Records of the Past, 2nd Series, Vol. IV , ed. by A.H. Sayce, , at sacred-texts.com
1. As for me, I was the very faithful 2 [instrument] of the sovereign; the half of the heart of the king of the south, the light of the heart of the king of the north, while I followed
2. my master in his expeditions to the regions of the north or of the south, [those which] he desired; for I was as the companion of his feet, and that
3. in the midst of his valour and his power, in order to give testimony. Now I captured in the country of
4. Nekeb, 3 and brought back (certain) Asiatics, three
men as prisoners, alive. When his majesty reached Naharain 1
5. I brought thither the three men as booty, whom I placed before thy 2 majesty, as living prisoners.
6. Another time 3 I captured (it was in the expedition 4 to the country of mount Uan, to the west of Aleppo 5), and I brought back
7. (certain) captured Asiatics, as living prisoners 13 men, 70 asses alive, 6 13 basons of iron, … basons of worked gold…
8. … Another time I captured (it was in an expedition to the country of Carchemish 7) and brought away…
9. … as living prisoners. I traversed the water of Naharain 8 without letting them escape, 9
10. [and] I [set] them before my master. Behold, therefore,
he rewarded me with a great reward, namely …
11. … I saw the victory of the king, the king of the south and of the north, even Ra-men-kheper, 1 the life-giver, in the country of Senzar. 2 He made …
12. … them. There I captured before the king and I brought back a hand. 3 He gave me the gold of guerdon, namely
13. 2 rings [of gold] and silver. When I began again to behold his valour, I was among his bodyguard, 4 at the capture of
14. Kadesh, 5 without quitting the place which was under him. I brought back of the Marinas 6 2 personages as [living prisoners].
15. before the king, the lord of the two worlds, 7 Thothmes … who gives life eternally. He gave me gold for my valour in the presence of the master,
16. namely the collar of the lion of gold, 2 shebi collars, 2 helmets and 4 bracelets. And I saw my master …
18 … Ha; 8 then afresh [it was] overthrown 9 As for me, I ascended towards …
19. I began again to see his valour in the country of Takhis; 10…
20. I captured there before the king and brought away (certain) Asiatics 3 men 1 alive as prisoners. Then
21. my lord gave me the gold of guerdon, namely, 2 collars, 4 bracelets [with] 2 helmets [and] a tame 2 lion.
22. I began again to see another perfect action performed by the master of the two worlds in the country of Nii. 3 He took in hunting 120 elephants for their tusks. …
23. The largest among them attempted to fight face to face 4 with his majesty. As for me, I cut off his foot, 5 although he was alive …
24. … I entered for thee 6 into the water which is between the two stones 7; then my master rewarded me with gold.
25. … Behold, the prince of Kadesh drove 8 a mare
26. straight against … as it charged among the soldiers I hurried to meet it 9
27. on foot, with my dagger, [and] I opened its stomach. I cut off its tail [and] made of it a trophy 10
28. in the royal work of giving thanks to God because thereof. 11 That caused joy to take possession of my heart [and] cheerfulness to alight upon my limbs. 12
29. His majesty despatched the most valiant of his soldiers to force the newly-constructed rampart of Kadesh. It was I who
30. forced it, for I was in advance of the most valiant; no other [was] before me. When I left (it) I brought back (with me) of the Marinas 1
31. 2 personages as living prisoners. My master began again to reward me because of this with every sort
32. of good thing, 2 for it was pleasing to the king that I had made this capture. 3 Being an officer …
33. it was I who directed the manœuvre in … as captain of his body-guard.
