Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The Book of the Dead by E. A. Wallis Budge

Adobe PDF icon
The Book of the Dead by E. A. Wallis Budge - Full Text Free Book
File size: 0.1 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

Produced by Jeroen Hellingman


by E. A. Wallis Budge.


The Title.

"Book of the Dead" is the title now commonly given to the great
collection of funerary texts which the ancient Egyptian scribes
composed for the benefit of the dead. These consist of spells and
incantations, hymns and litanies, magical formulae and names, words
of power and prayers, and they are found cut or painted on walls of
pyramids and tombs, and painted on coffins and sarcophagi and rolls
of papyri. The title "Book of the Dead" is somewhat unsatisfactory
and misleading, for the texts neither form a connected work nor
belong to one period; they are miscellaneous in character, and tell
us nothing about the lives and works of the dead with whom they were
buried. Moreover, the Egyptians possessed many funerary works that
might rightly be called "Books of the Dead," but none of them bore a
name that could be translated by the title "Book of the Dead." This
title was given to the great collection of funerary texts in the first
quarter of the nineteenth century by the pioneer Egyptologists, who
possessed no exact knowledge of their contents. They were familiar
with the rolls of papyrus inscribed in the hieroglyphic and the
hieratic character, for copies of several had been published, [1]
but the texts in them were short and fragmentary. The publication of
the Facsimile [2] of the Papyrus of Peta-Amen-neb-nest-taui [3] by
M. Cadet in 1805 made a long hieroglyphic text and numerous coloured
vignettes available for study, and the French Egyptologists described
it as a copy of the "Rituel Funéraire" of the ancient Egyptians. Among
these was Champollion le Jeune, but later, on his return from Egypt,
he and others called it "Le Livre des Morts," "The Book of the Dead,"
"Das Todtenbuch," etc. These titles are merely translations of the
name given by the Egyptian tomb-robbers to every roll of inscribed
papyrus which they found with mummies, namely, "Kitâb-al-Mayyit,"
"Book of the dead man," or "Kitâb al-Mayyitun," "Book of the dead"
(plur.). These men knew nothing of the contents of such a roll, and
all they meant to say was that it was "a dead man's book," and that
it was found in his coffin with him.


The Preservation of the Mummified Body in the Tomb by Thoth.

The objects found in the graves of the predynastic Egyptians, i.e.,
vessels of food, flint knives and other weapons, etc., prove that
these early dwellers in the Nile Valley believed in some kind of a
future existence. But as the art of writing was, unknown to them their
graves contain no inscriptions, and we can only infer from texts of
the dynastic period what their ideas about the Other World were. It is
clear that they did not consider it of great importance to preserve
the dead body in as complete and perfect state as possible, for in
many of their graves the heads, hands and feet have been found severed
from the trunks and lying at some distance from them. On the other
hand, the dynastic Egyptians, either as the result of a difference in
religious belief, or under the influence of invaders who had settled
in their country, attached supreme importance to the preservation and
integrity of the dead body, and they adopted every means known to them
to prevent its dismemberment and decay. They cleansed it and embalmed
it with drugs, spices and balsams; they anointed it with aromatic
oils and preservative fluids; they swathed it in hundreds of yards of
linen bandages; and then they sealed it up in a coffin or sarcophagus,
which they laid in a chamber hewn in the bowels of the mountain. All
these things were done to protect the physical body against damp,
dry rot and decay, and against the attacks of moth, beetles, worms
and wild animals. But these were not the only enemies of the dead
against which precautions had to be taken, for both the mummified
body and the spiritual elements which had inhabited it upon earth
had to be protected from a multitude of devils and fiends, and from
the powers of darkness generally. These powers of evil had hideous
and terrifying shapes and forms, and their haunts were well known,
for they infested the region through which the road of the dead lay
when passing from this world to the Kingdom of Osiris. The "great
gods" were afraid of them, and were obliged to protect themselves
by the use of spells and magical names, and words of power, which
were composed and written down by Thoth. In fact it was believed in
very early times in Egypt that Ra the Sun-god owed his continued
existence to the possession of a secret name with which Thoth had
provided him. And each morning the rising sun was menaced by a fearful
monster called Aapep, which lay hidden under the place of sunrise
waiting to swallow up the solar disk. It was impossible, even for the
Sun-god, to destroy this "Great Devil," but by reciting each morning
the powerful spell with which Thoth had provided him he was able to
paralyse all Aapep's limbs and to rise upon this world. Since then the
"great gods," even though benevolently disposed towards them, were not
able to deliver the dead from the devils that lived upon the "bodies,
souls, spirits, shadows and hearts of the dead," the Egyptians decided
to invoke the aid of Thoth on behalf of their dead and to place them
under the protection of his almighty spells. Inspired by Thoth the
theologians of ancient Egypt composed a large number of funerary
texts which were certainly in general use under the IVth dynasty
(about 3700 B.C.), and were probably well known under the Ist dynasty,
and throughout the whole period of dynastic history Thoth was regarded
as the author of the "Book of the Dead."


The Book Per-t em hru, or [The Chapters of] Coming forth by (or,
into) the Day, commonly called the "Book of the Dead."

The spells and other texts which were written by Thoth for the
benefit of the dead, and are directly connected with him, were called,
according to documents written under the XIth and XVIIIth dynasties,
"Chapters of the Coming Forth by (or, into) the Day." One rubric in
the Papyrus of Nu (Brit. Mus. No. 10477) states that the text of the
work called "PER-T EM HRU," i.e., "Coming Forth (or, into) the Day,"
was discovered by a high official in the foundations of a shrine of
the god Hennu during the reign of Semti, or Hesepti, a king of the Ist
dynasty. Another rubric in the same papyrus says that the text was
cut upon the alabaster plinth of a statue of Menkaura (Mycerinus),
a king of the IVth dynasty, and that the letters were inlaid with
lapis lazuli. The plinth was found by Prince Herutataf, a son of
King Khufu (Cheops), who carried it off to his king and exhibited it
as a "most wonderful" thing. This composition was greatly reverenced,
for it "would make a man victorious upon earth and in the Other World;
it would ensure him a safe and free passage through the Tuat (Under
World); it would allow him to go in and to go out, and to take at
any time any form he pleased; it would make his soul to flourish, and
would prevent him from dying the [second] death." For the deceased to
receive the full benefit of this text it had to be recited by a man
"who was ceremonially pure, and who had not eaten fish or meat, and
had not consorted with women." On coffins of the XIth dynasty and on
papyri of the XVIIIth dynasty we find two versions of the PER-T EM HRU,
one long and one short. As the title of the shorter version states
that it is the "Chapters of the PER-T EM HRU in a single chapter,"
it is clear that this work, even under the IVth dynasty, contained
many "Chapters," and that a much abbreviated form of the work was also
current at the same period. The rubric that attributes the "finding" of
the Chapter to Herutataf associates it with Khemenu, i.e., Hermopolis,
and indicates that Thoth, the god of this city, was its author.

