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Aug 30, 2004

There is a slight problem with this presentation: the original bilingual document, supposedly engraved on a silver plaque, has never been found. As has been mentioned in a previous posting ( http://www.proz.com/topic/24184 ), these are simply copies that have survived to the present day, proving that translation as an institutional profession has existed since the earliest civilizations (1269-70 B.C. may be a reasonable, well-founded and conservative estimate, taking into account that the dates oscillate between 1280 and 1240 B.C.).

The subject matter is a peace treaty between Egypt and the land of Hatti/Kheta, home of the Hittites in Asia Minor (present-day Turkey).

The capital in which Hattusil III lived was called Hattusha, and is located 200 kilometres east of Ankara (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987). The city that Ramses II founded to be his administrative capital was called Pi-Ramses and is found on the Nile Delta. Ramses himself travelled extensively between other Egyptian cities.

The translations in English are based on the copies engraved on the Temple of Amon in Karnak (Egyptian side; another copy exists in the Ramesseum) and on a clay tablet conserved in the Akkadian language, now found in the Archaeological Museum in Istanbul. Many such clay tablets believed to have functioned as official gazettes and records have been found.

Egyptian text:



Hittite (Akkadian) text:



[Edited at 2006-08-08 21:28]


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Egyptian Text in English Aug 30, 2004

From "Treaty of Peace Between Rameses II and the Hittites," translated by C. W. Goodwin, in Records of the Past, being English Translations of the Assyrian and Egyptian Monuments, vol. 4 (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, 1875), pp. 27-34.:

1. The twenty-first year, the twenty-first day of Tybi, [1] in the reign of King RA-USER-MA,[2] approved by the Sun, Son of the Sun, RAMESSU-MERIAMEN,[3] endowed with life eternal and for ever; lover of AMEN-RA, HARMACHU, PTAH of Memphis, MAUT Lady of Asheru, and CHENSU-NEFERHOTEP; invested upon the throne of HORUS, among the living, like his father HARMACHU, eternally and for ever.

2. On this day behold His Majesty was in the city of the House of Ramessu-Meriamen, making propitiations to his father AMEN-RA, to HARMACHU, to ATOM Lord of On, to AMEN of Ramessu-Meriamen, to PTAH of Ramessu-Meriamem, to SUTECH the most glorious son of NUT; may they grant him an eternity of thirty-years' festivals, an infinity of years of peace, all lands, all nations, being bowed down beneath his feet for ever.

3. There came a royal Herald (nearly a whole line is erased here; the sellsc is, two royal Heralds came, bringing a tablet of silver, which)

4. the Grand-Duke of Kheta,[4] KHETA-SIRA, had sent to the King to beg for peace of King RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun, Son of the Sun, RAMESSU-MERIAMEN, endowed with life for ever and ever, like his father the Sun continually. Copy of the plate of silver which the Grand-Duke of Kheta, KHETASIRA, sent to the King by the hand of his Herald

5. TARTISBu, and his Herald RAMES, to beg for peace of His Majesty RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun, Son of the Sun, RAMESSU-MERIAMEN, Chief' of rulers, whose boundaries extend to every land at his pleasure, the covenant made by the Grand-Duke of Kheta, KHETASIRA, the puissant, son of MARASARA,

6. the Grand-Duke of Kheta, the puissant, grandson of SAPALALA, the Grand-Duke of Kheta, the puissant; upon the plate of silver, with RA-USER-mA, approved of the Sun, the great ruler of Egypt, the puissant, son of RAmEN-mA (Seti Meneptah I) the great ruler of Egypt, the puissant, grandson of RA-MEN-PERU (Ramessu I).

7. the great ruler of Egypt, the puissant : The good conditions of peace and fraternity ... to eternity, which were aforetime fiom eternity. This was an arrangement of the great ruler of Egypt with the great Prince of Kheta, by way of covenant, that god might cause no hostility to arise between them! Now it happened.

