultural activities, particularly appropriate for a harvest festival.
Because of the liturgical aspects of this text and the conception of Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu recounted in it, this text has been interpreted as reflecting the sacred marriage rite, the hieros gamos, at Ugarit (e.g., de Moor 1987:117–118). Though this interpretation appears plausible, to the extent that the first sections are interpreted liturgically and linked to the following myth, it must be stressed that this text provides no details whatever regarding the liturgical aspects of the hieros gamos itself, i.e., to what extent the various rôles were acted out and the specifics of the rite. On the hieros gamos in Mesopotamia, for which a greater number of details are known, see Cooper (1993).
Invitation (lines 1–7)
I would call on a the gr[acious] gods
[…] and beautiful,
sons of […],
Who have provided a city on high,
[…] in the steppe–land, on the barren hilltops b […]
[…] on their heads,
and […].
Eat the food, yes do,
Drink the foaming wine, yes do.10
Give well–being to the king,11
give well–being to the queen,
to those who enter and to those who stand guard.
Mutu–wa-Šarru Joins the Feast (lines 8–11)
Mutu-wa-Šarru takes a seat,
in his hand the staff of bereavement,15
in his hand the staff of widowhood.
The pruners of the vine prune it, g
the binders of the vine bind it,
they cause (it) to fall to the–field–of–a–man h like a vine.
Recitation Rubric (line 12)
Seven times they are to pronounce (these verses)18 next to the ʿD–room and those who enter respond.20
The Field of the Gods and its Produce (lines 13–15)
The field is the field of the gods,
the field of ʾAṯiratu and Raḥm<ay>. k
Over the fire, seven times the sweet–voiced
youths (chant):
Coriander in milk,26
mint in butter.m
And over the jar seven times again (they chant):
The dǵ[ṯ–sacrifices have been sacri]ficed.
The Hunt (lines 16–18)
Off goes Raḥmay and hunts,
[…] she/they gird;
The goodly youth […]
And those who enter pro[nounce] the name […].
Huts for the Gods (lines 19–20)
Dwellings of the gods: eight […]32
Seven times […].
Holy Array (lines 21–22)
Purple, carnelian (–colored) […]
scarlet; singersp […].
Second Invitation (lines 23–27)
I would call on the gracious gods,
[who delimit the day, sons of] a (single) day,35
who suck the nipples of the breasts of ʾAṯiratu.
[…] Šapšu, who cares for their feebleness
[ (with) X] and (with) grapes.
Give well–being to those who enter and to those who stand guard,
to those who form a procession with sacrifices of prosperity.
The Field of the Gods Repeated (lines 28–29)
The field of the gods,
the field of ʾAṯiratu and Raḥm<ay>,
[…] s[i]ts/do[es ag]ain.
The Myth (lines 30–31)
[ʾIlu goes] to the seashore,
strides along the shores of the Great Deep.
ʾIlu Handpicks Two Women (lines 31–36)
ʾIlu [spies] two females presenting (him with) an
presenting (him with) an offering from the jar.
One gets down low,
the other up high.
One cries out: “Father, father,”
the other cries out: “Mother, mother.”
“May ʾIlu’s hand stretch out as long as the sea,48
(may) ʾIlu’s hand (stretch out as long) as the flowing waters;
Stretch out, (O) hand of ʾIlu, as long as the sea,
(stretch out, O) hand of ʾIlu, (as long) as the flowing waters.”
ʾIlu takes the two females presenting an offering,
presenting an offering from the jar;
he takes (them), estab<lish>es (them) in his house.t
ʾIlu Tries His Hand at Shooting Birds (lines 37–39)
ʾIlu (first) lowers his staff,
(then) ʾIlu grasps his rod in his right hand.
He raises (it), casts (it) into the sky,
casts (it at) a bird in the sky.
He plucks (the bird), puts (it) on the coals,
(then) ʾIlu sets about enticing the women.52
ʾIlu Comes Up With a Handy Test of the Women’s Maturity (lines 39–49)
“If,” (says he,) “the two women cry out:
‘O man, man,
you who prepare your staff,
who grasp your rod in your right hand,
you roast a bird on the fire,
roast (it) on the coals,’
(then) the two women (will become) the wives of ʾIlu,
ʾIlu’s wives forever.
But if the two women cry out:
‘O father, father,
you who prepare your staff,
who grasp your rod in your right hand,
you roast a bird on the fire,
roast (it) on the coals,’
(then) the two daughters (will become) the daughters of ʾIlu,
ʾIlu’s daughters forever.”
The two women do (in fact) cry out:
“O man, man,
you who prepare your staff,
who grasp your rod in your right hand,
you roast a bird on the fire,
roast (it) on the coals.”
(Then) the two women (become) the wives [of ʾIlu],
ʾIlu’s wives forever.
The Birth of Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu (lines 49–54)
He bends down, kisses their lips,
their lips are sweet,
sweet as pomegranates.
When he kisses, there is conception,
when he embraces, there is pregnancy.
The two (women) squat and give birth
to Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu.
Word is brought to ʾIlu:
“The two wives of ʾIlu have given birth.”
“What have they born?”
“The two boys Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu.”
“Take up, prepare (a gift) for great Šapšu
and for the immut[able] stars.”
The Second Birth Narrative (lines 55–64)
He bends down, kisses their lips,
their lips are sweet.
When he kisses, there is conception,
[when] he embraces, there is pregnancy.
He sits down, he counts,
to five for the [bulge to appear],
[to t]en, the completed double.
The two (women) squat and give birth,
they give birth to the gracious [gods],
who delimit the day, sons of a (single) day,
who suck the nipples of the breasts.
Word is brought to ʾIlu:
“The two wives of ʾIlu have given birth.”
“What have they born?”
“The gracious gods,
who delimit the day, sons of a (single) day,
who suck the nipples of the breasts of the lady.
(One) lip to the earth,
(the other) lip to the heavens,
Into their mouths enter
the birds of the heavens
and the fish in the sea.
When they stand, delimitation to <deli>mitation,
they prepare (food for themselves) on right and left,
into their mouth (it goes) but never are they satisfied.” z
ʾIlu Temporarily Banishes Mothers and Sons (lines 64–67)
“O women whom I have wedded,
O sons whom I have begot,
Take up (your belongings), prepare (yourselves a place)
in the holy steppe-land; aa
There you must dwell as aliens
among the stones and trees,
For seven full years,
eight revolutions of time.”
The Gracious Gods Learn of Agriculture (lines 67–76)
The gracious gods arrive at the field,
(while) hunting along the fringes of the steppe-land.
The guardian of the sown land meets them
and they call out to the guardian of the sown land:
“O guard, guard, open up!”
and he opens up.
He makes an opening (in the fence) dd for them
and they enter.
“If [there is X–]bread,
then give (it to us) that we might eat;
If there is [X–wine,
then] give (it to us) that we might drink.”
The guardian of the sown land answers them:
[“There is bread that has …]
There is wine that has arrived in/from […].”
[…] he approaches,
he serves a luggu–measure of his wine
And his companion fills with wine […]

