The Egyptian - Free ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online for free. Mika Waltari Translated by Naomi Walford. Table of. while Egypt lay prostrate in terror before her many gods, Sinuhe serves in the School ABOUT MIKA WALTARI, AUTHOR OF "THE EGYPTIAN". Build a better. Author: Waltari Mika Egyptian Mythology and Egyptian Christianity · Read more The Egyptian Demon's Daughter. Read more.

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4 days ago The Egyptian Mika Waltari - [Free] The Egyptian Mika Waltari [PDF] [EPUB] The Sinuhe the Egyptian) is a historical novel by Mika Waltari. Sinuhe, El Egipcio - sinuhe, el egipcio/ sinuhe, the egyptian by mika waltari, , available at. [PDF]The Egyptian by Mika. Waltari Book - Blind Hypnosis Free download or read online The Egyptian pdf (ePUB) book. The first edition of this novel was.

The plot is tenuous, a slender thread never wholly resolved. But the book opens one's eyes to an ancient world, nearer to ours than we think. The Egypt emergent from his formidable style is shown within a limited social range and is detailed only in isolated scenes. If there are deeps of the personality that Mann plumbs further, Waltari makes an exciting, vivid, and minute re-creation of the society of Thebes and of Egypt and the related world in general, ranging from Pharaoh and his neighbor kings to the outcast corpse-washers in the House of the Dead.

We see, feel, smell, and taste Waltari's Egypt. He writes in a pungent, easy style and it is obvious that he has been wonderfully served by his translator, Naomi Walford. However, there were issues with actors and inexperience with the then new Cinemascope technology, and the film received mixed reviews and modest financial success.

This stigma he had gained for perceived overproductivity, superficiality and looseness of style; [7] for his popular erotic flavouring in clearly-told stories; [62] and not conforming to the "Great Tradition" of Finnish literature patriotic, realistic depiction of the struggles of poor yet courageous Finns with nature and society favoured by critics at the time.

Ritva Haavikko has described the literary discourse of the time as having been dominated by indifference and jealousy towards Waltari. Waltari finally gained appreciation in Finland in the s, after his historical novels had made appearances in French bestseller lists one after another. It came at first place in a Finnish reader poll, [29] second place after Alastalon salissa by Volter Kilpi in a poll by Finnish representatives of art, science and culture, [29] it was voted by Finns as the most beloved Finnish book in a poll [65] and in a poll it was selected as the Finnish book of the century.

The Egyptian is the greatest.

You can pick out almost anything from The Egyptian. As a depiction of war propaganda it is magnificent. It demonstrates its significance also in its phrase rhythm.

Waltari was able to develop a rhythmically wavy, but simultaneously picture-rich narrative style. The Egyptian tells of the futility of human life and the disappearance of utopias and big dreams and how idealism produces to humanity primarily nothing but suffering and more pain.

On the other hand it depicts the durability of realism, how people who recognise facts survive and do well.

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Taha Hussein , an influential figure in Arabic literature , had read the French translation of The Egyptian and was very much taken in despite his reputation of criticalness.

In the preamble of the Arabic translation of The Egyptian he relates that he had read numerous books about ancient Egypt but none had come close to Waltari's novel. But a warrior need not know how to write, came my faltering whisper. Hm, said the old man and looked sideways at my father, who quickly took a copper bangle from his arm and handed it to him.

Inteb called loudly, and at once a grimy boy ran up, took the ring and the bowl, and started for the tavern after more wine. Not the best! Get the sourtheyll give you more of it.

He looked at me again reflectively. A warrior need not write, only fight. If he could write, he would be an officer with command over the most valiant, whom he would send before him into battle. Anyone who can write is fit for command, but a man who cannot scribble pothooks will never have even so many as a hundred under him. What joy can he take in gold chains and honors when it is the fellow with the reed pen in his hand who gives the orders?

Thus it is, and thus it will beand so, my lad, if you would command men and lead them, learn to write. Then those with the gold chains will bow down before you, and slaves will carry you in a chair to the field of battle. The dirty boy came back with a jar of wine and had the bowl full as well. The old mans face shone with joy. Your father Senmut is a good man. He can write, and he tended me in my palmy days when wine was plentiful and I used to see crocodiles and hippopotamuses where none were.

