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The Story of Sinuhe (c. 1960 B.C.) and the Stela of Khu-Sebek from Abydos (c. 1880 B.C.) reflect a complex world of war, diplomacy, and mercenary engagements between Egypt and Syria-Palestine. The Story of Sinuhe takes place against a backdrop of endemic warfare. Sinuhe, an official in the army of the dauphin Sen-Usert (r. c. 1971–1928 B.C.), goes into exile on the accession of his boss. Among the Asiatics, he becomes a mercenary general and fights a “duel of champions” with a rival Asiatic ruler.
An emissary arrives from Egypt and recalls Sinuhe, who dies in honor at home. The Stela of Khu-Sebek records the career of a fighter/commander. Noteworthy is Khu-Sebek’s advancement and enrichment. Khu-Sebek’s activities were against the Nubians to the south, as well as the Asiatics to the north. The stela implies a military failure on the part of the pharaoh in Asia.
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