Ancient Egyptian literature : an anthology by John L. Foster

By John L. Foster

Poetry, tales, hymns, prayers, and knowledge texts came upon beautiful written expression in historical Egypt whereas their literary opposite numbers have been nonetheless being recited round fireplace fires in historical Greece and Israel. but, due to its very antiquity and the centuries in which the language used to be forgotten, historical Egyptian literature is a newly stumbled on kingdom for contemporary readers.

This anthology deals an intensive sampling of all of the significant genres of historical Egyptian literature. It comprises the entire texts from John Foster's past ebook Echoes of Egyptian Voices, besides choices from his Love Songs of the recent Kingdom and Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of historical Egyptian Lyric Poetry, in addition to formerly unpublished translations of 4 longer and brief poems. Foster's translations seize the poetical fantastic thing about the Egyptian language and the spirit that impelled every one piece's composition, making those old masterworks sing for contemporary readers. An advent to historic Egyptian literature and its translation, in addition to short information regarding the authorship and date of every choice, completes the volume.

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17 10:59 But let me tell you just a little story, a bit like this, which happened once upon a time to me. I was traveling to the region of the royal mines and had descended to the Great Green Sea 6732 Foster / ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LITERATURE / sheet 36 of 298 In a grand two-hundred-foot-long vessel (its width was seventy feet from rail to rail), The crew within it, one hundred twenty of the finest men in Egypt: Let them see only sky, let them see land, braver were their hearts than lions; They could foretell a storm before its coming, foul weather before ever it occurred.

In them one finds the entire range of love situations and characters; and the tones and attitudes vary from chaste and idyllic to passionate and even erotic. Both males and females speak; and thus one sees both sides of love. These pieces all come from the Ramesside Period (ca. ) and derive from small collections or anthologies on papyri or ostraca now in London, or Turin, or Cairo. Love has hardly altered at all over the millennia. 17 10:59 ‘‘Why, just now, must you question your heart’’ Why, just now, must you question your heart?

Whose turn is it now making soft eyes up into his face . . . . o my god, love, What kind of man breaks the heart of a girl with such ever so strange goings on? VIII My heart remembers how I once loved you, as I sit with my hair half done, And I’m out running, looking for you, searching for you with my hair down! 17 10:59 If I ever get back, I’ll weave an intricate hairdo down to my toes. Love, there’s so much time now to finish . . 17 10:59 The Instruction for Little Pepi on His Way to School The Satire on the Trades T            piece belongs to the genre of ‘‘schoolboy texts’’—a series of didactic poems and treatises written for fledgling scribes.

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