Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt



WE have followed the royal pilgrim as he passed through the celestial gates, where he awaited announcement of his arrival to the Sun-god, in whose realm he must now abide. We behold his heralds hastening to announce his advent. "Thy messengers go, thy swift messengers run, thy heralds make haste. They announce to Re that thou hast come, (even) this king Pepi." [*1] We hear their message as they shout, "'Behold, he comes! Behold, he comes!' says Sehpu. Behold the son of Re comes, the beloved of Re comes,' says Sehpu, 'who was made to come by Horus.'" [*2] The gods crowd down to the shore. "This king Pepi found the gods standing, wrapped in their garments, their white sandals on their feet. They cast off their white sandals to the earth, they throw off their garments. 'Our heart was not glad until thy coming,' say they." [*3] Again they are overcome with awe as they hear the proclamation of the heralds and behold the king approaching. Re stands before the gates of the horizon leaning upon his sceptre, while the gods are grouped about him. "The

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gods are silent before thee, the Nine Gods have laid their hands upon their mouths," says the herald voice. [*1]

It may be, however, that the king finds himself without any messenger to despatch to Re, and in this case the ferryman may be induced to announce his coming. [*2] Otherwise, as he approaches the gate the gate-keeper is called upon to perform this office. "Ho, Methen! Keeper of the great gate! Announce this king Pepi to these two great gods" (Re and Horus). [*3] He may even be obliged to intrust his case to the good offices of Re's body servant, affording an interesting side-light on the possible methods of gaining the royal ear in this distant age. "O ye who are over the offering and the libation! Commit king Unis to Fetekta, the servant of Re, that he may commit him to Re himself." [*4] More often the gods themselves, who have greeted him with acclamation, or have stood in awed silence at his coming, proclaim it far and near, after they have announced him to Re: "O Re-Atum! This king Unis comes to thee, an imperishable glorious-one, lord of the affairs of the place of the four pillars (the sky). Thy son comes to thee. This king Unis comes to thee." Then Set and Nephthys hasten to the south, where they proclaim his coming "to the gods of the south and their spirits": "This king Unis comes indeed, an imperishable glorious-one. When he desires that ye die, ye die; when he desires that ye live, ye live." To the north Osiris and Isis say: "This king Unis comes indeed, an imperishable glorious-one, like the morning star over the Nile. The spirits dwelling in the water praise him. When he desires that he live, he lives; when he desires that he die, he dies." Thoth hastens to the west with the words: "This king

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[paragraph continues] Unis comes indeed, an imperishable spirit, adorned with the jackal on the sceptre before the western height. [*1] He numbers the hearts, he takes possession of the hearts. When he desires that he live, he lives; when he desires that he die, he dies." Finally Horus, speeding to the east, proclaims: "This king Unis comes indeed, an imperishable spirit. When he desires that he live, he lives; when he desires that he die, he dies." In conclusion of this fourfold announcement at the cardinal points, the voice again cries to Re, "O Re-Atum! Thy son comes to thee, Unis comes to thee. Lift him up to thee, enfold thou him in thy embrace. He is thy bodily son forever." [*2]

Thus received by his father, the question of the status of the royal pilgrim at once arises. His ambitions sometimes seem lowly enough, and he is even amusingly unceremonious in carrying them out. Yonder sits Re at his "divan" with his secretary at his side, the scribe having his two pens thrust behind his ears, while a large roll of papyrus is spread across his knees. As the king approaches a voice is heard: "O scribe, scribe! Break thy writing kit, smash thy two pens, destroy thy papyrus rolls. O Re! Expel him from his post and put king Pepi in his place." [*3] Thus ensconced in a snug post as secretary of the ruler of the celestial realm, "King Unis sits before him (Re), king Unis opens his chests (of papers), king Unis breaks open his edicts, king Unis seals his decrees, king Unis despatches his messengers who weary not, king Unis does what he (Re) says to king Unis." [*4] Thus the king becomes the counsellor of the Sun-god, "the wise one bearing the divine book on the right of

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[paragraph continues] Re." [*1] Again we find the dead Pharaoh serving as a priest "before Re, bearing this jar, which purifies the Southland before Re, when he comes forth from his horizon." [*2] He may even appear as Uneg, the son and body-servant of Re, [*3] and we behold him as "a star . . . long of stride, bringing the provisions of the (daily) journey to Re every day." [*4]

More often the greatest intimacy and familiarity now develop between the Sun-god and the newly arrived king; "every beautiful place where Re goes, he finds this king Pepi there." [*5] Should there be any difficulties in the way, the dead king recites a magical hymn [*6] in praise of the Sun-god, which smoothes the way to perfect fellowship with Re. The priestly editor has added the assurance: "Now he who knows this chapter of Re, and he doeth them, (even) these charms of Harakhte (the Horizon-god), he shall be the familiar of Re, he shall be the friend of Harakhte. King Pepi knows it, this chapter of Re; king Pepi doeth them, these charms of Harakhte. King Pepi is the familiar of Re, king Pepi is the companion of Harakhte." [*7] Thus the departed Pharaoh may "sit at his (Re's) shoulder, and Re does not permit him to throw himself upon the earth (in obeisance), knowing that he (the king) is greater than he (Re)." [*8] In the quaint imagination of the priestly editor, the king may even become the lotus flower, which the god holds to his nose. [*9]

