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edited by Renata Landgrfov

and Jana Mynov
Studies in Honour of Anthony J. Spalinger
on the Occasion of his 70th Feast of Thoth

edited by Renata Landgrfov

and Jana Mynov
ISBN 978-80-7308-668-8

Studies in Honour of Anthony J. Spalinger

on the Occasion of his 70th Feast of Thoth

edited by Renata Landgrfov

and Jana Mynov

Charles University in Prague

Faculty of Arts

The book was published through a non-investment subsidy of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic
for the purpose of the development of international cooperation with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of the Sudan.

Reviewed by G. Pieke and B. Vachala

Contributors: L. Bare, M. Brta, V. G. Callender, F. Coppens, L. Depuydt, T. Dobbin-Bennett, E. Frood, O. Goelet, Jr.,
C. R. Hamilton, J. Hellum, C. A. Hope, J. Hsieh, D. Kahn, M. I. Khaled, R. Landgrfov, A. von Lieven, E. A. Mackay,
J. Malek, M. Megahed, J. Mynov, H. Navrtilov, A. Niwiski, J. F. Quack, K. Smolrikov, D. Sweeney, K. Szpakowska,
M. Verner, H. Vymazalov

Cover: Drawing of the image of Amun-nakht in the gateway at Ayn Birbiyeh, Dakhleh Oasis, courtesy of Olaf Kaper; a photo
of a statuette of an Asiatic captive, Abusir (Archive of the Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University
in Prague).

Type-setting layout: Agama poly-grafick atelir, s.r.o., Praha

Print: TISKRNA PROTISK, s.r.o.

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Arts, 2016

ISBN 978-80-7308-668-8
@b Ssp mnx.t. A Feast of Re-Harsomtus of Khadi on Mesore 29

The King, His Body, and His Relatives in the Pyramid Texts


Professor Anthony Spalinger was, for many years, the sole to give the king the stature or gravitas necessary to interact
professional Egyptologist not only at the University of Auck- with deities as their equal.
land, but in the country of New Zealand. Despite that Several themes or single, specific applications of imagery
isolation, he managed to guide the librarys purchase of regarding the king and his physical body are used through-
Egyptological books with the result that the library is now out the texts (Miosi 2006: 143144). Preponderant among
of an international standard. He also single-handedly main- these was the reintegration of the body of the king in the af-
tained and nurtured the programme in Egyptology through- terlife, the knitting together or reassembly of the kings
out that time. On top of this, he has brought international bones. Instances of the iteration of the wish that the king be
recognition to the department through his outstanding re- whole and able to function physically ranged from PT 131
search and publication record. As a result, Egyptology in to PT 700; in other words, for all intents and purposes, from
New Zealand is a vibrant and growing field. We owe a great the beginning to the end of the texts. The corpse of the king,
debt of gratitude to Professor Spalinger, which will forever both in the mundane life and after, seems to have been seen
be in his favour. as being in danger of disintegration throughout the entire
It is axiomatic that the king is the paramount figure in mythic process of ascension and occupancy. It was necessary,
the Pyramid Texts in whom the deities invest their energy. therefore, to guard against such an occurrence through fre-
The integration of the king into the Pyramid Texts as a fully- quent and constant repetition of prophylactic texts. This de-
developed member of the afterlife, however, is complex, in- sire for reintegration took the linguistic form of assertions
volving both the deceased royal body and royal relatives. that the kings body had been reassembled,2 that his head
Ontologically, the metaphysical body of the king is under- had been knit back on,3 that his lips and mouth had been
stood as the celestial shape inhabited by the deceased ruler. attached to the head and were operational,4 and that various
The corpse provides an anchor to the mundane world, but other parts of his body, for example his eyes5 or heart (PTs
the assimilation occurs in the afterlife, and provides the king 4 and 5), were set into the rest of his body. Much less often,
with a divine validity therein. The kings limbs and body are the desire came as a request for complete assembly (PT 488).
rejoined, and given divine provenance. His faculties are then The desire for reassembly and for functionality resulting
restored, generally by means of divine antecedents again, and from that reassembly indicates a strong need for a physically
he is inserted into the company of the deities. His acceptance healthy and hale body, and hence, king. Presumably, this
in this company does not appear to be assured, however; need was engendered by the mundane need for a king who
throughout the texts, the deities are continually referenced could rule the country with strength.6 One with physical de-
as members of his immediate family. As will be seen, this formities or disabilities (such as the inability to speak or see
process involves a number of different deities taking on the through lack of a mouth or eyes) would have had difficulty
roles of his father, mother, brother, and sisters, as well as his negotiating the afterlife and would have appeared before the
son and daughter. The reconstruction of the body, its asso- deities in a weakened condition as a result of both the trip
ciation with various deities, and his ancestral alignment and the disabilities themselves. It seems unlikely, for exam-
works on a fundamentally basic level, using referential magic ple, that Siptah of the 19th Dynasty would have entered the

