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Title: Legends of the Gods
 - The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations
Author: Budge, E. A. Wallis (Ernest Alfred Wallis), Sir
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Legends of the Gods
 - The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations" ***

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The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

by E. A. Wallis Budge

London, 1912

[Editorial note: Throughout the text "####" represents images which
                 cannot be transcribed.]


The welcome which has been accorded to the volumes of this Series, and
the fact that some of them have passed into second and third editions,
suggest that these little books have been found useful by beginners in
Egyptology and others.  Hitherto the object of them has been to supply
information about the Religion, Magic, Language, and History of the
ancient Egyptians, and to provide editions of the original texts from
which such information was derived.  There are, however, many branches
of Egyptology which need treatment in a similar manner in this Series,
and it has been suggested in many quarters that the time has now
arrived when the publication of a series of groups of texts
illustrating Egyptian Literature in general might well be begun.
Seeing that nothing is known about the authors of Egyptian works, not
even their names, it is impossible to write a History of Egyptian
Literature in the ordinary sense of the word.  The only thing to be
done is to print the actual works in the best and most complete form
possible, with translations, and then to put them in the hands of the
reader and leave them to his judgment.

With this object in view, it has been decided to publish in the Series
several volumes which shall be devoted to the reproduction in
hieroglyphic type of the best and most typical examples of the various
kinds of Egyptian Literature, with English translations, on a much
larger scale than was possible in my "First Steps in Egyptian" or in my
"Egyptian Reading Book."  These volumes are intended to serve a double
purpose, i.e., to supply the beginner in Egyptian with new material and
a series of reading books, and to provide the general reader with
translations of Egyptian works in a handy form.

The Egyptian texts, whether the originals be written in hieroglyphic or
hieratic characters, are here printed in hieroglyphic type, and are
arranged with English translations, page for page.  They are printed as
they are written in the original documents, i.e., the words are not
divided.  The beginner will find the practice of dividing the words for
himself most useful in acquiring facility of reading and understanding
the language.  The translations are as literal as can reasonably be
expected, and, as a whole, I believe that they mean what the original
writers intended to say.  In the case of passages where the text is
corrupt, and readings are mixed, or where very rare words occur, or
where words are omitted, the renderings given claim to be nothing more
than suggestions as to their meanings.  It must be remembered that the
exact meanings of many Egyptian words have still to be ascertained, and
that the ancient Egyptian scribes were as much puzzled as we are by
some of the texts which they copied, and that owing to carelessness,
ignorance, or weariness, or all three, they made blunders which the
modern student is unable to correct.  In the Introduction will be found
brief descriptions of the contents of the Egyptian texts, in which
their general bearing and importance are indicated, and references
given to authoritative editions of texts and translations.


November 17,1911.













The History of Creation

    I.  Horus holding the Hippopotamus-fiend with chain and spear

   II.  Horus spearing the Hippopotamus-fiend

  III.  Horus spearing the Hippopotamus-fiend

   IV.  Horus and Isis capturing the Hippopotamus fiend

    V.  Horus on the back of the Hippopotamus-fiend

   VI.  The slaughter of the Hippopotamus-fiend

  VII.  Horus of Behutet and Ra-Harmakhis in a shrine

 VIII.  Horus of Behutet and Ra-Harmakhis in a shrine

   IX.  Ashthertet in her chariot

    X.  Horus holding captive foes and spearing Typhonic animals

   XI.  Horus spearing human foes

  XII.  Horus spearing the crocodile

 XIII.  Horus in the form of a lion

  XIV.  The Procreation of Horus, son of Isis.

   XV.  The Resurrection of Osiris.

  XVI.  The Bekhten Stele

 XVII.  The Metternich Stele--Obverse

XVIII.  The Metternich Stele--Reverse




The text of the remarkable Legend of the Creation which forms the first
section of this volume is preserved in a well-written papyrus in the
British Museum, where it bears the number 10,188.  This papyrus was
acquired by the late Mr. A. H. Rhind in 1861 or 1862, when he was
excavating some tombs on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes.  He did
not himself find it in a tomb, but he received it from the British
Consul at Luxor, Mustafa Agha, during an interchange of gifts when Mr.
Rhind was leaving the country.  Mustafa Agha obtained the papyrus from
the famous hiding-place of the Royal Mummies at Der-al-Bahari, with the
situation of which he was well acquainted for many years before it
became known to the Egyptian Service of Antiquities.  When Mr. Rhind
came to England, the results of his excavations were examined by Dr.
Birch, who, recognising the great value of the papyrus, arranged to
publish it in a companion volume to Facsimiles of Two Papyri, but the
death of Mr. Rhind in 1865 caused the project to fall through.  Mr.
Rhind's collection passed into the hands of Mr. David Bremner, and the
papyrus, together with many other antiquities, was purchased by the
Trustees of the British Museum. In 1880 Dr. Birch suggested the
publication of the papyrus to Dr. Pleyte, the Director of the Egyptian
Museum at Leyden.  This savant transcribed and translated some passages
from the Festival Songs of Isis and Nephthys, which is the first text
in it, and these he published in Recueil de Travaux, Paris, tom. iii.,
pp. 57-64.  In 1886 by Dr. Birch's kindness I was allowed to work at
the papyrus, and I published transcripts of some important passages and
the account of the Creation in the Proceedings of the Society of
Biblical Archaeology, 1886-7, pp. 11-26.  The Legend of the Creation
was considered by Dr. H. Brugsch to be of considerable value for the
study of the Egyptian Religion, and encouraged by him[FN#1] I made a
full transcript of the papyrus, which was published in Archaeologia,
(vol. lii., London, 1891), with transliterations and translations.  In
1910 I edited for the Trustees of the British Museum the complete
hieratic text with a revised translation.[FN#2]

[FN#1]  Ein in moglichst wortgetreuer Uebersetzung vorglegter Papyrus-
text soll den Schlussstein meines Werkes bilden.  Er wird den Beweis
fur die Richtigkeit meiner eigenen Untersuchungen vollenden, indem er
das wichtigste Zeugniss altagyptischen Ursprungs den zahlreichen, von
mir angezogenen Stellen aus den Inschriften hinzufugt.  Trotz mancher
Schwierigkeit im Einzelnen ist der Gesammtinhalt des Textes, den zuerst
ein englischer Gelehrter der Wissenschaft zuganglich gemacht hat, such
nicht im geringsten misszuverstehen (Brugsch, Religion, p. 740).  He
gives a German translation of the Creation Legend on pp. 740, 741, and
a transliteration on p. 756.

[FN#2]  Egyptian Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum, London, 1910,

The papyrus is about 16 ft. 8 in. in length, and is 9 1/4 in. in width.
It contains 21 columns of hieratic text which are written in short
lines and are poetical in character, and 12 columns or pages of text
written in long lines; the total number of lines is between 930 and
940.  The text is written in a small, very black, but neat hand, and
may be assigned to a time between the XXVIth Dynasty and the Ptolemaic
Period.  The titles, catch-words, rubrics, names of Apep and his
fiends, and a few other words, are written in red ink.  There are two
colophons; in the one we have a date, namely, the "first day of the
fourth month of the twelfth year of Pharaoh Alexander, the son of
Alexander," i.e., B.C. 311, and in the other the name of the priest who
either had the papyrus written, or appropriated it, namely, Nes-Menu,
or Nes-Amsu.

The Legend of the Creation is found in the third work which is given in
the papyrus, and which is called the "Book of overthrowing Apep, the
Enemy of Ra, the Enemy of Un-Nefer" (i.e., Osiris).  This work
contained a series of spells which were recited during the performance
of certain prescribed ceremonies, with the object of preventing storms,
and dispersing rain-clouds, and removing any obstacle, animate or
inanimate, which could prevent the rising of the sun in the morning, or
obscure his light during the day.  The Leader-in Chief of the hosts of
darkness was a fiend called Apep who appeared in the sky in the form of
a monster serpent, and, marshalling all the fiends of the Tuat,
attempted to keep the Sun-god imprisoned in the kingdom of darkness.
Right in the midst of the spells which were directed against Apep we
find inserted the legend of the Creation, which occurs in no other
known Egyptian document (Col. XXVI., l. 21, to Col. XXVII., l. 6).
Curiously enough a longer version of the legend is given a little
farther on (Col. XXVIII., l. 20, to Col. XXIX., l. 6).  Whether the
scribe had two copies to work from, and simply inserted both, or
whether he copied the short version and added to it as he went along,
cannot be said.  The legend is entitled: Book of knowing the evolutions
of Ra [and of] overthrowing Apep.

This curious "Book" describes the origin not only of heaven, and earth,
and all therein, but also of God Himself.  In it the name of Apep is
not even mentioned, and it is impossible to explain its appearance in
the Apep Ritual unless we assume that the whole "Book" was regarded as
a spell of the most potent character, the mere recital of which was
fraught with deadly effect for Apep and his friends.

The story of the Creation is supposed to be told by the god Neb-er-
tcher.  This name means the "Lord to the uttermost limit," and the
character of the god suggests that the word "limit" refers to time and
space, and that he was, in fact, the Everlasting God of the Universe.
This god's name occurs in Coptic texts, and then he appears as one who
possesses all the attributes which are associated by modern nations
with God Almighty.  Where and how Neb-er-tcher existed is not said, but
it seems as if he was believed to have been an almighty and invisible
power which filled all space.  It seems also that a desire arose in him
to create the world, and in order to do this he took upon himself the
form of the god Khepera, who from first to last was regarded as the
Creator, par excellence, among all the gods known to the Egyptians.
When this transformation of Neb-er-tcher into Khepera took place the
heavens and the earth had not been created, but there seems to have
existed a vast mass of water, or world-ocean, called Nu, and it must
have been in this that the transformation took place.  In this
celestial ocean were the germs of all the living things which
afterwards took form in heaven and on earth, but they existed in a
state of inertness and helplessness.  Out of this ocean Khepera raised
himself, and so passed from a state of passiveness and inertness into
one of activity.  When Khepera raised himself out of the ocean Nu, he
found himself in vast empty space, wherein was nothing on which he
could stand.  The second version of the legend says that Khepera gave
being to himself by uttering his own name, and the first version states
that he made use of words in providing himself with a place on which to
stand.  In other words, when Khepera was still a portion of the being
of Neb-er-tcher, he spake the word "Khepera," and Khepera came into
being.  Similarly, when he needed a place whereon to stand, he uttered
the name of the thing, or place, on which he wanted to stand, and that
thing, or place, came into being.  This spell he seems to have
addressed to his heart, or as we should say, will, so that Khepera
willed this standing-place to appear, and it did so forthwith.  The
first version only mentions a heart, but the second also speaks of a
heart-soul as assisting Khepera in his first creative acts; and we may
assume that he thought out in his heart what manner of thing be wished
to create, and then by uttering its name caused his thought to take
concrete form.  This process of thinking out the existence of things is
expressed in Egyptian by words which mean "laying the foundation in the

In arranging his thoughts and their visible forms Khepera was assisted
by the goddess Maat, who is usually regarded as the goddess of law,
order, and truth, and in late times was held to be the female
counterpart of Thoth, "the heart of the god Ra."  In this legend,
however, she seems to play the part of Wisdom, as described in the Book
of Proverbs,[FN#3] for it was by Maat that he "laid the foundation."

[FN#3]   "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his
works of old.  I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or
ever the earth was.  When there were no depths I was brought forth . .
. . . . . Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I
brought forth: while as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields,
nor the highest part of the dust of the world.  When he prepared the
heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
when he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the
fountains of the deep: when he gave to the sea his decree, . . . . . .
when he appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by him, as
one brought up with him. . . . . . ."  Proverbs, viii. 22 ff.}

Having described the coming into being of Khepera and the place on
which he stood, the legend goes on to tell of the means by which the
first Egyptian triad, or trinity, came into existence.  Khepera had, in
some form, union with his own shadow, and so begot offspring, who
proceeded from his body under the forms of the gods Shu and Tefnut.
According to a tradition preserved in the Pyramid Texts[FN#4] this
event took place at On (Heliopolis), and the old form of the legend
ascribes the production of Shu and Tefnut to an act of masturbation.
Originally these gods were the personifications of air and dryness, and
liquids respectively; thus with their creation the materials for the
construction of the atmosphere and sky came into being.  Shu and Tefnut
were united, and their offspring were Keb, the Earth-god, and Nut, the
Sky-goddess.  We have now five gods in existence; Khepera, the creative
principle, Shu, the atmosphere, Tefnut, the waters above the heavens,
Nut, the Sky-goddess, and Keb, the Earth-god.  Presumably about this
time the sun first rose out of the watery abyss of Nu, and shone upon
the world and produced day.  In early times the sun, or his light, was
regarded as a form of Shu.  The gods Keb and Nut were united in an
embrace, and the effect of the coming of light was to separate them. As
long as the sun shone, i.e., as long as it was day, Nut, the Sky-
goddess, remained in her place above the earth, being supported by Shu;
but as soon as the sun set she left the sky and gradually descended
until she rested on the body of the Earth-god, Keb.

[FN#4]   Pepi I., l. 466.

The embraces of Keb caused Nut to bring forth five gods at a birth,
namely, Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis, and Nephthys.  Osiris and Isis
married before their birth, and Isis brought forth a son called Horus;
Set and Nephthys also married before their birth, and Nephthys brought
forth a son named Anpu (Anubis), though he is not mentioned in the
legend.  Of these gods Osiris is singled out for special mention in the
legend, in which Khepera, speaking as Neb-er-tcher, says that his name
is Ausares, who is the essence of the primeval matter of which he
himself is formed.  Thus Osiris was of the same substance as the Great
God who created the world according to the Egyptians, and was a
reincarnation of his great-grandfather.  This portion of the legend
helps to explain the views held about Osiris as the great ancestral
spirit, who when on earth was a benefactor of mankind, and who when in
heaven was the saviour of souls.

The legend speaks of the sun as the Eye of Khepera, or Neb-er-tcher,
and refers to some calamity which befell it and extinguished its light.
This calamity may have been simply the coming of night, or eclipses, or
storms; but in any case the god made a second Eye, i.e., the Moon, to
which he gave some of the splendour of the other Eye, i.e., the Sun,
and he gave it a place in his Face, and henceforth it ruled throughout
the earth, and had special powers in respect of the production of
trees, plants, vegetables, herbs, etc.  Thus from the earliest times
the moon was associated with the fertility of the earth, especially in
connection with the production of abundant crops and successful

According to the legend, men and women sprang not from the earth, but
directly from the body of the god Khepera, or Neb-er-tcher, who placed
his members together and then wept tears upon them, and men and women,
came into being from the tears which had fallen from his eyes.  No
special mention is made of the creation of beasts in the legend, but
the god says that he created creeping things of all kinds, and among
these are probably included the larger quadrupeds.  The men and women,
and all the other living creatures which were made at that time,
reproduced their species, each in his own way, and so the earth became
filled with their descendants which we see at the present time.

Such is the Legend of Creation as it is found in the Papyrus of Nes-
Menu.  The text of both versions is full of difficult passages, and
some readings are corrupt; unfortunately variant versions by which they
might be corrected are lacking.  The general meaning of the legend in
both versions is quite clear, and it throws considerable light on the
Egyptian religion.  The Egyptians believed in the existence of God, the
Creator and Maintainer of all things, but they thought that the
concerns of this world were committed by Him to the superintendence of
a series of subordinate spirits or beings called "gods," over whom they
believed magical spells and ceremonies to have the greatest influence.
The Deity was a Being so remote, and of such an exalted nature, that it
was idle to expect Him to interfere in the affairs of mortals, or to
change any decree or command which He had once uttered.  The spirits or
"gods," on the other hand, possessing natures not far removed from
those of men, were thought to be amenable to supplications and
flattery, and to wheedling and cajolery, especially when accompanied by
gifts.  It is of great interest to find a legend in which the power of
God as the Creator of the world and the sun and moon is so clearly set
forth, embedded in a book of magical spells devoted to the destruction
of the mythological monster who existed solely to prevent the sun from
rising and shining.



The text containing the Legend of the Destruction of Mankind is written
in hieroglyphs, and is found on the four walls of a small chamber which
is entered from the "hall of columns" in the tomb of Seti I., which is
situated on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes.  On the wall facing
the door of this chamber is painted in red the figure of the large "Cow
of Heaven."  The lower part of her belly is decorated with a series of
thirteen stars, and immediately beneath it are the two Boats of Ra,
called Semketet and Mantchet, or Sektet and Matet.  Each of her four
legs is held in position by two gods, and the god Shu, with
outstretched uplifted arms, supports her body.  The Cow was published
by Champollion,[FN#5] without the text.  This most important
mythological text was first published and translated by Professor E.
Naville in 1874.[FN#6]  It was republished by Bergmann[FN#7] and
Brugsch,[FN#8] who gave a transcription of the text, with a German
translation.  Other German versions by Lauth,[FN#9] Brugsch,[FN#10] and
Wiedemann[FN#11] have appeared, and a part of the text was translated
into French by Lefebure.[FN#12]  The latest edition of the text was
published by Lefebure,[FN#13] and text of a second copy, very much
mutilated, was published by Professor Naville, with a French
translation in 1885.[FN#14]  The text printed in this volume is that of
M. Lefebure.

[FN#5]  Monuments, tom. iii., p. 245.

[FN#6]  Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., vol. iv., p. 1 ff.

[FN#7]  Hieroglyphische Inschriften, Bl. 85 fl.

[FN#8]  Die neue Weltordnung nach Vernichtung des sundigen
Menschengeschlechtes, Berlin, 1881.

[FN#9]  Aus Aegyptens Vorzeit, p. 71.

[FN#10]  Religion der alten Aegypter, p. 436.

[FN#11]  Die Religion, p. 32.

[FN#12]  A. Z., 1883, p. 32.

[FN#13]  Tombeau de Seti I., Part IV., plates 15-18.

[FN#14]  Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., vol. viii., p. 412 ft.

The legend takes us back to the time when the gods of Egypt went about
in the country, and mingled with men and were thoroughly acquainted
with their desires and needs.  The king who reigned over Egypt was Ra,
the Sun-god, who was not, however, the first of the Dynasty of Gods who
ruled the land.  His predecessor on the throne was Hephaistos, who,
according to Manetho, reigned 9000 years, whilst Ra reigned only 992
years; Panodorus makes his reign to have lasted less than 100 years.
Be this as it may, it seems that the "self-created and self-begotten"
god Ra had been ruling over mankind for a very long time, for his
subjects were murmuring against him, and they were complaining that he
was old, that his bones were like silver, his body like gold, and his
hair like lapis-lazuli.  When Ra heard these murmurings he ordered his
bodyguard to summon all the gods who had been with him in the primeval
World-ocean, and to bid them privately to assemble in the Great House,
which can be no other than the famous temple of Heliopolis.  This
statement is interesting, for it proves that the legend is of
Heliopolitan origin, like the cult of Ra itself, and that it does not
belong, at least in so far as it applies to Ra, to the Predynastic

When Ra entered the Great Temple, the gods made obeisance to him, and
took up their positions on each side of him, and informed him that they
awaited his words.  Addressing Nu, the personification of the World-
ocean, Ra bade them to take notice of the fact that the men and women
whom his Eye had created were murmuring against him.  He then asked
them to consider the matter and to devise a plan of action for him, for
he was unwilling to slay the rebels without hearing what his gods had
to say.  In reply the gods advised Ra to send forth his Eye to destroy
the blasphemers, for there was no eye on earth that could resist it,
especially when it took the form of the goddess Hathor.  Ra accepted
their advice and sent forth his Eye in the form of Hathor to destroy
them, and, though the rebels had fled to the mountains in fear, the Eye
pursued them and overtook them and destroyed them.  Hathor rejoiced in
her work of destruction, and on her return was praised by Ra, for what
she had done.  The slaughter of men began at Suten-henen
(Herakleopolis), and during the night Hathor waded about in the blood
of men.  Ra asserted his intention of being master of the rebels, and
this is probably referred to in the Book of the Dead, Chapter XVII., in
which it is said that Ra rose as king for the first time in Suten-
henen.  Osiris also was crowned at Suten-henen, and in this city lived
the great Bennu bird, or Phoenix, and the "Crusher of Bones" mentioned
in the Negative Confession.

The legend now goes on to describe an act of Ra, the significance of
which it is difficult to explain.  The god ordered messengers to be
brought to him, and when they arrived, he commanded them to run like
the wind to Abu, or the city of Elephantine, and to bring him large
quantities of the fruit called tataat.  What kind of fruit this was is
not clear, but Brugsch thought they were "mandrakes," the so-called
"love-apples," and this translation of tataat may be used
provisionally.  The mandrakes were given to Sekti, a goddess of
Heliopolis, to crush and grind up, and when this was done they were
mixed with human blood, and put in a large brewing of beer which the
women slaves had made from wheat.  In all they made 7,000 vessels of
beer.  When Ra saw the beer he approved of it, and ordered it to be
carried up the river to where the goddess Hathor was still, it seems,
engaged in slaughtering men.  During the night he caused this beer to
be poured out into the meadows of the Four Heavens, and when Hathor
came she saw the beer with human blood and mandrakes in it, and drank
of it and became drunk, and paid no further attention to men and women.
In welcoming the goddess, Ra, called her "Amit," i.e., "beautiful one,"
and from this time onward "beautiful women were found in the city of
Amit," which was situated in the Western Delta, near Lake
Mareotis.[FN#15]  Ra also ordered that in future at every one of his
festivals vessels of "sleep-producing beer" should be made, and that
their number should be the same as the number of the handmaidens of Ra.
Those who took part in these festivals of Hathor and Ra drank beer in
very large quantities, and under the influence of the "beautiful
women," i.e., the priestesses, who were supposed to resemble Hathor in
their physical attractions, the festal celebrations degenerated into
drunken and licentious orgies.

[FN#15]  It was also called the "City of Apis," (Brugsch, Dict. Geog.,
p. 491), and is the Apis city of classical writers.  It is, perhaps,
represented by the modern Kom al-Hisn.

Soon after this Ra complained that he was smitten with pain, and that
he was weary of the, children of men.  He thought them a worthless
remnant, and wished that more of them had been slain.  The gods about
him begged him to endure, and reminded him that his power was in
proportion to his will.  Ra was, however, unconsoled, and he complained
that his limbs were weak for the first time in his life.  Thereupon the
god Nu told Shu to help Ra, and he ordered Nut to take the great god Ra
on her back.  Nut changed herself into a cow, and with the help of Shu
Ra got on her back. As soon as men saw that Ra was on the back of the
Cow of Heaven, and was about to leave them, they became filled with
fear and repentance, and cried out to Ra to remain with them and to
slay all those who had blasphemed against him.  But the Cow moved on
her way, and carried Ra to Het-Ahet, a town of the nome of Mareotis,
where in later days the right leg of Osiris was said to be preserved.
Meanwhile darkness covered the land.  When day broke the men who had
repented of their blasphemies appeared with their bows, and slew the
enemies of Ra.  At this result Ra was pleased, and he forgave those who
had repented because of their righteous slaughter of his enemies.  From
this time onwards human sacrifices were offered up at the festivals of
Ra celebrated in this place, and at Heliopolis and in other parts of

After these things Ra declared to Nut that he intended to leave this
world, and to ascend into heaven, and that all those who would see his
face must follow him thither.  Then he went up into heaven and prepared
a place to which all might come.  Then he said, "Hetep sekhet aa,"
i.e., "Let a great field be produced," and straightway "Sekhet-hetep,"
or the "Field of peace," came into being.  He next said, "Let there be
reeds (aaru) in it," and straightway "Sekhet Aaru," or the "Field of
Reeds," came into being.  Sekhet-hetep was the Elysian Fields of the
Egyptians, and the Field of Reeds was a well-known section of it.
Another command of the god Ra resulted in the creation of the stars,
which the legend compares to flowers.  Then the goddess Nut trembled in
all her body, and Ra, fearing that she might fall, caused to come into
being the Four Pillars on which the heavens are supported.  Turning to
Shu, Ra entreated him to protect these supports, and to place himself
under Nut, and to hold her up in position with his hands.  Thus Shu
became the new Sun-god in the place of Ra, and the heavens in which Ra
lived were supported and placed beyond the risk of falling, and mankind
would live and rejoice in the light of the new sun.

At this place in the legend a text is inserted called the "Chapter of
the Cow."  It describes how the Cow of Heaven and the two Boats of the
Sun shall be painted, and gives the positions of the gods who stand by
the legs of the Cow, and a number of short magical names, or formulae,
which are inexplicable.  The general meaning of the picture of the Cow
is quite clear.  The Cow represents the sky in which the Boats of Ra,
sail, and her four legs are the four cardinal points which cannot be
changed.  The region above her back is the heaven in which Ra reigns
over the beings who pass thereto from this earth when they die, and
here was situated the home of the gods and the celestial spirits who
govern this world.

When Ra had made a heaven for himself, and had arranged for a
continuance of life on the earth, and the welfare of human beings, he
remembered that at one time when reigning on earth he had been bitten
by a serpent, and had nearly lost his life through the bite.  Fearing
that the same calamity might befall his successor, he determined to
take steps to destroy the power of all noxious reptiles that dwelt on
the earth.  With this object in view he told Thoth to summon Keb, the
Earth-god, to his presence, and this god having arrived, Ra told him
that war must be made against the serpents that dwelt in his dominions.
He further commanded him to go to the god Nu, and to tell him to set a
watch over all the reptiles that were in the earth and in water, and to
draw up a writing for every place in which serpents are known to be,
containing strict orders that they are to bite, no one.  Though these
serpents knew that Ra was retiring from the earth, they were never to
forget that his rays would fall upon them.  In his place their father
Keb was to keep watch over them, and he was their father for ever.

As a further protection against them Ra promised to impart to magicians
and snake-charmers the particular word of power, hekau, with which he
guarded himself against the attacks of serpents, and also to transmit
it to his son Osiris.  Thus those who are ready to listen to the
formulae of the snake-charmers shall always be immune from the bites of
serpents, and their children also.  From this we may gather that the
profession of the snake-charmer is very ancient, and that this class of
magicians were supposed to owe the foundation of their craft to a
decree of Ra himself.

Ra next sent for the god Thoth, and when he came into the presence of
Ra, he invited him to go with him to a distance, to a place called
"Tuat," i.e., hell, or the Other World, in which region he had
determined to make his light to shine.  When they arrived there he told
Thoth, the Scribe of Truth, to write down on his tablets the names of
all who were therein, and to punish those among them who had sinned
against him, and he deputed to Thoth the power to deal absolutely as he
pleased with all the beings in the Tuat.  Ra loathed the wicked, and
wished them to be kept at a distance from him.  Thoth was to be his
vicar, to fill his place, and "Place of Ra," was to be his name.  He
gave him power to send out a messenger (hab), so the Ibis (habi) came
into being.  All that Thoth would do would be good (khen), therefore
the Tekni bird of Thoth came into being.  He gave Thoth power to
embrace (anh) the heavens, therefore the Moon-god (Aah) came into
being.  He gave Thoth power to turn back (anan) the Northern peoples,
therefore the dog-headed ape of Thoth came into being.  Finally Ra told
Thoth that he would take his place in the sight of all those who were
wont to worship Ra, and that all should praise him as God.  Thus the
abdication of Ra was complete.

In the fragmentary texts which follow we are told how a man may benefit
by the recital of this legend.  He must proclaim that the soul which
animated Ra was the soul of the Aged One, and that of Shu, Khnemu (?),
Heh, &c., and then he must proclaim that he is Ra himself, and his word
of power Heka.  If he recites the Chapter correctly he shall have life
in the Other World, and he will be held in greater fear there than
here.  A rubric adds that he must be dressed in new linen garments, and
be well washed with Nile water; he must wear white sandals, and his
body must be anointed with holy oil.  He must burn incense in a censer,
and a figure of Maat (Truth) must be painted on his tongue with green
paint.  These regulations applied to the laity as well as to the



The original text of this very interesting legend is written in the
hieratic character on a papyrus preserved at Turin, and was published
by Pleyte and Rossi in their Corpus of Turin Papyri.[FN#16]  French and
German translations of it were published by Lefebure,[FN#17] and
Wiedemann[FN#18] respectively, and summaries of its contents were given
by Erman[FN#19] and Maspero.[FN#20]  A transcript of the hieratic text
into hieroglyphics, with transliteration and translation, was published
by me in 1895.[FN#21]

[FN#16]  Papyrus de Turin, pll. 31, 77, 131-138.

[FN#17]  A. Z., 1883, p. 27 ff.

[FN#18]  Die Religion, p. 29.

[FN#19]  Aegypten, p. 359 ff.

[FN#20]  Les Origines, V. 162-4.

[FN#21]  First Steps in Egyptian, p. 241 ff.

It has already been seen that the god Ra, when retiring from the
government of this world, took steps through Thoth to supply mankind
with words of power and spells with which to protect themselves against
the bites of serpents and other noxious reptiles.  The legend of the
Destruction of Mankind affords no explanation of this remarkable fact,
but when we read the following legend of Ra and Isis we understand why
Ra, though king of the gods, was afraid of the reptiles which lived in
the kingdom of Keb.  The legend, or "Chapter of the Divine God," begins
by enumerating the mighty attributes of Ra as the creator of the
universe, and describes the god of "many names" as unknowable, even by
the gods.  At this time Isis lived in the form of a woman who possessed
the knowledge of spells and incantations, that is to say, she was
regarded much in the same way as modern African peoples regard their
"medicine-women," or "witch-women."  She had used her spells on men,
and was tired of exercising her powers on them, and she craved the
opportunity of making herself mistress of gods and spirits as well as
of men.  She meditated how she could make herself mistress both of
heaven and earth, and finally she decided that she could only obtain
the power she wanted if she possessed the knowledge of the secret name
of Ra, in which his very existence was bound up.  Ra guarded this name
most jealously, for he knew that if he revealed it to any being he
would henceforth be at that being's mercy.  Isis saw that it was
impossible to make Ra declare his name to her by ordinary methods, and
she therefore thought out the following plan.  It was well known in
Egypt and the Sudan at a very early period that if a magician obtained
some portion of a person's body, e.g., a hair, a paring of a nail, a
fragment of skin, or a portion of some efflux from the body, spells
could be used upon them which would have the effect of causing grievous
harm to that person.  Isis noted that Ra had become old and feeble, and
that as he went about he dribbled at the mouth, and that his saliva
fell upon the ground.  Watching her opportunity she caught some of the
saliva of the and mixing it with dust, she moulded it into the form of
a large serpent, with poison-fangs, and having uttered her spells over
it, she left the serpent lying on the path, by which Ra travelled day
by day as he went about inspecting Egypt, so that it might strike at
him as he passed along.  We may note in passing that the Banyoro in the
Sudan employ serpents in killing buffaloes at the present day.  They
catch a puff-adder in a noose, and then nail it alive by the tip of its
tail to the round in the middle of a buffalo track, so that when an
animal passes the reptile may strike at it.  Presently a buffalo comes
along, does what it is expected to do, and then the puff-adder strikes
at it, injects its poison, and the animal dies soon after.  As many as
ten buffaloes have been killed in a day by one puff-adder.  The body of
the first buffalo is not eaten, for it is regarded as poisoned meat,
but all the others are used as food.[FN#22]

[FN#22]  Johnston, Uganda, vol. ii., p. 584.  The authority for this
statement is Mr. George Wilson, formerly Collector in Unyoro.

Soon after Isis had placed the serpent on the Path, Ra passed by, and
the reptile bit him, thus injecting poison into his body.  Its effect
was terrible, and Ra cried out in agony.  His jaws chattered, his lips
trembled, and he became speechless for a time; never before had be
suffered such pain.  The gods hearing his cry rushed to him, and when
he could speak he told them that he had been bitten by a deadly
serpent.  In spite of all the words of power which were known to him,
and his secret name which had been hidden in his body at his birth, a
serpent had bitten him, and he was being consumed with a fiery pain.
He then commanded that all the gods who had any knowledge of magical
spells should come to him, and when they came, Isis, the great lady of
spells, the destroyer of diseases, and the revivifier of the dead, came
with them.  Turning to Ra she said, "What hath happened, O divine
Father?" and in answer the god told her that a serpent had bitten him,
that he was hotter than fire and colder than water, that his limbs
quaked, and that he was losing the power of sight.  Then Isis said to
him with guile, "Divine Father, tell me thy name, for he who uttereth
his own name shall live."  Thereupon Ra proceeded to enumerate the
various things that he had done, and to describe his creative acts, and
ended his speech to Isis by saying, that he was Khepera in the morning,
Ra at noon, and Temu in the evening.  Apparently he thought that the
naming of these three great names would satisfy Isis, and that she
would immediately pronounce a word of power and stop the pain in his
body, which, during his speech, had become more acute.  Isis, however,
was not deceived, and she knew well that Ra had not declared to her his
hidden name; this she told him, and she begged him once again to tell
her his name.  For a time the god refused to utter the name, but as the
pain in his body became more violent, and the poison passed through his
veins like fire, he said, "Isis shall search in me, and my name shall
pass from my body into hers."  At that moment Ra removed himself from
the sight of the gods in his Boat, and the Throne in the Boat of
Millions of Years had no occupant.  The great name of Ra was, it seems,
hidden in his heart, and Isis, having some doubt as to whether Ra would
keep his word or not, agreed with Horus that Ra must be made to take an
oath to part with his two Eyes, that is, the Sun and the Moon.  At
length Ra allowed his heart to be taken from his body, and his great
and secret name, whereby he lived, passed into the possession of Isis.
Ra thus became to all intents and purposes a dead god.  Then Isis,
strong in the power of her spells, said: "Flow, poison, come out of Ra.
Eye of Horus, come out of Ra, and shine outside his mouth.  It is I,
Isis, who work, and I have made the poison to fall on the ground.
Verily the name of the great god is taken from him, Ra shall live and
the poison shall die; if the poison live Ra shall die."

This was the infallible spell which was to be used in cases of
poisoning, for it rendered the bite or sting of every venomous reptile
harmless.  It drove the poison out of Ra, and since it was composed by
Isis after she obtained the knowledge of his secret name it was
irresistible.  If the words were written on papyrus or linen over a
figure of Temu or Heru-hekenu, or Isis, or Horus, they became a mighty
charm.  If the papyrus or linen were steeped in water and the water
drunk, the words were equally efficacious as a charm against snake-
bites.  To this day water in which the written words of a text from the
Kur'an have been dissolved, or water drunk from a bowl on the inside of
which religious texts have been written, is still regarded as a never-
failing charm in Egypt and the Sudan.  Thus we see that the modern
custom of drinking magical water was derived from the ancient
Egyptians, who believed that it conveyed into their bodies the actual
power of their gods.



The text of this legend is cut in hieroglyphics on the walls of the
temple of Edfu in Upper Egypt, and certain portions of it are
illustrated by large bas-reliefs.  Both text and reliefs were published
by Professor Naville in his volume entitled Mythe d'Horus, fol., plates
12-19, Geneva, 1870.  A German translation by Brugsch appeared in the
Ahandlungen der Gottinger Akademie, Band xiv., pp. 173-236, and another
by Wiedemann in his Die Religion, p. 38 ff. (see the English
translation p. 69 ff.).  The legend, in the form in which it is here
given, dates from the Ptolemaic Period, but the matter which it
contains is far older, and it is probable that the facts recorded in it
are fragments of actual history, which the Egyptians of the late period
tried to piece together in chronological order.  We shall see as we
read that the writer of the legend as we have it was not well
acquainted with Egyptian history, and that in his account of the
conquest of Egypt he has confounded one god with another, and mixed up
historical facts with mythological legends to such a degree that his
meaning is frequently uncertain.  The great fact which he wished to
describe is the conquest of Egypt by an early king, who, having subdued
the peoples in the South, advanced northwards, and made all the people
whom he conquered submit to his yoke.  Now the King of Egypt was always
called Horus, and the priests of Edfu wishing to magnify their local
god, Horus of Behutet, or Horus of Edfu, attributed to him the
conquests of this human, and probably predynastic, king.  We must
remember that the legend assumes that Ra, was still reigning on earth,
though he was old and feeble, and had probably deputed his power to his
successor, whom the legend regards as his son.

Horus holding the Hippopotamus-fiend with chain and spear.  Behind
stand Isis and Heru Khenti-Khatti.

Horus driving his spear into the Hippopotamus-fiend; behind him stands
one of his "Blacksmiths".

Horus driving his spear into the belly of the Hippopotamus-fiend as he
lies on his back; behind stands on of his "Blacksmiths".

Horus and Isis capturing the Hippopotamus-fiend.

