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selves kings, they must have been entirely under the rule of Osirtesen III., and Amunmai Thori III., who have left us evidence in their buildings that their sway reached both to the north and to the south of these cities. The fall of This may in part be explained by comparing its position to that of Thebes. The city of This stands on high ground at the foot of the Libyan hills, separated from the Nile by a plain rich in groves and villages, which its fortified temple overlooks and ornaments; but Thebes is on the river's edge, and therefore better placed for trade. While This commands only the opening in the hills from the desert, through which now and then a few Arabs with their camels from the Great Oasis reached the valley of the Nile, Thebes commands the route which was every day becoming more important (with wells of water by the way), by which the trade of the Red Sea reached the boats on the river. Thus This bowed its head to Thebes, as Thebes was afterwards to yield to the cities in the Delta.


(38) AMUNOTHPH I. (see Fig. 36) reigned next; but by comparing together the lists of kings which have been preserved at Abydos, at Karnak, and in the Excerpta. Memnonium, he would seem to have had two sets of predecessors; one the series of kings whom we have already found reigning at Thebes, and the other perhaps his ancestors through whom he claimed descent from Osirtesen I. He probably added to his dominions a part of Ethiopia, which he may have gained by marriage; as his wife, Ames-athori, from her dark-coloured face among Wilkinson, the Thebes. Fig. 36. red Egyptians, would seem to have been an Ethiopian. In some pictures her skin is painted black like a Negro. His first name, also, Sebekra, rather links him to Ethiopia, where the crocodile-god Sebek was chiefly worshipped. The increasing population of the Thebaid spread itself, either as conquerors or as traders, among their less civilised neighbours in the upper part of the valley of the Nile, and also on the coast of the Red Sea. Among the tombs which are tunnelled into the limestone hills on the western side of the river, opposite to Thebes, is one which was made in this

VOL. I..


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reign, and it seems to be the oldest in that neighbourhood. On the wall is carved a funeral procession by water, where the mummy of the dead man is lying in a boat, and is followed by other boats full of mourning friends and kinsmen ; while in another place are some of his friends throwing dust upon their heads in token of grief. The water which they are being ferried across is most likely one of the lakes which are found near many of the temples, and which seem to have been dug for these ceremonies. Hence the Greeks afterwards borrowed their River Styx, the Lake of Acheron, Charon's boat, with other notions about the souls of the dead. The burialplaces in the sides of the Theban hills are wide and lofty rooms, with their roofs upheld by columns, and their walls covered with paintings, which can be seen only by the dim light of the torch. These were meant to keep the embalmed bodies safe and undisturbed till the day of judgment; and, while the slight mud and wooden huts which sheltered the living reminded them of the shortness of human life, these massive buildings well deserved their name of the lasting abodes. The mummies which were buried in them have long since been broken to pieces in the search for gold and precious stones, which were often wrapt up in the same bandages with the body; and hence this sculpture in the reign of Amunothph I. is perhaps the earliest proof that can now be quoted of the Egyptian custom of embalming the dead. With the mummy were sometimes buried, not only treasures which the man valued when alive, but farming tools and corn for seed, for his use when he should come to life again; and the tombstone usually describes the buried man not as dead but as now living for ever. The days between the death and burial of a friend are always a most trying time for the grieving survivors; and this time the Egyptians lengthened to seventy melancholy days.

(39) Amunothph, like most of the Egyptian kings, was worshipped as a god. On a stone in the British Museum we see him with his queen Amesathori, with the sun upon his head, and before him is a table or altar on which a worshipper is pouring out a British libation. On another stone, made perhaps in the Museum. next reign, while he is styled the son of Amun, Ames-athori is styled the wife of Amun; as if the new king

Egyptian Inscriptions, plate 7.

denied that he owed his birth to his father, and claimed, as his father had done before him, to be the child of his mother and of the great god Amun-Ra.

Tablet of


(40) MESPHRA-THOTHMOSIS I. (see Fig. 37), who reigned next, enlarged the great temple or citadel of Karnak at Thebes, which had been begun by Osirtesen I., and he set up some Abydos. obelisks in front of it. Of these Wilkinson, early buildings every new temple or part of a temple was grander than the last. The architects were truly great men; they had been driven by the want of wood to work wholly in stone, and they made good use of that material. They can have borrowed thoughts from nobody. They Fig. 37. drew from the storehouse of their own minds, and brought forth conceptions grand beyond all that had yet been seen. They discovered many of the rules by which is produced the sublime in art. They were above the use of trifling ornament. They felt the dignity of their calling; they had to do honour to their gods and to raise the thoughts of their fellow-worshippers towards heaven. Few of their buildings now remain; but even the later Egyptian temples, which were copied from them, are the world's models for solemn grandeur in architecture. At this time the granite quarries in the neighbourhood of Syene were busily worked, and the cutting out and removal of long blocks to be set up as obelisks at Thebes, proves the great skill of the engineers and the goodness of the workmen's tools. Of the statues and monuments carved out of this hard stone we know of none which were certainly made before this reign. There are reasons, as we have said, for thinking that the granite obelisks bearing the name of Osirtesen I. were made much later. But after the time of Thothmosis I. the use of granite becomes common for the royal works. Hence we may suppose that it was not till about this time that the knowledge of iron had encouraged the opening of quarries in the harder rocks.

