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Middle Kingdom Studies

Edited

by

Stephen Quirke

51

.1

SIA P U B L I S H I N G
1991
Nacterlands Instituut
vsor ket Nabije Oosten
Laidan - Nodarland

First published in 1991 by SIA Publishing,


31, Maiden Way New Maiden Surrey KT3 6EB

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data


Middle Kingdon studies.
I. Quirke, Stephen
932
ISBN 1 872561 02 0

SIA Publishing

Printed in England by: Whitstable Litho Printers Ltd., Whitstable, Kent

Contents
Preface
Janine

Bourriau

Patterns of c h a n g e in burial c u s t o m s during t h e M i d d l e


Mark

Kingdom

Collier

C i r c u m s t a n t i a l l y a d v e r b i a l ? the c i r c u m s t a n t i a l
sdm(.f)lsdm.n(.f)
reconsidered
Detlef F r a n k e
T h e career of K h n u m h o t e p III of Beni H a s a n and the so-called
" d e c l i n e of the n o m a r c h s "
James

K.Hoffmeier

T h e coffins of t h e M i d d l e K i n g d o m : the R e s i d e n c e and the r e g i o n s


K.A.Kitchen
N o n - E g y p t i a n s r e c o r d e d on M i d d l e - K i n g d o m Stelae in Rio de
Janeiro
R.B.Parkinson
T e a c h i n g s , d i s c o u r s e s and tales from the M i d d l e
Stephen

Kingdom

Quirke

R o y a l p o w e r in the 13th Dynasty


Pascal

Vernus

Sur les graphies d e la formule "l'offrande q u e donne le r o i " au


M o y e n E m p i r e et a la D e u x i m e P e r i o d e I n t e r m d i a i r e

Preface
In April 1988 Darwin College Cambridge hosted an Egyptological
colloquium on Middle Kingdom studies under the title "the
Residence and the Regions", organised by Janine Bourriau. The
gathering of specialists provided a forum for discussion of many
points highlighted by the exhibition "Pharaohs and M o r t a l s "
mounted by Janine at the Fitzwilliam Museum. Since that double
triumph three years ago Janine has retired from her position as
Keeper of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam Museum; in a small way
the papers that join hers in this volume testify to her energetic
role in Egyptology and her untiring assistance to colleagues of
whatever station. As editor and as a student who benefited and
continues to benefit from her guidance I take the opportunity of
this publication to offer on behalf of the others attending the
colloquium and contributing to this volume joint best wishes for a
long and bright future in promoting our subject and assisting
colleagues.
The editor and contributors owe a particular debt of thanks to
Arabella Binney and to Alan May for their generous subvention of
this v o l u m e .
The contributors to this volume include five of the speakers from
the 1988 colloquium as well as the organiser herself. In addition
research fellows Dr.Mark Collier of Corpus Christi Cambridge and
Dr.Richard Parkinson of University College Oxford have added
articles on language and literature, two areas of Middle Kingdom
studies not covered by the original colloquium. The final product
forms it is hoped some fitting tribute to the industry of Janine
Bourriau.

Stephen Quirke
April 1991

Patterns of change in burial customs


during the Middle Kingdom.

by Janine Bourriau

From the Instructions of Prince Harjedef:


"When you prosper, found your household, take a hearty wife, a son
will be born to you. It is for the son you build a house. When you
make a place for yourself, make good your dwelling in the graveyard.
Make worthy your dwelling in the west"
1

The twin poles of an ancient Egyptian's ambition, to establish a family and


build his tomb, are nowhere more concisely expressed. It is this unchanging and
determined preoccupation with provision for the afterlife which allows us to assume
that changes in burial customs accurately reflect changes in society, whether social,
economic or political. In other words, so much time and so many resources went into
the preparation of equipment for the tomb, the arrangements for the burial, and the
funerary cult, that changes in them, which we can observe, must reflect and so help us
to understand wider changes in society as a whole which are otherwise more difficult to
identify.
From specialist studies of particular sites, tombs, or classes of object, we can
begin to see an evolution in burial customs in the Middle Kingdom. I hope to suggest
some ideas and approaches to the subject,without attempting an exhaustive survey of
the sources, inappropriate to this volume of short studies. I shall concentrate on the
material from the Memphis-Fayum region and Middle Egypt and the period from the
2

M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature VolJ. The Old and Middle Kingdoms (Los Angeles,
1975), 58.
^ The bibliography is extensive, and the L together with the most recent issues of the PEB provides
the most convenient access to iL
3 The starting point for this paper was a lecture delivered at Emory University in Atlanta,at a
conference on "A Sense of Place: Regional Art and Archaeology of First Intermediate Period and Middle
Kingdom Egypt" in October 1990. It was organised by Dr. Gay Robins and the University Museum of
Art and Archaeology in conjunction with a loan exhibition, "Beyond the Pyramids. Egyptian Regional
Art from the Museo Egizio, Turin". I should like to take this opportunity to thank Gay Robins for
inviting me to give the lecture and to benefit from the discussions which took place.

Janine Bourriau

beginning of the XII to the early XIII Dynasty, for the practical reason that this has
been the focus of the most recent research and therefore provides the fullest and most
reliable data.
When considering burial customs we always have to accept that the tangible
remains are not the whole story, even in those rare cases where the burial is found
intact. The preparation of the body, the procession to the tomb, words spoken, rites
carried out at the entrance or inside the burial chamber: all these activities leave little or
no trace and yet may have been considered essential in ensuring safe passage through
death to the afterlife.
Establishing which changes in society may be reflected in changes in burial
customs is full of pitfalls. Until recently it was argued, following Moret's classic
exposition, that the adoption for non-royal burials of Coffin Texts (derived ultimately
from the funeral liturgy of the Kings of the Old Kingdom), together with the inclusion
of some items of royal regalia among the painted "Frise d'Objets" on rectangular
coffins, and the modelling of them on anthropoid ones, should be understood in terms
of the growth of the individual's political power at the expense of that of the King.The
breakdown of order, combined with the famines of the early First Intermediate Period,
had (it was argued) undermined faith in the King's power to maintain the divinely
ordered sequence of the seasons and the institutions of public life, and as a
consequence undermined also the belief in his control over the afterlife. This led to
"democratization" of the afterlife, in which the individual, independent of any King,
sought his own deification through identification with Osiris, using rites and prayers
previously restricted to Royalty.
A re-dating of Coffin Texts to the Middle Kingdom, rather than the First
Intermediate Period, that is to a time when the monarchy was strong, not weak, has
prompted a reappraisal. These changes are now thought to be an expression only of
the private person's desire to claim identity with Osiris after death, rather than an
attempt to usurp the privileges of living Kings. It is significant that only images of or
for the use of the dead adopt royal attributes: sceptres, crowns, garments, titles and
modes of address. They continue to be the exclusive preserve of royalty in sculpture
representing the living. Yet if the earlier hypothesis grew out of a preoccupation with
the relationship between the individual and the state, there is implicit in the new one a
modern assumption about the separation of the spiritual from the political side of life, a
division without meaning in Ancient Egypt. There is no doubt that the change in burial
customs did occur, that it was very profound, and that it reflects an equally deep change
in men's views of their relationship to the King, both in this life and in the afterlife. If
this change took place in the Middle Kingdom rather than the First Intermediate Period,
then it is in the society of that time that explanations must be sought
4

However, H.O. Willems, Chests of Life (Leiden, 1988), 14Iff; 238-244 and bibliograhy there cited,
interprets the ornamentation on "standard class" coffins as an "account of the ceremonies on the day of
burial". This paper owes a great deal to Willems' careful analysis of Middle Kingdom coffins, as will
be seen from the numerous citations to this work which follow.
A. Moret, "L'Accession de la Plbe Egyptienne aux droits Religieux et Politiques sous le Moyen
Empire" in Recueil d'tudes gyptologiques 8 (1922), 331-360; also H.Kees, Totenglauben und
Jenseitsvorstellungen der alten gypter (Leipzig, 1926), 164-9.
6 Willems op.cit., passim but especially 244-249. Not all scholars would agree to this redating, see J.
Hoffmeier and bibliography cited in this volume.
5

Patterns of change in burial customs

The evolution of burial customs can be visualised as forming three interlocking


patterns which relate to geography, chronology, and status and number of people being
buried or commemorated.
First, we can examine the geographical pattern. All the important Middle
Kingdom sites had their only, or major period of excavation early in the history of
Egyptology and, sadly, in the history of archaeology, between 1890 and 1914.
Significant exceptions are Aswan, the Delta, and the Memphis region, but the recent
excavations in these regions still await completion and/or full publication. During this
initial period of excavation, and right up until the 1960's, the traditional view was that
Egypt was culturally unified after the political unification by Nebhepetre Mentuhotep in
Dynasty XI, and continued to be so until the end of Dynasty XII. It followed from this
that graves at Qau in Upper Egypt could be compared with graves from Harageh in the
Fayum and differences between them interpreted in terms of chronology rather than of
regional variation.
Specialist studies of individual regions or classes of object, particularly tomb
biographies, stelae, coffins and pottery, have changed this view, and most scholars
would now agree that Egypt's material culture in the Middle Kingdom can be observed
only in terms of the cultures of the Delta, the Memphis-Fayum region, Middle Egypt (to
Asyut), Upper Egypt and Aswan. From the end of the Old Kingdom onwards each of
these regions - and in some cases even smaller districts within them - evolved its own
craft traditions in the manufacture of funerary monuments and equipment; for each
region, a separate sequence must be established. The gaps in our knowledge are such
that we can often identify a coffin or stela as belonging to a particular provincial
workshop but be unable to assign it to a precise date within that workshop's history.
Coffins, being difficult to transport and yet not requiring, like tomb reliefs or sculpture,
the special skills of masons or sculptors who could travel from one commission to
another, are most striking expressions of local workshop traditions. Furthermore, if
the coffin is interpreted as a "ritual machine" i.e. as a medium through which what
was spoken or acted out once could continue to be efficacious for eternity, then the
evolution of its inscriptions should directly reflect changes in the rites of burial.
Pottery, on the other hand, suffers from the complication that while much of it may
have been made locally, some specialist vessels, containers for traded commodities,
were transported widely. It is not always possible to distinguish the local product from
7

Willems opxit., 161, suggests that coffin painters did occasionally travel and cites a coffin from Beni
Hasan whose decoration matches very closely coffins from Bersheh. The art historical analysis such as
W.K.Simpson has begun for stelae in Terrace of the Great God at Abydos: The Offering Chapels of
Dynasties 12 and 13 (New Haven and Philadelphia, 1974) has not yet been embarked upon for coffin
decoration.
8 See for example the fragments of an unprovenanced coffin in the Fitzwilliam Museum, E.W.66a,b.
J.Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals. Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom (Cambridge, 1988) Cat.no.67.
It has been assigned to Asyut and to the reign of Amenemhet II on the evidence of the owner's name,
Wepwawetemhet, and the pattern of three vertical text columns between the panels and four vertical text
columns at each end of the long sides. The design is unique to Asyut. The alignment in the published
photograph should be corrected. The two pieces belong side by side with a gap the width of one panel
and two vertical text columns between them.
Willems op.cit., 239.
9

Janine Bourriau

the import on shape alone, and many excavation reports provide no other
information.
Centres within these regions - places like Asyut, Aswan, Bersheh, Beni Hasan,
and Gebelein - were immemorially ancient Nome capitals or cult centres, inheritors of
local traditions going backiperhaps even beyond the Unification under Mens. In
addition to these places there were three significant urban centres: the Residence, Iit3wy, probably to be identified with Lisht; Thebes, the centre of the administration of
the Southern part of Egypt and the heartland of the XI and XII Dynasties; and finally
Abydos, centre of pilgrimage, the burial place of Osiris. Much of the history of the first
part of the Middle Kingdom, up till the end of the reign of Senwosret HI, can be seen in
terms of the interplay between on the one hand these three cities, dominated by the
activities of the King and his officials, and on the other the provincial centres controlled
by dynasties of Nomarchs and their dependents.
Why did Amenemhat I choose to establish what was in effect a new capital city,
a new royal Residence at It-t3wy, between Memphis and the Fayum, ignoring
Memphis itself? It may have been because his own reign was not secure, if we accept at
face value the Instructions he left for his son Senwosret I, which tell him:
10

"Trust not a brother, know not a friend, make no intimates, it is


worthless. When you lie down, guard your heart yourself for no man
has adherents on the day of woe."
11

The text goes on to describe an assassination attempt, recalling perhaps the


event which precipitated Sinuhe's flight to Syria in his famous narrative.
However, an additional reason may have been that Amenemhet I, like many
founders of new Dynasties before and since, wanted a new capital.He called it,
significantly, It-t3wy, "Seizer of the Two Lands". (Nearby Heracleopolis, close to the
mouth of the Fayum, had been the capital of a rival Dynasty during the First
Intermediate Period, thereby emphasising the importance of this region for the control
of Northern Egypt). In contemporary Egyptian texts, It-t3wy is often called simply
"The Residence", a phrase sufficient to designate the royal palace, the residence of the
King being inevitably the seat of central government. All the officials and institutions
set up there were dependent on the new King, inheritors of no ancient traditions
(Memphis), or rival loyalties (Heracleopolis). The site of this capital has not been
identified for certain but must lie in the cultivation near the modern village of el Lisht,
close to the place chosen for the Pyramid complexes of Amenemhet I and Senwosret I,
which remained an important necropolis for the rest of the Middle Kingdom. The
significance of the Residence, its total identification with the State, is illustrated by the
fact that the Middle Kingdom may be considered to end with the abandonment of the
Residence and the withdrawal of the King southwards to Thebes. This event took
place some time after the middle of the XIII Dynasty, in response (we surmise) to the
increasing power of local rulers, more particularly the Hyksos based at Avaris (Tell
Dab'a) in the Eastern Delta.
12

1 0

This is a problem encountered in establishing the distribution of storage vessels of Marl C fabric,
made of a clay from the Memphis-Fayum region, into Middle Egypt, Nubia and the Delta, bypassing
Upper Egypt; see J.Bourriau, "Nubians in Egypt during the Middle and New Kingdoms" to be
published by the British Museum.
Lichtheim opxit., 136; S. Quirke in Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals, Cat.no.60.
W.CHayes, "Horemkha'uef of Nekhen and his Trip to It-towe" in JEA 33 (1947), 3-11.
1 1

1 2

Patterns of change in burial customs

The region around the Residence, from Dahshur in the North to and including
the Fayum, was a focus for royal activity throughout the XII and XIII Dynasties. Here
the kings were buried: there are Pyramids of Amenemhet II, Amenemhet III and
Senwosret III at Dahshur, Senwosret I and Amenemhet I at Lisht, Senwosret II at
Lahun, and Amenemhet III again at Hawara. To the cemeteries around the Pyramid
complexes came the great officials of the state, the vizirs and treasurers, desiring to be
buried close to the King they served. In this way they had access, by favour of the
King, to all the resources of the royal workshops. Sinuhe describes the favours
showered on him by Senwosret I, "A stone Pyramid was built for me in the midst of
the Pyramids. The masons who build tombs constructed it. A master draughtsman
designed it. A master sculptor carved in it. The overseers of construction in the
Necropolis busied themselves with it. All the equipment that is placed in a tomb shaft
was supplied. Mortuary priests were given me. A funerary domain was made for me. It
had fields and a garden in the right place as is done for a Companion of the first
rank." The attraction of such patronage in this world and the next must have been
great: it was sufficient to cause the successor of Khnumhotep II to abandon his
unfinished tomb at Beni Hasan in favour of a mastaba at Dahshur, close to the Pyramid
of Amenemhet III.
We can perhaps assume that such burials of the highest officials and their
families, i.e. of those people closest to the King, would have been the first to respond
to change. In the early XII Dynasty each King moved his mortuary complex to a new
site, and whilst retaining the Royal Pyramid as centrepiece, rearranged the elements of
Mortuary Temple, Valley Temple, subsidiary Pyramids and private mastabas. Such
architectural innovation and experiment would have provided a climate encouraging to
changes in burial rites and equipment It is significant that the two most popular designlayouts for the external decoration of "standard class" coffins, Willems' layouts of
types IV and VI, may originate in the cemeteries around the Residence. Two Lisht
coffins are among his earliest sources for type IVaa, and type VI is thought to derive
from the decoration on the royal sarcophagi of Senwosret II and III and Amenemhet HI
at Lahun and Dahshur.
Similarly, in pottery studies Dorothea Arnold has recently shown that the
Riqqeh-Lahun-Harageh corpus thought to be characteristic of Dynasty X I I originated
at Lisht in the second half of the reign of Senwosret I . Given the different ceramic
traditions prevailing in Egypt in the early XII Dynasty, it is possible to chart the spread
of this "Residence" pottery tradition as it reached the rest of Egypt and Nubia. It is
significant that it arrives in Nubia before it appears at Thebes and becomes dominant
throughout the country only in the late XTJ Dynasty. Until then the degree to which it is
present on a provincial site can be used as one indication of the strength of contacts
between that site and the Residence.
Thebes had a different history in the Middle Kingdom, in so far as we know it.
It is rich in private and royal funerary monuments from the XI dynasty until the reign of
Senwosret I; thereafter, fewer monuments survive. The obvious interpretation is that
13

14

15

16

17

18

*3 Lichtheim op.cit., 233.


* The evidence, which is frustratingly incomplete, is summarised in Willems op.cit., 61-2, n.19.
Willems op.cit., 160, n.138..
Ibid., 162, n.147.
B J. Kemp and R.S. Merrillees, Minoan Pottery in Second Millennium Egypt (Mainz, 1980), 23.
Dorothea Arnold in Dieter Arnold, The Pyramid of Senwosret I (New York, 1988), 143-146.
4

1 5

1 6

1 7

1 8

Janine Bourriau

private cemeteries become more modest, earlier cliff tombs are re-used and simple
shafts without superstructures dug, until the mid-XIII Dynasty when the centre of royal
power shifts southwards again. However, there is an exceptional amount of
unpublished evidence of this date, especially from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
excavations at Thebes, which may change this picture radically.
Abydos was the sacred city, home of Osiris and the site of his tomb, identified
in the Middle Kingdom with the tomb of King Djer of the First Dynasty. The Abydos
necropolis was continuously used for the burials of people who lived locally or who
were attached to the site's numerous shrines, but in the course of the XU Dynasty it
became increasingly important to be commemorated there, regardless of where you
were buried. People wished to dwell near the god in the same way as they might wish
to be buried or commemorated close to the royal tomb enclosure. Statues, offering
tables and stelae were set up in small chapels. These might belong to families, or to
groups of people whose work drew them together, and as officials passed up and down
the river secure in the stability of a unified country, we may imagine them calling in at
Abydos to arrange for a commemoration to be left for them and their families, patrons
or proteges at the Terrace of the Great God.
Hundreds of stelae were the product of this piety; publication and analysis of
this rich documentation is one of the most important recent advances in Egyptology,
giving us all the more reason to regret that so few of these stelae can be restored to the
monument from which they were extracted and so related to others of the same date or
family group. Nor, with very few exceptions, can they be related to the contents of
the extensive cemeteries of shaft tombs at Abydos. If we could relate burial equipment
and stelae as we can begin to relate sculpture and stelae, Egyptian archaeology would
be immensely enriched.
The regional styles that can be observed in the early Middle Kingdom were not
static, either in themselves or in their relationship to each other. As the XII Dynasty
progresses, a general increase in wealth is apparent, judging simply by the quality of
the raw materials used in private and royal monuments. Wood gives way to stone in
sculpture in the round, and modest burials contain gold and hard stone jewellery and
amulets. With this wealth comes a shift of resources away from the provinces
towards the Fayum region, around the Residence. This is most clearly seen in Middle
Egypt, at sites like Meir, Beni Hasan, Bersheh and AsyuL They had all ceased to exist
by the reign of Amenemhet III, whereas the main period of use of the Harageh, Lisht
North and Dahshur cemeteries came in the late XII to XI Dynasties.
19

20

21

22

23

24

1 9

A. Leahy, "The "Osiris' Bed Reconsidered" in Orientalia 46 (1977), 424-434.


20 There is a great increase in private stelae at Abydos during the reign of Senwosret I and again in the
late XII-early XIII Dynasties; Simpson op.cit., passim.
21 Simpson op.cit., passim; D. Franke, Personendaten aus dem Mittleren Reich (Wiesbaden, 1984),
passim.
22 For example at Elephantine, L. Habachi, The Sanctuary of Heqaib (Mainz, 1985).
23 it could be argued that coffins provide similar dating criteria to stelae: names, titles, funerary
formulae, religious texts and motifs and design of decoration. However, the number of deposits where
coffins and grave goods may be associated is suprisingly small.with the important exception of the
shaft tombs at Beni Hasan. Nevertheless it is noteworthy that Willems hardly ever appeals to associated
objects for dating coffins. He does not provide tomb numbers in his documentation of them and this
emphasises that his approach isolates the coffin from the physical context of burial. This is
inconsistent, perhaps, with his aim of understanding the texts on coffins in terms of the rites of burial.
Bourriau op.cit., 127, Cat.no. 159, a gold catfish from Harageh Cemetery A 72.
2 4

Patterns of change in burial customs

The process is twofold. There is a growing cultural homogeneity expressed in


the style of coffins and pottery and the selection of grave goods, and there is a
movement of people, either to a different part of the cemetery or away from the
cemetery altogether. What happened is not easy to understand. Why did Asyut cease to
function before Beni Hasan did, for example? Despite the uneven pace of this change,
there are obvious phases in the transitional period. A lesser change is marked by the
end of the reign of Senwosret I, a greater one by the end of the reign of Senwosret III
and the final phase ends with the abandonment of the Residence in the XHI Dynasty.
It is the cultural homogeneity of the late Middle Kingdom which contrasts so
strongly with the First Intermediate Period or the first phase of the Middle Kingdom,
ending with the reign of Senwosret I. At the end of this first phase, local traditions in
funerary equipment and sculpture begin to give way to artefacts without such a strong
local character. Asyut exhibits the trend most clearly, as Diana Magee has shown in
her unpublished thesis. The burial of Djefaiha'py, who served King Senwosret I,
contains the latest known example of a coffin type unique to Asyut, part of a tradition
of coffin decoration, defined by motifs, inscriptions and their arrangement, going back
to the early Heracleopolitan era.
From a period contemporary with Djefaiha'py's coffin, and a little later, coffins
of Willems' type IVaa occur at Asyut itself, at Bersheh, Beni Hasan, and Lisht. This
trend towards standardisation in the exterior decoration of "standard class" coffins,
which seems to me to begin at this time, is reinforced by a change which also
occurred a little later, in the reign of Amenemhet II, in their interior decoration.
Willems' type 1 is replaced by his type 2, and in the new type the similarities between
coffins from different sites is so strong that Willems suggests that it can be accounted
for only by contact between coffin workshops.
Willems' documentation has to be used with care because he analyses only what
he calls the "standard class" coffin, and not coffin types whose occurrence is
confined to a single site. His purpose is to establish dating criteria for coffins with
Coffin Texts by comparing coffins from different sites, and such "deviant" types as
he calls them, (or"Siutian" for those from Asyut) are a dead end in this respect. These
are, however, all-important in showing the strength of local traditions in funerary ritual
and coffin craft.
What the sources, uneven though they are, do show in respect of coffin
decoration, is that the "standard class" coffin with interior decoration was more popular
25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

25 Bourriau op.cit., 10-12.


26 Diana Magee, Asyut to the end of the Middle Kingdom: an historical and cultural study. University
of Oxford, 1990. Donald Spanel's unpublished thesis, which I have not seen, should also be consulted,
see J.Hoffmeier, this volume.
2 Willems op.cit., 136-7, with fig.10. The earliest examples are listed on p.160, n.l38.See also
above n.16.
281 have already suggested above, that Lisht may be the source of the layout design.
Willems op.cit., 190.
30 Ibid., 49-50. This is G .Lapp's Lower Egyptian type in L,V, 430-434. Lapp's account is more
comprehensive in scope though necessarily less detailed than Willems' work. See also J.Hoffmeier, this
volume.
3* As a consequence he lists all coffins with interior decoration, List 1, p.19-34, but only a limited
number of those without, List 2, p.35-40.
32 in Willems List 1, under Asyut, there are 69 coffins, of which 46 are "Siutian".
7

2 9

Janine Bourriau

10

at Saqqara, Bersheh, Meir, Beni Hasan and Lisht than at Asyut and (not suprisingly,
given the distance involved and the strength of local craft traditions) Thebes. Too little
has survived from other Upper Egyptian sites for comparisons to be useful.
Nevertheless it would seem that local traditions in coffin decoration were more
tenacious at some places than at others. The relationship of the site to the Residence
may be a factor, not just in terms of distance but also in terms of the degree of contact
with the King and his officials. However, until the early XII Dynasty coffin types used
in the cemeteries at Lisht are published and can be compared with those from the great
cemeteries in Middle Egypt, the situation cannot be completely understood.
The strength of local styles also varied from craft to craft: compare for example,
the evolution of pottery style with coffin typology. Dorothea Arnold has shown how
the classic Middle Kingdom pottery repertoire was a creation of the Lisht potters in the
second half of the reign of Senwosret I . She has also shown how types-of the First
Intermediate period continued to circulate longer at Asyut and Beni Hasan than at
Sedment or Gurob. This phenomenon may explain why Seidlmayer, in his seriation
of the Beni Hasan tombs, placed those groups with classic XII Dynasty pottery in his
latest level, Level HI, dated by him to the reigns of Amenemhet II-Senwosret I I . The
pottery from Beni Hasan has a character all its own, and moreover, includes shapes
circulating in Upper Egypt as well as examples of the "Residence style". The potters
whose workshops were immortalised in the Beni Hasan tomb paintings produced a
funerary pottery altogether more idiosyncratic in style and technology than the products
of the coffin makers. This may also have been true at Bersheh and Meir,but the
evidence for the first site is unpublished and for the second lost. The evidence suggests
at present that the new pottery style contemporary with the type IVaa coffins,
introduced at the end of the reign of Senwosret I, was, unlike the coffins, confined at
first to the cemeteries in the immediate vicinity of the Residence, i.e. Lisht itself and
Riqqeh.
It is the reign of Senwosret III which introduces the final phase of the Middle
Kingdom. We can see changes in that reign which go far beyond burial customs and
touch all aspects of the material culture, language and institutions of society.
Such a profound cultural change did not come about simply through the King's
political will, as the culmination of Senwosret Ill's policy of centralisation of power,
but seems to be more deep seated and unselfconscious. Stephen Quirke has argued that
Senwosret Ill's concern to re-define the boundaries of Egypt may have been the
catalyst for this profound social change. He fixed the southern border at Semna, and
cut a channel through the rocks of the First Cataract so that, for the first time, the Nile
was navigable even at low water from the Second Cataract to the Mediterranean. The
effect of this on communications with Nubia is easy to see. Two examples may
suffice: the soldiers of the garrison of the late XTJ Dynasty at Buhen were buried with
33

34

35

36

37

38

3 3

The coffins from Lisht South and Lisht North are currently being prepared for publication by James
Allen of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
See note 18 above.
Willems op.cit., 144, n.333.
16 SJ.Seidlmayer, Grberfelder aus dem Obergang vom Alten zum Mittleren Reich, (Heidelberg,
1990), 233. This book reached me too late to be fully incorporated into the present paper.
37 LBourriau, Umm el Ga'ab. Pottery from the Nile Valley before the Arab Conquest (Cambridge,
1981), 60-63.
Cemetery A at Riqqeh began in the reign of Amenemhet II, Arnold op.cit., 143, n.329.
3 4

3 5

Patterns of change in burial customs

11

grave goods indistinguishable in appearance from those of their contemporaries buried


at Lisht or Dahshur over a thousand miles to the north. Marl clay storage jars typical
of the Memphis-Fayum region can be found all over Nubia, as far south as Kerma.
Since these jars are never found in Upper Egypt, they are evidence of direct trade
between the region around the Residence and Nubia.
In terms of burial customs, the changes manifested themselves in two ways,
both in a movement away from the provincial cemeteries which had evolved after the
Old Kingdom and in changes in the type and class of object placed in the burial. After
the reign of Senwosret III no evidence is forthcoming from Beni Hasan, Meir,
Bersheh, and Asyut. Provincial cemeteries of people at a lower level of society those at Diospolis Parva, Qau cemetery 7000, El Kab, and Rifeh, for example - show
continuity of use throughout the Middle Kingdom, in the locality if not always in
exactly the same spot; those of the Nomarchs and their dependents do not. Inscriptions,
scarabs and coffins, however, are relatively rare and the names and titles of few
individuals survive. It seems that the majority of the people buried in these graves
were not members of the official classes. By every available criterion they were of
lower status than, for example, most of those buried in the cemeteries of comparable
date in the Memphis-Fayum region, or at Abydos or Thebes.
There are also changes to be seen in the actual contents of non-royal burial
groups of the late XII to XIII Dynasty. The most characteristic product of the funerary
workshops of the early XII Dynasty, apart from coffins, was wooden tomb models.
They ceased to appear in the Memphis-Fayum region after the reign of Senwosret n,
with the occasional exception of boat models, which continued until the mid- XII
Dynasty. Brunton's original observation during his excavations at el-Lahun has been
amply confirmed by Angela Tooley's comprehensive study.
Like the classic XII Dynasty pottery style, this change in burial practices did not
reach some provincial cemeteries like Meir and Beni Hasan until later. As a
consequence we find in Beni Hasan tomb 500 - an intact burial - a coffin with outer
decoration of Willems' type VI, introduced between the end of the reign of Amenemhet
II and early in the reign of Senwosret HI, and inner decoration of type 2, together with
pottery of similar date, two model boats and a model granary. Beni Hasan tombs 75
and 886 also contained coffins with outer decoration of type VI together with boat
models.
Coincidentally with the disappearance of models a new range of ritual objects
begins to appear in burials: funerary figurines, developing into shabtis; magic wands
and rods, accompanied by figurines which are 3-dimensional versions of the subjects
39

40

41

42

43

44

45

46

39 Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals, Cat.no. 136.


Do. Arnold, "Kerarnikbearbeitung in Dahschur 1976-1981" in MDA1K 38 (1982), fig.8, nos.3, 5,
6, 7, 8, 10, 12; fig.9, no.15; fig.19, no.2.
See note 10 above.
The evidence is reviewed conveniently in Willems, op.cit., 62-104.
3 Some evidence has been lost through poor preservation. Mace's notebooks recording his work in
Cemetery W at Diospolis Parva occasionally note the presence of painted coffins; see also the quotation
from Hilda Petrie's diary in Bourriau, op.cit., 99.
W.MJ\Petrie, G.Brunton and M.A.Murray, Lahun II (London, 1923), 34.
^ Angela Tooley, Middle Kingdom Burial Customs. A Study of Wooden Models and Related
Materials. University of Liverpool, Ph.D.thesis, 1990.
J.Garstang, The Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt (London, 1907), 214, 226, 243.

4 0

4 1

4 2
4

4 4
4

4 6

^exlands Insfctum
%5or het Nabije Oester

12

Janine Bourriau

depicted on them; faience model offerings of food and pottery; female figurines. At the
same time we begin to find a style of writing of funerary inscriptions which uses
mutilated hieroglyphs.
There is evidence that at least some of these changes spread out to the rest of
Egypt from the cemeteries close to the Residence and the royal funerary complexes
nearby. At the end of the XII Dynasty, the multiplicity of temples dedicated to the
mortuary cults of Middle Kingdom Kings was sufficient to ensure the presence in this
area of large staffs of priests, funerary scribes, and their dependent officials; here was
the perfect setting for new rites of burial to appear and to spread.
If we use the refinements in pottery dating now available from Lisht and apply
them to a few key groups from the region, where the association of pottery, objects and
(sometimes) coffin is reasonably secure, we may be able to establish when this change
took place. I am aware of the great danger in extracting individual groups from a mass
of archaeological material in this way, which is to generalise from a small and possibly
unrepresentative sample of data. I have, however, chosen either groups which have
already been used by others to establish the character of Middle Kingdom burials or
well dated groups from the most recent work at Dahshur and Lisht by Dorothea and
Dieter Arnold. (A list and brief discussion of the groups is given at the end of the
paper). What they show is that a change in the selection of objects for burial coincides
with the evolution of pottery types dateable to the late XH" to early XHI Dynasties. The
starting point jeems to be the reign of Amenemhet in and the end, in this region, the
advanced XII Dynasty. If we add three well dated groups from Abydos and Thebes
the chronological picture is similar, but there is also some evidence to suggest that the
changes occurred a little later at these centres.
Most cemeteries of the mid-late XII Dynasty produced funerary statuettes in
hard stones, representing the deceased as a wrapped mummy or wearing a long cloak.
The name and title may be given, with or without the offering formula and other
prayers, or the figure may be uninscribed. Such figures are sometimes placed in
model coffins, and are found in offering chapels at Abydos as well as in tombs
generally. It is consistent with what we know of Ancient Egyptians to assume a
multiplicity of purposes for these figures. The statuette could function as an additional
representation of the wrapped body of the deceased in funeral rites, and as a stand-in
for it in the offering cult, or in the afterlife if the real body were destroyed. The
statuettes seem to have evolved from the mummy figures placed in model funerary
boats, illustrating belief in the posthumous pilgrimage to Abydos.
The next step in the development of these statuettes is the application to them of
the shabti text, and this seems to have happened first in the Memphis-Fayum area. The
47

48

49

50

51

4 7

Kemp and Merrillees op.cit., passim; B. Williams in Sarapis 3 (1975-6), 41-55; C. Liliquist in
Sarapis 5 (1979), 27-8.
See above, notes 18 and 40.
^ Abydos B13; the burial of Renseneb in Carter's tomb 25 in the Asasif at Thebes; and the objects
from the Ramesseum tomb no.5. See tomb list.
50 W.M.F. Ptrie, G.A. Wainwright and E. Mackay, The Labyrinth, Gerzeh and Mazguneh (London,
1912), pl.xxx, two examples from Hawara dating from the reign of Amenemhet III; Bourriau op.cit.,
Cat.no.82, from Diospolis Parva, W38.
H. Frankfort in JEA 14 (1928), 239-40, pl.XXII,3.
4 8

5 1

Patterns of change in burial customs

13

52

earliest examples are from Lisht. The text is an old spell, first known amongst Coffin
Texts from Meir and El Bersheh. It is in the form of a legal contract, and sets out to
provide the deceased with exemption from his duty to help maintain the irrigation
system in the afterlife, by appointing the shabti as his substitute. This undoubtedly
reflects the practice of a society in which the great division lay, as it still does in Egypt,
between those who carry out manual work and those who do not. With the addition of
this text the shabti figure has acquired a very specific function, but it did not thereby
lose any of its earlier significance. Shabtis are still found, sometimes in miniature
coffins, in offering deposits, or they may be represented in relief sculpture on stelae
or in shrines.
When it appears on the statuettes, the text uses mutilated hieroglyphs in which
the legs of the signs representing birds, human beings, animals and reptiles have been
removed. The reason for this we know, since the practice also occurs in earlier
compilations, such as the Pyramid Texts: it is to prevent the power of the beings
represented by the hieroglyphs from doing harm to the newly dead, as vulnerable (in
Egyptian thinking) as the newly born to malign influence. The earliest burial group
known to me to contain the script is the burial of the princess Neferu-ptah, daughter of
Amenemhet III. From the late XII Dynasty onward, at Lisht, Dahshur and Hawara,
this mutilated script was used for objects placed close to the body in burial. The
tradition spread to Abydos and Thebes, the latest known example being the coffin
of one of the most important kings of the Theban seventeenth Dynasty, NubkheperreInyotef.
The wands and rods with their associated collections of magical figures, which
appear in late Middle Kingdom burials anywhere in Egypt, can be paralleled by objects
from domestic contexts at Kahun, a town dating from the reign of Senwosret II to the
XIII Dynasty. Unfortunately the archaeological sequence at Kahun is unknown, so
for most of the finds precise dates cannot be given. Nevertheless, the context is
interesting in providing general support for the date of these objects and illustrating
53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

5 2

H.D. Schneider, Shabtis I (Leiden, 1977), 182. For Lisht 453 in which the shabti of Ameny was
found, see tomb list below.
53 Ibid., 46-7. To this discussion should be added Willems' comments on the dating of the relevant
coffins, B2L, BIP, p.75-7 and M47C, p.97.
54 See shabtis of Bener and Wahneferhotep from Lisht, in tomb list.
55 P.Vernus,"Une Formule des shaouabtis sur un pseudo-naos de la XHIe Dynastie" in Revue
d'Egyptologie 26 (1974), 101-114.
56 P.Lacau,"Suppressions et modifications de signes dans les textes funraires" in ZS 51 (1914), 164.
57 N. Farag and Z. Iskander, The Discovery ofNeferwptah (Cairo, 1971), 48-58.
58 Abydos B13,dateable to Dynasty XIII, see tomb list.
59 Carter and Carnarvon tomb 25, which has a terminus post quern of the reign of Amenemhet IV; see
tomb list.
60 in the British Museum, see H.E.Winlock,"The Tombs of the Kings of the Seventeenth Dynasty at
Thebes" in JEA X (1924), pl.XIV.
W.M.F.Petrie, Kahun, Gurob and Hawara (London, 1890), pLVHI.
62 The meagre information in the reports has been painstakingly examined in Kemp and Merrillees,
op.cit., 57-102.
6 1

Janine Bourriau

14
63

how devices perhaps long used to protect the living, were being adopted into burial
practices. The idea that the newly born and the newly dead required the same magical
protection against the natural forces of disease and decay, the supernatural powers of
the night and of the desert and the unquiet dead was hardly an innovation. The
kinship between some spells among the Coffin Texts and the medico-magical papyri,
such as those in the Ramesseum find, shows this very well. Nevertheless the notion
seems to have found new expression at this time in the Memphis-Fayum region.
The female figurines which also appear at this time cannot on present evidence
be thought to originate in a particular region; sundry types were in circulation and
represent local variants. The model food offerings and miniature cups made of
faience, perhaps in origin a replacement for wooden tomb models, do seem to be more
popular in the Memphis-Fayum region than in Upper Egypt but that may be a distortion
due to an imbalance in the sources available to us.
From the mid-XII Dynasty onwards, after the reign of Senwosret IU, changes
in the decoration of coffins also occurred, coinciding with this change in the burial
goods. Firstly the trend towards standardisation in exterior decoration becomes even
more marked, as the local workshops of Bersheh, Beni Hasan, Asyut and Meir cease to
operate. Willems shows clearly how his type VI coffin becomes the most common type
throughout Egypt after the reign of Senwosret III. Secondly the frequency of interior
decoration with Frise d'Objets and Coffin Texts shows a corresponding steep decline
after the end of his reign. Isolated examples appear until well into the Xffl Dynasty
but they are special cases: burials of the royal family and their household; ofSsnb-nf,
a chief lector priest at Lisht; and of officials close to the King. Moreover, the
coffins are not "standard class" coffins, but either "court" types or "deviants". The
few examples imply that access to the texts was much more restricted in the late Middle
Kingdom and this contrasts sharply with the situation in the early XII Dynasty, when
coffins from Aswan, Abusir, Bersheh, Beni Hasan, Gebelein, Sedment, Saqqara, and
Thebes, all carry Coffin Texts.
64

65

66

67

68

69

70

71

72

73

6 3

Altenmller, see note 74 below, makes their primary function to protect living women and children
clear.
4 Evidence to confirm this from other settlements in the region is lacking so far. The earliest levels
above water at Kom Rabi'a at Memphis, curreny being excavated by the Egypt Exploration Society,
are late XII Dynasty (personal observation). It is doubtful that any site in the valley, such as Kom
Rabi'a, can produce the range of objects in organic materials that have come from Kahun.
Bourriau opxit., 110-127.
66 Stephen Quirke, personal communication.
6 CPinch, "Childbirth and Female Figurines at Deir el-Medina and el-Amarna" in Orientalia 52
(1983), 405-414.
6^ Willems lists three exterior decoration layout types, IVaa, IVba and VI, which occur during, and (in
the case of IVba and VI) begin shortly before, the reign of Senwosret III and continue later. 20 coffins
with these types of exterior decoration also carry the latest type of interior decoration, Willems' type 2,
which includes Coffin Texts. Of these, none is certainly later than the reign of Senwosret III.
At Dahshur, see coffins DalC-Da8x in Willems op.cit., 22-3.
LiLi.Willems op.cit.,2A,\05; G. Lapp in SAK 13 (1986), 135-147.
T6C and TlOC.Willems op.cit.,\\l\ Berlev in JEA 60 (1974), 106-113.
72 Willems op.cit., List 1, for definitions of these terms.
Examples from these sites all carry Willems' type I layout of exterior decoration, which dies out
after the reign of Amenemhet I; p.127 with chronological table p.121.
6 5

6 9

7 0

7 1

7 3

Patterns of change in burial customs

15

We can, I think, see a chronological correlation in the late XII Dynasty,


between the decline in the occurrence of coffins with interior decoration and the
appearance in burials of magical figurines, rods and wands. Is it possible that these
objects are replacing some of the spells previously represented in the Coffin Texts? The
basic study of the procession of animals, hieroglyphs and gods shown on the wands is
by Altenmller. The background myth is the battle of the sun god against his
enemies. The sun god's helpers are shown carrying knives, and it is the protective
powers represented by these beings which are called up to aid the dead. Represented on
the wands in the Ramesseum group are deities: Seth, Re, Nekhbet, Thueris, and both
male and female forms of Aha; mythical beasts: griffin with human head between its
wings, snake-headed leopard, triple-headed serpent; real animals: frog, cat, baboon,
turtle, hon; hieroglyphs: the wsr sign and the brazier sign for fire, ht. Spells referring to
the myth of the sun god travelling through the caverns of the night are a major theme of
the Coffin Texts. Willems has argued that the texts relate to episodes in the funerary
rites themselves. If he is right, the relatively sudden disappearance of these texts from
non-royal coffins would imply a dramatic change in private funerary ritual. Could the
figures and the wands have come to replace, in a cheaper and more easily obtainable
form, the solar spells in the Coffin Texts? The objects were, after all, in current use for
a similar purpose in everyday life. This suggestion need not be invalidated by the fact
that examples of Coffin Texts, and of Coffin Texts and Pyramid Texts together,
continue to appear sporadically, painted or carved on the walls of the burial chambers
of private tombs.
I have so far discussed patterns of change in relation to the funerary geography
of Egypt and the chronological phases of the Middle Kingdom. Finally I should like to
suggest a change which I think can be seen in the social pattern of burial. This again
relates to the last phase of the Middle Kingdom, the late XII - XIII Dynasties.
Opportunities for burial and/or commemoration in a sanctified place close to a
royal mortuary temple, or at Abydos at the "Terrace of the Great God", were open to
more people than ever before. Statues and stelae were increasingly deposited in
temples, both inside near the doors and in the outer courts, so that they might "dwell
near the god" and benefit from the rites and offerings made there. Moreover, the texts
of funerary stelae themselves change. The autobiographical texts of the early Middle
Kingdom are replaced by religious ones, hymns to Osiris or Min (a change which may
be related to a need to find another medium for texts relating to the Osiris myth
previously provided by the Coffin Texts), and/or simple offering formulae with family
genealogies and endless lists of names.
A limestone stela from Abydos with a simple painted text is an example of the
most modest category of memorial. Seventeen men and women are listed; only two
of the men are given titles, and they are simply "steward". There is no reference to
master or mistress, so we may assume their status was above that of the serving
classes. Here we see, as Quirke has said, individuals from among the elusive middle
ranks, between literate official and illiterate farmer.
I shall both speculate and generalise to suggest that the late Middle Kingdom
saw a simplification in burial customs, which made burials and/or commemorations
74

75

76

7 4

H.AItenmiiller, Die Apotropaia und die Gtter Mittelgyptens, Diss. Munich, 1965. vols.I, U; id.,
in SAK 13 (1986), 1-27.
75 See tomb list below.
76 Quirke in Bourriau op.cit., Cat.no.41.

16

Janine Bourriau

less costly, and so a "goodly burial in the west", with its promise of eternal life,
available to many more individuals. Fewer burials were furnished with both inner and
outer coffins and fewer coffins had interior as well as exterior decoration; instead of
specially made tomb models, what was placed in the tomb was amulets and magical
figurines used in daily life, together with standard pottery vessels and food offerings. It
is noticeable at Lisht North, for example, that there were many more burials of the late
Xll-Xm Dynasties than of the early XII Dynasty and to judge by their inscriptions,
these were not individuals of high rank; such people had moved away to set up their
"dwelling" close to the King they served or, more often, his successor.
The political process which marked the end of the Middle Kingdom was the
reduction in the area controlled by the Pharaoh from the Residence at It-t3wy,
culminating in the removal of the royal household to Thebes. This event must have
been traumatic when it took place; nevertheless the evidence does not show, to date,
that a correspondingly sudden or even very profound cultural change followed it. In
Northern Egypt, the burial traditions of the late Middle Kingdom continue; the separate
culture of the Eastern Delta flourishes until the period of the Hyksos wars. At the great
mortuary temples of the XII Dynasty Kings at Lisht and Dahshur, one can observe,
from the mid-XIII Dynasty onwards, an invasion of first, tomb shafts, then houses and
grain silos into the sacred precincts. However, the contents of those houses and shafts
show a steady evolution, not an abrupt change from the familiar types of the XII
Dynasty itself. It is the advent of the XVIII Dynasty which introduces the next major
cultural phase.
TOMB LIST
7 7

Lisht South
Wahneferhotep Group. Shabti and model coffin , both inscribed using the mutilated
script, associated with pottery of the late XIII Dynasty.
Closed group. Date: Advanced XJJJ Dynasty or later.
78

79

80

81

82

Bener Group. Shabti and model coffin , both inscribed using the mutilated script,
associated with pottery of the late XH-early XIII Dynasty.
Closed group. Date: Late XII - early XI Dynasty.
83

7 7

There are undoubtedly many other relevant groups from Lisht, but they must await full publication
of the cemeteries around the North and South Pyramids. I have selected groups referred to in Kemp and
Merrillees (see note 16 above), two recently published closed groups from Lisht South, and Senebtisi,
because her burial is a constant source of reference.
Schneider, opxit., 183. Type HIB, text version IIIA, fig.6.
79 P.Dorman in Arnold op.cit., 147-149.
Arnold op.cit., 37-40.
Schneider opxit., 183.Type HIA, text version ITIA, fig.6.
Dorman in Arnold op.cit., 147-149.
Arnold op.cit., 34-37.
7 8

8 0

8 1

8 2

8 3

Patterns of change in burial customs

17

Lisht North
Tomb 315. Faience hippopotamus; lion from a magic rod; squatting man holding an
offering table ; with pottery of Amenemhet III or a little later. The pottery included
carinated cups, which do not occur in the early XII Dynasty corpus at Lisht South
but do appear at Dahshur in the cemetery around the Pyramid of Amenemhet UP and
in late XII Dynasty stratified levels at Memphis, Kom Rabi'a.
No information on number of burials. Date: Late XII Dynasty
94

85

86

87

88

39

90

91

Tomb 453. An elaborate shaft tomb which contained remains of two burials, judging
by the presence of two skulls and of 3 inlaid eyes from coffins. There were
fragments of an anthropoid coffin; faience figurines of women; model food; magical
figurines of a cat and a jerboa; a scarab and shabti of the same man, Ameny written
using the mutilated script; and pottery, including hemispherical cups with an index of
150, fragments of Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware, and the neck of a wine j a r of Lisht South
type shown on fig.70, no.67.
The pottery is not consistent with a single period of use but nothing is earlier than the
late XII Dynasty.
Date: Late XU Dynasty onwards.
92

93

94

95

96

91

Senebtisi.
This burial does not contain any of the grave goods whose date of
introduction I am seeking to establish but it is a key burial for the period. Now dated by
the pottery to the reign of Amenemhet III or a little later. The coffins support this
date.lt is a point insufficiently stressed in the discussion of the date of the burial of
Senebtisi that her coffins do not employ the mutilated scriptThis sets it apart from that
of Neferu-ptah which it otherwise closely resembles.
98

99

E.Riefstahl, "An enigmatic faiencefigure"in Miscellanea Wilbouriana I (New York, 1972), 137143.
85 pace Riefstahl.
86 Information from tomb card, by courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
R.Engelbach, Harageh (London, 1923), pLXXXIV, 10B-10P.
Arnold op.cit., 125-134.
89 Arnold, "Keramikbearbeitung", see note 39 above, fig.6,no.l2.
90 Personal observation.
91 Kemp and Merillees op.cit., 167.
92 See note 86 above.
93 G.T.Martin, Egyptian administrative and private name seals, principally of the Middle Kingdom and
Second Intermediate Period (Oxford, 1971), 21, nos. 195,196.
9 Schneider op.cit, 182, type IIIA, text version IIC, fig.6.
95 Shown clearly in a photograph.
96 Arnold op.cit. At Lisht South this type comes in cluster 3, on fig.76, from a deposit dated to
Senwosret Ill-early Amenemhet HI.
B. Williams in Sarapis 3 (1975-1976), 41-55; C. Liliquist in Sarapis 5 (1979), 27-8; A. Mace and
H.E. Winlock, The Tomb of Senebtisi at Lisht (New York, 1916), passim.
98 Arnold op.cit., 37, n.114. Her observation is confirmed by comparison made by the author, of a
new drawing of the Senebtisi marl C jar, now in the Oriental Institute in Chicago, with the Dahshur
example of the late X" Dynasty cited by Dorothea Arnold.
99 Willems op.cit., 104-5.
8 7

8 8

9 7

Janine Bourriau

18
Closed Deposit. Date: Late Amenemhet DI.
100

Harageh
Cemetery A No.77.
Contained 3 burials in 2 chambers. Listed in Kemp's seriation
in a cluster around tomb 91, which has a terminus post quern of Senwosret III. It
contained a faience hippopotamus and a faience vase, pLXIV, 10,12.
Date: Late XTJ Dynasty or later.
m

102

Cemetery A No.55.
2 burials in 1 chamber. Pottery includes a wine jar of type 4 If
with an aperture index which places it in Arnold's cluster 3 , belonging to the period
between the reign of Senwosret II and the end of the XII Dynasty .The tomb also
contained a faience dwarf, pl.XIV,9 and "ivory hands", not illustrated. These are
presumably ivory clappers such as those found in the Ramesseum tomb, see below.
Date: Dynasty XII, Senwosret II or later.
1 0 3

104

Cemetery A NoS6.
Contained 10 burials in 3 chambers. In addition to pottery, the
group included a faience dog figurine, pl.XIV,8; a "rough" hippopotamus and
fragments of a headrest. If we can consider a deposit with so many burials as a single
g r o u p , the pottery includes a hemispherical cup of approx.index 140, dated by
Arnold to the advanced XIII Dynasty, and a carinated cup, a type which does not
107
occur before the reign of Amenemhet in.
Date: Advanced XIII Dynasty.
105

106

108

Cemetery A No. 73.


