Ramesside Inscriptions: Translations.

Author:Spalinger, Anthony
Position:Book review

Ramesside Inscriptions: Translations. Vol. 7. Addenda. By K. A. KITCHEN. Walden, Mass: WILEY BLACKWELL, 2014. Pp. xxxvi + 274. $400.

Ramesside Inscriptions. Vol. 4. Merenptah and the Late Nineteenth Dynasty: Translated and Annotated, Notes and Comments. By BENEDICT G. DAVIES. Maiden, Mass.: WILEY BLACKWELL, 2014. Pp. xl + 397, maps, charts. $400.

The translations of Kenneth A Kitchen's Ramesside Inscriptions have recommenced. In volume 7 of his series the expert has provided once more fresh, and in many cases new and useful, renditions of the addenda texts that concluded the first series (KRI) of this so important arduous work. Once more, the author has also provided literary analyses of key texts, e.g., the account of Userhat-Hataiu-Peniya, a chief sculptor but also a wise and erudite composer of praise to deities. The example chosen is particularly revealing as it demonstrates Kitchen's deep understanding of Egyptian prose as well as poetry--see his Poetry of Ancient Egypt (Jonsered, 1996). This should indicate that these translations are not mere mechanical ones, akin to oft-repeated new editions into modern languages of ancient words belonging to a far-away and dead tongue.

But non-poetical materials, or perhaps better put--those of a non-literary nature--are also analyzed with deliberation and consideration upon the original set-up. The oft-consulted Papyrus Butler, to take a case in point, an account that records an offering to Osiris by a military cohort, is neatly presented in columnar format so as to allow the reader and investigator a relatively easy understanding of this important social and economic document, one that directly concerns the Egyptian military in the Nineteenth Dynasty.

Volume 7 is a heterogeneous collection of additional sources not covered in the first six volumes of KRI. As such, the reader must carefully page back to the relevant historical sections and combine the first series of copies with this last one. Fortunately, page and line references to the hieroglyphic editions are provided, a policy that Kitchen earlier used with great perspicacity. Thus the user will find the "Addenda to the Addenda" somewhat perplexing unless that scholar is conversant with this immense time period. Hence, on page 32, for example, we skip from KRI VII p. 44 to pp. 405 and following. This edition, therefore, is composed in a historical fashion that integrates all of the supplemental addenda into the "addenda volume."


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