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  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: June 2014

4 - Pharaoh Ramses to Moses


Pharaoh Ramses II,


Lower Egypt

41st day of Shomu

Dear Moses,

I wanted to write sooner, but I have been flooded with work in the last few days, swamped in fact. So much so that I've been bogged down: the wheels have almost come off. But finally I have found a moment to put chisel to stone. Under normal circumstances I would have dictated this to one of my underlings, but this is a more personal pebble.

After cleaning up the various rodents, frogs, dead cattle and sundry first-born sons, one of the first things I did upon returning home was commission an inscription, outlining my glorious and extraordinary victory over your vastly superior forces, not to mention the Reed Sea as well (see the attached copy, for your records, or perhaps as an anchor for any further maritime ventures). It should serve to provide future students of Egypt with the correct picture of events, at least as far I am concerned, rather than that scurrilous little rag you have penned. Although I refrain from reviewing your book, I should point out that your slowness of speech and tongue extends to your writing. It is simply halting and turgid, flat-footed even, as though you were trying to run through beach sand. You should have let the silver-tongued Aaron do the writing. (All the same, I must admit that this vellum on which you write is quite something.