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EGYPTIAN READINGBOOK

VOLUME I
EXERCISES AND MIDDLE EGYPTIAN TEXTS
SELECTED AND EDITED
BY
Dr A. DE BUCK
PROFESSOR OF EGYPTOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF LEYDEN
LEYDEN
NEDERLANDSCH ARCHAEOLOGISCH.PHILOLOGISCH INSTITUUT
VOOR HET NABIJE OOSTEN
1948
Scanné par Alain Zimmerlin
www.thotweb.com 2008
PREFACE
This volume intends to provide students who wish to familiarize themselves with the hieroglyphs,
the grammar, and the literature of Middle Egyptian with suitable exercises and texts.
According to my experience the lack of the former is a serious difficulty for beginners. As a
rule grammars do not quote more than a few examples and short sentences to illustrate the facts
and rules which they record, the number of these quotations being altogether insufficient to inculcate
the more vital rules of grammar. Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar with its wealth of examples and
exercises is of course a conspicuous exception,. his book, however, is too exhaustive and too ponderous
a volume for most beginners. We hope that the abundance of illustrative examples corresponding to
the various subjects of grammar, which are offered in the first part of this book will smooth the
student's path and prove a useful supplement of the current Egyptian grammars and that the book
will make the study of these grammars more attractive. The numbers of §§ mentioned in the headings
of the sections refer to the §§ of my short elementary Egyptische Grammatica (in Dutch) of which
a French translation is ready since long and will be published as soon as circumstances allow it.'
A transcription of pp. 7-37 has been added in order to help the beginning student in his rather
tedious search for signs in the sign-list and to give him the means of controlling his finds. Afterwards
he is supposed to be familiar with most signs and to be able to find his way in the sign-list with
some ease. The references of the type (A 1) refer to section and number of Gardiner's Sign-list or
other lists which follow his system.
As to the second part of the book we hope that this selection of Middle Egyptian pieces may
also fill up a void. At present Erman's delightful little Aegyptische Chrestomathie of 1904 is a rare
and nearly forgotten book and as Sethe's Aegyptische Lesestiicke is also out of print and difficult to
be found, no handy reading-book for students seems to exist for the time being. The present chrestomathy
contains, as we hope, a fairly representative selection of historical, literary, and religious texts composed
in the classical Middle Egyptian language. As to this collection little need be said. Although presumably
others will have other predilections, an attempt has been made to offer texts of varying contents so
that everybody may find something to his taste. We also intended to give both easier and more difficult
pieces. We may remark here that the stOry of Sinuhe has been excluded intentionally from the literary
texts, as this text is accessible to all students in Blackman's edition in the Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca.
A second volume will provide the rest of the notes on purely textual matters of which a few
pages have already been included in this book. That second volume will also contain a vocabulary
and a series of philological explanations, rather detailed and complete in the initial pieces, more
succinct and rare in the latter parts of the book.
PREFAC.E .....
TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXERCISES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
V
VI
Words in purely alphabetic spelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. I
Words written with two alphabetic signs followed by one or more determinati yes
Words \vritten with three or more alphabetic s i g n ~ followed by one or more determinatives
Words written with alphabetic and biliteral signs followed by one or more determinatives 3
The commonest ideograms 6
Purely ideographic writings 8
Abbreviations . 8
Transpositions . 8
Mixed Spellings 8
Group-writing . 8
Substantives (gender, number). Genitive (direct, indirect). Apposition. 10
Adjectives; used as epithets or substantives; qualified by a substantive; degrees of
comparison. . . . 10
The suffix-pronouns. 12
The demonstratives. 12
The independent pronouns. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with substantival predicate 14
The dependent pronouns. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with adjectival predicate 14
The dependent pronouns. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with adverbial predicate. 14
Syntax of non-verbal sentences with substantival predicate . . . . .. .... 16
The participles; used as epithets or substantives. Expression of object and subject.
Negation of the participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
The active participles as predicate in non-verbal sentences . . 20
Complex constructions with the passive participle. The relative forms 20
The srim·tj:fi form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
The sgm:f forms. Syntax of the verbal sentence . 24
The sgm.1lj; sgm'zn:f, sgm·k3:f, sgm·!Jr:f forms. . 28
The passive sgm·w:f and passives created by means, of ·tw . 32
Compound verb-forms introduced by zw, c!:t
c
; the auxiliary p3w; the verbs i(n), k3, lp'
contained in the forms sgm.z1l:f, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 34
The infinitive; its forms and syntax; negation of the infinitive . . . . . . . . .. 36
The old perfecti ve (pseudo-participle); its forms and syntax; use as a clause of circumstance 39