All references to PT numbers and translations (all authors own) are from Sethe 1908 and 1910.
PTs 364, 368, 447, 450, 452, 457, 576, 703, 606, 637, 665A, 666, 667C, 669, 670, 676, 690, and 700.
PTs 13, 17, 254, 355, 450, 451, 452, and 603.
PTs 20, 369, and 447.
PTs 15, 37, 45, 80, 364, 450, 453, 595, 598, 638, and 639.
This harks back to the scenes from the Step Pyramid complex, and the two half-moons in the court of the complex around which the king was to run to prove
his worth and ability to rule for another 30 years. See, for example, Lauer 1962: 144171, and pls. xxvxxvi, and Friedman 1995: 142 for discussions of this
Jennifer Hellum

afterlife with his foot still deformed, or that Tutankhamun volved the capacity for speech and was related to the eyes
would have needed his many walking sticks therein. Regard- sense of perception. When speaking of the reassembly of the
less of the mundane truth of the matter, the representation kings body, particular mention was made of the necessity
of vigour would have been necessary for the king to have for the mouth to be attached to the facial bones (PTs 20 and
been an apt representative for humanity in the afterlife, 369). If this did not occur, the king would be denied both
standing before them on strong legs and with all the knowl- the ability to eat as well as the use of speech.
edge needed for entry into their company. A sense of divine and earthly reciprocity was found in
Within the texts, it appears that the faculties of sight and the daily performance of the Opening of the Mouth cere-
speech were of particular importance to the king in the af- mony (Finnestad 1978; Hikade 2003). The divine essences
terlife. The essential nature of sight is grounded in the pro- of the statues and of the kings corpse were felt to be pres-
saic, but it can take on a philosophical significance, in ent in the afterlife, with static representatives on earth, i.e.
a distinction that can be made between seeing the king the statues and the body of the king. Finnestad notes (in
and perceiving him. The forms of the deities, and indeed, a discussion of the ritual in New Kingdom Theban tombs)
of the king himself, had to be seen. PT 246 states, that the cult statue, upon which the ritual is performed first,
functions as the dead mans living body (Finnestad 1978:
They (i.e. the gods) go in and they fight evil, they 124). Similarly, Cruz-Uribe makes the point that at Hibis
come forth and lift up their faces, and they see you, temple, the ritual is used to animate protector deities of the
Min indeed, at the head of the sanctuaries of Upper temple (Cruz-Uribe 1999: 71). Schulman (1984: 175176)
and Lower Egypt. feels unequivocally that the scenes of the ceremony represent
actual rituals performed in a mortuary context. Roth under-
The gods saw the king at the head of the Conclaves of stands the ritual as a ceremonial rebirth of the dead king into
Upper and Lower Egypt, and perceived him as Min, and as the afterlife (Roth 1992 and 1993). The first three studies
a result, the royal status was confirmed. It was vital that the were done on much later artefacts and temples, and in vary-
king be able to confirm this for himself, as well. In his jour- ing contexts, while Roths articles focus on the ritual and its
neying through the afterlife, he needed his sight both to see accompanying tools in the Old Kingdom. They all indicate
and to perceive,7 using both the faculties of sight and of that the Opening of the Mouth ceremony is one that has
mind. His human eyes were often substituted with Horus enlivening and protective purposes, simultaneously. The
magical Eyes which not only gave the king divine eyes, but same principle is in operation in the Pyramid Texts, with the
also eyes that had the mythical property of healing, among kings body taking over the role of the cult statue, making
others. They also gave the king the resource of sight itself, the magic more direct. Through the ceremonies performed
the requisite mundane corollary to the metaphysical prop- each morning on the temple statues and the ceremonies used
erties. In using Horus eyes, the king was granted both sight in the Pyramid Texts, the essences of the statues and the king
and perception, thereby entering an optical state approxi- were brought in to the mundane world, inhabited the
mating that of the gods. mummy and the statues, and were crucial aids to the per-
The use of a mouth, similarly, had an importance ception of the divine world of the deities as an invisible part
grounded in the metaphysical and the mundane.8 As with of the mundane world.
the statues in the temples, the mouth of the king had to be It is to be expected that those texts mentioning splitting
struck open each morning in order for him to eat. This was open the mouth are predominantly found early in the corpus
accomplished by both the Opening of the Mouth cere- (for the example of Unas corpus, see Allen 2005: 1929).11
mony and by other magical means,9 and was performed for The first requisite was the awakening of the king, a necessity
both the temple statues and the king.10 The mouth as in both this world and the next. The king required food ini-
a means of speech, then, was the corollary of the eyes as the tially upon animation in the afterlife. It was necessary for
organ of sight. The other, less prosaic use of the mouth in- his bA to be provided with sustenance in order for the king