8. in the time of MAUTENARA, the Grand-Duke of Kheta, my brother, that he fought with... the great ruler of Egypt. But thus it shall be henceforth, even from this day-Behold; KHETASIRA the Grand-Duke of Kheta, covenants to adhere to the arrangement made by the Sun, made by SUTECH, concerning the land of Egypt,

9. with the land of Kheta, to cause no hostility to arise between them for ever. Behold, this it is--KHETASIRA the Grand-Duke of Kheta covenants with RA-USER-MA, approved by the Sun, the great ruler of Egypt from this day forth, that good peace and good brotherhood shall be between us for ever.

10. He shall fraternize with me, he shall be at peace with me, and I will fraternize with him, I will be at peace with him for ever. It happened in the time of MAUTENARA the Grand-Duke of Kheta, my brother, after his decease, KHETASIRA sat as

ll. Grand-Duke of Kheta upon the throne of his father--Behold I am at one in heart with RAMESSU-MERIAMEN, the great ruler of Egypt... of peace, of brotherhood; it shall be better than the peace and the brotherhood, which was before this. Behold, I the Grand-Duke of Kheta with

12. RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt, am in good peace, in good brotherhood ; the children's children of the Grand-Duke of Kheta shall be in good brotherhood and peace with the children's children of RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt, As our (treaty) of brotherhood, and our arrangements

13. (made for the land of Egypt) with the land of Kheta, so to them also shall be peace and brotherhood for ever; there shall no hostility arise between them for ever. The Grand-Duke of Kheta shall not invade the land of Egypt for ever, to carry away anything from it; nor shall RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt invade the land

14. of Kheta for ever to carry away anything from it for ever. The treaty of alliance which was even from the time of SAPALALA the Grand-Duke of Kheta, as well as the treaty of alliance which was in the time of MATENARA (Mura-sara) the Grand-Duke of Kheta my father, if I fulfill it, behold RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt shall fulfill it

15. ....together with us, in each case, even from this day, we will fulfill it, executing the design of alliance. If any enemy shall come to the lands of RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt, and he shall send to the Grand Duke of Kheta saying, Come and give me help against him, then shall the Grand-Duke of Kheta

16. ....the grand-Duke of Kheta to smite the enemy; but if it be that the Grand-Duke of Kheta shall not come (himself), he shall send his infantry and his cavalry... to smite his enemy... of the anger of RAMESSU-MERIAMEN

17. ....the slaves of the gates, and they shall do any damage to him, and he shall go to smite them, then shall the Grand-Duke of Kheta together with...

18. ....to come to help to smite his enemies, if it shall please RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt to go,he shall...

19. ....to return all answer to the land of Kheta. But if the servants of the Grand-Duke of Kheta shall invade him, namely RAMESSU-MERIAMEN ....
(Lines 20 and 21 are nearly erased.)

22. from the lands of RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt and they shall come to the Grand-Duke of Kheta, then shall the Grand-Duke of Kheta not receive them, but the Grand-Duke of Kheta shall send them to RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun, the great ruler of Egypt...

23. ....and they shall come to the land of Kheta to do service to any one, they shall not be added to the land of . Kheta, they shall be given up to RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt. Or if there shall pass over...

24. ....coming from the land of Kheta, and they shall come to RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt, then shall not RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun, the great ruler of Egypt...

25. ....and they shall come to the land of Egypt to do service of any sort, then shall not RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun, the great ruler of Egypt, claim them; he shall cause them to be given up to the Grand-Duke of Kheta... .

26. ....the tablet of silver, it is declared by the thousand gods, the gods male (warriors), the gods female, those which are of the land of Kheta, in concert with the thousand gods, the gods male, the gods female, those which are of the land of Egypt, those...

27. ....SUTECH of Kheta, SUTECH of the city of A.... SUTECH of the city of Taaranta, SUTECH of the city of Pairaka, SUTECH of the city of Khisasap, SUTECH of the city of Sarasu, SUTECH of the city of Khira(bu), SUTECH....

28. ....SUTECH of the city of Sarapaina, ASTARATA of Kheta, the god of Taitatkherri, the god of Ka....

29. ....the goddess of the city of.....the goddess of Tain...., the god of.....