Amadasi Guzzo 1990:15–25; Bordreuil and Pardee 1982:121–128; 1991:139–172; Caquot 1971:168–170; 1979:Cols. 1367–1371; Cooper 1993:81–96; Cunchillos 1976; Cutler and Macdonald 1982:33–50; Day 1986:385–408; Dietrich and Loretz 1988; Dietrich, Loretz and Sanmartín 1976; Driver 1956; Foley 1987:61–74; Gaster 1946:49–76; Gibson 1978; Ginsberg 1935:45–72; 1945:3–10; Gordon 1977:5–133; Gray 1965; Herdner 1963; Hettema 1989–90:77–94; Houston 1993; del Olmo Lete 1981; de Moor 1987; Pardee 1976:215–322; 1987:366–471; 1988a; 1989–90:390–513; 1993a:207–218; forthcoming; Pope 1979:701–708; Ratner and Zuckerman 1986:15–60; Sanmartín 1992:95–103; Saracino 1982:191–199; Schaeffer 1954:14–67; Stager 1982:111–121; Tropper 1990; Tsumura 1978:387–395; Virolleaud 1933:128–151; 1968: 545–595; Watson 1994:3–8; Wyatt 1987:375–389; 1992a:149–153; 1992b:425–427; Xella 1973; Yon 1991: 273–344.

(RS 24.266)
Dennis Pardee

The sole clear example of a cultic prayer in the Ugaritic language is embedded in a ritual text, discovered in 1961 among a large quantity of ritually oriented texts (see the omen texts 1.90 and 1.92 below). The complete text is translated here to enable the reader to perceive the cultic context. The principal point of interest as regards the document as a whole is the degree to which the rituals prescribed here are accomplished in honor of various manifestations of Baʿlu, to whom the prayer also is addressed. From a literary perspective, it is to be noted that the text of the ritual itself is in prose, as are most Ugaritic ritual texts, while that of the prayer is in poetic form.
The Ritual of the Month of ʾIbaʿlatu (lines 1–?)
In the month of ʾIbaʿlatu, on the seventh day:a a sheep for Baʿlu-RʿKT3 […] and (in) the temple of Baʿlu-ʾUgārīta […]. At sunsetc the king is clear (of further cultic obligations). d On the seventeenth, the king washes himselff clean. g A cow (in) the sanctuary of ʾIlu, a cow for the Baʿlu(-deities), a cow for ǴLM, two ewes and a cow for ǴLMTM; at the house of the ṯāʿiyu–priest does one sacrifice (the preceding beasts). Next you9 shall illumine the ʿD–room of the temple of Baʿlu-ʾUgārīta: a lamb and a city–dove; (these belong) to (the category) of the ṯaʿu–sacrifice. On the eighteenth of ʾIbaʿlatu, a bull for the MDGL11 of Baʿlu-ʾUgārīta. A flame–sacrifice and a presentation-sacrifice13 the king must offer (at) the temple of ʾIlu: a “neck” for ʾI[…] a “neck” for Baʿlu[…] and a donkey for […] … 16
Another Festival, Perhaps of the Month of Ḫiyyāru (lines 18´–25´)
[…] On the fourth: birds.18 On the fifth:o birds and a liver and a sheep (as) a burnt–offering for Baʿlu-ʾUgārīta in the temple. On the seventh: you shall bring the purifiers near. At sundown, the king is clear (of further cultic obligations). Behold the oil of well–being of Baʿlu, libation-offering (for the benefit) of the kings, of the first quality. r
The prayer (lines 26´–36´)
When a strong (foe) attackst your gate,
a warrior your walls, v
You shall lift your eyes to Baʿlu (and say):
O Baʿlu, if you drive the strong one from our
the warrior from our walls,
A bull, y O Baʿlu, we shall sanctify,
a vow, (O) Baʿlu, we shall fulfill;aa
a firstborn, bb (O) Baʿlu, we shall sanctify,
a ḥtp–offering, (O) Baʿlu, we shall fulfill,
a ʿšrt–feast, (O) Baʿlu, we shall offer;
To the sanctuary, (O) Baʿlu, we shall ascend,
th (at) path, dd (O) Baʿlu, we shall take.
And Baʿlu will hear [your] prayer:
He will drive the strong (foe) from your gate,
[the warrior] from your walls.

De Jong and van Soldt 1987–88; Herdner 1972:693–697; 1978; Margalit 1981; 1986; Miller 1988; de Moor 1983; 1987; del Olmo Lete 1989:27–35; 1992; Pardee 1987:366–471; 1988a; 1993a:207–218; forthcoming; Saracino 1983a:304–306; 1983b:263–269; Tarragon 1989:125–238; Xella 1978:127–136; 1981.
Baruch A. Levine, Anne Robertson

This Aramaic text from Qumran, Cave 4, which speaks of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, was first published by J. T. Milik (1956), who assembled it from separate fragments of a single manuscript. These fragments were later realigned by F. M. Cross (1984), who dated the inscription paleographically to ca. 75–50 BCE. Many large gaps remain, some of which can be restored on the basis of parallel statements occurring elsewhere in the inscription, itself. Other restorations can only be conjectured, mostly on the basis of thematic links with the Book of Daniel. Interpretations of 4QPrNab have, as a consequence, varied greatly, although its overall thrust is quite clear.
While in Tema, a major oasis in northern Arabia, Nabonidus was stricken for seven years with an ailment inflicted on him by God, so that he became comparable with the beasts. When he prayed to God, his sin was forgiven. By way of recapitulation, the inscription explains in greater detail how Nabonidus was cured. It was a Jewish diviner of the exilic community who revealed to Nabonidus the cause of his ailment. He is quoted as saying that it was because the Babylonian king had continued to worship false gods, of silver and gold, thinking that they were true gods. The diviner instructed Nabonidus to give honor and praise to the true God, at which point his suffering ended.
In the biblical Book of Daniel, experiences similar to those associated with Nabonidus in this inscription are attributed to Nebuchadnezzar II, and in lesser degree to Belshazzar, Nabonidus’ son, who ruled as co–regent for three years while his father was in Arabia. Quite possibly, the traditions of the Book of Daniel originated as tales about Nabonidus, whose fame was celebrated in Babylonian sources. His sojourn in Tema is recorded in the so–called Nabonidus Chronicle (ANET 305–307), and the Harran Inscriptions of Nabonidus (ANET 562–563) state that he had recourse to diviners, there identified as spokesmen of Sin, the chief god worshipped at Harran.
Biblical writers understandably focused on Nebuchadnezzar because he was, after all, the one who had destroyed Jerusalem and exiled masses of Judaeans to Babylonia. It is noteworthy, however, that at Qumran, other Jewish authors identified Nabonidus as the subject of legend, and credited him with ultimately acknowledging the God of Israel. See Meyer 1962; Sack 1992; and Garcia Martinez 1992:116–136.
Superscription: The Afflictions of Nabonidus (1–2a)
(Concerning) words of p[ra]yer of Nabonidus2, king of [Ba]bylon, [the Great] King, [when he was stricken] with a pernicious inflammation3 by the decree of G[o]d5, in [the municipality of] Teman. b
A First–Person Account of Nabonidus’ Affliction and Healing (2b–4a)
I was stricken for seven years, and ever since [that time] I became comparable [with the beasts.8 Then I prayed before God]d, and (as for) my offense – he forgave it.
Recapitulation: It was a Jewish Diviner who Revealed to Nabonidus How He Could Be Healed (4b–8)
A diviner, e who was himself a Jew fro[m among the exilic community of Judea], f provided an interpretation, g and wrote (instructions) to render honor and greatness to the name of G[od. And so did he write]: “You were stricken with a pernicious inflammation [by the decree of God in the municipality of Teman, but ] you continued for seven years to pray [before] gods of silver and gold, [bronze and iron], wood and stone (and) clay, because [you were of the opin]ion that t[hey were] (true) divinities.”13