One burial in a single chamber. In addition to pottery it
contained a faience dwarf,cf.pl.XIV, 11.The pottery included a carinated c u p and a
hemispherical cup with index of 130, which belongs to the advanced XLU Dynasty.
Closed Deposit. Date: Advanced XI Dynasty.
109

110

1 U U

I am selecting those groups listed in Kemp and Merrillees, 175. It is not possible to discuss
Kemp's seriation here, but in my view problems lie in his reliance on the accuracy of the typing of
pottery by Engelbach and in the assumptions made in reducing the original corpus to a size suitable for
the seriation technique.
Engelbach, op.cit., pLLVIII.
Ibid.
Arnold op.cit., fig.76, p.143.
Engelbach op.cit., pLLVIII.
105 Kemp in Kemp and Merrillees, opxit., 31, seriated the pottery in tombs with single chambers not
known to contain more than one body, and found that the results compared well enough with the
seriation from multi-burial groups to suggest there was no significant distortion. This surprising
observation needs further testing on other cemeteries.
Arnold op.cit., 141. It is dangerous, of course, to use a type drawing rather than a drawing of the
actual vessel to measure the vessel index, because the validity of any conclusions depends on the
accuracy of the typing which cannot, in this case, be checked since the whereabouts of this cup are
unknown. It is also dangerous to place too much weight on the evidence of a single cup, Arnold
opxit., 141. All that can be done is to suggest probabilities in the light of the evidence which remains.
See notes 89 and 90 above.
Engelbach opxit., pl.LVIII.
See notes 89,90 above.
Arnold opxit., 141.
1 0 1

1 0 3

1 0 4

1 0 7

1 0 8

1 0 9

1 1 0

Patterns of change in burial customs

19

ul

Cemetery A No.ll2.
A single burial in one chamber. Group of faience figurines on
pl.XIV.l. Among the pottery is a wine jar, 41m, which belongs to Arnold's cluster 3,
of the period from the reign of Senwosret II to the end of the XII Dynasty.
Closed Deposit. Date: Late XU Dynasty.
112

11

Cemetery B No.353. * No information on number of burials. In addition to


pottery,the deposit contained faience figurines of a cow and a frog, pl.XIV,6,7. The
pottery included a hemispherical cup with an index of 163 and Arnold has shown that at
Lisht South only the pottery deposit in the South East dump, dated to Senwosret HI to
early Amenemhet m, contained cups with indices below 1 7 0 .
Date: Late XII Dynasty.
114

115

Cemetery S No.644.
Shaft with two chambers; no bodies recorded. A full list of
contents is provided by Kemp and Merrillees. Assuming this is a homogeneous
deposit, they argue in favour of placing it at the late end of the Harageh sequence. The
pottery includes two hemispherical cups with indices of 163 and 130 respectively,
suggesting an advanced XIII Dynasty date, with which the Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware
and kohl pots agree.
Date: Advanced XIU Dynasty.
116

1 1 7

Hawara
Tomb 58.
Intact burial in a pit containing the coffin of a woman, Sitrenenutet. There
was a female figurine in wood with a model bed; a scarab; a model storage jar of wood;
and a faience model of a pigeon. The pottery consisted of a water jar and two
hemispherical cups with indices of 165 and 175, dateable to the end of the reign of
Amenemhet III.
118

119

Closed Deposit. Date : End of the reign of Amenemhet HI.


Thebes
Tomb 25 in the Asasif.Burial of Renseneb,"Great one of the Southern Tens". From
a shaft with two chambers containing at least 5 burials. The coffin had been dragged
out of one of the chambers, but the burial was intact. The coffin's inscriptions are in
mutilated hieroglyphs, but only fragments of the text giving the man's name and title
were recorded before the coffin disintegrated. Within the body wrappings, against the
back, was a faience hippopotamus. Underneath the coffin were fragments of a toilet
120

1 1

1 Engelbach opxit., pl.LIX.


H2 Arnold op.cit., 143.
11^ Engelbach op.cit., pl.LXI; Bourriau op.cit., Cat.no.88b.
! * Arnold op.cit., fig.75.
Engelbach op.cit., pllXII; Kemp and Merrillees op.cit., 23,34, 36, 39,163,223, fig. 15.
116 Arnold op.cit., 141.
11 The cemetery began in conjunction with the building of the Pyramid of Amenemhet in.
118 W.M.F. Ptrie, G.A. Wainwright and E. Mackay, The Labyrinth, Gerzeh and Mazguneh (London,
1912), 36, pLXXX; Bourriau op.cit., Cat.no.88a.
119 Arnold op.cit., 141.
120 H. Carter and Carnarvon, Five Years Explorations at Thebes, 54 ff.
4

1 1 5

Janine Bourriau

20

box with the name of Amenemhet IV, and in the south chamber were a magic wand and
an ivory crocodile. The pottery, shown in the publication on pl.LII, appears entirely
consistent with the date of the box. The hemispherical cup has an index of approx.162.
The pottery group as a whole shows how the classic XII Dynasty style which
originated at Lisht had by now reached Thebes. Except for one Upper Egyptian type,
pl.Ln,2 J5, all the pottery can be paralleled in the Harageh/Lisht/Dahshur corpus.
Date: Late XH-early XIII Dynasty, after reign of Amenemhet IV.
121

Ramesseum group. Shaft with three chambers. At the bottom of the shaft a group of
objects was found scattered around a box of papyri, within an area of 2 square feet.
The papyri had suffered only natural decay and had not been disturbed beyond their
original displacement into the shaft, and this suggests that the objects had undergone a
similar fate. There are strong links between the objects in style, function and date, all of
which suggests that we are dealing with a homogeneous group. This consists of 3
female figurines of faience and limestone; a paddle doll of painted wood; a wooden
statuette of a woman wearing a Bes-Aha mask and carrying snake wands; model cups
of faience; a model cucumber, a fragment of a large magic rod in ivory; fragments of
3 ivory wands; a pair of clappers; an ivory object of unknown use; faience figurines of
two baboons and a standing lion; an ivory djed pillar, and a cobra wand. The papyri
have been dated to the mid-Xni Dynasty and the objects are entirely consistent with that
date. It is worth stressing that with the exception of the cobra wand and the statuette of
the woman carrying wands.the objects are typical of a late Middle Kingdom burial.
They have been considered to be an exceptional group, composed of instruments of
magic used with the magical texts among the papyri. Their function within the rites of
protective magic, with the exception of the model food and vases, is unquestioned but
they are unremarkable within the general context of burial groups of the late XII to
Xni Dynasties.
Date: Mid-XUJ Dynasty.
122

123

124

125

Abydos
Cemetery B No.13.
The deposit contained the two shabtis of Renseneb with a
text inscribed in the mutilated script, and pottery of advanced XHI Dynasty date.
Date: Advanced XUJ Dynasty.
126

1 2 1

127

iE. Quibell, The Ramesseum (London, 1898) 3, pl.III; Kemp and Merrillees, op.cit., 166.
1 The detailed list given in Kemp and Merrillees, op.cit., 166, is not repeated here.
* ^ This class offigurineis to be dated to the late Middle Kingdom according to information provided
by Dorothea Arnold.
Wrongly identified by Kemp and Merillees as a handle.
Bourriau op.cit., 110-111, Cat.nos.62, 100.
T.Peet, Cemeteries of Abydos II (London, 1914), 57-8, 113, pl.XIII,3; Bourriau op.cit.,
Cat.no.83, 135a.
* Schneider op.cit., 183-4, type IIIC, text version IIIA.
2 2

1 2 4

1 2 5

1 2 6

2 7

Circumstantially

adverbial?

the circumstantial sdm(.f)lsdm.n(.f)

reconsidered*

by M a r k Collier

0. Introduction
The work of Professor H.J. Polotsky has had a profound impact on the study
of Middle Egyptian grammar, particularly the study of the syntax of the verb . It is now
over a quarter of a century since Polotsky published his discovery of the circumstantial
sdm(.f)/sdm.n(.f) in Middle Egyptian . Based on their ability to occur in environments
where simple adverbial expressions such as prepositional phrases are to be found,
Polotsky developed a syntactic analysis of the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) as
adverbial forms of the verb - an analysis which has become widely accepted.
However, in recent work I have put forward the case that, at least in certain
environments where the circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsdjn.n(.f) occur, such an analysis leads
to serious difficulties which do not arise if the circumstantial sdm(.f)lsdtn.n(.f) are
analysed simply as verbal verb-forms . In this paper, it is argued that the verbal
analysis of the circumstantial s(hn(.f)lsdjn.n(.f) can account satisfactorily for the overall
syntactic distribution of these forms in Middle Egyptian in the following seven
1

* I am grateful to Janine Bourriau and Stephen Quirke for inviting me to contribute to this volume,
even though I was not able to attend the 1988 Colloquium, and to Harry Smith for comments on a
draft of this paper. The research was supported by Research Fellowships from The British Academy and
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. For reasons of space, philological and grammatical notes and
references have been kept to a minimum.
For Middle Egyptian, see particularly: Etudes de syntaxe copte (Cairo, 1944), part III; 'Egyptian
tenses', conveniently in Collected papers (Jerusalem, 1971), 71-96; 'Les transpositions du verbe en
gyptien classique', Israel Oriental Studies 6 (1976), 1-50 (Transpositions').
Polotsky, 'Egyptian tenses', originally published in The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities,
Vol. II.5 (1965), 1-25. As Polotsky notes (41), Erman had earlier proposed a circumstantial form of
the sdm(.f) restricted to the iwf sdm.f pattern (g. Gr? 343).
3 The fully developed position is to be found in Transpositions', section 3. In this paper Polotsky also
proposed a circumstantial form of the prospective sdi(.f) (3.6). However, this form does not share the
particular distribution of the circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sd/n.n(.f) and is not discussed here.
M.A. Collier, 'The circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) as verbal verb-forms in Middle Egyptian', JEA
76 (1990) 73-85; id. A grammatical analysis of sentences with iw in Middle Egyptian (University of
London PhD thesis, 1989), revised version forthcoming as Verbal syntax in Middle Egyptian .
This analysis is intended to cover the occurrence of the circumstantial sdjn(f)/sdm.n(.f) in all Middle
Egyptian source genres. However, the exemplification focuses primarily on literary Middle Egyptian.
1

21

Mark Collier
6

affirmative environments in which they have been securely identified , and thus
compares favourably with Polotsky's adverbial analysis of the circumstantial
sdjn(.f)lsdjn.n(-fP'
1. After initial particles
2. After converters
3. Virtual' relative clauses
4. After auxiliaries
5. Adjunct/focus position
6. Coordination
7. Control
The central claim of the verbal analysis is that the bare circumstantial
sdjn(.f)lsdjn.n(.f) (i.e. the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f)
without introductory
expression), and indeed the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare
pseudo-verbal construction, are unconverted, i.e. non-transposed, patterns. This can
best be seen in the sentence with adverbial predicate . The clause forms of this pattern
can be classed :
8

10

" Other possible occurrences after ir (cf most recently E. Doret, The narrative verbal system of Old and
Middle Egyptian (Geneva, 1986), 22 with fn 77) and after the negation n (cf F. Kammerzell GM 102
(1988), 46-50) are more contentious and are not discussed here.
7 This paper presents an overview of the verbal analysis of the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.fl. For
many of the sections below, details of particular analyses (where these differ significantly from the
Polotskyan tradition), full exemplification and comparisons with the Polotskyan tradition are to be
found in papers noted in the references below. To supply full supporting references, it has been
necessary to refer to a number of papers either in press or in MS form at the time of writing.
8 The term 'bare' is intended to indicate the basic syntactic formation considered apart from any
syntactically active introductory expression. Although it does not affect the syntactic status of the
pattern (cf the brief discussion of the relationship between syntax and morphology in section 4), the
morphological form of the pronominal subject with the sentence with adverbial predicate and pseudoverbal construction depends on the local morphological environment in which it occurs. After
auxiliaries the pronoun suffixes to the auxiliary (EG 37, 117.2, 323), after most initial particles
(excepting smwn, cf EG 241) the pronoun cliticizes to the initial particle (EG 44.2, 119, 324),
whereas converters allow a complex intermixing of the two (EG 44.2, 200, 223). In 'virtual'
relative clause, adjunct, coordination and en vedette usage, the auxiliary W is required to 'support' the
pronominal subject (EG 117, 323). However, Iw clearly does not behave as a syntactic converter or
initializer in this usage but as morphological support. The terminology adopted here is extended in its
syntactic sense to cover pronominal examples including examples with w-support,
The pseudo-verbal construction is standardly treated as exhibiting the syntactic form of the sentence
with adverbial predicate. However, in the present analysis, this holds only for the pseudo-verbal
construction with preposition + infinitive predicate. The Stative is analysed as a verbal verb-form in
much the same manner as discussed below for the circumstantial sd/n(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) (cf particularly the
discussion of the inherent non-nominality of unconverted verbal expressions below). However, the
Stative differs from the simple suffix conjugation forms in exhibiting SVO order (as well as mandatory
agreement and in being able to occur without a subject as a predicative phrasal expression). The pseudoverbal construction with stative predicate is hence analysed as a verbal sentence exhibiting SVO order.
Since this issue lies beyond the bounds of the present paper, attention is focused on the simple
sentence with adverbial predicate.
10 The classification is dependent, of course, on analyses which differ somewhat from the traditional
Polotskyan analysis. See the relevant sections below.
3

Circumstantially adverbial?

(initial) main
clause
'adverbial'
clause
true 'adverbial'
clause
nominal clause
adjectival clause

converter/initializer
initial particle/auxiliary
e.g. mkllw

unconverted clause
sr m pr
srm pr

prepositional converter
e.g. hr-ntt
nominal converter
e.g. ntt/wnt/wn(n)
adjectival converter
e.g. nty/wn(n)

sr m pr
srmpr
11

sr m.f

In this analysis the form traditionally analysed as the 'adverbial' clause form is analysed
as the basic unconverted form of* this construction which co-occurs with initial
particles, auxiliaries and converters.
It would seem that the simple suffix conjugation presents an analogous
paradigm. If Polotsky is correct about the role of nominal and adjectival
transpositions , then the forms of the sdm(.f)Isd.m.n(.f) can be organized similarly:
12

(initial) main
clause
'adverbial'
clause
true 'adverbial'
clause
nominal clause
adjectival clause

converter/initializer
initial particle!auxiliary
e.g. mkllw
prepositional converter
e.g. hr-ntt

unconverted clause
circumstantial
$dm( f)lsdjn.n(.f)
circumstantial
sdm(.f)/sdm.n(,f)
circumstantial
s dm ( f) Is dm .n(.f)

that-form sdm( .f)lsdm.n( f)


relative form

sdm(f)lsdpi.n(.f)

The circumstantial sgjn(.f)lsdjn.n( f), the forms traditionally analysed as the 'adverbial'
forms of the simple suffix conjugation, are analysed as the basic unconverted forms of
the simple suffix conjugation which co-occur with initial particles, auxiliaries and
converters. However, in nominal and adjectival environments, the suffix conjugation
verb itself undergoes conversion and exhibits a specialized form. The verbal analysis of
the circumstantial sdjn(f)/sdm.n(.f) diverges from the Polotskyan tradition in that an
unconverted/non-transposed verb-form clearly cannot be analysed as an adverbial

1 1

Relative clauses, of course, exhibit a relationship between the antecedent and an overt or non-overt
resumptive expression within the relative clause. Cf section 3 below.
This framework is not dependent on the postulation of nominal and adjectival transpositions of the
verb. Indeed it opens up the possibility of alternative analyses of these forms (and hence of 'second
tenses'). However, this paper is concerned with the circumstantial sdm(.f)lsd,m.n(.f) and Polotsky's
analysis of the nominal and adjectival transpositions of the verb is adopted here to facilitate the
presentation of this overview.
1 2

Mark Collier

24

conversion or transposition of the verb, but must be analysed simply as the verbal verbform of the simple suffix conjugation .
In the present framework, the basic parts of speech are analysed as feature
bundles . In particular, parts of speech are classed according to their nominal and
verbal properties. It is commonly recognized that in Middle Egyptian nouns and
adjectives contrast with (unconverted) verbs and prepositions in having nominal
properties . At the same time verbs and adjectives contrast with (true) nouns and
prepositions in having verbal properties . The Middle Egyptian parts of speech may
thus be represented:
13

14

15

16

3)
noun
adjective
verb
'adverb'

[NJ
[+N]
[+N]
[-N]
[-N]

[V]
[-V]
[+V]
[+V]
[-V]

Equally, it is commonly recognized that the behaviour of an entire expression is


determined by the most important element within that expression (the 'head'). Within
clausal expressions, this element is the head of the predicate (the 'predicator'). Clearly,
in the verbal analysis, the circumstantial sdjn(.f)ls&m.n(.f) are verbal expressions
(being headed by a verb), whereas the bare sentence with adverbial predicate is clearly
adverbial (being headed by an adverbial predicate) .
The feature analysis of the basic major parts of speech allows an account, where
required, of the so-called 'adverbial' properties of the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdrn.n(.f),
without invoking adverbial substitution or adverbial transpositions, by reference to the
sub-feature [-N] shared by both unconverted verbal expressions and prepositional
phrases. In this approach, 'adverbiality' is not treated as a super-category
encompassing non-nominal verbal expressions (which are thus required to exhibit an
adverbial form) and prepositional phrases, but as a sub-category inherently shared by
unconverted verbs and prepositions. In this manner, verbal expressions do not have to
be converted or transposed into adverbial forms in order to exhibit a substitutional
paradigm with prepositional phrases in certain syntactic environments.
17

13 The present paper is concerned solely with the synchronic analysis of the syntax of the
circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sdm.n(f) in Middle Egyptian. However, the verbal analysis is not incompatible
with the possibility of a nominal origin for the Middle Egyptian suffix conjugation verb-forms (here
the circumstantial sdm(.f)lsdfn.n(.f)). It is not precluded that there was a reanalysis of an originally
nominal form at some point before Middle Egyptian, as postulated, for example, for prepositions
(which may well have had a nominal origin but do not behave as nouns in Middle Egyptian).
1 The feature analysis of the basic parts of speech originated with N. Chomsky, 'Remarks on
nominalization', conveniently in id. Studies on semantics in generative grammar (The Hague, 1972),
11-61, and has become standard in generative grammar.
Cf EG 48.
Cf G 143.
The circumstantial sdjn(-f)lsdjn-n(f), the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudoverbal construction may be said to have the form of a 'small clause'. The small clause analysis offers
interesting possibilities for an analysis of a wide range of grammatical properties ranging from
tense/aspect effects to control.
4

1 5

1 6

1 7

Circumstantially adverbial?

Although the circumstantial sd,m(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) can thus be used in subordinate


functions in the verbal analysis (where compatible with their nature as unconverted
verbal verb-forms, either in terms of their status as unconverted forms (see section 3)
or in terms of their inherent non-nominality (see section 7)), as unconverted verbal
verb-forms they are not forms specialized solely to exhibit subordinate behaviour as
substitutes for simple adverbial expressions such as prepositional phrases. Most
importantly, the present framework also licenses the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n( f),
along with the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal
construction, to behave as main clause patterns in certain environments, e.g. after initial
particles, auxiliaries and converters .
The presence of initial particles, auxiliaries and converters allow the entire
pattern initial particle + unconverted clause, auxiliary + unconverted clause, and
converter + unconverted clause to exhibit a distribution licensed by the initial particle,
auxiliary or converter. Initializers such as initial particles and auxiliaries allow a pattern
to occur initially (the former also co-occur with initial main clauses, see section 1). This
brings us to the third property exhibited by the circumstantial SQjn(.f)/sd_m.n(.f), the
bare sentence with adverbial predicate and bare pseudo-verbal construction. These
patterns are essentially non-initial. Non-initiality is not, in the present framework, a
matter of (nor related to) subordination or predication, but of relative tense/aspect :
ordinarily, these forms require some extra expression (or context) on which to 'lean'
for relative tense support . Since non-initiality is treated as a property of tense/aspect
rather than subordination, these patterns are not required to be syntactically subordinate
to the initial particle or auxiliary, conforming with the main clause usage noted above.
Rather, they can be analysed as unconverted expressions functioning as non-initial
main clauses .
In contrast, converters allow an unconverted construction to behave
subordinately exhibiting a form specialized by the presence of the convener to occur in
the relevant subordinate environment. Traditionally, such subordinate behaviour has
been analysed in terms of the traditional non-verbal parts of speech as nominal,
adjectival and adverbial subordination, so that subordinate clauses can function as
nominal clauses, adjectival clauses and adverbial clauses respectively . As noted
above, the suffix conjugation differs from the sentence with adverbial predicate and
pseudo-verbal construction in that, if Polotsky is correct, the verb itself can undergo
subordinating conversion and displays a form specialized for nominal and adjectival
subordinate functions.
18

19

20

21

22

*8 The internal grammatical relation between initial particle, auxiliary, or converter and the
unconverted clauses with which they co-occur will be the subject of the relevant section below.
!9 Cf J.P. Allen, in Essays on Egyptian grammar, ed. W.K. Simpson, (New Haven, 1986), 1-21. The
issue is but touched on here. The term 'relative tense/aspect' is deliberately intended to be vague in order
not to prejudice compatibility with a number of interesting proposals now under development.
20 Treating non-initiality as a tense/aspect property rather than as a property of syntactic subordination
has the important advantage of licensing the circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsdm.n(.f), the bare sentence with
adverbial predicate and bare pseudo-verbal construction to occur syntactically initial in suitable
contexts, as noted for noun + Stative by F. Junge, in Crossroad, eds. G. Englund and P.J. Frandsen
(Copenhagen, 1986), 208-9 with fn 84.
This account draws on the similar usage by J.H. Johnson, Serapis 6 (1980), 69-73. However,
Johnson attempts to integrate non-initiality with issues of subordination and predication within the
adverbial analysis of the circumstantial sdm(.f)lsdm.n(.f).
Cf HJ. Polotsky, in Lingua sapientissima, ed. J.D. Ray (Cambridge, 1987), 18-9.
2 1

2 2

Mark Collier

26

This approach to the syntax of the suffix conjugation, the sentence with
adverbial predicate and the pseudo-verbal construction has much in common with that
of Polotsky and is clearly in his debt on many issues . However, there is a substantive
difference in the treatment of the circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsdm.n(.f). In Polotsky's
system, these verb-forms are analysed as adverbial transpositions of the verb on die
basis of their known ability to substitute with simple adverbial expressions such as
prepositional phrases and hence their distribution is to be accounted for in these terms.
However, in the verbal analysis of the circumstantial sd/n(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) presented
above, the behaviour of these forms can be described according to several more finelygrained grammatical oppositions which cannot easily be articulated within the
Polotskyan tradition. Thus the circumstantial sd/n( f)/sdjn.n( f) are unconverted forms
and are capable of aligning in a paradigm with other unconverted expressions
(particularly unconverted clauses) to contrast with converted expressions. They are also
non-nominal expressions and can align in a paradigm with other non-nominal
expressions to contrast with nominal expressions. Utilizing these resources, the verbal
analysis of the circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) can account satisfactorily for the
distribution of these forms, not only in the core environments for Polotsky's adverbial
analysis (i.e. where the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) occur in a paradigmatic
environment with prepositional phrases), but also in environments which do not easily
reduce to an analysis based on adverbial substitution .
23

24

1. After initial p a r t i c l e s

25

With the exception of an important paper by Janet Johnson, constructions


introduced by initial particles have received little detailed attention within the Polotskyan
tradition . The exemplification provided here focuses on mk, the most common initial
particle, although the discussion below can be applied to a range of other initial
particles . The particle mk is exhibited before the following patterns:
26

27

2 3

This work is also indebted to recent developments in generative grammar. However, the present
paper is concerned with Egyptological issues and linguistic references have been avoided where not
integral to the argument. The term 'unconverted clause', coined to relate to the transpositional
terminology introduced by Polotsky, is essentially the equivalent of the Linguistic category S.
This paper is concerned solely with the syntactic form and function of the circumstantial
sdm(.f)lsdm.n(.f) and does not deal with their morphology, the essentials of which were established in
'Egyptian tenses', 11, 41, nor with predication, for which see Collier, JEA 76 (1990), section 4.
Tense/aspect (and thus non-initiality) and topic-focus/theme-rheme organization are not discussed in
order not to prejudice compatibility with other proposals currently under development (cf fn 19).
25 For details, full exemplification and comparison with the adverbial analysis, see Collier, JEA 76
(1990), 73-85. In the text examples are drawn where possible from the simple affirmative examples of
each pattern; negation and anticipatory emphasis are not normally recorded.
26 J.H. Johnson, in Festschrift Westendorf. Studien zu Sprache und Religions gyptens, I, ed. F.
Junge (Gttingen, 1984), 71-85. Cf Polotsky, 'Egyptian tenses', 41-5.
Other particles which exhibit this behaviour are: s, ti (see Collier, op. cit. 74-7); h3 (see id.
'Constructions with h3 revisited', GM 120 (1991) forthcoming); smwn,hr, nhmn (see id. 'More on
initial particles' MS). The claim of the present section is that these initial particles form a natural class
and co-occur with the same type of grammatical pattern (the unconverted clause, see below). However,
this does not preclude individual particles from exhibiting specific collocational restrictions which may
reduce or increase the number of patterns (drawn from the class of unconverted clauses) with which they
may co-occur in comparison to those exhibited after mk.
2 4

2 7

Circumstantiaiiy adverbial?

27
2

a) sentence with nominal predicate *


4) Sh.S 159-60: mkh.rt.ipw Im.k
See, it is my due from you.
b) sentence with adjectival predicate
5) Leb 86-7: mk b h rn.i
See, my name is detested.
c) initial prospective sdjn( f)
6) Hek 2,29: m&i ir.iSmw 3
See, I shall spend the summer here.
d) second tenses
7) Peas. B2,123-4: mk trr.k r irt hn .i
See, it is with me that you will arrange to act.
e) participial statement/n+noun+sajn(.f)
8) West 6,6-7: mt Ink db3[.i\ sw
See, I am the one who will replace it.
f) existential sentence
9) Peas. B 1,203-4: mknnkmn dd n.k st
See, there is no profit for the one who says it to you.
g) sentence with adverbial predicate
10) Sin B263: mk wi m-b3h.k
See, I am before you.
h) pseudo-verbal construction
11) Peas. Bl,70: mk wl 3tp.kw(i)
See, I am burdened.
i) circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sdm.n( f)
12) Sin B181: mk in.t(w) n.k wdpn n nsw r rdh rh.k ntt....
See, this decree of the king is brought to you to cause that you
know that
13) Sh.S 2-5: mk ph.n.n hnw ssp hrpw hwi mnit h3tt rd.t(i) hr t3
See, we have reached home, the mallet has been taken, the
mooring-post struck, and the prow rope placed on land.
The initial main clause patterns a)-e) are patently unconverted forms: initial
main clauses do not behave as specialized substitutes for non-verbal parts of speech.
Equally, in the present framework, the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f), the bare
sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction are also the
unconverted/non-transposed forms of their respective constructions. Hence the patterns
c

29

30

Since it is the behaviour of the entire pattern which is of concern here, this pattern is not divided
according to the well known sub-categories which have been investigated in recent years. Cf most
recently E. Doret Rd'E 40 (1989), 49-63.
9 For the presence of the circumstantial sdm(f)/sd/n.n(.f) in these examples, and for corroborative
evidence from negation, passives and the behaviour of verbs of motion, see Collier, JE A 76 (1990),
75-77 (2h).
The syntax of the existential sentence (0 is in need of detailed discussion and is not considered here.
However, the wn form found after initial particles (EG 107.2) is probably to be analysed as a noninitial main clause form.
2

3 0

28

Mark Collier

in paradigm a)-i) form a natural class as unconverted clauses. In this analysis, then,
initial particles simply co-occur with unconverted clauses :
31

PRT

mk

unconverted clause
a) initial main clause
sentence with nominal predicate
sentence with adjectival predicate
prospective sdm(.f)
second tenses
participial statement
b) non-initial main clause
existential sentence
bare sentence with adverbial predicate
bare pseudo-verbal construction
circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdm.n(.f)

Most importantly, none of the members of paradigm 14) behave subordinate^


in relation to mk . The initial main clause patterns are clearly not subordinate, since
they can stand independently as main clauses without supporting expressions and do
not enter into substitutional relations with simple parts of speech. Equally, in the
present analysis, the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdm-n(-f)> the bare sentence with adverbial
predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction do not behave subordinate^ after mk,
their role is not to behave as the substitute for a simple part of speech. Rather, just like
the initial main clause patterns a)-e), they function as main clause patterns. However, in
contrast to initial main clause patterns, they are generally restricted to non-initial
positions because of their contextually dependent relative tense/aspect properties (see
section 0 above). In the present case, particles such as mk provide temporal support for
these non-initial formations (for mk, by making the pattern it precedes relevant to, i.e.
worth the attention of, the addressee and hence to the temporal reference point of the
addressee).
Separating out form and function, by form mk simply co-occurs with the basic
clausal pattern for each construction it precedes; that is to say trie unconverted form. By
function, these patterns behave as main clause formations; they do not behave
32

3 In contrast, mk does not co-occur with converted clauses, whether nominally or adverbially
converted, cf Collier, op. cit 77-78. Clearly, this paradigm as it stands presents a fundamental problem
for the adverbial analysis of the circumstantial sdjn{.f)Jsd/n.n(f). In this environment the circumstantial
sdm(.f)lsdm.n(.f), along with the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal
construction do not occur in a substitutional relationship with cither simple prepositional phrases or
with indisputably adverbial clauses. Rather, they occur in a substitutional relationship with initial
main clause patterns, which are clearly unconverted clauses. Of course, there are various options
available, although these involve some emendation to paradigm 14) as presented here. The most
plausible is that advanced by Johnson, op. cit. 80 and 83 who proposes a deleted auxiliary before the
circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f), along with the bare sentence with adverbial prediate and the bare
pseudo-verbal construction, removing the adverbial analysis of these forms to the internal syntax of
construction with auxiliaries, whilst supplying an overall main clause construction to enter into
substitutional relations with the other initial main clause patterns exhibited in the paradigm.
Hence mk behaves syntactically as a free 'prsentatif. Cf Polotsky, *Egyptian tenses', 45 and
Johnson, op. cit. 83.
3 2

29

Circumstantially adverbial?

subordinated to the initial particle (or some other expression) and they do not behave as
the substitute for a non-verbal part of speech, either nominal, adjectival or adverbial.
2. After converters

33

34

As has been recently re-emphasized by Janet Johnson , a similar paradigm to


that found after initial particles is exhibited after preposition-rctt converters in Middle
Egyptian . Preposition-rttf converters occur before the following patterns :
a) sentence with nominal predicate
15) Peas. Bl,61-2: ph.k m 3pd dd3 hr-ntt ntk h n nmh
You shall attain fatted fowl because you are a father for the
orphan
b) sentence with adjectival predicate
16) Kahun 3,33: hr.k dd.k n.fiw.0 ksn r.l hr kd hr-ntt dns tw r.l
Thus you will say to him, Tt is altogether too irksome to me
because you heavier than me'.
c) initial prospective sajn(.f)
17) Berlin 10012, 18-19: dd(.I) rh.k r-ntt hprprtSpdtm 3bd4prtsw 16
I am speaking that you might know that the rising of
Sothis will occur in the fourth month of prt day 16 .
d) second tenses
18) Berlin 10023 A 1-2: dd(.i) di(.) rh.k r-ntt spr.nn. iry- 3 n hwt-ntr Snt s3
Vmny r-dd w3.kw hr s3.
I speak that I might cause that you know that the doorkeeper of the temple Senet's son Ameny has arrived
saying 7 am to be taken off on account of my son'.
e) participial statement
19) Kahun 2.2 29/39: .... hr-ntt ntk irr nfrt nbt
.... because it is you who does everything good.
f) existential sentence
20) Mill 1,5-6: sdr.k s3w.n.k lb.k gs.k hr-ntt nn wnn mr(t) n s hrw n ksnt *
You should sleep having guarded your heart yourself because
there is no servant for a man on the day of misfortune.
35

36

37

33 Details and comparison with the adverbial analysis in M.A. Collier, 'Preposition-n clauses' MS.
34 Johnson, op. cit. 81-3.
The discussion in this section can be extended to cover the occurrence of the bare sentence with
adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction after ntt/wnt/wn(n) converters in nominal
clauses (EG 186-7) and nry/wn(n) converters in adjectival clauses (EG 200, 396). The that-form
and relative form sdjn(.f)lsdjn-Mf) are direct (lexical) conversions of the verb and cannot be decomposed
syntactically into nominal/adjectival converter + suffix conjugation verb-form.
36 The common usage of preposition-n// clauses after introductory epistolary formulae in Middle
Kingdom letters supplies a number of examples of this construction. This usage, which serves to
introduce the main text of the letter, does not accord with the normal 'adverbial' usage of these patterns.
However, the internal syntax of the construction would seem to be constant across both usages as
recognized by EG 223,225 and Johnson, op. cit. 81-3. But cf fn 39.
37 As Johnson, op. cit. 81 fn 30 notes, this example could also be interpreted as a second tense.
38 The variants have wn, see W. Helck, Der Text der "Lehre des Amenemhet I fr seinem Sohn"
(Wiesbaden, 1969), 22.
3 5

M a r k Collier

30

g) sentence with adverbial predicate


21) Ptah L2 1,14: m mh Ib.k hr-ntt twmrh
Don't fill your heart because you are a wise man.
h) pseudo-verbal construction
22) Sin B75-6: hr hm Kmt nfr.t(l) <n>-ntt s(y) rh.t() rdf
So, in fact, Egypt is happy because it knows that he prospers.
i) circumstantial
sdm(\f)Isajn.n(f)
23) Kahun 12.1, 34/50-51: hn na\ br[t] nbtprKbs^ [... k3w]ty Nbswmnw
nbtprlkw r-ntt sdm.n(.1) n3 h3b.n.t hr.s
And greet the lady of the house Kebs, [.. the porjter
Nebsumenu, and the lady of the house Dot that I
have listened to that about which you have written.
Given the close siirlarity with the paradigm exhibited after initial particles, the
analysis is essentially as in section l . The initial main clause constructions a)-e) are
patently non-transposed/unconverted clauses; they are the basic patterns for their
respective constructions and do not behave subordinately as the substitutes for nonverbal parts of speech. Equally, the circumstantial sa/n(f)/sa/n.n(.f), the bare sentence
with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction are the unconverted
patterns for their respective constructions and do not behave subordinately after
preposition-ntt converters as substitutes for non-verbal parts of speech, but as noninitial main clauses. Hence patterns a)-i) form a natural class as unconverted clauses:
39

40

converter

preposition-ntt

unconverted clause
a) initial main clause
sentence with nominal predicate
sentence with adjectival predicate
prospective sdm(.f)
second tenses
participial statement
b) non-initial main clause
existential sentence
bare sentence with adverbial predicate
bare pseudo-verbal construction
circumstantial sdm(./sdrn.n(.f)

39 Corroborative evidence for the presence here of the circumstantial sdm{.f)lsdmn(.f) from negation (n
sdjn.n(.f)/n sdjn(.f)), passives (the passive sdjn(w)(f)) and the behaviour of verbs of motion is given in
Collier, op. cit. There are no examples of the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) after preposition-/i/r
converters from the literary corpus. In the present state of our knowledge, it is difficult to determine
whether this is a genuine difference between literary and non-literary Middle Egyptian or a mere matter
of survival. In view of the relatively limited number of examples of preposition-nr/ constructions from
the literary corpus and the literary examples exhibiting negation (n sd/n(.f}/sdm.n(.f)) and passives (the
passive sajn(w)(./)), perhaps caution should be exercised. Notice that in either case, the discussion still
holds for non-literary Middle Egyptian and, of course, for the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and
bare pseudo-verbal construction after preposition-mr converters in literary Middle Egyptian.
The problems for the adverbial analysis are the same as after initial particles. In this construction
the circumstantial patterns are in a substitutional relationship with initial main clauses and not with
simple adverbial expressions such as prepositional phrases. Once again, an adverbial analysis requires
some emendation of the paradigm as it stands, perhaps along the lines suggested by Johnson.
4 0

Circumstantially adverbial?

31

This results in the maximally simple statement that the role of converters is to convert
unconverted (main) clauses into a form (courtesy of the converter) suitable for
specialized subordinate usage.
3. 'Virtual' relative c l a u s e s

41

Middle Egyptian exhibits two separate types of relative clause - the 'real'
relative clause and the 'virtual' relative clause . These two types of relative clauses are
well known to exhibit important differences in their syntax. However, of the two, the
'virtual' relative clauses has received little detailed attention .
'Real' relative clauses exhibit forms specific to relative clauses, i.e. forms
which do not occur in other usages. 'Real' relative clauses headed by verbs display
special verb-forms (participles and relative forms as adjectival transpositions of the
verb) , whereas sentences with adverbial predicate and pseudo-verbal constructions
display a converter, either nty or a form (participle or relative form) of the auxiliary
verb wnn :
a) participle
25) Leb 78-80: mhy.ihr msw.s saw m swht m3w hr n hnty n- nht.sn
I shall grieve for her children who have been broken in the egg,
who have looked on the crocodile-god before they have lived.
b) relative form
26) Sin B28: nfr irrt.n.sn
What they did was good.
c) nty clause
27) Sin B166: nd.l hrt hnwt-t3 nttm h.f
Mayl greet the mistress of the land who is in his palace.
d) wn(n) clause
28) Peas B 1,256: n rh.n.tw wnnt m lb
One does not know what is in the heart.
'Real' relative clauses exhibit typical adjectival properties: adjectival agreement with the
antecedent and the ability to stand independently without (overt) antecedent
(nominalized relative clauses). They also exhibit a strict strategy concerning whether the
resumptive pronoun is mandatorily oven or non-overt .
42

43

44

45

46

4 1

For details, full exemplification and comparison with the adverbial analysis, see M.A. Collier, The
relative clause and the verb in Middle Egyptian', submitted for publication to JEA .
42 The term 'virtual' relative clause is due to EG 195-6 (cf 182) and is retained here (in quotes) due
to its familiarity, although the term is something of a misnomer (see below in the text). The term 'real'
relative clause (similarly in quotes) is used to refer to the adjectivally converted relative clauses
introduced by relative converters and by the participle and relative form verb-forms.
43 Perhaps because of the problems which 'virtual' relative clauses provide for the traditional definition
of the relative clause as an adjectival clause. Equally, the 'virtual' relative clause provides problems for
the adverbial analysis of the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdm.n( f) in terms of adverbial substitution. See
Collier, op. CiL for discussion of both of these issues.
EG 353, 380 and Polotsky, 'Transpositions' 2.1.
EG 199, 200, 396 and Polotsky, Transpositions', 3.4.
For a recent discussion within the Polotskyan tradition, cf H. Satzinger, in Festschrift Westendorf
125-56.
3

4 4

4 5

4 6

Mark Collier

32

In contrast, 'virtual' relative clauses do not display forms specialized for relative
clause usage. Rather the forms of the suffix conjugation, sentence with adverbial
predicate and pseudo-verbal construction found are the circumstantial sajn(.f)
/sdm.n(.f), the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal
construction :
a) circumstantial sdm( f)/sdm.n( f)
29) Eb 91,3: kt nt msdr dlf mw3 hw3
Another (remedy) for an ear which gives off foul water.
30) Peas B 1,231-2: m wn hwrw hr htffn rh.n.k sw
Do not rob a poor man of his possessions, a feeble man
whom you know.
h) bare sentence with adverbial predicate
31) Eb 51,19-20: ir m33.k s stwt m nhbt.f
If you see a man on whose neck are swellings,
c) bare pseudo-verbal construction
32) Peas B l , 171-3: mktwm mtnty d3 nb hmt cJc3 cjy.ffdkw
See you are the ferryman who (only) ferries the possessor
of the fare, a straight man whose straightness is splintered.
'Virtual' relative clauses do not exhibit adjectival agreement with the antecedent, cannot
stand independently as nominalized relative clauses and do not exhibit the same strategy
concerning whether the resumptive pronoun is overt or non-overt. Indeed, in examples
29) and 30) above, the resumptive pronouns are overt in contexts where in the
equivalent 'real' relative clause the resumptive would be non-overt (participle and
relative form respectively).
In the present framework, the differences between the two types of relative
clause result from the form that the clause is forced to take; i.e. to properties of
c o n v e r s i o n . The choice of relative clause seems to be linked with issues of
dellniteness: 'real' relative clauses are required with definite antecedents and Virtual'
relative clauses are required with indefinite antecedents . Definite antecedents require
that the relative clause be converted into a specialized form exhibiting adjectival
properties, including adjectival agreement. Since they exhibit adjectival conversion,
'real' relative clauses are restricted to environments compatible with such adjectival
properties.
In contrast, indefinite antecedents do not require that the relative clause be
converted into a specialized form exhibiting adjectival conversion. Lacking conversion,
Virtual' relative clauses must, then, exhibit the form of the basic unconverted pattern
47

48

49

4 7

For other possible examples of 'virtual' relative clauses, see EG 196.


48 Regardless of their conversion properties, the two forms of relative clauses share in common the
properties of restrictiveiy modifying nouns (despite unsubstantiated claims to the contrary) and an
antecedent-resumptive dependency (although the form of the resumptive pronoun is affected by the
presence or absence of adjectival agreement, see below in the text). Hence these properties are not
dependent on adjectival conversion and are not to be defined in terms thereof. Rather, adjectival
conversion is to be treated as a contingent, not a necessary, property of relativization, see Collier, op.
cit. for discussion.
As noted in EG 198-9 and J.G. Griffiths, JEA 54 (1968), 60-66, there are some (apparent, see
Griffiths, op. cit. 66), exceptions especially with generic antecedents. However, the precise articulation
of the opposition awaits a study of the interaction of definiteness, referentiality, specificity, and
quantification in Middle Egyptian and so the traditional definite-indefinite distinction is retained for
expository convenience.
4 9

Circumstantially adverbial?

33

for the respective constructions involved in the relative clause. In the case of the suffix
conjugation, the sentence with adverbial predicate and the pseudo-verbal construction,
the basic unconverted forms are, of course, the circumstantial sd.m(.f)/sdrn.n(.f), the
bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction
respectively. As unconverted forms, these forms are just those used in other
environments where specialized conversion is not required and hence exhibit a wider
range of usages than the forms found in 'real' (converted) relative clauses.
Equally, this framework allows a unified approach to the form of the
resumptive pronoun within the relative clause. In the current framework, the form of
the resumptive pronoun in relative clauses (and other unbounded dependency
constructions ) is integrated into a general account of pronoun omission in Middle
Egyptian. Middle Egyptian exhibits two strategies of pronoun omission: omission
under relevance and omission under agreement. Omission under relevance is optional
and is sensitive to certain semantic/pragmatic parameters, particularly specificity and
animacy. In terms of specificity, pronouns with non-specific or contextually clear
reference are the more likely to be non-overt. In terms of animacy, pronouns with
impersonal/inanimate reference are more likely to be non-overt than pronouns with
personal reference (as a consequence, pronouns with specific personal reference tend to
be overt):
33) Fish A2,3: din 0 hr ht n Sbk nb S
We shall put (something) on the fire for Sobek, lord of She.
34) Meri C4,3-4: mk sp hsy hpr m k3w..... hpr.n.0 n-s m irt.n.i
See a wretched incident happened in my time .... that it came
about was not through what I had done.
In contrast omission under agreement is mandatory in that where agreement occurs, an
overt coindexed pronoun or noun cannot occur locally to (in Middle Egyptian,
immediately following) an agreement-carrying expression .
Since the 'real' relative clause exhibits adjectival agreement, resumptive
pronouns must be mandatorily orriitted within the local domain of agreement (e.g.
where the subjects of ntyjwn(n) clauses immediately follow the agreement carrier). If
placed beyond the local domain, they are generally overt, being sensitive only to
omission under relevance (including examples where the subjects of nty/wn(n) clauses
do not immediately follow the agreement carrier ). The interaction of omission under
agreement and omission under relevance thus provides the foundation for an account of
a wide range of resumptive effects in 'real' relative clauses .
In contrast, 'virtual' relative clauses do not exhibit adjectival agreement and
hence the resumptive pronoun can only be subject to omission under relevance. In
'virtual' relative clauses, resumptive pronouns, especially with personal reference, will
50

51

52

53

50 On unbounded dependency constructions (i.e. constructions exhibiting an antecedent-resumptive


pronoun dependency), see Collier op. cit Another example is the topicalization construction considered
below in section 4.
1 The locality is stated here in the most informal of terms. A more precise formulation requires a
proper study of the incorporation and cliticization effects of pronouns noted briefly in section 4. For
omission under agreement outside adjectival environments, see the discussion of the inflected
preposition ('prepositional adverb') in Collier op. cit.
52 Contrast the mandatory omission of resumptive pronoun subjects in standard nty/wn(n) clauses with
the optional omission under relevance exhibited by nty n sdjn(.f) in Peas B2,80 (overt coindexed
personal pronoun subject) and Nef 26 (non-overt non-specific coindexed impersonal pronoun subject).
53 See Collier, op. cit. for discussion.
5

34

M a r k Collier

tend to be overt. Thus, in addition to examples 29)-32) above, consider the following
classed according to the function of the resumptive pronoun:
a) subject (cf 29 above)
35) Eb 102,3-4: hbs ib.fpw ml s wnm.n.f k3w nw nht

It means that his heart is covered like a man who has eaten the
unripe fruit of the sycamore.
36) Peas B 1,173-4: mktwm hry-$n w n rdi.n.fsw3 $w hrSee you aire as a chief of the storehouse who does not let
one who is lacking pass in areas/immediately(?).
c

37) Sh.S 61-2: gm.nX hw pw iw.fm

ih

(And) I found that it was a snake which was coming.


b) object (cf 30 above^
38) Sh.S 147-8: mi Irrt n tip- mrr rmt mt3w3 nrhsw rmt
As is done for a god whom men love in a far land which they
do not know,
c) prepositional

object

39) Sin B159-60: ptr wrt r ^bt h3t.i m t3 ms.kwl im.f


What is that which is greater than burying my body in a land
in which I was born.
d) possessor of noun (cf 31 and 32 above)

40) Meri 5,4: m sm3 s w.k rh.t 3hw.f


Do not kill a man whose worth you know.
However, omission under relevance can also occur. Compare 36) with:
41) Adm 7,1: mtn Is ir ht n p3.0 hpr
See, now, things have been done which never used to happen.
In this framework, the 'virtual' relative clause is as much a true relative clause
as the 'real' relative clause. Indeed the only difference between the 'real' and the
'virtual' relative clause seems to be connected with defmiteness: definite antecedents
require a specially converted form exhibiting adjectival agreement (and its attendant
effect on the form of the resumptive pronoun); whereas indefinite antecedents do not
require a specialized converted form and unconverted forms are used. A better term for
the 'virtual relative clause would be the unconverted (paratactic or juxtaposed) relative
clause which contrasts with the converted relative clause (the 'real' relative clause).
Separating form and function, 'virtual' relative clauses may be said to function
'adjectivally' in that they modify nouns. However, this does not necessitate that they be
adjectival by form .
1

54

4. After a u x i l i a r i e s

55

Constructions with auxiliaries have been amongst the most widely discussed of
Middle Egyptian constructions . The most common auxiliary element is iw, which
56

5 4

It is thus preferable to distinguish strictly between terminology of form and terminology of


function.
5$ For detailed discussion, full exemplification and comparison with the adverbial analysis, see M.A.
Collier, Verbal syntax in Middle Egyptian (in preparation), a revision of id. A grammatical analysis of
sentences with iw in Middle Egyptian (University of London PhD thesis, 1989).
56 The literature is now too extensive to cite here. The most influential discussion remains Polotsky,
Transpositions', 3.8.

Circumstantially adverbial?

35
57

will form the focus of the exemplification provided here . iw co-occurs with the
following (basic) patterns:
a) iw + noun/suffix pronoun + 'adverbial'expression *
i) Iw + noun (suffix pronoun* prepositional phrase/simple adverb
42) Peas B2,65: iw Sdw.k m sht
Your land-plots are in the countryside.
ii) iw + noun/suffix pronoun + Stative
43) Sin B307-8: iw twt.i shr m nbw
My statue was overlaid with gold.
iii) iw + noun/suffix pronoun + preposition + infinitive
44) Sh.S 119-20: iw dpt r iit r hnw
A boat will come from the residence.
b) Iw + suffix conjugation verb-form + noun/suffix pronoun
i) iw + circumstantial sa/n(.f)
45) Kag 2,1: w gr.k m r.k
You are silent with your mouth.
ii) iw + circumstantial sdm.n( f)
46) West 8,8: try w.s. nb.i iw in.n.iQdi
Sovereign l.p.h., my lord, I have brought Djedi.
iii) iw + passive sdm(w)(f)
47) Sin B297-8: iw in n.i$3b m hsp3sp4
n hrw
Meals were brought to me from the palace 3, 4 times a day.
At first sight, this might suggest an analysis of the tw-construction with iw as
an initializer before the bare sentence with adverbial predicate, the bare pseudo-verbal
construction and the bare circumstantial sajn(-f)/sd/n.n( .f) (and their passive
equivalents). Indeed this will be the analysis suggested below. However, there are two
well known issues which have complicated the discussion of this construction and have
led to a rather different view dominating the field. The first is the common occurrence
of the pattern:
iv) iw + nounisufix pronoun + circumstantial sajn(f)
48) Sh.S 17-8: w r n s nhmfsw
The mouth of a man, it can save him.
This pattern would sometimes seem to behave as a simple construction with iw (indeed
it is more common than iw sdm( f)). In particular, iwf sajn.f can exhibit a functional
paradigm with the SVO patterns of the simple pseudo-verbal construction with iw . A
good example of this is:
5

59

51 The discussion can be extended to cover the other auxiliaries which exhibit a similar behaviour
noted in EG 469-83, e.g. h .n, u.n, pr.n, sdr.n, g/.n, and forms of wnn.
5% Constructions with iw are initial main clause patterns. However, in environments where there
would be no other morphological support for a pronominal subject, e.g. in 'virtual' relative clause,
adjunct/focus and coordinate usage of the patterns in a), the auxiliary Iw is invoked to supply the
necessary morphological support (cf G 117.2, 323). Patterns with nominal subjects and patterns,
such as those in b), where the pronominal subject follows the verb, do not exhibit w-support in such
usages (cf fn 78). The internal syntax of cases with w-support is, of course, that of a construction with
w. For homogeneity of function, the representative examples of the patterns in a) have been chosen
with nominal subjects.
Cf P. Vemus, in Festchrift Westendorf, 197-212 and id. in Crossroad, 379-80. Indeed a number of
researchers, following W. Westendorf, MIO 1 (1953), 337-43, have proposed that the pattern noun +
sdm(.f) is itself a pseudo-verbal construction.
3

5 9

36

M a r k Collier
c

49) Sin Bl-2 R24-5: ist wi h sajn.n. hrw.f

Sin B2: w.fhr mdt


Sin R25: iwfmdw.f
Now I was stood (nearby) and I heard his voice as he
was speaking.
The second issue is the morphological evidence that suffix pronouns suffix to the
auxiliary (cf 49) and hence are standardly treated as being grammatically dependent on
the auxiliary, rather than on the 'adverbial' expression which follows. Indeed both
issues clearly influenced Polotsky in arriving at his most developed analysis of the
construction with iw :
60

nominal subject
lw noun/suffix pronoun
lw nounlsuffix pronoun
iw noun/suffix pronoun
lw nounlsuffix pro nounl. 0
iw.0
IW.0

adverbial predicate
prepositional phrase
Stative
preposition + infinitive
circumstantial sa}n(.f)
circumstantial sajn.n(.f)
passive sgjn(w)(.f)

Although the details of this analysis have been much discussed, this remains the most
influential analysis of the construction with lw. The basic noun-adverb division of the
construction has been followed by all subsequent research within the same tradition .
Moreover, most of these analyses include iw.f SQjn.f as a basic construction with lw
and this has lead to general acceptance of an omitted pronominal element after the
auxiliary in the patterns lw sajn(.f)/sajn.n(.f) and lw passive sajn(w)(.f) . Equally,
there has been wide acceptance of the proposed syntactic-morphological division.
However, the volume of subsequent discussion reflects the continued disquiet
concerning these central problems and their role in the analysis of the construction with
61

62

The analysis of constructions with Iw (and other auxiliaries) in the present


framework differs somewhat from the traditional analysis, most significantly in terms
of the proper analysis of iwf sdmf (and hence of lw sdm.n(.f) with or without an
6 0 Polotsky 'Transpositions', 3.8-9.
6 1 Polotsky assigned the circumstantial sdm( f)/sdm.n( f) adverbial status on the basis of substitution
with prepositional phrases and pseudo-verbal predicates. Some subsequent work has maintained the
noun-adverb binary division of the construction, but places the circumstantial sd (f)/sdjn.n(f) in a
substitutional relationship with the entire bare sentence with adverbial predicate/bare pseudo-verbal
construction after iw. However, such a substitutional relationship is not necessarily indicative of
adverbial behaviour, as noted in sections 1-3 above. Cf below in the text
6 2 A notable exception is F . Junjp, Syntax der Mittelgyptische Literatursprache (Mainz, 1978), 76-8.
Junge proposes an analysis with iw as the nominal subject to a following adverbial clause predicate (cf
last footnote). Although this analysis shares the basic noun-adverb division of the construction, it does
not require an omitted pronominal element in a pattern such as lw sdjn.n(.f). iw.f sdmf is analysed as
lw + [noun + sdjn.fl construction with noun + sdjn(.f) analysed as a pseudo-verbal construction, cf F .
m

Junge Rd'E 3 0 (1978), 96-100.

