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fl. Fourth Dynasty (2625–2500 b.c.e.)


A Prince and a Teacher.

Hordjedef was a son of King Khufu who reigned 2585–2560 b.c.e. His mastaba tomb was never finished, but was located near his father's tomb, the Great Pyramid. Hordjedef had at least one son named Au-ib-re to whom he wrote a teaching. As an author, Hordjedef is credited as being a teacher and a great storyteller. He is the narrator of a story in the collection called Khufu and the Magicians. In his teaching, Hordjedef concentrates on the importance of starting a family and preparing a proper burial. Unfortunately, very little of the text of his instruction survives. The copies that do survive, however, date from the New Kingdom, at least one thousand years after he originally composed the text. In the Ramesside Period (1292–1075 b.c.e.) he was remembered as one of the great authors of the past.


Jan Assmann, Weisheit, Schrift uind Literature im alten Agypten (Munich: W. Fink Verlag, 1991).

Miriam Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, Vol. I (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1973).