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The Demotic Chronicle

after H. Felber in Apokalyptik und Ägypten,(ed. A. Blasius and B. U. Schipper)  Leiden: Peeters, 2002 and W. Spiegelberg, Die sogenannte Demotische Chronik des Pap. 215 der Bibliothèque Nationale zu Paris nebst den auf der Rückseite des Papyrus stehenden Texten, Leipzig,  1914.


P. Bib. Nat. 215





The beginning of the papyrus is fragmentary.


Chapter 6


II/1 The last day of the month might happen.  The last day of the month will happen.


            i.e. Through the utterance of the above named god will the fulfilment of the curse which he has caused be brought about.


II/2 The first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth day of the month are completed.

The< first> time period is completed.


            i.e. Pharaoh Amenirdais (Amyrtaios). 


The second time period.


            i.e.Pharaoh Nafiwert (Nephorites I).


II/3 The third time period.


            i.e. Pharaoh Haker (Hakoris).


The fourth time period.


            i.e. Pharaoh Nafiwert (Nephorites II).


The fifth time period.


            i.e. Pharaoh Nekhtnebef (Nectanebo I).


II/4 The sixth time period.


            i.e. the king (p3 nswt), Pharaoh Djeho (Teos).


That which was to be done was recorded by Thoth after he had  investigated their affairs in Hetnisu (Herakleopolis).


II/5 The seventh day of the month is given to Ptah.


It means: The ruler who is the one who will come to investigate the affairs of Memphis. He will see the things that he should do.  They shall seek the things that he should do (II/6) in Memphis.


Chapter 7


II/8 The Ash Festival found in Pe in II Month of the Per season in Mechir.


            i.e. The end of the succession which is spoken of was ordered in the second month of the Per season (Mechir) because it was in this (month) that the embalming happens. (II/9) It happens that the Ash feast is at the end of the month.


II/10 The beginning of the Nebti Feast in Dep is in the III Month of the Per season (Phamenoth).


            The beginning of the rulership of the future king is in the third month of the Per season (Phamenoth).

            i.e. It happens that the Nebti Feast is at the beginning of the month.


II/11  The moon bewitches the flute.  This ruler will go through the whole land.


            i.e.  The ruler who will be theirs will abandon Egypt.


II/12   They deceive left and arrive right.


            i.e.  Right is Egypt, left is Syria.


            i.e. That one, who will go to Syria which is on the left (II/13) will go there through deceit which is in Egypt, which is on the right.


II/14   The one from Hetnesu (Herakleopolis), the one from Shmoyn (Hermopolis) has found him.


            i.e. The one from Hetnesu is Herishef. 


The one from Shmoyn has found him.


            i.e. After Thoth went to Hetnesu (Herakleopolis), he had asked what he – namely Herishef (sic)– has commanded with reference to Egypt.


II/16 Hetnesu, Hetnesu, Hetnesu.


            i.e. He who is  gone to Hetnesu (Herakleopolis) in which he left the laws, concerning which, he has made an investigation in Hetnesu (Herakleopolis).


II/17 Evil was permitted to befall him.  Evil was permitted to befall his son.


II/18 End


Chapter 8


II/19 The first phyle, they who have drawn the bolt.


            i.e. The ruler who will rule will be in Egypt, he will draw the bolt.  Pharaoh it is, who will open it.


II/20 The second phyle are those who have opened it.


            i.e. The second ruler it is, who has opened it.


II/21 The third phyle are those who have opened the Uraeus snake.


            i.e. The third ruler who will be, they will rejoice over his rule.


            The rest (the meaning): It is the third who will be from the foreign countries.


II/22     So it is that there will be rejoicing over their (the three kings) rulership by the gods.


II/23 The Nemit (?) will come and hereby bring the one from Hetnesu (Herakleopolis) with his protection.


            i.e. The Nemit, which is the Uraeus snake, will gladden the heart of the one from Hetnesu with her protection of the king’s palace.


            It is Herishef who will command the future ruler.  So they can say.  (II/25) It is a man from Hetnesu who will be the ruler of the foreigners and Greeks respectively.


III/1 Therefore may you rejoice, O priest of Herishef.


            i.e. The god’s servant (prophet) of Herishef will rejoice after (the time) of the Greeks; it will happen through a ruler in Hetnesu (Herakleopolis).


            III/2 May he open the oven.  I have given him the sacrificial cattle.

            i.e. The future ruler will open the door of the temple and (III/4) allow the gods’ offerings to be brought.


III/4 Excellent, excellent Hetnesu!


            i.e.  May good things happen in Hetnesu at the specified time.


III/5 Ta-bi, may she close, may she open.


            i.e. The Uraeus snake, she will close and she will open. It is she who comes from Upper Egypt and goes to Lower Egypt.


III/6 End


Chapter 9


III/7 III Month of the Akh season (Hathyr) – Welcome (?)


            i.e. The ruler, who will be in Hetnesu, will revolt in the third month of the Akh season.


III/8 IV Month of Akh (Khoiak) – Bringing forth.


            i.e. He will collect (troops) in the fourth month of the Akh season.


I month of the Per season – Nourishment.


            i.e. He will equip himself with the weapons in the first month of the Per season (Tybi).


III/9 Call out to me. I will call out to you in the II month of the Per season (Mechir).


            i.e. Any war he fights with his opponents will be fought in the II month of the Per season (Mechir).


III/10 A titulary is mine in the III month of the Per season (Phamenoth).


            i.e. He will reveal himself and he will appear with the golden diadem in the third month of the Per Season (Phermenoth). It is his reign that (will begin) in the III month of the Per season (Pharmenoth).


III/11 May (the town of) Pe be given a throne.


            i.e. They will place his eldest son on his throne, namely that of the future ruler.  That means that he (the son) will be like Harsies (=Horus son of Isis).

III/12 May (the town of) Dep be given bread.


            i.e. Those who are in Dep will be given bread because they are his people.


III/13 As for the widow (Isis) of the Djed Pillar (Osiris), they will welcome their offspring.


            i.e. The widow of the Djed Pillar will be happy, she will hear their rejoicing, namely Isis, and it will happen that (III/14) that her hearing will be joyful over the future ruler.


III/15 Joyful will be their hearts – the gods of Perneb-Tepihu (Aphroditopolis).


            i.e. The heart of the unique one, namely Isis, who is mistress of Perneb-Tepihu.  (It means) rejoicing of heart because of the future ruler (III/16) which is because he will not abandon the law.


III/17 End.


Chapter 10


III/18 Yesterday – that which has passed by.


            i.e.The first ruler who came after the foreigners who are the Medes (Persians) was Pharaoh Amenirdais (Amyrtaios).


            As (III/19)they found the law in his own time, so they allowed its passing yesterday.  He gave no rulership to his son after him.


III/20 The present day – that which has happened.


            i.e. The second ruler who came after the Medes, namely Pharaoh Nafiwert (Nephorites I), after he had done (III/21) what he did conscientiously, his son was allowed to succeed him.  He was only given a short time to himself because of the many transgressions which began in his time.


III/22 The present day –that which has happened.


            i.e. Because the (things) which are said today which are commanded will happen in the future.


IV/1 The first (ruler).


            i.e. This is what it means: the first who came after the Medes.  As he had ordered, the law was not enacted; people have seen what they did to him.  They did not let his son follow him. (IV/2) Besides, it was thus, that it was caused that he himself has already lost the throne in his lifetime.


IV/3 The second – to the scabbard (i.e. “The pussy”)


            i.e. The second ruler who will come after the Medes, namely Pharaoh Nafiwert (Nephorites I).  You see what happens to him: his son is allowed to follow him. 


To the sheath (i.e. “The pussy”)


About him, who in the present day is ruler, they say he is that one, namely Nekhtnebef (Nectanebo I).  It is he, who has surrendered all the property of Egypt and all the temples (IV/5) to mint silver.  It is as though he says: “he did not act according to his time”, when he calls Nekhtnebef the derogatory name ‘sheath’ (“pussy”), which is a derogatory name for a woman.


IV/6 The third – they gave him.


            i.e. The third ruler, who was after the Medes.


            They gave him.


            i.e. After he had forsaken the law, there was given to him that he receive a successor as he himself still lived.


IV/7 The fourth– he has not been.


            i.e. The fourth ruler, who is after the Medes, namely Paserienmut (Psammuthis).


He has not been.


            i.e. He has not been on the way of the gods.(IV/8 ) He was permitted to be ruler for a long time.


The fifth– he has finished.


            i.e. The fifth ruler, who came after the Medes, namely Haker(Hakoris), he  who repeated his appearance, until they noticed, that he completed his rulership (IV/10) after he was beneficent towards the temples.  He was toppled because he threw over the law and (consequently) no more grieved for by his brother.


IV/11 The sixth – he has not been.


            i.e. The sixth ruler, who was after the Medes, namely Nafirwert (Nephorites II).


He has not been.


            i.e. He has not been authorized to be permitted to arise. (IV/12).  It happened that people had neglected the laws under his father.  So it was permitted that after him disaster would strike his son.


IV/13 The seventh – 10th Day of the month.  May the last day of the month to be made full for him.


            i.e. The seventh ruler who was after the Medes will be, namely Nakhtnebef (Nectanebo I).  He will be given 6 (and) 10 (which makes) (IV/14) 16 years of reign.  They will give him the last day of the month, that is the completion of the week (10 days).  It is three months to three weeks which happened in the year 3, which as increase (investment) to 16 makes 19 years causing you to come to know the years of rulership that he occupies.


IV/16 The measuring stick of the wall – first day of the month.


            i.e. that which is upon the way, which he built for his father (or: his father had built).


First day of the month.


            i.e. It is a year that they let him reign (IV, 17), namely Pharaoh Djeho (Teos), which was measured against the measuring stick of his father, against which will march.


IV/18  The level of the stone mason – seventh day of the month.


            i.e. The ruler, who will come after him will be allowed to rule for 18 years. It is thus, that the level fo the stonemason (IV/19) is his sword which is in five parts. It means that: 6 (and) 7 it is, making 13, to complete with 5 years, making again 18 years.



IV/20 May the door be opened.  The door will be opened.


            i.e. The first, who will come after them, namely the Medes.   It is opened before the Uraeus snake.  They are foreigners.


IV/21 Our sea and our island are full of tears.


            i.e. The home of the Egyptians, which people no longer have in which  to live in, even in that time.  Like when people say: the Medes will slaughter them, [they] seized the houses and live in them.


V/1 I like the first day of the month better than the last day.

            What they say is: the first years is better than the last year in the time which will bring them, namely the Medes.


V/2 The rain is on the stone – the heaven is pure.


            i.e. When Re watches, the Egyptians are robbed.  It is an offering of Re.


V/3.  When it says: the heaven is pure, so it means that: Re is watching.  When it says: rain is on the stone, so it means: people are fallen into slaughter.  The water is the people (V/4), the stone is the slaughter.


Chapter 11


V/6 I am clothed from head to foot.


            i.e. What you mean is: “I am manifest in a diadem of gold.  No one will take it from my head.”  He says it (V,7) to Pharaoh Nakhtnebef (Nectanebo I). 


V,8 My garment is on me.


            i.e. My garment is on me for a festive appearance.  No one will take it away.


V,9 The scimitar is in my hand.


            What it means is: Speak you perhaps with your heart (think about yourself): “The office of rulership is in my hand.  Will it be taken away (V/10) from me?”

            The scimitar is the office of the ruler which means manifestation as a (Horus) falcon.  “May the mighty scimitar arise” That is what is said.


V/11.  Do it. Act (accordingly).  As it is strong, so are you strong.


            i.e. The god will act for you, according to what you do. When you make your heart strong, it will be strong with regard to you.


V/12 Apis, Apis, Apis!


            i.e. Ptah, Re, Horsies, who are the masters of the office of rulership.  You have forgotten them while you strive after the gaining of rulership.


V/13 His luck is worked with these three signs.


            i.e. Apis is the three gods who were named above.  Apis is Ptah; Apis is Re; Apis is Horsies. (V/14) End.

Chapter 12


V/15 The herds of the wilderness, they are coming to Egypt.


            i.e. They are the foreigners on the east and the west of the land.


They are coming to Egypt.


They are the Medes.


V/17 The crocodiles will snatch them away.


            What is says (is): the gods will remove them to the places from which they came, namely the foreigners, who are the Medes.


V/18.  O gardener, do your work!


            i.e. Pharaoh, do your work! He said it to Nakhtnebef (Nectanebo I) again.  The rest of this other saying means: a brood is raised away from his plundered possesions.


V/20 Give the shrubs water, that the tree may revive.


            The rest of this thing, what it says, is that is means more or less: guard against greediness.


V/21 Yours is an eye that has no sickness in it.


            i.e. Your Uraeus snake, which is on your head, it is not that which is sick. This means something like: (V/22) it is not she who will elevate the ruler.i.e., The ruler, who will be beneficent, will be the one they love.   It means (this one) the white crown, which is the Uraeus snake from Upper Egypt.


V/23 A dimming is in it, the other (eye); it is filled with honey.


            i.e. A dimming is in the Uraeus snake, which is on your head, namely: the Red Crown.  It is full of robbery.  Honey it is......that has been acquired (in) plundering ways (lit. as plunder).


VI/1 Mut, their remedy.


            i.e. That which they love, i.e. Mut is the mistress of love.


VI/2 Mut, the cow, cannot be provided for (with offerings).  She hungers and cries out to Amun.


            i.e. The Uraeus snake, she is hungry. (VI/3) She cannot eat because of your plundering ways.

She cries to Amun.


            i.e. Hail to the ruler who is beneficial.


(VI/4) The (writing) palette protects (?) the hoe; they loosened the measuring stick. 


He says these things to Nakhtnebef.


VI/5     i.e. your palette has cut [the] cord.  People in Egypt should stop plundering.


VI/6 The Medja measure is not accurate.


            i.e. the Medja measure, which is you yourself, is not accurate.  Again, we have been tested (VI/7) and we now know: he is the voice of the god.


VI/8 The builder weeps, his wife....


            i.e. The builder goes off to the field, weeping.


It is barley and emmer that (VI/9) secure his life support (lit. the nature of his life support).


            i.e. The barley from the king’s land grows, (but) not to its full height.


VI/10 The youths/servants, who go will off to the granary (?) of the craftsman (high priest of Memphis[?]).


He will give to them chaff.


            i.e. As for the youths/servants who live to serve (VI/11) time, they are hungry.


They will go off...


            It is the craftsman (high priest?) of Memphis.


He will give them chaff.


            It is that which is not cultivated to serve as nourishment.


VI/12 So it is that the nourishment is grown to develop, whose name is Mut; and further nourishment cultivated through her (Mut i.e. sycamore) is come forth, with which....is fixed.


Chapter 13

VI/14 The great river (Nile) grows.  His beginning is in Yebu.  May he live for the bakers.


            To Pharaoh Nakhtnebef it is said. i.e. The foreigners will be allowed to come into all of Egypt to be masters of Egypt after you.  The water will rise at the right time. (VI/16) The baker will live in this specified time.


VI/17 Rejoice.  Their foreign servants from Gaza (?).  They will find something to eat.


            i.e. The youths/(Syrian) servants (?), who live at that time will find bread to eat. (VI/18) They will not be hungry like those who live at this time.


VI/19 The youths/servants, who are on the street, they stand on the street with their chins in their hands.

(VI/20) It is the Greeks (Wynn), who will come to Egypt.  They will rule Egypt for a long time.


(VI/21) May the hound live.


            <i.e.> The great hound, he is to be found, he is .......lost and they are the rulers in the specified time.


VI/22 End.

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