We wrote about the first tow book in the previous Blog.
The Litany of Ra
The Litany of Ra is one of the most important spiritual texts of ancient Egypt. Some of Egypt's greatest pharaohs such as Thutmose III, Sety I, and Rameses II had illustrated editions of this text included in the decoration of their tombs.
The Litany of Ra played a role in the evolution of the Tarot (Tarok) cards and played an important role in the daily lives of ancient Egyptians.
The Litany of Re is a religious text which appears in a number of Egyptian royal tombs dating to the New Kingdom. It is composed of a number of texts invoking the sun god in his various forms. At the end of the texts, the King is identified as the sun god to general rejoicing by the inhabitants of the underworld.
The representations of the sun god consist of his morning form (Kheper), his evening form (Atum) and many other forms in between. He shown in some scenes as a ram headed diety and in others as a baboon. The sun god is also shown as a mummy with the head of a lion or of a human being.
In the tomb of Tuthmose III, the Litany of Re is in the King's burial chamber. The book then disappears until the reign of Seti I in the Ninetenth Dynasty. From that point on it was usually put in the tomb's entrance corridor.
THE LITANY OF RA
This Litany of divine names (also called the "Little Litany", to distinguish it from the "Great
Litany", in which 75 different aspects of Ra are praised, each one with an invocation) accompanies
the figures of the 74 forms of Ra inscribed in many "Houses of Eternity" (tombs) of the greatest
Kings of Egypt, such as Thutmosis III, Sethi I, Ramses III and others.
It is a nocturnal Litany to be recited during the night,
"every day when Ra goes to rest in the West", as the rubric states.
After an introductory hymnlike spell in which the King praises and eulogizes the Sun God and
Osiris, the 74 names of Ra are revealed.
The text of this spell on the walls of the “House of Eternity” of the King Thutmosis III recites:
Glory be to Thee,
O Thou Who belongest to the Djeba of the One Joined Together.
Thy Ba is glorious, Thy bodies breathe.
King Men-Kheper-Ra passes by the mysterious caverns and He traverses the mysteries therein.
King Thutmosis, Nefer-Kheperu, calls upon Thee as the Ba of Ra, Thou callest upon King Men-
Kheper-Ra as the Ba of Ra.
His Ba is Thy Ba, His bodies are Thy bodies.
When He passes by the following of the Ba of Ra to the mysterious place of the inhabitants of the
caverns, then He jubilates at His glory, then Thutmosis jubilates at His glory like me, my very
Ra says to the King Men-Kheper-Ra:
“Thou art like me, Thou art my second self”.
The Djeba of the One Joined Together says to the King Thutmosis, Whose word is right and truth:
“Oh, mayest Thou lead Him, He at the head of His cavern”.
(to say four times)
This spell is to be recited to every God, and these must be depicted exactly as those on the two sidewalls
of the Netherworld, while the two parts must be placed on them as a Divine action.
Then Thou art a Ba as the second self of Ra, the Heir of the Djeba of the One Joined Together.
This book is to be recited every day when Ra goes to rest in the West, exactly and correctly.
The Burial Chamber of the House of Eternity of King Thutmosis III
The seventy-four forms of the Sun God Ra, and Their names:
(the images are from the “House of Eternity” of the King Thutmosis III, inscribed on the two pillars
of the Burial chamber)
1-The Becoming One 6-The Becoming One
2-Ra of the Great Disk 7-The Goddess Tefnut
3-He of the Severe Face 8-The Goddess Nut
4-He Who punishes with the Stake 9-The Goddess Nephthys
5-He Who gives Light to the Bodies 10-The Watery Abyss (the God Nun)
11-The Decomposed One 16-The Ever becoming One
12-The Great Ram 17-The Ejector
13-The Divine Eye 18-He Who causes to Breathe
14-The One of the Cavern 19-The Resting Ba
15-He of the Hidden Members 20-The Flaming One
21-The Brilliant One 26-The Shining Horn
22-The Hidden One 27-He of the Exalted Forms
23-The Jubilating One 28-The Distant Ba
24-He Whose ways are correct 29-The High Ba
25-The Lightning One 30-He of the Two Children
31-The Blazing One in the Earth 35-The Eternal One
32-He of the Caldron 36-Lord of Might
33-The Watchers 37-Lord of Darkness
34-The Baboon of the Netherworld
38-The One Joined Together 42-The Dark One
39-He at the Head of His Cavern 43-The Ba of Ra
40-He who protects the Ba 44-The God Atum
41-The Wind in the Ba 45-The God Shu
46-The God Geb 49-The Weeper
47-The Goddess Isis 50-Those of the Adu-fish
48-The God Horus 51-The God Netuty
52-The West, the Netherworld 55-The One of the Cat
53-The Mourner 56-He of the Coffin
54-He at the Head of the Westerners 57-The God Shay
From right to left:
58-He of the Hidden Bodies 61-The Provider of the Earth
59-Lord of the Netherworld 62-The Venerable One
60-He with Reassembled Members 63-The Traveller
64-The Maker of Bodies 67-The Great Cat
65-The Hidden One 68-He Whose Brilliant Eye Speaks
66-The Elevated One 69-The God Iuty
70-He of the Dark Face 73-The Outflow-The Walker
71-The Binder 74-The Renewer of the Earth
-He of the House of the Obelisk
72-The Exalted Earth
Here is the original text
The Book of Nut
One of the oldest goddesses in Egyptian mythology is Nut, the goddess of the sky ( nut means ‘sky’ in the ancient Egyptian language). It was believed that that the sky is, in fact, a star-covered nude woman arched over the earth in a plank or perhaps down-dog position. Some of her titles include Mistress of All, She Who Holds a Thousand Souls, and She Who Protects.