The work PER-T EM HRU received many additions in the course of
centuries, and at length, under the XVIIIth dynasty, it contained about
190 distinct compositions, or "Chapters." The original forms of many
of these are to be found in the "Pyramid Texts" (i.e., the funerary
compositions cut on the walls of the chambers and corridors of the
pyramids of Kings Unas, Teta, Pepi I Meri-Ra, Merenra and Pepi II at
Sakkârah), which were written under the Vth and VIth dynasties. The
forms which many other chapters had under the XIth and XIIth dynasties
are well represented by the texts painted on the coffins of Amamu,
Sen, and Guatep in the British Museum (Nos. 6654, 30839, 30841),
but it is possible that both these and the so-called "Pyramid Texts"
all belonged to the work PER-T EM HRU, and are extracts from it. The
"Pyramid Texts" have no illustrations, but a few of the texts on the
coffins of the XIth and XIIth dynasties have coloured vignettes, e.g.,
those which refer to the region to be traversed by the deceased on his
way to the Other World, and the Islands of the Blessed or the Elysian
Fields. On the upper margins of the insides of such coffins there
are frequently given two or more rows of coloured drawings of the
offerings which under the Vth dynasty were presented to the deceased
or his statue during the celebration of the service of "Opening
the Mouth" and the performance of the ceremonies of "The Liturgy
of Funerary Offerings." Under the XVIIIth dynasty, when the use of
large rectangular coffins and sarcophagi fell somewhat into disuse,
the scribes began to write collections of Chapters from the PER-T EM
HRU on rolls of papyri instead of on coffins. At first the texts were
written in hieroglyphs, the greater number of them being in black ink,
and an attempt was made to illustrate each text by a vignette drawn
in black outline. The finest known example of such a codex is the
Papyrus of Nebseni (Brit. Mus. No. 9900), which is 77 feet 7 1/2
inches in length and I foot I1/2 inches in breadth. Early in the
XVIIIth dynasty scribes began to write the titles of the Chapters,
the rubrics, and the catchwords in red ink and the text in black,
and it became customary to decorate the vignettes with colours, and to
increase their size and number. The oldest codex of this class is the
Papyrus of Nu (Brit. Mus. No. 10477) which is 65 feet 3 1/2 inches in
length, and 1 foot 1 1/2 inches in breadth. This and many other rolls
were written by their owners for their own tombs, and in each roll both
text and vignettes were usually, the work of the same hand. Later,
however, the scribe wrote the text only, and a skilled artist was
employed to add the coloured vignettes, for which spaces were marked
out and left blank by the scribe. The finest example of this class of
roll is the Papyrus of Ani (Brit. Mus., No. 10470). which is 78 feet
in length and 1 foot 3 inches in breadth. In all papyri of this class
the text is written in hieroglyphs, but under the XIXth and following
dynasties many papyri are written throughout in the hieratic character;
these usually lack vignettes, but have coloured frontispieces.

Under the rule of the High Priests of Amen many changes were introduced
into the contents of the papyri, and the arrangement cf the texts and
vignettes of the PER-T EM HRU was altered. The great confraternity
of Amen-Ra, the "King of the Gods," felt it to be necessary to
emphasize the supremacy of their god, even in the Kingdom of Osiris,
and they added many prayers, litanies and hymns to the Sun-god to
every selection of the texts from the PER-T EM HRU that was copied
on a roll of papyrus for funerary purposes. The greater number of the
rolls of this period are short and contain only a few Chapters, e.g.,
the Papyrus of the Royal Mother Netchemet (Brit. Mus. No. 10541) and
the Papyrus of Queen Netchemet (Brit. Mus. No. 10478). In some the text
is very defective and carelessly written, but the coloured vignettes
are remarkable for their size and beauty; of this class of roll the
finest example is the Papyrus of Anhai (Brit. Mus. No. 10472). The
most interesting of all the rolls that were written during the rule
of the Priest-Kings over Upper Egypt is the Papyrus of Princess
Nesitanebtashru (Brit. Mus. No. 10554), now commonly known as the
"Greenfield Papyrus." It is the longest and widest funerary papyrus
[4] known, for it measures 123 feet by 1 foot 6 1/2 inches, and it
contains more Chapters, Hymns, Litanies, Adorations and Homages to
the gods than any other roll. The 87 Chapters from the PER-T EM HRU
which it contains prove the princess's devotion to the cult of Osiris,
and the Hymns to Amen-Ra show that she was able to regard this god
and Osiris not as rivals but as two aspects of the same god. She
believed that the "hidden" creative power which was materialized in
Amen was only another form of the power of procreation, renewed birth
and resurrection which was typified by Osiris. The oldest copies of the
PER-T EM HRU which we have on papyrus contain a few extracts from other
ancient funerary works, such as the "Book of Opening the Mouth," the
"Liturgy of Funerary Offerings," and the "Book of the Two Ways." But
under the rule of the Priest-Kings the scribes incorporated with the
Chapters of the PER-T EM HRU extracts from the "Book of Ami-Tuat"
and the "Book of Gates," and several of the vignettes and texts that
are found on the walls of the royal tombs of Thebes.

One of the most remarkable texts written at this period is found in
the Papyrus of Nesi-Khensu, which is now in the Egyptian Museum in
Cairo. This is really the copy of a contract which is declared to have
been made between Nesi-Khensu and Amen-Ra, "the holy god, the lord of
all the gods." As a reward for the great piety of the queen, and her
devotion to the interests of Amen-Ra upon earth, the god undertakes to
make her a goddess in his kingdom, to provide her with an estate there
in perpetuity and a never-failing supply of offerings, and happiness
of heart, soul and body, and the [daily] recital upon earth of the
"Seventy Songs of Ra" for the benefit of her soul in the Khert-Neter,
or Under World. The contract was drawn up in a series of paragraphs
in legal phraseology by the priests of Amen, who believed they had
the power of making their god do as they pleased when they pleased.

Little is known of the history of the PER-T EM HRU after the downfall
of the priests of Amen, and during the period of the rule of the
Nubians, but under the kings of the XXVIth dynasty the Book enjoyed a
great vogue. Many funerary rolls were written both in hieroglyphs and
hieratic, and were decorated with vignettes drawn in black outline;
and about this time the scribes began to write funerary texts in
the demotic character. But men no longer copied long selections
from the PER-T EM HRU as they had done under the XVIIIth, XIXth and
XXth dynasties, partly because the religious views of the Egyptians
had undergone a great change, and partly because a number of Books
of the Dead of a more popular character had appeared. The cult of
Osiris was triumphant everywhere, and men preferred the hymns and
litanies which dealt with his sufferings, death and resurrection to
the compositions in which the absolute supremacy of Ra and his solar
cycle of gods and goddesses was assumed or proclaimed. Thus, in the
"Lamentations of Isis" and the "Festival Songs of Isis and Nephthys,"
and the "Litanies of Seker," and the "Book of Honouring Osiris," etc.,
the central figure is Osiris, and he alone is regarded as the giver
of everlasting life. The dead were no longer buried with large rolls
of papyrus filled with Chapters of the PER-T EM HRU laid in their
coffins, but with small sheets or strips of papyrus, on which were
inscribed the above compositions, or the shorter texts of the "Book
of Breathings," or the "Book of Traversing Eternity," or the "Book of
May my name flourish," or a part of the "Chapter of the Last Judgment."

Ancient Egyptian tradition asserts that the Book PER-T EM HRU was
used early in the Ist dynasty, and the papyri and coffins of the
Roman Period afford evidence that the native Egyptians still accepted
all the essential beliefs and doctrines contained in it. During the
four thousand years of its existence many additions were made to it,
but nothing of importance seems to have been taken away from it. In
the space here available it is impossible to describe in detail the
various Recensions of this work, viz., (1) the Heliopolitan, (2) the
Theban and its various forms, and (3) the Saïte; but it is proposed
to sketch briefly the main facts of the Egyptian Religion which
may be deduced from them generally, and especially from the Theban
Recension, and to indicate the contents of the principal Chapters. No
one papyrus can be cited as a final authority, for no payprus contains
all the Chapters, 190 in number, of the Theban Recension, and in no
two papyri are the selection and sequence of the Chapters identical,
or is the treatment of the vignettes the same.


Thoth, the Author of the Book of the Dead.

