Predatory Gynocentrism in Ancient Egypt

The story of the two brothers named Anubis and Bata described on the D’Orbiney Papyrus has been categorized as a fairy tale, an historical allegory, and political satire, but it is also proof of the existence of Predatory Gynocentrism in ancient Egypt.

The social intelligence of the Predatory Gynocentrism Social Force as described in our book, “Beyond Gynocentrism: How to Succeed in a Gynocentric Civilization,” has resulted in a predatory Gynocentric Division of Labor. In the story described on the D’Orbiney Papyrus, Anubis and Bata do the backbreaking work under the hot sun of plowing and seeding the fields, and harvesting the crops, and they also must labor under the hot sun to do the hard work of cattle ranchers. Anubis is the older brother in the story, and his wife stays at home while the two brothers do the hard backbreaking labor outside in the fields. We also see this type of Gynocentric Division of Labor in ancient Kiengir (Sumer) during the Uruk Period, and even earlier during the Ubaid Period.

Female Predatory Aggression (FPA) includes hateful false accusations, and we find this type of Predatory Gynocentrism in the story of Anubis and Bata. When the younger brother, Bata, goes to his older brother’s home to bring back seed to plant in the fields, Anubis’ wife attempts to lure Bata into having sex with her. After Bata’s strong rejection of the sexual advances of his older brother’s wife, Anubis’ wife skillfully creates an elaborate false accusation of sexual assault against the innocent Bata. After Anubis is deceived into believing his wife’s false accusations against Bata, Anubis pursues Bata to kill him. Anubis’ wife has no qualms about taking out her FPA against Bata by proxy when she uses her own husband, Anubis, to carry out her aggression against Bata. Bata’s rejection of her sexual advances has offended Anubis’ wife, and she would even allow her husband to kill Bata as revenge against the innocent younger brother. Such Predatory Gynocentrism has existed since prehistoric times. There is even evidence of Predatory Gynocentrism among Neanderthals.

Below is a translation of the D’Orbiney Papyrus. Besides the references to the Predatory Gynocentrism embedded in the ancient account, the rest of the story contains religious, allegorical, political, and satirical aspects of the sociopolitical context of the times. The relational aggression is only part of the greater Predatory Gynocentrism Social Force.

Note: In the translation below, there is a reference to the “Valley of the Pine,” but in another translation it is referred to as the “Valley of the Cedar.” Interpreting ancient hieroglyphics by different researchers can result in linguistic inconsistencies.

gynocentrism in egypt

Papyrus d’Orbiney – The following translation represents a fairly literal rendering of the story as it is found transcribed in Alan H. Gardiner’s Late Egyptian Stories. The text incorporates several conventions common to translations from the ancient world. The small capitals represent words the Egyptian scribe wrote in red ink, so-called rubrics. The numbers in parentheses show the page and line number of the papyrus itself. Parentheses, (), in the text surround words inserted by the translator for clarity; square brackets, [], show restorations; and angle brackets, <>, enclose words omitted by the Egyptian scribe.

(1,1) ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WERE two brothers of one father and one mother. Anubis was the name of the older; Bata was the name of the younger. Now Anubis had a house and a wife, (1,2) his younger brother being with him in the manner of a son. He{Bata} used to make clothes for him, and he used to follow after his herd to the fields. (1,3) It was he who did the plowing, and it was he who harvested, and it was (1,4) he who used to do all the affairs of the fields. Indeed his younger brother was a beautiful young man, there being none of his form in the whole land. Indeed the strength of a god was in him. NOW MANY DAYS AFTER THIS, his young brother (1,5) followed his cattle in (his) daily custom, and he returned to his house every evening, and he was loaded with (1,6) every plant of the field, with milk, with wood, with every good thing of the field, and he laid (it) before his older brother, he being seated with his wife. He used to drink, he used to eat, and (1,7) he used to [sleep] in his stable in the midst of his cattle.