30. of the hills of the rivers of the land of Kheta, the gods of the land of Kheta, the gods of the land of Tawatana, AMEN the Sun, SuTEcH, the gods male, the gods female, of the hills, the rivers of the land of Egypt, the... the the great sea, the winds, the clouds. These words

31. which are on the tablet of silver of the land of Kheta, and of the land of Egypt, Whosoever shall not observe them, the thousand gods of the land of Kheta, in concert with the thousand gods of the land of Egypt shall be (against) his house, his family, his servants. But whosoever shall observe these words which are in the tablet of silver, be he of Kheta....

32. ....the thousand gods of the land of Kheta, in concert with the thousand gods of the land of Egypt shall give health, shall give life to his (family) together with himself together with his servants. If there shall pass over one man of the (land of Egypt) or two, or three

33. (and they shall go to the land of Kheta then shall the Grand-Duke of Kheta cause them to be) given up again to RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun, the great ruler of Egypt, but whosoever shall be given up to RAMESSU-MERIAMEN, the great ruler of Egypt,

34. let not his crime be set up against him let not... himself, his wives, his children...... If there shall pass over a man from the land of Kheta be it one only be it two, be it three, and they come to RA-USER-MA, approved of the Sun

35. the great ruler of Egypt let RAMESSU-MERIAMEN the great ruler of Egypt seize (them and cause them to be) given up to the Grand-Duke of Kheta (but whosoever shall be delivered up... ) himself his wives, his children, moreover let him not be smitten to death, moreover let him not (suffer ?)

36. in his eyes, in his mouth, in his feet, moreover let not any crime be set up against him. That which is upon the tablet of silver upon its front side is the likness of the figure of SUTECH... of SUTECH the great ruler of heaven, the director of the Treaty made by KHETAsIRA the great ruler

37. of Kheta...

38. ....

Footnotes:

[1] Fifth month of the Egyptian calendar.
[2] Ramses II
[3] Ramses II
[4] Hatti (can refer to the country or the people)


[Edited at 2004-08-30 11:06]


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Akkadian Text in English Aug 30, 2004

It is concluded that Reamasesa-mai-amana, the Great King, the king [of the land of Egypt] with Hattusili, the Great King, the king of the land of Hatti, his brother, for the land of Egypt and the land of Hatti, in order to establish a good peace and a good fraternity forever among them;

Thus speaks – Reamasesa, the Great King, the king of the land of Egypt – hero of the whole country, son of Minmuaria, the great king, the king of the land of Egypt, the hero, son of the son of Minpahiritaria, the Great King, the king of the land of Egypt, the hero, to Hattusili, son of Mursili, the Great King, the king of the land of Hatti, the hero, son of the son of Suppiluliuma, the Great King, the king of the land of Hatti, the hero:

Look, I have established a good fraternity and a good peace now forever among us, in order to establish this way forever a good peace and a good fraternity between the land of Egypt and the land of Hatti.

Look, in what refers to the great king's relationship, the king of the country of Egypt, and of the great king, the king of the Hittite country, since eternity the gods do not allow, by reason of an eternal treaty, that enmity exist between them.

Look, Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, will establish the bond that the Sun God [Ra] has wanted and that the god of the Tempest [Teshub, the great Hittite god] has wanted for the country of Egypt and the country of Hatti according to the eternal bond, so as not to let enmity settle between them.

But now Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, has established this bond by treaty on a silver tablet, with Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, his brother, starting from this day, to settle forever among them a good peace and a good fraternity.

He is a brother to me and he is at peace with me; and I am a brother to him and I am forever at peace with him.

Look, we are united and a bond of fraternity already exists among us and of peace, and it is better than the bond of fraternity and of peace that existed between the country of Egypt and the country of Hatti.

Look, Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, is at peace and fraternity with Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti.

Look, the children of Reamasesa, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, they will be forever in state of peace and of fraternity with the children of Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti. They will remain in the line of our bond of fraternity and peace; the country of Egypt and the country of Hatti will be forever be in a state of peace and of fraternity as it is with us.

Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, shall never attack the country of Hatti to take possession of a part (of this country). And Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, shall never attack the country of Egypt to take possession of a part (of that country).