Thoth, in Egyptian Tchehuti or Tehuti, who has already been
mentioned as the author of the texts that form the PER-T EM HRU, or
Book of the Dead, was believed by the Egyptians to have been the heart
and mind of the Creator, who was in very early times in Egypt called
by the natives "Pautti," and by foreigners "Ra." Thoth was also the
"tongue" of the Creator, and he at all times voiced the will of the
great god, and spoke the words which commanded every being and thing
in heaven and in earth to come into existence. His words were almighty
and once uttered never remained without effect. He framed the laws
by which heaven, earth and all the heavenly bodies are maintained; he
ordered the courses of the sun, moon, and stars; he invented drawing
and design and the arts, the letters of the alphabet and the art of
writing, and the science of mathematics. At a very early period he was
called the "scribe (or secretary) of the Great Company of the Gods,"
and as he kept the celestial register of the words and deeds of men,
he was regarded by many generations of Egyptians as the "Recording
Angel." He was the inventor of physical and moral Law and became
the personification of JUSTICE; and as the Companies of the Gods of
Heaven, and Earth, and the Other World appointed him to "weigh the
words and deeds" of men, and his verdicts were unalterable, he became
more powerful in the Other World than Osiris himself. Osiris owed his
triumph over Set in the Great Judgment Hall of the Gods entirely to the
skill of Thoth of the "wise mouth" as an Advocate, and to his influence
with the gods in heaven. And every follower of Osiris relied upon the
advocacy of Thoth to secure his acquittal on the Day of Judgment, and
to procure for him an everlasting habitation in the Kingdom of Osiris.


Thoth and Osiris.

The Egyptians were not satisfied with the mere possession of the
texts of Thoth, when their souls were being weighed in the Great
Scales in the Judgment Hall of Osiris, but they also wished Thoth
to act as their Advocate on this dread occasion and to prove their
innocence as he had proved that of Osiris before the great gods in
prehistoric times. According to a very ancient Egyptian tradition,
the god Osiris, who was originally the god of the principle of the
fertility of the Nile, became incarnate on earth as the son of Geb,
the Earth-god, and Nut, the Sky-goddess. He had two sisters, Isis
and Nephthys, and one brother, Set; he married Isis and Set married
Nephthys. Geb set Osiris on the throne of Egypt, and his rule was
beneficent and the nation was happy and prosperous. Set marked this
and became very jealous of his brother, and wished to slay him so
that he might seize his throne and take possession of Isis, whose
reputation as a devoted and loving wife and able manager filled the
country. By some means or other Set did contrive to kill Osiris:
according to one story he killed him by the side of a canal at
Netat, near Abydos, and according to another he caused him to be
drowned. Isis, accompanied by her sister Nephthys, went to Netat and
rescued the body of her lord, and the two sisters, with the help of
Anpu, a son of Ra the Sun-god, embalmed it. They then laid the body
in a tomb, and a sycamore tree grew round it and flourished over the
grave. A tradition which is found in the Pyramid Texts states that
before Osiris was laid in his tomb, his wife Isis, by means of her
magical powers, succeeded in restoring him to life temporarily, and
made him beget of her an heir, who was called Horus. After the burial
of Osiris, Isis retreated to the marshes in the Delta, and there she
brought forth Horus. In order to avoid the persecution of Set, who on
one occasion succeeded in killing Horus by the sting of a scorpion,
she fled from place to place in the Delta, and lived a very unhappy
life for some years. But Thoth helped her in all her difficulties and
provided her with the words of power which restored Horus to life,
and enabled her to pass unharmed among the crocodiles and other evil
beasts that infested the waters of the Delta at that time.

When Horus arrived at years of maturity, he set out to find Set
and to wage war against his father's murderer. At length they met
and a fierce fight ensued, and though Set was defeated before he
was finally hurled to the ground, he succeeded in tearing out the
right eye of Horus and keeping it. Even after this fight Set was
able to persecute Isis, and Horus was powerless to prevent it until
Thoth made Set give him the right eye of Horus which he had carried
off. Thoth then brought the eye to Horus, and replaced it in his face,
and restored sight to it by spitting upon it. Horus then sought out the
body of Osiris in order to raise it up to life, and when he found it
he untied the bandages so that Osiris might move his limbs, and rise
up. Under the direction of Thoth Horus recited a series of formulas
as he presented offerings to Osiris, and he and his sons and Anubis
performed the ceremonies which opened the mouth, and nostrils, and the
eyes and the ears of Osiris. He embraced Osiris and so transferred to
him his ka, i.e., his own living personality and virility, and gave
him his eye which Thoth had rescued from Set and had replaced in his
face. As soon as Osiris had eaten the eye of Horus he became endowed
with a soul and vital power, and recovered thereby the complete use
of all his mental faculties, which death had suspended. Straightway
he rose up from his bier and became the Lord of the Dead and King of
the Under World. Osiris became the type and symbol of resurrection
among the Egyptians of all periods, because he was a god who had been
originally a mortal and had risen from the dead.

But before Osiris became King of the Under World he suffered further
persecution from Set. Piecing together a number of disconnected hints
and brief statements in the texts, it seems pretty clear either
that Osiris appealed to the "Great Gods" to take notice that Set
had murdered him, or that Set brought a series of charges against
Osiris. At all events the "Great Gods" determined to investigate the
matter. The Greater and the Lesser Companies of the Gods assembled in
the celestial Anu, or Heliopolis, and ordered Osiris to stand up and
defend himself against the charges brought against him by Set. Isis and
Nephthys brought him before the gods, and Horus, "the avenger of his
father," came to watch the case on behalf of his father, Osiris. Thoth
appeared in the Hall of Judgment in his official capacity as "scribe,"
i.e., secretary to the gods, and the hearing of the evidence began. Set
seems to have pleaded his own cause, and to have repeated the charges
which he had made against Osiris. The defence of Osiris was undertaken
by Thoth, who proved to the gods that the charges brought against
Osiris by Set were unfounded, that the statements of Set were lies,
and that therefore Set was a liar. The gods accepted Thoth's proof
of the innocence of Osiris and the guilt of Set, and ordered that
Osiris was to be considered a Great God and to have rule over the
Kingdom of the Under World, and that Set was to be punished. Thoth
convinced them that Osiris was "MAA KHERU," "true of word," i.e.,
that he had spoken the truth when he gave his evidence, and in texts
of all periods Thoth is frequently described as S-MAA KHERU ASAR,
i.e., he who proved Osiris to be "true of word." As for Set the Liar,
he was seized by the ministers of the Great Gods, who threw him down
on his hands and face and made Osiris mount upon his back as a mark of
his victory and superiority. After this Set was bound with cords like a
beast for sacrifice, and in the presence of Thoth was hacked in pieces.


Osiris as Judge of the Dead and King of the Under World.

When Set was destroyed Osiris departed from this world to the kingdom
which the gods had given him and began to reign over the dead. He was
absolute king of this realm, just as Ra the Sun-god was absolute king
of the sky. This region of the dead, or Dead-land, is called "Tat,"
or "Tuat," but where the Egyptians thought it was situated is not
quite clear. The original home of the cult of Osiris was in the Delta,
in a city which in historic times was called Tetu by the Egyptians and
Busiris by the Greeks, and it is reasonable to assume that the Tuat,
over which Osiris ruled, was situated near this place. Wherever it
was it was not underground, and it was not originally in the sky
or even on its confines; but it was located on the borders of the
visible world, in the Outer Darkness. The Tuat was not a place of
happiness, judging from the description of it in the PER-T EM HRU,
or Book of the Dead. When Ani the scribe arrived there he said,
"What is this to which I have come? There is neither water nor air
here, its depth is unfathomable, it is as dark as the darkest night,
and men wander about here helplessly. A man cannot live here and be
satisfied, and he cannot gratify the cravings of affection" (Chapter
CLXXV). In the Tuat there was neither tree nor plant, for it was the
"land where nothing grew"; and in primitive times it was a region
of destruction and death, a place where the dead rotted and decayed,
a place of abomination, and horror and terror, and annihilation. But
in very early times, certainly in the Neolithic Period, the Egyptians
believed in some kind of a future life, and they dimly conceived that
the attainment of that life might possibly depend upon the manner of
life which those who hoped to enjoy it led here. The Egyptians "hated
death and loved life," and when the belief gained ground among them
that Osiris, the God of the Dead, had himself risen from the dead,
and had been acquitted by the gods of heaven after a searching trial,
and had the power to "make men and women to be born again," and
"to renew life" because of his truth and righteousness, they came
to regard him as the Judge as well as the God of the Dead. As time
went on, and moral and religious ideas developed among the Egyptians,
it became certain to them that only those who had satisfied Osiris
as to their truth-speaking and honest dealing upon earth could hope
for admission into his kingdom.

