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Distributed for Museum Tusculanum Press

The Petese Stories II

This volume contains the edition of a new manuscript with Petese Stories from the Tebtunis temple library, dating to the period around 100 AD. The Petese Stories is a compilation of seventy stories about the virtues and vices of women. The numerous stories were compiled on the orders of the prophet Petese of Heliopolis that they may serve as a literary testament by which he would be remembered. Petese was, according to literary tradition, Plato?s Egyptian instructor in astrology. The composition seems to have been modeled on the fundamental Myth of the Sun’s Eye. The overall structural pattern of the text is very similar to the Arabian Nights; a frame story forms the introduction as well as the fabric into which the long series of shorter tales are woven. Among the stories preserved in the new manuscript one is particularly remarkable in that it is known from a translation by Herodotus, the so-called Pheros Story (Book II, chap. 111).

210 pages | 8 1/4 x 11 1/2 | © 2005


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Table of Contents


Abbreviations and symbols        

Concordance of fragments

List of plates


Description of the Manuscript

Edition of P. Petese Tebt. C.

                The Blinding of Pharaoh (fragment C1)

                The Prince and the Kalasiris (fragment C1)

                The Crocodile Story (fragment C2)

                Fragments mentioning Heliopolis (fragments C3-7)

                Fragments mentioning Pnebhetep (fragments C8-9)

                Unsorted fragments (fragments C10-74)

Edition of P. Petese Tebt. D.

                The Rape of Hatmehit (fragment D1)

                The Story of Adultery and the Royal Harem (fragment D2)

                The Avaricious Merchant (fragments D2-6)

                Story featuring a Prophet and His Children (fragment D7)

                Buried Alive (fragments D7-8)

                Story mentioning bartering in Egypt (fragment D9)

                Unsorted fragments with writing on reverse (fragments D10-24)

                Unsorted fragments without writing on reverse (fragments D25-51)

Additional Notes on P. Petese Tebt. A.



Index of texts cited


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