34. … in his fair festival of Apet, when men [were] full of joy …
35. Behold for the king, the age he passed 4 of years abundant and happy, as a strong man, as a …
36. as a truth-speaker, 5 from his happy first year until his 54th year, the last day of the month Phamenoth. 6 Then the king of the south and of the north,
37. Ra-men-kheper, the truth-speaker, ascended to heaven, to unite himself with the solar disk, and to follow God, who penetrates when he makes himself luminous
38. under the form of the solar disk which illuminates the sky at the same time that it shines. The king of
the south and of the north, Ra-ââ-khepru, the son of the Sun, Amen-hotep, 1 the giver of life,
39. establishing himself on the throne of his father, reduced under the royal banner all that made opposition to him. He pierced the wretches 2 …
40. and of the desert; he immolated their chiefs, rising like Horus 3 the son of Isis, taking possession of …
41. … the extremity (?) of all those who exist and breathe, all the mountain and plain, bowed as it were before his wishes, their tributes on their backs. 4
42. [He] granted unto them the breath of life. Behold his majesty saw me sailing with him in his bark
43. named Khâ-m-suten-uaa, while I was at … of the fair festival of Apet-rest, conformably to custom. 5
44. … when I re-ascended, even I, into the interior of the palace, an order [was given] to stand in the presence [of the king] … Ra-ââ-khepru; it was
45. a great honour. I flew, even I, on the spot, into the presence of his majesty. He said to me: "I know thy conduct …
46. serving my father. Advance in dignity; be tennu of the army; and from the moment that this is said watch over the royal forces." The tennu Mahu 1 executed all his words. 2
7:1 The text of this great inscription has been published by Ebers in the Z. D. M. G., 1873, and in the Mélanges of Chabas (3d series). Stern (in the Z. D. M. G.) has proposed some corrections. A new edition of the text will appear in the Mémoires of the French mission at Cairo.
7:2 Mâ ur n ati ânkh uza senb ("the true great one of the sovereign, who is life, power, and health," that is, "one who does things truly great," "who accomplishes the designs of his master.") The idea of confidence contained in that of truth may also indicate that the king had confidence in the fidelity of his servant.
7:3 Here begin the campaigns of Amen-em-heb. It was in the 29th year of Thothmes III, since line 4 informs us that it happened when the king reached Naharain, and the following campaign (line 13) was directed against Kadesh, which was captured for the first time in the thirtieth year of Thothmes. Amen-em-heb therefore took no part in the battle of Megiddo in the twenty-third year, at which time he was doubtless still very young. Moreover, he did not enter the royal guard at once; he had first to traverse a considerable distance before he could present to the king, who was in Naharain, the prisoners he had taken in Nekeb. Nekeb is the Negeb or "southern country" of Palestine, frequently mentioned in the Old Testament (see Gen. xiii. 1, xx. 1; Josh. x. 40, etc.). The course of events would have been:—The federated Asiatics under the prince of Kadesh, taught by their recent defeats, seem to have avoided a battle, and fortified themselves in their cities, which had to be besieged one after the other. Hence Thothmes, with the main part of his army, occupied himself with this work, while flying columns compelled the chiefs who would p. 8 have interfered with his operations to look to their own defence, and prevented others from joining in the revolt. Amen-em-heb was in one of these columns, and consequently his first exploits in the countries of Nekeb, Uan, and Carchemish took place at a distance from the king.
8:1 The Aram-Naharaim, or Aram of the two rivers, of the Old Testament (Judges iii. 8), placed by Prof. Maspero between the Euphrates and the Orontes. [The tablets of Tel el-Amarna, however, show that the chief seat of the king of Naharain was on the eastern bank of the Euphrates, opposite Carchemish, as they identify the Naharain of the Egyptian monuments with the country of Mitanni, whose position is known from the Assyrian inscriptions.—Ed.]
8:2 Amen-em-heb addresses his inscription to the deified Thothmes III.
8:3 Literally "anew."
8:4 Literally "this expedition to the land of Mount Uan."
8:5 Kharbu or Khalep. The expedition probably took place while Thothmes was besieging Aleppo. Help might have been sent to Aleppo from the land of the Hittites on the north-west, which would explain the despatch of an Egyptian force in this direction.
8:6 Or perhaps "heads" or "beings," equivalent to sa ("human being").
8:7 Doubtless during the siege of Aleppo, to which Carchemish was near. [Carchemish, the Hittite capital, was situated on the western bank of the Euphrates, a little to the north of its junction with the Sajur, and is now represented by the mounds of Jerablûs, from which Hittite sculptures and inscriptions have been brought to the British Museum. Its fortifications on the river-side are depicted on the bronze gates of Balawât. It commanded the great ford over the Euphrates, and the defeat of the Egyptian Pharaoh under its walls established the empire of Nebuchadnezzar in Western Asia (Jer. xlvi. 2).—Ed.]
8:8 Probably the Euphrates.
8:9 Literally "they being in my hand."
9:1 That is to say, Thothmes III.
9:2 According to Chabas the district on the left bank of the Euphrates, adjoining that of Aleppo and Carchemish. Henceforth Amen-em-heb remained in the corps commanded by the king; after the first siege of Kadesh he was among the body-guard. His admission into them was the reward of his first exploits.
