2 HENRY FROWDE, M.A. PUAI.ISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD LONDON, EIIINBURGH, ANI) NEW YORK
3 STORIES OF THE HIGH PRIESTS OF MEMPHIS THE SETHON OF HERODOTUS AND THE DEMOTIC TALES OF KHAMUAS F. LL. GRIFFITH, M.A. I/ FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AT BERLIN Orforb AT THE CLARENDON PRESS I go0
4 opforb YRIN'I'EI) AT THE CLARENDON PRESS BY HORACE HART, M.A. PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY
5 PREFACE IN editing these demotic stories I have endeavoured to advance by a step that not insignificant branch of Egyptology which counts an Englishman, Thomas Young, among the chief founders of its study, but which since his time has been neglected entirely in this country. The decipherment of demotic, inaugurated by Akerblad's famous letter to De Sacy in 1802, and continued by Young and Champollion in I , was most successfully cultivated by Heinrich Brugsch in the first half of his brilliant career, from 1847 to 1868, when he finished his dictionary of hieroglyphic and demotic. With such completeness did he triumph over the crabbed script that it remains for his successors only to perfect his work, at least for the later periods. Brugsch had for long been practically the sole reader of demotic when Revillout attacked the subject as a student of Coptic. By his multitudinous works the latter has certainly thrown light on the interpretation of the legal documents-some of which belong to the early period-and on the metrology. Demotic is, however, a subject which requires above all things care and accuracy if satisfactory results are to be obtained by the student. The recent work of W. Max Miiller ommencing in I 886, but unfortunately never extending
6 vi PREFACE beyond brilliant discussions of single words and groups), of Krall, Hess, and Spiegelberg, augur well for the future of the study, and it is certain that it will progress rapidly as the results of Coptic and hieroglyphic research are brought to bear in a scientific manner upon this intermediate stage of the Egyptian language. In spite of all that has been accomplished in demotic, there is much to be done that is almost of a pioneer character, and much that has been conjectured or contested must be either established or overthrown by positive proofs. This is the main apology for the voluminousness of the philological notes in Part I1 ; though many of them are due chiefly to the bad writing or bad preservation of the second tale. I may here be allowed to express my great obligations to the authorities of the department of MSS. in the British Museum for permission to publish the demotic text of the second story, and to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press for undertaking the serious expense of printing this book. My thanks are also especially due to the Rev. E. M. Walker, of Queen's College, for encouragement and advice; the Provost of Queen's College, Oxford, for introducing and supporting my application to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press ; Mr. Cannan, the Secretary of the Delegates ; Mr. Horace Hart, the Coiltroller of the Press; and last, but not least, Mr. F. G. Kenyon of the British Museum, by whose kindness I was amongst the first to see the newly unrolled ' Papyrus DCIV,' and enjoyed every facility for studying it. The particulars furnished by him in regard to the history of the papyrus and to the Greek text upon the recto will be found in a subsequent page. A glossary of the two demotic stories has been pre-
7 PREFACE v11 pared, and it is intended to publish it later, when the work may have had the benefit of the criticism of fellow-studeilts. A photographic facsimile and a handcopy of the new tale are issued herewith. The first tale has long been accessible in a good facsimile, but negatives of the original papyrus in the Gizeh Museum have been taken at my request by mile Brugsch-Bey, brother of the great demotist, and are now deposited with Mr. R. C. Murray, 8 Garrick Street, Covent Garden, London, W.C., to whom applications for prints should be addressed. This volume must not go to piess without a word acknowledging its special indebtedness to the great work of Professor Sethe on the Egyptian Verb, which appeared last autumn at the moment when I was engaged in the final shaping of the materials for the book. By his masterly historical treatment of the verbal forms in Hieroglyphic and in Coptic, Sethe has made it possible here to begin classification, on the lines laid down by him, of the remarkable forms which the verb assumes in demotic.
