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Egyptian Texts:  8.14


CONSTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE OF HATHOR AT DENDERA


Text:   (B) Cairo CG 30625   [ TM 53806 ]   ,   (C) Portes du désert 24
Provenance:   Tentyra/Dendera
Date:   (A) 22/1 B.C.   ,   (B+C) 12 B.C.
Script:   (A) Hieroglyphic   ,   (B) Demotic   ,   (C) Greek
Translated by:   (A) H. Amer & B. Morardet   ,   (B+C) A.K. Bowman & D. Rathbone
Format:   see key to translations

For a description of the temple at Dendera, see R.S. Bagnall & D.W. Rathbone, "Egypt from Alexander to the Early Christians", pp.209-214 ( Google Books ).

Inscription A was published with a French translation by H. Amer & B. Morardet, "Les dates de la construction du temple majeur d'Hathor à Dendera à l'époque gréco-romaine" ( ASAE 69 , 1983 ). B and C are two parts of a trilingual inscription - the hieroglyphic version is almost identical to the demotic version; the translations are taken from A.K. Bowman & D. Rathbone, "Cities and Administration in Roman Egypt" ( JRS 82 , 1992 ).  


[A]   On this beautiful day, in the 27th year, the 14th day of Epeiph {July 54 B.C.}, in the reign of his majesty, king of Higher and Lower Egypt, heir of the Saviour God, chosen one of Ptah, accomplishing the justice of Rē, living image of Amon, son of Rē Ptolemy, may he live eternally, the beloved of Ptah and Isis - that is to say, on the festival of the sixth day of this month, the measuring-rope was extended for the House of the August One by the king and by Seshat. The sanctuary was founded for the daughter of Ir-tȝ, and the halls were established in their right place by the Ḏȝisu, in accordance with the utterance of the Lord of hdn, with the modeller gods moulding them, Ptah giving the ruling, and the associate gods exulting in their precinct.

The great sanctuary was completed for the most beautiful of the goddesses and the Residence of Hathor was finished for the Golden One, the Eye of Rē, in the 9th year {22/1 B.C.} of the king of Higher and Lower Egypt, the Lord of the Two Lands, Imperator, son of Rē, Lord of the Apparition Caesar, may he live eternally, the beloved of Ptah and Isis. In total, the work lasted for 34 years.

When Hathor, the Golden One of the gods, entered her temple in the 1st year, on the 19th day {? September 30 B.C.}, of the reign of the aforesaid king, the sky was celebrating and the world was rejoicing. Dendera and Edfu felt a limitless joy, when they saw the Uraeus taking possession of her Seat, the horizon of her ka since the times of the primordial god . . .

[B]   [Year 18], 4th month of the Peret season {Pharmouthi}, 4th day, of Caesar the god, the son of the god, before Isis-Thermouthis the lady of [. . . who is on?] the dyke of the avenue of Hathor the lady of Iunt {Dendera}, the eye of Ra, the lady of heaven, the mistress of all the gods, the lady of (?), Ptolemaios son of Panas, the strategos, the kinsman {syngenes}, the brother of Pharaoh, the prophet of Horus, the prophet of Hathor, the prophet of Ihy, the prophet of Isis, the prophet of the gods of the temple of Iunt-of-the-goddess, the overseer of the treasury of Hathor the lady of Iunt, Isis the great goddess and Horus of Behdet, the great god, the lord of heaven for ever, dedicated the bare pieces of land which are on the south side of the shrine so that they may be used for the services of the place of Shai {"fate"}. The width goes from south to north, and the length from west to east up to the canal of the avenue of Hathor.

[C]   {in Greek}: On behalf of imperator Caesar, son of a god, Augustus, Zeus Eleutherios, to Isis the most great goddess also called Thermouthis, the one by the dyke opposite the avenue of Aphrodite, Ptolemaios son of Panas, strategos and in charge of the revenues of the Tentyrite, dedicated the bare plots of land which are on the south of the temple from the west of the Soterion up to the canal. Year 18 of Caesar, Pharmouthi 4.


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