10 Lessons That Ancient Egyptian Wisdom Taught Its Young Men

Work, pass on your genes, then die. The formula for civilized man is simple. The things to do in between are the confusing parts. How should you behave? When should you marry and have kids? What should you do when your boss is angry? Are your friends bad for you?

The load has always been particularly heavy on the middle class man, mostly because what is required for him to be successful and socially respectable forces him to conquer his inherent pride. This may seem impossible, but as far back as New Kingdom Ancient Egypt (1550-1070 BC), the task had already been broken down into easily digestible memes, ready for sharing with one’s social equals.

The Instruction of Any is a father’s advice to his son. It was intended to teach average young men the habits that would ensure their success in a stratified society. What’s unique about this instructional text is that the audience is free to be critical of these habits. However, more than 3000 years later I can’t pretend that they aren’t still effective.

1. Marry young

Take a wife while you’re young, That she make a son for you; She should bare for you while you’re youthful, It is proper to make people. Happy the man whose people are many, He is saluted on account of his progeny.

We can’t all be pyramid building ubermensch, but we do all have the natural capacity to triumph over our own mortality.

2. Repeat proper observances

Observe the feast of your god, And repeat its season, God is angry if it is neglected.

Whether you believe in Osiris, Jesus or Superman — you do have an option to exercise some sort of control over the many things that seem beyond your influence. Follow the behaviour pattern, try to imitate your supernatural ideal, and you will avoid a life of chaos.

3. Avoid women of disrepute

Beware of a woman who is a stranger, One not known in her town; Don’t stare at her when she goes by, Do not know her carnally. A deep water whose course is unknown, Such is a woman away from her husband. “I am pretty,” she tells you daily,” When she has no witnesses; She is ready to ensnare you, A great deadly crime when it is heard.

The nature of this woman was elucidated millennia before her profile picture matched with you on Tinder. That’s millions of men who have had their egos inflated to stupidity by the same feminine archetype — an undignified level of responsiveness.

4. Don’t argue

In a quarrel do not speak, Your silence will serve you well.

Has a person ever thanked you for correcting them because they enjoyed that learning experience and admire the scale of your knowledge? People don’t want you to surprise them, and certainly do not want you to make them feel ignorant.

5. Do not take to drink

Don’t indulge in drinking beer, Lest you utter evil speech And don’t know what you’re saying.

That cool calming throat lotion was an essential form of nutrition for the average Egyptian slave. There is no need for you to debase yourself any further than middle class.

6. Use friendship as an opportunity to improve your character

Keep away from a hostile man, Do not let him be your comrade; Befriend one who is straight and true, One whose actions you have seen. If your rightness matches his, The friendship will be balanced.

The high-school friend who told you about that time he stabbed a guy in the head with a ballpoint pen may have entertained you, but it was your Nietzsche-quoting-ROKreading gym friend who improved you.

7. Save selfishly

Let your hand preserve what is in your house, Wealth accrues to him who guards it; Let your hand not scatter it to strangers, Lest it turn to loss for you. If wealth is placed where it bears interest, It comes back to you redoubled; Make a storehouse for your own wealth, Your people will find it on your way.

Poverty in the developing world is always blamed on the “selfish middle class man”. Indeed selfishness is not a characteristic of the poor, who are unwise with their money.

8. Work the soil

Learn about the way of a man Who undertakes to found his household. Make a garden, enclose a patch, In addition to your plowland; Set out trees within it, As shelter about your house. Fill your hand with all the flowers That your eye can see; One has need of all of them, It is good fortune not to lose them.

Ancient near-eastern literature has a common tradition of idealizing man as a gardener or caretaker of the natural world. There may be some value in this hobby that would be worth indulging in.

9. Stay away from the herd

Do not enter a crowd, If you find it in an uproar, And about to come to blows. Don’t pass anywhere near by, Keep away from their tumult, Lest you be brought before the court, When an inquiry is made.

Much like the reason joining a gang doesn’t appeal to the thinking man, if a group of people can reduce the idea motivating their behaviour to a colour, item of clothing or slogan; it’s probably a poorly conceived, error riddled idea.

