Actualización:  9 de Febrero 2004


English version..English 

 Mi e-mail  es


 Si a la paz





  (   erbmon ut oczonoc )


Entrada<<<Papiro Prisse <<<Papiro Westcar <<<< Papiro      >>>Papiro de
papyrus Westcar
Story of the miracles which occurred during the rule of Khufu


This is a long and fascinating text that presents a marvellous series of magical tales. According to W.K. Simpson (p15 of 'The Literature of Ancient Egypt', Yale Univ. Press, 1973), this section comes from one (rather incomplete) manuscript. The events are set in the Old Kingdom but the papyrus dates from much later (ie. Hyksos period before Dyn 18). The stories probably originated in the Dyn. 12, judging from the type of composition. In the part of the text given here, the story is told by 'Hardedef', the fourth son of king Cheops and known as a famous sage from the past.
ii) James Hoch (15 April 97). [The Westcar papyrus] is from the late Middle Kingdom. The text does not, however, contain Late Egyptianisms. The use of pA, tA, nA as articles began in colloquial Middle Egyptian quite early on, so their occurrence here should not be too disconcerting. We find them used even in tomb inscriptions, but only in quotations from persons of the lower classes (i.e. the nobles would not be caught dead saying pA in WRITING). This text exhibits many fine examples of Middle Egyptian forms that later dropped out of use--even before the advent of Late Egyptian.
iii) [MDS] Remember, the original text was written in hieratic (the cursive, handwritten script) and has been transcribed into standard hieroglyphs (normally used for inscriptions and other formal situations). There are a few conventions in this process eg. the basket sign, k, is written in reverse in hieratic and this is maintained in hieroglyphic transcriptions (which I did not follow here). There are also certain peculiarities with hieratic that flow over into the hieroglyphic version eg. use of spiral w instead of the quail chick sign, most arm signs look the same (so an arm with something in the hand is written the same as an arm with nothing in the hand). If you want to learn some hieratic, try Stephen Fryer's web site.
iv) Don't be put off by the following comments by egyptologists, referring to p.Westcar:
"What most people seem to overlook is that the section under consideration is quite corrupt; something is amiss in the text. Erman never explained it and all of the translators gloss over the textual slips." [Tony Spalinger].
"... the text does seem corrupted, if you ask me. There are lots of weirdnesses in this text which might indicate that a child was learning in school and attempting to copy it. The handwriting for one thing is puerile. There also seem to be places where the person writing it has left something out." [G. Graham]
These comments just highlight the fact that the egyptian texts available to us are a very mixed bag, and in no way represent anything like a reasonable sample of egyptian literature. Still, they are fascinating .....


[Home] [Comment. p. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ] [Hieroglyph. p. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11]
Geoffrey Graham's suggested transliterations
Transliteration of page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 |


     AEL Page Number
Hieroglyphic pages
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Interlinear hiero. pages
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Vocabulary of page*
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Commentary - Transln.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Ai, a, w, bp, fm, n, r, hH, xX, sz, Sqk, gt, TdD |
Hieratic Facsimile
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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