When the power of Osiris became predominant in the Under World, and
his fame as a just and righteous judge became well established among
the natives of Lower and Upper Egypt, it was universally believed
that after death all men would appear before him in his dread Hall of
Judgment to receive their reward or their sentence of doom. The writers
of the Pyramid Texts, more than fifty-five centuries ago, dreamed of
a time when heaven and earth and men did not exist, when the gods had
not yet been born, when death had not been created, and when anger,
speech (?), cursing and rebellion were unknown. [5] But that time was
very remote, and long before the great fight took place between Horus
and Set, when the former lost his eye and the latter was wounded in
a vital part of his body. Meanwhile death had come into the world,
and since the religion of Osiris gave man a hope of escape from death,
and the promise of everlasting life of the peculiar kind that appealed
to the great mass of the Egyptian people, the spread of the cult of
Osiris and its ultimate triumph over all forms of religion in Egypt
were assured. Under the early dynasties the priesthood of Anu (the On
of the Bible) strove to make their Sun-god Ra pre-eminent in Egypt,
but the cult of this god never appealed to the people as a whole. It
was embraced by the Pharaohs, and their high officials, and some of
the nobles, and the official priesthood, but the reward which its
doctrine offered was not popular with the materialistic Egyptians. A
life passed in the Boat of Ra with the gods, being arrayed in light
and fed upon light, made no appeal to the ordinary folk since Osiris
offered them as a reward a life in the Field of Reeds, and the Field of
Offerings of Food, and the Field of the Grasshoppers, and everlasting
existence in a transmuted and beautified body among the resurrected
bodies of father and mother, wife and children, kinsfolk and friends.

But, as according to the cult of Ra, the wicked, the rebels, and the
blasphemers of the Sun-god suffered swift and final punishment, so
also all those who had sinned against the stern moral Law of Osiris,
and who had failed to satisfy its demands, paid the penalty without
delay. The Judgment of Ra was held at sunrise, and the wicked were
thrown into deep pits filled with fire, and their bodies, souls,
shadows and hearts were consumed forthwith. The Judgment of Osiris
took place near Abydos, probably at midnight, and a decree of swift
annihilation was passed by him on the damned. Their heads were cut
off by the headsman of Osiris, who was called Shesmu, and their
bodies dismembered and destroyed in pits of fire. There was no
eternal punishment for men, for the wicked were annihilated quickly
and completely; but inasmuch as Osiris sat in judgment and doomed the
wicked to destruction daily, the infliction of punishment never ceased.


The Judgment of Osiris.

The oldest religious texts suggest that the Egyptians always associated
the Last Judgment with the weighing of the heart in a pair of scales,
and in the illustrated papyri of the Book of the Dead great prominence
is always given to the vignettes in which this weighing is being
carried out. The heart, ab, was taken as the symbol of all the
emotions, desires, and passions, both good and evil, and out of it
proceeded the issues of life. It was intimately connected with the ka,
i.e., the double or personality of a man, and several short spells
in the Book PER-T EM HRU were composed to ensure its preservation
(Chapters XXVI-XXXB*). The great Chapter of the Judgment of Osiris,
the CXXVth, is divided into three parts, which are sometimes (as
in the Papyrus of Ani) prefaced by a Hymn to Osiris. The first part
contains the following, which was said by the deceased when he entered
the Hall of Maati, in which Osiris sat in judgment:

"Homage to thee, O Great God, Lord of Maati, [6] I have come to thee,
O my Lord, that I may behold thy beneficence. I know thee, and I know
thy name, and the names of the Forty-Two who live with thee in the
Hall of Maati, who keep ward over sinners, and feed upon their blood
on the day of estimating characters before Un-Nefer [7] ... Behold,
I have come to thee, and I have brought maat (i.e., truth, integrity)
to thee. I have destroyed sin for thee. I have not sinned against
men. I have not oppressed [my] kinsfolk. I have done no wrong in the
place of truth. I have not known worthless folk. I have not wrought
evil. I have not defrauded the oppressed one of his goods. I have
not done the things that the gods abominate. I have not vilified a
servant to his master. I have not caused pain. I have not let any man
hunger. I have made no one to weep. I have not committed murder. I have
not commanded any to commit murder for me. I have inflicted pain on
no man. I have not defrauded the temples of their oblations. I have
not purloined the cakes of the gods. I have not stolen the offerings
to the spirits (i.e., the dead). I have not committed fornication. I
have not polluted myself in the holy places of the god of my city. I
have not diminished from the bushel. I did not take from or add to the
acre-measure. I did not encroach on the fields [of others]. I have not
added to the weights of the scales. I have not misread the pointer of
the scales. I have not taken milk from the mouths of children. I have
not driven cattle from their pastures. I have not snared the birds
of the gods. I have not caught fish with fish of their kind. I have
not stopped water [when it should flow]. I have not cut the dam of
a canal. I have not extinguished a fire when it should burn. I have
not altered the times of the chosen meat offerings. I have not turned
away the cattle [intended for] offerings. I have not repulsed the
god at his appearances. I am pure. I am pure. I am pure. I am pure...."

In the second part of Chapter CXXV Osiris is seen seated at one
end of the Hall of Maati accompanied by the two goddesses of Law
and Truth, and the Forty-Two gods who are there to assist him. Each
of the Forty-Two gods represents one of the nomes of Egypt and has a
symbolic name. When the deceased had repeated the magical names of the
doors of the Hall, he entered it and saw these gods arranged in two
rows, twenty-one on each side of the Hall. At the end, near Osiris,
were the Great Scales, under the charge of Anpu (Anubis), and the
monster Amemit, the Eater of the Dead, i.e., of the hearts of the
wicked who were condemned in the Judgment of Osiris. The deceased
advanced along the Hall and, addressing each of the Forty-Two gods
by his name, declared that he had not committed a certain sin, thus:

"O Usekh-nemmit, comer forth from Anu, I have not committed sin.

"O Fenti, comer forth from Khemenu, I have not robbed.

"O Neha-hau, comer forth from Re-stau, I have not killed men.

"O Neba, comer forth in retreating, I have not plundered the property
of God.

"O Set-qesu, comer forth from Hensu, I have not lied.

"O Uammti, comer forth from Khebt, I have not defiled any man's wife.

"O Maa-anuf, comer forth from Per-Menu, I have not defiled myself.

"O Tem-Sep, comer forth from Tetu, I have not cursed the king.

"O Nefer-Tem, comer forth from Het-ka-Ptah, I have not acted
deceitfully; I have not committed wickedness.

"O Nekhen, comer forth from Heqat, I have not turned a deaf ear to
the words of the Law (or Truth)."

The names of most of the Forty-Two gods are not ancient, but
were invented by the priests probably about the same time as the
names in the Book of Him that is in the Tuat and the Book of Gates,
i.e., between the XIIth and the XVIIIth dynasties. Their artificial
character is shown by their meanings. Thus Usekh-nemmit means "He
of the long strides"; Fenti means "He of the Nose"; Neha-hau means
"Stinking-members"; Set-qesu means "Breaker of bones," etc. The
early Egyptologists called the second part of the CXXVth Chapter the
"Negative Confession," and it is generally known by this somewhat
inexact title to this day.

