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Egyptian Texts:  9.1


RECORDS OF THE APIS BULLS


Provenance:   Serapeum, Saqqara
Script:   Demotic
Format:   see key to translations

The entire collection of inscriptions relating to the Apis bulls, found in the Serapeum at Memphis, has never been formally published. As a result, one has to hunt around for information about them; but a helpful list of the numerous Ptolemaic inscriptions, arranged in chronological order, has been compiled by D.J. Thompson, "Memphis Under the Ptolemies", Appendix D ( Google Books ).

The English translations shown here are derived from translations by the following authors :

As well as the inscriptions, there is a long papyrus text (P. Vienna KM 3873) that contains detailed instructions on how to embalm the Apis bull. This has been translated into English by by R. L. Vos, " The Apis Embalming Ritual: P. Vindob. 3873" ( Google Books ).



[A]   MoA 25 (70/26)   [ TM 51573 ]   (May 327 B.C.)

    (( Horkhebe, son of . . . ))

Year 5, month 2 of peret {Mechir}, day 29 of Pharaoh (l.p.h.) Alexander . . . the living Apis of Taise being [in the window of] Apis, and Taise, the Mother of Apis, being in her house in the temple at Memphis, when they transported the sarcophagus of the Mother of Apis to her [vault].

These men, their names will endure [for ever and eternity]. Written by Djedher, son of Ankhhap, in year 5, month 2 of peret {Mechir}, day 29.

When Ahweben does work [in . . .] then they will give to him 4 baked loaves daily, and 3 artabas and 3⅛ oipe of emmer, 2 artabas of wheat, 1¼ kite of silver money, . . . meat and ...-cloth as payment from the daily offerings. And they are to add 1¼ kite (?) of silver money on the day when they have transported the sarcophagus inside [the catacomb]. When they will give the day of mourning in the catacomb which they shall do, they will . . .

[B]   Louvre IM 3358, L.1-2   (March? 302 B.C. )

Year 19, second month of the peret season {Mecheir}, day 22, of the living Apis, son of Ta-uret ; year 3, second month of the peret season {Mecheir}, day 22 {of Ptolemy I} ; opening of the catacombs of Apis.

[C]   Louvre IM 3347, L.1-3   (April 302 B.C. )

Year 19, third month of the peret season {Phamenoth}, day 21, of the living Apis, son of Ta-ur.. ; year 3, second month of the peret season {Mecheir}, day 22 {of Ptolemy I} . . . the living Apis, son of Ta-uret was in the Place-of-Apis; the catacombs of Apis were opened.

[D]   Louvre IM 39, L.1-2, 4-5   (November 300 & July 299 B.C.)

Year 22, first month of the shemu season {Pachons}, day 16, of Apis, son of Ta-ury ; year 6, first month of the akhet season {Thoth}, day 16 {of Ptolemy I} ; start of the embalmment of Apis, son of Ta-ury ; opening of the catacombs of Apis . . .

Year 6, first month of the shemu season {Pachons}, day 25 (?) {of Ptolemy I} ; discovery of Apis, son of Wadjet-iiti, at Ta-uba-ta-may (?) in the nome of Heliopolis. Same year, same (?) month, day 28 ; production of the ordinance {stele} of Apis . . . day 28 . . .

[E]   Louvre IM 3332, L.1-4, 6   (October 293 B.C.)

Year 12 (?), fourth month of the shemu season {Mesore}, day 25 of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Ptolemy (l.p.h.) ; year 7 of Apis, son of Wadjet-iiti ; . . . the living Apis was in the Place-of-Apis ; opening of the catacombs of Apis, and work in the vault of Apis.

[F]   Louvre IM 4177, L.1-4   (February 280 B.C.)

Year 5(?), fourth month of the akhet season {Choiak}, of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Ptolemy (l.p.h.) son of Ptolemy (l.p.h.) ; the death occurred of Apis, son of Wadjet-iiti, in the second (?) month of the akhet season {Phaophi}, day 17, in year 20 of Apis; opening (?) of the catacombs (?) of Apis.

[G]   MoA 38 (70/66)   [ TM 51583 ]     (February 253 B.C.)

Here are the names of the gods, those who bless the work: Thoth, the thrice great, lord of Hermopolis ; Hornedjitef {"Horus avenger of his father"}, the great god; Anubis, son of Osiris-Wennefer; Imhotep, son of Ptah ; Djedty, the soul of Mendes. It is praised for ever.

