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Precepts of Ptah

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Traditionally. Ptah is the Godhead and God of Memphis. the capital of Ancient Egypt. Historically. the fabulous figure is much more. ***One of the most of import Gods of ancient Egypt was Ptah of Memphis. a Godhead God and a manager of human fates. Mrs. Holmberg’s survey is basically a mention book based on ancient textual beginnings and is chiefly directed toward the Egyptologist. In the last chapter Mrs. Holmberg wrestles with the “origin of the belief in Ptah” and exposes the current Egyptological perplexity about the beginnings of the worship of their historical Gods.

One taking theory is the impression that the Egyptians from the get downing recognized a “supreme being” under assorted names in different topographic points. This being was the one primeval God. the Godhead God. and the go oning swayer of work forces and the other Gods.

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In its utmost look this position is a kind of practical monotheism. since the more of import Gods are brought together under one theological header and the lesser Gods are made clearly low-level.

The opposing theory is geopolitically evolutionary. This position would reason that the most crude divinities were infinite local Gods who were bit by bit reduced in figure by the enlarging of political units through conquering and assimilation. As the Egyptian state emerged. the more successful of these local Gods became cosmic forces-in portion through political lift of one cult-center over others. in portion through a procedure of syncretism. and in portion through man’s effort to reply the inquiries of his cosmogonic and cosmologic guess. Mrs. Holmberg tends to waver between these two theories. and in the present province of our ignorance about prehistoric beginnings one can barely fault her. 1 PTAH – HOTEP

Ptah-Hotep a was good – known Egyptian sage ( sage of Ptah. per Se ) that dates from around 2200 BCE. He may even hold enjoyed a famous person position. Whatever his celebrity. he was an adviser to the King and would hold been viewed as a really high ranking functionary. A aggregation of principles is attributed to him. although scholars debate the existent writer ( and dating ) of the papers. 1 The God Ptah by Maj Sandman Holmberg Review by: John A. Wilson The Journal of Religion. Vol. 28. No. 3 ( Jul. . 1948 ) . p. 229 Published by: The University of Chicago Press C & A ; P 1

Ancient History Sourcebook: The Precepts of Ptah-Hotep. c. 2200 BCE Precepts of the prefect. the lord Ptah-hotep. under the Majesty of the King of the South and North. Assa. populating everlastingly everlastingly. The prefect. the feudal Godhead Ptah-hotep. says: O Ptah with the two crocodiles. my Godhead. the advancement of age alterations into dotage. Decay falls upon adult male and diminution takes the topographic point of young person. A annoyance weighs upon him every twenty-four hours ; sight fails. the ear becomes deaf ; his strength dissolves without discontinuing. The oral cavity is soundless. address fails him ; the head decays. retrieving non the twenty-four hours before. The whole organic structure suffers. That which is good becomes evil ; gustatory sensation wholly disappears. Old age makes a adult male wholly suffering ; the olfactory organ is stopped up. take a breathing no more from exhaustion. Standing or sitting there is here a status of. . . Who will do me to hold authorization to talk. that I may declare to him the words of those who have heard the advocates of former yearss? And the advocates heard of the Gods. who will give me authorization to declare them? Cause that it be so and that evil be removed from those that are enlightened ; direct the two-base hit. . . The stateliness of this God says: Instruct him in the expressions of former yearss.

