Twentieth Dynasty

Manetho has no more to tell us about Dyn. XX than that it consisted of twelve kings of Diospolis (Thebes), who reigned according to Africanus for 135 years and for 178 according to Eusebius. Nevertheless, it was a period of stirring events and at least one mighty Pharaoh. Also, a number of lengthy and highly informative writings have survived. The discussion of which will demand considerable space. Meanwhile, the enemies of Egypt were drawing ever closer, foreshadowing the humiliations which little over a century later were to reduce her prestige almost to vanishing point. At the outset, however, it seemed that an epoch of exceptional splendor was about to dawn. A retrospect, contrasting this with a largely imaginary period of previous gloom, is worth quoting if only to exemplify a standing convention of Pharaonic historical writing.

The land of Egypt was cast adrift; every man a law unto himself. They had no commander for many years previously until there were other times when the land of Egypt consisted of princes and heads of villages; one man slaying his fellow both high and low. Then another time came after it consisting of empty years, when Arsu a Syrian was with them as prince, and he made the entire land contributory under his sway. The text goes on to speak of the bloodshed which ensued, and the neglect with which the gods were treated until they restored peace by appointing Setnakhte as king. In this strange passage, the glorious achievements of Dyns. XVIII and XIX are ignored and we are transported back to the conditions of pre-Hyksos times. The sole specific fact recorded is the emergence of a Syrian condottiere who gained mastery over the entire land. The identity of this foreigner has been much debated, the most interesting suggestion due to Cerny, being that we have here a veiled reference to the ‘king-maker’ Bay mentioned at the end of the last chapter. But the writer’s only purpose here was to commend the new sovereign of Egypt. Little is known about Setnakhte except that he was the father of the great king Ramesses III and the husband of the later’s mother Tiye-merenese. There are reasons for thinking that the interval between the end of Dyn. XIX and his accession was quite short, perhaps not more than ten years. He may have reigned less than two years. He usurped the tomb of Twosre and was doubtless buried in it. His coffin was found in the tomb of Amenophis II, but his mummy has not been discovered.

Whatever the author of the retrospect may have pretended, Ramesses III was himself very conscious of the greatness of the most celebrated of his predecessors in Dyn. XIX, for he modeled both his Prenomen and his Nomen upon those of Ramesses II. His early years were fraught with terrible dangers. In the south, it is true, he had little to fear. Nubia had grown into an Egyptian province, and the scenes which have survived of a battle in this direction seem likely to be a mere convention borrowed from earlier representation. For the very real and dangerous conflicts which Ramesses III had to face, our knowledge is mainly derived from the inscriptions and reliefs on the walls of his great temple of Medinet Habu; the best preserved and most interesting of all the funerary sanctuaries on the western side of Thebes. This splendid monument, with its gigantic pylons and noble columnar courts, lay within inner and outer enclosures containing, besides the central shrine itself, a whole township of dwellings for the priests and their dependents, as well as a garden and a lake. The outer girdle wall of crude brick, approached by a canal branching off from the Nile, had a height of 59 feet and a thickness of 25 feet, the length from front to back exceeding 300 yards. The center of the eastern side exhibited a unique feature in a lofty gatehouse built to resemble one of those Syrian fortresses which the Egyptian armies had met with so often in their Asiatic campaigns, but here the purpose was not military. The upper stories served as a resort where the Pharaoh could disport himself with the ladies of his harem. The palace proper abutted onto the south side of the temple’s first court, with a balcony where the king might appear in order to distribute rewards to such nobles as he wished to honor. The walls of no other temple show scenes of greater interest. Religious subjects of course predominate, but pictures of warfare are also numerous and supplement the written legends in the most valuable fashion. More so since the latter have a turgidity in which narrative passages almost disappear among the surplus of flattering eloquence.

The long inscription of year 5 first tells of a campaign against the western neighbors of Egypt known generically as the Tjehnu. These people were incensed at having had imposed upon them a new ruler of the Pharaoh’s choice. The royal wisdom, so highly praised in the hieroglyphs, had evidently not been appreciated. Color on some of the sculptured reliefs shows prisoners with red beards, side-locks, and long richly ornamented cloaks. Three tribes are here mentioned, the Libu or Libyans who as we have seen are commemorated in the name still applied to the whole north-eastern part of Africa outside Egypt, the Sped of whom nothing more is known, and the Meshwesh, first mentioned under Amenophis III, who henceforth play an ever increasingly important part in our historical records. They are commonly thought of as the equivalent of the Maxyes located by Herodotus in the neighborhood of Tunis. The next threat to Egypt was far more dreadful, being nothing less than an attempt on the part of a confederacy of sea-faring northerners to establish themselves in the rich pasture-lands not only of the Delta, but also of Syria and of Palestine. Permanent settlement was their aim, and they brought their women and children with them in wheeled carts drawn by humped oxen. We have seen that an attack of this kind, in which the sea-peoples and the Libyans had been in alliance, had been repelled by Merenptah. Now the Mediterranean war, though almost simultaneous with the Libyan wars of years 5 and 11, is described as a separate event, but was none the less dangerous on that account. The main aggression, dated to year 8, swooped down by land and sea simultaneously. The Sherden were once again among the hostile forces, and once again warriors of this race are shown fighting both with and against the Egyptians. The long-since failing Hittite Empire was swept away, and with it the Anatolian allies who had taken part in the battle of Kadesh. Of the enemies who had confronted Merenptah perhaps only the Sheklesh still played a part. A new tribe named the Weshesh are a mere name. Of deep interest, to Greek scholars and to Orientalists, are three new peoples who emerge here for the first time, though it is just possible that the Danu or Danuna, surely the Danaoi of the Iliad, may have been mentioned once in the El-‘Amarna letters. Much more important, however, are the Peleset and the Tjekker, since the incursion of these tribes into Palestine was, to some extent, successful and permanent. A narrative dating from about a century later describes the Tjekker as sea-pirates occupying the port of Dor, but nothing more is known of them or of the name they bore. The Peleset, on the other hand, are the Philistines who were later alternately conquerors of and conquered Israelites, who gave their name to Palestine and whom our modern parlance still remembers in an unfairly deprecatory way. There was a tradition that they came from Caphtor or Crete, but this may have been only a stage in their migratory wanderings. In the Medinet Habu reliefs, both they and the Tjekker have feathered head-dresses and round shields.

