Document of Breathing made by Isis

This composition emphasises wish for the deceased to be able to breathe in the netherworld, and that the deceased is pure and sinless, the formula of which is inspired by Book of the Dead Spell 125. The copies could be dated to the 2nd century BC to the 1st Century AD. According to the instructions found, this document should be placed under the arm of the deceased.

Marc Coenen wrote his PhD thesis on the Document of Breathing made by Isis, which has remained unpublished. He has nevertheless published several important articles on the subject. The study of this composition will be continued in the framework of the project Beyond the Text. This undertaking can benefit from Marc Coenen’s archives. These have been entrusted to the project in 2021.

In charge

Sandrine Vuilleumier


Papyrus / Document of Breathing / Textuality / Iconography / Owners


Marc Coenen, « The so-called Denon Papyri », Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 81, 1995, p. 237–241.

Marc Coenen, « Books of Breathings: more than a Terminological Question? », Orientalia Lovaniensia Periodica 26, 1995, p. 29-38.

Marc Coenen, « La datation du papyrus Joseph Smith I », De Scriba 4, 1995, p. 35-47.

M. Coenen, Het Boek van het Ademen gemaakt door Isis. Een model van Egyptische teksttraditie, unpublished doctoral thesis, 4 vol., Leuven, 1997.

Marc Coenen, « An Introduction to the Document of Breathing made by Isis », Revue d’égyptologie 49, 1998, p. 37-45.

Marc Coenen, « The Dating of the Papyri Joseph Smith I, X and XI, and Min Who Massacres His Enemies », in Willy Clarysse, Antoon Schoors, Harco Willems (eds), Egyptian Religion: The Last Thousand Years. Studies Dedicated to the Memory of Jan Quaegebeur. Part II, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 85, Leuven: Peeters, 1998, p. 1103-1115.

Marc Coenen, « The Egyptian Funerary Papyri in the Bodleian Library », The Bodleian Library Record 16, 1999, p. 450-469.

Marc Coenen, « A Remarkable Judgement Scene in a Document of Breathing made by Isis: Papyrus Florence 3665 + 3666 and Papyrus Vienna 3850 », Orientalia 68, 1999, p. 98-103.

Marc Coenen, « The Greco-Roman Mortuary Papyri in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden », OMRO 79, 1999, p. 67-79.

Marc Coenen, « Horos, prophet of Min who massacres his enemies », Chronique d’Égypte 74 (148), 1999, p. 257-260.

Marc Coenen, « The Funerary Papyri of the Bodleian Library at Oxford », Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 86, 2000, p. 81-98.

Marc Coenen, « On the Demise of the Book of the Dead in Ptolemaic Thebes », Revue d’égyptologie 52, 2001, p. 69-84.

2003    Marc Coenen, « The Funerary Papyri of Horos son of Estneteretten in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna », Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 130, 2003, p. 160-169.

Marc Coenen, « The Documents of Breathing in the Royal Museum of Edingburgh », Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 32, 2004, p. 105-118.

Marc Coenen, « Owners of Documents of Breathing made by Isis », Chronique d’Égypte 79 (157-158), 2004, p. 59-72.

Marc Coenen, « The ownership and dating of certain Joseph Smith papyri », in Robert K. Ritner, The Joseph Smith Egyptian papyri: a complete edition. P. JS 1-4 and the hypocephalus of Sheshonq, Salt Lake City : Signature Books, 2013, p. 69-87.