In the third part of the CXXVth Chapter comes the address which the
deceased made to the gods after he had declared his innocence of the
sins enumerated before the Forty-Two gods. He says: "Homage to you,
O ye gods who dwell in your Hall of Maati. I know you and I know your
names. Let me not fall under your slaughtering knives. Bring not my
wickedness to the notice of the god whose followers ye are. Let not
the affair [of my judgment] come under your jurisdiction. Speak ye the
Law (or truth) concerning me before Neb-er-tcher, [8] for I performed
the Law (or, truth) in Ta-mera (i.e., Egypt). I have not blasphemed
the God. No affair of mine came under the notice of the king in his
day. Homage to you, O ye who are in your Hall of Maati, who have no
lies in your bodies, who live on truth, who eat truth before Horus,
the dweller in his disk, deliver ye me from Babai [9] who liveth upon
the entrails of the mighty ones on the day of the Great Reckoning (APT
AAT). Behold me! I have come to you without sin, without deceit (?),
without evil, without false testimony (?) I have not done an [evil]
thing. I live upon truth and I feed upon truth. I have performed
the behests of men, and the things that satisfy the gods. [10] I
have propitiated the God [by doing] His will. I have given bread to
the hungry, water to the thirsty, raiment to the naked, and a boat
to him that needed one. I have made holy offerings to the gods, and
sepulchral offerings to the beautified dead. Be ye then my saviours,
be ye my protectors, and make no accusation against me before the
Great God. I am pure of mouth, and clean of hands; therefore it hath
been said by those who saw me, 'Come in peace, come in peace.'"

The deceased then addresses Osiris, and says, "Hail, thou who art
exalted upon thy standard, thou Lord of the Atefu Crown, whose name
is 'Lord of Winds,' save me from thy Messengers (or Assessors) with
uncovered faces, who bring charges of evil and make shortcomings plain,
because I have performed the Law (or Truth) for the Lord of the Law
(or Truth). I have purified myself with washings in water, my back
hath been cleansed with salt, and my inner parts are in the Pool of
Truth. There is not a member of mine that lacketh truth." From the
lines that follow the above in the Papyrus of Nu it seems as though
the judgment of the deceased by the Forty-Two gods was preliminary
to the final judgment of Osiris. At all events, after questioning
him about the performance of certain ceremonies, they invited him to
enter the Hall of Maati, but when he was about to do so the porter,
and the door-bolts, and the various parts of the door and its frame,
and the floor, refused to permit him to enter until he had repeated
their magical names. When he had pronounced these correctly the
porter took him in and presented him to Maau (?)-Taui, who was Thoth
himself. When asked by him why he had come the deceased answered,
"I have come that report may be made of me." Then Thoth said, "What
is thy condition?" And the deceased replied, "I am purified from evil
things, I am free from the wickedness of those who lived in my days; I
am not one of them." On this Thoth said, "Thou shalt be reported. [Tell
me:] Who is he whose roof is fire, whose walls are living serpents,
and whose floor is a stream of water? Who is he?" The deceased having
replied "Osiris," Thoth then led him forward to the god Osiris, who
received him, and promised that subsistence should be provided for
him from the Eye of Ra.

In great papyri of the Book of the Dead such as those of Nebseni,
Nu, Ani, Hunefer, etc., the Last Judgment, or the "Great Reckoning,"
is made the most prominent scene in the whole work, and the vignette
in which it is depicted is several feet long. The most complete form
of it is given in the Papyrus of Ani, and may be thus described:
At one end of the Hall of Maati Osiris is seated on a throne within
a shrine made in the form of a funerary coffer; behind him stand
Isis and Nephthys. Along one side of the Hall are seated the gods
Harmachis, Tem, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Isis and Nephthys, Horus,
Hathor, Hu and Saa, who are to serve as the divine jury; these formed
the "Great Company of the Gods" of Anu (Heliopolis). By these stands
the Great Balance, and on its pillar sits the dog-headed ape Astes,
or Astenu, the associate of Thoth. The pointer of the Balance is in
the charge of Anpu. Behind Anpu are Thoth the scribe of the gods,
and the monster Amemit, with the head of a crocodile, the forepaws
and shoulders of a lion, and the hindquarters of a hippopotamus; the
duty of the last-named was to eat up the hearts that were light in
the balance. On the other side of the Balance Ani, accompanied by his
wife, is seen standing with head bent low in adoration, and between him
and the Balance stand the two goddesses who nurse and rear children,
Meskhenet and Rennet, Ani's soul, in the form of a man-headed hawk, a
portion of his body, and his luck Shai. Since the heart was considered
to be the seat of all will, emotion, feeling, reason and intelligence,
Ani's heart, is seen in one pan of the Balance, and in the other is
the feather, symbolic of truth and righteousness. Whilst his heart
was in the Balance Ani, repeating the words of Chapter XXXB* of the
Book of the Dead, addressed it, saying, "My heart of my mother! My
heart of my mother! My heart of my being! Make no stand against me
when testifying, thrust me not back before the Tchatchaut (i.e., the
overseers of Osiris), and make no failure in respect of me before
the Master of the Balance. Thou art my Ka, the dweller in my body,
uniting (?) and strengthening my members. Thou shalt come forth to
the happiness to which we advance. Make not my name to stink with
the officers [of Osiris] who made men, utter no lie against me before
the Great God, the Lord of Amentt."

Then Thoth, the Judge of Truth, of the Great Company of the Gods
who are in the presence of Osiris, saith to the gods, "Hearken ye to
this word: In very truth the heart of Osiris hath been weighed, and
his soul hath borne testimony concerning him; according to the Great
Balance his case is truth (i.e., just). No wickedness hath been found
in him. He did not filch offerings from the temples. He did not act
crookedly, and he did not vilify folk when he was on earth."

And the Great Company of the Gods say to Thoth, who dwelleth in
Khemenu (Hermopolis): "This that cometh forth from thy mouth of
truth is confirmed (?) The Osiris, the scribe Ani, true of voice,
hath testified. He hath not sinned and [his name] doth not stink
before us; Amemit (i.e., the Eater of the Dead) shall not have the
mastery over him. Let there be given unto him offerings of food and
an appearance before Osiris, and an abiding homestead in the Field
of Offerings as unto the Followers of Horus."

Thus the gods have declared that Ani is "true of voice," as was Osiris,
and they have called Ani "Osiris," because in his purity of word and
deed he resembled that god. In all the copies of the Book of the Dead
the deceased is always called "Osiris," and as it was always assumed
that those for whom they were written would be found innocent when
weighed in the Great Balance, the words "true of voice," which were
equivalent in meaning to "innocent and acquitted," were always written
after their names. It may be noted in passing that when Ani's heart
was weighed against Truth, the beam of the Great Balance remained
perfectly horizontal. This suggests that the gods did not expect the
heart of the deceased to "kick the beam," but were quite satisfied
if it exactly counterbalanced Truth. They demanded the fulfilment of
the Law and nothing more, and were content to bestow immortality upon
the man on whom Thoth's verdict was "he hath done no evil."

In accordance with the command of the gods Ani passes from the Great
Balance to the end of the Hall of Maati where Osiris is seated, and as
he approaches the god Horus, the son of Isis, takes him by the hand and
leads him forward, and standing before his father Osiris says, "I have
come to thee, Un-Nefer, [11] I have brought to thee the Osiris Ani. His
heart is righteous [and] hath come forth from the Balance. It hath no
sin before any god or any goddess. Thoth hath set down his judgment in
writing, and the Company of the Gods have declared on his behalf that
[his] evidence is very true. Let there be given unto him of the bread
and beer which appear before Osiris. Let him be like the Followers of
Horus for ever!" Next we see Ani kneeling in adoration before Osiris,
and he says, "Behold, I am in thy presence, O Lord of Amentt. There
is no sin in my body. I have not uttered a lie knowingly. [I have] no
duplicity (?) Grant that I may be like the favoured (or rewarded) ones
who are in thy train." Under favour of Osiris Ani then became a sahu,
or "spirit-body," and in this form passed into the Kingdom of Osiris.


The Kingdom of Osiris.

