Book of Breathings
by Michael D. Rhodes
Department of Ancient Scripture
Brigham Young University
Hieroglyphic Text Accompanying the Vignette.
(1) . . . gods
servant of Amon-Re, [king] of the gods, gods servant of
Min, . . . beautiful . . . , priest of Khonsu, the controller of
. . . (2) . . . Hôr, justified, the son of one of like titles,
master of the secrets, gods priest, Wosir-wer, justified,
[born of] (3) . . . Taikhebyt.
May your soul live in
their midst. May you be buried <in> the West. . . . (4) . .
. . . . . (5) [May you give to] him beautiful and useful things
on the west [of Thebes] like . . .
Text of the Book
I. [They drag
Osiris in]to the Pool of Khonsu, (2) and likewise [the Osiris,
Hôr, justified] born of Taikhebyt, justified, (3) after he has
grasped his heart. They bury (4) the Book of Breathings which
<Isis> made, which (5) is written on both its inside and
outside, (wrapped) in royal linen, and it is placed <under>
the (6) left arm near his heart. The bearer makes (7) his coffin
on the outside of it. This document is made for him so that (8)
he might breathe like the souls of the gods forever and (9) ever.
[of the Book of Breathings] which [Isis] made [for her brother,
Osiris to cause his soul to live, to cause his body to live, to
rejuvenate all his limbs] (2) again, [so that he might join] the
horizon with his father, Re, [and to cause his soul to appear in
heave as the disk of the moon, so that his body might shine like
Orion in the womb of Nut, to] (3) cause [the same] thing to
happen to the Osiris, Hôr, justified, [born of Taikhebyt,
justified. Keep it secret!] (4) Do not let anyone read it. It is
useful [ for one in the necropolis. He will live again
successfu]lly millions of times.
(5) O [Osiris,] Hôr,
justified, born of Ta[ikhebyt, justified. You have been purified.
Your heart has been purified. Your front is in] a state of
purity, your back (6) is in a state of cleanliness. Your
midsection is <cleansed> with soda [and natron. No part of
you is involved in wrong-doing.
The Osiris, Hôr,]
justified, born of [Taikhebyt, justified, begotten of] Remny-qa,
is purified in that pool of [the Field of Offerings to the north
of the Field of the Grasshopper.] Wadjet (8) and Nekhbet have
purified you in the fourth hour of the night and the [fourth]
hour [of the day.]
[Come, Osiris, Hôr,
justified, born of Taikhebyt], justified. May you enter the Hall
(9) of the Two Goddesses of Truth. You have been purified from
every sin [and misdeed. Stone of Truth is your name.]
[O] Osiris, Hôr,
justified, may you enter (10) into the afterlife [in] a state of
great purity. [The Two Goddesses of Truth] have cleansed you [in
the Great Hall. A purification has been performed for you in the
Hall of Geb. Your body has been purified in the Hall] (11) of
Shu. You see Re when [he] sets [and Atum in the evening. Amon is
with you, giving breath to you. Ptah (12) is fashioning] your
limbs. May you enter into the horizon together with Re. [ Your
soul has been received into the Neshmet ship with Osiris. Your
soul is made divine in the House of Geb. You are justified
forever and ever.]
Hôr, justified, born of Tai[khebyt, justified. May your name
endure. May your body last. Then your mummy will endure.  You shall not be turned back
from heaven or earth. May you be made happy in the presence of
Re.] (2) May your soul live in the presence of Amon. May your
body be renewed in the presence of Osiris. May you breathe
forever [and ever.]
[May your soul make
invocation offerings for you of bread, beer, beef and fowl,
libations and] (3) incense during the course [of every day. Your
flesh is on] <your> bones, made like your form on earth.
May you drink with [your throat.  May you eat with your mouth. May your
receive] (4) offerings with [the souls of the gods. May] Anubis
[protect] you and may he guard you. You shall not be turned back
from the gates [of the afterlife.] May the twice [great] and
mighty [Thoth,] Lord of Hermopolis, come to you and write for you
the Book of Breathings with his own fingers. May your soul
breathe (6) forever. May you assume again your form on earth
among the living. You are divine with the souls of the gods. Your
heart is the heart of Re. Your limbs (7) [are the limbs of the
[O Osiris,] Hôr,
justified. Amon is with you every day . . . in the House of Re.
