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awarded everlasting life in the 'Land of the West,' and, later, a more glorified existence in the Eastern Sky. The Osirian doctrine was a popular one, but while it was accepted by the more cultured and refined among the people, it did not satisfy their aspirations, though it gave to every Egyptian the hope of securing moral purification after death, of attaining everlasting life, and of becoming an Osiris.

Trial of the dead. The Judgment scene in Amenti, of which there are three accounts, a part of the Book of the Dead and the most common in the papyri, is depicted on the walls in many tombs. The deceased is conducted to the trial chamber, the Hall of Ma'at, by Thoth; and his heart is weighed in the Great Balance against an ostrich feather representing Ma'at, the goddess of right and truth, by Anubis supervised by Thoth, who records the result and reports it to Osiris (Book of the Dead, chap. cxxv).42 The deceased is then led before his judges, Osiris and the forty-two counsellors, by Horus and there makes his profession of a moral, just, and pure life on earth, denying all wrong. In this ‘Negative Confession,' of which there are several versions, the deceased addresses Osiris as follows:43

Homage to thee, O Great god, thou Lord of Ma'at! I have come to thee, O my lord, and I have brought myself hither that I may behold thy beauties. I know thee, and I know thy name and I know the names of the two and forty gods who exist with thee in the Hall of Ma'at, who live on evil doers and devour their blood. . . . Hail to thee, great lord, lord of truth! . . . Behold I come to thee; I bring to thee righteousness and I expel for thee sin. I have committed no sin against the people, I have not


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42 Boylan, op. cit., p. 142.

13 Breasted, op. cit., pp. 299-306; also J. Baikie, “Confession (Egyptian),” in ERE iii, 827-829; Budge, Magic, p. 163; Budge, Gods, ii, 159

done evil in the place of truth. I knew no wrong. I did no evil thing. . . . I did not do that which the god abominates. I did not report evil of a servant to his master. I allowed no one to hunger. I caused no one to weep. I did no murder. I did not command to murder. I caused no man misery. I did not diminish food in the temples. I did not decrease the offerings of the gods. I did not take away the food offerings of the dead. I did not diminish the grain measure. I did not load the weight of the balances.


. I did not withhold the herds of the temple endowments. I did not interfere with the god in his payments. I am purified four times. I am pure as that great Phoenix is pure which is at Hierakonpolis [Henen-nesut]. For I am that nose of the Lord of Breath who keeps alive all the people. . . . There arises no evil thing against me in this land, in the Hall of Ma'at, because I know the names of these gods who are therein, the followers of the Great God.

If the deceased is found 'true of speech,' the gods say, "Pass onwards," and he is guided by Horus. After traversing the Seven Halls of Osiris and answering correctly the names of the many pylons and other questions, the god of the pylons says, "Pass on, thou art pure,”” and he becomes one of the 'People of the West,' in the land of Sekhet-Earu, or 'Field of Rushes.' By the side of the Great Balance sits a monster, Sobk, the 'Devouress,' with the body of a hippopotamus and the jaws of a crocodile," to whom Anubis tosses the hearts which do not weigh against the feather, of the unfortunates who fail to justify themselves, or of those who are condemned to torments or to punishments that mean annihilation or long agony.

The Book of the Dead and 'Coffin Texts.'

In order to pass the ordeal successfully and to become one of the blessed, enjoying everlasting life in the 'Land of the West,' the deceased must not only know the names of 44 Budge, Magic, p. 167.

45 Müller, op. cit., pp. 148, 179-180.

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his judges, the counsellors, and other persons and things he meets on his journey, but he must be prepared to avoid the pitfalls and dangers of the passage to his final resting place. “I know you, and I know your names, therefore know ye me, even as I know your names. Accordingly all the necessary information was prepared and buried with the dead-lists of names, prayers, texts, hymns of praise, and especially magic words of power—to enable him to answer all questions correctly and to arrive at his final home in the 'Field of Rushes,' the celestial realm of the early kings.“The dead are glorious by reason [means] of their equipped mouths."*? King Unas at his burial

