Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations
Page: 3[FN#1] Ein in moglichst wortgetreuer Uebersetzung vorglegter Papyrus- text soll den Schlussstein meines Werkes bilden. Er wird den Beweis fur die Richtigkeit meiner eigenen Untersuchungen vollenden, indem er das wichtigste Zeugniss altagyptischen Ursprungs den zahlreichen, von mir angezogenen Stellen aus den Inschriften hinzufugt. Trotz mancher Schwierigkeit im Einzelnen ist der Gesammtinhalt des Textes, den zuerst ein englischer Gelehrter der Wissenschaft zuganglich gemacht hat, such nicht im geringsten misszuverstehen (Brugsch, Religion, p. 740). He gives a German translation of the Creation Legend on pp. 740, 741, and a transliteration on p. 756.
[FN#2] Egyptian Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum, London, 1910, folio.
The papyrus is about 16 ft. 8 in. in length, and is 9 1/4 in. in width. It contains 21 columns of hieratic text which are written in short lines and are poetical in character, and 12 columns or pages of text written in long lines; the total number of lines is between 930 and 940. The text is written in a small, very black, but neat hand, and may be assigned to a time between the XXVIth Dynasty and the Ptolemaic Period. The titles, catch-words, rubrics, names of Apep and his fiends, and a few other words, are written in red ink. There are two colophons; in the one we have a date, namely, the "first day of the fourth month of the twelfth year of Pharaoh Alexander, the son of Alexander," i.e., B.C. 311, and in the other the name of the priest who either had the papyrus written, or appropriated it, namely, Nes-Menu, or Nes-Amsu.
The Legend of the Creation is found in the third work which is given in the papyrus, and which is called the "Book of overthrowing Apep, the Enemy of Ra, the Enemy of Un-Nefer" (i.e., Osiris). This work contained a series of spells which were recited during the performance of certain prescribed ceremonies, with the object of preventing storms, and dispersing rain-clouds, and removing any obstacle, animate or inanimate, which could prevent the rising of the sun in the morning, or obscure his light during the day. The Leader-in Chief of the hosts of darkness was a fiend called Apep who appeared in the sky in the form of a monster serpent, and, marshalling all the fiends of the Tuat, attempted to keep the Sun-god imprisoned in the kingdom of darkness. Right in the midst of the spells which were directed against Apep we find inserted the legend of the Creation, which occurs in no other known Egyptian document (Col. XXVI., l. 21, to Col. XXVII., l. 6). Curiously enough a longer version of the legend is given a little farther on (Col. XXVIII., l. 20, to Col. XXIX., l. 6). Whether the scribe had two copies to work from, and simply inserted both, or whether he copied the short version and added to it as he went along, cannot be said. The legend is entitled: Book of knowing the evolutions of Ra [and of] overthrowing Apep.
This curious "Book" describes the origin not only of heaven, and earth, and all therein, but also of God Himself. In it the name of Apep is not even mentioned, and it is impossible to explain its appearance in the Apep Ritual unless we assume that the whole "Book" was regarded as a spell of the most potent character, the mere recital of which was fraught with deadly effect for Apep and his friends.