(Anonymous: about 1400 B.C.)
The manuscript of this story was found during the Nineteenth Century in the tomb of a Coptic monk. Nothing is known of the author, but it is assumed that he lived not long after the time of the probable origin of the Egyptian short story. Setna and the Magic Book is one of those wonder tales that have from time immemorial evoked the admiration of the world, and particularly of the Orientals. Whether or not the Egyptians actually believed all they were told in a fairy tale is an idle conjecture: but it seems probable that the strange happenings described in this story were accepted by many. Even the present age of science has not entirely banished a belief in magic: some of the finest of modern tales are based upon an ineradicable belief in the supernal oral.
The translation here used is that by William Flinders Petrie in l(y yjOinn Tales, Vol. 2, published in 1895 by Methuen and Co., by whose permission it is here reprinted. The original ma