According to the Book of Gates and the other "Guides" to the Egyptian
Under World, the Kingdom of Osiris formed the Sixth Division of the
Tuat; in very early times it was situated in the Western Delta,
but after the XIIth dynasty theologians placed it near Abydos in
Upper Egypt, and before the close of the Dynastic Period the Tuat of
Osiris had absorbed the Under World of every nome of Egypt. When the
soul in its beautified or spirit body arrived there, the ministers
of Osiris took it to the homestead or place of abode which had been
allotted to it by the command of Osiris, and there it began its new
existence. The large vignette to the CXth Chapter shows us exactly
what manner of place the abode of the blessed was. The country was
flat and the fields were intersected by canals of running water in
which there were "no fish and no worms" (i.e., water snakes). In one
part of it were several small islands, and on one of them Osiris was
supposed to dwell with his saints. It was called the "Island of Truth,"
and the ferry-man of Osiris would not convey to it any soul that
had not been declared "true of word" by Thoth, Osiris and the Great
Gods at the "Great Reckoning." The portion of the Kingdom of Osiris
depicted in the large Books of the Dead represents in many respects a
typical Egyptian farm, and we see the deceased engaged in ploughing
and reaping and driving the oxen that are treading out the corn. He
was introduced into the Sekhet Heteput (a section of the Sekhet Aaru,
i.e., "Field of Reeds," or the "Elysian Fields") by Thoth, and there
he found the souls of his ancestors, who were joined to the Company
of the Gods. One corner of this region was specially set apart for the
dwelling place of the aakhu, i.e., beautified souls, or spirit-souls,
who were said to be seven cubits in height, and to reap wheat or
barley which grew to a height of three cubits. Near this spot were
moored two boats that were always ready for the use of the denizens
of that region; they appear to have been "spirit boats," i.e., boats
which moved of themselves and carried the beautified wheresoever they
wanted to go without any trouble or fatigue on their part.

How the beautified passed their time in the Kingdom of Osiris
may be seen from the pictures cut on the alabaster sarcophagus of
Seti I, now preserved in Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn
Fields. Here we see them occupied in producing the celestial food on
which they and the god lived. Some are tending the wheat plants as
they grow, and others are reaping the ripe grain. In the texts that
accompany these scenes the ears of wheat are said to be the "members
of Osiris," and the wheat plant is called the maat plant. Osiris was
the Wheat-god and also the personification of Maat (i.e., Truth), and
the beautified lived upon the body of their god and ate him daily,
and the substance of him was the "Bread of Everlastingness," which
is mentioned in the Pyramid Texts. The beautified are described as
"Those who have offered up incense to the gods, and whose kau (i.e.,
doubles, or persons) have been washed clean. They have been reckoned
up and they are maat (i.e., Truth) in the presence of the Great God
who destroyeth sin." Osiris says to them, "Ye are truth of truth;
rest in peace." And of them he says, "They were doers of truth whilst
they were upon earth, they did battle for their god, and they shall
be called to the enjoyment of the Land of the House of Life with
Truth. Their truth shall be reckoned to them in the presence of the
Great God who destroyeth sin." Then addressing them again Osiris says,
"Ye are beings of Truth, O ye Truths. Take ye your rest because of
what ye have done, becoming even as those who are in my following,
and who direct the House of Him whose Soul is holy. Ye shall live
there even as they live, and ye shall have dominion over the cool
waters of your land. I command that ye have your being to the limit [of
that land] with Truth and without sin." In these passages we have the
two conceptions of Osiris well illustrated. As the Wheat-god he would
satisfy those who wished for a purely material, agricultural heaven,
where hunger would be unknown and where the blessed would be able to
satisfy every physical desire and want daily; and as the God of Truth,
of whom the spiritually minded hoped to become the counterpart, he
would be their hope, and consolation, and the image of the Eternal God.


A Short Description of the "Doors" or Chapters of the Book of the Dead.

All the great papyri of the Book of the Dead begin with a HYMN TO RA,
who from the period of the IVth dynasty was the "King of the Gods"
of Egypt. His cult was finally "established" under the Vth dynasty
when the king of Egypt began to call himself in official documents
and monuments "Son of the Sun," Sa Ra. This Hymn is supposed to be
sung by the deceased, who says:--

"Homage to thee, O Ra, at thy beauteous rising. Thou risest, thou
risest; thou shinest, thou shinest at the dawn. Thou art King of
the Gods, and the Maati goddesses embrace thee. The Company of the
Gods praise thee at sunrise and at sunset. Thou sailest over the
heights of heaven and thy heart is glad. Thy Morning Boat meeteth
thy Evening Boat with fair winds. Thy father is the Sky-god and
thy mother is the Sky-goddess, and thou art Horus of the Eastern
and Western skies. ... O thou Only One, O thou Perfect One, O thou
who art eternal, who art never weak, whom no mighty one can abase;
none hath dominion over the things which appertain to thee. Homage to
thee in thy characters of Horus, Tem, and Khepera, thou Great Hawk,
who makest man to rejoice by thy beautiful face. When thou risest men
and women live. Thou renewest thy youth, and dost set thyself in the
place where thou wast yesterday. O Divine Youth, who art self-created,
I cannot comprehend thee. Thou art the lord of heaven and earth,
and didst create beings celestial and beings terrestrial. Thou art
the God One, who camest into being in the beginning of time. Thou
didst create the earth, and man, thou didst make the sky and the
celestial river Hep; thou didst make the waters and didst give life
unto all that therein is. Thou hast knit together the mountains, thou
hast made mankind and the beasts of the field to come into being, and
hast made the heavens and the earth. The fiend Nak is overthrown, his
arms are cut off. O thou Divine Youth, thou heir of everlastingness,
self-begotten and self-born, One, Might, of myriad forms and aspects,
Prince of An (i.e., On), Lord of Eternity, Everlasting Ruler, the
Company of the Gods rejoice in thee. As thou risest thou growest
greater: thy rays are upon all faces. Thou art unknowable, and no
tongue can describe thy similitude; thou existest alone. Millions
of years have passed over the world, I cannot tell the number of
those through which thou hast passed. Thou journeyest through spaces
[requiring] millions of years [to pass over] in one little moment of
time, and then thou settest and dost make an end of the hours."

The subject matter of the above extract is treated at greater length
in Chapter XV, which contains a long Hymn to Ra at his rising, or
Amen-Ra, or Ra united to other solar gods, e.g., Horus and Khepera,
and a short Hymn to Ra at his setting. In the latter the welcome
which Ra receives from the dwellers in Amentt (i.e., the Hidden Place,
like the Greek "Hades") is emphasized thus:--

"All the beautified dead (Aakhu) in the Tuat receive him in the horizon
of Amentt. They shout praises of him in his form of Tem (i.e., the
setting sun). Thou didst rise and put on strength, and thou settest,
a living being, and thy glories are in Amentt. The gods of Amentt
rejoice in thy beauties (or beneficence). The hidden ones worship
thee, the aged ones bring thee offerings and protect thee. The Souls
of Amentt cry out, and when they meet thy Majesty (Life, Strength,
Health be to thee!) they shout 'Hail! Hail!' The lords of the mansions
of the Tuat stretch out their hands to thee from their abodes,
and they cry to thee, and they follow in thy bright train, and the
hearts of the lords of the Tuat rejoice when thou sendest thy light
into Amentt. Their eyes follow thee, they press forward to see thee,
and their hearts rejoice at the sight of thy face. Thou hearkenest to
the petitions of those who are in their tombs, thou dispellest their
helplessness and drivest away evil from them. Thou givest breath to
their nostrils. Thou art greatly feared, thy form is majestic, and
very greatly art thou beloved by those who dwell in the Other World."

The Introductory HYMN TO RA is followed by a HYMN TO OSIRIS, in which
the deceased says:--

"Glory be to thee, O Osiris Un-Nefer, thou great god in Abtu
(Abydos), King of Eternity, Lord of Everlastingness, God whose
existence is millions of years, eldest son of Nut, begotten by Geb,
the Ancestor-Chief, Lord of the Crowns of the South and the North,
Lord of the High White Crown. Thou art the Governor of gods and of
men and hast received the sceptre, the whip, and the rank of thy
Divine Fathers. Let thy heart in Amentt be content, for thy son
Horus is seated upon thy throne. Thou art Lord of Tetu (Busiris)
and Governor of Abtu (Abydos). Thou makest fertile the Two Lands
(i.e., all Egypt) by [thy] true word before the Lord to the Uttermost
Limit.... Thy power is widespread, and great is the terror of thy name
'Osiris.' Thou endurest for all eternity in thy name of 'Un-Nefer'
(i.e., Beneficent Being). Homage to thee, King of kings, Lord of
lords, Governor of governors, who from the womb of the Sky-goddess
hast ruled the World and the Under World. Thy limbs are as silver-gold,
thy hand is blue like lapis-lazuli, and the space on either side
of thee is of the colour of turquoise (or emerald). Thou god An
of millions of years, thy body is all-pervading, O dweller in the
Land of Holiness, thy face is beautiful ... The gods come before
thee bowing low. They hold thee in fear. They withdraw and retreat
when they see the awfulness of Ra upon thee; the [thought] of the
conquests of thy Majesty is in their hearts. Life is with thee.

