The Teaching of King Amenemhat I
iw hAb.n.i r Abw Hsy.n.i r idHw
aHa.kwi Hr Drw tA mA.n.i qAb.f
in.n.i r Drw xpSwt
m xpS.i m xprw.i
Section 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
I PLOUGHED SOUTH TO ABU, FARED NORTH TO THE MARSHES.
I stood at the limits of the land, and saw its contour.
I reached the limits of the strongholds,
by my strength and by my forms.
Commentary to the translation. Detailed points
This passage is used to illustrate linguistic extension, by Mark Collier, in Loprieno, Antonio (ed.), Ancient Egyptian Literature, History & Forms, Leiden 1996, 538 with n.23
The Egyptian name for the town called by the Greeks Elephantine, on the island facing modern Aswan, at the southern boundary of Egypt.
The papyrus marshes along the northern reaches of the Nile Delta, marking the natural northern boundary of Egypt.
limits of the land … limits of the strongholds
Echo of Lord of All: note the themes of limit, control, power and powerlessness
The word literally denotes 'folding' or 'circuit': other commentators take it to refer not to the boundaries, but to the contents 'enfolded' by them.
by my forms
Religious concept of 'forms': note resonance of 'create'-'happen'-'form'
Copyright © 2000 University College London. All rights reserved.