(41) Near Tombos, at the third cataract, are large quarries of granite where were made the statues and sphinxes for the temples between that town and the quarries of Syene. At


lib. iii. 3.

Tombos, the name of Thothmosis I. is found on the buildings; from which we learn that a part of that country had already been brought under the sceptre of Egypt, and this most likely took place at the marriage of Amunothph I. Thothmosis may even have held Napata, the capital of Ethiopia, and the whole valley of the Nile to the north of Meroë; but we find no monuments of his now remaining quite so far south. Ethiopia, however, as far as Tombos, and sometimes as far as Napata, remained joined to Egypt for many centuries; and the temples, with their paintings, statues, and hieroglyphics, prove that whatever may have been the original race of people, the Coptic blood, religion, and language had mixed largely with the natives. The temples, at the same time, teach us that the arts of civilisation were in every way less forward in Ethiopia than in Egypt; the Ethiopian temples are only like those of Thebes as bad copies are like the originals; and when the Greek Siculus, historians tell us that Egypt was indebted to Ethiopia for its civilization, we have no difficulty in understanding that they were using both names in the more early sense, and that they should have said that the Delta received its knowledge of arts and letters from the Thebaid. The Ethiopian burial-places are small pyramids like those near Memphis, but with the addition of a portico borrowed from the Theban temples. The Thebans on the east side of the river had been tempted, by the nature of the rock, to form their underground tombs in the limestone hills on the left or western bank, and had thereby fixed in the language of their religion, Amenti, or the abode of the dead, in the west. So at Napata, the capital of Ethiopia, at the foot of Mount Barkal, situated at the limit of the tropical rains, the priests, following the Theban custom, built their little pyramids on the opposite or left bank of the river, though from the bend in the stream it placed their Amenti in the east. In the hieroglyphics the elephant, river-horse, and camelopard of Ethiopia are as little to be seen as the horse and camel of Arabia; while the temples at Napata, near the fourth cataract, are ornamented with the lotus of Lower Egypt.

(42) While these sovereigns were reigning in Upper Egypt, the race of kings or priests of Memphis was governing

ch. xxxvii.

Lower Egypt. While the kings of Thebes were hollowing their tombs out of the rock, the kings of Memphis continued that most ancient custom of building pyramids for their burial-places. The historian Manetho has told us their names; but the great temple of their chief god, Pthah, and any others that they raised, have long since been destroyed to furnish building materials for the modern city of Cairo, and hence their names remain an insulated and less useful piece of knowledge. It was during these reigns, after the Shepherd kings had been driven out of the country, and while the very name of a shepherd was hateful to the Egyptians, that the family of Jacob settled Genesis, in Egypt. The account of Joseph's arrival there, and of his family following him, is related in the book of Genesis with biographical minuteness; and though criticism will not allow us to accept it all as history, yet the mention of Egypt and its customs, even if belonging to a later age, is too interesting to be omitted. It chanced that a company of Ishmaelite and Midianite merchants, travelling in a caravan from Gilead, with their camels laden with spicery and balm and myrrh for the Egyptian markets, had bought the young Joseph from his brethren for twenty pieces of silver, and on their arrival in Egypt they sold him as a slave to Potiphar, an officer of the king and a captain of the guard. Joseph's misfortunes all led to his own good. He soon rose by his good conduct to the head of his master's household; and when he was afterwards thrown into prison, by the wickedness of Potiphar's wife, it only led to his further advancement, and, by removing him to the capital, enabled him to rise in the king's service as he had before risen under the captain of the guard. It was not long before two of the great officers of state, the chief butler and the chief baker, were thrown into the same prison with Joseph, for some offence against the king; and he was able to bring himself into notice by a successful interpretation of these officers' dreams. It happened on the third day exactly as Joseph had foretold. That day was the king's birthday, and he dined with his nobles in grand state; and the chief butler was then restored to favour and to his high rank, and he handed the cup of grape-juice to the king in the presence of all the court; and on the same day

ch. xl.

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