Make your own free website on Tripod.com

The Autobiography

of Weni

 

The Autobiography of Weni comes from his Mastaba tomb at Abydos - Weni served during the first three kings of the 6th Dynasty. He rose from humble beginnings up through the royal court to eventually become a 'friend' of Pepi I, he was appointed Governor of the south under Merenre (sucessor of Pepi I), In his role as a judge, Weni was to hear the case against Queen Weret-Imtes in the trial of the Harim Conspiracy. Following this, Weni was to lead an army of 'tens of thousands' against the Bedouin in northern Sinai - he would defeat the enemy five times. Once back in Egypt he was put in charge of bringing stone up from the quarries for the royal pyramid - in doing so he would need to cut 5 channels to bypass the First Cataract.

[The Count, Governor of Upper Egypt, Chamberlain], Warden of Nekhen, Mayor of Nekheb, Sole Companion, honoured by Osiris Foremost-of-the-Westerners, Weni [says]: [I was] a fillet-wearing [youth] under the majesty of King Teti, my office being that of custodian of the storehouse, when I became inspector of [tenants] of the palace ------. [When I had become] overseer of the robing-room under the majesty of King Pepi, his majesty gave me the rank of companion and inspector of priests of his pyramid-town.

While my office was that of --- his majesty made me senior warden of Nekhen, his heart being filled with me beyond any other servant of his. I heard cases alone with the chief judge and vizier, concerning all kinds of secrets. [I acted] in the name of the king for the royal harem and for the six great houses, because his majesty's heart was filled with me beyond any official of his, any noble of his, any servant of his.

When I begged of the majesty of my lord that there be brought for me a sarcophagus of white stone from Tura, his majesty had a royal seal-bearer cross over with a company of sailors under his command, to bring me this sarcophagus from Tura. It came with him in a great barge of the court, together with its lid, a doorway, lintel, two doorjambs and a libation-table. Never before had the like been done for any servant-but I was excellent in his majesty's heart; I was rooted in his majesty's heart; his majesty's heart was filled with me.

While I was senior warden of Nekhen, his majesty made me a sole companion and overseer of the [royal tenants]. I replaced four overseers of [royal tenants] who were there. I acted for his majesty's praise in guarding, escorting the king, and attending. I acted through-out so that his majesty praised me for it exceedingly.

When there was a secret charge in the royal harem against Queen Weret-yamtes, his majesty made me go in to hear (it) alone. No chief judge and vizier, no official was there, only I alone; because I was worthy, because I was rooted in his majesty's heart; because his majesty had filled his heart with me. Only I put (it) in writing together with one other senior warden of Nekhen, while my rank was (only) that of overseer of [royal tenants]. Never before had one like me heard a secret of the king's harem; but his majesty made me hear it, because I was worthy in his majesty's heart beyond any official of his, beyond any noble of his, beyond any servant of his.

When his majesty took action against the Asiatic Sand-dwellers, his majesty made an army of many tens of thousands from all of Upper Egypt: from Yebu in the south to Medenyt in the north; from Lower Egypt: from all of the Two-Sides-of-the-House and from Sedjer and Khen-sedjru; and from Irtjet-Nubians, MedjaNubians, Yam-Nubians, Wawat-Nubians, Kaau-Nubians; and from Tjemeh-land.

His majesty sent me at the head of this army, there being counts, royal seal-bearers, sole companions of the palace, chieftains and mayors of towns of Upper and Lower Egypt, companions, scout-leaders, chief priests of Upper and Lower Egypt, and chief district officials at the head of the troops of Upper and Lower Egypt, from the villages and towns that they governed and from the Nubians of those foreign lands. I was the one who commanded them-while my rank was that of overseer of [royal tenants]-because of my rectitude, so that no one attacked his fellow, so that no one seized a loaf or sandals from a traveller, so that no one took a cloth from any town, so that no one took a goat from anyone.

I led them from Northern Isle [and] Gate of Iyhotep [in] the district of Horus-lord-of-truth while being in this rank. ----------- . I determined the number of these troops. It had never been determined by any servant.

This army returned in safety,
It had ravaged the Sand-dwellers' land.
This army returned in safety,
It had flattened the sand-dwellers' land.
This army returned in safety,
It had sacked its strongholds.
This army returned in safety,
It had cut down its figs, its vines.
This army returned in safety,
It had thrown fire in all its [mansions].
This army returned in safety,
It had slain its troops by many ten-thousands.
This army returned in safety,
[It had carried] off many [troops] as captives.

His majesty praised me for it beyond anything. His majesty sent me to lead this army five times, to attack the land of the Sand-dwellers as often as they rebelled, with these troops. I acted so that his majesty praised me [for it beyond anything].

Told there were [marauders] among these foreigners at the nose Gazelle's-head, I crossed in ships with these troops. I made a landing in the back of the height of the mountain range, to the north of the land of the Sand-dwellers, while half of this army was on the road. I came and caught them all and slew every marauder among them.

 

When I was chamberlain of the palace and sandal-bearer, King Mernere, my lord who lives forever, made me Count and Governor of Upper Egypt, from Yebu in the south to Medenyt in the north, because I was worthy in his majesty's heart, because I was rooted in his majesty's heart, because his majesty's heart was filled with me. When I was chamberlain and sandal-bearer, his majesty praised me for the watch and guard duty which I did at court, more than any official of his, more than any noble of his, more than any servant of his. Never before had this office been held by any servant.

I governed Upper Egypt for him in peace, so that no one attacked his fellow. I did every task. I counted everything that is countable for the residence in this Upper Egypt two times, and every service that is countable for the residence in this Upper Egypt two times. I did a perfect job in this Upper Egypt. Never before had the like been done in this Upper Egypt. I acted throughout so that his majesty praised me for it.

His majesty sent me to Ibhat to bring the sarcophagus "chest of the living" together with its lid, and the costly august pyramidion for the pyramid "Mernere-appears-in-splendor," my mistress. His majesty sent me to Yebu to bring a granite false-door and its libation stone and granite lintels, and to bring granite portals and libation stones for the upper chamber of the pyramid "Mernereappears-in-splendor," my mistress. I travelled north with (them) to the pyramid "Mernere-appears-in-splendor" in six barges and three tow-boats of eight ribs in a single expedition. Never had Yebu and Ibhat been done `in a single expedition under any king. Thus everything his majesty commanded was done entirely as his majesty commanded.

His majesty sent me to Hatnub to bring a great altar of alabaster of Hatnub. I brought this altar down for him in seventeen days. After it was quarried at Hatnub, I had it go downstream in this barge I had built for it, a barge of acacia wood of sixty cubits in length and thirty cubits in width. Assembled in seventeen days, in the third month of summer, when there was no water on the sandbanks, it landed at the pyramid "Mernere-appears-in-splendor" in safety. It came about through me entirely in accordance with the ordinance commanded by my lord.

His majesty sent me to dig five canals in Upper Egypt, and to build three barges and four tow-boats of acacia wood of Wawat.
Then the foreign chiefs of Irtjet, Wawat, Yam, and Medja cut the timber for them. I did it all in one year. Floated, they were loaded with very large granite blocks for the pyramid "Mernere-appears-in-splendor." Indeed I made a [saving] for the palace with all these five canals. As King Mernere who lives forever is august, exalted, and mighty more than any god, so everything came about in accordance with the ordinance commanded by his ka.

I was one beloved of his father, praised by his mother, gracious to his brothers. The count, true governor of Upper Egypt, honoured by Osiris, Weni.