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Title: History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12)
Author: Maspero, G. (Gaston), 1846-1916
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 5 (of 12)" ***

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[Illustration: Spines]

[Illustration: Cover]


By G. MASPERO, Honorable Doctor of Civil Laws, and Fellow of Queen's
College, Oxford; Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of

Edited by A. H. SAYCE, Professor of Assyriology, Oxford

Translated by M. L. McCLURE, Member of the Committee of the Egypt
Exploration Fund


Volume V.




[Illustration: Frontispiece]

[Illustration: Titlepage]



_Thutmosis III.: the talcing of Qodshâ in the 42nd year of his
reign--The tribute of the south--The triumph-song of Amon._

_The constitution of the Egyptian empire--The Grown vassals and
their relations with the Pharaoh--The king's messengers--The allied
states--Royal presents and marriages; the status of foreigners in the
royal harem--Commerce with Asia, its resources and its risks; protection
granted to the national industries, and treaties of extradition._

_Amenôthes II, his campaigns in Syria and Nubia--Thûtmosis IV.; his
dream under the shadow of the Sphinx and his marriage--Amenôthes III.
and his peaceful reign--The great building works--The temples of
Nubia: Soleb and his sanctuary built by Amenôthes III, Gebel Barkal,
Elephantine--The beautifying of Thebes: the temple of Mat, the temples
of Amon at Luxor and at Karnak, the tomb of Amenôthes III, the chapel
and the colossi of Memnon._

_The increasing importance of Anion and his priests: preference shown
by Amenôthes III. for the Heliopolitan gods, his marriage with Tii--The
influence of Tii over Amenôthes IV.: the decadence of Amon and of
Thebes, Atonû and Khûîtniatonû--Change of physiognomy in Khûniaton, his
character, his government, his relations with Asia: the tombs of Tel
el-Amarna and the art of the period--Tutanlchamon, At: the return of the
Pharaohs to Thebes and the close of the XVIIIth dynasty._


_Thutmosis III.: the organisation of the Syrian provinces--Amenothes
III.: the royal worshippers of Atonû._

In the year XXXIV. the Egyptians reappeared in Zahi. The people of
Anaugasa having revolted, two of their towns were taken, a third
surrendered, while the chiefs of the Lotanû hastened to meet their lord
with their usual tribute. Advantage was taken of the encampment being at
the foot of the Lebanon to procure wood for building purposes, such as
beams and planks, masts and yards for vessels, which were all shipped by
the Kefâtiu at Byblos for exportation to the Delta. This expedition was,
indeed, little more than a military march through the country. It would
appear that the Syrians soon accustomed themselves to the presence of
the Egyptians in their midst, and their obedience henceforward could be
fairly relied on. We are unable to ascertain what were the circumstances
or the intrigues which, in the year XXXV., led to a sudden outbreak
among the tribes settled on the Euphrates and the Orontes. The King
of Mitanni rallied round him the princes of Naharaim, and awaited the
attack of the Egyptians near Aruna. Thûtmosis displayed great personal
courage, and the victory was at once decisive. We find mention of only
ten prisoners, one hundred and eighty mares, and sixty chariots in the
lists of the spoil. Anaugasa again revolted, and was subdued afresh
in the year XXXVIII.; the Shaûsû rebelled in the year XXXIX., and the
Lotanû or some of the tribes connected with them two years later. The
campaign of the year XLII. proved more serious. Troubles had arisen in
the neighbourhood of Arvad. Thûtmosis, instead of following the usual
caravan route, marched along the coast-road by way of Phoenicia. He
destroyed Arka in the Lebanon and the surrounding strongholds, which
were the haunts of robbers who lurked in the mountains; then turning to
the northeast, he took Tunipa and extorted the usual tribute from
the inhabitants of Naharaim. On the other hand, the Prince of Qodshû,
trusting to the strength of his walled city, refused to do homage to the
Pharaoh, and a deadly struggle took place under the ramparts, in which
each side availed themselves of all the artifices which the strategic
warfare of the times allowed. On a day when the assailants and besieged
were about to come to close quarters, the Amorites let loose a mare
among the chariotry of Thûtmosis. The Egyptian horses threatened to
become unmanageable, and had begun to break through the ranks, when
Amenemhabî, an officer of the guard, leaped to the ground, and, running
up to the creature, disembowelled it with a thrust of his sword; this
done, he cut off its tail and presented it to the king. The besieged
were eventually obliged to shut themselves within their newly
built walls, hoping by this means to tire out the patience of their
assailants; but a picked body of men, led by the same brave Amenemhabî
who had killed the mare, succeeded in making a breach and forcing an
entrance into the town. Even the numerous successful campaigns we have
mentioned, form but a part, though indeed an important part, of the wars
undertaken by Thûtmosis to "fix his frontiers in the ends of the
earth." Scarcely a year elapsed without the viceroy of Ethiopia having a
conflict with one or other of the tribes of the Upper Nile; little merit
as he might gain in triumphing over such foes, the spoil taken from them
formed a considerable adjunct to the treasure collected in Syria, while
the tributes from the people of Kûsh and the Uaûaîû were paid with as
great regularity as the taxes levied on the Egyptians themselves. It
comprised gold both from the mines and from the rivers, feathers, oxen
with curiously trained horns, giraffes, lions, leopards, and slaves of
all ages. The distant regions explored by Hâtshopsîtû continued to pay
a tribute at intervals. A fleet went to Pûanît to fetch large cargoes
of incense, and from time to time some Ilîm chief would feel himself
honoured by having one of his daughters accepted as an inmate of the
harem of the great king. After the year XLII. we have no further records
of the reign, but there is no reason to suppose that its closing years
were less eventful or less prosperous than the earlier. Thûtmosis III.,
when conscious of failing powers, may have delegated the direction of
his armies to his sons or to his generals, but it is also quite possible
that he kept the supreme command in his own hands to the end of his
days. Even when old age approached and threatened to abate his vigour,
he was upheld by the belief that his father Amon was ever at hand to
guide him with his counsel and assist him in battle. "I give to thee,
declared the god, the rebels that they may fall beneath thy sandals,
that thou mayest crush the rebellious, for I grant to thee by decree the
earth in its length and breadth. The tribes of the West and those of the
East are under the place of thy countenance, and when thou goest up
into all the strange lands with a joyous heart, there is none who
will withstand Thy Majesty, for I am thy guide when thou treadest them
underfoot. Thou hast crossed the water of the great curve of Naharaim*
in thy strength and in thy power, and I have commanded thee to let them
hear thy roaring which shall enter their dens, I have deprived their
nostrils of the breath of life, I have granted to thee that thy deeds
shall sink into their hearts, that my uraeus which is upon thy head may
burn them, that it may bring prisoners in long files from the peoples of
Qodi, that it may consume with its flame those who are in the marshes,**
that it may cut off the heads of the Asiatics without one of them being
able to escape from its clutch. I grant to thee that thy conquests may
embrace all lands, that the urseus which shines upon my forehead may be
thy vassal, so that in all the compass of the heaven there may not be
one to rise against thee, but that the people may come bearing their
tribute on their backs and bending before Thy Majesty according to my
behest; I ordain that all aggressors arising in thy time shall fail
before thee, their heart burning within them, their limbs trembling!"

     * The Euphrates, in the great curve described by it across
     Naharaim, after issuing from the mountains of Cilicia.

     ** The meaning is doubtful. The word signifies pools,
     marshes, the provinces situated beyond Egyptian territory,
     and consequently the distant parts of the world--those which
     are nearest the ocean which encircles the earth, and which
     was considered as fed by the stagnant waters of the
     celestial Nile, just as the extremities of Egypt were
     watered by those of the terrestrial Nile.

[Illustration: 006.jpg A PROCESSION OF NEGROES]

"I.--I am come that I may grant unto thee to crush the great ones of
Zahi, I throw them under thy feet across their mountains,--I grant to
thee that they shall see Thy Majesty as a lord of shining splendour when
thou shinest before them in my likeness!

"II.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush those of the
country of Asia, to break the heads of the people of Lotanû,--I grant
thee that they may see Thy Majesty, clothed in thy panoply, when thou
seizest thy arms, in thy war-chariot.

"III.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the land of the
East, and invade those who dwell in the provinces of Tonûtir,--I grant
that they may see Thy Majesty as the comet which rains down the heat of
its flame and sheds its dew.

"IV.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the land of the
West, so that Kafîti and Cyprus shall be in fear of thee,--I grant that
they may see Thy Majesty like the young bull, stout of heart, armed with
horns which none may resist.

"V.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush those who are in
their marshes, so that the countries of Mitanni may tremble for fear of
thee,--I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like the crocodile, lord of
terrors, in the midst of the water, which none can approach.

"VI.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush those who are in
the isles, so that the people who live in the midst of the Very-Green
may be reached by thy roaring,--I grant that they may see Thy Majesty
like an avenger who stands on the back of his victim.

"VII.--I am come, to grant that thou mayest crush the Tihonu, so that
the isles of the Utanâtiû may be in the power of thy souls,--I grant
that they may see Thy Majesty like a spell-weaving lion, and that thou
mayest make corpses of them in the midst of their own valleys.*

"VIII.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the ends of the
earth, so that the circle which surrounds the ocean may be grasped in
thy fist,--I grant that they may see Thy Majesty as the sparrow-hawk,
lord of the wing, who sees at a glance all that he desires.

"IX.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the peoples who
are in their "duars," so that thou mayest bring the Hirû-shâîtû into
captivity,--I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like the jackal of the
south, lord of swiftness, the runner who prowls through the two lands.

"X.--I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the nomads, so that
the Nubians as far as the land of Pidît are in thy grasp,--I grant that
they may see Thy Majesty like unto thy two brothers Horus and Sit, whose
arms I have joined in order to establish thy power."

     * The name of the people associated with the Tihonu was read
     at first Tanau, and identified with the Danai of the Greeks.
     Chabas was inclined to read Ûtena, and Brugsch, Ûthent, more
     correctly Utanâtiû, utanâti, the people of Uatanit. The
     juxtaposition of this name with that of the Libyans compels
     us to look towards the west for the site of this people: may
     we assign to them the Ionian Islands, or even those in the
     western Mediterranean.

The poem became celebrated. When Seti I., two centuries later, commanded
the Poet Laureates of his court to celebrate his victories in verse,
the latter, despairing of producing anything better, borrowed the finest
strophes from this hymn to Thûtmosis IIL, merely changing the name of
the hero. The composition, unlike so many other triumphal inscriptions,
is not a mere piece of official rhetoric, in which the poverty of the
subject is concealed by a multitude of common-places whether historical
or mythological. Egypt indeed ruled the world, either directly or
through her vassals, and from the mountains of Abyssinia to those
of Cilicia her armies held the nations in awe with the threat of the

The conqueror, as a rule, did not retain any part of their territory. He
confined himself to the appropriation of the revenue of certain domains
for the benefit of his gods.* Amon of Karnak thus became possessor of
seven Syrian towns which he owed to the generosity of the victorious

     * The seven towns which Amon possessed in Syria are
     mentioned, in the time of Ramses III., in the list of the
     domains and revenues of the god.

     ** In the year XXIII., on his return from his first
     campaign, Thûtmosis III. provided offerings, guaranteed from
     the three towns Anaûgasa, Inûâmû, and Hûrnikarû, for his
     father Amonrâ.

Certain cities, like Tunipa, even begged for statues of Thûtmosis
for which they built a temple and instituted a cultus. Amon and his
fellow-gods too were adored there, side by side with the sovereign the
inhabitants had chosen to represent them here below.* These rites were
at once a sign of servitude, and a proof of gratitude for services
rendered, or privileges which had been confirmed. The princes of
neighbouring regions repaired annually to these temples to renew their
oaths of allegiance, and to bring their tributes "before the face of the
king." Taking everything into account, the condition of the Pharaoh's
subjects might have been a pleasant one, had they been able to accept
their lot without any mental reservation. They retained their own laws,
their dynasties, and their frontiers, and paid a tax only in proportion
to their resources, while the hostages given were answerable for their
obedience. These hostages were as a rule taken by Thûtmosis from among
the sons or the brothers of the enemy's chief. They were carried to
Thebes, where a suitable establishment was assigned to them,** the
younger members receiving an education which practically made them

     * The statues of Thûtmosis III. and of the gods of Egypt
     erected at Tunipa are mentioned in a letter from the
     inhabitants of that town to Amenôthes III. Later, Ramses
     II., speaking of the two towns in the country of the Khâti
     in which were two statues of His Majesty, mentions Tunipa as
     one of them.

     ** The various titles of the lists of Thûtmosis III. at
     Thebes show us "the children of the Syrian chiefs conducted
     as prisoners" into the town of Sûhanû, which is elsewhere
     mentioned as the depot, the prison of the temple of Anion.
     W. Max Mullcr was the first to remark the historical value
     of this indication, but without sufficiently insisting on
     it; the name indicates, perhaps, as he says, a great prison,
     but a prison like those where the princes of the family of
     the Ottoman sultans were confined by the reigning monarch--
     a palace usually provided with all the comforts of Oriental

As soon as a vacancy occurred in the succession either in Syria or in
Ethiopia, the Pharaoh would choose from among the members of the family
whom he held in reserve, that prince on whose loyalty he could best
count, and placed him upon the throne.* The method of procedure was not
always successful, since these princes, whom one would have supposed
from their training to have been the least likely to have asserted
themselves against the man to whom they owed their elevation, often gave
more trouble than others. The sense of the supreme power of Egypt, which
had been inculcated in them during their exile, seemed to be weakened
after their return to their native country, and to give place to a
sense of their own importance. Their hearts misgave them as the time
approached for them to send their own children as pledges to their
suzerain, and also when called upon to transfer a considerable part of
their revenue to his treasury. They found, moreover, among their own
cities and kinsfolk, those who were adverse to the foreign yoke, and
secretly urged their countrymen to revolt, or else competitors for the
throne who took advantage of the popular discontent to pose as champions
of national independence, and it was difficult for the vassal prince to
counteract the intrigues of these adversaries without openly declaring
himself hostile to his foreign master.**

     * Among the Tel el-Amarna tablets there is a letter of a
     petty Syrian king, Adadnirari, whose father was enthroned
     after a fashion in Nûkhassi by Thûtmosis III.

     ** Thus, in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence, Zimrida,
     governor of Sidon, gives information to Amenôthes III. on
     the intrigues which the notables of the town were concocting
     against Egyptian authority. Ribaddû relates in one of these
     despatches that the notables of Byblos and the women of his
     harem were urging him to revolt; later, a letter of Amûnirâ
     to the King of Egypt informs us that Ribaddû had been driven
     from Byblos by his own brother.

A time quickly came when a vestige of fear alone constrained them to
conceal their wish for liberty; the most trivial incident then sufficed
to give them the necessary encouragement, and decided them to throw
off the mask, a repulse or the report of a repulse suffered by the
Egyptians, the news of a popular rising in some neighbouring state, the
passing visit of a Chaldæan emissary who left behind him the hope
of support and perhaps of subsidies from Babylon, and the unexpected
arrival of a troop of mercenaries whose services might be hired for
the occasion.* A rising of this sort usually brought about the most
disastrous results. The native prince or the town itself could keep back
the tribute and own allegiance to no one during the few months required
to convince Pharaoh of their defection and to allow him to prepare the
necessary means of vengeance; the advent of the Egyptians followed, and
the work of repression was systematically set in hand. They destroyed
the harvests, whether green or ready for the sickle, they cut down the
palms and olive trees, they tore up the vines, seized on the flocks,
dismantled the strongholds, and took the inhabitants prisoners.**

     * Bûrnabûriash, King of Babylon, speaks of Syrian agents who
     had come to ask for support from his father, Kûrigalzû, and
     adds that the latter had counselled submission. In one of
     the letters preserved in the British Museum, Azîrû defends
     himself for having received an emissary of the King of the

     ** Cf. the raiding, for instance, of the regions of Arvad
     and of the Zahi by Thûtmosis III., described in the Annals,
     11. 4, 5. We are still in possession of the threats which
     the messenger Khâni made against the rebellious chief of a
     province of the Zahi--possibly Aziru.

The rebellious prince had to deliver up his silver and gold, the
contents of his palace, even his children,* and when he had finally
obtained peace by means of endless sacrifices, he found himself a vassal
as before, but with an empty treasury, a wasted country, and a decimated

     * See, in the accounts of the campaigns of Thûtmosis, the
     record of the spoils, as well as the mention of the children
     of the chiefs brought as prisoners into Egypt.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Gayet.

In spite of all this, some head-strong native princes never relinquished
the hope of freedom, and no sooner had they made good the breaches in
their walls as far as they were able, than they entered once more
on this unequal contest, though at the risk of bringing irreparable
disaster on their country. The majority of them, after one such
struggle, resigned themselves to the inevitable, and fulfilled their
feudal obligations regularly. They paid their fixed contribution,
furnished rations and stores to the army when passing through their
territory, and informed the ministers at Thebes of any intrigues among
their neighbours.* Years elapsed before they could so far forget the
failure of their first attempt to regain independence, as to venture to
make a second, and expose themselves to fresh reverses.

The administration of so vast an empire entailed but a small
expenditure on the Egyptians, and required the offices of merely a few
functionaries.** The garrisons which they kept up in foreign provinces
lived on the country, and were composed mainly of light troops, archers,
a certain proportion of heavy infantry, and a few minor detachments of
chariotry dispersed among the principal fortresses.***

     * We find in the _Annals_, in addition to the enumeration of
     the tributes, the mention of the foraging arrangements which
     the chiefs were compelled to make for the army on its
     passage. We find among the tablets letters from Aziru
     denouncing the intrigues of the Khâti; letters also of
     Ribaddu pointing out the misdeeds of Abdashirti, and other
     communications of the same nature, which demonstrate the
     supervision exercised by the petty Syrian princes over each

     ** Under Thûtmosis III. we have among others "Mir," or "Nasi
     sîtû mihâtîtû," "governors of the northern countries," the
     Thûtîi who became afterwards a hero of romance. The
     individuals who bore this title held a middle rank in the
     Egyptian hierarchy.

     *** The archers--_pidâtid, pidâti, pidâte_--and the
     chariotry quartered in Syria are often mentioned in the Tel
     el-Amarna correspondence. Steindorff has recognised the term
     -ddû aûîtû, meaning infantry, in the word ûeû, ûiû, of the
     Tel el-Amarna tablets.

The officers in command had orders to interfere as little as possible
in local affairs, and to leave the natives to dispute or even to fight
among themselves unhindered, so long as their quarrels did not threaten
the security of the Pharaoh.* It was never part of the policy of Egypt
to insist on her foreign subjects keeping an unbroken peace among
themselves. If, theoretically, she did not recognise the right of
private warfare, she at all events tolerated its practice. It mattered
little to her whether some particular province passed out of the
possession of a certain Eibaddû into that of a certain Azîru, or _vice
versa_, so long as both Eibaddû and Azîru remained her faithful slaves.
She never sought to repress their incessant quarrelling until such time
as it threatened to take the form of an insurrection against her own
power. Then alone did she throw off her neutrality; taking the side of
one or other of the dissentients, she would grant him, as a pledge of
help, ten, twenty, thirty, or even more archers.**

     * A half at least of the Tel el-Amarna correspondence treats
     of provincial wars between the kings of towns and countries
     subject to Egypt--wars of Abdashirti and his son Azîru
     against the cities of the Phoenician coast, wars of
     Abdikhiba, or Abdi-Tabba, King of Jerusalem, against the
     chiefs of the neighbouring cities.

     ** Abimilki (Abisharri) demands on one occasion from the
     King of Egypt ten men to defend Tyre, on another occasion
     twenty; the town of Gula requisitioned thirty or forty to
     guard it. Delattre thinks that these are rhetorical
     expressions answering to a general word, just as if we
     should say "a handful of men"; the difference of value in
     the figures is to me a proof of their reality.

No doubt the discipline and personal courage of these veterans exercised
a certain influence on the turn of events, but they were after all a
mere handful of men, and their individual action in the combat would
scarcely ever have been sufficient to decide the result; the actual
importance of their support, in spite of their numerical inferiority,
lay in the moral weight they brought to the side on which they fought,
since they represented the whole army of the Pharaoh which lay behind
them, and their presence in a camp always ensured final success. The
vanquished party had the right of appeal to the sovereign, through whom
he might obtain a mitigation of the lot which his successful adversary
had prepared for him; it was to the interest of Egypt to keep the
balance of power as evenly as possible between the various states which
looked to her, and when she prevented one or other of the princes from
completely crushing his rivals, she was minimising the danger which
might soon arise from the vassal whom she had allowed to extend his
territory at the expense of others.

These relations gave rise to a perpetual exchange of letters and
petitions between the court of Thebes and the northern and southern
provinces, in which all the petty kings of Africa and Asia, of whatever
colour or race, set forth, either openly or covertly, their ambitions
and their fears, imploring a favour or begging for a subsidy, revealing
the real or suspected intrigues of their fellow-chiefs, and while loudly
proclaiming their own loyalty, denouncing the perfidy and the secret
projects of their neighbours. As the Ethiopian peoples did not,
apparently, possess an alphabet of their own, half of the correspondence
which concerned them was carried on in Egyptian, and written on papyrus.
In Syria, however, where Babylonian civilization maintained itself
in spite of its conquest by Thûtmosis, cuneiform writing was still
employed, and tablets of dried clay.* It had, therefore, been found
necessary to establish in the Pharaoh's palace a department for this
service, in which the scribes should be competent to decipher the
Chaldæan character. Dictionaries and easy mythological texts had been
procured for their instruction, by means of which they had learned the
meaning of words and the construction of sentences. Having once mastered
the mechanism of the syllabary, they set to work to translate the
despatches, marking on the back of each the date and the place from
whence it came, and if necessary making a draft of the reply.** In these
the Pharaoh does not appear, as a rule, to have insisted on the endless
titles which we find so lavishly used in his inscriptions, but the
shortened protocol employed shows that the theory of his divinity was
as fully acknowledged by strangers as it was by his own subjects. They
greet him as their sun, the god before whom they prostrate themselves
seven times seven, while they are his slaves, his dogs, and the dust
beneath his feet.***

     * A discovery made by the fellahîn, in 1887, at Tel el-
     Arnarna, in the rums of the palace of Khûniaton, brought to
     light a portion of the correspondence between Asiatic
     monarchs, whether vassals or independent of Egypt, with the
     officers of Amenôthes III. and IV., and with these Pharaohs

     ** Several of these registrations are still to be read on
     the backs of the tablets at Berlin, London, and Gîzeh.

     ***The protocols of the letters of Abdashirti may be taken
     as an example, or those of Abimilki to Pharaoh, sometimes
     there is a development of the protocol which assumes
     panegyrical features similar to those met with in Egypt.

The runners to whom these documents were entrusted, and who delivered
them with their own hand, were not, as a rule, persons of any
consideration; but for missions of grave importance "the king's
messengers" were employed, whose functions in time became extended to
a remarkable degree. Those who were restricted to a limited sphere
of activity were called "the king's messengers for the regions of
the south," or "the king's messengers for the regions of the north,"
according to their proficiency in the idiom and customs of Africa or of
Asia. Others were deemed capable of undertaking missions wherever they
might be required, and were, therefore, designated by the bold title of
"the king's messengers for all lands." In this case extended powers were
conferred upon them, and they were permitted to cut short the disputes
between two cities in some province they had to inspect, to excuse from
tribute, to receive presents and hostages, and even princesses destined
for the harem of the Pharaoh, and also to grant the support of troops
to such as could give adequate reason for seeking it.* Their tasks were
always of a delicate and not infrequently of a perilous nature, and
constantly exposed them to the danger of being robbed by highwaymen or
maltreated by some insubordinate vassal, at times even running the risk
of mutilation or assassination by the way.**

     * The Tel el-Amarna correspondence shows the messengers in
     the time of Amenôthes III. and IV. as receiving tribute, as
     bringing an army to the succour of a chief in difficulties,
     as threatening with the anger of the Pharaoh the princes o£
     doubtful loyalty, as giving to a faithful vassal compliments
     and honours from his suzerain, as charged with the
     conveyance of a gift of slaves, or of escorting a princess
     to the harem of the Pharaoh.

     ** A letter of Ribaddu, in the time of Amenôthes III.,
     represents a royal messenger as blockaded in By bios by the

They were obliged to brave the dangers of the forests of Lebanon and of
the Taurus, the solitudes of Mesopotamia, the marshes of Chaldoa, the
voyages to Pûanît and Asia Minor. Some took their way towards Assyria
and Babylon, while others embarked at Tyre or Sidon for the islands of
the Ægean Archipelago.* The endurance of all these officers, whether
governors or messengers, their courage, their tact, the ready wit they
were obliged to summon to help them out of the difficulties into which
their calling frequently brought them, all tended to enlist the public
sympathy in their favour.**

     * We hear from the tablets of several messengers to Babylon,
     and the Mitanni, Rasi, Mani, Khamassi. The royal messenger
     Thûtîi, who governed the countries of the north, speaks of
     having satisfied the heart of the king in "the isles which
     are in the midst of the sea." This was not, as some think, a
     case of hyperbole, for the messengers could embark on
     Phoenician vessels; they had a less distance to cover in
     order to reach the Ægean than the royal messenger of Queen
     Hâtshopsîtû had before arriving at the country of the
     Somalis and the "Ladders of Incense."

     ** The hero of the _Anastasi Papyrus_, No. 1, with whom
     Chabas made us acquainted in his _Voyage d'un Égyptien_, is
     probably a type of the "messenger" or the time of Ramses
     II.; in any case, his itinerary and adventures are natural
     to a "royal messenger" compelled to traverse Syria alone.

Many of them achieved a reputation, and were made the heroes of popular
romance. More than three centuries after it was still related how one
of them, by name Thûtîi, had reduced and humbled Jaffa, whose chief had
refused to come to terms. Thûtîi set about his task by feigning to throw
off his allegiance to Thûtmosis III., and withdrew from the Egyptian
service, having first stolen the great magic wand of his lord; he then
invited the rebellious chief into his camp, under pretence of showing
him this formidable talisman, and killed him after they had drunk
together. The cunning envoy then packed five hundred of his soldiers
into jars, and caused them to be carried on the backs of asses before
the gates of the town, where he made the herald of the murdered prince
proclaim that the Egyptians had been defeated, and that the pack train
which accompanied him contained the spoil, among which was Thûtîi
himself. The officer in charge of the city gate was deceived by this
harangue, the asses were admitted within the walls, where the soldiers
quitted their jars, massacred the garrison, and made themselves masters
of the town. The tale is, in the main, the story of Ali Baba and the
forty thieves.

The frontier was continually shifting, and Thûtmosis III., like
Thûtmosis I., vainly endeavoured to give it a fixed character by
erecting stelas along the banks of the Euphrates, at those points
where he contended it had run formerly. While Kharu and Phoenicia were
completely in the hands of the conqueror, his suzerainty became more
uncertain as it extended northwards in the direction of the Taurus.
Beyond Qodshû, it could only be maintained by means of constant
supervision, and in Naharaim its duration was coextensive with the
sojourn of the conqueror in the locality during his campaign, for it
vanished of itself as soon as he had set out on his return to Africa.
It will be thus seen that, on the continent of Asia, Egypt possessed a
nucleus of territories, so far securely under her rule that they might
be actually reckoned as provinces; beyond this immediate domain there
was a zone of waning influence, whose area varied with each reign, and
even under one king depended largely on the activity which he personally

This was always the case when the rulers of Egypt attempted to carry
their supremacy beyond the isthmus; whether under the Ptolemies or the
native kings, the distance to which her influence extended was always
practically the same, and the teaching of history enables us to note its
limits on the map with relative accuracy.*

     * The development of the Egyptian navy enabled the Ptolemies
     to exercise authority over the coasts of Asia Minor and of
     Thrace, but this extension of their power beyond the
     indicated limits only hastened the exhaustion of their
     empire. This instance, like that of Mehemet Ali, thus
     confirms the position taken up in the text.

The coast towns, which were in maritime communication with the ports of
the Delta, submitted to the Egyptian yoke more readily than those of the
interior. But this submission could not be reckoned on beyond Berytus,
on the banks of the Lykos, though occasionally it stretched a little
further north as far as Byblos and Arvad; even then it did not extend
inland, and the curve marking its limits traverses Coele-Syria from
north-west to south-east, terminating at Mount Hermon. Damascus,
securely entrenched behind Anti-Lebanon, almost always lay outside this
limit. The rulers of Egypt generally succeeded without much difficulty
in keeping possession of the countries lying to the south of this line;
it demanded merely a slight effort, and this could be furnished for
several centuries without encroaching seriously on the resources of the
country, or endangering its prosperity. When, however, some province
ventured to break away from the control of Egypt, the whole mechanism
of the government was put into operation to provide soldiers and the
necessary means for an expedition. Each stage of the advance beyond the
frontier demanded a greater expenditure of energy, which, with prolonged
distances, would naturally become exhausted. The expedition would
scarcely have reached the Taurus or the Euphrates, before the force
of circumstances would bring about its recall homewards, leaving but a
slight bond of vassalage between the recently subdued countries and the
conqueror, which would speedily be cast off or give place to relations
dictated by interest or courtesy. Thûtmosis III. had to submit to this
sort of necessary law; a further extension of territory had hardly
been gained when his dominion began to shrink within the frontiers that
appeared to have been prescribed by nature for an empire like that
of Egypt. Kharû and Phoenicia proper paid him their tithes with due
regularity; the cities of the Amurru and of Zahi, of Damascus, Qodshû,
Hamath, and even of Tunipa, lying on the outskirts of these two subject
nations, formed an ill-defined borderland, kept in a state of perpetual
disturbance by the secret intrigues or open rebellions of the native
princes. The kings of Alasia, Naharaim, and Mitanni preserved their
independence in spite of repeated reverses, and they treated with the
conqueror on equal terms.*

     * The difference of tone between the letters of these kings
     and those of the other princes, as well as the consequences
     arising from it, has been clearly defined by Delattre.

The tone of their letters to the Pharaoh, the polite formulas with which
they addressed him, the special protocol which the Egyptian ministry had
drawn up for their reply, all differ widely from those which we see in
the despatches coming from commanders of garrisons or actual vassals. In
the former it is no longer a slave or a feudatory addressing his master
and awaiting his orders, but equals holding courteous communication
with each other, the brother of Alasia or of Mitanni with his brother of
Egypt. They inform him of their good health, and then, before entering
on business, they express their good wishes for himself, his wives, his
sons, the lords of his court, his brave soldiers, and for his horses.
They were careful never to forget that with a single word their
correspondent could let loose upon them a whirlwind of chariots and
archers without number, but the respect they felt for his formidable
power never degenerated into a fear which would humiliate them before
him with their faces in the dust.

This interchange of diplomatic compliments was called for by a variety
of exigencies, such as incidents arising on the frontier, secret
intrigues, personal alliances, and questions of general politics. The
kings of Mesopotamia and of Northern Syria, even those of Assyria and
Chaldæa, who were preserved by distance from the dangers of a direct
invasion, were in constant fear of an unexpected war, and heartily
desired the downfall of Egypt; they endeavoured meanwhile to occupy the
Pharaoh so fully at home that he had no leisure to attack them. Even if
they did not venture to give open encouragement to the disposition in
his subjects to revolt, they at least experienced no scruple in hiring
emissaries who secretly fanned the flame of discontent. The Pharaoh,
aroused to indignation by such plotting, reminded them of their
former oaths and treaties. The king in question would thereupon deny
everything, would speak of his tried friendship, and recall the fact
that he had refused to help a rebel against his beloved brother.* These
protestations of innocence were usually accompanied by presents, and
produced a twofold effect. They soothed the anger of the offended party,
and suggested not only a courteous answer, but the sending of still more
valuable gifts. Oriental etiquette, even in those early times, demanded
that the present of a less rich or powerful friend should place the
recipient under the obligation of sending back a gift of still greater
worth. Every one, therefore, whether great or little, was obliged to
regulate his liberality according to the estimation in which he held
himself, or to the opinion which others formed of him, and a personage
of such opulence as the King of Egypt was constrained by the laws of
common civility to display an almost boundless generosity: was he not
free to work the mines of the Divine Land or the diggings of the Upper
Nile; and as for gold, "was it not as the dust of his country"?**

     * See the letter of Amenôthes III. to Kallimmasin of
     Babylon, where the King of Egypt complains of the inimical
     designs which the Babylonian messengers had planned against
     him, and of the intrigues they had connected on their return
     to their own country; see also the letter from Burnaburiash
     to Amenôthes IV., in which he defends himself from the
     accusation of having plotted against the King of Egypt at
     any time, and recalls the circumstance that his father
     Kurigalzu had refused to encourage the rebellion of one of
     the Syrian tribes, subjects of Amenôthes III.

     ** See the letter of Dushratta, King of Mitanni, to the
     Pharaoh Amenôthes IV.

He would have desired nothing better than to exhibit such liberality,
had not the repeated calls on his purse at last constrained him to
parsimony; he would have been ruined, and Egypt with him, had he given
all that was expected of him. Except in a few extraordinary cases,
the gifts sent never realised the expectations of the recipients; for
instance, when twenty or thirty pounds of precious metal were looked
for, the amount despatched would be merely two or three. The indignation
of these disappointed beggars and their recriminations were then most
amusing: "From the time when my father and thine entered into friendly
relations, they loaded each other with presents, and never waited to be
asked to exchange amenities;* and now my brother sends me two minas of
gold as a gift! Send me abundance of gold, as much as thy father sent,
and even, for so it must be, more than thy father."** Pretexts
were never wanting to give reasonable weight to such demands: one
correspondent had begun to build a temple or a palace in one of his
capitals,*** another was reserving his fairest daughter for the Pharaoh,
and he gave him to understand that anything he might receive would help
to complete the bride's trousseau.****

     * Burnaburiash complains that the king's messengers had only
     brought him on one occasion two minas of gold, on another
     occasion twenty minas; moreover, that the quality of the
     metal was so bad that hardly five minas of pure gold could
     be extracted from it.