VIII TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
The infinitive (after f:zr) and the old perfective in the pseudo-verbal construction 4 I
The imperative; its negation; its reinforcement by adjuncts. 44
The complementary infinitive; the ldm·tf form . . . . . . . . . . 45
HISTORICAL TEXTS
..
"'\ Canal inscription of Tuthmosis III (K. SETHE, Urkunden der z8. Dynastt'e (= Urk. IV), 814
Coronation decree of Tuthmosis I (Urk. IV, 80). . . . . . . .
)( Inscription of Tuthmosis 11, recording a rebellion in Nubia (Urk. IV, 137)
)tThe Punt expedition of Queen Hatshepsut (Urk. IV, 341) . . .
)( Departure of the Punt expedition (Urk. IV, 322). .
)(Arrival of the expedition in Punt (Urk. IV, 323). . . .
)(The Puntites receive the expedition (Urk. IV, 324) . .
a camp for the expedition (Urk. IV, 325). . .
XReception of the tribute of the Puntites (Urk. IV, 326).
The products of Punt (Urk. IV, 328). . . . . . . . .
XThe return voyage of the expedition (Urk. IV. 329) . .
XThe 'poetical' stela of Tuthmosis III (P. LACAU, Steles du Nouvd Empire, nr 34010)
XThe Gebel Barkal Stela of Tuthmosis III (G. A. REISNER and M. B. REISNER, Zeit-
schrift fur iigyptische Spraclte, etc. Bd 69 (1933), pp. 24-29. Tf. Ill-V. . . .
XThe Armant Stela of Tuthmosis III (Sir ROBERT MOND, and O. H. MYERS, Temples
of Armant, pI. ellI, LXXXVIII, p. (82) .
of Amenophis III recording 'a wild cattle hunt (Annates du Service, etc.
XLIV (1945), p. 34, supplemented and corrected from other sources). . . . . . .
carab of Amenophis III recording his success in 10 years' lion-hunting (G. STEIN-
DORFF, Die Blutezeit des P/za1'aonenreiches, p. 44, fig. 39, supplemented and corrected
from other sources). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Scarab of Amenophis III recording his marriage with Tiy and the boundaries of his
empire (G. STEINDORFF and K. C. SEELE, When Egypt ruled the East, p. 75, fig. (7)
>\Scarab of Amenophis III recording the arrival of the princess Gilukhipa (Recueil de
Travaux, etc. 15 (1893), p. 200, supplemented and corrected from other sources) .
of Amenophis III recording the construction of a pleasure-lake (Annales du
Service, etc. XLIV (1945) p. 37, supplemented and corrected from other sourcesj .
)!The biography of Khnumhotpe, prince of Beni Hasan (P. E. NEWBERRY, Beni Hasan,
Part I, pI: XXV, XXVI, the last lines corrected by P. MONTET, Kemi III (1930-35)
pp. 1 12 sqq., PI.' XI) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
)(The laudatory autobiography of Kay (Hatnub, Gr. 24, R. ANTHES, Die ,Felsen·
inschriften von Hatnub, 1928, Tf. 24). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
)OExpedition to Hammamat; the official record (1. COUYAT et P. MONTET, Les inscrip-
tions hieroglyphiques et hieratlques du Ouadi HammamCtt, 1912, pI. XXXVII, nr 192)
pThe same expedition; the commander's record (Op. cit., pI. XXIX, nr 113). . . . .
i: A wonder, which occurred during this expedition (Op. cit., pI. XXIX, nr (10) . . .
f The second wonder which happened during this expedition (Op. cit., pI. XXXVI, 191)
r Semneh Stela marking the southern boundary of the realm of Sesostris III (Agyp-
tlsche Insclwiften aus den Koniglichen Museen zu Berlin, Bd I, p. 255, nr 14753) .
66
66
73
74
75
7
6
77
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LITERARY TEXTS
X Story of the miracles which happened in the reign of Cheops (A. ERMAN, Die Miirchen
des Papyrus Westcar = Mitteilungen aus den orientalisclzen Sammlungen, Heft V,
Die Kia;en'
des 13auern = Hieratische Papyrus aus den Koniglichen Muuen zu Berlin, Bd IV) .
X The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor [Wo GoutNISCHEFF], Les papyrus h£eratiques
No. I I 15, 11 [6A et II 16B de I'Ermitage imperial Cl St.-Phersbourg, 1913, PI. 1-VIII)
A story designed to make propaganda for the cult of Khonsu (The Bentresh-stela,
Louvre C 284, E. DE ROUGE, Journal Asiatique, cinquieme serie, t. VIII, (1856),
plate between pp. 200 and 201 = P. TRESSON, Re'vue biblique 42 (1933), pp.
57-78, pI. I). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
RELIGIOUS TEXTS
IX
Page
79
88
100
106
XHymn to Osiris (Louvre C 286, A. MORET, Bulletin de I'Institut franrais d'archeologie
orientale du Caire, t. XXX (1930) pp. 725-750, pI. I-Ill) . . . . . . . . . .. 110
Hymn to the Sun-god (B.M. 826, S. BIRCH, Transactions of the Society of bibl£cal
arclzeeology, voI. 8 (1883), pp. 143-163 = British Museum, A guide to the Egyptian
galleries (Sculpture), pI. XX = 1. E. S. EDWARDS, British Muuum, Hieroglyph£c
Texts from Egyptian Stelae, etc. Part VIII (1939) pp. 22-25, pI. XXI) . . . .. 113
spell for the protection of a baby (Hieratische Papyrus aus den Koniglichen
Museen zu Berlt'n, Bd. Ill, Zauberspruche fur Mutter und Kind, p. XVII, P. 3027,
I 9-11 3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 115
/<Book of the Dead 125, Introduction, the Negative Confession, Address to the gods,
etc. of the Hall of Judgment, Rubric (transcribed from the Papyrus of Nu, B.M.
10477, supplemented and corrected from other sources). . . . . . . . . . . .. 1[6
The Myth of the Destruction of Mankind (text of Seti I, corrected and supplemented
from the texts of Ramses n and In; c. MAYSTRE, Le livre de la vaclze du ciel
dans les tombeaux de la valUe des rois = Bulletin de l'Institut franrais d'archeologie
orientale, T. XL (1941), p. 58) . 123
Notes on purely textual matters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 126
Exercises
\
NB: the §§ in front of the exercises refer to De Buck's "Elementary Grammar"
The reader will find here a table of concordance between the grammars of
Gardiner, De Buck and Lefebvre.
I
t