The rebuff inflicted upon these aggressive peoples is splendidly depicted in the reliefs; the naval battle, in particular, being unique among Egyptian representations. The verbal descriptions are sandwiched into a boastful speech addressed by Ramesses III to his sons and his courtiers. The following extracts omit sentences from which nothing historical is to be learned:
The foreign countries made a plot in their islands. Dislodged and scattered by battle were the lands all at one time, and no land could stand before their arms, beginning with Khatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arzawa, and Alasiya…A camp was set up in one place in Amor, and they desolated its people and its land as though they had never come into being. They came, the flame prepared before them, onwards to Egypt. Their confederacy consisted of Peleset, Tjekker, Sheklesh, Danu, and Weshesh, united lands, and they laid their hands upon the lands to the entire circuit of the earth, their hearts bent and trustful ‘Our plan is accomplished!’ But the heart of this god, the lord of the gods, was prepared and ready to ensnare them like birds…I established my boundary in Djahi, prepared in front of them, the local princes, garrison-commanders, and Maryannu. I caused to be prepared the rivermouth like a strong wall with warships, galleys, and skiffs. They were completely equipped both fore and aft with brave fighters carrying their weapons and infantry of all the pick of Egypt, being like roaring lions upon the mountains; chariotry with able warriors and all goodly officers whose hands were competent. Their horses quivered in all their limbs, prepared to crush the foreign countries under their hoofs.

Ramesses then compares himself to Mont, the god of war, and declares himself confident of his ability to rescue his army: As for those who reached my boundary, their seed is not. Their hearts and their souls are finished unto all eternity. Those who came forward together upon the sea, the full flame was in front of them at the rivermouths, and a stockade of lances surrounded them on the shore. For the details of the naval defeat, we turn rather to the reliefs than to the verbal descriptions, although in the latter the outcome was described in the graphic words: a net was prepared for them to ensnare them, those who entered into the river-mouths being confined and fallen within it, pinioned in their places, butchered and their corpses hacked up.

The artist has managed to combine into a single picture the various phases of the engagement. First we see Egyptian soldiers attacking, in an unperturbedly form, the deck of their ship. Opposite them in a vessel, held fast with grappling irons, the enemy is in the utmost confusion; two of them falling into the water and one looks towards the shore in the hope of mercy from the Pharaoh. Another of their vessels, however, displays them met with a shower of arrows from the land. The Egyptian fleet now turns homeward, taking with it numerous captives helpless and bound. One of them seeking to escape, is caught by a soldier on the bank. On the way upstream a capsized vessel is encountered, with its entire crew flung into the water. The defeat of the invaders is complete. Nine separate ships have sufficed to tell the tale, and there remains to be recounted only the presentation of the prisoners and the other details of the triumph to Amen-Re.

The external troubles of Egypt were not yet at an end. In year 11, the Libyan peril flared up again. On this occasion, the enemy is specifically stated to have been the Meshwesh. A circumstantial account of Ramesses’s dealings with these people is given in the closing section of the great papyrus from which the retrospect at the beginning of this chapter was quoted and which much will be said later.

The Libu and Meshwesh were settled in Egypt and had seized the towns of the Western Tract from Kikuptah (Memphis) to Keroben, and had reached the Great River on its every side. They it was who had desolated the towns of Xois for may years when they were in Egypt. Behold, I destroyed them, slain at one stroke. I laid low the Meshwesh, Libu, Asbat, Kaikash, Shaytep, Hasa, and Bakan, overthrown in their blood and made into heaps. I made them turn back from trampling upon the boundary of Egypt. I took of those whom my sward spared many captives, pinioned like birds before my horses, their women and their children in tens of thousands, and their cattle in number like hundreds of thousands. I settled their leaders in strongholds called by my name. I gave to them troop-commanders and chiefs of tribes, branded and made into slaves stamped with my name, their women and their children treated likewise. I brought their cattle to the House of Amun, made for him into everlasting herds.

Two great inscriptions at Medinet Habu, both dated in year 11, deal exclusively with the same struggle, but their flowery language, in which many foreign and otherwise unknown words occur, conveys far less information than the passage above quoted. There is only one addition. We learn that Mesher, the Chief of the Meshwesh, was taken prisoner, and that his father Keper appealed for mercy in vain. This incident is also depicted in the striking scene where are enumerated the hands and phalli of the slain, the captives, the arms taken as booty, and the cattle added to the herds of the Theban god and those otherwise disposed of. The numbers given, though great, are by no means incredible. Another picture shows the Egyptians fighting from two fortresses, a clear indication that they had been on the defensive.

At Medinet Habu, there are several scenes of campaigns in Asia which still require consideration. On one wall, Ramesses III is seen attacking two Hittite towns, one of them labeled ‘The town of Arzawa’. In another scene, the town Tunip is being stormed, and a third town, Amor,is on the point of surrendering. All these pictures are clearly anachronisms and must have been copied from originals of the reign of Ramesses II. There is, however, ample evidence that the designers of Medinet Habu borrowed greatly from the neighboring Ramesseum. Confirmation is given in the papyrus cited above. This has no mention of a Syrian campaign, still less of one against the Hittites. All that is said is that Ramesses III ‘destroyed the Seirites in the tribes of the Shosu’; the Shosu have been already mentioned as the Bedouins of the desert bordering the south of Palestine. ‘The mountain of Se’ir’ named on an obelisk of Ramesses II is the Edomite mountain referred to in several passages of the Old Testament. It looks as though the defeat of these relatively unimportant tent-dwellers was the utmost which Ramesses III could achieve after his struggle with the Mediterranean hordes, and this allusion closes for more than two centuries the story of Egypt’s strivings to achieve an Asiatic empire.

Although Ramesses III reigned for a full thirty-one years and celebrated a Sed-festival perhaps at the beginning of his thirtieth, there are signs of various internal troubles, particularly towards the end of his life. At one moment the monthly rations due to the workmen engaged on the royal tomb were sadly in debt, and this led to strikes ended only by the intervention of the vizier To, who was, however, unable to supply more than half what was actually required. Far more serious was a conspiracy which threatened the life of the monarch himself. From early in the reign, there had been indications that trouble was likely to arise over the succession. To judge from the latest date recorded at Medinet Habu, that great temple had been completed by year 12, and it is a curious fact that though, as in the Ramesseum, many of the king’s sons were there depicted, as well as the queen in a few instances, no names were ever filled in, though space was left for them. And yet, it is certain that the son who actually succeeded as Ramesses IV was already alive, since his mummy, discovered in the tomb of Amenophis II, was that of a man at least fifty years of age and probably more’. Without speculating on this and much further evidence of the kind which complicates the history of all the next reigns, we turn now to the graphic story related in several papyri of which the most important is preserved in the Turin Museum. This magnificent manuscript, written in large hieratic majuscules befitting a state document of the highest importance, suggests that its original home may have been the temple-library at Medinet Habu. Omitting, for the moment, the long but fragmentary introduction which precedes the main narrative, we now quote the first entry: The great enemy Paibekkamen who had been major-domo. He was brought on account of his having attached himself to Tiye and the women of the harem. He made common cause with them and proceeded to carry their words outside to their mothers and their brothers and sisters who were there, saying ‘Collect people and foment hostility’ so as to make rebellion against their lord. And they set him in the presence of the great officials of the Place of Examination and they examined his crimes and found that he had committed them. And his crimes took hold of him, and the officials who examined him caused his punishment to cleave to him.