In the 363rd year of his reign Ra-Harmakhis[FN#23] was in Nubia with
his army with the intention of destroying those who had conspired
against him; because of their conspiracy (auu) Nubia is called "Uaua"
to this day.  From Nubia Ra-Harmakhis sailed down the river to Edfu,
where Heru-Behutet entered his boat, and told him that his foes were
conspiring against him.  Ra-Harmakhis in answer addressed Heru-Behutet
as his son, and commanded him to set out without delay and slay the
wicked rebels.  Then Heru-Behutet took the form of a great winged Disk,
and at once flew up into the sky, where he took the place of Ra, the
old Sun-god.  Looking down from the height of heaven he was able to
discover the whereabouts of the rebels, and he pursued them in the form
of a winged disk.  Then he attacked them with such violence that they
became dazed, and could neither see where they were going, nor hear,
the result of this being that they slew each other, and in a very short
time they were all dead.  Thoth, seeing this, told Ra that because
Horus had appeared as a great winged disk he must be called "Heru-
Behutet," and by this name Horus was known ever after at Edfu.  Ra
embraced Horus, and referred with pleasure to the blood which he had
shed, and Horus invited his father to come and look upon the slain.  Ra
set out with the goddess Ashthertet (`Ashtoreth) to do this, and they
saw the enemies lying fettered on the ground.  The legend here
introduces a number of curious derivations of the names of Edfu, &c.,
which are valueless, and which remind us of the derivations of place-
names propounded by ancient Semitic scribes.

[FN#23]  i.e., Ra on the horizon.

Horus standing on the back of the Hippopotamus-fiend, and spearing him
in the presence of Isis.

The "Butcher-priest" slicing open the Hippopotamus-fiend.

In gladness of heart Ra proposed a sail on the Nile, but as soon as his
enemies heard that he was coming, they changed themselves into
crocodiles and hippopotami, so that they might be able to wreck his
boat and devour him.  As the boat of the god approached them they
opened their jaws to crush it, but Horus and his followers came quickly
on the scene, and defeated their purpose.  The followers of Horus here
mentioned are called in the text "Mesniu," i.e., "blacksmiths," or
"workers in metal," and they represent the primitive conquerors of the
Egyptians, who were armed with metal weapons, and so were able to
overcome with tolerable ease the indigenous Egyptians, whose weapons
were made of flint and wood.  Horus and his "blacksmiths" were provided
with iron lances and chains, and, baying cast the chains over the
monsters in the river, they drove their lances into their snouts, and
slew 651 of them.  Because Horus gained his victory by means of metal
weapons, Ra decreed that a metal statue of Horus should be placed at
Edfu, and remain there for ever, and a name was given to the town to
commemorate the great battle that had taken place there.  Ra applauded
Horus for the mighty deeds which be had been able to perform by means
of the spells contained in the "Book of Slaying the Hippopotamus."
Horus then associated with himself the goddesses Uatchet and Nekhebet,
who were in the form of serpents, and, taking his place as the winged
Disk on the front of the Boat of Ra, destroyed all the enemies of Ra
wheresoever he found them.  When the remnant of the enemies of Ra, saw
that they were likely to be slain, they doubled back to the South, but
Horus pursued them, and drove them down the river before him as far as
Thebes.  One battle took place at Tchetmet, and another at Denderah,
and Horus was always victorious; the enemies were caught by chains
thrown over them, and the deadly spears of the Blacksmiths drank their

After this the enemy fled to the North, and took refuge in the swamps
of the Delta, and in the shallows of the Mediterranean Sea, and Horus
pursued them thither.  After searching for them for four days and four
nights he found them, and they were speedily slain.  One hundred and
forty-two of them and a male hippopotamus were dragged on to the Boat
of Ra, and there Horus dug out their entrails, and hacked their
carcases in pieces, which he gave to his Blacksmiths and the gods who
formed the crew of the Boat of Ra.  Before despatching the
hippopotamus, Horus leaped on to the back of the monster as a mark of
his triumph, and to commemorate this event the priest of Heben, the
town wherein these things happened, was called "He who standeth on the
back ever after."

The end of the great fight, however, was not yet.  Another army of
enemies appeared by the North Lake, and they were marching towards the
sea; but terror of Horus smote their hearts, and they fled and took
refuge in Mertet-Ament, where they allied themselves with the followers
of Set, the Arch-fiend and great Enemy of Ra.  Thither Horus and his
well-armed Blacksmiths pursued them, and came up with them at the town
called Per-Rerehu, which derived its name from the "Two Combatants," or
"Two Men," Horus and Set.  A great fight took place, the enemies of Ra
were defeated with great slaughter, and Horus dragged 381 prisoners on
to the Boat of Ra, where he slew them, and gave their bodies to his

Horus of Behutet and Ra-Harmakhis in a shrine.

Horus of Behutet and Harmakhis in a shrine.


Ashthertet ('Ashtoreth') driving her chariot over the prostrate foe.

Left: Horus of Behutet spearing a Typhonic animal, and holding his
prisoners with rope.

Right: Horus of Behutet, accompanied by Ra-Harmakhis and Menu, spearing
the Hippopotamus-fiend.

Then Set rose up and cursed Horus because he had slain his allies, and
he used such foul language that Thoth called him "Nehaha-her," i.e.,
"Stinking Face," and this name clung to him ever after.  After this
Horus and Set engaged in a fight which lasted a very long time, but at
length Horus drove his spear into the neck of Set with such violence
that the Fiend fell headlong to the ground.  Then Horus smote with his
club the mouth which had uttered such blasphemies, and fettered him
with his chain.  In this state Horus dragged Set into the presence of
Ra, who ascribed great praise to Horus, and special names were given to
the palace of Horus and the high priest of the temple in commemoration
of the event.  When the question of the disposal of Set was being
discussed by the gods, Ra ordered that he and his fiends should be
given over to Isis and her son Horus, who were to do what they pleased
with them.  Horus promptly cut off the heads of Set and his fiends in
the presence of Ra and Isis, and be dragged Set by his feet through the
country with his spear sticking in his head and neck.  After this Isis
appointed Horus of Behutet to be the protecting deity of her son Horus.

The fight between the Sun-god and Set was a very favourite subject with
Egyptian writers, and there are many forms of it.  Thus there is the
fight between Heru-ur and Set, the fight between Ra and Set, the fight
between Heru-Behutet and Set, the fight between Osiris and Set, and the
fight between Horus, son of Isis, and Set.  In the oldest times the
combat was merely the natural opposition of light to darkness, but
later the Sun-god became the symbol of right and truth as well as of
light, and Set the symbol of sin and wickedness as well as of darkness,
and ultimately the nature myth was forgotten, and the fight between the
two gods became the type of the everlasting war which good men wage
against sin.  In Coptic literature we have the well-known legend of the
slaughter of the dragon by St. George, and this is nothing but a
Christian adaptation of the legend of Horus and Set.

After these things Horus, son of Ra, and Horus, son of Isis, each took
the form of a mighty man, with the face and body of a hawk, and each
wore the Red and White Crowns, and each carried a spear and chain.  In
these forms the two gods slew the remnant of the enemies.  Now by some
means or other Set came to life again, and he took the form of a mighty
hissing or "roaring" serpent, and hid himself in the ground, in a place
which was ever after called the "place of the roarer."  In front of his
hiding-place Horus, son of Isis, stationed himself in the form of a
hawk-headed staff to prevent him from coming out.  In spite of this,
however, Set managed to escape, and he gathered about him the Smai and
Seba fiends at the Lake of Meh, and waged war once more against Horus;
the enemies of Ra were again defeated, and Horus slew them in the
presence of his father.

Horus of Behutet and Thoth spearing human victims with the assistance
of Isis.

Horus of Behutet and Thoth spearing Set in the form of a crocodile.

Horus, it seems, now ceased to fight for some time, and devoted himself
to keeping guard over the "Great God" who was in An-rut-f, a district
in or near Herakleopolis.  This Great God was no other than Osiris, and
the duty of Horus was to prevent the Smai fiends from coming by night
to the place.  In spite of the power of Horus, it was found necessary
to summon the aid of Isis to keep away the fiends, and it was only by
her words of power that the fiend Ba was kept out of the sanctuary.  As
a reward for what he had already done, Thoth decreed that Horus should
be called the "Master-Fighter." Passing over the derivations of place-
names which occur here in the text, we find that Horus and his
Blacksmiths were again obliged to fight bodies of the enemy who had
managed to escape, and that on one occasion they killed one hundred and
six foes.  In every fight the Blacksmiths performed mighty deeds of
valour, and in reward for their services a special district was
allotted to them to dwell in.

The last great fight in the North took place at Tanis, in the eastern
part of the Delta.  When the position of the enemy had been located,
Horus took the form of a lion with the face of a man, and he put on his
head the Triple Crown.  His claws were like flints, and with them he
dragged away one hundred and forty-two of the enemy, and tore them in
pieces, and dug out their tongues, which he carried off as symbols of
his victory.

Meanwhile rebellion had again broken out in Nubia, where about one-
third of the enemy had taken refuge in the river in the forms of
crocodiles and hippopotami.  Ra counselled Horus to sail up the Nile
with his Blacksmiths, and when Thoth had recited the "Chapters of
protecting the Boat of Ra" over the boats, the expedition set sail for
the South.  The object of reciting these spells was to prevent the
monsters which were in the river from making the waves to rise and from
stirring up storms which might engulf the boats of Ra and Horus and the
Blacksmiths.  When the rebels and fiends who had been uttering, treason
against Horus saw the boat of Ra, with the winged Disk of Horus
accompanied by the goddesses Uatchet and Nekhebet in the form of
serpents, they were smitten with fear, and their hearts quaked, and all
power of resistance left them, and they died of fright straightway.
When Horus returned in triumph to Edfu, Ra ordered that an image of the
winged Disk should be placed in each of his sanctuaries, and that in
every place wherein a winged Disk was set, that sanctuary should be a
sanctuary of Horus of Behutet.  The winged disks which are seen above
the doorways of the temples still standing in Egypt show that the
command of Ra, was faithfully carried out by the priests.

Horus of Behutet in the form of a lion slaying his foes.



The Procreation of Horus, son of Isis.

The text which contains this legend is found cut in hieroglyphics upon
a stele which is now preserved in Paris.  Attention was first called to
it by Chabas, who in 1857 gave a translation of it in the Revue
Archeologique, p. 65 ff., and pointed out the importance of its
contents with his characteristic ability.  The hieroglyphic text was
first published by Ledrain in his work on the monuments of the
Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris,[FN#24] and I gave a transcript of the
text, with transliteration and translation, in 1895.[FN#25]

[FN#24]  Les Monuments Egyptiens (Cabinet des Medailles et Antiques),
In the Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 1879-1882,
plate xxii. ff.

[FN#25]  First Steps in Egyptian, pp. 179-188.

The greater part of the text consists of a hymn to Osiris, which was
probably composed under the XVIIIth Dynasty, when an extraordinary
development of the cult of that god took place, and when he was placed
by Egyptian theologians at the head of all the gods.  Though unseen in
the temples, his presence filled all Egypt, and his body formed the
very substance of the country.  He was the God of all gods and the
Governor of the Two Companies of the gods, he formed the soul and body
of Ra, he was the beneficent Spirit of all spirits, he was himself the
celestial food on which the Doubles in the Other World lived. He was
the greatest of the gods in On (Heliopolis), Memphis, Herakleopolis,
Hermopolis, Abydos, and the region of the First Cataract, and so.  He
embodied in his own person the might of Ra-Tem, Apis and Ptah, the
Horus-gods, Thoth and Khnemu, and his rule over Busiris and Abydos
continued to be supreme, as it had been for many, many hundreds of
years.  He was the source of the Nile, the north wind sprang from him,
his seats were the stars of heaven which never set, and the
imperishable stars were his ministers.  All heaven was his dominion,
and the doors of the sky opened before him of their own accord when he
appeared.  He inherited the earth from his father Keb, and the
sovereignty of heaven from his mother Nut.  In his person he united
endless time in the past and endless time in the future.  Like Ra he
had fought Seba, or Set, the monster of evil, and had defeated him, and
his victory assured to him lasting authority over the gods and the
dead.  He exercised his creative power in making land and water, trees
and herbs, cattle and other four-footed beasts, birds of all kinds, and
fish and creeping things; even the waste spaces of the desert owed
allegiance to him as the creator.  And he rolled out the sky, and set
the light above the darkness.

The last paragraph of the text contains an allusion to Isis, the sister
and wife of Osiris, and mentions the legend of the birth of Horus,
which even under the XVIIIth Dynasty was very ancient, Isis, we are
told, was the constant protectress of her brother, she drove away the
fiends that wanted to attack him, and kept them out of his shrine and
tomb, and she guarded him from all accidents.  All these things she did
by means of spells and incantations, large numbers of which were known
to her, and by her power as the "witch-goddess."  Her "mouth was
trained to perfection, and she made no mistake in pronouncing her
spells, and her tongue was skilled and halted not."  At length came the
unlucky day when Set succeeded in killing Osiris during the war which
the "good god" was waging against him and his fiends.  Details of the
engagement are wanting, but the Pyramid Texts state that the body of
Osiris was hurled to the ground by Set at a place called Netat, which
seems to have been near Abydos.[FN#26]  The news of the death of Osiris
was brought to Isis, and she at once set out to find his body.  All
legends agree in saying that she took the form of a bird, and that she
flew about unceasingly, going hither and thither, and uttering wailing
cries of grief.  At length she found the body, and with a piercing cry
she alighted on the ground.  The Pyramid Texts say that Nephthys was
with her that "Isis came, Nephthys came, the one on the right side, the
other on the left side, one in the form of a Hat bird, the other in the
form of a Tchert bird, and they found Osiris thrown on the ground in
Netat by his brother Set."  The late form of the legend goes on to say
that Isis fanned the body with her feathers, and produced air, and that
at length she caused the inert members of Osiris to move, and drew from
him his essence, wherefrom she produced her child Horus.

[FN#26]  Pepi I., line 475; Pepi II., line 1263.

This bare statement of the dogma of the conception of Horus does not
represent all that is known about it, and it may well be supplemented
by a passage from the Pyramid Texts,[FN#27] which reads, "Adoration to
thee, O Osiris.[FN#28]  Rise thou up on thy left side, place thyself on
thy right side.  This water which I give unto thee is the water of
youth (or rejuvenation).  Adoration to thee, O Osiris!  Rise thou up on
thy left side, place thyself on thy right side.  This bread which I
have made for thee is warmth.  Adoration to thee, O Osiris!  The doors
of heaven are opened to thee, the doors of the streams are thrown wide
open to thee.  The gods in the city of Pe come [to thee], Osiris, at
the sound (or voice) of the supplication of Isis and Nephthys. . . . .
Thy elder sister took thy body in her arms, she chafed thy hands,
she clasped thee to her breast [when] she found thee [lying] on thy
side on the plain of Netat."  And in another place we read:[FN#29] "Thy
two sisters, Isis and Nephthys, came to thee, Kam-urt, in thy name of
Kam-ur, Uatchet-urt, in thy name of Uatch-ur . . . . . . . Isis and
Nephthys weave magical protection for thee in the city of Saut, for
thee their lord, in thy name of 'Lord of Saut,' for their god, in thy
name of 'God.'  They praise thee; go not thou far from them in thy name
of 'Tua.'  They present offerings to thee; be not wroth in thy name of
'Tchentru.'  Thy sister Isis cometh to thee rejoicing in her love for
thee.[FN#30]  Thou hast union with her, thy seed entereth her.  She
conceiveth in the form of the star Septet (Sothis).  Horus-Sept issueth
from thee in the form of Horus, dweller in the star Septet.  Thou
makest a spirit to be in him in his name 'Spirit dwelling in the god
Tchentru.'  He avengeth thee in his name of 'Horus, the son who avenged
his father.'  Hail, Osiris, Keb hath brought to thee Horus, he hath
avenged thee, he hath brought to thee the hearts of the gods, Horus
hath given thee his Eye, thou hast taken possession of the Urert Crown
thereby at the head of the gods.  Horus hath presented to thee thy
members, he hath collected them completely, there is no disorder in
thee.  Thoth hath seized thy enemy and hath slain him and those who
were with him."  The above words are addressed to dead kings in the
Pyramid Texts, and what the gods were supposed to do for them was
believed by the Egyptians to have been actually done for Osiris.  These
extracts are peculiarly valuable, for they prove that the legend of
Osiris which was current under the XVIIIth Dynasty was based upon
traditions which were universally accepted in Egypt under the Vth and
VIth Dynasties.

[FN#27]  Mer-en-Ra, line 336; Pepi II., line 862.

[FN#28]  I omit the king's names.

[FN#29]  Teta, line 274; Pepi I., line 27; Mer-en-Ra, line 37; and Pepi
II., line 67.

[FN#30]  Pyramid Text, Teta, l. 276.


The Stele recording the casting out of a devil from the Princess of

The hymn concludes with a reference to the accession of Horus, son of
Isis, the flesh and bone of Osiris, to the throne of his grandfather
Keb, and to the welcome which he received from the Tchatcha, or
Administrators of heaven, and the Company of the Gods, and the Lords of
Truth, who assembled in the Great House of Heliopolis to acknowledge
his sovereignty.  His succession also received the approval of Neb-er-
tcher, who, as we saw from the first legend in this book, was the
Creator of the Universe.



[FN#31]    In the headlines of this section, p. 106 ff., for Ptah
Nefer-hetep read Khensu Nefer-hetep.

The text of this legend is cut in hieroglyphics upon a sandstone stele,
with a rounded top, which was found in the temple of Khensu at Thebes,
and is now preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale at Paris; it was
discovered by Champollion, and removed to Paris by Prisse d'Avennes in
1846.  The text was first published by Prisse d'Avennes,[FN#32] and it
was first translated by Birch[FN#33] in 1853.  The text was republished
and translated into French by E. de Rouge in 1858,[FN#34] and several
other renderings have been given in German and in English since that
date.[FN#35]  When the text was first published, and for some years
afterwards, it was generally thought that the legend referred to events
which were said to have taken place under a king who was identified as
Rameses XIII., but this misconception was corrected by Erman, who
showed[FN#36] that the king was in reality Rameses II.  By a careful
examination of the construction of the text he proved that the
narrative on the stele was drawn up several hundreds of years after the
events described in it took place, and that its author was but
imperfectly acquainted with the form of the Egyptian language in use in
the reign of Rameses II.  In fact, the legend was written in the
interests of the priests of the temple of Khensu, who wished to magnify
their god and his power to cast out devils and to exorcise evil
spirits; it was probably composed between B.C. 650 and B.C. 250.[FN#37]

[FN#32]  Choix de Monuments Egyptiens, Paris, 1847, plate xxiv.

[FN#33]  Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, New Series,
vol. iv., p. 217 ff.

[FN#34]  Journal Asiatique (Etude sur une Stele Egyptienne), August,
1856, August, 1857, and August-Sept., 1858, Paris, 8vo, with plate.

[FN#35]  Brugsch, Geschichte Aegyptens, 1877, p. 627 ff.; Birch,
Records of the Past, Old Series, vol. iv., p. 53 ff.; Budge, Egyptian
Reading Book, text and transliteration, p. 40 ff.; translation, p.
xxviii. ff.

[FN#36]  Aeg. Zeit., 1883, pp. 54-60.

[FN#37]  Maspero, Les Contes Populaires, 3rd edit., p. 166.

The legend, after enumerating the great names of Rameses II., goes on
to state that the king was in the "country of the two rivers," by which
we are to understand some portion of Mesopotamia, the rivers being the
Tigris and Euphrates, and that the local chiefs were bringing to him
tribute consisting of gold, lapis-lazuli, turquoise, and logs of wood
from the Land of the God.  It is difficult to understand how gold and
logs of wood from Southern Arabia and East Africa came to be produced
as tribute by chiefs who lived so far to the north.  Among those who
sent gifts was the Prince of Bekhten, and at the head of all his
tribute he sent his eldest daughter, bearing his message of homage and
duty.  Now the maiden was beautiful, and the King of Egypt thought her
so lovely that be took her to wife, and bestowed upon her the name "Ra-
neferu," which means something like the "beauties of Ra."  He took her
back with him to Egypt, where she was installed as Queen.

During the summer of the fifteenth year of his reign, whilst Rameses
II. was celebrating a festival of Amen-Ra in the Temple of Luxor, one
came to him and reported that an envoy had arrived from the Prince of
Bekhten, bearing with him many gifts for the Royal Wife Ra-neferu.
When the envoy had been brought into the presence, he addressed words
of homage to the king, and, having presented the gifts from his lord,
he said that he had come to beg His Majesty to send a "learned man,"
i.e., a magician, to Bekhten to attend Bent-enth-resh, His Majesty's
sister-in-law, who was stricken with some disease.  Thereupon the king
summoned the learned men of the House of Life, i.e., the members of the
great College of Magic at Thebes, and the qenbetu officials, and when
they had entered his presence, he commanded them to select a man of
"wise heart and deft fingers" to go to Bekhten.  The choice fell upon
one Tehuti-em-heb, and His Majesty sent him to Bekhten with the envoy.
When they arrived in Bekhten, Tehuti-em-heb found that the Princess
Bent-enth-resh was possessed by an evil spirit which refused to be
exorcised by him, and he was unable to cast out the devil.  The Prince
of Bekhten, seeing that the healing of his daughter was beyond the
power of the Egyptian, sent a second envoy to Rameses II., and besought
him to send a god to drive out the devil.  This envoy arrived in Egypt
in the summer of the twenty-sixth year of the reign of Rameses II., and
found the king celebrating a festival in Thebes.  When he heard the
petition of the envoy, he went to the Temple of Khensu Nefer-hetep "a
second time,"[FN#38] and presented himself before the god and besought
his help on behalf of his sister-in-law.

[FN#38]  Thus the king must have invoked the help of Khensu on the
occasion of the visit of the first envoy.

Then the priests of Khensu Nefer-hetep carried the statue of this god
to the place where was the statue of Khensu surnamed "Pa-ari-sekher,"
i.e., the "Worker of destinies," who was able to repel the attacks of
evil spirits and to drive them out.  When the statues of the two gods
were facing each other, Rameses II. entreated Khensu Nefer-hetep to
"turn his face towards," i.e., to look favourably upon Khensu.  Pa-ari-
sekher, and to let him go to Bekhten to drive the devil out of the
Princess of Bekhten.  The text affords no explanation of the fact that
Khensu Nefer-hetep was regarded as a greater god than Khensu Pa-ari-
sekher, or why his permission had to be obtained before the latter
could leave the country.  It is probable that the demands made upon
Khensu Nefer-hetep by the Egyptians who lived in Thebes and its
neighbourhood were so numerous that it was impossible to let his statue
go into outlying districts or foreign lands, and that a deputy-god was
appointed to perform miracles outside Thebes.  This arrangement would
benefit the people, and would, moreover, bring much money to the
priests.  The appointment of a deputy-god is not so strange as it may
seem, and modern African peoples are familiar with the expedient.
About one hundred years ago the priests of the god Bobowissi of
Winnebah, in the Tshi region of West Africa, found their business so
large that it was absolutely necessary for them to appoint a deputy.
The priests therefore selected Brahfo, i.e., "deputy," and gave out
that Bobowissi had deputed all minor matters to him, and that his
utterances were to be regarded as those of Bobowissi.  Delegates were
ordered to be sent to Winnebah in Ashanti, where they would be shown
the "deputy" god by the priests, and afterwards he would be taken to
Mankassim, where he would reside, and do for the people all that
Bobowissi had done hitherto.[FN#39]

[FN#39]  Ellis, Tshi-speaking Peoples, p. 55.

When Rameses II. had made his petition to Khensu Nefer-hetep, the
statue of the god bowed its head twice, in token of assent.  Here it is
clear that we have an example of the use of statues with movable limbs,
which were worked, when occasion required, by the priests.  The king
then made a second petition to the god to transfer his sa, or magical
power, to Khensu Pa-ari-sekher so that when he had arrived in Bekhten
he would be able to heal the Princess.  Again the statue of Khensu
Nefer-hetep bowed its head twice, and the petition of the king was
granted.  The text goes on to say that the magical power of the greater
god was transferred to the lesser god four times, or in a fourfold
measure, but we are not told how this was effected.  We know from many
passages in the texts that every god was believed to possess this
magical power, which is called the "sa of life," or the "sa of the
god,".[FN#40]  This sa could be transferred by a god or goddess to a
human being, either by an embrace or through some offering which was
eaten.  Thus Temu transferred the magical power of his life to Shu and
Tefnut by embracing them,[FN#41] and in the Ritual of the Divine
Cult[FN#42] the priest says, The two vessels of milk of Temu are the "sa
of my limbs."  The man who possessed this sa could transfer it to his
friend by embracing him and then "making passes" with his hands along
his back.  The sa could be received by a man from a god and then
transmitted by him to a statue by taking it in his arms, and this
ceremony was actually performed by the king in the Ritual of the Divine
Cult.[FN#43]  The primary source of this sa was Ra, who bestowed it
without measure on the blessed dead,[FN#44] and caused them to live for
ever thereby.  These, facts make it tolerably certain that the magical
power of Khensu Nefer-hetep was transferred to Khensu Pa-ari-sekher in
one of two ways: either the statue of the latter was brought near to
that of the former and it received the sa by contact, or the high
priest first received the sa from the greater god and then transmitted
it to the lesser god by embraces and "passes" with his hands.  Be this
as it may, Khensu Pa-ari-sekher received the magical power, and having
been placed in his boat, he set out for Bekhten, accompanied by five
smaller boats, and chariots and horses which marched on each side of

[FN#40]  Text of Unas, line 562.

[FN#41]  Pyramid Texts, Pepi I., l. 466.

[FN#42]  Ed. Moret, p. 21.

[FN#43]  Ibid., p. 99.

[FN#44]  Pepi I., line 666.

When after a journey of seventeen months Khensu Pa-ari-sekher arrived
in Bekhten, he was cordially welcomed by the Prince, and, having gone
to the place where the Princess who was possessed of a devil lived, he
exercised his power to such purpose that she was healed immediately.
Moreover, the devil which had been cast out admitted that Khensu Pa-
ari-sekher was his master, and promised that he would depart to the
place whence he came, provided that the Prince of Bekhten would
celebrate a festival in his honour before his departure. Meanwhile
the Prince and his soldiers stood by listening to the conversation
between the god and the devil, and they were very much afraid.
Following the instructions of Khensu Pa-ari-sekher the Prince made
a great feast in honour of the supernatural visitors, and then the
devil departed to the "place which he loved," and there was general
rejoicing in the land.  The Prince of Bekhten was so pleased with the
Egyptian god that he determined not to allow him to return to Egypt.
When the statue of Khensu Pa-ari-sekher had been in Bekhten for three
years and nine months, the Prince in a vision saw the god, in the form
of a golden hawk, come forth from his shrine, and fly up into the air
and direct his course to Egypt.  Realizing that the statue of the god
was useless without its indwelling spirit, the Prince of Bekhten
permitted the priests of Khensu Pa-ari-sekher to depart with it to
Egypt, and dismissed them with gifts of all kinds.  In due course they
arrived in Egypt and the priests took their statue to the temple of
Khensu Nefer-hetep, and handed over to that god all the gifts which the
Prince of Bekhten had given them, keeping back nothing for their own
god.  After this Khensu Pa-ari-sekher returned to his temple in peace,
in the thirty-third year of the reign of Rameses II., having been
absent from it about eight years.



The text of this most interesting legend is found in hieroglyphics on
one side of a large rounded block of granite some eight or nine feet
high, which stands on the south-east portion of Sahal, a little island
lying in the First Cataract, two or three miles to the south of
Elephantine Island and the modern town of Aswan.  The inscription is
not cut into the rock in the ordinary way, but was "stunned" on it with
a blunted chisel, and is, in some lights, quite invisible to anyone
standing near the rock, unless he is aware of its existence.  It is in
full view of the river-path which leads from Mahallah to Philae, and
yet it escaped the notice of scores of travellers who have searched the
rocks and islands in the Cataract for graffiti and inscriptions.  The
inscription, which covers a space six feet by five feet, was discovered
accidentally on February 6th, 1889, by the late Mr. C. E. Wilbour, a
distinguished American gentleman who spent many years in research in
Egypt.  He first copied the text, discovering in the course of his work
the remarkable nature of its contents and then his friend Mr. Maudslay
photographed it.  The following year he sent prints from Mr. Maudslay's
negatives to Dr. Brugsch, who in the course of 1891 published a
transcript of the text with a German translation and notes in a work
entitled Die biblischen sieben Jahre der Hungersnoth, Leipzig, 8vo.

The legend contained in this remarkable text describes a terrible
famine which took place in the reign of Tcheser, a king of the IIIrd
Dynasty, and lasted for seven years.  Insufficient Nile-floods were, of
course, the physical cause of the famine, but the legend shows that the
"low Niles" were brought about by the neglect of the Egyptians in
respect of the worship of the god of the First Cataract, the great god
Khnemu.  When, according to the legend, king Tcheser had been made to
believe that the famine took place because men had ceased to worship
Khnemu in a manner appropriate to his greatness, and when he had taken
steps to remove the ground of complaint, the Nile rose to its
accustomed height, the crops became abundant once more, and all misery
caused by scarcity of provisions ceased.  In other words, when Tcheser
restored the offerings of Khnemu, and re-endowed his sanctuary and his
priesthood, the god allowed Hapi to pour forth his streams from the
caverns in the Cataract, and to flood the land with abundance.  The
general character of the legend, as we have it here, makes it quite
certain that it belongs to a late period, and the forms of the
hieroglyphics and the spellings of the words indicate that the text was
"stunned" on the rock in the reign of one of the Ptolemies, probably at
a time when it was to the interest of some men to restore the worship
of Khnemu, god of the First Cataract.  These interested people could
only have been the priests of Khnemu, and the probability that this was
so becomes almost a certainty when we read in the latter part of the
text the list of the tolls and taxes which they were empowered to levy
on the merchants, farmers, miners, etc., whose goods passed down the
Cataract into Egypt.  Why, if this be the case, they should have chosen
to connect the famine with the reign of Tcheser is not clear.  They may
have wished to prove the great antiquity of the worship of Khnemu, but
it would have been quite easy to select the name of some king of the
Ist Dynasty, and had they done this, they would have made the authority
of Khnemu over the Nile coaeval with Dynastic civilization.  It is
impossible to assume that no great famine took place in Egypt between
the reign of Tcheser and the period when the inscription was made, and
when we consider this fact the choice by the editor of the legend of a
famine which took place under the IIIrd Dynasty to illustrate the power
of Khnemu seems inexplicable.

Of the famines which must have taken place in the Dynastic period the
inscriptions tell us nothing, but the story of the seven years' famine
mentioned in the Book of Genesis shows that there is nothing improbable
in a famine lasting so long in Egypt.  Arab historians also mention
several famines which lasted for seven years.  That which took place in
the years 1066-1072 nearly ruined the whole country.  A cake of bread
was sold for 15 dinanir, (the dinar = 10s.), a horse was sold for 20, a
dog for 5, a cat for 3, and an egg for 1 dinar.  When all the animals
were eaten men began to eat each other, and human flesh was sold in
public.  "Passengers were caught in the streets by hooks let down from
the windows, drawn up, killed, and cooked."[FN#45]  During the famine
which began in 1201 people ate human flesh habitually. Parents killed
and cooked their own children, and a wife was found eating her husband
raw.  Baby fricassee and haggis of children's heads were ordinary
articles of diet.  The graves even were ransacked for food.  An ox sold
for 70 dinanir. [FN#46]

[FN#45]  Lane Poole, Middle Ages, p. 146.

[FN#46]  Ibid., p. 216.

The legend begins with the statement that in the 18th year of the reign
of King Tcheser, when Matar, the Erpa Prince and Ha, was the Governor
of the temple properties of the South and North, and was also the
Director of the Khenti men at Elephantine (Aswan), a royal despatch was
delivered to him, in which the king said: "I am in misery on my throne.
My heart is very sore because of the calamity which hath happened, for
the Nile hath not come forth[FN#47] for seven years.  There is no
grain, there are no vegetables, there is no food, and every man is
robbing his neighbour.  Men wish to walk, but they are unable to move;
the young man drags along his limbs, the hearts of the aged are crushed
with despair, their legs fail them, they sink to the ground, and they
clutch their bodies with their hands in pain.  The councillors are
dumb, and nothing but wind comes out of the granaries when they are
opened.  Everything is in a state of ruin."  A more graphic picture of
the misery caused by the famine could hardly be imagined.  The king
then goes on to ask Matar where the Nile is born? what god or goddess
presides over it? and what is his [or her] form?  He says he would like
to go to the temple of Thoth to enquire of that god, to go to the
College of the Magicians, and search through the sacred books in order
to find out these things.

[FN#47]  i.e., there have been insufficient Nile-floods.

When Matar had read the despatch, he set out to go to the king, and
explained to him the things which he wished to know.  He told him that,
the Nile rose near the city of Elephantine, that it flowed out of two
caverns, which were the breasts of the Nile-god, that it rose to a
height of twenty-eight cubits at Elephantine, and to the height of
seven cubits at Sma-Behutet, or, Diospolis Parva in the Delta.  He who
controlled the Nile was Khnemu, and when this god drew the bolt of the
doors which shut in the stream, and smote the earth with his sandals,
the river rushed forth.  Matar also described to the king the form of
Khnemu, which was that of Shu, and the work which he did, and the
wooden house in which he lived, and its exact position, which was near
the famous granite quarries.  The gods who dwelt with Khnemu were the
goddess Sept (Sothis, or the Dog-star), the goddess Anqet, Hap (or
Hep), the Nile-god, Shu, Keb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Nephthys, and Horus.
Thus we see that the priests of Khnemu made him to be the head of a
Company of Gods.  Finally Matar gave the king a list of all the stones,
precious and otherwise, which were found in and about Elephantine.

When the king, who had, it seems, come to Elephantine, heard these
things he rejoiced greatly, and he went into the temple of Khnemu.
The priests drew back the curtains and sprinkled him with holy water,
and then he passed into the shrine and offered up a great sacrifice of
bread-cakes, beer, geese, oxen, and all kinds of good things, to the
gods and goddesses who dwelt at Elephantine, in the place called "Couch
of the heart in life and power."  Suddenly he found himself standing
face to face with the god Khnemu, whom he placated with a peace-
offering and with prayer.  Then the god opened his eyes, and bent his
body towards the king, and spake to him mighty words, saying, "I am
Khnemu, who made thee.  My hands knitted together thy body and made it
sound, and I gave thee thy heart."  Khnemu then went on to complain
that, although the ground under the king's feet was filled with stones
and metal, men were too inert to work them and to employ them in
repairing or rebuilding of the shrines of the gods, or in doing what
they ought to do for him, their Lord and Creator.  These words were, of
course, meant as a rebuke for the king, who evidently, though it is not
so stated in the text, was intended by Khnemu to undertake the
rebuilding of his shrine without delay.  The god then went on to
proclaim his majesty and power, and declared himself to be Nu, the
Celestial Ocean, and the Nile-god, "who came into being at the
beginning, and riseth at his will to give health to him that laboureth
for Khnemu."  He described himself as the Father of the gods, the
Governor of the earth and of men, and then he promised the king to make
the Nile rise yearly, regularly, and unceasingly, to give abundant
harvests, to give all people their heart's desire, to make misery to
pass away, to fill the granaries, and to make the whole land of Egypt
yellow with waving fields of full ripe grain.  When the king, who had
been in a dream, heard the god mention crops, he woke up, and his
courage returned to him, and having cast away despair from his heart he
issued a decree by which he made ample provision for the maintenance of
the worship of the god in a fitting state.  In this decree, the first
copy of which was cut upon wood, the king endowed Khnemu with 20
schoinoi of land on each side of the river, with gardens, etc.  It was
further enacted that every man who drew water from the Nile for his
land should contribute a portion of his crops to the god.  Fishermen,
fowlers, and hunters were to pay an octroi duty of one-tenth of the
value of their catches when they brought them into the city, and a
tithe of the cattle was to be set apart for the daily sacrifice.  The
masters of caravans coming from the Sudan were to pay a tithe also, but
they were not liable to any further tax in the country northwards.
Every metal-worker, ore-crusher, miner, mason, and handicraftsman of
every kind, was to pay to the temple of the god one-tenth of the value
of the material produced or worked by his labour.  The decree provided
also for the appointment of an inspector whose duty it would be to
weigh the gold, silver and copper which came into the town of
Elephantine, and to assess the value both of these metals and of the
precious stones, etc., which were to be devoted to the service of
Khnemu.  All materials employed in making the images of the gods, and
all handicraftsmen employed in the work were exempted from tithing.  In
short, the worship of the god and his company was to be maintained
according to ancient use and wont, and the people were to supply the
temple with everything necessary in a generous spirit and with a
liberal hand.  He who failed in any way to comply with the enactments
was to be beaten with the rope, and the name of Tcheser was to be
perpetuated in the temple.