Look, the order fixed for eternity which the Sun God and the God of the Tempest have created for the country of Egypt and the country of Hatti, that is, peace and fraternity without leaving place between them for any enmity. Look, Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, has established peace starting from this day.

Look, the country of Egypt and the country of Hatti live forever in peace and fraternity.

If a foreign enemy marches against the country of Hatti and if Hattusili, the king of the country of Hatti, sends me this message: "Come to my help against him", Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the Egyptian country, must send his troops and his chariots to kill this enemy and give satisfaction to the country of Hatti.

If Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, rises in anger against his citizens after they have committed a crime against him and if, for this reason, you send to Reamasesa the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, then Reamasesa-mai-Amana has to send his troops and his chariots and these should exterminate all those that he has risen in anger against.

If a foreigner marches against the country of Egypt and if Reamasesa-mai-Amana, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, your brother, sends to Hattusili, the king of the country of Hatti, his brother, the following message: "Come to my help against him", then Hattusili, king of the country of Hatti, shall send his troops and his chariots and kill my enemy.

If Reamasesa, king of the country of Egypt, rises in anger against his citizens after they have committed a wrong against him and by reason of this he sends (a message) to Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, my brother, has to send his troops and his chariots and they have to exterminate all those against him, and I shall ....

Look, the son of Hattusili, king of the country of Hatti, has to assure his sovereignty of the country of Hatti instead of Hattusili, his father, after the numerous years of Hattusili, king of the country of Hatti. If the children of the country of Hatti transgress against him, then Reamasesa has to send to his help troops and chariots and to give him support.

If a great person flees from the country of Hatti and if he comes to Reamasesa, the great king, king of the country of Egypt, then Reamasesa, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, has to take hold of him and deliver him into hands of Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti.

If a man or two men who are unknown flee, and if they come to Reamasesa, to serve him, then Reamasesa has to take hold of them and deliver them into the hands of Hattusili, king of the country of Hatti.

If a great person flees from the country of Egypt and he escapes to the country of Amurru or a city and he comes to the king of Amurru, then Benteshina, king of the country of Amurru, has to take hold of him and take him to the king of the country of Hatti ; and Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, shall have him to be taken to Reamasesa, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt.

If a man or two men who are unknown flee, and if they escape from the country of Egypt and if they don't want to serve him, then Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, has to deliver them into his brother's hands and he shall not allow them to inhabit the country of Hatti.

If a nobleman flees from the country of Hatti, or two men, and if they do not want to serve the king of Hatti, and if they flee from the country of the Great King, the king of the land of Hatti, in order not to serve him, then Reamasesa has to take hold of them and order them be taken to Hattusili, the Great King, king of the land of Hatti, his brother, and he shall not allow them to reside in the country of Egypt.

If a nobleman or two flee from the country of Egypt and if they leave for the Land of Hatti, then Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, has to take hold of them and cause them to be taken to Reamasesa, the Great King, the king of the country of Egypt, his brother.

If a man, or two men, or three men, flee from the country of Hatti, and if they come to Reamasesa, the Great King, the king of the country of Egypt, Hattusili’s brother, then Reamasesa, the Great King, the king of the country of Egypt, has to take hold of them and to order them to be taken to Hattusili, his brother, since they are brothers. As for their crime, it shall not be imputed; their tongues and their eyes are not to be pulled out; their ears and their feet are not to be cut off; their houses with their wives and their children are not to be destroyed.

If a (man flees from the country of Reamasesa, the Great King, king of the country of Egypt), or two men, or three men, and if they come (to Hattusili, the Great King), the king of the country of Hatti, his brother, then Hattusili, the Great King, king of the country of Hatti, his brother, has to take hold of them and to order them to be taken to Reamasesa, the Great King, the king of the country of Egypt, because Reamasesa, the Great King, king of the country of Egypt, and Hattusili are brothers. As for their crime, it shall not be imputed; their tongues and their eyes are not to be pulled out; their ears and their feet are not to cut off; their houses with their wives and their children are not to be destroyed.