See, for example, PT 167 O Osiris N, open your eyes that you may see with them.
For an example of the closing of the mouth of a snake in order that it be made less dangerous, see PT 230.
The Eye of Horus, for example, in PTs 47, 54, 93, 155, 156, and 185, and other unidentified means in PTs 48 and 153.
PTs 20, 21, 34, 38, and 369.
An exception to this is PT 369. This particular text, however, is less concerned with the mouth being a serviceable instrument for the king and more concerned with
the restoration of the kings body by his divine son, Horus. It is included among a group of texts which stress the protection and care that Horus will give the king
in the afterlife PTs 369372.
The King, His Body, and His Relatives in the Pyramid Texts

to wake into the afterlife and remain there. Later, in order ally, either deities or divine animals are used. PT 539, in par-
for the king to protect, introduce, and establish himself in ticular, makes full use of this type of allusory imagery, work-
the company of the gods, the use of language was required, ing from the kings head and face down to his toes and the
which in turn necessitated the use of a mouth. The language soles of his feet. In this example, found only in Pepi Is cor-
used in the act of speaking was akin to the idea of the eyes pus (Allen 2005: 407) and the longest of the few texts of
perception. The king perceived the presence of the deities this type, the kings nose was Thoth (PT 539 1305), his
and understood himself to be their equal; the words chosen heart was Bastet (PT 539 1310), his thighs were Neith and
for that understanding, in order to attain the desired deified Selket (PT 539 1314), and the soles of his feet were the
end, had to be magical in themselves. Often, the exact words two barques of righteousness (PT 539 1315). PT 485C,
to be spoken were given to the king by various named and making use of Sethes reconstruction, states that there was
unnamed deities, indicating how necessary it was to perform no limb of the king devoid of god, meaning here divinity or
these ceremonies and rituals correctly. A clear example of the the essence of deity (PT 485C). In only one anomalous
instructive nature of some of these uses of speech is found text, the king assumed the essences of a group that was on
in PT 666: a lower rung of the social register than he was himself, by
taking the nobles (or humanity pat) as a limb (PT 268).
O N, when they will ask your name from you, you Every part of the king was imbued with a divine essence.
shall not allow them to say your name. Who acts for Overall, it would appear that he was protected with such
you? they will say. It is my successor who acts for variation of divine essences as to preclude the notion of an
me. Spread out his field; install his brick. you shall attack against him. He was one with the deities in the after-
say, Pour his mortar? (mAHi translation Allen 2005: life as a social equal and as one of their collective body.
325) between the walls, so that <he> may descend The king also appeared in a nonhuman form, as mythi-
