Rosicrucian Writings Online

The Oldest Book in the World

  [From The American Rosae Crucis April 1916]
The Prisse papyrus, or Book of PTAHKOTEP, given to the National Library in Paris, 1847, was found in the tomb of one of the Entews (Antufs), kings of the 11th dynasty, in the Necropolis of Thebes. It contains eighteen pages of writing, being a treatise on manners and morals supposed to have been composed by one of the Pharaohs about 3766 B.C. The large and solid character of the writing on this papyrus approach closer to the hieroglyphic than the hieratic class, and we would therefore be of the opinion that its date is before, rather than after, the twelfth dynasty. The maxims deal with a variety of subjects. The proper treatment of a wife by a husband is thus indicated:
"Fill her stomach with food, clothe her back; these are the cares to be bestowed upon her body. Caress her and fulfill her wishes during the time of her existence; it is a form of well-doing which does thee honor. Be not brutal; good manners will influence her better than force. Give her what she longs for. It is these things which make steadiness in the house; if thou repellist her it is an abyss."

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