May you live again. May Wepwawet open for you the [beautiful]
path. (8) [May you see with your eyes and hear with your] ears,
speak with your mouth, and walk with your legs. Your souls is
divine in the afterlife so that it can assume any form it
desires. May you cause the rustlings(?)  of the noble Ished-tree in
Heliopolis. May you awake every day and see the rays (10) [of the
sun. May Amon come to you bearing the breath of life. May he
cause you to breathe [in] your coffin. May you go forth to the
earth every day. May you be given the Book (11) [of Breathings of
Thoth for] your protection. May you breathe by means of it like
Re. May your eye see the rays of the (suns) disk. May truth
be spoken to you (12) [in the presence of Osiris. May
"justified" be written upon your body. Horus, the
Avenger of His Father, Horus of Edfu, may he enfold your body in
protection, and may he cause your soul to be
divine like all the gods do. The soul of Re is animating [your
soul]. (13) [The soul of Shu unites with your [nos]trils.
O Osiris, Hôr,
justified, born of Taikebyt, justified. May your soul breathe
[anyplace you want.] IV. [You are in the seat of Osiris.
Foremost of the Westerners is your name. May the Great Inundation
come to you from Elephantine, and may he fill your offering table
(2) Osiris, Hôr,
[justified, born of Taikhebyt, justified. May the gods of Upper
and Lower Egypt come to you and guide you to the Alchaa
 together with your soul. May]
you [accompany] (3) Osiris and may you breathe within the
necropolis [together with the Great God. May your body live] (4)
in Busiris and the Thinite Nome. May your soul live in heaven
justified, born of Taikhebyt, justified. May Sekhmet have power
over those who conspire against you. Horus,] (5) Great of Heart,
is protecting you. Horus of Edfu [does what you want. Horus the
Beloved guards your body. May you endure in] (6) life,
prosperity, and health. You have been established upon your seat
in the Sacred Land.
[Come now Osiris,
Hôr, justified, born of Taikhebyt, justified. You] have arisen
in your likeness, the likeness of your royal regalia. May you be
established in life. [ May you spend your time in health. May you
walk and breathe] (8) anywhere. May Re shine upon in cave  like (he did upon) Osiris.
May [you] breathe [ and live on his rays. May Amon animate] (9)
your ka, may it live, prosper, and be healthy.  May he cause you to flourish
by the Book of Breathings. May you accompany Osiris [and Horus,
Lord of the Henu-boat. You are the Great God,] (10) foremost
among the gods. May your face live and your form be beautiful.
Your name is established every day. May you enter into the
gods [great hall (or council)] (11) in Busiris, and may you
see the Foremost of the Westerners at the Wag-festival.  May your odor be as pleasant
as a young man. [May your name be as great as] (12) an august
O Osiris, Hôr,
justified. May your soul live by means of the Book of Breathings.
[May you join with] (13) <your> soul. May you enter into
the afterlife without your enemy. You are a divine soul [in
(The remainder of the
papyrus is missing. Louvre Papyrus 3284, III, 21 to V, 11 can be
used for the missing text.)
III. (21) You
have your heart. It is not far from you. (22) You have your eyes, which are
open every day.
spoken by the gods who are in attendance on Re. Osiris NN (3) May
you accompany (4) Osiris. May your soul live forever and ever.
Words spoken by the
gods who are in the afterlife (5) to Osiris, Foremost of the
Westerners, and to Osirs NN (6) in order to open for him the
doors of the afterlife.
May you be received
(7) in the necropolis. Come, let your soul live forever. May it
build a portal in the necropolis. (8) May your ka praise
its god, for it has received the Book of Breathings. Come, let it
(9) A boon which the
king gives to Osiris, Foremost of the Westerners, the Great God,
Lord of Abydos. May he give a invocation offering (10) of bread,
beer, beef, fowl, wine, milk, offerings, provisions, and every
(11) good thing to the ka of Osiris NN (12) May you be
healthy. May your corpse live, enduring at the command of Re
himself, and like Re neither perishing (13) nor being sick
forever and ever.
(14) O Far Strider  who has come forth from
Heliopolis. Osiris NN has not done (15) any wrong. 
(16) O Great of
Strength, who comes forth from Hery-aha.  Osiris NN has not committed (17) any
(18) O One with the
Nose,  who comes forth from Hermopolis.
Osiris NN has not (19) shown favoritism (?). 
(20) O Eye Swallower,
who comes forth from the Double Caverns.  Osiris NN has not made (21) any
seizure of property by theft.
V. O Terrible
of Visage,  who comes forth from the necropolis,
Osiris NN has not engaged in any disputes.
