Legends Of The Gods The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations

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[FN#166] Tcheser was a king of the IIIrd Dynasty, and is famous as the builder of the Step Pyramid at Sakkarah. His tomb was discovered by Mr. J. Garstang at Bet Khallaf in Upper Egypt in 1901.

[FN#167] i.e., the people who were in front of, that is, to the South of Egypt, or the population of the country which lies between Dakkah and Aswan.

[FN#168] The ancient Egyptian name for Elephantine Island, which appears to have gained this name because it resembled an elephant in shape.

[FN#169] i.e., the palace.

[FN#170] i.e., risen.

[FN#171] i.e., the high court officials and administrators.

[FN#172] The famous priest and magician, who was subsequently deified and became one of the chief gods of Memphis.

"Where is the place of birth of Hapi (the Nile)? What god, or what goddess, presideth (?) over it? What manner of form hath he? It is he who stablisheth revenue for me, and a full store of grain. I would go to the Chief of Het-Sekhet[FN#173] whose beneficence strengtheneth all men in their works. I would enter into the House of Life,[FN#174] I would unfold the written rolls [therein], and I would lay my hand upon them."

[FN#173] Hermopolis.

[FN#174] Per-ankh, or Pa-ankh, was a name given to one of the temple- colleges of priests and scribes.

Then [Matar] set out on his journey, and he returned to me straightway. He gave me instruction concerning the increase of Hapi,[FN#175] and told me all things which men had written concerning it, and he revealed to me the secret doors (?) whereto my ancestors had betaken themselves quickly, the like of which has never been, to [any] king since the time of Ra, (?). And he said unto me: "There is a city in the middle of the stream wherefrom Hapi maketh his appearance; "'Abu'[FN#176] was its name in the beginning; it is the City of the Beginning, and it is the Nome of the City of the Beginning. [It reacheth] to Uaua,[FN#177] which is the beginning of the land. There is too a flight of steps,[FN#178] which reareth itself to a great height, and is the support of Ra, when he maketh his calculation to prolong life to everyone; 'Netchemtchem Ankh'[FN#179] is the name of its abode. 'The two Qerti'[FN#180] is the name of the water, and they are the two breasts from which every good thing cometh forth (?).

[FN#175] i.e., the Inundation, or Nile Flood.

[FN#176] The Elephant City, i.e., Elephantine.

[FN#177] A portion of Northern Nubia.

[FN#178] This is probably an allusion to the famous Nilometer on the
Island of Philae.

[FN#179] i.e., "Sweet, sweet life."

[FN#180] The Qerti were the two openings through which the Nile entered this world from the great celestial ocean.

"Here is the bed of Hapi (the Nile), wherein he reneweth his youth [in his season], wherein he causeth the flooding of the land. He cometh and hath union as he journeyeth, as a man hath union with a woman. And again he playeth the part of a husband and satisfieth his desire. He riseth to the height of twenty-eight cubits [at Abu], and he droppeth at Sma-Behutet[FN#181] to seven cubits. The union(?) there is that of the god Khnemu in [Abu. He smiteth the ground] with his sandals, and [its] fulness becometh abundant; he openeth the bolt of the door with his hand, and he throweth open the double door of the opening through which the water cometh."