himself . cal constructed creatures (Miosi 2006: 143). These were de-
scribed as having the forepart of a jackal and the hind part
Here, the king was instructed by sympathetic deities on of a falcon (PT 459), the face of a jackal,14 the middle of the
the correct words to use in the event of questions addressed Celestial Serpent, and (rather oddly) the hind-parts of
to him by unnamed foes. The consequences of not following a broad hall,15 or alternatively the front of a jackal, the hind-
the instructions are not elaborated upon; it is perhaps parts of a Celestial Serpent, and a spine which was the door-
enough that the king should know the proper answers. bolt of the god (PT 691B). It is interesting, although not
Other less explicit uses involved the king in unscripted con- surprising, that PT 539, the most complete catalogue of the
versation.12 kings body parts and their divine equivalents, does not agree
Despite the necessity of the king being in the form of with the other PTs regarding the quality of the spine (the
a healthy human being in the afterlife, the eventual goal of Wild Bull [ 1308]), and the middle, which has numerous
the Pyramid Texts was to insert him into the company of deities attached to it, from the shoulders as Seth to the toes
divine beings. Thus it was understood that the king should as the Souls of On ( 13091315). It is doubtful that any
eventually be a god in human or other form. One method such creatures were meant to be assumed to be the king, al-
in which the sense of this was communicated was through though these amalgamations have much in common with
the inhabitation of the kings body of or the assignment deities such as Taweret, Bes, Ammet, and Seth. This kind of
of various limbs to deities or exalted mortals.13 Another incorporation can be attributed both to Frankforts multi-
means was by creating a form that did not resemble the plicity of approaches (Frankfort 1961: 18), and to the un-
kings earthly form, but that contained his essence. Through derstanding that what was necessary was for the kings parts
the use of these two approaches to the concept of divinity, to be divine, not for them to be filled particularly with the
the divine became divine both inside and out, in form and same divine essence. PT 649 tells the king, or Osiris the
in essence. king, that he is the kA of all the gods, thus doing away with
Different entities were taken within the kings body and the notion of specialisation when it came to deities and
were literally incorporated (Miosi 2006: 143144). Gener- limbs.

For example, PT 660 and 667B, both of which include speech by the king without instructions regarding what must be said.
See Hornung 1982: 9092 for a reiteration, following H. Bonnet, of the idea of syncretism as inhabitation, rather than alignment.
PTs 721 and 734 these PTs mention the face only, which those in the footnote below include the face, the middle and the hind-parts, as indicated.
PTs 582 and 619, the latter being the reference also for the hind-parts as a broad hall.
Jennifer Hellum

