Page images
PDF
EPUB

because the relatives of the deceased could make them as long or as short as they pleased. It is probable that Books of the Dead were not written in hieratic during the XVIIIth

dynasty. A com..

In September, 1874, at a special meeting of the second plete edi. International Congress of Orientalists, a resolution was passed tion of the Book of to the effect that for the furtherance of Egyptian studies an the Dead edition of the Book of the Dead, or the “ Bible of the Old contemplated. Egyptians," as critical and complete as possible, should be

steadily kept in view. It was further resolved that such an edition should contain the text of the Book of the Dead in three forms :- 1. Under the Old Empire ; 2. Under the Theban dynasties of the New Empire ; 3. Under the Psammetici (XXVIth dynasty). A Committee was formed which was

composed of Messrs. Birch, Lepsius, Chabas and Naville, and M. Naville M. Naville undertook the labour of this work. At the instance undertakes of Lepsius the Berlin Academy voted a sum of 3,000 the edition. marks for preliminary expenses, and the Prussian Govern

ment voted 4,800 thalers for its publication. When M. Naville began to collect materials for his edition, he found that the texts of the Old Empire were so few while those of the XXVIth dynasty were so many, and had so few actual variants in them, that he abandoned the idea of making an edition of the texts of the first and third recensions, and at the Fourth International Congress of Orientalists held at

Florence, in September, 1878, he asked the Committee to Change allow him to alter the original plan, and he stated his intenof plan.

tion of confining himself to collecting carefully all the necessary texts for a critical edition of the Theban recension of the Book of the Dead. He believed that in order to obtain a correct text of this recension, accurate copies of carefully written papyri must be published, from which, by comparison, the text may be emended. In 1886 M. Naville gave to the world the two volumes which contained the results of his twelve years' labour, under the title of Das Aegyptische Todtenbuch der XVIII. bis XX. Dynastie, Berlin,fol. The first

1 Transactions of the Second Session of the International Congress of Orien. talists, held in London, in September, 1874, London, 1876, p. 442.

? Lepsius unfortunately died before the work was issued. Egyptologists are indebted to Dr. Dillmann of Berlin for the issue of this valuable work.

ed

volume contains the text' and vignettes which were ably drawn by Madame Naville, and the second contains the variants. In a small quarto volume published a few months later, we have four chapters in which are discussed the Theban edition of the Book of the Dead, its history, its importance and the manner in which it was written ; the description of the texts used by M. Naville, remarks on each chapter of the Book of the Dead, and a list of the chapters in hieroglyphics. The texts of the Theban recension contain many corrupt readings, but it is of the greatest importance to have the material at hand from which a critical edition may one day be made, and M. Naville has rendered invaluable service to the science of Egyptology by bringing it together

Among the most valuable publications of texts of the Recent Theban recension of the Book of the Dead must be mentioned, pri

i copies of Photographs of the Papyrus of Nebseni? in the British Museum, texts. 1876, fol. ; Facsimile of the Papyrus of Ani (published by the Trustees of the British Museum, 1890, fol.); Papyrus Funéraire de Nebset, ed. Pierret, 1872; and the papyrus of Shuti-Qenna, by Leemans, Papyrus Egyptien Funéraire Hiéroglyphique du Musée d Leide, 1882, Livraison 5, Part III.

A useful example of a hieroglyphic text of the Book of the Dead not earlier than the XXVIth dynasty, is that which Lepsius published in 1842 from a papyrus in Turin ; the text is full of blunders and difficulties but, notwithstanding this fact, the work is a standard one for reference, and is of considerable value. Of hieratic texts belonging to a period subsequent to the XXVIth dynasty, the copy published by De Rougé is an excellent example.*

An English translation of the Book of the Dead was Transla. published by Birch in the English edition of Bunsen's Egypt's

sitions of the Place in Universal History, Vol. V, pp. 161-333, and a French the Dead. translation by Pierret, entitled Le Livre des Morts des Anciens

Book of

M. Naville bases his text chiefly upon British Museum Papyrus 9,900, and the papyri which he calls Ca and Pb.

? See the review of this work by Maspero in Revue de l'Histoire des Religions, Paris, 1887, pp. 263-315.

3 B.M. No. 9900.
4 Rituel Funéraire des Anciens Egyptiens, Paris, 1861, sol.

Egyptiens, appeared in Paris, in 1882 ; both these were, however, made from the text of the Turin papyrus. A German translation of the first fifteen chapters was published by Brugsch in Aeg. Zeitschrift, 1872, pp. 65–72, 129–134, and specially interesting chapters have been discussed by Birch, Maspero, Lefébure,' Guieysse," Pierret,& and others. A number of “supplementary” chapters were published by Pleyte (Chapitres supplémentaires du Livre des Morts, 162, 162*, 164-174) with translation and commentary, at Leyden in 1881, and Schiaparelli has translated and commented upon a large portion of one of the Books of the Dead in Il libro dei funerali

degli antichi Egiziani. Antiquity The age of the Book of the Dead is unknown, but it is Book of certain that parts of it are as old as the beginning of Egyptian the Dead. civilization, and Theban tradition in Egypt asserted that the

1 30th chapter was as old as Hesep-ti, 7 (EES) the fifth king of the Ist dynasty; the 64th chapter is variously stated to belong to the time of this king and to that of Men-kau-Rā (Mycerinus) of the IVth dynasty.8 The 178th chapter must also be at least as old as the time of this last king, because it is inscribed on the cover of his wooden coffin, which is now preserved in the British Museum (ist Egyptian Room, No. 6647). The oldest chapters appear to have been composed at Heliopolis, the great sanctuary and home of religious learning in Egypt, which was to the

1 A complete list of the words in this papyrus is to be found in Lieblein, Index Alphabétique, Paris, 1875.

The Chapter of the Pillow, Aeg. Zeit., 1868, p. 52; the Chapter of the Heart, ibid., 1880, p. 56 ; and the Chapter of the Tie, ibid.

