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Title: The Egyptian Book of the dead

Translator: P. Le Page Renouf

Edouard Naville

Release date: December 17, 2022 [eBook #69566]
Most recently updated: January 17, 2023

Language: English

Original publication: United Kingdom: Society of Biblical Archaeology, 1904

Credits: Richard Tonsing, KD Weeks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)

Transcriber’s Note

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Please see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.

The illustrative plates were occasionally spread over facing pages, and sometimes appear out of order, depending on the exigencies of pagination. All plates are moved to the end of the text and linked for ease of reference.

The cover image was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

Any corrections are indicated using an underline highlight. Placing the cursor over the correction will produce the original text in a small popup.

Any corrections are indicated as hyperlinks, which will navigate the reader to the corresponding entry in the corrections table in the note at the end of the text.


Prof. E. NAVILLE, D.C.L., &c., &c.,
Professor of Egyptology at the University of Geneva.
37, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury,
LONDON, 1904.


I. The Beginning of the Chapters of Coming forth by Day, of the Words which bring about Resurrection and Glory, and of Coming out of and entering into Amenta. Said upon the Day of Burial of N, the Victorious, who entereth after coming forth. Here is N the victorious. He saith pages 1, 2 Plates I, II.
II. Chapter for Coming forth by day and Living after death. 11, 12 No Vignettes.
III. Another Chapter like it. 12
IV. Another Chapter, for travelling on the road which is above the earth. 13
V. Chapter whereby work may not be imposed [upon a person] in the Netherworld. 13
VI. Chapter whereby the funereal Statuettes may be made to do work for a person in the Netherworld. 15, 16
VII. Chapter of passing through the chine of Apepi which is void. 16
VIII. Chapter of opening the Tuat by day. 17
IX. Chapter for opening the Tuat. 18
X. Chapter for coming forth victoriously. 19
XI. Chapter for coming out against the adversary in the Netherworld. 19
viXII. Chapter for entering and for coming forth out of the Netherworld. 20
XIII. Chapter for entering after coming out from Amenta. 20
XIV. Chapter for removing displeasure from the heart of the god against the deceased person. 21
XV. Hymn I.A Hymn to Râ at his rising. 22–25 III, X, XV.
  [Litany].—Adored be Râ as he setteth in the Land of Life. 25, 26  
  Hymn II.A Hymn to Râ at his setting. 26, 27  
  Hymn III.A Hymn to Tmu at his setting. 27, 28  
XVI. . . . . . . . . . . 34 IV, V.
XVII. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day out of the Netherworld. Let the words be said: 35 40 VI, VII.
XVIII. A Litany to Thoth. 50–53 VIII, IX.
XIX. Chapter of the Crown of Triumph. 57, 58 IX.
XX. Another Chapter of the Crown of Triumph. 59 No Vignettes.
XXI. Chapter whereby the Mouth of a person is given to him in the Netherworld. 60
XXII. Another Chapter whereby the Mouth of a person is given to him in the Netherworld. 61 X, XI.
XXIII. Chapter whereby the Mouth of a person is opened for him in the Netherworld. 62 X, XI.
XXIV. Chapter whereby the Words of Power are brought to a person in the Netherworld. 63, 64 X.
XXV. Chapter whereby a person remembereth his name in the Netherworld. 66 No Vignettes.
XXVI. Chapter whereby the Heart is given to a person in the Netherworld. 66 XII.
XXVII. Chapter whereby the Heart of a person is not taken from him in the Netherworld. 69 XI.
XXVIII. Chapter whereby the Heart of a person is not taken from him in the Netherworld. 70, 71 XII.
XXIX. Chapter whereby the Heart of a person may not be taken from him in the Netherworld. 72 XII.
XXIXB. Another Chapter of the Heart; upon Carnelian. 73 No Vignettes.
viiXXXA. Chapter whereby the Heart of a person is not kept back from him in the Netherworld. 74 XII.
XXXB.   75 No Vignettes.
XXXI. Chapter whereby the Crocodiles are repulsed who come to carry off the Words of Power from a person in the Netherworld. 77 XII.
XXXII. Chapter whereby the Crocodiles are repulsed who come to carry off the Words of Power from the glorified in the Netherworld. 78, 79 No Vignettes.
XXXIII. Chapter whereby all Serpents are kept back. 81 XII.
XXXIV. Chapter whereby a person is not devoured by the dweller in the shrine. 82 No Vignettes.
XXXV. Chapter whereby the person is not devoured by a Serpent in the Netherworld. 83
XXXVI. Chapter whereby the Āpshait is kept back. 85 XII, XIII.
XXXVII. Chapter whereby the Merta Goddesses are kept back. 85 XIII.
XXXVIII. Chapter whereby one liveth by the breath of air in the Netherworld, and keepeth back Merta. 86 XIII
XXXIX. Chapter whereby the Serpent Rekrek is repulsed in the Netherworld. 87-89 XIII, XIV.
XL. Chapter whereby the Eater of the Ass is kept back. 91, 92 XIV.
XLI. Chapter whereby one avoideth the Slaughter which is carried out in the Netherworld. 94 XV.
XLII. Chapter whereby one hindereth the Slaughter which is wrought at Sutenhenen. 95–98 XVI.
XLIII. Chapter whereby the head of a person is not severed from him in the Netherworld. 101 No Vignettes.
XLIV. Chapter whereby one dieth not a second time. 101
XLV. Chapter whereby one escapeth corruption in the Netherworld. 102
XLVI. Chapter whereby he that is living is not destroyed in the Netherworld. 102
XLVII. Chapter whereby the seat of a person is not taken from him in the Netherworld. 102, 103 XV, XVII.
XLVIII (same as X).    
XLIX (same as XI).    
viiiL. Chapter whereby one cometh not to the divine Block of Execution. 103 XVII.
LI. Chapter whereby one goeth not headlong in the Netherworld. 104 No Vignettes.
LII. Chapter whereby one eateth not dirt in the Netherworld. 105
LIIIA. Chapter whereby one is not made to eat dirt, or to drink lye. 107
LIIIB. Whereby one eateth not dirt. 107, 108
LIV. Chapter whereby air is given in the Netherworld. 108
LV. Another Chapter whereby air is given. 109
LVI. Another Chapter of breathing. 110
LVII. Chapter for breathing air, and command of water, in the Netherworld. 110, 111 XVII.
LVIII. Chapter for breathing air and command of water. 112 XVII.
LIX. Chapter for breathing air and command of water. 113 No Vignettes.
LX. Another Chapter. 113, 114
LXI. Another Chapter. 114 XVII.
LXII. Chapter whereby water is drunk in the Netherworld. 114, 115 No Vignettes.
LXIIIA. Chapter whereby one is not burnt with fire, but drinketh water, in the Netherworld. 115, 116
LXIIIB. Chapter whereby one is not boiled in water. 116
LXIV. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day from the Netherworld. 117–121 XVII.
LXV. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day and prevaileth over the adversaries. 127 XIX.
LXVI. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day. 128 No Vignettes.
LXVII. Chapter whereby the doors of the Tuat are opened and one cometh forth by day. 128
LXVIII. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day. 129, 130 XVIII, XIX.
LXIX. Otherwise said. 130, 131 No Vignettes.
LXX. Another Chapter. 131, 132
ixLXXI. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day. 132–134 XIX.
LXXII. Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day and passes through the Ammehit. 136, 137 XIX, XX.
LXXIII (same as IX).   XIX, XX.
LXXIV. Chapter whereby the legs are set in motion upon earth. 138 XIX, XX.
LXXV. Chapter whereby one cometh to Heliopolis and receiveth a seat there. 139, 140 XXI, numbered LXXVIII in error.
LXXVI. Chapter whereby all forms are assumed which one pleaseth. 140 XX. same as LXXIII.
LXXVII. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Golden Hawk. 141 XXI.
LXXVIII. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Sacred Hawk. 142–146 XXI.
LXXIX. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Chief god of the Divine Cycle. 147, 148 XXI.
LXXX. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the god who giveth Light to the Darkness. 149 No Vignettes.
LXXXI. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Lotus. 150 XXI, XXII.
LXXXII. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of Ptah, eateth bread, drinketh beer, and sitteth in the midst of the great gods. 150, 151 XXII.
LXXXIII. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Bennu bird. 151, 152 XXII.
LXXXIV. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Hernshaw. 152, 153 XXII.
LXXXV. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of a Soul, that one may not come to the dungeon. Imperishable is he who knoweth it. 153, 154 XXII.
LXXXVI. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Swallow. 155 XXII.
LXXXVII. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of Se-ta. 157 XXII, XXIII.
LXXXVIII. Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Crocodile god [Sebak]. 157 XXIII.
LXXXIX. Chapter whereby the Soul is united to the dead Body. 157, 158 XXIII.
XC. Chapter whereby Memory is restored to a person. 159 XXIII.
xXCI. Chapter whereby the Soul is secured from imprisonment in the Netherworld. 160 No Vignettes.
XCII. Chapter whereby the Tomb is opened to the Soul and to the Shade of the person, that he may come forth by day and may have mastery of his feet. 160, 161 XXIII, XXIV.
XCIII. Chapter whereby one avoideth being conveyed to the East in the Netherworld. 162 XXIV.
XCIV. Chapter whereby one prayeth for a Palette and an Inkstand. 163 XXIV.
XCV. Chapter whereby is opened the place wherein Thoth resteth. 163, 164 XXIV.
XCVI. Chapter whereby is opened [the place] where Thoth [resteth]. 164 No Vignettes.
XCVII.   165 XXV.
XCVIII. Chapter whereby one saileth a ship in the Netherworld. 165, 166 XXV.
XCIX. Chapter whereby one saileth a ship in the Netherworld. 167–169 XXV, XXVI.
C. The Book whereby the glorified one is made strong, and is made to embark in the boat of Rā, together with those who are with the god. 171 XXVII.
CI. Chapter of the safeguards of the Bark of Rā. 172, 173 No Vignettes.
CII. Chapter whereby one entereth into the Bark of Rā. 173 XXVII.
CIII. Chapter whereby one openeth the place where Hathor abideth. 174 XXV.
CIV. Chapter whereby one sitteth in the midst of the great gods. 174 XXV.
CV. Chapter whereby one propitiateth the Ka. 175 XXV.
CVI. Chapter whereby a largess is presented at Hat-ka-Ptah. 176, 177 No Vignettes.
CVII.   178
CVIII. Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of the West. 178, 179 XXV, XXVII.
CIX. Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of the East. 181, 182 XXVII.
xiCX. The Beginning of the Chapters of the Garden of Hotepit, and of the Chapters of coming forth by day; and of entering and coming forth in the Netherworld, and of arriving at the Garden of Aarru, at the Rise in Hotepit and at the Grand Domain, blest with the breezes: that I may take possession there and be in Glory there: that there I may plough and mow: that there I may eat and drink and love: doing whatsoever things are done upon earth. 193–195 XXVIII, XXIX.
CXI (same as CVIII).    
CXII. Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of Pu. 184, 185 XXIX, XXX.
CXIII. Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of Nechen. 186, 187 XXX.
CXIV. Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of Hermopolis. 188, 189 XXXI.
CXV. Chapter whereby one cometh forth into Heaven, and openeth the Ammehit: and whereby the Powers of Heliopolis are known. 190, 191 No Vignettes.
CXVI. Chapter whereby one knoweth the Power of Hermopolis. 192 XXXI.
CXVII. Chapter whereby one taketh the blissful path at Restau. 203 XXXI (one Vignette is numbered CVII in error).
CXVIII. Chapter whereby one arriveth at Restau. 206 No Vignettes.
CXIX. Chapter whereby one entereth or goeth forth from Restau. 206 XXXI.
CXX (same as XII).    
CXXI (same as XIII).    
CXXII (same as LVIII).    
CXXIII. Chapter whereby one entereth into the Great House. 208 XXXI.
CXXIV. Chapter whereby one cometh to the Divine Circle of Osiris. 210, 211 XXXII.
CXXV. Part I.Said on arriving at the Hall of Righteousness, that N may be loosed from all the sins which he hath committed and that he may look upon the divine countenances. 212–214   XXXII,
  Part II.The Negative Confession. 214–216
  Part III.Said upon approaching to the gods who are in the Tuat. 216–220
xiiCXXVI. . . . . . . . . . . 244, 245 XL.
CXXVII. The Book for invoking the gods of the Bounds, which the person reciteth when he approacheth them, that he may enter and see the Strong one in the Great Abode of the Tuat. 249 No Vignettes.
CXXVIII. Invocation of Osiris 251, 252
CXXIX (same as C).   XL.
CXXX. A Book whereby the Soul is made to live for ever, on the day of entering into the Bark of Rā, and to pass the Sheniu of the Tuat. Made on the Birthday of Osiris. 256–259 XL.
CXXXI. Chapter whereby one proceedeth into Heaven by the side of Rā. 261 XLI.
CXXXII. Chapter whereby a person is enabled to go round, to visit his dwelling in the Netherworld. 263 XLI.
CXXXIII. Book whereby the deceased acquireth might in the Netherworld, in presence of the great cycle of the gods. 264, 265 XLI, XLII.
CXXXIV. Chapter whereby the deceased acquireth might. 267, 268 XLI.
CXXXV. Another chapter recited when the Moon renews itself on the first day of the month. 269, 270 No Vignettes.
CXXXVIA. Chapter whereby one is conveyed in the Bark of Rā. 270 XLII.
CXXXVIB. Chapter whereby one is conveyed in the Great Bark of Rā to pass through the orbit of flame. 271, 272 No Vignettes.
CXXXVIIA. Chapter whereby a Light is kindled for a person. 275
CXXXVIIB. Chapter whereby a Light is kindled for a person. 275 XLII.
CXXXVIII. Chapter whereby one is enabled to enter into Abydos. 277 XLIII.
CXXXIX (same as CXXIII).    
CXL. The book read on the last day of Mechir, when the Eye is full on the last day of Mechir. 280, 281 XLIII, XLIV.
CXLI. to CXLIII. The Book said by a man or his father or his son in the festival of the Amenta, and wherewith he acquires might with Rā, and with the gods when he is with them. Said on the day of the new Moon, when offerings are made of bread, beer, oxen, geese, and burnt incense to— 282–285 XLIV, XLV, XLVI.
xiiiCXLIV. The Chapter of the Arrival. 287–289 XLVI, XLVII, XLIX, L.
CXLV and CXLVI. The knowing of the pylons of the house of Osiris, in the Garden of Aarru. 292–294 XLIV, XLVIII, LIII.
CXLVII.   296–298 XLIX, L.
CXLVIII. Giving sustenance to the deceased in the Netherworld, and delivering him from all evil things. 300–301 XLVI, XLVII, LI.
CXLIX.   302–307 LII.
CL.   309 LIII.
CLI.   309 LIV, LVI.
CLIA. bis   313 No Vignettes.
CLIA. ter Chapter of the mysterious head.   LIV.
CLII. Chapter of building a house on earth. 314 LIV.
CLIIIA. Chapter of coming out of the net. 315, 316 LV.
CLIIIB. Chapter of escaping from the catchers of fish. 320, 321 LVI.
CLIV. Chapter of not letting the body decay in the Netherworld. 322, 323 LVI.
CLV. Chapter of the Tat of gold. 325 LVI, LVII.
CLVI. Chapter of the buckle of carnelian, which is put on the neck of the deceased. 326 LVI, LVII.
CLVII. Chapter of the vulture of gold, put on the neck of the deceased. 326, 327 LVII.
CLVIII. Chapter of the collar of gold, put on the neck of the deceased. 327 LVII.
CLIX. Chapter of the column of green Felspar, put on the neck of the deceased. 327, 328 LVII.
CLX. Giving the column of green Felspar. 328 LVII.
CLXI. Chapter of unfastening the opening in the sky. Thoth does it so that it may be finished when he opens (the sky) with Aten. 329, 330 LV.
CLXII. Chapter of causing a flame to arise under the head of the deceased. 330, 321 LVIII.
xivCLXIII. Chapters brought from another book, in addition to the “coming forth by day.” Chapter of not letting the body of a man decay in the Netherworld, of rescuing him from the devourers of souls who imprison men in the Tuat, and of not raising his sins on earth against him, but of saving his flesh and his bones from the worms and from every evil-doing god in the Netherworld, so that he may go in and out as he likes, and do everything he desires without restraint. 333, 334 LVIII.
CLXIV. Another Chapter. 336, 337 LVIII.
CLXV. Chapter of landing and not being obscured, so that the body may prosper in drinking water. 338, 339 LVIII.
CLXVI. Chapter of the Pillow. 340 LVIII.
CLXVII. Chapter of bringing an Eye. 341 LVIII.
CLXVIII.   341 No Vignettes.
CLXIX. Chapter of raising the funereal Bed. 342–344
CLXX. Chapter of arranging the funereal Bed. 345–347
CLXXI. Chapter of wrapping up (the deceased) in a pure garment. 347
CLXXII. Beginning of the Chapter of reciting the ceremonies made in the Netherworld. 348–351
CLXXIII. The addresses of Horus to his father when he goes in to see his father, and when he comes out of his great sanctuary to see him Rā Unneferu, the master of Ta-tser, and then they embrace one another; therefore he is glorious in the Netherworld. 352, 353 LIX.
CLXXIV. Chapter of causing the Chu to come out of the great door in the sky. 354, 355 LX.
CLXXV. Chapter of not dying a second death in the Netherworld. 356, 357 LX.
CLXXVI. Chapter of not dying a second time in the Netherworld. 358 No Vignettes.
CLXXVII. Chapter of raising the Chu, of vivifying his soul in the Netherworld. 359
CLXXVIII. Chapter of raising the body, of giving it eyes, of making it possess ears, of fixing its head, of putting it on its base. 360–363
xvCLXXIX. Chapter of coming forth when going out of yesterday and coming in the (present) day, being equipped by one’s own hands. 363, 364
CLXXX. Chapter of coming forth by day, of giving praise to Rā in the Amenta, of paying homage to the inhabitants of the Tuat, of opening the way to the mighty soul in the Netherworld, of letting him walk, lengthen his strides, and go in and out in the Netherworld; and take the form of a living soul. 365–367 LX.
CLXXXI. Chapter of arriving before the Divine circle of Osiris and before the gods, the guides in the Tuat, before the guards of their halls, the heralds of their gates and the doorkeepers of their pylons in the Amenta, and of taking the form of a living soul and praising Osiris the lord of his circle of gods. 368, 369 LXI.
CLXXXII. Book of vivifying Osiris, of giving air to him whose heart is motionless, through the action of Thoth, who repels the enemies of Osiris who comes there in his form ... as protector, saviour, defender in the Netherworld. 370–372 LXI.
  It is said by Thoth himself, so that the morning light may shine on him (Osiris) every day.    
CLXXXIII. Adoration to Osiris, giving him praise, bowing down before Unneferu, falling on one’s face before the lord of Ta-tsert, and exalting him who is on his sand. 372–374 LX.
CLXXXIV. Chapter of being near Osiris. 375 LX.
CLXXXV. Giving praise to Osiris, falling on the earth before the lord of eternity; propitiating the god with what he loves, speaking the truth, the lord of which is not known. 375 LX.
CLXXXVI. Adoration to Hathor, the lady of the West, falling down before Mehurit. 376 LX, LXII.


When, in the year 1892, Sir Peter Le Page Renouf began the publication of his translation of the Book of the Dead, his intention was that the work, once completed, should be preceded by an elaborate Introduction, giving, besides all the information concerning the form and the history of the book, his views as to its sense and its religious value.

As with the unfinished part of the translation,[1] so here, we are left without any notes or any clue whatever as to the form which this introduction was to have taken, and we are obliged to resort to the fifth of the Hibbert lectures, given by Renouf in 1879, in order to know his views about the book.[2]

Before speaking of its contents, we have to state briefly under what form the book has come down to us. It is hardly necessary to repeat that it is no book at all in the ordinary sense of the word. It is neither a unity nor a whole, it is a collection which has grown by degrees, at various epochs. Undoubtedly part of it goes back as far as the Old Empire; the texts of the Middle Empire show already that there were various editions, and we are forced to admit that its origin is not much later than the beginning of Egyptian civilization, as we see that some of the rubrics attribute certain chapters to a king of the 1st dynasty. In the course of centuries the original text was modified and enlarged, new chapters were added, revisions were made, without casting these detached fragments into a whole. The various parts of the book were always independent, like the Hebrew Psalms; the acceptance of a chapter does not necessarily imply the acceptance of the next chapter, and it seems as if the relatives of the deceased chose in the collection which was at their disposal what they liked best, and the number of chapters which corresponded to the price they wished to pay for a papyrus.

This description applies chiefly to the texts of the Book of the Dead of the period prior to the XXVIth dynasty. Under the Saïte kings it seems that a complete revision of the text was made; a definite order was adopted, which was not rigidly binding on the writers, but to which they generally adhered; various chapters were added, especially the last ones, 162-165, which are never found in the older copies. It seems also that something like what we should call an authorized version was adopted; and this was done by men to whom the book was xviiihardly intelligible. A great many glosses were introduced, which were copied afterwards in all the hieroglyphic and hieratic texts. Although we do not find the strict accuracy of Hebrew manuscripts, the number of variants in the Saïte, Ptolemaïc or Roman texts is considerably smaller than in the manuscripts of the Theban period, and a collation of the hundreds of papyri of late epoch which fill our museums would lead to no great result.

However, it is from a text generally considered as Saïtic, but which I believe to be of the Ptolemaïc epoch, that the Book of the Dead has been first made known in all its extent. In 1842 Lepsius published the long papyrus in the Turin Museum, a document which he called “the largest piece of Egyptian literature which has been preserved.”

Before him Champollion had seen it, and had noticed that a great number of repetitions of the same text existed in various museums. He made use of it in his grammar, quoted here and there a sentence taken from it, but he did not make a special study of the document. Lepsius understood at once the importance of the book, which was the vade-mecum of the deceased, and seeing how much more extensive the Turin Papyrus was than the short copies which had been published before, he traced the whole document and published it two years afterwards.

Lepsius gave to this work the name of Todtenbuch, “Book of the Dead,” in opposition to the name of “Ritual” adopted by Champollion, which is certainly incorrect. It is no Ritual; a few chapters with a ritualistic character have been introduced into it; for instance, the chapter connected with the ceremony of “opening the mouth of the deceased,” which is occasionally met with, or Chapter 171, “chapter of wrapping up (the deceased) in a pure garment;” but these are rare exceptions. On the whole the Book of the Dead differs widely from a Ritual. It is not the priest who speaks, there are no minute prescriptions as to how a ceremony is to be performed; all the prayers and hymns are put in the deceased’s mouth, it is he whose speech is supposed to be heard in the other world.

Todtenbuch, Book of the Dead, is not a translation of the Egyptian title, which is: book of ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ pert m hru. As Renouf says, “Three simple words, perfectly unambiguous when taken singly, but by no means easy of explanation when taken together without a context;” and in fact at the present day no final translation has been given of these three words. Renouf translates, “coming forth by day,” as will be seen in the numerous examples which occur in this volume; but several objections may be raised against this interpretation, to which we should prefer, “coming out of the day,” the day being the period of a man’s life, having its morning and its evening.

The book is divided into fragments called ⁂, to each of which Lepsius has given a number, following the order of the great Turin Papyrus, and which he calls chapters. Although his numbering is not quite correct, it has been adhered to in all the subsequent editions.

In his lecture[3] on the Book of the Dead, Renouf insists on the difficulty of translating it: “Nothing can exceed the simplicity and the brevity of the sentences; and yet the difficulties which a translator has to overcome are very great. In the first place, the text is extremely xixcorrupt. The unsatisfactory condition of the text is owing to different causes. The reasons which writers on Hebrew, Greek or Latin palæography have enumerated for the purpose of accounting for mistakes in manuscripts, apply with much greater force to the funereal manuscripts of the Egyptians; for as these were not intended to be seen by any mortal eye, but to remain for ever undisturbed in the tomb, the unconscientious scribe had no such check upon his carelessness as if his work were liable to be subjected to the constant inspection of the living. But the most conscientious scribe might easily commit numerous errors. Many of them are to be traced to a confusion between signs which resemble each other in the cursive, or as it is called, the hieratic character, but not in hieroglyphic writing.

“Besides the errors of copyists, there are different readings, the origin of which is to be traced to the period during which the chapters were handed down by word of mouth only. There are copies which bear evidence that a critical choice has been made between the different readings of a passage, but the common practice was to admit the inconsistent readings into the text itself....

“Some of the variants have unquestionably arisen from the difficulty of understanding the ancient texts. I have no doubt whatever that some of the chapters of the Book of the Dead were as obscure to Egyptians living under the eleventh dynasty as they are to ourselves.... The most accurate knowledge of the Egyptian vocabulary and grammar will however not suffice to pierce the obscurity arising from what M. de Rougé called symbols or allegories, which are in fact simple mythological allusions. The difficulty is not in literally translating the text, but in understanding the meaning which lies concealed beneath familiar words.”

These words of Renouf have still a very great force, although in the last twenty years some progress has been made towards a better understanding of the text. When Renouf gave the above description of the difficulties of the translation, the main source from which he could derive his information was what he called “the corrupt Turin text.” Since then a critical edition has been made.[4] It is based on texts of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties, written at a time when the intelligence of the book was not lost to the same extent as under the Saïtes or the Ptolemies, as may be ascertained from the considerable number of glosses introduced into the Turin text which are absent from the older versions. This edition has been compiled from various papyri, as the older ones are much shorter than the later ones; it is not a single document like Lepsius’s Todtenbuch; most of the chapters have been found in their old form; a few are missing, but a good number have been added to the list which have fallen out of the late versions. Generally it is from this critical text that Renouf made his translation. Occasionally he may choose an older version from a tomb, or perhaps a papyrus of the British Museum, but he hardly ever reverts to the Turin Todtenbuch unless he has no other resource at his disposal.

Nevertheless the difficulties which Renouf enumerates are only partly removed. We are still very far from being able to give a final translation of the Book of the Dead, and I have xxno doubt that Renouf would repeat about his own work what he says of Dr. Birch’s translation, “Many parts of it, where most faithful to the original, must in consequence of that very fidelity be utterly unintelligible to an English reader.”

No doubt Renouf’s translation is a great step towards making the book more intelligible; still the reader may often stumble over sentences out of which it is hardly possible to make a reasonable sense, in spite of their grammatical correctness, and which at first sight will seem childish, not to say, with Renouf, “outrageous nonsense.” But we may say with certainty that they were not so to the old Egyptians. Under this extraordinary or even ridiculous garment may be hidden some very simple, or even elementary truths. Let us remember that we have not yet unravelled all the intricacies of the Egyptian mythology, which plays such an important part in the book. Moreover, we only begin now to understand how the Egyptians expressed abstract ideas. When we speak of passion, shame, remorse, hope, we have so thoroughly lost sight of the concrete element in these words, that we are apt to forget that originally they must have been metaphors, and that they must have expressed something striking the senses, and connected with the material world. An instance will illustrate the difficulty in this translation.

Chapter 112 relates how, owing to an imprudent request, Horus was the victim of Sutu, who inflicted a wound on his eye, which caused him great suffering, and the text adds: ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, lo! he ate his heart. Renouf translates, “and wrath devoured his heart.” I should prefer, “he regretted sorely (his foolish request).” I believe to eat one’s heart to mean, “to feel regret, repentance, or remorse.” There the abstract meaning is not difficult to find out; but in other cases, as long as we have not discovered the key to the metaphor, we may go far astray, or if we do not go beyond the literal explanation, we miss the abstract sense, which is the true one.

However, because the work will not bear the character of finality, because some obscurities will not be removed, and some difficulties remain unsolved, there is no reason why a scholar like Renouf should have shrunk from attempting the translation of the Book of the Dead, a work which he had before his eyes for years, and which he considered as the crown of his Egyptological labours.

The lecture quoted above gives us Renouf’s ideas as to the purpose and the sense of the book: it is the beatification of the dead considered in three aspects:

The renewed existence “as upon earth.” The deceased enjoys an existence similar to that which he has led upon earth; he has the use of his limbs, he eats and drinks and satisfies every one of his physical wants exactly as in his former life. The gods themselves minister to him occasionally, and contribute to his welfare and to his pleasures. The bliss of the future state consists chiefly in the pleasures of agricultural life.

Transformation. The deceased has the range of the entire universe in every shape and form he desires. He can assume any appearance he likes. But these transformations are not forced upon him; he has no definite series to go through; they depend simply on his pleasure.

xxiIdentification with Osiris and other gods. The identification with Osiris, which is already mentioned in the earliest parts of the book, is taken for granted later on, since the name of the deceased is always preceded by “Osiris.” He may be assimilated to other gods; for instance, in the 42nd chapter every limb is assimilated to a different deity. This Osirian nature gives the deceased the power to triumph over the numerous enemies whom he has to face.

To these three benefits which the book confers on the deceased we should add a fourth: viz., complete preservation from dismemberment and decay. There is evidently in some of the prayers a remembrance of a time when the deceased were dismembered at their burial; and this way of treating the corpse is for the deceased an object of horror. The frequent mention of reconstituting the body, the promises that no part of it shall be taken away, all this shows of what supreme importance it was for him that his body should remain intact. Without a well preserved body there could be no life in the other world; its destruction implies the destruction of the whole individual. This belief is the origin of mummification, for decay is the strongest agent of dismemberment and the certain ruin of the body.

These are the outlines of the principal tenets of the Book of the Dead. If we inquire where they originated, there is no doubt that the bulk of the book came from Heliopolis. It is the doctrine of that ancient city and of its priests. Some of the chapters may be attributed to the priests at Abydos, as M. Maspero suggests; but it seems certain that, except for a small part, the birthplace of the Book of the Dead is the city of Ra Tmu, the place connected with the oldest religious traditions of the country, and which may rightly be called the religious capital of Egypt.

January, 1904.

Edouard Naville.

1. See Introductory Note to Chapter CXL.

2. The Hibbert Lectures, 1879, p. 172.

3. See also Life Work, t. III, p. 51, “The title of the Book of the Dead,” and p. 59, “The Egyptian Book of the Dead.”

4. Das Aegyptische Todtenbuch der XVIII bis XX Dynastie, zusammengestellt und herausgegeben von Edouard Naville, Berlin, 1886.



(1)The Beginning of the Chapters of Coming forth by Day, of the (2)Words which bring about Resurrection and Glory, and of Coming out of and entering into Amenta. Said upon the Day of Burial of N, the Victorious,(3) who entereth after coming forth.(4) Here is N the Victorious. He saith

O (5)Bull of Amenta, It is Thoth, the everlasting King, who is here.

I am the great god in the Bark, who have fought for thee.

I am one of those gods, the (6)Powers who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries on the day of the Weighing of the Words: I am thy kinsman, Osiris.

I am one of those gods to whom Nut hath given birth, who slay the adversaries of Osiris and imprison the (7)Sebau, on his behalf: I am thy kinsman, Horus.

I have fought for thee, and have prevailed for thy name.

I am Thoth who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries on that day of Weighing of the Words in the (8)House of the Prince, which is in Heliopolis.

I am (9)Tatti, the son of Tatti, conceived in Tattu and born in Tattu; and Tattu is my name.

I am with the mourners and weepers who wail over Osiris in (10)Rechit, and who effect the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries.

Rā issued the mandate to Thoth, that he should effect the triumph of Osiris against his adversaries, and the mandate is what Thoth hath executed.

I am with Horus on the day of covering (11)Teshtesh and of opening the fountains for the refreshment of (12)the god whose heart is motionless, and closing the entrance to the hidden things in (13)Restau.

2I am with Horus, as the avenger of that left arm of Osiris which is in (14)Sechem.

I enter in, and I come forth from the (15)Tank of Flame on the day when the adversaries are annihilated at Sechem.

I am with Horus on the day when the festivals of Osiris are celebrated, and when offerings are made [to Rā], on the Feast of the Sixth day of the Month, and on the Feast of Tenait(16) in Heliopolis.

I am the Priest(17) in Tattu and exalt him who is on the Height.(18)

I am the Prophet in Abydos on the day when the earth is raised.

I am he who seeth what is shut up at Restau.(19)

I am he who reciteth the liturgies of the (20)Soul who is Lord of Tattu.

I am the Sem-priest in all that pertaineth to his office.

I am the Arch-Craftsman, on the day in which the Ship of Sokaru is laid upon its stocks.(21)

I am he who seizeth the mattock, on the day of the Feast of Hoeing in Suten-henen.(22)

O ye who bring beneficent souls into the house of Osiris, do ye bring the soul of N together with you into the house of Osiris; let him see as you see, let him hear as youyou hear, let him stand as you stand, and sit as you sit [in the house of Osiris].

O ye who give bread and beer to beneficent souls in the house of Osiris, do you give bread and beer at the two periods to the soul of N who is with you.

O ye who unclose the ways and open the roads to beneficent souls in the house of Osiris, unclose then the ways and open the roads to the soul of N who is with you, let him enter boldly and come forth in peace at the house of Osiris, without hindrance and without repulse. Let him enter at his pleasure and go forth at his will, triumphantly with you; and let that be executed which he shall order in the house of Osiris.

No lightness of his in the scale has been found and the Balance is (23)relieved of his case.


The text taken for the basis of the translation of Chapter I is that of the papyrus of Huneferu; Ag of M. Naville’s edition.

1. The title here translated is that usual in all the papyri representing the third period of the text. It occurs however in the papyrus Ag of Huneferu, who lived in the days of Seti I, at the beginning of the XIXth dynasty. It is also found in the papyrus of Ani. The most common title of Chapter I in the older manuscripts is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, “Chapter of coming to the divine Powers attached to Osiris.” These divine Powers are Amsta, Hapi, Tuamautef and Qebehsenuf, the children of Horus, who stand upon the lotus which springs from the water beneath the throne of Osiris, in pictures of the Psychostasia. Chapter 124 bears the same title in the older manuscripts, which sometimes begin with it.

2. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. These are two very difficult words, and very different meanings have been assigned to them. But when the entire evidence is examined the result is plain enough. Each of the words has for determinative the sign, ⁂, expressive of some kind of utterance. It is a λόγος of some kind has for its first letter the causative ⁂. The question therefore is, what are the meanings of the simpler forms ⁂⁂, tes, and ⁂⁂⁂, ḫu?

The most common, indeed the only true, meaning of ⁂⁂ is ‘rising,’ and even ‘raising.’ This is too well-known to require proof. ⁂⁂ is ‘causing to rise.’ The Pyramid text of Teta says (l. 270), “Horus hath given his children that they may raise thee up ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.” In the same religious text, l. 248, ⁂⁂ is the rising from the funereal couch after the ⁂⁂, the recitations made over the dead.

The ‘raising up’ or ‘resurrection’ here spoken of is said not only of the soul but of the body of the deceased person. The papyrus of Nebseni has preserved two chapters, to which M. Naville has assigned the numbers 177 and 178.

4177. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

Chapter of raising up the Chu, and giving life to the Soul in the Netherworld.

178. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

Chapter of raising up the body, of giving it eyes and the possession of ears, and establishing the head, made firm on its props.

⁂, ḫat, is not simply the body; it is the dead body, that which has fallen, like the Latin cadaver, the Greek πτῶμα, the Hebrew מַפֶלֶח. (See Transactions Soc. Bib. Arch., Vol. VIII, p. 221, note 2.)

The true meaning of ⁂⁂⁂ ḫu is not ‘luminous’ but ‘clear, distinct, glittering, coruscans,’ and hence ‘bright, splendid, illustrious, glorious,’ and the like. Like the Greek λαμπρός, the Latin clarus, the Hebrew עהל, or the French éclat, it is applied to sound as well as to light. It is said of Thoth (in the wretched orthography[5] of a tablet of the XIXth dynasty) ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “he glorified them with the clear utterances of his mouth.” ⁂⁂⁂ corresponds to the Greek λαμπροφωνία. As a verb ⁂⁂ is clareo, and is ⁂⁂⁂ clarifico, glorifico.

5There are, it is true, variants in the title of Chapter 17, giving the form ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. In spite of the excellent authority of these variants, they must be considered as giving an erroneous reading. The words ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘remember,’ and ⁂⁂⁂ are different in origin and meaning. The latter signifies ‘confer glory,’ and the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ are religious formularies recited by priests, identifying the deceased person with Osiris and other divinities. There are numerous pictures in the tombs representing priests performing this office.[6]

3. M. Déveria has produced excellent evidence showing that ⁂ maāt-ḫeru has the sense of ‘victorious, triumphant.’ But the sense of véridique is untenable. ⁂⁂⁂ ḫeru is ‘voice’ not ‘speech.’ In Proceedings S.B.A., Vol. VI, p. 192, note, I have quoted a passage from a chapter (now numbered 181 in M. Naville’s edition) in which ⁂⁂⁂⁂ signifies ‘want of success, failure.’

⁂⁂⁂⁂ maāt ḫeru really signifies “one whose voice is Law.” It is essentially a divine title (see “Altar at Turin,” Transactions, III, pl. II, line 10, appended to Mr. Bonomi’s article), and in no Egyptian text is it used of mortals supposed to be living. The translation “juste de voix,” limits the conception of maāt to one of its secondary acceptations.

⁂⁂⁂⁂ semaāt ḫeru is also, and necessarily so, a divine act, that of Thoth; and it is done through his utterances.

4. ⁂ ȧn in this place as in very many others is not a preposition, still less is it a verb. It is a demonstrative particle, like the Latin en, ecce, or the Hebrew הֵו. Nothing is more common than this particle followed only by a proper name, e.g., on the funereal figures. There is not the slightest reason for supposing that there is an ellipse of the verb ‘saith.’ The particle is used like the corresponding Latin one under the Scottish picture of Edward I—

‘En rex Edwardus debacchans ut leopardus.’

When I translate ⁂⁂⁂ ⁂⁂⁂, “It is Thoth—who is here,” I do not wish to imply that ⁂⁂ is the verb to be, any more than I should in the frequent expression ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “It is his son who revives his name.” ⁂ is a demonstrative particle and nothing else.

Instead of looking out for moods and tenses and paradigms, Egyptologists ought to wake to the consciousness that the Egyptians never rose to the conception of what we mean by a verb.

65. The Bull of Amenta is Osiris. Bull, like Lion or Hawk, was one of the figurative names of gods or kings, and Osiris is sometimes represented with a Bull’s head.

6. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ T’at’at. This word is often wrongly translated ‘judges.’ The divine judges are called t’at’at, but the proposition is not simply convertible. There were the ⁂⁂⁂⁂ not only of Osiris, but (Todt., 22, 2) also of every god and every goddess. And all the ancient towns of Egypt had their divine ⁂⁂⁂⁂. It is a term used (cf. p. 55) as exactly synonymous with ⁂⁂. In a mythological system like the Egyptian no god stood alone; every god involved others in close connection with himself, and every act of his necessitated corresponding acts on their part.

7. The sebȧu are the enemies of the Sun, either as Rā or Osiris. I believe that under this mythological name the dark clouds are personified.

8. Het Saru, ‘House of the Prince,’ is the name of the great Sanctuary at Heliopolis. It must be remembered however that many of the geographical localities named in the Book of the Dead have their counterparts in the Egyptian heaven.

9. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂, the ‘firm, stable, unalterable, abiding, eternal one,’ whose origin and progress are in eternity. The city ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂ has a name like the Palestinian עַוָֹה, Gazah, the ‘strong’ city, and many other Hebrew names connected with the root עזז.

710. Rechit, a locality in the north of Egypt. The mourners and weepers alluded to are chiefly Isis and Nephthys.

11. Teshtesh is one of the names of Osiris; perhaps, as might be inferred from a text at Dendera, of his molten image.

12. The god “whose heart is motionless” is Osiris.

13. ⁂⁂ Re-stau, one of the gates of the Netherworld. Its situation is specified in Chapter 17, line 19.

14. Sechem. Letopolis, where the arm of Osiris had been deposited, when the other limbs of the god were dispersed throughout the cities of Egypt.

15. The Tank of Flame, as may be inferred from the vignettes of the papyri, is where the sun rises or sets. Cf., Unas, 393, 506.

16. Tenait. Feast of the seventh day of the month.

17. The speaker now assumes the persons of various priests in succession, the ⁂⁂ āb, the ⁂⁂⁂ ḥen nutȧr (prophet), the ⁂⁂⁂ sem, and the ⁂⁂⁂⁂ ura ḫerp ḥem;[7] and he describes himself as performing certain religious ceremonies. It must never be forgotten when reading these texts that the Egyptian priests had divine titles, and that their ceremonies were dramatic, and symbolical of the acts performed by the gods.

18. The text here is hopelessly corrupt. The translation given follows Ag.

Instead of ⁂⁂⁂ exalt, several MSS. have ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, which has been rendered anoint with oil. One might translate the Turin text, “I lustrate with water in Tattu and with oil in Abydos, exalting him who is in the heights (in excelsis),” for this text combines different readings. But ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, as it is written, may have another meaning. ⁂⁂⁂ beq, signifies ‘clear, bright, shining,’ and the olive tree derives its name from this. The determinative 8⁂ and the causative ⁂ furnish the sense, ‘I make bright, illustrious, glorious,’ ‘I celebrate or glorify.’ ‘He is who on the height’ (= עליון) is, according to Chapter 17, the Sun.

19. This is perhaps supposed to be said by the priest called ⁂⁂, the ‘Arch-seer,’ at Heliopolis.

20. One of the designations of Osiris. Perhaps the word Ba should be translated Ram, for in the Mendesian Nome Osiris was worshipped under this form, and was called ⁂⁂⁂ ḣeru šefit, ‘god of the strong face.’ The fact is that whether applied to the soul or to a ram, the word ba is expressive of ‘power, force.’ The same word under the form ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is used in Chapter 120, 2 (= 12, 2) in the sense of ‘splitting up.’ And this is clearly the Egyptian concept of the soul—‘the internal force, that which works within us,’ τὸ ἐνεργοῦν.

The word is ideographically written ⁂ or ⁂,[8] both the Ram and the cranelike bird being called ba. Some have cleverly inferred that the Egyptians thought that the soul was of a birdlike form, and others have not hesitated to consider ba as expressive of the cry of the ram. The odd thing is that only the ram has this name, not the sheep or the lamb, who nevertheless indulge in the same cry. The truth is that in spite of appearances the word ba is not onomatopoeic here. Whether applied to the ram or to the heron, the word is expressive of human action and signifies ‘digging through, cleaving, piercing, splitting.’ The hieroglyphic variants are very expressive: ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂ (the last is already found in Denkm. II, 51).

The Ram is called in Egyptian ba on account of the digs which he makes with his head, and a force which has occasioned the name of ‘ram’ to be given to powerful engines.

9The Heron is also called ba because with its bill it cleaves the fishes which it attacks.

And the word which we translate Soul or Spirit is called ba, because it is conceived as something which ‘pierces, penetrates and divides.’

It is right to point out (to those who may wonder at this Egyptian etymology) that the Latin scio ‘I know’ is etymologically akin to seco ‘cut,’ securis ‘an axe,’ and the Greek κείω, κεάζω ‘split, cleave.’

21. The ⁂⁂⁂ sem, and the ⁂⁂⁂ urȧ ḫerp ḥem, were priests in the service of Ptah. The latter, who held perhaps the highest sacerdotal office in Egypt, as high priest of Ptah at Memphis, is repeatedly found combining with his own special office that of the sem. The ceremony which is here referred to consisted in a grand procession round the walls of the great sanctuary of Ptah, conveying upon a sledge the bark ⁂ in which the coffin of the god was supposed to rest. Sokaru signifies ‘the coffined,’ and Ptah Sokaru is only a form of Osiris. Abundant details of the ceremony will be found in the plates of M. Mariette’s Abydos, I, pl. 36 and following. The king Seti I is represented as a Sem priest presiding at the festival.

22. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Suten-ḥenen was called by the Greeks Heracleopolis.

23. Or ‘rid of his business.’ The word ⁂ sep, ‘turn,’ has the different significations of the Latin ‘vices.’

In the later recensions this chapter is lengthened out by other petitions. The deceased asks, among other things, to appear “before thee, O Lord of the gods, to attain the region of Maāt, may I rise up a living god, let me shine like the divine host which is in heaven, let me be as one of you. Let my steps be lifted up in Cher-ābaut. Let me see the ship[9] of the holy Sahu [Orion], traversing the sky; let me not be prevented from seeing the lords of the Tuat [the Netherworld], smelling the fragrance of the sacrificial 10offerings made to the divine host, and sitting with them. Let the Cher-heb [the priestly ministrant] make invocation over my coffin. Let me hear the prayers of propitiation. Let the divine ship Neshemet advance for me, let not my soul and its possessor suffer repulse.”

An invocation to Osiris follows.

“Hail to thee, Prince of Amenta, Osiris, lord of Nifura; grant that I may advance in peace towards Amenta, and that the Lords of Tasert may receive me and say to me, ‘Salutation! Salutation! in Peace!’ let them make for me a seat by the Prince of the divine Powers, let the two Chenemta goddesses [Isis and Nephthys] receive me, in presence of Unneferu, the Victorious. Let me be a follower of Horus in Re-stau, and of Osiris in Tattu. Let me assume all forms for the satisfaction of my heart in every place that my Genius [Ka] wisheth.”

The following rubric is found as early as the XIXth dynasty in connection with this chapter, but it seems to have originally been attached to Chapter 72.

“If this discourse is learnt upon earth, or is written upon the coffin, he (the deceased) may come forth upon every day that he pleaseth and again enter his house without impediment. And there shall be given to him bread and beer and flesh meat upon the table of Râ: he shall receive allotment in the Fields of Aarru [the Elysian fields of Egyptian mythology], and there shall be given to him there wheat and barley, for he shall be flourishing as when he was upon earth.”

Chapter 1 is followed in M. Naville’s edition by another, which the learned editor calls 1 B. This chapter is found in so very few copies that the text cannot as yet be restored. The two texts published by M. Naville differ widely from each other. It was known however down to the Roman period, though not inserted into copies of the Book of the Dead.

It is called Chapter of introducing the Mummy into the Tuat on the day of burial. The 124th chapter bears a similar title. The word here translated mummy is probably not to be understood of the visible mummy, but of the living personality which it enclosed. The chapter opens with an invocation, “Hail to thee, who art in the sacred region of Amenta, the Osiris, [the deceased] knows thee and thy name, defend him from those Worms which are in Restau, 11who live upon the flesh of men and swallow their blood.” The names of the Worms were given, but in consequence of the gaps in the text they cannot now be recovered. The chapter finished with prayers in which the deceased identifies himself with Horus, who has taken possession of the throne which his father has given him; he has taken possession of heaven, and inherited the earth, and neither heaven nor earth shall be taken from him, for he is Râ, the eldest of the gods. His mother suckles him and offers him her breast, which is on the horizon at Dawn.


5. Sharpe, E.I., pl. 97.

The papyrus Da which is of the same period reads ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the title of Chapter 17, instead of ⁂⁂ ‘glory,’ ‘éclat.’ The ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ correspond by their name very closely with the devas of Indian mythology, and the dead are called ⁂⁂⁂⁂ on the pious hypothesis of their having obtained ‘glory.’ The word has nothing to do with ‘intelligence.’ It is particularly applicable to the heavenly bodies, the sun, moon and stars—‘the glittering ones,’ and the horizon at sunrise ⁂ ḫut, and ⁂⁂⁂ ‘fire’ derive their names from their éclat.

