Djedi

Djedi was a fictional character who played an important part in the stories recorded on the Papyrus Westcar.

The Papyrus Westcar tells of several stories, all being told at the court of Kheops by one of his sons. Contrary to the stories told by his brothers, however, Hordjedef tells of a magician named Djedi who, despite his 110 years, is still alive. All preceding stories centre around a magician who lived at the court of Kheops’s predecessors.

Despite his age, Djedi seems to have had an enormous appetite: he was said to eat 500 loafs of bread and the side of an ox, every day and to drink 100 jugs of beer.

His magic consisted of being able to reattach a severed head, thus bringing back to life the victim, but when Kheops orders a prisoner to be beheaded so Djedi could show this, the wise magician refuses and demonstrates this ability on a goose instead.
He also mastered wild animals and was able to make a lion walk behind him, without needing a leash.
But Kheops was most interested in the magician’s knowledge, more specifically, his knowledge of the number of secret rooms in the sanctuary of Thot, because the king wanted to build something similar for his tomb. Unfortunately for Kheops -and for us, the readers-, Djedi does not reveal this number, but he knows the location of a box which contains the information.
When Kheops asks to bring this box, Djedi again declines and says that the box will be brought by the eldest of a triplet about to be born of a woman named Reddjedet.

Djedi is assigned by the king to Hordjedef’s household, where he is to get a thousand loaves of bread, a hundred jugs of beer, one bull and a hundred bundles of vegetables.


© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017