The Step Pyramid at Sakkara (public domain photograph from The Nile, by E.A.W. Budge, 1905)

from  SacredTexts Website


The Pyramid Texts

Translation by Samuel A. B. Mercer


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The Pyramid Texts were funerary inscriptions that were written on the walls of the early Ancient Egyptian pyramids at Sakkara. These date back to the fifth and sixth dynasties, approximately the years 2350-2175 B.C.E. However, because of extensive internal evidence, it is believed that they were composed much earlier, circa 3000 B.C.E. The Pyramid Texts are, therefore, essentially the oldest sacred texts known.

Samuel Mercer was the first to produce a complete English translation of this mysterious text, in 1952. This was also the first complete translation in any language. The Mercer translation was followed by the R.O. Faulkner translation in 1969, which is considered the standard today. However, this does not diminish the usefulness of Mercer's version, particularly because it has fallen into the public domain and is now available freely online here at sacred-texts, the first complete version of the Pyramid Texts on the Interent.

PRODUCTION NOTES: The four volume edition from which this was scanned is today very rare and sells for upwards of $800 on the used market. This etext is the complete text of volume one of this set, and includes the complete Mercer translation of the Pyramid Texts. Volumes 2-4 are commentary by Mercer and others. I do not currently plan to scan the remaining volumes.

I believe that this work is in the public domain in the United States. It will not be in the public domain in the UK or EU until 2022. Here are the facts. Mercer, a Canadian by birth, published this work in 1952. It was published simultaneously in the United States and Canada. Samuel Mercer died on January 12, 1969 at the age of 89. By US copyright law at the time, the copyright should have been registered at the US copyright office in 1952 and renewed in 1980. However there is no evidence that this is the case, based on an extensive search of the online US Copyright Office database. The GATT restoral of 1/1/1996 restored copyrights on foreign works which were not registered properly in the US; however, this does not apply to works simultaneously published in the US and abroad.

--John Bruno Hare, June 2, 2004

Title Page

The Pyramid Texts

1.   Nut and the Deceased King, Utterances 1-11
2.   Ritual of Bodily Restoration of the Deceased, and Offerings
, Utterances 12-203
3.   A Group of Prayers And Charms
, Utterances 204-212
4.   A Series of Old Heliopolitan Texts Partly Osirianized
, Utterances 213-222
5.   The Deceased King Receives Offerings and is Re-Established in His Functions and Possessions
, Utterances 223-225
6.   Mostly Serpent Charms
, Utterances 226-243
7.   The Deceased King Arrives in Heaven Where He is Established
, Utterances 244-259
8.   The Deceased King Triumphs Over His Enemies and is Recognized by the Gods
, Utterances 260-262
9.   Means Whereby the Deceased King Reaches Heaven
, Utterances 263-271
10. The Deceased King in Heaven
, Utterances 272-274
11. Charms
, Utterances 275-299
12. The Ferryman and the Deceased King's Ascension
, Utterances 300-311
13. A Series of Five Charms, Utterances 312-316
14. Miscellaneous Utterances on the Career of the Deceased King in the Hereafter
, 317-337
15. Offerings for the Deceased King
, Utterances 338-349
16. Miscellaneous Utterances on the Hereafter
, 350-374
17. Conjurations and Charms
, Utterances 375-400
18. Utterances Concerning Well-Being, Especially Food and Clothes
, 401-426
19. In Praise of Nut
, Utterances 427-435
20. Miscellaneous Texts--Some Largely Osirian
, Utterances 436-442
21. Second Series in Praise of Nut
, Utterances 443-452
22. A Miscellaneous Group
, Utterances 453-486
23. A Series of Food Texts
, Utterances 487-502
24. A Series of Reed-Floats and Ferryman Texts
, Utterances 503-522
25. Miscellaneous Texts Chiefly About the Deceased King's Reception and Life in Heaven
, Utterances 523-533
26. For The Protection of the Pyramid Enclosure Against Osiris and His Cycle
, Utterance 534
27. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 535-538
28. A Litany of Ascension
, Utterance 539
29. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 540-552
30. Resurrection, Meal, and Ascension of the Deceased King
, Utterance 553
31. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 554-562
32. A Purification Litany
, Utterance 563
33. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 564-569
34. New-Birth of the Deceased King as a God in Heaven
, Utterance 570
35. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 571-575
36. The Resurrection and Ascension of the Deceased King
, Utterance 576
37. The Resurrection of Osiris with whom the Gods are Satisfied
, Utterance 577
38. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 578-586
39. An Early Hymn to the Sun
, Utterance 587
40. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 588-600
41. A Litany-Like Incantation for the Endurance of a Pyramid and Temple
, Utterance 601
42. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents, Utterances 602-605
43. The Resurrection, Ascension, and Reception of the Deceased King in Heaven
, Utterance 606
44. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 607-609
45. The Deceased King on Earth and in Heaven
Utterance 610
46. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 611-626
47. The Ascended King, His Works, and Identifications
, Utterance 627
48. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 628-658
49. The Death of the King and His Arrival in Heaven
, Utterance 659
50. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 660-669
51. The Death, Resurrection, and Spiritualization of the King
, Utterance 670
52. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 671-675
53. Resurrection, Transfiguration, and Life of the King in Heaven
, Utterance 676
54. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 677-683
55. The Deceased King Ascends to Heaven
, Utterance 684
56. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 685-689
57. A Series of Addresses to the Deceased King as a God
, Utterance 690
58. Texts of Miscellaneous Contents
, Utterances 691-704
59. A Series of Unclassifiable Fragments
, Utterances 705-714


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