egyptian writing

#134

Percy is highly offended that the Ancient Greeks didn’t have a word for blue.

A Prayer to Bast

Bast, Lady of the East,
I give you praise!

You walk with me in the sunlight,
You guide me through the shadows,
And I am blessed.

Lady of Ointments, Lady of Perfumes, Lady of the Flame,
I make offerings to you!

I light candles in your name,
I offer sweet smelling incense to you,
That you may be pleased with me.

Eye of Ra, Devourer, Avenger, Protector,
Watch over me!

May I be protected from harm,
and may I live in good health,
and may my path provide abundance.

Lady of Cats, Lioness, Invisible Paw,
I delight in your emissaries!

Unseen, they surround me,
They walk beside me and guide my steps,
They share my home and hearth.

You call me to serve you,
and willingly I respond.
My goddess, my patroness - Dua Bast!

Pharaoh Harsiese (Harry Styles AU Imagine)

“Can you believe I’ll be chief wife to Harsiese the Magnificent, Nafretiri?” My eighteen year old sister, Shamise, exclaims as she greedily drapes a shining, gold necklace across her neck where it gently grazed her breasts.

Her silver eyes glitter as the sun set and casted a ray of light from the open door on the balcony and her ebony hair and skin glistened from the oils her body servants had put on her during her bath.

My lighter, green eyes trail from the window where I watched the pomegranate tree, that my mother planted years ago before she died, sway in the slight wind, in the small garden that was mine and my mother’s old happy place, to her as I try to hide my frown. It was the first month of Shemu and the days were becoming hotter. Our ladies fanned us from the heat, trying to stop us from sweating as the Nile flooded.

I was sad to leave it, to leave my home in Akhmim and go to Thebes, where Pharaoh Harsiese resided in the Malkata palace, to help my older sister as she fought for Pharaoh’s approval over his other wife of five years, Bahiti.

Pharaoh Harsiese had been in power since I was young and the Romans invaded even though he was only a few years older than I. He was nearly fourteen when he become Pharaoh and now he is twenty and I sixteen. The people of Egypt adored him as he took over and saved our country from starvation and poverty with the help of the viziers.

They didn’t mind how different he looked from the past pharaohs; how his skin paled during Peret, the colder months, and how his hair was the color of the sand that covered the ground. To them, he was a god and from what I had seen and heard, he looked like one.

The first and only time I saw him was when I was almost fourteen and he eighteen. He was being carried on a gold and lapis litter through the streets, waving to his people, with his wife, Bahiti by his side as they showed off their newborn son. He was absolutely breathtaking and for a moment, I was jealous of my sister who has always been promised to him.

Sadly, a few months after, their son died in the night, smothered himself in his sleep by his own blanket, and they have yet to have another child. It was said the pharaoh was getting impatient, demanding a child and an heir from Bahiti soon or he would throw her into a harem.

That’s why my father, one of the most respected viziers to the royal family, took his chance and is finally making Shamise take Harsiese’s attention and become chief wife.

I go to answer my sister’s question, that she asks at least twice a day, when the door to the room opens and our father walks in, his smile immediately becoming adoring as he lays his eyes on his two daughters.

“Senit,” he leans down and kisses my head lovingly as he whispers the word for little girl before doing the same for Shamise. I pet my beloved cat, Khensu, meaning traveler of the sky, as he slept peacefully in my lap. I named him after the God of the moon as he loved to explore at night.

“Are you ready for the travels?” He asks us as we both nod, my eyes trailing to the window again where the servants were loading our heavy chests. My sister leaned over the window to look down when she heard a sudden ruckus and scowled.

“Be careful with that! It’s worth more than your life and what we paid for you,” she hisses as I frown and look down. I hated when she was rude to others. I could never find the way to be mean to someone, even if they were lower in class.

“Nafretiri,” my father suddenly speaks, making my head shoot up. He gives me a soft smile, holding out his hand which I grab, placing Khensu on the floor as he leads us out of the room.

