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Facsimile of a very ancient papyrus containing the Book of the Dead.

Found in Thebes.

In the Royal Museum, Berlin.

The Book of the Dead was the chief monument of the religious literature of ancient Egypt. It was in 165 chapters; portions of which were inscribed on the mummy-cases and tombs, and are met with in the later Demotic Papyri. It constituted the funeral ritual of the Egyptians; describing, in mystical language, the adventures of the soul after death, and the texts and prayers it must repeat in order to escape the torments of the Egyptian Hades. The older portion, which dates back to the Old Empire, was of a practically moral character; the later and more mystical additions an 1 glosses, coming down to the time of the Persians, substituted the doctrine of justification by faith in Osiris.

the pen.


The judgment of the dead before the god Osiris, in the subterranean hall of justice. The scene is taken from the 125th chapter. Osiris, the judge of the nether world, is seated in a nãos, On the opposite side, the deceased, led by Mā, the goddess of truth and justice, is introduced into the house resting on pillars, A pair of scales is erected in the middle; resting on one cup of which is a handled beaker, the symbol of the heart; on the opposite, the picture of truth, Horus and Anubis, sons of Osiris, are weighing and looking at the tongue of the scale; above which sits the Cynocephalus Hapi, as symbol of measure. In front of the scale, the ibis-headed Thoth, the scribe of the gods, is inditing the result of the weighing on a papyrus. Between him and Osiris a female hippopotamus, Amām, known as the Swallower, represents the accuser of the dead; whom Thoth defends, if he has led a just life. In the upper section of the hall, the deceased is addressing a prayer to the forty-two judges of the dead, who have a variety of heads, and each of whom carries the feather of truth and has to pass judgment concerning a special sin; regarding which the deceased declares himself innocent in the text.

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Do not imprison my soul. Do not let any hurt me. May I sit down among the
principal gods in their dwellings If you reper me from the places of regeneration, do not
let the evil principles take hole of me. Do not let me be repeled from your gates; be not
your gates closed against me. May I have loaves in Pu, drinks in tepu. Grant to me the
funereal food and drinks, the sen, the geese, the fabrics, the incense, the oil, and all the
good and pure things apon which the gods live. May I be eternally settled in the trans-
formations that will please me, May I be united with the gods of truth."
"I did not bid any one ka treacherously. I did not utter a lie to any man. I did
not plunder the supplies in the temple. I did not overcharge. I did not tamper with the
weight of the balance. I was not a billy. I did not use too many words in speaking. I
did not turn a deaf ear to the words of truth. I did not make my mouth work. I did not
steal. I was pure-pure- pere. I did not do what the gods hate. I did not cause the
slave to be misused by his master. I did not cause any one to be hungry. I did not cause
any one to weep. I did not commit adultery. I did not kill, I prevailed as a man who
keeps his head."

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