01 Aug 2009

Essays on The Maxims of Ptahhotep

During the last century, we have seen an amazing transformation of our educational system globally.  Focus has gone from the simple distillation of hard facts and imposed philosophy to peaceful multicultural respect and individualism.  The one thing that has never changed is the recognition of the importance of education.

One of the best selling areas in modern literature is that of leadership and effective management.  Many feel that these concepts are recent inventions, yet evidence exists that the principles of leadership and effective management can be traced to the First Kingdom of Egypt, some 4500 years ago.  Ptahhotep, vizier under King Isesi of the Fifth Egyptian Dynasty, is attributed as the author of The Maxims of Ptahhotep.

The Maxims of Ptahhotep is an ancient work that collects the advice of Ptahhotep to, assumedly, his son or a favored subordinate officer of the Pharoah.  The document survives in the form of the Prisse Papyrus, housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and in to additional texts housed in the British Museum.  It is important to note that there are significant differences between the three texts, though the basic content is the same.

The Maxims reflect the values of truthfulness, self-control and kindness, much the same was that texts such as the Boy and Girl Scout manuals do today.  They also contain guidelines for how to conduct oneself when in the presence of social superiors.  One of the best resources regarding the document is Lichtheim’s “Ancient Egyptian Literature”, Volume I, published by The University of California Press in 1973.

Essays on such ancient documents can be difficult for students.  Much of their content is culturally specific.  Without an understanding of the culture of Ancient Egypt, the translation of many of the maxims seems confused.  Our professional writers, skilled in research techniques, are adept in the translation and communication of such materials and are able to assist students in the preparation of any writing assignment, even on such esoteric pieces of literature as The Maxims of Ptahhotep.  All they need is your order.

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