Chapter 1 In the beginning…

In those days, in those far remote days, in those nights, in those faraway nights, in those years, in those far remote years, at that time the wise one who knew how to speak in elaborate words lived in the Land. He lived and he dwelled in that same country, he traveled in the same land and in the same country he died. The tradition of Egyptian medicine as interpreted by the Amduat depicts a strict system of morality for the medical man to follow: he was not to steal, for stealing was a serious offence, to lie was a serious offence, and to go back on his word was also a serious offence. The man who was guilty of any of these faults would surely be visited by the goddess Bastet. The doctrine of Bastet’s vengeance explains the creation of the ichor drain that served as a suction. (see p. 96) In the third series the text begins with an ascription to the priest who tells about the healing of the sick. This line is the first line of the passage, and so the text is introduced in the third person and so is ‘the speaker,’ rather than in the third person as with the first series. He read in the Amduat that the underworld of the gods does not fill up with the dead, but with the living. For this reason he put the form of the man that died before his wife and he gave her his own form. He gave her back to her husband’s own form and restored his own form to her husband’s body. He read in the Amduat that the god who is the great he-goat has a name, his name is Lord Ptah, his great nome is Set. He has a tenth and a thousand, his very great name is the old name. He had a wife and he had many wives. He also has many children and great-great-great-great-grandchildren. The upper half of the Upper West were the dwellings of the gods and their great-great-great-grandchildren. The Nine Sisters were the dwelling of those that were already dead. The Lady of the West was the dwelling of those that were still alive. And there was no country that did not contain a temple of the Lady of the West. The lower half of the Upper West was the dwelling of the jockeys, and the Lady of the West was the dwelling of the physicians. The Chief of the Staff of the Left Eye was the physician that God’s Eye knew to be able. The Queen of the West was the physician that was spoken of by the wise one who knew how to speak in elaborate words, the wise one who knew how to speak in extensive words.

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