But that association with Re in which the Egyptian took the greatest delight was the voyage with him across the sky in his daily journey to the west. As the cool Nile breezes and the picturesque life of the refreshing river

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were the central picture in his earthly life, so he looked forward to finding the celestial Nile the source of the same joy in the life hereafter. "Thou embarkest in this barque of Re, to which the gods love to ascend, in which they love to embark, in which Re is rowed to the horizon." [*1] The simplest form of this belief places the dead king among the crew of the Solar barque. "King Pepi receives to himself his oar, he takes his seat, he seats himself in the bow of the ship, . . . he rows Re to the west." [*2] If there is no other way to secure passage in the beautiful "sunbeam-barque," [*3] the once splendid Pharaoh is permitted to come along as little better than a stowaway and to bail out the craft. [*4]

The theological theory of the state in the Pyramid Age, as we have seen, represents the Pharaoh as the son of the Sun-god. The Pyramid Texts of course take full advantage of this circumstance, and often call upon Re to recognize and protect his son. The dead Pharaoh boldly approaches the Sun-god with the words: "I, O Re, am this one of whom thou didst say, . . . 'My son!' My father art thou, O Re. . . . Behold king Pepi, O Re. This king Pepi is thy son. . . . This king Pepi shines in the east like Re, he goes in the west like Kheprer. This king Pepi lives on that whereon Horus (son of Re) lord of the sky lives, by command of Horus lord of the sky." [*5] As Re, however, was his own son, begotten every day and born every morning, the sonship of the Pharaoh ultimately leads to his identity with Re, and the priestly elaborators of the Pyramid Texts had no hesitation in reaching this result. This was the more easy in that they had made the king divine by subtle ceremonies, especially the burning

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of incense, at his interment. [*1] Even without encroaching upon the position of Re the dead Pharaoh is pictured as divine, and his divinity is proclaimed to the denizens of the other world. "Lift up your faces, gods dwelling in Dewat. [*2] King Unis has come that ye may see him become a great god. . . . Protect yourselves all of you. King Unis commands men; king Unis judges the living in the court of the region of Re. King Unis speaks to this pure region which he has visited, that he may dwell therein with the judge of the two gods. King Unis is mighty beside him (Re). King Unis bears the sceptre; it purifies king Unis. King Unis sits with them that row Re; king Unis commands good that he may do it. King Unis is a great god." [*3]

This divinity is unmistakably defined more than once. "King Teti is this eye of Re, that passes the night, is conceived and born every day." [*4] "His mother the sky bears him living every day like Re. He dawns with him in the east, he sets with him in the west, his mother Nut (the sky) is not void of him any day. He equips king Pepi II with life, he causes his heart joy, he causes his heart pleasure." [*5] "Thou camest forth as king Pepi, king Pepi came forth as thou." [*6] The dead king does not merely receive the office and station of Re, he actually becomes Re. "Thy body is in king Pepi, O Re; preserve alive thy body in king Pepi, O Re." [*7] "King Teti is thou (Re), thou art king Teti; thou shinest in king Teti, king Teti shines in thee." [*8] He is even identified with Atum limb by limb, [*9] or with Atum and the Solar gods, who are themselves identified with Atum. [*10] Thus he becomes king

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of the sky in Re's place. "Thou embarkest therein (in the Sun-barque) like Re; thou sittest down on this throne of Re, that thou mayest command the gods; for thou art Re, who came forth from Nut, who begets Re every day." [*1] There are indeed hints that the Pharaoh takes forcible possession of the Sun-god's throne, [*2] and their identity does not exclude the idea of his being dispossessed, or even of his continued benefits to the Pharaoh, though these are sometimes mutual. The voice says to Re: "Make king Teti sound, and Teti will make thee sound; make king Teti green (fresh, youthful), and Teti will make thee green," and thus a mystical relationship with Hathor, the eye of Re, is established, "which turns back the years from king Teti" and they pass over him without increasing his age. [*3]

Perhaps the finest fragment of literature preserved in the Pyramid Texts is a Sun-hymn [*4] in which the king is identified with the Sun-god. The hymn addresses Egypt in a long and imposing enumeration of the benefits which she enjoys under the protection and sovereignty of the Sun-god. Hence Egypt offers him her wealth and produce. Now in view of the fact that the Pharaoh is identified with the Sun-god, the Pharaoh, therefore, confers the same benefits on Egypt, and must therefore receive the same gifts from Egypt. The entire hymn is therefore repeated with the insertion of the Pharaoh's name wherever that of Re or Horus occurs in the original hymn, [*5] and

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thus the king appropriates to himself all the homage and offerings received by the Sun-god from Egypt.

