Edouard Naville letter to Eugène Revillout

Edouard Naville about the Pithom Stela

Malagny, 23 October 1883

My dear Colleague,

I thank you very much for the samples that you were kind enough to send me, for your nice work on coins, and, since you don’t have them anymore, I hurry to, once again, send you the lines of the Pithom stela which concern taxes.
I hope that this letter will still reach you in time.


Line 26. – The account of all taxes which HM (His Majesty) has given as revenues to the temples of both parts of Egypt as yearly income, instead of (?) gold, His Majesty has donated 150.000 Argentei(1).

The account of all taxes which H.M. has given as revenues to Pikeheret(2), taxes due by the houses of the city and taxes due by the inhabitants (here begins Line 27) as income for each year, 950 Argentei.

His Majesty has given them in the first festival(3) to his father Tum, of whom are born all of his limbs, and who gave him life,

(end of first page)

(footnote on first page) (1) h-01 is the same as h-02 which is in Rosetta (new chrestomathy(4)).

Demotic h-03 translated h-04 the temples of Egypt h-05

h-06 company ? plus ? in parallel h-07

(Beginning of second page) while it was provided for his needs, by the hands of Isis and Nephthys; and on the thirtieth day of the month of Athyr(5)).

Year 21 of the month of Choaick(6) under the reign of H.M., the account of all taxes that H.M. has given as income to the temples of Upper and Lower Egypt, taxes due by the houses of Egypt 90.000 weights of silver, taxes dues by the inhabitants as tax of each year 690.000 Argentei.

The revenues have been inscribed on this stela before his father Tum etc….

I have been interrupted in my work this summer by some health spa visits, which have kept me busy me for a long time. I will now finish my memoires on the Pithom excavations, in which the Philadelphe stela will be fully published, at least the parts I could read because the middle part is very difficult to read. Fortunately, the last lines can be perfectly read.

Please accept, dear colleague, the assurance of my best regardsEdouard Naville autograph






  1. The argenteus was a silver coin produced by the Roman Empire from the time of Diocletian’s coinage reform in AD 294 to ca. AD 310.
  2. See also here
  3. Should be the first Sed Feast, which would fall on the birthday of the king before year 21
  4. French : Chrestomathie – English : Chrestomathy -(/krɛsˈtɒməθi/ kres-tom-ə-thee; from the Greek words χρήση, χρήστης, usage, user, and mathein, to learn) is a collection of choice literary passages, used especially as an aid in learning a subject…
  5. Athyr is the month going from September 17 to October 16, of the season of Akhet
  6. Choiac or Khoiac month, from October 17 to November 15

With thanks to Raymond Betz, Nicky van de Beek and Huub Pragt for their help on translating the original French text and locating the publications regarding the Pithom Stele.