The Tale of the Two Brothers

The Tale of the Two Brothers

Adapted as a modern tale from the original translation by W.M. Flinders Petrie 

(Egyptian Tales, Translated from the Papyri, Second Series, 18th to 19th dynasty)

by David Prashker

   Once upon a time, or so the story goes, there were two brothers, who shared the same mother and the same father - exactly how families are supposed to be, you might think, but in those days, and at that time, a man could have several wives, and children with each of them. Now the name of the elder brother was Anubis, though some say that his name was Anpu, and the name of the younger was Bata. Anubis owned a house, and he had a wife, and his younger brother was attached to him, almost as though he were an adopted son, so that it was he (the elder brother, that is) who made clothes for him, while he (the younger brother, that is) shepherded his cattle out into the fields - or really cattleherded them, because you shepherd sheep and so you ought to cattleherd cattle, but alas no such word exists in English - since it was he who had the task of ploughing. It was also he who undertook the reaping for him, and it was he who expedited every other chore pertaining to the fields. Indeed, this younger brother was as perfect a young man as anyone reluctant to pay hired workers could ask for: there was no one like him in the entire land, and it was said that the virility of a god was in his loins, though no one yet had availed themselves of an opportunity to prove, or indeed to disprove it.

   Our story finds the two brothers at a particular moment, several days after the younger brother had taken the cattle out to graze and plough, and during which time Anubis had followed him, keeping a supervisory eye on him, or spying suspiciously, if you prefer to see it in that way. Bata had tended the cattle as he did every day. Now, as the evening set in, he set out for his brother's house, carrying in his knapsack whatever vegetables were growing in the fields at that time of the year, plus milk, and wood for the hearth, and any other tasty products offered free by Nature that he happened to find available along the way; and these, as he always did, he placed before his elder brother, who was sitting with his wife waiting for his dinner, and he ate and drank with them, and then he left to spend the night in the stable with the cattle.

   When dawn came up the following morning, he brought more of those good foods into the kitchen to be cooked, then set them before his elder brother, with bread baked from corn that he had personally gathered in the fields. After breakfast he drove the cattle out again, to let them graze in the fields, taking advice from them as to which fields had the best grass. He always listened to their advice and took them to the place that they had chosen, because somehow they seemed to know intuitively where the best grass was to be found that day. And clearly they were right, for the cattle that were in his charge grew fat and healthy, and when he put the males in the field with the females, they multiplied their offspring exceedingly, as the saying goes.

   So it came to ploughing time, and his brother told him, "Get a team of oxen ready for us for ploughing; the Nile floods have retreated and the first signs are in the soil that we need to start tilling. When you've done that, bring the bags of seed out to the field, because I want to start the cultivation tomorrow." This is what his brother said to him, and by way of a response Bata said not a word, but simply went about his designated tasks, making all the preparations that his elder brother had instructed him. So dawn came up on the next day, and they set off for the field, carrying the bags of seed, and they began to plough, and in their hearts both were decidedly self-satisfied about everything that they had done, and were now doing.

   Let us now jump forward several days, and find the brothers still ploughing and tilling and cultivating their field, when they realised that they had used up all the seed. Anubis sent his younger brother back to the house, saying to him "Go and fetch us more seed from town".
   So Bata went back to the house, and there he found his sister-in-law sitting by her bedroom mirror, plaiting her hair.
   "Get up and fetch me some seed," he told her. "Quickly now, so that I can get back to the field as fast as possible. Anubis is waiting for me. Come on. Don't cause me a delay."
   To which his sister-in-law replied: "Why can’t you go and open the store yourself and fetch what you want? I have to finish doing my hair."
   So Bata went out to the stable, and found the largest containers that he could, because he intended to take back a lot of seed. He loaded himself up like a donkey with seed of barley and of emmer wheat, and came out carrying it.
   Then his sister-in-law asked him, "How much is it that you've got on your shoulder?"
   And he replied, "This would be... let me see... three sacks of emmer wheat seed and ... two sacks of barley seed. That would make in total, right here on my shoulder, five."
   This was what he said to her.
   And by way of a reply she said to him, "You really are as virile as everyone in town suggests. I've been watching you, how hard you work, those muscles of yours." For - let's not beat about the bush - it was her desire to know him in what is called sexual intimacy.
   Now she got up, seized hold of him, and said to him, "Come, let's spend an hour together, just you and me, in bed. It will be to your advantage, for I will make you fine clothes."
   Bata was shocked. This morally upright young man was suddenly transformed into an Upper Egyptian panther, so vehement was his rage over this wicked proposition that she had made to him. And as he raged, so did she grow very frightened. But then he calmed down for a moment, and said to her:
   "Now look, you are the nearest thing in this world to a mother to me, and your husband is, well, really, like a father, and not just because he's my elder brother, but because it was he who brought me up. What you have suggested is - what can I say? - a terrible offense to me - to him. Never say it to me again. But to spare you I shall tell no one. I will not let a word of it escape from my mouth to anybody."
   And saying this he picked up his load, and went off to the field. And when he reached his elder brother, the two of them quite simply got on with the next phase of their project.

