Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Variant

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Frequently the first parts of these inscriptions read, Variant 420= pomme qenå em āāui her enti am-i. “I embrace with my two arms that which is in me;" the variants for 496 ) being sol) sexen and 1 inq; frequently also they only contain the names and titles of the deceased preceded by the words Ο ανιχί χer “ watchfully devoted to,” which are followed by the names of the four gods. Oiten the same formula is repeated on all four jars.

CHESTS FOR CANOPIC JARS. The chests, or coffers, which held Canopic jars were made of wood, and were usually painted black; they were fitted on a kind of sledge with two runners, the ends of which were rounded. They are about two feet square. On one end are traced in outline figures of Neith and Serqet, and on the other Isis and Nephthys; on the one side are Mestha and Hāpi, and on the other Tuamāutef and Qebhsennuf. By the side of each god is inscribed the formula which is given in the 151st chapter of the Book of the Dead, and by the side of each goddess is inscribed the formula which is found on Canopic vases. (Excellent examples of chests on sledges are Nos. 8543a, and 85436, 3rd Egyptian Room, British Museum.) The inside of the chest is divided into four equal spaces by wooden partitions, and in each stood a jar. The use of such chests is certainly as old as the XIIth dynasty.

THE BOOK OF THE DEAD.

The Book

of the

Ritual.'

The collection of chapters, or distinct compositions, which the ancient Egyptians inscribed upon pyramids, walls of tombs, sarcophagi, coffins and papyri, amulets and other objects which were buried in the tombs with the dead was called “ Rituel Funéraire" by Champollion, and this misleading name was adopted by De Rougé, who, in his Etudes sur le Rituel Funéraire des Anciens Egyptiens,1 brought forward reasons for so doing, and considered that all he had said "justifie suffisamment, suivant nous, le titre choisi par Champollion.” Champollion's grammar shows that he had studied every part of the so-called Ritual, and the many short passages which he translated prove that he recognized the nature of its contents, and rightly appreciated its great value from a religious point of view; it is quite clear, however, that he never completeiy analysed a single chapter of it, and that he never translated any passage from it of considerable length. Had this remarkable man lived to examine the work further he would have seen that it was not a “Ritual.”? This collection of chapters was entitled “Todtenbuch ” by Lepsius, in 1842, and by the name “ BOOK OF THE DEAD” it is now most generally known.

The earliest publications of parts or whole copies of the Book of the Dead were made by Cadet (J. Marc), Copie figurée d'un rouleau de Papyrus, trouvé à Thèbes, dans un tombeau des Rois, Strassburg, 1805 ; Fontana, Copie figurée d'un rouleau de papyrus trouvé en Egypte, publiée par Fontana et expliquée par Joseph de Hammer, Vienna, 1822 ; Sen

Early printed copies of the Book of the Dead.

1 In Revue Archéologique, N.S., tom. i. 1860, pp. 69-100, 234-249, 337–365.

2 Dieser Codex ist kein Ritualbuch, wofür es Champollion's Bezeichnung “ Rituel Funéraire" zu erklären scheint ; es enthält keine Vorschriften für den Todtenkultus, keine Hymnen oder Gebete, welche von den Priestern etwa bei der Beerdigung gesprochen worden wären : sondern der Verstorbene ist selbst die handelnde Person darin, und der Text betrifft nur ihn und seine Begegnisse auf der langen Wanderung nach dem irdischen Tode. Es wird entweder erzählt und beschrieben, wohin er kommt, was er thut, was er hört und sieht, oder es sind die Gebete un | Anreden, die er selbst zu den verschiedenen Göttern, zu welchen er gelangt, spricht. Lepsius, Vorwort (Todtenbuch), p. 3.

kowski, Exemplum Papyri Aegyptiacæ quam in peregrinatione sua repertam Universitati Cracoviensi dono dedit, Petropoli, 1826;1 Young, Hieroglyphics, London, 1823, fol., plates I.-VI.; Hawkins, Papyri in the Hieroglyphic and Hieratic character from the Collection of the Earl of Belmore, London, 1843, fol., plates 1-8; and Rosellini, Breve notizia intorno un frammento di Papiro funebre egizio essistente nel ducale museo di Parma ; Parma, 1839, 8vo; Description de l'Egypte, ed. Jomard, Antiquités, tom. ii. The most important publication, however, was that of Lepsius in 1842, who under the title of Das Lepsius Todtenbuch der Aegypter, reproduced the complete text of the Turin a papyrus at Turin, which contained 165 chapters. The Papyrus. custom of inscribing chapters of Books of the Dead upon the walls of the sarcophagus chambers of tombs is as old as the Vth dynasty, but at that epoch large, well-spaced hieroglyphics, arranged between lines, occupy the walls conjointly with architectural decorations ;? towards the VIth dynasty the space allotted for decorative purposes becomes narrower, the hieroglyphics are smaller, and the inscriptions overflow into the passages and chambers, the walls of which, in earlier times, were left blank. The pyramids of the Vth and Vith dynasties which have inscriptions on their inner walls are those of Unås, Tetà, Pepi I., Pepi II., and Seker-em-sa-f; this set of inscriptions is usually called the “Pyramid Texts,” The Pyraand they have been published with a French translation by mi Maspero in Recueil de Travaux: Unås, tom. iii., pp. 177-224, and tom. iv., pp. 41-78; Tetá, tom. v., pp. 1-60; Pepi I., tom. V., pp. 157-199, tom. vii., pp. 145-176, tom. viii., pp. 87-119; Pepi II., tom. ix., pp. 177-190, tom. X., pp. 1-28, tom. xi., pp. 1–30, tom. xii., pp. 53-95, 136-195.