6. See Denkm. II, 71 b, 72 a, b, 101 b; cf. 98 h, 116 c, and III, 260 c.

7. The evidence produced by W. Max Müller in behalf of this reading of the priestly name is quite convincing.

8. The human head (with a beard) sometimes given to the bird, merely indicates the aivine nature of the soul.

9. This is one of the meanings of ⁂⁂⁂, but in this place it may simply mean ‘going round in a ship.’


Chapter for Coming forth by day and Living after death.

Oh thou Only One,(1) who shinest from the Moon, let me come forth amid that train(2) of thine, at large,(3) and let me be revealed(4) as one of those in glory.(5)

And when the Tuat is opened to the gods, let N come forth to do his pleasure upon earth amid the Living.


This chapter occurs in only two of the ancient MSS. collated by Naville: Ae and Pf. It is also found in the papyrus of Ani.

1. ⁂ ‘unicus,’ the Sole and Only One, is one of the many appellatives of the Sun. He is here represented as shining in or from the Moon. Cf. note on Chapter 132.

122. ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ‘multitude, throng, train,’ here put for the ‘heavenly host,’ the ἄκριτος ἄστρων ὄχλος (Euripid., Fr. 596), or the Hebrew עבא חשׁמים.

Osiris is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ‘the leader of the host,’ Sharpe, I, 105.

3. ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ אל־מהוץ, foras, ‘forth, out of doors, at large,’ in opposition to enclosure in the tomb.

4. ⁂⁂, explicare, ‘disclose, unfold, reveal, make clear.’

5. Or ‘among the Glorious ones,’ ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.


Another chapter like it.

Oh Tmu, who proceedest from Ur-henhenu,(1) who art resplendent as the Lion-faced,(2) and who strewest thy words to those who are before thee;

Here cometh the faithful N, from the band of those who do the bidding of thy words.

O ye seamen of Râ at the gloaming of the day, let N live after death, like Râ daily.

Here the helmsman: As Râ is born from Yesterday, so he too is born from Yesterday, and as every god exulteth in life, so shall N exult even as they exult in life.

I am Thoth as he goeth forth from the House of the Prince in Heliopolis.(3)


The only ancient copy of this chapter is in the papyrus of Amen-neb (Ae), and here it is imperfect.

1. A personification of the Nile, ⁂⁂⁂. The later texts read ⁂⁂⁂ ‘the great goddess in the Water.’

132. The later texts have ⁂⁂⁂⁂, implying the two lions Shu and Tefnut. But the older texts have ⁂⁂⁂⁂, a single god, with a lion’s face or form. The two notions, however, are found in combination in the Pyramid texts of Unas (l. 558) and Teta (l. 332).

3. See note 8 on Chapter 1.


Another Chapter, for travelling on the road which is above the earth.

It is I who travel on the Stream(1) which divideth the divine Pair,(2) I am come, let there be given to me the lands of Osiris.


This fourth chapter has not as yet been found in any of the papyri of the best period.

1. ⁂⁂⁂⁂, literally ‘weeping,’ ‘flood of tears,’ hence ‘overflow, inundation, stream or canal.’ It is one of the names of the Nile on earth and in heaven and of his personification as a god. See Chapter 61, and P.S.B.A., XIII, p. 8 and 9.]

2. ⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ are two divinities in opposition or contrast, like Set and Horus (Chapter 17, 25) or the sister goddesses named ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Mertȧ (37, 1). Thoth is the umpire between Set and Horus (Darkness and Light) and mediates between them, but he and Râ (the Moon and Sun) are (Teta, l. 69) spoken of as the two Rehu gods travelling over the sky.]

Chapter V.

Chapter whereby work may not be imposed [upon a person(1)] in the Netherworld.

Here is N. He saith, I am he who raiseth the hand which is motionless, and I come forth at the hour.(2) I am the living Soul,(3) and there go before me the longings(4) of those who bring salutation.(5)


This chapter is found in several of the best MSS., but the text is extremely corrupt, and must have become absolutely unintelligible. The Turin text differs greatly from that of the older copies, and the transposition of words clearly shows how little the transcribers understood what they were writing. I follow chiefly the text of Aa, the papyrus of Nebseni.

1. These words only occur in the later copies.

2. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is the older reading, but ⁂⁂⁂ seems to be the more correct.

3. The oldest text must have had simply the ideographic ⁂, Ae gives ⁂⁂⁂ Ba, but Pd has ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Ḫnemu. The ‘living Soul’ is that of the Sun, whether he is called Râ or Osiris.

4. ‘Desires, wishes, loves,’ literally, ‘hearts.’

5. ⁂⁂⁂ signifies ‘salute,’ as in Chapter 12, 1, and 14, 1, and ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂ (with various other forms) the ‘saluter,’ is the name of the Ape who is seen in the vignettes of the papyri saluting the rising of the sun. See M. Naville’s Todtenbuch, I, plates 21 and 22; the Papyrus of Ani, plate 2; the Todtenbuch of Lepsius, Chapters 16 and 126.

I do not know how far it is correct to illustrate this undoubted origin of the Egyptian name for the Ape, as ‘the saluting one,’ by the following extract of a letter to Cuvier from M. Duvaucelle, about the Siamang apes in the neighbourhood of Bencoolen in Sumatra. “They assemble in numerous troops ... and thus united, they salute the rising and the setting sun with the most terrific cries, which may be heard at the distance of many miles; and which, when near, stun, when they do not frighten. This is the morning call of the mountain Malays, but to the inhabitants of the town, who are unaccustomed to it, it is a most insupportable annoyance.”

In this place of the Book of the Dead the sign ⁂ is a mere determinative of the sound aān with the notion of salutation, just as the sign ⁂ is a determinative of the sound ȧb with the notion of thirst.

15The ‘saluters’ of the rising sun are neither real apes nor men but the “Spirits of the East” who, as we are told in an inscription of the tomb of Rameses VI, “effect the rising of Râ by opening the door at each of the four portals of the eastern horizon of heaven. They it is who light him on both sides, and go forth in advance of him.... And when he arises they turn into six cynocephali.”[10]

The Egyptian words in the later texts are ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ the alternative reading being itself a proof that the difficulty of the text was already felt by some Egyptian scribe.

But if the scribe had consulted the oldest texts accessible in his day, he would probably have seen another way out. Our oldest MS., that of Nebseni, reads, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ bes-kuȧ ȧbu ȧāā(n)u, which signify literally, “antecedunt me corda salutantium.” The word ⁂⁂⁂ bes is a very common one in pictures representing the introduction of a king or a god into a temple. It is the technical term used in the Tablet of Canopus for the inducting, by the king, of priests into their offices. The subject of this verb is ⁂⁂⁂ hearts; an independent word, instead of being the mere determinative of ⁂⁂⁂. The object of the verb is the speaker—⁂⁂⁂kuȧ, ‘me,’ as the papyrus Pa reads, like Aa. And it is easy to see how the later text, which is already found in Ax, has been corrupted out of the older.

10. Champollion, Notices, tom. II, p. 640.


Chapter whereby the funereal Statuettes may be made to do work for a person in the Netherworld.

O Statuette(1) there! Should I be called and appointed to do any of the labours that are done in the Netherworld by a person according to his abilities, lo! all obstacles have been beaten down 16for thee; be thou counted for me at every moment, for planting the fields, for watering the soil, for conveying the sands of east and west.

Here am I, whithersoever thou callest me.


1. This chapter is inscribed on the funereal statuettes, of which enormous quantities are found; sometimes by hundreds in the neighbourhood of a single mummy. Much information on the subject, both archæological and philological, will be found in Mariette’s Catalogue Général des Monuments d’Abydos, p. 25 and following, and in M. Loret’s articles “Les Statuettes funéraires du Musée de Boulaq,” published in the Recueil de Travaux, tomes IV and V.

In the earlier texts ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂; in the later ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The latter word being read ušebti, has very naturally been considered as derived from ⁂⁂⁂⁂, in Coptic ⲟⲩⲱϣⲃ, ‘to answer.’ For the statuette is addressed at the beginning of the chapter, and it replies at the end. But there is no reason for supposing that the earlier form had the same meaning.


Chapter of passing through the chine of Apepi which is void.

Oh, One of Wax,(1) who takest captive and seizest with violence, and livest upon those who are motionless! Let me not become motionless before thee, let me not be paralysed before thee, let not thy venoms enter into my limbs, for my limbs are the limbs of Tmu.

And if thou wouldst not be paralysed, let me not be paralysed.

Let not thy languors enter these limbs of mine.

I am the One who presideth over the pole of Heaven, and the powers of all the gods are my powers.

I am he, whose names are hidden, and whose abodes are mysterious for all eternity.

It is I who proceed from Tmu, and I am safe and sound.(2)


Apepi is the personification of the storm-cloud and, as such, is the enemy of Râ, by whom he is vanquished. As representing a natural phenomenon of irregular occurrence, he is not deified like Sutu, the Darkness of Night.

On comparing this chapter with the 99th, it would appear that the occasion for reciting it is on the journey of the heavenly boat through ridges of cloud, which are pictured as the coils of a great serpent, and described as ⁂⁂ inanes, empty, void. In the papyrus of Nebket (Pe) the vignette shows the deceased person transfixing the dragon. The chapter itself was said over a wax figure of the demon.

1. These wax figures of gods and other personages were used not only for ritual but for unlawful magical purposes. The Rollin papyrus reports about a criminal condemned to death for magical arts. He was charged with making ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘gods of wax,’ and some men “for the purpose of paralysing the limbs of men ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.” See Chabas, Papyrus Magique, p. 170, and Devéria, Pap. judiciaire de Turin, p. 131.

2. The more recent texts omit this ending and substitute, “I know, I know.” Some MSS. have both readings.


Chapter of opening the Tuat by day.

The Hour(1) discloseth what the head of Thoth keepeth close, who giveth might to the Eye of Horus.(2)

And I call upon the Eye of Horus which gleams as an ornament upon the brow of Râ, the father of the gods.

I am that Osiris, the Lord of Amenta, and Osiris knoweth his day, and that it is in his lot that he should end his being, and be no more.(3)

I am Sutu, the father of the gods, the imperishable one.

Stay, Horus, for he is counted among the gods.


1. Time.

2. See note on Chapter 17, 27. It must be sufficient here to say that Thoth is a personification of the moon, and that the relations of solar and lunar phenomena are the sources of a great deal of Egyptian mythology.

3. This is one of the most difficult passages in the Book of the Dead, but I do not see how it can be grammatically understood otherwise. It is understood from the passage from Light to Darkness and the converse.

‘In his lot,’ literally ‘in him.’

‘End his being’: more strictly, ‘bring to an end his activity’; ⁂⁂⁂. ‘Being’ (though inevitable in a modern language) is much too abstract a word for these ancient texts. ⁂ implies ‘motion, activity,’ and ⁂ is not a simple negation, but implies ‘completion, end’ (τελέω, τέλος), though not ‘cessation.’

Our modern acceptation of the word ‘perfect’ is often wrongly applied to ⁂. We should think rather of such phrases as ‘annum perficere,’ ‘sole perfecto.’


Chapter for opening the Tuat.

O Soul most mighty,(1) here am I: I am come to thee that I may see thee.

I open the Tuat that I may see my father Osiris and may drive away the darkness.

I am he whom he loveth. I have come to see my father Osiris, to pierce the heart of Sutu, and to perform all duties to my father Osiris.

I open all the paths in heaven and upon earth.

I am the son who loveth his father, and I am come as a mummied one, glorious and well equipt.

Oh, all ye gods and goddesses, the path is made for me.


1. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘Soul most mighty,’ is one of the principal names of Osiris. The whole chapter is spoken in the person of Horus, the son of Osiris.


Chapter for coming forth victoriously.

I come forth victoriously against the adversaries.

I cleave the heaven, I open the horizon and I travel over the earth on foot. There come forward to me the Glorious and the Great ones, for I am furnished with numberless Words of Might.

I eat with my mouth, and I chew with my jaw; for, lo, I worship the god who is Lord of the Tuat, and that is given to me which endureth amid overthrow.


Chapter for coming out against the adversary in the Netherworld.

Here is the Osiris N.

O Eater of his arm: away from his path!

I am Râ coming forth from the horizon against his adversary, who shall not be delivered from me.

I have stretched out my hand, as the Lord of the Crown, and lifted my feet.

I shall not be given up; my adversary shall fall before me; he hath been given up to me and shall not be delivered from me.

I rise up like Horus, I sit down as Ptah, I am victorious as Thoth, and powerful as Tmu: I walk upon my feet, I speak with my mouth, searching for him who hath been given up to me; he shall not be delivered from me.


There is unfortunately no early text of this chapter, which we have in a very corrupt form, and can only restore conjecturally. The Eater of his arm is evidently Darkness, which is destroyed by the Sun.


Chapter for entering and for coming forth out of the Netherworld.

Salutation to thee, O Râ, who guardest the secrets of the gates(1) over this domain of Seb, and this Balance with which Râ raiseth up Maât (2) daily:

Here am I, who cleave open(3) the earth, grant that I may come and acquire advance in age.(4)


This chapter, like the next, occurs only in Pa among the older MSS. It comes twice in the Turin copy, being repeated as Chapter 120.

1. So Pa; the Turin copy has ‘the Tuat.’

2. In many places it is important to treat Maât as a proper name.

3. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂ , a word not confined to agricultural operations. See note 20, p. 8.

4. As the sun, who is represented as an infant at dawn and as an aged man at sunset.


Chapter for entering after coming out from Amenta.

I enter as a Hawk and come forth as a Bennu(1) at Dawn.

Let the way be made for me that I may adore Râ at the fair Amenta, and the locks(2) of Osiris. I urge on the hounds of Horus.

Let the way be made for me that I may adore Osiris, the Lord of Life.


This chapter, in the MSS. of which the Turin copy is the type, is repeated as Chapter 121, with the following rubric:—

“Said over an ear-ring of the flower Ânch-amu, put upon the right ear of the deceased person, with another ear-ring, put in fine linen, upon which is written the name of N, on the day of burial.”

1. The Bennu is a bird of the Heron kind. He is very commonly but, I think, erroneously identified with the Phoenix. The bird described by Herodotus, II, 73, was in outline and size “very like an eagle,” which no one could say of the Bennu. He appeared only once in five hundred years, whereas the Bennu appeared every day. The fable as told by the Greeks is utterly unsupported by any Egyptian authority known to us.

2. This passage is, unfortunately, both in the ancient and the recent forms, corrupt.


Chapter for removing displeasure from the heart of the god against the deceased person.

Hail to thee, oh god who sendest forth(1) the Moment, who presidest over all the Secret things(2), and protectest the utterance of my words.

Here(3) is a god displeased against me; let wrong be overwhelmed and let it fall upon the hands of the Lord of Law. Remove(4) the impediments which are in me and the evil and the darkness(5), oh Lord of Law, and let that god be reconciled to me, removing that which detaineth me from thee.

Oh, lord of offerings in Kenu(6), let me offer to thee the propitiary offering by which thou livest, and let me live by it and be reconciled.

Let all the displeasure which is in thy heart against me be removed.


There is a very great difference between the earlier and the later texts of this chapter. Former translators, having chiefly the Turin 22text before them, have understood the title of the chapter as intended “to remove the impurities from the heart of the deceased person.” The Turin text of the chapter is really unintelligible, and even in the earlier texts certain passages are so corrupt as to defy translation.

1. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ like the Latin ‘mittere’ has the sense of “let go, give free course, set at liberty.”

2. ⁂⁂⁂, the secrets, here as elsewhere in the funereal texts, are those of the tomb and of the world beyond the grave.

3. The older texts have ⁂⁂, the later, ⁂.

4. The Lord of Law is in the singular, but the imperative ‘remove’ is in the plural.

5. The word ⁂⁂ was a puzzle to the oldest transcribers. It is susceptible of different meanings. The Turin text ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘the god is joined with Law,’ which is supported by some of the older papyri, is intelligible in itself, but not in this context. I have understood ⁂⁂⁂⁂, coming as it does after ⁂⁂⁂, in the sense of ⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘deep darkness.’

6. The MSS. differ hopelessly on this proper name.


Hymn I(1).
Adored be Râ, when he riseth up from the eastern horizon of Heaven; they who accompany him extol him.

Here is the Osiris N, the Victorious, and he saith:—

O thou radiant Orb, who arisest each day from the Horizon, shine thou upon the face of the Osiris N who adoreth thee at dawn, and propitiateth thee at the gloaming.

Let the soul of N come forth with thee into heaven, let him journey in the Mââtit boat and finish his course in the Sektit boat(2) till he reach in heaven unto the Stars which set(3).

23He saith, as he invoketh his Lord, the Eternal one:—

Hail to thee, Horus of the Two Horizons(4), who art Chepera Self-originating(5); Beautiful is thy rising up from the horizon, enlightening the two Earths with thy rays. All the gods are in exultation when they see thee the King of Heaven, with the Nebt Unnut[11] established upon thy head (and the diadem of the South and the diadem of the North upon thy brow) which maketh her abode in front of thee.

Thoth abideth at the prow of thy bark that he may destroy all thine adversaries.

They who dwell in the Tuat are coming forth to meet thy Majesty, and to gaze upon that beautiful semblance of thine.

And I too come to thee that I may be with thee to see thine Orb each day; let me not be detained, let me not be repulsed.

Let my limbs be renewed by the contemplation of thy glories, like all thy servants, for I am one of those who honoured thee upon earth.

Let me reach the Land of Ages, let me gain the Land of Eternity; for thou, my Lord, hast destined them for me.

The Osiris N; he saith:—

Hail to thee who risest up from the Horizon as Râ in union with Maāt; thou dost traverse heaven in peace and all men see thee as thou goest forward. And after being concealed from them thou presentest thyself at the dawn of each day.

Brisk is the bark under thy Majesty.

Thy rays are upon men’s faces; the golden glories they cannot be told: not to be described are thy beams.

The Lands of the gods, the colours of Punit(6) are seen in them; that men may form an estimate of that which is hidden from their faces.

Alone art thou when thy form riseth up upon the Sky; let me advance as thou advancest, like thy Majesty, without a pause, O Râ, whom none can outstrip.

A mighty march is thine; Leagues by millions, and hundreds of thousands, in a small moment thou hast travelled them, and thou goest to rest.

24Thou completest the hours of the Night, according as thou hast measured them out. And when thou hast completed them according to thy rule, day dawneth.

Thou presentest thyself at thy place as Râ, as thou risest from the Horizon.

The Osiris N, he saith, as he adoreth thee when thou shinest; He saith to thee when thou risest up at dawn, as he exalteth thine appearance;

Thou comest forth, most glorious one, fashioning and forming thy limbs, giving birth to them without any labour, as Râ rising in heaven.

Grant that I may attain to the Heaven of eternity and the abode of thy servants; let me be united with the venerable and mighty Chu[12] of the Netherworld; let me come forth with them to see thy glories, as thou shinest at the gloaming, when thy mother Nut(7) enfoldeth thee.

And when thou turnest thy face to the West, mine hands are in adoration to thy setting as one who liveth;[13] for it is thou who hast created Eternity.

I have set thee in my heart unceasingly, who art more mighty than all the gods.

The Osiris N, he saith:—

Adoration to thee, who arisest out of the Golden, and givest light to the earth on the day of thy birth. Thy mother bringeth thee forth upon her hands, that thou mayest give light to the whole circumference which the Solar Orb enlighteneth.

Mighty Enlightener, who risest up in the Sky and raisest up the tribes of men by thy Stream, and givest holiday to all districts, towns and temples; and raising food, nourishment and dainties.

Most Mighty one, master of masters, who defendest every abode of thine against wrong, Most Glorious one in thine Evening Bark, Most Illustrious in thy Morning Bark.

Glorify thou the Osiris N in the Netherworld, grant that he may come into Amenta without defect and free from wrong, and set him among the faithful and venerable ones.

25Let him be united with the souls in the Netherworld, let him sail about in the country of Aarru[14] after a joyful journey.

Here is the Osiris N.

Come forth into Heaven, sail across the firmament and enter into brotherhood with the Stars, let salutation be made to thee in the Bark, let invocation be made to thee in the Morning Bark. Contemplate Râ within his Ark and do thou propitiate his Orb daily. See the Ant fish in its birth from the emerald stream, and see the Abtu fish and its rotations.(8)

And let the offender[15] fall prostrate, when he meditates destruction for me, by blows upon his back-bone.

Râ springs forth with a fair wind; the Evening Bark speeds on and reaches the Haven; the crew of Râ are in exultation when they look upon him; the Mistress of Life, her heart is delighted at the overthrow of the adversary of her Lord.

See thou Horus at the Look-out of the ship,(9) and at his sides Thoth and Maāt. All the gods are in exultation when they behold Râ coming in peace to give new life to the hearts of the Chu, and here is the Osiris N along with them.


Adored be Râ, as he setteth in the Land of Life.(11)
Hail to thee, who hast come as Tmu, and hast been the creator of the cycle of the gods,(12)
Hail to thee, who hast come as the Soul of Souls, August one in Amenta,
Hail to thee, who art above the gods and who lightenest up the Tuat with thy glories,
Hail to thee, who comest in splendour, and goest round in thine Orb,
Hail to thee, who art mightier than the gods, who art crowned in Heaven and King in the Tuat,
Hail to thee, who openest the Tuat and disposest of all its doors,
26Hail to thee, supreme among the gods, and Weigher of Words in the Netherworld.
Hail to thee, who art in thy Nest, and stirrest the Tuat with thy glory,
Hail to thee, the Great, the Mighty, whose enemies are laid prostrate at their blocks,
Hail to thee, who slaughterest the Sebau and annihilatest Âpepi,

[Each invocation of this Litany is followed by]

Give thou delicious breezes of the north wind to the Osiris N.

Horus openeth; the Great, the Mighty, who divideth the earths, the great one who resteth in the Mountain of the West, and lighteneth up the Tuat with his glories and the Souls in their hidden abode, by shining into their sepulchres.

By hurling harm against the foe thou hast utterly destroyed all the adversaries of the Osiris N.

Hymn II.(13)

The Osiris N; he saith when he adoreth Râ, the Horus of the Two Horizons, when setting in the Land of Life.

Adoration to thee, O Râ; Adoration to thee, O Tmu, at thy coming in thy beauty, in thy manifestation, in thy mastery.

Thou sailest over the Heaven, thou travellest over earth and in splendour thou reachest the zenith; the two divisions of Heaven are in obeisance to thee, and yield adoration to thee.

All the gods of Amenta are in exultation at thy glory. They whose abodes are hidden adore thee, and the Great Ones make offerings to thee, who for thee have created the soil of earth.(14)

They who are on the Horizon convey thee, and they who are in the Evening Bark transport thee, and they say—Adoration at the approach of thy Majesty, Come, Come, approach in peace, Oh to thee, Welcome, Lord of Heaven, King of Akerta.

Thy mother Isis(15) embraceth thee, seeing in thee her son, as the Lord of Terror, the All-Powerful, as he setteth in the Land of Life at night.

Thy father Tatunen(16) carrieth thee, and his arms are stretched out behind thee, and that which hath taken place is made last upon earth.

27Wake up from thy rest, thine abode is in Manu.

Let me be entrusted to the fidelity which is yielded to Osiris.

Come, O Râ, Tmu, be thou adored. Do thy will daily. Grant success in presence of the cycle of the mighty gods.

Beautiful art thou, O Râ, in thine Horizon of the West; O Lord of Law, in the midst of the Horizon.

Very terrible art thou, rich art thou in attributes, and great is thy love to those who dwell in the Tuat.

To be said, when Râ sets in the Land of Life; with hands bent downward.(17)

Hymn III.(18)

Adoration to Tmu as he setteth in the Land of Life.

The Osiris N; he saith:—

Adoration to Tmu as he setteth in the Land of Life.

The Osiris N; he saith, adoring Tmu, when setting in the Land of Life and shedding his rays on the Tuat;

Hail to thee setting in the Land of Life, O Father of the gods, thou art united to thy mother in Manu. Her two hands receive thee daily. Thy Majesty hath part in the house of Sokaru. Exult thou because the doors are opened of the Horizon, at thy setting in the Mountain of the West.

Thy rays, they run over the earth to enlighten the dwellers in Amenta. Those who are in the Tuat worship thee with loud acclaim, and cherish hope when they see thee daily.

Thou grantest to the gods to sit upon the earth; to those, namely, who follow thee and come in thy train.

O august Soul, who begettest the gods, and dost invest them with thine attributes; the Unknowable, the Ancient One, the Mighty in thy mystery.

Be thy fair face propitious to the Osiris N, oh Chepera, Father of the gods(19).

Freedom for ever from perdition is derived through this Book, and upon it I take my firm stand.

28He hath written it who spake it, and his heart resteth on the reward.

Let there be given me armfuls of bread and drink, and let me be accompanied by this Book after my life.


The fifteenth chapter as it stands in the later recension (represented by the Turin Todtenbuch) is of very recent origin. It is in fact a collection of texts originally independent of each other; (1) a hymn to Râ at his rising, (2) a litany, (3) a hymn to Râ at his setting, (4) a hymn to Tmu at his setting, followed by a statement respecting the spiritual importance of the document.

Of the last hymn there are no copies of ancient date, but the other three compositions are found more or less perfect as far back as the XIXth dynasty. The discrepancies, however, between the ancient texts furnish so much evidence of free composition on the part of the scribes, that it is impossible to suppose that they had before them documents recognised as sacred and canonical. M. Naville has found it necessary to publish four different forms of the hymn to the rising, and three of the hymn to the setting sun. The ideas and expressions throughout these hymns are current in the religious texts of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties.

In the translation here given I have followed the form adopted by the later recension, correcting the text when necessary by the copies written in the better periods.

1. The text of the Papyrus of Ani has been taken as the basis of the translation of Hymn I. It is the only ancient text which gives the hymn in the form subsequently acknowledged as canonical.

2. The sun was represented from the earliest period, as we may see in the pyramid texts, as performing his celestial journey in a boat, which during the morning was called the Māāṭit ⁂⁂⁂ and in the evening the Sektit ⁂⁂.

3. The stars which set were called the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧḫmiu ureṭu. The stars which never set, but are always above the horizon were called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧḫmiu seku. 29The word ȧḫmiu has often been taken for a mere negative, but it occurs by itself with the sign of stars as a determinative ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂. And the whole term is written ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Denkm. III. 271d twice).

As one of the meanings of ⁂ ḫem is minuere, and as the ordinary meaning of the Demotic ⁂⁂⁂ is “small,” like the Coptic ϣⲟⲙ = λεπτὸς, it is not improbable that the stars received this appellation on account of their tiny size as compared with the Sun and Moon. They were what Horace called the “ignes minores.”

The Sun and Moon, as we all know, are called in Gen. i, 16, the “Two Great Lights.”

4. Both the Eastern and the Western horizon are mentioned in this chapter, but “Horus of the Two Horizons,” has no reference to this distinction. Whatever the Sun passes through or over is always conceived as double. The Two Earths imply simply the Earth as divided by the passage of the Sun above it. It is to M. Grébaut that we are indebted for the discovery of this important key to many Egyptian expressions.

5. ⁂ ḫeper, like the German Werden, has primarily the sense of turning, hence of becoming. It never has the sense of creating. ⁂⁂ ḫeper t’esef is the equivalent of the Greek αὐτογενής, like that word is sometimes used for spontaneous productions of the mineral kingdom, as salt or natron as contrasted with artificial products of the same nature. It cannot be used for plants, as they have an origin in something external to themselves.

6. The Land of the Gods and Punit are the countries lying east of Egypt. When it is said that gods ‘come from Punit,’ it is not meant by this that they are of Arabian origin, but simply that Sun, Moon, and Stars, and Daylight rise in the East. “Ex oriente Lux.”

7. In many places the divine name Nut has for determinative the sign ⁂. Is this an oversight on the part of the scribe, or is it one more proof that the Egyptians certainly believed in a sky below the horizon? If so, I have never seen it misplaced.

308. The Ant and the Abṭu are sometimes represented by the side of the solar bark. From the egg of the Abṭu there rises the great Cat, the Sun. It is, as M. Loret has proved, the Tortoise of the Nile. As ⁂⁂⁂ ȧbṭu, ‘the month,’ is phonetically homonymous with ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧbṭu, the Tortoise, and that the latter is characterised by ⁂, ⁂, ‘its rotation, revolving or turning,’ the word ȧbṭu, whether applied to ‘month’ or ‘tortoise’ clearly signifies ‘the revolving one.’ Our modern words Tortoise, Tortue, Tortuga, rather express the turning or twisting of the creature’s feet. In some texts, e.g., the inscriptions of Amenhotep, the son of Hapu, Mariette, Karnak, pl. 36, line 22, and at the beginning of the Ani Papyrus, the word is written ⁂⁂⁂ abtu. In the later part of the Ani Papyrus it is written with the initial ⁂⁂.

9. The Look-out of the ship, in Egyptian ⁂⁂⁂, or more fully ⁂⁂⁂⁂ nefrit, is written ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the Papyrus of Ani. This interesting variant is of extreme value. It not only explains a word, the very existence of which has been called in question, but tells us the Egyptian name for that seat of Horus at the prow of the Solar Bark about which I wrote a note in Proc. Soc. Bib. Arch. of Nov. 3, 1891. See the plates attached to the note, and the corresponding vignettes in Todtenbuch, Pl. VI and IX.

10. The Litany here translated is that of the Turin Todtenbuch. It is found, but in a very mutilated condition, in the Papyrus of Nechtuamon at Berlin (Ba), a manuscript of the XIXth dynasty.

Another Litany, preceding Hymn I, is found in the Papyrus of Ani. It is addressed to “Osiris, the everlasting Lord, Unneferu, Horus of the Two Horizons, of many forms and mighty of attributes. Ptah Sakru, Tmu in Heliopolis, Lord of the Unseen World, who hath built up Memphis and its gods.”

31“Hail to thee, Chabasu[16] in Heliopolis, Hammemit in Cher-âbau, and Unta[17] more potent than the unseen gods in Heliopolis.

Hail to thee, An in An ... Horus in the Two Horizons, who extendeth his steps and traverseth the Heaven; he is Horchuta;

Hail to thee, eternal Soul, Soul which is in Tattu, Unneferu, Son of Nut; he is Lord of Acherta;

Hail to thee, as thou reignest in Tattu, the royal crown is fixed upon thy brow. Thou art the Only One, the author of his own attributes, thou restest in Tattu;

Hail to thee, Lord of Heracleopolis, for whom the Bark of Sokru is placed upon its sledge; who repellest the Sebau, the doers of wrong; and who puttest the Ut’at into its place;

Hail to thee, Potent One, at thine appointed moment, Most Mighty One, Prince of An-arr-ef, Eternal Lord, author of eternity, Thou art the Lord of Suten-henen;

Hail to thee, who restest upon Maāt; Thou art the Lord of Abydos, thy limbs reach to Ta-tsert; Thou art he who abominatest wrong;

Hail to thee, in the midst of thy Bark, who bringest the Nile from his fountain; upon whose dead body the light shineth; he is the One who is in Nechen;

Hail to thee, author of the gods, King of North and South, Osiris, the triumphant one, possessing the entire universe in his beneficent alternations; He is the Lord of the Universe;

Grant me passage in peace. I am righteous, I speak not falsehood knowingly, I am not guilty of duplicity.”

3211. ⁂⁂⁂ ‘the Land of Life,’ one of the names given to the realm of Osiris after death, is not, as far as I can discover, mentioned anywhere in the earlier MSS. of the Book of the Dead.

Instead of “resting in the Land of Life,” the older texts have ⁂⁂⁂ ‘in Amenta’ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘in life in Amenta,’ or as ‘one living, in Amenta.’

12. ⁂⁂. The word ⁂⁂ pat implies going round like a wheel or in a circle; ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘going round on high with the Sun.’ Hence the use of it as synonymous with ⁂, in the expressions ⁂⁂ =⁂ ‘never’ and ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ = ⁂⁂ ‘the first time, the beginning of time, prima vice.’ A sacrificial cake is called ⁂⁂⁂ (Denkm., II, 28) on account of its shape, like the Latin rotundula, also written ⁂⁂⁂.

And, like the Greek κύκλος, the word comes to signify a circle of persons. This circle is not necessarily of gods. The Bremner Papyrus in the British Museum (14, line 8), says an apage not only to Âpepi, who was no god, and to his soul and body, and ghost and shadow and children, and to his kith and kin, but, also to his ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, that is all associated with him, “ceux de son entourage.”

That ⁂⁂ should express the ‘feast of the New Moon’ is only natural, though Lepsius has pointed out serious difficulties on the subject.

But ⁂ also expresses the number nine. Whence in this relation arises the Egyptian conception of the number nine? Is it the round (we should say the ‘square’) number, three times three? It certainly is merely a round number in many instances, but what is still more certain is that the same expression meaning ‘circle of gods’ and ‘nine gods,’ the circle was supposed to consist of nine gods, and was enlarged to companies of eighteen or twenty-seven. It is, I am sure, perfectly idle work to look for more profound reasons for the 33theory of the ‘Ennead.’[18] Every god of importance had his ⁂⁂⁂,[19] and the best theory that has ever been given is that given at the beginning of Chapter 17.

13. The Turin text seems better adapted for the basis of a translation of Hymn II than the older papyri. These have been used for checking the later text whenever possible.

14. A difficult passage, but the readings are unanimous. What is ⁂? Brugsch translates it “the Talisman of the Earth,” and Pierret “le salut de la terre.” No objection can be raised against the truth of either of these meanings taken by itself. But we have to look at the entire context. The expression literally signifies “the back of the earth.” In Latin we say sinus, gremium and viscera terrae. The Egyptians themselves talk of the back of Seb, ⁂⁂⁂, out of which the plants grow, and in a place quoted by Duemichen (Zeitschrift, 1871, p. 92, note) ⁂⁂ ta the Earth, is substituted for Seb. I believe then that ⁂ is best translated by Soil of the Earth.

15. Thy mother Isis. So Ba. The Turin text has Nut, which is inconsistent with what follows.

16. La gives Tatunen; Af, Tunen; the Turin recension Tanen, names belonging to the god also called Ptah, Sokru and Osiris. See the inscriptions in Mariette’s Abydos, I, pl. 16, 6, on the Tat figures.

Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, seems to be here addressed.

17. This rubric does not occur in the older MSS.

3418. This hymn has not yet been found in the older MSS. A text carefully corrected from the papyri of the Louvre will be found in M. Lefébure’s Traduction comparée des Hymnes au Soleil composant le XVe chapitre du Ritual Funéraire Egyptien. Paris, 1868.

19. ‘Chepera, father of the gods.’ Expressions like this are liable to be misunderstood by superficial readers. They are not meant to imply that ‘father of the gods’ was the special attribute of Chepera. ‘Father of the gods’ is predicated in Chapter 8 of Sutu, and it is predicated elsewhere of many other divinities. As in mathematics any point in space may be conceived as the origin of a given line or surface, so in Egyptian mythology any god may be rightly called the father of the gods. And for the same reason. The Day precedes the Night, but not more truly than Night precedes, or in mythological language gives birth to Day. But we may begin at Daybreak, or at Noon, or at Sunset, or with the Sun or the Moon, or with the rising of the Nile or any other natural phenomenon which obeys an evidently permanent fixed Law.

11. One of the names of the Uræus on the royal crown.

12. ‘The Glorious ones’; see Note 1 on Chapter I.

13. See note 11.

14. An abode of bliss (like the Elysian fields) frequently mentioned and described in the Book of the Dead.

15. The dragon Âpepi.

16. Both Chabasu and Hammemit have the sign of the plural, which may arise from the omission of who art above before the first of these words. Unfortunately we have no other copy to check the readings. But it is certain that the sign of plurality is often affixed to words which though in plural form (like the Latin moenia, literae, tenebrae) have a singular meaning. Chabasu means a lamp, and the stars, especially the decans, were called by this appellation. Hammemit is the name given to those yet unborn.

17. ⁂⁂⁂Un-tȧ, signifies the god who assumes the face or form of a Hare ⁂, just as Mau-tȧ signifies the god with the face or form of a Cat, Tehuta, the god with the head or form of an Ibis.

18. I am deeply grieved that in my conversation and correspondence with Goodwin (see my Miscellaneous Notes on Egyptian Philology, p. 15), I hit upon ‘Ennead’ as a translation of ⁂. Goodwin took it up, and it has since been productive of much mischief. The word in itself (like Triad), is perfectly innocent and correct, yet every word has its ‘cycle’ of associations, and some of them lead the unwary astray. I had just been lecturing on Plotinus when Goodwin asked me for the word.

19. The four children of Horus are called (Tempelins., I, 41, 1) ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.


Chapter XVI.


When Lepsius divided the Todtenbuch into 165 chapters, that portion of it which was numbered as Chapter 16, was in fact merely the Vignette of Chapter 15.

It has been thought well to publish with this translation the Vignettes from the great Papyrus La of Leyden, representing a, the Rising; and b, the Setting Sun. (See plates.)

In a the Sun is represented as rising into Heaven, saluted by the six Cynocephalous Apes. He is also saluted by two goddesses kneeling. In the Papyrus of Hunefer these goddesses say, “I am thy sister Isis,” “I am thy sister Nephthys.” The Tat ⁂ which is between them is a symbol both of Osiris and of the East, and in Ba is replaced by the sign ⁂. In the later periods the Dawn was represented by the sign ⁂ consisting of the Sun rising out of the East, between Isis and Nephthys. The sign of Life ⁂ ānḫ (which 35primarily means rise up) rises out of the Tat, and with hands proceeding from it raises up the Sun.

In b the central object is the Sun setting in the West ⁂. He is saluted by three hawk-headed and by three jackal-headed divinities, the Spirits of Pu and of Nechen. Below this scene the Sun of Yesterday and the Sun of To-day in lion forms are saluted by Isis and Nephthys.


Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day out of the Netherworld. Let the words be said:

I am he who closeth and he who openeth, and I am but One.(1)

I am Râ at his first appearance.

I am the great god, self-produced;

His Names together compose the cycle of the gods;

Resistless is he among the gods.(2)

I, who am Osiris, am Yesterday and the kinsman of the Morrow.(3)

A scene of strife arose among the gods when I gave the command.(4)

Amenta is the scene of strife among the gods.

I know the name of the great god who is here.

Herald[20] of Râ is his name.

I am the great Heron who is in Heliopolis, who presideth over the account of whatsoever is and of that which cometh into being.(5)

Who is that? It is Osiris who presideth over the account of all that is and all that cometh into being, that is Endless Time and Eternity. Endless Time is Day and Eternity is Night.

I am Amsu in his manifestations; there have been given to me the Two Feathers upon my head.(6)

Who is that, and what are his Feathers? It is Horus, the avenger of his father, and the Two Feathers are the Uræi upon the forehead of his father Tmu.(7)

I have alighted upon my Land, and I come from my own Place.

36What is that? It is the Horizon of my father Tmu.

All defects are done away, all deficiencies are removed, and all that was wrong in me is cast forth.

I am purified at the two great and mighty Lakes at Sutenhunen, which purify the offerings which living men present to the great god who is there(8).

Who is that? It is Râ himself.

Which are the two great and mighty Lakes? The Lake of Natron and the Lake of Māāt(9).

I advance over the roads, which I know, and my face is on the Land of Māāt.

What is that? The road upon which father Tmu advanceth, when he goeth to the Field of Aarru, approaching to the land of Spirits in Heaven.

I come forth through the T’eser gate.

What is that? This gate of the gods is Haukar. It is the gate and the two doors and openings, through which father Tmu issueth to the Eastern Horizon of Heaven.(10)

O ye who have gone before! Let me grasp your hands, me who become one of you.

Who are they? Those who have gone before are Hu and Sau. May I be with their father Tmu, throughout the course of each day.(11)

I make full the Eye when it waxeth dim on the day of battle between the two Opponents.(12)

What is that? The battle of the two Opponents is the day upon which Horus fighteth with Sut, when he flingeth his filth upon the face of Horus, and when Horus seizeth upon the genitals of Sut, for it is Horus who doeth this with his own fingers.

I lift up the hairy net from the Eye at the period of its distress.(13)

What is that? The right Eye of Râ in the period of its distress when he giveth it free course, and it is Thoth who lifteth up the net from it.

I see Râ, when he is born from Yesterday, at the dugs of the Mehurit cows?(14) His course is my course, and conversely mine is his.

What is that? Râ and his births from Yesterday at the dugs of the Mehurit cows? It is the figure of the Eye of Râ, at his daily birth. And Mehurit is the Eye.

I am one of those who are in the train of Horus.

37What is that—‘one of those in the train of Horus’? Said with reference to whom his Lord loveth.

Hail, ye possessors of Māāt, divine Powers attached to Osiris, who deal destruction to falsehood, ye who are in the train of Hotepeschaus, grant me that I may come to you. Do ye away the wrong which is me, as ye have done to the Seven Glorious ones, who follow after the Coffined one, and whose places Anubis hath fixed on that day of ‘Come thou hither’!

Hotepeschaus is the divine Flame which is assigned to Osiris for burning the souls of his adversaries. I know the names of the Seven Glorious ones who follow the Coffined one, and whose places Anubis hath fixed on the day of ‘Come thou hither.’ The leader of this divine company,

‘An-ar-ef, the Great’ is his name; 2, Kat-kat; 3, the Burning Bull, who liveth in his fire; 4, the Red-eyed one in the House of Gauze; 5, Fieryface which turneth backwards; 6, Dark Face in its hour; 7, Seer in the Night.(15)

I am he whose Soul resideth in a pair of gods.

It is Osiris, as he cometh to Tattu, and there findeth the soul of Râ; each embraceth the other, and becometh Two Souls.

The pair of gods are Horus, the Avenger of his Father, and Horus, the Prince of the City of Blindness.

I am the great Cat, who frequenteth the Persea tree in Heliopolis, on that night of battle wherein is effected the defeat of the Sebau, and that day upon which the adversaries of the Inviolate god(16) are exterminated.

Who is that great Cat? It is Râ himself. For Sau said, He is the likeness (Maȧu) of that which he hath created, and his name became that of Cat (Maȧu).(17)

The night of conflict is the defeat of the children of Failure at Elephantine. There was conflict in the entire universe, in heaven and upon the earth.

He who frequenteth the Persea tree is he who regulateth the children of Failure, and that which they do.

O Râ, in thine Egg, who risest up in thine orb, and shinest from thine Horizon, and swimmest over the firmament without a peer, and sailest over the sky; whose mouth sendeth forth breezes of flame, lightening up the Two Earths with thy glories, do thou deliver N from that god whose attributes are hidden, whose eyebrows are as the arms of the Balance upon that day when outrage is brought to account, and each wrong is tied up to its separate block of settlement.

38The god whose eyebrows are as the arms of the Balance is “he who lifteth up his arm.”[21]

Deliver me from those Wardens of the Passages with hurtful fingers, attendant upon Osiris.

The Wardens of Osiris are the Powers who keep off the forces of the adversaries of Râ.

May your knives not get hold of me; may I not fall into your shambles, for I know your names; my course upon earth is with Râ and my fair goal is with Osiris. Let not your offerings be in my disfavour, oh ye gods upon your altars! I am one of those who follow the Master, a keeper of the writ of Chepera.

I fly like a Hawk, I cackle like the Smen-Goose, I move eternally like Nehebkau.(18)

Oh Tmu who art in the Great Dwelling, Sovereign of all the gods, deliver me from that god who liveth upon the damned; whose face is that of a hound, but whose skin is that of a man; at that angle of the pool of fire; devouring shades, digesting human hearts and voiding ordure. One seeth him not.

This god whose face is that of a hound and whose skin[22] is that of a man: Eternal Devourer is his name.(19)

Oh Fearful one, who art over the Two Earths, Red god who orderest the block of execution; to whom is given the Double Crown and Enjoyment as Prince of Sutenhunen.

It is Osiris to whom was ordained the Leadership among the gods, upon that day when the Two Earths were united before the Inviolate god.

The junction of the Two Earths is the head of the coffin of Osiris whose father is Râ[23] the beneficent Soul in Sutenhunen, the giver of food and the destroyer of wrong, who hath determined the paths of eternity.

It is Râ himself.

Deliver me from that god who seizeth upon souls, who consumeth all filth and corruption in the darkness or in the light: all those who fear him are in powerless condition.

39This god is Sut.

Oh Chepera, who are in the midst of thy bark and whose body is the cycle of the gods for ever; deliver me from those inquisitorial Wardens to whom the Inviolate god, of Glorious Attributes, hath given guard over his adversaries, and the infliction of slaughter in the place of annihilation, from whose guard there is no escape. May I not fall under your knives, may I not sit within your dungeons, may I not come to your places of extermination, may I not fall into your pits; may there be done to me none of those things which the gods abominate; for I have passed through the place of purification in the middle of the Meskat, for which are given the Mesit and the Tehenit cakes in Tanenit.

The Meskat is the place of scourging in Sutenhunen, the Tehenit is the Eye of Horus.... Tanenit is the resting place of Osiris.(20)

Tmu buildeth thy dwelling, the Lion-faced god layeth the foundation of thy house, as he goeth his round. Horus offereth purification and Sut giveth might, and conversely.

I have come upon this earth and with my two feet taken possession. I am Tmu and I come from my own Place.

Back, oh Lion with dazzling mouth, and with head bent forwards, retreating before me and my might.

I am Isis and thou findest me as I drop upon my face the hair which falleth loosely on my brow.

I was conceived by Isis and begotten by Nephthys. Isis destroyeth what in me is wrong, and Nephthys loppeth off that which is rebellious.

Dread cometh in my train and Might is in my hands. Numberless are the hands who cling fast to me. The dead ones and the living come to me. I defeat the clients of mine adversaries, and spoil those whose hands are darkened.

I have made an agreeable alliance. I have created the inhabitants of Cher-âbat and those of Heliopolis.(21) And every god is in fear before the Terrible, the Almighty one.

I avenge every god against his oppressor, at whom I shoot my arrows when he appeareth.

I live according to my will.

40I am Uat’it, the Fiery one.(22)

And woe to them who mount up against me!

What is this? “Of unknown attributes, which Hemen(23) hath given” is the name of the Funereal Chest. “The Witness of that which is lifted” is the name of the Shrine.

The Lion with dazzling mouth and with head bent forwards is the Phallus of Osiris [otherwise of Râ].

And I who drop the hair which hath loosely fallen upon my brow—I am Isis, when she concealeth herself; she hath let fall her hair over herself.

Uat’it the Fiery is the Eye of Râ.

They who mount up against me, woe to them, they are the associates of Sut as they approach.(24)


The seventeenth chapter is one of the most remarkable in the whole collection, and it has been preserved from times previous to the XIIth dynasty. The very earliest monuments which have preserved it have handed it down accompanied with scholia and other commentaries interpolated into the text. Some of the monuments enable us to some extent to divide the original text from the additions, in consequence of the latter being written in red. But there is really only one text where the additions are suppressed, and which therefore offers the most ancient form, as far as we know it, of the chapter. This is the copy on the wall of the tomb of Horhotep. The sarcophagus itself of Horhotep contains a copy of the text along with the additions. The chapter must already at the time have been of the most venerable antiquity. Besides these two copies of the chapter we have those from the sarcophagi of Hora and Sit-Bastit (published, like those of Horhotep, by M. Maspero[24]), two from the sarcophagi of Mentuhotep, and one from that of Sebek-āa (the three latter published by Lepsius in his Aelteste Texte). The British Museum has Sir Gardner Wilkinson’s copy of the texts inscribed on the coffin of Queen Mentuhotep of the XIth dynasty, and also a fragment (6636 a) of the coffin of a prince named Hornefru. Here then we have an abundance of witnesses of the best period. They unfortunately do not agree. The progress of corruption had no 41doubt begun long before, and the variants are not simply differences of orthography but positively different readings. The differences however are chiefly in the scholia. Even when the explanations of the text are identical, the form differs. The latest recensions have retained the form ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂; the ancient added the feminine ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. What is that? But some of the ancient texts give the equivalent words ⁂⁂⁂⁂, and Horhotep does without them altogether. These words were evidently additions not merely to the text but to the scholia.