(1,8) NOW AFTER THE LAND WAS LIGHT and a second day dawned, [he took foods] which were cooked and he placed them before his older brother, and he{Anubis} (1,9) gave to him loaves for the field, and he{Bata} drove his cattle to allow them to eat in the fields, he going after the cattle, (1,10) they telling him, “The herbage is good in such- and-such place.” And he used to hear all which they said, and he took them to the good (2,1) place of herbage which they desired, the cattle before him becoming very beautiful. They multiplied their offspring (2,2) very much.

NOW AT THE TIME OF plowing, his older brother said to him, V “Have ready for us a span [of oxen] (2,3) for the plowing because the high land has gone forth, it being good to plow it. Likewise go to the field (2,4) carrying seed because we will begin to plow tomorrow. AND THEN his (2,5) younger brother did all the things which his older brother said to him, “Do them.”

NOW AFTER THE LAND BECAME LIGHT AND A SECOND (2,6) DAY DAWNED, they went to the field carrying their seed and they began to plow. Their hearts were (2,7) very pleased because of their work at their beginning of work.

NOW AFTER MANY DAYS, (2,8) they being in the field and waiting for seed, THEN HE sent his (2,9) younger brother saying, “Hurry, bring us seed from the town.” And his younger brother found the wife (2,10) of his older brother (with) one sitting braiding her.

AND THEN HE said to her, “Stand, get for me seed that (3,1) I may hasten to the field because my older brother waits for me. Do not make a delay.” THEN SHE said to him, “Go, (3,2) open the storehouse and bring yourself what you want.{literally, what is in your heart} Do not make me abandon my hair dressing.” AND THEN the young man (3,3) entered his barn and he brought one of the large jars, he desiring to take much seed, and he loaded himself (3,4) with barley and emmer and he went forth carrying them. THEN SHE said to him, “How much weight is what is on your shoulder?” And he said to her, (3,5) “Three sacks of emmer and two sacks of barley, five in all are those which are on my shoulder.” He said (thus) to her. AND THEN SHE spoke with him saying, (3,6) “Strength is great in you, for I see your strength daily.” And she desired to know him as to know a young man.

AND THEN SHE (3,7) stood, and she seized him, and she said to him, “Come, let us spend an hour lying down. It will be beneficial for you. Then I will make (3,8) beautiful clothes for you.” THEN the young man became angry like an Upper Egyptian leopard because of the (3,9) evil word which she said to him, and she was very frightened. AND THEN HE spoke with her saying, “Now see, you (3,10) are like a mother to me. Further, your husband is like a father to me. Now the one older than I, he has raised me. What (4,1) is the great wrong which you said to me? Do not say it to me again. Further I will not speak (of it) to anyone, and I will not cause it to go forth from my mouth to any people.” (4,2) And lifting his load, he went to the field. AND THEN he reached his older brother, and they started to work (again) (4,3) in their work.

NOW WHEN IT WAS EVENING, his older brother returned to his (4,4) house, his young brother being behind his cattle, and he was loaded with everything of the field, and he brought his cattle (4,5) before him to have them spend the night (in) their barn in the village.

Now the wife of his older brother was afraid (4,6) of the word which she said. AND THEN she brought fat and grease, and she became like one who was beaten, (4,7) saying to her husband, “It was your young brother who beat (me).” When her husband returned in the evening (4,8) in his daily fashion, he found his wife lying ill of guilt, and she (4,9) did not put water over his hand in his <daily> fashion. And she did not make a light before him, his house being in darkness, because she was lying down (4,10) vomiting. And her husband said to her, “Who had words with you?” Then she said to him, “No one spoke with me except your (5,1) young brother. When he came to fetch seed for you, he found me sitting alone, and he said to me, ‘Come, let us spend an hour lying down. (5,2) Loosen your hair.’ Thus he said to me. I did not listen to him. ‘Now am I not your mother? Further, your older brother is like a father with you.’ (5,3) Thus I said to him. He was afraid. He beat (me) in order that I not give to you a report. Now if you let him live, I will die. See, when he (5,4) comes [do not let him live] because I suffer the evil thing which he did yesterday.”{the day began at sunset, and Anubis’s return was after sundown, hence “yesterday” in this passage)}

