According to scholars, the Pyramid Texts are the oldest example of religious writings on the planet. A new book proposes a fresh translation of the ancient texts, one that has not been welcomed by mainstream Egyptologists.
Ever since their discovery, researchers firmly believed that the Pyramids Texts were just a series of funeral prayers and magic spells used in ancient times to protect Egyptian royalty in their afterlife. However, according to renowned classicist and linguist Susan Brind Morrow, the Pyramid Texts are more than just prayers and magic spells and are a vivid reading of nature, and everything around us.
According to the linguist, the Pyramid texts are a complex religious philosophy, one that wasn’t going to be interpreted as mythology, but, in fact, spoke about the life-giving forces of nature that surround us.
Interestingly, she also believes that the Pyramid Texts played an important role in the development and creation of many other spiritual traditions that came into existence after it.
Scholars consider the Pyramid texts as the oldest religious writings that originated from Ancient Egypt. Many believe that these sacred texts are in fact the oldest on the planet.
In her new book, Morrow explains her research and study of the Pyramid texts, presenting a brand new translation of the full text: The Dawning Moon of the Mind: Unlocking the Pyramid Texts.
The author writes: “These are not magic spells at all,” Morrow told The Huffington Post about the Pyramid Texts. “These are poetic verses constructed just like poetry today, sophisticated and filled with word play and puns.”
Morrow incorporates a fresh new approach while studying the Pyramid Texts and does not look at this ancient masterpiece as being written by a primitive and superstitious people as many mainstream scholars have done in the past.
The linguist states that in the ancient lines inscribed on the inner walls of the Pyramid of Unas, she saw a ‘densely compounded but highly precise’ map of the cosmos.
She also offers a new translation of the opening verse of the Pyramid texts in her book, while maintaining that the verse describes the voyage of the soul, rising up into fire, or the dawn sky, beneath the holy ones, or the stars:
The sword of Orion opens the doors of the sky.
Before the doors close again the gate to the path
over the fire, beneath the holy ones as they grow dark
As a falcon flies as a falcon flies, may Unis rise into this fire.
“I realized I was looking at a very vivid, poetic description of the actual world,” Morrow said.
However, not everyone seems to agree with Morrow. James Allen, Egyptologist at Brown University and the scholar who presented his own version of the pyramid texts in 2005 likened the translation offered by Morrow as the work of an amateur and referred to her work as a ‘serious misinterpretation’ of the Pyramid Texts.
In an interview to the Huffington Post, Professor Allen said: “It is a translator’s job to be as faithful to the original as possible while using words and constructions that make sense to modern readers. Ms. Morrow has not done that.”
“Her ‘translation’ is basically a poet’s impression of what she thinks the texts should say, and not a reflection of what they actually say,” he added.