Ancient Egypt - Koller Papyrus: A letter concerning Nubian tribute
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The fan-bearer at the right hand of the king, the captain of auxiliary
troops, the overseer of the countries of Kush, Paser, writes to him who protects
his people, to wit:
- This communication is brought to thee saying: when my letter reaches thee thou shalt cause the tribute to be made ready in all its items, in iwA-bulls, young gA-bulls, wndw-bulls, gazelles, oryxes, ibexes, ostriches; their broad-boats, cattle-boats and (ordinary) boats being ready to hand(?), their skippers and their crews prepared for starting; much gold wrought into dishes, refined gold(?) in bushels(?), good gold, precious stones(?) of the desert in bags of red cloth, ivory and ebony, ostrich feathers, nebk fruit in /////////, bread of the nebk, Sqrqbj of(?) mjnjxs, HHq, Ssj, panther skins, gum, didy-berries, red jasper, arnethyst(?), crystal, cats of mjw, baboons, apes, Snw-vessels containing xntj(?)-pigment, cyperus-roots (?), sacks(?) and ps-packets(??); numerous men of airmj in front of the revenues, their staves(??) adorned with gold, //////////// containing //////, //////-ed with //////////// and with all precious stones; tall men of trk in loin-cloths(?), their fans of gold, wearing high feathers, their bracelets (??) of woven thread; many Negroes of all sorts.
Increase thy contribution every year! Have a care for thy head, and turn thee from thy indolence. Thou art [old]; look to it diligently, and beware! Be mindful of the day when the revenues are brought, and thou passest into the Presence beneath the Balcony; the nobles ranged on either side in front of his Majesty, the chiefs and envoys of every land standing gazing and looking at the revenues. Thou art afraid and shrinkest(?), thy hand grows feeble, and thou knowest not whether it be death or life that lies before thee. Thou art profuse in prayers [to] thy gods: "Save me, prosper me this one time!"
Alan H. Gardiner Egyptian Hieratic Papyri, Series I: Literary Texts of the New Kingdom, Part I , Leipzig 1911
/// - missing or undecipherable passages
This is a letter supposed to have been sent by a high official named Paser, probably the Viceroy himself, to a Nubian chieftain, ordering him to make ready the tribute of his district without delay. The interest of the section centres in the long enumeration of the Nubian products, the best list of the kind that exists among our literary records. A shorter but interesting list occurs in the letter from Rameses XI1 to his Viceroy Pinehasi (Gardiner)
tribute: cf. The subjugation of Nubia
panther skins: used as priestly dress
Miw: region in Nubia
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