Ancient Egyptian Texts:  2.3


Date:   2nd century B.C.
Language:   Demotic
Translated by:   J.D. Ray
Format:   see key to translations

Hor of  Sebennytos was originally a priest of Isis; but shortly after 167 B.C. he became devoted to the worship of Thoth. One of Hor's duties was oversight of the mummification of ibises, which from 174 B.C. onwards involved him in some serious disputes. Amongst the surviving documents written by Hor, several refer to his dreams; see G.Shushan, "Greek and Egyptian Dreams in Two Ptolemaic Archives" ( PDF ). 

The translations are taken from J.D. Ray, "The archive of Ḥor" (1976).

[A]   O. Hor 1

Year 23, Hathor {December 159 B.C.}.  I reported to Soterion, the scribe of Pharaoh at Memphis, the matter which had come true when Antiochos {Epiphanes} was to the north of Pi-Eulaios and Egypt was torn apart. I spoke with Eirenaios, who was commander of the army and acted as representative for Pharaoh Ptolemy our lord. I caused him to realise the truth of the matters which I had discovered, the fortune of Pharaoh. The lady of the Two Lands, Isis, was the one who ordained them, and the great god Thoth was the one who recorded them. I dreamt as follows: Isis, the great goddess of Egypt and the land of Syria, is walking on the face of the water of the Syrian sea. Thoth stands before her and takes her hand, and she reached the harbour at Alexandria. She said, 'Alexandria is secure against the enemy; Pharaoh is recorded within it, together with his brother. The eldest son of Pharaoh wears the diadem; his son wears the diadem after him; the son of this son wears the diadem after him; the son of the son of the son of this son wears the diadem after him, for very many lengthy days. The confirmation of this: the Queen bears a male child.'

[B]   O. Hor 8

Day 12, festival of Thoth. The first dream: I dreamt that a young master {overseer} was with me on a labour-gang, and had paid my exemption money. I dreamt that I absented myself, but they came after me and brought me to a halt in Sebennytos. They brought me to the place where my master was. I was very afraid. My master took me to the temple, and said to me, 'Hor, you are on trial; I shall keep silence, and you will find that this is a serious charge. You must go; you may not stand before me. I am your master: Thoth. I told you before, "Do not worship any god except me."' I replied, 'I will not do it again.' There came a great man from the town of Pi-Boine to give him a scroll bearing the destiny of the temple of Pi-Boine. This said, 'Your will be with your word, promising to remain with him {the god} throughout your days of life. Should calamity occur as part of what is ordained, one man one fate.'

The second: I dreamt that I was in the necropolis of Memphis. A foul death had seized a poor man; I lifted him upon myself and brought him up to the Serapeum. I reached the processional way. A ghost called out to me, 'Come to me; I have found a house which is built.' I said to him, 'The house which is built is better than a house which lacks its roof-beams.' He sat down in the middle of the way and said to me, 'Bring your clover, the food for the 60,000 ibises.' I said to him, 'It is in Pi-Thoth.' He said to me, 'Bring it here together with your things.' He added, 'You shall have a living soul from the thirty-fifth day {halfway through the process of mummification}. You shall die in Memphis, and you will be laid to rest in the resting-place of the Serapeum. Hear the words which I shall say to you. Go before Thoth and say, "Come to me my great lord Thoth; beautiful is the lifetime long in festival." Go before Isis and say, "Come to me my lady Isis; beautiful is burial within the precincts of Memphis." Go before Osiris, and say before Osiris, "Come to me my great lord Osiris; beautiful is this house upon the deserts of Memphis, beautiful is the resting-place of the Serapeum." All these things are written for you, all of them.'

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