Episode 34: Night of the Long Knives

Senuseret I (Part I): The Tale of Sinuhe.

Egypt is in disarray. King Amenemhat I has been murdered in his bed, slain by his own guards. Hearing the news, a royal soldier and attendant named Sinuhe panics – his livelihood has disappeared and his connection to royal society severed.

Sinuhe flees to Byblos, in modern Lebanon. Venturing inland, he meets a local chieftain and is taken into his service. He prospers, and builds a new life. But Sinuhe has not escaped trouble, and must face a local warlord in single combat, and then deal with the fallout when the King of Egypt discovers his whereabouts…

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The Tale of Sinuhe, discussed on BBC Radio 4 with Melvyn Bragg. A nice (and very British) discussion of the tale. Enjoy!

Update 2016: A new reading! Barbara Ewing (actress) and Richard M. Parkinson (Professor of Egyptology, Oxford) have produced a new version of Sinuhe’s tale.

The Egyptian (1954): with Portuguese sub-titles (not Italian; my mistake!).

A papyrus copy of The Tale of Sinuhe, written in hieratic (Egyptian Museum, Berlin).

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A limestone ostraca (shard of pottery or stone) with the Tale of Sinuhe in hieratic.

The journeys of Sinuhe.

A film based on Nina Waltari’s The Egyptian, which took some influence from Sinuhe’s story.

 

Bibliography

Miriam Lichtheimm Ancient Egyptian Literature, 2006.

W.K. Simpson (editor), The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 2003.

Reshafim.org – The Tale of Sinuhe.

Scott Morschauser, “What made Sinuhe run?” Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt 37 (2000).

Hans Goedicke, “Sinuhe’s Duel.” JARCE 21 (1984): 197-201.

Anthony Spalinger, “Orientations on Sinuhe,” Studien zur Altägypischen Kultur 25 (1998).

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Steven Matsik says:

    Just a quick comment. I am going through the episodes again as you are getting close to one of my favorite periods, the Amarna. Have been enjoying refreshing my knowledge of the earlier periods but I noticed a difficulty in viewing the website. Occasionally I will get a section of font that appears as glossy black on matte black making it hard to read. Don’t know if it is on your end or mine (I use the firefox viewer) but thought I would make you aware of it. An example of where this happens is in the title just below the movie poster at the top of the page.

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Thanks Steven, that is actually my fault. When I migrated the website from our old destination, some of the formatting has not crossed over. I’ll correct it.

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