     ** Literally, "and they would never make each other a fair
     request." The meaning I propose is doubtful, but it appears
     to be required by the context. The letter from which this
     passage was taken is from Burnaburiash, King of Babylon, to
     Amenôthes IV.

     *** This is the pretext advanced by Burnaburiash in the
     letter just cited.

     **** This seems to have been the motive in a somewhat
     embarrassing letter which Dushratta, King of Mitanni, wrote
     to the Pharaoh Amenôthes III. on the occasion of his fixing
     the dowry of his daughter.

The princesses thus sent from Babylon or Mitanni to the court of Thebes
enjoyed on their arrival a more honourable welcome, and were assigned
a more exalted rank than those who came from Kharû and Phoenicia. As a
matter of fact, they were not hostages given over to the conqueror to be
disposed of at will, but queens who were united in legal marriage to an
ally.* Once admitted to the Pharaoh's court, they retained their full
rights as his wife, as well as their own fortune and mode of life. Some
would bring to their betrothed chests of jewels, utensils, and stuffs,
the enumeration of which would cover both sides of a large tablet;
others would arrive escorted by several hundred slaves or matrons as
personal attendants.** A few of them preserved their original name,***
many assumed an Egyptian designation,**** and so far adapted themselves
to the costumes, manners, and language of their adopted country, that
they dropped all intercourse with their native land, and became regular

     * The daughter of the King of the Khâti, wife of Ramses IL,
     was treated, as we see from the monuments, with as much
     honour as would have been accorded to Egyptian princesses of
     pure blood.

     ** Gilukhipa, who was sent to Egypt to become the wife of
     Amenôthes III., took with her a company of three hundred and
     seventy women for her service. She was a daughter of
     Sutarna, King of Mitanni, and is mentioned several times in
     the Tel el-Amarna correspondence.

     *** For example, Gilukhipa, whose name is transcribed
     Kilagîpa in Egyptian, and another princess of Mitanni, niece
     of Gilukhipa, called Tadu-khîpa, daughter of Dushratta and
     wife of Amenôthes IV.

     **** The prince of the Khâti's daughter who married Ramses
     II. is an example; we know her only by her Egyptian name
     Mâîtnofîrûrî. The wife of Ramses III. added to the Egyptian
     name of Isis her original name, Humazarati.

When, after several years, an ambassador arrived with greetings from
their father or brother, he would be puzzled by the changed appearance
of these ladies, and would almost doubt their identity: indeed, those
only who had been about them in childhood were in such cases able
to recognise them.* These princesses all adopted the gods of their
husbands,** though without necessarily renouncing their own. From time
to time their parents would send them, with much pomp, a statue of one
of their national divinities--Ishtar, for example--which, accompanied by
native priests, would remain for some months at the court.***

     * This was the case with the daughter of Kallimmasin, King
     of Babylon, married to Amenôthes III.; her father's
     ambassador did not recognise her.

     ** The daughter of the King of the Khâti, wife of Ramses
     II., is represented in an attitude of worship before her
     deified husband and two Egyptian gods.

     *** Dushratta of Mitanni, sending a statue of Ishtar to his
     daughter, wife of Amenôthes III., reminds her that the same
     statue had already made the voyage to Egypt in the time of
     his father Sutarna.

The children of these queens ranked next in order to those whose mothers
belonged to the solar race, but nothing prevented them marrying their
brothers or sisters of pure descent, and being eventually raised to
the throne. The members of their families who remained in Asia were
naturally proud of these bonds of close affinity with the Pharaoh, and
they rarely missed an opportunity of reminding him in their letters that
they stood to him in the relationship of brother-in-law, or one of his
fathers-in-law; their vanity stood them in good stead, since it afforded
them another claim on the favours which they were perpetually asking of

     * Dushratta of Mitanni never loses an opportunity of calling
     Aoienôthes III., husband of his sister Gilukhîpa, and of one
     of his daughters, "akhiya," my brother, and "khatani-ya," my

These foreign wives had often to interfere in some of the contentions
which were bound to arise between two States whose subjects were in
constant intercourse with one another. Invasions or provincial wars may
have affected or even temporarily suspended the passage to and from of
caravans between the countries of the Tigris and those of the Nile; but
as soon as peace was re-established, even though it were the insecure
peace of those distant ages, the desert traffic was again resumed and
carried on with renewed vigour. The Egyptian traders who penetrated
into regions beyond the Euphrates, carried with them, and almost
unconsciously disseminated along the whole extent of their route, the
numberless products of Egyptian industry, hitherto but little known
outside their own country, and rendered expensive owing to the
difficulty of transmission or the greed of the merchants. The Syrians
now saw for the first time in great quantities, objects which had been
known to them hitherto merely through the few rare specimens which made
their way across the frontier: arms, stuffs, metal implements, household
utensils--in fine, all the objects which ministered to daily needs or to
luxury. These were now offered to them at reasonable prices, either
by the hawkers who accompanied the army or by the soldiers themselves,
always ready, as soldiers are, to part with their possessions in order
to procure a few extra pleasures in the intervals of fighting.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger. The scene
     here reproduced occurs in most of the Theban tombs of the
     XVIIII. dynasty.

On the other hand, whole convoys of spoil were despatched to Egypt
after every successful campaign, and their contents were distributed in
varying proportions among all classes of society, from the militiaman
belonging to some feudal contingent, who received, as a reward of his
valour, some half-dozen necklaces or bracelets, to the great lord of
ancient family or the Crown Prince, who carried off waggon-loads of
booty in their train. These distributions must have stimulated a passion
for all Syrian goods, and as the spoil was insufficient to satisfy the
increasing demands of the consumer, the waning commerce which had been
carried on from early times was once more revived and extended, till
every route, whether by land or water, between Thebes, Memphis, and the
Asiatic cities, was thronged by those engaged in its pursuit. It would
take too long to enumerate the various objects of merchandise brought
in almost daily to the marts on the Nile by Phoenician vessels or the
owners of caravans. They comprised slaves destined for the workshop or
the harem,* Hittite bulls and stallions, horses from Singar, oxen from
Alasia, rare and curious animals such as elephants from Nîi, and
brown bears from the Lebanon,** smoked and salted fish, live birds of
many-coloured plumage, goldsmiths'work*** and precious stones, of which
lapis-lazuli was the chief.

     * Syrian slaves are mentioned along with Ethiopian in the
     _Anastasi Papyrus_, No. 1, and there is mention in the Tel
     el-Amarna correspondence of Hittite slaves whom Dushratta of
     Mitanni brought to Amenôthes III., and of other presents of
     the same kind made by the King of Alasia as a testimony of
     his grateful homage.

     ** The elephant and the bear are represented on the tomb of
     liakhmirî among the articles of tribute brought into Egypt.

     *** The _Annals of Thutmosis III_. make a record in each
     campaign of the importation of gold and silver vases,
     objects in lapis-lazuli and crystal, or of blocks of the
     same materials; the Theban tombs of this period afford
     examples of the vases and blocks brought by the Syrians. The
     Tel el-Amarna letters also mention vessels of gold or blocks
     of precious stone sent as presents or as objects of exchange
     to the Pharaoh by the King of Babylon, by the King of
     Mitanni, by the King of the Hittites, and by other princes.
     The lapis-lazuli of Babylon, which probably came from
     Persia, was that which was most prized by the Egyptians on
     account of the golden sparks in it, which enhanced the blue
     colour; this is, perhaps, the Uknu of the cuneiform
     inscriptions, which has been read for a long time as


Wood for building or for ornamental work--pine,cypress, yew, cedar,
and oak,* musical instruments,** helmets, leathern jerkins covered with
metal scales, weapons of bronze and iron,*** chariots,**** dyed and
embroidered stuffs,^ perfumes,^^ dried cakes, oil, wines of Kharû,
liqueurs from Alasia, Khâti, Singar, Naharaim, Amurru, and beer from

     * Building and ornamental woods are often mentioned in the
     inscriptions of Thûtmosis III. A scene at Karnak represents
     Seti I. causing building-wood to be cut in the region of the
     Lebanon. A letter of the King of Alasia speaks of
     contributions of wood which several of his subjects had to
     make to the King of Egypt.

     ** Some stringed instruments of music, and two or three
     kinds of flutes and flageolets, are designated in Egyptian
     by names borrowed from some Semitic tongue--a fact which
     proves that they were imported; the wooden framework of the
     harp, decorated with sculptured heads of Astartô, figures
     among the objects coming from Syria in the temple of the
     Theban Anion.

     *** Several names of arms borrowed from some Semitic dialect
     have been noticed in the texts of this period. The objects
     as well as the words must have been imported into Egypt,
     e.g. the quiver, the sword and javelins used by the
     charioteers. Cuirasses and leathern jerkins are mentioned in
     the inscriptions of Thûtmosis III.

     **** Chariots plated with gold and silver figure frequently
     among the spoils of Thûtmosis III.: the Anastasi Papyrus,
     No. 1, contains a detailed description of Syrian chariots--
     Markabûti--with a reference to the localities whore certain
     parts of them were made;--the country of the Amurru, that of
     Aûpa, the town of Pahira. The Tel el-Amarna correspondence
     mentions very frequently chariots sent to the Pharaoh by the
     King of Babylon, either as presents or to be sold in Egypt;
     others sent by the King of Alasia and by the King of

     ^ Some linen, cotton, or woollen stuffs are mentioned in the
     _Anastasi Papyrus_, No. 4, and elsewhere as coming from
     Syria. The Egyptian love of white linen always prevented
     their estimating highly the coloured and brocaded stuffs of
     Asia; and one sees nowhere, in the representations, any
     examples of stuffs of such origin, except on furniture or in
     ships equipped with something of the kind in the form of

     ^^ The perfumed oils of Syria are mentioned in a general way
     in the _Anastasi Papyrus_, No. 1; the King of Alasia speaks
     of essences which he is sending to Amenôthes III.; the King
     of Mitanni refers to bottles of oil which he is forwarding
     to Gilukhîpa and to Tii.

     ^^^ A list of cakes of Syrian origin is found in the
     _Anastasi Papyrus_, No. 1; also a reference to balsamic oils
     from Naharaim, and to various oils which had arrived in the
     ports of the Delta, to the wines of Syria, to palm wine and
     various liqueurs manufactured in Alasia, in Singar, among
     the Khâti, Amorites, and the people of. Tikhisa; finally, to
     the beer of Qodi.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of Prisse
     d'Avennes' sketch.

On arriving at the frontier, whether by sea or by land, the majority of
these objects had to pay the custom dues which were rigorously collected
by the officers of the Pharaoh. This, no doubt, was a reprisal tariff,
since independent sovereigns, such as those of Mitanni, Assyria, and
Babylon, were accustomed to impose a similar duty on all the products
of Egypt. The latter, indeed, supplied more than she received, for many
articles which reached her in their raw condition were, by means of
native industry, worked up and exported as ornaments, vases, and highly
decorated weapons, which, in the course of international traffic, were
dispersed to all four corners of the earth. The merchants of Babylon and
Assyria had little to fear as long as they kept within the domains of
their own sovereign or in those of the Pharaoh; but no sooner did they
venture within the borders of those turbulent states which separated
the two great powers, than they were exposed to dangers at every turn.
Safe-conducts were of little use if they had not taken the additional
precaution of providing a strong escort and carefully guarding their
caravan, for the Shaûsû concealed in the depths of the Lebanon or the
needy sheikhs of Kharû could never resist the temptation to rob the
passing traveller.*

     * The scribe who in the reign of Ramses II. composed the
     _Travels of an Egyptian_, speaks in several places of
     marauding tribes and robbers, who infested the roads
     followed by the hero. The Tel el-Amarna correspondence
     contains a letter from the King of Alasia, who exculpates
     himself from being implicated in the harsh treatment certain
     Egyptians had received in passing through his territory; and
     another letter in which the King of Babylon complains that
     Chaldoan merchants had been robbed at Khinnatun, in Galilee,
     by the Prince of Akku (Acre) and his accomplices: one of
     them had his feet cut off, and the other was still a
     prisoner in Akku, and Burnaburiash demands from Amenôthes
     IV. the death of the guilty persons.

The victims complained to their king, who felt no hesitation in passing
on their woes to the sovereign under whose rule the pillagers were
supposed to live. He demanded their punishment, but his request was not
always granted, owing to the difficulties of finding out and seizing the
offenders. An indemnity, however, could be obtained which would nearly
compensate the merchants for the loss sustained. In many cases justice
had but little to do with the negotiations, in which self-interest was
the chief motive; but repeated refusals would have discouraged traders,
and by lessening the facilities of transit, have diminished the revenue
which the state drew from its foreign commerce.

The question became a more delicate one when it concerned the rights of
subjects residing out of their native country. Foreigners, as a rule,
were well received in Egypt; the whole country was open to them;
they could marry, they could acquire houses and lands, they enjoyed
permission to follow their own religion unhindered, they were eligible
for public honours, and more than one of the officers of the crown
whose tombs we see at Thebes were themselves Syrians, or born of Syrian
parents on the banks of the Nile.*

     * In a letter from the King of Alasia, there is question of
     a merchant who had died in Egypt. Among other monuments
     proving the presence of Syrians about the Pharaoh, is the
     stele of Ben-Azana, of the town of Zairabizana, surnamed
     Ramses-Empirî: he was surrounded with Semites like himself.

Hence, those who settled in Egypt without any intention of returning to
their own country enjoyed all the advantages possessed by the natives,
whereas those who took up a merely temporary abode there were more
limited in their privileges. They were granted the permission to hold
property in the country, and also the right to buy and sell there, but
they were not allowed to transmit their possessions at will, and if by
chance they died on Egyptian soil, their goods lapsed as a forfeit to
the crown. The heirs remaining in the native country of the dead man,
who were ruined by this confiscation, sometimes petitioned the king to
interfere in their favour with a view of obtaining restitution. If the
Pharaoh consented to waive his right of forfeiture, and made over
the confiscated objects or their equivalent to the relatives of the
deceased, it was solely by an act of mercy, and as an example to foreign
governments to treat Egyptians with a like clemency should they chance
to proffer a similar request.*

     * All this seems to result from a letter in which the King
     of Alasia demands from Amenôthes III. the restitution of the
     goods of one of his subjects who had died in Egypt; the tone
     of the letter is that of one asking a favour, and on the
     supposition that the King of Egypt had a right to keep the
     property of a foreigner dying on his territory.

It is also not improbable that the sovereigns themselves had a personal
interest in more than one commercial undertaking, and that they were
the partners, or, at any rate, interested in the enterprises, of many
of their subjects, so that any loss sustained by one of the latter
would eventually fall upon themselves. They had, in fact, reserved to
themselves the privilege of carrying on several lucrative industries,
and of disposing of the products to foreign buyers, either to those who
purchased them out and out, or else through the medium of agents, to
whom they intrusted certain quantities of the goods for warehousing.
The King of Babylon, taking advantage of the fashion which prompted
the Egyptians to acquire objects of Chaldæan goldsmiths' and
cabinet-makers' art, caused ingots of gold to be sent to him by the
Pharaoh, which he returned worked up into vases, ornaments, household
utensils, and plated chariots. He further fixed the value of all
such objects, and took a considerable commission for having acted as
intermediary in the transaction.* In Alasia, which was the land of
metals, the king appears to have held a monopoly of the bronze. Whether
he smelted it in the country, or received it from more distant regions
ready prepared, we cannot say, but he claimed and retained for himself
the payment for all that the Pharaoh deigned to order of him.**

     * Letter of Burnaburiash to Amenôthes IV.

     ** Letter from the King of Alasia to Amenôthes III., where,
     whilst pretending to have nothing else in view than making a
     present to his royal brother, he proposes to make an
     exchange of some bronze for the products of Egypt,
     especially for gold.

From such instances we can well understand the jealous, watch which
these sovereigns exercised, lest any individual connected with
corporations of workmen should leave the kingdom and establish himself
in another country without special permission. Any emigrant who opened
a workshop and initiated his new compatriots in the technique or
professional secrets of his craft, was regarded by the authorities as
the most dangerous of all evil-doers. By thus introducing his trade into
a rival state, he deprived his own people of a good customer, and thus
rendered himself liable to the penalties inflicted on those who were
guilty of treason. His savings were confiscated, his house razed to the
ground, and his whole family--parents, wives, and children--treated
as partakers in his crime. As for himself, if justice succeeded in
overtaking him, he was punished with death, or at least with mutilation,
such as the loss of eyes and ears, or amputation of the feet. This
severity did not prevent the frequent occurrence of such cases, and
it was found necessary to deal with them by the insertion of a special
extradition clause in treaties of peace and other alliances. The two
contracting parties decided against conceding the right of habitation
to skilled workmen who should take refuge with either party on the
territory of the other, and they agreed to seize such workmen forthwith,
and mutually restore them, but under the express condition that neither
they nor any of their belongings should incur any penalty for the
desertion of their country. It would be curious to know if all the
arrangements agreed to by the kings of those times were sanctioned,
as in the above instance, by properly drawn up agreements. Certain
expressions occur in their correspondence which seem to prove that this
was the case, and that the relations between them, of which we can catch
traces, resulted not merely from a state of things which, according
to their ideas, did not necessitate any diplomatic sanction, but from
conventions agreed to after some war, or entered on without any previous
struggle, when there was no question at issue between the two states.*

     * The treaty of Ramses II. with the King of the Khâti, the
     only one which has come down to us, was a renewal of other
     treaties effected one after the other between the fathers
     and grandfathers of the two contracting sovereigns. Some of
     the Tel el-Amarna letters probably refer to treaties of this
     kind; e.g. that of Burnaburiash of Babylon, who says that
     since the time of Karaîndash there had been an exchange of
     ambassadors and friendship between the sovereigns of Chaldoa
     and of Egypt, and also that of Dushratta of Mitanni, who
     reminds Queen Tîi of the secret negotiations which had taken
     place between him and Amenôthes III.

When once the Syrian conquest had been effected, Egypt gave permanency
to its results by means of a series of international decrees, which
officially established the constitution of her empire, and brought about
her concerted action with the Asiatic powers.

[Illustration: 040.jpg THE MUMMY OF THUTMOSIS III.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken by Emil

She already occupied an important position among them, when Thûtmosis
III. died, on the last day of Phamenoth, in the IVth year of his reign.*
He was buried, probably, at Deîr el-Baharî, in the family tomb wherein
the most illustrious members of his house had been laid to rest since
the time of Thûtmosis I. His mummy was not securely hidden away, for
towards the close of the XXth dynasty it was torn out of the coffin by
robbers, who stripped it and rifled it of the jewels with which it was
covered, injuring it in their haste to carry away the spoil. It was
subsequently re-interred, and has remained undisturbed until the
present day; but before re-burial some renovation of the wrappings was
necessary, and as portions of the body had become loose, the restorers,
in order to give the mummy the necessary firmness, compressed it between
four oar-shaped slips of wood, painted white, and placed, three inside
the wrappings and one outside, under the bands which confined the

     * Dr. Mahler has, with great precision, fixed the date of
     the accession of Thûtmosis III, as the 20th of March, 1503,
     and that of his death as the 14th of February, 1449 b.c. I
     do not think that the data furnished to Dr. Mahler by
     Brugsch will admit of such exact conclusions being drawn
     from them, and I should fix the fifty-four years of the
     reign of Thûtmosis III. in a less decided manner, between
     1550 and 1490 b.c., allowing, as I have said before, for an
     error of half a century more or less in the dates which go
     back to the time of the second Theban empire.

[Illustration: 041.jpg HEAD OF THE MUMMY OF THÛTMOSIS III.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph lent by M. Grébaut,
     taken by Emil Brugsch-Bey.

Happily the face, which had been plastered over with pitch at the time
of embalming, did not suffer at all from this rough treatment, and
appeared intact when the protecting mask was removed. Its appearance
does not answer to our ideal of the conqueror. His statues, though
not representing him as a type of manly beauty, yet give him refined,
intelligent features, but a comparison with the mummy shows that the
artists have idealised their model. The forehead is abnormally low, the
eyes deeply sunk, the jaw heavy, the lips thick, and the cheek-bones
extremely prominent; the whole recalling the physiognomy of Thûtmosis
II., though with a greater show of energy. Thûtmosis III. is a fellah of
the old stock, squat, thickset, vulgar in character and expression, but
not lacking in firmness and vigour.* Amenôthes II., who succeeded him,
must have closely resembled him, if we may trust his official portraits.
He was the son of a princess of the blood, Hâtshopsîtû II., daughter of
the great Hâtshopsîtû,** and consequently he came into his inheritance
with stronger claims to it than any other Pharaoh since the time of
Amenôthes I. Possibly his father may have associated him with himself on
the throne as soon as the young prince attained his majority;*** at any
rate, his accession aroused no appreciable opposition in the country,
and if any difficulties were made, they must have come from outside.

     * The restored remains allow us to estimate the height at
     about 5 ft. 3 in.

     ** His parentage is proved by the pictures preserved in the
     tomb of his foster-father, where he is represented in
     company with the _royal mother_, Marîtrî. Hâtshopsîtû.

     *** It is thus that Wiedemann explains his presence by the
     side of Thûtmosis III. on certain bas-reliefs in the temple
     of Amada.

It is always a dangerous moment in the existence of a newly formed
empire when its founder having passed away, and the conquered people
not having yet become accustomed to a subject condition, they are called
upon to submit to a successor of whom they know little or nothing. It
is always problematical whether the new sovereign will display as great
activity and be as successful as the old one; whether he will be capable
of turning to good account the armies which his predecessor commanded
with such skill, and led so bravely against the enemy; whether, again,
he will have sufficient tact to estimate correctly the burden of
taxation which each province is capable of bearing, and to lighten it
when there is a risk of its becoming too heavy. If he does not show from
the first that it is his purpose to maintain his patrimony intact at all
costs, or if his officers, no longer controlled by a strong hand, betray
any indecision in command, his subjects will become unruly, and the
change of monarch will soon furnish a pretext for widespread rebellion.
The beginning of the reign of Amenôthes II. was marked by a revolt of
the Libyans inhabiting the Theban Oasis, but this rising was soon
put down by that Amenemhabî who had so distinguished himself under
Thûtmosis.* Soon after, fresh troubles broke out in different parts of
Syria, in Galilee, in the country of the Amurru, and among the peoples
of Naharaim. The king's prompt action, however, prevented their
resulting in a general war.** He marched in person against the
malcontents, reduced the town of Shamshiaduma, fell upon the Lamnaniu,
and attacked their chief, slaying him with his own hand, and carrying
off numbers of captives.

     * Brugsch and Wiedemann place this expedition at the time
     when Amenôthes IL was either hereditary prince or associated
     with his father the inscription of Amenemhabî places it
     explicitly after the death of Thûtmosis III., and this
     evidence outweighs every other consideration until further
     discoveries are made.

     ** The campaigns of Amenôthes II. were related on a granite
     stele, which was placed against the second of the southern
     pylons at Karnak. The date of this monument is almost
     certainly the year II.; there is strong evidence in favour
     of this, if it is compared with the inscription of Amada,
     where Amenôthes II. relates that in the year III. he
     sacrificed the prisoners whom he had taken in the country of


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin.

He crossed the Orontes on the 26th of Pachons, in the year II., and
seeing some mounted troops in the distance, rushed upon them and
overthrew them; they proved to be the advanced guard of the enemy's
force, which he encountered shortly afterwards and routed, collecting
in the pursuit considerable booty. He finally reached Naharaim, where he
experienced in the main but a feeble resistance. Nîi surrendered without
resistance on the 10th of Epiphi, and its inhabitants, both men
and women, with censers in their hands, assembled on the walls and
prostrated themselves before the conqueror. At Akaîti, where the
partisans of the Egyptian government had suffered persecution from a
considerable section of the natives, order was at once reestablished as
soon as the king's approach was made known. No doubt the rapidity of
his marches and the vigour of his attacks, while putting an end to
the hostile attitude of the smaller vassal states, were effectual in
inducing the sovereigns of Alasia, of Mitanni,* and of the Hittites to
renew with Amenôthes the friendly relations which they had established
with his father.**

     * Amenôthes II. mentions tribute from Mitanni on one of the
     columns which he decorated at Karnak, in the Hall of the
     Caryatides, close to the pillars finished by his

     ** The cartouches on the pedestal of the throne of Amenôthes
     IL, in the tomb of one of his officers at Sheîkh-Abd-el-
     Qûrneh, represent--together with the inhabitants of the
     Oasis, Libya, and Kush--the Kefatiû, the people of Naharaim,
     and the Upper Lotanû, that is to say, the entire dominion of
     Thûtmosis III., besides the people of Manûs, probably
     Mallos, in the Cilician plain.

This one campaign, which lasted three or four months, secured a lasting
peace in the north, but in the south a disturbance again broke out among
the Barbarians of the Upper Nile. Amenôthes suppressed it, and, in order
to prevent a repetition of it, was guilty of an act of cruel severity
quite in accordance with the manners of the time. He had taken prisoner
seven chiefs in the country of Tikhisa, and had brought them, chained,
in triumph to Thebes, on the forecastle of his ship. He sacrificed six
of them himself before Amon, and exposed their heads and hands on the
façade of the temple of Karnak; the seventh was subjected to a similar
fate at Napata at the beginning of his third year, and thenceforth
the sheîkhs of Kush thought twice before defying the authority of the

     * In an inscription in the temple of Amada, it is there said
     that the king offered this sacrifice on his return from his
     first expedition into Asia, and for this reason I have
     connected the facts thus related with those known to us
     through the stele of Karnak.

Amenôthes'reign was a short one, lasting ten years at most, and the end
of it seems to have been darkened by the open or secret rivalries which
the question of the succession usually stirred up among the kings' sons.
The king had daughters only by his marriage with one of his full
sisters, who like himself possessed all the rights of sovereignty; those
of his sons who did not die young were the children of princesses of
inferior rank or of concubines, and it was a subject of anxiety among
these princes which of them would be chosen to inherit the crown and be
united in marriage with the king's heiresses, Khûît and Mûtemûaû.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph taken in 1887 by
     Émil Brugsch-Bey


One of his sons, named Thûtmosis, who resided at the "White Wall," was
in the habit of betaking himself frequently to the Libyan desert to
practise with the javelin, or to pursue the hunt of lions and gazelles
in his chariot. On these occasions it was his pleasure to preserve the
strictest incognito, and he was accompanied by two discreet servants
only. One day, when chance had brought him into the neighbourhood of the
Great Pyramid, he lay down for his accustomed siesta in the shade cast
by the Sphinx, the miraculous image of Khopri the most powerful, the
god to whom all men in Memphis and the neighbouring towns raised adoring
hands filled with offerings. The gigantic statue was at that time more
than half buried, and its head alone was seen above the sand. As soon
as the prince was asleep it spoke gently to him, as a father to his
son: "Behold me, gaze on me, O my son Thûtmosis, for I, thy father
Harmakhis-Khopri-Tûmû, grant thee sovereignty over the two countries, in
both the South and the North, and thou shalt wear both the white and the
red crown on the throne of Sibû, the sovereign, possessing the earth in
its length and breadth; the flashing eye of the lord of all shall cause
to rain on thee the possessions of Egypt, vast tribute from all foreign
countries, and a long life for, many years as one chosen by the Sun,
for my countenance is thine, my heart is thine, no other than thyself is
mine! Nor am I covered by the sand of the mountain on which I rest,
and have given thee this prize that thou mayest do for me what my heart
desires, for I know that thou art my son, my defender; draw nigh, I am
with thee, I am thy well-beloved father." The prince understood that the
god promised him the kingdom on condition of his swearing to clear the
sand from the statue. He was, in fact, chosen to be the husband of the
queens, and immediately after his accession he fulfilled his oath; he
removed the sand, built a chapel between the paws, and erected against
the breast of the statue a stele of red granite, on which he related
his adventure. His reign was as short as that of Amenôthes, and his
campaigns both in Asia and Ethiopia were unimportant.*

     * The latest date of his reign at present known is that of
     the year VII., on the rocks of Konosso, and on a stele of
     Sarbût el-Khâdîm. There is an allusion to his wars against
     the Ethiopians in an inscription of Amada, and to his
     campaigns against the peoples of the North and South on the
     stele of Nofirhaît.

[Illustration: 050.jpg THE STELE OF THE SPHINX OF GIZER]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Émil Brugsch-Bey.

He had succeeded to an empire so firmly established from Naharaim to
Kari,* that, apparently, no rebellion could disturb its peace. One of
the two heiress-princesses, Kûît, the daughter, sister, and wife of a
king, had no living male offspring, but her companion Mûtemûaû had at
least one son, named Amenôthes. In his case, again, the noble birth
of the mother atoned for the defects of the paternal origin. Moreover,
according to tradition, Amon-Ka himself had intervened to renew the
blood of his descendants: he appeared in the person of Thûtmosis IV.,
and under this guise became the father of the heir of the Pharaohs.**

     * The peoples of Naharaim and of Northern Syria are
     represented bringing him tribute, in a tomb at Sheîkh-Abd-
     el-Qûrneh. The inscription published by Mariette, speaks of
     the first expedition of Thûtmosis IV. to the land of
     [Naharai]na, and of the gifts which he lavished on this
     occasion on the temple of Anion.

     ** It was at first thought that Mûtemûaû was an Ethiopian,
     afterwards that she was a Syrian, who had changed her name
     on arriving at the court of her husband. The manner in which
     she is represented at Luxor, and in all the texts where she
     figures, proves not only that she was of Egyptian race, but
     that she was the daughter of Amenôthes II., and born of the
     marriage of that prince with one of his sisters, who was
     herself an hereditary princess.

Like Queen Ahmasis in the bas-reliefs of Deîr el-Baharî, Mûtemûaû
is shown on those of Luxor in the arms of her divine lover, and
subsequently greeted by him with the title of mother; in another
bas-relief we see the queen led to her couch by the goddesses who
preside over the birth of children; her son Amenôthes, on coming into
the world with his double, is placed in the hands of the two Niles, to
receive the nourishment and the education meet for the children of the
gods. He profited fully by them, for he remained in power forty years,
and his reign was one of the most prosperous ever witnessed by Egypt
during the Theban dynasties.

[Illustration: 052.jpg QUEEN MUTEMÛAU.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Daniel Héron.

Amenôthes III. had spent but little of his time in war. He had
undertaken the usual raids in the South against the negroes and the
tribes of the Upper Nile. In his fifth year, a general defection of the
sheikhs obliged him to invade the province of Abhaît, near Semneh, which
he devastated at the head of the troops collected by Mari-ifi mosû, the
Prince of Kûsh; the punishment was salutary, the booty considerable, and
a lengthy peace was re-established. The object of his rare expeditions
into Naharaim was not so much to add new provinces to his empire, as to
prevent disturbances in the old ones. The kings of Alasia, of the Khâti,
of Mitanni, of Singar,* of Assyria, and of Babylon did not dare to
provoke so powerful a neighbour.**

     * Amenôthes entitles himself on a scarabæus "he who takes
     prisoner the country of Singar;" no other document has yet
     been discovered to show whether this is hyperbole, or
     whether he really reached this distant region.

     ** The lists of the time of Amenôthes III. contain the names
     of Phoenicia, Naharaim, Singar, Qodshu, Tunipa, Patina,
     Carchomish, and Assur; that is to say, of all the subject or
     allied nations mentioned in the correspondence of Tel el-
     Amarna. Certain episodes of these expeditions had been
     engraved on the exterior face of the pylon constructed by
     the king for the temple of Amon at Karnak; at the present
     time they are concealed by the wall at the lower end of the
     Hypostyle Hall. The tribute of the Lotanû was represented on
     the tomb of Hûi, at Sheîkh-Abd-el-Qûrneh.

[Illustration: 052b.jpg Amenothes III. Colossal Head in the British

[Illustration: 052b-text.jpg]

The remembrance of the victories of Thûtmosis III. was still fresh in
their memories, and, even had their hands been free, would have
made them cautious in dealing with his great-grandson; but they were
incessantly engaged in internecine quarrels, and had recourse to
Pharaoh merely to enlist his support, or at any rate make sure of his
neutrality, and prevent him from joining their adversaries.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Daniel Héron.

Whatever might have been the nature of their private sentiments, they
professed to be anxious to maintain, for their mutual interests, the
relations with Egypt entered on half a century before, and as the surest
method of attaining their object was by a good marriage, they would each
seek an Egyptian wife for himself, or would offer Amenôthes a princess
of one of their own royal families. The Egyptian king was, however, firm
in refusing to bestow a princess of the solar blood even on the most
powerful of the foreign kings; his pride rebelled at the thought that
she might one day be consigned to a place among the inferior wives
or concubines, but he gladly accepted, and even sought for wives for
himself, from among the Syrian and Chaldæan princesses. Kallimmasin of
Babylon gave Amenôthes first his sister, and when age had deprived this
princess of her beauty, then his daughter Irtabi in marriage.*

     * Letter from Amenôthes III. to Kallimmasin, concerning a
     sister of the latter, who was married to the King of Egypt,
     but of whom there are no further records remaining at
     Babylon, and also one of his daughters whom Amenôthes had
     demanded in marriage; and letters from Kallimmasin,
     consenting to bestow his daughter Irtabi on the Pharaoh, and
     proposing to give to Amenothes whichever one he might choose
     of the daughters of his house.

