scene from the “House of Eternity” of Queen Nefertari, Valley of the Queens, QV66, west ‘Uaset’-Thebes:
the Goddess Maat kneeling and spreading Her wings in protection toward the cartouche of Queen “Nefertari Beloved of Mut” (Nfrt jrj mrjt n Mwt); at left of the cartouche, the ‘shen’-ring of protection


-the “Moral teachings of PhebHor”, p. Insinger (late period):

“…. the wise man of character without a portion of ….
…. in the heart of the people gives protection and respect
…. listenin without blame ….
Do not rage against him who reprimands you because he reprimands you in public.
Do not let yourself be called “the foul man ” because of merciless evildoing.
Do not let yourself be called “the rude one” because of ignorant shamelessness.
Do not let yourself be called “fool” because of your thoughtless gluttony.
Do not let yourself be called “who collects by abuse'” because of violence.
Do not let yourself be called “the prattler” because your tongue is everywhere.
Do not let yourself be called “idiot” because of silence when it is time to speak.
Do not let yourself be called “stupid” because of the weariness which your words cause.
Do not do what you desire with a woman by cajoling her.
Do not speak arrogantly when counseling in public.
Do not speak rudely when a superior hears your speech.
Do not lead the way insultingly before one who is old.
Do not sit down before a dignitary.
Do not tie yourself to one who is greater than you, for then your life will be ruined.
Do not go about much with the fiend because of his name.
Do not consort with a woman who consorts with your superior.
If she is beautiful place yourself away from her.
Do not forget him who makes haste and him who is strong in his work.
In the hand of the wise man reward and the stick are measured.
Do not be concerned about vengeance: do what is before you.
Better the small deed of him who is quick than the large one of him who delays.
Do not make your weight heavy when your balance is weak.
The fool who is vengeful to the poor is one who falls on the battlefield.
Do not hurry to fight a master whose stick is quick.
He who is violent like the wind will founder in the storm .
Do not hasten to seek a quarrel with a powerful ruler.
He who thrusts his chest at the spear will be struck by it.
Do not speak of Royalty and Divinity with hostility when you are angry.
The foolish tongue of the stupid man is his knife for cutting off his own life.
Do not squander the little you have if there is no storehouse behind you.
Do not eat the profit of something before the fate has given it.
Do not be greedy for wealth in a lifetime which you cannot know.
The impious man leaves his savings at death and another takes them.
Do not by yourself adopt a custom which differs from those of the land.
He who raves with the crowd is not called a fool.
Do not say “the chance is good” and forget the fate in it.
The impious man who is proud of himself is harmed by his own heart.
The beam that is longer than its right measure, its excess is cut off.
The wind that is greater than its right measure wrecks the ships.
All things that are good through right measure, their owner does not give offense.
The Great God Thoth has set a balance in order to make right measure on Earth by it,
He placed the heart hidden in the body for the right measure of its owner.
If a learned man is not balanced, his learning does not avail.
A fool who does not know balance is not far from trouble.
If a fool is not balanced he cannot live off another.
Pride and arrogance are the ruin of their owner.
He who knows his own heart, the Fate knows him.
He who is gentle by virtue of his good character creates his own fate.
He who is wrathful about a mistake is one whose death will be hard.
There is he who is content with his fate, there is he who is content with his knowledge.
He is not a man wise in character who lives by it.
He is not a fool as such whose life is hard.
The Divinity lays the heart on the scales opposite the weight.
He knows the impious and the pious man by his heart.
There is curse or blessing in the character that was given him.
The commands that the Divinity has commanded to those who are good are in the character.
The fate and the fortune that come, it is the Divinity Who sends them.”


(translation from “Ancient Egyptian Literature” III by M. Lichtheim)

“To serve by virtue of character is protection for him who seeks protection.
Small wrath, modesty, and care make the praise of the wise man.
It is the Divinity Who gives protection to the wise man because of his service.
A wise man who has a mortgage gives service for security.
A wise man in quietude gives service for a livelihood.
The fool who does not give service, his goods will belong to another.
The fool who has no protection sleeps in prison.
He who has found his asylum is not taken wawy by force.
He who spends something on protection sleeps safely in the street.
He who gives bread/gift when there is an accusation is vindicated without being questioned.
He who is partial in benefaction and partial in service causes annoyance.
Do not withhold your name, lest you spoil your reward.
Do not vaunt what you have done as a service, for then you annoy.
Do not approach when it is not the time for it, for then your master will dislike you.
Do not be far, lest one must search for you and you become a stench to him.
Do not multiply complaints about obtaining a reward which you desire.
Do not tell him you were patient at the time of his benefactions.
Do not make free in speaking to him so that he should know you were patient.
Do not slight him in the street, lest his stick admonish you.
Do not say something evil to him when he reproaches your stupidity.
Do not say something good to him out of concern for his enmity.
Do not say anything to him when there is anger in his heart.
Do not sit or stand still in an undertaking which is urgent.
Do not tarry when he gives an order, lest his time be wasted.
Do not hasten to do an evil deed because he said something that should not be listened to.
Do not be forgetful at the time of questioning.
Do not report at all when something else is in his heart.
Do not answer when he questions you about an undertaking which you do not know.
Do not vaunt your livelihood when he knows it.
Do not let your name come before him in any matter concerning a woman.
Do not carry a word into the streets from a consultation in his house.
Do not accuse him to another person by blaming his character.
Do not be ashamed at the time of an accusation when he questions you and examines you.
You should serve him when he is near as well as when he is far from you.
Know the condition of his character, do not do what his heart despises.
If he finds fault with you, go and plead with him until he is reconciled to you.
If he gives you a gift, take it to the Divinity and He will let you have it.
There is no true protection except the work of the Divinity.
There is no true servant except the one who serves him.
He is a wall of copper for his lord in the darkness.
He brings punishment to the impious without protection behind him.
There is he who is tormented, and it is his master who questions.
He is not a powerful lord who gives protection to another.
Nor is he a powerless outcast who is tormented.
Before the Divinity the strong and the weak are a joke.
Fate and fortune go and come when the Divinity commands them.”


