A PAPYRUS RELATING TO APEPI
By E. A. Wallis Budge
[Extracted from PSBA, 9, 11-26.]
A paper was read by Mr. E. A. Wallis Budge, M.A., "Remarks on
a Papyrus containing Formulae for Recitation in the Temple of Amen, and the
Service for the Slaughter of Apepi."
The papyrus from which the following extracts are given is preserved in the British Museum, where it bears the number 10188 Bremner. It has already formed the subject of a communication to the Recueil de Travaux by Dr. W. Pleyte,1 who translated a few passages from it, and gave a summary of the headings of the chapters, &c. The papyrus is 20 feet by pf inches, and is of a fine texture; parts of the lines at the bottom of the first four columns have been broken away, but as a whole it is wonderfully perfect. The beginning words of a new paragraph, the directions for reciting the hymns, the names of the fiends and devils and of Apepi are all written in red; many of the characters are Demotic.2 From the colophon we learn that the papyrus was written for
en Het nutar hen en nutar het nauu en of en sa im nutar hen Nesi-Ames se en nutar hen Pe-ta-Amen - suten - taiu
the prophet of the temple of the Temple town, the scribe of Amen of order third, the prophet Nesi-Ames the son of the prophet Pe-ta-Amen-suten- taiu
m arit en ahi en Amen - Ra ta sere mut - setu - nesti utu - Ra.3
born of the sistrum bearer of Amen-Ra, the daughter of Ta-mut-setu-nesti utu-Ra.
It was written
renpit XII abtu IV sa en Pa-aa anx ut'a senb Arksentres se en Arksentres
in year twelve, month four of the solving season of his majesty, life, strength, health, Alexander, son of Alexander.
or B.C. 305.4
The papyrus contains three distinct works or compositions, which formed a part or whole of a service performed in the temple of the god Amen in the Apts at Thebes. From the occurrence of the expressions pkhi t'et, "otherwise said," in them, we know that other and older copies of this work must have existed. The three [p.13] works occupy 18 columns of small but beautifully written Hieratic, and the whole papyrus contains 940 lines. The last two columns are written on the back of the papyrus; and as this end has suffered some slight injuries in modern times, a line or two of the text have disappeared. The first part of the composition in the papyrus is entitled:—
ha em het5 nu heb t'erti6 ari em pa Uasar khnt Amentiu
Beginning of the verses of the festival of the T'erti made in the temple of Osiris at the head of those in Amenti
nutar aa hru nebt abtu neferit em abtu IV sa hru XXVI
god great lord of Abydos in month four of inundation day 22 until day 26.
After the title, a rubric goes on to say that the papyrus was written for the use of the temple, and composed for female singers or reciters. They were to have the bodies washed, and their limbs shaved; they were to wear ram's wool crowns and to carry tambourines in their hands; and upon their two arms they were to wear an inscription which read, "To Isis and Nephthys." Thus, clean of body and with fitting vestments, they were to chant the verses of the festival ritual before Osiris, beginning, O lord Osiris, O lord Osiris, O lord Osiris, O lord Osiris. After this the precentor stood up in the enclosure before the temple, and said four times, "O chief of heaven and earth." Then the women, with flowing hair, [glyphs] henksti, sang or recited songs, of which the following is a specimen.
a ahi nefer qa sep 11 sa-k maa er pa - k er pa-k
Hail boy beautiful come to temple thy. Exalted, exalted may be side thy towards temple thy.
au nutaru nuk set
Are the gods upon seat their.
uast - sen khu sena-s hent - k sena en mut - k
I am a person defender of brother her, wife thy, the sister of mother thy.
iu - k na t'er-ab em xex
Come thou to me running
ter-ab ma hra - k au sa an ma - a lira - k
firm of hearty let be seen face thy, because not see I face thy.
sam - tu uat en - n em hra au Ra em pet
Make clean thou the way for us before face my to Ra in heaven.
