The ancient Egyptian coffin texts, Vol. I: spells 1-354 0856687545, 9780856687549

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The ancient Egyptian coffin texts, Vol. I: spells 1-354
 0856687545, 9780856687549

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Volume I, Spells 1-354


The Plural and Dual in Old Egyptian. The Papyrus Bremner-Rhind (Pap. Brit. Mus. 10188). The Wilbour Papyrus, ed. Sir Alan Gardiner. Vol. IV. Index. An Ancient Egyptian Book of Hours (Pap. Brit. Mus. 10569). A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. The Book of the Dead (printed for the Limited Editions Club, New York). The Literature of Ancient Egypt, with W. K. Simpson and E. F. Wente, Jr.


Spells 1-354

R. O. Faulkner, D.Lit., F.S.A.

ARIS & PHILLIPS Ltd. Warminster Englan(t .



85668 005


© R. O. Faulkner. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the publishers. 1973.

Set in 12/14 pt Monotype Imprint 101 Designed by Pete Elek Published by Aris & Phillips Ltd Teddington House, Church Street, Warminster, Wiltshire Printed by offset in Great Britain at The Pitman Press, Bath

To PHYLLIS AND CYRIL SPA ULL In token of a long friendship and of many kindnesses received

PREFACE The Coffin Texts take their title from the fact that they are inscribed in ink on the inside walls of the large rectangular wooden coffins which were much used for the burial of wealthy Egyptians during the Middle Kingdom; texts written on papyrus are very rare, though of course they must once have existed to provide the necessary copies for the scribes working on the coffins. The first attempt to publish these texts as a whole was made by Pierre Lacau, who produced a printed text of eighty-four spells in Receuil de Travaux relatifs it la Philologie et it I' Archaeologie egyptiennes et assyriennes, vols. 26-31, reprinting them in Textes religieux egyptiens, Paris, 1910. Quotations from these texts were used by J. H. Breasted in his Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt, New York and London, 1912~ Lacau was prevented by other preoccupations from carrying this work any further, so Breasted and (Sir) Alan Gardiner, after the end of the war of 1914-18, and with Lacau's full consent and co-operation, took up again the idea of making a complete collection of all known Coffin Texts, and of publishing them in autograph in vertical columns with the signs in their original arrangement and order. This colossal task was undertaken by Professor Adriaan de Buck, at first in collaboration with Gardiner, but later by himself, with the whole-hearted support of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, which also made itself responsible for the publication of the copied texts. The magnificent result of de Buck's labours is the seven volumes of The Egyptian Coffin Texts, published at intervals between 1935 and 1961. The versions of the Pyramid Texts which appear in the Coffin Texts are not, generally speaking, included in de Buck's published copies, for reasons which he states on p. xi of his first volume. It was his original intention to publish these later, but sadly he did not live to do so. But his edition of the Coffin Texts is complete, apart from any later discoveries there may have been, and these seven large volumes are the lasting monument to the acumen and industry of a very great scholar. Had he been spared to do so, de Buck himself would doubtless have carried out the task for which he was uniquely competent, namely the translation of this great corpus of texts into a modern language, but this was not to be, save for one spelllJublished in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol. 35. This rather formidable duty has now been undertaken by one who lacks de Buck's long familiarity with the material, but who can at least plead a life-long active

interest in Egyptian religious texts. As justification for the attempt he can quote Gardiner's dictum in JEA 32, 56: 'Scholars should not shrink from translating difficult texts. At the best they may be lucky enough to hit on the right rendering. At the worst they will have given the critics a target to tilt at'. In general the present work follows the model of my translation of the Pyramid Texts, except that there are no italicized headings to the spells, and the same conventions of translation have been followed. The notes on the spells are confined mostly to textual and philological matters, as a work of this nature does not lend itself to lengthy exposition; discussions of this sort in respect of individual spells of especial interest by various authors will be found in the periodical literature of Egyptology. In such cases the reader is referred in the note or notes following the translation to the relevant article; in the interest of economy the discussions to be found there have not been repeated in the present work. Furthermore, owing to the recent phenomenal rise in the costs of book-produotion, other economies have had to be employed if the price of this work were to be kept at all with reasonable bounds. Thus hieroglyphic signs and groups have been reproduced by zincograph instead of hieroglyphic type, and the indexes, which are intended for inclusion in vol. II, now in course of preparation, will also have to undergo some economy, though in any case the mere mass of the material would have enforced something of the sort. In preparing this work for publication one of my greatest pleasures has been the great encouragement I have had from friends and colleagues, especially those of myoId Department in University College, London; in fact it is not too much to say that without their· support this book would not have seen the light. I also acknowledge most gratefully the friendliness and help I have had from Mr. Adrian Phillips of Aris and Phillips Ltd., the publishers of this book. I further express my great thanks to the Sir Alan Gardiner Settlement for Egyptological Purposes for a generous subvention towards the costs of publication. R. O. Faulkner


vn Xl Xlll I

ABBREVIATIONS Abubakr, Kronen AEO Ann. Servo BD BH Book of Hours Boylan, Thoth Bremner-Rhind Caminos, Lit Frag. Ch.B. COA Concise Diet. CT Dav. Ptah. Edel. Altag. Gramm. Edel, Qubbet el Hawa Edel, Weltkammer

Eg. Gramm. 3 Erman, Religion Festival-Hall

Fischer, Dendera GAS Gauthier, Diet. geogr. GES GNS Hamm.