But the imagination of the priests does not stop here. Equality or identity with Re is not enough, and we behold the translated Pharaoh a cosmic figure of elemental vastness, even superior to the Sun-god in the primeval darkness. The mysterious voice cries: "Father of king Teti! Father of king Teti in darkness! Father of king Teti, Atum in darkness! Bring thou king Teti to thy side that he may kindle for thee the light; that he may protect thee, as Nun (the primeval ocean) protected these four goddesses on the day when they protected the throne, (even) Isis, Nephthys, Neit, and Serket." [*1] The dead king sweeps the sky as a devouring fire as soon as "the arm of the sunbeams is lifted with king Unis." [*2] Again we see him towering between earth and sky: "This his right arm, it carries the sky in satisfaction; this his left arm, it supports the earth in joy." [*3] The imagination runs riot in figures of cosmic power, and the king becomes "the outflow of the rain, he came forth at the origin of water"; [*4] or he gains the secret and the power of all things as "the scribe of the god's-book, which says what is and causes to be what is not." [*5] He came forth before the world or death existed. "The mother of king Pepi became pregnant with him, O Dweller in the [[nether sky]]; this king Pepi was born by his father Atum before the sky came forth, before the earth came forth, before men came forth, before gods were born, before death came forth. This king Pepi escapes the day of death as Set

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escaped the day of death. This king Pepi belongs to your [[company]], ye gods of the [[nether sky]], who cannot perish by their enemies; this king Pepi perishes not by his enemies. (Ye) who die not by a king, this king Pepi dies not by a king; (ye) who die not by any dead, king Pepi dies not by any dead." [*1] When in process of time the gods were born, the king was present at their birth.

The mergence of the king into the very body and being of Re is analogous to his assimilation by the gods as a group. One of the most remarkable passages in the Pyramid Texts employs the ceremony and the suggestiveness of incense-burning as a sympathetic agency by which, as the odorous vapor arises from earth to the gods, it bears aloft the fragrance of the king to mingle with that of the gods, and thus to draw them together in fellowship and association. The passage is of importance as a very early priestly interpretation of the significance of incense as fellowship with the gods. The passage reads:

"The fire is laid, the fire shines;
  The incense is laid on the fire, the incense shines.
  Thy fragrance comes to king Unis, O Incense;
  The fragrance of king Unis comes to thee, O Incense.
  Your fragrance comes to king Unis, O ye gods;
  The fragrance of king Unis comes to you, O ye gods.
  King Unis is with you, ye gods;
  Ye are with king Unis, ye gods.
  King Unis lives with you, ye gods;
  Ye live with king Unis, ye gods.
  King Unis loves you, ye gods;
  Love ye him, ye gods." [*2]

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This fellowship thus mystically symbolized is in sharp contrast with a dark and forbidding picture, surviving from vastly remote prehistoric days, in which we see the savage Pharaoh ferociously preying upon the gods like a blood-thirsty hunter in the jungle. The passage begins with the terrifying advent of the Pharaoh in the sky:

"Clouds darken the sky,
  The stars rain down,
  The Bows (a constellation) stagger,
  The bones of the hell-hounds tremble,
  The [[porters]] are silent,
  When they see king Unis dawning as a soul,
  As a god living on his fathers, Feeding on his mothers.
  King Unis is lord of wisdom,
  Whose mother knows not his name.
  The honor of king Unis is in the sky,
  His might is in the horizon,
  Like Atum his father who begat him.
  When he begat him, he was stronger than he.
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    . [*1]
  King Unis is one who eats men and lives on gods,
  Lord of messengers, who [[despatches]] his messages;
  It is 'Grasper-of-Forelocks' living in Kehew
  Who binds them for king Unis. It is the serpent 'Splendid-Head'
  Who watches them for him and repels them for him.
  It is 'He-who-is-upon-the-Willows'
  Who lassoes them for him.
  It is 'Punisher-of-all-Evil-doers'
  Who stabs them for king Unis.
  He takes out for him their entrails,
  He is a messenger whom he (king Unis) sends to [[punish]].

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Shesmu cuts them up for king Unis
And cooks for him a portion of them
In his evening kettles (or 'as his evening kettles = meal').
King Unis is he who eats their charms,
And devours their glorious ones (souls).
Their great ones are for his morning portion,
Their middle(-sized) ones are for his evening portion,
Their little ones are for his night portion.
Their old men and their old women are for his incense-burning.
It is the 'Great-Ones-North-of-the-Sky'
Who set for him the fire to the kettles containing them,
With the legs of their oldest ones (as fuel).
The 'Dwellers-in-the-Sky' revolve for king Unis (in his service).
[[The kettles are replenished]] for him with the legs of their women.
He has encircled all the Two Skies (corresponding to the Two Lands),
He has revolved about the two regions.
King Unis is the 'Great Mighty-One'
Who overpowers the 'Mighty Ones'
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Whom he finds in his way, him he devours. . . . [*1]
The protection of king Unis is before all the noble (dead) Who dwell in the horizon.
King Unis is a god, older than the eldest.
Thousands revert to him,
Hundreds are offered to him.
Appointment as 'Great One' is given to him
By Orion, father of gods.
King Unis has dawned again in the sky,
[[Shining]] as lord of the horizon.
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
He has taken the hearts of the gods;
He has eaten the Red,
He has swallowed the Green.
King Unis is nourished on satisfied organs,
He is satisfied, living on their hearts and their charms.
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Their charms are in his belly.
The dignities of king Unis are not taken away from him;