Sam pet ta ari khebt em ta man
Unites heaven and earth making shade on earth daily.
tau ab - a er sefekh - k em Nefia
Burns heart my at escape thy from the evil one.
tau ab - a erta nek sa
Burns heart my, give thou side thy to me,
a au an sep kem nek su er - a
not for ever remove thou it from me.
ati aat tenemem uat
Making firm the two domains turning back the roads,
au - a heh en mertu ma - k
am I seeking of love to see thee.
un-a em nut aat nehat-s.
Am I in the town great are fortifications its,
meht - a mertu - k er - a
overcome am I by love thy for me,
maa em ua em heru
come alone not depart.
niak se-k er sexetxet Tebha err nemmat
Verily son thy (is) for repulsing Tebha at the block.
Amen - ua em baa er se-k er sekapu usebt - k
Hidden have I among the bushes to hide son thy for answering thee.
s'em-a em ua rer-a em baa
Advance I alone, go round I among the bushes.
au tennu em at er se-k
Is a very great crocodile after son thy
set em hrau au t'a pu
a female with faces against the male to last.
nuk as rekh-kua hna ut'eb
I but know I in conjunction with Ut'eb.
rer-na uat tenemem-na her sen -a beti em Nefi
Go round I the ways turn hack I after brother my leaping from the evil one,
tau abu en hefnu hrau
Burning are the hearts of myriads of faces,
maut aa em nutaru
O splendour great among the gods.
bef - n neb
May see (?), we the lord,
an user en mertu-k her lira - n
not may be lack of love thy upon face our
pa t'a nebt net net'emt'em nebt heh
O male, lord of love, king, lord of eternity.
The two women who represent Isis and Nephthys mourning for Osiris, call themselves the widows, wives and mothers of Osiris, and the burden of all their songs is their misery when Osiris is absent from them. Their pathetic lament intermingled with praises of their loved one Osiris, is both curious and pretty. Thus, after exhortations to the god to forget all the troubles and sufferings which he has undergone at the hands of Sut or Tebha, they sing:—
"Thou art like a god coming forth like a god.
When thou comest into the emerald fields thy hair lies upon thy body like emeralds.
Thy hair is blue like lapis-lazuli, and thou thyself art more blue than thy hair.
Thy skin and limbs are made of steel of the south, and thy bones are moulded of silver.
Thy teeth are of emerald, and the liquid flowing from thy hair is of anti which flows by itself.
The top of thy head is like lapis-lazuli."
The last few lines of the first part of the papyrus contain a
reference to a remarkable myth. They read, " Isis the lady of the horizon conies
to thee as she engenders the ONE, the guide of the gods. She avenges thee, she
avenges thee. She avenges Horus, she the woman who acts as the engenderer of her
own father, Neb-er-t'er, coming forth from the eye of Horus. She the venerable
one, advancing like Ra when he came forth from the pupil of the eye of Atmu,
when Ra rose for the first time." Following the colophon, which gives a list of
the dignities of the deceased for whom the book was written, come,
entau en an en Seker er her er her setae t ettu
The litanies which introduced Socharis in addition to the mysteries recited,
This short work, consisting of 97 lines, was to be recited,
sep XVI sesep tekhenu
times sixteen by players on tambourines.
"Hail prince coming forth from the womb.
Hail eldest son of the first cycles.
Hail lord of many faces and becomings.
Hail disk of gold in the temple.
Hail lord of time and giver of years.
Hail lord of life for ever.
Hail lord of many millions and myriads.
Hail shining in rising and setting.
Hail making throats pleasant.
Hail terrible and fearful one.
Hail lord of fear, self produced.
Hail venerable body of Horus, adoration.
Hail son of Ra in the boat of myriads.
Hail hidden one, unknown to mankind.
Hail maker of him that is in the tuat to see the disk."
A little lower down we find an address to the twelve Athors, and an address to Amen-Ra concludes this section of the papyrus. Between this and the beginning of Part III. are fifteen lines of rather careless writing, which, among other things, invoke a curse upon any person who should remove the papyrus from the resting place of the deceased. It runs, "If any person belonging to any foreign land whatsoever, whether Negro, or Ethiopian, or Syrian, shall remove this book and carry it off, may they never draw near refreshing coolness, may they never breathe the breezes of the north wind, may no son among their children ever live to establish their posterity, may their name never be remembered on earth by children, and may they never see the beams of the disk. If, on the other hand, any person sees this book, and takes care that my name be established among the favoured ones of Ra, may the same thing be done for him likewise after death, as a recompense for what he has done for me."