Violent imagery involving the king as a butcher is found steam and doing so with strength and power. He was in con-
in several texts in the corpora. Clear examples are PT 535, trol of the events and would act decisively to control them.
appearing in the corpora of Pepi I, Merenre, and Pepi II: He would also take into himself the power that motivates
these evil spirits, making that power part of himself and thus
Seize them, remove their heads, cut off their limbs, incapable of causing him further harm. By ridding himself
that you may disembowel them, and cut out their of his enemies through anthropophagy, the king was at once
hearts, and drink from their blood. adding to his own power and firmly asserting his stature as
the one with whom any evil spirits or deities must reckon
and PT 477, in the same corpora: in the afterlife. Not unimportantly, the king also became the
first king of Egypt, having done away with his predecessors,
Hone your knife, Thoth, which hacks and is sharp, a unique position, and hence, one that aided in elevating his
which cuts off heads and cuts out hearts. It will cut stature in the afterlife.
off the heads and it will cut out the hearts of those To maintain the myth of divinity (and entrance) for the
who oppose themselves to NN. I will eat a limb king in the afterlife, the myth had to be complete. Not only
of your foe. When I slaughter it for Osiris, I will was it necessary for the kings body to be composed of or
place it before the slaughterers. equivalent to various deities, it was also necessary for the
parentage of the king to be divine. Thus, the kings immediate
PT 254, in Unas and Tetis corpora, also used similarly family father, mother, sisters, and brothers, (grand)mother
vehement imagery: and (grand)father was composed of deities. It was acknowl-
edged once that the king had had a mother, presumably
their hearts fall to <my> fingers, their entrails are human, previous to his entrance into the afterlife <I> do
for those who are of the sky, their reddening (i.e. not know (now) <my> first mother whom <I> knew (once)
blood) is for those who are of the earth. (PT 565) but the texts did not linger upon the fact of mun-
dane birth; it was even repudiated outright (PTs 675 and
In all instances, the unknown they are alluded to as 703). The gods saw the divine essence within the king, most
evil spirits, waiting to dismember the king and relieve him often seeing him as the father of Horus, Osiris.16 The notion
of a second life. Another aspect to this is found in the infa- of perception mentioned earlier here is at work; Horus was
mous consumption of deities found in PT 273/4, or The required to come and see the king in order for the essence, in
Cannibal Hymn (Faulkner 1924; Foster 19781979; this case of Osiris, to be recognised (PT 357). The precise def-
Goebs 2008: 349358, and 2009). This text has had several inition of the nature of the divine essence does not seem to
different interpretations, including its use in a ritual of have been of paramount importance, according to the evi-
slaughtering cattle (Eyre 2002), as a description of sunrise dence in the Pyramid Texts. The kings father is variously
(Goebs 2004), or as a remnant of a prehistoric ritual of can- Geb,17 Re,18 Atum,19 Osiris,20 Shu (PTs 254 and 261), Re-
nibalism (Barta 1979). The question at hand is how to in- Atum (PT 217), Orion (PT 699), and a host of less familiar
terpret the actions of the king, which appear to be so out of divine objects and beings, most without particular designa-
character within the texts that they have the appearance or tions: the sky (PT 442), the moon (PT 507), a beetle (PT
flavour of metaphor. The ingestion of human body parts or 519), and ndi, pndn, dndn,21 the Great Wild Bull, the Great
fluids, however, had a close correlation to the assertion that Float-user, Soped, the One Sharp of Teeth.22 Some of these
the kings body was made up from the essences of various fathers doubled as brothers: the moon (PT 481), Osiris (PTs
deities. In this type of imagery, however, the king was phys- 536 and 676), and Orion (PT 691A).
ically and, perhaps more important, knowingly taking divine The mother of the king in the afterlife was named as var-
beings into his own body. He was operating under his own iously as was his father. Most often, she was Nut;23 however

PTs 356, 357, 369, and 423.
PTs 2, 3, 214, 254, 307, 373, 485A, 510, 536, 553, 592, 606, 640, 666, 669, 673, 676, and 717.
PTs 205, 222, 467, 470, 485A, 539, 573, 575, 576, 681, and 691.
PTs 216, 222, 269, 273-4, 480, 555, 570, 571, and 660.
PTs 553, 576, 582, 666, 677, and 691B.
All three are found in PT 222.
All four are found in PT 222.
PTs 1, 3, 6, 7, 356, 368, 422, 427, 446, 447, 450, 451, 452, 468, 474, 485A, 510, 540, 565, 476, 588, 593, 609, 650, 669, 677, 684, and 690.
The King, His Body, and His Relatives in the Pyramid Texts