The text of the chapter grew more and more obscure to readers, and the explanations hitherto given were so unsatisfactory as to call for others. The texts of the manuscripts of the new empire furnish a good deal of fresh matter, much of which is extremely ancient, though the proof of this is unfortunately lost through the disastrous condition of literature in the period preceding the XVIIIth dynasty. The XVIIIth dynasty and its immediate successors inherited but did not invent the new form of the Book of the Dead, with its succession of vignettes, which however differing in detail bear the stamp of a common traditional teaching. The manuscripts of a later period bear witness, with reference to this as well as to other chapters, to a recension of an authoritative kind. The text becomes more certain though perhaps not either more true or more intelligible, and the notes and explanations have here reached their fullest extent.

It would take an entire volume to give the translations of all the forms the chapter has assumed. It must be sufficient here to give the earliest forms known to us of the text and of the first commentaries. These are printed in characters which show the difference between text and later additions; all of which, it must be remembered, are of extreme antiquity—some two thousand years before any probable date of Moses.

Explanations or other interesting matter occurring in the manuscripts of the later Empire will be referred to in the notes.

The title in the early copies is the simple one here heading the chapter. In those which begin at the XVIIIth dynasty the title is very like that given for the first chapter. The chief additions are that the deceased person “takes every form that he pleases, plays draughts, and sits in a bower, comes forth as a soul living after death, and that what is done upon earth is glorified.”

421. It would be difficult for us to imagine that the very remarkable opening of the chapter is an addition. Yet it is unknown to the primitive recension on the walls of Horhotep’s tomb, though found everywhere else. The texts however which contain it do not agree. “I am He who closeth, and He who openeth, and I am but One.” ‘He who closeth’ is ⁂⁂ Tmu, ‘He who openeth’ ⁂ Unen. As the god who closes and who opens is one and the same, ‘I am but One,’ is a very natural ending of the sentence, and for its sense the whole may appeal to classical, and higher than classical, authority.

“Modo namque Patulcius idem
Et modo sacrifico Clusius ore vocor.”[25]

“I am Alpha and O, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord.”[26]

The meaning of the Egyptian is quite plain, but the readings most probably through the absence of determinatives in the oldest style are somewhat different. Horhotep and other texts have ⁂⁂⁂⁂, apparently as one word (compounded of tmu and unen), which may signify the ‘closer and opener,’ but Sebek-āa and later texts have ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The papyrus of Nebseni has ⁂⁂, in the third person, which does not alter the meaning, but this is quite an isolated reading. The later recension, as represented by the Turin Todtenbuch and the Cadet papyrus, has ⁂⁂, which only prominently brings forward, what is implied in all the other texts, that the Opener is a god.[27] The absence of the determinative ⁂ after ⁂ is no objection to the sense ‘opener,’ especially after ⁂⁂. It is absolutely necessary when dealing with mythology to look to physical rather than to metaphysical meanings. I have sufficiently discussed the meanings of the word ⁂ in my essay on the Myth of Osiris Unnefer.


43The later recensions add an interpolation (not without very different readings) to the effect that the Sun made his first appearance when Shu raised the Sky from the height of Chemennu, where he destroyed the ‘Children of Failure’ ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

The raising of the Sky by Shu is very frequently represented in pictures. Seb (the Earth) and Nut (the Sky) have been sleeping in each other’s arms during the night; Shu (Daylight at sunrise) parts them, and the sky is seen to be raised high above the earth.

⁂⁂⁂, Shu, who is of course the son of Râ, is in consequence of this act called ⁂⁂ Ȧn-ḥeru, ‘The Lifter up of the Heaven.’

Chemennu is the geographical name of the town called by the Greeks Hermopolis. The mystical Chemennu, however, is alone referred to in this place. The word itself means Eight, and Lepsius sees here a reference to eight elementary deities. (We must remember that the passage itself is an interpolation, of which there is no trace in the older texts.)

The ‘children of Failure(⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂ deficere, dissolvi, deliquium[28]) are the elements of darkness which melt away and vanish at the appearance of Day. This mythological expression here found in an interpolated passage is met later on in a genuine portion of the older text.

2. It would be impossible to find a more emphatic assertion of the doctrine of Nomina Numina; and that more than 3000 years before Christ.

The Names of Râ, the Sun-god, are said, when taken together, to compose ‘the cycle of the gods.’ ⁂⁂. Or the names which he has created, to which he has given rise, that is the names of all the solar phenomena, recurring as they do, day after day, to the eyes of all beholders, compose “the cycle of the gods,” who are also called the limbs or members of Râ.

The scholia contained in the papyri of the XVIIIth and later dynasties explain the text as follows:—

44“It is Râ as he creates the names of his limbs (⁂) which become the gods who accompany him.”

And the present chapter later on says of Chepera, the rising Sun, that the “cycle of the gods is his body.”

The god who has hitherto been spoken of is Râ. In glaring contradiction to the whole text, a later note states that the resistless god is “the Water, which is Nu”; that is Heaven.[29] ⁂⁂⁂ Nu is not alluded to at all in the primitive text, but the papyrus of Nebseni already exhibits the corruption of the fine passage, “I am he who closeth and he who openeth, and I am but One.” This is itself an addition, the true meaning of which was afterwards destroyed by the interpolation of the words ⁂⁂⁂⁂. These are ambiguous. They might mean that the god was alone ‘in heaven,’ or that he was alone ‘as Heaven.’ The papyrus of Ani has ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, “I was born from Nu.” These attempted improvements do not give a favourable impression of the exegetical acumen of Egyptian theologians.

But the mention of ‘Water’ in the scholion has nothing whatever to do with the doctrine of Thales, and to suppose that it has implies a confusion between two very different realms of human thought.

3. ‘The kinsman of the Morrow,’ literally ‘I know the Morrow.’ The word ⁂ signifies can, ken, and kin.

The papyrus of Nebseni and all the subsequent texts give the explanation that Yesterday means Osiris, and the Morrow means Râ. And the vignette in the papyrus of Ani gives the name of Yesterday to one of the Lions and of Morrow to the other.

4. The earliest texts have either ⁂ ‘speak,’ or ⁂⁂ ‘command.’ The meaning is the same in both readings. Strife arose among the gods at the bidding of Râ: that is every force in nature 45began its appropriate career of activity, necessarily coming into contact and conflict with the other forces. And of all this collision the first cause, the origin of all activity and motion, is the Sun.

This mythological cosmology reminds one of the saying of Heraclitos that “Strife is the father and the king of all things,” and the doctrine that all becoming must be conceived as the product of warring opposites—παν´ντα κατ’ ἔριν γίνεσθαι.

5. The Heron is the bird called ⁂⁂⁂ bennu, the numerous pictures of which enable us to identify it with the Common Heron or Heronshaw. The reason for connecting this bird with the Sun-god has to be sought in the etymology of its name. ⁂⁂ ben is a verb of motion, and particularly of ‘going round.’ ⁂⁂ benenu is a ring, also a ‘round pill.’ The Sun therefore is very naturally called bennu, an appellative like κυκλοέλικτος in the Orphic hymns.

⁂⁂, ‘of that which is, and of that which cometh into being.’ Here, as in many other places, ⁂, which is a verb of motion, and really signifies ‘rise up, spring forth,’ is pointedly distinguished from ⁂, that which (is). So far from signifying ‘being, that which is,’ it very much more nearly corresponds to ⁂ in the frequent expression ⁂⁂, ‘that which is and that which is not yet.’ The sense of ‘good being’ so commonly given to the divine name Unnefer is utterly erroneous.

6. The reading of the name ⁂ is proved by the numerous variants of this passage to be Ȧmsu. In M. Naville’s edition, II, pl. 41, the name, as written in Ce, would seem to be ⁂⁂⁂ ȧm. But I already in Zeitschr., 1877 (p. 98) pointed out, that in this manuscript the last sign ⁂ is at the top of a column, and that at the foot of the preceding column there is a space where the signs ⁂, following ⁂⁂ (as they still do in the next passage), have been obliterated. No one from merely looking at M. Naville’s copy would guess that there was any interval between ⁂ and ⁂.

The god’s name is written ⁂⁂⁂ on a tablet, Denkm. III, 114 i. And the name is also written ⁂ or ⁂, which are ligatures of ⁂ and ⁂.

467. Note that in this scholion Horus, ‘the avenger of his father,’ calls his father not Osiris but Tmu. In the more recent texts there are many interpretations of the two Feathers. One is “his two EyesF are the Feathers.” But the favourite one is “Isis and Nephthys, who have risen up as two kites” ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

8. The ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ reḫit, by whom the oblation is made, the present generation as contrasted with the ⁂⁂⁂ pāit, the past, and ⁂⁂⁂⁂ hammemit, the coming generations.

9. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Māāāait is supposed to be nitre or salt, or some other substance used in the process of embalming.

The more recent recensions thus answer the question about the lakes. “Eternity is the name of one, and the Great green one that of the other, the lake of Natron and the lake of Māāt.”

10. See the picture of this gate on the Vignette, which shows the Sun-god passing through. One of the later explanations is that from this gate Shu raised up Heaven. Another is that it was the gate of the Tuat. Haukar, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, means “behind the Shrine.”

11. Hu and Sau, sons of Tmu, and his companions in the Solar bark, are, like so many other gods, Solar appellatives. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Hu is the Nourisher, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Sau, ‘the Knowing One.’ The god is also called ‘the Seer’ ⁂, ‘He who heareth’ ⁂⁂. These names are not personifications of the senses but, as in all cases, appellatives expressing attributes.

12. See Note 2 on Chapter 4.

13. The Eye (⁂⁂⁂⁂) being the Sun or Moon, the period of distress (⁂⁂) is that of obscuration or eclipse, and the hairy net (⁂⁂) which is removed is the shadow which passes for a time over the heavenly body.

47The explanation which M. Maspero has recently given (P.S.B.A. XIV, 314) of the word ⁂⁂⁂⁂, as connected with ⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘health,’ receives confirmation from the scholia in the papyri, according to which Thoth not only delivered the Eye from the veil of darkness which oppressed it, but carried it off ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘in life, health and strength, without any damage.’

14. Mehurit is explained in the ancient scholion as ‘the Eye,’ but it is really the Sky, from which the Sun is born daily. The sign of plurality after Mehurit (if it means anything) only indicates the daily succession of the skies whence Râ is born.

15. The ‘coffined One’ ⁂⁂⁂ is of course Osiris, as it is plainly stated in the later scholia, which further add that the ‘Seven glorious ones’ who follow the coffin, or, as they read it, “their Lord,” are to be sought in the constellation of ‘the Thigh in the northern sky,’ that is in the seven stars of the Great Bear.

These stars never set, but are perpetually revolving round the Pole. It is therefore evidently with the Polar Star that we must identify the coffin of Osiris. The names of the Seven Glorious ones vary according to the different authoritiesauthorities. And these Stars themselves receive other mythical forms; that of the Seven Cows and their Bull is recorded in the 148th chapter. Names like ‘the Red-eyed’ ⁂⁂⁂ or the ‘Red-haired’ cow ⁂⁂ seem to imply double stars. The ‘Red-eyed’ is said to abide in ⁂⁂⁂ ‘house of gauze’ (perhaps a cobweb).

The papyri add the important note that the “day of Come thou hither”! represents the moment “when Osiris says to Râ, Come thou hither”! or, as some read, “Come thou to me.” The speaker adds that he sees the meeting of the two gods in Amenta.

16. ⁂⁂⁂ possessor of completeness, integrity, hence ‘inviolate.’ This name is given to Osiris when restored to his first condition after having been dismembered and cut into pieces. The god is called Râ-Tmu-Nebert’er in the great Harris papyrus, 15, 3.

4817. It is most probable that the Cat became the representative of the Sun because of the homonymy between the Egyptian name ⁂⁂⁂⁂ mȧȧu of the animal and the attributive ⁂⁂⁂ mau, ‘shining’ said of the Sun. But the Egyptian scribe gives a different etymological explanation. Sau said of Râ “he is ⁂⁂ maȧu of what he hath made.” ⁂⁂ may, like the Latin exemplar, be either the type or the prototype, the copy or the original. The creatures of Râ were made after his likeness. Sanskrit literature, from the Çatapatha Brahmana down to the Vishnu Purâna, is full of similar etymologies. The Egyptians from the very first delighted in this play upon words.

18. Neḥebu-kau, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is the son of Seb and Renenut. The etymology of the name is indicated in the Pyramid texts. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ neḥbu is to ‘carry, sustain, support’ (whence ⁂⁂⁂⁂ neḥbet a neck, and ⁂⁂⁂⁂ neḥb a yoke), and the rest of the word is the plural of ka, which is susceptible of more than one meaning. It might signify the divine or human ka, but the word is sometimes (e.g., Todt., 125, 32) written ⁂ ‘victuals.’ The god is one of the forty-two judges of the dead, and in some copies of the Book of the Dead he is described as coming forth from his ⁂⁂⁂, a word most frequently used for the source of the Nile. The serpent ⁂ which is a most frequent determinative of the name, is an additional reason for identifying this god with the Nile: a conclusion which seems fully justified by the Pyramid texts, which speak of him as Water ⁂, and describe him as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, “of many windings.” (See Pepi I, 341 and 487.)

19. This Devourer has the same functions as the strange animal called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Âmemit in the pictures of the Psychostasia. The later scholia add that the Devourer comes from the ‘basin of Punit,’ the Red sea. They add other names, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Mâtes ‘Flint,’ “stationed at the gate of Amenta,” and ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ 49or ⁂ Baba, who, in ch. 63, 2, is described as the first born of Osiris. He is a terrible god from whom the deceased prays in ch. 125, 36, to be delivered. His name implies ‘one who searches or probes thoroughly,’ as a digger or miner. And such are his functions at the judgment of the dead.

Instead of ⁂⁂ tesem, a ‘hound,’ La reads ⁂⁂⁂⁂ sȧu, a sheep.

20. The ⁂⁂⁂ Mesqȧt is a ⁂⁂⁂ ‘a place of scourging.’ The word ⁂⁂⁂ is known as signifying violent treatment by beating, and has been illustrated by Chabas and Goodwin. See Zeitschr., 1874, p. 62. In the 72nd chapter the deceased prays that he may not perish at the Mesqȧt. A kindred word ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Mesqa signifies ‘a hide.’ We can understand the connection between δέρω ‘flay, cudgel, thrash’ and δέρμα ‘a hide.’ And we ourselves have the familiar phrase of ‘giving a hiding.’ But purification as well as punishment was found at the heavenly mesqȧt. It is mentioned in the Harris Magical papyrus[6, 3] simply as a heavenly thing. In the more recent scholia the purifier is said to be Anubis, who is behind the chest containing the remains of Osiris.

After the scholion which has just been translated the early texts pass on to the 18th chapter.

For the rest of the chapter we are compelled to follow the texts of the papyri. The character of this portion differs considerably from the former part, and is clearly an addition. The speakers rapidly succeed each other. “I am Tmu,” “I am Isis,” “I was conceived by Isis,” “Isis destroyeth what in me is wrong,” and finally “I am Uat’it.”

21. Cher-âbat and Heliopolis like all the localities here mentioned are in heaven not upon earth.

22. Uat’it is literally ‘the pale one,’ a name of the Dawn. But here the fiery dawn is spoken of, ἠώς φλογερά, πυρίβρομος.

23. Hemen ⁂⁂⁂ is a divinity seldom, if ever, mentioned after the “Middle Empire.” In the Pyramid texts he has a Snake (the River) in his hand.

5024. The last line of the chapter has suffered in all the best papyri. See M. Naville’s collation. In the papyrus of Ani the chapter is unfinished. The later papyri end the chapter by saying that “it has been granted to the speaker by those who are in Tattu to destroy by fire the souls of his adversaries.” This consummation is already found in La.

20. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, praeconium, praeco.

21. The god who lifteth up his arm is ⁂ Amsu.

22. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧnem ‘skin,’ according to Horhotep and the first coffin of Mentuhotep at Berlin. But the second coffin of Mentuhotep has already ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧnḥu ‘eyebrows,’ which afterwards becomes the received reading. It is that of Queen Mentuhotep.

23. An interpolation in the text of Horhotep.

24. Mission archéologique Française au Caire, II.

25. Ovid, Fast, I, 129, 130.

26. Apocalypse i, 8.

27. The last form of the chapter (as found in the hieratic papyrus T. 16 of Leyden, and others in the British Museum) changes the opening as follows—“I am Atmu, who made the Sky and created all that hath come into being.”

28. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the historical inscriptions is just like the Greek γυῖα λέλυντο, λύτο γούνατα καὶ φίλον ἡτορ.

29. It is certain that from the earliest times Heaven as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘the Great Weeper,’ was considered as the source of life to gods and men. But myths must not be mixed. One must not be considered as the explanation of another.




The An-māut(1) saith:—

I come to you, ye Great Circles of gods(2) in Heaven, upon Earth and in the World below! I bring to you N void of offence towards any of the gods, grant that he may be with you daily.

Glory to Osiris, Lord of Restau, and to the great gods who are in the World below. Here is N who saith:—Hail to thee, Prince of Amenta, Unneferu who presidest in Abydos, I come to thee with Righteousness; without sin upon me. I am not knowingly a speaker of wrong; I am not given to duplicity; grant me Bread, the right of appearance at the tables of the Lords of Maāt, entering in and going out of the Netherworld, and that my soul may not suffer repulse in its devotion to the orb of the Sun and the vision of the Moon-god for ever.

51The Se-meri-f saith:—

I come to you, O Circle of gods in Restau, and I bring to you N. Grant to him Bread, Water, Air and an allotment in the Sechit-hotepu like Horus.

Glory to Osiris, the Lord of Eternity and to the Circle of gods in Restau. Here is N and he saith:—I come to thee, I know thy will, and I am furnished with thine attributes of the Tuat. Grant me an abiding place in the Netherworld by the Lords of Maāt, my permanent allotment in the Sechit-hotepu, and the receiving of cakes before thee.


1. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Circle of gods about Rā and about Osiris and the Great Circle of gods in Heliopolis, on that Night of the Eve’s Provender(3) and the Night of Battle when there befel the Defeat of the Sebau, and the Day of the extinction of the adversaries of the Inviolate god.

The Great Circle of gods in Heliopolis is of Tmu, Shu and Tefnut, and the Sebau who were defeated and extinguished were the associates of Sut on the renewal of his assault.

2. Oh Thoth who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries before the Great Circle of gods in Tattu, on the Night wherein the Tat is set up in Tattu.(4)

The Great Circle of gods in Tattu is of Osiris, Isis, Nephthys and Horus the Avenger of his Father; and they who set up the Tat are the two arms of Horus, Prince of Sechem. They are behind Osiris as bindings of his raiment.

3. Oh Thoth who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods in Sechem on that Night of the Eve’s Provender in Sechem.

The Great Circle of gods in Sechem is of Horus in the Dark,(5) and Thoth, who is of the Great Circle of An-arer-ef.

The Eve’s Provender is the dawn upon the Coffin of Osiris.

524. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods in Pu and Tepu,(6) on that Night of erecting the flag-staffs of Horus, and of establishing him as heir of his Father’s property.

The Great Circle of gods in Pu and Tepu is of Horus, Isis, Emsta, Hapi; and the pillars of Horus are erected when Horus saith to those who follow him “let the flag-staffs be erected there.”

5. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods of the Two Regions[30] of Rechit, on that Night when Isis lay watching in tears over her brother Osiris.

The Great Circle of gods on the Two Regions of Rechit is of Isis, Nephthys, Emsta and Hapi.

6. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods in Abydos on the night of Hakra,(7) when the evil dead are parted off, when the glorious ones are rightly judged, and joy goeth its round in Thinis.

The Great Circle of gods in Abydos is of Osiris, Isis and Apuat.

7. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods on the Highway of the Damned,(8) upon the Night when judgment is passed upon those who are no more.

The Great Circle of gods on the Highway of the Damned are Thoth, Osiris, Anubis and Astes. And judgment is passed on the Highway of the Damned when the suit is closed[31] against the souls of the Children of Failure.

8. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, 53let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods at the Great Hoeing in Tattu, on the Night of Hoeing in their blood and effecting the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries.

The Great Circle of gods at the Great Hoeing in Tattu(9) when the associates of Sut arrive, and take the forms of goats, slay them before the gods there, while their blood runneth down; and this is done according to the judgment of those gods who are in Tattu.

9. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, before the Great Circle of gods in An-arer-ef on the Night of Hiding him who is Supreme in Attributes.[32]

The Great Circle of gods in An-arer-ef is of Shu, Babai, Rā and Osiris, and the Night of Hiding him who is Supreme of Attributes is when there are at the Coffin, the Thigh, the Head, the Heel and the Leg of Unneferu.

10. Oh Thoth, who makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries, let N be made triumphant over his adversaries, even as thou makest Osiris triumphant over his adversaries before the Great Circle of gods in Restau on the Night when Anubis lieth(10) with his hands upon the objects behind Osiris, when Osiris is made to triumph over his adversaries.

The Great Circle of gods in Restau is of Osiris, Horus, and Isis. The heart of Horus rejoiceth, the heart of Osiris is glad and the two Parts[33] of Heaven are satisfied when Thoth effecteth the triumph of N before these ten Great Circles about Rā and about Osiris and the Circles of gods attached to every god and every goddess before the Inviolate god. All his adversaries are destroyed and all that was wrong in him is also destroyed.

Let the person say this chapter, he will be purified and come forth by day, after his death, and take all forms for the satisfaction of his will, and if this chapter be recited over him, he will be prosperous upon earth, he will come forth safe from every fire, and no evil thing will approach him: with undeviating regularity for times infinite.(11)


The eighteenth chapter is one of those found in the earliest copies of the Book of the Dead, on the wooden coffins of the ‘Old’ and ‘Middle’ Empires; the most complete ancient copy being on the coffin of Queen Mentuhotep of the eleventh dynasty.

It consists of a Litany addressed to Thoth, who is invoked for securing the triumph of the departed against his adversaries in presence of the gods of certain localities. Each petition has reference to some mythological event, and is supplemented by the enumeration of the gods constituting the divine company presiding at the locality named, and sometimes by a short comment on the myth referred to.

The order of petitions is somewhat different in the later recensions, and the text has suffered other alterations.

Copies of this chapter are extremely numerous, particularly in the later periods.

The chapter really begins with the petitions to Thoth. The preceding portion is, as far as I know, found only in the Papyrus of Ani. But as the vignette which belongs to this portion has a place in the great Leyden Papyrus of Kenna, the text cannot have been confined to a single manuscript. It is particularly valuable as illustrative of the ritual use of portions of the Book of the Dead.

1. The deceased person is supposed to be presented to the gods by two priests in succession, one called An-maut-ef ⁂⁂⁂⁂, and the other ⁂⁂ Se-meri-f. Both names are titles of Horus, and it is the usual thing for Egyptian priests to bear divine titles; their ritual observances being dramatic and symbolical representations of the actions of the gods. An-maut-ef literally signifies ‘column (support) of his mother.’ Horus is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘the An-maut-ef of the Great Company of the gods’ (Mariette, Abydos, I, p. 34), and in Denkmäler, III, 206 e, he is called the An-maut-ef of Osiris (cf. Abyd. II, 54).

Se-meri-f signifies ‘the Beloved Son,’ and the priest of this name in the funereal rites personified Horus in his dutiful offices to his father Osiris. I do not know why ⁂⁂ is always translated ‘the son who loves him,’ instead of ‘the son he loves,’ 55which is the right meaning. ⁂⁂⁂ is ‘the place which he loves’ not ‘the place which loves him.’ And similarly ⁂⁂ is ‘the wife whom he loves,’ not ‘who loves him.’

2. There is a short note (6) on chapter 1, upon the word ⁂⁂⁂⁂, but the present seems to be the suitable place for a more extended notice of this feminine word, which is a collective noun, and never found in any other sense.

The ancient form ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ renders it more than probable that ⁂ is not phonetic in the later form, but that as in ⁂⁂ kai, originally ⁂⁂ (whence the Coptic ⲕⲟⲧ, ⲕⲱⲧⲉ, a circle, a round vessel, to go round), it is ideographic of roundness. This concept is certainly to be found in the word ⁂⁂⁂, the Coptic ϫⲱϫ, a head (or rather top of the head), as in the Latin vertex, akin to vortex, from the same root as vertere. The sign ⁂, which in later texts often appears as the determinative, has its origin in the cursive form of ⁂ carelessly written. Instead of ⁂ we also find ⁂, which is certainly not phonetic but ideographic of enclosure, as in the word ⁂⁂⁂⁂ a wall, paries, ἕρκος. This word occurs already in the Pyramid Texts under the form ⁂⁂⁂. See Pepi I, 571, which M. Maspero renders ‘la Grande Enceinte d’On.’ The evident etymological relationship to the Coptic ϫⲱϫ has led some scholars to translate the Egyptian word as signifying chiefs, princes. But though the lexicons give dux and princeps as meanings of the Coptic word, these are but secondary applications of head. We have to enquire why ϫⲱϫ means head, or top of the head. And the reason is its roundness, as indicated by the ideographic signs ⁂ or ⁂.

The old Egyptian word ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ invariably implies an association of persons, and this is why in consequence of its etymology I translate it as ‘Circle of gods.’ It is synonymous (cf. chapter 41, note 8chapter 41, note 8) with ⁂⁂⁂.

3. The Eve’s Provender. Later authorities read ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, the ‘Provender of the altars,’ but this is a corruption of the ancient 56⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, which had probably ceased to be intelligible. According to this pantheistic system the deceased through his identification with the Sun absorbed and consumed all that came in his way. And this is expressed in somewhat brutal style. Men and gods disappear before Unas, he makes his breakfast at dawn ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, upon great gods, his dinner upon gods of middling quality ⁂⁂, and ‘his supper at even’ ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ upon the minor deities, ⁂⁂. ⁂⁂ is the ancient dialectic variant of ⁂, which however is really the older form. This word which means ‘things’ has, like the Latin res, a wide application. It frequently means property, estate, and sometimes suit.

4. On the last day of the month of Choiak the great solemnity of setting up the Tat ⁂ as the symbol of Osiris was observed down to the latest periods. The tablets of Pasherenptah, high priest of Ptah at Memphis, speak of this great dignitary as the king’s second or deputy in ‘Raising the Tat.’ But Brugsch has published a picture (Thesaurus, V, 1190), copied by Dr. Erman from a tomb of the XVIIIth dynasty, in which Amenophis III himself helps to raise the Tat, and the queen Ti and the royal princesses take part in the ceremony. The procession is described as marching four times round the sanctuary of Ptah-Seker-Osiris. See Plate IX.

5. On Horus in the Dark, or Blindness, or Invisibility ⁂, see note, Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., June, 1886.

6. Pu and Tepu are named together in the earliest texts as one locality, which is recognised by Brugsch as the metropolis of the northern nome called by the Greeks Φθενότης.

7. The feast of ⁂⁂ derives its name, as Goodwin supposes with great probability, from the words ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ha-k-er-ȧ, ‘Come thou to me,’ said of a legendary incident like that mentioned at the end of note 15 on chapter 17. The early papyri read ⁂⁂⁂⁂ but this is no objection, the sign ⁂ being here the determinative of the entire group which gives its name to the feast.

578. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ literally the dead, that is those who have died ‘the second death.’

9. The vignette is given by M. Naville from the tracing taken by Lepsius of the now lost Papyrus Busca. It represents ‘the Great Hoeing in Tattu.’ The long text at Dendera (Mariette, tom. IV, pl. 39) contains directions to be observed the festival commemorative of the ancient myth. Two black cows are put under a yoke of ⁂⁂⁂ ȧm wood, the plough is of tamarisk wood and the share of black bronze. The plougher goes behind, with a cow led by a halter. A little child with the lock ⁂ attached to its head is to scatter the seed in the field of Osiris, a piece of land of which the dimensions were given in the text (now imperfect). Barley is sown at one end, spelt at the other, and flax between the two. And the Cher-heb in chief recites the Office for the Sowing of the Field.

10. The older texts have ⁂⁂ lie, the later ones ⁂ lay.

11. In the formula ⁂ ⁂⁂, ⁂ šes is “the measuring line used by builders,”builders,” and em šes signifies ‘ad amussim,’ ‘nach der Schnur,’ ‘au cordeau,’ ‘according to the line,’ hence ‘with the strictest accuracy.’ Hibbert Lectures, 1879, p. 121. ‘According to the line of Maāt’ means ‘with undeviating regularity.’

30. ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The later recensions read ⁂⁂⁂. The first Coffin of Mentuhotep (Aelteste Texte, 4, 61) has the phonetic ⁂⁂⁂.

31. Literally, “when the things ⁂ are shut up.”

32. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

33. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, North and South.


Chapter of the Crown of Triumph.

Thy Father Tmu hath prepared for thee this beautiful Crown of Triumph, the living diadem which the gods love, that thou mayest live for ever. Osiris, Prince of Amenta, maketh thee to triumph over thine adversaries. Thy Father Seb hath decreed that thou should be his heir, and be heralded as Triumphant, Horus son of Isis and son of Osiris, upon the throne of thy Father Rā, through the defeat of thine adversaries. He hath decreed for thee the Two Earths, absolutely and without condition(1). And so hath Atmu decreed, and the Cycle of the gods hath repeated the glorious act of the triumph of Horus the son of Isis and the son of Osiris for ever and ever.

58Osiris, the Prince of Amenta, the Two Parts of Heaven united, all gods and all goddesses who are in heaven and upon earth join in effecting the Triumph of Horus the son of Isis and son of Osiris over his adversaries before the Great Circle of gods in Heliopolis, on the Night, etc.

Horus repeateth the proclamation four times. All the adversaries fall and are overthrown and slaughtered.

N repeateth the proclamation four times, and all his adversaries fall and are overthrown and slaughtered.

Horus son of Isis and son of Horus repeateth an infinite number of festivals, and all his adversaries fall down, are overthrown and slaughtered. Their abode is transferred to the slaughtering block of the East, their heads are cut away, their necks are crushed, their thighs are lopped off, they are given to the great Annihilator who resideth in the Valley(2) that they may not ever escape from under the custody of Seb.(3)

This chapter is said over a consecrated crown placed upon the face of the person, and thou shalt put incense upon the flame, for N (the deceased), effecting his triumph over all his adversaries, whether Dead or Living, that he may become one of the followers of Osiris. And there shall be given to him drink and food in presence of this god. Thou shall say it at dawn twice; A great protection is it: with undeviating regularity for times infinite.


The nineteenth chapter is a very recent recension of the eighteenth. The MSS. containing it, as far as we know, are not older than the Greek period. It derives its origin from the practice of placing garlands or floral crowns upon the mummies. The mummy of Aahmes I, the first king of the eighteenth dynasty, when found “portait au cou,” M. Maspero writes, “une guirlande de jolies fleurs roses de Delphinium orientale.” Remains of such crowns are to be found in our Museums. For farther details I must refer to an excellent paper entitled La Couronne de la Justification, by Dr. Pleyte of Leyden, in the second volume of the Transactions of the Oriental Congress held at Leyden in 1884; and see Plate VIII.

591. ⁂⁂⁂. This adverbial expression is apparently connected with ⁂⁂, and I therefore understand it in the sense of ἀποτόμως, praecisè, absolutely, without condition.

2. ⁂⁂⁂ the Valley of Darkness (Todt., 130, 6) and Death, “whose secrets are absolutely unknown” ⁂⁂⁂⁂ (148, 2).

3. That is they shall remain interred for ever.


The twentieth chapter is entitled Another Chapter of Crown of Triumph, but it is simply a tabulated form of chapter 18, with the Rubric. Let the person say this Chapter, and purify himself with water of natron, he will come forth by day after death, and take all forms according to his wish, and escape from the fire. With undeviating regularity for times infinite. The earliest example of this tabulated form of the chapter is found on the Berlin Sarcophagus of Mentuhotep.

Dümichen; Tempelinschriften, LXXV.



Chapter whereby the mouth of a person is given to him in the Netherworld.

Hail to thee, Lord of Light, who art Prince of the House which is encircled by Darkness and Obscurity. I am come to thee glorified and purified.

My hands are behind thee; thy portion is that of those who have gone before thee.(1)

Give me my mouth that I may speak with it; and guide(2) my heart at its hour of Darkness and Night.


The oldest papyrus containing this chapter is that of Ani, and the translation is based upon it. But the text differs both from those written on the very ancient coffins of Heru and Set-Bastit, copied by M. Maspero,[34] and from the later texts.

The second paragraph seems to be spoken by the god, the first and third being from the deceased.

“My hands are behind thee” is a formula implying protection.

On the coffins the invocation is addressed not to “Osiris, Lord of Light” or “Radiant One” ⁂⁂, but to the ⁂⁂⁂, “one whose head is clothed with radiant white, of the House of Darkness and Obscurity.”

Instead of ⁂⁂⁂⁂ “obscurity” the coffin has ⁂⁂ without a determinative, but ⁂⁂⁂⁂ shows what the word means.

This ancient text continues—“Come thou to me, glorified and purified; let thy hands [here the text is obliterated], shine thou with thine head (⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂). Give me my mouth that 61I may speak with it, and guide me on the glorious roads which are in heaven.”

The Turin text is very corrupt, and parts of it are incapable of translation.

1. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

2. “Let me guide,” according to the Ani Papyrus. But the later (hieratic) texts have the second person ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, which is more correct.

34. Mission Archéologique Française, II, p. 216 and 223. The text is unfortunately incomplete on both coffins.



Another Chapter whereby the Mouth of a person is given to him in the Netherworld.

I shine forth out of the Egg which is in the unseen world.(1) Let there be given my mouth that I may speak with it in presence of the great god, Lord of the Tuat. Let not my hand be repulsed by the Divine Circle of the great god.

I am Osiris, the Lord of Restau, the same who is at the head of the Staircase.(2)

I am come to do the will of my heart, out of the Tank of Flame, which I extinguish when I come forth.(3)


This is one of the chapters of which the text certainly belongs to the earliest epoch. It is one of those copied by Wilkinson from the coffin(2)(2) of Queen Mentuhotep. In the Papyrus of Ani it is followed by chapter 21 as its conclusion, and both chapters are appended to chapter 1, before the rubric belonging to that chapter.

1. The Egg in the unseen world is the globe of the Sun while yet below the horizon. It is only through a mistranslation of chapter 54, 2 that the Indian notion of a ‘Mundane Egg’ has been ascribed to the Egyptians.

The 17th chapter addresses “Rā in thine Egg, who risest up in thine orb, and shinest from thine Horizon.”

622. See the picture of Osiris at the head of the Staircase, which is here given (see Plate XI) from the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I in the Soane Museum. Similar pictures are given on other sarcophagi. The gods on the stairs are called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ‘the Divine Circle about Osiris.’

The ‘Staircase of the great god’ ⁂⁂⁂⁂ at Abydos, is frequently mentioned on the funeral stelae.

3. The Tank of Flame. See chapter 1, note 15. The red glow of the Sky disappears after the Sun has risen, he is therefore said to “extinguish the Flame” after he has come forth. The same notion is expressed in the myth according to which Horus strikes off the head of his mother.


Chapter whereby the Mouth of a person is opened for him in the Netherworld.

He saith: Let my mouth be opened by Ptah, and let the muzzles which are upon my mouth be loosed by the god of my domain.(1)

Then let Thoth come, full and equipped with Words of Power,[35] and let him loose the muzzles of Sutu which are upon my mouth, and let Tmu lend a hand to fling them at the assailants.

Let my mouth be given to me. Let my mouth be opened by Ptah with that instrument of steel(2) wherewith he openeth the mouths of the gods.

I am Sechit(3) Uat’it who sitteth on the right side of Heaven: I am Sahit encircled by the Spirits of Heliopolis.[36]

And all the Words of Power, and all the accusations which are uttered against me—the gods stand firm against them: the cycles of the gods unitedly.


1. Osiris. On the sense of ⁂⁂⁂, literally ‘the god of the domain,’ see the articles of M. Naville and Professor Piehl, Zeitschr., 1880, 146; 1881, 24 and 64. I hold with Dr. Piehl that the domain meant in this formula is Abydos, and that the god is Osiris.

2. The word here translated ‘steel’ is ⁂⁂⁂, upon which see M. Devéria’s dissertation, “Le Fer et l’Aimant” in the Mélanges d’Archéologie Egyptienne et Assyrienne, tome I, p. 2.

A description of the Ceremonies of the Opening of the Mouth as performed at the tomb will be found in the Introduction to this translation.

3. The name of this goddess is phonetically written ⁂⁂ Sḫt in the Pyramid texts of Unas (l. 390), where the Murray Papyrus and other texts have the ordinary ⁂⁂. The reading Sechemet is indefensible. Cf. Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., XII, p. 365.

35. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

36. Tmu, Shu and Tefnut.


Chapter whereby the Words of Power are brought to a Person in the Netherworld.

I am Chepera, the self-produced, on his Mother’s thigh.(1)

The speed of bloodhounds is given to those who are in Heaven,[37] and the mettle of hyaenas(2) to those who belong to the Divine Circle.

Lo, I bring this my Word of Power, and I collect this Word of Power from every quarter in which it is, more persistently(3) than hounds of chase and more swiftly than the Light.

O thou who guidest the Bark of Rā, sound is thy rigging and free from disaster as thou passest on to the Tank of Flame.

Lo, I collect[38] this my Word of Power from every quarter in which it is, in behalf of every person whom it concerneth, more 64persistently than hounds of chase and more swiftly than Light; the same(4) who create the gods out of Silence, or reduce them to inactivity; the same who impart warmth to the gods.

Lo, I collect this my Word of Power from every quarter in which it is, in behalf of every person whom it concerneth, more persistently than hounds of chase and more swiftly than the Light.


This is another of those chapters of which the antiquity is proved by the coffins of Horhotep and Queen Mentuhotep. And even in the early times to which these coffins belong it must have been extremely difficult to understand. In the translation here given I have adhered as closely as possible to the oldest texts, but these, as the variants show, are not entirely trustworthy.

1. Thigh. This is the usual translation, which accords with the frequent pictures of the goddess Nut, as the Sky, with the divine Scarab in the position described.[39] But ⁂⁂⁂ signifies that which runs, from ⁂⁂⁂ uār, run, fugere; and the noun (the runner) is often applied to running water. It is the geographical name of a river or canal. M. Naville has already pointed out that in the Book of the Dead it has for variants ⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂⁂, of which bath is a fair translation.

2. The names of these two animals (especially of the second) vary greatly in the texts. But if we wish rightly to understand the sense of the chapter, we must bear in mind that it is not the animals themselves that are meant, but the characteristics implied by the names of the animals. And as the Sanskrit vṛkas, the Greek λύκος, the old Slavonic vluku, the Gothic vulfs, and our own wolf, signify the robber, so does the Egyptian ⁂⁂⁂⁂, whether signifying wolf, wolfhound, or bloodhound, indicate speed.

The names of the second animal in the earlier texts, whether they stand for hyænas ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, or for other animals of the chase (⁂⁂⁂⁂), imply either speed or ferocity. And what must 65we understand under the latter term? We must look to the context. It is of a god speaking of himself and of his attributes. He is proud of them, and certainly does not wish them to be taken in a bad sense. Nor is it necessary that we should do so. We have only to remember what we learnt at school.

Cicero (de Sen., 10, 33) contrasts the ‘ferocitas juvenum,’ the high pluck of the young, with the ‘infirmitas puerorum,’ and the ‘gravitas’ and ‘maturitas’ of later periods of life.

Livy uses the term ferox, in the same sense as Cicero.

What we have to understand of the Egyptian expression is, ‘mettlesome, of high, unbridled spirit.’

In the later texts the Bennu bird has been substituted for the beasts of the chase.

3. The later texts read ⁂⁂, but all the earlier ones give another word ⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂. This is often used in a bad sense, when spoken of the enemy; but it merely implies tenacity, pertinacity, obstinacy, which are, of course, very bad things in opposition, but in themselves virtues of a high order.[40]

The word is used as a name for the divine Cynocephali ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ who appear at sunrise over the Tank of Flame.

4. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, the same who bringeth into being the gods out of Silence, or reduceth them to inactivity.

In addition to this interesting utterance of Egyptian theology, we have to note the idea of Silence ⁂⁂⁂ as the origin of the gods, or powers of nature. The notion was also current in the Greek world. The writer of the Philosophumena (VI, 22) speaks of ἡ ὑμνουμένη ἐκείνη παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησι Ζιγή. It was from this source that the early Gnostic Valentinus borrowed this item of his system. St. Irenaeus (Haeres, II, 14) charges him with having taken it from the theogony of the comic poet Antiphanes.

37. ⁂⁂ Nu.

38. ⁂.

39. See also in Plate XI the Vignette from chapter 17 in the Turin and all the later papyri.

40. Columella speaks of the “contumacia pervicax boum.”



Chapter whereby a person remembereth his name in the Netherworld.

Let my name be given to me in the Great House. Let me remember my name in the House of Flame(1) on the Night wherein the Years are counted and the Months are reckoned, one by one.

I am He who dwelleth in Heaven, and who sitteth on the Eastern side of Heaven: and if there be any god who cometh not in my train, I utter his name at once.


1. Every Egyptian Temple being symbolical of Heaven, had its Great House ⁂⁂⁂ and its House of Flame ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, as most sacred adyta at the extremity opposite to the entrance. The former occupied the central position, like the Ladye Chapel in our cathedrals, and the latter stood by the side of it.


Chapter whereby the Heart(1) is given to a person in the Netherworld.

He saith: Heart[41] mine to me, in the place of Hearts! Whole Heart[42] mine to me, in the place of Whole Hearts!

Let me have my Heart that it may rest within me; but(2) I shall feed upon the food of Osiris, on the eastern side of the mead of amaranthine flowers.(3)

Be mine a bark for descending the stream and another for ascending.

I go down into the bark wherein thou art.

Be there given to me my mouth wherewith to speak, and my feet for walking; and let me have my arms wherewith to overthrow my adversaries.

67Let two hands from the Earth open my mouth: Let Seb, the Erpā of the gods, part my two jaws;(4) let him open my two eyes which are closed, and give motion to my two hands which are powerless: and let Anubis give vigour to my legs, that I may raise myself up upon them.

And may Sechit the divine one lift me up, so that I may arise in Heaven and issue my behest in Memphis.

I am in possession of my Heart, I am possession of my Whole Heart, I am possession of my arms and I have possession of my legs.(5)

[I do whatsoever my Genius willeth, and my Soul is not bound to my body at the gates of Amenta.]


1. The Egyptian texts have two names for the Heart, ⁂ phonetically written ⁂⁂⁂ ȧb, and ⁂⁂ also written ⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂⁂⁂ ḥatu.[43] The two words are commonly used synonymously, but they are sometimes pointedly distinguished one from the other. Etymologically ⁂⁂⁂ ȧb is connected with the sense of lively motion ⁂⁂⁂ ȧb, like the Greek καρδία, κραδίη, (δία τὸ ἀπαύστως σαλεύεσθαι) with κραδάω and κραδαίνω. Other Indo-European names, our own heart, the Latin cor (cord-is), the Sanskrit hṛd, and the corresponding Slavonic and Lithuanian names have the same origin.

From the orthography of ⁂⁂ it seems to have been connected in popular opinion with its position in the anterior part of the body. And from various uses of the word it appears to denote not merely the heart, but the heart with all that is attached to it, especially the lungs which embrace it. It is for instance to the ⁂⁂ that air is conducted according to the medical Papyri. And it is not improbable that ⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, organs of respiration, are closely connected words.

68But perhaps the best argument may be found in the Vignettes of chapter 28, where the two lungs are actually drawn as in the hieratic papyrus (Pl. 2) published by Sir Charles Nicholson. In others (as Leyden, T. 16) even the larynx is visible. (See Plate X.)

The Italian word corata is immortalised through its occurrence in a memorable passage in Dante (Inf., XXVIII), but for want of a better English term than the butcher’s technical word pluck[44] I use the expression whole heart.

2. But, ⁂⁂⁂. This is the most frequent reading both in the earliest and in the latest papyri. But some texts have simply ⁂, which is certainly a mistake, and others omit the conjunction before the verb. The sense is not much affected by this omission. ⁂⁂⁂ signifies if not, unless, until, but, but surely. Cf. the Semitic אִם־לֹא, ܐܷܠܴܐܷܠܴ, إلَّا

3. The mead of amaranthine flowers. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ḳaiu is the name of a plant which frequently occurs in the medical prescriptions. It is also mentioned among the aromatic plants (⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂) required in the sacred laboratory of Dendera. One of the kinds is named ḳaiu of the Oasis ⁂⁂⁂. It is identified with the Coptic ⲕⲓⲟⲱⲩ, amaranthus. In several copies of this chapter the name of the plant is followed by the geographical determinative ⁂, which is really implied in the context. Was this mythological ‘mead of amaranth’ suggested by the Oasis and its vegetation?

4. This sentence is a repetition (in other words) of the preceding one. On the title Erpā, see Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., XII, 359. My chief difficulty about understanding it as compounded of ⁂ and ⁂, and signifying keeper of the Pāt, that is of the deceased (human beings), is that Seb is essentially the Erpā of the gods. Erpā is one of those titles which cannot be translated without perverting the sense of the original.

695. This passage is a very frequent formula not only in the Book of the Dead, as the papyri give it, but in other texts of the same nature; see, e.g., Aelteste Texte, 34, 14. The next passage included in [] is an addition to the original text. It occurs however in some excellent MSS.

41. ⁂ ȧb, ‘heart.’

42. ⁂ ḥatu, ‘whole heart.’

43. This variant already occurs on the coffin of Amamu.

44. In late Latin corallum, whence the Romanic forms corajhe, corata, coratella, corée, couraille. In Garin le Loherens we find “la coraille del cuers.”


Chapter whereby the Heart of a person is not taken from him in the Netherworld.

O ye gods who seize upon Hearts, and who pluck out the Whole Heart; and whose hands fashion anew the Heart of a person according to what he hath done; lo now, let that be forgiven to him by you.(1)

Hail to you, O ye Lords of Everlasting Time and Eternity!

Let not my Heart be torn from me by your fingers.

Let not my Heart be fashioned anew according to all the evil things said against me.

For this Heart of mine is the Heart of the god of mighty names(2), of the great god whose words are in his members, and who giveth free course to his Heart which is within him.

And most keen of insight(3) is his Heart among the gods. Ho to me! Heart of mine; I am in possession of thee, I am thy master, and thou art by me; fall not away from me; I am the dictator to whom thou shalt obey in the Netherworld.


1. There is a great difference here as in so many other places between the MSS. of different periods. I long ago translated the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ of the Todtenbuch by non ignoretur a vobis, M. de Rougé, after me, by non renuatur a vobis. But M. Naville pointed out the fact that in some of the oldest MSS. the particle ⁂ did not occur. It now appears that the particle is not found in any of the older MSS., and I have also found it omitted in hieratic papyri. The passage therefore must be translated differently, and this is possible through a slight change in the 70interpretation of ⁂ from ignorare to ignoscere; ignoscatur illi a vobis. The pronoun ⁂⁂ which in the older texts follows ⁂⁂, ⁂ refers to ‘what he hath done’ of the last clause.