Beaulieu 1989; Beyer 1994; Brockelmann 1966; Collins 1992; Cross 1984; Garcia Martinez 1992; Levy 1963; R. Meyer 1962; Milik 1956; Sack 1992; Sokoloff 1990.

(RS 24.247 + RS 24.302)
Dennis Pardee

Recorded observations of the natural world in the Levantine and Mesopotamian areas of the ancient Near East had two primary foci, medical and divinatory. The two areas were probably thought to be equally empirical. In the case of a symptom, one applied a given remedy or remedies and the complaint was supposed to go away. Other natural phenomena were thought to be followed by events in man’s world. Various forms of divination are well attested in the classical world and a lengthy introduction is therefore not necessary here. Many of these types of divination are known to have already been practiced in Mesopotamia, for which documentation exists from the beginning of the second millennium BCE on. A much less extensive documentation exists for the west, though forms of classical Mesopotamian divinatory texts have been discovered there, particularly at Emar (Tell Meskene on the Euphrates) and, in Hittite versions, at Boğazköy. Ugaritic texts exist for divination by misformed animal births (RS 24.247+), by misformed human births (RS 24.302), by lunar phenomena (RIH 78/14 [text 1.91]), by extispicy (RS 24.312 … [texts 1.92]), and, perhaps, by dreams (RS 18.041 [text 1.93]). In the medical category, only hippiatric texts are attested to date (text 1.106). Though one suspects that these texts had a Mesopotamian origin, there is remarkably little evidence of direct Mesopotamian influence. For example, there are very few loanwords from Akkadian in the Ugaritic of these texts, and there is no instance of a Ugaritic text having been translated directly from a known Akkadian original. It appears, therefore, that there was a long native tradition of this type of text and that it may be necessary to rethink the role of the “Amorites” in the elaboration and spread of “science” in the Fertile Crescent.
Both birth–omen texts were discovered in the same archive, that of “le prêtre aux modèles de poumon et de foies,” in the trench dubbed “ville sud,” as were the lung and liver models translated in 1.92.
Because the omens are brief, consisting of one or two sentences per observation, the lines inscribed on the tablet by the scribe to set one omen off from another are indicated here and subheadings are omitted in the translation. RS 24.247+ was badly damaged in antiquity and has been incompletely pieced together from many fragments (editio princeps by Herdner 1978:44–60). There is no set order of procedure from one anomaly to another and it is therefore usually impossible to reconstruct the beginning of the line when it is damaged. The interpretation of a given anomaly is not uniform in the various traditions, and it is usually difficult to reconstruct a missing prognostication. One can, however, observe one generality: the left side is negatively polarized, the right side positively. So a missing right organ or limb will generally be interpreted negatively, while the same abnormality on the left will have a positive interpretation. This is clearest in lines 35´–38´, mirror–image omens involving missing right and left ears. For parallels with the Mesopotamian tradition, termed šumma izbu after the first words of a typical entry (“if [there is] a misformed birth …”), see particularly Xella and Capomacchia 1979, Pardee 1986, and Dietrich and Loretz 1990a.
A Text for Divining by Misformed Births of Sheep and Goats (RS 24.247+)
1) As for the ewes of the flock, [when3 t]hey give birth, a (if it is a) stone, many6 will fall in the land.7
2) (If it is a piece of) wood, behold […] in place of the offspring/birth, its cattle will […].
3) (If the foetus) is smooth, (without) h[air?], there will be […] in the land.
4) And (if) th[ere is no …], the land will perish.
5) […], there will be famine in the land.
6) […] and (= nor) nostrils, the land […]; ditto.11
7) [And] (if) there is no […], the king will seize the lan[d of his enemy and] the weapon of the king will lay it (the land) low.f
8) […] […] cattle […]
9) And (if) it has no [left] thigh, the king will […] his enemy.
10) And (if) there is no lower left leg, the king [will …] his enemy.
11) And (if there is) a horn of flesh [in] its lef[t te]mple, […].
12) (If) it has no spleen […] […]; di[tto;]
13) the king will not obtain offspring.16
14) [And] (if) it has no testicles, the (seed–)gra[inh …]
15) And (if) the middle part of its [left?] foreleg is missing, […] will destroy the cattlek of […].
16) […], the enemy will destroy the cattle of the land.
17) […], the mighty archers will seize the enemy of the king.
18) […]perish/destroy; ditto.
19) […]famine, hard times will disappear.
20) […]will become strong/strengthen him.
21) […]
22) […]
23) […]

24´) […] […]
25´) […] […]
26´) And (if) it has no right thigh […]
27´) And (if) there is no tendon?20 in [its?] K[…]
28´) And (if) it has no middle part of the [right] foreleg […]
29´) will not obtain offspring.
30´) And (if) [it has] no nostrils […]
31´) And (if) it has no tongue […]
32´) (If) its lower lip (is) like […]
33´) (If) its face (is) that of a ʾIRN, […] will shorten
34´) the days of the (= our) lord; behold, the catt[le? …]
35´) And (if) [it] has no right ear, [the enemy will] devastate the land
36´) [… and will] consume it.
37´) And (if) [it] has no left ear, the king [will] devastate the land of [his] enemy
38´) and will consume it.
39´) And (if) its (rear?) legs (are) short, the (= our) lord will confront the ḫurādu–troops and
40´) Rašap will finish off the posterity.23
41´) And (if) its nose (is) like the “nose” of a bird, the gods will destroy p the land
42´) […] and will fly (away?).
43´) […] to/on its head, the (seed–)grain of that king
44´) […]
45´) […] its [–]DR protrudes, the Sun will abase27 that land.
46´) […], the king will lay low the hand (= power)q of the ḫurādu–troops.
47´) […] its penis, the weapon of the king will be raised
48´) […] his hand.
49´) […] in place of its eyes and its eyes (are) in its forehead,
50´) [the enemy will] tread the land under.
51´) [And (if)] its [––]B protrudes from its mouth, the enemy will devour the land.
52´) And (if) it has [no] feet, the ḫurādu–troops will turn against the king.
53´) And if its tongue is […], the land will be scattered.
54´) (If) its […]ḤR (is/are) in its temples, the king will make peace with his enemy.
55´) And (if) it has n[o] [–]KB, the (seed–)grain of that land will be consumed.
56´) And (if) […], the gods will destroy that land.
57´) And (if) its eyes are [in] (its) forehead, the king will become more powerful than his ḫupṯu–troops.
58´) And (if) it has ḤR and [–]R, the king will destroy his enemy.
59´) And (if) it has no left (fore?)leg, the land of the enemy will perish.
A Text for Divining by Misformed Human Births (RS 24.302)
1´) If [a woman] g[ives birth …]
2´) the l[and …]
3´) If [a woman] gives birth[…]
4´) will become more powerful than[…]
5´) If a wo[man] gives birth[…]
6´) the land of the enemy will [be destroyed.]
7´) If a wo[man] gives birth[…]
8´) help will be […]
9´) If a wo[man] gives birth[…]
10´) the weapon of[…]
11´) will not ob[tain offspring?…]
12´) BH[…]
13´) will? […]
14´) I[f a woman gives birth …]

