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The Tale of Sinuhe (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

R. B. Parkinson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

26 Mar 2009 Oxford World's Classics
tells how the courtier Sinuhe flees Egypt at the death of his king. Other works from the Middle Kingdom (c.1940-1640 BC) include a poetic dialogue between a man and his soul on the problem of suffering and death, a teaching about the nature of wisdom spoken by the ghost of the assassinated King Amenemhat I, and a series of light-hearted tales of wonder from the court of the builder of the Great Pyramid. These new translations draw on recent and innovative advances in Egyptology, and together with contextualizing introductions and notes to each work provide for the first time a literary reading of these ambiguous and fascinating poems to enable the modern reader to experience them as much as their original audience did, three thousand years ago.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; Reissue edition (26 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199555621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199555628
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

The Tale of Sinuhe, from c.1875 BC, has been acclaimed as the supreme masterpiece of Ancient Egyptian poetry, a perfect fusion of monumental, dramatic, and lyrical styles, and a passionate probing of its culture's ideals and anxieties. This anthology contains all the substantial surviving works from the golden age of Egyptian fictional literature. Composed by an anonymous author in the form of a funerary autobiography the Tale tells how the courtier Sinuhe flees Egypt at the death of his king. Other works from the Middle Kingdom (c.1940-1640 BC) include a poetic dialogue between a man and his soul on the problem of suffering and death, a teaching about the nature of wisdom spoken by the ghost of the assassinated King Amenemhat I, and a series of light-hearted tales of wonder from the court of the builder of the Great Pyramid. These new translations draw on recent and innovative advances in Egyptology, and together with contextualizing introductions and notes to each work provide for the first time a literary reading of these ambiguous and fascinating poems to enable the modern reader to experience them as much as their original audience did, three thousand years ago.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Luc REYNAERT TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The tales, discourses and teachings in this anthology of literature of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom (1940-1640 BC!) sound still all too familiar to us today. Their themes are politics (war), justice (corruption), speech (partial), social upheaval, taboos, art and the nature of man; in one word: the way of our world.

Political and social issues
‘Sinuhe’ is a political tale about a man who fled his country because of its life threatening instability. Now, he wants to go back. It is also a war story: ‘I plundered its cattle and carried off its inhabitants.’
In ‘Neferti’ there is social upheaval: ‘the great will beg to exist; only the poor will eat bread, while forced labourers are exultant.’ But, in ‘Khakheperreseneb’ ‘the pauper has no strength to save himself from the powerful man.’
‘King Cheops’ Court’ is partially a tale about a taboo: an adulterous love between a noble woman and a commoner.

Ruling, justice, corruption, speech
‘King Merikare’ is Egypt’s counterpart of Machiavelli’s ‘Il Principe’: be a ruthless, but righteous ruler. ‘Vizier Ptahhotep’ exhorts to ‘punish promptly! Instruct absolutely!’, while the Loyalist teaches: ‘do not make a field-worker wretched with taxes’.
In ‘The Eloquent Peasant’ ‘the officials are doing evil; the lawful leaders now command theft, and the standard of speech is now partial.’
In ‘Khakheperreseneb’ ‘honest speech is abandoned’, while in ‘A Man and his Soul’ ‘mercy has perished, there are no just men and the land is left to the class of injustice.’

The nature of man
‘Neferti sees a world where ‘every mouth is full of ‘I want’, all goodness has fled.’ In ‘Khakheperreseneb’ ‘there is no person free from wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Egyptian tales 9 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a collection of several stories taken from the papyri. They are apparently the sort of tales ancient Egyptians listened to. Because of the state of the original material, not all are complete, but are quite fascinating. The editorial apparatus is very useful, drawing attention to matters an ordinary reader would miss, and providing explanations. For the non-specialist this is a very intriguing insight into the Egypt of long ago. The comparison with such as the literature of Greece, or Mesopotamia, is fascinating. This is early, early stuff.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey into another worl ,another time 10 Jun 2014
By apple
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am not able to read for any length of time, and chose this book after hearing it on radio 4. I have loved reading it., It is possible to pick it up and put it down, to come back to it and have an experience of another world another time. love it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I now know all about Sinuhe 2 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Used this for one of my essays and I got a lot from the book, its a great book for ancient Egyptian studies.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful poetry... 16 Sep 2010
By Spin
Format:Paperback
"...I was a follower who followed His Lord..." Aren't we all? This is a wonderful, atmospheric poem from the Middle Age of the Pharoahs. It is not a classic in terms of language or its beauty, but it is unparrelled in its honesty and reflection of the lives and beliefs of the pharoahs. Mysticism, religion and hope are central in this tome, and though the reader may smile and doubt the story told, he/she will feel the strength of belief in the writing of this earliest of our poetic offerings. You do not have to be an egyptologist to enjoy this poetry. Just open your mind to the fact that our ancestors acted and thought exactly as we do, but with different beliefs. This is an essential read.
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