10. Charm your superiors

Do not talk back to an angry superior, Let him have his way; Speak sweetly when he speaks sourly, It’s the remedy that clams the heart. Fighting answers carry sticks, And your strength collapses; Do not vex your heart. He will return to praise you soon, When his hour of rage has passed.

The ancient Egyptian couldn’t lose his job or be promoted but you can. Common sense should dictate that you control your temper and quietly climb the ladder.


Any’s instructions are easier to keep in mind than they are to habituate. That’s because they were not intended to flatter. Common people share common experiences regardless of which country or period of human history they live in. His intention, I imagine, was to alleviate the burden of middle class existence on those capable of learning.

Read the Instruction of Any in Lichtheim, M 1976. Ancient Egyptian Literature Volume 2: The New Kingdom. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Read More: The Ancient Egyptian Story That Planted The Seed Of “Social Justice”

92 thoughts on “10 Lessons That Ancient Egyptian Wisdom Taught Its Young Men”

  1. Funny how everyone who wears the shirt “this is what a feminist looks like” looks exactly how I picture a feminist looking like.

    1. Almost like they need a sign on their back that says, “please kick me”.

      1. Wait wait wait that isn’t what “this is what a feminist looks like” means? I always thought it was a double entendre.

    2. Does anyone print t-shirts
      “This is what a misogynist looks like”
      “This is what a white supremacist looks like”

    3. >>> The Truth about Feminism – The people behind the Movement and Ideology >>>
      Feminism is a Fraud – The pathetic Hoax about the jewish feminist women exposed:
      Here you have 116 Women and their Names who were the Creators and Leaders of Feminism.
      All Founders were ethnic Jews. Really ALL!
      Jewish Media admits Feminism is a jewish Movement:
      “My youthful assumption that there was something Jewish about feminism seemed to be validated by the disproportionate representation of Jewish women among the pioneers and leaders of the modern American women’s movement.
      It’s almost overwhelming to consider the numerous Jewish women who have shaped every aspect of the women’s movement and of American life: from Betty Friedan, who sparked Second Wave feminism (the resurgence of feminist activism beginning in the 1960s) with the 1963 publication of The Feminine Mystique and the founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966, to Judy Chicago, who created art centered on women’s experiences in The Dinner Party; from Alix Kates Shulman and Anne Roiphe, who published the first novels of the women’s liberation movement, to Andrea Dworkin and Susan Brownmiller, who protested pornography and violence against women; from Robin Morgan and Shulamith Firestone, who organized women’s “consciousness-raising” groups and published early feminist theory, to Barbara Seaman and Alice Wolfson, who protested the dangers of the birth control pill in Senate hearings in 1970; from Gloria Steinem and Letty Cottin Pogrebin who founded Ms. magazine, to Carol Gilligan and Phyllis Chesler, who exposed gender bias in psychology; from Bella Abzug, who brought feminist politics to Congress, to Gerda Lerner, who created and institutionalized the field of women’s history. The list goes on and on.”

    4. Well all of these fags, freaks and whatever like to think their “rebels” because their bucking the “patriarchy” but in reality the are the most unoriginal sheeple there ever was.
      Not an original thought or substantive achievement besides being a parrot and an obese sloth..

  2. Amazing that, 3000 years later, many of us keep making the same mistakes.

    1. Technology might change, but human nature has and will always remain the same

      1. was listening to lectures on CD from the Great Courses company. The prof ( Rufus Frears?) said “as long as people don’t change history won’t change”. Don’t know if that was his quote but how true is that??

        1. Don’t forget, “those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it”.
          Which is why Lefties and Socialists/Communists always want the parts of history which they don’t like or disagree with, to be ‘edited’, erased/forgotten, or banned. Stalin was a master at it.

    2. “Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
      Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
      Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
      Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
      Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
      Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
      Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”
      ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

      1. “Six mistakes womankind keeps making century after century:
        1. Assuming females are equal to MEN;
        2. Pretending they don’t need/want/fantasize/enjoy SEX as much as MEN;
        3. Not accepting Superiority of MASCULINITY;
        4. Always being ungrateful to MEN;
        5. Living like Parasites & Leeching out MEN’s hard
        6. Shamelessly demanding entitlement and respect; just because of their gender.”
        ― Common MAN.

