Paper #1 - 1 Meredith Huber Perm 8768764 Section Thursday...

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1 Meredith Huber Perm # 8768764 Section: Thursday 8am Ryan R. Abrecht 1/21/2010 The Instructions of Ptah-hotep Perhaps the most interesting part of history is man’s relationship with his community, his god (s) and himself. Therein lays a perpetual battle to perfect those relationships. We find both cultural and literary evidence of this even in the most primitive societies. The remainder of this essay will focus on the Instructions of Ptah- hotep, a text written as a moral code of conduct in early Egyptian society. While ancient Egypt was a strictly organized and hierarchal society based around Pharaonic power The Instructions of Ptah-hotep revealed the characteristics of a highly moral state in which wisdom, justice, truth, friendship and humility existed as the ideals to which all men, regardless of position, were to be held. In the Instructions, Ptah-hotep presented various situations in which his audience (originally his son) could possibly find himself. While he provided an answer to the proper code of conduct, Ptah-hotep illustrated man’s position and the inter-most workings of community and politics in Egyptian antiquity. The Instructions of Ptah-hotep are believed to have been written in the Egyptian Old Kingdom dating approximately to 2686-2181 BCE. The Old Kingdom is best known for its strength and unification under a central ruler, the pharaoh. During this period there was significant growth and prosperity in Egypt which led to expansive trade routes
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2 and cultural creativity in the areas of art, literature and education. The Instructions of Ptah-hotep
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