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He hath swallowed the knowledge of every god.
The lifetime of king Unis is eternity,
His limit is everlastingness in this his dignity of:
If-he-wishes-not-he-does-not,' [*1]
Who dwells in the limits of the horizon for ever and ever.
Lo, their (the gods') soul is in the belly of king Unis,
Their Glorious Ones are with king Unis.
The plenty of his portion is more than (that of) the gods.
  .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Lo, their soul is with king Unis." [*2]

In this remarkable picture the motive of the grotesque cannibalism is perfectly clear. The gods are hunted down, lassoed, bound, and slaughtered like wild cattle, that the king may devour their substance, and especially their internal organs, like the heart where the intelligence had its seat, in the belief that he might thus absorb and appropriate their qualities and powers. When "he has taken the hearts of the gods," "he has swallowed the knowledge of every god," and "their charms are in his belly"; and because the organs of the gods which he has devoured are plentifully satisfied with food, the king cannot hunger, for he has, as it were, eaten complete satiety.

This introduces us to a subject to which the Pyramid Texts devote much space--the question of the food supply in the distant realm of the Sun-god. To explain the apparently aimless presentation of food at the tomb, where, in the Solar belief the dead no longer tarried, it was assumed that the food offered there was transmitted to the dead in various ways. Sometimes it is Thoth who conveys the food from the tomb to the sky and delivers

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it to the dead king; [*1] again it is the two Solar barques who transport it thither. [*2] The "Imperishable Stars" too may convey the food offered on earth to the kas in the sky [*3] or the ferryman may be prevailed upon to do so. [*4] In any case the chief dread felt by the Egyptian for the hereafter was fear of hunger, and especially the danger that he might be reduced to the detestable extremity of consuming his own uncleanness. "The abomination of king Unis is offal; he rejects urine, he eats it not." [*5]

More commonly the celestial region where he tarries furnishes all his necessities. As son of Re, born of the Sky-goddess, he is frequently represented as suckled by one of the Sky-goddesses or some other divinity connected with Re, especially the ancient goddesses of the prehistoric kingdoms of South and North. These appear as "the two vultures with long hair and hanging breasts; . . . they draw their breasts over the mouth of king Pepi, but they do not wean him forever"; [*6] or we find them as the two crowns of the two kingdoms personified as goddesses: "This king Pepi knows his mother, he forgets not his mother: (even) the White Crown shining and broad that dwells in Nekheb, mistress of the southern palace . . . and the bright Red Crown, mistress of the regions of Buto. O mother of this king Pepi . . . give thy breast to this king Pepi, suckle this king Pepi therewith." To this the goddess responds: "O my son Pepi, my king, my breast is extended to thee, that thou mayest suck it, my king, and live, my king, as long as thou art little." [*7] This

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incident exhibits more of the naturally and warmly human than anything else in the Solar theology.

Besides this source of nourishment, and the very bodies of the gods themselves, [*1] there were also the offerings of all Egypt, as we have seen in the ancient Sun-hymn, where the dead king receives all that is offered by Egypt to Re (pp. <page 13>-<page 14>). It is taken for granted that the celestial revenues belong to the king, and that they will meet all his wants. We hear the voice calling for the mortuary revenues in his behalf: "An offering which the king gives! An offering which Anubis gives! Thy thousand of young antelope from the highland, they come to thee with bowed head. An offering which the king gives! An offering which Anubis gives! Thy thousand of bread! Thy thousand of beer! Thy thousand of incense, that came forth from the palace hall! Thy thousand of everything pleasant! Thy thousand of cattle! Thy thousand of everything thou eatest, on which thy desire is set!" [*2] The Pyramid Texts delight to picture the plenty which the king is to enjoy. "Plenty has extended her arm toward king Teti. The two arms of king Teti have embraced fisher and fowler, (even) all that the field furnishes to her son, the fisher-fowler." [*3] We even see him going about with sack and basket collecting quantities of food, [*4] food of the gods which cannot perish, "bread which cannot dry up" and "beer which cannot grow stale." [*5] For the voice prays to the Sun-god: "Give thou bread to this king Pepi from this thy eternal bread, thy everlasting beer," [*6] and we read that "this king Pepi receives his