        1. Those are definitely not the traits one wants in a lover.
          Sharing basic sensibilities and responsibilities; it just feels good to be with someone who can take the wheel; someone who’s also witty, fun to fuck and makes you laugh…that’s relationship gold.
          I believe there are many lovely, hard-working, witty women out there just perfect for Ravi Macho; don’t mistake those other bitches for all bitches….(no, no, no…that’s not how I meant to
          end that sentence…)

        2. As I overheard my mother telling my aunt one time (I believe it was at husband number 5 or 6), “Just because every man you’ve married was an a$$hole doesn’t mean all men are.” Before it was over she’d picked eight different a$$holes, lol! My parents had been married 57 years when my dad passed away. Picking the right partner sure makes a difference.

        3. I would think that it had nothing to do with her picking the wrong partners but rather all those men picking the wrong partner.

        4. Well my mother’s theory was because my aunt believed all men were a$$holes she always picked an a$$hole to marry. Since my mom knew her a whole lot better than I did, she may have been on to something. It was like my aunt had some kind of hardcore confirmation bias. She even went through a couple of other marriages and then remarried one of her exs already knowing what he was like and ended up divorcing him again! So blood kin or not, the common denominator in those eight marriages /divorces was my aunt. Purely a coincidence I am sure…

  3. How do you say “fuck bitches and make money ” in ancient Egyptian?

    1. I think it is 3 eyes and a guy doing the Steve Martin dance

      1. It would take a while to spell that out with a chisel on a rock.

  4. The “10 lessons” thing is getting old.
    10 Things We Learned From Bisexual Pygmy Warlocks

    1. Now that is a provocative title. It intrigues me greatly. Please post it ASAP.

  5. Its incredible how the ancients have been saying the exact things about women, all the proverbs from Ancient Africa, Asia, Native Americans and Europe have been saying the exact same things about women…the wording might be different but the message is the same…Apply the principles or you get what you deserve

    1. It’s also amazing how history repeats itself. It seems like the cycle goes this way. Strong men build a society. The society prospers. That prosperity creates extra leisure time which is when degeneracy starts. The society collapses and/or gets conquered.

      1. Leisure time, comfort, abundance, relative safety, etc allows a society time to ponder degenerate questions—equality, feminism, liberalism. Such things can rarely exist when day to day survival is in doubt

  6. Great article Narmer, the Ancients had an abundance of wisdom that one can always incorporate in his own philosophy

  7. One can learn much from reading the Ancients. Even though we live with all this automation and technology these days the human condition is still about the same. If you have not read the Ancients I highly encourage you to do so. In my 20’s I spent several years making a concerted effort to do so and am now a much better man because of it. Your time will not be wasted.

  8. Can’t find much in this instance that the ancient Egyptians said that I disagree with.
    1. If you’re going to marry and have kids do it while you are young enough to keep up with and able to relate to them.
    2. Don’t be a heathen.
    3. You can’t turn a ho into a housewife.
    4.nobody likes a smartass or a know-it-all.
    5. Drink responsibly.
    6. Don’t hang out with knuckleheads or dudes with bad attitudes because that stuff rubs off on you after a while.
    7. Saving something is the only way you will have something.
    8. If you have sense enough to grow something you have sense enough to look after yourself and family.
    9. Crowds are panicky, stupid and deaf.
    10. I don’t know about 10, sometimes you gotta stand up for yourself and tell the boss to go fuck himself.

    1. 1. Women should have children while young — not only because the children will likely be mentally and psychologically healthy, but also because the wife and husband will be young enough to have the energy to keep up with the children and raise them responsibly (which is just as important — if not more — then bearing them).
      7. Before you pay your debts, pay yourself — save at least 10% of every paycheck and keep it where it is best out of mind.
      9. A mob is an entity with many voices and no brains.