6 3 cf the three alternative proposals for the analysis of the construction with lw proposed in W .
Schenkel, Materialien zur Vorlesung. Einfhrung in die klassisch-gyptische Sprache und Schrift,
Wintersemester 1989/90 (Tbingen, 1989), 4.4.2.3 note and 6.4.2 note 2 . The most recent addition to
the discussion is H. Satzinger, GM 115 (1990), 99-102.

Circumstantially adverbial?

omitted pronoun after iw) and the proper analysis of the ability of suffix pronouns to
suffix to auxiliaries. In the present analysis, there is no place for the iw.f sdmf pattern
in the analysis of the basic construction with iw; rather it is analysed as a topicalization
or anticipatory emphasis construction. As a consequence, there is no place for a w.0
sdm.n(.f) pattern: this formation is analysed simply as Iw sajn.n(.f). Equally, the
construction is not divided syntactically into the [iw.f] [m pr] division which its
morphology would seem to require - rather a morphology-syntax mismatch is
suggested. Since these issues have played a major part in recent discussions of this
pattern, the view presented here requires some defence.
Topicalization is a common, although little studied, property of Middle
Egyptian . As is well known, a wide range of patterns allow an extra expression
(usually, but not necessarily, a noun phrase) to be placed in a special position (usually
at or near the front of the construction) which is not available in the simple nontopicalized pattern and which is usually resumed by a pronominal expression in an
appropriate position ordinarily available within the construction :
51) Sh.S 151: ntyw n.-lm(y) sw
ntyw, it belongs to me.
The basic word order in this pattern is adjectival predicate-nominal subject . Here
anticipatory emphasis licenses an expression in a special position at the front of the
construction serving as the antecedent of the resumptive pronoun which occupies a
position ordinarily available within the construction (here as the subject).
Unfortunately the discussion of topicalization in relation to the suffix
conjugation has been obscured by the status of the noun + sdm(.f) pattern in Middle
Egyptian noted above for iw.f sdm.f. However, there is a clear paradigm of form (as
opposed to function, see below) exhibited by the suffix conjugation (in common with
other major Middle Egyptian patterns) in the following contexts, where an expression
occurs in a fronted position not available with the simple pattern and which is linked to
a construction-internal position as the antecedent to a resumptive pronoun. For
comparison, the suffix conjugation forms are compared with the pseudo-verbal
construction:
64

65

66

67

6 4

The term 'topicalization' is in common usage and is retained here, although this is to be taken to
indicate the presence of a special position, rather than to indicate an analysis of its communicative
function. On the "emphasis' standardly exhibited by TOPICs, see J.F. Borghouts, in Crossroad, 51-3
(under 'focus'). Borghouts adopts a similar analysis of topicalization in the ivv-construction to that
presented here, although he does not follow through the repercussions of this analysis. To distinguish
this special position, which is not available in the simple construction, from die discourse function of
topic, the former will be termed the TOPIC. Topicalization is not be confused with fronting with ir. in
contrast to TOPICs, ?r-fronted expressions ordinarily precede auxiliaries and initial particles (although,
as 'unbound particles', the latter can also precede an ir expression or both the ir expression and the
following construction (cf Hek 1,16-7)).
CfG 146-8.
66 This dependency exhibits the standard antecedent-resumptive dependency also found in relative
clauses and certain other constructions, see Collier, 'The relative clause and the verb' MS for
discussion. As an exception to the normal antecedent-resumptive dependency, topicalized adjuncts do
not exhibit a dependency with a resumptive expression.
EG 114.4.
6 5

6 7

Mark Collier

38

a) circumstantial sdjn(.f)
i) bare *
52) Sin R20-2: n sp slnfrssy bik hfhn
Smswfnn rdlt rh st ms .f
He did not delay at all. The falcon, he flew with his followers,
without causing that his expedition know it.
ii) after initial particles
53) Sin R15-6: tisw hm ly.f In.n.f skr(w)- nh(w) n thnw mnmnt nbt nn drw.s
Now, in fact, he was returning, having brought away living
captives of the l/i/tw-people and all the cattle without limit.
iii) after auxiliaries
54) Sin B174-6: wn.ln hm.f h3b.f n.l 3wt- nt hr-nsw s3w.fib n b3k-im mi
hk3 n h3st nbt
So his~person, he sent me gifts of the king's favour, so that he
might gladden the heart of this servant just like any foreign
ruler.
b) circumstantial sajn.n(.f)
i) bare
55) Sin B168-9: <n>-ntt <r>.f3w h3w wgg 3s.n.fwl
Because, <as for> it, old age has descended and feebleness it
has hurried upon me.
ii) after initial particles
56) Adm 7,7: mtn t3 ts.n.fhr sm3y
See, the land, it has been knotted with confederacies.
iii) after auxiliaries
57) Kag 2,7-8: h .n hm n nsw-blty Hwl-ny mni.n.f
Then the person of the nsw-blty Huni he died (lit. moored).
c) passive sd.m(.w)(.f)
i) bare
58) Kha 12: hr nb twt hr iw sfyt rdlw s3 r.s
(And) everyone alike is burdened by wrongs; respect, the back has
been placed to it
ii) after initial particles: no examples in the literary material
iii) after auxiliaries: no examples in the literary material.
d) n sdm(.f)/n sdm.n(.f)
i) bare
59) Leb 104: hnmsw nw min n mr.ny
'fhe friends of today, (they) do not love.
ii) after initial particles
60) Sin B223: is w rt tn irt.n b3k n hmt(.i) s(y)
Now this flight which the servant made, (J) did not plan it.
e) pseudo-verbal construction
i)bare
6

69

6 8

For discussion of the form and functions of this pattern, see E. Doret, JNES 39 (1980), 37-45. For
Doret, noun + circumstantial sdm(.f) is a pseudo-verbal construction which has the additional function
of optionally placing 'emphasis' on the subject, cf fn 77.
69 in the pseudo-verbal construction the subject is ordinarily placed before the other members of the
bare construction. Hence we would not expect tofindexamples exhibiting a TOPIC-subject dependency
except under exceptional circumstances.

Circumstantially adverbial?

39

61) Adm 7,7: kn hsy hr nhmw [htj.f


The brave man, the coward takes away his property.
ii) after initial particles
62) Adm 7,4: mn sSt3 n 3 hmm drwf sh3w
See the secrets'of the land which were unknown, its limits are
revealed.
iii) after auxiliaries
63) West 9,12: wn.in hm.f ib.fw3 r d.wt hr.s
So his person, his heart fell into sadness because of this.
Notice that the TOPIC precedes the suffix conjugation or pseudo-verbal construction
but is itself preceded by both initial particles and auxiliaries.
In each of these cases, these patterns are to be carefully distinguished by form
(and indeed function) from vocatives. Vocatives address the interlocutor directly and
can occur at the beginning, throughout or at the end of constructions . Most
interesting to note are the occurrences of vocatives before initial particles, which thus
contrast with the position of TOPICs:
64) Nef 5-6: dd.in hm.f .w.s. n.sn rhw min rdl.n.i i3 s".tw n.tn r rdit....
So his person l.p.h said to them, 'Companions, see I have had
one call to you to cause
65) Peas B 1,219-20: wh3 mktw ph.t()
Fool, see you are reached.
When we turn to the construction with iw, then the pre-auxiliary expressions
found are vocatives :
66) West 8,7-8: dd.n s3-nsw Hr-dd.fiy .w.s. nb.l iw in.n.iDd
So the king's son Hordedef said, 'Sovereign l.p.h., my lord,
I have brought Djedi.
Equally, constructions with iw (just like the other constructions with auxiliaries noted
above) exhibit patterns where an extra expression appears in a special position after the
auxiliary and before the remainder of the pattern which is not available in the simple
1Q

11

72

73

7 0

'Admonitions' is arichsource of topicalization patterns ill-evidenced elsewhere, due to the thematic


organization of the text around the object of the particular admonition and the reiterative usage of mtn
is and iw ms.
71 This pattern is quite common with parts of the body subjects, as noted by Polotsky,
Transpositions', 3.8.7.1 and G 215. Both Polotsky and Gardiner analysed these constructions as
exhibiting a pseudo-verbal construction with a clausal predicate, although the latter noted the alternative
possibility of analysing the pattern as a topicalization construction. However, this does not account
satisfactorily for the antecedent-resumptive relations in this pattern where a resumptive expression
within the pseudo-verbal partem is linked to the TOPIC antecedent.
EG 87.
3 There may be prosodie restrictions on the 'size' or 'heaviness' of the TOPIC which can separate an
initial particle/auxiliary from the following pattern and large TOPICs may be forced to precede the
initial particle/auxiliary (cf D. Zee and S. Inkelas, Prosodically constrained syntax', in The phonologysyntax connection, eds. S. Inkelas and D. Zee (Chicago, 1990), 365-78). A possible example with tw
maybe:
FN1) Sin BlOl-4: h3st tn rwit.nJ r.s w lr,n.l hd im.s
Every land against which I advanced, I made an attack against it.
However, as noted by Blackman Middle Egyptian stories (Brussels, 1932) 24a n 1 la, the auxiliary was
added to the manuscript later.
3

7 2

M a r k Collier

40

construction and which exhibits an antecedent-resumptive relation with a resumptive


pronoun in a position ordinarily available within the construction:
a) iw + pseudo-verbal construction
67) Peas B 1,284: In iw wsfwspry r h
rrnpr.f
As for the sluggard, will a petitioner stand at the door of his
house ?
b) lw + passive SQjn(w)(.f)
68) Adm 6,8-9: iw ms sX nw tm(3) drw ss(w).sn
Surely, the scribes of the cadaster(?), their writings have been
destroyed.
c) iw sdm.n(.f)
As is well known, there are no standard examples of lw noun sdm.n.f'm (most) Middle
Egyptian source genres . However, important corroborative evidence is provided by
adjunct topicalization of the time phrase min :
i) iw + pseudo-verbal construction
69) Sin B149: iw min ib.f
Today, his heart is washed.
ii) lw + sdm-n(f)
70) Peas B 1,180-1: sdmw n 3 sdm.n.k tm.k tr sdm hr-m iw min 3 hsf.n.i 3dw
Hearer, you are not listening. Why don't you listen?
Today, I have warded off the savage one.
71) Sin B189-90: lw mln is $3 .n.k tni
Today, now, you have begun old age.
d) iw sdm(.f)
In terms of this paradigm of form, the iw.f sdm.f attem would seem to find a natural
place:
72) Sh.S 17-8: lw r n s nhn.fsw
The mouth of a man, it can save him.
If these constructions with iw are not analysed as topicalization constructions,
then constructions with lw (and indeed constructions with auxiliaries in general) would
exhibit an unexplained gap: alone amongst main clause formations, they would not
exhibit topicalization at all, since there is no other likely candidate for such a pattern. At
the same time, they would exhibit patterns which would seem to display an extra
expression in a special position and which seems to participate as the antecedent in an
c

74

75

76

7 4

After G 148,3. D. Silverman, Interrogative constructions with jn and jn-v in Old and Middle
Egyptian (Malibu, 1980), 44-5 with fh.252 understands "Will a sluggard who petitions wait at the door
of his house?' with the comment that wsfw cannot be in anticipatory emphasis because 'we would
expect it to appear outside the question'. As the discussion in the text indicates, this does not hold.
Notice that the peasant has already alluded to Rensi's sluggardly properties (iw wsf.k r tht.k) in B 1,281.
However, as noted by Polotsky Transpositions' 3.8.5, examples do occur in the Coffin Texts:
FN2) CT I 74i: iw Wp-w3wt wp.nfn.fw3wt nfr(w)t
Wepwawet, he has opened the perfect ways for him.
The reason for the lack of standard iw TOPIC sdjn.n(f) patterns in other Middle Egyptian source genres
remains obscure but is perhaps to be sought in terms of functional/communicative concernsratherthan
in terms of syntax.
?6 Gardiner considered min to function as an enclitic particle in these examples (EG 208). However,
unlike enclitics, mln can occur initially infrontedpositions (cf the difficult Adm 12,7) and in standard
word order positions as subject, object and adjunct As a topicalized adjunct min is not linked to a
resumptive expression (cf fh 66 above).
7 5

antecedent-resumptive dependency. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that, by form,


noun + suffix conjugation patterns (including iw.f s&m.f) are topicalization
constructions exhibiting a TOPIC in a special position as the antecedent to a resumptive
pronoun. The parallel with the initial particle construction and other constructions with
auxiliaries where the TOPIC follows the initial particle and precedes the remainder of
the pattern is striking.
Concerning iw.f sdm.f, it would seem necessary to conclude that by form this
pattern belongs to the paradigm of topicalization constructions. However by function
(courtesy of the resulting 'SVO' order), iw.f sdm.f'can exhibit functional usages where
it would seem to behave as a simple declarative clause like the simple SVO ordered
pseudo-verbal constructions with Iw . If we adopt this analysis, then many of the
traditional problems associated with the iw.f sdm.f pattern (and indeed noun + suffix
conjugation patterns in general) can be finessed. As a topicalization construction by
form, i.e. with an extra noun phrase in a special structural position not available in the
simple non-topicalized pattern, the iw.fsdmf pattern has no place in the paradigm for
the analysis of the form of the simple (i.e. non-topicalized) construction with iw. The
repercussions of this re-analysis of the paradigm for the simple construction with iw are
major. Firstly, along with other evidence, it removes the motivation for an analysis of
the pattern iw sdm.n(.f) as iw.0 sdjn.n(.f) with an omitted pronoun after iV . Rather
this pattern is to be analysed simply as iw sdm.n(.f) (see below). Secondly, this
11

78

' ' That is to say without necessarily exhibiting the informational effects commonly found with
TOPICs (cf fn 64). Compare the standard Linguistic distinction between the form of a construction and
its usage, where, as in many languages, constructions with the form of a simple declarative statement
can be used interrogatively (G 491) or where constructions with the form of an interrogative
statement can be used conditionally (EG 489, Silverman, op. cit. 105-8). However, we would expect
to find examples where lw.f sdjnf exhibits 'emphasis' on the TOPIC and indeed examples seem to be
forthcoming (cf Doret, op. cit. 43):
FN 3) Peas Bl.215-7: sw3 hr sp wf r snwy in wnm dp iw wiSdw wtb.f
in sdrw m33 rswt
Pass over a case and it will become two. It is the eater who tastes.
He who is addressed, he answers. It is the sleeper who sees the dream.
Given this 'tension' between form and function, it is not surprising, I suggest, that two of the major
changes in the transition to Late Egyptian are the loss of the circumstantial sdm(.f) and the change in
function of iw.
78 The postulated omitted pronoun does not abide by the standard conventions for pronoun omission
(cf section 3): omission underrelevance,which is optional; and omission under agreement, which is
clearly inappropriate here. The pattern lw.0 sdrn.n(f) has also been compared to examples such as:
FN 4) Sin B43: lw.0 ml shr ny
(It) was like the plan of god.
(cf M.A. Collier, Tieview', DE 18 (1990) forthcoming for brief arguments against analysing iw as the
direct subject of the adverbial predicate). However, once word order has been taken into account, it is
clear that the equivalent suffix conjugation pattern is:
FN 5) Herds 23: iw ir.0 mi dd.f
(It) was done like he said,
where the non-overt pronominal subject follows the verb-form (cf below in the text).
Moreover, the purported lw.0 sdm.nif) pattern is not used in contexts where fw-support is
required, although iW-support is required both with overt pronominals (cf the iw.f sdjn.f pattern in 49)
and non-overt pronominals:
FN6) Meri 4,5: hm-ht pw hnty iw.0 n kwy
He is a fool the one who is greedy when (things) belong to others.
3

Mark Collier

42

discussion of topicalization undermines the analysis of the structure of the entire


construction with iw as basically that of either a sentence with adverbial predicate or a
second tense, with iw as the nominal subject to an adverbial predicate (cf 50 above),
since in these construction types the TOPIC occurs before the entire construction, not
after the nominal subject (whether simple nominal or that-form) .
The second innovation follows recent developments in generative grammar.
Over the last few years it has come to be realized that syntax and morphology do not
necessarily stand in a transparent relationship; i.e. the morphological analysis of a
construction may not agree exactly with the syntactic analysis of the construction .
The ability for such 'mismatches' to occur is, however, extremely limited, as one
would expect Consider the following two examples:
73) Kwakwala: k ix id-ida beg anema-x-a
q'asa-s-is
t'elwag ayu
clubbed-the man-OBJ-the otter-INST-his
club
The man clubbed the sea-otter with his club.
74) West Greenlandic Eskimo: Tuttu-p
neqi-tor-punga
reindeer-REL meat-eat-INDIC/ls
I ate reindeer's meat.
In 73), the detenniners are enclitics which cliticize to the immediately preceding word,
although they are grammatically related to the following noun . In 74), the noun root
incorporates with the verb but is directly grammatically related to the external noun
possessor. In Middle Egyptian, cliticization is important for the understanding of the
behaviour of dependent pronouns, n+ pronoun, certain determiners (nb, pltn, pltf) and
enclitic particles. Incorporation is important for the understanding of suffix pronouns,
which can be treated as incorporated pronouns .
As noted above, it is clear that the morphological analysis of the simple
construction with lw with following pronominal subject is:
75) [w.f] m pr
where the pronoun incorporates with the auxiliary. Equally, this applies when the
pronoun is a TOPIC:
76) [iw.f] sdm.f
However, as discussed above, the syntactic analysis of the iw.f sdm.f
construction as a topicalization pattern (along with other evidence not discussed here)
79

80

81

S2

83

84

9 Cf G 148 and 61) above (pseudo-verbal construction), Adm 9,5 (second tense).
80 Convenient discussion in J.M. Sadock, 'Auto-lexical syntax: a proposal for the treatment of noun
incorporation and similar phenomena', Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 3.4 (1985), 379^439,
id. "The auto-lexical classification of lexemes', in Theoretical morphology, eds. M. Hammond and M
Noonan (San Diego, 1988), 271-90 and M.C. Baker, Incorporation: a theory of grammatical junction
changing (Chicago, 1988).
81 From S.R. Anderson, 'Kwakwala syntax and the government-binding theory', in Syntax and
semantics 16: the syntax of native American languages, eds. E.D. Cook and D.B. Gerdts (San Diego,
1984), 24 ex 1). For typographical reasons, 'e' is used in the gloss in place of Anderson's inverted 'e'.
82 From J.M. Sadock, "Noun incorporation in Greelandic: a case of syntactic word formation',
Language 56 (1980), 309 ex 33). In the synonymous non-incorporated sentence (ibid, ex 32), the noun
root and the possessor form a phrase. Cf Baker, op. cit. 96-7.
83 Cf J.L. Klavans, "The independence of syntax and phonology in cliticization', Language 61 (1985),
95-120.
8 The syntactic and morphological behaviour of pronouns (and expressions which exhibit a similar
morphological behaviour) is the subject of my post-doctoral project for the British Academy entitled 'A
generative grammar of pronominals and anaphors in Middle Egyptian'.
4

Circumstantially adverbial?

43

indicates that iw stands at the periphery of the clause and co-occurs with the bare
circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsdm.n(.f), the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the
bare pseudo-verbal construction. There is thus a syntax-morphology mismatch.
Syntactically, iw is an initializing auxiliary which co-occurs with the clausal patterns
just noted. Morphologically, however, the auxiliary is an incorporation host and can
incorporate a pronoun as long as it is locally available to the the auxiliary .
From this discussion, the paradigm for the syntactic analysis of the form of the
simple construction with iw reduces to:
85

initializer
iw

non-initial main clause


circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsdm.n(.f)
bare sentence with adverbial predicate
bare pseudo-verbal construction

In this analysis, the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) do not exhibit a substitutional


relationship with adverbial predicates in the construction with w, but with the entire
bare sentence with adverbial predicate and bare pseudo-verbal construction. Along with
the discussion of the position of the TOPIC above, this suggests that the grammatical
relation between w and the following pattern is not to be analysed in terms of
subordination and predication relations based on nominal and adverbial substitution,
but is to be analysed in much the same way as the grammatical relation between
converters and initial particles and the patterns which follow them. Similarly, then, the
patterns which follow w and other auxiliaries are to be treated synchronically as
unconverted clauses behaving as non-initial main clauses, rather than as forms
specialized for adverbial subordinate behaviour . Auxiliaries impose the further
collocational restriction that such patterns be headed by non-nominal predicates.
However, non-nominality does not reduce to adverbial properties in this case; rather it
must be treated in terms of the inherent non-nominality of (unconverted) verbal
expressions and adverbial expressions (see section 0). Thus the substitutional relations
between verb-form and prepositional phrase/pseudo-verbal predicate are those within
the clause forms of the circumstantial sdm{.f)lsdm.n(.f) (+ other dependents) and the
bare sentence with adverbial predicate and bare pseudo-verbal construction:
86

AUX
w
Iw

non-initial main clause


noun/
adverbiallpseudopronoun
verbal predicate
sdm.n

noun/pronoun

8 5

In generative terms, there is subject-to-aux incorporation exhibiting standard ECP locality effects (cf
Baker, op. cit. chapters 2 and 3). Notice that when the pronoun is not locally available to iw, as in the
case of iw sdm.nf, the pronominal subject cannot incorporate with w (rather the pronoun incorporates
with the verb in this case) and hence iw remains without a morphological affix. There is thus no
morphological requirement to invoke an omitted pronominal dependent after w in this pattern (i.e.
there is no pattern iw.0 sdjn.n.f), cf fn 78.
86 it must be stressed that this is a synchronic analysis. Synchronically, auxiliary + non-initial main
clause constructions do not display the syntactic properties of second tenses (nor indeed of the sentence
with adverbial predicate); however, it may be that such constructions developed diachonically from
original second tense formations, cf Polotsky, Transpositions, 3.8.2 on h .n.
c

44

Mark Collier

Here the adverbial/pseudo-verbal predicate follows its subject in the sentence with
adverbial predicate and pseudo-verbal construction with iw, whereas the suffix
conjugation verb-form precedes its subject (and hence there is no predicate constituent)
in accordance with the well known word order properties of these patterns found in the
other environments in which they occur . Thus the verb-form is not ordered according
to any purported 'adverbial' properties, but is ordered simply as a suffix conjugation
verb-form.
87

5 Adjunct/focus

position

The adjunct/focus position allows a rather wide range of expressions. The


following exemplification is of simple (i.e. non-focused) adjuncts *
a) simple prepositional phrases
79) Sin B17-8: Ssp.n. ksw m b3t
(And) I took up a crouched position in a bush.
b) prepositionally converted clauses
80) Ptah L2 1,14: m mh b.k hr-ntt twmrh
Do not fill your heart because you are a wise man.
c) circumstantial sdm(.f)lsdm.n(.f)
81) Sh.S 14-5: ih ws2>.k wSd.t(w).k
Then you will answer when you are addressed.
82) Sin R15-16: ii sw hm ty.f n.n.f skr(w)- nh(w) n ihnw
Now, in fact, he was returning after he had brought away
living captives of the r/t/nv-people.
d) bare sentence with adverbial predicate
83) Fish B4.5-6: h3.i r S" stsw hr rmn .\ w. r s3.i
I will go down to the lake with the staves upon the shoulder
of my arm and my poles at my back.
e) bare pseudo-verbal construction
84) Sin Bl-2: sdm.n.t [hr]w.fiw.fhr mdt
(And) I heard his voice as he was speaking.
f) bare time phrases
85) Men 5,7-8: ddt rsy wdf s3ryw rh.n.k tm.sn sfn hrw pfn wdp m3r
The southern d3d3t which judges the needy, you know that
they are not lenient on that day of judging the poor.
In adjunct/focus position, the circumstantial sdm{.f)lsdjn.n{-f) do not substitute
just with prepositional phrases. They occur in a paradigm which also includes
expressions which do not exhibit a form specialized for adverbial behaviour. Thus, the
clause forms of the sentence with adverbial prediate and bare pseudo-verbal
construction occur in adjunct/focus position, forms which we have seen can also occur
in non-adverbial substitutional environments. Equally, it is clear that bare time phrases
display the syntax of noun phrases . Using hrw as an example, in 85) hrw co-occurs
88

90

87

CfG 27and28.
88 The discussion holds equally for focused adjuncts in 'second tenses'.
89 Bare time phrases are used as the exemplars of bare nominals used as adjuncts. Other examples
include ds reflexives (Adm 2,12, Ptah 7,8) and n-ts negated nouns (Ptah 6,1 and P. Ram II vs ii 5).
90 Details, discussion and arguments against an anaysis of bare time phrases as unmarked adverbial
transpositions is given in M.A. Collier, The syntax of time phrases in Middle Egyptian' MS.

Circumstantially adverbial?

45

with demonstrative and indirect genitive dependents in adjunct/focus position, a


behaviour characteristic of simple nominals . Moreover, exactly the same forms can
occur in typical nominal positions such as subject and object:
a) subject
86) Sin B309-10: Iw.l hr hs(w)t nt hr-nsw r-iwt hrw n mn
I received the king's favours until the day of mooring came.
b) object
87) Sin B190-1: sM.n.k hrw n krs
(And) you have considered the day of burial.
Of course, ordinary bare nominals do not occur in adjunct/focus positions.
However, ordinary nominals do not carry inherent semantic roles and need to be
assigned a semantic role in a situation/proposition by some other expression, such as a
verb or a preposition. Since adjuncts are expressions which are added to a construction
to convey additional information, simple nominals are incompatible with this function,
since they would be left without a role in the resulting situation. However, time phrases
do carry an inherent semantic role, indicating a temporal setting, and are thus eminently
suited to adjunct usage. Hence there would seem to be little motivation in assigning
bare time phrases adverbial properties of form in adjunct/focus position. In the present
framework, bare time phrases are uniformally analysed as nominal expressions which
can function as subjects, objects and adjuncts. By function, bare time phrases in
adjunct/focus position might be said to behave 'adverbially' ; however by form they
are clearly noun phrases.
It would seem that, in terms of form, the adjunct position does not present a
homogenous paradigm, but is rather a heterogenous collection of expressions which are
suited to being adjoined to a predication to add additional information without the
mediation of some other expression.
Concerning the circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sajn.n(./),
the bare sentence with
adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction, it would seem that their
properties of conversion and part of speech (and relative tense/aspect properties)
conspire to enable them to function as adjuncts. As unconverted clauses, they describe
situations, which, lacking specialized conversion for specialized subordinate
distribution incompatible with adjunct requirements, can be suitably added to another
expression to convey additional information . Equally, there is no doubt that adjunct
usage does not naturally favour nominals, nominally headed patterns or forms
converted into a form specialized for nominal usage. Thus, as unconverted inherently
non-nominal clauses, the circumstantial sgjn(.f)/sdjn.n(./), the bare sentence with
adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction are suited for adjunct
usage. There is no requirement for these expressions to be analysed as forms
specialized by conversion/transposition for adverbial behaviour to treat their occurrence
in adjunct/focus position. By function, the circumstantial sd/n(.f)lsdjn.n(,f), bare
sentence with adverbial predicate and bare pseudo-verbal construction may be said to
behave 'adverbially' in adjunct/focus position; however, by form they are unconverted
forms.
91

92

93

9 1

EG 85, 111.
92 Once again, it would be preferable to distinguish strictly between the terminology of form and
function.
93 Cf Polotsky's discussion of 'parataxis' in "Egyptian tenses', 15.

Mark Collier

46
6. Coordination

Coordination is another area of Middle Egyptian grammar which is in need of


detailed investigation . Partly, this is because clausal coordination in Middle Egyptian
is not overtly marked. This is particularly problematic for the analysis of coordination
between main clause patterns. Indeed, unless two coordinated clauses 'share' some
information which is present in only one conjunct, it is extremely difficult formally to
identify coordination between most main clause types. Fortunately the patterns under
consideration here can be studied, since they exhibit main clause usage both with and
without introductory expressions. In this section, coordination is discussed in relation
to the bare non-initial main clause patterns of the circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sdm.n(.f),
sentence with adverbial predicate and pseudo-verbal construction and with these
constructions introduced by the auxiliary iw.
In recent treatments, two properties of coordination have not received the
attention they deserve. Firstly, the ability to coordinate with main clauses is not
restricted to non-initial main clauses. Examples occur between j'w-constructions (initial
main clause patterns):
88) Meir II, pi 8: w wb w hwy nn r-drw n Wsir h3ty- Wh-htp pn
All these are pure and abundant(?) for the "Osiris,
the h3ty- , this Wekhhotep.
In 88) the first conjunct with w shares the subject and other dependents of the second
conjunct with iw.
Secondly, the circumstantial sg/n(.f)/sgjn.n(f) can occur in coordination with
constructions within which they themselves cannot occur (except as adjuncts) :
89) West 11,26-12,1: S3s pw ir.n t3 wb3t wn.n.s t3 t
h .n sdm.n.s hrw hsy ....
The servant girl went and she opened the door.
Then she heard sounds of singing
In this example wn.n.s cannot be an adjunct clause with relative past interpretation (she
could hardly open the door without reaching it), nor can it be a that-form in a second
tense since there is no following 'adverbial' expression which can be focused. Hence
wn.n.s must be a circumstantial sdm.n(.f) functioning as a non-initial main clause in
coordination with the preceding initial formation.
90) Sh.S 54-6: Ut.idJ shpr.n.i ht ir.n.i sb-n-sdt n ntrw
I cut a fire drill, made a fire and I made a burnt-offering to the
gods.
Once again, regardless of the proper interpretation of Stfr.z , the two sdm.n( f) clauses
must be temporally coordinate rather than relative past and hence are to be analysed as
circumstantial sdm.n( f)s coordinated in non-initial main clause usage.
In both examples, the sajn.n(.f) 'leans' temporally on the preceding context for
tense/aspect support. However, in neither case are the circumstantial sajn.n(.f)s
syntactically dependent on the preceding pattern (or any member thereof) as a
94

95

96

9 4

Cf EG 91. 487-8, 505. For the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sajn.n(.fl in coordinate clauses, see E.
Doret BSEG 2 (1979), 13-22 and J.H. Johnson, Serapis 6 (1980), 69-73.
95 Contra Johnson, op. cit. 71.
6 Whether analysed as sdjnt(f) (cf H. Satzinger, JEA 57 (1971), 58-69) or narrative infinitive (cf W.
Schenkel, GM 4 (1973), 23-8.
9

Circumstantially adverbial?

47

subordinate expression; rather they are coordinated with the preceding pattern as noninitial main clauses.
However, it is certainly the case that the circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sdjn.n(f), the
bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction prefer
coordination with constructions within which they themselves can occur:
a) circumstantial sd/n( f)/sajn.n( fl
91) Meri 9,4-5: iw di.n.i hwi st t3-mhw h3k.n.l farw.sn nhm.n.i mnmnt.sn
I caused that t3-mhw strike them, I carried off their inhabitants
and I seized their cattle.
b) bare sentence with adverbial predicate
92) Peas R46-7: iw w3t.f w t hr mw kt hr it
Its one side was under water and the other was under barley.
c) bare pseudo-verbal construction
93) Leb 107-8: iw sf3k nht hr h3w n bw-nb
Gentleness has perished and the strong man descends upon
everyone.
In these cases, the coordinated non-initial main clause coordinates either with the Iwconstruction or (perhaps more likely) with the non-initial main clause which follows iw
in the first conjunct.
Given this discussion, it would seem inappropriate to posit an analysis of the
coordinate usage of the circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sd/n.n(.f), the bare sentence with
adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction in terms of adverbial
behaviour. Rather, the present framework again makes use of the analysis of these
patterns as unconverted expressions. As unconverted expressions, i.e. as forms which
are not specialized for subordinate behaviour, these forms can be used as non-initial
main clauses. In the present framework, non-initiality is treated as a relative
tense/aspect property, rather than a property of adverbial form. Hence non-initial main
clauses are syntactically independent clauses which require temporal support to satisfy
their relative tense/aspect properties. An already 'tensed' initial main clause pattern is,
of course, an ideal pattern for the circumstantial sdrn(.f)lsa\rn.n(-f), the bare sentence
with adverbial predicate and bare pseudo-verbal construction to enter into coordination
with, since they can 'share' the time point of the first conjunct. However, this does not
require that they be syntactically subordinated to the first conjunct or any member
thereof. In this framework, by treating the non-initiality of the circumstantial
sd/n(.f)/sd_m.n(.fl,
hare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudoverbal construction as a property of relative tense/aspect rather than of adverbial form,
such examples can be analysed simply as sentential coordination between main clause
patterns involving no gapping , subordination or predication relations between the
conjuncts.
c

t n e

97

y /

Doret, op. cit. 22 fn 41 refers to the coordination of the circumstantial sdjn(f)lsdjn.n(.f), the bare
sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction as exhibiting 'gapping' of an
auxiliary (cf Johnson, op. cit. 71-2). However, 'gapping' refers to a particular kind of omission in
coordination of an element without which the pattern would not be syntactically well-formed (with the
required meaning), cf R.A. Hudson, 'Gapping and grammatical relations'. Journal of Linguistics 25.1
(1989), 57-94. The circumstantial sdrn(.f)/sdm.n(.f), the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the
bare pseudo-verbal construction are clearly syntactically well-formed without the presence of the
auxiliary and hence occur in a variety of main and subordinate clause usages. Gapping, along with other
'sharing' of material, does occur in coordination in Middle Egyptian, e.g. Sin B307-8,

Mark Collier

48
7 Control

Polotsky first isolated the circumstantial sgjn(.f)/sdjn.n( f) in the substitutional


environment of the oblique complement after verbs such as gmi and m33 and after the
prt pw r.n.f construction . The interesting case is with the gm/m33 type of verb
which will form the focus of this section :
a) circumstantial sdm( f)
94) Sin B52-3: m33.t(w).f h3.f r pdj(yw)
When he is seen going down against the bowmen.
b) pseudo-verbal predicate
95) Fish B2,4-5: m33.l msw Hwt-ihyt hr km[(3)] wx3yt
I see the children of Hwi-lhyt throwing at the wi3yt birds.
96) West 12,20-1: gm.n.f Rd-Q.dt hms'.ti tp.'s hr m3st.s
(And) he found Reddjedet sitting with her head on her knee.
In this environment, the circumstantial sdm( f)/sdjn.n(.f) do substitute with,
and indeed only with, simple prepositional phrases and pseudo-verbal predicates. In the
present framework, this is simply treated in terms of the shared non-nominality of the
circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdm.n(.f) and prepositional phrases/pseudo-verbal predicates (cf
section 0).
However, there is another issue involved in this paradigm. It is significant that
the pseudo-verbal predicates must appear in this environment without an overt subject
(nominal or pronominal); the understood subject of the pseudo-verbal predicates is, of
course, clearly the object of gmt/m33 . Equally, the suffix conjugation verb-forms
must appear with an incorporated pronominal subject coindexed with the object of
gm/m33 and not with an overt nominal subject or non-coindexed pronominal
s u b j e c t . Such a distribution, where the subject argument of a predicative
98

99

100

101

102

98 Polotsky, 'Egyptian tenses', 4.


99 As in Polotsky's original discussion, this section focuses on verb-forms in the oblique complement
position after gmi and m33. Polotsky had earlier noted gmi/m33 as verbs of 'incomplete predication',
where the oblique complement is required to complete the sense of the verb in this usage and hence is
suited to the role of focus in a second tense (RdE 11 (1957), 110 fn 1) However, it must be emphasized
that 'incomplete prdication' is a lexical property and holds equally for gml/m33 in occurrences where
the oblique complement is not in focus:
FN7) Sin B116-7/R141-2: rkt lb pw hr m33.fwl hr Irt wpwt.k
It is ill-will because he sees me doing your commissions.
100 m33 and gmi prefer the circumstantial sdjn(-f) in oblique complement position.
101 That this is indeed the correct analysis of this construction and not gmi/m33 with [noun +
sd.m.f/ps&\ido-\eibl predicate] clausal complement is indicated by examples such as:
FN8) CT II ll0i-j: Is sp sn b3.l m3 tw s pf h .t(l) hft-hr.fm bw nb nt(y).flm
Go go, my b3, so that that man may see you stood opposite him in
whichever place he is in.
Here the object pronoun of m3 cliticizes to the verb and precedes the subject noun separating the object
from the oblique complement which it controls. Equally, the object can undergo standard grammatical
function changes, e.g. passivization (cf 94 where, arguably, ./ is the subject of the passive form
m33.t(w)).
gmi/m33 can also occur with ordinary adjuncts, where the adjunct clause is not as closely related
to the main verb and merely adds to the construction rather than being a lexically determined oblique
complement required to complete the sense of the verb. In this case, there is no mandatory restriction
on the nature of the subject, cf section 5.
c

1 0 2

Circumstantially adverbial?

49

complement (or adjunct) must be coindexed with an argument of the matrix predicate, is
often termed 'control' . In the present case, the object of gm/m33 may be said to
'control' the pseudo-verbal predicate/suffix conjugation verb-form .
Moreover, the oblique complement is effectively restricted to being phrasal
rather than clausal. Thus, the pseudo-verbal predicates clearly behave here as phrasal
predicates lacking a subject expression which they find indirectly in the object of
gm/m33) . However, the morphological properties of the suffix conjugation verbform disallow it from appearing without a subject except under particular and welldefined circumstances. Outside of coordination, the only exceptions are locally licensed
by omission under agreement (which is clearly not appropriate here) or omission under
relevance (which is optional and once again inappropriate here), cf section 3. Hence,
even in control environments, the suffix conjugation verb-form must appear with a
suffix pronoun subject. However, this subject pronoun must be coindexed with the
controller. Since the coindexed pronominal subject cannot behave independently, the
suffix conjugation f*>rm has the behaviour of a predicative phrase - i.e. as a predicate
which indirectly finds its subject in some preceding nominal element under control .
As a consequence, it is not simply a matter of substitution that the circumstantial
sd/n(.f)/sd/n.n(.f) occur in a strictly delimited paradigm with pseudo-verbal predicates
(and indeed simple prepositional phrases) in the oblique complement position after
gm/m33; it is also a product of control . In particular, it is to be noted that the bare
pseudo-verbal construction and the circumstantial sd/n/sdm.n + noun have no place in
this paradigm.
Within the present framework, the ability of controlled pseudo-verbal (and
indeed simple adverbial) predicates to occur in a substitutional paradigm with the
controlled circumstantial sdjn.f/sg/n.n.f can be readily explained by the inherent nonnominal properties of both forms and by control. In the particular case of gmi/m33, as a
lexical property both gmi and m33 can co-occur in this usage with either an object
clause or with an object nominal and a non-nominal object-controlled oblique
complement.
103

104

105

106

107

103 j h i
g e covers both the 'equi' and 'raising' constructions of early transformational grammar,
following work in the unification tradition in generative grammar. Cf J. Bresnan, 'Control and
complementation', Linguistic Inquiry 13 (1982), 343-434, particularly 372. Control can be thought of
as 'indirect predication'.
Moreover, these patterns co-vary with patterns where gml/m33 takes an object clause. A good
example is provided by the following variants of CT I 391a:
FN9) SIC 481: m33.sn prr.l m k3r
FN10) S2C 267: m33.sn wl pr.kwl m k3r
When they see me leaving the shrine.
This particular form of control is often termed 'raising to object', following early transformational
grammar (cf J.P. Allen, in Crossroad, 14-5). In work within the unification tradition, however,
gmilm33 lexically select the two observed patterns, whose synonymy is accounted for by control. Cf
Bresnan, op. cit. 9.6 with fig. 21
!05 Contra Polotsky's heading II "Verb-forms in clauses of circumstance', "Egyptian tenses', 2.
106 Thj j stated in the most informal of terms. The ability to control an incorporated pronominal is
to be analysed in terms of small clauses and government (MS in prep).
107 Similarly for the prt pw ir.n.f construction which exhibits adjunct control. However, this pattern
also, of course, exhibits simple adjuncts without control and hence a wider paradigm of forms is to be
found, cf section 5.
s u s a

Mark Collier

50

Conclusion
It has been argued that the verbal analysis of the circumstantial
sg/n( f)/sd/n.n(.f) and the framework in which it is couched can provide a satisfactory
analysis of the distribution of the circumstantial sg/n(.f)lsdjn.n(f) in Middle Egyptian.
Indeed the framework leads to novel interpretations of grammatical phenomena which
have proved problematic for the Polotskyan tradition. In this analysis, the syntax of the
circumstantial sgjn(.f)/sgjn.n(.f) is to be analysed in terms of their nature as
unconverted inherently non-nominal verb-forms, i.e. as simple verbal verb-forms. This
contrasts markedly with the Polotskyan approach where the syntax of the circumstantial
sdjn(.f)/sd/n.n(.f) is reduced to the distribution of simple adverbial parts of speech
(principally prepositional phrases and pseudo-verbal predicates) based on substitutional
paradigms.
From the perspective of the present framework, Polotsky was misled by an
unfortunate historical accident: he utilized the control environment of the oblique
complement position after gmi/m33, discussed in section 7, as a strictly delimited
environment in which to identify the circumstantial sdm(.f)/sdjn.n('./).
This
environment does indeed present the circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsbn.n(.f) in a strict
substitutional relationship with prepositional phrases and pseudo-verbal predicates.
However, this distribution cannot be treated simply in terms of paradigmatic
substitution, since it exhibits the syntagmatic dependency of control (indirect
predication) which severely restricts the range of expressions which can appear as the
oblique complements of gmi/m33. In particular, sg/n noxmjsdjn.n noun and noun +
prepositional phrase predicate/pseudo-verbal predicate patterns (i.e. the bare sentence
with adverbial predicate and the bare pseudo-verbal construction) have no place in this
paradigm. It is thus unsatisfactory to present a generalized adverbial analysis of the
circumstantial sgjn(.f)/sQjn.n(.f) on the basis of this environment without first taking
control into account.
However, when we investigate environments where the circumstantial
sdm(-f)/sdjn.n(.f) occur with both pronominal and nominal subjects (i.e. exhibiting
direct predication), then these patterns behave as clauses which share a close
substitutional relationship with the bare sentence with adverbial predicate and the bare
pseudo-verbal construction (even after auxiliaries). Although all three constructions can
appear in paradigmatic relationships with prepositional phrases (e.g. in adjunct/focus
positions), they can also appear in other environments where prepositional phrases are
not found (e.g. after initial particles and after converters). In such cases, the adverbial
analysis faces significant problems in accounting for this distribution. In contrast, the
verbal analysis has the flexibility to deal with the overall observed distribution of the
circumstantial sdjn(.f)/sdjn.n(.f) in Middle Egyptian and hence compares favourably. It
would seem then that the circumstantial sdjn(.f)lsfjjn.n(-f)
are indeed only
circumstantially adverbial.

THE

CAREER

AND

THE

OF

KHNUMHOTEP

SO-CALLED

III;

"DECLINE

By Detlef

OF

OF

BENI

THE

HASAN

NOMARCHS"*

Franke

I. The so-called "Decline of the Nomarchs"


In Egyptology, it is generally accepted that the
title and office of Nomarch (provincial governor w i t h the
title hrj-tp
3,
literally
"Great
Overlord",
of a n o m e )
disappears from our records in the time of Sesostris I I I .
This feature is often described in egyptological studies
with words like "elimination"
or "breaking
the
power"
,
suggesting that the King has by a forceful,
conscious
action overcome the group of nomarchs, who had become too
powerful and diminished the authority of the King.
c

The idea seems to derive


who wrote in his "Geschichte

from the work


des
Altertums":

of

EDUARD

MEYER,

"Nirgends [ist] in Aegypten


ein Nomarchengrab
oder auch nur ein
Denkstein eines Gaufrsten
erhalten,
der jnger wre als diese beiden
Knige
[Sesostris II. und III-1 > Das kann kaum Zufall sein;
vielmehr
drngt
dieser
Tatbestand
zu der Annahme,
da unter
Sesostris
III. ...
eine
tiefgreifende
Umwandlung durchgefhrt
oder wenigstens
... zum
Abschlu
gelangt
und das Gaufrstentum
beseitigt
worden ist. ... So scheint
die
* This is an altered version of my paper for the Colloquium "The
Residence and the Regions
in the Middle Kingdom", held at Cambridge,
28-29 April 1988. Its second part on the interpretation of the
finds from the sanctuary of Heqaib will be dealt with in my book
"Studien zum Heiligtum des Heqaib auf Elephantine".
My abbreviations are those of the Lexikon ter gyptologie
(L).
1

R.Delia, A Study
of the Reign of Senwosret
III. (PhD Columbia
University 1980) 164ff.; I.Matzker, Die letzten
Knige
der
12.
Dynastie
(Europische Hochschulschriften, Reihe III, Band 279,
Frankfurt/Main-Bern-New York 1986) 11; W.C.Hayes, in: CAH , 1/2,
505f., cited by W.A.Ward, in: GM 71 (1984) 55f., W.C.Hayes, in:
JNES 12 (1953) 31 ff.; H.G.Fischer, in: L, II, 413ff.
3

51

Detlef Franke

52
Macht
und Selbstherrlichkeit
des
Amenemhet III. vollstndig
gebrochen

Adels
unter
zu sein."

Sesostris

III.

und

The last scholar writing on this subject was EUGENE


CRUZ-URIBE, in: Varia Aegyptiaca
3 (1987) 1 0 7 - 1 1 1 . I think,
his description of the elimination of the nomarchs is
basically right. His arguments are in favour of "a slow
elimination
of the office by not appointing
successors
to current
holders
of the title" (loc.cit.,
1 0 8 f . ) . "As each nomarch
died, the
king
would refuse
to appoint
a heir"
(loc.cit.,
1 1 1 ) . But he also
maintains the common opinion, that "Sesostris
III. ... began
to
replace all of the nomarchs with local mayors"
{loc.cit.,
108) .
3

But is this picture of a "revolution" from the King's


correct ?

side

First of all, it seems to be wise to make a distinction between the disappearence of the title "nomarch" and
the disappearence of great rock-tombs in Middle and Upper
Egypt. Both traits can but need not be interrelated. The
disappearence of a title could be due to changes in the
mode of government that happen to occur in Egypt from time
to time, earlier and later. The construction of a great
tomb depends on wealth and access
to royal and
local
resources and craftsmen. The w i s h and the possibility to
build or not to build a great tomb are not dependent on a
specific
title
but
personal
wealth
and
common
lite
funerary beliefs and custom.
At the beginning of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhet I.
and his son Sesostris I. appointed men in specific regions
of Egypt, who are wearing the titles of "Mayor and
Overseer
of Priests
(of
the
local
tempel)"
(ff3tjJmj-rS
hmww-ntr,
abbreviated as HA MHN) and "Great Overlord
" (Hrj-tp
3
~
HTA) of their nome. These nomarchs originate from local
families, but their status and power was due to their apc

E. Meyer, Geschichte
des Altertums,
I ,2 (Stuttgart/Berlin 1909)
285, p.252 f. = I ,2 (1913) 276. I have to point out that there is
much difference between a long-term socio-political process ("tiefgreifende
Umwandlung") and a single, conscious action
("Beseitigung" "Macht
brechen").
2

I cannot agree with Cruz-Uribe's interpretation of the


"Enseignement loyaliste"
and the "Hymns in Honor of Sesostris
III."
in the
Illahvm-papyri as literary works to justify the King's policy
against the nomarchs. It is also impossible, to take the "Lamentations
of Khakheperre-seneb"
and the "Admonitions"
as propaganda
pieces of the nomarchs in response to their threatened situation,
first of all, because none of these four literary works was originally written in the time of Sesostris III.

The career of Khnumhotep III

53

pointment by the King. Sesostris I. and h i s son A m e n e m h e t


I I . supported the heredity of office and titles w i t h i n the
same family, perhaps to ensure stability and c o n t i n u i t y in
the g o v e r n m e n t .
We have such nomarchs in Elephantine (nome 1 ) , H i e r a k o n polis ( 3 ) , Achmim ( 9 ) , Deir R i f e h ( 1 1 ) , Assiut ( 1 3 ) , M e i r
(14),
El-Bersheh
(15)
and
Beni
Hasan
(16)
( f.
H.G.Fischer, in: LA, II, 4 1 3 f . } .
c

This is a very limited set of r e g i o n s . Actually, Egypt was


no more divided into nomes, but the administrative r e g i onal areas were towns (n't)
and the surrounding d i s t r i c t s
(ww),
governed by a HA MHN ("Mayor").
We have officials with the title "nomarch" from the b e g i n ning of the 12th dynasty and most of them seem to be
recorded not later than the reign of Amenemhet I I . (nome 3
(Hierakonpolis), 9 (Achmim), 11 (Deir R i f e h ) , 13 ( A s s i u t ) ,
14 (Meir), 16 (Beni H a s a n ) ) .
C

The last officials with the title Hrj-tp


S (+ nome)
during the reigns of Sesostris I I . and I I I . :

lived

Elephantine : Sarenput
II. (tomb 31) [Sesostris II./III.]
Deir Rifeh: Nefer-Khnum
(tomb I) and Nekht-anch
(tomb VII)
[Sesostris I./Amenemhet II./Sesostris II.?]
Assiut: Djefai-Hapi
I I . (tomb II) [Amenemhet II.]
Meir: Ukh-hotep
I I . (tomb B No.2) [Sesostris I.]
El-Bersheh: Djehuti-hotep
(tomb 2) [Sesostris III.]
Beni Hasan: Amenemhet
(tomb 2) [Sesostris I . ] .
These are the only officials we can call " n o m a r c h s " .
It is true that the last of them disappear from
our
records in the time of Sesostris I I I . But I think, no one
seriously can call a group of about 6 men - though of h i g h
rank and with local followers - a "powerful
political
group"
that could be a threat to the might of the King.
From other regions or nomes we do not have any comparable sources about nomarchs. Instead we have p e o p l e
with the titles HA MHN only, who were probably the highest
local administrators. Some of them were owners of d e c o rated rock-tombs like the n o m a r c h s . But to classify them
under the heading 'feudal nomarchy' is certainly w r o n g .
They were powerful and wealthy local administrators
but
nevertheless officials of the King.
Some of these HA MHN built great rock-tombs, but most of
them not, while other members of the lite, who were not
HA MHN, have built rock-tombs of considerable size, too
(e.g. Qubbet el-Hawa N o . 2 8 ) .
The custom to construct such tombs came to
the reign of Amenemhet III. at the latest:

an end

during

Detlef Franke

54

Elephantine; HA MHN Heqaib,


son of Sat-Hathor
(tomb No.30)
[Sesostris III./Amenemhet III.]
Oaw el-Kebir: HA MHN Wachka II. (tomb 1 8 )
[Sesostris III./Amenemhet III.]
Assiut: HA MHN Djefai-Hapi
III. and IV. (tomb VI and VII) a
[Amenemhet II./Sesostris II.]
Meir: HA MHN Ukh-hotep
IV. (tomb C No.l) and HA MHN
Khakheperre-seneb
[Sesostris III./Amenemhet III.]
El-Bersheh: HA MHN HTA Djehuti-hotep
(tomb 2)
[Sesostris III.]
Beni Hasan: HA MHN Khnumhotep
I I . (tomb 3) and his son HA
Khnumhotep
IV. (tomb 4, unfinished)
[Sesostris II./III.]
4

Interesting enough, some of these last great


decorated
tombs show common features, part of them were classified
under the rubric "usurpation of royal p r e r o g a t i v e s " :
a distinctive symbolism connected with papyrus-plants and
the heraldic plants of Upper and Lower Egypt (Heqaib
at
Qubbet el-Hawa No.30, and Ukh-hotep
IV. at Meir, tomb C
No.l) ;
women performing
agricultural
tasks which
are
normally done by men {Ukh-hotep
IV. at Meir and Wachka I I .
at Qaw el-Kebir); processions of fecundity figures
{Wachka
II. at Qaw e l - K e b i r ) .
7

There is no proof that any of the so-called nomarchs of Qaw elKebir had the title HTA, cf. C.Liliquist, Ancient
Egyptian
Mirrors
from the Earliest
Times through the Middle Kingdom (MAS 27, Mnchen
1979) 139 n.1588. H.Steckeweh/G.Steindorf, Die Frstengrber
von
Qaw (Leipzig 1936) 7(3), only mentioned that Wachka (I.) had the
title hrj-tp
S nj
WSdjt
without giving any further evidence.
His tomb (No.7) dates to the middle part of dynasty XII, while his
statue and stela (Torino Cat.No.Suppl.4265 and Cat.No.1547) are
clearly posthumous, perhaps from the beginning of dynasty XIII.
C

Djefai-Hapi
III. more often has the title Jmj-rS
htmt,
and he is
also Jmj-rS
m
(P.Montet, in: Kemi 6 (1936) 131* f f . ) ; for tomb
VII see: R.Moss, in: JEA 19 (1933) 33 = P.Montet, a.a.O., 134 f.
c

Meir, VI; A.Kamal, in: ASAE 14 (1914) 74 ff. (not decorated (?)).