AND THEN his older brother became (5,5) like a leopard of Upper Egypt, and he had his spear sharpened, and he put it in his hand. AND THEN his older brother stood behind the door (5,6) of his stable to kill his young brother in his coming in the evening to have his cattle enter (5,7) the stable.

When the sun went to rest, he {Bata} loaded himself with all the herbage of the fields in his fashion of every day, and he came, (5,8) and the foremost cow entered the stable. And she said to her shepherd, “Behold, your older brother stands (5,9) before you carrying his spear to kill you. Flee before him.” AND THEN he heard the speaking of his lead cattle and (6,1) another entered and she said the same. And he looked under the door of his stable, (6,2) and he saw the feet of his older brother as he stood behind the door with his spear in his hand. (6,3) And he put his load down, and he raised himself to run in order to flee, and his (6,4) older brother went after him, carrying his spear.

AND THEN his young brother prayed to Pre-Harakhty (6,5), {the sun god} saying, “My good Lord, it is you who judges between the guilty and the innocent.” Pre (6,6) heard his whole petition, and Pre caused a great water to become between (them) to separate him from his older brother, it being (6,7) filled with crocodiles. And one of them was on the one side and the other on the other, and (6,8) his older brother struck his own hand twice for not killing him.

AND THEN (6,9) his young brother called to him on the side, saying, “Stand here until the dawn. When the disk shines, I will (7,1) contend with you before him in order that he give the guilty to the just, because I will not be with you forever, (7,2) and I will not be in the place in which you are. And I will go to the Valley of the Pine.”

NOW WHEN THE LAND WAS LIGHT AND A SECOND DAY BECAME, (7,3) Pre-Harakhty arose and one saw the other. AND THEN the young man spoke to his older brother, saying, (7,4) “What is your coming after me to kill falsely, not hearing my mouth speak on the matter? And further I am still your young brother, and (7,5) also you are with me in the manner of father and also your wife is with me in the manner of a mother. Is it not so when you sent to bring seed for us, (7,6) your wife said to me, ‘Come, let us spend an hour lying together.’ Further, see, she turned it about for you into another thing.” AND THEN (7,7) he {Bata} caused him to know all the happenings with him and his wife. AND THEN he swore to Pre- Harakhty, saying, “As for your (7,8) coming to kill me wrongfully, carrying your spear on the word of a filthy whore,” and he brought a (7,9) reed knife and he cut off his phallus, and he threw it to the water, and the wels fish swallowed it. And he was (8,1) weak and he became feeble. And his older brother was very sorrowing in his heart, and he stood and wept loudly for him, and he was not able to (be) where his young brother was because of the crocodiles.

gynocentrism in egypt

(8,2) AND THEN his young brother called to him, saying, “Indeed, if you recall an evil, do you not also recall a good or something I did for you? Now go to your house and (8,3) care for your cattle because I will not stand in the place in which you are. And I will go to the Valley of the Pine. Now as to what you will do for me (8,4) <it is> your coming to care for me when you know that something has happened to me. I will have cut out my heart and placed it on the top of the blossom of the pine. When the pine is cut and it falls to the (8,5) ground, you will come to seek it. If you spend seven years seeking it, do not let your heart show dislike, and when you find it, put it in a bowl of cool water and I will live and I shall avenge (8,6) the transgressions against me. Further you (will) know something has happened to me (when) you are given a jug of beer to your hand and it foams. Do not wait, because already it has happened with you.”