      1. Saving is for mugs,
        It was good advice in the past when you could get 10%, but bad advice today when you might get 0.5%

        1. Putting money in a bank is for mugs.
          If you want to make money you invest and speculate, you don’t just stick it in an account where it’s “safe.” No one ever made money “playing it safe”…

        2. Aussie banks were paying 12% just over 2 years back. No risk at all.

        3. again….bank saving accounts are not for making money.
          stop pretending you know anything about investing, its clear you dont

        4. The only people making money these days are the Jews running the financial services.

        5. Any spare money I have is invested in dried food and ammo buried in the ground at my bug out place. It won’t be any good in a Jew bank when the Zombie apocalypse starts.

        6. 12% return on an investment is a joke. But I guess it is good money for plebs…

        7. 12% ????
          I know is very high in australia was about 6% when usa was zero.
          I opened a CD(certificate of deposit) 5 years at about 5% in NYC.
          The bank manager laughed at me, said there is no way rates will stay that low…
          3 months later 2008 crises started…

  9. Many of these ancient civilizations lasted for THOUSANDS of years. And for good reason. Upholding masculinity. Upholding femininity. Upholding a sense of hierarchy where you have to earn your spot.
    Modern degenerate culture (anti-masculine, anti-feminine, culturally marxist) has wrecked America and Europe in a few short decades. What a disgrace.

    1. We have better and faster communication systems now — unfortunately, they have been taken over by corrupt and destructive forces, which uses them to push their corrupt and destructive agenda.

  10. 1 – Would work but only if divorce is forbidden in all but the worst situations, AND polygamy is allowed so you can get young wives as you age.
    2 – I can see the benefit of that. Helps give a sense of purpose.
    3 – probably good advice. But for me, that ship sailed a very long time ago.
    5 – Yeah, good luck with that!
    7 – Agree, and I follow that rule. Except where it involves 3 and 5.
    9 – Never a problem for me. I was cast out of the herd at a very early age.
    10 – Yup. Catch more flies with honey. Until it becomes unbearable.
    Then get the hell out.

  11. If there are two things men just LOVE to invent and force upon their fellow humans it is laws and religions. I would classify most men today as Confucianists, i.e. “If we just pass a few more hundred or thousands of laws we will have a more perfect society.”
    Personally I fall in the Buddhist camp as far as perception of reality goes, i.e. “Life is little more than pain and suffering.”
    But what we should all truly strive for is The Tao. When you taste the vinegar; what is your response???

    1. Confucianism also follows the Dao, as there would be less need for specific laws if “the father is father, the son is the son, and the prince is the prince.”
      The philosophy you seem to be criticizing is Legalism. This draconian way of government emerged a time of political chaos and had the function of restoring a culture of unity.
      The problem we have today is that the authorities intend to keep society chaotic forever so that they might rule it eternally–through law, not the Dao.

  12. [Brutal] Beware of a woman who is a stranger, ONE NOT KNOWN IN HER TOWN; Don’t stare at her when she goes by, Do not know her carnally. A deep water whose course is unknown, Such is a woman away from her husband. “I am pretty,” she tells you daily,” When she has no witnesses; She is ready to ensnare you, A great deadly crime when it is heard.

  13. About N°1, and like I said in a previous post, the problem is not marriage but finding the adequate marriage material. I have the following stance: marriage? yes, if I find the adequate material. Reproducing? hardly, the world is really fucked up to bring my sire into it.

    1. Not sure why people always say the world is too fucked up to bring children into it… we’re living in the absolute best times of the world’s history. The world used to be REALLY fucked up, but people still had children.

      1. Best of times?
        How do you figure, CJ?
        I would have rather lived during the Pax Romana.

        1. No music, no tv, and the hookers all gave you syphilis.
          People lived short and often brutal lives.
          Cut yourself and die of infection, sounds great.
          And what if you were one of the slaves?
          The top 1% probably had a good time, but you aren’t in that 1% now, so what makes you think you would have been then?

        2. Well…I’m in the top 7%, according to the US charts on income & net worth.
          That’s the 93rd percentile.
          I have to believe in the Roman Empire, that would have allowed me to purchase a young teenage slav girl to use as a sex slave.

        3. If you’re in the top 7% you can buy one of them now.
          Or join ISIS and get 20 free after you’re dead.
          Why work at all, with all those assets and cash.
          I’m in the bottom 1% and never do anything I don’t want to do.
          Life is good.