Twenty-nine of the criminals, classified in five categories, are dealt with in similar manner, besides six wives not individually specified. A curious fact is that a number of the men’s names have been deliberately disguised, apparently on account of some overauspicious word that entered into their composition. Thus a certain butler–very high court-officials were often butlers in Ramesside times–assuredly did not bear the name Mesedsure’ here credited to him. Mesed-means ‘hates’ and the real name will have been Mersure’ ‘Re loves him’. The harem, in which the plot was hatched, is termed ‘the harem in accompanying’, presumably one not stationed in a particular place like those of Memphis and of Miwer in the Fayoum, but one which accompanied Ramesses upon his journeying. Many harem officials were involved, the overseer and deputy-overseer, two scribes, and six inspectors, besides the wives of the door-keepers. More dangerous than most of those arrested was a troop-commander from Cush. He had been suborned by his sister, one of the harem-women, and had their schemes prospered they might have stirred the whole of Nubia into revolt, especially if assisted by the general Paiis. It is characteristic of the age that among both accused and judges, several were foreigners: Ba’almahar was clearly a Semite, Inini is described as a Libyan, and the name of Peluka proclaims him a Lycian. The more prominent among the guilty were allowed to perish by their own hand. Others who were left unharmed ‘died of their own accord’ possibly from starvation. Cutting off of the nose and ears was the fate of four officials who in spite of precise instructions given to them had caroused with women of the harem and with Paiis. Only one man, a standard-bearer, got off with nothing worse than a severe reprimand. This was a person who together with two of the four just mentioned, had found a place among the judges when first appointed. It is strange that so little should be learnt about Tiye; the lady around whom the entire plot centered. Also, her son Pentawere, possibly the boy whom the conspirators were planning to place upon the throne, is mentioned only very casually as one of those who ‘died of their own accord’.

Further light is thrown upon the conspirators’ machinations by the other fragmentary papyri dealing with the case. A former overseer of cattle had induced a learned scribe to write magical spells and to make waxen images which were to be smuggled into the harem, but it is expressly said that the ploy was unsuccessful and that the culprits met with the fate that they deserved. It still remains to discuss the nature of these extraordinary documents. A first step in the right direction was taken by Breasted, who noticed that in one place where Ramesses III is mentioned, he receives the epithet ‘the great god’ reserved for kings already deceased. He concluded that though Ramesses had ordered the trial, he had been severely wounded and had died before the criminals were brought to trial. Unhappily, in Breasted’s day our knowledge of Late-Egyptian syntax was not sufficiently advanced to enable him to translate the damaged introduction of the Turin papyrus correctly. It is the merit of de Buck to have seen that instead of the king there giving an order in the present tense, the whole text is a narrative of past events fictitiously put into the mouth of the dead monarch. After enumerating the judges whom he had appointed and quoting the words of his instruction to them, he continues as follows:
And they went and examined them, and they caused to die by their own hands those whom they caused to die, though I know not whom, and they punished the others also, though I know not whom. But I had charged them very strictly saying ‘Take good heed and beware lest punishment be inflicted upon anyone crookedly by an official who is not over him’; thus I spoke to them (the judges) again and again. And as for all that has been done, it is they who have done it; let all that they have done fall upon their heads. For I am exempted and protected everlastingly, being among the righteous kings who are in the presence of Amen-Re’, King of the Gods, and in the presence of Osiris, the Ruler of Eternity.

This passage reads like an apologia on Ramesses III’s part for an excessive severity or even some degree of injustice which had been charged against him. The narrative as presented to us was evidently compiled by command of Ramesses IV, and it will soon be seen how eager the son was to display his deceased father’s reign as a period of clear generosity. That Ramesses III himself ordered the trial cannot be reasonably doubted, but the note of self-pardon put into his mouth may well have been the invention of his successor. There is no solid ground for supposing that the conspiracy was either wholly or half successful. The mummy of Ramesses III found in the cache at Der el-Bahri is stated by Maspero to have been that of a man about 65 years of age, and no trace of wounds is reported. Nor is there any reason for dating the plot towards the end of the reign. It may have occurred much earlier. No mention of it is found in the great manuscript now to be described.

Papyrus Harris No. 1, in the possession of the British Museum, is the most magnificent of all Egyptian state archives. It is a document 133 feet long by 16 1/2 inches high containing 117 columns of hieratic writing of an amplitude that could only belong to an original of the utmost importance. The somewhat vague information that has survived with regard to its discovery suggests that it, like the conspiracy papyri, once belonged to the records of the great temple of Medinet Habu. The opening page summarizes the benefactions bestowed by Ramesses III upon the various divinities of the entire land, and here again he is clearly represented as a dead king speaking in his own person. Next, a fine colored picture represents the king worshipping before Amen-Re’, Mut, and Chons, the three principal deities of his Theban capital. In a long narrative passage he then describes in rhetorical, self-laudatory fashion all the buildings, temple equipment, lands, ships, and so forth with which he has endowed the city. This is followed by a lengthy statistical section giving precise figures for the donations received from various sources throughout the entire duration of the reign, first the personnel, cattle, vineyards, fields, ships, towns in Egypt and Syria given by the king himself from his first to his thirty-first year, then the amounts obtained by taxation, and lastly other items received in various ways and for other purposes. This part of the book concludes with a prayer in which Ramesses III asks that as his reward blessings may be bestowed upon his beloved son Ramesses IV. There follows, written by a different hand, and obviously furnished by the priesthood of Atum in the north, a Heliopolitan section composed upon exactly the same lines and ending in exactly the same way; to this succeeds a Memphite section addressed to Ptah and to the associated deities of the third great capital city. The remaining local divinities are dealt with comprehensively in a shorter section of special value as showing what towns were particularly honored by Ramesses III, but the list names no place farther south than Coptos. Then comes a summary in which are added up, though not without some errors, all the figures previously given, and we see that the estate of Amen-Re’ at Karnak was by far the greatest beneficiary. Even if the Pharaoh more frequently resided in Lower Egypt, Thebes remained the spiritual center of the kingdom, and its wealth was prodigious.

