I. Egypt the Realm of the Gods.

“Spirits or gods that used to share this earth with man as with their friend.” —Coleridge

Past time is an indefinable perennity. We can nowhere find a place at which to erect a monument to signify that then the earth began existence, or even that human beings then began to live upon it. Indeed, such a thing would be like dating a period of birth for the Supreme Being. Without a creation we would not be able to conceive of a Creator, and without human souls endowed with intelligence it is not possible to imagine there is the Over-soul.

We need not be abashed at any discovery or demonstration of ancientness for peoples that have dwelt upon the earth. We may not think of this present period of history as being an oasis in the great desert of human existence, or that there was never another period equally prolific of attainment and achievement. Such is only the boast of a sciolist, a vagary as of one’s infancy. In our first years of life we are prone to consider everything as existing for our sake, but as we become more mature in intelligence, we learn that we ourselves are only individual elements in the infinite scheme. This Present, our own period of immediate accomplishment, is itself but a moment in the life of ages, a bubble floating on a shoreless ocean. We are not an isolated colony of human beings; there were multitudes in all the centuries that have already passed, and sages, seers and bards flourishing before our historic records were begun. They were our brothers, worthy to be our teachers, recipient of Divine influences, and skilled in knowledge and the arts.

Perhaps a discipline like theirs would make us partakers of the same enlightenment and gifted with similar illumination. What, indeed, if the Canon of Prophecy, sometimes affirmed to have been closed, should be found to be still open, and so the Past and Present to be at one? It may yet be successfully demonstrated that what has been handed down by tradition, and what has been declared by poets and sages respecting an archaic Golden Age was by no means fabulous or untrue.

The delineation is certainly far from seeming improbable. We can read the description which Hesiod has given with a feeling amounting to sentiment that it is a mirroring of fact. “The Immortals made a Golden Race of speaking men,” he declares. “They lived,” he goes on to say, “they lived as gods upon the earth, void of care and worry, apart from and without toilsome labors and trouble; and there was not a wretched old age impending over them. Always the same in strength of hands and feet, they delighted themselves with a festive life, beyond the reach of all calamities; and when they died it was as though they had been overcome by sleep. They are now good demons moving about the earth, the guardians of mortal men. Theirs is truly a kingly function.”

The poet then treats of a Silver Race, which is inferior to the others, growing up for a hundred years as children that are still under the care of their mothers. Their period upon earth he describes as having been comparatively short, but they had honor in later times as divine personages. A Brazen or Copper Race succeeded, flesh-eating and terrible, often engaged in conflict and perishing at the hands of one another. There were also the heroes or half-divine ones, the offspring of gods and human mothers. After them came our present Iron Age, in which mankind are shortlived, irreligious, disloyal to parents, addicted to war and fraudulent procedures, and in innumerable ways evil-minded and unfortunate. As described in the Older Edda: —

Brothers will fight together
And become each other’s bane;
Sisters’ children their sib shall spoil.
Hard is the world.
Sensual sins grow huge.
There are axe-ages, sword-ages,
Shields cleft in twain;
There are wind-ages, murder-ages,
Ere the world falls dead.

There has truly been much forgotten, even of the times which have been regarded as the period of the infancy of the world. “What we call the history of man,” says Dr. Knox, “is a mere delusion, a mere speck when compared with the prehistoric period.”1

In analogy to this has been the foretime of Egypt. Far back, very far back in this forgotten period of remote ancientness, Egypt had its beginning. No memory, no record, not even a monument has been found that might afford a solid foundation for anything beyond conjecture. Nevertheless, queer as it may sound, A. M. Sayce, the distinguished Orientalist, declares that although it be historically the oldest of countries, it is geologically the youngest.

We may, indeed, infer as much from Grecian tradition. There was a period when there was the populous country of Lyktonia, connecting Greece with Asia, while to the North there was a vast inland sea, including within its limits the Euxine, Kaspian and Azoff, with a large region beyond in every direction.2 Thessaly was then a lake enclosed by mountains. After this came volcanic eruptions and seismic convulsions of such violence as to change the configuration of the whole region. It was related in Grecian story that these volcanic fires were still burning at the time of the Argonautic expedition in quest of the Golden Fleece. The Euxine forced an outlet southward to the Mediterranean, overwhelming Lyktonia, henceforth the Archipelago, and deluging all Greece. The mountains of Thessaly were also rent apart, and the waters of the lake were drained into the new-made Ægaean Sea. Europe was thus divided from Asia Minor, and the steppes or prairies at the North, which had before been under water, now became dry land. Not only was the face of the world transformed physically, but a change also followed in culture, art and social tendencies.

Egypt was necessarily affected by these transformations. The Levant, once an inland lake, was swelled beyond its former dimensions by the immense mass of water now coming down from the Black Sea. The Libyan Desert was covered, except the oases, which remained as islands above the surface, and lower Egypt was submerged. Eventually, a way was made for the sea to the other basins of the Mediterranean, and an outlet into the Atlantic soon opened at the Pillars of Hercules. The dark-skinned Iberians of Spain were thus separated from their African congeners, while Greece, Egypt and Libya again appeared above the water.

Since that time, the Nile has continued without ceasing for centuries, and even thousands of years to bring down from the South an annual contribution of soil, thus building anew the engulfed territory3 and maintaining in its remarkable fertility that most famous oasis of the Dark Continent which has furnished so much history, art, physical science and religious dogma to the world.4

But whence the inhabitants originally came is one of the curious problems of ethnography. The Bible distinctly represents them as akin to the Kushites or Ethiopians, who peopled the region of Southern Asia from the Indus westward clear to the Atlantic in Africa. Diodoros, the Sicilian historiographer, cites a confirmatory declaration of the Ethiopians of Nubia that they were a colony led from that country into Egypt by the god Osiris. Affinities of race and language have been pointed out between the Fellah peasantry, Barabazas (Berbers) of Nubia, and the Fellata peoples of Senegambia. There were, however, distinct types of the population; and the late Samuel George Morton regarded the primitive inhabitants as having come into existence by themselves, a distinct human race, indigenous or aboriginal, in the valley of the Nile.

Brasseur de Bourbourg, however, would intimate that they might have been colonists from the country of Atlantis, which the Egyptian Priest, Sonkhi, described to Solon as having sent forth invaders, nine thousand years before, into Libya, Egypt and Archaic Greece. Diodoros, however, relates a story of the Amazons, former inhabitants of Hesperia, in the Lake Tritonis, near the ocean. They vanquished the people of Atlantis and then set out under their Queen, Myrina, to conquer other countries. Horos then had the dominion of Egypt, and entertained them as friends and allies. After this, it is said that they pursued their march and overran Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor and Thrace. Conflicting accounts, however, render their identification difficult. One writer affirms that their country was called Assyria, and earlier accounts certainly recognize an Assyrian dominion in Asia Minor at a period anterior to historic records. They are said to have founded Ephesus, Smyrna, Kyma, Paphos, Sinope and other cities. Plato states that they invaded Attica under the command of Eumolpos, who is reputed to have established the Eleusinian Mysteries. Like all ancient conquerors, they are represented as the missionaries of a religious propagandism, instituting the worship of the Ephesian Goddess-Mother, Artemis Polymastos, the counterpart of the Indian Bhavani, and introducing the pannychis or watch-night and processions, which were characteristic of the worship of Bacchus, the Syrian Goddess, and the Great Mother.5

It is evident, however, that in ancient time, as at the present, the population of Egypt consisted of a variety of races. If there existed a prehistoric people to which we might attribute the relics of the “Stone Age,” which have been brought up from a depth of many feet beneath the surface of the ground,6 we have little evidence in relation to it.

The peasant and laboring population were not negroes, despite the assertion of Herodotos; and, indeed, when negroes are depicted on the monuments, they are represented as captives or in a servile condition.7

The laboring class was obviously of Arabian origin,8 but the figures which are most common on the monuments of Upper Egypt, have a close family resemblance to the Barabara inhabitants of Nubia, but as we approach the Delta at the North the prominent faces are Caucasian, like the modern Kopts, indicating the presence there of a different type of population.9

The vast antiquity of Egypt is beyond question. The time required for the annual inundations of the Nile to accumulate the earth to the present depth at Memphis must have exceeded eleven thousand years. Herodotos remarks that “No Egyptian10 omits taking account of extraordinary or striking events.” Yet, however, archaic any record may be that has been found, it is quite certain to contain some allusion relating to ancient men of earlier periods. The priest who discoursed with Solon spoke of records at Sais that were eight thousand years old, and Plato mentions paintings and sculptures made in Egypt ten thousand years before. Diogenes, the Laertian, who wrote sixteen hundred years ago, declared that the Egyptians possessed records of observations made of 373 eclipses of the sun and 832 of the moon. These must have been total or nearly so, as others were not noted. This indicates an equal or greater ancientness. The traditions of the period prior to the “First Empire” as preserved by Manetho,11 seemed to indicate a duration of nearly twenty-five thousand years. It is common to designate this period as “mythic,” it not having been demonstrated by modern research or evidence that is currently accepted. Perhaps this is right, but it may be wiser to leave the question open. There are extremes in such matters which it is well to avoid. Some following the concept of omne ignotum pro magnifico, consider that what they fail to comprehend must be very grand; and others, in the pride of conceit, are equally superficial, and set down everything as fabulous, fictitious or not worthy of attention that is beyond their range of view.

The government of prehistoric Egypt, so far as it has been traced, was theocratic, a rule of royal priests.12 The Egyptians were the first, Herodotos declares, to introduce solemn assemblies, processions and litanies to the gods. We are safe, however, in assigning these elaborate observances to that later period in the history of the country when external rites were conceived to have a greater importance. “In the beginning it was not so.” It is necessary for us, however, to bear in mind that in those remote times, no pursuit that exalted humanity was esteemed as “profane” or secular. But it was included within the domain of worship. The ministers of religion were the literary men and teachers of knowledge, and united the functions of worship and instruction.

In the very early period prior to the “Empire” the priests of Amun told the historian, Hekataeos,13 that “Egypt had gods for its rulers, who dwelt upon the earth with mankind, one of them being supreme above the rest.”

The first of these, in the Northern records, was Ptah14 (or Hephaistos), the Divine fire, the Demiurgos or Former of the Universe and tutelary god of Memphis. He was succeeded by Ra, or Phra, the Sun-god15 who was worshipped at On or Heli-opolis. In regard to the third there appears a discrepancy among writers. He was represented to have been Neph (Kneph) or Num (Khnoum) the Chrest, Agathodaemon, or Good Divinity.16 Later writers however generally agree that the third was Shu or Sos, the first-born son of Ra and Hathor, the god of light and of the cosmic or electric energy.

In the Turin Papyrus, which was compiled in the time of the Ramesids, we find these three names erased. The seat of government and national religion had been changed to Thebes, and the tradition was modified accordingly, as follows: Amun-Ra, the hidden or unknown, the Hyk or king of gods. He was succeeded by his son Manthu (or Ares), the “protector of Egypt.” Next was Shu (or Herakles), the son of Ra, and god of light and cosmic energy.17

The next in the category was Seb (or Kronos), in many respects the counterpart of the Indian Siva. He was a personification of the Earth, and of Time, without beginning or end. He was succeeded by Uasa or Isis and Uasar or Osiris, and they by Seth or Typhon, their brother, the “beloved of the World.” The next was Hor or Horos, the son of Isis and Osiris, who “ruled over Egypt as its last god-king.”18

There were traditions also of the Hemi-thei, or Lesser Gods, the Hor-shesu, or followers of Horos and Heroes—”sacred princes of the primeval times, who were said to have reigned several thousand years.”

Mr. Sayce declares emphatically that there is no evidence to show that Egyptian civilization was introduced from abroad; and he adds that “the high perfection it had reached before the date of the earliest monuments with which we are acquainted implies unnumbered ages of previous development.”

These representations, we may therefore fairly presume to cover the period of the Golden and Silver Ages of Archaic Egypt. Doubtless, behind the mythologic relations, which have been shaped at a later era and transmitted to later times, there was a sublime and recondite philosophy, furnishing a key to the whole. The array of divinities that thronged the Egyptian Pantheon, it may be borne in mind, only represented different attributes in the God-head.

“They were only manifestations of the one Being in his various capacities,” as M. Pierrot has aptly remarked. We find accordingly the several divinities more or less compounded together, are described as being endowed with similar powers and qualities, exercising each other’s functions, and sometimes even merging into one another as beings of one substance. Indeed, Egyptians generally regarded them, however named in the different precincts, as only designations of the Supreme One, whom they thus represented and symbolized. In the hymns employed in their worship we find one God accordingly celebrated as the Only Divine, Eternal, Infinite, and abounding in goodness and mercy, as these selections abundantly show.

“God is One and Alone, and there is none other with him:
God is the One, the One who has made all things:
God is a Spirit, a hidden Spirit, the Spirit of Spirits,
The Great Spirit of Egypt, the Divine Spirit.”
“Unknown is his name in Heaven,
He does not manifest his forms!
Vain are all representations of him.”
“He is One only, alone without equal,
Dwelling alone in the holiest of holies.”
“He hath neither ministrants nor offerings:
He is not adored in sanctuaries,
His abode is not known.
No shrine is found with painted figures,
There is no building that can contain him!”
“God is life and man lives through him alone:
He blows the breath of life into their nostrils.”
“He protects the weak against the strong;
God knows those who know Him;
He rewards those who serve Him,
And protects those who follow Him.”

The moral and social condition of the people of Egypt at that earlier period, we may well believe corresponded with the divine character imputed to the government. We may presume them to have been civilized in the genuine sense of the term,19 living in social relations of amity with one another, and so fulfilling the law of charity as set forth by the apostle. They certainly were not warlike, but always disposed to the arts of peace, even into the historic period. Indeed, they were celebrated as the “blameless Ethiopians.” In fact, we have no evidence except that of inference and conjecture, that the prehistoric inhabitants of Egypt were ever barbarous. We may not unreasonably entertain the belief that they were gifted with purer instincts than are now manifested, which eventually suggested to them and impelled to vast achievements.

Savages would necessarily exist for periods beyond computation before they would attempt to write. A race barely transcending apehood would need, if it could possibly dream of such a thing, to establish its articulate sounds conventionally into language to signify specific objects of thought; and after this, distinct characters must be agreed upon to denote each of those sounds. Only mind, capable and receptive of higher inspiration, can effect so much. Immense periods of time must likewise elapse before the progeny of such an enigmatic race could write anaglyphies,20 and attain that wonderful skill which is attested by the Egyptian monuments yet standing on the banks of the river Nile.

May we not, then, feel ourselves safe in believing that human beings began their career in the earth with that perfect refinement which would seek its appropriate manifestation in the splendid formations of Art? That not long ages of discipline schooled the men of that time, but that the divine instincts implanted in them enabled them to exhibit their exquisite skill in the arts? That what was affirmed by poets and sages of a primeval Golden Age was not all fabulous and untrue?

“We must believe,” says Dr. C.H.S. Davis, “that when the Egyptians first came to Egypt, they came, not as barbarians, but in possession of all the knowledge and artistic skill of that long and antediluvian age of which their immediate successors were the survivors.” The author here refers to the inhabitants who are signified generally in historic and philosophic works, and not to the earlier population.

The social life of the Egyptians in that far-remote period appears to have been characterized by a charming simplicity, warm family affection, deep religious feeling and great refinement. They were polite, hospitable, and generous even to profusion. Their children were carefully trained to veneration of the gods and respect for the elderly, and the equality of the two sexes was fully recognized. There was no gynaecasum in which women were shut away from view. Both father and mother were enrolled together in the genealogies, and sisters ranked with their brothers in the family. In every temple the Godhead was contemplated as three-fold the Father, Mother and their Divine Son. In this category, the Mother was chief. Queen Isis was supreme in all worship. In the family in those earlier times the children were reckoned as belonging to the wife. Women were supreme in every household. They shared in the festive entertainments, they ministered at religious rites and participated in government and affairs of State. They attended the markets and transacted business of every kind, while the men also sat at the loom at home, plied the shuttle and followed various sedentary pursuits.21 Diodoros actually affirmed, that in the later periods the husband swore obedience to the wife in the marriage contract.

Young men meeting older persons would step courteously aside,22 and if an elderly individual came into their company they all rose up and bowed reverentially.23

Learning appears to have been very generally disseminated, and in historic times there was an extensive literature. Every temple was a “School of the Prophets.” The Egyptians are always described as being very scrupulous in keeping accounts and they carefully recorded everything that was produced or expended. They had their diaries, and made memorandum of all matters of importance. They were skilful in the liberal arts from remote antiquity and it is shown from their paintings that very many things which we enjoy as household conveniences incident to our advanced civilization they also possessed. Mirrors, carpets, sofas, ottomans, chairs, tables, jewelry and other ornamental articles, too many to enumerate, were common in their households. The children had their dolls, toys and other playthings. Men and women performed with various instruments of music as pipes, flutes, drums, cymbals, guitars, tambourines. Even the poor, in the exuberant fertility of the country were able to have their diversions and entertainments.

The fondness for domestic animals and household pets was universal. These seemed to have been regarded as sacred, and at their death were embalmed and deposited in the various sanctuaries. The dogs were companions in their sports; the cats, unlike their less fortunate relatives of our time, were skilful in fishing and plunged boldly into the river in quest of the prey. They were privileged in every house and their death was mourned as a calamity. The ichneumon, the hawk, the shrew-mouse and the ibis shared in this veneration and were regarded as benefactors.

At their banquets, the guests, men and women alike, sat in chairs or upon the ground, but did not recline as in other countries. They were crowned with garlands in honor of the divinity who was regarded as master of the feast and the discourse was of a cheerful and entertaining character. If it was philosophic it nevertheless did not seem so; yet it might compare well with the symposiac talks of Plato, Plutarch and Xenophon. Dancers and flutists were often present to add to the pleasure of those sitting at the tables.

The Egyptians were always passionately fond of games and sports. Wrestling was a favorite exercise. So, likewise, was the tossing of bags into the air that had been filled with sand, as well as other trials of strength. Contests in rowing were very common. They had also games of ball, some of them of a very complex character and requiring great dexterity. Dice was regarded as worthy of gods. The game of draughts or “checkers” was a favorite in all grades of society. It was said to have been invented by the god Thoth.

Indeed, the Egyptians never lost sight of the divine agency, even in sports and social occasions. They were religious everywhere. Even inanimate objects were regarded as pervaded by a sacred aura. It was esteemed a sacrilege to pollute the waters of the Nile or of any flowing current of water. Every action was a prayer, and when uprightly performed it was regarded as bringing the individual into communion with divinity and participation of the gods. In life they were earnest, and when they died an inquest was held upon them before they were admitted to an honorable recognition with the worthy dead.

Whether funeral rites were performed with elaborateness peculiar to the later centuries is very improbable. The characteristic of the prehistoric times was a chaste simplicity. But death was not considered as an extinguishing of life. They doubtless had their beliefs and notions in regard to the soul, and its career in the invisible region. It seems to have been held that it hovered about the body during its disintegration, and hence came the practice of making offerings and libations to render its condition more tolerable. But they also believed that when the process of its purification was completed, when it was free from evil and the taints of earth it left this region for the empyreal home. In short their faith and life were as the poet described:

“To scatter joy through the whole surrounding world, To share men’s griefs: Such is the worship best and good Of God, the Universal Soul.”

II. Auritae—The Children of the Sun

It is character that rules in nations as in individuals. Only in loyalty to the old can we serve the new; only in understanding the Past, can we interpret and use the Present; for history is not made but unfolded, and the Old World is ever present in the New.—Benj. Ide Wheeler.

“The life of all those nations that form a part of history, oscillates during the Primeval Period, between two poles,” Baron Bunsen remarks. “By the simple action of these, the feeling of a national existence is developed. One of these poles is Language, the other Religion.” Without language, he affirms, that there can be no religion, and without the intuitive consciousness of a God there can be no connection between the essence and the modes of Being, the esse and existere of Swedenborg; consequently, no proposition or affirmation, no word and no language. Hence, he adds: “Without the two, Religion and Language, no science, no art, no sense of human community can exist; and therefore, no development of civic quality, no history.”

As if in accord with this canon, the accounts of Egypt began with traditions of the archaic rule of the gods, and accomplished Orientalists have interpreted them as indicating a migration from Asia in some prehistoric period. This may be true, to some extent, so far as relates to the Northern region, but it appears utterly improbable in so far as it concerns the Thebaid. The Koptic physiognomy is Caucasian and many of the divinities were worshipped in that region by names that had a resemblance and signification like those of their counterparts in other Asiatic countries. This, however, has not been demonstrated. The families themselves were religious groups with eponymic ancestors whom they honored and commemorated with rites, prayers and offerings at stated periods. Each district, or nome, had in its chief city a Temple at which the patron god was worshipped together with his consort and third hearth-sharer. In short, there was manifested in that far-distant period of undefined ancientness, what Bunsen has so eloquently described as “the pure apperception of God as detected in the human soul as Law by reason and as God by conscience.”

The traditions of the prehistoric period divide the gods who ruled over Egypt into two groups, the group of Ra and that of Osiris. Both are associated alike with sun-worship, yet exhibit an intrinsic difference in character. The worship of Ra had its centre at Heliopolis, and that of Osiris at Abydos. Yet, in framing the respective legends a father is assigned whose ascendency preceded this principal divinity of the group, as in the Homeric theology, Zeus is made the son and successor of Kronos.

Accordingly the traditions of Lower Egypt placed as the first of the series of Divine rulers, Ptah, the god of Memphis. He was the demiurgus, and was denominated the “Father of the Universe,” and the “Lord of Truth.” The name, however, seems to be likewise a Semitic term,24 and signifies the opener, the revealer and interpreter25 and thus he who brings the ideal into activity. After the development of a more complete philosophic system, he was represented as coming forth from the mystic Egg which contained the Universe. Sometimes, also, he was placed at the potter’s wheel like Neph and Amun of Thebes, to fashion the Egg into a perfect creation. He was likewise depicted with the figure of a mummy holding the Nilometer and whip. His daughter, Ma or Thmei, the personified Truth, was inseparable from him, indicating, as Iamblichos has expressed it, that he created all things with truth. His consort was Sukhet or Bast, the Artemis or Diana of Egypt who was the chief divinity of Bubastis.26 She was represented with the head of a lioness, and likewise with a human visage, with the horns of the moon and the solar disk surmounted with the royal asp, two ostrich feathers and a vulture. The latter was the symbol of Motherhood, the former of sovereignty; and she was worshipped as “Queen of Heaven” and “Mother of All.” The god Emeph,27 Imopht or Imhotep, the Egyptian Esculapius and god of the superior knowledge was the third in this group.

Ra the personified Sun, was evidently the Semitic divinity Ra or II of ancient Babylon or Bab-El. His terrestrial reign and that of the gods who represented him in various attributes, was considered as actually the same Golden Age. To this period all looked back with regret and envy; and whenever anyone desired to indicate the superiority of anything, it was enough to affirm that “its like had never been seen since the days of the god Ra.”

He seems to have had no consort like other divinities; and, in fact, the others were only Ra himself, manifested and personified under different forms and conditions, as if to signify the Sun in its various offices, attributes and periods of the day. After the newer arrangement of Thebes had been established, he was named and his symbols placed in combination with those of the divinities of Southern Egypt, as Amun-Ra, Num-Ra, Khem-Ra, Sebek-Ra. Thus was indicated their essential sameness and also that these various personifications related only to qualities and attributes, and not to any real distinct individuality.

Ra was also commemorated in an indefinite variety of forms. One was a human figure with the disk of the sun upon the head, which was often entwined by a serpent to typify the motion of the sun through the sky. Another had the head of the hawk, a symbol alike of the sun and of the Supreme Over-Soul. Hence the Temple-scribe or hierogrammat expounded its purpose: “He that has the head of a hawk is the Supreme God. He is the First, indestructible, everlasting, unbegotten, indivisible, absolutely unlike all else, the possessor of all excellence, uninfluenced by gifts, best of the good and most sagacious of the shrewd; He is the father of social order and justice, learned of himself, initiated, perfected, wise, and the first who possessed the sacred occult knowledge.”

He was also set forth in the traditions, as the son of Nu or Netpe, the primal mother, of whom he was born anew every morning, and also of Neith, the mother of the gods and goddess of philosophy. The tablet in the Temple of this latter divinity at Sa or Sais is often quoted: “I am the all—that which is, and was and will be; no one has ever removed my robe, yet Ra is my son.”28

Shu, the “first born son of Ra” was the next of these divine rulers of Egypt. He was as his name implies the personification of Ra, as Light, and also as the cosmic or electric energy. He was styled by Manetho the Agathodaemon or good divinity, a title afterward given to Neph by the Gnostics.

Tefnu, his twin sister, was his consort, and Tum or Atum, the Sun of night and of the world of the dead, completed the triad. These three gods, however, were only forms of Ra, and the brazen serpent was their symbol.

After the establishment of the first dynasty the religious influence of the Thebaid was paramount, and the group of divinities personified and represented by Osiris, to a great degree superseded and absorbed that of Ra. The gods of the North were overshadowed and the others became supreme and so were named no more as lords of Egypt.

Although Neph was not of the category of gods that exercised a terrestrial sovereignty, he was too prominent not to receive attention. Despite the apparent Semitic derivation of his name29 he primarily belonged to Ethiopia and the Thebaid, actually antedating Amun himself. Neph was usually represented with the head of a ram above which were also the horns of a goat surmounted by the asp.30

In one hand he held the ansate cross31 in the other a papyrus-sceptre. The horns of the goat signified the soul, ba the Egyptian name of that animal also denoting the soul, while the sheft or ram implied the creator or fashioner. Neph was the spirit that hovered over unorganized matter and imbued it with life.

Hence he was depicted in the Temple at Phike: “Num. who fashioned on this wheel the divine body of Osiris, who is enthroned in the great hall of life.” He was also called Num-Ra, “who forms the mothers, the genetrices of the gods.” At Esne he was represented as forming the human race upon his wheel and likewise as creating the sun and moon, the world and all things. After the union of the two crowns of Egypt, the chief divinity of Memphis, Ptah, was regarded as originating from him. Porphyry, the philosopher, has shown this in a tradition that Ptah the Demiurgus was born from the egg that issued from the mouth of Neph. The Gnostics also represented this divinity by the figure of a huge serpent, with a lion’s head surrounded by a halo of seven or twelve rays. They also gave him the title of Agathodaemon or good genius.

His associates were the goddesses Sati and Onka or Anuki. The latter goddess was worshipped in Boeotia, as a form of Athena and she presided like Hestia at the hearth. Writers differ in regard to which of the two was regarded as the consort, but Sati appears with him in various representations, though sometimes, apparently as a ministrant.

The social condition of Egypt in the primeval period was patriarchal. Every city and nome or district was a commonwealth by itself, with its own triad and circle of gods, and its peculiar worship and traditions. These gradually approximated one another till the influence of central places effected their union in a pantheon. Under that of the North the divinities in the group of Ra, the Sun-god, become predominant, but in process of time the cult of Osiris from the South came into the ascendent. The traditions were changed accordingly.

This new phase was indicated by the legend of the reign of Seb, the Egyptian Kronos. This divinity was described as lord of the Earth and also of time, and as the Egyptians believed in the perennity of time, he was the lord of all the past. In tact, Seb seems to have had a realm extending all over the earth. Sir Hyde Clarke finds his name in America,32 as Sibu in Costa Rica and Shivatt in Mexico, as Sobo and Nizob with African tribes, in Siva the aboriginal non-Aryan god of India, and Sabazios33 the Attis or “Great Father” in Asia Minor. Although the hierogram of this Divinity was the goose in Egypt, the symbol most general in the different countries was the serpent.34 It was employed in the sense of a benefactor, the giver of life and wisdom, but also in some countries and circumstances, as a malefic power.

Seb was styled the “Father of the gods,” and Nit or Nutpe, his consort, bore the titles of “mother of the gods,” and “protectress of souls.” This goddess was sometimes depicted with the figure of a vulture upon her head, to symbolize her character as the Great Mother; also standing in a tree with a jar from which she poured water which a soul beneath the tree caught with the hands. As Seb was lord of the earth, so she was the queen or personification of the vault of Heaven.35

The terrestrial reign of Osiris was commemorated in Egypt as the introduction of a new era in Egyptian life. The arts, literature and other accompaniments of civilization were generally ascribed to this agency. Taking the place of Ra and Ptah he was invested with many of their symbols and titles, enabling his later worshippers to accept him as a new form or manifestation of those divinities. Unlike them, his name and rank were not expressed by the effigy of any animal.36 He held in his hands a whip and crosier. His hierogram was simply a throne or seat, to represent the sound of As, and an eye, ar or iri, to complete the name phonetically, Asar or Asiri.37 The designation, Osiris, however, it is affirmed, is not Egyptian; but it has been declared to be the same as Asar, Adar and Assur of Assyria and Babylonia,38 and Osiris as he was depicted in later times, was a form of the Dionysos or Bacchus-Zagreus of the East. The Drama of the Secret Rites, gives him accordingly a corresponding character and history.39

Isis, his consort, the “goddess with a thousand names” was of the same rank and function as the Oriental Istar or Astarte. Though comparatively unimportant in earlier times, she became after the Hyk-Sos period, the more important of the two.

Set, Seth or Sut, the brother40 and successor of Osiris has been supposed to represent the Egypt of the Delta, as Osiris represented the older country of the South. In fact, his worship was predominant in Lower Egypt long before that of Osiris. His designation signifying “kin” in Asiatic dialects, aids to identify him with Molokh, the Baal of Syria, the Sut of the Hyksos, and Sutekh of the Khitans or Hittities.41 He was the best esteemed divinity in Northern Egypt, and bore such titles as “the beloved of the world,” “the most glorious son of Nut,” and “great ruler of Heaven,” and his terrestrial reign was commemorated as most beneficent. The hatred with which the Hyksos and Khitans were regarded and the ascendency of a new regime in Egypt served afterward to deprive him of his honors. Gods who have been dethroned become personifications of evil. Seth was transformed, in the tragedy of Isis and Osiris, into Typhon, and became the Satan of the Asiatic countries under Egyptian influence.

Nebti or Nephthys, the mother of Anubis, was his consort. Her name signifying “mistress of the house” would seem to assimilate her to Onka and Hestia as regent of homes. She was always described as loving and good, and on the monuments she was styled “the benevolent, loving sister.”

Hor or Horos, the son of Isis ami Osiris is variously personified. He was Hor-em-Khuti or Harmakhis, the Horos or sun of the meridian, Hor-pe-khruti or Horos the child,42 and sometimes Har-oer or Aroeris, the brother of Osiris. He took the place of Ra in many places, even being adored as Ra-Har-em-Khruti at that god’s temple in Heliopolis. He was also depicted like Ra with the hawk’s head, especially after the Theban ascendancy had blended the two worships. In his reign the Amazons from the extreme West, it was affirmed, marched through Egypt in their career of conquest. He having been made the successor of Seth or Typhon, later legend made him the adversary and conqueror of that divinity and the avenger of Osiris.

His consort, Hathor was the Venus or Aphrodite of Egypt. Her designation, Hat-Hor, the place or abode of Horos43 not only indicates her as the consort of that divinity but in a completer sense as the personification of the material or maternal principle of the universe. Her temples were all over Egypt, and she was the special goddess of Egyptian queens. She personified all that was beautiful, and likewise all that was true. She was also mistress in the world of the dead where Osiris was the judge.44 Her statue was a womanly figure with the head of a cow, having crescent horns with a disk between. In one hand was the ansate cross, and in the other a lotus-sceptre. She was often identified with Isis, Neith and other goddesses; and Ebers accordingly represents Rameses and others in Uarda speaking of them all collectively as “the Hathors.” She was the divinity most celebrated for acts of beneficence and was the most esteemed of any in Egypt. Every place of any note had its temple to Horos and Hathor.

This enumeration, it should be borne in mind, is a summary of conditions, preserved in later periods as a description of the prehistoric period. We may consider it a form of history in the nature of parable, having an enigmatic sense with more or less of a profounder esoteric meaning. It certainly has furnished a foundation for the philosophemes of the Alexandreian period, the teachings of Plotinos and Porphyry, the Theosophy and Theurgy of Iamblichos and the speculative systems of other sages.

This reigning of the gods, it has already been shown, was an administration of affairs in the hands of the initiated priests who possessed kingly quality, rank and authority. The divinity to whose worship they belonged was named as the actual monarch, and all functions were exercised in his name. “The rule of the gods,” says Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson, “has been supposed to be that of the priesthood of those deities who governed the country before the election of a king, like the judges of Israel.”45

This analogy is very significant. We read in the Book of Numbers46 that rebellion against Moses was equivalent to rebellion against the Lord Himself, whom Moses represented as His prophet; and again, that when the senators of Israel demanded from Samuel, the prophet, who was also their Judge or “suffet,” that he should divide his authority and appoint for them a king to take the lead as with other nations, it was considered that they were setting aside, not Samuel alone, but God Himself, from reigning over them.47

The succeeding period in Egypt was known as that of the Hor-em-Shasu or Hor-shasu, the “successors of Horos.” It lasted according to Manetho, 13,900 years. Thoth or Hermes the reputed patron of literature was the first of the series. Twelve of these lesser divinities were enumerated in this category, after which began the reign of human rulers. These were denominated, Nekyes; hardly “dead men,” we may presume, or the wraiths of dead men, but individuals of superior character and ability, who had at their death been judged worthy of honorable burial, and were honored as good demons and ancestral divinities.48 They are probably members of the sacerdotal order and had been chosen to the kingly office by their people. Bitys is named by Manetho as the first of this number. He is also mentioned by Iamblichos as “a prophet to King Amun,” the Hyk or supreme god of the Thebaid, and as interpreting the theosophy of Hermes. Professor Sayce explains the condition of affairs, that “the country of the Nile was then divided into a number of small kingdoms, inhabited by a race similar in origin and customs, and already possessed of a considerable civilization. The so-called granite temple near the sphinx of Gizeh, built of huge monoliths of Syenite granite exquisitely cut and fitted together, perhaps belongs to this remote period.” He adds that it must have been originally a tomb49 but when it was discovered in the sand in the time of Kheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid, the King seemed to have imagined it to be the shrine of Harmakhis, the Sphinx. “Even at that remote age the principles of architecture had been studied,” he adds; “and the chieftain who lived on the edge of the Delta was able to have huge blocks of granite cut and transported for him from the distant quarries of Assuan.” “The Sphinx itself probably belongs to that early time.”

As the Egyptians were nothing if not religious their kings were not considered as duly invested with regal authority till they had been formally inaugurated by the high priest of the principal temple,50 it has also been affirmed that the priests exercised the authority of determining when a king had ruled long enough, and that he accordingly obeyed their command by suicide. Finally, one refused obedience and was able to establish the royal power above that of the hierarchy and so introduce a new state of affairs. The life of the sacred Apis, it was also said, was restricted to twenty-five years, after which he was drowned, and a successor procured. But the monarchs enumerated in the lists of the numerous dynasties appear often to be remarkably long-lived.

Presently three principal religious centres were developed, to which those of the other districts became subsidiary. They were that of Seth in the Delta, that of Ra at Heliopolis, and that of Neph in the Southern nomes; the cult of Osiris being accepted by all. In time the several nomes or districts confederated more closely together according to racial affinity and mutual interests. One focus of authority and influence was established at Teni and Abydos, and another at Annu or Heliopolis. Thus there were two Mizirs or Mizraim. One of these was sometimes denominated Kaphtor from its Phoenician relationships,51 and the other Pathros, or the country of Hathor.52 The way was thus prepared for the career which Egypt under her numerous kings and dynasties afterward achieved.

Mr. Gliddon, in his Lectures, gave a summary of the condition of affairs during this period. “A theocracy or government of priests was the first known to the Egyptians,” he remarks; and then proceeds to explain it. “It is necessary,” he says, “to give this word priests the acceptation which it bore in remote times, when the ministers of religion were also the ministers of science; so that, they united in their own persons two of the noblest missions with which man can be invested—the worship of the Deity, and the cultivation of intelligence.”

After this admirable statement, Mr. Gliddon steps down from his lofty attitude, and adopts the modern fashion of accounting for the decadence. This sacerdotal rule became corrupt, he affirms, and so was succeeded by secular rule. “This grand political revolution,” as he now terms it, “had over the social welfare of the people an influence most salutary and durable. From a sacerdotal despotism, that in the name of Heaven exacted implicit obedience to the privileged members of the Hierarchy, the Egyptians passed under the authority of a temporal civil monarchy, and acquired a constitution that rendered them free and happy.”

It is more probable, however, that the change was due to the people themselves. Mr. Gliddon’s first description indicated the possession of the highest degree of freedom. When there is no king, it is said that every one does that which is right in his own eyes. It will be seen from Mr. Gliddon’s own statements that the people, rather than their sacerdotal directors had become the party at fault. The Golden Period had waned, and those other ages supervened, in which men were less orderly and peace-loving. Sterner hands were required for such an exigency. Foreign invasion and its innovations were likewise disturbing the country on the North. In the decay of public virtue, the stress of affairs led to the demand for change. But the people had become less free in consequence.

A similar account is given of the Israelites and their change from theocracy and sacerdotal government to monarchy. The matter is briefly stated by the prophet Samuel.53 And the Lord sent Jeru-Baal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies, on every side, and ye dwelt safe. And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said into me: ‘Nay; but a king shall also reign over us;’ when the Lord your God was your King.”

Mr. Gliddon did not support his statement by any showing of facts, but evidently deduced it from his own premises. The truth was, that kings of Egypt were themselves members of the sacerdotal body, who had been instructed in the temples, and that they were zealous about all matters of worship. Mr. Gliddon’s own declarations further exonerate the priests from the imputation of being corrupt or despotic. The “Grand Revolution” was only a gradual change produced by these conditions, as he himself shows.

“The royal authority was not absolute,” he tells us, “The sacerdotal order preserved in their councils their rightful positions. The military were there to maintain order and to strengthen the monarchy, but were citizen soldiers; and in the Great Assemblies (Panegyrics), wherein all religious, warlike, civil, administrative, commercial, political, statistical, internal and external affairs were periodically treated, the priests, the military, the corporations and the people were represented, and the interests of all were protected.”

Bunsen assigns three stages of organic development to the prehistoric period; first, the Sacerdotal Kings, then the military rulers, and afterward, kings of the upper and lower country. There were forty-two nomes or minor kingdoms, afterward represented in the hall of judgment by forty-two assessors. Each of them had a government district in itself with a hyk or prince of its own.

Mena or Menes is generally considered as the first monarch of a united Egypt. This, however, is sometimes disputed; and his name, it must be acknowledged, exhibits a suggestive resemblance to the names of eponymous leaders or ancestors in other countries, like Manu in India, Mani in Tibet, Manis in Phrygia, Manes in Lydia, Minos in Krete, and Mannus in Germany. Yet he was always recognized in the literature and traditions of Egypt as a real personage, and the events recorded of his reign were accepted as undoubted facts.

The City of Teni, This or Thinis, near Abydos, has the credit of producing the chieftain who was able to establish a single jurisdiction over the whole country,54 and “whoever has seen the rich plain in which the City of This once stood,” says Professor A. H. Sayce, “will easily see how it was that the founder of this united monarchy came from thence.” It was situated in a fertile plain, guarded on three sides by hills, and on the fourth by the river; and there was everything in abundance for the development of wealth and power. Here stood the chief temple, the Tomb of Osiris, and it was the focus of religious knowledge. From this place, Mena made his way northward down the Nile, passing the regions where Horos and Setii were said to have had their conflicts, and finally established his new metropolis in the neighborhood of the Sphinx itself.

Much he seems to have encountered of strife and war, while he founded his new city and brought to it the gods that were thenceforth to be supreme in Egypt. Banking up the river at a bend, a hundred furlongs back of his contemplated site, he opened a new channel for it, half way between the two ranges of hills that enclose the valley of the Nile. Upon the land thus gained from the water, he placed the City of Men-nofer,55 better known to us in its Greek form of Memphis. He also erected here a Temple to the Divine Creator, Ha-ke-Ptah56 whose worship he established.

Mena is described as having made important changes in the social habits as well as in religion. He introduced specific rites of worship, which are said to have been the first that were ever instituted in Egypt. He also promulgated a new system of laws declaring that they had been communicated to him by Thoth, the secretary of the gods. He appears likewise to have brought in a more free and refined way of living in place of the more simple mode of life of former times; and a later prince seems to have regarded him as accountable for the luxury and corruption of manners that existed in Egypt, some thousands of years afterward. Taph-nakht, a priest and subordinate prince of Sais and Memphis and High priest of Ptah captivated with the frugal habits of the Arabs, endeavored without success to procure their adoption in Egypt. He was led by the weakness of the earlier Assyrian dynasty, the twenty-second, to revolt, upon which the princes of the southern districts placed Piankhi, a descendant of the sacerdotal dynasty on the throne. Taph-nakht was reduced to submission and placed a pillar in the Temple of Amun at Thebes on which was inscribed a curse upon the name and memory of Mena for having induced the Egyptians to abandon their early simplicity of life.

The latest record of Mena is a story of war. It is said that he was leading an expedition against the Libyans, when he was killed, some affirm by a crocodile, others by a hippopotamus. These accounts are suggestive of an enigmatic meaning—Seth, the advisary of Osiris was the tutelary god of the Delta and both these animals were included in his domain. Mena being a worshipper of Ptah and Osiris, was, of course, an adversary of the party of that divinity and therefore his peculiar fate may signify that he perished at their hands.

He has left no monuments recording his exploits. This absence of evidence, all that we know having been obtained from the fragments of Manetho and the imperfect records in the rolls of papyrus, affords a warrant for severe criticism to throw doubt on the whole account. It is affirmed without corroboration, however, that the tomb of Mena has been discovered at Negada, and also tombs of other monarchs at Abydos belonging to two different dynasties.

It would seem that the city which he founded, the public works that he constructed, the worship and code of laws that he promulgated, the numerous “Mysteries” which he caused to be established, the united Egypt itself, were monuments ample to preserve his memory.

III. The “Old Empire”

Egypt was now launched upon a new-career. The “double country” had passed under the dynasty of the kings of Teni. The princes of the several nomes were in authority at home, and the divinities, customs and local usages were little changed, but the Pharaoh57 was the Overload.

He was recognized as representative of divinity itself, and was even styled Neter or God. His name seems to have been considered as too sacred to be familiarly uttered.58 Protessor J. P. Lesley has described this early period as characterized by great simplicity of manners. Making reference to the wooden and stone images which had been found by Mariette-Bey, he represented them as exhibiting features of undeveloped intellect and homely affection, “bourgeoise faces” never crossed by the frowns of serious conflict. He also declared that there was then no “impious race” in the valley of the Nile; no sail woven by an Egyptian hand. “The horse was not yet even a dreamed idea. Arms and smoking altars were alike unknown: they loved and feasted; dug the ground and danced at harvest time; died, and were gathered to their fathers ‘on the other shore.’ The Pharaoh wore no crown, he affirms; “not even the Uraeus on his headband. He had a simple collar of beads around his neck, and a breech-cloth about his loins, and sat with naked waist and thighs and legs upon a wooden throne, smiling and peaceful, like a May-fair prince.”

This picture so quaintly drawn might have been fairly descriptive of the social condition of the Egyptians in the days of King Bitys of the preceding period and of some African Chief away in the heart of the Dark Continent. But Egyptian Kings of the dynasty of Mena were hardly so simple in manners, so peaceful, or so primitive and easy-going. Mena belonged to a city and district of an undetermined antiquity, that possessed the arts and culture of a ripe civilization. The accounts of him, although so fragmentary and circumscribed as to make many mistrustful of his actual existence, are, nevertheless sufficiently explicit to exhibit him as possessing the practical talent of a statesman, the bravery of a veteran warrior, and the zeal of an earnest religious man.

The dyke which he built to turn the Nile from its bed and thus to procure a site for his new city, can hardly be considered as the work of a “smiling and peaceful” chieftain. The sacred precinct59 which he set apart for the worship of the demiurgic god, Ptah, contained not only the living serpent, always present in Egyptian shrines, but the symbols and statues of the Sacred Triad; and there was likewise a complete hierarchy of initiated priests, prophets and scientific men to fulfill all the requirements of worship, instruction and professional skill. There were all these in Mena’s own country at Abydos, for the Egyptians had passed through many ages of civilization before his accession to power, and he established them in his new metropolis and dominion.

The new city was oftenest called Ha-ka-Ptah, from being the place where Ptah was the Supreme Divinity, but the various precincts had names of their own as so many towns. It was perhaps more generally known as Men-nefer, the “place of the Good One,” the god Osiris. There was a practice of grouping the houses around sacred precincts, and the several regions were named accordingly from the sanctuary. The whole district was named Seket-Ra, the field of Ra. The dead were buried in the stony ground at the west of Memphis, and the region was called Ankh-ta, the land of life.

Mena is recorded by Manetho as having reigned sixty-two years. He found it necessary to defend his dominion against foreign adversaries, and in an expedition against the Libyans, “perished by a wound from a hippopotamus.” He left no monuments, and the material of Memphis was carried away in modern times to build the city of Cairo, thus making it difficult to find memorials.

The successor of Mena was his son, Atuti or Athothis, whose reign is recorded as fifty-seven years. It was a common practice of ancient kings to associate with them the heir apparent during their lifetime, and thus to familiarize him with administration and likewise avoid the perils of a disputed succession. Whether Athothis reigned conjointly with his father is not certain, but by no means improbable. He was succeeded by his son of the same name, who is said to have reigned thirty-one years. It is recorded that Athothis, probably the father, but perhaps the son, built the Royal Palace at Memphis, thus establishing that city as the capital of all Egypt. It is also stated that “anatomical works were produced, for he was a physician.” A medical papyrus, now in the Royal Museum in Berlin, which was composed in the reign of Ramases II., illustrates the probable accuracy of this statement. It contains directions for the cure of leprosy, which it declares to have been discovered in a writing of very ancient origin in a writing-case under the feet of the god Anubis at Kakemi, where Se-Ptah or Usaphaidos was king. Professional employment was open to persons of every rank who might possess the necessary skill. It was high praise to describe a gifted individual as “being of an unknown origin.” On the other hand, it was usual in all ages for members of the royal family of Egypt to engage in useful vocations. They became priests and prophets at the temples, scribes, physicians, architects or whatever suited their genius. It was in no sense demeaning, or a lowering of royal dignity for the king to be a physician and author. The custom of embalming the dead was now in full operation, and great care was taken in regard to the procedure. The bodies of the sacred animals as well as of human beings were thus preserved.

In the reign of the fourth king, Uenephes, great famine prevailed in Egypt. Whether the annual inundation in the Nile was deficient, or whether the excessive overflow destroyed the chances for harvest, we are not informed. It was probably the latter. The king, either in the exuberance of religious fervor, resulting from misfortune, or else from a benevolent desire to furnish employment to indigent subjects, engaged in the building of pyramids. The site of these structures was at Kakami, the town of “the Black Bull,” near Sakkara, the necropolis of Memphis. The principal pyramid was erected on a base of about four hundred square feet and was one hundred and ninety-six feet high. It was built of granite and limestone, and had seven steps like the towers at Babylon. It was evidently a royal sepulchre, and contained a sarcophagus, but it was employed afterward as a receptacle for the bodies of the Apis bulls.

Hesep or Usaphaidos, the succeeding king, has left no memento beyond his name and the memorandum of the medical work which has been mentioned. He is said to have reigned twenty-six years. He was succeeded by Merba or Miebies and he by Semempsis. The accession of this king was marked by various wonderful occurrences, and by terrible pestilence. The next monarch was Bienaches, with whom the direct line of Mena was completed. None seems to have equalled the head of the dynasty in achievement. It is significantly stated, however, by Manetho that every king was succeeded by his son.

The Second Dynasty began by the accession of Butan, Neter-Bau (God of Spirits) or Boethos, also belonging to Teni. During his reign an earthquake took place in Egypt, and a chasm opened near Bubastis, accompanied by the destruction of many of the inhabitants. The succeeding monarch was Ka-kau60 or Kaiakhos, who reigned thirty-eight years. He established the worship of the bulls, Hapi or Apis, at Memphis, and Mena or Mnevis at Heliopolis, and that of the god Ba-en-tatta at Mendes.61 This was probably a measure of public policy; the deifying of these animals rendered all others of their kind secular, and so permitted the people to employ them for common use accordingly.

The next king bore the name of Bino-thris or Bai-en-netera, commemorative of the new worship at Mendes.62 Under this monarch the custom was enacted into a decree that women should be eligible to the royal dignity. The effect of this is traceable through Egyptian history. A queen upon the death of her husband would take the reins of government or occupy the place of her son in his minority; and where there were no sons, the daughter of a king transferred the crown to a new dynasty. Her husband in such case was king only in power, but her son had full right to the throne. Where the king married a wife of lower rank, her children had not equal rights with children of a wife who was of royal blood. Most of the dynasties succeeded the previous ones by virtue of marriage with such princesses.

The successor of Binothris was Utnas or Tlas, who in turn was followed by Sen-ta or Sethenes. There is at the Ashmolean Library at Oxford part of the architrave of a door, which belongs to the tomb of a prophet who belonged to the worship of this monarch. The kings were adored as gods, having their priests and other functionaries.

We now observe the introduction of the name of Ra in royal names. Kha-Ra and Nefer-ka-Ra were the next sovereigns. It was reported of the latter that during his reign, the Nile flowed with honey for eleven days. Nefer-ka-saker, his successor, is described by Greek writers as five cubits, or about ten feet high, with corresponding breadth; probably taking the notion from some bust or picture. One more king only is named in the Second Dynasty; the monuments mention Hutefa as reigning a few months; the chronicles designate Kheneres with a term of thirty years.

In regard to the Third Dynasty, the several writers, old and recent, widely differ. The kings made Memphis the sole metropolis, and Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson is of opinion that they ruled at the same time with those of the First Dynasty. It has also been supposed that for a long period Upper and Lower Egypt had again distinct rulers. Other writers generally consider those of the Third Dynasty as succeeding the Second, and arrange them accordingly. The first king in the series was Neb-ka,63 or Nekherophes. Under his reign the Libyans revolted from under the Egyptian rule, but upon beholding the spectacle of a sudden increase of the size of the moon they were terrified and returned to their allegiance.

The heir of this king was Ser or Serhes, the Tosorthros or Sesorthos of Manetho. Wilkinson was of opinion that he was the same as Athothis of the First Dynasty, which also seems to be favored by the description which has been preserved. “He was denominated the Egyptian Esculapius, for his medical skill, and invented the art of building with hewn stones, and also gave attention to the art of engraving.” Doubtless under his encouragement these arts were more diligently cultivated, but the Egyptians were proficient in them long before.

After this enlightened monarch followed a list of whom only the names have been preserved. There were Tota or Tyris, Toser-tota or Mesokhris, Setes or Soiphis, Neb-ka-Ra, or Tosertosis, Nefer-ka-Ra, Huni or Akhis, and Se-nefer-u or Siphuris. When no history is made a people is generally happiest.

Brugsch-Bey is unwilling to say much in commendation of these princes. The old names, he remarks, suggest, according to their original significance, the ideas of strength and terror, which are very suitable as designations for the men who succeeded in subjecting the great masses of the people to their own will and law. “It is only later that the sacred names of the gods occur in the Pharaonic escutcheons, reminding us by their positions of the circle of gods specially venerated by the royal house.”

The last king of note of this dynasty was Se-nefer-u, the “doer of good,” a name bestowed apparently by a grateful people. He left behind him many memorials of his career. The “oldest scripture,” as Professor Lesley terms it, the Papyrus Prisse, dates from his reign. The following two chapters verify its date and give a fair impression of the religious sentiment of that remote period:

Chapter I
1. Health be to him that honoureth me! Honor be to him that goeth with me willingly.
2. Open lies the casket of my speech! Uncovered the place of my word building.
3. Furnished with swords to attack the negligent, who is never found present at his post.
4. When thou sittest in the company of men, scorn thou thy favorite viands: for a short moment renounce them with thy heart.
5. For gluttony is a vice and scandal lies hidden therein. A cup of water slakes one’s thirst: a mouthful of Shuu64 strengthens the heart.
6. Virtue is the end of good things, and what is of no account determines greatness.
7. Miserable is he who is slave to his belly, or who spends his time in senselessness. Fatness lauds it over the house of such.
8. When thou sittest with a banqueter who eats till his girdle bursts,
9. When thou drinkest with a wine-bibber, who receives thee, his heart rejoicing itself with drink more than a butcher with flesh,
10. Take thou what he handeth thee: reject it not.
11. Nevertheless, it is disgusting when one who cannot possibly make himself intelligible in any word, tortures himself in vain to win for himself a favorable heart.
12. He is a shame to his mother and to his friends.
13. When he knocketh as a suitor at the door, every one crieth out: “Make haste!” “Depart!”
Chapter II.
1. The word out of thy mouth, it instructeth thee.
2. Let not thy heart lift itself above the ground on account of strength.
3. Be not of a stiff-necked mind.
4. Teach thy posterity in that thou regulatest thyself.
5. Not to be comprehended is the world: God who made it has forbidden it.
6. What a man hath to do after he has finished the lot of man is to teach his children wisdom.
7. Their duty stands in going up the ladder which he has set for them.
8. It happens that all this stands written in the Book of Proverbs: therefore follow it, as I tell it, after the example of the more useful.
9. These committed it to memory. These had so read it; it was in the Scripture.
10. Its excellence was in their slight greater than all things which are in the whole land, whether they be great or small.
11. So soon as his holiness, Huni, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, had reached the [other] shore.
12. There arose his holiness Se-nefer-u, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, as beneficent king of the whole land.
13. Lo! Then became Kadjimna, governor of the city and its environs. This is the end.

Before these two chapters, there had been written another scripture, which was carefully erased: as well as another after it, written by one Ptah-hetep at a later period. It has been guessed that the author of the erased writing was Kheops himself.

The reign of Se-nefer-u was characterized by many significant events. The fashion was adopted of taking several names at the enthroning of the monarch. He had the name conferred by his parents, the escutcheon of his sacred name and three titles of honor. Each name was believed to have a magic power influencing the character and destiny. The first title began with the symbol of Horos, the sparrow-hawk wearing the double crown. Then followed a hieroglyphic group, setting forth the second title and exhibiting the king as the lord of the two diadems. The third contained the image in honor of Horos, and under it a praise of the monarch. The fourth was the sacred name of the king, and the fifth his own proper name with the standing title as a prefix. “Son of Ra.” In later periods it was usual after the name of the king to give that of his pyramid. That of Se-nefer-u was of green stone near Meidum, and bore the name of Kha.

Se-nefer-u was a conqueror as well as a sovereign, and added the peninsula of Sinai to the dominion of Egypt. Its mines of copper and “mafka” or turquoise and other gems were for many centuries a prolific source of wealth. On the wall of rock in one of the caves he is pictured as a warrior with a club striking down a foe. The inscription gives his name and the designation. “Vanquisher of a foreign people.”

The rocks bear the remains of many inscriptions, which have been the occasion of much curious speculation. The territory was carefully fortified against invasion from the East, and numerous temples were built to the gods of Egypt. Chief among them all was the Sanctuary of Hathor, the Great Mother, Queen of Heaven, and there was also a shrine to the divinity of the East. The mountain was thus “holy ground,” centuries before the reputed period of Moses.

It was a common practice for Egyptians to have their tomb, the “everlasting house”65 in the neighborhood of the royal pyramid. Many years ago some curious natives discovered the entrance to one of these near the pyramid of Se-nefer-u. They found the walls covered with pictures and hieroglyphics, executed skillfully in mosaic and admirably colored, as fresh as though the work had been done at a period comparatively recent. They also brought out to daylight two statues of a man and his wife seated beside each other in a chair. The eyes were of crystal, white ivory and a black ore, and exhibited the appearance of life. The man sat on the right, and his name was given as Ra-hotep. He was the son of a king, had commanded troops, and was at the time of his death a high priest at the temple in Heliopolis. His wife was named Nefert and she was the granddaughter of a king.

There were also found in other tombs at Gizeh the names of members of Se-neter-u’s family. This king was held in high esteem till the later periods of Egyptian history, and his worship as a divine being was maintained till the time of the Macedonian conquest. He was emphatically a prince who had regarded the welfare of his people all the days of his life, and throughout all their vicissitudes they loved and venerated his memory. He gave to Egypt a new life, new instruction, a new genius and policy that changed but little in the succeeding years.

Thus was Mr. Gliddon’s description fully realized: “The time-honored chronicles carry us back to the remotest era of earliest periods: and even there display to us the wonderful and almost inconceivable evidences of a government organized under the rule of one monarch; of a mighty and numerous people, skilled in the arts of war and peace; in multifarious abstract and practical sciences, with well-framed laws and social habits of highly civilized life, wherein the female sex was free, educated and honored; of a priesthood possessing a religion in which the unity of the godhead, and his attributes in trinities or triads, with a belief in the immortality of the soul, a certainty of ultimate judgment and a hope of the resurrection of the dead are discoverable.”

IV. The Pyramids, Kheops and His Successors

Time mocks all things; the pyramids mock time.

The Fourth Dynasty is commemorated as the most brilliant of all in that remote period of Egyptian history. There had come the introduction of a new era in Egyptian affairs. It has been conjectured by distinguished writers that there had been a rupture before between Lower and Upper Egypt. The two crowns, nevertheless, were united under Seneferu, and he had extended his dominion into Libya, the peninsula of Sinai, and southward to Abyssinia. He had thus opened for his successors new opportunities for enterprise and developed new perceptions of power and position.

It is not easy, however, to measure the extent of the change or even to elucidate the causes. The Egyptians had, at this period, about the same settled ways as in later times. They had not the primitive habits or barbarous customs as in other countries and they did not wear arms when not engaged in warfare. Religion and knowledge had with them the preference, and they had little aspiration for war and conquest. They were essentially domestic, fond of art, and social in their manners. Their arts were similar and even superior to those of later centuries.

The kings of the Fourth Dynasty are described by Manetho as belonging to a different family from the preceding monarchs. There had been intermarriages of royal princes with the nobles and priests and probably with foreign personages. At the failure of a Dynasty there were liable, therefore, to be disputed titles, and often several individuals claiming each to be the genuine sovereign. In such cases the partisans of each would name their particular favorites, and the different records would thus be made to exhibit discrepancies in respect to the names and extent of reigns, which would puzzle later inquiry.

The extinction of the first Memphite family, now known to us as the Third Dynasty and the accession of the succeeding one was an example of this. There is, however, a record in the monuments of a queen, Mertiteps, whom King Seneferu held in superior esteem, and who was in equal favor with Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty and with Khafra, his successor. This would seem to indicate that whatever contests may have occurred about the royal succession, her connection with public affairs was a powerful factor in determining the result. Indeed, Seneferu set the direction on the current which his successors so persistently followed. He was at once a builder and a conqueror. The Hamitic races everywhere, in Egypt, Arabia, Middle and Southern Asia, and probably in Asia Minor, Greece and Italy were the building races of antiquity, and the remains of their great works exist as a demonstration. They built for the future, and we may not wonder that they had a god, as in Egypt, who was a demiurgos or architect.

The first monarch of the Fourth Dynasty was Ser or Suri, as given by the monuments, Soris as he was named in the Chronicle of Manetho. He reigned as is previously recorded for a period of nineteen or twenty-nine years. Some writers have identified him with Seneferu, and others with his successor; as certainly there seems to be no separate memorial of his achievements,66 which sets forth the fact positively.

The next king, Khufu or Kheops, is accordingly represented as the legitimate head, if not the actual founder of the new Dynasty. Notwithstanding his achievements as a ruler he is best remembered as the builder of the Great Pyramid. It would be superfluous to attempt a description of this structure, but it will be of interest to consider its purpose, character and the conditions incident to its erection. The motive that impelled the work was essentially religious. Without such a prompting it is hard to conceive that so many thousand men could be kept steadily employed at the work. Lieut. Wilford of the East Indian Service has given corroborating evidence.67 While he was describing the structure to several Brahmans they asked whether there was not a communication underground with the River Nile. He replied that such a passage had been mentioned as having once existed.68 They told him that the Pyramid was a temple for the worship of the Padma Devi,69 and that the supposed tomb was a trough to be filled at the festivals with holy water and lotus-blossoms.

This statement that the pyramid was a religious shrine is verified by the facts that existed at the time. The kings of Egypt were regarded as sacred personages and revered as gods. The pyramids were not only their monuments and sepulchres, but sanctuaries, each with a staff of priests and prophets by whom their worship was conducted till the revolutions in later centuries effected its overthrow.

It is a curious question, nevertheless, how the conception of such structures came to be entertained in Egypt. The Mound and the Pyramid had a very remote antiquity. They abounded in India and in ancient America at periods and races older than history. The teo-callis of Mexico and Central America may help at explanation when more shall have been learned.

Several of the kings of Egypt before the Fourth Dynasty are supposed to have erected pyramids, but these were very different from the structures which have such world-wide fame. Whether we may include in this category the Bemas or “high places”70 of Palestine, they are nevertheless described as sanctuaries of worship at which priests and prophets statedly officiated, as at the tombs and pyramids of Egypt.

The Great Pyramid in Middle Egypt was named Khut, the Flame. This designation is suggestive of an altar with the “eternal fire” upon it, and the glowing light from the burnished surface would seem to corroborate this surmise. It was built of limestone quarried from the mountain near by in the district of Ta-rao, the “Egyptian Troy,” and was covered with blocks of glittering granite of huge dimensions which had been brought all the way from Syene or Assuan near the southern boundary of the country. The extraordinary skill, erudition and achievement then diffused over Egypt and manifested in a structure of this character and other works of art are eloquently described by Mr. Gliddon: “Philologists, astronomers, chemists, painters, architects, physicians must return to Egypt to learn the origin of language and of writing—of the calendar and solar motion—of the art of cutting granite with a copper chisel and of giving elasticity to a copper sword—of making glass with the variegated hues of the rainbow—of moving blocks of polished syenite nine hundred tons in weight for any distance by land and water—of building arches round and pointed, and antecedent by 2,000 years to the ‘Cloaca Magna’ of Rome, of sculpturing a Doric column 1,000 years before the Dorians are known in history, of fresco paintings in imperishable colors and of practical knowledge of anatomy.”

In the times of Persian and Roman ascendancy, the kings who built these pyramids were denounced by writers in energetic terms. It is said that a hundred thousand men at a time were drafted in turn under the system of corvee, and employed for twenty years upon the Great Pyramid. Herodotos has preserved a mutilated story which, however true in its tenor, is not in accordance with the verities of history. The priests told him that Egypt was excellently governed and flourished greatly till the death of Rampsinitos, or Rameses III. After this monarch Kheops succeeded to the throne and plunged into all manners of wickedness. “He closed the temples and forbade the Egyptians to offer sacrifice,71 compelling them instead, to labor one and all in the service.”

Manetho corroborated this statement by the declaration that Kheops “was arrogant toward the gods, but repenting, he wrote the Sacred Book.” But Lauth, himself an eminent Egyptologist, has ingeniously exonerated this king from these imputations. He shows that the Greeks often understood Egyptian terms by the meaning of words in their own language that resembled them in form. Thus the “Sacred Book” which Khufu compiled has as its introduction the term ha-sebait, the beginning of basis of instruction. The Greek word asebeia which is like it in form and sound denotes impiety and so doubtless occasioned the error. We can easily perceive that this notion, so manifestly a perversion, may have led to the imputation upon the character of the monarch and finally to the erasing out of the Papyrus Prisse, the “Sacred Bo” which he compiled, and which was venerated by the Egyptians till the latest dynasties. Since that period religious bigotry in other countries has induced similar destructions of literature and calumny of the authors.

