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Becoming A Sesh

 
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BlackMage
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Becoming A Sesh Reply with quote

I am trying to find research on how a sesh became a sesh. If anyone can tell me the levels of being a Sesh that would be much appreciated. By levels I mean...I know they went to "school" for almost 10 years before coming a sesh. So were they like freshman, sophmore status?
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, BlackMage. I don't think it's known if there was any sort of recognized level of advancement akin to our freshman, sophomore, and the like. The language of ancient Egypt is one of my favorite topics and I've researched it for years, and I've never read of such a thing in the literature (of which there is a colossal amount). Perhaps someone else can answer that better than I, however.

The average boy who was lucky enough to enter training, began probably at around age five. I think it's safe to say he would spend many more years honing his craft. There were definitely avenues of study for which aspiring scribes were trained. For example, probably most scribes were trained to write in hieratic or demotic (depending on the historical period), while fewer were probably trained in hieroglyphs. It's more than safe to say that far more people today can read and write ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs than people could in ancient times.

The scribal school was no picnic and was not always a kind place. An ancient proverb goes, "A boy's ears are on his back: he hears when he is beaten." Aspiring scribes had to have spent many hours practicing their lessons, but the rewards were great. When a young man was ready to take on a full-time profession as a scribe, there was certainly no guarantee of wealth but he was assured a life of considerably more ease and prestige than the average commoner could hope for.

Interestingly we have no hard evidence that girls ever went to scribal school. This was mostly do to the fact that the vast majority of women could never hope to obtain any sort of position in the government or bureaucracy at the local or state level, where most of the scribes were employed. It was exclusively a man's world (with the obvious exception of royal women, many of whom were probably literate to some degree). It's fair to say, however, that many women in the society were able to read and write to an extent.

What other information were you looking for? I'd be glad to be of help. Wink
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might find this interesting, BlackMage:

http://www.philae.nu/akhet/Seshet.html

It's taken from gay Robins' "Women In Egypt", which I think is an excellent book!
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BlackMage
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about titles once they were officially sesh? Were there different titles and ranking then?

And thank you so much for responding and the information thus far.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, BlackMage. I got sidetracked and forgot about this thread. I don't think you'd find a strict ranking of scribes, but they're titles as scribes would reveal their importance. Many men were known as "royal scribe," which in and of itself doesn't say a whole lot. It may mean the scribe wrote in some manner for the king, but that doesn't even imply he was part of the court. You can imagine the large number of scribes required for a bureaucracy as huge as that developed in ancient Egypt.

We have a sarcophagus at the Field Museum that was inscribed for a man who was both a royal scribe and a secretary to the king. That probably means he wrote documents in some official manner, and kept track of those documents--perhaps akin to a royal librarian. This man warranted a pink-granite sarcophagus, which was quite irregular for the common class, so almost certainly the king he served had it prepared as a gift for this man. That does not imply, however, that the man was on the level of a nobel--just someone upon whom the king looked kindly.

There were many scribes employed by the large state temples, of course. The bureaucracy of a temple like that for Amun at Karnak would've been colossal unto itself. There were scribes for such things as the granaries, who recorded the amount of produce coming in to the temple. There was a section of each great temple called the pr anx, the "house of life," which was like a library and school. Many scribes worked in there, either in training or copying the sacred texts of the tempe. In fact, I believe the Coptic word for magician equates to the ancient Egyptian sS pr anx, "scribe of the house of life."

Naturally the military employed plenty of scribes, too. One of our stelae at the Field is in honor of a "scribe of the army of the Lord of the Two Lands." How connected this man, Userhat, was with the king is certainly debatable, but he was clearly proud of his profession. Military scribes would've been kept busy as they kept track of quartermaster supplies and the passing on of orders. In fact, one of our Books of the Dead was for a man who, among other titles, was a "scribe of the commands." He specifically would've been responsible for recording and disseminating the orders issued by officers. On military expeditions there were also scribes charged with keeping a day book, a kind of journal in which the events of the day were recorded.

Basically, when you read the title of any given scribe, the closer his position put him to the king or high priest or governor or any other official of the ruling class, the more important that scribe was. Most scribes, however, were middle class men. They were not wealthy but they enjoyed lives of privilege and prestige, simply because they could read and write. And that is something about which they would brag on their own monuments.
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BobManske
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or you can just appropriate the name, like Kmt-Sesh did.

He's really quite illiterate. His cat ghosts all his stuff.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobManske wrote:
Or you can just appropriate the name, like Kmt-Sesh did.

He's really quite illiterate. His cat ghosts all his stuff.


Not true! Not true! I don't even have a cat.

I pay my neighbor's cat to do it for me. Anxious
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dzama923
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sesh to me meant actually a tribal community, wherein the people communed together to create the Khemitian society. In my understanding it was not a title to be aspired to, it was actually the name for the community of united Egyptian towns or nomes. It was the people in general that were refered to as the sesh.


Reference: The Land of Osiris Stephen S Mehler
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dzama923 wrote:
Sesh to me meant actually a tribal community, wherein the people communed together to create the Khemitian society. ... Reference: The Land of Osiris Stephen S Mehler

It means "scribe", a title. If Mr. Mehler really says something different, I would be interested in his proofs ...
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