The Adventures of Sinuhe

From Ancient Egypt Literature

The Adventures of Sinuhe

Section targeting


Another tale recounts the adventures of Sinuhe, a public official who flees from Egypt at the death of Amenemhet I.

Wanders from country to country of the Near East, and, despite prosperity and honors there, suffers unbearably from lonesomeness for his native land.

At last he gives up riches, and makes his way through many hardships back to Egypt.

    "0 God, whosoever thou art, that didst ordain this flight, bring me again to the House".

    Peradventure thou wilt suffer me to see the place wherein mine heart dwelleth.

    What is a greater matter than that my corpse should be buried in the land wherein I was born? Come to mine aid! May good befall, may God show me mercy!"

In the sequel we find him home again, weary and dusty with many miles of desert travel, and fearful lest the Pharaoh reprove him for his long ab-sence from a land which, like all others, looked upon itself as the only civilized country in the world.

But the Pharaoh forgives him, and extends to him every cosmetic courtesy:

    "I was placed in the house of a king's son, in which there was noble equipment, and a bath was therein. . . . Years were made to pass away from my body; I was shaved and my hair was combed.

    A load (of dirt?) was given over to the desert, and the (filthy) clothes to the sand-farers. And I was arrayed in finest linen, and anointed with the best oil.1"

Thus was the the adventures of Sinuhe.


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