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May the God Thoth keep from destruction all the words contained in this roll.”.
[Several interesting touches of contemporaneous life are noticeable in this story. The court, for example, is seen employing washermen, instead of washerwomen; and their chief or boss was evidently responsible for the quality of their work; an arrangement common in the East, expressly described in other papyri of that age, and explanatory of the fates of the head butler and head baker in the Mosaic story of Joseph.
As another instance, may be cited the careful selection of her time by the beauty (as in the Hebrew story of Esther and Ahasuerus) when she wished to obtain a difficult favor.
The elder brother's wife sitting braiding her hair, recalls to the traveler's recollection the elaborate pendant tresses of important personages figured on the monuments of the Third Empire.
The temptation of Joseph may be a paraphrase of the temptation of Batau, redrawn from a Syrian or Arabian point of view. Here, told to a Pharaoh's son, it is the tale of a peasant's love; there, told to peasants, it is the story of the amours of a court. Both pictures may be copied after some more antique original ; for love and fealty, jealousy and revenge, remorse and retribution have made themselves this universal dress of legend in all ages, and among all people, from the earliest inhabitation of the planet.
As the Hebrew story contains fragments of Arameean or Mesopotamian history, we may expect the Egyptian legend to give us correspondingly valuable hints of the e'ırlier Egyptian history. Its author, or editor, the scribe Annana, has interwoven with it certain mystical or mythological elements. In fact, he makes use of the love story to introduce what seems to be a purposely obscured piece of priestly tradition, not only of the then recent civil and religious commotions of the country, but also of the far more ancient, and perhaps equally violent introduction of new deities into the national religious system by Pharaohs of the First Empire.
The Sun-god's daughter was made in the Cedar Mountain, that is, Mount Lebanon, and brought to Egypt by order of Pharaoh, to be his wife or chief concubine, and consequently to be one of the chief priestesses of the kingdom. This looks like a traditional statement of the fact of the introduction of sun worship from Syria into Egypt. This Sun-god of Syria is not Baal (the Assyrian “Shining Bel"), but Aten, Adonis, Adoni, Adonai, “the Lord of the Hebrew Scriptures, represented by the solar disk, worshiped by the Hyksos Pharaohs of the XVIIth dynasty, and by that part of the Hyksos nation, afterward, which continued to live, in a subjugated condition, in the Delta, after the other part had been driven back into Syria by the native Pharaohs of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties. When one of the Pharaohs' Amunhotep, of the XVIIIth dynasty (the son of a Syrian concubine of his father, as is supposed) restored for a time the worship of the Hyksos god (of his mother's family ?) he repudiated the Theban Amun from his name, and assumed the name chu-n-Aten, persecuting the Theban Amun worshipers, and erasing the name Amun from the monuments of the Empire, and especially from the Cartouches of his ancestors, the first and second Amunhotep. Hor-m-heb, the last Pharaoh of the XVIIth dynasty, restored many of these defaced Cartouches.* Menephta, our scribe Annana's princely pupil, did the same for both the figure and name of Amun. He records the fact himself on one of the faces of the great obelisk at Karnac. And yet, while thus showing his attachment to the Theban and Memphite Pantheon, he followed his father's example, in various politic concessions and indulgences to the worship of the god popular among the Hyksos of the Delta.
Recent discoveries show that different Rameside monarchs of the XIXth and XXth dynasties erected temples to the Sun-god of Syria, and set up their own statutes in such temples, in order to keep the foreign element of the Delta quiet ; while they conciliated the up-country people, the Copts of Memphis, Abydos and Thebes, by preserving the worship of Ptah, Amun, Thoth, etc., as the State religion. And no doubt this policy was pursued by the Pharaohs of subsequent dynasties, until the XXVIth, when Psammetichus, having his capital on the shore of the Delta and sympathising more therefore with Greece and Phænicia than with Ethiopia, stamped out the last embers of southern Amun worship and Egyptian patriotism together by destroying Thebes, in fact leaving very little for the mithraic sun-worshiping Persians
* See memoir on this subject, by Hincks, in the Trans. R. Irish Acad. 1844.
under Cambyses to do in that line. It was the cue for the Greek historians to hold up the ruins of the Nile-valley as proofs of the barbarism of the Persians. But we now know that Cambyses and Darius illustrated the temples of Egyptian deities precisely as did the Ramesides, and were probably influenced to do so by a similar State policy. That Carnak and Luxor and Quornah and Medinet Abu are dreadful and pitiable ruins, we are to thank the Greek mercenaries of the Lybian Psammetichus, whose army must been composed of just such ruffians from the northern shores of the Mediterranean as now habitually rob and assassinate, and almost without interference, in the modern city of Alexandria.
