The principal sources are the
official titles recorded in inscriptions and manuscripts before the names
of members of the administration in each period, broadly Early Dynastic, Old
Kingdom, Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC), New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC), Late Period. There
is no general treatise on government in ancient written sources, the closest
being the 'Duties of the Vizier'. This is the Egyptological name for a composition
in the Middle Egyptian phase of the Egyptian language, found inscribed in
hieroglyphs on the tomb walls of four viziers at Thebes - three of the 18th
Dynasty, and one of the 19th Dynasty. Although it concerns only
the head of the administration and the functioning of his bureau, it offers
one way into the subject of Ancient Egyptian administration.
Duties of the Vizier
The version in the tomb-chapel of Rekhmira is far the best preserved of the four: it is inscribed in thirty-six vertical lines of hieroglyphs, of which the last nine are heavily damaged.
Date of composition: disputed. References to official titles, bureaux and administrative acts indicate a date in the late Middle Kingdom, but van den Boorn preferred a date in the earliest years of the 18th Dynasty
Editions of the composition:
transcription and translation
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