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provision from that which is in the granary of the Great God (Re)" [*1] and his "bread is the bread of the god which is in the palace hall." [*2] There in "the good seat of the Great God, in which he does the things to be done with the revered (dead), he appoints them to food and assigns them to fowling . . .; he appoints king Pepi to food, he assigns king Pepi to fowling." [*3] He is surrounded by plenty: "He who is behind him belongs to food, lie who is before him belongs to snared fowl," [*4] and thus "that land into which king Unis goes--he thirsts not in it, he hungers not in it forever," [*5] for there "Appetite belongs to the morning meal of the king, Plenty belongs to his evening meal." [*6] Again a voice summons him: "Ho, king Pepi! . . . Raise thee up! Arise! Sit down to thy thousand of bread, thy thousand of beer, thy thousand of oxen, thy thousand of geese, thy thousand of everything whereon the god lives." [*7] There can be no failure of the source of supply: "a god does not escape from what he has said. (Therefore) he will furnish to thee thy thousand of bread, thy thousand of beer, thy thousand of oxen, thy thousand of geese, thy thousand of everything on which the god lives." [*8]

There were, to be sure, certain contingencies to be guarded against, lest some one else should secure the provisions intended for the king. "This king Pepi eats this his sole bread alone; he does not give it to the one behind him;" [*9] nor does he permit the fowl of the air to plunder him of his portion. [*10] If necessary he may resort to magical means, so cunningly devised that he is enabled to banish hunger and thirst and drive them far away.

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[paragraph continues] "Hunger! Come not to king Teti. Hasten to Nun (the primeval flood), go to the flood. King Teti is sated; he hungers not by reason of this bread of Horus which he has eaten, which his eldest daughter made for him. He is satisfied therewith, he takes this land therewith. King Teti thirsts not by reason of Shu; he hungers not by reason of Tefnut. Hapi, Dewamutef, Kebehsenuf, and Imset (the four sons of Horus), they expel this hunger which is in the body of king Teti, and this thirst which is in the lips of king Teti." [*1]

Finally one of the most, if not the most, important of the numerous sources from which the departed Pharaoh hoped to draw his sustenance in the realm of Re was the tree of life in the mysterious isle in the midst of the Field of Offerings, in search of which he sets out in company with the Morning Star. The Morning Star is a gorgeous green falcon, a Solar divinity, identified with "Horus of Dewat." He has four faces, corresponding to the four Horuses of the East, with whom he is doubtless also identified. [*2] We find him standing in the bow of his celestial barque of seven hundred and seventy cubits in length, and there the voice addresses him: "Take thou this king Pepi with thee in the cabin of thy boat. . . . Thou takest this thy favorite harpoon, thy staff which [[pierces]] the canals, whose points are the rays of the sun, whose barbs are the claws of Mafdet. King Pepi cuts off therewith the heads of the adversaries, dwelling in the Field of Offerings, when he has descended to the sea. Bow thy head, decline thy arms, O Sea! The children of Nut are these

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[paragraph continues] (Pepi and the Morning Star) who have descended to thee, wearing their garlands on their heads, wearing their garlands at their throats." Here the homage of the sea is claimed because Pepi and the Morning Star are bent upon a beneficent errand for Isis and Horus. [*1] The story then proceeds: "This king Pepi opened his path like the fowlers, he exchanged greetings with the lords of the kas, he went to the great isle in the midst of the Field of Offerings over which the gods make the swallows fly. The swallows are the Imperishable Stars. They give to this king Pepi this tree of life, whereof they live, that ye (Pepi and the Morning Star) may at the same time live thereof." [*2]

But the most sinister enemies may contrive to deprive the king of the sustenance which we have seen to be so elaborately provided. They may even lurk in his own body, especially in his nostrils, where they may appropriate the food intended for the king. [*3] In this early age, however, enemies and dangers in the hereafter have not been multiplied by the priests as they were later in the Book of the Dead. There are precautions against them, like the dread name received by the king, a name so potent that his enemies all fear it and flee away. "Re calls thee in this thy name of which all the Glorious are afraid. Thy terror is against hearts like the terror of Re when he rises in the horizon." [*4] Besides the name the dead king also receives a peculiar costume or a "recognizance," which at once distinguishes and protects him against attack from those who might mistake him for an enemy. [*5]

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[paragraph continues] Charms, as we have already shown, were among the equipment furnished by the Pyramid Texts, and not a few of these are of a protective character. The enemy against which these are most often directed in the Pyramid Texts is serpents. It was of course natural that the dead, who were buried in the earth, out of which serpents come forth, should be especially exposed to this danger. In the case of the king also, there was another reason. In the myth of Re, he was stung by a serpent and forced to reveal his name to Isis. The departed Pharaoh who is identified with Re must necessarily meet the same danger, and from it he is protected by numerous serpent charms in the Pyramid Texts. In such charms it is quite in accordance with the Solar tale to find Re invoked to exorcise the dangerous reptile. "O serpent, turn back, for Re sees thee" were words which came very naturally to the lips of the Egyptian of this age. [*1] While all the great goddesses of Egypt are said to extend their protection over the king, it is especially the Sky-goddess Nut who shields him from all harm. [*2]

The men in whose hands the Pyramid Texts grew up took the greatest delight in elaborating and reiterating in ever new and different pictures the blessedness enjoyed by the king, thus protected, maintained, and honored in the Sun-god's realm. Their imagination flits from figure to figure, and picture to picture, and allowed to run like some wild tropical plant without control or guidance, weaves a complex fabric of a thousand hues which refuse

