I kommission for Carsten Niebuhr Instituttet for Nærorientalske Studier
The book presents a complete edition of the three known versions of the ancient Egyptian narrative The Story of Petese son of Petetum and Seventy Other Good and Bad Stories, copied from the 4th century BC through the 2nd century AD. The narrative, written in Demotic, employs the literary device of a main story containing a series of brief stories presented to a specific character. In the main story, a prophet commits an act of blasphemy and is punished by the gods. Through magical means the prophet learns from Osiris that he has only 40 more days to live. On the fifth day the prophet creates a number of magical beings which he sends out to find 35 "good" stories and 35 "bad" stories, one pair of stories for each remaining day of his life. These stories are then presented to the prophet. In this respect it is remarkably similar to Arabian Nights.
Kim Ryholt er professor i ægyptologi på Institut for Tværkulturelle og Regionale Studier ved Københavns Universitet. Han har i over 20 år været ansvarlig for Papyrus Carlsberg Samlingen og dens udgivelsesaktiviteter.