A good man, though he is only a doctor and cannot handle a bow. He has my thanks. I stared nervously at the wine jar to which Inteb plainly meant to turn his full attention and began to tug at my fathers wide, drug- stained sleeve, fearful lest so much wine might result in our waking, bruised and beaten, in some gutter. Senmut looked at the jar also, sighed a little, and led me away. Inteb lifted up his shrill old voice in a Syrian song while the naked, sun-blackened boy laughed.

So I buried my martial dreams and no longer resisted when my father and mother took me next day to school. My teacher was the old priest Oneh, who lived not far away and held classes on his tumble-down veranda.

His pupils were the children of artisans, merchants, dock foremen, and noncommissioned officers whose ambition sought to open a scribes career for their sons.

Oneh had in his time been steward to the Celestial Mut in the temple and was therefore well fitted to give elementary writing lessons to children who later on would be keeping tally of merchandise, measures of grain, head of cattle, or provisions for the army.

There were hundreds of such little schools in the great city of Thebes. Instruction was cheap, the pupils merely having to maintain the teacher. The charcoal sellers son replenished his brazier in winter, the weavers son kept him in clothes, the corn chandlers boy saw that he never ran short of flour, and my father treated his many aches and pains and gave him herbal anodynes to take in his wine. His dependence upon us made Oneh a gentle teacher. A boy who fell asleep over his tablets never had his ears boxed; he had but to filch some titbit for the old man next morning.

Sometimes the corn merchants son would bring a jug of beer. On such days we were all attention, for old Oneh would be inspired to tell us strange stories of the other world: of the Celestial Mut, of the Creator, of Ptah and his companion gods. We would giggle, believing that we had distracted him from our difficult tasks and wearisome writing characters for the rest of the day; it was only later that I perceived old Oneh to be a wiser teacher than we took him for.

There was a purpose in his recital of the legends to which his pious, childlike spirit gave life: they taught us the traditions of ancient Egypt. In them no evil deed went unpunished.

Relentlessly each human heart was weighed before the high throne of Osiris. That mortal whose evil deeds were disclosed upon the scales of the Jackal-Headed One was thrown to the Devourer who was crocodile and hippopotamus combined, but more terrifying than either. He told also of the surly Backward-Gazer, that dread ferryman without whose help no one could attain the fields of the blessed.

When he rowed, he faced aft, never forward like the earthly boatmen the Nile. Oneh would make us repeat by heart the phrases with which this being might be bribed and propitiated. He taught us to C0Py them out and then write them down from memory, correcting our faults with the gentle warning that the smallest error would wipe out all chance of a happy life in the hereafter Were we to hand the Backward-Gazer a letter containing even a trivial mistake, we should be forced to wander like shadows for all eternity by the banks of those somber waters or, worse still, be engulfed in the hideous abysses of the realms of death.

I attended Onehs school for some years. My best friend there was Thothmes, who was a year or so older than myself and who had been brought up from infancy to wrestle and to handle horses. His father was leader of a squadron of chariots and wielded a whip of office braided with copper wire: he had hopes that his son might become a high-ranking officer and therefore wished him to learn to write.

But there was nothing prophetic about the illustrious name of Thothmes, despite his fathers ambitions, for as soon as the boy began his schooling, he ceased to care for javelin throwing and charioteering. He learned his characters easily, and while the other boys struggled grimly with them, he drew pictures on his tablets: pictures of chariots, rearing horses, and wrestling soldiers.

He brought clay to school, and while the ale jug told stories through Onehs mouth, he modeled a comic little image of the Devourer snapping with clumsy jaws at a little bald old man whose humped back and pot belly could belong to none other than Oneh. But Oneh was not angry. No one could be angry with Thothmes.

He had the broad face and short, thick legs of a peasant, but his eyes held a joyful glint that was infectious, and the birds and beasts he formed from clay with his clever hands delighted us all. I had sought his friendship first because he was soldierly, but the friendship persisted after he had ceased to show a trace of warlike ambition. A miracle happened during my school days and happened so suddenly that I still remember that hour as one of revelation.