There seems to have existed an eternal feud between the population of the Delta and the inhabitants of the proper Valley of the Nile extending from the Pyramids six hundred miles southward to the Cataract. Set or Sutech, if not the most ancient god of the Delta, was as old as Osiris, and always plainly opposed to that God of Egypt proper; quite as much as Aten was afterward to Amun-Ra. Under the Second Empire (XI, XII d.) the hawk and the cock-eared jackal, Horus and Seth, represented on the banners of the Pharaohs Upper and Lower Egypt. Nothing shows more plainly the long standing divergence of religious creeds. *
Everything about it shows that the Egyptian Dead Book or
$ The figure of Set was erased by the Thebans from the Cartouche of out Meneptha's grandfather, Seti 1. (Second Pharaoh of the XIXth dynasty), on the great columns of Luxor, and the crook of Osiris was cut as if coming out of the erased figure's hands. The monarch was thus renamed Osirei I. One of the earliest traces of Osiris is found in the well known legend on the lid of the coffin of Men-Kau Ra (Fourth King of the IV. dynasty, and builder of the Third Pyramid of Gizeh) preserved in the British Museum. “0, Osiris, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, immortal Menkaura! Child of heaven! born of Nu-t! begotten of Seb! Thy mother Nu-t stretches over thee the Abyss of heaven. She makes thee divine, annihilating thy fies, immortal Menkaura !" Chapter 64, one of the most important in the Ritual, carries a title purporting that it was discovered in the time of this Mencheres by prince Hortutef during his visit to one of the temples ot Hermopolis. Herodotus relates that Mencheres was traditionally one of the most religious of kings (Re. cherches, p. 65). The great horizontal cartouche seen half way up the face of the column is that of Seti Meneptha. The top of the feathered cap of a colossal figure of the god Amun is seen coming out of the sand which covers up almost thirty feet of the column.
Ritual, was not original, in the form known to us, but a manufacture of the priests of Heliopolis, or On, the Oxford of the Delta; was first employed at Memphis, near the mouth of the Valley ; and was carried gradually up to Thebes, Nubia, and into Ethiopia. Lepsius shows how it grew gradually to its present size and form, by the edition of gloss upon gloss; which, like the branches of a Banyan tree, rooted themselves in the original soil, and hav. ing branches of their own, came to form all together a matted mass, of various ages, with a common character. It takes scarcely any notice of the great Theban Trinity, Amun, Mut and Khons. Tum (Atum) and Set, gods of the Delta, Demiurge and Devil, play as prominent a part in its formularies, with Osiris, Isis and Nephthys, deities of Abydos (between Memphis and Thebes). Thoth justifies the corpse; Anubis embalms it; Horus defends it on its perilous path to Amenti. Ptah, Athor and Chnum are also mentioned ; and even Chem the phallic Amun, once. But in its most important passages, the god Ra, the sun pure and simple, assumes so leading a character that we must either conceive of an aboriginal sun-worship established at Thebes long previous to the Amun-worship; or, that sun-worship, aboriginal in the Delta on account of its Syrian population, gradually invaded and ascended the Nile Valley and got mixed up in various proportions with the other and equally ancient African worships.
On the sarcophagu; of Mentu-hotep, a noble of XIth dynasty (that is a thousand years earlier than our Fairy Tale) is painted the oldest copy of the text of the Ritual yet found; older than the famous Turin Papyrus by more than two thousand years. The 17th Chapter begins the inscription, and runs thus : (Lepsius. Ælteste Texte). “To the ever gracious Ra (the sun) Mentuhotep, Master of the Palace, reciteth this chapter of the resurrection on the day of days in Hades. May the word happen! I am Tum, a being who am one. I am Ra in his first dominion. I am the great god self-existing, the creator of his name, lord of gods, whom none of the gods can stop. I was yesterday, and will be to-morrow, Osiris namely. A fighting place of the gods has been prepared, as I said. The fighting place is the West land namely. I know the name of that great god who is there. Glory of Ru is his name. I am that great Bennu (Phænix) honored is On. It is the accomplishment of what is. What is that? Osiris namely. That which is, is the ever and eternal. I am Chem in his avatar. My two feathers have been set upon my head. What is that? His two feathers are those of Horus namely, the protector of his father? His two feathers are the two Uræi on the forehead of his father Tum. I am in my land; I have arrived at my dwelling places. What is that? It is the Sun Mountain of his father
Tum. I am come to my home. I appear in my land. I step into my province. I dwell with my father Tum to the end of days.”
Compared with the diffuse repetitions and numerous glosses of the Turin Papyrus this short chapter wears a very archaic and original aspect. But glosses have already crept even into this ancient text. They are marked by a change of color on the coffin, and by italics in Lepsius' translation (given in English above). They show that Tum was the Adam, the first mythologic idea of Egypt. Ra the sun comes next. Osiris, Horus and Chem appear only in the glosses. And this agrees with their absence from the monuments of the First Empire, another thousand years still further back.
The presence of Ra in this text is the important point.* The monuments of User KaF, first Pharaoh of the Vth dynasty (next to that of the great pyramid builders) show the obelisk capped with the solar disk.† The name of the third Pharaoh of the IVth dynasty who built the second pyramid, Ra-Sha-F, commences with the solar disk, pronounced last: Shafra. I His immediate predecessor (on the tablet of Seti I.) was also a sun-worshiper,
* Tat-Ka-Ra, one of the last kings of the Vth dynasty, calls himself Son of the Sun; a title rare indeed at that time, but afterward common enough. The first king of the VIth dynasty (TeTA on the Seti I. tablet of Abydos) is called on the cenotaph of the priest Subu Abeba, who was one of his subjects, SeRaTeTA “Son of the Sun Teta,” the goose and disk being placed inside the Car. touche as part of the king's proper name, I judge that it was done partly to distinguish him from the old TeTA, second king of the Ist dynasty, who, if he worshipped anything, certainly knew nothing about Amun Ra, or any other san-god. The sepulchral stele of Hapa, son of Seta, Cound at Abydos, repeats this cartouche of SeRaTeTA. † Recherches. De Rouge, p. 79.
Or. cheFRa; or, Chephen; he is the first who is known to have assumed the title of Son of the Sun. His banner name was Hor-User-Her Sa Ra: “Horus of the mighty heart, Son of the Sun.”