Author of a Wisdom Text possibly c.50 BC.
    One of Egypt's most enduring forms of literature was the Instruction in Wisdom or Wisdom Text. Even in later times new texts were composed and Papyrus British Museum 10508 has been dated by the handwriting of the text to the late Ptolemaic period, although it may have been composed earlier; a firm date has not yet been established for it. The papyrus was acquired by the British Museum in 1896. It is written in Demotic (the later, cursive script derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs) and both the content and the grammatical construction of the prose are very different from earlier examples of Wisdom Texts.
    The text was probably composed by an anonymous scribe, but the maxims are set in the context of a story and are attributed to a priest of Re at Heliopolis, named Ankhsheshonqy. They are humorous and set out the pragmatic wisdom as part of a story.
    A series of events occurs in Ankhsheshonqy's life: he visits Harsiese (an old friend who has become chief royal physician) at Memphis and he invites him to stay longer with him. Harsiese tells Ankhsheshonqy that he and some other courtiers are plotting to kill the king; Ankhsheshonqy tries to dissuade him from this action, but a servant overhears their conversation and informs the king. Harsiese and his associates are put to death, and Ankhsheshonqy, although an innocent bystander, is implicated and sent to prison where, with time to ponder and to write, he composes and sets down the wisdom instructions for his son's benefit.
    This idea of conveying personal wisdom to a younger person is therefore retained and developed in Egypt even thousands of years after the earliest examples-attributed to *Hardedef and *Imhotep-were composed.
BIBL. AEL iii. pp. 159-83; Glanville, S.R.K. Catalogue of demotic papyri in the British Museum Vol. 2: The Instructions of 'Onchsheshonqy (British Museum Papyrus 10508). London: 1955.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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  • Harsiese — (reigned c. 870–860 BC)    Throne name Hedjkheperre setepenamun. Son of the high priest of Amun Sheshonq, who may have succeeded as Sheshonq II and Nestanebtashru. Grandson of Osorkon I of Dynasty 22 and great grandson of Pasebakhaenniut II of… …   Ancient Egypt

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