Conseils pour une première approche des textes


A l’exception des extraits du Livre des Morts, tous les textes
historiques, littéraires et religieux proposés dans le Readingbook ont
fait l’objet d’une translittération et d’une traduction anglaise par
Jan-Mark Nederhoff. Ces documents sont disponibles sur son site :



http://www.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~mjn/egyptian/texts/textpdf/

PREFACE
This volume intends to provide students who wish to familiarize themselves with the hieroglyphs, the grammar, and the literature of Middle Egyptian with suitable exercises and texts. According to my experience the lack of the former is a serious difficulty for beginners. As a rule grammars do not quote more than a few examples and short sentences to illustrate the facts and rules which they record, the number of these quotations being altogether insufficient to inculcate the more vital rules of grammar. Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar with its wealth of examples and exercises is of course a conspicuous exception,. his book, however, is too exhaustive and too ponderous a volume for most beginners. We hope that the abundance of illustrative examples corresponding to the various subjects of grammar, which are offered in the first part of this book will smooth the student's path and prove a useful supplement of the current Egyptian grammars and that the book will make the study of these grammars more attractive. The numbers of §§ mentioned in the headings of the sections refer to the §§ of my short elementary Egyptische Grammatica (in Dutch) of which a French translation is ready since long and will be published as soon as circumstances allow it.' A transcription of pp. 7-37 has been added in order to help the beginning student in his rather tedious search for signs in the sign-list and to give him the means of controlling his finds. Afterwards he is supposed to be familiar with most signs and to be able to find his way in the sign-list with some ease. The references of the type (A 1) refer to section and number of Gardiner's Sign-list or other lists which follow his system. As to the second part of the book we hope that this selection of Middle Egyptian pieces may also fill up a void. At present Erman's delightful little Aegyptische Chrestomathie of 1904 is a rare and nearly forgotten book and as Sethe's Aegyptische Lesestiicke is also out of print and difficult to be found, no handy reading-book for students seems to exist for the time being. The present chrestomathy contains, as we hope, a fairly representative selection of historical, literary, and religious texts composed in the classical Middle Egyptian language. As to this collection little need be said. Although presumably others will have other predilections, an attempt has been made to offer texts of varying contents so that everybody may find something to his taste. We also intended to give both easier and more difficult pieces. We may remark here that the stOry of Sinuhe has been excluded intentionally from the literary texts, as this text is accessible to all students in Blackman's edition in the Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca. A second volume will provide the rest of the notes on purely textual matters of which a few pages have already been included in this book. That second volume will also contain a vocabulary and a series of philological explanations, rather detailed and complete in the initial pieces, more succinct and rare in the latter parts of the book.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page

