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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  6.15


WILL OF HETI


Text:   P. Moscow inv. 123
Date:   68 B.C.
Language:   Demotic
Translated by:   K.Vandorpe & M. Depauw
Format:   see key to translations

This translation is taken from J.F. Oates, "Observations on a Demotic Will (69 B.C.) of a Katoikos Hippeus", BSAA 46 (2000), pp.29-38. The will is discussed, in the wider context of katoikoi hippeis, by the same author, "Cessions of Katoikic Land in the Late Ptolemaic Period", JJurP 25 (1995) pp. 156-7 ( PDF ).

The document appears to be a loose translation into demotic of a Greek will, and Heti no doubt used a Greek name as well as his Egyptian name. The sums of money mentioned are extraordinary; he was clearly a very rich man.


Year 13, month Pharmouthi, day 11, of king Ptolemy, the Father-Loving God, Brother-Loving God, as well that of the priests and priestesses and of the kanephoros who have been inaugurated.

Thus has declared the allotment-holder, one of the katoikoi, Heti, son of Petephibis whose mother is Siepmouthis, to the child of allotment-holder, one of the katoikoi, the eldest son, Petiphibis, son of Heti whose mother is Thermouthis, my eldest son.

I have made disposition for you and for the child of the allotment-holder, one of the katoikoi, Hermon, also called Thothis, son of Heti; as well as for Patumis, son of Heti; Pelilis the elder, son of Heti; Pelilis the younger, son of Heti; and Peteminis, son of Heti, who make 5 persons, their mother being Termouthis, my children, your younger brothers who are with you. You receive for you from me my possessions specified here below. The specifications: Petephibis, son of Heti, my eldest son, and Hermon, also called Thothis, son of Heti, who make two persons already mentioned, will receive my fields, parts of the allotment of the katoikos, which measure 39 arouras and which are formed from three parcels, of which the specifications are: two of the parcels measuring 32 arouras are situated in the "Field of Dsnts." The third of the parcels measuring 7 arouras is situated in the district north  of the city of Achmin; [each will have] one half which is ¼ + ¼, which makes one half for  each of the two of them, after the end of my life.  

Patumis, son of Heti, as well as Pelilis the younger, son of Heti, and Peteminis, son of Heti, who make three persons, already mentioned, will receive my fields, which are made up of four parcels registered in . . . of Ꜣitbh. The specification: 2 parcels of these are situated in the south field of the "Place of Vines." The other 2 parcels are situated in the "Field of Pr-Gndb" - to complete the total with the prstm which is registered there - ⅙ + ⅙ make the third share, for each one of the three - after the end of my life 

Pelilis the elder, son of Heti, the above-mentioned will receive 100 talents, their half is 50 talents, the total 100 talents. 24 obols bronze for 2 kite, - which he will realise from the sums which are due me from the people outside, as compensation for his part of the fields - after the end of my life.

They will be for you, the items and the goods specified herein. They come to you from my hand after the end of my life. No one will be able to exercise authority except you, after the end of my life.

When I am dead, you will take my pieces of silver, my pieces of copper, my jewels, my pieces of pure silver, my pieces of gold, my clothing, my pearls, my jewel boxes, my beds, my bed linen, my pillows, my pieces of silver invested at interest.

. . . the sums which are due me from the people outside my silver objects, my gold objects, my wooden objects, every other domestic object which belongs to me and every domestic object which I will acquire, to share between you and the lady Termouthis, daughter of Pelilis, my wife, your mother, in the following manner.

¼ share, which is ⅛ plus ⅛ which makes ¼ share, of everything domestic inventoried above, for Petephibis, son of Heti, my eldest son, already mentioned.

⅛ share which is 1/16 plus 1/16 share which makes ⅛ share, for each one of the others: Hermon, also called Thothis, son of Heti; as well as Patumis, son of Heti; Pelilis the elder, son of Heti; Pelilis the younger, son of Heti; and Peteminis, son of Heti, who make 5 persons, my sons, the younger brothers, already mentioned; ⅛ share for Termouthis, my wife already mentioned in order to complete the total - after the end of my life.  

Pelilos the elder, son of Heti, my son already mentioned, will take 100 talents, half of which is 50 talents which makes 100 talents at the rate of 24 obols for 2 kite, for his share of the fields. Which is to be raised on the sums due me from the people outside. You will give him 10 artabas of wheat, half of which is 5 artabas, which makes 10 artabas, from the harvest of my fields mentioned above, each year for his food until he will have recovered entirely the equivalent value of 100 talents specified above.

When I am dead, you will give 100 artabas of wheat, half of which is 50 artabas of wheat which makes 100 artabas of wheat, for sustenance to Siepmouthis, daughter of Heti, whose mother is Termouthis, my daughter, your sister, raised from the sums due me from the people outside, for five years from the date of my death to the fulfilment of the five years mentioned at the rate of 20 artabas, half of which is 10 artabas of wheat which makes 20 artabas of wheat, each year up to the month of Payni 10 of the year 5 cited, in order to complete the total which is in addition to her dowry which I have established.

You will pay fully to Termouthis, my wife mentioned above, her dowry which she has given to me and which is written down in the marriage contract which I have undertaken with her in regard to my undivided possessions; in addition to the ⅛ share of my domestic possessions and the sums which are due me from the people outside, already mentioned.  

You will allow Termouthis, my wife, your mother, already mentioned, to reside in the room of my house, constructed in stone and covered with a roof, which is located in the northwest quarter of Achmim, from the day of my death already mentioned until the fulfilment of the days of her life. My children mentioned above cannot evict her from the house until the fulfilment of the days of her life.


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