The testimony of the monuments, however, vindicates this king as a prince of merit. He appears to have introduced the worship of the god Num or Neph into Lower Egypt, and an inscription upon a tablet at the mouth of a mine in the Wadi Magara in the Peninsula of Sinai designates him as Num-Khufu, and pictures him in the act of smiting an Asiatic enemy while the ibis-headed divinity stands by as witness. Manetho also describes him as attaining a place among the gods.

There was, however, a singular reserve exhibited in the inscriptions. The king, wherever named, is mentioned with diffidence; and no divinity or religious rite is alluded to except with a carefulness as though familiar speech was not reverent. Nor was literature enriched by the “Sacred Book” alone. A papyrus now in the British Museum, mentions a manuscript relating to the cure of wounds which was found in the days of Khufu in the temple of Teb-mut.

Around the great building were the tombs of the nobles, many of whom were members of the royal family. The inscriptions mention also the wife of Khufu and likewise a person named Khufu-Seph. Offerings are also described of images given by Khufu to the gods. These were of stone, gold, ivory and ebony. An inscription of a later date records that he built a temple to the goddess Hathor at Dendera, also several others. Architecture had attained a degree of perfection which has never since been equaled, and there was a Canon of Proportion in sculpture which was always strictly followed.

Khufu may have lived to a ripe old age. Both he and his successor, Khafra or Khe-phrenes, are recorded as reigning sixty-three years. There was a practice of many monarchs to associate the heir apparent with them in the later years of their reign. This was a device to prevent a disputing of the succession,72 and in this case induced some confusion.

The new king is known to us chiefly by his buildings. The Greeks suppose him to have been a son or brother of Khufu, and it has been conjectured that his consort, the queen Meris-ankh, was daughter of that monarch. She was of exalted rank and character, the priestess of the god Thoth and also a ministrant in the worship of several other divinities. Her son, the prince Neb-ema-khut, was a hierogram-mateus or temple-scribe and held the post of secretary of state and privy counsellor to his father.

We are informed by Herodotos that Khafra “imitated the conduct of his predecessor, and like him built a pyramid of less dimensions than that of his father and having no subterranean apartments nor any canal from the Nile to supply it with water as the other pyramid has.”

These two structures stand side by side and in line with them at the East is the huge figure of the Sphinx. This is a monument still older, and neither its design, age nor architect is known.73 In form it is the likeness of a recumbent lion’s body with a human head, and its height is measured at one hundred and eighty-two feet. It was hewn out of the living rock, part of the structure being built up by masonry. It commonly had a designation of “Hu,” the lion, and in its character of divinity it also bore the name of Hor-ma-khu, or Horos in the western sky, afterward changed by the Greeks into Harmakhis and Harmais. At the breast of this wonderful image there was a temple which was built of huge blocks of granite from Syene, exquisitely cut and polished and fitted together. This structure was evidently both a tomb and sanctuary. Khufu seems to have taken it for a shrine of that divinity. There was a temple of Isis at the north of the Sphinx, another of Osiris at the South and the one consecrated to the divine image as Horos, their son. The inscriptions set forth that Khufu went to the Sphinx in order to obtain a view of the heavenly face of his father. Both Khufu and Khafra were named together in the inscriptions on the sculptured walls of the Great Pyramid, and the two apartments in that structure were their funeral chambers. An inscription made in a later dynasty preserves a memorial of Khufu:

“He, the living Horos—Khufu, King of Lower and Upper Egypt—he, the dispenser of life—found a sanctuary of the goddess Asa (Isis), the queen of the pyramid, beside the temple of the Sphinx, northwest from the temple of Usar (Osiris), the lord of the abodes of the dead. He built this pyramid near the temple of that goddess, and he built a pyramid for the king’s daughter, Hentsen, near this temple.”

The inscription further exhibits the king’s religious enthusiasm:

“He, Khufu, the living Horos, king of the Lower and Upper Country, caused the holy utensils, the pattern of which is shown on the surface of the monument, to be consecrated to his mother Isis the mother of God, who is Hathor, the ruler and mistress of the world of the dead. He has established anew her divine worship, and has built for her the temple in stone, choosing for her the company of the heavenly inhabitants of her dwellings.”

This testimony was engraved on the rock a century and more before Herodotos, misled probably by his informants, wrote down his calumnious statements. Lauth of Munich has added to our knowledge of this matter by deciphering an inscription in the Louvre at Paris, which shows that in the later centuries of Egyptian history these very kings were worshipped, together with the gods. It gives the pedigree of the priest Psametik, and describes him as “prophet of the god Tanen, prophet also of Isis the queen of the pyramids, prophet furthermore of King Khufu, prophet of King Khafra, prophet of the divine Tataf-Ra, prophet of Hormakhu.”

M. Brugsch-Bey has graphically described the finding of the building which had been buried in the sand that encircles the image of the Sphinx. He declared it “a mystery to those who inquire into the age, origin, construction and object of the whole work. Small passages, then spacious halls, then again dark side-rooms, built with huge well-cut blocks of variegated stone of yellow alabaster, fitted to a hair’s breadth, block to block, each alternate corner-stone being clamped into the adjacent wall, all smooth and well adjusted in straight lines and perfectly square, but destitute of any mark or inscriptions. The building appears a mysterious work of antiquity, when history had not yet been written.”

On the east side the space of ground covered with stone showed in a long hall the shaft of a well. Into this had been thrown a number of statues of King Khafra. This may have been done by invaders of Egypt, or by Christian or Moslem religionists in their zeal against images. Most of them were broken in falling. One, however, escaped destruction. This was a figure of King Khafra carved out of the hard diorite stone. It was of royal aspect, dignified in look and bearing. The name and title of the monarch were inscribed on the base.

Egyptian life had already taken on the form which it retained till the Persian conquest. The scenes depicted in the sculptured tombs of this epoch show this conclusively, and the hieroglyphics in the great pyramid which were written in the cursive character on the stones before they were taken from the quarry indicate that the art of writing had been long in use. The pyramids themselves correspond in position with the four cardinal points, exhibiting advancement in mathematical knowledge; and the blocks of immense size and weight, many of which had been brought from Syene, were put together with a precision unsurpassed by any masonry of former or later times. In the tombs of the pyramid period, Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson remarks, “There are represented the same fowling and fishing scenes, the rearing of cattle and wild animals of the desert; it describes the same kind of reed for writing on the papyrus and inventory of the estate which was to be presented to the owner; the same boats, though rigged with a double mast instead of the single one of later times; the same mode for preparing for the entertainment of guests; the same introduction of music and dancing; the same trades, as glass-blowers, cabinet makers, and others; as well as similar agricultural scenes, implements and granaries. We also see the same costume of the priests; and the prophet of Sam, with his leopard’s skin dress74 and the painted sculptures both in relief and intaglio.

The landed property had to a very great degree come into the possession of the priests and nobles. They enjoyed abundant wealth, and they spent their time in a diligent supervision of their estates, and in superintending the various handicrafts that were pursued by their servants and others in their employ. Every one of them had his secretaries, his steward and domestics, his glass-blower, goldsmith, potter, tailor, baker and butcher. He did not at that early period own a horse or carriage, but rode upon an ass. His fare was luxurious; he abhorred pork and had little relish for mutton, but he was fond of beef, venison and poultry, and did not disdain to eat the flesh of the hyena, the crane or the heron. Indeed, the “flesh-pots of Egypt” were supplied with an abundance that might well cause a famished Israelite in the Arabian Desert to wish himself back among them, though at the price of subjection.

Even the commonalty possessing little wealth, appear to have led a cheerful life. Industry is necessary to happiness as well as to the general welfare, and the Egyptian Fellah of that early time had little occasion for discontent. However imperative the requirements of the corvee, he was little burdened by taxation or liable to be forced away from home to serve in the army. It was a merit of deceased kings at the Assize of the Dead, that they had not torn the poor man away from the side of his wife. The religious belief of Egypt centered upon the future of the soul, and its requirements were comprised in devotion to the gods, obedience to the king, family affection, and in giving bread to the hungry, clothes to the naked, drink to the thirsty, healing medicines to the sick and wounded and burial to the dead. He was also requested to show that he had not deposited any dead or polluting substance in the river Nile. With such virtues inculcated for the daily life, and an implicit faith in the law of consequences for every act and in the constant presence and influence of divine beings and deceased benefactors, the Egyptians of all ranks appeared to have enjoyed their full share of benefits.

Upon the death of Khafra, Men-ka-ra, or Mykerinos, the son of Khufu, succeeded to the throne. Herodotos records of this prince that he opened again the temples and permitted the people who had been ground down to the lowest point of misery to return to their occupations and to resume their practice of sacrifice. It is also related that he not only gave his judgment with fairness, but when any litigant was dissatisfied with the decision he compensated him for the disappointment by an adequate gift.

Herodotos has repeated other stories still more improbable respecting this monarch. His only daughter dying, the king was said to have placed her body inside the wooden image of a cow which stood in the royal palace at Sais. The apartment was lighted by a lamp every night and aromatics were burned before it daily. In an adjoining chamber were about twenty nude figures of women whom the priests described as the royal concubines. Another story accused the king of violence toward his daughter, who thereupon committed suicide. The historian, however, had been duped by his informants. The figure at Sais represented the goddess Isis, and was taken from the apartment and publicly exhibited at the time of mourning for Osiris. Another statement that Men-ka-ra reigned only six years from that is contradicted by other historians, and Manetho assigns to him sixty-three years.

Despite the statements of Herodotos it appears certain that this king received in later times no special honor beyond other monarchs. It is interesting, however, to learn that the king’s son, Hor-to-tef, undertook a journey to inspect the temples of Egypt and found at Hermopolis a tablet of alabaster on which was a chapter of the Sacred Ritual which was said to have been written by the finger of the god Thoth.

This monarch is distinguished as the builder of the third of the largest pyramids. This structure has been praised by admirers as the most sumptuous and magnificent of all the pyramids. Different stories, however, have been told in respect to its founder. Herodotos mentions a rumor, ascribing it to Rhodopis, a native of Thrace, who lived at Naukratis at the time of the Persian conquest. Strabo gravely states that when she was bathing one day, the wind carried away her sandal and laid it at the feet of the king of Egypt as he was holding court in the open air. He found out the owner and married her. But a more plausible tradition named Queen Naith-akra or Neitokris of the Sixth Dynasty as the actual builder and Mametho also affirms this. There was, however, another queen of that name, the wife of Psametik III of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty, and to this coincidence the different stories doubtless owe their origin.

The question, however, has been determined by actual exploration. Gen. Howard Vyse having succeeded in making his way to the middle of the building, found there the sarcophagus of the king, a receptacle hewn out of a single block of stone and beautifully ornamented on the outside after the style of an ancient temple of a god. Inside of this was a coffin of cedar wood in the form of a mummy standing on a pedestal. Inscribed upon the coffin was an invocation to the god of the Underworld:

“O Osiris, King of Lower and Upper Egypt, Men-ka-ra, the ever-living, begotten of Heaven, son of Nut and heir of Seb, may she, thy mother Nut spread herself over thee and encompass thee; may she cause that thou shalt become divine, and that thy enemies shall come to nothing, O Men-ka-ra, the ever-living!”

This invocation reveals to us the wonderful change that had occurred in the Egyptian thought and consciousness. Heretofore Anup or Anubis, the guide of souls out of this life into the next, had been addressed in these inscriptions. If there was an ulterior meaning to this, it has not been understood. Now, however, Osiris is distinctly named and the deceased monarch is called upon as being at one and united with him. The drama of death was distinctly comprehended as including the whole mystery of life.

The next king of Egypt was Shepses-kaf. Little is known of him, and that little relates chiefly to individuals about his court. A youth by the name of Ptah-shepses had been adopted by Men-ka-ra and brought up in the royal family. The new king continued his favor and gave him his own daughter in marriage. The account as given in the tomb of the favorite is very expressive:

“And His Holiness gave him the eldest of his own daughters, the Princess Maat-kha, to be his wife. And His Holiness preferred that she should dwell with him rather than with any other man.”

The story of this prince exhibits a close analogy with that of the patriarch Joseph in the Book of Genesis. Of the latter we read that from a slave and prisoner he was set over all Egypt. “Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall my people be ruled,” said the Pharaoh, “only in a throne will I be greater than thou.” In like manner Shepses-kaf honored and ennobled the comrade of his own earlier years. “He was esteemed by the king above all his servants,” the record declares. “He became private secretary for every work that Pharaoh was pleased to execute. He delighted the heart of his master, His Holiness allowed him to embrace his knees and exempted him from the salutation of the ground.”75

Ptah-Shepses, like Joseph, was thus exalted above all princes and subjects. He was chief steward of all the royal granaries and storehouses; he directed the work at the mines, and exercised sacerdotal functions. He was not only a prophet of Sakar-Osiris and guardian of his sanctuary, but he held the highest dignity of all, that of chief over the priesthood of the god Ptah at Memphis.

Shepses-kaf was distinguished for his zeal in religion, his skill in science and his ability in statesmanship. Diodoros ranked him as one of the five great lawgivers of Egypt. In his reign there was a scarcity of money and corresponding difficulty in credits, and in order to facilitate commercial dealings the remarkable law was enacted which has been the marvel of later ages. The borrower was authorized to pledge the mummy of his father, and when this took place the tomb passed into the custody of the creditor. Neither the debtor nor any member of his family was permitted to receive burial anywhere till the debt was paid. This monarch is also credited with the knowledge of practical geometry and astronomy, two sciences intimately connected with the prosperity of Egypt. He was likewise a builder, and erected the fourth gateway to the temple and park of Ptah, which surpassed all the others in magnificence. By no means did he neglect the construction of his pyramid, designated Keba, the cool. It was of brick, and arched, and bore an inscription declaring that notwithstanding its less honored material it surpassed the other pyramids, as the Supreme Being was greater than the other gods.

We have no accurate data in regard to the successors of this monarch. The Chronicle of Manetho gives the names of several kings, but the record has been tampered with. The destruction of monuments and inscriptions has left us destitute of proper evidence. There was a disputed succession, and subordinate princes of the several districts, some of whom were allied to the royal family, refused allegiance to the suzerainty of Memphis. Finally, in default of representatives in the direct line, competent to maintain supremacy, the house of Khufu ceased to reign.

V. Kings After Kheops—End of the “Old Empire”—The Queen Neitokris.

The history of the Fifth Dynasty is involved in much confusion. The kings are described by Manetho, as belonging to Elephantina at the farther extremity of Upper Egypt. Reginald Poole, however, positively asserts that they reigned at Memphis, and Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson conjectures from the fact that they are enumerated as Memphite kings, that the name of the Island had been erroneously substituted for that of some place in the Northern country. What evidence is now at hand tends to corroborate the judgment that the dynasty was Memphitic. We are indebted to the labors of Count de Rouge for much that is known.

The first king in the new line adopted the designation Osir-kaf or Oserkheris. He reigned twenty-eight years, but left little record. His pyramid bore the title of Ab-setu, the place of purity, and Num-het-ep, the priest of the goddess Hathor held also the same office there; but which of the seventy pyramids was the monument of this king is unknown. It is truly a “desolate place.”

Sahu-Ra or Sepheres succeeded. The peninsula of Sinai had fallen into the possession of the Arabian tribes, but he recovered it from them. The achievement was duly sculptured on the rock and an inscription designates him as “God who strikes all peoples and smites all countries with his arm.” Records have been found in the tombs of Sakkara of persons who lived in his reign; and a block in the pyramid at Abusir bears his name traced in red. He was a builder of cities, and the “house of Sahu-Ra” is mentioned in an inscription on the wall of the temple at Esne. There was also a sanctuary dedicated to him at Memphis, still standing, while the Ptolemies ruled in Egypt, and its priests continued to perform their sacred offices. His pyramid has been found near Abusir on the margin of the Libyan desert and bears the title of “Kha-Ba,” or Sha-Ba, “the risen soul.”

The third king took the name of Nefer-ar-ka-ra or Nepherkheres. We have little account of his achievements, but the names of several of his officers are found in tombs at Gizeh. One of them was that of his grandson Ur-khuru. Count de Rouge translated the inscriptions disclosing to us his importance. He was described by them as “the royal scribe of the palace, the learned man, the master of writing, who serves as a light to all the writing in the house as Pharaoh.” In addition he was “master of writing for the petitions of the people, the one who serves as a light to all the writing which relates to the administration, chief of the provision-chamber and general of the forces composed of all the young men.”

Another official of this reign was Peh-enuka, who would now be regarded as a Secretary of State. He is styled in the inscriptions, “overseer of the treasure-houses, offerings and provision-chambers, chief of the works of Pharoah, chief in the writings of his king, and councillor for every speech which the king utters.”

Neferarkara reigned twenty years. His pyramid bore the significant designation of “Ba,” the soul.

His successor, Ra-en-user or Rathoures, adopted the practice of adding his personal name, “An,” to the throne-name or official title on the royal shield. He was also obliged to dislodge the native inhabitants of the peninsula of Sinai. They had compelled his predecessors to suspend their mining operations, but he was resolute in his purpose to resume this work. His pyramid was styled “Mensetu,” the permanent monument. His reign of forty-four years was a period of great prosperity to Egypt.

De Rouge has disclosed to us the memorials of the man of this reign who, like Sully, Cecil, Kaunitz and Bismarck made his royal master distinguished. The minister Ti was “without a pedigree,” the son of the common people, but he made himself noble by his ability and loyal service. He was permitted to erect his tomb in the Necropolis at Memphis. It was vast in dimensions, richly ornamented by paintings, and inscribed with glowing accounts of his industry, fidelity and honors. The very chamber of death was made alive with his praises. Ti had served as scribe at all the royal abodes, prepared all the decrees of the king, superintended his writings and conducted the works for which the reign was distinguished. He was a priest at the principal temples and renowned for his piety. His wife, Nefer-hetep, the daughter of the king, was also honored and esteemed for her conjugal devotion and personal merits.

Men-kau-Hor or Menkheres, is named as the successor to King Raenuser. A slab unearthed at Memphis containing his portrait shows him to have been young, and to have had the characteristic full Egyptian features. He in his turn made war with the native tribes and continued the explorations of the Sinaitic Peninsula. His reign extended only eight years, and although he likewise built a pyramid its site is not known.

Tat-ka-Ra or Tarkheres, the next king, also surnamed Assa, was the most famous of all in the Fifth Dynasty. His long reign of forty-four years enabled him to carry out the projects of his predecessors and to excel them by his own achievements. His pyramid, bearing the designation of “Nefer,” good or beautiful, would rightly describe his administration. Among the priests of this shrine we have the names of “holy men,” like Seneferu-nefer, Ra-ka-pu and Kha-hetep; and the graves at Sakkara as well as Gizeh bore the names of other nobles who lived at the royal court and held offices of honor.

King Assa prosecuted the mining operations at Mt. Sinai with increased energy. He sent commissions thither in the fourth year of his reign to investigate the condition of the mines and to open new veins. It is recorded that the precious mafka was found imbedded in serpentine rock through directions upon a tablet of stone which the god Thoth himself had written But to our later times the most admirable memorial of his reign is the roll of manuscript the “Oldest Scripture,” which follows the erased writing in the Priss Papyrus. The writer was Ptah-hetep, the son of a former king. He styles himself, ‘Meri-neter,” lover of the one God, a silent testimony that the Egyptian priests and learned men of that time recognized only one Supreme Divinity.

The following extracts have been translated:

This is the wisdom of Ptah-hetep the governor, in the time of King Assa: Long may he live!
Be not ungrateful to thy Creator, for he has given thee life.
The two eyes are drawn small, the ears are stopped up, and what was strong is continually becoming weak. The mouth becomes silent, it speaks no clear word: the memory is dulled, it cannot recall days of the past; the bones refuse their service. The good has changed to bad. Even the taste has long since gone.76
The nose is stopped without air.
In every way old age makes a man miserable.
This is written to teach the ignorant the principles of good words, for the good of those who listen, to shake the confidence of those who wish to infringe.
With the courage that knowledge gives, discourse with the ignorant as with the learned: if the barriers of art are not carried, no artist is yet endowed of all his perfections.
But words shine more than the emerald which the hand of the slave finds on the pebbles.
The obedience of the docile son is a blessing; the obedient walks in his obedience.
He is ready to listen to all that can produce affection; it is the greatest of benefits.
The one who accepts the words of his father will grow old on account of it.
So obedience is of God; disobedience is hateful to God.
The heart is the master of man in obedience and disobedience, but man by obedience gives life to his heart.
The rebellious one who is not obedient will succeed in nothing; he conceives of ignorance as knowledge and of vices as virtue; he commits daily all sorts of crime, and lives as though he were dead.
What the wise know to be death is his daily life; he goes his own way laden with a heap of curses.
Let thy heart wash away the impurity of thy mouth.
Fulfil the word of thy master; good for a man is the discipline of his father, of him from whom he has sprung.
It is a great satisfaction to conform to his words, for a good son is the gift of God.
Let thy countenance shine joyfully as long as thou livest; did a man ever leave the coffin after having once entered it?
And if thou hast become great after thou hast been lowly, and if thou hast amassed riches after thou wast poor, so that thou hast become because of this the first in the community; and if the people take cognizance of thee on account of thy wealth and thou hast become a mighty lord; then let not thy heart be lilted up because of thy riches, for the author of them is God. Despise not thy neighbor who is as thou wast; but treat him as thy equal.
It is thus that I hold out for thee health of body and the favor of the king, and that you will pass through your years of life without falsehood.
I am become one of the aged men of the earth.
I have passed one hundred and ten years of life77 by the gift of the king and the approbation of my superiors, fulfilling my duty to the king in the place of his favor.

After King Assa, the Royal Turin Papyrus enumerates three more monarchs in this dynasty. There is some discrepancy in regard to them, but we may very safely understand them to be Mer-en-Hor or Merkheres, Teta, Tet-karra or Tetkheres and Unas or Onnus. From the last of these, Egyptians were accustomed to take their point of departure.

The reign of Unas is computed at thirty-three years. Little is known of the events of that period. His tomb at Sak-kara is described as a gigantic structure in the form of a truncated pyramid. It was built of limestone and inlaid with hard stones, and was styled “Nefer-seter.” the beautiful place. The Arabs of this region now call it. “Mastabat el Pharoun,” the Masba of Pharoah. Mariette-Bey opened it, and found on a stone near the entrance the single name, “Unas.” There was a city in Middle Egypt with the same name, which may have been given it from him. His son-in-law Snath-en-hat also had a magnificent tomb at Gizeh.

Thus much is historic; that the first series of kings in the “Old Empire” began with Mena and ended with Unas. The Turin Roll shows us so much; “for it proves,” says Brugsch-Bey. “that the house of Mena extended in the long line of kings of Memphis down to Unas, and that after him there arose a new race, a second line of Pharoahs.”

Henceforth, we must look southward for monuments of the Empire. It is proper and even necessary to verify their record by the Royal Papyrus at Turin and the Tablet of Abydos.78 Memphis was no more the only national metropolis. Middle and Southern Egypt were rising again to their former importance. A second and younger family came now to the throne. It has been classed as Meniphitic; but some have conjectured that it came from Elephantina. The influences of the South were extending Northward, and the tutelary gods of Southern Egypt were now becoming better known in the northern provinces. Khufu had already naturalized Nut at Memphis, and now the title of “son of Ra” was permanently adopted.

The beginning of the Sixth Dynasty is a matter not quite free from question. Teta or Othoes is named by Manetho as the first monarch of the new line and to have reigned thirty years, when he was killed by his guards. Bunsen doubts this and considers the record to pertain to Akhthoes, whom Manetho has named as founder of the Ninth Dynasty. He conjectures that this king last named was ”a tyrant usurper who, after the Fourth Dynasty, reigned over all Egypt from Herakleopolis contemporaneously with an Elephantinean (Fifth) supremacy in the South. The Chronicle of Manetho describes Ahkthoes “as being worse than those who were before him; that he did evil to all in Egypt, was seized with madness and killed by a crocodile.”

Tombs of officials at Sakkara preserve records of Teta’s supremacy. The sepulcher of Ptah-Shepses contains inscriptions in which the occupant is described as prophet of the pyramids of King Unas and King Teta. Another record in the tomb of Abeba sets him forth likewise as the friend or companion of King Teta, and enjoying the closest intimacy with that monarch. The pyramid of the king himself bore the title of “Tat-seter,” the most stable of places, which seems both like a play upon his name and a challenge to his foes.

To add to the confusion about this matter, there was a King Teta in the Fifth Dynasty, and the Tablet of Abydos names Us-ka-Ra as his successor. It appears also that a King Ati has been regarded by some writers as the actual founder of the Sixth Dynasty. It may be true that Teta, the usurper, did reign as has been described, and that Ati, who was perhaps the same as Us-ka-Ra, was at the same time king over Middle Egypt. That he did reign is confirmed by the fact that he erected a pyramid which bore the designationof “Bai” or souls. It may be then, that Teta, being regarded as having no lawful title to the throne, was killed as a usurper. “One thing only is certain,” says Brugsch-Bey; “that a nobleman named Una passed directly from the service of King Ati to that of his successor, who bore the official name of Meri-Ra (the friend of Ra), and the family name of Pepi.79

It is not certain that the Sixth Dynasty replaced the Fifth in any regular form. There was conflict and evidently two, or perhaps more kings sometimes reigning simultaneously. The titles and records exhibit so much confusion that investigators have been perplexed in their endeavors to fix correctly the dynasty to which several of the kings actually belonged.

The reign of King Pepi, or Phiops as he is termed by Manetho, is curiously set forth in the Chronicle, first as lasting fifty-three years, and again as beginning in his sixth year and continuing till he had completed one hundred years. This discrepancy is due to the corrupt condition of the manuscript, or perhaps to some twofold method of computing time. It may be also that he came to the two crowns at two distant periods.

The history of the Sixth Dynasty is very largely that of a long career of war and conquest. The monarchs took less interest in the arts of peace. The sculptures were less carefully made, and the tombs exhibit less pains in excavation. There was a zeal for the expanding of dominion over wider territory, and religion became largely subordinate to personal ambition.

The long reign of Pepi afforded opportunity as well as occasion for numerous memorials. The cliffs of the Wadi Magara in the peninsula have preserved his record as of the Pharoahs who ruled before him. A bas-relief carved in the rock informs us that in the eighteenth year of his reign a commissioner named Ab-ton visited the mines to inspect the progress of the work. The king himself is also depicted in the tablet as the conqueror of the tribes that had built their dwelling in this valley of caves.80

Another memorial, a block of stone was also found in the ruins of Tanis, or Zoan, in the Delta, which was carved with the names and titles of the King Pepi. This shows that this place was older than has been generally supposed.81 Pepi also enlarged the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, which had been founded by Khufu. This is stated in an inscription on the wall of a secret chamber.82 The rocks at Syene, the walls of the quarries, and other places abound with similar records, showing that Pepi was really sovereign over all Egypt, and was diligent in these works executed in the hard stone, which were destined to transmit his memory to later ages.

An important record of the reign of King Pepi is contained in the Inscription of Una, a priest and officer, which was found at the ruins of San or Tanis by Mariette-Bey. This officer had been crown-bearer, while yet young, to King Teta, and rose to the dignity of superintendent to the Storehouse and Registrar of the Docks. Pepi, after his accession to the throne, advanced him to higher and confidential positions. “The king was pleased with me,” the inscription says, “more than with any of his chiefs, of his family, of his servants.” He received numerous appointments of the most confidential and responsible character; as “Chief of the Coffer,” “Private Secretary,” “Priest of the Place of the Royal Pyramid,” “Salit or Vizier, ” and “receiver of things in the royal boat for the great royal wife Aa-me-ta in private.” He was also charged with the commission to quarry a “white stone sarcophagus” out of the limestone near Memphis, and to bring it by boat entire to the royal pyramid.

King Pepi became likewise engaged in war against the Amu and the Herusha, the tribes of Palestine, Eastern Egypt and Arabia. There was no military class and the Egyptian Fellahs were not a warlike race. He determined, therefore, to levy in addition to the native militia, an army of negroes. This is the first mention of the negroes that we have in history. Heretofore they had been apart as beings of another nature. “Numerous ten-thousands were recruited from Zam, Amam, Wawa-t-Kar and Tatam.” “His Holiness” placed Una in command, and the various Egyptian officials, priests and rulers, drilled them. Una then took the field.

“And the warriors came and destroyed the land of the Herusha:

And returned successfully home.

“And they took possession of the land of the Herusha:

And returned successfully home.

“And they destroyed the fortresses:

And returned successfully home.

“And they cut down the fig-trees and the vines:

And returned successfully home.

“And they set fire to the dwellings of the enemy:

And returned successfully home.

“And they killed their chief men by tens of thousands:

And returned successfully home.

“And the warriors brought back a great number of prisoners alive, and on that account they were praised beyond measure by the king.83 And the king sent out Una five times to fight in the land of the Herusha, and to put down the rebellion with his warriors. And he acted so that the king was in every way content.”

After this a war broke out at the north of the country of the Herusha, in the “Land of Khetam,” and Una was dispatched by water, probably by the Nile and Mediterranean, or as Brugsch-Bey conjectures, by Lake Menzaleh. On his return in triumph he was exalted to the highest rank, second only to the king, and was also appointed governor of the South.

The eighteenth year of Pepi was also memorable for the occurring of the festival of Hib Set, the end of the old cycle and the beginning of another. This was a stated period of thirty years, which was reckoned according to a fixed rule of numbers so as to regulate the coincident points of the solar and lunar years. This was effected by the intercalating of eleven synodic months in the years of the cycle. Mention of this cycle is found on the monuments.

Pepi was also a founder of cities, and the City of Pepi in Middle Egypt served to preserve his memory. The names of the principal nobles who constituted his court and supported his power, are found on monuments at Sakkara, Bersheh, Abydos, and elsewhere. One of these, Meri-Ra-ankh, is recorded in his tomb as Governor of Taroa, the district of quarries, and Commissioner of Public Works. Another, with similar functions, bore the name of Meri-Ra and Meri-Ptah-ankh, friend of Ra and also of the ever-living Demiurgos. Pepi-nakht was Governor of the City of Pyramids. This was emphatically the “holy place,” and here sacrifices were offered to deceased kings, hymns were chanted, incense burned and other ceremonies performed which might be supposed to be of service to the one thus honored, and to placate his displeasure. The pyramid of King Pepi had the particular name of Men-nefer, the abode of the Good One, and the office of guardian, prophet and priest was rilled by Pepi-na, who after the death of the king was appointed to the like duties at the pyramid of his son and successor.

Pepi had married a wife who was not of royal descent, but after her exaltation to the rank and honors of queen, she was named anew, Mer-Ra-ankh-nes. Her tomb was at Abydos and from its inscriptions we learn that she was the mother of two sons, the princes Meri-en-Ra and Nefer-ka-Ra.

At the death of Pepi the older son, Meri-en-Ra, succeded to the throne. He appears to have been a monarch of energy, and he lost no time in investigating the state of affairs. He made a voyage up the Nile to the Cataracts and took decided measures to sustain the royal authority in that region. Una was now promoted by the king to be governor of all the southern country. The inscription is a record of his services. The king began the erection of his pyramid, the “Kha-nefer,” or beautiful altar, and Una was charged with the preparing of the necessary material. He took six transports, six other boats and a vessel of war to Abahat to prepare and bring away a sarcophagus and cover, and likewise a small pyramid and statue of the king. “Never had it happened.” says the record, “that the inhabitants of Abahat or of Elephantina, had constructed a vessel for warriors in the time of the old kings who reigned before.”

Hardly was this commission executed, when Una was hurried to the district in the vicinity in Hat-nub or Siut to bring away a large slab of alabaster. The energetic official procured this from the quarry and made it ready in seventeen days. But it was September, or Epiphi, and the water of the Nile was too low to float his rafts. These had been constructed a hundred feet by fifty in dimension, but they were now unserviceable, by reason of the shallow water. “His Holiness, the Divine Lord, then commanded to make four docks for three boats of burden and four transports in the small basin in Ua-uat.” The negro chiefs of the region supplied the necessary timber, and all was ready by the time of the next inundation. Three large vessels and four towing boats had been constructed of acacia wood, and as the waters rose the rafts were loaded with the huge blocks of granite for the royal pyramid.

Chapels were also built at each of the four docks, at which to invoke the protecting spirits of the king. “All these things were done, as His Holiness, the Divine One, commanded,” says Una. “I was the beloved of his father, the praised of his mother, the chief, the delight of his brothers, the hyk or Governor of the South, the truly devoted to Osiris.”

Little more has been disclosed in relation to the earlier monarchs of the Sixth Dynasty. Meri-en-Ra was succeeded by his brother, Nefer-ka-Ra. The new king sent a commission of twelve persons with the chancellor Hapi, in the second year of his reign, to examine the condition of the mines at Wadi-Magara. This, also, is recorded in an inscription at one of the caves. The names of several noblemen who held office under him are preserved in tombs in Middle Egypt. One of them was Beba of the City of Pepi. This king also built a pyramid to commemorate himself, bearing the significant appellation of ‘”Menankh,” the abode of the Living One.

Other names of kings have been preserved on the walls of Abydos and Sak-kara, “names without deeds, sound without substance, just like the inscriptions on the tombs of insignificant men unknown to fame.” In the complete silence of the monuments, one name alone lives for our notice. The Papyrus of Turin has recorded the queen Neit-akar, or Nitokris, as reigning before King Nefer-ka-Ra; but it is generally understood that she came at a later date. Manetho describes her as of a rosy complexion and the most courageous and beautiful woman of the time; adding that she reigned twelve years and built the third pyramid.

When we recall the fact that the coffin of Men-ka-Ra was actually found in the pyramid, and taken away by General Vyse, that the lid is now in London, and that its inscriptions have been read and explained, we may be surprised that a writer like Manetho should seem to go wrong. Perring, however, has explained that the pyramid had been altered and enlarged in later times. It now appears that Queen Nitokris actually took possession of the structure and placed her sarcophagus in the chamber before that of the pious king. She also doubled the dimensions of the monument, and placed over it a costly ornamental casing of polished granite.

Herodotus has also preserved an account of the career of this princess, which has its colors of romance. It was read to him from a Papyrus-roll, he affirms. “They said that she had succeeded her brother. He had been King of Egypt, and was put to death by his subjects, who then placed her upon the throne. Bent on avenging his death, she devised a cunning scheme by which she destroyed a vast number of Egyptians. She constructed a large underground chamber and on pretense of inaugurating it, contrived the following project: Inviting to a banquet those of the Egyptians whom she knew to have had the chief share in the murder of her brother, she suddenly, as they were feasting, let the river in upon them by means of a secret duct of large size. And this only did they tell me of her,” he adds, “except that, when she had done this, she threw herself into an apartment full of ashes, that she might escape the vengeance to which she would have otherwise been exposed.”

Other legends of this queen are still more fanciful. One resembles closely the story of Cinderella;84 another represents her as still bewitching the Arab who ventures near her pyramid.

Fanciful as the story of the underground palace may be, it affords an illustration of the unhappy condition of Egypt. The throne was besieged by competitors; the people were reduced to abjectness, murder and intestine violence prevailed throughout the kingdom. The invaders had already come in from the East and taken possession of the more fertile regions of lower Egypt. With Nitokris ended the power of the Memphite Dynasty.

A chaos succeeded in which all Egypt was engulfed for long centuries.

VI. Brief Summary: Feeble Dynasties—The Eleventh—The Twelfth, with its Mighty Kings.

Two royal lines, those of Mena and Pepi, had completed their career in Egypt. The seat of dominion, which had been at Abydos, had been transferred to the new city of Memphis, which had risen from the bed of the Nile. Monarchs great and powerful had succeeded to the quieter rule of the Hor-shesu, and there had been established other forms of government, culture and social life. Conjecture has been busy in efforts to determine whence these master-spirits came that created these new conditions, from what region they derived their skill, and the periods of time when all this was begun and brought to pass.

The reply so far has been little more than the echo of the questions.

The discoveries of Professors Flinders-Petrie, of M. Jacques de Morgan, the Director-General of French Exploration, of M. Amelineau and their fellow-laborers, are the latest contributions at hand. They are very interesting as tending to modify some of the opinions which had been entertained. They seem to demonstrate the African origin of the early Egyptian population, but likewise a probable racial affiliation of the ruling classes of Kushites of Ethiopians of Southern and Middle Asia.

Perhaps the disclosure least expected was the practice of cremation. At the death of any of the earlier kings, the body, together with his personal property, was placed on the pyre for incineration; and when this had been accomplished the bones and remains of the various articles were preserved in the vases in the tombs. This was a structure of sun-dried bricks.

Inside of these tombs were found implements of flint, vases of stone, both of alabaster and obsidian, figures of animals carved from ivory and rock crystal, together with ornaments, glass beads and bracelets, and pieces of burned cloth. Many of the vases were of material which was not to be obtained in Egypt, but had been brought from Asia. The style of art was primitive.

The tombs near Nagada, in the Thebaid, resembled those of Chaldaea. There were no metallic implements or ornaments to be found. At Abydos the case was different. M. Amelineau describes a tomb at that capital very similar in style to those of the older necropolis, with the remains of a terrace-like roof supported by wooden beams. The body of the king was in a central room of the structure, but the cremation had been so complete that only a few bones were left. He also found both implements made of stone, vases, and figures of animals cut from rock-crystal, together with large quantities of ornaments of bronze. The style of manufacture is like that employed in ancient Assyria.

It seems that in Egypt as in other Oriental countries the bodies of royal personages only were cremated. For others the common practice was interment. The king, being venerated as a divine being, the offspring and representative, or even the incarnation of the god Ra or Horos, he was supposed to rise from his ashes to a new life, like the Phoenix of Egyptian tradition.

The name was preserved by hieroglyphic engraving in a tablet of stone of square or circular form. M. Amelineau discovered also the tombs of the kings Den and Dja, and others belonging to the First Dynasty. He also found vases of offerings, and not only the “banner-names” inscribed on the cylinders, but the titles of “King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Vulture and Sacred Serpent.”

A more significant discovery, however, was made by M. de Morgan at Nagada in 1897. He found in the royal tomb the name of the king, “Aha,” carved in hieroglyphic character. This is a demonstration of the proficiency of the Egyptian learning at that period and that they then employed that mode of writing. The cutting, however, exhibited indecision, as though the knowledge of it was but newly acquired. M. Amelineau supplemented this discovery by the finding among the seals on the vases of the tombs at Abydos, one that was marked by the cylinder of that monarch. The scarabaeus had not been adopted at that period as a device for seals.

The calcined fragments of the body were removed from Nagara to the Museum at Gizeh, together with other relics, including vases and the figure of a dog artistically carved in ivory. Besides these, there were also broken pieces of an ivory plaque, which when joined together, disclosed the “Ka-name,” or mystic appellation of the astral or divine counterpart of the royal personage; and attached to it was likewise the name borne by King Aha during his lifetime: Mena!

Fixing the capital of a united Egypt at the new site of Memphis, he and his successors directed their efforts persistently to the consolidating of their dominions, the promoting of sacred learning and the development of useful industries. Important features were incorporated into the laws, religious rites and administration. King Bai-neter enacted that women likewise should inherit royal power; and Seneferu, who extended his dominion beyond Goshen and the Seth-roite nome to the peninsula of Sinai, made other changes of an important character. About this time the embalming of the dead and the erecting of pyramids for the reception of the royal coffins, appear to have come into practice. Khufu was distinguished beyond his predecessors or the kings that succeeded. He enlarged the scope of royal power, added to the rites of worship, and increased the territory of the country. The Great Pyramid was a temple as well as a Holy Sepulchre, and throughout the succeeding dynasties was provided with a college of priests and prophets for the celebration of religious offices and initiations. The divinities revered in Upper Egypt, Num, Isis and Osiris, were now recognized at the royal court, and the king prepared a sacred ritual for their worship. This was the Augustan age of archaic Egypt.

The Fifth Dynasty followed clearly in the path marked out by its predecessors, in the cultivating of knowledge, and the diligent observing of religious worship. But the ascendency of Memphis was now waning, and the influence of other regions was perceptibly increasing.

The Sixth Dynasty, as we have seen, was in important respects a new departure. The sovereigns of this line appear to have displayed a stronger disposition for foreign conquest. Pepi, the principal king, had numerous wars with the Semitic populations at the east of Egypt, and he is supposed to have carried his arms into Arabia and Nubia. Like Khufu, who was in a great degree his prototype, he was a builder. He founded a city in middle Egypt which was known by his own name, and he also rebuilt and enlarged the principal sanctuaries. Carrying out the plan of his famous predecessor, he erected a new temple at Dendera or Tentyris (Ten-ta-Ra.) to the great Goddess, Hathor, in which were halls for occult and initiatory rites, a planisphere, and typical representations of the birth of the Universe.

The three children of Pepi succeeded to the throne. With the last of these, the beautiful Queen Neitokris, the dynasty came to an end.

Egypt was now rent by internal dissensions. No one was able, for centuries, to wear the double crown and to wield the lotus as well as the papyrus scepter. The local sovereigns in the several districts were engaged increasingly in conflict. “All this,” says Brugsch-Bey, “suggests the picture of a state split up into petty kingdoms, afflicted with civil wars and royal murders; and among its princes or rulers of nomes there arose no deliverer able with a bold arm to strike down the rebels and seize and hold with firm hand the fallen reins of the reunited monarchy.”

Manetho has no record of names from the Seventh to the Eleventh Dynasty. He or some one in his name has left the following meagre record:

Seventh Dynasty.—Seventy Memphite Kings who reigned seventy days (or, as has been corrected, five Kings who reigned twenty years and seventy days).
Eighth Dynasty.—Twenty-seven Memphite Kings who reigned one hundred and twenty-six years.
Ninth Dynasty.—Nineteen Herakleotic Kings who reigned four hundred years.
Tenth Dynasty.—Nineteen Herakleotic Kings who reigned one hundred and eighty years.
Eleventh Dynasty.—Sixteen Diaspolitic Kings who reigned forty-two years. After them Amenemes reigned sixteen years.”

This enumeration is little less than a jumble. There is every likelihood that Memphis was the arena of bloody conflict and ceased to be a capital. The two Dynasties of Khien-su or Herakleopolis, it has been insisted, held only a local dominion, while other parts of the country had also kings of their own.

The Tablet of Abydos, which was compiled by Seti and his famous son, gives the official names of nineteen Kings who reigned over southern Egypt, during six hundred years of misrule. Eratosthenes names eight, and the Turin Papyrus, six.

Thebes or No-Amun now became the mistress of Egypt. Only there the semblance of order seems to have been steadily maintained. The first kings of the Eleventh Dynasty were monarchs of moderate pretensions, who left few memorials except tombs that were simple pyramids built of unburnt brick. Mr. Birch describes their names as being alternately Antef and Mentu-hetep, and considers it probable that they continued in a direct unbroken succession. The coffins of two of them have been found. They were made of single trees, and their mummies were enclosed in pasteboard envelopes.

The first of these was Antef or Anen-tef, “the great Father.” He was descended from the southern line of Theban princes. His tomb was rifled by the Arabs in 1827, and contained the royal mummy, adorned with a golden diadem which bore the usual figure of the royal serpent. The simulacra of the wasp and branch attested the rank of the illustrious dead, and the escutcheon bore the name of “Antef.”

This monarch had been embalmed and inhumed by his brother Anentef-ao, who also succeeded to the throne. The tomb of this king was found by Mariette-Bey. It was a brick pyramid with a single chamber, and contained a memorial stone bearing the date of the fiftieth year of his reign. He was addicted to hunting and was warmly attached to pet animals. His image was found in a standing posture, and at the feet were the figures of four dogs, each of a different breed, and wearing a collar on which his name was inscribed. The animals were called Beheka Mahet, Ab-akar, Pehet-Kamu and Tekal Uhat-Khempet.

The third sovereign bearing the name of Antef, Nantef or Anentef was designated Tosi-Meres by Eratosthenes, with the additional sentence: “who is the sun,” or incarnation of Ra. After him was another called by way of distinction, Anentif-na, “The Greater Antef,” and likewise Sethi-Neilos. He was renowned for having raised his country to a rank superior to the others. The Tablet of Karnak significantly points out as a change that after the Antef hyks or local rulers were four kings. In plainer words, Egypt had once more a united government—the Eleventh Dynasty.

The scepters which had departed from Memphis were now in the hands of the Kings of Thebes, the city of Noph-Amun.

The most imposing figure of the new line was Mentu-hetep, who bore also the official name of Neb-kha-Ra, or Ta-neb-Ra. He not only established a dynasty, but the rulers of the vivified Egypt of later centuries were his descendants and based their divine authority as kings on the fact. A record on a rock in the island of Konossa, not far from Pi-lakh or Philae commemorates this king as the conqueror of thirteen nations. He made his residence at the town of Kebta or Koptos in “The beautiful valley of Ham-mamat,” and his name together with that of his mother, Ama, is found in an inscription there.

The god Khem, “The Lord of the inhabitants of the desert,” was the tutelary of Koptos, and Mentu-hetep was diligent in his worship. At the same time he was by no means derelict in devotion to other divinities. It ought to be borne in mind, however, that the names and personifications of the gods had reference to prominent divine qualities rather than to distinct individuality. Khem personated Amun, “the unknown god,” of Thebes, and Ra or Horos of Abydos. An Egyptian was nothing if not religious.

After the practice of former kings, Mentu-hetep, in the second year of his reign, set about the construction of his pyramid. It bore the name of Khu-setu, “the place of illumination.” A memorial stone at Abydos commemorates the priest who officiated at the sacrifices for the dead which were offered to the deceased monarch at this shrine. This king is recorded as having reigned over fifty years.

Mr. Birch credits to “Mentu-hetep III.” the inscription in relation to the transporting of stones for the royal sarcophagus from the mountain to the banks of the Nile. It bears date on the 15th day of the month Paophi,85 in the second year of his reign. Three thousand men were required for the work, masons, sculptors and workmen of all classes. Amun-em-hat, the royal commissioner of public works, superintended the whole undertaking. “He sent me,” the inscription reads, “because I am of his sacred family, to set up the monuments of this country. He selected me from his capital city, and chose me out of the number of his counsellors. His Holiness ordered me to go to the beautiful mountain with the soldiers and principal men of the whole country.”

The way from Koptos to the mountains lay through the valley of Hamma-mat, and another inscription records that the king caused a deep well ten cubits in diameter to be sunk in the desert for the use of the workmen, and for the refreshment of pilgrims.

The origin of obelisks is now set to the credit of the Eleventh Dynasty. Near the grave of Queen Aah-hetep, the illustrious descendant of Mentu-hetep, in the necropolis of Thebes, two obelisks were dug up in broken pieces. They were put together by Mr. Villiers-Stuart, and each was found to bear the name of an Antef. One of them also bore the inscription: “Neb-kheper-Ra, perfect of God, made for himself splendid temples.”

The artist of this monarch, Mer-ti-sen, achieved a reputation almost surpassing that of his royal master. He was the beginner of a line of architects who flourished till the latest times, and their works of skill made Egyptian art celebrated over the world. The Doric order, the canon of proportion, and imperishable coloring are among the achievements of this period.

The last king of this series, Sankh-ka-Ra, is enumerated in the Tablet of Abydos as the fifty-eighth. His reign is memorable for the voyage of Hannu to the “divine country of Punt.” This region was regarded as the cradle of archaic Egypt. It is described as washed by the great sea, full of valleys and hills, abounding in ebony and other choice woods, in frankincense, balsam, precious metals and costly stones; and also in animals, such as giraffes, hunting leopards, panthers, dog-headed apes, and ring-tailed monkeys, and likewise birds of strange plumage.

Tradition depicted Punt as the original land of the gods. Amun was considered as the hyk or king, Hathor as the Queen, and Horos as the “Holy morning star.” Bes, the Egyptian Pan or Dionysos, was regarded as the oldest form of Deity and was described as going forth thence all over the world. The divinities, it was believed, had migrated from that region to the valley of the Nile, and hence the country on the Red Sea was named Ta-neter, “the land of the gods.”

Hannu set out from Koptos for the sea with a force of three thousand men, and before taking ship offered a great sacrifice of oxen, cows and goats. His voyage was very prosperous. “I brought back,” says he, “all kinds of products which I had not met with in the parts of the Holy Land. And I came back by the road of Vak and Rohan, and brought with me precious stones for the statues of the temples. But such a thing had never taken place before, since there had been kings [in Egypt]: nor was the like ever done by any blood-relations who had been sent to those places since the time of the Sun-god Ra.”

Twelfth Dynasty.

“After these kings,” says Manetho, “Amenemes (Amun-em-ha) reigned sixteen years. The name of this king has a suggestive likeness to that of the famous minister of Mentu-hetep, and both Manetho and the Turin Papyrus include him in the same dynasty. His claim was evidently based upon marriage to a princess of that dynasty, and certainly he held the throne by a precarious tenure. He was twice dethroned, and his whole reign was disturbed by conspiracies. His instructions to his son and successor declare this. He was, nevertheless, an able sovereign and ruled the two realms of Egypt, from Elephantina to the lowlands of the North, with a justice and wisdom that were generally acknowledged. Having succeeded in establishing his power, he proceeded to deliver his subjects from the inroads of the negro tribes of Nubia. A rock by the road from Korusko to the seacoast commemorates this expedition by this inscription:

“In the twenty-ninth year [ninth?] of king Amunemha he came hither to smite the inhabitants of the land of Wawat.”86

The Twelfth Dynasty has recorded in its monumental records an extraordinary zeal for religion and public improvement. Amunemha founded the temple of Amun at Thebes, which became afterward eminent as the royal sanctuary of Egypt. He also built temples at Memphis and other capital cities, and placed in them images exquisitely carved in stone.

Each royal dynasty had its own precinct for the dead. Amunemha followed the customs of the Memphite kings and set up his pyramid. It bore the name of Ka-nefer, “the beautiful high place.” He commissioned Anentef, the high priest of Khern at Koptos, the royal residence, to superintend the work of preparing the sarcophagus. It was cut from the mountain of Eohanna, in the valley of Ham-mamat, and removed to the plain. It was the largest receptacle of the kind, and the usual assurance is given: “Never had the like been provided since the time of the god Ea.”

During the last two years of his reign the king made his son, Osirtasen I.,87 his partner on the throne. This policy avoided a disputed succession, and as the prince had inherited the regal divine quality from his mother, it obviated any dispute in regard to his father’s authority. Indeed, he was set apart to this kingly office from before his birth.

The record of Manetho is involved in some confusion; as we find this statement equivocally made that this king was murdered by his eunuchs.

Osirtasen addressed his first efforts to the securing of the support of the priests. He proceeded to complete the public buildings at Thebes and other places which Amunemha had founded, and also built over the shrines at Heliopolis,88 then the most revered of the holy places of Egypt. All through the coming centuries, the kings resorted to it year by year on pilgrimages. The two obelisks before its temple which commemorate this work were long regarded as the oldest of any in the country.

Under this king and his successors the arts and scientific knowledge acquired a perfectness which was not attained in former or later centuries. The grotto-tombs of this dynasty at Beni-Hassan are models of artistic skill, and their inscriptions and carvings glorify death itself, as a very conquest which life had made. Their fluted columns indicate to us the origin of the Doric order of architecture for which later Greece is famous, while the paintings and sculptures are a revelation of Egyptian life and history in an age of glory almost forgotten.89

At Tanis there were also buildings and works of art of superior beauty and excellence. The picture of Osirtasen was often among them, and so it was elsewhere in upper and lower Egypt.

The king was also diligent in the details of administration. The tomb of Ameni at Beni-ITassan gives an elegant description of his government. This man was a Khar-tut90 or warrior priest, and was hereditary prince of the nome of Mah or Antinoe, and child of the seers and prophets of the temple. He accompanied the king on military expeditions into Nubia, took charge of the booty and conveyed it to his royal master at Koptos. He “conquered” in the forty-third year of the king’s reign, and the epitaph describes the character of his administration.

“I was a kind master,” he declares of himself, “a ruler who loved his city. All the works of the palace of the king were placed in my hands. * * * * No child of the poor did I afflict; no widow did I oppress; no land-owner did I displace; from no five-hand master [small farmer] did I take away his men for my works. No one was unhappy in my time, no one was hungry in my time, not even in the years of famine. For I caused all the fields of the nome of Mah to be tilled. Thus I prolonged the life of its inhabitants and preserved the food that was produced. There was not a hungry man in the province. I distributed equally to the widow and to the unmarried woman; 1 gave no advantage to the great over the humble in all that I gave away.”

Another official, Mentu-hetep, was the Ab, or confidential advisor to the king. His tombstone is now at the museum at Bulak, and his inscription describes him as “a man learned in the law, a legislator, one who apportioned the services, who regulated the works of the nome, who carried out the behests of the king, and who as judge gave decisions and restored to the owner his property. As the king’s chief architect, he promoted the worship of the gods, and he instructed the inhabitants of the country according to the best of his knowledge, even as God [the King] commanded to be done. He protected the unfortunate and freed him who was in want of freedom.

“The great personages bowed down before him when he arrived at the outer door of the palace.”

He superintended the building of the temple at Abydos and constructed a well, “according to the order of his Holiness, the Royal Lord.” This well is described by Strabo, but has not been found.

Another minister of great distinction was Nef-hetef, who also held office in the reign of his successor, Osirtasen II. He was of royal blood, and accordingly was made ruler in the city of Menat-Knufu, in the nineteenth year of the king’s reign. His functions were largely religious. He provided for an abundant production of the necessaries of life, attended to the funeral services of the dead, sculptured descriptions of them for the “holy dwelling,” and established there an officiating priest. He also ordered funeral offerings at all the feasts of the world below,—likewise offerings at the festivals of the new year, at the beginning of the great year, at the beginning of the year, at the end of the year, at the great feast of joy, at the feast of the summer solstice, at the feast of the winter solstice, at the festival of the five intercalary days, at the festival of She-tat, at the festival of the sand, at the twelve monthly feasts, and at the feasts on the plain and on the mountain.

Thus we observe that the king fixed the boundaries of the nomes or districts, confirmed the appointments of their hereditary princes as viceroys and directed the proper distribution of water for irrigation. The list of festivals further shows that the savants of the Nile were diligent in their studies and observations, knowing the stars and their positions in the sky, and the exact length to minutes of the year.

Manetho names this king Sesostris, and describes him as reigning forty-eight years, conquering all Asia Minor in nine years, and Europe as far as Thrace. He also represents him as setting up pillars in the different countries. Strabo also affirms that he conquered Ethiopia [Nubia] and the country of the Troglodytes and then crossed over into Arabia and overran all Asia. Apollonios the Rhodian also mentions these conquests. Aristotle and Dikearkhos also entertained the same opinion. Baron Bunsen also sustained this view, but considers Osirtasen III. as the actual Sesostris. “The Egyptians considered him to be first after Osiris.” It is true that Thothmes III. and other kings of later periods honored Osirtasen as a god. But the more general belief, supported by evidence, indicates that Rameses II. was the king to whom this designation belongs.

The reign of Osirtasen II. is characterised in the painting at Beni-Hassan by the representation of a Semitic group of thirty-seven persons of the race called Mes-stem. They were from the “land of Abesha,” and were received by the son of the prince, Nef-hetep. Their great eyes and aquiline noses indicated their origin.91 Their wives and children had come with them. They were dressed in robes of many colors, and had brought as propitiary gifts a young gazelle and a quantity of al kohol suitable for painting the face. They were seeking a home in Egypt to escape famine. This was probably the beginning of the migrations which resulted finally in the subjugation of Egypt.

Osirtasen III. was superior to former kings in power and wisdom. He extended his conquests from Syene to the country beyond the second cataract and protected them from the incursions of the negro hordes by strong fortifications. He set up two pillars of stone with an image of himself at the landing, and inscribed on them a threat to disown the genuine descent of every son of his who did not maintain it. Egyptian temples were erected in the territory, and in later centuries Osirtasen was revered in Nubia as the guardian divinity along with god Neph or Totun.

Nevertheless Amunemha III. was more estimable for his achievements. He was distinguished by no extensive foreign conquests with their attendant massacres and atrocious cruelties, always characteristic of ancient and savage warfare, but by the nobler acts of benefaction to his people. He appears to have surpassed those who preceded him, in the extent of his scientific and geometric knowledge. Egypt is known to depend upon the annual inundations of the Nile for its very existence. These also took place in Nubia till the giving way of the chain of rocks at Silsilis about this time consigned that region to hopeless sterility. The famines which had prevailed in the previous reign and probably were now repeated turned the attention of the monarch from building to providing for the exigency.

There was a natural basin in the Eayum, bounded on the two sides by the mountain. In the archaic period before Mena, artificial changes had been made in the channel of the river by princes of Abydos, that transformed the basin into a lake. The accumulation of mud brought thither by the river made the lake into a marsh. After a careful investigation of the topography of the country a canal was opened from the river to this marsh.92 The gorges around were closed by dams, which thus converted it into an artificial reservoir, which received the water from the river at the inundations and retained it till the dry seasons, when it was let out to irrigate the fields.

Much curious speculation took place in regard to the personality of the monarch who accomplished this work. The lake was known by the Egyptian name of Mera, as was also the Labyrinth which stood a little distance away. Tradition becoming fixed in the form of history, designated a king Moeris as the founder. There were several kings in whose names the word “Mer” formed a part. Besides, there were many reasons for supposing Mena himself to have been the author. He had changed the course of the Nile to provide a site for his new metropolis. But the official designation of Amunemha III., Ka-en-ma, or Ma-en-Ra, was fixed upon as the origin of the name Moeris.

This was confirmed by the fact that he had constructed his sepulchre at the corner of the lake. The period of pyramid-building was passing away, and he ventured upon a wide innovation. Instead of placing the structure in the desert, he selected its site in the fertile home of Arsinoe, where he had transformed a pestilential swamp into a salubrious garden. It was a truncated pyramid-shaped pediment, which served as a base for both the colossal statue of the king and also of the queen, his consort or successor. Their names have been found on blocks of stone, resolving all doubts in the matter.

The Labyrinth has been justly termed one of the seven wonders of the world. Amunemha began the work of building when he began his reign, and in his ninth year he set about the procuring of material for this undertaking. Thousands of workmen were employed at the mines and quarries of the peninsula of Sinai and in the valley of Hammamat, and the king went personally in the ninth year of his reign to the valley of Rohan to give direction in regard to stones for statues.

The Labyrinth is described by Herodotos as having three thousand chambers, half of them above and half of them below ground. The priests would not permit him to see the underground apartments, affirming that the kings and the sacred crocodiles were buried there. The upper rooms filled him with admiration. The paths across the courts, winding in every direction, the numerous structures, the walls covered with sculptures and paintings, the courts surrounded with colonnades built of white stone, exquisitely fitted together, excelled even imagination itself. At the corner stood a pyramid forty fathoms high, with figures engraved on it.

The monuments are significantly silent about this work. It is not very difficult now to guess the reason. The Arsenoite nome was hateful to the Egyptians of Abydos, Tentyris, and the country of Amun. Sebek, the Siva of Egypt, was the tutelary there, and the crocodile was his symbolic animal. Pi-Sebek, or Krokodilopolis, was the capitol of the nome, and abounded with temples founded by the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty, and obelisks of stone were erected to Sebek and his associate divinities. There was always a tame crocodile kept in the lake that visitors fed as a pet animal.

There were indications of a politic toleration on the part of the king. The title of the queen whose statue was placed on the pyramid with Amunemha was Sebek-nefru, and we find the same name borne by other ladies at this period. Amunemha IV. succeeded to the throne, but little of importance is known of his career. He simply followed the course of his distinguished father. He was succeeded by his sister, Sebek-nefer-ra, and with her the Twelfth Dynasty came to an end. The royal inheritance passed to a new family.

During the period of this dynasty the centre of gravity of the Egyptian state was situated in Middle Egypt. M. de Rouge remarks the progress made in art: “That long succession of generations which we are not able to determine precisely witnessed various and changing phases in the development of Egyptian art.” He adds: “The origin of this Art is unknown to us; it begins with the remnants of the Fourth Dynasty. Architecture certainly shows an inconceivable perfection in regard to the working and building of blocks of great dimensions. The passages in the interior of the Great Pyramid remain a model that has never been surpassed.” He remarks one form of ornament in the temples and tombs, two lotus-leaves placed opposite to each other. The human form is distinguished by some broad and thick-set proportions; but near the end of the Twelfth Dynasty the human figures became more slender and tall. The sculptures in relief are often of incredible delicacy. They were always painted over with colors. The engraving of the inscriptions on the monuments leaves nothing to be desired. The artist was the most honored man in the kingdom, standing near the monarch, who poured his favor in a full stream on the man of “enlightened spirit and a skillfully-working hand.”

VII. The Brilliant Twelfth Dynasty—Lake Moeris and the Labyrinth—The Menti or Hyksos—The New Empire—The Queens.

Amunemha III. had supplemented the achievements of his predecessors by the provision which he had made for stable government by his magnificent system of canals and other public works. He had consolidated his dominion from the Sudan to the Mediterranean and had transformed the Fayum, which had been little more than a desert and field of marshes, into a region of fertility and abundance, making it the seat of power and influence in Egypt. The Labyrinth, with its numerous structures, pathways and thousands of apartments, was, doubtless, a place of assembly, where the representative priests, lesser kings and others who were of note amongst the people met in council to propose and discuss measures which were for the welfare of the Empire. Everything had been conducted upon a scale of grandeur and with reference to the general welfare.

The Twelfth Dynasty, like others, “came in with a lass and went out with a lass.” And after its departure dense clouds began to obscure the glory of Egypt. With the exaltation of the Fayum and Middle Egypt and the introduction of a heterogeneous population, it is likely that the rulers of the other districts were excited by jealousy. There was probably, likewise, an increase of the public burdens. An analogous condition of affairs is described as recurring in Hebrew Palestine at a later period. King Solomon had also filled his dominion with costly buildings and “made silver as stones,”93 so that it was of no account for coinage or ornament. His people being overburdened beyond patient endurance, their representatives appealed to his successor for relief. Upon his refusal they promptly set the Dynasty of David aside.

Religion, even more than jealousy and political ambition, was likely to have a greater influence. The exaltation of the Fayum and increase of its influence naturally tended to bring the tutelary divinity of the Arsinoite district into greater distinction. The divinity, Sebek, the patron god of the inundation, had the crocodile for representative symbol, and homage was paid to it similar to that bestowed elsewhere upon the sacred ram at Mendes, the black Apis at Memphis and the white Mena at Heliopolis. Amunemha erected temples and obelisks to this divinity, and the name Sebek became a frequent constituent of the names of individuals belonging to the royal family and court. The King’s own daughter, the last of his line, was Queen Sebek-neferu, and she was succeeded by Sebek-hetep I. of the Thirteenth Dynasty.

The history of this dynasty is involved in much obscurity. The Tablet of Abydos omits all mention of it, passing from the Twelfth to the Eighteenth as though continuous. The Chronicle of Manetho barely states that it consists of sixty Theban or Diospolite Kings, whose names are lost, and that of the Fourteenth nothing is known. The Turin Papyrus is badly tattered at this point. It enumerates eighty-seven kings, while, owing to its mutilated condition, there are about sixty more names that cannot be transcribed. Seven of these kings are recognized as bearing the name of Sebek-hetep, and Brugsch-Bey declares his conviction that the greater number of the kings of this family had the same designation. This name, implying homage and veneration for the Crocodile-God, appears continually till the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Then, as will be seen, there occurred other changes of vast importance.

The Kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty, the first of them at least, were duly invested with full royal authority in both the Egypts and in the subject-provinces, and their inscriptions have been found in Nubia, the Peninsula of Sinai and in several of the cities. Two statues of King Mermesha were found by Mariette-Bey at Tanis (Zoan), on which his name was distinctly inscribed. They had been set up in the great Temple of Ptah, and the names of Apapi of the Fifteenth Dynasty and Rameses II. had also been cut in them. The statues of Sebek-hetep IV. were so set up at Tanis, and those of Sebek-hetep V. were found at Bubastis, in Lower Egypt, and on the Island of Argo, in the Upper Nile. This shows that their power was recognized in Lower Egypt and undisputed in the South. Brugsch-Bey was of the opinion that the monarchs, beginning with Sebek-hetep III., and ending with Sebek-hetep VII., were connected with the most powerful families of the country and formed a separate series. They were inscribed under Thothmes III. in the Royal Tablets of the Chamber of Karnak.

