The Pyramid Texts of Ancient Egypt are the oldest large body of written material in the world. They are incised on limestone in thousands of lines of hieroglyphics, containing fragments of myths and legends, historical references and astronomical lore, geography and cosmology, religion and rituals, systems of theology, festivals, magic and morals, and with a literary technique capable of expressing the finest religious and ethical thoughts.
The purpose of this work is to furnish in English a translation and commentary of these texts--a translation and commentary which make use of all the texts at present extant and known to the author, and which is designed to be a standard but interim work in this subject until such time in the future as all remaining pyramid texts will have been discovered, which will then, it is hoped, make possible the writing of a complete and definitive work.
The contribution of this publication will be the first translation in English of the ancient Pyramid Texts; the first complete translation and full commentary of the Texts in any language; and an addition to the hieroglyphic text of Sethe of over four hundred lines (in translation) from the pyramids of Neit and Pepi II, in addition to the filling of many lacunae in the body of his text from Neit, Pepi II, and other pyramids, tombs and sarcophagi, discovered since the publication of Sethe's unfinished translation and commentary in German after his death in 1934. Fuller details of these texts, their discovery, nature, extent, and value are given in the introduction.