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Stories of the high priests of Memphis; the Sethon of Herodotus and the demotic tales of Khamuas online

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//09. oc



HARVARD COLLEGE
LIBRARY



BOUGHT WITH INCOME

FROM THB BBQUEST OF

HENRY LILLIE PIERCE

OF BOSTON



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STORIES



HIGH PRIESTS OF MEMPHIS



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HENRY FROWDE, M.A.

PUBLISHER TO THB UNIVERSlTy OF OXFORD




LONDON, EDINBURGH, AND NEW YORK



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STORIES



OF THE



^,HIGH PRIESTS OF MEMPHIS^^



THE SETHON OF HERODOTUS



AND



THE DEMOTIC TALES OF KHAMUAS



BY



F. Ll. GRIFFITH/ M.A.

FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF QUEEN's COLLEGE, OXFORD
CORRESPONDING MEMBER OF THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AT BERLIN



Oyforb

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1900



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£f//o9sOO



\

\






Ojtforb

PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

BY HORACE HART, M.A.
PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY



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PREFACE

In editing these demotic stories I have endeavoured
to advance by a step that not insignificant branch of
Egyptology which counts an Englishman, Thomas
Young, among the chief founders of its study, but
which since his timjs has been neglected entirely in
this country. The decipherment of demotic, inaugu-
rated by Akerblad's famous letter to De Sacy in 1802,
and continued by Young and ChampoUion in 18 20- 18 30,
was most successfully cultivated by Heinrich Brugsch
in the first half of his brilliant career, from 1847 ^^
1868, when he finished his dictionary of hieroglyphic
and demotic. With such completeness did he triumph
over the crabbed script that it remains for his successors
only to perfect his work, at least for the later periods.
Brugsch had for long been practically the sole reader
of demotic when Revillout attacked the subject as
a student of Coptic. By his multitudinous works the
latter has certainly thrown light on the interpretation
of the legal documents — some of which belong to the
early period — and on the metrology. Demotic is, how-
ever, a subject which requires above all things care
and accuracy if satisfactory results are to be obtained
by the student. The recent work of W. Max Muller
(commencing in 1886^ but unfortunately never extending



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vi PREFACE

beyond brilliant discussions of single words and groups),
of Krall, Hess, and Spiegelberg, augur well for the
future of die study, and it is certain that it will
progress rapidly as the results of Coptic and hiero-
glyphic research are brought to bear in a scientific
manner upon this intermediate stage of the Egyptian
language.

In spite of all that has been accomplished in demotic,
there is much to be done that is almost of a pioneer
character, and much that has been conjectured or con-
tested must be either established or overthrown by
positive proofs. This is the main apology for the
voluminousness of the philological notes in Part II ;
though many of them are due chiefly to the bad
writing or bad preservation of the second tale.

I may here.be allowed to express my great obliga-
tions to the authorities of the department of MSS.
in the British Museum for permission to publish the
demotic text of the second story, and to the Delegates
of the Clarendon Press for undertaking the serious
expense of printing this book. My thanks are also
especially due to the Rev. E. M. Walker, of Queen's
College, for encouragement and advice ; the Provost of
Queen's College, Oxford, for introducing and supporting
my application to the Delegates of the Clarendon Press ;
Mr. Cannan, the Secretary of the Delegates ; Mr. Horace
Hart, the Controller of the Press; and last, but not
least, Mr. F. G. Kenyon of the British Museum, by
whose kindness I was amongst the first to see the
newly unrolled * Papyrus DCIV,' and enjoyed every
facility for studying it. The particulars furnished by
him in regard to the history of the papyrus and to the
Greek text upon the recto will be found in a subsequent
page.

A glossary of the two demotic stories has been pre-



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PREFACE vii

pared, and it is intended to publish it later, when the
work may have had the benefit of the criticism of
fellow-students. A photographic facsimile and a hand-
copy of the new tale are issued herewith. The first
tale has long been accessible in a good facsimile, but
negatives of the original papyrus in the Gizeh Museum
have been taken at my request by Emile Brugsch-Bey,
brother of the great demotist, and are now deposited
with Mr. R. C. Murray, 8 Garrick Street, Covent Garden,
London, W.C., to whom applications for prints should
be addressed.

This volume must not go to press without a word
acknowledging its special indebtedness to die great
work of Professor Sethe on the Egyptian Verb, lyhich
appeared last autumn at the moment when I was
engaged in the final shaping of the materials for the
book. By his masterly historical treatment of the
verbal forms in Hieroglyphic and in Coptic, Sethe has
made it possible here to begin classification, on the
lines laid down by him, of the remarkable forms which
the verb assumes in demotic.