PREFAC.E . . . . . TABLE OF CONTENTS

V

VI

EXERCISES
Words in purely alphabetic spelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Words written with two alphabetic signs followed by one or more determinati yes Words \vritten with three or more alphabetic sign~ followed by one or more determinatives Words written with alphabetic and biliteral signs followed by one or more determinatives The commonest ideograms Purely ideographic writings Abbreviations . Transpositions . Mixed Spellings Group-writing . Substantives (gender, number). Genitive (direct, indirect). Apposition. Adjectives; used as epithets or substantives; qualified by a substantive; degrees of comparison. . . . The suffix-pronouns. The demonstratives. The independent pronouns. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with substantival predicate The dependent pronouns. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with adjectival predicate The dependent pronouns. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with adverbial predicate. Syntax of non-verbal sentences with substantival predicate . . . . . . .... The participles; used as epithets or substantives. Expression of object and subject. Negation of the participles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The active participles as predicate in non-verbal sentences . . Complex constructions with the passive participle. The relative forms The srim·tj:fi form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The sgm:f forms. Syntax of the verbal sentence . The sgm.1lj; sgm'zn:f, sgm·k3:f, sgm·!Jr:f forms. . The passive sgm·w:f and passives created by means, of ·tw . Compound verb-forms introduced by zw, c!:t c; the auxiliary p3w; the verbs i(n), k3, lp' contained in the forms sgm.z1l:f, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The infinitive; its forms and syntax; negation of the infinitive . . . . . . . . . . The old perfecti ve (pseudo-participle); its forms and syntax; use as a clause of circumstance
I

3 6 8 8 8 8 8
10

10

12 12

14 14 14 16

18
20 20

24 24
28

32
34 36 39

. The complementary infinitive. . its reinforcement by adjuncts. . 325). . nr 113). . which occurred during this expedition (Op. Zeitschrift fur iigyptische Spraclte. )(The Puntites receive the expedition (Urk. 323). . . 329) . . . . . 326). . 4I 44 45 HISTORICAL TEXTS ~ . . . . . . IV. cit. . . XXXVI. etc. . . )(The laudatory autobiography of Kay (Hatnub. p. H. Bd I. .' XI) . . LACAU. its negation. Temples of Armant. . . IV. PI. . . . . . LXXXVIII. ~Pitching a camp for the expedition (Urk. . 24. )( Inscription of Tuthmosis 11. Beni Hasan. . XReception of the tribute of the Puntites (Urk. ANTHES. . . supplemented and corrected from other sources). the ldm·tf form . the commander's record (Op. . . . )(Arrival of the expedition in Punt (Urk. . . . . . . 19 1) Semneh Stela marking the southern boundary of the realm of Sesostris III (Agyptlsche Insclwiften aus den Koniglichen Museen zu Berlin. . Die Blutezeit des P/za1'aonenreiches. . supplemented and corrected from other sourcesj . . . nr (10) . . ~ Scarab of Amenophis III recording his marriage with Tiy and the boundaries of his empire (G. . the official record (1. . . . . etc. . pI. . IV). .. . 80). . STEINDORFF. XXVI. . 39. Die . . etc. pI. . pI: XXV. 1912. . XThe Armant Stela of Tuthmosis III (Sir ROBERT MOND. cit. . . . etc. ~Scarab of Amenophis III recording 'a wild cattle hunt (Annates du Service. . When Egypt ruled the East. 324) . XXIX. STEINDORFF and K. 814 Coronation decree of Tuthmosis I (Urk. Gr. 328). . .. . . and O. Tf. NEWBERRY. nr 192) The same expedition. Dynastt'e (= Urk. B. . . fig. . The products of Punt (Urk. .Felsen· inschriften von Hatnub.. . )!The biography of Khnumhotpe. (82) . . . fig. . . 24). . REISNER. . ell I. IV. Urkunden der z8. . . XLIV (1945) p. IV. pI. . XXXVII. Steles du Nouvd Empire. . 44. cit. . . XThe return voyage of the expedition (Urk. R. 15 (1893). recording a rebellion in N ubia (Urk. 24-29. . pI. supplemented and corrected from other sources). XLIV (1945). Kemi III (1930-35) pp. IV. the last lines corrected by P. p. Part I. . . p. pp. . IV. E. 341) . ~carab of Amenophis III recording the construction of a pleasure-lake (Annales du Service. . . 75. . . A wonder. . pI. . 1928. . REISNER and M. . SEELE. 137) )tThe Punt expedition of Queen Hatshepsut (Urk. A. 1 12 sqq. . carab of Amenophis III recording his success in 10 years' lion-hunting (G. p i: r f "'\ Canal inscription of Tuthmosis III (K. . XThe 'poetical' stela of Tuthmosis III (P. p. 37. IV. p. . . . supplemented and corrected from other sources) . IV. . . p. 34. 322). 255. IV. . . 200. . prince of Beni Hasan (P. . . Bd 69 (1933). . COUYAT et P. The second wonder which happened during this expedition (Op. Ill-V. (7) >\Scarab of Amenophis III recording the arrival of the princess Gilukhipa (Recueil de Travaux. )OExpedition to Hammamat. nr 34010) XThe Gebel Barkal Stela of Tuthmosis III (G. Tf. . .VIII TABLE OF CONTENTS Page The infinitive (after f:zr) and the old perfective in the pseudo-verbal construction The imperative. MYERS. )( Departure of the Punt expedition (Urk. C. . . SETHE. . XXIX. . Les inscriptions hieroglyphiques et hieratlques du Ouadi HammamCtt. MONTET. . n~. . 66 66 73 74 75 76 77 .. MONTET. nr 14753) .. IV.