If a man flees from the country of Hatti, or two people, if they flee from the country of Hatti, and if they come to the country of Egypt, and if a nobleman flees from the country of Hatti or from a city to go to the country of Egypt, then Reamasesa has to order them to be taken to his brother.

Look, the sons of the country of Hatti and the children of the country of Egypt are at peace.

If some people flee from the country of Egypt to go to the country of Hatti, then Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, must order them to be taken to his brother.

Look, Hattusili the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, and Reamasesa, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt, his brother, are at peace.

If Reamasesa and the children of the country of Egypt do not observe this treaty, then the gods and the goddesses of the country of Egypt and the gods and goddesses of the country of Hatti shall exterminate the descendants of Reamasesa, the Great King, the king of the country of Egypt.

If Reamasesa and the children of the country of Egypt observe this treaty, then the gods of the oath shall protect them and their [...]

They who observe the words that are in the silver tablet the great gods of the country of Egypt and the great gods of the country of Hatti shall allow them to live and prosper in their houses, in their country and with their servants.

They who do not observe the words that are in this silver tablet, the great gods of the country of Egypt as well as the great gods of the country of Hatti will exterminate their houses, their country and their servants.


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Historical Notes Oct 9, 2004

If a great person flees from the country of Egypt and he escapes to the country of Amurru or a city and he comes to the king of Amurru, then Benteshina, king of the country of Amurru, has to take hold of him and take him to the king of the country of Hatti ; and Hattusili, the great king, the king of the country of Hatti, shall have him to be taken to Reamasesa, the great king, the king of the country of Egypt.


Amurru, home of the Amorites and mid-point of the imperial "entente", was roughly defined by the Orontes, the river that today marks part of the border between Lebanon and Syria, and between Syria and Turkey.



Of Benteshina, we know that his daughter was wed to King Ammistomru II of Ugarit. The decree below, by Tudhaliya IV, deals with their divorce, the return of the dowry, and the terms of royal succession in Ugarit. The clay tablet was found in an excavation identified as Ugarit in Ras Shamra (Syria), and is now at the National Museum of Damascus.



Tudhaliya IV was the son of Hattusil III, succeeded him upon his death, and is known as the last Great King of the Hittites (king of kings, or emperor). The date officially assigned to the museum piece is 1250 B.C..

[Edited at 2004-10-11 01:14]


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Context, Part I Oct 11, 2004

Ramses II, or Ramses the Great, is the national hero of Egypt; the Cairo Central Railway Station is called Ramses Station.



In the fifth year of his reign, he fought the Battle of Kadesh against the Emperor Muwattali. Scholars will differ on the outcome (the records of the day, by custom, are on the panegyric side), but the facts seem to have obliged both sides to accept present-day Lebanon as a buffer state between them.

Egyptian Account of the Battle of Kadesh (Ramesseum)

Following is the text known as the "Poem of the Pentaur".

Beginning of the victory of King Usermare-Setepnere Ramses II, who is given life, forever, which he achieved in the land of Kheta and Naharin, in the land of Arvad, in Pedes, in the Derden, in the land of Mesa, in the land of Kelekesh, Carchemish, Kode, the land of Kadesh, in the land of Ekereth, and Mesheneth.

Behold, his majesty prepared his infantry and his chariotry, the Sherden of the captivity of his majesty from the victories of his word - they gave the plan of battle. His majesty proceeded northward, his infantry and his chariotry being with him. He began the goodly way to march. Year 5, the second month of the third season tenth month, on the ninth day, his majesty passed the fortress of Tharu, like Montu when he goes forth. Every country trembled before him, fear was in their hearts; all the rebels came bowing down for fear of the fame of his majesty, when his army came upon the narrow road, being like one who is upon the highway.

Now, after many days after this, behold, his majesty was in Usermare-Meriamon, the city of cedar. His majesty proceeded northward, and he then arrived at the highland of Kadesh. Then his majesty marched before, like his father, Montu lord of Thebes, and crossed over the channel of the Orontes, there being with him the first division of Amon named: "Victory-of-King-Usermare-Setepnere."