It was a fair, cool day in spring when the air was full of bird song and storks were repairing their old nests on the roofs of the mud huts. The waters had gone down, and fresh green shoots were springing from the earth. In all the gardens seeds were being sown and plants bedded out.

It was a day for adventure, and we could not sit still on Onehs rickety old veranda, where the mud bricks crumbled under ones hand. I was scratching at those everlasting symbols letters for cutting in stone and beside them the abbreviated signs used for writing on paperwhen suddenly some forgotten word of Onehs, some queer flash within myself, spoke and brought these characters to life. The pictures became a word, the word a syllable, the syllable a letter. When I set picture to picture, new words leaped forthliving words, quite distinct from the symbols.

Any yokel can understand one picture, but two together have meaning only for the literate. I believe that everyone who has studied writing and learned to read knows what I am trying to say. The experience was to me more exciting, more fascinating than snatching a pomegranate from a fruit sellers basketsweeter than a dried date, delicious as water to the thirsty.

From that time I needed no urging but soaked up Onehs learning as dry earth soaks up the flood waters of the Nile, and I quickly learned to write.

In a little while I began to read what others had written, and by the third year I could already spell my way through tattered scrolls and read aloud instructive fables for the others to write down. About this time I noticed that I did not look like the rest. My face was narrower, my skin lighter, and my limbs more slender than those of the other lads and of the people among whom I dwelt. But for the difference in dress, hardly anyone could have distinguished me from the boys who were carried in chairs or walked the streets attended by slaves.

I was sneered at for this; the corn merchants son would try to put his arm round my neck and called me a girl until I had to jab him with my stylus. He revolted me for he had an evil smell, but I liked to be with Thothmes, who never touched me. One day Thothmes said shyly, I will model your likeness if you will sit for me. I took him home, and there under the sycamore he made a likeness of me in clay and scratched the characters of my name upon it with a stylus.

My mother Kipa, coming out with cakes for us, was badly frightened when she saw the image and called it witchcraft. But my father said that Thothmes might become artist to the royal household if he could only join the temple school, and jokingly I bowed down before Thothmes and stretched forth my hand at knee level as one does in the presence of distinguished persons.

His eyes shone; then he sighed that it could never be, for his father thought it was time he came back to barracks and joined the school for charioteers. He could already write as well as was required of any future officer. My father left us then, and we heard Kipa muttering to herself in the kitchen; but Thothmes and I ate the cakes, which were greasy and good, and we were well content.

I was still happy then. He went to the great temple of Ammon, though privately he had no love for priests. But nothing ever happened in Thebes or indeed in the whole of Egypt at this time without their help and intervention. They administered justice so that a bold man against whom judgment had been given by Pharaohs own court could appeal to them for redress. In their hands lay all instruction for the higher administrative posts. They foretold the height of the flood waters and the size of the harvest and from this assessed the taxes for the whole country.

I do not think it can have been easy for my father to humble himself before them. All his life he had been a poor mans physician in the poor mans quartera stranger to the temple and the House of Lifeand now like other penniless fathers he had to wait in line outside the administrative department until it should please some holiness or other to receive him.

I can see these poor fathers now, squatting in the temple courtyard in their best robes, dreaming ambitious dreams for their sons, for whom they coveted a better existence than their own. Many of them had come a long way on river boats, carrying their food with them.

They spent their substance on bribes to doorkeeper and clerk for the privilege of a word with a gold-embroidered, perfumed, and anointed priest, who wrinkled his nose at the smell of them and gave them harsh words.

And yet Ammon stands in continual need of new servants. The greater his wealth and power, the greater the numbers of scribes he wears out in his service. However, there is not a father who does not regard it as a divine favor for his son to be received into the templeay, though in bringing the boy he brings a gift more precious than gold.

My father was fortunate in his visit, for noon had scarcely passed when his old fellow student Ptahor came by. In the course of time Ptahor had become skull opener to Pharaohs household. My father ventured to address him, and he promised to honor our house in person and inspect me. The day being fixed, my father saved up for a goose and the best wine.