The tombs at Siut or Lycopolis belong to this period and may yet disclose more. Eratosthenes has recorded but three names as ruling in Thebes, namely: Siphoas or Si-Ptah, Phuron or Phi-iaro (Neilos), and Amuthantseos or Amun-Tima-o. This last name is memorable as belonging to a prince in whose reign took place an event that was destined to change the fortunes of Egypt.

“There was a King Hemin-timaos (or Amuntimao),” says Manetho. “Under this monarch God became angry, I know not why, and there came unexpectedly out of the regions of the East men of an insignificant race, who marched boldly over the country and easily took possession of it by force without resistance. And having overpowered those who ruled in it, they not only savagely burned the cities, but they likewise overthrew the sanctuaries of the Gods. They also in various ways ill-treated the inhabitants, putting some to death and leading others into bondage with their wives and children.”

In fact the lowland regions of Northern Egypt had already for many centuries attracted colonies from Asia. The country east of San or Tanis and the Tanitic Branch of the Nile had already been peopled by inhabitants of Phoenician descent and was named in their dialect Zar and Ma-zor (Zoan94), “the region of fortresses.”

In the Hebrew writings the southern realm was called Pa-to-ris or Pathros, “the southern country,” and Northern Egypt was also presently termed Keft-or or Kaptor, the country of Kefts or Kephenians, which was a designation of the Phoenicians and Palestinians. The plural term, Mizraim, became a name for Upper and Lower Egypt. This was probably after the foreign Prince or Salit had fortified his dominion.

The newcomers, whom Manetho has described so unfavorably, were denominated in the monumental records “Men-ti,” or Easterners. The country from which they came was known in subsequent periods as Asher, and Rutennu, or Lutennu, and to us as Syria and Palestine. They were the same peoples evidently as are designated in the Hebrew books as Anakim, Amorites and Philistines. They were afterward styled Sos or Shasu, the appellations also of the Amalekites, Idumeans and the Bedouins of Arabia. Hence the Menti Kings are now known in history as Hyk-Sos or Arabian Princes.

An ancient tradition informs us that Shed ad, the son of Ad, conquered Egypt and the whole of Northern Africa, and founded a dynasty with its capital at Avaris, or Pelusium, which continued more than two hundred years.

Whether the invaders whom Manetho described were Arabians or emigrants from Palestine is a debatable question; but as they found the region in the Eastern Lowlands already occupied by Phoenicians and perhaps other people of the Semitic family, it is probable that the latter gave the newcomers a fraternal welcome.

It seems evident, however, that their emigration was prompted by apprehension of an invasion of their own country by hostile hordes from Middle Asia. They came to Egypt originally as colonists, but the country afforded an opportunity of which they took advantage. Brugsch-Bey declares that “the history of Egypt at this period consisted chiefly of revolts and insurrections, of murders and assassinations of various princes, in consequence of which their lives and reigns were not governed by the ordinary conditions of the duration of human existence.”

In such a state of affairs the Kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty found it difficult to maintain their regal authority. This made it easy for the new lords of the alien peoples in the Egyptian Lowlands to supersede them in one tract of territory after another and to hold possession by the right of conquest.

The history of the Fourteenth Dynasty is yet to be brought to light. The Chronicle represents it as consisting of seventy-six Kings belonging to Xois or Sakha, a city in the Delta of the Nile, and as having continued four hundred and eighty-four years. Manetho seems in this statement to recognize actual kings, with no question of their legal title. The Tablet of Abydos, more tenacious of technical rights, ignored their existence altogether. Owing to the mutilated condition of the Turin Papyrus, their names are not yet ascertained, but it is certain that few of them reigned for any considerable length of time. Whether this Dynasty succeeded to the Thirteenth or was only contemporary with it, and whether it held dominion over any considerable part of Egypt are questions which are still debated. It will suffice, however, to say: “It once existed; it was!”

It is hardly probable, however, that the Menti seized on the sovereign power in the way of conquest. They may have been invited by some of the under-Kings of Egypt who had become disgusted with the prevalent misrule and feeble administration to accept the suzerainty. Perhaps their princes had intermarried with the families of some of the native rulers and so obtained a claim to supreme power that was not without valid foundation.

They were not fairly described by Manetho. It is not probable that they governed the country with any uncommon harshness. They may have treated the worship of Egypt with little respect and suffered the temples to go to decay without attempt to repair them. The same thing had taken place in former periods, and more religious monarchs of later Dynasties had devoted themselves to rebuilding them, as Herod rebuilt the Temple at Jerusalem. Ancient religion, however, was more domestic and less a public matter. In archaic times every household, clan and tribe had an eponymous divinity, an altar or hearth, and a religious rite that were all its own; and for a stranger to take part or even be present at the worship was considered a profanation. Likewise, under the different dynasties, the various divinities, Ptah, Khem, Menthu and Sebek, had in turn received the principal worship. The Menti Kings had their own tutelary, Baal, called also Sutekh or Sedek, “the Just One.” It is probable that they considered him as clearly allied to Ptah, the Demiurgos, and that they also identified him with Seth or Typhon, who was worshipped by the Egyptians in the same region. Indeed, the distinct individuality of several gods is not to be too much counted upon. There was a concept of their actual oneness behind them all, but there is no trustworthy evidence that the newcomers when in supreme power interfered with the local worship or destroyed any edifice that was regarded as sacred. The obelisks and monuments of the earlier kings, the tombs and other structures were not meddled with. Little innovation was made upon existing customs. The new rulers actually adopted the manners of the Egyptians and made use of the Egyptian manners and writing. The order and etiquette of the Royal Court were arranged as they had been before. Even their first monarch, as he was named by Manetho, was designated simply by an official title—the Salit,95 or Sultan.

He is said to have made his official residence at Memphis, to have filled the region with garrisons and to have collected taxes and tribute from both Lower and Upper Egypt. As he apprehended a possible attack from Assyria, then in full career of conquest, he fortified the eastern frontier against invasion. At the east of the river, in the Saitic or Sethroite nome, or district, was the old town of Havar, or Avaris, which had its name from a theologic tradition.96 The Salit perceived that it was a point of superior strategic importance and rebuilt it with strong fortifications. He placed a strong garrison in it and spared no effort to place his dominion in complete defense. It may be that this was the occasion of giving it the name “Mizraim,” or fortified regions.

There were six kings enumerated by Manetho under the title of “Phoenician Foreigners” in the Fifteenth Dynasty. Their names are given as follows: Saites or the Salit, Benon, Apakhnan, Staan or Apapi, Anan or Arkhles and Azeth. Manetho adds that “they carried on war constantly, as though they were desirous to root out the whole population of Egypt.”

The Sixteenth Dynasty is described as consisting of thirty-two Hellenic Kings, shepherds or Shasus, who reigned five hundred and eighteen years. There is no good reason for describing them as Greeks. They were patrons of art, and under their direction the artists of Egypt erected statues and monuments, procuring the stone from the quarries of the South. In these statues they reproduced, the foreign characteristics, the physiognomy, the peculiar arrangement of the beard, head-dress and other variations. The number of these monuments, however, is limited, and the inscriptions have been obliterated by the chisels of their adversaries of later time.

The foreigners brought to Egypt many arts and much new knowledge. The winged Sphinx or Cherub, characteristic of Assyrian sculpture, was introduced by them and became a feature in their temples. Egypt from this time on was famous for horses and the chariot, or war-car. Before this the steeds of Libya had not been common, but afterward the horses of Egypt were equal to those of Africa and Arabia, and became famous in commerce and warlike expeditions.97 In no way did these Menti Kings actually impoverish Egypt. They added to the resources and the military power of the country.

One of the kings, probably of the Sixteenth Dynasty, but this is not certain, introduced a new era into Egyptian calculations, which was employed in the later centuries. An inscription found on a memorial stone of Rameses II., at Tanis, bears the date of the fourth day of the month Mesori, “in the year 400 of King Set Apehuti-Nub, the friend of the god Hormakhu.” This fact is significant of the influence which the alien monarchs exerted on the future of Egypt.

Another result of the presence of foreigners was the adopting of Semitic terms in place of Egyptian. We have experienced in our own English speech the discarding of good homespun words, indigenous to our language, for others of Latin and French origin almost to the alienizing of our entire literature. The educated Egyptians, the priests and temple-scribes contracted the similar habit of interlarding their compositions with Semitic terms, like ras for head, sar for neter, or king, beth for house, bob for door or gate, keten for nub or gold, ram for high, barakh for bless, salam for greet, etc. The introduction of the Semitic designations of sus for hall, kamal for camel, abri for a particular race of oxen, show whence these animals came. Indeed, in the eastern Lowlands, which the foreign rulers and colonists occupied, there was an interblending of the two peoples, till Northern Egypt had a large composite population. Even the towns had Semitic names, like Azala, Pi-Bailos or Byblos, Koheni or Priest-town, Adirama, Namurad, Pet-baal.

The Seventeenth Dynasty, Manetho represents as consisting of forty-three alien kings, the Shepherds, and forty-three Thebans, or Diospolitans, who reigned at the same time for one hundred and fifty-one years. The names of the Easterners are not given, but as the family name of Apapi was also frequently adopted by native Egyptians, we may presume that it was also borne by some of these kings; one, at least, having the official designation of Ra-a-kenen, also the name Apapi.

Time gradually weakened the energy of their dominion. They ruled for five centuries, and perhaps longer, in Northern Egypt and held the whole country tributary. Now, a dynasty came into existence at Thebes, which, though subordinate for a long period, was becoming able to dispute the title to supreme power. It was a bitter struggle and for many years the issue was uncertain.

The Sallier Papyrus.

A brief account of the beginning of the contest is given in the Sallier Papyrus; but owing to the mutilated condition of the document, an imperfect version only can be made.

It came to pass that the land of Khemi fell into the hands of the lepers.98 There was no one king over the whole country. There was, indeed, a king, Se-kenen-Ra, but he was only a hyh or prince in the Southern region. The lepers occupied the region of Amu (or the Semitic tribes), and Apapi was supreme king (uar) at the city of Avaris. The whole country brought him its productions; the Northern region also brought him the valuable product of Ta-mera.99 “And the King Apapi chose the God Sutekh as his god and neglected to serve any other god in the whole land that was worshipped.

“And he built him a temple of goodly workmanship that should last for ages. And Apapi observed festivals, days for making offerings to Sutekh, with all the rites that are performed in the Temple of Ra-Hormakhu.

“Many days after this Apapi [sent a message] to King Sekenen-Ra [requiring that he should also establish the worship of Sutekh in Upper Egypt.100]

[“To this Sekenen-Ra made answer that] he would not assent [to worship] any other of the gods that were worshipped in the whole land except Am-un-Ra, King of the gods alone.

“Many days after these events King Apapi sent to the ruler of the Southern country this message, which his scribes had drawn up for him. [It related to the stopping of a well.]

“And the messenger of King Apapi came to the ruler of the South. And he was brought before the ruler of the South.

“And he said to the messenger of King Apapi: ‘Who sent thee hither to the City of the South? Why hast thou come to spy out our domain?101

“And the messenger said to him: ‘King Apapi sent me to give this message concerning the well for cattle which is near the city. Verily, no sleep came to me day or night while on this journey.’

“And the ruler of the Southern country was for a long time troubled in mind, and he knew not what to answer the messenger of King Apapi. [The Papyrus is here mutilated. It is a demand for supplies for some purpose.]

“And the messenger of King Apapiarose and went back to the place where his royal master was abiding.

“Then the Prince of the Southern Country called to him his great men and chief officials, and likewise his captains and higher military officers, and he repeated to them all the messages that King Apapi had sent to him.

“But they were full of dismay and were silent, all of them, with one mouth, for they knew not what to say to him, either good or bad.”

Dr. Samuel Birch construes this somewhat differently. “It is stated,” he says, “that the Shepherd King sent a herald or ambassador to demand workmen and materials of the Egyptian Prince to build the Temple of Sutekh or Set. The King assembled his Council and refused.”

Such is the account given by the monuments of the immediate cause of the uprising of the Egyptians against the dominion of their foreign over-lords. It seems, however, hardly credible that an authority which had been in power for centuries would be the occasion of so much animosity. Yet the attempt to foist a strange worship on an individual or people has generally been resented far more than actual oppression.102 It was considered equivalent to a requirement to commit suicide or become outlawed.

The Theban Kings of the Seventeenth Dynasty had been, like the other under-kings of Egypt, vassals or tributaries of the foreign monarchs in the North. The last of the line consisted of three monarchs by the name of Taa. The first of them, bearing the official name of Sek-enen-Ra, was succeeded by Sekenen-Ra II., or Taa the Great. The third of the name was Taa Ken, or Taa the Bold. He was the king who ventured to brave the Overlord when those around him were quailing in terror. He possessed the zeal and fortitude of a Maccabee and now prepared for the conflict. A flotilla of vessels was built and placed on the Nile. The command was given to Baba, a relative of the King and an officer of superior ability. He had often held important commissions and performed them with perfect acceptance.

The inscription on his tomb at El-Kab, or Eileithy-opolis, sets forth his rank, character and services, and likewise contains a very significant statement. It describes him first as “Baba, who has risen again, the chief of the table of the sovereign.”

“I loved my father, I honoured my mother,” he declares. “My brothers and my sisters loved me.

“I went out of my house with a benevolent heart; I stood there with a refreshing hand; splendid were my preparations of what I had collected for the Festal Day * * *

“My words may seem absurd to the gainsayer; but I called the God Menthi to witness that what I say is true.

“I had all this prepared in my house. In addition, I put cream in the storeroom and beer in the cellar in a more-than-sufficient number of hin-measures.

“I collected corn as a friend of the harvest-god; I was watchful at the time of sowing.

“And when a famine arose, lasting many years, I provided corn for each hungry person in the country during each year of the famine.”

It does not appear that any important conflicts took place or advantages were obtained during the time of Taa the Great. The famine, lasting for years, was the principal event.

The Eighteenth Dynasty began with a prince bearing the official name of Aahmes.103

It would seem, however, that he was not of the recognized royal blood. The divinity that hedged about kings appears to have been wanting. His name was accordingly omitted from the number inscribed on the walls of the Temple of Thebes. His successor, Amun-hetep, or Amun-oph, heads the list.104

Aahmes prosecuted the war of liberation with energy. Making the son of Baba, who was also his own namesake, his commander-in-chief, he led an expedition down the Nile and besieged the enemy in his own capital. Avaris fell after a long siege. Hostilities were continued without intermission till the Menti had abandoned Egypt for Palestine.105 The City of Sheruhan106 was captured in the sixth year of the reign of Aahmes, and the land of Khemi was restored evermore to the possession of its natural rulers.

The conquerors followed up their victories by acts similar to those which Manetho imputed to their adversaries. The cities Avaris and Tanis suffered severely from their revengeful fury. The monuments of the alien kings were defaced, their inscriptions were obliterated and those of the victors engraved in their place. The vandalism and destructiveness appear to have exceeded the worst which the enemies had inflicted. Owing to this fact it had been thus far impossible to ascertain the history of the three Menti Dynasties.

Aahmes had a task before him similar to that afterward encountered by Dareios Hystaspis after the overthrow of the Magian King in Persia. He found many of the princes of the nomes disaffected and unwilling to submit to his authority. It took him many years to bring them into subjection and settle the affairs of Egypt.

The subject-tribes of Nubia had taken advantage of the state of affairs to throw off the Egyptian yoke. Accompanied by his faithful general, Aahmes, the new king marched thither and succeeded in reducing the insurgents to submission, with an immense slaughter. A large number of prisoners were taken and given to his followers for slaves.107 The record of this expedition is the first account that we have of the employing of horses and war-cars by the Egyptians.

Having finally established his authority in Egypt and its dependencies, Aahmes found opportunity to set about the restoring of “the temples that had fallen into decay since the times of the ancestors.” In the twenty-second year of his reign, as the inscriptions declared in the caves of Toura and Messarra, near Memphis. “His Holiness gave the order to open the rock-chambers anew and to cut out thence the best white stone of the hill-country of An for the houses of the gods—for the divine Ptah in Memphis, for Amun, the gracious god, in Thebes, and for other buildings and monuments.”

The stone was drawn from the quarries by oxen, six to a sledge, and “delivered over to the foreign people of the Fenekh”108 to be wrought. These works were begun on a scale so extensive as not to be completed till many centuries had passed.

Manetho has named Ivhebron as the successor of Aahmes, but neither the Tablet of Abydos nor the other monumental records recognize a monarch of that name. As Amunoph I. was at tender age at the death of his father, it may be that such a person was regent, but Brugsch-Bey suggests that Nefert, the Queen-mother, exercised that office. He confined his military operations to the African Continent. He retained Aahmes as his general, and an expedition against the Nubians was crowned with success. For his valor on this occasion Aahmes was exalted to the dignity of Khartot, or “warrior of the king.”109 He also served under Thothmes I. both in Nubia and likewise in Palestine, Syria and Mesopotamia. Doubtless the love of conquest was stimulated by the purpose to continue the war which had been waged so long in Egypt.

Amunoph was content to secure his dominions in Africa without going beyond the Sea of Suph and papyrus-reeds. He devoted his energies more directly to the building of temples. As he was the son of a royal mother, he was acceptable to the nobility and priest-caste and needed no military achievements to give strength to the throne.

Famous as was the Eighteenth Dynasty for the achievements of its kings, its history derives much of its distinction from its queens. Aah-hetep, the consort of Kames, was of royal descent. Her tomb was opened many years ago by some peasants and the coffin, with its contents, was deposited in the museum at Bulakh. On its cover was depicted a likeness at full length of the Queen, with the royal asp on her brow, and the white and red crowns, the symbols of sovereignty of the Upper and Lower Egypt. In the coffin were both weapons and ornaments, daggers, a golden axe, a chain with three large golden beads, bangles and a breastplate.110 There were also bronze axes and little ships. On these were tablets with the official name of King Kames, her husband; but the richest of the ornaments displayed the shield of Aahmes, the first King of the Eighteenth Dynasty. She may have been a regent after the death of her husband, and hence an important agent in bringing about the accession of Aahmes to the throne. He gave her in his turn a magnificent burial and the significant title of “Royal Consort.”

A higher distinction, however, be longed to the illustrious Queen Nefert. Although the walls of the Theban sanctuaries have no record or mention of Aahmes, the caves in the rocks near Memphis, where his greater achievements were performed have perpetuated the memories of the deeds which the tablets of the later metropolis had ignored. They have not only preserved his memorial to the present time, but they have joined with his in honorable mention the name of Ne-fert-ari-Aahmes, “the beautiful spouse of Aahmes.” Not only the grottoes near Memphis, but the public monuments and the tombs in the Necropolis of Thebes had inscriptions recording her name and praising her virtues. She was lineally descended from Mentu-hetep of the Eleventh Dynasty, and thus added a certain warrant of validity to the pretensions of Aahmes, and likewise the “divine right” to their successors. She was accordingly venerated as herself a divine personage, and her image was placed with the statues of the deified kings of the “New Empire.” Piers is the oldest portrait extant of an Egyptian queen. She sits enthroned at the head of them all, as their parent and the foundress of the dynasty, and she was acknowledged as “daughter, sister, wife and mother of a king.” She also had her place in the sacerdotai order as “wife,” or Chief Priestess of Amun, the tutelary God of the Thebaid.

The hieroglyphics describe him as “the Horus, loving the World; the King beloved of the Svin: Moeris, the gracious god, the lord of the two worlds.” This cylinder is especially interesting as one of the few memorials of one of the most celebrated kings before the Hyksos invasion.

(See Universal Brotherhood for September.)

Of Aahetep, the consort of Amunoph I., and Aahmes, the Queen of Thothmes I., there is little to record. But the famous daughter of the latter, Queen Hashep or Hatasu, the kingly one, made history for herself and for Egypt that outshines the annals of whole dynasties. The envious chisel obliterated her name from the monuments, but the memories of her rule have been preserved. She reigned with an iron will and governed with a strong hand.

VIII. Egypt at her Apogee—Queen Hatasu and Thothmes III.

With the Eighteenth Dynasty there came changes in Egypt, culminating in the superseding of the former conditions of affairs and the introduction of another very different. Under the alien dynasties, before the reign of Aahmes, the country had been entirely dismembered like the body of Osiris; but now it was slowly coming back, every part to its place. With the kings who succeeded to him there was a more general change. The pursuits of peace by which the Egyptian population had been characterized were now cast into the shade. There was an immediate increase of wealth. The military calling rose into greater honor. The Sacerdotal order, which had included the men who were renowned for important achievements became a more distinct caste, and finally acquired immense power and influence, rivaling the kings themselves in dignity and authority.111 After a while the several nomes, or cantons, which had always had their own separate governments, as in the United States, and hereditary princes of their own, were transformed into subordinate departments, with governors named by the king. There was accordingly a vast increase in the number of officials high and low, an incident common to a government in its decline. The king was more powerful, and public works were more magnificent than in former periods; but he was not now, like Amunemha III., seeking to secure and permanently benefit his people. All posts of honor and distinction were bestowed by favor and with less regard for fitness or deserving.

The commonalty, the “plain people,” suffered by the changes. They were often obliged to furnish soldiers for the warlike expeditions. All manual industry fell into low repute as servile and not consistent with gentle rank. The schools, however, which existed in every temple, were open to all; and a youth of talent was able to make himself eligible to any official position for which he was found to be capable.

Pyramids had not been built since the time of the Old Empire. The Temples became the principal structures, illustrating the superior importance which the priesthood had acquired. The bodies of the kings were now deposited in artificial caves hewn out of the rocks, and their walls were covered with pictures of a religious character. There were also, however, grand temples built, having a connection with the royal sepulchres, and the sculptures in them commemorated the events of the reigns.

The tombs of the public officials and others, however, were of less note. But the scenes depicted in them exhibit a faithful view of life in Egypt at the time. There was abundance of luxury and festivity, but the welfare of the retainers in the abodes of the wealthy, and indeed of the people generally, was far less regarded. In short, there was more display of religion than in former times, and less actual freedom. The expulsion of the foreign dynasty from Lower Egypt resulted in the transferring of the national metropolis to Thebes, and the tutelary god Neph-Amun, or Amun-Ra, the “Mystic Sun,” was distinctly acknowledged as the Supreme Divinity.

The last monarch of the Seventeenth Dynasty, Taa the Bold, had laid down his life in battle like a Maccabee in behalf of his country, its religion and its laws. The record of his conflict with King Apapi has not been found, but it is known that he braved the power of the imperious Overlord, who commanded him to forswear the worship of Amun-Ra, and pay homage to Sutekh alone. His body was found many years ago, but its bad condition led to a removing of the cerecloths.112 The Egyptians evidently were the victors, as they were able to rescue the body of the king from desecration, but with such a loss the victory was dearly bought. The new king and queen, Kames and Aahhetep, were unable to follow up the advantage. Aahmes, a nobleman of distinction, at the death of Kames, succeeded to the throne.

The Eighteenth Dynasty, though its kings are enumerated in the Table of Abydos, immediately after those of the Twelfth, nevertheless appears to have been virtually a revival or continuation of the Eleventh.

Indeed, the Twelfth Dynasty was in many respects a dominion apart, a new departure. It had not only put an end to anarchy and chaotic conditions, but it brought on a new form of administration, in which the welfare of the people was consulted more then the glory of the monarch.

Despite the achievements of the Osir-tasens and Amunemhas, which had surpassed those of other monarchs, both in magnitude and actual benefits, Thothmes III., in the Tablet of Karnak, regarded more distinctly the name and times of Mentu-Hetep.

Aahmes, the founder of the Dynasty, appears, however, to have been an exception. Though he had restored Egypt to independence, putting an end to foreign rule and abolishing the obnoxious Phoenician worship with its human sacrifices, he was hardly regarded by the priests at Thebes as “divine,” a legitimate sovereign. His body was entombed with those of the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty. The honors which he did not receive were bestowed liberally upon his consort, Nefert-ari-Aahmes, who had been associated with him in the royal authority. Probably he was only a military chief, and had gained his title to the throne by marriage, retaining it by having his queen for colleague.

His reign lasted twenty-five years. Queen Nefert continued to administer the government till the prince Amunhe-tep or Amunoph was of sufficient age. A tablet which was found by Mr. Harris represents this prince as the foster-child of the queen, and he actually claimed authority as the descendant of Taa the Great. Manetho has named Khebron or Hebron as reigning at this period, but that name, and indeed that also of Queen Nefert, have not been given in the Tablet of Karnak.

As was common in ancient times, the tributary peoples took advantage of the opportunity afforded by the death of Aahmes to revolt. The Libyans at the west of the Egyptian Lowlands also made warlike incursions. Amunoph I., upon his accession to power, hastened to reduce them again to submission. Accompanied by his general, Aahmes, the son of Baba, he first made war upon the Nahsi or negro tribes of the South and brought away a great number of prisoners. Another expedition was undertaken with Aahmes Pen Nekhet with equal success against the Marmaridae of Libya. Amunoph devoted the few remaining years of his reign to the prosecuting of the work on the Great Temple of Karnak at Thebes and other sanctuaries in that region. At his death, his tomb was among the sepulchres of the Eleventh Dynasty.

His queen, Aahhetep, survived him. Their son, Thothmes L, was of a warlike temper. The usual revolts of the conquered tribes took place, and he led an army into Khent-ben-Nefer,”113 or Nubia. The King Anti, who commanded the insurgents, was made a prisoner, and a multitude of the inhabitants were carried away captive. Thothmes pushed his successes further into the Soudan and brought away a large booty of ivory, gold, slaves and cattle. The conquest was this time thorough. “The country in its complete extent lay at his feet,” is the language of the inscription on the rock of the Third Cataract. “Never had this been done under any other king.”

Manetho, as recorded by Josephus, states that it was under this king that the Hyksos foreigners lost Egypt.114

The expulsion, as the monuments declare, took place in the reign of Aahmes. Doubtless, however, there were many incursions from them to enjoy the plenty there was always in Egypt, that required to be repelled. Besides, the rule of the Asiatic foreigners had always rankled in their remembrance, and Thothmes began with eagerness the war of vengeance which was to be waged for centuries.

The monumental inscriptions indicate Palestine as the region to which the departed Menti emigrated upon their overthrow in Egypt. Josephus insists that they were the ancestors of the Hebrews. “The Egyptians took many occasions to hate and envy us,” says he, “because our ancestors had dominion over their country, and, when delivered from them, lived in prosperity.” The book of Genesis mentions “the Zuzim in Ham,” or the Hauran, and an ingenuous author, an English gentlewoman, suggests that they were the emigrant people.115 When Thothmes I. invaded Palestine, that region was designated Kuthen or Luthen—perhaps the same time as Lydia. In several later reigns this name continues to be used. The people of Luthen are described as wearing tight dresses and long gloves, suggestive of a colder climate, and also as with long, red hair and blue eyes. The inhabitants of the Sethroite nome, which was at the east of Egypt, were of this physiognomy. The region beyond Syria was described in the monuments as the Khitaland, of which a principal city was Karkhemosh, the Kar or city of the God Khemosh. The Assyrian Tablets, however, denominate Syria itself the land of Khatti or Hittites.116

With the two generals, Aahmes, so famous in the inscriptions, Thothmes invaded Palestine, ravaging as he went. He overran Syria and Phoenicia, advancing as far as Naharaina, the river-country of Mesopotamia. He there set up a Tablet to signify that he had established his dominion over the country. “He washed his heart,” taking vengeance upon the inhabitants for the injuries inflicted in Egypt. He brought away rich booty, prisoners, horses, war-cars taken in battle, vessels of gold and bronze, and numerous other precious articles of wrought work. On his return to Thebes he continued the additions to the temple, and erected in front of the Great Temple at Karmak two obelisks to commemorate his achievements and piety.

As the two generals outlived him and went to war under his successor, it is apparent that his reign was not a long one. He married his sister Aahmes, such alliances being in high favor with Caucasian peoples, always tenacious of purity of blood and race.117 He left three children, a daughter, Hashep or Hatasu, and two sons, each known to us by the name of the father. They were, however, the offspring of different mothers. Hatasu was the favorite child, and reciprocated warmly her father’s affection. He even admitted her to some degree of participation in the royal authority, and she continued after his death to share it with Thothmes II., her brother and husband. The events of their joint reign were not of great significance. The Shasu tribes from the East made incursions into the Egyptian Lowlands and were driven back. The Southern countries, however, made no attempt to recover their independence.

Ancient Egypt was celebrated beyond all other countries for the grandeur of the royal sepulchres. The kings of the Thinite dynasties were entombed at Abydos; and after that the monarchs of the Memphite dynasties built pyramids for the reception of their mortal remains. After the restoration, the Antefs and others of the Eleventh Dynasty were inhumed in brick pyramids near the metropolis of Thebes. The grotto-tombs of the Twelfth Dynasty at Beni Hassan were a great departure from the former simplicity. They were temples where death was honored, “everlasting homes,” each with a grand chamber alive with pictures, and without superstition or terror. Architecture and the fine arts were now in their glory.

Queen Hatasu resolved that the house of Thothmes should have a resting-place for the dead surpassing the others. It should be a magnificent sepulchre hewn in the rock, with a temple to the dead in front of it, in memory of the princes of the royal house. This plan was carried out in the valley of Biban-el-Molokh. While the steep rock was pierced with grottos in the shape of vast halls for the reception of the occupants, there was in front a temple in the form of a long, extended building, approached by broad steps, that, from stage to stage, descended to the plain. An avenue bordered by sphinxes led to the river.

In the subterranean chambers were placed the bodies of the members of the royal family—Thothmes I. and Queen Aahmes, their daughter, the princess Kheb-nefer-Ra, Thothmes II. and Queen Hatasu and Thothmes III.

M. Renan graphically comments upon the sudden and complete change from the grotto-tombs of Beni Hassan. “A Christian and pagan tomb could not be more different,” he declares. “The dead is no longer at home; a pantheon of gods has usurped his place; images of Osiris and chapters of the Ritual cover the walls, graved with care, as though everybody was to read them, and yet shut up in everlasting darkness, but supernaturally powerful. Horrible pictures, the foolishest vagaries of the human brain! The priest has got the better of the situation; the death-trials are good, alas, for him; he can abridge the poor soul’s torments. What a nightmare is this Tomb of Sethi! How far we have got from the primeval faith and survivance after it, when there was no ceremonial of the priest, or long list of names divine, ending in sordid superstition. One of our Gothic tombs differs less from one of the tombs on the Appian Way than do the old tombs of Sakkara from those which filled the strange valley of Biban-el-Molokh.”

An early death carried Thothmes II. to the realm of Osiris. We have reason to believe it a tragic occurrence of revolting character, such as was the assassination of Peter III. of Russia. He was in-inferior in every important respect to his energetic queen, and he had become the object of her supreme hatred. Immediately upon his death she laid aside her woman’s dress, put on the robes of a king, and assumed all the dignities of masculine royalty. She even discarded the terms and titles of her sex, and her inscriptions describe her as lord and king. The hatred which existed between her and her two royal brothers seems to have been bitter and intense. She caused the name of her dead husband to be erased from every monument which they two had erected together, and replaced it with her own or that of her father. Although she formally acknowledged her infant brother, Thothmes III., as her colleague on the throne, he was shut out from all participation in public affairs, and made to pass his early years at Buto, in Northern Egypt. “So long as I was a child and a boy,” he said afterward, “I remained in the temple of Amun; not even as a seer (epoptes) of the God did I hold an office.”

The lady-king was duly enrolled in the King’s Book of the priests, and her name announced as Maka-Ra-Num-Amun, Hatasu. She selected for her chief architect a skillful man named Se-en-Mut, a person without noble parentage—”his ancestors not to be found in writing.” But his works praise him. He may be compared to Michael Angelo, who refused to be examined as to his qualifications by a commission from the Pope, although he was the only man fit to build St. Peter’s Church.

Like her counterpart of modern times, the Empress Katharine, she was endowed with an intense passion for glory and adventure. The land of Pun or Punt (Somahli) was regarded by the Egyptians as the early home of the Gods before they came to the valley of the Nile. It was represented on the monuments as the cradle of Egypt, the country of the God Ra and a region of perfect happiness. It abounded with balsam and all tropical productions. The oracle of Amun gave auspicious assurances, and the Queen resolved upon an expedition to this Land of Mystery.

The enterprise, for the time, was as important as the voyages of discovery in modern times. A large fleet of sea-going vessels was fitted out and manned by able seamen and sailors. She commanded it herself and a royal ambassador accompanied the expedition, attended by the princes and highest lords of Egypt.

They sailed by way of the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. The length of the voyage is not recorded. A landing was made at the foot of a mountain, and a new world unfolded itself to the voyagers.

The inhabitants of this “land of the gods” were no less astonished than their visitors. They lived in little dome-shaped houses built on piles, under the shade of cocoa-palms and incense-trees, beneath which their herds of cattle peacefully reposed. Overtures of friendship were exchanged with the princes of the country. Parihu, the King, his wife Ari, his daughter and two sons visited the ambassador at his encampment, and besought that the Queen, the mighty ruler of Egypt, would grant them peace and freedom.118 The condition was exacted in return that the country of Punt shall be tributary to the Queen. It was accepted, and the usual expressions of contempt were made in the inscriptions, because of this peaceful submission.

The tribute which was brought to the galleys was immense. Thirty-one incense-trees were taken, to be planted again in Egypt. The pictorial inscription almost glows in the describing.

“The ships were laden to the utmost with the most wonderful products of the land of Punt, and with the different precious woods of the divine land, and with heaps of resin and incense, with ebony, ivory figures set in pure gold from the land of Amu, with sweet woods, Khesit-wood, with Ahem-incense, holy resin, and paint for the eyes, with dog-headed apes, long-tailed monkeys and greyhounds, with leopard skins, and with natives of the country, together with their children. Never was the like brought to any king (of Egypt) since the world began.”

Princes of the country accompanied the Egyptians home. Upon their arrival at Thebes they made their submission to the Queen Hatasu, addressing her as “The Queen of Tamera [the North], the Sun that shines like the disk in the sky,” and acknowledging her as their queen, the ruler of Punt.

Thus Queen Hatasu secured this newly-discovered region, with the wealth of its most valuable productions. She immediately dedicated the treasures to Amun-Ra, as the originator of the enterprise, and to the goddess Hathor, and instituted a series of festivals in commemoration.

The work on the temple of Amun-Ka was continued, and two obelisks standing before it bore her name in the following lines:

“The woman-king Makara, the gold among kings, has had these constructed as her memorial for her father, Amun-Ra of Thebes, inasmuch as she erected to him two large obelisks of hard granite of the South. Their tops were covered with copper from the best war-tributes of all countries. They are seen an endless number of miles off; it is a flood of shining splendor when the sun rises between the two.”

The period of twenty-two years during which this queen had undivided authority was a reign of peace. She may have thought unduly to display her own personality, but she engaged only in undertakings that benefited and enriched the country. The subject-kings of Asia and the South paid the usual tributes, the productions of the soil and the mines, and goods which had been wrought by artistic skill. This state of affairs continued till near the close of her reign.

About this time, however, the world outside of Egypt was in commotion. The deluge of Deukalion was said to have taken place, which overflowed and changed the configuration of Greece. The ruling dynasty of Chaldgea was overthrown by the Arabs, who now became masters of the region of the Lower Euphrates; all the countries from Babylon to the Mediterranean were agitated by the commotion. The kings that had been tributary to Egypt now threw off the yoke. The numerous petty principalities of Ruthen, Khalu and Zahi, better known to us as Palestine, Syria, Phoenicia and the country of the Philistines, all the region which Thothmes I. had subjugated, were in open revolt.

Thothmes III., who had from his first year as king been consigned to seclusion like a prisoner of State, now left his retreat in the island of Buto. Queen Ha-tasu, who was declining in years, was no longer able to maintain authority alone and keep him from participation in the government. For a short period the two reigned together as colleagues. A sculptured tablet on a rock at the Waly Ma-gara, on the “holy mountain” of Sinai, exhibits them making offerings together to the guardian divinities, Surpet of the East and Hathor the Queen of Heaven.

Thothmes entertained the purpose of establishing the worship of Amun-Ra on a basis superior to what had formerly been at Thebes, to exhibit the pantheon with that end in view, and to rebuild the temple. He now began by an arranging of the service and the property of the temple. He assigned to its work a retinue of servants, many of whom were foreigners from Ruthen and Khent-hen-nefer. Some of these were children of kings and hostages. He also arranged gardens for flowers and vegetables, and bestowed some eighteen hundred acres of land in different parts of Egypt for its support. Hence it was said of him in eulogy:

“The king did more than his predecessors before him from the beginning, and proved himself a complete master of the Sacred Knowledge.”

Whether Queen Hatasu passed peacefully from life or was compelled by her brother to abdicate, monuments do not tell. It is certain that he cherished for her a rancor deep and bitter. The disrespect with which she had treated the memory of Thothmes II. was now returned upon her. Where she had caused the name of her husband to be erased from the monuments and her own substituted, her own was now removed and that of Thothmes III. inscribed. This was done many years afterward, and the fact distinctly stated on a pillar.

The temple of Amun-Ra at Thebes was a structure of brick and much dilapidated; Thothmes laid the corner-stone anew, and caused it to be rebuilt. There was nothing spared to render the work satisfactory. The sacred dwellings of the gods were carved out of single blocks of stone, and in them their statues were placed and also the statues of the kings, his “divine ancestors.” When the Khe-sem or sacred inner shrine was completed there were religious processions and general rejoicings.

The coronation of Thothmes as sole monarch of the two Egypts seems to have been celebrated on this occasion. The priests who took part in the ceremony chanted a hymn of thanks to Amun, who had put it into the heart of the king to build his sanctuary, and concluded with this address:

“He gives thee his kingdom. The crown shall be placed on thy head, upon the throne of Horus. The remembrance of thee as king of Egypt shall be lasting. To thee has he given power over the united lands in peace. All nations bow themselves before thee. Thy Holiness is set upon the high throne.”

To this the king replied:

“This building which was executed in his temple shall be a memento of my good deeds in his dwelling. I shall be perpetuated in the history of the latest times.”

The lords of Egypt there saluted him as sole monarch. His reply was characteristic:

“The always existing—is the city of Thebes.

“The Everlasting One is Amun-Ra, of Thebes.

“Amun is more delighted with me than with all the kings that have existed in this country since it was founded. I am his son, who loves his Holiness; for that is the same as to love my own royal being.

“He has poured strength into me to extend the boundaries of Egypt.

“He has united (sam) the countries (taui) of all the gods in this my home, Thothmes Samti.

“He has granted my coronation in the interior of Thebes.”

After speaking further in this vein, he denounced his sister, “I know one who knows not me and who speaks lies,” he vehemently declared. “She is monstrous in the sight of men and an enigma to the gods,” he says again; “but she was not aware of it, for no one was (friendly to her) except herself.”

Undoubtedly he had just cause for this resentment, but he was not free from similar foibles and from the personal vanity which he imputed to her. He never ceased to repeat his utterances, and his inscriptions in the Great Temple record his animosity.

His accession to an undivided sovereignty was followed by a complete change of affairs in Egypt, and of her relations to other countries. If Hatasu had been an Empress Katharine, Thothmes III. was a conquering Tamerlane. His history, in many of its phases, however, exhibits a close analogy to what is related of King David. He possessed indefatigable energy, unlimited ambition, a restless temper, and ample abilities to give these qualities full play. His first care was to seat himself firmly on the throne, after which he set himself immediately to regain the ascendency which Thothmes I. had won in former years. Collecting his army at Tanis, he set out early in March for Gaza, a city which had not revolted from Egypt.

The countries of Western Asia were governed by petty kings, each ruling over a city and its suburbs. They had confederated together for the common defense, and the Amorite king of Kadesh was the chief leader. This league included all the kings from the border of Egypt to Naharaina, or Mesopotamia, the Khananites, the Khitans, Phoenicians and tribes of the Lebanon. Their forces were assembled near Megiddo. After some preliminary parleying, Thothmes marched against them. The battle took place on the sixth of April, according to our calendar. It was a total rout. The enemy fled into Megiddo, which was immediately besieged and soon afterward surrendered. Thirty-four hundred prisoners were taken; and the defeated kings eagerly sought terms of peace. An immense booty was found at Megiddo consisting of slaves, domestic animals, vessels of exquisite Phoenician workmanship, the golden sceptre of the king, rings of gold and silver,119 staffs, chairs, tables, footstools, precious gems, garments, and the entire harvest of the fields. All were carried away.

Megiddo was the key to Middle Asia, and Thothmes now was able to extend his conquests northward, over Phoenicia, the country of Lebanon, Syria and Mesopotamia. He built a strong fortress near Aradus, to maintain his authority, giving it the name of Men-kheper-Ra Uaf-shena, “Menkhephera or Mephres (the official name of Thothmes), who has subjugated the country of the foreigners.” He then returned home.

His arrival at Thebes was celebrated by a grand triumphal procession. The captive princes with their children and thousands of subjects, the immense herds of animals and other booty were sights to exact enthusiastic admiration from the Egyptians for the brave young king. He declared that Amun-Ka, the God of his country, had given him his victories, and he now dedicated the richest of his spoils to that divinity. Three festivities of five days each were instituted in his honor, and the taxes annually collected from the conquered cities were assigned to the maintenance of the temple.

The first campaign of Thothmes against “Upper Ruthen” appears to have been the most important of his military expeditions. It is described most extensively and elaborately. The walls of the Great Temple of Amun-Ka are literally covered with names and pictures representing the nations and towns that he had subjugated. Many of the designations are no longer remembered, but we are familiar with such as Damascus, Berytus, Kadesh, Hamath, Megiddo, Joppa, Sharon, Gibeah, Aphaka and Ashtaroth.

The next act of Thothmes on record was the laying of the corner-stone of the northern wing of the Great Temple. This was a memorial building, and the site had been occupied by the shrine of the god Num, the god of the annual inundation. This was removed to another place, the ground cleared and all made ready for the ceremony. The time was fixed at the new moon, the fifteenth day of January of the twenty-fourth year. The king offered a sacrifice to Amun-Ea, and then proceeded to lay the stone. We are told that there was laid in it a document containing “the names of the great Circle of the Gods of Thebes, the gods and goddesses.”

As Thothmes is recorded as having led fourteen expeditions into Palestine, almost at the rate of one in a year, he can hardly have regarded his dominion as firmly established. He pushed his conquests into the region beyond, into the country of the Hittites or Khitans, and as far as Aleppo and into Armenia, and the Assyrian territory. He set up a tablet beside that of his father in the land of Naharaina to commemorate his victory and to signify that Egypt possessed the country. Among the important conquests were the cities of Kar-khemosh and Tyre and the island of Cyprus.

When hostile places surrendered at his summons he was content to exact a light tribute, but an obstinate resistance was punished according to the pleasure of the conqueror by the destruction of the town, the cutting down of the trees, the confiscation of all wealth, including the crops in the fields, the carrying away of hostages and prisoners, and the exacting of heavy tributes. The kings were required to give their sons and brothers as hostages and to send others to Egypt whenever any of these died. In case of the death of a king one of the hostages that he had given was sent home, that he might succeed to the vacant throne.

The captives that were carried into Egypt were so numerous that it would almost seem that an object of the expedition had been for the procuring of them. They were confined for a time in a fortified camp near Thebes, till they could be properly distributed to the mines, quarries and public works. It would appear also that the inhabitants of Egypt that were of alien races were compelled to labor in the same way. A tomb in the necropolis of Thebes contains delineations of these workmen, makers of brick, drawers of water, bearers of burdens, together with the overseers carrying whips to urge them to greater activity. The countenances of the unfortunate men exhibit the characteristic features of the Semitic race, and the story of the Book of Exodus would seem to have been fairly represented.120

The inscriptions also record warlike expeditions into Nubia and Abyssinia. They were probably conducted by generals, although imputed to the king himself; and they are described, and doubtless are vastly exaggerated, in order to gratify his vanity. The government of the country had been placed under an Adon named Nahi, who superintended the working of the mines and the collecting of taxes. “I am a distinguished servant of the lord,” he says in a tablet; “I fill his house with gold and make his countenance joyful by the products of the land of the South. The recompense for this is a reward for Nahi, ‘the king’s son121 and the Governor of the South.”

These products consisted of gold, ivory and ebony work. There was indeed an immense revenue obtained by the tribute exacted from the conquered peoples of Africa and Asia. Commerce was also extensive. Caravans brought to Egypt articles of use and luxury from all the East, from Arabia, India, China and the North. The Phoenicians were the traders of the world, both by sea and overland, and their towns and factories were everywhere.

Thothmes was preeminently fond of natural history. The acquisition of two geese from Lebanon and two unknown species of birds delighted him more than all the booty that he had obtained from the expedition. Water-lilies, trees, shrubs of various kinds and rare animals appear in the sculptures, representing the prodducts of foreign countries which had been brought to Egypt. “Here,” says the inscription, “here are all sorts of plants and all sorts of flowers, from the land of Ta-neter,122 which the king discovered when he went to the land of Ruthen to conquer it as his father Amun-Ea commanded him. “They were presented at the temple of the god,” as were also “the plants which the king found in the land of Ruthen.”

Thothmes III. was likewise an ardent lover of art and architecture. The immense booties and tributes which he collected from the countries which he subjugated were lavishly expended for the building of temples in the principal cities of Egypt, and in the preparing of obelisks, statues and other artistic works.

Directly after his return from his first campaign he began the erection of the famous “Hall of Pillars” the Khu men-nu, a “splendid memorial.” He lived to see it finished, with its chambers and corridors in the east and the series of gigantic gateways on the south. It was dedicated to Amun-Ea, but with him were likewise included all the deified rulers of Egypt whom Thothmes regarded as his legitimate predecessors on the throne, and as ancestors of his own family. In one of the Southern chambers is the wall on which is the celebrated inscription known as the “Tablet of the Kings of Karnak.”

It will be observed that Thothmes traces his pedigree back to the illustrious monarch Senefru, of the Third Dynasty, and includes in his catalogue Assa, Pepi, the Antefs who preceded the Eleventh Dynasty, the glorious kings of the Twelfth, and some thirty of the Thirteenth. These were acknowledged by priests of Thebes as legitimate sovereigns. This accounts in a great degree for the discrepancy between the lists of Manetho and those of Eratosthenes and the Theban record. Manetho gave the names of the kings that actually reigned, without question as to legitimacy; while the Tablet of Karnak contained only those in which they had received the priestly sanction, although some of them had only been kings nominally rather than in fact.

The piety of Thothmes, however, was further exemplified by his activity elsewhere. The temple of Amun in Medinet-Abu lay in ruins. He reared a new structure of hard stone, taking care to place in the Khesem or inner shrine an inscription declaring that he had erected it as a memorial-building to his father, the god. He rebuilt the temple at Semneh in Nubia to the god Didun123 or Totun, and his ancestor, Osirtasen III., and commanded that funeral offerings should be made at stated periods to this famous progenitor. In this temple were pictures, one of which represented Isis as embracing Thothmes; the other exhibited him as a god with the goddess Safekh, the “lady of writings,” and guardian of the library of the temple. Another magnificent sanctuary was erected in the island of Elephantina to Num, the tutelary divinity of the South. Here was recorded the rising of the star Sothis, on the twentieth of July and first of Epiphi, the New Year’s day of Egypt.

Temples were also built by Thothmes in honor of the other guardian deities, of Sebek at Ombos, Num at Esne, of the goddess Nekheb at Eileithyia, of Menthu, the ancient tutelary of Thebes at Her-monthis. He also erected a temple to Ptah at the northern side of the Great Temple at Karnak.

Nor did Thothmes withhold attention from the great religious metropolis of Egypt, Abydos. Here it was fabled that the head of the dismembered Osiris had been buried, and the kings of Egypt, who belonged in the South, from the Eleventh Dynasty till that time, were lavish in contributing to his temple. The priests now petitioned Thothmes to build the structure anew, promising a rich recompense from the god. He hastened to set the most skillful workmen of Egypt at the work; “each one of his temple-artists knew the plan and was skillful in his own cunning.” It was the purpose to build an enduring structure, and to “restore in good work the Sublime Mystery which no one can see, no one can explain, for no one knows his form.” A lake was dedicated to Osiris, the baris of kheshem-bark, filled with acacia-wood, was borne through the sacred field beside the town, and launched with mystic ceremonies in the stillness of the night.

Gifts were also bestowed on the goddess Dud (or Dido), the mother of the great circle of the gods of Abydos. The king asked in the inscription that his memorials shall be preserved, and he extols his own actions. He taught the priests their duty, he declares; he had accomplished more than all the other kings of Egypt, and the gods were full of delight. He had placed the boundaries of his dominion on the horizon; he had set Egypt at the head of the nations, because the inhabitants were at one with him in the worship of Amim-Ra, the Mystic Sun.

Thothmes also rebuilt the temple of Hathor, “the lady of An,” at Dendera, according to the plan originally employed by his ancestor, King Pepi. Nor was Lower Egypt omitted. He erected a temple to Ptah at Memphis, and another to Hormakhu the Sun-god at Heliopolis, and surrounded the temple at Heliopolis with a wall. Priests were assigned and provision made for their support.

The reign of Thothmes, including the period of the supremacy of Queen Hatasu, which he always reckoned with his own, was reckoned at fifty-three years and eleven months. “Then,” says the inscription of Amun-em-hib, “on the last day of the month Phamenoth (the 14th of February), when the disk of the sun went down, he flew up to heaven, and the successor of a god became joined to his parent.”

Such was the career of the most distinguished king in the history of Egypt. Like David of the Hebrew story, he accomplished a series of extensive conquests and employed the spoils and tributes in providing for the building of temples and the support of offices of religion. Nor does the comparison end with this. The psalms and sacred music for which the Hebrew monarch was famous had been anticipated. Hymns of praise also commemorated the achievements of Thothmes. One of these was found at Karnak, inscribed upon a tall tablet of granite, and corresponds in style and tenor with the effusions of the Hebrew bard of Jerusalem. Thothmes III. had been venerated as a god and the son of god while he lived; and the prayers of worshippers continued to be addressed to him as the guardian of deity of Egypt after he was dead. His name, inscribed on little images, and on stone scarabaei set in rings, was believed to be an infallible safeguard against evil magic arts.

He was personally brave; if his soldiers went into danger he was always with them. The temples which he built contained libraries and schools for the instruction of his people. He was religious, and established the worship of Amun-Ka as supreme above all other gods in Egypt. He was patriotic, and his victorious arms subjected the nations from the Upper Nile to the Euphrates. He was not a Senefru nor an Amunemha who sought chiefly the good of their people; but rather he emulated the glory of Osirtasen the conquerer and Kheops the Builder. If, as so many have imagined, and as many even now profess to believe, the real life of a man is in the remembrance of him after death, then Thothmes III. is certainly immortal. Wherever men love to know of the ancient time, and where they honor the heroic deeds of antiquity, there he is still named with a glow of admiration and even of enthusiasm.

IX. The Amunophs—The Vocal Memnon—Queen Taia—King Khuen-Aten and His Monotheistic Religion—Its Suppression.

The first day of the month of Pharmuthi, immediately after the death of his illustrious father, “as the earth became light and the morning broke, the disk of the sun rose above the horizon and the sky became clear, then was the anointed king of Upper and Lower Egypt, the son of Ra, Amunoph II., placed on the seat of Thothmes III., and he took possession of the throne.” Like the stars of the firmament that are obscured by the radiance of the sun, his glory was diminished by that of his great predecessor; and his history seems almost devoid of interest. Yet he had already distinguished himself as a brave commander in a campaign to repel incursions of the Badawen tribes of the “red land at the East” of Egypt, and he had been associated for some time with his father in the administration of the government.

He was early brought face to face with trial and conflict. The confederated kings of Palestine, Syria and Naharaina, again revolted. Amunoph immediately marched his forces against them. He met them at the town of Thakhisa and put them to flight. Seven of the kings were captured; “he with his own hand struck down seven kings with his battle-axe.” They were “bound on the forepart of the royal ship” and carried to Egypt for summary punishment.

It was a war of vengeance, and Amunoph continued his march northward, pillaging the inhabitants as he went. He penetrated into Assyria and the fortified town of Nin or Nineveh, which Thothmes had captured before, surrendered to him with little resistance. He succeeded in restoring his authority over all the tributary peoples.

Upon his return to Thebes, six of the captive kings were hanged outside the walls of the metropolis. The seventh was carried up to Nubia and was hanged on the wall of the city of Napata in order to strike terror among the negro tribes.

Amunoph, after the manner of his predecessors, visited the temple of Amada in Nubia, where the account of the campaign was recorded. He also placed inscriptions on one of the entrances to the great temple of Karnak. The few subsequent years of his reign were devoted to making additions to the temples, but the workmanship exhibits a great deterioration. It was far inferior to that of former kings. He was liberal in gifts to worthy officials, and the records in their tombs contain grateful mention of his appreciativeness and munificence.

The likenesses of Amunoph II. and of Queen Hashep-Merira-Ra, the wife of Thothmes III., were found in a tomb at Thebes. They exhibit an obliquity of the eye somewhat like that which is peculiar to the Mongolian features.

In another tomb is a genealogy, the names in which indicate that the monarchs who were classed as truly legitimate were members of the sacerdotal order. The priests were unwilling to name any other. An individual named Amunhetep or Amunoph is described as the son of the Chief Priest Khamu (the “king’s son”124) who was the son of the Chief Priest Amunhetep or Amunoph, the son of the Chief Priest Thothmes.

The inscriptions ascribe to Amunoph II. a reign of seven years. He was succeeded by Thothmes IV., whose accession to the throne was attended by some irregularity. His physiognomy differs from that of preceding kings. He signalized the event by rearing a memorial stone directly before the breast of the statue of the Sphinx at Gizeh, on which, besides other sculptures, there is an account of the matter.

The space about the Pyramids had been abandoned after the period of the Memphite dynasties. It bore the significant name of Ro-set, “the door to the under-world,” and only pilgrims resorted to it to worship Osiris. From this hill the Sacred Path extended to the “city of obelisks,” Heliopolis.

Thothmes had come to Memphis in his horse-chariot, he says, for the purpose of hunting lions. He had paid homage to the gods at Sakkara, making an offering of seeds to Horemkhu and to Rannu the goddess of horticulture, and praying to Isis, Sekhet and to the god Seth. “For,” says he, “a great enchantment has rested on this place from the beginning of time,” as far as the districts of the lords of Babylon, the Sacred Path of the gods to the western horizon of the city of Heliopolis. The form of the Sphinx is the simulacrum of Khepra (the sun at midnight), the very great god who abides in this place, the greatest, the most venerable of all spiritual beings.”

Here when the sun was at the zenith, the prince fell asleep, and in a dream the god appeared to him. “My son Thothmes,” said the apparition, “I am thy father Horemkhu, Khepra, Ra, Turn. The kingdom shall be given to thee, and thou shalt wear the white crown and the red crown of the earth-god Seb. . . . The sand of this district in which I have my existence has covered me up. Promise that thou wilt do what I wish in my heart.”

In spite of opposition, Thothmes IV. conquered. He at once caused the sand to be cleared away which had hidden the body of the Sphinx, and brought the gigantic shape to view. It lay there with the face toward the East and a temple between the outstretched fore-feet. Precautions were now employed to prevent another accumulation of sand; and in later years, under the Ptolemies, and afterward, the inhabitants of the village of Busiris earned money by acting as guides for those who wished to visit the wonderful structure. In the inscription Thothmes ascribes the rearing of the image to king Khafra of the Fourth Dynasty, although even at that remote time it had been considered as a relic of a previous antiquity.

Thothmes made expeditions into the land of the Khitans and afterward into Nubia and Ethiopia to suppress insurrections. His reign was too short, however, to give opportunities for distinction.

In the person of Amunoph III., his great predecessor Thothmes III. seemed to live again. He was brave and passionately fond of the chase. Memorial scarabaei contain accounts of his hunting expeditions to the country of Naharaina, and that he speared one hundred and ten lions. His first military campaign was against the tribes of the Sudan in “the miserable land of Kush.” It took place in the fifth year of his reign, and is described as victorious. “He placed his boundary wherever it pleased him.”

These campaigns were repeated, and the inscriptions include the names of many conquered towns and tribes that cannot now be ascertained by any that now exist. The region abounded with gold mines, and the cupidity inspired by this wealth was the chief incentive to these expeditions.

A distinguished officer of the king was his famous kinsman and namesake Amunhetep or Amunoph, the son of Kapu and grandson of Khamu, who has been already named. The account of his qualifications is very interesting to all who take interest in such matters. “I was introduced to the knowledge of the Holy Book125 and beheld the glories of the god Thoth. I was enlightened concerning their mysteries, and all parts of these were laid open before me. I was made master of the art of speaking in all its bearings.”

Amunhetep had been first appointed a royal under-secretary. His proficiency having been demonstrated, he was made Secretary, with the duties of arranging the families, of reporting on the taxes, and of watching over the defenses of the country. Here his administrative ability was fully tested, and he had a wide distinction. The Egyptians, like all ancient peoples, were hostile to those of another race and country, refusing intimate relations with them, and even their ingress into Egypt, except under rigid conditions. They were branded in the inscriptions on the monuments by such odious terms as “miserable, impure, and leprous.” The administration of Amunhetep was wise and practical. “I gave satisfaction to the people in their place of taxing,” he declares; “I levied the taxes on the household according to their number. I separated the warriors and their household. I increased the subjects by the best of the prisoners whom the king had made on the theatre of war. I was Rohir, the director at the head of the bravest of the warriors to smite the nations of Nubia and Asia. The thoughts of my lord were continually my care. I penetrated what his mouth concealed and comprehended his thoughts toward all natives and foreigners that were about him. It was I who brought away the prisoners. I was their overseer. I did according to what he spoke, and took my measures according to that which he prescribed to me. I found that this proved best in later times.”

His next appointment was that of Chief Architect. This was one of the most honorable and responsible, demanding the highest qualifications in a court and country like those of Egypt. Wisdom, discretion and intelligence of the highest order were absolutely necessary. These Amunhetep possessed, beyond other men at his time. He was overjoyed at the honour which he received. Even the sculptured hieroglyphic in “hard stone” was aglow with the ardor of his gratitude to the king. “He is Ra himself,” he exclaims in his enthusiasm; “may there be accorded to him numerous returns of the Thirty Years’ Feast without end!”

The popularity of Amunoph III. with his subjects exceeded that of former kings. In the holy Thirtieth Year,126 the jubilee of his reign, he received tribute and taxes from the Rohirs, and collected the revenue. In acknowledgment, each of the faithful subjects was presented from the king with a necklace. “These,” says the inscription—”these are the records which are granted to the overseers of the houses of Pharaoh and the taxpayers of Upper and Lower Egypt, because when the overseer of the granaries had spoken a word to them, They gave more than the amount of their taxes for the thirtieth year.”

Their reply was terse and to the point. “The king has shown himself upon his throne. The taxpayer of the South and North of Egypt has been rewarded.”

The coronation-day of Amunoph had been characterized by a general pilfering about the court, a stealing of food, a sucking of beer from the skins, a tearing of the lead from the mouth of the fountains and a carrying away of ornaments. Either the servants did not share in the general enthusiasm, or with a reign of thirty years, Amunhetep had not won the respect and affection of the people.

Amunoph III., like his great predecessor, Thothmes, was profoundly religious and particularly fond of building. He caused new quarries to be opened in the hills of Toura, near Memphis, and the “hard stone” carefully hewn and then transported to all parts of Egypt, for the repairing of temples and the building of new ones. “He gave instructions and directions,” says the inscription, “for he understood how to direct and guide architects.”

The arrangement of the Great Temple at Thebes underwent significant modifications. An immense propylon or gate-tower was erected at the western extremity, a new temple to Amun-Ra at the north, and another to the lion-headed goddess Sekhet or Mut, the “Great Mother,” at the south. All the buildings were united to the new temple by an avenue of criosphinxes, figures having the bodies of rams, with the disks of the sun at their heads. The ram being the symbol of Amun, and the disk representing the sun-god, the combination implied that Amun-Ra, the “Mystic Sun,” was the Supreme Deity of the realm of Egypt.

Another important structure was the new temple at Medinet-Abu, on the further bank of the river. This building was placed by the Chief Architect, and its site was indicated from a great distance by two colossal sitting statues of the king, the fame of which went over the whole ancient world. The architect had devised them in the exuberance of his gratitude without the knowledge of the king. They were of “hard stone,” about fifty feet in height. After having been completed, they were transported to the river, where eight boats or floats had been built for the purpose of carrying them to their place of destination. “They will last as long as the sky,” was the architect’s exultant boast.

The northern statue was the “vocal statue of Memnon,” which has afforded so much wonder and has been celebrated by innumerable writers in poetry and prose. It gave forth musical notes at sunrise.127 The two statues were in a sitting posture, and at their feet were smaller sitting figures of the queen Taia, and the king’s mother, Mut-em-va.

H. P. Blavatsky declares the knowledge of the Zodiac to be an heirloom from the Atlanteans [America]. The Egyptian Zodiacs show that the ancient Egyptians had records extending back 78,000 years. See “The Secret Doctrine,” II, 432.

The king regarded the building of this temple as the most glorious achievement of his reign. The memorial tablet contains an inscription, an address to the god and his reply. “Come, Amun-Ra, lord of Thebes in Ape,” the king invokes, “behold thy abode which is prepared for thee on the great place of Us. . . . As thou risest on the horizon, then is it enlightened by the golden beams of thy countenance. Thy glory dwells on it. I have not let it want for works of beautiful white stone; I have filled it with monuments from the mountain of admirable stone; and those who behold them are full of great joy on account of their size. . . . Statues of the gods are to be seen everywhere, carved in all their parts. I gave directions to execute what pleased thee well, to delight thee with beautiful dwelling-places.”

The god replies, assuring him that that which he has prepared is excellent. “Never,” says he, “has the like been done for me.”

Amunoph was not remiss in his kindness to the architect, Amunhetep. A temple had been founded by the latter, behind the Sanctuary of the King, near the tombs of the king’s daughters and other royal princesses, in the eleventh year of the reign of Amunoph. The king gave orders for its perpetual maintenance, and “the high priests, the holy fathers and the priests of Amun-Ra” were appointed to protect the shrine. Severe penalties were decreed in case of neglect; for, with all his bounties, Amunoph was not on the best of terms with the leading members of the Sacerdotal Order. He promised rewards for fidelity, adding the assurance so delightful to an Egyptian, “your body shall rest in the Underworld, Amenti, after a career of one hundred and ten years.”

The son of Hapu was famous for his wisdom and superior excellencies for many centuries, till Egypt ceased to be a land of the gods. What Imopht or Emeph was for Memphis, Amunhetep became for Thebes. The temple of Kak, as it was called, became a place of pilgrimage for visitors to the Southern Metropolis; and when it was rebuilt under the Ptolemies it was again dedicated to Amun and Hathor, and the wise Amunhetep was honoured with the deities.

The reign of Amunoph III. lasted for about forty years; his dominion extended from the Sudan to Assyria. There is no record of his death. He had been in many respects diverse from the members of the family of Thothmes, and his tomb was in a place apart. There is a significance in this that seems to foreshadow remarkable changes. If he did not attempt to make innovations in the religion and customs of Egypt, he opened the way for such endeavors. While Thothmes III. may be compared very justly with David, the Hebrew monarch, as he is described, Amunoph was more like Solomon. He exhibited a similar liking for art and literature, and his reign was generally peaceful and conducive of prosperity to his people. Like that king, he has been represented as susceptible to the attractions of foreign women, and he was liberal to their religion. “Some historians have reproached him with being too much under female influence,” says Professor Rawlinson; “and certainly in the earlier portion of his reign he deferred greatly to his mother, Mutemva, and in the latter portion to his wife, Tii or Taia; but there is no evidence that any evil result followed, or that these princesses did not influence him for good. It is too much taken for granted by many writers that female influence is corrupting. No doubt it is so in some cases; but it should not be forgotten that there are women whom to have known is ‘a liberal education.’ Mutemva and Tii may have been of the number.”

Queen Taia, whose influence with her husband and son was productive of important results, had been chosen by Amunoph from affection, without regard to political policy. An, inscription at Thebes describes her as “with complexion fair, her eyes blue, her hair flaxen, her cheeks rosy.” A scarabseus at the Gizeh Palace declares her parents to have been not of the royal blood of Egypt, but foreign.

A scarabseus contains the records that in the year after his marriage, the eleventh, he caused to be constructed for his young bride, Taia, a lake a mile in length in the city of Zar or Zoan (San or Tanis), and celebrated the festival of the Inundation, launching upon it a boat named Aten-nefer, “the Beautiful Sun.” The employing of this term “Aten”128 on this occasion indicates the early inception of the attempt to change the national worship. But Amunoph, however favorable to the new ideas, would not venture upon rash innovations. The son, however, who was for a time the colleague of his parents in the government, was less politic and cautious.

“Queen Taia was not accepted by the priests of Egypt as quite a legitimate consort to the king. He had wedded her from affection, disregardful of the requirement that the queen must be of the Egyptian royal family.129 The priests were accordingly enabled to dispute the title of their children as heirs to the throne. They did not succeed in excluding them from actually reigning, but they omitted their names from the Tables in which were inscribed the names of the Kings of Egypt.

In the ensuing reign, when the new religion had been established, Queen Taia and the mother of Amunoph III. were associated with him in the public ceremonials, as entitled to the highest veneration. It is conjectured that the two women largely influenced his action. While he did not formally depart from the established worship, yet in his utterances, as recorded in the monumental inscriptions, he addressed Amun-Ra, but significantly indicated him as the divinity of the Sun.

There is much uncertainty in relation to the accession of Amunoph IV. to the throne of Egypt, and even in regard to his personality. His very features add to the difficulty. As they are depicted, they exhibit mongrel characteristics, unlike those of Amunoph III. or Queen Taia, as though there had been a reverting to some former ancestral type; if indeed he was not some changeling or actually of another family.

Mr. Villiers-Stuart has found two tombs in which the sculptures indicate something of this character. One is the tomb of Queen Taia herself, which was prepared under her own directions, probably during the life of her husband. She is depicted in the act of worshipping the gods of Egypt; and her son, who is making the usual offerings to her as a being in the Underworld, exhibits no resemblance to the pictures of the monarch afterward known as Khu-en-Aten. In the other tomb which Mr. Stuart found at Thebes, there were two bas-reliefs, one on each side of the entrance. The figure at the right was a likeness of Khuenaten, and Mr. Stuart declares the other to be that of the genuine Amunoph IV., whose features are more clearly like those of the family of Thothmes.130

This monarch and his immediate successors are known in Egyptian history as the “Stranger-Kings,” an epithet which in ancient times was a very opprobrious one. He was not long in becoming obnoxious to the priests and nobility. He openly manifested his aversion to the worship of the many gods in the temples. He recognized a single Divine Being only, the God of Light, of whom the orb of the sun was the symbol. In his tablet he styled himself Mi-Aten, “the Intimate Friend of the Sun,” and also “priest of Horemakhu.” He afterward laid aside the name of Amunoph for that of Khu-en-Aten, “the Radiant Sun,” and Mi-Horemakhu, and issued an order to obliterate the names of the god Amun and the goddess Mut from the monuments of his ancestors.

A command was also promulgated with the evident purpose of prescribing the worship of the One God. The Chief Minister was commanded to assemble all workers in stone in Egypt, from the Island of Elephantina to Migdol, and to open a quarry at Silsilis for the erection of a gigantic building, “the Great Obelisk of Horemakhu, by his name as God of Light, who is worshipped as Aten-Ra in Thebes.” The great lords and chiefs of the Fan-bearers were appointed to oversee the cutting and shipping of the stone.

This building was demolished in a subsequent reign, and a gateway erected upon its site.

These measures led to rebellion, and the king, in the sixth year of his reign, abandoned Thebes to found a new metropolis at a distance from the Nile in Middle Egypt. The place selected for the site was at Alabastron, now known as the Tel-el-Amarna, “the Mound of Amarna.” Here the work was inaugurated by the erection of a temple to the god Aten. The style of this structure was a complete departure from the standard Egyptian models. It consisted of many buildings with open courts, in which were altar-hearths for the Sacred Fire.131 Flowers were the principal offerings, and the whole temple was decorated with them. But no animals were sacrificed.

A palace was built near the temple for the king and the queen, and residences likewise for their daughters, and for Netem-Mut or Benat-Mut, the daughter of Amunoph III. Houses were also erected near these for the Court and the servants of the king. The architects and builders were kept busy; the new city was soon filled with inhabitants and adorned with monuments.

The court and government were of a kind that was entirely unknown to the Egyptians. The very pictures of the king, his family and attendants, were unlike the others that appear in the sculptures and paintings. Instead of burly figures and comely features that were depicted in the tombs, they were represented as emaciated and distended in their forms, and of surpassing ugliness. The king maintained the style of an Asiatic monarch. Those who came into his presence prostrated themselves after a servile manner like conquered foemen. The army was largely constituted of negroes and Asiatics, yet there were few warlike expeditions; for the feeling of Khu-en-Aten was eminently peaceful. Every one seemed to be employed with the new religion. Flowers adorned the temple throughout, and hymns chanted to the music of harps constituted the chief form of worship.

Mr. R. Stuart-Poole pertinently asks “was this a foreign, or an Egyptian restoration of primitive belief? If it were Egyptian, why was the Sun called Aten and not Ra? The king was the son of a foreigner, and his type and that which marks his Court—probably because somewhere of his mother’s race, an art assured the fashionable type for the rest—is not recognizable in any of the characteristic representations of foreign races. It is neither Ethiopian, nor Semitic, nor Libyan. The names of his mother (Taia) and of her reputed parents (Iuao and Thuao), the name of the Sun-God, which is Egyptian, and the character of the worship, do not, as far as we know, point to any of these races. Certainly they are not Semitic.”132

It will not be very difficult to find a similarity to the religions of the Sacred Verse, the Gayatri: “Adore we the Sun, God over all, from whom all proceed and to whom all must return; may He guide our thought.”

The government of Khuenaten, and the worship which he established, show much resemblance to what is described of the rule of Quetzalcoatl at Cholula, in Mexico. He diffused learning and knowledge of the arts, was just and liberal of gifts, conquering by the arts of peace rather than by war, averse to bloody sacrifices, but delighting in music, flowers and brilliant colors.

Whatever was the history of the worship, whether it was of original development from human intuitions divinely prompted, or a revival of the religion of native and prehistoric Egypt, or an importation from some foreign region, king Khuenaten devoted himself zealously to its dissemination.133 He appointed his favorite official, Meri-Ra, to be Chief Seer of Aten, because of his devotion and obedience to the royal teaching. He also made Aahmes, another of his faithful followers, Steward of the Royal Household and Superintendent of the Storehouses.

A prayer by this official was found in a tomb at Tel-el-Amarna. It invokes the divinity of the Sun as lord of lords and king of worlds, and is an eloquent effusion.

“Thou—oh, God—” he says, “thou who art in truth the Loving One, thou standest before the Two Eyes. Thou art he that created that which had never existed, that formed everything in the Universe. We, likewise, came into existence through the word of thy mouth.”

No receiver of the new faith was more sincere and devoted than the queen, Nefert-i-Taia. Her invocation contains praise and petition, almost plaintive in their earnestness and affection:

“Thou disk of the Sun, thou living God,” she exclaims, “there is none other beside thee! Thou givest health to the eyes through thy beams, thou Creator of all beings!”

“Grant to thy son, who loves thee, the lord of the land, Khuenaten, that he may live united with thee to all eternity. As for her, his wife, the queen Nefert-i-Taia, may she live evermore and eternally by his side, well pleasing to thee. She admires day by day what thou hast created.”

The queen-mother, Taia, came to the new metropolis attended by a great retinue. She was received with joyful attentions. The king and queen conducted her to the temple of Aten to “behold her sun-shadow.”

King Khuenaten was domestic in his tastes and habits. A sculpture in one of the tombs exhibits him as standing on a high balcony surrounded by his wife and seven daughters, one of them an infant and future queen, in the lap of her mother. They are throwing gifts to the people below.

The queen-mother, Taia, lived with them, and Khuenaten found in his home a recompense for the estrangement of the “holy fathers” of the temples and those whom they influenced.

Of accounts of the immediate successors of Khuenaten, history is very meagre. Sa-a-Nekhet, who was the husband of his daughter, the princess Meri-Aten, reigned only a short period. The next monarch was Tut-ankh-Amun. He lived at Thebes, and had married the third daughter, Ankh-nes-Aten, whose name was now changed to Ankh-nes-Amun. He was evidently hoping to gain the sanction of the priests, but his name was not placed in their list of kings.

His successor was Aai, the husband of Titi or Taia, the foster-mother of Khuenaten. He was a member of the Sacerdotal Order, a “holy father” of the highest rank, and had held places of distinction, such as royal Fan-bearer and “Scribe of Justice,” which attests his superior ability and the confidence which the king reposed in him. He seized the opportunity to grasp the supreme power, but did not venture to assume the royal dignity. He was only known as “prince of Thebes.” He returned to the old worship, but did not obtain a place on the catalogue of kings. He was able, however, to have a sepulchre among the royal tombs, but for some reason it was not completed. His sarcophagus was found there by Mr. Stuart, bearing marks of violence. The inscriptions had been defaced, as though he was considered a usurper, but the name that he assumed as ruler was left: “Kafer-kaferu-Ra-Arna-Neter-Aai-Neter-hic-vas.”

The record of his reign extends to four years and more, but we have no mention of its ending.

The Legitimate Dynasty Restored.

In a grotto on the western side of the Jebel Silsileh is a sculpture representing a young boy wearing the royal circlet, with the Sacred Asp of Egypt, and nursed by a queen. This was Hor-en-hibi or Horos, the “son” or priest of the god. The inscription describes him as the “beloved of his mother, the divine lady-chief.” When he had grown up he was admitted to “behold the holiness of the god Horos” of Alabastropolis, and afterward was presented to the royal Court. The king appointed him a Rohir or Superintendent, and perceiving his rare excellencies, afterward made him Adon or governor of Egypt. He was now supreme, like the king himself, in all the realm; only on the throne was the king greater than he. In a short time afterward he was recognized as crown-prince. “Amun gave order to bring the god Horos, the lad of Alabastron, and his son, to Thebes that he might induct him into his office and his throne.

In ancient writings the priests of a worship assumed to speak as being the actual divinities. The god Amun may therefore be understood here as the chief priest of Thebes, and Horos as the priest of Alabastron.

The nuptials of Hor-em-hebi with the princess royal of Egypt constituted a part of the proceedings. This alliance assured the validity of his title. His various official and other names were then announced, and then “the Holiness of the glorious god Amun-Ra,” the high priest, came forth with him from the palace, “in order to deliver to him the golden protecting image of the Disk of the Sun.”

“The Son of Ra, Miamun Horenhibi,” was now king of Upper and Lower Egypt and lord of the “Nine Nations.” He proceeded at once to obliterate the records and destroy the monuments of the Stranger-Kings. The gigantic structure of Khuenaten, the obelisk crowned with the Aten-disk, was torn down and the stones taken away to build a gate-tower for the temple of Amun-Ra. A second gate-tower was also erected, and the entrances adorned with statues of the king. An avenue of sphinxes was likewise set up in honor of the tutelary divinity of Thebes. The images were restored to the temples and new ones added; the festivals and daily worship of the gods were again established.

The names of the other divinities were erased from the monuments, and the hieroglyphic or phonetic symbol of Amun-Ra substituted in their place. The hierarchy of Thebes had indeed full control in the court of Horenhibi.

The new city, the metropolis of Khuenaten, perished under the reaction; and the mound of Amarna covers its ruins. His name and the names of all the “Stranger-Kings” were removed from the monuments, and their statues were destroyed.

A campaign was also led against the tribes of the Sudan. An inscription at Silsilis depicts the result. The king is represented with a battle-axe on his shoulder, receiving the cross and power from Amun-Ra, with the suppliant prisoners at his feet.

The booty obtained by war replenished the treasury of the king and enabled him to complete his work of restoration. On the walls of the temple at Thebes was made a series of sculptures representing the princes of the country of Punt, presenting their tribute, in heavy sacks filled with gold. They address the monarch, asking for freedom and acknowledging him as Overlord.

The length of his reign is differently stated. An inscription records acts were performed in the twenty-first year, and Manetho records it as lasting thirty-seven years, probably adding to it the terms of the several Stranger-Kings.

Then followed a period of disorder and disintegration. The ambition of the conquering kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty operated eventually to weaken the power of Egypt. Having subjugated the Asiatics, Libyans and Ethiopians, chieftains from those countries were destined to subjugate their rulers in their turn. Thus, when the Dynasties of Thothmes and the Amunophs had finished their careers, there was a new empire and confederacy forming in Asia to check further aggression, and Egypt itself had divided into two realms, with the Phoenician prince, Ra-en-tui, exercising supremacy over the North.

X. The Classic Period Continued.—The Nineteenth Dynasty.—King Sethi.—Rameses the Great.

The Eighteenth Dynasty had failed to maintain its authority over the tributary nations of Asia, and even over Northern Egypt. Queen Neten-Mut survived her husband Horemhebi several years, and her symbolical representation, a sphinx or cherub, which was sculptured on a monument, indicates that she continued in possession of the royal dignity.

There followed a contention over the succession. The throne of Lower Egypt was occupied by Ra-en-ti, and now the dominion of Upper Egypt was seized by Rameses I. There are diverse accounts with regard to the lineage of this founder of the Nineteenth Dynasty. He himself assumed to be a descendant of Amunoph I. and Queen Nefert-ari-Aahmes, but there exists good reason for supposing him to have actually belonged to Lower Egypt and to the race of the exiled monarchs. His physiognomy was decidedly Grecian, and his immediate successors differed distinctly in features from the Egyptian kings. They also recognized the Asiatic divinity Sutekh among the god’s whom they worshipped, a fact that made them unacceptable to the priesthood of Thebes, which had now become a powerful hierarchy in Egypt.

The Khitan dominion meanwhile came into power at the north of Syria, and included all the neighboring nations from Kurdistan to the Archipelago as subjects and allies. At times his influence extended to the hordes of Egypt itself, and the Seventeenth Dynasty is described by Mariette Bey as “an offshoot of the Khitans, who inhabited the plains near the Taurus mountains, and were worshippers of Sutekh.” The Khalu or Phoenicians, the Rutenu or Palestinians, and the Amairu or Amorites were subject to them. Sapuriri or Sapor was now the Overlord and king of this Semitic-Turanian people.

Rameses had first the task to make himself supreme in both realms of Egypt. He then led an expedition against the Khitans, to expel them from Palestine and Syria. It resulted in a treaty of alliance, offensive and defensive, between the two monarchs. Each pledged himself to keep within the limits of his own possessions, and to abstain from interfering with the other.

The reign of Rameses was short, probably not exceeding six years. He was succeeded by his son, Sethi I., also designated by the royal and official titles of Ma-men-Ra and Mene-Ptah. As the name of this monarch was similar to that of the divinity who was proscribed in the later Egyptian worship as the Evil Potency and slayer of Osiris, it was afterward generally erased from the sculptures, and that of Asiri or Osirei substituted. He married Tuaa, the grand-daughter of Amunoph III., or, as some say, of Khuenaten. His reign was characterized by great activity, both as a warrior and builder. Indeed, Baron Bunsen considered him to have been the famous king Sesostris, whose conquests were distinguished above those of other princes. Whilst, however, some identify this sovereign with one of the Osirtasens of the illustrious Twelfth Dynasty, the general judgment has decided that Rameses II. was the person so distinguished.

The Shasu tribes and the princes of Khanaan and Syria had formed leagues to establish their independence. Manthanar, the new king of the Khitans, it was affirmed, had also repudiated the treaty which had been made with Rameses. The throne of Sethi stood as on a mine of dynamite. Distrust at home and hostility elsewhere menaced him. He was, however, prompt in action. In the first year of his reign he assembled his troops at the fortress of Khetam or Etham, near the eastern boundary of Egypt. Thence he marched to the migdol or high tower, and on to Buto or Baal-Zapuna. He then traversed the territory of the Shasu-Idumseans without resistance, halting at Ribatha or Rehoboth in the “South country of Palestine.” The confederated tribes, however, had made a stand at the fortress of Khanaana in the “land of the Zahi,” or Phoenicians. The battle which ensued resulted in a complete victory for the Egyptians.

Sethi next turned his arms against the Phoenicians themselves and annihilated their forces at Jamnia. He followed up the campaign against the kings of the Ruthens or Canaanites, and afterward marched against “Kadesh in the territory of the Amorites.”134

The Khitan frontier was now open, and he led his troops into that country. The war was continued for several years, after which a new treaty was formed.

Sethi returned home from his first campaign with a large number of prisoners and a rich booty. He took the country of the Lebanon on his way. The inhabitants had made no resistance, and he now employed them to cut down cedar trees for ships and for masts to set up at the Egyptian temples.

He was met near Khetam, at the frontier of Egypt, where he had set out, by a large multitude, the priests and chief men of Egypt. “They had come,” we are told, “that they might welcome the Divine Benefactor on his return from the land of Ruthen, accompanied by a booty immensely rich—such as had never happened since the time of the Sun-God Ra.” He had “quenched his wrath on nine foreign nations, and the Sun-God himself had established his boundaries.”

The occasion was significant. The priests and nobles had need to be on good terms with a king, whose power was so demonstrated, and Sethi had good reason to desire the friendship of a sacerdotal order that might refuse funeral rites at his death, and uproot his posterity. Accordingly he enriched the temple of Amun-Ra with his booty and the priests in return chanted hymns of praise to “His Holiness.”

“He had smitten the wandering peoples, and struck down the Menti; and had placed his boundaries at the beginning of the world and at the utmost borders of the river-land of Naharaina, and the region which the Great Sea encircles.”

In the temple of Redesieh which Sethi built in the desert near the gold mines on the way from Koptos to the Red Sea another record was made. It describes him as having conquered the peoples of Singara, Kadesh, Megiddo, Idumasa, and several others which are not identified. In short, he not only included the countries of Palestine, Idumaea and Syria in these conquests, but they embraced the entire region from Assyria and Armenia to Cappadocia, together with Cyprus and other islands of the Mediterranean. Mr. Sayce, however, qualifies these reports. “It is difficult to determine the extent of Sethi’s successes,” he remarks, “since like many other Egyptian kings he has at Kar-nak usurped the inscriptions and victories of one of his predecessors, Thothmes III., without taking the trouble to draw up a list of his own.”

The Thuheni of Libya had taken advantage of his absence from Egypt to invade the Lowlands of the north. They were fair of complexion and probably akin to the Pelasgians of Europe. Thothmes had subjugated them, but they had since refused to pay tribute. Sethi and the prince Rameses led an expedition against them and succeeded in reducing them to subjection. The prince, also conducted a campaign against the Amu tribes east of the Nile with success.

Sethi anticipated changed conditions for Egypt, and began the construction of a long wall on the northern frontier. It began at Avaris or Pelusium, and extended across the isthmus to Pi-thom or Heropolis, where the lagoons began, which are connected with the upper end of the Red Sea.

Sethi did not neglect the welfare of his subjects. He opened a canal from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, for commerce, and it made the land of Goshen fertile. He was also diligent in procuring ample supplies of water, and caused artesian wells to be bored in the desert. In the poetic speech of the time, “he spoke and the waters gushed forth.” As every temple had its tank or lake, he placed a little shrine at each of the wells to consecrate the spot and assure their maintenance. “Thus,” says an inscription, “thus did King Sethi do a good work, the beneficent dispenser of water, who prolongs life to his people; he is for every one a father and mother.”

Following the example of several of his predecessors, Sethi early contemplated the confirming of his regal authority by associating his son with himself in the government. The great historic inscription in the temple of Abydos describes the coronation of the prince.

“The Lord of all—he nurtured me and brought me up. I was a little boy before I attained the government; it was then that he gave the country into my hands. I was yet in the womb of my mother when the grandees saluted me with veneration. I was solemnly inducted as the Eldest Son into the dignity of the throne on the chair of the earth-god Seb. Then I gave my orders as chief.”
“My father presented me publicly to the people; I was a boy in his lap, and he spoke thus: ‘I will have him crowned as king, for I desire to behold his excellence while I am myself alive.’ [Then came] the officials of the court to place the double crown upon my head, and my father spoke: ‘Place the regal circlet on his brow.’ [He then invoked for him a worthy career.] Still he left me in the house of the women and of the royal concubines, after the manner of the princesses, and the young dames of the palace. He chose for me [guards] from among the [maidens], who wore a harness of leather.”

It could not have been for many years that the prince was left with his little troop of Amazons. It was the purpose of Sethi from the first, both from affection and from policy, to place his son actually in power. This is fully set forth in another inscription.

“Thou (Rameses) wast a lord (adon) of this land, and whilst thou wast still in the egg thou actedst wisely. What thou saidst in thy childhood took place for the welfare of the land. When thou wast a boy with a youth’s locks of hair, no monuments saw the light without thy command, no business was transacted without thy knowledge. When thou wast a youth and countedst ten full years, thou wast raised to be a Rohir or ruler in this land. From thy hands all buildings proceeded, and the laying of their foundation-stones was performed.”

Henceforth Egypt had a legitimate king. Sethi governed and the voice of Rameses Mei-Amun gave full validity to his acts. The two made war together, and under their administrations another building period began in Egypt. Thebes, from being the chief city of a province or minor realm, had become the capital of the whole kingdom, and attained to the height of its power and magnificence.

Wilkinson describes this period as “the Augustan Age of Egypt, in which the arts attained the highest degree of excellence of which they were capable.” He adds, however, the dark premonition, that as in other countries their culmination-point is sometimes marked by certain indications of their approaching decadence, so a little mannerism and elongated proportion began to be perceptible amidst the beauties of the period.

The buildings which were begun in this reign were masterpieces, never equalled by later structures. It had always been the endeavor of the sovereigns of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties having Thebes for their metropolis that it should rival in splendor the earlier capitals, Memphis and Heliopolis. Sethi was generous to the sanctuaries in different cities of Egypt, but his most famous memorials were the temple of Osiris at Abydos, the “House of Sethi” at Gurnah, and the Hall of Columns, in the temple of Amun-Ra. at Thebes. This latter structure was a hundred and seventy by three hundred and thirty feet in area, and its stone roof was supported by one hundred and thirty-four columns, the tallest of which were seventy-five feet high and twelve feet in diameter. Several of them have fallen at different periods; nine of them in the summer of 1899. The walls are covered with sculptures and inscriptions; those on the north side setting forth the conquests of Sethi and those on the south the exploits of Rameses II.

The splendor of these buildings consisted in the profusion and beauty of the sculptures, even to the hieroglyphic characters. Mr. Samuel Sharpe has explained the general use of these symbols on the monuments by the supposition that papyrus had not then been used for writing. Later discoveries, however, have proved this to be an error. The tombs which have been opened of monarchs of earlier dynasties have been found to contain scrolls. Prof. Ebers, also, in his romance, “Uarda,” setting forth occurrences of the reign of Rameses II., describes the “House” or Temple of Sethi at Karnak, on the western side of the Nile, a school of learning only inferior to the temple of Hormakhu at Heliopolis. Here were instructed priests, physicians, judges, mathematicians, astronomers, grammarians, and other learned men.135 The graduates received the degree of grammateus, scribe or doctor, and were at liberty afterward, at the public expense, to prosecute scientific or philosophic investigation as their taste impelled them.

There was also a School of Art, with regulations of a similar character, and likewise an elementary department at which every son of a free citizen might attend.

The Memnonium, or, more correctly, Me-amunei, was a temple begun by Sethi on the western bank of the Nile in honor of his father Rameses I. The pillars were modeled to represent bundles of papyrus-reeds. The inscriptions in it have evidently been changed to meet religious prejudice. The king is named Osiri, and Osiri-Seti—but the last name is not that of Typhon. The building was dedicated to the deceased monarch Rameses I. and to the gods of the Underworld, Osiris and Hathor,136 as also to Amun-Ra and his group of divinities. The death of Sethi took place while the temple was in process of construction; Rameses II. finished it and directed the inscriptions.

“King Rameses II. executed this work as his monument to his father, Amun-Ra, the king of the gods, the lord of heaven, the ruler of Ta-Ape (Thebes); and finished the House of his father King Meneptah-Sethi. For he (Sethi) died and entered the realm of heaven, and he united himself with the Sun-god in heaven, while this House was being built. The gates showed a vacant place, and all the walls of stone and brick were yet to be upreared; all the work in it of writing or painting was unfinished.”

The temples of Abydos are interesting to us as aiding to unravel the tangled web of Egyptian history. Here, it was declared, Osiris had been buried, and hence Nifur, the necropolis of that city, was a favorite burial-ground, especially after the Twelfth Dynasty. Sethi began the construction of two shrines, a larger and a smaller, as a memorial to’ his ancestors. They were afterward finished by Rameses in most magnificent style, and decorated profusely with sculptures and inscriptions. The names of both monarchs, the father and son, were placed in each. In a smaller temple was set the famous Tablet of Abydos, which they had dedicated to the memory of the predecessors whom they recognized as genuine and legitimate kings of Egypt. The list begins with Mena and extends to Rameses Mei-Amun, omitting the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties.

M. Mariette has discovered another Tablet in the larger temple, which is described as being more complete. Amelineau has also been engaged several years in explorations, and some of his discoveries throw new light upon Egyptian history and archaeology.

Rameses II. was now sole king of Egypt. He had chosen the city of Tanis or Zar for a royal residence. It had a commanding strategic position, and had been the starting-place of former kings upon their military expeditions. The Arabian tribes, the Idumseans and Amalakites, at that time held the country immediately beyond. Its Hyksos kings had fortified the city and built temples there for the worship of Baal-Sutekh. It had an extensive commerce by caravans from, Arabia, and its harbor, like that of Alexandria in Grecian and Roman times, was filled with shipping, bringing and carrying merchandise. Here the young monarch erected temples to the guardian divinities of the realms of Egypt, Amun, Ptah and Hormakhu, including with them the tutelary of the Semitic nomes, Baal-Sutekh. The new temple-city, called Pi-Ramesu, was afterward supplied abundantly with statues, obelisks, memorial-stones and other religious paraphernalia. The court was established here, with its chief officials, Khartumim or soldier-priests,137 and other functionaries.

In the first year of his reign Rameses made a voyage to Thebes to celebrate the Feast of the Advent of Amun-Ra to Egypt. It began on the thirteenth of September and lasted twenty-six days. The king at the conclusion “returned from the capital of the South,” says the inscription of Abydos. “An order was given for the journey down the stream to the stronghold of the City of Rameses the Victorious.”

His next progress was to visit the tomb and temple of Sethi at Abydos. A second voyage was made accordingly, and he entered Nifur, the necropolis, by the canal from the Nile. He found the structure unfinished, and the tombs of the earlier kings were dilapidated from the very foundations.138 Rameses immediately assembled the princes, the friends of the dynasty, chief men and architects.139 “When they had come, their noses touched the ground, their feet lay on the ground for joy; they prostrated themselves on the ground, and with their hands they prayed to the king.”

Rameses addressed them with upbraiding upon the condition of the temples, tombs and monuments. These required labor, he declared. Sons had not renewed the memorials of their parents.140

“The most beautiful thing to behold, the best thing to hear, is a child with a thankful breast, whose heart beats for his father; wherefore,” the king adds, “my heart urges me to do what is good for Meneptah.” He then recounted the kindness and honor that had been bestowed upon him by Sethi. He had been set apart from his birth for the royal dignity, and at ten years old had been crowned and invested with regal authority. “I will not neglect his tomb, as children are accustomed to do,” he declared. “Beautifully shall the most splendid memorial be made at once. Let it be inscribed with my name and the name of my father.”

Orders were given for the repair of the tombs and for the building of the “most holy place” of his father and the temple. Statues were carved and the revenues for the maintenance of his worship were doubled. What had been already done in honor of Sethi at Thebes, Memphis and Heliopolis was repeated at Abydos. Priests of the vessel of holy water with which to sprinkle the ground were appointed, and a prophet to take charge of the shrine. The inscription recapitulates a large catalogue of the services that were provided, and Rameses concludes with an invocation.

“Awake, raise thy face to heaven, behold the sun, my father,—Meneptah, —
Thou art like God . . . .
Thou hast entered into the realm of heaven; thou accompaniest the Sun-God Ra.
Thou art united with the stars and the moon,
Thou restest in the deep like those who dwell in it with Un-Nefer,
The Eternal One.
Thy hands move the god Turn in heaven and on earth,
Like the planets and the fixed stars.
Thou remainest in the forepart of the bark of millions.141
When the sun rises in the tabernacle of heaven
Thine eyes behold his glory.
When Turn [the sun at evening] goes to rest on the earth
Thou art in his train.
Thou enterest the secret house before his lord.
Thy foot wanders in the deep.
Thou abidest in the company of the gods of the Underworld.”

Rameses concludes the inscription by imploring his father to ask of the gods Ra and Un-Nefer (Osiris) to grant him a long term of life—”many thirty years’ feasts”—and promises that in such case Sethi will be honored by a good son who remembers his father.

The inscription gives the reply of the deceased “Osiris-King,” Sethi, assuring Rameses of his compliance.

There is a whisper that the priests of Thebes had refused a place to Sethi at the necropolis of that city. This may have been the cause of the unsolved question in regard to his two sepulchres.

The tomb of Sethi, in the valley of the Kings, is described by Mr. Samuel Sharpe as the most beautiful of any in Egypt. It eluded alike the curiosity of the explorer and the cupidity of the Arab, till it was discovered by Belzoni. He found the paintings and other works of art with as fresh an appearance as when the tomb was first closed. The entrance was in the side of the hill. There was a dark stairway of twenty-nine feet, then a descending passage of eighteen feet, then a second stairway of twenty-five feet and a second passage of twenty-nine feet. This constituted the pathway to the first grand hall. This was a room of about twenty-nine feet square, and its roof was supported by four square pillars. A little way on was a second hall of similar dimensions; then a passage and a smaller apartment, beyond which was a third hall of twenty-seven feet square. This opened into a small room in which was the royal sarcophagus. It was of alabaster, and around it were hundreds of little wooden images in the form of mummies.142

The walls of these caverns were covered with sculptures painted and highly finished, and with inscriptions setting forth the fortunes of the disembodied soul. The roof of the “Golden Chamber” is covered with pictures having special significance in regard to the stars and their influence. In a little room at one side is an inscription representing a destruction of the corrupt place of human beings. (Compare Genesis vi., vii.) Upon the cover of the sarcophagus is a representation of the Great Serpent of Time borne by a long procession of nude figures. The Serpent was conspicuous in a variety of characters in all the Egyptian temples. In the tomb of Amunoph III. is a procession of twelve snakes, each on two legs, and convoluted like the other so as to produce the classic fret-molding.

The perfectness of these works far exceeds the later productions of the reign of Rameses. This was probably because they had been begun by artists employed by Sethi himself. The scenes which are depicted indicate a change of some kind in religious sentiment, and exhibit a conforming to the worships of western Asia. There were depicted in a garden the river which separated the dead from the living, the bridge of life and its keepers, also the tombs of the dead with sentinels at their doors. The god Um-Nefer or Osiris sits upon a lofty throne, holding the sceptre of the two realms, but wearing the crown of Upper Egypt alone. Human beings are climbing the steps, and before him are the scales in which their conduct during life is to be weighed. Beneath are condemned ones at work like miners in the mines.

Funeral ceremonies and also the Initiatory Rites at this period consisted in part of the Scene of Judgment by which the condition of souls was determined. It is easy to see that the descriptions given in the AEneid of Virgil and other classic works, such as those of the river Styx, and the souls of the dead coming thither to cross from this world into Hades for judgment, the Kharon or ferryman, the Eumenides and other scenes, were taken from the later rites and mythology of Egypt.

This tomb was not completed till the later years of the reign of Rameses, and there had been significant changes made in the inscriptions, indicative of modifications in the religious institutions. Rameses was a statesman rather than a priest, and he gave a license to foreign worship that the sacerdotal leaders did not approve.

It became necessary for him at an early period to trust his fortunes to the arbitration of war. Manthanar, the king of the Khitans, refused to abide by the treaties which had been made with Sethi and Rameses I., and the tributary princes of Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine had again thrown off the yoke of Egypt. The Grand Monarch of the Nineteenth Dynasty was not the man to falter in exigencies or to hesitate about the employing of agencies that were at his command. Heretofore the native peasantry and agricultural population of Egypt had been regarded as exempt from military service. Soldiers were needed and Rameses conscripted them for the war in Asia. He set out upon his first expedition in the second year of his reign. The accounts of this compaign are meagre. He states that he conquered everything in his way,143 and set up memorial pillars at various places, setting forth his triumphs. Where he was not opposed he erected monuments in honor of the tutelary goddess Astarte or Anait. He penetrated as far as Kadesh on the Orontes, when truce was agreed upon and he returned to Egypt.

The next year he directed his attention to the financial resources of his kingdom. He held a council of the princes at Memphis, and obtained pledges of their support. “As soon as they had been brought before the divine benefactor (euergetes) they lifted up their hands to praise his name and to pray. And the king described to them the condition of this land [the gold-bearing land of Akita in Nubia], in order to take their advice upon it, with a view to the boring of wells on the road.” A royal Scribe was accordingly dispatched to the region with the necessary authority. Water was obtained in abundance, forming lagoons twelve cubits deep, in which fishermen sailed their boats. “And the inhabitants of Akita made joyful music” and offered thanks to the king “Rameses Mei-amun the Conqueror.”

Again the dark cloud of war loomed above the horizon. The king of the Khitans had formed alliances with the sovereigns of neighboring countries, not only with the princes of Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine and Arabia, and with the kings and peoples of Arvad or Aradus, Khalibu or Aleppo, Naharaina or Mesopotamia, Kazanadana or Gauzanitis, Karkhemosh, Kittim, Dardania, Mysia, Mseonia or Karia, Lycia, Ilion—all the peoples from the uttermost ends of the sea to the people of the Khita. “He left no people on his road without bringing them with him. Their number was endless, and they covered the mountains and valleys. He had not left silver or gold with his people; he took away all their goods and possessions to give to the people who accompanied him to the war.”

He again challenged the king of Egypt. Rameses collected his forces, actually depicting the fields and workshops to swell their number. Among his auxiliaries were the Sardonians of Kolkhis. This campaign is depicted in fulsome language in the inscriptions on the walls of the temples, and the prowess of the king is described as sublime, especially in the heroic poem of Pen-ta-ur, the Homer of the Nile.144

Rameses set out on his second expedition, leaving the fortress of Khetam on the ninth day of the month Payni, in the fifth year of his reign. He was accompanied by six of his sons. The place of destination was the city of Ka-desh, on the river Orontes. His route was by the Path of the Desert, “the way of the Philistines,” and the usual military road to Palestine. A month later he arrived at the city of Rarneses-Ma-Amun, in Zahi or Philistia. At Sabbatanu (Sabbath-town) two Arab spies, pretending to be deserters and loyal to Egypt, met the advance guard, with the story that the king of the Khitans had retreated to the land of Khalibu, north of Daphne, in fear of the Egyptians. Immediately the various legions of Amun, Phra, Ptah and Sutekh marched to the south of Kadesh, where they were attacked by an ambush while unprepared and put to rout.

Rameses himself was on the western side of the river. “Then the king arose like his father, Menthu, and grasped his weapons and put on his armor like Baal in his time. He rushed into the midst of the hostile hosts of Khita all alone; no other was with him. He found himself surrounded by twenty-five hundred pairs of horses, and his retreat was cut off by the bravest heroes (mohars) of the king of the miserable Khitans.”

“And not one of my princes, not one of my captains of the war-cars, not one of my chief men, not one of my knights was there. My warriors and my chariots had abandoned me, not one of them was there to take part in the battle.”

When Mena, the driver of the royal car, beheld the pairs of horses around him, he was filled with alarm and terror. He implored the king to save himself, and thus to protect his people. The intrepid monarch replied to him encouragingly and then charged as with desperation upon the foe. “He rushed into the midst of the hostile hosts of the king of Khita, and the much people with him. And Pharaoh, like the god Sutekh, the glorious one, cast them down and slew them.”

Evidently the very numbers of the enemy by being crowded upon one another made them powerless before him. “And I,” says Rameses, “I, the king, flung them down head over heels, one after the other, into the water of the Aranta.”

When he charged upon them the sixth time he says: “Then was I like to Baal behind them in his time, when he has strength, I killed them, none escaped.”

When the evening had come and the battle was over, his army, the princes and others, came from the camp and beheld the carnage. There lay the last combatants of the Khitans, and the sons and brothers of their king, weltering in their blood. Rameses was severe in his reproaches. “Such servants are worthless,” said he; “forsaken by you, my life was in peril; you breathed tranquilly and I was alone. Will any one obey him who leaves me in the lurch, when I am alone without my followers, and no one comes to me to reach out his hand? . . . My pair of horses, it was they that found me, to strengthen my hand. I will have their fodder given to them in my presence, when I am dwelling in the palace, because I have found them in the midst of hostile hosts, together with Mena, the captain of the horsemen, out of the band of the trusted servants of the palace who stayed near me.”

The battle was renewed the next day, and was little less than a massacre. “He killed all the kings of all the people who were allies of the King of Khita, together with his princes and senators, his warriors and horses.”

One of the scenes represented in the sculptures at the Hall of Columns at Thebes exhibits the king standing in his car pressing forward into the thickest of the fight. He drives the enemy over a bridge, one of the earliest on record, and one of the opposing kings, vainly resisting the onslaught, is drowned in the Arunata. The city is stormed and prisoners taken.

The Khitan monarch, it is recorded, asked a truce, and a council of officers implored Rameses to grant the request. Evidently the victory was not decisive, despite the testimony of the hieroglyphics.

“Then the king returned in peace to the land of Egypt. All the countries feared his power as the lord of both worlds. All the people came at his word, and their kings prostrated themselves to pray before his countenance. The king came to the city of Rameses Mei-amun and there rested in his palace.”

This, however, by no means terminated the hostilities. The Khitans had not really been conquered. They were able to continue the war. The kings of many cities refused to submit to Egypt. In the city of Tapuna or Daphne, in Mesopotamia, where Rameses had set up two of his statues, as master, the rulers and populace continued hostile. Finally he led an army into Naharaina and reduced them to subjection.

The inhabitants of Palestine were also restless. Finally, in the eighth year of his reign, he invaded the country, captured the principal fortified towns, “placing his name there,” and made prisoners of the kings, senators and men able to bear arms. These were made to submit to indignities; they were beaten, their beards were plucked out, and they were afterward carried away captive into Egypt.

In the eleventh year Rameses made a campaign against Askalon. A long and fierce resistance was made, but the city was captured and sacked. Warlike expeditions were also undertaken against the negro tribes of the south and a multitude of prisoners was taken and reduced to slavery. These expeditions are fully depicted on the monuments: The “king’s sons” leading forward the men before the god Amun-Ra, “to fill his house with them.”

About this period there was another general migration of peoples, such as had occurred every few centuries with almost mathematical regularity. Warlike tribes moved southward and westward, supplanting or mingling with the former populations, and disturbing whatever equilibrium had before existed. This made a cessation of hostile relations between Khita and Egypt of vital importance. The two countries had wasted their energies in conflict which brought no permanent advantage to either. Manthanar, the king of the Khitans, having been assassinated, his brother Khitasar, who succeeded him, sent ambassadors to Egypt to negotiate a treaty. They brought with them engraved on a silver tablet the text of “a treaty of friendship and concord between the Great Prince of Egypt and the Great King of Khita.”145 The monarch introduces the proposed negotiation with a declaration of personal esteem. “I have striven for friendly relations between us,” he says, “and it is my wish that the friendship and concord may be better than what has existed before, and never broken.”

Upon the middle of the tablet and also on the front side of it was engraved the likeness of the god Sutekh, the Baal of Syria and Northern Egypt. The male and female gods of each country are also indicated as “witnesses of these words,” and the denunciations added that whoever shall not observe the terms of the treaty will be given over with his family and servants to their vengeance. Unconditional and everlasting friendship is solemnly pledged, and the treaties which had been made between the former kings are renewed. Each king promised not to overstep the boundaries of the other, even if anything should be plundered. In cast an enemy invaded the dominions of either, and he made application to the other for help, the call would be answered with a sufficient military force. Fugitives from justice fleeing from one country to the other were to be put to death as criminals, and the servants of either king escaping into the territory of the other must be returned for punishment. But if any inhabitant of either country should migrate to the other, he also must be delivered up and sent back, but his misconduct should not be punished in any way; neither his house, his wife or children should be taken from him, nor should his mother be put to death, nor himself suffer any penalty in his eyes, on his mouth, or on the soles of his feet. In short, no crime or accusation was to be brought against him.

This treaty was ratified at the city of Rameses in the twenty-first year of the reign of the Egyptian king. It put an end to the contest that had so long existed for supreme power in the East, and left the two kings at liberty to deal with affairs at home, and with hostile or refractory princes in regions contiguous to their dominion. The amity thus established was more firmly cemented by closer relations. Thirteen years later the king of Khita visited Rameses in his capital, bringing his daughter, and she became the wife of the Egyptian monarch.

In conformity with the custom of ancient times, as is now the usage in Russia, still an Oriental country, the bride, being of a different race and worship, abjured them, and received a new name, Ma-Ua-Nefera.146

This alliance is mentioned in inscriptions in the temple of Pisam or Ibsarn-bul, in Nubia, bearing date in the thirty-fifth year of his reign. On the walls of that sanctuary was depicted a glowing description of the battle of Kadesh, the famous poem of Pentaur, and likewise a conversation between Rameses and the demiurgic god Ptah. This divinity belonging to Northern Egypt, and closely allied in his worship and personality to the Semitic divinities, as well as to Osiris and the Apis, was highly esteemed by the king, and Khamus, his favorite son and associate, was high priest in the Temple at Memphis.

The divinity relates the favors he has bestowed on the king, regal power, booty and numerous captives.

“The peoples of Khita are subjects of thy palace. I have put it in their hearts to serve thee. They approach thy person with humility, with their productions and booty in prisoners of their king; all their property is brought to thee. His eldest daughter stands forward at their head, to soften the heart of King Rameses II., a great and inconceivable wonder. She herself knows not the impression which her beauty has made on thy heart . . . Since the time of the traditions of the gods which are hidden in the houses of the rolls of writing history had nothing to report about the Khita people, except that they had one heart and one soul with Egypt.”

The reply of Rameses is characteristic. He tells the god that he has enlarged the shrine at Memphis inside the Temenos or walled inclosure of the temple, that he has provided for the thirty years’ jubilee festivals, and caused the whole world to admire the monuments which he has dedicated to him. ”With a hot iron,” he adds, “I brand the foreign peoples of the whole earth with thy name. They belong to thee; thou hast created them.”

The temple was literally a stone cut out of the mountain. Not without hands, however; but who the architect was, who planned the work, who performed it, all are alike unknown. Rameses filled Nubia with temples and towns commemorating his name, but this sanctuary dedicated to the Great Gods of Egypt, Ptah, Amun and Hormakhu and to Rameses-Meiamun himself, surpassed all in magnificence. It is richly embellished with sculptures, and its entrance on the East was guarded by four colossal figures, each with its eyes fixed on the rising sun.

Mr. Sayce makes the disparaging statement that Rameses cared more for the size and number of his buildings than for their careful construction and artistic finish. He describes the work as mostly “scamped,” the walls ill-finished, the sculptures coarse and tasteless. But he adds, “Abu-Simbel is the noblest memorial left us by the barren walls and vain-glorious monuments of Rameses-Sesostris.”

Rameses has sometimes been compared to Louis XIV. of France. A picture of him from the colossal figure at the temple in Abu Simhel gives him features resembling those of the first Napoleon, but there is ample reason to presume that the artist greatly disguised them. The sculptures representing Sethi and Rameses disclose a considerable resemblance. There is a strong resemblance in their features, and Rameses, though possessing less energy and strength of character than his father, had a more sensitive temperament, a wider range of taste and greater inclination toward peace. The latter thirty years of his reign were generally without war. He left the reputation of a great soldier and a warlike prince behind him; nevertheless, his tastes and career were more in analogy with those of the Grand Monarque. Like that king he had an ardent passion for building, and his Court was thronged with scholars and men of talent. His chief achievements were those of a reign of peace; the great wall of five hundred miles to protect the inhabitants of the valley of the Nile on the East from the incursions of the Amu and Shasu, the Suez Canal, the new cities, innumerable buildings, excavations, obelisks, statues of colossal dimension, and other works of art with which he adorned his dominions.

Nevertheless, the glory of Egypt was now waning, and a period of decline had already begun.

XI. Rameses the Great.—Meneptah.—The Libyan Invasion.—The Revolt.

The reign of Rameses lasted about seventy years. He had at first shared the throne with his father, in consideration of his descent on the mother’s side from the royal lineage of Ra, the eponymous ancestor of the kings who were recognized as legitimate and of divine authority. When the death of Sethi left him with undivided power, he continued to pursue the former course of action. Egypt was then the umpire of the nations, and the conquests of Rameses enabled him to add the title of “Victorious” to his official designations. He had extended his dominion into the territory of the Khitans, in the north, chastized the Libyans and their auxiliaries in the west, and subjugated numerous Ethiopian tribes in the south. Multitudes of captives had been brought home in the various campaigns and placed in laborious employments in different parts of the country. They had been carefully distributed in groups widely separated from one another, thus obliterating their national identity and preventing dangerous combinations. The extensive public works, the temples, quarries and mines, were provided with laborers, and every department of administration conducted with energy.

Yet, despite the “hard bondage” which was imputed to the Egyptian servitude, there was great care to provide for the physical wants of the laborers. They were held strictly to their work under the truncheons of vigorous overseers; they were not bought and sold as chattels; and they enjoyed many privileges like those of the peasantry. Multitudes of them preferred the “flesh-pots” and the abundance of food that they enjoyed in Egypt more than the blessings and attractions of an ideal liberty. It would seem that with all the drawbacks of their servile condition, the captives in Egypt were treated with a mildness that was not often found in other countries.

It is not to be supposed, however, that all ranks and classes of prisoners were consigned to like conditions of servitude. They were often placed according to their ability and mental qualities in positions of responsibility. Indeed, it has always been possible for men in the East to rise from humble, and even from servile, employments to become officials of rank, counsellors of state, commanders of troops, and there are examples in which they actually seized imperial power.

With these additions to the population, it has been estimated that more than a third of the families of Egypt were descendants of Asiatic colonists. In the eastern canton of the Lowlands they were most numerous. Language, manners, and even religion, the hardest of all to change its forms, were modified, and the Egyptian vernacular gave place more or less distinctly to Semitic terms and forms of speech. Even the members of the literary class, the priests and scribes, conformed to the new fashions of the time. Many were eager to forsake the temples for service in the armies and civil employments. Pen-ta-ur, the private secretary of Amun-em-ant, the Royal Librarian, was an example. He was perhaps the most brilliant, but he was only one among a multitude of others.

In vain did the old teachers endeavor to arrest the progress of the tide that was now sweeping away the former customs and notions. The new modes of pronunciation of words, and the interlarding of speech with foreign expressions, and such as were in use among the alien and mongrel population of Northern Egypt, gave them abundant opportunity for sharp criticism, which they freely bestowed. An example of this appears in a letter from a preceptor to his former pupil. “Thy piece of writing is a cargo of high-flown phrases,” he declares. “Their meaning may serve as a reward for those who seek to ascertain what it is.” “I know thee,” the veteran instructor continues; “it matters little what utterances flow over thy tongue, for thy compositions are very confused. Thou comest to me with a covering of ill-uttered representations, a cargo of blunders. Thou tearest the words to tatters; thou dost not take pains to find their force.”

He concludes his diatribe with equal severity “I have struck out the end of thy composition, and I return thy description. What thy words contain has remained on my lips. It is a confused medley when one hears it. An uneducated person would not understand it. Your utterance is like that of a man from the Lowlands, speaking with a man from the Elephantina. But as a Scribe of the King thou art like the water employed to fertilize the land.”

In ancient times, the glory of the parent consisted in a multitude of children. In this respect Rameses II. was truly great among kings. It may also be added that he was a tender and affectionate father. The temple of Abydos has preserved the names and effigies of sixty sons and fifty-nine daughters; other records enumerate a hundred and ten sons. He had three wives; the first, Isi-nefer, the favorite, called also Nefer-ari-Amun, Mien-Mut, and the daughter of the Khitan king, who became the Queen in his later years. By them he had twenty-three sons and eleven daughters.

Six sons accompanied him in the war against the king of Khita, and took part in the battle of Kadesh. Khamus, the son of Queen Isi-nefer, was the best beloved, and was associated with him in the government for many years. He took great pains to revive the religious observances in the northern cities, which had fallen into abeyance under the Hyksos and Theban rule. The worship of Apis had almost ceased, but he restored it to its former activity. He held the positions of High Priest of Ptah at Memphis, Governor of Thebes and General Superintendent of Public Worship. In these capacities he made the preparations and regulations for the Festival of the Thirtieth Year. His zeal for religion and the Sacred learning won for him great praise, but his indifference to political matters was distasteful to his father, who foresaw the eminent peril awaiting the Dynasty. Khamus died in the fifty-fifth year of the reign of Rameses, and Meneptah, his oldest surviving brother, became the colleague of his father. The monuments have also preserved the names of the royal princesses Benat-Anat, Meriamen, Neb-taui and Meri. It has been conjectured that Benat-Anat, who was the favorite daughter, was the daughter of the Khitan wife; she was afterward herself a queen, but no more is known.

The astronomic knowledge indicated by some of the inscriptions of this reign was quite considerable. On the ceiling of the Rameseum at Gurnah was an astronomical projection of the heavens, perhaps representing the horoscope of the king. In the accompanying description the dog-star is mentioned as rising in the morning just before sunrise at the beginning of the year. This indicated that the true length of the year was known, and it is certain that the priests of Egypt reckoned it almost exactly the same as modern scientists.

A cloud often comes over the heart as the individual passes from the activities of mature life into the shadow of advanced age. Many who had been loved are no more among the living, and what is more sorrowful, those for whom we have cared and labored repay with cold ingratitude. For it is not that which has been bestowed that promotes warmth of sentiment in the many, but rather what is expected.

Such was the final experience of Rameses the Great. His active life had been employed to sustain his dynasty and maintain the prosperity of Egypt. He was domestic and even uxorious, and he was warmly devoted to his children. But those of them who had, by reason of their superior age, been his most familiar companions, had died, and the others harassed him by their bickerings and jealousies. His was a cheerless old age.

The records do not treat of this, but the evidences at our hand have a speech of their own. Rameses at the death of his father had been eloquent in word and act to display his filial piety. With him it was religion, and the Tomb of Sethi in the valley of Bab-el Molokh was a gorgeous palace hewn out of the rock and painted with all the decorations that could have been seen in the actual abodes of kings. It was a monument of splendor and affection.

No such manifestation was exhibited in regard to Rameses himself. “The tomb of Rameses is an insignificant structure,” Brugsch-Bey remarks, “and it is seldom visited by travelers in the Nile Valley, who scarcely imagine that the great Sesostris of Greek legend can have found a resting place in these mean chambers.”

Of such a character was the last memorial of the Grand Monarque of Egypt, whose glory had shone over the countries and whose honorary statues that were set up during his lifetime had reached the dimensions of a colossus—so huge that modern mechanical skill has shrunk from the attempt to remove them. Can it have been indifference or the bitter feeling of a disappointed expectation that occasioned this conspicuous neglect? Perhaps the priests of Amun-Ra had held over his body the Grand Assize of the Dead, and declared him not deserving of funeral honors. For Rameses had not heeded their pretensions of superior right to kings, but, like Jeroboam of Israel, had set up a distinct priesthood of his own.

The god Thoth and Sufekh (goddess of History) writing the name of Rameses II. on the fruit of the Persea (Relief from the Rameseum) at Thebes.

More likely, however, a crisis had occurred in the affairs of Egypt that required the new monarch’s attention in other directions. The Nineteenth Dynasty, itself an offshoot from the lineage of King Nub and Apapi, had never been regarded with favor, but the prodigious energy and statecraft of Sethi and Rameses had defeated any effort for its overthrow. Each of them had forestalled it further by placing the Crown-Prince upon the throne as a royal colleague, leaving no opportunity for dispute in the succession.

Mene-Ptah, or Ptah-Men was the thirteenth son of Rameses II. His elder brothers had died during the lifetime of their father—nobler and braver men whom he had survived. He inherited the false and objectionable characteristics of his predecessors, but not their genius or virtues. “He was neither a soldier nor administrator,” says Lenormant, contrasting him with Sethi and Rameses II., “but a man whose whole mind turned on sorcery and magic.” This, however, is a misconception arising from an improper rendering of a term in the Bible.147 He was pusillanimous and vacillating, and like cowardly persons generally, an oppressor and treacherous.

He came to the throne at an inauspicious period. Egypt was no longer an arbiter of the nations. The vassal and tributary countries had cast off the yoke imposed by Thothmes III. and Sethi. The Khitans, a “Turanian” people had, after a long contest with Rameses II. with indefinite results, induced him to consent to a friendly alliance in place of suzerainty. In the severe famines which about this time scourged the countries of the Levant the necessity to buy grain in Egypt for sustenance operated to preserve friendly relations. Wheat was shipped in abundance to the Khitans and peaceful intercourse was maintained with the principalities of Syria and Palestine.

At the west, however, there was a state of affairs widely different. There were frequent incursions from Libya and the northern sea-coast into the fertile lowlands of Egypt till the inhabitants feared to cultivate the land. One might sow and another reap. The weakness of the court of Tanis gave rise to general dissatisfaction, and the native princes were at strife with one another.

Advantage was taken of these conditions to form a confederacy of several nations with the purpose of conquering new homes in Northern Egypt. This alliance is described in the inscription as consisting of peoples from “all the countries north of the great sea,” The whole number of invaders has been estimated at not less than forty thousand, and they brought their wives and children with them with the purpose of settling in Egypt. The chiefs had their thrones and the other paraphernalia of their rank; and the troops were armed with bows and arrows and with swords of bronze and copper. There were also a number of war-cars and a large force of cavalry.

They advanced as far as Heliopolis, sweeping over the Delta like a swarm of locusts. The frontier towns were destroyed and the whole country was ravaged. “The like had never been seen, even in the times of the kings of Lower Egypt, when the pestilence (meaning the Hyksos rulers) was in the land and the kings of Upper Egypt were not able to drive it out.” The whole region was desolated, the fields were overrun and wasted, the cities pillaged, and even harbors were destroyed. The invading force was finally concentrated in the nome or canton of Prosopis, threatening both the ancient capitals, Memphis and Heliopolis.

The terror which was created was abject. “All the kings of Upper Egypt sat in their entrenchments, and the kings of Lower Egypt were confined inside their cities, shut in by earthworks and wholly cut off by the warriors from communication outside; for they had no hired soldiers.”

At this point the Libyan king offered terms. He demanded a treaty as liberal in its conditions as the one between Egypt and the Khitans, and likewise wheat for his people and a cession of land to colonize. It was plain that not only the realm of Lower Egypt was in peril, but the fate of the Nineteenth Dynasty was itself in the balance.

Perhaps such a proposition to King Sethi would have been answered by an attack without further parley. But another Meneptah was on the throne of Egypt, and had not an army at his command. The princes of Upper Egypt refused their assistance, the king temporized and acted on the defensive, meanwhile he sent recruiting agents into Asia to collect an army of mercenaries. When all had been made ready, he assembled his princes and generals, and gave them their orders to prepare for battle, declaring his purpose to lead in the fray.

His courage, however, failed him. When the time for action drew on, he excused himself on the pretext of a dream or vision in which Ptah had commanded him to remain in Memphis, and let his troops march out against the enemy. The battle took place on the third day of Epiphi, the eighteenth of May. The enemy hesitated to begin the charge, and the Egyptian forces attacked them with the war-cars and infantry. “Amun-Ra was with them, and Nubti (Seth or Typhon) extended his hand to help them.” The battle lasted six hours, when the Libyans were routed and fled. “Not a man of them was left remaining,” is the boastful language of the inscription. “The hired soldiers of his Holiness were employed for six hours in the slaughter.”

The Libyan king, when all was lost, turned and fled away, leaving his queen and family to the mercy of the conquerors. Meneptah in the inscription declares that “the miserable king of the Libyans stood full of fear and fled like a woman.” Yet he had commanded his men till the fortune of the day had turned against them, while the bragging Egyptian was cowering inside the walls of Memphis.

The victorious soldiers hurried to the plunder of the forsaken camp, and then set fire to the tents of skin and furniture. The catalogue of the battle enumerated among the killed 6,365 that were uncircumcised, and 2,370 circumcised; also 9,376 prisoners.

The generals did not follow up the enemy and the king hastened to disband the foreign troops. They might, if retained in service, become as dangerous to him as the Libyans themselves.

Such was the great battle of Prosopis. Once more Lower Egypt rejoiced at a deliverance from invaders, which enabled the inhabitants to follow their pursuits in peace. The officials of the royal court vied with each other in fulsome praises of the king, and the inscription afterward placed on the inner walls of the Great Temple of Thebes,148 sets forth the invasion and victory with the exaggeration so common in oriental verbiage. “I made Egypt once more safe for the traveler,” the king is made to say; “I gave breath to those in the cities.”

The subsequent history of the reign of Meneptah does not exempt it from imputation of being inglorious. The principal redeeming feature was the brilliant array of writers continuing from the time of Rameses that adorned the royal court. The monuments preserve no record worthy of mention, It appears, however, that Meneptah sought to follow the example of Horemhebi, the successor of Khuenaten, and make friends with the priests of Thebes. The absence of the royal court in Northern Egypt for so many years had enabled them to enlarge their power to actual rivalship with the throne itself, as the power of the Bishops of Rome in later times became overpowering, by the removal of the imperial capital to Constantinople. The account is given by Manetho, and preserved in a treatise imputed to Flavius Josephus.

“This king149 desired to become a beholder of the gods like Horus, one of those who had reigned before him.150 The meaning of this statement is that Meneptah, copying the example of Horemhebi of the Eighteenth Dynasty, sought initiation into the Secret Rites, thus to become a theates, epoptes or ephoros, a witness and student of the higher knowledge. This would bring him into close fraternal relations with the priest of Thebes. He applied accordingly to Amenophis, the prophet of the Temple, who imposed the condition that he should “clear the country of lepers and the other impure population.” He evidently meant the alien colonists and their descendants, whom the kings had introduced into Egypt as captives in their military expeditions and dispersed over the country. It was the practice, we notice in the inscriptions of the monuments, to designate all persons of other nations “vile.”

Manetho states that the king accordingly collected eighty thousand of these persons and set them at work in the quarries in the region east of the Nile. Some of them were priests, probably those who belonged to the temples of Rameses II. The prophet who had counselled this measure foresaw the result of the harsh treatment, that it would bring calamity upon Egypt, and committed suicide. This filled the king with consternation, and he resolved upon a change of policy toward his unfortunate subjects. He set apart the city of Avaris or Pelusium, which had been evacuated by the Hyksos kings, a city which had been from the first sacred to the god Seth. Here they were permitted to make their residence. After they had been there for a sufficient time they determined to set up for themselves, and placed a priest from Heliopolis named Osar-siph in command. He changed his name to Moses or Mo-u-ses. He promulgated an enactment forbidding them any longer to worship the gods of Egypt, or to pay regard to the sacred animals, but to use them for food and in sacrificing. He likewise directed them to build again the walls around the city and put them in readiness for war. He also sent ambassadors to Jerusalem, to the Hyksos princes, asking their help, and promising to yield up to them the city of Avaris, and aid them to recover their former dominion. They accepted his invitation and invaded Egypt with a force of two hundred thousand men.

Meneptah was filled with dismay. He hastened to assemble the Egyptian troops, and removed the sacred animals to the royal residence. His son Sethi, a lad of five years old, was sent to a place of safety, and he took his place at the head of his army of three hundred thousand warriors. He did not venture to fight when the enemy advanced to meet him, but retreated to Memphis. Then, taking the Apis and other sacred animals, he retreated with his army and the multitude of Egyptians into Ethiopia. Here he became the guest of the under-king and lived there in exile thirteen years. An army of Ethiopians was sent to guard the frontier. The usual account is given of misrule, oppression and flagrant impiety on the part of the invaders from Palestine. They are described as making themselves more obnoxious than the former Hyksos rulers. They burned cities and villages, it is affirmed, and likewise destroyed the statues of the gods, killed the sacred animals for food that were revered by the Egyptians, and compelled the priests and prophets to do this, after which they were expelled from the country. At the end of the thirteen years predicted by the prophet, the Ethiopian army entered Egypt, bringing the king and crown-prince, and drove the invaders into Palestine.

The later years of the reign of Meneptah afford us little interest. He designated his son Sethi as Crown Prince of Egypt, and there were no further military achievements. Nevertheless there was much dissatisfaction, and other aspirers to the throne were watching their opportunity. A period of confusion was approaching, when the throne should become a shuttlecock for ambitious chieftains to play with, till the man should arise to bring order from the chaos, establish anew the sovereign power, and give Egypt another term of greatness.

XII. Sethi II. Usurpation—Setnakht Restoring Order—XXth Dynasty—Rameses III.—Victories Over Invading Hordes—Campaign in Asia —Conspiracy To Destroy Him—Buildings.

Sethi II., also designated Meneptah III., it would seem on first view, to have begun his reign under conditions by no means unfavorable. The Dynasty had become acceptable to the Hierarchy, and the Crown Prince enjoyed the warm regard of the literary men at the court of his royal father. The remarkable tale of “The Two Brothers,” which in some particulars bears a striking resemblance to the story of Joseph in the house of Potiphar, was composed for him. The High Priest Levi and his son and successor, Roma, were cordial and constant in their attachment.

For two years the authority of Sethi was loyally acknowledged in Egypt and the dependencies. He generally resided in Tanis, and his orders are extant in relation to the management of the Egyptian posts in Palestine and Syria. His inscriptions are also found in different places and as far south as the family shrine at Abu Simbel. We have no account of his death, nor of the duration of his reign, but his tomb at Biban-el-Molokh exhibits a magnificence which indicates his rank among the “Justified,” in the Grand Assize of Souls.

Yet at this time the double crown of Egypt was a veritable crown of thorns. There arose an aspirant, the Prince Amunmeses, to dispute the title to the throne. He brought to his support a formidable party in Southern Egypt and Nubia; and at his death his tomb was duly excavated in the mountain at Biban-el-Molok, with the recognized Diospolite kings.

He was succeeded by his son, Meneptah Siptah. This prince was the husband of the royal princess Ta-Osiri or Thuoris, a daughter of Rameses II. The alliance added a certain support to his pretensions, and her name, instead of his, was recorded by Manetho in his list of royal personages that actually reigned. Siptah, her husband, was supported by a strong party in Thebes, under the leadership of Bai, the keeper of the Great Seal, and his reign extended for several years.

About this time the siege and destruction of Troy or Ilion, in Asia Minor, are said to have taken place.151 Herodotus had recorded the statement made to him by the priests of Lower Egypt that the Trojan prince Alexander, better known by the designation of Paris, came to the court of “King Proteos”152 with the abducted Queen Helena; and that while she was detained there the destruction of Ilion took place.

The history of Egypt now became a chaos of misrule and lawlessness. The northern districts were depopulated. The princes of the nomes and cities disclaimed other authority, and carried on war incessantly against one another. Murder and robbery were everywhere a common occurrence. The inhabitants that were able to do so, fled from the country, and there were not enough left to cultivate the land. There was scarcity of food, almost approaching to actual famine.

Presently, an adventurer named Aarsu, a Khar or Phoenician, gained the upper hand of the princes, one by one, and became master over the greater part of the country. The enormities imputed to the Hyksos invaders of former centuries were now repeated. Life and property were no longer secure. When a man gained anything, it was forcibly wrested from him. The Egyptians were compelled to pay tribute to their alien lord, the temples fell into decay, and worship was interrupted. The gods were regarded as no more than ordinary human beings, and disorder reigned for long years in Egypt.

Finally there arose a deliverer. The Harris Papyrus describes him in the fulsome oriental style as brought forward by the gods, or as would be a more literal expression, by the priests of Amun-Ra. “They established their Son who had come forth from their body upon their lofty throne as king of the whole country. This was King Set-nakht Merer Meri-amun. He was like the god Sethi (Typhon) in his rage. The whole country that was in revolt he reduced to order and submission. The men who were evilly disposed, who incited violence in the land of Ta-mera (Northern Egypt) he put to death. He purified the throne of Egypt and thus, while he raised the inhabitants from their abject condition, he became their ruler on the throne of the Sun-God Turn.”

It has been supposed that this king Set-nakht or “Sethi the Victorious” was a son of Sethi II. The evidence, however, is doubtful. Perhaps he was descended from Rameses the Great, or from Sethi I., but his exaltation to supreme power in Egypt was due to his own valour and prowess rather than to any title derived from royal lineage. He “purified the throne,” as the inscription declares. This was accomplished by driving the usurper Aarsu from power, and destroying the records and memorials of the kings whom he superseded. His reign was too short, however, to afford him opportunity to excavate a sepluchre for himself, and when he died possession was taken of the tomb of Siptah for his interment. The name of that king was left at the entrance, but the designations of Queen Ta-Osiri were overlaid by the royal shields of Set-nakht; the feminine form of the descriptive terms were not changed. By this preposterous occurrence the names of the two sovereigns Siptah and the Queen Ta-Osiri have been preserved from oblivion.

Rameses III. has been not inaptly compared to the Hebrew King Solomon, from his riches and powers, and for the luxurious appointments of his household. He seems, however, to have more closely resembled Dareios Hystaspis of Persia. His first care on coming to the supreme power was to arrange anew and classify more distinctly the civil service and the military departments. No mention is made of the other population of Egypt that was engaged in all the different avocations of peaceful industry. Indeed, in the dynasties of the Later Empire, the Court and the people were distinct bodies, as they were not in the earlier days.

Egypt was thus again placed upon a military footing. Rameses, the “last of the great kings” of Egypt, was threatened with war on every side. Every province and tributary state had thrown off the Egyptian yoke and united with the hostile parties. The Shasu or Bedouins ravaged Egypt on the East, and Libyan tribes had entered on the northwest and driven back the former possesors of the soil to establish colonies of their own. “The hostile Asiatics and Tuhennu robbers showed themselves only to injure Egypt. The land lay before them in weakness since the time of the earlier kings. They did evil to gods as well as to men. No one had an arm strong enough to resist them in their hostile movements.”

Thus beset on all sides, Rameses had prepared himself for conflict He first made a campaign against the invaders from Arabia, the Sahir or Senites of Idumaea. (See Genesis xiv., 6, and xxvi., 20-30.) He defeated them utterly, destroying their tents and cabins, taking their cattle and massacring those that resisted. He carried a vast number of them into captivity and delivered them to the several temples for servants.

He next turned his arms against the Libyans. They had undertaken to establish a permanent settlement in the Delta and become masters of Lower Egypt. Their forces were massed in the district lying between the Kanopic and the Sebennytic branches of the Nile. Rameses was attended by the Council of Thirty. The battle is described rather as a massacre than as a conflict. Probably it was analogous in some degree to the destruction of the Cimbri by Caius Marius, or of the Nervii by Julius Caesar. The Egyptian troops gave no quarter, but slaughtered till they became weary. Twelve thousand and five hundred Libyans were left dead on the field, besides an unknown number that had been driven into the water to drown. Only when the Egyptians had exhausted their fury did they consent to accept the surrender of those who survived.

The sculptures at the great temple of Medinet Abu are memorials of this battle. The mutilated parts of the slain are depicted piled up in heaps to show the number, while thousands of captives stand ready to be branded, and assigned to servitude. The men were placed on the ships as mariners; the chiefs were imprisoned within fortresses, and the women and children taken for servants. The all-powerful hierarchy of Amun-Ra received as their booty the cattle that were captured a multitude “too numerous to count.”

There was rejoicing all through Lower Egypt. The land was now rescued from the invaders and restored to the former inhabitants. Three years were passed in further adjusting the affairs of the kingdom, and then Rameses was called to encounter other adversaries. A storm had gathered in Asia and now precipitated itself upon Egypt. Tribes and hordes from the unknown regions of the Asiatic Continent had driven the Karians and Kolkhians from their homes in Armenia to seek new abodes and to subsist for the time as freebooters and pirates. They infested Asia Minor, the countries of the Levant and the eastern waters of the Mediterranean. The Khitans, Cypriotes and Philistines co-operated with them. They had arrived so far as the region at the southwest of the Dead Sea. Their attention was now directed to Egypt. They determined to obtain a foothold and new abode in the fertile lowlands. The state of affairs long disorganized and the lost hold on the tributary nations of Asia were to them as an indication and an opportunity. They were ready now to seize the advantage. “These nations had leagued together; they laid their hand on the double land of Egypt to encircle the land.”

Rameses foresaw and anticipated their movements. He placed an army of soldiers from subject peoples at Zaha on the Philistine frontier and assembled a fleet at the mouth of the Nile. The two forces of the invaders, the one by land and the other by sea, reached Egypt at the same time, in buoyant anticipation of an easy victory. Rameses, however, had been quietly awaiting their approach. Four of his sons were with him. He had fixed the place of meeting midway between Raphia and Pelusium. The Pelusata, “Pelasgians,” advanced first with a long train of bullock-carts, loaded with their wives and children. They came into the midst of an ambush and more than twelve thousand were slain. Their camp was taken and the survivors consigned to servitude. The fleet came into the lagoons at Pelusium, where they were met by the Egyptian flotilla. The whole scene is depicted in a sculpture at Medinet Abu. Rameses had no sooner vanquished the Pelusata than he hastened to Pelusium for the new engagement. His best troops lined the shore, and when the invaders attempted to land they were driven back.

The sculpture depicts some of the Egyptians attempting to rescue the sinking crews of an enemy’s ship, an act of humanity unparalleled among the other nations of the ancient world. Never again did any of the nations thus overcome appear in arms against Egypt. Rameses followed up his victory by a campaign of vengeance, and the record covers one side of the pillar at Medinet Abu. He set out with both an army and a fleet, traversing Palestine and Syria, lion-hunting in the Lebanon, and in short establishing anew the Egyptian authority over the countries that had been conquered before by Thothmes, Sethi and Rameses II. The kings and rulers of the Khitans, Amorites and Idumaeans were made prisoners; and among the places of note that fell into his hands were Patara, Tarsus, Salamis in Cyprus, Idalium, Soli, Larissa, Kolossae, Karkhmos.

In the record are also descriptions of further successful wars against the Libyans, and against the negro tribes of the Sudan.

Manetho has related the story of a king “Sethosis, who is called Rameses,” that may refer to this monarch. Going on a military expedition into Palestine and Phoenicia, he left the supreme authority in the hands of his brother Armais. While he was absent the brother took possession of the government, made the queen his consort, and exercised royal functions. The king, hearing this, returned to Pelusium and soon recovered his kingdom.

Professor Ebers supposed that this occurrence took place in the reign of Rameses III., and not, as his romance describes, in that of his great namesake.

The history of the event as given in the Papyrus of Turin is somewhat different but more explicit. There was a conspiracy against the king, which had been plotted by Queen Thi and other women of the royal household, together with Boka-kaman, the Steward; Mestersuror of the royal council, and numerous other members of the council and other officers. It is described as a project to destroy the mind or more probably the life of the king by magic arts. As Pen-ta-ur, the Queen’s son, was a participant, it was evidently the purpose to place him on the throne.

The plot was divulged to the king, who immediately appointed a Commission of Twelve to adjudicate the matter. They were instructed to institute an inquiry, to bring all accused persons to trial, and to see whether they deserved death. The individuals who were convicted were immediately thrown to the ground and required “to put themselves to death with their own hands.”

In the later years of his reign Rameses married a foreign princess from Asia. Her name, Hemalozatha, and that of her father, Hebuanrozanath, may suggest their nationality.153 The king gave her the title of Isis and placed her with him on the throne. A picture in a monument which exhibited him when engaged with her in a game of dice became the foundation of a story which is related by Herodotus that he actually went while alive into the world of the dead154 and played at dice with the Great Goddess Isis, sometimes winning and sometimes losing.

When he had established peace through his dominions, Rameses found opportunity for promoting the welfare of his subjects. He built a great wall over fifty feet high with strong defenses in the country of Ayan near the Gulf of Suez which the Aperiu inhabited. He also equipped a fleet in the harbor of Suez to sail to Punt and the “holy land,” and bring thence incense and other precious wares. A caravan trade was also opened and direct intercourse by land and sea was maintained with all the countries of the Indian Ocean. Greater attention was also given to mining. Wells were driven where wanted to facilitate working, and copper, which was procured in the peninsula of Sinai, was smelted and transported in bricks by mules from the furnaces into Egypt.

Rameses acquired an immense treasure from the booty taken in war, and he now employed it like a king. The temples were generously endowed, and he was diligent in his endeavors to be on good terms with the hierarchy of Thebes. He was ambitious also of distinction among the kings of Egypt, and built numerous “Ramessea,” or sacred structures bearing his name, in the sacred cities. One of these was erected in Philistia, in the city of Khana to Amun-Ra. But the Ramesseum at Medinet-Abu was most lavishly treated of them all, and to the profusion of its inscriptions, sculptures and ornamentations, we are indebted for what is known of court-life and the customs of Egypt under the Later Empire. It is probably the treasure-house concerning which the story of the thieves is recorded by Herodotus. He began the work in the fifth year of his reign, employing three thousand men. The God Amun-Ra had no reason to complain of his munificence. “Thou hast received gold and silver like sand on the seashore,” says Rameses, “what thou hast created in the river and in the mountain, that I dedicate to thee by heaps upon the earth. I offer to thee blue and green precious stones, and all kinds of jewels in chest of bright copper. I have made for thee numerous talismans out of all kinds of precious stones.”

This temple contains not only inscriptions describing victories over the Libyans, Ethiopians, nomadic tribes, Arabians, Philistines, Amorites, and the Nations of Asia Minor and the islands, but also the various festivals and holidays for which Egypt was celebrated. Herodotus said truly that the Egyptians were religious to excess, far beyond any other race of men. Indeed, the religious titles and dogmas, and even the customs and titles now largely accepted and employed in Christendom, many of them bear the unmistakable evidence of having been derived from Egypt.

It was not the policy of Rameses III. to bestow honor and wealth upon one divinity and to slight another. He, of course, recognized the Mystic Sun-God Amun-Ra as having made him a king of kings, before whom the people of Asia were “prostrated for all times even to eternity.” Yet he built a temple of Sutekh at Ombos, a temple of Khonsu at Karnak, a temple of Khem with Horos and Isis at Koptos, a special sanctuary of Osiris and his associate divinities at Abydos, a sanctuary of Anhur at Thinis, a sanctuary of Sebek at Ptolemais, also in the Island of Mosa, likewise temples of Num, Thoth, Hathor, Anubis, Bast, at other places where they were the tutelaries. Most of his buildings in Lower Egypt were sanctuaries on the eastern side of the Delta in the very region that was most exposed to the incursions of enemies from the East. Though the Egyptians were not warlike, their tenacity in religious matters would make them resentful of acts of impiety. Besides, the non-Egyptian population of Delta would be sensitive to any sacrilege toward the divinities whom the king had so liberally honored.

Rameses was truly a father of his people. He had expelled the Libyans and Arabs, who had seized the districts of greatest fertility, and after reducing them to subjugation had enrolled them in the army and placed them in his fleets. Their tribes now remained quietly in their cities, and the warlike peoples of Ethiopia and Palestine were at peace. He had restored safety and tranquillity. “But,” Mr. Birch155 remarks, “the people are described as receiving their daily sustenance from the Pharaoh in return for their labor, as if the land entirely belonged to the monarch.”

In his provident care, Rameses had planted trees and shrubs everywhere to give rest and shade to all,—a boon which in that torrid climate can easily be appreciated. Not only could it be said in the poetic terms of the Hebrew writer, that every one sat under his own vine and fig-tree with none to make him afraid, but it was the boast of the monarch that the weakest woman could travel unmolested on the highways. “The land is like a birth without pains,” says an inscription; “the woman may go forth where she likes, she may adorn herself according to her taste, and boldly walk where she chooses.”

Finally, in the thirty-second year of his reign, the king made his son Rameses IV. joint king with himself and appealed to his subjects to acknowledge and obey him. The prince had already commended himself by his courage and sagacity as a military officer, and his disposition was such as to promise a fortunate period to Egypt.

Like the kings before him, Rameses had prepared for himself a tomb, an “orbit of light,” in the valley of royal sepulchres. It was a long tunnel in the rock, divided into rooms and halls. It was less imposing in style than the famous sepulchres of former monarchs. Indeed, he was less showy in the proportions of his buildings, while he strenuously adhered to his claims. There was an array of side-chambers in which were colored pictures as fresh as when first painted, of his weapons, household furniture and other possessions.

The scientific research of modern times has invaded the precincts of this “eternal abode.” The lid of the granite coffin has been carried to a museum at the University of Cambridge, and the papyrus-roll, declaring the endowments of the numerous temples, is in the British Museum.

Such was the career, such the end of the last great king of Egypt. “Till his death,” the priests said, “Egypt was excellently governed, and flourished greatly, but after this all was changed.” Historians do not condescend to say much about those who succeeded. Manetho describes the Dynasty as consisting of twelve Diospolite kings, but does not name them, evidently considering them unworthy. They, all bore the title of “Rameses,” as desiring to embellish their rule by the glories of their predecessor; but they neither maintained the prosperity of Egypt nor arrested the approaching calamity.

In an absolute monarchy, everything depends on the energy and ability of the ruler; and when these fail, except a new force is introduced or an upheaval takes place, the nation is likely to disintegrate and perish. A new era came to Egypt.

XIII. Decline of the Monarchy—The Ramessids—Usurpation of the Priest Harhor—Sheshank —Eclipse of the Moon—Era of Confusion—The Priest-King’s Return.

“The Twentieth Dynasty opened brightly, and under it the ancient glory of Egypt seemed to revive,” says M. August Mariette; “but the timid successors of the hero of Medinet-Habu did not know how to keep intact the treasures bequeathed to them, and the brilliant victories of Rameses III. were in vain to arrest Egypt from the downfall which she was so soon to experience.”

Rameses IV. was already seated upon the throne when the embalmed body of his father, who had been justified at the Assize of the Dead, was placed in his sepulchre at Biban el Molokh. The country was at peace, and prosperous, and of course the annals in such a condition are barren of exciting incident to make history enlivening. The principal event of this reign that is noted in the memorial tablets was an exploration of the valley between the eastern hills and the Red Sea, in the third year, to find a suitable site for a temple, and “the creation of monuments of granite for his father and his ancestors, and for the gods and goddesses who are the rulers of Egypt.”

So far as it appears, it was a fruitless undertaking. No trace of any important monument bearing the name of Rameses IV. has been found; and it has been suggested that the real purpose was to get rid of disaffected subjects.

Other inscriptions purport to have been made in the eighteenth year of his reign, but they are not significant of anything of importance.

A revolution of which no particulars have been obtained placed his successor, Rameses V., a prince of a rival family, upon the throne. A tablet at Silsileh is the principal monument of the new monarch’s reign. He appears to have been dethroned by the sons of Rameses III., who also took possession of his tomb. The Alexandrian chronologists place the war of the Greeks against Troy at this period.

Rameses VI. was most noted for the inscriptions in the tomb which he had seized and appropriated at Biban el Molokh. On the ceiling are tables of the hours, with the times of the rising of the stars, which formed the “Houses of the Sun” in his course of thirty-six or thirty-seven weeks of the Egyptian year. Among them is that of the Dog-Star, Sothis or Sirius. Biot made a calculation from this which fixed the date of the inscription at 1240 before the present era. Lepsius, however, set the number as 1,194.

Rameses VII. also styled Amun-hi-khepeshef, and Rameses VIII., with the official name of Meiamun, succeeded their elder brother, but we have little record of them.

Whatever rivalship had existed in a previous dynasty between the kings and the pontiffs of Thebes was finally determined by the subordination of the monarchs to the hierarchy. Henceforth it is to be noticed that the high-priest was in the foreground. As though to signify the religious change which has been commemorated in the mystic tragedy of “Isis and Osiris,” there was recorded upon a sepulchral tablet at this period, the ascension and reign of a prince named Horos. It was also reported that he was succeeded by Meri-Tum, the High-Priest of Memphis, and he by Rameses IX.

A sculpture on the wall of the Great Temple at Thebes, with the inscription accompanying bearing date of the twelfth part of the reign, illustrated distinctly by the relative positions of the king and Chief Pontiff. In the forecourt stands Amun-Hetep in full dignity, “the hereditary prince and chief priest of Amun-Ra, king of the gods.” Before him in deferential attitude was the king with the treasurer, the interpreter, and two Abs or Councillors. The interview was begun with an invocation of the god Menthu, together with Amun-Ra, Horemakhu, Ptah of Memphis, and Thoth the lord of sacred speech for witness. The object of the conference was to bestow upon the priest “rich reward and much recompense in good gold and silver, and a hundred thousand fold of good things on account of the many splendid buildings at the temple of Amun-Ra to the great name of the divine benefactor, Rameses IX.”

After the king had rewarded him, Amun-Hetep replied, styling himself “the teacher of the king, and the chief priest of the king of the gods.” He then describes the work which had been performed. It bore date, he said, since the time of king Osirtasen I., of the famous Twelfth Dynasty.

From this time the high priests of Memphis began the double part, assuming authority equivalent to that of the kings, and, in fact, superior. The easy manners of Rameses III. had operated to diminish the veneration which had made former monarchs the subject of worship as actual gods. They were now regarded as men only, who might be deposed, ridiculed, and even robbed without the incurring of any guilt or sacrilege.

This reign became memorable accordingly for the operations of a Society of Thieves regularly organized for the purpose of plundering the royal tombs. It included priests among the members. The robberies first came to light in the sixteenth year, but they had been already carried on for some time.

The violations continued three years longer. The king finally appointed a royal commission of six persons, afterward increasing it to twelve, to investigate the matter. The high-priest of Amun-Ra and the superior officers of the Royal Court were selected. The persons who were accused were all acquitted. It appears that the priests of the Commission were not willing to condemn members of their own Order at a secular tribunal. The king, however, learned of eight of the offenders, members of the priesthood, and they were summarily punished with the bastinado and death. Rameses now associated his son Rameses X. with him in the royal authority. Neither this prince nor his successor, Rameses XL, have left any record except their names on the monument.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Rameses XII. in summer time, he was at Thebes to celebrate the Feast of the Coming of Amun-Ra to Egypt, An ambassador arrived from the king of Bakhatana, with gifts for Queen Neferu-Ra. He had come on account of her sister, the princess Benat-Resh, who was ill, and his master desired for her a physician from Egypt. Rameses collected the College of Scribes, and the Rekht-get-Amun, those skilled in mystic learning, and asked their counsel. They made choice of Thot-em-hebi as “a man of intelligent heart and skilful with his fingers.”156 He found the princess “possessed with a spirit that he was not able to exorcise.

Eleven years passed and another embassy was sent to Rameses. He was asked to send the god Khonsu himself; or, in plainer words, the effigy or simulacrum of the divinity that was in a temple at Thebes. The prophet or superior was of course to accompany the image to interpret the divine will. Rameses accordingly “gave command to cause Khonsu, the oracle-god of Thebes, to embark on the great ship (the ark in which he went in processions). Many barks and many carriages and horses were on his right hand and on his left. The god reached the city of the land of Bakhatana after the space of a year and five months.”

When the god had come to the place where the princess was abiding, he caused his talisman to operate upon her, and she became well immediately.

There is in this account some resemblance to the story of the demon As-modeus or Aeshmadeva as given in the Apocryphal book of Tobit. But the sequel is hardly congruous. The spirit is represented as acknowledging to the prophet attending the divinity that his lord was supreme in Bakhatana. It asks, however, before going away that a great feast shall be celebrated for it, and for the god, together with the king. This was done, and “then the glorious spirit went thence whither it pleased him.” But the king would not permit the prophet to carry the image back. Three years and nine months passed, and he was warned in a dream to change his purpose. The god and prophet came again to Thebes in the thirty-third year of the reign of Rameses XII.

This story is plainly part of the folk-lore of Egypt, on a plane with the account of the “Two Brothers.” No country was tributary or in alliance that might require seventeen months, even in those days of slow locomotion, to journey from one capital to the other. The power of the kings of Egypt had dwindled to a nominal sovereignty, and the affairs of state were under the supervision of a high priest of Amun, who was then holding every superior office in the country. Yet from the little knowledge that is in our possession of Oriental Magic and ancient learning, it may be surmised that there was somewhat of actual truth in the account. The succeeding monarch, Rameses XIII., was chiefly famous for the building of the Forecourt of the temple of Khonsu with the colonnade.

The Priestly Usurpation.

Har-Hor, a native of Tanis, was now high priest of Thebes. He had been entrusted by Rameses XIII. with the highest dignities of the Royal Court. He was “hereditary prince,” bearer of the royal fan, “king’s son,” Chief Architect, Commander-in-chief of the army, and administrator of the granaries of the kingdom. Only as king of Egypt was Rameses his superior. Whether the fact that the king had recognized Ptah of Memphis instead of Amun-Ra as his “father,” was suggestive that another might supersede him, or whether the adoption of the Crown Prince Rameses XIV., as colleague on the throne portended his relegation to a position of less influence, or whether he was simply ambitious and unwilling to remain even nominally subordinate, are questions to be solved.

The Pontiff was able to organize a party in Northern Egypt, as well as to control the whole body of priests and prophets in the South. When he found the time ripe for his purposes he laid aside the mask of loyal obedience and seized the royal power, proclaiming himself by the several official titles of “King of Upper and Lower Egypt, High-Priest of Amun-Ra, Si-Amun Har-Hor.”

We can hardly suppose that all this was accomplished without resistance. Coups d’Etat are generally characterised by scenes of violence. Indeed, the members of the royal family and their adherents who were not put to death were banished and found a refuge in the Great Oasis. An inscription gives the number of the exiles as a hundred thousand. A multitude so large could have been evicted only by a revolution set on foot by a conspiracy which had been carefully laid. And this is confirmed by the fact that the sacerdotal usurpers found these exiles to be a constant source of peril.

According to the monumental record, Harhor reigned sixteen years. He is also described as winning a victory over the Ruthen or Palestinians, but this must have been the repelling of an invasion. Syria and Palestine had ceased to be tributary to Egypt, and all that this king could hope was to be permitted to occupy the throne in peace. His wife was of Semitic parentage, and was named Netem. Their children received Semitic names. Semitism in language and customs had thus generally perverted the Egyptian court and wealthier population.157

Pi-ankhi was invested by his father with the priesthood of Amun-Ra, and was succeeded many years afterward by his son, Pi-netem. The son of the latter became king upon the death of Harhor. He contracted marriage with the princess Ra-ka-maa of the Ramessid family, and held the royal court at Tanis.

Meanwhile the exiled family of Rameses had maintained communication and formed marriage alliances with the princes in or around Egypt who were opposed to the new state of things. A great-grandson of Rameses XIII. took to wife a daughter of Panu-res-nes, the Sar-a-Mat or prince of the Mat, a people whom Brugsch-Bey considers to be Assyrian, but whom Mariette-Bey, Professor Sayce and other Egyptologists believed were Libyans. Another chieftain of rank, Sheshank, also married Mehet-en-usekh, a princess of the royal family. Political disturbances took place, and open revolt. Pinotem found it necessary in the twenty-fifth year of his reign to send the Crown Prince Men-kheper-Ra, who was also high-priest of Amun, to Thebes to propitiate the disaffected population. The Thebans demanded a general amnesty, and the recall of the families that had been exiled to the Oasis. The prince complied.

The throne of Tanis was now occupied by Susenes I., Psiankhan or Pi-Seb-Kan, and after him by the other kings whom Manetho has enumerated. There were several intermarriages which tended to complicate the relations between the several monarchs, and afterward to afford a pretext for their violent solution. Psiankhan married a Theban princess, perhaps of the Ramessid family, and their daughter Kar-am-hat became the wife of Sheshank, the son of Nemroth. The discrepancies of the accounts given by different writers are inexplicable, except for the reason that no two writers read names alike. Pineten, the son of Menkheper-Ra, succeeded him as king of Upper Egypt, and by his second wife he was the father of Men-kheper-Ra, the last king in Egypt of the lineage of Harhor. This prince married Isiemkheb, and the sun-dried bricks of the fortress of Khebhave preserved their names.

The Hebrew monarchy is reputed to have been established during the period of this Dynasty, and several curious conjectures have been made respecting its alliance with the king of Egypt. Professor Sayce names Hor Psiunkha II. the successor of Psiunkha I., the Susennes II. of Manetho, as perhaps the king who sought to strengthen himself against the growing power of the Libyan mercenaries (of Bubastis) by marrying his daughter to King Solomon.” Mr. Birch and R. S. Poole concur in this opinion. As the next Dynasty is recorded as harboring conspirators against the Hebrew monarch this conjecture is plausible. Professor Rawlinson, however, leans to the supposition that Pineten II. was the king who formed the alliance, which he remarks, “had advantages and disadvantages.”

He attributed to the Egyptian influence both the corruption of manners and the development of commerce and the arts. “The excessive polygamy which had been affected by the Egyptian monarchs ever since the time of Rameses II. naturally spread into Judea,” he declares. “On the other hand, commerce was no doubt promoted by the step taken, and much was learned in the way of art from the Egyptian sculptors and architects. The burst of architectural vigor which distinguished Solomon’s reign among those of other Hebrew kings, is manifestly the direct result of ideas brought to Jerusalem from the capital of the Pharaohs. The plan of the temple with its open court in front, its porch, its Holy Place, its Holy of Holies, and its chambers, was modelled after the Egyptian pattern. The two pillars, Jakhin and Boaz, standing in front of the porch, took the place of the twin obelisks, which in every finished example of an Egyptian temple stand just in front of the principal entrance.

. . . Something in the architecture of Solomon was clearly learned from Phoenicia, and a little—a very little—may perhaps have been derived from Assyria; but Egypt gave at once the impulse and the main ideas of the forms.”

These suppositions are rather strong in terms. They are based on Hebrew tradition and not on monumental inscriptions or the records of papyrus-rolls. The accounts of the Temple at Jerusalem, as well as the Tabernacle in the Desert, exhibit more Phoenician than Egyptian characteristics. There is no evidence of a conclusive character that the architecture employed by the Phoenician builders that were hired by Solomon was Egyptian at all, although the Brazen Serpent that was said to have been worshipped there at that time was an Egyptian symbol, and described as having been fabricated by Moses in the region of Sinai, where were mines of copper. Indeed, the temples of Northern Egypt were likewise constructed by Phoenicians who quarried and fashioned the stones and erected the structures. The origin of the Hebrew monarchy as an offshoot of the Tyrian is briefly passed over by the sentence that Hiram the king of Tyre, “was ever a lover of David.” No mention is made of the conditions which developed that friendship; but from that period the Rutenu, or Canaanites were never mentioned. They had been absorbed into the Israelites, and became one people with them, and like the Normans of England the dominant Israelites became assimilated with the Canaanites, adopting their commercial habits, religious customs and other peculiarities. But the disturbed condition of affairs in Egypt hardly favored the conception of an alliance which could greatly influence the new monarchy.

Sheshank, the son of Nemaroth, succeeded his grandfather at Bubastis. He, like Pepin, of France, had no disposition to play the part of Mayor of the Palace to a Dynasty whose history had given him an example. The government at Thebes had confiscated the possessions of his wife, the daughter of the King Miamun Pi-seb-khan. Sheshank marched to the south with an army. On his arrival at Abydos he found that the temple of his father had become dilapidated through neglect, and that the revenues for its maintenance as a shrine had been embezzled and squandered. He summarily punished the delinquents, and established anew the regulations for stated worship.

The king and royal family of Thebes escaped into Ethiopia. There they established an independent kingdom, making Napata their capital, and became in later years a formidable power to which Egypt was compelled to yield.

It was not difficult for Sheshank to procure from the priests at Thebes a full restitution of the property of the queen. He was now sole monarch of all Egypt, under the manifold designation of Hat-Kheper-Ra. Sotep-en-Ra, Meiamun Sheshank I.; and the family of Rameses did him homage. All these occurrences were officially reported.

The Twenty-second Dynasty marks more distinctly the subjection of the Egyptians to rulers from another people. It has been generally supposed that the monarchs before this except the Hyksos, were native princes. It may yet be learned that they were likewise quite frequently of extraneous origin, and brought from abroad those arts and ambitions which had from their very antiquity, been considered as indigenous. It is certain that with the innovations which were introduced, the people of Egypt became less free and prosperous, and that the seeds were thus sown for the fall of the country from its high eminence. The origin of this Dynasty has been a subject of controversy. Brugsch-Bey and others maintain that it was Assyrian outright, and that the kings employed the title of Ser-en-Mat, as denoting the king over nations. Sir Gardner Wilkinson also states that Tiglath Pileser I. of Assyria is said to claim the conquest of Egypt about the year 1120 before the present era. Mr. Poole also cites the names of the princes of the Dynasty, Sheshank, Osorkon, Takelot, and Nimrut as being all of them either Assyrian or Babylonian.158 But we do not find in the Cuneiform Tablets any mention of kings at that period bearing those designations. Indeed, if the Hebrew records are to be regarded as historic it would be impracticable for the Assyrians at that time to- invade Egypt. Mari-ette-Bey explains the matter thus: “It is surprising,” he says, “to find how many members of the royal family bear Assyrian names, such as Nimrod, Tiglath and Sargon; also that the regiment whose special duty it was to guard the king’s person was composed, not of Egyptians, but of Mashuasa, a Libyan tribe, whom Rameses III. had so often routed from the frontiers of the Delta.” It is probable, therefore, that the family of Sheshank was actually of Semitic origin, and had been long settled in Egypt. It made its way into distinction, and its leading members received appointments under the kings of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Dynasties. It is not necessary to make account of Semitic forms of name, for the Phoenicians and other colonists had long established their language in Lower Egypt.

Sheshank and his descendants made it a rule to entrust all positions of importance, religious and military, to princes of the royal family. This policy was evidently adopted as a safeguard against usurpations like that of Har-Hor. Aunpath or Uapath, the Crown-Prince, was accordingly appointed High-Priest of Amun-Ra and Commander-in-chief of the “whole body of great warriors of Patoris.” The prince died before his father, and his brother, Usarkon, or Sargon, succeeded to the throne.

The reign of this monarch was marked by no achievement worthy of mention. The power and prestige of Egypt were now decaying, and the policy of his administration facilitated disintegration. He had two wives, and the rivalry of their sons laid the foundation of later controversy. The older prince, Take-lath, or Tiglath, was the son of Queen Tashed-Khonsu, and became king upon the death of his father.

Takeloth was succeeded by his son Usarkon II. The two sons of this monarch were duly invested with the sacerdotal offices. Sheshank the elder was the son of Queen Keramat, and he became High-Priest of Ptah at Memphis.

The next king of Egypt was Sheshank II., a grandson of the priest of that name, whose claim had been passed over. Little is known of him beyond his name, and the fact that he was succeeded by Takelath II., the son-in-law of the priest Nimrato. The reign of this king is chiefly famous for an eclipse of the moon and certain events which this was supposed to portend. Usarkon, the son of the king, was High-Priest of Amun-Ra, and commander-in-chief of the army of Egypt, and likewise of a province. He is extensively described in the inscriptions at the Great Temple. In the eleventh year of his father’s reign his mother died and the next year he entered upon his office as high-priest, and proceeded at once to put everything in order. In the fifteenth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month, Mesori, the day became dark; “the sky could not be distinguished, and the moon was horrible.” It was a sign of calamity coming upon the country, and it also happened that the children of revolt (the Ethiopians) invaded with war the Southern and Northern districts.

Usarkon is recorded as reigning twenty-eight years, and Sheshank III. for about a similar period. The chief record of the reign of this latter monarch is the birth of an Apis in the twenty-eighth year and his reception in the temple of Ptah by Pe-ti-se, the high-priest and chief prince of the Libyans, and also by Takelot, the son of the high-priest, and by the royal princess Thes-Bast-pir. “The full lifetime of this divinity was twenty-six years.” He died in the twentieth year of Pi-mai, the next king, Sheshank IV., succeeded Pimai, and reigned twenty-six years. During his reign three of the sacred bulls died. Whether the authority of this monarch extended beyond the Delta is very doubtful. His dominion over Egypt was in name rather than in fact.

The Twenty-third Dynasty left little to record beyond the names of the kings, and it is not altogether easy to determine whether they were much else than rulers of circumscribed districts. Their authority was little more than nominal. No Apis is recorded as dying or being born during their reigns. Manetho has named them as four, Petubastes, or Pet-se-Bast, Usarkon or Khonsu, Psamos or Pi-se-Mut, and Zet. He also affirmed that the method of computing time by Olympiads was begun in Greece during the reign of Petu-bastis. This was seven hundred and seventy-six years before the present era.

Meanwhile Upper Egypt had come again under the suzerainty of the descendants of the Priest-Kings of the Twenty-first Dynasty, whom Sheshank I. had supplanted. They had retired to the Soudan and there founded the kingdom of Kush or Ethiopia, which was afterward so formidable. Their capital was at Noph or Napata, “the City of the Holy Mountain,” Barkal, and the government and religion were the same as they had been at Thebes. The kings bore the name of Pi-ankhi, the “ever-living”; the mother, sisters and daughters were held in honor, bearing the titles of “Queens of Kush.” Amun-Ra was worshipped as the Supreme God and the Egyptian language and writing were preserved. A large part of the population was similar in race to the inhabitants of Upper Egypt.

The kings were waiting their opportunity to recover their former power. This was afforded them by the disorganized condition of affairs, which the monarchs of the Twenty-third Dynasty were unable to remedy. “From causes yet unknown to us,” says Mariette-Bey, “Egypt was completely divided within herself. In the North, instead of becoming a separate kingdom as in the days of the Hyksos, we find her split into several States, and domineered over by a handful of petty kings—veritable Janisaries—drawn for the most part from the ranks of the Mashuasha (Libyan soldiery employed in Egypt), who probably by slow degrees scaled the steps to the throne. In the South a state of affairs still more unforeseen betrayed the internal discords which prevailed in the unhappy country. The Soudan, which till now had been submissive to the Pharaohs, suddenly arose as an organized and independent kingdom. No longer were these ‘Governors of the South’ and ‘Princes of Kush’ to carry out above the Cataract the orders issued from Thebes and Memphis; the land of Kush was free, and Upper Egypt as far as Minyeh, was a province of the Soudan.”

XIV. Revolt of Tafnekht.—His Denunciation of Mena.—Bokkhoris.—His New Laws for Debtors.—Egypt Conquered and Ruled by Ethiopians.—Rise of Assyria.—Wars.

Ethiopia was now the umpire in Egyptian affairs. Pi-ankhi, a descendant of Harbor, the priest-king of Thebes, from his capitol at Noph or Napata, in the highland, had, as “The son of Ra,” exercised sovereignty over the Sudan and Upper Egypt. He also claimed dominion over the North. The question was determined by the arbitrament of war.

Lower and Middle Egypt were at this time distinctly divided into twenty or more principalities. In four of these the ruling prince held the rank of king. The names of several of these were the same as those of princes of the Twenty-second and Twenty-third Dynasties: such as Sheshank, Usarkon, Nimrata, Peftat-Rast, Uaputh. We also find several of these names repeated in records by later Assyrian conquerors. Doubtless they were family names given to the children born at later periods; nevertheless, the recurring of such appellations has created difficulties in the unraveling of historic incidents.

The most powerful of these princes was Tafnekht or Tnephakhtos, the king of Sais and Memphis. He was the “Great Prince of the Holy City of Sais,” high priest of Ptah at Memphis, prophet of Neith, and commander-in-chief of the Libyan mercenaries. He conceived the purpose of freeing Egypt from the Ethiopians and himself becoming king. “The inhabitants of both realms of Egypt, allied themselves to him,” says the inscription of Piankhi; “the princes and lords of the city were like dogs at his feet.”

Tafnekht with a large fleet and army invaded the South. The princes and generals of Upper Egypt appealed to Piankhi for help, and he sent a large force from Ethiopia to their aid.

The Ethiopian fleet encountered the forces of Tafnekht near Hermopolis at the frontier of Middle Egypt, and defeated them, capturing many ships and prisoners. A second engagement took place near Herakleopolis, which resulted in “a defeat greater than ever and the capture of their ships upon the river.” After this, near the city of Pi-pek, “army joined battle with army. Then the warriors of His Majesty slew much people, as well as their horses. No one knows the number of the slain.”

The revolting princes fell back into Northern Egypt and organized for a second campaign. King Nimarata, with an army, recovered Hermopolis, his capital, and all the best territory. A second appeal was made from Thebes to their Overlord.

Piankhi resolved to subjugate all Egypt and not rest content with a nominal sovereignty. “The time has come at last, once for all.” he proclaimed, “that I should make the land of Lower Egypt respect me.” He marched in person with his army to Thebes, and there celebrated the festival of Amun-Ra. He then put on the serpent-diadem, as king of both Upper and Lower Egypt.

A few days afterward he stormed the city of Hermopolis. Nimarata, finding himself unable to hold out, sent his wife, “the daughter of a king,” to solicit the good offices of the wives, daughters and sisters of Piankhi. The Ethiopian monarch graciously permitted him to make submission, and Nimarata did homage to Piankhi with the sistrum as to a divinity. “Then came to him the king’s wives and the king’s daughters, and they praised the king after the manner of women, but his Majesty did not look upon them.”

But Piankhi, though gentle in regard to the hostile acts of Nimarata, was very angry with him for his ill treatment of his horses. He had himself visited the stables and found the horses and colts starving. “I swear,” he cried, “as sure as the sun-god Ra loves me, as surely as I breathe the breath of life, it is a viler thing to let these horses starve than all the faults which thou hast committed.” He not only as was usual, confiscated the property of the prince and assigned the grain in the storehouses to the god Amun-Ra, but refused to appoint Nimarata to authority as a subordinate ruler.

As Piankhi proceeded northward the several princes hurried to make their submission. Memphis, however, would not submit. The summons of Piankhi for a surrender, reads like imploring rather than menace. “Do not shut the gates, do not fight, thou seat of the god Shu,” he pleaded. “I wish to celebrate a sacrifice to Ptah and to the tutelary gods of Memphis. I desire to worship the god Sakar (Ptah) in his own shrine. I wish to be a beholder (or initiate) of the god Anhu-res-nef. After that I will return down the Nile in peace. No harm shall be done to the inhabitants of Memphis. They may prosper and be safe. The children shall not be made to weep.”

Tafnekht however, had made ready for resistance. He had strengthened the fortifications till he thought them impregnable. Pie had also placed there additional troops and abundant supplies of everything necessary. He commanded the garrison to make an obstinate resistance. He would go again, he declared to recover the conquered cities and restore the Under-Kings of the South to their possessions.

“Then was his Majesty furious against them like a panther.” He gained the city by an ingenious artifice. He brought his fleet close to the fortifications, and the men on board climbing the masts of the vessels, leaped to the walls and entered. “Then was Memphis taken like an inundation, and many of the people in it were killed or brought away alive as prisoners to the king.

Piankhi displayed the clemency that was usual with him. First of all he placed guards to protect the temples. “It was a matter of great moment with him, as the inscription declared “on account of the supreme holiness of the gods to offer libation of water to the tutelary divinities of Memphis; to purify Memphis with salt, balsam and frankincense; and to establish the priests in their office. His Majesty went into the temple, purifying himself with the holy water in the Star-Chamber. He performed everything that was prescribed for the king of Egypt.”

The inhabitants of the territory around Memphis fled from their houses in terror. The princes who had taken up arms, and the commander of the Libyan mercenaries hastened to make their submission. Tafnekht and Usarkon of Bubastis, remained unsubdued. Piankhi hurried forward. As each city in the way opened its gates he waited to perform the customary religious rites.

Usarkon no longer withheld submission, and the “hereditary lord” of Kemur (Athribis) followed his example, as did likewise the other princes with “the Grand Masters of the Fan-Bearers and the Grand Masters of the king’s Grandsons.” They were all re-instated as viceroys.

Tafnekht was now alone, abandoned by his allies. His malediction upon the name and memory of Mena, the first king of United Egypt, has been preserved upon a tablet in the temple at Thebes. He denounced that monarch for having corrupted and demoralized the Egyptians by inducing them to abandon that simplicity which had for ages assured to them a pure and happy life. Now, he declared, they had fallen, they had become cowardly, and a prey to their adversaries.

He put forth a last effort. He dismantled his capitol at Sais, removing everything valuable to a conqueror for booty. He then made a stand at Masdi, an island of the Nile. Piankhi sent Petisi, the Under-King of Athribis against him. Tafnekht found himself unable alone to hold the field. The independence of Egypt was a lost cause, and he had no alternative but to submit. “Then his Majesty sent to him Pet-tani Amun-nes-tasni, the leader of the Prayers, and Pi-uz-na, the general. Tafnekht presented them with silver and gold, with robes and jewels. Then he went up into a sanctuary and prayed to the god. He purified himself by an oath before the god; that he would no more transgress the king’s command, nor compass harm to any prince. With this pledge his Majesty was satisfied.”

All Lower Egypt was now submissive to the Ethiopian king. The princes assembled to do him homage as their divine lord. There was, however, against any coming nearer, an impediment of custom and religion. “They did not enter the king’s house because they were unclean;159 and besides they ate fish which was an abomination to the king.”

Nimrata of Hermopolis had now been received into the king’s favor. “He went into the king’s house, because he was clean, and did not eat fish.”

Piankhi loaded his ships with his booty, “all the good things of Lower Egypt, all the products of Phoenicia, and all the woods of the Holy Land,” His voyage up the Nile to Napata, his capital, was triumphant. “His heart was glad; the banks of the river resounded with music. The inhabitants in the West and East took their drums to make melody at his approach.”

Egypt was henceforth ruled from Napata, and not from Thebes or any metropolis in the North. The servant had become greater than the master.

Piankhi did not live long to enjoy the fruit of his victories; and with him the lineage of Harhor, the Egyptian priest-king, became extinct. He was succeeded by Kash-ta,160 a native Ethiopian prince. The princes of Northern and Middle Egypt revolted, and Bokkhoris or Bok-en-ranf, the son of Tafnekht, became king. He had succeeded his father in the government of Sais, and that city was now his capital. Manetho has classed him as the sole monarch of the twenty-fourth Dynasty. There have doubts been expressed as to whether his authority extended to Upper Egypt, but they seem to be resolved by the fact that his father’s famous denunciation of King Mena was recorded on a pillar of the temple at Thebes.

His reputation as a statesman and law-maker was very high and his maxims were familiar proverbs for more than seven hundred years. He was commended as “Bokkhoris the Wise,” and Plutarch describes him as a man of very inflexible disposition, whom the goddess Isis overshadowed with her serpent to show him how to determine causes with equity. He was feeble in body, but delighted in everything that related to the welfare of his people. Owing to the unsettled condition of affairs in Egypt, commerce had decayed. Money was scarce and hard to procure, a fact which bore intolerably upon unfortunate debtors. Bokkhoris decreed that no one might be imprisoned for debt, and likewise that no claim of indebtedness should be valid and binding when it had not been acknowledged in writing, if the debtor denied it on oath. The borrower was also permitted to pledge the body of his father as security for a loan; but this permission was accompanied by the proviso that his ancestral tomb was placed under the control of the lender. The debtor was thus inhibited from bringing in it the body of any member of his family, and if he died without having paid the obligation, burial was denied to his own body in that or any other tomb.

A law was also made in regard to the succession to the throne.

An event which was regarded as of greater importance was the death of the Sacred Bull, Apis. This occurred in the sixth year of his reign, and the embalmed body was placed in the Serapeion in the same chamber in which the mummy of an Apis had been deposited in the thirty-seventh year of Sheshank IV. This indicates that Bokkhoris and probably his father, were related by descent or marriage with the kings of the Twenty-second Dynasty.

Neither wise laws nor efficient administration could arrest the decline into which Egypt had fallen. The nation that Thothmes III. had stigmatized as “the vile race of Kush,” had become braver and stronger than the former masters.

Sab-ki161 or Sabako, the son of Kashta, succeeded to the throne, and proceeded at once to establish anew the dominion over Egypt. He swooped through the Cataracts, carrying all before him. Bokkhoris was made a prisoner in his own capital of Sais and burned alive. This act of unqualified and unpardonable cruelty, unprecedented in Egypt, was characteristic of a ferocious barbarian; and he doubtless hoped by it to strike terror into the whole nation. But a cruel punishment only educates others to a like cruelty. Modern ecclesiastical history illustrates this.

Sabako was of the same Barbara race and religious worship as the inhabitants of Thebes; but to the population of Northern Egypt he was an alien as well as usurper. He ruled there with a heavy hand. Herodotus records of him that when an Egyptian of the North was guilty of an offense, he did not punish him with death, but sentenced him according to the turpitude of his crime, to raise the ground to a greater or less extent in the neighborhood of the city to which he belonged. The result of this procedure showed that the rule of the new monarch was acceptable in Lower Egypt, and most of all at Bubastis, the capital of the Twenty-second Dynasty. “The cities thus came to be more elevated than they had ever been before,” the historian remarked. “Among the many cities which thus attained to great elevation, none (I think) was raised so much as Bubastis, where is a temple of the goddess Bubastis.”

Few innovations were made in the government. Thebes and Memphis continued to be capital cities, and Manetho, who regarded the northern provinces as more essentially Egypt, names the Ethiopian monarchs as constituting the Twenty-fifth Dynasty.

The working of the gold mines of Nubia was suspended. There was other use for soldiers than to keep captives and convicts at their work. A formidable power had arisen in Southwestern Asia to contest with Egypt its dominions and to become the umpire and overlord of the nations. The former conditions passed forever away.

Tiglath-pileser II., a Kurdish or Assyrian chieftain, had made himself king at Nineveh. He waged war vigorously and subjected the Babylonians, Chaldeans and Arabs, and also the kings of Khita, Hamath, Syria, Phoenicia and the northern Israelitish monarchy. Even Judea was involved in the conflicts.

The new kingdom of Assyria now extended from the Zagros Mountains to the Mediterranean and to the very border of Egypt. With the conquest of Phoenicia the half-savage Assyrians were enabled to attain a higher degree of culture. Commercial facilities were extended, and the Phoenician dialect became the language of tradesmen at Nineveh as it had long been in Northern Egypt. Tiglath-pileser adopted the imperial title of a king of Sumir and Akkad. His death took place not long after, probably by assassination, and Shalman-eser IV., one of his generals, mounted the throne.

The tributary monarchs at once declared their independence. Meredakh-Baladan, a Chaldean prince at Babylon, led in the movement.

The northern monarchy had also revolted. Llosea, the king, had been first put in office by Tiglath-pileser, and retained by his successor. Shalmaneser discovered later that he was in correspondence with Sabako, but the Egyptian king was too feeble or timid to help his allies. Shalman-eser accordingly deposed Hosea, overran what remained of his dominion, and besieged Samaria.

He was called home, however, by an outbreak, and Sargon, a prince of the old Assyrian Dynasty, seized the throne at Nineveh.

Like other kings at their accession to power, Sargon was obliged to conquer the tributary states anew. He captured Samaria, and carried away the inhabitants, twenty-seven thousand in number, together with others of their countrymen, dispersing them over distant regions of Media and Assyria. The depopulated territory became speedily infested with lions and other beasts of prey.

After this, Ilu-bahid, a Hebrew or Phoenician chief, proclaimed himself king of Hamath and formed an alliance with Sabako, and with Arpad, Samaria, and Damascus. Sargon defeated the confederates at Gargar, and having captured Ilubahid, he with the cruelty characteristic of the Assyrians, flayed him alive. Sargon next marched against Gaza. Hanun, the king, had been a fugitive in Egypt, but had returned to his capital to take part in the revolt. Sabako, who had failed to help the other princes, came now with an army to the aid of his vassal, but encountered a crushing defeat. The account as given by Sargon has been found at Nineveh. “Hanun, king of Gaza, and Sibahe the Overlord of Egypt, met me at Raphia (on the Egyptian border). They came into my presence and I defeated them. Sibahe fled away, but I took Hanun prisoner with my own hand.”

In the negotiations which followed, Sabako not only agreed to pay tribute, but submitted to the appointing of Assyrian governors in Egyptian provinces. The seal of this treaty has been found in the archives at Kuyunjik, but the text has not been deciphered. Sabako died soon afterward, and was succeeded by his son Sab-ata-ki upon the throne of Egypt, and by Ta-ha-ra-ka or Tirhaka, the husband of his sister, in Ethiopia.

Egypt had now begun to realize the abject condition so graphically described by the Hebrew prophet—Isaiah, XIX.

“They fought every one against his brother,
And every one against his neighbor.
City against city and kingdom against kindgom.
The spirit of Egypt had melted within her, . . .
“And I have given the Egyptians into the hands of a cruel lord,
And a fierce king shall rule over them. . .
“The princes of Tanis are befooled,
The princes of Memphis are deceived;
The chiefs of her tribes have misled Egypt.
They have made Egypt go wrong in every effort,
As a drunken man she staggers. . . .
“There is a highway out of Egypt to Assyria;
The Assyrians have come into Egypt,
And the Egyptians into Assyria,
And the Egyptians are enslaved by the Assyrians.”

Cruel as were the revenges of Sargon they aroused enmity more than terror. When he went on a campaign in one direction, a revolt was certain to break out in another. Spurred on by encouragement from the king of Armenia, the princes in that vicinity rose up in arms. They were speedily reduced again to subjection, and their people were then removed to Syria and Phoenicia.

Pisiri, the king of the Khitans, who had been loyal to Tiglath-pileser, now became disaffected and formed an alliance with the king of the Muskhi or Meshekh. His capital, the city of Karkhemosh, was the seat of the goddess Anat or Anahid, the Divine Mother, and it rivalled the cities of Phoenicia in wealth and commerce. It was now captured by Sargonq; the king and his family were made prisoners, and the inhabitants were dispersed over all parts of the Assyrian dominion.

Thus the ancient monarchy of Khita with the people known to us as Hittites, disappeared from the world. So complete was the oblivion into which it passed, that for twenty-five centuries its very existence was forgotten. Another revolt occurred in southern Palestine. The kings of the countries contiguous to Assyria fomented these revolts in order to divert the conqueror from making an attack upon themselves.

The king of Egypt failed, as in other cases, to come to the help of the allies. Sargon sent his tartan or commander-in-chief to take Ashdod. Yavan escaped into Egypt, and then into Ethiopia. Ashdod was captured and the inhabitants carried away. Sabataki hastened to make peace and Yavan, the unfortunate rebel prince, was delivered to Sargon in chains. “The king of Melihu (Meroe) lives in a distant country,” says Sargon. “From the most remote time it has never been known that an ancestor of his came to offer homage to an ancestor of mine, but the immense fear and dread with which my majesty inspired him, obliged him to acknowledge the might of the Assyrian gods, and to bow down before me.”

The Hebrew prophet was unsparing in his denunciation of the cowardly behavior of Babylon and Egypt. “The strength of Egypt on which you counted has been to you a cause of shame,” he declared to king Hezekiah. “When your princes were at Tanis and your embassadors at Hanes, they were made ashamed of a people that were of no benefit to them. Vain and empty is the help of Egypt; wherefore I call her ‘the Blusterer that sits still.’ “

Sabako had not long survived the defeat of Raphia. The reign of Sabataki his successor, was feeble and inglorious. The taunt of the Assyrian vizier or rabsaki was fully justified by him, that to lean upon Egypt was to lean on a broken reed that was sure to wound the hand. “So is Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to all those who trust in him.” He instituted numerous revolts in Syria and Palestine, and then left the unfortunate insurgents to their fate, while he made overtures of peace to the conqueror.

At his death Tirhadah became king also of all Egypt, and introduced a more worthy and vigorous administration.

XV. Tirhakah.—Wars with Assyria.—Esarhaddon.—Sardanapalos.—Thebes Destroyed.—Psamatikh I.—Twenty-sixth Dynasty.—The New Egypt and “St. Luke’s Summer.”

Tirhakah had succeeded Sabako as king at Napata. The right of succession in Ethiopia appears to have been controlled by a primitive law of descent by which a brother or sister might take precedence over a son. He also ruled at Thebes while Sabataki was restricted to the northern territory.162 He was soon involved in hostilities to Assyria.

Sennakherib, upon his accession, had made Ninevah again the capital. He built it anew, adding, as he had opportunity, to its embellishments. As had been the case with the kings before him, his accession was characterized by a general revolt, which he proceeded immediately to suppress with all the savage cruelty characteristic of the Assyrian monarchs. He first made a campaign against Kar-Dunia (Babylon) and Susiana; and then turned his arms against “the kings of the Khatti or Hittites, all of them of the coast.” The Khitan dominion which lay upon the river Euphrates had been already overthrown, and the description indicates these kings to have been simply Phoenicians. They were in alliance with Hezekiah of Jerusalem, and with “the kings of Egypt and the king of Meroe”—the under-kings of the Lowlands and the king of Ethiopia. As he marched into Palestine the cities in his way quietly returned to their allegiance. The city of Ekron held out. The inhabitants had deposed their king, Padi, and sent him in chains to Hezekiah at Jerusalem, who now refused to set him at liberty. A battle took place at Eltekeh in southern Palestine, and according to the boast of the Assyrian monarch, the allies were defeated, and the Egyptians and Ethiopians went home in disorder. Instead of following them he turned upon the revolting vassals. A savage revenge was taken upon the chief men of Ekron. They were now condemned to death and impaled on stakes163 all around the city.

Sennakherib next overran the western territory of Judea and annexed it to the contiguous Philistine principalities, also carrying away two hundred thousand of the inhabitants into captivity. He afterward invested Jerusalem, Hezekiah, acting by the advice of his chief minister Shebna, hastened to make submission.

Tirhakah renewed his preparations. An army was dispatched by him into southern Palestine and he came with another from Ethiopia. Hezekiah rallied from his alarm, dismissesd the timid Shebna, and put Jerusalem into a state of defense. Sennakherib marched his forces to meet the Egyptians at Lakhish, and sent his vizier, chamberlain, and commanding general with a detachment of his army to besiege Jerusalem. They demanded a parley and they called for an unconditional surrender, jeering at the notion of help from Egypt and assuring them that Sennakherib on his return home would remove the remainder of the people to another region. Neither Hezekiah nor his God, the rabsaki added, was able to deliver them; the king of Assyria is stronger than the gods of the nations. Hezekiah made no answer, and the Assyrian envoys returned to the main army.

The fate of this expedition has been told in several forms. There has no record of it been found at Kuyunjik, but this is easy to explain. It was not the practice to make a statement of dishonor or calamity occurring to a reigning prince. Even the defeats of Azariah and Hezekiah are not mentioned in the books of the Kings and Chronicles. But the inscriptions of Tirhakah at Napata, Thebes and Memphis indicate that that king met the Assyrians in battle and inflicted on them a total defeat.

The Egyptian record as preserved by Herodotus withheld all credit from the hated Ethiopian sovereigns. The “Ethiopian,” it was affirmed, had been warned by a dream and abandoned Egypt, and Sethi the high-priest of Ptah at Memphis became king. This sovereign had offended the soldiers, and they refused to obey him. He was at a loss how to repel the invaders. He invoked the image of the god, and was instructed to go boldly out against the Assyrians. He raised a force of volunteers, resembling that of Falstaff, of persons engaged in common pursuits, and led them against the enemy there at Pelusium. Before they had engaged, there came a multitude of mice by night and devoured the quivers and bow-strings of the invaders, thus rendering them utterly defenseless. The Egyptians fell upon them, inflicting a terrible slaughter.

The mouse in Oriental imagery, is a symbol of calamity or pestilence. This suggests the explanation of a story which would otherwise be improbable. Disease naturally incident to camp-life, like typhoid or smallpox, or perhaps the deadly simoom, may have enfeebled the Assyrians.

Sennakherib returned immediately home. He was assassinated some years afterward by the Crown-prince and his brother, while celebrating a festival at the temple of the Nis-Rokh, the Bird-god.164 His younger son the best beloved Assur-akhi-adon or Esarhaddon, then king at Babylon, came to Nineveh with his army, drove the parricides, Assur-melekh and Nergal-Sar-asar, into exile, and succeeded to the throne.

Tirhakah took advantage of the opportunity to establish his authority over all Egypt. He put Sabataki to death, and brought the other princes and under-kings into subjection to his government. Then followed a period of quiet and prosperity which lasted for twenty years. Tirhakah restored the public worship where it had fallen into neglect, repaired the temples, and strengthened the several capitals. He was also in friendly communication with the kings in Arabia, Idumea, Moab, Judea, Palestine and Syria, who all regarded him as their protector. Among them were Baal of Tyre, Abi-Baal of Samaria, Manasseh of Jerusalem, Ahi-melekh of Ashdod. Kavis of Idumea, Hazael of Arabia, besides ten kings of Cyprus.

Esarhaddon was a statesman of ability, and possessed ambition to increase his power and the prestige of his two capitals. He invested Tyre, but found it impossible to reduce the city that was mistress of the sea, and supported by the forceful help of Egypt. He resolved accordingly to make the conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia.

Tirhakah collected his forces at the northeastern portion near Pelusium. Esarhaddon thereupon marched at the southward through the Desert of Shur, in order to turn the flank of the Egyptian army, reach Pithom or Heroopolis, and move upon Memphis. The Arabian chiefs brought water to his army in skins carried by camels. The route was tedious, and the soldiers were terribly alarmed by the numerous “fiery serpents” that abounded there.165

Tirhakah immediately crossed the delta, and met the Assyrians, only to suffer a complete defeat, which dispersed his army. Memphis was captured and pillaged. The temples were literally stripped of their ornaments and the wealth with which the piety of kings had enriched them. All were carried to Assyria. The family of Tirhakah fell into the hands of the conqueror.

Tirhakah himself fled to Thebes. The Assyrian king followed close behind, sweeping the country with his cavalry till he reached the capital of the South. Tirhakah retired into Ethiopia, but Esarhaddon did not pursue him beyond the border of Egypt. His own health had given way, and he now devoted himself to the establishing of his authority over his conquests. He divided Egypt into twenty principalities, placing a governor in each with the title of king, and putting an Assyrian garrison in every capital city. Most of these under-kings were Egyptians, and we find their names similar to those of former princes such as Nekho, Pimai, Petubast, Sheshank, Nimarata, Tafnekht, Bokenranf or Bokkhoris.

A detachment of Assyrian troops had overrun Judea, made Manasseh the king a prisoner, and carried him and others to Babylon. He was also restored to his government as a vassal of Assyria.

Assur-bani-ral, or as he is named in classic history, Sardanapalos, had conspired to seize the supreme power. Esarhaddon, however, anticipated this by adopting him as his colleague and placing the imperial authority in his hands. His own death occurred not long afterward, and the attention of the young monarch was speedily called to quell a general revolt.

Tirhakah meanwhile collected a new army, and coming from Ethiopia, expelled the vassal princes in Egypt, and took possession of the country. Sardanapalos came to their help, and routed the Ethiopian troops at Kar-banit, a city in the Delta. Tirhakah made his escape from Memphis to Thebes, closely pursued by the Assyrian rabsaki, who had been reinforced by the forces of the returning fugitive governors. Unable to continue the conflict, Tirhakah retired again to Ethiopia. Sardanapalos reinstated the princes, garrisoned their capital cities anew and returned to Assyria.

Affairs soon presented a new phase in Egypt. The under-kings became impatient of the supervision of foreign military officials, and opened negotiations on their own account with the Ethiopian monarch. The Assyrian generals discovered this and arrested Nekho and the king of Pelusium, who, together with Pi-kerera, the king of Pisaptu, had been foremost in the movement. The two prisoners were sent in chains to Nineveh. This hastened the uprising and Tirhakah came to the aid of the insurgents. The Assyrians captured Sais Mendes, Tanis and other cities, and massacred the inhabitants without mercy. This, however, did not in any degree check the revolt. Tirhakah defeated the Assyrian forces and drove them from Upper Egypt. He then proceeded down the Nile from Thebes to Memphis and was welcomed by the inhabitants all the way.

Sardanapalos finding it impracticable to rely upon military force to retain possession of Egypt, had recourse to other measures. Nekho, his prisoner, might be employed again against the Ethiopian king. His kinsman, Bokkhoris, had been put to death in a cruel manner by Sabako, and he, therefore, could not be heartily engaged in behalf of Tirhakah. The conjecture proved correct. Nekho was set free accordingly, and honored by Sardanapalos by costly presents. He was also restored to the government of Sais as before, with the title of Bel-mate, lord of the two realms. His son Nebushasbani was also made king of Athribis. Nekho then returned home and his authority was generally acknowledged by his countrymen. Tirhakah withdrew from Egypt with his army, disappointed and disgusted at this betrayal, and died soon afterward, bequeathing a legacy of vengeance to his successor.

Ru-t-Amun, the son of Sabako, was the next heir to the Ethiopian throne. He was of warlike temperament and set himself to the recovering of Egypt. He promptly occupied Thebes, and marched with his army into the Lower country, defeating the Assyrian forces at Memphis. Nekho was taken prisoner and put to death, while his son, Psametikh fled into Syria. Egypt was thus once more a possession of Ethiopia.

Sardanapalos, however, came thither himself with an army. He encountered Rutamun at the frontier and defeated him. He pursued him relentlessly to Memphis and afterward to Thebes. He soon effected an entrance into the southern metropolis, and inflicted upon it all the cruelties incident to Kurdish and Assyrian warfare.

From this period, however, the power of Assyria waned, and the history of Egypt was for a time very obscure. The under-kings were able to regain much of their influence, and the Ethiopian monarch was again acknowledged in Upper Egypt. A new king, Nut Meriamun, succeeded to the throne of Na-pata. A memorial stone which is found in the ruins of that city describes his conquest of the Northern realm. “He had gained possession of the land of Ethiopia without fighting; no one dared to resist him.” He was ambitious to copy his great predecessors, Piankhi and Tirhakah, and reign over all Egypt.

He saw himself in a dream, the inscription declares, standing between two royal serpents. On consulting the interpreters, they told him that as Upper Egypt was already his, he should also take possession of Lower Egypt. “Amun-Ra,” said they, “beside whom there is no other god, will be with thee.”