The magical and religious texts of the Egyptians of all periods contain
spells intended to be used against serpents, scorpions, and noxious
reptiles of all kinds, and their number, and the importance which was
attached to them, suggest that Egypt must always have produced these
pests in abundance, and that the Egyptians were always horribly afraid
of them.  The text of Unas, which was written towards the close of the
Vth Dynasty, contains many such spells, and in the Theban and Saite
Books of the Dead several Chapters consist of nothing but spells and
incantations, many of which are based on archaic texts, against
crocodiles, serpents, and other deadly reptiles, and insects of all
kinds.  All such creatures were regarded as incarnations of evil
spirits, which attack the dead as well as the living, and therefore it
was necessary for the well-being of the former that copies of spells
against them should be written upon the walls of tombs, coffins,
funerary amulets, etc.  The gods were just as open to the attacks of
venomous reptiles as man, and Ra, himself, the king of the gods, nearly
died from the poison of a snake-bite.  Now the gods were, as a rule,
able to defend themselves against the attacks of Set and his fiends,
and the poisonous snakes and insects which were their emissaries, by
virtue of the fluid of life, which was the peculiar attribute of
divinity, and the efforts of Egyptians were directed to the acquisition
of a portion of this magical power, which would protect their souls and
bodies and their houses and cattle, and other property, each day and
each night throughout the year.  When a man cared for the protection of
himself only he wore an amulet of some kind, in which the fluid of life
was localized. When he wished to protect his house against invasion by
venomous reptiles he placed statues containing the fluid of life in
niches in the walls of various chambers, or in some place outside but
near the house, or buried them in the earth with their faces turned in
the direction from which he expected the attack to come.

The Metternich Stele--Obverse.

The Metternich Stele--Reverse.

Towards the close of the XXVIth Dynasty, when superstition in its most
exaggerated form was general in Egypt, it became the custom to make
house talismans in the form of small stone stelae, with rounded tops,
which rested on bases having convex fronts.  On the front of such a
talisman was sculptured in relief a figure of Horus the Child
(Harpokrates), standing on two crocodiles, holding in his hands figures
of serpents, scorpions, a lion, and a horned animal, each of these
being a symbol of an emissary or ally of Set, the god of Evil.  Above
his head was the head of Bes, and on each side of him were: solar
symbols, i.e., the lily of Nefer-Tem, figures of Ra and Harmakhis, the
Eyes of Ra (the Sun and Moon), etc.  The reverse of the stele and the
whole of the base were covered with magical texts and spells, and when
a talisman of this kind was placed in a house, it was supposed to be
directly under the protection of Horus and his companion gods, who had
vanquished all the hosts of darkness and all the powers of physical and
moral evil.  Many examples of this talisman are to be seen in the great
Museums of Europe, and there are several fine specimens in the Third
Egyptian Room in the British Museum.  They are usually called "Cippi of
Horus."  The largest and most important of all these "cippi" is that
which is commonly known as the "Metternich Stele," because it was given
to Prince Metternich by Muhammad `Ali Pasha; it was dug up in 1828
during the building of a cistern in a Franciscan Monastery in
Alexandria, and was first published, with a translation of a large part
of the text, by Professor Golenischeff.[FN#48]   The importance of the
stele is enhanced by the fact that it mentions the name of the king in
whose reign it was made, viz., Nectanebus I., who reigned from B.C. 378
to B.C. 360.

[FN#48]  See Metternichstele, Leipzig, 1877.  The Stele was made for
Ankh-Psemthek, son of the lady Tent-Het-nub, prophet of Nebun, overseer
of Temt and scribe of Het (see line 87).

The obverse, reverse, and two sides of the Metternich Stele have cut
upon them nearly three hundred figures of gods and celestial beings.
These include figures of the great gods of heaven, earth, and the Other
World, figures of the gods of the planets and the Dekans, figures of
the gods of the days of the week, of the weeks, and months, and seasons
of the year, and of the year.  Besides these there are a number of
figures of local forms of the gods which it is difficult to identify.
On the rounded portion of the obverse the place of honour is held by
the solar disk, in which is seen a figure of Khnemu with four ram's
heads, which rests between a pair of arms, and is supported on a lake
of celestial water; on each side of it are four of the spirits of the
dawn, and on the right stands the symbol of the rising sun, Nefer-Temu,
and on the left stands Thoth.  Below this are five rows of small
figures of gods.  Below these is Harpokrates in relief, in the attitude
already described.  He stands on two crocodiles under a kind of canopy,
the sides of which are supported by Thoth and Isis, and holds Typhonic
animals and reptiles.  Above the canopy are the two Eyes of Ra, each
having a pair of human arms and hands.  On the right of Harpokrates are
Seker and Horus, and on his left the symbol of Nefer-Temu.  On the left
and right are the goddesses Nekhebet and Uatchet, who guard the South
of Egypt and the North respectively.  On the reverse and sides are
numerous small figures of gods.  This stele represented the power to
protect man possessed by all the divine beings in the universe, and,
however it was placed, it formed an impassable barrier to every spirit
of evil and to every venomous reptile.  The spells, which are cut in
hieroglyphics on all the parts of the stele not occupied by figures of
gods, were of the most potent character, for they contained the actual
words by which the gods vanquished the powers of darkness and evil.
These spells form the texts which are printed on p. 142 ff., and may be
thus summarized:--

The first spell is an incantation directed against reptiles and noxious
creatures in general.  The chief of these was Apep, the great enemy of
Ra, who took the form of a huge serpent that "resembled the
intestines," and the spell doomed him to decapitation, and burning and
backing in pieces.  These things would be effected by Serqet, the
Scorpion-goddess.  The second part of the spell was directed against
the poison of Apep, and was to be recited over anyone who was bitten by
a snake.  When uttered by Horus it made Apep to vomit, and when used by
a magician properly qualified would make the bitten person to vomit,
and so free his body from the poison.

The next spell is directed to be said to the Cat, i.e., a symbol of the
daughter of Ra, or Isis, who had the head of Ra, the eyes of the
uraeus, the nose of Thoth, the ears of Neb-er-tcher, the mouth of Tem,
the neck of Neheb-ka, the breast of Thoth, the heart of Ra, the hands
of the gods, the belly of Osiris, the thighs of Menthu, the legs of
Khensu, the feet of Amen-Horus, the haunches of Horus, the soles of the
feet of Ra, and the bowels of Meh-urit.  Every member of the Cat
contained a god or goddess, and she was able to destroy the poison of
any serpent, or scorpion, or reptile, which might be injected into her
body.  The spell opens with an address to Ra, who is entreated to come
to his daughter, who has been stung by a scorpion on a lonely road, and
to cause the poison to leave her body.  Thus it seems as if Isis, the
great magician, was at some time stung by a scorpion.

The next section is very difficult to understand.  Ra-Harmakhis is
called upon to come to his daughter, and Shu to his wife, and Isis to
her sister, who has been poisoned.  Then the Aged One, i.e., Ra, is
asked to let Thoth turn back Neha-her, or Set.  "Osiris is in the
water, but Horus is with him, and the Great Beetle overshadows him,"
and every evil spirit which dwells in the water is adjured to allow
Horus to proceed to Osiris.  Ra, Sekhet, Thoth, and Heka, this last-
named being the spell personified, are the four great gods who protect
Osiris, and who will blind and choke his enemies, and cut out their
tongues.  The cry of the Cat is again referred to, and Ra is asked if
he does not remember the cry which came from the bank of Netit.  The
allusion here is to the cries which Isis uttered when she arrived at
Netit near Abydos, and found lying there the dead body of her husband.

At this point on the Stele the spells are interrupted by a long
narrative put into the mouth of Isis, which supplies us with some
account of the troubles that she suffered, and describes the death of
Horus through the sting of a scorpion.  Isis, it seems, was shut up in
some dwelling by Set after he murdered Osiris, probably with the
intention of forcing her to marry him, and so assist him to legalize
his seizure of the kingdom.  Isis, as we have already seen, had been
made pregnant by her husband after his death, and Thoth now appeared to
her, and advised her to hide herself with her unborn child, and to
bring him forth in secret, and he promised her that her son should
succeed in due course to his father's throne.  With the help of Thoth
she escaped from her captivity, and went forth accompanied by the Seven
Scorpion-goddesses, who brought her to the town of Per-Sui, on the edge
of the Reed Swamps.  She applied to a woman for a night's shelter, but
the woman shut her door in her face.  To punish her one of the
Scorpion-goddesses forced her way into the woman's house, and stung her
child to death.  The grief of the woman was so bitter and sympathy-
compelling that Isis laid her hands on the child, and, having uttered
one of her most potent spells over him, the poison of the scorpion ran
out of his body, and the child came to life again.  The words of the
spell are cut on the Stele, and they were treasured by the Egyptians as
an infallible remedy for scorpion stings.  When the woman saw that her
son had been brought back to life by Isis, she was filled with joy and
gratitude, and, as a mark of her repentance, she brought large
quantities of things from her house as gifts for Isis, and they were so
many that they filled the house of the kind, but poor, woman who had
given Isis shelter.

Now soon after Isis had restored to life the son of the woman who had
shown churlishness to her, a terrible calamity fell upon her, for her
beloved son Horus was stung by a scorpion and died.  The news of this
event was conveyed to her by the gods, who cried out to her to come to
see her son Horus, whom the terrible scorpion Uhat had killed.  Isis,
stabbed with pain at the news, as if a knife had been driven into her
body, ran out distraught with grief.  It seems that she had gone to
perform a religious ceremony in honour of Osiris in a temple near
Hetep-hemt, leaving her child carefully concealed in Sekhet-An.  During
her absence the scorpion Uhat, which had been sent by Set, forced its
way into the biding-place of Horus, and there stung him to death.  When
Isis came and found the dead body, she burst forth in lamentations, the
sound of which brought all the people from the neighbouring districts
to her side.  As she related to them the history of her sufferings they
endeavoured to console her, and when they found this to be impossible
they lifted up their voices and wept with her.  Then Isis placed her
nose in the mouth of Horus so that she might discover if he still
breathed, but there was no breath in his throat; and when she examined
the wound in his body made by the fiend Aun-Ab she saw in it traces of
poison.  No doubt about his death then remained in her mind, and
clasping him in her arms she lifted him up, and in her transports of
grief leaped about like fish when they are laid on red-hot coals.  Then
she uttered a series of heartbreaking laments, each of which begins
with the words "Horus is bitten."  The heir of heaven, the son of Un-
Nefer, the child of the gods, he who was wholly fair, is bitten!  He
for whose wants I provided, he who was to avenge his father, is bitten!
He for whom I cared and suffered when he was being fashioned in my
womb, is bitten!  He whom I tended so that I might gaze upon him, is
bitten!  He whose life I prayed for is bitten!  Calamity hath overtaken
the child, and he hath perished.

Whilst Isis was saying these and many similar words, her sister
Nephthys, who had been weeping bitterly for her nephew Horus as she
wandered about among the swamps, came, in company with the Scorpion-
goddess Serqet, and advised Isis to pray to heaven for help.  Pray that
the sailors in the Boat of Ra may cease from rowing, for the Boat
cannot travel onwards whilst Horus lies dead.  Then Isis cried out to
heaven, and her voice reached the Boat of Millions of Years, and the
Disk ceased to move onward, and came to a standstill.  From the Boat
Thoth descended, being equipped with words of power and spells of all
kinds, and bearing with him the "great command of maa-kheru," i.e., the
WORD, whose commands were performed, instantly and completely, by every
god, spirit, fiend, human being and by every thing, animate and
inanimate, in heaven, earth, and the Other World.  Then he came to Isis
and told her that no harm could possibly have happened to Horus, for he
was under the protection of the Boat of Ra; but his words failed to
comfort Isis, and though she acknowledged the greatness of his designs,
she complained that they savoured of delay.  "What is the good," she
asks, "of all thy spells, and incantations, and magical formulae, and
the great command of maa-kheru, if Horus is to perish by the poison of
a scorpion, and to lie here in the arms of Death?  Evil, evil is his
destiny, for it hath entailed the deepest misery for him and death."

In answer to these words Thoth, turning to Isis and Nephthys, bade them
to fear not, and to have no anxiety about Horus, "For," said he, "I
have come from heaven to heal the child for his mother."  He then
pointed out that Horus was under protection as the Dweller in his Disk
(Aten), the Great Dwarf, the Mighty Ram, the Great Hawk, the Holy
Beetle, the Hidden Body, the Divine Bennu, etc., and proceeded to utter
the great spell which restored Horus to life.  By his words of power
Thoth transferred the fluid of life of Ra, and as soon as this came
upon the child's body the poison of the scorpion flowed out of him, and
he once more breathed and lived.  When this was done Thoth returned to
the Boat of Ra, the gods who formed its crew resumed their rowing, and
the Disk passed on its way to make its daily journey across the sky.
The gods in heaven, who were amazed and uttered cries of terror when
they heard of the death of Horus, were made happy once more, and sang
songs of joy over his recovery.  The happiness of Isis in her child's
restoration to life was very great, for she could again hope that he
would avenge his father's murder, and occupy his throne.  The final
words of Thoth comforted her greatly, for he told her that he would
take charge of the case of Horus in the Judgment Hall of Anu, wherein
Osiris had been judged, and that as his advocate he would make any
accusations which might be brought against Horus to recoil on him that
brought them.  Furthermore, he would give Horus power to repulse any
attacks which might be made upon him by beings in the heights above, or
fiends in the depths below, and would ensure his succession to the
Throne of the Two Lands, i.e., Egypt.  Thoth also promised Isis that Ra
himself should act as the advocate of Horus, even as he had done for
his father Osiris.  He was also careful to allude to the share which
Isis had taken in the restoration of Horus to life, saying, "It is the
words of power of his mother which have lifted up his face, and they
shall enable him to journey wheresoever he pleaseth, and to put fear
into the powers above.  I myself hasten [to obey them]."  Thus
everything turned on the power of the spells of Isis, who made the sun
to stand still, and caused the dead to be raised.

Such are the contents of the texts on the famous Metternich Stele.
There appears to be some confusion in their arrangement, and some of
them clearly are misplaced, and, in places, the text is manifestly
corrupt.  It is impossible to explain several passages, for we do not
understand all the details of the system of magic which they represent.
Still, the general meaning of the texts on the Stele is quite clear,
and they record a legend of Isis and Horus which is not found so fully
described on any other monument.



The history of Isis and Osiris given on pp. 248 is taken from the
famous treatise of Plutarch entitled De Iside et Osiride, and forms a
fitting conclusion to this volume of Legends of the Gods.  It contains
all the essential facts given in Plutarch's work, and the only things
omitted are his derivations and mythological speculations, which are
really unimportant for the Egyptologist.  Egyptian literature is full
of allusions to events which took place in the life of Osiris, and to
his persecution, murder, and resurrection, and numerous texts of all
periods describe the love and devotion of his sister and wife Isis, and
the filial piety of Horus.  Nowhere, however, have we in Egyptian a
connected account of the causes which led to the murder by Set of
Osiris, or of the subsequent events which resulted in his becoming the
king of heaven and judge of the dead.  However carefully we piece
together the fragments of information which we can extract from native
Egyptian literature, there still remains a series of gaps which can
only be filled by guesswork.  Plutarch, as a learned man and a student
of comparative religion and mythology was most anxious to understand
the history of Isis and Osiris, which Greek and Roman scholars talked
about freely, and which none of them comprehended, and he made
enquiries of priests and others, and examined critically such
information as he could obtain, believing and hoping that he would
penetrate the mystery in which these gods were wrapped.  As a result of
his labours he collected a number of facts about the form of the Legend
of Isis and Osiris as it was known to the learned men of his day, but
there is no evidence that he had the slightest knowledge of the details
of the original African Legend of these gods as it was known to the
Egyptians, say, under the VIth Dynasty.  Moreover, he never realized
that the characteristics and attributes of both Isis and Osiris changed
several times during the long history of Egypt, and that a thousand
years before he lived the Egyptians themselves had forgotten what the
original form of the legend was.  They preserved a number of
ceremonies, and performed very carefully all the details of an ancient
ritual at the annual commemoration festival of Osiris which was held in
November and December, but the evidence of the texts makes it quite
clear that the meaning and symbolism of nearly all the details were
unknown alike to priests and people.

An important modification of the cult of Isis and Osiris took place in
the third century before Christ, when the Ptolemies began to
consolidate their rule in Egypt.  A form of religion which would be
acceptable both to Egyptians and Greeks had to be provided, and this
was produced by modifying the characteristics of Osiris and calling him
Sarapis, and identifying him with the Greek Pluto.  To Isis were added
many of the attributes of the great Greek goddesses, and into her
worship were introduced "mysteries" derived from non-Egyptian cults,
which made it acceptable to the people everywhere.  Had a high priest
of Osiris who lived at Abydos under the XVIIIth Dynasty witnessed the
celebration of the great festival of Isis and Osiris in any large town
in the first century before Christ, it is tolerably certain that he
would have regarded it as a lengthy act of worship of strange gods, in
which there appeared, here and there, ceremonies and phrases which
reminded him of the ancient Abydos ritual.  When the form of the cult
of Isis and Osiris introduced by the Ptolemies into Egypt extended to
the great cities of Greece and Italy, still further modifications took
place in it, and the characters of Isis and Osiris were still further
changed.  By degrees Osiris came to be regarded as the god of death
pure and simple, or as the personification of Death, and he ceased to
be regarded as the great protecting ancestral spirit, and the all-
powerful protecting Father of his people.  As the importance of Osiris
declined that of Isis grew, and men came to regard her as the great
Mother-goddess of the world.  The priests described from tradition the
great facts of her life according to the Egyptian legends, how she had
been a loving and devoted wife, how she had gone forth after her
husband's murder by Set to seek for his body, how she had found it and
brought it home, how she revivified it by her spells and had union with
Osiris and conceived by him, and how in due course she brought forth
her son, in pain and sorrow and loneliness in the Swamps of the Delta,
and how she reared him and watched over him until he was old enough to
fight and vanquish his father's murderer, and how at length she seated
him in triumph on his father's throne.  These things endeared Isis to
the people everywhere, and as she herself had not suffered death like
Osiris, she came to be regarded as the eternal mother of life and of
all living things.  She was the creatress of crops, she produced fruit,
vegetables, plants of all kinds and trees, she made cattle prolific,
she brought men and women together and gave them offspring, she was the
authoress of all love, virtue, goodness and happiness.  She made the
light to shine, she was the spirit of the Dog-star which heralded the
Nile-flood, she was the source of the power in the beneficent light of
the moon; and finally she took the dead to her bosom and gave them
peace, and introduced them to a life of immortality and happiness
similar to that which she had bestowed upon Osiris.

The message of the cult of Isis as preached by her priests was one of
hope and happiness, and coming to the Greeks and Romans, as it did, at
a time when men were weary of their national cults, and when the
speculations of the philosophers carried no weight with the general
public, the people everywhere welcomed it with the greatest enthusiasm.
From Egypt it was carried to the Islands of Greece and to the mainland,
to Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Portugal, and then crossing the
western end of the Mediterranean it entered North Africa, and with
Carthage as a centre spread east and west along the coast.  Wherever
the cult of Isis came men accepted it as something which supplied what
they thought to be lacking in their native cults; rich and poor, gentle
and simple, all welcomed it, and the philosopher as well as the
ignorant man rejoiced in the hope of a future life which it gave to
them.  Its Egyptian origin caused it to be regarded with the
profoundest interest, and its priests were most careful to make the
temples of Isis quite different from those of the national gods, and to
decorate them with obelisks, sphinxes, shrines, altars, etc., which
were either imported from temples in Egypt, or were copied from
Egyptian originals.  In the temples of Isis services were held at
daybreak and in the early afternoon daily, and everywhere these were
attended by crowds of people.  The holy water used in the libations and
for sprinkling the people was Nile water, specially imported from
Egypt, and to the votaries of the goddess it symbolized the seed of the
god Osiris, which germinated and brought forth fruit through the spells
of the goddess Isis.  The festivals and processions of Isis were
everywhere most popular, and were enjoyed by learned and unlearned
alike.  In fact, the Isis-play which was acted annually in November,
and the festival of the blessing of the ship, which took place in the
spring, were the most important festivals of the year.  Curiously
enough, all the oldest gods and goddesses of Egypt passed into absolute
oblivion, with the exception of Osiris (Sarapis), Isis, Anubis the
physician, and Harpokrates, the child of Osiris and Isis, and these,
from being the ancestral spirits of a comparatively obscure African
tribe in early dynastic times, became for several hundreds of years the
principal objects of worship of some of the most cultured and
intellectual nations.  The treatise of Plutarch De Iside helps to
explain how this came about, and for those who study the Egyptian
Legend of Isis and Osiris the work has considerable importance.



[FN#49]  Kheperu.  The verb Kheper means "to make, to form, to produce,
to become, and to roll;" kheperu here means "the things which come into
being through the rollings of the ball of the god Kheper (the roller),"
i.e., the Sun.

[These are] the words which the god Neb-er-tcher spake after he had
come into being:--"I am he who came into being in the form of the god
Khepera, and I am the creator of that which came into being, that is to
say, I am the creator of everything which came into being: now the
things which I created, and which came forth out of my month after that
I had come into being myself were exceedingly many.  The sky (or
heaven) had not come into being, the earth did not exist, and the
children of the earth[FN#50], and the creeping, things, had not been
made at that time.  I myself raised them up from out of Nu[FN#51], from
a state of helpless inertness.  I found no place whereon I could stand.
I worked a charm[FN#52] upon my own heart (or, will), I laid the
foundation [of things] by Maat,[FN#53] and I made everything which had
form.  I was [then] one by myself, for I had not emitted from myself
the god Shu, and I had not spit out from myself the goddess Tefnut; and
there existed no other who could work with me.  I laid the foundations
[of things] in my own heart, and there came into being multitudes of
created things, which came into being from the created things which
were born from the created things which arose from what they brought
forth.  I had union with my closed hand, and I embraced my shadow as a
wife, and I poured seed into my own mouth, and I sent forth from myself
issue in the form of the gods Shu and Tefnut. Saith my father Nu:--My
Eye was covered up behind them (i.e., Shu. and Tefnut), but after two
hen periods had passed from the time when they departed from me, from
being one god I became three gods, and I came into being in the earth.
Then Shu and Tefnut rejoiced from out of the inert watery mass wherein
they I were, and they brought to me my Eye (i.e., the Sun). Now after
these things I gathered together my members, and I wept over them, and
men and women sprang into being from the tears which came forth from my
Eye.  And when my Eye came to me, and found that I had made another
[Eye] in place where it was (i.e., the Moon), it was wroth with (or,
raged at) me, whereupon I endowed it (i.e., the second Eye) with [some
of] the splendour which I had made for the first [Eye], and I made it
to occupy its place in my Face, and henceforth it ruled throughout all
this earth."

[FN#50]  i.e., serpents and snakes, or perhaps plants.

[FN#51]  The primeval watery mass which was the source and origin of
all beings and things.

[FN#52]  i.e., he uttered a magical formula.

[FN#53]  i.e., by exact and definite rules.

"When there fell on them their moment[FN#54] through plant-like clouds,
I restored what had been taken away from them, and I appeared from out
of the plant-like clouds.  I created creeping things of every kind, and
everything which came into being from them.  Shu and Tefnut brought
forth [Seb and] Nut; and Seb and Nut brought forth Osiris, and Heru-
khent-an-maati,[FN#55] and Set, and Isis, and Nephthys[FN#56] at one
birth, one after the other, and they produced their multitudinous
offspring in this earth."

[FN#54]  i.e., the period of calamity wherein their light was veiled
through plant-like clouds.

[FN#55]  i.e., the Blind Horus.

[FN#56]  i.e., these five gods were all born at one time.



[These are] the words of the god Neb-er-tcher, who said: "I am the
creator of what hath come into being, and I myself came into being
under the form of the god Khepera, and I came into being in primeval
time.  I came into being in the form of Khepera, and I am the creator
of what did come into being, that is to say, I formed myself out of the
primeval matter, and I made and formed myself out of the substance
which existed in primeval time.  My name is AUSARES (i.e., Osiris), who
is the primeval matter of primeval matter.  I have done my will in
everything in this earth.  I have spread myself abroad therein, and I
have made strong my hand.  I was ONE by myself, for they (i.e., the
gods) had not been brought forth, and I had emitted from myself neither
Shu nor Tefnut.  I brought my own name[FN#57] into my mouth as a word
of power, and I forthwith came into being under the form of things
which are and under the form of Khepera.  I came into being from out of
primeval matter, and from the beginning I appeared under the form of
the multitudinous things which exist; nothing whatsoever existed at
that time in this earth, and it was I who made whatsoever was made.  I
was ONE: by myself, and there was no other being who worked with me in
that place.  I made all the things under the forms of which I appeared
then by means of the Soul-God which I raised into firmness at that time
from out of Nu, from a state of inactivity.  I found no place
whatsoever there whereon I could stand, I worked by the power of a
spell by means of my heart, I laid a foundation [for things] before me,
and whatsoever was made, I made.  I was ONE by myself, and I laid the
foundation of things [by means of] my heart, and I made the other
things which came into being, and the things of Khepera which were made
were manifold, and their offspring came into existence from the things
to which they gave birth.  I it was who emitted Shu, and I it was who
emitted Tefnut, and from being the ONE, god (or, the only god) I became
three gods; the two other gods who came into being on this earth sprang
from me, and Shu and Tefnut rejoiced (or, were raised up) from out of
Nu in which they were. Now behold, they brought my Eye to me after two
hen periods since the time when they went forth from me. I gathered
together my members which had appeared in my own body, and afterwards
I had union with my hand, and my heart (or, will) came unto me from out
of my hand, and the seed fell into my mouth, and I emitted from myself
the gods Shu and Tefnut, and so from being the ONE god (or, the only,
god) I became three gods; thus the two other gods who came into being
on this earth sprang from me, and Shu and Tefnut rejoiced (or, were
raised up) from out of Nu in which they were.  My father Nu saith:--
They covered up (or, concealed) my Eye with the plant-like clouds which
were behind them (i.e., Shu and Tefnut) for very many hen periods.
Plants and creeping things [sprang up] from the god REM, through the
tears which I let fall.  I cried out to my Eye, and men and women came
into existence.  Then I bestowed upon my Eye the uraeus of fire, and it
was wroth with me when another Eye (i.e., the Moon) came and grew up in
its place; its vigorous power fell on the plants, on the plants which I
had placed there, and it set order among them, and it took up its place
in my face, and it doth rule the whole earth.  Then Shu and Tefnut
brought forth Osiris, and Heru-khenti-an-maa, and Set, and Isis, and
Nephthys and behold, they have produced offspring, and have created
multitudinous children in this earth, by means of the beings which came
into existence from the creatures which they produced.  They invoke my
name, and they overthrow their enemies, and they make words of power
for the overthrowing of Apep, over whose hands and arms AKER keepeth
ward.  His hands and arms shall not exist, his feet and leas shall not
exist, and he is chained in one place whilst Ra inflicts upon him the
blows which are decreed for him.  He is thrown upon his accursed back,
his face is slit open by reason of the evil which he hath done, and he
shall remain upon his accursed back."

[FN#57]  i.e., I uttered my own name from my own mouth as a word of



[Here is the story of Ra,] the god who was self-begotten and self-
created, after he had assumed the sovereignty over men and women, and
gods, and things, the ONE god.  Now men and women were speaking words
of complaint, saying:--"Behold, his Majesty (Life, Strength, and Health
to him!) hath grown old, and his bones have become like silver, and
his members have turned into gold and his hair is like unto real lapis-
lazuli."  His Majesty heard the words of complaint which men and women
were uttering, and his Majesty (Life, Strength, and Health to him!)
said unto those who were in his train:--"Cry out, and bring to me my
Eye, and Shu, and Tefnut, and Seb, and Nut, and the father-gods, and
the mother-gods who were with me, even when I was in Nu side by side
with my god Nu.  Let there be brought along with my Eye his ministers,
and let them be led to me hither secretly, so that men and women may
not perceive them [coming] hither, and may not therefore take to flight
with their hearts.  Come thou[FN#58] with them to the Great House, and
let them declare their plans (or, arrangements) fully, for I will go
from Nu into the place wherein I brought about my own existence, and
let those gods be brought unto me there."  Now the gods were drawn up
on each side of Ra, and they bowed down before his Majesty until their
heads touched the ground, and the maker of men and women, the king of
those who have knowledge, spake his words in the presence of the Father
of the first-born gods. And the gods spake in the presence of his
Majesty, saying:--"Speak unto us, for we are listening to them" (i.e.,
thy words).  Then Ra spake unto Nu, saying:--"O thou first-born god
from whom I came into being, O ye gods of ancient time, my ancestors,
take ye heed to what men and women [are doing]; for behold, those who
were created by my Eye are uttering words of complaint against me.
Tell me what ye would do in the matter, and consider this thing for me,
and seek out [a plan] for me, for I will not slay them until I have
heard what ye shall say to me concerning it."

[FN#58]  The god here addressed appears to have been Nu.

Then the Majesty of Nu, to son Ra, spake, saying:--"Thou art the god
who art greater than he who made thee, thou art the sovereign of those
who were created with thee, thy throne is set, and the fear of thee is
great; let thine Eye go against those who have uttered blasphemies
against thee."  And the Majesty of Ra, said:--"Behold, they have
betaken themselves to flight into the mountain lands, for their hearts
are afraid because of the words which they have uttered."  Then the
gods spake in the presence of his Majesty, saying:--"Let thine Eye go
forth and let it destroy for thee those who revile thee with words of
evil, for there is no eye whatsoever that can go before it and resist
thee and it when it journeyeth in the form of Hathor."  Thereupon this
goddess went forth and slew the men and the women who were on the
mountain (or, desert land).  And the Majesty of this god said, "Come,
come in peace, O Hathor, for the work is accomplished."  Then this
goddess said, "Thou hast made me to live, for when I gained the mastery
over men and women it was sweet to my heart;" and the Majesty of Ra
said, "I myself will be master over them as [their] king, and I will
destroy them."  And it came to pass that Sekhet of the offerings waded
about in the night season in their blood, beginning at Suten-
henen.[FN#59]  Then the Majesty of Ra, spake [saying], "Cry out, and
let there come to me swift and speedy messengers who shall be able to
run like the wind . . . .;" and straightway messengers of this kind
were brought unto him.  And the Majesty of this god spake [saying],
"Let these messengers go to Abu,[FN#60] and bring unto me mandrakes in
great numbers;" and [when] these mandrakes were brought unto him the
Majesty of this god gave them to Sekhet, the goddess who dwelleth in
Annu (Heliopolis) to crush.  And behold, when the maidservants were
bruising the grain for [making] beer, these mandrakes were placed in
the vessels which were to hold the beer, and some of the blood of the
men and women [who had been slain].  Now they made seven thousand
vessels of beer.  Now when the Majesty of Re, the King of the South and
North, had come with the gods to look at the vessels of beer, and
behold, the daylight had appeared after the slaughter of men and women
by the goddess in their season as she sailed up the river, the Majesty
of Ra said, "It is good, it is good, nevertheless I must protect men
and women against her."  And Ra, said, "Let them take up the vases and
carry them to the place where the men and women were slaughtered by
her."  Then the Majesty of the King of the South and North in the
three-fold beauty of the night caused to be poured out these vases of
beer which make [men] to lie down (or, sleep), and the meadows of the
Four Heavens[FN#61] were filled with beer (or, water) by reason of the
Souls of the Majesty of this god.  And it came to pass that when this
goddess arrived at the dawn of day, she found these [Heavens] flooded
[with beer], and she was pleased thereat; and she drank [of the beer
and blood], and her heart rejoiced, and she became drunk, and she gave
no further attention to men and women.  Then said the Majesty of Ra to
this goddess, "Come in peace, come in peace, O Amit,"[FN#62] and
thereupon beautiful women came into being in the city of Amit (or,
Amem).  And the Majesty of Ra spake [concerning] this goddess,
[saying], "Let there be made for her vessels of the beer which
produceth sleep at every holy time and season of the year, and they
shall be in number according to the number of my hand-maidens;" and
from that early time until now men have been wont to make on the
occasions of the festival of Hathor vessels of the beer which make them
to sleep in number according to the number of the handmaidens of Ra.
And the Majesty of Ra spake unto this goddess, [saying], "I am smitten
with the pain of the fire of sickness; whence cometh to me [this]
pain?"  And the Majesty of Ra said, "I live, but my heart hath become
exceedingly weary[FN#63] with existence with them (i.e., with men); I
have slain [some of] them, but there is a remnant of worthless ones,
for the destruction which I wrought among them was not as great as my
power."  Then the gods who were in his following said unto him, "Be not
overcome by thy inactivity, for thy might is in proportion to thy
will."  And the Majesty of this god said unto the Majesty of Nu, "My
members are weak for (or, as at) the first time; I will not permit this
to come upon me a second time."  And the Majesty of the god Nu said, "O
son Shu, be thou the Eye 'for thy father . . . . . and avenue (?) him,
and 'thou goddess Nut, place him . . . . . ...  And the goddess Nut
said, "How can this be then, O my father Nu? Hail," said Nut . . . . .
to the god Nu, and the goddess straightway became [a cow], and she set
the Majesty of Ra upon [her] back . . . . .  And when these things had
been done, men and women saw the god Ra, upon the back [of the cow].
Then these men and women said, "Remain with us, and we will overthrow
thine enemies who speak words of blasphemy [against thee.], and
[destroy them]."  Then his Majesty [Ra] set out for the Great House,
and [the gods who were in the train of Ra remained] with them (i.e.,
the men); during that time the earth was in darkness.  And when the
earth became light [again] and the morning had dawned, the men came
forth with their bows and their [weapons], and they set their arms in
motion to shoot the enemies [of Ra].  Then said the Majesty of this
god, "Your "transgressions of violence are placed behind you, for the
slaughtering of the enemies is above the slaughter [of sacrifice];"
thus came into being the slaughter [of sacrifice].  And the Majesty of
this god said unto Nut, "I have placed myself upon my back in order to
stretch myself out."  What then is the meaning of this?  It meaneth
that he united (?) himself with Nut.  [Thus came into being] . . . . .
Then said the Majesty of this god, "I am departing from them (i.e.,
from men), and he must come after me who would see me;" thus came into
being . . . . .  Then the Majesty of this god looked forth from its
interior, saying, "Gather together [men for me], and make ready for me
an abode for multitudes;" thus came into being . . . . . . .  And his
Majesty (life, health, and strength be to him!) said, "Let a great
field (sekhet) be produced (hetep);" thereupon Sekhet-hetep came into
being.  [And the god said], "I will gather herbs (aarat) therein;"
thereupon Sekhet-aaru came into being.  [And the god said], "I will
make it to contain as dwellers things (khet) like stars of all sorts;"
thereupon the stars (akhekha) came into being.  Then the goddess Nut
trembled because of the height.

[FN#59]  Or, Henen-su, {hbw XaNeS}, i.e., Herakleopolis, Magna.

[FN#60]  i.e., Elephantine, or Syene, a place better known by the
Arabic name ASWAN.

[FN#61]  i.e., the South, North, West, and East of the sky.

[FN#62]  i.e., "the fair and gracious goddess."

[FN#63]  Literally, "My heart hath stopped greatly."

And the Majesty of Ra said, "I decree that supports be to bear [the
goddess up];" thereupon the props of heaven (heh) came into being.  And
the Majesty of Ra said, "O my son Shu, I pray thee to set thyself under
[my] daughter Nut, and guard thou for me the supports (heh) of the
millions (heh) which are there, and which live in darkness.  Take thou
the goddess upon thy head, and act thou as nurse for her;" thereupon
came into being [the custom] of a son nursing a daughter, and [the
custom] of a father carrying a son upon his head.



