A/N: Well, I did say on my profile that I would try and post a story in hieroglyphs at some point. As promised, here it is.

Not entirely sure if this falls under the realm of fanfiction – I must emphasize it's NOT mine, not at all. This story is called (very creatively) the Story of Sinuhe and it's one of the oldest surviving Egyptian literary texts that we know of. It dates from the early middle kingdom. It's a pretty cool story and I'd like to share it with you because apparently reading hieroglyphs is a bit of a dying art… sad really. So what this is, is my translation of the text.

Originally, Sinuhe was actually written in hieratic – a form of cursive Egyptian - not hieroglyphs, but if you would like to see the full text in hieroglyph (because fanfiction can't support them, silly really… ) then there are several online renderings. Just google "sinuhe" and it'll come up. I've included both the transliteration in middle Egyptian – the classical form of the Egyptian language – as well as the translation into English. The translation itself is strict, choosing faithfulness to the original grammar and syntax over ease in English. This section is taken from probably the two best sources we have of the text – the Berlin Papyri.

This section of the text introduces the narrator, Sinuhe, by all his titles and gives background information to the story. According to the text, it is set on the 7th day of the third month of the annual Nile flood known as the inundation, during the 30th year of the reign of the Pharaoh Amenemhat I, the founder of the 12th dynasty. It also happens to be the last day of his reign because, as the story documents, he has just died. This section details informing the new Pharaoh – Senwosret I, who at the time was fighting in Libya – that he is now king.

Since fanfiction can't support the transliteration text either, the middle Egyptian transliteration has been typed using the Manuel de Codage (MdC) system. If you would like more information on the grammar – or if you can spot any mistakes! – please let me know.


The Story of Sinuhe

Ir.y pa.t -a.w sAb aD mr DA.t iti.y tA.w

rx nsw.t mAa mri.y=f Sms.w sA-nh.t


ink Smsw Sms nb=f bAk n nsw.t ip.t

pa.t wr.t Hm.t nsw.t sn-wsr.t m

sA.t nsw.t Imn.w-m-hAt m qAi-nfr.w nfr.w nb.t imAx

rnp.t sp 30 Abd 3 Ax.t sw sfx.w (7)

ar nTr r Ax.t=f nsw.

iw Xnw.w m sgr ib.w m gmw

m tp mAs.t m imw

ist (i)r=f sbi.n hm=f mSa r tA Tmh.w

sA=f smsw m Hr.y iry

nTr nfr si-n.y-wsir.t

ti sw hAb r Hwi.t r sqr THn.w

ti sw Hm iyi=f ini.n=f sqr-anx.w n.w THnw

mnmn.t nb.t nn Dr.w=s

smr.w n.w stp-sA hAb=sn r

r rDi.t rx sA-nsw.t sSm.w xpr m

gmi.n sw Hr wA.t

pH.n=sn sw r tr n.y

n sp sin=f rssy

bik aXi=f Hna Smsw=f

nn rDi.t rx st mSa=f

Patrician, count, dignitary, administrator [ who cuts canals] of the estates of the sovereign of the lands of the asiatics

one who is known to the king truly, one who is loved, the follower Sanehet,

He says:

I am a follower, one who follows his lord, a servant of the private apartments of the king and of the princess, the great one in favours, wife of King Senwosret of Khnemsetut

Daughter of the King Amenemhat in Kaineferu, Neferu, lady of honour

Year 30, third month of the inundation, day 7

the ascension of the god to his horizon, the king of upper and lower Egypt Sehetepibra

he ascending to the sky, he being joined with the sun disk, the body of the god being mingled with the one who made him

The residence was silent, hearts were mourning

the courtiers were head on knees, the nobles in grief

Now meanwhile, his majesty had sent the army to the land of the Libyans

His eldest son being the chief thereof

The good god, Senwosret

Now, he was sent in order to smite the foreign lands, to slay those who are in the land of the Libyans

and now furthermore, he was returning, having brought the captives of Libya

And all the cattle without end.

the companions of the palace sent to the western borders

in order to cause that the kings son might know the state of affairs which had occurred in the court

That the messengers had found him, was upon the road

They had reached him at night time

never did he halt at all

the falcon, he flying off together with his followers

without letting his army know it