When his majesty reached the city, behold, the wretched, vanquished chief of Kheta had come, having gathered together all countries from the ends of the sea to the land of Kheta, which came entire: the Naharin likewise, and Arvad, Mesa, Keshkesh, Kelekesh, Luka, Kezweden, Carchemish, Ekereth, Kode, the entire land of Nuges, Mesheneth, and Kadesh. He left not a country which was not brought together with their chiefs who were with him, every man bringing his chariotry, an exceeding great multitude, without its like. They covered the mountains and the valleys; they were like grasshoppers with their multitudes. He left not silver nor gold in his land but he plundered it of all its possessions and gave to every country, in order to bring them with him to battle.

Behold, the wretched, vanquished chief of Kheta, together with numerous allied countries, were stationed in battle array, concealed on the northwest of the city of Kadesh, while his majesty was alone by himself, with his bodyguard, and the division of Amon was marching behind him. The division of Re crossed over the river-bed on the south side of the town of Shabtuna, at the distance of an iter from the division of Amon; the division of Ptah was on the south of the city of Aranami; and the division of Sutekh was marching upon the road. His majesty had formed the first rank of all the leaders of his army, while they were on the shore in the land of the Amor. Behold, the wretched vanquished chief of Kheta was stationed in the midst of the infantry which was with him, and he came not out to fight, for fear of his majesty. Then he made to go the people of the chariotry, an exceedingly numerous multitude like the sand, being three people to each span. Now, they had made their combinations thus: among every three youths was one man of the vanquished of Kheta, equipped with all the weapons of battle. Lo, they had stationed them in battle array, concealed northwest of the city of Kadesh.

They came forth from the southern side of Kadesh, and they cut through the division of Re in its middle, while they were marching without knowing and without being drawn up for battle. The infantry and chariotry of his majesty retreated before them. Now, his majesty had halted on the north of the city of Kadesh, on the western side of the Orontes. Then came one to tell it to his majesty.

His majesty shone like his father Montu, when he took the adornments of war; as he seized his coat of mail, he was like Baal in his hour. The great span which bore his majesty called: "Victory-in-Tebes," from the great stables of Ramses II, was in the midst of the leaders. His majesty halted in the rout; then he charged into the foe, the vanquished of Kheta, being alone by himself and none other with him. When his majesty went to look behind him, he found 2,500 chariotry surrounding him, in his way out, being all the youth of the wretched Kheta, together with its numerous allied countries: from Arvad, from Mesa, from Pedes, from Keshkesh, from Erwenet, from Kezweden, from Aleppo, Eketeri, Kadesh, and Luka, being three men to a span, acting in unison.

Year 5, third month of the third season, day 9; under the majesty of Horus: Mighty Bull, Beloved of Truth; King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Usermare-Setepnere; Son of Re; Ramses-Meriamon, given life forever.

Lo, his majesty was in Zahi on his second victorious campaign. The goodly watch in life, prosperity and health, in the tent of his majesty, was on the highland south of Kadesh.
When his majesty appeared like the rising of Re, he assumed the adornments of his father, Montu. When the king proceeded northward, and his majesty had arrived at the locality south of the town of Shabtuna, there came two Shasu, to speak to his majesty as follows: "Our brethren, who belong to the greatest of the families with the vanquished chief of Kheta, have made us come to his majesty, to say: 'We will be subjects of Pharaoh and we will flee from the vanquished chief of Kheta; for the vanquished chief of Kheta sits in the land of Aleppo, on the north of Tunip. He fears because of Pharaoh to come southward.'" Now, these Shasu spake these words, which they spake to his majesty, falsely, for the vanquished chief of Kheta made them come to spy where his majesty was, in order to cause the army of his majesty not to draw up for fighting him, to battle with the vanquished chief of Kheta.

Lo, the vanquished chief of Kheta came with every chief of every country, their infantry and their chariotry, which he had brought with him by force, and stood, equipped, drawn up in line of battle behind Kadesh the Deceitful, while his majesty knew it not. Then his majesty proceeded northward and arrived on the northwest of Kadesh; and the army of his majesty made camp there.
Then, as his majesty sat upon a throne of gold, there arrived a scout who was in the following of his majesty, and he brought two scouts of the vanquished chief of Kheta. They were conducted into the presence, and his majesty said to them: "What are ye?" They said: "As for us, the vanquished chief of the Kheta has caused that we should come to spy out where his majesty is."