-JUSTICE AND LAW – the Administration of the Law (Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca Historica, I, 77)

“Now in the first place, their penalty for perjurers was death, on the ground that such men are guilty of the two greatest transgressions, being impious towards the Gods and overthrowing the mightiest pledge known among men.
Again, if a man, walking on a road in Egypt, saw a person being killed or, in a word, suffering any kind of violence and did not come to his aid if able to do so, he had to die; and if he was truly prevented from aiding the person because of inability, he was in any case required to lodge information against the bandits and to bring an act against their lawless act; and in case he failed to do this as the law required, it was required that he be scourged with a fixed number of stripes and be deprived of every kind of food for three days.
Those who brought false accusations against others had to suffer the penalty that would have been meted out to the accused persons had they been adjudged guilty.
All Egyptians were also severally required to submit to the magistrates a written declaration of the sources of their livelihood, and any man making a false declaration or gaining an unlawful means of livelihood had to pay the death penalty. And it is said that Solon, after his visit to Egypt, brought this law to Athens.
If anyone intentionally killed a free man or a slave the laws enjoined that he be put to death; for they, in the first place, wished that it should not be through the accidental differences in men’s condition in life but through the principles governing their actions that all men should be restrained from evil deeds, and, on the other hand, they sought to accustom mankind, through such consideration for slaves, to refrain all the more from committing any offence whatever against freemen.
In the case of parents who had slain their children, though the laws did not prescribe death, yet the offenders had to hold the dead body in their arms for three successive days and nights, under the surveillance of a state guard; for it was not considered just to deprive of life those who had given life to their children, but rather by a warning which brought with it pain and repentance to turn them from such deeds. But for children who had killed their parents they reserved an extraordinary punishment; for it was required that those found guilty of this crime should have pieces of flesh about the size of a finger cut out of their bodies with sharp reeds and then be put on a bed of thorns and burned alive; for they held that to take by violence the life of those who had given them life was the greatest crime possible to man.”


-The full list of the 42 Judges of the Dead, the Gods of the Hall of Righteousness and Truth (the Hall of the Two Maat-Goddesses in the Netherworld), organized according to:

-name of the Judge, often closely related to the punishment/retribution;
-place of origin of the Judge;
-crime judged.

-“Far-strider”, from Heliopolis; falsehood

-“Fire-embracer”, from Kher-Aha; robbery

-“Nosey”, from Hermopolis; rapaciousness

-“Swallower of shades”, from the Cavern; stealing

-“Dangerous One”, from Rosetjau; murder

-“Double Lion”, from the Sky; destruction of food

-“Fiery-Eyes”, from Latopolis; crookedness

-“Flame” Which came forth backwards; stealing the offerings for the Gods

-“Bone-breaker”, from Herakleopolis; lying

-“Green of Flame”, from Memphis; stealing food

-“He of the Cavern”, from the West; sullenness

-“White of teeth”, from Paym (the region of the Lake Moeris); transgression

-“Blood-eater”, from the shambles; killing a sacred bull

-“Eater of entrails”, from the “House of the Thirty”; perjury

-“Lord of Truth”, from the Hall of the two Maat-Goddesses; stealing bread

-“Wanderer”, from Bubastis; eavesdropping

-“Pale One”, from Heliopolis; babbling

-“Doubly evil”, from Andjet; disputing (except concerning your own property)

-“Wememty-snake”, from the Place of Execution; homosexuality

-“He Who sees whom He brings”, from the House of Min; misbehaviour

-“He Who is over the Old One”, from Imau; terrorizing

-“Demolisher”, from Xois; transgressing

-“Disturber”, from Weryt; being hot-tempered

-“Youth”, from the Heliopolitan nome; unhearing of truth

-“Foreteller”, from Wenes; making disturbance

-“He of the Altar”, from the secret place; hoodwinking

-“He Whose face is behind Him”, from the Cavern of the Wrong; misconducting, copulating with a child

-“Hoot-foot”, from the dusk; neglect

-“He of the Darkness”, from the darkness; quarrelling

-“Bringer of His offering” from Sais; be unduly active

-“Owner of faces”, from Nedjefet; impatience

-“Accuser”, from Wetjenet; transgressing your nature, damaging images of Gods

-“Owner of horns”, from Lycopolis; volubility of speech

-“Nefertum”, from Memphis; wrongdoing, beholding unrighteousness

-“Temsep”, from Busiris; conjuration against the King

-“He Who acted willfully”, from Tjebu; build dams on rivers

-“Water-smiter”, from the Abyss; being loud voiced

-“Commander of mankind”, from His house; reviling the Gods

-“Bestower of good”, from the Harpoon nome; …

-“Bestower of powers”, from the City; make distinctions for himself

-“Serpent with raised head”, from the Cavern; dishonest wealth

-“Serpent Who brings and gives”, from the Silent Land; blasphemy against the Gods

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