        4. “If you’re in the top 7% you can buy one of them now.”
          – Not here in the US. If I did, then its a-prison I’m a-goin’…
          “Why work at all, with all those assets and cash.”
          – To pay for high tier escorts. If I stopped working, I would run the table
          before I am 70. I’ll probably be dead long before 70, but even so, I have
          never been much of a “risk taker” when it comes to cash. I fret over money
          regardless of my assets.
          “I’m in the bottom 1% and never do anything I don’t want to do.
          Life is good.”
          – Then you have found a formula that I have yet to even devise.
          Good for you. But I have to say, if that is your picture in the avatar, you are attractive. Life is very good/easy for attractive people. You don’t need money when you are attractive. Especially a female.

        5. Where – AMPs, brothels, hotels, Airbnbs, you name it.
          How – Loads of internet sites for that. backpage is the crappiest, but its not bad for starters.
          $$$ – up to you. The low tier ones on backpage quote rates under $100. The ultra “VIP” ones will gladly rip you off for $1500/hr and even higher.
          Reasonable in NYC is $200/hr for AMPs, which will have decent Asian 7s and some 8s, 300/400 hour for brothels, which again will be mostly asians but will feature 8s and 9s, 400/hr for agencies who book for girls in hotel rooms (Americans, Russians, Euros, 8s, 9s and sometimes a young 10), and finally 500 – 800/hour for independents in hotels/apts who will be 9s+ and some 10s.
          The agencies are the best value, IMO. Many guys prefer the indies as they are less inclined to clock watch, and there are a few who I see and havebecome friend with, but in general these are the same girls who once worked for agencies and then simply jack up their rates because they now have to cover 100% of their expenses. So you end up paying 50-100% more for a the same girl you saw 2 years ago, only older. But she may be willing to hang out with you longer, go for drinks, party, etc…

        6. Thanks for info.
          So much money.. for me.
          Seems I cannot get 10s with charm, game or cash.

        7. Welcome.
          10s are very rare to begin with. So when you think about it, it makes sense that they would gravitate to professions where they can parlay their looks into cash. Many of the 9+s/10s work only part time as escorts. I have been with many who are also models and even a few struggling actresses.

        8. I think so too,
          I wonder if they meet their new alpha before or after “work”

        9. If you were put in the Roman Empire that doesn’t automatically make you rich. One of the reasons you are in the 7% is that you live in a free society.

        10. Infant mortality – down
          premature deaths – down
          std’s – all time low
          the internet exists
          no compulsory conscription
          there are currently no interstate conflicts (wars between 2 or more countries)
          petrol at an all time low
          What isn’t great about right now?

        11. So maybe it’s so great for you, but what if YOU are one of the slaves? What if you are the butt boy of a rich Roman?
          What if you got Cholera? Plague? Life isn’t like movies dude…

      2. That’s what I’m saying there has never been a perfect time to have children.

      3. Best of times? Sorry but I saw what America was like before the 80’s and it was awesome. The further back you go the more free and awesome it gets. To classify this as the best is an indictment of the mind control techniques known as Public Education and The Media.

        1. You didn’t live then, it wasn’t that great. Nostalgia isn’t reality.

        2. I agree. Bread baking is the best response. And it smells good the whole time it is baking. Time to get to breading.

      4. “(…) we’re living in the absolute best times of the world’s history.”
        Yeah, sure.

        1. We have plenty of food, health care, little risk of war death, free entertainment and plenty of leisure time. When was it ever better?

  14. Well, so much for this foolish notion of “moral progress.”

    1. What horse shit! No one could out-drink Jim Morrison and he was FAR from being queer. Actually before the temperance movement and prohibition mens testosterone was in the stratosphere compared to Today’s “man-child”…

  15. Hey daddy’s girl, maybe stop being a bitch loser and get yourself a GIRL FRIEND! XD

  16. Shakespeare’s Polonius talking to his son, Laertes, is even more valuable…if you haven’t read Hamlet since high school, you should at least watch the movie…

  17. I prefer the poetry of the KJV…

    As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed

    My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways. For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.

    He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

    Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. … Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

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