The great roll ended with that comprehensive survey of past and recent events from which several quotations have been given above. Doubtless belonging to the era of peace which followed upon the early wars of the reign were several expeditions which are graphically described: one to Pwene whence the returning ships brought back with them much myrrh to be presented to the Pharaoh himself at his downstream capital by the children of that distant land’s chieftain. Quests for copper to some unlocated mines and for turquoise to the famous site of Serabit el-Khadim in the Peninsula of Sinai. Ramesses III had previously boasted of having refrained from taking from the temples one man in every ten to serve in the army, that having been the custom under earlier kings. He would now have us believe that perfect tranquillity prevailed throughout the entire land: I caused the woman of Egypt to walk freely wheresoever she would unmolested by others upon the road. I caused to sit idle the soldiers and the chariotry in my time, and the Sherden and the Kehek in their villages to lie at night full length without any dread.

Some internal disturbances there may indeed have been, apart from the formidable plot above treated at length. There was trouble in Athribis with a vizier who was removed from his office. It may have been on this occasion that, contrary to previous custom, To was granted the vizierate of both halves of the country. The final retrospect was addressed to all the officials and military officers of the land, and concluded by urging them to show loyal service to the new king Ramesses IV. Perhaps that was the real purpose of this voluminous composition.

It is only in passing that reference can be made to the buildings erected by Ramesses III elsewhere, a small temple at Karnak being particularly well preserved. His huge tomb in the Biban el-Moluk differs from others of the period by introducing such secular scenes as that of the royal kitchen. The picture of a harper is specially celebrated. This last of the great Pharaohs was followed by eight kings each of whom bore the illustrious name of Ramesses, now so firmly associated with the thought of Pharaonic grandeur that even when his descendants had long relinquished any pretensions to the throne certain functionaries of high station still prided themselves upon the title ‘king’s son of Ramesses’. That Ramesses IV was a son of Ramesses III is clear both from the Harris papyrus and from other evidence, but the insistence with which he introduced into Prenomen and Nomen of goddess of Truth while protesting that he had banished iniquity arouses the suspicion that his claim was not substantiated without some difficulty. Of his successors at least two appear to have been his brothers. The reigns of all eight kings except Ramesses IX and Ramesses XI were short, so that the total for the dynasty works out at less than the figure given by Manetho. The custom of starting upon a tomb in the Biban el-Moluk at the beginning of each reign was consistently adhered to, although not quite all these later Ramessides actually found burial in the places to which they aspired, and in three cases the mummies were subsequently removed for safety’s sake to the tomb of Amenophis II. The general trend of subsequent history suggests that the actual residence of these petty rulers was ever increasingly confined to the Delta, as a result of which the importance and wealth of the high-priest of Amen-Re’ at Thebes waxed all the more. Monumental undertakings dwindled perceptibly. Asiatic adventures were at an end, and the latest record at Sinai dates from Ramesses VI. On the other hand, the administration of Nubia continued along the old lines, though we hear less about it. In spite of these gradual fallings off, the annals of the twelfth century before our era are no complete blank. A number of highly interesting inscriptions and papyri have survived, but with subjects as disconnected both materially and locally as the items in a modern newspaper. Such as they are, it is indispensable here to characterize them.

The reign of Ramesses IV lasted no more than six years, and in view of its shortness the tale of his building activities is not inconsiderable; where he did not actually erect, at least he commemorated his existence by hieroglyphic dedications. Two great stele found at Abydos by Mariette proclaim his exceptional piety and devotion to the gods. Their wording is unusual, and may reflect royal authorship. A long inscription of year 3 in the Wady Hammamat records a quest for the splendid stone of its famous quarry involving more than 8,000 participants. Already in year 1 he had caused the high-priest of Mont to visit the site, and in year 2 had sent other capable officials and scribes to investigate the possibilities. The inscription of year 3, however, acquaints us with an enterprise on a more grandiose scale. The skilled quarrymen and sculptors sent were only a small proportion of the entire number. The 5,000 soldiers were certainly not needed for any combative purpose, but may perhaps be thought of as employed to haul the huge monuments over the rough desert roads. The real problem of this perplexing inscription is to account for the presence so far from the Nile Valley of many of the foremost dignitaries of the land. At their head was the high-priest of Amen-Re’ Ra’messenakhte; for him we have at least the partial excuse that he combined with his sacerdotal and administrative functions that of ‘superintendent of works’; he was responsible in fact for the temples and statues with which the Pharaoh endowed the local gods. But how to account for his being accompanied by two butlers of the king, by the over-seer of the treasury, and above all by the two chief taxing-masters, all of these important personages being mentioned by their names? Here as so often in our Egyptian records the valuable information for which we have to be thankful is counterbalanced by enigmas that must be left unresolved.

For another important document of this period, we have to direct our eyes as far southward as Elephantine. An ill-written but comparatively well-preserved papyrus in the Turin Museum recalls in language resembling and no less virulent than the Salt papyrus grave accusations against a number of persons, prominent among whom was a lay-priest of the temple of Chnum charged with many thefts, acts of bribery, and sacrilege, not to mention the unavoidable imputations of copulation with married women. Heinous offences against religion were his misappropriation and sale of sacred Mnevis calves, his joining in the carrying of the god’s statue while three of his ten days of natron-drinking were still to run, and his heaping of gifts upon the vizier’s henchmen to make them arrest his priestly accuser while the latter was only half-way through his month of ritual service. Among facts of interest that we here learn were the vizier’s power to appoint the local prophets and the intervention of Pharaoh himself to send his chief treasurer to look into the abstracting of garments from the temple treasure-house. More serious, because they must have involved the corruptibility of a number of persons, were the losses of corn suffered by the priesthood of Chnum. Seven hundred sacks per annum were due from estates in the Delta owned by the temple. A ship’s captain who had succeeded another deceased in year 28 of Ramesses III started upon his defalcations in year 1 of Ramesses IV and in the course of the next nine years down to ‘year 3 of Pharaoh’, i.e. of Ramesses V, had stolen a total of more than 5,000 sacks.

