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Ancient Egyptian Texts:  4.23


EPITAPH OF IMHOTEP-PEDUBAST


Text:   BM 188
Provenance:   Memphis
Date:   April 23 B.C.
Script:   Hieroglyphic & Demotic
Translated by:   E.A.E. Reymond
Format:   see key to translations

The sixteen-year-old high priest, Imhotep-Pedubast, seems to have been a victim of the change of regime in Egypt in 30 B,C.; he died on the very same day that Octavian captured Alexandria. He was not buried until seven years later, at the same time as his aunt Taneferher.

The translation is taken from E.A.E. Reymond, "From the Records of a Priestly Family from Memphis" (1981), no. 26, p. 217. For the sake of consistency, some of the name-spellings have been changed to match those used by Chris Bennett, Imhotep-Pedubast.  


[A]   {Hieroglyphic text:}   Hereditary Prince, god's father, prophet of Ptah, Pedubast, born to Tayimhotep justified.

A boon which the King grants to the Ghost of the Ghosts, lord of the Two Rows; the two sisters being the protection of his son in his presence, Anubis and Horus being before Apis, son of Osiris, gods and goddesses of the White Enclosure, the Ennead of the great company of gods in Rostaw, that they may grant the coming-forth-at-appeal to benefit from bread and beer, clothing, oxen and fowl, any kind of funerary offerings and provisions, victuals and things of any kind which come forth from their own offering tables, libation and incense, on the day of conducting the ḫs-ritual and calling the name of the Hereditary Prince, god's father, sem-priest, prophet of Ptah, priest of the gods in the Mansion of the White Enclosure, King's scribe, scribe of Ptah, scribe of the book of the Lady of the Sycamore, prophet of Osiris, lord of Rostaw, prophet of the window-of-appearance, prophet of the King, warden of the Seat of the Living Apis, Chief of Artificers, Pedubast called Imhotep, son of the man of the same profession Psherenptah, born to Tayimhotep, the one who is justified.

A fair burial was arranged for him by the son of the brother of his mother, the god's father, beloved of the god, prophet of 5 Ptah, prophet of Horus, lord of Letopolis, Chief of Artificers Psherenamun, consisting of the 'eternal image' made of funerary raiment, golden and silver ornaments, with protective amulets of all sorts of genuine precious stones.

May his 'eternal image' live forth for him by virtue of the great name of his Majesty for more than millions of years: May his soul live forth to rejuvenate his embodiment: May his mortuary form be divinized in the cemetery: May he shine forth every day: . . . O, Osiris, may his powers be delighted there in full joy: He being safe in his coffin there, for ever and ever. His soul being radiant in peace

[B]   {Demotic text:}   Regnal year 6 of the queen Cleopatra, the 13th of Panenhotep, the festival day of Bastet, great goddess, is the birthday of the Hereditary Prince, god father, prophet of Ptah, priest of the gods in the Mansion of the White Enclosure, scribe of the sacred book of Ptah, scribe of Ptah, scribe of the Lady of the Sycamore, prophet of Osiris, lord of Rostaw, prophet of the King, prophet of the window-of-appearance, scribe in the scribe in the Library of the Living Apis, Pedubast, called Imhotep, son of the man of the same profession Psherenptah, born to the lady of the house Tayimhotep.

He completed sixteen years of life and twenty one days. He became Chief of Artificers in regnal year 13 of the Queen Cleopatra, at the age of seven years and ten days.

The posthumous lustration of the god's father, prophet of Ptah, Chief of Artificers Psherenptah, his father, was carried out in regnal year 11 of 10 the Queen Cleopatra, the 16th of Pharmūti. It makes year twenty two now. All the ceremonies of the mortuary robing were to be carried out for him again in the mortuary chamber of the seventy days. He was coffined and made happy in his resting-places in the Necropolis of Memphis.

Regnal year 22 of the Queen Cleopatra, the 6th of Mesore: the posthumous lustration was to be carried out for the god's father, prophet of Ptah, Chief of Artificers Pedubast, called Imhotep, aforesaid. All the proceedings of the ceremonial mortuary robing were carried out for him. It came to pass that he was arrayed only in the mortuary chamber of his resting-places in the Necropolis of Memphis, till year 7 of the god, son of the god, great god, Sebastos, Imperator Caesar, the 12th of Pharmuti. It makes six years, eight months and ten days. He was buried the son of the sister of his mother, the god's father, prophet of Ptah, Chief of Artificers, prophet of Horus, lord of Letopolis, prophet of Caesar, Psherenamun. His embalmment was made beautiful with unguent, myrrh and incense. He made his protective amulets from gold, silver and genuine precious stones of any kind. He carried out for him all customary ceremonies of receiving his linen bandelettes, his mortuary clothing for his fair funerary raiment. He made his name great: it stands for syngenes.

May his soul live forth to cause his being rejuvenated, his embodiment being magnified in the West! He was made happy in his resting places. His father received him, his mother praised him . . . 15 . . . in the upper room of his coffin chamber. He being Osiris-nūfe, Phrēʿby his great name till Everlasting Eternity!


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