Read e-book online Ancient Egyptian literature : an anthology PDF

By John L. Foster

ISBN-10: 0292725264

ISBN-13: 9780292725263

ISBN-10: 0292725272

ISBN-13: 9780292725270

Poetry, tales, hymns, prayers, and knowledge texts discovered beautiful written expression in historic Egypt whereas their literary opposite numbers have been nonetheless being recited round fire fires in historical Greece and Israel. but, as a result of its very antiquity and the centuries within which the language used to be forgotten, old Egyptian literature is a newly found nation for contemporary readers.

This anthology bargains an intensive sampling of the entire significant genres of old Egyptian literature. It contains all of the texts from John Foster's prior publication Echoes of Egyptian Voices, besides choices from his Love Songs of the hot Kingdom and Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of historical Egyptian Lyric Poetry, in addition to formerly unpublished translations of 4 longer and brief poems. Foster's translations trap the poetical fantastic thing about the Egyptian language and the spirit that impelled every one piece's composition, making those historic masterworks sing for contemporary readers. An advent to historical Egyptian literature and its translation, in addition to short information regarding the authorship and date of every choice, completes the volume.

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Extra resources for Ancient Egyptian literature : an anthology

Example text

All of the far foreign countries— you are the cause they live, For you have put a Nile in the sky that he might descend upon them in rain— He makes waves on the very mountains like waves on the Great Green Sea to water their fields and their villages. 17 10:59 How splendidly ordered are they, your purposes for this world, O Lord of Eternity, Hapy in heaven! Although you belong to the distant peoples, to the small, shy beasts who travel the deserts and uplands, Yet Hapy, he comes from Below for the dear Land of Egypt as well.

These pieces all come from the Ramesside Period (ca. ) and derive from small collections or anthologies on papyri or ostraca now in London, or Turin, or Cairo. Love has hardly altered at all over the millennia. 17 10:59 ‘‘Why, just now, must you question your heart’’ Why, just now, must you question your heart? Is it really the time for discussion? To her, say I, take her tight in your arms! For god’s sake, sweet man, it’s me coming at you, My tunic loose at the shoulder!  A N C I E N T E G Y P T I A N L I T E R AT U R E 6732 Foster / ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LITERATURE / sheet 45 of 298 ‘‘I love you through the daytimes’’ I love you through the daytimes, in the dark, Through all the long divisions of the night, those hours I, spendthrift, waste away alone, and lie, and turn, awake ’til whitened dawn.

Xiv ‘‘The mat-maker in his tiny cubicle— he is more wretched than a woman; With his knees pressed against his stomach he can hardly breathe. If he wastes the day not weaving, he is beaten with the leather fifty blows; He must offer food to the door-guard just to let him see the sun. 17 10:59 ‘‘The arrow-maker is already spent as he goes into the desert uplands. What he must pay for donkeys is more costly than their toil will profit in return; And costly too his pay to country people to point him on his way.

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Ancient Egyptian literature : an anthology by John L. Foster


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