8 THE STORY OF SETHON : CONTENTS PART I HISTORICAL AND LITERARY CHAPTER I I. Introductory: Stories in Later Egypt.. I 2. Khamuas in History Khamuas in Tradition The Title Sem-Setne, High-Priest of Ptah The Story of Sethon Historical Features Name Sethos or Z$t Or title Sethon-Setne Attempt to Identify the Priest-King Foreign Elements in the Story... II CHAPTER I1 THE TALE OF KHAMU~S. AND NENEFERKAPTAH. 13 CHAPTER 111 THE TALE OF KHAMUAS AND HIS SON SI-OSIRI. 41 PART I1 PHILOLOGICAL CHAPTER IV INTRODUCTORY : 5 I. Description of the Papyri Bibliography,. 68
9 X CONTENTS $ 3. Method of Transliteration. 69 $ 4. Language, Spelling and Pronunciation of the Texts. 70 tj 5. Specimen of a Phonetic Rendering Hints for Studying Demotic. 77 $ 7. List of Abbreviations used in the References. 19 CHAPTER V TRANSLITERATION AND TRAKS~ATION OF THE FIRST TALE.. Sz CHAPTER V1 TRANSLITERATION AND TRANSLATION OF THE SECOND TALE. 142
10 PART I HISTORICAL AND LITERARY CHAPTER I THE STORY OF SETHON I. Introductory: Stories in later Egypt. 2. Khamuas m history. 3. Khamuas in tradition. 4. His title Sem-Setne, high priest of Ptah. 5. The story of Sethon Historical features. 7. Name Sethos or Zet? 8. or title Sethon-Setne? 9. Attempt to identify the priestking. $ 10. Foreign elements in the story. 4 I. THIS is not the place to enter upon the general subject of Egyptian tales, of which demotic is now beginning to yield a rich variety dating from the Graeco-Roman age. But we must note the fact that while a considerable number of stories are extant in hieratic of the Middle and New Kingdoms, ten centuries follow between the end of the New Kingdom and the middle of the Ptolemaic rule (civca I B. C.), during which this class of literature is entirely unrepresented by native documents. From two external sources, however, we gather that the art of the story-teller was by no means in abeyance, though it would seem that his tales were not often committed to writing by Egyptian scribes. The Biblical story of Joseph, charged as it is with Egyptian ideas and marked by Egyptian names of the late period, may very well be a product of Hebrew CRIPFITH. B
11 2 THE STORY OF SETHON [PT. I intercourse with the Egyptians after 1000 B.C.~; and in his history Herodotus collected multitudes of imaginative traditions current in Egypt of the fifth century. How far the stories in Herodotus are genuinely Egyptian it would be difficult at present to say. Often they have a strong Greek tinge, while the demotic stories of the Graeco-Roman epoch are thoroughly native and bear few distinct traces of external,influence Two of these stories-later by several centuries than Herodotus-relate to a famous high priest of Ptah who flourished about I 250 B.C. His name Kha-m-uas W?S.~)~, meaning ' manifestation in Thebes,' indicates that he was born in the southern capital; but he lived and died a Memphite. He was head of the whole hierarchy of his time, and the most notable of the innumerable progeny of the great King Rameses 11. From contemporary documents we learn that his mother was the queen Isit-nefert. In his youth he would seem to have taken part in the wars, but his recorded acts are principally of a sacerdotal nature, and he appears conspicuously in the celebration of national festivals from the thirtieth year of Rameses onwards. Apparently Khamuas died in the fifty-fifth 'year of his father's long reign of sixty-seven years ; otherwise he might perhaps have succeeded to the kingdom which eventually fell to Merenptah, the thirteenth sgn o'f Rameses. His tomb is near the Great Pyramid3. ' The dates assigned by Biblical critics to various portions of this story extend from the middle of the ninth century to the end of the sixth. One of the Egyptian names (Asenath) points to a period not earlier than the end of the ninth century. The others could be somewhat older, but on the whole the impression left is that these details belong rather to the age of the Saites, beginning as late as 680. AS MASPERO po$ted out (A. Z., 1877, p. 143, note 41) X ~ ~ O ~ F, occurring in the fanciful list of kings of Syncellus (ed. DINDORF, p. I 79)' is probably the Greek form of his name. S For the historical Khaniuas see MASPERO, Hisf., 11, pp , and references there.
12 CH. I] THE TITLE SEM, SETNE ' In the demotic stories Kha~nuas is not presented in a very heroic light : they relate his misfortunes and seem rather to scoff at his learning, which availed so little against the gods, or even the sages and magicians of less degenerate times. The discovery of certain late f~lnerary texts l is attributed to his indefatigable research. They are entitled ' The writings of the vase which Khamuas the chief son of the king found under (or at?) the head of a divine one (mummy) in the west of Memphis : it was more divine than any vase in the treasury. It makes itself as a gate of flame between the divine (y3h.w) who are (?) dead (mtw) and that which attacketh them: it is very excellent, a millioil times.' The first of them is further said to have been previously discovered or invented for his own protection by the chief royal scribe Amenhetep, son of Hepu2, a famous Theban priest in the reign Amenhetep 111. Thus the supposed history of this spell is not unlike that of the book which Khamuas found in the grave of the learned scribe Neneferkaptah The title that most usually precedes the name of Khamuas on the monuments is sm 4. This is a sacerdotal title, not indeed confined to the high priest of Memphis, but constantly borne by him and assigned to his office in the Ptolemaic list of Egyptian priesthoods at Edfu5, where the high priest of Ptah has the double title sm, wr hmww 'Sem and Chief Artificer (?).I ' sew^ of Ptah ' is a fuller form of the title 6. Certainly Khamuas was wr hr- jimww7, as well as sem, and, for PLEYTE, Chapitres supple?eentaires du Livre des Morts, ch ; see especially P 'A~~VO+S 706 IIacintos of Josephus, deified at Thebes in Ptolemaic times: see SETHE in Ebers' Acgyptiaca, p. 106 et seqq., and the graffiti published by PEERS, HellenicJotlmal, 1899, 16. S Below, pp. 16, 30 (I Kh. iv. 26). e.g. BR., Thes., BR., Dict. Ge'og., p Piankhy SMe, BR., Thes., 957. B 2
13 4: THE STORY OF SETHON [PT. I instance, presided over the burial of the Apis bull, which was sacred to the same god. Thus his title sm is doubtless to be taken in its special application, i.e. as 'high priest of Ptah at Memphis.' In the demotic tales Khamuas is entitled 'St~ze(in the second story the son of Pharaoh, Wsr-m(-rc 'l, the last name corresponding to the hieroglyphic Wsr-m,ct-RC, the short form of the prenomen of Rameses I1 In the New Kingdom and later the title sm is often written stm, and though in hieroglyphics the ancient form was frequently adhered to, demotic bilinguals of the Ptolemaic period give the form stm, stm-t3. Thus stne4 or in the tales would seem to correspond exactly to in inscriptions of his own time5. It must be noted also that Khamuas when referred IKh. v. 4, 7; cf. IIKh. ii. 28 and 33. Apparently oir~b~dpqs in the royal list of Syncellus (ed. DINDORF, p. 189). The list is the same that in the preceding group of kings gives xopob. BR., W16., I 2 2 I ; Thes., 890, 906, g I 2, g I 6. The change from snt to sim was probably at first purely graphic; cf. Old Eg. sm, 'herbage,' spelt sbmu in Ramesside hieratic, but sm, s_ym in dem., and CIaR. in Coptic. In the case of the title, the Ramesside writing stm for sm may have given rise to a new pronunciation stm, stne (helped possibly by the title S'-siny Icing's son,' which accompanied it in the case of Khamuas). In the Ptolemaic period we meet with proper names compounded with Stne, viz. :-P'ire(n) Stne, and Pire-t(n) Stne in Pap. Berl. Ax. 2 (BR., Samml. dem.-gr. Ezgennamen, pp. 21, 23). These may some day be found written in Greek, perhaps as **rvusbov and *~suoebov. Note that here, as in the story, we have the form sine, while the priestly title at the same period is always smi or stm(i). Clearly the equations sm= stnz(i) = stne = (later) stnze represent no normal development (p. 142). I should suggest that Stne was the popular form of the title sm or sim.t-- the form in which it occurred in the tales, and, by transference thence, in proper names. The final t in stmd may represent a vowel ending, so that the word was probably identical in pronunciation with stme. The change from early m to is not uncommon in Coytic, and the form sinze in the later tale may indicate an attempt to revert to the classical pronunciation. %., D., 111, 174 e, 1~6h, &c.
