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Anonymous masterpiece
Professor Richard Parkinson has worked with actress and writer Barbara Ewing to record a dramatic reading of one of the finest works of Egyptian poetry, The Tale of Sinuhe.

Composed around 1850 BC, Sinuhe is the supreme masterpiece of ancient Egyptian poetry. The poem is a fictional official’s autobiography, supposedly carved on the walls of his tomb, and his story forms a passionate probing of his culture’s ideals and anxieties. In a moment of panic Sinuhe flees Egypt at this death of his king. His adventures bring wealth and power, but his failure to find a meaningful life abroad is only redeemed by the new king’s mercy, and he finally returns home to be buried.

Listen to the full poem below: