The Prophecy Of Neferti

Decent Essays
The Prophecy of Neferti is an ancient Egyptian text from the Middle Kingdom era. The story is set in the fictional court of King Snefru who ruled Egypt during the Fourth Dynasty, but the text is thought to have been written by Neferti at the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty. In The Prophecy of Neferti, King Snefru summons Neferti to his court to deliver an entertaining speech. Neferti speaks of the chaos and conflict in Egypt and prophesies the rise of a great king who will restore order in the country. The King that Neferti speaks of is generally thought to be Amenemhat I, the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty. This, and the likelihood that The Prophecy of Neferti was actually written at the time of Amenemhat I, has led many scholars to interpret…show more content…
The choice of Snefru as the fictional king is significant because Snefru was generally viewed as a good and wise king who brought stability and prosperity to Egypt. According to a translation by Hans Goedicke, the name “Snefru” means “the one who makes proper.” He also describes Snefru as “as a ruler whose concern for the country does not end with his official obligations: he is shown as trying to expand his understanding of the problems facing the country and contribute to their solution” (Goedicke, 15). This characterization supports the interpretation of The Prophecy of Neferti as a plea for King Amenemhat I to take action in the Eastern border regions. Neferti harkens back to the time of King Snefru in order to inspire Amenemhat to also understand the problems facing the country and contribute to their solution. In The Protocol of Neferyt, Hans Goedicke theorizes that, “At the time of his presentation Neferti could not have been sure of the reaction he might encounter. The romantic disguise modified the possibilities of adverse reaction” (Goedicke,12). This would explain Neferti’s use of the Fourth Dynasty as the setting for the
Get Access