3 Le Chapitre de la Boucle, in Mémoire sur quelques Papyrus du Louvre, Paris, 1875.

* Les yeux d' Horus, Paris, 1874.
6 Rituel funéraire Egyptien, Paris, 1876.
6 Etudes Egyptologiques, p. 85.

i Estratto dal Volume VIII delle Memorie della R. Accademia dei Lincei, Torino, 1882 and 1890.

8 Naville, Einleitung, p. 31.

9 I am aware that doubts have been thrown upon the age of this cover by a French writer, but it seems to me that the appearance and condition of the wood preclude any possibility of the theory that this cover was “restored” at a later period of Egyptian history being correct.

Ecuation is

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Egyptians what Jerusalem was to the Jews and Mecca is to the Mussulmans. The growth in the length of the chapters and the increase in their number was probably slow but sure ; and that revisions should take place from time to time is only what was to be expected. The commonest name for the Book of the Dead in Egyptian

name of Egyptian is .

O pert em hru, which is gene- the Book

of the rally translated by “coming forth, or going out, by day;" Dead. this was probably only a conventional name, and may account for the difficulty which scholars have had in agreeing as to its meaning. Another name is Re en seáqer xu, “The Chapter of making strong the beatified spirit.” (Naville, Einleitung, p. 24.) The author of the Book of the Dead was said to be the god Thoth.

The Book of the Dead is composed of a series of chapters, each one of which formed a distinct composition, which could be added to or omitted from a papyrus according to the wish of those who were causing a copy to be made. Champollion divided the book into three parts :chapters 1-15, 16–125, and 126 to the end ; but had this scholar lived to devote more time and attention to the subject he would have seen that these divisions were purely arbitrary. The Book of the Dead treats of the dead man's journey The object

of the through Amenti, and in it he speaks to the incorporeal gods Book of and beings who reside there, uttering the formulæ which will the Dead. deliver him from the foes who wish to impede his progress, reciting prayers, and chanting hymns to the great gods, with all of whom these compositions were supposed to enable him

'A Theban papyrus never contains more than ninety chapters.

? Es ist aber auch eine unrichtige Vorstellung, dass dieses Buch ein einziges Ganzes, eine in sich abgeschlossene von Anfang bis Ende fort schreitende Beschreibung der Seelenwanderung sei, welche von einem Verfasser so und in dieser Ausdehnung herrühre. Es ist vielmehr eine Sammlung verschiedener für sich bestehender Abschnitte, die sich auf die Zukunft der Seele beziehen, unter denen einzelne mehr oder minder wichtige Stellen einnehmen, auch im Allgemeinen nach einer gewissen Regel, die aber nicht immer unverbrüchlich ist, angeordnet sind. Lepsius.

3 This subject is discussed by Lepsius in the Vorwort (p. 5) to his edition of the Todtenbuch.

B. M.

to prevail. It contains texts which were ordered to be inscribed upon amulets and bandages for the benefit of the dead ; it contains a plan of the mummy chamber and the arrangement of certain pieces of furniture in it; it contains the text of the confession of the deceased in the presence of the fortytwo assessors, and the scene of the weighing of the heart in the judgment hall of Osiris; it has a representation of the Elysian Fields, etc. In our limited space here it is impossible to give the briefest summary of the chapters of the Book of the Dead and their contents; the above notes are only intended to indicate the best books and chief authorities on a work which is so often referred to in these pages.

Pillows. Materials The pillows X which the Egyptians were accustomed to of which pillows are put under the heads of mummies were made of wood (sycamade.

more generally), granite, alabaster and calcareous stone.

They vary from six to ten inches in height, and are often made in three pieces, viz., the curved neck-piece, the column and base. The column is usually round or square, and the base is oblong. The neck-piece is sometimes supported by two columns or pillars, Auted (B.M. No. 17,102), but it may be joined to the base by six supports (B.M. No. 2543), or even by twenty-one (B.M. No. 18,155). Pillows are made also in the shape of animals, e.g., B.M. No. 20,753, which is in the shape of a stag, the horns being curved downwards to form the neck-piece. Neck-pieces and columns are sometimes ornamented with ivory studs (B.M. No. 2541). The base is frequently dispensed with, and the supports are made in the form of the necks of ducks, the ends terminating in their heads and beaks. Such examples have usually the ends of the neck-piece ornamented with carvings of figures of the god Bes (B.M. No. 18,156), and sometimes with grotesque figures (apes ?) wearing plumes, and being led along by chains (B.M. No. 2256c). Such animals greatly resemble those represented

on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser II. The column of a Ornamen. wooden pillow is ornamented in various ways, and the name of pillows.

the deceased is often written upon it in hieratic or hieroglyphics. One example (B.M. No. 2529a) is inscribed with lion

tation of

« PreviousContinue »