Kipa bakedand nagged.

A luscious odor of goose fat floated out into the street till blind men and beggars gathered there to sing and play for their share of the feast. Kipa, hissing with rage, charged out with a bit of bread dipped in the fat for each of them and sent them packing. Thothmes and I swept the street from our door far into the city. My father had asked Thothmes to be at hand when the guest came, in the hope that he also might be favored with the great mans attention.

Boys though we were, when my father lit the censer and set it to perfume the entrance way, we felt as awestruck as if we had been in a temple. I guarded the can of scented water and kept the flies off the dazzling white linen cloth Kipa had set aside for her own burial, but which was now brought forth as a towel for Ptahor. We had long to wait.

The sun set, and the air grew cooler. The incense in the porch all burned away, and the goose sizzled sorrowfully in the roasting pit.

I grew hungry, and Kipas face lengthened and stiffened. My father said nothing but would not light the lamps when darkness fell. We all sat down on stools in the porch and avoided one anothers eyes, and it was then I learned what bitter grief and disappointment the rich and mighty in their thoughtlessness can bring upon the poor. But at last there came the glow of a torch along the street. My father jumped up and hastened to the kitchen for an ember to light both the lamps.

I raised the water pitcher in trembling hands while Thothmes breathed heavily beside me. Ptahor, the opener of royal skulls, arrived unpretentiously in a chair borne by two Negro slaves and preceded by a fat torchbearer who was evidently drunk. With puffings and cheerful cries of greeting Ptahor stepped from the chair to hail my father, who bowed and stretched forth his hands at knee level. The guest laid his hands on Senmuts shoulders, either to show him that ceremony was needless or to steady himself.

Thus supported he kicked at the torchbearer and told him to sleep it off under the sycamore. The Negroes, without waiting for orders, dumped the chair in the acacia bushes and squatted on the ground.

Still leaning on my fathers shoulder, Ptahor stepped into the porch, where I poured water over his hands despite his protests. When I handed him the linen cloth, he said, that as I had rinsed his hands I might now dry them.

When I had done this, he thanked me and said I was a handsome boy. My father led him to the seat of honora chair with a back, borrowed from the spice merchantand he sat down, his inquisitive little eyes peering about him in the light of suet lamps. For a time there was silence. Then, clearing his throat apologetically, he asked for something to drink as the long journey had made him dry.

My father, delighted, poured out wine for him. Ptahor sniffed at it and tasted it suspiciously, then emptied the cup with evident enjoyment and gave a contented sigh. He was a bowlegged, shaven-headed little man with a breast and belly that sagged beneath the thin robe. His collar, set with precious stones, was now soiled like the rest of his dress, and he smelled of oil, wine, and sweat. Kipa served him with spice cakes, small fish fried in oil, fruit, and roast goose.

He ate politely though it was clear that he had just come from a good meal, and he tasted and praised every dish to Kipas great delight. At his desire I took beer and food to the Negroes, but they returned the courtesy by shouting insults and asking whether old swagbelly was ready to go. The servant snored beneath the sycamore, and I had no wish to wake him.

The evening grew extremely confused, as my father, too, drank more than I had ever seen him do, so that at last Kipa, sitting in the kitchen, was overcome with woe and sat rocking back and forth with her head in her hands. When the pitcher was empty, they drank fathers medicinal wine. When that was gone, they started upon ordinary table beer; for Ptahor assured us that he was not particular.

They talked of their student days in the House of Life, swaying and embracing each other as they sat. Ptahor related his experiences as royal skull surgeon, affirming that it was the last branch in which any physician should specialize, being more suited to the House of Death than the House of Life. But there was little work attached to it, and he had always been lazy, as Senmut the Tranquil would certainly remember. The human headexcept for the teeth, ears, and throat, which required their own specialistswas in his view the simplest thing to study, and so he had chosen it.

But, said he, if I had had any decency I should have remained what I was: an honest physician bringing life to his patients. As it is,, my lot is to deal out death when kinsfolk grow weary of the old or the incurable. I should be like you, friend Senmutpoorer perhaps, but leading a more honest, a more wholesome life. Never believe him, boys! I am proud to call Pharaohs skull borer my friend; in his own line he is the most highly skilled in all Egypt.

