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Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead



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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Book of the Dead, by E. A. Wallis Budge#2 in our series by E. A. Wallis BudgeCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check thecopyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributingthis or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this ProjectGutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit theheader without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about theeBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights and restrictions inhow the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make adonation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: The Book of the DeadAuthor: E. A. Wallis BudgeRelease Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7145][Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on March 16, 2003]Edition: 10Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BOOK OF THE DEAD ***Produced by Jeroen HellingmanTHE BOOK OF THE DEAD.by E. A. Wallis Budge.
CHAPTER IThe Title."Book of the Dead" is the title now commonly given to the greatcollection of funerary texts which the ancient Egyptian scribescomposed for the benefit of the dead. These consist of spells andincantations, hymns and litanies, magical formulae and names, wordsof power and prayers, and they are found cut or painted on walls ofpyramids and tombs, and painted on coffins and sarcophagi and rollsof papyri. The title "Book of the Dead" is somewhat unsatisfactoryand misleading, for the texts neither form a connected work norbelong to one period; they are miscellaneous in character, and tellus nothing about the lives and works of the dead with whom they wereburied. Moreover, the Egyptians possessed many funerary works thatmight rightly be called "Books of the Dead," but none of them bore aname that could be translated by the title "Book of the Dead." Thistitle was given to the great collection of funerary texts in the firstquarter of the nineteenth century by the pioneer Egyptologists, whopossessed no exact knowledge of their contents. They were familiarwith the rolls of papyrus inscribed in the hieroglyphic and thehieratic character, for copies of several had been published, [1]but the texts in them were short and fragmentary. The publication ofthe Facsimile [2] of the Papyrus of Peta-Amen-neb-nest-taui [3] byM. Cadet in 1805 made a long hieroglyphic text and numerous colouredvignettes available for study, and the French Egyptologists describedit as a copy of the "Rituel Funraire" of the ancient Egyptians. Among
these was Champollion le Jeune, but later, on his return from Egypt,he and others called it "Le Livre des Morts," "The Book of the Dead,""Das Todtenbuch," etc. These titles are merely translations of thename given by the Egyptian tomb-robbers to every roll of inscribedpapyrus which they found with mummies, namely, "Kitb-al-Mayyit,"
"Book of the dead man," or "Kitb al-Mayyitun," "Book of the dead"
(plur.). These men knew nothing of the contents of such a roll, andall they meant to say was that it was "a dead man's book," and thatit was found in his coffin with him.CHAPTER IIThe Preservation of the Mummified Body in the Tomb by Thoth.The objects found in the graves of the predynastic Egyptians, i.e.,vessels of food, flint knives and other weapons, etc., prove thatthese early dwellers in the Nile Valley believed in some kind of afuture existence. But as the art of writing was, unknown to them theirgraves contain no inscriptions, and we can only infer from texts ofthe dynastic period what their ideas about the Other World were. It isclear that they did not consider it of great importance to preservethe dead body in as complete and perfect state as possible, for inmany of their graves the heads, hands and feet have been found severedfrom the trunks and lying at some distance from them. On the otherhand, the dynastic Egyptians, either as the result of a difference inreligious belief, or under the influence of invaders who had settledin their country, attached supreme importance to the preservation andintegrity of the dead body, and they adopted every means known to themto prevent its dismemberment and decay. They cleansed it and embalmed
it with drugs, spices and balsams; they anointed it with aromaticoils and preservative fluids; they swathed it in hundreds of yards oflinen bandages; and then they sealed it up in a coffin or sarcophagus,which they laid in a chamber hewn in the bowels of the mountain. Allthese things were done to protect the physical body against damp,dry rot and decay, and against the attacks of moth, beetles, wormsand wild animals. But these were not the only enemies of the deadagainst which precautions had to be taken, for both the mummifiedbody and the spiritual elements which had inhabited it upon earthhad to be protected from a multitude of devils and fiends, and fromthe powers of darkness generally. These powers of evil had hideousand terrifying shapes and forms, and their haunts were well known,for they infested the region through which the road of the dead laywhen passing from this world to the Kingdom of Osiris. The "greatgods" were afraid of them, and were obliged to protect themselvesby the use of spells and magical names, and words of power, whichwere composed and written down by Thoth. In fact it was believed invery early times in Egypt that Ra the Sun-god owed his continuedexistence to the possession of a secret name with which Thoth hadprovided him. And each morning the rising sun was menaced by a fearfulmonster called Aapep, which lay hidden under the place of sunrisewaiting to swallow up the solar disk. It was impossible, even for theSun-god, to destroy this "Great Devil," but by reciting each morningthe powerful spell with which Thoth had provided him he was able toparalyse all Aapep's limbs and to rise upon this world. Since then the"great gods," even though benevolently disposed towards them, were notable to deliver the dead from the devils that lived upon the "bodies,souls, spirits, shadows and hearts of the dead," the Egyptians decidedto invoke the aid of Thoth on behalf of their dead and to place themunder the protection of his almighty spells. Inspired by Thoth thetheologians of ancient Egypt composed a large number of funerarytexts which were certainly in general use under the IVth dynasty(about 3700 B.C.), and were probably well known under the Ist dynasty,and throughout the whole period of dynastic history Thoth was regardedas the author of the "Book of the Dead."CHAPTER IIIThe Book Per-t em hru, or [The Chapters of] Coming forth by (or,into) the Day, commonly called the "Book of the Dead."The spells and other texts which were written by Thoth for thebenefit of the dead, and are directly connected with him, were called,according to documents written under the XIth and XVIIIth dynasties,"Chapters of the Coming Forth by (or, into) the Day." One rubric inthe Papyrus of Nu (Brit. Mus. No. 10477) states that the text of thework called "PER-T EM HRU," i.e., "Coming Forth (or, into) the Day,"was discovered by a high official in the foundations of a shrine ofthe god Hennu during the reign of Semti, or Hesepti, a king of the Istdynasty. Another rubric in the same papyrus says that the text wascut upon the alabaster plinth of a statue of Menkaura (Mycerinus),a king of the IVth dynasty, and that the letters were inlaid withlapis lazuli. The plinth was found by Prince Herutataf, a son ofKing Khufu (Cheops), who carried it off to his king and exhibited itas a "most wonderful" thing. This composition was greatly reverenced,for it "would make a man victorious upon earth and in the Other World;

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