According to the Egyptian creation myth, Atum (the creator) created himself out of the chaotic primordial waters of Nun. By creating himself, Atum created being. As he emerged from Nun, he brought with him a hill to stand upon. From that vantage point, Atum made the god of air, Shu, and the goddess of moisture, Tefnut. These two united to create the earth, Geb, and the sky, Nut. Both Geb and Nut are traditionally depicted without clothes on and it was believed that they were having intercourse continually with Nut lying on top of Geb.
Eventually, they had to be separated by air but before that Nut gave birth to four gods: Osiris (initially the ruler of the gods and then the lord of the underworld), Isis (goddess of nature and magic), Set (god of warfare and destruction), and Nephthys (goddess of water and funeral rites). Some legends tell of a fifth god, Arueris, who is generally seen as an Egyptian counterpart to the Greek Apollo.
Nut came to be considered a protector of souls as they entered the afterlife. She was a friend to the dead, a mother-like guardian, who would help the souls leave the underworld and join her in the stars. For this reason, the inside lids of many sarcophagi are painted with images of Nut. A prayer often written on ancient tombs reads “O my Mother Nut, stretch Yourself over me, that I may be placed among the imperishable stars which are in You, and that I may not die.”
Three texts of the Book of Nut are preserved on monuments: the tomb of Ramses IV, The Cenotaph of Seti I at the Osireion in Abydos, and the tomb of the noblewoman Mutirdis of the 26th Dynasty . These monumental copies are written in hieroglyphs.
The Tebtunis textual material is currently scattered all over the world due to its complex excavation and acquisition history. There are several thousand fragments of unpublished papyri held by various museums that are being evaluated by scholars.
The book is intended to provide both a topography of the sky and an understanding of the sun's daily course.
The brief captions augment this understanding and are distributed over the entire scene, describing its details as well as the actions of the sun god, the decans and other divine beings.
O. Neugebauer set out and coded the various captions within the depiction. For example, Text L provides a definition of the "far regions of the sky", that are in the primeval darkness and waters, not touched by the sun. They have no boundaries or cardinal directions. A list of decans that may originate in the Middle Kingdom are provided in Texts S through X. These captions tell us the decans work and their periodic invisibility, including their transit through the meridian. The text labeled Dd through Ff explain migratory birds and their nests.
The Book of the Night,
The first version of the Book of the Night that we know of comes from the Osireion at Abydos, and only extends to the ninth hour of the night. There was a copy in the tomb (KV8) of Merneptah on the ceiling of the antechamber, but it is mostly gone now. Ramesses IV included this book next to the Book of Nut on the ceiling of his sarcophagus chamber, though only as far as the fourth hour. However, the tomb (KV9) of Ramesses VI gives us two complete copies, one on the west side of the ceiling of the sarcophagus chamber while the second version is spread out through earlier chambers Both versions are complemented by representations of the Book of the Day. We also find scenes from the book in the tomb of Ramesses IX
The Book of the Night is divided into twelve sections separated from each other by vertical line of text designated as "gates". Unlike the Book of Gates, these precede the hours of the night to which they belong. The arms and legs of Nut represent the first and last gate, though the first hour is not presented. For each hour there is an introductory text which provides the most important details, though the remaining captions are brief.
The book is arranged in three registers that are staggered into five to seven registers due to space considerations. The sun barque travelers through the center register. Within this boat, the sun god, who is in his shrine, is surrounded by the coils of the Mehen-serpent while another serpent protects him.
The crew of his boat features Sia at the prow as the spokesman of the god, Hu at the stern, Ma'at, and in the version at Abydos, the king. Within the upper registers are various deities while the lower register features various groups of deceased people, including the blessed and the damned. In front of the boat is a large group of towmen, sometimes as many as thirty, called the Unwearing Ones, who are led by the king. There is no descriptive text like that found in he Books of the Netherworld, and generally, the registers are not divided into scenes. At the end, a summary of the entire course of the sun is provided.
