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The Book of the Dead: Hieroglyphic Transcript and Translation into English of the Papyrus of Ani Hardcover – 31 Dec 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Gramercy Books; New Ed edition (31 Dec 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0517122839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517122839
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 4.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 350,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge (27 July 1857 – 23 November 1934) was an English Egyptologist, Orientalist, and philologist who worked for the British Museum and published numerous works on the ancient Near East. He made numerous trips to Egypt and the Sudan on behalf of the British Museum to buy antiquities, and helped it build its collection of cuneiform tablets, manuscripts, and papyri. He published many books on Egyptology, helping to bring the findings to larger audiences. In 1920 he was knighted for his service to Egyptology and the British Museum. E.A. Wallis Budge was born in 1857 in Bodmin, Cornwall, to Mary Ann Budge, a young woman whose father was a waiter in a Bodmin hotel. Budge's father has never been identified. Budge left Cornwall as a boy, and eventually came to live with his maternal aunt and grandmother in London. Budge became interested in languages before he was ten years old, but left school at the age of twelve in 1869 to work as a clerk at the retail firm of W.H. Smith, which sold books, stationery and related products. (It continues to do so.) In his spare time, he studied Hebrew and Syriac with the aid of a volunteer tutor named Charles Seeger. Budge became interested in learning the ancient Assyrian language in 1872, when he also began to spend time in the British Museum. Budge's tutor introduced him to the Keeper of Oriental Antiquities, the pioneer Egyptologist Samuel Birch, and Birch's assistant, the Assyriologist George Smith. Smith helped Budge occasionally with his Assyrian. Birch allowed the youth to study cuneiform tablets in his office and obtained books for him from the British Library of Middle Eastern travel and adventure, such as Sir Austen Henry Layard's Nineveh and Its Remains. From 1869 to 1878, Budge spent his free time studying Assyrian, and during these years, often spent his lunch break studying at St. Paul's Cathedral. John Stainer, the organist of St. Paul's, noticed Budge's hard work, and met the youth. He wanted to help the working-class boy realize his dream of becoming a scholar. Stainer contacted W.H. Smith, a Conservative Member of Parliament, and the former Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, and asked them to help his young friend. Both Smith and Gladstone agreed to help Stainer to raise money for Budge to attend Cambridge University. Budge studied at Cambridge from 1878 to 1883. His subjects included Semitic languages: Hebrew, Syriac, Ethiopic and Arabic; --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
The Recensions of the great body of religious compositions, which were drawn up for the use of dead kings, nobles, priests, and others, and which form the Book of the Dead of the Ancient Egyptians may be thus summarized :-I. The Heliopolitan Recension, i.e., that which was edited by the priests of the College of Anu (the On of the Bible, and the Heliopolis of the Greeks), and which was based upon a series of texts now lost. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By Enigma VINE VOICE on 25 Nov 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book, originally written in the early 20th century by Budge, is an excellent guide to the Book of the Dead, whether a novice or a professional Egyptologist.
The first few pages of the book have an assortment of images regarding the Book of the Dead, such as images of funeral processions, the judgement of the soul and the reuniting of body and soul. Included are some short descriptions of what the images mean.

The introductory pages not only detail the history of the book itself, but also tell of the discovery of the Papyrus of Ani, how it was first treated, how it varies from tomb to tomb, whose tombs it has been discovered in, how it was written, what it was to the Ancient Egyptians and where in time it may have originated. It does so through complex, descriptive wording as well as footers going into greater depth about key topics. It also contains a list of chapters, their titles and short descriptions.

The translation itself is excellent, with hieroglyphs above the English text. Each passage is numbered so the reader can tell where it comes from in the hieroglyphics, which also makes it a good resource for anyone interested in learning to read hieroglyphs. Alongside the direct translation comes some narration explaining potential meanings and interpretations.

Given the date the book was originally published, one could also argue that it gives an insight into the mind of a 1900s historian.

All in all, an excellent book. It has everything relevant to the subject with which it deals, and is in my opinion the best version you could buy. It is let down only because it is not in colour; just a few colour pages to show the gorgeous colours used in Egyptian art and writing would have made it perfect, but it gains five stars anyway for the hieroglyphic text accompanying the English text throughout the translation.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. on 28 Oct 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is mostly a commentary on the Book of the Dead with quotes from the most significant passages of the papyrus e.g The Negative Confession.It is a handy size for reading on the train. My copy from Dodo press has no pictures of the Ani papyrus. For a fully illustrated library copy I would recommend Chronicle books ISBN 978-0-8118-6489-3. However I like the type-setting in this book which has an olde feel to it as if just off Budges typewriter. I had read it all on Web sites so mainly bought this as a souvenir of my realisation that the Old Testament view of its neighbouring cultures was wrong.(Egyptians, Canaanites, Babylonians were more the same than different). When I read the negative confession I was struck by how the Egyptian morality was just as good as later Hebrew laws. I was amazed by the many other similarities in how the Egyptians viewed and addressed their gods to how the Bible folk viewed theirs. The Egyptians believed their gods were the source of wisdom, knowledge and Truth who required them to live good lives and treat others well. The language of praising the gods was all so familiar, also the ideas of resurrection, eternal life/ hell, a god of judgment to decide who went where, a cleansing from sin by the negative confession. Is this the earliest record of these concepts? Did the Egyptians dream up these ideas? The Old Testament seems to have hardly any idea of the afterlife, only a shadowy sheol. Chapter iv is "Thoth, the author of the Book of the Dead"; Thoth was the heart, mind and tongue of the creator god, he at all times voiced the will of the great god and spoke the words which commanded everything to come into existence.[I can't help thinking he must have spoken with a lisp- I thoth tho, maybe that is why this world is a bit squint?Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Combat Wombat on 1 Oct 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
(Kindle Format Review)
Never going to be in the top 100 "must read" list I guess, but an interesting topic and not as challenging or "high brow" as folk might imagine.

Having stripped all of the illustrations out, the Kindle format, sadly, becomes pretty unintelligible and the strange {Fig #} inserts referring to a total absence of fig inserts just makes the text even more baffling.

It could have been a fun experiment. Instead it was just an experiment. Hope it's more fun for you :)
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have always found 'the Book of the Dead' intriguing and this version is a good introduction. It is a fairly complex book which requires a second read to properly understand it's content. The first few chapters, particularly the 'Legend of Osiris,' make an interesting read.
The book is probably more for reference than anything else and is good for students wishing to study Egyptology.
Claire Large.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By JustLetMeReadThisChapter on 24 Sep 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I was a little disappointed by some comments passed regarding this publication by previous reviewers, and just wanted to make a few points. Please bear in mind that I'm not an archaeologist, and I'm not reviewing the book on its shortcomings compared to other academic texts. I've had a hardback copy of this book for over 25 years, having become interested in Ancient Egypt and its religious practices in my early teens. (I also got myself a hardback book on translating hieroglyphs which was probably written around the same time.) Bearing in mind that the bulk of work on translating funerary papyri and other texts appears to have been undertaken between the 19th and early 20th century, I don't find it surprising that the conventions in translation have changed. I'm sure that if I purchased a more recent tome on hieroglyphs, there would be significant changes from the volume I bought over a quarter of a century ago.

Regardless of the academic issues, for me the translations revealed much about the purification of the body and the souls travel past death into the West, the fear of failing to complete the journey, and the joy of coming forth by day.

I would not hesitate to buy the hardback again, and will certainly get a copy for my Kindle once it arrives.
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