The great Wilbour papyrus in the Brooklyn Museum, dated in year 4 of Ramesses V, is a genuine official document of unique interest. Its main text records in four consecutive batches covering a few days apiece the measurement and assessment of fields extending from near Crocodilonpolis (Medinet el-Fayyum) southwards to a little short of the modern town of El-Minya, a distance of some 90 miles. The fields, of which the localization and the acreage are given in every case, are classified under the heads of the different land-owning institutions, these proving to be the great temples of Thebes, Heliopolis, and Memphis, then after them a number of smaller temples mainly in the vicinity of the plots owned by them. Lastly, there were various corporate bodies too different and too problematic to be mentioned here. The assessments are reckoned in grain and clearly refer to taxes. They are presented in two distinct categories, according as the owning institutions were themselves liable or as the liability rested upon the actual holders or cultivators of the soil. The latter type of paragraph is the more interesting since it names a multitude of different proprietors or tenants, including whole families, men of Sherden race, and sometimes even slaves. In one single paragraph, for example, we find side by side, dependent upon the temple of Sobk-Re’ of Anasha and localized near a place named the Mounds of Roma, plots each of ten arouras occupied by the well-known overseer of the treasury, Kha’emtir, by a certain priest, by a temple-scribe, another scribe, by three separate soldiers, by a lady, and lastly by a standard-bearer. A second text, on the verso of the same roll, deals exclusively with a kind of land known as khato-land of Pharaoh. The area of the fields so described appears to have been constantly varied, and we dimly discern in them properties which for some unspecified reason had reverted to the ownership of Pharaoh and had to be disposed of anew by him. Despite the great efforts that have been devoted to the study of this all-important papyrus, the abbreviated style in which it was written and the fact that the scribes were not concerned to offer explanations to posterity have left its main problems a riddle still to be unraveled. To whom were the taxes paid? How can the orderliness here depicted be reconciled with the Pharaonic indigence which, as we have seen, often left the workmen on the royal tomb short of the rations due to them? These and many similar related questions still await their answers, but there is some ground for thinking that the great temple of Karnak, with the high-priest of Amen-Re’ at its head, was the principal beneficiary rather than the Pharaoh. It is at least significant that the Chief Taxing-master Usima’re’nakhte was a son of the then reigning high-priest Ra’messenakhte. As a valuable addendum to the Wilbour papyrus, we may mention a very well-preserved letter dating from the reign of Ramesses XI some fifty years later. In this letter, the mayor of Elephantine complains to the Chief Taxing-master of his time that taxes had been unjustifiably exacted from him on two holdings for which he disclaimed all responsibility.

The tomb of Ramesses IV is of special interest because a plan of it, giving the exact dimensions, is preserved on a papyrus in the Turin Museum. The mummy of Ramesses V, discovered in the tomb of Amenophis II, reveals the fact that he died of smallpox. He probably reigned little more than four years, the fourth being the highest date known. His own unfinished tomb in the Biban el-Moluk was then annexed by Ramesses VI, who completed its decoration; from the latter king’s reign of seven years only insignificant monuments have survived. There is evidence, however, that even if his usual place of residence was in the Delta, he could still command loyalty in Nubia. There the governor still bore the title of King’s Son of Cush, and the present holder of the post Siese is mentioned together with his sovereign at ‘Amara between the Second and Third Cataracts. For administrative purposes, Nubia had long been divided into the two provinces of Wawae or Lower Nubia, and Cush farther south. Under Ramesses VI the deputy-governor of Wawae was Penne, who was also mayor of the important town of Aniba. He describes in his tomb a statue of the king which he caused to be made there, and gives a detailed list of the fields set aside for its upkeep. For these services, to which was added the capture of some rebels in the gold-bearing region of Akati, he was rewarded with two silver bowls for unguent; the King’s Son of Cush himself, together with the Overseer of the Treasury, visited Aniba for the presentation.

Meanwhile the office of high-priest of Amen-Re’ at Karnak had become hereditary, and after being held by Nesamun, a son of Ra’messenakhte, had passed into the powerful hands of Amenhotpe, another son. At what exact date Amenhotpe attained this exalted position is not recorded. In year 10 of Ramesses IX, we find him arrogating for himself an eminence such as no subject of the Pharaoh had ever previously enjoyed. That a great dignitary should figure in the reliefs of a temple was not altogether unprecedented. Under Sethos II the high-priest Roma, also known as Roy, had caused himself to be depicted at Karnak petitioning the god Amen-Re’ for long life and power to hand on his office to his descendants. But Amenhotpe went a step further: Egyptian Art had always made a point of proportioning the size of its human representations to the rank and importance of the persons represented, and now for the first time Amenhotpe, facing the Pharaoh, is shown as of equal height with him. Admittedly, Amenhotpe is here seen receiving rewards in the time-honored fashion, but the pretension to something like equality is unmistakable. Also, this claim accords with as much as we can ascertain from the facts and from subsequent history. The king might be the undisputed ruler in the north, but in the south the great pontiff at Karnak loomed larger than he.

It belongs to the unequal chances of archaeology that more written evidence should be forthcoming from the last reigns of Dyn. XX than from any other period of Egyptian history. The source is the west bank at Thebes, especially Medinet Habu and the neighboring village of Der el-Medina . Here vast quantities of papyri, more often fragmentary than complete, were discovered in the earlier part of the nineteenth century and are now scattered among the great collections of Europe. Initiated by Drovetti, the French Consul in Egypt, the Turin Museum secured the lion’s share from the digs. The picture disclosed by the day-to-day journals of work in the necropolis is one of great unrest. Long stretches of time found the workmen on the royal tomb idle, and there are ominous references, many of them dating from the later years of Ramesses IX, to the presence at Thebes of foreigners or Libyans or Meshwesh, though we do not know exactly how these ought to be interpreted. Were they real invaders or were they the descendants of captured prisoners who had been incorporated into Egyptian army and who now felt themselves strong enough to rise in rebellion or at all events to create serious disturbances? These questions must remain unanswered for lack of evidence, but at least it is clear that the effect upon the native population was disastrous. More than once the rations of the workmen were two months overdue. Want and greed combined led inevitably to crime. The royalties and noblemen of former days had been buried with the costliest of their possessions, and the temptation of the living to despoil the dead was overwhelming. Tomb-robbery had been a common practice from the earliest times, but now, it would appear, this mode of counteracting poverty had become so widespread that energetic steps had to be taken to bring the thieves to justice. By a lucky chance, a whole series of well-preserved papyri has survived to throw light on the arrests and the trials which began in year 16 of Ramesses IX and continued, perhaps with an intermediate lull, a whole generation later. Some account has been already given of two of the most famous of these fascinating documents, namely the Abbott and the Amherst papyri. Both tell their tale in characteristically dramatic fashion, reading more like chapters out of a novel than like sober excerpts from official administrative records. It is in the later batch of which Papyrus Mayer A is the most complete example that we come nearest to the actual procedure followed in the judicial examinations of witnesses. Even those witnesses who were subsequently found innocent and set free had to undergo the ordeal of the bastinado.