AND THEN he went (8,7) to the Valley of the Pine, and his older brother went to his house, his hands on his head, he being covered with dirt. He reached his house and killed (8,8) his wife, and he threw her to the dogs and he sat in mourning for his young brother.

NOW MANY DAYS AFTER THIS, his young brother was in the Valley of the Pine, (8,9) no one being with him and he spending the day hunting small game in the hills, and he came to spend the night under the pine on top of whose blossom was his heart.

NOW MANY (9,1) DAYS AFTER THIS, he built himself a house with his hands <in> the Valley of the Pine, (9,2) and he filled (it) with every good thing of (his) desire to furnish for himself a house. He went out from his house and he met the Ennead {the nine gods, those who created and ruled the land} (9,3) as they were going out to administer the whole land. AND THEN the Ennead spoke, one of them to another, saying to him, (9,4) “Ho, Bata, bull of the Ennead, are you here alone, you having es- caped your town because of the wife of Anubis, your older (9,5) brother? See, he killed his wife. Now you are avenged by him upon all the transgressors against you.” Their heart was very sore (9,6) for him, and Pre-Harakhty said to Khnum, {the potter god and the creator god} “Now make a wife for Bata that he not live (9,7) alone.” AND THEN Khnum made for him a companion. She was more beautiful of body than any woman in (9,8) the whole land, the fluid of every god being in her. AND THEN the Seven Hathors {Goddeses of fate} came <to> see her, and they spoke as one, (9,9) “She will die of a knife.” AND THEN he desired her very very much, and she sat in his house while he spent the day (10,1) hunting small animals in the hills and bringing (them) <to> lay before her. And he said to her, “Do not go out lest the sea (10,2) seize you because I will not be able to save you from it because I am a woman like you. Further my heart is placed on the top of the (10,3) flower of the pine. When another finds it, I will fight with him.” AND THEN he reported his heart to her in its entirety.

(10,4) NOW MANY DAYS AFTER THAT when Bata went out to hunt as customary, (10,5) the young woman went forth to stroll under the pine beside her house. She saw the sea (10,6) surge up after her, and she rose up to run before it, and she entered her house. AND THEN (10,7) the sea called to the pine saying, “Catch her for me.” And the pine brought one plait of her hair. AND THEN (10,8) the sea brought it to Egypt, and he put it in the place of the washermen of the pharaoh. AND THEN the odor (10,9) of the plait of hair happened into the clothing of the pharaoh, and the king fought with the washermen of the house, (10,10) saying, “The odor of tallow is in the clothes of the pharaoh.” And the <king> became quarrelsome with them daily, and (11,1) they did not know what to do. And the head washerman of the pharaoh went to the bank, his heart being very pained (11,2) after the quarrelling with him daily. AND THEN he determined for himself he was standing on the land opposite the plait of hair (11,3) which was in the water, and (he) had one go down, and it was brought to him. And an extremely sweet odor was found, and he took it to the pharaoh.

(11,4) AND THEN the scribes-who-knew-things of the king were brought, AND THEN they said to the pharaoh, “As for the plait of hair, (11,5) it belongs to a daughter of Pre-Harakhty with the fluid of all the gods in her. Now it is a greeting of another land. Cause messengers (11,6) to go to every land to seek her, As for the messenger who is for the Valley of the Pine, have many people go with him (11,7) to bring her.” Then his majesty said, “What you have said is very good.” And they were caused to hurry.

NOW MANY DAYS (11,8) AFTER THIS, the people who went to the foreign land came to tell report(s) to his majesty while (11,9) the ones who went to the Valley of the Pine did not come because Bata killed them. And he left one of them to report to his majesty. (11,10) AND THEN his majesty had people, many bowmen, go, likewise chariotry, to bring her back, and (12,1) a woman was with them, and every beautiful ornament was put in her hand. AND THEN the (young) woman came to Egypt with her, (12,2) and there was shouting for her in the whole land. AND THEN his majesty loved her very much (12,3) and he appointed her to (the position of) Great Noble Lady. AND THEN he spoke with her to make her tell the manner of her (12,4) husband, and she spoke to his majesty, “Have the pine cut and have it destroyed.” And the people were (12,5) made to go, carrying their weapons to cut the tree, and (12,6) they reached the pine, and they cut the blossom upon which was the heart of Bata. (12,7) And he fell dead in the evil hour.