It is this which constitutes the virtue of the kids of the great. All that which makes the soul equal penetrates him who hears it. and that which it says produces no repletion. Beginning of the agreement of the good expressions. spoken by the baronial Godhead. the Godhead male parent. beloved of Ptah. the boy of the male monarch. the first-born of his race. the prefect and feudal Godhead Ptah- hotep. so as to teach the ignorant in the cognition of the statements of the good expressions. It is profitable for him who hears them. it is a loss to him who shall offend them. He says to his boy: Be non chesty because of that which you know ; trade with the ignorant as with the learned ; for the barriers of art are non closed. no creative person being in ownership of the flawlessness to which he should draw a bead on. But good words are more hard to happen than the emerald. for it is by slaves that that is discovered among the stones of pegmatite. If you find a controversialist while he is hot. and if he is superior to you in ability. lower the custodies. flex the dorsum. make non acquire into a passion with him. As he will non allow you destruct his words. it is absolutely incorrect to disrupt him ; that proclaims that you are incapable of maintaining yourself composure. when you are contradicted. If so you have to make with a controversialist while he is hot. copy one who does non stir. You have the advantage over him if you keep silence when he is expressing evil words. “The better of the two is he who is stolid. ” say the bystanders. and you are right in the sentiment of the great. 2

If you find a controversialist while he is hot. make non contemn him because you are non of the same sentiment. Be non angry against him when he is incorrect ; off with such a thing. He fights against himself ; necessitate him non further to blandish your feelings. Do non divert yourself with the spectacle which you have before you ; it is abominable. it is average. it is the portion of a ugly psyche so to make. As shortly as you allow yourself be moved by your feelings. combat this desire as a thing that is reproved by the great. If you have. as leader. to make up one’s mind on the behavior of a great figure of work forces. seek the most perfect mode of making so that your ain behavior may be without reproach. Justice is great. invariable. and assured ; it has non been disturbed since the age of Ptah. To throw obstructions in the manner of the Torahs is to open the manner before force. Shall that which is below addition the upper manus. if the unjust does non achieve to the topographic point of justness? Even he who says: I take for myself. of my ain free-will ; but says non: I take by virtuousness of my authorization. The restrictions of justness are invariable ; such is the direction which every adult male receives from his male parent. Inspire non work forces with fright. else Ptah will contend against you in the same mode. If any one asserts that he lives by such agencies. Ptah will take away the staff of life from his oral cavity ; if any one asserts that he enriches himself thereby. Ptah says: I may take those wealths to myself. If any one asserts that he beats others. Ptah will stop by cut downing him to impotence. Let no one inspire work forces with fright ; this is the will of Ptah.

Let one supply nutriment for them in the lap of peace ; it will so be that they will freely give what has been torn from them by panic. If you are among the individuals seated at meat in the house of a greater adult male than yourself. take that which he gives you. bowing to the land. Regard that which is placed before you. but point non at it ; see it non often ; he is a blamable individual who departs from this regulation. Speak non to the great adult male more than he requires. for one knows non what may be displeasing to him. Speak when he invites you and your worth will be delighting. As for the great adult male who has plentifulness of agencies of being. his behavior is as he himself wishes. He does that which pleases him ; if he desires to repose. he realizes his purpose. The great adult male stretching forth his manus does that to which other work forces do non achieve. But as the agencies of being are under the will of Ptah. one can non arise against it.

If you are one of those who bring the messages of one great adult male to another. conform yourself precisely to that wherewith he has charged you ; execute for him the committee as he has enjoined you. Beware of changing in talking the violative words which one great individual references to another ; he who perverts the trustingness of his manner. in order to reiterate merely what produces pleasance in the words of every adult male. great or little. is a abhorrent individual. If you are a husbandman. gather the harvests in the field which the great Ptah has given you. make non tout in the house of your neighbours ; it is better to do oneself dreaded by one’s workss. As for him who. maestro of his ain manner of moving. being almighty. seizes the goods of others like a crocodile in the thick even of watchment. his kids are an object of imprecation. of contempt. and of hatred on history of it. while his male parent is grievously distressed. and as for the female parent 3 who has borne him. happy is another instead than herself. But a adult male becomes a God when he is main of a folk which has assurance in following him. If you abase yourself in obeying a superior. your behavior is wholly good before Ptah. Knowing who you ought to obey and who you ought to command. make non raise up your bosom against him. As you know that in him is authorization. be respectful toward him as belonging to him. Wealth comes merely at Ptah’s ain good-will. and his impulse merely is the jurisprudence ; as for him who. .