Said his majesty to them: "He! Where is he, the vanquished chief of Kheta? Behold, I have heard, saying: 'He is in the land of Aleppo,'" Said they: "See, the vanquished chief of Kheta is stationed, together with many countries, which he has brought with him by force, being every country which is in the districts of the land of Kheta, the land of Naharin, and all Kode. They are equipped with infantry and chariotry, bearing their weapons; more numerous are they than the sand of the shore. See, they are standing, drawn up for battle, behind Kadesh the Deceitful."

Then his majesty had the princes called into the presence, and had them hear every word which the two scouts of the vanquished chief of Kheta, who were in the presence, had spoken. Said his majesty to them: "See ye the manner wherewith the chiefs of the peasantry and the officials under whom is the land of Pharaoh have stood, daily, saying to the Pharaoh: 'The vanquished chief of Kheta is in the land of Aleppo; he has fled before his majesty, since hearing that, behold, he came.' So spake they to his majesty daily. But see, I have held a hearing in this very hour, with the two scouts of the vanquished chief of Kheta, to the effect that the vanquished chief of Kheta is coming, together with the numerous countries that are with him, being people and horses, like the multitudes of the sand. They are stationed behind Kadesh the Deceitful. But the governors of the countries and the officials under whose authority is the land of Pharaoh were not able to tell it to us."

Said the princes who were in the presence of his majesty: "It is a great fault, which the governors of the countries and the officials of Pharaoh have committed in not informing that the vanquished chief of Kheta was near the king; and in that they told his report to his majesty daily."

Then the vizier was ordered to hasten the army of his majesty, while they were marching on the south of Shabtuna, in order to bring them to the place where his majesty was.
Lo, while his majesty sat talking with the princes, the vanquished chief of Kheta came, and the numerous countries, which were with him. They crossed over the channel on the south of Kadesh, and charged into the army of his majesty while they were marching, and not expecting it. Then the infantry and chariotry of his majesty retreated before them, northward to the place where his majesty was. Lo, the foes of the vanquished chief of Kheta surrounded the bodyguard of his majesty, who were by his side.

When his majesty saw them, he was enraged against them, like his father, Montu, lord of Thebes. He seized the adornments of battle, and arrayed himself in his coat of mail. He was like Baal in his hour. Then he betook himself to his horses, and led quickly on, being alone by himself. He charged into the foes of the vanquished chief of Kheta, and the numerous countries which were with him. His majesty was like Sutekh, the great in strength, smiting and slaying among them; his majesty hurled them headlong, one upon another into the water of the Orontes.



I charged all countries, while I was alone, my infantry and my chariotry having forsaken me. Not one among them stood to turn about. I swear, as Re loves me, as my father, Atum, favors me, that, as for every matter which his majesty has stated, I did it in truth, in the presence of my infantry and my chariotry.


**************

Take it with a grain of salt. Diodorus Siculus distorted the name User-maat-re Setep-en-re to "Ozymandias", leading to Shelley's famous poem:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said — "two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert ... near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lips, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings,
Look on my Works ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.




The Ozymandias inscription on this statue is written on its shoulder (Ramesseum)

[Edited at 2004-11-08 02:55]


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Context, Part II Oct 11, 2004



Hattusil pouring a libation to Teshub, god of the tempest

Hattusil III was Emperor Muwattali’s younger brother, appointed by him as King of Urartu, and not exactly in line for succession as Great King. Some records would appear to indicate that after the Battle of Kadesh, he married the daughter of a priest of Ishtar, Puduhepa, whom some historians present as a highly ambitious woman. Others point to her as the first great royal spouse in history to emerge on an equal footing with her husband.



Puduhepa pouring a libation to the sun goddess

The deeds of both are amply documented. An "autobiography" of Hattusil III exists, which is also referred to in archaeological literature as his "apology" for the deposition of his nephew, Uhri-Teshup. On Puduhepa’s side, we have at least 15 letters and a few royal sentences, which indicate that she presided over important events in the absence of her husband.



