egyptian writing

anonymous asked:

pharmercy + ilios + kissing

The sea is effervescent, foam crashing against the shoreline sand, like bubbles from a child’s soapy wand; the sun is more radiant than any other light source or star - but not quite as radiant as Fareeha, laughing, arms clasped tight around Angela’s middle and they are falling, falling - in love, maybe - into something else; the ocean; straight out of the clear, blue sky.

“Fareeha!” Angela shouts, her heart racing quick against the fragile flesh of her chest, her laughter like chimes, the wind rushing past both their faces in a gust of salty air, whipping hair and stray bits of clothing. They are a flag, or a leaf, or a streamer - free things.

My god, thinks Angela, utterly in bliss; for the first time - unable to articulate her thoughts. The crystal, calcium-copper of the Raptora’s colors, mirrored on Fareeha’s bathing-suit (too bright for a battle field) seems to finally belong - here, in Ilios, picturesque and yellow, blue, and orange. Purple sunsets and golden sunrises.

“Hold your breath,” Fareeha tells her. It can’t be below a shout, doesn’t sound above a whisper, but her voice is chuckling, sincerity and security; Angela does what she is asked - would do anything Fareeha ever asked of her.

Fareeha would never make her uncomfortable, would never demand of her what she wasn’t already willing to give.

They hit the water in an zealous splash. Air rushes out of Angela’s lungs and the light disappears for just a moment, replaced with a dull glow. The sound of bubbles fills her ears, and a rush of waves. She opens her eyes and it stings, but there is a curtain of rippling light above them where the sea distorts the rays of sun into a blanket of fractals; and there is Fareeha, still scrunching her eyes shut tight against the impact, hair flowing out in the current, tendrils and wisps - she’s so beautiful … Angela stops, hard stops, that’s all there is: she’s so beautiful.

It has to be pure stupid luck but Fareeha leans in on a whim and

her lips land on Angela’s, and

the little air remaining in Angela’s lungs finds its way into Fareeha’s mouth in a pleasant gasp and

a fit of giggles.

A second later they break the surface breathing hard and wiping their eyes of stray droplets; Angela smiling, Fareeha grinning, the world is warm, burning; moments - it’s just a moment, a month, a year; with Fareeha it feels like a lifetime.

#134

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

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

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.

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!

Afterthoughts

I was always partial to dogs, but there was nothing about him that was appealing, not a tinge of sympathy nor the telling curl of adoration in his face. I thought for a moment that it could be how light-less and lifeless his eye were, but realistically, I knew it was because I never intended to be sitting on my knees across from a Jackal-headed judge that I never even thought to worship. I’d forgotten more about Egyptian mythology than most tattooed twenty-somethings ever learned. Whiskey always seems to steal the wrong memories.

I sat before him, wishing I hadn’t been too lazy to shave, slightly embarrassed at the stubble covering cheek and chin. I knew what was coming, incapable of moving more than the muscles in my face, a slight corner kink turning my blank expression into a sad little smirk. I was more concerned with my shirt being ripped or my tattoo getting damaged than any sort of supernatural sentencing. Priorities. My breath caught, frozen in my chest as his hand took up residence. Every molecule of oxygen, every drop of blood solidified, the sub-arctic chill strangling me from the inside out. I shut my eyes tight. It hand to end soon.

And yet it carried on for what seemed an inconceivably long time. Surely eternity wouldn’t come before judgement had been passed. My eyelids slowly separated, pupils focusing on a face that now resembled a compassionate puppy dog than the stoic scavenger from before. Slowly his hand withdrew, bringing with it the comfort of a temperature change, the thawing of the breath ready to escape my lungs. He held out his palm, nearly empty except for a few small shreds of some muscle long removed.

“This is all?” he asked.

“Yeah…Well…” was all I could muster.

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.)

Ma’at

A song swept through the Duat. The temple of the Gods sounded as Ra was awoke once more. The foul serpent would rise once more, and he walked through the the glistening walls of sandstone lightened by his mere presence. His visage and body were adorned with the horns and wings of a beetle. He was Khepri. He ran off saluting his lineage with blades swooshing through this underworld. The demons and spirits were in awe as the darkness was absconded by gleams of hope. He saw the serpent draw near, as it flew in the sky, breathing a foul miasma. With the chatter of wings, he flew to dissipate the darkness. The serpent, Apep, was dealt a blow, chipping a fang. Mighty tail slashes, bolts of dark and light, fire of holy and unholy origins raged through the sky. Khepri became Ra, and shone a light so bright that it protected the Duat in its entirety. The souls clamored for Ra. The noise became a force, and the force became mighty javelins. Ra struck the foul Apep with those shining poles, piercing the endless body of the serpent. Apep was stalled, but not for long. Ra was growing weary with the hours, and from his once mighty visage, he became Atum, dwindling as his body grew older, and his solar crown  dimmed. Apep struck, trying to engulf the god and devour him. But Atum knew his foe too well. A slick smile appeared from the senile man, and destroyed the snake in an instant with a plasma ball that destroyed the beast with from within. Atum was tired, and he returned to his kin. He asked Horus and Osiris about their respective kingdoms. Isis shared divinations, and Nephtys lamented her husband’s damnation. Hathor and Sekhmet danced elegantly: one with a motherly grace and the other with a bloodthirsty lust. He gave thanks for his family, for their hard work, and recognized that they all did their work. Justice, Ma’at, was preserved by them. They were the examples of good in the world, so that humans could look in bewilderment, and search their feelings and unleash the wellsprings of Ma’at held within. Atum returned to his chamber and slept, as Ra. But tomorrow, the foul serpent would be back. But it did not matter. He would be Khepri at dawn, Ra in the day, and Atum during the evening. 

14 year old me writing fanfics: i’m gonna make an original character for this series. she’s gonna be latina like me. because fuck you, that’s why.

15 year old me writing with friends: alright i see your white characters, this is mine. she’s latina and black. and probably gay. 

17 years old me shopping in a bookstore: why are all fantasy books about white medieval europe??? I’m going to write my own fantasy novel and it’ll be set in ancient egypt and everybody will be brown. and gay.

20 year old me, still writing the egyptian novel: fuck every piece of whitewashed egyptian fiction ever. i’m gonna make my characters ever darker and gayer. because fuck heteronormativity.

22 year old me: why CAN’T I make my character gay in this comic. He’s gonna be gay. and my co-author informs me he’s also latino. 

26 year old me talking with my coauthor: alright the heroes for this space adventure are gonna be girls. are they brown. and gay. oh cool, they are. 

30 year old me working at the same bookstore: why are all the books for little girls pink and glittery?? I’m gonna make my own series of books for little girls with no pink and no glitter and no princesses and they’ll also gonna be brown! now i won’t write about any kind of romance, but i still headcanon at least two of them as gay. the latina one is gay.

32 year old me telling my editor about the sequel of the egyptian novel: there’s gonna be even more women in the story. they’re all gonna be brown. and probably all gay, too. 

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?