“What it was like to live and be in love in the time of the last great pharaohs of Egypt is re-created in this sparkling translation of ancient Egyptian love songs.
As one learns from the Introduction, ‘the speakers in these poems, so long dead yet perennially young, show us that the varieties and moods of love then and in that civilization do not differ from our own.’ The picture of daily life that the love songs preserve for us dates back to the later New Kingdom (ca. 1300–1100 B.C.), the last great flourishing of ancient Egyptian civilization. The original texts were handwritten in hieratic, the cursive form of the ancient hieroglyphic writing adapted to the use of brush and ink on papyrus. Many of the poems are accompanied by hieroglyphic transcriptions of the original texts on facing pages, and the book also contains reproductions of paintings showing scenes of daily life from Egyptian tombs.
These ancient verses sing as poetry to the modern ear, and the translations are faithful to the spirit and idiom of the Egyptian.” — back cover
“The aim of the present volume is to provide, in up-to-date translations, a representative selection of ancient Egyptian literature in a chronological arrangement designed to bring out the evolution of literary forms; and to do this in a convenient and inexpensive format. It is meant to serve several kinds of readers: those who pursue studies within the broad spectrum of ancient Near Eastern civilizations; scholars in other humanistic fields and other readers for whom an acquaintance with ancient Egyptian literature is meaningful; and those who read ancient Egyptian. Translations serve two purposes. They substitute—inadequately—for the original works; and they aid in the study of the originals. It is my hope that this book of readings will be useful on both counts.”
“In preparing the translations I have of course made full use of existing translations and studies, especially the more recent ones, which are scattered throughout the scholarly literature. Evidently a book of readings is up to date only if it reflects the present state of the discipline. Those who are familiar with the texts, however, are aware of the limitations of our understanding, of the conjectural nature of much that is passed off as translation, and of the considerable differences between several translations of one and the same text. Hanec the ‘present state’ of the discipline is an intricate web of consensus and controversy. Agreeing sometimes with one, sometimes with another, interpretation of a difficult passage, I have frequently agreed with none and sought my own solutions. Only in certain cases are these departures from existing translations discussed in the annotations, for to discuss them all would have resulted in an all too heavy philological apparatus, which would not have been in keeping with the major aims of the work. […] If this calls for an apology, I offer the observation that the present state of academic learning is characterized by a vast expansion in the numbers of those participating in it, and hence calls for publications that attempt to reach beyond the confines of professional specialization while at the same time making a contribution to the specialized discipline.” — From the Preface
“It has been argued that the Egyptian Book of the Dead established the ultimate format for initiation — that initiatory programs of the great mystery schools of Greece, and Rome and the modern orders of Freemasonry all owe their existence and essence to the ancient Egyptian initiates. In this little pamphlet you will discover how you and a few friends with far too much time on your hands can throw on horses heads, dress up like Zeus and enter into the mysteries of THE SONS OF OSIRIS.” [via]
“Master of modern occultism, Lon Milo DuQuette, (author of Enochian Vision Magick and The Magick of Aleister Crowley) introduces the newest Weiser Books Collection – The Magical Antiquarian Curiosity Shoppe. Culled from material long unavailable to the general public, DuQuette curates this essential new digital library with the eye of a scholar and the insight of an initiate.”