   That evening, as usual, elder brother Anubis left work to return home, while younger brother Bata continued tending the cattle, before loading himself up with as much produce of the field as he could carry, and then bringing back the cattle so they could spend the night in their stable back in town. His elder brother's wife, as you can imagine, had spent the afternoon thinking through the inferences and implications of her moment of impulsiveness, though thinking describes a state of calm rationality, whereas in truth we need to be using words like fear and panic to describe her emotional state. What if Bata should tell on her? was the sum of it. Men were untrustworthy creatures. She had no alternative but to ensure the safety of her reputation by her own means. So she fetched grease and fat and smeared them on her body so that it looked like bruises, and rehearsed what was most likely to be effective in pretending to her husband that his younger brother had attempted to assault her.
   Her husband left work in the evening, according to his daily habit, as we have already noted. When he reached the house he found his wife lying down, sick apparently, so that she wasn't there to do as she always did, which was to pour water over his hands to clean them. Nor had she prepared a candle to light his arrival, so that the house was in darkness - and herself stretched out on the bed, vomiting.
   "Who has quarrelled with you?” her husband immediately jumped to the obvious conclusion.
   "No one has quarrelled with me," she replied. "Except your younger brother. When he returned to fetch seed for you, he found me sitting alone and said to me, 'Come, let's spend an hour in bed together. Put on your wig.' So he said to me, but I refused to obey him. 'Isn't it the case that I am practically your mother, and that your brother is to all intents and purposes your father?' That's what I said to him. And he became terribly afraid, and then he assaulted me, to prevent me from telling you what had happened. And now, if you allow him to live, I shall take my life. See, as soon as he returns, don't so much as say 'good evening' to him, because I denounce this wicked proposition which he would have carried out today."
   Hearing all of this, it was Anubis' turn to be transformed into an Upper Egyptian panther, and he sharpened his spear, and waited like a sentry by the stable door, spear in hand, ready to kill his younger brother as soon as he returned that evening and came to put the cattle in the stable.
   And so it fell out that, as soon as the sun had set, Bata loaded himself up with all manner of vegetables from the fields, as he did every day, and set off for home. But even as the lead cow entered the stable, it turned to Bata, its herdsman, and said:
   "Look there, your elder brother's standing waiting for you, with a spear in his hand, like he intends to kill you. You need to get out of here in a hurry."
   Bata had understood what his lead cow had said, but it was emphasised and endorsed when the next cow entered and said exactly the same thing. Bata bent down to look under the stable door, and there he saw his elder brother's feet where he was standing behind the door with his spear in his hand. Bata laid his load down on the ground, and ran off as fast as his feet could carry him. But Anubis had seen him go, and set off in pursuit of him, still brandishing his spear.
   In his anxiety Bata, the younger brother, offered up a prayer to the deity named Re-Harakhti, saying, "My good lord, it is you who distinguishes wrong from right."
   Re-Harakhti listened to all his beggings and petitions, and he caused a vast gulf of water, as wide as the river Nile, to form a barrier between him and his elder brother, infested with crocodiles like the river Nile, so that one of them found himself on one side of the watery divide, and the other on the other. His elder brother struck himself twice on the back of his hand, a gesture of annoyance at his having failed to kill his younger brother.
  But just then, and somewhat surprisingly given that escape was now available to him, his younger brother called out to him from the far side, saying:
   "Wait there, my brother, until dawn. As soon as the sun rises, I shall be judged with you in the presence of Re-Harakhti, and he will deliver the culprit to the just. And if he finds me guilty I make this vow, that I will never again be present in your company, nor in any place where you are to be found. I will go to the Valley of the Acacia."