Sutarna of Mitanni had in the same way given the Pharaoh his daughter
Gilukhîpa; indeed, most of the kings of that period had one or two
relations in the harem at Thebes. This connexion usually proved a
support to Asiatic sovereigns, such alliances being a safeguard against
the rivalries of their brothers or cousins. At times, however, they were
the means of exposing them to serious dangers. When Sutarna died he was
succeeded by his son Dushratta, but a numerous party put forward another
prince, named Artassumara, who was probably Gilukhîpa's brother, on the
mother's side;* a Hittite king of the name of Pirkhi espoused the cause
of the pretender, and a civil war broke out.

     * Her exact relationship is not explicitly expressed, but is
     implied in the facts, for there seems no reason why
     Gilukhîpa should have taken the part of one brother rather
     than another, unless Artassumara had been nearer to her than
     Dushratta; that is to say, her brother on the mother's side
     as well as on the father's.

Dushratta was victorious, and caused his brother to be strangled, but
was not without anxiety as to the consequences which might follow this
execution should Gilukhîpa desire to avenge the victim, and to this end
stir up the anger of the suzerain against him. Dushratta, therefore,
wrote a humble epistle, showing that he had received provocation, and
that he had found it necessary to strike a decisive blow to save his own
life; the tablet was accompanied by various presents to the royal pair,
comprising horses, slaves, jewels, and perfumes. Gilukhîpa, however,
bore Dushratta no ill-will, and the latter's anxieties were allayed.
The so-called expeditions of Amenôthes to the Syrian provinces
must constantly have been merely visits of inspection, during which
amusements, and especially the chase, occupied nearly as important
a place as war and politics. Amenôthes III. took to heart that
pre-eminently royal duty of ridding the country of wild beasts, and
fulfilled it more conscientiously than any of his predecessors. He had
killed 112 lions during the first ten years of his reign, and as it was
an exploit of which he was remarkably proud, he perpetuated the memory
of it in a special inscription, which he caused to be engraved on
numbers of large scarabs of fine green enamel. Egypt prospered under his
peaceful government, and if the king made no great efforts to extend
her frontiers, he spared no pains to enrich the country by developing
industry and agriculture, and also endeavoured to perfect the military
organisation which had rendered the conquest of the East so easy a

A census, undertaken by his minister Amenôthes, the son of Hâpi,
ensured a more correct assessment of the taxes, and a regular scheme of
recruiting for the army.

[Illustration: 056.jpg SCARAB OF THE HUNT]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph published in

Whole tribes of slaves were brought into the country by means of the
border raids which were always taking place, and their opportune arrival
helped to fill up the vacancies which repeated wars had caused among
the rural and urban population; such a strong impetus to agriculture
was also given by this importation, that when, towards the middle of the
reign, the minister Khâmhâîfc presented the tax-gathers at court, he
was able to boast that he had stored in the State granaries a larger
quantity of corn than had been gathered in for thirty years. The traffic
carried on between Asia and the Delta by means of both Egyptian and
foreign ships was controlled by customhouses erected at the mouths of
the Nile, the coast being protected by cruising vessels against the
attacks of pirates. The fortresses of the isthmus and of the Libyan
border, having been restored or rebuilt, constituted a check on the
turbulence of the nomad tribes, while garrisons posted at intervals
at the entrance to the Wadys leading to the desert restrained the
plunderers scattered between the Nile and the Red Sea, and between the
chain of Oases and the unexplored regions of the Sahara.* Egypt was at
once the most powerful as well as the most prosperous kingdom in the
world, being able to command more labour and more precious metals for
the embellishment of her towns and the construction of her monuments
than any other.

     All this information is gathered from the inscription on the
          statue of Amenôthes, the son of Hâpi.

Public works had been carried on briskly under Thûtmosis III. and his
successors. The taste for building, thwarted at first by the necessity
of financial reforms, and then by that of defraying the heavy expenses
incurred through the expulsion of the Hyksôs and the earlier foreign
wars, had free scope as soon as spoil from the Syrian victories began to
pour in year by year. While the treasure seized from the enemy provided
the money, the majority of the prisoners were used as workmen, so that
temples, palaces, and citadels began to rise as if by magic from one end
of the valley to the other.*

     * For this use of prisoners of war, cf. the picture from the
     tomb of Rakhmirî on p. 58 of the present work, in which most
     of the earlier Egyptologists believed they recognised the
     Hebrews, condemned by Pharaoh to build the cities of Ramses
     and Pithom in the Delta.

Nubia, divided into provinces, formed merely an extension of the
ancient feudal Egypt--at any rate as far as the neighbourhood of the
Tacazzeh--though the Egyptian religion had here assumed a peculiar


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the chromolithograph in Lepsius.

The conquest of Nubia having been almost entirely the work of the Theban
dynasties, the Theban triad, Amon, Maût, and Montû, and their immediate
followers were paramount in this region, while in the north, in witness
of the ancient Elephantinite colonisation, we find Khnûmû of the
cataract being worshipped, in connexion with Didûn, father of
the indigenous Nubians. The worship of Amon had been the means of
introducing that of Eâ and of Horus, and Osiris as lord of the dead,
while Phtah, Sokhît, Atûmû, and the Memphite and Heliopolitan gods were
worshipped only in isolated parts of the province. A being, however,
of less exalted rank shared with the lords of heaven the favour of the
people. This was the Pharaoh, who as the son of Amon was foreordained to
receive divine honours, sometimes figuring, as at Bohani, as the third
member of a triad, at other times as head of the Ennead. Ûsirtasen
III. had had his chapels at Semneh and at Kûmmeh, they were restored by
Thûtmosis III., who claimed a share of the worship offered in them,
and whose son, Amenôthes II., also assumed the symbols and functions of

[Illustration: 059.jpg ONE OF THE RAMS OF AMENÔTHES III]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Mons. de Mertens.

Amenôthes I. was venerated in the province of Kari, and Amenôthes III.,
when founding the fortress Hâît-Khâmmâît* in the neighbourhood of a
Nubian village, on a spot now known as Soleb, built a temple there, of
which he himself was the protecting genius.**

     * The name signifies literally "the Citadel of Khâmmâît,"
     and it is formed, as Lepsius recognised from the first, from
     the name of the Sparrow-hawk Khâmmâît, "Mait rising as
     Goddess," which Amenôthes had assumed on his accession.

     ** Lepsius recognised the nature of the divinity worshipped
     in this temple; the deified statue of the king, "his living
     statue on earth," which represented the god of the temple,
     is there named "Nibmâûrî, lord of Nubia." Thûtmosis III. had
     already worked at Soleb.

The edifice was of considerable size, and the columns and walls
remaining reveal an art as perfect as that shown in the best monuments
at Thebes. It was approached by an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, while
colossal statues of lions and hawks, the sacred animals of the district,
adorned the building. The sovereign condescended to preside in person
at its dedication on one of his journeys to the southern part of his
empire, and the mutilated pictures still visible on the façade show the
order and detail of the ceremony observed on this occasion. The king,
with the crown upon his head, stood before the centre gate, accompanied
by the queen and his minister Amenôthes, the son of Hâpi, who was better
acquainted than any other man of his time with the mysteries of the

     * On Amenôthes, the son of Hâpi, see p. 56 of the present
     volume; it will be seen in the following chapter, in
     connection with the Egyptian accounts of the Exodus, what
     tradition made of him.

The king then struck the door twelve times with his mace of white stone,
and when the approach to the first hall was opened, he repeated the
operation at the threshold of the sanctuary previous to entering and
placing his statue there. He deposited it on the painted and gilded
wooden platform on which the gods were exhibited on feast-days,
and enthroned beside it the other images which were thenceforth to
constitute the local Ennead, after which he kindled the sacred fire
before them. The queen, with the priests and nobles, all bearing
torches, then passed through the halls, stopping from time to time
to perform acts of purification, or to recite formulas to dispel evil
spirits and pernicious influences; finally, a triumphal procession was
formed, and the whole _cortege_ returned to the palace, where a banquet
brought the day's festivities to a close.* It was Amenôthes III.
himself, or rather one of his statues animated by his double, who
occupied the chief place in the new building. Indeed, wherever we come
across a temple in Nubia dedicated to a king, we find the homage of the
inhabitants always offered to the image of the founder, which spoke to
them in oracles. All the southern part of the country beyond the
second cataract is full of traces of Amenôthes, and the evidence of
the veneration shown to him would lead us to conclude that he played an
important part in the organisation of the country. Sedeinga possessed
a small temple under the patronage of his wife Tîi. The ruins of a
sanctuary which he dedicated to Anion, the Sun-god, have been discovered
at Gebel-Barkal; Amenôthes seems to have been the first to perceive the
advantages offered by the site, and to have endeavoured to transform
the barbarian village of Napata into a large Egyptian city. Some of the
monuments with which he adorned Soleb were transported, in later times,
to Gebel-Barkal, among them some rams and lions of rare beauty. They lie
at rest with their paws crossed, the head erect, and their expression
suggesting both power and repose.** As we descend the Nile, traces of
the work of this king are less frequent, and their place is taken by
those of his predecessors, as at Sai, at Semneh, at Wady Haifa, at
Amada, at Ibrîm, and at Dakkeh. Distant traces of Amenôthes again
appear in the neighbourhood of the first cataract, and in the island of
Elephantine, which he endeavoured to restore to its ancient splendour.

     * Thus the small temple of Sarrah, to the north of Wady
     Haifa, is dedicated to "the living statue of Ramses II. in
     the land of Nubia," a statue to which his Majesty gave the
     name of "Usirmârî Zosir-Shâfi."

     ** One of the rams was removed from Gebel-Barkal by Lepsius,
     and is now in the Berlin Museum, as well as the pedestal of
     one of the hawks. Prisse has shown that these two monuments
     originally adorned the temple of Soleb, and that they were
     afterwards transported to Napata by an Ethiopian king, who
     engraved his name on the pedestal of one of them.

[Illustration: 062.jpg ONE OF THE LIONS OF GEBEL-BARKAL]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the two lions of Gebel-
     Barkal in the British Museum

Two of the small buildings which he there dedicated to Khnûmû, the local
god, were still in existence at the beginning of the present century.
That least damaged, on the south side of the island, consisted of
a single chamber nearly forty feet in length. The sandstone walls,
terminating in a curved cornice, rested on a hollow substructure
raised rather more than six feet above the ground, and surrounded by
a breast-high parapet. A portico ran round the building, having seven
square pillars on each of its two sides, while at each end stood two
columns having lotus-shaped capitals; a flight of ten or twelve steps
between two walls of the same height as the basement, projected in
front, and afforded access to the cella. The two columns of the façade
were further apart than those at the opposite end of the building, and
showed a glimpse of a richly decorated door, while a second door opened
under the peristyle at the further extremity. The walls were covered
with the half-brutish profile of the good Khnûmû, and those of his
two companions, Anûkît and Satît, the spirits of stormy waters. The
treatment of these figures was broad and simple, the style free, light,
and graceful, the colouring soft; and the harmonious beauty of the whole
is unsurpassed by anything at Thebes itself. It was, in fact, a kind of
oratory, built on a scale to suit the capacities of a decaying town, but
the design was so delicately conceived in its miniature proportions that
nothing more graceful can be imagined.*

     * Amenôthes II. erected some small obelisks at Elephantine,
     one of which is at present in England. The two buildings of
     Amenôthes III. at Elephantine were still in existence at the
     beginning of the present century. They have been described
     and drawn by French scholars; between 1822 and 1825 they
     were destroyed, and the materials used for building barracks
     and magazines at Syene.

Ancient Egypt and its feudal cities, Ombos, Edfû,* Nekhabît, Esneh,**
Medamôt,*** Coptos,**** Denderah, Abydos, Memphis,^ and Heliopolis,
profited largely by the generosity of the Pharaohs.

     * The works undertaken by Thûtmosis III. in the temple of
     Edfû are mentioned in an inscription of the Ptolemaic
     period; some portions are still to be seen among the ruins
     of the town.

     ** An inscription of the Roman period attributes the
     rebuilding of the great temple of Esneh to Thûtmosis III.
     Grébaut discovered some fragments of it in the quay of the
     modern town.

     *** Amenôthes II. appears to have built the existing temple.

     **** The temple of Hâthor was built by Thûtmosis III. Some
     fragments found in the Ptolemaic masonry bear the cartouche
     of Thûtmosis IV.

     ^ Amenôthes II. certainly carried on works at Memphis, for
     he opened a new quarry at Tûrah, in the year IV. Amenôthes
     III. also worked limestone quarries, and built at Saqqârah
     the earliest chapels of the Serapeum which are at present
     known to us.

Since the close of the XIIth dynasty these cities had depended entirely
on their own resources, and their public buildings were either in ruins,
or quite inadequate to the needs of the population, but now gold from
Syria and Kûsh furnished them with the means of restoration. The Delta
itself shared in this architectural revival, but it had suffered too
severely under the struggle between the Theban kings and the Shepherds
to recover itself as quickly as the remainder of the country. All
effort was concentrated on those of its nomes which lay on the Eastern
frontier, or which were crossed by the Pharaohs in their journeys into
Asia, such as the Bubastite and Athribite nomes; the rest remained sunk
in their ancient torpor.*

* Mariette and E. de Rougé, attribute this torpor, at least as far as
Tanis is concerned, to the aversion felt by the Pharaohs of Egyptian
blood for the Hyksôs capital, and for the provinces where the invaders
had formerly established themselves in large numbers.

Beyond the Red Sea the mines were actively worked, and even the oases of
the Libyan desert took part in the national revival, and buildings rose
in their midst of a size proportionate to their slender revenues. Thebes
naturally came in for the largest share of the spoils of war. Although
her kings had become the rulers of the world, they had not, like the
Pharaohs of the XIIth and XIIIth dynasties, forsaken her for some more
illustrious city: here they had their ordinary residence as well as
their seat of government, hither they returned after each campaign to
celebrate their victory, and hither they sent the prisoners and the
spoil which they had reserved for their own royal use. In the course
of one or two generations Thebes had spread in every direction, and had
enclosed within her circuit the neighbouring villages of Ashîrû, the
fief of Maiit, and Apît-rîsîfc, the southern Thebes, which lay at the
confluence of the Nile with one of the largest of the canals which
watered the plain. The monuments in these two new quarters of the town
were unworthy of the city of which they now formed part, and Amenôthes
III. consequently bestowed much pains on improving them. He entirely
rebuilt the sanctuary of Maût, enlarged the sacred lake, and collected
within one of the courts of the temple several hundred statues in black
granite of the Memphite divinity, the lioness-headed Sokhît, whom he
identified with his Theban goddess. The statues were crowded together so
closely that they were in actual contact with each other in places, and
must have presented something of the appearance of a regiment drawn up
in battle array. The succeeding Pharaohs soon came to look upon this
temple as a kind of storehouse, whence they might provide themselves
with ready-made figures to decorate their buildings either at Thebes or
in other royal cities. About a hundred of them, however, still remain,
most of them without feet, arms, or head; some over-turned on the
ground, others considerably out of the perpendicular, from the earth
having given way beneath them, and a small number only still perfect and
in situ.

[Illustration: 065.jpg THE TEMPLE AT ELEPHANTINE, AS IT WAS IN 1799]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the _Description de l'Egypte,
     Ant_., vol. i p. 35. A good restoration of it, made from
     the statements in the _Description_, is to be found in
     Pekrot-Cuipiez, _Histoire de l'Art dans l'Antiquité_, vol.
     i. pp. 402, 403.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

At Luxor Amenôthes demolished the small temple with which the sovereigns
of the XIIth and XIIIth dynasties had been satisfied, and replaced it by
a structure which is still one of the finest yet remaining of the times
of the Pharaohs. The naos rose sheer above the waters of the Nile,
indeed its cornices projected over the river, and a staircase at the
south side allowed the priests and devotees to embark directly from
the rear of the building. The sanctuary was a single chamber, with an
opening on its side, but so completely shut out from the daylight by the
long dark hall at whose extremity it was placed as to be in perpetual
obscurity. It was flanked by narrow, dimly lightly chambers, and was
approached through a pronaos with four rows of columns, a vast court
surrounded with porticoes occupying the foreground. At the present time
the thick walls which enclosed the entire building are nearly level
with the ground, half the ceilings have crumbled away, air and light
penetrate into every nook, and during the inundation the water flowing
into the courts, transformed them until recently into lakes, whither the
flocks and herds of the village resorted in the heat of the day to bathe
or quench their thirst. Pictures of mysterious events never meant for
the public gaze now display their secrets in the light of the sun, and
reveal to the eyes of the profane the supernatural events which preceded
the birth of the king. On the northern side an avenue of sphinxes and
crio-sphinxes led to the gates of old Thebes. At present most of these
creatures are buried under the ruins of the modern town, or covered by
the earth which overlies the ancient road; but a few are still visible,
broken and shapeless from barbarous usage, and hardly retaining any
traces of the inscriptions in which Amenôthes claimed them boastingly as
his work.


Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.

Triumphal processions passing along this route from Luxor to Karnak
would at length reach the great court before the temple of Amon, or, by
turning a little to the right after passing the temple of Maût, would
arrive in front of the southern façade, near the two gilded obelisks
whose splendour once rejoiced the heart of the famous Hâtshopsîtû.
Thûtmosis III. was also determined on his part to spare no expense to
make the temple of his god of proportions suitable to the patron of
so vast an empire. Not only did he complete those portions which his
predecessors had merely sketched out, but on the south side towards
Ashîrû he also built a long row of pylons, now half ruined, on which he
engraved, according to custom, the list of nations and cities which he
had subdued in Asia and Africa. To the east of the temple he rebuilt
some ancient structures, the largest of which served as a halting-place
for processions, and he enclosed the whole with a stone rampart. The
outline of the sacred lake, on which the mystic boats were launched on
the nights of festivals, was also made more symmetrical, and its margin
edged with masonry.


     Drawn by Boucher, from a photograph by Boato: the building
     near the centre of the picture is the covered walk
     constructed by Thûtmosis III.

By these alterations the harmonious proportion between the main
buildings and the façade had been destroyed, and the exterior wall was
now too wide for the pylon at the entrance. Amenôthes III. remedied this
defect by erecting in front a fourth pylon, which was loftier, larger,
and in all respects more worthy to stand before the enlarged temple.
Its walls were partially covered with battle-scenes, which informed all
beholders of the glory of the conqueror.*

     * Portions of the military bas-reliefs which covered the
     exterior face of the pylon are still to be seen through the
     gaps in the wall at the end of the great Hall of Pillars
     built by Seti I. and Ramses II.

Progress had been no less marked on the left bank of the river. As long
as Thebes had been merely a small provincial town, its cemeteries had
covered but a moderate area, including the sandy plain and low mounds
opposite Karnak and the valley of Deîr el-Baharî beyond; but now that
the city had more than doubled its extent, the space required for the
dead was proportionately greater. The tombs of private persons began to
spread towards the south, and soon reached the slopes of the Assassîf,
the hill of Sheikh-Abd-el-Qurnah and the district of Qûrnet-Mûrraî--in
fact, all that part which the people of the country called the "Brow"
of Thebes. On the borders of the cultivated land a row of chapels and
mastabas with pyramidal roofs sheltered the remains of the princes and
princesses of the royal family. The Pharaohs themselves were buried
either separately under their respective brick pyramids or in groups in
a temple, as was the case with the first three Thûtmosis and Hâtshopsîtû
at Deîr el-Baharî. Amenôthes II. and Thûtmosis IV. could doubtless have
found room in this crowded necropolis,* although the space was becoming
limited, but the pride of the Pharaohs began to rebel against this
promiscuous burial side by side with their subjects. Amenôthes III.
sought for a site, therefore, where he would have ample room to display
his magnificence, far from the vulgar crowd, and found what he desired
at the farther end of the valley which opens out behind the village of
Qurnah. Here, an hour's journey from the bank of the Nile, he cut for
himself a magnificent rock-tomb with galleries, halls, and deep pits,
the walls being decorated with representations of the Voyage of the Sun
through the regions which he traverses during the twelve hours of his
nocturnal course.

     * The generally received opinion is that these sovereigns of
     the XVIIIth dynasty were buried in the Bibân el-Molûk, but I
     have made several examinations of this valley, and cannot
     think that this was the case. On the contrary, the scattered
     notices in the fragments of papyrus preserved at Turin seem
     to me to indicate that Amenôthes II. and Thûtmosis IV. must
     have been buried in the neighbourhood of the Assassîf or of
     Deîr el-Baharî.

A sarcophagus of red granite received his mummy, and _Ushabti's_ of
extraordinary dimensions and admirable workmanship mounted guard around
him, so as to release him from the corvée in the fields of Ialû.
The chapel usually attached to such tombs is not to be found in the
neighbourhood. As the road to the funeral valley was a difficult one,
and as it would be unreasonable to condemn an entire priesthood to live
in solitude, the king decided to separate the component parts which had
hitherto been united in every tomb since the Memphite period, and
to place the vault for the mummy and the passages leading to it some
distance away in the mountains, while the necessary buildings for
the cultus of the statue and the accommodation of the priests were
transferred to the plain, and were built at the southern extremity of
the lands which were at that time held by private persons. The divine
character of Amenôthes, ascribed to him on account of his solar origin
and the co-operation of Amon-Râ at his birth, was, owing to this
separation of the funerary constituents, brought into further
prominence. When once the body which he had animated while on earth
was removed and hidden from sight, the people soon became accustomed
to think only of his Double enthroned in the recesses of the sanctuary:
seeing him receive there the same honours as the gods themselves, they
came naturally to regard him as a deity himself.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato. The
     "Vocal Statue of Memon" is that on the right-hand side of
     the illustration.

The arrangement of his temple differed in no way from those in which
Amon, Maût, and Montû were worshipped, while it surpassed in size and
splendour most of the sanctuaries dedicated to the patron gods of the
chief towns of the nomes. It contained, moreover, colossal statues,
objects which are never found associated with the heavenly gods. Several
of these figures have been broken to pieces, and only a few scattered
fragments of them remain, but two of them still maintain their positions
on each side of the entrance, with their faces towards the east. They
are each formed of a single block of red breccia from Syenê,* and are
fifty-three feet high, but the more northerly one was shattered in the
earthquake which completed the ruin of Thebes in the year 27 B.C. The
upper part toppled over with the shock, and was dashed to pieces on the
floor of the court, while the lower half remained in its place. Soon
after the disaster it began to be rumoured that sounds like those
produced by the breaking of a harp-string proceeded from the pedestal at
sunrise, whereupon travellers flocked to witness the miracle, and legend
soon began to take possession of the giant who spoke in this marvellous
way. In vain did the Egyptians of the neighbourhood declare that the
statue represented the Pharaoh Amenôthes; the Greeks refused to believe
them, and forthwith recognised in the colossus an image of Memnon the
Ethiopian, son of Tithonus and Aurora, slain by their own Achilles
beneath the walls of Troy--maintaining that the music heard every
morning was the clear and harmonious voice of the hero saluting his

     * It is often asserted that they are made of rose granite,
     but Jollois and Devilliers describe them as being of "a
     species of sandstone breccia, composed of a mass of agate
     flint, conglomerated together by a remarkably hard cement.
     This material, being very dense and of a heterogeneous
     composition, presents to the sculptor perhaps greater
     difficulties than even granite."

Towards the middle of the second century of our era, Hadrian undertook a
journey to Upper Egypt, and heard the wonderful song; sixty years later,
Septimus Severus restored the statue by the employment of courses of
stones, which were so arranged as to form a rough representation of a
human head and shoulders. His piety, however, was not rewarded as he
expected, for Memnon became silent, and his oracle fell into oblivion.
The temple no longer exists, and a few ridges alone mark the spot where
it rose; but the two colossi remain at their post, in the same condition
in which they were left by the Roman Cæsar: the features are quite
obliterated, and the legs and the supporting female figures on either
side are scored all over with Greek and Latin inscriptions expressing
the appreciation of ancient tourists. Although the statues tower high
above the fields of corn and _bersîm_ which surround them, our first
view of them, owing to the scale of proportion observed in their
construction, so different from that to which we are accustomed, gives
us the impression that they are smaller than they really are, and it
is only when we stand close to one of them and notice the insignificant
appearance of the crowd of sightseers clustered on its pedestal that we
realize the immensity of the colossi.

The descendants of Ahmosis had by their energy won for Thebes not only
the supremacy over the peoples of Egypt and of the known world, but had
also secured for the Theban deities pre-eminence over all their rivals.
The booty collected both in Syria and Ethiopia went to enrich the god
Amon as much as it did the kings themselves; every victory brought him
the tenth part of the spoil gathered on the field of battle, of the
tribute levied on vassals, and of the prisoners taken as slaves. When
Thûtmosis IIL, after having reduced Megiddo, organised a systematic
plundering of the surrounding country, it was for the benefit of Amon-Eâ
that he reaped the fields and sent their harvest into Egypt; if during
his journeys he collected useful plants or rare animals, it was that he
might dispose of them in the groves or gardens of Amon as well as in his
own, and he never retained for his personal use the whole of what he won
by arms, but always reserved some portion for the sacred treasury.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger.

His successors acted in a similar manner, and in the reigns of Amenôthes
II., Thût-mosis IV., and Amenôthes III., the patrimony of the Theban
priesthood continued to increase. The Pharaohs, perpetually called upon
as they were to recompense one or other of their servants, were never
able to retain for long their share of the spoils of war. Gold and
silver, lands, jewels, and slaves passed as quickly out of their hands
as they had fallen into them, and although then fortune was continually
having additions made to it in every fresh campaign, yet the increase
was rarely in proportion to the trouble expended. The god, on the
contrary, received what he got for all time, and gave back nothing in
return: fresh accumulations of precious metals were continually being
added to his store, his meadows were enriched by the addition of
vineyards, and with his palm forests he combined fish-ponds full of
fish; he added farms and villages to those he already possessed, and
each reign saw the list of his possessions increase. He had his own
labourers, his own tradespeople, his own fishermen, soldiers, and
scribes, and, presiding over all these, a learned hierarchy of divines,
priests, and prophets, who administered everything. This immense domain,
which was a kind of State within the State, was ruled over by a single
high priest, chosen by the sovereign from among the prophets. He was the
irresponsible head of it, and his spiritual ambition had increased
step by step with the extension of his material resources. As the human
Pharaoh showed himself entitled to homage from the lords of the earth,
the priests came at length to the conclusion that Amon had a right
to the allegiance of the lords of heaven, and that he was the Supreme
Being, in respect of whom the others were of little or no account, and
as he was the only god who was everywhere victorious, he came at length
to be regarded by them as the only god in existence. It was impossible
that the kings could see this rapid development of sacerdotal power
without anxiety, and with all their devotion to the patron of their
city, solicitude for their own authority compelled them to seek
elsewhere for another divinity, whose influence might in some degree
counterbalance that of Amon. The only one who could vie with him at
Thebes, either for the antiquity of his worship or for the rank which he
occupied in the public esteem, was the Sun-lord of Heliopolis, head of
the first Ennead. Thûtmosis IV. owed his crown to him, and 'displayed
his gratitude in clearing away the sand from the Sphinx, in which
the spirit of Harmakhis was considered to dwell; and Amenôthes
III., although claiming to be the son of Amon himself, inherited the
disposition shown by Thûtmosis in favour of the Heliopolitan religions,
but instead of attaching himself to the forms most venerated by
theologians, he bestowed his affection on a more popular deity--Atonû,
the fiery disk. He may have been influenced in his choice by private
reasons. Like his predecessors, he had taken, while still very young,
wives from among his own family, but neither these reasonable ties, nor
his numerous diplomatic alliances with foreign princesses, were enough
for him. From the very beginning of his reign he had loved a maiden who
was not of the blood of the Pharaohs, Tîi, the daughter of Iûîa and his
wife Tûîa.*

* For the last thirty years Queen Tîi has been the subject of many
hypotheses and of much confusion. The scarabasi engraved under Amenôthes
III. say explicitly that she was the daughter of two personages, Iûîa
and Tûîa, but these names are not accompanied by any of the signs which
are characteristic of foreign names, and were considered Egyptian by
contemporaries. Hincks was the first who seems to have believed her
to be a Syrian; he compares her father's name with that of Levi, and
attributes the religious revolution which followed to the influence of
her foreign education. This theory has continued to predominate; some
prefer a Libyan origin to the Asiatic one, and latterly there has
been an attempt to recognise in Tîi one of the princesses of Mitanni
mentioned in the correspondence of Tel el-Amarna. As long ago as 1877, I
showed that Tîi was an Egyptian of middle rank, probably of Heliopolitan

Connexions of this kind had been frequently formed by his ancestors,
but the Egyptian women of inferior rank whom they had brought into their
harems had always remained in the background, and if the sons of these
concubines were ever fortunate enough to come to the throne, it was in
default of heirs of pure blood. Amenôthes III. married Tîi, gave her
for her dowry the town of Zâlû in Lower Egypt, and raised her to the
position of queen, in spite of her low extraction. She busied herself
in the affairs of State, took precedence of the princesses of the solar
family, and appeared at her husband's side in public ceremonies, and was
so figured on the monuments. If, as there is reason to believe, she was
born near Heliopolis, it is easy to understand how her influence may
have led Amenôthes to pay special honour to a Heliopolitan divinity.
He had built, at an early period of his reign, a sanctuary to Atonû at
Memphis, and in the Xth year he constructed for him a chapel at Thebes
itself,* to the south of the last pylon of ïhûtmosis III., and endowed
this deity with property at the expense of Anion.

     * This temple seems to have been raised on the site of the
     building which is usually attributed to Amenôthes II. and
     Amenôthes III. The blocks bearing the name of Amenôthes II.
     had been used previously, like most of those which bear the
     cartouches of Amenôthes III. The temple of Atonû, which was
     demolished by Harmhabî or one of the Ramses, was
     subsequently rebuilt with the remains of earlier edifices,
     and dedicated to Amon.

[Illustration: 079.jpg MARRIAGE SCARABÆUS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of the scarabaeus
     preserved at Gîzeh.

He had several sons;* but the one who succeeded him, and who, like
him, was named Amenôthes, was the most paradoxical of all the Egyptian
sovereigns of ancient times.**

     * One of them, Thûtmosis, was high priest of Phtah, and we
     possess several monuments erected by him in the temple of
     Memphis; another, Tûtonkhamon, subsequently became king. He
     also had several daughters by Tîi--Sîtamon.

     ** The absence of any cartouches of Amenôthes IV. or his
     successors in the table of Abydos prevented Champollion and
     Rosellini from classifying these sovereigns with any
     precision. Nestor L'hôte tried to recognise in the first of
     them, whom he called _Bakhen-Balchnan_, a king belonging to
     the very ancient dynasties, perhaps the Hyksôs Apakhnan, but
     Lepsius and Hincks showed that he must be placed between
     Amenôthes III. and Harmhabî, that he was first called
     Amenôthes like his father, but that he afterwards took the
     name of Baknaten, which is now read Khûnaten or Khûniaton.
     His singular aspect made it difficult to decide at first
     whether a man or a woman was represented. Mariette, while
     pronouncing him to be a man, thought that he had perhaps
     been taken prisoner in the Sudan and mutilated, which would
     have explained his effeminate appearance, almost like that
     of an eunuch. Recent attempts have been made to prove that
     Amenôthes IV. and Khûniaton were two distinct persons, or
     that Khûniaton was a queen; but they have hitherto been
     rejected by Egyptologists.

He made up for the inferiority of his birth on account of the plebeian
origin of his mother Tîî,* by his marriage with Nofrîtîti, a princess
of the pure solar race.** Tîi, long accustomed to the management of
affairs, exerted her influence over him even more than she had done over
her husband. Without officially assuming the rank, she certainly for
several years possessed the power, of regent, and gave a definite
Oriental impress to her son's religious policy. No outward changes were
made at first; Amenôthes, although showing his preference for Heliopolis
by inscribing in his protocol the title of prophet of Harmakhis,
which he may, however, have borne before his accession, maintained his
residence at Thebes, as his father had done before him, continued to
sacrifice to the Theban divinities, and to follow the ancient paths and
the conventional practices.***

     * The filiation of Amenôthes IV. and Tîi has given rise to
     more than one controversy. The Egyptian texts do not define
     it explicitly, and the title borne by Tîi has been
     considered by some to prove that Amenôthes IV. was her son,
     and by others that she was the mother of Queen Nofrîtîti.
     The Tel el-Amarna correspondence solves the question,
     however, as it gives a letter from Dushratta to Khûniaton,
     in which Tîi is called "thy mother."

     ** Nofrîtîti, the wife of Amenôthes IV., like all the
     princesses of that time, has been supposed to be of Syrian
     origin, and to have changed her name on her arrival in
     Egypt. The place which she holds beside her husband is the
     same as that which belongs to legitimate queens, like
     Nofritari, Ahmosis, and Hâtshopsîtû, and the example of
     these princesses is enough to show us what was her real
     position; she was most probably a daughter of one of the
     princesses of the solar blood, perhaps of one of the sisters
     of Amenôthes III., and Amenôthes IV. married her so as to
     obtain through her the rights which were wanting to him
     through his mother Tîi.

     *** The tomb of Ramses, governor of Thebes and priest of
     Mâît, shows us in one part of it the king, still faithful to
     his name of Amenôthes, paying homage to the god Amon, lord
     of Karnak, while everywhere else the worship of Atonû
     predominates. The cartouches on the tomb of Pari, read by
     Bouriant Akhopîrûrî, and by Scheil more correctly
     Nofirkhopîrûrî, seem to me to represent a transitional form
     of the protocol of Amenôthes IV., and not the name of a new
     Pharaoh; the inscription in which they are to be found bears
     the date of his third year.

