The Instruction of Any, or Ani, is an Ancient Egyptian text written in the style of wisdom literature which is thought to have been composed in the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom, with a surviving manuscript dated from the Twenty-First or Twenty-Second Dynasty. Due to the amount of gaps and corruption it has been considered a difficult, and at times obscure, text to translate.
The text retains the traditional format of an older man giving advice to a younger man – as the scribe Any, who works in the court of Nefertari, advises his son. However the Instruction of Any is distinguished from earlier works, as its intended audience was the ordinary person rather than the aristocracy. The themes covered by the instructions include respect for religion, motherhood, honesty, restraint and the avoidance of relations with unfaithful women. Unlike other works of instruction, the endings of which tend towards acquiescence and gratitude for the wisdom imparted, this text contains an epilogue in which a son first responds to his father's maxims critically rather than compliantly. The father refutes the son's objections by force of argument.
The most substantial surviving manuscript is contained in the Papyrus Boulaq 4 held in the Cairo Museum, though only small fragments of the first pages remain. Fragments of the text are found in three other papyrus sections in the Musée Guimet, the Papyrus Chester Beatty V held in the British Museum, and in four ostraca from Deir el-Medina.