II.  This Chapter shall be said over [a figure of] the cow.--The
supporters [called] Heh-enti shall be by her shoulder.  The supporters
[called] Heh-enti shall be at her side, and one cubit and four spans of
hers shall be in colours, and nine stars shall be on her belly, and Set
shall be by her two thighs and shall keep watch before her two legs,
and before her two legs shall be Shu, under her belly, and he shall be
made (i.e., painted) in green qenat colour. His two arms shall be under
the stars, and his name shall be made (i.e., written) in the middle of
them, namely, Shu himself. "A boat with a rudder and a double shrine
shall be therein, and Aten (i.e., the Disk) shall be above it, and Ra
shall be in it, in front of Shu, near his hand, or, as another reading
hath, behind him, near his hand.  And the udders of the Cow shall be
made to be between her legs, towards the left side.  And on the two
flanks, towards the middle of the legs, shall be done in writing [the
words], "The exterior heaven," and "I am what is in me," and "I will
not permit them to make her to turn."  That which is [written] under
the boat which is in front shall read, "Thou shalt not be motionless,
my son;" and the words which are written in an opposite direction shall
read, "Thy support is like life," and "The word is as the word there,"
and "Thy son is with me," and "Life, strength, and health be to thy
nostrils!"  And that which is behind Shu, near his shoulder, shall
read, "They keep ward," and that which is behind him, written close to
his feet in an opposite direction, shall read, "Maat," and "They come
in," and "I protect daily."  And that which is under the shoulder of
the divine figure which is under the left leg, and is behind it shall
read, "He who sealeth all things."  That which is over his head, under
the thighs of the Cow, and that which is by her legs shall read,
"Guardian of his exit."  That which is behind the two figures which are
by her two legs, that is to say, over their heads, shall read, "The
Aged One who is adored as he goeth forth," and The Aged One to whom
praise is given when he goeth in."  That which is over the head of the
two figures, and is between the two thighs of the Cow, shall read,
"Listener," "Hearer," "Sceptre of the Upper Heaven," and "Star" (?).



III.  Then the majesty of this god spake unto Thoth, [saying] "Let a
call go forth for me to the Majesty of the god Seb, saying, 'Come, with
the utmost speed, at once."'  And when the Majesty of Seb had come, the
Majesty of this god said unto him, "Let war be made against thy worms
(or, serpents) which are in thee; verily, they shall have fear of me as
long as I have being; but thou knowest their magical powers.  Do thou
go to the place where my father Nu is, and say thou unto him, 'Keep
ward over the worms (or, serpents) which are in the earth and water.'
And moreover, thou shalt make a writing for each of the nests of thy
serpents which are there, saying, 'Keep ye guard [lest ye] cause injury
to anything.'  They shall know that I am removing myself [from them],
but indeed I shall shine upon them. Since, however, they indeed wish
for a father, thou shalt be a father unto them in this land for ever.
Moreover, let good heed be taken to the men who have my words of power,
and to those whose mouths have knowledge of such things; verily my own
words of power are there, verily it shall not happen that any shall
participate with me in my protection, by reason of the majesty which
hath come into being before me.  I will decree them to thy son Osiris,
and their children shall be watched over, the hearts of their princes
shall be obedient (or, ready) by reason of the magical powers of those
who act according to their desire in all the earth through their words
of power which are in their bodies."



IV.  And the majesty of this god said, "Call to me the god Thoth," and
one brought the god to him forthwith.  And the Majesty of this god said
unto Thoth, "Let us depart to a distance from heaven, from my place,
because I would make light and the god of light (Khu) in the Tuat and
[in] the Land of Caves.  Thou shalt write down [the things which are]
in it, and thou shalt punish those who are in it, that is to say, the
workers who have worked iniquity (or, rebellion).  Through thee I will
keep away from the servants whom this heart [of mine] loatheth. Thou
shalt be in my place (ast) ASTI, and thou shalt therefore be called, O
Thoth, the 'Asti of Ra.'  Moreover, I give thee power to send (hab)
forth . . . . .; thereupon shall come into being the Ibis (habi) bird
of Thoth.  I moreover give thee [power] to lift up thine hand before
the two Companies of the gods who are greater than thou, and what thou
doest shall be fairer than [the work of] the god Khen; therefore shall
the divine bird tekni of Thoth come into being.  Moreover, I give thee
[Power] to embrace (anh) the two heavens with thy beauties, and with
thy rays of light; therefore shall come into being the Moon-god (Aah)
of Thoth.  Moreover, I give thee [power] to drive back (anan) the Ha-
nebu;[FN#64] therefore shall come into being the dog-headed Ape (anan)
of Thoth, and he shall act as governor for me.  Moreover, thou art now
in my place in the sight of all those who see thee and who present
offerings to thee, and every being shall ascribe praise unto thee, O
thou who art God."

[FN#64]  i.e., the "North-lords," that is to say, the peoples who lived
in the extreme north of the Delta, and on its sea-coasts, and perhaps
in the Islands of the Mediterranean.



V.  Whosoever shall recite the words of this composition over himself
shall anoint himself with olive oil and with thick unguent, and he
shall have propitiatory offerings on both his hands of incense, and
behind his two ears shall be pure natron, and sweet-smelling salve
shall be on his lips.  He shall be arrayed in a new double tunic, and
his body shall be purified with the water of the nile-flood, and he
shall have upon his feet a pair of sandals made of white [leather], and
a figure of the goddess Maat shall be drawn upon his tongue with green-
coloured ochre.  Whensoever Thoth shall wish to recite this composition
on behalf of Ra, he must perform a sevenfold (?) purification for three
days, and priests and [ordinary] men shall do likewise.  Whosoever
shall recite the above words shall perform the ceremonies which are to
be performed when this book is being read.  And he shall make his place
of standing (?) in a circle (or, at an angle) . . . . . which is beyond
[him], and his two eyes shall be fixed upon himself, all his members
shall be [composed], and his steps shall not carry him away [from the
place].  Whosoever among men shall recite [these] words shall be like
Ra on the day of his birth; and his possessions shall not become fewer,
and his house shall never fall into decay, but shall endure for a
million eternities.

Then the Aged One himself (i.e., Ra) embraced (?) the god Nu, and spake
unto the gods who came forth in the east of the sky, "Ascribe ye praise
to the god, the Aged One, from whom I have come into being.  I am he
who made the heavens, and I (set in order [the earth, and created the
gods, and] I was with them for an exceedingly long period; then was
born the year and . . . . . . but my soul is older than it (i.e.,
time).  It is the Soul of Shu, it is the Soul of Khnemu (?),[FN#65] it
is the Soul of Heh, it is the Soul of Kek and Kerh (i.e., Night and
Darkness), it is the Soul of Nu and of Ra, it is the Soul of Osiris,
the lord of Tettu, it is the Soul of the Sebak Crocodile-gods and of
the Crocodiles, it is the Soul of every god [who dwelleth] in the
divine Snakes, it is the Soul of Apep in Mount Bakhau (i.e., the Mount
of Sunrise), and it is the Soul of Ra which pervadeth the whole world."

[FN#65]  There are mistakes in the text here.

Whosoever sayeth [these words] worketh his own protection by means of
the words of power, "I am the god Hekau (i.e., the divine Word of
power), and [I am] pure in my mouth, and [in] my belly; [I am] Ra from
whom the gods proceeded.  I am Ra, the Light-god (Khu)."  When thou
sayest [this], stop forth in the evening and in the morning on thine
own behalf if thou wouldst make to fall the enemies of Ra.  I am his
Soul, and I am Heka.

Hail, thou lord of eternity, thou creator of everlastingness, who
bringest to nought the gods who came forth from Ra, thou lord of thy
god, thou prince who didst make what made thee, who art beloved by the
fathers of the gods, on whose head are the pure words of power, who
didst create the woman (erpit) that standeth on the south side of thee,
who didst create the goddess who hath her face on her breast, and the
serpent which standeth on his tail, with her eye on his belly, and with
his tail on the earth, to whom Thoth giveth praises, and upon whom the
heavens rest, and to whom Shu stretcheth out his two hands, deliver
thou me from those two great gods who sit in the east of the sky, who
act as wardens of heaven and as wardens of earth, and who make firm the
secret places, and who are called "Aaiu-su," and "Per-f-er-maa-Nu."
Moreover [there shall be) a purifying on the . . . . . day of the month
. . . . . . .. even according to the performance of the ceremonies in
the oldest time.

Whosoever shall recite this Chapter shall have life in Neter-kher
(i.e., Underworld), and the fear of him shall be much greater than it
was formerly [upon earth] . . . . . . . and they shall say, "Thy names
are 'Eternity' and 'Everlastingness.'"  They are called, they are
called, "Au-peh-nef-n-aa-em-ta-uat-apu," and "Rekh-kua-[tut]-en-neter-
pui-. . . . . . en en-hra-f-Her-shefu."  I am he who hath strengthened
the boat with the company of the gods, and his Shenit, and his Gods, by
means of words of power.


The Chapter of the divine (or, mighty) god, who created himself, who
made the heavens and the earth, and the breath of life, and fire, and
the gods, and men, and beasts, and cattle, and reptiles, and the fowl
of the air, and the fish, who is the king of men and gods, [who
existeth] in one Form, [to whom] periods of one hundred and twenty
years axe as single years, whose names by reason of their multitude are
unknowable, for [even] the gods know them not.  Behold, the goddess
Isis lived in the form, of a woman, who had the knowledge of words [of
power].  Her heart turned away in disgust from the millions of men, and
she chose for herself the millions of the gods, but esteemed more
highly the millions of the spirits.  Was it not possible to become even
as was Ra in heaven and upon earth, and to make [herself] mistress of
the earth, and a [mighty] goddess--thus she meditated in her heart--by
the knowledge of the Name of the holy god?  Behold, Ra entered [heaven]
each day at the head of his mariners, establishing himself upon the
double throne of the two horizons. Now the divine one had become old,
he dribbled at the mouth, and he let his emissions go forth from him
upon the earth, and his spittle fell upon the ground.  This Isis
kneaded in her hand,[FN#66] with [some] dust, and she fashioned it in
the form of a sacred serpent, and made it to have the form of a dart,
so that none might be able to escape alive from it, and she left it
lying upon the road whereon the great god travelled, according to his
desire, about the two lands.  Then the holy god rose up in the
tabernacle of the gods in the great double house (life, strength,
health!) among those who were in his train, and [as] he journeyed on
his way according to his daily wont, the holy serpent shot its fang
into him, and the living fire was departing from the god's own body,
and the reptile destroyed the dweller among the cedars. And the mighty
god opened his mouth, and the cry of His Majesty (life, strength,
health!) reached unto the heavens, and the company of the gods said,
"What is it?" and his gods said, "What is the matter?"  And the god
found [no words] wherewith to answer concerning himself.  His jaws
shook, his lips trembled, and the poison took possession of all his
flesh just as Hapi (i.e., the Nile) taketh possession of the land
through which he floweth.  Then the great god made firm his heart
(i.e., took courage) and he cried out to those who were in his
following:--"Come ye unto me, O ye who have come into being from my
members,[FN#67] ye gods who have proceeded from me, for I would make
you to know what hath happened.  I have been smitten by some deadly
thing, of which my heart hath no knowledge, and which I have neither
seen with my eyes nor made with my hand; and I have no knowledge at all
who hath done this to me.  I have never before felt any pain like unto
it, and no pain can be worse than this [is].  I am a Prince, the son of
a Prince, and the divine emanation which was produced from a god.  I am
a Great One, the son of a Great One, and my father hath determined for
me my name.  I have multitudes of names, and I have multitudes of
forms, and my being existeth in every god.  I have been invoked (or,
proclaimed?) by Temu and Heru-Hekennu.  My father and my mother uttered
my name, and [they] hid it in my body at my birth so that none of those
who would use against me words of power might succeed in making their
enchantments have dominion over me.[FN#68] I had come forth from my
tabernacle to look upon that which I had made, and was making my way
through the two lands which I had made, when a blow was aimed at me,
but I know not of what kind.  Behold, is it fire?  Behold, is it water?
My heart is full of burning fire, my limbs are shivering, and my
members have darting pains in them.  Let there be brought unto me my
children the gods, who possess words of magic, whose mouths are cunning
[in uttering them], and whose powers reach up to heaven."  Then his
children came unto him, and every god was there with his cry of
lamentation; and Isis[FN#69] came with her words of magic, and the
place of her mouth [was filled with] the breath of life, for the words
which she putteth together destroy diseases, and her words make to live
those whose throats are choked (i.e., the dead).  And she said, "What
is this, O divine father?  What is it?  Hath a serpent shot his venom
into thee?  Hath a thing which thou hast fashioned lifted up its head
against thee?  Verily it shall be overthrown by beneficent words of
power, and I will make it to retreat in the sight of thy rays."  The
holy god opened his mouth, [saying], I was going along the road and
passing through the two lands of my country, for my heart wished to
look upon what I had made, when I was bitten by a serpent which I did
not see; behold, is it fire?  Behold, is it water?  I am colder than
water, I am hotter than fire, all my members sweat, I myself quake,
mine eye is unsteady.  I cannot look at the heavens, and water forceth
itself on my face as in the time of the Inundation."[FN#70]  And Isis
said unto Ra, "O my divine father, tell me thy name, for he who is able
to pronounce his name liveth."  [And Ra said], "I am the maker of the
heavens and the earth, I have knit together the mountains, and I have
created everything which existeth upon them.  I am the maker of the
Waters, and I have made Meht-ur to come into being; I have made the
Bull of his Mother, and I have made the joys of love to exist.  I am
the maker of heaven, and I have made to be hidden the two gods of the
horizon, and I have placed the souls of the gods within them.  I am the
Being who openeth his eyes and the light cometh; I am the Being who
shutteth his eyes and there is darkness.  I am the Being who giveth the
command, and the waters of Hapi (the Nile) burst forth, I am the Being
whose name the gods know not.  I am the maker of the hours and the
creator of the days.  I am the opener (i.e., inaugurator) of the
festivals, and the maker of the floods of water.  I am the creator of
the fire of life whereby the works of the houses are caused to come
into being. I am Khepera in the morning, and Ra (at the time of his
culmination (i.e., noon), and Temu in the evening."[FN#71]
Nevertheless the poison was not driven from its course, and the great
god felt no better.  Then Isis said unto Ra, "Among the things which
thou hast said unto me thy name hath not been mentioned.  O declare
thou it unto me, and the poison shall come forth; for the person who
hath declared his name shall live."  Meanwhile the poison burned with
blazing fire and the heat thereof was stronger than that of a blazing
flame.  Then the Majesty of Ra, said, "I will allow myself to be
searched through by Isis, and my name shall come forth from my body and
go into hers."  Then the divine one hid himself from the gods, and the
throne in the Boat of Millions of Years[FN#72] was empty.  And it came
to pass that when it was the time for the heart to come forth [from the
god], she said unto her son Horus, "The great god shall bind himself by
an oath to give his two eyes."[FN#73]  Thus was the great god made to
yield up his name, and Isis, the great lady of enchantments, said,
"Flow on, poison, and come forth from Ra; let the Eye of Horus come
forth from the god and shine(?) outside his mouth.  I have worked, and
I make the poison to fall on the ground, for the venom hath been
mastered.  Verily the name hath been taken away from the great god.
Let Ra live, and let the poison die; and if the poison live then Ra
shall die.  And similarly, a certain man, the son of a certain man,
shall live and the poison shall die."  These were the words which spake
Isis, the great lady, the mistress of the gods, and she had knowledge
of Ra in his own name.  The above words shall be said over an image of
Temu and an image of Heru-Hekennu,[FN#74] and over an image of Isis and
an image of Horus.

[FN#66]  Here we have another instance of the important part which the
spittle played in magical ceremonies that were intended to produce evil
effects.  The act of spitting, however, was intended sometimes to carry
a curse with it, and sometimes a blessing, for a man spat in the face
of his enemy in order to lay the curse of impurity upon him, and at the
present time, men spit upon money to keep the devils away from it.

[FN#67]  The gods were, according to one belief, nothing more than the
various names of Ra, who had taken the forms of the various members of
his body.

[FN#68]  Thus the god's own name became his most important talisman.

[FN#69]  The position of Isis as the "great enchantress" is well
defined, and several instances of her magical powers are recorded.  By
the utterance of her words of power she succeeded in raising her dead
husband Osiris to life, and she enabled him by their means to beget
Horus of her.  Nothing could withstand them, because they were of
divine origin, and she had learned them from Thoth, the intelligence of
the greatest of the gods.

[FN#70]  Or, "the period of the summer."  The season Shemmu, began soon
after the beginning of April and lasted until nearly the end of July.

[FN#71]  Khepera, Rd, and Temu were the three principal forms of the
Sun-god according to the theological system of the priests of

[FN#72]  The name by which the Boat of Ra is generally known in
Egyptian texts.  It was this boat which was stopped in its course when
Thoth descended from the sky to impart to Isis the words of power that
were to raise her dead child Horus to life.

[FN#73]  i.e., the fluid of life of the sun, and the fluid of life of
the moon. The sun and the moon were the visible, material symbols of
the Sun god.

[FN#74]  The attributes of this god are not well defined.  He was a god
of the Eastern Delta, and was associated with the cities where Temu was


XII.  In the three hundred and sixty-third year of Ra-Heru-Khuti, who
liveth for ever and forever, His Majesty was in Ta-Kens,[FN#75] and his
soldiers were with him; [the enemy] did not conspire (auu) against
their lord, and the land [is called] Uauatet unto this day.  And Ra set
out on an expedition in his boat, and his followers were with him, and
he arrived at Uthes-Heru,[FN#76] [which lay to] the west of this nome,
and to the east of the canal Pakhennu, which is called [ . . . . . . .
to this day].  And Heru-Behutet was in the boat of Ra, and he said
unto his father Ra-Heru-Khuti (i.e., Ra-Harmachis), "I see that the
enemies are conspiring against their lord; let thy fiery serpent gain
the mastery . . . . . over them."

[FN#75]  i.e., in Nubia, probably the portion of it which lies round
about the modern Kalabsha.  In ancient days Ta-kens appears to have
included a portion of the Nile Valley to the north of Aswan.

XIII.  Then the Majesty of Ra Harmachis said unto thy divine KA, "O
Heru-Behutet, O son of Ra, thou exalted one, who didst proceed from me,
overthrow thou the enemies who are before thee straightway."  And Heru-
Behutet flew up into the horizon in the form of the great Winged Disk,
for which reason he is called "Great god, lord of heaven," unto this
day.  And when he saw the enemies in the heights of heaven he set out
to follow after them in the form of the great Winged Disk, and he
attacked with such terrific force those who opposed him, that they
could neither see with their eyes nor hear with their ears, and each of
them slew his fellow.  In a moment of time there was not a single
creature left alive.  Then Heru Behutet, shining with very many
colours, came in the form of the great Winged Disk to the Boat of Ra-
Harmachis, and Thoth said unto Ra, "O Lord of the gods, Behutet hath
returned in the form of the great Winged Disk, shining [with many
colours] . . . . . . children;" for this reason he is called Heru-
Behutet unto this day.  And Thoth said, "The city Teb shall be called
the city of Heru-Behutet," and thus is it called unto this day.  And Ra
embraced the . . . . . of Ra, and said unto Heru-Behutet, "Thou didst
put grapes[FN#77] into the water which cometh forth from it,[FN#78] and
thy heart rejoiced thereat;" and for this reason the water (or, canal)
of Heru-Behutet is called "[Grape-Water]" unto this day, and the . . .
. . . . . . . . unto this day.  And Heru-Behutet said, "Advance, O Ra,
and look thou upon thine enemies who are lying under thee on this
land;" thereupon the Majesty of Ra set out on the way, and the goddess
Asthertet ('Ashtoreth?) was with him, and he saw the enemies overthrown
on the ground, each one of them being fettered.  Then said Ra to Heru-
Behutet, "There is sweet life in this place," and for this reason the
abode of the palace of Heru-Behutet is called "Sweet Life" unto this
day.  And Ra, said unto Thoth, "[Here was the slaughter] of mine
enemies; "and the place is called Teb[FN#79] unto this day.  And Thoth
said unto Heru-Behutet, "Thou art a great protector (makaa);" and the
Boat of Heru-Behutet is called Makaa[FN#80] unto this day.  Then said
Ra unto the gods who were in his following, "Behold now, let us sail in
our boat upon the water, for our hearts are glad because our enemies
have been overthrown on the earth;" and the water where the great god
sailed is called P-Khen-Ur[FN#81] unto this day.  And behold the
enemies [of Ra] rushed into the water, and they took the forms of
[crocodiles and] hippopotami, but nevertheless Ra-Heru-Khuti sailed
over the waters in his boat, and when the crocodiles and the
hippopotami had come nigh unto him, they opened wide their jaws in
order to destroy Ra-Heru-Khuti.  And when Heru-Behutet arrived and his
followers who were behind him in the forms of workers in metal, each
having in his hands an iron spear and a chain, according to his name,
they smote the crocodiles and the hippopotami; and there were brought
in there straightway six hundred and fifty-one crocodiles, which had
been slain before the city of Edfu.  Then spake Ra-Harmachis unto Heru-
Behutet, "My Image shall be [here] in the land of the South, (which is
a house of victory (or, strength); "and the House of Heru-Behutet is
called Nekht-Het unto this day.

[FN#76]  i.e., Apollinopolis, the modern Edfu.

[FN#77]  i.e. drops of blood.

[FN#78]  i.e., from the city.

[FN#79]  i.e., Edfu.

[FN#80]  i.e., Great Protector.

[FN#81]  i.e., "Great Canal."

XIV.  Then the god Thoth spake, after he had looked upon the enemies
lying upon the ground, saying, "Let your hearts rejoice, O ye gods of
heaven!  Let your hearts rejoice, O ye gods who are in the earth!
Horus, the Youthful One, cometh in peace, and he hath made manifest on
his journey deeds of very great might, which he hath performed
according to 'the Book of Slaying the Hippopotamus.'"  And from that day
figures of Heru-Behutet in metal have existed.

Then Heru-Behutet took upon himself the form of the Winged Disk, and he
placed himself upon the front of the Boat of Ea.  And he placed by his
side the goddess Nekhebet[FN#82] and the goddess Uatchet,[FN#83] in the
form of two serpents, that they might make the enemies to quake in
[all] their limbs when they were in the forms of crocodiles and
hippopotami in every place wherein be came in the Land of the South and
in the Land of the North.  Then those enemies rose up to make their
escape from before him, and their face was towards the Land of the
South.  And their hearts were stricken down through fear of him.  And
Heru-Behutet was at the back (or, side) of them in the Boat of Ra, and
there were in his hands a metal lance and a metal chain; and the metal
workers who were with their lord were equipped for fighting with lances
and chains.  And Heru-Behutet saw them[FN#84] to the south-east of the
city of Uast (Thebes) some distance away.  Then Ra said to Thoth,
"Those enemies shall be smitten with blows that kill;" and Thoth said
to Ra, "[That place] is called the city Tchet-Met unto this day."  And
Heru-Behutet made a great overthrow among them, and Ra said, "Stand
still, O Heru-Behutet," and [that place] is called "Het-Ra" to this
day, and the god who dwelleth therein is Heru-Behutet-Ra-Amsu (or,
Min).  Then those enemies rose up to make their escape from before him,
and the face of the god was towards the Land of the North, and their
hearts were stricken through fear of him.  And Heru-Behutet was at the
back (or, side) of them in the Boat of Ra, and those who were following
him had spears of metal and chains of metal in their hands; and the god
himself was equipped for battle with the weapons of the metal workers
which they had with them.  And he passed a whole day before he saw them
to the north-east of the nome of Tentyra (Dendera).  Then Ra said unto
Thoth, "The enemies are resting . . . . . . . their lord."  And the
Majesty of Ra-Harmachis said to Heru-Behutet, "Thou art my exalted son
who didst proceed from Nut.  The courage of the (enemies hath failed in
a moment."  And Heru-Behutet made great slaughter among them.  And
Thoth said "The Winged Disk shall be called. . . . . in the name of
this Aat;" and is called Heru-Behutet . . . . . its mistress.  His name
is to the South in the name of this god, and the acacia and the
sycamore shall be the trees of the sanctuary.  Then the enemies turned
aside to flee from before him, and their faces were [towards the North,
and they went] to the swamps of Uatch-ur (i.e., the Mediterranean), and
[their courage failed through fear of him].  And Heru-Behutet was at
the back (or, side) of them in the Boat of Ra, and the metal spear was
in his hands, and those who were in his following were equipped with
the weapons for battle of the metal workers.  And the god spent four
days and four nights in the water in pursuit of them, but he did not
see one of the enemies, who fled from before him in the water in the
forms of crocodiles and hippopotami.  At length he found them and saw
them.  And Ra said unto Horus of Heben, "O Winged Disk, thou great god
and lord of heaven, seize thou them . . . . . .;" and he hurled his
lance after them, and he slew them, and worked a great overthrow of
them.  And he brought one hundred and forty-two enemies to the forepart
of the Boat [of Ra], and with them was a male hippopotamus which had
been among those enemies.  And he hacked them in pieces with his knife,
and he gave their entrails to those who were in his following, and he
gave their carcases to the gods and goddesses who were in the Boat of
Ra on the river-bank of the city of Heben.  Then Ra said unto Thoth,
"See what mighty things Heru-Behutet hath performed in his deeds
against the enemies: verily he hath smitten them!  And of the male
hippopotamus he hath opened the mouth, and he hath speared it, and he
hath mounted upon its back."  Then said Thoth to Ra, "Horus shall be
called 'Winged Disk, Great God, Smiter of the enemies in the town of
Heben' from this day forward, and he shall be called 'He who standeth
on the back' and 'prophet of this god,' from this day forward."  These
are the things which happened in the lands of the city of Heben, in a
region which measured three hundred and forty-two measures on the
south, and on the north, on the west, and on the east.

[FN#82]  The goddess Nekhebet was incarnate in a special kind of
serpent, and the centre of her worship was in the city of Nekheb, which
the Greeks called Eileithyiaspolis, and the Arabs Al-Kab.

[FN#83]  The centre of the worship of Uatchet, or Uatchit, was at Per-
Uatchet, a city in the Delta.

[FN#84]  i.e., the enemies.

XV.  Then the enemies rose up before him by the Lake of the North, and
their faces were set towards Uatch-ur[FN#85] which they desired to
reach by sailing; but the god smote their hearts and they turned and
fled in the water, and they directed their course to the water of the
nome of Mertet-Ament, and they gathered themselves together in the
water of Mertet in order to join themselves with the enemies [who
serve] Set and who are in this region.  And Heru-Behutet followed them,
being equipped with all his weapons of war to fight against them.  And
Heru-Behutet made a journey in the Boat of Ra, together with the great
god who was in his boat with those who were his followers, and he
pursued them on the Lake of the North twice, and passed one day and one
night sailing down the river in pursuit of them before he perceived and
overtook them, for he knew not the place where they were.  Then he
arrived at the city of Per-Rehu.  And the Majesty of Ra said unto Heru-
Behutet, "What hath happened to the enemies?  They have gathered
together themselves in the water to the west (?) of the nome of Mertet
in order to unite themselves with the enemies [who serve] Set, and who
are in this region, at the place where are our staff and sceptre."  And
Thoth said unto Ra, "Uast in the nome of Mertet is called Uaseb because
of this unto this day, and the Lake which is in it is called Tempt."
Then Heru-Behutet spake in the presence of his father Ra, saying, "I
beseech thee to set thy boat against them, so that I may be able to
perform against them that which Ra willeth;" and this was done.  Then
he made an attack upon them on the Lake which was at the west of this
district, and he perceived them on the bank of the city . . . . . .
which belongeth to the Lake of Mertet.  Then Heru-Behutet made an
expedition against them, and his followers were with him, and they were
provided with weapons of all kinds for battle, and he wrought a great
overthrow among them, and he brought in three hundred and eighty-one
enemies, and he slaughtered them in the forepart of the Boat of Ra, and
he gave one of them to each of those who were in his train.  Then Set
rose up and came forth, and raged loudly with words of cursing and
abuse because of the things which Heru-behutet had done in respect of
the slaughter of the enemies.  And Ra said unto Thoth, "This fiend
Nehaha-hra uttereth words at the top of his voice because of the things
which Heru-Behutet hath done unto him;" and Thoth said unto Ra, "Cries
of this kind shall be called Nehaha-hra unto this day."  And Heru-
Behutet did battle with the Enemy for a period of time, and he hurled
his iron lance at him, and he throw him down on the ground in this
region, which is called Pa-Rerehtu unto this day.  Then Heru-Behutet
came and brought the Enemy with him, and his spear was in his neck, and
his chain was round his hands and arms, and the weapon of Horus had
fallen on his mouth and had closed it; and he went with him before his
father Ra, who said, "O Horus, thou Winged Disk, twice great (Urui-
Tenten) is the deed of valour which thou hast done, and thou hast
cleansed the district."  And Ra, said unto Thoth, "The palace of Heru-
Behutet shall be called, 'Lord of the district which is cleansed'
because of this;" and [thus is it called] unto this day.  And the name
of the priest thereof is called Ur-Tenten unto this day.  And Ra said
unto Thoth, "Let the enemies and Set be given over to Isis and her son
Horus, and let them work all their heart's desire upon them."  And she
and her son Horus set themselves in position with their spears in him
at the time when there was storm (or, disaster) in the district, and
the Lake of the god was called She-En-Aha from that day to this.  Then
Horus the son of Isis cut off the head of the Enemy [Set], and the
heads of his fiends in the presence of father Ra and of the great
company of the gods, and he dragged him by his feet through his
district with his spear driven through his head and back.  And Ra said
unto Thoth, "Let the son of Osiris drag the being of disaster through
his territory;" and Thoth said, "It shall be called Ateh," and this
hath been the name of the region from that day to this.  And Isis, the
divine lady, spake before Ra, saying, "Let the exalted Winged Disk
become the amulet of my son Horus, who hath cut off the head of the
Enemy and the heads of his fiends."

[FN#85]  i.e., the Mediterranean.

XVI.  Thus Heru-Behutet and Horus, the son of Isis, slaughtered that
evil Enemy, and his fiends, and the inert foes, and came forth with
them to the water on the west side of this district.  And Heru-Behutet
was in the form of a man of mighty strength, and he had the face of a
hawk, and his head was crowned with the White Crown and the Red Crown,
and with two plumes and two uraei, and he had the back of a hawk, and
his spear and his chain were in his hands.  And Horus, the son of Isis,
transformed himself into a similar shape, even as Heru-Behutet had done
before him.  And they slew the enemies all together on the west of Per-
Rehu, on the edge of the stream, and this god hath sailed over the
water wherein the enemies had banded themselves to-ether against him
from that day to this.  Now these things took place on the 7th day of
the first mouth of the season Pert.  And Thoth said, "This region shall
be called AAT-SHATET," and this hath been the name of the region from
that day unto this; and the Lake which is close by it hath been called
Temt from that day to this, and the 7th day of the first month of the
season Pert hath been called the Festival of Sailing from that day to

Then Set took upon himself the form of a hissing serpent, and he
entered into the earth in this district without being seen.  And Ra
said, "Set hath taken upon himself the form of a hissing serpent.  Let
Horus, the son of Isis, in the form of a hawk-headed staff, set himself
over the place where he is, so that the serpent may never more appear."
And Thoth said, "Let this district be called Hemhemet[FN#86] by name;"
and thus hath it been called from that day to this.  And Horus, the son
of Isis, in the form of a hawk-headed staff, took up his abode there
with his mother Isis; in this manner did these things happen.

[FN#86]  This name means "the place of the Roarer," Hemhemti, being a
well-known name of the Evil One.  Some texts seem to indicate that
peals of thunder were caused by the fiend Set.

Then the Boat of Ra arrived at the town of Het-Aha; its forepart was
made of palm wood, and the hind part was made of acacia wood; thus the
palm tree and the acacia tree have been sacred trees from that day to
this.  Then Heru-Behutet embarked in the Boat of Ra, after he had made
an end of fighting, and sailed; and Ra said unto Thoth, "Let this Boat
be called . . . . . . .;" and thus hath it been called from that day to
this, and these things have been done in commemoration in this place
from that day to this.

And Ra said unto Heru-Behutet, "Behold the fighting of the Smait fiend
and his two-fold strength, and the Smai fiend Set, are upon the water
of the North, and they will sail down stream upon . . . . . ." [And]
Heru-Behutet said, "Whatsoever thou commandest shall take place, O Ra,
Lord of the gods.  Grant thou, however, that this thy Boat may pursue
them into every place whithersoever they shall go, and I will do to
them whatsoever pleaseth Ra."  And everything was done according to
what he had said.  Then this Boat of Ra was brought by the winged Sun-
disk upon the waters of the Lake of Meh,[FN#87] [and] Heru-Behutet took
in his hands his weapons, his darts, and his harpoon, and all the
chains [which he required] for the fight.

[FN#87]  It is probable that the Lake of Meh, i.e., the Lake of the
North, was situated in the north-east of the Delta, not far from Lake

And Heru-Behutet looked and saw one [only] of these Sebau[FN#88] fiends
there on the spot, and he was by himself.  And he threw one metal dart,
and brought (or, dragged) them along straightway, and he slaughtered
them in the presence of Ra.  And he made an end [of them, and there
were no more of the fiends] of Set in this place at [that] moment.

[FN#88]  "Sebiu" is a common name for the associates of Seti, and this
fiend is himself called "Seba," a word which means something like

XVII.  And Thoth said, "This place shall be called Ast-Ab-Heru"[FN#89]
because Heru-Behutet wrought his desire upon them (i.e., the enemy);
and he passed six days and six nights coming into port on the waters
thereof and did not see one of them.  And he saw them fall down in the
watery depths, and he made ready the place of Ast-ab-Heru there.  It
was situated on the bank of the water, and the face (i.e., direction)
thereof was full-front towards the South.  And all the rites and
ceremonies of Heru-Behutet were performed on the first day of the first
month[FN#90] of the season Akhet, and on the first day of the first
month[FN#91] of the season Pert, and on the twenty-first and twenty-
fourth days of the second month[FN#92] of the season Pert.  These are
the festivals in the town of Ast-ab, by the side of the South, in An-
rut-f.[FN#93]  And he came into port and went against them, keeping
watch as for a king over the Great God in An-rut-f, in this place, in
order to drive away the Enemy and his Smaiu fiends at his coming by
night from the region of Mertet, to the west of this place.

[FN#89]  i.e., place of the desire of Horus.

[FN#90]  The month Thoth.

[FN#91]  The month Tybi.

[FN#92]  The month Mekhir.

[FN#93]  A mythological locality originally placed near Herakleopolis.
The name means "the place where nothing grows."  Several forms of the
name occur in the older literature, e.g. in the Theban Recension of the
Book of the Dead.

And Heru-Behutet was in the form of a man who possessed great strength,
with the face of a hawk; and he was crowned with the White
Crown,[FN#94] and the Red Crown,[FN#95] and the two plumes, and the
Urerit Crown, and there were two uraei upon his head.  His hand grasped
firmly his harpoon to slay the hippopotamus, which was [as hard] as the
khenem[FN#96] stone in its mountain bed.

[FN#94]  The Crown of the South.

[FN#95]  The Crown of the North.

[FN#96]  A kind of jasper (?).

And Ra said unto Thoth, "Indeed [Heru-]Behutet is like a Master-fighter
in the slaughter of his enemies . . . . . ."

And Thoth said unto Ra, "He shall be called 'Neb-Ahau'" (i.e., Master-
fighter); and for this reason he hath been thus called by the priest of
this god unto this day.

And Isis made incantations of every kind in order to drive away the
fiend Ra from An-rut-f, and from the Great God in this place.  And
Thoth said [unto Ra], "The priestess of this god shall be called by the
name of 'Nebt-Heka' for this reason."

And Thoth said unto Ra, "Beautiful, beautiful is this place wherein
thou hast taken up thy seat, keeping watch, as for a king, over the
Great God who is in An-rut-f[FN#97] in peace."

[FN#97]  i.e., Osiris.

And Thoth said, "This Great House in this place shall therefore be
called 'Ast-Nefert'[FN#98] from this day. It is situated to the
south-west of the city of Nart, and [covereth] a space of four
schoinoi."  And Ra Heru-Behutet said unto Thoth, "Hast thou not
searched through this water for the enemy?"  And Thoth said, "The water
of the God-house in this place shall be called by the name of 'Heh'
(i.e., sought out)."  And Ra said, "Thy ship, O Heru-Behutet, is great
(?) upon Ant-mer (?) . . . . . .  And Thoth said, "The name of [thy
ship] shall be called 'Ur', and this stream shall be called 'Ant-mer
(?).'"  As concerning (or, now) the place Ab-Bat (?) is situated on the
shore of the water.  "Ast-nefert" is the name of the Great house, "Neb-
Aha" [is the name of] the priest . . . . . . . . is the name of the
priestess, "Heh" is the name of the lake . . . . . . . [is the name] of
the water, "Am-her-net" is the name of the holy (?) acacia tree, "Neter
het" is the name of the domain of the god, "Uru" is the name of the
sacred boat, the gods therein are Heru-Behutet, the smiter of the
lands, Horus, the son of Isis [and] Osiris . . . . . . . . his
blacksmiths[FN#99] are to him, and those who are in his following are
to him in his territory, with his metal lance, with his [mace], with
his dagger, and with all his chains (or, fetters) which are in the city
of Heru-Behutet.

[FN#98]  i.e., "Beautiful Place."

[FN#99]  Or perhaps fighting men who were armed with metal weapons.

