Angilbert (fl. ca. 840/50), On the Battle Which was Fought at Fontenoy

The Law of Christians is broken,
Blood by the hands of hell profusely shed like rain,
And the throat of Cerberus bellows songs of joy.

Angelbertus, Versus de Bella que fuit acta Fontaneto

Fracta est lex christianorum
Sanguinis proluvio, unde manus inferorum,
gaudet gula Cerberi.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Golden Rule in Ancient Egypt

THE OLDEST MENTION OF THE GOLDEN RULE is perhaps found in the Ancient Egyptian story about justice, the story called the Eloquent Peasant. It is a story about a peasant named Khun-Anup who trespasses upon the property of Rensi, son of Meru as a result of a trick by the harsh and unjust overseer of that property, Nemtynakht. Nemtynakht takes the property of Khun-anup in exchange for the innocent trespass. Khun-Anup then seeks justice from Rensi's judges, and then, the Pharaoh Amenemhat himself. The story itself revolves around nine various days of pleading for justice. Eventually, Khun-Anup receives his justice, as does the wicked caretaker, Nemtynakht.

The story is dated perhaps as early as 1875 B.C. As part of its discussions of justice, the Egyptian Ma'at, it contains a mention of the "Golden Rule," and so is the earliest mention of the principle of the Golden Rule in human literature.

In the translation of R. B. Parkinson:

Do for one who may do for you, that you may cause him thus to do.

jr n irr n = k. Act for him who acts for you
m sDm n bw nb r=f:
and don't listen to anyone who is against him!

See specifically the "Golden Rule" in the Eloquent Peasant.

See generally The Eloquent Peasant.

The Golden Rule by Norman Rockwell


  1. Nothing beats Egypt, sorry to religions :)

    Adam, Egypt.

  2. "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son." Hosea 11:1. One thing that beats Egypt, however marvelous the place and its history may be, is what came out of Egypt.