“Your eyes are like a cat’s in the sun, senit. Green as the emeralds that line the palace thrones,” he says as we walk out into the garden. I instantly pull off my sandals to feel the cool, fertile silt against my toes as I lean down to inspect my mother’s mandrakes that I continue to take care of.

I smile lightly at my father’s words, looking up at him. “I don’t think you brought me out here to talk about my eyes,” I say as he chuckles and nods.

“Nafretiri, when we arrive at the palace and your sister becomes chief wife, it is your duty to make sure she stays well behaved and remembers the task at hand. She is hot tempered and you, my girl, must help her. You have patience and kindness, little cat, unlike your sister. She must become pregnant with Harsiese’s heir in the first year or she will be thrown into a harem just like he’s threatening Bahiti. Our family’s fate lies in your hands.”

I listen to his words as I stare at the ground. It was going to be hard to make sure my sister stayed in line. She was wild as a bird, never staying in one place, and had the bite of a cobra when someone upset her. She frightened even me on occasions and I instantly prayed that I wouldn’t be over my head.

I fear that is not the case.
____________

Reeds, lotus, and cattails lined the banks of the muddy Nile as our barge carried us to the City of Pharaohs. My breath was caught in my throat in jealously as I watched my sister parade around in a sheer, white dress that accentuated her curves as rare, glistening jewels and a gold collar sparkled in the afternoon sun as they hung from her throat. She looked beautiful, like always, as her honeyed, tan shoulders and obsidian hair caught the eyes on the slaves as they rowed.

My own dress was as green as my eyes with gold accents, my dark ebony hair was in several braids and pushed back with a gold headband. My sister warned me I had to look plain, but not too plain, and have her be the first one Harsiese sees so he will fall in love with her instantly and not me. I told her she didn’t have to worry about that earning a laugh and shake of the head as she marched off to bark more orders to the servants.

The fact that she was about to become chief wife to the pharaoh of all of Upper and Lower Egypt was beginning to be unsettling, but I wisely kept my mouth shut.

As we grew closer to the palace, the water became clearer, shining like liquid lapis and silver as it glittered in the light. Many boats and ships lined the banks as men, women, and children pushed and shoved to see just a glimpse of the future chief wife of the great pharaoh.

“Great Osiris,” I whisper to myself as I see the Elders being carried high in their shining litters and hundreds of soldiers and slaves waiting for our arrival. As we stepped onto the bank, we were all escorted to our individual curtained litter and picked up as they slowly carried us to the palace.

I smile as I watch musicians entertain the growing crowds and close my eyes as the beautiful flutes play as we passed the sandstone homes that the people of Thebes lived in. I knew Harsiese was an avid music lover, as was I, and I knew he would be disappointed when he realized Shamise was not.

Entering the Malkata Palace was overwhelming. Sweet perfumes of incense wafted down the hall made of beautiful alabaster stone, the walls beautifully covered in bright tiles and paintings of papyrus fields and the Nile. I trail my hands across the magnificent art work, happy that my new home was so exquisite.

We were escorted to our own rooms where body servants helped us bathe and I was happy as they rubbed rich lavender oil into my skin as it always helped calm my nerves. My tanned skin shone from the oil as they wrapped another green dress around my body, accentuating my small waist and long legs while pushing my breasts up slightly.

The body servants then spent hours expertly lining mine and Shamise’s lips with red rouge, our eyes with thick, black kohl and mine rimmed with malachite making my green, cat like eyes even more intense, and hennaed our breasts with intricate, gorgeous designs.

After they placed heavy, hot Nubian wigs covered in braids and beads on our head before securing them with beeswax and resin. Soft creams were massaged into our skin making it silky smooth, sweet smelling perfumes spritzed between our breasts and neck, and gold and silver dust was blown softly from their palms until our bodies were covered all the way to our feet.

Looking down at the bath water I emerged from and seeing my reflection, I almost gasped.

For once, I felt beautiful next to my sister.

“You look like Isis herself,” my body servant whispered to me, making my cheeks heat up. It was rare I ever received a compliment as my sister normally stole every man and woman’s attention.

“Thank you,” I whisper back, gently giving her arm a small squeeze making her gasp lightly. I ignored it knowing why she reacted that way. They were rarely shown any kindness.

Soon, the servant stand and open the doors before turning to us. My breath catches as the utter the words,

“Are you ready to meet the the great Harsiese, Pharaoh of Egypt?”

_______

The music and festivities could be heard from the other side of the palace as we neared the large doors. Shamise gripped my hand tightly, leaning down to whisper in my ear. “Stay behind me. He must see me first.”

I nod as the doors slowly creak open and I could instantly feel a million eyes on us. My cheeks heat up instantly, my instincts telling me to shyly bow my head but instead I keep my head high like my sister. I had to get used to this; a world of constant watching.

We are greeted by a herald who clears his throat before loudly and grandly introducing us, which was very unnecessary since everyone’s attention was already on us.

“The Lady Shamise, daughter of Mehu, Senior Vizier of Egypt.”

Gasps fill the Great Hall as she takes a step forward and the endless chatter faltered instantly. I bite my lip as I step closer to the herald.

“The Lady Nafretiri, daughter of Mehu, Senior Vizier of Egypt.”

Whispers pick up making my heart rate start to thump wildly in my chest, my eyes darting left and right. Their eyes were burning into my skin  as I step forward and begin to walk towards the Horus thrones where Pharaoh and his wife sat. I see my father in the crowd and he gives me a proud nod, making me feel a bit more confident. 

As we approached closer, I feel an intense stare on my face but I ignore it, my eyes on my feet as I make sure I don’t trip and make a fool of myself. Arriving in front of the thrones, we both bow deeply with our arms outstretched.

“Rise.”

A deep, raspy voice that reminded me of pure honey spoke dominantly sending a feeling of sparks through my veins. I wondered if Shamise felt the same as we both stood up straight. 

My eyes finally move from my feet and come in contact with the most brilliant green eyes that looked like they were mixed with pure gold. I hold in my gasp as I allow myself to be drowned in their depths.

The owner of the most gorgeous eyes adorned the Nemes crown, the royal head cloth that was striped blue and gold. In the center held the Uraeus, the golden cobra crown with its hood flared that symbolized kingship. Stories say that it was able to spit fire into the eyes of the wearer’s enemies, blinding them permanently.

Pharaoh Harsiese

What shocked me the most was how the eyes were looking straight at me and not my sister.

“Harsiese,” my sister begins earning an stern, out reached hand, cutting her off.

“Silence,” he commands making my blood run cold at the sound, his eyes never leaving mine as he demands silence from my sister, the girl who was supposed to be his chief wife. From the corner of my eye, I see my sister deflate and glare at me but I can’t find myself to care.

My breathing catches in my throat as I stop myself from collapsing as he regally stands, sweeping his dark blue cape behind him as he slowly walks down the stairs towards me, his eyes still never leaving mine. His body was one of the gods, lean and full of muscle from battles at war.

The room was silent as he soon stands directly in front of me. The scent of him almost made my eyes roll back in pleasure as I inhale the rosemary oil mixed with the musk of his own body.

“Nafretiri,” he speaks lowly, his voice even more beautiful as it spoke my name. My mouth gapes slightly as I try to say something back but nothing comes out. He smiles playfully, his hand gently reaching up and caressing my chin as he closes my mouth.

Sparks dance across my skin wherever his fingers trail. “Beautiful creation. Your mawat named you well,” he comments making my cheeks heat up for the third time of the evening as he speaks the meaning of my name my mother chose. His smile becomes even brighter at the sight.

“Miw-sher,” he whispers the word ‘kitten’ as his eyes admire my face and body. “You are now mine.”

I barely have time to react before he turns and grabs my hand, raising it up. “Bow before your new, soon-to-be queen,” he exclaims loudly as I finally remember to breathe, my chest heaving dramatically as I watch the entire room, including my sister, bow before Pharaoh Harsiese and me.