Ptah. who has created his high quality. turns himself from him and he is overthrown. Be active during the clip of your being. make no more than is commanded. Make non botch the clip of your activity ; he is a blamable individual who makes a bad usage of his minutes. Do non lose the day-to-day chance of increasing that which your house possesses. Activity produces wealths. and wealths do non digest when it slackens. If you are a wise adult male. convey up a boy who shall be delighting to Ptah. If he conforms his behavior to your manner and occupies himself with your personal businesss as is right. make to him all the good you can ; he is your boy. a individual attached to you whom your ain ego has begotten. Separate non your bosom from him… . But if he conducts himself ailment and transgresses your wish. if he rejects all advocate. if his oral cavity goes harmonizing to the evil word. work stoppage him on the oral cavity in return. Give orders without vacillation to those who do incorrectly. to him whose pique is disruptive ; and he will non divert from the consecutive way. and there will be no obstruction to disrupt the manner.

If you are employed in the larit. base or sit instead than walk about. Lay down regulations for yourself from the first: non to remove yourself even when fatigue overtakes you. Keep an oculus on him who enters denoting that what he asks is secret ; what is entrusted to you is above grasp. and all contrary statement is a affair to be rejected. He is a God who penetrates into a topographic point where no relaxation of the regulations is made for the privileged. If you are with people who display for you an utmost fondness. stating: “Aspiration of my bosom. aspiration of my bosom. where there is no redress! That which is said in your bosom. allow it be realized by jumping up spontaneously. Sovereign maestro. I give myself to your sentiment. Your name is approved without talking. Your organic structure is full of energy. your face is above your neighbours. ” If so you are accustomed to this surplus of flattery. and at that place be an obstruction to you in your desires. so your urge is to obey your passion.

But he who. . . harmonizing to his impulse. his psyche is. . . . his organic structure is. . . While the adult male who is maestro of his psyche is superior to those whom Ptah has loaded with his gifts ; the adult male who obeys his passion is under the power of his married woman. Declare your line of behavior without reserve ; give your sentiment in the council of your Godhead ; while there are people who turn back upon their ain words when they speak. so as non to pique him who has put frontward a statement. and answer non in this manner: “He is the great adult male who will acknowledge the mistake of another ; and when he shall raise his voice to oppose the other about it he will maintain silence after what I have said. ” 4

If you are a leader. puting frontward your programs harmonizing to that which you decide. execute perfect actions which descendants may retrieve. without allowing the words prevail with you which multiply flattery. which excite pride and produce amour propre. If you are a leader of peace. listen to the discourse of the suppliant. Be non disconnected with him ; that would problem him. Say non to him: “You have already recounted this. ” Indulgence will promote him to carry through the object of his coming. As for being disconnected with theplaintiff because he described what passed when the hurt was done. alternatively of complaining of the hurt itself allow it non be! The manner to obtain a clear account is to listen with kindness. If you desire to excite regard within the house you enter. for illustration the house of a superior. a friend. or any individual of consideration. in short everyplace where you enter. maintain yourself from doing progresss to a adult female. for there is nil good in so making.

There is no prudence in taking portion in it. and 1000s of work forces destroy themselves in order to bask a minute. brief as a dream. while they gain decease. so as to cognize it. It is a nefarious purpose. that of a adult male who therefore excites himself ; if he goes on to transport it out. his head wantonnesss him. For as for him who is without repulsion for such an act. there is no good sense at all in him. If you desire that your behavior should be good and preserved from all immorality. maintain yourself from every onslaught of bad wit. It is a fatal malady which leads to disagree. and there is no longer any being for him who gives manner to it. For it introduces strife between male parents and female parents. every bit good as between brothers and sisters ; it causes the married woman and the hubby to detest each other ; it contains all sorts of evil. it embodies all sorts of incorrect. When a adult male has established his merely equilibrium and walks in this way. there where he makes his home. there is no room for bad wit. Be non of an cranky pique as respects that which happens at your side ; grumble non over your ain personal businesss.

