The story of a Castaway from Ancient Egypt | The first of literature

We all know Sinbad el Marino, protagonist of one of the tales of the Arabian Nights, and Robinson Crusoe , the most famous castaway of universal literature. But, none of them was the first shipwrecked person who with his story filled the pages of a book or in this case a papyrus. Join us to know the story of a Castaway of Ancient Egypt whose ship sank, more than 4,000 years ago, when traveling to the enigmatic Land of Punt of which we speak to you in Supercurioso. It is believed to be the first of the shipwreck histories of literature.

The story of a Castaway of Ancient Egypt

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We know this story because it was found complete in a papyrus, since it was one of the ones that usually they were used in the schools of copyists and scribes Egyptians to practice writing. According to historians, the events occurred approximately in the year 2,200 BC, that is, more than 4,000 years ago. In later Egyptian literature there are more accounts of castaways expressing their fears of loneliness and the fact of dying in a foreign country, in addition to relating their adventures. However, the story that concerns us was the first and makes real descriptions about what were the trips to the Land of Punt. The Papyrus in which it consists the story of the Castaway of Ancient Egypt is the Leningrad 1115 that is in the Imperial Museum in Saint Petersburg .

The story of a Castaway of Ancient Egypt

The story begins when a prince who had been sent by ship to trade with a distant country, has to return with the failed mission and fears facing the king. Then one of his assistants, known as "the sailor", to reassure him, tells him what happened to him some time ago, also returning from a commercial trip. He tells him that the boat in which he was traveling with 150 men sank in the course of a storm and that clinging to a tree had managed to reach an island.

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In it he found water, food and shelter and when he was giving thanks to God, the earth trembled and a gigantic serpent appeared that started a conversation with him. The sailor explained his story and the serpent confided that his entire family had died when a star had fallen on the island and burned it and that it was actually the Lord of Punt. The snake told him that at 4 months a boat from his country would pick him up and take him back home. Upon the arrival of the Egyptian ship, he gave many gifts to him and his king and only asked him to speak well of him to his monarch. Once he had boarded, the castaway of Ancient Egypt saw the island disappear under the sea.

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When he arrived in his homeland he gave the king all the gifts that consisted mainly of incense, perfumed wood, elephant tusks, baboons and ivory and spoke well of the serpent that was the Lord of Punt. He rewarded the sailor by making him his assistant and handing him numerous servants. With this story, the castaway of Ancient Egypt he intended to instruct the prince turned commercial collapse, that circumstances may change. The writing, however, ends with the words of the prince who believes that nothing will save him and that his interview with the king will be the end for him and says: "Do not be a great friend. Who gives water to the bird at dawn when it will be sacrificed in the morning? "

We hope you liked it the History of the Castaway of Ancient Egypt and as a curiosity we will add that the scribe who practiced with her was called "Ameny son of Amenaa" and defined himself as "skilled fingers writer", although the historians of the document say that he has several blots and ink runs. Do you know other stories of castaways? Share them with us! If you want to meet other tales of Ancient Egypt, we invite you to read: Can you finish the Ancient Egypt Tale of the Predestined Prince?

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