1-888-834-1448

Inscription of Khnumhotep II


Inscription of Khnumhotep II

The hereditary prince, count, king's confidant, whom his god loves, governor of the eastern highlands, Nehri's son, Khnumhotep, triumphant; born of the count's daughter, the matron, Beket, triumphant.


He made (the tomb) as his monument; his first virtue was in adorning his city, that he might perpetuate his name forever, and that he might establish it for eternity in his tomb of the necropolis; that he might perpetuate the name of his official staff, establishing (them) according to their offices; the excellent ones, who were in his household, whom he raised over his peasant slaves; every office that he sustained; all artificers according to their kind.

His mouth saith: "The majesty of {the full titulary of Amenemhet (II), who is given life, stability, satisfaction, like Re, forever, appointed me to be hereditary prince, count, governor of the eastern highlands, priest of Horus, and [priest] of Pakht; to the inheritance of my mother's father in Menet-Khufu. He established for me the southern landmark; he perpetuated the northern, like the heavens. He divided the great river along its middle, as was done for the father of my mother, by command which came forth from the mouth of the majesty of {the full titulary of Amenemhet I, who is given life, stability, satisfaction, like Re, forever."

He appointed him to be hereditary prince, count, governor of the eastern highlands in Menet-Khufu. He established the southern landmark, perpetuating the northern, like the heavens; he divided the great river along its middle; its eastern side of the "Horizon of Horus," was as far as the eastern highland; at the coming of his majesty, when he cast out evil, shining like Atum himself, when he restored that which he found ruined; that which a city had taken from its neighbor; while he caused city to know its boundary with city, establishing their landmarks like the heavens, distinguishing their waters according to that which was in the writings, investigating according to that which was of old, because he so greatly loved justice.

Lo, he appointed him to be hereditary prince, count, [....], great lord of the Oryx nome. He established the landmarks: the southern on his boundary as far as the Hare nome; his northern as far as the Jackal nome. He divided the great river along its middle: its water, its fields, its trees, its sand as far as the western highlands. He (the king) appointed his (Khnumhotep I's) eldest son, Nakht (I) triumphant, revered, to the rule of his inheritance in Menet-Khufu as a great favor of the king, by the command which issued [from] the mouth of his majesty the king [full titulary of Sesostris I, who is given life, stability, satisfaction, like Re, forever.

This my chief nobility is my birth, my mother having gone to be hereditary princess and countess, as the daughter of the ruler of the Oryx nome, to Hat-Sehetepibre ......... to be the wife of the hereditary prince, count, ruler of the "New Town," the [....] of the king of Upper Egypt, the [....] of the king of Lower Egypt, [in] his rank of governor of the residence city, Nehri, triumphant, revered.

The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Nubkure (Amenemhet II), who is given life, stability, satisfaction, like Re, forever, brought me, being the son of a count, into the inheritance of the rule if my mother's father, because he so greatly loved justice. He is Atum himself, Nubkure (Amenemhet II), who is given life, stability, satisfaction, gladness of his heart, like Re forever. He appointed me to be count in the year 19, in Menet-Khufu.

Then I adorned it, and its treasures grew in all things. I perpetuated the name of my father; I adorned the houses of the ka's and the dwelling thereof; I followed my statues to the temple; I devoted for them their offerings: the bread, beer, water, wine, incense, and joints of beef credited to the mortuary priest. I endowed him with fields and peasants; I commanded the mortuary offering of the bread, beer, oxen, and geese, at every feast of the necropolis: at the feast of the first of the year, of the New Year's Day, of the great year, of the little year, of the last of the year, the great feast, at the great Rekeh, at the little Rekeh, at the feast of the 5 intercalary days, at [... ....], at the monthly feasts, at the twelve mid-monthly feasts; every feast of the happy living, and of the dead. Now, as for the mortuary priest, or any person, who shall disturb them, he shall not survive, his son shall not survive in his place.

