The Pyramid Texts of UNAS

by Wim van den Dungen

Burial-Chamber l Passage-way l Antechamber l Corridor l Serdab

introduction l English text l commentary



East Gable
(273 - 276)

"<" or ">" between numbers = sequence of the text
"<" from right to left (facing right) or ">" from left to right (facing left)


adapted from the pictures of L.F. Husson in :
Piankoff, A. : The Pyramid of Unas, Bollingen Series, 1968.

to download a larger picture click here
the text reads from right to left


{...}  :  restored passage
<...> : conjectured translation of unknown word
(...)   : words added to bring out the sense and/or to clarify

The first number given, is the ordinal position of the utterance in the present English version of the 228 utterances of the Unas text, while the second is the traditional enumeration of the sayings by Sethe.

197 (273-274) the Cannibal Hymn

by the priest

The sky rains down.
The stars darken.
The celestial vaults stagger.
The bones of Aker tremble.
The <decans> are stilled against them,
at seeing King Unas rise as a Ba.
A god who lives on his fathers and feeds on his mothers.

King Unas is Lord of Wisdom whose mother knows not his name.
The glory of King Unas is in the sky, his might is in the horizon.
Like his father, Atum, his begetter.
Though his son, King Unas is mightier than he.

The Kas of King Unas are behind him.
His guardian forces are under his feet.
His gods are over him.
His Uraeus-serpents are on his brow.
The guiding-serpent of King Unas is on his forehead :
she who sees the Ba (of the enemy as) good for <burning>.
The neck of King Unas is on his trunk.

King Unas is the Bull of the Sky,
who <shatters> at will,
who lives on the being of every god, 
who eats their <entrails>,
even of those who come with their bodies 
full of magic from the Island of Fire.

King Unas is one equipped, 
who assembles his Akhs.
King Unas appears as this Great One,
Lord of those with (Helping) Hands.
He sits with his back to Geb,
for it is King Unas who weighs what he says, 
together with Him whose name is hidden,
on this day of slaying the oldest ones.

King Unas is Lord of Offerings, who knots the cord,
and who himself prepares his meal.
King Unas is he who eats men and lives on gods,
Lord of Porters, who dispatches written messages.

It is "Grasper-of-the-top-knot", <who is> Kehau,
who lassoes them for King Unas.
It is "Serpent Raised-head",
who guards them for him and restrains them for him.
It is "He-upon-the-willows",
who binds them for him.
It is Courser, slayer of Lords,
who will cut their throats for King Unas,
and will extract for him what is in their bodies,
for he is the messenger whom King Unas sends to restrain.
It is Shezmu,
who will cut them up for King Unas,
and cooks meals of them in his dinner-pots.


It is King Unas who eats their magic and gulps down their Akhs.
Their big ones are for his morning meal,
their middle-sized ones are for his evening meal,
their little ones are for his night meal,
their old men and their old women are for his incense-burning.
It is the Great Ones in the North of the sky,
who light the fire for him,
to the cauldrons containing them,
with the thighs of their eldest (as fuel).

Those who are in the sky serve King Unas,
And the butcher's blocks are wiped over for him,
with the feet of their women.

He has revolved around the whole of the two skies.
He has circled the two banks.
For King Unas is the great power that overpowers the powers.
King Unas is a sacred image, the most sacred image 
of the sacred images of the Great One.
Whom he finds in his way, him he devours <bit by bit>.

The place of King Unas is at the head of all the noble ones who are in the horizon.
For King Unas is a god, older than the oldest.
Thousands revolve around him, hundreds offer to him.
There is given to him a warrant as a great power by Orion, the father of the gods.

King Unas has risen again in the sky.
He is crowned as Lord of the Horizon.
He has smashed the back-bones,
and has seized the hearts of the gods.
He has eaten the Red Crown.
He has swallowed the Green One.
King Unas feeds on the lungs of the wise.
And likes to live on hearts and their magic.

King Unas abhors against licking <the Coils of the Red Crown>.
But delights to have their magic in his belly.
The dignities of King Unas will not be taken away from him.
For he has swallowed the knowledge of every god.
The lifetime of King Unas is eternal repetition. 
His limit is everlastingness.
In this his dignity of : 
"If-he-likes-he-does. If-he-dislikes-he-does-not."
He who is at the limits of the horizon,
forever and ever.

Lo, their Ba is in the belly of King Unas.
Their Akhs are in the possession of King Unas,
as the surplus of his meal <out of> the gods.
Which is cooked for King Unas from their bones.

Lo, their Ba is in the possession of King Unas.
Their shadows are removed from their owners,
while King Unas is this one who ever rises and lasting lasts. 

The doers of ill deeds have no power to destroy,
the chosen seat of King Unas,
among the living in this land.
Forever and ever.

198 (275) the King opens the double doors of the horizon

by the priest

To say the words :

King Unas has come to You, falcons, for your Horus-mansions become peaceful to King Unas, with his bent tail, of the intestine of baboon, at his rear.
King Unas will open the double doors.
King Unas will attain the limit of the horizon.
King Unas has laid down his tailed kilt there.
King Unas will become the Great One who is in Crocodilopolis.

Protection of the East of the Tomb

199 (276)

by the priest

To say the words :
Do against yourself what You can do against yourself, You Zekzek-snake who are in your <hole>, You hindrance !

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initiated : 18 VI 2006 - 29 VI 2012 - version n°3

© Wim van den Dungen