9:3 Perhaps the hand of an enemy slain in single combat.
9:4 Literally "his followers."
9:5 [Subsequently the southern capital of the Hittites, on the Orontes close to the modern Bahr el-Qadis, or Lake of Qadis, westward of Horns.—Ed.]
9:6 Or "chiefs."
9:7 Or "the double earth," that is Egypt.
9:8 Some country is doubtless referred to which was protected by its distance from Egypt, and after the withdrawal of the Egyptian forces was therefore able to recover its independence. Thothmes spread terror by the suddenness of his appearance in the most distant quarters.
9:9 I imagine that the country whose name is lost is here meant.
9:10 Amenophis II subsequently punished a revolt of this country [which lay near the Orontes].
10:1 Prof. Ebers's copy has "women."
10:2 Literally "slave."
10:3 Not Nineveh, but, as Prof. Maspero has pointed out, a locality in northern Syria.
10:4 Literally "facing." The elephant turned against the king and charged upon him.
10:5 Literally "hand"; either the front foot or the trunk.
10:6 That is, the king.
10:7 Perhaps a dangerous passage where Amen-em-heb showed his courage, or, as Chabas suggested, the two stelæ erected by Thothmes III on the two sides of the Euphrates to mark the western limit of his empire.
10:8 Literally "caused a mare to go out against."
10:9 Literally "I was hurrying myself against it."
10:10 Literally "I arranged it."
10:11 Probably the mare had caused confusion in the Egyptian ranks, so that the king gave thanks to God for deliverance from peril.
10:12 These events occurred in the forty-second year of the reign of Thothmes III. The prince of Kadesh, whose capital had already been captured (lines 13–14) in the thirtieth year of his reign, and its walls razed, had revolted after having rebuilt his fortifications. Hence Amen-em-heb p. 11 speaks of "the newly-constructed rampart of Kadesh." But before shutting himself up in the city the prince offered battle, and employed the stratagem which was baffled by Amen-em-heb.
11:1 Or "chiefs."
11:2 No doubt there were no more decorations for Amen-em-heb to desire.
11:3 After the second capture of Kadesh Syria submitted, and the campaigns of Amen-em-heb under Thothmes came to an end. Henceforth he commanded the royal bodyguard in Egypt, where the king resided after the conclusion of his wars.
11:4 Literally "behold the king as to the duration of his time in years." The campaigns of Thothmes ended, Amen-em-heb has nothing more to record.
11:5 Mâ-kheru ("whose voice makes true," or "realises," the privilege, in the first place, of the deity and then of the deified dead). The king is also mâ-kheru, because he realises the designs of the deity whose incarnation he is upon the earth.
11:6 The third month of winter.
12:1 Amenophis II.
12:2 The new king is compared with the rising sun, which pierced with its rays the shadows where the evil principles hide themselves. A revolt seems to have broken out at the time among the desert tribes, who are likened to the race of Set or Typhon, the god of aridity.
12:3 The result of the comparison between the new king and the rising sun.
12:4 This is represented in three pictures below the inscription. The upper picture shows us, according to the epigraph, "all the princes of Upper Rutennu, who proclaim: Great are thy desires; thou puttest fear in all the double land (of Egypt), and all [foreign lands are] under thy sandals." One prince is prostrate; two others, on their knees, extend their arms in supplication; a fourth, standing, presents a vase; a fifth, also standing, offers suppliantly a small child whom he holds in his arms; another child is in front of him. A sixth chief also brings a child. Other persons follow of different physiognomies and head-dresses; but owing to the mutilation of the wall the end of the scene is indistinct. In the second picture are "all the chiefs of Lower Rutennu;" but the scene represented in it does not differ from that of the first picture. The legend attached to the third picture is almost entirely effaced. A person is represented in it prostrate and accompanied by three others who are kneeling, and two more who carry vases of various forms. Beyond this the wall is mutilated.
12:5 As had been the case under Thothmes. Amen-em-heb means that he preserved his old functions.
13:1 For the meaning of this title see the Introduction.
13:2 Zettu nebu-f. I think the form zettu-f nebu or nebt would be more regular. Perhaps we should read zettu neb-f ("the words of his master"), and suppose that the Egyptian artist has committed an error in copying the inscription from a hieratic original, by confusing the determinative of neb ("master") with the sign of the plural.