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to merge into one harmonious or coherent whole. At one moment the king is enthroned in Oriental splendor as he was on earth, at another he wanders in the Field of Rushes in search of food; here he appears in the bow of the Solar barque, yonder he is one of the Imperishable Stars acting as the servant of Re. There is no endeavor to harmonize these inconsistent representations, although in the mass we gain a broad impression of the eternal felicity of a godlike ruler, "who puts his annals (the record of his deeds) among his people, and his love among the gods." [*1] "The king ascends to the sky among the gods dwelling in the sky. He stands on the great [dais', he hears (in judicial session) the (legal) affairs of men. Re finds thee upon the shores of the sky in this lake that is in Nut (the Sky-goddess). 'The arriver comes!' say the gods. He (Re) gives thee his arm on the stairway to the sky. 'He who knows his place comes,' say the gods. O Pure One, assume thy throne in the barque of Re and sail thou the sky. . . . Sail thou with the Imperishable Stars, sail thou with the Unwearied Stars. Receive thou the [[tribute]] of the Evening Barque, become thou a spirit dwelling in Dewat. Live thou this pleasant life which the lord of the horizon lives." [*2] "This king Pepi goes to the Field of Life, the birthplace of Re in the sky. He finds Kebehet approaching him with these her four jars with which she refreshes the heart of the Great God (Re) on the day when he awakes (or 'by day when he awakes'). She refreshes the heart [*3] of this king Pepi therewith to life, she purifies him, she cleanses him. He receives his provision from that which is in the granary of the Great God;

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he is clothed by the Imperishable Stars." [*1] To Re and Thoth (the sun and the moon) the voice cries: "Take ye this king Unis with you that he may eat of that which ye eat, and that he may drink of that which ye drink, that he may live on that whereon ye live, that he may sit in that wherein ye sit, that he may be mighty by that whereby ye are mighty, that he may sail in that wherein ye sail. The booth of king Unis is plaited (erected) in the reeds, the pool of king Unis is in the Field of Offerings. His offering is among you, ye gods. The water of king Unis is wine like (that of) of Re. King Unis circles the Sky like Re, he traverses the sky like Thoth." [*2] The voice summons the divine nourishment of the king: "Bring the milk of Isis for king Teti, the flood of Nephthys, the circuit of the lake, the waves of the sea, life, prosperity, health, happiness, bread, beer, clothing, food, that king Teti may live therefrom." [*3] "Lo, the two who are on the throne of the Great God (Re), they summon this king Pepi to life and satisfaction forever; they (the two) are Prosperity and Health." [*4] Thus "it is better with him to-day than yesterday," [*5] and we hear the voice calling to him: "Ho! King Pepi, pure one! Re finds thee standing with thy mother Nut. She leads thee in the path of the horizon and thou makest thy abiding place there. How beautiful it is together with thy ka for ever and ever." [*6]

Over and over again the story of the king's translation to the sky is brought before us with an indomitable conviction and insistence which it must be concluded were thought to make the words of inevitable power and effect. Condensed into a paragraph the whole sweep of the king's

[p. 138]

celestial career is brought before us in a few swift strokes, each like a ray of sunshine touching for but an instant the prominences of some far landscape across which we look. Long successions of such paragraphs crowd one behind another like the waves of the sea, as if to overwhelm and in their impetuous rush to bear away as on a flood the insistent fact of death and sweep it to utter annihilation. It is difficult to convey to the modern reader the impression made by these thousands of lines as they roll on in victorious disregard of the invincibility of death, especially in those epitomizations of the king's celestial career which are so frequent, the paragraphs here under discussion. In so far as they owe their impressiveness to their mere bulk, built up like a bulwark against death, we can gain the impression only by reading the whole collection through. The general character of such individual epitomizing paragraphs is perhaps suggested by such as the following. The voice addresses the king: "Thy seats among the gods abide; Re leans upon thee with his shoulder. Thy odor is as their odor, thy sweat is as the sweat of the Eighteen Gods. Thou dawnest, O king Teti, in the royal hood; thy hand seizes the sceptre, thy fist grasps the mace. Stand, O king Teti, in front of the two palaces of the South and the North. Judge the gods, (for) thou art of the elders who surround Re, who are before the Morning Star. Thou art born at thy New Moons like the moon. Re leans upon thee in the horizon, O king Teti. The Imperishable Stars follow thee, the companions of Re serve thee, O king Teti. Thou purifiest thyself, thou ascendest to Re; the sky is not empty of thee, O king Teti, forever." [*1] "King Teti purifies himself; he receives to himself his pure seat that is in the sky. He

