WISDOM OF THE EAST

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LEGENDS

BY M. A. MURRAY

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.

[1920]


[p. 4] [p. 5] [p. 6]

FIRST EDITION...January 1913

Reprinted...March 1920

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

TO

MY STUDENTS, PAST AND PRESENT,

I DEDICATE THIS BOOK

   
[p. 7]

  PREFACE

IN this book I have retold the legends of the Gods of ancient Egypt, legends, which were current in the "morning of the world," preserved to the present day engraved on stone and written on papyri. I have told them in my own way, adhering strictly to the story, but arranging the words and phrases according to the English method; retaining, however, as far as possible the expressions and metaphors of the Egyptian. In some cases I have inserted whole sentences in order to make the sense clear; these are in places where the story divides naturally into several parts, as in "The Battles of Horus," and "The Regions of Night and Thick Darkness"; where each incident, so like the one preceding and the one following, is kept distinct in the mind of the reader by this means. This repetition is quite in accordance with the style of Egyptian literature.

The book is intended entirely for the general public, who are increasingly interested in the religion and civilisation of ancient Egypt, but

[p. 8]

whose only means of obtaining knowledge of that country is apparently through magazine stories in which a mummy is the principal character. It may be worth noting that in these legends of ancient Egypt mummies are not mentioned, except in the Duat, the home of the dead, where one naturally expects to find them.

Though the book is intended for the unscientific reader, I have made some provision for the more serious student, in the Notes at the end. In these I have given the origin of the legend, the book or books in which that original is published, and the book where the translation into a modern language by one of the great scholars of the day can be found. Other translations there are in plenty, which can be seen in specialist libraries; many of these, however, are of use only to a student of Egyptian literature and language.

I have arranged the sequence of the stories according to my own ideas: first, the legends of various, one might almost say miscellaneous, gods; then the legends of Osiris and the deities connected with him; lastly, the legends of Ra. At the very end are Notes on the legends, and a short index of all the gods mentioned.

M. A. M.

November 1912

   
[p. 9]

 
CONTENTS

         I.

      THE PRINCESS AND THE DEMON

      <page 11>

   
      Notes

      <page 107>

   
     II.

      THE KING'S DREAM

      <page 20>

   
      Notes

      <page 107>

   
     III.

      THE COMING OF THE GREAT QUEEN

      <page 24>

   
      Notes

      <page 108>

   
     IV.

      THE BOOK OF THOTH

      <page 29>

   
      Notes

      <page 109>

   
     V.

      OSIRIS

      <page 41>

   
      Notes

      <page 109>

   
     VI.

      THE SCORPIONS OF ISIS

      <page 52>

   
      Notes

      <page 110>

   
     VII.

      THE BLACK PIG

      <page 56>

   
      Notes

      <page 111>

   
     VIII.

      THE BATTLES OF HORUS

      <page 59>

   
      Notes

      <page 112>

   
     IX.

      THE BEER OF HELIOPOLIS

      <page 74>

   
      Notes

      <page 113>

   
     X.

      THE NAME OF RA

      <page 80>

   
      Notes

      <page 114>

   
     XI.

      THE REGIONS OF NIGHT AND THICK DARKNESS

      <page 86>

   
      Notes

      <page 114>

   
 
    [p. 10]

 
EDITORIAL NOTE

THE object of the Editors of this series is a very definite one. They desire above all things that, in their humble way, these books shall be the ambassadors of good-will and understanding between East and West--the old world of Thought and the new of Action. In this endeavour, and in their own sphere, they are but followers of the highest example in the land. They are confident that a deeper knowledge of the great ideals and lofty philosophy of Oriental thought may help to a revival of that true spirit of Charity which neither despises nor fears the nation of another creed and colour.

L. CRANMER-BYNG.
S. A. KAPADIA.

NORTHBROOK SOCIETY,
     21 CROMWELL ROAD,
          KENSINGTON, S.W.




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