May, 1900.



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CONTENTS

PART I

4

HISTOBICAL AND LITBBABT



CHAPTER I



The Story of Sethon:



§ I. Introductory: Stories in Later Egypt

§ 2. Khamuas in History .

§ 3. Khamuas in Tradition .

§ 4. The Title Sem-Setne, High-Priest of

§ 5. The Story of Sethon .

§ 6. Historical Features

§ 7. Name Sethos or Z6t .

§ 8. Or title Sethon-Setne .

§ 9. Attempt to Identify the Priest-King

§ 10. Foreign Elements in the Story .



Ptah



CHAPTER II
The Tale of Khamuas and Neneferkaptah

CHAPTER III
The Tale of Khamuas and his Son Si-Osiri



I
2

3
3
5

7
7
8

9
II



13



41



PART II

PHILOLOGICAL



CHAPTER IV
Introductory :

§ I. Description of the Papyri .

§ 2. Bibliography . . . .



67
68



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X CONTENTS

§ 3. Method of Transliterarion 69

§ 4. Language, Spelling and Pronunciation of the Texts . 70
§ 5. Specimen of a Phonetic Rendering . . -72

§ 6. Hints for Studying Demotic 77

§ 7. List of Abbreviations dsed in the References . . 79

CHAPTER V

Transliteration and Translation of the First Tale . . 82

CHAPTER VI

Transliteration and Translation of the Second Tale 142

Index . 208



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PART I
HISTORICAL AND LITERARY

CHAPTER I

THE STORY OF SETHON

§ I. Introductory : Stories in later Egypt. § 2. Khamuas m history.
§ 3. Khamuas in tradition. § 4. His title Sem-Setne, high priest of Ptah.
§ 5. The story of Sethon. § 6. Historical features. § 7. Name Sethos
or Z6t ? § 8. or title Sethon-Setne ? § 9. Attempt to identify the priest-
king. § 10. Foreign elements in the story.

§ I. This is not the place to enter upon the general
subject of Egyptian tales, of which demotic is now
beginning to yield a rich variety dating from the
Graeco-Roman age. But we must note the fact that
while a considerable number of stories are extant in
hieratic of the Middle and New Kingdoms, ten centuries
follow between the end of the New Kingdom and the
middle of the Ptolemaic rule {circa 1200-150 B.C.), during
which this class of literature is entirely unrepresented
by native documents. From two external sources,
however, we gather that the art of the story-teller was
by no means in abeyance, though it would seem that his
tales were not often committed to writing by Egyptian
scribes. The Biblical story of Joseph, charged as it is
with Egyptian ideas and marked by Egyptian names of
the late period, may very well be a product of Hebrew



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2 THE STORY OF SETHON [pt. i

intercourse with the Egyptians after looo b.c.^ ; and in
his history Herodotus collected multitudes of imaginative
traditions current in Egypt of the fifth century. How
far the stories in Herodotus arc genuinely Egjrptian
it would be difficult at present to say. Often they have
a strong Greek tinge, while the demotic stories of the
Graeco-Roman epoch are thoroughly native and bear
few distinct traces of external influence.

^ 2. Two of these stories — later by several centuries
than Herodotus — relate to a famous high priest of Ptah
who flourished about 1250 B.C. His name Kha-m-uas
(H^-m-W^S'ty, meaning * manifestation in Thebes/ indi-
cates that he was born in the southern- capital ; but he
lived and died a Memphite. He was head of the whole
hierarchy of his time, and the most notable of the
innumerable progeny of the great King Rameses \l.
From contemporary documents we learn that his mother
was the queen Isit-nefert. In his youth he would seem
to have taken part in the wars, but his recorded acts
are principally of a sacerdotal nature, and he appears
conspicuously in the celebration of national festivals
from the thirtieth year of Rameses onwards. Apparently
Khamuas died in the fifty-fifth year of his father's long
reign of sixtyrseven years ; otherwise he might perhaps
have succeeded to the kingdom which eventually fell
to Merenptah, the thirteenth son of Rameses. His
tomb is near the Great Pyramid^.

* The dates assigned by Biblical critics to various portions of this
story extend from the middle of the ninth century to the end of the sixth.
One of the Egyptian names (Asenath) points to a period not earlier than
the end of the ninth century. The others could be somewhat older, but
on the whole the impression left is that these details belong rather to
the age of the Saites, beginning as late as 680.