   Soon enough it was dawn, and the next day had come about. Re-Harakhti arose, and all three looked at each other, observing, scrutinising, judging. Then Bata turned to his elder brother and asked him:
   "What is the meaning of your coming in pursuit of me like this, in order to kill me unjustly, without having heard what I have to say? I am still your younger brother, and you are the nearest I have to a father, and your wife is the nearest I have to a mother. Is that not so? When you sent me to bring seed, your wife said to me, 'Come, let's spend an hour in bed together.' But I can see that she must have distorted the tale when she told it to you, turning it into something else."
   Then he told Anubis what had really transpired between himself and his elder brother's wife. He even swore the truth of his version in the name of Re-Harakhti, making up a prayer of his own that included parts that he remembered from the ancient liturgy:
   "As for your pursuit of me," he said, "in order to kill me unjustly, carrying your spear, do you not know that it was on account of a sexually unsatiated slut. Lo," - this was the part of the ancient liturgy that he more or less remembered accurately - "he fetched a reed knife, cut off his phallus, and threw it into the water. And the catfish swallowed it, and he grew weak and became feeble."
   And saying this, Bata acted out the words, and it was not mime.
   Hearing him, witnessing it, remembering the whole tale, and understanding why his brother had made reference to it, Anubis the elder brother found his emotions running rather differently than before; indeed he was assailed by an overwhelming grief, and stood there, weeping aloud, definitely for the demi-hero of the ancient tale, even more definitely for Bata too. He might even have embraced him, only he could not cross over to where his younger brother was standing, because crocodiles are crocodiles, and it was a very watery ravine.
   When his younger brother called out to him, saying:
   "You came here to act evilly upon a grievance that you did not even attempt to prove. Can you not recall a kindness now, or something else that I have done on your behalf, and use that as the inspiration for a good deed? Please, go home now, take care of the cattle, because I have made a vow not to stay in any place where you are. I shall go off to the Valley of the Acacia. And this is what you can do on my behalf. If you find out that something has happened to me, come to the Valley and care for me. Because I am now a dead man in this world, I shall extract my heart and hang it on the top of the flower of the acacia tree. And if the acacia tree is cut down, or falls to the ground, swear that you will come and search for my heart. Even if you spend seven years searching for it, do not let your own heart become discouraged. But if you do find it, when you do find it, as you will, place it in a bowl of cold water, so that I can come back to life and avenge the wrong that has been done to me. And here is a sign for you, to know if something has happened to me: if a glass of beer is brought to you and, when you lift it to drink from it, it starts to produce froth. If that happens, do not delay, but come and seek me in the Valley of the Acacia.”
   And saying this, he turned and set off to the Valley of the Acacia. His elder brother too turned, but before he set off for home, like a man putting on sackcloth as a sign of mourning, with his own hands he smeared his head and body with both dirt and dust. So at last he reached home, and he killed his wife, threw her body to the dogs, and sat down in mourning for his younger brother.

   Many days had gone by following these events, and Bata was now in the Valley of the Acacia, entirely alone, taking advantage of the daylight to hunt for desert game. Each evening he came back to the acacia tree, on the top of whose flower he had placed his heart, to spend the night beneath it. Soon he had gathered enough materials to build for himself a grand country villa in the Valley of the Acacia, filled with all manner of good things, and with the intention of establishing a home for himself here.
   And then it happened that, one day, when he was out walking not far from his country villa, that he met the Ennead, the pantheon of nine deities who rule the Cosmos - their names were Atum, Shu, Tefnut, Geb, Nut, Osiris, Isis, Set, and Nepthys - who were walking along the road, at once observing how the world was going, and in conference to govern it. The nine deities spoke in unison, saying to him:
   "Oh, Bata, Bull of the Ennead, are you alone here? Have you abandoned your town, fleeing before the face of the wife of Anubis, your elder brother? Know that he has killed his wife, and through this you are avenged for every wrong committed against you."
   The gods, apparently, were feeling very sorry for our Bata. Re-Harakhti (who was also known as Atum) told Khnum, once the deity of fertility, water and the great potter who created children and gave them their ka at their conception, but now living in semi-retirement because the Ennead had taken charge, "Please fashion a marriageable woman for Bata so that he does not have to live alone."
   Immediately Khnum made a house-companion for him who was more beautiful in her body than any woman in the entire land, for Khnum had included some element of each of the gods in her. So beautiful that the seven Hat-Hors came to take a look at her, and were so enraged with envy that they made the joint pronouncement: "It is by an execution knife that this creature is going to die."
   House-companion was her designation, a helpmeet rather than a wife or even a concubine. But Bata only had to look at her and his famous virility was immediately aroused. For as long as she dwelled in his house. even when he was out hunting, his thoughts went back to her, in images much more than language. It was for her now that he hunted desert game, for her that he brought it back, for her that he laid it down before her. And he told her:
   "Don't go outside, in case the sea should carry you away, for I will be unable to rescue you from it, because I am now reduced to something female, though not female like you, and my heart lies on the top of the flower of the acacia tree. But if anyone else should find it, I will find a way to fight with him." Then he revealed to her all his inmost thoughts.

