Dating and Historical Circumstances of the Admonitions of Ipuwer

Ilyin-Tomich A. A., Safronov Alexander V.

Despite the arguments put forward by J. van Seters in 1964, most scholars still date the events described in the Admonitions of Ipuwer to the First Intermediate Period. The present paper challenges this view and favours a date in the Second Intermediate Period. The authors undertake a refutation of the arguments advocating the earlier dating. A number of arguments are provided to show that this literary composition could not emerge prior to the Late Middle Kingdom (revising the arguments offered earlier by J. van Seters, S. Quirke, W. Grajetzki). The later date is indicated by the titles occurring in this text and the theophoric name of Ipuwer. It is further argued that the facts described in the Admonitions do not match the ecological situation of the First Intermediate Period. It is likely that the events described in the text happened some time after the prosperous reigns of Neferhotep I and Sebekhotep IV. The authors suppose that the text deals with the invasion of the Hyksos in the first half of 17th century BC, which caused deep political, economical, social and cultural changes.

Keywords: Admonitions of Ipuwer, the Second Intermediate Period, ancient Egyptian literature, Hyksos