14 CH. I] THE STORY OF SETHON 5 to more briefly in the tales appears by this title ' Stne,' ' Stme' alone, not ' the Stne,' or ' the Stme,' and never once by his name. Thus, unless ' Stne ' was misinterpreted by the later scribes as a proper name, we must conclude that this title of the high priest was used as an appellative for its holder, just as ' Pharaoh ' was used for the kingl We will now turn to the Greek record. Herodotus, whose travels in Egypt date from the reign of Artaxerxes, about 460 B.c., reports amongst the information he obtained from the natives regarding the kings of Egypt a miraculous story of a Pharaoh, who was also priest of Hephaestus, i.e. high priest of Ptah at Memphis :- aapaxpqoa'pevov ~ijv paxipov Ai'yva~iav &S at;r&v, dxxa TE 84 dnpa 7roiE~vTa is at~otis, ~ au$cas i oiaexiudai T ~ dpotipas, S TO?UL iai TGV aporipov PauiXEIov 8~86udai Z#aipi- TOVS E(K~'UTY 8v48~~a dpo6pas. pc~d 82 i7r1 Ailyvarov ixativ~iv urpa~bv pgyav Bavaxdp~Pov pauixe'a 'Apapiov TE ~ a'auuvpiov* i O%KOV 84 ideix~iv 703s paxipovs r&v AiYuariov ~O~OEIE~V' T ~ V 6; ipe'a :S daopiqv Oia~iXqpEIvov ~ucxd6v~a is 76 piyapov apds r&yahpa dao8v'pcudai, oh KKI~VVEUIEL aadciv* MO$VP~~EVOV 8' dpa piv &rcxdciv hvov, ~ aoi 86#ai iv ~,;j d+i &riura'vra ~bv dcbv dapuv'v~iv, &S 0682~ a~iu~i-ai Qapi dvria'(ov rdv 'Apapiov U T ~ ~ T ~ at;rbs V. ya'p oi a~p+civ i-ipopo;s. T0v'~01di piv aiuvvov roiui ivwrvioiui, aapahapbvra 2i'ywrriov 703s ~OVXOp~vovs oi i;reudai u~~aron~8~v'caudai iv IlqXovuiy (.rav'rg y&p cici ai ZopoAai). 2acudai 8i oi?&v paxipov p2v ot8lva dv8p&v, 0482~ ~ E ~ U ~ ~ E V O Y l In ancient Egyptian the article did not exist, and though it was in general use as early as 1500 B.c., apparently the ancient titles 'Pharaoh,' and ' Setme ' like many other religious and ceremonial terms, remained nr1ikellos almost to the end. Before Coptic times, however, the initial letter of PP-CO, ' Pharaoh,' was falsely interpreled as the definite article p, and was so declined-with fern. 1, pl. n-the word for ' Pharaoh' being reduced to GPO.
15 6 THE STORY OF SETHON [PT. I ~a~ljxous 62 ~ a X~~p&va~~as? ~a2 dyopaious dvdp&~ovs. iv9a0ra ~TLKO~IVOUS, TOZUL JvavrLo~u~ aljrotu~ ETLXU~EIVT~S VUKT~S /*CS dpoupaioup ~ a r d /*;v $aye% 703s $apcrp~gvas agrgv, ~ard 62 rd 76[a, rpbp $euy6vr~v U$;WY 6; rgv du~qov TA ijxava, &UTE rfj 3ur~paig yupvgv 87rXo3 TEUE~ TOXX~US. ~al\ vgv 0870s d paurxe3s ZUT~KE Ev ip+ 700 th$aiu~ou X~~L~OS, fxov Eri x~~pbs pgv, XElymv 61h ypappdrov 7d6~. is Epi 71s dpimv fur0 l. ' After him (i. e. Anysis, they told me) that there reigned the priest of Hephaestus whose name was Sethon (?). He treated the Egyptian soldiery with contempt, and held them of no account as considering that he would not have need of them. He did them dishonour in various ways, and in particular deprived them of their allotments of land, they having been given twelve arouras2 apiece of choice land under the previous kings. But afterwards Sanacharib, king of the Arabians and Assyrians, led a great army against Egypt. So the warriors of the Egyptians refused to help, and the priest being driven into desperate straits entered the temple and bewailed before the image the misfortune that hung over him. And while he lamented sleep came upon him, and it seemed to him in the vision that the god stood by him bidding him be of good cheer, for he would suffer no harm marching against the army of the Arabians, for he himself would send him some who would aid. And relying on this dream, he collected those of the Egyptians who were willing to follow him, and pitched his camp at Pelusium ; for by that way is the entrance to Egypt. And not one of the warriors followed him, but (only) traders and artisans and market people. And when he had arrived there, field mice streamed into the camp of his opponents themselves and devoured all their quivers and all their bows and the handlethongs of their shields besides, so that the next day they fled destitute of arms with great loss. And now this king stands in stone in the temple of Hephaestus, having a mouse on his hand, speaking thus by means of an inscription, ' Let any one looking upon me, (learn to) be pious!' WIEDEMANN, Herodol's Zweiles Buch, cap. cxli. S Twelve arouras would be eight or ninc acres.