2. The god of mighty names is Thoth, and the later texts read “For this is the Heart of the great god who is in Hermopolis.”

3. ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂. According to another reading ⁂⁂⁂⁂ new, fresh, young, vigorous.


Chapter whereby the Heart of a person is not taken from him in the Netherworld.

O Lion-god!

I am Unbu(1), and what I abominate is the block of execution.

Let not this Whole Heart of mine be torn from me by the divine Champions(2) in Heliopolis!

O thou who clothest(3) Osiris and hast seen Sutu:

O thou who turnest back after having smitten him, and hast accomplished the overthrow:

This Whole Heart of mine remaineth weeping over itself in presence of Osiris.

Its strength proceedeth from him, it hath obtained it by prayer from him.

I have had granted to it and awarded to it the glow of heart at the hour of the god of the Broad Face, and have offered the sacrificial cakes in Hermopolis.

Let not this Whole Heart of mine be torn from me.(4) It is I who entrust to you its place, and vehemently stir your Whole Hearts towards it in Sechit-hotepit and the years of triumph over all that it abhors and taking all provisions at thine appointed time from thine hand after thee.

71And this Whole Heart of mine is laid upon the tablets(5) of Tmu, who guideth me to the caverns of Sutu and who giveth me back my Whole Heart which hath accomplished its desire in presence of the divine Circle which is in the Netherworld.

The sacrificial joint and the funereal raiment, let those who find them bury them.(6)


1. Unbu, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is one of the names of the solar god, the offspring (Todt., 42, 19) of Nu and Nut. As a common noun the word unbu means the Hawthorn or some other kind of flowering bush. This god is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘the golden Unbu’ in the Pyramid Texts (Teta 39). We have no means of determining the exact sense of this word, which as an appellative expresses an attribute possessed both by the Sun and by the fruit, foliage, or other parts of the tree.

2. Divine Champions. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the earlier papyri, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the later; and sometimes both readings occur in the same MS. Such determinatives as ⁂ certainly do not denote very pugnacious qualities in the divine Champions.

3. Clothest. ⁂⁂ is a word of many meanings, and the context generally determines which is the right one. In the present instance we have no such help. Some of the more recent MSS. give ⁂, the determinative of clothing.

4. M. Pierret here breaks off his translation of the chapter, with the note: “La fin de ce chapitre est absolument inintelligible; les variantes des manuscrits hiératiques ne l’éclaircissent pas.”

Like many other portions of the book this chapter is hopelessly corrupt, and the scribes did not understand it better than we do. They have probably mixed up different recensions without regard to grammatical sense. The deceased addresses gods in the plural ⁂, but immediately afterwards we have the singular suffix ⁂.

725. Tablets or records. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ See Zeitschr., 1867, 50. The word already occurs in the Pyramid Texts, Pepi I, 364, in the sense of memory, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ‘his memory for man and his love for the gods.’

But there is another word, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Denkm., III, 65 a), which signifies a stand upon which objects are placed.

6. The last words of the chapter were extremely puzzling to the scribes of the later periods, who altered them in ever so many ways. The older MSS. read ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. And this is borrowed from an ancient text, which may be found on the sarcophagus of Horhotep, line 338. The variants ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂, of the papyri, and ⁂⁂ of the sarcophagus show that it is the sacrificial joint which is meant, and not a verb as the scribes of a later period thought. For this verb they had to discover an object and accordingly we find ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘I trod their caverns.’ ⁂⁂⁂⁂ was in like manner converted into a verb. See the introductory note to chapter 29.


Chapter whereby the Heart of a person may not be taken from him in the Netherworld.

Back thou Messenger(1) of thy god! Art thou come to carry off by violence(2) this Whole Heart of mine, of the LivingLiving XYZZY(3) But I shall not surrender to thee this Heart of the Living. The gods have regards to my offerings and fall upon their faces, all together, upon their own earth.


The two most ancient copies of this chapter are found upon the coffins of Amamu, Plate XXX, and of Horhotep, Mission Arch. 73Française au Caire, t. 1, p. 157, lines 335-337. The papyrus of Ani is the only one of the early period in which it occurs. None of these texts is perfect. A part of the text of Amamu has been destroyed, but there remains enough to show that Horhotep has omissions. And in the text of Ani the word ⁂⁂⁂ has slipped in from the 28th chapter, and is entirely out of place where it now stands.

The scribes of a later period had to exercise their ingenuity on the subject. They changed ⁂⁂⁂ ḫenṭu into ⁂⁂⁂⁂ ḫenȧ, and this being itself a disagreeable word, they prefixed to it a negative ⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂.

1. Messenger, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, a word used here and elsewhere in religious texts in the same sense as מַלְאָךְ an angel, ambassador of God. The later texts have ⁂⁂⁂ ‘every god,’ by the change of ⁂ into ⁂.

2. By violence, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. Cf. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Harris Papyrus, 500, verso.

3. The Living ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and saved, in opposition to the Dead and damned. This plural form is a mere sign of a common noun.


Another Chapter of the Heart; upon Carnelian.

I am the Heron, the Soul of Râ, who conduct the Glorious ones to the Tuat.

It is granted to their Souls to come forth upon the Earth to do whatsoever their Genius willeth.

It is granted to the soul of the Osiris N to come forth upon the Earth to do whatsoever his Genius willeth.


Certain chapters having reference to the Heart were written upon gems[45] and served as amulets, the 26th upon Lapis-lazuli, the 27th upon green Felspar, the 30th upon Serpentine, and the foregoing chapter upon Carnelian.

M. Naville has called this chapter 29B, as marking its natural place in the Book of the Dead. It is not often found in the Papyri. M. Naville found one copy in the Berlin Papyrus of Nechtuamen, and another traced by Lepsius in Rome from a papyrus now lost. A third copy will be found in the papyrus of Ani[46] in the British Museum. It differs from the two others in “conducting the gods to the Tuat,” and by omitting some words for which there was no room in the space provided.

45. See a charming article by Professor Ebers in the Zeitschrift of 1880, entitled “Einige inedita.”

46. Pl. 33.


Chapter whereby the Heart of a person is not kept back from him in the Netherworld.

Heart mine which is that of my Mother,

Whole Heart mine which was that of my coming upon Earth,

Let there be no estoppel against me through evidence; let not hindrance be made to me by the Divine Circle;(1) let there not be a fall of the scale(2) against me in presence of the great god, Lord of Amenta.

Hail to thee, Heart mine; Hail to thee, Whole Heart mine, Hail to thee, Liver(3) mine!

Hail to you, ye gods who are on the side lock, conspicuous by your sceptres,(4) announce my glory to Râ and convey it to NehebkauNehebkau.

[And lo, though he be buried in the deep deep Grave, and bowed down to the region of annihilation, he is glorified there(5).]



Heart mine which is that of my Mother,

Whole Heart mine which is that of my birth,

Let there be no estoppel against me through evidence, let no hindrance be made to me by the divine Circle; fall thou not against me in presence of him who is at the Balance.

Thou art my Genius, who art by me, the Artist(6) who givest soundness to my limbs.

Come forth(7) to the bliss[47] towards which we are bound;

Let not those Ministrants(8) who deal with a man according to the course of his life(9) give a bad odour to my name.

Pleasant for us, pleasant for the listener, is the joy of the Weighing of the Words.

Let not lies be uttered in presence of the great god, Lord of the Amenta.

Lo! how great art thou [as the Triumphant one.(10)


This chapter is found not only on papyri but upon innumerable scarabs. The differences of text are very great, but the principal ones may be considered as represented by M. Naville’s 30A and 30B. They branch off from each other after the mention of the Balance.

The oldest copy known on a scarab is that of King Sebak-em-saf of the XIIIth dynasty. It is in the British Museum (No. 7876) and has been described by Dr. Birch in his study[48] of the “Formulas relating to the heart.” “This amulet,” he says, “is of unusual shape; the body of the insect is made of a remarkably fine green jasper carved in shape of the body and head of the insect. This is inserted into a base of gold in shape of a tablet.... The legs of the insect are ... of gold and carved in relief.... The hieroglyphs are incised in outline, are coarse, and not very legible.”

1. The Divine Circle, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. This word on the scarab of Sebak-em-saf is written ⁂⁂⁂, which shows that ⁂ (a wall 76of enclosure) is ideographic of the whole word. And this sign in hieratic, when placed upright ⁂, has given rise to the ⁂, which takes its place in the later texts.

2. Fall of the scale, ⁂⁂⁂ = the Coptic ⲣⲓⲕⲓ ⲛ̀ⲟⲩⲙⲁϣⲓ or the Greek ῥοπὴ τοῦ ζυγοῦ.

3. Liver; This seems to be the real meaning of ⁂⁂⁂.

4. These gods are mentioned in the Pyramid Texts in a passage closely resembling this one of the Book of the Dead. “They bring to Unas (line 479) the four Glorious ones who are on the side lock of Horus; who stand upon the Eastern side of Heaven, and who are conspicuous through their sceptres ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. They announce to Râ the glorious name of Unas, and proclaim (⁂⁂⁂, cf. ⲟⲩⲱ, ⲉⲣⲟⲩⲱ) Unas to Neheb-kau.” The text of Teta is very imperfect in this place.

The word ⁂⁂ appears to have the sense of insignire, designare. This sense is a key to every passage in which the word occurs.

5. The few early copies of this paragraph are too fragmentary and too contradictory to furnish a restoration of the text, which must have meant something like what is expressed in this translation.

6. The Artist, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, which is here a common noun rather than a proper name.

7. The deceased addresses his heart, and thereupon speaks in the first person plural, we; that is you and I.

8. The Ministrants. The ⁂⁂⁂⁂ were high officials in the Egyptian court, but here they minister to Osiris in the Netherworld. They are apparently the same gods who are addressed in the 27th Chapter as fashioning the heart of a person according to his deeds when living.

9. The determinative ⁂ shows that ⁂ is here to be taken in the sense of the duration of human life, and the pronominal 77suffixes ⁂ or ⁂ show whose life is spoken of. The latter suffix has reference to ⁂⁂⁂⁂, which is accordingly to be translated in the singular. The plural sign merely indicates a common or collective noun.

10. As the Triumphant one. So Aa, the papyrus of Nebseni. Another authority (B.M. 7865) quoted by Dr. Birch has ⁂⁂⁂⁂ like Râ, the Triumphant One.

The formula “How great art thou!” occurs in other primitive texts; cf. Aelteste Texte, Pl. 5, lines 7 and 8. In line 8 it occurs twice.

47. ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

48. Zeitschr., 1870. p. 32.


Chapter whereby the Crocodiles are repulsed who come to carry off the Words of Power from a person in the Netherworld.

Back, in retreat! Back, Crocodile Sui! Come not against me, who live by the Words of Power.(1)

I utter(2) that Name of the great god, who granteth that two of his Messengers[49] should come; the name of one is Batta(3), and the name of the other is Thine Aspect is Fixed Law.(4)

Heaven determineth(5) its hour; my Word of Power determineth all that which concerneth it; and my mouth determineth my Word of Power. I eat, and my teeth are like flint, and my grinders are like the Cliff of Tuf.(6)

O thou who art sitting(7) with a watchful eye against this my Word of Power; do not thou carry it off, O Crocodile who livest by thine own Word of Power.


This chapter is but rarely found in the more ancient collections. It was on the coffin of Queen Mentuhotep, but M. Naville gives the readings of only two early papyri. The later recensions add a text which we shall find later on in chapter 69, and which has no connection whatever with the present chapter.

781. The Words of Power are supplied to the deceased by Thoth in chapter 23.

2. The Turin text and those which agree with it read “Do not thou utter,” as if the Crocodile were about to use the Word of Power. I read ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The ⁂ was first corrupted into ⁂, and ⁂⁂ was farther improved into ⁂⁂⁂, which in its turn necessitated the addition of a suffix of the second person.

3. This name was changed in the later texts to the more familiar one of the divine Ape ⁂⁂ Benit.

4. Fixed Law, ⁂ or ⁂⁂. The central idea of theology in the Book of the Dead is that of Regularity, whether in permanence or change. Those things alone are divine which abide unceasingly or which recur in accordance with undeviating rule.

5. Determineth. The word ⁂⁂ here, as in other places, has the sense of circumscribing, as in a circuit ⁂⁂, prescribing the limits, fixing and determining.

6. The Cliff of Tuf ⁂⁂, literally ‘his cliff,’ namely of Anubis, in allusion to his frequent title ⁂⁂.

7. Sitting. Here I follow Pc and the papyri generally in reading ⁂⁂. The scribe of Ca seems to have been thinking of ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ of a well-known magic text (Unas, 320).

49. See chapter 21, 1.


Chapter whereby the Crocodiles are repulsed who come to carry off the Words of Power from the glorified in the Netherworld.

Osiris standeth up upon his feet;(1) his company of gods raise him up.

O Son who conversest with thy father, do thou protect this Great one from these four(2) crocodiles here who devour the dead and live by the Words of Power.

79I know them by their names and their way of living, and it is I who protect his own father from them.

Back, thou Crocodile of the West, who livest on the Setting Stars.(3) What thou execratest is upon me. Thou hast devoured the head of Osiris, but I am Rā.(4)

Back, thou Crocodile of the East, who livest upon those who devour their own foulness. What thou execratest is upon me. I have come, and I am Osiris.

Back, thou Crocodile of the South, who livest upon impurities. What thou execratest is upon me. Let not the red flame be upon thee. For I am Septu.(5)

Back, thou Crocodile of the North, who livest upon that which lieth between the hours(6). What thou execratest is upon me. Let not thy fiery water be inflicted upon me. [For I am Tmu.(7)]

All things which exist are in my grasp, and those depend upon me which are not yet.

I am arrayed and equipped with thy Words of Power, O Rā; with that which is above and with that which is below me.

I have received increase of length and depth, and fulness of breathing within the domain of my father, the Great one.

He hath given to me that beautiful Amenta in which the living are destroyed. But strong is its possessor though he faint in it daily.

My face is unveiled, and my heart is in its place.

The Uræus is upon me daily.

I am Rā, who protecteth himself, and no evil things can overthrow me.


This chapter is in even worse condition than the one which precedes it. There are a few scraps of it on a coffin at St. Petersburg which M. Golenischeff assigns to the earliest period. The only early MS. which is of any use, Ba, the Berlin papyrus of Nechtuamon, is here in a very mutilated condition, as may be seen on referring to M. Naville’s edition.

1. Osiris standeth up upon his feet. So Ba; but the coffin at St. Petersburg lends its support to the text of Bekenrenef (of the] 8026th Dynasty), which opens the chapter with the name of a crocodile ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. “Let the Great one fall upon his belly”!

2. The ancient text had only four crocodiles, and only four are mentioned in the text of Bekenrenef. The Turin text speaks of eight; two for each of the cardinal points. But the Saitic text already has two invocations instead of one for each crocodile.

3. The sense of this myth is obvious. Every star which sets is supposed to be swallowed by the Crocodile of the West. It was stated in note 3 to chapter 15 that the ⁂⁂⁂ are stars.[50] Besides the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ the stars which set and the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ the circumpolar stars, whose navigation ⁂⁂⁂ ⲥⲱⲕ is continuous, there are the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ whose name is very significant. ⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂ have the sense of turning back,[51] and the only stars whose apparent motion is ever retrograde are the planets.

All these stars are supposed as divinities to aid in the navigation of the Bark of Rā. The Egyptians could not have had a correct planetary theory (which only became possible through Kepler), but they understood at least that the motions of the planets were regular, and that they depended upon the Sun. Eudoxus is reported to have derived the data for his theory from his Egyptian instructors.

4. Instead of Rā the name of Sut is found in the later texts. Bekenrenef has ⁂⁂.

815. Septu, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂, the ‘armed,’ one of the Solar appellations, already found in the Pyramid texts (Unas, 281). He appears in chapter 130, 7, in connection with the block of execution.

6. The text is here hopelessly corrupt. M. Pierret has ‘offrande,’ which he most probably derives from ⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂, a reading found in some papyri. But Ba, our oldest authority, has ⁂⁂, and Bekenrenef has ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The Turin copy has ⁂; and the context does not help us. Of these four readings (and there are probably others which I do not know) that of Bekenrenef seems to me the best; but ⁂ has so many possible applications that I will not venture to suggest one.

7. [I am Tmu.] These words are not in Ba, but they occur in all other copies, and the omission of the divine name which stops the crocodile is an evident fault.

The chapter ends here, and what follows is an addition for which our earliest authority is that of Bekenrenef. But even this text is already corrupt, and requires to be corrected by more recent ones.

50. ⁂⁂⁂⁂ as a feminine noun and proper name occurs in the Pyramid Texts (Unas, 644).

51. Brugsch has produced excellent evidence for the supposition that ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂ signifies the two turnings of the Sun, that is at the solstices, ⁂⁂ being the southern solstice and ⁂⁂ the northern.


Chapter whereby all Serpents are kept back.

Oh serpent Rerek, advance not! Here are the gods Seb and Shu!

Stop! or thou shalt eat the rat which Rā execrateth, and gnaw the bones of a putrid she-cat.


This chapter is often found in coffins. There is a chapter much resembling it in the tomb of Horhotep (line 364), at least as regards the opening words. It addresses Rerek and tells him that Shu and another deity are coming, and that the speaker is Horus. No allusion, however, is made to the dead rat and cat. These typify the impurities and abominations to which the damned are liable in the world to come.



Chapter whereby a person is not devoured by the dweller in the shrine.(1)

O Uræus! I am the Flame which shineth, and which openeth out eternity,(2) the column of Tenpua(3) [otherwise said—the column on which are blossoming plants.]

Away from me! I am the Lynx goddess.(4)


1. It is not possible to say what is here actually meant by ⁂⁂⁂ ḥat. Every word almost in this tiny chapter was a puzzle to the Egyptian scribes, who altered the text in a hundred ways. The Turin text provides against the persons being bitten by the Eater of the head, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, instead of ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ as even Bekenrenef has it.

2. Open out Eternity ⁂⁂⁂⁂. This is the oldest and most approved reading even in later times. But in Pe the flame ‘shineth on the brow of the Glorified ones.’

3. A quite unknown deity and most probably a mere blunder. The MS. which contains it, Ca, suggests another reading Tenpua with ⁂, the determinative of plants. This not proving satisfactory, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ renpit was substituted. But all this was mere conjectural emendation.

4. The Lynx goddess, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Maftit. The name of this deity is generally translated Lynx, and it is certainly applied to an animal of the feline species closely resembling the cat. But the notion expressed by the name is that of swift speed ⁂⁂⁂⁂. (See Dümichen, Rec. IV, 100, where this verb is in parallel with others of the same sense.)

This deity is again mentioned in the 39th chapter as taking part in the conflict with the dragon of darkness, and it is named in the strange magic formulæ already found in the Pyramid texts. She is 83called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Teta 310), and she apparently defends the deceased (ib., l. 303) against two serpent divinities, one of whom at least, ⁂⁂⁂ T’eser-ṭepu (praeclaro capite), is known to us as one of the forty-two assessors of Osiris (Todtenbuch, 125-33).


Chapter whereby the person is not devoured by a Serpent in the Netherworld.

Oh Shu, here is Tattu, and conversely, under the wig(1) of Hathor. They scent(2) Osiris.

Here is the one who is to devour me. They wait apart.(3) The serpent Seksek passeth over me.

Here are wormwood bruised(4) and reeds.

Osiris is he who prayeth that he may be buried.

The eyes of the Great One are bent down, and he doth for thee the work of cleansing;(5) marking out what is conformable to law and balancing the issues.(6)


The translator of this chapter cannot pretend to do more than give an accurate meaning to each word. The true sense of the chapter must have been lost when the earliest copies known to us were written.

1. Wig, ⁂⁂. The head-dress of the gods is one of the mythical forms of representing the light cloud at sunrise or sunset, in which the deity is pileatus.

2. Scent, ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The Egyptian word is also used for nursing, putting to sleep, probably through influencing the breathing.breathing. The nose as a determinative is used in the different senses of the word.

843. They wait apart. The early MSS. do not agree here in a single word, and they defy translation. The later MSS. are scarcely less discordant. ⁂⁂ is to alight, rest, and this must also be the meaning of ⁂⁂. ⁂⁂⁂ is connected with ⁂. ⲛⲉϩ in the sense of dispersing, separating.

4. Bruised, or trodden. There being no rational context it is impossible to fix the sense of a word like ⁂⁂⁂, which may mean either guard or bruise by beating or treading down.

5. Cleansing ⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂. The result of the process is certainly cleansing, but the operation itself is generally supposed to be washing. This agrees with the Coptic ⲣⲁϩⲧ a fuller, of which the old Egyptian form is ⁂⁂. But ⲣⲁϩⲧ has also the sense of beating, and the operation is in many countries thought to be one of the most important duties of washerwomen. With this sense of the word I would connect the names Rechit given to Isis and Nephthys, as signifying ‘mourners.’ Compare the Greek τύπτεσθαί τινα, κόπτεσθαί τινα, to mourn a person, and the Latin plangere.

6. Balancing the issues ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The first of these words is unambiguous. ⁂⁂⁂ signifies literally ‘standing,’ like status, or στάσις, and like those words also signifies position, situation, condition, circumstances, and also the point at issue, the question to be decided.

A well known passage in Cicero’s Topics (93, c. 35) may be quoted here: “Refutatio accusationis, in quae est depositio criminis, Graece στάσις dicitur, Latine status appelletur: in quo insistit, quasi ad repugnandum congressa defensio.”

Perhaps the passage in chapter 30 B, in which “the divine ministrants are said to deal with a man” according to his ⁂⁂ may have reference to the circumstances of his life.

Chapters like this, however worthless in themselves, contain small fragments highly illustrative of the ideas of the Egyptians at an extremely remote period.



Chapter whereby the Āpshait is kept back.

Away from me, thou with parted lips! I am Chnemu, the Lord of Shennu, who am bringing the words of the gods to Rā. And I announce the news to Nebes.


The insect called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ āpšai or ⁂⁂⁂ āpsȧit is difficult of identification. It is certainly not a tortoise as was formerly thought, but looks rather like the voracious Blatta orientalis. The form in Le is peculiar, but I have met it in a later papyrus. The last word of the chapter is doubtful. The most recent papyri have ⁂⁂ ‘their Lord,’ which gives a very good sense, but even the Turin copy has ⁂ ‘her Lord’ which agrees with the oldest papyrus. Bekenrenef has ⁂⁂ Nebes, a lion-headed goddess.


Chapter whereby the Merta goddesses are kept back.

Hail ye Pair of goddesses Merta, Sister Pair, Merta!(1) I inform you of my Words of Power.

It is I who rise up from the Sektit boat. I am Horus the son of Isis, and I am come to see my father, Osiris.


1. The Pair of goddesses consists of Isis and Nephthys ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Rehetȧ, as the word is written at Denderah. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Mertȧ signifies two eyes.



Chapter whereby one liveth by the breath of air in the Netherworld, and keepeth back Merta.

I am the god in Lion form; the heir of Râ and Tmu in Chemmis,(1) the Master in their halls.

Those who are in their cells(2) accompany me as guides. I have made my way and gone round the heavenly Ocean on the path of the Bark of Râ, and standing on the girders[52] of the Bark of Râ.

I utter his words to the men of the present generation[53] and I repeat his words to him who is deprived of breath.(3)

I spy out for my father Râ at sunset, compressing my mouth,(4) and feeding upon life.

I live in Tattu, and I repeat my life after death like the Sun daily.


There are two recensions of this chapter, and both are found in the papyrus Lb. They are called by M. Naville, 38A and 38B. The latter is that adopted as canonical by all the manuscripts of a later date, and is the one here translated. The other recension is longer, and contains passages which are also found in other chapters, to which it accordingly furnishes important variants. It may possibly be older than those chapters.

1. In Chemmis. The name of the place where Isis gave birth to Horus is in the Pyramid texts written ⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Pepi I, 428), and ⁂⁂⁂ (Merenra I, 683), aḫ-ḫebit or ḫebit-aḫ; but simply ḫebit in the texts of the eighteenth dynasty, as in the annals of Thothmes III (Mariette, Karnakc pl. 16, line 47),[54] or in the divine and 87proper names ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, and ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂. It is certain therefore that the sign ⁂ is here only an ideogram of ⁂⁂⁂, not of the ancient ⁂⁂⁂. From the eighteenth dynasty at least, and for a time belonging to a period of unknown length between the sixth and the eighteenth dynasties, and for ever afterwards, the name of the place was ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Ḫebit, where, as the Tablet of the Dream says, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Mariette, Mon. div., pl. 7).

2. In their cells: ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. Here 38A has: ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in their shrines, followed in some papyri by ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “I fraternize with Horus and Sut.”

3. Deprived of breath, ‘the dead.’ In 38A, the privation of breath is mentioned but in a different connection. But the text of the passage is uncertain. Here as in chapter 41, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘the Breathless one’ is Osiris.

4. Compressing my mouth: ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is the ancient reading, not ⁂⁂⁂⁂, as in the more recent texts. The same observation applies to the name of the god in chapter 125, 15.

52. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

53. The men of the present generation, the Reḫit.

54. Here the king is compared to the god called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and in the next line ⁂⁂⁂. And Thothmes IV (Denkm., III, 63) is compared ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.


Chapter whereby the Serpent Rekrek is repulsed in the Netherworld.

Back! down with thee, stabber(1) from Apepi! Drown in the lake of Heaven, in the spot wherein thy father ordered that thy 88murder should be carried out. Away from this birth-place of Râ, the god encompassed by[55] his terrors.

I am Râ, encompassed by his terrors.

Back! the dark demon and the sword which he maketh to flash!

Râ flingeth down thy words; thy face is twisted round by the gods; thy whole heart is torn out by the Lynx goddess; chains are flung upon thee by the Scorpion goddess; and slaughter is dealt upon thee by Maāt.

The gods who are on the roads overthrow thee.

Apep falleth down, the enemy of Râ.

O thou who removest the bolt from the East of Heaven at the stormy voice of bellowings, and openest the gates of the Horizon before Râ: he cometh forth fainting from the wounds.

I am a doer of thy will, I am a doer of thy will, O Râ.

I have done well, I have done well; I have done to the satisfaction of Râ.

And I raise shouts of acclamation at thy success at fettering, O Râ. Apep is fallen and is in bonds.

The gods of the South, the North, the West and the East bind him; their bonds are upon him. Aker(2) overthroweth him, and the lord of the ruddy sky doth bind him.

Râ is satisfied; Râ is satisfied; Râ maketh his progress peacefully.

Apep falleth; Apep goeth down; the enemy of Râ. And more grave for thee is the proof(3) than that sweet proof through the Scorpion goddess, which she practised for thee, in the pain which she suffered...(4).

Be thou emasculate, O Apep, enemy of Râ; be thou repulsed whom Râ hateth; look behind thee: a chopper is over thy head to divide it into two parts, and those who are above thy head assail it. Thy bones are broken, thy limbs are severed under the direction of Aker, O Apep, enemy of Râ.

Thy boatmen [O Râ], succeed in measuring out thy path, and a journey, with which thou art satisfied; a progress, a progress 89towards home; and the progress which thou hast made towards home is a fair progress.

Let no evil hindrances come forth against me from thy mouth in what thou doest towards me.

I am Sutu, who causeth the storms and tempests, and who goeth round in the Horizon of Heaven, like to one whose heart is veiled.

Tmu saith: Let your countenances be raised up, ye soldiers of Râ, and drive back Nebtu in presence of the Divine Circle.

Seb saith: establish those who are upon their thrones in the middle of the Bark of Chepera; seize your shields and spears, and hold them in your hands.

Hathor saith: Seize your daggers.

Nut saith: Come and drive back Nebtu, who cometh against him who dwelleth in his shrine, and maketh his voyage in solitary guise: the Inviolate god, the resistless one.

O ye gods in your Divine cycles, who travel round the lake of Emerald, come and defend the Great one who is in the shrine from which all the Divine cycle proceedeth. Let glory be ascribed to him, and let honour be given to him. Oh then, proclaim him with me.

Nut saith, the mother of the gods: He cometh forth and findeth his path, and maketh captures of the gods; he hath the first place in the two houses of Nut.

Seb standeth still, the great cycle of the gods is in terror, Hathor is under terror, and Râ is triumphant over Apep.


The extreme uncertainty of the text is such that no translation at present can be other than conjectural.

1. Back, down with thee, Stabber. The first word is clear enough; not so the two next.

Are we to read ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂? for each of M. Naville’s authorities gives a different word. The last of these readings has some support in a subsequent passage, but almost all copies have ⁂⁂⁂. There has evidently been a confusion between ⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂, and the determinative ⁂ of the latter 90word has been transferred to the first. I believe that the true word is ⁂⁂⁂ which is used in the ancient forms of conjuration (see the texts of Unas, 304, 311, 542, 545, 554, etc.). It is always used in expressions of lying down or falling down ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, and it is also found in parallelism with ⁂⁂⁂.

⁂⁂ without a determinative is susceptible of different meanings, and the very recent texts have it written with the determinative of motion ⁂ or ⁂, as significant of retreat. But the oldest determinative in this place is ⁂, and this inclines me to identify the word with ⁂⁂⁂, and translate it ‘stabber.’ But this is mere conjecture. See note 5 on chapter 40.

2. Akar. The older MSS. differ hopelessly from each other as to the name of the god.

In order to understand the nature of the god ⁂⁂⁂ Akar, we have to imagine a tunnel starting from the spot where the sun sets, and extending through the earth as far as where the sun rises. Each end of the tunnel has a sphinx-like form. A human-headed lion stands at the entrance and also at the terminus. It is through the paws of this double sphinx that the galley of the Sungod enters on the Western horizon and comes out on the Eastern.

In the picture Plate XV, taken from the tomb of Rameses IV, ⁂⁂, Fair Entrance, is written at one end of the tunnel; ⁂⁂, Fair Exit, at the other. As the solar bark could not be represented inside the dark tunnel, it is placed above.

3. The proof. Lit. the taste, ⁂⁂ ṭepit, with the tongue as a determinative, in the sense of a probe. The hand of an Egyptian hero is said to taste his enemy. In the Bremner Papyrus the god tastes Apep four times. The same conception is found in the Homeric poems,

ἀλλ’ ἄγε, θᾶσσον
γευσόμεθ’ ἀλλήλων χαλκήρσεσιν ἐγχείησιν.[56]

though in Greek the taste comes generally to the patient rather than to the agent.

914. This passage, which would be most interesting if we could only get it accurately, is wretchedly corrupt. It is impossible from the variants to obtain a text grammatically intelligible. The Scorpion goddess is Isis.

55. ⁂⁂⁂ between, in the midst of, surrounded by.

56. Iliad, 20, 258.



Chapter whereby the Eater of the Ass is kept back.

Back, serpent Haiu,(1) whom Osiris execrateth. May Thoth cut off thy head, and may there accrue to me whatsoever property proceedeth from thee [according to] what was decreed against thee by the Company of the gods for the accomplishment of thy slaughter.

Back, thou whom Osiris execrateth, from the Neshemet galley, which saileth towards the south with favourable breeze.

Pure are ye, all ye gods who overthrow the enemy of Osiris.

The gods upon the larboard utter loud acclamation.

Back, thou Eater of the Ass, whom the god Chas,(2) who is in the Tuat, execrateth.

Know me! (Repeated four times).

“Who art thou?”

I am....[57]

Down upon thy face!(3) thou who art eating at my sanctuary.

I am the Season, which cometh at its own will.

“Come not against me; thou who comest without being called, and who art unknown.”

I am the master of thine utterance, and the check upon thy pride.(4)

O Ha-as, whose horns(5) Horus doth cut: by my children, the cycle of gods in Pu and Tepit, thou art severed from thy fold and thy fold is severed from thee.

And he who cutteth thee off cometh forth as the Eye of Horus; thou art kept back and assailed, and stopped(6) by the breath of my speech.

92O thou god who devourest all wrong, and carriest off with violence;(7) there is no wrong in me, my tablets(8) are free from wrong. Let me not suffer violence before the Divine Circle; let not disaster be hurled upon me.

I am he who giveth or taketh according to thy behest.

Let not N be seized, let him not be devoured.(9)

He is Possessor of Life, and Sovereign Lord(10) on the Horizon.


The translation of this chapter is based upon the important papyrus T 5 of Leyden, known as Lb. This is the only MS. which contains the whole chapter. All other copies begin after the sixth line. The usual chapter begins in Lb with a ⁂⁂, which is the ordinary way of indicating a various reading. But the difference of reading applies rather to a mere paragraph than to the whole chapter. In this case we should expect ⁂ or something equivalent.

The Eater of the Ass is a Serpent, but who is the Ass?

Here, as in each case of mythological name, the animal is not meant, but something which is connoted by it. The name of the ass is given to it in consequence of one of its characteristics. It is ⁂⁂⁂. But this is one of the seventy-five names of the Sun-god in the Solar Litany.[58] And he derives this appellation from his fructifying power.

But if the Ass is the Sun, who is the Eater of the Ass? This must be Darkness or Eclipse of some kind.

1. Haiu, the serpent who devours the sun, is undoubtedly the same as ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Haiu, the serpent who in the Pyramid texts is ordered to lie down (Unas, 545, &c.), and cease from his attacks.

2. The god Chas, ⁂⁂.

3. The usual chapter begins here. The text of Lb has generally been followed, but in some places later authorities have been preferred.

4. Pride or boastings, ⁂⁂⁂ ānta, “glory,” cf. glorior. The speaker addresses his adversary as being a miles gloriosus.

935. Horns or barbed hooks, ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The horns here spoken of, as possessed by a viper, are those of the deadly Cerastes, which are spines projecting from the arched eye-brows of the creature. See picture in Long’s Egyptian Antiquities of British Museum, II, p. 316, copied from the great French work.

But the Sun-god is also called in his Litany[59] ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. And a picture of the god[60] under the name ⁂⁂⁂ exhibits him as characterized by a pair of hooked weapons, suggested apparently by the mandibles of a beetle.

6. Stopped. There are three important variants here ⁂, ⁂, and ⁂. And the last of these is possibly a corrupt reading from ⁂⁂. The first two are synonymous. ⁂ may in certain contexts mean destroy, but it only signifies ‘bring to a limit, to an end, stop,’ like the τερ in τερ-μα, ter-min-o. It is used in many cases, such as the staunching of blood, where no destruction is intended. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ is stop in thy place.

7. There is a picture in Denkm., III, 279, of the god who carrieth off with violence ⁂⁂⁂⁂. But it is a mummied form holding the T’ām sceptre.

8. Tablets, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. These are the tablets on which Thoth has written down the evidence taken at the Weighing of the Words, the examination at the Psychostasia. They are mentioned again at the end of Chapter 41.

9. Here I follow the general authority of the later texts.

10. Sovereign Lord ⁂⁂⁂⁂. This word is closely connected, and was so from the first, with ⁂ ‘seize.’ The best commentary upon it may be derived from the legal terms usucapio, saisine, seisin. The Sovereign Lord of Egypt is in our current legal phrase “seized of the Two Earths,” that is of the whole Universe, North and South.

57. There is a lacuna here in the only MS. containing the text. The dialogue continues through the next line of the original.

58. Naville, La Litanie du Soleil, p. 49 and 55, with the plates corresponding.

59. In the 64th invocation.

60. Lefébure Tombeau de Seti I, pl. XVII.



Chapter whereby one avoideth the Slaughter which is carried out in the Netherworld.

O Tmu, let me be glorified in presence of the god in Lion form, the great god; that he may open to me the gate of Seb.

I prostrate myself to earth to the great god who is in the Netherworld. Let me be introduced into the presence of the company of gods who preside over those who are in Amenta.

O thou who art at the gate of Tebat; god with the Red Crown,(1) who art in Amenta; let me feed, let me live by the breath of air and accompany the great Cleaver,(2) and the Bark of Chepera.

Let me speak to the divine Boatman at the gloaming, let me enter in and let me go out; that I may see who is there; that I may raise him up and speak my words to him.

O Breathless one:(3) Let me live and be saved after death.

O thou Bearer of peace offerings, who openest thy mouth for the presentation of the tablets,(4) for the acceptation(5) of the offerings and for the establishment of Maāt upon her throne; let the tablets be brought forward, and let the goddess be firmly established.

I am Osiris, the great god, the eternal king, who numbereth his seasons and who lifted up his right arm, who judgeth the great ones and giveth mission to the gods of the great Circle(6) which is in the Netherworld.


The most noteworthy difference between the older recension of this chapter and that of the Saitic and later periods is that in the latter the god addressed at the opening is Osiris Unneferu, who is identified with Tmu. In the older recensions the identification may be seen in another way. Tmu is the god invoked, and in answer he says that he is Osiris, the great god.

1. God with the Red Crown ⁂⁂ is ⁂⁂⁂, one of titles of Osiris with the ⁂ crown. See Plate XV from Lefébure, Tombeau de Seti I, part IV, pl. 34. This title, derived from the crown ⁂⁂, is Net-tȧ or Nait-tȧ. It was borne by the high 95priest at Coptos (Brugsch, Dict. Geogr., pp. 1374, 1377), and the King of Egypt derived his title ⁂ from the Crown ⁂ of the North which he wore as representing Osiris, or rather the heir of Osiris, Horus.

2. The great Cleaver, ⁂⁂⁂, the name of the god who cleaves his path through the sky.

3. Breathless one, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Osiris.

4. Thoth is the person here addressed, and the speaker is Osiris. The tablets are those containing the evidence at the trial at the Balance.

5. Acceptation ⁂⁂⁂ peḳa, besides the physical sense of comprehendere, ‘to lay hold of’ with the hands, has that of ‘taking in, embracing with the mind,’ and perhaps ‘setting forth in words.’

6. On the Sarcophagus of Seti (Bonomi, pl. 3. D), and the other copies of the same text, there is a picture of these ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. Such is the title written over them. But the text speaks of them as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.



Chapter whereby one hindereth the slaughter which is wrought at Sutenhenen.(1)

Land of the Rod, of the White Crown of the Image, and the Pedestal of the gods.

I am the Babe.(2) (Said Four Times.)

O Serpent Abur!(3) Thou sayest this day, “The Block of Execution is furnished with what thou knowest,” and thou art come to soil(4) the Mighty One.

But I am he whose honours are abiding.

I am the Link,(5) the god within the Tamarisk,(6) who connecteth(7) the Solar orb with Yesterday. (Four Times.)

I am Râ, whose honours are abiding.

I am the Link, the god within the Tamarisk.

96My course is the course of Râ, and the course of Râ is my course.

My hair is that of Nu,(8)

My two eyes are those of Hathor,

My two ears those of Apuat,

My nose that of Chenti-chas,

My two lips those of Anubis,

My teeth those of Selkit,

My neck that of Isis, the Mighty,

My two hands those of the Soul most Mighty, Lord of Tattu,

My shoulders those of Neith, Mistress of Sais,

My back is that of Sut,

My phallus that of Osiris,

My liver is that of the Lords of Cher-ābat,

My knees those of the most Mighty one,

My belly and my back are those of Sechit,

My hinder parts are those of the Eye of Horus,

My legs and thighs those of Nut,

My feet those of Ptah,

My nails and bones those of the Living UræiUræi.

There is not a limb in me which is without a god. And Thoth is a protection to my flesh.

I shall not be grasped by my arms or seized by my hands.

Not men or gods, or the glorified ones or the damned; not generations past, present, or future, shall inflict any injury upon me.

I am he who cometh forth and proceedeth, and whose name is unknown to man.

I am Yesterday, “Witness of Eternity” is my Name: the persistent traveller upon the heavenly highways which I survey. I am the Everlasting one.

I am felt and thought of as Chepera. I am the Crowned one.

I am the Dweller in the Eye and in the Egg.

It is an attribute of mine that I live within them.

I am the Dweller in the Eye, even in its closing.

I am that by which it is supported.

I come forth and I rise up: I enter and I have life.

I am the Dweller in the Eye; my seat is upon my throne, and I sit conspicuously upon it.

I am Horus, who steppeth onwards through Eternity.

97I have instituted the throne of which I am the master.

As regards my mouth: whether in speech or in silence, I am right and fair.

As regards my attributes: I hasten headlong, I the god Unen,[61] with all that pertaineth to me, hour proceeding from hour, the One proceeding from the One, in my course.

I am the Dweller in the Eye; no evil or calamitous things befall me.

It is I who open the gates of Heaven; it is I who am master of the throne, and who open the series of births upon this day.

I am thethe Babe, who treadeth his path of Yesterday.

I am “This Day” to generation of men after generation.

I am he who giveth you stableness for eternity, whether ye be in heaven or upon earth; in the South or in the North, in the West or in the East—and the fear of me is upon you.

I am he who fashioneth with his eye, and who dieth not a second time.

A moment of mine belongeth to you, but my attributes belong to my own domain.

I am the Unknown one, but the gods of Ruddy Countenance belong to me.

I am the Gladsome one, and no time hath been found, but served to create for me the Heaven and the increase of Earth, and the increase of their offspring.

They sever and join not—they sever my name from all evil things, according to the words which I say unto you.

It is I who rise up and shine forth; strength proceeding from strength(9), the One proceeding from the One.

There is not a day devoid of that which belongeth to it; for ever and for ever(10).

I am Unbu,[62] who proceedeth from Nu, and my mother is Nut.

O thou who hast set me in motion(11)! for I was motionless, a mighty link within the close of Yesterday; my present activity is a link within the close of my hand.

I am not known, but I am one who knoweth thee.

I am not to be grasped, but I am one who graspeth thee.

[Oh Dweller in the Egg! Oh Dweller in the Egg!]

98I am Horus, Prince of Eternity, a fire before your faces, which inflameth your hearts towards me.

I am master of my throne and I pass onwards. The present time is the path which I have opened, and I have set myself free from all things evil.

I am the golden Cynocephalus, three palms in height, without legs or arms in the Temple of Ptah(12); and my course is the course of the golden Cynocephalus, three palms in height, without legs or arms in the Temple of Ptah.

Let these words be said—Âbabak ṭer-ek(13).

This chapter is in itself most interesting, and it is one of the most important as illustrative of Egyptian mythology. It is impossible at present to explain every detail, but the general drift of the chapter is not to be mistaken. And the same drift is to be recognised in the whole course of Egyptian religious literature from the beginning.

The speaker throughout identifies himself with the divinity whose manifestation is the Sun; he is not the Sun of this or that moment but of Yesterday, To-day and of all eternity, the “One proceeding from the One.”

1. Sutenḥenen. The later texts say the “Netherworld.”

2. The Babe ⁂⁂⁂⁂, an appellative applied to the rising Sun. See Brugsch, Rev. II, pl. 71, 3, where this babe is compared to the Lotus coming forth from the great stream ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

The word signifies that which is “lifted up,” “un élève,” ⁂⁂⁂.

3. Serpent Ab-ur ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The two important MSS. Ca and Pb seem to imply a female personage, but as the verb in connection with the name is masculine the final ⁂ cannot be meant for a feminine ending, and it is peculiar to those two MSS. Ȧb-ur “the very thirsty,” as the appellative of a viper, recalls that of the διψάς, whose bite caused intense thirst. But it may have 99originated in the fact that these reptiles are in the habit of lying in wait by the water side for the sake of the animals who come there to drink.

4. To soil: ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is the type of the word in the earlier texts. The late ones have the well known ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

5. The Link ⁂⁂⁂⁂. Another appellative of the Sun god, applied to Tmu and Horus in the oldest texts. The notion of ⁂ is that of concatenation, connecting, combining, fastening, binding, setting in order together, σύνταγμα, σύνταξις, as in ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ nectere coronam. Hence its occurrence in words signifying ‘the vertebral column,’ ‘a row of teeth,’ ‘a chain of hills,’ ‘a body of troops’ (σύνταγμα ἱππέων or πέζων), or their ‘captains,’ literary ‘composition’ ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Pap. Prisse V, 6), and the seven divine ⁂⁂⁂⁂ οἱ συντάσσοντες, the first authors of artistic composition. See note to chapter 71.

6. The god within the Tamarisk. The rising sun under his various names is frequently represented as being in a tree or bush, which partly conceals him. This is a mythological way of treating the light cloud or mist which so commonly accompanies the sun’s first appearance. Tamarisk is only a provisional translation of ⁂⁂⁂. The god Apuat, who is identical with Osiris, is said in the Pyramid Texts (Unas 107, Teta 66) to come forth from the ⁂⁂⁂.

7. Who connecteth. This I believe to be the sense of ⁂⁂⁂ if the next word is ⁂⁂. But the text is quite uncertain.

⁂⁂⁂ is a rope or cable (Bonomi, Sarc. II, c, 34), and like the Latin copula or the Semitic חבל, حبل has the sense of tie, bond, connection.[63]

100When the prince of Tennu (Berlin Pap. 1, line 31) proposed a family alliance to Senehat, he said to him ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ lie-toi avec moi! And he gave him his daughter to wife.

In the expression ⁂⁂⁂⁂, nefrit signifies continuously, connectedly, and the sense of until is only completed by the addition of the preposition ⁂.

Instead of ⁂⁂ ‘the Solar orb,’ some MSS. read ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, or ⁂⁂⁂ and in each of these cases ⁂⁂ must be understood as an adjective raised to the comparative degree by the preposition ⁂: “More beautiful [my] splendour (colour, hair or veil) than Yesterday.” None of these readings seem very attractive.

8. Here follows the identification of the limbs of the deceased person with those of various gods. There are many similar texts belonging to all the periods of the Egyptian religion. For the Pyramid Texts, see e.g. Unas, line 218 &c., ib. line 570, &c., Pepi I, line 565, &c. Compare the Coffin of Amamu, pl. XXIV, line 11, &c., Naville, Litanie de Râ, p. 96, and Golenischeff, Metternichstele, lines 9-35.

9. Strength ⁂⁂⁂⁂, literally a wall or tower, like the מגדל־עז of Ps. XI, 4.

10. ⁂⁂⁂ ‘continuously, continuously.’

11. The interjection ⁂⁂ seems to imply that a second person is addressed. The passage would otherwise be translated, “I have set myself in motion,” which would be more consistent with the doctrine contained in this chapter.

12. All the more recent copies have ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, the Sanctuary of Ptah at Memphis.

13. Âbaba-k ṭer-ek. This is only one of the readings of a formula which had soon become utterly unintelligible to the copyists. Hieratic copies like Louvre 3079, published by M. de Rougé, B.M. 10,257 (Rollin) and Leyden, T. 16, record several conjectural emendations, to which modern scholars might add others, were they so disposed.

61. Another reading is Unneferu.

62. See note 1 on chapter 28.

63. “حبل non modo funem, sed et in Alcorano saepe foedus significat.” Gesenius, Thesaur in voc. חבל.



Chapter whereby the head of a person is not severed from him in the Netherworld.

I am a Prince, the son of a Prince; a Flame, the Son of a Flame, whose head is restored to him after it hath been cut off.

The head of Osiris is not taken from him, and my head shall not be taken from me.

I raise myself up, I renew myself, and I grow young again.

I am Osiris.


An early recension of this chapter is found in the tomb of Horhotep (Miss. Arch. II, p. 159), and an apparent reference on the Coffin of Amamu.


Chapter whereby one dieth not a second time.