He either built a temple to the Theban god, or enlarged the one which
his father had constructed at Karnak, and even opened new quarries at
Syene and Silsileh for providing granite and sandstone for the adornment
of this monument. His devotion to the invincible Disk, however, soon
began to assert itself, and rendered more and more irksome to him the
religious observances which he had constrained himself to follow. There
was nothing and no one to hinder him from giving free course to his
inclinations, and the nobles and priests were too well trained in
obedience to venture to censure anything he might do, even were it to
result in putting the whole population into motion, from Elephantine to
the sea-coast, to prepare for the intruded deity a dwelling which should
eclipse in magnificence the splendour of the great temple. A few
of those around him had become converted of their own accord to his
favourite worship, but these formed a very small minority. Thebes had
belonged to Amon so long that the king could never hope to bring it
to regard Atonû as anything but a being of inferior rank. Each
city belonged to some god, to whom was attributed its origin, its
development, and its prosperity, and whom it could not forsake without
renouncing its very existence. If Thebes became separated from Amon it
would be Thebes no longer, and of this Amenôthes was so well aware that
he never attempted to induce it to renounce its patron. His residence
among surroundings which he detested at length became so intolerable,
that he resolved to leave the place and create a new capital elsewhere.
The choice of a new abode would have presented no difficulty to him had
he been able to make up his mind to relegate Atonû to the second rank of
divinities; Memphis, Heracleopolis, Siût, Khmûnû, and, in fact, all the
towns of the valley would have deemed themselves fortunate in securing
the inheritance of their rival, but not one of them would be false to
its convictions or accept the degradation of its own divine founder,
whether Phtah, Harshafîtû, Anubis, or Thot. A newly promoted god
demanded a new city; Amenôthes, therefore, made selection of a broad
plain extending on the right bank of the Nile, in the eastern part of
the Hermopolitan nome, to which he removed with all his court about the
fourth or fifth year of his reign.*

     * The last date with the name of Amenôthes is that of the
     year V., on a papyrus from the Payilm; elsewhere we find
     from the year VI. the name of Khûniaton, by the side of
     monuments with the cartouche of Amenôthes; we may conclude
     from this that the foundation of the town dates from the
     year IV. or V. at the latest, when the prince, having
     renounced the worship of Amon, left Thebes that he might be
     able to celebrate freely that of Atonû.

He found here several obscure villages without any historical or
religious traditions, and but thinly populated; Amenôthes chose one
of them, the Et-Tel of the present day, and built there a palace
for himself and a temple for his god. The temple, like that of Eâ at
Heliopolis, was named _Haît-Banbonû_, the Mansion of the Obelisk. It
covered an immense area, of which the sanctuary, however, occupied an
inconsiderable part; it was flanked by brick storehouses, and the whole
was surrounded by a thick wall. The remains show that the temple was
built of white limestone, of fine quality, but that it was almost
devoid of ornament, for there was no time to cover it with the usual

     * The opinion of Brugsch, that the arrangement of the
     various parts differed from that of other temples, and was
     the effect of foreign influence, has not been borne out by
     the excavations of Prof. Pétrie, the little which he has
     brought to light being entirely of Egyptian character. The
     temple is represented on the tomb of the high priest Mariri.

[Illustration: 084.jpg Map]

The palace was built of brick; it was approached by a colossal gateway,
and contained vast halls, interspersed with small apartments for the
accommodation of the household, and storehouses for the necessary
provisions, besides gardens which had been hastily planted with rare
shrubs and sycamores. Fragments of furniture and of the roughest of the
utensils contained in the different chambers are still unearthed from
among the heaps of rubbish, and the cellars especially are full of
potsherds and cracked jars, on which we can still see written an
indication of the reign and the year when the wine they once contained
was made. Altars of massive masonry rose in the midst of the courts,
on which the king or one of his ministers heaped offerings and burnt
incense morning, noon, and evening, in honour of the three decisive
moments in the life of Atonû.*

     * Naville discovered at Deîr el-Baharî a similar altar,
     nearly intact. No other example was before known in any of
     the ruined towns or temples, and no one had any idea of the
     dimensions to which these altars, attained.

A few painted and gilded columns supported the roofs of the principal
apartments in which the Pharaoh held his audiences, but elsewhere the
walls and pillars were coated with cream-coloured stucco or whitewash,
on which scenes of private life were depicted in colours. The pavement,
like the walls, was also decorated. In one of the halls which seems to
have belonged to the harem, there is still to be seen distinctly
the picture of a rectangular piece of water containing fish and
lotus-flowers in full bloom; the edge is adorned with water-plants and
flowering shrubs, among which birds fly and calves graze and gambol; on
the right and left were depicted rows of stands laden with fruit, while
at each end of the room were seen the grinning faces of a gang of negro
and Syrian prisoners, separated from each other by gigantic arches. The
tone of colouring is bright and cheerful, and the animals are treated
with great freedom and facility. The Pharaoh, had collected about him
several of the best artists then to be found at Thebes, placing
them under the direction of Baûki, the chief of the corporation
of sculptors,* and probably others subsequently joined these from
provincial studios.

     * Baûki belonged to a family of artists, and his father Mani
     had filled before him the post of chief of the sculptors.
     The part played by these personages was first defined by
     Brugsch, with perhaps some exaggeration of their artistic
     merit and originality of talent.

Work for them was not lacking, for houses had to be built for all the
courtiers and government officials who had been obliged to follow the
king, and in a few years a large town had sprung up, which was called
Khûîtatonû, or the "Horizon of the Disk." It was built on a regular
plan, with straight streets and open spaces, and divided into two
separate quarters, interspersed with orchards and shady trellises.
Workmen soon began to flock to the new city--metal-founders,
glass-founders, weavers; in fine, all who followed any trade
indispensable to the luxury of a capital. The king appropriated a
territory for it from the ancient nome of the Hare, thus compelling the
god Thot to contribute to the fortune of Atonû; he fixed its limits by
means of stelæ placed in the mountains, from Gebel-Tûnah to Deshlûît on
the west, and from Sheikh-Said to El-Hauata on the eastern bank;* it was
a new nome improvised for the divine _parvenu_.

     * We know at present of fourteen of these stelæ. A certain
     number must still remain to be discovered on both banks of
     the Nile.


Atonû was one of the forms of the Sun, and perhaps the most material one
of all those devised by the Egyptians. He was defined as "the good god
who rejoices in truth, the lord of the solar course, the lord of the
disk, the lord of heaven, the lord of earth, the living disk which
lights up the two worlds, the living Harmakhis who rises on the horizon
bearing his name of Shû, which is disk, the eternal infuser of life."
His priests exercised the same functions as those of Heliopolis, and his
high priest was called "Oîrimaû," like the high priest of Râ in Aunû.
This functionary was a certain Marirl, upon whom the king showered his
favours, and he was for some time the chief authority in the State after
the Pharaoh himself. Atonû was represented sometimes by the ordinary
figure of Horus,* sometimes by the solar disk, but a disk whose rays
were prolonged towards the earth, like so many arms ready to lay
hold with their little hands of the offerings of the faithful, or to
distribute to mortals the _crux ansata_, the symbol of life. The other
gods, except Amon, were sharers with humanity in his benefits. Atonû
proscribed him, and tolerated him only at Thebes; he required, moreover,
that the name of Amon should be effaced wherever it occurred, but he
respected Râ and Horus and Harmakhis--all, in fact, but Amon: he was
content with being regarded as their king, and he strove rather to
become their chief than their destroyer.**

     * It was probably this form of Horus which had, in the
     temple at Thebes, the statue called "the red image of Atonû
     in Paatoml."

     ** Prisse d'Avennes has found at Karnak, on fragments of the
     temple, the names of other divinities than Atonû worshipped
     by Khûniatonû.

His nature, moreover, had nothing in it of the mysterious or ambiguous;
he was the glorious torch which gave light to humanity, and which
was seen every day to flame in the heavens without ever losing its
brilliance or becoming weaker. When he hides himself "the world rests in
darkness, like those dead who lie in their rock-tombs, with their heads
swathed, their nostrils stuffed up, their eyes sightless, and whose
whole property might be stolen from them, even that which they have
under their head, without their knowing it; the lion issues from his
lair, the serpent roams ready to bite, it is as obscure as in a dark
room, the earth is silent whilst he who creates everything dwells in his
horizon." He has hardly arisen when "Egypt becomes festal, one awakens,
one rises on one's feet; when thou hast caused men to clothe themselves,
they adore thee with outstretched hands, and the whole earth attends
to its work, the animals betake themselves to their herbage, trees
and green crops abound, birds fly to their marshy thickets with wings
outstretched in adoration of thy double, the cattle skip, all the birds
which were in their nests shake themselves when thou risest for them;
the boats come and go, for every way is open at thy appearance, the
fish of the river leap before thee as soon as thy rays descend upon the
ocean." It is not without reason that all living things thus rejoice at
his advent; all of them owe their existence to him, for "he creates the
female germ, he gives virility to men, and furnishes life to the infant
in its mother's womb; he calms and stills its weeping, he nourishes it
in the maternal womb, giving forth the breathings which animate all that
he creates, and when the infant escapes from the womb on the day of
its birth, thou openest his mouth for speech, and thou satisfiest his
necessities. When the chick is in the egg, a cackle in a stone, thou
givest to it air while within to keep it alive; when thou hast caused
it to be developed in the egg to the point of being able to break it, it
goes forth proclaiming its existence by its cackling, and walks on its
feet from the moment of its leaving the egg." Atonû presides over the
universe and arranges within it the lot of human beings, both Egyptians
and foreigners. The celestial Nile springs up in Hades far away in the
north; he makes its current run down to earth, and spreads its waters
over the fields during the inundation in order to nourish his creatures.
He rules the seasons, winter and summer; he constructed the far-off sky
in order to display himself therein, and to look down upon his works
below. From the moment that he reveals himself there, "cities, towns,
tribes, routes, rivers--all eyes are lifted to him, for he is the
disk of the day upon the earth."* The sanctuary in which he is invoked
contains only his divine shadow;** for he himself never leaves the

     * These extracts are taken from the hymns of Tel el-Amarna.

     ** In one of the tombs at Tel el-Amarna the king is depicted
     leading his mother Tîi to the temple of Atonû in order to
     see "the Shadow of Râ," and it was thought with some reason
     that "the Shadow of Râ" was one of the names of the temple.
     I think that this designation applied also to the statue or
     symbol of the god; the _shadow_ of a god was attached to the
     statue in the same manner as the "double," and transformed
     it into an animated body.

His worship assumes none of the severe and gloomy forms of the Theban
cults: songs resound therein, and hymns accompanied by the harp or
flute; bread, cakes, vegetables, fruits, and flowers are associated
with his rites, and only on very rare occasions one of those bloody
sacrifices in which the other gods delight. The king made himself
supreme pontiff of Atonu, and took precedence of the high priest. He
himself celebrated the rites at the altar of the god, and we see him
there standing erect, his hands outstretched, offering incense and
invoking blessings from on high.* Like the Caliph Hakim of a later age,
he formed a school to propagate his new doctrines, and preached them
before his courtiers: if they wished to please him, they had to accept
his teaching, and show that they had profited by it. The renunciation of
the traditional religious observances of the solar house involved also
the rejection of such personal names as implied an ardent devotion to
the banished god; in place of Amenôthes, "he to whom Amon is united,"
the king assumed after a time the name of Khûniatonû, "the Glory of the
Disk," and all the members of his family, as well as his adherents
at court, whose appellations involved the name of the same god, soon
followed his example. The proscription of Amon extended to inscriptions,
so that while his name or figure, wherever either could be got at, was
chiselled out, the vulture, the emblem of Mût, which expressed the idea
of mother, was also avoided.**

     * The altar on which the king stands upright is one of those
     cubes of masonry of which Naville discovered such a fine
     example in the temple of Hâtshopsîtû at Deîr el-Baharî.

     ** We find, however, some instances where the draughtsman,
     either from custom or design, had used the vulture to
     express the word mailt, "the mother," without troubling
     himself to think whether it answered to the name of the

The king would have nothing about him to suggest to eye or ear the
remembrance of the gods or doctrines of Thebes. It would consequently
have been fatal to them and their pretensions to the primacy of Egypt
if the reign of the young king had continued as long as might naturally
have been expected. After having been for nearly two centuries almost
the national head of Africa, Amon was degraded by a single blow to the
secondary rank and languishing existence in which he had lived before
the expulsion of the Hyksôs. He had surrendered his sceptre as king of
heaven and earth, not to any of his rivals who in old times had enjoyed
the highest rank, but to an individual of a lower order, a sort of
demigod, while he himself had thus become merely a local deity, confined
to the corner of the Said in which he had had his origin. There was not
even left to him the peaceful possession of this restricted domain,
for he was obliged to act as host to the enemy who had deposed him:
the temple of Atonû was erected at the door of his own sanctuary, and
without leaving their courts the priests of Amon could hear at the hours
of worship the chants intoned by hundreds of heretics in the temple of
the Disk. Amon's priests saw, moreover, the royal gifts flowing into
other treasuries, and the gold of Syria and Ethiopia no longer came
into their hands. Should they stifle their complaints, and bow to this
insulting oppression, or should they raise a protest against the action
which had condemned them to obscurity and a restricted existence? If
they had given indications of resistance, they would have been obliged
to submit to prompt repression, but we see no sign of this. The bulk
of the people--clerical as well as lay--accepted the deposition with
complacency, and the nobles hastened to offer their adherence to that
which afterwards became the official confession of faith of the Lord
King.* The lord of Thebes itself, a certain Ramses, bowed his head to
the new cult, and the bas-reliefs of his tomb display to our eyes the
proofs of his apostasy: on the right-hand side Amon is the only subject
of his devotion, while on the left he declares himself an adherent of
Atonû. Religious formularies, divine appellations, the representations
of the costume, expression, and demeanour of the figures are at issue
with each other in the scenes on the two sides of the door, and if we
were to trust to appearances only, one would think that the two pictures
belonged to two separate reigns, and were concerned with two individuals
strangers to each other.**

     * The political character of this reaction against the
     growing power of the high priests and the town of Amon was
     pointed out for the first time by Masporo in 1878. Ed. Meyer
     and Tiele blond with the political idea a monotheistic
     conception which does not seem to me to be fully justified,
     at least at present, by anything in the materials we

     ** His tomb was discovered in 1878 by Villiers-Stuart.

The rupture between the past and the present was so complete, in
fact, that the sovereign was obliged to change, if not his face and
expression, at least the mode in which they were represented.

[Illustration: 095.jpg THE MASK OF KIHÛNIATONÛ]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie. Petrie
     thinks that the monument discovered by him, which is of fine
     plaster, is a cast of the dead king, executed possibly to
     enable the sculptors to make _Ushabtu_, "Respondents," for

The name and personality of an Egyptian were so closely allied that
interference with one implied interference with the other. Khûniatonû
could not continue to be such as he was when Amenôthes, and, in fact,
their respective portraits differ from each other to that degree that
there is some doubt at moments as to their identity. Amenôthes is
hardly to be distinguished from his father: he has the same regular and
somewhat heavy features, the same idealised body and conventional shape
as those which we find in the orthodox Pharaohs. Khûniatonû affects a
long and narrow head, conical at the top, with a retreating forehead,
a large aquiline and pointed nose, a small mouth, an enormous chin
projecting in front, the whole being supported by a long, thin neck.

His shoulders are narrow, with little display of muscle, but his breasts
are so full, his abdomen so prominent, and his hips so large, that one
would think they belonged to a woman. Etiquette required the attendants
upon the king, and those who aspired to his favour, to be portrayed in
the bas-reliefs of temples or tombs in all points, both as regards face
and demeanour, like the king himself. Hence it is that the majority of
his contemporaries, after having borne the likeness of Amenôthes,
came to adopt, without a break, that of Khûniatonû. The scenes at Tel
el-Amarna contain, therefore, nothing but angular profiles, pointed
skulls, ample breasts, flowing figures, and swelling stomachs. The
outline of these is one that lends itself readily to caricature, and the
artists have exaggerated the various details with the intention, it
may be, of rendering the representations grotesque. There was nothing
ridiculous, however, in the king, their model, and several of his
statues attribute to him a languid, almost valetudinarian grace, which
is by no means lacking in dignity.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a drawing by Petrie.

[Illustration: 097.jpg Page Image]

He was a good and affectionate man, and was passionately fond of his
wife, Nofrîtîti, associating her with himself in his sovereign acts. If
he set out to visit the temple, she followed him in a chariot; if he was
about to reward one of his faithful subjects, she stood beside him and
helped to distribute the golden necklaces. She joined him in his prayers
to the Solar Disk; she ministered to him in domestic life, when, having
broken away from the worries of his public duties, he sought relaxation
in his harem; and their union was so tender, that we find her on one
occasion, at least, seated in a coaxing attitude on her husband's
knees--a unique instance of such affection among all the representations
on the monuments of Egypt.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

They had six daughters, whom they brought up to live with them on
terms of the closest intimacy: they accompanied their father and mother
everywhere, and are exhibited as playing around the throne while their
parents are engaged in performing the duties of their office. The
gentleness and gaiety of the king were reflected in the life of his
subjects: all the scenes which they have left us consist entirely of
processions, cavalcades, banquets, and entertainments. Khûniatonû was
prodigal in the gifts of gold and the eulogies which he bestowed on
Marirî, the chief priest: the people dance around him while he is
receiving from the king the just recompense of his activity. When Hûîa,
who came back from Syria in the XIIth year of the king's reign, brought
solemnly before him the tribute he had collected, the king, borne in
his jolting palanquin on the shoulders of his officers, proceeded to the
temple to return thanks to his god, to the accompaniment of chants and
the waving of the great fans. When the divine father Aï had married the
governess of one of the king's daughters, the whole city gave itself
up to enjoyment, and wine flowed freely during the wedding feast.
Notwithstanding the frequent festivals, the king found time to watch
jealously over the ordinary progress of government and foreign affairs.
The architects, too, were not allowed to stand idle, and without taking
into account the repairs of existing buildings, had plenty to do in
constructing edifices in honour of Atonû in the principal towns of the
Nile valley, at Memphis, Heliopolis, Hermopolis, Hermonthis, and in
the Fayûm. The provinces in Ethiopia remained practically in the
same condition as in the time of Amenôthes III.;* Kûsh was pacified,
notwithstanding the raids which the tribes of the desert were accustomed
to make from time to time, only to receive on each occasion rigorous
chastisement from the king's viceroy.

     * The name and the figure of Khûniatonû are met with on the
     gate of the temple of Soleb, and he received in his
     XIIth year the tributes of Kûsh, as well as those of Syria.

The sudden degradation of Amon had not brought about any coldness
between the Pharaoh and his princely allies in Asia. The aged Amenôthes
had, towards the end of his reign, asked the hand of Dushratta's
daughter in marriage, and the Mitannian king, highly flattered by the
request, saw his opportunity and took advantage of it in the interest
of his treasury. He discussed the amount of the dowry, demanded a
considerable sum of gold, and when the affair had been finally arranged
to his satisfaction, he despatched the princess to the banks of the
Nile. On her arrival she found her affianced husband was dead, or, at
all events, dying. Amenôthes IV., however, stepped into his father's
place, and inherited his bride with his crown.

[Illustration: 100.jpg THE DOOR OF A TOMB AT TEL EL-AMARNA]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

The new king's relations with other foreign princes were no less
friendly; the chief of the Khâti (Hittites) complimented him on his
accession, the King of Alasia wrote to him to express his earnest desire
for a continuance of peace between the two states. Burnaburiash of
Babylon had, it is true, hoped to obtain an Egyptian princess in
marriage for his son, and being disappointed, had endeavoured to pick a
quarrel over the value of the presents which had been sent him, together
with the notice of the accession of the new sovereign. But his kingdom
lay too far away to make his ill-will of much consequence, and his
complaints passed unheeded. In Coele-Syria and Phoenicia the situation
remained unchanged. The vassal cities were in a perpetual state
of disturbance, though not more so than in the past. Azîru, son of
Abdashirti, chief of the country of the Amorites, had always, even
during the lifetime of Amenôthes III., been the most turbulent of
vassals. The smaller states of the Orontes and of the coast about Arvad
had been laid waste by his repeated incursions and troubled by his
intrigues. He had taken and pillaged twenty towns, among which were
Simyra, Sini, Irqata, and Qodshû, and he was already threatening Byblos,
Berytus, and Sidon. It was useless to complain of him, for he always
managed to exculpate himself to the royal messengers. Khaî, Dûdû,
Amenemaûpît had in turn all pronounced him innocent. Pharaoh himself,
after citing him to appear in Egypt to give an explanation of his
conduct, had allowed himself to be won over by his fair speaking, and
had dismissed him uncondemned. Other princes, who lacked his cleverness
and power, tried to imitate him, and from north to south the whole of
Syria could only be compared to some great arena, in which fighting
was continually carried on between one tribe or town and another--Tyre
against Sidon, Sidon against Byblos, Jerusalem against Lachish. All
of them appealed to Khûniatonû, and endeavoured to enlist him on their
side. Their despatches arrived by scores, and the perusal of them at
the present day would lead us to imagine that Egypt had all but lost
her supremacy. The Egyptian ministers, however, were entirely unmoved
by them, and continued to refuse material support to any of the numerous
rivals, except in a few rare cases, where a too prolonged indifference
would have provoked an open revolt in some part of the country.

Khûniatonû died young, about the XVIIIth year of his reign.* He was
buried in the depths of a ravine in the mountain-side to the east of
the town, and his tomb remained unknown till within the last few years.
Although one of his daughters who died before her father had been
interred there, the place seems to have been entirely unprepared for the
reception of the king's body. The funeral chamber and the passages
are scarcely even rough-hewn, and the reception halls show a mere
commencement of decoration.** The other tombs of the locality are
divided into two groups, separated by the ravine reserved for the
burying-place of the royal house. The noble families possessed each
their own tomb on the slopes of the hillside; the common people were
laid to rest in pits lower down, almost on the level of the plain.
The cutting and decoration of all these tombs had been entrusted to a
company of contractors, who had executed them according to two or three
stereotyped plans, without any variation, except in size. Nearly all the
walls are bare, or present but few inscriptions; those tombs only are
completed whose occupants died before the Pharaoh.

     * The length of Khûniatonû's reign was fixed by Griffith
     with almost absolute certainty by means of the dates written
     in ink on the jars of wine and preserves found in the ruins
     of the palace.

     ** The tomb has been found, as I anticipated, in the ravine
     which separates the northern after the southern group of
     burying-places. The Arabs opened it in 1891, and Grébaut has
     since completely excavated it. The scenes depicted in it are
     connected with the death and funeral of the Princess

[Illustration: 103.jpg INTERIOR OF A TOMB AT TEL EL-AMARNA]

     Drawn by Boudier, after a photograph by Insinger.

The façades of the tombs are cut in the rock, and contain, for the most
part, but one door, the jambs of which are covered on both sides by
several lines of hieroglyphs; and it is just possible to distinguish
traces of the adoration of the radiant Disk on the lintels, together
with the cartouches containing the names of the king and god. The chapel
is a large rectangular chamber, from one end of which opens the inclined
passage leading to the coffin. The roof is sometimes supported by
columns, having capitals decorated with designs of flowers or of geese
hung from the abacus by their feet with their heads turned upwards.

The religious teaching at Tel el-Amarna presents no difference in the
main from that which prevailed in other parts of Egypt.* The Double
of Osiris was supposed to reside in the tomb, or else to take wing to
heaven and embark with Atonû, as elsewhere he would embark with Eâ. The
same funerary furniture is needed for the deceased as in other local
cults--ornaments of vitreous paste, amulets, and _Ushabtiu_, or
"Respondents," to labour for the dead man in the fields of Ialû. Those
of Khûniatonû were, like those of Amenôthes III., actual statuettes in
granite of admirable workmanship. The dead who reached the divine abode,
retained the same rank in life that they had possessed here below, and
in order to ensure the enjoyment of it, they related, or caused to be
depicted in their tombs, the events of their earthly career.

     * The peculiar treatment of the two extremities of the sign
     for the sky, which surmounts the great scene on the tomb of
     Ahmosis, shows that there had been no change in the ideas
     concerning the two horizons or the divine tree found in
     them: the aspirations for the soul of Marirî, the high
     priest of Atonû, or for that of the sculptor Baûkû, are the
     same as those usually found, and the formula on the funerary
     stelae differs only in the name of the god from that on the
     ordinary stelae of the same kind.

A citizen of Khûîtatonû would naturally represent the manners and
customs of his native town, and this would account for the local
colouring of the scenes in which we see him taking part.

They bear no resemblance to the traditional pictures of the buildings
and gardens of Thebes with which we are familiar; we have instead the
palaces, colonnades, and pylons of the rising city, its courts planted
with sycomores, its treasuries, and its storehouses. The sun's disk
hovers above and darts its prehensile rays over every object; its hands
present the _crux ansata_ to the nostrils of the various members of the
family, they touch caressingly the queen and her daughters, they handle
the offerings of bread and cakes, they extend even into the government
warehouses to pilfer or to bless. Throughout all these scenes Khûniatonû
and the ladies of his harem seem to be ubiquitous: here he visits one of
the officers, there he repairs to the temple for the dedication of its
sanctuary. His chariot, followed at a little distance by that of the
princesses, makes its way peaceably through the streets. The police of
the city and the soldiers of the guard, whether Egyptians or foreigners,
run before him and clear a path among the crowd, the high priest Marirî
stands at the gate to receive him, and the ceremony is brought to a
close by a distribution of gold necklaces or rings, while the populace
dance with delight before the sovereign. Meantime the slaves have
cooked the repast, the dancers and musicians within their chambers have
rehearsed for the evening's festival, and the inmates of the house carry
on animated dialogues during their meal. The style and the technique of
these wall-paintings differ in no way from those in the necropolis of
the preceding period, and there can be no doubt that the artists who
decorated these monuments were trained in the schools of Thebes. Their
drawing is often very refined, and there is great freedom in their
composition; the perspective of some of the bas-reliefs almost comes
up to our own, and the movement of animated crowds is indicated with
perfect accuracy. It is, however, not safe to conclude from these
examples that the artists who executed them would have developed
Egyptian art in a new direction, had not subsequent events caused a
reaction against the worship of Atonû and his followers.

[Illustration: 104.jpg PROFILE OF HEAD OF MUMMY (THEBES TOMBS.)]


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie.

Although the tombs in which they worked differ from the generality
of Egyptian burying-places, their originality does not arise from any
effort, either conscious or otherwise, to break through the ordinary
routine of the art of the time; it is rather the result of the
extraordinary appearance of the sovereign whose features they were
called on to portray, and the novelty of several of the subjects which
they had to treat. That artist among them who first gave concrete form
to the ideas circulated by the priests of Atonû, and drew the model
cartoons, evidently possessed a master-hand, and was endowed with
undeniable originality and power. No other Egyptian draughtsman ever
expressed a child's grace as he did, and the portraits which he sketched
of the daughters of Khûniatonû playing undressed at their mother's side,
are examples of a reserved and delicate grace. But these models, when
once composed and finished even to the smallest details, were entrusted
for execution to workmen of mediocre powers, who were recruited not only
from Thebes, but from the neighbouring cities of Hermopolis and Siût.
These estimable people, with a praiseworthy patience, traced bit by bit
the cartoons confided to them, omitting or adding individuals or groups
according to the extent of the wall-space they had to cover, or to the
number of relatives and servants whom the proprietor of the tomb desired
should share in his future happiness. The style of these draughtsmen
betrays the influence of the second-rate schools in which they had
learned their craft, and the clumsiness of their work would often repel
us, were it not that the interest of the episodes portrayed redeems it
in the eyes of the Egyptologist.

Khûniatonû left no son to succeed him; two of his sons-in-law
successively occupied the throne--Sâakerî, who had married his eldest
daughter Marîtatonû, and Tûtankhamon, the husband of Ankhnasaton. The
first had been associated in the sovereignty by his father-in-law;* he
showed himself a zealous partisan of the "Disk," and he continued to
reside in the new capital during the few years of his sole reign.** The
second son-in-law was a son of Amenôthes III., probably by a concubine.
He returned to the religion of Amon, and his wife, abjuring the creed
of her father, changed her name from Ankhnasaton to that of Ankhnasamon.
Her husband abandoned Khûitatonû*** at the end of two or three years,
and after his departure the town fell into decadence as quickly as it
had arisen. The streets were unfrequented, the palaces and temples stood
empty, the tombs remained unfinished and unoccupied, and its patron god
returned to his former state, and was relegated to the third or fourth
rank in the Egyptian Pantheon.

     * He and his wife are represented by the side of Khûniatonû,
     with the protocol and the attributes of royalty. Pétrie
     assigns to this double reign those minor objects on which
     the king's prenomen Ankhkhopîrûri is followed by the epithet
     beloved of Uânirâ, which formed part of the name of

     ** Pétrie thinks, on the testimony of the lists of Manetho,
     which give twelve years to Akenkheres, daughter of Horos,
     that Sâakerî reigned twelve years, and only two or three
     years as sole monarch without his father-in-law. I think
     these two or three years a probable maximum length of his
     reign, whatever may be the value we should here assign to
     the lists of Manetho.

     *** Pétrie, judging from the number of minor objects which
     he has found in his excavations at Tel el-Amarna, believes
     that he can fix the length of Tûtankhamon's sojourn at
     Khûîtatonû at six years, and that of his whole reign at nine

The town struggled for a short time against its adverse fate, which
was no doubt retarded owing to the various industries founded in it by
Khûniatonû, the manufactories of enamel and coloured glass requiring the
presence of many workmen; but the latter emigrated ere long to Thebes
or the neighbouring city of Hermopolis, and the "Horizon of Atonû"
disappeared from the list of nomes, leaving of what might have been the
capital of the Egyptian empire, merely a mound of crumbling bricks with
two or three fellahîn villages scattered on the eastern bank of the

     * Pétrie thinks that the temples and palaces were
     systematically destroyed by Harmhabî, and the ruins used by
     him in the buildings which he erected at different places in
     Egypt. But there is no need for this theory: the beauty of
     the limestone which Khûniatonû had used sufficiently
     accounts for the rapid disappearance of the deserted

Thebes, whose influence and population had meanwhile never lessened,
resumed her supremacy undisturbed. If, out of respect for the past,
Tûtankhamon continued the decoration of the temple of Atonû at Karnak,
he placed in every other locality the name and figure of Amon; a little
stucco spread over the parts which had been mutilated, enabled the
outlines to be restored to their original purity, and the alteration was
rendered invisible by a few coats of colour. Tûtankhamon was succeeded
by the divine father Aï, whom Khûniatonû had assigned as husband to one
of his relatives named Tîi, so called after the widow of Amenôthes
III. Aï laboured no less diligently than his predecessor to keep up
the traditions which had been temporarily interrupted. He had been
a faithful worshipper of the Disk, and had given orders for the
construction of two funerary chapels for himself in the mountain-side
above Tel el-Amarna, the paintings in which indicate a complete
adherence to the faith of the reigning king. But on becoming Pharaoh,
he was proportionally zealous in his submission to the gods of Thebes,
and in order to mark more fully his return to the ancient belief, he
chose for his royal burying-place a site close to that in which rested
the body of Amenôthes III.*

     * The first tomb seems to have been dug before his marriage,
     at the time when he had no definite ambitions; the second
     was prepared for him and his wife Tîi.

His sarcophagus, a large oblong of carved rose granite, still lies open
and broken on the spot.

[Illustration: 111.jpg SARCOPHAGUS OF THE PHARAOH AÎ]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after the drawing of Prisse d'Avenues.

Figures of goddesses stand at the four angles and extend their winged
arms along its sides, as if to embrace the mummy of the sovereign.
Tûtankhamon and Aï were obeyed from one end of Egypt to the other, from
Napata to the shores of the Mediterranean. The peoples of Syria raised
no disturbances during their reigns, and paid their accustomed tribute
regularly;* if their rule was short, it was at least happy. It would
appear, however, that after their deaths, troubles arose in the state.
The lists of Manetho give two or three princes--Râthôtis, Khebres, and
Akherres--whose names are not found on the monuments.** It is possible
that we ought not to regard them as historical personages, but merely
as heroes of popular romance, of the same type as those introduced so
freely into the history of the preceding dynasties by the chroniclers
of the Saite and Greek periods. They were, perhaps, merely short-lived
pretenders who were overthrown one by the other before either had
succeeded in establishing himself on the seat of Horus. Be that as it
may, the XVIIIth dynasty drew to its close amid strife and quarreling,
without our being able to discover the cause of its overthrow, or the
name of the last of its sovereigns.***

     * Tûtankhamon receives the tribute of the Kûshites as well
     as that of the Syrians; Aï is represented at Shataûi in
     Nubia as accompanied by Paûîrû, the prince of Kûsh.

     ** Wiedemann has collected six royal names which, with much
     hesitation, he places about this time.

     *** The list of kings who make up the XVIIIth dynasty can be
     established with certainty, with the exception of the order
     of the three last sovereigns who succeed Khûniatonû. It is
     here given in its authentic form, as the monuments have
     permitted us to reconstruct it, and in its Greek form as it
     is found in the lists of Manetho:

     [Illustration: 112.jpg Table]

     Manetho's list, as we have it, is a very ill-made extract,
     wherein the official kings are mixed up with the legitimate
     queens, as well as, at least towards the end, with persons
     of doubtful authenticity. Several kings, between Khûniatonû
     and Harmhabi, are sometimes added at the end of the list;
     some of these I think, belonged to previous dynasties, e.g.
     Teti to the VIth, Râhotpû to the XVIIth; several are heroes
     of romance, as Mernebphtah or Merkhopirphtah, while the
     names of the others are either variants from the cartouche
     names of known princes, or else are nicknames, such as was
     Sesû, Sestûrî for Ramses II. Dr. Mahler believes that he can
     fix, within a few days, the date of the kings of whom the
     list is composed, from Ahmosis I. to Aî. I hold to the
     approximate date which I have given in vol. iv. p. 153 of
     this History, and I give the years 1600 to 1350 as the
     period of the dynasty, with a possible error of about fifty
     years, more or less.