Do I not remember the prodigious trepanning operations by which he saved the lives of mighty and humble alike and astonished the world? He releases evil spirits that drive men to madness and takes their round eggs from mens brains. Grateful patients bestow gold and silver upon him, chains and drinking cups. But grateful kinsfolk have done more, put in Ptahor thickly. For if by chance I heal one in ten, one in fifteenno, let us say one in a hundred so much more certain is the death of the others.

Have you heard of a single Pharaoh who lived three days after his skull had been opened? No, the mad and incurable are put under my flint knife and the richer and more illustrious, the quicker they come. My hand releases men from pain, divides inheritancesland, cattle, and goldmy hand raises Pharaohs to the throne. Therefore they fear me, and none dares speak against me, for I know too much.

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But what increases knowledge increases sorrow, and I am a most unhappy man! Ptahor wept a little and blew his nose on Kipas shroud. You are poor but honest, Senmut, he sobbed. Therefore, I love you, for I am rich and rottenrottena lump of ox dung upon the road. He took off his jeweled collar and hung it about my fathers neck, and then they began to sing songs whose words I could not understand though Thothmes listened with interest and told me that riper songs were not to be heard even in barracks.

Kipa began to weep loudly in the kitchen. One of the Negroes came over from the acacia bushes, lifted Ptahor in his arms and would have carried him to his chair, for it was long after bedtime. But Ptahor struggled and uttered pitiful cries, called upon the watchmen to help him and vowed that the Negro meant murder. As my father Vas of no help, Thothmes and I drove the Negro off with sticks until he flew into a rage and went, swearing violently and taking comrade and chair with him.

Ptahor now emptied the beer jug over himself, asked for oil to rub on his face, and tried to bathe in the pool. Thothmes whispered to me that we ought to get the old men into bed, and so it came about that my father and the royal skull surgeon fell asleep on Kipas bed with arms about each others necks, slobbering oaths of eternal friendship to the last.

Kipa wept and tore her hair and sprinkled herself with ash from the roasting pit. I was tormented by the thought of what the neighbors would say, for the roaring and racket had sounded far and wide into the still night.

Thothmes was placid, however, for he had seen wilder doings in barracks and in his fathers house when the charioteers talked of the old days and of the punitive expeditions into Syria and the land of Kush.

He contrived to quiet Kipa, and after we had cleared away the traces of the feast as best we could, we, too, went to bed. The servant snored on beneath the sycamore, and Thothmes lay down beside me in my bed, put his arm about my neck, and talked about girls for he also had drunk wine.

But I found this wearisome, being a year or two younger than he, and soon fell asleep. Early in the morning I was awakened by bumping and sounds of movement in the bedroom, and on entering I saw my father still sound asleep in his clothes with Ptahors collar about his neck.

Ptahor was sitting on the floor holding his head in his hands and asking in a woeful voice where he was.

I greeted him respectfully and told him that he was still in the harbor quarter, at the house of Senmut the physician. This quieted him, and he asked for beer in the name of Ammon. I pointed out to him that he had emptied the beer jug over himself, as his robe testified. He then rose, drew himself up with a dignified frown, and went out.

I poured water over his hands, and he bowed his bald head with a groan, bidding me pour water over that, too. Thothmes, who had also awakened, brought him a can of sour milk and a salt fish. When he had eaten, he grew more cheerful. He went out to the sycamore where the servant lay sleeping and began to beat him with his stick till the fellow woke and stood up, his garment stained from the grass and his face earthy.

Miserable swine! Is it thus you mind your lords affairs and bear the torch before him? Where is my chair? Where is my clean robe? And my medicinal berries? Out of my sight, contemptible thief and swine! I am a thief and my lords swine, said the servant meekly.

What are my lords commands? Ptahor gave him his orders, and he went off to look for the chair. Ptahor settled himself comfortably under the sycamore, leaned against the trunk, and recited a poem concerning morning, lotus flowers, and a queen bathing in the river, and then related to us many things that boys love to hear.

