Literature In the Life of Ancient Egypt

libraries – of Sinuhe – Fiction – Love Poems –

The Story of Sinuhe

The of Sinuhe

comprises texts written in the the pharaonic of .

first appeared in association with kingship on labels and tags for items found in royal tombs. By the , this tradition of writing had evolved into the tomb autobiography, such as those of Harkhuf and Weni.

The genre known as Sebayt (Instructions) was developed to communicate teachings and guidance famous nobles; the Ipuwer papyrus, a poem of lamentations describing natural disasters and social upheaval, is an extreme example of such an instruction.

During the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom, the prose style of literature matured, with The Story of Sinuhe perhaps being the classic of Egyptian literature.

Also written at this time was the Westcar Papyrus, a set of stories told to by his sons relating the marvels performed by priests.

Towards the end of the New Kingdom, the Story of Wenamun was written.

It tells the story of a noble who is robbed on his way to buy cedar from Lebanon and of his struggle to return to Egypt; the text also shows the end of united Egypt and the start of the tumultuous Third Intermediate Period.

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