[And when he had reached the land of the North with his followers, he
found the enemy.]  Now as for the blacksmiths who were over the middle
regions, they made a great slaughter of the enemy, and there were
brought back one hundred and six of them.  Now as for the blacksmiths
of the West, they brought back one hundred and six of the enemy.  Now
as for the blacksmiths of the East, among whom was Heru-Behutet, he
slew them (i.e., the enemy) in the presence of Ra in the Middle

[FN#100]  In the sculptures (Naville, Mythe, pl. 17) Heru-Behutet is
seen standing in a boat spearing a crocodile, and immediately behind d
him in the boat is Ra-Harmachis in his shrine.  The Mesentiu of the
West are represented by an armed warrior in a boat, who is spearing a
crocodile, and leads the way for Heru-Behutet.  In a boat behind the
great god is a representative of the Mesentiu of the East spearing a

And Ra, said unto Thoth, "My heart [is satisfied] with the works of
these blacksmiths of Heru-Behutet who are in his bodyguard.  They shall
dwell in sanctuaries, and libations and purifications and offerings
shall be made to their images, and [there shall be appointed for them]
priests who shall minister by the month, and priests who shall minister
by the hour, in all their God-houses whatsoever, as their reward
because they have slain the enemies of the god."

And Thoth said, "The [Middle] Domains shall be called after the names
of these blacksmiths from this day onwards, and the god who dwelleth
among them, Heru-Behutet, shall be called the 'Lord of Mesent' from
this day onwards, and the domain shall be called 'Mesent of the West'
from this day onwards."

As concerning Mesent of the West, the face (or, front) thereof shall be
towards [the East], towards the place where Ra riseth, and this Mesent
shall be called "Mesent of the East" from this day onwards.  As
concerning the double town of Mesent, the work of these blacksmiths of
the East, the face (or, front) thereof shall be towards the South,
towards the city of Behutet, the hiding-place of Heru-Behutet.  And
there shall be performed therein all the rites and ceremonies of Heru-
Behutet on the second day of the first month[FN#101] of the season of
Akhet, and on the twenty-fourth day of the fourth month[FN#102] of the
season of Akhet, and on the seventh day of the first month[FN#103] of
the season Pert, and on the twenty-first day of the second
month[FN#104] of the season Pert, from this day onwards.  Their stream
shall be called "Asti," the name of their Great House shall be called
"Abet," the [priest (?)] shall be called "Qen-aha," and their domain
shall be called "Kau-Mesent" from this day onwards.

[FN#101]  The month Thoth.

[FN#102]  The month Choiak.

[FN#103]  The month Tybi.

[FN#104]  The mouth Mechir.

XVIII.  And Ra said unto Heru-Behutet, "These enemies have sailed up
the river, to the country of Setet, to the end of the pillar-house of
Hat, and they have sailed up the river to the east, to the country or
Tchalt (or, Tchart),[FN#105] which is their region of swamps."  And
Heru-Behutet said, "Everything which thou hast commanded hath come to
pass, Ra, Lord of the Gods; thou art the lord of commands."  And they
untied the Boat of Ra, and they sailed up the river to the east.  Then
he looked upon those enemies whereof some of them had fallen into the
sea (or, river), and the others had fallen headlong on the mountains.

[FN#105]  Zoan-Tanis.

And Heru-Behutet transformed himself into a lion which had the face of
a man, and which was crowned with the triple crown.[FN#106]  His paw
was like unto a flint knife, and he went round and round by the side of
them, and brought back one hundred and forty-two [of the enemy], and be
rent them in pieces with his claws.  He tore out their tongues, and
their blood flowed on the ridges of the land in this place; and he made
them the property of those who were in his following [whilst] he was
upon the mountains.

[FN#106]  In the sculpture (Naville, Mythe, pl. 18), we see a
representation of this lion, which is standing over the bodies of slain
enemies upon a rectangular pedestal, or block.

And Ra said unto Thoth, "Behold, Heru-Behutet is like unto a lion in
his lair [when] he is on the back of the enemy who have given unto him
their tongues."

And Thoth said, "This domain shall be called 'Khent-abt,' and it shall
[also] be called 'Tchalt' (or, Tchart) from this day onwards.  And the
bringing of the tongues from the remote places of Tchalt (or, Tchart)
[shall be commemorated] from this day onwards.  And this god shall be
called 'Heru-Behutet, Lord of Mesent,' from this day onwards."

And Ra said unto Heru-Behutet, "Let us sail to the south up the river,
and let us smite the enemies [who are] in the forms of crocodiles and
hippopotami in the face of Egypt."

And Heru-Behutet said, "Thy divine Ka, O Ra, Lord of the gods!  Let us
sail up the river against the remainder--one third--of the enemies who
are in the water (or, river)."  Then Thoth recited the Chapters of
protecting the Boat [of Ra] and the boats of the blacksmiths, [which he
used] for making tranquil the sea at the moment when a storm was raging
on it.

And Ra said unto Thoth, "Have we not journeyed throughout the whole
land?  Shall we not journey cover the whole sea in like manner?"  And
Thoth said, "This water shall be called the 'Sea of journeying,' from
this day onward."

And they sailed about over the water during the night, and they did not
see any of those enemies at all.

Then they made a journey forth and arrived in the country of Ta-
sti,[FN#107] at the town of Shas-hertet, and he perceived the most able
of their enemies in the country of Uaua,[FN#108] and they were uttering
treason against Horus their Lord.

[FN#107]  Northern Nubia; the name means "Land of the Bow."

[FN#108]  A portion of Northern Nubia.

And Heru-Behut changed his form into that of the Winged Disk, [and took
his place] above the bow of the Boat of Ra. And he made the goddess
Nekhebit[FN#109] and the goddess Uatchit[FN#110] to be with him in the
form of serpents, so that they might make the Sebau fiends to quake in
[all] their limbs (or, bodies).  Their boldness (i.e., that of the
fiends) subsided through the fear of him, they made no resistance
whatsoever, and they died straightway.

[FN#109]  The goddess of the South.

[FN#110]  The goddess of the North.

Then the gods who were in the following of the Boat of Heru-khuti said,
"Great, great is that which he hath done among them by means of the two
Serpent Goddesses,[FN#111] for he hath overthrown the enemy by means of
their fear of him."

[FN#111]  i.e., Nekhebit and Uatchit.

And Ra Heru-khuti said, "The great one of the two Serpent Goddesses of
Heru-Behutet shall be called 'Ur-Uatchti'[FN#112] from this day

[FN#112]  "Great one of the Two Uraei-goddesses;" these goddesses had
their places above the brow of the god, or at the right and left of the
solar disk.

XIX.  And Heru-khuti travelled on in his boat, and landed at the city
of Thes-Heru (Apollinopolis Magna).  And Thoth said, "The being of
light who hath come forth from the horizon hath smitten the enemy in
the form which he hath made, and he shall be called Being of light who
hath come forth from the horizon from this day onwards."[FN#113]

[FN#113]  In the sculpture (Naville, Mythe, pl. 19) we see the god, who
is hawk-headed, and wears the crowns of the South and North, seated in
a shrine set upon a pedestal.  In the right hand he holds the sceptre
and in the left the ankh.

And Ra Heru-khuti (Ra Harmachis) said to Thoth, "Thou shalt make this
Winged Disk to be in every place wherein I seat myself (or, dwell), and
in [all] the seats of the gods in the South, and in [all] the seats of
the gods in the Land of the North . . . . . . . in the Country of
Horus, that it may drive away the evil ones from their domains."

Then Thoth made the image of the Winged Disk to be in every sanctuary
and in every temple, where they now are, wherein are all the gods and
all the goddesses from this day onwards.  Now through the Winged Disk
which is on the temple-buildings of all the gods and all the goddesses
of the Land of the Lily,[FN#114] and the Land of the Papyrus,[FN#115]
[these buildings] become shrines of Heru-Behutet.

[FN#114]  i.e., the North, especially the Delta.

[FN#115]  i.e., the South.

As concerning Heru-Behutet, the great god, the lord of heaven, the
president of the Ater of the South,[FN#116] he it is who is made to be
on the right hand.  This is Heru-Behutet on whom the goddess Nekhebit
is placed in the form of a serpent (or, uraeus).  As concerning Heru-
Behutet, the great god, the lord of heaven, the lord of Mesent, the
president of the Ater of the North,[FN#117] he it is who is made to be
on the left hand.  This Heru-Behutet on whom the goddess Uatchit is
placed is in the form of a serpent.

[FN#116]  i.e., the southern half of heaven.

[FN#117]  i.e., the northern half of heaven.

As concerning Heru-Behutet, the great god, the lord of heaven, the lord
of Mesent, the president of the two Aterti of the South and North, Ra
Heru-khuti set it (i.e., the Winged Disk) in his every place, to
overthrow the enemies in every place wherein they are.  And he shall be
called President of the two Aterti of the South and North because of
this from this day onwards.[FN#118]

[FN#118]  In the sculpture which illustrates this portion of the text
at Edfu, two Winged Disks are represented.  The first has #### on each
side of it.  The disk has an uraeus on each side.  The second winged
symbol of the god consists of a beetle with outstretched wings, which
holds between his forelegs the solar disk, and between his hind legs
the symbol of the orbit of the sun.


Homage to thee, Osiris, Lord of eternity, King of the gods, whose names
are manifold, whose transformations are sublime, whose form is hidden
in the temples whose Ka is holy, the Governor of Tetut,[FN#119] the
mighty one of possessions (?)in the shrine,[FN#120] the Lord of
praises[FN#121] in the nome of Anetch,[FN#122] President of the tchefa
food in Anu,[FN#123] Lord who art commemorated in [the town of]
Maati,[FN#124] the mysterious (or, hidden) Soul, the Lord of
Qerret,[FN#125] the sublime one in White Wall,[FN#126] the Soul of Ra
[and] his very body, who hast thy dwelling in Henensu,[FN#127] the
beneficent one, who art praised in Nart,[FN#128] who makest to rise up
thy Soul, Lord of the Great House in the city[FN#129] of the Eight
Gods,[FN#130] [who inspirest] great terror in Shas-hetep,[FN#131] Lord
of eternity, Governor of Abtu (Abydos).

[FN#119]  More fully Pa-Asar-neb-Tetut, the Busiris of the Greeks;
Busiris = Pa-Asar, "House of Osiris," par excellence.  The variant
Tataut also occurs.

[FN#120]  An allusion, perhaps, to the town Sekhem, the capital of the
second nome (Letopolites) of Lower Egypt.

[FN#121]  i.e., lord whose praises are sung.

[FN#122]  Letopolites.

[FN#123]  Heliopolis.

[FN#124]  i.e., a famous sanctuary in the Letopolite nome where Ptah
was worshipped.

[FN#125]  The region of the First Cataract, where the Nile was believed
to rise.

[FN#126]  Memphis.

[FN#127]  Herakleopolis, the {hbw XaNeS} of Isaiah.

[FN#128]  A name of Herakleopolis.

[FN#129]  Khemenu or Hermopolis, the city of Thoth.

[FN#130]  These gods were: Nu and Nut; Hehu and Hehut; Kekui and
Kekuit; Kerh and Kerhet.

[FN#131]  The capital of Set, the eleventh nome of Upper Egypt; the
chief local deity was Khnemu.

Thy seat (or, domain) reacheth far into Ta-tchesert,[FN#132] and thy
name is firmly stablished in the mouth[s] of men.  Thou art the two-
fold substance of the Two Lands[FN#133] everywhere (?), and the divine
food (tchef) of the Kau,[FN#134] the Governor of the Companies[FN#135]
of the Gods, and the beneficent (or, perfect) Spirit-soul[FN#136] among
Spirit-souls.  The god Nu draweth his waters from thee,[FN#137] and
thou bringest forth the north wind at eventide, and wind from thy
nostrils to the satisfaction of thy heart.  Thy heart flourisheth, and
thou bringest forth the splendour of tchef food.

[FN#132]  A name of the Other World.

[FN#133]  i.e., the two Egypts, Upper and Lower.

[FN#134]  The Doubles of the beatified who are fed by Osiris in the
Other World.

[FN#135]  Three Companies are distinguished: the gods of Heaven, the
gods of Earth, and the gods of the Other World.

[FN#136]  The indestructible, immortal Spirit-soul as opposed to the
Ba-soul or animal-soul.

[FN#137]  Here and in other places I have changed the pronoun of the
third person into that of the second to avoid the abrupt changes of the

The height of heaven and the stars [thereof] are obedient unto thee,
and thou makest to be opened the great gates [of the sky].  Thou art
the lord to whom praises are sung in the southern heaven, thou art he
to whom thanks are given in the northern heaven.  The stars which never
diminish are under the place of thy face,[FN#138] and thy seats are the
stars which never rest.[FN#139]  Offerings appear before thee by the
command of Keb.  The Companies of the Gods ascribe praise unto thee,
the Star-gods of the Tuat smell the earth before thee,[FN#140] the
domains [make] bowings [before thee], and the ends of the earth make
supplication to thee [when] they see thee.

[FN#138]  i.e., they are under thy inspection and care.

[FN#139]  i.e., the stars which never set.  The allusion is probably to
certain circumpolar stars.

[FN#140]  i.e., do homage.

Those who are among the holy ones are in terror of him, and the Two
Lands, all of them, make acclamations to him when they meet His
Majesty.  Thou art a shining Noble at the head of the nobles, permanent
in [thy] high rank, stablished in [thy] sovereignty, the beneficent
Power of the Company of the Gods.  Well-pleasing [is thy] face, and
thou art beloved by him that seeth thee.  Thou settest the fear of thee
in all lands, and because of their love for thee [men] hold thy name to
be pre-eminent.  Every man maketh offerings unto thee, and thou art the
Lord who is commemorated in heaven and upon earth.  Manifold are the
cries of acclamation to thee in the Uak[FN#141] festival, and the Two
Lands shout joyously to thee with one accord.  Thou art the eldest, the
first of thy brethren, the Prince of the Company of the Gods, and the
stablisher of Truth throughout the Two Lands.  Thou settest [thy] son
upon the great throne of his father Keb.  Thou art the beloved one of
thy mother Nut, whose valour is most mighty [when] thou overthrowest
the Seba Fiend.  Thou hast slaughtered thy enemy, and hast put the fear
of thee into thy Adversary.

[FN#141]  One of the chief festivals of Osiris, during which the god
made a periplus.

Thou art the bringer in of the remotest boundaries, and art stable of
heart, and thy two feet are lifted up (?); thou art the heir of Keb and
of the sovereignty of the Two Lands, and he (i.e., Keb) hath seen thy
splendid qualities, and hath commanded thee to guide the lands (i.e.,
the world) by thy hand so long as times [and seasons] endure.

Thou hast made this earth with thy hand, the waters thereof, the winds
thereof, the trees and herbs thereof, the cattle thereof of every kind,
the birds thereof of every kind, the fish thereof of every kind, the
creeping things thereof, and the four-footed beasts thereof. The land
of the desert[FN#142] belongeth by right to the son of Nut, and the Two
Lands have contentment in making him to rise[FN#143] upon the throne of
his father like Ra.

[FN#142]  This may also represent the mountainous districts of Egypt,
or even foreign countries in general.

[FN#143]  To make him rise like the sun, or to enthrone him.

Thou rollest up into the horizon, thou settest the light above the
darkness, thou illuminest [the Two Lands] with the light from thy two
plumes, thou floodest the Two Lands like the Disk at the beginning of
the dawn.  Thy White Crown pierceth the height of heaven saluting the
stars,[FN#144] thou art the guide of every god.  Thou art
perfect[FN#145] in command and word.  Thou art the favoured one of the
Great Company of the Gods, and thou art the beloved one of the Little
Company of the Gods.

[FN#144]  Or, "becoming a brother to the stars," or the Star-gods.

[FN#145]  Or, beneficent.

Thy sister [Isis] acted as a protectress to thee. She drove [thy]
enemies away, she averted seasons [of calamity from thee], she recited
the word (or, formula) with the magical power of her mouth, [being]
skilled of tongue and never halting for a word, being perfect in
command and word.  Isis the magician avenged her brother.  She went
about seeking for him untiringly.

She flew round and round over this earth uttering wailing cries of
grief, and she did not alight on the ground until she had found him.
She made light [to come forth] from her feathers, she made air to come
into being by means of her two wings, and she cried out the death cries
for her brother.  She made to rise up the helpless members of him whose
heart was at rest, she drew from him his essence, and she made
therefrom an heir.  She suckled the child in solitariness and none knew
where his place was, and he grew in strength.  His hand is mighty (or,
victorious) within the house of Keb, and the Company of the Gods
rejoice greatly at the coming of Horus, the son of Osiris, whose heart
is firmly stablished, the triumphant one, the son of Isis, the flesh
and bone of Osiris.  The Tchatcha[FN#146] of Truth, and the Company of
the Gods, and Neb-er-tcher[FN#147] himself, and the Lords of Truth,
gather together to him, and assemble therein.[FN#148]  Verily those who
defeat iniquity rejoice[FN#149] in the House of Keb to bestow the
divine rank and dignity upon him to whom it belongeth, and the
sovereignty upon him whose it is by right.

[FN#146]  Literally, the "Heads," I.e., the divine sovereign Chiefs at
the court of Osiris, who acted as administrators of the god, and even
as task-masters.

[FN#147]  "He who is the lord to the end (or, limit) of the world," a
name of Osiris.

[FN#148]  i.e., in the House of Keb.

[FN#149]  Or perhaps "take their seats in the House of Keb."


The Horus: "Mighty Bull, the form(?) of risings[FN#150], stablished in
sovereignty like Tem." The Golden Horus: "Mighty one of
strength[FN#151], destroyer of the Nine Nations of the Bow."[FN#152]
King of the South and North: "The Lord of the Two Lands, User-Maat-Ra-
setep-en-Ra Son of Ra: Of his body, Ra-meses-meri-Amen, of Amen-
Ra;[FN#153] the Lord of the thrones of the Two Lands, and of the
Company of the Gods, the Lords of Thebes, the beloved one.  The
beneficent god, the son of Amen, born of Mut, begotten of Heru-khuti,
the glorious offspring of Neb-tchert,[FN#154] begetting [as] the Bull
of his Mother, [FN#155] king of Egypt, Governor of the deserts, the
Sovereign who hath taken possession of the Nine Nations of the Bow;
[who] on coming forth from the womb ordained mighty things, who gave
commands whilst he was in the egg, the Bull, stable of heart, who hath
sent forth his seed; the king who is a bull, [and] a god who cometh
forth on the day of battle like Menthu,[FN#156] the mighty one of
strength like the son of Nut."[FN#157]

[FN#150]  i.e., the image who rises like the sun day by day, or the
image of [many] crowns.

[FN#151]  Or, mighty one of the thigh, i.e., he of the mighty thigh.

[FN#152]  The nations of Nubia who fought with bows and arrows.

[FN#153]  In this version of the protocol of Rameses II. the second
"strong name" of the king is omitted.

[FN#154]  i.e., Neb-er-tcher.

[FN#155]  Ka-mut-f, the {greek kamh^fic} of the Greeks.

[FN#156]  The War-god of Thebes.

[FN#157]  i.e., Osiris.

Behold, His Majesty was in the country of Neheru[FN#158] according to
his custom every year, and the chiefs of every land, even as far as the
swamps, came [to pay] homage, bearing offerings to the Souls of His
Majesty; and they brought their gifts, gold, lapis-lazuli, turquoise,
bars of wood of every kind of the Land of the God,[FN#159] on their
backs, and each one surpassed his neighbour.

[FN#158]  The "country of the rivers," the {hbw AaRam NaHaRaYim} of
Gen. xxiv. 10, the #### of Syrian writers.

[FN#159]  A name including Western Asia and a portion of the East Coast
of Africa.

And the Prince of Bekhten [also] caused his gifts to be brought, and he
set his eldest daughter at the head of them all, and he addressed words
of praise to His Majesty, and prayed to him for his life.  And the
maiden was beautiful, and His Majesty considered her to be the most
lovely [woman] in the world, and he wrote down as her title, "Great
Royal Wife, Ra-neferu"; and when His Majesty arrived in Egypt, he did
for her whatsoever was done for the Royal Wife.

On the twenty-second day of the second month of the season of
Shemu,[FN#160] in the fifteenth year [of his reign], behold, His
Majesty was in Thebes, the Mighty [city], the Mistress of cities,
performing the praises of Father Amen, the Lord of the thrones of the
Two Lands, in his beautiful Festival of the Southern Apt,[FN#161] which
was the seat of his heart (i.e., the chosen spot) from primaeval time,
[when] one came to say to His Majesty, "An ambassador of the Prince of
Bekhten hath arrived bearing many gifts for the Royal Wife."

[FN#160]  The summer.  The Copts called the second month of this season

[FN#161]  The modern Temple of Luxor.

And having been brought into the presence of His Majesty with his
gifts, he spake words of adoration to His Majesty, saying, "Praise be
unto thee, O thou Sun (Ra) of the Nine Nations of the Bow, permit us to
live before thee!"  And when he had spoken, and had smelt the earth
before His Majesty, he continued his speech before His Majesty, saying,
"I have come unto thee, my King and Lord, on behalf of Bent-Resht, the
younger sister of the Royal Wife Ra-neferu.  [Some] disease hath
penetrated into her members, and I beseech Thy Majesty to send a man of
learning to see her."

And His Majesty said, "Bring to me the magicians (or, scribes) of the
House of Life, and the nobles of the palace."  And having been brought
into his presence straightway, His Majesty said unto them, "Behold, I
have caused you to be summoned [hither] in order that ye may hear this
matter.  Now bring to me [one] of your company whose heart is
wise[FN#162], and whose fingers are deft."  And the royal scribe
Tehuti-em-heb came into the presence of His Majesty, and His Majesty
commanded him to depart to Bekhten with that ambassador.

[FN#162]  Or, a skilled craftsman.

And when the man of learning had arrived in Bekhten, he found Bent-
Resht in the condition of a woman who is possessed by a spirit, and he
found 12 this spirit to be an evil one, and to be hostile in his
disposition towards him.

And the Prince of Bekhten sent a messenger a second time into the
presence of His Majesty, saying, "O King, my Lord, I pray His (i.e.,
Thy) Majesty to command that a god be brought hither to contend
against the spirit."

Now when the messenger came to His Majesty in the first month[FN#163]
of the season of Shemu, in the twenty-sixth year [of his reign], on the
day which coincided with that of the Festival of Amen, His Majesty was
in the palace (or, temple?) of Thebes.  And His Majesty spake a second
time[FN#164] in the presence of Khensu in Thebes, [called] "Nefer-
Hetep," saying, "O my fair Lord, I present myself before thee a second
time on behalf of the daughter of the Prince of Bekhten."  Then Khensu,
in Thebes, [called] "Nefer-Hetep", was carried to Khensu, [called] "Pa-
ari-sekher," the great god who driveth away the spirits which attack.
And His Majesty spake before Khensu in Thebes, [called] "Nefer-Hetep,"
saying, "O my fair Lord, if thou wilt give (i.e., turn) thy face to
Khensu, [called] 'Pa-ari-sekher,' the great god who driveth away the
spirits which attack, permit thou that he may depart to Bekhten;" [and
the god] inclined his head with a deep inclination twice.  And His
Majesty said, "Let, I pray, thy protective (or, magical) power [go]
with him, so that I may make His Majesty to go to Bekhten to deliver
the daughter of the Prince of Bekhten [from the spirit]."

[FN#163]  The month Pakhon of the Copts.

[FN#164]  The text makes no mention of the first application to Khensu.

And Khensu in Thebes, [called] "Nefer-Hetep," inclined his head with a
deep inclination twice.  And he made [his] protective power to pass
into Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast," in a fourfold measure.
Then His Majesty commanded that Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-
Uast," should set out on his journey in a great boat, [accompanied by]
five smaller boats, and chariots, and a large number of horses [which
marched] on the right side and on the left.

And when this god arrived in Bekhten at the end of a period of one year
and five months, the Prince of Bekhten came forth with his soldiers and
his chief[s] before Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher," and he cast
himself down upon his belly, saying, "Thou hast come to us, and thou
art welcomed by us, by the commands of the King of the South and North,

And when this god had passed over to the place where Bent-Resht was, he
worked upon the daughter of the Prince of Bekhten with his magical
power, and she became better (i.e., was healed) straightway.  And this
spirit which had been with her said, in the presence of Khensu,
[called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast," "Come in peace (i.e., Welcome!), O
great god, who dost drive away the spirits which attack!  Bekhten is
thy city, the people thereof, both men and women, are thy (servants,
and I myself am thy servant.  I will [now] depart unto the place whence
I came, so that I may cause thy heart to be content about the matter
concerning which thou hast come.  I pray that Thy Majesty will command
that a happy day (i.e., a festival, or day of rejoicing) be made with
me, and with the Prince of Bekhten."  And this god inclined his head
[in approval] to his priest, saying, "Let the Prince of Bekhten make a
great offering in the (presence of this spirit."

Now whilst Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast," was arranging
these [things] with the spirit, the Prince of Bekhten and his soldiers
were standing there, and they feared with an exceedingly great fear.
And the Prince of Bekhten made a great offering in the presence of
Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast," and the spirit of the Prince
of Bekhten, and he made a happy day (i.e., festival) on their behalf,
and [then] the spirit departed in peace unto the place which he loved,
by the command of Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast."  And the
Prince of Bekhten, and every person who was in the country of Bekhten,
rejoiced very greatly, and he took counsel with his heart, saying, "It
hath happened that this god hath been given as a gift to Bekhten, and I
will not permit him to depart to Egypt."

And [when] this god had tarried for three years and nine months in
Bekhten, the Prince of Bekhten, who was lying down asleep on his bed,
saw this god come forth outside his shrine (now he was in the form of a
golden hawk), and he flew up into the heavens and departed to Egypt;
and when the Prince woke up he was trembling.  And he said unto the
prophet of Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast," "This god who
tarried with us hath departed to Egypt; let his chariot also depart to

And the Prince of Bekhten permitted [the image of] the god to set out
for Egypt, and he gave him many great gifts of beautiful things of all
kinds, and a large number of soldiers and horses [went with him].  And
when they had arrived in peace in Thebes, Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-
sekher-em-Uast," went into the Temple of Khensu in Thebes, [called]
"Nefer-Hetep," and he placed the offerings which the Prince of Bekhten
had given unto him, beautiful things of all kinds, before Khensu in
Thebes, [called] "Nefer-Hetep," and he gave nothing thereof whatsoever
to his [own] temple.

Thus Khensu, [called] "Pa-ari-sekher-em-Uast," arrived in his temple in
peace, on the nineteenth day of the second month[FN#165] of the season
Pert, in the thirty-third year of the [reign of the] King of the South
and North, User-Maat-en-Ra-setep-en-Ra, the giver of life, like Ra, for

[FN#165]  The month Mekhir of the Copts; the season Pert is the
Egyptian spring.


In the eighteenth year of the Horus, Neter-Khat, of the King of the
South and North, Neter-Khat, of the Lord of the Shrines of Uatchit and
Nekhebit, Neter-Khat, of the Golden Horus Tcheser,[FN#166] when Matar
was Ha Prince, and Erpa, and Governor of the temple-cities in the Land
of the South, and director of the Khenti[FN#167] folk in Abtu,[FN#168]
there was brought unto him the following royal despatch: "This is to
inform thee that misery hath laid hold upon me [as I sit] upon the
great throne by reason of those who dwell in the Great House.[FN#169]
My heart is grievously afflicted by reason of the exceedingly great evil
[which hath happened] because Hapi (i.e., the Nile) hath not come
forth[FN#170] in my time to the [proper] height for seven years.  Grain
is very scarce, vegetables are lacking altogether, every kind of thing
which men eat for their food hath ceased, and every man [now] plundereth
"his neighbour.  Men wish to walk, but are unable to move, the child
waileth, the young man draggeth his limbs along, and the hearts of the
aged folk are crushed with despair; their legs give way under them, and
they sink down to the ground, and their hands are laid upon their bodies
[in pain].  The shennu[FN#171] nobles are destitute of counsel, and
[when] the storehouses which should contain supplies are opened, there
cometh forth therefrom nothing but wind.  Everything is in a state of
ruin.  My mind hath remembered, going back to former time, when I had an
advocate, to the time of the gods, and of the Ibis-god, and of the chief
Kher-heb priest I-em-hetep,[FN#172] the son of Ptah of his Southern

[FN#166]  Tcheser was a king of the IIIrd Dynasty, and is famous as the
builder of the Step Pyramid at Sakkarah.  His tomb was discovered by
Mr. J. Garstang at Bet Khallaf in Upper Egypt in 1901.

[FN#167]  i.e., the people who were in front of, that is, to the South
of Egypt, or the population of the country which lies between Dakkah
and Aswan.

[FN#168]  The ancient Egyptian name for Elephantine Island, which
appears to have gained this name because it resembled an elephant in

[FN#169]  i.e., the palace.

[FN#170]  i.e., risen.

[FN#171]  i.e., the high court officials and administrators.

[FN#172]  The famous priest and magician, who was subsequently deified
and became one of the chief gods of Memphis.

"Where is the place of birth of Hapi (the Nile)? What god, or what
goddess, presideth (?) over it?  What manner of form hath he?  It is he
who stablisheth revenue for me, and a full store of grain.  I would go
to the Chief of Het-Sekhet[FN#173] whose beneficence strengtheneth all
men in their works.  I would enter into the House of Life,[FN#174] I
would unfold the written rolls [therein], and I would lay my hand upon

[FN#173]  Hermopolis.

[FN#174]  Per-ankh, or Pa-ankh, was a name given to one of the temple-
colleges of priests and scribes.

Then [Matar] set out on his journey, and he returned to me straightway.
He gave me instruction concerning the increase of Hapi,[FN#175] and
told me all things which men had written concerning it, and he revealed
to me the secret doors (?) whereto my ancestors had betaken themselves
quickly, the like of which has never been, to [any] king since the time
of Ra, (?).  And he said unto me: "There is a city in the middle of the
stream wherefrom Hapi maketh his appearance; "'Abu'[FN#176] was its
name in the beginning; it is the City of the Beginning, and it is the
Nome of the City of the Beginning.  [It reacheth] to Uaua,[FN#177]
which is the beginning of the land.  There is too a flight of
steps,[FN#178] which reareth itself to a great height, and is the
support of Ra, when he maketh his calculation to prolong life to
everyone; 'Netchemtchem Ankh'[FN#179] is the name of its abode.  'The
two Qerti'[FN#180] is the name of the water, and they are the two
breasts from which every good thing cometh forth (?).

[FN#175]  i.e., the Inundation, or Nile Flood.

[FN#176]  The Elephant City, i.e., Elephantine.

[FN#177]  A portion of Northern Nubia.

[FN#178]  This is probably an allusion to the famous Nilometer on the
Island of Philae.

[FN#179]  i.e., "Sweet, sweet life."

[FN#180]  The Qerti were the two openings through which the Nile
entered this world from the great celestial ocean.

"Here is the bed of Hapi (the Nile), wherein he reneweth his youth [in
his season], wherein he causeth the flooding of the land.  He cometh
and hath union as he journeyeth, as a man hath union with a woman.  And
again he playeth the part of a husband and satisfieth his desire.  He
riseth to the height of twenty-eight cubits [at Abu], and he droppeth
at Sma-Behutet[FN#181] to seven cubits.  The union(?) there is that of
the god Khnemu in [Abu. He smiteth the ground] with his sandals, and
[its] fulness becometh abundant; he openeth the bolt of the door with
his hand, and he throweth open the double door of the opening through
which the water cometh."

[FN#181]  Diospolis of Lower Egypt, or "Thebes of the North."

"Moreover, he dwelleth there in the form of the god Shu,[FN#182] as one
who is lord over his own territory, and his homestead, the name of
which is 'Aa' (i.e., the 'Island').  There he keepeth an account of the
products of the Land of the South and of the Land of the North, "in
order to give unto every god his proper share, and he leadeth to each
[the metals], and the [precious stones, and the four-footed beasts],
and the feathered fowl, and the fish, and every thing whereon they
live.  And the cord [for the measuring of the land] and the tablet
whereon the register is kept are there.

[FN#182]  The god who separated the Sky-goddess Nut from the embrace of
her husband, the Earth-god Keb, and who holds her above him each day.

"And there is an edifice of wood there, with the portals thereof formed
of reeds, wherein he dwelleth as one who is over his own territory, and
he maketh the foliage of the trees (?) to serve as a roof.

"His God-house hath an opening towards the south-east, and Ra (or, the
Sun) standeth immediately opposite thereto every day.  The stream which
floweth along the south side thereof hath danger [for him that
attacketh it], and it hath as a defence a wall which entereth into the
region of the men of Kens[FN#183] on the South.  Huge mountains [filled
with] masses of stone are round about its domain on the east side, and
shut it in.  Thither come the quarrymen with things (tools?) of every
kind, [when] they "seek to build a House for any god in the Land of the
South, or in the Land of the North, or [shrines] as abodes for sacred
animals, or royal pyramids, and statues of all kinds.  They stand up in
front of the House of the God and in the sanctuary chamber, and their
sweet smelling offerings are presented before the face of the god
Khnemu during his circuit, even as [when they bring] "garden herbs and
flowers of every kind.  The fore parts thereof are in Abu
(Elephantine), and the hind parts are in the city of Sunt (?).[FN#184]
One portion thereof is on the east side[FN#185] of the river, and
another portion is on the west side[FN#186] of the river, and another
portion is in the middle[FN#187] of the river.  The stream decketh the
region with its waters during a certain season of the year, and it is a
place of delight for every man.  And works are carried on among these
quarries [which are] on the edges [of the river?], "for the stream
immediately faceth this city of Abu itself, and there existeth the
granite, the substance whereof is hard (?); 'Stone of Abu' it is

[FN#183]  Kens extended south from Philae as far as Korosko.

[FN#184]  Perhaps Sunut, = the Syene of the Greeks, and the {hbw
SuWeNeH} of the Hebrews.

[FN#185]  i.e., Syene.

[FN#186]  i.e., Contra Syene.

[FN#187]  i.e., the Island of Elephantine.

"[Here is] a list of the names of the gods who dwell in the Divine
House of Khnemu.  The goddess of the star Sept (Sothis), the goddess
Anqet, Hap (the Nile-god), Shu, Keb, Nut, Osiris, Horus, Isis, and

"[Here are] "the names of the stones which lie in the heart of the
mountains, some on the east side, some on the west side, and some in
[the midst of] the stream of Abu.  They exist in the heart of Abu, they
exist in the country on the east bank, and in the country on the west
bank, and in the midst of the stream, namely, "Bekhen-stone, Meri (or
Meli)-stone, Atbekhab (?)-stone, Rakes-stone, and white Utshi-stone;
these are found on the east bank.  Per-tchani-stone is found on the
west bank, and the Teshi-stone in the river.

"[Here are] the names of the hard (or, hidden) precious stones, which
are found in the upper side, among them being the . . . . . stone, the
name[FN#188] of which hath spread abroad through [a space of] four atru
measures: Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Lapis-lazuli, Emerald, Thehen
(Crystal?), Khenem (Ruby), Kai, Mennu, Betka (?), Temi, Na (?).  The
following come forth from the fore part[FN#189] of the land: Mehi-
stone, [He]maki-stone, Abheti-stone, iron ore, alabaster for statues,
mother-of-emerald, antimony, seeds (or, gum) of the sehi plant, seeds
(or, gum) of the amem plant, and seeds (or, gum) of the incense plant;
these are found in the fore parts of its double city."  These were the
things which I learned therefrom (i.e., from Matar).

[FN#188]  i.e., the stone was very famous.

[FN#189]  The "fore part," or "front," of the land means the country
lying to the south of Nubia, and probably some part of the modern
Egyptian Sudan.

Now my heart was very happy when I heard these things, and I entered
into [the temple of Khnemu].  The overseers unrolled the documents
which were fastened up, the water of purification was sprinkled [upon
me], a progress was made [through] the secret places, and a great
offering [consisting] of bread-cakes, beer, geese, oxen (or, bulls),
and beautiful things of all kinds were offered to the gods and
goddesses who dwell in Abu, whose names are proclaimed at the place
[which is called], "Couch of the heart in life and power."

And I found the God standing in front of me, and I made him to be at
peace with me by means of the thank-offering which I offered unto him,
and I made prayer and supplication before him.  Then he opened his
eyes, and his heart was inclined [to hear] me, and his words were
strong [when he said], "I am Khnemu,[FN#190] who fashioned thee.  My
two hands were about thee and knitted together thy body, and "made
healthy thy members; and it is I who gave thee thy heart.  Yet the
minerals (or, precious stones) [lie] under each other, [and they have
done so] from olden time, and no man hath worked them in order to build
the houses of the god, or to restore those which have fallen into ruin,
or to hew out shrines for the gods of the South and of the North, or to
do what he ought to do for his lord, notwithstanding that I am the Lord
and the Creator.