Kipa meanwhile awoke, lit the fire, and went in to my father. We could hear her voice right out in the garden, and when my father emerged later in a clean robe, he looked sorrowful indeed. You have a handsome son, said Ptahor. He carries himself like a prince, and his eyes are gentle as a gazelles. Young as I was, I understood that he spoke thus to make us forget his behavior of the night before. After a while he went on, Has your son talent? Are the eyes of his soul as open as those of his body?

Then Thothmes and I fetched our writing tablets. The royal skull surgeon, gazing abstractedly into the topmost branches of the sycamore, dictated a little poem, which I still remember. It ran thus: Rejoice, young man, in thy youth, For the throat of age is filled with ashes And the body embalmed smiles not In the darkness of the grave.

I did my best, first writing it down in ordinary script and then in pictures. Lastly I wrote the words age, ashes, body, and grave in all the ways in which they can be written, both in syllables and letters. I showed him my tablet. He found not one mistake, and I knew that my father was proud of me. And the other boy? Thothmes had been sitting apart, drawing pictures on his tablet, and he hesitated before handing it over, though there was mirth in his eyes.

The Egyptian Mika Waltari Pdf

When we bent forward to look, we saw that he had drawn Ptahor fastening his collar about fathers neck, then Ptahor pouring beer over himself, while in the third picture he and my father were singing with their arms round each others shoulderssuch a funny picture that you could see what manner of song it was that they were singing.

I wanted to laugh but dared not for fear that Ptahor might be angry. For Thothmes had not flattered him; he had made him just as short and bald and bandy and swagbellied as he really was. For a long time Ptahor said nothing but looked keenly from the pictures to Thothmes and back again. Thothmes grew a little scared and balanced nervously on tiptoe. At last Ptahor asked, What do you want for your picture, boy?

I will download it. Thothmes, crimson in the face, replied, My tablet is not for sale. I would give itto a friend. Ptahor laughed. Let us then be friends, and the tablet is mine. He looked at it attentively once more, laughed, and smashed it to pieces against a stone.

We all started, and Thothmes begged forgiveness if he had offended. Am I wroth with water when it reflects my image? And the eye and the hand of the draftsman are more than water for I know now how I looked yesterday, and I do not desire that others shall see it. I smashed the tablet but acknowledge you as an artist. Thothmes jumped for glee. Ptahor turned to my father and, pointing to me, solemnly pronounced the ancient oath of the physician: I will undertake his treatment.

Pointing then to Thothmes he said, I will do what I can. And, having thus come into doctors talk again, they both laughed contentedly. My father, laying his hand upon my head, asked, Sinuhe, my son, will you be a physician like me? Tears came into my eyes, and my throat tightened till I could not speak, but I nodded in answer.

I looked about me, and the garden was dear to me; the sycamore, the stone-set poolall were dear to me. Sinuhe, my son, he went on.

Will you be a physician more skilled than I, better than Ilord of life and death and one to whom all, be they high or low, may entrust their lives? Neither like him nor like me! He straightened himself, and a shrewd glint came into his eye. A true physician, for that is the mightiest of all. Before him Pharaoh himself stands naked, and the richest is to him one with the beggar.

I would like to be a real physician, I said shyly, for I was still a boy and knew nothing of life nor that age ever seeks to lay its own dreams, its own disappointments, on the shoulders of youth. But to Thothmes Ptahor showed a gold ring that was about his wrist and said, Read!

Thothmes spelled out the characters there inscribed and then read aloud uncertainly, A full cup rejoiceth my heart. He could not repress a smile.


There is nothing to laugh at, you rascal! This has nothing to do with wine. If you are to be an artist you must demand that your cup be full. In the true artist Ptah reveals himselfthe creator, the builder. The artist is more than a reflecting pool. Art indeed may often be nothing but flattering water or a lying mirror, yet the artist is more.

So let your cup never be less than full, son, and do not rest content with what men tell you. Trust rather to your own clear eyes. He promised that I should soon be summoned as a pupil to the House of Life and that he would try to help Thothmes enter the art school in Ptahs temple, if such a thing were possible.