There were important state trials, and the judges specially chosen to conduct them were the highest available officials. Under Ramesses IX, the vizier Kha’emwise, the high-priest of Amen-Re’ at Karnak, the setem-priest of the Pharaoh’s own funerary temple, two important royal butlers, a general in charge of the chariotry, a standard-bearer in the navy, and finally the mayor of Thebes Pesiur, the sworn enemy of Pwero, the mayor on the west bank (whom he had tried with very limited success to make responsible for the thefts in the royal tombs) were appointed to these trials. The court presiding over the later trials was similarly constituted, but the high-priest is lacking, probably because engaged upon even more important business. Here the names of the judges are all changed, this marking the lapse of time between the two sets of events. The Pharaoh, though absent from Thebes, was not indifferent to the crimes committed against the buried treasures of his predecessors. The trials were ordered by him and, at least in one case, the condemned were imprisoned until the king should decide what their punishment should be. In the wider historical sense, the importance of these happenings at Thebes lies rather in the hints of great political occurrences let drop by the witnesses in making their depositions or otherwise indicated in the papyri of these times. Ramesses IX, after reigning for seventeen or more years, was succeeded by the tenth of the name, whose highest date is year 3. The long line of Ramesside kings came to an end with Ramesses XI, whose Prenomen Menma’re’setpenptah recalled the great monarch Sethos I of two centuries earlier. His first eleven years have left no contemporary dated records, but information written down a decade later leaves no doubt as to the troubled condition of the land. It is probably to the early years of the reign that belongs a momentous event recalled in the testimony of a porter named Howtenufe: The barbarians came and seized Tho (the temple of Medinet Habu), while I was looking after some asses belonging to my father. And Peheti, a barbarian, seized me and took me to Ipip, after wrong had been done to Amenhotpe, who was formerly high-priest of Amun, for as long as six months. And it so happened that I returned when nine whole months of wrong had been done to Amenhotpe, and when this portable chest had been misappropriated and set on fire.

Elsewhere, mention is made of ‘the war of the high-priest’ which must surely refer to the same event. The ambitious priest, who had been so powerful under Ramesses IX, here met with his nemesis. Chronological considerations make it impossible to link up this conflict with a revolt in which a certain Pinhasi was the protagonist. In Papyrus Mayer A, a document dating from late in the reign of Ramesses XI, some of the thieves are stated to have been ‘killed by Pinhasi’, while others perished in the ‘war in the Northern District’ and we read too of a moment ‘when Pinhasi destroyed Hardai’, which is the town called Cynonpolis by the Greeks, the capital of the seventeenth nome of Upper Egypt. The name Pinhasi is written in such a way as to make it certain that he was an enemy of the loyalists at Thebes, and the absence of any title shows that he was a very well-known personage. He can hardly have been other than the King’s Son of Cush who was responsible for the collection of taxes in towns south of Thebes in year 12, and to whom in year 17 a somewhat authoritative order was sent by the king bidding him co-operate which the royal butler Yenes in the fabrication of a piece of furniture needed for the temple of a certain goddess and in supplying various semi-precious stones required for the workshops of the Residence City. It seems, accordingly, that his rebellion must have been posterior to year 17. There is a possible reference to him in a letter of considerably later date which suggests that he retired to Nubia and carried on his resistance there. But apart from this, nothing more is heard of him, nor are we able to guess anything beyond the fact that he was presumably a native of Aniba in Nubia, where a tomb prepared for him has been found.

It was not until after the defeat of Pinhasi that his title of King’s Son of Cush, together with other offices which went with it, could be annexed by a personage of vastly greater importance. The earlier stages of Hrihor’s career are wrapped in mystery. His parentage is unknown, for he never mentions either father or mother. That his overwhelming power rested upon his tenure of the post of high-priest at Karnak is certain, since his name is almost invariably preceded by the epithet ‘First prophet of Amen-Re’, King of the Gods’. We shall soon find him portraying in that capacity. It is unlikely that so important a post, commanding as it did the accumulated wealth of centuries, should have been left vacant for long. It is natural to suppose that Hrihor was the immediate successor of Amenhotpe. There is no evidence, however, that he passed through the various priestly grades which normally led up to the high-priesthood, from where it has become fashionable to suppose that originally he, like King Haremhab before him, had previously been an army officer. It is true that together with the son and grandson who succeeded him, he habitually used the title ‘Commander of the Army’, or ‘Great commander of the army of Upper Egypt’, but those functions may have been dictated merely by the necessities of the times. They may have been prompted by his taking over the dignities of Pinhasi, whose governorship of Nubia he is unlikely ever to have exercised. At some uncertain moment, he also laid claim to the title of vizier, though there are grounds for thinking that this post was actually in another’s hands. There is one tenuous clue which might account for Ramesses XI having chosen him to become high-priest. His wife Nodjme, who by reason of her marriage to him would naturally acquire the station of ‘great one of the concubines of Amen-Re’ was the daughter of a lady named Hrere, who bore the same title and was consequently in all probability the widow of Amenhotpe. If so, Hrihor may have attained his principal honor through marriage, though his own strong character will in any case have played a large part in the appointment.

