Ancient Egyptian phrases about trade


Ancient Egyptian slave trade

Here are some Ancient Egyptian phrases related to trade:

1. "nfrw mHw" (neferu mehu) - "good goods"

This phrase was used to describe high-quality merchandise that was desirable for trade.

2. "mAa-xrw" (maa-kheru) - "true of voice"

This phrase was used as a declaration of honesty and trustworthiness in business dealings.

3. "imy-r pr" (imy-per) - "in the house of the pharaoh"

This phrase was used to indicate that a particular item or product was of the highest quality and had the pharaoh's approval, making it valuable and desirable for trade.

4. "sDm Hr-sStA" (sedjem her-seshta) - "to establish a market"

This phrase was used to describe the process of setting up a market or bazaar for trading goods.

5. "wab nswt" (wab nesut) - "royal purveyor"

This phrase was used to describe a person or company that had been appointed by the pharaoh to supply goods for the royal court, indicating their high level of skill and reputation in trade.

Slave trade

It's important to note that slavery was a common practice in ancient Egypt, and it was not considered immoral or unethical at the time. However, there are no recorded phrases specifically about the slave trade in ancient Egyptian texts. 

There are, however, some texts that mention the acquisition of slaves through warfare and other means. For example, the "Tale of Sinuhe," an ancient Egyptian literary text, mentions the capture of slaves during a military campaign in the Levant. Similarly, inscriptions on the walls of temples and tombs often depict scenes of conquered peoples being brought before the pharaoh as tribute, which sometimes included slaves.

It's also worth noting that the ancient Egyptians had a complex system of social hierarchy, and slaves were considered at the bottom of the social ladder. However, slaves were not necessarily treated poorly, and some were even able to attain positions of power and influence in ancient Egyptian society.

As I mentioned earlier, there are no recorded phrases specifically about the slave trade in ancient Egyptian texts. However, I can provide some examples of related terms and phrases that were used in ancient Egypt:

- "Hery Shemsu" - This term translates to "followers of Horus" and was used to refer to prisoners of war who were taken as slaves.

- "Tawi" - This term was used to refer to foreign captives who were taken as slaves.

- "Shemayet" - This term was used to refer to domestic slaves who worked in households and were often acquired through purchase or as a form of payment for debts.

- "Senetjer" - This term was used to refer to a document that was used to transfer ownership of slaves from one person to another.

While these terms do not specifically refer to the slave trade, they do provide insight into the different types of slaves that were present in ancient Egyptian society and how they were acquired and managed.

Maritime trade

Ancient Egypt was a civilization highly dependent on its river, the Nile, for transportation and trade. However, they did engage in some maritime trade along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts. Here are some phrases related to maritime trade in ancient Egypt:

- "Waret" - This term refers to a type of boat used for maritime trade. These boats were often made of cedar wood and were equipped with sails and oars.

- "The Great Green" - This was the term used by the ancient Egyptians to refer to the Mediterranean Sea, which was an important route for maritime trade.

- "Punt" - This was an ancient land located along the Red Sea coast that was known for its exotic goods. The ancient Egyptians established trade relations with Punt and sent expeditions there to acquire goods such as myrrh, frankincense, and exotic animals.

The land of Punt

 - "Khenmet" - This term refers to a type of harbor or port, and was used to describe the places where boats would dock to engage in maritime trade.

- "Kha-nedjet" - This term refers to a type of goods or cargo that was transported by boat. These goods could include grain, textiles, metals, and other commodities.

Overall, while maritime trade was not as significant to ancient Egypt as riverine trade, it did play a role in the economy and the acquisition of exotic goods from distant lands.

Riverine trade

Here are a few Ancient Egyptian phrases related to riverine trade:

1. "ḥw.t nb.w" (hetep nebu) - This phrase means "offerings of all goods" and was often used in the context of trade and commerce. It was used to express the idea of a general exchange of goods and services between different parties.

2. "ḫntjw" (khenetiu) - This term referred to the river traders who sailed up and down the Nile, transporting goods from one place to another. These traders were an important part of the Ancient Egyptian economy, as they helped to connect different regions and facilitate the exchange of goods.

3. "nfrw" (neferu) - This word is often translated as "beautiful" or "good" and was frequently used in the context of trade to describe the quality of goods being exchanged. For example, a trader might say that a particular shipment of grain or textiles was "nfrw" to indicate that it was of high quality.

4. "t3 nṯr" (taa netcher) - This phrase means "the land of the gods" and was used to refer to the southern region of Egypt, which was a major source of gold, precious stones, and other luxury goods. Traders who traveled to this region to obtain these goods would often use this phrase to describe their destination.

5. "sḫm.t" (sekhemet) - This term referred to the tax that was levied on goods transported along the Nile. The amount of the tax varied depending on the type of goods being transported and the distance traveled, but it was an important source of revenue for the Ancient Egyptian government.

Read also

The River Nile in Ancient Egyptian 

Back to Ancient Egyptian core phrases.

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