Hardedef


Hardedef
Prince, Reign of *Cheops, c.2589-2566 BC.
    Prince Hardedef, son of *Cheops who built the Great Pyramid at Giza, was revered by later generations as a sage. The Instruction in Wisdom which is accredited to him is the earliest extant example of this genre of literature, and, unlike some of the later texts, he may indeed have been the actual author of the piece. Addressed to his son, Au-ib-re, the text advises the boy to build wisely for the future, and is preserved on later records including a wooden tablet and ostraca. It was also claimed that Hardedef discovered certain spells from the Book of the Dead written in letters of lapis lazuli in the Temple of Thoth at Hermopolis. He also occurrs in the Westcar Papyrus as one of the princes who provided diversions to entertain King *Cheops, in his case introducing the famous magician Djedi to the Court.
    Hardedef probably received a personal cult and was certainly esteemed by later generations; in the Middle Kingdom hymn, which was reputed to come from the tomb of King *Intef, the harpist sings that he has '.. .heard the sayings of *Imhotep and Hardedef with whose words men speak so often,' but he concludes that it is writings and books which endure far more successfully than the funerary monuments of even these wise and learned men.
    Hardedef's tomb has been discovered: at Giza, to the east of the tomb of Crown Prince Kawab (another son of *Cheops) and of the pyramid of *Cheops himself. The decorations in Hardedef's tomb-chapel show evidence of malicious damage and his name and inscriptions are barely legible. This destruction may have resulted from dissension in the royal family relating to the succession after *Cheops' death.
BIBL. AEL i. pp 58-9. Brunner-Traut, E. Eine Kalksteinscherbe mil dem Text einer Niluberschwemmung zur Zeit Ramses III. ZAS 76 (1940) pp 3-9, pl. I.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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