Onomasticon of Amenope

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Onomasticon of Amenope is an Ancient Egyptian papyrus from the late 20th Dynasty to 22nd Dynasty. It is a compilation belonging to a tradition that began in the Middle Kingdom, and which includes the Ramesseum Onomasticon dating from the end of the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt, no earlier than the reign of Ramesses IX.[1][2] Nine copies of the document are known, of which the original Golenischeff copy is the most complete.[1] It is an administrative/literary categorization of 610 entities organized hierarchically,[3] rather than a list of words (glossary). It is known from ten fragments including versions on papyrus, board, leather, and pottery.[4]


The first copy of the Onomasticon of Amenope was discovered in 1890 at al-Hibah, Egypt. It was subsequently purchased in 1891 in Cairo by the Russian Egyptologist Vladimir Golenishchev. It was found in a jar together with the Report of Wenamun and the Tale of Woe.
A partial copy was found on the back side of the EA10474 papyrus available at the British Museum. It was analysed by Herbin.[5]


Its content includes many groupings, including heavenly objects, towns, peoples, offices, buildings, types of land, agricultural produce, beverages and oxen parts. It lists several different groups of 'Sea Peoples' and Libyans, including the Danuna, Kehek, Libu, Lukka, Meshwesh, Nubians, and Sherden.


The Onomasticon of Amenope is an important resource for scholars studying ancient Egyptian life, the pharaonic administration and court, the priesthood,[6] the history of the Sea Peoples,[7] the geography and political organization of the Levant during the late New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period,[8] early Bible studies, etc.


  1. ^ a b Medjay in the Onomasticon of Amenenope: "The Onomasticon of Amenemope was originally composed at the end of the Twentieth Dynasty, no earlier than the reign of Ramesses IX. Nine copies of the manuscript exist, all of which date to Dynasties Twenty-one or Twenty-two. The term ‘Medjay’, no. 188, appears in only two of copies of this text, namely in the Golenischeff copy and in a copy made up of a few papyrus fragments from the Ramesseum. The Golenischeff copy, an early Twenty-first Dynasty version, is the most comprehensive and complete."
  2. ^ I. S. Edwards, N. G. L. Hammond, C. J. Gadd, The Cambridge Ancient History, Cambridge University Press 1975, p.531
  3. ^ Jack Goody, The Domestication of the Savage Mind, Cambridge University Press 1997, p.101
  4. ^ Werner Hüllen, English Dictionaries, 800-1700: The Topical Tradition, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 31.
  5. ^ HERBIN, F.R., 1986, « Une version inachevée de l’onomasticon d’Aménémopé », BIFAO, 1986, pp 187-198.
  6. ^ Jack Goody, The Logic of Writing and the Organization of Society, Cambridge University Press 1986, pp.34f
  7. ^ Carl S. Ehrlich, The Philistines in Transition: A History of the Philistines from Ca. 1000-730 B. C. E., Brill 1996, p.7
  8. ^ Lowell K. Handy, The Age of Solomon: Scholarship at the Turn of the Millennium, Brill 1997, p.184