H.W.Mller, Die Felsengrber


der Frsten
von Elephantine
(AT 9,
Glckstadt 1940) 93ff., Abb.46, Taf.XXXIX; Meir, VI, pl.XIII, XVI,
and on his statues CCG 459 and Boston MFA 1973.87 (W.K.Simpson, in:
Boston Museum Bulletin 72, no.368 (1974) 100 ff.; L,VI, 821f.).

W.M.F.Petrie, Antaeopolis.
The Tombs of Qau (BSAE 51, London 1930)
pl.XXV, XXVIII; H.G.Fischer, in: Cl.Vandersleyen (ed.), Das
Alte
gypten
(Propylen Kunstgeschichte Band 17, Berlin 1985) 295, 302;
J.Baines, Fecundity Figures (Warminster 1985) 238f.

The career of Khnumhotep III

55

Djehuti-hotep
d e p i c t s in his tomb at E l - B e r s h e h the t r a n s port of his colossal statue, a scene of p u r i f i c a t i o n , and
he and his father are wearing 5at-Amulets
{El Bersheh,
I,
pis.XII, XV, X, X X X I I I ) .
At three {or four) distinct places of Egypt we h a p p e n to
find at about the same period
a special and
explicit
symbolism
of r e g e n e r a t i o n . This is a new trait in
the
decorum
of tombs, which represent at the same time the end
of
the
development
of
great
rock-tombs
of
the
12th
dynasty. I do not think that any of these features h a v e
been a threat to royal p o w e r . I would like to connect t h e m
with the changes in funerary beliefs during the reigns of
Sesostris I I I . and Amenemhet I I I . that had i n f l u e n c e on
the elite-custom of constructing great decorated tombs.
I think, the existence of powerful administrators - called
"nomarchs" - was limited to certain regions due to the
specific history of these r e g i o n s . We happen to find them
in the region called "the middle n o m e s " in M i d d l e E g y p t
(from nome 9 to 16, cf. H.G.Fischer, Dendera,
6 5 f f . ) . In
these regions there is a tradition of this office since
the end of the Old Kingdom. At Elephantine, there w e r e n o
HTA in the Old Kindom and First Intermediate Period, but
there is a tradition of r o c k - t o m b s . Elephantine was the
southern
door-post
of
Egypt
and
important
for
the
relations of the Egyptian state to N u b i a .
Nomarchs like Djehuti-hotep
of Bersheh were living fossils
even during
their life-time. And - as we know the
dinosaurs died out, because they lived in an u n f a v o u r a b l e
surrounding.
The
need for
the King
"Father's

'elimination' of the nomarchs - if there was any


it! - perhaps was not that difficult as it s e e m s :
just had to refuse to appoint the heirs to their
place".

One way to facilitate this without force was the t r a d i tional practise to educate the n o m a r c h s ' male children at
the King's residence.
These children became loyal to the King and perhaps w e r e
co-educated with the future King. They grew up to b e c o m e
specialists in administration. Some of them were then a p pointed to local offices, others to jobs for the central
administration.

56

Detlef Franke
II. The case of Khnumhotep III, of Beni

Hasan

Perhaps the precedent and proof for this hypothesis


is the case of Khnumhotep
I I I . , the son of Khnumhotep
II.
of Beni Hasan, tomb N o . 3 .
In the famous and much debated "scene of the A s i a t i c s " in
Khnum-hotep
's tomb at Beni Hasan a group of
so-called
Asiatics
( 3mw, this means inhabitants
of the
eastern
desert) are bringing gifts, especially black eye-paint, to
Khnumhotep
I I . They are led by two officials.
c

On the writing-board presented by one of them


towards
Khnumhotep
II. we read that they were brought by the
"Sonof-the-Count"
Khnumhotep
in the 6th year of Sesostris I I .
{BH, I, pl.XXXVIII,2) .
This son Khnumhotep
(III.) was the leader of the expedition, and he is depicted behind his father overlooking
the whole scenery.
He is labelled with the epitheton
"whom the God (King) made (to someone)",
pointing out, that he
was educated at the King's court. This is stressed also by
his mention in the long autobiographical inscription of
Khnumhotep
II. ( BH, I, p l . X X V I , lines 1 4 9 - 1 6 0 ) .
10

11

D.Redford, in: JARCE 23 (1987) 125ff., maintained that there is no


proof for the assumption, that the people called "Asiatics" were living in the eastern desert. I think that the dwellers of the
eastern desert were counted by the Egyptians in their mode of
mythographical thinking under the rubric "Asiatic", people of the
north-eastern regions outside Egypt proper. They do not come from
the Sinai, but from the only region, where there was procured
galena, the material for black eye-paint: Gebel Zeit. For Asiatics
and the eastern desert see: R.Gundlach, in: SAK 8 (1980) 111;
J.Osing, in: LA, II, 815f.; A.Saleh, in: BIFAO 81, Suppl. (1981)
107ff., B.G.Trigger
et al.,
Ancient
Egypt.
A social
history
(Cambridge 1983) 142 n.l, p. 121; B.Couroyer, in: Revue Biblique 78
(1971) 558ff.; 80 (1973) 53ff.; and 81 (1974) 321ff.

1 0

P.E.Newberry, Beni Hasan I (London 1893) (cited here as BH, I ) ,


pl.XXX; B.Couroyer, in: Revue Biblique 81 (1974) 329f. See the stimulating article with some improbable readings and conclusions by
H.Goedicke, in: JARCE 21 (1984) 203ff., and the interesting contribution by D.Kessler, in: SAK 14 (1987) 147ff. For the reading of
the pertinent inscriptions cf. P.Vernus, in: BSEG 13 (1989) 173ff.

11

Urk.VII, 32. See also the remarks with a different interpretation


on kjj
wr and z3 wr shpr
n t r by H.G.Fischer, Egyptian
Studies
I:
Varia (New York 1976) 86.

The career of Khnumhotep III


There his father wrote about him

57
(FIGURE 1 A ) :

9 2 "A great favour


The other great

on the part of the King:


one (i.e. Khnumhotep IIIJ was appointed
to
Sole Companion'
(Smr
w tj);
2 A big one among the courtiers,
numerous
of gifts
(jnw)
of the
palace,
a 'Sole Companion',
there is no one of his kind:
2 Bearing to him are those, who are heard (judges:
sdmjw),
the sole mouth, closing (other)
mouths.
3 One who brings useful things to their owner (i.e. the
King),
Door-post
of the foreign
countries:
Neheris son Khnumhoteps son Khnumhotep,
born of the Lady Khety."
c

12

13

The role and status of Khnumhotep


I I I . is described h e r e
in some d e t a i l . He was a courtier with the rank of "Sole
Companion" and has to deal with judges. But more i m p o r tant, he has to do with gifts and is bringing useful, p r e cious products for his Lord from foreign c o u n t r i e s . He is
called "Door-post
of the foreign
lands".
All other holders of
this rare title have to do with the frontiers of Egypt and
foreign people and products, which they had to deliver to
the p a l a c e .
14

1 2

BH, I, pl.XXVI, 1.151 = Urk.VII,


32,9: ndw is nowhere attested as
a title 'counselor' (as J.H.Breasted, Ancient
Records
I,
633,
thought), perhaps the determinative of the "sitting man" is wrong
(it should be: A.H.Gardiner, EG, Sign-List A2) . I would like to
compare this phrase with stela London BM 574, 1.6 (HTBM, II, pi.8
= K.Sethe, Lesestcke,
75,7/8, also p.74,17); Urk.I,
216,1/2 (E.
Edel, Altg.Gramm.,
S1030 b)), Deir Rifeh, Tomb VII, 1.15. - For the
last phrase see stela Boston MFA 29.1130, 1.3/4: "whose
products
inundated
the two Lands,
whose presents
made the palace
festive,
who equipped
the mansions
of the one, who had advanced
him..."
(D.Dunham/J.M.A. Janssen, Second
Cataract
Forts I (Boston 1960)
59f., pis.9, 90).

1 3

Compare E.Blumenthal, Knigtum,


380 (G 7.20 = CCG 20254, 1.1/2),
and CCG 20485, 1.3; as role of the King: Pyr.,
263 [248].

14

3
"door", meaning here "fortress,
barrier".
See;. H.G.Fischer, in:
JNES 19 (1960) 261f. n.(a), and p.265 n.(o). Sarenput
I. and Djehuti-hotep
from Bersheh (El Bersheh,
I, 16) were wearing this
title, perhaps also Vachka II. from Qaw el-Kebir (H.Steckeweh/
G.Steindorff, Die Frstengrber
von Qaw, 49 No.7). On stela Boston
MFA 29.1130 from Semna, we have "whom the King trusted
in
strengthening
his monuments
and in being a door-post
for Egypt" (1.5:
D.Dunham, op.cit.).
The graffito from Kumma (D.Dunham,
op.cit.,
156) No.87, is perhaps the latest example for this title, datable
to Dynasty XIII.

Detlef Franke

58

No other member of the Khnumhotep-tamily


has the same
titles and is described in this way. From this description
of his role at the King's court follows that
Khnumhotep
III. was not a local administrator like his father or his
brother Nekht,
who was appointed "Ruler" (hqS)
in nome 17
(Urk.VII,
31,6) by Sesostris I I . (his tomb is u n k n o w n ) .
Perhaps he never got the possibility to become heir of his
father in Menat-Chufu;
he is never shown with his father's
main title "Overseer of the eastern
desert". *
1

A tomb of Khnumhotep I I I . is not known


at
Beni
Hasan.
Not he, but his half-brother, the son of
Khnumhotep
II. by his second wife, the female Treasurer ' Tjat,
also named Khnumhotep (the fourth in the l i n e ) , seems to
be the heir of Khnumhotep
II.
as administrator in the O r y x
-nome. This Khnumhotep
IV. owned the big unfinished tomb
next to Khnumhotep I I . (tomb N o . 4 ) , w h e r e he is called
"Noble" and "Count" (or "Mayor": H A ) . With him the line of
administrators of the Oryx-nome and the eastern desert
came to an end.
16

17

But if I am right in identifying


of the Count Khnumhotep
I I . and
courtier and expedition-leader,
traces of his life and career
father.

1 3

"
17

Khnumhotep
III., the son
his first wife Kheti,
as
we can perhaps find some
outside the tomb of his

The only inscription in the whole tomb, which seems to contradict


this view, is that accompanying the bird-hunting scene (BH, I, pi.
XXXII, left). There is said about a Khnumhotep,
who is Khnumhotep
III. or IV.: "Son of the Count of his body,
to whom is given
the
heritage
of the rulership,
Khnumhotep, justified,
in Menat-Chufu,
as
one gives his son as ruler of the 'Goddess-with-a-shell
(? or
basket
?)'-town."
For the name of the town - combined with Hathor or
Pachet? - see BH, III,
pl.XXIX fig.91,' F.Goma, Die
Besiedlung
gyptens
whrend
des Mittleren
Reiches.
I. Obergypten und das
Fayyum (Beihefte TAV0 66/1, Wiesbaden 1986) 327f., is certainly
wrong in his translation. For a different translation see Blumenthal, Knigtum,
367 (G.6.68).- I am not sure if this really means
that Khnumhotep III. was the heir of his father in full sense.
W.A.Ward, in: GM 71 (1984) 56; BH, II, 12; LA,

I, 956.

BH, I, p.7; O.D.Berlev, Obscestvennye


otnosenija
v Egipte
epochi
srednego
carstva
(Moscow 1978) 205f.; W.A.Ward, in: GM 71 (1984)
51ff.

The career of Khnumhotep III

59

First I would like


to m e n t i o n a stela,
found
by
J. G.WILKINSON in the Wadi Gasus near the Red Sea, kept n o w
in the G u l b e n k i a n Museum of Oriental Art at Durham, N o r t h umberland, with No.1935 (FIGURE I B ) .
The text r e a d s :
1 8

14

"Year 1 (of King Sesostris

II.), establishing

of his monuments
in
the God's
Land.
(Rh-Njswt),

God's Sealer (and) true King's Confidant


whom he (the King) loves in his
heart,
(and) who is in the heart of his Lord;
Who knows the laws, (and) who is clever in
acting,
who follows
the path of the one, who advanced
him;
Who not transgresses
the order of the palace
( h)
(and) the declarations
of the court
(stp-zS).
The sole one of the (Lower Egyptian)
King
(Bjt),
who was made in the palace
( h),
(and) educated
of Horus, Lord of the two Lands (the
Who causes the Courtiers
to ascend
to the
King,
one truly precise
like (the God) Thot:
the Chamberlain
Khnumhotep."
c

King);

19

This stela represents an expedition-leader


in
the
reign of Sesostris II., who worked in that remote a r e a .
The inscription of this stela shows some similarities to
the description of the career of Khnumhotep
I I I . by h i s
father in Beni Hasan tomb N o . 3 .
The owner of the stela bears the normal titles of a
leader of an expedition "God's sealer"
and "Chamberlain",
with
the ranking title of "true King's confidant",
which a c t u a l l y
replaced the court-rank "Sole Companion"
(Smr w tj)
in the
Middle K i n g d o m .
c

20

1 8

A.Nibbi, in: JEA 62 (1976) 45ff., pl.X; A.M.Sayed, in: RdE


(1977) 140ff., pi.8a (the text is written retrograde!).

29

1 9

s r here probably has the same meaning as st3w


"to usher in" in
other inscriptions, cf. Janssen, Autobiografie,
II, Dh7; Blumenthal, Knigtum,
382 (G 7.25/26); El Bersheh,
II, pl.XXI, 1.9;
Sinuhe B264.

2 0

Remember that Khnumhotep III. is called in the autobiographical


inscription of his father's tomb only "Sole Companion".
This was
the lowest court rank and replaced in the MK by Rh-Njswt
"King's
Confidant",
but there is no difference in rank between them (LA, V,
146f.; D.Franke, in: GM 53 (1982) 20). The title-sequence
Rh-Njswt + Jmj-r3
hnwtj
is found in several expedition-inscriptions.
It should be mentioned that Khnumhotep II. too was Rh-Njswt
and
perhaps educated at the King's court, because his father Neheri was
a Courtier, too (see 1.1, 68-71, 99ff. of his Autobiography).
c

Detlef Franke

60

Further on he is described as one "who knows the laws" and


"one truly
precise
like
Thot".
These
epitheta
could
be
compared with the mention of the judges above.
Then there is the description "The sole one of the King,
who
was made in the palace,
educated
of Horus, Lord of the two
Lands".
So I would assume that this Khnumhotep
is the very same
Khnumhotep
III.
21

22

He was educated as courtier and - perhaps due to his


origin from the Oryx-nome and his father's office as an
"Overseer of the eastern
desert"
- bestowed with the office of
an expedition-leader.
In Year
1 of
Sesostris
II.
he
conducted an expedition - presumably to the Sinai - via
the port at Mersa Gawasis,
in search for copper
and
malachite ; in year 6 of Sesostris II. he participated in
an expedition to the Gebel Zeit, where the
Egyptians
extracted galena for black e y e - p a i n t .
Then he led the
expedition - perhaps accompanied by a group of native
inhabitants of the deserts - through the Wadi Hammamat and
passing Coptos back to the Nile valley, via his home-town
Menat-Chufu
and the local residence of his father, down
the Nile to the king's residence.
23

24

Perhaps we can follow his line of career a step

further.

In 1894 J.DE MORGAN and his co-workers found north of


the pyramid of Sesostris III. at Dahshur a brick-mastaba
once belonging to a Khnumhotep
(Mastaba No.2 in De Morgans
2 1

Janssen, Autobiografie,

I, Acl2,

2 2

Compare with the epithet of Khnumhotep III. shpr


ntr
(BH, I, pi.
XXX, left); Blumenthal, Knigtum,
286 (G.2.12~), 288 (G.2.19) and
stela London BM 1213 (HTBM, III, pi.12, 1.7). The concept of education and training of the children of the lite was of course important for the continuity and stability of the political system.

2 3

A.M.Sayed, in: RdE 29 (1977) 147ff.; id., in: CdE 58 (1983) 28,
31f. On the stela the God Sopdu "Lord of the East" and "Lord of the
Ssmt-land"
is depicted, Ssmt is the mineral Malachite (green copper ore), found on the Sinai.

2 4

The Asiatics at Beni Hasan are presenting msdmt


"black
eye-paint"
(galena = grey ore of lead), which is not found in the Sinai, but
at Gebel Zeit, see: A.Lucas, Materials,
80ff.; G.Castel/G.Soukiassian, in: ASAE 70 (1984-85) 99ff.; id., in: BIFAO 85 (1985) 285
ff., 297f.; L, I, 567ff., 826f.; Ill, 1166ff. - For "near-eastern"
influence in the eastern desert compare the objects from a tomb of
a hunter(?) found near Gebel Zeit (BIFAO 86 (1986) 382, pl.LXXI,C).
The roads to the Red Sea will be surveyed in future and of course
there were more than the Wadi Hammamat (cf. L.Bell et al.,
in: JNES
43 (1984) 27ff.).

The career of Khnumhotep III

61

n u m b e r i n g ) , and cased with limestone. T o m b - and s t o n e r o b bers had destroyed the tomb to a great e x t e n t , but part of
the inscriptions from the limestone walls survived in the
debris of the p i t . Some scattered fragments of i n s c r i p t i o n
were p u b l i s h e d .
But I
think, enough
is preserved
to confirm
GUSTAVE
JQUIER's old idea, that the owner of the tomb b e l o n g e d to
the Khnumhotep-iamily
of Beni H a s a n
and that he w a s in
fact Khnumhotep
III.
25

26

The owner of Mastaba N o . 2 had the h i g h e s t


ranking
titles, his office was that of "Chief Steward
of the
King's
property"
(Jmj-rS
p r wr).
He also bears the titles of a
Vizier and a juridical e p i t h e t o n .
On the front of the Mastaba there was mentioned the God
Chnum, Lord of Her-wer,
the only mention of this God
outside Beni Hasan in the Middle K i n g d o m .
Further on, Khnumhotep
is described as one
"to whom
was
given
the gold of favour
(by the King) in front
of the nobles",
a
favour achieved sometimes by expedition-leaders as w e l l .
27

28

2 9

Unfortunately the fragments of the autobiographical


inscription cannot be restored to a continous n a r r a t i o n .
30

2 5

26

J.De Morgan, Fouilles


Dahchour I (Vienna 1895) 18ff., general
plan: p.16 fig.18; plan of the tomb: p.19 fig.20/21; Inscriptions:
p.19 fig.23, p.20 fig.24, p.21 fig.25/26, p.22 fig.28.
Compare also PM, III, 896.
op.cit.,

23; W.K.Simpson, in: JEA 43 (1957) 27 n.2.

2 7

De Morgan, op.cit.,
20 fig.24. For the same unusual sequence of
the vizieral titles: W.M.F.Petrie, Memphis I (London 1909) pl.V,
1.10; De Morgan, op.cit.,
31ff., fig.66/67 (Mastaba No.17); Wadi
Hammamat M 113; Hatnub Graffiti 16 and 24. The juridical epitheton
is "Master of the secrets
of hearing
alone".

2 8

This town was located on the westbank of the Nile opposite Beni
Hasan/Speos Artemidos, cf. D.Kessler, Historische
Topographie
der
Region zwischen
Mallawi und Samalut
(Beihefte TAVO 30, Wiesbaden
1981) 120 ff., 1 8 . ; F.Goma, Die Besiedlung,
I, 312ff.

e.g. Wadi Hammamat M 43, 1.6 [Amenemhet III., 2 ] ; cf. also the
inscription of Inpy at El-Lahun, Fragment 62: H.G.Fischer, in: JEA
68 (1982) 49 n.(q) [Sesostris III./Amenemhet III.].

3 0

De Morgan, op.cit.,
21 fig.26. The most important fragments are
combined here, with some emendations, in FIGURE 2. I think we can
identify two themes: some phrases belonging more to the religious
sphere, others belonging to the (ideal-)biographical sphere.

Detlef Franke

62

We can identify the mention of an "order of the King to


Ruler
the title "Chief of troops
of ..." and the mention
"ships", a "captain" and the "steering-oar"
(see FIGURE 2) .

the
of

3 1

The phrase "overthrowing


of the rebel,
when he raises
normal phrase of e x p e d i t i o n - i n s c r i p t i o n s .

himself"

is a

32

Some hints about the way of the troops are g i v e n :


"...moving
on a brook (or canal), seeking
for the Land of the Asiatics
,
opening
(?) (the Land of...?) (or: "...while
[I] opened...")
some of the
activities took place at "the frontiers
of the Bitter
Lakes"
perhaps a hint that they took the land way to the Sinai
via the Wadi Tumilat and the Bitter L a k e s .
33

34

3 1

wd-Njswt
n hqS ...(FIGURE 2, fragment 1 ) , Jmj-rS
m
(fragment 11), dpwt (fragment 1 ) , nfw,
hmw (fragment 2 ) .

...

3 2

shrt sbj
hpr.f
(fragment 5 ) , compare Graffito De Morgan, Cat.
des Mon., I," 24 No. 165 = LD, II, 123d. In El Bersheh,
II, pi.
XIII, 1.8 = E.Brovarski, in: Fs Dunham,
18 n.(c), we have the
exact parallel, but here in a ritual context. The determinative of
the Hippopotamus or Pig is unusual, perhaps due to the "typhonic"
quality of the enemy.

3 3

Fragment 7. The term "Land of the Asiatics"


is also occuring in the
just mentioned (n.29) Graffito from Wadi Hammamat M 43, 1.7: "...who
overthrows
the Nubians,
opens the Land of the Asiatics,
(1.8) and
traverses
all hill-countries
..." [Amenemhet III.,2], see: B.Couroyer,
in: Revue Biblique 81 (1974) 332f. Another possibility would be to
emendate the term into tS-ntr
"the God's Land", which is written
in nearly the same way on the above mentioned Stela Durham N.1935.
But normally "God's Land" is written with the "God's sign(s)" in
honorific transposition. For this term see: B.Couroyer, in: Revue
Biblique 78 (1971) 59ff.; 80 (1973) 53ff., 274ff.; C.Kuentz, in:
BIFAO 17 (1920) 121ff.

34

[ h3. ]n.f
tSS.hr
Km-wr
(fragment 6 ) . For the emendation cf.
Blumenthal, Knigtum,
186f. (E 2.6ff.). For Km-wr see: Gauthier,
DG, V, 201f.; Montet, Gographie,
I, 216; P.Vernus, Athribis
(BE
74, Le Caire 1978) 329, 344ff. The only locality near the eastern
frontier of Egypt called with this term are the Bitter lakes (cf.
Sinuhe B21; Merikare, 1.99; LA, I, 824f.). For a map of this region
see G. Posener, in: CdE 26 (1938) 258; E.CM.Van den Brink, in:
MDAIK 43 (1987) 7ff. A MK-graffito in this region: T.C.Townsend/
R.Engelbach, in: ASAE 33 (1933) 3, map pl. I; for a recent survey;
C.A.Redmount, in: Newsletter
ARCJ?No.l33 (Spring 1986) 19ff.

\ '
j
*
I ;
j
!
!
!

:i
I

<
i

The career of Khnumhotep III

63

I
think
that
Khnumhotep
is
describing
here
his
curriculum
vitae
from an expedition leader to "Chief
Steward"
with the same rank and authority as a real V i z i e r .
35

To

summarize:

Khnumhotep
III. was appointed Chamberlain by
Sesostris
II., after being educated at the r e s i d e n c e . He conducted
expeditions to the mining a r e a s . Perhaps after the s u d d e n
death
of
Sesostris
II.
after
his
8th
regnal
year,
Khnumhotep
III. achieved the office of "Chief Steward"
and
built himself a tomb north of S e s o s t r i s ' I I I . pyramid at
Dahshur.
Because he was so strongly connected with the King and
involved in residental matters, he - as the possible h e i r
of his father's local office at Menat-Chufu
- was p r a c t i cally excluded from his heritage. He was "'promoted' away
to the residence" - to put it in the words of H . W i l l e m s .
36

Instead he got the highest court-ranks and t i t l e s .


Khnumhotep
III. did not get his
father's office,
but
perhaps part of the wealth of his rich provincial f a m i l y .
He did not invest it in his nome, w h e r e he was born, but
as courtier he had to spent it at the residence, to build
his tomb there for instance - not at Beni H a s a n .
Perhaps the unfinished tomb of his half-brother
Khnumhotep
IV. at Beni Hasan is a hint that he simply had not e n o u g h
money for that big tomb, because the wealth of the r e g i o n
was accumulated in the residence. There are no signs for
an elimination of Khnumhotep
IV. by force.

If the career of Khnumhotep


I I I . from a p r o v i n c i a l born boy to courtier and "Chief Steward"
was not a single
case, but was followed by other provincial families, this
would make
the elimination
of
the highest
provincial
families superfluous.
The result would be their 'desiccation' not by throwing
them out of their offices and rank, but by not appointing
the heirs to their fathers offices - an action, which was
fully legal on the King's side. The provincial lite would
be transformed into members of the residence lite.
3 8

Khnumhotep presumably was not a leader of a military campaign - as


R.Delia, The Reign of Senwosret
III., 170-173, thought - but of an
expedition to a mining country.

3 8

H.O.Willems, Chests of Life (Leiden 1988) 61f. When we discussed


the matter, we realized that we had come to the same conslusions;
it was the evening in Leiden I met Dr .M. Pollock, as far as I remember .

Detlef Franke

64

Of course this is only a description of the way it could


have been. And I have to stress that Khnumhotep
I I . never
was a 'nomarch'.
We do not have any idea of the m o t i vations and the way of decision-making that led to these
results. Was it "business as u s u a l " or something extraordinary that the King did not appoint the heirs to their
fathers office in the provinces? Was it some form of i n n o vation
in
egyptian
policy?
Was
there
any
opposition
against these administrative acts ? We do not know.
37

The potential heirs were fully integrated in the rows


of courtiers and rewarded with the highest ranks at the
residence. The King thus won power and wealth through the
funds accumulated in the residence, not scattered in the
provinces. And the loyal o f f i c i a l s , rewarded with rank,
office and income by the King, would have had no reason
for rebellion.
The power and w e a l t h was concentrated in this way in
one center: the m e m p h i t e area, where also the Kings and
highest officials were buried. And it w a s concentrated in
a few hands, too: the King and a s m a l l , selected group of
officials. This b a l a n c e of power remained in force until
the family of the Kings of the 12th Dynasty came to an end
and in the first p a r t of the 13th D y n a s t y .

Of
matches
regions
and the
centres

course this is an risky h y p o t h e s i s , but I think it


with the p i c t u r e of the relatively poor provincial
with people who left not much to our knowledge,
rich finds from the memphite a r e a
or religious
like Abydos, Thebes and Elephantine from the time
38

3 7

The main title of Khnumhotep II. was "Mayor in Menat-Khufu",


but
perhaps more important for his relation to the central administration was the title "Overseer
of the Eastern
desert".
He restored the
tombs of two of his predecessors in office at Beni Hasan (tomb No.
21 of his uncle, and No.23, cf. BH, II, pl.XXIIA, XXIV). There is
only one other official with this title: The "Chief Treasurer"
Meru
in the time of Mentuhotep II. (Petrie, Season,
pl.XV No.459). Apparently Khnumhotep II. was the last holder of this office. But there
are some instances for the title "Overseer
of (all/the
Western)
desert(s)":
cf. W.A.Ward, Index of egyptian
administrative
and
religious
titles
of the Middle Kingdom
(Beirut 1982) Nos.290a-291a, 339-341
(all llth/early 12th Dynasty), the Chief Treasurer Ikher-Nofret
is
the latest example (CCG 20683, 1.6) [Sesostris III., year 19].

3 8

Near the royal pyramids at Lisht, Dahshur, Illahun and Hawara the
highest officials of administration were buried: The Viziers, Overseers of the King's property, the Chief treasurers, and others.
Most of the tombs of lower-rank people, which must have been buried
there also, were destroyed long ago or were not excavated.

The career of Khnumhotep III

65

of Sesostris I I I . o n . Perhaps this accumulation of w e a l t h


and power in the residental region was also one r e a s o n for
the fact that from the time of Sesostris
III. on
the
donations at these places from people of m i d d l e and l o w e r
ranks (the numerous nhw nj
n't,
other military m e n , and
employees of the different administrative d e p a r t m e n t s and
workshops) from the residental r e g i o n are i n c r e a s i n g .
c

But there is an obvious and clear gap or d e c l i n e in the


quantity of finds of stelae or statues from p r o v i n c i a l
towns like Edfu and even Elephantine from the t i m e of
Sesostris I I I . down to the end of the 12th D y n a s t y . T h i s
is an indication for the fact that something - we s t i l l do
not know exactly, what - happened in egyptian s o c i e t y in
that period.
It was the result of a shift in the d i s t r i b u t i o n of
wealth and reputation between residence and r e g i o n s : the
higher social strata in the provinces were d e s c e n d i n g , the
people of the residence and central administration
(high
and lower) were ascending.
In the following 13th Dynasty, when there were w e a k e r
(and probably poorer) K i n g s , the officials of the c o u r t
could gain perhaps even more power and w e a l t h , as w e l l as
a new growing stratum of provincial d i g n i t a r i e s , w h o o r i ginate from the town- and temple-administration or
the
army. From the beginning of Dynasty XIII on, w e have a r e markable increase in the number of donated stelae
and
statues from
people of different
social
and
regional
origin.

Abstract: There was neither a powerful political group of nomarchs


nor a conscious, forceful single action by King Sesostris III. to
eliminate a group of nomarchs - as far as we can deduce from the
sources. The so-called "Decline of the Nomarchs" was a socio-political process which resulted in the centralization of power and wealth
at the King's residence and in the hands of the court lite. This is
exemplified by following up the career of Khnumhotep
III. of Beni
Hasan, whose curriculum
vitae
from a provincial-born boy to courtier
perhaps gives us an idea of how the King dealt with the provincial
nobility in the middle part of the 12th Dynasty.

66

Detlef Franke
1*3
,

iSS
f

i
l

"if?

mm
LT -*

A
4
k

I I I

K
111

11
+1

111

&

1 II

i?

JL.

Xi
LLJ

IF

M.

FIGURE 1 A:
Beni Hasan, tomb No.3
Beni Hasan, I, pl.XXVI,
1. 145 - 160

*ii r A i l : rr'H r

FIGURE 1 B:
Stela Durham N. 1935

3i

I8

The career of Khnumhotep III

67

FIGURE 2: Fragments from the Biography of Khnumhotep III.


(adapted from: J. De Morgan, Fouilles Dahchour, I, p.21, fig.26)

The Coffins of the Middle Kingdom: The Residence and the Regions

James K. Hoffmeier
Wheaton College, Archaeology Department
Wheaton, Illinois 60187-5593

The wooden coffins of the Middle Kingdom are one of the most celebrated
artifacts of the period for their artistic value as well as for the significant corpus of
funerary texts found inscribed or painted on them. Thus there has been considerable
scholarly investigation of Middle Kingdom coffins over the years. Recently there have
been a number of studies concerned with the distinguishing and dating of coffins of the 1st
Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom.^
Before we examine relationship between the coffins of the residence and the
regions for the Middle Kingdom, a short history of the development of the coffin and its
decoration is necessary. Wooden coffins are first attested in Dynasty 2 at Saqqara.2
Similar coffins are found in Dynasty 3.^ These show the panelled pattern characteristic
of Archaic period architecture. These earliest coffins have convex or arched lids with
flat parapets on the ends. These two features of the lid must have been

regularly

included on early coffins and sarcophagi to have been reproduced so faithfully in the
coffin determinative

(Gardiner's sign-list Q-6) in the word krs from the Old

through the Middle Kingdoms.

(We shall return later to the history of the arched lids

as they relate to the Middle Kingdom). The coffins of Dynaties 2-3 are anepigraphic.
Decorative panels and/or the palace faade motif, with false door, are also
found on sarcophagi and coffins of the Old Kingdom, both for royalty (i.e. that of Men5

kau-re ) and nobility.6 These motifs are regularly included on coffins of the Middle
Kingdom. Funerary inscriptions appear in and on sarcophagi and coffins in Dynasties 567 The frieze d'objet scenes and offering lists that had adorned the walls of tombs in
earlier centuries are found on the inner walls of coffins and on the underside of lids early
in Dynasty 6.^ Dynasties 5-6 also witnesses the appearance in coffins of the polychrome
69

70

James K. Hoffmeier

matwork that had been painted in early tombs (sometimes associated with the palace
faade/false door). The magical eyes that are a regular feature on the outsides coffins of
9

1st Intermediate Period and Middle Kindom are introduced at this time too. Thus we can
see that before the Old Kingdom ends most of the standard features common to Middle
Kingdom coffins are known, in some cases with prototypes that reach back to the Archaic
period. The fact that these artistic features are continued into succeeding centuries makes
the task of determining the date of coffins of the 1st Intermediate Period and Middle
Kingdom, and distinguishing coffins from the centers of politcal power and the regions
difficult indeed.
The 1st Intermediate period is a formative one in the evolution of the coffin, with
some innovations, but mostly experimentation with earlier motifs. The most important
innovation of this period is the introduction of Pyramid and Coffin Texts to the coffins of
non-royal individuals which is recognized to be a part of the "democratization" of the
funerary cult in the aftermath of the Old Kingdom.

10

Perhaps owing to the limited

amount wall decoration and inscriptions in tombs of the 1st Intermediate Period, the
interior of the coffin becomes more significant in the funerary cult, and thus is more
elaborately decorated, including agricultural and domestic scenes, the false door, as well
as portrayals of the decedent seated before the offering table.

11

Coffins of this type are

frequently called "Heracleopolitan" or "Middle Egyptian" -^ and originated in the 9th10th Dynasties.
The exterior of coffins of the 1st Intermediate Period through the early part of
Dynasty 12, by and large, contain little decoration (Figure 1). The magical eyes on the
side of coffins are faithfully included throughout the period and beyond. At Bersheh a
single wide band containing the htp ii nsw formula is painted or inscised around the
upper part of the coffin, with another band running the entire length of the l i d .

13

This

pattern prevails at Gebelein (Figure 1), Gournah (CG 28022), Beni Hasan, Sedment, Abu
1

Sir and Saqqara. ^ At Assiut, there is more variation in the number and arrangement of
1

the columns containing inscriptions, as Donald Spanel's dissertation has shown. *' Added
to the horizontal band are three or four vertical ones on a side and one to three may be
found on the ends. A coffin of one Nbt.it(s) at Emory University Museum in Atlanta
contains single bands (Figure 2), as does Mallawy Museum #569 belonging to a lady named
hnnyt.

The coffin of it.f ib or tf.ib (FM 88917), on display at the Field Museum of

Natural History in Chicago, and a virtually carbon copy of Nakht (FM 881917) are
decorated with a double band of inscriptions on the coffin while a triple band occurs on
1

the lid. ** Triple and quadrupal bands are also attested. An example of the latter is
Mallawy #567, belonging to Hor-Hotep. In the Assiut group one can find combinations in

The coffins of the Middle Kingdom

71

the numbers of bands on a coffin; e.g. double vertical bands on the walls and triple on lid
(Spanel's IIF - e.g. the Field Museum coffins), double on the sides and triple on lid and
ends (Spanel's EH), triple columns on the coffin and quadrupal on the lid (Spanel's II I),
etc. The introduction of the vertical collumns, which is known elsewhere during the
latter part of the 1st Intermediate Period, (e.g. Bersheh), is an important development
that laid the groundwork for placing the the niched panelling, palace faade and false
doors on the sides and ends of coffins that began towards the end of the 11th Dynasty and
becomes a regular feature of the Dynasty 12.
E.L.B. Terrace^ described the coffins of Upper Egypt from the 1st Intermediate
Period as being the product of "untutored provincial artists of those unsettled times" who
"were experimenting with the forms of decoration in an effort to determine the the most
suitable one (i.e. type)." These "unturored artists" produced cruder quality work and
experimented with a variety of scenes on the outside of the coffin, and Gebelein, located
just south of Thebes, is cited as an area where such experimentation took p l a c e d Cairo
28033 contains a scene depicting men doing laundry, while another example from Gebelein
in the Cairo Museum shows a man leading his dog by a leash.
Akhmim, situated between Thebes and Assiut, has yielded a number of coffins
with peculiar idiosyncracies. A number of these coffins have the offering list on the
outside^ (Figure 3). Other scenes, including the mummy of the deceased lying on a bier
(CG 28015, 28016), are painted on the exterior. A development found at Akhmim, and
attested elsewhere towards the close of the 1st Intermediate Period, is the addition of
the false door under the magical eyes (CG 28015 & CG 28033). The combination of these
features is a part of the canon of the Middle Kingdom.
Diana Magee,20 in her investigation of an Akhmim coffin in the Ashmolean,
draws attention to the inclusion of the palace-faade type false door at the north end of
this coffin. A pair of wdt eyes surmount the lintel, which is often included of Middle
Kingdom coffins.

According to Henry Fischerei this detail occurs first during the

Herakleopolitan period at Saqqara. M a g e e ^ points to epigraphic and palographie


characteristics that she considers to be Theban as evidence for dating the Ashmolean
coffin to just after the reunification under Montuhotep Nebhepetre.

In view of the

difficulty of dating the Akhmim coffins, her observations are significant. However, we
must bear in mind H.O. Willems' recent caution that Theban influence north of the
Diospolite nome could have begun prior to uniiication.23
The simplicity of the external decoration of Theban coffins from the latter part of
the 1st Intermediate Period or the first half of Dynasty 11 can be seen in CG 28022 from
Gurnah and that of Aashyt, wife or concubine of Montuhotep Nebhepetre (JE 47355). It

72

James K. Hoffmeier
2

has been observed that this coffin stands within the Theban provincial tradition, "* with
some Memphite modifications which suggest that this burial equipment dates to just
2

after the reunification. "*


The Middle Kingdom witnesses the transferal of some of the decoration that
had, by and large, adorned the interior of coffins of the 1st Intermediate Period to the
2

exterior. E. Brovarski ^ has traced the evolution of external decorations of the Bersheh
coffins from the DynastylO through the mid point of Dynasty 12 which proceed from
2

simple to complex. Although the addition of the vertical bands, Spanel ^ has shown, is
2

attested in the Assiut coffins earlier than at Bersheh. Hayes ** discerned a similar
development, from simple to complex exterior decorations, in the coffins from Meir and
Assiut. It is probably fair to say that this pattern is true throughout Egypt for the
Middle Kingdom. Let us now turn to consider the coffin types for the Middle Kingdom.
Mace and Winlock, in their publication of Senebtisi's funerary equipment, spoke
of "Court and Provincial types" and three geographic / chronological classifications for
the Middle Kingdom: 1) Heracleopolitan, 2) Upper Egyptian and 3) the Court style, the
latter appearing with kingship of Amenemhet I which "dominated the royal cemetaries
2

throughout his dynasty." ^ For Mace and Winlock, and subsequently W.C. Hayes,30 the
simply decorated coffins of Senebtisi, which have vaulted lids, were classic examples of
the court type. (Figures 4-5)
The palace faade that had appeared occasionally in coffins of the
Herakleopolitan period becomes a regular feature of 12th Dynasty, "polychrome"
coffins-^ Those coffins which had a single false door, surmounted by the w3d_t eyes,
might have blank space between the remaining vertical bands on the front and back
(these generally are from earlier in Dynasty 12), or they might be filled with panels or
additional false doors.^

These latter two patterns continued throughout the 12th

Dynasty even after the false door ceased to be painted on the interior. The earlier
decorative traditions continued in the provinces with some borrowing of the court type by
nomarchs, which then filtered down to lesser officials in that region.^3
The foregoing classification scheme, advanceded by Mace and Winlock has
4

received considerable support over the years, especially by Hayes.^ Recently, however,
Bruce Williams-^ has questioned the dating of the Senebtisi funerary materials which
would effectively dismantle the classification scheme of Mace and Winlock. He notes
that beyond the burial shaft of Senebtisi being in the Amenemhet II mortuary complex,
there is no other evidence for a synchronism.^^ The Senebtisi coffins, according to
Williams,^ show a remarkable similarity to the 13th Dynasty coffins of King Hor,
Princess Ita, and others discovered by de Morgan at Dashur. However, Awibre Hor's

T h e coffins of the Middle K i n g d o m

73

coffin lid is flat. While recognizing that vaulted sarcophagi date back to the Williams
argues that the "arched" lid coffin is a development of the 13th Dynasty and thus cannot
38

be the so called "court type" of the 12th D y n a s t y .

Williams reminds us that the

juxtaposition of Senebtisi's burial with that of Amenemhet I is not a sure criterion for
dating since there are 13th Dynasty burials intruding upon, or being located adjacent to
12th Dynasty royal funerary structures.

39

If Williams is correct, then some of the major differences in coffin types between
4

the residence and the regions during the Middle Kingdom are eliminated. ^ The tomb of
Imhotep at Lisht is situated within the pyramid complex of Senusert I, and has been
dated to the 13th Dynasty.'*

However, the recent ceramic analysis of materials from

the Mastaba of Imhotep by Dorothea Arnold suggests an earlier date during the reign of
Senusert I I .

42

While Williams gave careful consideration to the construction of the

coffins and canopic chest, as well as the staves and scepters, he failed to investigate the
the pottery. Janine Bourriau's study of the pottery from Senebtisi's tomb supports a 12th
43

Dynasty date for the tomb. . The ceramic evidence, coupled with the evidence on the
vaulted coffin lid presented here suggests that Senebtisi's burial should be placed in the
12th Dynasty.
The popularity of the arched lids in the 13th Dynasty and beyond does not
preclude the use of such lids in the Middle Kingdom. It is well recognized that the coffin
is a microcosm of the archaic period mastabas, which in turn developed from domestic
architecture.

44

The wooden coffins of the 2nd and 3rd Dynasties have curved lids. ^ For

Emery, the coffin evidence led him to reconstruct the arched tops with flat parapets on
4

the ends of certain mastabas of the archaic period. **

Cairo 67567 continues in the

tradition of the Archaic period into the 3rd Dynasty. The convex sarcophagus lid is also
4

attested in Dynasty 4 at Meydum, ^ as well as many examples from Giza now on display
at the Cairo museum (e.g. 48078, 51950, 18220 with parapets, and 53149 where they are
absent). The tradition continues in the 5th Dynasty at Abu Sir with the two sarcophagi
48

in the Mastaba of Ptahshepses, and at Saqqara in the 6th Dynasty. ^ It is difficult to


believe that the arched coffin or sarcophagus lid, which had such an early and
continuous history, from Dynasty 2-6, should suddenly drop out of use, only to reappear in
the 13th Dynasty.
After coming to these conclusions, I discovered C. Lilyquist's^O short article on
the subject in which she raises similar questions. She points to stone sarcophagi and
canopic chests from Lisht that have arched lids and asks, "Do we dismiss these because
1

they were made of stone rather than wood? I'm not sure we can do that."^

74

James K. Hoffmeier
If the arched lid is found on the stone sarchophagi of the 12th Dynasty, then one

might to expect that there should be wooden coffins of the same variety for that period.
The difference between a wooden outer coffin and a stone sarcophagus is only a matter of
material, not function. The distinction between these terms, I believe is artificial. Some
clarification in terminology is necessary. Perhaps the term "outer coffin" should be
replaced by sarcophagus.
2

Hayes^ points to a gray granite sarcophagus from el Lisht (CG 28102), which
has the four transverse support battens typical of wooden coffins, as evidence that this
12th Dynasty sarcaphagus was fashioned like the coffins of the period (e.g. BM 30482).
A number of sarcophagi from Dashur discovered by de Morgan also were covered with the
arched lids/>3 but whether these can be securely dated to Dynasty 12 is not certain.
Aidon Dodson recently has made the ingenius suggestion that two of the alabaster
sarcophagi found in the Senusert Ill's pyramid complex were in fact removed from
Saqqara, likely from Djoser's pyramid galleries, and reused at Dashur.^

In the Teti

pyramid cemetary at Saqqara, a number sarcophagi with curved lids were found that
appear to date to Dynasty 12.^5 There seems to be ample evidence for convex lids on
sarcophagi of Dynasty 12 to believe that some wooden coffins of this design should date
to the same period.
In fact there are such wooden coffins that can be dated to the 12th Dynasty.
6

Lilyquist-* presents to the inner coffin and canopic chest of Hapi-ankhtifi at Meir as
examples. A 12th Dynasty coffin from Beni Hassan, discovered by Garstang,^^ has a
slightly curved lid, with parapets on the ends (Plate 1). At the International Congress of
Egyptology in Cairo (November 1988), Ladislav Bares of the Czechoslovak Institute
C

announced recent the discovery of the tomb priest Hrvy- nh at Abu Sir.58

He reports

that the lid was vaulted with "raised ends", and is quite convinced that this coffin dates
to the 12th Dynasty when there was an attempt to revive the funerary cult of King
C

Raneferef of Dynasty 5. Hwy- nh

appears to have been a priest assoicated with that

cult.
In his extremely thorough study of Middle Kingdom coffins, Harco Willems lists
four coffins with vaulted lids of Theban provenance which he dates to the late Middle
Kingdom and Second Intermediate period.59
Presently, I am not aware of any coffins of the Heracleopolitan period that
exhibit this type of lid. However, the words like krs/krst (Wb. V, 63-65), drw(t) (Wb.
c

V, 601) and nb nh (Wb_. II, 228.14) in texts of the 1st Intermediate p e r i o d ,

60

still are

determined with the sarcophagus sign of the Old Kingdom that shows the vaulted lid

The coffins of the Middle Kingdom


with parapets,

tJ

75

, although some variations exist. So indeed there are examples of

wooden coffins which exhibit the curved lid, with or without parapets in Dynasty 12,
and I suspect that a thorough investigation of the coffin corpora, published and
unpublished, would reveal more examples.
The arched-lid coffins cited above from the Archaic Period through Old
Kingdom are found in Saqqara and nearby necropoli which suggests that the origin of this
design might be a northern one.

In the 1st Intermediate Period, the more simple

rectangular coffin predominated. Could it be that with the establishment of Lisht as the
capital, by Amenemhet I, followed by the building of other adrrdnistrative centers in the
north during the 12th Dynasty, that the older, northern tradition of the arched-lid
sarcophagus and coffin made a come-back? Amenemhet I and his successors regularly
reached back to the Old Kingdom for inspiration in art and architecture.
Smith

62

61

W. Stevenson

noted that

Amenemhet brought the court within the range of old Memphite influences
which still survived in the form of ancient monuments, and the effect is strongly
evident in the art of the Twelth Dynasty.
Further, if Dodson's suggestion concerning the reuse of sarcophagi from Djoser's
burial complex is correct, and it does seem compelling, then we have direct evidence of
the 12th Dynasty monarch's looking at earlier prototypes for inspiration. Then too,
despite our limited knowledge of the 13th Dynasty, it seems, based on some of the
surviving royal names, the continuity of the 12th Dynasty cities in the north, and
retaining practices of the previous century, that the 13th dynasty rulers considered
themselves to be legitimate successors of the Irj-towy Dynasty.

63

Thus we might expect

the arched coffin lid to be an earlier convention that they continued just as they followed
other 12th Dynasty artistic traditions.

64

From the 11th to 12th Dynasties a clear evolution in the exterior decoration of
6

the coffin is evident, developing from simple to complex. ^ It is with this development
in mind that one should examine Senebtisi's coffins. The outer coffin (sarcophagus) has a
single horizontal band around the top and four vetical bands on each side and the
rectangular panel with zv3dt eyes, while the inner coffin also displays the eyes, but has
only a single band on the lid with a spell from the Pyramid Texts.

66

If the arched lid

was not considered, the outer coffin might pass for one Dynasties 9-11. The classical
"black coffin" with vaulted lid of the 2nd Intermediate Period generally has decorations
between the panels or more panels, with or without decorations (CG 28106, 3103). This
development is similar to what we saw in the 12th Dynasty, viz. moving from simple to

76

James K. Hoffmeier

complex exterior decoration.

67

It is true that King Hor's queen, Neb-hotep's coffin is


6

similar in decoration to that of Senebtisi. ** But this might mean that the "court style" of
Dynasty 12 was continued into the 13th Dynasty.
Bruce Williams' study has certainly forced us to re-examine the so called "court
style" of Dynasty 12. If he is correct in his assesstment of Senebtisi's date, then we need
to redefine what is the "court style" of Dynasty 12. However, there is evidence for a near
continuous history for the vaulted coffin lid from the Archaic Period through the Middle
Kingdom. Admittedly, the evidence for the First Intermediate is scant (further research
is needed), and, if there was a hiatus, it might be suggested that the 12th Dynasty, not
the 13th marks its return. Willems sees the the appearance of this type of lid in the
latter half of the Middle Kingdom, although, he suggests that the slightly vaulted
6

underside of some earlier flat lids might be a precursor to the arched lid. ^
A question that must be raised is what if any religious significance there may be
to the vaulted lid, with or without the parapets. The arched shape lid might have been
so designed symbolize the celestial vault which would be closely associated with the sky
goddess, Nut. Just as Nut or the sky is over the earth, the micrcosm of the coffin
illustrates this theology. Nut's association with the coffin is well established and can be
traced back to the Old Kingdom Pyramid Text's. PT 616 reads:
Nephthys has collected all your members for you in this her name of 'Seshat,
Lady of Builders'. <She> has made them hale for you, you having been given to
your mother Nut in her name of 'Sarcophagus', she has embraced you in her name
of 'Coffin', and you have been brought to her in her name of 'Tomb'.
7 0

Commenting on this line, Faulkner observed that the lid is being a "simulacrum of the
7

sky" which was identified with Nut. *

There is ample evidence for connecting Nut

with the coffin lid, and this is widely recognized/

Some flat lids are decorated with

stars and constellations on the underside (as in not a few New Kingdom tombs); e.g.
Mallawy 567, Horhotep; Aashyt, wife of Montuhotep Nebhepetre.^ The figure of Nut
is found on the underside of sarcophagi of the New Kingdom onwards, and found as late as
74

Roman times.

Beginning in the New Kingdom, one can find illustrations on the inside

bottom of the coffin.


The association of the coffin lid with Nut may be in mind when the PTs speak of
the sky-goddess being "spread over" the deceased (PT 580, 637, 777, 825, andl607). This
7

expression is found in CT VI, 118 and 264. *> The idea of Nut protecting the dead may
have developed from this expression (PT 825, 827-28,1629 and 1896; and CT VII, 3, VII,
9), and thus she could be called the "Great Protectress" (PT 827, 834,838, 842, and 1607).
The evidence from the PTs and CTs make it clear that Nut is associated with the coffin

T h e coffins of the Middle K i n g d o m

77

lid which may explain the vaulted shape of coffins and sarcophagi that enjoy a long
history from the Archaic period all the way down to Roman times.
Since there is an obvious connection between the sky-goddess and the coffin lid,
one might wonder why more lids were not arched to give the appearance of the celestial
vault. The writing of Nut's name is regularly determined by the sky sign,

. And

this factor may well be behind the more common flat lid. In fact, the construction of some
Middle Kingdom coffin lids reveal that the outline of the pf -sign when viewed from the
end. This phenomenon is found in some of the coffin lids found by Garstang at Beni Hasan;
6

e.g. E70 1903 in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge/ and another Beni Hasan coffin
from tomb 3 (Plate 2). This type of lid is considerably more difficult for a carpenter to
make than the simple flat lid, which suggests that there is something significant in the
form itself. Also at the Fitzwilliam, the coffin of Lady Nakht from tomb 23 at Beni
Hasan (E68 1903), has the pf-like lid, and inscription on the lid of the coffin which, as if
to confirm suggestion offered here, says, "Oh Osiris, Lady Nakht, Nut is spread over
you." This same expression is also found on the anthropoid cover of Userhet in the
7

Fitzwilliam/' as well as on the lid of the outer coffin of Userhet, now in L i v e r p o o l /

The connection between the sky and the coffin lid may be in view in the "Tale of Sinuhe"
when the prospect of being buried in Egypt is dangled before the Egyptian exile to lure
him to return from Retenu. Sinuhe B 192-93 states:
A funeral procession is made for you on the day of interment, a mummy case of
gold, a head of lapis, and the sky (pt ) above you as you are placed on the sledge,
oxen drag you..7
9

While only few examples of the pf-like coffin lid, can be cited now, it be that
with further investigation additional examples will come to light. In conclusion,

it

appears, then, that the vaulted coffin and sarcophagus lid, as well as the flat variety,
have iconographie features which tie them directly to the sky-goddess Nut.
There are a few other new features of 12th Dynasty coffins that should be
mentioned. The "Book of Two Ways," with its guide map on the bottom of some coffins,
appears early in Dynasty 12. In 1972 L e s k o

80

noted that all of the 18 published and 4

unpublished examples with the "Book of Two Ways" were from El-Bersheh.