Be non of an cranky pique in respect to your neighbours ; better is a compliment to that which displeases than discourtesy. It is incorrect to acquire into a passion with one’s neighbours. to be no longer maestro of one’s words. When there is merely a small annoyance. one creates for oneself an affliction for the clip when one will once more be cool. If you are wise. expression after your house ; love your married woman without metal. Fill her tummy. dress her dorsum ; these are the attentions to be bestowed on her individual. Caress her. carry through her desires during the clip of her being ; it is a kindness which does honour to its owner. Be non barbarous ; tact will act upon her better than force ; her. . . behold to what she aspires. at what she aims. what she regards. It is that which fixes her in your house ; if you repel her. it is an abysm. Open your weaponries for her. respond to her weaponries ; name her. show to her your love. Treat your dependants good. in so far as it belongs to you to make so ; and it belongs to those whom Ptah has favored. If any one fails in handling his dependants well it is said: “He is a individual. . . ” As we do non cognize the events which may go on tomorrow. he is a wise individual by whom one is good treated. When there comes the necessity of demoing ardor. it will so be the 5

dependants themselves who say: “Come on. come on. ” if good intervention has non quitted the topographic point ; if it has quitted it. the dependants are defaulters. Do non reiterate any extravagancy of linguistic communication ; make non listen to it ; it is a thing which has escaped from a headlong oral cavity. If it is repeated. expression. without hearing it. toward the Earth ; state nil in respect to it. Cause him who speaks to you to cognize what is merely. even him who provokes to injustice ; cause that which is merely to be done. do it to prevail. As for that which is hateful harmonizing to the jurisprudence. reprobate it by unveiling it. If you are a wise adult male. sitting in the council of your Godhead. direct your idea toward that which is wise. Be soundless instead than disperse your words. When you speak. cognize that which can be brought against you. To talk in the council is an art. and address is criticized more than any other labour ; it is contradiction which puts it to the cogent evidence.

If you are powerful. regard cognition and composure of linguistic communication. Command merely to direct ; to be absolute is to run into evil. Let non your bosom be haughty. neither allow it be mean. Make non allow your orders remain unexpressed and do your replies to perforate ; but talk without heat. presume a serious visage. As for the vivacity of an fervent bosom. temper it ; the soft adult male penetrates all obstructions. He who agitates himself all the twenty-four hours long has non a good minute ; and he who amuses himself all the twenty-four hours long keeps non his luck. Aim at fulness like pilots ; one time one is seated another plant. and seeks to obey one’s orders. Disturb non a great adult male ; weaken non the attending of him who is occupied. His attention is to encompass his undertaking. and he strips his individual through the love which he puts into it. That transports work forces to Ptah. even the love for the work which they accomplish. Compose so your face even in problem. that peace may be with you. when agitation is with. . . These are the people who win in what they desire. Teach others to render court to a great adult male.

If you gather the harvest for him among work forces. do it to return to the full to its proprietor. at whose custodies is your subsistence. But the gift of fondness is worth more than the commissariats with which your dorsum is covered. For that which the great adult male receives from you will enable your house to populate. without speech production of the care you enjoy. which you desire to continue ; it is thereby that he extends a beneficent manus. and that in your place good things are added to good things. Let your love base on balls into the bosom of those who love you ; do those about you to be loving and obedient. If you are a boy of the defenders deputed to watch over the public tranquility. put to death your committee without cognizing its significance. and speak with soundness. Substitute non for that which the teacher has said what you believe to be his purpose ; the great usage words as it suits them. Your portion is to convey instead than to notice upon. If you are annoyed at a thing. if you are tormented by person who is moving within his right. acquire out of his sight. and retrieve him no more when he has ceased to turn to you. 6

