Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Less Than Thousand

Less than 1,000 people have been able to read and translate, since Champollion deciphered them in 1822, Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. One of them translated a representative set of Ancient Egyptian texts into English: Toby Wilkinson, 'Writings from ancient Egypt' (2016).

It's a lovely book. With an introduction to every individual text and informative footnotes. For me this is a perfect guide into the world and thoughts of the Ancient Egyptians. Antidote against Ancient Greece and Rome! The world of the Ancient Egyptians is so different. The world of Others. At the same time their words of 4,000 to 4,500 years ago feel sometimes so close.

Check out:
  • 'Cycle of Hymns to Senusret III', page 96-100. Reminds me of Katie Melua's song, 'If you were a sailboat'. He is ... one in a million, a dyke, a cool room, a rampart, a refuge, a shelter, a shade, a warm corner and a mountain that hinders the storm when the sky rages.
  • 'The Great Hymn to the Orb', page 101-106. For the first time in history polytheism changed into: there is only one Orb and one Orb only. The source for the jewish JWH and christian God.
  • 'Chapter 125 The Declaration of Innocence', from 'The Book of Dead', page 165-174. For me this is the fertile ground that inspired the jews and christians to their Ten Commandments.
  • 'Harpist Song from the Tomb of King Intef', page 223-227. Rare. For me the greatest jewel of this book. More than 3,300 years old. "Follow your heart as long a you live! (...) Do as your heart commands while you're upon earth! (...) Look, no one is allowed to take his possessions with him. Look, no one who departs returns!"
  • 'The Teaching of Ani', page 300-311. 25th maxim: "Make a garden and enclose a plot, in addition to your fields. Set out trees in it to shelter your house. Fill your hand with all the flowers that your eye can see."

New for me. The two obelisks of Hatsepsut were wrought in electrum (page 194). Electrum!

In continuation to blogpost 'Happiness as 'Open of Heart. All senses sharp. Stripped of Unsavory.' (November 2011). I've to check out the hieroglyphs behind 'happy' and 'happiness' on page 39, 226 (twice), 261, 267 and 302. And 'joyfull' on page 51.

The hieroglyphs of 'iron' are 'miracle of heaven' (read 'meteorite'). This makes me curious for the hieroglyphs of silver, gold, electrum, copper and bronze. And of lapis lazuli. And of the Sinaï. And Maat and Isfet.

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