81

Even if a

few occurrences of "The Book" do come to light from other areas, the concentration at
Bersheh suggests that this indeed is a peculiarity of the Hare nome where it likely
originated.
Another artistic feature that occurs on some 12th Dynasty coffins is a polychrome
8

cavetto cornice bordering the top or actually on the side of the lid. Brovarski ^ has noted
that this cornice occurs on some coffins at Bersheh (e.g. CG 28099), originating around the

78

James K. Hoffmeier

time of Senusert III. Similar decorations are painted on coffins from Meir, Assiut and
Rifeh

Might this cornice be another Upper Egyptian innovation?


At the outset of this paper, it was noted that much of the recent scholarly

investigation of coffins has concentrated on distiguishing those of the 1st Intermediate


4

Period from those of the Middle Kingdom, especially Dynasty 11.** The same rigorous
analysis of 12th Dynasty coffins is now needed, especially in light of Williams' questions
about the so called "court style." Brovarski's study is a good start, but it utilizes far to
few examples to draw firm conclusions. The foregoing survey, has raised more questions
that it has answered. In conclusion some questions need to be posed for our discussion and
further investigation.
1)

What is the "court style" of Dynasty 12?

By when is this standardization

established?
2) Should we continue to use the terms sarcophagus and coffin since they are so similar in
form, decoration, and since outer wooden outer coffins function as a sarcophagus?
3) Why does the Hare nome, even in Dynasties 9-11, retain such a high quality of
workmanship in coffin decoration when other areas lapse into cruder forms? And related
to this, how do we explain the apparent origin of the "Book of the Two Ways" at
Bersheh?
4)

Can we detect any Theban influence on coffins of the memphite region after

Amenemhet's move to Ijt-towy?

E.g. Elke Blumenthal, Die Datierung des Nhrj


Graffiti von Hatnub," Altoreintalistiche Forschungen 4 (1976) 35-62. W. Schenkel, Frhmittel gyp tische
Studien (Bonn 1962). "Repres Chronologiques de l'histoire Redactionalle des Coffin
Texts," (Referat, vorgetragen auf dem 29. Internationalen Orientalistenkongre, Paris,
1973) 29-36. "Repres chronologiques de l'histoire rdactionelle des Coffin Textes, 98103," in Actes XXIXe Congres des Oreintalistes. Egyptologie, ed. G. Posener, (Paris:
L'Asiatheque, 1975) 98-103.
"Zur Redaktions- und berlieferungsgeschichte des
Spruchs 335 a der Sargtexte," Gtttinger Totenbuchstudien Beitrge zum 17. Kapitel.
ed. W. Westendorf (Wisbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1975) 37-79. E. Brovarski, "The
Bersheh Nomarchs of the Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom," in W.K.
Simpson and W.M. Davies (eds.) Studies in Ancient Egypt, the Aegean, and the Sudan.
(Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981) 14-30. Donald Spanel, Beni Hasan in the
Herakleopolitan Period, (Toronto: Ph.D. Dissertation, 1985). H.O. Willems, The
Nomarchs of the Hare Nome and Early Middle Kingdom History," Taarbericht Ex
Oriente Lux 28 (1985) 80-102.
W.B. Emery, Archaic Egypt (Baltimore: Pelican, 1961) plates 24-25, Figure 77.
W.C. Hayes, The Scepter of Egypt I, (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,
1953) Figure 30.
Wb V, 63. For the Middle Kingdom see Beni Hasan I (London: Kegan Paul, 1893), plates
VIL XII & XV.

The coffins of the Middle Kingdom

79

^ Cyril Aldred, Egypt to the End of the Old Kingdom (LondonrThames &: Hudson, 1965)
96.
S. Hassan, The Mastaba's of Hemet-Rc_ and Others [Excavations at Saqqara 1937-38.
Vol. Ill], (Cairo: Government Printing Offices, 1975) plates XLII-XLIII. W.M.F.
Petrie, Deshesheh (London: EEF, 1897) plate XXVII.
The Mastabas of Hemet-Rg- and Others. Plates IV, pp. 7-8; Figure 31, pp. 57-58.
S. Hassan, The Mastaba of Nv-cankh-Pepy and Others [Excavations at Saqqara 193738, Vol. II] (Cairo: Government Printing Press, 1975), Figure 9.
9 J. Garstang, The Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt (London: Constable & Co., 1907) 166.
Deshesheh, plate XXVII. E.L.B. Terrace, Egyptian Paintings of the Middle Kingdom
(London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1968) 32.
^ P. Barguet, Textes Des Sarcophages Egyptiens Du Moyen Empire (Paris: Editions Du
Cerf, 1986) 9-10. L. Lesko, The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Two Ways (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1972) 5-6.
Terrace, Egyptian Paintings..., 32, 34.
12 Senebtisi 50-54. Brovarski, "The Bersheh Nomarchs...," 23, Scepter I, 315.
1 Terrace, 156; Brovarski, 23 & Figure 13; cf. the coffin of Aha-Nakht in Philadelphia in
S. Fleming, et. al.. The Egyptian Mummy. Secrets and Science (Philadelphia, The
University of Pennsylvanian, 1980) #13.
Spanel, 181.
Spanel, 181-182, illustrations IA-E and IIA-M.
16 A word of thanks to Mr. Frank Yurco of the staff of the Field Museum for helping me
with my inquiries and assisting me with records and photography.
1 Terrace 32.
Terrace 33.
19 p. Lacau, Sarcophages Antrieurs au Nouvel Empire [Catalogue Gnral des Antiquits
de L'gyptiennes du Muse du Caire, Nos. 28001-28086, Vol. 11 & 14], Cairo, 1903)
28001, 28004, 28005, 28006, 28008 & 28013, plates MIL
Diana Magee, "An Early Middle Kingdom Coffin from Akhmim in the Ashmolean
Museum (No.l911.477)," TSSEA XIII-No.4 (1983) 241-248.
21 H.G. Fischer, "Inscriptions from the Coptite Nome," Analecta Orientalia 40 (1964) 40.
Magee, 248.
Willems 93-101.
H.G. Fischer, "An Example of Memphite Influence in a Stela of the Eleventh
Dynasty," Artibus Asiae 22 (1959) 240-252. Spanel 188.
Spanel 188-189.
26 Brovarski, p. 23; Fig. 13 on p. 29.
Spanel 194.
Scepter 1.318.
^ A.C. Mace & H.E. Winlock, The Tomb of Senebtisi at Lisht (New York: Metropolitan
Museum of Art, 1916) 54-55.
Scepter 1.317.
Senebtisi 55. Scepter I, 315.
The coffins of Nakht and Userhet in the Fitzwilliam exhibit illustrate the pattern of
the latter; cf. J. Bourriau Pharaohs and Mortals (Cambridge: The University Press,
1988) Nos. 70-71, pp. 85 & 91).
Senebtisi 55.
6

1 4

1 5

1 8

2 0

2 2

2 3

2 4

2 5

2 7

2 8

3 0

3 1

3 2

3 3

80
3 4

James K. Hoffmeier

Scepter 1,303-320.
3^ Bruce Wiliams, "The Date of Senebtisi at Lisht and the Chronology of Major Groups
and Deposites of the Middle Kingdom," Serapis 3 (1975-1976) 41-55.
Williams 41-44.
^ Wiliams 45.
Williams 47-49.
Williams 43-44.
Williams 49.
Sally B. Johnson, "Two Wooden Statues From List: Do They Represent Sesostris I?"
TARCE XVII (1980) 11-20. Dr. Dorothea Arnold, in her presentation at the colloquium,
entitled "The Mastaba of Imhotep at Lisht South" argued for at date during Senusert
II's reign. Her dating by ceramic measurement is most compelling, and would
consquently push back the date of wooden statues, which Sally Johnson has dated to
Dynasty 13, squarely in Dynasty 12.
Dr. Dorothea Arnold, in her presentation at the colloquium, entitled "The Mastaba of
Imhotep at Lisht South" argued for at date during Senusert II's reign.
Dr. Dorothea Arnold, in the comments that followed my presentation, pointed out that
Janine Bourriau is studying of the ceramics and other materials in Senebtisi's tomb for
publication and has concluded that the tomb dates to Dynasty 12. She was kind
enough to confirm in writing (22 August, 1990) her view which she mentioned at the
colloquiium at Cambridge. We look forward to seeing the published results of this
study, since the coffins of Senebtisi have become the lynch-pin in the debate over the
"court style" of Dynasty 12.
W. Emery, Archaic Egypt (Baltimore: Pelican, 1961) 130-131. E.L.B. Terrace, Egyptian
Paintings of the Middle Kingdom (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1968) 32. W.C.
Hayes, The Scepter of Egypt I. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1953)
312-313.
Archaic Egypt. Plate 24-25. Figure 77. Scepter of Egypt I, Figure 30.
Archaic Egypt 131.
^ W.M.F. Ptrie, E. Mackay & G. Wainwright, Meydum and Memphis III. (London:
British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1910), pl. X, 4; p. 4.
Zdenk Uherek & Miroslav Verner, Preliminary Report on the Czechoslovak
Excavations in the Mastaba of Ptahshepses at Abu Sir (Prague: Charles University
Press, 1976, does not show a picture of these sarcophagi. But one was able to view
these granite sarcophagi in November 1988.
S. Hassan, The Mastabas of Hemet-Rc. and Others [Excavations at Saqqara 1937-1938,
Vol. Ill], (Cairo: Government Printing Office, 1975).
50 Christine Lilyquist, "A Note on the Date of Senebtisi' and Other Middle Kingdom
Groups," Serapis V (1979) 27-28.
Lilyquist, 27.
The Scepter of Egypt 1.319-320.
J. de Morgan, Fouilles A Dahchour 1894-95 (Vienna: Adolphe Holzhausen, 1903, 74-76 =
Cairo Cat. 28102.
Aidon Dodson, "Egypt's First Antiquarians?" Antiquity 62, Nu. 236 (September 1988)
513-517.
55 C.M. Firth & B. Gunn, Excavations at Saqqara: Teti Pyramid Cemetaries I. (Cairo:
IFAO, 1926).
56 Lilyquist, 27. The Canopic box of Hap-Ankhtifi is depicted in Scepter I, fig. 209.
3 6

3 8

3 9

4 0

4 1

4 2

4 3

4 4

4 5

4 6

4 8

4 9

5 1

5 2

5 3

5 4

The coffins of the Middle Kingdom


5 7

58

59
6 0

61
6 2

6 3

6 4

65

6 6

6 7

68
69
7 0

7 1

7 2

7 3

7 4

81

J. Garstang, Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt. Fig. 189. In May 1988 I had the
opportunity to examine the Gartang archives at the School of Archaeology and
Oriental Studies at Liverpool. The photographs (B. 209-210) make it very clear that
the lid is arched and the parapets are very obvious. My thanks to Professor A.F.
Shore and his staff for assistance in my research, and for providing me with
photographs of this coffin, and for the permission to use this photograph (B 210) and
that in Plate 2 (B 213) in this publication.
I am indebted to L. Bares for sending me a copy of the paper he presented, along with
slides of the coffin in situ, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of ZS. See
also the Abstracts of the Fifth Internatinal Congress of Egyptology, p. 13.
Harco Willems, Chests of Life (Leiden: Mededelingen en Verhandelingen van het
Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch "Ex Oriente Lux" XXV, 1988), 172, n. 178, and 116-117
An example of this writing is found on the Stela of Pepi Seneb (Dynasties 8-9) from Nag
ed Deir which was recetnly displayed in an exhibition at Berkeley Univeristy.
W.K. Simpson, The Ancient Neart East: A History. (New York: Harcourt Brace
Jovanovisch, Inc., 1971) 245-246.
W.S. Smith, The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (Revised edition with W.K.
Simpson - New York: Penguin, 1981 ) 168.
A.H. Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs (Oxford: The University Press, 1961) 147-154.
W.C. Hayes, "Egypt: From the Death of Amenemes HI to Seqenenre II," in Cambridge
Ancient History II, part 1, (Cambridge: The University Press), 44-48.
Stevenson Smith. The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt. 216-217.
E . Brovarski, "The Bersheh Nomarchs of the Intermediate Period and the Middle
Kingdom", in Studies in Ancient Egypt, The Aegean, and the Sudan, eds. W.K.
Simpson & W-M. Davis, (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1981) p. 29.
Senebtisi, outer - Fig.l & 9, inner plate XVII a-b & Fig. 15
Brovarski, op.. c-, 29.
cf. Dahchour I, plate XXXVI.
Willems, Chests of Life, 171-172.
R. O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts (Oxford: Clarendon, 1969) 119.
Loc. Cit. n. 7.
W. C Hayes, Royal Sarcophagi of the XVIII Dynasty (Princeton: The University
Press, 1935) 67. A.J. Spencer, Death in Ancient Egypt (Middlesex: Penguin, 1982), 16567.
H.E. Winlock, "Egyptian Expedition for MCMXX-MCMXXI, III. Excavations at
Thebes", BMMA H, November 1921,49 fig. 24.
e.g. that of Thutmose III, cf. Hayes, Sarcophagi, plate viii; Spencer, op_. cit., plate 30.
In the 3rd Intermediate period, her figure is found on the bottom floor of the coffin, a
development which is puzzling.

5 A variation of garbled version of this spell occurs in CT I, 312b-c. Willems, op. cit. 45,
n.l, ties this Nut-spell with the coffin lid.
My thanks to Dr. Janine Bourriou for allowing me to study and photograph these coffins
during my visit in April 1988. The outline of the pf-sign can be seen in the phtograph
of this coffin in Janine Bourriau, Pharaohs and Mortals. #68, p. 88.
Garstang, Burial Customs, 175 and 191,1.4; J. Bourriou, Pharaohs and Mortals 92.
Garstang. Burial Customs. 191,1.3.

7 6

7 7

7 8

82

James K. Hoffmeier

79 Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature I (Berkeley: University of California Press,


1975) 229, and W.K. Simpsom, The Literature of Ancient Egypt (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1972) 68 render pt as "sky". I am not sure if they take this to mean
the canopy of the sledge as Wilson does in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the
Old Testament (Princeton: The University Press, 1969 - 3rd edition), 21 n. 29. Willems,
Chests of Life, p. 45 understands pt as the coffin lid.
L. Lesko The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Two Ways (Berkeley: University of
California Press, 1972) 3.
81 Prof. Jac. J. Janssen, in the dialogue that followed the presentation of this paper stated
that the de Buck archive at Leiden contains no examples of the "the Book of the Two
Ways" from anywhere but Bersheh.
82 Brovarski, "The Bersheh Nomarch...", 25.
Scepter I, Fig. 204 & 207; W.M.F. Petrie, Gizeh and Rifeh (London: BSAW, 1907) Plate
X.
idem . note #1.
8 0

8 3

8 4

The coffins of the Middle Kingdom

James K. Hoff meier's


"The Coffins of the Middle Kingdom:
The Residence and the Regions"
(Facsimile drawings, not to scale)

(Figure 1)
Turin Supplement 13.268, after Brovarski, Hughes
Festschrift 9th Dynasty (?), Gebelein.

(Figure 2)
Emory University Museum 1921.2, coffin of Nbt it .(s)
Assiut, late 11th Dynasty.

James K. Hoffmeier

(Figure 3)
Ashmolean No. 1911.477, Akhmim, mid-llth Dynasty

///////////////////////////////////////////////

(Figure 4)
Senebtisi's outer coffin, after Mace & Winclock

/ / / / / / / / / / /

/
/
/

The coffins of the Middle Kingdom

(Figure 5)
Senebtisi inner coffin, after Mace and Winlock

86

James K. Hoffmeier

PLATE 1
(Courtesy of the School of Archaeology & Oriental Studies,
Liverpool, B210)

PLATE 2
(Courtesy of the School of Archaeology & Oriental Studies,
Liverpool, B213)

Non-Egyptians

recorded on Middle-Kingdom
in

Steiae

Rio de Janeiro
K.A. Kitchen

Liverpool

Introduction
In 1826, the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro acquired an entire
mixed

collection

of

Egyptian

antiquities,

reputedly

from

the

prior

excavations of Belzoni. These included 51 inscribed stone stelae and one


wooden one, according to the 1844 inventory (the earliest known), plus
three blanks.

All of these, with one query, can still be accounted-for

today, a century and a half later.


Out of that series, 22 or nearly half are from the Middle Kingdom. One
[Inv. 627 = 2419] is dated by cartouche to Sesostris III, and a second [Inv.
645 = 2435] also by cartouche to Amenemhat IV (not

III, as cited in some

earlier

monument

private
c

literature).
hands

Ha ankhef,

Of the rest,

(and

seemingly

the famous

one 'contentious'
so

father-in-law

since

about

1907)

of Neferhotep

still

in

belongs

to

I and Sobekhotep
c

"IV" (really III) of the 13th Dynasty; it alone names H a a n k h e f s


as well as his mother.

father

Until the present writer was granted access to it

in September 1987, no Egyptologist had seen it for 60 years.

Most of the

stelae are probably of the 13th Dynasty, perhaps occasionally of the late
12th.

Possible

genealogical

links (for Inv. 646 = 2436)

and stylistic

peculiarities (Inv. 640 = 2430) date some clearly to the 13th Dynasty, and
to the period of Sobekhotep "III" and "IV" (II and III); for the rest, only
a general date can be surmised.

Excluding the Ha ankhef

stela

(from

Heliopolis?), most appear to come from Abydos, and especially from the
North Cemetery area behind the old 'metropolitan' temple of Osiris, on
the 'Terrace of the Great God', to borrow the title of W. K. Simpson's wellknown

monograph.
As for publication, the entire corpus (plus the rest of the Collection)

is included in a comprehensive new Catalogue.

iSee M. Dewachter, Rd 35(1984), 198-199, figs. 3,4.


M . Beltro, K.A. Kitchen, Catlogo da Coleo do Antigo Egito existente

no Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro - Catalogue of the Egyptian Collection


in the National Museum, Rio de Janeiro, 1989.
87

88

K.A. Kitchen

Foreigners

on the MK Stelae

On Inv. 627 [2419), bottom register, is the 3m


Asiatic Gebgeb, bora of 'Ummi'.
perhaps meaning 'the lame',
of gb','tall',

Gbgb,

ir.n Imi, 'the

His name is almost certainly Egyptian,

and not Semitic (only a reduplicated form

might be compared), but his mother's name may very

well

be 'Ummi, 'mother' (hypocoristicon for 'Ummi-DN, 'the goddess X is my


mother'?), although it should be noted that 'Imi
personal

name.

nfr, 3m,

ir.n

mwt.f,

born

his

mother'.

of

is also a common MK

In the bottom lines of this same stela occurs s3.f


'his [stela owner's] son, Heru-nefer the
With

purely

Egyptian

name,

Hrw-

Asiatic,
Herunefer

('Happyday') seems to be the lesser son of the stela-owner Iunefer by an


'Asiatic' secondary

wife

or concubine,

to deserve

On the selfsame stela (end, at bottom), Skr

his epithet

'Asiatic'.

the parent of Reri is not

likely to have been a West-Semitic Sukru,


quite different
Sfcr-names
k).

from the

clear,

family

indicating

unambiguous

examples

of

West-Semitic

in Middle Egyptian (using the vertical sjk-sign, not just s +

Also a Reri son of Skr js

same

(i) because the orthography is

group),

a possible

where

otherwise attested (Cairo CGC 20296, of this


Skr

nisbe-typ&

has

the

Sokar-barque

determinative,

name Sokari ('he of Sokar'), cf.

later

Sety - and certainly not a Semitic name, therefore.


Stela Rio Inv. 680 (No.21 in the new Catalogue,

pl.45), belonging to a

foreman(?) Kara, has in the bottom register two people of interest (both
c

are named, but only one depicted). Most explicit is 3m,


Twti,

'the Asiatic and chief of craftsmen , Twti'.

the West-Semitic root DWD,


the

name

Dodi-(h)uatu

(Eg.

imy-r

hmwwt,

The name comes from

attested already in our period (c.1730 BC) in


twt-(h)w3t),

No. 18 of the foreigners

Papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446, edited by W.C. Hayes long since.


personal name is to be taken as Dawdi,
Hebrew

Dodi,

Dodo,

etc.,

and

directly

comparable

early-2nd-millennium

in

Our Rio
with

Amorite

later

Dawdi,

Dawdaya, etc., as attested in the Mari cuneiform archives for example 3

See my paper, "Early Canaanites in Rio de Janeiro and a 'Corrupt'


Ramesside Land Sale", in S. Groll (ed.), Studies in honour of Dr. Miriam
Lichtheim,
Jerusalem, 1990.
Cf. Wb., V, 165:9-10.
Cf. Ranke, Aeg. Personennamen,!,
25:17.
4

Non-Egyptians on Stelae in Rio de Janeiro

89

our man is a "David" of patriarchal times, nearly


the psalmist-king.
ir.n

Ibi, 'the chief of craftsmen,

fruitful

a millennum

Also named (with figure) is the imy-r

source of West-Semitic

before
c

hmwwt,

pr

Epir bom of 'Abiya'.

Again, pr

personal names in the Middle

is a

and

Late

Bronze ages (i.e., MK and NK); so, in the Brooklyn Papyrus and in the
Execration

Texts.

been one also. Ibi

If Epir was a Semite,

then his mother may well have

can be a good Egyptian name,

but the

West-Semitic

name 'Abiya (hypocoristic for 'Abi-DN) is well attested in Amorite (as at


Mari), later Hebrew, etc.
To the onomastic data proper two other items may be briefly added.
First, on Rio Inv. 643
reverse

process:

an

[2433], Cat. No. 17, we have fresh data on the

Egyptian

name

that

Semitic (and, via Greek, in modem usage).


shortened to ssn,

in

either ssn

West
sssn

'Susan'.

occurs, that would give an even closer

equivalent for the borrowed Semitic form.8


become

currency

and entered Hebrew to give us Shoshan(na),

On this Rio stela, the variant ssn

could

gained

It is well known that Eg.

(progressive

Evidently, in Egyptian,

assimilation)

or ssn

sssn

(regressive

assimilation).
Second, the stela Rio Inv. 652 [2440], Cat. No.35, attests (in the NK) a
foreign loanword that goes straight back to the Middle Kingdom era, as
is evidenced by its frequent presence in the Mari archives, and helps to
clinch

its meaning: the word hrr,

in Semitic haruru(m),

hururu(m).

This term is used for a bedspread of a particular type, corded or striped cf. our candlewick bedspreads in more recent times.
the owner Haunefer
'Chief

maker

of

Pharaoh, L.P.H.'

is entitled

bedspreads

was evidently

favour, and was then made in Egypt itself.


Final
6

hry irw hrr n t hnkt Pr- 3,

corded/candlewick
The type

On his Rio stela,

for

imported

the
into

.w.

s. ,

bedroom
Egypt,

of

found

Perspective

Cf. W.F. Albright, Journ. Amer. Oriental Socty 74(1954), 225, No.9,
references.
?Cf. Ranke, op.cit. (n.5), 1,19:16, 20:7-10.
Cf. Kitchen,Varia Aegyptiaca 3(1987), 29-31.
S e e Kitchen,"Of Bedspreads and Hibernation: from Rio de Janeiro to the
Middle Euphrates", in Ascribe to the Lord: Biblical and other studies in
memory of Peter C. Craigie, ed. L. Eslinger, G. Taylor, (JSOT Supplement
Series, 67), Sheffield, 1988, 21-27.
8

90

K.A. Kitchen
After the Middle Kingdom itself, the Rio monuments continue to show
links with Western Asia. Suffice it to recall Raia of stela Inv. 654 [2442],
Cat. No.33, who bore the the Canaanite title qasin,

'leader, boss', a term

found in both Ugaritic and Hebrew.* ^


Thus, the continuing publication of such museum collections should
have a high priority, so that our work - on the Middle Kingdom as on all
else - may have available the maximum amount of

first-hand

data upon

which to draw for its findings; rich are the gains to be made thereby!

up

rji

.11

o HI
III U
hrnern
man

2 mulheres
2 women

oferendas
offerings

T t

15

mulher
woman

..
PL

I0

man

f*/i ^?

13
h o m e m

oferendas
offerings

oferendas
offerings

Kitchen, JEA 73(1987), 218-220, fig. 1.

If

oferendas
offerings

TEACHINGS, DISCOURSES AND TALES


FROM THE MIDDLE KINGDOM

R. B. P a r k i n s o n

INTRODUCTION
One of the landmarks in the study of Egyptian literature is Posener's pioneering article
'Les richesses inconnues de la littrature gyptienne' (RdE 6 [1951], 27-48;
supplemented in RdE 9 [1952], 117-20). Although he was careful to explain why certain
texts were omitted fi Dm his catalogue of 'oeuvres purement littraires', he offered no
definition of 'literary' qualities. The meaning of this term can, however, no longer be
taken for granted, and much discussion has attended the problem of defining 'literature'
in any context. Critical theory has seen a movement from semantic and structural
definitions of what is literary to historical definitions: literature is analysed as a cultural
construct. Semantic theories have identified certain linguistic features of a text as the
distinguishing marks of literary composition: thus 'semantic density' is one such mark,
and yet this can be lacking in a clearly literary text and present in a non-literary one.
Structuralism has 'recognized that the literary work, like any other product of language,
is a construct', that it is not an essentially unique form of discourse. Literature is an
institution, and should be approached accordingly.
This is not the place to attempt a definition of literature; what I wish to do is to
provide a revised version of the Middle Kingdom sections of Posener's catalogue - which
is itself a good Egyptian genre. This, however, requires a few preliminary remarks on
1

Egyptological discussions include: J. Assmann, 'Der literarische Text im alten gypten: Versuch einer
Begriffbestimmung', OLZ 69 (1974), 117-26; P. Kaplony, 'Die Definition der schnen Literatur im alten
gypten', in J. Assmann et al. (ed.), Fragen an die altgyptische Literatur: Studien zum Gedenken an Eberhard
Otto (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1977), 289-314; H. Brunner, L III, 1067-8; A. Loprieno, Topos und Mimesis:
zum Auslnder in der gyptischen Literatur ( A 48, 1988).
A n accessible guide to literary theory is: A. Jefferson & D . Robey, Modem
Comparative Introduction (London: Batsford, 1986).

Literary

Theory:

2
See for example S. T. Olsen, The End of Literary Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1987), 73-87; T. Eagleton, Literary Theory: an Introduction
3

(Oxford: Blackwell, 1983), 1-16, passim.

Eagleton (n. 2 above), 106.


J. Baines, 'An Abydos List of Gods and an Old Kingdom U s e of Texts', in Baines et al. (ed.)

Studies and Other Essays Presented

to I. E. S. Edwards

(EES Occasional Publications 7), 130-33.

91

Pyramid

92

R.B. Parkinson

principles of selection and dating.


THE DEFINITION OF THE CORPUS

In the light of modern theory, Posener's corpus cannot be upheld as the totality of
Egyptian literature, which might be defined, as it has been for 18th century England, as
a recorded body of statements of cultural value, beyond the immediate and practical
conveyance of information. His catalogue consists of two groups of texts, which have
often been correlated intuitively with modern impressions of what constitutes 'literature':
wisdom texts and tales. A general definition of genre is problematic, and this is
particularly true of Egyptian genres, which have no direct posterity in western tradition
and are not characterised by a consistent terminology. No specific designation for a tale
is known, and the terms sb3jt 'teaching' and mdt 'discourse' can describe a wide range
of texts, although they have a more specific reference to genre in certain contexts. This
absence does not imply that no concept or system of genre existed; 'the processes of
generic recognition are . . . fundamental to the reading process'. The genres of
Posener's corpus can be described as follows: the tales are non-commemorative
narratives; the wisdom texts are a group of various genres, some explicitly defined and
others less so. While the wisdom tradition is expressed in other genres, such as the
funerary autobiography, the wisdom texts themselves are predominantly sapiential
discourses, all concerned with certain ultimate values, such as comprehending the nature
of the ideal life. The coherence of the generic group of wisdom texts is established
by form, theme and style. What I discuss here is the association of these two generic
groups in the institution of Egyptian literature.
No explicit ancient definition of literature as a cultural construct is preserved,
nor is there any Egyptian critical discourse or analysis of individual texts. The place of
Posener's corpus within the wider entity of Egyptian literature must be inferred.
Evidence is provided from within the texts by their treatment of genre and topoi, and
more external evidence can be found in the context of the texts, namely the audience
and the occasions of reading, the textual tradition, and the status of the author
(including the fictionality of the protagonist). I discuss the context first.
5

10

The context of literature is a deeply problematic criterion for a historical definition: the

See Eagleton (n. 2 above), 17.


^A. Fowler, Kinds of Literature: an Introduction to the Theory of Genres and Modes (Oxford: Clarendon
Press, 1982); H. Dubrow, Genre (The Critical Idiom 42; London: Methuen, 1982).
7
H. Brunner, 'Die "Weisen", ihre "Lehren" und "Prophezeiungen" in gyptischer Sicht", ZAS 93 (1966),
32-33. G. Posener, RdE 6 (1951), 46-7. On the general phenomenon s e e the remarks of J. Baines, Fecundity
Figures: Egyptian Personification and the Iconology
Fowler (n. 6 above), 130-48.
o

of a Genre (Warminster: Aris & Phillips, 1985), 36.

Fowler (n. 6 above), 259; cf. 256-72. See also E. D . Hirsch, Validity in Interpretation

( N e w Haven:

Yale University Press, 1967).


Compare the approach o f G. Buccellati, 'Wisdom and Not: the Case of Mesopotamia',
(1981), 35-47.
1 0

JAOS

101

Teachings, discourses and tales

93

social Sitz im Leben is unknowable, but the 'implied readers' of a text must have been
members of the lite. Although it is not necessarily any single private individual who
is addressed, the mode of address is itself personal. " The discursive texts often address
an audience directly, but they are self-referential - that is, an audience is defined within
the setting of the text itself (for example, the children for whom the Teachings are
made). This description of an audience often includes a portrayal of the audience's
response. A favourable reaction is given to teachings and discourses, in which they are
'perfect (nfr) to the heart'(e.g. P. Prisse 2.6-7, P. Berlin 3025, 131). The same reaction
is evoked by other genres, such as eulogies and hymns (e.g. Urk. IV, 685.10-2), and in
the Tale of the Court of Cheops a similar phrase describes king Snefru's reaction to the
sight of maidens rowing (P. Westcar 5.14-15). In autobiographies there are the epithets
'one who speaks well (nfr) before his lord' and 'one who says what is good (nfrt)',
and the 'perfection' which is mentioned in wisdom texts can be an ethical quality (as is
seen in Ptahhotep's evocation of his son's response as obedience and wisdom resulting
in ethical behaviour rather than pleasure: ed. Zba, 507-87). These instances suggest that
'perfection' of words is not necessarily or exclusively an aesthetic quality. However,
aesthetic pleasure is a relevant concept, as is shown by the 'perfect words and choice
phrases' of Neferti which are for royal 'entertainment (djj-hr)' (ed. Helck, 2j-k). These
features accord with Loprieno's definition of literary texts as 'die von den zwei Variablen
eines selbststndigen Autors auf der einen Seite und gewisser sthetischer und
gesellschaftlicher Erwartungen des Rezipienten auf der anderen ausgehen'. They do
seem to be particularly, if not exclusively, associated with Posener's corpus. These
expectations and responses are not inherent in the literariness of the discourse, but are
themselves defined by an awareness of the literary institution.
More indirect evidence for the nature of this institution is supplied by the
groupings of texts in libraries, one of which is known from the Middle Kingdom. The
wide range of texts in this (the 'Ramesseum library') has suggested the broad definition
of literature already advanced: texts from Posener's corpus were present together with
an onomasticon, hymns, rituals, and medical and magical texts. The physical context
of the copies of texts is not a unique or infallible criterion for the isolation of a genre
or a group of genres within the literary institution, and the existence of a text on papyri
or ostraca does not correspond to a distinction between it and other texts preserved on
other media. To give a practical example: the 'Loyalist' Teaching was first known only
from a copy on a stela; might not then didactic texts on other funerary monuments be
11

13

14

15

J. Baines (under xxi) JEA 76 (1990), 57, n. 9. On the compositional background to literature s e e C.
J. Eyre, 'The Semna Stelae: Quotation, Genre and Functions of Literature' in S. Israelit-Groll (ed.), Studies
in Egyptology Presented to Miriam Lichtheim (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1990), I, 160-5.
12
see Loprieno (n. 1 above), 84-97.
1 3

J. M. A . Janssen, De traditioneele

egyptische Autobiografie

voor het Nieuwe Rijk (Leiden: Brill, 1946),

69 (Bb.4), 122-5 (He, passim).


1 4

1 5

Loprieno (n. 1 above), 14. See Eagleton (n. 2 above), 80.

Another, the 'Berlin library', can be posited, but its exact extent is unknown. It seems, however, t o
have contained only tales and a wisdom text. See R. B. Parkinson, The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant (Oxford:
Griffith Institute, in press), 1.2.

R.B. Parkinson

94
16

copies of otherwise lost wisdom texts? A text could also be transferred from a
monumental context to a manuscript, such as the building inscription of Senwosret I
preserved on the 18th dynasty Berlin Leather Roll (P. Berlin 3029). Similarly, the
transmission of a text in multiple copies is not a distinguishing feature of the corpus.
Consider the numerous examples of funerary, magical and technical texts;
commemorative inscriptions, such as that of the Semna and Uronarti stelae, are known
to have existed in more than one copy. The type of transmission is related to the genre
of the text - some genres, such as the funerary autobiography, were unsuited to multiple
copies; others, including Posener's corpus, were suitable. The method of transmission
alone, however, does not isolate this corpus from other groups of genres.
The preserved textual tradition is more extensive from the Ramessid period,
when some texts from the corpus were much copied, including tales, teachings and
discourses. Other texts are unattested, although they were perhaps still known, as is the
case with the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, which was quoted in a Ramessid literary
letter. Ostraca provide the most numerous copies (ii-iii, v-viii, xv, xix, xxvi, xxviii),
but they also include texts and genres from outside this corpus, such as hymns, though
rarely in such large quantities. The selection was probably determined by the context in
which the copies were made, and it may be related to teaching practices which drew on
a codified group of 'set texts' in Middle Egyptian. This tradition as a whole reflects
a general codification of earlier 'classical' compositions, and two documents provide
more specific information about this codification of the past. One is a 19th dynasty
tomb-relief from Saqqara (the 'Daressy Fragment'), with a list of kings and illustrious
ancestors. The other is a eulogy of sages from a didactic composition in praise of
scribedom preserved in P. Chester Beatty IV. Both include names known from
wisdom texts, but both are organised round the figures of eminent men from the past
rather than by literary form. They provide little specific information about the
classification of these texts.
17

18

19

20

21

Indications of the attitude towards a text can be sought in titles and colophons.
Titles are not a phenomenon restricted to Posener's corpus, but occur throughout the

For example, the fragments of the autobiography from the tomb of Inpy at el-Lahun (now in Chicago)
include a didactic address to his children: H. G. Fischer, 'A Didactic Text o f the Late Middle Kingdom', JEA
68 (1982), 45-50.
'Menna's Instruction to his Son'; see Parkinson (n. 15 above), 1.5.
18
D . van der Pias, L'hymne la crue du nil (Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor net Nabije Oosten,
1986) I, 11-4.
19
J. Assmann, 'Gibt es eine "Klassik" in der gyptischen Literaturgeschichte? Ein Beitrag zur
Geistesgeschichte der Ramessidenzeit', ZDMG Suppl. 6 (1985), 35-52.
20
J. Yoyotte, 'A propos d'un monument copi par G. Daressy: Contnbution l'histoire littraire'. BSFE
11 (1952), 67-72; D . Wildung, Sesostris und Amenemha: gypten im Mittleren Reich (Munich: Hirmer, 1984),
14, fig. 4; D . B. Redford, Pharaonic King-lists, Annals and Daybooks: a Contribution to the Study of the
Egyptian Sense of History (SSEA Publication 4; Mississauga, Ont.: Benben, 1986), 26. See also Assmann (n.
19 above), 39 n. 13, 42-3. The attested historical figures are not all arranged in chronological sequence: H .
G. Fischer Egyptian Studies I: Varia ( N e w York: M M A , 1976), 6 4 n. 2 6 .
21
A. H. Gardiner, Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum. Third Series: Chester Beatty Gift (London:
British Museum, 1935) I, 38-44, II, pi. 18-19. Commentaries include Brunner (n. 7 above); Assmann (n. 19
above).

ieachings, discourses and tales

95
22

body of literature, including mathematical texts and onomastica. Their use is


genericlly determined, but does not embody a classification of the genres so marked
into a single group. Some genres, by their nature, have titles, and others do not. The
colophon is placed at the end of a copy of the texts of the corpus with great consistency
(Wb I, 45.1-4). In the Middle Kingdom, the colophon is best known as jw=f-pw h3t=f
r-phwj=f] I mj-gmjjt m-sh: 'it is come from beginning to end / as found in writing'. This
concludes both tales and wisdom texts (P. Berlin 3022, 311; 3024, 154-5; P. Prisse 19.9;
P. BM 10371/10435, v"'.l). In one case, the name of the copyist is also given (P.
Leningrad 1115, 186-9), as became standard practice in the New Kingdom. With the
same genres - and once in the same manuscript - an abbreviated form of this colophon
is found: jw-f-pw (P. Prisse 2.9; P. Kahun LV1 verso, 27). This also occurs with a
contemporaneous mathematical text (P. Kahun LV.4, 3.8), and it is later attested with
a wide variety of texts: with rituals (e.g. P. Bremner Rhind 17.12, 21.6, 32.12, 33.18), and
some funerary spells (e.g. Totb [Naville], 127 A17, 149 [Ab] 103), as well as with later
wisdom texts (P. BM 10474 27.18-9, with a slight variation). The jw-f-pw colophon
appears in manuscripts from the second half of the 12th dynasty, but the earliest
document with a colophon known to me is a funerary text. This is Coffin Text Spell
1130/1031 at the end of the 'Book of Two Ways', which concludes: jw=s-pw m-htp sp-sn
'it is come in peace!'. This is similar to versions of the most widely attested form of
the colophon in the New Kingdom and in later periods. In those the person for whom
the manuscript was copied is often introduced with n-k3 n-. .. 'for the spirit of . . .',
and these facts raise the possibility that the colophon arose originally in the funerary
context, whose influence pervades the written forms of Egyptian literature.
The most common New Kingdom version is jw=s-pw nfr m-htp: 'it is come, well
and in peace', which is found in 19th dynasty copies of Middle Kingdom texts (e.g.
Ostracon BM 5629, 8; P. Sallier II, 11.5, 12.7-8; Ostracon Deir el Medina 1106, 3-4), as
well as Late Egyptian tales (e.g. P. d'Orbiney 19.7-10), miscellanies (e.g. P. Anastasi III,
7.10-1), medical texts (e.g. P. Berlin 3038, 21.10), magical texts (e.g. P. Turin 138), and
a copy of the Qadesh text known from monumental inscriptions (the 'poem': P. Sallier
III, 11.8-11). Two similar forms occur: the first, jw=s/f-pw m-htp, is found with copies
of Middle Kingdom wisdom texts (e.g. P. Leningrad 1116a, 144-50; P. Leningrad 1116b,
71), medical texts (e.g. P. Hearst 18.3), magical texts (e.g. P. Leiden 347, 2.13) and
religious texts (e.g. P. Bulaq 17 [CG 58038], 11.5). The second, jw=s-pw nfr, occurs with
Late Egyptian tales (e.g. P. Chester Beatty I, 16.8; P. Harris 500 verso, 3.13-4) and
hymns (e.g. P. Chester Beatty IV recto, 7.1).
The colophon marks a wide range of texts as parts of the transmitted body of
literature. The variations in its form probably reflect changing scribal practices rather
23

24

25

See the examples of U . Luft, 'Zur Einleitung der Liebesgedichte auf Papyrus Chester Beatty I ro X V I
9 ff.', ZS 99 (1973), 108-16.
2

C T V n , 262j (B3C), 471g (B1L). B 3 C has been dated to the very early 12th dynasty, and B 1 L t o

Senwosret II-III: H. Willems, Chests of Life: A Study of the Typology and Conceptual Development
Kingdom
2 4

Standard

of

Class Coffins ( M V E O L 25, 1988), 74, 75-7.; See also C T II, 205b; V , 380d; V I ,

Gardiner (n. 21 above), I, 33.

^11

25
Although lost in a lacuna the restoration is fairly certain: s e e KRIII,

101.12-4.

Middle
193o;

O'v^-pv).

R.B. Parkinson

96

than changes in the concept of the classifications of literature, or of the degrees of


literary decorum. The only form which occurs exclusively with Posener's corpus is the
full Middle Kingdom colophon, and this is probably a matter of the date and provenance
of these manuscripts: the hands and orthographies suggest closely similar dates from the
second half of the 12th dynasty, and the provenance of all the three copies where
provenance can be proposed is Theban. Contextually, the colophon shows that private
ownership was possible for copies of these texts, which were, in the later examples, often
made in an educational setting (this institution of education is not unrelated to that of
literature: as Barthes remarked, 'literature is what gets taught'). The fullest form of the
colophon implies that the text is an accurately transmitted unity: 'from beginning to end'.
An expectation of unity in the audience of these texts has important implications for
modern criticism.
The concept of authorial identity has played a prominent rle in some definitions
of 'literature', although this has been recognised as a legacy of the romantic period, and
modern theory has often lessened the rle of the author. In Egyptology, however,
there has been a continuing readiness to accept the protagonists of discursive texts as
the actual authors, which is perhaps a result of the critics' unease at dealing with an
authorless literary tradition. The identity of the author is as irrelevant to the definition
of Posener's corpus as it is to Egyptian literature as a whole. Of Posener's two generic
groups, only the wisdom texts are explicitly identified (in titles) in terms of a protagonist
who is their supposed creator. This feature need not indicate a profound difference
between the groups, and I suggest that it may be present only because wisdom was
perceived as a personal quality. The teaching of wisdom and the discussion of the
problems facing it are exemplified and validated by the experiences of individuals who
possess it. The New Kingdom Onomasticon of Amenemope, which is a teaching of
classified items and categories, has a similarly personal title. In one exceptional case,
a teaching is made 'by a man for his son', its anonymity being proclaimed presumably in
order to emphasise the universality of its wisdom (a similar rationale probably lies behind
the anonymity of the protagonist in the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor and the constant
designation of Khunanup in the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant as 'the peasant'). A
26

27

28

Although redactional activity is well attested in the transmission of texts, the redactional criticism of
such Egyptologists as Herrmann has certain dangers. In an extreme form, redactional criticism relies o n a
severe view of the exclusive unity of genres, which is a modern preconception. In defence of a non-redactional
approach to ancient texts see M. V . Fox, The Song of Songs and the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs (Madison:
University of Wisconsin Press, 1985), 205,218-24; E. D h o r m e , , 4 Commentary on the Book of Job (London:
Nelson, 1967), lxi-cx. Interpretative criticism is concerned with the meaning such as it was available to the
audience, and the colophon implies that unity was of s o m e importance in this, although it may have been of
a different order from that demanded by the N e w Critics. Almost all the texts of the corpus were presented
as unified wholes, and although they may have had many creators, they had a single 'implied author' (see next
note).
27
The question of authorial identity is distinct from the interpretative problems of the 'implied author*
who is involved in creating the unitary meaning of a text. I d o not wish to pursue these issues here; s e e the
strategies of J. Baines (listed under xix, xxi), and the defense of determinable meaning proposed by critics
such as E. D . Hirsch (n. 6 above).
28
A. H. Gardiner, Ancient Egyptian Onomastica (London: Oxford University Press, 1947), I, 24-6.

Teachings, discourses and tales

97

similar disregard for authorial identity can be detected in the copy of 'Loyalist' Teaching
on Sehotepibre's stela; this is entitled so as to make him the protagonist, which would
be a strikingly blatant plagiarism, if identified authorship was important in the literary
tradition (later parallel in a ms of the Onomasticon of Amenemope: n. 28). The
supposed composers of teachings frequently are - or resemble - known prestigious
historical figures from the lite, and three are royal. While the actual authors must have
been members of the lite, to associate statements of wisdom with an established figure
would validate its values, regardless of authorship. Some of the protagonists also feature
in the tales (e.g. Hordedef), and both wisdom texts and tales use the same settings,
which include the troubled Herakleopolitan period and the 'golden age' of the Old
Kingdom. Critics have been ready to admit that the often fantastic tales are unhistorical,
but are reluctant to admit the same about the wisdom texts' settings and protagonists.
In the case of the Teaching for Kagemni, there is a discrepancy between the text's
statements about the vizier and what is known of a historical vizier of the same name,
which suggests that the father of the historical Kagemni was not the actual author of the
teaching. In one case - the Teaching of Amenemhat - this pseudonymity of the text was
explicitly acknowledged by Ramessid scribes. None of the protagonists of other wisdom
genres, such as Sasobek, is a certainly attested historical figure; this lack of historical
fame may relate to those genres' embodying of troubled conditions, which it would be
inappropriate to link with figures of established eminence. This hypothesis of the
fictionality of the protagonist's identity, which is shared by several scholars, is supported
by the Words of Neferti, in which the setting has been convincingly analysed as a
validation of his discourse; it cannot represent the period of the text's composition, but
is evoked as the idealised past. No Neferti from the Old Kingdom could have
composed the Words. All available indications suggest that the 'authors' of Teachings
and other wisdom discourses were as fictional as the protagonists of the tales. This
hypothesis is also supported by the dates of composition suggested by more objectively
verifiable criteria (see below).
It is true that some protagonists were later presented as if historical, most
notably in the 'Daressy Fragment', where they accompany aftested viziers, high priests
and kings. This presentation, however, is determined in part by the context of the relief
(see n. 20 above; the same is true of R Chester Beatty IV - see below). It cannot be
known how far the audience regarded the claims to authorship as fictional, or how far
they were intended to do so. It is, however, easy to blur the distinction between fiction
and fact in literature, both for the audience (without intention) and for the author
(deliberately). Many early British novelists presented themselves in prefaces as the editor
and publisher of a true account rather than as the author of a novel, and fictional
protagonists have often come to be thought of as actual figures. There are some
29

30

G. Posener,

Littrature et politique dans l'Egypte de la Xlle dynastie

( B E H E 307, 1957), 29-36.

in

Olsen (n. 2 above), 192. Examples of fictional characters and settings presented as historical truth:
until recently a plaque commemorated the site o f the Tabard Inn as the place from which Chaucer's pilgrims
set out; Merlin has at various times been regarded as a historical author; Dickens' picture of London has
been influential as fact. Perhaps the supreme (fictional) example of such confusion is Beerbohm's E n o c h
Soames.

98

R.B. Parkinson

indications that Egyptian genres accommodated an awareness of their fictionality (which


is different from what we might term the 'dogmatic fiction' of the way in which religious
or royal texts pattern experiences of reality). In the Tale of the Court of King Cheops,
Hordedef remarks of the tales which were set in the past - about 'those who have passed
away; truth cannot be known from falsehood' (P. Westcar 6.23-24). For the reader of
the 15th dynasty P. Westcar, this would also be an implicit comment on the Tale as a
whole. Many tales seem to evoke their own fictionality, apart from including inherently
fantastic elements: the choice of a sailor as a narrator in the Tale of the Shipwrecked
Sailor may imply that it is a tall story, and attention is repeatedly drawn to Khunanup
as a supremely unlikely source of eloquence in the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant.
The convention of fictionality is not, however, detected so easily in all the genres
of the corpus. The 'pessimistic' discourses are now approached by critics as fictional,
rather than historical, accounts of chaos (see n. 45), although the protagonist Neferti
claims that his prophetic words will earn him respect by their veracity (ed. Helck, 15g),
a claim which is repeated in the eulogy of P. Chester Beatty IY (see n. 21). Yet his
prophecy is certainly fictional. Khakheperresoneb says of his lament 'I have spoken these
things as I have seen', and dismisses matters formulated in terms of the past in similar
terms to Hordedef: 'this is falsehood' (recto 1. 6). His desire for a 'new speech' (1. 2) is
a desire for a non-fictional discourse, that is, one not compromised by being in the
past. The same problem is raised by the teachings: if they were acknowledged as
fiction, how could Ptahhotep says of his maxims 'As for their Truthfulness (sp n-m3't),
this is their value' (ed. Zba, 509; parallels include the 'Loyalist' Teaching, ed. Posener,
9.2). These statements do not indicate that these texts were non-fictional; it should be
remembered that the question 'how can fiction be true' is not unique to these texts, but
is a central problem of literary aesthetics in general. If these texts were non-fictional,
it is difficult to see how the audience could have been expected to believe Ptahhotep's
statements that virtue invariably brings prosperity, not only because general human
experience suggests that this is not so, but because this assertion is contradicted by other
wisdom texts which present the laments of a righteous sufferer (such as
Khakheperresoneb, or the 'Lebensmder'). This suggests that the statements of wisdom
texts can have made no direct truth claims on reality. The language of even the didactic
texts is distinct from 'normal goal-directed functions of language'; when Ptahhotep
says 'report your conduct without dissembling' (ed. Zba, 249), the reader will not have
made such a report. The injunctions are both gnomic and distanced from the audience.
This autonomy is structurally indicated-by the fiction of the teacher addressing his son
and not the actual audience of the text. This distinction is lacking in other genres:
in the autobiography, the address to the living has (in part) a practical aim, and the
language retains a goal-directed function of evoking a pious response. If the convention
of a protagonist makes the language not goal-directed and its assertions self-referential,
31

32

33

34

A similarly dismissive attitude to the past is revealed in the Words of Neferti, when Sneferu requests
a discourse about Nvhat will come, for today has come, and is (already) passed by' (ed. Helck, 2n). Unlike
Ockinga (see xiv), I see no reason to regard Khakheperresoneb as a literary revolutionary.
3 2

Olsen (n. 2 above), 156-95, esp. 161. See also Loprieno (n. 1 above), 48-9.

3 3

Olsen, (n. 2 above), 84-5.

3 4

Kaplony (n. 1 above), 299-300.