(2) O Ruty, who comes
forth from heaven. Osiris NN has not cause a false reading of the
(3) O He Whose Eye is
on Fire,  who comes forth from Letopolis. Osiris
NN has not committed any deception.
(4) O Gods who are in
the hereafter, hear the voice of Osiris NN. He has come before
you (5) without any evil committed by him, without any
wrong-doing held against him, and without any witness who rises
up against him. He lives by righteousness. He consumes
righteousness. The hearts of the gods are content with all that
he has done. (6) He has given bread to the hungry, water to the
thirsty, clothing to the naked. He has given offerings to the
gods and invocation offerings to the blessed dead. There is no
accusation against him before any of the gods. Let him enter into
the afterlife without being turned away. Let him accompany Osiris
together with the gods (8) of the cavern, for he has life,
prosperity, and health among the living, and he is divine among
the justified dead. Let him live, and let his soul live. Let (9)
his soul be admitted into any place he desires. Accept his Book
of Breathings. Let him breathe together with that soul of his in
(10) the afterlife with any form his heart desires together with
the Westerners. Let his soul go wherever it wants. Let him live
upon the earth forever and ever.
the Vignette at the End of the Book of Breathings Text
original of Facsimile 3 came at the end of the Book of Breathings
text (not necessarily the end of the papyrus). A tentative
translation of the text follows.
Bottom line: 
The gods of the West,
the gods of the cavern,  the gods of the south, north, west,
and east say:  May Osiris, Hôr, justified, prosper.
 Make (?) . . . summon.
Line to the Right
of Figure 2:
The great Isis,  mother of the god. 
The Three Lines to
the Right of Figure 1:
(1) Words spoken by
Osiris, the Foremost of the Westerners: (2) May Osiris, Hôr,
abide at (3) the side of the throne of his greatness.
Line in Front of
(1) Maat . . . 
The Two Lines in
Front of Figure 5: 
(1) Osiris, Hôr,  the  (2) justified forever.
The Three Lines in
Front of Figure 6: 
spoken by Anubis  . . . (2) Lord of heaven, preeminent
in (3) the Hall of the God. 
 Other copies of the Book of Breathings
have a simple sjm=f form
rather than the sjm.ur=f
form found here.
 In the Late Period, vnb.t can also mean
"throat" (WB. IV, 513, 11).
 vrvr is
a hapax legomenon (cf. Wb. IV, 529, 7).
 xnm, other
copies have uwi - to
 orq-ee -
holy place in Abydos (Old Coptic alakhaa, Greek alakhai)
Wb. I, 213, 5-6.
 tpe.t >
tp(e).t (Wb. V, 364, 11)
 The abreviated form of the standard
formula, onu, wja, snb has
been written after ka=k
(your ka). It is not found in parallel texts.
 A festival of Osiris celebrated on the
18th day of the first month of the Egyptian year.
 Emending to nn
 Epithet of Re.
 isf.t >
isty (Wb. I, 129, 2).
 A city south of Heliopolis,
present-day Old Cairo, Greek Babylon (Wb. III,
 I.e. Thoth, the Ibis-headed god.
 cn-ov (literally
"distinguishing the call").
 From which the inundation of the Nile
was thought to arise.
 An epithet of an evil being,
especially Apophis. (Wb. II, 15-16)
 ir isfy
 An epithet of Horus of Letopolis
(Goyon, J., Rituel Funéraires de L'Ancienne Égypte,
224, n. 8.
 This line reads from left to right
rather than the normal right to left.
a common epithet for gods of the kingdom of the dead (Wb.
V, 62, 10).
 i in > in
(cf. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar, §§ 436-37).
 swaj intransitive
in Late and Hellenistic periods (Wb. IV, 65, 8).
 Isis is regularly portrayed wearing
cow's horns with a moon disk. See for example wee the
illustration in Faulkner, R.O., The Ancient Egyptian Book of
the Dead, 182-83.
 Isis is the mother of Horus.
 The gure here has the ma'at
 These signs also read from left to
right rather than the normal left to right
 The figure is that of Hôr, the owner
of the papyrus, being introduced into the presence of Osiris.
 The use of the definite article pa before mao-urw
is most unusual, but it is clearly there.
 These signs also read read from left
to right rather than the normal left to right.
 Anubis is ofte found conducting the
dead in the Hall of Judgment. (A good example is found in the
vignette to Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead shown in
Faulkner, R. O., The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead,
 The reading is far from certain, but
this is a common title for Anubis (Wb. III, 305, 18).