But, boys, he added, listen carefully to what I say and then forget it at onceor forget at least that it was the royal skull surgeon who said it. You will now fall into the hands of priests; you, Sinuhe, will become one yourself in course of time.

Your father and I were both initiated into the lowest grade, and no one may follow the physicians calling without being so initiated. When you come among them, be wary as jackals and cunning as serpents, that you be not blinded and misled. But outwardly be as harmless as doves, for not until the goal js attained may a man appear as he is. We conversed further until Ptahors servant appeared with a hired chair and fresh clothes for his master.

The slaves had pawned Ptahors own chair at a neighboring brothel and were still sleeping there. Ptahor gave his servant authority to redeem both chair and slaves, took leave of us, assuring my father of his friendship, and returned to the fashionable quarter of the city. But next day he sent a present to Kipaa sacred scarab carved from a precious stone, to be placed next her heart beneath the shroud at her burial.

He could have given my mother no greater joy, and she forgave him everything and ceased lecturing my father Senmut upon the curse of wine. As everyone knows, the Houses of Life and of Death had stood for untold ages within the temple walls, and also the theological schools for priests in the higher grades.

That the faculties of mathematics and astronomy should be subordinate to the priesthood can be understood, but when both juridical and mercantile training were taken over, misgivings arose in the minds of the more alert among the educated classes that the priests were meddling with matters that concerned Pharaoh and the taxation department alone. Initiation was not, indeed, indispensable to membership in the merchants and lawyers guilds, but as Ammon controlled at least a fifth of the land of Egypt, and therefore also of its commerce, those who wished to become merchants on a large scale or enter the administration found it wise to qualify for the lowest grade of priesthood and submit themselves as the faithful servants of Ammon.

Before I might set foot in the House of Life I had to pass the examination for admission to the lowest grade of priesthood in the theological faculty. This took me more than two years, for at the same time I had to accompany my father on his visits to the sick and from his experience gain knowledge that would profit me in my future career. I lived at home as before but had to attend one lecture or another every day.

Candidates for the lowest grade were divided into groups according to the profession they were to follow afterward. We, that is to say those who were to be disciples in the House of Life, formed a group n our own, but I found no close friend among my companions. I had taken Ptahors wise warning to heart and kept myself aloof, meekly obeying every order and feigning stupidity when the others jested 0r blasphemed as boys will. Among us were the sons of medical specialists whose advice and treatment were requited in gold.

And there Were with us also the sons of country doctors, often older than the rest of us, full-grown, gawky, sunburned fellows who strove to hide their shyness and addressed themselves laboriously to their tasks.

There were lads from the lower classes who wanted to rise above their fathers trade and social level and had a natural thirst for knowledge, but they received the severest treatment of any, for the priests were by nature mistrustful of all who were not content with the old ways. My caution stood me in good stead, for I soon noticed that the priests had their spies and agents among us. A careless word, a spoken doubt, or a joke among friends soon came to the knowledge of the priests, and the culprit was summoned for examination and punishment.

Some were flogged, and some even expelled from the House of Life, which was thenceforth closed to them forever, both in Thebes and in the rest of Egypt. My ability to read and write gave me a marked advantage over many of my fellows, including some of the older ones. I considered myself ripe to enter the House of Life, but my initiation was delayed.

I lacked courage to ask the reason since that would have been regarded as insubordination to Ammon. I frittered away my time in copying out Texts of the Dead, which were sold in the forecourts, and grew rebellious and depressed, for already many of the less talented among my fellows had begun their studies in the House of Life. But under my fathers direction I was to gain a better grounding than they, and I have since reflected that Ammons priests were wise.Thothmes was placid, however, for he had seen wilder doings in barracks and in his fathers house when the charioteers talked of the old days and of the punitive expeditions into Syria and the land of Kush.

The New Pragmatism pp.

Sinuhe the Egyptian : a novel

I write neither from fear nor from any hope of the future but for myself alone. But Ptahor struggled and uttered pitiful cries, called upon the watchmen to help him and vowed that the Negro meant murder. Early in the morning I was awakened by bumping and sounds of movement in the bedroom, and on entering I saw my father still sound asleep in his clothes with Ptahors collar about his neck.