she also took on the identity, or essence of a fairly wide range deification in the afterlife. Apotropaics come in with the need
of other goddesses, for example Isis,24 Nephthys (PT 511), to keep the king as sound, physically, as possible, and two di-
Ipy (PT 269), Sothis (PT 302), the great wild cow who vine birth-mothers, each involved intimately with the very
dwells in Nekheb,25 dawn-light (PT 422), the sky (PTs 422 act of childbirth, were a strong hedge against the possibility
and 650), the White Crown (PT 470), the two White of harm in the afterlife.
Crowns (PT 721), the living uraeus (PT 508 1108), Bastet While the identity of the kings parents was fluid, the
(PT 508 1111), the two vultures (PT 508 1118), pt wrt identity of his siblings and offspring was less so. The identity
(PT 571), the great Hwrt-serpent (PT 703), Meskhenet (PT of parentage was vital for the sake of the kings divinity; it
667C), Sekhmet (PT 704), and Shezmetet (PT 704). Again, provided him with the requisite divine familial descent that
as with the father of the king, the legitimacy of the king was gifted him with the proper inheritance that would allow him
not an issue in the afterlife, although it would perhaps be to remain in the company of the gods. The identity of sib-
expected that, in the mundane world, the Egyptians would lings and offspring was of lesser importance with regard to
be concerned with the legitimacy of the king and thus have divine legitimacy. That the king had divine sisters, divine
the parentage of the king secure with one father and one brothers, and a divine son was to be expected given the the-
mother. Rather, of greater importance would have been the ological identity of the kings parents in the Pyramid Texts.
fact of divine parents, whomever they might happen to be. A wide breadth of examples was not as necessary to prove
Divine parents guaranteed the king the right to claim divin- the kings divinity when it came to siblings and sons. While
ity in the afterlife, and the greater the number of those divine it might be of benefit to the king in showing divine ancestry
parents, the greater the right for (already ostensibly present) by naming a number of different goddesses and gods as
deification of the king. mother and father, it might be of negligible benefit to do so
A striking difference found in allusions to the kings af- with sisters and progeny. This is not to propose that the an-
terlife mother from those of the kings afterlife father is those cestry of the kings siblings and son were of no importance
PT sections that distinguish between the conception and the or worse, of no benefit to the king; rather, that the ancestry
birthing of the king. When this distinction is made, and it is of these relations was self-evident, given the reputed divine
not always made by any means, two goddesses are named, procreation of the king. Horus was almost uniformly men-
one who conceives and one who gives birth to the king. For tioned as the son of the king, generally in unambiguous
examples, in PT 511, Isis conceived the king and Nephthys terms.26 An interesting feature of the acknowledgement, or
begat or gave birth to the king. In PT 704, Sekhmet con- assertion, of the king as the father of Horus and hence, as
ceived and Shezmetet bore the king. A linguistic distinction Osiris, is the use of a parallel sentence structure in which the
between conception and birth was not an unusual one for word son or sA in one sentence is replaced with the name
the Egyptians to have made; the allocation of each to separate of Horus, as in the example following:
goddesses, however, was. This would seem to be evidence for
a method of deification similar to that of having deities for I come to you, for I am your son; I come to you,
parents, siblings, and offspring. It is not possible to have more for I am Horus. (PT 674)27
than one woman involved physically in the process of carry-
ing a child to term and giving birth to that child in the mun- This use of immediately allusory sentences serves to es-
dane world. The fact that it is conceived of as being possible tablish the idea of the son of the king as Horus. This is how
in the afterlife, as shown by the above examples, indicates the the son, the new king, was viewed on earth by his subjects;
necessity of associating deities with every moment of that he is filled with the essence of Horus. The assumption of
process which was so dangerous to both mother and child. that essence occurred as a result of the assumption by his fa-
The difficulty with this and its use in the Pyramid Texts is ther of the essence of Osiris who was, indeed, the very em-
the king arises from the dead as a man, presumably fully- bodiment of Osiris as the king in the afterlife.
grown. He has had his birth in the mundane world of a mun- A daughter was bestowed upon the king in only two in-
dane mother. Reference to it, then, in the afterlife is evoked stances PTs 447 and 670. In PT 477, she is Sothis. In PT
retroactively and apotropaically in justification for the kings 670, however, she is not named but rather referred to as

