5. Father Knows Best: Moral and Political Philosophy in the Instructions

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Ethical reflection in ancient Egyptian grave inscriptions and in works of moral advice, such as the Maxims of Ptahhotep and the Instructions named for Amenemope, Ani, and Merikare.



Further Reading

• S.L. Adams, Wisdom in Transition: Act and Consequence in Second Temple Instructions (Leiden: 2008), chapter 1.

• A. Black, A World History of Ancient Political Thought (Oxford: 2009).

• F. Hagen, An Ancient Egyptian Literary Text in Context: The Instruction of Ptahhotep (Leuven: 2012).

• C. Jacq, L'enseignement du sage égyptien Ptahhotep, le plus ancien livre du monde (Paris: 1999).

• D. James, “The Instruction of Any and Moral Philosophy,” in A.G. Mosley (ed.), African Philosophy: Selected Readings (Englewood Cliffs: 1995), 147-55.

• M. Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vols. 1-3 (Berkeley: 1973-1980).

• J. Maybee, “The Instruction of Any: An Ancient Egyptian Philosophical Theory of Ethics,” African Philosophy 12 (1999), 149-74.

• R.B. Parkinson, The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems, 1940-1640 BC (Oxford: 1997).

• N. Shupak, “The Instruction of Amenemope and Proverbs 22:17–24:22 from the Perspective of Contemporary Research,” in Seeking Out the Wisdom of the Ancients: Essays Offered to Honor Michael V. Fox on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday (Winona Lake: 2005), 203-20.

• W.K. Simpson, The Literature of Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry, 3rd ed. (New Haven: 2003). 

• N. Strudwick, Texts from the Pyramid Age (Atlanta: 2005).

• T. Wilkinson, Writings from Ancient Egypt (London: 2016).


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