Teachings, discourses and tales

99

it also distances the statements made from the reader's reality. No complete wisdom text
is presented as the objective truth, like the information in funerary spells or technical
treatises. It is always set in a personal frame, the truth is the protagonist's interpretation
of reality, and he is frequently fallible. Thus the teacher of Merikare draws attention to
the difference between the omniscience of the ideal king and his own partial knowledge
(compare ed. Helck, 41a and 42d). Similarly, the ironic structure of the Tale of the
Eloquent Peasant is based on an awareness of the innate subjectivity of discourse: the
peasant speaks the truth, but his speeches spring from his ignorance of the actual
situation with regard to his audience. These settings, whether timeless or past,
distance the text from the audience: this is different from simply ascribing a text such as
that of the Shabaka Stone, accurately or not, to the past in order to validate it. Unlike
commemorative, religious or technical texts, the wisdom texts make no direct truth
claims on reality, but have their own logic: the genres' treatment of perennial sapiential
themes is its 'truth'.
35

As I have argued, the boundaries of Posener's corpus cannot determined in relation to


its context, its textual transmission or the actual author's identity. However, the
acknowledged fictionality of the settings and protagonists is probably a significant
common element between the genres. The texts display indications that they are to be
read as fiction, and, as such, to be approached with particular aesthetic expectations.
Posener's corpus can be analysed as a coherent group of genres. However, the
presence of several identifiable genres in a single text raises the question of how to
assign that complete text to a genre. Any doubt as to whether a single generic definition
is appropriate when texts display a variety of genres can be met with the fact that in all
the well preserved examples one genre is dominant. In the wisdom texts concerning
Neferti, Ptahhotep and Kagemni, the narrative elements are only a frame to the genre
of the discourse. In the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, although most lines are discourse,
the meaning and context are provided by the Tale. (For examples of the problem of
categorising unparalleled and fragmentary texts see nn. 74, 75, 77, below). In the
catalogue I group according to the following dominant modes and genres. The wisdom
texts can be divided into two groups: the didactic genre (sb3jt), and a group of more
reflective genres. The latter includes a genre entitled 'Discourse' (mdt), and other
discursive genres (for which I use the title 'Words', from their self-designation mdt or
tjw). Closely related to these is a genre in which the audience of other discourses
assumes a significant speaking rle, and which are structured as dialogues. The tales are
non-commemorative narrations in both first and third persons. Structurally they include
complex sequences of tales, as well as incorporating other genres. The genre also shows
great flexibility with respect to form, as can be seen from the example of the Tale of
Sinuhe, which is presented as a monumental inscription (see also n. 74 below).
I suggest that the genres of the corpus are distinct in their capability to exploit
genre. The inclusion of genres is often ironic (as in the parodies of eulogies in the
petitions of the eloquent peasant: e.g. P. Berlin 3023, 168-78). Not only are genres

Text xviii is untypical in this respect, and problematic. It lacks a frame and protagonist, being a nonunitary text, but a sense of personal subjectivity may be implicit in its genre as spoken maxims.

R.B. Parkinson

100

combined extensively but so are the two 'representational modes' of narrative and
discourse, which are 'elemental not generic', and play a more fundamental rle in
patterning texts. There is a tendency to bipartite structures, while the importance of
framing devices has already been noted. The interweaving and flexibility of genres,
however, is a feature of Egyptian literature in general: many minor genres which can be
identified as included within tales and wisdom texts, also occur within other genres. The
royal eulogy, for example, is a genre known from hymns, Knigsnovellen and
autobiographies, as well as from texts of Posener's corpus, such as the 'Loyalist'
Teaching, and the Tale of Sinuhe. Yet the texts of the corpus display this capacity
for mixing and cross-fertilisation to a unique degree: compare the richness of the tale
of Sinuhe with the much more restricted range of genres included in an actual
autobiography of the early 12th dynasty. This capacity, though not always exploited,
seems to be more strongly present in the corpus than in other genres. Particularly
significant in this respect is that the narrative genre and wisdom genres show a tendency
to incorporate one another, which is a formal indication that they are compatible and
were regarded as a group in terms of literary decorum.
Any analysis of the style of a past age is problematic. A term which was often
applied to the wisdom discourses is mdt-nfrt. This, like the European 'belles lettres',
relates to style, to content, and to the response evoked by these (see above). It is not
a term for exclusively 'rhetorical virtue', but signifies both 'perfect speech' and 'spoken
perfection'. Although no one style can be regarded as typical of Posener's corpus, the
texts often display a more self-conscious treatment of style than is found in other
genres. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant is perhaps the supreme example, where the
plot is motivated by the production of the text itself: the tale describes its own making
and its own eloquence. The Words of Khakheperresoneb is not unique in its selfconcern (BM 5645, recto 1-9), although it is particularly explicit. One poem in the
Dialogue of a Man and his Ba is similarly devoted to the problem of finding an audience
for the speaker's formulations of woe (P. Berlin 3024 103-30); the refrain of this poem
is attested elsewhere in a description of the sufferings of the just: "The wise man says
"To whom shall I speak today"?' (P. Ramesseum II, verso ii.4). Likewise, Ptahhotep
speaks a great deal about speech (e.g. ed. Zba, 48, 58, 129-30, 159, 370-1, 624-5), and
his teaching is self-referential, not only about teaching (e.g. 399,566) but also about how
it is to be received and retold to future generations (e.g. 507-634). The structures of
many tales show the same concern with their own style and form: the Tale of the
Shipwrecked Sailor is a tale of a tale told by a sailor of a tale told to him, and the Tale
of the Court of Cheops consists chiefly of a tale about the telling of various tales.
36

37

38

39

Fowler (n. 6 above), 235-7.


3 7

See J. Bergman, 'Gedanken z u m Thema "Lehre-Testament-Grab-Name"', in E . Hornung & O. Keel


(ed.), Studien zu altgyptischen Lebenslehren, 73-104 ( O B O 28, 1979), 82-3; Blumenthal (see v below), ZS
111 (1984), 95-9; Posener (see vii below) L'enseignement loyaliste, 12-3. Framing devices and the inclusion
of numerous genres are phenomena which often occur together: s e e Fowler (n. 6 above), 179-81.
TO

For the eulogy-genre, s e e J. Assmann, LA ", 40-6.


See Kaplony (n. 1 above), 293-4 on the possible origin of this concept. Also M. V . Fox, 'Ancient
Egyptian Rhetoric', Rhetorica

1 (1983), 9-22.

Teachings, discourses and tales

101

As well as emphasising this often extreme stylistic self-awareness, I suggest that


this corpus can be distinguished by the tone in which the genres treat their t o p o i .
Many of its motifs are attested in other types of text; that of the king's council, for
example, occurs in tales and discourses, and also plays an important rle in monumental
inscriptions. The corpus often shows the dark side of human life more fully than
other texts; similarly, the 'mythical' tales seem also to deal with problematic episodes, but
in the lives of gods. Although every complete text offers a positive resolution, this
darkness is not simply dismissed. It is present not only in the so-called 'pessimistic' texts,
but also in those which seem 'optimistic' on a superficial reading and which have a
positive conclusion, such as the Tale of Sinuhe or that of the Shipwrecked Sailor.
The teachings are, by their nature, predominantly positive, in that they display 'the
counsel of eternity, / the way of living truly / and the traversing to blessedness' (the
'Loyalist' Teaching, ed. Posener, 2.6-8). However, they dwell on the nature of evil and
of the evil-doer, far more than - for example - the moralising sections of
autobiographies, where vice is simply shunned as a quality which was 'lacking' in the
deceased. Stylistically this can be seen in the frequency of vetitive constructions, which
focus attention on the dangers facing the ideal life. The wisdom texts as a whole are
concerned with sages' formulations of the ideal Maat, but also with its actual
embodiment in individual behaviour and experience; this is attainable and unproblematic
(if difficult) in the Teachings, and is deeply problematic in the discourses, which are
uttered in troubled individual and social circumstances.
40

41

42

These genres shared a common context, in terms of their audience, textual transmission,
authorship and fictionality. The unity of tone, together with common formal and stylistic
capacities, also imply that these genres shared a common decorum in these respects,
which suggests that the genres which Posener grouped together were similarly associated
in the institution of Egyptian literature.

THE DATING OF THE CORPUS

The question of dating has aroused much discussion and controversy. Few texts can be
reliably dated by their ostensible historical setting or content, which are in any case
arguably fictional. I suggest that the settings were either in the past or timeless; exactly
'contemporary' settings are a very recent phenomenon in fictional narratives. Moreover,
if fictional texts refer to historical information, they do not necessarily present it as
literally accurate, as say commemorative annals do (although standards of historical

A later example of how two genres treat the same subject matter in very different ways is that o f the
'Bulletin' and 'Poem' of the Qadesh inscription: see T. von der Way, Die Textberlieferung
Qades-Schlacht:

Analyse

Ramses'

II. zur

und Struktur ( H B 22, 1984). This tonal treatment of topoi is different from the

question of 'topos' and 'mimesis', as defined by Loprieno: s e e n. 1.


4 1

For Knigsnovellen

see A. J. Spalinger, Aspects

of the Military Documents

of the Ancient

Egyptians

(Yale Near Eastern Researches 9, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), 101-5. For the motif s e e
Blumenthal (see xv below), ZS 109 (1982), 17-21.
4

S e e the analyses of J. Baines, listed under xix and xxi.

R.B. Parkinson

102

accuracy are notoriously changeable). Rather, the presentation is shaped by artistic ends,
as in Dante's Divina Commedia or Shakespeare's History plays. The Egyptologist's
assumption of historicity also goes against the tendency of many texts to view their
subject matter sub specie aeternitatis: Ptahhotep's instructions on etiquette are presented
not as specific practical information about the behaviour of the lite at table, but
because 'eating bread is according to the council of god' (ed. Zba, 142). More
generally, the assumption that literature is a direct reflection of a historical situation,
which underlies the interpretation of texts as political 'propaganda', has been challenged
repeatedly in critical theory. An over-literal approach has pervaded much discussion
of the 'pessimistic' wisdom texts which treats them as illustrations of the historical chaos
of the First Intermediate period.
The paucity of securely dated literary texts makes the identification of 'Zeitstil'
particularly hazardous, especially if this is then to be used to date other texts. The
correlation of textual styles and 'Geist' with specific periods is overschematic. This
can be seen in the 'intellectual movement' of the Heracleopolitan period which has been
posited on the basis of an essentially undated group of texts. One example from
these is the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant which was assigned to this period not only by
its setting but also on plausible 'Zeitstil' grounds (such as its attitude to 'greatness');
recently, however, the text has been reassigned to the later 12th dynasty by several
analyses.
As Bjrkman and van der Pias have argued, more specific dating criteria must
be sought. These criteria should allow comparison with other more securely dated
evidence, both literary and non-literary, although they must be assessed within the
framework of the individual composition. Linguistic and philological features are perhaps
becoming the most important criteria, as more detailed studies of such phenomena
appear. The names and titles of non-royal protagonists also offer valuable specific
43

44

45

46

47

48

49

Olsen (n. 2 above), 170-4.


44
E.g. Jefferson and Robey (n. 1 above), 170-7, 193. It is uncertain how appropriate a loosely defined
concept of political 'propaganda' is to the social context o f Egyptian literature: S. Quirke, [Review of A.
Loprieno, A 48], DE 16 (1990), 92. Statements of cultural and ideological value are different from
'propaganda' in a narrow sense; in a broader sense one might affirm that 'all artists are propagandists' (R.
Welleck & A. Warren Theory of Literature [Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1962], ,35-6).
45
Against this fallacy see for example, F. Junge 'Die Welt der Klagen', in J. Assmann et al. (ed.), Fragen
an die altgyptische Literatur: Studien zum Gedenken an Eberhard Otto (Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1977), 276-84;
Assmann, 'Knigsdogma und Heilserwartung: politische und kultische Chaosbeschreibungen in gyptischen
Texten', in D . Hellholm (ed.), Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East (Tbingen: Mohr,
1983), 345-77.
46
See Welleck and Warren (n. 4 4 above), 119-22 on 'Geistesgeschichte'.
47
E.g. W. Barta, 'Die Erste Zwischenzeit im Spiegel der pessimistischen Literatur', JEOL 2 4 (1975-6),
50-61. Compare W. Schenkel, 'Repres chronologiques de l'histoire rdactionelle des Coffin Texts', in G.
Posener (ed.), Actes duXXIXe

congrs international

des orientalistes: Egyptologie

(Paris: L'Asiatque, 1975),

II, 98-103.
48
Berlev, Vernus and Parkinson listed under xx below.
49
G. Bjrkman, 'Egyptology and Historical Method', CrSu 13 (1964), 9-23; D . van der Pias, 'On Criteria
for the Dating of Egyptian texts', GM 73 (1984), 49-56.

-nr - " p

Teachings, discourses and tales

103

evidence, as can the incidental background information in a text, although assessments


of a text's general tone and content (such as its treatment of loyalism or of
predestination) are often dangerously impressionistic. The potential evidence of the link
between the formulae of wisdom literature and datable texts such as autobiographies
remains to be fully exploited; a notable exception is Blumenthal's study of Ptahhotep.
50

At present, no reliable analysis of the evolution of literary form can be provided.


The text for which the earliest date can be plausibly proposed thus is the problematic
Kemit, which could be earlier than the 12th dynasty. Its unusual epistolary form,
however, need not be related to an early date in the evolution of literary form. For the
other end of the period, Assmann has summarised the contrasting features of Middle
Kingdom and Ramessid literature. These features provide a broad framework for dating,
and it is reasonable hypothesis that those Middle Kingdom compositions which show
'Ramessid features' such as an apparently close relation to folklore, are later than those
which do not. The increased length of the Ramessid texts offers a possible dating
criterion.
Two aspects of literary form have been considered in connection with this: metre
and quotations. Fecht's analysis of the metrical patterning of texts has gained widespread
acceptance, and he has proposed a clear distinction between Old and Middle Kingdom
metre. He has used this distinction to posit that an Old Kingdom archetype for the
Teaching of Ptahhotep was later translated into Middle Egyptian and, in all but one
manuscript, into Middle Kingdom metre. However such a phenomenon as Old
Kingdom metre could be archaising (compare representational art). A palpable example
of literary archaism is the script of the late 12th dynasty P. Prisse, which contains the
only copy of the Teaching with Old Kingdom metre. Both the teachings it contains are
set in the Old Kingdom and are written in an older style of hieratic, which is convincing
enough to have misled Mller at first. The script reflects the settings of the texts,
rather than the date when they were copied; the metre could reflect the setting rather
than the date when they were composed. Archaising can affect all criteria, but can be
more comprehensively attained in metre than in the linguistic idiom of a whole text.
Thus, linguistic evidence may be more reliable, and I prefer to regard the Teaching of
51

52

53

Listed under iii.


5 1

Assmann (n. 19 above), 48-9. H e assigns

xxvi, xxix-xxx, xxxiii to

the 18th dynasty, whereas

place

them at the end of the Middle Kingdom.


A useful summary is G. Fecht, 'Prosodie', LA IV, 1127-54. N o full analysis o f Old Egyptian metre
is published. For Ptahhotep see Fecht, Fs. Daumas (1986 in iii below), 246-7; id., Literarische Zeugnisse zur
'Persnlichen Frmmigkeit' in gypten: Analyse der Beispiele aus den ramessidischen
Schulpapyri ( A H A W
1965.1), 125 n. 109.
53
See the remarks of E. Dvaud, L'ge des papyrus gyptiens hiratiques d'aprs les graphies de certains
mots (de la Xlle dynastie la fin de la XVIIIe dynastie (Paris: Geuthner, 1924), 11. I consider Dvaud's
judgement correct, although the date of P. Prisse remains controversial (see, for example, Seibert Die
Charakteristik: Untersuchungen zu einer altgyptischen Sprechsitte und ihren Ausprgungen in Folklore und
Literatur I Philologische Bearbeitung der Bezeugungen [Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1967], 6 8 n.77; G. Burkard,
Textkritische Untersuchungen zu altgyptischen Weisheitslehren des Alten und Mittleren Reiches [ A 3 4 , 1 9 7 7 ] ,
337). Later examples of archaising script are listed by Kaplony (n. 1 above), 298-9.

104

R.B. Parkinson

Ptahhotep as a Middle Kingdom composition written in an archaising style, rather than


a partially modernised Old Kingdom text. Quotations have attracted discussion, but
explicitly marked examples are very rare. Since the totality of literature was
comparatively small, it is plausible that a text could have alluded specifically to the words
of another text, even without marking the allusion. However, similarities between
different compositions are in my view more likely to be reflections of a common literary
phraseology, formulae which were standardised in relation to motifs. The usage of
supposed quotations to establish a comparative chronology of texts also ignores the
difficulties of telling which text is the quoter, and which the quoted.
54

.i
i
i

H. Brunner, 'Zitate aus Lebenslehren', in E. Hornung & O. Keel (ed.), Studien zu altgyptischen
Lebenslehren ( O B O 28, 1979), 105-71; W. Guglielmi, 'Zur Adaption und Funktion von Zitaten', SAK 11
(1984), 347-64; C. J. Eyre (n. 11 above), 153-60. On formulae in literature see W. J. Ong, Orality and
Literacy: the Technologizing of the Word ( N e w Accents; London: Methuen, 1982), 23-7, 34-6, 60-70.

Teachings, discourses and tales

105

CATALOGUE OF TEXTS
The dating of the corpus is still uncertain, although low dates, which accord with critical
theory and which allow convincing reconstructions of the evolution of literary form, are
becoming more generally accepted. Thus this catalogue is arranged by genre rather
than by date, in the order: Teachings, Discourses, Words, Dialogues and Tales
(Posener's numbers are provided in parenthesis). Remarks on the date of composition
have been left imprecise, with a few exceptions. Each entry provides brief details of the
manuscripts (especially when only one is known), of the form and completeness of the
preserved text, and of the date of the setting. For bibliography, references are given to
a primary publication, and to the relevant entries in W. Helck et al. (ed.) Lexikon der
gyptologie; omitted and subsequent important articles are also listed. This list makes no
claims to completeness: I have passed over the many New Kingdom ostraca with
unidentified literary texts, of which not enough is preserved to guarantee an attribution
to the Middle Kingdom. It remains to stress how partial and fragmentary our sources still
are, despite the great achievements of Posener's researches. Only fifteen of the texts
listed here are known from manuscripts of the 12th dynasty, and only eight texts are
complete.
55

The Teaching for Kagemni

(2)

The final section of this wisdom text is preserved on the first two columns of the late
12th dynasty P. Prisse (see n. 53 above), together with a narrative conclusion in which
a Kagemni becomes vizier under the new king, Snefru. Kagemni is almost certainly the
pupil rather than the teacher, and was perhaps based on the historical vizier Kagemni
of the 6th dynasty who was revered in the early Middle Kingdom. The father was
probably a vizier, and may be identified with Kaires(u) (see below). The date is very
uncertain.
A.H. Gardiner, 'The Instruction addressed to Kagemni and his Brethren'. JEA 3 2 (1946), 71-4.
W. Barta, L III, 980-82.

ii

The Teaching of Hordedef

5 6

(3)

Only copies from the Ramessid period survive, and these provide an incomplete text,
despite the composition's recorded fame (see P. Anastasi I 11.1-2; P. Harris 500 6.6-7;
P. Chester Beatty verso 3.5). It is attributed to an attested historical figure of the 4th
dynasty, who was revered from the late Old Kingdom. and later renowned for wisdom
apart from this teaching. The son for whom he makes the teaching is otherwise
57

On low dates see, for example, van der Pias (n. 49 above), 49-51. Reconstructions include those o f
J. Assmann, 'Schrift, T o d und Identitt' in A Assmann et al. (ed.), Schrift und Gedchtnis:
Archologie

der literarischen

Kommunikation

Beitrge

zur

(Munich: Fink, 1983), 64-93; W. Helck, 'Zur Frage der

Entstehung der gyptischen Literatur', WZKM 63/4 (1972), 6-26.


5 6

It is uncertain what form the name would have taken in Middle Kingdom manuscripts: Hr-dd=f
is
the form of the name in P. Westcar (e.g. 6.22), while Hr-dd=f occurs on a Middle Kingdom graffito (BSFE
16 [1954], 41).
5 7

J. van Beckerath, L I, 1099.

106

R.B. Parkinson

unknown:
Beginning of the Teaching
made by the Patrician and Count,
the King's son, Hordedef
for his son, whom he nurtured,
named Au{t}ibre.

The date is very uncertain. If the Harpist's Song of P. Harris, which cites Hordedef,
originated under a king Intef of the 11th dynasty, it must come from the very start of the
Middle Kingdom; but although the song may be from the Middle Kingdom, that date is
probably fictional.
58

G. Posener, L III, 978-80.


W. Helck, Die Lehre des Djedefhor und die Lehre eines Vaters an seinem Sohn (KT, 1984), 1-24.

iii
The Teaching of Ptahhotep
(4)
Two distinct versions of this composition are attested from the second half of the 12th
dynasty (P and LI); however, this divergence need not imply that there was a long
period of transmission before then, or that the text originated in the Old Kingdom. Only
the version preserved in P. Prisse (P) is complete, while the other (LI) is essentially that
found in a late 18th dynasty papyrus (L2). Ramessid copies are also known. The teaching
is set in the old age of Ptahhotep during the reign of Isesi, and two historical viziers
Ptahhotep (I and II) are known from that time; the career of the first would fit the
setting more exactly, and he may have been the basis for the character here. In the
complete copy, there is a narrative prologue, followed by 37 maxims with a reflective
epilogue. The text begins:
59

The Teaching of the Overseer of the City,


the Vizier Ptahhotep

and after the scene-setting prologue the maxims are entitled:


Beginning of the phrases of perfect speech
spoken by the Patrician and Count,
the god's father, beloved of the god,
the Overseer of the City, the Vizier Ptahhotep,
as teaching the ignorant to be wise,
to be the standard of perfect speech,
excellent for him who shall hear it,
baneful to him who shall transgress it.
Z. Zba, Les maximes de Ptahhotep. Prague: Acadmie tchcoslovaque des sciences, Section de la linguistique
et de la littrature, 1956.
H. Goedicke, 'Unrecognized Spottings'. JARCE 6 (1967), 97-102.
G. Burkard, Textkritische Untersuchungen
A 34, 1977, 1976.
H. Brunner, L HI, 989-91.

zu altgyptischen

Weisheitslehren

des Alten und Mittleren

Reiches.

C. Cannuyer, 'Eobse de Ptahhotep et de Samuel'. ZS 113 (1986), 92-103.


G. Fecht, 'Ptahhotep und die Disputierer (Lehre des Ptahhotep nach Pap. Prisse, Max. 2-4, Dv. 60-83)'.

5 8

59

See J. Assmann, L II, 975-6.


?

Both of their tombs may show signs o f later reverence ( P M III , 596-8, 600-5); see, however, E.
Martin-Pardey, L IV, 1181.

Teachings, discourses and tales

107

MDAIK 37 (1981), 143-150; with corrections on a sheet with MDAIK 3 8 (1982).


G. Fecht, 'Cruces Interpretum in der Lehre des Ptahhotep (Maximen 7, 9, 13, 14) und das Alter der Lehre',
in A. Guillamont (ed.), Hommages Franois Daumas, (Montpellier: Universit de Montpellier,
1986), I, 227-51.
E. Blumenthal, 'Ptahhotep und der "Stab des Alters'", in J. Osing & G. Dreyer (ed.), Form und Mass:
Beitrge zur Literatur, Sprache und Kunst des alten gypten; Festschrift fr Gerhard Fecht ( U A T
12, 1987), 84-97.
G. Burkard, 'Ptahhotep und das Alter'. ZS 115 (1988), 19-30.

iv
The Teaching for Merikare
(10)
The body of the text, which is known only from New Kingdom papyri, is complete,
although the start is extremely fragmentary. The king Merikare named in the title is
attested, although his position in the Herakleopolitan dynasties is unsure. The identity
of the teacher is uncertain:
60

[Beginning of the Teaching


made by the Dual K i n g ( ? )

61

Khet]y

for his son Merikare.

The reading [Ht]jj is defensible, but the identification with Nb-k3w-r' is no more than a
plausible hypothesis. The text implies that the author is a successor of a king Mrj-[jb(?)]r' (ed. Helck 25i). The date of the composition is probably post-Heracleopolitan.
W. Helck, Die Lehre fr Knig Merikare. KT, 1977.
G. Posener, L III, 986-9.
E. Blumenthal, 'Die Lehre fr Knig Merikare'. ZS 107 (1980), 5-41.
P. Derchain, 'Eloquence et politique: l'opinion d'Akhtoy'. RdE 40 (1989), 37-47.

v
The Teaching of Amenemhat I
(23)
The text is complete, but preserved only in New Kingdom copies. It is entitled:
Beginning of the Teaching
made by the person of the Dual King: Sehotepibre,
Son of Re: Amenemhat, true of voice,
as he spoke in a revelation
to his son, the Lord to the Limit.

According to a prayer for the scribe Khety in P. Chester Beatty IV (verso 6.11-14), the
Teaching was composed by him after the death of the king, and therefore has been
assigned to the reign of Senwosret I or later. Khety is also listed among other sages in
P. Chester Beatty IV (verso 3.6). He was perhaps a historical figure, but he could
have been a fictional sage known from the Teaching of Khety (q.v.), to whom the
62

T h e matter is very cautiously discussed by J. Lopez, 'L'auteur de l'Enseignement pour Merikare', RdE
25 (1973), 178-91.
6 1

6 2

S e e Lopez (n. 6 0 above), 186-7.

H e probably does not figure o n the Daressy Fragment (see n. 2 0 above). There is mention o f a
Master o f Largesse (hj-wdb) s3 Htj; unless the goose-sign can be connected with the title, the n a m e must
be the unattested Sakhety, an error for ' < X ' s > son Khety*, or the patronym 'Khety's son' (which would be
without parallel o n the rest of the fragment).

ST"?

108

R.B. Parkinson

Ramessid scribes attributed another composition.


W. Helck, Der Text der 'Lehre Amenemhets I fur seinem Sohn'. KT, 1969.
E. Blumenthal, L III, 968-71.
E. Blumenthal, 'Die Lehre des Knigs Amenemhet'. ZS 111 (1984), 85-107; 112 (1985), 104-15.
H. Goedicke, Studies in 'the Instruction of King Amenemhet I for his son' (Varia Aegyptiaca Supplement 2).
San Antonio: van Sielen Books, 1988.
H.-W. Fischer-Elfert, 'Textkritische Kleinigkeiten zur "Lehre des Amenemhet"'. GM 70 (1984), 89-90.
J. Lopez, Catalogo del Museo Egizio di Turino (2nd ser.; Milan: La Goliardica, 1978-84) III, nos. 57048,
57066, 57126, 57363.
64

vi
The Teaching of Duaf s son Khety
(22)
The earliest copy is from the 18th dynasty. Although the text is complete, the corrupt
nature of the predominantly Ramessid copies makes its interpretation problematic,
including the name of the protagonist. If it is 'Duaf's son Khety', he was presumably the
same scribe Khety who is acclaimed as the author of the Teaching of Amenemhat in P.
Chester Beatty IV (see v above). Thus, he may have been a historical figure and the
actual author of this teaching, which would then date to the early 12th dynasty. He could
also have been a fictional sage. The scene of the teaching is set as Khety takes his son
to the school in the Residence:
Beginning of the Teaching
made by the man of Sile(?)
Duaf's son(?) Khety,
for his son, named Pepy.

The first part comprises a series of satiric descriptions of various professions which
advocates the scribal profession, while more general injunctions form a shorter
concluding section.
W. Helck, Die Lehre des Dw3-Htjj. 2 vols. KT, 1970.
A. Thodorids, 'La "Satire des Metiers" et les marchands'. Annuaire de l'Institut de Philologe et d'Histoire
Orientales et Slaves 15 (1958-60), 39-69.
H. Brunner, L III, 977-8.
G. Burkard, Textkritische Untersuchungen zu altgyptischen Weisheitslehren des Alten und Mittleren Reiches,
passim. A 34, 1977.
G. Posener, Catalogue des ostraca hiratiques littraires de Deir el Mdineh, nos. 1442-1590. DFIFAO 20,
1977-80.
J. Lopez, Catalogo del Museo Egizio di Turino (2nd ser.; Milan: La Goliardica, 1978-84) III, nos. 57023,
57082, 57298, 57363.
J. von Beckerath, 'Ostrakon Mnchen AS 396'. SAK 10 (1983), 63-9 (esp. 63 n.2).

vii
The 'Loyalist' Teaching
(27 + 33-4)
Although the complete text is known only from New Kingdom copies, an edited version

Khety's corpus has been enlarged by the attributions of modern scholars. H. Goedicke, in particular,
acclaims Khety as the source of much Middle Kingdom writing, but without valid justification

(e.g. The

Report about the Dispute of a Man and his Ba (P Berlin 3024) [Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press,
1970], 5-8). This reflects the uneasiness of a modern scholar faced with the anonymity of the works; a similar
fate has befallen Shakespeare recently.
64
Reading of Posener, 'L'auteur de la satire des mtiers', in J. Vercoutter (ed.), Livre du
1880-1980

(MIFAO 104, 1980), 55-9.

Centenaire:

Teachings, discourses and tales

109

of the first half occurs on the Abydos stela of the King's Sealbearer Sehotepibre, from
the reign of Amenemhat III. This part enjoins loyalty to the king from officials, while
the second half concerns the individual's responsibility to the rest of society. The name
of the 'author' was edited out by Sehotepibre, and is lost in the later copies:
Beginning of the Teaching
made by the Patrician and Count,
the god's father, beloved of the god,
H e who is over the secrets of the King,
the chief of the entire land,
the Sem-priest and Kilt-controller

as a teaching before his children.

The surviving titles are suggestive of a vizier. The stela of Sehotepibre was modelled on
that of the Vizier Montuhotep from the start of the 12th dynasty, and the Teaching
might be of similar date, although a date in the middle of the dynasty has also been
suggested.
G. Posener, L'Enseignement loyaliste: sagesse gyptienne du Moyen Empire. (Centre de recherches d'histoire
et de philologie II - Hautes tudes orientales 5). Geneva: Droz, 1976.
G. Posener, LA III, 982-3.
J.-L. Chappaz, 'Un nouvel ostracon de l'Enseignement loyaliste'. BSEG 7 (1982), 3-9.
J. Lopez, Catalogo

del Museo Egizio di Turino (2nd ser.; Milan: La Goliardica, 1978-84) III, no. 57547.

viii

The Teaching of a Man for his Son

(6 + 26)

The Teaching of a Man is preserved in New Kingdom copies only, and remains
incomplete. The title is universalised, almost 'Everyman':
Beginning of the Teaching
made by a man for his son.

The structure was probably bipartite, like that of the 'Loyalist' Teaching. Most of what
survives seems to make up a first half which is loyalist in tone. The second, and perhaps
originally longer, half seems to be concerned more with official conduct than with the
king. The date of composition is very uncertain, and the suggestion of the early 12th
dynasty is based on a very dubious historical allusion to the death of Senwosret I (ed.
Helck, 4c-d).
65

W. Helck, Die Lehre des Djedefhor und die Lehre eines Vaters an seinem Sohn (KT, 1984), 25-72.
G. Burkard, Textkritische Untersuchungen zu altgyptischen Weisheitslehren des Alten und Mittleren
Reiches.
A 34, 1977.
G. Posener, LA III, 984-6.
G. Posener, 'Pour la reconstruction de Renseignement d'un h o m m e son fils'. RdE 36 (1985), 115-19.
E. Gal, 'Eine neues Ostracon zur "Lehre eines Mannes fr seinen Sohn"' MDAIK 40 (1984), 13-25, pi. 1-5.
J. Lopez, Catalogo del Museo Egizio di Turino (2nd ser.; Milan: La Goliardica, 1978-84) III, no. 58006.
J. L. Foster, 'Texts of the Egyptian Composition "The Instruction of a Man for his Son" in the Oriental
Institute Museum'. JNES 45 (1986), 197-211.

ix

The Amherst Wisdom Text

(32)

The Amherst Papyri included five small fragments in a hand very similar to those from

6 5

H. Brunner, 'Zur Datierung der "Lehre eines Mannes an seinen Sohn'", JEA 6 4 (1978), 142-3.

masr *zamr

R.B. Parkinson

110

the 'Berlin library', from the second half of the 12th dynasty, and probably coming from
the same source. To judge by the hand, the fragments do not belong to any of the other
texts. They preserve parts of at least nine lines, one of which reads 'I shall teach (sb3)
you'. On this basis the text has been considered a teaching.
P. M. Newberry, The Amherst papyri (London: Quaritch, 1899), pl.l H-L.
The Amherst papyri will be included in a new catalogue to be published by the Pierpont Morgan Library; in
preparation.

The Oxford Wisdom Text

A fragmentary writing board in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, has seven lines of text
on each side. The hand suggests that the copy dates to the Hyksos period, a date similar
to that of P. Westcar. One side concerns the relationship of the 'god' (king) with the
duties of an official, to whom the text is addressed; the lines on the other side are more
didactic and less reflective. Both sides were written by the same hand, and both
presumably contain the same text, which seems to be either a discourse or a teaching.
The language is classical Middle Egyptian. The date is very uncertain.
J. W. B. Barns, 'A New Wisdom Text from a Writing Board in Oxford'. JEA 5 4 (1968), 71-6.

xi

The Discourse of Sasobek

(29)

This discourse is preserved in a very fragmentary manuscript from the Ramesseum


library (P. Ramesseum I), copied in the second half of the 12th dynasty. The bottom half
is particularly damaged. It is unknown how much is lost, but parts of at least 162 lines
remain. After 16 lines of an introductory narrative, of which a large proportion may be
missing, comes the title:
The Discourse spoken by the scribe,
Hathorhotep's son Sasobek,
as his mouth turned according to what o c c u r r e d ,

66

what was placed before mankind(?).

In the introduction, Sasobek is in mortal trouble, perhaps imprisoned, but is released on


the petition of a dancer of the Count Nefer's son Ineni (who is otherwise unknown). His
subsequent speech seems similar in tone and subject to the petitions of the eloquent
peasant. The audience of his discourse is referred to in both the second person singular
and plural; it was probably Ineni (or his representative, the Sealbearer) and members of
his court. The structure of the whole probably resembled the Words of Neferti, although
there was at least one narrative interlude (C ii. 1). The date is uncertain.
67

66
Speech which reflects the circumstances is also presented favourably in the Semna Stela: K. Sethe,
gyptische

Lesestcke

zum Gebrauch

im akkademischen

Unterricht:

Texte des Mittleren

Reiches

(Leipzig:

Hinrichs, 1924), 84 1.2.


xib
A Ramesseum Fragment: A small fragment mounted in the same frames as the Discourse
of Sasobek (P. B M 10751: Frags. D ) seems to be in a distinct, though similar, hand. This is presumably from
the Ramesseum library, and is apparently part of an apparently otherwise unknown text, not mentioned by
Barns or Gardiner. Parts of three lines are preserved, one of which mentions 'officials' and another reads '[he
who makes] an end for himself - he is an ignoramus'. This phrase suggests that it is part of a discourse or
teaching.
-6 7

Teachings, discourses and tales

111

J. W. B. Barns, Five Ramessewn Papyri (Oxford: University Press, 1956), 1-10, pi. 1-16.
A new edition of the Ramesseum Papyri is planned by the British Museum.

xii
The Discourse of Rensoneb (30)
This is known only from an incomplete manuscript from the second half of the 12th
dynasty (P. Moscow - Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts - 1695), which begins:
Beginning of the Discourse
spoken by the priest of Sekhmet, Rensoneb.

He is apparently '[. . .] in Retenu, in the following of the Overseer of Sealbearers,


SenebtifP. At this point the manuscript breaks off, after three lines (and a small
additional fragment). The date is very uncertain.
G. Posener, 'Fragment littraire de Moscou'. MDAIK

25 (1969), 101-6.

xiii
The Discourse of the Fowler (31 + 12)
The start of this text is preserved on the verso of the same manuscript as the preceding,
and comprises four lines, of which the last has been partially erased like the subsequent
lines. A title and traces of an introductory prologue are preserved:
The Beginning of the Discourse spoken by Hori's son,
- he is a fowler (h3mw) of the Southern City,
named Iuru,
who was summoned after he had been in the palace.
68

The name Iuru is attested in the 12th dynasty.


The verso of P. Butler (P. BM 10274) contains 39 numbered lines of a discourse
which is spoken by a fowler, and which is almost certainly the same composition. Nine
lines are missing from the start of P. Butler. The style of the discourse resembles that
of the petitions of the eloquent peasant.
G. Posener, 'Fragment littraire de Moscou. MDAIK

25 (1969), 101-6.

F. LI. Griffith, 'Fragments of Old Egyptian Stories from the B M and Amherst Collections', 458, pi. 3-[5].
PSBA 14 (1982), 451-72.
I-I.-W. Fischer-Elfert 'Der ehebrecherische Sohn (P. Deir el-Medineh 27, Stele U C 14.430 und P. Butler
verso)'. GM 111 (1989), 23-6.
A British Museum catalogue of Middle Kingdom papyri is planned, to include P. Butler.

xiv
The Words of Khakheperresoneb
(25)
The text is known only from an 18th dynasty writing board (BM 5645), while the
protagonist is acclaimed in P. Chester Beatty IV (verso 3.7; see n. 21 above). He is also
depicted with the title 'lector-priest' on the 'Daressy Fragment' (see n. 20 above). His
name indicates that the text cannot predate the reign of Senwosret II. The text is
arranged into three paragraphs, which were copied at different times on the front of the
board, and one on the back. It shows strong signs of being a selection only, and, perhaps
significantly, lacks any colophon. Its partial nature may be alluded to in the title as given
in the copy:

68

Ranke, PN I, 18.11 cites o n e example.

Necterlands Instituut
voor het Nabije Oosten
Leiden - Nederland

R.B. Parkinson

112
The selection
of words, the gathering of phrases (tsw),
the seeking out of utterances Qinw) with heart searching,
made by the priest of Heliopolis,
Seny's son Khakheperresoneb,
called Ankhu.

It is a reflective lament about 'these things which are throughout the land' (verso 1),
which is addressed to his unresponsive heart (a dialogue manqu, as it were).
A. H. Gardiner, The Admonitions of an Ancient Egyptian Sage, from a Hieratic Papyrus in Leiden
Hinrichs, 1909), 95-110, pi. 17-18.
E. Otto, L I, 896-7.
W. Helck, L III, 977.

(Leipzig:

B. Ockinga, 'The Burden of Kha'kheperre'sonbu'. JEA 6 9 (1983), 88-95.

xv

The Words of Neferti (24)

The text is completely preserved in New Kingdom copies only, the earliest being from
the 18th dynasty. There is a narrative introduction set in the court of Snefru, which
begins:
It happened that the Person of the Dual King Snefru, true of voice,
was benevolent king in this entire land.
One of these days . . .

The great lector priest of Bastet, Neferti is asked for 'a few perfect words (mdwt-nfrwf),
and choice phrases (tsw)'. He responds with a lament for a chaotic period, and 'takes
concern for the events of the land; / he recalls the state of the east'. This chaos will be
ended by the arrival of a king called Ameny, who is usually identified with Amenemhat
I. There is no epilogue, although last lines allude to Neferti's future fame, which is
attested in P. Chester Beatty IV, verso 3.6. On the basis of the eulogy of Ameny /
Amenemhat I the composition has been assigned to his reign or shortly afterwards.
W. Helck, Die Prophezeiung

der Nfr.tj. KT, 1970.

L. Foti, 'The History in the Prophecies of Noferti: Relationship between the Egyptian Wisdom and Prophecy
Literatures'. StudAeg 2 (1976), 3-18.
E. Blumenthal, L TV, 380-81.
E. Blumenthal, 'Die Prophezeiung des Neferti'. ZS 109 (1982), 1-27.

xvi

The Dialogue of Ipuur and the Lord to the Limit

(8)

This dialogue is known from a fragmentary 19th dynasty manuscript, containing 17


columns, of c. 14 lines each (P. Leiden 1.344 recto). It is uncertain how many columns
are lost at the end; at least one is missing from the start. The text is a lament about the
state of the land: Ipuur, who is given no title, is addressing the 'Lord to the Limit', who
replies with at least two speech (15.13, 16.11). The Dialogue takes place before an
audience - perhaps the Lord's entourage - who is also addressed (e.g. 7.1). The identity
of the Lord is uncertain, but the text's concerns are theodic even if the Lord is not
himself divine. The date of composition is much disputed. As it stands internal evidence
suggests the 13th dynasty, although the text has been subjected to redactional criticism.

The same word is used of the short 'abstract' of the Amduat (Hornung, DasAmduat:
verborgenen Raumes III Die Kurzfassung

[Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1967], 1, 36).

die Schrift des

Teachings, discourses and tales

113

The sage is mentioned on the 'Daressy Fragment' as 'the Overseer of Singers, Ipuur' (n.
20 above).
A. H. Gardiner, The Admonitions of an Ancient Egyptian Sage, from a Hieratic Papyrus in Leiden (Leipzig:
J.C. Hinrichs, 1909), 1-95, pi. 1-16.
Many new readings are supplied by G. Fecht, Der Vorwurf an Gott in den 'Mahnworten des Ipu-wer'. A H A W
1972,1.
W. Barta, 'Das Gesprch des Ipuwer mit dem Schpfergott'. SAK 1 (1974), 19-33.
G. Fecht, 'gyptische Zweifel am Sinn des Opfers'. ZS 100 (1974), 6-16.
J. Spiegel, L I, 65-6.
M. Gilula, ' D o e s God Exist?', in D.W. Young (ed.), Studies Presented to Hans Jakob Polotsky
MA: Pirtle & Polsen, 1981), 390-400.
O. Renaud, 'Ipouer le mal-aim'. BSEG 12 (1988), 71-5.

xvii

The Dialogue of a Man and his Ba

(Beacon Hill,

(7)

The dialogue is preserved in papyrus from mid-12th dynasty 'Berlin' library (P. Berlin
3024). At the beginning, at least half a sheet is lost, - possibly one and a half sheets,
which would have contained around 35 lines. 155 lines remain, including the end of the
composition. It is a dialogue in various literary styles, between a man (the
'Lebensmder') and his b3 on the nature of death, which is recounted by the unnamed
man. It seems to take place before an audience of accessors (addressed in the plural in
1.1). There was probably no title, but a brief statement as prologue, such as occurs in the
New Kingdom 'Dialogue of the Head and Belly'.
70

R. O. Faulkner, "The Man who was Tired of Life'. JEA 4 2 (1956), 21-40.
R. J. Williams, 'Reflections on the Lebensmde'. JEA 48 (1962), 49-56.
E. Brunner-Traut, 'Der Lebensmder und sein Ba'. ZS 94 (1967), 6-15
J. Osing, L II, 571-3.
A. O. Bolshakov, 'O dialogizme "spora cheloveka i ba'", in Kultumoe Nasledie
suzhdeniya (Leningrad: Nauka, 1985), 17-29 \AEB 85.0412; not seen].

xviii

The Maxims of P. Ramesseum II

Vostoka: problemi,

poski,

(59)

The late 12th - early 13th dynasty Papyrus Ramesseum II comprises two fragments,
containing six columns which seem from the hand to have been copied at different times.
The text is a loose collection of reflective maxims of a generally pessimistic nature; it is
unlikely to be an abstract of a single unitary text. On the recto, each maxim is written
on a separate line, while from the second column of the verso the writing is continuous.
On the verso, the divisions between maxims (not metrical lines) are marked by red 'verse
points'. This is the earliest attestation of 'verse points'.
J. W B. Barns, Five Ramesseum Papyri (Oxford: University Press, 1956), 11-14, pi. 7-9.
A new edition of the Ramesseum Papyri is planned by the British Museum.

xix

The Tale of Sinuhe

(14)

The composition is preserved in five Middle Kingdom manuscripts (with variants) and
over twenty New Kingdom copies. The earliest manuscript is P. Berlin 3022, from the
second half of the 12th dynasty. The text is complete, and has been much analysed; its

/ u

Turin Writing Tablet 58004 ( = Cat. 6238), 1. See J. Lopez, Catalogo del Museo Egizio di Turino

ser.; Milan: La Goliardica, 1984), .I.4, 50-51, pi. 184.

(2nd

R.B. Parkinson

114

tale of voluntary exile and return under Senwosret I is widely valued as the masterpiece
of Middle Kingdom literature, at the expense of other less accessible works. The
narrative is introduced as the autobiography of a courtier whose service began under
Amenemhat I, and, as such, there is no title:
The Patrician and Count,
Governor of the domains of the Sovereign in the lands of the Asiatics
the true acquaintance of the king, w h o m he loves,
the follower Sinuhe, says:

The first person narrative includes a particularly rich variety of other genres. The setting
and the eulogistic elements may suggest that it was composed shortly after the reign of
Senwosret I.
A. M. Blackman, Middle-Egyptian Stories ( B A e 2, 1932), 1-41.
J. W. B. Barns, The Ashmolean Ostracon of Sinuhe. London: Oxford University Press for Griffith Institute,
1952
W. K. Simpson, L V, 960-65.
J. Baines, 'Interpreting Sinuhe'. JEA 68 (1982), 31-44 (with recent bibliography).
J. L. Foster, 'Cleaning up Sinuhe'. JSSEA 12 (1982), 81-5.
M. Koyama, 'Essai de rconstitution de la composition de l'Histoire de Sinouh'. Orient, Tokyo 18 (1982),
41-64.
J. Assmann, 'Die Rubren in der berlieferung der Sinuhe-Erzhlung', in M. Grg (ed.), Fontes atque Pontes:
eine Festgabe fr Hellmut Brunner ( U A T 5, 1983), 18-41.
E. Blumenthal, 'Zu Sinuhes Zweikampf mit d e m Starken von Retjenu', in M. Grg (ed.), ibid., 42-6
M. Green, "The Syrian and Lebanese Topographical Data in the Story of Sinuhe'. CdE 5 8 (1983), 38-59.
D . Berg 'Note on Sinuhe B 5-7'. GM 79 (1984), 11-3.
G. Fecht, 'Sinuhes Zweikampf als Handlungskern des dritten Kapitels des Sinuhes-'Romans"', in F. Junge
(ed.), Studien zu Sprache und Religion gyptens zu Ehren von Wlfhart
Westendorf"(Gttingen,
1984), 465-84.
H. Goedicke, 'Sinuhe's Duel'. JARCE 21 (1984), 197-201.
H. Goedicke, "The Riddle of Sinuhe's Right'. RdE 35 (1984),
95-103.
M. Green, 'The word ng3w in Sinuhe B 13'. GM 70 (1984), 27-29.
A. Thodorids, 'Eamnistie et la raison d'tat dans les 'Aventures de Sinouh' (dbut du Ile millnaire av.
J.-C.)'. RIDA 31 (1984), 75-144.
C. Cannuyer, 'Note propos de Sinouh B 133-4. GM 8 8 (1985), 11-3.
P. Derchain, 'Sinouh et Ammounech'. GM 87 (1985), 7-13.
H. Goedicke, 'Sinuhe's Foreign Wife'. BSEG 9-10 (1984-5), 103-7.
H. Goedicke, 'The Encomium of Sesostris III'. SAK 12 (1985), 5-28.
S. Allam, 'Sinuhe's Foreign Wife (reconsidered)'. DE 4 (1986), 15-6.
H. Goedicke, 'Three Passages in the Story of Sinuhe'. JARCE 23 (1986), 167-74.
H. Goedicke, 'Readings V: Sinuhe B 10'. VA 4 (1988), 201-6.
A. Loprieno, Topos und Mimesis: zum Auslnder in der gyptischen Literatur
M. Patan, 'Quelques remarques sur Sinouh'. BSEG 13 (1989), 131-3.

( A 48, 1988), 41-59.

W. Barta, 'Der "Vorwurf an Gott" in der Lebensgeschichte des Sinuhe', in B, Schmitz and A. Eggebrecht
(ed.), Festschrift Jrgen von Beckerath: zum 70. Geburtstag am 19, Februar 1990 ( H B 3 0 , 1 9 9 0 ) ,
21-7.
H. Goedicke, 'Sinuhe's Self-Realization (Sinuhe B 113-27)'. ZS 117 (1990), 129-39.
G. S. Greig, 'The sdm=f and sdm.n=f m the Story of Sinuhe and the Theory of Nominal (emphatic) Verbs',
in S. Israelit-Groll (ed.), Studies in Egyptology Presented to Miriam Lichtheim (Jerusalem: Hebrew
University, 1990), I, 264-348.
A new synoptic edition is in press by R. Koch, for the Fondation Egyptologique Reine Elisabeth (1990).

Teachings, discourses and tales

115

xx
The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant
(11)
The complete text is known from four Middle Kingdom manuscripts, of which two also
contain the Tale of Sinuhe. The earliest are the two partial copies from 'Berlin library'
of the second half of the 12th dynasty, which present slightly different versions (P. Berlin
3023, 3025). The tale begins:
There was a man
called Khunanup

Within an ironic narrative are set nine discursive petitions on the nature of Maat, which
occupy most of the composition. The narrative, however, is the mode which determines
the meaning of the whole as an allusive theodicy. Various factors suggest that the Tale
was composed in the mid-12th dynasty; a more precise date may be provided by Bl 65-8,
which is a mock titulary similar to that of Senwosret II.
F. Vogelsang, Kommentar zu den Klagen des Bauern. U G A 6, 1913.
G. Fecht, 'Bauerngeschichte', L I, 638-51.
R. J. Leprohon, 'The Wages of the Eloquent Peasant'. JARCE 12 (1975), 97-8.
O. D . Berlev, 'The Date of the "Eloquent Peasant'", in Osing and Dreyer, Form und Mass: Beitrge zur
Literatur, Sprache und Kunst des alten gypten. Festschrift fur Gerhard Fecht ( U A T 12, 1987), 7 8 83.
W. Westendorf, 'Das strandende Schiff: zur Lesung und bersetzung von Bauer B l , 5 8 = R 101', in J.
Assmann et al. (ed.) Fragen an die altgyptische Literatur: Studien zum Gedenken an Eberhard
Otto
(Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1977), 503-9.
P. Vernus, 'La Date du Paysan Eloquent', in S. I. Groll (ed.), Studies in Egyptology presented to Miriam
Lichtheim (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1990), II, 1033-47.
A. Thodorids, 'Sur une thorie du droit la vie par la proprit prive'. Bulletin, Association
Montoise
dEgyptologie
1.2 (1990), [11-9].
W. K. Simpson, 'The Political Background of the Eloquent Peasant'. GM 120 (1990), 95-9.
R. B. Parkinson, The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Oxford: Griffith Institute, in press (synoptic text edition;
with bibliography).

xxi
The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor (15)
This is preserved in one manuscript, from the second half of the 12th dynasty (P.
Leningrad 1115). It is a first person narrative, ostensibly a simple tale of adventure,
which is introduced thus:
Speech by an excellent follower:

Although the preceding margin is unusually narrow, there is nothing lost before this. The
structure involves a tale within a tale, told by a serpent. The tale ends as the follower
relates his lord's laconic and dismissive reply.
A M. Blackman, Middle Egyptian Stories ( B A e 2, 1932), 41-8.
W. K. Simpson, L V, 619-22.
H. Altenmller, 'Die "Geschichte des Schiffbrchigen" - ein Aufruf zum Loyalismus?', in H. Altenmller &
R. Germer (ed.), Miscellanea Aegyptologica:
Wolfgang Helck zum 75. Geburtstag
(Hamburg
Archologisches Institut, 1989), 7-21.
J. Baines, 'Interpreting the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor'. JEA 76 (1990), 55-72 (with recent bibliography).
D . Berg, 'Syntax, Semantics and Physics: the Shipwrecked Sailor's Fire'. JEA 76 (1990), 168-70.
C. Vandersleyen, 'En relisant le Naufrag', in S. Israelit-Groll (ed.), Studies in Egyptology Presented to Miriam
Lichtheim (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1990), II, 1019-24.
W. Westendorf, 'Die Insel des Schiffbrchigen - keine Halbinsel!', in S. Israelit-Groll (ed.), Studies in
Egyptology Presented to Miriam Lichtheim (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1990), II, 1056-64.