47 (3300 B.C.) was provided with a book of words of power in which it was stated that “the bone and flesh which possess no writing are wretched, but behold, the writing of Unas is under the great seal, and behold, it is not under the little seal."'48 The devouring crocodile was held back by these means: “Get thee back, return, get thee back, thou crocodile fiend, Sobk! Thou shalt not advance to me, for I live by reason of the words of power I have with me”; or, “I am clothed and wholly provided with thy magical words, O Rē, the which are in heaven above me, and in the earth beneath me." These matters are contained in the Pyramid Texts, originally the mortuary customs for kings engraved on the walls of the royal tombs; but after the Old Kingdom, the belief in the effectiveness of the uttered word developed to such an extent that they were appropriated by the middle and official classes, thus coming to represent a similar funerary literature of the populace of the Feudal Age.

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The texts were written on rolls of papyrus which have 46 Budge, op. cit., p. 165. 47 Breasted, op. cit., p. 94. 48 Budge, op. cit., p. 124.


49 Ib.,


commonly come to be called the ‘Book of the Dead,' the official version, which was built up gradually and which became standardized in some measure, even canonical in the Saïte period, finally containing 165 chapters. Copies of extracts from these documents, about equally divided between the popular mortuary literature and the Pyramid Texts, were supplied by the priests to the coffinmakers of the Feudal Age; and scribes copied them in pen and ink on the inner surface of the cedar coffins, inserting the name of the deceased, whence they came to be known as 'Coffin Texts.950 In some of these copies the successful issue of the trial, as anticipated by the deceased and his friends, was depicted, and the word “justified' was appended to his name on the tomb.51

The life in the tomb. In the cult of the dead, the after-life in the tomb, in Amenti, was an active one, similar in many respects to that on earth; and a text in the Book of the Dead, chap. cx, gives a man power of “doing everything even as a man doeth on earth." 162 While the present life was in every way preferable, that of the dead was not gloomy, but was joyous and happy if their wants were supplied; though neglect rendered their existence correspondingly wretched. Those in the tomb required food, drink, clothing, utensils, and servants (ushebtiu) as when on earth; but for these they were entirely dependent on the good will and sacrifices of their family, their friends, and those who followed them. Since, therefore, there was constant dread that their stores in the tomb should fail, endowments were established to guard against such a contingency, and other

50 Breasted, op. cit., pp. 272 ff., 293, 296 f. 61 Gardiner, in EB ix, 56.

62 Budge, Gods, i, 168; see further, A. H. Gardiner, "Life and Death (Egyptian),” in ERE viii, 19-25.



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measures were taken that the supply should be continuous and permanent.“ Providing for the deceased became a heavy financial burden upon the people until it was finally lifted by the ingenuity of the priests with the aid of the magic of daily life, which was brought more and more to bear on the hereafter and which was increasingly placed at the service of the dead."* All things pictured on the walls of the tomb mystically became real and alive, ready for the service of the occupant by the mere magic of wordformulas. Hence, all the necessaries of life, including arable fields, and servants and animals to work them, were imitated in figures or were portrayed on the walls; and when given a name, they supplied all wants, thus permanently securing the future comfort of the departed by “those things which chanted declamation makes real."*** Appeals to passers-by were engraved on the tombs, requesting them to utter a prayer, i.e., to recite the magic formulas that procured these essentials for the happy life of the dead, saying, “It will cost but a breath of the mouth."57 It may be noted that wild and dangerous animals, such as lions and elephants, were often pictured as incomplete and as lacking an essential part if it was thought that they might be dangerous to the occupant when they became alive.58

The soul and the body. The Egyptians believed that both gods and men were composed of at least two elements, a body and a soul. The body had a double, a ka, an incorporeal reflection which



63 Breasted, op. cit., pp. 267 ff.
54 Ib., pp. 294 ff.
66 Müller, op. cit., pp. 177 ff.
66 Foucart, in ERE ix, 152.
67 Gardiner, in EB ix, 56; also Breasted, op. cit., pp. 272 ff. .

58 P. Lacau, "Suppressions et modifications de signes dans les textes funéraires," in ZÄ, 1914, li, 1-64.


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