______________


I tried something different! Hope you like it! Give me some feedback please! It will mean a lot and I’ll try to post Part 2 soon if you want it! x

Figure of Thoth. God of Knowledge, the Moon, Measurement, Wisdom, the Alphabet, Records, Thought, Intelligence, Meditation, the Mind, Logic, Reason, Reading, Hieroglyphics, Magic, Secrets, Scribes, and Writing. He was often depicted as a man with the head of an ibis or a baboon, animals sacred to him. Now in the Louvre.

anonymous asked:

a dumb question, maybe, but: what's one of your favorite parts about studying classics?

probably the constant reminders that throughout time and regardless of time, place, language, religion, ideology, system of governance or dominant school of thought, people remain fundamentally people

like i know that sounds really glib but it’s like - when i was doing this after alexander course last year, right, we looked at this thing called the zenon papyri, a huge stash of administrative documents from greek-ruled egypt addressed to an official called zenon, which was preserved because the winds changed and the building they were kept in was buried under a massive sand dune. and there’s one which we called the krotos papyri, which is a letter from a native egyptian writing to zenon telling him how he had been mistreated by greeks, who laugh at him because he doesn’t know how to “act like a greek” and call him a barbarian and refuse to pay him his proper wages. which is very familiar. and when you look at the actual papyrus fragment, the writing at the top is big and clear and spaced-out, but as it gets towards the bottom of the page it gets smaller and more cramped and the lines are all squint, because this nameless egyptian guy who does something with camels in the 250s BC hadn’t worked out how long his letter was going to be and he’s realised halfway through that he’s going to run out of space

and in first year i went on this trip to hadrian’s wall, and it started snowing while we were standing on it and the wind was blowing a gale right into our faces, and afterwards we heard a lecture about the vindolanda tablets, and there’s one, tablet 346, a letter to a soldier stationed there - and the soldiers stationed there could come from anywhere in the empire, rome or egypt or north africa, hot places, basically, and the wall is fucking cold - which is maybe from his wife or mother or sister, which reads as follows:

“… I have sent (?) you … pairs of socks from Sattua, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of underpants, two pairs of sandals … Greet …ndes, Elpis, Iu…, …enus, Tetricus and all your messmates with whom I pray that you live in the greatest good fortune."  

and that’s not some kind of “people don’t change” idea. people do change, have changed. you read the stuff these civilisations produced and some of it is so, so alien to us, so hard to understand, so strange. but then in amongst it you find things like people running out of space on their last bit of paper, or sending their son more socks because he’s got a job somewhere cold. and we remember it, these weird small human things, by total random chance! no-one sat down and thought ‘let’s keep this’ - the wind changes and an entire archive of papyri is preserved under a sand dune for 2000 years. the excavators who found the vindolanda tablets thought they were wood shavings. there’s a pot of roman face cream in the museum of london which still has fingerprints in the cream, which was found hidden in a ditch outside a temple. and in the meantime, we have no firsthand accounts of the campaigns of alexander, one of the most influential series of events in western history, because… we just don’t. they existed, but they’re lost. for some reason, somehow, presumably though some kind of enormous cosmic joke, we have a fragmentary letter from an anonymous person sent to an anonymous soldier telling him his pants are in the post and to say hello to his friends, but we don’t have callisthene’s deeds of alexander or ptolemy’s memoirs. isn’t that infuriating? isn’t that great? 

Ammit the Devourer. According to ancient Egyptian writings, when you die, your heart gets weighed by Anubis on a scale against the feather of Ma'at.

If your heart is lighter than a feather, congratulations you won.

If not, your heart gets fed to Ammit. Ammit is part lion, crocodile, hippo and has a spotted coat. Mmm, hearts.

Ammit is for sale! A cool 30$ and it’s yours.

what would dating ahkmenrah include

so i opened my bullet journal and started writing these and couldn’t stop. i hope someone enjoys this!