* As Maspero pointed out {A, Z,, 1877, p. 143, note 41) Xafiots,
occurring in the fanciful list of kings of Syncellus (ed. Dindorf, p. 179),
is probably the Greek form of his name.

" For the historical Khamuas see Maspero, His/,, II, pp. 424-6, and
references there.



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CH, i] THE TITLE SEM, SETNE 3

^ 3. In the demotic stories Khamuas is not presented
in a very heroic light : they relate his misfortunes and
seem rather to scoff at his learning, which availed
so little against the gods, or even the sages and
magicians of less degenerate times. The discovery of
certain late funerary texts ^ is attributed to his in-
defatigable research. They are entitled * The writings
of the vase which Khamuas the chief son of the king
found under (or at ?) the head of a divine one (mummy)
in the west of Memphis : it was more divine than |iny
vase in the treasury. It makes itself as a gate of
flame between the divine {y'^fyw) who are (?) dead
{mt*w) and that which attacketh them : it is very
excellent, a million times.' The first of them is
further said to have been previously discovered or
invented for his own protection by the chief royal scribe
Amenhetep, son of Hepu^ a famous Theban priest in the
reign Amenhetep III. Thus the supposed history of
this spell is not unlike that of the book which Khamuas
found in the grave of the learned scribe Neneferkaptah K

§ 4. The title that most usually precedes the name
of Khamuas on the monuments is sm \ This is a sacer-
dotal title, not indeed confined to the high priest of
Memphis, but constantly borne by him and assigned to
his office in the Ptolemaic list of Egyptian priesthoods
at Edfu*, where the high priest of Ptah has the double
title sm, wr fyrp hmww ' Sent and Chief Artificer (?).'
' Sent of Ptah ' is a fuller form of the title ^. Certainly
Khamuas was wr Jkrp hmww*^, as well as sem, and, for

* Pleyte, Chapiires suppUmentaires du Livre des Moris ^ eh. 167-174 ;
see especially PL 126-7.

' ^Afitvoxpis Tov Uaanios of Josephus, deified at Thebes in Ptolemaic
times : see Skthe in Eders* Aegyptiaca, p. 106 et seqq., and the graffiti
published by Peers, Hellenic Journal^ 1899, 16.

' Below, pp. 16, 30 {I Kh, iv. 26). * e.g. Br., Thes,, 957-9.

» ^Yi,;DicU G/og,, p. 1368. • Piankhy Stele, 1. 20.

' Br., Thes., 957.



B %



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4 THE STORY OF SETHON [pt. i

instance, presided over the burial of the Apis bull,
which was sacred to the same god. Thus his title sm
IS doubtless to be taken in its special application, i.e. as
* high priest of Ptah at Memphis.'

In the demotic tales Khamuas is entitled 'Sine (in
the second story Sime) H^mrws, the son of Pharaoh,
Wsr-m^-r^'^, the last name corresponding to the hiero-
glyphic Wsr-m'^H'R^y the short form. of the prenomen
of Rameses IP. In the New Kingdom and later the
title sm is often written stm, and though in hieroglyphics
the ancient form was frequently adhered to, demotic
bilinguals of the Ptolemaic period give the form stm^
stm-t^. Thus stne^ or sttne H^-m-ws in the tales would
seem to correspond exactly to sm H^m-ut^st in inscrip-
tions of his own time^

It must be noted also that Khamuas when referred



^ I Kh V. 4, 7; of. II Kh. ii. 28 and 33.

* Apparently Ovaifidprjs in the royal list of Syncellus (ed. Dindorf,
p. 189). The list is the same that in the preceding group of kings
gives Xafiots,

* Br., W/d,, 1221 ; Thes,, 890, 906, 912, 915. The change from sm
to s/m was probably at first purely graphic ; cf. Old Eg. sm, * herbage,'
spelt s/ymu in Ramesside hieratic, but sm, sym in dem., and CIJUL in
Coptic. In the case of the title, the Ramesside writing stm for sm may
have given rise to a new pronunciation simy sine (helped possibly by the
title s'-siny * king's son,' which accompanied it in the case of Khamuas).