The third section, by far the largest part of the work, is entitled:—
sat ent sekher Apepi xeft nu Ra,
The book of overthrowing Apepi the enemy of Ra,
and it was
arit en pa Amen - Ra neb nest m taiu khent Apit m em kherti ent hru neb
made for the temple of Amen-Ra the lord of the thrones of the world, at the head of the Apts in the course of day every.
The book is divided into a series of short chapters, each one
of which introduces fresh tortures for Apepi, the enemy of Ra, and is most
probably based upon the chapters of the Book of the Dead which treat of his
destruction. According to the prescriptions given in our papyrus, it was
necessary to make a wax figure of Apepi in wax, and then to cut and inscribe his
name upon it with green colour. This done the figure was thrown into the fire
and was spit upon many times, and spurned by the foot of the person appointed by
the temple authorities to perform the ceremony. From the rubric we learn that a
figure of Apepi was burnt at dawn, at noontide, at eventide when Ra set in the
land of life, at the sixth hour of the night, at the eighth hour of the day, and
every hour of the day and of the night: On the day of the festival, by day, by
month, by the festival of the sixth day, of the fifteenth day, and likewise
every day. This ceremony was particularly recommended to be performed when "tempests boiled in the eastern part of the sky, and when the sun was about to
set"; and it was held to be a sure preventive against showers and rain storms.
Moreover, as an encouragement to the [p.22]
officiating person, it was said to be "good for a man on earth if he did this,
and good for him in the nether world; it enabled him to rise to great dignities
far above him, and delivered him in very truth from all evil." While the figure
of Apepi was burning in the fire, the priest recited the following chapter,
written upon a piece of new papyrus with green ink. "Down upon thy face, Apepi,
the enemy of Ra. Go back, retreat O thou Sebau without thy arms and thy legs;
may thy snout be split up. Thou art fallen, overthrown. Ra-Harmachis overthrows
thee, he destroys thee, he damns thee, he sticks a hook into thee. Thou art
fallen into the fire, flames coming forth from the burning rush against thee at
their lucky moment. Isis says, with vehement utterance, 'Thy crocodile is
repulsed, thy soul is cut in pieces, thy vertebrae are severed, Horus aims blows
at thee, his children desire to smash thee, and thou art destroyed at their
lucky moment.' Back, back, retreat, retreat, thou art fallen, O Apepi. The cycle
of the great gods in Heliopolis turns thee back, Horus drives back thy
crocodile, and Sut paralyses thy moment. The chain of Sut is upon thy neck, thy
flesh is cut at and hacked with knives, thou art deprived of thy ear, the flesh
is struck off from thy limbs, thy soul is separated from its shade, thy name is
destroyed, and thy enchantments are overthrown. Thy soul is damned, thy shade is
destroyed, an end to thee, damnation to thee. Ground to powder art thou, the eye
o( Horus feeds upon and devours thee, mayest thou never come forth from thy
cavern for ever and ever."
This systematic cursing of Apepi continues with somewhat monotonous persistency for several pages, when after the statement that Apepi is overthrown "by water, by land and by stars," we find a very interesting chapter from the "Book of knowing the becomings of Ra and overthrowing Apepi" relating to the genesis of gods, men and things. As it is important I transcribe the passage in full:—
nuk pu khepera khper - na kheper kheperu rti nebu
I am to wit the becomer as Chepera. Became I the becoming of becomings, the becoming of becomings all
emkhet kheperu - a a.st kheperu em per em re - d an khper pet an xeper ta an qemam seta t'etfet em pui
after becomings my many and changes coming forth from month my. Not had become heaven, not had become
earth, not created ground things and reptiles in place that.
