Ancient Medieval Literature

Ancient Egyptian Literature: An Anthology by John L. Foster

By John L. Foster

Poetry, tales, hymns, prayers, and knowledge texts discovered beautiful written expression in historic Egypt whereas their literary opposite numbers have been nonetheless being recited round fire fires in old Greece and Israel. but, as a result of its very antiquity and the centuries within which the language used to be forgotten, historical Egyptian literature is a newly stumbled on state for contemporary readers.

This anthology deals an in depth sampling of the entire significant genres of old Egyptian literature. It contains all of the texts from John Foster's earlier ebook Echoes of Egyptian Voices, in addition to choices from his Love Songs of the recent Kingdom and Hymns, Prayers, and Songs: An Anthology of old Egyptian Lyric Poetry, in addition to formerly unpublished translations of 4 longer and brief poems. Foster's translations trap the poetical great thing about the Egyptian language and the spirit that impelled each one piece's composition, making those historical masterworks sing for contemporary readers. An creation to historical Egyptian literature and its translation, in addition to short information regarding the authorship and date of every choice, completes the volume.

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17 10:59 ‘‘The mason cutting with his chisel in all sorts of hard and costly stone— After he finishes two cubic feet of work, his arms are dead and he himself is weary. He sits there until suppertime, knees cramped and with an aching back.  A N C I E N T E G Y P T I A N L I T E R AT U R E 6732 Foster / ANCIENT EGYPTIAN LITERATURE / sheet 61 of 298 vii ‘‘The barber barbers far into evening to earn a bit to swallow, a covering for his shoulders, Taking himself from street to street to hunt down any who are ripe for barbering.

But let me tell you just a little story, a bit like yours, which happened on this very isle while I was here living with companions and my children in one great extended family. We totalled five and seventy persons, consisting of my offspring, relatives, and friends (I cannot bear to dwell on a small daughter brought to me through prayer): ‘‘A star fell and they were gone, gone up in flame. It happened when I could not be there . . all burned . . and I not even with them. I wanted to be dead instead of them after finding them a heap of tangled corpses.

Xiv ‘‘The mat-maker in his tiny cubicle— he is more wretched than a woman; With his knees pressed against his stomach he can hardly breathe. If he wastes the day not weaving, he is beaten with the leather fifty blows; He must offer food to the door-guard just to let him see the sun. 17 10:59 ‘‘The arrow-maker is already spent as he goes into the desert uplands. What he must pay for donkeys is more costly than their toil will profit in return; And costly too his pay to country people to point him on his way.

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