The king set out accordingly with a force of one hundred thousand men. He performed religious rites sedulously at every capital city in his way. At Napata the statue of Amun was brought out in a procession, and sacrifices offered. Similar worship was rendered to Num-Ra, the god of the inundation at Elephantina. “He propitiated the river in its hidden cave.” Again at Thebes, the chief priests and ministers of the temple of Amun-Ra “brought flowers for him whose being is hidden.” All the way down the river to Lower Egypt, great was the rejoicing. The inhabitants sped him onward with blessings, asking him to dispense life, to restore the temples, to set up anew the statues of the gods, to bestow again revenues for public worship and offerings to the dead, to establish the priests anew in their office and to “cause all to be performed according to the Sacred Learning.” “Even those whose intention had been to fight him were moved by the joy.”

At Memphis he found the army of his enemy. He put them to flight and gained possession of the city. He commanded to enlarge the temple of Ptah, and made a generous provision for his worship.

He then marched on in quest of the princes, but they did not venture upon a battle. He returned to Memphis, where a conference took place. The king received them graciously and entertained them many days. The chief spokesman at this conference was Pikerara, the king of Pisapta, in the Arabian district. He had been concerned with Nekho in the project to bring Tirhakah again into Egypt and was probably the leader in this movement, in behalf of the Assyrian rule.

Neither of the Ethiopian monarchs Rutamun and Nut Meriamun is mentioned in the lists of Egyptian kings, and Piankhi II. was actually king of Upper and Lower Egypt. He married the beautiful princess Ameniritis, whose statue bore the inscription setting her forth as sister of Sabako, daughter of Kashta and wife, or priestess, of the Divinity. Her monument at Thebes portrays her in glowing terms as a benefactress. “I gave bread to the hungry,” is her testimony, “drink to the thirsty, and clothes to the naked.”

Herodotos has related the fanciful account of the evacuation of Northern Egypt by this monarch. He had been directed in a dream, they said, to invite the priests to a conference and massacre them. He regarded this command as the purpose of the gods to induce him to do a sacrilegious act which would make him detested by his subjects. He then, in order to accomplish the real will of the divinities, without being guilty of heinous crime, withdrew peaceably to Ethiopia. The parable may be more rationally explained in another way. The under-kings, being appointed to office by the Assyrian king, made his government in Egypt insecure, and he unwilling to imperil everything by war, chose to resign his authority.

The Twenty-Sixth Dynasty.

For fifteen years the under-kings who had been appointed by the Assyrian monarch ruled in Lower Egypt. They were allied by marriage and family relationship and met often for religious and political purposes. Psametikh, the king of Sais, presently became obnoxious to the others. He was of Libyan ancestry and a great-grandson of Tafnekht, who had contended with the first Piankhi for supreme power. It was not unlikely that he was the prince whom Saradanapalos appointed over Athribis, by the Semitic name of Nebushasban. When Nekho, his father, was put to death by Rutamun, he made his escape into Syria, but came back afterward under an Assyrian commission, to occupy his father’s throne.

The dependencies of Assyria everywhere had begun to revolt. Babylon and the neighboring kingdoms maintained successfully their independence. Gog or Gyges had wrested the throne of Lydia from its Hittite lords and became a vassal of Assyria, in consideration of aid against the Kimerians. He now renounced allegiance to the “Great King of the nations.” Psametikh found the time ripe for him to grasp the crown of Egypt. He allied himself to the Ethiopian Dynasty in the South by marriage with the princess Sebna-pata, the daughter of Piankhi II. This fact explains satisfactorily the peaceful withdrawal which Herodotos has recorded of the Ethiopian monarch from the government.

The realm was the dowry of the Princess. The other princes, Pakrura, Pima, Sheshank and their fellows had been virtually independent of Assyria, though nominally vassals, and were alarmed at the claims of Psametikh. They immediately flew to arms to resist him, and drove him from his principality. He procured from Gyges an army of Karian and Ionian volunteers and joined battle with them at Menuf, or Momemphis, on the border of the Libyan Desert. He was victorious and immediately followed up his success by attacking the several cities and dethroning their rulers. The different governments which had so often been instrumental in promoting disturbance were now abolished, and Psametikh I. became the sole and independent king. He took the name of Ka-ua-eb.

The first care of the new monarch was to strengthen his frontier. He stationed the Egyptian troops at Elephantina to guard the South, and at Daphne and Marea at the east and west of Northern Egypt. The Karians and Ionians were placed in nearer proximity to his own capital city, and lands were given them near Bubastis. This was the first introduction of an Aryan and Greek-speaking population as permanent inhabitants of Egypt. Psametikh further disregarded the hereditary prejudice and exclusiveness of the Egyptians in regard to foreigners. He made the new subjects welcome at the royal table and court in Sais, and committed native youths to their charge to be instructed in the Greek language. These became the beginning of a new class of the Egyptian population, the dragomans and interpreters.

The defection of Gyges and the success of Psametikh were fatal to Assyria. Sardanapalos, on hearing of the loss of Egypt, raised his hands to the gods of Nineveh and invoked a curse upon the head of the perfidious Lydian. The Kimerians or Gomerites166 pressed forward by a general movement from the wilds of Skythia, overran his kingdom, and Gyges was killed in battle.

Sardanapalos was constantly at war to recover Egypt. Psametikh transferred the seat of conflict into Palestine and besieged Ashdod, the “strong city.” Its Assyrian garrison held out long; Herodotos gives a period of twenty-nine years. During this time the death of Sardanapalos took place. He had been a civilian, rather than a soldier, but he was successful in his numerous wars. He lost Egypt, but he conquered Susiana and held his other dominions. He was fond of shows and pageants; he excelled in hunting; he filled the library at Kuyunjik with the entire literature of Babylon and archaic Akkad,167 and embellished Nineveh beyond all former monarchs. He is described as sensual and effeminate, but this was only qualifiedly true. The numerous kings whom his generals subjugated were obliged to send their daughters and favorite servants to Nineveh. That he was cruel even beyond the extremes of savagery cannot be questioned or extenuated. His sculptures depict him in the act of inflicting the most appalling tortures with his own hands. It is no matter of wonder that men who had been worsted in battle committed suicide that they might escape barbarity so atrocious.168

His successor, as designated by Greek writers, was Sarakos, but after a reign of several years, his general, Nabu-pul-asar, revolted and formed an alliance with Viskara or Kyaxeres, then king of Media, by which his famous son, Nebu-kadar-asar or Nebukhadhezzar, married the daughter of the prince. The two kings then joined their forces against Nineveh. They were interrupted, however, by another event that put everything in peril.

An immense multitude of Skyths had burst through the Caucasos and swooped down upon Asia. It was one of those movements of population from the unknown North which had occurred at almost regular periods for centuries. It was described by the Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah as “an evil out of the North breaking forth upon all the inhabitants,” and he sneered at the notion of Judea receiving any help from either Egypt or Assyria. All military operations were suspended. The hordes overran Media, Assyria and Syria, ravaging the whole region and disseminating abject terror everywhere.

Psametikh was engaged at the siege of Ashdod. He was embarrassed by a general defection of the Egyptian soldiers that he had set to guard the frontiers of Egypt. Herodotos gives their number at two hundred and forty thousand. They were exasperated at his partiality for the foreign troops who had placed him on his throne. They now abandoned their posts, and leaving their wives and children behind, marched into Ethiopia. He followed and appealed to them not to forsake their gods, their wives and their country. It was of no avail. Finally the kings of Ethiopia settled them in a region beyond Meroe, far away from Egypt.

Psametikh was no longer able to take part in the war against Assyria. When the Skyths had come into Palestine and taken Askalon, he met them with rich presents and persuaded them to turn aside and refrain from advancing upon Egypt. Thus he saved his country. The inroad lasted twenty-eight years. The historians simply add that they perished from excess, disease and massacre; and with their destruction, the kings resumed their warfare. Ashdod finally capitulated, but Psametikh was too much weakened by the defection of his soldiers and the infirmity of age to prosecute the conflict any further. He died after having ruled over all Egypt fifty-six years.

But he had regenerated the country, creating an order of affairs such as had never been known. The Egyptians had before supposed themselves the oldest of nations, but he made them conscious of their fellowship and relationship to other peoples of the world. He had come to the throne when Egypt had long been subject to foreign domination and incessant wars. It was in a deplorable state of misery and degradation. The cities were impoverished, the lands deserted, and the country depopulated. The Assyrian overlord had actually colonized districts from the East. Psametikh set himself to create Egypt anew. He applied himself to the task with energy during his long reign. Lands and roads were restored, agriculture encouraged, the towns repaired and rebuilt, the temples enlarged and beautified, the rites and observances of worship strictly maintained. The entire valley of the Nile was like a huge workshop where the population belonging in every department of industry was constantly employed. Science and literature assumed new importance. The hieroglyphics, so long the vehicle of preserving the knowledge of events and discovery, were divested of their exclusive importance, and the demotic art of writing, the art of the people, was generally adopted.

“With the Twenty-sixth Dynasty,” says Professor Sayce, “the St. Luke’s Summer of Egyptian history begins.” The expulsion of the Assyrian vassals, the consolidation of the monarchy in a single hand, and the broad policy of the new government had occasioned the revival of peace, power, and prosperity, and with these the resuscitation, likewise, of art. Sais, the city of Psametikh, was adorned by him with buildings that almost rivaled the monuments of Thebes; Memphis, again a political metropolis, resumed her former importance. A new gallery was constructed at the Serapeion for the enshrining of the Sacred bulls, slabs of stone were placed in the temples to hide the interior from the profane gaze of the multitude, and now a new cursive system of writing was adopted for common use, the demotic or popular, showing that the literature was no longer exclusively in the control of the sacerdotal class; “But,” adds Mr. Sayce, “the government had ceased to be Egyptian; it had gained its power by Hellenic aid, and from this time forward Grecian influence began to prevail. The king’s person is protected by a Greek body-guard; the native soldiers desert to Ethiopia, and the oldest Ionic inscription that we possess records the pursuit of them by the foreign mercenaries of Psammetikhos.”169

“Trade with foreign countries was now maintained, as had never been the case before. There existed novelty in ten thousand shapes. The cities formerly active chiefly with pilgrimages and religious processions, became busy marts of commerce. Indeed, as judgments are commonly formed, Psametikh I. must be regarded as one of the noblest of Egyptian kings. He combined profound political sagacity with military talent and exhibited an enlightened love of the arts which, by transmitting to the Future a knowledge of the irrevocable Past, thereby make the Present immortal.”

XVI. Twenty-Sixth Dynasty, Continued.—Suez Canal Again Attempted—Africa Circumnavigated.—Conquests in Asia—Expulsion.—Nebukhad-nezzar and His Conquests.—Apries.—Egypt Subjugated.—Aahmes II.

Nekho II. came to the throne of Egypt at a critical period. He was bold and far-seeing, and he cherished ambitions which were abundantly worthy of a descendant of Tafnekht. The future of Western Asia was in suspense. Whether Media or Babylon should be its master was the issue in question. Nekho set himself accordingly to carry into effect the purpose which his father had entertained, to seize the prize once more for Egypt. It was his aim to realise for his country also all that the Ptolemaic dynasty afterward accomplished for Alexandreia.

He contemplated accordingly a plan for the combining of the two fleets—the one that navigated the Red Sea, and the other that sailed in the Mediterranean. To effect this he attempted to open again the Suez Canal, which Sethi I. and Rameses the Great had constructed from Bubastis to the Great Bitter Lake at the head of the Gulf. In vain the priests, adhering to the exclusiveness characteristic of their order in Egypt, protested that he was working to promote the ascendancy of alien peoples. Nekho, however, found the task itself too difficult to be easily performed. A sand-bank had accumulated between the lake and the head of the gulf, which his workmen failed to remove. The death of a hundred and twenty thousand laborers from epidemics finally compelled him to abandon the project.

He next prepared to carry out his purpose by bringing his fleet around Africa into the Mediterranean. The continent had not been circumnavigated for unknown centuries, but Nekho was confident that it was surrounded on all sides by the ocean. Accordingly he sent a fleet manned by Phoenicians from a port of the Red Sea with instructions to follow the coast of Africa around to the Pillars of Herakles and the mouth of the Nile. The feat was accomplished, but the necessity to stop each year and sow a crop of grain for subsistence required such delays that three years were employed to complete the voyage. The extraordinary fact was reported, and generally disbelieved, that the mariners always had the sun at their right hand.

Nekho had determined upon the recovery of the countries which had been subjected by his predecessors. Having found it impracticable to combine his fleet in the Red Sea with the other, and that only the ships navigating the Levant could be of use in his operations, he increased their number and employed them as transports for his soldiers. He had landed them in Northern Palestine, when his progress was disputed by the King of Judah. In vain he protested that he was not seeking to invade the realm of Josiah, but was only marching against Assyria. The former kings, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh, had been tributary to the Eastern monarchs, and Josiah had not repudiated this suzerainty. An engagement took place at Megiddo in the very field where Egyptian kings had won so many victories. Nekho placed the Karian archers in the front of his army, and the Hebrew King was mortally wounded by their arrows. This ended the battle. In gratitude for the service of the Karians, Nekho presented the armor which he wore at Megiddo to the oracle-temple of Apollo at Brankhidse.

He continued his march through Phoenicia and Hamath, winning a battle at Kadesh on the Orontes, and finally routing the Assyrians at Karkhemosh. He had now become master of the countries which had been conquered so many times and held tributary by Egyptian kings of the former dynasties.

Nekho was able to retain his conquests no more than three years. The Crown Prince of Assyria, Nebukhadnezzar, was sent by his father to recover the lost provinces. Nekho came from Egypt to arrest his progress, but was overwhelmingly defeated at Karkhemosh. He retreated, and was followed to his own frontier by the conqueror. News came of the death of Nabopulasap, and Nebukhadnezzar, apprehending contention in regard to the succession, made a truce with Nekho and hurried back to Babylon. Several of the tributary countries revolted, Judea with the others, but Nekho gave them no encouragement. “The King of Egypt came no more out of his land, for the King of Babylonia had taken from the river of Egypt (the Sihor) to the river Euphrates all that pertained to the King of Egypt.”

The war between Egypt and Babylonia was not renewed. The new monarch of Babylonia was too much engaged with refractory vassals to attack other countries. Nekho, meanwhile, devoted his remaining years to the promoting of the prosperity of Egypt. The temples were embellished, and the country rejoiced in peace. The Sacred Bull having died in the sixteenth year of his reign, was embalmed and buried with unparalleled magnificence. Nekho himself died in the same year, and was buried at Sais. His mummy with the scarabseus over the heart inscribed with his official name, Va-em-ab-Ra, was carried to Paris and placed in a convent, where it was destroyed about the middle of the seventeenth century.

Intercolumnal Plinth, with the names and titles of Psametikh II: “The Hor”, the living Sun the great heart of the world, the gracious god. lord of the two worlds, the Sun, . . . the heart, the son of the Sun, lord of diadems;—Psametikh, giver of mercy, like the Sun, forever”. The kneeling figures represent the King.

The reign of Psametikh II., or Psammis, the son of Nekho, was brief and uneventful. It was recorded that he received an embassy from Elis, which had been sent to ask whether the Egyptian priests, who were then regarded as the wisest among the nations, could suggest any improvement in the regulations of the Olympic Games.170 The King assembled the Egyptian savants accordingly, who gave their judgment that as the Eleans were the umpires in the contests, no inhabitant of Elis ought to participate in the contests. The umpires would be disposed to favor their own countrymen and deal unfairly with the other Greeks.

A revolt took place in Ethiopia, and Psametikh led an expedition into the country, accompanied by the generals Aahmes and Apollonios. His death took place, however, before the insurrection was suppressed.

Apries, or Vah-ab-Ra, the Pharaoh-Hephra of the Book of Jeremiah, displayed the energy and ambition which had characterized his family. Herodotus describes him as the most fortunate monarch that had ruled Egypt since Psametikh I. He brought the Ethiopian war to an immediate conclusion, and then set himself to regain the countries in Asia that had been formerly tributary to Egypt. The native princes of Palestine and Perea had formed an alliance with Zedekiah, the vassal-king at Jerusalem, and he sent an embassy to Apries to obtain his support.

Apries accordingly set his forces in motion by land and sea. An expedition against the Assyrians in Cyprus succeeded in driving them from the island, and the Syrian fleet was defeated with great loss. Sidon was taken, and all Phoenicia was now in his possession. He also captured Gaza, and received the submission of the other Philistine cities. The Chaldean army immediately raised the siege of Jerusalem.

Apries was elated beyond bounds at his success, and boasted that no foe, not even a god, could stand against him. The King of Judah, and more especially his princes and the priests who had urged him to the revolt, set no bounds to their exultation. The thousands of exiles at Babylon began to expect deliverance, and the prediction was confidently made that the captive King Jekhoniah would come back to his own. The God of Israel would not forsake the temple where sacrifices were daily presented.

The Prophet Jeremiah, himself a priest, at the peril of his life, opposed the general voice. Placing himself at the entrance of the temple, he declared that it would be destroyed like the temple at Shiloh; and that God did not command or desire sacrifices. But it did not avail; the hour was ruled by besotted madness; and now, not only Judea, but Ammon, Moab and Idumea, participated in the revolt.

The King of Babylonia came with a new army to subdue his rebellious vassals and punish their abettors. At “the parting of the ways” at the north, he cast lots to decide whether to attack first the city of Jerusalem or the capital of Ammon. The augury directed him against the Hebrew metropolis. Remaining at Riblah in Hamath, he sent his chief officers to besiege Jerusalem. It proved as Jeremiah had declared: Apries was too busy with troubles in Egypt to come again to the aid of his ally, and Jerusalem was taken and destroyed.

The destruction of Jerusalem and the removal of the Hebrew population had no effect to end the war. Thirteen years were required to complete it and make ready for the invading of Egypt. Meanwhile Apries had made Aahmes, or Ammasis, his associate upon the throne. The new prince was a native of the province of Sais, and a veritable adventurer of loose principle. He gained the favor of Apries by pandering to his inordinate vanity. On the birthday of the King he sent him a garland in which the flowers were entwined in the manner of the garlands that were placed on statues of the gods. Apries at once invited him to the court, where he so far ingratiated himself into the royal favor as to be permitted to marry the Princess Ankh-nes Nefert, a sister of the late king, Nekho II. This alliance removed all question of legitimacy, and he was made the colleague of Apries.

The priests of Sais told another story to explain or rather disguise the matter. They related that the King of Libya offered the crown of that country to Apries on condition that he would dislodge the Dorian colonists from the Kyrenaika. He accordingly sent his Egyptian troops for the purpose, keeping his Greek-speaking soldiers at home. The expedition was unsuccessful, and the Egyptians mutinied. Aahmes was sent to pacify them, but like Jehu of Israel, became himself leader of the revolt. Apries was dethroned and was afterward murdered. In fact, however, the two Princes ruled conjointly.

The storm burst finally upon Egypt. Nebukhadnezzar came into the Delta with his army. He did not march directly against Sais, but proceeded by Bubastis and Heliopolis to Memphis, and thence up the Nile toward Ethiopia. This was in fact his objective point. Apries remained at Sais, while Aahmes marched against the invaders. It was impossible, however, to arrest their progress. Not till the Assyrian army had reached Elephantina at the frontier of Nubia did it meet with impediment. There it encountered Hes-Hor, the “Governor of the South”, who opposed it with such energy that Nebukhadnezzar abandoned the purpose to invade Ethiopia, and returned to complete the subjugation of Lower Egypt. He remained at Daphne for a long period, to “deliver to death those who were adjudged to die, to captivity those who were allotted to captivity, and to the sword those who were for the sword”. Of the former number was Apries the King, who had been his inveterate enemy, contending with him in open war and fostering the revolts of his vassals. He was accordingly put to death, and Aahmes invested with the kingdom. The hostile Egyptians were executed or carried into captivity, and the temples in the principal cities were stripped of their treasures and images. He then returned to Babylon. In the retinue there appears to have been a Princess Neita-kar, or Neitokris, who afterward figured conspicuously in the warlike operations of the Babylonian kings; but whether as the bride of Nebukhadnezzar himself, or of an officer, no record has been found. Henceforth the prediction of the Hebrew prophet was realised, that Egypt would be a subject kingdom and not become again superior over other nations.

It is not probable, however, that Aahmes II. was long held in any strict subjection to the Babylonian overlord. The death of Nebukhadnezzar had been followed by the disorganization of his empire, leaving distant princes in comparative independence. Aahmes devoted himself to the strengthening of his position at home and abroad, and he had few of those religious scruples which barred the Egyptians from intimate relations with other peoples. Unlike his predecessor, Apries, he exhibited none of the arrogance of a pretender to divinity, but cultivated familiarity with his associates and subjects as one of themselves. He gave his mornings scrupulously to the transaction of business, but after that was over he indulged freely in joking and mirthful sports. He compared men to bows; those who gave themselves to serious work and did not indulge in pastime were sure to lose their senses and become insane or moody.

He did not abate diligence, however, in matters of religion. When he was crowned, he adopted the official name of Si-Neith, “the son of Neith”. He was sedulous in attention to the temples and worship of the patron divinity of Sais. Her temple was included in half a square mile of land, and was the largest in all Northern Egypt. It was surrounded by a wall of brick, and lavishly adorned with obelisks, colossal statues and sphinxes. On one side were the tombs of the Saitic kings, and on the other the sacred lake and shrine where the mysteries of Isis and Osiris were celebrated. Sais was one of the places where was a tomb of the murdered divinity. The Thesmophoria, or festival of the Institution of Laws, were also observed there, and the priests affirmed that the daughters of Danaos carried them thence to the Peloponnesus and taught them to the Pelasgic women.171

Aahmes also caused a stone to be quarried near Elephantina, and a chamber cut out in it twelve cubits by nineteen in dimension, and brought to the temple at Sais. It required two thousand boatmen three years to bring it down the Nile, but it was not taken beyond the temple-enclosure. Upon the wall of this temple was the famous inscription: “I am the All, the Past and Present and Future, and no mortal has ever unveiled me.”172

A colossal statue of prodigious dimensions was also brought to the temple of Ptah at Memphis, but never set up. It is probable that the severity of these labors produced exasperation among the people, for Aahmes found it necessary to leave the work uncompleted, and the Karian troops were brought from Busiris and placed near Memphis.

Aahmes, as has been remarked, pursued the policy which had been adopted by the Saitic kings before him, and set aside in a still greater degree the barrier of exclusiveness which the Egyptians sedulously maintained toward the people. He contributed a thousand talents of alum to aid in rebuilding the temple at Delphi, which had been burned, and also made liberal presents to other temples of Hera and Athena in Greece and Asia. He likewise gave a charter to the city of Naukratis. ten miles from Sais, making it the sole port for foreign shipping, and in addition permitted the inhabitants to elect their own magistrates and officers, and to build temples to their own divinities, Zeus, Hera and Apollo. They reciprocated by taking part in the Egyptian worship, the Karians cutting themselves, after the Asiatic fashion, at the commemoration of the death of Osiris.173 Whatever was the form of the legend of the drama in more remote periods, it was now analogous to the Great Dionysiak Myth of Asian and Grecian countries.

The prosperity of Egypt during the reign of Aahmes II. exceeded that of any former period on record. He encouraged enterprise and industry in every department, and summarily punished idleness and unthrift. It was a law of his reign that every Egyptian should appear once every year before the governor of his canton and show his means and manner of living. If he failed of doing this and did not prove that he was obtaining an honest livelihood, he was put to death. The result of this strictness was that the land was more productive than ever, the period of this reign was more prosperous than any former time that had been witnessed and the population increased till there were not less than twenty thousand towns.

The Wise Men of Greece and Ionia availed themselves of the opportunity to visit the country and receive instruction from the priests of Northern Egypt. Thales had already ventured upon the journey. Solon came to Naukratis as a merchant, and was received by Aahmes with distinguished attention. He copied here the law requiring honest employment from every individual, and learned from Si-ankh, the priest of Neith, the account of the lost Atlantis which his illustrious descendant had preserved. Kleobulas repaired hither to study philosophy, and Hekataeos of Miletus sailed as far as Thebes to learn of Egyptian antiquity. Pythagoras, tradition informs us, came also to Heliopolis to make himself acquainted with the occult knowledge and mystic rites of the Egyptians and Phoenicians. He was there, it was said, when the Persians conquered the country, and was carried a captive to Babylon, where he was instructed in the religion and philosophy of the Zoroasters. Xenophanes also came, and was bold to dispute with his teachers, God, he affirmed, is spirit, infinite and of eternity. He was puzzled at the lament for Osiris, for a god, he insisted, could not suffer and die. Nor could he have two natures: if he was a man it was wrong to worship him; and if a god, they had no need to commemorate his sufferings.

Aahmes II. was a warrior as well as a statesman. He made complete the conquest of the Cyprians, and for the first time united all their cities and governments under a single administration. He also prosecuted a war in the Kyrenaika, extinguishing all the parties there that were contending for the mastery of affairs. Then the king, Battus the Lame, sent his mother and grandmother to sue for peace. Aahmes, afterward, upon the death of his queen, married Ladike, a lady of that country.

Polykrates was at that time the Tyrant of Samos, and held his dominion accordingly by a tenure analogous to that of Aahmes in Egypt.174 He had made a treaty of amity and alliance with the Egyptian monarch, but Aahmes protested against his unjust treatment of subjects, and when there appeared an impending storm in the East, it was dissolved.

With Lydia, the former amicable relations were preserved. Soldiers from Karia had placed Psametikh I. upon the throne of Northern Egypt, and from that time had been an important contingent of the Egyptian army. When, therefore, Kroesus was engaged in war against the Eastern powers, Aahmes was summoned to assist with his troops.

When the Assyrian dominion was partitioned after the overthrow of Nineveh, the king of the various tribes that were afterward classified with the Medes175 had received the award of suzerainty over the countries of Asia Minor. Gyges, who formerly superseded the Amazon and Khitan dynasty in Lydia, had, when in peril from the Kimmerians, pledged allegiance to Sardanapolos to obtain his help. He afterward declared independence, but this was not recognised. There was for many years an incessant war between Lydia and the Medes. During a battle in July, in the year 585 before the present era, there occurred a total eclipse of the sun, and both parties accepted it as a warning from heaven.

Nabu-Anahid, the King of Babylon, who was present as an ally with the Median forces, now mediated for peace. The Crown Prince Astyages, or Istavega,176 accordingly married the daughter of the King of Lydia, and his father acknowledged the authority of Alyattes over Asia Minor west of the river Halys. Kroesus, who succeeded the latter, was able by the conquest of the Ionian cities to extend his dominion to the Archipelago. Sardis, his capital, was the meeting-place of the commercial caravans, and the most opulent of cities. The wealth of Kroesus has been a proverb till the present time.

There came, however, another change of masters in the East. Aryan colonists under leaders of the Akhaemenian tribe had established themselves in the kingdom of Anzan, or Western Elam. Their chieftain, Cyrus, or Kuru, was ambitious for greater honor. He made war with Astyages and dethroned him. It has also been stated that he followed the ancient custom and took the wife of the conquered king. Kroesus had supported the cause of his brother-in-law, and became the next object of attack. Cyrus marched against him, and a campaign was fought without definite result. Winter came, and Kroesus withdrew his forces, expecting no further conflict till the next season. He then summoned his allies, the Lacedaemonians of Greece, Napuanahid of Babylonia and Aahmes II. of Egypt, to bring their armies to his aid.177

He then proceeded to subjugate Lydia, Ionia and other countries, and afterward besieged Babylon. Neitokris, the Queen-Mother, had put the great city in a state of defense that baffled the ingenuity of the assailants, but enemies inside of the walls enabled the invaders to get within. Cyrus captured the city, and after participating in the worship of the Babylonian divinities, Bel-Merodakh and Nebo, he installed his son Kambyses, or Kambuzhaya, as King of Babylonia, and assumed for himself the title of “King of the World”. He died two years afterward, leaving to Kambyses the task of punishing Egypt as the ally of Lydia.

Kambyses began his reign in oriental fashion by marrying his sisters, the assassination of his possible competitor, his brother Bardya,178 and the suppression of several uprisings. He then prepared for the invasion of Egypt. There was a story told by Persians that he had demanded that Aahmes should send him his daughter, as was often required of vassal and conquered kings, and that Aahmes had deceived him by sending only a daughter of the dethroned king Apries. As, however, that king had been dead for forty years, the story carries improbability on its face. There were other causes of war sufficiently valid for an unscrupulous politician; such as lust for extended dominion and cupidity excited by the great wealth of Egypt under the beneficent rule of Aahmes, besides the relations of that monarch with Kroesus. Xenophon states that Aahmes sent a hundred and twenty thousand men to aid that king against Cyrus.

Before Kambyses could complete his preparations, Psametikh III. had succeeded to the throne of Egypt. He lacked the ability of his father, as well as his foresight and sagacity. It was of this prince that Strabo has related the legend of Rhodope and her slipper. She was bathing, it was said, and an eagle snatched the slipper and bore it to Memphis, dropping it at the feet of Psametikh. He was deeply impressed at its smallness, and, having caused her to be sought out and brought to him, married her. It is probably a form of the world-old tale of Cinderella.

Phanes, the commander of the foreign troops employed in Egypt, deserted to Kambyses and aided him in the conducting of his army through Palestine and the Arabian desert. A battle was fought at Pelusiunx, and the Egyptians were defeated. Kambyses followed the fugitive enemy to Memphis and captured the city. He reinstated Psametikh as his vassal, and confirmed the subordinate officials in their several positions. He strove further to conciliate his new subjects, and, repairing to Sais, he was initiated into the Mysteries of the Goddess Neith, and also visited the tomb of Osiris, receiving the two sacred names of Sam Taui, or “uniter of two worlds”, and Mastu-Ra. He also expelled foreign intruders who lived in the inclosure. It does not seem that he or his father, Cyrus, were strict Zoroastrians, or had scruples like later kings against participating in religious rites of other nations.

Kambyses also received the submission of the kings of Libya and the Kyrenaika, and gave orders for the sailing of an expedition against Carthage. He then marched with the Persian forces southward to conquer the King of Napata, and on arriving at Thebes dispatched fifty thousand men to reduce the Oases. Ill fortune attended all the expeditions. The marines, who were all Phoenicians, refused to attack their countrymen, and the men who had been sent to the Oases never returned. Kambyses himself marched into Nubia, but soon found it impossible to supply his army with provisions, and was compelled to turn back.

The accounts of his return journey, though conflicting, ascribe to him a cruelty almost insane. His route from Assuan to Thebes and thence to Memphis was a line of ruin. He destroyed the temples, broke the images of the gods, robbed the tombs of the kings, heaped indignities on the bodies of the dead, and broke in two the colossal statue of Amunoph III., known as the Vocal Statue of Memnon.

An insurrection in Lower Egypt speedily required his attention. Psame-tikh III. was found guilty of countenancing and conniving at it, and was put to death. Kambyses then took the administration of affairs into his own hands.

The Sacred Bull Apis died about this time, and he participated in the funeral rites, defraying the expenses of preparing the tomb. M. Brugsch Bey found a sculpture representing him in the act of kneeling and adoring the sacred animal. His official names, Sam-Taui and Mastu-Ra, were inscribed upon the tablet.

After having spent several years in Egypt, he made Aryandes Satrap and left for home. A revolt had taken place, and the Magian prince, Gaumata, had seized the throne. He was supported by the nobility and leading men of Media and Persia. “When Kambyses had gone to Egypt, the state became apostate”, says the Inscription of Behistun. “Then the lie became abounding in the land, both in Persia and Media and in the other provinces. * * * There was not a man, neither Persian nor Median, nor any one of our family, who would dispossess Gaumata, the Magus, of the crown.”

Kambyses, while on the way home, learned of the defection, and in despair that all was lost committed suicide.

And so the land of the gods, the country of Senefru, of Pepi, of Amenemha, of Thothmes and Rameses, had become a dependency of Persia.

XVII. Five Later Dynasties.—The Twenty-seventh.—Revolt of Khabas.—Inaros and Amyrtaios.—Twenty-eighth.—Twenty-ninth.—Egyptian Kings for Fifty Years.—Thirtieth.—Nektanebos I., Agesilaos of Sparta.—Invasion by Okhos.—Flight of Nektanebos II.—Thirty-first Dynasty of Persian Kings.

Kambyses and his seven successors are usually classed as constituting the Twenty-seventh Dynasty. Theirs, however, was not an undisputed dominion. The Egyptians never ceased to chafe under the Persian yoke. Sometimes native princes came to the front as kings, and several of the satraps as “lords of the province”, who represented the “Great King” cherished the ambition to establish an independent throne for themselves.

Dareios Hystaspis, the second of the Persian Overlords, was familiar with the laws, customs and religions of the country. He had been one of the royal body-guard during the reign of Kambyses, and had profited by the opportunity to learn a theory of governing. Upon his return to Persia, he found a Magian on the throne, and all the nobility abjectly subservient. Even the Mazdean religion which he and his tribe professed, had been interdicted, and the old Skythic Magism was restored to its former ascendency. He formed a conspiracy of seven princes to assassinate the usurper, and afterward suppressed the numerous uprisings which threatened to bar him from the throne. He then established again the simple Zoroastrian worship, and promulgated the Avesta and sacred laws as the authoritative standard. Afterward he organized the government anew into departments or satrapies, instead of subject-kingdoms, somewhat after the manner of the nomes or districts of Egypt. He also established highways over the Empire, and provided relays of horses and camels to enable couriers and travelers to go forward with promptness and uninterrupted. With this arrangement was established a postal system,179 which seems to have been the origin of the post office of modern times.

He also reformed the coinage, requiring the gold and silver to be of the purest quality. Hence the Persian coins, known by the name of “Darics”, were proverbial for their freedom from debasement, which characterised those of Greece and Asia. One of these is in the British Museum, having the Greek name of “Pythagoras”.

Two of the Satraps had attempted to set up the rule as independent kings. Orcetes at Sardis, whom Cyrus had appointed, had withheld any recognition of the accession of Dareios, and was put to death.

The other uprising took place in Egypt. Upon the conquest by Kambyses, the nobleman Uza-hor-en-pi-ris, the son of the high-priest of the “Great Mother” at Sais, had made his submission and been appointed President of the physicians and friend or “grandson” of the king. Under his direction Kambyses had confirmed the authority of the priests and established religious worship. He had accompanied the Persian army home, and was afterward sent from Anzan by Dareios to assure the continuance of the former privileges.

The conduct of the viceroy, Aryandes, however, gave rise to general disaffection. He had assumed the powers of independent royalty, and was harsh and severe in administration. He engaged in war in the Kyrenaika, but suffered the Persian soldiers to be massacred without any attempt to avenge them. He also issued a silver coinage, the Aryandics, bearing the legend—”Melekh Ari-en-tebt”, King Aryandes. Finally, the Egyptians revolted, and Dareios led an army into Lower Egypt to bring them into submission. Having effected this, he punished the faithless satrap with death. He afterward appointed Aahmes, who commanded the Egyptian army and belonged to the royal family of Sais, to succeed him. This prince and his successors bore the title of melekh or king of Upper and Lower Egypt, and also had the official name of Si-Neith.

Dareios made diligent endeavors to promote the prosperity of Egypt, and to eradicate the hateful remembrances of the Persian conquest. He taxed the country lightly, not exceeding the amount of half a million dollars a year, and his viceroys were members of the Egyptian royal family. Although himself a strict adherent and promulgator of the Mazdean religion with all its rigid simplicity, he contributed liberally to the worships of the several realms and districts. He built a temple to Amun in the Oasis, and was initiated by the priests with the name of Sutta-Ra. At Memphis he asked that his statue might be placed before the colossal image of Rameses the Great. The high priest refused, on the ground that he had not equalled the achievements of that monarch; he had not conquered the Skyths. He bowed to the decision, only remarking that he had not had sufficient time. On his arrival in Northern Egypt he found the people in mourning over the death of the sacred Bill Apis. He offered a hundred talents of gold for the finding of another animal that met the necessary description.

He ordered the Suez Canal to be constructed which had been begun by Nekho. Afterward however he commanded it to be closed, lest it should expose the country to destructive inundations. Nevertheless, there were two benefits derived; the adjacent region became productive, and the water of the Bitter Lakes was sweetened180 from the contributions of the Nile.

The viceroy Aahmes was succeeded by his son Nefer-Ra. This prince died in the twenty-ninth year of Dareios, and was followed by Manduph. He had ruled three years when the great defeat of the Persians took place at Marathon, and put an end to their conquests.181 Dareios had added Afghanistan and the Punjab to his dominion in the East and had likewise obtained the submission of the princes of Thrace and Macedonia, but had failed in an expedition beyond the river Danube. After that misadventure, the latter years of his reign were disturbed incessantly by revolt. The Babylonians began, and then followed the Ionians of Asia Minor. The Athenians had aided their kindred in Asia with a powerful fleet, and Dareios sent an army into Greece to chastise and subjugate them. The defeat at Marathon was so humiliating that he began at once to prepare for a new invasion. It was the opportunity for Egypt, and the plans for an uprising were immediately laid. Three years later the standard of revolt was displayed. The monuments give the name of the insurgent prince as Khabas, with official designations of Senen-Tanen and Setep-en-Ptah, but Burton’s Excerpta state that the viceroy Manduph was the head of the revolt and that he succeeded in establishing his authority as king over the two realms.

Dareios died before he could lead an army again into Egypt, and the Egyptian prince was able to continue in power two or more years. An inscription of Ptolemy I. describes his activity. ”The Seaboard”, it declares, “had been assigned by the king Khabas to the gods of the city of Buto; but the hereditary foe Xerxes or Sharsha alienated it. But the great king our lord drove out the enemy Xerxes from his palace altogether, together with his oldest son, and so he made himself famous in Sais, the city of the goddess Neith, the Mother of the Gods.”

There occurred at this time the death of the sacred bull Apis, and the king made provision for the entombing. The coffin of the divine animal was placed in the Serapeion, and the lid inscribed with the date as follows: “The second year, the month Athyr, under the majesty of king Khabas, the friend of Apis-Osiris, of Horos of Kakem.” But this lid was never placed upon the sarcophagus. The reason is plain.

Immediately after the accession of Xerxes I. to the Persian throne, no time was lost in sending an army to Egypt. The country was subjugated, and the king’s brother, Cyrus Akhaemenides appointed satrap. There was no more lenity of administration. The exactions were increased, and the troops of Egypt were drafted into the army and fleet that invaded Greece to be routed and destroyed. Two hundred triremes were manned with Egyptians and their courage was highly praised.

Xerxes had been assassinated and his son Artaxerxes Longimanus had been five years king before there occurred another revolt in Egypt. The prince Inaros, of Marea, near the present site of Alexandreia, the son of Psametikh of the race of Tafnekht, was the leader. He formed an alliance with Amyrtaios or Amun-art-rut of Sais, and other princes of the Delta, and was supported by the Egyptians generally. The conflict lasted six years. The Athenians aided the insurgents with a fleet of two hundred vessels. A battle was fought near Papremis and the Persians defeated with a loss of a hundred thousand men out of a force of a hundred and twenty thousand. The satrap was killed, it is said, by Inaros himself. His body was carried to Persia for interment, and the tomb at Murghab bears the inscription which has been translated: “I am Cyrus the Akhaemenian, King.”182

The victory was pursued further, till only the fortresses at Memphis and Pelusium remained in possession of the Persians. The entire Delta, with these exceptions, was in possession of Inaros and his allies, and Amyrtaios appears to have been recognized as king. The inhabitants of Upper Egypt took little part in the contest. They were of another race, other sympathies, another religion. During this long period, Greeks were again free to visit the country. Among those who took advantage of the opportunity were Anaxagoras, the philosopher and preceptor of Perikles, and also Hellanikos and Herodotus the historian. The latter visited the battle-fields, and conversed with the priests from whom he learned what he wrote of Egyptian history.

Artaxerxes had learned that in dealing with the Greeks, his gold was more successful than his soldiers. He was pressed hard by Kimon of Athens and his possessions in Egypt and Asia Minor were in peril. He sent an embassy to Sparta, to hire the Lacedaemonians to attack the Athenians and to draw their attention away from Egypt. For once, however, the expedient failed and the war lasted for years. He then sent his son-in-law, Megabyzus or Bagabusa, with an army to conquer the country. The conflict lasted a year and a half with uncertain results. The Persians were finally successful. They destroyed the Athenian fleet and routed the army. Inaros then surrendered under the pledge of amnesty. The promise, however, was disregarded, and the perfidious captors carried him to Persia. Here he was put to death by impalement, three stakes being employed in order to increase the torture.

Amyrtaios escaped into the marshes and successfully eluded his enemies. The sons of the two revolting princes were then appointed to succeed them, Thannyras being placed over the Libyan district and Pa-Osiris over Egypt, subordinate to the Persian satrap. Meanwhile Amyrtaios continued to work for the independence of his country. He applied to Athens and Kimon came to Egypt with a fleet, but he was unable to render any important aid.

Artaxerxes had now found opportunity to bring the war to an end. Peri-kles became the supreme power at Athens, the sole leader of a democratic commonalty. A treaty was made in which independence was conceded to the cities of Ionia, and the Athenians left the king in undisturbed possession of Egypt.

Now, however, followed a revolt in Syria, led by Negabyzus himself. Palestine was ravaged and Jerusalem burned. Artaxerxes was able to placate his son-in-law, and afterward gave authority to his cup-bearer Nehemiah, to rebuild the wall of the Judean capital.

Finally, Artaxerxes was succeeded by Xerxes II., and he by his brother Sekydianos. Both were assassinated and Okhos or Dareios II. became king. Degeneracy had come upon the Akhaemenians. The women and officials of the royal palace became the chief powers in the government, and many of the satraps were now virtually independent sovereigns.

Fragment of a statue of nekta-nebos found at memphis.

Forty years passed thus over Egypt. The Persian yoke was hated, but so long as there was no interference with the worship of the gods, it was endured in silence. But the Persian worship itself became altered in form, from the purer Mazdeism of Dareios Hystaspis, and Magism became interblended. The attempt was made to produce conformity in Egypt. Ostanes, a Median magus, attempted the innovation. He had for an assistant Demo-kritos of Abdera, who was both physician and philosopher, and a convert to the oriental religion. He went as far as Upper Egypt and employed himself with the priests of Amun-Ra whom he delighted by his proficiency in astronomical knowledge. There was also Mariam, a Judean woman of great expertness in chemistry, and likewise Pi-men or Pamnenes, an Egyptian. Ostanes began an innovation with the worship of Ptah, insisting that the rites and instruction at the temple of Memphis should take the form of the fire-worship of the East. As might have been anticipated, there was a revolt. The priests might be willing to discourse learnedly upon ethics and philosophic dogma, but the people were certain to resent meddling with a worship that had existed from early ages.

Twenty-Eighth Dynasty.

Amyrtaios raised once more at Sais the standard of an independent Egypt. He was able to rally a force sufficient to uphold his authority. It was the tenth year of the reign of Dareios II. The Persian monarch was not able to suppress the revolution. Amyrtaios made a treaty with the Arabian chiefs, which secured the frontier against invasion and incursions and after a reign of seven years, he died leaving the kingdom to an Egyptian successor. He is classed by Manetho as the only king of the Twenty-eighth Dynasty.

Twenty-Ninth Dynasty.

The Twenty-ninth Dynasty is generally described as beginning at a date of four hundred years before the present era, with the founder Nefaarut or Neph-erites, of Mendes, a descendant from the ancient kingly line of Egypt. The name of Psametikh also appears as king, and there is an uncertainty whether it was another designation of Nepherites or belonged to a different prince. Diodoros relates the account of an infamous act of treachery by this monarch. Cyrus, the satrap of Lydia and Phrygia contended with his brother Artaxerxes Mnemon for possession of the throne of Persia. Tamos, the governor of Ionia had taken part with him and commanded his fleet. Upon the death of Cyrus, he placed his family and wealth upon a ship and sailed to Egypt. He was originally from Memphis and had aforetime rendered valuable service to Psametikh. He counted, accordingly, upon his protection. But the perfidious Egyptian murdered them all and seized the treasure.

Nepherites was able to maintain himself against Persia, and to establish a dynasty. He supplied aid and sent grain to the Lacedaemonians in their war against Artaxerxes. He also began the restoring of temples and public buildings in Egypt, and the monuments which had been silent during the Persian rule began again to have inscriptions commemorating what had been accomplished.

Hakara or Akhoris, the successor of Nepherites, maintained the conflict against Persia with great sagacity and energy. Evagoras also expelled the Persians from Cyprus and with the aid of Athens was holding his ground with every prospect of success. But the Grecian states were incessantly contending against one another, and accepting the “Great King” as umpire, until the overwhelming defeat of the Athenians in Sicily. After that there followed the peace of Antalkidas, which was little else than a command from Artaxerxes to leave him in possession of Ionia and Cyprus. Thirty thousand “Persian archers” helped to this conclusion. Evagoras, however, continued the struggle for independence and Akhoris aided him with provisions for his troops and also with fifty ships of war. Gaios, the son of the murdered Tamas, commanded the Persian fleet and reconquered a large part of Cyprus. A year later, however, he abandoned the service of Artaxerxes and united his fortunes with the king of Egypt. Akhoris was thus able to maintain his throne, and found opportunity to do work on the temples and other public buildings. He died after a reign of thirteen years, and was followed by Psi-Mut or Psammenitos, Har-nek-kha, and Nefaerut II., none of whom reigned longer than a year. Finally, the Mendean dynasty, having continued twenty-two years, was succeeded by a new line of kings from Sebennytos.

The Thirtieth Dynasty.

The Thirtieth Dynasty was founded by Nekht-hor-hebi or Nektanebos I. He was speedily required to defend his kingdom against Artaxerxes. Egypt was invaded by an army of two hundred thousand men and five hundred ships of war, commanded by the satrap Pharnabazos and the Athenian general Iphikrates. Nektanebos was diligent in preparations obstructing the entrances of the Nile, and making deep trenches across the country at the East, crossing with them all the roads from Asia. He was outwitted, however, and while he was awaiting the enemy at Pelusium, Egypt was entered at Mendes. Distrust existed between the commanders, however, and Pharnabazos would not permit Iphikrates to march to Memphis for fear he would establish himself as an independent ruler. Meanwhile Nektanebos harassed the invading forces by frequent skirmishes and finally defeated them in a pitched battle. Their annual inundation also came, obliging the Persians to retreat out of the country.

Nektanebos was now able to devote attention to arts of peace. He carried on work on several public buildings, and his name was duly carved on several at Thebes. In one instance the name of Tirhakah was effaced to make room for his. He also built a temple to the goddess Hathor at Philse in Ethiopia.

The eighteen years of peace left Egypt open once more to travelers from Greece. The Grecian states had then changed their politics; Athens had been the friend before, but the visitors now brought their letters of introduction from Agesilaos, king of Sparta to Nektanebos and the Egyptian priests. Eudoxos the astronomer, Khrysippos the physician and Plato were of the number. Eudoxos remained sixteen months with the priests and shaved his chin and eyebrows. He consulted the bull Apis to learn his fortune. The animal licked his cloak, which was regarded as the portent of speedy death. Nevertheless, he went home, and taught for many years. Khrysippos was an innovator in medicine. He was skilled in the knowledge of his time, and employed procedures like the Reformed practitioners of modern times. Plato came with a cargo of olive oil to defray his expenses. He was at Heliopolis and greatly admired the industry of the Egyptians. How far the wisdom of the priests permeated his philosophy may be conjectured, but the fact that with the building of Alexandreia half a century later, a school was established in which his dialectics were a principal feature, will help solve the question.

The reign of Nektanebos was so beneficial that like former sovereigns he was worshipped after his death as a divinity, and a priesthood constituted in his honor, which continued its ministrations till a later period.

Taher or Takhos came to the throne when the satraps of Asia Minor, Syria and Phoenicia had revolted against Persia. He at once went into alliance with them, and attracted the attention of Artaxerxes in his direction. An army was ordered accordingly to invade Egypt, and Takhos procured the services of Agesilaos of Sparta to command his land forces and Khabrias of Athens for his fleet. But he ruined his cause by dissension and bad judgment. The preparations for war emptied his treasury and he resorted to a forced loan of gold and silver and to a tax on the sale of corn. This immediately produced a wide disaffection all over the country. The reception of Agesilaos was also marked by flagrant discourtesy.

The Egyptians had expected the man who might have conquered Persia but for bribery at home, to present an imposing and dignified appearance, and did not withhold ridicule at the diminutive figure, mean dress, and every familiarity of the man with his own soldiers. The old Spartan smothered his displeasure. He had expected to command the whole army, but was only placed over the hired troops. He counseled the king not to go out of Egypt but to leave military operations with his generals and give his attention solely to his government at home. But Takhos left the administration of affairs in the hands of his brother, and himself took command of the expedition which was made into Palestine. Several towns were captured from the Persians, when word came of a revolt in Egypt. The prince of Mendes, a representative of the previous dynasty, had taken advantage of the prevailing discontent to lay claim to the throne. The regent immediately proclaimed the prince Nekht-neb-ef or Nektanebos II., king of Egypt. The army joined in the revolt and Takhos who had already quarreled with Agesilaos, hurried to Persia to invoke the favor of Artaxerxes.

He was graciously received and help promised to restore him to the throne. But Artaxerxes had already passed the age of four score and ten years, and his life was embittered by the plots in regard to his successor. He had married his daughter Atossa, and she was aiding her brother Okhos, a younger son, in his ambitions. Bagoas, a native of Memphis, who held a place in the royal household, also took part actively with them, Artaxerxes was able to do little for the Egyptian supplicant and Takhos died in a short time from disease brought on by luxurious living. The royal princes of Persia were all destroyed by artifices of Okhos, and he finally succeeded to the throne, by the title of Artaxerxes III. Bagoas was rewarded by the office of prime minister. King Log had been succeeded by King Stork in right earnest.

Meanwhile Nektanebos II., by the aid of Agesilaos, had defeated the prince of Mendes and now was fairly seated upon the throne of Egypt. The brave old Spartan now bade him farewell, obstinately refusing all reward for his services. Nektanebos sent after him two hundred and twenty talents, but he distributed the whole amount among his soldiers. He died on his way home and his body, encased in wax, was sent to Sparta.

Okhos had begun his reign by the massacre of all his relatives who might dispute his claim to the Persian throne. His dominion, however, was none the less in imminent danger of falling to pieces. Phrygia had revolted and was aided by Athens and Thebes. An expedition which he sent to conquer Egypt was utterly defeated by Nektanebos, aided by troops from Athens and Sparta. Immediately, Cyprus, Phoenicia, and Palestine revolted, and declared their independence.

Philip of Macedonia was engaged in ambitious projects in relation to the Grecian states. The Athenian orator Isokrates wrote him a letter pointing out the disordered condition of Persian affairs, and urged him to take advantage of it to conquer Asia. Okhos, however, had anticipated him and made a treaty with Philip, which obviated all danger of such an invasion, and left the Grecian states occupied with their own dangers at home.

Nektanebos, with more zeal than discretion, formed alliances with the Sidonians and sent them four thousand Grecian troops under the command of Mentor the Rhodian. The others were successful in driving the Persians out of Phoenicia. Satraps and generals were not able to maintain the authority of their overlord.

Okhos then determined to conduct the war in person. He had turned aside all danger from Greece, and could give his whole attention to the work of subjugation. He accordingly prepared an armament which should be adequate to the exigency, including three hundred thousand foot-soldiers, thirty thousand cavalry, and a fleet sufficient for the purpose. He also procured ten thousand soldiers from Thebes and Ionia.

He was able to win the victory over Sidon both by his gold and by the terror of his arms. Tennes, the Sidonian prince, and Mentor, the Rhodian general, were willing to betray the cause for which they had fought, and Okhos made terms with them accordingly. Tennes, on his part, delivered a hundred of the principal citizens of Sidon to the Persian monarch, and admitted a detachment of his soldiers into the city. The Sidonians were thus placed at the mercy of a conqueror who never knew mercy. He immediately put the hundred prisoners to death together with four hundred others who had surrendered in hope of gentler treatment. The Sidonians in their despair set fire to their houses and to the number of four hundred thousand died in the flames. The ashes of their dwellings yielded a rich booty to the searchers. Traitors are seldom useful more than once, and Okhos, in disregard of his pledges, delivered Tennes to the executioner.

Mentor seems to have been in many respects like the Grecian leaders, a soldier of fortune like Dugald Dalgetty, or else he had already learned to despise his Egyptian employer. He entered the service of Okhos with perfect cheerfulness, bringing with him his entire command, and to him was due the success afterward won in Egypt. He was richly rewarded by his new master and continued in the Persian service till his death.

Phoenicia made no further resistance. The Persians now overran Judea and a large part of the population was transported from the country to Hyrkania. Olophernes a brother of the satrap of Kappadocia, was the commander of the expedition, and Bagoas, the minister, accompanied him.183 He had an agreement with Joshua, the brother of Johanan, the high priest, in relation to the surrender of Jerusalem. This coming to the knowledge of Johanan he called the delinquent to account and put him to death in the precinct of the temple. The Persians, upon entering the city, massacred a large number of the inhabitants, and Bagoas, with a guard of soldiers, entered the sanctuary of the temple. He was purer, he declared, than a man who was a murderer. He carried away the treasures that were kept there, and imposed a heavy tribute. Fifty shekels were required for every lamb that was sacrificed. These burdens were exacted for seven years till a change of rulers brought relief.184

The fatal blow now fell upon the devoted realms of Egypt. Okhos now hastened thither for a final conquest of the country. As his army came to the Lake Serbonis, the Sea of Suph or Papyrus-reeds, part of the forces traversed the narrow strip of dry sand between the lake and the Mediterranean. Suddenly a strong wind blew and brought upon them a deluge of water from the sea, and a large number perished. The main body of the army, however, went on the other side of the lake, and safely reached the frontier of Egypt.

Nektanebos had made the necessary preparations for defense, fortifying the approaches by the Nile and from the East. He had also an army of a hundred thousand men, Greeks, Libyans and Egyptians. He was largely outnumbered by the enemy, yet in the ancient modes of fighting he had good reason for confidence. Psametikh I., or Rameses, or Osirtasen, would have dared the conflict and with good hope of success. But this was an Augustulus ready to yield all. Immediately upon the arrival of the Persian army at Pelusium a skirmish took place between the Theban troops under Lakrates and the Greek forces of the Egyptian army. The defense was undertaken with resolute determination, when it was learned that Nektanebos had left all to his generals and escaped to Memphis. At once the besieged soldiers left off fighting and obtained a promise from Lakrates that upon their surrender they would be permitted to return home to Greece with their property. Bagoas attempted to break this promise, but Okhos confirmed it, and Pelusium came into his possession with no more fighting.

Mentor next invested Bubastis, and began operations by notifying the inhabitants that mercy would be shown them if they surrendered, but that the most cruel deaths would be inflicted if they were contumacious. A dissension arose in consequence. The Egyptians, distrusting the Greek soldiers, privately offered to surrender to Bagoas. This was discovered and a great dispute and quarrel took place among the besiegers. It resulted finally in the surrender of the town to Mentor. But the particulars of the affair showed that with able commanders the Egyptians might have taken advantage of the jealousies and conflicts in the Persian army to defend their country with reasonable hope of success.

Okhos permitted no prisoners to be taken, but treated all alike, the inhabitants of the towns and the garrisons, with gentleness. The effect was that the Egyptians quarreled with the Greek troops, and opened the gates of the cities to the Persians without a struggle.

Nektanebos had not the courage to defend his capital. Upon learning that Pelusium and Bubastis had surrendered, and that the way was open to Memphis, he abandoned all attempt at defense. Taking such valuable property as he could remove, he fled away to Ethiopia.185 He had reigned nineteen years, and Egypt had been independent of Persia for half a century. The period had been a twilight in Egyptian history, and it now passed into an unbroken night.

Okhos proceeded to disable Egypt for future rebellion. He garrisoned the principal cities and leveled the fortifications of the others. He is accused of no specific acts of cruelty as was to have been expected. Nevertheless he took occasion to express contempt and aversion for the Egyptian worship. He destroyed temples, seizing the treasures deposited in them, and gave back the Sacred Rolls to the priests only on payment of enormous ransoms. When his first expedition against Egypt proved a wretched failure the Egyptians had derided him. Punning on his name “Okhos” as equivalent to the Egyptian term ad, “an ass” they compared him to the ass on which the malignant daemon, Seth or Typhon was fabled to have ridden for seven days when escaping from Horos.

Okhos repaid the taunt by exhibiting an ass as now representing the tutelary divinity of Egypt, and slaying the bull Apis as a sacrifice. Afterward be placed a satrap over the country and returned to Persia with an immense booty.

Egypt never revolted again. The spirit of the people was broken. But the doomsman was on the path of the conqueror. He perished by the avenger of the sacrilege, and under his successor, twelve years later Egypt passed without demur into the hands of Alexander.

XVIII. Last Hours of Persian Rule.—Alexander.—Ptolemy I.—The God Serapis.—Alexandreian School of Philosophy.—Ptolemy Philadelphos.—Ptolemy Euergetes.—Ptolemy IV.—Decline of the Dynasty.—Ptolemy V.—Egypt under Roman Tutelage.

Okhos returned to Persia in the full glory of success. All the provinces were reduced to submission as they had not been since the reign of Xerxes and Dareios Hystaspis. He had rewarded his foreign soldiers richly and disbanded them, and had appointed Mentor, the Rhodian, to whose prowess and sagacity so much was due, satrap over the western coast of Asia Minor. He could now enjoy his own power in peace.

Philip of Macedonia was at this very time actively prosecuting his designs to subvert the independence of the Grecian States; and many patriotic Greeks, including the orator Demosthenes, were conscious that only Persia could prevent this consummation. Okhos was not reluctant to answer such an appeal. Accordingly, when Philip was besieging Perinthus in Thrace, a place in alliance with Athens, a body of Grecian troops in Persian pay was sent against him from Asia Minor, and compelled him to withdraw from the place. It was an opportunity for him to establish a foothold in Greece, but he took no such advantage of it. But what was done served Philip afterward as a pretext to invade the Persian dominions. The famous march of Xenophon had shown the conquest feasible, and Philip was actively preparing for it when his own career was cut short by the assassin.

Okhos had already expiated the insults which he had offered to the religion of Northern Egypt. He had mortally offended his minister Bagoas by the sacrilege. Historians tell us differently in regard to the method by which the Egyptian eunuch executed his revenge. The statement is more generally accepted that the monarch was poisoned, but AElianus affirms that he was murdered by his servants, and that Bagoas struck the first blow. He cut the body to pieces, as Typhon discerpted the body of Osiris, feeding the flesh to the cats186 and making sabre handles of the bones.

Several of the sons of Okhos were also murdered, but the youngest, Arses, was spared to mount the throne. His reign hardly exceeded two years, when the fears and jealousy of Bagoas led to his assassination and that of his children. Kodomannos, a friend of Bagoas, and a descendant of Osthanes and Dareios II., was then made king and took the name of the founder of the Empire. But as in the case of Romulus Augustus in a later era, the third Dareios found no virtue in a great name to avert imminent peril. Bagoas soon became displeased with him, and had again mingled a cup of poison, but the king was wary and compelled the regicide to drink it himself.

Egypt, meanwhile, was prostrate under the hated dominion. Sebek, the satrap, was not a gentle master. Now, however, the new lord of Asia was on his way to receive his kingdom. Alexander crossed the Hellespont, and won the battle of Granikos. Dareios met him with another army at Issus, near Antioch. Sebek had taken away the Persian garrisons to add to his forces, leaving Masdaka in Egypt in possession of the office of satrap without soldiers for its defense. Alexander, after having routed the forces of Dareios turned to the south that he might have no enemies behind him. After the conquest of Phoenicia and Palestine he entered Egypt in the month of October, eight years after the flight of Nektanebos II. His progress might not inaptly be compared to the fabled progress of Dionysos in India. It was certainly Bacchic. Every city, as he came to it, opened its gates. When he arrived at Memphis, the satrap himself hastened to surrender the place, together with all the public treasure, amounting to eight hundred talents. Alexander made no delay in conforming to the Egyptian worship, offering sacrifices to Apis, and paying homage to Ptah. He also received the various religious titles, as a son of the gods, like the kings before him. Finally, having duly honored the tutelary divinities of Northern Egypt, he set out for the Oasis of Amun. As many stories of miracle were told of this expedition, as of other personages of the classic period. When he had arrived at the Northern Oasis, the high priests met him in procession, and saluted him as the “Son of Amun-Ra.” Despite the incredulity of his Grecian followers and others, it is apparent that Alexander did believe that he was of divine descent. Indeed, there was a legend extant, that his mother Olympias, herself a Bacchic votary, declared him a son, not of Philip, but of the Dionysiac Serpent. As the gods were regarded not as so many individuals, but as personifications of certain attributes of the One Supreme Being, this notion is not wonderful.

All Egypt was now in his possession. He had already sent an expedition to Upper Egypt, and received the acceptance of his authority. The Egyptians generally welcomed him as a deliverer from the hated rule of the Persians. He had only to establish a civil government. This he did with little delay. He selected the strip of land between the sea and Lake Mareotis for the new metropolis to bear his name, which became under his successors the capital of Egypt and one of the most famous cities of the civilized world. Two monarchs or chief judges were appointed to watch over the administration of justice, one in each realm; the towns were garrisoned under Greek generals, and each great city had a governor. There were two prefects or viceroys, Apollonios for Libya, and Kleomenes for the Arabian region. He also decreed that the former laws of Egypt should continue in force, and that the religion of the Egyptians should remain the established religion of the country.

A section of the temple of Isis on the island of Philae.

After some months, the Libyan viceroy relinquished his office, and Kleomenes became the ruler of all Egypt. He was superior to the Persian satraps, but he flagrantly disobeyed the orders of Alexander. He extorted large sums dishonorably. One of his children having been bitten by a crocodile, he made it a pretext requiring an exorbitant amount from the Egyptians, who revered the crocodile as a sacred animal. Alexander had ordered the market at Kanopos to be removed to Alexandreia as soon as the new city should be ready, but the priests and merchants paid a heavy contribution to keep it at their port. When, however, they did not pay a second exaction he did not scruple to violate his agreement. He also neglected to pay the troops in Egypt promptly, and many complaints came to Alexandreia.

After the death of Hephsestion at Ekbatana, the oracle of Num-Ra in the Oasis declared him a “hero” or demigod. Alexander commanded Kleomenes to build a temple to him in the new city, and added the promise which Kleomenes greatly needed, that if he would obey the orders directed to him, his acts of misgovernment would be pardoned.

This period was the introducing of a new era, and a new state of affairs in the world. From this time history changed its character, and kingdoms arose in new forms and often with new boundaries. The tendency at first was to merge Greece into Asia as an outlying province, yet the result was that Greek influence was felt clear beyond the Indus, and the Greek language became classic in the East. This was not due to Alexander, but to those who came after him, the Seleukids and Ptolemies. Hellenism proper, however, passed into a lethean dormancy.

Eight years after his entry into Egypt Alexander died at Babylon, and not long afterward his lieutenants divided his conquests among themselves, and soon became independent sovereigns. Ptolemy, the reputed son of Lagos, had been a favorite of Alexander. He had accompanied him as his historian as well as general. He had opposed the conferring of all authority upon Perdikkas, and received for himself the government of Egypt and Libya as viceroy under Philip Aridaeos. He purposed, however, to establish at the proper time an independent dynasty.