"Let me follow thy Majesty as when I was on earth, let my soul be
summoned, and let it be found near the Lords of Truth. I have come
to the City of God, the region that is eternally old, with my soul
(ba), double (ka) and spirit-soul (aakhu), to be a dweller in this
land. Its God is the Lord of Truth ... he giveth old age to him that
worketh Truth, and honour to his followers, and at the last abundant
equipment for the tomb, and burial in the Land of Holiness. I have
come unto thee, my hands hold Truth, and there is no falsehood in
my heart ... Thou hast set Truth before thee: I know on what thou
livest. I have committed no sin in this land, and I have defrauded
no man of his possessions." (Chapter CLXXXIII.)

Chapter I was recited by the priest who accompanied the mummy to
the tomb and performed the burial ceremonies there. In it the priest
(kher heb) assumed the character of Thoth and promised the deceased to
do for him all that he had done for Osiris in days of old. Chapter IB
gave the sahu, or "spirit-body," power to enter the Tuat immediately
after the burial of the material body, and delivered it from the
Nine Worms that lived on the dead. Chapters II-IV are short spells
written to give the deceased power to revisit the earth, to join the
gods, and to travel about the sky. Chapters V and VI provided for the
performance of agricultural labours in the Other World. The text of
Chapter VI was cut on figures made of stone, wood, etc. (ushabtiu),
which were placed in the tomb, and when the deceased recited it these
figures became alive and did everything he wished. The shabti figure,
took the place of the human funerary sacrifice which was common all
over Egypt before the general adoption of the cult of Osiris under
the XIIth dynasty. About 700 ushabtiu figures were found in the tomb
of Seti I, and many of them are in the British Museum. Chapter VII
is a spell to destroy the Great Serpent Aapep, the Arch-enemy of
Horus the Elder, Ra, Osiris, Horus son of Isis, and of every follower
of Osiris. Chapters VIII and IX secured a passage for the deceased
through the Tuat, and Chapters X and XI gave him power over the
enemies he met there. Chapters XII and XIII gave him great freedom of
movement in the Kingdom of Osiris. Chapter XIV is a prayer in which
Osiris is entreated to put away any feeling of dissatisfaction that
he may have for the deceased, who says, "Wash away my sins, Lord of
Truth; destroy my transgressions, wickedness and iniquity, O God of
Truth. May this god be at peace with me. Destroy the things that are
obstacles between us. Give me peace, and remove all dissatisfaction
from thy heart in respect of me."

Chapter XV has several forms, and each of them contains Hymns to Ra,
which were sung daily in the morning and evening; specimen paragraphs
are given above (pp. 33, 34). Chapter XVI is only a vignette that
illustrates Chapter XV, Chapter XVII is a very important chapter,
for it contains statements of divine doctrine as understood by the
priests of Heliopolis. The opening words are, "I am Tem in rising. I
am the Only One. I came into being in Nu (the Sky). I am Ra, who rose
in primeval time, ruler of what he had made." Following this comes the
question, "Who is this?" and the answer is, "It is Ra who rose in the
city of Hensu, in primeval time, crowned as king. He existed on the
height of the Dweller in Khemenu (i.e., Thoth of Hermopolis) before
the pillars that support the sky were made." Chapter XVIII contains
the Addresses to Thoth, who is entreated to make the deceased to be
declared innocent before the gods of Heliopolis, Busiris, Latopolis,
Mendes, Abydos, etc. These addresses formed a very powerful spell which
was used by Horus, and when he recited it four times all his enemies
were overthrown and cut to pieces. Chapters XIX and XX are variant
forms of Chapter XVIII. Chapters XXI-XXIII secured the help of Thoth
in "opening the mouth" of the deceased, whereby he obtained the power
to breathe and think and drink and eat. Thoth recited spells over the
gods whilst Ptah untied the bandages and Shu forced open their mouths
with an iron (?) knife. Chapter XXIV gave to the deceased a knowledge
of the "words of power" (hekau) which were used by the great god
Tem-Khepera, and Chapter XXV restored to him his memory. Five chapters,
XXVI-XXX, contain prayers and spells whereby the deceased obtained
power over his heart and gained absolute possession of it. The most
popular prayer is that of Chapter XXXB (see above, p. 4) which,
according to its rubric, was "found," i.e., edited, by Herutataf,
the son of the great Cheops, about 3600 B.C. This prayer was still
in use in the early years of the Christian Era. In the Papyrus of
Nu it is associated with Chapter LXIV, and the earliest form of it
was probably in existence under the Ist dynasty.

Chapters XXXI-XLII were written to deliver the deceased from the
Great Crocodile Sui, and the Serpents Rerek and Seksek, and the Lynx
with its deadly claws, and the Beetle Apshait, and the terrible Merti
snake-goddesses, and a group of three particularly venomous serpents,
and Aapep a personification of Set the god of evil, and the Eater
of the Ass, and a series of beings who lived by slaughtering the
souls of the dead. In Chapter XLII every member of the deceased is
put under the protection of, or identified with, a god or goddess,
e.g., the hair with Nu, the face with Aten (i.e., the solar disk),
the eyes with Hathor, and the deceased exclaims triumphantly, "There
is no member of my body which is not the member of a god." Chapter
XLIII. A spell to prevent the decapitation of the deceased, who
assumes in it the character of Osiris the Lord of Eternity. Chapter
XLIV. An ancient and mighty spell, the recital of which prevented the
deceased from dying a second time. Chapters XLV and XLVI preserved
the mummy of the deceased from decay, and Chapter XLVII prevented
the removal of his seat or throne. Chapter L enabled the deceased
to avoid the block of execution of the god Shesmu. Chapters LI-LIII
provided the deceased with pure food and clean water from the table
of the gods; he lived upon what they lived upon, and so became one
with them. Chapters LIV-LXII gave the deceased power to obtain cool
water from the Celestial Nile and the springs of waters of heaven, and
being identified with Shu, the god of light and air, he was enabled
to pass over all the earth at will. His life was that of the Egg of
the "Great Cackler," and the goddess Sesheta built a house for him
in the Celestial Anu, or Heliopolis.