[FN#190]  He was the "builder of men, maker of the gods, the Father who
was from the beginning, the maker of things which are, the creator of
things which shall be, the source of things which exist, Father of
fathers, Mother of mothers, Father of the fathers of the gods and
goddesses, lord of created things, maker of heaven, earth, Tuat, water
and mountains" (Lanzone, Dizionario, p. 957).

"I am [he] who created himself, Nu, the Great [God], who came into being
at the beginning, [and] Hapi, who riseth according to his will, in
order to give health to him that laboureth for me.  I am the Director
and Guide of all men at their seasons, the Most Great, the Father of the
Gods, Shu, the Great One, the Chief of the Earth.  The two halves of the
sky (i.e., the East and the West) are as a habitation below me.  A lake
of water hath been poured out for me, [namely,] Hap (i.e., the Nile),
which embraceth the field-land, and his embrace provideth the [means of]
life for "21 every nose (i.e., every one), according to the extent of
his embrace of the field-land.  With old age [cometh] the condition of
weakness.  I will make Hap (i.e., the Nile) rise for thee, and [in] no
year shall [he] fail, and he shall spread himself out in rest upon every
land. Green plants and herbs and trees shall bow beneath [the weight of]
their produce.  The goddess Renenet[FN#191] shall be at the head of
everything, and every product shall increase by hundreds of thousands,
according to the cubit of the year.  The people shall be filled, verily
to their hearts' desire, "and everyone.  Misery shall pass away, and the
emptiness of their store-houses of grain shall come to an end.  The land
of Ta-Mert (i.e., Egypt) shall come to be a region of cultivated land,
the districts [thereof] shall be yellow with grain crops, and the grain
[thereof] shall be goodly.  And fertility shall come according to the
desire [of the people], more than there hath ever been before."

[FN#191]  The goddess of the harvest.

Then I woke up at [the mention of] crops, my heart (or, courage) came
[back], and was equal to my [former] despair, and I made the following
decree in the temple of my father Khnemu:--

The king giveth an offering to Khnemu[FN#192] the Lord of the city of
Qebhet,[FN#193] the Governor of Ta-Sti,[FN#194] in return for those
things which thou hast done for me. There shall be given unto thee on
thy right hand [the river bank] of Manu,[FN#195] and on thy left hand
the river bank of Abu, together with the land about the city, for a
space of twenty measures,[FN#196] on the east side and on the west
side, with the gardens, and the river front "everywhere throughout the
region included in these measures.  From every husbandman who tilleth
the ground, and maketh to live again the slain, and placeth water upon
the river banks and all the islands which are in front of the region of
these measures, shall be demanded a further contribution from the
growing crops and from every storehouse, as "thy share.

[FN#192]  Or perhaps, Khnemu-Ra.

[FN#193]  Qebhet is the name given to the whole region of the First

[FN#194]  The "Land of the Bow," i.e., the Northern Sudan.

[FN#195]  The Land of the setting sun, the West.

[FN#196]  Schoinos.

"Whatsoever is caught in the nets by every fisherman and by every
fowler, and whatsoever is taken by the catchers of fish, and by the
snarers of birds, and by every hunter of wild animals, and by every man
who snareth lions in the mountains, when these things enter [the city]
one tenth of them shall be demanded.

"And of all the calves which are cast throughout the regions which are
included in these measures, one tenth of their number "shall be set
apart as animals which are sealed for all the burnt offerings which are
offered up daily.

"And, moreover, the gift of one tenth shall be levied upon the gold,
ivory, ebony, spices, carnelians (?), sa wood, seshes spice, dum palm
fruit (?), nef wood, and upon woods and products of every kind
whatsoever, which the Khentiu, [FN#197] and the Khentiu of Hen-
Resu,[FN#198] and the Egyptians, and every person whatsoever [shall
bring in].

[FN#197]  The inhabitants of the Northern Sudan, probably as far to the
south as Napata.

[FN#198]  The people of the Island of Meroë, and probably those living
on the Blue and White Niles.

"And [every] hand shall pass them by, and no officer of the revenue
whatsoever shall utter a word beyond these places to demand (or, levy
on) things from them, or to take things over and above [those which are
intended for] thy capital city.

"And I will give unto thee the land belonging to the city, which
beareth stones, and good land for cultivation. Nothing thereof shall be
[diminished] or withheld, "of all these things in order to deceive the
scribes, and the revenue officers, and the inspectors of the king, on
whom it shall be incumbent to certify everything.

"And further, I will cause the masons, and the hewers of ore (?), and
the workers in metal, and the smelters (?) of gold, and the sculptors
in stone, "and the ore-crushers, and the furnace-men (?), and
handicraftsmen of every kind whatsoever, who work in hewing, and
cutting, and polishing these stones, and in gold, and silver, and
copper, and lead, and every worker in wood who shall cut down any tree,
or carry on a trade of any kind, or work which is connected with the
wood trade, to "pay tithe upon all the natural products (?), and also
upon the hard stones which are brought from their beds above, and
quarried stones of all kinds.

"And there shall be an inspector over the weighing of the gold, and
silver, and copper, and real (i.e., precious) stones, and the [other]
things, which the metal-workers require for the House of Gold, "and the
sculptors of the images of the gods need in the making and repairing of
them, and [these things] shall be exempted from tithing, and the
workmen also.  And everything shall be delivered (or, given) in front
of the storehouse to their children, a second time, for the protection
of everything.  And whatsoever is before thy God-house shall be in
abundance, just as it hath ever been from the earliest time.

"And a copy of this decree shall be inscribed upon a stele, [which
shall be set up] in the holy place, according to the writing of the
[original] document which is cut upon wood, and [figures of] this god
and the overseers of the temple shall be [cut] thereon.  Whosoever
shall spit upon that which is on it shall be admonished by the rope.
And the overseers of the priests, and every overseer of the people of
the House of the God, shall ensure the perpetuation of my name in the
House of the god Khnemu-Ra, the lord of Abu (Elephantine), for ever."



Get thee back, Apep, thou enemy of Ra, thou winding serpent in the form
of an intestine, without arms [and] without legs.  Thy body cannot
stand upright so that thou mayest have therein being, long is
thy[FN#199] tail in front of thy den, thou enemy; retreat before Ra.
Thy head shall be cut off, and the slaughter of thee shall be carried
out.  Thou shalt not lift up thy face, for his (i.e., Ra's) flame is in
thy accursed soul.  The odour which is in his chamber of slaughter is
in thy members, and thy form shall be overthrown by the slaughtering
knife of the great god.  The spell of the Scorpion-goddess Serq driveth
back thy might.  Stand still, stand still, and retreat through her

[FN#199]  Literally, "his."

Be vomited, O poison, I adjure thee to come forth on the earth.  Horus
uttereth a spell over thee, Horus hacketh thee in pieces, he spitteth
upon thee; thou shalt not rise up towards heaven, but shalt totter
downwards, O feeble one, without strength, cowardly, unable to fight,
blind, without eyes, and with thine head turned upside down.  Lift not
up thy face.  Get thee back quickly, and find not the way.  Lie down in
despair, rejoice not, retreat speedily, and show not thy face because
of the speech of Horus, who is perfect in words of power.  The poison
rejoiced, [but] the heart[s] of many were very sad thereat.  Horus hath
smitten it with his magical spells, and he who was in sorrow is [now]
in joy.  Stand still then, O thou who art in sorrow, [for] Horus hath
been endowed with life.  He coineth charged, appearing himself to
overthrow the Sebiu fiends which bite.  All men when they see Ra praise
the son of Osiris.  Get thee back, Worm, and draw out thy poison which
is in all the members of him that is under the knife.  Verily the might
of the word of power of Horus is against thee. Vomit thou, O Enemy, get
thee back, O poison.


Recite [the following formula]:--

"Hail, Ra, come to thy daughter!  A scorpion hath stung her on a
lonely road.  Her cry hath penetrated the heights of heaven, and is
heard along the paths.  The poison hath entered into her body, and
circulateth through her flesh.  She hath set her mouth against
it;[FN#200] verily the poison is in her members.

[FN#200]  i.e., she hath directed her words against it.

"Come then with thy strength, with thy fierce attack, and with thy red
powers, and force it to be hidden before thee.  Behold, the poison hath
entered into all the members of this Cat which is under my fingers.  Be
not afraid, be not afraid, my daughter, my splendour, [for] I have set
myself near (or, behind) thee.  I have overthrown the poison which is
in all the limbs of this Cat.  O thou Cat, thy head is the head of Ra,
the Lord of the Two Lands, the smiter of the rebellious peoples.
Thy[FN#201] fear is in all lands, O Lord of the living, Lord of
eternity.  O thou Cat, thy two eyes are the Eye of the Lord of the Khut
uraeus, who illumineth the Two Lands with his Eye, and illumineth the
face on the path of darkness.  O thou Cat, thy nose is the nose of
Thoth, the Twice Great, Lord of Khemenu (Hermopolis), the Chief of the
Two Lands of Ra, who putteth breath into the nostrils of every person.
O thou Cat, thine ears are the ears of Nebertcher, who hearkeneth unto
the voice of all persons when they appeal to him, and weigheth words
(i.e., judgeth) in all the earth.  O thou Cat, thy mouth is the mouth
of Tem, the Lord of life, the uniter (?) of creation, who hath caused
the union (?) of creation; he shall deliver thee from every poison.  O
thou Cat, thy neck (nehebt) is the neck of Neheb-ka, President of the
Great House, vivifier of men and women by means of the mouth of his two
arms.  O thou Cat, thy breast is the breast of Thoth, the Lord of
Truth, who hath given to thee breath to refresh (?) thy throat, and
hath given breath to that which is therein.  O thou Cat, thy heart is
the heart of the god Ptah, who healeth thy heart of the evil poison
which is in all thy limbs.  O thou Cat, thy hands 25 are the hands of
the Great Company of the gods and the Little Company of the gods, and
they shall deliver thy hand from the poison from the mouth of every
serpent.  O thou Cat, thy belly is the belly of Osiris, Lord of
Busiris, the poison shall not work any of its wishes in thy belly.  O
thou Cat, thy thighs are the thighs of the god Menthu, who shall make
thy thighs to stand up, and shall bring the poison to the ground.  O
thou Cat, thy leg-bones are the leg-bones of Khensu,[FN#202] who
travelleth over all the Two Lands by day and by night, and shall lead
the poison to the ground.  O thou Cat, thy legs (or, feet) are the legs
of Amen the Great, Horus, Lord of Thebes, who shall stablish thy feet
on the earth, and shall overthrow the poison.  O thou Cat, thy haunches
are the haunches of Horus, the avenger (or, advocate) of his father
Osiris, and they shall place Set in the evil which he hath wrought.  O
thou Cat, thy soles are the soles of Ra, who shall make the poison to
return to the earth.  O thou Cat, thy bowels are the bowels of the Cow-
goddess Meh-urt, who shall overthrow and cut in pieces the poison which
is in thy belly and in all the members in thee, and in [all] the
members of the gods in heaven, and in [all] the members of the gods on
earth, and shall overthrow every poison in thee.  There is no member in
thee without the goddess who shall overthrow and cut in pieces the
poison of every male serpent, and every female serpent, and every
scorpion, and every reptile, which may be in any member of this Cat
which is under the knife.  Verily Isis weaveth and Nephthys spinneth
against the poison.  This woven garment strengtheneth this [being,
i.e., Horus], who is perfect in words of power, through the speech of
Ra Heru-khuti, the great god, President of the South and North: 'O evil
poison which is in any member of this Cat which is under the knife,
come, issue forth upon the earth.'"

[FN#201]  Literally "his."

[FN#202]  He was the messenger of the gods, and travelled across the
sky under the form of the Moon; he sometimes appears as a form of


Say the [following] words:--

"O Ra-[Khuti], come to thy daughter.  O Shu, come to thy wife.  O Isis,
come to thy sister, and deliver her from the evil poison which is in
all her members.  Hail, O ye gods, come ye and overthrow ye the evil
poison which is in all the members of the Cat which is under the knife.

"Hail, O aged one, who renewest thy youth in thy season, thou old man
who makest thyself to be a boy, grant thou that Thoth may come to me at
[the sound of] my voice, and behold, let him turn back from me Netater.
Osiris is on the water, the Eye of Horus is with him.  A great
Beetle spreadeth himself over him, great by reason of his grasp,
produced by the gods from a child.  He who is over the water appeareth
in a healthy form.  If he who is over the water shall be approached
(or, attacked), the Eye of Horus, which weepeth, shall be approached.

"Get ye back, O ye who dwell in the water, crocodiles, fish, that
Enemy, male dead person and female dead person, male fiend and female
fiend, of every kind whatsoever, lift not up your faces, O ye who dwell
in the waters, ye crocodiles and fish.  When Osiris journeyeth over
you, permit ye him to go to Busiris.  Let your nostrils [be closed],
your throats stopped up.

"Get ye back, Seba fiends!  Lift ye not up your faces against him that
is on the water . . . . . Osiris-Ra, riseth up in his Boat to look at
the gods of Kher-ahat, and the Lords of the Tuat stand up to slay thee
when [thou] comest, O Neha-her, against Osiris.  [When] he is on the
water the Eye of Horus is over him to turn your faces upside down and
to set you on your backs.

"Hail, ye who dwell in the water, crocodiles and fish, Ra shutteth up
your mouths, Sekhet stoppeth up your throats, Thoth cutteth out your
tongues, and {cont} Heka blindeth your eyes.  These are the four great
gods who protect Osiris by their magical power, and they effect the
protection of him that is on the water, of men and women of every kind,
and of beasts and animals of every kind which are on the water by day.
Protected are those who dwell in the waters, protected is the sky
wherein is Ra, protected is the great god who is in the sarcophagus,
protected is he who is on the water.

"A voice [which] crieth loudly is in the House of Net (Neith), a loud
voice is in the Great House, a great outcry from the mouth of the Cat.
The gods and the goddesses say, 'What is it?  What is it?'  [It]
concerneth the Abtu Fish which is born.  Make to retreat from me thy
footsteps, O Sebau fiend.  I am Khnemu, the Lord of Her-urt.  Guard
thyself again from the attack which is repeated, besides this which
thou hast done in the presence of the Great Company of the gods.  Get
thee back, retreat thou from me.  I am the god.  Oh, Oh, O [Ra], hast
thou not heard the voice which cried out loudly until the evening on
the bank of Netit, the voice of all the gods and goddesses which cried
out loudly, the outcry concerning the wickedness which thou hast done,
O wicked Sebau fiend?  Verily the lord Ra thundered and growled
thereat, and he ordered thy slaughter to be carried out.  Get thee
back, Seba fiend!  Hail!  Hail!"


I am Isis, [and] I have come forth from the dwelling (or, prison)
wherein my brother Set placed me.  Behold the god Thoth, the great god,
the Chief of Maat[FN#203] [both] in heaven and on the earth, said unto
me, "Come now, O Isis, thou goddess, moreover it is a good thing to
hearken,[FN#204] [for there is] life to one who shall be guided [by the
advice] of another.  Hide thou thyself with [thy] son the child, and
there shall come unto him these things.  His members shall
grow,[FN#205] and two-fold strength of every kind shall spring up [in
him].  [And he] shall be made to take his seat upon the throne of his
father, [whom] he shall avenge,[FN#206] [and he shall take possession
of] the exalted position of Heq[FN#207] of the Two Lands."[FN#208]

[FN#203]  i.e., Law, or Truth.

[FN#204]  Or, obey.

[FN#205]  i.e., flourish.

[FN#206]  He avenged his father Osiris by vanquishing Set.

[FN#207]  i.e., tribal chief.

[FN#208]  i.e., Upper and Lower Egypt.

I came forth [from the dwelling] at the time of evening, and there came
forth the Seven Scorpions which were to accompany me and to strike(?)
for me with [their] stings.  Two scorpions, Tefen and Befen, were
behind me, two scorpions, Mestet and Mestetef, were by my side, and
three scorpions, Petet, Thetet, and Maatet (or, Martet), were for
preparing the road for me.  I charged them very strictly (or, in a loud
voice), and my words penetrated into their ears: "Have no knowledge of
[any], make no cry to the Tesheru beings, and pay no attention to the
'son of a man' (i.e., anyone) who belongeth to a man of no account,"
[and I said,] "Let your faces be turned towards the ground [that ye may
show me] the way."  So the guardian of the company brought me to the
boundaries of the city of Pa-Sui,[FN#209] the city of the goddesses of
the Divine Sandals, [which was situated] in front of the Papyrus

[FN#209]  "The House of the Crocodile," perhaps the same town as Pa-
Sebekt, a district in the VIIth nome of Lower Egypt (Metelites).

[FN#210]  Perhaps a district in the Metelite nome.

When I had arrived at the place where the people lived[FN#211] I came
to the houses wherein dwelt the wives [and] husbands.  And a certain
woman of quality spied me as I was journeying along the road, and she
shut her doors on me.  Now she was sick at heart by reason of those
[scorpions] which were with me.  Then [the Seven Scorpions] took
counsel concerning her, and they all at one time shot out their venom
on the tail of the scorpion Tefen; as for me, the woman Taha[FN#212]
opened her door, and I entered into the house of the miserable lady.

[FN#211]  In Egyptian Teb, which may be the Tebut in the Metelite nome.

[FN#212]  Taha may be the name of a woman, or goddess, or the word may
mean a "dweller in the swamps," as Golenischeff thinks.

Then the scorpion Tefen entered in under the leaves of the door and
smote (i.e., stung) the son of Usert, and a fire broke out in the house
of Usert, and there was no water there to extinguish it; [but] the sky
rained upon the house of Usert, though it was not the season for

[FN#213]  i.e., it was not the season of the inundation.

Behold, the heart of her who had not opened her door to me was
grievously sad, for she knew not whether he (i.e., her son) would live
[or not], and although she went round about through her town uttering
cries [for help], there was none who came at [the sound of] her voice.
Now mine own heart was grievously sad for the sake of the child, and [I
wished] to make to live [again] him that was free from fault.
[Thereupon] I cried out to the noble lady, "Come to me.  Come to me.
Verily my mouth (?) possesseth life.  I am a daughter [well] known in
her town, [and I] can destroy the demon of death by the spell (or,
utterance) which my father taught me to know. I am his daughter, the
beloved [offspring] of his body."

Then Isis placed her two hands on the child in order to make to live him
whose throat was stopped, [and she said], "O poison of the scorpion
Tefent, come forth and appear on the ground! Thou shalt neither enter
nor penetrate [further into the body of the child].  O poison of the
scorpion Befent, come forth and appear on the ground!  I am Isis, the
goddess, the lady (or, mistress) of words of power, and I am the maker
of words of power (i.e., spells), and I know how to utter words with
magical effect.[FN#214]  Hearken ye unto me, O every reptile which
possesseth the power to bite (i.e., to sting), and fall headlong to the
ground! O poison of the scorpion Mestet, make no advance [into his
body].  O poison of the scorpion Mestetef, rise not up [in his body].  O
poison of the scorpions Petet and Thetet, penetrate not [into his body].
[O poison of] the scorpion Maatet (or, Martet), fall down on the

[FN#214]  By uttering spells Isis restored life to her husband Osiris
for a season, and so became with child by him.  She made a magical
figure of a reptile, and having endowed it with life, it stung Ra as he
passed through the sky, and the great god almost died.  In Greek times
it was believed that she discovered a medicine which would raise the
dead, and she was reputed to be a great expert in the art of healing
men's sicknesses.  As a goddess she appeared to the sick, and cured

[Here follows the] "Chapter of the stinging [of scorpions]."

And Isis, the goddess, the great mistress of spells (or, words of
power), she who is at the head of the gods, unto whom the god Keb gave
his own magical spells for the driving away of poison at noon-day (?),
and for making poison to go back, and retreat, and withdraw, and go
backward, spake, saying, "Ascend not into heaven, through the command
of the beloved one of Ra, the egg of the Smen goose which cometh forth
from the sycamore.  Verily my words are made to command the uttermost
limit of the night.  I speak unto you, [O scorpions] I am alone and in
sorrow because our names will suffer disgrace throughout the nomes.  Do
not make love, do not cry out to the Tesheru fiends, and cast no
glances upon the noble ladies in their houses.  Turn your faces towards
the earth and [find out] the road, so that we may arrive at the hidden
places in the town of Khebt.[FN#215]  Oh the child shall live and the
poison die!  Ra liveth and the poison dieth!  Verily Horus shall be in
good case (or, healthy) for his mother Isis.  Verily he who is stricken
shall be in good case likewise."

[FN#215]  The island of Chemmis of classical writers.

And the fire [which was in the house of Usert] was extinguished, and
heaven was satisfied with the utterance of Isis, the goddess.

Then the lady Usert came, and she brought unto me her possessions, and
she filled the house of the woman Tah (?), for the Ka of Tah
(?) because [she] had opened to me her door.  Now the lady Usert
suffered pain and anguish the whole night, and her mouth tasted (i.e.,
felt) the sting [which] her son [had suffered].  And she brought her
possessions as the penalty for not having opened the door to me.  Oh
the child shall live and the poison die!  Verily Horus shall be in good
case for his mother Isis.  Verily everyone who is stricken shall be in
good case likewise.

Lo, a bread-cake [made] of barley meal shall drive out (or, destroy)
the poison, and natron shall make it to withdraw, and the fire [made]
of hetchet-plant shall drive out (or, destroy) fever-heat from the

"O Isis, O Isis, come thou to thy Horus, O thou woman of the wise
mouth!  Come to thy son"--thus cried the gods who dwelt in her quarter
of the town--"for he is as one whom a scorpion hath stung, and like
one whom the scorpion Uhat, which the animal Antesh drove away, hath

[Then] Isis ran out like one who had a knife [stuck] in her body, and
she opened her arms wide, [saying] "Behold me, behold me, my son Horus,
have no fear, have no fear, O son my glory!  No evil thing of any kind
whatsoever shall happen unto thee, [for] there is in thee the essence
(or, fluid) which made the things which exist.  Thou art the son from
the country of Mesqet,[FN#216] [thou hast] come forth from the
celestial waters Nu, and thou shalt not die by the heat of the poison.
Thou wast the Great Bennu,[FN#217] who art born (or, produced) or; the
top of the balsam-trees[FN#218] which are in the House of the Aged One
in Anu (Heliopolis).  Thou art the brother of the Abtu Fish,[FN#219]
who orderest what is to be, and art the nursling of the Cat[FN#220] who
dwelleth in the House of Neith.  The goddess Reret,[FN#221] the goddess
Hat, and the god Bes protect thy members.  Thy head shall not fall to
the Tchat fiend that attacketh thee.  Thy members shall not receive the
fire of that which is thy poison.  Thou shalt not go backwards on the
land, and thou shalt not be brought low on the water.  No reptile which
biteth (or, stingeth) shall gain the mastery over thee, and no lion
shall subdue thee or have dominion over thee.  Thou art the son of the
sublime god 82 who proceeded from Keb.  Thou art Horus, and the poison
shall not gain the mastery over thy members.  Thou art the son of the
sublime god who proceeded from Keb, and thus likewise shall it be with
those who are under the knife.  And the four august goddesses shall
protect thy members."

[FN#216]  Mesqet was originally the name of the bull's skin in which
the deceased was wrapped in order to secure for him the now life; later
the name was applied to the Other World generally.  {See Book of the
Dead, Chap. xvii. 121.}

[FN#217]  The Bennu who kept the book of destiny. See Book of the Dead,
Chap. xvii. 25.

[FN#218]  These are the balsam-trees for which Heliopolis has been
always famous.  They are described by Wansleben, L'Histoire de
l'Eglise, pp. 88-93, and by 'Abd al-Latif (ed. de Sacy), p. 88.

[FN#219]  The Abtu and Ant Fishes swam before the Boat of Ra and guided

[FN#220]  This is the Cat who lived by the Persea tree in Heliopolis.
See Book of the Dead, Chap. xvii. 18.

[FN#221]  A hippopotamus goddess.

[Here the narrative is interrupted by the following texts:]

[I am] he who rolleth up into the sky, and who goeth down (i.e.,
setteth) in the Tuat, whose form is in the House of height, through
whom when he openeth his Eye the light cometh into being, and when he
closeth his Eye it becometh night.  [I am] the Water-god Het when he
giveth commands, whose name is unknown to the gods.  I illumine the Two
Lands, night betaketh itself to flight, and I shine by day and by
night.[FN#222]  I am the Bull of Bakha[FN#223], and the Lion of
Manu[FN#224].  I am he who traverseth the heavens by day and by night
without being repulsed.  I have come 85 by reason of the voice (or,
cry) of the son of Isis.  Verily the blind serpent Na hath bitten the
Bull.  O thou poison which floweth through every member of him that is
under the knife, come forth, I charge thee, upon the ground.  Behold,
he that is under the knife shall not be bitten.  Thou art Menu, the
Lord of Coptos, the child of the White Shat[FN#225] which is in Anu
(Heliopolis), which was bitten [by a reptile].  O Menu, Lord of Coptos,
give thou air unto him that is under the knife; and air shall be given
to thee.  Hail, divine father and minister of the god Nebun, [called]
Mer-Tem, son of the divine father and minister of the god Nebun, scribe
of the Water-god Het, [called] Ankh-Semptek (sic), son of the lady of
the house Tent-Het-nub!  He restored this inscription after he had
found it in a ruined state in the Temple of Osiris-Mnevis, because he
wished to make to live her name . . . . . . . . . . and to give air
unto him that is under [the knife], and to give life unto the ancestors
of all the gods.  And his Lord Osiris-Mnevis shall make long his life
with happiness of heart, [and shall give him] a beautiful burial after
[attaining to] an old age, because of what he hath done for the Temple
of Osiris-Mnevis.

[FN#222]  i.e., always.

[FN#223]  The land of the sunrise, the East.

[FN#224]  The land of the sunset, the West.

[FN#225] Perhaps an animal of the Lynx class.

89. Horus was bitten (i.e., stung) in Sekhet-An, to the north of Hetep-
hemt, whilst his mother Isis was in the celestial houses making a
libation for her brother Osiris.  And Horus sent forth his cry into the
horizon, and it was heard by those who were in . . . . . .  Thereupon
the keepers of the doors who were in the [temple of] the holy Acacia
Tree started up at the voice of Horus.  And one sent forth a cry of
lamentation, and Heaven gave the order that Horus was to be healed.
And [the gods] took counsel [together] concerning the life [of Horus,
saying,] "O goddess Pai(?), O god Asten, who dwellest in Aat-Khus(?)
. . . . .[FN#226] thy . . . . . . enter in . . . . . lord of sleep . .
. . . . the child Horus.  Oh, Oh, bring thou the things which are thine
to cut off the poison which is in every member of Horus, the son of
Isis, and which is in every member of him that is under the knife

[FN#226]  The text appears to be corrupt in this passage.


Thoth speaketh and this god reciteth [the following]:--

"Homage to thee, god, son of a god.  Homage to thee, heir, son of an
heir.  Homage to thee, bull, son of a bull, who wast brought forth by a
holy goddess.  Homage to thee, Horus, who comest forth from Osiris, and
wast brought forth by the goddess Isis.  I recite thy words of power, I
speak with thy magical utterance.  I pronounce a spell in thine own
words, which thy heart hath created, and all the spells and
incantations which have come forth from thy mouth, which thy father Keb
commanded thee [to recite], and thy mother Nut gave to thee, and the
majesty of the Governor of Sekhem taught thee to make use of for thy
protection, in order to double (or, repeat) thy protective formulae, to
shut the mouth of every reptile which is in heaven, and on the earth,
and in the waters, to make men and women to live, to make the gods to
be at peace [with thee], and to make Ra to employ his magical spells
through thy chants of praise.  Come to me this day, quickly, quickly,
as thou workest the paddle of the Boat of the god.  Drive thou away
from me every lion on the plain, and every crocodile in the waters, and
all mouths which bite (or, sting) in their holes.  Make thou them
before me like the stone of the mountain, like a broken pot lying about
in a quarter of the town.  Dig thou out from me the poison which riseth
and is in every member of him that is under the knife.  Keep thou watch
over him . . . . . . by means of thy words.  Verily let thy name be
invoked this day.  Let thy power (qefau) come into being in him.  Exalt
thou thy magical powers.  Make me to live and him whose throat is
closed up.  Then shall mankind give thee praise, and the righteous (?)
shall give thanks unto thy forms.  And all the gods likewise shall
invoke thee, and in truth thy name shall be invoked this day.  I am
Horus [of] Shet[enu] (?).

"O thou who art in the cavern,[FN#227] O thou who art in the cavern. O
thou who art at the mouth of the cavern.  O thou who art on the way, O
thou who art on the way.  O thou who art at the mouth of the way.  He
is Urmer (Mnevis) who approacheth every man and every beast.  He is
like the god Sep who is in Anu (Heliopolis).  He is the Scorpion-[god]
who is in the Great House (Het-ur).  Bite him not, for he is Ra.  Sting
him not, for he is Thoth.  Shoot ye not your poison over him, for he is
Nefer-Tem.  O every male serpent, O every female serpent, O every
antesh (scorpion?) which bite with your mouths, and sting with your
tails, bite ye him not with your mouths, and sting ye him not with your
tails.  Get ye afar off from him, make ye not your fire to be against
him, for he is the son of Osiris.  Vomit ye. [Say] four times:--

"I am Thoth, I have come from heaven to make protection of Horus, and
to drive away the poison of the scorpion which is in every member of
Horus.  Thy head is to thee, Horus; it shall be stable under the Urert
Crown.  Thine eye is to thee, Horus, [for] thou art Horus, the son of
Keb, the Lord of the Two Eyes, in the midst of the Company [of the
gods].  Thy nose is to thee, Horus, [for] thou art Horus the Elder, the
son of Ra, and thou shalt not inhale the fiery wind.  Thine arm is to
thee, Horus, great is thy strength to slaughter the enemies of thy
father.  Thy two thighs[FN#228] are to thee, Horus.  Receive thou the
rank and dignity of thy father Osiris.  Ptah hath balanced for thee thy
mouth on the day of thy birth.  Thy heart (or, breast) is to thee,
Horus, and the Disk maketh thy protection.  Thine eye is to thee,
Horus; thy right eye is like Shu, and thy left eye like Tefnut, who are
the children of Ra.  Thy belly is to thee, Horus, and the Children are
the gods who are therein, and they shall not receive the essence (or,
fluid) of the scorpion.  Thy strength is to thee, Horus, and the
strength of Set shall not exist against thee.  Thy phallus is to thee,
Horus, and thou art Kamutef, the protector of his father, who maketh an
answer for his children in the course of every day.  Thy thighs are to
thee, Horus, and thy strength shall slaughter the enemies of thy
father.  Thy calves are to thee, Horus; the god Khnemu hath builded
[them], and the goddess Isis hath covered them with flesh.  The soles
of thy feet are to thee, Horus, and the nations who fight with the bow
(Peti) fall under thy feet.  Thou rulest the South, North, West, and
East, and thou seest like Ra. [Say] four times.  And likewise him that
is under the knife."

[FN#227]  Or, den or hole.

[FN#228]  We ought, perhaps, to translate this as "forearms."

Beautiful god, Senetchem-ab-Ra-setep-[en]-Amen, son of Ra, Nekht-Heru-
Hebit, thou art protected, and the gods and goddesses are protected,
and conversely.  Beautiful god, Senetchem-ab-Ra-setep-[en]-Ra, son of
Ra, Nekht-Heru-Hebit, thou art protected, and Heru-Shet[enu], the great
god, is protected, and conversely.

ANOTHER CHAPTER LIKE UNTO IT.  "Fear not, fear not, O Bast, the strong
of heart, at the head of the holy field, the mighty one among all the
gods, nothing shall gain the mastery over thee.  Come thou outside,
following my speech (or, mouth), O evil poison which is in all the
members of the lion (or, cat) which is under the knife."

[The narrative of the stinging of Horus by a scorpion is continued

"I am Isis, who conceived a child by her husband, and she became heavy
with Horus, the divine [child].  I gave birth to Horus, the son of
Osiris, in a nest of papyrus plants.[FN#229]  I rejoiced exceedingly
over this, because I saw [in him one] who would make answer for his
father.  I hid him, and I concealed him through fear of that [fiend
(?)].[FN#230]  I went away to the city of Am, [where] the people gave
thanks [for me] through [their] fear of my making trouble [for them].
I passed the day in seeking to provide food for the child, [and] on
returning to take Horus into my arms I found him, Horus, the beautiful
one of gold, the boy, the child, without [life].  He had bedewed the
ground with the water of his eye, and with foam from his lips.  His
body was motionless, his heart was powerless to move, and the sinews
(or, muscles) of his members were [helpless].  I sent forth a cry,

[FN#229]  Or, Ateh, the papyrus swamp.

[FN#230]  i.e., Set.

"'I, even I, lack a son to make answer [for me].[FN#231]  [My] two
breasts are full to overflowing, [but] my body is empty.  [My] mouth
wished for that which concerned him.[FN#232]  A cistern of water and a
stream of the inundation was I. The child was the desire of my heart,
and I longed to protect him (?). I carried him in my womb, I gave birth
to him, I endured the agony of the birth pangs, I was all alone, and
the great ones were afraid of disaster and to come out at the sound of
my voice.  My father is in the Tuat,[FN#233] my mother is in
Aqert,[FN#234] and my elder brother is in the sarcophagus.  Think of
the enemy and of how prolonged was the wrath of his heart against me,
[when] I, the great lady, was in his house.'

[FN#231]  i.e., to be my advocate.

[FN#232]  Literally "his thing."

[FN#233]  Tuat is a very ancient name of the Other World, which was
situated either parallel with Egypt or across the celestial ocean which
surrounded the world.

[FN#234]  The "perfect place," i.e., the Other World.

"I cried then, [saying,] 'Who among the people will indeed let their
hearts come round to me?'  I cried then to those who dwelt in the
papyrus swamps (or, Ateh), and they inclined to me straightway.  And
the people came forth to me from their houses, and they thronged about
me at [the sound of] my voice, and they loudly bewailed with me the
greatness of my affliction.  There was no man there who set restraint
(?) on his mouth, every person among them lamented with great
lamentation.  There was none there who knew how to make [my child] to

"And there came forth unto me a woman who was [well] known in her city,
a lady who was mistress of her [own] estate.[FN#235]  She came forth to
me.  Her mouth possessed life, and her heart was filled with the matter
which was therein, [and she said,] 'Fear not, fear not, O son Horus!
Be not cast down, be not cast down, O mother of the god.  The child of
the Olive-tree is by the mountain of his brother, the bush is hidden,
and no enemy shall enter therein.  The word of power of Tem, the Father
of the gods, who is in heaven, maketh to live.  Set shall not enter
into this region, he shall not go round about it.  The marsh of Horus
of the Olive-tree is by the mountain of his brother; those who are in
his following shall not at any time . . . . . . it.  This shall happen
to him: Horus shall live for his mother, and shall salute (?) [her]
with his mouth. A scorpion hath smitten (i.e., stung) him, and the
reptile Aun-ab hath wounded him.'"

[FN#235]  Or perhaps, "a lady who was at the head of her district."

Then Isis placed her nose in his mouth[FN#236] so that she might know
whether he who was in his coffin breathed, and she examined the
wound[FN#237] of the heir of the god, and she found that there was
poison in it.  She threw her arms round him, and then quickly she
leaped about with him like fish when they are laid upon the hot coals,

[FN#236]  i.e., the mouth of Horus.

[FN#237]  Literally, "pain" or "disease."

"Horus is bitten, O Ra.  Thy son is bitten, [O Osiris].  Horus is
bitten, the flesh and blood of the Heir, the Lord of the diadems (?) of
the kingdoms of Shu.  Horus is bitten, the Boy of the marsh city of
Ateh, the Child in the House of the Prince.  The beautiful Child of
gold is bitten, the Babe hath suffered pain and is not.[FN#238]  Horus
is bitten, he the son of Un-Nefer, who was born of Auh-mu (?).  Horus
is bitten, he in whom there was nothing abominable, the son, the youth
among the gods.  Horus is bitten, he for whose wants I prepared in
abundance, for I saw that he would make answer[FN#239] for his father.
Horus is bitten, he for whom [I] had care [when he was] in the hidden
woman [and for whom I was afraid when he was] in the womb of his
mother.  Horus is bitten, he whom I guarded to look upon.  I have
wished for the life of his heart.  Calamity hath befallen the child on
the water, and the child hath perished."

[FN#238]  He is nothing, i.e., he is dead.