His first act on taking possession of the government at Memphis, was to put Kleomenes to death. The next was the annexation of the Kyrenaika to Egypt. Perdikkas had ordered the body of Alexander to be carried to Macedonia to be buried with the bodies of his ancestors. Ptolemy met the funeral train in Syria, and brought the coffin to Memphis. Perdikkas led an army against him, but to his own destruction. His haughty and overbearing manner had offended his own soldiers, and after his arrival at Memphis, he was assassinated in his tent. Ptolemy, on the other hand, was attractive in manners and made friends of all. Instead of seizing the princes, the son and brother of Alexander, he sent them safely to Macedonia as the heirs to the throne. Afterward he made himself master of Phoenicia and Palestine, taking possession of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. He transported many thousands of Jews to Alexandreia. He now had the possession of the sea-coast from the Kyrenaika to Antioch, twelve hundred miles. In the governing of Egypt he followed the policy of Alexander. He ruled each people by its own laws, the Greeks as Greeks, while he left Egyptian matters to be administered by priests, giving the latter all the privileges and immunities which they had before enjoyed. The Apis died, and he spent fifty talents (forty thousand dollars) on the funeral. The priests of Thebes were now at liberty to cut out from the inscriptions the names of the usurping divinities, and restore the former ones that had been removed. The inner shrine of the temple at Karnak which had been overthrown by the Persians, was now rebuilt.

Coin of Ptolemy Philopator.

In short everything had the appearance of free government; and with a sovereign like Ptolemy I., it was virtually such. Nevertheless it was a paternalism, and such a mode of administration could easily be made a despotism.

The Greek population never became assimilated to the Egyptian. There were numerous mixed marriages, but the offspring were always counted as Egyptians. Hence the country could not become a Grecian colony. The Egyptians were subjects only.

The building of the new metropolis of Egypt was actively prosecuted. The city was enriched by the commercial advantages which Kanopos had enjoyed. Ptolemy was philosophic, and conscious of the actual unity of religious ideas beyond the external forms and ceremonies. Hence he evidently sought to prepare the way for a future interblending of worships, by accustoming the inhabitants of Egypt of different customs and nationalities to meet on common ground. With the people of Upper Egypt, the genuine Egyptians, the worship of Amun had more or less become at one with that of Num and Khem, and the rites of Isis and Osiris were observed everywhere. A similar commingling was observed among the several populations of Northern Egypt, even including the worship of Semitic divinities. Accordingly, the temple of Poseidon, who was at once a Libyan, Asiatic and Grecian divinity, was built by the harbor, where seamen and others from all nations congregated.

Ptolemy next introduced the god Serapis, or Osir-Apis, as he is termed in the Leyden Papyrus. Various stories were told in regard to this divinity. It was affirmed that the king procured the statue from Sinope in Pontos, but more probably the truth is that it was constructed at Sinopion near Memphis.

The temple was like a pagoda in style, and much resembled that of Siva at Tanjore. Indeed, the Rev. C. W. King describes the divinity as “of Indian origin,” and no other than Yama, “the Lord of Hell,” attended by his dog Cerberk and his serpent Sesha. As Ptolemy had accompanied Alexander to India and familiarized himself with these things, it is probable that this indicates the actual source from which the new divinity was introduced. The name by which he was known in Egypt shows that he was to be regarded as a human personification of the Apis, which was itself a form of Ptah the Creator and generator, and at the same time also to be identified with Osiris. It would signify, therefore, that he was the Father and Creator of the Universe, and likewise the Judge of the Souls of the dead. He was thus identical also with the Pluto or Hades of Grecian mythology, and the Bacchus or Dionysos-Zagreus who ruled in the Underworld. His symbolic figure was a hierogram expressing all this. He was represented with a human body with the head and horns of Apis, surmounted by the royal serpent, holding the whip and crosier of Osiris and the ansate cross.

Serapis took the place of Osiris at Alexandreia, as the consort of Isis in the Mystic Rites, and gradually absorbed the personality of the other gods into himself as The One. He thus extended into the philosophemes that succeeded at a later period. The Alexandreian philosophy recognized in him the Anima Mundi, the spirit of which the world of Nature is the body. The Gnostics considered him to be the Idea of the Supreme Being, of whom the Christ was the epiphany or manifestation upon the Earth. When the Roman Emperor Hadrian came to Alexandreia in the year 134 he found Serapis revered as the sole and Universal Divine Essence. Writing to Servianus the consul he remarked: “Those who worship Serapis are Christians, and those who call themselves Christian Bishops are devoted (by initiation) to Serapis. There is no ruler of a Jewish Synagogue, no Samaritan, no presbyter of the Christians who is not an astrologist, an augur, and a diviner. The very Patriarch himself, when he came into Egypt, was by some said to worship Serapis, and by others to worship the Christ. There is but one god for them all: Christians, Jews and all nationalities worship him.”187

The founding of the Alexandreian Museum and School of Philosophy, however, was the act which immortalized the name of Ptolemy I. It was an Academy for the world. Its teachers were maintained by an income provided for the purpose, and they represented all phases of thought and speculation. Science and art were taught and illustrated; astronomy, physics, economics and medicine had their professors, and the aim was to omit nothing that pertained to secular knowledge, art, or the higher wisdom.

Following the example set in the temples of Egypt,188 Ptolemy also established the Alexandreian Library. It was not, however, a collection solely for the sacerdotal class, but was free to all who read for the sake of knowledge and those who copied for the sake of gain. Demetrios Phalereus had been for ten years the governor of Athens, when he was driven thence by Antigonos, and found shelter in Egypt. He was not only an able ruler, but a philosopher, poet, orator, and a perfect master of style. Immediately upon his retirement the Athenians passed a law that no one might teach philosophy, except by authority of a license specially granted. It had the natural effect of such restrictions. The philosophers left Athens for other cities where there was freedom to teach. Ptolemy made Demetrios superintendent of the Museum and Library, and he performed his duties with judgment and fidelity. Political works in support of freedom, and expressing hatred of tyranny were among those selected. Ptolemy I. was himself a scholar and author, and his love of art was seldom excelled.

Thus Alexandreia became the metropolis of the world; the wisdom and wealth of the nations flowed to it. It was chief over all as the mart of commerce; it gave the world new conceptions of religion, and it was surrounded by an atmosphere of knowledge. India, Persia, Babylonia, Arabia, Judea, Ionia and Greece had their representatives there, to present their wisdom. The effect was to remove external impediments, to trace the similitudes in all philosophies, and to elaborate a system to include what was true and good in all.

Nevertheless a greater boon of Egypt to the world was paper. For unmeasured centuries, the manufacture from the papyrus-plant had been carried on under the direction of the priests, and the rolls of manuscript, frail as they were, proved more durable to preserve knowledge of facts than even the records on stone and metal which had been engraved for the purpose. The manufacture had, however, been restricted by monopoly, but now it became the property of the world. Thus the tall reed which gave the “Sea of Suph” its name, became now the ministrant of the civilization by which it exists, performs its work and extends its province. The general introduction of the article was felt by men of business and literary pursuits to be as important as the invention of printing was afterward regarded in modern Europe.

Ptolemy retained power in Egypt only by vigorous administration and years of almost incessant conflict. Antigonos aimed to possess the whole dominion of Alexander; and when Kleopatra, the sister of the conqueror, set out from Sardis to become the wife of Ptolemy, she was assassinated by his procurement. Afterward he attempted to invade Egypt, but the storm wrecked part of his fleet and drove others of his vessels into the Nile, where they were captured.

All the family and relatives of Alexander, had now been murdered, leaving the viceroys at liberty to assume regal titles. Ptolemy accordingly put on the double crown of Egypt and became the founder of a new dynasty. He had well merited the distinction.

The little island of Rhodes had preserved its liberty and laws against the successors of Alexander. Ptolemy aided them at a critical moment, and they in gratitude conferred upon him the name of Soter or Savior. He now began the coining of money as an independent sovereign and this title was placed on his coins.

His latter years were spent in comparative quiet. He assumed few of the airs of monarchs, especially those of the upstart order, but lived plainly, often dining and sleeping at the houses of friends. He was frequently compelled, when he gave entertainments, to borrow tables and dishes for guests. He explained that it was for a king to enrich others, but not enrich himself. He once asked an antiquary banteringly, who was the father of Peleus. The man replied that he would tell him when he on his part should tell who was the father of Lagos. Ptolemy quietly remarked afterward that if a king could not hear rude answers he must not ask rude questions.

He lived on familiar terms also with the men of learning who thronged Alexandreia. He once asked Euklides—Euclid the geometer—whether there was not some shorter and easier way for him to learn, than the one followed by pupils at the Museum. Euclid, having in mind the King’s highway in Persia, so smooth and easy to travel compared with the common roads, replied that there was no Royal Highway to Learning.

Ptolemy was three times married. The third wife, Berenike, had been a member of his second wife’s household, and became mother of his successor, Ptolemy II. She possessed the virtues of justice and gentleness which make their possessor deserving. The royal couple lived happily, and were proverbial for their kindness to the unfortunate.

Having reigned seventeen years as viceroy, and twenty-one as king, Ptolemy unexpectedly proclaimed his son king of Egypt, retaining for himself only the office of somatophylax or royal guardsman. He died two years afterward at the age of eighty-four. His writings shared the fate of other books in the Alexandreian Library.

The coronation of Ptolemy II., was one of the most remarkable ceremonies of ancient time. There was a procession beginning by torchlight in the morning and lasting till after sunset. The statues of Isis and Osiris, of Bacchus escaping from Hera, of Amun-Ra and other gods of Upper Egypt, the gods of Alexandreia, and Neith of Sais were conspicuous. Egypt was represented by her priests, nobles, and population generally, and other nations by ambassadors, princes and principal men. One might have supposed the whole performance to belong to Initiatory Rites, or a Royal Triumph.

Ptolemy II. had been selected by his father because he believed him to be the most worthy of his sons. Demetrios had counselled him to name the oldest, as otherwise there would be the wars of disputed succession. He was now accordingly displaced from his office and banished from Alexandreia. He died from the bite of an asp, it was affirmed, at the order of the king; probably, a figure of speech borrowed from the royal serpent upon the cross. Ptolemy also put his two brothers to death. Some writers have ironically deduced from this his name of Philadelphos, but the imputation is malicious. Many years afterward he put away his wife Arsinoe on a charge of misconduct, and married his own sister of the same name. Both were past middle age, but their mutual affection was ardent, and Ptolemy honored her almost as divine. Her former husband had murdered her children and she now adopted the children of Ptolemy with the kindness of a mother.

Magas, another brother, was king of the Kyrenaika and contended for the throne of Egypt. In the army which Ptolemy led against him were four thousand Gauls. Already as early as the reign of Nektanebos I., the Gauls had overrun Italy and almost crushed Rome. Afterward they had hired their services as soldiers to the successors of Alexander. In this way they had become able to establish themselves in Asia minor and found the province of Galatia. Ptolemy found reason to believe that those in his army were plotting against him. He immediately turned back and led them into the marsh country of the Delta, and there caused them to be put to death.

In his administration, Ptolemy II. was an energetic and beneficent ruler. Egypt from the Persian period had been as notorious for brigandage as Italy for the two thousand years before Victor Emanuel. No Greek traveller since Hekataeos had been able to go southward as far as Elephantina or Syene. Ptolemy put an end effectually to this disgraceful condition.

He also completed the public works which his father began. The royal burial-place of Alexander was finished, and the golden sarcophagus brought from Memphis. Pilgrims resorted to Alexandreia in multitudes to pay their homage.

Ptolemy also dedicated the light-house on the island of Pharos to the “Divine Saviors” or “Soteres,” his father and mother. He also established a port on the Red Sea to facilitate commerce, naming it Berenike in honor of his mother; he built four inns or watering-places for the refreshment of caravans, travelling between that port and Koptos.

Another significant measure was the introducing of the Mysteries of Demeter and her Daughter into Alexandreia. They were copied after the Initiatory Rites of Eleusis, but were modified by Egyptian features.

The temple of the two goddesses was built by him, in the southeastern part of the city, in a district known as the Eleusinis; and at the celebration of the Rites, a troop of girls carried the Sacred Basket of Symbols, singing hymns and warning away the unintiated. The hierophant in the temple wore the dress and mask of Num; the torchbearer the robe of Ra, the priest at the altar the emblem of the moon, and the crier, the mask of Thoth.

A temple of Isis was built at Philae on the site of the shrine that had been destroyed by the Persians. The statues of the goddess were likenesses of Queen Arsinoe. None but initiated priests were permitted there, and the oath sworn by “the One buried there” could not be violated without incurring the guilt of sacrilege. The priests were monks, who avoided luxury and cleanliness, passing their time in idleness, and setting industry and social relations at nought as secular and unspiritual.

Ptolemy enriched the Library in its four branches of Poetry, Mathematics, Astronomy and Medicine, till it contained two hundred thousand rolls of papyrus. Unfortunately they were all in Greek; the Egyptian books were regarded as masters and conquerors often regard the literature of subjected peoples, as unworthy of serious attention. This made a wall of partition between Greeks and Egyptians, which prevented them from uniting, or benefiting each other.

The works of Aristotle were purchased, and had their influence upon the Eclecticism which took its inception in Alexandreia. The city was now the metropolis of science and literature and the scholars that thronged it from all parts of the known world, constituted a galaxy. Zenodotos, Kallimakhos, Theokritos, Strato, Aristarkhos, Aratos, Petosiris, Kolotes and Timon are but a few of the names that honored the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphos. Mane-tho the historian was also a luminary of this period.

The story that a Greek translation was made of the Hebrew Sacred Writings at the instance of the king, is very improbable. The existence of an authorized collection is not an established fact. It is said that in the reign of Josiah, the high-priest found a Book of the Law, and in the Second Book of Maccabees Nehemiah is described as gathering together “the Acts of the Kings, the Prophets, and of David and the Epistles of the Kings.” But the present Hebrew Canon hardly antedates the Asmonean Dynasty; and no author of the period of the Ptolemaic dynasty makes any mention that indicates any cognizance of a Hebrew writer. As, however, there were several thousand Jews in Egypt, it is very likely that translations of their literature existed, but all that is claimed belongs to the time of later kings.

Ptolemy II. was a powerful monarch. He ruled not only over Egypt, but over Libya, Palestine, Judea, Idumsea, then known as Nabatsea, Phoenicia, Hollow Syria, and the countries of Asia Minor lying on the Mediterranean. Commerce was more extensive than ever before; the peoples were governed by their own laws, and Alexandreia as a center of learning, art and philosophy was ascendant far beyond Athens. The pride of the dynasty was that it was not built upon the ruins of freedom; the government was a despotism, but it was not oppressive.

Ptolemy reigned thirty-eight years, and was then succeeded by his son, Ptolemy III. The new king was immediately involved in a war with Syria. His sister Berenike had been married to Antiokhos Theos, with the stipulation that her children should inherit the Syrian throne. At the death of her father Antiokhos repudiated her and took again his former wife Laodike. Ptolemy hastened with an army to the aid of his sister, but before he could save her. Laodike had poisoned her husband and placed her own son Seleukos on the throne of Syria. He immediately sent soldiers after Berenike, who murdered her and her son. Ptolemy was, however, about to avenge her and conquer the whole kingdom, when troubles at home called him back to Egypt.

Not only, however, did he carry off a large booty from Asia but he recovered three hundred vases and statues which Kambyses had carried away. They were replaced in the temples of Upper Egypt, and the king himself came to Thebes, and did homage to Amun-Ra and the other gods that were worshipped there. He also enlarged the temple of Karnak and added a new gateway. The priests in their gratitude now gave him the name of Euergetes, “the Benefactor.”

He also built a temple to Osiris at Kanopos; for the worship of Serapis had not yet superseded it in Northern Egypt. He dedicated it in the name of himself and Berenike, his wife and sister.

While he was absent on the expedition into Syria the queen had made a vow to present her hair to the gods if he should come safely home. She now made the sacrifice, and Konon the astronomer, finding a cluster of stars in the sky without a name, marked it on his globe as the constellation of the “Hair of Berenike.”

About this time the Romans had brought the first Punic war to a close. They sent ambassadors to Egypt with offers to help in the war with Syria, but peace had been declared.

The kingdom founded by Seleukos Nikator had indeed come close to dissolution. Baktria had become independent and the Parthians had wrested the most important provinces of Media and Persia. Ptolemy III. had also taken a large portion of the remaining territory. The Book of Daniel, written a century later, delineates these events. (Chapter xi.)

Ptolemy seems to have been disposed to assimilate to the Egyptians in many ways. Like the kings of ancient dynasties he led an army into Ethiopia, and he actually conquered Abyssinia to the fifteenth degree of latitude. No former king had ever penetrated so far with an army. The Hexumites whom he encountered in the highlands had a language and religion greatly resembling the Jewish.

He also had an altercation with Onias II., the High Priest at Jerusalem, who refused to pay the tribute. He had permitted the administration of affairs to continue as in former times, only requiring that the poll-tax of the didrachma or half-shekel should be paid to the treasury of Egypt. He was about to invade Palestine with an army, when Joseph, the nephew of the high priest, came to Memphis and engaged to farm the entire revenue of the provinces.

The usual encouragement was given to learning. Zenodotos, the keeper of the Library, was succeeded by Aristophanes, who carried forward his predecessor’s efforts to amend the text of the poems of Homer. He also invented the marks to distinguish the length and tone of a syllable and the breathing of a vowel, and likewise the accents and aspirate. Eratosthenes, Apollonius, Rhodios, and Konon flourished in Egypt during this reign.

Ptolemy III. had successfully complemented all that his predecessors had undertaken. He raised Egypt to the very height of its power and wealth, and its dimensions extended from the Euphrates to Libya and Abyssinia. He was by far the greatest monarch of the time. He ruled justly; indeed it was part of the oath of the judge that if the king commanded him to do wrong, he should not obey him.

The glory of Egypt, however, was now destined to pass again under a cloud. Ptolemy died after a reign of twenty-four years, leaving his crown to his son Ptolemy IV., a prince who displayed none of the great qualities of his forefathers. His first act was to ask the advice of his council about killing his mother Berenike and his brother Magas. They were put to death, and the fact that he took the name of Philopator, “the lover of his father,” gives color to the suspicion that he was likewise the assassin of Euergetes.

The tributary provinces began to fall into other hands. Antiokhos the Great recovered Syria and Phoenicia clear to Tyre and Ptolemais. The next campaign, however, witnessed his defeat and he lost Hollow Syria and Palestine. Ptolemy, after the victory, visited Jerusalem, sacrificed at the temple, and demanded to see the objects in the inner shrine. He fainted, however, as he attempted to carry out his demand.

On his return to Egypt he began harsh treatment of the Jews of Alexandreia, depriving them of their rights and placing them in the same rank as Egyptians. They were also required to sacrifice to the Grecian gods. Those who complied were afterward murdered by the Jews who had refused.

During this reign an earthquake devastated the island of Rhodes, and threw down the celebrated colossal statue of Apollo. Other countries contributed help to the suffering Rhodians, Ptolemy among the number.

The Romans also carried on the Second Punic war against Hannibal, and at the end renewed their treaties with Egypt.

As though he would be completely infamous, Ptolemy, at the bidding of his mistress, employed an assassin to murder his queen, Arsinoe. She was his sister, and her courage had enabled him to win his only victory, when Antiokhos was defeated at Raphia.

Finally after a reign of seventeen years, marked by vice and cruelty, and only embellished by the love of letters, he died, literally worn out by disease, leaving the monarchy tottering. The women of the royal palace immediately pillaged the money and royal jewels before letting his death become known. The night was spent in riot. If then there had been a leader all Egypt would have been in revolt. The persons who had been the companions of the king in crime were torn in pieces by the populace. It was a horrible retribution.

The new king of Egypt, Ptolemy V., afterward called Epiphanes, “the Illustrious” was a child five years old. Antiokhos the Great and Philip V. of Macedonia took advantage of the opportunity to invade the tributary provinces of Egypt. The Jews on this occasion united with the forces of the king of Syria, and he in return exempted Jerusalem from tribute three years, lightened the subsequent imposts, and exonerated the priests and officers of the temple from all taxes in future. He also made liberal gifts for the worship.

About this time the Roman Senate sent ambassadors to Alexandreia to announce the overthrow of Hannibal, and to thank the king for his friendship during the war of eighteen years, when other peoples nearer them had joined their enemies. The Senate also implored the Egyptian monarch that if the Republic should make war against Philip V., it might involve no breach of friendship with Egypt.

The Alexandreian officers of state hastened to reply, and asked the Roman Senate to become guardians of their young king, and likewise that the Romans should defend Egypt against both Philip and Antiokhos. The Senate at once accepted the propositions. Ambassadors were sent to the two kings commanding them to desist from hostilities, and Marcus Lepidus came to Alexandreia to accept the guardianship, and also with it to conduct the foreign affairs of the country. In this capacity, as an actual sovereign, he issued a coinage of money, on which he was represented as standing clad in the official Roman toga, with the title Tutor Regis—”tutor to the king.” In his hand he holds a diadem above the head of the prince.

Thus the initiative was taken. Henceforth Egypt was in reality a province and dependency of Rome. For a while longer she had her Greek-speaking kings, but she herself exercised the powers denoted by the flagellum and the crosier.

XIX. Romans Moving Eastward—Ptolemy V—The Rosetta Stone—Philom-etor and Euergetes—Pergamos and Its Rival Library—Kleopatra Kokkeia and Her Sons—Revolt in Upper Egypt—Final Destruction of Thebes.

The kings of Antiokhos and Philip V paid no heed to the mandate from Rome, but continued their operations against Egypt with no abating of energy. It was virtually their challenge for a conflict which was to prove the destruction of both their realms. The Romans, rallying from the calamities of the war with Hannibal, prepared for new ventures with that quiet resolution and effective preparation which enabled them to become the overlords and arbiters of nations. They sought no help from alliances, but engaged in conflict, relying on themselves alone.

The Athenians had been members of the Akhaian League, which the kings of Egypt had largely sustained by contributions. They now sent an embassy to Alexandreia asking help against Philip. The Egyptian Council of State referred the matter to the Roman Senate and received instruction to leave the contest entirely to the Roman armies.

The Senate also sent a demand to Antiokhos that he should give up to the Roman people all the territory which he had taken from Egypt, declaring that it belonged to the Romans by the right of war. Upon receiving this message Antiokhos made peace, betrothing his daughter to Ptolemy, and setting apart the conquered provinces as her dower, to be delivered when the young king was old enough to be married.

Meanwhile affairs in Egypt had fallen into a deplorable condition. For a century and a half the country had been governed by Grecian rulers, entirely foreign and distinct from the native population, but they had made life and property safe, and suffered industry to enjoy a large share of its earnings. Now, however, the government afforded little protection, and its administration had become despotic and oppressive. The result of it was a general discontent which had developed into disaffection. Alexandreia itself became like a volcano, ready at any time to burst forth into destructive eruption, while the whole Delta was awake for active demonstration. Anarchy and violence prevailed over Northern Egypt.

The former kings had organized a military body of Egyptians, in its form and discipline similar to the famous Macedonian phalanx. It now revolted and fortified itself at Lykopolis. There it was besieged by the royal troops and capitulated on promise that the lives of the men would be spared. The king, however, paid no attention to his oath, and they were punished.

A second rebellion was headed by Skopas, who had commanded the Egyptian army against Antiokhos in Palestine. It was promptly crushed by the efficient measures of the minister Aristomenes. Not daring, however, to punish Skopas openly, the latter caused him to be immured in prison, where he died by poison.

Ptolemy was now fourteen, and the Council of State declared him of lawful age to reign. The ceremony of coronation took place at Memphis and was very imposing. The priests of Upper and Lower Egypt, including those engaged in the worship of the god-kings, took part in the proceedings, and the young king was invested with the pshent or double crown in the Temple of Ptah. After the crowning, the decree was promulgated of which the famous inscription on the Rosetta Stone was a copy. In it the numerous titles of royal distinction were given, and he was styled the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Son of Ra, the Living Image of Amun, the Beloved of Ptah, Ptolemy the Immortal, and Epiphanes the Most Gracious god. The names of the priests were also engraved, together with the command that worship should be performed to the statue of the king in all the temples, and that the image should be carried in all the religious processions. It was likewise ordered that a copy of the decree should be carved and put on every statue of the king, in the sacred or hieroglyphic characters, in the demotic or common writing, and in Greek.

The discovery of one of these inscriptions, the Rosetta Stone, by the French at the Fort St. Julien, has served through the efforts of Dr. Young and the Champollion brothers, to make the hieroglyphic and cursive writing, the ancient language and history of Egypt known to the modern world. Before them, all that was definitely understood was the folk-lore in the works of Herodotos and casual allusions in the historic literature of other countries. Even the Hebrew writings seemed to recognize little as pertaining to Egypt, except what occurred in northern districts. Since that period the woeful Hermetic prediction has been fulfilled: The Skyth, and the foreigner inhabit Egypt; fables alone remain of its former worship, which the men of the after-time have failed to comprehend, and words engraved in stone narrate the works of religion. But now, these words are becoming known, and from these inscriptions so long undecipherable, there has been disclosed a history and a religion so long unknown as to seem merely sacerdotal fiction.

The decree certainly recites the particulars of a moderate and excellent administration, the very reverse of the government of Ptolemy Philopator. Prisoners of state had been set free, religious worship maintained, the press-gang for the navy abolished, duties on exports lessened, and the temples enriched in accordance with the wishes of the pious grandfather of the king, “the god Euergetes.”

This may all be true, but the minister Aristomenes, and not the king, deserved the credit. Ptolemy V soon began a vicious career, and when Aristomenes, at the reception of a foreign ambassador, awoke him while the man was speaking, he sentenced him to death by poison. When Ptolemy was eighteen years old, Antiokhos sent his daughter into Egypt, and ostensibly delivered the provinces of Hollow Syria, Judea and Phoenicia, to the Egyptian generals. He was hardly sincere, however, in the transaction. No sooner had the marriage taken place when he again took possession of the provinces. He had expected that his daughter would mold her husband to his purposes, but Kleopatra instead of this, became the sincerest and wisest of his advisers.

Antiokhos was at war with the Romans, Ptolemy sent to Rome a thousand pounds of gold and twenty thousand pounds of silver to help the Republic against the common enemy. The Roman Senate returned the gift with thanks.

Two years later there was another rebellion of the Egyptians. It was suppressed by the Greek troops employed by the king, the rebels laying down their arms on the promise of a free pardon. Ptolemy, however, caused the leaders to be brought to him at Sais, where they were bound to the wheels of his chariot, dragged around the walls of the city and afterward put to death. He then embarked for Alexandreia, where he celebrated a triumph.

All the foreign possessions of Egypt, except Cyprus and Libya, had been lost, and the Grecian cities left the alliance of Egypt for that of Rome. Antiokhos having died, Ptolemy contemplated making an expedition to recover the provinces. A general asking him how he expected to pay his troops, he replied that his treasure was the number of his friends. This gave the alarm that another “syntax” or contribution, would be imposed, and the apprehension was allayed by administering poison to the king. He died at the age of twenty-nine, having reigned twenty-four years, and left a navy without seamen, an army ready to revolt, a treasury empty, and a government everywhere out of order.

Two sons succeeded him. Both bore the name of Ptolemy, which now became a titular appellation like that of Caesar afterward at Rome. Kleopatra the mother was regent while they were under age, and displayed superior wisdom and ability. At the end of seven years, the elder son, Ptolemy VI, also known as Philometor, from his affection for his mother, was declared to be of age, and was crowned accordingly.

While Kleopatra lived, Egypt was kept at peace with her brother, Antiokhos Epiphanes, the Macedonian king of Syria; but after her death the effort was made to regain the provinces that had constituted her dower. Egypt had not a sufficient army or navy, and Antiokhos routed the Egyptian forces at Pelusium in a pitched battle. He then marched to Memphis, where he made a captive of his nephew, Ptolemy Philometor.

The younger brother was with their sister Kleopatra at Alexandreia. He immediately proclaimed himself king of Egypt, taking besides the designation of Ptolemy VII, the additional name of Euergetes. He is also known, however, as Physkon, “the pudding,” from his huge size, a circumference of six feet. He sent ambassadors to Rome asking for help against Antiokhos. His advisers, however, were too much alarmed to wait for a reply. There were ambassadors at Alexandreia from Akhaia, Athens, Miletos and Klazomenas, and they were persuaded to go to Memphis to treat with Antiokhos. They were courteously entertained, but the king denied that his father had given the provinces as his sister’s dowry. He immediately began a siege of Alexandreia, but was unable to reduce the city, and finally on the coming of an embassy from Rome with the command that he should desist from further hostilities, he returned to Syria. Euergetes was thus left king of the Greek population at Alexandreia, while Philometor at Memphis was king of the Egyptians.

Antiokhos meanwhile carried away from Egypt whatever treasure and valuable articles he could find. He also left a garrison at Pelusium, which enabled him to invade Egypt at a more convenient opportunity. Philometor was not slow to perceive that his uncle was only seeking to make Egypt a Syrian province. He speedily engaged in negotiations with his brother and sister, the latter of whom was most active and zealous to reconcile the two. It was agreed that the two brothers should reign jointly, and Philometor married Kleopatra.

Antiokhos not long afterward renewed hostilities. Claiming Cyprus and the district around Pelusium, he led an army into Egypt, entered Memphis and marched toward Alexandreia. The Roman ambassadors met him here and commanded him to quit the country. He demurred, however, and Popilius, one of them, drew a circle around him with a stick, and told him that if he should cross that line without a promise to leave Egypt, it would be taken as a declaration of war against Rome.

On his way home Antiokhos marched to Jerusalem. A rumor of his death had induced Joshua or Jason, a high priest whom he had deposed, to attempt the regaining of his former authority. The disturbance which Jason created was now construed by the king as a rebellion and he stormed the city, massacring eighty thousand of the inhabitants without regard to age or sex and consigning as many more to slavery. He also plundered the temple and public treasury, and issued a decree prohibiting the Jewish worship. The Hebrew Scriptures were sought out and burned, and the Dionysiac orgies and mystic observances were made, with the approval of the high priest, the religion of the land. Two years later “they set up the Abomination of Desolation upon the altar, and builded idol-altars throughout the city of Judea.” Swine were sacrificed in the temple, as at the death and resurrection of Adonis, and the goddess Salambo was also characteristically honored.

The death of Antiokhos took place four years afterward, and Judas Makka-baeos began a revolt. He reinstated the worship at the temple, made a new collection of the Hebrew Scriptures, and opened a friendly communication with the Jews of Alexandreia. Among the number was Onias, the son of the former high priest, whom Antiokhos had removed to make way for Jason. He had obtained permission from Philometor and Kleopatra to take possession of the temple-precinct of the goddess Sekhet at Leontopolis, and erect a new temple for the Jewish worship. The result was a breach between the Jews of the respective countries, and “they each altered the word of the Bible to make it speak their own opinions.”189 To this controversy the fact is largely clue that the Greek text which was prepared in Egypt differs very considerably from the Hebrew version.

War broke out between the two brothers, and Euergetes drove Philometor out of the kingdom. He went to Rome where he found his uncle Demetrios seeking to obtain Syria by the help of the Romans. The Senate soon determined that Philometor should reign over Egypt, and Euergetes in the Kyrenaika. Euergetes became a supplicant in his turn and procured from the Senate the addition of the island of Cyprus to his dominion. While in Rome he offered marriage to Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi, but for her a throne had few temptations.

Philometor would not give up Cyprus; and the inhabitants of the Kyrenaika, hating Euergetes for his vices and cruelty, rose up in arms against him. He was barely able to put them down. He then went to Rome and imputed it all to his brother.

The Senate ordered the ambassadors of Philometor to leave Rome in five days, but barely gave authority to Euergetes to hire troops and fight the matter out. Several battles took place, in all of which Philometor was victorious, and at the last made his brother a prisoner. He then generously forgave him everything, replaced him on the throne of the Kyrenaika, promised him his own daughter, Kleopatra, in marriage, and after that sent him a gift of corn every year.

The coins of Ptolemy VI have his portrait on one side, and the eagle on the other, with the inscription in Greek, “Ptolemaios the mother-loving god.”

His reign was marked by the notable men who flourished at the time. Among them were Bion the philosopher, Aristarkhos the grammarian, Pamphilos the physician, Hipparkhos the astronomer, Markhos the poet, and Hero the mechanic and inventor. To Aristarkhos we are indebted to the present copies of Homer, with the interpolations added, and the digamma omitted. Pamphilos wrote a treatise on medicine and medicinal plants, and also included charms and incantations adopted from the Hermetic books. Hipparkhos was the inventor of mathematical astronomy and gave a new direction to study and observation. Markhos, however, enjoyed most favor of all, for his “Dirge of Adonis.” Yet Hero ought to have more admiration in modern times for his works on pneumatics and his discovery of the mechanical force of steam.

Monastic life had been a feature in sacerdotal discipline at the temples of Egypt for uncounted centuries. The children of priestly families were dedicated every year to spend their youth in such retirement. Monks thus abounded, and nuns were also numerous. To be wife to a god was to live a celibate. The monastic influence spread to other races, and in Northern Egypt was developed the sect of Therapeutse that Philo described, and perhaps the Essenes of Judea. The institution passed a few centuries later from the temple to the church, with various peculiarities. The sacred precinct of Serapis, had also its monks of the Greek race living in religious idleness. This aroused the jealousy of the native Egyptian celibates, who regarded them as interlopers and neglected no opportunity to revile and ill-treat them till they were obliged to ask the king to protect them.

The later years of Philometor were disturbed by treachery. After he had defeated his brother in Cyprus he made Arkhias governor of the island. It now came to his ears that Demetrios had plotted against him and that he had agreed to give up the island to Syria. At the discovery of this treachery, Philometor united with the kings of Pergamos and Kappadokia in favor of Alexander Balas who claimed the throne of Syria as a son of Antiokhos Epiphanes. The allies were successful and Demetrios fell in battle. The new monarch of Syria conferred upon Jonathan, the brother of Judas Makkabseos, the office of high priest of Judea, with full civil authority, making him “a duke and sharer of his dominion.” Two years afterward the nuptials of Alexander were celebrated with the Princess Kleopatra, the daughter of Philometor, and Jonathan was an honored guest of the two kings at Ptolemais.

Three years now passed, when the prince Demetrios came from Krete to recover the throne of Syria. Philometor hastened from Egypt to the help of Alexander, but at Ptolamais he learned of the plot of Ammonios to assassinate him. Alexander would not punish the offender and Philometor at once turned against him. He took away his daughter and offered her in marriage to Demetrios as the surety of his alliance. Demetrios accepted the proposal. Ptolemy marched to Antioch and was immediately proclaimed king of Syria. He declined in favor of Demetrios, and the two kings now joining their forces in battle utterly routed the army of Alexander. The defeated prince escaped into Arabia, where he was immediately put to death and his head sent to Ptolemy.

But the days of Ptolemy Philometor had also come to their end. His horse had thrown him during the battle, fracturing his skull. The surgeons were about to remove the fragments when the head of Alexander was brought to him. But it was no time for triumph; the king expired during the operation. He was forty-two years old.

Demetrios treated the Egyptian troops with contumely and they now returned home in disgust.

Thus fell the last of the worthy kings of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. In character and action he was another Ptolemy Soter. He began his reign with his country overrun by foreigners and torn by civil war, and he restored and maintained it in order and peace. He was brave, gentle and superior to selfish ambition. When his brother, who had intrigued and fought against him, fell into his power, he forgave him; when the crown of Syria, which would have given him dominion of the East, was placed on his head, he refused it; and during the thirty-five years of his reign he never inflicted the penalty of death.

His queen, Kleopatra, immediately proclaimed his son, Ptolemy Eupator, king of Egypt, but Euergetes hastened to Alexandreia, to take possession of the throne. The mob supported his pretensions; but the generals of the army, both of them Jews, Onias, the founder of the new Hebrew temple, and Dositheos, upheld the queen and royal prince. Euergetes was about to seek his revenge upon the Jewish population, but Thermits, the Roman ambassador, interposed. It was stipulated by him that Euergetes should be king and should marry Kleopatra. The nuptials were celebrated accordingly, but the young prince was murdered the same day. Alexandreia was delivered over to the soldiery and the Jews were in imminent danger of general massacre. So many of the better inhabitants left the city that it was in danger of being depopulated.

The next year he was crowned at Memphis, and soon afterward he put away his wife and married her daughter, Kleopatra Kokkaia. These acts aroused the attention of the Roman senate. Thermits was called home to account for his conduct and was accused by Cato, the censor, of having received bribes and betrayed the queen of Philometor. Scipio Africanus, the younger, was sent to Egypt with two other ambassadors to arrange the affairs of the kingdom.

Meanwhile the Romans had recognized the endeavors of the Makkabsean princes to emancipate Judea. The Senate transmitted a command to Demetrios II and to Ptolemy Euergetes to make no war upon the Judeans. Jonathan the high priest had been assassinated, and Simon the statesman of the family, had now succeeded. Demetrios accordingly issued a decree acknowledging the entire independence of Judea. Money was now coined at Jerusalem, and legal papers were dated from the first year of Simon the high priest. But no additions were made to the Sacred Writings, which Judas Makkabaeos had collected. The “Canon” was closed, as the Aramaic dialect now used was considered profane and not suitable for a standard book. The books which had been written at Alexandreia, “the Apocrypha,” being in Greek and often permeated with the Platonic philosophy, were never acceptable to the Judean and Babylonian Hebrews. The treatise on “Wisdom” by Jesus the son of Sirakh, was completed in his reign and added to the Alexandreian collection.

The vices and cruelty of the king made his government intolerable to the Egyptians. The public money was used for his pleasures, while the soldiers were left unpaid. Hierax, the general, was able for a time to restrain them, but finally an uprising took place at Alexandreia; the mob set fire to the royal palace and forced the king to flee to Cyprus. Kleopatra, the repudiated queen, was seated on the throne. Upon the celebration of her birthday, Euergetes placed the head, hands and feet of their son in a box and sent it to be delivered to her in the midst of the feast.

Civil war followed. The army of the queen was defeated on the Syrian frontier. Kleopatra sent for help to her son-in-law, Demetrios II, but he was called home by a rising in Antioch. The Egyptians, however much they hated a tyrant, hated worse the peril of becoming subjects of the king of Syria.

Kleopatra fled to her son Ptolemy and son-in-law Demetrios II, at Antioch, and Euergetes regained the throne of Egypt. Affairs in Syria at this time were greatly complicated, and Euergetes took advantage of the opportunity. Demetrios had been once driven from Antioch by Tryphon, and afterward became a prisoner to the Parthians. While in captivity he married the daughter of the Parthian king, at which his queen, the daughter of Philometor, was exasperated and became the wife of Antiokhos Sidetes, his brother, who was occupying his throne. After the death of Antiokhos in battle, Demetrios returned to Antioch, but now his arrogance and cruelty were so intolerable that his subjects asked Euergetes to give them another king, of the Seleukid family. He chose for them, Alexander Zebina, a native of Alexandreia, pretending that he had been acknowledged by Antiokhos Sidetes. Demetrios was defeated, and coming to Ptolemais, where Kleopatra his former queen was in authority, she refused to let him come into the city. He went to Tyre where he was put to death by the governor; for which act Tyre was released from her dependence.

Euergetes soon found that the new king of Syria was no longer subservient to him, and that he must make his peace with the queen Kleopatra. She was invited home and her regal rank fully acknowledged.

Euergetes then married his daughter Trypheena to Antiokhos Gryphos, the son of Demetrios II, and the daughter of Philometor, and aided him to expel Alexander and seat himself on the throne of Syria. This prince having offended his mother she prepared a bowl of poison for him, but he was aware of her purpose and forced her to drink it herself.

Ptolemy Euergetes had been a pupil of Aristobulos a Jew of the School of Aristotle, and of Aristarkhos the editor of Homer, and besides, he was himself an author and lover of learning. He would discourse till midnight upon a point of history or a verse of poetry. But the learned men, few of whom were natives, left Egypt to teach in other countries. As the taking of Constantinople operated to diffuse knowledge over Europe and bring about the Renaissance, so the cruelty of Ptolemy VII spread learning over all the region of the Mediterranean, by driving to it the philosophers, geometers, physicians, and scholars of every kind.

A rival School and Library came into existence. At Pergamos in Mysia was a temple of AEsculapios, which was among the most celebrated in the world. Multitudes came to it for healing and diversion. Kings Attalos and his son Eumenes II conceived the notion of founding a library and school of philosophy which should rival Alexandreia. The concourse of scholars from Egypt aided the purpose. Two hundred thousand volumes were collected, when the jealousy of Euergetes was aroused, and he attempted to put a stop to it by prohibiting the export of papyrus. It did not stop the enterprise, but necessitated the procuring of another material for writing. The copyists now made use of prepared skins of sheep, which thus acquired the name of “Charta Pergamene,” or parchment. The ambition of the monarchs was gratified; Pergamos became a seat of science and the arts, and so continued till foreign conquest put a stop to it. Ptolemy Euergetes reigned twenty-nine years after the death of Philometor. He was a disagreeable spectacle, diseased in body, walking on crutches and compelled to wear a loose robe on account of his unwholesome accumulation of flesh. At his death he bequeathed the kingdom of Egypt to his widow, Kleopatra Kokkeia, and to the one of his two sons whom she might select. There were also three daughters who now began their part in history—Kleopatra, who had been already married to their older brother; Tryphaena, the wife of An-tiokhos Gryphos, the king of Syria, and Selene.

It was a family distinguished for the hatred between its several members, the brothers detesting each other, the sisters rivals to one another to the utmost, and the mother feared and unloved by them all. The dragon’s teeth of hate had been sown, and now began to yield a harvest of armed men, with war, rapine and murder.

The queen desired to place her younger son, Ptolemy Alexander, upon the throne as her colleague. The Alexandreians, always inflammable and ready for any uprising, compelled her to appoint the other. She made it a condition, however, that he should divorce his wife Kleopatra, with whom he was contentedly living, and marry Selene, the younger sister. She had given him the name Philometor after her father, but he is better known in history as Lathyros, from the print of a leaf of vetch upon his face, made in honor of Osiris. At his coronation, however, he took the name of Ptolemy Soter II. Despite his designation of Philometor or “mother-loving,” he was always on hostile terms with the queen; they lived apart hating each other.

Kleopatra, the repudiated wife, set out to revenge herself upon her family. She married Antiokhos Kyzikenos the son of Antiokhos Gryphos, who was endeavoring to win the kingdom of Syria from Gryphos, her sister’s husband. She raised an army in Cyprus to help him, but they were defeated, and the city of Antioch captured. Kleopatra fled to the temple of Apollo and Artemis for asylum, but Tryphsena insisted that she should be put to death. Gryphos demurred, both at the cruelty and the sacrilege, but she was inexorable. Kleopatra, at her command, was murdered as she clung around the statue of the goddess. But Tryphsena reaped as she had sown. In another battle, Kyzikenos was victorious, and avenged his wife by putting the sister herself to death.

A war broke out in Palestine which brought the animosity of the Egyptian queen and her son Lathyros into open conflict. Johanan Hyrkanos the son of Simon was high priest and had again made Judea an independent state. He besieged Samaria, and Kyzikenos, who had come to the aid of the Samaritans, had been defeated by his sons. Lathyros the former husband of Kleopatra then sent a force of six thousand Egyptians with whom Kyzikenos ravaged Judea.

The establishment of an independent government at Jerusalem had served to enhance the prestige of the Jews living in Egypt. The queen had accordingly made Hilkiah and Hanan her confidential advisers, and commanders of her army. They were the sons of Onias, the founder of the new temple, and were descended in direct line from the former high priests in Judea. They induced her to engage in direct action against the invasion of Judea by Lathyros. She was now able to displace him from the throne of Egypt, and to make his brother, Ptolemy Alexander, king in his place. She also took from him his wife Selene and her two children, and appointed him king over Cyprus.

Open hostilities promptly broke out between them. Jonathan, or Alexander Jannseos, as he is generally called, had become king of Judea, and led an army against Ptolemais. Lathyros came from Cyprus and drove him back, finally routing him in a pitched battle. Kleopatra immediately marched an army into Palestine, upon which Lathyros led his forces directly toward Egypt. Hilkiah the Egyptian general hastened to intercept him and defeated him, but fell himself in the conflict. Ptolemais surrendered to Kleopatra and in her exultation, she proposed to annex Judea. Hanan, however, dissuaded her, and she made a treaty of alliance with Alexander Jannseos.

She now turned her attention to Syria and gave her daughter Selene in marriage to the king Antiokhos Gryphos, aiding him with her army. Meanwhile, Ptolemy Apion, king of the Kyrenaika, died, bequeathing his kingdom to the Romans. He was a son of Euergetes, and had been more or less supported by them in his dignities. The Senate then declared the country free, meaning that it had become separate from Egypt, and under Roman protectorship.

Ptolemy Alexander became impatient of his subjection to his mother. She had preferred him before his brother Lathyros, because he was more flexible and compliant with her will. He dared not attempt a contest with her openly, and his only course was to escape from her power. Kleopatra was apprehensive of the result of conflict with both sons, and sent messengers to him with glowing promises, to persuade him to return. Of course her confidence in his subserviency was shaken, and he knew that she would procure his death. He sought to foil her by counter-plotting, and was the more successful of the two. Kleopatra was murdered immediately after his arrival in Egypt, having reigned twenty-eight years.

Ptolemy Alexander gained little by his matricide. He had been the puppet of his mother for twenty years, and he now reigned alone a single season. He had no qualities that awoke love or even respect. He was the most vicious of all the Ptolemies, and was utterly debilitated by disease and sensuality. He walked on a crutch like his father, yet at his feasts he would rise from the couch and dance with his companions. The Alexandreians became disgusted, and rose up in fury against him, while his soldiers refused to obey his orders. He made his escape by sea to Lykia, but when crossing to Cyprus, was met by an Egyptian fleet and killed in battle.

Lathyros was then invited by the Alexandreians to return to Egypt and occupy once more the throne. He had exhibited few comparatively of the faults that so conspicuously characterized his family, he had successfully resisted his mother, and he had never invaded the country with a hostile army.

The Egypt of the Delta, so largely peopled by inhabitants of different races. European and Asiatic, accepted him at once, but the Egyptians of the South, of purer race and indigenous custom, rebelled. They had been subject to their Greek masters for two and a half centuries, and had patiently borne political servitude and heavy taxation; but under the administration of Kleopatra Kokkeia, there had been developed an overbearing tyranny even less endurable than what had been before experienced. The revolutions at Alexandreia seemed now to offer some opportunity for successful revolt.

It proved a terrible delusion. During the three years that followed, Ptolemy Lathyros marched his armies from the north against the insurgent cities. The conflict was hard-fought. The native Egyptians were making a hard struggle in behalf of their religion, their homes, their personal freedom. They fought with the energy of a desperate people. The temples in every city were so many castles which had been hard to assail and easy to defend. But they had been built to resist the warlike operations of former periods, and were not equal to the later devices of Grecian warfare. For three years the devoted people contended, perished by thousands and thousands. They yielded slowly to the greater skill and numbers. One by one the revolting cities were taken, and then the conquerors tore away the massive walls of the temples, in order that they might never again serve as fortresses for defense. Ruin everywhere marked the presence of the Greek mercenaries. Civil war is always more cruel, more destructive, more diabolic than the conflicts of nations. Ptolemy Lathyros now inflicted on Thebes and the other revolting cities a destruction, such as no other conqueror, however savage in his temper, had ever ventured upon.

The Memnonium which Amunhetep had constructed so elaborately in honor of his royal master; Karnak, where Thothmes and his successors had so abundantly bestowed their treasures to embellish it as an imperishable monument; the remains of palaces and temples show to the present day the terrible devastation which a king of Egypt wrought upon his people. The wide acres still covered with these remains exhibit the former greatness of the Southern metropolis and indicate the prodigious force employed for its overthrow.

Thebes never again appeared upon the pages of history. “The City,” the glorious place where Amun-Ra, the Occult Source and Creator, was honored, existed no more.

“I have seen,” says the Caledonian monarch Fion-Gael, “I have seen the walls of Balclutha, but they were desolate. The fire had resounded in the halls, and the voice of the people is heard no more. The stream of Klu was removed from its place by the fall of the walls. The thistle shook there its lonely head, the moss whistled to the wind. The fox looked out from the windows, the rank grass waved above his head. Desolate is the dwelling of Moina; silence is in the house of her fathers.”

Such, likewise, is the story of the Great City of the South. Thebes had seen the childhood of what we call Ancient History; it began its career at a period of which the very record has crumbled from hoary age. Cities like Babylon, Nineveh, Palmyra and Baal-bek were built, flourished fell and perished from human memory; but Thebes was standing before them all in the full glory of age. Now, now, what is left? From generation to generation it has laid waste; it is a resort of dragons and a court for owls. Lilith herself rests there, it has become her abode. From it has been cut off the name and remnant, son and nephew; and it has been swept by the besom of the destroyer. The Arab pitches his tent where once stood the palace of Thothmes and Sethi; the pillars of Karnak are slowly giving way, but they are still waiting to tell their tale to those who shall call us “the ancients.”

XX. Lathyros—Kleopatra Berenike—Ptolemy the New Bacchus, or the Flute-Player—Ptolemy and Kleopatra—Expulsion of Kleopatra—Murder of Pompey—Kleopatra Again Queen—Her Visit to Rome—Caesar Assassinated—Kleopatra and Antony—Herod the Great—Intrigues of Octavianus Caesar—Battle of Aktium—Last Weeks at Alexandreia—Death of Antony and Kleopatra—Rise and Fall of Egypt with Kleopatra.

So Lathyros was successful. He had made the ancient capital of Egypt a ruin and a solitude. The Greek had crushed the Kopt, and the city from which kings had gone forth to drive usurpers from power, and to follow them into the heart of Asia, was humbled and utterly destroyed. But peace did not solace the conqueror. He must now prepare to reckon with Rome.

A threatened secession and forming of a new nation had shaken the foundations of the Republic. With its defeat the victorious General, Lucius Cornelius Sulla was chosen first consul. He had been elected by the influence of his soldiers. The opposition to him on the part of the Roman people made the holding of power for a long time uncertain. Meanwhile, the King of Pontos, Mithradates VI, had successfully resisted the encroachments of Rome, driven the Romans from Asia, and established his own power in Greece. Sulla hurried to recover the lost power and prestige, and laid siege to Athens.

In this emergency, he sent Lucullus as ambassador to Alexandreia, to ask Lathyros to assist him with his ships. The Egyptian king did not venture upon any choice between two powers so closely matched. He gave Lucullus a flattering reception, escorting him into the harbor with a fleet, entertaining him at the royal palace, introducing his companions to the philosophers of the New Academy, and making him a present of eighty talents of silver. Lucullus, however, returned his gifts, understanding the refusal which they implied. Mithradates was defeated shortly afterward, and Lathyros was only able by bribes and skillful diplomacy to placate the Roman Consul.

His daughter, Kleopatra Berenike, the widow of his brother Ptolemy Alexander, succeeded him. Alexander, her husband’s son, however, claimed the throne. He had been placed by his grandmother in the island of Kos for safety, and made a prisoner by Mithradates, together with the chla or military clerk of Alexander the Great. Both afterward became the prize of Pompey. The young prince made a will, bequeathing the kingdom of Egypt to the Romans. Sulla was then Dictator, and quick to take advantage of such an opportunity. He sent him to Alexandreia with a command that he should be received as king, and that he should marry Berenike. He was to be joint sovereign with her, but nineteen days after the nuptials he poisoned her. His own retribution speedily followed. The royal guards, upon learning of the crime, dragged the assassin from the palace to the Gymnasium, and there put him to death.

It was now an opportunity for Alexandreia to establish a new dynasty and better government, but the city was commercial and not patriotic. It was proposed at Rome to take possession under the provisions of the will of the late king. But the nobles had been enriched by bribes from Alexandreia, and were in no haste to slay a goose that could yield them golden eggs. The money of Tyre belonging to the king was taken, and Egypt left.

Ptolemy Soter II (Lathyros) had left two sons, who were not considered legal heirs. The older of these, a boy hardly fourteen years old, was made king, by the title of Ptolemy Neos Dionysos, “the new Bacchus.” He was also called in the hieroglyphics, Philopator and Philometor, and in an inscription at Philai, by all three names. He is better known by historians as Auletes, the “flute-player.” He is said to have been more proud of his musical skill than of his acts as king for twenty-nine years.

The first endeavor of his reign was to procure recognition by the Roman senate. He borrowed money and spent large sums to purchase the votes of the senators, but only secured their abstinence from action. His career was a series of revellings. Demetrios, a Platonic philosopher, was haled before him for sobriety and compelled to save his life by getting drunk and dancing with cymbals in an unseemly costume.

The successors of Mithradates had enabled another dominion, the Pirate Empire, to obtain a formidable position in the Mediterranean. It included four hundred towns in its government, and was master of a thousand galleys. Large districts of the coast were forsaken by the inhabitants. Sulla had retired from public life, and his friend and partisan, Cneius Pompey, was now a political leader. He had conquered Mithradates, and was now commissioned to destroy the Pirate Empire.

Egypt was too weak to defend its own coasts, and Pompey sent Lentulus Marcellinus with a fleet in the thirteenth year of Ptolemy, to exterminate the marauders. He was successful, and when he became consul at Rome, he put the Ptolemaic eagle and thunderbolt on his coins. This practice was followed by his successors.

The conquest of Mithradates and the Pirates was the prelude to the dissemination of the worship of Mithras and the Secret Rites of the Grotto-Temple over the Roman provinces of Europe and Africa. It was the theology of Zoroaster in its origin, modified and assimilated to the systems of the West. It now superseded the Grecian and Italian divinities, and “in fact during the second and third centuries of the Empire, Serapis and Mithras may be said to have become the sole objects of worship, even in the remotest corners of the known world.”190 Nor did their influence then abate, for we find it in the various secret and religious observances of later periods, and in the notions scouted as magic, heresy and witchcraft, as the “wisdom-craft” was denominated. “There is very good reason to believe” says Mr. King, “that as in the East, the worship of Serapis was at first combined with Christianity, and gradually merged into it, with an entire change of name, not substance, carrying with it many of its notions and rites; so, in the West a similar influence was exerted by the Mithraic religion.” Such observances as that of the twenty-fifth day of December, the natal day of the Persian divinity, and others more familiar, are illustrations.

Ptolemy Auletes had played a dual part in the war. He sent a golden crown to Pompey at Damascus, and made a secret treaty with Mithradates, agreeing to marry his daughter. He was able, however, to avoid detection.

The next year after the defeat of Mithradates, Pompey took Jerusalem. This was a blow to the Jews of Egypt, which lost them much influence.

The Roman senate, some years afterward, passed a law to make Cyprus a province of the Republic. Ptolemy, the brother of Auletes, was king of the island, and Cato the Censor was sent to dispossess him. Auletes made no protest. At this the Egyptians rose up and drove him from Alexandreia. He set out for Rome, and met Cato at Rhodes, who advised him to go back and make peace with his subjects. Auletes, however, went on to Rome and spent three years courting the senators.

The Alexandreians placed his two older daughters, Kleopatra Tryphsena and Berenike, on the throne, and sent an embassy to Rome, headed by Dion, the Platonic philosopher, to plead their cause. But the money of Auletes operated against them. Cicero and Caesar, who was then consul, took their part, and the senate acknowledged his title. The ambassadors were excluded from any hearing, and Dion was poisoned by a slave. Pompey was now eager to command an army to replace the king, but the Pontifex Maximus, or High Priest of Rome, declared from the Sibylline books that Rome should be the friend of Egypt, but might not help with an army. This disappointed an immense force of money-lenders, who depended for payment on his restoration.

Auletes, however, was able, with letters from Pompey, and the aid of Mark Antony and a bribe of seven and a half million dollars, by American computation, to procure the aid of Gabinius, the proconsul of Syria. During this period, the older Queen Kleopatra Nyptgena, had died. The Alexandreians invited Seleukos, the son of Antiokhos Gryphos and Selene, to take the crown and marry Berenike. He was a man so gross in his tastes and pleasures as to get the nickname of “scullion.” He was said to have stolen the golden coffin of Alexander; and he so heartily disgusted the young queen that she caused him to be strangled five days after the nuptials. She then married Arkhelaos, the son of Mithradates of Pontos, and they reigned together two years

During this period, Gabinius had terminated the kingdom of Judea, and formed an aristocratic government, but the head of which was Hyrkanos, the high priest. He refused, however, to go out of his jurisdiction into Egypt, on any promises of Auletes. The latter, however, was able to obtain money from one of his numerous creditors, Rubirius Post-humos, on the assurance that all would be repaid in Alexandreia.

Gabinius then marched to Egypt. He was accompanied by a Jewish army sent by Hyrkanos, and commanded by Antipater the Idumsean, father of Herod. Mark Antony was in command of the Roman cavalry, and defeated the Egyptian forces at Pelusium. Auletes was then able to enter his capital, and was about to begin a massacre, when Antony interfered. Gabinius put Arkhelaos and Berenike to death, and returned in haste to Syria. He had now to meet his trial before the Roman senate, and it required the influence of Pompey and Caesar together to save him from death.

Rubirius was appointed paymaster-general at Alexandreia, but before he could repay himself, Auletes removed him. He had violated a law by lending money, and he was obliged now to lose it and stand trial as an offender.

Universal lawlessness existed over the devoted country. It was as Italy had become under Lucius Cornelius Sulla. Men who had been banished for crime, fugitives from justice, run-away slaves, ruined debtors, renegade soldiers, and freebooters of all kinds, came in from everywhere. They could be enrolled in the army and then be beyond all law and discipline. Crime was unpunished, and the robbers acquired a kind of village organization of their own, like that of the dakoits of India. They were under the orders of their chief, and a person who had been robbed could make application to him and receive his property again, upon payment of a fourth of its value.

Ptolemy Neos Dionysos, the royal flute-player, died in the twenty-ninth year of his reign, fifty-one years before the present era, unhonored and unremembered, except for folly and vices. He left two sons and two daughters, all of them more noted in history than himself. The sons were called after the dynastic appellation, Ptolemy; the daughters were the famous Kleopatra, then sixteen years old, and Arsinoe. He bequeathed the kingdom to Kleopatra and the older son, who were to be married, and asked the Roman senate to be guardian. Pompey, who was then sole consul, was appointed tutor to the king. Three years after this arrangement, the Roman world was in war. Julius Caesar, in defiance of the decree of the senate, crossed the River Rubicon, and found himself master in Rome. Pompey, the consuls, senators and nobility generally had fled to Greece.

During the final struggle for the supremacy, the Alexandreians sent sixty ships of war to the aid of Pompey. But Pothinos, the minister, in disregard of the will of Auletes and its confirmation by the Roman senate, expelled Kleopatra from the throne, and proclaimed the young prince as Ptolemy Dionysos II, King of Egypt.

Kleopatra made her escape immediately to Syria and raised an army, with which she set out to recover her throne, encountering the Egyptian forces at Pelusium. Here the occurrences of the greater world arrested her progress. Pompey had been defeated by Caesar at Pharsalia in Thessaly, and now came with his wife Cornelia to Egypt, where he had every claim of gratitude. But the Council of Ptolemy caused only to propitiate the man who had won, and the members were capable of any treachery, however base. Accordingly, as the galley of Pompey approached Mount Kasios, Akhillas, the Egyptian General, and Septimius, who commanded the Roman troops in Egypt, met him as friends, received him into their boat, and then assassinated him as he landed. His head was carried to young Ptolemy, who, with heartless indifference, gazed upon the face of the man who had been his father’s sincerest friend.

Caesar followed with less than four thousand men in pursuit of Pompey, but found himself anticipated by the assassins. He entered Alexandreia as a Consul, preceded by the Roman lictors, with their bundles of rods. The city had been in disorder hard to repress, and it was made more imconquerable by these manifestations, that a master had come. He was assailed by the mob, and for days was detained on shore, by adverse winds, in imminent danger, and unable to get away.

He put on a bold front as a sovereign in full command, and ordered both armies to be disbanded. Pothinos sent a secret message to Akhillas to bring his army from Pelusium to Alexandreia, while Ptolemy, under the eye of Caesar, transmitted an order to remain where it was. His messenger was assassinated at the camp.

Kleopatra was with her forces near Pelusium. Relying upon personal influence rather than on formal negotiations, she sailed privately to Alexandreia. She then resorted to artifice to evade the sentinels around the palace. Rolling herself in a carpet, she suffered herself to be carried like a bag of goods into the presence of the Roman Imperator. It was enough. Caesar had before sought to enforce the will of her father, and to empower her to reign over Egypt jointly with her brother; now she reigned over Caesar himself.

He had, however, already made enemies of the Alexandreians, by exacting from them the immense debt which Auletes had incurred to him while sojourning at Rome. Pothinos, the treasurer, did all that lay in his power to make the demands harassing. When Akhillas arrived from Pelusium with twenty-two thousand soldiers, Caesar, with less than four thousand, found himself in a woeful strait. He shut himself up in the Brukheion by the harbor, taking the two royal brothers, their sister Arsinoe, and the Treasurer Pothinos with him as hostages for his own safety.

It was easy to resist the attack, but it became necessary to burn part of the galleys. The fire extended to the docks, thence to the neighboring buildings, and to the Museum itself. Seven hundred thousand rolls were in the Library, and perished in the flames. Ptolemy Soter himself had begun the collection, and his successors, however unworthy many of them were, had taken pride in adding their contributions. Caesar, though himself an author and lover of literature, has left no utterance of regret at the sight of this destruction of the recorded learning of ages. But ancient conquerors had always sought to make sure their conquests by destroying the literature of the conquered peoples. The Avesta, the Hebrew Scriptures, the records of Karthage, Italy and Spain, all perished by the torch.

Caesar soon learned to distrust his hostages. Arsinoe escaped to the camp of Akhillas, and Pothinos gave information to him of the weakness of the Roman forces. The treacherous eunuch was at once put to death for his perfidy.

The Alexandreians were about to make another attack, when a quarrel broke out between Akhillas and the Princess Arsinoe. The General was murdered, and she became mistress of the army, and for the time sovereign over Egypt. She was not yet eighteen, but she exhibited a soldier’s energy. She placed Ganymedes in command and ordered to pump sea water into the cisterns that supplied the Brukheion. Caesar met this condition by the digging of wells. His ships were next attacked, but were victorious. His attempt to capture the island of Pharos was unsuccessful, and he came near losing his life by drowning. His scarlet cloak, the mark of his rank, fell into the possession of the Alexandreians, and was exhibited as a trophy.

But as a ruler, the princess soon became obnoxious for her cruelty. The Alexandreians offered a truce and asked for their king. Caesar trusted the professions of Ptolemy, and let him go to the Egyptian army to take possession of the throne. The prince affected unwillingness, shedding tears copiously, but no sooner had he got away than he turned all his energies to dislodge Caesar from the Brukheion.

About this time Mithradates, the king of Pergamos, came to Egypt with an army to the help of Caesar. He captured Pelusium and marched to Memphis. The Jews of Heliopolis took arms to oppose him, but Antipater arriving with more troops from Judea, sent by Hyrkanos, they changed sides. Ptolemy then marched from Alexandreia, but Caesar came to the assistance of Mithradates. Several battles took place, near the head of the Delta, and finally the Alexandreians were routed. Ptolemy was making his escape by ship, but it was sunk by the weight of the fugitives, and he was drowned.

This brought the war to an end, and when Caesar returned from the battle, the Alexandreians met him, bearing the images of the gods in procession. He took possession of the city and proceeded to arrange the affairs of Egypt in conformity to the terms of the will of the late King Auletes. Kleopatra was made queen, with her younger brother Ptolemy Nekteros for a colleague. He had been chosen Dictator at Rome, but for the last six months of his stay he refrained from writing to any one there, and in the meanwhile Mark Antony exercised the powers of the office.

He finally set out by way of the sea-coast, and finished the war against Pharnakes, or Phana-Ka, the son of Mithradates of Pontos. Its speedy completion was expressed by his famous despatch: “Veni, Vidi, Vici.”

On his return to Rome, he celebrated a triumph. He had brought with him the Princess Arsinoe, and he now exhibited her at the procession in chains, following his car with other prisoners. There was a giraffe in the train, along with other spoils of conquest, the first animal of the kind ever beheld in Rome. The statue of the god of the River Nile was also in the procession in the guise of a captive.

