Pyramid Texts of King Unas
( From The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts by James P. Allen)
The collection of spells, rituals and utterances known as the Pyramid Texts are so numerous, a complete transcription could easily fill multiple volumes of books. Inscribed in the burial chambers of the pyramids of kings Unas, Teti, Pepi I, Merenra, Pepi II and Queen Neith, as well as a few lesser-known kings and upper nobility, these texts are the world's oldest religious texts and give a unique insight into the beliefs and religious practices of Egypt during the end of the Old Kingdom.
Picking the most representative texts out of the whole corpus can be a challenge for any scholar or enthusiast. The selections included here have actually been 'excerpted'--rather liberally--by other online sources, probably using the older translation by Raymond O. Faulkner. Here you can read them in their full context, in a completely modern translation.
Spell PT 269 (W176 in Allen's edition--from
the section, "Crossing the Akhet")
The fire has been set, the fire has arisen. The incense has been set on the fire, the incense has arisen.
Your scent has come to Unis, incense; Unis' scent has come to you, incense.
Your scent has come to Unis, gods; Unis' scent has come to you, gods.
Unis shall be with you, gods; you shall be with Unis, gods.
Unis shall live with you, gods; you shall live with Unis, gods.
Unis shall desire [older versions use "love"] you, gods; desire him, gods.
The wafer has come, the cap that comes from Horus' knee has
the emerger has come, the emerger has come;
the climber has come, the climber has come;
the ascender has come, the ascender has come.
Unis will go up on Isis' thighs, Unis will climb on Nephthys'
Unis' father Atum will take the arm of Unis and allot Unis to those gods who are wise and experienced, the Imperishable Stars.
Unis' mother Ipy [another name for Tawret], give Unis that breast of yours, that this Unis may suck that white, dazzling, sweet milk of yours.
Yonder land in which Unis goes, Unis will not thirst in it, Unis will not hunger in it, forever.
From the "Opening the Mouth" Rites:
PT 35 (W23 in Allen's edition--from "Cleansing the Mouth With Salt Water")
Your natron is Horus' natron;
Your natron is Seth's natron;
Your natron is Thoth's [Djehuty's] natron;
Your natron is the god's natron;
Your own natron is amongst them.
Your mouth is the mouth of a milk-calf on the day it is born.
5 PELLETS OF DELTA NATRON OF SHETPET.
From the Pyramid Texts of Queen Neith:
The selection below from the pyramid of Queen Neith provides a tantalizing reference to the myth of Osiris' murder by Seth.
PT 691c (Nt 278 in Allen's edition)
Awake, Awake, father Osiris! I am your son, who loves you: I am your son Horus, who loves you. For look, I have come having gotten for you what he [Seth] acquired from you.
Has he exulted over you? Has he slurped (blood) from you? Has Seth slurped (blood) from you beside your two sisters who love you, Isis and Nephthys? They will support you, so that you will not pass; they will service you, so that you will not pass away.
Separate your needy one, [being] Horus in his house, and the disturber, Seth, as Geb, as him of the sedan chair who eats entrails. Your fore is that of a jackal, your rear is that of Qebehut [a daughter of Anubis], and your spine, the god's doorbolt.
I have plowed barley and reaped emmer, which I have made for your yearly supplies. Awake, awake, father, to this your bread!
Again, this is only a small fraction of the literature found in the Pyramid Texts. To get a fuller picture, I recommend getting your own copy of The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts by James P. Allen. The renderings are a bit too literal or ponderous in certain places, but for a scholarly reference, the book is excellent.
Back to the Temple main page