16 CH. I] SE THON 7 This is the last item in Herodotus' Early History of Egypt-that dealing with the ages before the Dodecarclly and the advent of the Greeks. The materials for this part of his work he professes to have derived from statements made to him by the Egyptians and especially by the priests1, and from innumerable touches it is evident that Memphite priests or guides were his principal sources of information. The story quoted above is obviously Memphite : let us examine it in detail The name of Sennacherib (B. c ) accords sufficiently well with the period of Egyptian history to which Herodotus assigns the events of the story, namely that which followed the Ethiopian conquest by Sabaco (twenty-fifth dynasty) and preceded the rise of Psammetichus (B. c. 663). In that interval Egypt was invaded time after time from Assyria, by Esarhaddon (B. c ), and by Assurbanipal (B. c ). Sennacherib apparently suffered no serious reverse in his great Syrian and Palestinian expedition of B. c. 701 ; but the story in Herodotus so remarkably resembles the Biblical account of the disaster which befell the army of Sennacherib in the reign of King Hezekiah2, that one can hardly doubt that both narratives had a common origin. In the Bible, Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia and conqueror of Egypt, figures as about to attack Sennacherib" Tirhakah was the opponent of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. His date is not exactly known : he can hardly, however, have begun to reign earlier than B. C. 686, though he may have commanded an army before that date Who then was BeeGv, high priest of Hephaestus and king of Egypt? At first sight his name would seem to be BeBc6s in the accusative, and BEews is the equivalent of the Egyptian name Sety, which occurs l cc, xcix, cxlii. 2 Kings xix. "bid. verse g.
17 8 THE STORY OF SETHON [PT. I twice amongst the kings of the nineteenth dynasty1, but is not known later. A name compounded with that of the god Set is not liltely to be found in the twentyfifth dynasty, at a time when Osiris worship of a fanatical kind was rapidly gaining the ascendency, and the name of Set was probably being erased from the monuments. Africanus gives a king Z4.r at the end of the twenty-third dynasty ; he may have been introduced into the list to represent the original of the supposed BEBGs. If Z4.r really existed, he was probably an Egyptian contemporary of the Ethiopian conquerors, like some other kings of the twenty-third dynasty. It is hardly necessary to say that a faint correspondence to facts is all we need look to find in the story of Herodotus ; and the obscurer kings' names in Africanus are probably derived in many cases from the popular tales, so that the mere occurrence in his list of the name of a king Z ~T is no guarantee that there was ever any such person But it is also possible to read the name BeBLiv as indeclinable, and as such it is regarded by WIEDEMANN in his admirable commentary2. KRAI.L has had the boldness to identify BEOGV with the Setne of the demotic story here published as the first tale of Khamuas3. As yet he has given no reasoils for the identification, but evidently he abides by it, and now calls the tale in question 'The Story of Sethon.' The form stnze furnished by the new story strongly suggests that stne. is the priestly title stnz, and confirms in part Krall's brilliant guess. The vocalization of words is not shown Each of these Setys was also named Merenptah, 'beloved of.ptah,' i. e. of Hephaestus. The first of them waged war 'successfully in Syria, and with him 'Sethos(?) priest of Hephaestus' has hitherto generally been identified. a Herodot's Zweiies Buch, p. 50 I. S Footnote to p. I of Ein neuer hisiort'scher Ronznn, in Miith. nus den Sanznzlz~ngen der Pn$yrus Et-zherzog Rniner, Bd. VI.
