Neni Writes a Letter



Neni starts writing the main part of his letter, writing in horizontal lines from right to left, starting just to the left of the salutation.

Scribes were taught a set format for letters.  Although they could choose to write in cloumns or lines, and most contemporaries of Neni wrote in lines, the parts of a letter were generally constant.  The section after the salutation, consisted of formal greetings in which the recipient is assured that all is well, that this is a sign of the favour of a god or of Pharaoh, and assuring him of the writer's good wishes.

Vocabulary

There isn't much new vocabulary for this phrase.
s.wDA-ib message, communication, or information - In Egyptian, this is a rather complex word, based on the verb  wDA "to be prosperous."  Followed by the word  ib "heart" it means "to be happy" (literally "properous of heart").  One way of creating a "causative" form (expressing the idea of making something happen) was to add an s to the beginning of a verb.  So as a verb, this would mean "to make [someone] happy."  Since this is a noun (see the grammar section) it literally means "something that causes happiness."  So remember, if you are talking to an ancient Egyptian, that his basic purpose is not to impart facts but to make you feel good.
nb=i my lord - This was a term used to address any superior.  As written here it is a little ambiguous - the seated man sign could be either a determinative, or it could be the first person pronoun suffix.

Grammar
There isn't really any new grammar here.

The greeting section always starts with this phrase, which means:
This is a message to my Lord, l.p.h.


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bAk = servant n  =  of;  to;  for pr Dt  =  estate nni  =  Neni (man's name) Dd  =  say n  =  to; of; for imy-r pr  =  steward ii-ib  =  Iyib (man's name) anx wdA snb  =  Life, prosperity, health! s-wdDA-ib = letter; communication pw = it is; this is n = to; for; of nb-i = my lord anx wDA snb = Life, prosperity, health!