The Semna Stela of Sesostris III


This is an inscription from a stela (one of a pair) that were erected as boundary stela by Sesostris III in Year 16 of his reign, it describes his action on the Nubians (who as the stela indicates attacked first).


The living Horus: Divine of Form; the Two Ladies: Divine of Birth; the King of Upper and Lower Egypt: Khakaure, given life; the living Gold-Horus: Being; the Son of Re's body, his beloved, the Lord of the Two Lands: Sesostris, given life-stability-health forever. Year 16, third month of winter: the king made his southern boundary at Heh:

I have made my boundary further south than my fathers,
I have added to what was bequeathed me.
I am a king who speaks and acts,
What my heart plans is done by my arm.
One who attacks to conquer, who is swift to succeed,
ln whose heart a plan does not slumber.
Considerate to clients, steady in mercy,
Merciless to the foe who attacks him.
One who attacks him who would attack,
Who stops when one stops,
Who replies to a matter as befits it.
To stop when attacked is to make bold the foe's heart,
Attack is valor, retreat is cowardice,
A coward is he who is driven from his border.
Since the Nubian listens to the word of mouth,
To answer him is to make him retreat.
Attack him, he will turn his back,
Retreat, he will start attacking.
They are not people one respects,
They are wretches, craven-hearted.
My majesty has seen it, it is not an untruth.
I have captured their women,
I have carried off their subjects,
Went to their wells, killed their cattle,
Cut down their grain, set fire to it.
As my father lives for me, I speak the truth!
It is no boast that comes from my mouth.

As for any son of mine who shall maintain this border which my majesty has made, he is my son, born to my majesty. The. true son is he who champions his father, who guards the border of his begetter. But he who abandons it, who fails to fight for it, he is not my son, he was not born to me.

Now my majesty has had an image made of my majesty, at this border which my majesty has made, in order that you maintain it, in order that you fight for it.