* In the Ptolemaic period we meet with proper names compounded
with Si7ie, viz. :—P*he{n) Sine, and T^he-i{n) Sine in Pap. Berl Ax. 2
(Br., Samml, dem,-Gr, Eigennameriy pp. 21, 23). These may some day
be found written in Greek, perhaps as *'^€V(TtB<av and *2€V(TtB(ov. Note
that here, as in the story, we have the form sine, while the priestly title
at the same period is always smi or sim{i). Clearly the equations jw=
sim{i) = sine =• {\2ittT) sime represent no normal development (p. 142),
I should suggest that Sine was the popular form of the title sm or sim4 —
the form in which it occurred in the tales, and, by transference thence, in
proper names. The final / in sim-i may represent a vowel ending, so that
the word was probably identical in pronunciation with sime. The change
from early ^ to « is not uncommon in Coptic, and the form sime in the
later tale may indicate an attempt to revert to the classical pronunciation.

* L., Z>., Ill, 174 e, 175 h, &c.



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CH. i] THE STORY OF SETHON 5

to more briefly in the tales appears by this title * Stne/
* Stme ' alone, not ' the Stne,' or * the Stme,' and never
once by his name. Thus, unless * Stne ' was misinter-
preted by the later scribes as a proper name, we must
conclude that this title of the high priest was used as
an appellative for its holder, just as * Pharaoh ' was used
for the king\

^ 5. We will now turn to the Greek record. Herodotus,
whose travels in Egypt date from the reign of Artaxerxes,
about 460 B.C., reports amongst the information he
obtained from the natives regarding the kings of Egypt
a miraculous story of a Pharaoh, who was also priest of
Hephaestus, i.e. high priest of Ptah at Memphis :—

M^rh Sk TovTOP (sa eX^yov) Pa(rtX€V(rat rhv Ipia tov
^H^aloTou, T^ oHvojia dvai S^O&Vf rhv ky dXoyifiari €)(€ip
napaxprjad/JLCvov t&v iia^tjKov Alyxmrmv d>9 ovSkv SeriarS/ievop
ain&Vy dXKa T€ 5^ drijia noieOpra h avToi^^ Kat (r(f)€a9 dneXeaOai
T^y dpovpa9y ToTai kni t&v nporipcov fiacnXioau SeSoarOai e^aipi^
Tovs lKd<rr<p Sv<»8€Ka dpovpa^. /i^tSl SI kn Atyimrov kXaiveiv
arparbv jiiyav ^ava^dpi^ov fiacriXia *Apapmv t€ koi ^Aaavpmv
oHkohv St} kOiXuv Toxjs /ia\i/iovs t&v AiyvTrrtaav Po7j0€€iv* top
Sk Ipia €9 dTTopitjv d7r€iXtjfiiyoy ka^XOSmra ks to /liyapov npb9
T&yaXjia diroSvp^aOai^ ofa kivSvv^vh iraO^lv 6Xo<f>vp6/i€yoy 8'
dpa /JLiv kweXOeiy ikrvov^ Kat 01 SS^ai kv Ttj Syjti kniardyra tov
Oihv OapavvHv^ &s ovSkv n€ta'€Tai dyapi dvTid^oov Thv ^Apafitoav
orpaTSv atrrh? ydp ol ni/iyltdv Ti/ia>povs* tovtoici Srj fitv
iriavvov Toiai kvimvioKriy napaXafiovTa AlyvTrrimv toxj^ fiovXo^
fi4vov9 ol eirea-Oai (XTpaToir^SwaacrOai kv TIr)Xov(ri<o {ravTH ydp
d<Ti al kafioXaiy hr^aOai Si oi t&v fia^iixmv p\v ovSiva dvSp&v^

* In ancient Egyptian the article did not exist, and though it was in
general use as early as 1500 b.c., apparently the ancient titles 'Pharaoh,*
and * Setme ' like many other religious and ceremonial terms, remained
artikellos almost to the end. Before Coptic times, however, the initial
letter of Pr-'^o^ * Pharaoh,' was falsely interpreted as the definite article p,
and was so declined — with fem. /, pi. n — the word for * Pharaoh ' being
reduced to epo.



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6 THE STORY OF SETHON [pt. i

Kan'/jlKcv^ Sk Koi x€ip£vaKTa9 Kal ayopaiovt avOpdmovs* hOoBra
dwiKOfiiyov^f Totfri kvavrtonn adTot(n kmyyOivra^ WKrh^ fivs
dpovpa(ov9 Karh /lip <f>ayHv Toi>9 ^pap^rpe&yas avr&v^ Karh Sk
rh rS^dy irpht Si t&u d(nrl8(»v ri Sxaya^ &aT€ rff iarepaiff
if>€vy6vTci>v €rif>i<mf yvpvS^ 8vX<»v n€cr€iy iroXX6v9* Kal vGv oirrof
6 ffaaiXfi9 €irrfjK€ iv t& IpS rev * H<f>ai<rTau \i0ivo9, i^f^v cttJ r^t
\€iph9 pvv^ \iya>y Sih ypafi/idTOi>y TaSc* h i/ii Tts ipio^v €va'€P^t