18 CH. I] IDENTITY OF SETHON 9 by demotic, which can render little more than their consonantal skeleton. c ~ w n is found as a decanname in a half Greek, half Egyptian horoscope l. ZIEBGV might be for *cewn, the Northern form of c~wn, and Stne might well be its demotic spelling, like tne for TWN : ewn ' whither 2' Hence the sentence rhv ipia 706 'H$aiurov, &C., may perhaps be rendered, 'that priest of Hephaestus that was called (the) Sethon '; or Herodotus may be supposed to have omitted to note the name of the priest-king, and to have designated him confusedly by his title only, being misled by its use as an appellative. In the section immediately preceding (cap. cxxxvii), he has probably made a blunder of a similar though less excusable kind, assigning the name Anysis to a king whose birthplace he says was Anysis, while to all appearance it is Bocchoris of whom he speaks under this false designation. But in cap. cxi an exact parallel can be found. is given as the name of a king, can only be ' Pharaoh,' Pr-CO, nepo, the appellative title by which the king was addressed and referred to in the original of ehe tale retold by Herodotus. $ g. If then, as seems probable, 'Sethon' is merely ' Setne,' the popular form2 of the high-priest's title, who was the king intended by it in Herodotus? It may appear useless to attempt to identify the hero of such a tale, but the occurrence in it of the historical name Sennacherib, and the resemblance of the story to the Biblical narrative, encourage one to make the endeavour. No Egyptian king except Ay in the eighteenth dynasty, and the anomalous priest-kings of Thebes contemporary with the twenty-first dynasty, is known l Greek Pap. in the Brit. Mus. I, PI. 73, col. iii, 1. I 1 ; cf. p. 142 below. S See above, pp. 4, 5.
19 10 THE STORY OF SETHON [PT. I to have displayed a priestly title. The nomarch, however, was generally high-priest in his nome-capital ; Tefnekht, a chieftain who had succeeded in uniting most of the princes of Lower Egypt against Piankhy, assumed the titles of priest of Neith in Sais, and of senz of Ptah in Memphis1. And if, to gratify the people of Memphis, Tirhakah chose to perform the functions of high-priest of Ptah, local tradition might celebrate him in this character as a ' Sethon ' when commemorating a victory or success gained by him against the Assyrians. The kings of the Ethiopian dynasty showed themselves exceedingly devout worshippers of Amen, the god of their own capital and kingdom, as well as of Thebes, the capital of Upper Egypt, which they at first counted as their principal Egyptian residence. But the later members of the dynasty recognized the importance of Lower Egypt as a source of wealth and as a barrier against the aggressive forces ever looming in the northeast. The first Ethiopian conqueror, Piankhy, attributes all success in war to Amen. Tirhakah, however, may have erected a monument at Memphis in which he similarly extolled the divine power of Ptah, while nevertheless offending the Egyptian soldiery by relying on the sturdy warriors of the Sudan2. An attractive modification of this hypothesis, agreeing with the chronology and with nearly all the data from every source, would be to place the event before Tirhakah's accession to the throne, supposing that he was then governor of Lower Egypt and high-priest of Ptah, and that in his'office of governor he prepared to move on the defensive against a threatened attack by l Piankb SSte, Krall thought that in EEB&u there might be seen a distorted reminiscence of the priestly son of Rameses 11, the hero of the Egyptian tales. The characteristics of neglect of the soldiers and faith in God might perhaps have such an origin.
