Inventory number


  • Document
  • Writing Recto

General description

Teaching of Khety

P. Turin CGT 54019 contains an excerpt from The Teaching of Khety, also known as The Satire of the Trades. The papyrus provides a welcome additional source for the second part of the composition (chapters 21–30), particularly because it offers some interesting variants that are unparalleled in the other sources. After a brief introduction on variants in general, including scribal errors, these variants are discussed in detail. The colophon that concludes the papyrus is badly preserved. However, it mentions the mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu. This is quite remarkable, since locations are seldom referred to in the colophons of literary texts.


New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)


Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)


Ramesses III (Usermaatre Meriamun)


Thebes/Deir el-Medina (?)

Acquisition: Drovetti, Bernardino (?)

Acquisition Date: 1824 (?)

Joining object(s) (log into TPOP)



  • Text 1


  • Hieroglyphs
    • Hieroglyphs
    • Hieroglyphs



Chapter 21


21,4     Fear [has blinded] him.

21,5     […]


21,6     [Look,] there is [no profession free of] supervisors,

            except for [that of scribe: he is the] supervisor.


Chapter 22

22,1     But [if you know] writing,

            then it will go well with you because of it.

            There are no professions […] your face.                       

22,2     Look, the subordinate! [Miserable is] the subordinate to me.

            A field worker will not say to him […] (?)

            [Beware] of speech about you.

22,3     […] travelling southwards to the Residence,

            look, you have done it for love of yourself.

22,4     [A day in school] is beneficial for you,

            while I will be forever in mountain labour.

22,5     But while I will make you knowledgeable,

            […] will cause …?... against ...?...


Chapter 23

23,1     [I] will say other words [to you],          

            to teach you knowledge.

23,2     Do not stand at a place where there is [fighting].

            <Do> not <be close> to those on whose plans is a brick.

23,3     If a brick is taken [by a hasty-hearted person],

            one will not know the place where he is, being hot […] (?)

23,4      Testify before the judges,

answer him […]




Chapter 24

24,1     [If] you [walk] behind noblemen,


24,2     [If you arrive while the master of] the house is in the house,

            […] your arms, while someone else is under […]

24,3     […]

            [Do] not [ask for the things] at his side.            

24,4     May you do according to what was said among them.

            Beware of […]            


Chapter 25

25,1      [Be weighty] in yourself, great of respect.

25,2     Do not tell secrets [of] the heart.

             [One who hides] his inner thoughts [has] made a shield concerning them.

25,3     Do not speak reckless words,

            sitting […] someone who is defiant.


Chapter 26

26,1     If you leave the school,

            after midday is announced to you,

26,2     (after) coming and going in the streets,

            advise the end of the place where [you] are. (?)


Chapter 27

27,1     When a magistrate sends you [with a message],

            you shall say it as he said it.

            Do [not] take away from it; do not add to [it].

27,2     A quick-thinking-one causes jubilation.

             […] [causes] kind speech

            He is sent unhindered.

27,3     He trusts in all his good character traits.

            There are no secrets for him.

            There is no one promoted in any position that is his.


Chapter 28

28,1     Do not tell lies against your mother:     

            it is the horror [of noblemen].

28,2     After things have been given,

            your arms […] his nose.

28,3     Do not add to it with […]




Chapter 29

29,1     [See, it is good that] you send (messages) often.


29,2     […]

            while you go […]

29,3     […]


29,4     […] words of welcome.

            Do not let [your] feet rush […]


29,5     [Associate with someone who is more distinguished] than you.

            May you befriend a man of your generation.


Chapter 30


30,1     on the day of his birth.

30,2     He reaches the office,

            the council […]

30,3     [Look,] there is [no] scribe devoid of eating

            from the food of the palace l.p.h.

30,4     […]

            […] before the council.

30,5     < Praise god for> your father and your mother,

            who are placed on the road […]

30,6     […]

            the children of your children.


Judith Jurjens (JJ)



Text type

Literary text, Instruction/Teaching


judge, knowledge, message, satire, scribe, teaching


New Kingdom (1539-1077 BC)


Dynasty 20 (1190-1077 BC)


Ramesses III (Usermaatre Meriamun)



Drawing description


Bibliographical reference

Jäger, Altägyptische Berufstypologien, pp. 5–6 (OEB 154722)

Roccati, Sapienza, pp. 79–84 (OEB 38212)

Jurjens, Rivista del Museo Egizio 5 (2021)

Museo Egizio