Scarcely half a century had elapsed between the moment when the XVIII's
dynasty reached the height of its power under Amenôthes III. and that of
its downfall. It is impossible to introduce with impunity changes of any
kind into the constitution or working of so complicated a machine as an
empire founded on conquest. When the parts of the mechanism have been
once put together and set in motion, and have become accustomed to
work harmoniously at a proper pace, interference with it must not be
attempted except to replace such parts as are broken or worn out, by
others exactly like them. To make alterations while the machine is in
motion, or to introduce new combinations, however ingenious, into any
part of the original plan, might produce an accident or a breakage of
the gearing when perhaps it would be least expected. When the devout
Khûniatonû exchanged one city and one god for another, he thought
that he was merely transposing equivalents, and that the safety of the
commonwealth was not concerned in the operation. Whether it was Amon or
Atonu who presided over the destinies of his people, or whether Thebes
or Tel el-Amarna were the centre of impulse, was, in his opinion, merely
a question of internal arrangement which could not affect the economy
of the whole. But events soon showed that he was mistaken in his
calculations. It is probable that if, on the expulsion of the Hyksôs,
the earlier princes of the dynasty had attempted an alteration in the
national religion, or had moved the capital to any other city they might
select, the remainder of the kingdom would not have been affected by the
change. But after several centuries of faithful adherence to Amon in
his city of Thebes, the governing power would find it no easy matter
to accomplish such a resolution. During three centuries the dynasty had
become wedded to the city and to its patron deity, and the locality had
become so closely associated with the dynasty, that any blow aimed at
the god could not fail to destroy the dynasty with it; indeed, had the
experiment of Khûniatonû been prolonged beyond a few years, it might
have entailed the ruin of the whole country. All who came into contact
with Egypt, or were under her rule, whether Asiatics or Africans,
were quick to detect any change in her administration, and to remark a
falling away from the traditional systems of the times of Thûtmosis III.
and Amenothes II. The successors of the heretic king had the sense to
perceive at once the first symptoms of disorder, and to refrain from
persevering in his errors; but however quick they were to undo his work,
they could not foresee its serious consequences. His immediate followers
were powerless to maintain their dynasty, and their posterity had to
make way for a family who had not incurred the hatred of Amon, or rather
that of his priests. If those who followed them were able by their tact
and energy to set Egypt on her feet again, they were at the same time
unable to restore her former prosperity or her boundless confidence in

[Illustration: 114.jpg Tailpiece]



_The birth and antecedents of Harmhabî, his youth, his enthronement--The
final triumph of Amon and his priests--Harmhabî infuses order into the
government: his wars against the Ethiopians and Asiatics--The Khâti,
their civilization, religion; their political and military constitution;
the extension of their empire towards the north--The countries and
populations of Asia Minor; commercial routes between the Euphrates and
the Ægean Sea--The treaty concluded between Harmhabî and Sapalulu._

_Ramses I. and the uncertainties as to his origin--Seti I. and
the campaign against Syria in the 1st year of his reign; the
re-establishment of the Egyptian empire--Working of the gold-mines at
Etaï--The monuments constructed by Seti I. in Nubia, at Karnak, Luxor,
and Abydos--The valley of the kings and tomb of Seti I. at Thebes._

_Ramses II., his infancy, his association in the Government, his début
in Ethiopia: he builds a residence in the Delta--His campaign against
the Khâti in the 5th year of his reign--The talcing of Qodshu, the
victory of Ramses II. and the truce established with Khâtusaru: the poem
of Pentaûîrît--His treaty with the Khâti in the 21st year of his reign:
the balance of power in Syria: the marriage of Ramses II. with a Hittite
princess--Public works: the Speos at Abu-Simbel; Luxor, Karnak, the
Eamesseum, the monuments in the Delta--The regency of Khamoîsît and
Mînephtah, the legend of Sesostris, the coffin and mummy of Ramses II._

_Minephtah--The kingdom of Libya, the people of the sea--The first
invasion of Libya: the Egyptian victory at Piriû; the triumph of
Minephtah--Seti II., Amenmeses, Siphtah-Minephtah--The foreign captives
in Egypt; the Exodus of the Hebrews and their march to Sinai--An
Egyptian romance of the Exodus: Amenophis, son of Pa-apis._

[Illustration: 117.jpg Page Image]


_The XIXth dynasty: Harmhabî--The Hittite empire in Syria and in Asia
Minor--Seti I. and Ramses II.--The people of the sea: Minephtah and the
Israelite Exodus._

While none of these ephemeral Pharaohs left behind them a, either
legitimate or illegitimate, son there was no lack of princesses, any of
which, having on her accession to the throne to choose a consort after
her own heart, might thus become the founder of a new dynasty. By such a
chance alliance Harmhabî, who was himself descended from Thûtmosis III.,
was raised to the kingly office.* His mother, Mûtnozmît, was of the
royal line, and one of the most beautiful statues in the Gîzeh Museum
probably represents her. The body is mutilated, but the head is charming
in its intelligent and animated expression, in its full eyes and
somewhat large, but finely modelled, mouth. The material of the statue
is a finegrained limestone, and its milky whiteness tends to soften the
malign character of her look and smile. It is possible that Mûtnozmît
was the daughter of Amenôthes III. by his marriage with one of
his sisters: it was from her, at any rate, and not from his
great-grandfather, that Harmhabî derived his indisputable claims to

     * A fragment of an inscription at Karnak calls Thûtmosis
     III. "the father of his fathers." Champollion called him
     Hornemnob, Rosellini, Hôr-hemheb, Hôr-em-hbai, and both
     identified him with the Hôros of Manetho, hence the custom
     among Egyptologists for a long time to designate him by the
     name Horus. Dévéria was the first to show that the name
     corresponded with the Armais of the lists of Manetho, and,
     in fact, Armais is the Greek transcription of the group
     Harmhabî in the bilingual texts of the Ptolemaic period.

     ** Mûtnozmît was at first considered the daughter and
     successor of Harmhabî, or his wife. Birch showed that the
     monuments did not confirm these hypotheses, and he was
     inclined to think that she was Harmhabî's mother. As far as
     I can see for the present, it is the only solution which
     agrees with the evidence on the principal monument which has
     made known her existence.

He was born, probably, in the last years of Amenôthes, when Tîi was the
exclusive favourite of the sovereign; but it was alleged later on, when
Harmhabî had emerged from obscurity, that Amon, destining him for the
throne, had condescended to become his father by Mûtnozmît--a customary
procedure with the god when his race on earth threatened to become
debased.* It was he who had rocked the newly born infant to sleep, and,
while Harsiesis was strengthening his limbs with protective amulets, had
spread over the child's skin the freshness and brilliance which are the
peculiar privilege of the immortals. While still in the nursery, the
great and the insignificant alike prostrated themselves before Harmhabî,
making him liberal offerings. Every one recognised in him, even when
still a lad and incapable of reflection, the carriage and complexion
of a god, and Horus of Cynopolis was accustomed to follow his steps,
knowing that the time of his advancement was near. After having called
the attention of the Egyptians to Harmhabî, Amon was anxious, in fact,
to hasten the coming of the day when he might confer upon him supreme
rank, and for this purpose inclined the heart of the reigning Pharaoh
towards him. Aï proclaimed him his heir over the whole land.**

     * All that we know of the youth of Harmhabî is contained in
     the texts on a group preserved in the Turin Museum, and
     pointed out by Champollion, translated and published
     subsequently by Birch and by Brugsch. The first lines of the
     inscription seem to me to contain an account of the union of
     Amon with the queen, analogous to those at Deîr el-Baharî
     treating of the birth of Hâtshopsîtû, and to those at Luxor
     bearing upon Amenôthes III. (cf. vol. iv. pp. 342, 343; and
     p. 51 of the present volume), and to prove for certain that
     Harmhabî's mother was a princess of the royal line by right.

     ** The king is not named in the inscription. It cannot have
     been Amenôthes IV., for an individual of the importance of
     Harmhabî, living alongside this king, would at least have
     had a tomb begun for him at. Tel el-Amarna. We may hesitate
     between Aï and Tûtankhamon; but the inscription seems to say
     definitely that Harmhabî succeeded directly to the king
     under whom he had held important offices for many years, and
     this compels us to fix upon Aï, who, as we have said at p.
     108, et seq., of the present volume, was, to all
     appearances, the last of the so-called heretical sovereigns.

He never gave cause for any dissatisfaction when called to court, and
when he was asked questions by the monarch he replied always in fit
terms, in such words as were calculated to produce serenity, and thus
gained for himself a reputation as the incarnation of wisdom, all his
plans and intentions appearing to have been conceived by Thot the
Ibis himself. For many years he held a place of confidence with the
sovereign. The nobles, from the moment he appeared at the gate of the
palace, bowed their backs before him; the barbaric chiefs from the north
or south stretched out their arms as soon as they approached him, and
gave him the adoration they would bestow upon a god. His favourite
residence was Memphis, his preference for it arising from his having
possibly been born there, or from its having been assigned to him for
his abode. Here he constructed for himself a magnificent tomb, the
bas-reliefs of which exhibit him as already king, with the sceptre in
his hand and the uraaus on his brow, while the adjoining cartouche does
not as yet contain his name.*

     * This part of the account is based upon, a study of a
     certain number of texts and representations all coming from
     Harmhabî's tomb at Saqqârah, and now scattered among the
     various museums--at Gîzeh, Leyden, London, and Alexandria.
     Birch was the first to assign those monuments to the Pharaoh
     Harmhabî, supposing at the same time that he had been
     dethroned by Ramses I., and had lived at Memphis in an
     intermediate position between that of a prince and that of a
     private individual; this opinion was adopted by Ed. Meyer,
     rejected by Wiedemann and by myself. After full examination,
     I think the Harmhabî of the tomb at Saqqârah and the Pharaoh
     Harmhabî are one and the same person; Harmhabî, sufficiently
     high placed to warrant his wearing the uraius, but not high
     enough to have his name inscribed in a cartouche, must have
     had his tomb constructed at Saqqârah, as Aï and possibly
     Ramses I. had theirs built for them at Tel el-Amarna.

He was the mighty of the mighty, the great among the great, the general
of generals, the messenger who ran to convey orders to the people of
Asia and Ethiopia, the indispensable companion in council or on the
field of battle,* at the time when Horus of Cynopolis resolved to
seat him upon his eternal throne. Aï no longer occupied it. Horus took
Harmhabî with him to Thebes, escorted him thither amid expressions of
general joy, and led him to Amon in order that the god might bestow upon
him the right to reign. The reception took place in the temple of
Luxor, which served as a kind of private chapel for the descendants of
Amenôthes. Amon rejoiced to see Harmhabî, the heir of the two worlds;
he took him with him to the royal palace, introduced him into the
apartments of his august daughter, Mûtnozmît; then, after she had
recognised her child and had pressed him to her bosom, all the gods
broke out into acclamations, and their cries ascended up to heaven.**

     * The fragments of the tomb preserved at Leyden show him
     leading to the Pharaoh Asiatics and Ethiopians, burthened
     with tribute. The expressions and titles given above are
     borrowed from the fragments at Gîzeh.

     ** Owing to a gap, the text cannot be accurately translated
     at this point. The reading can be made out that Amon "betook
     himself to the palace, placing the prince before him, as far
     as the sanctuary of his (Amon's) daughter, the very
     august...; she poured water on his hands, she embraced the
     beauties (of the prince), she placed herself before him." It
     will be seen that the name of the daughter of Amon is
     wanting, and Birch thought that a terrestrial princess whom
     Harmhabî had married was in question, Miifcnozmît, according
     to Brugsch. If the reference is not to a goddess, who along
     with Amon took part in the ceremonies, but to Mûtnozmît, we
     must come to the conclusion that she, as heir and queen by
     birth, must have ceded her rights by some ritual to her son
     before he could be crowned.

"Behold, Amon arrives with his son before him, at the palace, in order
to put upon his head the diadem, and to prolong the length of his life!
We install him, therefore, in his office, we give to him the insignia of
Eâ, we pray Amon for him whom he has brought as our protector: may he as
king have the festivals of Eâ and the years of Horus; may he accomplish
his good pleasure in Thebes, in Heliopolis, in Memphis, and may he
add to the veneration with which these cities are invested." And
they immediately decided that the new Pharaoh should be called
Horus-sturdy-bull, mighty in wise projects, lord of the Vulture and of
the very marvellous Urseus in Thebes, the conquering Horus who takes
pleasure in the truth, and who maintains the two lands, the lord of the
south and north, Sozir Khopîrûrî chosen of Eâ, the offspring of the Sun,
Harmhabî Mîamûn, giver of life. The _cortege_ came afterwards to the
palace, the king walking before Amon: there the god embraced his son,
placed the diadems upon his head, delivered to him the rule of the whole
world, over foreign populations as well as those of Egypt, inasmuch as
he possessed this power as the sovereign of the universe.

This is the customary subject of the records of enthronement. Pharaoh is
the son of a god, chosen by his father, from among all those who might
have a claim to it, to occupy for a time the throne of Horus; and as he
became king only by a divine decree, he had publicly to express, at the
moment of his elevation, his debt of gratitude to, and his boundless
respect for, the deity, who had made him what he was. In this case,
however, the protocol embodied something more than the traditional
formality, and its hackneyed phrases borrowed a special meaning from the
circumstances of the moment. Amon, who had been insulted and proscribed
by Khûniatonû, had not fully recovered his prestige under the rule of
the immediate successors of his enemy.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken by Beato.

They had restored to him his privileges and his worship, they had become
reconciled to him, and avowed themselves his faithful ones, but all this
was as much an act of political necessity as a matter of religion:
they still continued to tolerate, if not to favour, the rival doctrinal
system, and the temple of the hateful Disk still dishonoured by its
vicinity the sanctuary of Karnak. Harmhabî, on the other hand, was
devoted to Amon, who had moulded him in embryo, and had trained him from
his birth to worship none but him. Harmhabî's triumph marked the end
of the evil days, and inaugurated a new era, in which Amon saw
himself again master of Thebes and of the world. Immediately after his
enthronement Harmhabî rivalled the first Amen-ôthes in his zeal for the
interests of his divine father: he overturned the obelisks of Atonû and
the building before which they stood; then, that no trace of them might
remain, he worked up the stones into the masonry of two pylons, which he
set up upon the site, to the south of the gates of Thûtmosis III. They
remained concealed in the new fabric for centuries, but in the year
27 B.C. a great earthquake brought them abruptly to light. We find
everywhere among the ruins, at the foot of the dislocated gates, or at
the bases of the headless colossal figures, heaps of blocks detached
from the structure, on which can be made out remnants of prayers
addressed to the Disk, scenes of worship, and cartouches of Amenôfches
IV., Aï, and Tûtankhamon. The work begun by Harmhabî at Thebes
was continued with unabated zeal through the length of the whole
river-valley. "He restored the sanctuaries from the marshes of Athû even
to Nubia; he repaired their sculptures so that they were better than
before, not to speak of the fine things he did in them, rejoicing the
eyes of Râ. That which he had found injured he put into its original
condition, erecting a hundred statues, carefully formed of valuable
stone, for every one which was lacking. He inspected the ruined towns of
the gods in the land, and made them such as they had been in the time
of the first Ennead, and he allotted to them estates and offerings
for every day, as well as a set of sacred vessels entirely of gold and
silver; he settled priests in them, bookmen, carefully chosen soldiers,
and assigned to them fields, cattle, all the necessary material to
make prayers to Râ every morning." These measures were inspired by
consideration for the ancient deities; but he added to them others,
which tended to secure the welfare of the people and the stability of
the government. Up to this time the officials and the Egyptian soldiers
had displayed a tendency to oppress the fellahîn, without taking into
consideration the injury to the treasury occasioned by their rapacity.
Constant supervision was the only means of restraining them, for even
the best-served Pharaohs, Thûtmosis, and Amenôthes III. themselves, were
obliged to have frequent recourse to the rigour of the law to keep the
scandalous depredations of the officials within bounds.*

     * Harmhabî refers to the edicts of Thûtmosis III.

The religious disputes of the preceding years, in enfeebling the
authority of the central power, had given a free hand to these
oppressors. The scribes and tax-collectors were accustomed to exact
contributions for the public service from the ships, whether laden or
not, of those who were in a small way of business, and once they had
laid their hands upon them, they did not readily let them go. The poor
fellow falling into their clutches lost his cargo, and he was at his
wits' end to know how to deliver at the royal storehouses the various
wares with which he calculated to pay his taxes. No sooner had the
Court arrived at some place than the servants scoured the neighbourhood,
confiscating the land produce, and seizing upon slaves, under pretence
that they were acting for the king, while they had only their personal
ends in view. Soldiers appropriated all the hides of animals with the
object, doubtless, of making from them leather jackets and helmets, or
of duplicating their shields, with the result that when the treasury
made its claim for leather, none was to be found. It was hardly
possible, moreover, to bring the culprits to justice, for the chief men
of the towns and villages, the prophets, and all those who ought to
have looked after the interests of the taxpayer, took money from the
criminals for protecting them from justice, and compelled the innocent
victims also to purchase their protection. Harmhabî, who was continually
looking for opportunities to put down injustice and to punish deceit,
at length decided to pro-mulgate a very severe edict against the
magistrates and the double-dealing officials: any of them who was found
to have neglected his duty was to have his nose cut off, and was to
be sent into perpetual exile to Zalu, on the eastern frontier. His
commands, faithfully carried out, soon produced a salutary effect, and
as he would on no account relax the severity of the sentence, exactions
were no longer heard of, to the advantage of the revenue of the State.
On the last day of each month the gates of his palace were open to every


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Prisse d'Avennes.

Any one on giving his name to the guard could enter the court of honour,
where he would find food in abundance to satisfy his hunger while he was
awaiting an audience. The king all the while was seated in the sight
of all at the tribune, whence he would throw among his faithful friends
necklaces and bracelets of gold: he inquired into complaints one after
another, heard every case, announced his judgments in brief words, and
dismissed his subjects, who went away proud and happy at having had
their affairs dealt with by the sovereign himself.*

     * All these details are taken from a stele discovered in
     1882. The text is so mutilated that it is impossible to give
     a literal rendering of it in all its parts, but the sense is
     sufficiently clear to warrant our rilling up the whole with
     considerable certainty.

The portraits of Harmhabî which have come down to us give us the
impression of a character at once energetic and agreeable. The most
beautiful of these is little more than a fragment broken off a
black granite statue. Its mournful expression is not pleasing to the
spectator, and at the first view alienates his sympathy. The face, which
is still youthful, breathes an air of melancholy, an expression which
is somewhat rare among the Pharaohs of the best period: the thin and
straight nose is well set on the face, the elongated eyes have somewhat
heavy lids; the large, fleshy lips, slightly contracted at the corners
of the mouth, are cut with a sharpness that gives them singular vigour,
and the firm and finely modelled chin loses little of its form from the
false beard depending from it. Every detail is treated with such freedom
that one would think the sculptor must have had some soft material to
work upon, rather than a rock almost hard enough to defy the chisel;
the command over it is so complete that the difficulty of the work is
forgotten in the perfection of the result. The dreamy expression of his
face, however, did not prevent Harmhabî from displaying beyond Egypt, as
within it, singular activity.

[Illustration: 128.jpg HARMHABI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a Autograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.

Although Egypt had never given up its claims to dominion over the whole
river-valley, as far as the plains of Sennar, yet since the time of
Amenôthes III. no sovereign had condescended, it would I appear, to
conduct in person the expeditions directed against the tribes of! the
Upper Nile. Harmhabî was anxious to revive the custom which imposed
upon the Pharaohs the obligation to make their first essay in arms in
Ethiopia, as Horus, son of Isis, had done of yore, and he seized the
pretext of the occurrence of certain raids there to lead a body of
troops himself into the heart of the negro country.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

He had just ordered at this time the construction of the two southern
pylons at Karnak, and there was great activity in the quarries of
Silsileh. A commemorative chapel also was in course of excavation here
in the sandstone rock, and he had dedicated it to his father, Amon-Ba of
Thebes, coupling with him the local divinities, Hapî the Nile, and Sobkû
the patron of Ombos. The sanctuary is excavated somewhat deeply into
the hillside, and the dark rooms within it are decorated with the usual
scenes of worship, but the vaulted approach to them displays upon its
western wall the victory of the king. We see here a figure receiving
from Amon the assurance of a long and happy life, and another letting
fly his arrows at a host of fleeing enemies; Ethiopians raise their
heads to him in suppliant gesture; soldiers march past with their
captives; above one of the doors we see twelve military leaders marching
and carrying the king aloft upon their shoulders, while a group of
priests and nobles salute him, offering incense.*

     * The significance of the monument was pointed out first by
     Champollion. The series of races conquered was represented
     at Karnak on the internal face of one of the pylons built by
     Harmhabi; it appears to have been "usurped" by Ramses II.

At this period Egyptian ships were ploughing the Red Sea, and their
captains were renewing official relations with Pûanît. Somali chiefs
were paying visits to the palace, as in the time of Thûtmosis III. The
wars of Amon had, in fact, begun again. The god, having suffered neglect
for half a century, had a greater need than ever of gold and silver
to fill his coffers; he required masons for his buildings, slaves and
cattle for his farms, perfumed essences and incense for his daily rites.
His resources had gradually become exhausted, and his treasury would
soon be empty if he did not employ the usual means to replenish it. He
incited Harmhabi to proceed against the countries from which, in olden
times he had enriched himself--to the south in the first place, and
then, having decreed victory there, and having naturally taken for
himself the greater part of the spoils, he turned his attention to Asia.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Daniel Heron.
     The black spots are due to the torches of the fellahîn of
     the neighbourhood who have visited the rock tomb in bygone

In the latter campaign the Egyptian troops took once more the route
through Coele-Syria, and if the expedition experienced here more
difficulties than on the banks of the Upper Nile, it was, nevertheless,
brought to an equally triumphant conclusion. Those of their adversaries
who had offered an obstinate resistance were transported into other
lands, and the rebel cities were either razed to the ground or given to
the flames: the inhabitants having taken refuge in the mountains, where
they were in danger of perishing from hunger, made supplications for
peace, which was granted to them on the usual conditions of doing homage
and paying tribute.*

     * These details are taken from the fragment of an
     inscription now in the museum at Vienna; Bergmann, and also
     Erman, think that we have in this text the indication of an
     immigration into Egypt of a tribe of the Monâtiu.

We do not exactly know how far he penetrated into the country; the
list of the towns and nations over which he boasts of having triumphed
contains, along with names unknown to us, some already famous or soon to
become so--Arvad, Pibukhu, the Khâti, and possibly Alasia. The Haui-Nibu
themselves must have felt the effects of the campaign, for several of
their chiefs associated, doubtless, with the Phoenicians, presented
themselves before the Pharaoh at Thebes. Egypt was maintaining,
therefore, its ascendency, or at least appearing to maintain it in
those regions where the kings of the XVIIIth dynasty had ruled after
the campaigns of Thûtmosis I., Thûtmosis III., and Amenothes II. Its
influence, nevertheless, was not so undisputed as in former days; not
that the Egyptian soldiers were less valiant, but owing to the fact
that another power had risen up alongside them whose armies were strong
enough to encounter them on the field of battle and to obtain a victory
over them.

Beyond Naharaim, in the deep recesses of the Amanus and Taurus, there
had lived, for no one knows how many centuries, the rude and warlike
tribes of the Khâti, related not so, much to the Semites of the Syrian
plain as to the populations of doubtful race and language who occupied
the upper basins of the Halys and Euphrates.* The Chaldæan conquest
had barely touched them; the Egyptian campaign had not more effect, and
Thûtmosis III. himself, after having crossed their frontiers and sacked
several of their towns, made no serious pretence to reckon them among
his subjects. Their chiefs were accustomed, like their neighbours, to
use, for correspondence with other countries, the cuneiform mode of
writing; they had among them, therefore, for this purpose, a host of
scribes, interpreters, and official registrars of events, such as we
find to have accompanied the sovereigns of Assyria and Babylon.**
These chiefs were accustomed to send from time to time a present to the
Pharaoh, which the latter was pleased to regard as a tribute,*** or
they would offer, perhaps, one of their daughters in marriage to the
king at Thebes, and after the marriage show themselves anxious to
maintain good faith with their son-in-law.

     * Halévy asserts that the Khâti were Semites, and bases his
     assertion on materials of the Assyrian period. Thés Khâti,
     absorbed in Syria by the Semites, with whom they were
     blended, appear to have been by origin a non-Semitic people.

     ** A letter from the King of the Khâti to the Pharaoh
     Amenothes IV. is written in cuneiform writing and in a
     Semitic language. It has been thought that other documents,
     drawn up in a non-Semitic language and coming from Mitanni
     and Arzapi, contain a dialect of the Hittite speech or that
     language itself. A "writer of books," attached to the person
     of the Hittite King Khatusaru, is named amongst the dead
     found on the field of battle at Qodshû.

     *** It is thus perhaps we must understand the mention of
     tribute from the Khâti in the _Annals of Thûtmosis III._, 1.
     26, in the year XXXIII., also in the year XL. One of the Tel
     el-Amarna letters refers to presents of this kind, which the
     King of Khâti addresses to Amenôthes IV. to celebrate his
     enthronement, and to ask him to maintain with himself the
     traditional good relations of their two families.

They had, moreover, commercial relations with Egypt, and furnished it
with cattle, chariots, and those splendid Cappadocian horses whose breed
was celebrated down to the Greek period.* They were already, indeed,
people of consideration; their territory was so extensive that the
contemporaries of Thutmosis III. called them the Greater Khâti; and the
epithet "vile," which the chancellors of the Pharaohs added to their
name, only shows by its virulence the impression which they had produced
upon the mind of their adversaries.**

     * The horses of the Khâti were called _abarî_, strong,
     vigorous, as also their bulls. The King of Alasia, while
     offering to Amenôthes III. a profitable speculation, advises
     him to have nothing to do with the King of the Khâti or with
     the King of Sangar, and thus furnishes proof that the
     Egyptians held constant commercial relations with the Khâti.

     ** M. de Rougé suggested that Khâti "the Little" was the
     name of the Hittites of Hebron. The expression, "Khâti the
     Great," has been compared with that of Khanirabbat, "Khani
     the Great," which in the Assyrian texts would seem to
     designate a part of Cappadocia, in which the province of
     Miliddi occurs, and the identification of the two has found
     an ardent defender in W. Max Millier. Until further light is
     thrown upon it, the most probable reading of the word is not
     Khani-_ra_bat, but Khani-_gal_bat. The name Khani-Galbat is
     possibly preserved in Julbat, which the Arab geographers
     applied in the Middle Ages to a province situated in Lesser

Their type of face distinguishes them clearly from the nations
conterminous with them on the south. The Egyptian draughtsmen
represented them as squat and short in stature, though vigorous,
strong-limbed, and with broad and full shoulders in youth, but as
inclined frequently to obesity in old age. The head is long and heavy,
the forehead flattened, the chin moderate in size, the nose prominent,
the eyebrows and cheeks projecting, the eyes small, oblique, and
deep-set, the mouth fleshy, and usually framed in by two deep wrinkles;
the flesh colour is a yellowish or reddish white, but clearer than that
of the Phoenicians or the Amurru.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

Their ordinary costume consisted, sometimes of a shirt with short
sleeves, sometimes of a sort of loin-cloth, more or less ample according
to the rank of the individual wearing it, and bound round the waist by
a belt. To these they added a scanty mantle, red or blue, fringed like
that of the Chaldæans, which they passed over the left shoulder and
brought back under the right, so as to leave the latter exposed. They
wore shoes with thick soles, turning up distinctly at the toes,* and
they encased their hands in gloves, reaching halfway up the arm.

     * This characteristic is found on the majority of the
     monuments which the peoples of Asia Minor have left to us,
     and it is one of the most striking indications of the
     northern origin of the Khâti. The Egyptian artists and
     modern draughtsmen have often neglected it, and the majority
     of them have represented the Khâti without shoes.

They shaved off both moustache and beard, but gave free growth to their
hair, which they divided into two or three locks, and allowed to
fall upon their backs and breasts. The king's head-dress, which was
distinctive of royalty, was a tall pointed hat, resembling to some
extent the white crown of the Pharaohs. The dress of the people, taken
all together, was of better and thicker material than that of the
Syrians or Egyptians. The mountains and elevated plateaus which they
inhabited were subject to extraordinary vicissitudes of heat and cold.
If the summer burnt up everything, the winter reigned here with an
extreme rigour, and dragged on for months: clothing and footgear had
to be seen to, if the snow and the icy winds of December were to be
resisted. The character of their towns, and the domestic life of their
nobles and the common people, can only be guessed at. Some, at least,
of the peasants must have sheltered themselves in villages half
underground, similar to those which are still to be found in this
region. The town-folk and the nobles had adopted for the most part the
Chaldæan or Egyptian manners and customs in use among the Semites of
Syria. As to their religion, they reverenced a number of secondary
deities who had their abode in the tempest, in the clouds, the sea, the
rivers, the springs, the mountains, and the forests. Above this crowd
there were several sovereign divinities of the thunder or the air,
sun-gods and moon-gods, of which the chief was called Khâti, and was
considered to be the father of the nation. They ascribed to all their
deities a warlike and savage character. The Egyptians pictured some of
them as a kind of Râ,* others as representing Sit, or rather Sûtkhû,
that patron of the Hyksôs which was identified by them with Sit: every
town had its tutelary heroes, of whom they were accustomed to speak as
if of its Sûtkhû--Sûtkhû of Paliqa, Sûtkhû of Khissapa, Sûtkhû of Sarsu,
Sûtkhû of Salpina. The goddesses in their eyes also became Astartés, and
this one fact suggests that these deities were, like their Phoenician
and Canaanite sisters, of a double nature--in one aspect chaste, fierce,
and warlike, and in another lascivious and pacific. One god was called
Mauru, another Targu, others Qaui and Khepa.**

     * The Cilician inscriptions of the Græco-Roman period reveal
     the existence in this region of a god, Rho, Rhos. Did this
     god exist among the Khâti, and did the similarity of the
     pronunciation of it to that of the god Râ suggest to the
     Egyptians the existence of a similar god among these people,
     or did they simply translate into their language the name of
     the Hittite god representing the sun?

     ** The names Mauru and Qaui are deduced from the forms
     Maurusaru and Qauisaru, which were borne by the Khâti: Qaui
     was probably the eponymous hero of the Qui people, as Khâti
     was of the Khâti. Tarku and Tisubu appear to me to be
     contained in the names Targanunasa, Targazatas, and
     Tartisubu; Tisubu is probably the Têssupas mentioned in the
     letter from Dushratta written in Mitannian, and identical
     with the Tushupu of another letter from the same king, and
     in a despatch from Tarkondaraush. Targu, Targa, Targanu,
     resemble the god Tarkhu, which is known to us from the
     proper names of these regions preserved in attributes
     covered by each of these divine names, and as to the forms
     with which they were invested.

[Illustration: 138.jpg A HITTITE KING.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a picture in Lepsius.
     Khatusaru, King of the Khâti, who was for thirty years a
     contemporary of Ramses II.

Tishubu, the Rammân of the Assyrians, was doubtless lord of the tempest
and of the atmosphere; Shausbe answered to Shala and to Ishtar the queen
of love;* but we are frequently in ignorance as to the Assyrian and
Greek inscriptions. Kheba, Khepa, Khîpa, is said to be a denomination
of Rammân; we find it in the names of the princesses Tadu-khîpa,
Gilu-khîpa, Puu-khîpa.

The majority of them, both male and female, were of gigantic stature,
and were arrayed in the vesture of earthly kings and queens: they
brandished their arms, displayed the insignia of their authority, such
as a flower or bunch of grapes, and while receiving the offerings of
the people were seated on a chair before an altar, or stood each on
the animal representing him--such as a lion, a stag, or wild goat. The
temples of their towns have disappeared, but they could never have been,
it would seem, either-large or magnificent: the favourite places of
worship were the tops of mountains, in the vicinity of springs, or the
depths of mysterious grottoes, where the deity revealed himself to his
priests, and received the faithful at the solemn festivals celebrated
several times a year.*

     * The association of Tushupu, Tessupas, Tisubu, with Rammânu
     is made out from an Assyrian tablet published by Bezold: it
     was reserved for Say ce and Jensen to determine the nature
     of the god. Shausbe has been identified with Ishtar or Shala
     by Jensen.

We know as little about their political organisation as about their
religion.* We may believe, however, that it was feudal in character, and
that every clan had its hereditary chief and its proper gods: the
clans collectively rendered obedience to a common king, whose effective
authority depended upon his character and age.**

     * The religious cities and the festivals of the Greek epoch
     are described by Strabo; these festivals were very ancient,
     and their institution, if not the method of celebrating
     them, may go back to the time of the Hittite empire.

