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Friday, January 30, 2009

K. RYHOLT, Narrative Literature from the Tebtunis Temple Library

Ryholt, Kim
Narrative Literature from the Tebtunis Temple Library

2009, 184 s., indb
24 s/h plancher, 21x29,5 cm
ISBN 978-87-635-0780-6
Serie: Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 35
ISSN 0902-5499
Serie: The Carlsberg Papyri, vol. 10
ISSN 0907-8118


340 DKK 46 €

The book presents ten narrative texts written in the demotic script and preserved in papyri from the Tebtunis temple library (1st/2nd century AD).
Eight of the texts are historical narratives which focus on the first millennium BC. Four concern prince Inaros, who rebelled against the Assyrian domination of Egypt in the 7th century, and his clan. One is about Inaros himself, while the other three take place after his death. Two other narratives mention Necho I and II of the Saite Period. The story about Necho II is particularly noteworthy, since it refers to the king as Nechepsos and for the first time provides us with the identity behind this name. Nechepsos is well attested as a sage king in Greek literary tradition, above all in relation to astrology. Of the two final historical narratives, one belongs to the cycle of stories about the Heliopolitan priesthood and the other concerns the Persian occupation of Egypt in the 5th or 4th century. The volume further includes a prophecy that forms the continuation of Nectanebo’s Dream, known from the Greek translation by Apollonios, and a new version of the mythological Contendings of Horus and Seth. Apart from a translation of the prophecy, none of the papyri have previously been published.

Kim Ryholt is Associate Professor at the Carsten Niebuhr Section, University of Copenhagen. He has published numerous articles and books on different areas of Egyptology and Demotic Studies.