. . . . p. Journal Asiatique. XXX (1930) pp. EDWARDS. Part VIII (1939) pp. Rubric (transcribed from the Papyrus of Nu. . . etc. . . . c. . S.M. pI. . . XXI) . Bulletin de I'Institut franrais d'archeologie orientale du Caire. . . . . . . . Bd IV) . . . . . . I I 15.VIII) A story designed to make propaganda for the cult of Khonsu (The Bentresh-stela. . . pI. . . 8 (1883). 10477. Address to the gods. . . TRESSON. 110 113 115 1[6 123 126 . XX = 1.~fI:~~Elo~u'en'tPe~s~nt·(F. . . . . . etc. . . . . .VO'G~L~A~G'u~d'A~A'N H"G~~D. . VIII. . Introduction. . voI. . Louvre C 284. 725-750. Hymn to the Sun-god (B.N~R:Die Kia. 200 and 201 = P. . . . of the Hall of Judgment. . I). Hieroglyph£c Texts from Egyptian Stelae. . 1913. . 1. . . . the Negative Confession. B. . corrected and supplemented from the texts of Ramses n and In. Notes on purely textual matters . Ill. Die Miirchen des Papyrus Westcar = Mitteilungen aus den orientalisclzen Sammlungen. plate between pp. . . . . (1856). . 826. XVII. . . The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor [Wo GoutNISCHEFF]. . . DE ROUGE. . ~Magical spell for the protection of a baby (Hieratische Papyrus aus den Koniglichen Museen zu Berlt'n. Re'vue biblique 4 2 (1933). Les papyrus h£eratiques No. . . MORET. Bd. . . . . . . . . 57-78. . t. . pp. . . PI. 58) . . XL (1941). . ~Th~fS~~.-Phersbourg. . I-Ill) .M. cinquieme serie. The Myth of the Destruction of Mankind (text of Seti I. A. . . pI. . . pp. . . . Zauberspruche fur Mutter und Kind. I 9-11 3) . . . .TABLE OF CONTENTS IX Page LITERARY TEXTS X Story of the miracles which happened in the reign of Cheops (A. . Le livre de la vaclze du ciel dans les tombeaux de la valUe des rois = Bulletin de l'Institut franrais d'archeologie orientale. P. . . T. . 22-25. . E. . . . Heft V. . . . 106 RELIGIOUS TEXTS XHymn to Osiris (Louvre C 286. . 143-163 = British Museum. pI. . British Muuum. . S. . . p. BIRCH. . /<Book of the Dead 125. ERMAN. . . . . A guide to the Egyptian galleries (Sculpture). . t. 3027. E.en' X 79 88 100 des 13auern = Hieratische Papyrus aus den Koniglichen Muuen zu Berlin. 11 [6A et I I 16B de I'Ermitage imperial Cl St. MAYSTRE. . supplemented and corrected from other sources). Transactions of the Society of bibl£cal arclzeeology.

I t • .Exercises \ NB: the §§ in front of the exercises refer to De Buck's "Elementary Grammar" The reader will find here a table of concordance between the grammars of Gardiner. De Buck and Lefebvre.

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uk/~mjn/egyptian/texts/textpdf/ .ac.Conseils pour une première approche des textes A l’exception des extraits du Livre des Morts. Ces documents sont disponibles sur son site : http://www. littéraires et religieux proposés dans le Readingbook ont fait l’objet d’une translittération et d’une traduction anglaise par Jan-Mark Nederhoff. tous les textes historiques.dcs.st-and.