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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  2.6


DREAMS IN THE SERAPEUM AT MEMPHIS


Date:   161-158 B.C. 
Language:   Demotic & Greek
Translated by:   J. Ray, "Reflections of Osiris", chapter 8 ( archive.org )
Format:   see key to translations

These dreams all belong to the archive of the recluse Ptolemaios and his brother Apollonios. As the dreams show, the brothers were somewhat obsessed with the twins Tawę and Taous, who had a role in the rites of the temple ( see SelPap 2.271C ). A and B are written in Demotic; C is in Greek.


[A]   Apollonios.   P. Dem. Bologna 3173.

The first dream: I am walking along the avenue of Serapis with a woman called Tawe, who is a virgin. I talk to her saying, 'Tawe, is your heart troubled because I seduced you?' She replies, 'It happens that Thotortais [and] my sister are angry with me, saying that I have become a whore (?).'

The second: A singer sings, 'Apollonios speaks Greek, Petiharenpi speaks Egyptian; the one who knows is this priest.'

The third: I am in my house with my elder brother. He is weeping before me, saying, 'I have ceased my blessings, and my hand has passed them by.' I reply, 'Do not be afraid . . . '

The fourth: I find a man who has come as a rebel to the place of asylum. What he said was, 'The goddess Sekhmet told me to touch the lamp in the Serapeum, and this made all my men delay.' I replied, 'They will not oppose you because of the lamp. They will be pleased with you at first, but you will suffer a setback when they start an investigation.'

[B]   A twin (Tawę or Taous).   O. Hermitage 1129.

The first dream: I saw myself in Memphis. I dreamt that the water had flooded up to the statue of Wahibre. My mother was standing on the bank. I cast off my clothes and threw them up into the sky. I swam towards her, to the eastern side. I took some more clothes from Taanupi the washer-woman, and spoke to her saying, 'This is the second time that I have crossed over to you. I ferried over to you before - see, there is the landing-stage. I did it and I lodged safely in your house.' She greeted me with the words, 'I have the receiving of you.'

Another dream: I found myself in the house of Shepanupi. I dreamt that he had married the woman Tsenqaie. They spoke to him, saying that he loves her. But I replied myself, 'She loves her mother, while his heart loves the one whom he loves' . . . Written in year 21, Mesore, day 6 {September 160}.

[C]   Ptolemaios.   UPZ 1.77.

The dream which Tawe the twin saw on 17 Pakhons {15 June 161}. She dreamt that she was walking along the street, and counted nine houses. I wanted to turn back, and said, 'These make nine at the most.' They said, 'Yes; you are free to go.' I replied, 'It is late for me.'

The dream which Ptolemaios saw on the festival of the moon on 25 Pakhons. I dreamt I saw Tawe speaking well, with a sweet voice and in a happy spirit, and I could see Taous laughing and her foot well and whole.

The 29th. Two men are working in the forecourt, and Taous sits on the stairs and jokes with them; then she hears the voice of Chentosneu and immediately turns dark. They said they would teach her . . .

The dream of Ptolemaios on 15 Pakhons {13 June 161}. Two men stood next to me, saying, 'Ptolemaios, take the money for the blood.' They counted out for me 100 drachmas, but for Tawe the twin bronze staters, a full bundle. They say to her, 'See the money for the blood.' I say to them, 'She has more money than me.'

Year 23, 4 Pakhons {2 June 158}. I dreamt that I called upon the great god Amun to come to me from the north with his two consorts, until finally he came. I dreamt that I saw a cow in that place in labour. Amun seizes the cow and flings it to the ground; he thrusts his hand into her body and brings forth a bull. What I saw in my dream, may it be well with me. 23 Pakhons, my birthday.


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