During the XIth dynasty the custom of writing chapters of the Books of the Dead upon wooden coffins or sarcophagi became common; examples of the texts of this period, written upon coffins in the hieratic character, have been Texts in

mid Texts.

scribed up

on coffins.

| This book was published at the expense of the Academy of St. Petersburg, and never came into the market.

• Maspero, La Religion Egyptienne, d'après les Pyramides de la Ve et de la V] Dynastie (in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, Paris, 1885, p. 124).

published by Lepsius 1 and Birch.? At this period Books

of the Dead were also written upon papyrus.8 Texts writ. After the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt by the ten upon papyri.

kings of Thebes, copies of the Book of the Dead were usually written upon papyri, and these papyri are of various lengths and widths. The roll of papyrus was often placed in a rectangular niche in the wall of the tombs, or in the coffin by the side of the mummy; sometimes it was placed between the legs, and sometimes it was fastened under the bandages. The length and style of execution of the work depended entirely upon the fancy of the relatives of the dead man. Books of the Dead, illuminated and plain, formed part of the stock in trade of the Egyptian undertaker. If the purchaser were rich he would probably select the best copy he could buy; if poor he would be content with a simple undecorated text. In these “stock" copies blank spaces were left to receive the names of the deceased for whom they were purchased. Copies are extant in which, through omission or neglect, no name whatever has been inserted. The numerous badly-written and incorrect copies which are so common in the museums of Europe are

probably the result of cheap work; careless work, however, Vignettes exists in the most beautiful papyri, and some of the finest and orna. mentation

known contain blunders which show not only that the scribe of papyri. was careless, but also that he did not understand what he was

writing. Books of the Dead are written in the hieroglyphic and hieratic characters, and are ornamented with pictures of the gods, sacred animals and birds, mythological scenes, representations of the funeral procession, etc., etc., painted, at timnes, in as many as thirteen colours. The titles of the chapters, catch-words, and certain passages are written in red, and the text in black. Hieroglyphic texts are usually written in perpendicular lines, and those in hieratic in horizontal lines. The vignettes and scenes were probably executed by one class of men, and the text by another, and it seems sometimes as if the relatives of the dead spent nearly all the

1 Aelteste Texte des Todtenbuchs, Berlin, 1867, 4to. 2 The Coffin of Amamu, London, 1886, fol.

3 For the fragments found with the mummy of An-Antes, see B.M. First Egyptian Room, Case D.

Own

money which they could afford to spend upon a copy of the Book of the Dead on the artists' work for pictures, while they left the execution of the text to an inferior scribe. Although many of the faulty readings which occur in the Book of the Dead are to be attributed to the carelessness of the scribe, it is quite certain that a very large number were the result of his ignorance, and that, at times, he did not know which was the beginning or end of the text which he was about to copy. In proof of this M. Naville? has reproduced from a papyrus the 77th chapter copied from the wrong end, and on the opposite page he gives the restored text in the right order. An examination of papyri shows that frequently more than one artist and scribe were employed in making a single copy of the Book of the Dead; but it is also evident that in some instances both the vignettes and the text were the work of one man.

According to M. Naville the Book of the Dead is known to us in four recensions :1. That of the Old and Middle Empires, which is usually the recen

sions of the written in hieroglyphics.

Book of 2. The Theban recension, which was much used from the D

the XVIIIth-XXth dynasty, also written in

hieroglyphics.
3. The redaction closely resembling that of Thebes

which obtained after the XXth dynasty, and
which was written in hieratic; in it the chapters

have no fixed order.
4. A text of the Saïte and Ptolemaïc periods written

both in hieroglyphic and hieratic characters ; this
text shows that the Book of the Dead at this
epoch had undergone a thorough revision, and

in it the chapters have a fixed order.
The texts of the earliest recension are, for the most part,
written in hieroglyphics upon tombs and sarcophagi, but texts
written upon papyrus in hieroglyphic and hieratic characters
took their place, probably because they cost less money, and

1 In his Einleitung, pp. 42, 43.

« PreviousContinue »