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The Instruction of Ptah-Hotep and the Instruction of Ke'Gemni The Oldest Books in the World   By:

The Instruction of Ptah-Hotep and the Instruction of Ke'Gemni The Oldest Books in the World by Kagemna

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Transcriber's note: the various sections of this book had varying page headers. Those headers have been collected at the start of each section as introductory paragraphs.]

THE WISDOM OF THE EAST

THE INSTRUCTION OF PTAH HOTEP AND THE INSTRUCTION OF KE'GEMNI: THE OLDEST BOOKS IN THE WORLD.

TRANSLATED FROM THE EGYPTIAN WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND APPENDIX

BY BATTISCOMBE G. GUNN

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET

1906

TO

MY MOTHER

VII.NOV.MCMIV

CONTENTS

Page

INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

THE INSTRUCTION OF PTAH HOTEP . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

THE INSTRUCTION OF KE'GEMNI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

APPENDIX

NOTE TO APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

THE INSTRUCTION OF AMENEMHÊ'ET . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67

EXPLANATION OF NAMES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72

BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

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EDITORIAL NOTE

The object of the editors of this series is a very definite one. They desire above all things that, in their humble way, these books shall be the ambassadors of good will and understanding between East and West, the old world of Thought, and the new of Action. In this endeavour, and in their own sphere, they are but followers of the highest example in the land. They are confident that a deeper knowledge of the great ideals and lofty philosophy of Oriental thought may help to a revival of that true spirit of Charity which neither despises nor fears the nations of another creed and colour. Finally, in thanking press and public for the very cordial reception given to the "Wisdom of the East" series, they wish to state that no pains have been spared to secure the best specialists for the treatment of the various subjects at hand.

L. CRANMER BYNG. S. A. KAPADIA.

4, HARCOURT BUILDINGS, INNER TEMPLE, LONDON.

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THE INSTRUCTION OF PTAH HOTEP

INTRODUCTION

Memorials of the Past The Land of Darkness The Time of Ptah Hotep Concerning the Book The Treatise of Ke'Gemni Date of the Manuscript An Egyptian Chesterfield Who was Ptah Hotep? His Teaching Views on Women The Gods of Egypt Previous Translations The Oldest Book Known

Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new! It hath been already of old time, Which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; Neither shall there be any remembrance Of things that are to come With those that shall come after.

In these days, when all things and memories of the past are at length become not only subservient to, but submerged by, the matters and needs of the immediate present, those paths of knowledge that lead into regions seemingly remote from such needs are somewhat discredited; and the aims of those that follow them whither they lead are regarded as quite out of touch with the real interests of life. Very greatly is this so with archaeology, and the study of ancient and curious tongues, and searchings into old thoughts on high and ever insistent questions; a public which has hardly time to {12} read more than its daily newspaper and its weekly novel has denounced almost dismissed them, with many other noble and wonderful things, as 'unpractical,' whatever that vague and hollow word may mean.

As to those matters which lie very far back, concerning the lands of several thousand years ago, it is very generally held that they are the proper and peculiar province of specialists, dry as dusts, and persons with an irreducible minimum of human nature. It is thought that knowledge concerning them, not the blank ignorance regarding them that almost everywhere obtains, is a thing of which to be rather ashamed, a detrimental possession; in a word, that the subject is not only unprofitable (a grave offence), but also uninteresting, and therefore contemptible. This is a true estimate of general opinion, although there are those who will, for their own sakes, gainsay it... Continue reading book >>




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