Let the Cavern of Putrata(1) be opened for me, where the dead fall into the darkness, but the Eye of Horus supporteth me, and Apuat reareth me up. I hide myself among you, O ye Stars that set not. My front is that of Râ, my face is revealed, according to the words of Thoth; my heart is in its place, my speech is intelligent.

I am Râ himself, I am not to be ignored, I am not to be molested.

Thy father liveth for thee, O Son of Nut! I am thy son Horus, I see thy mysteries, and am crowned as King of the gods. I die not a second time in the Netherworld.


1. Putrata ⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. This name has disappeared in nearly all the MSS. It is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts (Pepi I, 332, Merirā 635) as a lake traversed by the glorified personage.



Chapter whereby one escapeth corruption in the Netherworld.

Here is the Osiris N., motionless, motionless like Osiris; motionless his limbs like Osiris—let them not remain motionless, let them not corrupt. They move not, they stir not: be it done for me as for Osiris. I am Osiris.


Chapter whereby he that is living is not destroyed in the Netherworld.

Oh ye recent offspring of Shu, who dawn after dawn is possessor of his diadem at sunrise; ye future generations of men, my springing forth[64] is the springing forth of Osiris.


This chapter is addressed to the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ hammemit, who are known from other quarters to be human beings, as the younglings of the god Shu. But the reference is not to men who have yet lived upon the earth. They are spoken of as men of a future generation. Queen Hatshepsu on her obelisk when speaking of them connects them with the period of 120 years, that is as if we said “men of the next century.” Before their appearance upon the earth they circle round the Sun, and the glorified dead hold converse with them (chapter 124, 6124, 6).

The Egyptians, like many other ancient nations, held the doctrine of the preexistence of souls. They held it not like philosophers or poets, but as an article of their popular and traditional creed.

64. The Day-Spring.



Chapter whereby the Seat of a person is not taken from him in the Netherworld.

Chair and Throne of mine, which are coming to me and circling round to me; divine ones!

103I am a noble Sāhu(1), grant that I may become one of those who follow the great god.

I am the Son of Maāt, and wrong is what I execrate.

I am the Victorious one.


1. Sāḥu ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ is not a mummy, as it is sometimes rendered, but a living personality in mummied form.


are identical with X and XI respectively.


Chapter whereby one cometh not to the divine Block of Execution.

The four(1) fastenings of the hinder part of my head are fastened.

He who is in heaven it was who made firm the fastening for him who was fainting upon his two haunches on that day when the fleece was shorn.

The fastenings of the hinder part of my head were fastened by Sutu and the company of gods in his first triumph. Let there be no disaster. Preserve me safe from him who slew my father.

I am seized of the ‘Two Earths.’

The fastenings of the hinder part of my head were fastened by Nu, on the first time of my beholding the Law in virtue of which the gods and their symbols(2) come into existence.

I am the Heedful one, and become the executioner for you, ye great gods(3).


The antiquity of the chapter is proved by its occurrence on the second coffin of Mentuhotep; but its condition there is such that no one can read it who is not already familiar with it from other sources. It begins, Aelteste Texte, p. 22, line 34, and goes on till the red letters at line 50. The text, in spite of its importance, is very inaccurate.

1041. The four fastenings. The number four is only found in the oldest copies. The later copies have a different text. It is impossible to say what kind of fastening is meant. ⁂ might be a ligament or a vertebra—though more probably the latter. But it might be a combination of several pieces. ⁂⁂⁂ is the occiput, and this suggests the hypothesis of cervical vertebrae. But the number of these is not four but seven. Of these three are peculiar; the Atlas which supports the head, the Axis upon which the head turns, and the Vertebra prominens with its long spinal process. But see the Vignette of chapter 42 from Pd where four vertebrae are figured.

2. Symbols, or symbolical representations, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

3. The Heedful one ⁂⁂, perhaps ⁂⁂⁂, Unas 584, Pepi I, 199 and 667.


Chapter whereby one goeth not headlong in the Netherworld.

I execrate, I execrate, I do not eat it.

That which I execrate is dirt. I eat it not, that I may appease my Genius.

Let me not fall into it; let me not approach it with my hands, let me not tread upon it with my sandals.


The Chapters numbered 51 and 52 are not found in the most ancient papyri, but the substance of them and their formulas are met with on the ancient coffins[65] and in the Pyramid texts. See, for instance, Unas 189, Teta 68, with M. Maspero’s note on the latter text. I do not, however, believe, as M. Maspero does, that these texts convey the idea “so frequent[!] among half-civilised peoples, 105of another life in which the deceased will have nothing to eat and drink but excremental matter.” That the ⁂⁂⁂ which I translate ‘dirt’ and ⁂⁂ ‘lye’ are of this nature is quite certain, but they are objects of abhorrence to the Sun-god, like the dead rat and the putrid cat in chapter 33, because he is a consuming fire, and “whatsoever he findeth upon his path he devoureth it,” ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Unas 515. It is only natural then that the deceased who is identified with the Sun-god in these texts should express his execration of such offensive matter. He is not afraid of being limited to this food, his fear springs from the opposite extreme.

65. There is a chapter in Lepsius, Älteste Texte, p. 34, with the same title as chapter 51, but the contents are different.


Chapter whereby one eateth not dirt in the Netherworld.

I execrate, I execrate, I do not eat it.

That which I execrate is dirt. I eat it not, that I may appease my Genius(1).

Let it not fall upon me; let me not approach it with my hands, let me not tread upon it with my sandals.

Henceforth let me live upon corn(2) in your presence, ye gods, and let there come one who bringeth to me that I may feed from those seven loaves which he hath brought for Horus and upon the loaves for Thoth.

“What willst thou eat?” say the gods to him.

Let me eat under the Sycamore of Hathor the Sovereign, and let my turn be given to me among those who rest there.

And let me manage the fields in Tattu and prosper in Heliopolis.

And let me feed upon the bread of the white corn and upon the beer of the red barley.

And let the forms(3) of my father and of my mother be granted to me; the gate-keepers of the stream.

Let room be thrown open for me, let the path be made, and let me sit in any place that I desire.


1. Here, as in the corresponding passage in the preceding chapter and in several other places, the later texts often read ⁂, which is a serious error.

2. The unintelligible ⁂⁂⁂ of the later texts should be corrected to ⁂⁂ (Älteste Texte 42, lines 50, 54 and 67). The error may be traced to a form of the word with the prothetic ⁂. There are several words varying in their applications which may be traced to the same origin.

⁂⁂ šeser ‘spica’ a point, hence an ear of corn, and ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂, ‘spiculum,’ an arrow, a javelin, are very clearly connected, and the notion in both is, as in the Hebrew אביב, that of ‘shooting forth,’ proferre, protendere.

⁂⁂, a term applied to horned animals, has surely nothing to do with the Coptic ϣⲣⲱ of Leviticus XV, 19. It refers to the pointed weapons presented by the beasts.

⁂⁂ is ‘put forward’ in the way of speech, and may be command or prayer, or simple statement.

⁂⁂ the builder’s line is something ‘stretched out’ prolatum, protensum.

And with reference to walls, buildings, and the like, ⁂⁂ may always be translated by proferre, protendere.

3. The forms, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ not ⁂⁂⁂⁂, as the Turin Todtenbuch. There is a most interesting text but unfortunately imperfect on the Leyden Coffin M. 3 (M. Pl. 13). The deceased is told that on arriving at the mysterious gate he will find his father and his mother, ⁂⁂⁂⁂. This is followed by ⁂ and then apparently by ⁂ but the middle sign is almost entirely effaced. This would mean ‘at the resurrection of thy body.’



Chapter whereby one is not made to eat dirt or to drink lye.

I am the sharp-horned Bull, who regulateth the sky, the Lord of the risings in heaven; the great Giver of Light, who issueth from Flame; the Bond of Time, richly supplied with years; the god in Lion form, to whom is given a march of Glory.

I execrate, I execrate, I do not eat that which my Genius execrateth.

Let it not enter into my stomach, let it not approach to my hands, let me not tread upon it with my sandals.

Let me not drink lye, let me not advance headlong in the Netherworld.

I am the possessor of bread in Heliopolis, who hath bread in Heaven with Râ, and bread upon earth with Seb.

It is the Sektit boat which hath brought it from the house of the great god in Heliopolis.

I am gladdened in my very entrails, and am associated with the divine mariners, who circle round to the East of Heaven. I eat as they eat, and I feed upon what they feed. I eat bread from the house of the Lord of offerings.


Whereby one eateth not dirt.

I execrate, I execrate! I do not eat it.

Dirt is what I execrate; I do not eat it.

I execrate lye, I do not drink it.

Let me not approach it with my fingers, let me not tread upon it with my sandals.

Seb, the father of Osiris, hath ordained that I should not eat dirt or drink lye, but my father hath four times said that I should eat of the red corn.

There are seven loaves in Heaven at Heliopolis with Râ, and there are seven loaves upon earth with Seb, and there are seven loaves with Osiris.

108It is the god of the Sektit galley, and of the Mââtit galley, who hath brought them to me at Heliopolis.

I shout with joy, and my Genius shouteth with joy, because I am in Heliopolis, and I live in excellent condition before Râ, on the day when bread is presented in Heliopolis.


Chapter 53A is taken from the papyri of the older period, 53B is a still older text from the Coffin of Horhotep.


Chapter whereby air is given in the Netherworld.

I am the god in Lion-form(1), the Egg in the Great Cackler, and I watch over that great Egg which Seb hath parted from the earth(2); my Life is the Life thereof, and the same is true of my advance in life and of my breathing of the air.

I am the god who keepeth opposition in equipoise(3) as his Egg circleth round. For me dawneth(4) the moment of the most mighty one, Sut.

O ye gods who are pleasant through the alternate successions of the Earth, who preside over sustenance and who live in the Blue(5), do ye keep watch over him who abideth in his Nest; the Infant god who cometh forth towards you.


The text here followed is that of Pa which is much preferable to that of Ani. There is a far older text, that of Horhotep, line 344 and sqq., but it is too inaccurate to serve as the basis of a translation. It is however very valuable for other purposes.

1. The god in Lion form. These words are not in Horhotep, the chapter beginning as in later texts “Oh Tmu let there come to me the air which is in thy nostrils.” The word for air is written ⁂⁂⁂ (lines 344 and 346) as in other places.

2. It is a mistake to speak of a mundane egg, of which there is no trace in Egyptian mythology. Seb, the great cackling goose, 109lays the golden egg, which is the Sun; but ⁂⁂ does not mean ‘lay upon the earth,’ but ‘divide, separate from the earth.’ The egg springs from the back of Seb.

3. Who keepeth opposition in equipoise. This sense may be inferred from Pa, but is made very clear by the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ of Horhotep. The equilibrium of forces is maintained by the revolution of the Sun.

4. Dawneth, ⁂⁂⁂, Horhotep; whose text breaks off without a word on Sutu.

5. The Blue, ⁂⁂⁂ ‘lapis lazuli.’ The French l’azur exactly corresponds to the Egyptian, for the word azure is derived from lazulum.

Ancients and modern differ greatly, as is well known, from each other as to the impressions derived from colour. It seems strange to read in the tale of the Destruction of Mankind that the ‘hair of Râ was of real chesbet,’ that is ‘dark blue.’ But we have an exact parallel to this in Greek. Κύανος is lapis lazuli in Theophrastus, who even mentions the artificial lapis made in Egypt. But in the Homeric poems the hair of Hector (Il., 22, 401), and the hair and beard of Odysseus (Od., 16, 176), as well as the eyebrows of Zeus (Il.,1, 528; 17, 209) are described as κυάνεαι.


Another chapter whereby air is given.

I am the Jackal of jackals, I am Shu, who convey breezes, in presence of the Glorious one(1), to the ends of the sky, to the ends of the earth, to the ends of the filaments of Cloud(2).

I give air to those Younglings as I open my mouth and gaze with my two eyes.


1. The Glorious one. This is the most usual reading. Pa has Râ.

2. Filaments of Cloud. Cloud is the sense, not the translation of 110⁂⁂⁂, or, as it is also written, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, which is the name of some tree or shrub which has not been identified. The filaments ⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂, which are among its characteristics, point in this context to the long fibrous forms presented by the cirrus cloud.


Another chapter of breathing.

Oh Tmu! give me that delicious air which is in thine own nostrils.

It is I who hold that great station which is in the heart of Heracleopolis.

I watch over that egg of the Great Cackler, my strength is the strength thereof, my life is the life thereof, and my breath is the breath thereof.


Chapter for breathing air and command of water in the Nether world.

Let the Great One(1) be opened to Osiris; let the two folding doors of Kabhu(2) be thrown wide to Râ.

O thou great Coverer(3) of Heaven, in thy name of Stretcher(4) [of Heaven], grant that I may have the command of water, even as Sut hath command of force(5) on the night of the Great Disaster: grant that I may prevail over those who preside at the Inundation, even as that venerable god prevaileth over them, whose name they know not. May I prevail over them.

My nostril is opened in Tattu, and I go to rest in Heliopolis, my dwelling, which the goddess Seshait(6) built, and which Chnum raised on its foundation.

111If the Sky is at the North I sit at the South; if the Sky is at the South I sit at the North; if the Sky is at the West I sit at the East; and if the Sky is at the East I sit at the West.

And drawing up my eyebrows(7) I pierce through into every place that I desire.


This chapter and the following are recensions and combinations of extremely ancient texts.

The first portion of the present chapter follows the ancient text of Horhotep. Even at that early period two recensions were in existence, and are copied one after the other. The translation here given is the nearest possible approach to the original text.

The second portion (beginning with My nostril) dates from the papyri of the Theban period, though we must depend upon later authorities for the entire Section.

1. The Great One ⁂⁂ urit—Heaven.

2. Kabhu ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, literally the Cool (water) is another name for the Sky,[66] and is here in parallelism with the Great One.

3. Coverer ⁂⁂⁂, a name applied both to the Nile, as covering the land during the inundation, and to the Sky as the covering above us. Cf. my paper on Nile Mythology, P.S.B.A., November, 1890.

4. Stretcher ⁂⁂⁂, which I consider as a nasalised (perhaps the original) form of ⁂⁂ stretch. The papyri read ⁂⁂⁂ āt pet ‘Cleaver of the Sky,’ but the word āt, without the determinative ⁂, may also mean stretch, as in the expression ⁂⁂⁂.

5. Force ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, like the Latin vis, may, but need not, be of a criminal nature. The name of the goddess 112⁂⁂⁂ in this place is a manifest blunder of the more recent scribes.

6. The goddess Seshait ⁂⁂ commonly but erroneously called Safch, through an error against which Lepsius (Aelt. Texte, p. 3) and Brugsch (Zeitschr., 1872, p. 9) have both spoken. The real name of the goddess, as I have elsewhere[67] shown by actual variants, is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Seshait (Teta, l. 268) or ⁂⁂⁂ (Louvre, A. 97). She is so called from the root ⁂, ⁂⁂, writing, that being one of her occupations.

7. Drawing up my eyebrows ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, in scornful pride, superciliously, like the Greek τὰς ὀφρῦς ἀνασπᾶν.

66. The name occurs repeatedly in the Pyramid Texts, and even the very expression ⁂⁂⁂ e.g. Unas, 375, and the Litany at Pepi I, 631.

67. On some Religious Texts of the Early Egyptian Period in Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. IX, p. 303.


Chapter for breathing air and command of water.

Let the door be opened to me!

Who art thou? What is thy name?

I am One of You!

Who is with thee?

It is the Merta.

Turn away then(1) front to front, on entering the Meskat.(2)

He grants that I may sail to the Abode of those who have found their faces.

Collector of Souls is the name of my Bark, Bristler of Hair is the name of the Oars, Point[68] is the name of its Hatch, Right and Straight the name of the Rudder.

The picture of it is the representation of my glorious journey upon the Canal.

Give me jars of milk and cakes and flesh meat at the House of Anubis.

If this chapter is known he entereth after having gone out.


The 58th and 122nd chapters are reproductions of the same text, the earliest copy known being that of Ani.

1. Turn away then. Merta as we have seen is the name given to the goddess pair Isis and Nephthys. It is therefore not possible to account for the masculine pronoun ⁂ as having reference to Merta. ⁂ must be taken in the sense of ideo, idcirco, then, therefore.

2. Meskat, or according to another reading Meschenit.

68. All this part is corrupt.


Chapter for breathing air and command of water.

Oh thou Sycomore of Nut, give me of the water and of the wind which are within thee.

It is I who hold that abode which is in Heracleopolis, I watch over that Egg of the Great Cackler. My strength is the strength thereof, my life the life thereof, and my breath the breath thereof.


On the mythological tree in heaven which produces both wind and water, that is the rain-cloud, see my Egyptian Mythology, particularly with reference to Mist and Cloud, in Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. VIII.

The same kind of imagery is still current in Europe. German authorities tell us about the ‘Wetterbaum,’ which in some places is called ‘Abraham’s Tree,’ in others, ‘Adam’s Tree.’ The Yggdrasill myth is supposed to have the same origin. The Rainbow is the heavenly Mountain Ash of a well known Swedish and Esthonian riddle. The water from heaven was supposed in Egypt to be especially refreshing for the dead.


Another Chapter.

Let the doors of Heaven be open to me, let the doors of Kabhu be thrown wide to me; by Thoth and by Hapi, the great Coverer of Heaven, at daybreak.

114Grant ye that I may have the command of water even as the mighty Sut had the command of his enemies on the Day of Disaster to the Earth. May I prevail over the Long-armed ones in their corners,[69] even as that glorious and ready god prevaileth over them, whose name they know not. May I prevail over the Long-armed ones.

69. The four cardinal points; the Eastern and the Western ⁂⁂, and the Southern and the Northern ⁂⁂⁂.


Another Chapter.

I, even I, am he who proceedeth from the Weeper(1), and whose attribute is Overflowing.(2) I(3) have the command of it as Hâpu.


1. The great Weeper is primarily Heaven, and it is so in this place. The Nile god who proceeds from it also bears the same name.

2. Overflowing: ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

3. I. The original is in the third person; in reference to “he who proceedeth,” &c.

Chapter LXII.

Chapter whereby water is drank in the Netherworld.

Let the Great One be opened to Osiris; let the Kabhu be thrown wide to Thoth, the Coverer, Lord of the Horizon in his name of the Divider of the Earth.

May I have command of the water even as the might of Sutu had over his enemies.

It is I who traverse the Heaven:

I am Râ:

I am the god in Lion form:

I am the Steer;(1)

I eat the haunch, and pierce through the joint.[70]

115I go round the Sechit-Aarru.

There hath been assigned to me Eternity, without end.

And lo! I am the Heir of Endless Time, and my attribute is Eternity.


1. The Steer, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ smau, a solar title frequent in the Pyramid texts. His mother, Heaven, is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ or (as the name is written Teta 359) ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. She is called the Spouse on the Mountain ⁂⁂⁂, and by a play upon words ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Unas, 493.

The usual meaning of ⁂⁂⁂, like that of the Greek χλόη or the Hebrew דֶּשֶׁא, is the light green shoot of plants in spring, and this is the key to the sense of the proper name. The goddess Demeter had a temple at Athens under the name of Chloe, and it is in allusion to this that Sophocles calls her εὔχλοος (Oed. Col. 1600).

This Egyptian goddess was ⁂⁂⁂⁂, a principal deity at Enchebit, she had the White Crown and the wig with two plumes. She is described as having drooping dugs, and as suckling her son. Cf. with this information from Unas the whole chapter beginning with line 283 of Pepi I.

70. The sacrificial offerings ⁂ and ⁂.


Chapter whereby one is not burnt with fire, but drinketh water in the Netherworld.

O Bull of Amenta! let me be borne to thee!

I am that Rudder of Râ, wherewith he conveyeth the Ancient(1) ones.

I am not burnt, I am not consumed.

I am Babai, the eldest son of Osiris, who striketh the eye of every god(2) in Heliopolis.

I am the Heir, the primary power of motion and of rest(3).

116I have made firm my name, and have preserved it that I may have life through it.


Chapter whereby one is not boiled in water.

I am that ready Rudder wherewith Râ conveyeth the Ancient ones, and I raise the effluxes(4) of Osiris to the Tank from flames impassable; a wrecked one,(5) but not to be consumed.

I lie helpless as a dead person,(6) and I arrive at the lair of the Lion who defieth slaughter, ...(7) following the road by which I set out.


The Chapters 63A and 63B are united into one in the later MSS. without any other division than ⁂, indicative of a different reading. None of the early papyri contains both chapters. The text of 63B is extremely corrupt, and without rational interpretation.

1. I am that Rudder of Râ, wherewith he conveyeth the Ancient ones. This passage is twice found in Horhotep (311 and 329), the word for Rudder being written ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

2. Who striketh the eye, ⁂⁂⁂. The peaceful determinative may perhaps be intended to diminish the force of the very expressive ⁂ in the verb of striking. But I believe that this passage may fairly be illustrated by the words of Lucretius IV, 324 and following:—

Splendida porro oculi fugitant vitantque tueri,
Sol etiam caecat, contra si tendere pergas.
Praeterea splendor quicumque est acer adurit
Saepe oculos ideo quod semina possidet ignis
Multa, dolorem oculis quae gignunt insinuando.

3. The primary power of motion and of rest. These words have a modern sound, but they express the sense of the original, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

1174. Effluxes, ⁂⁂⁂, the ἰχώρ, the vital sap, as it were, of the body of Osiris, which is the source of life both to men and to gods,[71] and in default of which his own heart (Unas 12) would cease to beat. It is celebrated in all the mythological texts extant from the time of the Pyramids down to the latest inscriptions of Denderah and Edfu, and even in Demotic documents.[72] All moisture was supposed to proceed from it, and the Nile was naturally identified with it.

In the Pyramid texts (Pepi 66) ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ is put in parallelism with ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

5. A wrecked one. So I understand ⁂ from Chapter 125, 38, but the whole context here is so doubtful that no translator who respects himself would warrant the sense.

6. I lie helpless like a dead person. ⁂⁂⁂, ḥefṭ is the condition of an infant on the knees of its nurse. And I understand ⁂⁂⁂ in its well known euphemistic application to the dead.

7. ⁂⁂⁂ is the most probable reading here, but it is a hapax legomenon with nothing in the context to explain it.

71. In one of the ancient chapters preserved in the tomb of Horhotep, the deceased, speaking in the person of Horus, talks (319) of quenching his thirst with the ⁂⁂⁂ of his father Osiris.

72. See a very interesting passage in Pap. Rhind 4, 4, with Brugsch’s translation.


Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day from the Netherworld.

I am Yesterday, To-day, and To-morrow, for I am born again and again; mine is the unseen Force,(1) which createth the gods and giveth food to those in the Tuat(2) at the West of Heaven; I am the Eastern Rudder,(3) the Lord of Two Faces, who seeth by his own 118light; the Lord of Resurrections, who cometh forth from the dusk and whose birth is from the House of Death.

Ye two divine Hawks(4) upon your gables, who are giving attentive heed to the matter; ye who accompany the bier to the tomb, and who conduct the ship of Râ, advancing onwards from the highest place of the Ark in heaven—the Lord of the Shrine(5) which standeth in the centre of the Earth;

He is I, and I am He.(6)

Mine is the radiance in which Ptah floateth over his firmament.(7)

Oh Râ, who smileth cheerfully, and whose heart is delighted with the perfect order of this day as thou enterest into Heaven and comest forth in the East: the Ancients and those who are gone before acclaim thee.

Let thy paths be made pleasant for me; let thy ways be made wide for me to traverse the earth and the expanse of Heaven.

Shine thou upon me, oh gracious Power;(8) as I draw nigh to the divine words which my ears shall hear in the Tuat; let no pollution of my mother be upon me; deliver me, protect me from him who closeth his eyes at twilight and bringeth to an end in darkness.

I am the Overflower, and Kam-ura(9) is my name: I bring to its fulness(10) the Force which is hidden within me.

Oh thou Great One, who art Shoreless,(11) and callest upon the Powers of the South, at the moment when the god is carried forth, saying:—

“Behold the Lord of his Flood; see, the Shoulder is fastened(12) upon his neck and the Haunch upon the head of the West” offerings which the two goddesses of the West(13) present to me when the weeping bursteth forth from me at what I witness, as I am borne round on the Tenait in Abydos,(14) and the bolts made fast on the gateways(15) above your images are in the reach of thine hand and from within thee.

Thy face is as that of a hound whose nostril sniffeth at the covert to which my feet convey me.

Anubis is my bearer, for he who lulleth me to rest(16) is the god in Lion form.

Do thou save me!

I am He who cometh forth as one who breaketh through the door; and everlasting is the Daylight which his will hath created.

119“I know the deep waters” is my name.

I satisfy the desires of the Glorified, who are by millions and hundreds of thousands....[73] I am the guardian of their interests, actively working at the hours of the day and adjusting the arms of Sahu; twelve in circling round, uniting hands, each of them with another. But the sixth of them in the Tuat is the ‘Hour of the overthrow of the Sebau,’ which cometh here in triumph; the same which maketh way into the Tuat; the same which is yoked with Shu.

I shine forth as the Lord of Life and the glorious order of this day: the blood which purifieth and the vigorous sword-strokes by which the Earth is made one.

I sever the horns(17) from those who unite in resistance to me; the hidden ones who rise up in opposition against me; those who go upon their bellies.

I come as the ambassador of the Lord of lords to avenge the cause of Osiris in this place. Let not[74] the Eye consume its tears.

I am the Guide of the house of Him who dwelleth in his treasures.

I am come from Sechem to Heliopolis to inform the Bennu of the matters of the Tuat.

Oh goddess Aucherit, who concealest that is within thee, but raisest up forms, like Chepera, grant that I may come forth and see the orb of the sun, and walk forth in the presence of the great god, who is Shu and abideth for eternity.

I travel on high, I tread upon the firmament, I raise a flame with the daylight which mine eye hath made, and I fly forward towards the splendours of the Glorified in presence of Râ daily, giving life to every man who treadeth on the lands(18) which are upon the earth.

Oh thou who leapest forth, conductor of the Shades and Glorified ones from the Earth, let the fair path to the Tuat be granted to me, which is made in behalf of those who are in faint condition and for the restoration of those who are in pain.

Who art thou, who devourest in Amenta?

I am He who presideth in Restau. “He who entereth in his 120own name, and cometh forth in quest; the Lord of the Eternity of the Earth” is my name.

She who hath conceived hath set down her burden; which turneth round before descending; the door is shut at the wall which is reversed....[75]

His Eye hath been given to Horus and his face brighteneth at the dawning of the day.

I am not exhausted: I become the Lion god and the palm flowers of Shu are upon me.

I am not one who drowneth.

Blessed are they who see(19) the Bourne:(20) beautiful is the god of the motionless heart who causeth the stay of the Overflowing.

Behold! there cometh forth the Lord of Life, Osiris thy support, who abideth day after day.

I embrace the Sycomore,(21) I am united to the Sycomore.

I part the two deities of morning that I may come to hold the Eye,(22) and cause it to rest in its place.

I am come to see Râ at his setting, and I unite with the breeze at his coming forth: my two hands are pure for adoring him.

May I be restored! May I be restored!

I fly up to heaven and I alight upon the earth; and mine eye turneth back there towards the traces of my footsteps.

I am the offspring of Yesterday; the tunnels(23) of the earth have given me birth, and I am revealed at my appointed time.

May I be under shelter from the warlike handed god who cometh behind me, may my flesh be sound and may my glories be a protection to the limbs of one who waiteth for the purpose of taking counsel. May the Cycle of the gods listen to what I say.

To be said on coming forth by day; that one may not be kept back on the path of the Tuat, whether on entering or on coming forth; for taking all the forms which one desireth; and that the soul of the person die not a second time.

If then this chapter be known the person is made triumphant upon earth [and in the Netherworld] and he performeth all things which are done by the living.

This chapter was discovered on a plinth of the god of the Hennu 121Bark (24) by a master builder of the wall in the time of King Septa, the Victorious.(25)

This composition is a secret; not to be seen or looked at.

Recite the chapter when sanctified and pure; not approaching women, not eating goat’s flesh or fish.


This is one of the most important as it is one of the most ancient chapters. The text of it was already doubtful at the time of the XIth dynasty. It had been handed down in two recensions, both of which were inscribed on the coffin of Queen Mentuhotep, the discovery of one of these being attributed to the time of King Septa of the 1st dynasty, and that of the second to the time of Menkaurâ, the king of the third pyramid. These two recensions are also found in the papyrus of Nebseni. The MSS. present innumerable various readings, few of which are of the slightest value. These have been collected, as far as they could be discovered, in the French and some other Museums in 1876, in a very admirable work upon the chapter, by M. Paul Guieysse,[76] who has translated and commented upon it and and all the variations of it known to him at the time. Since then the papyrus of Nebseni has been published, and M. Naville has given all the variants found in the few existing papyri of the best period. I have notes of the readings of the papyri in the British Museum, and also those of a cast (now in the British Museum) taken from a block in serpentine, belonging to the Museum of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

With such light as could be derived from these extremely divergent authorities I have done my best (taking as the basis of my translation the texts in the papyrus of Nebseni and the rubric in which the discovery is ascribed to the time of king Septa) towards exhibiting the chapter in as intelligible a form as seems to me possible. Some passages as yet defy translation in consequence of the corruption of the text.

Some years before his untimely death M. de Rougé read his translation of this chapter before the Académie des Sciences. It is much to be lamented that this has never been published. I have, in addition to the versions of other scholars, a copy of one by 122Mr. Goodwin, with whom I read this and other chapters nearly thirty years ago. But this kind of literature is not one of those in which his marvellous sagacity showed to advantage.

In reading this and almost every other chapter of the Book of the Dead, it is absolutely necessary to bear in mind that different divine names do not necessarily imply different personalities. A name expresses but one attribute of a person or thing, and one person having several attributes may have several names. It is not implied in this chapter that the Sun is the Nile or the Inundation, but that the same invisible force which is manifested in the solar phenomena is that which produces the inundation; He is the Inundator. But he has many other names and titles. In this chapter, as in others before it, the speaker at one time talks in terms identifying him with some divinity, and at another as a simple mortal petitioning some favour.

1. ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or, at a later period ⁂⁂, signifies one whose force is concealed or unseen. It is a theological term, frequent at all periods of the Egyptian religion, and implies that the deity is not to be confounded with its external manifestation. The Sun that we see hides as truly as it reveals the Sun-god; who, as this chapter shows, has other manifestations.

2. Those in the Tuat ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ called in the Pyramid Texts ⁂⁂⁂⁂, Pepi I, 185. The more recent texts read ⁂⁂⁂⁂ “the gods of the West.”

3. Cf. Pepi I, 174.

4. Two divine Hawks upon your gables. They are mentioned in the Pyramid Texts[77] as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Teta, 183. They represent the two divisions, North and South, of the kingdom of Horus. Cf. Rochemonteix, Edfu, p. 55 and many other such passages as that found there.

5. The Shrine which standeth in the centre of the Earth. This Shrine is also mentioned in the ‘Book of Hades.’ Cf. Bonomi, Sarc. 4c.

1236. He is I, and I am He. Cf. the Pyramid Text—“Oh Râ.... Teta is thou, and thou art Teta...., thou risest as Teta, and Teta riseth in thee, etc.,” Teta, 337.

7. Ptah floateth over his firmament. The meaning of the verb is shown in early texts by the determinative, as in the parallel passage of the 17th chapter.

8. Oh gracious Power, ⁂⁂⁂. The adjective is also written ⁂⁂⁂. The usual determinative ⁂ has its origin in the hieratic form of ⁂, see Prisse Papyrus.

9. Kam-urȧ ⁂⁂⁂⁂, “The“The great Extender,” a name applied to Osiris, as the Nile. “Thy two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, come to thee, and they convey to thee Kamit urit [the great Extent] in thy name of Kam-urȧ [the great Extender].” Teta, 274.

10. I bring to its fulness, etc. The yearly inundation is the mature result of the innate force belonging to the god; the ἐνέργημα of his ἐνεργεία. This translation remains the same whether the reading be ⁂ or ⁂.

11. Shoreless, ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂ or ⁂, implies an enclosed space, a basin or channel with fixed limits. The inundation has no determinate banks. Its course is from south to north, hence the reference to the deities of the South.

12. Shoulder and Haunch. The usual sacrificial joints. This passage was at an early date added to the paragraph which opens the chapter.

13. The two goddesses of the West, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. It is said of Râ at Edfu ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. “He setteth in the West.” The deities in question are Isis and Nephthys, who are also the deities of the East or Sunrise under the name of ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂; Unas, 461.

In the passage of the Pyramid Texts just referred to it is stated that these “divinities in Ununait open their arms to the god as he stands up erect on the eastern side of the firmament.”

Ununait is the place of rising, springing up.

14. The Tenait in Abydos. This feast has already been mentioned 124in Chapter I. It was one of those commemorative and representative of the death of Osiris, of his mutilation, mummification and burial. Prescriptions for carrying it out are found in the great text at Denderah, published by Dümichen and Mariette, and translated by Brugsch, and Loret, and (in part) by Dümichen.

Tenait is also the name of certain days of the month, and (Teta, 229) of the fifth hour of the day.

15. The bolts made fast on the gateways. The Pyramid Texts on behalf of the deceased invoke the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ‘the bolt which closes the gateway of Heaven,’ with a prayer that it may open to him (Teta, 235, compare line 200).

16. He who lulleth me, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The word is here in the dual, as corresponding to the double lion. Cf. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Teta 261. The important variant ⁂⁂⁂ is found at Edfu (Rochemonteix, p. 78).

17. I sever the horns. Cf. Psalm lxxv, 11.

18. The lands. The Egyptian word varies in the texts. The most authorized reading ⁂⁂ is used in different senses: one of which (and perhaps the original one) is put, put on; ponere, locare, induere, figere, addere. Here it would seem from the context to mean locality, post, spot of earth. And I am inclined to identify ⁂⁂ in this place with the well-known ⁂, or ⁂⁂⁂, as an equivalent if not as a phonetic variant.

19. Blessed are they who see ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ written ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the Pyramid Texts (Unas, 584, Teta, 42, Pepi I, 181 and 199), where it is in parallelism with ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

20. The Bourne, ⁂⁂⁂. On the goddess ⁂⁂⁂⁂, Menait, cf. Teta 288, Pepi I, 70, 154, 163.

21. The Sycomore of Dawn repeatedly mentioned in the Book of the Dead. The Pyramid Texts also (Pepi I, 174) speak of the tall 125Sycomore of Sut in the Eastern Sky on which the gods congregate and sit, in expectation of the arrival of the Glorified one.

22. To hold the Eye, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. Later texts, like the Turin copy, have ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The two verbs here (like ⁂⁂⁂⁂ which is also found as a variant) are synonymous in the sense of embracing, holding,[78] enclosing, fastening, staying, propping.

According to the ancient myth Sut deprived Horus of his Eye, which was recovered by Thoth, and by him restored to its owner. The following passage from an inscription at Edfu (Rochemonteix, p. 25) is in strict accordance with the oldest mythological texts.

⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “Asten, who restored the Eye of Horus to its Lord, who preserved the Eye (ut’ at) from suffering harm, who made fast the Eye (nutrit) in its place, and who pacified Horus with his Eye.” The different synonyms designating the Eye are important as showing that the word ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is here used in the sense of the daily light of the sun.

The other part of the same text as Edfu gives additional variants. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. Here the Eye is called ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂, and ⁂⁂. But in other places the Ut’ at stands for a less frequent moment of the solar progress. In the Pyramid Texts for instance ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “holder of the Southern Eye of Horus” might perhaps designate the Summer Solstice. And a later text connects the Eye with the opening of the year.

The priestly title ⁂⁂⁂, ‘holder of the Eye,’ is like all such titles, that of the divinity whom the priest personates. The god 126himself is hieroglyphically represented by the sign ⁂⁂ of an ape holding the Eye.

23. The tunnels, ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, Teta, 291; ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Horhotep, 213. See my note Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1873, p. 385. The Coptic ⲁⲕⲟⲣⲓ, which is generally supposed to be a serpent, is more probably an earth-worm, like ⁂⁂.

The Pyramid Texts have another word which I understand of the tunnels through which the Sun, Moon, and Stars pass from West to East, ⁂⁂⁂, as opposed to ⁂⁂⁂, the paths of the upper world. Anubis is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Pepi I, 80), and these passages are ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (ib., 73), “between the two divine forms” (a lion at each end). Cf. Teta, 319, where it is said of the Stars ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, that at their triumphant course through the tunnels the bones of the Akeru gods quake.

24. The god of the Hennu Bark, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, he who resides in the ⁂⁂⁂⁂ ship referred to in chapter I. The god of this ship is commonly named Sekaru in the texts, but Hennu is also one of the names of Horus. On the connection between the two names see Teta, line 270.

25. King Septa ⁂ of the 1st dynasty, who has been identified with the Usaphais of Manetho.

The other account of the discovery of the chapter is thus described in the rubric of the second recension.

This chapter was discovered at Hermopolis upon a slab of alabaster, inscribed in blue, under the feet of this god [Osiris], at the time of King Menkarā, the victorious, by the royal prince Hortâtâf, when he was journeying for the purpose of inspecting the temples ...[79] and he 127carried off the slab in the royal chariot, when he saw what was on it.

The rubric farther prescribes that a scarab of hard stone encircled and purified with gold[80] should be placed upon the place of the heart of the deceased, and that the ‘words of power’ contained in the 30th chapter, “Heart mine of my mother,” etc., should be repeated. The gold leaf or plate has been found on some scarabs, but has disappeared from nearly all.

The ‘Ritual of Parma,’ which speaks of two metals, ⁂⁂⁂ smu, and silver (the latter for the rim), directs that the scarab should be put at the throat of the deceased. According to this authority it was the 30th chapter, not the 64th, which was discovered by Prince Hortâtâf in his inspectorial tour.

73. The text is too corrupt here for any plausible translation.

74. Not is omitted in many copies.

75. The copies of this paragraph are as discordant as they are unintelligible. It is idle to guess at the meaning until a better text can be discovered.

76. Etudes Egyptologiques; sixième livraison.

77. Here as in the name of ⁂ Tmu, the long sign is written first though read last.

78. Cf. the expressions ⁂⁂⁂⁂ as, Teta, 258, 262, and ⁂⁂⁂⁂.  ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is not a mere gate, but a hold, or keep.

79. There is no certainty about the text of the next few words.

80. I understand by this that the gold is intended to krep the scarab free from defilement.


Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day and prevaileth over the adversaries.

Oh thou who shinest forth from the Moon, thou who givest light from the Moon, let me come forth at large amid thy train, let me be revealed as one of those in glory. Let the Tuat be opened for me. Here am I: let me come forth upon this day, and be glorified. Let the glorified ones grant to me that I live and that mine adversaries be brought to me in bonds before the divine Circle; may the Genius of my mother be propitiated thereby, as I rise up upon my feet with a sceptre of gold in my hand, and lop off the limbs. May I rise up, a Babe [from between] the knees of Sothis, when they close togethertogether.(1)


The first part of this chapter is nearly identical with Chapter 2. No copy of it is found in the papyri of the older period. In place of it M. Naville has published a chapter bearing the same title, and which is found in five ancient papyri. These texts however are extremely discordant and corrupt, and in the more difficult, and to us more interesting, passages must have been quite unintelligible to 128the copyists. The second word, for instance, of line 8 is ri in Ca, the corresponding word is .. ḥtu in Ta, ṭāi in Pb, rāu in Ia and ḥti in Aa. A discrepancy not less violent is encountered after the next three words. The oldest extant form of the chapter is that of Aa, the papyrus of Nebseni; it is also the shortest, and the other forms appear to me to exhibit signs of interpolation. But M. Naville was quite right in taking the text of Ca as his basis for the collation of the texts.

1. This whole passage, as it stands, in the MSS. is extremely obscure, and I can only make sense of it by conjecturing that a preposition has been omitted by the copyists.

The knees of a goddess are frequently mentioned in connection with the birth of a divinity. Here the Babe is mentioned (cf. opening of Chapter 42), and the closing of the knees. The word ānḫ, ‘live,’ has for its primitive meaning ‘rise up,’ and it is in this sense that I translate it here.


Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day.

I know that I have been conceived by Sechit and that I am born of Neith.

I am Horus, who proceedeth from the Eye of Horus; I am Uat’it, and I come forth like the Hawk which soareth aloft and resteth upon the brow of Rā at the prow of his Bark in Heaven.


Chapter whereby the doors of the Tuat are opened and one cometh forth by day.

Let the doors be opened of the caverns of Nu, and let the feet be loosened of those who are in glory.

Let the caverns of Shu be opened, that he may come forth at large, and that I may issue from my funereal pit to my seat which is at the prow of the Bark of Rā; let me issue without disaster to my seat which is at the prow of the Bark of Rā, the all-radiant one, as he riseth up from his lair.



Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day.

Let the two doors of Heaven be opened to me: let the two doors of Earth be opened to me: let the bolts of Seb open to me, and let the First Mansion be opened to me, that he may behold me who hath kept guard over me: and let him unloose me who hath wound his arms around me and hath fastened his arms upon me into the earth.

Let the Re-hunit(1) be opened to me, let me pass into the Re-hunit; let the Re-hunit be given to me, that I may come forth by day whithersoever my heart desireth.

Let me have possession of my heart, let me have possession of my Whole heart; let me have possession of my mouth, let me have possession of my legs, let me have possession of my arms, let me have possession of my limbs absolutely; let me have possession of my funereal meals, let me have possession of air, let me have possession of water, let me have possession of the stream, let me have possession of the river, let me have possession of the banks.

Let me have possession of all things soever which were ritually offered for me in the Netherworld. Let me have possession of the table which was made for me upon earth—the solicitations(2) which were uttered for me “that he may feed upon the bread of Seb.”

That which I execrate, I eat it not. Let me feed upon the bread of the red corn of the Nile in a pure place, let me sip beer of the red corn of the Nile in a pure place; let me sit under the branches of the palm trees [in Heliopolis] in the train of Hathor, when the solar orb broadeneth(3), as she proceedeth to Heliopolis with the writings of the divine words of the Book of Thoth.

Let me have possession of my heart, let me have possession of my Whole heart; let me have possession of my arms, let me have possession of my legs, let me have possession of my funereal meals, let me have possession of air, let me have possession of water, let me have possession of the stream, let me have possession of the river, let me have possession of the barks.

Let me have possession of all things soever which were ritually offered for me in the Netherworld. Let me have possession of the table which was made for me upon earth.

Let me be raised up on the left and on the right; let me be raised up on the right and on the left.

130Let me sit down and let me stand up, and strain for the breeze [with] my tongue and mouth like a skilled pilot.(4)

If this scripture is known, he will come forth by day and he will travel over the earth in the midst of the living, uninjured for ever.


Copies of this chapter are found on the coffins of Mentuhotep and Sebak-āa at Berlin, and have been published by Lepsius in his Aelteste Texte, pl. 8, 21, 22, and 34. They are unfortunately in very mutilated condition, and my translation follows the text of the Theban papyri.

1. The Re-ḥunit in this place is clearly not an Egyptian locality, but a passage between the Netherworld and heaven or earth.

2. Solicitations, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ambire, ambitio, and in a bad sense ambages.

3. This passage explains what is meant in Chapter 28 by the god of the Broad Face. One of the papyri (Ia) adds the well known epithet of the setting sun ⁂⁂ ‘old.’

It is Hathor who proceeds to Heliopolis, as the feminine suffix which is used in the oldest texts, proves.

4. M. Lefébure (Papyrus de Soutimès, p. 3, note 8) understands the passage as meaning “I seek the direction of the wind in order to avoid it.” But I am inclined to recognize a superstition still current among sailors, the “whistling for a breeze.”

The oldest copies and the more recent ones have different readings, and though the words uḫa ḫemu occur repeatedly in the Pyramid Texts, the second word is not written ⁂⁂⁂⁂, as in the Theban papyri, but ⁂⁂⁂⁂.


Otherwise said:

I am a Flaming One, and brother to a Flaming One.

I am Osiris, brother to Isis. He who avengeth me is my son Horus, in company with his mother, upon mine adversaries; adversaries who have done to me all wicked and evil things.

131Chains have been put upon their arms and hands and feet in consequence of the evil things which they have done to me.

I am Osiris, the eldest of the great cycle of the gods(1) and heir of his father Seb.

I am Osiris, the Lord of the heads of life; powerful before and behind; his phallus extendeth to the limits of the human race.[81]

I am Sahu, who assigneth the bounds as he saileth round the starry throng of Heaven, the body of my mother Nut, who conceived me at her will and brought me forth at her desire.

I am Anubis on the day of the Rending asunder.

I am the Bull in the Field; I, even I, Osiris, who shut up his father and his mother on the day when the great slaughter took place. My father is Seb and my mother is Nut.

I am Horus, the eldest of Rā as he riseth.

I am Anubis on the day of Rending asunder: I am Osiris.

O great One, who enterest and speakest to him who presenteth the tablets and guardeth the door of Osiris,(2) grant that I may come in and be glorified, let me be appraised, and let me be made vigorous, that I may come and avenge myself.

Let me sit at the cradle(3) of Osiris, and put an end to my suffering and pain; let me be made strong and vigorous at the cradle of Osiris, so that I may be born with him and renewed. Said twice.

Let me seize that Thigh(4) which is under the place of Osiris, with which I may open the mouth of the gods and sit by him, like Thoth the Scribe, sound of heart,(5) with thousands of loaves, beer, beef, and fowl upon the table of my father, and the flesh of oxen and birds of various kinds,(6) which I offer to Horus, which I present to Thoth, and which I sacrifice to the Lord of Heaven.

81. Cf. note on the Ass of Chapter 40.


Another Chapter.

I have come to an end(7) for the Lord of Heaven. I am written down as sound of heart, and I rest at the table of my father Osiris, King of Tattu, and my heart is stirred by his country. I breathe the eastern breeze by its hair(8); I grasp the north wind by its 132side lock; I grasp the south wind by the skin as I make the circuit of heaven on its four sides; I seize the east wind by the skin, and I give the breezes to the faithful dead amid those who eat bread.

If this scripture is known upon earth he will come forth by day, he will walk upon earth amid the living: his name will be uninjured for ever.

ce Notes to Chapters LXIX and LXX.

These last two chapters are always found together, and always appended to the ancient Chapter 68. This is the case not only in the papyri, but in tombs like that of Bakenrenef.

1. The later texts say “the eldest of the five gods.”

2. Who presenteth the tablets and guardeth the door of Osiris. See picture of Thoth in the Psychostasia.

3. Where Osiris renews his birth.

4. The Thigh. The iron instrument so called used in the ceremony of ‘Opening the mouth’ of the deceased.

5. Sound of heart implies that the conscience of the deceased has been recognized as blameless.

6. Oxen and birds of various kinds. These kinds are named in the text, but we have no corresponding European names.

7. I have come to an end. The first two words of this chapter are evidently copied from the end of the last, but instead of menḥu, ‘sacrificial slaughter,’ the notion of menȧ or meni ‘coming to an end,’ has been substituted. Later texts read “I do not come to an end.”

8. Its hair. All this paragraph sounds very strangely, and translators are tempted to understand that the hair, side-lock, and skin of the deceased are acted upon by the winds.[82] But the feminine suffix shows that the converse is the case. The speaker catches the air and distributes it, as we are afterwards told, to the faithful departed.

82. But we “catch Time by the forelock,” and so did the Greeks.


Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day.(1)

O Divine Hawk, who comest forth in Heaven, Lord of Mehurit.(2)

133Make thou me sound,(3) even as thou hast made thyself sound, who revealest thyself,(4) who disrobest thyself, and presentest thyself to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the Lord of the One Face(5).

