The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, 1940-1640 BC

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Oxford University Press, 1997 - Poetry - 298 pages
3 Reviews
Drawing on recent advances in Egyptology, R. B. Parkinson's new translations bring to life for the modern reader the golden age of Egyptian fictional literature, the Middle Kingdom (c. 1940-1640 BC). The book features The Tale of Sinuhe, acclaimed as the masterpiece of Egyptian poetry, which tells of a courtier's adventures after he flees Egypt. Other works include stories of fantastic wonders from the court of the builder of the Great Pyramid, a lyrical dialogue between a man and his soul on the nature of death and the problem of suffering, and teachings about the nature of virtue and wisdom, one of which is bitterly spoken from the grave by the assassinated king Amenemhat I, founder of the Twelfth Dynasty.
A general introduction discusses the historical context of the poetry, the nature of poetry, and the role of literature in ancient Egyptian culture., while a full set of notes explicates allusions, details of mythology, place-names, and the like. Parkinson's book provides, for the first time, a literary reading to enable these poems to entertain and instruct the modern reader, as they did their original audiences three-and-a-half thousand years ago.

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User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Interesting how basic human behavior has not changed in 4,000 years. Unfortunately, the extant writings only hint at the wisdom of the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom. Read full review

Review: The Tale of Sinuhe: And Other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 BC

User Review  - Michael Murray - Goodreads

Just realised that the Tale of S is a ring structured tale - a very sophisticated ring structured tale. It also has at least three levels of reading: as a moral tale, a wonder story, and an after ... Read full review


The Words of Neferti
The Words of Khakheperreseneb
The Dialogue of a Man and his Soul
The Dialogue of Ipuur and the Lord of All
The Teaching of King Amenemhat
The Teaching for King Merikare
The Teaching of the Vizier Ptahhotep
The Teaching of Khety

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About the author (1997)

R. B. Parkinson is Assistant Keeper in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at the British Museum.

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