Skip Navigation

Royal Book of Protection

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

MEDIUM Papyrus, ink
  • Possible Place Made: Elephantine, Egypt
  • DATES 664-610 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 26
    PERIOD Late Period, Saite Period
    DIMENSIONS Overall: 8 1/4 × 86 5/8 in. (21 × 220 cm) a: Glass: 12 1/8 x 31 5/8 in. (30.8 x 80.3 cm) a: Largest Fragment: 2 15/16 x 7 13/16 in. (7.5 x 19.8 cm) b: Glass: 12 3/16 x 19 7/8 in. (31 x 50.5 cm) b: Object: 8 1/4 x 15 1/16 in. (21 x 38.2 cm) c: Glass: 12 3/16 x 20 in. (31 x 50.8 cm) c: Object: 8 1/2 x 16 1/16 in. (21.6 x 40.8 cm) d: Glass: 12  (show scale)
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 47.218.49a-f
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement. You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form (charges apply). The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act. The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals. For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch. For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright. If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Royal Book of Protection, 664-610 B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, Overall: 8 1/4 × 86 5/8 in. (21 × 220 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 47.218.49a-f (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.47.218.49c_view01_042821.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.47.218.49c_view01_042821.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2020
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Fourteen columns of text of nineteen lines, (with some variation); the contents are sixteen different spells, all directed against the malevolent forces that attack the ear of the king. The text was prepared for one of the kings named Psamtik (probably Psamtik I). Each spell ends with a medical prescription. Fragmentary at beginning with numerous lacunae. Last six columns are generally intact though numerous small lacunae are present. Fragments were consolidated with small hinges of scotch tape when the papyrus was unrolled in winter of 1966-67. Due to fading of ink and the gradual darkening of the papyrus, many of the rubrics are difficult to read. 47.218.49f: 150+ small fragments, many inscribed in Late Period hieratic but a number are uninscribed. 20 or so fragments are opisthographic. The writing shows a variety if different hands so these fragments clearly belong to a number of different texts that can not at the moment be identified with certainty. The relatively small size of these fragments makes the reading of only a few signs and possibly a word here and there possible.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
     <em>Royal Book of Protection</em>, 664-610 B.C.E. Papyrus, ink, Overall: 8 1/4 × 86 5/8 in. (21 × 220 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Theodora Wilbour from the collection of her father, Charles Edwin Wilbour, 47.218.49a-f (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.47.218.49c_view01_042821.jpg)