Harris, Minerals Hymnen

James, I:Ie~anakhte JAOR JEA

A. el M. Abubakr, Untersuchungen uber die agyptischen Kronen. A. H. Gardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica. Annales du Service des antiquites de I'Egypte. E. A. W. Budge, The Book of the Dead, Text (1898 edition). P. E. Newberry, Beni Hasan. R. O. Faulkner, An Ancient Egyptian Book of Hours. P. Boylan, Thoth the Hermes of Egypt. The Bremner-Rhind Papyrus, ed. R. O. Faulkner. R. A. Caminos, Literary Fragments in the Hieratic Script. A. H . Gardiner, Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum. Third Series: Chester Beatty Glft. J. S. Pendlebury, The City of Akhenaten. R. O. Faulkner, A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. A. de Buck, The Egyptian Coffin Texts. N. de G. Davies, The Mastaba of Ptahhetep and Akhethetep. E. Edel, Altagyptische Grammatik. Id., Die Felsengraber der Qubbet el Hawa bei Assuan. Id., Zu den Inschriften auf den Jahreszeiten-reliefs der "Weltkammer" aus dem Sonnenheiligtum des Niuserre in Nachrichten . . . Gottingen, 1961; 1963. A. H. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, 3rd edition. A. Erman, Die Religion der Agypter. E. Naville, The Festival-Hall of Osorkon II in the Great Temple of Bubastis. H. G. Fischer, Dendera in the Third Millennium B.C. A. H. Gardiner, The Admonitions of an Egyptian Sage. H. Gauthier, Dictionnaire des noms geographiques con tenus dans les textes hieroglyphiques. B. Gunn, Studies in Egyptian Syntax. A. H. Gardiner, Notes on the Story of Sinuhe. J. Couyat et P. Montet. Les inscriptions hieroglyphiques et hieratiques du Ouadi J. R. Harris, Lexicographical Studies in Ancient Egyptian Minerals. A. Erman, Hymnen an das Diadem der Pharaonen, in Abhandlungen der koniglichen preussischen Akademie. . ., 1911. T. G. H. James, The I:Ie~anakhte Papers. Journal of the American Oriental Society. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.

Komm. Pyr.

K. Sethe, Ubersetzung und Kommentar zu den altagyptischen


Id., Aegyptische Lesestiicke zum Gebrauch in akademischen

Mill. M.u.K.

The Millingen Papyrus, Revue d' Egyptologie, 15 (1963), 29 if. A. Erman, ZaubersprUche fur Mutter und Kind, in Abhand-

Pyramidentexten. Unterricht.


Pr. Pt. (LII)

Pyr. Pyr. Suppl. Pyr. Transl.

RB Rev. d'Eg. Saqq. Mast.

lungen der koniglichen preussischen Akademie . .. , 191 I. The Story of the Eloquent Peasant, on F. Vogelsang and A. H. Gardiner, Die Klagen des Bauern. The Prisse Papyrus, in Z. Zaba, Les Maximes de Ptahhotep. British Museum Papyrus No. 10509 (duplicate of Pr). K. Sethe, Die altaegyptischen Pyramidentexte.

See the next below. R. O. Faulkner, The AnC£ent Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Translation and hieroglyphic Supplement. A. de Buck, Egyptian Reading-book.

Revue d' Egyptologie. M. A. Murray, Saqqara Mastabas. Save-Soderbergh, Hippopotamus T. Save-Soderbergh, On Egyptian Representations of Hippopotamus Hunting as a Religious Motive, Horae Soderblomianae, III. SDT K. Sethe. Dramatische Texte zu den altagyptischen Mysterienspielen. Sethe, Alphabet Id., Der Ursprung des Alphabets, in Nachrichten. . . Gottingen, 19 16 Sethe, Amun Id., Amun und die acht Urgotter von Hermopolis, in Abhandlungen der preussischen Akademie . .. 1929. Sethe, Lauf Id., Altagyptische Vorstellungen von Lauf der Sonne, in Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie . .. 1928. Sh . S. The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor, in A. M. Blackman, Middle Egyptian Stories. Sitzb. Bayer. Akad. Sitzungsberichte der bayerischen Akademie. Siut F. Ll. Griffith, The Inscriptions of Siut and Der Rifeh. Stud. Griff. Studies presented to F. Ll. Griffith. Th. T. S. Theban Tombs Series, ed. A. H. Gardiner. Urk. I K. Sethe, Urkunden des alten Reichs. Urk. IV Id., Urkunden der I8. Dynastie, continued by W. Heick. Urk. V H. Grapow, Religiose Urkunden. Wh. A. Erman and H. Grapow, W orterbuch der agyptischen Sprache. Wenamun The Misfortunes of Wenamun, in A. H. Gardiner. Late Egyptian Stories. Westc. The Westcar Papyrus, in A. Erman, Die March en des Papyrus Westcar. Zeitschrift fur agyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde.


NOTES TO READERS Square brackets [ Jdenote a restored passage. Square brackets with dots [.. .Jdenote a lacuna. Angle brackets >denote words or suffixes omitted in the original. Round brackets ( ) denote English words supplied to bring out the sense. Dots . . . not in brackets indicate that a word or words are untranslatable. 'Osiris N', representing the name of the owner of the coffin, whether with or without titles or epithets, has been rendered everywhere simply as 'N'; the constant repetition of 'Osiris' as epithet of the deceased becomes almost meaningless, and can make nonsense, as in e.g. '0 Osiris, this Osiris N is your son' . Similarly the demonstrative in N pn 'this N' has not been translated, since again constant repetition renders it meaningless. It might be noted here that pn and pw not infrequently serve as the definite article. The translations have been made in the 1st person where that appears to be original; it is of frequent occurrence and usually too obvious to justify a note.