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be born. She is then
placed upon a stool, after
the custom of the Egyp-
tian mothers, as men-
tioned in the
book of Exodus.
While seated there, two
nurses chafe her hands to
support her against the
pains of child-birth; and
the new-born child is
held up beside her by a
third nurse.
In another
place the priests and
nobles are saluting their
future king. In this way
the sculpture declares
that the young king had
no earthly father; and
it explains what
Diod. Sic. was meant by
lib. i. 47. the royal title
of Son of Amun-Ra, and
also how the Greeks came
to be afterwards told that
the Egyptian queens were
Jupiter's concubines.

(see Fig. 62), her son,
though not one of the
Tablet of greatest Egyp-
Abydos. tian kings, is
Denon, one of those
pl. 44.
best known,
from his celebrated musi-
cal statue. It is one of
two colossal figures, each
above fifty feet high, sit-
ting side by side in the
plain opposite Thebes,
having their feet washed

ch. i. 16.

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Fig. 61.-The Birth of King Amunothph III.


Fig. 62.

every autumn by the inundation, and every morning casting their long shadows on the white Libyan hills. They sit in front of a small temple built by this king. The most northerly of these is the sacred statue, and after the fall of the city it was visited by travellers as one of the chief wonders in that wonderful country, to hear the musical sounds which it uttered every morning at sunrise. As a work of sculpture it is not unlike the smaller statues in the British Museum (see Fig. 63), which were made in the same reign; and from them we may learn the state to which the arts had then reached. Their attitudes are all simple, and, whether sitting or standing, they are in straight lines, and looking straight forward. If they are standing, their hands hang down on each side; if they are sitting, they rest on the knees. The bodies are without motion, and the faces without expression. The hands and feet are badly formed, the beard stiff, the limbs round, with only a few of the larger muscles marked, and the drapery is without folds. But nevertheless there is a great breadth in the parts, a justness in the proportions, and a grandeur in the simplicity. At a little distance the faults are not seen; and, as there is nothing mean or trifling to call off the eye from judging the whole, they never fail to please the skilful beholder, and have at all times been praised by the best judges, ancient as well as modern. They teach us the superiority of rest over action, if we would represent the dignified and the sublime in art. But the sculptors wished their work to be lasting rather than beautiful; they made them not of white marble but of red granite or Wilkinson, coarse gritstone. Amunothph III. also began one T'hebes. of the great temples of Thebes, now called the temple of Luxor (see Fig. 64), and made large additions to the older temple of Karnak, to which it formerly was

Fig. 63.

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Joined by an avenue of sphinxes half a mile long. He built the small temple of Kneph at Elephantine. His wars and victories on the south of Egypt are recorded in a boastful way on the pedestal of one of his statues, where more than thirty Negro prisoners with thick lips and bushy hair stand with their arms tied behind, and each bears the name of a conquered district of Ethiopia. His name is found above the granite district of the second cataract oftener than that of any other Egyptian king; and he ornamented the temple of Soleb with statues and sphinxes of red granite, worked by Egyptian sculptors in the quarries near Tombos at the third cataract.

Fig. 64.

(20) The Egyptian columns were for the most part formed like a cluster of four or eight stalks of papyrus bound together by cords, and having a capital formed by the same number of buds of the plant. Such are the columns in Amunothph's temples in Thebes and in Soleb in Ethiopia (see Fig. 65). But in the temples built by this monarch we also find the earliest instances of columns formed like one monstrously thick stalk of papyrus (see Figs. 66 and 67), small at the base, and swelling wider from the ground, with a bud or flower for the capital. The architecture of all nations shows many of the peculiarities of their country, climate, and customs. The Chinese palace is copied from the tents in which the chief of the Tartar tribes encamps when with his army; the Greek portico is copied from the wooden roof of the cottage, upheld by trunks of trees; and the more pointed roof of the Gothic cathedral is fitted to the rainy weather of our northern climate. So the portico to an Egyptian temple seems to be taken from the entrance to one of their tombs quarried into the side of the limestone hills. The covered part of the building is always low and solid; the walls are thicker at the base, so that the sides slope inward like a pyramid; and to point out more clearly to the eye this

Egypt. Inscrip. 2nd Ser.

pl. 25, 26.


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strongest of forms, the door-posts are set upright. hieroglyphics and sculptured figures, with which the face of

Fig. 65.

Fig. 66.

Fig. 67.

the walls is covered, are so slightly cut that they take nothing from the solidity, but rather remind us of it. To increase this massive look by means of contrast, two light and lofty obelisks are placed before the door. The thickness of the solid roof is shown by the overhanging cornice and its shadow; but on entering the door-way this mass of stonework seems yet more heavy, when the eye measures the gigantic columns, which are set almost as thick as they can stand to uphold it. The aim of the builder was to produce grandeur by means of vast weight, and of yet more vast strength in the supports. A nation that made temples so grand, cannot have been blind to the grandeur of a good action. Men who allowed no false ornament in a statue, must have disliked the sight of meanness in behaviour. Such temples and such statues, whether standing or in ruins, raise high ambitious thoughts in the minds of many that see them, and they send some away with resolves to serve their country and their fellow-creatures, and with the wish to build for themselves a virtuous fame, by taking pains in some great work.

(21) By some tie or other, whether friendly or unfriendly, Amunothph III. of Thebes was closely allied to the cities in the eastern half of the Delta. He styled himself lord of Mendes, and ornamented his temple at Thebes with a row of colossal statues of the cat-headed goddess Pasht, who was more particularly the goddess of the city of Bubastis. On the base of each he is said to be beloved by this goddess, who is otherwise so little known in Upper Egypt.

(22) Amunothph's tomb is one of the oldest of the royal tombs near Thebes, and is a set of rooms, above three hundred feet long, tunnelled into the hill. The tomb of his wife Taia is also found in the valley of queens' tombs. They were both worshipped as gods, as we learn from a slab in the British Museum, where King Amunothph and his Queen Taia are seated with Osiris; while the goddess Isis is left standing beside them. In this reign, the quarries near Syene were actively worked for the hard black stone which, from the name of that town, is still called syenite. They had probably not been before opened. The quarries of red granite had been opened four reigns earlier, and had hitherto furnished the stone for the royal statues. But in this and the next reign a large number of statues were made of this very hard black stone; and to this time we may probably assign most of the syenite statues of gods and priests which have no king's name upon them; as in three reigns later, the better taste of the sculptors led them back to the granite quarries.

Tablet of

(23) The next king, AMUNMAI ANEMNEB, or Hor-nemneb (see Fig. 68), if we may thus Abydos. venture to write his name, has Wilkinson, left a large grotto among the Thebes. sandstone quarries near Silsilis, on the walls of which he has recorded his victories over the Ethiopians. He is represented in a car, pursuing with bended bow the flying enemy, who after their defeat beg for peace; and in another picture he is leading home his prisoners in triumph. Near Abou Simbel, in Ethiopia, is a small temple dedicated to Knef and Amun-Ra, which was cut out of the rock by this king. We have two of his statues in

Fig. 68.


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