There must obviously be many similarities between this book and other Books of the Netherworld. Interestingly, however, the sun's enemy Apophis does not appear in this book at all though he appears in the Neitherworld books. Instead, the repelling of Seth is mentioned several times. This book complements the Book of the Day, beginning at the point where the sun god is swallowed by Nut and ending when she gives birth to him in the morning as a scarab. The sun god take the form of the Ram-headed nocturnal god, and is designated as flesh.
Sia takes an important role in this book, appearing as the spokesman of the sun god. The sun god has his own escort in the middle register of each hour, in place of the hour goddesses who accompany him in the Amduat and the Book of Gates.
Only in the Seti I version are remains of an introductory text. Here, the sun god provides us with an explanation of the goal of his journey through the underworld, which has to do with judging the damned and caring for the blessed. The primeval darkness is mentioned as a border area.
As in the Amduat and the Book of Gates, the first hour is seen as interstitial, and thus is not presented. The book begins with the second hour, where in the upper register depicts both individual and groups of deities. These include the deities of the four cardinal points, the bas of Buto and Hierakonpolis, and the two Enneads, which stand for the all divine beings.
In the upper register of the seventh hour, general forms also appear that represent existence and nonexistence. To their opposite are all of the deceased in the lower register, appearing as transfigured ones (akhu), mummies and the "dead", who are damned.
Missing is the union of Re and Osiris, found in other funerary text, though the representation of bas and corpses in the lower register of the sixth hour indicates the longed for union in the depths of night, with which the regeneration in the seventh hour is connected. Here, the critical moment requires the overcoming of various enemies. In the lower register of the seventh hour, another motif that first appears in the Book of Gates (13th scene) takes form. here, Horus looks upon both foreigners (shown as Asiatics, Libyans, Medja bedouins and Nubians) and Egyptians (shown as dwellers in the fertile land and the desert). The foreigners are depicted as bound enemies. The speech of the sun god also includes motifs from the 21st scene of the Book of Gates.
On the lower register of the eighth hour we find an enthroned Osiris, with Horus and the other gods connected with him in attendance. He is shown in victory over enemies, though only in Late Period representations are they directly addressed as Seth. Here, the groups of the blessed and damned are turned to Osiris is prayer, and their depiction continues into the ninth hour, when they are addressed by Sia. He dictates their fate in the afterlife and their attachment to Osiris, but in the tenth hour, only the blessed appear in the lower register.
The towmen preceding the solar barque are joined by four jackals designated "Western bas" in the twelfth and last hour. Here, the deities, including Osiris, in the lower register pray before the concluding representation which summarizes the entire course of the sun. The sun god, with the help of the primeval gods, is transformed into a scarab and a child. In the backdrop are the two boats of his daytime and nighttime passage, together with Isis and Nephthys who were later depicted in the prow of the barques, keeping the sun in motion between them. The text here refers to the total course of the sun god in the three cosmic realms consisting of the netherworld (Duat), the primeval waters (Nun) and the sky (Nut).
At the end is a description of the "Western bas". who tow the sun god into the sky.
The book of the Earth.
The Book of the Earth is an Ancient Egyptian funerary text that has been called many names such as The Creation of the Sun Disk and the Book of Aker.
The Book primarily appears on the tombs of Merneptah, Twosret, Ramesses III, Ramesses VI, and Ramesses VII and serves as a counterpart to the Book of Caverns.
Although it is uncertain, it is believed that the surviving panels of the original composition were each divided into three registers. Thus making it unclear about whether or not scenes from other tombs are actually part of the story of the Book of the Earth or if they are separate.
Scholars believe that the Book consists of two halves with one half containing scenes of punishment. The Book of the Earth uses the sun disc as a reoccurring theme. The scenes are oriented so that they are facing to the right, and the illustrations can be read from right to left, like in the tomb of Ramesses VI.
The Book is divided into five main components; Part E, Part D, Part C, Part B, and Part A. These components make up the theme of the creation of the solar disc and the theme of the sun god, Re's journey in the underworld and making it out into the light. Most of the content takes place within Part D and Part A.
Part EIn this part, there are six gods shown praying to a sun disc at burial mounds. This is smallest portion of the Book that is known, and Part E is most likely not the beginning of the Book of the Earth.
Part DPart D is probably the beginning of the composition, where most of the setting is introduced. A majority of the content of the Book of the Earth is also located within this section. The realm of the dead is depicted with Osiris, as the primary figure, located within a tomb that is guarded by serpents. Beneath Osiris are the gods Anubis and another god who have their arms stretched out to provide protection over his corpse. This scene depicts renewal, while the scenes on both adjacent sides depict punishment. In the scenes of punishment, the gods of punishment are represented and are holding cauldrons.
