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Good day,

For interested parties, I would like to present an understanding of why the translations of the Pyramid Texts by Samuel Mercer (available online) should not be used as definitive resource material, unless only as a comparative tool in researching the history of Pyramid Text translation attempts, i.e. the progression of early translations (like Maspero, late 1800's) to Allen (2005).

Mercer published his version in 1952. Shortly thereafter in 1954, George Allen wrote a review of the work in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol 13, no 2, pp.119-120.

Here is part of what Allen wrote:
Quote

"Dr Mercer's four volumes, comprising translation, commentary, excursuses, indexes, etc., are well organized and excellently printed. To judge by the works mentioned or listed in Volume IV, 226-42, he has consulted practically everything that has been written by others on this subject. Would that the contents of these handsome volumes were fully in keeping with their appearance!" (italic emphasis mine. The exclamation point is Allen's.)
Allen goes on to say:
Quote

"But besides the innate problems, Dr Mercer has occasionally introduced new ones. These spring from two main sources: faulty translation of German and violation of Egyptian grammatical principles. Mercer himself states (I, 10) that analysis of the utterances has not "been too meticulous in unessential matters"; the truth is that his definition of "unessential" has been far too liberal."

Allen provides numerous and specific examples of Mercer's errors, and let us note Mercer was not translating the original glyphs, rather he was translating from German (which is what Sethe's version is written in, c.1910) into English. It must therefore be highlighted that further 'translation' of the error-ridden English translation by Mercer is not only foolhardy, but to be disregarded in full. Proper discourse should be attended by the original glyphs directly from the walls of the pyramid chambers, supplemented by keen attention to ancient Egyptian grammar and multiple academic resources for comparison and review.

Since the pure, original language of the ancient Egyptians is long gone, we should recognize there will be moments of natural errors, however, this is a far, far cry from meaning 'completely wrong' in every way. Modern translations of ancient Egyptian texts can never be 'perfect', but they can be regarded as generally fluent. Thus, while Mercer can provide ample opportunity for study, the works should not the basis upon which any intrepid 'glypher' should rely.

Best Regards,
Avry

Citation: Allen, T. George. “Journal of Near Eastern Studies.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 1954, pp. 119–120

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Subject Views Written By Posted
The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 917 R Avry Wilson 19-Apr-17 18:15
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 133 cladking 19-Apr-17 18:48
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 188 R Avry Wilson 19-Apr-17 19:19
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 225 cladking 19-Apr-17 20:48
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 190 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 03:00
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 171 cladking 20-Apr-17 03:31
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 96 cladking 20-Apr-17 03:41
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 189 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 15:12
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 95 cladking 20-Apr-17 15:44
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 95 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 15:58
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 93 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 14:50
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 93 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 02:54
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 161 R Avry Wilson 20-Apr-17 05:33
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 178 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 14:39
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 103 cladking 20-Apr-17 15:56
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 78 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 16:11
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 79 cladking 20-Apr-17 17:36
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 80 Warwick 23-Apr-17 19:26
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 86 cladking 23-Apr-17 20:37
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 100 cladking 20-Apr-17 15:23
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 177 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 15:49
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 91 cladking 20-Apr-17 16:03
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 93 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 16:16
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 89 Brian Patterson 20-Apr-17 16:22
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 128 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 16:28
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 113 R Avry Wilson 20-Apr-17 17:11
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 87 cladking 20-Apr-17 18:00
Re: The Problem With Sam Petry's Pyramid Texts 94 cladking 20-Apr-17 19:07
Pyramid Builders' Pyramid Texts 85 cladking 26-Apr-17 14:12
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 118 cladking 19-Apr-17 21:10
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 111 Hanslune 20-Apr-17 02:57
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 97 cladking 22-Apr-17 20:15
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 111 Warwick 23-Apr-17 19:13
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 84 cladking 23-Apr-17 20:44
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 93 R Avry Wilson 23-Apr-17 21:09
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 106 cladking 23-Apr-17 21:28
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 101 R Avry Wilson 23-Apr-17 20:42
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 102 cladking 23-Apr-17 21:10
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 93 R Avry Wilson 23-Apr-17 22:07
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 91 cladking 23-Apr-17 23:56
Funny Thing About the High Road... 96 cladking 24-Apr-17 00:02
The Low Road is is Crowded and Smells Like Feet.... 145 cladking 24-Apr-17 00:07
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 99 Martin Stower 24-Apr-17 17:24
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 77 cladking 24-Apr-17 17:59
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 86 Warwick 24-Apr-17 18:01
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 91 cladking 24-Apr-17 18:35
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 80 Warwick 24-Apr-17 18:48
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 85 cladking 24-Apr-17 19:00
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 102 Warwick 24-Apr-17 19:17
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 74 cladking 24-Apr-17 19:44
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 87 Warwick 24-Apr-17 19:54
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 100 cladking 24-Apr-17 20:45
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 86 Corpuscles 24-Apr-17 21:04
... is that they are a translation of a translation! 114 eyeofhorus33 24-Apr-17 15:51
Re: ... is that they are a translation of a translation! 90 cladking 24-Apr-17 18:28
Re: ... is that they are a translation of a translation! 95 sfbey 24-Apr-17 18:49
Re: ... is that they are a translation of a translation! 101 Warwick 24-Apr-17 19:03
Re: ... is that they are a translation of a translation! 95 eyeofhorus33 24-Apr-17 20:57
Is It Translated or Is it Not? 119 cladking 24-Apr-17 21:27
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 87 eyeofhorus33 25-Apr-17 18:53
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 102 cladking 25-Apr-17 19:02
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 90 Warwick 25-Apr-17 19:15
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 117 cladking 25-Apr-17 19:20
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 104 Warwick 25-Apr-17 19:53
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 122 cladking 26-Apr-17 00:42
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 95 cladking 26-Apr-17 00:53
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 97 cladking 26-Apr-17 00:57
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 107 Warwick 26-Apr-17 17:00
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 90 cladking 26-Apr-17 17:26
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 100 eyeofhorus33 25-Apr-17 19:53
Re: Is It Translated or Is it Not? 107 cladking 25-Apr-17 20:46
Re: ... is that they are a translation of a translation! 102 cladking 25-Apr-17 04:50
Re: The Problem With Mercer's Pyramid Texts 142 cladking 27-Apr-17 04:11


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