PTs 1, 3, 6, 7, 356, 368, 422, 427, 446, 447, 450, 451, 452, 468, 474, 485A, 510, 540, 565, 476, 588, 593, 609, 650, 669, 677, 684, and 690.
PTs 511, 609, 661, and 663.
PTs 412, 554, 582, and 675.
PTs 20, 21, 63, 106, 173, 179, 214, 247, 356, 371, 482, 510, 540, 541, 542, 606, 608, 641, 645, 665, 670, and 674.
Other examples of this type of sentence structure using the kings son and the name of Horus are found in PTs 106, 482, 510, 540, 606, 641, 665, and 670.
Jennifer Hellum

your (i.e. the kings) eldest daughter who is in Qdm. Other dered god and made him healthy once again (PTs 366 and
children of the king are alluded to as offspring. Once the 670). In these allusions, the king is not merely the Osiris
unnamed offspring is called the dawn-light (PT 263); the king of the texts, but he is Osiris participating in the allusion
rest of the references are to the morning star.28 Whether to his death and discovery of his body. At work in PT 535
we are to assume that these entities are feminine or mascu- is the parallel sentence structure mentioned above with ref-
line in gender is unanswerable, and therefore, for our pur- erence to the son of the king.
poses, they remain genderless.
The siblings of the king were sisters and much less often So said Isis and Nephthys: The one who screeches
and with much greater ambiguity, brothers. In an investiga- comes, the kite comes, namely Isis and Nephthys;
tion into the identity of the siblings of the king, it is neces- they have come seeking their brother Osiris, seeking
sary to mention first the tenuous grasp we have on Egyptian their brother the king.
kinship terms. The most obvious example of our vague un-
derstanding is the use of the term sister in the love poetry In this PT portion, the sentence containing the name
of the New Kingdom from P. Harris (Budge 1923: pls. 41 of Osiris comes first, before that containing the title of
46) and P. Chester Beatty I (Gardiner 1931). The term sAt king, unlike the example referred to earlier, in which the
or sister, is used in the love poems in situations in which son came before Horus. Regardless of the order, the
we would expect the word lover or more colloquially, girl- same principle of parallel sentence structure is in opera-
friend, to appear; however, the term for sister is used tion in the example directly above. The fact of alliance was
throughout, rendering the poems seemingly incestuous to found in the exact similarity of sentence structure and
the unwitting reader. When a strict meaning for the term wording rather than in the order of persons named. The
sister is eliminated, in other words when the association king is allied with Osiris by means of Isis and Nephthys
of familial bond is removed, the poems become love poetry seeking the two of them, i.e. the king and Osiris as one
of a more regular sort. The term sister, then, in Egyptian entity.
would seem to mean not simply a woman or girl borne of Finally, the brothers of the king in the afterlife need
the same mothers body as a male, but in a wider sense, a fe- some discussion. The brothers of the king are mentioned
male with whom one, here a male, has a close, if not inti- much less frequently than are sisters or other family of the
mate bond. Evidence for a non-familial use of sister in
king. While Seth is the deity most often identified as
female relationships is not available; however, it is not un-
a brother of the king (or of Osiris),33 Thoth (PTs 218 and
likely that the same breadth of meaning for sisters was
219), anti (PT 484), and afti (PT 484) and the moon (PT
applied equally in male-female and in female-female rela-
481) are also given that label. Thoth is called the brother
of Osiris twice (PTs 218 and 219), and Seth is referred to
The sisters of the king were generally named as Isis29 and
as the brother of Osiris nine times.34 While the king is
Nephthys,30 however, Sothis is also well-represented in the
generally called Osiris NN throughout most of the cor-
corpus as a sister of the dead king,31 and the Lady of Pe, and
the Celestial Serpent32 were mentioned as sisters of the king pora, except Unas, and is thus assumed to be Osiris in the
as well. Having a number of different sisters is, of course, afterlife, Seth is always unambiguously the brother of
within the bounds of possibility, unlike having a number of Osiris, and not the king. In each reference, Seth is blamed
different fathers and mothers. It is usually true, however, in as the brother who did ill to Osiris, or threw him down,
the texts that mention of Isis and Nephthys as sisters of the as in the examples below:
dead king, the Osiris king, is found within an allusion to
the myth of the death of Osiris. The two deities wailed in You35 have come seeking your brother, Osiris, his
human form or as kites flying around the dead gods body brother Seth having thrown him down upon his side
(PTs 535 and 701) and they collected the parts of the mur- in that side of Ghsty.36 (PT 478)

