Ancient Mysteries Egypt Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, The

Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, The

Literature of the Ancient Egyptians, The
Catalog # SKU1896
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 2.00 lbs
Author Name E. A. Wallis Budge


The Literature
of the
Ancient Egyptians

E.A. Wallis Budge

E.A. Wallis Budge is probably the greatest Egyptologist that England ever produced. His books are written for both the scientist and the layman, in that they are not written in a style that over-uses technical lingo, that bars the layman from enjoying learning about Egypt.

The Book of Aapep, the great enemy of the Sun-god.-Aapep was the god of evil, who became incarnate in many forms, especially in wild and savage animals and in monster serpents and venomous reptiles of every kind. He was supposed to take the form of a huge serpent and to lie in wait near the portals of the dawn daily, so that he might swallow up the sun as he was about to rise in the eastern sky. He was accompanied by legions of devils and fiends, red and black, and by all the powers of storm, tempest, hurricane, whirlwind, thunder and lightning, and he was the deadly foe of all order, both physical and moral, and of all good in heaven and in earth.


Chapter I Thoth, The Author Of Egyptian Literature. Writing Materials, Etc.
Chapter II The Pyramid Texts
Chapter III Stories Of Magicians Who Lived Under The Ancient Empire
Chapter V Books Of The Dead Of The Græco-Roman Period
Chapter VI The Egyptian Story Of The Creation
Chapter VII Legends Of The Gods
Chapter VIII Historical Literature
Chapter IX Autobiographical Literature
Chapter X Tales Of Travel And Adventure
Chapter XI Fairy Tales
Chapter XII Egyptian Hymns To The Gods
Chapter XIII Moral And Philosophical Literature
Chapter XIV Egyptian Poetical Compositions
Chapter XV Miscellaneous Literature
Editions Of Egyptian Texts, Translations, &C.

Excerpt from Preface

From the earliest times the Egyptians regarded a life of moral excellence upon earth as a necessary introduction to the life which he hoped to live with the blessed in heaven. And even in pyramid times he conceived the idea of the existence of a God Who judged rightly, and Who set "right in the place of wrong." This fact accounts for the reverence in which he held the Precepts of Ptah-hetep, Kaqemna, Herutataf, Amenemhat I, Ani, Tuauf, Amen-hetep, and other sages. To him, as to all Africans, the Other World was a very real thing, and death and the Last Judgment were common subjects of his daily thoughts.

The great antiquity of this characteristic of the Egyptian is proved by a passage in a Book of Precepts, which was written by a king of the ninth or tenth dynasty for his son, who reigned under the name of Merikara. The royal writer in it reminds his son that the Chiefs [of Osiris] who judge sinners perform their duty with merciless justice on the Day of Judgment. It is useless to assume that length of years will be accepted by them as a plea of justification. With them the lifetime of a man is only regarded as a moment. After death these Chiefs must be faced, and the only things that they will consider will be his works. Life in the Other World is for ever, and only the reckless fool forgets this fact. The man who has led a life free from lies and deceit shall live after death like a god.


The Literature of ancient Egypt is the product of a period of about four thousand years, and it was written in three kinds of writing, which are called hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic. In the first of these the characters were pictures of objects, in the second the forms of the characters were made as simple as possible so that they might be written quickly, and in the third many of them lost their picture form altogether and became mere symbols. Egyptian writing was believed to have been invented by the god Tehuti, or Thoth, and as this god was thought to be a form of the mind and intellect and wisdom of the God who created the heavens and the earth, the picture characters, or hieroglyphs as they are called, were held to be holy, or divine, or sacred.

Certain religious texts were thought to possess special virtue when written in hieroglyphs, and the chapters and sections of books that were considered to have been composed by Thoth himself were believed to possess very great power, and to be of the utmost benefit to the dead when they were written out for them in hieroglyphs, and buried with them in their coffins. Thoth also invented the science of numbers, and as he fixed the courses of the sun, moon, and stars, and ordered the seasons, he was thought to be the first astronomer. He was the lord of wisdom, and the possessor of all knowledge, both heavenly and earthly, divine and human; and he was the author of every attempt made by man to draw, paint, and carve. As the lord and maker of books, and as the skilled scribe, he was the clerk of the gods, and kept the registers wherein the deeds of men were written down.

The deep knowledge of Thoth enabled him to find out the truth at all times, and this ability caused the Egyptians to assign to him the position of Chief Judge of the dead. A very ancient legend states that Thoth acted in this capacity in the great trial that took place in heaven when Osiris was accused of certain crimes by his twin-brother Set, the god of evil. Thoth examined the evidence, and proved to the gods that the charges made by Set were untrue, and that Osiris had spoken the truth and that Set was a liar.

For this reason every Egyptian prayed that Thoth might act for him as he did for Osiris, and that on the day of the Great Judgment Thoth might preside over the weighing of his heart in the Balance. All the important religious works in all periods were believed to have been composed either by himself, or by holy scribes who were inspired by him. They were believed to be sources of the deepest wisdom, the like of which existed in no other books in the world. And it is probably to these books that Egypt owed her fame for learning and wisdom, which spread throughout all the civilised world.

The "Books of Thoth," which late popular tradition in Egypt declared to be as many as 36,525 in number, were revered by both natives and foreigners in a way which it is difficult for us in these days to realise. The scribes who studied and copied these books were also specially honoured, for it was believed that the spirit of Thoth, the twice-great and thrice-great god, dwelt in them.

The profession of the scribe was considered to be most honourable, and its rewards were great, for no rank and no dignity were too high for the educated scribe. Thoth appears in the papyri and on the monuments as an ibis-headed man, and his companion is usually a dog-headed ape called "Asten." In the Hall of the Great Judgment he is seen holding in one hand a reed with which he is writing on a palette the result of the weighing of the heart of the dead man in the Balance. The gods accepted the report of Thoth without question, and rewarded the good soul and punished the bad according to his statement.

Softcover, 8¼" x 6¾, 295+ pages
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