I am the Hawk in the Tabernacle and I pierce through [that which is upon] the Vail.(6)

Here is Horus, the Son of Isis: Horus the Son of Isis.

Make thou me sound, even as thou hast made thyself sound, who revealest thyself, who disrobest thyself, and presentest thyself to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the One Face.

I am the Hawk in the Southern Heaven, and Thoth in the Northern Heaven, who appease the Flame when raging and who convey Law to the god who loveth it.

Here is Thoth: Thoth.

Make thou me sound, even as thou hast made thyself sound, who revealest thyself, who disrobest thyself, and presentest thyself to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the One Face.

I am Unbu of En-areref, the Flower of the Abode of Occultation.

Here is Osiris: Osiris.

Make thou me sound, even as thou hast made thyself sound, who revealest thyself, who disrobest thyself, and presentest thyself to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the One Face.

O thou who art upon thy two legs [or who art terrible upon thy two legs], at thine own hour, owner of the Two Twin Souls, and who livest in Two Twin Souls.

Make thou me sound, even as thou hast made thyself sound, who revealest thyself, who disrobest thyself, and presentest thyself to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the One Face.

O thou who circlest round, within thine Egg, Lord of Mehurit.

Make thou me sound, even as thou hast made thyself sound, who revealest thyself, who disrobest thyself, and presentest thyself to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the One Face.

Sebak standeth erect, surrounded by his high places, and Neith standeth erect in the midst of her alluvial grounds, in order to reveal 134themselves, to disrobe themselves and to present themselves to the Earth.

May his will towards me be done by the Lord of the One Face.

Oh ye Seven Divine Masters,(7) who are the arms of the Balance on the Night wherein the Eye is fixed; ye who strike off the heads and cleave the necks, who seize the hearts and drag forth the whole hearts, and accomplish the slaughter in the Tank of Flame: ye whom I know and whose names I know, know you me as I know your names.

I advance to you, advance ye to me: live in me and let me live in you. Convey to me the Symbol of Life which is in your hands, and the Sceptre which ye grasp.(8)

Award to me the life of yearly speech through countless years of life in addition to my years of life; countless months in addition to the months of my life; countless days in addition to the days of my life; and countless nights in addition to the nights of my life, that I may come forth and beam upon my own images, with breath for my nostrils, and eyes which see, amid those who are at the Horizon, on that day when brute Force(9) is brought to a reckoning.

If this Chapter is known there is well-being on earth with Rā and a fair abode with Osiris, and the person is glorified in the Netherworld. There are granted to him the sacred cakes and the coming forth into the presence,[83] in the course of each day, undeviatingly, for times infinite.


1. The title as here translated is taken from the oldest known MS., that of Nebseni. But the Papyrus Pc, which is of the same period, has “Chapter for entering after going forth by day, and for making transformations in all forms,” and this title or a very similar one is found on other papyri. The most recent form is that in the Turin copy—Chapter for coming forth by day and repelling brute Force, so that the person may not be seized in the Netherworld, but that his soul may be made sound in the Ta-t’ eserit.

2. Lord of Mehurit = Lord of Heaven, that is the Sun-god. The invocation is repeated a little farther on, “O thou who circlest within thine Egg, Lord of Mehurit.” The god is also said to be the owner of “the Two Twin Souls,” namely Rā and Osiris.

1353. The verb is here in the second person, not in the first. This is shown by those texts which give the name of the person, instead of the pronominal suffix, as the object of the verb.

4. Thyself = Here, in all but the later copies, the pronoun of the third person is used, in accordance with a well known Egyptian idiom.

5. Lord of the One Face = μονοπρόσωπος in opposition to πολυπρόσωπος which is an epithet of the Sky, on account of its many changes of aspect. The Moon too has a variety of phases, whereas the Sun is eminently the “Lord of One Face.” From another point of view the god, at the beginning of chapter 64, is called the “Lord of Two Faces,” the bright and the dark. The Pyramid Texts have the parallel conception of the Two Eyes of Horus, one white and one black, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Unas 37).

6. This passage receives illustration from the great inscription of Piānchi, who at Heliopolis paid a visit to the great Tabernacle (⁂⁂⁂) of the Sun-god, the doors of which he opened and afterwards sealed up with the royal seal. Before going up the steps to it he had to lift the Vail (⁂⁂⁂⁂) or Curtains which concealed it, and perform sprinklings and offer incense and flowers. Two important words (of which the first has the interesting variant ⁂ and the second is written ⁂⁂⁂ in the oldest texts) are thus made clear.

The god is said, according to the different readings, to pierce “through, the Vail” or “through what is upon the Vail.”

It will be remembered that the Hebrew Holy of Holies was separated from the Sanctuary by a curtain upon which the figures of Cherubim were woven, that before the curtain of the Holy of Holies stood the altar upon which incense was offered each morn and evening, and that in sin-offerings the priest sprinkled blood seven times before the Vail of the Sanctuary.

7. The Seven Divine Masters, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂,[84] were the offspring of Mehurit, and assumed the form of Hawks.[85] 136They were the inventors and patrons of all the arts and sciences, and they assisted Thoth in composition and in the measurement of the earth. See references in Brugsch’s article, Zeits., 1872, p. 6.

They are, I believe, to be identified, like the Seven Rishis of the later Sanskrit literature, with the seven stars of the Great Bear. In this conception the Polar star is represented by Thoth.

8. The SymbolSymbol of Life and the Sceptre, the ⁂ and ⁂.

9. Brute Force ⁂⁂⁂, see chapter 57, note 5.

83. Namely, “of the great god.” This ellipse is very frequent.

84. In the Prisse Papyrus this word is to be understood of a scholar or sage, whose word is of authority.

85. They have human heads on the Louvre Sarcophagus D. 7.



Chapter whereby one cometh forth by day and passeth through the Ammchit.(1)

Hail to you, ye Lords of Rule,(2) devoid of Wrong, who are living for ever, and whose secular period is Eternity.(3) I make my way towards you. Let me be glorified through my attributes; let me prevail through my Words of Power, and let me be rated according to my merit.

Deliver me from the Crocodile(4) of this Land of Rule.

Let me have a mouth wherewith I may speak, and let my oblations be placed before you; because I know you, and I know your names: and I know the name of that great god to whose nostrils ye present delicacies: Tekmu is his name. And whether he maketh his way from the Eastern Horizon of Heaven, or alighteth at the Western Horizon of Heaven, let his departure be my departure, and his progress be my progress.

Let me not be stopped at the Meskat; let not the Sebau have mastery over me; let me not be repulsed at your gates, let not your doors be closed against me; for I have bread(5) in Pu and beer in Tepu. And let me join my two hands together(6)(6) in the divine dwelling which my father Tmu hath given me, who hath established for me an abode above the earth wherein is wheat and barley of untold quantity, which the son of my own body offereth to me there as oblations upon my festivals.

Grant me the funereal gifts, beef, fowl, bindings, incense, oil, and all things good and pure upon which a deity subsists, regularly and eternally, in all the forms I please.

137Let me come down or go up to Sechit-aarru and arrive in Sechit-hotep.

I am the god in Lion form.

If this book is learnt upon earth, or executed in writing upon the coffin, he will come forth by day in all the forms he pleaseth, with entrance into his house without repulse. And there shall be given to him bread and beer and flesh-meat upon the table of Osiris. He will come forth to Sechit-aarru, and there shall be given to him wheat and barley there, for he will flourish as though he were upon earth, and he will do all that pleaseth him, like those gods who are there: undeviatingly, for times infinite.


This chapter is often found not only in papyri but upon coffins, in accordance with the rubric at the end. The earliest copy is on the coffin of Queen Mentuhotep. A very fine copy is on the alabaster sarcophagus of Seti I, and our museums are rich in funereal monuments inscribed with this ancient text. A very similar text is found at the end of chapter 99.

1. Ammehit is the name given in chapter 149 to the sixth abode in Amenta, but here and in other places it is simply one of the names of the Netherworld. In the inscriptions, for instance, of the tomb of Queen Tita,[86] “passing through the two folding doors of the Ammehit” is in parallelism with “going in and out of the divine Netherworld.”

2. Lords of Rule. This is the reading in most documents, but there are others which have an equal claim to authority. The invocation is sometimes made to the ⁂⁂ “those who are possessed of a ka,” that is the “spirits made perfect,” those who have already passed through the requisite trials, besides the gods who have never passed through the stage of mortality, all of whom are possessed of a ka.

The invocation, according to another reading, which is that of chapter 99, is addressed to the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “those who are beautiful or perfect of ka.” Here the papyri add lords of rule, and 138the invocation, whatever the reading may be, is always addressed to those who have in their power the laws which regulate the universe.

3. Whose secular period is Eternity. ⁂⁂⁂ ḥentȧ is the period of 120 years (see Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., XIV, 264) which was their αἰών, aevum, corresponding in idea, not in actual time, to our century. The secular period of the gods is eternity.

4. The Crocodile. Are we to understand this of the crocodile-headed monster pictured in the representationsrepresentations of the Psychostasia? These pictures are not known to us from as early a date as the chapter itself, but they may have existed. Perhaps, however, this passage may have suggested them.

5. Bread. The Egyptian word ⁂ ta, like its homonym ⁂, implies something pierced or perforated. The sacrificial cake חַלָּה in Leviticus viii, 26 has the same meaning and, like חַלִיל a pipe, is connected with חָלָל, perforavit, confodit, aperuit, profanavit. See Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1893, p. 386.

⁂ ta, a door or gate, and some other homonyms evidently come under the same conception; cf. porta and πείρω.



is identical with Chapter IX.


Chapter whereby the legs are set in motion upon earth.

Do what thou hast to do, O Sekaru (twice); as The god who is in his own house, and as The god who standeth on his legs in the Netherworld.

I shine above the Leg(1) as I come forth in Heaven, but I lie helpless with corpselike face.

Oh I faint, I faint, as I advance; I faint, I faint before the teeth of those whose mouth raveneth in the Netherworld.


1. The Leg. In this place, as in chapter 98 and other texts, a constellation in the northern sky is meant, which many years ago I identified with Cassiopeia.

139This constellation, according to chapter 98, is in the Northern sky and in the Great Stream ⁂⁂⁂, by which I understand the “Milky Way.” This position is also in accordance with the ancient text on the Coffin of Amamu, pl. XXVI, line 22. The Leg is as close to the Pole as the Great Bear (called the Thigh in Egyptian Astronomy) but in the opposite direction, and in consequence of this position it never sets below the horizon. Hence in the Pyramid Texts (Pepi I, 411 and Merenrā 589) it is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. And here, according to these texts, as in the Book of the Dead (see chapter 86), purification was obtained.

The god ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (also named among the 42 judges) whose face looks backwards, and who is said to be gate keeper of Osiris, must be a star (e.g. γ Cepheus) in the immediate neighbourhood of the Polar Star which represented Osiris. On the ancient coffins of Amamu and Sit-Bastit there is a chapter[87] for assuming the form of a Vulture ⁂⁂⁂, in which the speaker says “I am the Vulture god who is on the ⁂⁂⁂⁂.”

I suspect that in the formula ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ said of Osiris on the stelæ of the twelfth dynasty, the constellation in heaven and not a place at Abydos was meant.

86. Brugsch, Rec., II, pl. 63. The whole tomb has now been published by M. Bénédite in the Mémoires de la Mission Archéologique au Caire, tome 5.

87. It was afterwards incorporated with chapter 149.


Chapter whereby one cometh to Heliopolis and receiveth a seat there.

I have come out of the Tuat: I am come from the ends of the Earth, lighting up the Tank, whither the desires of them who bring salutation guide me. I pass through the noble dwellings of those who are coffined. I open the dwelling of Remrem, I reach the house of Achsesef.(1) I am led on to the noble mysteries, and I enter into the house of Kemkem.

140[The Tet amulet(2) layeth its two hands upon me and assigneth me to its sister, and the custody of its mother, Kehkehit, who setteth me upon the Eastern path of Heaven upon which Rā ariseth and mounteth on high each day.

May I too arise, and be led on, and assume the mummied form as a god, and let them set me upon that noble path] whereon Thoth travelleth when he appeaseth the two Combatants(3) as he goeth to Pu and advanceth to Tepu.


1. These gods are not often mentioned. But we are told in the inscriptions of Rech-ma-rā (Mission Arch. du Caire, V, 127) that Achsesef is master of the (⁂⁂) great hall of the Prince of those in Amenta. Cf. Todt., 142, 13 and 21.

2. The Tet amulet, ⁂, has a chapter of its own, chapter 156. Divinity was supposed to reside in this and the other religious symbols, which are often represented in pictures with hands and feet. The annexed Vignette is from the Louvre papyrus III, 93, at ch. 93.

The part of this chapter which is within brackets is ancient, but is omitted in late copies.

3. The two Combatants. Sut and Horus.


Chapter whereby all forms are assumed which one pleaseth.

I have made my way into the Royal Palace, and it was the Bird-Fly(1) who brought me hither.

Hail to thee, who fliest up to Heaven, to give light to the stars and protect the White Crown which falleth to me.

Stable art thou, O mighty god, for ever.ever. Make thou for me a path upon which I may pursue my course.


1. The Bird-Fly, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. On this god, see Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1892, p. 396 and following, and also 1893, p. 135 and following. In the papyrus of Nebseni the name has for determinative an insect, which M. Lefébure has identified with the mantis. This deity, according to ancient texts, was the Tiller of the Rudder of the Neshemit ship of Osiris.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Golden Hawk.(1)

I set myself to view: I set myself to view as the Golden Hawk, which cometh out from its Egg; and I fly and I hover as a Hawk of four cubits across the back. My two wings are of the green gem of the South.(2)

I come forth from the cabin of the Sektit Bark and I raise myself up from the Eastern Hill.

I stoop upon the Âtit Bark, that I may come and raise to me those who are in their circles, and who bow down before me.

I display myself and gather myself together as the beautiful Golden Hawk with the head of a Heron, to listen to whose utterances Râ cometh every day, and I sit down in the midst of all the great gods of Heaven.

The fields lie before me; the produce is before me; I eat of it, I wax radiant upon it, I am saturated with it to the satisfaction of my heart.

Nepra hath given to me my throat, and I am in possession of all that pertaineth to my person.(3)


1. This is the first of a series of chapters relative to the “Transformations,” the subject of which is treated in the Introduction. It is sufficient here to repeat that the Egyptian ‘Transformations’ have nothing in common with Metempsychosis, as understood in the Greek or Indian religions. The change of form in the Egyptian idea depended upon the will of the person; it was not a penance for sin, but a means of glorification. And all the forms assumed in 142the Book of the Dead by the deceased are well known forms of the Sun-god.

2. Green gem of the South ⁂⁂⁂⁂. This has generally been understood as representing the green feldspar of which many objects in our museums are made. But Dümichen (Zeitschr., 1872) has shown that the ⁂⁂ ‘of the East’ is a synonym of Māfkait, emerald, and M. Naville has referred to Pliny, who (Hist. Nat., XXXVII, 17) speaks of the Egyptian emeralds ‘qui eruuntur circa Copton oppidum Thebaidis in collibus, ex cautibus.’ The same author quotes Juba in reference to Ethiopic gems as being ‘alacriter virides, sed non facile puri aut concolores.’

3. Nepra is one of the names of Osiris, considered as giver of corn, ὀ Πυροφόρος. By Throat is here meant the organ or power of swallowing, deglutition.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Sacred Hawk.(1)

Oh Horus! come thou to Tattu, make clear to me the paths, and help me to make the round of my dwelling places.

Look thou upon me and exalt me, impart to me Terror, and rouse in me Might, so that the gods of the Tuat may fear me, that their battlements war in my behalf there; and that he may not assail and slay me in the house of darkness, who enwrappeth the dead; the god who hideth his name; or that the like be done by them.

Oh ye gods who give ear to the words; ye foremost ones, ye who are in the train of Osiris; hush ye up, gods, that which a god speaketh with a god who is giving ear to a case of Divine Law!

And that which I have said to him say thou, Osiris.

Grant to me that change of existence which hath issued from thy mouth on my behalf, that I may see thine own attributes and survey thy Powers.(2)

Grant that I may come forth and have the mastery of my two feet, and that I may be there like the Inviolate One on high; that the gods of the Tuat may fear me and their battlements war on my behalf.

Grant that I may run together with thy Runners, but remain firm upon my pedestal like the Lord of Life; let me be united with 143Isis the Mighty; may they protect me against slaughter, from him who looked upon death.

Let me advance to the goal(3) of Heaven. I claim words from Seb, and I pray for sustenance from the Inviolate one on high, so that the gods of the Tuat may fear me, and that their battlements may war on my behalf, when they see thy supplies for me.

I am one of those Bright ones in Glory: may my attributes be fashioned like the attributes of him who cometh forth to Tattu; may I be invested(4) with the Soul of him who telleth thee what concerneth me.

Oh impart to me Terror and rouse in me Might that the gods of the Tuat may fear me and their battlements war on my behalf.

I am the Bright one in Glory, whom Tmu himself hath called into being, and my origin is from the apple of his eye,(5) who hath made and glorified and honoured those who are to be with him. For he is the Unique in Heaven, whom they extol as he cometh forth from the Horizon, and the gods and glorified ones who are with him fear him.

I am one of the worms which the eye of the Lord of Oneness hath brought into being.

Verily, before Isis was, who gave birth to Horus, I grew up and waxed old, and was honoured beyond those in Glory, who were with me.

And I arose as the Sacred Hawk, whom Horus had invested with his own Soul for the seisinseisin of his inheritance from Osiris at the Tuat.

And the god in Lion form, who presideth over those who are at the House of the Nemmes(6) which is in its caverns, said to me:—

“Go back to the confines of Heaven, for thou art invested with the attributes of Horus: for thee the Nemmes is not, but free utterance is thine, even to the confines of Heaven.”

And I took possession of the inheritance of Horus from Osiris at the Tuat, and Horus repeated to me that which his father Osiris had said to him in the early time, on the Burial Day of Osiris.

“The Nemmes hath been given to me by the god in Lion form, that thou mayest advance and go upon the path of Heaven, so that those who are on the confines of the Horizon may see thee and that the gods of the Tuat may fear thee, and that their battlements may war on thy behalf.” [Aahat.(7)]

144At the divine words all they who are at the funereal shrine of the Lord of Oneness bend low.

Oh thou who art raised above thy coffin and bereft of the Nemmes, the god in Lion form hath reached the Nemmes to me, and wings are given to me.

He hath given me strength through his back, through his back, and through his most powerful might, that I fall not upon Shu.(8)

I propitiate my fair brother, the Master of the two UræiUræi.

I, even I, am he who knoweth the paths of Heaven; its breezes are upon me, the raging Bull stoppeth me not as I advance whithersoever there lieth a wreck in the Field of Eternity, and I pilot myself towards the darkness and the suffering of the deceased ones of Osiris.

I come daily through the house of the god in Lion form, and I pass forth from it to the house of Isis the Mighty, that I may see glorious, mysterious and hidden matters, even as she hath caused me to see the divine offspring of the Great One.

I am invested with the soul of Horus, so that I see what is in it, and when I speak hard by the Doors of Shu they respond to the moment.(9)

It is I who have charge of the seisin of the inheritance of Horus from Osiris at the Tuat.

It is I, even I, who am Horus in Glory. I am master of his diadem, I am master of his Light, and I advance to the Goal of Heaven. Horus is on his seat, Horus is upon his throne.

My face is that of the Sacred Hawk, my back that of the Sacred Hawk: I am equipped as his master.

I come forth to Tattu, that I may see Osiris.

I incline myself before him, I incline myself to Nut: they behold me, and the gods behold me; the Eye of Horus and the Flame which is in the Two Eyes. They stretch out their arms to me. And I stand erect and prevail in opposition to evil.

They open to me the bright paths; they open to me the bright paths; they see my attributes, they listen to my words.

Hail to you, ye gods of the Tuat, ye of repellent face and aggressive front, who tow along the Stars which set, and make the bright paths of the Hematit(10) for the Lord of the Soul Most Mighty: Horus hath ordained that ye should lift up your faces and look upon me.

And I display myself as the Sacred Hawk whom Horus hath 145invested with his soul for taking the possession of his inheritance from Osiris at the Tuat.

I set aside the long-haired gods and passed on through those who had charge of their dens in my sight: I made my way and passed on and reached those who presided over their caverns, and those who had charge of the House of Osiris; and I speak to them, and make them recognize the god of Mighty Terrors, who is armed with horns against Sutu. I make them recognize who it is that hath seized for himself the divine provisions and hath equipped himself with the powers of Tmu.

A gracious pass grant they to me, the gods of the Tuat, as many as there are who preside over their caverns and have charge of the House of Osiris.

Behold me, I am come to you and have carried off and put together my forms....(11)

I make bright the paths which are in the Horizon and the Hematit in Heaven. I make firm the battlements on behalf of Osiris, and I make the paths bright in his behalf.

I have done according to the command that I should come forth to Tattu to see Osiris, and tell him of the fortunes of that great Son of his whom he loveth, and who hath pierced the heart of Sutu. I have seen the death.

Yea, I tell them the divine plans which Horus carried out in the absence of his father Osiris.

O Lord of the Soul Most Mighty, behold me; I come, raise thou me up that I may see the Tuat.

May all the paths which are in Heaven and upon earth be open to me, and let there be no repulse for me.

Thou art exalted upon thy throne, Osiris; thine hearing is good, Osiris; thy back is strong, Osiris; thy head, Osiris, is firmly fastened, thy throat is made fast, thine heart is glad, thou art confident in the strength and courage of those around thee. Thou art established in strength as the Bull of Amenta.

Thy son Horus is seated upon thy throne, and all that liveth is subject to him. Endless generations are at his service, endless generations are in fear of him; the cycle of the gods is in fear of him, the cycle of the gods is at his service. So saith Tmu, the Sole Force of the gods; not to be altered is that which he hath spoken.

Horus is the offering and the altar of offering; twofold of aspect; it is Horus who hath reconstituted his father and restored him. 146Horus is the father, Horus is the mother, Horus is the brother, Horus is the kinsman. Horus proceedeth from the essence of his father and the corruption which befell him.

He ruleth over Egypt, and the gods are in his service. He hath carried off endless generations, and given life to endless generations with his Eye; the sole one of its Lord, the Inviolate one.


This chapter is seldom found in the complete shape which it has in the Turin Todtenbuch. The shortest copy of it is that in the tomb of Horhotep (Miss. Arch. Fr., p. 158); it has but a few lines; but they are very important, as giving the earliest form of the formula ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, which is an invocation to the battlements. The common reading, which adds the pronominal suffix ⁂ both to the verb and to its subject, is ungrammatical. The papyri Au, Pg, and Ij, rightly omit the suffix after the verb, in the early part of the chapter.

The coffin of Amamu has a chapter of the same title, but with quite a different text.

1. Sacred Hawk. Between this and the Golden Hawk of the last chapter the vignettes make no distinction but that of colour, which is indicative of age rather than of kind. The typical Egyptian Hawk may be identified with the Falco Lanarius, or with the Peregrinus, but naturalists tell us that “the Lanier of Buffon is the perfect state of the male Peregrinus,” and that “the Lanner of Pennant is a young female Peregrine.”

2. Thy powers, ⁂ baiu.

3. The goal ⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂, a word we have already met in chapter 72 (see Note 3), and which occurs later on in the present chapter. It is apparently connected with the verb of motion, ⁂⁂⁂, and seems here to correspond to the Greek βαλβῖδες, or the Latin carceres, the two posts which were at once the starting point and the goal.

“signum unde reverti.
Scirent, et longos ubi circumflectere cursus.”[88]

1474. Invested ⁂⁂⁂⁂, which is connected with ⁂⁂⁂. The determinative ⁂ is the symbol of investiture, which is also expressed by the sign ⁂. A mummied person is called Sāhu, in virtue of his investiture.

5. Apple of the eye, literally point, thorn; ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

6. The Nemmes ⁂⁂ is the royal head-dress in the form of a wig. This chapter is the only one in the Book of the Dead in which it is referred to, but other religious texts mention it. It is one of the objects provided for the deceased in the pictures of ancient coffins. (See Aelteste Texte, p. 35.)

7. [Aahat.] In this place different MSS. introduce one or more words followed by the sign ⁂, determinative of divinity. But the whole text which follows is extremely unsatisfactory. The prudent scribe who copied Pg has the words “I am the great god,” and with them ends the chapter.

8. Fall upon Shu, or before Shu, who represents Daylight.

9. The passage is obscure through the absence of the right determinative ⁂ after ⁂⁂. The portals of Shu, the gates of Morning, answer the summons of the god who comes as Horus. ⁂ has the sense of obviam ire, occurrere.

10. Hematit ⁂⁂⁂, a place near the Horizon, not mentioned in the Book of the Dead except in this chapter. It has disappeared in the later recensions.

11. Here follow one or two divine names unknown to the copyists, and by them written at random.

88. Aeneid, V, 130.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Chief god of the Divine Cycle.

Hail to thee, Tmu, Lord of Heaven, who givest motion to all things which come into being; thou who comest forth from the Earth and createst whatsoever is begotten: Lord of the things 148which are; who givest birth to the gods; great god, self-produced; Lord of Life, who givest vigour to the men now living:

Hail to you, ye Lords of pure things, ye whose abodes are hidden:

Hail to you, ye Lords of Eternity, ye whose attributes are concealed, and the place where ye reside is unknown.

Hail to you, ye gods who are in the divine circuit and the Kabhu; ye gods who are in Amenta and ye, O Divine Cycle which is in Heaven:

Let me come to you, let me be purified and strengthened, let me be enriched and gifted with power, let me have possession and glory.

I bring in offering to you perfume, incense and natron. Stop ye the outpourings of your hearts against me. I am come to put a stop to all the wrong things which are in your hearts, and to do away with the false charges which have been made to you.

But I bring in offering to you well-being.[89] I lift up in offering to you Maāt.

I know you and I know your names, and I know your attributes, though it be not known what by you may be brought to pass.

I come before you and make my appearance as that god in the form of a man who liveth like a god, and I stand out before you in the form of that god who is raised high upon his pedestal, to whom the gods come with acclamation, and the female deities with jubilation, when they see him.

I come before you and make my appearance on the seat of Rā, and I sit upon my seat which is on the Horizon, and receive the offerings upon their altars. I drink the sacred liquor each evening, in the form of the Lord of all creatures, and I am exalted like that venerable god the Lord of the Great House, whom the gods rejoice at seeing at his beautiful comings forth from the womb of Nut, to whom Nut each day giveth birth.

89. Perhaps rather glory, splendour,⁂⁂⁂⁂, which implies something to be seen.



Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the god who giveth Light to the Darkness.

It is I who complete the vesture of Nu, the Light which shineth before him, lighting up the darkness. I unite with the two brother-gods who are upon me through the mighty Words of Power of my mouth. I raise up the fallen one who cometh after me. I fall along with him in the vale of Abydos when I go to rest.

I have seized upon Hu from the place in which I found him. And I have lifted off the darkness through my power. I have rescued the Eye from its eclipse against the coming of the Fifteenth day, and balanced Sutu in the mansions above, against the Great one who is with him.

I have equipped Thoth [with light] in the house of the Moon.

I seize upon the Crown. Maāt is upon me, and the Emerald and the Crystal of her months.

This field of mine is of Azure in the festival thereof.

I lighten up the darkness and overthrow the devouring monsters.(1)

Those who are in their own darkness worship me, and they rise up to me, covering their faces, who mourn and are prostrate: look ye therefore upon me.

I am the Craftsman(2) of Nu, but I come not up in order that you should hear of this.

I am the Craftsman of Nu, who lighteneth the darkness, and I have come to dissipate the darkness, and that light should be.


1. Devouring monsters, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

2. The later recensions have ⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂ wife. The older papyri omit the feminine ending, which is inconsistent with the rest of the chapter. I understand ⁂ or ⁂⁂, in the sense of artist, craftsman.



Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Lotus.

I am the pure Lotus which cometh forth from the glory which is at the nostril of Rā, and I make my journey and pursue it for Horus, the great god beloved.

I am the pure Lotus which cometh forth in the field.


This little chapter is not without its special difficulty. Are we to read ⁂⁂⁂ as a word implying motion, with ⁂ as its determinative, or as implying invocation, with ⁂ as its determinative? The copyists differed and some of them changed the word into ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ so that there should be no ambiguity. But this does not clear up the words which immediately follow; hence Ba has suppressed them, whilst other copyists have given themselves no trouble as to the sense of what they wrote.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of Ptah, eateth bread, drinketh beer, and sitteth in the midst of the great gods.

I fly like the Hawk, I cackle like the Smen-goose, I alight on the right side of the Aat, on the feast of the Great One.

I execrate, I execrate: I eat it not. Dirt is what I execrate: I eat it not. That which my Genius execrateth let it not enter into me.

Let me therefore live upon that which is put before them; the gods and the glorified ones. Let me live and enjoy the bread and....[90] Let me then eat them in the presence of the gods and glorified ones. Let me enjoy and eat them under the foliage of the date trees of Hathor, my sovereign. Let the oblations be made, of bread and beer in Tattu, and bendings of the head in Annu. Let 151my vesture be girt upon me by Tait. Let me sit whereverwherever it pleaseth me.

My head is that of Rā and I am summed up as Tmu: Four times the arm’s length of Rā: four times the width of the world.(1)

I have come forth with the tongue of Ptah and the throat of Hathor that I may record the words of my father Tmu with my mouth, which draweth to itself the Spouse of Seb, and the proclamation of whose lips inspireth fear.

I repeat the acclamations at my success on being declared the heir of the Lord of Earth, Seb, from whom I issue.

Seb purifieth me, and giveth me his Theophanies.(2) The dwellers in Annu bow their heads to me. I am their Master. I am their Bull. More powerful am I than the Lord of Time; I am the author and the master of endless years.


1. Not in length but in periphery. The ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ implies a quadrangular figure, and so do ⁂⁂. Of this quadrangle, North, South, East, and West, are not cardinal points or angles, but sides.

2. Theophanies, ⁂⁂⁂. This is the true meaning of the word, whether in reference to the Sun rising in the sky or to the king upon his throne.

90. The word seems to have been unintelligible to the copyists, who differ widely from each other as to its orthography.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Bennu bird.

Let me wheel round in whirls, let me turn like the Turning One, let me flourish like a flower and keep myself hidden like the Hider.(1)

I am the Barley corn of every god.

I am the four Yesterdays of those seven UræusUræus deities who are born in Amenta; Horus who giveth light by means of his own body; the god who is against Sutu when Thoth is between them, as in that dispute of the Prince of Sechem with the Spirits of Annu where the river is between them.(2)

152I come forth by day and disclose myself at the head of the gods.

I am the god who chaseth all boastfulness.(3)


1. There is here a play on the words pa, ḫeper, ruṭ and šet. The Turning One is the god Chepera. The Tortoise ⁂⁂⁂ derives its name (the hider), from the habit of drawing its body within its shell. On the flight of the Bennu see the first note of next chapter.

2. The Nile lies between the opposite shores of the Nomes of Letopolis (Sechem) and Heliopolis (Annu).

3. The later recensions have “I am Chonsu who putteth a stop to all boastfulness.” But in the early copies Chonsu is taken in its primitive sense the chaser and does not require the verb ⁂ to govern ‘boastfulness.’


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Hernshaw.(1)

Thou who holdest the bound victims; ye knives over their heads and locks and fleeces;(2) ye aged and bright ones who are armed with the fated moment.

I come to heaven but I strike upon the earth; and conversely.

It is my power which produceth victory and raiseth the height of heaven, and I make the lustrations which yield the extent of earth to my feet against the sinful cities as I advance and cut in pieces(3) those who are involved in rebellion.(4)

I leave the gods upon their paths but I strike the Wakers who are in their coffins.

I know not Nu, I know not Tatunen, I know not the Red ones when they bring opposition to me.

I know not a Word of Power to whose utterance I listen.

I am the Red Calf upon the tablets.

This is what the gods say when they raise their voice.

Let your countenances be without restraint towards him who cometh to me.

153The morning dawns are independent of you, ye have not the charge of them; but my alternations are in my own hands. I say not the wrong instead of the right.

Day after day unswervingly turneth back upon my eye-brow.

And Evening is the beginning of my voyage to celebrate the solemnity of the Reclining and the Embrace of the Aged one who hath charge of the Earth.


1. Both the Bennu and the Shenshen (which I here translate ‘Hernshaw’) are Herons. They fly to a great height in spiral whirls.

2. The true reading here seems to be ⁂⁂ from ⁂⁂ ‘shear.’

3. Cut in pieces. The papyrus of Ani gives the valuable reading ⁂.

4. Rebellion. So I understand ⁂⁂, a wrongful and violent rising, ἐπανάστασις.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of a Soul,(1) that one may not come to the dungeon. Imperishable is he who knoweth it.

I am a Soul. I am Rā who proceedeth from Nu, and my soul is divine. I am he who produceth food, but I execrate what is wrong and look not upon it.

I am possessor of Maāt and subsist by means of it.

I am the Food which perisheth not; in my name of the Self-originating Force, together with Nu, in the name of Chepera, from whom I am born daily.

I am the Lord of Daylight and I execrate Death, let me not enter into the dungeons of the gods of the Tuat.

It is I who give glory to Osiris and propitiate the hearts of those who are with him, my own friends.

They inspire the fear of me, and put forward my might to those within their domains.

154And behold me, how I am raised upon my pedestal and upon my throne.

I am Nu. They shall not overthrow me who do wrong.

I am he whose orbits are of old; my soul is divine, it is the Eternal Force.

It is I who create the Darkness which maketh its seat at the confines of Heaven.

My Soul hath come, far advanced in age, and I create the Darkness at the confines of Heaven at my pleasure.

I reach the limits, and I advance upon my feet.

I take the lead and I traverse the steel firmament which maketh a curtain.(2) I put a stop to the Darkness and the worms; I whose name is hidden.

I drive away aggression from before the Lord of the two hands, who is my own Soul. The UræusUræus divinities are my body. My image is Eternal, the Lord of years, the King of Everlasting.

I am exalted as Lord of the land of Rebu: ‘the Youth in Town, the Lad in the Country’ is my name; and my name is imperishable.

I am the Force which createth Heaven and maketh its abode in the Netherworld.

Not to be seen is my nest; not to be broken is my Egg.

I am the Lord on High. I have made my nest on the confines of Heaven, and I descend to the earth of Seb and put a stop to evil. I see my father, the Lord of the Gloaming, and I breathe.(3)


1. Soul. The Egyptian word which in our modern languages we translate as Soul has already been explained as meaning Force. It is so translated in this chapter in several passages where this sense is emphatically required.

2. A curtain, ⁂ šet, literally a skin. Cf. Ps. civ, 2, “Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain,” where the LXX render ‘curtain’ by δέῤῥιν and the Vulgate by pellem.

3. Here the chapter ends in Pc. The few words which follow in other MSS. were unintelligible to the copyists and are written very variously.



Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Swallow.(1)

I am the Swallow; I am the Swallow.

I am the Scorpion-bird, daughter of Rā.

O ye gods, whose perfume is delicious: Flame which proceedest from the Horizon: O thou who art in the place whence I have brought the keeper of his fold—let me have thine arm that I may make my observation at the Tank of Flame, that I may advance as an envoy and come with the report of it.

Be it opened to me, in order that I may tell what I have seen.

Horus is in command of his bark. There hath been given to him the throne of his father, and Sutu that son of Nut is under the grappling hooks which he made for him.

I have ascertained what is in Sechem. I have touched with my two hands the Heart of Osiris.(2)

And that which I went in order to ascertain I am come to tell. Come let me enter and report my mission.

And I, entering and ascertaining who cometh forth through that gate of the Inviolate one, I purify myself at that great stream where my ills are made to cease, and that which is wrong in me is pardoned and the spots which were on my body upon earth are effaced.

O Keeper of the Portal, let the path be made for me, for I am as one of you. Let me come forth by day, and walk upon my own legs. Let me have the feet of the Glorified.

I know the mysterious paths and the gates of Aarru from whence I come. Here am I, and I come that I may overthrow mine adversaries upon earth, though my dead body be buried.

If this chapter be known he will re-enter after coming forth by day.


1. The Swallow ⁂⁂. The objection to this meaning is that the bird in question was eaten; and that doves or pigeons would be less meagre food than the Swallow, and therefore more probably intended in the Egyptian texts. But Swallows are still eaten at Rome, where like Clive Newcome we may be regaled not only with “wild swans and ducks” but with “robins, owls, and οἰωνοῖσι τε πᾶσι for dinner.” And Willughby, the naturalist, found a large quantity of swallows being sold for food at Valencia in Spain.

156The flat head, the short legs, and the tail of the bird are characteristic not of the pigeon but of the swallow, and on many pictures (e.g., pl. xxi, vignette from Leyden papyrus) we are reminded of the song—

Ἦλθ’ ἦλθε χελιδὼν ...
ἐπὶ γαστέρα λευκὰ
ἐπὶ νῶτα μέλαινα.

It is not quite plain why the name of Scorpion should be given to the bird, but the name ⁂⁂⁂ of the insect in itself implies nothing more than the characteristic whiteness of colour.

2. Touched with my two hands the Heart of Osiris.

⁂⁂⁂ is the origin of the Coptic ϭⲟϩ ‘touch.’ The word Heart has dropped out of the later texts (e.g., the Turin copy), but in the older papyri it is found in the form of ⁂⁂ or ⁂.

Additional Note.

In Chapter 86 ⁂⁂⁂ has unquestionably the sense of ascertaining by inspection. The Abbot Papyrus in its account of the enquiry respecting the spoliation of the royal coffins gives ample evidence of this meaning. And the word there used for reporting the result of the inspection is, as is Ch. 86, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ semȧu, in Coptic ⲧⲁⲙⲉ.

But it is well to remember that ⁂⁂⁂ has another use; which perhaps implies the existence of two homonymous roots. In a passage quoted in Note 21 to Ch. 64, it certainly signifies restore. And this may possibly be its meaning in the rubric of Ch. 64. The journey of Prince Hortâtâf may have had reference to the restoration, not simply inspection, of the temples. In this sense it is often written ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂ sȧpu. The Coptic word for ἀποκαθιστάναι in Hosea xi, 11 and Acts i, 6 is ⲧⲫⲟ.



Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of Se-ta.

I am Seta—full of years.

I lay myself down [in death], and I am born daily.

I am Seta at the confines of the earth. I lay myself down [in death], I restore myself and I renew myself daily.


Se-ta ⁂⁂, literally Filius terrae, is a common noun signifyingsignifying an earth-worm. It is applied to the Sun as rising out of the earth. There are several pictures at Denderah representing the Sun-god Hor-sam-ta in the form of the worm rising out of the Lotus of Dawn. See pl. xxiii, from Mariette, Dend. I, 47 and 48.


Chapter whereby one assumeth the form of the Crocodile god [Sebak(1).

For I am the Crocodile god in all his terrors.

I am the Crocodile god in the form of man.(2) I am he who carrieth off with violence. I am the almighty Fish in Kamurit.

I am the Lord to whom one bendeth down(3) in Sechem.


1. Sebak is not always named in the papyri. The ideogram of the crocodile was in some copies read emsuḥ and in others sebak.

2. In the form of man ⁂⁂⁂⁂. Of the very different readings this is the most intelligible.

3. To whom one bendeth down, literally ‘master of bendings.’


Chapter whereby the Soul is united to the dead Body.

Oh thou who Bringest; Oh thou Runner, who dwellest in thy Keep,(1) thou great god; grant that my Soul may come to me from whatsoever place wherein it abideth.

158But if there be a delay in the bringing of my soul to me, thou shalt find the Eye of Horus standing firm against thee, like those undrowsy Watchers who lie in Annu, the land wherein are thousands of reunions.

Let my Soul be caught, and the Chu which is with it, wheresoever it abideth.

Track out(2) among the things in heaven and upon earth that soul of mine, wherever it abideth.

But if there be a delay in thy causing me to see my Soul and my Shade, thou shalt find the Eye of Horus standing firm against thee.

Oh ye gods who draw along the Bark of the Eternal one: ye who lift up above the Tuat, and who raise up the Sky: ye who enable the Souls to enter into the mummied forms; ye whose hands grasp the cordage, hold firm with your ropes and stop the adversaries that the Bark may rejoice and the god proceed in peace.

And now grant that my Soul may come forth in your train from the Eastern horizon of Heaven for ever and ever.


The oldest papyri present a much shorter form than the later ones. That portion which is here separated by a line from what goes before it first appears on the sarcophagus of Seti I and in the papyrus of Ani. The vignette is a very favourite decoration of mummies.

1. Keep ⁂⁂ of which the regular variant in this chapter is not saḥ but ⁂⁂ seḫen.

2. Track out, ⁂⁂⁂ is investigare, ἐξιχινεύειν, to follow the traces like a dog. See Denk. II, 3, where the word occurs in the title of “master of the trackers,” determined by a man holding a hound in leash. It is from this notion that the sense of sight or looking appears in ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⲛⲁⲩ.



Chapter whereby Memory is restored(1) to a person.

Oh thou who choppest off heads and cuttest throats, but restorest memory in the mouth of the dead through the Words of Power which they possess: thou seest me not with thine eyes, thou perceivest not with thy feet;(2) thou turnest back thy face, thou seest not the executioners of Shu, who are coming behind thee to chop off thine own head and to cut thy throat. Let not my mouth be closed, through the Words of Power which I possess; even as thou hast done to the dead, through the Words of Power which they possess.

Away with the two sentences uttered by Isis when thou camest to fling remembrance at the mouth of Osiris(3) and the heart of Sutu, his enemy, saying:—


Of this chapter we have unfortunately but one copy in Fa, of the Musée Borély. This is defective both at the beginning and at the end, and the text is inaccurate. The later copies are so inaccurate that it is impossible to reconstitute the text. It is precisely on those points where grammatical accuracy is required for fixing a definite sense that the manuscripts are hopelessly defective. The preceding translation is verbally correct, I trust, but I do not pretend that it is intelligible. It stops where the papyrus Fa stops.

1. Restored. The reduplication in ⁂ here gives the verb this sense.

2. It is not only in Egyptian that verbs of sight are applied to other perceptions. Aeschylus says κτύπον δέδορκα in Sept. c. Th. 104, and the Hebrew writers furnish similar examples.

3. At the mouth of Osiris and the heart of Sutu. To justify this translation the same preposition ought to govern mouth and heart. But I do not know any copy in which this occurs. The Turin reading is simply absurd.



Chapter whereby the Soul is secured from imprisonment in the Netherworld.

Oh thou who art exalted and worshipped, all powerful, almighty one, who grantest thy terrors to the gods, who displayest thyself upon thy throne of grandeur,(1) let the way be made for my Soul, my Chu and my Shade. Let me be thoroughly equipped.

I am a powerful Soul; let the way be made for me to the place where Rā is and Hathor.

If this Chapter is known, he taketh the form of a fully equipped Chu in the Netherworld, and does not suffer imprisonment at any door in the Amenta, either in coming in or going out.


1. There is no safe text here, ‘grandeur’ is only meant to indicate the existence of ⁂ in the original. But there certainly ought to be something different from what any of the MSS. supply.



Chapter whereby the Tomb is opened to the Soul and to the Shade of the person, that he may come forth by day and may have mastery of his feet.

That standeth open which thou openest, and that is closed which thou closest, oh thou who art at rest;(1) thou openest and thou closest to my Soul, at the bidding of the Eye of Horus: who delivereth me, who establisheth the glory upon the brow of Rā: [the god] of stretched out steps and rapid paces, who maketh for me a wide path and vigorous limbs.

I am Horus, the avenger of his father, who lifteth up his father and who lifteth up his mother with his staff.

Let the path be opened to him who hath mastery of his feet, that he may look upon the great god within the Bark of Rā on the day of the Soul’s Reckoning; and my Soul is then at the front during the Reckoning of the Years.

161May the Eye of Horus deliver for me my Soul, and establish my splendour upon the brow of Rā, and may my radiance be upon your faces who are attached to the person of Osiris: imprison not my Soul, put not in custody my Shade.

Let the path be open to my Soul and to my Shade that it may see the great god within his sanctuary, on the day of the Soul’s Reckoning, and may repeat the words of Osiris whose place is unseen, and of those who are attached to the person of Osiris and have the custody of Souls and Spirits, and who shut up the Shades of the Dead who would do an injury to me.(2)

Let the path be thrown open(3) to thy Genius[91] and to thy Soul, Glorified one, who art provided with those who conduct thee; sit thou at the head of the Great ones in thy place; thou shalt not be imprisoned by those who are attached to the person of Osiris and who have the custody of Souls and Spirits and who shut up the Shades of the Dead. It is Heaven that shall hold thee.


1. I cannot agree with those who have hitherto translated this chapter. The only grammatical interpretation which seems possible for the first sentence depends upon the sense given to the suffix ⁂⁂ . I take this as representing the second person singular. ⁂⁂, the person at rest (Osiris) is the one invoked, and is here translated by the vocative.

2. The words which follow are evidently the words of Osiris and those attached to him, which are addressed to the deceased and are repeated by him. The text here, as indeed everywhere, is very corrupt.

3. Thrown open, ⁂⁂⁂⁂. I have explained the sense of the verb ⁂ mes (Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., 1882, p. 70) as stretching out, of which notion ⁂ is the determinative. ⁂⁂⁂ is = ⁂⁂ × ⁂. Mesi uat is ‘pandatur via.’

91. 162The Egyptian ka.


Chapter whereby one avoideth being conveyed to the East in the Netherworld.

Oh thou Phallus of Rā, who fliest from the storm, disablement ariseth from Baba who useth against me might beyond the mighty and power beyond the powerful.

If I am conveyed away, if I am carried off to the East; if all evil and injurious things of a feast day of fiends are perpetrated upon me through the waving of the Two Horns, then shall be devoured the Phallus of Rā and the Head of Osiris.

And should I be led to the fields wherein the gods destroy him who answereth them, then shall the horns of Chepera be twisted back, then shall blindness(1) arise in the eyes of Tmu and destruction,(2) through the seizure of me, and through my being carried off to the East, through there being made over me a feast day of the fiends, through all the murderous work perpetrated upon me.(3)


This chapter contains one of those threats (of which there are other instances) made to the gods. The speaker is in fact so identified with divinity that any evil which happens to him must be conceived as involving the same calamity to the gods and to the universe.

There is a very considerable difference between the earlier and the later texts. There is very great confusion in the text of the Turin Todtenbuch as compared with that of the Cadet papyrus.

1. Blindness, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the earlier and ⁂⁂ in the later texts. The latter form, which has for determinative pearls or globules of some kind, reminds one of the disease formerly called gutta serena.

2. Destruction, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. But this word is written in different ways in the papyri. With ⁂ as a suffix it would mean ‘my destroyer.’ Ca gives ⁂ as a determinative, and thus creates a god Hetmu, or at least a name punning upon that of Tmu, to which it is united.

1633. The more recent texts, like those of the Turin Todtenbuch, insert a negative particle before the mention of each disaster. They pray that the Phallus of Rā may not be devoured, that the blindness may not come upon Tmu, and so on.


Chapter whereby one prayeth for a Palette and an Inkstand.

Oh mighty one, who seest thy father, and who hast charge of the Book of Thoth.

Here am I, I come and am glorified and filled with Soul and Power and provided with the writings of Thoth, which I bring in order to purify the tunnel which is in Sutu.(1) I bring the Palette and I bring the Inkstand as the instruments of Thoth, the secrets of which are divine.

