The Pharaoh's Day

(Chapter 173, part 1 of 2) Having won the allegiance of his subjects, Amasis attacks the daily work of being Pharaoh. He works hard in the morning, but afternoons are spent drinking and joking, and otherwise relaxing. His stuffy friends think that a Pharaoh should be a bit more august, and admonish him on his behavior.


[Vocabulary] I think this is a relatively difficult selection because of unfamiliar vocabulary, and in the use of moods and tenses. In the admonition of the friends, note the use of imperfects with a n to describe what would happen if he acted more like a Pharaoh. They are looking back from an ideal future on possible customary actions. There are several examples here of elision, which you are of course already familiar with, but we can compare this with the crasis in the previous selection. There is a good candidate for crasis in this selection, were it not for an intervening particle. There is also a somewhat camouflaged genitive absolute. I believe that in one place a singular verb is used when a plural would be appropriate, but I have not changed it in the text by adding a n.

In such a way he brought over the Egyptians so as to consent to be subjects. He managed the arrangement of affairs as follows: in the morning until sometime when the market had filled, he earnestly worked at the business coming before him. After this he drank and jested with his fellow drinkers and was idle and fond of a joke. Disgusted with these things, his friends advised him, saying this: "O Pharaoh, not properly do you handle yourself, in too much triviality of your conduct. It were befitting you to sit solemnly on a solemn throne through the day settling affairs, and then the Egyptians would consider themselves ruled by a great man, and also you would hear better of yourself. At present you are doing in no wise royal things."

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Last revised 22 July 1999