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Vignette and text of the Theban Book of the Dead from the Papyrus of Ani.
[Brit. Mus., No. 10470.] XVIIIth dynasty.
Vignette and Chapter of the Book of the Dead written in hieratic for Heru-em-heb.
[Brit. Mus., No. 10257.] XXVIth dynasty, or later.
Under the rule of the High Priests of Amen many changes were introduced into the contents of the papyri, and the arrangement
cf the texts and vignettes of the PER-T EM HRU was altered. The great confraternity of Amen-Rā, the "King of the Gods," felt
it to be necessary to emphasize the supremacy of their god, even in the Kingdom of Osiris, and they added many prayers, litanies
and hymns to the Sun-god to every selection of the texts from the PER-T EM HRU that was copied on a roll of papyrus for funerary
purposes. The greater number of the rolls of this period are short and contain only a few Chapters, e.g., the Papyrus of the Royal Mother Netchemet (Brit. Mus. No. 10541) and the Papyrus of Queen Netchemet (Brit. Mus. No. 10478).
In some the text is very defective and carelessly written, but the coloured vignettes are remarkable for their size and beauty;
of this class of roll the finest example is the Papyrus of Anhai (Brit. Mus. No. 10472). The most interesting of all the rolls
that were written during the rule of the Priest-Kings over Upper Egypt is the Papyrus of Princess Nesitanebtashru (Brit. Mus.
No. 10554), now commonly known as the "Greenfield Papyrus." page 9
page 10It is the longest and widest funerary papyrus1 known, for it measures 123 feet by 1 foot 6½ inches, and it contains more Chapters, Hymns, Litanies, Adorations and Homages
|to the gods than any other roll. The 87 Chapters from the PER-T EM HRU which it contains prove the princess's devotion to
the cult of Osiris, and the Hymns to Amen-Rā show that she was able to regard this god and Osiris not as rivals but as two
aspects of the same god. She believed that the "hidden" creative power which was materialized in Amen was only another form
of the power of procreation, renewed birth and resurrection which was typified by Osiris. The oldest copies of the PER-T EM
HRU which we have on papyrus contain a few extracts from other ancient funerary works, such as the "Book of Opening the Mouth,"
the "Liturgy of Funerary Offerings," and the "Book of the Two Ways." But under the rule of the Priest-Kings the scribes incorporated
with the Chapters of the PER-T EM HRU extracts from the "Book of Ami-Tuat" and the "Book of Gates," and several of the vignettes
and texts that are found on the walls of the royal tombs of Thebes.
Her-Heru, the first priest-king, and Queen Netchemet standing in the Hall of Osiris and praying to the god whilst the heart
of the Queen is being weighed in the Balance.
[Southern Egyptian Gallery, No. 758.]
Presented by His Majesty the King, 1903.
XXIst dynasty, about B.C. 1050.
One of the most remarkable texts written at this period is found in the Papyrus of Nesi-Khensu, which is now in the Egyptian
Museum in Cairo. This is really the copy of a contract which is declared to have been made between Nesi-Khensu and Amen-Rā,
"the holy god, the lord of all the gods." As a reward for the great piety of the queen, and her devotion to the interests
of Amen-Rā upon earth, the god undertakes to make her a goddess in his kingdom, to provide her with an estate there in perpetuity
and a never-failing supply of offerings, and happiness of heart, soul and body, and the [daily] recital upon earth of the
"Seventy Songs of Rā" for the benefit of her soul in the Khert-Neter, or Under World. The contract was drawn up in a series
of paragraphs in legal phraseology by the priests of Amen, who believed they had the power of making their god do as they
pleased when they pleased.
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