R.B. Parkinson

116

xxii
The Tale of the Herdsman
(16)
This fragmentary tale is preserved in the same manuscript as the Dialogue of a Man and
his Ba, on a sheet which was partially cleaned and then added to that roll from another
manuscript. The hand is from the second half of the 12th dynasty, in an older style than
that of the Dialogue. Four lines were erased at start and four at the end; it is uncertain
how much has been lost before and after these. 25 lines remain, describing in the third
person an incident featuring a herdsman who tells of his meeting with a goddess in the
marshes.
A. H. Gardiner, Die Erzhlung des Sinuhe und die Hirtengeschichte (Literarische Texte des Mittleren Reiches
II; Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1909), 6, 15, pl. 16-17.
R. Drenkhahn, L II, 1 2 2 3 4 .
H. Goedicke, 'The Story of the Herdsman'. CdE 45 (1970), 244-66.
M. Gilula, 'Hirtengeschichte 17-22 = CT VII 36m-r'. GM 26 (1978), 21-2.
J. R. Ogdon, A Hitherto Unrecognised Metaphor of Death in Papyrus Berlin 3024'. GM 100 (1987), 73-80.

xxiii
The Tale of P. Lythgoe
This fragmentary manuscript from Lisht can be dated by the hand to the second half of
12th dynasty (P. MMA 09.180.535). Recto and verso each contain 11 lines of narrative
text, and presumably form part of a single composition. On the recto there is mention
of 'the Vizier Djefa's son Ne[. . . ] ' and a 'field of the vizier Wehau', and the verso
includes an episode of violence. Neither vizier is historically attested, and the date
of both setting and composition is uncertain.
71

W. K. Simpson, 'Papyrus Lythgoe: a Fragment of a Literary Text of the Middle Kingdom from el-Lisht'. JEA
46 (I960), 65-70.
W Helck, L IV, 722.

xxiv
The Tale of Hay
(20)
The conclusion to a third person narrative survives on the fragment of papyrus from elLahun, the recto of which contains hymns to Senwosret III (late 12th dynasty: P. Kahun
LV.l verso). Parts of one and a half columns are preserved, including the colophon.
In these, the name Hay occurs twice, but he is unlikely to have been the main
protagonist. The Tale ends with his burial (11. 19-21), which is probably the work of the
protagonist, perhaps a 'district overseer' (1. 25), and with the resolution of a conflict. A
group of (Hay's?) friends plays a rle, and there is mention of 'the [pyramid] (?) of
Neferkare', perhaps Pepy II (1. 23). This might suggest a setting in Old Kingdom
Memphis, similar to that of the Tale of Neferkare and Sasenet. The Tale remains
unstudied and untranslated.
72

F. Ll. Griffith, Hieratic Papyri from Kahun and Gurob (London: Quaritch, 1898), I, 4, II, pi. 4.

A Vizier Wehau is, however, mentioned in a N e w Kingdom list of otherwise unknown and presumably
fictitious officials: W. K Simpson, 'The Vizier Weha'u in P. Lythgoe and Ostr. Moscow 4478', JEA 4 9 (1963),
172.
72
There are additional unpublished fragments, apparently of a literary character, in the London group
of el-Lahun papyri; these may belong to this text or to others as yet unknown (S. Quirke, personal
communication).

117

Teachings, discourses and tales

The Tale of the Court of King Cheops


(17)
XXV
The one fragmentary copy of this tale was written in the 15th dynasty (P. Berlin 3033).
12 columns survive, and these open with a series of tales set in various Old Kingdom
courts (Djoser, Nebka, Snefru), which are told to King Cheops by his sons. The first tale
is lost apart from Cheops' response, which suggests that at least two columns are missing.
That tale was probably introduced by a narrative prologue similar to that of the Words
of Neferti. Instead of a fourth tale, there is a narrative about a wonder done in the
presence of Cheops himself. After this comes a third person narrative describing the
birth of the first three kings of the next dynasty. The end is lost, and the manuscript
breaks off in the middle of an incident. There is not necessarily very much missing. The
royal characters are historical (although Prince Bauefre is slightly problematic ). The
non-royal characters are not otherwise known and are presumably fictional: the actual
mother of the first two 5th dynasty kings was Khentkaus, while in the Tale the mother
is the wife of a priest, Rudjdjedet. The language and style suggests a later date than
that of preceding tales.
73

74

A. M. Blackman (ed. W. V. Davies), 77ie Story of King Cheops and the Magicians: Transcribed from
Westcar, Berlin Papyrus 3033. Reading: J V Books, 1988.
W. K. Simpson, L IV, 744-6.
H. Goedicke, 'Rudjedet's Delivery'. VA 1 (1985), 19-26.
P. Derchain, 'Deux notules propos du Papyrus Westcar'. GM 8 9 (1986), 15-21.
H. Goedicke, 'Gentlemen's Salutations'. VA 2 (1986), 161-70.
E. Edel, 'Der Kanal der Beiden Fische'. DE 16 (1990), 31-3.

xxvi

The Tale of King Neferkare and General Sasenet

Papyrus

(21)

Three short episodes are preserved on fragments of a papyrus, ostracon and writing
board from the New Kingdom and Late Period. The tale is set in Memphis and concerns
the affair between a king and his general; a 'pleader of Memphis' attempts to denounce
the general, and the king, perhaps the historical Pepy II, is tracked by Hent's son Tjeti.
The beginning is preserved:
It happened that the Person of the Dual King: Neferkare,
Son of Re: [Pepy], true of voice
was beneficent king in this entire land.
Now . . .

The names and titles are suggestive of the Middle Kingdom. In style and tone it is
reminiscent of the Tale of the Court of Cheops, and may date from the same period or
later.
G. Posener, 'Le Conte de Nferkar et du general Sisn (Recherches littraires IV)'. RdE 11 ( 1 9 5 7 ) , 119-37.
E. Richter-Aeroe, L V, 957.

xxvii

The Tale of a King and the Ghost of Snefer (64)

Four fragments of a late period papyrus amounting to pieces of 22 lines (P. Chassinat
II). There is mention of a king and an 'excellent spirit' who identifies himself as

7 3

See J. von Beckerath, L I, 600.

I differ from H . Altenmller, who sees Rudjdjedet as a pseudonym in a roman c/e/:'Die Stellung

der Knigsmutter Chentkaus beim Ubergang von der 4. zur 5. Dynastie', CdE 45 (1970), 223-35.

R.B. Parkinson

118

'Khentyka's son Snefer' (both names attested in the Old and Middle Kingdoms). It is
composed in good late Middle Egyptian, similar to that of the Tale of King Neferkare
and General Sasenet.
G. Posener, 'Une nouvelle histoire de revenant (Recherches littraries, VII)'. RdE 12 (1960), 75-82.

xxviii

Kemit

(13)

This letter was used in scribal training in the New Kingdom, when it was written in
cursive hieroglyphs. The text, which is complete, is preserved only in these numerous
copies. It is quoted in the Teaching of Khety, which it must thus predate (ed. Helck, 2de), and a similarly early date is supported by the epistolary style, which is suggestive of
the 11th or early 12th dynasty. Although the letter is a selection of epistolary and
didactic formulae, it also forms a first person narrative concerning an errant son, called
Au. The name of the sender is not given, and it simply opens with the formulae:
The servant speaks before his lord,
whom he wishes to live, to prosper, to be healthy!

The designation Kmjjt is known only from Khety's citation, and is unparalleled. The term
can be translated 'Compendium' (referring to its teaching aspect) or 'Fulfilment'
(referring to a theme of the narrative). The epistolary form is also unparalleled in this
period, and poses a problem of genre: can it be said to belong to the corpus of tales and
wisdom texts, or was it viewed solely as a model letter and 'school book'? I have treated
it here as a moralising tale.
75

G. Posener, Catalogue des ostraca hiratiques littraires de Deir el Mdineh I I I (DFIFAO 1 8 , 1 9 5 1 ) , pi. 1-21.
H. Brunner, L III, 383-4.
W. Barta, 'Das Schulbuch Kemit'. ZS 105 (1978), 6-14.
G. Posener, Catalogue des ostraca hiratiques littraires de Deir el Mdineh III (DFIFAO 20, 1977-80), nos.
1442, 1590.
J. Lopez, Catalogo del Museo Egizio di Turino (2nd ser.; Milan: La Goliardica, 1978-84) III, nos. 57054,
57060, 57286, 57307-8, 57448, 57545-6, 57549, 57551-4.

xxix

The Account of the Sporting King

A late 18th dynasty manuscript contains parts of 18 columns (P. Moscow, unnumbered);
it is uncertain how much is lost at each end. The fragments are sufficient to reveal a
narrative interspersed with long eulogising speeches, made by the Treasurer
Sehotepibreankh, an official otherwise unknown, to the king 'Two Ladies: Fisher and
Fowler' (B 1.3, C 1.12). There is mention of Amenemhat II (E 2.10), who is presumably
the king who requests these speeches during a court hunting trip (A 2.1-3). Thus it can
be dated no earlier than the second half of the 12th dynasty. The generic structure is not

The fact that it is quoted in a teaching may allude to its use in education rather than to its genre.
Later examples show that the epistolary form occurred in tales and in discourses (e.g. the 'Tale of Woe': R.
Caminos, L III, 1066-7; the 'Satirical Letter Sequence' o f P. Anastasi I: H.-W. Fischer-Elfert, Die Satirische
Streitschrift des Papyrus Anastasi I; KT, 1983). Within the genres of the Middle Kingdom, that of the tale
is formally more flexible than the didactic texts, and more compatible with the epistolary form.

Teachings, discourses and tales

119

76

exactly paralleled. It is worth noting that a commemorative inscription of Amenemhat


II from Memphis mentions a Fishing and fowling trip.
77

R. Caminos, Literary Fragments in the Hieratic Script (Oxford: University Press for Griffith Institute, 1956),
8-16, pi. 8-16.

XXX
The Account of the Pleasures of Fishing and Fowling
(35)
This problematic text is likewise known only from a papyrus from the end of the 18th
dynasty (P. Moscow, unnumbered), which provides fragments of 12 columns occupied
by a monologue in praise of pastoral activities. The first column begins 'Like what is the
[craft of] my [belov]ed (Sokhet)?'. This is paralleled in the Account of the Sporting
King, where the speeches are requested with a similar question (see n. 75). Since one
would expect some introductory statement, at least one column is probably lost. The
parallel of the previous text, and the fact that a 'lord Inseni' (an otherwise unattested
name), is addressed suggest that some narrative prologue has been lost.
It is
uncertain whether the text as a whole was a narrative or some form of discourse: the
closest parallel is the Account of the Sporting King.
78

R. Caminos, Literary Fragments

in the Hieratic Script (Oxford: University Press for Griffith Institute, 1956),

1-7, pi. 1-7.

The position of tales about the gods within Middle Kingdom literary genres, and even
their existence, are disputed. There are three possible examples of such narratives, but
Assmann has suggested that the first two were parts of magical texts rather than
tales. The genre of the third is more certain, but not its date. Since tales with at least
one divine character are attested (e.g. xxii, xxv), I see no reason to doubt the
identification as tales. They are distinct from other tales only by their non-human setting,
and possibly by the degree to which they were regarded as fictional.
79

While the royal setting is similar to that o f the Words of Neferti and the Tale of the Court of Cheops,
the speech requested by the king is not itself immediately recognisable as a narrative or a wisdom discourse,
although it has loyalist elements. It is requested with the question 'Like what is [that which you say] you have
[seen]?' ( A 2.2-3). Since the relationship between narrative and discourse in the genre of the whole is not
certain, I have used the neutral term 'account'.

11. 2 3 + X - 2 5 + X ; S. Farag, ' U n e inscription memphite d e la X l l e dynastie', RdE 3 2 ( 1 9 8 0 ) , 7 5 - 8 2 , pi.

3-5; G. Posener, 'A N e w Royal Inscription of the X l l t h Dynasty', JSSEA

12 (1982), 6-7. T h e annalistic

inscription describes events of the reign, including a celebratory hunting trip. T h e Account may draw o n this
tradition of Amenemhat's activities.
78
S e e n. 75 above. Any third person narrative within the text can only be inferred, but the discourse
itself has narrative episodes in the first person. A possible narrative parallel is the Tale of the Shipwrecked
Sailor, which is also an account of an expedition addressed to a superior. H e r e there are more directly didactic
elements, notably that introduced by C 3.11: 'I shall teach (sb3)

you of the Lake-land of Sobek'. T h e

descriptions of the pastoral life as the ideal profession recall the illustrations o f the ideal and unideal
professions in the Teaching of Khety.
s e e J. Baines, 'Egyptian Myth and Discourse: Myth, Gods, and the Early Written and Iconographie
Record', in print

(JNES).

R.B. Parkinson

120

xxxi
A Tale of Horus and Seth
(19)
Fragments of two columns and two lines survive, narrating Seth's attempted seduction
of Horus. The papyrus (P. Kahun VI. 12) dates from the late 12th dynasty.
F. LI. Griffith, Hieratic Papyri from Kahun and Gurob (London: Quaritch, 1898) I, 4, II, pi. 3 .

xxxii
The Cairo Myth
(18)
This as yet unpublished 12th dynasty manuscript (P. Cairo CG 58040) was described by
Posener as 'un feuillet et un fragment'. It narrates 'an episode in which some one is
bitten by a snake and dies, whereat "this god (?Re') spoke to Sia", and bade the council
be convoked, etc.'
80

xxxiii
The 'Mythological Narrative'
Eight columns of a fragmentary manuscript from the end of the 18th dynasty (P.
Moscow 167) were identified by Caminos, and pieces of at least another four by
Korostovtsev (P. Moscow, no number). This contains a tale of gods, involving Meret,
which is perhaps an early form of the Tefnut legend. Although the tale is written in
good Middle Egyptian, it may date to the early New Kingdom.
81

R. Caminos, Literary Fragments in the Hieratic Script (Oxford: University Press for Griffith Institute, 1956)
40-50, pi. 17-23.
M. A. Korostovtsev, 'Egipetskii ieraticheskii papirus no. 167 gosudarstvennogo muzeya izobrzitel'nykh iskusstv
im. A. S. Pushkina v Moskve' in Drevnii Egipet [Golenishchev memorial volume] (Moscow:
izdatel'stvo vostochnoi lityeratury, 1960), 119-34.
W. Helck, L IV, 724 (3 + 5c).

In addition to these (albeit often partially) preserved texts, there are several allusions
to other apparently lost works:
The Sages of P. Chester Beatty IV
Eight 'sages' (rh-ht) are mentioned in the scribal eulogy of P. Chester Beatty IV (verso
3.5-7; see n. 21 above), including Hordedef, Ptahhotep, Nefer<t>i, Khety and
Khakheperresoneb, whose supposed works are extant. These names form a group of
sages whose written wisdom ensured their immortality. Apart from this concern with
enduring wisdom, the list shows no consideration of literary forms - the works attributed
to these sages vary from teachings to reflective discourses. The sages are listed in pairs,
without any apparent distinctions between fictional and historical characters. This
presentation is understandable, because it is commending writing as a means of ensuring
individual survival: it would not strengthen the argument to draw attention to the
fictionality of the exemplars. Nevertheless, the arrangement does not reflect the figures'
fictional dates consistently; while Hordedef and Imhotep, of the 3rd and 4th dynasties,
are paired, so are Neferti of the 4th and Khety of the 12th.

80
A H. Gardiner, The Library of A. Chester Beatty . . .: The Chester Beatty Papyrus, No. 1 (London:
Walker, 1931), 9.
Si
Assmann (n. 19 above), 48.

Teachings, discourses and tales

121

Imhotep (1)
Imhotep is paired with Hordedef. He was perhaps of sufficient cultural fame for
inclusion without being the 'author' of a specific text. The same factor is sufficient to
explain his presence on the 'Daressy Fragment' (n. 20 above), but in the 'Harpist's Song
from the Mansion of King Intef ' (P. Harris 500 6.6-7) there is a more specific-sounding
reference:
I have heard the words (mdwt) o f Imhotep and Hordedef,
whose sayings (sddwt) are so told'.

Even this, however, could refer to oral wisdom rather than a text.
Kaires(u) (5)

Kaires(u) (K3-jr-s(w)) is paired with Ptahhotep, and his name is an Old Kingdom one.
He is presumably identical with the Vizier Kaires(u) shown on the 'Daressy Fragment'
(see n. 20 above). The suggestion that Kaires is the 'author' of the Teaching for
Kagemni is plausible. No historical vizier Kaires is known from the Old Kingdom.
82

Ptahemdjehuti

(28)

Ptahemdjehuti is paired with Khakheperresoneb, which has been taken to imply that he
is a figure from the Middle Kingdom. Nothing else is known about him, although he
might be associated with one of the surviving wisdom texts which lack the name of a
protagonist; Posener tentatively suggested the 'Loyalist' Teaching as a possibility. The
name is otherwise unattested, although its form can be paralleled in the Middle
Kingdom.
83

84

The Teaching of King Khety (9)


In the Teaching for Merikare, one verse reads 'Khety ordained as a teacher (sb3) that
. . .' (ed. Helck, 39a). A reference to a lost work has been seen in this; Fecht has
identified the work with the 'prophecy (sr) of the Residence' mentioned in the same
Teaching (ed. Helck, 26d). He proposes that these were incorporated into the Dialogue
of Ipuur and the Lord to the Limit. I do not consider it likely that they refer to specific
written compositions: although sr describes the wisdom of the sages in P. Chester Beatty
IV, s3 'ordain' and sr 'foresee' could denote oral statements.
85

G. Fecht, Der Vorwurf an Gott in den 'Mahnworten

des Ipu-wer' ( A H A W 1972.1), 172-86.

T h e title vizier may be a later fictional attribution. E. Edel has noted the possibility of identifying
Kaires with the Vizier K3jj from the end of the 5th dynasty (MIO I (1953), 224-5; cf. P M I I I , 4 7 9 ) . T h e r e
is also a tomb at Saqqara belonging to a K3-jr of unknown rank from the 5th to 6th dynasties ( P M I I I , 6 3 1 2). A closer possible identification is provided by a fragment of a grand 5th-6th dynasty false door with the
name K3-jr-s(w), which has been recently discovered at Mit-Rahina (J. Malek, pers. comm.). T h e titles are
broken, but seem unlikely to include that of vizier.
2

83
84

L'Enseignement

loyaliste (see vil above), 14 n. 11.

e.g. Wsjr-m-r': Ranke, PN I, 8 4 no.25 (an Abydos stela).


Brunner (n. 21 above), 33.

R.B. Parkinson

122

Finally, two texts should be listed which are often mentioned in discussions of the
literature, but which are not part of this corpus:
The Hymn to Hapy

The hymn (dw3) is known from New Kingdom copies only. Three of the more complete
copies also contain the Teaching of Duaf's son Khety, and one of these also includes the
Teaching of Amenemhat. This grouping has been explained by a hypothesis that all three
were works of the scribe Khety of the beginning of the 12th dynasty. The hymn shows
similarities with Middle Kingdom wisdom literature, leading Assmann to describe it as
'eine Naturlehre in Hymnenform'. Van der Pias has challenged the Middle Kingdom
dating and has argued for a composition date in the New Kingdom. Even if the hymn
was composed in the Middle Kingdom by Khety, and one allows for its wisdom-like
features, it lies outside the genre-defined corpus under consideration.
J. Assmann, L IV, 489-96.
D . van der Pias, L'hymne la crue du nil. 2 vols. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het nabije oosten, 1986.

The Stela of Montuhotep son of Hapy

An early 12th dynasty stela in University College London has been considered to contain
a Teaching (UC 14333). The relevant line, however, is not a title, but an epithet: 'a
teacher (sb3wtj) of children through speaking calmly'.
H. M. Stewart, Egyptian Stelae, Reliefs and Paintings from the Petrie Collection.
Second Intermediate Period (Warminster: Aris and Phillips, 1979), 20, pi. 18.
W. Schenkel, 'Eine neue Weisheitslehre?' JEA 50 (1964), 6-12.

Part Two: Archaic

Period to

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty


Stephen Quirke

During the 13th Dynasty the Eastern Delta and Thebes came to
replace the Memphite-Fayum region as dominant centres within Egypt.
However, betweer^kte 12th and early 13th Dynasties little changes in the
material culture, system of administration or selection of cults for royal
patronage. The main difference between the two dynasties lies in the
pattern of the royal succession; in the 12th Dynasty eight rulers span two
centuries, whereas the one hundred and fifty years of the 13th Dynasty saw
upwards of fifty kings on the throne. This collapse in length of reign
presents the historian with an unusually clear dilemma in explaining
simultaneous continuity and change. Efforts have been concentrated on
identifying presumed kingmakers, because kings with short reigns are
deemed to have lost power to their high officials. Hayes suggested quite
specifically that in the 13th Dynasty the vizier inherited his office, while
the kings were elected by the courtiers, chief among them the vizier.
This argument has found broad acceptance, and J.von Beckerath
summarises the state of debate in his article on the Second Intermediate
1

Period in LA VI, 1443: "Als "Knigmacher" kommen vor allem die


Truppen (auch auslandische Soldner) in Betracht oder auch machtige
Wesire (die Familie des Anchu hat das amt in drei Generationen
ber

mehrere Konigsregierungen hin inne)". In this paper I aim to test this


notion of kingmakers against the surviving record.
Before I consider the sources for "royal power" I should make
explicit my understanding of that term. The word power on its own
designates for me ability to produce an outcome; power is an aspect of
animate and inanimate entities. Political power denotes the ability of a
person or group to achieve ends within a polity. It could be argued that
the words political, politics and polity belong within European tradition,
because they derive from the Greek polis and its life, and are therefore
unsuited to objective analysis particularly of societies outside classical
4

Cf B.J.Kemp in B.G.Trigger et al., Ancient Egypt, a social history


(Cambridge 1983), 149-152 and 160-1.
On the chronology of the 13th Dynasty see now D.Franke, Orientalia
57
(1988), 245-274. The absolute dating of the period depends on the Sothic
date from the reign of Senusret III; too little exchange exists as yet between
Egyptology and astronomy to allow great confidence in the absolute dates,
but an authoritative recent article is that of U.Luft, SAK 16 (1989), 217-233.
3 W.C.Hayes, A Papyrus of the late Middle Kingdom in the Brooklyn Museum
(Brooklyn 1955), 144-149.
Cf Peter Morriss, Power, a philosophical
analysis (Manchester 1987), esp.
p.13: "Power, then, I claim, is always a concept referring to an ability,
capacity or dispositional property".
123
2

Stephen Quirke

124

Greek and later European history. However I take the word polity as a
synonym for the state, and political as the adjective required for what is of
the state /polity. The state I would define in turn as a territory with a
single executive authority; the mature state is characterised by fixed
borders and a fixed centre at one geographical location, but may not differ
greatly in its operation from states that are less developed or shortlived.
When we consider political power we must remember that each human
being carries within him or herself a complex web of often contradictory
experiences and reactions; human relations forge a still more complex
between two or more individuals, and political power is an aspect of the
sum of all human relations in a society. Questions of political power
cannot lightly be reduced to the relations between two persons in a group,
such as king and vizier; they must embrace the full complexity of human
relations and allow for the gulf between reality and ideal, and for conflicts
of interests both within the group and within a single individual. I
define political history as the account of the past exercise of political power
by individuals and groups. By royal power I understand the ability of the
holder of the title 'king' to obtain his desired results from others in the
kingdom.
5

When Le Goff asked "is politics still the backbone of history ?" he
replied in the affirmative, but I would sooner take topography and
chronology as the natural backbone to studying features across time,
because the first framework for study is precisely relative position in space
and time. In ancient Egypt relative position in the passage of time was
8

5 Cf Anthony Giddens, The Nation-State and Violence, volume two of a


contemporary critique of historical materialism (Cambridge 1985), esp. p.4;
I attempted to try these ideas for an Egyptian context in A.Nibbi (ed.), The
Archaeology, Geography and History of the Egyptian Delta in Pharaonic
Times (Oxford 1986), 261-274.
Cf the formulation by Stefano Passigli, L'analisi de lia politico (firenze
1971), 157-158: "una visione relazionale del potere implica che il potere in
questione variera a secondi dei singoli rapporti considerati, e fa si che ogni
tentativo di misurazione globale del potere prsente in un sistema divenga
un problema
multidimensionale".
Daedalus (winter 1971), 1-19.
8 The primacy of the political in historical writing had led Voltaire to
complain famously that "il semble que depuis quatorze cents ans, il n'y ait
eu dans les Gaules que des rois, des ministres, et des gnraux". Resistance
to political history led in tum to its defence, as by Marc Bloch who asked
concerning the word politique in Melanges d'histoire sociale (1944), 120
"pourquoi en faire, fatalement, le synonyme de superficiel". I would
counter that the superficial, that which is on the surface, need not be
unimportant; the surface of the planet is of supreme importance to its
inhabitants. Yet it does not reveal the structure or behaviour of the planet
nor is it the only aspect for study. In historical terms the political
superficies is the first area to suffer erosion in the course of time, and may
often lie beyond the bounds of study; without political diaries, memoirs and
minutes of meetings or other such detailed source material it becomes
awkward to assert a detailed political history for a particular period or
society.
6

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

125

secured by reference to regnal year of the reigning king, each reign


beginning afresh with year 1. This dating system makes it necessary to
compile kinglists, to set each set of regnal years in proper relation to one
another, whether the compiler is an ancient Egyptian concerned with
administrative or judicial (and secondarily religious) order, or a modern
historian attempting to put features of the past in relation to one another
as accurately as possible. Of surviving ancient kinglists the Ramesside
papyrus known as the Turin Canon (cited hereafter as TC) provides the
most detailed sequence, and covers the period from the mythical
beginnings of the line of kings to the period immediately preceding the
18th Dynasty. For later periods the historian must rely on relations
between reigns established by primary sources (ie those contemporary with
the reigns) or on the imperfect early Christian and Jewish citations and
abstracts of the history written by the Egyptian scholar Manetho for
Ptolemy n in the third century BC. All lists of kings are secondary sources,
ie later than the reigns that they help us to connect, and any historian
using them must retain a critical awareness of the gap between the reigns
and the date of compilation, and between the purposes of the ancient
compiler and those of the modern researcher. The sequence of kings in
TC can be adopted by the modern historian only in conjunction with the
primary sources; their distribution broadly supports both TC and the
"dynasties" or groupings of kings given by the extracts from Manetho.
The concordance of TC, distribution of primary sources and Manetho may
be tabulated as follows:
9

TC column distribution of primary sources


VL5-VIL3 Upper and Lower Egypt
VII,3-27
Upper Egypt only
Vin-IX,10
Eastern Delta/no sources
IX,11-XI = unplaced fragments, including the
[no no.]
(Upper and ?) Lower Egypt
22+25, 41-42,112,122-123,134,150,163-164
no sources, unfamiliar names
125 to 130
Upper Egypt

Manetho (in Africanus)


13th Dynasty
late 13th Dynasty
14th Dynasty
following:
15th Dynasty
16th Dynasty
17th Dynasty-

Fragment 142 has a line noting "5 kings" followed by two cartouches with
User-[..]-ra, and has not found any satisfactory explanation. It is possible to
amend to "<1>5 kings", and take these as the 17th Dynasty, but the five
kings might equally refer to some other grouping within the period.
The attestations indicate that the 13th Dynasty ruled over Egypt in
succession to the 12th Dynasty from the 12th Residence Itjtawy between
Memphis and the Fayum. Papyri from Lahun and Thebes document the
continued and unbroken operation of the same system of administration
in early and mid 13th Dynasty reigns as had been introduced in the reign

9 For the ancient kinglists and their cultural setting see D.B.Redford,
Pharaonic Kinglists, Annals and Day-Books (Mississauga 1986), with pp.1-18
on the Turin Canon and especially the general remarks on pp.xiv-xvi.

Stephen Quirke

126
1 0

of Senusret HI of the late 12th Dynasty.


The private monuments of the
same period evidence no change in patterns of personal names, and the
royal monuments accrue to the same cults as those that benefited from the
patronage of the late 12th Dynasty kings. Although the later kings of the
Dynasty are not attested directly in Lower Egypt, the Edfu stela of one
Horemkhauf records his visit to the king at Itjtawy apparently late in the
dynasty. Therefore the label 13th Dynasty may be applied to the kings who
ruled from Itjtawy after the 12th Dynasty. At the same time that kings of
the main line ceased to erect monuments in Lower Egypt the Eastern Delta
provides evidence for two kings not attested in Upper Egypt, Aasehra
Nehesy and Merdjefara.
Whether or not these kings acknowledged the
suzerainty of the Itjtawy line, the appearance of a separate line of local
rulers marks the end of the second great period of Egyptian unity, the
Middle Kingdom. They and their otherwise unattested companions in
columns VIII-IX of TC form the 14th Dynasty of Manetho. Whether they
represent a single line at a single city or a number of different lines at one
or more centres must remain a subject for speculation given the present
state of the evidence. I would note that fragmentation occurs more easily
among the various branches of the Nile Delta than along the single stream
of the Nile river in Upper Egypt, and that I see no evidence for any local
kingdoms seceding from the main 13th Dynasty line in Upper Egypt. At
present the 14th Dynasty covers only the Eastern Delta, but that would be
sufficient to undermine central rule from Itjtawy.
1 1

The 15th Dynasty appears on the TC unnumbered fragment as a


note of "6 hill-land rulers" reigning more than 100 years. Josephus cites
the description by Manetho of the arrival of the "hill-land rulers" (in
Egyptian hq3-h3swt, rendered in Greek as Hyksos) who sack Memphis and
other sources speak of their devotion to Seth and their Residence at
Avaris (Egyptian hwt-w rt ). Only two left substantial bodies of primary
sources, Khyan and Apepi. These include blocks at Gebelein in Upper
Egypt, but it is disputed whether these attest to temple-building on that site
or whether the blocks might have been brought as ballast from Lower
Egypt.
Although the sequence and identity of the six Hyksos who ruled
from Avaris for a century remain contentious, I would set the unattested
rulers of this line at the beginning of the sequence, and Khyan and Apepi
at the end, because that would provide a progression from foreign to more
l

1 2

1 0

The title of treasurer so characteristic of the higher reaches of late


Middle Kingdom administration occurs at Lahun in the person of
Senebsumai, attested there both on seals and in fragments of an accounts
papyrus (among the unpublished items to be edited by the writer with
Mark Collier).
For Nehesy see M.Bietak, SAK 11(1984), 59-75; for Merdjefara see
J.Yoyotte, BSFE 114 (1989), 17-63, publishing a stela of the king before the
god Sopdu-Horseped.
See B.J.Kemp in B.G.Trigger et al., Ancient Egypt, a social history
(Cambridge 1983), 159 with n.2; contrary to Kemp I consider it feasible that
blocks from dismantled buildings might move large distances along the
river by ship, as ballast.
1 1

1 2

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

27

Egyptianised rulers, culminating in the entirely Egyptian features of the


Belegliste for Apepi such as the title to the Rhind mathematical papyrus or
the text on the palette of Atu, or again the stone vessel donated by Apepi
to the sun-god Ra.
1 3

The 16th Dynasty comprises on the one side a horde of unfamiliar


names on TC and on the other a horde of Semitic and other names on
scarabs dated to the period preceding the 18th Dynasty. The scarabs occur
in Palestine as well as Egypt and are open to various interpretation that
remains speculative; for example, they may attest local rulers at many
places, that may have acknowledged the suzerainty of the Avaris kings
(15th Dynasty). It might also be proposed speculatively that the 13th and
14th Dynasty represent two rival lines in the Egyptian pattern attested in
the First Intermediate Period with Heracleopolitan and Theban lines,
whereas the 15th and 16th Dynasties form a foreign, Semitic, pattern of
rule with a high king (15th Dynasty) ruling over a territory in which many
local rulers (16th Dynasty) acknowledge his authority; the Egyptian pattern
would amount to uneasy cohabitation with equal constitutional claim to
the same territory, the Two Lands, whereas the Semitic pattern would
form a stable system of rule without written administration. Along these
lines the 15th Dynasty is sometimes called the main Hyksos line, and the
16th Dynasty consists of the minor Hyksos.
1 4

The 17th Dynasty is essentially the 13th Dynasty in another place,


ruling from Thebes rather than Itjtawy. The Josephus citation from
Manetho refers to the arrival of the Hyksos as a sudden disaster, but Weill
noted how much the imagery of that scenario owed to historiography of
the New Kingdom, and it remains possible that the Hyksos gradually
acquired power in the vacuum left by the 13th Dynasty when it abandoned
Itjtawy. Whether it abandoned the city in the face of a military threat or by
choice, the move to Thebes entailed the contraction of the Egyptian state to
its southern province, the "head of the south" of Middle Kingdom
administration.
The system of administration appears to have
survived intact, presumably because the "head of the south" had already
functioned as a separate entity for centuries, but the presence of the king
brought with it the royal workshops, including those entrusted with
preparing the cult and its crucial ingredient, the royal temple and burialplace. Pascal Vermis argues elsewhere in this volume that the
orthography and composition of 17th Dynasty monuments betray a loss of
the hieroglyphic Hochkultur that belongs in the national centres
Memphis and Heliopolis, and I take the lack of access to archival
1 5

1 3

The stone vessel fragment is BM 32069, to be published by Christine


Lilyquist.
Note however that B.J.Kemp in B.G.Trigger et al., Ancient Egypt, a social
history (Cambridge 1983), 158-159, points out that the pattern of overlord
and vassal cannot be 'securely identified as Semitic in the absence of
comparative source material.
For the "head, of the south" see my The Administration of Egypt in the
late Middle Kingdom (London 1990), 4 and 7 n.9.
1 4

1 5

Stephen Quirke

128

prototypes for hieroglyphic art to support a literal reading of the Josephus


citation from Manetho. A peaceful withdrawal to Upper Egypt would
have given time to move archives deemed valuable. I am pursuing the
hypothesis of the violent arrival of the Hyksos and the destruction of
Memphis with reference to the Book of the Dead; that tradition of
funerary literature, first attested in the burials of 17th Dynasty royal family
members, represents an extraordinary contraction from the number of
spells extant in the Middle Kingdom tradition ("Coffin Texts"), and a
sudden move of Residence from Itjtawy to Thebes might account for the
new and radical revision that is the Book of the Dead.
The label 17th
Dynasty thus covers all kings ruling Upper Egypt from Thebes in direct
succession to the 13th Dynasty ruling Egypt from Itjtawy. I see no evidence
for any separate kingdoms in Upper Egypt at the same time in competition
with the 17th Dynasty. In other words the line of Egyptian kings runs
unbroken from the 12th Dynasty through the 13th (still at Itjtawy) and the
17th (moved to Thebes) to the 18th Dynasty. The last kings of the 17th
Dynasty, Seqenenra Taa and Karnes, fought against the Apepi of Avaris in
the campaigns that led to the eviction of the Hyksos in the reign of the
Theban ruler Ahmes, thereby opening the third period of Egyptian unity,
the New Kingdom. These three kings appear to have resided at Deir elBallas (Egyptian Sedjefatawy "Nourisher of the Two Lands"); that site
acted as a strategic campaign headquarters, and was not used after the
expulsion of the Hyksos.
1 6

1 7

Meticulous archaeological work in recent years has provided a


firmer base for an historical reconstruction. The Austrian excavations at
Tell ed-Daba in the Eastern Delta have revealed the gradual
transformation of a large Egyptian settlement of the 12th Dynasty into a
mixed Egyptian and Semitic town and finally into a purely Semitic town
before its abandonment at early 18th Dynasty levels. In view of its scale it
seems probable that the site is Avaris the capital of the Hyksos (15th
Dynasty).
The EES work at Memphis shows conversely the density of
late Middle Kingdom suburban settlement, followed without signs of
intervening life by the 18th Dynasty revival of the community.
The
location of the royal tomb provides further evidence for periodisation,
with pyramids of the 12th and early 13th Dynasties in the MemphiteFayum area, followed by impoverished royal burials at Dra Abu el-Naga in
Thebes West, and then by the establishment of a rich royal necropolis
1 8

1 9

1 6

To appear in Festschrift Gwyn Griffiths (in press).


For Deir el-Ballas see P.Lacovara in W.K.Simpson and W.Davis (eds.),
Studies in Ancient Egypt, the Aegean, and the Sudan (Boston 1981), 120-124,
and C.Vandersleyen, RdE 19 (1967), 151-153.
18 Cf MBietak, Avaris and Piramesse: archaeological exploration in the
eastern Nile Delta (London and Oxford 1981).
Cf D.G.Jeffreys et ai, JEA 73 (1987), 15-16 and JEA 74 (1988), 17.
1 7

1 9

129

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

nearby in the Valley of the Kings during the early 18th Dynasty (in the
reign of Amenhotep I or Thutmes I).
2 0

The different sets of evidence, later kinglists, distribution of


contemporary attestations of kings, and the sum of archaeological
material, conform to a single historical pattern in which three phases may
be distinguished between the 12th and 18th Dynasties. In the first a line of
kings (13th Dynasty) rules over Egypt and Lower Nubia from the
Residence at Itjtawy in direct continuation from 12th Dynasty. In the
second the 13th Dynasty loses control of the Eastern Delta where the town
at Tell ed-Daba becomes mixed Egyptian and Semitic, and a line of local
rulers (14th Dynasty) leaves monuments without reference to the Itjtawy
line. In the third the Hyksos (15th Dynasty) emerge violently or otherwise
in Lower Egypt and the 13th Dynasty withdraws to rule Upper Egypt from
Thebes (from this point being the 17th Dynasty). Since periodisation of
Egyptian history uses the criterion of national unity, the first of these three
phases belongs within the Middle Kingdom, and the second and third
phases together make up the Second Intermediate Period. The New
Kingdom begins with the expulsion of the Hyksos in the middle of the
reign of Ahmes.
The principal problem with the number of kings lies in identifying
the mechanisms for the royal succession. Father to son succession is
attested securely only once, indirectly in the titles of a 13th Dynasty queen
Nubhetepti who was "king's wife" and "king's mother".
Other
examples of father to son succession have been imputed from cartouches
of 13th Dynasty kings. I would take the cartouches of "Ameny Qemau"
and "Qemau's son Hornedjitef" as evidence for father to son succession,
although it is also possible to interpret the two names in other ways. The
signs for Qemau seem to me unlikely to read Aamu "Semite" because that
occurs rarely in the position of a personal name, whereas Qemau is a
common personal name of the late Middle Kingdom, presumably on the
root qm3 "to create" ("the created") rather than qm3w "harvestworker".
On the other hand, since Qemau is not a rare late Middle Kingdom name,
it may be too ambitious to identify the Qemau in the two names as one
and the same person. For the same reasons I would hesitate to accept the
interesting hypothesis of K.S.B.Nyholt where he reinterprets the double
names of 13th Dynasty kings as filiation.
The double names are
2 1

2 2

2 3

2 0

For the royal tombs of the 13th Dynasty see A.Dodson, ZAS 114 (1987), 36-

45.
2 1

G.A.Reisner, D.Dunham and J.M.A.Janssen, Semna Kumma (Boston 1960)


(= Second Cataract Forts I), 28.
For the personal name qm3w in the Middle Kingdom see Ranke, PN I, 334,
2 and 3; note however that no.4 on the same page gives the strong man
determinative as if the name could be reinterpreted as "winnower,
harvestworker". There seems no room for doubt on the interpretation in
connection with the verb "to create" in nos.5 and 6, where the form is
2 2

qm3.n(.i).
2 3

GM 119 (1990), 101-113.

Stephen Quirke

130

Amenemhat Snbef, Ameny Qemau, the triple name Ameny Intef


Amenemhat, a "Seb Kay" and Kay Amenemhat. Of these names the
difficult features that lead to the alternative interpretation by Nyholt are
the unusual name Kay and the triple name Ameny Intef Amenemhat.
While I accept that these two instances should provoke debate and lend
support to the hypothesis of Nyholt, I would like to suggest for the
discussion an explanation in line with the view that the double names are
to be understood as examples of the surnames collected by Pascal Vernus,
and not as filiation without s3. The name "Seb Kay" occurs on a magic
knife/wand fragment, curious in itself for an object type associated with
women and children; the signs read in my opinion Sedjefakay, and form a
version of Sedjefakara by omission of Ra, similarly to Sehetipib, Nubkau
or Khakau in private names of the Middle Kingdom.
The lack of royal
parallels for the abbreviation may prove an insuperable obstacle, though I
would note the emergence of nonroyal features on royal monuments of
the 13th Dynasty. The reading of "Seb Kay" as Sedjefakay, for Sedjefakara,
would remove the only uncommon name from the list of double names,
and reduce the possibility of interpreting the names as filiation. The other
objection to considering the double names as such comes with the triple
name Ameny Intef Amenemhat. Non-royal examples of triple naming
are absent, but I would suggest that the Amenemhat represents a
formalised version of Ameny from the double name Ameny Intef; the
third name would have been adopted at accession. Finally I would note
that the two nomina of Sekhemrasankhtawy of the late 13th or early 17th
Dynasty, Neferhotep and Iykhernefret, show that double naming was a
possibility for the king as much as for commoners at least at that period;
the names are given separate cartouches, but this reflects different means
of writing double names in the nonroyal sector (alternating or adjacent) as
documented by Vernus.
2 4

2 5

Whether or not one the Nyholt interpretation is accepted, it


remains established that the 13th Dynasty included kings who were sons
of kings, and also kings whose fathers were not kings. The brother kings
Neferhotep, Sahathor and Sobekhotep identify their parents on their
monuments as a god's father Haankhef and a king's mother Kemi.
These sources establish the existence of two forms of succession, from
non-royal background and, unless entirely within coregency, brother to
brother. The accession of three brothers recalls the tale of the divine birth
of kings on a literary manuscript, papyrus Westcar of the 15th/17th
Dynasties; it is not impossible that the tale drew the motif of three brothers
not from the Old Kingdom succession but from more recent 13th Dynasty
experience. Brother to brother succession cannot be adduced elsewhere in
the dynasty, but there are further explicit instances of non-royal
succession. A series of scarabs gives the parents of Sekhemrasewadjtawy
2 6

2 4

P.Vernus, Le surnom au Moyen Empire (Rome 1986).


CG 9433, in G.Daressy, Tesxtes et dessins magiques (CG) (Cairo 1903), pl.XI.
Cf L.Habachi, in W.K.Simpson and W.Davis, Studies in Ancient Egypt, the
Aegean and the Sudan (Boston 1981), 77-81.
2 5

2 6

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

131

Sobekhotep as a god's father Mentuhotep and king's mother Iuhetibu, and


one TC entry seems to give non-royal filiation for another king.
In discussion of the royal succession I should mention two groups
generally supposed to be present among the kings of the 13th Dynasty, the
military and foreigners. The grandfather of the brother kings Neferhotep,
Sahathor and Sobekhotep holds on a stela now in Rio the title nh n niwt
"member of a town militia", and one king bore the name Imyermesha
"overseer of troops", given in TC VL21 as if a soubriquet, after the nomen
and without a cartouche. I would note that neither of these military
connections seems strong; there is no evidence that the son and grandsons
of the militia member remianed in the military sphere, and the name
Imyermesha could similarly reflect a family tradition rather than the
supposed influence of the army. I do not wish to deny the role of the
military in succession in any system of government, but I would deny that
the evidence for the 13th Dynasty points to a stronger role for the military
at that time than at other periods. In the titles held by people on their
monuments I would consider the late 12th and early 13th Dynasties as
bureaucratic in ethos, if such a generalisation is permitted; military titles
such as 3tw n tt hq3 "commander of the crew of the ruler" (ie commander
of the national forces, rather than the local town militia) comes to
predominate only in the Elkab record of the late 13th and 17th Dynasties.
Foreign kings are also less easy to identify than one might suppose. On
the one hand they might be concealed behind Egyptian names; on the
other neither of the names deemed foreign, Wegaf and Khendjer, can be
given secure foreign identifications. John Ray points out to me that the
Semitic wqf might provide a meaning "commander" and that this might
in conjunction with the Egyptian name Imyermesha give a picture of
military as well as foreign domination of the royal court. I am hesitant to
accept the foreigrmess of Wegaf before the Egyptian names formed on gwf
have been explored; I would also hesitate to take Wegaf as a Semitic
name without considering neighbouring linguistic groups less prominent
in Egyptological reception such as Berber and Nubian. I hold the same
objections to the identification of Khendjer as a foreigner of a particular
group, since I regard as limited our methods for identifying either the
foreignness or the particular foreign identity of the name. In this case
there may be an Egyptian base to the name under the Middle Egyptian
pattern }m + adjective to form abstracts, as Late Egyptian adopts mdt +
noun/adjective. Though the idea remains speculative in the absence of
parallels for the name, Khendjer would thereby mean "strength", which
might comfort exponents of the role of the military in the royal
succession. Again as with the military I do not seek to deny the possibility,
even the probability, that foreigners played a part at the royal court in the
e

2 7

2 8

2 7

Rio Inv.No.637/638 (2428), now published by K.A.Kitchen, Catalogue


the Egyptian Collection in the National Museum, Rio de Janeiro
(Warminster 1988), 66-71 with pl.47-48.
Ranke, PN I, 350, 12, and perhaps cf on the same page no.10 gw3.
2 8

of

Stephen Quirke

132

13th Dynasty; I merely doubt whether our sources indicate a stronger hand
for them then that at other periods in Egyptian history.
The commonest Egyptological explanation of the rapid turnover in
13th Dynasty kings remains the idea put forward most persuasively by
Hayes, that the vizier inherited office and dominated the court at the
selection of each new figurehead king. The sources for the viziers can be
summarised following Franke as follows.
(Note: nos.1-8 are listed in chronological order; the place in the sequence
of nos.9-18 is uncertain; 7-8,16-18 may belong to the 17th Dynasty.)
2 9

1. Khenmes
Attestations: 1st Cataract inscription; statue given by the favour of king
Sekhemkara.
2. Father of Ankhu, name unknown
Attestations: statue donated by Ankhu.
3. Ankhu
Attestations: donation text of statue for father; stela of son-in-law; chapel
of sealer; stela of priest Amenyseneb; two royal decrees on papyrus
Brooklyn 35.1446; royal accounts papyrus Boulaq 18 (large MS); estate
accounts papyrus Boulaq 18 (smaller MS); he is probably also the owner of
one statue and the donator of another to a woman (his mother ?), since
both were found in the Karnak cachette with that for his father.
4. Iymeru son of Ankhu
Attestations: statuette; stela of brother-in-law.
5. Resseneb son of Ankhu
Attestations: stela of brother-in-law.
6. Iymeru Neferkara
Attestations: statue Heidelberg 274; statue Louvre A 125 given by the
favour of king Khaneferra Sobekhotep; statue Karnak; statue Heqaib
shrine; Karnak stela; Wadi Hammamat inscription; Abydos sealing (this
Iymeru ?).
7.1y
Attestations: Elkab tomb of Sobeknakht; Stele

Juridique.

8. Iymeru son of Iy
Attestations: Elkab tomb of Sobeknakht; Stele

juridique.

Viziers known from chapels only:


9. Samont Resseneb
2 9

19.

D.Franke, Personendaten aus dem Mittleren Reich (Wiesbaden 1984), 18-

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

133

10. Dedumont Senebtify


11. Ibia (on two stelae and a statue, all of his son imy-r hurt Senebhenaf)
Viziers known from seals only:
12. Minhotep
13. Hori
14. Sobekaa Bebi
15. Djedptah Dedtuseneb
Viziers attested only at Thebes:
16. Amenemhat (in a juridical report on a leather roll)
17. Iuy (on a seal, stela and Asasif gravegoods)
18. Senebhenaf (as father of queen Mentuhotep on her Theban coffin)
This list of attestations reveals a remarkable lack of concordance between
viziers attested on documents or seals (nos.12-16), viziers attested on the
monuments donated for or by others (nos.2 (?),5,7-8,ll,18) and viziers who
have left monuments of themselves (nos.1,4,6,9-10,17). The pattern of
exclusive source types is broken only by Iymeru Neferkara, known from
four statues, a stela, an expedition record and possibly an Abydos seal, and
by Ankhu, known from monuments of himself (?) and others as well as
original documents. The occurrence of some viziers only on funerary
chapels and of others only on seals should remind us of the hazards in the
surviving record; an unknown number of viziers may have failed to
survive the destruction of the Residence ncropoles. Nor can we be sure
of the gaps in time between one holder of the office and the next, even
when we can place them in sequence; no text records the immediate
succession of one vizier to the preceding, and we cannot assume that son
succeeded father directly, or brother succeeded brother, even if that appears
likely to us.
Within these limits the sources for the viziers of the 13th Dynasty
include two remarkable dossiers, those of Iymeru Neferkara and Ankhu.
Iymeru Neferkara has left the most impressive series of monuments
securely assigned to him, but these date him to the reign of the very king
to leave the most substantial body of sources in the dynasty, Khaneferra
Sobekhotep. In that reign local non-royal stelae at Edfu return to the
sporadic 12th Dynasty practice of recording the cartouche of the reigning
king, a feature that Berlev has noted as significant for measuring the status
of royal authority in the country. Furthermore one of the statues of the
vizier Iymeru Neferkara bears the formula "given in the favour of before
the king", that occurs also on the statue of vizier Khenmes of the reign of
Sekhemkara; this formula provides another indication of the status of the
reigning king at least on the formal and official level of recording. The
contemporaneity of vizier Iymeru Neferkara and king Khaneferra
Sobekhotep underlines the complexity of relations between holders of
those two titles, and does not encourage the notion that the kings were
ruled by their viziers.

Stephen Quirke

134

This leaves the dossier of Ankhu as the mainstay of the theory that
viziers ruled Egypt in the 13th Dynasty. The dossier includes three most
exceptional features. First, the family included four viziers within three
generations, from the father of Ankhu to his two sons Iymeru and
Resseneb. Secondly, three statues at Karnak appear to have been set up by
Ankhu for his father, his mother and himself. The statue of Henutipu,
thought to be the mother of Ankhu, is the only statue of a woman from
Middle Kingdom Kamak. The third point is the mention of Ankhu on a
non-royal stela, recounting the efficient service of a priest Amenyseneb in
the Osiris temple at Abydos. Clearly Ankhu must have been an official of
outstanding importance at the royal court of the day, but I would dispute
the notion that these sources indicate a measure of power beyond the
scope of his title. It should be noted that Ankhu does not act like a king in
the Brooklyn papyrus, as Hayes had asserted. Similarly in the Boulaq
papyri and the Amenyseneb stela Ankhu carries out orders of a higher
authority, presumably the king, and plays no regal role. The final
argument for an allpowerful vizier lies in the number of reigns of kings
covered by the tenure of office by Ankhu. Hayes founded the idea that the
vizier controlled the court, including the king, on the grounds that
Ankhu remained vizier while five kings came and went on the throne.
That dating can no longer be maintained from the particular sources. The
five reigns are those from Khendjer (TC VL20) to Sekhemrasewadjtawy
Sobekhotep (TC VI,24); Hayes dated the Amenyseneb stela to Khendjer
and the Boulaq papyri to Sekehemrasewadjtawy Sobekhotep. The Boulaq
papyri have been redated independently by both Berlev and Beckerath to
the reign of Sekhemrakhutawy Amenemhat Sobekhotep, the immediate
predecessor of Khendjer according to TC (col.VI,23).
This reduces the
number of reigns from five to two, which tends to deflate the notion that
Ankhu enjoyed absolute power over a series of reigns. It should also be
noted that the royal monuments of both Sekhemrakhutawy Amenemhat
Sobekhotep (especially the temple-building at Medamud) and Khendjer
(his pyramid at Saqqara) omit all mention of officials, including the vizier.
I would go further and doubt the dating of Ankhu to the reign of
Khendjer. The priest Amenyseneb left two stelae, one describing one deed
and referring to orders collected from the vizier Ankhu in his bureau, and
the other describing a second deed and bearing in the roundel two crude
cartouches in two different styles, one of Nimaatra and one of Khendjer.
There are several stages in the procedure of setting up this pair of stelae,
clearly designed to complement one another formally: first the episode of
stela 1 took place, then the episode of stela 2 took place, then the stelae
would have been commissioned and carved, and either or both of the
cartouches may have been added at the end of the process, as their rather
irregular alignment and form might indicate. Given the brevity of reigns
at this period, I do not find it difficult to allocate the event of stela 1 to the
reign preceding that of Khendjer, present in the cartouche on stela 2. This
3 0

3 u

J.von Beckerath, Untersuchungen zur politischen


Geschichte der
zweiten Zwischenzeit (Giuckstadt and New York 1964), 47-8, and O.D.Berlev,
in Drevniy Mir (Moscow 1960), 50-55.