tes - na am sen em Nu em enenu an qem - na bu aha - na am
Raised I them out of the watery mass from inertness. Not found I a place could stand I there.
khut na em ab - a senti - na em Shu ari - na aru nebt
Strong was I in heart my, founded I as Shu, made I attributes all.
ua - kua an uses - na em Shu an tef- na em Tefnut an kheper ari - nef hna -a senti - na em ab - a t'es - a
Alone was I, not evacuated had I as Shu not had spit I as Tefnut not became other worked he with me.
kheper ast xeperu, nu kheperu era kheperu nu mesu em kheperu nu mesu sen anuk pu hat - a em khefa - a tataat - na em khbit-a
Laid foundation I in heart my own, became many the becomings of the becomings out of the becomings of births from
the becomings of births their. I to wit (was) husband my, . . . begat children I with shade my.
kher - na em re - a t'es-a ases - na
Vomited I from mouth my own, evacuated I
Shu tef-na Nu em Tefnut satet - sen sen fer henhen an atf-a mat - a em - sa uau - sen er-a emxet xeper - a em from nutar ua
Shu, spat out I Tefnut. Says father my Nu, 'Eclipse they eye my behind for centuries proceeded they from me after became I god one
nutaru III pu er-a kheper - na em ta haa aref pen enenn Shu Tefnut un em - sen am - f
gods three to wit from me, became I in land this. Rejoiced therefore Shu and Tefnut in the watery mass were they in it;
an - sen na mat - a emxet - sen
brought they to me eye my after them.
emkhet aref sam - na at - a rem - na her - sen kheper ret pu em rem per em mat - a
After therefore gather up I limbs mine, weep I over them and become men to wit out of the tears coming forth from eye my ....
mesu an Shu Tefnut Nut mesu an Seb Nut Uasar Heru - khent an - maa Sut Uaset Nebt-het
Give birth Shu and Tefnut to Nut, give birth Seb and Nut to Osiris, Horus dwelling in darkness, Sut, Isis, Nephthys
em khat ua em sa ua am - sen mesu - sen ast - sen em ta pen
at a birth one after the other of them; children their multiply they upon earth this.
1 "Sur un papyrus inedit du British Museum,"
de Travaux, iii, p. 57.
2 As, for example, Nos. 13, 20, 23, 41, 51, Table A in Brugsch's "Grammaire Demotique."
3 I am doubtful about the reading of this name.
4 Alexander II began to reign B.C. 317, he was murdered B.C. 311, and was succeeded by Ptolemy Soter (Revillout, Revue Egyptologique, pp. 8, 15). The writer of our papyrus has added the years of the interregnum (Lepsius, Konigsbuch, Synoptische Tafeln, p. 9) to the years of the reign of Alexander (Recueil de Travaux, iii, p. 63).
5 Literally, 'houses,' compare Arab. [Arabic], plur. [Arabic], Syr. [Syriac], plur. [Syriac]. Dr. Pleyte gives, traitt, livre, chapitre, as the meanings of this word; but I think that 'verses' is its correct rendering. The fact of the composition being written in short lines shows that some kind of metre or rhythm was intended by the author; and as the word 'house,' used in the sense of 'verse' was the common property of the Semitic dialects, from which the Egyptian borrowed so much, there is, at least, an antecedent probability that [glyphs] here means 'verses.' In Syriac we find the expressions [Syriac] 'short verses (in honour) of the Mother of God;' [Syriac] 'verses which are said when they go in for the offering;' and [Syriac] 'verses which are said when they celebrate the Lord's supper.' See also the other passages quoted by Payne Smith, Thesaurus Syriacus, col. 479; and Wright, Arabic Grammar, 2nd ed., vol. II, pp. 378, 192.
6 A name of Isis and Nephthys in their character of protectors of the deceased. Isis was called the 'older t'erti,' and Nephthys the 'younger t'erti.' Brugsch, "Worterbuch," p. 1335.
7 That is to say, [Coptic], which month began about November 27 of our reckoning. The days of the celebration of this festival correspond roughly with our December 25-29th.