Year 32, month 4 of akhet {Choiak}, day 9 of Pharaoh (l.p.h.) Ptolemy (l.p.h.), son of Ptolemy (l.p.h.), 5 the god who turned away grief. In year 31, month 3 of shemu {Epiph}, there happened the death of the Mother of Apis in the north of the nome of Sais. There happened in month 2 of akhet {Phaophi}, day 2, the opening of the houses-of-rest of Isis. They did work in the vault in month 2 of akhet {Phaophi}, day 19, of Trenenutet, when the divine-father, Menkahor, requested them together with the divine-father, . . ., Ankhsmatawy, when they gave the goods of the masons to them according to what is correct.

Apis-Osiris, the great god, and Isis the great, the god's mother, the goddess, shall give life to ...-Hap, [son of] Hornedjitef, who caused the stela to be written.

Written by the mason of Apis-Osiris, the attendant of Apis, Hotephor, son of Hornedjitef, his mother being Tasy, together with the mason of Apis-Osiris, the attendant of the living Apis, 20 Herefankh, his mother being Tasy. The good influence of Osiris-Apis and the gods who rest in the west is upon the man who shall read the stela. Cause him to bless every man who is written upon it. Do not do evil to him {or it}.

[H]   Berlin ÄM 2131   [ TM 52188 ]   (July/August 252 B.C.)

In year 33, in the month of Pauni, of king Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy, the god who averts evil, the ever-living, which year corresponds to year 3 of the living Apis, son of the cow Ta-Ranni; work was performed on the Apis burial vault for the living Apis, son of the cow Ta-Ranni, in the Apieum.

In the time of the God's Father Menkaḥor, the prophet of the god Ḥaršef {Harsaphes}, and the God's Father Ankh-sam-ta, the prophet of Isis.   The list of the persons of the 5 month of (?) Mesore is handed down:


[I]   Louvre IM 5934   (c. 247 B.C.)

I built the foundations of the enclosure and the various works of the sanctuary in the temple of the Bast which is 136 (?) cubits long from west to east, and 69 cubits wide from the south to north. I built it out of hard stone.

I built the foundations of the enclosure and the various works of the sanctuary in the temple of the Lady of the Sycamore, which is beside the sanctuary of Bast { or Ptah }, and which is 99 cubits long from west to east, and 66 cubits wide from south to north. I built it out of hard stone. It is I who completed the enclosure on both the above sides.

I have had the interior work and the deep work done for the šošt of the vault of Apis, born of Tarenen, who appeared at ...erit in the nome of Sais, from year 32, 21 Payni, until year 33, 1 Paophi of the king ever living, which is year 3? of Apis, born of Tarenen, the living Apis in the Place-of-Apis. Length of work: 3 months and 15 days in all ; days of inactivity: 17 ; remainder: 2 months and 28 days of actual work. I made the foundations of the above vault. I had the teri made in year 33, 4 Paophi. I finished building it . . . . . in 6 months and 5 days in all ; days of inactivity : 33: remainder: 5 months and 2 days of actual work. For the interior work of the seken . . . . . I had Egyptian stone brought for the tomb of Apis, and also for the vault wall.

[I had the work of . . . done in one month and 5 days] ; days of inactivity: 7 ; remainder: 28 days. I completed the above vault; I established . . . . . in 2 months and 9 days in all; days of inactivity : 12 ; remainder: 1 month and 27 days. Total length of both activities: three months and 14 days, from year 37, Mesore 8 to year 38 [Athyr 17] . . .

[J]   Louvre IM 3355   (April/May 229 B.C.)

{ at the top }   The stele of Horenpy son of Tutu, son of Pahy, son of Imhetep, son of Hepmen, son of Ankhhep, son of Pacherentaihet, son of Alhepermennefer, son of Usirmen.

{ main text }   In year 18, the third month of the peret season {Phamenoth}, of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Ptolemy son of Ptolemy and Arsinoê the gods Adelphoi, work was performed in the vault of the living Apis, the son of the cow Gerga, in year 3 of Apis, while the living Apis was in the Place-of-Apis, in the presence of the god's father, wab priest and representative Imhetep son of Djedher, the chief of the kitchen, and of the god's father, wab priest and representative Nakhtnebef son of Hepmen, the prophet of Amon, and of the god's father and chief of works Gem(?)nefer son of Wahibrê.