The development of this great pontiff’s ambition may best be seen in the temple at Karnak which Ramesses III had begun to erect in honor of Chons, the youngest member of the Theban triad. The original founder and his son Ramesses IV had succeeded in completing no more than the sanctuary and the surrounding inner chambers. It was not until the reign of Ramesses XI that the building was continued southwards with a hypostyle hall. In some of the scenes of this hall Ramesses is shown making offerings to the local gods in the traditional fashion. In others Hrihor obtains a predominance never before accorded to a mere subject. It is not entirely unnatural that as high-priest of Amen-Re’ he should be depicted sensing the on-coming or halted bark of the supreme deity, especially since mention of Ramesses is made in the words with which Amun expresses his gratification at the splendid monument bestowed upon the city by the king. However, on four of the eight columns occupying the center of the hall, it is Hrihor who with unheard-of presumption caused himself to be displayed performing some ritual act before one or other member of the triad. In two of the three dedicatory inscriptions running along the base of the walls, Hrihor alone is named as the donor, the king’s person being completely ignored. When, possibly only a year or two later, Hrihor added a forecourt still farther south. We here find him with the royal uraeus upon his brow or even wearing the double crown, though still arrayed in the costume of the high-priest. What is still more significant , he has now, in the absence of any allusion to Ramesses, assumed the full titulary of a Pharaoh, with a Horus-name of his own and separate cartouches for Prenomen and Nomen: ‘Horus Strong-Bull-son-of-Amun, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, lord of the Two Lands, First-prophet-of-Amun, bodily son of Re’, Son-of-Amun-Hrihor.’

In the face of this evidence, it is comprehensible that the older Egyptologists should have interpreted the accession of Hrihor as the final triumph of the priesthood of Amun, and should have assumed that he did not claim the throne until natural or unnatural death had removed the last of the legitimate Pharaohs. Gradually, however, fresh testimony has come to light which compels us to reconstruct the facts in a different way. Instead of dates continuing to be expressed, as normally, in terms of the regnal years of the monarch, a mysterious new era named the Repetition-of-Births makes its appearance. When we recall that the usurper Ammenemes I had adopted the expression Weham-meswe ‘Repeater of Births’ as his Horus name, and that Sethos I, very nearly the founder of Dyn. XIX, had appended the same words as here to datings of his first and second years. It is obvious that some sort of Renaissance was signified thereby. Fortunately, we are able to determine the exact regnal dated of this. Papyrus Mayer A in the Liverpool Museum is headed ‘Year 1 in the Repetition-of-Births’ and enumerates precisely the same thieves as are listed on the verso of the already much-discussed Papyrus Abbott, which bears the date ‘Year 1, first month of the Inundation season, day 2, corresponding to Year 19’. After much hesitation and discussion, it has been realized that this year 19 could only belong to the reign of Ramesses XI who, however, was known from stele found at Abydos to have survived until his twenty-seventh year. Now it could hardly be doubted that the Renaissance in question referred to some momentous occurrence or decision in Hrihor’s career, so that this must have fallen at a time when the rule of the last Ramesses had run only two thirds of its course. The question has been clinched by a relatively recent discovery. A scene and inscription carved upon a wall of the temple of Karnak illustrates one of those oracles which became more and more frequent about this period. A scribe of the storehouse at Karnak had to be appointed, and the name of one Nesamun had been put forward. The god’s approval was indicated by a ‘great nod’ or downward inclination of the bark of Amen-Re’ as it was carried in procession on the shoulders of the priests. The importance of this incident lies in the personality of the high-priest who put the question and in the date at the beginning of the inscription. The date is given as ‘Year 7 of the Repetition of Births…under Ramesses XI’, accordingly in the twenty-fifth year of that king’s reign. The figure of the high-priest is accompanied by the words ‘The fan-bearer to the right of the King, the King’s Son of Cush, the First prophet of Amen-Re’, King of the Gods, the Commander of the Army, the Prince Pay’onkh’. Now Pay’onkh was Hrihor’s eldest son, and since it is inconceivable that Hrihor should have relinquished the high-priesthood during his lifetime, we cannot but conclude that he died before the seventh year of the Renaissance and at any rate more than a year before his sovereign.

In the light of these circumstances, the Theban theocracy founded by Hrihor assumes a considerably changed aspect. That he united all the powers of the State in his own person and handed them on to his descendants seems clear form the military, judicial, administrative, and sacerdotal titles which he and they bore, but actual assumption of the Double Crown was denied him. So long as Ramesses XI lived, it was he who was referred to as Pharaoh. Within the precincts of the great temple of Karnak, Hrihor might certainly flaunt a royal titulary, even if he could there find for himself no more imposing a Prenomen than ‘First prophet of Amun’. In the few cases where his name occurs outside Karnak, it is never enclosed in a cartouche, nor did he ever venture to employ regnal years of his own. The dating by years of the ‘Reception of Births’ probably refers to some favorable turn in the fortunes of the country, but this did not bring Ramesses back to Thebes where his tomb was left incomplete and unoccupied. Concerning Hrihor’s own tomb, our records are completely silent and excavations have revealed no trace of him in the Biban el-Moluk. His wife Nodjme, who apparently gave him nineteen sons and five daughters, seems to have survived him and more will be heard of her later. A long inscription at Karnak may have cast further light on Hrihor’s life, but is too fragmentary to supply any useful information. The coffins of Sethos I and Ramesses II, found in the cache at Der el-Bahri, carry dockets stating that in year 6 (clearly of the Renaissance) Hrihor caused those kings to be buried anew, but obviously not in their final resting-place. A statue at Cairo and a stele in the Leyden Museum are the only remaining records of importance, apart form a papyrus which paints so broad and convincing a picture that the often debated question whether it is genuine history or fiction founded upon fact becomes largely academic. Most scholars would probably subscribe to Lefebvre’s verdict ‘C’est un roman historique’. This fascinating document was bought in Cairo by Golenischeff in 1891 together with two other literary papyri of which one at all events was written by the same hand. It tells the story of the misfortunes of Wenamun, a Theban sent on a mission to Syria at the very close of Dyn. XX. The narrative is dated in a year 5 which, in the light of what is now known must belong to the Renaissance, explained above. Hrihor is the high-priest at Karnak, while Tanis is ruled by that Nesbanebded who subsequently became the first king of Manetho’s Dyn. XXI. These two great men are on good terms with one another, neither of them as yet claiming the kingship. The real Pharaoh, namely Ramesses XI, is mentioned only once in a cryptic utterance. In such circumstances, Egypt was evidently too weak to command respect abroad, and the conversations of Wenamun with the princes whom he met afford a revelation of the contemporary world unequaled in the entire literature of the Nearer East. It is for that reason that, departing from our usual habit, we give in the following pages a virtually complete translation.

Year 5, fourth month of the Summer season, day 16; the day on which Wenamun, the elder of the portal of the estate of Amun, lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, set forth to fetch the timber for the great noble bark of Amen-Re’, King of the Gods, which is upon the river and is called Amen-user-her. On the day of my arrival at Tanis, the place where Nesbanebded and Tentamun are, I gave them the dispatches of Amen-Re’, King of the Gods. They caused them to be read before them and they said: ‘We will surely do as Amen-Re’, King of the Gods, our lord has said.’

