Titles of Dignitaries that Appear in the Papyrus of Ani
There are many titled individuals listed on the Papyrus of Ani. Among them
Ani's title was "Ras Tsehafi," or "Head Scribe." Ras
is a common Ethiopian title. The "Ras" title was a popular title
of the Ethiopian rulers of ancient Gebts (the ancient name of Egypt). Even
in recent times, the Ras title was used by Haile Selassie as, "Ras
Tefari." The title Ras meant "emperor" and "Tefari"
means "one who is feared."
The Ras title is one of many titles that appear in the Papyrus of Ani.
ANI'S "RAS"/"CHIEF" TITLE
Above is the representation of An's name and title, read from right to
left, "Ras Tshafi Ani," or "Head Scribe Ani."
Ani was not the only person in the papyrus with the Ras title.
THE "RAS"/"EMPEROR" TITLE
Above we can see the way a "Ras" emperor was portrayed in ancient
Gebts art, regardless of who he was. The crown is the identifying feature
of a "Ras" emperor.
If Haile Selassie were alive in those days, he would not be drawn as he
actually looks, but would be portrayed in art exactly this same way. There
were many Rasi-titled emperors who attended Ani's funeral.
Below we see a Ras. But while Ani was a "chief" Ras (head of
his department), this is a "emperor" Ras. Here he is seen with
his two wives...
Notice that the emperor's title above is written in hieroglphs differently
from Ani's title as a chief. While Ani's title ends with the drawing of
a regular person, the emperor title is drawn with a very powerful person,
as seen here...
Various "Ras" emperors are shown in a visiting dignitary grid
on the Papyrus of Ani, along with hieroglyphs of the various cities they
rule. Here is a grouping of the many "Ras" emperors, listed on
the Papyrus of Ani dignitary grid, who attended Ani's funeral...
THE "ATSETI"/"EMPRESS" TITLE
Above we see the way an "Atseti" empress was portrayed in ancient
Gebts art. The "command" (n.) throne on the head is the identifying
feature of an "Atseti" empress. No matter who she is, she would
be portrayed this way in art. There were many Atseti-titled women who came
to pay their last respects at Ani's funeral.
Many of the "Ras" emperors were accompanied by their wife or
wives, the "Atseti" or "empress" would be his wife.
In the case that he has a second wife, this would be his "Emebet"
or "mother of the house," even though his Atseti could have children
with him, too.
Here is a hieroglyphic breakdown of the titles of his wife or first wife,
Above is the hieroglyphic representation ofthe "empress" title,
read from right to left. The "Atseti" title is a feminine form
of the masculine "Atse" title for an emperor. While the atse
title is still in use in Ethiopia, the feminine form is not commonly used
The "-ti" suffix is often used to create a feminine form of a
word in hieroglyphs. For example, "sew"/"man" in Amarigna
adds the "-t" suffix to make "set"/"woman".
In Tigrigna, "man" is "seb" while "woman"
has the added "-ti" suffix to make "sebeyti".
Here is a hieroglyphic breakdown of the "Atseti" title, showing
the "-ti" feminine suffix.
The "-ti" feminine suffix is actually a loaf of "dabo"
Ethiopian bread, seen here...
Source: My Kitchen My Way: Ethiopia
Various "Atseti" empresses are shown in the visiting dignitary
grid on the Papyrus of Ani, along with hieroglyphs of the various cities
they are visiting from. Here is a grouping of the many "Atseti"
empresses, listed on the Papyrus of Ani, who attended Ani's funeral...
THE "EMEBET"/"MOTHER OF THE HOUSE" TITLE
Above we see how the "Emebet" "Mother of the House"
was portrayed in ancient Gebts art. The "messob" basket on top
of the "bet" house is the identifying feature of an "Emebet"/"Mother
of the House". No matter who she was, she would be portrayed this
way in art. There were many Emebet-titled women at Ani's funeral.
As is still common in much of Africa today, men could have many wives,
especially the rich and powerful. At least one of the "Ras" emperors'
"Emembet"/"Mother of the House" accompanied her emperor
While the "Atseti"/"empress" title hieroglyph shows the "command" (n.) throne, showing she's the first wife of the Emperor, the "Emebet"/"Mother of the House" hieroglyph shows more of a domestic side to this titled wife.
The "Emebet"/"Mother of the House" title is shown in
hieroglyphs with the "messob"/"basket" on top of a
We gave a breakdown for the Ras title. Here is a hieroglyphic breakdown
of the title of second wife, "Emebet"/ "Mother of the House"...
Above is the representation ofthe "Emebet" title, a basket on
top of a house.
Here is a hieroglyphic breakdown of the "Emebet" title.
While the Emebet basket is used to carry groceries from the market as well
as to keep things in, best of all, it is used to eat from, as is seen here...
Source: Little Ethiopia: Great To Discover
With a woven base, the messob becomes a table...
Source: Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant, Boston, MA
Only one "Emebet"/"Mother of the House" is shown in
the grid on the Papyrus of Ani, along with hieroglyphs of the city she
is visiting from to attend Ani's funeral...
Other Titled Dignitaries
THE "HALAWI"/"PROTECTOR" TITLE
In Tigrigna, "halawi" (Tigrigna) means "protector." likely
a governor under an Emperor.
But in at the case of the third "Halawi" shown below from the
Papyrus of Ani dignitary grid, he may have been an Emperor or as powerful
as one. This is due to the fact that it appears his wife accompanied him
to Ani's funeral and her title is "Atseti."
Among the titled dignitaries attending Ani's funeral, shown in the Papyrus
of Ani visiting dignitary grid, were the following four"Harawi"
THE "RAEY"/"SEER" TITLE
The Amarigna and Tigrigna word "raey" means "vision/site".
In Ancient Gebts, the "Raey" was a prophet... a visionary...
a person who could see into the future. The "Raey" was likely
invaluable to rulers.
The Jewish tradition also continues the "Raey" title with the Jewish "Ro'eh" title. "Ro'eh can mean a seer or prophet; someone who sees the invisible, which
may be the present, past, future, invisible beings or kingdoms etc." (see "Unseen Universe")
According to JewishEncyclopedia.com under "Titles of Birth and Nobility" heading,"The prophet ('nabi') bore also the titles 'ro'eh' and 'hozeh'" = 'seer.'" (see JewishEncyclopedia: Jewish Titles)
At least one "Raey"/"Seer" attended Ani's funeral, shown above from the Papyrus of Ani dignitary grid.