The names of the by 5 who serve the living Apis in the third month of the shemu season {Epeiph} and the names and the names of their ancestors, which are written on the steles from year 11 of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Darius until year 18 of the pharaoh (l.p.h.), ever living.

Copy of the stele of year 11 of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Darius { II } :

Year 3 of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Achoris :

Year 12 of pharaoh (l.p.h.) Ptolemy { I } :

The people who serve the living Apis :



[K]   Louvre IM 91   [ TM 55384 ]   (October 97 B.C.)

In year 18, on 20 Thoth, of king Ptolemy called Alexander, the ever living, beloved of Ptah. Oh! Apis-Osiris of the west, lord of eternity, king of the gods; and great Ptah who is south of his wall, lord of Ankh-tawi; Horus of Sḫm { Letopolis }, the great god; great Isis, the mother of god, the great goddess; great Imhotep, son of Ptah; great Hathor, Lady of the Sycamore, the sublime goddess; Anubis, who is above his mountain; Horus, avenger of his father, (?) of Rostau; and all you gods and goddesses that are known in Amhi, grant that the good name of the priests shall endure, who carried the šetai (?) out from the vault of Apis, son of the cow Kerka, who had appeared in the city of Pa-hetep in the nome of Heliopolis. Their names are . . . . . .

[L]   Louvre IM 3324   [ TM 99568 ]   (March 86 B.C.)

Under the god's father, priest-agent, Necht-hor-suten-erou, son of Teos, son of Masi . . . the interior of the shrine was built, in year 11 of the living Apis.

Stele of Chonsmai surnamed Efach, son of Wennefer and of Tset-Kelt'a.

In year 31 of king Ptolemy, surnamed the Victorious (?), who for the second time took over the royal rule and the diadem of Isis and Osiris, which was in year 11 of the living Apis, son of Ta-nt-Amun Ta-igesh, who had appeared at Pemdje { Oxyrhynchus }, the Osiris Apis, son of Kerka, was laid in the dwelling place of Osiris . . .

In year 31, day 12 of Phamenoth, during the festival they brought in the building material for the tomb of the living Apis, son of Ta-nt-Amun Ta-igesh.

[M]   Cairo CG 31099   [ TM 52822 ]   (May 73 B.C.)

Anemhor, also called Paschinis, born to Nebet-wadjet, son of the God's Father . . . . . priest of Ptah, wnrw-priest in Letopolis, priest of the gods of the "castle of the white Wall" { Memphis }, seal (?) scribe of the living Apis, scribe of the Ptah and Arsinoe Philadelphos (?) for all 4(?) phyles of the temple in Memphis { Serapeum } and the temple of the Philadelphoi, the ʿn of the "15th day of the month" (?) priests of Sekhmet, lady of Rechsa and of Sekhmet, lady of Iset of the temple . . . master of the secrets of Pr-jit at Letopolis, Phant, also called Peteharmais, son of the similarly-titled Herieus.

Anemhor, also called Paschinis left his earthly home in year 8, [24?] Pharmuthi of King Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy, who was the . . . . youth, and Queen Cleopatra, also called Tryphaina, the gods Philopatores Philadelphoi. His burial was performed from 28 (?) Pharmuthi, the fourth day as prescribed, to 9 (?) Epeiphi, the 70th day, making for him all the rituals and all kinds of . . . . . . as it is prescribed from the 20th day of Payni to the 24th day. The ointments were boiled for him and he was given (?) the fabrics, the byssus strips, the amulets, which are used for the nobles of Egypt. Every washing (?) and cleansing (?) was done for him. A large, beautiful burial was performed for him, as prescribed, from 8 (?) Epiphi to the end (?) of mourning (?), where he was left to lie in his resting place, where Phant, also called Peteharmais, his father rests, which . . . . . . .. in the necropolis southwest of the Serapeum.

A son and 3 daughters were born to him, altogether 3 children. His eldest daughter was chosen to be the singer of Min, the lord of Senout, in the Serapeum.

