Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    A 12th Dynasty papyrus with literary texts on both recto and verso, in similar hands: The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, and The Discourse of the Fowler (?). No other extensive copy of the verso text is known (although it may be the same as the Discourse of the Fowler on P. Moscow 1695), but the full copies of the Eloquent Peasant suggest that this must once have been a long roll. Both poems are (apparently) laments spoken by lowly members of society. The Fowler's laments concern the loss of the pastoral landscape, while the tale describes the theft of a peasant's donkeys, which becomes the subject of a grand theodic complaint. The tale is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Middle Kingdom literature.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 18.2 centimetres (frame)
    • Width: 76.5 centimetres (frame)
    • Width: 73 centimetres (modern piece)
    • Height: 14 centimetres (modern piece)
    • Width: 45 centimetres (sheet x+1)
    • Width: 27.7 centimetres (sheet x+2)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Script

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

        Middle Egyptian
      • Inscription Comment

        On recto: Tale of the Eloquent Peasant On verso: lines 9-47 of unparalleled text, the Discourse of the Fowler
  • Curator's comments

    Published: Parkinson, Tale of the Eloquent Peasant (Oxford 1991) and Parkinson, 'The Discourse of the Fowler; Papyrus Butler verso (P BM EA 10274). JEA 90 (2004), 81-112.
    Translation: Parkinson, The Tale of Sinuhe and other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940-1640 BC. (Oxford World's Classics 1999), 54-88.
    Parkinson, Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry (Wiley-Blackwell 2009), 122, 127 n. 28, 166, 231, 261.

    See Rde: 6, 34, 12See R. B. Parkinson,     The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant: A Reader’s Commentary (LIng Aeg Stud Mon 10; Hamburg 2012).


  • Bibliography

    • Trismegistos 381275 ( bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    Papyrus Survey: Condition Details: Papyrus Black ink Red ink Mount Details: Sandwich: glass Binding: self adhesive tape Object Priority: A Mount Priority: A Overall Condition: A Curatorial condition comment: fragmentary; top and bottom edges trimmed; surface more extensively damaged on verso, due to conservation in 1984 when remounted.

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Discourse of the Fowler
    • Associated Title: Tale of the Eloquent Peasant
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Lot 417 in 1835 sale.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


Papyrus with literary texts on recto and verso: the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, and the Discourse of the Fowler (?).

Front:Right Side

Papyrus with literary texts on recto and verso: the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, and the Discourse of the Fowler (?).

Image description



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Object reference number: YCA39398

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