The recital of Chapter LXIII enabled the deceased to avoid drinking
boiling water in the Tuat. The water in some of its pools was cool
and refreshing to those who were speakers of the truth, but it turned
into boiling water and scalded the wicked when they tried to drink
of it. Chapter LXIV is an epitome of the whole Book of the Dead,
and it formed a "great and divine protection" for the deceased. The
text is of a mystical character and suggests that the deceased could,
through its recital, either absorb the gods into his being, or become
himself absorbed by them. Its rubric orders abstention from meats,
fish and women on the part of those who were to recite it. Chapter LXV
gave the deceased victory over all his enemies, and Chapters LXVI and
LXVII gave him access to the Boat of Ra. Chapters LXVIII-LXX procured
him complete freedom of motion in heaven and on earth. Chapter LXXI
is a series of addresses to the Seven Spirits who punished the wicked
in the Kingdom of Osiris, and Chapter LXXII aided the deceased to
be reborn in the Mesqet Chamber. The Mesqet was originally a bull's
skin in which the deceased was wrapped. Chapter LXXIII is the same as
Chapter IX. Chapters LXXIV and LXXV secured a passage for the deceased
in the Henu Boat of Seker the Death-god, and Chapter LXXVI brought
to his help the praying mantis which guided him through the "bush"
to the House of Osiris. By the recital of Chapters LXXVII-LXXXVIII,
i.e., the "Chapters of Transformations," the deceased was enabled
to assume at will the forms of (1) the Golden Hawk, (2) the Divine
Hawk, (3) the Great Self-created God, (4) the Light-god or the Robe
of Nu, (5) the Pure Lily, (6) the Son of Ptah, (7) the Benu Bird,
(8) the Heron, (9) the Soul of Ra, (10) the Swallow, (11) the Sata
or Earth-serpent, (12) the Crocodile. Chapter LXXXIX brought the soul
(ba) of the deceased to his body in the Tuat, and Chapter XC preserved
him from mutilation and attacks of the god who "cut off heads and slit
foreheads." Chapters XCI and XCII prevented the soul of the deceased
from being shut in the tomb. Chapter XCIII is a spell very difficult
to understand. Chapters XCIV and XCV provided the deceased with the
books of Thoth and the power of this god, and enabled him to take his
place as the scribe of Osiris. Chapters XCVI and XCVII also placed him
under the protection of Thoth. The recital of Chapter XCVIII provided
the deceased with a boat in which to sail over the northern heavens,
and a ladder by which to ascend to heaven. Chapters XCIX-CIII gave him
the use of the magical boat, the mystic name of each part of which
he was obliged to know, and helped him to enter the Boat of Ra and
to be with Hathor. The Bebait, or mantis, led him to the great gods
(Chapter CIV), and the Uatch amulet from the neck of Ra provided
his double (ka) and his heart-soul (ba) with offerings (Chapters CV,
CVI). Chapters CVII-CIX made him favourably known to the spirits of
the East and West, and the gods of the Mountain of Sunrise. In this
region lived the terrible Serpent-god Ami-hem-f; he was 30 cubits
(50 feet) long. In the East the deceased saw the Morning Star, and
the Two Sycamores, from between which the Sun-god appeared daily,
and found the entrance to the Sekhet Aaru or Elysian Fields. Chapter
CX and its vignette of the Elysian Fields have already been described
(see p. 31). Chapters CXI and CXII describe how Horus lost the sight
of his eye temporarily through looking at Set under the form of a
black pig, and Chapter CXIII refers to the legend of the drowning of
Horus and the recovery of his body by Sebek the Crocodile-god. Chapter
CXIV enabled the deceased to absorb the wisdom of Thoth and his Eight
gods. Chapters CXV-CXXII made him lord of the Tuats of Memphis and
Heliopolis, and supplied him with food, and Chapter CXXIII enabled
him to identify himself with Thoth. Chapters CXXIV and CXXV, which
treat of the Judgment, have already been described. Chapter CXXVI
contains a prayer to the Four Holy Apes, Chapter CXXVII a hymn to
the gods of the "Circles" in the Tuat, and Chapter CXXVIII a hymn to
Osiris. Chapters CXXX and CXXXI secured for the deceased the use of
the Boats of Sunrise and Sunset, and Chapter CXXXII enabled him to
return to earth and visit the house he had lived in. Chapters CXXXIII
(or CXXXIX)-CXXXVI resemble in contents Chapter CXXXI. Chapter
CXXXVII describes a series of magical ceremonies that were to be
performed for the deceased daily in order to make him to become a
"living soul for ever." The formulae are said to have been composed
under the IVth dynasty. Chapter CXXXVIII refers to the ceremony of
reconstituting Osiris, and Chapters CXL-CXLII deal with the setting
up of twelve altars, and the making of offerings to all the gods and
to the various forms of Osiris. Chapter CXLIII consists of a series
of vignettes, in three of which solar boats are represented.

Chapters CXLIV and CXLVII deal with the Seven Great Halls (Arit) of
the Kingdom of Osiris. The gate of each Hall was guarded by a porter,
a watchman, and a messenger; the first kept the door, the second looked
out for the arrival of visitors, and the third took their names to
Osiris. No one could enter a Hall without repeating the name of it,
of the porter, of the watchman, and of the messenger. According to a
late tradition the Gates of the Kingdom of Osiris were twenty-one in
number (Chapters CXLV and CXLVI), and each had a magical name, and
each was guarded by one or two gods, whose names had to be repeated
by the deceased before he could pass. Chapter CXLVIII supplied the
deceased with the names of the Seven Cows and their Bull on which the
"gods" were supposed to feed. Chapters CXLIX and CL give the names
of the Fourteen Aats, or districts, of the Kingdom of Osiris. Chapter
*CLI-A and *CLI-B give a picture of the mummy chamber and the magical
texts that were necessary for the protection of both the chamber and
the mummy in it. Chapter CLII provided a house for the deceased in
the Celestial Anu, and Chapter *CLIII-A and *CLIII-B enabled his soul
to avoid capture in the net of the snarer of souls. Chapter CLIV is
an address to Osiris in which the deceased says, "I shall not decay,
nor rot, nor putrefy, nor become worms, nor see corruption. I shall
have my being, I shall live, I shall flourish, I shall rise up
in peace." Chapters CLV-CLXVII are spells which were engraved on
the amulets, giving the deceased the protection of Ra, Osiris, Isis,
Horus, and other gods. The remaining Chapters (CLXVIII-CXC) are of a
miscellaneous character, and few of them are found in more than one
or two papyri of the Book of the Dead. A few contain hymns that are
not older than the XVIIIth dynasty, and one is an extract from the
text on the Pyramid of Unas (lines 379-399). The most interesting is,
perhaps, Chapter CLXXV, which describes the Tuat as airless,
waterless, and lightless. In this chapter the deceased is assured
of immortality in the words, "Thou shalt live for millions of millions
of years, a life of millions of years."

E. A. Wallis Budge.

Department of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities, British Museum.

April 15, 1920.


The Trustees of the British Museum have published:--

1. Coloured facsimile of the Papyrus of Hunefer, XIXth dynasty,
with hieroglyphic transcript and translation. 11 plates, large folio.

2. Coloured facsimile of the Papyrus of Anhai, XXIst dynasty, with
hieroglyphic transcript and translation. 8 plates, large folio.

3. Collotype reproduction of the Papyrus of Queen Netchemet, XXIst
dynasty, with hieroglyphic transcript and translation. 12 plates,
large folio.

4. Coloured reproduction of the hieratic text of the Book of
Breathings, with hieroglyphic transcript and translation. With 2
collotypes of the vignettes, large folio.

5. Hieroglyphic transcript of the Papyrus of Nu, with one collotype

Nos. 1-5 are bound in one volume, price £2 10s.

6. Collotype reproduction of the Papyrus of Queen Nesi-ta-nebt-ashru,
with full descriptions of the vignettes, translations, and
introduction, containing several illustrations, and 116 plates of
hieratic text. Large 4to. Price £2 10s.


[1] See Journal de Trévoux, June, 1704; Caylus, Antiq. Egypt., tom. I,
plate 21; Denon, Travels, plates 136 and 137; and Description de
l'Égypte, tom. II, plate 64 ff.

[2] Copie Figurée d'un Rouleau de Papyrus trouvé à Thèbes dans un
tombeau des Rois. Paris, XIII-1805. This papyrus is nearly 30 feet
in length and was brought to Strassburg by a paymaster in Napoleon's
Army in Egypt called Poussielgue, who sold it to M. Cadet.

[3] [Hieroglyphs].

[4] The longest papyrus in the world is Papyrus Harris No. 1
(Brit. Mus. No. 9999); it measures 133 feet by 1 foot 4 1/2 inches.

[5] Pyramid of Pepi I, ll. 664 and 662.

[6] I.e., Truth, or Law, in a double aspect.

[7] A name of Osiris.

[8] I.e., the "Lord to the uttermost limit of everything," or God.

[9] He was according to one legend the firstborn son of Osiris.

[10] I.e., I have kept the Moral and Divine Law.

[11] I.e., the "Beneficent Being," a title of Osiris.

Book of the day: