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building is dedicated to Amun-Ra, the Sun, whom the queen calls her father, the god whom the Thebans chiefly worshipped. As, by the fall of This and union with Memphis, Thebes was now the capital of all Egypt, it had no enemy to fear, and was no longer held within its old walls and moats.

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Fig. 41.

(48) The buildings which were being raised by Queen Nitocris, at the same time in Upper and in Lower Egypt, prove the different degrees of civilization in the two people, I and almost the difference in their political institutions. The LS temple-palaces of Thebes, ornamented with columns, obelisks, f statues, sculpture without, and paintings within, were made by freemen who worked for their own religion and their own honour; but the pyramids of Memphis may have been made by slaves, driven by taskmasters, and working only for the vanity of their master. But we ought not to suppose any greater skill in the architects of either city than each case proves; and of the various ways in which the engineering difficulties might have been overcome, we may take it for granted that the rudest was that actually used. We know that when a town was to be stormed, the military engineers were often driven to the slow and laborious method of raising

against it a mound of earth of the same height as the city wall, and from this the besiegers attacked the garrison on equal terms. If the granite sarcophagus of a bull, weighing seventy tons without its lid, was to be let down into a well little more than its own size, within a chamber so narrow that machines could not be used, it could only be done by first filling the well with sand, then moving the sarcophagus on rollers on to the top of the well, and lastly lifting out the sand by handfuls while the sarcophagus standing on it was rocked from side to side on its arched bottom, and slowly sunk down into its resting-place. If an obelisk ninety feet long, or a statue fifty feet high, was to be placed upright, a groove or notch was first cut in the pedestal on which it was to stand, so that while it was being raised, one edge of its lower end might turn in that groove as on a hinge. The obelisk or statue was then brought by means of rollers till its lower end rested over this groove, and then its head was lifted up probably by means of a mound of earth, which was raised higher and higher, till the stone which leaned on it was set up on one end (see Fig. 42). If a huge block was to

be placed on the top of a wall, it may have been rolled on rollers up a mound of sand to its place. Such labour will, in time, overcome difficulties which yield more quickly to a smaller force when skilfully directed. Of the six simple machines called the mechanical powers, the Egyptians used the wedge, the lever, and the inclined plane, but seem not to have known the screw, the pulley, or the wheel and axle. Though their chariots ran on wheels, they chose to drag a colossal statue on a sledge, rather than to risk the unsteadiness of putting rollers under it. Though heavy sail by running the rope through a hole in the top of the mast, they had no moveable

Fig. 42.

their sailors pulled up the

pulley fixed to the sail whereby a man can raise more than his own weight.

(49) Thus far we have traced a rather uncertain path through the reigns of twelve kings of Thebes, to whom Manetho has given names; and by mentioning the temples which they built we have been able to show both that they were real persons, and also what width of country they governed. Interpreting Manetho's disjointed lists by the help of the Tablet of Abydos, we have placed them in unbroken succession, and have put aside without notice the kings of the other cities, who have left us no records, believing that they were reigning at the same time, and were of a lower rank, and that thus their reigns add nothing to the time embraced within our chronology. This view of the case is very much supported by Eratosthenes, who in his list has nine kings in place of our eight, between Amunmai Thori II., the first on the Tablet of Abydos, and Queen Nitocris. But Eratosthenes, while agreeing with our chronology, does not agree with our history. He lets us know that our authorities are partial to Thebes, that the Theban kings were not always sovereigns; that the kings of Memphis sometimes governed Egypt, and at those times he leaves our Theban kings unnoticed. Nor does he always agree with us in the order of succession. Thus after Noubkora, our Amunmai Thori II., he places Chofo and Nef-chofo, the builders of the pyramids, as if Thebes were then under the shade of Memphis. After them he returns the sovereignty to the Thebans, and places Meskora, our Osirtesen III. He then again gives the sovereignty to Memphis in the person of Phiops, or to the Shepherds in the person of Apophis, who after two reigns is followed by Queen Nitocris. But the monuments seem not to support these opinions of Eratosthenes.




(1) HITHERTO Egypt had been always under more than one sceptre. There had been many sovereign cities in which the chief priest of the temple, or head of the monastery, had at one time or other held the rank of king over the district of which that city was the capital. But we have hardly been able to note when these little kings sunk down to the rank of chief priest and magistrate in their several cities, and left the sovereignty to their more powerful neighbours of Thebes and Memphis. This great change in the political condition of Egypt was probably gradual; but the war which ended. with the expulsion of the Phenicians, as it strengthened the power of the greater monarchies, so it left the others dependent on them. The most important union, however, was that between Thebes and Memphis, which took place by marriage in the last reign. This union, however, was not yet complete; THOTHMOSIS III. (see Fig. 43) on coming to the throne was a minor; Queen Nitocris, who had before governed for her husband, now governed for his successor; and even when the young Thothmosis came of age, he was hardly king of the whole country till after the death of Nitocris. We may remark that, on the buildings and tablets where we find her Fig. 43. name joined either with that of her husband or of her successor, one or other of the names has in most cases,.for some political reasons, been carefully cut out.

(2) Queen NITOCRIS, according to the historian Manetho, was the builder of the smallest of the three large Vyse's pyramids near Memphis. The name of King Pyramids. Mecora, or Mencora, or Mencophra (see Fig. 44), has been found on the wooden mummy case in its underground chamber (see Fig. 45). The same name has also

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been found in the fourth pyramid (see Fig. 46), which was built beside it within the same enclosure and at the same


Fig. 44.

Fig. 45.

Fig. 46.

time. The largest of these two was no doubt meant for the king, and the smaller for somebody of less importance, probably Queen Nitocris herself. The name of King Mecora, which was used only at Memphis, and never at Thebes, was probably meant for her second colleague on the throne, Thothmosis III., whose first name, as written in Thebes, was Mehora, Menhora, or Menhophra. The guttural sound, written H or Th in Thebes, was written K or Ch in Memphis. Or it might even mean herself, as her full name was Mykera Amun-Neithchori (see Fig. 40); and in her sculptures she is usually, though not always, dressed in man's clothes (see Fig. 47), to represent that she was a queen in her own right and not a queen consort. Herodotus says that, according to some, the third pyramid was built by King Mykerinus, and according to others, by a woman. At any rate, the agreement between the name in the pyramids and this queen's name, proves that Nitocris, who reigned at Thebes and was the last Memphite sovereign, was of the same family with the builder of the third and fourth pyramids. But she was probably the builder of them both, the smaller one for herself, and the larger one for the young King Thothmosis III.

Lib. ii. 34.

Fig. 47.

(3) The state of the arts was now changed in Memphis. Size was no longer valued so much as workmanship. This

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