Next, the mummy of the sun god stands upon a large sun disc that is enclosed by two pairs of arms rising from the depths of Nun. Surrounding this scene is a wreath of twelve stars and twelve small disks that indicate the course of the hours. The hands of two goddesses hold the ends of this illustration.
The final scene in this section shows Aker, who is representing the barque of the sun god, as a double sphinx. The barque is supported by two uraei, and inside the barque are Khepri and Thoth who are praying to the sun god. Underneath the barque are two royal figures with Isis and Nephthys who are holding a winged scarab beetle and a sun disc.
The middle register begins with Horus rising up out of a divine figure called the "Western One." Next, there are seven mounds that each contains a god. In the next scene, the propagation of Horus is repeated in which Horus is now falcon-headed, and rises from the body of Osiris which is being protected by the corpses of Isis and Nephthys.
In the next scene, Nun's arms are holding the solar disc, and other arms and two uraei hold another sun disc. A serpent is located on the top of this sun disc, which might signify the regeneration of the sun.
Like many Ancient Egyptian texts, the bottom register shows the punishment of enemies in the Place of Annihilation since it is below the gods. Since gods are more important figures, they are depicted above others. The sun god is shown above with several sarcophagi and four enemies below.
Finally, we find a corpse lying in a large sarcophagus located in the Place of Annihilation, which Re calls the "corpse of Shetit." This is the realm of the dead where gods and goddesses above the scene hold their hands out in prayer. In the last scene, we find the Apophis serpent being seized by ram headed gods.
Part CPart C comprises three registers that might be connected to Part D, but the exact sequence is unclear. The upper and middle registers both start off with images of the sun god in his ram-headed form. Two ba-birds are praying to him while an unknown god is greeting him in the middle register. Behind the unknown god are two additional gods, one being ram-headed and the other being serpent-headed. These gods have their hands stretched out in front of them, towards the sun disc, in a protective gesture. Out of this gesture, the falcon shaped head of "Horus of the netherworld" is projected.
Part BThe registers of this section are less obvious, and many parts might be considered to belong to Part A. The first scenes in this section consist of four oval shapes with mummies inside, which are able to breathe from the rays of the sun god. There are also four burial mounds that have been turned over and are being protected by serpents.
The main part of this section depicts a mummy, who is standing, called "corpse of the god," which is also the sun disc itself. In front of him, a serpent rises out of a pair of arms and holds a god and goddess in the act of praise. Behind the mummy is another par of arms, called the "arms of darkness," that is being supported by the crocodile, Penwenti.
Next, there are four more ovals containing mummies with four ba-birds, one ba-bird for each mummy. This, along with two additional hieroglyphs, represents shadows. Underneath this illustration are depictions of barques that contain the mummies of Osiris and the falcon-headed Horus.
At the end of this segment of the Book of the Earth, the upper portion shows a depiction of a large burial mound, containing the sun disc with an unknown god praying to it. Two heads and two goddesses that are located on both sides of the large burial mound also give praise. Directly below this, on the bottom register, are four gods and ba-birds that are also praying.
Part AIn the beginning of this section, the sun god is enclosed by mummies at a burial mound called the Mound of Darkness. Above this mound, a solar barque is shown. Following this scene, Aker is depicted as a double sphinx. the solar barque is located between the entrance and the exit of the realm of the dead, with its stern side facing the exit. Below shows the resurrection of the corpse of the sun, which is a scene that typically occurs in royal sarcophagus chambers. A falcon head emerges from a sun disc, and the light is shown falling on the "mysterious corpse" which is lying down. In the next scene, twelve goddess, each representing an hour of the night, are depicted.
Each goddess has the hieroglyph of a star and a hieroglyph of a shadow with a beaming disk above her. At the beginning of the fourth scene, a few of the mummies are enclosed within four large circles. In the fifth scene, a central god, who is thought to be Osiris, is surrounded by the corpses of Shu (Egyptian deity), Tefnut, Khepri and Nun. The sixth scene, shows a pair of arms rising from the depths. A goddess called Annihilator stands up with her arms reaching to embrace a sun disc.
The arms are supporting two praying goddesses named West and East in a reverse orientation. It is believed that the upper register of this part ends with a line containing a title of this work, though it is still unknown.
The middle register begins with the solar barque again. It is towed by fourteen ram-headed gods with all of their bas. Next, a god stands in his cave, surrounded by twelve star goddesses who are extending discs to him.
The following scene, which is scattered around the tomb of Ramesses VI, shows five burial mounds with a head and arms emerging from it. They are raised up in a gesture of praise. In the third scene, the birth of the sun is represented. This scene also occurs on the sarcophagus of Ramesses IV, but there is more detail and more story on that sarcophagus than in this scene.