   Several days after this, while Bata was out hunting, as was his daily habit, the young woman maiden went out to stroll under the acacia tree that grew up next to the house. No sooner did she reach it than she saw the sea, surging up behind her, and she ran away from it, fled to the safety of the house. But the sea called to the acacia tree, saying: "Seize hold of her for me." And the acacia tree plucked a curl from her hair. The sea brought it to Egypt, and placed it right where Pharaoh's launderers of did their cleaning, so that the scent of the curl of hair became transmitted to the clothing of Pharaoh (may he live, grow prosperous, and be healthy), and the king rebuked the launderers, saying, very abruptly, while pointing a royal finger: "Scent of ointment is in the clothes of Pharaoh", more than which was majestically unnecessary.
   Over the next several days, rebuking them became almost a part of daily ceremony for the Pharaoh, but they had no idea what to do. The chief launderer of Pharaoh walked down to the banks of the river Nile, with his mind exceedingly vexed as a consequence of the rebukes he had received. Suddenly he stopped, and stood dead still, right there by the rivershore, opposite the curl of hair that was lying in the water. He ordered someone go down, and it was brought to him. Its scent was found to be most generously fragrant - a scent of acacia indeed - and he took it to show Pharaoh.
   Then the learned scribes of Pharaoh were summoned, and they said to Pharaoh: "As for this braid of hair, it belongs to a daughter of Re-Harakhti in whose body can be found the seed of every god. It must have been sent as a tribute to you from some other country. Send envoys to all of them in order to search for her. As for the envoy who will go to the Valley of the Acacia, have many men accompany him, in order to fetch her."
   Then His Majesty said, "What you have said is very good, very good." And they were dismissed.

   Yet again our tale jumps forward many days. The men who had gone to each of the foreign countries had soon enough returned to bring their reports to His Majesty, while those who had gone to the Valley of the Acacia had for a long while failed to return, for Bata had killed them, leaving just one of them alive to take his report back to His Majesty, which eventually he did. Then His Majesty sent another delegation, this time comprised of many soldiers riding chariots, but also a woman who had been endowed with all manner of beautiful feminine adornments that she could present to the lady of the scented hair as an inducement.
   And induced she duly was. The young woman returned to Egypt with her, and there was a joyous reception for her at every place she journeyed through the land. His Majesty fell deeply, madly in love with her, and appointed her to be the First Lady. Then he spoke to her about her husband, asking her to describe his looks, his personality, his character, and she understood why he really wanted to know, and so she told him, "Have the acacia tree cut down and hacked up". The king sent soldiers bearing copper implements to cut down the acacia tree, and they came to the spot where it was growing, and they cut off the flower on which was Bata's heart, and he fell dead at that very moment.
   After dawn came up the following day, and after the acacia tree had been cut down, Anubis, the elder brother of Bata, entered his house, and sat down, though not until after he had washed his hands. His servant handed him a glass of beer, and even as he lifted it to take a sip, the beer started to produce froth. As if this sign were not sufficient, he called for a glass of wine instead, and even as it was handed to him the wine turned sour. So he knew, and his heart sank. He picked up his walking-staff and put on his sandals, dressed himself in clothing suitable for such a journey, and took up his weapons, and with these he made speed to journey to the Valley of the Acacia. Arrived, he entered his younger brother's house, and found his younger brother lying dead upon his mat. O how he wept when he saw his younger brother lying in this state, and he went in search of his younger brother's heart, beneath the stump which was all that remained of the acacia tree under which his younger brother had slept away his evenings.

