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longest day, and the days when the great stars were first seen to rise at daybreak. They had not yet learned the use of a gnomon in the line of the earth's pole, and the more exact observation of noting the time of the equinox.
(33) The temple of the Memnonium is surrounded at the back and at the two sides by vaults built of unburnt bricks, which would seem to have been each a dwelling for one of the priests of lower rank. They are about 130 in number (see Fig. 90). A smaller number of priests of higher rank,
perhaps twenty, may have lived within the temple, in the small rooms around the sanctuary. The duty of these priests, who were maintained at the public expense, was to make sacrifices and offer prayers on behalf of the nation, in order to win the favour of the gods. The king, as head of the priesthood, also took the same duty upon himself. The sculptures on the columns and walls are chiefly employed in
declaring the king's unwearied attention to the duty of making offerings to the various gods (see Fig. 91). Many of his statues represent him on his knees holding up either a shrine, the model of a temple, or a basin to receive the offerings and libations. In this way he was supposed to return the nation's thanks for blessings received, and to make atonement for the sins of the people; and the sculptures may be said to state his claim to the gratitude of the nation for so doing.
(34) Besides the temples and colossal statues of this king, we find a countless number of smaller works bearing his name, such as statues of priests, votive basins, and funereal tablets from the tombs. Of no other king whatever is the name so often met with on the monuments. This, however, partly arises from the nation continuing his series of dates for some few years after his death; as we must suppose that tablets dated in the 62nd year of Rameses II. were made under one of his successors, more particularly as Rameses is therein said to be beloved by Osiris, the judge of the dead. The only works remaining at Memphis of this king are his overthrown colossal statue, which stood forty-five feet high, and a smaller statue of his son. The former is of limestone, and the largest known statue of that softer material. It may perhaps have been sculptured in Lower Egypt in the
quarries of Toora. The latter is of granite. The yet larger granite statue which once stood in Memphis, of which
the fist is in the British Museum, was also probably of this king, though no name now remains to prove it.
Fig. 92.-Rameses II. slaying his Enemies.
(35) The Egyptian wars were now carried on, not as before, only against their neighbours of the desert and the southern part of the valley, but also against distant nations in Asia. Carved and painted on the walls of the temples of Thebes are the king's victories over Negroes and Ethiopians, over Arabs, and over a people whose single lock of hair on a shorn head proves that they were of a Tartar or Scythian race; he slays them to the honour of the god Amun-Ra (see Fig. 92), and the artists, not content, like Homer, with making the hero a head and shoulders taller than the soldiers around him, paint the conqueror many times as tall as the pigmy enemy whom he is destroying at a single blow (see Fig. 75). The hieroglyphics which were read to Germanicus in the reign of Tiberius recounted the Egyptian victories over the Libyans and Ethiopians of Africa, the Medes, Persians, Bactrians, Scythians, Syrians, and Armenians of the East, and the Cappadocians, Bythinians, and Lycians of Asia Minor, together with the weight of gold and silver, and the other gifts which these nations sent to Thebes as their yearly tribute. This inscription teaches at least that these nations were known by name in Thebes, though we cannot believe Rameses had overrun the lands of all. The more distant may have been allies in the service of those who were nearer to him; his battles with the Persians and Bactrians may have been fought on the banks of the Tigris. But the Egyptians in the pride of strength were raising up an enmity with the nations on the Tigris and Euphrates, which was to be the cause of unceasing wars, till the invaders were themselves invaded, and then Egypt sank under the struggle.
(36) The march of Rameses through Palestine, and the battles that he must have fought with the warlike Philistines, are not mentioned in the Old Testament; this may have arisen from his keeping close to the coast-a part of the country not then held by the Jews. The Hebrew nation was in its infancy, ruled over by its Judges, or living in servitude under the Canaanites. They had not yet gained possession of Jerusalem, their future capital, nor conquered the Philistines of the coast; and probably the march of the Egyptian army weakened the power of these enemies of the
Jews, and helped the latter to the conquest of Canaan. The overthrow of the iron power of the Philistines took B.C. 1150. place at about this time. Their forces may have been scattered and their strength broken by the Egyptian arms. The heroic struggles of Samson were made Judges, xv. against the stragglers of a routed army, or a people whose soldiers were wanted in another quarter. The blank in the Hebrew writers, during the fifty years before the reign of Saul, may be partly filled by this passage from Egyptian history. Herodotus was told that the people of Colchis on the eastern shores of the Euxine Sea, to the south of the great chain of the Caucasus, were Egyptian in their language and manners, and that they were colonists who had been left behind there on the River Phasis by the Egyptian hero Sesostris on his return home from the conquest of Thrace. It is by no means unlikely that Rameses II., the widest of the Egyptian conquerors, should have marched to the foot of the Caucasus, even if the Colchians should not be allowed to have been Egyptians; but that he should have crossed into Europe and fought in Thrace is very improbable. On his return home he left behind him boastful monuments in the countries which he
Lib. ii. 104.
conquered; and one of these still remains in Syria near Beyroot (see Fig. 93).
(37) The art of war was less rude among the Egyptians