Dietrich and Loretz 1986a; 1990a; 1990b:89–109; Dietrich, Loretz and Sanmartín 1975a; Dion 1980; Herdner 1978; Hoftijzer 1982; del Olmo Lete 1992; Pardee 1986; 1987; 1989; forthcoming; Xella 1981; Xella and Capomacchia 1979.
(RIH 78/14)
Dennis Pardee

Like the texts for divination by misformed births, the Ugaritic collection of lunar omens corresponds directly to a Mesopotamian series, in this case Sin, the name of the Mesopotamian lunar deity. This text, which was discovered in 1978 at the site of Ras Ibn Hani, only a few kilometers from Ras Shamra, is badly damaged, only the upper portion having been preserved and that incompletely (editio princeps by Bordreuil and Caquot 1980:352–353). Like the tiny fragment attesting to the existence of the divinatory genre dealing with misformed human births, this incomplete text is precious, attesting to the transmission in Ugaritic of omens based on lunar phenomena. The text is too poorly preserved to permit a structural analysis, the only certain feature being that it begins with reference to the new moon and ends with a reference to the thirtieth day, that is, a full month as defined by consecutive sightings of the new moon. There seems, however, to be another reference to the new moon towards the end of the text (line 9´), and in line 11´ some have seen the Mesopotamian month name Kislimu. It appears unlikely, therefore, that the overall organization of the text consisted of a simple progression through the phases of the lunar month. As with the divination texts in the preceding section, no text from the Mesopotamian tradition can be identified as the original from which this one would have been translated, not even one of those from Emar (in eastern Syria) dating roughly to the same period as this one.
1) If at the time of the new moon2 […], there will be poverty.3
2) If the moon, when it rises,4 is red, d
3) there will be prosperity e [during] (that month).
4) [If] the moon, when it rises, is yellow-green f
5) [ ], the cattle will perish.
6) [If the moon, when it ri]ses, is red,
7) [ ] assembly.

8´) [ will] perish.
9´) [ ] newness of the moon, the personnel10
10´) [ ] and will be put down.
11´) [ ]YM YH YRḪ KSLM, the kings will keep an eye on each other.13
12´) [If] three times the moon is seen in the moon/month (and) thereafter
13´) […]LT, there will be rain. h
14´) [If] a star falls on the thirtieth day,16 the king […].

Bordreuil and Caquot 1980; Dietrich and Loretz 1986a; 1990a; 1990b; Dietrich, Loretz and Sanmartín 1976; del Olmo Lete 1992; Pardee 1987; 1993b; forthcoming.
(RS 24.312, RS 24.323, RS 24.326, RS 24.327, RS 24.654, RS 24.277)
Dennis Pardee

The practice of extispicy (the examination of the organs of a sacrificed animal for purposes of divination) is attested in the ancient Near East by collections of omens of the types encountered above (“if such–and–such a feature is present, such–and–such an event will occur”) and by inscribed models of the organs themselves. Only the latter category is presently attested at Ugarit. There are several liver models and one lung model. The inscriptions can be either simple marks on the clay intended to replicate features present on the observed organ, or they can be such marks accompanied by actual texts describing the circumstances of the consultation. The leading authority on these objects, J.–W. Meyer, has deciphered the marks so as to be able to determine whether the response to the inquiry was positive or negative (Meyer 1987, 1990). The Ugaritic texts constitute a peculiarity in that other known inscriptions on organ models deal with the science of examination and interpretation, rather than with the circumstances of a particular consultation.
All the Ugaritic organ models come from a single archive, that found in the so–called “Maison du prêtre aux modèles de poumon et de foies,” located to the south of the acropolis at Ras Shamra in the area dubbed “ville sud” by the excavator (Schaeffer 1978). The priest’s name is unknown.
The texts on the liver models are set down on the flat surface of the model, arranged either as a single line winding around the curve of the model (RS 24.312) or as a series of lines beginning from one side (all others). The lung model has three large flat sides, each having roughly the shape of a flatiron, and the inscriptions are arranged in sections delimited by lines inscribed in the clay, either curved, forming small rough circles, or straight, running from one end to the other of the model. The delimiting lines sometimes cross each other, permitting a decision regarding the order of writing the inscriptions, but this is not always the case and, moreover, there is no way of determining the order in which the three sides were inscribed. The order in which the inscriptions are presented is, therefore, somewhat arbitrary, decided by what appears to the modern reader to be a logical sequence; I have for the most part followed the order proposed in the editio princeps (Dietrich and Loretz 1969).
A Consultation on the Buying of a Servant
(RS 24.312)
(This liver model is) for ʾAgapṯarri2 when he was to buy a the boy of the Alashian.5
A Consultation at the Time of Sacrifice (RS 24.323)
Sacrificial (consultation) of BṢY, so[n]/daught[er] of ṬRY, for the ʿAṯtaru who is in ʿAṯtartu.
A Consultation at the Beginning of a Month
(RS 24.326)
(This is) the liver (pertaining to the consultation on behalf) of YPT, son of YKNʿ, when this month was about to begin.
A Consultation Regarding Military Service (?)
(RS 24.327)
[…] of Yabnimilku with regard to ḫpṯ.
A Consultation in Uncertain Circumstances
(RS 24.654)
(This is) the liver (model) for Ḥ[…] when […] (on) a/the day of […].
A Lung Model Bearing a Series of Inscriptions
(RS 24.277)
(Side 1, Inscription I)
Sacrifices of the entire month.3 (First) a (n object) vow (ed) and a sacrifice.
(Side 1, Inscription II)
Those (= the sacrifices) of (= offered by) NʾAT and gifts of (= for) Ṯarrummanni and a sacrifice of (= offered by) all; all (will eat this) sacrifice (until) it is gone,d in accordance with the writings.
(Side 1, Inscription III)
Those (= the sacrifices) of (= offered by) NʾAT and Qurwanu; (these will be done) like the (preceding) sacrifice.
(Side 1, Inscription IV)
[…] personnel.
(Side 2, Inscription V)
A ram […]
(Side 2, Inscription VI)
(Side 2, Inscription VII)
A bull e of (= for) Dagan […] in the house, according to the wr[itings], and to/surely22 the sacrifice […].
(Side 3, Inscription VIII)
If the city is about to be seized, if the man (= warrior) attacks, f the (male) personnel (of the city)
(Side 3, Inscription IX)
[…] the women, they will take a goat […]
(Side 3, Inscription X)
(in) (or: with regard to) the house, the (male) personnel will take a goath and see afar.28