   For three long years Anubis went on searching for his younger brother's heart, but he could not find it. Then, when in the first days of the fourth year, his felt in his own heart a desire to return to Egypt, and he said to himself, "I shall depart tomorrow." This is what he said in his own still beating heart. Just as he did every day. But he could not leave until he had found his younger brother's no longer beating one.
   So yet another dawn, yet another following day, had come about, and Anubis began walking under the acacia tree, spent all day indeed searching for his brother's heart. And in the evening he gave up. And then again, and then again, he spent time searching for it, until, this time, how could he not have noticed it before, a seed, scarcely more than a seed, of what might one day become a acacia cone. And he knew without knowing how he knew, that the acacia cone was in fact his younger brother's heart.
   So he went back into the house, filled a bowl with cold water, dropped the acacia cone into it, and sat down to think about the daily habits he could soon resume, because soon he would be able to go home. After darkness had fallen that same day, and the acacia-cone heart had absorbed every last drop of water in the bowl, the dead body of Bata, lying on its mat, began to shake, and shuddered, every limb and muscle coming back to life, until there he was, looking up from his pillow at his elder brother, even while his heart was still in the bowl. Anubis, his elder brother, took the bowl of cold water in which his younger brother's heart was also coming back to life, and had him drink it. As the heart went down into his body, it found and once again assumed its proper position in Bata's chest, so that Bata was restored, once again the same young man he used to be. Or very nearly - some missing parts, alas, were not available to be restored.
   Now the two brothers embraced each other, and then they conversed with one another. And Bata said to his elder brother, "The gods, when I met them, called me 'Bull of the Ennead'. So I know this is my destiny. Now I shall become a large bull, one that has every beautiful colour, one whose breed is unparalleled, and you shall sit on my back and ride me. As soon as the sun rises, we will go to where my wife is, and I shall avenge myself, and you will take me to where the king is, and every imaginable good thing will be done for you, rewards of silver and gold for taking me to Pharaoh, because I shall become the wonder of the world, and there will be much joyful celebration of me throughout the land. And then you will be free to go back to your home town.

   Another dawn, another following day, had come about, and there was Bata, changed into the form of which he had spoken to his elder brother. So Anubis, the elder brother, climbed on his back, and stayed there until the next next dawn, the following following day, riding comfortably while Bata the Bull strode powerfully over desert sand and stony field, until he reached the place where the king was, and His Majesty was informed about him. He saw him, and the joy was palpable in his face, his eyes, his smile. From the steps of the palace he delivered in his honour a grand oblation, saying: "A great marvel has come to pass." And there was jubilation for him throughout the land. And the king ordered him to be weighed, and as much as he weighed was counted out in gold and silver for his elder brother, who once again took up his abode in his home town. But for Bata much more than this, for the king provided him with a large household of servants, and as many material goods as he could find room for, and Pharaoh preferred him over any other counsellor or advisor in the entire land.

   Many, many, more and more, dawns and followings later, Bull Bata wandered into the sacred portion of the palace, and stood next to the First Lady, who was making her daily spiritual ablutions there. He began speaking with her, saying, "See, I'm still alive!"
   "Who are you, pray?" she answered him.
   "I am Bata," he told her. "I realise that when you caused the acacia tree to be hacked up for Pharaoh, it was on account of me, to keep me from staying alive. But now you can see that I am still alive. Simply, now, I am alive as a bull."
   Hearing this revelation by her husband, the First Lady became gripped by an emotional state that can only be described as fear and panic. Bata left the sacred place, and soon enough His Majesty came in to make his daily spiritual ablutions. But instead of these he sat down beside her, and started to behave flirtatiously with her. She poured a glass of wine for His Majesty - a sweet wine, used in the sacred rites - so that the king was exceedingly happy in her company.
   Then she said to His Majesty, "Swear something to me in the name of the gods. In these words: 'Whatever it is she asks for, I shall grant it to her.'" And he made that promise, and then he listened to her tell him what it was she wanted.
   "Let me," she said to him, "eat of the liver of this bull, for he never will amount to anything."
   This was what she said to him.
   The king was very angry with her for making this request, and also very sorry for poor Bata. But he had made his promise, and it could not be retracted.