     ** The description of the battle of Qodshû in the time of
     Ramses II. shows us the King of the Khâti surrounded by his
     vassals. The evidence of the existence of a similar feudal
     organisation from the time of the XVIIIth dynasty is
     furnished by a letter of Dushratta, King of Mitanni, where
     he relates to Amenôthes IV. the revolt of his brother
     Artassumara, and speaks of the help which one of the
     neighbouring chiefs, Pirkhi, and all the Khâti had given to
     the rebel.

The various contingents which the sovereign could collect together and
lead would, if he were an incapable general, be of little avail against
the well-officered and veteran troops of Egypt. Still they were not to
be despised, and contained the elements of an excellent army, superior
both in quality and quantity to any which Syria had ever been able
to put into the field. The infantry consisted of a limited number of
archers or slingers. They had usually neither shield nor cuirass, but
merely, in the way of protective armour, a padded head-dress, ornamented
with a tuft. The bulk of the army carried short lances and broad-bladed
choppers, or more generally, short thin-handled swords with flat
two-edged blades, very broad at the base and terminating in a point.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Champollion.

Their mode of attack was in close phalanxes, whose shock must have
been hard to bear, for the soldiers forming them were in part at least
recruited from among the strong and hardy mountaineers of the Taurus.
The chariotry comprised the nobles and the _élite_ of the army, but it
was differently constituted from that of the Egyptians, and employed
other tactics.

The Hittite chariots were heavier, and the framework, instead of being a
mere skeleton, was pannelled on the sides, the contour at the top being
sometimes quite square, at other times rudely curved. It was bound
together in the front by two disks of metal, and strengthened by strips
of copper or bronze, which were sometimes plated with silver or gold.
There were no quiver-cases as in Egyptian chariots, for the Hittite
charioteers rarely resorted to the bow and arrow. The occupants of
a chariot were three in number--the driver; the shield-bearer, whose
office it was to protect his companions by means of a shield, sometimes
of a round form, with a segment taken out on each side, and sometimes
square; and finally, the warrior, with his sword and lance. The Hittite
princes whom fortune had brought into relations with Thûtmosîs III. and
Amenôthes II. were not able to avail themselves properly of the latent
forces around them. It was owing probably to the feebleness of their
character or to the turbulence of their barons that we must ascribe the
poor part they played in the revolutions of the Eastern world at this
time. The establishment of a strong military power on their southern
frontier was certain, moreover, to be anything but pleasing to them; if
they preferred not to risk everything by entering into a great struggle
with the invaders, they could, without compromising themselves too
much, harass them with sudden attacks, and intrigue in an underhand way
against them to their own profit. Pharaoh's generals were accustomed
to punish, one after the other, these bands of invading tribes, and the
sculptors duly recorded their names on a pylon at Thebes among those
of the conquered nations, but these disasters had little effect in
restraining the Hittites. They continued, in spite of them, to march
southward, and the letters from the Egyptian governors record their
progress year after year. They had a hand in all the plots which were
being hatched among the Syrians, and all the disaffected who wished
to be free from foreign oppression--such as Abdashirti and his son
Azîru--addressed themselves to them for help in the way of chariots and

     * Azîru defends himself in one of his letters against the
     accusation of having received four messengers from the King
     of the Khâti, while he refused to receive those from Egypt.
     The complicity of Aziru with the Khâti is denounced in an
     appeal from the inhabitants of Tunipa. In a mutilated
     letter, an unknown person calls attention to the
     negotiations which a petty-Syrian prince had entered into
     with the King of the Khâti.

Even inthe time of Amenôfches III. they had endeavoured to reap profit
from the discords of Mitanni, and had asserted their supremacy over it.
Dushratta, however, was able to defeat one of their chiefs. Repulsed on
this side, they fell back upon that part of Naharaim lying between the
Euphrates and Orontes, and made themselves masters of one town after
another in spite of the despairing appeals of the conquered to the
Theban king. From the accession of Khûniatonû, they set to work to annex
the countries of Nukhassi, Nîi, Tunipa, and Zinzauru: they looked with
covetous eyes upon Phoenicia, and were already menacing Coele-Syria. The
religious confusion in Egypt under Tûtankhamon and Aî left them a free
field for their ambitions, and when Harmhabî ventured to cross to the
east of the isthmus, he found them definitely installed in the region
stretching from the Mediterranean and the Lebanon to the Euphrates.
Their then reigning prince, Sapalulu, appeared to have been the founder
of a new dynasty: he united the forces of the country in a solid body,
and was within a little of making a single state out of all Northern

* Sapalulu has the same name as that wo meet with later on in the
country of Patin, in the time of Salmanasar III., viz. Sapalulme. It is
known to us only from a treaty with the Khâti, which makes him coeval
with Ramses I.: it was with him probably that Harmhabî had to deal
in his Syrian campaigns. The limit of his empire towards the south is
gathered in a measure from what we know of the wars of Seti I. with the

All Naharaim had submitted to him: Zahi, Alasia, and the Amurru had
passed under his government from that of the Pharaohs; Carchemish,
Tunipa, Nîi, Hamath, figured among his royal cities, and Qodshû was the
defence of his southern frontier. His progress towards the east was
not less considerable. Mitanni, Arzapi, and the principalities of the
Euphrates as far as the Balikh, possibly even to the Khabur,* paid him
homage: beyond this, Assyria and Chaldæa barred his way. Here, as on
his other frontiers, fortune brought him face to face with the most
formidable powers of the Asiatic world.

     * The text of the poem of Pentaûîrît mentions, among the
     countries confederate with the Khâti, all Naharaim; that is
     to say, the country on either side of the Euphrates,
     embracing Mitanni and the principalities named in the Amarna
     correspondence, and in addition some provinces whose sites
     have not yet been discovered, but which may be placed
     without much risk of error to the north of the Taurus.

The latter prince was obliged to capture Qodshû, and to conquer the
people of the Lebanon. Had he sufficient forces at his disposal to
triumph over them, or only enough to hold his ground? Both hypotheses
could have been answered in the affirmative if each one of these great
powers, confiding in its own resources, had attacked him separately.
The Amorites, the people of Zahi, Alasia, and Naharaim, together with
recruits from Hittite tribes, would then have put him in a position
to resist, and even to carry off victory with a high hand in the final
struggle. But an alliance between Assyria or Babylon and Thebes was
always possible. There had been such things before, in the time of
Thut-mosis IV. and in that of Amenôthes III., but they were lukewarm
agreements, and their effect was not much to boast of, for the two
parties to the covenant had then no common enemy to deal with, and their
mutual interests were not, therefore, bound up with their united action.
The circumstances were very different now. The rapid growth of a nascent
kingdom, the restless spirit of its people, its trespasses on domains in
which the older powers had been accustomed to hold the upper hand,--did
not all this tend to transform the convention, more commercial than
military, with which up to this time they had been content, into an
offensive and defensive treaty? If they decided to act in concert, how
could Sapalulu or his successors, seeing that he was obliged to defend
himself on two frontiers at the same moment, muster sufficient resources
to withstand the double assault? The Hittites, as we know them more
especially from the hieroglyphic inscriptions, might be regarded as the
lords only of Northern Syria, and their power be measured merely by the
extent of territory which they occupied to the south of the Taurus and
on the two banks of the Middle Euphrates. But this does not by any means
represent the real facts. This was but the half of their empire; the
rest extended to the westward and northward, beyond the mountains into
that region, known afterwards as Asia Minor, in which Egyptian tradition
had from ancient times confused some twenty nations under the common
vague epithet of Haûî-nîbû. Official language still employed it as a
convenient and comprehensive term, but the voyages of the Phoenicians
and the travels of the "Royal Messengers," as well as, probably, the
maritime commerce of the merchants of the Delta, had taught the scribes
for more than a century and a half to make distinctions among these
nations which they had previously summed up in one. The Lufeu* were to
be found there, as well as the Danauna,** the Shardana,*** and others
besides, who lay behind one another on the coast. Of the second line of
populations behind the region of the coast tribes, we have up to
the present no means of knowing anything with certainty. Asia Minor,
furthermore, is divided into two regions, so distinctly separated by
nature as well as by races that one would be almost inclined to regard
them as two countries foreign to each other.

     * The Luku, Luka, are mentioned in the Amarna correspondence
     under the form Lukki as pirates and highway robbers. The
     identity of these people with the Lycians I hold as well

     ** The Danauna are mentioned along with the Luku in the
     Amarna correspondence. The termination, _-auna, -ana_ of
     this word appears to be the ending in -aon found in Asiatic
     names like Lykaôn by the side of Lykos, Kataôn by the side
     of Kêtis and Kat-patuka; while the form of the name Danaos
     is preserved in Greek legend, Danaôn is found only on
     Oriental monuments. The Danauna came "from their islands,"
     that is to say, from the coasts of Asia Minor, or from
     Greece, the term not being pressed too literally, as the
     Egyptians were inclined to call all distant lands situated
     to the north beyond the Mediterranean Sea "islands."

     *** E. de Rougé and Chabas were inclined to identify the
     Shardana with the Sardes and the island of Sardinia. Unger
     made them out to be the Khartanoi of Libya, and was followed
     by Brugsch. W. Max Müller revived the hypotheses of De Rougé
     and Chabas, and saw in them bands from the Italian island. I
     am still persuaded, as I was twenty-five years ago, that
     they were Asiatics--the Mæonian tribe which gave its name
     to Sardis. The Serdani or Shardana are mentioned as serving
     in the Egyptian Army in the Tel el-Amarna tablets.

In its centre it consists of a well-defined undulating plain, having a
gentle slope towards the Black Sea, and of the shape of a kind of convex
trapezium, clearly bounded towards the north by the highlands of Pontus,
and on the south by the tortuous chain of the Taurus. A line of low
hills fringes the country on the west, from the Olympus of Mysia to the
Taurus of Pisidia. Towards the east it is bounded by broken chains of
mountains of unequal height, to which the name Anti-Taurus is not very
appropriately applied. An immense volcanic cone, Mount Argseus, looks
down from a height of some 13,000 feet over the wide isthmus which
connects the country with the lands of the Euphrates. This volcano
is now extinct, but it still preserved in old days something of its
languishing energy, throwing out flames at intervals above the sacred
forests which clothed its slopes. The rivers having their sources in the
region just described, have not all succeeded in piercing the obstacles
which separate them from the sea, but the Pyramus and the Sarus find
their way into the Mediterranean and the Iris, Halys and Sangarios into
the Euxine. The others flow into the lowlands, forming meres, marshes,
and lakes of fluctuating extent. The largest of these lakes, called
Tatta, is salt, and its superficial extent varies with the season. In
brief, the plateau of this region is nothing but an extension of the
highlands of Central Asia, and has the same vegetation, fauna, and
climate, the same extremes of temperature, the same aridity, and the
same wretched and poverty-stricken character as the latter. The maritime
portions are of an entirely different aspect.

[Illustration: 146.jpg Map]

The western coast which stretches into the Ægean is furrowed by deep
valleys, opening out as they reach the sea, and the rivers--the Caicus,
the Hermos, the Cayster, and Meander--which flow through them are
effective makers of soil, bringing down with them, as they do, a
continual supply of alluvium, which, deposited at their mouths, causes
the land to encroach there upon the sea. The littoral is penetrated here
and there by deep creeks, and is fringed with beautiful islands--Lesbos,
Chios, Samos, Cos, Rhodes--of which the majority are near enough to the
continent to act as defences of the seaboard, and to guard the mouths of
the rivers, while they are far enough away to be secure from the effects
of any violent disturbances which might arise in the mainland. The
Cyclades, distributed in two lines, are scattered, as it were, at hazard
between Asia and Europe, like great blocks which have fallen around the
piers of a broken bridge. The passage from one to the other is an easy
matter, and owing to them, the sea rather serves to bring together the
two continents than to divide them. Two groups of heights, imperfectly
connected with the central plateau, tower above the Ægean slope--wooded
Ida on the north, veiled in cloud, rich in the flocks and herds upon
its sides, and in the metals within its bosom; and on the south, the
volcanic bastions of Lycia, where tradition was wont to place the
fire-breathing Chimaera. A rocky and irregularly broken coast stretches
to the west of Lycia, in a line almost parallel with the Taurus, through
which, at intervals, torrents leaping from the heights make their way
into the sea. At the extreme eastern point of the coast, almost at the
angle where the Cilician littoral meets that of Syria, the Pyramus and
the Sarus have brought down between them sufficient material to form an
alluvial plain, which the classical geographers designated by the name
of the Level Cilicia, to distinguish it from the rough region of the
interior, Gilicia Trachea.

The populations dwelling in this peninsula belong to very varied races.
On the south and south-west certain Semites had found an abode--the
mysterious inhabitants of Solyma, and especially the Phoenicians in
their scattered trading-stations. On the north-east, beside the Khâti,
distributed throughout the valleys of the Anti-Taurus, between
the Euphrates and Mount Argseus, there were tribes allied to the
Khâti*--possibly at this time the Tabal and the Mushkâ--and, on the
shores of the Black Sea, those workers in metal, which, following the
Greeks, we may call, for want of a better designation, the Chalybes.

     * A certain number of these tribes or of their towns are to
     be found in the list contained in the treaty of Ramses II.
     with the Khâti.

We are at a loss to know the distribution of tribes in the centre and
in the north-west, but the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, we may rest
assured, never formed an ethnographical frontier. The continents on
either side of them appear at this point to form the banks of a river,
or the two slopes of a single valley, whose bottom lies buried beneath
the waters. The barbarians of the Balkans had forced their way across at
several points. Dardanians were to be encountered in the neighbourhood
of Mount Ida, as well as on the banks of the Axios, from early times,
and the Kebrenes of Macedonia had colonised a district of the Troad near
Ilion, while the great nation of the Mysians had issued, like them,
from the European populations of the Hebrus and the Strymon. The hero
Dardanos, according to legend, had at first founded, under the auspices
of the Idasan Zeus, the town of Dardania; and afterwards a portion
of his progeny followed the course of the Scamander, and entrenched
themselves upon a precipitous hill, from the top of which they could
look far and wide over the plain and sea. The most ancient Ilion, at
first a village, abandoned on more than one occasion in the course of
centuries, was rebuilt and transformed, earlier than the XVth century
before Christ, into an important citadel, the capital of a warlike
and prosperous kingdom. The ruins on the spot prove the existence of
a primitive civilization analogous to that of the islands of the
Archipelago before the arrival of the Phoenician navigators. We find
that among both, at the outset, flint and bone, clay, baked and unbaked,
formed the only materials for their utensils and furniture; metals were
afterwards introduced, and we can trace their progressive employment
to the gradual exclusion of the older implements. These ancient Trojans
used copper, and we encounter only rarely a kind of bronze, in which the
proportion of tin was too slight to give the requisite hardness to the
alloy, and we find still fewer examples of iron and lead. They were
fairly adroit workers in silver, electrum, and especially in gold. The
amulets, cups, necklaces, and jewellery discovered in their tombs or in
the ruins of their houses, are sometimes of a not ungraceful form. Their
pottery was made by hand, and was not painted or varnished, but they
often gave to it a fine lustre by means of a stone-polisher. Other
peoples of uncertain origin, but who had attained a civilization as
advanced as that of the Trojans, were the Maeonians, the Leleges, and
the Carians who had their abode to the south of Troy and of the Mysians.
The Maeonians held sway in the fertile valleys of the Hermos, Cayster,
and Maaander. They were divided into several branches, such as the
Lydians, the Tyrseni, the Torrhebi, and the Shardana, but their most
ancient traditions looked back with pride to a flourishing state to
which, as they alleged, they had all belonged long ago on the slopes of
Mount Sipylos, between the valley of the Hermos and the Gulf of Smyrna.
The traditional capital of this kingdom was Magnesia, the most ancient
of cities, the residence of Tantalus, the father of Niobe and the
Pelopidae. The Leleges rise up before us from many points at the same
time, but always connected with the most ancient memories of Greece and
Asia. The majority of the strongholds on the Trojan coast belonged to
them--such as Antandros and Gargara--and Pedasos on the Satniois boasted
of having been one of their colonies, while several other towns of the
same name, but very distant from each other, enable us to form some idea
of the extent of their migrations.*

     * According to the scholiast on Nicander, the word "Pedasos"
     signified "mountain," probably in the language of the
     Leleges. We know up to the present of four Pedasi, or
     Pedasa: the first in Messenia, which later on took the name
     of Methône; the second in the Troad, on the banks of the
     Satniois; the third in the neighbourhood of Cyzicus; and the
     fourth in Caria.

In the time of Strabo, ruined tombs and deserted sites of cities were
shown in Caria which the natives regarded as Lelegia--that is, abode
of the Leleges. The Carians were dominant in the southern angle of the
peninsula and in the Ægean Islands; and the Lycians lay next them on the
east, and were sometimes confounded with them. One of the most powerful
tribes of the Carians, the Tremilse, were in the eyes of the Greeks
hardly to be separated from the mountainous district which they knew
as Lycia proper; while other tribes extended as far as the Halys. A
district of the Troad, to the south of Mount Ida, was called Lycia, and
there was a Lycaonia on both sides of the Middle Taurus; while Attica
had its Lycia, and Crete its Lycians. These three nations--the Lycians,
Carians, and Leleges--were so entangled together from their origin, that
no one would venture now to trace the lines of demarcation between
them, and we are often obliged to apply to them collectively what can be
appropriately ascribed to only one.

How far the Hittite power extended in the first years of its expansion
we have now hardly the means of knowing. It would appear that it
took within its scope, on the south-west, the Cilician plain, and the
undulating region bordering on it--that of Qodi: the prince of the
latter district, if not his vassal, was at least the colleague of the
King of the Khâti, and he acted in concert with him in peace as well as
in war.*

     * The country of Qidi, Qadi, Qodi, has been connected by
     Chabas with Galilee, and Brugsch adopted the identification.
     W. Max Müller identified it with Phoenicia. I think the
     name served to designate the Cilician coast and plain from
     the mouth of the Orontes, and the country which was known in
     the Græco-Roman period by the name Kêtis and Kataonia.

It embraced also the upper basin of the Pyramos and its affluents, as
well as the regions situated between the Euphrates and the Halys, but
its frontier in this direction was continually fluctuating, and our
researches fail to follow it. It is somewhat probable that it extended
considerably towards the west and north-west in the direction of the
Ægean Sea. The forests and escarpments of Lycaonia, and the desolate
steppes of the central plateau, have always presented a barrier
difficult to surmount by any invader from the east. If the Khâti at that
period attacked it in front, or by a flank movement, the assault must
rather have been of the nature of a hurried reconnaissance, or of a
raid, than of a methodically conducted campaign.*

     * The idea of a Hittite empire extending over almost all
     Asia Minor was advanced by Sayce.

They must have preferred to obtain possession of the valleys of the
Thermodon and the Iris, which were rich in mineral wealth, and from
which they could have secured an inexhaustible revenue. The extraction
and working of metals in this region had attracted thither from time
immemorial merchants from neighbouring and distant countries--at first
from the south to supply the needs of Syria, Chaldæa, and Egypt, then
from the west for the necessities of the countries on the Ægean. The
roads, which, starting from the archipelago on the one hand, or the
Euphrates on the other, met at this point, fell naturally into one, and
thus formed a continuous route, along which the caravans of commerce, as
well as warlike expeditions, might henceforward pass. Starting from the
cultivated regions of Mæonia, the road proceeded up the valley of the
Hermos from west to east; then, scaling the heights of the central
plateau and taking a direction more and more to the north-east, it
reached the fords of the Halys. Crossing this river twice--for the first
time at a point about two-thirds the length of its course, and for
the second at a short distance from its source--it made an abrupt turn
towards the Taurus, and joined, at Melitene, the routes leading to the
Upper Tigris, to Nisibis, to Singara, and to Old Assur, and connecting
further down beyond the mountainous region, under the walls of
Carchemish, with the roads which led to the Nile and to the river-side
cities on the Persian Gulf.*

     * The very early existence of this road, which partly
     coincides with the royal route of the Persian Achemenids,
     was proved by Kiepert.

There were other and shorter routes, if we think only of the number of
miles, from the Hermos in Pisidia or Lycaonia, across the central
steppe and through the Cilician Gates, to the meeting of the ways at
Carchemish; but they led through wretched regions, without industries,
almost without tillage, and inhospitable alike to man and beast, and
they were ventured on only by those who aimed at trafficking among the
populations who lived in their neighbourhood. The Khâti, from the time
even when they were enclosed among the fastnesses of the Taurus, had
within their control the most important section of the great land route
which served to maintain regular relations between the ancient kingdoms
of the east and the rising states of the Ægean, and whosoever would pass
through their country had to pay them toll. The conquest of Naharaim, in
giving them control of a new section, placed almost at their discretion
the whole traffic between Chaldæa and Egypt. From the time of Thûtmosis
III. caravans employed in this traffic accomplished the greater part
of their journey in territories depending upon Babylon, Assyria, or
Memphis, and enjoyed thus a relative security; the terror of the Pharaoh
protected the travellers even when they were no longer in his domains,
and he saved them from the flagrant exactions made upon them by princes
who called themselves his brothers, or were actually his vassals. But
the time had now come when merchants had to encounter, between Qodshu
and the banks of the Khabur, a sovereign owing no allegiance to any one,
and who would tolerate no foreign interference in his territory. From
the outbreak of hostilities with the Khâti, Egypt could communicate
with the cities of the Lower Euphrates only by the Wadys of the Arabian
Desert, which were always dangerous and difficult for large convoys; and
its commercial relations with Chaldæa were practically brought thus to a
standstill, and, as a consequence, the manufactures which fed this trade
being reduced to a limited production, the fiscal receipts arising from
it experienced a sensible diminution. When peace was restored, matters
fell again into their old groove, with certain reservations to the Khâti
of some common privileges: Egypt, which had formerly possessed these to
her own advantage, now bore the burden of them, and the indirect tribute
which she paid in this manner to her rivals furnished them with arms
to fight her in case she should endeavour to free herself from the
imposition. All the semi-barbaric peoples of the peninsula of Asia Minor
were of an adventurous and warlike temperament. They were always willing
to set out on an expedition, under the leadership of some chief of noble
family or renowned for valour; sometimes by sea in their light craft,
which would bring them unexpectedly to the nearest point of the Syrian
coast, sometimes by land in companies of foot-soldiers and charioteers.
They were frequently fortunate enough to secure plenty of booty, and
return with it to their homes safe and sound; but as frequently they
would meet with reverses by falling into some ambuscade: in such a case
their conqueror would not put them to the sword or sell them as slaves,
but would promptly incorporate them into his army, thus making his
captives into his soldiers. The King of the Khâti was able to make use
of them without difficulty, for his empire was conterminous on the
west and north with some of their native lands, and he had often whole
regiments of them in his army--Mysians, Lycians, people of Augarît,* of
Ilion,** and of Pedasos.***

     * The country of Augarît, Ugarît, is mentioned on several
     occasions in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence. The name has
     been wrongly associated with Caria; it has been placed by W.
     Max Miiller well within Naharaim, to the east of the
     Orontes, between Khalybôn (Aleppo) and Apamoea, the writer
     confusing it with Akaiti, named in the campaign of Amenôthes
     II. I am not sure about the site, but its association in the
     Amarna letters with Gugu and Khanigalbat inclines me to
     place it beyond the northern slopes of the Taurus, possibly
     on the banks of the Halys or of the Upper Euphrates.

     ** The name of this people was read Eiûna by Champollion,
     who identified it with the Ionians; this reading and
     identification were adopted by Lenormant and by W. Max
     Müller. Chabas hesitates between Eiûna and Maiûna, Ionia and
     Moonia and Brugsch read it Malunna. The reading Iriûna,
     Iliûna, seems to me the only possible one, and the
     identification with Ilion as well.

     *** Owing to its association with the Dardanians, Mysians,
     and Ilion, I think it answers to the Pedasos on the Satniois
     near Troy.

The revenue of the provinces taken from Egypt, and the products of his
tolls, furnished him with abundance of means for obtaining recruits from
among them.*

All these things contributed to make the power of the Khâti so
considerable, that Harmhabî, when he had once tested it, judged it
prudent not to join issues with them. He concluded with Sapalulu
a treaty of peace and friendship, which, leaving the two powers in
possession respectively of the territory each then occupied, gave legal
sanction to the extension of the sphere of the Khâti at the expense
of Egypt.** Syria continued to consist of two almost equal parts,
stretching from Byblos to the sources of the Jordan and Damascus:
the northern portion, formerly tributary to Egypt, became a Hittite
possession; while the southern, consisting of Phoenicia and Canaan,***
which the Pharaoh had held for a long time with a more effective
authority, and had more fully occupied, was retained for Egypt.

     * E. de Rougé and the Egyptologists who followed him thought
     at first that the troops designated in the Egyptian texts as
     Lycians, Mysians, Dardanians, were the national armies of
     these nations, each one commanded by its king, who had
     hastened from Asia Minor to succour their ally the King of
     the Khâti. I now think that those were bands of adventurers,
     consisting of soldiers belonging to these nations, who came
     to put themselves at the service of civilized monarchs, as
     the Oarians, Ionians, and the Greeks of various cities did
     later on: the individuals whom the texts mention as their
     princes were not the kings of these nations, but the warrior
     chiefs to which each band gave obedience.

     ** It is not certain that Harmhabî was the Pharaoh with whom
     Sapalulu entered into treaty, and it might be insisted with
     some reason that Ramses I. was the party to it on the side
     of Egypt; but this hypothesis is rendered less probable by
     the fact of the extremely short reign of the latter Pharaoh.
     I am inclined to think, as W. Max Miiller has supposed, that
     the passage in the _Treaty of Ramses II. with the Prince of
     the Khâti,_ which speaks of a treaty concluded with
     Sapalulu, looks back to the time of Ramses II.'s
     predecessor, Harmhabî.

     *** This follows from the situation of the two empires, as
     indicated in the account of the campaign of Seti I. in his
     first year. The king, after having defeated the nomads of
     the Arabian desert, passed on without further fighting into
     the country of the Amûrrû and the regions of the Lebanon,
     which fact seems to imply the submission of Kharû. W. Max
     Miiller was the first to* discern clearly this part of the
     history of Egyptian conquest; he appears, however, to have
     circumscribed somewhat too strictly the dominion of Harmhabî
     in assigning Carmel as its limit. The list of the nations of
     the north who yielded, or are alleged to have yielded,
     submission to Harmhabî, were traced on the first pylon of
     this monarch at Karnak, and on its adjoining walls. Among
     others, the names of the Khâti and of Arvad are to be read

This could have been but a provisional arrangement: if Thebes had
not altogether renounced the hope of repossessing some day the lost
conquests of Thûtmosis III., the Khâti, drawn by the same instinct which
had urged them to cross their frontiers towards the south, were not
likely to be content with less than the expulsion of the Egyptians
from Syria, and the absorption of the whole country into the Hittite
dominion. Peace was maintained during Harmhabî's lifetime. We know
nothing of Egyptian affairs during the last years of his reign. His rule
may have come to an end owing to some court intrigue, or he may have had
no male heir to follow him.* Ramses, who succeeded him, did not belong
to the royal line, or was only remotely connected with it.**

     * It would appear, from an Ostracon in the British Museum,
     that the year XXI. follows after the year VII. of Harmhabî's
     reign; it is possible that the year XXI. may belong to one
     of Harmhabî's successors, Seti I. or Ramses II., for

     ** The efforts to connect Ramses I. with a family of Semitic
     origin, possibly the Shepherd-kings themselves, have not
     been successful. Everything goes to prove that the Ramses
     family was, and considered itself to be, of Egyptian origin.
     Brugsch and Ed. Meyer were inclined to see in Ramses I. a
     younger brother of Harmhabî. This hypothesis has nothing
     either for Or against it up to the present.

He was already an old man when he ascended the throne, and we ought
perhaps to identify him with one or other of the Ramses who flourished
under the last Pharaohs of the XVIIIth dynasty, perhaps the one who
governed Thebes under Khûniatonû, or another, who began but never
finished his tomb in the hillside above Tel el-Amarna, in the
burying-place of the worshippers of the Disk.

[Illustration: 160.jpg RAMSES I.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Rosellini.

He had held important offices under Harmhabî,* and had obtained in
marriage for his son Seti the hand of Tuîa, who, of all the royal
family, possessed the strongest rights to the crown.**

     * This Tel el-Amarna Ramses is, perhaps, identical with the
     Theban one: he may have followed his master to his new
     capital, and have had a tomb dug for himself there, which he
     subsequently abandoned, on the death of Khûniatonû, in order
     to return to Thebes with Tûtankhamon and Aï.

     ** The fact that the marriage was celebrated under the
     auspices of Harmhabî, and that, consequently, Ramses must
     have occupied an important position at the court of that
     prince, is proved by the appearance of Ramses II., son of
     Tuîa, as early as the first year of Seti, among the ranks of
     the combatants in the war carried on by that prince against
     the Tihonû; even granting that he was then ten years old, we
     are forced to admit that he must have been born before his
     grandfather came to the throne. There is in the Vatican a
     statue of Tuîa; other statues have been discovered at San.

Ramses reigned only six or seven years, and associated Seti with himself
in the government from his second year. He undertook a short military
expedition into Ethiopia, and perhaps a raid into Syria; and we find
remains of his monuments in Nubia, at Bohani near Wady Haifa, and at
Thebes, in the temple of Amon.*

     * He began the great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak; E. de Rougé
     thinks that the idea of building this was first conceived
     under the XVIIIth dynasty.

He displayed little activity, his advanced age preventing him from
entering on any serious undertaking: but his accession nevertheless
marks an important date in the history of Egypt. Although Harmhabî was
distantly connected with the line of the Ahmessides, it is difficult
at the present day to know what position to assign him in the Pharaonic
lists: while some regard him as the last of the XVIIIth dynasty, others
prefer to place him at the head of the XIXth. No such hesitation,
however, exists with regard to Ramses I., who was undoubtedly the
founder of a new family. The old familiar names of Thûtmosis and
Amenôthes henceforward disappear from the royal lists, and are replaced
by others, such as Seti, Mînephtah, and, especially, Ramses, which now
figure in them for the first time. The princes who bore these names
showed themselves worthy successors of those who had raised Egypt to the
zenith of her power; like them they were successful on the battle-field,
and like them they devoted the best of the spoil to building innumerable
monuments. No sooner had Seti celebrated his father's obsequies, than he
assembled his army and set out for war.

It would appear that Southern Syria was then in open revolt. "Word had
been brought to His Majesty: 'The vile Shaûsû have plotted rebellion;
the chiefs of their tribes, assembled in one place on the confines of
Kharû, have been smitten with blindness and with the spirit of violence;
every one cutteth his neighbour's throat."* It was imperative to send
succour to the few tribes who remained faithful, to prevent them from
succumbing to the repeated attacks of the insurgents. Seti crossed the
frontier at Zalu, but instead of pursuing his way along the coast, he
marched due east in order to attack the Shaûsû in the very heart of the
desert. The road ran through wide wadys, tolerably well supplied
with water, and the length of the stages necessarily depended on the
distances between the wells. This route was one frequented in early
times, and its security was ensured by a number of fortresses and
isolated towers built along it, such as "The House of the Lion "--_ta
ait pa maû_--near the pool of the same name, the Migdol of the springs
of Huzîna, the fortress of Uazît, the Tower of the Brave, and the Migdol
of Seti at the pools of Absakaba. The Bedawîn, disconcerted by the
rapidity of this movement, offered no serious resistance. Their flocks
were carried off, their trees cut down, their harvests destroyed, and
they surrendered their strongholds at discretion. Pushing on from
one halting-place to another, the conqueror soon reached Babbîti, and
finally Pakanâna.**

     * The pictures of this campaign and the inscriptions which
     explain them were engraved by Seti I., on the outside of the
     north wall of the great hypostyle hall at Karnak.

     ** The site of Pakanâna has, with much probability, been
     fixed at El-Kenân or Khurbet-Kanâan, to the south of Hebron.
     Brugsch had previously taken this name to indicate the
     country of Canaan, but Chabas rightly contested this view.
     W. Max Millier took up the matter afresh: he perceived that
     we have here an allusion to the first town encountered by
     Seti I. in the country of Canaan to the south-west of
     Raphia, the name of which is not mentioned by the Egyptian
     sculptor; it seems to me that this name should be Pakanâna,
     and that the town bore the same name as the country.

The latter town occupied a splendid position on the slope of a rocky
hill, close to a small lake, and defended the approaches to the vale
of Hebron. It surrendered at the first attack, and by its fall the
Egyptians became possessed of one of the richest provinces in the
southern part of Kharû. This result having been achieved, Seti took
the caravan road to his left, on the further side of Gaza, and pushed
forward at full speed towards the Hittite frontier.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph, by Émil Brugsch-Bey.