[p. 139]

abides, the beautiful seats of king Teti abide. He receives to himself his pure seat that is in the barque of Re. The sailors who row Re, they (also) row king Teti. The sailors who carry Re around behind the horizon, they carry (also) king Teti around behind the horizon." [*1] "O king Neferkere! the mouth of the earth opens to thee, Geb (the Earth-god) speaks to thee: 'Thou art great like a king, mighty like Re.' Thou purifiest thyself in the Jackal-lake, thou cleansest thyself in the lake of Dewat. 'Welcome to thee,' say the Eighteen Gods. The eastern door of the sky is opened to thee by Yemen-kau; Nut has given to thee her arms, O king Neferkere, she of the long hair and pendent breasts. She guides thee to the sky, she does not put king Neferkere down (again) to the earth. She bears thee, O king Neferkere, like Orion; she makes thy abiding place before the Double Palace (of Upper and Lower Egypt transferred to the sky). King Neferkere descends into the barque like Re, on the shores of the Lily-lake. King Neferkere is rowed by the Unwearied Stars, he commands the Imperishable Stars." [*2]

Such in the main outlines were the beliefs held by the Egyptian of the Old Kingdom (2980-2475 B.C.) concerning the Solar hereafter. There can be no doubt that at some time they were a fairly well-defined group, separable as a group from those of the Osirian faith. To the Osirian faith, moreover, they were opposed, and evidences of their incompatibility, or even hostility, have survived. We find it said of Re that "he has not given him (the king) to Osiris, he (the king) has not died the death; he has become a Glorious One in the horizon"; [*3] and still more unequivocal is the following: "Re-Atum does not give thee to Osiris. He (Osiris) numbers not thy heart, he

[p. 140]

gains not power over thy heart. Re-Atum gives thee not to Horus (son of Osiris). He numbers not thy heart, he gains not power over thy heart. Osiris! thou hast not gained power over him, thy son (Horus) has not gained power over him. Horus! thou hast not gained power over him, thy father (Osiris) has not gained power over him." [*1] It is evident that to the devotee of the Solar faith, Osiris once represented the realm and the dominion of death, to which the follower of Re was not delivered up. In harmony with this is the apprehension that the entire Osirian group might enter the pyramid with evil intent. As a great Solar symbol it was necessary to protect the pyramid from the possible aggressions of Osiris, the Osirian Horus, and the other divinities of the Osirian group. [*2] At a very early age the beliefs of both the Solar and the Osirian religion merged as we have seen in the first lecture. While the nucleus of each group of myths is fairly distinguishable from the other, the coalescence of the Solar and Osirian conceptions of the hereafter has left us a very difficult process of analysis if we undertake to separate them. There is a certain body of beliefs regarding the hereafter which we may designate as Solar, and another group which are unquestionably Osirian, but the two faiths have so interpenetrated each other that there is much neutral territory which we cannot assign to either, to the entire exclusion of the other. It is clear that in the Solar faith we have a state theology, with all the splendor and the prestige of its royal patrons behind it; while in that of Osiris we are confronted by a religion of the people, which made a strong appeal to the individual believer. It is not impossible that the history of the early sequence of these beliefs was thus: We

[p. 141]

should begin with a primitive belief in a subterranean kingdom of the dead which claimed all men. As an exclusive privilege of kings at first, and then of the great and noble, the glorious celestial hereafter which we have been discussing, finally emerged as a Solar kingdom of the dead. When the growing prestige of Osiris had displaced the older mortuary gods (like Anubis) Osiris became the great lord of the Nether World, and Osiris and his realm entered into competition with the Solar and celestial hereafter. In the mergence of these two faiths we discern for the first time in history the age-long struggle between the state form of religion and the popular faith of the masses. It will be the purpose of the next lecture to disengage as far as may be the nucleus of the Osirian teaching of the after life, and to trace the still undetermined course of its struggle with the imposing celestial theology whose doctrine of the royal dead we have been following.


^118:1 Pyr.  section section 1539 40; this passage has been Osirianized, but it will be found in its original form in  section section 1991-2.

^118:2 Pyr.  section 1492; the same formula is repeated with the names of Set, Geb, the souls of Heliopolis and the souls of Buto in the place of the name of Horus.

^118:3 Pyr.  section 1197.

^119:1 Pyr.  section section 253-5.

^119:2 Pyr.  section 597.

^119:3 Pyr.  section 952.

^119:4 Pyr.  section 120.

^120:1 The jackal is an old god of the west, and the reference is to a jackal's head, which commonly appears on the head of a sceptre.

^120:2 Pyr. Ut. 217.

^120:3 Pyr.  section 954.

^120:4 Pyr.  section section 490-1.

^121:1 Pyr.  section 267.

^121:2 Pyr.  section 1179.

^121:3 Pyr.  section 952.

^121:4 Pyr.  section 263.

^121:5 Pyr.  section 918.

^121:6 See above, pp. <page 13>-<page 14>.

^121:7 Pyr.  section section;855-6.

^121:8 Pyr.  section 813.

^121:9 Pyr.  section 266.

^122:1 Pyr.  section 1687.

^122:2 Pyr.  section 906 =  section section 1573-4. See also  section 889.

^122:3 Pyr.  section 1346.

^122:4 Pyr.  section 335 =  section 950.

^122:5 Pyr.  section section 886-8.

^123:1 Pyr.  section 25.

