Ancient Egyptian Texts:  4.24


Text:   (A) Louvre A.88 ,   (B) Alexandria
Provenance:   Herakleopolis
Date:   mid 4th century B.C.
Script:   Hieroglyphic
Translated by:   J. Vercoutter and N. Spencer
Format:   see key to translations

It is generally agreed that General Hor was active during the 30th dynasty of Egypt, although the exact context within that period is unknown. His name is missing from B, but it clearly refers to the same temple-building activities as in A.

The inscriptions on the two statues were published by J. Vercoutter, "Les statues du général Hor, gouverneur d’Hérakléopolis, de Busiris et d’Héliopolis" ( BIFAO 49, 1950 ). Parts of the translation are adapted from N. Spencer, "Sustaining Egyptian Culture? Non-Royal Initiatives in Late Period Temple Building", p. 462 ( ).  

[A]   . . . who does useful things in Heracleopolis, who wishes to restore Naret, who protects Heracleopolis and repels its adversaries, who protects whoever stays in its streets as surely as if they were in a sanctuary, who removes its enemies from its territory, the administrator of the territory of Heracleopolis, the general Hor, son of the chief of the soldiers of the territory of Busiris, Psammetik, born to the lady Neferu-Sebek. He says:

2 O my lord, my god, Heryshef, king of the Two Lands, prince of the shores, unique god who does not have an equal, I am a loyal man who is faithful to you, I have filled my heart with you, the beautiful way of whoever obeys your majesty, you have made my heart desire it. My heart seeks what is good in your temple . . .

3 ... [I made a propylon] in the great forecourt of Heryshef, in excellent work without parallel. The columns are of granite, the portico in good Lebanese cedar, many decorations in gold to imitate the horizon of heaven. Its south and north walls are of beautiful white stone of Tura, and the inner door is of granite encrusted with gold, the door-leaves of electrum. I restored the chapel of Upper Egypt, the chapel of Lower Egypt and the chapel of the North and South, in addition to the temple of Nekhebkau. I built a wall around the lake of Ma and [I] demolished . . . I embellished the hypostyle near Hebesgebet. I truly completed an excellent work in the domain of Heryshef, lord of gods.

4 I donated two gardens to the god, the great primordial (?) spirit, Heneb, the living ram of Rē, so wine would be offered each day. I compensated their owners with my own assets and I paid them, as stealing is a violation of god. I made two offering-tables in white stone so that the divine offerings are made. One is at Tepehet-Djebat, tomb of Atum the elder, the other at Naref, chapel of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Wennefer.

5 . . . Heryshef and his ennead. I restored what had been found destroyed in his temple. I made the Great Hathor to go out in her boat, during her beautiful festival of the fourth month of winter {Pharmouthi}, from the fifth day until the . . . day (?)

6 I have done these things with a joyful heart without . . . in there. May you open my arms so that I can embrace . . . which was in my heart, while I was making the foundations in your temple. Protect me with your arms in life, health, prosperity, because I have accomplished what I intended in my heart, in your temple. May you give me recompense for what I have done: a long duration of life, in sweetness of heart, remaining in your favour, O prince of the shores, that my name may be secure in Heracleopolis, until eternity comes . . .

[B]   . . . who gives useful advice through his writings, who is the first to enter and the last to leave, bronze shelter who protects the people; the man whose health is desired by everyone, whose heart is filled with the will of god, who restores what has been found missing in the temples, who mummifies the divine souls of sacred animals in the necropolis, who furnishes their altars with foodstuffs . . . one who is without sin; he hates the man who does not know how to pay, he possesses more goods than the royal granary. Rich in crops, a multitude lives in his town, the inundation of his town whenever the land lacks water, administrator of the nome of Busiris {or Mendes}, of Heliopolis, of . . . the count . . .

2 He says: O my god, Heryshef, lord of all the gods, I am a man who is righteous in heart, who is faithful to you; fear of you is in my heart every day. I have made a great propylon at the back of the great forecourt; the columns are made of granite, the porch is of cedar . .

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