Kleopatra came immediately afterward to Rome with her brother, and Ptolemy Caesar, her young son. She asked to be acknowledged at Rome as at Alexandreia, as the wife of Caesar, and her son as his heir. He entertained her as a guest in his house.

At this time he was engaged in projects to consolidate the provinces and to extend systematic administration to them. The city of Rome was still a Republic, with democratic forms of government, and he was its chief magistrate by popular suffrage; but the proconsulships were military despotisms. Hence, while he was simply consul and first citizen at Rome, he was Imperator with autocratic powers elsewhere. His assuming of the style and trappings of imperial authority created apprehension among his own partisans, and led to his assassination. He was about to conduct an expedition into the East, when his career was thus abruptly terminated.

Whatever expectations Kleopatra may have entertained were entirely dissipated by this catastrophe. She now directed her endeavors to procure the recognition of the young Ptolemy Caesar as her colleague. The application, however, was unsuccessful, and she returned to Alexandreia.

The Roman world was now embroiled in civil strife. Brutus was master of Greece, and Cassius Longinus had possession of Asia. Decimus Brutus was appointed over Cisalpine Gaul, and Mark Antony attempted to exercise supreme power at Rome. But Octavianus Caesar, with the aid of Cicero, procured a vote of the senate, declaring Antony an enemy to the Republic; and then, having defeated him in battle, entered into an agreement to unite and grasp the supreme authority. Octavianus was elected consul, and a commission of the triumvirate was appointed to revise the government. It began by a proscription in which each delivered his nearest supporters for victims, one of whom was Cicero himself. Sextus Pompey, who had sought to be made one of the triumvirs, was put off with a promise of the consulship, the supreme command in the Mediterranean and the possession of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily and Akhaia. The republican party in Rome, having been put down, the war was prosecuted against Brutus and Cassius in the East, ending in their defeat at Philippi, and with it the final overthrow of republicanism.

A contest of this character did not leave it safe for a client country to remain neutral. Yet at the same time it was dangerous to affiliate with the losing side. Kleopatra was therefore in a position of extreme peril to herself. She resorted to several expedients to extricate herself. Her brother Ptolemy had become of age, and demanded a share in the government. He would not only interfere with her ambitions for her own son, but he was likely to embroil the country unwisely in this conflict of the masters. The perplexity was resolved by his death, and she was left to meet the exigencies as she was able. Sextus Pompey had full control with his fleets over the sea-coast and commerce of Egypt, and she was obliged to propitiate his favor.

Then Dolabella191 sent Allienus to her for soldiers to help recover Syria from Cassius. He was permitted to take four Roman legions that had been left by Julius Caesar to hold Egypt, but he added them to the force that Cassius had assembled against Antony. Serapion also, who was the Egyptian governor of Cyprus, aided Cassius with his ships. Kleopatra herself likewise prepared a fleet, but before it was ready to sail, the battle of Philippi had been fought, and the republicans utterly crushed. It was necessary, therefore, under these circumstances, that she should give an account of her action to the conquerors. Antony, accordingly, having marched through Greece and Asia Minor to receive the submission of the provinces, sent orders to her to come to Tarsus.

Nevertheless, it was hardly as a culprit that she was summoned. The man who had been Julius Caesar’s most trusted lieutenant was no stranger to the Egyptian queen, and his messenger made it clear to her that she had no peril to apprehend. Her power of pleasing surpassed the arts that are usually at disposal. She was twenty-four years old, beautiful and intellectual, having the accomplishments in perfection that attract the fancy, and win admiration. She was pure Greek in form and character, the features regular, the hair wavy, the nose aquiline, the eyes deeply set, the forehead arched, and the mouth full and eloquent.

She had been carefully instructed in every department of learning. She was proficient in music and an accomplished linguist. She was of course skilled in Greek and Latin, but not less so in Arabic, Aramaean, Persian and Ethiopian. She had no need of an interpreter. She was also a scholar in physical science, and deeply learned in the philosophemes of the School of Alexandreia. In short, she seemed to have combined in her mental endowments, all the gifts that her ancestor, the first Ptolemy, had contemplated to be brought to perfection by the institutions and facilities which he had provided for instruction. If with all these her personal charms were more regarded and longer remembered, it must be attributed to the temper of the period in which she lived, and the persons with whom she was obliged to associate. If her attractions were superior, so also was her talent. She was born to rule.

Her expedition to meet the Imperator at his tribunal has been often described in glowing colors. It would seem to have resembled the advent of an Aphrodite, gift of the waves, attended by her graces. More correctly, however, it was the endeavor of a queen to procure a longer term of existence for her realm, and of a mother ready for any sacrifice to make sure the fortunes of her son. It is superfluous to discourse upon the prodigality exhibited in festive entertainments, or the glamour which was about her, as matters of wonderment. Women were the peace-makers of former times. They went on embassies to supplicate kings for mercy to their families and people, or benefits for their country. The visits of the wife of Nimarata to the Court of Piankhi, of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon, of Judith to the camp of Holofernes, and of the mother and sister of Coriolanus to the Volscian camp are examples.

Kleopatra, like the first Cassar, also came, saw and overcame. Antony was eager to obey her will. The ambition of her sister had imperilled her throne, and Antony caused Arsinoe to be put to death in the temple of the Amazonian goddess at Ephesus. After a brief campaign in Syria, he went to Alexandreia, and there set up his imperial court. The devotion which he and Kleopatra manifested toward each other was not far unlike that of the lovers in the Hebrew Book of Canticles. Antony was passionately fond of luxury, pastimes and magnificent display; and she was diligent to gratify his tastes. He, likewise, after the manner of the Khalif Harun at Bagdad, would traverse the streets of Alexandreia by night in quest of adventures, and she accompanied him in the dress of a servant. Iulus, his son, came to Egypt and was received as one of the royal family.

Fulvia, the wife of Antony, was endeavoring to guard his interests at Rome. She proposed to marry her daughter to Octavianus, but he refused and war ensued. Antony hurried home, but did not arrive till his wife and brother had been driven from the city. Fulvia died about this time, and the two chiefs were soon reconciled. Antony married Octavia, the sister of his colleague, and the triumvirate was again established.

The Parthians took advantage of this state of affairs to invade Palestine. They captured Jerusalem, carrying the priest-king Hyrkanos to Babylon and placing Antigonos, his nephew, in power. Herod, who was betrothed to Mariamne, the daughter of Hyrkanos, immediately set out for Rome, to procure the appointment of her brother Aristobulos to the kingdom.

Alexandreia was on the highway of navigators from the East to Italy, and the young Idumasan stopped there. Kleopatra was impressed by his appearance and ability, and endeavored to secure him for herself. She pointed out the fact that it was the dangerous season for shipping on the Mediterranean, and that affairs in Italy were in inextricable disorder. If he would remain in Egypt, she offered him the command of her army. Herod, however, continued his voyage, encountering no little danger and delays. He was shipwrecked, barely escaping with his life, and was obliged to build a ship at Rhodes with which to prosecute his journey. He arrived at Rome at a fortunate period. Calvin was first consul, and the triumvirs had composed their quarrel. They received him cordially, for his father had served them both, and they were eager to oblige each other. On learning his errand and the state of affairs in Judea, the senate was assembled, and at the suggestion of Antony the kingdom was bestowed upon Herod, and Antigonos declared an enemy of the Republic.

Antony set out for the East with Octavia, spending the winter at Athens. Octavianus, who was now planning to uproot both his colleagues, began a quarrel, and his sister returned to Rome to conciliate the two. Antony conducted a campaign against the Parthians, and she accompanied him as far as Korkyra or Korfu, in the Ionian Sea. She then returned to Rome, and Antony proceeded to Syria, where he was joined by Kleopatra, with soldiers and money. She obtained from him in return the former possessions of Egypt, Cyprus and the Kyrenaika, and also Phoenicia. Herod, aided by Sosios, the Roman general, had recovered Judea from the Parthians, but he appointed Ananel, a priest of the former lineage, to the primacy. He was afterward compelled to restore it to Aristobulos, the brother of his queen. Upon the assassination of the young pontiff at his instigation, Kleopatra made it the pretext to call him to account, hoping thereby to acquire the kingdom for Egypt. Antony, however, gave her Hollow Syria, and parts of Judea, and Arabic Nabatse. She afterward accompanied him as far as the Euphrates on his expedition against Armenia, and was visited by Herod on the way back, to farm the revenues of these countries. He was on the point of putting her to death, but his friends dissuaded him, insisting that he would thereby make an enemy of Antony, and procure his own destruction. He declared in justification that she was endeavoring to persuade him to compromise himself with her, in order that she might embroil him with Antony and obtain his kingdom. However, their counsels prevailed, and he conducted her on her way to Egypt.

Kleopatra was by no means unmindful of the glory of Alexandreia. She repaired as well as she was able, the injuries sustained from the war against Caesar, and also obtained from Antony the famous library of Pergamos, founded by Attalos and Eumenes II, exceeding two hundred thousand parchment rolls. Alexandreia thus continued in its exalted rank as metropolis of learning, while Pergamos retained only the fame which it derived from the famous temple of AEsculapius.

Octavianus had not relaxed an endeavor in his purpose to become sole master of the Roman world. He conquered Sextus Pompey and evicted Lepidus from the triumvirate and government of Africa. He now perpared for the final conflict with Antony himself. He first commanded his sister to repudiate her husband for his profligacy and infidelity. He got possession of a will purporting to be that of Antony, which had been deposited in Rome, broke the seals and read it first to the senate, and afterward to the Roman multitude. In it Antony desired that his body after death, should be carried to Egypt and buried by the side of Kleopatra. He endeavored to create the impression that Antony would give the Republic to the Egyptian queen, and transfer the seat of empire from the banks of the Tiber to the city on the Nile.

He was successful with his perfidy. The Romans would permit any degree of profligacy, but they were tenacious in regard to marriage alliances with persons of foreign nationalities. A decree of the senate was obtained divesting Antony of his authority and a declaration of war was issued against Kleopatra. Antony had just been elected consul, but he was not inaugurated.

He was not able to cope with the cunning of his rival, and the net had been too carefully woven to be disentangled. He sent an order to Octavia at Rome to leave his house as being no more his wife. She sorrowfully obeyed. She had faithfully labored to preserve peace, but she was weak against the machinations of her brother, and the wayward acts of her husband.

Antony returned victorious from Armenia and his triumph at Alexandreia was signalized by the presence of the captive king following behind his car. He was now Imperator of the East, and proceeded to make a disposition of his provinces. Calling an assembly of Alexandreians at the Gymnasium, and seating himself and Kleopatra on two golden thrones, he proclaimed her with her son Ptolemy Caesar as her colleague, queen over Egypt, Cyprus, the Kyre-naika and Syria. He also declared Ptolemy, the son, the true and lawful heir of Julius Caesar. To her sons by himself he gave the title of “Kings, the Sons of Kings,” and he also bestowed provinces upon them. Ptolemy, the older of them, was appointed king of Phoenicia, Syria, and Kilikia; and Alexander, the younger, received Armenia, Media and Parthia, when it should be conquered.

The royal personages were all apparelled in costumes corresponding to their respective countries. Kleopatra wore the sacred robe and was styled the “Later Isis.” Ptolemy had a long cloak and slippers, with a bonnet encircled by a diadem; and Alexander was attired in a Medic garb and tiara. Antony himself carried an oriental cimiter, and was crowned as a king and Imperator greater than kings.

The coins of this period commemorated these events. Sosios, who was then consul at Rome, issued one with the head of Antony on one side, and the Egyptian Eagle and sceptre on the other, and bearing the inscription: “A Third Time Consul,” in Latin. At Alexandreia the coins of the Sons bore the names of their father and mother; and the others had the heads of Antony and Kleopatra, with the inscriptions: “Antony, third time autocrat of the Romans,” and “Kleopatra, the Later Goddess.” On the coins of Antioch the royal pair were named together.

The lines were now drawn, and preparations were made for war. Two years were spent in the work. Octavianus recruited his forces from Italy, Gaul, Spain and Carthage, eighty thousand infantry and twelve thousand horse, with two hundred and fifty ships. Antony collected his from Thrace, Asia Minor, Egypt and Africa, a hundred thousand foot, twelve thousand horse, and five hundred ships.

Kleopatra was sanguine of victory. It was her favorite asseveration: “As surely as I shall issue my decrees from the Roman Capitol.” But the voyage to the Adriatic was no excursion of a goddess-queen attended by cupids and graces on her galley, and the event was no conquest of an Imperator. The fleets of the rival chiefs encountered each other on the second of September, in a little bay of the Adriatic, near the temple of Actium. For a time, the prospects were bright for Antony, when panic seized the queen. She turned her galley and fled from the conflict, not stopping till she had reached the African shore. Antony followed. The victory which was in his grasp was abandoned. His forces on land greatly outnumbered the others, and it was difficult to convince them that their Imperator had deserted them. Immediately on learning this they changed masters, part to join the army of Octavianus, and part to return home.

The fugitives landed in Libya. Kleopatra went on to Alexandreia. She had recovered from her panic, but Antony brooded in moody despair. All was not lost, the queen insisted. She endeavored to effect negotiations with different princes. But they had taken the part of the conqueror.

Herod of Judea had owed his throne to Antony, and been both profuse in gifts and abject in professions of devotion. He was of a jealous temper, and had long apprehended that Kleopatra might undermine him and deprive him of his crown. He even contemplated putting her to death in his jealousy, but feared that it would involve him in the very calamity which he dreaded. Now, however, he cut loose from his benefactor, and hastened to Rhodes to meet Octavianus, and swear anew allegiance. He afterward accompanied the Roman army through Syria, entertaining the officers and men, and “made a plentiful provision of water for them when they were to march as far as Pelusium, through a dry country, which he did also on their return; nor were there any necessaries wanting to the army.”

The defection of Herod was the one thing desired, to assure the destruction of Antony. Other princes copied his example. The queen, however, did not yet give up all. She proposed, likewise, that if Egypt could not be held, to go with her fleet through the Suez Canal to some country, like Punt, to which the power of Rome did not extend.

Antony had remained in a little fortress near the harbor of Alexandreia, in a state of abject prostration. Here word came to him that his allies had abandoned him, and that his army had joined Octavianus. He came immediately from his retreat and joined the queen. It was, however, an adding of his impotency to her burden.

As Antony and Kleopatra were the losers in this conflict, the story of their fall has been told for the conquerors and colored as they might require. Much that has been written and repeated is exaggerated and even untrue. In drama, it is common to do this; and even the tragedies of Shakespeare have perverted history.

The round of costly festivals and shows at Alexandreia was again revived. It was in accordance with a policy to create an atmosphere of hopefulness. Unfortunately, however, the population of Northern Egypt was not homogeneous nor even Egyptian, but a conglomerate of Greeks and Asiatics, traders and nomads, with little attachment to the soil. It had, therefore, neither the devotion to Egypt, characteristic of the natives, as a religion, nor even common patriotism. It mattered little to such men what was the government or by whom it was administered.

The Roman army finally reached Pelusium, and its Greek commander surrendered it without a struggle, falsely asserting that he did so by the command of the queen. Other garrisons made a feeble show of resistance, but it was not long before the invaders were in front of Alexandreia. Then Antony sailed out, and routed the cavalry. The old master of horse in Roman armies had still the remains of former force. It was told, that on his return from battle, he praised the bravery of a soldier to Kleopatra, and that the soldier received a rich present from her, and immediately deserted to Octavianus. The next morning Antony renewed the conflict. His fleet and cavalry abandoned him, leaving the infantry to suffer a rout. Octavianus had succeeded better with his gold than with his soldiers.

He endeavored to effect a negotiation with the queen, but his overtures included the condition that Antony should be put to death. At the same time he caused the word to be carried to Antony, that such a negotiation was in progress. He knew the temper of his rival and hoped by exciting his jealousy to stimulate him to a desperate act. He dared not execute Antony or exhibit him as a prisoner in Rome. Antony might seek to punish the supposed duplicity of Kleopatra, but he would not be willing to survive her. Thus the knotty problem would be solved.

While receiving messengers from Octavianus, the queen was engaged in preparing for herself a funeral pyre worthy of an Oriental monarch. She had erected a tower near the temple of Isis, and brought to it her treasures, jewels, clothing and other valuables, and had stored it with flax and other combustibles. Torches were placed in every corner ready for lighting. She then retired to it, and sent to Antony her farewell message. He, at once, in an agony of grief, plunged his sword into his breast. The messenger hurried back to the queen, who immediately sent to bring him to her. He was borne to the tower, and Kleopatra with her two maids drew him by cords to the upper window. A few words were uttered and he expired.

Octavianus found little resistance in taking possession of Alexandreia. He immediately gave orders to seize the person of the queen. Her sister, Arsinoe had been led through the streets of Rome in chains to grace the triumph of Julius Caesar, and it would be a greater achievement now to exhibit Queen Kleopatra herself in like humiliation. Cornelius Callus, whom he made proconsul, was sent to take her alive. While he was holding conversation with her, three soldiers scaled the tower, and coming stealthily behind her, snatched the dagger from her hand.

At the same time, Octavianus called the Greek citizens of Alexandreia together in the Gymnasium, and promised them amnesty. He also took the three children of Antony and Kleopatra into his charge, but the unfortunate King Ptolemy, the son of Julius Cssar, whom his perfidious Greek tutor betrayed, as he was fleeing to Ethiopia, was remorselessly put to death. The man who aspired to the name and inheritance of Caesar, esteemed it necessary to have all rivals of near relationship out of his way. He was too selfish to let even gratitude stand in his way. Once Cicero had stood up intrepidly for him when he was unable to maintain his own cause, and he, a few months later gave the orator up to be murdered.

He now endeavored to influence Kleopatra. He visited her in her chamber and gave her leave to bury the body of Antony. He strove to prevent her from doing violence to herself, promising her honorable treatment, and threatening the lives of her children. But Kleopatra knew that little confidence could be given to a man who knew no law but his own ambition, who had abandoned his own friends after they had saved his life, and who had scrupled at no perfidy or intrigue, to undermine Antony. She was also aware that her children would be safer in his hands if she should die.

Her plans were made accordingly. As though to declare herself still a queen she attired herself in her robes of state, put on the crown of Egypt surmounted by the royal asp, and then met her death. By what means she died is not known.

So she passed away, Kleopatra, the “Glory of the Fatherland.” Perhaps with better conditions, her career would have better justified her name. She had the energy and persuasiveness which characterized Manon Roland, the sagacity and eloquence of Aspasia, the positiveness of Maria Theresa. With the means which the times permitted to her she accomplished results that needed only permanence to have won for her effusive praise. She lived thirty-nine years, and reigned twenty-two, seven of them as the spouse of Antony. When she became queen, Egypt was but a province, and its kings but effigies kept in position by Rome. With her it became once more a sovereignty, and Alexandreia was the seat of empire. None of the old warrior-kings, Osirtasen, Thothmes, or Rameses, accomplished more. Unfortunately for her, she had no partner in her power, who was equal to the exigency. She was renowned for luxury, but with her it was like a weapon, or means to an end; with Antony it was the end, the boon for what had been already endured. She failed in a moment of panic, as soldiers often do, but recovered; he sank abjectly, like one broken down by calamity. The more she made of him an imperial ruler, the less able he became to command an army. Perhaps she might have saved Egypt, but he became in the end a clog and dead weight upon her energy. Nevertheless, she was faithful to him to the last; if unable to live with him, she was resolute to die with him.

Octavianus did not overturn her statues with those of Antony, but accepted a thousand talents for permitting them to stand. He, however, assumed to be her successor, taking for himself the title of “King of Egypt,” and dating documents from the first year of his reign. He placed the government in the hands of Gallus, a man of inferior rank, and forbade Roman senators from visiting Egypt except by his special permission. He set out to build a new capital instead of Alexandreia, calling it Nikopolis, the “City of the Conqueror.” He carried the twin orphans, Alexander and Kleopatra, to Rome and exhibited them in chains in his triumphal procession, together with the statue of their mother. He likewise took the double crown of Egypt, the crown jewels and other regalia, and showed them to the multitude. He also removed statues and the obelisks of Thothmes IV and Psametikh, and looted so much money that the rate of interest fell in Italy and land rose in price.

But the Egyptians themselves, the bodies of their kings, and their religion, he treated with contempt; and he gave the people no more consideration than was extended to nomad Skyths and Arabs. Tribute was exacted in fourfold amount; all the gold of the country was taken, and twenty million bushels of wheat were carried annually to Rome to feed the idle populace.

A few temples were built, and the priests continued their functions. The inscriptions give the Emperor the same titles that were borne by the Ptolemies and native kings.

Egyptian rites and theology were also carried to Rome, and adopted by many of the people in preference to the lifeless statue worship which was only permitted to Roman patrician families. The Egyptian Eagle and thunderbolt appeared henceforth on Roman coins. So general was the prevalence of the Egyptian influence that the Emperor passed a law necessary to forbid the Egyptian rites in Rome. They permeated all the later faiths.

Yet though she, the Glory of the Fatherland, thus passed away, and her dominion became the prize of strangers, there still remained her monument for centuries,—the Library and School of Philosophy which the ancestor of her line had founded, and which she restored and embellished. Alexandreia was the home of learning and culture till the violence of religious jealousy, and the torch of incendiary fanaticism accomplished the fell work of Apollyon the Destroyer.

Such was the fate of Egypt and her Dynasties.

The End.

1. This is exquisitely illustrated in the following fragment by the Moslem writer, Mohammed Kaswini (Anthropological Review, Vol. I, page 263):

“In passing one day by a very ancient and extremely populous city, I asked one of the inhabitants: ‘Who founded this city?’ He replied to me: ‘I do not know; and our ancestors knew no more than we about this matter.’
“Five hundred years afterward, passing by the same place, I could not perceive a trace of the spot when was the city destroyed. He answered city. I inquired of one of the peasants about me: ‘What an odd question you put to me! This country has never been otherwise than as you see it now.’
“I returned thither after another five hundred years, and I found in place of the country that I had seen, a sea. I now asked of the fishermen how long it was since their country became a sea. They replied that ‘a person like me ought to know that it had always been a sea.’
“I returned again after five hundred years. The sea had disappeared, and it was now dry land. No one knew what had become of the sea, or that such a thing had ever existed.

“Finally I returned again once more after another five hundred years, and I again found a flourishing city. The people told me the origin of their city was lost in the night of time.”

2. Some think that the Baltic Sea also extended until it formed a communication with this body of water. This would render plausible the story that Ulysses or Odysseus sailed from Troy by the ocean around Europe and returned home by the Mediterranean.

3. According to the statement of Herodotos, all Egypt at the time of Menes except the Thebaic country at the south, was a marsh, and none of the land in the Delta or Faium below Lake Moeris was visible. This point was at a distance from the Mediterranean, which required a voyage of seven days up the River Nile to reach it.

4. This country is called Migraim in the Hebrew text of the Bible, from Mazr, the fortified country; also the “Land of Ham” or Khemi, the black land. The Greek name Aiguptos, which was chiefly applied to Northern Egypt alone, has been plausibly derived from the Sanskrit Agupta, the fortified; while others, remembering the Sacred Bird of old mythologies, render it the land of the eagle (or vulture). It can be formed from aia or gaia, a country, and Kopt or Kopht, or the covered or inundated. Brugsch Bey suggests a derivation from Ha-ke-Ptah, the sacerdotal name of Memphis.

5. Perhaps this may suggest the key to these legends. The name “Amazon” appears to have been formed from ama, signifying mother, and azon or worshiper. The Amazons, whoever they were, and whatever their origin, were evidently the introducers of the worship of “Nature,” the mother or material principle, as the paramount power in creation and procreation. This was signified in the occult rights imputed to them, and by the story of their reception in Egypt, where Isis as mother of Horos was venerated as the all and parent of all. The tradition, almost historic, that they were women, probably took its rise from the presence of women at their rites, participating on equal terms with men; and their fabled antipathy to the male sex may have been a notion having its inception in the custom of human sacrifices. One of their designations, Oior-pata, or man-slayers, suggests as much. The worship of Molokh, Kronos, Poseidon, the Syrian goddess, and the Theban Bacchus, were so characterized, and the mythic exploits of Theseus and Herakles, may be explained as denoting its abrogation. It was represented that the Amazons after their return to Africa were exterminated by Herakles, and likewise that their country was swept away by the Atlantic Ocean.

6. Shafts sunk into the earth near the colossal statue of Rameses II at Memphis brought up a fragment of pottery thirty-nine feet under ground.

7. Some Egyptian customs, like circumcision, veneration of animals, etc., appear, however, to have been adopted from the negro races.

8. In the Book of Exodus, chapter xii, 38, it is stated that when the Israelites left Egypt an “Arab multitude” (arab rab), went also with them.

9. The skulls of the latter were brachycephalic; those of Southern Egypt, dolichocephalic.

10. It should be borne in mind that the term “Egyptian” when used by different writers, very generally means a person of superior rank, generally a priest, nobleman, or a person educated at a temple, but hardly one of the Fellah commonalty.

11. Manethoth, Mai-en-Thoth (Thothma), i.e., given by Thoth, the god of learning and sacred knowledge.

12. In Greek, the Egyptian priests are often called basileis, as denoting kingly rank or king-initiates. In the times of sacerdotal rule the priests were styled kings.

13. He is quoted without acknowledgment by Herodotus, who never visited Upper Egypt.

14. Oriental words are rendered into modern forms of spelling, largely by the judgment or caprice of individuals. Vowels are most uncertain of all.

15. The “time of the god Ra” was always mentioned in subsequent centuries, as the happy period, the golden age.

16. This god was the personification of the Divine Spirit moving over the primal matter and permeating it, thus rendering it instinct with life. The names Neph and Num (or Pnum with the article prefixed) exhibit a striking similarity to their equivalents, nephesh (soul) in Hebrew and pneuma (breath, wind, spirit) in Greek. The later Gnostic form, Khnoubis may be imagined to be a compound of Nu, the spirit, and Bai, the soul to denote the entire individuality.

17. In the later philosophy, the two would seem to have been reconciled. The Supreme Being was set forth as the Monad or Sole One; and then as the Demiurgus or Creator. Iamblichos has explained it accordingly: “The Demiurgic Mind, the Over-Lord of Truth and Wisdom is called Araon, when coming down to the sphere of the genesis of all creation, and bringing to light the invisible potency of hidden things; and Phtha, when establishing all things undeceptively and skilfully with Truth.”

18. The drama of the Secret Rites, which represents these divinities under a different character was produced in the latter dynasties. Till the Ramesid era, Seth was regarded as identical with the Baal of Syria, and as the benefactor of mankind.

19. Professor Francis W. Newman derives this term from the Keltic word kyf or kiv, signifying together. Its derivatives in Latin and English may be defined accordingly. Civis or citizen thus denotes a person living in social relations, and by civility is meant the courteous manners of neighborly intercourse as distinguished from the rudeness and brusque speech characteristic of brute selfishness and savagery. Civilisation, then, is the social mode of living, the art of living in society fraternally, as opposed to that opposite condition of the savage in which “his hand is against every man, and every man’s hand against him.”

20. “Egyptian Book of the Dead,” page 40.

21. Herodotos II, 35.

22. “The young men saw me and made way for me.”—Job, xxix, 8, Wemyss’ translation.

23. “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and fear thy God.”—Leviticus, xix, 32.

24. Perhaps some readers may not be aware that this term “Semitic” is technical and relates to a form of development and not to any specific line of descent. No reference to the traditional sons of Noah is signified. The Arabian and Assyrian populations and their particular language are what is meant. “Semitism” is undoubtedly an evolution from an older “Hamitism,” and to this fact undoubtedly many of the resemblances are due which are observed. No person who is conversant with the Hebrew writings will fail to perceive that the early Israelites were largely, if not chiefly, Hamitic in blood as well as language and customs.

Probably the Phoenicians, themselves a prehistoric people of unknown antiquity, were the introducers of many of the “Semitic” names. They occupied the Delta at an early period, where the god Seth was the tutelary. The Ethiopic or Hamitic peoples were the oldest in development, and from them “Semitism,” as the philologists term it, took its rise and the form afterward leading in many countries. Doubtless the myth which was promulgated in later centuries of the murder of Osiris by Seth and the later conquest by Horos signified a conflict of Egyptians with the interlopers.

25. In Genesis xl, 8, the word PTR or Peter is used. The hierophant at the Sacred Rites seems to have borne this title.

26. Or Pi-Beseth—Ezekiel xxx. 17. She was also called Hakti or Hekate and was designated as a Hathor on the monuments.

27. Iamblichos—Mysteries VIII, iii, 1. “The god Emeph prior and dominant over the gods of the sky.”

28. This goddess was the female or passive principle of the universe personified. She was principally worshipped in Lower Egypt, and only the single crown appears on her head. Her origin is shown by her name, which is the same as Anait or Anahid of Asia, and the Ardvisura Anahita of the Lesser Avesta. She was accordingly styled “the mother who gave birth to the Sun, the first born, but not the begotten.” Her statue at Heliopolis had in the right hand the ankh or ansate cross, and in the left the lotus-sceptre. The wife of the patriarch Joseph, it will be remembered, was named Asenath, or Snath, while her father was called Potiphera or Poti Phra, the “gift or Ra,” who was the high priest of that divinity at Heliopolis.

29. Hebrew NPS, Nephesh, breath, soul, a person, desire. The “Semitic” dialects, as they are termed, were formed from older ones, and to these latter the cognate Egyptian names undoubtedly belong. Khus or Ethiopia is named by Stephanos as the oldest country, and the Ethiopians as first to establish religious rites. All Southern Asia was in that ancient Ethiopia.

30. The asp was the symbol of royal power, and it was attached accordingly to the crowns of the gods, priests and kings.

31. Both gods and priests held the cross in the right hand to signify their vocation of life. Hence the direction of Jesus: “Let him take up his cross and follow me.”

32. See “Serpent and Siva Worship,” edited by Alexander Wilder, New York, 1877.

33. The Semitic term SET, the Sabbath or seventh, is evidently from the same origin. The god Sabazios, Sabaoth or Kronos, was lord of the seventh planet at the exterior of the Kosmos, of the world, of night and of the dead, and of the seventh day of the week. Accordingly, the Semites, as well as the Akkadians before them, from prehistoric times, observed this day with great strictness. It was also kept by Ophites in honor of the serpent-divinity.

34. This subject has been set forth by General Forlong, C. Staniland Wake, E. G. Squier and others. It is also considered in my own unpublished and unfinished treatise on “Ancient Symbolism and Serpent-Worship.”

35. See Jeremiah vii, 18, and xliv, 17, 18, 25. In many editions of the English Bible there is a note appended to these texts suggesting that the phrase “Queen of Heaven” should read “frame of Heaven.” This goddess is plainly indicated, for Judea was at the time first indicated, a vassal of Egypt.

36. This practice of employing figures of animals to represent the gods and their attributes gave rise to the fable of Typhon, brought forth by the Earth, from whom the gods fled into Egypt and concealed themselves under the forms of different animals. The invention of fables in which animals take part and hold discourse like human beings was of Egyptian origin. Aesop learned the practice in that country.

37. Plutarch states that the Egyptian priests pronounced the name Hysiris. This would show that the initial A was like the Greek upsilon.

38. By an apparent coincidence, the gods of India of the same character, Siva or Mahadeva and Bhavani are also named Iswara and Isi.

39. Herodotos refrains for an occult reason from naming Osiris. The Egyptians always spoke of him by the personal pronoun “He.”

40. Brugsch-Bey prefers to consider him as the son of Osiris. Doubtless, as he was the tutelary god of the Delta, he was represented as the brother of Osiris. Doubtless, as he was the tutelary god two Egypts. The relationships of Egyptian gods were very indefinite and were often changed according to circumstances.

41. Ebers, however, thought them to be two separate personifications. There was a god Sedek or Sydik in Palestine, of whom Melchizedek was the molokh or priest-king.

42. This is the child Harpokrates with his finger at his mouth, sitting on the Lotus-Blossom, and adoring the emblem representing his mother.

43. The supposition that she was originally an Asiatic divinity does not seem to be altogether unfounded. Her name has a close resemblance in sound to Semitic term atar, a place, which appears in like manner in the name of the Aphrodite of Askalon, Atar-Gatis, or Der-Keto, and even in that of Kythercia, the Venus of Cyprus.

44. He was styled Rot-Amenti (Radamanthus in Greek) the Judge of Amenti, the region of the dead. The term Amenti signifies the West, and seems to have been adopted from the fact that Egyptian cities had their necropolis west of the Nile. The boatman who ferried corpses over the river was styled Kharon.

45. There were four castes in Egypt; the sacerdotal, the military and peasant, the burgher, and the commonalty. “The first,” says Wilkinson, “was composed of the chief priests or pontiffs as well as minor priests of various grades, belonging to different deities; prophets, judges, hierophants, magistrates, heirogrammats or sacred scribes, basilico-grammats or royal scribes, sphragistae, hierostoli or dressers and keepers of the sacred robes, doctors (teachers), embalmers, hierophori (carriers of sacred emblems in the processions), pterophori (carriers of the flabella and fans), praecones (who appear to have been the same as the pastophori), keepers of the sacred animals, hierolatomi or masons of the priestly order, sacred sculptors and draughtsmen, beadles, sprinklers of water, and apomyoi (mentioned by Hesykhios, who drove away the flies with Chowries), and several inferior functionaries attached to the temples.” The physicians belonged to the class of pastophori. Individuals could rise from the other castes to the sacerdotal or pass from that to the others. There was no iron chain, which precluded merit and talent from due recognition.

46. Chapter xxi, 5-7.

47. I Samuel, viii, 5-9.

48. Hesiod: Works and Days, “They became daemons or divinities, kindly haunting the earth, guardians of mortal men—a kingly function.” Plato: Kratylos, “Every one who is wise and learned and who is good, is godlike, both while living and when dead and is properly called a daemon or divinity.”

49. The primitive temple structures were tombs. Hence the several sanctuaries of Osiris, at Abydos, Elephantina and Philae were described as places where he was buried. The tomb of Zeus in Krete was a shrine of the same character. The poet Vergil describes Aneas as instituting regular observances at the tomb of his father Ankhises. The modern custom of consecrating ground for the burial of the dead is a continuation of this ancient practice.

50. In Greece a king who had not been consecrated by a priest was not entitled to the title of Basileus, but was denominated a Tyrannos or tyrant. Moses is described as laying his hands on Joshua (Deut. xxiv, 9); Abimelech as being made king at the temple of Baal-Berith; Solomon as anointed by Zadok and Jehoash as crowned beside a masba or sacred pillar in the Judean temple by Jehoiada. The custom is still observed in Europe.

51. Phoenicia was called Kapht, from which term the Delta was named Kapht-Or, the Greater Phoenicia, and “Island of Kapht-Or. Jeremiah, xlvii, 4.

52. Two etymologies are suggested for this name; Pa-Tores, the Southern Country, and Pa-Hat-Hor, the country of Hathor.

53. Samuel xii, 11-12.

54. Another explorer of recent period, M. E. Amelineau, takes issue with this statement. He affirms that he has been recently at Abydos, and found there the names and tombs of at least sixteen kings who reigned before Mena, and claimed supremacy over both Upper and Lower Egypt. It may, however, be pleaded in reply that such claiming is hardly conclusive proof without further evidence, of the actual possession of supreme power; and the fact that no record or no mention of it had been found heretofore, would seem to warrant doubt of the matter. It would, nevertheless, indicate pretty satisfactorily that the traditions of the reign of gods and worthy rulers during the primeval period, were founded upon an actual condition of human affairs. Meanwhile explorations are still in progress, and we may expect astounding disclosures.

55. The “Dwelling-Place of the One absolutely Good” (Osiris).

56. Brugsch-Bey conjectures that the name of Egypt may have been formed from this designation.

57. This designation is now translated literally as meaning the “Great Gate,” or “High Gate”—the same as “Sublime Porte” at Constantinople. The ancient Orientals held their courts at the gates of the cities as places of public resort, and litigants brought their causes thither for judgment. See Deuteronomy xvi., 18; Ruth iv., i; II. Samuel xv., 2, 6. The title of the place naturally became the official designation of the king. In an analogous manner the gate of the Temple in Memphis was designated as representing Osiris as judge of the dead.

58. It became a custom for the kings in coming to the throne to adopt some new designation, which was often from some divinity, and indeed many had several titles, perplexing later historians. When speaking of him it was usual to say “he” and to denominate him as “His Holiness.” An individual coming into his presence prostrated himself and kissed the ground; but favored persons were permitted as a great privilege to embrace his knees.

59. Temples or temenoi anciently consisted of plots of ground marked out by a priest or sacred person, and set apart to religious purposes. They were often very large, and abounded with cloisters and buildings for the occupants. As astrology was a part of the religious system, to contemplate was to resort to the temple to consider and study the aspects of the sky. Caves and grotto-structures were employed for secret worship and initiations.

60. This name seems to have been given in commemoration of the instituting of animal worship. The term ka signifies a male, a bull, or he-goat. Ka-kau therefore signifies the Great Father.

61. In the symbolic meaning, the bull Hapi represented Osiris. Mena at Heliopolis was the living image of Tum or Atum, the sun-god of evening, and the goat was the living anaglyph of Neph, its name, Bin-el-tatta, signifying the Eternal Soul.

62. R. S. Poole.

63. The monuments give the name of Bebi as preceding Neb-ka, and give the latter the Greek appellation Tosorthros.

64. Shuu is a kind of mace.

65. Ecclesiastes xii. – “For thus man goes to his everlasting house, while the mourners walk about the streets. And dust goes hence to earth from whence it came. And spirit returns again to him who gave it. Fear the Godhead and keep his commandments, for this is the All of man; for every work, every secret act, good and evil, God will bring to the judgment.”

66. Indeed, Mr. Samuel Birch considers Seneferu as actually the first king in the Fourth Dynasty and as identical with “the Greek Soris, if indeed,” he remarks, “that name does represent another monarch.” Eratosthenes, on the other hand, gives Soris the name of Saophis (or Khufu), and names also a second Saophis as succeeding the first, who seems also to be regarded as the same as Kheops, the builder of the great pyramid.

67Asiatic Researches, Vol. III., page 439.

68. Herodotos II.,127. “In that pyramid the water of the Nile, introduced through an artificial canal, surrounds an island, where the body of Kheops is said to be.”

69. The goddess of the Lotus, Lakshmi or Hathor.

70. Kings I., iii., 2-4; Chronicles I., xvi, 39-42, and xxi., 29; Samuel 1., vii., 17, and ix., 11-24; Kings II., xxiii., 11, etc.

71. This offense was charged upon the Hyk-shos, and the story which Herodotos also recorded that the Egyptians attributed the building of the Pyramids to a “shepherd named Philition,” seems like an attempt to represent Kheops and his successors as belonging to that hated race.

72. Examples of this are given in the Hebrew writings. Jehosaphat made his son Jehoram his partner in the kingdom (Kings II., viii., 16), and David is recorded in the First Book of the Chronicles as inaugurating Solomon as King in the presence and by the concurrence of all the princes of Israel, the princes of the tribes, the officers of the army and the other members of the royal family. Zadok was also made high priest.

73. Tell us—for doubtless thou canst’t recollect —
To whom should we assign the Sphinx’s fame?
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect
Of either pyramid that bears his name?
—Horace Smith.

74. The Bacchic priest wore a spotted robe of fawn or leopard skin, a nimr; at the rites. This seems to have been an ideograph of Nimrod, the eponym of the Kushite Nimri, named in the tenth chapter of the Book of Genesis.

75. The oriental practice of worship, by prostration to the ground and figuratively kissing the feet or the ground at the footstool, appears to have been in fashion at that time.

76. Samuel II., xix, 34, 35. “And Bar-ziliai said unto the king: ‘I am this day fourscore years old; can I discern between good and evil? Can thy servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women?'”

77. One hundred and ten years seem to have been esteemed by the Egyptians as the extreme limit of human life, and as an especial blessing of obedience. The story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis is in remarkable analogy to ancient Egyptian usages, as the last verse shows: “And Joseph died, being a hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.”

78. The Tablet of Abydos was found in the Temple of Osiris by Mr. Bankes in 1818. It is now in the British Museum. It contains a record in hieroglyphics, in which the kings of Egypt are described with their several titles, their throne names and personal descriptions. After Memphis ceased to be the chief metropolis of Egypt, the cities of Thebes and Abydos came into importance, and the records in the temple of Odeiris at the latter city and at Karnak became of greater importance in helping to determine the reign of monarchs and their matters of the history of the archaic period.

79. A monument found by Sir J. G. Winkinson represents this king with the crown of upper Egypt, as Meri-Ra, and again sitting back to back with that former figure, wearing the crown of Lower Egypt, as Pepi. This shows a distinct custom in the two countries.

80. The name Hor-eb, which was applied to the “Holy Mountain,” is formed from Hor, a cave. Elijah, the prophet, is described as lodging in a cave at Horeb “the mount of God.”

81. Numbers xiii, 23. “Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.” It was probably a city of the Khetans or Hittites, who may have been cognate with the Hyk-sos of Egypt.

82. This structure in the “City of Annu” held a very high rank in archaic Egypt, both as a religious and astronomic center. It was considered as the earthly house of Hathor, the Celestial Virgin-Mother of God. The name of the place, Dendera, or Tentyris, is derived accordingly by some Egyptologists from Ta-en-Hathor, “the abode of Hathor,” and by others from Ta-em-ta-rer, which Brugsch-Bey renders “place of the hippopotamus,” and others, “place of the Circle.” It was situated two degrees from the tropic of Cancer, where the sun is vertical at the summer solstice. Khufu, the royal builder and astronomer, selected it for a Temple of the Universe, and in the fullness of time his great successor, Pepi, as Seken Ur, or Grand Patriarch, completed his plan by this new structure. It was famous for its Zodiac, or rather planisphere, and was doubtless a place for Initiatory Rites, as it was also famous for pilgrimages.

83. This makes it evident that the war was largely for the procuring of slaves for the public works.

84. This is a story which really belonged to a second Neitokris, the queen of Psametikh II., and tradition confounded it with the name of Rhodope, a woman from Thrace, living at Naukratis.

85. August-September.

86. This country was in the gold-producing region now known as Ollaqui.

87. Later Egyptologists spell this name with the initial letter U. The Egyptian priests also pronounced the name Osiris, with the upsilon. The hieroglyphic symbol is rendered indifferently a, e, or u. As the divinity Asari, Usari, or Hesiri, is best known by its Greek form, we have, though with misgiving, conformed to that orthography.

88. Heliopolis was called Annu or An, as being “the city of obelisks.”

89. Ewald has translated the passage in the Book of Job (III., 14) very ingeniously as follows:

“Then should I have sunk in repose;
I should have found rest then in sleep;
With the kings and counsellors of the earth,
Who built themselves pyramids.”

90. The “magicians” of the Pharaoh, mentioned in the book of the Exodus, are styled Khartummin in the Hebrew text. They were of sacerdotal rank, and often held official positions of a confidential character and important military commands.

91. They were not Hebrews. The Jewish nose is “Roman” and not aquiline.

92. Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson conjectures that the canal at this time extended from the higher land above Silsilis, in Nubia, conducting the water to Lake Moeris and also to the general tank system of Egypt, as the river offered a greater fall of water before the rocks gave way.

93. Chronicles, II., ix., 20-27.

94. Tyre was named in Hebrew Sur or Zur, and is so called by the Arabs at the present time. The initial letter, ts, is the same as that of Sidon, but was changed to T by the Greeks from their hatred of sibilants, yet the region of Aram was named Syria, or the country of Tyre.

95. In the story of Joseph, as given in the Book of Genesis, he is denominated the salit, or governor. (Chap. xlii. 6.) He is also designated the Zaphnath-paaneah, or, as the hieroglyphic inscriptions render it, Za-p-u-nt p-aa-ankh, “Governor of the Region of Life”; i.e., the Sethroite district, which was occupied by a Semitic population. Others have translated the title “Governor of the Phoenician district.”

96. This term is defined as meaning the “place of the Leg.” The Eastern branch of the Nile was designated the Var, or leg of Osiris. In the legend of Isis and Osiris, which constituted the basis of the Sacred Drama of the Lesser Rite, it is set forth that after Isis had recovered the body of Osiris from Pi-Balis or Byblos, it was again found by Seth or Typhon, cut into 14 pieces, and scattered over Egypt. She searched again, and buried each part where it was found. The right leg was in this way assigned to Avaris, and the others, the Havar Amenti, to Edfu, on the Westernmost branch of the Nile.

97. Kings I., x., 28, 29. “And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt; … a horse for 150 shekels, and so for all the kings of the Hittites and for the kings of Syria did they bring them out by their [the merchants] means.”

Isaiah, xxxi., 1. “Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses and trust in its chariots, because they are very strong.”

98. It was the practice to distinguish adversaries by opprobrious epithets. The social and often hypocritical amenities of our modern civilization were not in fashion in former times.

99. Lower Egypt.

100. This is an attempt to supply a lacuna with a statement which is the substance of the omitted matter. This arbitrary attempt to enforce uniformity of worship and its results are very similar to the decree of Antiokhos Epiphanes that all his subjects should discard their local religions and adopt that of the royal court. Resistance was made in Judea, and after long combat, national independence was secured.

101. Compare Genesis xlii., 9: “And Joseph remembered . . . .and said unto them: ‘Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land are ye come.'”

102. An example is afforded in the execration of King David, when himself leading the life of a freebooter. Sam. I., xxvi., 19: “Cursed be they before Yava; for they have driven me out from abiding in the inheritance of Yava, saying: ‘Go serve other [i.e., foreign] Gods.'”

103. It will be observed that many of the kings after this period had for names the title of a god with the suffix, which is variously rendered, according to taste—mes, meses, mases or moses. It is equivalent to ides in Greek nouns, and signifies a child. Aahmes or Amasis is the child of the moon-god. Thothmes or Thothmoses, the child of Thoth; Ramases, the child of Ra, etc.

104. The suffix signifies beloved, joined, affiliated. It is written Hotep, Hetep, Opht, Epht. Thus the name of the Egyptian Aesculapius. Imhetep, is also written Imopht, Emeph, etc.

105. Jer., xlvii., 4: “The day that cometh to spoil all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Zidon every helper that remaineth; for the Lord will spoil the Philistines—the remnant of the country of Caphtor.”

106. In the book of Joshua, xix.. 6, Sheruhan is named as a city in the territory of the tribe of Simeon.

107. Nubia was called Khen-Nefer, the “good servant.” The best servants in Egypt at this time were Nubians.

108. Phoenicians. They were the skilled mechanics and artisans of former time, and are accredited with building’ the temple of Solomon.

109. The “magician”‘ of the Book of the Exodus.

110. Dr. Schliemann found ornaments in the royal tomb at Mykenae in Argolis, which closely resembled those of the Egyptian Queen. There were daggers, a golden axe, bracelets, and a golden chain with three grasshoppers attached.

111. Ancient authors writing in the Greek language actually denominate the priests “basileis” or kings.

112. This prince was six feet high and had a well-developed figure. M. Maspero examined his body, finding a dagger wound across the right temple just below the eye; and a blow, probably from a hatchet, mace, or some such blunt instrument, had split the left cheek-bone and broken the lower jaw. Beneath the hair was a long cleft caused by a splinter of the skull having been broken off by a downward stroke from an axe.

113. The “country of good servants.” Nubian slaves have always been considered superior to others, even to modern times.

114. The account is not clearly told. Under Alisphragmuthosis or Misphragmuthosis, it is stated that the shepherds or Shasu were subdued, and shut up at Avaris; and that Thothmes, his son, negotiated with them to evacuate Egypt; after which, in fear of the Assyrians, they settled in Judea and built Jerusalem. The name “Hyksos,” it may be remarked, is only used by Manetho. The monuments call them Shasu, or nomads and Amu. Again, in the lists of Manetho, Mephramuthosis is named as a descendant of Thothmes. Doubtless this name was Mei-Phra-Thothmosis or “Thothmes the beloved of Ra,”—Thothmes III.

115. This seems to be affirmed in the book of Joshua, xxiv, 12. “And I sent the hornet (the refugee Hyksos) before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of Amorites (Sihon and Og); but not with thy sword nor with thy bow.”

116. Some writers have supposed the Khitans to have been a Mongol or Mongoloid people. Their dress resembled that of the Mongol tribes. The name, Kathay, given to China, is significant, as suggesting their origin. Indeed, in Russian records and literature, China is named Kataia. Whatever they were, they greatly influenced the other population of Western Asia. They coined money, and their priests, when entering a temple, were careful to step or leap over the threshold. See Samuel I., v. 5.

117. In the book of Genesis, Abraham affirms of his wife: “She is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.”

118. This would seem to imply that the expedition was warlike.

119. Rings were anciently used for money.

120. See Exodus L, 8-11; ii., 11; v., 4-19.

121. This title of “King’s son” for viceroys is analogous to that of Ab, or “father,” to the chief minister.—Exodus, xlv., 8.

122. The “land of God,” the “Holy land;” Western Arabia, and especially the peninsula.

123. This name seems to resemble closely the Hebrew appellation David.

124. The practice of the kings in appointing their sons as high priests, as well as viceroys, was common in Egypt. The converse of this was likewise true that favorite priests and viceroys were styled by way of compliment “King’s sons.”

125. This would appear to have been the book which was prepared by Kheops; but it reminds us more particularly of the “petroma” or tablet of stone from which the hierophant at the Eleusinia instructed the candidates.

126. The “festival of Hib,” as it was called, was a significant occurrence in Egypt. It commemorated the end of a cycle of thirty years and the beginning of a new one. It served to regulate according to a fixed rule of numbers the coincident points of the solar and lunar years. It is first mentioned in the monuments in the reign of Pepi Meri-Ka of the Sixth Dynasty.

127. Humboldt ascribes such sounds to the different conditions of temperature of the atmosphere and the air confined in the crevices of the stone. He observed similar sounds from the rocks on the banks of the Orinoco River in Venezuela. Others attribute the notes to the artifices of the priests; and Sir J. Gardner Wilkinson found a stone in the lap of the statue which gave forth a musical sound on being struck. Kambyses broke the statue in order to ascertain the cause, but to no purpose. The hypothesis of Humboldt and Sir David Brewster is doubtless the correct one.

128. This term is usually understood to mean the disk of the sun. It probably denotes the spiritual principle which the disk prefigured.

129. Archaic usage regarded the maternal parent as more essential to legitimacy than the father. Many peoples considered only the mother as determining the tribe or people with which the child was to be included.

130. See Nile Gleanings, pages 73-81, 244-250, 299-301. Mr. Stuart thought that Amunoph IV. was succeeded by Khuenaten, who had married his daughter; and that he for a time adopted the oval of his father-in-law together with his name. The queen of Khu-en-Aten was pictured with a double crown, which verifies her hereditary right. She transmitted this right to her daughters, and so their husbands became kings. This is set forth in the inscriptions over their heads: “Royal Daughters of her very body—Meri-Aten, sprung from the Queen Nefer-nefru-ti-tai-Aten.” The fact that the father is not mentioned indicates he was not considered to belong to the sacred race.

131. “Curious parallels might be drawn,” says a historian of Egypt, “between the external forms of worship of the Israelites in the desert and those set up by the disk-worshippers at Tel-el-Amarna; portions of the sacred furniture, as the ‘table of show-bread,’ described in the Book of Exodus as placed within the tabernacle, are repeated among the objects belonging to the worship Aten and do not occur among the representations of any other epoch.”

132. It may be hazardous to express an opinion about these names, but they seem to be not unlike others in ancient literature. Taia has some resemblance to the Hebrew term for existence, and the names Iuao and Thuao appear not to be very different from the deity-name Iao and Heva.

133. He did not, however, attempt to enforce it upon his subjects by decrees and penalties, so usual in later times, but relied upon moral influence. The persecutions came from the priests of the other religion he aimed to reform.

134. The name Kadesh, or K’D’S, signifies holy; hence, the sanctuary, “a holy city, or sacerdotal person. The place here mentioned is supposed to have been Ashtoreth Karnaim, the city of the two-horned goddess Astarte.

135. The teachers, more than eight hundred in all, were priests; the general managers, three in number, were styled “prophets.” The high priest was chief over them. Every student chose his preceptor, who became his philosophic guide, to whom he was bound through life, as a client or clansman to his chief or patron.

136. Hathor, the “mother,” was in another phase the same as Isis. She presided, like Persephone, over the world of the dead, as well as over love and marriage, for love and death are closely allied.

137. The Egyptian term khar-tot signifies a soldier of high rank. The “magicians” of the Book of Exodus were khar-tots, and doubtless were of the sacerdotal order peculiar to the city of Rameses. They are described as on intimate terms with the king, and not as vulgar jugglers.

138. The bricks employed in Egypt for building were made of mud, held together by chopped straw. Structures built of them could not last long without frequent renewing.

139. Significantly, the priests are omitted. The Nineteenth Dynasty seems to have largely omitted them from employments of State.

140. The rites to deceased parents and ancestors were anciently regarded as the most sacred office of filial piety. The souls in whose care these offices had been neglected were believed to suffer torment, and even sometimes to become evil demons, to obsess the delinquents. It was therefore imperative upon the head of a family, the patriarch, to marry and rear a son; to inter, cremate or entomb his parents; and at stated periods present funeral offerings. The mother of a son was thus the good genius of a family. The prophets and priests of the pyramids and tombs were set apart for the services, which at Abydos had been neglected.

141. The Sun was supposed to ride every day in his boat through the sky, and so Sethi is described as his fellow-voyager.

142. The term mummy is from the Persian term mum, signifying wax. It originally meant a body that had been inclosed in that material.

143. He is called Sesostris by the historian, a Grecian form of the name “Sestura,” by which Rameses was known.

144. Pen-ta-ur was a hierogrammateus, or scribe, of the Temple of Kurna, where he had passed successfully through the different grades of Egyptian scholarship. He is described as “a jovial companion who, to the disgust of his old teacher, manifested a decided inclination for wine, women and song.” He had the honor, in the seventh year of the reign of Rameses, to win the royal prize as the composer of this poem. We have a copy in a roll of papyrus, and its words also cover the whole surface of the walls in the temples of Abydos, El Uksor, Karnak and the Ramasseum of Abusimbel. It was translated by the Viscount de Rouge, and several versions have been published in English prose. Prof. Ebers has made Pentaur the hero of his Egyptian romance “Uarda,” using the license of the novelist to make him the, successful lover of Bent-Anat, the king’s daughter, and otherwise sadly confusing history.

145. The adjective “great,” which appears here and in other ancient documents, denotes that the monarch so designated was a “king of kings,” lord over tributary kings and princes. Up to this time Egyptian records describe the kings of Khita, as they do other hostile princes, by such epithets as “leprous,” “vile,” “unclean;” but they ceased it from this time.

146. The nuptials of Rameses, on this occasion, seem to have been literally described in the forty-fifth Psalm. “Kings’ daughters were among thy honourable women; upon thy right hand stood the Queen in gold of Ophir. Hearken, O daughter, and consider; incline thine ear; forget also thy kindred and thy father’s house; so will the king greatly desire thy beauty; for he is thy lord, and worship thou him.”

147. The Hebrew word translated “magicians” in the Pentateuch is hartumi, which the Greek text in Genesis renders exegetes, or interpreter. Parkhurst supposes them to be hierogram-mateis or Scribes of the temple and court. The priests of Tanis seem to have been called hartots or Khartots. But the term “magic” anciently implied all manner of learning, and nothing objectionable.

148. The high priest of this temple was named Loi, or Levi. This name and several others of this period have a striking Semitic flavor. Benat-Anat, the princess, has already been noticed; her sister was Meriamen, or Miriam, and in the quarry at Silsilis is a record of Phineas, a man of superior rank. Other examples may be cited.

149. Josephus gives the name of the monarch as Amunophis. In the Chronicle of Manetho it is rendered Amunenephthes, which, though read sometimes as Amunophis, is Meneptah.

150. This sentence is quoted from a little work entitled, “Josephus Against Apion.” The writer affects to deny the existence of the kings Horus and Meneptah, whom he calls Amunophis, and rails at the conceit of “beholding the gods,” whom he sets forth as being simply the ox, goat, crocodile and baboon. So gross ignoring of religious matters and historic persons indicates either a reprehensible disregard of truth, or else that the work thus ascribed to Josephus is not a genuine production, but only an irresponsible forgery.

151. This is Manetho’s statement. Even now, however, the legend of Troig, as Homer styled it, is not eliminated from its place among the myths of archaic Greece.

152. Herodotus II., 112-120. Diodorus calls the Egyptian king Ketes, which may be a Greek form of the name Sekhi, but this is improbable, as is the whole story.

153. It is hazardous to attempt a guess, yet the name of the princess suggests the Norse term, Amal, denoting a royal descendant of the gods. In such case we should suppose the designation Ise or Isis which Rameses gave her was its Egyptian equivalent. The name of her father contains the term Anath, which belonged to the Great Mother in Skythia, Persia, and Armenia.

154. The fact of the picture being in a tomb was probably the occasion of the historian’s undertaking that he went while living into Amenti, the Egyptian Sheol, or Hades.

155. This seems to have been an archaic arrangement, as it still is in some countries. It came, perhaps, from some conquest. See Genesis xlvii., 20,21: “And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptian sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them; so the land became Pharaoh’s. And for the people he removed them to the cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end.”

156. This is usually interpreted to mean expert writing, but it more probably signifies a man expert in mesmerism. The Egyptian priests who were physicians were skilled in that art as sculptures show.

157. A change in the sound of letters appears to have been introduced. The aspirate kh was superseded by the sibilant, and Kheops from Khufu became Sufu.

158. The Semitic form of these names would be Shishak, Sargon, Tiglath and Nimrod.

159. It will be remembered that the Apostle Peter is said to have been condemned by his fellow-disciples for going to men uncircumcised and eating- with them; and that Paul denounced him for double dealing in this respect. The Patriarch Joseph also set a table apart from his brethren because it was an abomination to the Egyptians to eat bread with the Hebrews.—Genesis XLII, 32.

160. This name in the Barabara dialect means the “son of a horse;” Nimara-ta, the “son of a leopard;” Pi-ankhi, the “everlasting.”

161. The name Sab-ki signifies “a male cat:” Sab-ako-to, the “son of a male cat.” Pi-mai also means cat. It will be remembered that the cat was venerated as a divine animal, to injure which was sacrilegious.

162. The name Egypt or Mizraim as it is given in the Hebrew text of the Bible, denoted only the northern part of the country, and was distinct from Pathros in the South.

163. The stauros or “cross’ was a stake for impaling. The Assyrian kings impaled prisoners taken when besieging a fortress.

164. Ancient religions had their sacred birds. We may note the Garuda, or man-bird, of India, the Simurg of Eran, the Rokh of Assyria, the dove of Babylon, and the peacock of the Oriental Secret Rites, analogous with the cock of China which is sacrificed to confirm testimony and obligations. The god Nisrokh was eagle-headed, as is noticed in pictures of Assyrian priests. The eagle of the Roman standard, and of European and American ensigns, is a survival of this divinity.

165. Deuteronomy, viii., 15; Numbers, xxi., 5.

166. Gomri, hordes.

167. A Royal Library appears to have been maintained from very early periods for free consultation by scholars. Sargon’s Library at Agaua or Akkad was catalogued and numbered, Dr. Sayce informs us, “so that the student had only to write down the number of the Tablet, and the librarian handed it to him.” Later, the Assyrian Library was begun at the city of Assur, and afterward removed and established by Assur-nagir-pal at Kala or Nimrud. Additions were made in subsequent reigns. Sargon caused the whole to be written over, and early literature became a study at the capital. Sardanapalos however surpassed all the kings before him. He caused all the literature of his empire to be collected at Nineveh, over 10,000 different works, belonging to every department of learning, and they were methodically arranged and catalogued. To all intents it was a free public library.

168. Like King Saul—Samuel I., xxxi., 4, 5.

169. This inscription at Abu Simbel, contains the later Greek double letters psi, phi, khi, etc., theta (ps, ph, kh, §, and th), but not the long o, omega.

170. The origin of the games at Olympia belongs to the period antedating “ancient history.” They were instituted in honor of the Olympian Zeus, as distinguished from the Pelasgian divinity of that name, and so indicate a religious revolution in the Peloponnesus. Olympia was the religious and political centre of the Peloponnesian states, where their Amphik-tyony or Federation held its meetings. The festivals occurred every fifth year in the month of June, and from them dates were made, beginning at the year 776 before the present era. What is called “ancient history” began at that time.

171. These rites, which were celebrated exclusively by women, would seem to imply that the sacred customs actually originated with women. They were widely observed, and even appear in Hebrew time—Exodus, xxxviii., and Samuel, I., ii., 22. Their profanation by men was esteemed sacrilege. The worship of the Bona Dea, the Amma or Mother at Rome, was probably of the same category.

172. Neith at Sais was regarded as essentially the same with Isis.

173. Herodotus, ii., 61; Kings, I., xviii., 28, and also Jeremiah, xvi., 6, and xii., 5.

174. A tyrannos, or despotes, was not so denominated because he exercised arbitrary authority in disregard of justice, but because he was neither a priest nor a ruler consecrated by a priest. On the other hand, a rex, or basileus, was a sacred or sacerdotal person, to kill whom was sacrilege which “had never forgiveness”. When bold chiefs or “commons kings” obtained supreme power, as at Rome and Athens, these sacred personages retained simply their rank and functions as priests.

175. Kyaxeres was styled “King of the Tribes”, and the designation of “King of the Medes” was not acquired till afterward.

176. This name, which was written Aj-dahaka in the Avesta, has been supposed to be the same as that of Zahak, the Serpent-King of Persian literature. History was veiled in the myths and sacred dramas.

177. They were about to comply, but Cyrus anticipated them. He marched upon Sardis, captured it, and made Kroesus a prisoner.

178.  See Judges, ix., 5, and Chronicles, II., xxi, 4.

179. Esther iii., 13, and viii., 10; also Jeremiah ii., 24.

180. See Exodus, xv. 22, 23.

181. The story was told for centuries afterward that phantom soldiers, cavalry and infantry, were seen on the battlefield at Marathon, each recurring year, engaged in mortal conflict. See Maccabees II., v., 2, 4.

182. It seems that the Akhaemenians did not observe the custom of disposing of the dead without burning or burial in the earth. The tomb of Dareios was copied from the Assyrian models, and the figure of the divinity sculptured on them, the man in the circle.

183. The romantic story of the Book of Judith appears to have been founded upon the events of this invasion. It presents several anachronisms, and names Joakim as high priest, instead of his descendant Johanan.

184. Josephus.—Antiquities of the Jews, xi., vi.

185. Athenseos tells a different story. Nektanebos he says, was captured by Okhos and treated with kindness; and when sitting at dinner with his conqueror, remarked that the proverbial magnificence of the Persian kings fell far short of his own; that he had been ruined by his own wealth, and conquered by the other’s moderation.

186. This statement may be an exaggeration. The Persians at this period deemed it a profanation to burn or bury the dead, but suffered the flesh to be devoured by birds and animals, and this may have been done with the body of the monarch.

187. The statue seen by Nebukhadnezzar in his dream as described in the book of Daniel was an image of Serapis. The Rev. C. W. King adds to this quotation: “There can be no doubt that the head of Serapis, marked, as the face is by a grand and pensive serenity, supplied the first idea of the conventional portraits of the Savior.

The Persian divinity, Mithras, also received a general homage in the Roman world, and divided the honors of divinity and mediatorship.

188. Ebers: Uarda, Chaps, ii., iii.

189. Samuel Sharpe: “History of Egypt,” x, 25.

190. Rev. C. W. King, “The Gnostics and their Remains.”

191. Cornelius Dolabella was the husband of Tullia, the daughter of Cicero, but her father required them to be divorced on account of his profligracy. He acted with the republicans after the death of Caesar, but Mark Antony, during his brief term of supreme power at Rome, was able to bring him back into his party.