NOW AFTER THE LAND WAS LIGHT AND A SECOND DAY BEGAN, when (12,8) the pine was cut, Anubis, the older brother of Bata, entered his house, and (12,9) he sat to wash his hands, and he was given a jug of beer, and it foamed, (12,10) and he was given another of wine, and it made an offensive smell. AND THEN he took his (13,1) staff and his sandals, likewise his clothes and his weapons of combat, and he rose up to make an expedition (13,2) to the Valley of the Pine, and he entered the mansion of his young brother. And he found his young brother lying (13,3) dead upon his bed, and he wept when he saw his young brother lying in death. And he went (13,4) to seek the heart of his young brother under the pine under which his young brother lay in the evening. (13,5) And he spent three years seeking it without finding it. When he began the fourth year, his heart wished to go to Egypt, (13,6) and he said, “I go tomorrow.” Thus he said in his heart.

NOW AFTER THE LAND WAS BRIGHT AND ANOTHER DAY BEGAN, he began and (13,7) went under the pine and he spent the day seeking it again, and he returned in the evening, and he spent time to seek it again. (13,8) And he found a bunch of grapes, and he returned carrying it, and there was the heart of his young brother. And he brought (13,9) a bowl of cool water and he put it in it, and he sat as was his custom.

NOW WHEN EVENING CAME, (14,1) his heart swallowed the water, and Bata trembled in every limb, and he began to look at his older brother, (14,2) his heart being in the bowl. And Anubis, his older brother, took the bowl of cool water with the heart (14,3) of his young brother in it, and he caused him to drink it, and his heart stood in its place, and he became like he had been. AND THEN one (14,4) embraced the other, and one spoke with his companion. AND THEN Bata spoke to his (14,5) older brother, “See, I will become a great bull with every beautiful color and none knows his nature, (14,6) and you will sit on my back.

By the time the sun rises, we will be in the place where my wife is in order that I avenge myself. (14,7) And you will take me to where the king is because he will do for you every good thing. (14,8) Then he will raise you with silver and gold for you brought me to the pharaoh because I shall be a great marvel and I will be (14,9) praised in the whole land and you will go to your village.

NOW WHEN THE LAND WAS LIGHT AND (15,1) ANOTHER DAY BEGAN, and Bata became in the form which he told his older brother. AND THEN Anubis, his older brother, sat on his back. (15,2) At dawn he reached where the king was, and his majesty was made (15,3) to know of him, and he saw him and he became very joyful because of him. And he made for him (15,4) great offerings, saying, “A great miracle has happened.” And there was rejoicing because of him in the whole land. AND THEN (15,5) he was raised, rewarded with silver and gold for his older brother, and he lived in his town. And the king gave to him many (15,6) people and many things, and the pharaoh loved him very much, more than any people in the whole land.

(15,7) NOW   MANY   DAYS   AFTER   THIS, he {the Bata-bull} entered the kitchen, and he stood where the (15,8) noble lady was and he began to speak with her, saying, “See, I am alive again.” And she (15,9) said to him, “Who then are you?” And he said to her, “I am Bata. I noticed when you (15,10) had one destroy the pine for the pharaoh on account of me that I not live. See, (16,1) I have been made alive again. I am a bull.” AND THEN the noble lady was very afraid of the word (16,2) her husband told to her. AND THEN he went out from the kitchen.

