Myths and Legends of Ancient Egypt

Page: 109

The Shield Regained

Then Minnemai, Prince of the Eupuantine, the son of Ierharerou, the priest-king, to whom the shield had belonged, advanced from Thebes with all his forces. They assigned him a place next the ship of Takhos, the chief soldier of the nome of Mendes, and it happened that in the galley of Takhos lay the cuirass itself. And Minnemai called upon his gods to let him behold his father's cuirass that he might be the instrument of its recapture. He armed himself, went to the galley of Takhos, and met there nine thousand soldiers guarding the cuirass of Ierharerou, son of Osiris. Minnemai placed thirty-four guards on the footbridge of the galley to prevent anyone from getting off, and he fell upon the soldiers guarding the cuirass. Takhos fought well and killed fifty-four men, but finally gave in and retired to his vessel, where Minnemai followed him with his Ethiopian warriors. The children of Ierharerou supported him and they seized the cuirass of Ierharerou.

Thus was the armour recaptured and brought back to its former place. There was great joy among the children of Ierharerou and the troops of Heliopolis. They went before Pharaoh and said to him, "Great master, have the history of the war of the cuirass written, and the names of the warriors who waged it, that posterity may know what a war was made in Egypt on account of the cuirass, in the nomes and in the cities; then cause the history to be engraved on a stone stele in the temple of Heliopolis." And King Petoubastis did as they asked.

The Birth of Hatshepsut

The following story of the birth of Hatshepsut, the great queen, the beloved of the gods, mistress of all[Pg 246] lands under the sun, is not a direct translation from the old papyrus which recounts it, but is told in the writer's own words:

In the land of the gods Amen-Ra held court. King of the gods was Amen-Ra, and the maker of men. On his right was Osiris, with the twin goddesses Isis and Nephthys, Hathor the goddess of love, and Horus and Anubis. On his left was Mentu, the god of war, with Geb, the earth-god, and Nut, the sky-goddess, the gods Atmu and Shu, and the goddess Tefnut. And to the assembled gods Amen-Ra spake thus:

"I will make a great queen, who shall rule over Egypt and Syria, Nubia and Punt, so that all lands may be united under her sway. Worthy must the maiden be of her great dominions, for she shall rule the whole world."

As he spoke the god Thoth entered, he who has the form of an ibis, that he may fly more swiftly than the swiftest arrow. In silence he listened to the words of Amen-Ra, the mightiest of the gods, the maker of men. Then he said:

"Behold, O Amen-Ra, there is in the land of Egypt a maiden of wondrous beauty. The sun in his circuit shines not on anything more fair. Surely it is fitting that she be the mother of the great queen of whom thou speakest."