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Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

Page: 19

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

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

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

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

PLATE XV.

PLATE XVI.
The Stele recording the casting out of a devil from the Princess of
Bekhten.

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

VI.

A LEGEND OF KHENSU NEFER-HETEP[FN#31] AND THE PRINCESS OF BEKHTEN.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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