PTs 265, 473, 481, 507, and 609.
PTs 4, 42, 356, 366, 353, 593, 670, 691B, and 701.
PTs 5, 356, 366, 535, 593, 670, 691B, and 701.
PTs 263, 265, 266, 473, 509, 609, and 691A.
Lady of Pe PTs 258, and 259. Celestial serpent PT 690.
PTs 219, 478, 485, 519, 532, 546, 606, 615, and 667A.
PTs 219, 478, 485, 519, 532, 576, 606, 615, and 667A.
The King, His Body, and His Relatives in the Pyramid Texts

And to the inherent myths within the texts. It is perhaps not a co-
incidence that in what narrative myth remains, the only fam-
He to whom ill was done by his brother Seth comes ily member at whose hand Osiris suffered was his brother,
to us, say the Two Enneads. Indeed, it will not be Seth. Logically, if the king was assumed to have entered the
permitted that Seth be free from raising you for ever afterlife and the realm of deities full of the essence of Osiris,
(Dt), O my father Osiris the King, say the Two En- then a potential for danger from Seth might have been ex-
neads concerning you, O my father Osiris the King. pected. His inclusion in the texts as Osiris brother points
(PT 606) to the importance of the myth of ascendance to the throne.
The Contendings of Horus and Seth, the most fully-realised
It should be noted about the above passage that Seth is native Egyptian myth, provides the context for the familial
both mentioned as one who has committed a crime against attribution of king and brother, and its importance in the
Osiris and as one who must pay for that crime for the rest of rule of Egypt is primary.
time on earth. Interestingly, the allusions to Thoth as the Through the use of alignment of body and family, the
brother of Osiris are in the same vein. PT 218 mentions Thoth king is firmly established within the Pyramid Texts divine
and Seth together as the brothers who have done Osiris ill, and geography and its inhabitants. His body has become divine,
in PT 219, they are used in a parallel sentence structure: through the recognition of the deities in his limbs and torso;
his divine sight and speech now work on a metaphysical
Seth, this is your brother, Osiris, who has been level, as well as a more prosaic level of the senses; and he is
caused to be restored, so that he may live, and so that united with his divine family. Each of these associations is
he may punish you. ( 173) fluid, and the positions within them are filled by assorted
members of the pantheon. There is very little standardisation
And involved, except insofar as the standard is a widespread and
constant substitution of deities for the kings corporeal fea-
Thoth, this is your brother, Osiris, who has been tures and relations. This, however, is a powerful indication
caused to be restored, so that he may life and so that of the very nature and essence of Egyptian religious thought.
he may punish you. ( 175) It is through this mutability and adaptability that the king
becomes a fundamental part of the structure of the Egyptian
Within this particular spell, which is primarily con- universe upon his death and ascension.
structed of these parallel constructions, of all the deities
mentioned, Seth and Thoth are the only two who are threat-
ened with punishment. The punishment of Seth (and less
so, Thoth) is important, as it illustrates the need to keep all ALLEN, J. P.
potential dangers away from the deceased king. In becoming (2005) The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, Atlanta.
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Feminine, singular suffix pronoun T. Faulkner (1969: 166) equates this with Isis, although the word referenced by the pronoun is mAqt or ladder (Wb. II 33, 6).
Gazelle-land, so Allen 2005: 279.
Jennifer Hellum

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