It was probably unprotected by any troops, and the Hittite king was
absent in some other part of his empire. Seti pillaged the Amurru,
seized Ianuâmu and Qodshû by a sudden attack, marched in an oblique
direction towards the Mediterranean, forcing the inhabitants of the
Lebanon to cut timber from their mountains for the additions which he
was premeditating in the temple of the Theban Amon, and finally returned
by the coast road, receiving, as he passed through their territory, the
homage of the Phoenicians. His entry into Egypt was celebrated by solemn
festivities. The nobles, priests, and princes of both south and north
hastened to meet him at the bridge of Zalû, and welcomed, with their
chants, both the king and the troops of captives whom he was bringing
back for the service of his father Amon at Karnak. The delight of his
subjects was but natural, since for many years the Egyptians bad not
witnessed such a triumph, and they no doubt believed that the prosperous
era of Thûtmosis III. was about to return, and that the wealth of
Naharaim would once more flow into Thebes as of old. Their illusion
was short-lived, for this initial victory was followed by no other.
Maurusaru, King of the Khâti, and subsequently his son Mautallu,
withstood the Pharaoh with such resolution that he was forced to treat
with them. A new alliance was concluded on the same conditions as the
old one, and the boundaries of the two kingdoms remained the same as
under Harmhabî, a proof that neither sovereign had gained any advantage
over his rival. Hence the campaign did not in any way restore Egyptian
supremacy, as had been hoped at the moment; it merely served to
strengthen her authority in those provinces which the Khâti had failed
to take from Egypt. The Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon had too many
commercial interests on the banks of the Nile to dream of breaking
the slender tie which held them to the Pharaoh, since independence,
or submission to another sovereign, might have ruined their trade. The
Kharû and the Bedawîn, vanquished wherever they had ventured to oppose
the Pharaoh's troops, were less than ever capable of throwing off the
Egyptian yoke. Syria fell back into its former state. The local princes
once more resumed their intrigues and quarrels, varied at intervals by
appeals to their suzerain for justice or succour. The "Royal Messengers"
appeared from time to time with their escorts of archers and chariots
to claim tribute, levy taxes, to make peace between quarrelsome vassals,
or, if the case required it, to supersede some insubordinate chief by a
governor of undoubted loyalty; in fine, the entire administration of the
empire was a continuation of that of the preceding century. The peoples
of Kûsh meanwhile had remained quiet during the campaign in Syria, and
on the western frontier the Tihonû had suffered so severe a defeat that
they were not likely to recover from it for some time.* The bands of
pirates, Shardana and others, who infested the Delta, were hunted down,
and the prisoners taken from among them were incorporated into the royal

     * This war is represented at Karnak, and Ramses II. figures
     there among the children of Seti I.

     ** We gather this from passages in the inscriptions from the
     year V. onwards, in which Ramses II. boasts that he has a
     number of Shardana prisoners in his guard; Rouge was,
     perhaps, mistaken in magnifying these piratical raids into a
     war of invasion.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Ernil Brugsch-Bey.

Seti, however, does not appear to have had a confirmed taste for war.
He showed energy when occasion required it, and he knew how to lead his
soldiers, as the expedition of his first year amply proved; but when the
necessity was over, he remained on the defensive, and made no further
attempt at conquest. By his own choice he was "the jackal who prowls
about the country to protect it," rather than "the wizard lion marauding
abroad by hidden paths,"* and Egypt enjoyed a profound peace in
consequence of his ceaseless vigilance.

     * These phrases are taken direct from the inscriptions of
     Seti I.

A peaceful policy of this kind did not, of course, produce the amount
of spoil and the endless relays of captives which had enabled his
predecessors to raise temples and live in great luxury without
overburdening their subjects with taxes. Seti was, therefore, the more
anxious to do all in his power to develop the internal wealth of the
country. The mining colonies of the Sinaitic Peninsula had never ceased
working since operations had been resumed there under Hâtshopsîtû and
Thûtmosis III., but the output had lessened during the troubles under
the heretic kings. Seti sent inspectors thither, and endeavoured to
stimulate the workmen to their former activity, but apparently with no
great success. We are not able to ascertain if he continued the revival
of trade with Pûanît inaugurated by Harmhabî; but at any rate he
concentrated his attention on the regions bordering the Red Sea and the
gold-mines which they contained. Those of Btbaï, which had been worked
as early as the XIIth dynasty, did not yield as much as they had done
formerly; not that they were exhausted, but owing to the lack of water
in their neighbourhood and along the routes leading to them, they were
nearly deserted. It was well known that they contained great wealth,
but operations could not be carried on, as the workmen were in danger
of dying of thirst. Seti despatched engineers to the spot to explore the
surrounding wadys, to clear the ancient cisterns or cut others, and
to establish victualling stations at regular intervals for the use of
merchants supplying the gangs of miners with commodities. These stations
generally consisted of square or rectangular enclosures, built of
stones without mortar, and capable of resisting a prolonged attack. The
entrance was by a narrow doorway of stone slabs, and in the interior
were a few huts and one or two reservoirs for catching rain or storing
the water of neighbouring springs. Sometimes a chapel was built close at
hand, consecrated to the divinities of the desert, or to their compeers,
Mînû of Coptos, Horus, Maut, or Isis. One of these, founded by Seti,
still exists near the modern town of Redesieh, at the entrance to one of
the valleys which furrow this gold region.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by M. de Bock

It is built against, and partly excavated in, a wall of rock, the
face of which has been roughly squared, and it is entered through a
four-columned portico, giving access to two dark chambers, whose walls
are covered with scenes of adoration and a lengthy inscription. In this
latter the sovereign relates how, in the IXth year of his reign, he
was moved to inspect the roads of the desert; he completed the work in
honour of Amon-Râ, of Phtah of Memphis, and of Harmakhis, and he states
that travellers were at a loss to express their gratitude and thanks for
what he had done. "They repeated from mouth to mouth: 'May Amon give him
an endless existence, and may he prolong for him the length of eternity!
O ye gods of fountains, attribute to him your life, for he has rendered
back to us accessible roads, and he has opened that which was closed to
us. Henceforth we can take our way in peace, and reach our destination
alive; now that the difficult paths are open and the road has become
good, gold can be brought back, as our lord and master has commanded.'"
Plans were drawn on papyrus of the configuration of the district, of the
beds of precious metal, and of the position of the stations.

[Illustration: 169.jpg THE TEMPLE OF SETI I. AT REDESIEH]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Golénischeff.

One of these plans has come down to us, in which the districts are
coloured bright red, the mountains dull ochre, the roads dotted
over with footmarks to show the direction to be taken, while the
superscriptions give the local names, and inform us that the map
represents the Bukhni mountain and a fortress and stele of Seti. The
whole thing is executed in a rough and naive manner, with an almost
childish minuteness which provokes a smile; we should, however, not
despise it, for it is the oldest map in the world.


     Facsimile by Faucher-Gudin of coloured chalk-drawing by Chabas.

The gold extracted from these regions, together with that brought
from Ethiopia, and, better still, the regular payment of taxes and
custom-house duties, went to make up for the lack of foreign spoil all
the more opportunely, for, although the sovereign did not share the
military enthusiasm of Thûtmosis III., he had inherited from him the
passion for expensive temple-building.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger.

He did not neglect Nubia in this respect, but repaired several of
the monuments at which the XVIIIth dynasty had worked--among others,
Kalabsheh, Dakkeh, and Amada, besides founding a temple at Sesebi, of
which three columns are still standing.*

     * In Lepsius's time there were still four columns standing;
     Insinger shows us only three.

The outline of these columns is not graceful, and the decoration of them
is very poor, for art degenerated rapidly in these distant provinces of
the empire, and only succeeded in maintaining its vigour and spirit in
the immediate neighbourhood of the Pharaoh, as at Abydos, Memphis, and
above all at Thebes. Seti's predecessor Ramses, desirous of obliterating
all traces of the misfortunes lately brought about by the changes
effected by the heretic kings, had contemplated building at Karnak,
in front of the pylon of Amenôthes III., an enormous hall for the
ceremonies connected with the cult of Amon, where the immense numbers of
priests and worshippers at festival times could be accommodated without
inconvenience. It devolved on Seti to carry out what had been merely an
ambitious dream of his father's.*

     * The great hypostyle hall was cleared and the columns were
     strengthened in the winter of 1895-6, as far, at least, as
     it was possible to carry out the work of restoration without
     imperilling the stability of the whole.

We long to know who was the architect possessed of such confidence in
his powers that he ventured to design, and was able to carry out, this
almost superhuman undertaking. His name would be held up to almost
universal admiration beside those of the greatest masters that we are
familiar with, for no one in Greece or Italy has left us any work which
surpasses it, or which with such simple means could produce a similar
impression of boldness and immensity. It is almost impossible to convey
by words to those who have not seen it, the impression which it makes on
the spectator. Failing description, the dimensions speak for themselves.
The hall measures one hundred and sixty-two feet in length, by three
hundred and twenty-five in breadth. A row of twelve columns, the largest
ever placed inside a building, runs up the centre, having capitals in
the form of inverted bells.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

One hundred and twenty-two columns with lotiform capitals fill
the aisles, in rows of nine each. The roof of the central bay is
seventy-four feet above the ground, and the cornice of the two towers
rises sixty-three feet higher. The building was dimly lighted from the
roof of the central colonnade by means of stone gratings, through
which the air and the sun's rays entered sparingly. The daylight, as it
penetrated into the hall, was rendered more and more obscure by the rows
of columns; indeed, at the further end a perpetual twilight must have
reigned, pierced by narrow shafts of light falling from the ventilation
holes which were placed at intervals in the roof.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato. In the
     background, on the right, may be seen a column which for
     several centuries has been retained in a half-fallen
     position by the weight of its architrave.

The whole building now lies open to the sky, and the sunshine which
floods it, pitilessly reveals the mutilations which it has suffered in
the course of ages; but the general effect, though less mysterious, is
none the less overwhelming. It is the only monument in which the first
_coup d'oil_ surpasses the expectations of the spectator instead of
disappointing him. The size is immense, and we realise its immensity the
more fully as we search our memory in vain to find anything with which
to compare it. Seti may have entertained the project of building a
_replica_ of this hall in Southern Thebes. Amenôthes III. had left his
temple at Luxor unfinished. The sanctuary and its surrounding buildings
were used for purposes of worship, but the court of the customary pylon
was wanting, and merely a thin wall concealed the mysteries from the
sight of the vulgar. Seti resolved to extend the building in a northerly
direction, without interfering with the thin screen which had satisfied
his predecessors. Starting from the entrance in this wall, he planned an
avenue of giant columns rivalling those of Karnak, which he destined to
become the central colonnade of a hypostyle hall as vast as that of
the sister temple. Either money or time was lacking to carry out his
intention. He died before the aisles on either side were even begun. At
Abydos, however, he was more successful. We do not know the reason
of Seti's particular affection for this town; it is possible that his
family held some fief there, or it may be that he desired to show the
peculiar estimation in which he held its local god, and intended, by the
homage that he lavished on him, to cause the fact to be forgotten that
he bore the name of Sit the accursed.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The king selected a favourable site for his temple to the south of the
town, on the slope of a sandhill bordering the canal, and he marked
out in the hardened soil a ground plan of considerable originality. The
building was approached through two pylons, the remains of which are now
hidden under the houses of Aarabat el-Madfuneh.

[Illustration: 176b.jpg THE FACADE OF THE TEMPLE OF SETI]

A fairly large courtyard, bordered by two crumbling walls, lies between
the second pylon and the temple façade, which was composed of a portico
resting on square pillars. Passing between these, we reach two halls
supported by-columns of graceful outline, beyond which are eight chapels
arranged in a line, side by side, in front of two chambers built in
to the hillside, and destined for the reception of Osiris. The holy
of holies in ordinary temples is surrounded by chambers of lesser
importance, but here it is concealed behind them. The building-material
mainly employed here was the white limestone of Tûrah, but of a most
beautiful quality, which lent itself to the execution of bas-reliefs
of great delicacy, perhaps the finest in ancient Egypt. The artists who
carved and painted them belonged to the Theban school, and while their
subjects betray a remarkable similarity to those of the monuments
dedicated by Amenôthes III., the execution surpasses them in freedom and
perfection of modelling; we can, in fact, trace in them the influence of
the artists who furnished the drawings for the scenes at Tel el-Amarna.
They have represented the gods and goddesses with the same type
of profile as that of the king--a type of face of much purity and
gentleness, with its aquiline nose, its decided mouth, almond-shaped
eyes, and melancholy smile. When the decoration of the temple was
completed, Seti regarded the building as too small for its divine
inmate, and accordingly added to it a new wing, which he built along
the whole length of the southern wall; but he was unable to finish
it completely. Several parts of it are lined with religious
representations, but in others the subjects have been merely sketched
out in black ink with corrections in red, while elsewhere the walls
are bare, except for a few inscriptions, scribbled over them after an
interval of twenty centuries by the monks who turned the temple chambers
into a convent. This new wing was connected with the second hypostyle
hall of the original building by a passage, on one of the walls of which
is a list of seventy-five royal names, representing the ancestors of the
sovereign traced back to Mini. The whole temple must be regarded as a
vast funerary chapel, and no one who has studied the religion of Egypt
can entertain a doubt as to its purpose. Abydos was the place where the
dead assembled before passing into the other world. It was here, at the
mouth of the "Cleft," that they received the provisions and offerings
of their relatives and friends who remained on this earth. As the dead
flocked hither from all quarters of the world, they collected round the
tomb of Osiris, and there waited till the moment came to embark on the
Boat of the Sun. Seti did not wish his soul to associate with those of
the common crowd of his vassals, and prepared this temple for himself,
as a separate resting-place, close to the mouth of Hades. After having
dwelt within it for a short time subsequent to his funeral, his soul
could repair thither whenever it desired, certain of always finding
within it the incense and the nourishment of which it stood in need.

Thebes possessed this king's actual tomb. The chapel was at Qurnah, a
little to the north of the group of pyramids in which the Pharaohs of
the XIth dynasty lay side by side with those of the XIIIth and XVIIth.
Ramses had begun to build it, and Seti continued the work, dedicating
it to the cult of his father and of himself. Its pylon has altogether
disappeared, but the façade with lotus-bud columns is nearly perfect,
together with several of the chambers in front of the sanctuary. The
decoration is as carefully carried out and the execution as delicate as
that in the work at Abydos; we are tempted to believe from one or two
examples of it that the same hands have worked at both buildings.

[Illustration: 181.jpg THE TEMPLE OF QURNAH]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The rock-cut tomb is some distance away up in the mountain, but not
in the same ravine as that in which Amenôthes III., Aï, and probably
Tûtankhamon and Harmhabî, are buried.*

     * There are, in fact, close to those of Aï and Amenôthes
     III., three other tombs, two at least of which have been
     decorated with paintings, now completely obliterated, and
     which may have served as the burying-places of Tûtankhamon
     and Harmhabî: the earlier Egyptologists believed them to
     have been dug by the first kings of the XVIIIth dynasty.

There then existed, behind the rock amphitheatre of Deîr el-Baharî, a
kind of enclosed basin, which could be reached from the plain only by
dangerous paths above the temple of Hâtshopsîtû. This basin is divided
into two parts, one of which runs in a south-easterly direction,
while the other trends to the south-west, and is subdivided into minor
branches. To the east rises a barren peak, the outline of which is not
unlike that of the step-pyramid of Saqqâra, reproduced on a colossal
scale. No spot could be more appropriate to serve as a cemetery for a
family of kings. The difficulty of reaching it and of conveying thither
the heavy accessories and of providing for the endless processions of
the Pharaonic funerals, prevented any attempt being made to cut tombs
in it during the Ancient and Middle Empires. About the beginning of the
XIXth dynasty, however, some engineers, in search of suitable burial
sites, at length noticed that this basin was only separated from the
wady issuing to the north of Qurnah by a rocky barrier barely five
hundred cubits in width. This presented no formidable obstacle to such
skilful engineers as the Egyptians. They cut a trench into the living
rock some fifty or sixty cubits in depth, at the bottom of which they
tunnelled a narrow passage giving access to the valley.*

     * French scholars recognised from the beginning of this
     century that the passage in question had been made by human
     agency. I attribute the execution of this work to Ramses I.,
     as I believe Harmhabî to have been buried in the eastern
     valley, near Amenôthes III.

It is not known whether this herculean work was accomplished during the
reign of Harnhabî or in that of Ramses I. The latter was the first of
the Pharaohs to honour the spot by his presence. His tomb is simple,
almost coarse in its workmanship, and comprises a gentle inclined
passage, a vault and a sarcophagus of rough stone. That of Seti, on the
contrary, is a veritable palace, extending to a distance of 325 feet
into the mountain-side. It is entered by a wide and lofty door, which
opens on to a staircase of twenty-seven steps, leading to an inclined
corridor; other staircases of shallow steps follow with their landings;
then come successively a hypostyle hall, and, at the extreme end, a
vaulted chamber, all of which are decorated with mysterious scenes
and covered with inscriptions. This is, however, but the first storey,
containing the antechambers of the dead, but not their living-rooms. A
passage and steps, concealed under a slab to the left of the hall, lead
to the real vault, which held the mummy and its funerary furniture.
As we penetrate further and further by the light of torches into this
subterranean abode, we see that the walls are covered with pictures and
formulae, setting forth the voyages of the soul through the twelve hours
of the night, its trials, its judgment, its reception by the departed,
and its apotheosis--all depicted on the rock with the same perfection
as that which characterises the bas-reliefs on the finest slabs of Tûrah
stone at Qurnah and Abydos. A gallery leading out of the last of
these chambers extends a few feet further and then stops abruptly; the
engineers had contemplated the excavation of a third storey to the tomb,
when the death of their master obliged them to suspend their task.
The king's sarcophagus consists of a block of alabaster, hollowed
out, polished, and carved with figures and hieroglyphs, with all the
minuteness which we associate with the cutting of a gem.

[Illustration: 184.jpg ONE OF THE PILLARS OF THE TOMB OF SETI I.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger, taken in

It contained a wooden coffin, shaped to the human figure and painted
white, the features picked out in black, and enamel eyes inserted in
a mounting of bronze. The mummy is that of a thin elderly man, well
preserved; the face was covered by a mask made of linen smeared with
pitch, but when this was raised by means of a chisel, the fine kingly
head was exposed to view. It was a masterpiece of the art of the
embalmer, and the expression of the face was that of one who had only
a few hours previously breathed his last. Death had slightly drawn
the nostrils and contracted the lips, the pressure of the bandages had
flattened the nose a little, and the skin was darkened by the pitch; but
a calm and gentle smile still played over the mouth, and the half-opened
eyelids allowed a glimpse to be seen from under their lashes of an
apparently moist and glistening line,--the reflection from the white
porcelain eyes let in to the orbit at the time of burial.

Seti had had several children by his wife Tuîa, and the eldest had
already reached manhood when his father ascended the throne, for he had
accompanied him on his Syrian campaign. The young prince died, however,
soon after his return, and his right to the crown devolved on his
younger brother, who, like his grandfather, bore the name of Ramses.
The prince was still very young,* but Seti did not on that account delay
enthroning with great pomp this son who had a better right to the throne
than himself.

     * The history of the youth and the accession of Ramses II.
     is known to us from the narrative given by himself in the
     temple of Seti I. at Abydos. The bulk of the narrative is
     confirmed by the evidence of the Kubân inscription,
     especially as to the extreme youth of Ramses at the time
     when he was first associated with the crown.

"From the time that I was in the egg," Ramses writes later on, "the
great ones sniffed the earth before me; when I attained to the rank of
eldest son and heir upon the throne of Sibû, I dealt with affairs, I
commanded as chief the foot-soldiers and the chariots. My father having
appeared before the people, when I was but a very little boy in his
arms, said to me: 'I shall have him crowned king, that I may see him
in all his splendour while I am still on this earth!' The nobles of the
court having drawn near to place the pschent upon my head: 'Place the
diadem upon his forehead!' said he." As Ramses increased in years,
Seti delighted to confer upon him, one after the other, the principal
attributes of power; "while he was still upon this earth, regulating
everything in the land, defending its frontiers, and watching over the
welfare of its inhabitants, he cried: 'Let him reign!' because of the
love he had for me." Seti also chose for him wives, beautiful "as are
those of his palace," and he gave him in marriage his sisters Nofrîtari
II. Mîmût and Isîtnofrît, who, like Ramses himself, had claims to the
throne. Ramses was allowed to attend the State councils at the age
of ten; he commanded armies, and he administered justice under the
direction of his father and his viziers. Seti, however, although making
use of his son's youth and activity, did not in any sense retire in his
favour; if he permitted Ramses to adopt the insignia of royalty--the
cartouches, the pschent, the bulbous-shaped helmet, and the various
sceptres--he still remained to the day of his death the principal State
official, and he reckoned all the years of this dual sovereignty as
those of his sole reign.*

     * Brugsoh is wrong in reckoning the reign of Ramses II. from
     the time of his association in the crown; the great
     inscription of Abydos, which has been translated by Brugsch
     himself, dates events which immediately followed the death
     of Seti I. as belonging to the first year of Ramses II.

Ramses repulsed the incursions of the Tihonû, and put to the sword
such of their hordes as had ventured to invade Egyptian territory.
He exercised the functions of viceroy of Ethiopia, and had on several
occasions to chastise the pillaging negroes. We see him at Beît-Wally
and at Abu Simbel charging them in his chariot: in vain they flee in
confusion before him; their flight, however swift, cannot save them from
captivity and destruction.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

He was engaged in Ethiopia when the death of Seti recalled him to

     * We do not know how long Seti I. reigned; the last date is
     that of his IXth year at Redesieh and at Aswan, and that of
     the year XXVII. sometimes attributed to him belongs to one
     of the later Ramessides. I had at first supposed his reign
     to have been a long one, merely on the evidence afforded by
     Manetho's lists, but the presence of Ramses II. as a
     stripling, in the campaign of Seti's 1st year, forces us to
     limit its duration to fifteen or twenty years at most,
     possibly to only twelve or fifteen.

He at once returned to the capital, celebrated the king's funeral
obsequies with suitable pomp, and after keeping the festival of Amon,
set out for the north in order to make his authority felt in that part
of his domains. He stopped on his way at Abydos to give the necessary
orders for completing the decoration of the principal chambers of the
resting-place built by his father, and chose a site some 320 feet to
the north-west of it for a similar Memnonium for himself. He granted
cultivated fields and meadows in the Thinite name for the maintenance
of these two mausolea, founded a college of priests and soothsayers in
connexion with them, for which he provided endowments, and also assigned
them considerable fiefs in all parts of the valley of the Nile. The
Delta next occupied his attention. The increasing importance of the
Syrian provinces in the eyes of Egypt, the growth of the Hittite
monarchy, and the migrations of the peoples of the Mediterranean,
had obliged the last princes of the preceding dynasty to reside more
frequently at Memphis than Amenôthes I. or Thûtmosis III. had done.
Amenôthes III. had set to work to restore certain cities which had been
abandoned since the days of the Shepherds, and Bubastis, Athribis, and
perhaps Tanis, had, thanks to his efforts, revived from their decayed
condition. The Pharaohs, indeed, felt that at Thebes they were too far
removed from the battle-fields of Asia; distance made it difficult for
them to counteract the intrigues in which their vassals in Kharû and the
lords of Naharaim were perpetually implicated, and a revolt which might
have been easily anticipated or crushed had they been advised of
it within a few days, gained time to increase and extend during the
interval occupied by the couriers in travelling to and from the capital.
Ramses felt the importance of possessing a town close to the Isthmus
where he could reside in security, and he therefore built close to Zalû,
in a fertile and healthy locality, a stronghold to which he gave his own
name,* and of which the poets of the time have left us an enthusiastic
description. "It extends," they say, "between Zahi and Egypt--and is
filled with provisions and victuals.--It resembles Hermonthis,--it is
strong like Memphis,--and the sun rises--and sets in it--so that men
quit their villages and establish themselves in its territory."--"The
dwellers on the coasts bring conger eels and fish in homage,--they
pay it the tribute of their marshes.--The inhabitants don their festal
garments every day,--perfumed oil is on their heads and new wigs;--they
stand at their doors, their hands full of bunches of flowers,--green
branches from the village of Pihâthor,--garlands of Pahûrû,--on the day
when Pharaoh makes his entry.--Joy then reigns and spreads, and nothing
can stay it,--O Usirmarî-sotpûnirî, thou who art Montû in the two
lands,--Ramses-Mîamûn, the god." The town acted as an advance post,
from whence the king could keep watch against all intriguing
adversaries,--whether on the banks of the Orontes or the coast of the

     * An allusion to the foundation of this residence occurs in
     an inscription at Abu Simbel, dated in his XXVth year.

Nothing appeared for the moment to threaten the peace of the empire.
The Asiatic vassals had raised no disturbance on hearing of the king's
accession, and Mautallu continued to observe the conditions of
the treaty which he had signed with Seti. Two military expeditions
undertaken beyond the isthmus in the IInd and IVth years of the new
sovereign were accomplished almost without fighting. He repressed by the
way the marauding Shaûsû, and on reaching the Nahr el-Kelb, which then
formed the northern frontier of his empire, he inscribed at the turn
of the road, on the rocks which overhang the mouth of the river, two
triumphal stelæ in which he related his successes.* Towards the end
of his IVth year a rebellion broke out among the Khâti, which caused a
rupture of relations between the two kingdoms and led to some irregular
fighting. Khâtusaru, a younger brother of Maurusaru, murdered the latter
and made himself king in his stead.** It is not certain whether the
Egyptians took up arms against him, or whether he judged it wise to
oppose them in order to divert the attention of his subjects from his

     * The stelæ are all in a very bad condition; in the last of
     them the date is no longer legible.

     ** In the _Treaty of Harrises II. with the Prince of Khâti_,
     the writer is content to use a discreet euphemism, and
     states that Mautallu succumbed "to his destiny." The name of
     the Prince of the Khâti is found later on under the form
     Khatusharu, in that of a chief defeated by Tiglath-pileser
     I. in the country of Kummukh, though this name has generally
     been read Khatukhi.

At all events, he convoked his Syrian vassals and collected his
mercenaries; the whole of Naharaim, Khalupu, Carchemish, and Arvad sent
their quota, while bands of Dardanians, Mysians, Trojans, and Lycians,
together with the people of Pedasos and Girgasha,* furnished further
contingents, drawn from an area extending from the most distant coasts
of the Mediterranean to the mountains of Cilicia. Ramses, informed of
the enemy's movement by his generals and the governors of places on the
frontier, resolved to anticipate the attack. He assembled an army almost
as incongruous in its component elements as that of his adversary:
besides Egyptians of unmixed race, divided into four corps bearing
the names of Amon, Phtah, Harmakhis and Sûtkhû, it contained Ethiopian
auxiliaries, Libyans, Mazaiu, and Shardana.**

     * The name of this nation is written Karkisha, Kalkisha, or
     Kashkisha, by one of those changes of _sh_ into _r-l_ which
     occur so frequently in Assyro-Chaldæan before a dental; the
     two different spellings seem to show that the writers of the
     inscriptions bearing on this war had before them a list of
     the allies of Khâtusaru, written in cuneiform characters. If
     we may identify the nation with the Kashki or Kashku of the
     Assyrian texts, the ancestors of the people of Colchis of
     classical times, the termination _-isha_ of the Egyptian
     word would be the inflexion _-ash_ or _-ush_ of the Eastern-
     Asiatic tongues which we find in so many race-names, e.g.
     Adaush, Saradaush, Ammaush. Rouge and Brugsch identified
     them with the Girgashites of the Bible. Brugsch, adopting
     the spelling Kashki, endeavoured to connect them with
     Casiotis; later on he identified them with the people of
     Gergis in Troas. Ramsay recognises in them the Kisldsos of

     ** In the account of the campaign the Shardana only are
     mentioned; but we learn from a list in the _Anastasi Papyrus
     I_, that the army of Ramses II. included, in ordinary
     circumstances, in addition to the Shardana, a contingent of
     Mashauasha, Kahaka, and other Libyan and negro mercenaries.

When preparations were completed, the force crossed the canal at Zalû,
on the 9th of Payni in his Vth year, marched rapidly across Canaan till
they reached the valley of the Litâny, along which they took their way,
and then followed up that of the Orontes. They encamped for a few days
at Shabtuna, to the south-west of Qodshû,* in the midst of the Amorite
country, sending out scouts and endeavouring to discover the position of
the enemy, of whose movements they possessed but vague information.

     * Shabtuna had been placed on the Nahr es-Sebta, on the site
     now occupied by Kalaat el-Hosn, a conjecture approved by
     Mariette; it was more probably a town situated in the plain,
     to the south of Bahr el-Kades, a little to the south-west of
     Tell Keby Mindoh which represents Qodshû, and close to some
     forests which at that time covered the slopes of Lebanon,
     and, extending as they did to the bottom of the valley,
     concealed the position of the Khâti from the Egyptians.

Khâtusaru lay concealed in the wooded valleys of the Lebanon; he was
kept well posted by his spies, and only waited an opportunity to take
the field; as an occasion did not immediately present itself, he had
recourse to a ruse with which the generals of the time were familiar.
Ramses, at length uneasy at not falling in with the enemy, advanced to
the south of Shabtuna, where he endeavoured to obtain information from
two Bedawîn. "Our brethren," said they, "who are the chiefs of
the tribes united under the vile Prince of Khâti, send us to give
information to your Majesty: We desire to serve the Pharaoh. We are
deserting the vile Prince of the Khâti; he is close to Khalupu (Aleppo),
to the north of the city of Tunipa, whither he has rapidly retired from
fear of the Pharaoh." This story had every appearance of probability;
and the distance--Khalupu was at least forty leagues away--explained why
the reconnoitring parties of the Egyptians had not fallen in with any of
the enemy. The Pharaoh, with this information, could not decide whether
to lay siege to Qodshû and wait until the Hittites were forced to
succour the town, or to push on towards the Euphrates and there seek the
engagement which his adversary seemed anxious to avoid.

[Illustration: 193.jpg THE SHARDANA GUARD OF RAMSES II.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

He chose the latter of the two alternatives. He sent forward the legions
of Anion, Phrâ, Phtah, and Sutkhu, which constituted the main body of
his troops, and prepared to follow them with his household chariotry. At
the very moment when this division was being effected, the Hittites, who
had been represented by the spies as being far distant, were secretly
massing their forces to the north-east of Qodshu, ready to make an
attack upon the Pharaoh's flank as soon as he should set out on his
march towards Khalupu. The enemy had considerable forces at their
disposal, and on the day of the engagement they placed 18,000 to 20,000
picked soldiers in the field.* Besides a well-disciplined infantry, they
possessed 2500 to 3000 chariots, containing, as was the Asiatic custom,
three men in each.**

     * An army corps is reckoned as containing 9000 men on the
     wall scenes at Luxor, and 8000 at the Eamesseum; the 3000
     chariots were manned by 9000 men. In allowing four to five
     thousand men for the rest of the soldiers engaged, we are
     not likely to be far wrong, and shall thus obtain the modest
     total mentioned in the text, contrary to the opinion current
     among historians.

     * The mercenaries are included in these figures, as is shown
     by the reckoning of the Lycian, Dardanian, and Pedasian
     chiefs who were in command of the chariots during the
     charges against Ramses II.

The Egyptian camp was not entirely broken up, when the scouts brought
in two spies whom they had seized--Asiatics in long blue robes arranged
diagonally over one shoulder, leaving the other bare. The king, who was
seated on his throne delivering his final commands, ordered them to
be beaten till the truth should be extracted from them. They at last
confessed that they had been despatched to watch the departure of the
Egyptians, and admitted that the enemy was concealed in ambush behind
the town. Ramses hastily called a council of war and laid the situation
before his generals, not without severely reprimanding them for the
bad organisation of the intelligence department. The officers excused
themselves as best they could, and threw the blame on the provincial
governors, who had not been able to discover what was going on. The king
cut short these useless recriminations, sent swift messengers to recall
the divisions which had started early that morning, and gave orders
that all those remaining in camp should hold themselves in readiness to
attack. The council were still deliberating when news was brought that
the Hittites were in sight.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the picture in the temple at
     Abu Simbel.

Their first onslaught was so violent that they threw down one side of
the camp wall, and penetrated into the enclosure. Ramses charged them at
the head of his household troops. Eight times he engaged the chariotry
which threatened to surround him, and each time he broke their ranks.
Once he found himself alone with Manna, his shield-bearer, in the midst
of a knot of warriors who were bent on his destruction, and he escaped
solely by his coolness and bravery. The tame lion which accompanied him
on his expeditions did terrible work by his side, and felled many an
Asiatic with his teeth and claws.*

     * The lion is represented and named in the battle-scenes at
     Abu Simbel, at Dorr, and at Luxor, where we see it in camp
     on the eve of the battle, with its two front paws tied, and
     its keeper threatening it.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato of the west
     front of the Eamesseum.

The soldiers, fired by the king's example, stood their ground resolutely
during the long hours of the afternoon; at length, as night was drawing
on, the legions of Phrâ and Sûtkhû, who had hastily retraced their
steps, arrived on the scene of action. A large body of Khâfci, who were
hemmed in in that part of the camp which they had taken in the morning,
were at once killed or made prisoners, not a man of them escaping.
Khâtusaru, disconcerted by this sudden reinforcement of the enemy, beat
a retreat, and nightfall suspended the struggle. It was recommenced at
dawn the following morning with unabated fury, and terminated in the
rout of the confederates. Garbatusa, the shield-bearer of the Hittite
prince, the generals in command of his infantry and chariotry, and
Khalupsaru, the "writer of books," fell during the action. The chariots,
driven back to the Orontes, rushed into the river in the hope of fording
it, but in so doing many lives were lost. Mazraîma, the Prince of
Khâti's brother, reached the opposite bank in safety, but the Chief of
Tonisa was drowned, and the lord of Khalupu was dragged out of the water
more dead than alive, and had to be held head downwards to disgorge the
water he had swallowed before he could be restored to consciousness.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Bénédite.