20 CH. I] FOREIGN ELEMENTS 1 I Sennacherib. While Tirhakah was still in the neighbourhood of Pelusium, some unexpected disaster may have befallen the Assyrian host on the borders of Palestine and arrested their march on Egypt. That previous Egyptian kings had made grants of land to their soldiery is quite probable, and it is not at all unlikely that in the twenty-fifth dynasty these grants were revoked or modified in favour perhaps of Ethiopian or foreign mercenaries ; but, actually, we know nothing of these things Some features in the story are thoroughly Egyptian, but others are foreign. The prayer to the god and the dream in the temple are exactly paralleled in the second story of Khamuas l, while the idea of divine command or guidance being given by the god himself speaking in a dream occurs as early as the days of Thothmes IV, who records that he was thus incited to clear the great Sphinx of the encumbering sands 2. The incident of rescue by means of mice may perhaps have been suggested by the Greek myth of Apollo Smintheus. The shrew-mouse, as well as the large ichneumon, and other creatures of similar appearance, was sacred in Egypt to one or another of the gods, though apparently none of them was sacred to Ptah. A person holding a mouse is thus a conceivable subject in Egyptian sacred iconography, though it is difficult to quote any parallel instance. It is true that in a sculpture updn the walls of the temple of Kummeh in Nubia, Thothmes 111 is represented as dancing or running forward while carrying a crested ibis as an offering to Hathor3; but this is part of a scene, not a statue or isolated figure. It is the last sentence, however, which is the least Egyptian part of the tale. The form of the inscription (2s +C) and the.pointing of the moral are ' Below, p. 58. L., D., 111, 68, S L., D., 111, 57 b.
21 12 THE STORY OF SETHON [PT. I both Greek and entirely un-egyptian. No Egyptian statue 'speaks by means of letters' in the direct way that the productions of the old Greek artists were made to speak. The words said to be engraved on the statue might none the less represent the gist of part of an Egyptian inscription. The story of Sethon, whether it have an historical basis or no, resembling as it does that of the destruction of the Assyrian army in the Book of Kings, might very well be accounted for as the product of Jewish intercourse with Egypt in the Saite dynasty, finally shaped by the pen of Herodotus after passing through the mouths of Greek interpreters. Unfortunately it cannot yet be determined with certainty whether 8~83~ represents the name of Sety Merenptah-i. e. ' Sety, beloved of Hephaestus-,' or is the Memphite sacerdotal title of some later king; but the second of these alternatives appears by far the most probable,
22 CHAPTER II THE TALE OF KHAMUAS AND NENEFERKAPTAH THE translation of the story of Setne Khamuas made by Brugsch in was one of the greatest triumphs of that brilliant and laborious Egyptologist, who thereby displayed the astonishing degree of perfection to which he had, almost single-handed, carried the decipherment of the obscure demotic script, and at the same time proved to the world that this script contained a literature more lively than the legal documents and religious texts which down to that date had alone been recognized in it. For many years little advance was made on Brugsch's first reading, though the way to a better understanding of demotic was prepared by the general progress which Egyptology made in the interval, and the translations and remarks of Maspero and Revillout contained some useful suggestions. In 1888 appeared the edition of Hess, a very promising pupil of Brugsch l. This edition comprised a commentary and a glossary, and showed in many ways an advance on the original rendering. For the first time also the text was now effectively edited, though long before published in an admirable ficsimile prepared by Emile Brugsch. So good is this facsimile-though sometimes a little obscure-of the l Down to the time of his last illness in 1893, Brugsch occasionally wrote and lectured on demotic.
23 14 FIRST TALE OF KHAMUAS [PT. I minute and complicated writing, that in carefully collating it with Hess's copy some years ago for my own translation not once did I convict it of a mistake : the merest traces of signs proved to be rendered in agreement with the true sense, even where the papyrus was much worn and injured and the meaning had been previously misunderstood l. The manuscript is said to have been found in Thebes. As to its age it bears no external evidence, for the regnal date at the end is of little value, since so many of the Ptolemaic kings and Roman emperors reigned for fifteen years and more. The evidence of Egyptian palaeography, and language has hitherto received scant attention, and the present editor has probably less right even than his predecessors to attempt any decisive attribution. It would, of course, be impossible to place the MS. before the beginning of the Ptolemaic age or after the fourth century A.D. In demotic of the Ptolemaic age the preposition v is constantly omitted, but in this MS. it is omitted only before the suflix of the first person, as in later texts. The full yet free spelling, and the style of writing, seem clearly to point to the period comprising the last century of Ptolemaic rule and the first century of the Roman empire. The text of the second tale, which is probably to be dated a little later than the middle of the first century A.D., has a very different and debased appearance. But this may be due to local and individual peculiarities, for graffiti and inscriptions on ostraca of the second century, even of the time of the Antonines, are written in a much purer style. The first tale of Khamuas is remarkable from every point of view. It is one of the finest works of imagination that Egypt has bequeathed to us; it belongs to l Revillout's copy of the text was too erratic to be of any service.
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