Dietrich and Loretz 1969; 1978a; 1986a; 1990a; Loretz 1985; Meyer 1987; 1990; del Olmo Lete 1992; Pardee 1988a; 1989–90; forthcoming; Schaeffer 1978; Xella 1981.
(RS 18.041)
Dennis Pardee

This text, discovered in 1954 in the palace, is in a very poor state of preservation and its interpretation is uncertain (editio princeps by Virolleaud 1965, text 158). The presence of the word “dreams” in the first line and the variety of terms that have been preserved in the following lines make it at least plausible that we have here a rough catalogue of items that may be seen in dreams along with an interpretation by item or by category. The interpretation of dreams as a category of divination is well known from Mesopotamia (Oppenheim 1956). As with previous divinatory texts translated here, there is no Akkadian text that corresponds directly to this one, nor is there a single text that makes the attempt, as this one seems to do, to furnish a brief catalogue of the world as seen in dreams.
1) Document of dreams.1 A year–oldc bull d and […]
2) two years; the mature bull:3 the word (= interpretation?) […]
3) The bull: the young bull of Baʿlu […]
4) the heifer (that?) will be slaughtered […]
5) one year.
6) The horse of ʿAṯtartu and the horse of Š[…]
7) and if the horse falls over: i the word (= interpretation?) […]
8) that arrives (where) the man (is) […].
9) And the donkey […] donkey […]
10) and ditto […]
11) and BN […]
12) to the man, the donkey […]
13) and that to the harness […]
14) And the flock: the goatk […]
15) the kid, offspring of […]
16) the lamb […]
17) son(s) of Baʿlu […]

18´) […] the servant–girl […]
19´) […]
20´) The nʾit-tool […]
21´) then the nʾit-tool […]
22´) spe[ak], your servant […]
23´) The worker (or: the work) (with) the ḫrmṯt-tool l […]
24´) And the cups (of) ŠQYM/T […]
25´) the sons of the cup–bearers […]
26´) KBDT the personnel […]
27´) The sandals […]
28´) In a dream […]
29´) face of […]
30´) The men (personnel) (and) the women […]
31´) barley […]
32´–34´) […]

Bordreuil 1990; Healey 1983a; Huehnergard 1987; Leclant 1960; Oppenheim 1956:179–373; Pardee 1987; 1988b; 1989–90; forthcoming; Virolleaud 1965.

(RS 24.244)
Dennis Pardee

Three Ugaritic texts dealing specifically with the problem of venomous serpents have been discovered: this one, a very fragmentary text found along with this one (RS 24.251+), and RS 1992.2014 (translated below as text 1.100). The first two texts (editio princeps by Virolleaud 1968:564–580) were found in the archive of the “prêtre aux modèles de poumon et de foies” (on this building, see introduction to 1.92) and by their liturgical form reflect that person’s interest in ritual (see on RS 24.266 [1.88]), whereas the third is an incantation in the narrower sense of the word.
This text consists of three major sections, of which the first is divided into twelve subsections. In these subsections the equine heroine, seeking a vanquisher of venomous serpents, sends a message to twelve deities. The first eleven, all important members of the Ugaritic pantheon, react with typical snake–charming gestures but go no further. Only the twelfth, Ḥôrānu, responds effectively and, in the second (or thirteenth) section, performs a ritual that renders the serpent venom powerless. The final section presents the negotiations between Ḥôrānu and the mare in view of marriage.
The text itself does not constitute a pure incantation, and in that respect is unlike RS 1992.2014 (text 1.100). Each of the pleas by the mare to a deity does contain, however, the recitation (mnt) of a brief incantation expressed in terms proper to a snake charmer (mlḫš). The quasi–narrative form of the text, its mythological features, and the dialogical form of the last paragraphs have led to the proposal that this text may constitute one of the few relatively clear examples in Ugaritic literature of a ritual in mythological form, that is, a ritual against venomous reptiles of which this text provides the libretto (Pardee 1978a:108; 1988a:225).
The Mare Seeks an Ally Capable of Vanquishing Venomous Serpents (lines 1–60)
The mother of the stallion, the mare,
the daughter of the spring, the daughter of the stone,
the daughter of the heavens and the abyss, b
Calls to her mother, Šapšu: c
Message to ʾIlu (lines 2–7)
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to ʾIlu at the headwaters of the two rivers,
at the confluence of the deeps: e
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:7
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly <serpent>,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Baʿlu (lines 8–13)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Baʿlu on the heights of Ṣapānu:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Dagan (lines 14–18)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Dagan in Tuttul:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to ʿAnatu-wa-ʿAṯtartu (lines 19–24)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to ʿAnatu-wa-ʿAṯtartu in ʾInbubu:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Yariḫu (lines 25–29)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Yariḫu in Larugatu:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Rašap (lines 30–34)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Rašap in Bibitta:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to ʿAṯtartu (lines 34a–e)
<She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to ʿAṯtartu in Mari:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.>
Message to Ẓiẓẓu-wa-Kamāṯu (lines 35–39)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Ẓiẓẓu-wa-Kamāṯu in Ḥurriyatu:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Milku (lines 40–44)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Milku in ʿAṯtartu: h
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu (lines 45–50)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Kôṯaru-wa-Ḫasīsu in Crete:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu (lines 51–56)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Šaḥru-wa-Šalimu in the heavens:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Then he binds the serpent,
feeds the scaly serpent,
draws up a chair and sits.
Message to Ḥôrānu (lines 57–60)
She again calls to her mother Šapšu:
Mother Šapšu, take a message
to Ḥôrānu in Maṣūdu:
My incantation for serpent bite,
for the scaly serpent’s poison:
From it, O charmer, destroy,
from it cast out the venom.
Ḥôrānu Takes Care of the Problem (lines 61–69)
She (the mare) turns (her) face to Ḥôrānu,
for she is to be bereaved of her offspring.
He (Ḥôrānu) returns to the city of the east,
he heads
for Great Araššiḫu,
for well–watered Araššiḫu.
He casts a tamarisk k (from) among the trees,
the “tree of death” (from) among the bushes.m
With the tamarisk he expels it (the venom),
with the fruit stalk of a date palm he banishes it,
with the succulent part of a reed he makes it pass on,
with the “carrier” he carries it away.
Then Ḥôrānu goes to his house,
arrives at his court.
The venom is weak as though (in) a stream,
is dispersed as though (in) a canal. o
Ḥôrānu Weds the Mare (lines 70–76)
Behind her the house of incantation,
behind her the house she has shut,
behind her she has set the bronze (bolt).
Ḥôrānu’s Plea for Entry (lines 71–72)
Open the house of incantation,
open the house that I may enter,
the palace that I may come in.
The Mare’s Requirements (lines 73–74)
Give as <my bride–price> serpents,
give poisonous lizards as my bride–price,
adders as my wife–price. q
Ḥôrānu Assents (lines 75–76)
I hereby give serpents as your bride–price,
adders as your wife–price.