   Dawn of the next day duly came about, and the king proclaimed a grand feast, with oblationary honours and sacrificial offerings to the bull. But also of the bull. The king sent his Chief Butler (though some versions of the legend say it was his Chief Baker), to undertake the sacrifice of the bull. And so it happened that Bata the Bull was sacrificed.
   While he was being carried on the shoulders of the men, his neck trembled, which caused two drops of blood to be shed beside the two doorposts of His Majesty's grand palace, one landing on one side of the great portal, and the other on the other side. Out of these droplets of blood grew up two large Persea trees (Mimusops schimperi for those of you who like your trees with Latin names), each one as beautiful and fecund as the other. Then someone went to tell His Majesty, "Two large Persea trees have grown up in a single night. It is a great marvel for Your Majesty. Right there beside the great portal of Your Majesty's palace." And there was jubilation throughout the land for the miracle of the Persea trees. And the king presented an offering to them.

   And on went the days and dawns and followings, and on one of these His Majesty appeared in public, wearing his crown of lapis lazuli, wreathed around his neck with one of every flower that grew in Egypt, and riding in his chariot of pale gold; all this, so that he could come out of the palace and see the Persea trees with his own eyes. Behind him came the Lady, riding in her own chariot. His Majesty sat down under one of the Persea trees, in order to speak with his wife; but it was the Persea tree that spoke to her.
   "Ha, you liar!" it said. "I am Bata. I am alive in spite of you. I realise that, when you cut down the acacia tree for Pharaoh, it was on account of me. So I became a bull, and you had me killed."
   The Tale, alas, does not recall the Lady's response, either in word or in emotion.

   Still more dawns, days, followings, nexts, and once again the First Lady stood pouring wine for His Majesty in the sacred place, so that the king was happy in her company. And once again she said to His Majesty:
   "Swear something to me in the name of the gods. In these words: 'Whatever it is she asks for, I shall grant it to her.'"
   And he made that promise, and then he listened to her tell him what it was she wanted.
   "Have those two Persea trees cut down," she told him, "and made into fine furniture."
   The king heard her request, and after a brief moment he sent for skilled craftsmen, and the Persea trees were cut down for Pharaoh, while the Queen, as she now was, the First Lady, observed it being done. But while she watched, and while they sawed, a splinter flew up into the Lady's mouth. She swallowed the splinter, and in the space of a split second she had fallen pregnant. And the king made out of the wood of the Persea trees whatever was her desire.

   Nine months of dawns and days and followings, the Queen, the First Lady, gave birth to a son, and one of her servants went totell His Majesty, "A son has been born to you." Then the child was brought, and a wet-nurse and maids were assigned to him. There was jubilation throughout the land, and the king sat down to celebrate, and sat the infant on his lap, and loved and cherished him from the first moment, and he gave the infant the title Viceroy of Kush.

   So time again moved on, unneeding of the mentioning of dawns or days or followings, and now His Majesty appointed him Crown Prince, which is to say as Heir Apparent, of the entire land. And in the course of still more time, when he had served in this role for very many years, His Majesty did what only kings can do, which was to leave this Earth unnoticed in a journey to the sky.

   Then the new King said: "Have all the great officials of His Former Majesty brought to me, that I may inform them regarding every situation in which I have been involved."

   So the Queen Mother, as she now was, the Former First Lady, as she now was, his mother, as she still was, was brought to him along with all the other chamberlains and stewards, and he told his tale, and called for judgement with her in their presence.

   So a consensus was reached among them, though sadly the conclusion is not recorded. Or only that the man who was summoned to the palace as a consequence of their dscussions was the elder brother of the late lamented Bata, and strangely welcomed by the new King as "my elder brother", and then appointed by the new King as Crown Prince, which is to say as Heir Apparent, over the entire land. And the new King of Egypt reigned supreme for thirty years, and when he too made the invisible journey to the sky, it was his elder brother the Crown Prince who succeeded to the throne that very day.

   Thus our tale concludes happily and successfully, and with much gratitide for the ka of the scribe of the treasury of Pharaoh Kagabu, and of the scribe Hora, and of the scribe Meremapt, without whom no versions, let alone this one, could have been made for the benefit of posterity. This scroll written by the scribe Anena, the owner of this roll. He who speaks against this roll, may Tahuti smite him.

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