Here am I, as the Scribe; I bring the remains of Osiris;(2) and the writing which I have made upon them is decreed by the great god to be good, daily, among the good. Thou hast decreed, Horus of the Two Horizons, that I shall be the author of Maāt and tend(3) it daily to Rā.


1. In Sutu; that is, in Darkness. See chapter 96.

2. The remains, ⁂⁂⁂⁂. This word, though commonly applied to corruption and impurity of dead matter, is taken in an inoffensive sense when applied to the gods. Compare, e.g., Pepi I, line 477 and following.

3. Tend, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ mesi (not sebi) stretch out, pandere, protendere.


Chapter whereby is opened the place wherein Thoth resteth.

I am the Dread one(1) in Storm, who guard the Great one(2) against assault.

I smite like the Flint-god: I sprinkle like the Sprinkling-god.(3)

164I am the protection(4) of the Great one against assault and I give vigour to the sword which is in the hand of Thoth(5) in the storm.


The papyrus Ad gives this chapter the title of “assuming the form of the Smen-goose,” and Dr. Birch published the text of this papyrus in the Zeitschrift of 1869 (p. 25) as one of those additional chapters which “do not occur in the Ritual of Turin.” This is of course an error of oversight. This chapter is in the Turin Todtenbuch, and the papyrus Ad merely gives it under an erroneous title, which was evidently meant for another text.

1. The Dread one, ⁂⁂⁂. Instead of this Ad has ⁂⁂⁂, which I cannot regard otherwise than as a simple blunder of the scribe. ⁂ is a well known anaglyph in certain scenes, but there is no evidence of its being a variant of the name of Chnemu.

2. Two of the ancient papyri Ca and Ad read Horus, the others have the Great goddess, and so has Ad in the next line. The more recent texts have (not urit, ‘the great one,’ but) urerit, ‘the crown.’

3. The Sprinkling god ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Aashu. This god is mentioned but once in the Book of the Dead, and his name is here interpreted conjecturally in consequence of the function assigned to him and of the not unlike word ⁂⁂ ȧš ‘spit.’

4. Protection. I read ⁂ instead of ⁂ in the early papyri.

5. Thoth. The recent texts have Chepera, an evident error. The allusion is to the storm or distress from which Thoth rescues the Eye of Horus.


Chapter whereby is opened [the place] where Thoth [resteth].

I am he who dwelleth in the middle of his own Eye. I have come that I may deliver Maāt to Rā, and may propitiate Sutu with the libations for Akar and the red victims of the Faithful of Seb.



Said at the Bark: Staff of Anubis, may I propitiate those four Glorified ones who follow after the Master of [all] things.

I am the Master of the champaign at their behest, and I am the Father of the inundation, when he who hath charge of the canals is athirst.

Look therefore upon me, oh ye great and mighty gods, who are foremost among the Spirits of Annu; let me be exalted in your presence. I am a well-doer towards you. Lo I come, that I may purify this Soul of mine in the most high degree; let not that impediment proceeding from your mouth be issued against me which giveth one over to ruin: let me be purified in the lake of propitiation and of equipoise: let me plunge into the divine pool beneath the two divine sycomores of Heaven and Earth.

Now let my Fold be fitted for me as one victorious against all adversaries who would not that right should be done to me.

I am the Only one; just and true upon the Earth. It is I who say it.

*     *     *     *     *

Chapters 96 and 97 are really but one chapter, which M. Naville has found in only two MSS. of the early period. The end of what Lepsius calls chapter 97 is hopelessly corrupt. On comparing the three copies given by M. Naville (two of them being from the papyrus of Nebseni) it will be seen how impossible it is to restore a grammatical text out of such discordant materials. The difficulty is not removed by having recourse to the papyri of a later period.



Chapter whereby one saileth a ship in the Netherworld.

Oh thou Leg in the Northern Sky,(1) and in that most conspicuous but inaccessible Stream; I rise up and come to light as a god, I am conspicuous but inaccessible.

I rise up and live, and bring myself to light as a god.

166I cackle even as the Smen-goose, but I stoop(2) like the Hawk at the nets of the Great Fowler.

I sail across the Sky, and Shu standeth erect and the Achmiu Stars(3) are instantly active in raising the ladder which lifts the Setting Stars away from destruction.(4)

And I bear that which repelleth mischief as I make my voyage over the Leg of Ptah.

I come from the Lake of Flame, from the Lake of Fire, and from the Field of Flame, and I live....

I stand erect in the Bark which the god is piloting ... at the head of Aarru,(5) and the Achmiu Stars open to me ... and my fellow citizens(6) present to me the sacred cakes with flesh.


There is but one papyrus of the older period which contains any portion of this chapter, and it does so very imperfectly.

On referring to M. Naville’s edition it will be seen that not only the title but the greater part of the chapter is destroyed. The later copies have texts so different from the original form, that it is unsafe to attempt a restoration except within very strict limits.

It is absurd to attempt a translation from a mixture of divergent and, at the same time, incorrect texts.

1. See note to chapter 74. The Stream which is so conspicuous but cannot be reached is the Milky Way, and the Leg is the constellation Cassiopeia in the Northern Sky.

2. Stoop, ⁂⁂⁂. This comparison occurs repeatedly in the Pyramid Texts, and others of the early periods.

3. Achmiu Stars ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ so Ab, giving another proof that the word is to be taken as a noun, and not as a negative.

4. See chapter 30A, on “The Crocodile of the West who lives on the Setting Stars.”

5. So Ab, but perhaps wrongly. I dare not fill up the lacunæ of this text.

6. Fellow-citizens. The translation here is necessarily conjectural. But I understand by fellow-citizens (συμπολῖται) the dwellers of that city of which the deceased says, in chapter 17, “I arrive at 167my own city, ⁂⁂.”[92] And this city is explained by the ancient scholion as being “the HorizonHorizon ⁂ [or, as Lepsius more accurately translates it, ‘der Sonnenberg’] of my father Tmu.” It is no earthly city that is thought of, but an eternal one.

92. I take this opportunity of correcting my former translation, where the preposition ⁂, which twice occurs in the passage, is both times rendered by the same word, from. But the sense of a preposition really depends upon the verb which it follows. The same English word will not suit the French de in ‘s’approcher de and ‘s’éloigner de.’


Chapter whereby one Saileth a Ship in the Netherworld.

Oh thou who sailest the ship of Nu over that chine which is void,(1) let me sail the ship; let me fasten my tackle(2) in peace; in peace! Come, come; Fleet one, Fleet one! Let me come to see my father Osiris.

Oh thou who art veiled, let me enjoy happiness.

Oh thou who art clouded, but manful, and who sailest round over that chine of Âpepi; thou of firm head and steadfast breast when coming forth from the fiery blows: Oh thou who art at the ship, let me sail the ship, let me fasten my tackle and come forth.

This place is empty, into which the starry ones fall down headlong upon their faces,(3) and find not aught whereby they can raise themselves up.

Narrow is the path as the tongue of Rā.(4)

[The Patrol who goeth round, and who piloteth the Double Earth; Seb abideth stably by means of their rudders: the divine Form which revealeth the Solar Orb: and He who presideth over the Red ones.(5)]

Let me be brought in as a distressed mariner, and let my Soul come to me, which is my brother, and go to that place which thou knowest.

“Let me be told my name,” say,

1. The Mooring post. “Lord of the Double-Earth in the Shrine” is thy name.

1682. The Blade of the Rudder. “Leg of Apis ” is thy name.

3. The Hawser. “The Side-Lock which Anubis fastens on to the swathing work” is thy name.

4. The Stern or Stem Posts. “The two columns of the Netherworld” is thy name.

5. The Hold. “Akar” is thy name.

6. The Mast. “Bearer“Bearer of the Great one whilst she passeth” is thy name.

7. The Keel. “Backbone of Apuat” is thy name.

8. The Mast-head. “Throat of Emsta” is thy name.

9. The Sail. “Nut” is thy name.

10. The Leathers.(6) “Made“Made of the hide of Mnevis, which Sutu hath scorched,” is thy name.

11. The Oars. “Fingers of the elder” is your name.

12. The Bracement. “Hand of Isis, stanching the blood of the Eye of Horus,” is thy name.

13. The Ribs. “Emsta, Hapi, Tuamautef, Kebehsenuf, He who taketh captive, He who taketh by force, He who seeth his Father, and He who maketh himself,” are your names.

14. The Look-out:(7) “Master of the Grounds”(8) is thy name.

15. The Tiller:(9) “Merit”(10) is thy name.

16. The Rudder: “The Umpire, beaming forth from the water,” is thy name.

17. The Hull: “The Leg of Hathor, which Rā wounded, on his lifting her into the Sektit Boat,” is thy name.

18. The Boatman: “Off” is thy name.

19. The Breeze, since thou art conveyed by me: “The Northern Breeze proceeding from Tmu to the Nose of Chent-Amenta” is thy name.

20. The Stream, since thou sailest upon me: “Their Mirror” is thy name.

21. The Shallow:(11) “Destroyer of the large-handed at the place of purification” is thy name.

22. The Land, since thou walkest upon me: “The Tip of Heaven, the Coming forth from the swathings in the Garden of Aarru, and the Coming forth in Exultation,” is thy name.

To be said before them.

Hail to you, Fair in Form, Lord of issues, who are springing up for ever, and whose double goal is eternity: turn to me your hands, 169give to me food and offerings for my mouth; let me eat the Bat-bread, the Shensu-cake and the Kefen-cake: let my place be in the great hall in presence of the mighty god.

I know that mighty god to whose nostrils ye present delicacies. Tekmu is his name: and whether he, whose name is Tekmu, turneth from the East or advanceth to the West, let his course be my course.

Let me not be stopped at the Meskat; let not the Sebau have mastery over my limbs.

I have bread in Pu and beer in Tepu. Let your largesses of this day be granted to me; offerings of wheat and barley, offerings of ānta and of vestments, offerings of oxen, and ducks, which are offerings for life, health and strength, and also offerings for coming forth by day, in all the forms in which it pleaseth me to come forth in the Garden of Aarru.

If this chapter be known he will come forth at the Garden of Aarru; there will be given to him the Shensu-cake, the measure of drink and the persen-cake, and fields of wheat and barley of seven cubits (It is the followers of Horus who reap them), for he eateth of that wheat and barley, and he is made whole in his limbs through that wheat and barley, and his limbs spring up even as with those gods. And he cometh forth in the Garden of Aarru in all the forms in which it pleaseth him to come forth.


One of the Paris papyri (Pb) contains a composition bearing the same title as chapter 99, and M. Naville has published it as an introduction to the usual chapter. It is no doubt of very great interest, but it is the imperfect copy of a quite independent composition, which really has no claim to be considered a part of our Book of the Dead.

1. See chapter 7, title and notes. Cf. the αἰθὴρ ἐρημος of Pindar and the Latin expressions ‘vacuum per inane,’ ‘per inania.’

2. Fasten my tackle, ⁂⁂⁂⁂. Cf. Unas, 508 and 639. In the latter place the ropes are said to be made of ⁂⁂⁂, palm leaf (?).

3. Comp. chapter 44 on the cavern where the dead fall into the darkness, ‘but the Eye of Horus supporteth me, and Apuat reareth 170me up.’ There may be an allusion here, as there is elsewhere, to shooting stars. It is worth noticing that—a group which ought, I think, to be read ⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Ca and Ac) has in most papyri the wrong determinative ⁂ instead of ⁂, which was misunderstood, and that Ab has even ⁂⁂⁂.

4. A corrupt passage, like the next.

5. The corruption of the whole passage between [ ] will be best understood on comparing it with the names of “the Rudders of Heaven” as given in chapter 148; the earliest text of these names being (I think) the fine tablet in Denkm. III, 25 bis a. Three out of four of these names are represented by the phrases here printed in italics. The rest is incoherent and was certainly not understood by the copyists. I have followed Aa in my translation.

6.The Leathers,’ ⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂, leathern thongs, or straps, like the Greek τροποί for fastening the oars,

Ἠρτύναντο δ’ ἐρετμὰ τροποῖς ἐν δερματίνοισι: Odyss. 4, 782.

See note of Scholiast and cf. Aesch. Pers., 376.

7. Look out ⁂⁂⁂⁂, see chapter 15, note 9.

8. Grounds. ⁂⁂⁂ is, technically, the superficial land measure corresponding to the quarter of the Egyptian arura. The more general sense of the word (⁂⁂⁂⁂) is land enclosed and parted out for cultivation.

The very ancient magical text (Unas 302) speaks characterically of ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, the Hippopotamus who maketh his appearance at the garden (vineyard, field, &c. Cf. Psalm lxxx, 13).

In the great inscription published in Mariette’s Denderah, IV, 35, ⁂⁂⁂ is used, in a sense like that of the Ἀδώνιδος κῆποι, for a stone vessel in which seeds were sown for ritual purposes.

9. Tiller. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ bait, or (as it is also written) ȧbait; see chapter 76, note 1.

17110. Merit. ⁂⁂ (sometimes written with ⁂ and other determinatives; Bekenranef adds ⁂) is the name of each of the two divine sisters, Isis and Nephthys, see chapter 37, note; who are called ⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂. But, at Edfu, Denderah and Philae, Merit is a synonym of the Ut’at, and one of the names of Hathor.

11. Shallow; a conjectural meaning for ⁂⁂⁂, which has not only the determinative of land, but those of water, ⁂ and ⁂. And in some texts it would seem to mean marsh, fen, swamp.


The Book whereby the glorified one is made strong, and is made to embark in the boat of Rā, together with those who are with the god.

Let me convey the divine Heron to the East, Osiris to Tattu. Let me open the caverns of Hāpu,(1) clear the path of the Solar Orb and tow along Sekaru upon his sledge. Let the Great one give me strength at her fixed hour.

I hail and give worship to the Orb, and associate myself with those in adoration, I am one of them.

Let me be a second to Isis; and let her glorified ones give me strength.

Let me fasten my tackle, let me stop the adversary, and force him to turn back his steps.

Let Rā lend me his two hands, let not his divine Boatmen prevent me. Let my strength be that of the divine Eye, and conversely.

[As to the sundering of me in the Bark of Rā, let the sundering be as that of the Egg and the Tortoise.(2)]

Said over the Figure in the Text, which is written upon clean paper, with artist’s ink, fresh and mixed with essence of Ānta; let the dead person have it put upon his body without inserting it into his limbs; he will enter into the Bark of Rā at the round of each day, Thoth will appreciate him, on his coming forth or entering, undeviatingly for times infinite.


This chapter appears a second time in the Turin Todtenbuch as chapter 129. But in the papyrus of Nebseni it is found no less than three times.

1. Caverns of Hāpu. Two of the copies of this chapter in the papyrus of Nebseni give the interesting variant ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. ⁂ is the well known equivalent of ⁂⁂, and the fountains of the Nile are also indicated by the group ⁂.

2. This passage does not occur in chapter 129, and is apparently an interpolation, which however is already found in ancient copies.


Chapter of the Safeguards of the Bark of Rā.

O thou who art devoid of moisture in coming forth from the stream; and who restest upon the deck of thy Bark: as thou proceedest in the direction of Yesterday, and restest upon the deck of thy Bark, let me join thy boatmen.

I am a powerful Chu.

O Rā, in that thy name of Rā, since thou passest through an Eye of seven cubits, whose pupil is of three: do thou then make me sound, I am a powerful Chu, let thy soundness be my soundness.

O Rā, in that thy name of Rā, since thou passest through those who are perishing headlong: do thou then keep me standing on my feet. I am a powerful Chu, let thy soundness be my soundness.

O Rā, in that thy name of Rā, since thou openest the secrets of the Ammehit, which gladdeneth the hearts of the Divine Circle: do thou then give me my heart. I am a powerful Chu, let thy soundness be my soundness, and the soundness of thy limbs be the soundness of my limbs.

Secured by reason of the writing with gum mixed with colours upon a strip of royal papyrus, put at the throat of the deceased on the day of burial. If these phylacteries are put at his throat, he will rise up as one of the Divine Circle, and be united to the followers of Horus, whilst his Lamp is made firm by Isis in heaven beside Sothis. He followeth Horus who resideth in Sothis.(1) His Shade becometh 173divine as well as human. Vegetation is made to grow out of his body through the goddess Menkit.(2) He becometh a god for ever, and his limbs are made vigorous in the Netherworld through Thoth, who hath done the like to Osiris, in causing the light to rise out of his dead body; undeviatingly and for times infinite.


This chapter does not occur in the earlier collections known to us.

1. Horus who resideth in Sothis ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂; cf. Teta, 277.

2. Menkit is one of the names of Hathor, but the place is corrupt and the true reading uncertain.


Chapter whereby one entereth into the Bark of Rā.

O Great One in thy Bark, let me be lifted into thy Bark. Let me make head for thy staircase. Let me have charge of those who convey thee, who are attached to thee, who are of the Stars which never set.

That which I abominate, I eat not: and that which I abominate is Dirt, let me not eat of it, but of peace offerings and of Ka-offerings, by which I shall not be upset.

Let me not approach it with my hands, let me not tread upon it with my sandals, because my bread is of the white corn and my beer of the red corn of the Nile.

It is the Sektit boat and the Āātit which have brought me to the food and raiment which are upon the altar of the Spirits of Annu.

Salutation to thee, Ur-ar-set, in that voyage of heaven and the disaster in Tennu, when those dogs were gathered together, not without giving voice.

I have come myself and delivered the god from that pain and suffering, that was in trunk, in shoulder and in leg.

I have come and healed(1) the trunk, and fastened the shoulder and made firm the leg.

And I embark for the voyage of Rā.


1. Healed. Such is the meaning of ⁂⁂⁂, as in chapter 147, 17, and Unas 214, no less than in a passage which does not occur in the most ancient texts of chapter 17, but which is found in the papyri and is derived from the early traditions. Thoth healed the face of Horus.


Chapter whereby one openeth the place where Hathor abideth.

I am a pure follower. O Ahi; O Ahi;(1) let me become one of the followers of Hathor.


1. Ahi ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, the Striker is one of the names of Horus, who in the inscriptions of Benihassan is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, “Horus who striketh down men.” The notion of striking was in later days confined to the beating of the sistrum. Priestly persons bore the title of Ahi as representatives of the youthful Horus, son of Hathor. See Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., XII, p. 460, on “The Sun-stroke in Egyptian.”


Chapter whereby one sitteth in the midst of the great gods.

Let me sit in the midst of the great gods. Let me pass through the place of the Sektit boat. It is the Bird-fly deity(1) that shall convey me to see the great gods who are in the Netherworld, and I shall be triumphant in their presence.


1. The Bird-fly deity, Abait; see chapter 76, note.



Chapter whereby one propitiateth(1) the Ka.

Hail to thee, my Ka, my coeval.(2)

May I come to thee and be glorified and made manifest and ensouled, let me have strength and soundness.

Let me bring to thee grains of incense wherewith I may purify myself and may also purify thine own overflow.

The wrong assertions that I have uttered, and the wrong resistance which I have offered: let them not be imputed to me.

For I am the green gem, fresh at the throat of Rā, given by those who are at the Horizon: their freshness is my freshness [said twice], the freshness of my Ka is like theirs, and the dainties of my Ka are like theirs.

Thou who liftest the hand at the Balance, and raisest Law to the nose of Rā in this day [of my Ka]: do not thou put my head away from me. For I am the Eye which seeth and the Ear which heareth; and am I not the Bull of the sacrificial herd, are not the mortuary gifts(3) upon me and the supernal powers [otherwise said: the powers above Nut].

Grant that I may pass by thee, and may purify myself and cause the triumph of Osiris over his adversaries.(4)


1. Propitiate, ⁂. The simple root ⁂ ḥetep signifies, what is implied by the ideographic sign ⁂, the taking hold, embracing, and kindred notions (Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. X, p. 578). The notion of appeasing an angry personage is no more necessarily involved in the Egyptian word than in the Latin propitiare. M. Léfebure’s translation, réunir, in the title of this chapter is perfectly correct as far as it goes.

See in Denkm., III, pl. 34, b, the picture of Thothmes III being greeted by his ka. Rameses II and other kings are often represented in the act of supplicating their own ka.

2. My coeval ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or, as some might prefer, my duration of life.

The pictures in the temple of Luxor (Denkm., III, 74 and 75) are well known which represent the birth of Amenophis III. The 176infant prince in each of these pictures is accompanied by his ka, his exact image. The ka is nursed and suckled by the same goddesses.

But perhaps the best commentary on our text is to be found in the picture recently published by the French Mission Archéologique (Temple de Luxor, fig. 203), in which both the royal infant and his ka are being fashioned by the hand of Chnum, upon his potter’s wheel.

3. Mortuary gifts ⁂⁂⁂, meals offered to the departed. The meaning of the compound group is plain enough from the determinatives, and such frequent forms as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “consisting of bread and beer,” but the origin of it is not so clear. The usual meaning of ⁂⁂ like that of the Coptic ϧⲣⲱⲟⲩ is voice, but in the present group it stands for ⁂⁂⁂ corresponding to ϧⲣⲉ, plur. ϧⲣⲏⲟⲩⲓ, τροφὴ, βρώματα, ἐδέσματα,, and ⁂ is to be understood as in the very common formula ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

The reading ⁂⁂⁂⁂ which is sometimes found in late texts is faulty and leads to an erroneous interpretation. ⁂ is a mistake either for ⁂ or for ⁂, the phonetic of ⁂.

In such passages of the Pyramid texts as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Unas 36) ⁂ is a demonstrative not a negative particle, “Here is the mortuary meal presented for thee, and here are the two Eyes, the White and the Black, of Horus.”

4. All the early MSS. except Pd omit this last passage.


Chapter whereby a largess is presented at Hat-ka-Ptah.(1)

Oh thou god of nutriment, oh great one who presidest over the mansions on high; [to whom bread cometh from Annu] ye who give bread to Ptah [from Annu], give me bread and beer: let me 177be made pure by the sacrificial joint, together with the white bread.(2)

Oh thou ship of the Garden of Aarru, let me be conveyed to that bread of thy canal; as my father, the Great one, who advanceth in the Divine ship [because I know thee].


This is one of the chapters found on the sarcophagus of Horhotep. It is also inscribed on a statue, now in the Berlin Museum, belonging to the early part of the XVIIIth dynasty (Denkm., III, 25 h and k). These authorities do not give the title found in the papyri. The allusions to Annu are confined to the earliest text, which somewhat differs from the later authorities, and finishes sooner than they do. Cf. also Teta, l. 331.

1. Hat-ka-Ptah is the name of Memphis, but as in so many other places it is not the earthly city which is meant. M. Naville has pointed out that the words “in the Netherworld” are added in the papyrus of Nebseni.

2. Bread and beer are not mentioned in the earliest text, which has other important variants. The latest texts have the verb ⁂⁂, wash, make clean, purify, of which ⁂⁂⁂ on the Berlin statue and the Theban papyri may fairly be considered an older form. But Horhotep has ⁂⁂⁂, a different word and occurring in a grammatical construction differing from that of the other texts.

The words ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ occur as a familiar formula in the Pyramid texts (Unas, 185, 205; Teta, 91); but Horhotep interpolates ⁂⁂ after ⁂⁂⁂. The determinatives of the group ⁂⁂⁂ (sometimes ⁂ or ⁂), show that the copyist understood the word as meant for the sacrificial joint.

It is not uninteresting to note, with reference to the correctness of the title of this chapter, that the Pyramid ritual (Unas, 205) expressly says of the deceased that “the sacrificial joint with the white bread” are the “largess” (⁂⁂) which he receives.




[The chapter so called consists, in fact, of the first two lines of chapter 109. The vignette over it really belongs to chapter 108. It has no separate existence in any of the papyri of the best periods.]


Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of the West.

In respect of the Hill of Bachau(1) upon which heaven resteth, it presenteth itself(2) three hundred cubits in length(3) and two hundred cubits in breadth.

Sebak, the Lord of Bachau, is at the east of the Hill, and his temple is upon it.

There is a serpent on the brow of that hill, five hundred cubits in length, three cubits of his forepart are pierced with swords.

I know the name of this serpent on his hill: “He who dwelleth in his own flame” is his name.(4)

Now, at the close of day(5) he turneth down his eyes to Rā; for there cometh a standing still in the Bark and a deep slumber within the ship. And now he swalloweth three cubits of the Great Water.

Then Sutu is made to flee with a chain upon him of steel(6) and he is forced to vomit all that he hath swallowed. Then Sutu is put into his prison.

And then he saith with Words of Power:—

Away with thee! Steel, which art made fast upon my hand. I remain in thy prison, the Bark sails on and thou seest the path; but thine eyes close, [thine eye is delivered to me], thy head is veiled,(7) and I go on and stay thy steps.

I am the Manful one, who veileth thy head and who cooleth the hollow of thy hand: thy strength is my strength.

I am the Master of the Words of Power.

Who is this who hath been delivered to me?

This Bright One, who cometh on his belly, on his hind parts and on the joints of his back.

Lo! then, I come, and thy might is in my hand. It is I who 179carry away thy might, that I may come and seize upon the Tunnels of Rā who is united to me at sunset as he goeth round heaven.(8)

But thou art pierced with hooks, as was decreed against thee of old.

I know the powers of the West, they are Tmu, Sebak the Lord of Bachau, and Hathor, Mistress of Sunset.


The chapters 108, 109, 112, 113, and 114 being so analogous to each other, in form, matter, style, and composition, and each being concerned with the divine Powers ⁂ of some locality, it is interesting to know that one at least of these chapters is found on a monument of the Middle Empire. The others are probably not less ancient, and the text published by Dr. Golenischef (Zeitschr. f. Aegypt. Spr., 1874, p. 84) from the Sarcophagus at St. Petersburg already bears manifest signs of antiquity.

Another sign of antiquity as regards the present chapter may be seen in the numerous forms in which it has come down to us. These are so different, and sometimes so irreconcileable, that it seems evident that tradition has handed down very corrupt texts, and that the original meaning of this chapter had been entirely lost at a very early date and cannot be discovered now. The oldest text is the shortest of all, but it is both imperfect and incorrect. The earliest papyri differ greatly from the later ones. But both the earlier and the later papyri have the 149th chapter which contains another recension of the 108th, and chapter 111 in the Turin and later papyri is another form of it.

1. The Hill of Bachau. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ has for determinative the sign ⁂ which connects the word with the Coptic ⲃⲟⲩϩⲓ ‘eyelids.’ In the later texts the word has for determinative either a woman or a cow in the act of parturition, as if it were connected with ⁂⁂⁂ and its variants, with which ⁂⁂⁂⁂ another name of the Dawn is identified.

2. Presenteth itself, ⁂⁂. This Egyptian verb is always expressive of activity, and perhaps ought never to be translated 180being. ⁂ are ‘things which are,’ but ⁂⁂ are ‘things which springspring forth’ ‘come to light.’

3. The oldest text (which is here the best authority) does not give the dimensions of the hill, but only of the serpent. The earliest papyri give the dimensions of both, but make the hill so absurdly small that the serpent could not rest upon it. Later papyri beginning with Pf have corrected the texts so as to give the hill a length of 300 cubits, or ⁂ (each of which is 100 cubits long). They omit the statement that the cubit in question is of 7½ palms (the Royal cubit being of 7 palms), and also the interesting mention of the ⁂⁂⁂ “balance (or measurement) of the earth.” The relation of this ‘balance’ to the rest of the sentence is not clear, because the MSS. differ as to the preposition which precedes.

The Papyrus of Nebseni gives the hill 300 cubits in breadth. The Todtenbuch of Turin reads 370 ⁂ in length, and 140 cubits in breadth.

4. The serpent’s name is not mentioned in chapter 111, nor is it in the earliest text. But in chapter 149 the usual name is ⁂⁂⁂, more fully written ⁂⁂ in the Papyrus of Nebseni. The determinative ⁂ commonly attached to the name of Âpepi, expresses the meaning ‘sword smitten,’ ‘shot with swords,’ ξιφόκτονος. We might otherwise have understood the term in the sense of ξιφοκτόνος, ‘slayer with swords.’ The Papyrus of Sutimes Pd calls the serpent ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘knife-wounded.’

The proper name ⁂⁂⁂⁂, also written ⁂⁂⁂, Māṭes, an epithet of Âpepi, or of Sutu, also means “pierced with swords.” But the expression itself seems sometimes to be found in the active sense, “piercing like a sword.”

5. Close of Day, when daylight has come to ‘a stand⁂⁂⁂. This is the reading of the papyri. The oldest reading is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘at the time of sunset.’

6. The earliest text says nothing of this, though it mentions the “prison of Sutech,” in a passage corresponding to what the papyri include in the ‘Words of Power’ which follow. The Turin Todtenbuch 181says that, “Sutu is put into his prison, and that a chain of steel is put upon his neck.” Pictures of the serpent with the chain upon him will be found in Bonomi, Sarcoph., plates 10 and 11.[93] There is an evident fusion in this chapter, in its later form at least, as in chapter 39, of the personages of Sutu and Âpepi.

7. Thy head is veiled. The ‘veiling of the head,’ and ‘closing of the eyes’ of the sun are of course mythological terms for night time. But the mythological event was celebrated on the festival called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

8. Chapter 111 stops at the word “Sunset.” And after this, the text in chapter 149 changes the third to the first person, and reads: “But I go round the heaven whilst thou art pierced with hooks,” as if Rā were replying to the words of Sutu. This, I confess, appears to me to offer a better sense than that of chapter 108. And I should now alter the word “stabber” in the first line of chapter 39 to “pierced with hooks.”

93. On this picture (plate 11) may also be seen an interesting illustration of chapter 39; the scorpion goddess putting the chain upon Âpepi, in front of whom are the divinities to execute, with swords and hooks, the decree passed against him. The children of Horus are also seen occupied in the execution.


Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of the East.

I know that Eastern Gate of Heaven (the South of it is by the lake of Cha-ru, and the north of it by the stream of Reu), from whence Rā saileth with favouring gales.(1)

I am the Teller(2) in the divine ship: I am the unresting navigator in the Bark of Rā.

I know those two Sycomores of Emerald between which Rā cometh forth, as he advanceth over what Shu hath lifted up,[94] to every gate(3) through which he proceedeth.

I know the Garden of Aarru: the wall of it is of steel. The wheat of it is of 7 cubits, the ears of it of 2 cubits, the stalk of it of 4 cubits. The barley of it is of 7 cubits, and the ears are of 4 cubits, and the stalk of 3 cubits.

182It is the glorified ones, each of whom is 9 cubits in height, who reap them, in presence of the Powers of the East.

I know the Powers of the East: Horus of the Solar Mount, the Calf in presence of the God,(4) and the Star of Dawn.

A divine Domain(5) hath been constructed for me; I know the name of it; the name of it is the garden of Aarru.


Another recension of this chapter has been incorporated into chapter 149. The differences lie chiefly in the order assigned to each of the component sentences.

1. Favouring gales ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂sailing breezes,” correspond to phrases like ἴκμενος οὖρος, venti secundi, trade winds, tail wind, stern wind. There is not the faintest authority from the older papyri (which are very numerous, and remarkably unanimous on this point) in favour of the determinative ⁂, of the Turin Todtenbuch, which gives the sense of violent or tempestuous winds.

2. Teller, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

3. Every gate. “Rā at his rising is adored by the Powers of the East. They it is who effect the rising of Rā, by opening the door at each of the four portals of the Eastern horizon of heaven.” (Inscr. in tomb of Rameses VI, Champollion, Notices, Tom. II, p. 640.)

4. The Calf in presence of the god. The Calf is seen in the vignettes of this chapter and also of chapter 1. Brugsch (Rev. Egypt, I, p. 38) quotes texts showing that the Milch-cow ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ Hor-sechauit, is the mother of the Sun-god, and that the infant god is the calf to whom she gives birth. The words “in presence of the god” are probably corrupt, but the variants are apparently worse. The Morning Star was equally identified with Horus.

5. The divine Domain. See M. Maspero’s important article “Sur le sens des mots Nouit et Hait,” in P.S.B.A., XII, p. 235-257. “⁂ Nouit sert à désigner un domaine rural d’étendue plus ou moins considérable, portant ou ne portant pas de village ou de 183maison d’habitation.... Il était une personne réelle, formant un corps complet en soi, et c’est pour cela qu’on le représente sous la forme d’un homme ou d’une femme apportant des produits agricoles et des offrandes.”

Additional Note.

The later copies of the Book of the Dead add a few lines to the chapter, of which they certainly formed no part when first written. The most interesting portion of them is as follows:—

“There are writings in thy possession for the grant of fields of corn-land in which there sprouteth corn from the effluxes of the god Ut’eb. The height of the corn is seven cubits, the ears of two cubits; and thou shall reap it with the Glorified ones, in presence of the Powers of the East. Thou shalt enter boldly at the mysterious portals and be purified by those who are there.”

The name of the god hieroglyphically written ⁂⁂ was shown by me (Proc. Soc. Bibl. Arch., Vol. VI, p. 187) to be Uteb or Ut’eb. Brugsch, apparently without having seen my note, came to the same result, though he identified the god with Seb. The god is really Osiris, and the text just quoted is illustrated by a picture of which various copies are found. That here given is taken from the temple of Philae.

These pictures were known from the Ramesside period, but the conception of Osiris which they convey ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Todt., 142, 7) is of primitive antiquity. There is a chapter among the texts preserved by the Coffin of Amamu (pl. xxvii, 6) about “assuming the form of corn,” ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, and which speaks of “the vegetation of life proceeding from Osiris, growing out of the ribs of Osiris, and giving life to this generation of men,” ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂.

The same idea gave rise to the name ⁂⁂⁂⁂ which is given to Osiris in the Book of the Dead, in the sacred texts of the Royal Tombs, and in the Hymn to the Nile. But the god is also twice 184called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in Amamu, pl. xxvii, 8. This latter form proves that in ⁂⁂⁂⁂ we have a compound term.

The deity (in very late times) appears in the feminine gender ⁂⁂⁂ (Denkm., iv, 57).

94. I.e., the Sky.

CX. The Chapter which in the printed copy of the Turin Todtenbuch is numbered 110 interrupts the series of chapters on the Powers of certain localities. The translation of it is reserved till that of these chapters is completed. It will be found at page 193.


is only a repetition of Chapter CVIII.



Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of Pu.[(1)]

Oh thou of corpselike form who art in Chait and Ânpit;(2) thou goddess of the Net,(3) who art in Pu; ye who preside over the untilled lands, ye stars and constellations(4).... Know ye wherefore Pu hath been given to Horus?

I know it if ye know it not.

It was Râ who gave it to him in amends of the blindness in his eye, in consequence of what Râ said to Horus: “Let me look at what is happening in thine eye to-day,” and he looked at it.

Râ said to Horus, “Look, pray, at that black swine.”

He looked, and a grievous mishap afflicted his eye.

Horus said to Râ, “Lo, my eye is as though the eye of Sutu had made a wound in my own eye.” And wrath devoured his heart.

And Râ said to the gods, “Let him be laid upon his bed, that he may recover.”

It was Sutu who had taken the form of a black swine, and he wrought the wound which was in the eye of Horus.

And Râ said to the gods, “The swine is an abomination to Horus; may he get well.” And the swine became an abomination to Horus.(5)

185And the circle of gods said, who were with him when Horus came to light in his own children:(6) “Let the sacrificial victims(7) for him be of his oxen, of his goats, and of his swine.”

As for Emsta, Hapi, Tuamautef, Kebhsenuf, Horus is their father and Isis their mother.

And Horus said to Râ, “Give me then two(8) brothers in Pu and two brothers in Nechen, of this my own body; and that they may be with me as an everlasting renewal, through which the earth flourisheth and storms are quenched.”

And his name became that of Horus upon his Column.

I know the Powers of Pu: they are Horus, Emsta and Hapi.


1. On the situation of Pu, see chapter 18, note 6. The Pyramid Texts (Pepi I, 684) speak of the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ “those of the Red Crown who are in Pu.”

2. Thou of corpselike form in Chait and Ânpit. The sign of the plural, here as elsewhere, is quite consistent with its application to a single person. ⁂⁂ Chait is the name[95] of the 16th, or Mendesian, Nome of Northern Egypt, and Ânpit was its metropolis. The nome is mentioned in the inscription of Amten in the third dynasty. The god is Osiris. He is invoked in the “Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys,” and asked to come to Tattu, Ânpit and Chait, which are but different names of one Sanctuary, Cf. Brugsch, Zeitschr., 1871, p. 81, and his translation of the Mendesian Tablet, Zeitschr., 1875.

3. Thou goddess of the Net ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. This name corresponds to the Greek Diktynna. The reason why a goddess representing Heaven should be so called may be understood by the Homeric epithet πολυωπόν applied to a net.

If, however, the deity was male, according to the other reading, the reference is τὸν τῆς Ἴσιδος τρόφιμον Δίκτυν, who was drowned in the river. Plut., de Iside and Os., 8.

4. Ye who preside, etc. Brugsch (Zeitschr., 1876, p. 3) identifies the Egyptian ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ with the ψιλοτόπος of the Demotic 186and Greek contracts. The remainder of this invocation is so corrupt that the sense cannot be safely guessed at.

5. See Herodotus, II, 47, without attaching too much importance to details. The pig was certainly not considered impure (μιαρός) in the days of the third or fourth dynasty, when Amten, who had risen to the highest dignities, enumerates swine among the domestic animals it is natural to possess. And impure animals were not offered in sacrifice. But long before the days of Herodotus a change had taken place in the Egyptian religion as to the nature of Sutu.

Plutarch and Aelian are to be read with the like caution. Some of their information is correct, but it is mixed up with much error.

6. The variants ⁂⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ are noteworthy.

7. Sacrificial victims ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The substitution in Egypt of animal for human sacrifice is (I believe) entirely without foundation. And the supposed evidence of human sacrifices drawn from certain pictures has (I believe) been misinterpreted..

8. The four children of Horus were also his brothers. He asks for two of them to be with him in each of his two cities, Pu and Nechen. The true sense of the passage is entirely lost in the later recensions and in translations made from them.

95. Not Ḥāmeḥit, which is the name both of the Uu of the nome and of the goddess worshipped in it, whose emblem is the fish ⁂.


Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of Nechen.(1)

I know the Mystery of Nechen: Horus, and that which his mother did(2) for him, when she herself uttered the cry: “Let Sebak, the Lord of the Marshes, be brought to us.”

He cast the net for them and he found them, and his mother made them fast in their places.

Sebak, the Lord of the Marshes, said: “I sought and I found the traces of them under my fingers on the strand. I netted them in a powerful net, as the net proved to be.”

And Râ said: “Verily, those are fishes in the hands of Sebak. and he hath found the two arms of Horus for him, which had become fishes.”(3)

And Râ said: “A mystery, a mystery, in the Net.”

187And the hands of Horus were brought to him, and displayed before his face, on the feast of the fifteenth day of the month; when the fishes were produced.

Then Râ said: “I grant Nechen to Horus, in the place of his two arms; that his two hands be displayed before his face in Nechen; and I grant to him whatsoever is therein comprised on the feast of the fifteenth day of the month.”

And Horus said: “Be it granted to me that Tuamāutef and Kebhsenuf be taken with me, and that they be guards of my body in dutiful service.(4) Let them be this under the god of Nechen.”

And Râ said: Be that granted to thee, there and in Sati, and let that be done for them which is done for those who are in Nechen; yea, they are asking to be with thee.

And Horus said: Be they with thee, so that they be with me to listen to Sutu invoking the Powers of Nechen: “Be it granted to me that I may make my entry among the Powers of Nechen.”

I know the Powers of Nechen: they are Horus, Tuamāutef, and Kebhsenuf.


1. Nechen, the chief hieroglyphic variants of which are ⁂, ⁂, ⁂ and ⁂⁂, was situated in the third nome (⁂ Ten) of Upper Egypt, and was called by the Greeks Hieracōnpolis, ‘city of the Hawks,’ from the hawk-headed divinities mentioned in this chapter as Powers of Nechen, and of which numberless pictures are found on the monuments.

2. Between these words and those which the three old papyri[96] Aa, Ae, and Ib, which unfortunately do not agree together on all points, have a few passages here which do not appear in the later papyri. They read, “Horus and what his mother did, tossing in distressful agitation (⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⲕⲓⲙ, σαλεύεσθαι) over the water.” The mother then addresses persons who are not named, in words of which the sense is not clear; and Rā speaks words of which the only certain ones are “the son of Isis.” Then follows the usual text.

1883. This legend of Nechen is connected with that of the dismemberment of Horus (τὸ περὶ τὸν Ὥρου διαμελισμὸν), of which we have but very scanty information.[97] It must have been like a repetition of what had happened to his father Osiris. The limbs of Horus had been thrown into the water, and when Sebak threw his net, at the prayer of Isis, he brought up two fishes, into which the arms of Horus had been turned.

Reminiscences of this story are preserved in the names of several localities. ⁂, “Two Fish,” is the name of the Mer of the second Northern Nome, and of the pehu of the seventeenth Southern Nome; just as ⁂, “Two Eyes,” is the name of the pehu of the eleventh Northern Nome. The latter name may perhaps have reference to Osiris, but the same stories were probably told of both divinities.

4. On dutiful service ⁂⁂⁂, a word omitted in the Turin and other texts. Brugsch (Rev. Egypt, I, 22) has discussed the sense of this word, and quoted numerous passages in illustration of it.

It is of course ridiculous to identify the word with the Hebrew אדן the meaning of which is radically different.



Chapter whereby one knoweth the Powers of Hermopolis.

Maāt is borne(1) over the Arm,(2) and Neith dawneth at Ment’ait,(3) and the Eye is illumined(4) by the one who adjusteth its level.

I am led in by her, and I know what she bringeth from Kasu.(5) I tell it not to men; I repeat it not to gods.

I am come as a messenger of Rā, to make fast Maāt upon the Arm, for the dawning of Neith at Ment’ait, and for restoring the Eye to him who taketh the reckoning thereof.

I am come as omnipotent through the knowledge of the Powers of Hermopolis, who love the Powers which you love.

189I am one acquainted with Maāt made firm and permanent and reckoned out, and I take delight in reckoning out that which is reckoned.

Hail ye Powers of Hermopolis, small at the beginning of the month and great upon the Fifteenth Day; Rā teacheth the mysteries of Night, and be it known to you that he who teacheth me is Thoth.

Hail ye Powers of Hermopolis as I know you.


There are two chapters (114 and 116) of “the Powers of Hermopolis,” and they have been preserved separately both in the older and in the more recent papyri. They are very similar in thought but differently worded, and each throws a certain light upon the other, without however dispelling the obscurity of this very ancient religious composition. Some farther help, however insufficient, is afforded by the pictures of the Book which records the passage of the Sun-god through the twelve hours of the night.

1. Maāt is borne. ⁂⁂ is the same word as ⁂⁂⁂, the reduplicated form of ⁂⁂ to gush, spring forth. But in certain cases it acquires the sense of being borne, or conveyed, and is written ⁂⁂⁂ in Ptolemaic inscriptions. The corresponding word in chapter 116 is ⁂⁂⁂⁂, which has the same meanings. One of the pictures above alluded to (Lefébure, Hypogées, Tombeau de Seti, part IV, pl. 31) represents a boat carrying the Moon-disk, raised upon a stand.

A personage kneeling behind is supporting the feather of Maāt. The words ⁂⁂⁂, which are written by way of explanation, might give rise to some misunderstanding were it not for considerations mentioned in the following note.

2. The Arm ⁂ in chapter 114 has for corresponding word ⁂⁂⁂⁂ in chapter 116 implying that Arm is to be taken in a geographical sense, as when we speak of an ‘arm of the sea’. Now the pictures which have been spoken of have the words 190⁂⁂⁂, ‘arm of the Urnes,’ inscribed ever the stream down which the Sun-god takes his nightly journey.

These pictures have only the value of a commentary on a very ancient text, but they are at least as old as the earliest papyrus which contains the text.

3. Ment’ait ⁂⁂⁂, is the ancient reading in chapter 114, but the later texts have ⁂⁂, T’ar. Chapter 116 has ⁂⁂⁂⁂, Mat’ait.

4. Illumined. The texts are discordant as to the reading. I follow that of the two old papyri which have ⁂; though this orthography, however defensible, is somewhat suspicious.

5. Kasu. ⁂⁂⁂, the ‘Burial Place,’ was the metropolis of the 14th Nome of Southern Egypt. Dendera is called ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and in more ordinary characters ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. Like very many other geographical names, it has the feminine form in ⁂, as well as the masculine in ⁂.

96. There is a copy of the chapter in the tomb of Chā-em-hait, which is our oldest authority. But it is unfortunately mutilated, and all that can be said is, that if the additional words were once there, they have been destroyed.

97. The Apis tablets (Zeitschr., 1882, p. 22) give the name of a place Pa-ḳerḳ-en Ḥor, which seems to refer to this catastrophe; the Coptic ⲕⲟⲣϫ, ⲕⲱⲣϫ corresponding to the Greek ἐκκόπτειν, ἐκκλὰν, κατασπᾶσθαι.


Chapter whereby one cometh forth into Heaven, and openeth the Ammehit: and whereby the Powers of Heliopolis are known.

I have grown from yesterday, a Great one among the Great. I have raised myself above all things that come into being.

The Face is revealed to the Eye of the Only One, and the round of darkness is broken through. I am one of you.

I know the Powers of Heliopolis. Doth not the All-powerful One(1) issue from it like one who extendeth a hand to us?

It is with reference to me that the gods say: Lo, the afflicted one is heir of Heliopolis!

I know on what occasion the Lock of the Male child(2) was made.

191Rā was speaking with Amhauf,(3) and a blindness came upon him.

Rā said to Amhauf: Take the spear, oh offspring of Men.(4) And Amhauf said: The spear is taken.

Two brethren came into being: they were Heb-rā and Sotemanes, whose arm resteth not; and he assumed the form of a female with a lock, which became the Lock in Heliopolis.

Active and powerful is the heir of the temple; the Active one of Heliopolis. The flesh of his flesh(5) is the All-seer, for he hath the might divine as the Son whom the Father hath begotten. And his will is that of the Mighty one of Heliopolis.

I know the Powers of Heliopolis; they are Rā, Shu and Tefnut.


The ancient text of this chapter has most unfortunately been lost. A few words only remain in the fragments of Papyrus Pm. M. Naville has also published what is found on an ostracon of the time of the XVIIIth dynasty. There is no doubt that the form of the text which has been handed down in the later papyri has suffered great alterations. And a comparison between the Turin and Cadet papyri shows in how untrustworthy a way this later form of the text has been transmitted.

Special attention has been given to this chapter by Mr. Goodwin (Zeitschr., 1873, p. 104), and by M. Lefébure (Mélanges D’Arch., 1874, p. 155), whose work is very much more valuable than that of his English colleague. But the most important study bearing on the relations between the older and the more recent recension is that of M. Naville, ‘Un ostrakon égyptien,’ in the first volume of the Annales du Musée Guimet.

1. All powerful One, ⁂⁂. M. Naville observes that this is substituted for ⁂⁂, which is found on the ostrakon. Both terms are divine names; the latter corresponding to the Greek πολυδερκής or πανδερκής, was the title of the high priest of Heliopolis, who, like his priestly colleagues all over Egypt, bore the titles of the god whom they represented.

2. The Lock of the Male child, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, is not a ‘curly wigged woman,’ as generally interpreted, but the side lock 192borne by Horus, and princes and princesses, as well as by other priests and priestesses, in honour of Horus.