Astour 1968; Barré 1978; Bordreuil 1983; 1990; Caquot 1969; 1989; Caquot, Sznycer and Herdner 1974; Delcor 1981; Dietrich and Loretz 1980; 1986b; 1988; Gaster 1975; Heider 1985; Huehnergard 1987; Levine and Tarragon 1988; Margulis 1970; de Moor 1987; Nougayrol 1968; del Olmo Lete 1992; Pardee 1978a; 1978b; 1979; 1987; 1988a; 1988b; 1989–90; 1995; forthcoming; Tsevat 1979; Virolleaud 1961; 1962a; 1962b; 1968; Xella 1981.
Baruch A. Levine, Jean-Michel de Tarragon, Anne Robertson

This is the most extensive Ugaritic temple ritual on record. It describes the annual celebrations of the grape harvest at the Temple of Baal in Ugarit over the period of one month, in the autumn of the year. It highlights the New Moon, and other key days, especially the thirteenth and fourteenth of the month.
Two copies have been found, a fact which, in itself, indicates the canonical status of the ritual. In preparing the translation, KTU 1.41:1–49 has been used as the base text, allowing for restorations from KTU 1.87: 1–53, a copy apparently made from KTU 1.41. KTU 1.41:50–55, which is appended to the principal ritual of KTU 1.41, will also be translated since it probably relates to the vintage festival.
KTU 1.41 was discovered during the campaign of 1929 in the residence of the High Priest, located not far from the Baal Temple, whereas KTU 1.87 was discovered during the campaign of 1954 in the Royal Palace of Ugarit. It was undoubtedly stored there for use by the king of Ugarit, who presided over the celebrations (Bordreuil and Pardee 1989:6, fig. 2.)
In listing sacrificial animals, the following abbreviations will be used: s.m. = small, male; s.f. = small, female; l.m. =large, male; l.f.= large, female.
Introduction: The Annual Time of the Vintage Rites (1a)
In the month of Rišyn.
Dates of the Month for Celebration and Purification (1b–3)
On the New Moon — cutting of the grape cluster.3
To Il c — 4 šlmm offerings. d
On the thirteenth — The pure king bathes himself.
The Main Event: The “First of the Tribute” Celebration (4–6a)
On the fourteenth: First of the tribute.
And 2 s.m. for the Lady of the temples,8
Birds for the staff of gods,
And 1 s.m. Elš, the favored,
1 s.m., the gods.
The King Proclaims the Day (6b–12a)
The king is seated, the pure one.
And he clapped [his hands], e
And proclaimed the day.
Then [the king] enters [the tem]ple
[with] a present of [a cu]p and a chal[ice].
2 s.f.and a domestic pigeon he prepares for Anat,g
and 1 l.m., 1 s.m. for Il.
And at the aperture: [a libation] he pours.
Accompanying Burnt Offerings and Šlmm (12b–17a)
1 l.f. — the gods,
ṮKMN-w-ŠNM — 1 s.f.
Rashap — 1 s.f. — [all] as the burnt offering.
And as šlmm offerings:
2 s.f. — the god,
1 l.m. and 1 s.m. — the gods,
1 l.f. — the gods.
Baal — 1 s.m.
Athirat — 1 s.m.
ṮKMN-w-ŠNM — 1 s.m.,
Anat — 1 s.m.,
Rashap — 1 s.m.
Circle of Il and Council of Baal — 1 l.f.
Shalim — 1 l.f.
The King Performs Rites at Midday (17b–24a)
And at midday, inside the convening room15 of the gods and the lords — goblets and cups, thirty, fil[led].
And the entrance offering that he brings to the royal chapel — a sacred meal l of myrrh oil, of blended oil; a gift of bee-honey, a domestic pigeon and two cages.
And at the ledge (?) — fourteen jugs of wine, ½ measure of flour.
At the steps of the altars of the chapel of the goddess — birds.
Two Series of Accompanying Burnt Offerings and Šlmm (24b–36a)
For Ṣaphan – 1 s.m.,
For “the Young Woman” — 1 s.m.,
and for [x] — [y],
[x] for Yariḫ,
1 l.f. for Nikkal,
1 l.f. for the Lady of the Temples,
birds for the staff of the gods,
1 l.f. — the gods,
1 s.f. — Shapash,
1 l.f. — Rashap, [all] as the burnt offering.
And as šlmm offerings — same (as listed).
2 s.f. — the gods,
1 l.f. — the gods,
1 s.f. — ṮKMN-w-ŠNM,
1 s.f. — the Lady of the Temples,
2 s.f. — at the spring, [all] as burnt offerings.
And as šlmm offerings — same (as listed).
The Regular Public Sacrifice: the Tamid of Ugarit (33b–38a)
1 l.f. for Baal Ṣaphan,
1 s.f. for Ṣaphan,
1 l.f. for Baal of Ugarit,
1 s.m. for Ilib,
[x] [for Athi]rat,
And birds for [the staff of the gods].
Thirty times, and at the chapel of the Lady of the Exalted Temples, and atop the altars.
Special Rites for the First Quarter of the Month (38b–48a)
On the fifth, chapel of Il:
A shekel of silver, the kubādu ceremony, and a sacred meal.
[x] for Athirat,
birds for the staff of the gods.
At the [pedestal] of the Baal altar:
1 l.f. for Baal,
1 s.f. for Ṣaphan,
And 1 s.f. for Baal of Ugarit, twenty-two times.
Elš, the favored — 1 s.m.
ŠMN, the favored, — 1 l.f.
And the pure king responds with a recitation.
On the sixth:
2 [s.m.] — ŠMN, the favored.
In addition to it: 1 l.f.
With a recitation he responds, the pure king.
On the seventh:
a) At the descent of the sun, the day is profane.
At the setting of the sun, the king is profane.
b) The rising of Shapash, and the circuit of Yamm;
The setting of Shapash, and the circuit of ‘the King.’
An Addendum for the New Moon (48b–49)
On the New Moon:
2 s.m. for Athtart.
Rites Performed by the King on the Roof of the Baal Temple (50–55)
When the king offers sacrifice to PRGL.ṢQRN24 on the roof,
there are f[our] and four stands bearing azmr fruit [placed] on it.
1 s.m., as the burnt offering,
1 l.m, 1 s.m., as the šlmm offering.
Seven times, each, on it (=the roof).
The king offers a reci[tation].
a) At the setting of the sun, the king is profane.
b) The setting of Shapash, and the circuit of ‘the King.’
[He wears] beautiful garments;
He claps [his hands].
They are brought back into the temple,
And when he is there, he raises his ha[nds] to heaven.q

