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any’s advice egyptian lower

Nothing is known of Any’s early life. He was a commoner who had an opportunity to gain an education and became a scribe. He must have married and had at least one son who grew to adulthood, whose name was Khonshotep. Any’s highest title was “Scribe of the Palace of Ahmes-Nefertari.” Thus he was an official who reached the lower end of the royal bureaucracy. This office was a significant enough accomplishment to allow him to write a teaching for his son. Any’s teaching combines traditional material with two innovations. Previous to Any’s time, only teachings of the highest officials survive. As a minor official, Any offers advice to his son that will help him in the lower offices that he can expect to attain. There is no aristocratic pretension in Any’s advice. Second, Any’s son answers him at the end of the teaching. Khonshotep is skeptical about whether he can follow his father’s advice. He suggests it is too difficult for him. This section of the text leads to the possibility that the teaching will fail in spite of Any’s best efforts. Such a proposition was never previously discussed in Egyptian philosophical literature.


Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature , Volume II: The New Kingdom (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976): 135–146.

Axel Volten, Studien zum Weisheitsbuch des Anii (Copenhagen, Denmark: Danske videnskabernes selskab, 1937–1938).

Any Second Now [next] [back] Antunes, Jorge

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