And his majesty sat and made a feast day with (16,3) her and she poured for his majesty and the king was very happy with her. AND THEN she said to his majesty, “Come, swear an oath by the god, saying, ‘As for what 1{the noblewoman, the king’s wife (who is Bata’s wife)} (16,4) say, I will hear it because of her.'” And he heard all which she said. “Allow me to eat from the liver of the bull (16,5) because he will not do anything.” Thus she said to him. And he suffered very much because of what she said, and the heart of the king (16,6) was very very ill.

NOW WHEN THE LAND WAS LIGHT AND A SECOND DAY BECAME, the king invoked a great offering in (16,7) the offering of the bull. The king had one of the head royal butlers of his majesty go to make ready the bull. When (16,8) he had been slaughtered, when he was upon the shoulder of the people, he quivered in his neck (16,9) and he made fall two drops of blood beside the two door posts of his majesty, the one happening on the one side of (16,10) the great door and the other upon the other side. And they grew into (17,1) two great persea trees, each one being outstanding. AND THEN one went to tell his majesty, “Two great perseas (17,2) are grown as a great marvel for his majesty in the night beside the great portal of his majesty.” And there was shouting (17,3) because of them in the whole land, and the king made offerings to them.

NOW MANY DAYS AFTER THIS, his majesty (17,4) appeared in the window of lapis lazuli, a wreath of every flower at his neck, and he was upon a chariot of fine gold, and (17,5) he went forth from the royal house to see the perseas. AND THEN the noble lady went forth upon a team after the pharaoh. (17,6) And then his majesty sat under one of the perseas <and the noblewoman under the other persea. AND THEN Bata> spoke with his wife, “Ha, traitor, I (17,7) am Bata. I am living despite you. I noticed that one <was caused> to cut the pine for the pharaoh, (17,8) <it was> because of me, and I became a bull. And you caused me to be killed.”

NOW MANY DAYS AFTER (17,9) THIS, the noblewoman stood to pour for his majesty, he being happy with her, and she said to his majesty, (17,10) “Make an oath to me by the god, saying, ‘As for what the noblewoman says to me, I will hear it for her,’ you shall say.” And he heard (18,1) all which she said, and she said, “Have the two perseas cut and have one make them into beautiful furniture.” (18,2) AND THEN all that she said was heard.

AND NOW AFTER A SMALL MOMENT, his majesty (18,3) had skilled craftsmen go and the perseas of the pharaoh were cut (while) the royal wife, the noblewoman, (18,4) watched it. AND THEN a splinter flew and it entered the mouth of the noblewoman. AND THEN (18,5) she swallowed it, and she became pregnant. IN THE COMPLETION OF A SHORT WHILE, the king had made (18,6) all that she desired from them.

NOW MANY DAYS AFTER THIS, she (18,7) gave birth to a son, and one sent to say to his majesty, “A son (18,8) has been born for you.” And he{the infant son, Bata, of course} was brought and he was given a nmw-nurse and ẖmnw-nurses, {these two special types of nurses are the subject of discussion in chapter 6} and there was (18,9) rejoicing for him in the whole land. And the king sat and made a feast, (18,10) and he {the son} began to be caressed, and his majesty loved him very very much from the hour. And the king appointed him (19,1) Royal Son of Kush, {an administrative title in the New Kingdom which does not imply royalty in any way} Now many days after this, his majesty made him (19,2) as iry-p‘t {an ancient title which, in the time of the New Kingdom, was reserved solely for the crown prince} of the whole land.

NOW MANY DAYS AFTER THIS, when he completed many (19,3) years as iryp‘ t in the whole land, then his majesty flew to heaven, {a euphemism for dying} AND THEN the king {Bata} (19,4) said, “Have brought to me my great officers of his majesty so I can make known all (19,5) the past affairs with me.” AND THEN his wife was brought and he judged her before them and a “yes” was made from them, (19,6) and his older brother was brought to him and he made him iry-p^t in the whole land. And he was thirty years as king of Egypt, (19,7) and he went out to life, and his older brother stood in his place on the day of his death.