In year 8 (?), 17 Phaoph, of the above-mentioned lord {i.e. the king }, the homecoming of Apis happened again. There the above-mentioned Anemhor, also called Paschinis, spent the 70 mourning days serving the great god Osiris Apis when they (?) washed him. He went into the great workshop (?) of the courtyard at the entrance (?) of his tomb (?), where the priests belonging to the inner sanctuary of the Serapeum enter. For the above-mentioned Anemhor, also called Paschinis, belonged to the inner sanctuary of the temple of Pȝ-smn-Mȝʿ.t, making every clothing for Ptah, the lord of Smn-Mȝʿ.t, Isis the Lady of Smn-Mȝʿ.t, and Thoth the lord of Smn-Mȝʿ.t. He sprinkled the temple of Pȝ-smn-Mȝʿ.t many times. When his purification was complete, he saluted the gods and made them . . .
. . . being among their distinguished ones. He lived for 33 years, 9 months and 20 days. He rests in the crypt near Phant, also called Peteharmais, his father. And all the things that happened to him on earth [have been written on] the top of his coffin. They are also on (?) the stele at the entrance to the above-mentioned tomb.

The above-mentioned Anemhor, also called Paschinis, and his father Phant, also called Peteharmais, are among the distinguished ones of the great god Osiris. The curse of the gods who rest with Osiris Apis has been cast against [the destroyer]. Whoever consults this stele, may you bless the above-mentioned Anemhor, also called Paschinis

[N]   Louvre IM 4146   ( 50/49 B.C.)

Copy of the stele of Harmachis, son of Luh, born to Taseptah.   Year 3 of King Ptolemy { XIII } and Queen Cleopatra { VII }, ever living.

By of Apis Osiris, setem-priest of the living Apis, Luh, son of Menkh, born to Nebtekhi.
By of Apis Osiris, Unnefer, son of Pseëman, born to Nofreši.
By of Apis Osiris, Hor, son of Pseëman, born to is Nofreši.
By of Apis Osiris, Hormachis, son of Luh, [born to Tseptah].
By of Apis Osiris, Petsuur... . . .
Bok of Osor-Apis, the great god, Pseeman, son of Hor, whose mother is Ta . . .

You sing before Osor-Apis, the great god: Psema, son of Unnofer, born to Eseurt.
You sing before Osor-Apis, the great god: Menkh, son of Harmachis, born to Nebrasi.
You sing before Osor-Apis, the great god, Paptah, son of Harmachis, born to Nemmese.
You sing before Osor-Apis, the great god: Djedjor, son of Harmachis, born to Nebrasi.
You sing before Osiris Apis, the great god: Hor, son of Unnofer, born to Tarenni.
You sing before Osiris Apis, the great god: Psecha, son of Unnofer, born to Tarennu.
You sing before Osiris Apis, the great god: Unnofer son of Her, born to Tethornet'atef.

She gave the things that the by indicated beforehand.   For her action to establish the table of offerings: 412 silver coins.   For each worshipper or employee: a measure of wine, a measure of milk,and twelve loaves. And also for each of them, as required for the fulfillment of the daily rite: 27 hins of oil.

She gave these things, which the by indicated: 500 portions of vegetables and 40 hins of oil of another kind, which are also given to each of them. And also for them: the cost of meat.

She gave these things. She also gave the things that the by set up on the dromos for the funeral of Apis for 29 days.

Written by the by of Apis Osiris, setem-priest of the living Apis, Petnofre, son of Ares.

[O]   MoA 46 (70/19)   [ TM 51592 ]     (August 41 B.C.)

Year 11, month 4 of (?) shemu {Mesore}, day 18 of the female Pharaoh Cleopatra, when she was in the land of Syria, when they undertook the placing the vault of Tapihy, the Mother of the living Apis, who came forth from Heliopolis, within.

The mason of Apis-Osiris, the attendant of the living Apis, the great god, Pediosirhap, son of Pedihornedjiter, 5 his mother being Thetery, together with Maare, son of Pedihornedjitef, his mother being Thetery, namely his elder brother.   The mason of Apis-Osiris, the attendant of the living Apis, the great god, you are praised before Apis-Osiris, foremost of the westerners, Pedihornedjitef, son of Pediosirhap, his mother being Setautwety.   You are praised before Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, lord of the shrine, and Apis-Osiris, foremost of the westerners, and all the gods and goddesses who are in the underworld, and Isis, the great, 10 the god's mother, the great goddess, and Bastet, the great, lady of Ankhtawy, and the gods . . . Hepnebes, Maare the elder, son of Pediosirhap, his mother being Setautwety.   You are praised before Osiris-Apis, Maare, son of Pediosirhap, his mother being Ta... .   The mason of Apis-Osiris, Tut, son of Pediosirhap, his mother being Tawa.

We did the opening in one night, 15 we being in all 12 masons. Their names:




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