Greater was the praise at the court than (that of) any sole companion. He (the king) exalted me above his nobles, I was placed before those who had been before me. [....] the official body of the palace, giving praise according to my appointment, according to (my) favor which came to pass in the (royal) presence, the command of the king himself. Never happened the like to servants [..........] . He knew the manner of my tongue, the moderation of my character. I was an honored one with the king; my praise was with his court, my popularity was before his "companions." The hereditary prince, count, Nehri's son, Khnumhotep, revered.

Another honor accorded me (was): my eldest son, Nakht, born of Kheti was appointed to the rule of the Jackal nome, to the inheritance of his mother's father; made sole companion; appointed to the forefront of Middle Egypt. There were given to him all ranks of nobility by the majesty of {fivefold titulary of Sesostris II, who is given life, stability, satisfaction, like Re, forever. He made his monuments in the Jackal nome, restoring that which he found obliterated, that which a city had taken from its neighbor; causing him to know his boundary according to the [record], investigating according to that which was of old, putting a landmark at his southern boundary, perpetuating the northern like the heavens, establishing on the fields of the low ground, a total amounting to 15 landmarks; establishing upon its northern fields its boundary as far as Oxyrrhyncus. He divided the great river along its middle, its western side (going) to the Jackal nome as far as the western highlands; when the hereditary prince, count, Khnumhotep's son, Nakht, triumphant, revered, petitioned, saying: "My waters know not the great favor of the king's presence."

Another prince is counselor, sole companion, great [among] the sole companions, of numerous gifts to the palace, sole companion. There is not one possessed of his virtues; to whom the officers hearken, the unique mouth, closing (other) mouths, bringing advantage to its possessor, keeper of the door of the highlands, Khnumhotep, son of Khnumhotep, son of Nehri, who was born of the matron, Kheti.

I kept alive the name of my fathers, which I found obliterated upon doorways, (making them) legible in [form]; accurate in reading, not putting one in the place of another. Behold, it is an excellent son, who restores the name of the ancestors; Nehri's son, Khnumhotep, triumphant, revered.

My chief nobility was: I executed a cliff-tomb, (for) a man should imitate that which his father does. My father made for himself a house of the ka in the town of Mernofret, of good stone of Ayan, in order to perpetuate his name forever and establish it eternally; that his name might live in the mouth of the people and abide in the mouth of the living, upon his tomb of the necropolis, in his excellent house of eternity, his seat of everlastingness; according to the favor of the king's presence, his love in the court.

He ruled the city as a babe, before he was loosed from swaddling-clothes; he executed a royal commission, and his two plumes danced, as a child not yet circumcised; [for] the king knew the manner of his tongue, the [moderation] of his character, Sebekenekh's son, Nehri, triumphant, revered, whom he exalted before his nobles to be ruler of his city.

The achievements of the count, Khnumhotep: I made a monument in the midst of my city; I built a colonnaded hall which I found in [ruin]; I erected it with the columns anew, inscribed with my own name. I perpetuated the name of my father upon them. I [recorded] my deeds upon every monument.

I made a door of 7 cubits, of cedar wood without [...] for the first doorway of the tomb; double doors for an opening of 5 cubits, 2 palms, for the shrine of the august chamber, which is in this tomb. A prayer for offerings, the mortuary oblations of bread, beer, oxen, geese, was upon every monument, which I made. I ........... greater in monuments [in] this city than the fathers; a child of this city, more excellent in monuments of its burial place than the ancestors, [in the buildings] made before me.

I was munificent in monuments; I taught every craft which had been [neglected] in this city, in order that my name might be excellent upon every monument which I [made]..............

The hereditary prince, count, Nehri's son, Khnumhotep, born of Beket, triumphant, revered.

Foreman of the tomb, the chief treasurer, Beket.

Sources: James Henry Breasted Ancient Records of Egypt, Part One 622ff

Who are we?

Tour Egypt aims to offer the ultimate Egyptian adventure and intimate knowledge about the country. We offer this unique experience in two ways, the first one is by organizing a tour and coming to Egypt for a visit, whether alone or in a group, and living it firsthand. The second way to experience Egypt is from the comfort of your own home: online.