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Pap. Berlin P. P 13446/A

TEI-XML-File: https://p612399.webspaceconfig.de/xml/elephantine_erc_db_308239.tei.xml



Collection Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, SPK (P)
Inventory Number Pap. Berlin P. P 13446/A
Publication Number TAD C.1.1; TAD C.3.7
Current Location magazine | papyrus depository
Publication Status published

Origin / Provenance

Ancient Provenance Site Elephantine (Ꜣbw; Yb; YbꜢ; YbꜤ; Ἐλεφαντίνη, יב , ⲉⲓⲏⲃ) [Trismegistos]
Certainty: high
Ancient Provenance District Upper Egypt, 1st nome (Ombites) [Trismegistos]
Type of Discovery archaeological excavation
Date of Discovery
Term. Ante / Post Quem Non
between 1 1 1907 and 16 1 1907
Finder (= First Purchaser) Rubensohn, Otto / Zucker, Friedrich (excavation directors)
Location of Find / Purchase in Egypt Elephantine
District of Find / Purchase in Egypt Upper Egypt, 1st nome (Ombites) [Trismegistos]
Type of Acquisition for the Intitution partage


Object Type papyrus
Dating of Object Before 475 BCE (date on underwritten palimpsest).
Criteria for Dating Text: palimsest date.
Range of Preservation (undecidable)
State of Preservation Fragments arranged by Sachau and Zucker between 1907 (date of find) and 1911 (date of publication). One preserved papyrus join in the center of the upper and lower large fragments. Far right edge may is near a join, but no evidence remains. Joins are approximately 14.5 to 15 cm apart.
Mounting glass plate

Text Basic Information

Localization of Text on Object recto
Script-Fiber-Relation (for Payri) parallel
Range of Preservation (Text) incomplete
State of Preservation (Text) Marks on verso. De lux layout on recto. Script is generally very legible. Much of the column survives.
Script, Primary Aramaic, Imperial
Script, additional A (none)
Language, Primary Aramaic, Imperial
Comments on Handwriting Elegant.
Comments on Text Layout Superlinear additions to line 5
  recto verso
Quantity of Lines 15 0
Quantity of Columns 1 0
Line Lenght (in mm) 2575
Column Height (in mm) 270
Height of Line / Letter


Text Content

Ancient Title ספר מלי אחיקר ספר ומהיר
Modern Title The Story of Ahiqar; The Legend of Ahiqar; Ahikar; Achikar; Achiqar; Aḥiqar; Aḥîqār; אחיקר
Text Types
  • literary
  • literary | biography
  • literary | historic
  • literary | narrative
  • literary | narrative | prose
  • literary | wisdom | instruction
Summary of Content Lines 1 and 2 are a biographical prologue. Lines 2b thru 15 are an autobiographical narrative told from Ahiqar's (ficticious) first-person perspective. See ID 306611 for text and translation.
Location of Composition unknown unknown Egypt (Certainty: unknown)
Comments on Text Plates A, B, C, and D contain narrative content, so too do the versos of plates H and L. The material of plates H.v and L.v does not belong to material of plates A–G, J, and K. Plates H.v and L.v. plus many lost fragments, may have contained one of the Vorlagen used to copy the de lux edition retained on the recto of the other surviving plates. The text of plate D.r.i.15 has no equivalent on pl. H.v. and may either be a gloss or a line supplied from another Vorlage. Sections of the narrative of Ahiqar survive in many ancient languages and manuscripts. The story is most well-known from the Syriac recension (S2, Camb. Cod. Add. 2020) edited by J. Rendell Harris in 1898 (revised 1913), though many other Syriac recensions exist. The earliest surviving Syriac manuscript (BM 7200, Harris' S1) is a unique recension and a fragmentary manuscript that dates from the 12th or 13th century CE. An early Greek edition must have survived and must have been the basis for the adaption of the narrative in a section of the Life of Aesop, the earliest surviving manuscripts of which date to the 3rd cent. CE (Oxyrh. Pap. 47 no. 3331 and 53 no. 3720). Early manuscripts of the narrative of Ahiqar, such as the Demotic Egyptian fragments (Berlin p. 23729 and Cairo Frag.) are composed in third person narration. Elephantine and Syriac retain an older first-person autobiographical narration (so too some later [and currently unpublished] Karshuni and Arabic manuscripts). The Elephantine edition of the narrative differs from the Syriac in wording and details, though the general narrative outline, settings, and central characters are the same. For a discussion of the maxims, see plates E–H, J–L.
Multilingualism Script = Language
Gender Child Man Woman
Comment on Gender Training of a scribal student. In the Elephantine copy on the recto, but not the verso, Ahiqar is a eunuch (pl. D.i.15), and this is less apparent in later editions of the tale. The theme of adoption is present. Reference to Ahiqar's sister is made. Male/eunuch age and professional abilities. Syriac recensions (the literary core of which may date to the Persian Period) elevate the roles of women, specifically Ahiqar's sister and, especially, his wife. His wife is not know in the surviving Elephantine fragments, but may have appeared in the lacuna.
Religion Syncretism
Comment on Religion Assyrian/Aramean/Hebrew dieties ("gods" "Shamash") are mentioned in the proverbs. Found among "Judean" texts. Pl. A lines 1 and 2 may refer to a diety, but restoration is uncertain.



