Amenemope an Egyptian Scribe

Amenemope belongs to the literary genre of “instruction” (Egyptian sebayt). It is the culmination of centuries of development going back to the Instruction of Ptahhotep in the Old Kingdom[1][6] but reflects a shift in values characteristic of the New Kingdom’s “Age of Personal Piety”: away from material success attained through practical action, and towards inner peace achieved through patient endurance and passive acceptance of an inscrutable divine will.
Photo by cottonbro on

As a lover of writers, I wanted to make sure I shared a specific Egyptian scribe. I decided on Amenemope, who according to Wikipedia is “the author of the Instruction of Amenemope, an Egyptian wisdom text written in the Ramesside Period.” There’s some debate on whether his text influenced the Hebrew’s Proverbs or vice versa.

In the “Instruction of Amenemope,”

the author draws an emphatic contrast between two types of men: the “silent man”, who goes about his business without drawing attention to himself or demanding his rights, and the “heated man”, who makes a nuisance of himself to everyone and is constantly picking fights with others over matters of no real importance.

Amenemope also, “counsels modesty, self-control, generosity, and scrupulous honesty, while discouraging pride, impetuosity, self-advancement, fraud, and perjury—not only out of respect for Maat, the cosmic principle of right order, but also because “attempts to gain advantage to the detriment of others incur condemnation, confuse the plans of god, and lead inexorably to disgrace and punishment.”

Sounds closely related to Stoicism. I’m always on the fence about pushing people to be silent since I spent a large chunk of my life quiet but I do agree it’s important to fill silence with conversations that matter to me or the individual involved. But even that isn’t absolute. Sometimes discussing things that seem to have no important lead to ground breaking discoveries.

If you’d like to read some of Amenemope’s writing you can find them here

Published by Jayne

Jayne is a writer. On her free time she likes to be with her family hiking outdoors and traveling. New England is her home and place of birth. When asked what she wants to teach the world she replied, "Don't stop searching. Too many times, in my old life, I put my search aside for more 'important matters.' I didn't realize the thing I was searching for held what was most important; my soul purpose." Jayne works daily on improving her craft and at times can get down on herself, but her favorite morning mantra is "It's a new day." and that's what she strives to start with.

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