'Man perishes; his corpse turns to dust; all his relatives pass away. But writings make him remembered' In ancient Egypt, words had magical power. Inscribed on tombs and temple walls, coffins and statues, or inked onto papyri, hieroglyphs give us a unique insight into the life of the Egyptian mind. For this remarkable new collection, Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson has freshly translated a rich and diverse range of ancient Egyptian writings into modern English, including tales of shipwreck and wonder, first-hand accounts of battles and natural disasters, obelisk inscriptions, mortuary spells, funeral hymns, songs, satires and advice on life from a pharaoh to his son. Spanning over two millennia, with many pieces appearing in a general anthology for the first time, this is the essential guide to a complex, sophisticated culture. Translated with an introduction by Toby Wilkinson
Toby Wilkinson is a Fellow of Clare College, University of Cambridge. He has written a number of major books on Ancient Egypt, most recently The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt (Bloomsbury, UK; Random House, US)which won the Hessell-Tiltman prize. He has excavated at the Egyptian sites of Buto and Memphis.
This book offers a taste of the vast body of ancient Egyptian literature. In addition to glamorous accounts of war and royalty, it's packed with extraordinarily personal tales of life and the social anxieties of the time. -- Caitlin Hu Quartz Until now few people beyond specialists have been able to read the texts, many of them inaccessible within tombs ... hieroglyphs were pictures but they conveyed concepts in as sophisticated a manner as Greek or Latin script, [Toby Wilkinson] said. Filled with metaphor and symbolism, they reveal life through the eyes of the ancient Egyptians. Tales of shipwreck and wonder, first-hand descriptions of battles and natural disasters, songs and satires make up the anthology. -- Dalya Alberge The Guardian
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