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

135

cannot be established beyond doubt, but it would undermine further the


claim made for Ankhu that he dominated the court.
It should be recalled that the highest officials of state often left
exceptional sources, and that a powerful family might attain high office
through different members and across two or more generations. This does
not distinguish the 13th Dynasty from the other periods of Egyptian
history. The early 18th Dynasty might be taken to represent a peak of royal
power and it is particularly rich in examples of powerful officials such as
Senenmut, Rekhmira and Useramen. In short I would conclude that the
fortunes of the court seem united, and that the stability of the stronger
reigns of the 13th Dynasty, such as Sekhemkara, Sekhemrakhutawy and
Khaneferra Sobekhotep, gave the opportunity for more impressive
monuments on the part of officials such as the viziers Khenmes, Ankhu
and Iymeru Neferkara. It is symptomatic that the latter two left the most
imposing dossiers of attestations in the surviving non-royal record and yet
date to kings known from monuments among the more solid of 13th
Dynasty royal achievements. Against this background it is worth asking
further whether prosopographical data alone can secure any one
reconstruction of political history. At the very least it would be necessary
to take into account all high officials and all members of the most
prominent families. The high stewards and treasurers left monuments as
noteworthy as those of viziers, and those two titles as well as others with
the prefix title htmty bity should be explored for a fuller picture of court
relations. The family of queen Nubkhas illustrates how an unassuming
title such as wr mw sm may conceal a man closely related to the wife of
the reigning king and prominent through a series of attestations; to the
dossier compiled by Franke it may be possible now to add a fine quartzite
lintel in the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Hayes ignored these two crucial
factors in the life of a court, the number of officials (and others) present,
and the role of the family. A number of sources provide some
information on the relations between the king and those at his court.
Royal monuments refer to high officials only with titles connected with
the treasury, and so involved in building operations, or with the title rh
nswt. They never refer to the vizier. In the royal narratives known in
Egyptology as the Konigsnovellen the court is no more than a shadowy
backdrop to set off the vigour and decisiveness of the king and to chorus
praise of his actions. The monuments of officials sometimes bear the
formula "given in the favour of before the king", indicating that the king
or the office of kingship retained its authority over those officials and the
circles in which they moved. In sum there is no evidence that the
relations between the king and his court changed in the 13th Dynasty as
compared with preceding and following periods.
3 1

Relatively few sources allow direct comparison of the high officials


among themselves. The Abydos chapels and the sanctuary of Heqaib
31 Franke, Personendaten
p.441.

(see n.29 for full reference), dossier no.765 on

Stephen Quirke

136

provide statues and stelae of holders of different titles alongside one


another, but we are rarely able to date them to precisely the same point in
a particular reign. Even in the royal accounts papyrus Boulaq 18 (larger
MS) it is difficult to compare the vizier Ankhu with his colleagues because
the treasurer is entirely absent from the document, and the high steward
made only a brief appearance. The single largest obstacle to assessing the
relations between court members (including the king himself) remains
the lack of diachronic as much as of synchronic sources. For example the
dynasty produced no genealogies with high officials across more than one
generation other than the family of Ankhu, where the evidence does not
even supply the name of the father of Ankhu, and dries up without issue
at the generation after Ankhu. Broadly it is only possible to assess from
the surviving evidence that no unusual features emerge in the 13th
Dynasty to suggest any changes in relations at court.
If no change at court can be detected the position in the country at
large does change in the surviving record. Certainly administrative and
juridical documents continue to use only regnal years for dating, unlike
the occasional local use of double dating by year of rule of both king and
local governor in the early Middle Kingdom. However from the end of
the 12th Dynasty non-royal monuments seldom refer to the king or to the
Residence, implying that the relative power of the king over his court may
not have suffered, but his prestige in helping individuals to attain a good
afterlife had declined. The king no longer appears in prayers within the
Appeal to the Living on funerary monuments, and cartouches in the
roundels of stelae become rare. The most prominent reference to the
reigning king remains the formula "given in the favour of before the
king" which, as proposed above, establishes stable relations between the
king and his court rather than between the king and the country. The
countrywide power of the king also declines visibly in the nature of the
sources for the kings themselves. Although much fine work continued to
leave the royal workshops, the volume does not compare with that of the
12th Dynasty; the scale of the royal tomb is especially strikingly reduced.
Some royal monuments betray a loss of precision in hieroglyphic
monument-making, notably the Medamud temple edifices of
Sekhemrakhutawy Amenemhat Sobekhotep which directly copy and so
can be compared directly with earlier work of the reign of Senusret m.
Equally significant is the lack of material from mining and quarrying sites
in the Eastern Desert; Sinai and Wadi el-Hudi produce no attestations for
the 13th-17th Dynasties, Wadi Hammamat yields evidence only of one
expedition under the brother kings Neferhotep and Sobekhotep and
another under Sekhemrawadjkhau Sobekemsaf, and these two may be
part of the only substantial body of 13th-17th Dynasty evidence in the
Eastern Desert, that discovered in recent years at Gebel Zeit, the galena site
3 2

3 2

O.D.Berlev, in Kratkie soobshchenia Instiuta norodov Asii (Moscow 19611965), 60-61.

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

137
3 3

on the Red Sea coast opposite the tip of Sinai.


The poverty of the royal
presence accords with the evidence for a breakaway 14th Dynasty in the
Eastern Delta in the second half of the 13th Dynasty, and calls equally
strongly for some reasoning on the part of the historian to account for the
end of the Middle Kingdom. If the system of government remained the
same from the 12th to the 13th Dynasties, and the relations between king
and courtiers show no signs of change, we have still to account for the
decline in royal power over the country at large.
Here we may return to the central problem, the royal succession,
sole feature of change in the move from the 12th to the 13th Dynasty.
Study of the royal succession may be hampered by the European concept of
dynasty as a ruling family, most often providing for succession on the
principle of primogeniture. In the Manethonian scheme family seems
secondary to the formation of dynasties, to the extent that the family of
Seqenenra Taa, Ahmes and Amenhotep I comes to straddle the 17th and
18th Dynasties. Instead each dynasty is a group of rulers (men with
dunamis) who share a common city, of origin or of burial; according to
Egyptian belief, particularly of the Late Period, attachment to a city brought
with it the protection of its local deity, a feature already important in the
Late Egyptian tale of Apepi and Seqenenra. Rather than looking to the
human royal family Egyptian texts such as the Instruction for Merykara
and the Admonitions of Ipuwer found the legitimacy of the reigning king
on his pious deed, particularly in respecting the monuments of
predecessors, maintenance of the cults of the gods, and the expansion of
those cults through monument making. Primary royal sources add to this
list the conduct of military campaigns as a pious deed, because the king at
war exemplifies royal defence of settled Egypt and order against foreign
lands and disorder. In this network of beliefs the king is the ntr nfr or
junior partner to the ntr 3 great god, ie creator. Other texts of kingship,
assembled by Berlev, reveal the explicit belief that the king was direct and
physical offspring of the creator sun-god, his seed upon earth.
By this
belief the sun-god might choose to impregnate any earthly woman with
his seed, and to do this he would 'become' her earthly spouse; the sun-god
was equally able to select a non-royal couple as the reigning king and
. queen. There was thus no concept of "royal blood" in ancient Egypt; the
king was not human flesh and blood at all, but the stuff of the sun-god. By
this same set of beliefs royal power in ancient Egypt received legitimation
after the event of accession to the throne; it became visible in the attributes
of royal apparel and royal titulature, and in the pious deeds of the king.
(

3 4

3 3

One of the most useful discoveries at Gebel Zeit was the monument of a
king with the nomen Sehetepibra, see P.Mey et al, MDAIK 36 (1980), 304-5
and pl.80a. This shows that the two names Sehetepibra in TC VI, 8 and 12
might more easily be two different kings and not require emendation to
Hetepibra; one or both might have Sehetepibra as nomina.
O.D.Berlev, in Studies presented to Hans Jakob Polotsky (East Gloucester,
Mass. 1981), 361-377. On this article see the comments of E.Blumenthal, ZAS
114(1987), 35.
3 4

138

Stephen Quirke

This leaves the mechanisms of the royal succession entirely hidden.


In practice one might expect a strong king and a strong ruling family to
exert considerable influence over the selection of the next king. The 12th
Dynasty secured the succession still more fastly within the family of the
reigning king through the system of coregencies, which gave a senior and
a junior manifestation of the sun-god on earth simultaneously, echoing
the relation between king on earth and sun in heaven. Nevertheless this
family element remained a practical feature secondary to the theory of
divine birth in the textual expositions of royal accession and legitimation.
It could be incorporated into that theory only by asserting that the sun-god
became the reigning king and impregnated the queen directly; secondhand
impregnation via the reigning king was not envisaged, even though the
king was the substance of the sun-god on earth. The question of the royal
succession occasions little modern debate where the ancient examples
meet modern assumptions concerning royalty, as in the Twelfth Dynasty
with its straightforward history of primogeniture. I think it would worth
standing our assumptions on their heads, and take the 12th rather than
the 13th Dynasty as the exception. Two centuries of uninterrupted male
succession is an enviable record rare in the history of any family, and the
extraordinary biological success of the 12th Dynasty should not be taken for
granted.
The 13th Dynasty provides a period in which, without harm to
Egyptian kingship theory, family ties are virtually absent from the record,
and some kings even proclaim on their monuments the non-royal status
of their parents. I would borrow from Jack Goody the concept of a
circulating succession, by which a number of important families see
members on the throne as the kingship passes by irregular rotation
around the court and perhaps beyond.
There is no evidence of strife at
this period among the elite, and circulating succession might allow the
elite to maintain stability in the absence of a single ruling family. The
circulation of succession among the elite might also account for the very
short reigns, to the extent that the elderly members of a family are the
more likely to command respect at court; superficially one might cite the
examples of papal Rome and Ducal Venice, both of which enjoyed stable
succession under grontocratie rule. I would not propose that the 13th
Dynasty consists entirely of a line of elderly kings from a group of mighty
families, but I would urge that circulating succession affords one example
of the means by which an elite can maintain stable succession. Finally I
would note that the 13th Dynasty indicates, with the disappearance of a
single ruling family, the oligarchic structure of government beneath the
various guises of rule, from pluralist "democracy" to monolithic
"monarchy".
3 5

3 6

3 5

Cf for an entirely separate case Elie Bamarvi, Histoire, conomie et


socit 3 (1984), 330: "..l'heureux hasard d'une succession sans histoire:
deux sicles de filiation masculine ininterrompue, qui fournit au royaume
captien une tonnante ligne de souverains maies".
Jack Goody, in id. (c.),Succession to High Office (Cambridge 1966), 1-56
and 155-169.
3 6

Royal power in the 13th Dynasty

139

Looking in greater detail at the 13th Dynasty it is possible to


subdivide it into three groups, a" first with poorly attested kings and short
reigns, a middle group with more attestations and longer reigns, and a
third group with fewer attestations again, now confined to Upper Egypt,
and perhaps with shorter reigns again. The first group provides the peak
of the apparent succession crisis with reigns of months or even days, and
yet the documentary record at Lahun and Semna and the expeditions to
Gebel Zeit continued even under these ephemeral rulers. Possibly the
elite found itself ill-prepared, after two centuries of rule by one family, to
supply a successor family. The second group indicates perhaps the
emergence of a system of sorts for coping with the absence of a ruling
family; this system of succession is my "circulating succession" or similar.
The third group reveals all too graphically the dangers of short reigns for
the unity of Egypt; long reigns allowed a king to wage war and build more
substantial monuments in a centralised hierarchy, but short reigns gave
reduced royal monuments and perhaps reduced reflexes. Immigration
went uncontrolled, and the northeastern Delta seceded as the 14th Dynasty
followed by the contraction of the Egyptian kingdom from Itjtawy (13th
Dynasty) to Thebes (17th Dynasty). In conclusion the standing of the king
at his court seems not to have altered at least in the official record, but the
standing of king and court within the country as a whole declined. The
relation between king and officials provides no evidence of change, but
the demographic change at the Semitic frontier of Egypt is a possible key to
the end of the Middle Kingdom and the disunity of the country in the
Second Intermediate Period. Stronger central policy might have held the
tide; the inscription of Amenemhat II found at Memphis records the
drastic measures of a strong dynasty in response to foreign population
pressure; the consequences of the same trend in the absence of a strong
central authority are evident in the stages of historical development.
3 7

3 7

The inscription of Amenemhat II is publicised by Sami Farag, RdE 32


(1980), 75-82.

m*
:

SUR LES GRAPHIES DE LA FORMULE "L'OFFRANDE


QUE DONNE LE ROI" AU MOYEN EMPIRE ET A LA
DEUXIEME PERIODE INTERMEDIAIRE.
( PASCAL

VERNUS

La documentation prive du Moyen Empire, au sens le plus large et le plus vague, a


un avantage: son abondance; elle a aussi un inconvnient: la difficult de sa datation,
puisque seule une trs faible partie comporte la mention du rgne, parfois de l'anne de
rgne, d'un pharaon . En l'absence de telles dates, force est de faire flche de tout bois
pour essayer d'tablir une datation: on met en oeuvre l'archologie, l'iconographie, la
prosopographie et la gnalogie, et, surtout, des critres qu'on peut qualifier
d"'pigraphiques" et qui mettent en jeu tout la fois la palographie, l'othographe et la
phrasologie. Parmi ceux-ci, le plus important a t dgag en 1939 par Smither , qui a
montr que dans la formule "l'offrande que donne le roi", fap ii nsw, un important
1

changement s'tait opr: en ligne horizontale, les graphies du type T A

( ,

- appel par la suite TYPE I dans la prsente tude -, et o le signe A suivait le signe
==> , avaient t supplantes par des graphies du type- appel par la suite TYPE II -, et o le signe tu prcdait le signe
. Ce
changement serait intervenu "during the Second Period Intermediate Period and probably
towards the end of that period", le rgne du roi Dedoumes constituant la date le plus
anciennement connue de la graphie nouvelle.
Plus d'un demi-sicle aprs avoir t prsente, la thse de Smither se rvle
somme toute opratoire, mais opratoire grosso modo, c'est le moins qu'on puisse en
dire. En effet, d'une part, elle souffre de nombreuses exceptions, qui n'ont pas manqu
d'tre releves par divers savants . D'autre part, elle se contente d'observer un
4

Sur ces dates et leur interprtation, voir le dbat entre Delia, BES 1, 1979,
15-28, et BES 4, 1982, 55-69, et Mumane, BES 3, 1981, 73,-82.
JEA 25, 1939, 34-7.
En fait, l'intrieur de ce type on gagnerait distinguer deux sous-types,
2

selon que le signe est suivi immdiatement ou non du signe


.
Benett, JEA 27, 1941, 157; Donadoni-Roveri, OA 13, 1973, 55, n. 23;
Berlev, AEIB n 6 2 0 6 0 , p. 64, n 41; Rosati, OA 19, 1980, 271; W. Barta, Aufbau
und Bedeutung der altgyptischen Opferformel ( g Fo 24 ), p. 54; Vernus, Livre du
Centenaire 1881990 ( Ml F AO 104 ), p. 187, n. 1; D. Franke, Altgyptische
Verwandschaftsbezeichnungen, p. 147.
4

141

Pascal Vermis

142

changement graphique sans en proposer d'tiologie le mettant en rapport avec la priode


historique pendant laquelle il s'est opr. Voil deux perspectives travers lesquelles la
thse de Smither mrite d'tre affine.
Il faut d'abord s'interroger sur la nature exacte de l'opposition entre le TYPE I et le
TYPE H. Le premier type prsente videmment une recherche d'investissement la fois
dense et harmonieux de l'espace, qui va jusqu' modifier la position des signes par
rapport celui des lment de l'nonc qu'ils encodent. En effet, le souci d'obtenir un
groupement symtrique entrane le placement du signe

au milieu, entre les signes

, alors que le mot qu'il crit, (itp, ne vient qu'en dernire position dans
l'nonc linguistique. De plus, la symtrie est paracheve par la superposition du signe
de nsw. Assurment cette graphie met en oeuvre des procds "eugraphiques"
sophistiqus, lesquels s'enracinent dans la tradition proprement hiroglyphique de la
culture gyptienne. Ici il convient de rappeler que dans la civilisation gyptienne, l'espace
de l'crit est un espace deux niveaux .
- Au sommet, une tradition culturelle fonde sur la matrise de rcriture
hiroglyphique et des techniques qui lui sont Hes, en particulier les techniques iconiques
qui gouvernent aussi bien les relations de l'criture et de l'image, que T'eugraphie" ( sit
venia verbo ) des inscriptions. C'est videmment de cette culture que relve le TYPE I.
-Au contraire, le TYPE jj, avec toutes ses variantes, est plutt le produit de
transcriptions plus ou moins mcaniques partir d'un brouillon cursif, plus ou moins
adaptes un support lapidaire qui n'est pas le support originel. Il ressortit au niveau le
plus lmentaire de la culture crite: la tradition culturelle mise en oeuvre dans les
documents de la vie quotidienne et de la pratique administrative et juridique.
Cette opposition permet de rendre compte de ce qui pouvait sembler une anomalie
inexplicable: le fait que le TYPE II soit attest ds la XTIe dynastie, ou encore une
priode de la XlIIe dynastie o prvaut, par ailleurs, le TYPE I, dans certaines
inscriptions; ainsi:
5

-Graffito Hatnoub n 50, an 20 d'Ammnms JJ : T" A

.
7

-Graffito du Sina ( Maghra ) n 24, an 2 d'Ammnms HI : r tti

-Graffito du Oudi Hammmt ( NS ) n70, an 2 d'Ammms DJ :


-Graffito du Oudi el Houdi n 24, Nferhotep I-Sbekhotep IV* : *r= A

Signalons, pour l'Ancien Empire, qu'on dispose dsormais de l'tude de G. Lapp,


Die Opferformel des Alten Reiches, p. 16 ( tude des graphies ). Rcemment,
Leprohon, JEA 76, 1990, 163-4, s'est pench sur la formule la P.P.I.
Sur ce point essentiel, voir mon expos dans BSFE 119, 1991.
5

R. Anthes, Die Felseninschriften vo Hatnub ( Unt. 9 ), pl. 32; cf. J. von


Beckerath, Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der Zweiten Zwischenzeit in
gypten ( g Fo 23 ), p. 76, n. 3.
6

Gardiner-Peet-Cerny, The inscriptions of Sinai, pl. XI. Le graffito n 104,


allgu dans le mme sens, n'est pas sans ambigut.
7

G. Goyon, Nouvelles inscriptions rupestres du Wadi Hammamat, p. 91.


K.J. Seyfried, Beitrge zu den Expeditionen des Mittleren Reiches in der OstWste ( HB 15 ), p. 70-1.
8

Graphies de "l'offrande que donne le roi'

143

Ce dernier exemple est d'autant plus significatif qu'il appartient un personnage, le


rh-nsv/ rfiw-'n/i , connu par plusieurs stles. Or, sur l'une d'elles, la stle Berlin 7311,
10

?A

figure, dans un ligne horizontale, la graphie du TYPE I , T = 5 = Mi ! TJ est clair que


l'utilisation du TYPE n une poque o il ne prvaut pas, par ailleurs, tient la nature
mme des inscriptions dans lesquelles il apparat. Ce sont des graffiti provenant des
mines et carrires. Ces graffiti sont souvent sujets des contraintes contradictoires. En
effet, d'une part, ils ont une vocation idologique, "sacralisante", au sens que j'ai ailleurs
dfini , puisqu'ils visent prenniser le nom de ceux qu'ils commmorent. Mais,
d'autre part, ils sont apposs sur place; leurs scripteurs appartenant donc au personnel
des expditions, sont, en gnral, des cadres de radministration, essentiellement nourris
de la tradition culturelle "documentaire", celle du niveau le plus lmentaire de la culture
crite. D'o une tendance manifester le plus rapidement les traits volutifs, et ignorer
ou oublier la sophistication "eugraphique" de la culture proprement hiroglyhique. En
revanche, celle-ci se maintient plus aisment dans les monuments votifs de la vallle,
oeuvre de spcialistes, possdant cette tradition culturelle "hiroglyphique" .
Il y a plus, l'attribution du TYPE I et du TYPE II deux niveaux diffrents de la
culture crite permet de donner sens la substitution du second au premier sur les
monuments privs sacraliss. Cette substitution, loin d'tre purement fortuite et
inexplicable dans son alatoire mme, n'a pu s'oprer qu' la suite de la dgnrescence
de la tradition culturelle "hiroglyphique", celle qui prvalait auparavant dans les
inscriptions des monuments sacraliss. Or cette tradition, manation de la science sacre,
tait avant tout l'apanage de grands centres thologiques comme Hliopolis ou
Memphis , ou encore l'ancienne capitale Licht , dans la mesure o la construction et
le dcor des pyramides et des temples funraires royaux, pour ne rien dire des
monuments des hautes dignitaires , ncessitait la concentration de spcialistes et des
techniques procdant de cette science. C'est partir de ces grands centres qu' elle tait
dispense l'lite de tout le pays. On est donc en droit de penser que si la culture
"hiroglyphique" se dsagrge assez pour que la culture "documentaire" commence la
supplanter en son domaine spcifique, c'est que les communications avec ces grands
centres qui la diffusaient taient rompues, ou, tout le moins, malaises. Or,
prcisment, la substitution du TYPE II au TYPE I s'opre autour d'une poque o on a
lieu de croire que la partition, ou des partitions de l'Egypte taient accomplies, et surtout
11

12

13

14

15

16

1 0

D. Franke, Personendaten

aus dem Mittleren Reich (20.-16 Jahrhundert

v.

Chr. ) ( g. Abh. 41 ), dossier n389; Spalinger, RdE 32, 1980, 100.


Vernus, dans R. Laufer ( diteur ), Le texte et son inscription, p 24.
Les indications disponibles montrent que les "prtres-ritualistes" taient
fort souvent impliqus dans la rdaction et Yordinatio des inscriptions des monuments
prives sacraliss: Vernus, Hommages Franois Daumas, p. 587-92.
Sur ce point, voir Gasse, RdE, 1981, 23-8; la science ncessaire la
dcoration des monuments sacraliss participe videmment de la mme culture que la
matrise de l'criture hiroglyphique.
Les monuments funraires de l'Ancien Empire, encore en activit au Moyen
Empire, constituent, entre autres, des centres de conservation de la culture
sacerdotale. On notera des traits archasants sur un monument d'un sacrificateur du
temple de Ppy II: Vernus, RdE 28, 1976, 136 (v) (ac).
Le clbre sculpteur in fut envoy de Licht Abydos pour travailler dans le
temple ( Faulkner, JEA 38, 1952, pl. I. Le non moins clbre
(ir-m-^'w./alla
chercher Licht une statue de Horus de Nkhen et d'Isis ( Hayes, JEA 33, 1947, pl. Il
)
Ce n'est pas un hasard si les textes des pyramides, qui participent
videmment de la plus ancienne science sacre, ont t copis dans les tombes prives
1 1

1 2

1 3

1 4

1 5

1 6

de Lisht: e.g. W.C.Hayes, The Texts in the Mastabeh of Se'n-wosret-ankh

fouilles rcentes en ont apport d'autre exemples.

at Lisht. Les

Pascal Vermis

144

que Memphis tait tombe sous contrle Hykss: aprs tout, aucune vidence positive ne
permet de mettre en doute que Salitis ait effectivement rsid Memphis . Examinons
attentivement comment est documente le passage du TYPE I au TYPE H.
17

La transition du TYPE I au TYPE II


On a vu que Smither tenait le rgne du pharaon Dedoumes pour la date de la plus
ancienne attestation du type H Que ce pharaon soit ou non le Toutimaios de
Manthon , c'est l une indication significative, si elle pouvait tre taye ou prcise,
compte videmment non tenu des quatre cas tudis plus hauts, en raison de leur nature
particulire. Quels faits nouveaux ajouter la documentation de Smither ?
18

l)Les plus rcentes attestations du TYPE I sous la XlUe dynastie


19

Le TYPE I est gnralis sur les nombreux momuments votifs privs attribuables
aux rgnes deSbkhotep IV et Nferhotep I; les exceptions sont rarissimes ( voir cidessous, sur une des stles de fir-\ dans une position particulire, et sur un des
monuments de /7/7 ).Une graphie relevant ce TYPE I est utilise sur la stle de si-fiwr, dat du pharaon ib.i-tvt, deuxime successeur de Sbekhotep IV. n est encore
attest sur la stle de la reine rwb-kLs ( Louvre C 1 3 ) , probablement contemporaine du
pharaon Sbekhotep V , en tout cas postrieure Nferhotep I et Sbekhotep IV. De
mme le TYPE I se rencontre sur une statue de son gendre / y , statue dresse
l'poque o il tait encore mr gs-pr, donc antrieure l'an 1 de Sbekhotep VI ( mr-firpr' ), quand il fut devenu vizir . H prvaut, enfin sur les monuments du hrp v/shtsnb1
hri.fiS, fils du vizir /i./-Av, qu'on a voulu identifier au directeur de la prison ib.i-tvP- ,
contemporain du pharaon fb.i-i'w. La datation de sn-fin ./demeure en fait incertaine, et
dpend du moment o son pre est devenu vizir. Sous ib.i-t'w ou un de ses successeurs
immdiats ? Sinon, il n'a gure pu le devenir qu'aprs l'an 1 de Sbekhotep VI, quand
le vizir tait y, et sans doute un peu plus tard, puisque le fils de iy, iy-mrw, porte lui20

22

2 3

24

25

1 7

Manthon, d'aprs Joseph; voir Hayes, CAM II, chapter II, p. 19 du tir--

1 8

El Sayed, BIFAO 79, 1979, 204-7; Franke, Orientalia

part.
57, 1988, 258, n.

38.
1 9

Pour le TYPE II dans un graffito des mines et carrires de ces rgnes, voir cidessus, n. 9.
Une autre exception qui pourrait bien tre significative: une graphie du TYPE
Il est atteste sur une stle provenant du sanctuaire de fo-ib Elephantine, dans un
ensemble o prvaut le TYPE I: Labib Habachi, The Sanctuary ofHekaib y, p. 105,
n90. Or cette stle est crite en cursive, et donc son scripteur ne matrisait que fort
imparfaitement la tradition "hiroglyphique".
2 0

2 1

BM 1348 = J. Bouriau, Pharaohs and Mortals. Egyptian in the Middle

Kingdom, p. 48, n45.


Spalinger, RdE 32, 1980, pi. 8
Une nouvelle reconstitution de la gnalogie complexe de sa famille a t
propose par Franke, JEA 76, 1990, 230.
Caire JE 87254, inddite; traduction dans Vernus, BiOr, sous presse. Pour le
personnage, voir Franke, o.e. ( n. 10 ), dossier 11 ).
2 2

2 3

2 4

2 5

2 6

P. Lacau, Une stle juridique de Karnak ( CASAE 13 ), p. 35.

Labib Habachi, SAK 11, 1984, 113-26. Franke, o.e. ( cf. n. 10 ), dossier

n661.
Franke, o.e. { cf. n. 10 ), dossier 62; Labib Habachi, The Sanctuary of Hekaib, p. 69-70
2 7

Graphies de "l'offrande que donne le roi"

145

28

aussi le titre de vizir . Quoi qu'il en soit, dans cette dernire hypothse, ses
monuments pourraient bien illustrer le prolongement assez tard dans la XHIe dynastie, au
moment o le TYPE U tait bien tabli, du TYPE I, et du classicisme dont il est la
manifestation. Ce prolongement en quelque sorte rcessif tiendrait au fait que les
monuments de ^-^./provenaient d'ateliers royaux. Mais cette datation tardive de snhn.J'est fort loin d'tre avre, e t , dans l'tat actuel de la documentation,
l'identitrfication de son pre au contemporain du pharaon iki-Tw demeure plausible, et
rend plausible, par l mme, la datation de sn-hn'.fms
la priode qui suit le rgne de ce
pharaon.
2) Les plus anciennes attestations du TYPE TJ sous la XlJIe dynastie
Le TYPE JJ est attest sur la stle Marseille 24, appartenant l'an du portail
sn.f-n.i, fils du "juge, bouche de Nkhen", dk, lequel pourrait tre identique au "juge,
bouche de Nkhen", dk mentionn dans le papyrus Boulaq 18, dat d'un pharaon
Sbkhotep, assurment Sbekhotep TJ . Bien entendu, l'intervalle entre le rgne de ce
roi et la stle de sne.f-n.ine saurait tre dfini exactement n doit tre assez important
puisque sn./-n./est assez g pour mentionner dj deux de ses fils pourvus de titres.
Mais il ne saurait excder cinquante ans ou soixante ans, moins que dk ait procre
snb.f-n.ion tard dans sa vie. D'aprs la chronologie interne de la XIHe dynastie, la
date d'rection de la stle serait placer autour des rgnes des pharaons mr-n/r-r' fy ,
pourtant le dernier pharaon dont on a lieu de croire qu'il tint encore Memphis , ou
Sbekhotep VI ( mr-htp-r).
Mais ces extrapolations demeurent bien incertaine.
En revanche, on a de plus soudes indications quand on parvient suivre le passage
du TYPE I au TYPE II l'intrieur d'une mme famille, en un mme heu. Ainsi,
Edfou, on relve:
- TYPE I sur la stle de rw ( au moins une gnration aprs Sbekhotep PV) ,
mais TYPE II sur la stle de son fils (ir-in-(tr{.t)(n
de la XJJIe dynastie-XVTJe
dynastie ) .
- TYPE I sur la stle de y/s r-ht ( aprs le rgne de Sbekhotep IV ) , mais TYPE
TJ gnralis dans un atelier de stles auquel appartient celle de son fils firi( fin de la
XlUe dynastie-XVIIe dynastie ) .
- TYPE I sur la table d'offrandes du gouverneur iki-Fv* ( aprs le rgne de
Sbekhotep IV ) , mais TYPE TJ sur deux stles de son frre (ir-(ir-h\*it.f, l'une de ces
2 9

30

31

3 2

3 3

3 4

3 5

36

2 8

En fait, ce genre de raisonnement est sujet caution, car il n'est pas exclu que
plusieurs personnes aient port en mme temps le titre de vizir.
2

hieratic

S. Quirke, The Administration


Documents, p. 12-3.

of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom. The

3 0

On possde un pyramidion JdE 43267, transport dans la rgion d'Avaris,


sans doute par les Hykss, mais provenant vraisemblablement d'une pyramide
memphite: voir von Beckerath, o.e., ( cf. n. 6 ) , p. 226; Dodson, ZS 114, 1987, 43.
M. Alliot, Tell Edfou 1933 { FIFAO X ), p. 20, pl. XV, 2. Charles Ede, Writing
and Littering in Antiquity
IV, 1975, n15.
3 1

3 2

Caire JdE 11/11/31/1


M. Alliot, o.e. ( cf. n. 21 ). p. 14, 31 (7), pl. XV
M. Alliot, o.e. ( cf. n. 21 ), p. 36 (22).
M. Alliot, o.e. ( cf. n. 21 ), p. 18, 38 (3), pl. XIII, 1; Ibrahim ASAE 33,
1933, 131-3, pl. I, 1.
Alliot, o.e. ( cf. n. 21 ), p. 16, 30 (4), pl. XVI, 3, et CGC 20537.
3 3

3 4
3 5

3 6

146

Pascal Vernus

deux stles est date par le rajout du nom du "fils royal" fir-shr, contemporain du
pharaon ( ou d'un des deux pharaons ) ddw-mss .
-La stle du sr spJ-hr ( Khartoum 5320 ) a une graphie du TYPE I. En
revanche, il pourrait bien tre le pre de h et de spd-hr, dont les monuments montrent la
graphie du TYPE H, et qui ont vcu durant la XVIIe dynastie
37

3 8

39

3) Fluctuations entre TYPE I et TYPE II sur un mme monument, ou dans un


groupe de monuments
On observe aussi la fluctuation entre TYPE I et TYPE II dans les monuments d'un
mme personnage. Deux cas sont distinguer:
a) Le TYPE I et le TYPE II coexistent sur le mme monument
1

o A =4^

'

-Sur une des stle de hr-' , la formule {tip dj /mv est crite
donc en suivant le TYPE II au troisime registre; au premier registre, la formule est crite
en colonne, l'opposition entre TYPE I et TYPE II est donc neutralise. Toutefois, sur les
autres monuments du mme personnage , dont certains sont dats de l'an 8 de
Sbekhotep IV, prvaut le TYPE I.
-Dans le cintre de la stle CGC 20043, au bnfice du m r m w w ^ - ^ , la formule
Q

41

1 A
est crite T
im , donc en suivant le TYPE I , mais dans l'appel aux
vivants, au bas de la stle, elle est crite
, donc selon le TYPE II. Le
monument est attribuabe la Xe dynastie .
-Dans l'inscription surmontant la scne principale de la stle CGC 20313, la
(trp dj nsvi

42

i
formule

(trp dinsw

est crite

corniche, c'est le TYPE H,

T = i = ui dans l'expression

irr b.tp di

nsw, mais sur la

, qui est utilis.

-Dans le cintre de la stle BM 248, la formule fitp di nw est crite


donc suivant le TYPE II; mais on trouve le TYPE I, *r* c==. A , dans la moiti
infrieure, dans l'appel aux vivants dd-tn(ttp
dinsvt.
Tous ces exemples illustrent, de manire aUffrente, les ttonnements bien
comprhensibles ds la prise en compte, dans les monuments sacraliss, donc
ressortissant la tradition culturelle "hiroglyphique" d'une graphie issue de la tradition
culturelle "documentaire". La graphie nouvelle, le TYPE H, est d'abord exile dans des
positions secondaires: corniche, registre infrieur, appel aux vivants. Puis, une fois ce

Vernus, Form und Mass. Beitrge zur Literatur, Sprache und Kunst des alten
gypten. Festschrift fr Gerhard Fecht, p. 451.
3

3 8

Barns, Kush 2, 1954, 19-21; H.S. Smith, The Fortress of Buhen. The

Inscriptions,
3 9

4 0

p. 47.

Smith, o.e. ( cf. n. 38 ), p.74-5.


Varsovie 141262: Alliot, o.e. ( cf. n. 21 ), pl. VII, 3 et XVIII, 1; Szafranski,

Rocznik Muzeum Narodowego w Warszawie 24, 1980, 58, fig. 18; id., dans A.

Eggebrecht ( diteur ), Corpus Antiquitatum Aegyptiacarum


D. Franke, o.e. ( cf. n. 10 ), dossier n 428.

( HB 12 ), 136-41.

4 1

4 2

Smpson, The Terrace of the Great God at Abydos: the Offerings Chapels of

Dynasties 12 and 13, pi. 24. Le TYPE I est utilis sur CGC 20681 qui mentionne le
mme personnage, apparemment un plus jeune ge.

Graphies de "l'offrande que donne le roi"

147

type devenu prpondrant, c'est au tour du TYPE I, dsormais un trait rcessif, d'tre
relgu dans des emplacements moins dominants.
b) Fluctuations entre le TYPE I et le TYPE TJ sur les diffrents monuments d'un
mme personnage
-Sur la stle CGC 20578, une des deux stles ddies par pth-> au "fils royal"
bbi, recours est fait au TYPE I. En revanche, sur l'autre stle, Bologne KS 1 9 2 7 , la
43

graphie est
, c'est--dire le TYPE TJ; bbi, pourrait tre le fils de Sbekhotep
VU ( mr-hw-r' )
- Parmi les mulitples monuments rigs par ou, tout le moins, voquant tir/ , la
majorit utilise le TYPE I. Toutefois, sur la stle CGC 20556, la graphie de la formule
4 4

45

(irpdinsw ,
r m == , relve du TYPE TJ. Cette stle pourrait bien avoir t dresse
par deux personnes reprsentes en train de faire l'offrande titi, et dont l'une s'appelle
iry 't titi-'nh ; le nom est donc form sur celui de tit A . Or ce titi-'nb a rig une autre
stle o est utilis galement le TYPE U ( CGC 20666 ), et qui du point de vue
stylistique et pigraphique provient du mme atelier que la prcdente, quoiqu'elle soit
moins soigne. En consquence, il faudrait opposer les monuments de titi, ou voquant
titi avec le TYPE I, et la stle ddie par titi-'nh et son acolyte, qui a la graphie du
TYPE II. Deux explications ce changement:
-soit cette stle est plus tardive, ventuellement postrieure la mort de titi; dans ce
cas il faudrait supposer qu'il a rempli la fonction de mr 'Anwri* n hp aprs celle de mr
pr wr dont il se rclame sur les monuments montrant la graphie du TYPE I , ce qui
n'est pas vident.
-soit elle provient d'un atelier plus ouvert l'innovation que les autres monuments
o est mentionn titi.
6

4 7

c) Fluctuations entre le TYPE I et le TYPE TJ dans un mme ensemble


documentaire
48

49

50

-Les stles BM 2 2 0 , BM 2 2 6 , et Naples 1 0 1 8 ont t produites par le mme


atelier , sinon par le mme artiste, et quelques personnes se retrouvent de l'une
51

4 3

E. Bresciani, Le stele egiziane del museo civico archeologico di Bologna, pl.

14.
44

Franke, o.e. ( cf. n. 10 ), dossier n 228.


D. Franke, o.e. ( cf. n. 10 ), dossier 732; J. Bourriau, o.e. ( cf. n. 21 ), p.
63-4. Labib Habachi, o.e. ( cf. n. 20 ), p. 78.
4 5

4 6

Voir les cas cits dans Vernus, Le surnom au Moyen Empire ( Studia Pohl

13 ), p. 34, n. 47.
Le TYPE I se rencontre aussi sur la stle Vienna 143, o titi porte le titre de
mr 'b.nwti n hp.
4 7

4 8

HTBM IV, pl. 8

HTBM III, pl. 8.


Botti, A Francesco Gabrieli. Studi orientalistici offerti nel sessantesino
compleano dai suoi colleghi e discepoli, p. 42-4, pl. 1= G. Hbl, Le stele funerarie
dlia collezione egizia, pl. IV.
4 9

5 0

5 1

Voir P. Vernus, o.e. ( cf. n. 44 ), p. 10, n. 13. La communaut d'atelier se


manifeste par le style d'ensemble, le traitement et l'attitude des personnages, le
dterminatif des noms propres, etc..

148

Pascal Vernus
52

l'autre . Pourtant, la premire crit htp di


:
, donc selon le TYPE I,
alors que c'est le TYPE H qui prvaut dans les deux autres, sous les graphies

+ A JLetT^ A .
53

-De la mme tombe de Mirgissa ( n 130 ), proviennent trois statues . Sur deux
d'entre elles, la graphie de la formule (itp dinsw est du TYPE I, mais sur la troisime,
a
elle est du TYPE H, en l'occurrence T ti a .
L'explication la plus naturelle pour ce genre de fluctuations est que les ensembles
comprenant des monuments montrant l'un ou l'autre type datent d'une poque o est en
train de s'oprer le passage du TYPE I au TYPE II dans l'pigraphie.

d) graphies btardes
Par ailleurs, on relvera des graphies btardes illustrant clairement les ttonnement
des scripteurs au moment o s'effectue le passage d'un type l'autre:

- T" A

c f u A 54 _

=
=

A
A
_

- ^

55

A cTB

1 7 ^ =
T A D

56
57

Voil donc un ensemble d'indications qui permettent d'apporter quelques


prcisions l'histoire des graphies de la formule htp dinsv/. On observera que la
substitution du TYPE II au TYPE I illustre la dliquescence de la tradition culturelle
"hiroglyphique" et, en consquence, rirruption de traits propres aux traditions
culturelles "documentaires" sur les monuments votifs des particuliers, la suite de la
rupture, ou, tout le moins, de la difficult des relations avec les grands centres de la
science sacre. Cette substitution s'est opre quelques temps aprs ce repre
fondamental que constituent les rgnes de Nferhotep I et de Sbekhotep IV, au plus tt
une gnration aprs ces rgnes, probablement avec ou aprs le rgne de Sbekhotep VI (
mr-(ttp-r ) . Elle n'a sans doute pas t immdiate, et on peut postuler une certaine
priode de transition et de ttonnement, plus ou moins longue selon les ateliers et les
scripteurs.
Cela pos, le TYPE H est gnralis partir de la fin de la XTfle dynastie. Il y eut,
toutefois, des rsurgences de l'ancien type qui mritent d'tre numres.
Rsurgences du TYPE I
1) Rsurgences sporadiques durant la XVIIe dynastie

^
5 3

5 4

5 5

5 6

5 7

e.g. iy-mri,

mntvi-'t.

J. Vercoutter, Mirgissa 111, p. 286.


Louvre E 20908 = Vernus, L'information historique, 50/1, 1988, 18.
CGC 20544.
CGC 20335
BM 630.

Graphies de "l'offrande que donne le r o i "

149

a) La stle du "fils royal" imny, brise en deux morceaux conservs dans des
collections diffrentes , mentionne la fille du pharaon s/im-r-wd-ffw,
c'est--dire
Sbekemsaf I, qu'on s'accorde placer dans la XVUe dynastie, mme si sa position
exacte dans la succession des souverains de cette dynastie n'est pas assure . En tout
cas, la stle date d'une priode o le TYPE II est gnralis dans les graphies de la
formule htp Ji nsw. Pourtant, on rencontre le TYPE I la ligne x+8, dans :
58

59

Sauf remettre en cause la place du roi dans l'histoire gyptienne, on tendrait


considrer ce trait comme une rsurgence, plutt que comme un fait de conservatisme
provincial, mme si le monument provient de Dendara. Le monument mane d'un
membre de la famille royale, et se voulait une production soigne ( pour l'pque ! ); d'o,
peut-tre, le retour la tradition classique, par ailleurs bien malmene. On relve sur la
stle le respect, dans les graphies, de la forme sjm-ry-fy
, dans :
^

JP* o I I I l 'q-ry-sn, 'qui entreront" ( x+4 ),


alors que sur des documents pourtant antrieurs, il arrive bien souvent que cette
forme ne soit plus identifiable dans les graphies; exempli gratia:
60

w , dd-(ty)-jy,
"celui qui dira" ;
ou encore, la forme est remplace par le participe:
im

, rmt nir'q.w,

61

"touts les hommes qui entreront" .

b) Un autre exemple de rsurgence, tout fait diffrent, se manifeste sur la stle de


iy Karslruhe , qui provient vraisemblablement de Gblein. Sur cette stle se
manifestent la quasi barbarie pigraphique et les innovations iconographiques
caractristiques de la seconde moiti de la XVIIe dynastie et des premires annes de la
XVnie dynastie: formule 'nh ntr im.sn, investissement maladroit de l'espace, signe
62

, perruque de l'homme assis, attitude des officants. Aussi est-on surpris que la
graphie de firp Ji nsw paraisse relever du TYPE I, premire vue: T Q D M
Mais, cela procde-t-il d'une intention archasante consciente ? On peut en douter en
juger par la diffrence entre cette graphie maladroite et l'harmonieux quilibre de la
1

graphie classique: T == til . En fait, on croirait plutt que c'est l une incohrence
supplmentaire sur un monument dress une poque o les traditions culturelles
"hiroglyphiques" taient rduites de diaphanes ectoplasmes, parce que la principaut
nationaliste de Thbes tait coupe des grands centres de la science sacre.
2) La mode archasante des rgnes d'Hatshepsout et Thoutmosis HI

S. Hodjash et O. Berlev, The egyptian Reliefs and Stelae in the Pushkin


Museum of Fine Arts, Moskow, p. 90-3.
5 8

Voir, en dernier lieu, l'hypothtique reconstruction de Dodson, GM 120,


1991, 37, bien diffrente de la reconstruction de Franke, Orientalia 57, 1988,
271.
Vernus, RdE 28, 1976, 132 (d). Pour l'absence du suffixe ty dans les
graphies de la forme l'Ancien Empire, voir Edel, MIO 1, 1953, 330.
Labib Habachi, o.e. ( cf. n. 20 ), p. 79, fig. 14.
W. Spiegelberg et D. Prtner, gyptische Grabsteine und Denksteine aus
5 9

6 0

6 1

6 2

sddeutschen

Sammlungen

I, pl. III, n6.

Pascal Vernus

150

Alors que dans le cas prcdent, il s'agissait d'une rsurgence pisodique, et peuttre peine consciente, voici qu'on assiste, sous les rgnes d'Hatshepsout et de
Thoutmosis m , une rsurrection assurment voulue du TYPE I de la formule (itp di
nsw. Cette rsurrection est atteste par les monuments dats suivants:
-Monuments de sn-n-mwr ; Hatshepsout.
-Thbes, tombe n73 ; Hatshepsout.
-Monument d'imn-m-fat, CGC 20775 ; Hatshepsout.
-Statue de Apw, ddie par son fils ftpv-snb ; Hatshepsout.
-Statue du vizir \wr ; Hatshepsout et Thoutmosis DI ( dernire attestation connue
en l'an 28 68 ).
-Thbes, tombe de sttw/y, ( nl 10 ) ; Hatshepsout et Thoutmosis III.
-Statue de rft-msvtl^i-tn, ddie par son fils imn-m-fi ; Hatshepsout et
Thoutmosis III.
-Thbes, tombe d'imn-m-fat ( n82 ) ;Thoutmosis III.
-Thbes, tombe de rh-mi-r ( nl00 ) ; Thoutmosis lu ( partir de l'an 32 ).
63

64

65

&&

67

6 9

70

71

7 2

7 3

Ces exemples frappent par leur cohrence chronologique puisqu'ils se concentrent


pensant les rgnes d'Hatshepsout et de Thoutmosis l u . D'autres, dfaut d'tre dats
prcisment, sont attribuables la premire moiti de la XVITJe dynastie; par exemple:
-Stle de r-nvfils d'/nt , style dbut de la XVIII dynastie.
-Stle Munich AS 401.
-Stle MMA 65-115.
-Stle Chicago 10510 .
-Stle Leyde AE.S. 7 .
4

75

7 6

6 3

Voir Ch. Meyer, Sennemut. Eine prosopographische

Untersuchung ( Hamburg

gyptologischer Studium 2 ), p. 303-23 ( textes hiroglyphiques ). Voir aussi


P. Dorman, The monuments of Senenmut, pour la bibliographie et les problmes
historiques.
6 4

6 5

T. Sve-Sderbergh, Four Eighteenth Dynasty Tombs I, pl. XL.

Voir aussi H.S. Smith, o.e. ( cf. n. 38), p. 202, 208, et pour la date, Edel,

ZS 90, 1963, 29.


6 6

Turin 3061 = Urk. IV. En revanche, on rencontre la graphie du TYPE W sur


d'autres monuments de bp^-^nb: Urk. TV, 478 et 482; R.A. Caminos, et T.G.H. James,
Gebel es Sislsileh I. The Shrines, p. 52.
Urk. IV, 1033; voir aussi 1O30. En revanche, nouvelle graphie dans Urk. IV,
1035-6.
Vernus, RdE 33, 1982, 114 (v).
67

6 8

6 9

A. Hermann, Die Stelen der thebanischen Felsgrber der 18. Dynastie

( gFo

11 ), p. *31-6.
7 0

7 1

1043.

Labib Habachi, Sixteen Studies on Lower Nubia { CASAE 23 ), p. 77, fig. 32.

N. de Garis Davies et A.H. Gardiner, The Tomb of Amenemhet, pl. XXV; Urk. IV,

N de Garis Davies, The Tomb of Rekhmire II, pl. VII, VIII, XLVI, CXIV; mais le
TYPE II se rencontre pl. LXXVI.
Voir Ld 5, col. 180-2.
Bonn A 124 = Spiegelberg et Prtner, o.e. ( cf. n. 62 ), pl. Il, n6.
7 2

7 3

7 4

J.A. Wison, The Culture of Ancient Egypt, pl. 17b.


P.A.A. Boeser, Beschreibung. 3. Die Denkmler des Neuen Reiches, p. 225. W.
Helck, Zur Verwaltung des Mittleren und Neuen Reiches, p. 225, attribue la stle
7 5

7 6

l'poque d'Amnophis IV, ce qui parat difficilement acceptable.

Graphies de "l'offrande que donne le roi''

151

77

-De nombreux autres c a s .


La concentration des attestations bien dates pendant les rgnes d'Hatshepsout et de
Thourmosis m ne surprend pas. En .effet, c'est une poque o le retour la culture
traditionnelle, souvent celle des monuments du Moyen Empire, est manifeste. Au
demeurant, la mode archasante a t fort loin, jusqu' influencer non seulement les
monuments sacralis, mais mme le langage pistolaire des hauts dignitaires .
78

3) La mode archasante au dbut de l'Epoque Sate


Dans la mesure o les graphies de TYPE I de la formule fitp Ji nsw taient senties
comme des traits propres laculture traditionnelle, on s'attend qu'elles aient pu tre
remises l'honneur une autre priode de l'histoire gyptienne o prdomine une mode
"archasante", je veux dire le dbut de la Basse Epoque et la XXVIe dynastie. Cette
attente n'est pas due, et les cas de graphies du TYPE I ne manquent pas. En voici
quelques exemples qu'il serait ais de multiplier:
-Stle de {ir-s Turin .,
-Stle de nny ( CGC 20564 ) .
79

80

8 1

-Statue de

n^t-fir-^l .
83

- D e nombreux autres cas .

De ce bref aperu, il appert que si le critre de Smither conserve une vidente


pertinente, on ne peut l'apprcier pleinement qu' condition de bien comprendre les faits
culturels dont il est, en quelques sorte l'piphnomne. La gnralisation des graphies de
TYPE TJ sur les monuments sacraliss tels les stles, les statues et autres objets votifs
consacrs par les particuliers rsulte de reffondrement de la culture "hiroglyphique"
dont les graphies du TYPE I taient le produit. Autrement dit, si cette gnralisation
concide avec la fin de la XJJJe dynastie, ce n'est point fortuit. C'est tout simplement une
des consquences indirectes de la situation politique de cette priode. Dans ces
conditions, dans le dcoupage que nous oprons sur l'histoire gyptienne , on gagne
beaucoup situer le dbut de la Deuxime Priode mtermdiaire la fin de la XTTie
dynastie, autour du rgne de Dedoumes, peut-tre avec ou aprs celui de Sbekhotep
VI, en tout cas, au moment o s'imposent les graphies de TYPE II. Il y a un double
avantage:
-D'un point de vue pratique, on dispose d'un critre aisment applicable, en raison
de la frquence de la formule fttp Ji nnv, pour distinguer ce qui appartient la Deuxime
Priode Intermdiarre de ce qui appartient au Moyen Empire.
84

exempli gratia: Steindorff, Aniba II, p. 70,pl. 37c, cf. B. Bothmer, 7"he
Museum Annual II-III, 1960-1962, 33 ( XXIII ).
P. Vernus, Future at Issue { YES 4 ), p. 65, n. 33, utilisant une perspicace
observation de Brunner, Die Geburt des Gottknigs ( g. Abb ) , p. 175, n. 3.
Pour cette complexe notion d'archasme", voir les belles pages de Brunner,
Saeculum
21, 1970, 151-61.
P. Vernus, Athribis ( BdE 78 ), p. 95, pl. XIII, document 101.
Pour la datation de l'objet, voir la convaincante dmonstration de Leahy, GM
108, 1989, 45-54.
77

Brooklyn
7 8

7 9

8 0
8 1

8 3
8 4

Ramond, Revue du Tarn 90, 1978, pl.l, p. 281.

Barta, o.e. ( cf. n. 4 ), p. 194-5.


Sur ces problmes, voir Redford, dans K. Weeks ( diteur}, Egyptology and

the social Sciences.p. 3-20.

Pascal Vernus

152

-D'un point de vue historique, le dcoupage ainsi opr reflte le changement de


situation politique rel, puisque le passage du TYPE I au TYPE U a t provoqu, mme
si c'est de manire indirecte, par l'appauvrissement progressif ou brutal des
communications entre le sud de l'Egypte et les grands centres dpositaires de la culture
traditionnel.
Ainsi, on vite d'une part, de faire commencer la Deuxime Priode Intermdiaire
avec le dbut de la XlIIe dynastie, ce qui a l'inconvnient d'introduire une coupure l o
la documentation disponible ne laisse gure entrevoir de solution de continuit dans les
institutions et les traditions culturelles et artistiques . On vite, d'autre part, de placer le
commencement de la Deuxime Priode mtenndiaire avec la XVIIe dynastie, alors que
le plus souvent, il est impossible de faire le dpart entre ce qui date de cette dynastie, et ce
qui date de la priode immdiatement antrieure de la fin de la XlJJe dynastie o est
opre la gnralisation du TYPE n .
85

86

85 Voir E. Hornung, Einfhrung in die gyptologie, p. 132, 78; B.G. Trigger,


B.J. Kemp, D. O'Connor, A.B. LLoyd, Ancient Egypt A social History, p.149; S. Quirke,
o.e. ( . n. 29 ), p. 2.
86 voir Vernus, o.e. ( cf. n. 46 ), p.1.