  • random history lessons
  • helping him choose records for the museum parties
  • helping him get out of his wrappings and getting them on
  • him teaching you different egyptian writings
  • seriously passionate sex
  • you often catching him up on things that happened in the world
  • talking to him and telling him stories until he turns in the morning
  • staying up late, waiting for him to wake up.
  • cuddles up on the roof of the museum, him talking about khonsu and stars
  • helping him fix his jewelry
  • his head on your lap, you stroking his hair as you two rest near his sarcophagus
  • constantly reminding the museum staff to take care of his exhibit
  • him complimenting you in ancient egyptian and you blushing like crazy. begging him to tell you what he said but he then teases you
  • bringing him todays clothes and sneaking out of the museum to take long walks in the central park
  • theodore, jed and octavius constantly teasing you two
  • larry always reminding you when the morning is near since you and ahkmenrah always have so much you forget about the time
Mythologies + Summertime feelings

Zeus: The rumbling of thunder in the middle of the day. A hot sunny day suddenly devoured by rolling clouds and the feel of a cool breeze indicating the arrival of a storm. The first droplets of rain falling upon your face, bringing strong humidity afterwards, and with it the return of the sun once more.

Chalchihuitlicue: The glistening of a river, lake, of stream by the midday sun. The bounty of creatures attracted to a body of water by a drive to survive. The shrill yet consistent cawing of seagull colonies flying above a brilliant blue ocean and perching and nesting on rocky cliffs. The sounds of rolling waves smashing against rocks compared to the daily resurgence of the calm tide at the mercy of the of the force of the moon. Nightfall brings with it the croaking of frogs, barely visible in the reeds by the riverside, and footprints in the sand washed away by the tide, memories dragged into the sea.

Dionysus: Teens sneaking out of their parents house to attend late night summer parties at their friends houses. Innocence, curiosity, and excitement in the faces of those teens as the wine is brought out. Parents recording their children’s performance in a quaint summer camp play. A pastor preaches ecstatically about their religion as they sweat in their suits, and a group of fans squeals wildly at a concert performed at by one of their favorite stars. A mother who has finally put her baby down for a nap, raiding a hiding spot for her bottle of “special juice”, which turns out to be wine, or a group of friends kicking off their shoes after a long, hard day at work and pouring some wine for each other, getting drunk and forgetting their worries of the world for just one night.

Chang'e: Finding the perfect summer night to go stargazing. Celebrating that the hot summer day has now turned into a cool summer night. Gazing up at the clear summer night sky, feeling so empty yet so full at the same time. Staying up all night to celebrate the summer solstice aka the longest day of the year. Tracking the movement of the moon night after night and watching out for meteor showers. Taking moments to just enjoy the moon, and the calm night that comes with it.

Ra: The heat of the sun beating down on you on a sweltering and muggy summer day and beads of sweat rolling down your face. Flip-flops smacking against pavement on the days where the heat disposes of the need for shoes. The shadows cast around you, reflections of the movement of the sun through the sky. The feeling of the sun burning your arm, put up to protect your eyes from it’s harsh glare. Watching the beauty of a sunset from a high altitude, and smiling, knowing that the sun will come up tomorrow.

Aphrodite: Girls strolling upon a boardwalk, dressed in pretty and colorful sundresses made of floaty fabrics and bodies adorned with shiny jewelry. Brightly painted lips that part to reveal smiles as the girls giggle at a joke one of them told. Women of all ages, shapes, and sizes finding the courage to wear their bikinis to the beach or the pool on the first day of summer. Stolen kisses in the midst of night, and the chuckles of mischievous teens going skinny dipping in a nearby lake. Dates held at carnivals where hilarity is bound to ensue. The sharing of cotton candy and frightful screams of terrifying rides lost to the night, and one individual finally gathering up the courage to kiss the other at the top of the ferris wheel. Wild thoughts and rash decisions made in the name of love, that may or may not lead to regret in the fall. Trivial activities leading to the realization that summer will come to an end eventually, and then followed by the thought to enjoy it the best you can, for life is meant to be savoured, and so is love.