If you have become great after holding been small. if you have become rich after holding been hapless. when you are at the caput of the metropolis. cognize how non to take advantage of the fact that you have reached the first rank. harden non your bosom because of your lift ; you are become merely the decision maker. the prefect. of the commissariats which belong to Ptah. Put non behind you the neighbour who is like you ; be unto him as a comrade. Bend your dorsum before your superior. You are attached to the castle of the male monarch ; your house is established in its luck. and your net incomes are as is suiting. Yet a adult male is annoyed at holding an authorization above himself. and passes the period of life in being annoyed thereat. Although that hurts non your. . . Do non loot the house of your neighbours. prehend non by force the goods which are beside you. Exclaim non so against that which you hear. and do non experience humiliated. It is necessary to reflect when 1 is hindered by it that the force per unit area of authorization is felt besides by one’s neighbour.

Do non do. . . you know that there are obstructions to the H2O which comes to its hinder portion. and that there is no trickling of that which is in its bosom. Let it non. . . after holding corrupted his bosom. If you aim at polished manners. name non him whom you accost. Converse with him particularly in such a manner as non to rag him. Enter on a treatment with him merely after holding left him clip to saturate his head with the topic of the conversation. If he lets his ignorance show itself. and if he gives you all chance to dishonor him. dainty him with courtesy instead ; continue non to drive him into a corner ; make non. . . the word to him ; reply non in a suppression mode ; oppress him non ; worry him non ; in order that in his bend he may non return to the topic. but depart to the net income of your conversation. Let your visage be cheerful during the clip of your being. When we see one going from the depot who has entered in order to convey his portion of proviso. with his face contracted. it shows that his tummy is empty and that authorization is violative to him. Let non that go on to you ; it is. . .

Know those who are faithful to you when you are in low estate. Your virtue so is worth more than those who did you honour. His. . . . behold that which a adult male possesses wholly. That is of more importance than his high rank ; for this is a affair which passes from one to another. The virtue of one’s boy is advantageous to the male parent. and that which he truly is. is worth more than the recollection of his father’s rank. Distinguish the overseer who directs from the workingman. for manual labour is small elevated ; the inactivity of the custodies is honest. If a adult male is non in the evil manner. that which places him there is the privation of subordination to authorization. If you take a married woman. make non. . . Let her be more contented than any of her fellow-citizens. She will be attached to you double. if her concatenation is pleasant. Make non drive her ; grant that which pleases her ; it is to her contentment that she appreciates your work. 7

If you hear those things which I have said to you. your wisdom will be to the full advanced. Although they are the agencies which are suited for geting at the maat. and it is that which makes them cherished. their memory would withdraw from the oral cavity of work forces. But thanks to the beauty of their agreement in beat all their words will now be carried without change over this Earth everlastingly. That will make a canvass to be embellished. whereof the great will talk. in order to teach work forces in its expressions. After holding listened to them the student will go a maestro. even he who shall hold decently listened to the expressions because he shall hold heard them. Let him win success by puting himself in the first rank ; that is for him a place perfect and lasting. and he has nil farther to want everlastingly. By cognition his way is assured. and he is made happy by it on the Earth. The wise adult male is satiated by cognition ; he is a great adult male through his ain virtues. His lingua is in agreement with his head ; merely are his lips when he speaks. his eyes when he gazes. his ears when he hears. The advantage of his boy is to make that which is merely without lead oning himself. To go to hence net incomes the boy of him who has attended. To go to is the consequence of the fact that one has attended. A docile hearer is formed. because I have attended.

