Ancient Egyptian Poetry

Scorpion King
(Archaic Period, 3250-2650)
Earliest know hieroglyphics came from his tomb

Narmer/Menes
(Archaic Period, 3250-2650)
unification of upper and lower Egypt

Old Kingdom, (2650-2100 BC)
Oldest pyramid, “step pyramid” at Saqqara, tomb of 3rd dynasty king Djoser, c. 2600 BC, designed by architect and priest Imhotep

Great Pyramids of Giza
Old Kingdom, (2650-2100 BC)
tombs of 4th dynasty kings c. 2,500 BC. The tallest of the buildings is the pyramid of Khufu

Pyramids of Giza were built for
Khufu
Khafre
Menkaure

Sphinx
Old Kingdom, (2650-2100 BC)
built during the 4th dynasty is a representation of king Khafre or Khufu

Pyramid Texts
Old Kingdom, (2650-2100 BC)
religious inscriptions carved on pyramids, including narratives, incantations, and invocations designed to help the pharaoh’s soul in his journey to the other world–found in tombs of the 5th and 6th dynasties

Coffin texts
Middle Kingdom, (2000-1650 BC)
inscriptions on the sarcophagi

Middle Kingdom, 2000-1650 BC
Cult of Osiris
Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor

Hyksos Period, (1650-1550 BC)
Egypt invaded and ruled by the Hyksos, a Semitic group of Cannanite or Amorite origin, 15th-17th dynasties

Book of the Dead
New Kingdom, (1550-1070 BC)
papyrus scrolls

Akhenaten
New Kingdom, (1550-1070 BC)
a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty; married Nefertiti; established worship of a single god, Aten (the sun); Amarna Period;”Hymn to the Sun”

Tutankhamen
New Kingdom, (1550-1070 BC)
abandoned the cult of Aten; married a daughter of Akhenaten; his tomb remained untouched and was discovered in 1922.

Ramses II
New Kingdom, (1550-1070 BC)
pharaoh of the 19th dynasty; engaged in war against the Hittites and Lybians; commissioned great building projects, including many gigantic statues of himself; possibly the pharaoh at the time of Moses

New Kingdom, (1550-1070 BC)
Leiden Hymns (c.1238 BC)

Love Poetry (1300-1100)

Song of the Harper (c. 1160 BC)

Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
alternation of Egyptian rule and foreign control by Nubians, Assyrians, and Persians

Alexander the Great invades Egypt
Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
332 BC, Greek domination of Egypt, death of Alexander in 323 BC

Ptolemy I
Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
-one of Alexander’s generals
-capital at Alexandria under his reign

Library of Alexandria destroyed by
Christian zealots, in the 3rd-4th centuries AD

Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
Flourishing of learning and the arts during Ptolematic period, including the assembly of the library at Alexandria

Aegyptiaca
Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
a history of Egypt, written by Egyptian priest Manetho

Septuagint
Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
a Greek translation of the Hebrew bible written in Alexandria c. 250 BC

Rosetta Stone
Late Period, (1070-332 BC)
rock inscribed with three bands of writing in hieroglyphic, demotic, and Greek–it made possible the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Discovered in 1799.

Roman Period, (30 BC-395 AD)
Roman occupation and rule of Egypt, began after the naval battle of Actium (31 BC) when Octavian’s forces defeated those of Antony and Cleopatra.

Philo Judeaus
Roman Period, (30 BC-395 AD)
Alexandrian Jew and neoplatonic philosopher, concerned with reconciliation of Greek and biblical thought. Used the concept of “logos” to link the transcendental and the material worlds.

Jean-François Champollion
deciphers Egyptian hieroglyphics (1822) and publishes his findings in 1824

Hymn to Aten
-praises Aten
-Aten, sun god and creater
-only god under Akhenaten

Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor
attendant tries to comfort his master who is returning from an apparently failed expedition and is anxious about how the king will receive him.

Song of the Harper
Seize the day-possessions can’t be taken into the afterlife