Joint seal of the Royal Couple, with both names in Hittite hieroglyphs

Hattusil’s state of health, by his own admisson, was not the best that could be desired, and we also have prayer tablets dedicated by Puduhepa to the goddess of the sun and the goddess of the underworld to protect and preserve him. On the other hand, she comes across as a highly active agent in brokering the peace treaty cited here. Ramses wrote her:



The Great King, the king of Egypt, son of the Sun, Ramses beloved of Amon, speaks thus: Speak to the queen of the Hatti land, the great Queen Puduhepa: See then, I, your brother, am well. My houses, my sons, my armies, my horses, my chariots and the things in my lands, are very well (in comfort). May you, my sister,(also) be well! May your houses, your sons, your armies, your horses, your chariots, your nobles, and the things in your lands be very very well! Speak thus to my sister: Look now! My messengers have come to me together with my sister’s messengers and have brought me news that my brother, the king of the Hatti land, the Great King, is in good health... Speak thus to my sister: The great King, the king of the Hatti land, has written to me thus: ‘Let the people come to pour sweet-smelling oil on my daughter’s head and let them take her to the house of the Great King, the king of Egypt, my brother. ‘Look now! My brother wrote thus to me. This decision written to me by brother is wonderful. The Sun God has approved of him. The Weather God has approved of him. And the Egyptian gods and the Hatti gods have approved of him for making this fine decision in order to join two great lands into one forever.

Translation: EDEL 1953.262-273 (KUB lll 63).

Nefertari also wrote her:



The great Queen Naptera of the land of Egypt speaks thus: Speak to my sister Puduhepa, the Great Queen of the Hatti land. I, your sister, (also) be well!! May your country be well. Now, I have learned that you, my sister, have written to me asking after my health. You have written to me asking after my health. You have written to me because of the good friendship and brotherly relationship between your brother, the king of Egypt, The Great and the Storm God will bring about peace, and he will make the brotherly relationship between the Egptian king, the Great King, and his brother, the Hatti King, the Great King, last for ever... See, I have sent you a gift, in order to greet you, my sister... for your neck (a necklace) of pure gold, composed of 12 bands and weighing 88 shekels (8*88=704 gr.), coloured linen maklalu-material, for one royal dress for the king... A total of 12 linen garments.

Translation: WEIDNER 1917, 78; FRIEDRICH 1925, 23; Ün 1989, 3-6 (Kbo 129+Kbo XXIX 43)



Nefertari (to the right) approaching Hathor

We know that Nefertari, the "fairest of the fair", died relatively young, although the mummy was never found. From the scale of the temples dedicated to her memory, we can assume she was Ramses' best-beloved consort. It is estimated that he would have been 48 when this tragedy occurred. Puduhepa sent him two of her own daughters, one of whom is mentioned by her Egyptian name, Manefrure, in Egyptian sources.

[Edited at 2004-12-23 16:35]


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Unresolved Linguistic Riddles Oct 11, 2004

The Hittite and Ancient Egyptian languages of this period have provided us with tantalising leads regarding other matters. When Ramses’ poet mentioned "the Derden" (above, lit. drdny), more than one classical scholar skipped a beat remembering Homer’s Dardanoi (Trojans), whose city Schliemann believed he had found in Hissarlik, Turkey. Others have pointed out that the "Ahhiyawa" in Hittite letters was suspiciously similar to Achaea, and that King Pariyamuwa was Priam.

Hattusil himself tried to negotiate the extradition of a certain Tawagalawas, brother of the king of Ahhiyawa. Contemporary linear B (Minoan) records have mentioned the name of a certain "Etewokleweios" who was in "Millawanda". Would this not be Eteocles of Miletus? And if Hattusil addressed the King of Ahhiyawa as his "brother", did that not make them both "Great Kings"?

Was this King of Ahhiyawa, in fact, Agamennon? And if so, did this mean that Ramses and Hattusil lived at the same time as the heroes of the Iliad?


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