Anansi: Swatting off flies on a sticky summer day. Mosquito nets put up and screen doors being closed, protection from their constant biting. Itchy bumps and visible redness brought on by the relentless bites of various insects and arachnids. Spiderwebs flowing in the summer breeze, the unfortunate corpses of their prey left to rot in the hot summer air. Spiders of various shapes and sizes crawling up buildings and nesting in cracks and crevices, protection from the summer heat.

Demeter: Rolling fields of yellow grain, and tall green stalks of corn that seem to lose you in their cornfields. The sweat of farmers in faded denim overalls with rolled up sleeves toiling in the summer heat, harvesting their crops, and the shadows cast by their wide brimmed straw hats. Sinking your teeth into a soft roll of handmade bread prepared from the harvested grains while the elderly joyfully recount memories and life stories over freshly brewed beer, toasting to more memories to come.

Agni: The crackling sounds of dry wood burning in a campfire, sparks visible in the air, the small flame illuminating the night sky. The sounds of laughter as friends and family swarm around a neighborhood bonfire. The visible smoke from a forest fire ignited by the sparks of a small, unkempt flame. The savory scent brought on by the roasting of s'mores around a flame. The glowing embers of a dying fire and the ashes that are left afterwards, a symbol of what was once there.

Hermes: Familial dysfunction occurring during an hours long road trip. Poorly read maps and a malfunctioning GPS system. Little children crying over stolen toys. The hum of the wind and hair whipped around by it, caused by a car speeding down a highway. The sound of a lone car driving down an empty road. The crossing of state lines and the miles recounted. Postcards sent and received recounting tales of places visited and vacationed to. The sound of a car engine starting up once again, signalling a readiness for adventure.

Loki: Raucous laughter caused by a very audible joke. The sneaky giggles of friends planning a prank on another. Gasps of shock as someone is “accidentally” shoved into a pool. Playing with the gags at the jokes section of a toy store. Rolling your eyes at crude, unfunny, and/or distasteful joke. Mysteriously initiated water balloon fights that lead to everyone getting soaked. Clutching your sides and gasping for breath as your eyes tear up due to a joke that for some reason you found really funny. Getting cheered up by a friend who knows how to make you smile when you’re down. Remembering the importance of comedy through all the seriousness in the world, and knowing that sometimes, you just have to laugh.

Persephone: Walking through a field of flowers, all in full bloom, watching the butterflies, bees, and other pollinators flutter around, performing their built in duties. An odd couple sits under a tree to avoid the harshness of the summer sun, an imperfectly perfect match. Spending an hour plucking fresh flowers for your crush, inhaling their lovely scent beforehand and afterwards. Basking in the sun, flowers all around you, for summer is here, and it should be cherished for it will eventually come to an end.

Ancient Egyptian works to be published together in English for first time

Ancient Egyptian texts written on rock faces and papyri are being brought together for the general reader for the first time after a Cambridge academic translated the hieroglyphic writings into modern English.

Until now few people beyond specialists have been able to read the texts, many of them inaccessible within tombs. While ancient Greek and Roman texts are widely accessible in modern editions, those from ancient Egypt have been largely overlooked, and the civilisation is most famous for its monuments.

The Great Pyramid and sphinx at Giza, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the rock-cut temples of Abu Simbel have shaped our image of the monumental pharaonic culture and its mysterious god-kings.

Toby Wilkinson said he had decided to begin work on the anthology because there was a missing dimension in how ancient Egypt was viewed: “The life of the mind, as expressed in the written word.” Read more.

Bastet, the Sun

Goddess of perfumes
Smelling so sweet
I thank you for your guidance
And desert heat

Though to me unpleasant
And frustrating to bear
I know it grows crops well
And to some animals is fair

So thank you oh mother
For this lovely day
I send lots of praises
And love your way

(A poem because I’m melting in the Arizona heat but need to remind myself to be grateful that I’m not trapped in Antarctica or something.)