^123:2 See <page 144>, n. .

^123:3 Pyr. Ut. 252.

^123:4 Pyr.  section 698; also  section 704.

^123:5 Pyr.  section section 1835-6.

^123:6 Pyr.  section 1875.

^123:7 Pyr.  section 1461 b.

^123:8 Pyr.  section 703-4.

^123:9 Pyr.  section 135.

^123:10 Pyr.  section section 147-9.

^124:1 Pyr.  section 1688.

^124:2 Pyr.  section 306

^124:3 Pyr.  section section 704-5. Compare also Utterance 573, in which the king is probably identified with the four Horuses, that Re may protect and preserve him alive.

^124:4 Pyr. Ut. 587; see infra, pp. <page 13>-<page 14>.

^124:5 This entire Utterance, 587, is really but a longer example of the sympathetic operation of the god's activities, of which we have innumerable examples throughout the Pyramid Texts. The god [p. 125] crosses the Lily-lake, the king crosses; the god is purified, the king is purified; the god sails the sky, the king sails the sky, etc., etc.

^125:1 Pyr. Ut. 362.

^125:2 Pyr.  section 324.

^125:3 Pyr.  section 1156.

^125:4 Pyr.  section 1146.

^125:5 Pyr.  section 1146.

^126:1 Pyr.  section section 1466-8.

^126:2 Pyr.  section section 376-8. The variant in the last line has: "Ye love this Pepi, ye gods." The poem was of course accompanied by the burning of incense; also by an offering of bread which immediately followed. A formula of the ascension, as frequently with the burning of incense, then follows.

^127:1 The passage omitted is an obscure description of the equipment of the dead king, which, however, contains an important statement that the king "lives on the being of every god, eating their organs who come with their belly filled with charms."

^128:1 This line is found three times:  section section 278 a, 407, 444 e.

^129:1 This is a name or rank expressed in a couplet.

^129:2 Pyr. Ut. 273.

^130:1 Pyr.  section 58.

^130:2 Pyr.  section 717.

^130:3 Pyr.  section 1220.

^130:4 Pyr. Ut. 521. Hence it is that even in the sky the deceased Pharaoh is concerned that the food supply of his "altars that are on earth" shall be continued. See Pyr.  section 1482.

^130:5 Pyr.  section 718.

^130:6 Pyr.  section section 1118-19.

^130:7 Pyr.  section section 910-913.

^131:1 As above (pp. <page 127>-9). The phrase "Whom he finds in his way he eats him for himself," referring to divine victims whom he devours as food, is found no less than three times (Pyr.  section section 278 a, 407, 444 e).

^131:2 Pyr.  section section 806-7.

^131:3 Pyr.  section 555.

^131:4 Pyr.  section 556.

^131:5 Pyr.  section 859.

^131:6 Pyr.  section 1117.

^132:1 Pyr.  section 1182.

^132:2 Pyr.  section 866.

^132:3 Pyr.  section section 1191-2.

^132:4 Pyr.  section 1394.

^132:5 Pyr.  section 382.

^132:6 Pyr.  section 1876.

^132:7 Pyr.  section section 2026-7.

^132:8 Pyr.  section 2006.

^132:9 Pyr.  section 1226.

^132:10 Ibid.

^133:1 Pyr. Ut. 338; see also Ut. 339, 340, 400, 438. The charm quoted above may be Osirian, in view of "the bread of Horus," but the distinction between Osirian and Solar elements is here of slight consequence.

^133:2 Pyr.  section 1207.

^134:1 This introduction of an Osirian incident here does not alter the clearly Solar character of the story, in which Pepi goes in search of the tree of life with the Morning Star, a Sun-god, carrying a spear of sunbeams.

^134:2 Pyr.  section section 1209-16.

^134:3 Pyr.  section 484.

^134:4 Pyr.  section 2025.

^134:5 Pyr.  section section 2044, 2004.

^135:1 Pyr.  section 226; see also  section 231 and other serpent charms in Ut. 226-237, 240, 242 et al.

^135:2 Pyr. Ut. 443-7, 450-2, 484, 589, 681, and  section 2107. Many of these are strongly colored by Osirian theology; indeed Ut. 443-7 are largely Osirian, but the original character of Nut's functions in the celestial and Solar theology is clear.

^136:1 Pyr.  section 1160.

^136:2 Pyr.  section section 1169-72.

^136:3 Confer the reanimation of the heart of the dead Bata by the use of a jar of water in the Tale of the Two Brothers, infra, <page 359>.

^137:1 Pyr.  section section 1180-2.

^137:2 Pyr.  section section 128-130.

^137:3 Pyr.  section 707.

^137:4 Pyr.  section 1190.

^137:5 Pyr.  section 122.

^137:6 Pyr.  section 2028.

^138:1 Pyr.  section730-3.

^139:1 Pyr. Ut. 407.

^139:2 Pyr.  section section 2169-73.

^139:3 Pyr.  section 350.

^140:1 Pyr.  section section 145-6.

^140:2 See above, <page 75>.

Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt

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