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The Teaching of King Amenemhat I
Commentary. General issues

Date of composition: generally dated to the Twelfth Dynasty, but position within that period is uncertain

(1) Date of earliest manuscripts
There are no Middle Kingdom manuscript sources.
Early Eighteenth Dynasty: three wooden writing-boards.
Therefore, not later than beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty

(2) Direct evidence of composition:
Not earlier than Amenemhat I and Senusret I, both named as kings in the composition.
Related issue: is the composition a unity?
The presence of the formal 'opening phrase' (incipit) and 'end-note' 'colophon' in manuscripts attest to the reception of the composition as a closed unit in the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC).
It is possible that earlier phrases are embedded within the Teaching,

(3) Language of composition
Vocabulary and syntax have been identified by modern commentators as Middle Egyptian without Late Egyptian influence. This suggests a time and place for the composition earlier than the Second Intermediate Period, in court circles of the Middle Kingdom.

(4) Echoes within other written sources ('co-text')
One passage from section 14 recurs in a Middle Egyptian composition, known in Egyptology as the Admonitions of Ipuwer, at column 6, line 13 in the sole surviving copy, a manuscript of the 19th Dynasty now in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden. The date of composition of the Admonitions of Ipuwer is unclear, though a date in the late Middle Kingdom seems most likely from the syntax and from details such as the titles and institutions cited.

See too the questions of the historical content and the authorship of the Teaching


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