I stayed until the fourth month of the Summer season in Tanis. And Nesbanebded and Tentamun sent me forth with the ship’s captain Mengebet, and I went down upon the great sea of Syria in the first month of the Summer season. And I arrived at Dor, a Tjekker-town, and Beder its prince caused to be brought to me 50 loaves, one flagon of wine, and one haunch of an ox. And a man of my ship fled after stealing one vessel of gold worth 5 deben, four jars of silver worth 20 deben, and a bag of silver, 11 deben; total of what he stole, gold 5 deben, silver 31 deben. And I arose in the morning and went to the place where the prince was and said to him: I have been robbed in your harbor. But you are the prince of this land and you are its controller. Search for my money, for indeed the money belongs to Amen-Re’, King of the Gods, the lord of the lands, it belongs to Nesbanebded, it belongs to Hrihor my lord and to the other great ones of Egypt; it belongs to you, it belongs to Waret, it belongs to Mekamar, it belongs to Tjikarba’al the prince of Byblos.’ He said to me: ‘Are you in earnest or are you inventing? For indeed I know nothing of this tale that you have told me. If it had been a thief belonging to my land who had gone down into your ship and had stolen your money, I would have replaced it for you from my storehouse, until your thief had been found, whoever he may be. But in fact the thief who robbed you, he is yours, he belongs to your ship. Spend a few days here with me, that I may search for him.’ I stayed nine days anchored in his harbor, and then I went before him and said to him: ‘Look, you have not found my money.’

There follows a much broken passage the gist of which may be guessed to be as follows: Wenamun expresses the wish to depart with some ship’s captains about to put to sea, but the prince urges him to refrain, suggesting that he should seize goods belonging to the suspected persons until they had gone to search for the thief. Wenamun, however, prefers to continue his journey and after touching at Tyre leaves that port at daybreak. He is soon at Byblos, where Tjikarba’al is the prince. There he comes across a ship that contains 30 deben of silver, which he annexes saying that the money shall remain with him until those whom he addresses have found the thief. …They departed, and I celebrated in a tent on the shore of the sea in the harbor of Byblos. And I found a hiding place for Amun-of-the-Road and placed his possessions within it. And the prince of Byblos sent to me saying: ‘Remove yourself from my harbor.’ And I sent to him saying: ‘Where shall I go?…If you can find a ship to carry me, let me be taken back to Egypt.’ And I spent twenty-nine days in his harbor and he spent time sending to me daily to say: ‘Remove yourself from my harbor.’

Now whilst he was offering to his gods, the god seized a young man of his young men and put him in a frenzy and said to him: ‘Bring the god up and bring up the envoy who is carrying him. It is Amun who sent him, it is he who caused him to come.’ And the frenzied one was in a frenzy during this night, when I had found a ship with its face set towards Egypt and had loaded all my belongings onto it and was watching for the darkness saying ‘When it descends, I will put the god aboard so that no other eye shall see him.’ And the harbor-master came to me saying: ‘Wait here until tomorrow, so says the prince.’ And I said to him: ‘Was it not you who spent time coming to me daily saying ‘Remove yourself from my harbor’, and have you not said ‘Wait here this night’ in order to let the ship which I have found depart, and then you will come again and tell me to go?’ And he went and told it to the prince. And the prince sent to the captain of the ship saying ‘Wait until the morning–so says the prince.’

And when the morning came, he sent and brought me up, while the god was reposing in the tent where he was on the shore of the sea. And I found him seated in his upper chamber with his back against a window, while the waves of the great sea of Syria beat behind his head. And I said to him: ‘Amun be merciful(?).’ And he said to me: ‘How long until today is it since you came from the place where Amun is?’ And I said to him: ‘Five whole months until now.’ And he said to me: ‘Supposing you are right, where is the dispatch of Amun which is in your hand, and where is the letter of the First Prophet of Amun which is in your hand?’ And I said to him: ‘I gave them to Nesbanebded and Tentamun.’ Then he was very angry and said to me: ‘Well now, dispatch or letter there is none in your hand, but where is the ship of pinewood which Nesbanebded gave you and where is its Syrian crew? Did he not entrust you to this barbarian ship’s captain to cause him to kill you and that they should throw you into the sea? From whom then would the god have been sought for, and you too, from whom would you too have been sought for?’ So he said to me. But I said to him: ‘Is it not an Egyptian ship and an Egyptian crew which carry Nesbanebded? He has no Syrian crews.’ And he said to me: ‘Are there not twenty vessels here in my harbor which do business with Nesbanebded, and as for that Sidon, that other place by which you passed, are there not fifty more ships there which do business with Waraktir, and which toil to his house?’ I kept silence at that great moment.

Then he proceeded to say to me: ‘On what commission have you come?’ And I said to him: ‘I have come in quest of the timber for the great noble bark of Amen-Re’, King of the Gods. What your father did and what the father of your father did, you too will do it.’ So I said to him. And he said to me: ‘They did it in truth. You shall pay me for doing it, and I will do it. Certainly my people performed this commission, but only after Pharaoh had caused to be brought six ships laden with Egyptian goods and they had unloaded them into their storehouses. But you–what have you brought to me myself?’ And he caused the daybook rolls of his fathers to be brought and he caused them to be read before me. And they found entered on his roll a thousand deben of silver, things of all sorts. And he said to me: ‘If the ruler of Egypt had been the possessor of mine own and I too his servant, he would not have caused silver and gold to be brought when he said ‘Perform the commission of Amun’; it was no gratuitous gift that they used to make for my father. And as for me too, I myself, I am not your servant, and I am not the servant of him who sent you either. When I cry aloud to the Lebanon, the heaven opens and the timber lies here on the shore of the sea. Give me the sails that you brought to carry your ships which are to bear your timber to Egypt. Give me the ropes that you have brought to lash together the cedars which I am to fell for you in order to make them for you…which I am to make for the sails of your ships and the yards may be too heavy and may break and you may perish in the midst of the sea. Behold, Amun will give voice in the heaven having placed Sutekh beside himself. True, Amun fitted out all the lands. He fitted them out after having earlier fitted out the land of Egypt whence you have come. And craftsmanship came forth from it reaching to the place where I am. And learning came forth from it reaching to the place where I am. What then are these foolish journeyings which you have been caused to make?’ But I said to him: ‘False! No foolish journe

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