Transcription Translation Pictures
1ספר מלי אחיקר שמה ספר חכימ ומהיר זי חכמ לברה ‏ זי אחתה אחר לאלה
2צל ואמר ברא למ יהוה לי קדמת מלוהי אנה אחיקר ויתבת בבב חיכלא
3בבית עזקתה זי שנחאריב מלכ אתור ואמרת אנה למ בננ לאאיתי ליהב ביתי
4ומלי הוה שנחאריב מלכ אתור אחר מית שנחאריב מלכ אתור אנה פלחת
5אסרחאדנ שמה ברה והוה מלכ באתור חלפ שנחאריב אבוהי
6שבכנ לקחת לבר אחתי ואנה אמרת ברא יהוה לי מותא יקברני וחכמתה
7לחכמ אחר שאל הוה לאסרחאדנ מלכ אתורואמר לי כזי תמות למ למנ יעט
8מלכ אתור אחר אנה אמרת לה חי לעלמ ברינדנ שמה ברי אחתי יפלחכ רביתה
9וחכמתה וטבתא יהבת לה אקימה בבב היכלא עמי בבית עזקה זי מלכא יתב עם
10נגדוהי קרבתה קדמ אסרחאדנ מלכ אתור וחכמה מלנ חכימינ ועננ טב לכל
11זי שאלה אחר רחמה אסרחאדנ מלכ אתור ואמר חינ שמש עלכ הוית
12ספרא חכימא יעט אתור כלה זי יקימ לברה ולא ברתה
13 אחר גהנת וסגדת למ אחיקר קדמ אסרחאדנ מלכ אתור אחר
14ברי יהוה קדמכ כאחיקר כזי חזית אנפי אסרחאדנ מלכ אתור טבנ ענית ואמרת מראי
15אנת ידע אנה פלחת לכ אנה אפ פלחת לשנחאריב מלכא אבוכ זי מלכ הו קדמיכ

[The account of] the words of the one named Ahiqar, a wise and expert scribe who taught the son o[f his sister after (2) he had prayed (1) to god
2[and] had said, "May I have a son?" The beginning of [his] wor[ds: I] am Ahiqar, and [I] d[welt in the Gate of the Palace, in]
3the house of the seal (bearer) of Sennacherib, king of Assyria. And I said,"I have no children to give my home
4or my words to." (Now) Sennacherib was king of Assyria. A[fter Senna]cherib, the k[ing of Assyria, had died, I served]
5the one named Esarhaddon, his son. And he was king in Assyria; he repl[aced Sennacherib,] his [fa]ther. [. . .]
6old [. . .So I took my] nephew. [And I said, "He shall be my son. at d]eath[ he will bury me." And I taught him
7wisdom. Then] Es[arhaddon, the king of Assyria,] h[ad a question, and said to me, "When you die, who will counsel
8the king of] Assyria?" Then [I said to him, "long live the king!] My son [the one named Nadin, my nephew, will serve you. I have reared him.]
9I have taught wisdom to him, and [I have giv]en good (things) [to him (so that) I may appoint him at] the [Ga]te of the Pa[l]ace with[ me. In the House of the ]seal (bearer)[ of the king he will sit with]
10his high ranking courtiers." I presented him before Esarhaddon, the k[ing] of A[ss]yria. And he taught him [wise] w[ords. And he responded well to everything
11th]at he asked him. Then Esarhaddon the [k]ing of Assyria loved him and said, "The favor of [Shamash is upon you. You have been]
12the wise [s]cribe, counselor of all of Assyria who may appoint his son." And [. . .] no(t) [. . .] son [. . .
13. . . The]n I bowed and prostrated [myself], saying, "Ahiqar is before Esarh[addon, king of A]ssyria (now, but) a[fter me
14my son will be before you like A]hiqar." When I sa[w] (that) the face of Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, was delighted, I respon[ded and said, "My lord
15you know I have served ]you (and) I have [also served Sennache]rib, the [kin]g, your father [w]ho reigned[ before you.]
Places (read out from edition)
  • (places.xml#c16)
  • תר (places.xml#c16)
  • אתור (places.xml#c16)
  • א (places.xml#c16)
  • תור (places.xml#c16)
  • אתור (places.xml#c16)
  • אתור (places.xml#c16)
  • אתו (places.xml#c16)
  • ר (places.xml#c16)
  • א (places.xml#c16)
  • אתו (places.xml#c16)
  • (places.xml#c16)
  • (places.xml#c16)

    People mentioned in Text

    ID gender en normiert original Language Functions in Texts
    3705 Ahikar אחיקר Aramaic, Imperial



    RulerID Regnal Year MonthID Day Date of the Text Gregorian Date dating_comment
    Amenemnisu 23 Adar 05 -450 January 1 BCE Palimpsest date of 475 BC. Terminus of Aramaic Papyri 399 BC. The palimpsest is an Egyptian Aramaic customs account. Presumably the roll remained in Egypt in antiquity. ;







    DatasetID 308239
    last Change 29.07.2022
    Trismegistos 89515
    Author James D. Moore
    Dataset License Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International
    (CC BY-NC-SA)
    Data set citation Data set 308239 (= Pap. Berlin P. P 13446/A), ERC-Project ELEPHANTINE: James D. Moore.