Text: KTU2 1.47; 1.87; Levine and de Tarragon 1993; de Moor 1987; del Olmo Lete 1987; 1989b:132; 1992:50–51, 73–87; de Tarragon 1980; 1989; Studies: Arnaud 1985–86; Blau and Greenfield 1970; Bordreuil and Pardee 1989; Caquot 1978; Fleming 1992; Huehnergard 1987; Levine 1963; 1989; Levine and Hallo 1967; Segert 1984; Sivan 1984.
(RIH 78/20)
Daniel Fleming

This Ugaritic magical text was found in 1978 not at Ras Shamra but at nearby Ras Ibn Hani, though it should be the same age. The extant tablet is neatly inscribed but broken from the 16th line at the left edge across to the 22nd at the right. In spite of the good condition of the first 15 lines, interpretation is hindered by previously unknown terms. Clear references to sorcery and expulsion indicate an incantation, but the text lacks immediate literary counterparts at Ugarit or elsewhere to illuminate its focus or perspective. The two sections of the legible contents are introduced by repeated injunctions to drive off attack (lines 1, 9).2
Part I (lines 1–8)
(Baal) shall drive off the young man’s accuser
— the affliction (?) of your staff, Rāpiʾu(?),
Baal, the affliction (?) of your staff. a
So, you shall depart before the voice of the incantation priest,
like smoke through a chimney,c
like a snake up a pillar,
like goats to a rock,
like lions to a lair. e
Staff, attention!
Draw near, staff!
May it harm your back
and waste your figure.
May you eat the bread of fasting (?),
may you drink without a cup (?), squeezing (?) (the water-skin),
in the high country,
in the lowlands,
in the darkness,
in the sanctuary.
Part II (lines 9–15)
Then (Horon) shall expel the sorcerer-accuser
— Horon, the magician,
and Ǵalmu, the familiar.
Go, you shall founder …,
you shall find your tongue stammering,
you shall be tightly bound (?).
The god clothed you,
the god has stripped you.
O man, the one with the staff(s) is indeed gone to the underworld;
O human, in weakness he is removed.
[Part III, lines 16 and following, increasingly damaged]

Avishur 1981; Caquot 1978–79; 1984; Fleming 1991; Hillers 1983; Loretz and Xella 1982; de Moor 1980b; Smith 1984; Watson 1992.
ʾILU ON A TOOT (1.97)
(RS 24.258)
Dennis Pardee

Another text from the archive of the “prêtre aux modèles de poumon et de foies” presents the great god ʾIlu as getting himself gloriously drunk and in need of a pick–me–up. This text provides one of the clearest examples of what I have termed a “para–mythological text,” that is, one with mythological form or overtones but with a practical function (Pardee 1988a:265–266). The functional value of this text is evident not only from its content, that is, the passage from story to recipe, but also from its literary form, the myth being in poetic form while the recipe is in prose.
The structure of the first part of the myth follows ʾIlu’s progress from a feast to a drinking club to his private chambers. The drinking hall is the mrzḥ (Heb. marzēḥ), a term used to describe a place, the group that meets there, and the socio–religious institution. Comparing the layout of the Baalshamin sanctuary at Palmyra, where there was a banqueting hall (indicated by the word smkʾ, literally “bench [for reclining while eating]”), dedicated by the members of a mrzḥ, located apart from the main sanctuary, I have suggested that the principal stages of ʾIlu’s progress correspond to the principal sections of his palace. (1) The feast would have taken place in a part of the palace (b bth, b qrb hklh, “in his house, within his palace,” according to lines 1–2) corresponding to the position of the altar in a sanctuary and to a large room, relatively accessible to the public, in a palace such as the one at Ras Shamra; (2) the drinking club would have been located in a separate room or structure (b mrzḥh, “in his mrzḥ,” according to line 15) corresponding to the banqueting area in the Baalshamin sanctuary and to a more intimate banqueting hall in a royal palace (a particular such room has not yet been identified in the palace at Ras Shamra); (3) when ʾIlu went home (l bth, lḥẓrh, “to his house, to his courts,” according to lines 17–18) he would have gone to the private quarters of his palace, corresponding to the “holy of holies” in a sanctuary and to the living quarters of an earthly palace.
Once home ʾIlu meets a “pink elephant,” an apparition that has not yet been identified to everyone’s satisfaction (see below, note 14). Whatever the form and nature of this mysterious being, ʾIlu reacts by soiling himself and falling down in his refuse, a consequence of shock and inebriation. The goddesses ʿAnatu and ʿAṯtartu, who had already had a rôle to play at the feast, then go off, apparently to find the elements of a remedy for ʾIlu, though the text breaks off here. When the text resumes, on the verso of the tablet, the goddesses are again mentioned, apparently bringing relief to the father of the gods.
The last part of the text is marked off from what precedes by a horizontal line on the tablet and provides the prosaic cure for alcoholic collapse and hangover. In it is found the first known reference to “the hair of the dog” in the context of relief from the effects of alcohol.
Though some have seen in this text an example of ancient humor (bibliography in Pardee 1988a:41), it appears just as plausible to see here a serious attempt, even a scientific one, according to the science of the time, at dealing with the aftereffects of an evening spent on the benches of the mrzḥ. No single English term renders perfectly Northwest Semitic mrzḥ, but “drinking club” is chosen below because it expresses the common denominator of the textual sources, viz., the consumption of wine, as well as the social but non–cultic form and function of the institution. The written sources span at least two millennia, from Ugarit to early Rabbinic texts, and nearly always refer to wine, its production, its provision by one party for others, or its effects. In spite of the widely held view that the mrzḥ was a theater for the cult of the dead, not a single text known to date explicitly links the two phenomena and I doubt, therefore, that such a connection was ever more than incidental (see Pardee 1996 for a more detailed argument along these lines, with some recent bibliography). Though each mrzḥ seems to have had a deity as patron, there is no evidence that sacrifice, the sine qua non of old Northwest Semitic cultic activity, took place in the mrzḥ. Indeed, the silence regarding sacrifice in the textual sources is corroborated by the meagre archaeological data, which appear to show that the sacrificial cult and the mrzḥ were very different institutions. Regarding the temple of Baalshamin at Palmyra, see above, and for a description of the building at Ras Shamra for which the best claim as a mrzḥ may be made, the so–called “Temple aux Rhytons,” see Mallet 1987; Pardee 1996:280.
ʾIlu Throws a Banquet for the Gods (lines 1–13)
ʾIlu slaughters a game in his house,
prey c within his palace,
(and) invites the gods to partake.
The gods eat and drink,
they drink wi<ne> to satiety,
new wine f to drunkenness.
Yariḫu Plays the Dog (lines 4–13)
Yariḫu prepares his cup,
(then) like a dog he drags it
under the tables. h
Any god who knows him
gives him food;
But one who does not know him
strikes him with a stick
under the table.
He goes up to ʿAṯtartu-wa-ʿAnatu;
ʿAṯtartu gives him a nšb-cut (of meat),
ʿAnatu a shoulder–cut. j
The doorman of ʾIlu’s house yells at them,
so they don’t give a nšb-cut to a dog,
(so) they (don’t) give a shoulder–cut to a hound.
ʾIlu Moves on to the Marziḥu (lines 14–16)
He also yells at ʾIlu, his father;
(at which point) ʾIlu calls together his drinking [group],11
takes his seat in his drinking club. o
He drinks wine to satiety,
new wine to drunkenness.
ʾIlu Goes Home (lines 17–22)
(Then) ʾIlu heads for home,
arrives at his courts,
(But) Ṯukamuna-wa-Šunama
(have to) bear him along.13
ḤBY meets him,
he who has two horns and a tail,
(and) he bowls him over in his feces and his
ʾIlu falls t as though dead,
ʾIlu himself (falls) like those who descend into the earth. v
ʿAnatu-wa-ʿAṯtartu Seek a Remedy (lines 22–?)
ʿAnatu-wa-ʿAṯtartu go off on the hunt, w

