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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 3


EPITAPH OF PSHERENPTAH

Original text: BM 886
Date: 41 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

  Translated by S.R.K.Glanville, as reported by E.R.Bevan (1927).

For a summary of what is known about Psherenptah, see the genealogy compiled by Chris Bennett.


In the year 25, on the 21st of Phaophi {4 November 90 B.C.}, in the reign of the king, the lord of the land, Ptolemy, the Saviour God, the Conqueror, was the day whereon I was born. I lived thirteen years in the presence of my father. There went forth a command from the king, the lord of the land, the Father-loving Sister-loving God, the New Osiris, son of the Sun, Lord of Diadems, Ptolemy, that the high office of you Priest of Memphis should be conferred upon me, I being then fourteen years old. I set the adornment of the serpent-crown upon the head of the king on the day that he took possession of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt, and performed all the customary rites in the chambers which are appointed for the Thirty Years' Festivals. I was leader in all the secret offices. I gave instruction for the consecration of the Horus {the king as divine} at the time of the birth of the Sun-god {i.e. the spring equinox} in the Golden House. I betook me to the residence of the kings of the Ionians {the Greek kings} which is on the shore of the Great Sea to the west of Rakoti. The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Master of two worlds, the Father-loving Sister-loving God, the New Osiris, was crowned in his royal palace. He proceeded to the temple of Isis, the Lady of Yat-udjat. He offered unto her sacrifices many and costly. Riding in his chariot forth from the temple of Isis, the king himself caused his chariot to stand still. He wreathed my head with a beautiful wreath of gold and all manner of gems, except only the royal pectoral which was on his own breast. I was nominated Prophet, and he sent out a royal rescript to the capitals of all the nomes, saying: "I have appointed the High Priest of Memphis, Psherenptah, to be my Prophet." And there was delivered to me from the temples of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt a yearly revenue for my maintenance.

The king came to Memphis on a feast-day. He passed up and down in his ship that he might behold both sides of the place. So soon as he landed at the quarter of the city called Ankh-Tawi, he went into the temple escorted by his magnates and his wives and his royal children, with all the things prepared for the feast; sitting in the ship, he sailed up, in order to celebrate the feast in honour of all the gods who dwell in Memphis, according to the greatness of the goodwill in the heart of the lord of the land, and the white crown was upon his brow.

I was a great man, rich in all riches, whereby I possessed a goodly harem. I lived forty-three years without any man-child being born to me. In which matter the majesty of this glorious god, Imhotep, the son of Ptah, was gracious unto me. A man-child was bestowed upon me, who was called Imhotep, and was surnamed Pedubast. Tayimhotep, the daughter of the father of the god, the Prophet of Horus, the lord of Letopolis, Kha-hapi, was his mother.

Under the majesty of the princess, the lady of the land, Cleopatra { VII } and her son Caesar, in the year 11, the 15th of [Epeiph] {3 July 41 B.C.} was the day on which I was carried into the haven. I was brought to the necropolis, and there was performed upon me every rite customary for a well-prepared mummy. The laying in the grave took place in the year 12 on the 30th of Thoth {1 October 41 B.C.}. The years of my life in all were forty and nine.

Epitaph of his daughter Berenice   (inscription 4)


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