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opposite to Memphis, the sculptures on the face of the rock tell us of the size of the stones there cut. In one place six oxen are dragging along a sledge with a block of stone on it, which measures eight feet by four; and the early date of the sculpture makes us suppose that this stone was to form part of the casing for the pyramids (see Fig. 22). We see in

Fig. 22.

these buildings neither taste nor beauty, but their size and simplicity raise in us a feeling of grandeur, which is not a little heightened by the thought of the generations which they have outlived. They take their name from the words Pi-Rama, the mountain, and though when compared with mountains they may perhaps seem small, when measured by any human scale are found to be truly gigantic. They are the largest buildings in the world. It is not easy to imagine the patience needed to build them; and we can well forgive the mistake of the vulgar, who have thought that in the early ages of the world men were of larger stature and longer lives than ourselves. They can only have been raised by the untiring labour of years; and they are a proof of a low state of civilization, when compared with the buildings of Upper Egypt. Yet the builders were men of great minds and lofty aim, and had not a little knowledge of mathematics and mechanics to shape and move the huge blocks, and to raise them to their places. The Temples of Thebes and the Pyramids of Memphis belong to different classes of the sublime in art. As we examine the massive roof, the strength of the walls and columns, and the sculptured figures of the Theban buildings, we feel encouraged in our efforts to overcome difficulties, and to do something great. As we gaze upon the huge simple pyramids, without parts and without ornament, we bow down in awe and wonder. The pyramids were built as tombs for the kings, and they may be taken as a measure of their pride. Each of these mountains of stone was to cover the body of one weak man, and to keep it after embalming till the day of his resurrection.

Lib. ii. 124.

(27) Herodotus was told that each pyramid took twenty years in building, and that one hundred thousand men were unceasingly employed on the work, who were relieved every three months; while it was recorded in the hieroglyphical inscription then existing on the side of the largest pyramid, that sixteen hundred talents of silver were spent on the radishes, onions, and garlick, for the workmen, which was probably their only pay; and which, if the number of workmen is not exaggerated, was only eighteenpence a year of our money for each man. The wear of the last three thousand years has now removed from the sides of the pyramids the inscriptions which might have disclosed to us with greater certainty their builders' names and history; but that they were ornamented with hieroglyphics, we have the testimony of Herodotus, Dion Cassius, the Arabic writers, and other travellers till the fourteenth century. Of Vyse's these two pyramids, that which was first built (see Pyramids. Fig. 21) is rather the smaller, and the more simple

in its plan. The chamber in the middle, which held the sarcophagus with the king's body, is on the ground, and is entered by a passage nearly straight. Nothing that has been discovered in the stonework of the older pyramid proves that the builder, when he began, had made up his mind how large it should be. It may be that his ambition increased as the work grew under his hand. But it was otherwise with that

Fig. 23.

Fig. 24.

built by Nef-chofo (see Fig. 23). The second builder began with the intention that his pyramid should surpass the former, both in size and in safety against being opened. The

chamber for the body (see Fig. 24) is not on the ground, but raised from it by 135 feet; it is curiously and carefully roofed, to save it from being crushed by the weight which was to be placed overhead. The passages were So arranged that the workmen, when they had placed the body in its chamber, could close its entrance by heavy stones let fall from within, and then as a method of escape let themselves down by a well into a second passage 90 feet below the surface of the rock, and thus return to the open air. The pyramids were built in steps, and casing stones were afterwards added to make the sides flat. The angle at which the sides slope seems to have been determined by the simple direction to the workmen, that, when a row of stones was five measures high, the row above was to be pushed back four measures. In order to bring the stones from the boats on the Nile to the rising ground on which the pyramids were to be built, it was found necessary to form a causeway over the low ground by the river side. This great work, which Herodotus thought little less gigantic than the pyramids themselves, was a thousand yards long, fifty feet broad, and

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Fig. 25.-Plan of the Pyramids.

in some places forty feet high; and it was probably raised higher and higher as each row of stones was added to the pyramid, so that every stone was rolled to its place up this

inclined plane. This great causeway, which led straight towards the older pyramid, was afterwards turned aside towards the larger (see Fig. 25); and thus clearly declares to us that it was first made for one purpose, and then used for a second.

(28) In front of the pyramid the second in size, lies the huge sphinx (see Fig. 26), a lion with a man's head, fifty

Fig. 26.


yards long, carved out of the rock, with its face to the rising There were probably at one time two of these monsters, one on each side of the approach to the pyramid. So it is perhaps of the same age as the pyramid that it was meant to ornament. The sphinx had on its forehead the sacred asp, the usual mark of royalty, which the kings wore in gold tied on by the fillet or diadem. The shape of its skull is like that of the people of the Delta; it has a greater length from the chin to the back of the head than we see in the statues of the Theban kings.

(29) Many wise or bold men must have before ruled over the Thebans, gratifying their own ambition, while by keeping order they helped the people to improve the arts of life. They must have deserved our gratitude by fostering inventions in their infancy; but as they did not invent history they sleep unhonoured and unknown. Osirtesen is the first great king of Thebes that we meet with, the first of those whose monuments remain to us with their names carved upon the everlasting granite; but by a comparison of the tablets of kings at Karnak and at Abydos he seems to have been the last of his family. His descendants were only chief priests in the temple. If we follow Manetho, in writing by means of a G, K, or Ch, a character which in later times was a T, or Th, his name may have been Osiri.

gesen. He had a predecessor, whose name we may perhaps venture to pronounce AMUNMAI THORI (Fig. 27), or Amunmai Chori, the conqueror beloved by Amun. He again was followed by Noubkora, AMUNMAI THORI II. (Fig. 28), Meshophra, OSIRTESEN II. (Fig. 29), Meskora, OSIRTESEN III. (Fig. 30), AMUNMAI THORI III. (Fig. 31), and Queen SCEMIOPHRA (Fig. 32); but though we find their names on

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Fig. 30.

Fig. 31.

Fig. 32.

the tablet of kings at Abydos, in the list of the forefathers of the great Rameses, they are not mentioned in the genealogical table on the walls of the Memnonium at Thebes. It is doubtful how far the sway of each reached. But under them Thebes was every year rising in power, and the country marked as theirs by their sculptured buildings becomes in every reign wider than in the last. On the south we find that Osirtesen III. was master of part of Ethiopia as far as Samneh at the second cataract. Lepsius's To the east their names are found on the coast of the



Red Sea, near the port of Ænum or Cosseir, which Wilkinson, even at that early time enriched the kingdom of Thebes by its trade with Arabia. To the north, on the west of the Nile, the little kingdom of Heracleopolis falls under their sway; and the name of Amunmai Thori III. is found in the palace called the Labarinth, on the banks of the Lake of Maris, which, according to Manetho, had been built two reigns earlier by Labaris.

(30) The strip of country on the whole of the Arabian

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