Homepage Timeline Maps A-Z index Learning

The Teaching of King Amenemhat I


HAt-a m sbAyt
irt.n Hm n nswt-bity sHtp-ib-ra
sA ra imn-m-Hat mAa-xrw
Dd.f m wpt mAat
n sA.f nb-r-Dr
Dd.f xa m nTr
sDm n Dd.ti.i n.k
nsy.k tA
HqAy.k idbw
ir.k HAw Hr nfr

Section 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15



made by the Agency of the Dual King Sehetepibra
Son of Ra Amenemhat true of voice,
Declaring in a revelation of truth
to his son the Lord of All,
Saying, Rise as God
Listen to what I tell you
That you may be king of earth
That you may rule the river-banks
And achieve in excess of perfection
[here a day-mark in Papyrus Millingen 'year 5 month 4 of peret day 4']

Commentary to the translation

(1) King Sehetepibra Amenemhat

The titles and names of the king are those most often used in the Middle Kingdom. Over the course of the third millennium BC, there developed a fivefold titulary whereby each king took before his birth name four other names, all five being preceded by a special title - Horus, he of the Two Goddesses (Two Ladies), Horus of Gold, Dual King, and, before the birth-name, Son of Ra.

On the concept of solar kingship, whereby the king is consubstantial son of the sun-god Ra, see Berlev 1981

King Senusret I
See general comments for question of a coregency between this king and his father

Revelation of truth
This has been taken to denote appearance in a dream. The word 'truth' (maat) is the same as that for 'order', meaning in essence 'that which is straight (normative)'.

Lord of All
Literally 'Lord to the Limit', implying sovereign power over all creation to the boundary between created matter and the anti-matter beyond.

Rule riverbanks
In the context of the Nile, the national territory could be expressed as the two riverbanks of the river in Upper Egypt, or the multiple river banks of all the Nile branches in Upper, Middle and Lower Egypt.


Copyright © 2000 University College London. All rights reserved.