Good when he has attended. good when he speaks. he who has attended has profited. and it is profitable to go to to him who has attended. To go to is worth more than anything else. for it produces love. the good thing that is twice good. The boy who accepts the direction of his male parent will turn old on that history. What Ptah loves is that one should go to ; if one attends non. it is detestable to Ptah. The bosom makes itself its ain maestro when it attends and when it does non go to ; but if it attends. so his bosom is a beneficent maestro to a adult male. In go toing to direction. a adult male loves what he attends to. and to make that which is prescribed is pleasant. When a boy attends to his male parent. it is a double joy for both ; when wise things are prescribed to him. the boy is soft toward his maestro. Attending to him who has attended when such things have been prescribed to him. he engraves upon his bosom that which is approved by his male parent ; and the remembrance of it is preserved in the oral cavity of the life who exist upon this Earth. When a boy receives the direction of his male parent there is no mistake in all his programs. Train your boy to be a docile adult male whose wisdom is agreeable to the great. Let him direct his oral cavity harmonizing to that which has been said to him ; in the docility of a boy is discovered his wisdom.

His behavior is perfect while mistake carries away the unteachable. Tomorrow cognition will back up him. while the ignorant will be destroyed. As for the adult male without experience who listens non. he effects nil whatsoever. He sees cognition in ignorance. net income in loss ; he commits all sorts of mistake. ever consequently taking the reverse of what is applaudable. He lives on that which is mortal. in this manner. His nutrient is evil words. whereat he is filled with amazement. That which the great know to be mortal he lives upon every twenty-four hours. winging from that which would be profitable to him. because of the battalion of mistakes which present themselves before him every twenty-four hours. A boy who attends is like a follower of Horus ; he is happy after holding attended. He becomes great. he arrives at self-respect. he gives the same lesson to his kids. Let none introduce upon the principles of his male parent ; allow the same principles organize his lessons to his kids. “Verily. ” will his 8 kids say to him. “to carry through what you say works wonders. ”

Cause therefore that to boom which is merely. in order to nurture your kids with it. If the instructors allow themselves to be led toward evil rules. verily the people who understand them non will talk consequently. and that being said to those who are docile they will move consequently. Then all the universe considers them as Masterss and they inspire assurance in the populace ; but their glorification endures non so long every bit would delight them. Take non off so a word from the antediluvian instruction. and add non one ; put non one thing in topographic point of another ; beware of bring outing the rebellious thoughts which arise in you ; but teach harmonizing to the words of the wise. Attend if you wish to brood in the oral cavity of those who shall go to to your words. when you have entered upon the office of maestro. that your words may be upon our lips. . . and that there may be a chair from which to present your statements. Let your ideas be abundant. but allow your oral cavity be under restraint. and you shall reason with the great. Put yourself in unison with the ways of your maestro ; do him to state: “He is my boy. ” so that those who shall hear it shall state “Praise be to her who has borne him to him! ” Apply yourself while you speak ; speak merely of perfect things ; and allow the great who shall hear you say: “Twice good is that which issues from his oral cavity! ” Do that which your maestro commands you.

Twice good is the principle of his male parent. from whom he has issued. from his flesh. What he tells us. allow it be fixed in our bosom ; to fulfill him greatly let us make for him more than he has prescribed. Verily a good boy is one of the gifts of Ptah. a boy who does even better than he has been told to make. For his maestro he does what is satisfactory. seting himself with all his bosom on the portion of right. So I shall convey it about that your organic structure shall be healthful. that the Pharaoh shall be satisfied with you in all fortunes and that you shall obtain old ages of life without default. It has caused me on Earth to obtain one hundred and ten old ages of life. along with the gift of the favour of the Pharoah among the first of those whom their plants have ennobled. fulfilling the Pharoah in a topographic point of self-respect. It is finished. from its get downing to its terminal. harmonizing to that which is found in composing. Beginning:

From: Charles F. Horne. The Sacred Books and Early Literature of the East ( New York: Parke. Austin. & A ; Lipscomb. 1917 ) . Vol. II: Egypt. pp. 62-78.Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg. Dept. of History. Cal. State Fullerton This text is portion of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a aggregation of public sphere and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history. 9

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic signifier of the papers is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying. distribution in print signifier for educational intents and personal usage. No representation is made about texts which are linked off-site. although in most instances these are besides public sphere. If you do geminate the papers. bespeak the beginning. No permission is granted for commercial usage. © Paul Halsall May 1998

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