Positive Progress Through The Benevolent Use Of Knowledge

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Tale of Sinuhe

I was a henchman who followed his lord, a servant of the Royal harim attending on the hereditary princess, the highly-praised Royal Consort of Sesostris in the pyramid-town of Khnem-esut, the Royal Daughter of Amenemmes in the Pyramid-town of Ka-nofru, even Nofru, the revered.
Ammenemmes: Amenemhet I (Sehetepibre) (1991-1962)Sesostris: Senusret I (Kheperkare) (1962-1917) henchman: attendant (according to M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. One)
In year 30, third month of Inundation, day 7, the god attained his horizon, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Sehetepebre. He flew to heaven and was united with the sun's disk; the flesh of the god was merged in him, who made him. Then was the Residence hushed; hearts were filled with mourning; the Great Portals were closed; the courtiers crouched head on lap; the people grieved. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
attained his horizon: set like the sun, i.e. diedHe flew to heaven: The akh did, cf. Body and Soulgrieved: on Mourning and burial

Temhi: Tjemeh, Nubians living west of the Nile, southern branch of a Libyan peoplecaptain thereof: The army was generally led by the pharaoh himself or his heir.Tehenu: Tjehenu, people of the western desert, LibyansNot a moment did he wait: There may well have been legitimacy issues,
i.e. the accession of Senusret was being challenged.Falcon: Horus, i.e. the Pharaoh, Senusretmy heart became distraught ......: It is unclear why the knowledge of the king's death should have frightened Sinuhe that much.
crossed the waters of Mewoti hard by the Sycamore, and arrived in Island-of-Snofru: passed the Truth canal near Giza and Hathor's great sycamore tree and shrine (J. Rabinowitz)Mewoti: Maaty (Lichtheim)
Red Mountain: Mountain northeast of MemphisWall of the Prince: A string of fortifications in the isthmus of SuezSandfarers: Beduins
Petni: PetenKemwer: lit. the Great Black, region of the Bitter Lakesmen of the Setiu: Asiatics (Lichtheim)Land gave me to land: One land sent me on to another (Breasted)Byblos: City state in the Lebanon of today with close Egyptian connections.I set forth to Byblos: I loosed for Suan (Breasted)Kedme: Kedem, east of the Jordan and the Dead SeaEnshi son of Amu: Ammunenshi (Lichtheim)Upper Retenu: Canaan(...): As if a Delta-man saw himself in Yebu, a marsh-man in Nubia (Lichtheim) - Yebu: Elephantine, near the Egyptian-Nubian border.

Sakhmet: Lion goddessHeadlong is he when he falls upon the Easterners; his joy is to plunder the Ro-pedtiu: Eager at the sight of combat, Joyful when he works his bow. (Lichtheim)Pedtiu: Bowmen (Lichtheim)

eldest daughter: sAt wrt [2], according to S. Allam "adoptive daughter". M. Lichtheim's translation agrees with Gardiner's.Yaa: Unknown region in CanaanPlentiful was its honey ... milk prepared in every way: In the Hebrew tradition Canaan was a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3: 8). In Egypt milk and milk products were considered delicacies and offered to the gods, but probably of minor economic importance.olives: oil (Breasted, Lichtheim)Wheat: Barley (Breasted, Lichtheim)
I spent many years, and my children grew up as mighty men, each one controlling his tribe. The messenger who fared north, or south to the Residence, tarried with me, for I caused all men to tarry. I gave water to the thirsty, and set upon the road him who was strayed; I rescued him who was plundered. When the Setiu waxed insolent to oppose the chieftains of the deserts, I counselled their movements; for this prince of Retenu caused me to pass many years as commander of his host. Every country against which I marched, when I made my assault it was driven from its pastures and wells. I spoiled its cattle, I made captive its inhabitants, I took away their food, I slew people in it; by my strong arm, by my bow, by my movements and by my excellent counsels. I found favour in his heart and he loved me, he marked my bravery and placed me even before his children, when he had seen that my hands prevailed.
Residence: The Egyptian royal courtI caused all men to tarry: I let everyone stay with me (Lichtheim)chieftains of the deserts: Rulers of Hill-Countries (Lichtheim)I counselled their movements: I opposed their movements (Lichtheim)country: people or rather what we would call tribe.
There was no central authority in Canaan at the time.
champion without a peer: In tribal wars outstanding individuals were of greater importance than they were in great armies. Cf. the later bible stories of Samson and Goliath.There is no Pedti: No Asiatic (M.Lichtheim)
Paths-of-Horus: Horusways (Lichtheim), Horus Road connecting Egypt and Canaan through northern Sinaicommander who was there: During times of strong central rule the frontiers were defended and the influx of migrants controlled. (Cf. the Journal of a frontier official)
Thy servant will hand over the viziership which thy servant hath held in this place: This servant will hand over to the brood which this servant begot in this place. (Lichtheim)
Ithtoue: Itj-tawy (Lichtheim) - Lisht, capital of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom.Companions: courtiers (Lichtheim)I stretched myself on my belly: the pharaoh was greeted by prostration. During the New Kingdom Canaanite princes such as Yapahu of Geezer wrote: At the two feet of the king, my lord, the sun in the sky, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself both upon the belly and heart was not in my body: My ba was gone (Lichtheim)
thou hast trodden the deserts, thou hast traversed the wastes: having roamed foreign lands. Flight has taken its toll of you (Lichtheim)

Royal Children: here: royal daughters (Lichtheim) Setiu-folk: nomads (Lichtheim)
Nub: Gold (Lichtheim) Let the goddess of Upper Egypt fare north, and the goddess of Lower Egypt fare south: Southcrown fared north, northcrown south (Lichtheim)Uraeus: the royal cobra, often worn as uraeus or even triple double. (cf. Divine and royal hed dresses) grant us our goodly guerdon in the person of this sheikh Si-mehyt, the Pedti born in Ti-muri: Give us our good gift on this good day, Grant us the son of northwind, Bowman born in Egypt (Lichtheim)Ti-muri: Ta-mery, "Beloved land", Egypt
I was shaved: Asiatic men - unlike Egyptians - were bearded

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