3. Amhauf. See emendation proposed infra at chapter 125, note 33.

4. O offspring. I follow the Papyrus Luyne in omitting the preposition ⁂.

5. The flesh of his flesh, or the heir of his heir. This may perhaps be an assertion as to the hereditary succession of the high priest of Heliopolis.


Chapter whereby one knoweth the Power of Hermopolis.

Neith dawneth forth in Mat’at, and Maāt is conveyed upon the Arm of the Eater of the Eye by him who reckoneth it out.

I know it, and I am therefore led in through the Sem priest.

I tell it not to men, I repeat it not to the gods (and conversely).

I enter as one who knoweth not, and seeth not.

Hail, ye gods who are in Hermopolis. Know ye me as I know Neith, that the Eye may be made firm and permanent. I take delight in reckoning out that which is reckoned.

I know the Powers of Hermopolis who are great at the beginning of the month, and diminished at the fifteenth day.

They are Thoth the Unseen, Sau and Tmu.

If this chapter be known, filth is avoided, and lye is not drunken.


This is the last of the chapters concerning the Powers of certain places. Of their positive antiquity there can be no doubt, whatever alterations they may have undergone. But they are relatively modern with respect to other chapters, e.g, the 17th. Mr. Goodwin used to compare them with Christian legends of the mediæval period. These are ancient enough as far as we ourselves are concerned, but no one would think of judging by them of primitive Christianity.



The Beginning of the Chapters of the Garden of Hotepit, and of the Chapters of coming forth by day; and of entering and coming forth in the Netherworld, and of arriving at the Garden of Aarru, at the Rise(1) in Hotepit and at the Grand Domain, blest with the breezes: that I may take possession there and be in Glory there: that there I may plough and mow: that there I may eat and drink and love: doing whatsoever things are done upon earth.

Horus is seized by Sutu: who looketh as one turning(2) towards the Garden of Hotepit.

But for me Sutu releaseth Horus: and the double path which is nigh to Heaven is thrown open by Sutu. And Sutu taketh his portion of the breeze through the Power of his own day,(3) and he delivereth the bowels of Horus from the gods below.

Lo, I sail the great Bark on the Stream of the god Hotep. I took it at the mansion of Shu.

The mansion of his stars is again and again renewed.(4) I sail upon its streams that I may come to the domains thereof.

For I am in unison with his successive changes and his rules, and his papyrus,(5) and his attendant gods, and his chieftains. He reconcileth the two Warrior gods with those who have the charge of food and the beautiful creation which he raiseth up; and he reconcileth the two Warrior gods with each other.(6)

He severeth the mourners from those who quarrel with them: he putteth a stop to them whose hand is violent against those weaker than themselves: he keepeth within bounds the contentions of the Powers.

May I have possession there.

I know it, and I sail upon its streams that I may come to the domains thereof.

My mouth is potent and secured against the Glorified that they may not have the mastery of me.

May I have the investiture of thy Garden, O Hotep. What thou willest, do thou it.

Let me be glorified there, and eat and drink there, and plough there, and reap there, and grind(7) there, and have my fill of love there.

194May my mouth be potent there, let me there utter my Words of Power and not be slighted.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *

I am in possession of that Word of Power of mine which is the most potent one within this body of mine here: and by means of it I make myself either known or unknown.

I make my progress and I plough.

I take my rest in the divine Domain.

I know the names of the domains, the districts and the streams within the Garden of Hotep.

I am there, I am master there, I am in glory there, I eat there; I plant and I reap there; I plough there, and I take my fill of love. I am united there with the god Hotep.

I cast my seed there, and I sail upon its stream that I may come to the domains thereof, O Hotep.

Lo, my mouth is armed with sharp points. There is given to me the abundance which belongeth to the Ka and to the Glorified.

I give the reckoning of Shu to him who understandeth it.

I sail upon its stream, and I range within the Garden of Hotep, for Rā is in the sky, and Hotep is putting together the oblations.

I hasten to the land, and I fasten my stole upon me, that I may come forth, and that that may be given to me which hath to be given; that I may have joy and take possession of the wealth which Hotep assigneth to me.

Rise in Hotep, I arrive in thee, my soul is with me, and my provision is before the Mistress of the Two Earths, who maketh fast my Words of Power, which recall to mind that which I have forgotten. Let me live free from strife; and be there granted to me enlargement of heart.

Let my arteries be made fast, and let me have the enjoyment of the Breeze.(8)

Rise in Hotep, blest with the Breeze, I arrive in thee, my head is uncovered: Rā sleepeth, but there waketh for me, and there shineth upon me Hesit [the Cow-goddess](9) who lieth at the confines of Heaven by night.

He standeth in my way who heapeth against me his own dross.

But I am in my own domain.

Great Domain, I arrive in thee and I reckon up the abundance as I pass on to Uach.(10)

195I am the Bull, raised on high in the Blue; the lord of the Bull’s field; which Sothis describeth to me at her successive hours.

Uach, I arrive in thee, and I eat my cakes, and take possession of my joints of flesh and meat and fowl.

The winged things of Shu are given to me, and my Kau follow me.(11)

T’efait,(12) I arrive in thee, I put on the stole and fasten upon me the girdle of Rā, whilst he is in heaven,(13) and the gods who are in heaven are following Rā.

Rise in Hotep, Lord of the Two Earths, I arrive in thee: I salute the stream of T’eserit.(14) Lo, here am I, and all impurity is far from me. The great one flourisheth ... I net the ducks, and I eat dainties.

Kankanit,(15) I arrive in thee; that I may see my father and attentively view my mother.

I take care to net the reptiles; and that which protecteth me is that I know the name of that god who is next to T’eserit (goddess with flowing locks and armed with horns), and who reapeth.

I myself plough and reap.

Hesit, I arrive in thee, and I encounter the Blue.

I follow the Breezes, and the company of the gods.

It is the Great goddess who hath given me my head, and he who fasteneth my head upon me is the Great god, the Blue-eyed, who doeth according to his own will.

Userit,(16) I arrive in thee, in face of the mansion where food is produced for me.

Smait,(17) I arrive in thee. My heart is awake: my head is provided with the White crown and I am conveyed over the heavens: and I make those things to prosper which are below me: a joy to the Bull of the gods above, the divine company.

I am the Bull, the Lord of the gods; and I make my way through the midst of the Emerald ones.(18)

Isle of Corn and Barley, divine district, I arrive in thee. I encounter and I bear off that which proceedeth from the head of Rā: the pair of horns which have the force of purification.(19)

I make myself fast to the Block of Moorage on the heavenly stream, and I utter my praise to the gods who are in the Garden of Hotepit.


The text of this chapter handed down by the Turin papyrus and those which agree with it contains nothing very difficult for a translator, but on being compared with the older copies it is found to consist of a collection of small fragments of the older text put together without any regard to their original order or context. And about three-quarters of the old chapter are suppressed in the new recension.

The editors of the fine papyrus of Sutimes in their notes upon this chapter remark, that in the Turin text the sentences are in quite a different order from that of their papyrus, “On peut y voir,” they say, “l’effet de lectures et de transcriptions en rebours du sens, par des scribes ayant mal compris les éditions en colonnes rétrogrades.”

This is, curiously enough, the very fault of the papyrus of Sutimes itself, which is here wrong from beginning to end,[98] though probably derived from an excellent original. It begins with the “Isle of Corn and Barley,” and jumbles together quite incoherent sentences.

The oldest copy of the chapter yet discovered is that of the Tomb of Chā-em-hait, at Thebes, and by a strange fatality it has been published in such a form that in order to read it correctly, we must begin with what is printed as line 11 and finish with line 1. We have it also in a very incomplete condition. We miss the first eighteen lines contained in the papyrus of Nebseni and the last words of every line.

The papyrus of Nebseni is the only complete text we have, and here as well as elsewhere it is extremely incorrect. Some parts are so corrupt that a translation must necessarily be dependent upon conjectural emendations which can have no genuine claim upon the reader’s confidence. We must be content with waiting till better authorities are discovered.

The Gardens of Hotepit and Aarru are the Paradise, Elysian Fields and Islands of the Blessed of the Egyptian imagination.[99] They were supposed to be situated in the neighbourhood of the rising Sun, but certain features were apparently suggested by the islets of the Delta.

197The usual meaning of the word Ḥotepit, ⁂⁂,[100] when written according to the orthography of the Pyramid Texts, is oblations, offerings. This, however, is only a derived meaning. The word really only expresses a predicate of the things offered, as putting together, uniting, reconciling; ⁂ Ḥotep might signify Rest, or Peace; very appropriate names for such a garden. ⁂⁂ is the name of a god who dwells here.[101] There is also a goddess here called Ḥotepit ⁂⁂⁂, mentioned in the Pyramid inscription of Pepi I (line 423), as mother of the great Scarab: and the same name is given to Hathor in the temple of Dendera. The name of Ḥotep (with different determinatives[102]) belongs to one of the islands of this blissful place.

The Pyramid Texts furnish some interesting information not contained in the Book of the Dead. We are told that the approach to the Garden is over the Lake of Putrata (see chapter 40, note 1), that there is a great lake (? that of Konsit) in the middle of the Garden of Ḥotepit, upon which the great gods alight, and that the Achmiu Sekiu, the starry deities who never set, there feed the departed from the wood of life (⁂⁂⁂⁂ lignum vitæ) “upon which they themselves live, in order that he too may live.” Shu and Tefnut are mentioned as divinities of this place. But perhaps the most remarkable fact is that Horus had enemies even here, who, however, were annihilated by the divine weapons at the disposal of the departed worthy, who was led there in order that “he might sit among the stars in heaven.”

And here it was that the beatified personage sat upon his throne of steel, which was decorated in front with faces of the lion-god ⁂⁂⁂⁂ Maaḥes, the feet of it being the hoofs of the great 198Bull Sma-urà, and extended his hand to the coming generation of men (the ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂), whilst the gods approached him in submissive attitude, and made offerings to him. It was, perhaps, from these offerings that the Garden derived its name.

The Garden of Aarru, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ is often mentioned in connection with that of Ḥotepit, and may perhaps be considered as the most notable part of it. It is through its Gate that the Sun-god rises up into Heaven.

It takes its name from a plant ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧarru (later, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, B.M. 551; ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, Ag, Chapter 17; ⁂⁂⁂⁂,[103] Ba, Chapter 110, by phonetic dissimilation of rr into nr). The usual form in later times is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, but we find even shorter forms in ⁂⁂, B.M. 32, and ⁂⁂⁂. The determinative ⁂ of a reptile, indicates a creeping, climbing, twining plant, such as the convolvulus, hop, or vine.[104]

199The term ‘Garden’ implies in this connection nothing more than a cultivated enclosure.

The names of different localities which are invoked by the deceased and appear on the vignette of the chapter, have here been made prominent by means of heavy type.

1. Rise in Hotepit, or (later on) Hotep, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is the name of one of the localities. The word ⁂ as I have often said, has the sense of rising up, coming to light, making an appearance, and like the Greek φαίνομαι is especially applicable to the appearance of daybreak, or the rise of the heavenly bodies.

2. Turning, ⁂. The group has the apparent sense of building, but the primitive sense is turning, as in the making of pottery. The preposition ⁂ which follows it in this place seems to show that building is not meant.

3. This, of course, sounds like nonsense, but so does the original as it has come down to us. The papyrus of Ani, which reads ⁂⁂⁂, forces the sense of day upon the sign ⁂, which in the sense of turn would have been far more intelligible. There was the ‘Portion of Sutu,’ and the ‘Portion of Horus,’ each being half the world, topographically, or half the twenty-four hours as regards time.

I suspect that ‘day’ is a faulty interpretation of the ambiguous ⁂, and that the true sense of the passage is that Sutu is satisfied with the share which comes to his turn, and thereupon delivers Horus from imprisonment in the lower world. The perplexity, or ignorance of the copyists is seen in the very next words. One has 200‘he who is in Merit,’ others ‘he who is in my mouth,’ and two ‘he who is in the egg,’ if this be the sense of the very questionable group ⁂⁂⁂⁂, which looks like a mistake for ⁂⁂⁂, a well known title of Anubis.

4. Again and again renewed ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

5. His papyrus. So the word ⁂ meḥit, which occurs in the rubric of Chapter 134, has hitherto been translated. But the vases ⁂ or ⁂, as determinatives, rather imply ‘inkstand’ or ‘palette for holding colour.’ In this place it is the writing itself and not the material, paper, ink or inkstand, which is meant. And from the entire context Thoth is the god who is spoken of.

6. He reconcileth the two Warrior gods with each other, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The final words en ȧru-sen show the origin of the Coptic form ⲛ̀ ... ⲉⲣⲏⲟⲩ invicem.

7. Grind ⁂⁂⁂, the Coptic from of which is ⲥⲓⲕⲓ. From the notion of ‘reducing to powder,’ that of the frequent word ⁂⁂⁂ ‘wearing away,’ ‘decay,’ is derived.

8. Let my arteries be made fast, and let me have the enjoyment of the Breeze, or that I may have enjoyment. The oldest meaning of the word artery, ἀρτηρία, in Hippocrates, Aristotle and the earlier Latin writers is wind-pipe, and, in the plural, air-ducts. But, even when the word was also applied to what we call arteries, these were supposed to convey air whilst the veins conveyed blood. “Sanguis per venas in omne corpus diffunditur et spiritus per arterias” is the classic doctrine in Cicero (de Natura Deorum, 2, 55). Pliny says (Nat. Hist., XI, 89), “arteriae carent sensu: nam et sanguine.” This error is corrected by Galen, who has a treatise on the question “Whether Blood is naturally (κὰτα φύσιν) contained in the arteries?” The error of the ancients arose from the arteries always being found empty after death. The blood flowing from a wound inflicted upon them was inferred to have been intruded into them by the rupture of the veins. The Egyptian doctrine of the ‘arteries’ ⁂⁂⁂ (Coptic ϩⲁⲛⲙⲟⲩⲧ) in the head, by means of which air is conveyed to all parts of the person, was first found by 201M. Chabas in the Berlin Medical papyrus. The passage of the Book of the Dead on which this note is written is no doubt the earliest allusion to the doctrine.

9. Hesit [the Cow-goddess] ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂ is one of the many names of Isis or Hathor. She is represented as suckling her son Horus (see picture in Lanzone, p. 844), and it is this which characterizes her and from which she derives her name. She is asked on the Louvre tablet (c. 14) for “the white liquor which the glorified ones love.” This is distinctly called ‘milk’ on the Florentine tablet 2567, and vases of her milk are mentioned (Dümichen, Resultate, 27, 6) in the inscriptions of Dendera. A picture of her given in Dümichen’s Historische Inschriften (II, 32) identifies her with Hathor, and calls her “divine mother, mistress of heaven and sovereign of the gods,” while others call her “the divine mother and fair nurse.”

There can be no doubt about the right reading of the name which is Ḥesit; the ⁂ is written in so many texts (see Pepi, I, 306, Amamu, 21, 1, Lepsius, Auswahl, IX, and the form ⁂⁂⁂ at Philae), that there is no reason for confounding the name with that of ḥetemit. We must therefore attach no importance to this latter name when applied in the vignette of the Turin Todtenbuch to one of the divine abodes which bears the name of the goddess, and is written exactly like it.

10. Uach ⁂⁂⁂⁂ blooming, flowering.

11. The winged things of Shu are given to me, and my Kau follow me.

⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂, is a word of very rare occurrence. Birch and Naville understood it of the netting, and Brugsch, of the pluming of birds. Both meanings may be disputed, but whatever Shu did, was done to birds, and these are said to be given to the deceased.

The prayer that a person may travel over the blissful parts, followed by his kau ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, is repeatedly found on the early monuments. Several papyri say that the deceased is followed by ‘the gods and the kau.’

20212. T’efait ⁂⁂, an abode abounding in ⁂⁂⁂⁂ delicacies.

13. He is in heaven ⁂⁂⁂. The reading ⁂ to which Brugsch at one time attached much importance, has turned out to be one of the many blunders of the text of Sutimes. But the true reading is not without its difficulties. If ⁂⁂ is taken as equivalent to ⁂⁂ we have a strange anticipation of a change in language of which the “enigmatical” texts of the royal tombs[105] give the first intimation, but which first becomes conspicuous in the demotic period. In a previous passage we have ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, where Nebseni has ⁂⁂⁂. But the important preposition ⁂ had already dropped out of the earlier text of Chāemhait. The demonstrative particle ⁂⁂ which occurs in both places may be rendered ‘there [he is],’ ‘le voilà.’

14. I salute the stream of T’eserit: a corrupt passage like so many others in this chapter. The first word ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ‘salute’ is rare but correct and well attested. The proper name is but one of the contradictory readings. It has, however, the advantage of being a real name and suitable to the passage, being that of a goddess mentioned in connection with the next abode. ⁂⁂⁂ T’eserit is a name corresponding to the classical Ἀγλαιαv or Clara.[106] In the texts of the Royal Tombs she is named as goddess in ⁂⁂ Cher-āba. And here[107] she is depicted as the 203goddess with long or flowing locks (εὐπλόκαμος) and armed with horns. She is one of the forms of Isis or Hathor.

15. Kankanit is etymologically akin to the verb of beating (see Chapter 17, note 20), but there is no reason from the notice here to suppose that this was a place of punishment.

16. Userit ⁂⁂⁂ is one of the commonest appellatives of Isis, especially in the later texts. The names of all these abodes, situated in that region of the sky where the sun rises, are derived from the notion of daybreak.

17. Smait, another of these appellatives, see Chapter 62, note 1.

18. The Emerald ones ⁂⁂⁂⁂, those who are in the emerald light of the dawn. The sun rises (Chapter 109) through two sycomores of emerald.

19. Which have the force of purification ⁂⁂⁂⁂. The syllable āb expresses the word signifying horn as well as that signifying purification.

The vignettes of the chapter which are here given from different authorities are explained in their proper place.

98. See M. Naville’s remarks, Einleitung, p. 156.

99. Mission Arch., I, p. 125.

100. Also written = ⁂⁂ (Unas, 422 and elsewhere).

101. The garden is also called ⁂⁂⁂. Another form is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Pepi I, 309).

102. ⁂⁂ Nebseni, ⁂⁂ Sutimes, ⁂⁂ in all the later papyri.

103. Compared with ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ in the papyrus of Nesichonsu, published by M. Maspero, Miss. Arch., I, p. 612.

104. The Pyramid Texts have the invocations (Unas, 597), “Hail to thee, Horus, in the domains of Horus; Hail to thee, Sutu, in the domains of Sutu; Hail to thee, Lion (⁂⁂⁂ Ȧar), in the Garden of Aarru.”

Another derivation is suggested in the “Destruction of Mankind,” line 39, ⁂⁂⁂ (as I read it) an augmented form of ⁂⁂, ar, which does not mean pluck, as in Brugsch’s translation, but bind, fasten, twine, nectere, constringere, convolvere. This sense would explain the ancient determinatives ⁂, ⁂, and lead to still more interesting results. For the ancient word ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ȧarerit, ‘a vine,’ has thus clearly the same etymological sense as our European word vine. “Vî-num ... attaches itself to vî-tis, vî-men, vî-tex, and—exactly like the Greek ϝοῖ-νος—to the Indo-Greek root vei, ‘to twine.’ So that vî-no means first ‘creeper,’ then ‘fruit of the creeper,’ finally ‘drink‘drink made from the fruit of the creeper’” (O. Schrader, Prehistoric Antiquities, 324).

Philological speculation might make a further advance.

As ⁂⁂⁂ ȧar, is to ⁂⁂ ār, so perhaps is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧarru to ⁂⁂ āru. The first two groups are not phonetically identical, but they are certainly allied and have very much the same meaning; the last has, with some probability, been identified with the Vine-branch, and that, in conjunction with the text ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (see Zeitschr., 1878, p. 107, and the plate corresponding). “The Vine-plant is Osiris.” The Greeks, or some of them at least, identified Osiris with Dionysos (Plutarch, de Iside et Osiride, 34, 35). The god is sometimes (as in the papyrus of Nebseni) sitting in a naos under a vine, from which bunches of grapes are hanging.

105. Here we already have ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. See my article in the Zeitschr., 1874, p. 102.

106. It is also the name of a liquid substance ⁂⁂, ⁂⁂, a produce of the cow, such as cream or clarified butter. It occurs in all the lists of offerings.

107. A reference to M. Naville’s collation of this chapter (line 40), will show the corruption and uncertainty of the text which precedes the name of the goddess. If we look beyond the authorities given by M. Naville, the difficulties are multiplied. The papyrus of Queen Net’emit in the Louvre, for instance, instead of ⁂⁂⁂⁂ etc., reads, ⁂⁂⁂.


Chapter whereby one taketh the blissful path at Restau.(1)

O paths which are high above me at Restau: I am the Girdled(2) and the Mighty one, coming forth triumphantly.(3)

I am come: I am come that I may firmly secure my suit in Abydos,(4) and that the path may be open to me at Restau.

Let my suit be made pleasant for me by Osiris.

I am he who produceth the water which balanceth his throne, and who maketh his way from the Great Valley.(5)

Let the path be made for me; for behold I am N the triumphant.(6)

[Osiris is made triumphant over his adversaries, and the Osiris N is made triumphant over his adversaries, and is as one of you, his patron(7) is the Lord of Eternity: he walketh even as ye walk, he standeth as ye stand, he speaketh as ye speak, before the great god, the Lord of Amenta.]


1. This chapter and the following have reference to Restau, one of the Gates between the Netherworld and Heaven.

It is not mentioned in the most ancient recension of chapter 17 (from which my translation was taken), but in all the papyri of the eighteenth and later dynasties it is stated that Restau was a gate south of An-aaref and north of the “Domain (⁂⁂⁂) of Osiris.”

The papyrus of Ani has this picture of it,

but the most interesting representations of it are in the Dublin papyrus (D. a), where the Sun god is seen passing between the folding doors, and in the papyrus of Hunefer (A. g), where the doors are also open and the god is sitting between them. (See Plates VI, 11 and VIIb.)

The name Restau ⁂⁂⁂ (the feminine form ⁂⁂⁂ is more frequent in later texts) signifies Gate of the passages. These are the passages guarded by the faithful attendants of Osiris, but armed with “hurtful fingers” against the adversaries of Rā, against whose onslaught the deceased prays Rā for protection in chapter 17.

A mystical interpretation will be found in chapter 119 and note.

2. Girdled, or stoled, ⁂⁂. On the importance attached to this ritual investiture, the following references may (among many others) be useful: Unas 66, Teta 149, Pepi I, 395, Merenrā 190, 205Todt. 125 (rubric), 145, 25. The deceased prays (Chapter 82, 4) that he may be girt by the goddess Tait. A passage in Todt. 78, 26 (Turin text) would be of greater interest were it not an emendation of those who no longer understood the ancient text.

3. Coming forth triumphantly. This is the reading of the oldest authority (Nebseni), but the reading which has prevailed, not only here, but in Chapter 147, is “coming forth from the Crown,” ⁂⁂⁂.

4. That I may firmly secure my suit at Abydos. The scholion on Chapter 17, referred to in note 1, states that the “place of Maāt is at Abydos.” It is, of course, the mystical, not the geographicalgeographical, Abydos which is meant, and the suit ⁂⁂ (res) which has to be settled is the final judgment of the deceased.

5. The throne of Osiris in pictures of the Psychostasia (see Vignettes to Chapter 125) rests upon water, out of which there springs a lotus flower; and upon this flower stand the four children of Horus. In a passage of chapter 147, which is an adaptation of the present chapter, the deceased says ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ La, “I am he whose stream is secret.” And a Pyramid Text (Merenrā, 188, 193) after mention of the Great Valley ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and of the investiture (⁂) proceeds, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, “thy water, thy fresh current, is a great inundation proceeding from thee.” Here the deceased is identified with the Nile and its inundation, as in Chapter 64 of the Book of the Dead.

6. The chapter ends here. The passage which follows in the translation is taken from the Paris papyrus Pe.

7. Patron, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, a word supposed by some scholars to signify uncle. It occurs on funereal monuments among the designations of persons connected with the deceased, such as brother, sister, nurse. A man may have several bearing the designation, and they are not necessarily children of the same parents (see e.g., Mariette, Cat. d’Abydos, p. 110, where a man has five chenemesu, who cannot all be brothers either of his father or his mother). The word occurs repeatedly in the Prisse papyrus. I am inclined to think it means the legal guardian of a minor.



Chapter whereby one arriveth at Restau.

I am he who is born in Restau.

Glory is given to me by those who are in their mummied forms in Pu, at the sanctuary of Osiris, whom the guards(1) receive at Restau when they conduct Osiris through the demesnes of Osiris.


1. Guards, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ ȧaku, the same personages as those mentioned in Chapter 28, note 2, and they seem to me to be identical with the “wardens of the passages,” Chapter 17, “attendant upon Osiris.” There is an imperfect tablet of the 12th dynasty at Hamamāt (Denkm., II, 138, c) in which thirty ⁂⁂⁂ are mentioned along with the soldiers and other persons belonging to the expedition. The Pyramid Texts have the word ⁂⁂ but apparently with a determinative of salutation, ⁂. (Pepi I, 160, cf. line 82.)


Chapter whereby one entereth or goeth forth from Restau.

I am the Mighty one, who createth his own light.

I come to thee, Osiris, and I worship thee.

Pure are thine effluxes,(1) which flow from thee,(2) and which make thy name in Restau, when it hath passed there.

Hail to thee, Osiris, in thy power and thy might, who hast possession of Restau.

Osiris raiseth thee up in thy power and in thy might. Osiris raiseth thee up in thy power in Restau, and in thy might in Abydos, that thou mayest go round heaven with Rā, and survey the human race.[108]

One art thou and triumphant.


1. Pure are thine effluxes. The true reading is ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, a phrase which recurs in these texts. The suffix ⁂ of the first person, which is sometimes added to the first word, would give the sense “thine effluxes are my purification.” On the meaning of ⁂⁂⁂, see 63 B63 B, note 4. At the end of Chapter 149 the deceased prays, “let me be joined, let me be united with the sap which proceedeth from Osiris; let me not be parted from him.”

2. Which flow from thee. ⁂⁂⁂⁂, sta, which has here the same meaning as when the Nile is said (Denkm., III, 13) to flow into the Great Sea, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂. The name of Restau is here derived from the effluxes flowing (stau) from Osiris.

The various meanings of ⁂⁂⁂⁂, and of the Coptic ⲥⲉⲧ, are all traceable to the notion of sending forth, throwing, and are easily illustrated from the Greek. Thus ἐκβάλλειν is used for the discharge of a river into the sea; ἐκβολαὶ are ‘passes, passages.’ Doors are secured by pushing the bolts, μοχλοὺς ἐπιβάλλειν; they are opened by shooting back the bolt, ⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Mariette, Abydos, p. 58). ⁂⁂⁂⁂ is exactly the reverse of ἐπιβάλλειν σφραγῖδα. ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂, ⲥⲟⲧ, stercus is an ἐκβολή, dejectio. And ⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂, ⲥⲀϯ, ⲥⲟⲧⲉ, βέλος, βολὶς, ⁂⁂⁂, ⲥⲁⲧ, seminare, and ever so many others are all determinations of one and the same concept.

In such passages as ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ and the like, sta has the sense not of towing, but of πομπή, ‘solemn procession.’ It occurs even where towing is out of question, e.g., in the march of military men ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ (Tombs of Amenemheb and Pehsukher, Miss. Arch. Française, V, pp. 229 and 289).

And ⁂⁂ string, rope is connected with the notion of ‘throwing’ like our own warp with werfen (Goth. vairp-an) and ῥίπ-τω.

108. The ⁂⁂⁂⁂, Rechit, mankind actually, living, as distinguished from the dead or yet unborn.

208Chapter CXX is a repetition of Chapter XII.

Chapter CXXI is a repetition of Chapter XIII.

Chapter CXXII is a repetition of Chapter LVIII.


Chapter(1) whereby one entereth into the Great House.

Hail to thee, O Tmu, I am Thoth.

I have equally balanced the Divine Pair, I have put a stop to their strife, I have ended their complaints.

I have rescued the Âtu from his backward course.

I have done what thou hast prescribed for him.

And I rest since then within my own Eye.

I am free from obstruction; and I come that thou mayest see me in the house where I repeat the ancient ordinances and words, as a guidance wherewith thou shalt guide posterity.(2)


1. This chapter (which is repeated in Chapter 139) is like the repetition of an important passage in Chapter 110. But the differences are very considerable, and it is for criticism to decide the question of priority between the two recensions.

Whichever be the earlier recension, the present one is of very great interest and importance. It is found on two of the most carefully written papyri of the eighteenth dynasty. But the most interesting feature is the mythological allusion at this date (at latest) to an astronomical phenomenon, with reference to which later researches may furnish fresh evidence.

The speaker in this chapter is said (not merely implied, as in Chapter 110, see note 5) to be Thoth, who is the measurer of all things in heaven and earth, and the author and regulator of all science. He is here said to have established the equilibrium ⁂⁂⁂ between the Divine Pair, Horus and Sutu; that is Day and Night. Such an equilibrium, strictly speaking, never exists except at the Equinoxes.

But the most important passage is, “I have rescued the Âtu from his backward course.” The ⁂⁂⁂ Âtu is a mythological 209fish, who is represented as following the course of the Bark of Rā. The meaning of the name is, the Cleaver, Divider, Cutter in two ⁂⁂. It is one of the appellatives of the Sun-god, with reference to his path through the sky. But what is that solar phenomenon specially deserving to be characterised by its motion backwards ⁂⁂⁂?

I do not think any astronomer would hesitate to answer, that Precession is meant. The cause of Precession could only be known to really scientific philosophers (which is out of question in this case), but the phenomena would necessarily be noted by those who had important interests in keeping their calendar correct.[109] Even the Chinese, by dint of records and without any mathematics, came to infer the precession of the equinoxes; so did the Egyptians apparently at a very much earlier period; and Hipparchus, who has the credit of the discovery, may have learnt it from them.

Although ⁂⁂ is commonly represented as a fish, the same name is given to a Crustacean ⁂, ⁂ whose organs of locomotion are specially adapted for backward motion.

Rescuing the Âtu from its backward course” can mean nothing less than being able to correct or (in technical language) to equate the phenomena.

It might perhaps be suggested that the backward course here spoken of has reference to the year of 360 days, corrected at an early period by the addition of the five supplementary days. This would certainly have been a very probable explanation of the clause, but for the direct connection which this has with what precedes, concerning the equilibrium between Day and Night; that is, the Equinox.

2. Posterity, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ literally, minores. The word in the present context seems to have a different meaning from 210what it has in Chapter 110, where it is put in contrast with ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ violent ones, against whom Thoth interposes his protection.



Chapter whereby one cometh to the Divine Circle of Osiris.

My soul buildeth for me a Hall(1) in Tattu and I flourish in Pu.

My fields are ploughed by those who belong to me: therefore is my palm tree like Amsu.

Abominations, abominations, I eat them not. I abominate filth, I eat it not.

[Peace offerings are my food, by which I am not upset.]

I approach it not with my hands; I tread not upon it with my sandals; for my bread is of the white corn and my beer of the red corn of the Nile.

It is the Sektit boat, or it is the Atit boat, which bringeth them to me, and I feed upon them under the foliage of the Tamarisk.(2)

I know how beautiful are the arms which announce Glory for me(3) and the white crown which is lifted up by the divine Uræi.

O thou Gate-keeper of him who pacifieth the world, let that be brought to me of which oblations are made, and grant that the floors may be a support for me, and that the glorious god may open to me his arms, and that the company of gods be silent whilst the Hammemit(4) converse with me.

O thou who guidest the hearts of the gods, protect me and let me have power in heaven among the starry ones.

And every divinity who presenteth himself to me, be he reckoned to the forerunners of Rā: be he reckoned to the forerunners of Light and to the Bright ones who deck the sky amid the Mighty ones.

Let me have my will there of the Bread and Beer with the gods; that I enter through the Sun-disk and come forth through the Divine Pair, that the gods who follow may speak to me, and that Darkness and Night may be terrified before me in Mehit-urit, by the side of him “Who is in his Sanctuary.”

211And lo I am here with Osiris. My measure is his measure(5) among the mighty ones. I speak to him the words of men and I repeat to him the words of gods.

There cometh a glorified one, equipped, who bringeth Maāt to those who love her.

I am the Glorified one and the Equipped. And better equipped am I than any of the Glorified.


1. Hall ⁂,⁂[,⁂⁂⁂, or ⁂⁂ ḫent, the πρόναος, πρόδομος, ‘Vorsaal,’ first room of a temple or palace. The sense of harîm which has been ascribed to it in certain texts is entirely erroneous. The temple inscriptions (see Brugsch, Zeitschr., 1875, p. 118, and fol., and Mariette, Denderah, I, 6) leave no doubt on the subject. If there were “ladies of the royal antechamber,” it by no means follows that they were wives or concubines of the king, and hall or antechamber convey a very different idea from that of the most reserved portion of the house.[110]

Pictures and inscriptions on mummy cases identify the term mythologically with that portion of the sky whence the first rays of the rising sun are visible.

The mention of the word in the Pyramid Texts (Pepi, I, 672) is in connection with the notion of food, ⁂⁂.

2. We have here a repetition of passages to the same effect as in Chapters 53 (A and B) and others. The Pyramid Texts (Teta, 344) have a section nearly identical.

3. The arms which announce Glory for me. The clue to the meaning of this passage is to be found in ⁂, which is a relative form implying an antecedent, which can only be “the arms.”

212The arms which announce Glory for me are to be explained by the usages of the ancient ritual, which prescribed certain postures or attitudes in the ceremony of ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, as in other forms wherein the arms played a great part. These religious ceremonies it must always be remembered, were considered as dramatic representations of what was done in the invisible world.

4. The Hammemit, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, or ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂, the generations of human beings yet unborn.

5. My measure is his measure. The meaning of ⁂⁂⁂⁂ or ⁂⁂⁂⁂⁂ can only be inferred from the form ⁂⁂⁂⁂ which occurs repeatedly in the great Harris Papyrus and some other documents.

The scribe of the Turin Todtenbuch carelessly omitted the second part of the phrase, and therefore altered the grammatical construction. This is how M. Pierret came to conjecture the sense ‘proclaim,’ which is not suggested by any of the ancient authorities, or even by the later ones. The reading of the Leyden Papyrus T, 16 is identical with that of the oldest papyrus.

109. “The amount of this motion by which the equinox travels backward, or retrogrades (as it is called), is per annum an extremely minute quantity, but which, by its continual accumulation from year to year, at last makes itself very palpable, and that in a way highly inconvenient to practical astronomers, by destroying, in the lapse of a moderate number of years, the arrangement of their catalogues of stars, and making it necessary to reconstruct them.” Herschel, Astronomy, chapter 4.

110. The ⁂⁂⁂⁂ mentioned in the tablet of Pa-shere-en-Ptah are not concubines, as Brugsch and others have thought, but female children, as Birch rightly asserted. Cf. my Hibbert Lectures, p. 79, note. It is the feminine form of ⁂⁂⁂⁂.

There is also another word, ⁂⁂, applied on the walls of tombs to persons (male as well as female) executing certain gymnastic movements.



Part I.

Said on arriving at the Hall of Righteousness, that N may be loosed from all the sins which he hath committed and that he may look upon the divine countenances.

He saith: Hail to thee, mighty god, lord of Righteousness!

I am come to thee, oh my Lord: I have brought myself that I may look upon thy glory. I know thee, and I know the name of the Forty-two gods who make their appearance with thee in the Hall of Righteousness; devouring those who harbour mischief, and swallowing their blood, upon the Day of the searching examination(1) in presence of Unneferu.

213Verily, ‘Thou of the Pair of Eyes,(2) Lord of Righteousness’ is thy name.

Here am I; I am come to thee; I bring to thee Right and have put a stop to Wrong.

I am not a doer of wrong to men.

I am not one who slayeth his kindred.(3)

I am not one who telleth lies instead of truth.(4)

I am not conscious of treason.

I am not a doer of mischief.

I do not exact as the firstfruits of each day more work than should be done for me.(5)

My name cometh not to the Bark of the god who is at the Helm.

I am not a transgressor against the god.

I am not a tale-bearer.

I am not a detractor.

I am not a doer of that which the gods abhor.

I hurt no servant with his master.

I cause no famine.

I cause not weeping.

I am not a murderer.

I give not orders for murder.

I cause not suffering to men.

I reduce not the offerings in the temples.

I lessen not the cakes of the gods.

I rob not the dead of their funereal food.

I am not an adulterer.

I am undefiled in the Sanctuary of the god of my domain.

I neither increase nor diminish the measures of grain.

I am not one who shorteneth the palm’s length.(6)

I am not one who cutteth short the field’s measure.(7)

I put not pressure upon the beam(8) of the balance.

I tamper not with the tongue of the balance.

I snatch not the milk from the mouth of infants.

I drive not the cattle from their pastures.

I net not the birds of the manors of the gods.(9)

I catch not the fish of their ponds.(10)

I stop not the water at its appointed time.

I divide not an arm of the water in its course.

I extinguish not the lamp during its appointed time.

I do not defraud the Divine Circle of their sacrificial joints.

214I drive not away the cattle of the sacred estate.

I stop not a god when he cometh forth.

I am pure, I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.

My purity is that of the Great Bennu in Sutenhunen, for I am the Nose of the Lord of Air, who giveth life to all mortals; on the day when the Eye is full in Annu, on the last day of Mechir; in presence of the Lord of this land.

And I am one who see the fulness of the Eye in Annu, let no harm come to me in this land, in the Hall of Righteousness; because I know the names of those gods who make their appearance in it.

Part II.

1. Oh thou of long strides, who makest thine appearance in Annu; I am not a doer of wrong.

2. Oh thou who holdest the fire, and makest thine appearance in Cher-āba; I am not a man of violence.

3. Oh thou of the Nose,(11) who makest thine appearance at Chemunnu; I am not evil minded.

4. Oh Eater of the Shadow,(12) who makest thine appearance at Elephantine; I am not rapacious.

5. Oh thou Facing-backward god, who makest thine appearance at Re-Stau; I am not a slayer of men.

6. Oh thou of Lion form,(13) who makest thine appearance in Heaven; I am not fraudulent in measures of grain.

7. Oh thou whose eyes [pierce] like swords, who makest thine appearance in Sechem; I commit no fraud.

8. Oh thou of fiery face, whose motion is backwards; I am not a robber of sacred property.

9. Oh Breaker of bones, who makest thine appearance in Sutenhunen, I am not a teller of lies.

10. Oh thou who orderest the flame, who makest thine appearance in Memphis; I am not a robber of food.

11. Oh thou of the Two Caverns, who makest thine appearance in Amenta; I am not sluggish.(14)

12. Oh thou of the Bright Teeth,(15) who makest thine appearance in the Unseen Land; I am not a transgressor.

13. Oh Eater of Blood, who makest thine appearance at the Block; I have not slaughtered the sacred animals.

21514. Oh Eater of Livers, who makest thine appearance at Mâbit; I deal not fraudulently.

15. Oh Lord of Righteousness, who makest thine appearance in the place of Righteousness; I am not a land-grabber.

16. Oh thou who turnest backwards, who makest thine appearance in Bubastis; I am not an eaves-dropper.

17. Oh Âati,(16) who makest thine appearance at Annu; I am not one of prating tongue.

18. Oh Tutu,(17) who makest thine appearance in Ati; I trouble myself(18) only with my own affairs.

19. Oh Uammetu, who makest thine appearance at the Block; I commit not adultery with another’s wife.

20. Oh Maa-antu-f, who makest thine appearance in Pa-Amsu, I am not unchaste with any one.

21. Oh thou who art above Princes, and who makest thine appearance in Amu;(19) I do not cause terrors.

22. Oh Chemiu,(20) who makest thine appearance in Kauu; I am not a transgressor.

23. Oh thou who raisest thy voice,(21) and makest thine appearance in Urit; I am not hot of speech.

24. Oh divine Babe, who makest thy appearance in Annu; I lend not a deaf ear to the words of Righteousness.

25. Oh high-voiced one, who makest thy appearance in Unsit; I am not boisterous in behaviour.

26. Oh Basit, who makest thine appearance at the Shetait; I am not the cause of weeping to any.

27. Oh thou whose face is behind thee, and who makest thine appearance at thy cavern; I am not given to unnatural lust.

28. Oh thou, hot of foot,(22) who makest thy appearance at even; I indulge not in anger.

29. Oh Kenemtu, who makest thine appearance in Kenemit; I am not given to cursing.

30. Oh thou who carriest thine own offering, and makest thine appearance in Syut; I am not of aggressive hand.

31. Oh thou who hast different faces, and makest thine appearance in Net’efit; I am not one of inconstant mind.(23)

32. Oh Busy one, who makest thine appearance at Utenit; I do not steal the skins of the sacred animals.(24)

33. Oh thou Horned one, who makest thine appearance at Sais I am not noisy(25) in my speech.

21634. Oh Nefertmu, who makest thine appearance in Memphis; I am neither a liar nor a doer of mischief.

35. Oh Tem-sepu, who makest thine appearance in Tattu; I am not one who curseth the king.

36. Oh thou who doest according to thine own will, and makest thine appearance in Tebuu; I put no check upon the water in its flow.

37. Oh Striker,(26) who makest thine appearance in Heaven; I am not one of loud voice.

38. Oh thou who makest mortals to flourish, and who makest thine appearance at Sais; I curse not a god.

39. Oh thou of beautiful shoulder, who makest thine appearance at ...(27); I am not swollen with pride.

40. Oh Neheb-kau, who makest thy appearance at thy cavern; I have no unjust preferences.(28)

41. Oh thou of raised head,(29) who makest thine appearance at thy cavern; I have no strong desire except for my own property.

42. Oh thou who liftest an arm,(30) and who makest thine appearance in the Netherworld, I do not that which offendeth the god of my domain.


Part III.

[Said upon approaching to the gods who are in the Tuat.(31)]

Hail ye gods, I know you and I know your names; let me not be stricken down by your blows: report not the evil which is in me to the god whom ye follow. Let not reverse(32) of mine come to pass through you.

Let not evil things be said against me in presence of the Inviolate One; because I have done the right in Tamerit.

I revile not the god: let not reverse of mine come to pass through the King who resideth within His own Day.(33)

Hail ye gods who are in the Hall of Righteousness, who have nothing wrong about you; who subsist upon Righteousness in Annu, and who sate themselves with cares,(34) in presence of the god who resideth within his own Orb: deliver me from Babai who feedeth upon the livers of princes on the Day of the Great Reckoning.

217Behold me: I am come to you, void of wrong, without fraud, a harmless one: let me not be declared guilty; let not the issue be against me.

I subsist upon Righteousness: I sate myself with uprightness of heart: I have done that which man prescribeth and that which pleaseth the gods.

I have propitiated the god with that which he loveth. I have given bread to the hungry, water to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, a boat to the shipwrecked. I have made oblations to the gods and funeral offerings to the departed: deliver me therefore: protect me therefore: and report not against me in presence of the great god.

I am one whose mouth is pure, and whose hands are pure, to whom there is said “Come, come in peace,” by those who look upon him.

For I have listened to the words which were spoken by the Ass and the Cat in the house of Hept-ro.(35)

And I have undergone the inspection of the god Whose face is behind him, who awardeth my verdict(36), so that I may behold what the Persea tree covereth(37) in Restau.

I am one who glorifieth the gods and who knoweth the things which concern them.

I am come and am awaiting that inquisition be made of Rightfulness and that the Balance be set upon its stand within the bower of amaranth.(38)

O thou who art exalted upon thy pedestal and who callest thy name, Lord of Air: deliver me from those messengers of thine who inflict disasters(39) and bring about mishaps. No covering have they upon their faces.

For I have done the Righteousness of a Lord of Righteousness.

I have made myself pure: my front parts are washed, my back parts are pure, and my inwards steeped in the Tank of Righteousness. There is not a limb in me which is void of Righteousness.

I purify me in the Southern Tank, and I rest me at the northern lake, in the Garden of Grasshoppers.(40)

The Boatmen of Rā purify them there at this hour of the night or day(41) and the hearts of the gods are appeased(42) when I pass through it by night or by day.

Let him come(43): that is what they say to me.

Who, pray, art thou? that is what they say to me.

218What, pray, is thy name? that is what they say to me.

“He who groweth under the Grass(44) and who dwelleth in the Olive tree” is my name.

Pass on, then: that is what they say to me.

I pass on to a place north of the Olive.

What, prithee, didst thou see there?

A thigh(45) and a leg.

And what, prithee, said they to thee?

That I shall see(46) the greetings in the lands there of the Fenchu.Fenchu.

What, prithee, did they give to thee?

A flame of fire and a pillar of crystal.

And what, prithee, didst thou to them?

I buried them on the bank of the Lake of Māāit as Provision of the Evening.

What, prithee, didst thou find there on the bank of the Lake of Māāit?

A sceptre of flint: ‘Giver of Breath’ is its name.

And what didst thou to the flame of fire and to the pillar of crystal after thou hadst buried them?

I cried out after them and drew them forth: and I extinguished the fire, and I broke the pillar, and I made a Tank.

Thou mayest now enter through the door of the hall of Righteousness, for thou knowest us.

I allow thee not to pass by me, saith the Leaf(47) of the Door, unless thou tell my name:

“The Pointer of Truth”(48) is thy name.

I allow thee not to pass by me, saith the right sideside of the Door, unless thou tell my name.

“The Scale-pan(49) of one who lifteth up Right” is thy name.

I allow thee not to pass by me, saith the left side post of the Door, unless thou tell my name:

“The Scale-pan of Wine” is thy name.

I allow thee not to pass over me, saith the Threshold of the Door, unless thou tell my name:

“Ox of Seb” is thy name.

I open not to thee, saith the Lock of the Door, unless thou tell my name:

219Bone of An-maut-ef is thy name.

I open not to thee, saith the Latch, unless thou tell my name:

“The Eye of Sebak, Lord of Bachau,” is thy name.

I open not to thee, and I allow thee not to pass by me, saith the Keeper of the Door, unless thou tell my name:

“The Knee of Shu, which he hath lent for the support of Osiris,” is thy name.

We allow thee not to pass by us, say the Lintels of the Door, unless thou tell our names:

“The dragon brood(50) of Renenut” is your name.

Thou knowest us: pass therefore by us.

I allow thee not to pass over me, saith the Floor of the Hall, for the reason that I am noiseless and clean, and because we know not the names of thy two feet, wherewith thou wouldst walk upon us. Tell me, then, their names.

“He who goeth before Amsu” is the name of my right foot: and “The Truncheon of Hathor”(51) is the name of my left foot.

Thou mayest walk over us: for thou knowest us.

I do not announce thee, saith the Doorkeeper, unless thou tell my name:

“He who knoweth the heart and exploreth the person”(52) is thy name.

Then I will announce thee.

But who is that god who abideth in his own hour? Name him.

He who provideth for(53) the Two WorldsWorlds.

Who, pray, is it? It is Thoth.

Come hither, saith Thoth, wherefore hast thou come?

I am come, and wait to be announced.

And what manner of man, prithee, art thou?

I have cleansed myself from all the sins and faults of those who abide in their own day; for I am no longer among them.

Then I shall announce thee.

But who is he whose roof is of fire, and whose walls are living Uræi, and the floor of whose house is of running water? Who is it?

It is Osiris.

Proceed then: for behold, thou art announced.

220Thy bread is from the Eye, thy beer is from the Eye, and the funeral meals offered upon earth will come forth to thee from the Eye(54). So is it decreed for me.

This chap