* After him (i. e. Anysis, they told me) that there reigned the
priest of Hephaestus whose name was Sethon (?). He treated
the Egyptian soldiery with contempt, and held them of no
account as considering that he would not have need of them.
He did them dishonour in various ways, and in particular
deprived them of their allotments of land, they having been
given twelve arouras * apiece of choice land under the previous
kings. But afterwards Sanacharib, king of the Arabians and
Assyrians, led a great army against Egypt. So the warriors
of the Egyptians refused to help, and the priest being driven
into desperate straits entered the temple and bewailed before
the image the misfortune that hung over him. And while he
lamented sleep came upon him^ and it seemed to him in the
vision that the god stood by him bidding him be of good cheer,
for he would suffer no harm marching against the army of
the Arabians, for he himself would send him some who would
aid. And relying on this dream, he collected those of the
Egyptians who were willing to follow him, and pitched his camp
at Pelusium ; for by that way is the entrance to Egypt. And
not one of the warriors followed him, but (only) traders and
artisans and market people. And when he had arrived there,
field mice streamed into the camp of his opponents themselves
and devoured all their quivers and all their bows and the handle-
thongs of their shields besides, so that the next day they fled
destitute of arms with g^reat loss. And now this king stands in
stone in the temple of Hephaestus, having a mouse on his hand,
speaking thus by means of an inscription, * Let any one looking
upon me, (learn to) be pious !'

* Wiedemann, Herodofs Zweiies Buch^ cap. cxli.
■ Twelve arouras would be eight or nine acres.



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CH. I] SETHON 7

This is the last item in Herodotus' Early History of
Egypt — that dealing with the ages before the Dgdecarchy
and the advent of the Greeks. The materials for this
part of his work he professes to have derived from
statements made to him by the Egyptians and especially
by the priests \ and from innumerable touches it^is
evident that Memphite priests or guides were his principal
sources of information. The story quoted above is
obviously Memphite : let us examine it in detail.

^ 6. The name of Sennacherib (b. c. 705-680) accords
sufficiently well with the period of Egyptian history to
which Herodotus assigns the events of the story, namely
that which followed the Ethiopian conquest by Sabaco
(twenty-fifth dynasty) and preceded the rise of Psam-
metichus (b. c. 663). In that interval Egypt was invaded
time after time from Assyria, by Esarhaddon (b. c. 680-
669), and by Assurbanipal (b. c. 668-625). Sennacherib
apparently suffered no serious reverse in his great
Syrian and Palestinian expedition of B.C. 701 ; but the
story in Herodotus so remarkably resembles the Bib-
lical account of the disaster which befell the army of
Sennacherib in the reign of King Hezekiah*, that one
can hardly doubt that both narratives had a common
origin. In the Bible, Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia and
conqueror of Egypt, figures as about to attack Senna-
cherib ^ Tirhakah was the opponent of Esarhaddon
and Assurbanipal, His date is not exactly known: he
can hardly, however, have begun to reign earlier than
b. c. 686, though he may have commanded an army
before that date.

J 7. Who then was S^O&v^ high priest of Hephaestus
and king of Eg^pt ? At first sight his name would
seem to be S^Om in the accusative, and SiOw is the
equivalent of the Egyptian name 6V/y, which occurs

* cc. xcix, cxlii. * 2 Kings xix. ' Ibid, verse 9.



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8 THE STORY OF SETHON [pt. i

twice amongst the kings of the nineteenth dynasty ^ but
is not known later. A name compounded with that
of the god Set is not likely to be found in the twenty-
fifth dynasty, at a time when Osiris worship of a fanatical
kind was rapidly gaining the ascendency, and the name
of Set was probably being erased from the monuments,
Africanus gives a king Zrir at the end of the twenty-third
dynasty ; he may have been introduced into the list to
represent the original of the supposed X^Ow. If Zrir
really existed, he was probably an Egyptian contem-
porary of the Ethiopian conquerors, like some other
kings of the twenty-third dynasty. It is hardly necessary


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Online LibraryF. Ll. (Francis Llewellyn) GriffithStories of the high priests of Memphis; the Sethon of Herodotus and the demotic tales of Khamuas → online text (page 1 of 18)