[FN#239]  i.e., become an advocate for.

Then came Nephthys shedding tears and uttering cries of lamentation, and
going round about through the papyrus swamps.  And Serq [came also and
they said]: "Behold, behold, what hath happened to Horus, son of Isis,
and who [hath done it]? Pray then to heaven, and let the mariners of Ra
cease their labours for a space, for the Boat of Ra cannot travel
onwards [whilst] son Horus [lieth dead] on his place."

And Isis sent forth her voice into heaven, and made supplication to the
Boat of Millions of Years, and the Disk stopped[FN#240] in its
journeying, and moved not from the place whereon it rested.  Then came
forth Thoth, who is equipped with his spells (or, words of power), and
possesseth the great word of command of maa-kheru,[FN#241] [and said:]
"What [aileth thee], what [aileth thee], O Isis, thou goddess who hast
magical spells, whose mouth hath understanding?  Assuredly no evil
thing hath befallen [thy] son Horus, [for] the Boat of Ra hath him
under its protection.  I have come this day in the Divine Boat of the
Disk from the place where it was yesterday,--now darkness came and the
light was destroyed--in order to heal Horus for his mother Isis and
every person who is under the knife likewise."

[FN#240]  Literally, "alighted."

[FN#241]  When a god or a man was declared to be maa-kheru, "true of
voice," or "true of word," his power became illimitable.  It gave him
rule and authority, and every command uttered by him was immediately
followed by the effect required.

And Isis, the goddess, said: "O Thoth, great things [are in] thy heart,
[but] delay belongeth to thy plan.  Hast thou come equipped with thy
spells and incantations, and having the great formula of maa-kheru, and
one [spell] after the other, the numbers whereof are not known?  Verily
Horus is in the cradle(?) of the poison.  Evil, evil is his case,
death, [and] misery to the fullest [extent].  The cry of his mouth is
towards his mother(?).  I cannot [bear] to see these things in his
train.  My heart [hath not] rested because of them since the
beginning(?) [when] I made haste to make answer [for] Horus-Ra (?),
placing [myself] on the earth, [and] since the day [when] I was taken
possession of by him. I desired Neheb-ka . . . . . . ."

[And Thoth said:] "Fear not, fear not, O goddess Isis, fear not, fear
not, O Nephthys, and let not anxiety [be to you].  I have come from
heaven having life to heal(?) the child for his mother, Horus is . . .
Let thy heart be firm;[FN#242] he shall not sink under the flame.
Horus is protected as the Dweller in his Disk,[FN#243] who lighteth up
the Two Lands by the splendour of his two Eyes;[FN#244] and he who is
under the knife is likewise protected.  Horus is protected as the
First-born son in heaven,[FN#245] who is ordained to be the guide of
the things which exist and of the things which are not yet created; and
he who under the knife is protected likewise.  Horus is protected as
that great Dwarf (nemu)[FN#246] who goeth round about the Two Lands in
the darkness; and he who is under the knife is protected likewise.
Horus is protected as the Lord (?) in the night, who revolveth at the
head of the Land of the Sunset (Manu); and he who is under the knife is
protected likewise.  Horus is protected as the Mighty Ram[FN#247] who
is hidden, and who goeth round about in front of his Eyes; and he who
is under the knife is protected likewise.  Horus is protected as the
Great Hawk[FN#248] which flieth through heaven, earth, and the Other
World (Tuat); and he who is under the knife is protected likewise.
Horus is protected as the Holy Beetle, the mighty (?) wings of which
are at the head of the sky;[FN#249] and he who is under the knife is
protected likewise.  Horus is protected as the Hidden Body,[FN#250] and
as he whose mummy is in his sarcophagus; and he who is under the knife
is protected likewise.  Horus is protected [as the Dweller] in the
Other World [and in the] Two Lands, who goeth round about 'Those who
are over Hidden Things'; and he who is under the knife is protected
likewise.  Horus is protected as the Divine Bennu[FN#251] who alighteth
in front of his two Eyes; and he who is under the knife is protected
likewise.  Horus is protected 230 in his own body, and the spells which
his mother Isis hath woven protect him.  Horus is protected by the
names of his father [Osiris] in his forms in the nomes;[FN#252] and he
who is under the knife is protected likewise.  Horus is protected by
the weeping of his mother, and by the cries of grief of his brethren;
and he who is under the knife is protected likewise.  Horus is
protected by his own name and heart, and the gods go round about him to
make his funeral bed; and he who is under the knife is protected

[FN#242]  i.e., "Be of good courage."

[FN#243]  The Sun-god.

[FN#244]  The Sun and Moon.

[FN#245]  Osiris (?).

[FN#246]  Bes (?).

[FN#247]  Probably the Ram, Lord of Tattu, or the Ram of Mendes.

[FN#248]  Heru-Behutet.

[FN#249]  The beetle of Khepera, a form of the Sun-god when he is about
to rise on this earth.

[FN#250]  The Hidden Body is Osiris, who lay in his sarcophagus, with
Isis and Nephthys weeping over it.

[FN#251]  The Bennu was the soul of Ra and the incarnation of Osiris.

[FN#252]  See the names of Osiris and his sanctuaries in Chapter CXLII.
of the Book of the Dead.

[And Thoth said:]

"Wake up, Horus!  Thy protection is established.  Make thou happy the
heart of thy mother Isis.  The words of Horus shall bind up hearts, he
shall cause to be at peace him who is in affliction.  Let your hearts
be happy, O ye who dwell in the heavens (Nut).  Horus, he who hath
avenged (or, protected) his father shall cause the poison to retreat.
Verily that which is in the mouth of Ra shall go round about (i.e.,
circulate), and the tongue of the Great God shall repulse
[opposition].  The Boat [of Ra] standeth still, and travelleth not
onwards.  The Disk is in the [same] place where it was yesterday to
heal Horus for his mother Isis, and to heal him that is under the knife
of his mother[FN#253] likewise.  Come to the earth, draw nigh, O Boat
of Ra, make the boat to travel, O mariners of heaven, transport
provisions (?) of . . . . . . Sekhem[FN#254] to heal Horus for his
mother Isis, and to heal him that is under the knife of his mother
likewise.  Hasten away, O pain which is in the region round about, and
let it (i.e., the Boat) descend upon the place where it was yesterday
to heal Horus for his mother Isis, and to heal him that is under the
knife of his mother likewise.  Get thee round and round, O bald (?)
fiend, without horns at the seasons (?), not seeing the forms through
the shadow of the two Eyes, to heal Horus for his mother Isis, and to
heal him that is under the knife likewise.  Be filled, O two halves of
heaven, be empty, O papyrus roll, return, O life, into the living to
heal Horus for his it mother Isis, and to heal him that is under the
knife likewise.  Come thou to earth, O poison.  Let hearts be glad, and
let radiance (or, light) go round about.

[FN#253]  We should probably strike out the words "of his mother."

[FN#254]  The city in the Delta called by the Greeks Letopolis.

"I am Thoth,[FN#255] the firstborn son, the son of Ra, and Tem and the
Company of the gods have commanded me to heal Horus for his mother
Isis, and to heal him that is under the knife likewise.  O Horus, O
Horus, thy Ka protecteth thee, and thy Image worketh protection for
thee.  The poison is as the daughter of its [own] flame; [it is]
destroyed [because] it smote the strong son.  Your temples are in good
condition for you, [for] Horus liveth for his mother, and he who is
under the knife likewise."

[FN#255]  Thoth stood by during the fight between Horus and Set, and
healed the wounds which they inflicted on each other.

And the goddess Isis said:

"Set thou his face towards those who dwell in the North Land (Ateh),
the nurses who dwell in the city Pe-Tept (Buto), for they have offered
very large offerings in order to cause the child to be made strong for
his mother, and to make strong him that is under the knife likewise.
Do not allow them to recognize the divine Ka in the Swamp Land, in the
city (?) of Nemhettu (?) [and] in her city."

Then spake Thoth unto the great gods who dwell in the Swamp-Land
[saying]: "O ye nurses who dwell in the city of Pe, who smite [fiends]
with your hands, and overthrow [them] with your arms on behalf of that
Great One who appeareth in front of you [in] the Sektet Boat,[FN#256]
let the Matet[FN#257] (Mantchet) Boat travel on.  Horus is to you, he
is counted up for life, and he is declared for the life of his father
[Osiris].  I have given gladness unto those who are in the Sektet Boat,
and the mariners [of Ra] make it to journey on.  Horus liveth for his
mother Isis and he who is under the knife liveth for his mother
likewise.  As for the poison, the strength thereof has been made
powerless.  Verily I am a favoured one, and I will join myself to his
hour[FN#258] to hurl back the report of evil to him that sent it forth.
The heart of Ra-Heru-Khuti rejoiceth.  Thy son Horus is counted up for
life [which is] on this child to make him to smite, and to retreat (?)
from those who are above, and to turn back the paths of the Sebiu
fiends from him, so that he may take possession of the throne of the
Two Lands.  Ra is in heaven to make answer on 251 behalf of him and his
father.  The words of power of his mother have lifted up his face, and
they protect him and enable him to go round about wheresoever he
pleaseth, and to set the terror of him in celestial beings.  I have
made haste . . . . . ."

[FN#256]  The boat in which Ra travelled from noon to sunset, or
perhaps until midnight.

[FN#257]  The boat in which Ra travelled from dawn, or perhaps from
midnight, to noon.

[FN#258]  i.e., I will be with him at the moment of his need.



I.  Though it be the wise man's duty, O Clea,[FN#259] to apply to the
gods for every good thing which he hopes to enjoy, yet ought he more
especially to pray to them for their assistance in his search after
that knowledge which more immediately regards themselves, as far as
such knowledge may be attained, inasmuch as there is nothing which they
can bestow more truly beneficial to mankind, or more worthy themselves,
than truth.  For whatever other good things are indulged to the wants
of men, they have all, properly speaking, no relation to, and are of a
nature quite different from, that of their divine donors.  For 'tis not
the abundance of their gold and silver, nor the command of the thunder,
but wisdom and knowledge which constitute the power and happiness of
those heavenly beings.  It is therefore well observed by Homer (Iliad,
xiii. 354), and indeed with more propriety than be usually talks of the
gods, when, speaking of Zeus and Poseidon, he tells us that both were
descended from the same parents, and born in the same region, but that
Zeus was the elder and knew most; plainly intimating thereby that the
empire of the former was more august and honourable than that of his
brother, as by means of his age he was his superior, and more advanced
in wisdom and science.  Nay, 'tis my opinion, I own, that even the
blessedness of that eternity which is the portion of the Deity himself
consists in that universal knowledge of all nature which accompanies
it; for setting this aside, eternity might be more properly styled an
endless duration than an enjoyment of existence.

[FN#259]  She is said to have been a priestess of Isis and of Apollo

II.  To desire, therefore, and covet after truth, those truths more
especially which concern the divine nature, is to aspire to be
partakers of that nature itself, and to profess that all our studies
and inquiries are devoted to the acquisition of holiness.  This
occupation is surely more truly religious than any external
purifications or mere service of the temple can be.  But more
especially must such a disposition of mind be highly acceptable to that
goddess to whose service you are dedicated, for her especial
characteristics are wisdom and foresight, and her very name seems to
express the peculiar relation which she bears to knowledge.  For
"Isis"[FN#260] is a Greek word, and means "knowledge," and
"Typhon,"[FN#261] the name of her professed adversary, is also a Greek
word, and means "pride and insolence."  This latter name is well
adapted to one who, full of ignorance and error, tears in pieces and
conceals that holy doctrine which the goddess collects, compiles, and
delivers to those who aspire after the most perfect participation in
the divine nature.  This doctrine inculcates a steady perseverance in
one uniform and temperate course of life, and an abstinence from
particular kinds of foods, as well as from all indulgence of the carnal
appetite, and it restrains the intemperate and voluptuous part within
due bounds, and at the same time habituates her votaries to undergo
those austere and rigid ceremonies which their religion obliges them to
observe.  The end and aim of all these toils and labours is the
attainment of the knowledge of the First and Chief Being, who alone is
the object of the understanding of the mind; and this knowledge the
goddess invites us to seek after, as being near and dwelling
continually with her.  And this also is what the very name of her
temple promiseth to us, that is to say, the knowledge and understanding
of the eternal and self-existent Being (tou ontas)-now, it is called
"Iseion," which suggests that if we approach the temple of the goddess
rightly, and with purity, we shall obtain the knowledge of that eternal
and self-existent Being (to on).

[FN#260]  The Egyptian form of the name is As-T, ####, ####, or ####.
Plutarch wishes to derive the name from some form of {greek oida}.

[FN#261]  In Egyptian, Tebh.

III.  The goddess Isis is said by some authors to be the
daughter[FN#262] of Hermes, [FN#263] and by others of Prometheus, both
of them famous for their philosophic turn of mind.  The latter is
supposed to have first taught mankind wisdom and foresight, as the
former is reputed to have invented letters and music.

[FN#262]  According to the Egyptian Heliopolitan doctrine, Isis was the
daughter of Keb, the Earth-god, and Nut, the Sky-goddess; she was the
wife of Osiris, mother of Horus, and sister of Set and Nephthys.

[FN#263]  The Egyptian. Tehuti, or Thoth, who invented letters,
mathematics, &c.  He was the "heart of Ra," the scribe of the gods, and
he uttered the words which created the world; he composed the "words of
power," or magical formulae which were beneficial for the dead, and the
religious works which were used by souls in their journey from this
world to the next.

They likewise call the former of the two Muses at Hermopolis[FN#264]
Isis as well as Dikaiosune,[FN#265] she being none other, it is said,
than Wisdom pointing out the knowledge of divine truths to her
votaries, the true Hierophori and Hierostoli.  Now, by the former of
these are meant such who carry about them looked up in their souls, as
in a chest, the sacred doctrine concerning the gods, purified from all
such superfluities as superstition may have added thereto.  And the
holy apparel with which the Hierostoli adorn the statues of these
deities, which is partly of a dark and gloomy and partly of a more
bright and shining colour, seems aptly enough to represent the notions
which this doctrine teaches us to entertain of the divine nature
itself, partly clear and partly obscure.  And inasmuch as the devotees
of Isis after their decease are wrapped up in these sacred vestments,
is not this intended to signify that this holy doctrine still abides
with them, and that this alone accompanies them in another life?  For
as 'tis not the length of the beard or the coarseness of the habit
which makes a philosopher, so neither will these frequent shavings, or
the mere wearing of a linen vestment, constitute a votary of Isis.  He
alone is a true servant or follower of this goddess who, after he has
heard, and has been made acquainted in a proper manner with the history
of the actions of these gods, searches into the hidden truths which lie
concealed under them, and examines the whole by the dictates of reason
and philosophy.

[FN#264]  The Hermopolis here referred to is the city of Khemenu in
Upper Egypt, wherein was the great sanctuary of Thoth.

[FN#265]  i.e., Righteousness, or Justice.  The goddess referred to is
probably Maat.

IV.  Nor, indeed, ought such an examination to be looked on as
unnecessary whilst there are so many ignorant of the true reason even
of the most ordinary rites observed by the Egyptian priests, such as
their shavings[FN#266] and wearing linen garments.  Some, indeed, there
are who never trouble themselves to think at all about these matters,
whilst others rest satisfied with the most superficial accounts of
them: "They pay a peculiar veneration to the sheep,[FN#267] therefore
they think it their duty not only to abstain from eating its flesh, but
likewise from wearing its wool.  They are continually mourning for
their gods, therefore they shave themselves.  The light azure blossom
of the flax resembles the clear and bloomy colour of the ethereal sky,
therefore they wear linen"; whereas the true reason of the institution
and observation of these rites is but one, and that common to all of
them, namely, the extraordinary notions which they entertain of
cleanliness, persuaded as they are, according to the saying of Plato,
"none but the pure ought to approach the pure."  Now, no superfluity of
our food, and no excrementitious substance, is looked upon by them as
pure and clean; such, however, are all kinds of wool and down, our hair
and our nails.  It would be the highest absurdity, therefore, for those
who, whilst; they are in a course of purification, are at so much pains
to take off the hair from every part of their own bodies, at the same
time to clothe themselves with that of other animals.  So when we are
told by Hesiod "not to pare our nails whilst we are present at the
festivals of the gods,"[FN#268] we ought to understand that he intended
hereby to inculcate that purity wherewith we ought to come prepared
before we enter upon any religious duty, that we have not to make
ourselves clean whilst we ought to be occupied in attending to the
solemnity itself.  Now, with regard to flax, this springs out of the
immortal earth itself; and not only produces a fruit fit for food, but
moreover furnishes a light and neat sort of clothing, extremely
agreeable to the wearer, adapted to all the seasons of the year, and
not in the least subject, as is said, to produce or nourish vermin; but
more of this in another place.

[FN#266]  A rubric in the papyrus of Nes-Menu in the British Museum
orders the priestesses of Isis and Nephthys to have "the hair of their
bodies shaved off" (No. 10,188, col. 1), but they are also ordered to
wear fillets of rams' wool on their heads.

[FN#267]  Probably the ram of Amen. Animal sacrifices were invariably
bulls and cows.

[FN#268]  This saying is by Pythagoras--{greek Para dusian
mh`onuxizou}.  The saying of Hesiod (Works and Days, 740) is rendered
by Goodwin:--

"Not at a feast of Gods from five-branched tree,
With sharp-edged steel to part the green from dry."

V.  Now, the priests are so scrupulous in endeavouring to avoid
everything which may tend to the increase of the above-mentioned
excrementitious substances, that, on this account, they abstain not
only from most sorts of pulse, and from the flesh of sheep and swine,
but likewise, in their more solemn purifications, they even exclude
salt from their meals.  This they do for many reasons, but chiefly
because it whets their appetites, and incites them to eat more than
they otherwise would.  Now, as to salt being accounted impure because,
as Aristagoras tells us, many little insects are caught in it whilst it
is hardening, and are thereby killed therein-this view is wholly
trifling and absurd.  From these same motives also they give the Apis
Bull his water from a well specially set apart for the purpose,[FN#269]
and they prevent him altogether from drinking of the Nile, not indeed
that they regard the river as impure, and polluted because of the
crocodiles which are in it, as some pretend, for there is nothing which
the Egyptians hold in greater veneration than the Nile, but because its
waters are observed to be particularly nourishing[FN#270] and
fattening.  And they strive to prevent fatness in Apis as well as in
themselves, for they are anxious that their bodies should sit as light
and easy about their souls as possible, and that their mortal part
should not oppress and weigh down the divine and immortal.

[FN#269]  It is quite possible that Apis drank from a special well, but
the water in it certainly came from the Nile by infiltration.  In all
the old wells at Memphis the water sinks as the Nile sinks, and rises
as it rises.

[FN#270]  On account of the large amount of animal matter contained in

VI. The priests of the Sun at Heliopolis[FN#271] never carry wine into
their temples, for they regard it as indecent for those who are devoted
to the service of any god to indulge in the drinking of wine whilst
they are under the immediate inspection of their Lord and King.[FN#272]
The priests of the other deities are not so scrupulous in this respect,
for they use it, though sparingly.  During their more solemn
purifications they abstain from wine wholly, and they give themselves
up entirely to study and meditation, and to the hearing and teaching of
those divine truths which treat of the divine nature.  Even the kings,
who are likewise priests, only partake of wine in the measure which is
prescribed for them in the sacred books, as we are told by Hecataeus.
This custom was only introduced during the reign of Psammetichus, and
before that time they drank no wine at all.  If they used it at any
time in pouring out libations to the gods, it was not because they
looked upon it as being acceptable to them for its own sake, but they
poured it out over their altars as the blood of their enemies who had
in times past fought against them.  For they believe the vine to have
first sprung out of the earth after it was fattened by the bodies of
those who fell in the wars against the gods.  And this, they say, is
the reason why drinking its juice in great quantities makes men mad and
beside themselves, filling them, as it were, with the blood of their
own ancestors.  These things are thus related by Eudoxus in the second
book of his Travels, as he had them from the priests themselves.

[FN#271]  Called ANU in the Egyptian texts; it was the centre of the
great solar cult of Egypt.  It is the "On" of the Bible.

[FN#272]  The Sun-god was called Ra.

VII.  As to sea-fish, the Egyptians in general do not abstain from all
kinds of them, but some from one sort and some from another.  Thus, for
example, the inhabitants of Oxyrhynchus[FN#273] will not touch any that
have been taken with an angle; for as they pay especial reverence to
the Oxyrhynchus Fish,[FN#274] from whence they derive their name, they
are afraid lest perhaps the hook may be defiled by having been at some
time or other employed in catching their favourite fish.  The people of
Syene[FN#275] in like manner abstain from the Phagrus Fish[FN#276]; for
as this fish is observed by them to make his first appearance upon
their coasts just as the Nile begins to overflow, they pay special
regard to these voluntary messengers as it were of that most joyful
news.  The priests, indeed, entirely abstain from all sorts in
general.[FN#277]  Therefore, upon the ninth day of the first month,
when all the rest of the Egyptians are obliged by their religion to eat
a fried fish before the door of their houses, they only burn them, not
tasting them at all.  For this custom they give two reasons: the first
and most curious, as falling in with the sacred philosophy of Osiris
and Typhon, will be more properly explained in another place.  The
second, that which is most obvious and manifest, is that fish is
neither a dainty nor even a necessary kind of food, a fact which seems
to be abundantly confirmed by the writings of Homer, who never makes
either the delicate Pheacians or the Ithacans (though both peoples were
islanders) to feed upon fish, nor even the companions of Ulysses during
their long and most tedious voyage, till they were reduced thereto by
extreme necessity.  In short, they consider the sea to have been forced
out of the earth by the power of fire, and therefore to lie out of
nature's confines; and they regard it not as a part of the world, or
one of the elements, but as a preternatural and corrupt and morbid

[FN#273]  The Per-Matchet.

[FN#274]  Probably the pike, or "fighting fish."

[FN#275]  In Egyptian, SUNU, the Seweneh of the Bible, and the modern

[FN#276]  A kind of bream, the an of the Egyptian texts.

[FN#277]  Compare Chap. CXXXVIIA of the Book of the Dead.  "And behold,
these things shall be performed by a man who is clean, and is
ceremonially pure, one who hath eaten neither meat nor fish, and who
hath not had intercourse with women" (ll. 52, 53).

VIII.  This much may be depended upon: the, religious rites and
ceremonies of the Egyptians were never instituted upon irrational
grounds, never built upon mere fable and superstition, but founded with
a view to promote the morality and happiness of those who were to
observe them, or at least to preserve the memory of some valuable piece
of history, or to represent to us some of the phenomena of nature.  As
concerning the abhorrence which is expressed for onions, it is wholly
improbable that this detestation is owing to the loss of Diktys, who,
whilst he was under the guardianship of Isis, is supposed to have
fallen into the river and to have been drowned as he was reaching after
a bunch of them.  No, the true reason of their abstinence from onions
is because they are observed to flourish most and to be in the greatest
vigour at the wane of the moon, and also because they are entirely
useless to them either in their feasts[FN#278] or in their times of
abstinence and purification, for in the former case they make tears
come from those who use them, and in the latter they create thirst.
For much the same reason they likewise look upon the pig as an impure
animal, and to be avoided, observing it to be most apt to engender upon
the decrease of the moon, and they think that those who drink its milk
are more subject to leprosy and such-like cutaneous diseases than
others.  The custom of abstaining from the flesh of the pig[FN#279] is
not always observed, for those who sacrifice a sow to Typhon once a
year, at the full moon, afterwards eat its flesh. The reason they give
for this practice is this: Typhon being in pursuit of this animal at
that season of the moon, accidentally found the wooden chest wherein
was deposited the body of Osiris, which he immediately pulled to
pieces. This story, however, is not generally admitted, there being
some who look upon it, as they do many other relations of the same
kind, as founded upon some mistake or misrepresentation. All agree,
however, in saying that so great was the abhorrence which the ancient
Egyptians expressed for whatever tended to promote luxury, expense, and
voluptuousness, that in order to expose it as much as possible they
erected a column in one of the temples of Thebes, full of curses
against their king Meinis, who first drew them off from their former
frugal and parsimonious course of life.  The immediate cause for the
erection of the pillar is thus given: Technatis,[FN#280] the father of
Bocchoris, leading an army against the Arabians, and his baggage and
provisions not coming up to him as soon as he expected, was therefore
obliged to eat some of the very poor food which was obtainable, and
having eaten, he lay down on the bare ground and slept very soundly.
This gave him a great affection for a mean and frugal diet, and induced
him to curse the memory of Meinis, and with the permission of the
priests he made these curses public by cutting them upon a

[FN#278]  Bunches of onions were offered to the dead at all periods of
Egyptian history, and they were regarded as typical of the "white
teeth" of Horus.  The onion was largely used in medicine.

[FN#279]  The pig was associated with Set, or Typhon, and the black
variety was specially abominated because it was a black pig which
struck Horus in the eye, and damaged it severely.  See Book of the
Dead, Chap. CXII.

[FN#280]  In Egyptian, TAFNEKHT, the first king of the XXIVth Dynasty.

[FN#281]  An unlikely story, for Tafnekht had no authority at Thebes.

IX.  Now, the kings of Egypt were always chosen either out of the
soldiery or priesthood, the former order being honoured and respected
for its valour, and the latter for its wisdom.  If the choice fell upon
a soldier, he was immediately initiated into the order of priests, and
by them instructed in their abstruse and hidden philosophy, a
philosophy for the most part involved in fable and allegory, and
exhibiting only dark hints and obscure resemblances of the truth.  This
the priesthood hints to us in many instances, particularly by the
sphinxes, which they seem to have placed designedly before their
temples as types of the enigmatical nature of their theology.  To this
purpose, likewise, is that inscription which they have engraved upon
the base of the statue of Athene[FN#282] at Sais, whom they identify
with Isis: "I am everything that has been, that is, and that shall be:
and my veil no man hath raised."  In like manner the word "Amoun," or
as it is expressed in the Greek language, "Ammon," which is generally
looked upon as the proper name of the Egyptian Zeus, is interpreted by
Manetho[FN#283] the Sebennite[FN#284] to signify "concealment" or
"something which is hidden."[FN#285]  Hecataeus of Abdera indeed tells
us that the Egyptians make use of this term when they call out to one
another.  If this be so, then their invoking Amoun is the same thing as
calling upon the supreme being, whom they believe to be "hidden" and
"concealed" in the universal nature, to appear and manifest itself to
them.  So cautious and reserved was the Egyptian wisdom in those things
which appertained to religion.

[FN#282]  The Egyptian goddess Net, in Greek {greek Nhid}, the great
goddess of Sais, in the Western Delta.  She was self-existent, and
produced her son, the Sun-god, without union with a god.  In an address
to her, quoted by Mallet (Culte de Neit, p. 140), are found the words,
"thy garment hath not been unloosed," thus Plutarch's quotation is

[FN#283]  He compiled a History of Egypt for Ptolemy II., and
flourished about B.C. 270; only the King-List from this work is

[FN#284]  He was a native of the town of Sebennytus.

[FN#285]  Amen means "hidden," and AMEN is the "hidden god."

X.  And this is still farther evinced from those voyages which have
been made into Egypt by the wisest men among the Greeks, namely, by
Solo, Thales Plato, Eudoxus, Pythagoras, and, as some say, even by
Lycurgus himself, on purpose to converse with the priests.  And we are
also told that Eudoxus was a disciple of Chnouphis the Memphite, Solo
of Sonchis the Saite, and Pythagoras of Oinuphis the Heliopolite.  But
none of these philosophers seems either to have been more admired and
in greater favour with the priests, or to have paid a more especial
regard to their method of philosophising, than this last named, who has
particularly imitated their mysterious and symbolical manner in his own
writings, and like them conveyed his doctrines to the world in a kind
of riddle.  For many of the precepts of Pythagoras come nothing short
of the hieroglyphical representations themselves, such as, "eat not in
a chariot," "sit not on a measure (choenix)," "plant not a palm-tree,"
and "stir not the fire with a sword in the house."  And I myself am of
the opinion that, when the Pythagoreans appropriated the names of
several of the gods to particular numbers, as that of Apollo to the
unit, of Artemis to the duad, of Athene to the seven, and of Poseidon
to the first cube, in this they allude to something which the founder
of their sect saw in the Egyptian temples, or to some ceremonies
performed in them, or to some symbols there exhibited.  Thus, their
great king and lord Osiris is represented by the hieroglyphics for an
eye and a sceptre,[FN#286] the name itself signifying "many-eyed," as
we are told by some[FN#287] who would derive it from the words
os,[FN#288] "many," and iri,[FN#289] an "eye," which have this meaning
in the Egyptian language.  Similarly, because the heavens are eternal
and are never consumed or wax old, they represent them by a heart with
a censer placed under it.  Much in the same way are those statues of
the Judges at Thebes without hands, and their chief, or president, is
represented with his eyes turned downwards, which signifies that
justice ought not to be obtainable by bribes, nor guided by favour or
affection.  Of a like nature is the Beetle which we see engraven upon
the seals of the soldiers, for there is no such thing as a female
beetle of this species; for they are all males, and they propagate
their kind by casting their seed into round balls of dirt, which afford
not only a proper place wherein the young may be hatched, but also
nourishment for them as soon as they are born.

[FN#286]  The oldest form of the name is As-Ar, ####; the first sign,
####, is a throne, and the second, ####, is an eye, but the exact
meaning represented by the two signs is not known.  In late times a
sceptre, #### took the place of the throne, but only because of its
phonetic value as or us.  Thus we have the forms #### and ####.

[FN#287]  This is a mistake.

[FN#288]  In Egyptian, #### ash, "many."

[FN#289]  In Egyptian, #### art, Coptic ####, "eye."

XI.  When you hear, therefore, the mythological tales which the
Egyptians tell of their gods, their wanderings, their mutilations, and
many other disasters which befell them, remember what has just been
said, and be assured that nothing of what is thus told you is really
true, or ever happened in fact.  For can it be imagined that it is the
dog[FN#290] itself which is reverenced by them under the name of
Hermes[FN#291]?  It is the qualities of this animal, his constant
vigilance, and his acumen in distinguishing his friends from his foes,
which have rendered him, as Plato says, a meet emblem of that god who
is the chief patron of intelligence.  Nor can we imagine that they
think that the sun, like a newly born babe, springs up every day out of
a lily.  It is quite true that they represent the rising sun in this
manner,[FN#292] but the reason is because they wish to indicate thereby
that it is moisture to which we owe the first kindling of this
luminary.  In like manner, the cruel and bloody king of Persia, Ochus,
who not only put to death great numbers of the people, but even slew
the Apis Bull himself, and afterwards served him up in a banquet to his
friends, is represented by them by a sword, and by this name he is
still to be found in the catalogue of their kings.  This name,
therefore, does not represent his person, but indicates his base and
cruel qualities, which were best suggested by the picture of an
instrument of destruction.  If, therefore, O Clea, you will hear and
entertain the story of these gods from those who know how to explain it
consistently with religion and philosophy, if you will steadily persist
in the observance of all these holy rites which the laws require of
you, and are moreover fully persuaded that to form true notions of the
divine nature is more acceptable to them than any sacrifice or mere
external act of worship can be, you will by this means be entirely
exempt from any danger of falling into superstition, an evil no less to
be avoided than atheism itself.

[FN#290]  The animal here referred to must be the dog-headed ape, ####,
which we see in pictures of the Judgment assisting Thoth to weigh the
heart of the dead.  This dog-headed ape is a wonderfully intelligent
creature, and its weird cleverness is astonishing.

[FN#291]  The Egyptian Tehuti, or Thoth.

[FN#292]  ####.

XII.  Now, the story of Isis and Osiris, its most insignificant and
superfluous parts being omitted, runs thus:--

The goddess Rhea,[FN#293] they say, having accompanied with
Kronos[FN#294] by stealth, was discovered by Helios[FN#295] who
straightway cursed her, and declared that she should not be delivered
in any month or year.  Hermes, however, 'being also in love with the
same goddess, in return for the favours which he had received from her,
went and played at dice with Selene,[FN#296] and won from her the
seventieth part of each day.  These parts he joined together and made
from them five complete days, and he added them to the three hundred
and sixty days of which the year formerly consisted.  These five days
are to this day called the "Epagomenae,"[FN#297] that is, the
superadded, and they are observed by them as the birthdays of their
gods.[FN#298]  On the first of these, they say, Osiris was born, and as
he came into the world a voice was heard saying, "The Lord of
All[FN#299] is born."  Some relate the matter in a different way, and
say that a certain person named Pamyles, as he was fetching water from
the temple of Dios at Thebes, heard a voice commanding him to proclaim
aloud that the good and great king Osiris was then born, and that for
this reason Kronos committed the education of the child to him, and
that in memory of this event the Pamylia were afterwards instituted,
which closely resemble the Phallephoria or Priapeia of the Greeks.
Upon the second of these days was born Aroueris,[FN#300] whom some call
Apollo, and others the Elder Horus.  Upon the third day Typhon was
born, who came into the world neither at the proper time nor by the
right way, but he forced a passage through a wound which he made in his
mother's side.  Upon the fourth day Isis was born, in the marshes of
Egypt,[FN#301] and upon the fifth day Nephthys, whom some call Teleute,
or Aphrodite, or Nike, was born.  As regards the fathers of these
children, the first two are said to have been begotten by Helios, Isis
by Hermes, and Typhon and Nephthys by Kronos.  Therefore, since the
third of the superadded days was the birthday of Typhon, the kings
considered it to be unlucky,[FN#302] and in consequence they neither
transacted any business in it, nor even suffered themselves to take any
refreshment until the evening.  They further add that Typhon married
Nephthys,[FN#303] and that Isis and Osiris, having a mutual affection,
enjoyed each other in their mother's womb before they were born, and
that from this commerce sprang Aroueris, whom the Egyptians likewise
call Horus the Elder, and the Greeks Apollo.

[FN#293]  i.e., Nut, the Sky-goddess.

[FN#294]  i.e., Keb, the Earth-god.

[FN#295]  i.e., Ra.

[FN#296]  i.e., Aah.

[FN#297]  In Egyptian, "the five days over the year,"

[FN#298]  In Egyptian thus:--
I. Birthday of Osiris,
II. Birthday of Horus,
III. Birthday of Set,
IV. Birthday of Isis,
V. Birthday of Nephthys

[FN#299]  One of the chief titles of Osiris was Neb er tcher, i.e.,
"lord to the uttermost limit of everything."

[FN#300]  i.e., Heru-ur, "Horus the Elder."

[FN#301]  It was Horus, son of Isis, who was born in the marshes of

[FN#302]  This day is described as unlucky in the hieroglyphic texts.

[FN#303]  Set and Nephthys are regarded as husband and wife in the
texts; their offspring was Anubis, Anpu.

XIII.  Osiris having become king of Egypt, applied himself to
civilizing his countrymen by turning them from their former indigent
and barbarous course of life.  He taught them how to cultivate and
improve the fruits of the earth, and he gave them a body of laws
whereby to regulate their conduct, and instructed them in the reverence
and worship which they were to pay to the gods.  With the same good
disposition he afterwards travelled over the rest of the world,
inducing the people everywhere to submit to his discipline, not indeed
compelling them by force of arms, but persuading them to yield to the
strength of his reasons, which were conveyed to them in the most
agreeable manner, in hymns and songs, accompanied with instruments of
music.  From this last circumstance the Greeks identified him with
their Dionysos, or Bacchus.  During the absence of Osiris from his
kingdom, Typhon had no opportunity of making any innovations in the
state, Isis being extremely vigilant in the government, and always upon
her guard.  After his return, however, having first persuaded seventy-
two other people to join with him in the conspiracy, together with a
certain queen of Ethiopia called Aso, who chanced to be in Egypt at
that time, he formed a crafty plot against him.  For having privily
taken the measure of the body of Osiris, he caused a chest to be made
of exactly the same size, and it was very beautiful and highly
decorated.  This chest he brought into a certain banqueting room, where
it was greatly admired by all who were present, and Typhon, as if in
jest, promised to give it to that man whose body when tried would be
found to fit it.  Thereupon the whole company, one after the other,
went into it, but it did not fit any of them; last of all Osiris
himself lay down in it.  Thereupon all the conspirators ran to the
chest, and clapped the cover upon it, and then they fastened it down
with nails on the outside, and poured melted lead over it.  They next
took the chest to the river, which carried it to the sea through the
Tanaitic mouth of the Nile; and for this reason this mouth of the Nile
is still held in the utmost abomination by the Egyptians, and is never
mentioned by them except with marks of detestation.  These things, some
say, took place on the seventeenth day of the month of Hathor, when the
sun was in Scorpio, in the twenty-eighth year of the reign of Osiris,
though others tell us that this was the year of his life and not of his

XIV.  The first who had knowledge of the accident which had befallen
their king were the Pans and Satyrs, who inhabited the country round
about Chemmis,[FN#304] and they having informed the people about it,
gave the first occasion to the name of Panic Terrors, which has ever
since been made use of to signify any sudden fright or amazement of a
multitude.  As soon as the report reached Isis, she immediately cut off
one of the locks of her hair, and put on mourning apparel in that very
place where she happened to be; for this reason the place has ever
since been called "Koptos," or the "city of mourning," though some are
of opinion that this word rather signifies "deprivation."  After this
she wandered round about through the country, being full of disquietude
and perplexity, searching for the chest, and she inquired of every
person she met, including some children whom she saw, whether they knew
what was become of it.  Now, it so happened that these children had
seen what Typhon's accomplices had done with the body, and they
accordingly told her by what mouth of the Nile it had been conveyed to
the sea.  For this reason the Egyptians look upon children as endued
with a kind of faculty of divining, and in consequence of this notion
are very curious in observing the accidental prattle which they have
with one another whilst they are at play, especially if it be in a
sacred place, forming omens and presages from it.  Isis meanwhile
having been informed that Osiris, deceived by her sister Nephthys, who
was in love with him, had unwittingly enjoyed her instead of herself,
as she concluded from the melilot-garland which he had left with her,
made it her business likewise to search out the child, the fruit of
this unlawful commerce (for her sister, dreading the anger of her
husband Typhon, had exposed it as soon as it was born).  Accordingly,
after much pains and difficulty, by means of some dogs that conducted
her to the place where it was, she found it and bred it up; and in
process of time it became her constant guard and attendant, and
obtained the name of Anubis, and it is thought that it watches and
guards the gods as dogs do men.