ʿAṯtartu-wa-ʿAnatu Bring Back and Apply the Remedy (lines 26´–28´)
[…] ʿAṯtartu-wa-ʿAnatu […]
And in them she21 brings back […].
When she heals (him), he awakes. x
The Recipe (lines 29´–31´)
What is to be put on his forehead: hairs of a dog.24 And the head of the PQQ and its shoot
he is to drink (mixed) together with fresh olive oil.27

Archi 1988; Caquot 1989; Cathcart and Watson 1980; Dietrich and Loretz 1981; 1988; 1993; Dietrich, Loretz and Sanmartín 1975b; Liverani 1969; Loewenstamm 1969; 1980; Loretz 1988; Mallet 1987; de Moor 1969; 1987; O’Connor 1986; del Olmo Lete 1992; Pardee 1987; 1988a; 1989–90; 1996; Pope 1972; Virolleaud 1962a:51–52; 1962b; 1968; Watson 1990b; Xella 1977.
Dennis Pardee

The “Marseilles Tariff” was discovered in 1844 in the city after which it is named, where it was brought from Carthage, though at what date is unknown. Other examples of tariff inscriptions, even more fragmentary than this one, have since been found at Carthage. The heading of the inscription seems to indicate that it was originally affixed to the temple of Baʿl-Ṣaphon in Carthage. It may be dated palaeographically to the late fourth or early third century BCE. Its purpose was to regulate distributions among priests and offerers of the items presented to the sanctuary as well as to set the fees that were attached to certain offerings.
The text was inscribed on a large block of stone, broken in two pieces when discovered (× cm and ×.5 cm). In addition to various small lacunae, the left side of the stone has entirely disappeared, at an angle from left to right, and thus no single line is intact, while the preserved portion of each line becomes progressively shorter as one reads from top to bottom.
The text is tightly structured, with the body of the document organized according to size/age categories of animals offered, the supplementary fees and portions accorded to the priests decreasing proportionately as the size of the animals listed decreases.
Comparison with the Book of Leviticus is interesting, but the differences turn out to be greater than the similarities. As regards the Carthaginian cult itself, this text is entirely devoted to its economic aspects, with no explicit statements regarding the theory, ideology, or motivations of these offerings. Comparison with the Ugaritic ritual texts also reveals great differences. Though some of the vocabulary and many of the animals offered as sacrifices are the same, the Ugaritic ritual texts deal primarily with the cultic calendar and with the allocation of sacrifices to various deities, passing over almost entirely the matter of distribution of offerings among the cultic officials and the offerers. Moreover, the concept of fee associated with certain offerings in the Punic text is absent from the Ugaritic texts, either because the texts are not primarily economic in nature and therefore do not mention such fees or because the practice of attaching monetary fees to sacrificial beasts had not yet arisen.
Prologue (lines 1–2)
Temple of Baʿl-Ṣaphon. (This) tariff2 of (priestly) revenues a (has been) set up (by) [the thirty men5 who are in charge of the revenues], in the time when Ḥilleṣbaʿl the mayor b was [head], c (he being) the son of Bodtinnit the son of Bod[ʾešmun, and (by) Ḥilleṣbaʿl] the mayor, (he being) the son of Bodʾešmun the son of Ḥilleṣbaʿl, and (by) [their] colleagues.
The Offering of a Mature Bovine (lines 3–4)
In (the case of) a mature bovine:10 (whether it be) a whole offering,11 or a presentation–offering,12 or a whole well–being offering, g the priests receive ten (shekels) of silver14 for each (animal offered); in (the case of) the whole offering they receive in addition to this fee [three–hundred (shekels)-weight of] meat;16 in (the case of) the presentation-offering (they receive) the lower part of the legs and the (leg–)joints,18 whereas the hide,19 the ribs, the feet and the rest of the flesh go to21 the one who brought the sacrifice. j
The Offering of an Immature Bovine or of a Mature Deer (lines 5–6)
In (the case of) the calf whose horns are naturally missing23 or in (the case of) the mature deer: l (whether it be) a whole offering, or a presentation-offering, or a whole well–being offering, the priests receive five (shekels) of silver [for each (animal offered); in (the case of) the whole offering they receive in addition] to this fee one hundred and fifty (shekels–)weight of meat; in (the case of) the presentation–offering (they receive) the lower part of the legs and the (leg–)joints, whereas the hide, the ribs, the feet [and the rest of the flesh go to the one who brought the sacrifice].
The Offering of a Mature Sheep or Goat (lines 7–8)
In (the case of) a ram or a goat:25 (whether it be) a whole offering, or a presentation–offering, or a whole well–being offering, the priests receive one shekel of silver (and) two zr26 for each (animal offered); in (the case of) the presentation–offering [they] receive [in addition to this fee the lower part of the legs] and the (leg–)joints, whereas the hide, the ribs, the feet and the rest of the flesh go to the one who brought the sacrifice.
The Offering of an Immature Sheep, Goat, or Deer (lines 9–10)
In (the case of) a lamb, or a kid,p or a young deer: (whether it be) a whole offering, or a presentation–offering, or a whole well–being offering, the priests receive three–quarters (of a shekel) of silver (and) [two] zr [for each (animal offered); in (the case of) the presentation–offering they receive in addition] to this fee the lower part of the legs
13:15, 19; 1 Sam 10:3; cf. Exod 23:19; 34:26; Deut 14:21 and the (leg–)joints, whereas the hide, the ribs, the feet and the rest of the flesh go to the one who brought [the sacrifice].
The Offering of a Bird (line 11)
[In (the case of) a] bird, (whether it be) a fowl or a free–flying bird:28 (whether it be) a whole well-being offering or an extispicy offering or a divinatory offering,29 the priests receive three–quarters (of a shekel) of silver (and) two zr for each (bird offered) and the flesh goes [to the one who brought the sacrifice].
Other Bird Offerings (