[FN#304]  In Egyptian, Khebt, in the VIIIth nome of Lower Egypt.

XV.  At length Isis received more particular news that the chest had
been carried by the waves of the sea to the coast of Byblos, and there
gently lodged in the branches of a bush of tamarisk, which in a short
time had grown up into a large and beautiful tree, and had grown round
the chest and enclosed it on every side so completely that it was not
to be seen.  Moreover, the king of the country, amazed at its unusual
size, had cut the tree down, and made that part of the trunk wherein
the chest was concealed into a pillar to support the roof of his house.
These things, they say, having been made known to Isis in an
extraordinary manner by the report of demons, she immediately went to
Byblos, where, setting herself down by the side of a fountain, she
refused to speak to anybody except the queen's women who chanced to be
there.  These, however, she saluted and caressed in the kindest manner
possible, plaiting their hair for them, and transmitting into them part
of that wonderful odour which issued from her own body.  This raised a
great desire in the queen their mistress to see the stranger who had
this admirable faculty of transfusing so fragrant a smell from herself
into the hair and skin of other people.  She therefore sent for her to
court, and, after a further acquaintance with her, made her nurse to
one of her sons.  Now, the name of the king who reigned at this time at
Byblos was Melkander (Melkarth?), and that of his wife was Astarte, or,
according to others, Saôsis, though some call her Nemanoun, which
answers to the Greek name Athenais.

XVI.  Isis nursed the child by giving it her finger to suck instead of
the breast.  She likewise put him each night into the fire in order to
consume his mortal part, whilst, having transformed herself into a
swallow, she circled round the pillar and bemoaned her sad fate.  This
she continued to do for some time, till the queen, who stood watching
her, observing the child to be all of a flame, cried out, and thereby
deprived him of some of that immortality which would otherwise have
been conferred upon him.  The goddess then made herself known, and
asked that the pillar which supported the roof might be given to her.
Having taken the pillar down, she cut it open easily, and having taken
out what she wanted, she wrapped up the remainder of the trunk in fine
linen, and having poured perfumed oil over it, she delivered it again
into the hands of the king and queen.  Now, this piece of wood is to
this day preserved in the temple, and worshipped by the people of
Byblos.  When this was done, Isis threw herself upon the chest, and
made at the same time such loud and terrible cries of lamentation over
it, that the younger of the king's sons who heard her was frightened
out of his life.  But the elder of them she took with her, and set sail
with the chest for Egypt.  Now, it being morning the river Phaedrus
sent forth a keen and chill air, and becoming angry she dried up its

XVII.  At the first place where she stopped, and when she believed that
she was alone, she opened the chest, and laying her face upon that of
her dead husband, she embraced him and wept bitterly.  Then, seeing
that the little boy had silently stolen up behind her, and had found
out the reason of her grief, she turned upon him suddenly, and, in her
anger, gave him so fierce and terrible a look that he died of fright
immediately.  Others say that his death did not happen in this manner,
but, as already hinted, that he fell into the sea.  Afterwards he
received the greatest honour on account of the goddess, for this
Maneros, whom the Egyptians so frequently call upon at their banquets,
is none other than he.  This story is contradicted by those who tell us
that the true name of this child was Palaestinus, or Pelusius, and that
the city of this name was built by the goddess in memory of him.  And
they further add that this Maneros is thus honoured by the Egyptians at
their feasts because he was the first who invented music.  Others again
state that Maneros is not the name of any particular person, but a were
customary form of complimentary greeting which the Egyptians use
towards each other at their more solemn feasts and banquets, meaning no
more by it than to wish "that what they were then about might prove
fortunate and happy to them."  This is the true import of the word.  In
like manner they say that the human skeleton which is carried about in
a box on festal occasions, and shown to the guests, is not designed, as
some imagine, to represent the particular misfortunes of Osiris, but
rather to remind them of their mortality, and thereby to excite them
freely to make use of and to enjoy the good things which are set before
them, seeing that they must quickly become such as they there saw.
This is the true reason for introducing the skeleton at their banquets.
But to proceed with the narrative.

XVIII.   When Isis had come to her son Horus, who was being reared at
Buto,[FN#305] she deposited the chest in a remote and unfrequented
place.  One night, however, when Typhon was hunting by the light of the
moon, he came upon it by chance, and recognizing the body which was
enclosed in it, he tore it into several pieces, fourteen[FN#306] in
all, and scattered them in different places up and down the country.
When Isis knew what had been done, she set out in search of the
scattered portions of her husband's body; and in order to pass more
easily through the lower, marshy parts of the country, she made use of
a boat made of the papyrus plant.  For this reason, they say, either
fearing the anger of the goddess, or else venerating the papyrus, the
crocodile never injures anyone who travels in this sort of
vessel.[FN#307]  And this, they say, hath given rise to the report that
there are very many different sepulchres of Osiris in Egypt, for
wherever Isis found one of the scattered portions of her husband's
body, there she buried it.  Others, however, contradict this story, and
tell us that the variety of sepulchres of Osiris was due rather to the
policy of the queen, who, instead of the real body, as she pretended,
presented to these cities only an image of her husband.  This she did
in order to increase the honours which would by these means be paid to
his memory, and also to defeat Typhon, who, if he were victorious in
his fight against Horus in which he was about to engage, would search
for the body of Osiris, and being distracted by the number of
sepulchres would despair of ever being able to find the true one.  We
are told, moreover, that notwithstanding all her efforts, Isis was
never able to discover the phallus of Osiris, which, having been thrown
into the Nile immediately upon its separation from the rest of the
body,[FN#308] had been devoured by the Lepidotus, the Phagrus, and the
Oxyrhynchus, fish which above all others, for this reason, the
Egyptians have in more especial avoidance.  In order, however, to make
some amends for the loss, Isis consecrated the phallus made in
imitation of it, and instituted a solemn festival to its memory, which
is even to this day observed by the Egyptians.

[FN#305]  In Egyptian, the double city Pe-Tep.  See the texts from the
Metternich Stele printed in this volume.

[FN#306]  The fourteen members are: head, feet, bones, arms, heart,
interior, tongue, eyes, fists, fingers, back, ears, loins, and body.
Some of the lists in Egyptian add the face of a ram and the hair.  The
cities in which Isis buried the portions of his body are: Koptos,
Philae in Elephantine, Herakleopolis Magna, Kusae, Heliopolis,
Diospolis of Lower Egypt, Letopolis, Sais, Hermopolis of Lower Egypt,
Athribis, Aq (Schedia), Ab in the Libyan nome, Netert, Apis.

[FN#307]  Moses was laid in an ark of bulrushes, i.e., papyrus, and was
found uninjured.

[FN#308]  We meet with a similar statement in the Tale of the Two
Brothers, where we are told that the younger brother, having declared
his innocence to the elder brother, out off his phallus and threw it
into the river, where it was devoured by the naru fish.

XIX.  After these things Osiris returned from the other world, and
appeared to his son Horus, and encouraged him to fight, and at the same
time instructed him in the exercise of arms.  He then asked him what he
thought was the most glorious action a man could perform, to which
Horus replied, "To revenge the injuries offered to his father[FN#309]
and mother."  Osiris then asked him what animal he thought most
serviceable to a soldier, and Horus replied, "A horse."  On this Osiris
wondered, and he questioned him further, asking him why he preferred a
horse to a lion, and Horus replied, "Though the lion is the more
serviceable creature to one who stands in need of help, yet is the
horse more useful in overtaking and cutting off a flying
enemy."[FN#310]  These replies caused Osiris to rejoice greatly, for
they showed him that his son was sufficiently prepared for his enemy.
We are, moreover, told that amongst the great numbers who were
continually deserting from Typhon's party was his concubine
Thoueris,[FN#311] and that a serpent which pursued her as she was
coming over to Horus was slain by his soldiers.  The memory of this
action is, they say, still preserved in that cord which is thrown into
the midst of their assemblies, and then chopped in pieces.  Afterwards
a battle took place between Horus and Typhon, which lasted many days,
but Horus was at length victorious, and Typhon was taken prisoner.  He
was delivered over into the custody of Isis, who, instead of putting
him to death, loosed his fetters and set him free.  This action of his
mother incensed Horus to such a degree that he seized her, and pulled
the royal crown off her head; but Hermes came forward, and set upon her
head the head of an ox instead of a helmet.[FN#312]  After this Typhon
accused Horus of illegitimacy, but, by the assistance of Hermes, his
legitimacy was fully established by a decree of the gods
themselves.[FN#313]  After this two other battles were fought between
Horus and Typhon, and in both Typhon was defeated.  Moreover, Isis is
said to have had union with Osiris after his death,[FN#314] and she
brought forth Harpokrates,[FN#315] who came into the world before his
time, and was lame in his lower limbs.

[FN#309]  The texts give as a very common title of Horus, "Horus, the
avenger of his father."

[FN#310]  There is no evidence that the Egyptians employed the horse in
war before the XVIIIth Dynasty, a fact which proves that the dialogue
here given is an invention of a much later date than the original
legend of Osiris.

[FN#311]  In Egyptian, TA-URT, the hippopotamus goddess.

[FN#312]  According to the legend given in the Fourth Sallier Papyrus,
the fight between Horus and Set began on the 26th day of the month of
Thoth, and lasted three days and three nights.  It was fought in or
near the hall of the lords of Kher-aha, i.e., near Heliopolis, and in
the presence of Isis, who seems to have tried to spare both her brother
Set and her son Horus.  For some reason Horus became enraged with his
mother, and attacking her like a "leopard of the south," he cut off the
head of Isis.  Thereupon Thoth came forward, and using words of power,
created a substitute in the form of a cow's head, and placed it on her
body (Sallier, iv., p. 2; see Select Papyri, pl. cxlv.).

[FN#313]  Horus inherited the throne by his father's will, a fact which
is so often emphasized in the texts that it seems there may be some
ground for Plutarch's view.

[FN#314]  This view is confirmed by the words in the hymn to Osiris,
"she moved the inactivity of the Still-Heart (Osiris), she drew from
him his essence, she made an heir."

[FN#315]  In Egyptian, HERU-PA-KHART, "Horus the Child."

XX.  Such then are the principal circumstances of this famous story,
the more harsh and shocking parts of it, such as the cutting up of
Horus and the beheading of Isis, being omitted.  Now, if such could be
supposed to be the real sentiments of the Egyptians concerning those
divine Beings whose most distinguishing characteristics are happiness
and immortality, or could it be imagined that they actually believed
what they thus tell us ever to have actually taken place, I should not
need to warn you, O Clea, you who are already sufficiently averse to
such impious and absurd notions of the God, I should not, I say, have
need to caution you, to testify your abhorrence of them, and, as
Aeschylus expresses it, "to spit and wash your mouth" after the recital
of them.  In the present case, however, it is not so.  And I doubt not
that you yourself are conscious of the difference between this history
and those light and idle fictions which the poets and other writers of
fables, like spiders, weave and spin out of their own imaginations,
without having any substantial ground or firm foundation to work upon.
There must have been some real distress, some actual calamity, at the
bottom as the ground-work of the narration; for, as mathematicians
assure us, the rainbow is nothing else but a variegated image of the
sun, thrown upon the sight by the reflection of his beams from the
clouds; and thus ought we to look upon the present story as the
representation, or rather reflection, of something real as its true
cause.  And this notion is still farther suggested to us as well by
that solemn air of grief and sadness which appears in their sacrifices,
as by the very form and arrangement of their temples, which extend into
long avenues and open aisles in some portions,[FN#316] and in others
retreating into dark and gloomy chapels which resembled the underground
vaults which are allotted to the dead.  That the history has a
substantial foundation is proved by the opinion which obtains generally
concerning the sepulchres of Osiris.  There are many places wherein his
body is said to have been deposited, and among these are Abydos and
Memphis, both of which are said to contain his body.  It is for this
reason, they say, that the richer and more prosperous citizens wish to
be buried in the former of these cities, being ambitious of lying, as
it were, in the grave with Osiris.[FN#317]  The title of Memphis to be
regarded as the grave of Osiris seems to rest upon the fact that the
Apis Bull, who is considered to be the image of the soul of Osiris, is
kept in that city for the express purpose that it may be as near his
body as possible.[FN#318]  Others again tell us that the interpretation
of the name Memphis[FN#319] is "the haven of good men," and that the
true sepulchre of Osiris lies in that little island which the Nile
makes at Philae.[FN#320]  This island is, they say, inaccessible, and
neither bird can alight on it, nor fish swim near it, except at the
times when the priests go over to it from the mainland to solemnize
their customary rites to the dead, and to crown his tomb with flowers,
which, they say, is overshadowed by the branches of a tamarisk-tree,
the size of which exceeds that of an olive-tree.

[FN#316]  Plutarch refers to the long colonnaded courts which extend in
a straight line to the sanctuary, which often contains more than one
shrine, and to the chambers wherein temple properties, vestments, &c.,
were kept.

[FN#317]  In what city the cult of Osiris originated is not known, but
it is quite certain that before the end of the VIth Dynasty Abydos
became the centre of his worship, and that he dispossessed the local
god An-Her in the affections of the people.  Tradition affirmed that
the head of Osiris was preserved at Abydos in a box, and a picture of
it, #### became the symbol of the city.  At Abydos a sort of miracle
play, in which all the sufferings and resurrection of Osiris were
commemorated, was performed annually, and the raising up of a model of
his body, and the placing of his head upon it, were the culminating
ceremonies.  At Abydos was the famous shaft into which offerings were
cast for transmission to the dead in the Other World, and through the
Gap in the hills close by souls were believed to set out on their
journey thither.  One tradition places the Elysian Fields in the
neighbourhood of Abydos.  A fine stone bier, a restoration probably of
the XXVIth Dynasty, which represented the original bier of Osiris, was
discovered there by M. Amelineau.  It is now in the Egyptian Museum at

[FN#318]  Apis is called the "life of Osiris," ####, and on the death
of the Bull, its soul went to heaven and joined itself to that of
Osiris, and it formed with him the dual-god Asar-Hep, i.e., Osiris-
Apis, or Sarapis.  The famous Serapeum at Memphis was called ####.

[FN#319]  In Egyptian, Men-Nefer, i.e., "fair haven."

[FN#320]  Osiris and Isis were worshipped at Philae until the reign of
Justinian, when his general, Narses, closed the temple and carried off
the statues of the gods to Constantinople, where they were probably
melted down.

XXI.  Eudoxus indeed asserts that, although there are many pretended
sepulchres of Osiris in Egypt, the, place where his body actually lies
is Busiris,[FN#321] where likewise he was born.[FN#322]  As to
Taphosiris, there is no need to mention it particularly, for its very
name indicates its claim to be the tomb of Osiris.  There are likewise
other circumstances in the Egyptian ritual which hint to us the reality
upon which this history is grounded, such as their cleaving the trunk
of a tree, their wrapping it up in linen which they tear in pieces for
that purpose, and the libations of oil which they afterwards pour upon
it; but these I do not insist on, because they are intermixed with such
of their mysteries as may not be revealed.

[FN#321] In Egyptian, Pa-Asar-neb-Tetu, "the house of Osiris, the lord
of Tetu."  In the temple of Neb-Sekert, the backbone of the god was
preserved, according to one text, but another says it was his jaws(?)
and interior.

[FN#322]  This view represents a late tradition, or at all events one
which sprang up after the decay of Abydos.


XXII.  Now as to those who, from many things of this kind, some of
which are proclaimed openly, and others are darkly hinted at in their
religious institutions, would conclude that the whole story is no other
than a mere commemoration of the various actions of their kings and
other great men, who, by reason of their excellent virtue and the
mightiness of their power, added to their other titles the honour of
divinity, though they afterwards fell into many and grievous
calamities, those, I say, who would in this manner account for the
various scenes above-mentioned, must be owned indeed to make use of a
very plausible method of eluding such difficulties as may arise about
this subject, and ingeniously enough to transfer the most shocking
parts of it from the divine to the human nature.  Moreover, it must be
admitted that such a solution is not entirely destitute of any
appearance of historical evidence for its support.  For when the
Egyptians themselves tell us that Hermes had one hand shorter than
another, that Typhon was of red complexion, Horus fair, and Osiris
black, does not this show that they were of the human species, and
subject to the same accidents as all other men?[FN#323]  Nay, they go
farther, and even declare the particular work in which each was engaged
whilst alive.  Thus they say that Osiris was a general, that Canopus,
from whom the star took its name, was a pilot, and that the ship which
the Greeks call Argo, being made in imitation of the ship of Osiris,
was, in honour of him, turned into a constellation and placed near
Orion and the Dog-star, the former being sacred to Horus and the latter
to Isis.

[FN#323]  Red is the colour attributed to all fiends in the Egyptian
texts.  One of the forms of Horus is described as being "blue-eyed,"
and the colour of the face of Osiris is often green, and sometimes

XXIII.  But I am much afraid that to give in to this explanation of the
story will be to move things which ought not to be moved; and not only,
as Simonides says, "to declare war against all antiquity," but likewise
against whole families and nations who are fully possessed with the
belief in the divinity of these beings.  And it would be no less than
dispossessing those great names of their heaven, and bringing them down
to the earth.  It would be to shake and loosen a worship and faith
which have been firmly settled in nearly all mankind from their
infancy.  It would be to open a wide door for atheism to enter in at,
and to encourage the attempts of those who would humanize the divine
nature.  More particularly it would give a clear sanction and authority
to the impostures of Euhemerus the Messenian, who from mere
imagination, and without the least appearance of truth to support it,
has invented a new mythology of his own, asserting that "all those in
general who are called and declared to be gods are none other than so
many ancient generals and sea-captains and kings."  Now, he says that
he found this statement written in the Panchaean dialect in letters of
gold, though in what part of the globe his Panchaeans dwell, any more
than the Tryphillians, whom he mentions at the same time with them, he
does not inform us.  Nor can I learn that any other person, whether
Greek or Barbarian, except himself, has ever yet been so fortunate as
to meet with these imaginary countries.

[In Sec. XXIV.  Plutarch goes on to say that the Assyrians commemorate
Semiramis, the Egyptians Sesostris, the Phrygians Manis or Masdis, the
Persians Cyrus, and the Macedonians Alexander, yet these heroes are not
regarded as gods by their peoples.  The kings who have accepted the
title of gods have afterwards had to suffer the reproach of vanity and
presumption, and impiety and injustice.]


XXV.  There is another and a better method which some employ in
explaining this story.  They assert that what is related of Typhon,
Osiris, and Isis is not to be regarded as the afflictions of gods, or
of mere mortals, but rather as the adventures of certain great Daemons.
These beings, they say, are supposed by some of the wisest of the Greek
philosophers, that is to say, Plato, Pythagoras, Xenocrates, and
Chrysippus, in accordance with what they had learned from ancient
theologians, to be stronger and more powerful than men, and of a nature
superior to them.  They are, at the same time, inferior to the pure and
unmixed nature of the gods, as partaking of the sensations of the body,
as well as of the perceptions of the soul, and consequently liable to
pain as well as pleasure, and to such other appetites and affections,
as flow from their various combinations.  Such affections, however,
have a greater power and influence over some of them than over others,
just as there are different degrees of virtue and vice found in these
Daemons as well as in mankind.  In like manner, the wars of the Giants
and the Titans which are so much spoken of by the Greeks, the
detestable actions of Kronos, the combats between Apollo and the
Python, the flights of Dionysos, and the wanderings of Demeter, are
exactly of the same nature as the adventures of Osiris and Typhon.
Therefore, they all are to be accounted for in the same manner, and
every treatise of mythology will readily furnish us with an abundance
of other similar instances.  The same thing may also be affirmed of
those other things which are so carefully concealed under the cover of
mysteries and imitations.

[In Sec. XXVI.  Plutarch points out that Homer calls great and good men
"god-like" and "God's compeers," but the word Daemon is applied to the
good and bad indifferently (see Odyssey, vi. 12; Iliad, xiii. 810, v.
438, iv. 31, &c.).  Plato assigns to the Olympian Gods good things and
the odd numbers, and the opposite to the Daemons.  Xenocrates believed
in the existence of a series of strong and powerful beings which take
pleasure in scourgings and fastings, &c.  Hesiod speaks of "holy
daemons" (Works and Days, 126) and "guardians of mankind," and
"bestowers of wealth," and these are regarded by Plato as a "middle
order of beings between the gods and men, interpreters of the wills of
the gods to men, and ministering to their wants, carrying the prayers
and supplications of mortals to heaven, and bringing down thence in
return oracles and all other blessings of life."  Empedocles thought
that the Daemons underwent punishment, and that when chastened and
purified they were restored to their original state.]

[Sec. XXVII.  To this class belonged Typhon, who was punished by Isis.  In
memory of all she had done and suffered, she established certain rites
and mysteries which were to be types and images of her deeds, and
intended these to incite people to piety, and, to afford them
consolation.  Isis and Osiris were translated from good Daemons into
gods, and the honours due to them are rightly of a mixed kind, being
those due to gods and Daemons.  Osiris is none other than Pluto, and
Isis is not different from Proserpine.]

[Sec. XXX.  Typhon is held by the Egyptians in the greatest contempt, and
they do all they can to vilify him.  The colour red being associated
with him, they treat with contumely all those who have a ruddy
complexion; the ass[FN#324] being usually of a reddish colour, the men
of Koptos are in the habit of sacrificing asses by casting them down
precipices. The inhabitants of Busiris and Lycopolis never use
trumpets, because their sounds resemble the braying of an ass.  The
cakes which are offered at the festivals during Paoni and Paopi are
stamped with the figure of a fettered ass.  The Pythagoreans regarded
Typhon as a daemon, and according to them he was produced in the even
number fifty-six; and Eudoxus says that a figure of fifty-six angles
typifies the nature of Typhon.]

[FN#324]  The ass is associated with Set, or Typhon, in the texts, but
on account of his virility he also typifies a form of the Sun-god.  In
a hymn the deceased prays, "May I smite the Ass, may I crush the
serpent-fiend Sebau," but the XLth Chapter of the Book of the Dead is
entitled, "Chapter of driving back the Eater of the Ass."  The vignette
shows us the deceased in the act of spearing a monster serpent which
has fastened its jaws in the back of an ass.  In Chapter CXXV. there is
a dialogue between the Cat and the Ass.

[Sec. XXXI.  The Egyptians only sacrifice red-coloured bulls, and a single
black or white hair in the animal's head disqualifies it for sacrifice.
They sacrifice creatures wherein the souls of the wicked have been
confined, and through this view arose the custom of cursing the animal
to be sacrificed, and cutting off its bead and throwing it into the
Nile.  No bullock is sacrificed which has not on it the seal of the
priests who were called "Sealers."  The impression from this seal
represents a man upon his knees, with his hands tied behind him, and a
sword pointed at his throat.  The ass is identified with Typhon not
only because of his colour, but also because of his stupidity and the
sensuality of his disposition.  The Persian king Ochus was nicknamed
the "Ass," which made him to say, "This ass shall dine upon your ox,"
and accordingly he slew Apis.  Typhon is said to have escaped from
Horus by a flight of seven days on an ass.]


XXXII.  Such then are the arguments of those who endeavour to account
for the above-mentioned history of Isis and Osiris upon a supposition
that they were of the order of Daemons; but there are others who
pretend to explain it upon other principles, and in more philosophical
manner.  To begin, then, with those whose reasoning is the most simple
and obvious.  As the Greeks allegorize their Kronos into Time, and
their Hera into Air, and tell us that the birth of Hephaistos is no
other but the change of air into fire, so these philosophers say that
by Osiris the Egyptians mean the Nile, by Isis that part of the country
which Osiris, or the Nile, overflows, and by Typhon the sea, which, by
receiving the Nile as it runs into it, does, as it were, tear it into
many pieces, and indeed entirely destroys it, excepting only so much of
it as is admitted into the bosom of the earth in its passage over it,
which is thereby rendered fertile.  The truth of this explanation is
confirmed, they say, by that sacred dirge which they make over Osiris
when they bewail "him who was born on the right side of the world and
who perished on the left."[FN#325]  For it must be observed that the
Egyptians look upon the east as the front or face of the world,[FN#326]
upon the north as its right side,[FN#327] and upon the south as its
left.[FN#328]  As, therefore, the Nile rises in the south, and running
directly northwards is at last swallowed up by the sea, it may rightly
enough be said to be born on the right and to perish on the left side.
This conclusion, they say, is still farther strengthened from that
abhorrence which the priests express towards the sea, as well as salt,
which they call "Typhon's foam."  And amongst their prohibitions is one
which forbids salt being laid on their tables.  And do they not also
carefully avoid speaking to pilots, because this class of men have much
to do with the sea and get their living by it?  And this is not the
least of their reasons for the great dislike which they have for fish,
and they even make the fish a symbol of "hatred," as is proved by the
pictures which are to be seen on the porch of the temple of Neith at
Sais.  The first of these is a child, the second is an old man, the
third is a hawk, and then follow a fish and a hippopotamus.  The
meaning of all these is evidently, "O you who are coming into the
world, and you who are going out of it (i.e., both young and old), God
hateth impudence."  For by the child is indicated "all those who are
coming into life"; by the old man, "those who are going out of it"; by
the hawk, "God"; by the fish, "hatred," on account of the sea, as has
been before stated; and by the hippopotamus, "impudence," this creature
being said first to slay his sire, and afterwards to force his
dam.[FN#329]  The Pythagoreans likewise may be thought perhaps by some
to have looked upon the sea as impure, and quite different from all the
rest of nature, and that thus much is intended by them when they call
it the "tears of Kronos."

[FN#325]  Plutarch here refers to Osiris as the Moon, which rises in
the West.

[FN#326]  According to the texts the front of the world was the south,
khent, #### and from this word is formed the verb #### #### "to sail to
the south."

[FN#327]  In the texts the west is the right side, unemi, #### in
Coptic, ####.

[FN#328]  In the texts the east is the left side, abti.

[FN#329]  Each of these signs, ####, except the last, does mean what
Plutarch says it means, but his method of reading them together is
wrong, and it proves that he did not understand that hieroglyphics were
used alphabetically as well as ideographically.

[Secs. XXXIII., XXXIV.  Some of the more philosophical priests assert that
Osiris does not symbolize the Nile only, nor Typhon the sea only, but
that Osiris represents the principle and power of moisture in general,
and that Typhon represents everything which is scorching, burning, and
fiery, and whatever destroys moisture.  Osiris they believe to have
been of a black[FN#330] colour, because water gives a black tinge to
everything with which it is mixed.  The Mnevis Bull[FN#331] kept at
Heliopolis is, like Osiris, black in colour, "and even Egypt[FN#332]
itself, by reason of the extreme blackness of the soil, is called by
them 'Chemia,' the very name which is given to the black part or pupil
of the eye.[FN#333]  It is, moreover, represented by them under the
figure of a human heart."  The Sun and Moon are not represented as
being drawn about in chariots, but as sailing round the world in ships,
which shows that they owe their motion, support, and nourishment to the
power of humidity.[FN#334]  Homer and Thales both learned from Egypt
that "water was the first principle of all things, and the cause of

[FN#330]  Experiments recently conducted by Lord Rayleigh indicate that
the true colour of water is blue.

[FN#331]  In Egyptian, Nem-ur, or Men-ur, and he was "called the life
of Ra."

[FN#332]  The commonest name of Egypt is Kemt, "black land," as opposed
to the reddish-yellow sandy deserts on each side of the "valley of
black mud."  The word for "black" is kam.

[FN#333]  Plutarch seems to have erred here.  The early texts call the
pupil of the eye "the child in the eye," as did the Semitic peoples
(see my Liturgy of Funerary Offerings, p. 136).  The Copts spoke of the
"black of the eye," derived from the hieroglyphic "darkness,"

[FN#334]  There is no support for this view in the texts.

[FN#335]  It was a very common belief in Egypt that all things arose
from the great celestial ocean called Nu, whence came the Nile.

[Sec. XXXVI.  The Nile and all kinds of moisture are called the "efflux of
Osiris."  Therefore a water-pitcher[FN#336] is always carried first in
his processions, and the leaf of a fir-tree represents both Osiris and
Egypt.[FN#337]  Osiris is the great principle of fecundity, which is
proved by the Pamylia festivals, in which a statue of the god with a
triple phallus is carried about.[FN#338]  The three-fold phallus merely
signifies any great and indefinite number.]

[FN#336]  Plutarch refers to the vessel of water, with which the priest
sprinkles the ground to purify it.

[FN#337]  He seems to refer here to the olive-tree: Beqet, "olive
land," was one of the names of Egypt.

[FN#338]  Plutarch seems to be confounding Osiris with Menu, the god of
generation, who is generally represented in an ithyphallic form.  The
festival of the phallus survived in Egypt until quite recently.

[Sec. XXXVIII.  The Sun is consecrated to Osiris, and the lion is
worshipped, and temples are ornamented with figures of this animal,
because the Nile rises when the sun is in the constellation of the
Lion.  Horus, the offspring of Osiris, the Nile, and Isis, the Earth,
was born in the marshes of Buto, because the vapour of damp land
destroys drought.  Nephthys, or Teleute, represents the extreme limits
of the country and the sea-shore, that is, barren land.  Osiris (i.e.,
the Nile) overflowed this barren land, and Anubis[FN#339] was the

[FN#339]  The Egyptian Anpu.  The texts make one form of him to be the
son of Set and Nephthys.

[FN#340]  Plutarch's explanations in this chapter are unsupported by
the texts.

[Sec. XXXIX.  In the first part of this chapter Plutarch continues his
identification of Typhon with drought, and his ally Aso, Queen of
Ethiopia, he considers to be the Etesian or north winds, which blow for
a long period when the Nile is falling. He goes on to say:--]

As to what they relate of the shutting up of Osiris in a box, this
appears to mean the withdrawal of the Nile to its own bed.  This is the
more probable as this misfortune is said to have happened to Osiris in
the month of Hathor, precisely at that season of the year when, upon
the cessation of the Etesian or north winds the Nile returns to its own
bed, and leaves the country everywhere bare and naked.  At this time
also the length of the nights increases, darkness prevails, whilst
light is diminished and overcome.  At this time the priests celebrate
doleful rites, and they exhibit as a suitable representation of the
grief of Isis a gilded ox covered with a fine black linen cloth.  Now,
the ox is regarded as the living image of Osiris.  This ceremony is
performed on the seventeenth and three following days,[FN#341] and they
mourn: 1.  The falling of the Nile; 2.  The cessation of the north
winds; 3.  The decrease in the length of the days; 4.  The desolate
condition of the land.  On the nineteenth of the month Pachons they
march in procession to the sea, whither the priests and other officials
carry the sacred chest, wherein is enclosed a small boat of gold; into
this they first pour some water, and then all present cry out with a
loud voice, "Osiris is found."  This done, they throw some earth,
scent, and spices into the water, and mix it well together, and work it
up into the image of a crescent, which they afterwards dress in
clothes.  This shows that they regard the gods as the essence and power
of water and earth.

[FN#341]  The 17th day is very unlucky; the 18th is very lucky; the
19th and 20th are very unlucky.  On the 17th day Isis and Nephthys made
great lamentation for their brother Un-nefer at Sais; on the 19th no
man should leave the house; and the man born on the 20th would die of
the plague.

[Sec. XL.  Though Typhon was conquered by Horus, Isis would not allow him
to be destroyed. Typhon was once master of all Egypt, i.e., Egypt was
once covered by the sea, which is proved by the sea-shells which are
dug out of the mines, and are found on the tops of the hills.  The Nile
year by year creates new land, and thus drives away the sea further and
further, i.e., Osiris triumphs over Typhon.]


[Sec. XLI.  Osiris is the Moon, and Typhon is the Sun; Typhon is therefore
called Seth,[FN#342] a word meaning "violence," "force," &c.  Herakles
accompanies the Sun, and Hermes the Moon.  In Sec. XLII. Plutarch connects
the death-day of Osiris, the seventeenth of Hathor, with the
seventeenth day of the Moon's revolution, when she begins to wane.  The
age of Osiris, twenty-eight years, suggests the comparison with the
twenty-eight days of the Moon's revolution.  The tree-trunk which is
made into the shape of a crescent at the funeral of Osiris refers to
the crescent moon when she wanes.  The fourteen pieces into which
Osiris was broken refer to the fourteen days in which the moon wanes.]

[FN#342]  In Egyptian, ####, or #### which Plutarch seems to connect
with set, ####.

[Sec. XLIII.  The height of the Nile in flood at Elephantine is twenty-
eight cubits, at Mendes and Xois low Nile is seven cubits, and at
Memphis middle Nile is fourteen cubits; these figures are to be
compared with the twenty-eight days of the Moon's revolution, the
seven-day phase of the Moon, and the fourteen days' Moon, or full moon.
Apis was begotten by a ray of light from the Moon, and on the
fourteenth day of the month Phamenoth[FN#343] Osiris entered the Moon.
Osiris is the power of the Moon, Isis the productive faculty in it.]

[FN#343]  Marked in the papyrus Sallier IV. as a particularly unlucky


[Sec. XLIV.  The philosophers say that the story is nothing but an
enigmatical description of the phenomena of Eclipses.  In Sec. XLV.
Plutarch discusses the five explanations which he has described, and
begins to state his own views about them.  It must be concluded, he
says, that none of these explanations taken by itself contains the true
explanation of the foregoing history, though all of them together do.
Typhon means every phase of Nature which is hurtful and destructive,
not only drought, darkness, the sea, &c.  It is impossible that any one
cause, be it bad or even good, should be the common principle of all
things.  There must be two opposite and quite different and distinct
Principles.  In Sec. XLVI., Plutarch compares this view with the Magian
belief in Ormazd and Ahriman, the former springing from light (Sec.
XLVII.), and the latter from darkness.  Ormazd made six good gods, and
Ahriman six of a quite contrary nature.  Ormazd increased his own bulk
three times, and adorned the heaven with stars, making the Sun to be
the guard of the other stars.  He then created twenty-four other gods,
and placed them in an egg, and Ahriman also created twenty-four gods;
the latter bored a hole in the shell of the egg and effected an
entrance into it, and thus good and evil became mixed together.  In Sec.
XLVIII. Plutarch quotes Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Aristotle, and Plato in
support of his hypothesis of the Two Principles, and refers to Plato's
Third Principle.  Sec. XLIX.  Osiris represents the good qualities of the
universal Soul, and Typhon the bad; Bebo[FN#344] is a malignant being
like Typhon, with whom Manetho identifies him.  Sec. L.  The ass,
crocodile, and hippopotamus are all associated with Typhon; in the form
of a crocodile Typhon escaped from Horus.[FN#345]

[FN#344]  In Egyptian, Bebi, or Baba, or Babai, he was the first-born
Son of Osiris.

[FN#345]  See the Legend of Heru-Behutet, {pr. 67}.

The cakes offered on the seventh day of the month Tybi have a
hippopotamus stamped on them.  Sec. LI.  Osiris symbolizes wisdom and
power, and Typhon all that is malignant and bad.]

The remaining sections contain a long series of fanciful statements by
Plutarch concerning the religion and manners and customs of the
Egyptians, of which the Egyptian texts now available give no proofs.

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