Khâtusaru himself was on the point of perishing, when the troops which
had been shut up in Qodshû, together with the inhabitants, made a
general sortie; the Egyptians were for a moment held in check, and
the fugitives meanwhile were able to enter the town. Either there was
insufficient provision for so many mouths, or the enemy had lost all
heart from the disaster; at any rate, further resistance appeared
useless. The next morning Khâtusaru sent to propose a truce or peace to
the victorious Pharaoh. The Egyptians had probably suffered at least
as much as their adversaries, and perhaps regarded the eventuality of
a siege with no small distaste; Ramses, therefore, accepted the offers
made to him and prepared to return to Egypt. The fame of his exploits
had gone before him, and he himself was not a little proud of the energy
he had displayed on the day of battle. His predecessors had always shown
themselves to be skilful generals and brave soldiers, but none of them
had ever before borne, or all but borne, single-handed the brunt of an
attack. Ramses loaded his shield-bearer Manna with rewards for having
stood by him in the hour of danger, and ordered abundant provender and
sumptuous harness for the good horses--"Strength-in-Thebaid" and "Nûrît
the satisfied"--who had drawn his chariot.*

     * A gold ring in the Louvre bears in relief on its bezel two
     little horses; which are probably "Strength-in-Thebaid"and
     "Nûrît satisfied."

He determined that the most characteristic episodes of the campaign--the
beating of the spies, the surprise of the camp, the king's repeated
charges, the arrival of his veterans, the flight of the Syrians, and the
surrender of Qodshû--should be represented on the walls and pylons of
the temples. A poem in rhymed strophes in every case accompanies
these records of his glory, whether at Luxor, at the Eamesseum, at the
Memnonium of Abydos, or in the heart of Nubia at Abu Simbel. The author
of the poem must have been present during the campaign, or must have had
the account of it from the lips of his sovereign, for his work bears no
traces of the coldness of official reports, and a warlike strain runs
through it from one end to the other, so as still to invest it with life
after a lapse of more than thirty centuries.*

     * The author is unknown: Pentaûr, or rather Pentaûîrît, to
     whom E. de Rougé attributed the poem, is merely the
     transcriber of the copy we possess on papyrus.

But little pains are bestowed on the introduction, and the poet does not
give free vent to his enthusiasm until the moment when he describes
his hero, left almost alone, charging the enemy in the sight of his
followers. The Pharaoh was surrounded by two thousand five hundred
chariots, and his retreat was cut off by the warriors of the "perverse"
Khâti and of the other nations who accompanied them--the peoples of
Arvad, Mysia, and Pedasos; each of their chariots contained three men,
and the ranks were so serried that they formed but one dense mass. "No
other prince was with me, no general officers, no one in command of the
archers or chariots. My foot-soldiers deserted me, my charioteers
fled before the foe, and not one of them stood firm beside me to fight
against them." Then said His Majesty: "Who art thou, then, my father
Amon? A father who forgets his son? Or have I committed aught against
thee? Have I not marched and halted according to thy command? When he
does not violate thy orders, the lord of Egypt is indeed great, and he
overthrows the barbarians in his path! What are these Asiatics to
thy heart? Amon will humiliate those who know not the god. Have I
not consecrated innumerable offerings to thee? Filling thy holy
dwelling-place with my prisoners, I build thee a temple for millions of
years, I lavish all my goods on thy storehouses, I offer thee the whole
world to enrich thy domains.... A miserable fate indeed awaits him who
sets himself against thy will, but happy is he who finds favour with
thee by deeds done for thee with a loving heart. I invoke thee, O my
father Amon! Here am I in the midst of people so numerous that it cannot
be known who are the nations joined together against me, and I am alone
among them, none other is with me. My many soldiers have forsaken me,
none of my charioteers looked towards me when I called them, not one of
them heard my voice when I cried to them. But I find that Amon is more
to me than a million soldiers, than a hundred thousand charioteers, than
a myriad of brothers or young sons, joined all together, for the number
of men is as nothing, Amon is greater than all of them. Each time I have
accomplished these things, Amon, by the counsel of thy mouth, as I do
not transgress thy orders, I rendered thee glory even to the ends of the
earth." So calm an invocation in the thick of the battle would appear
misplaced in the mouth of an ordinary man, but Pharaoh was a god, and
the son of a god, and his actions and speeches cannot be measured by
the same standard as that of a common mortal. He was possessed by the
religious spirit in the hour of danger, and while his body continued
to fight, his soul took wing to the throne of Amon. He contemplates the
lord of heaven face to face, reminds him of the benefits which he had
received from him, and summons him to his aid with an imperiousness
which betrays the sense of his own divine origin. The expected help was
not delayed. "While the voice resounds in Hermonthis, Amon arises at my
behest, he stretches out his hand to me, and I cry out with joy when he
hails me from behind: 'Face to face with thee, face to face with thee,
Ramses Miamun, I am with thee! It is I, thy father! My hand is with
thee, and I am worth more to thee than hundreds of thousands. I am the
strong one who loves valour; I have beheld in thee a courageous heart,
and my heart is satisfied; my will is about to be accomplished!' I am
like Montû; from the right I shoot with the dart, from the left I seize
the enemy. I am like Baal in his hour, before them; I have encountered
two thousand five hundred chariots, and as soon as I am in their midst,
they are overthrown before my mares. Not one of all these people has
found a hand wherewith to fight; their hearts sink within their breasts,
fear paralyses their limbs; they know not how to throw their darts, they
have no strength to hold their lances. I precipitate them into the water
like as the crocodile plunges therein; they are prostrate face to the
earth, one upon the other, and I slay in the midst of them, for I have
willed that not one should look behind him, nor that one should return;
he who falls rises not again." This sudden descent of the god has, even
at the present day, an effect upon the reader, prepared though he is
by his education to consider it as a literary artifice; but on the
Egyptian, brought up to regard Amon with boundless reverence, its
influence was irresistible. The Prince of the Khâti, repulsed at the
very moment when he was certain of victory, "recoiled with terror. He
sends against the enemy the various chiefs, followed by their chariots
and skilled warriors,--the chiefs of Arvad, Lycia, and Ilion, the
leaders of the Lycians and Dardanians, the lords of Carchemish, of the
Girgashites, and of Khalupu; these allies of the Khâti, all together,
comprised three thousand chariots." Their efforts, however, were in
vain. "I fell upon them like Montû, my hand devoured them in the space
of a moment, in the midst of them I hewed down and slew. They said one
to another: 'This is no man who is amongst us; it is Sûtkhû the great
warrior, it is Baal incarnate! These are not human actions which he
accomplishes: alone, by himself, he repulses hundreds of thousands,
without leaders or men. Up, let us flee before him, let us seek to save
our lives, and let us breathe again!'" When at last, towards evening,
the army again rallies round the king, and finds the enemy completely
defeated, the men hang their heads with mingled shame and admiration as
the Pharaoh reproaches them: "What will the whole earth say when it is
known that you left me alone, and without any to succour me? that not a
prince, not a charioteer, not a captain of archers, was found to place
his hand in mine? I fought, I repulsed millions of people by myself
alone. 'Victory-in-Thebes' and 'Nûrît satisfied' were my glorious
horses; it was they that I found under my hand when I was alone in the
midst of the quaking foe. I myself will cause them to take their food
before me, each day, when I shall be in my palace, for I was with them
when I was in the midst of the enemy, along with the Prince Manna my
shield-bearer, and with the officers of my house who accompanied me, and
who are my witnesses for the combat; these are those whom I was with.
I have returned after a victorious struggle, and I have smitten with my
sword the assembled multitudes."

The ordeal was a terrible one for the Khâti; but when the first moment
of defeat was over, they again took courage and resumed the campaign.
This single effort had not exhausted their resources, and they rapidly
filled up the gaps which had been made in their ranks. The plains of
Naharaim and the mountains of Cilicia supplied them with fresh chariots
and foot-soldiers in the place of those they had lost, and bands of
mercenaries were furnished from the table-lands of Asia Minor, so that
when Ramses II. reappeared in Syria, he found himself confronted by a
completely fresh army. Khâtusaru, having profited by experience, did not
again attempt a general engagement, but contented himself with disputing
step by step the upper valleys of the Litany and Orontes. Meantime his
emissaries spread themselves over Phoenicia and Kharû, sowing the seeds
of rebellion, often only too successfully. In the king's VIIIth year
there was a general rising in Galilee, and its towns--Galaput in the
hill-country of Bît-Aniti, Merorn, Shalama, Dapur, and Anamaîm*--had to
be reduced one after another.

     * Episodes from this war are represented at Karnak. The list
     of the towns taken, now much mutilated, comprised twenty-
     four names, which proves the importance of the revolt.

Dapur was the hardest to carry. It crowned the top of a rocky eminence,
and was protected by a double wall, which followed the irregularities of
the hillside. It formed a rallying-point for a large force, which had to
be overcome in the open country before the investment of the town could
be attempted. The siege was at last brought to a conclusion, after
a series of skirmishes, and the town taken by scaling, four Egyptian
princes having been employed in conducting the attack. In the Pharaoh's
IXth year a revolt broke out on the Egyptian frontier, in the Shephelah,
and the king placed himself at the head of his troops to crush it.
Ascalon, in which the peasantry and their families had found, as they
hoped, a safe refuge, opened its gates to the Pharaoh, and its fall
brought about the submission of several neighbouring places. This, it
appears, was the first time since the beginning of the conquests in
Syria that the inhabitants of these regions attempted to take up arms,
and we may well ask what could have induced them thus to renounce their
ancient loyalty. Their defection reduced Egypt for the moment almost to
her natural frontiers. Peace had scarcely been resumed when war again
broke out with fresh violence in Coele-Syria, and one year it reached
even to Naharaim, and raged around Tunipa as in the days of Thûtmosis
III. "Pharaoh assembled his foot-soldiers and chariots, and he commanded
his foot-soldiers and his chariots to attack the perverse Khâti who were
in the neighbourhood of Tunipa, and he put on his armour and mounted his
chariot, and he waged battle against the town of the perverse Khâti at
the head of his foot-soldiers and his chariots, covered with his armour;"
the fortress, however, did not yield till the second attack. Ramses
carried his arms still further afield, and with such results, that,
to judge merely from the triumphal lists engraved on the walls of the
temple of Karnak, the inhabitants on the banks of the Euphrates, those
in Carchemish, Mitanni, Singar, Assyria, and Mannus found themselves
once more at the mercy of the Egyptian battalions. These victories,
however brilliant, were not decisive; if after any one of them the
princes of Assyria and Singar may have sent presents to the Pharaoh, the
Hittites, on the other hand, did not consider themselves beaten, and it
was only after fifteen campaigns that they were at length sufficiently
subdued to propose a treaty. At last, in the Egyptian king's XXIst year,
on the 21st of the month Tybi, when the Pharaoh, then residing in his
good town of Anakhîtû, was returning from the temple where he had been
offering prayers to his father Amon-Eâ, to Harmakhis of Heliopolis,
to Phtah, and to Sûtkhû the valiant son of Nûît, Eamses, one of the
"messengers" who filled the office of lieutenant for the king in Asia,
arrived at the palace and presented to him Tartisubu, who was authorised
to make peace with Egypt in the name of Khâtusaru.* Tartisubu carried
in his hand a tablet of silver, on which his master had prescribed the
conditions which appeared to him just and equitable. A short preamble
recalling the alliances made between the ancestors of both parties, was
followed by a declaration of friendship, and a reciprocal obligation to
avoid in future all grounds of hostility.

     * The treaty of Ramses II. with the Prince of the Khâti was
     sculptured at Karnak.

Not only was a perpetual truce declared between both peoples, but they
agreed to help each other at the first demand. "Should some enemy march
against the countries subject to the great King of Egypt, and should he
send to the great Prince of the Khâti, saying: 'Come, bring me forces
against them,' the great Prince of the Khâti shall do as he is asked by
the great King of Egypt, and the great Prince of the Khâti shall destroy
his enemies. And if the great Prince of the Khâti shall prefer not to
come himself, he shall send his archers and his chariots to the great
King of Egypt to destroy his enemies." A similar clause ensured aid
in return from Ramses to Khâtusaru, "his brother," while two articles
couched in identical terms made provision against the possibility of any
town or tribe dependent on either of the two sovereigns withdrawing its
allegiance and placing it in the hands of the other party. In this case
the Egyptians as well as the Hittites engaged not to receive, or at
least not to accept, such offers, but to refer them at once to the
legitimate lord. The whole treaty was placed under the guarantee of the
gods both, of Egypt and of the Khâti, whose names were given at length:
"Whoever shall fail to observe the stipulations, let the thousand gods
of Khâti and the thousand gods of Egypt strike his house, his land, and
his servants. But he who shall observe the stipulations engraved on the
tablet of silver, whether he belong to the Hittite people or whether
he belong to the people of Egypt, as he has not neglected them, may the
thousand gods of Khâti and the thousand gods of Egypt give him health,
and grant that he may prosper, himself, the people of his house, and
also his land and his servants." The treaty itself ends by a description
of the plaque of silver on which it was engraved. It was, in fact, a
facsimile in metal of one of those clay tablets on which the Chaldæans
inscribed their contracts. The preliminary articles occupied the upper
part in closely written lines of cuneiform characters, while in the
middle, in a space left free for the purpose, was the impress of
two seals, that of the Prince of the Khâti and of his wife Pûûkhîpa.
Khâtusaru was represented on them as standing upright in the arms of
Sûtkhû, while around the two figures ran the inscription, "Seal of
Sûtkhû, the sovereign of heaven." Pûûkhîpa leaned on the breast of a
god, the patron of her native town of Aranna in Qaauadana, and the
legend stated that this was the seal of the Sun of the town of Àranna,
the regent of the earth. The text of the treaty was continued beneath,
and probably extended to the other side of the tablet. The original
draft had terminated after the description of the seals, but, to
satisfy the Pharaoh, certain additional articles were appended for the
protection of the commerce and industry of the two countries, for the
prevention of the emigration of artisans, and for ensuring that steps
taken against them should be more effectual and less cruel. Any criminal
attempting to evade the laws of his country, and taking refuge in that
of the other party to the agreement, was to be expelled without delay
and consigned to the officers of his lord; any fugitive not a criminal,
any subject carried off or detained by force, any able artisan quitting
either territory to take up permanent residence in the other, was to be
conducted to the frontier, but his act of folly was not to expose him
to judicial condemnation. "He who shall thus act, his fault shall not
be brought up against him; his house shall not be touched, nor his wife,
nor his children; he shall not have his throat cut, nor shall his eyes
be touched, nor his mouth, nor his feet; no criminal accusation shall be
made against him."

This treaty is the most ancient of all those of which the text has
come down to us; its principal conditions were--perfect equality
and reciprocity between the contracting sovereigns, an offensive and
defensive alliance, and the extradition of criminals and refugees. The
original was drawn up in Chaldæan script by the scribes of Khâtusaru,
probably on the model of former conventions between the Pharaohs and
the Asiatic courts, and to this the Egyptian ministers had added a few
clauses relative to the pardon of emigrants delivered up by one or other
of the contracting parties. When, therefore, Tartisubu arrived in the
city of Eamses, the acceptance of the treaty was merely a matter of
form, and peace was virtually concluded. It did not confer on the
conqueror the advantages which we might have expected from his
successful campaigns: it enjoined, on the contrary, the definite
renunciation of those countries, Mitanni, Naharaim, Alasia, and Amurru,
over which Thûtmosis III. and his immediate successors had formerly
exercised an effective sovereignty. Sixteen years of victories had left
matters in the same state as they were after the expedition of Harmhabî,
and, like his predecessor, Ramses was able to retain merely those
Asiatic provinces which were within the immediate influence of Egypt,
such as the Phoenician coast proper, Kharû, Persea beyond Jordan, the
oases of the Arabian desert, and the peninsula of Sinai.*

     * The _Anastasi Papyrus I_. mentions a place called _Zaru of
     Sesostris_, in the neighbourhood of Aleppo, in a part of
     Syria which was not in Egyptian territory: the frontier in
     this locality must have passed between Arvad and Byblos on
     the coast, and between Qodshû and Hazor from Merom inland.
     Egyptian rule on the other side of the Jordan seems to be
     proved by the monument discovered a few years ago in the
     Haurân, and known under the name of the "Stone of Job" by
     the Bedawîn of the neighbourhood.

This apparently unsatisfactory result, after such supreme efforts, was,
however, upon closer examination, not so disappointing. For more than
half a century at least, since the Hittite kingdom had been developed
and established under the impulse given to it by Sapalulu, everything
had been in its favour. The campaign of Seti had opposed merely a
passing obstacle to its expansion, and had not succeeded in discouraging
its ambitions, for its rulers still nursed the hope of being able
one day to conquer Syria as far as the isthmus. The check received at
Qodshû, the abortive attempts to foment rebellion in Galilee and the
Shephelah, the obstinate persistence with which Ramses and his army
returned year after year to the attack, the presence of the enemy at
Tunipa, on the banks of the Euphrates, and in the provinces then forming
the very centre of the Hittite kingdom--in short, all the incidents of
this long struggle--at length convinced Khâtusaru that he was powerless
to extend his rule in this direction at the expense of Egypt. Moreover,
we have no knowledge of the events which occupied him on the other
frontiers of his kingdom, where he may have been engaged at the same
time in a conflict with Assyria, or in repelling an incursion of the
tribes on the Black Sea. The treaty with Pharaoh, if made in good faith
and likely to be lasting, would protect the southern extremities of his
kingdom, and allow of his removing the main body of his forces to the
north and east in case of attack from either of these quarters. The
security which such an alliance would ensure made it, therefore, worth
his while to sue for peace, even if the Egyptians should construe his
overtures as an acknowledgment of exhausted supplies or of inferiority
of strength. Ramses doubtless took it as such, and openly displayed
on the walls at Karnak and in the Eamesseum a copy of the treaty so
flattering to his pride, but the indomitable resistance which he had
encountered had doubtless given rise to reflections resembling those of
Khâtusaru, and he had come to realise that it was his own interest not
to lightly forego the good will of the Khâti. Egypt had neighbours
in Africa who were troublesome though not dangerous: the Timihû, the
Tihonu, the Mashûasha, the negroes of Kûsh and of Pûanît, might be a
continual source of annoyance and disturbance, even though they were
incapable of disturbing her supremacy. The coast of the Delta, it is
true, was exposed to the piracy of northern nations, but up to that time
this had been merely a local trouble, easy to meet if not to obviate
altogether. The only real danger was on the Asiatic side, arising
from empires of ancient constitution like Chaldæa, or from hordes who,
arriving at irregular intervals from the north, and carrying all before
them, threatened, after the example of the Hyksôs, to enter the Delta.
The Hittite kingdom acted as a kind of buffer between the Nile valley
and these nations, both civilized and barbarous; it was a strongly armed
force on the route of the invaders, and would henceforth serve as a
protecting barrier, through which if the enemy were able to pass
it would only be with his strength broken or weakened by a previous
encounter. The sovereigns loyally observed the peace which they had
sworn to each other, and in his XXXIVth year the marriage of Ramses with
the eldest daughter of Khâtusaru strengthened their friendly relations.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the plate in Lepsius; the triad
     worshipped by Khâtusaru and his daughter is composed of
     Ramses II., seated between Amon-Râ and Phtah-Totûnen.

Pharaoh was not a little proud of this union, and he has left us a naive
record of the manner in which it came about. The inscription is engraved
on the face of the rock at Abu Simbel in Nubia; and Ramses begins by
boasting, in a heroic strain, of his own energy and exploits, of the
fear with which his victories inspired the whole world, and of the
anxiety of the Syrian kinglets to fulfil his least wishes. The Prince of
the Khâti had sent him sumptuous presents at every opportunity, and,
not knowing how further to make himself agreeable to the Pharaoh, had
finally addressed the great lords of his court, and reminded them how
their country had formerly been ruined by war, how their master Sûtkhû
had taken part against them, and how they had been delivered from their
ills by the clemency of the Sun of Egypt. "Let us therefore take our
goods, and placing my eldest daughter at the head of them, let us
repair to the domains of the great god, so that the King Sesostris may
recognise us." He accordingly did as he had proposed, and the embassy
set out with gold and silver, valuable horses, and an escort of
soldiers, together with cattle and provisions to supply them with food
by the way. When they reached the borders of Khâru, the governor wrote
immediately to the Pharaoh as follows: "Here is the Prince of the Khâti,
who brings his eldest daughter with a number of presents of every kind;
and now this princess and the chief of the country of the Khâti, after
having crossed many mountains and undertaken a difficult journey from
distant parts, have arrived at the frontiers of His Majesty. May we be
instructed how we ought to act with regard to them." The king was
then in residence at Ramses. When the news reached him, he officially
expressed his great joy at the event, since it was a thing unheard of
in the annals of the country that so powerful a prince should go to such
personal inconvenience in order to marry his daughter to an ally. The
Pharaoh, therefore, despatched his nobles and an army to receive them,
but he was careful to conceal the anxiety which he felt all the while,
and, according to custom, took counsel of his patron god Sûtkhû: "Who
are these people who come with a message at this time to the country of
Zahi?" The oracle, however, reassured him as to their intentions, and
he thereupon hastened to prepare for their proper reception. The embassy
made a triumphal entry into the city, the princess at its head, escorted
by the Egyptian troops told off for the purpose, together with the
foot-soldiers and charioteers of the Khâti, comprising the flower of
their army and militia. A solemn festival was held in their honour, in
which food and drink were served without stint, and was concluded by the
celebration of the marriage in the presence of the Egyptian lords and of
the princes of the whole earth.*

     * The fact of the marriage is known to us by the decree of
     Phtah Totûnen at Abu Simbel in the XXXVth year of the king's
     reign. The account of it in the text is taken from the stele
     at Abu Simbel. The last lines are so mutilated that I have
     been obliged to paraphrase them. The stele of the Princess
     of Bakhtan has preserved the romantic version of this
     marriage, such as was current about the Saite period. The
     King of the Khâti must have taken advantage of the
     expedition which the Pharaoh made into Asia to send him
     presents by an embassy, at the head of which he placed his
     eldest daughter: the princess found favour with Ramses, who
     married her.

Ramses, unwilling to relegate a princess of such noble birth to the
companionship of his ordinary concubines, granted her the title of
queen, as if she were of solar blood, and with the cartouche gave her
the new name of Ûirimaûnofîrurî--"She who sees the beauties of the Sun."
She figures henceforth in the ceremonies and on the monuments in the
place usually occupied by women of Egyptian race only, and these unusual
honours may have compensated, in the eyes of the young princess, for the
disproportion in age between herself and a veteran more than sixty years
old. The friendly relations between the two courts became so intimate
that the Pharaoh invited his father-in-law to visit him in his own
country. "The great Prince of Khâti informed the Prince of Qodi:
'Prepare thyself that we may go down into Egypt. The word of the king
has gone forth, let us obey Sesostris. He gives the breath of life to
those who love him; hence all the earth loves him, and Khâti forms but
one with him.'" They were received with pomp at Ramses-Anakhîtû, and
perhaps at Thebes. It was with a mixture of joy and astonishment that
Egypt beheld her bitterest foe become her most faithful ally, "and the
men of Qimît having but one heart with the chiefs of the Khâti, a thing
which had not happened since the ages of Pa."

The half-century following the conclusion of this alliance was a period
of world-wide prosperity. Syria was once more able to breathe freely,
her commerce being under the combined protection of the two powers who
shared her territory. Not only caravans, but isolated travellers, were
able to pass through the country from north to south without incurring
any risks beyond those occasioned by an untrustworthy guide or a few
highwaymen. It became in time a common task in the schools of Thebes to
describe the typical Syrian tour of some soldier or functionary, and we
still possess one of these imaginative stories in which the scribe takes
his hero from Qodshû across the Lebanon to Byblos, Berytus, Tyre, and
Sidon, "the fish" of which latter place "are more numerous than the
grains of sand;" he then makes him cross Galilee and the forest of
oaks to Jaffa, climb the mountains of the Dead Sea, and following the
maritime route by Raphia, reach Pelusium. The Egyptian galleys thronged
the Phoenician ports, while those of Phoenicia visited Egypt. The latter
drew so little water that they had no difficulty in coming up the Nile,
and the paintings in one of the tombs represent them at the moment of
their reaching Thebes. The hull of these vessels was similar to that
of the Nile boats, but the bow and stern were terminated by structures
which rose at right angles, and respectively gave support to a sort of
small platform. Upon this the pilot maintained his position by one of
those wondrous feats of equilibrium of which the Orientals were masters.


     Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph published by Daressy.

An open rail ran round the sides of the vessel, so as to prevent goods
stowed upon the deck from falling into the sea when the vessel lurched.
Voyages to Pûanît were undertaken more frequently in quest of incense
and precious metals. The working of the mines of Akiti had been the
source of considerable outlay at the beginning of the reign. The
measures taken by Seti to render the approaches to them practicable at
all seasons had not produced the desired results; as far back as the
IIIrd year of Ramses the overseers of the south had been forced to
acknowledge that the managers of the convoys could no longer use any of
the cisterns which had been hewn and built at such great expense. "Half
of them die of thirst, together with their asses, for they have no means
of carrying a sufficient number of skins of water to last during the
journey there and back." The friends and officers whose advice had been
called in, did not doubt for a moment that the king would be willing to
complete the work which his father had merely initiated. "If thou sayest
to the water, 'Come upon the mountain,' the heavenly waters will spring
out at the word of thy mouth, for thou art Râ incarnate, Khopri
visibly created, thou art the living image of thy father Tûmû, the
Heliopolitan."--"If thou thyself sayest to thy father the Nile, father
of the gods," added the Viceroy of Ethiopia, "'Raise the water up to the
mountain,' he will do all that thou hast said, for so it has been with
all thy projects which have been accomplished in our presence, of which
the like has never been heard, even in the songs of the poets." The
cisterns and wells were thereupon put into such a condition that the
transport of gold was rendered easy for years to come. The war with the
Khâti had not suspended building and other works of public utility;
and now, owing to the establishment of peace, the sovereign was able
to devote himself entirely to them. He deepened the canal at Zalû; he
repaired the walls and the fortified places which protected the frontier
on the side of the Sinaitic Peninsula, and he built or enlarged the
strongholds along the Nile at those points most frequently threatened
by the incursions of nomad tribes. Ramses was the royal builder _par
excellence_, and we may say without fear of contradiction that, from the
second cataract to the mouths of the Nile, there is scarcely an edifice
on whose ruins we do not find his name. In Nubia, where the desert
approaches close to the Nile, he confined himself to cutting in the
solid rock the monuments which, for want of space, he could not build in
the open. The idea of the cave-temple must have occurred very early
to the Egyptians; they were accustomed to house their dead in the
mountain-side, why then should they not house their gods in the same
manner? The oldest forms of speos, those near to Beni-Hasan, at Deîr
el-Baharî, at Bl-Kab, and at Gebel Silsileh, however, do not date
further back than the time of the XVIIIth dynasty. All the forms of
architectural plan observed in isolated temples were utilised by Ramses
and applied to rock-cut buildings with more or less modification,
according to the nature of the stratum in which he had to work. Where
space permitted, a part only of the temple was cut in the rock, and the
approaches to it were built in the open air with blocks brought to
the spot, so that the completed speos became only in part a grotto--a
hemi-speos of varied construction. It was in this manner that the
architects of Ramses arranged the court and pylon at Beît-Wally, the
hypostyle hall, rectangular court and pylon at Gerf-Hosseîn, and the
avenue of sphinxes at Wady es-Sebuah, where the entrance to the
avenue was guarded by two statues overlooking the river. The pylon
at Gerf-Hosseîn has been demolished, and merely a few traces of the
foundations appear here and there above the soil, but a portion of the
portico which surrounded the court is still standing, together with its
massive architraves and statues, which stand with their backs against
the pillars.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.

The sanctuary itself comprised an antechamber, supported by two columns
and flanked by two oblong recesses; this led into the Holy of Holies,
which was a narrow niche with a low ceiling, placed between two lateral
chapels. A hall, nearly square in shape, connected these mysterious
chambers with the propylæa, which were open to the sky and faced with
Osiride caryatides.

[Illustration: 221.jpg THE CARYATIDES OF GERF-HOSSEÎN]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger and
     Daniel Héron.

These appear to keep rigid and solemn watch over the approaches to the
tabernacle, and their faces, half hidden in the shadow, still
present such a stern appearance that the semi-barbaric Nubians of the
neighbouring villages believe them to be possessed by implacable genii.
They are supposed to move from their places during the hours of night,
and the fire which flashes from their eyes destroys or fascinates
whoever is rash enough to watch them.

Other kings before Ramses had constructed buildings in these spots, and
their memory would naturally become associated with his in the future;
he wished, therefore, to find a site where he would be without a rival,
and to this end he transformed the cliff at Abu Simbel into a monument
of his greatness. The rocks here project into the Nile and form
a gigantic conical promontory, the face of which was covered with
triumphal stelæ, on which the sailors or troops going up or down the
river could spell out as they passed the praises of the king and his
exploits. A few feet of shore on the northern side, covered with dry and
knotty bushes, affords in winter a landing-place for tourists. At the
spot where the beach ends near the point of the promontory, sit four
colossi, with their feet nearly touching the water, their backs leaning
against a sloping wall of rock, which takes the likeness of a pylon. A
band of hieroglyphs runs above their heads underneath the usual cornice,
over which again is a row of crouching cynocephali looking straight
before them, their hands resting upon their knees, and above this line
of sacred images rises the steep and naked rock. One of the colossi is
broken, and the bust of the statue, which must have been detached by
some great shock, has fallen to the ground; the others rise to the
height of 63 feet, and appear to look across the Nile as if watching the
wadys leading to the gold-mines.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger and
     Daniel Héron.

The pschent crown surmounts their foreheads, and the two ends of the
head-dress fall behind their ears; their features are of a noble type,
calm and serious; the nose slightly aquiline, the under lip projecting
above a square, but rather heavy, chin. Of such a type we may picture
Ramses, after the conclusion of the peace with the Khâti, in the full
vigour of his manhood and at the height of his power.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger and Daniel

The doorway of the temple is in the centre of the façade, and rises
nearly to a level with the elbows of the colossi; above the lintel,
and facing the river, stands a figure of the god Râ, represented with a
human body and the head of a sparrow-hawk, while two images of the king
in profile, one on each side of the god, offer him a figure of Truth.
The first hall, 130 feet long by 58 feet broad, takes the place of the
court surrounded by a colonnade which in other temples usually follows
the pylon. Her eight Osiride figures, standing against as many square
pillars, appear to support the weight of the superincumbent rock. Their
profile catches the light as it enters through the open doorway, and
in the early morning, when the rising sun casts a ruddy ray over their
features, their faces become marvellously life-like. We are almost
tempted to think that a smile plays over their lips as the first beams
touch them. The remaining chambers consist of a hypostyle hall nearly
square in shape, the sanctuary itself being between two smaller
apartments, and of eight subterranean chambers excavated at a lower
level than the rest of the temple. The whole measures 178 feet from the
threshold to the far end of the Holy of Holies. The walls are covered
with bas-reliefs in which the Pharaoh has vividly depicted the wars
which he carried on in the four corners of his kingdom; here we see
raids against the negroes, there the war with the Khâti, and further
on an encounter with some Libyan tribe. Ramses, flushed by the heat of
victory, is seen attacking two Timihu chiefs: one has already fallen
to the ground and is being trodden underfoot; the other, after vainly
letting fly his arrows, is about to perish from a blow of the conqueror.

[Illustration: 228.jpg THE FACE OF THE ROCK AT ABU SIMGEL]

His knees give way beneath him, his head falls heavily backwards, and
the features are contracted in his death-agony. Pharaoh with his left
hand has seized him by the arm, while with his right he points his
lance against his enemy's breast, and is about to pierce him through
the heart. As a rule, this type of bas-relief is executed with a
conventional grace which leaves the spectator unmoved, and free to
consider the scene merely from its historical point of view, forgetful
of the artist.

[Illustration: 229.jpg RAMSES II. PIERCES a Libyan chief with his lance]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mons. do Bock.

An examination of most of the other wall-decorations of the speos will
furnish several examples of this type: we see Ramses with a suitable
gesture brandishing his weapon above a group of prisoners, and the
composition furnishes us with a fair example of official sculpture,
correct, conventional, but devoid of interest. Here, on the contrary,
the drawing is so full of energy that it carries the imagination hack to
the time and scene of those far-off battles.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger.

The indistinct light in which it is seen helps the illusion, and we
almost forget that it is a picture we are beholding, and not the action
itself as it took place some three thousand years ago. A small speos,
situated at some hundred feet further north, is decorated with standing
colossi of smaller size, four of which represent Ramses, and two of them
his wife, Isit Nofrîtari. This speos possesses neither peristyle
nor crypt, and the chapels are placed at the two extremities of the
transverse passage, instead of being in a parallel line with the
sanctuary; on the other hand, the hypostyle hall rests on six pillars
with Hathor-headed capitals of fine proportions.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the plates in Champollion.

A third excavated grotto of modest dimensions served as an accessory
chamber to the two others. An inexhaustible stream of yellow sand
poured over the great temple from the summit of the cliff, and partially
covered it every year. No sooner were the efforts to remove it relaxed,
than it spreads into the chambers, concealing the feet of the colossi,
and slowly creeping upwards to their knees, breasts, and necks; at the
beginning of this century they were entirely hidden. In spite of all
that was done to divert it, it ceaselessly reappeared, and in a few
summers regained all the ground which had been previously cleared.
It would seem as if the desert, powerless to destroy the work of the
conqueror, was seeking nevertheless to hide it from the admiration of

     * The English engineers have succeeded in barring out the
     sand, and have prevented it from pouring over the cliff any

Seti had worked indefatigably at Thebes, but the shortness of his reign
prevented him from completing the buildings he had begun there. There
existed everywhere, at Luxor, at Karnak, and on the left bank of the
Nile, the remains of his unfinished works; sanctuaries partially roofed
in, porticoes incomplete, columns raised to merely half their height,
halls as yet imperfect with blank walls, here and there covered with
only the outlines in red and black ink of their future bas-reliefs,
and statues hardly blocked out, or awaiting the final touch of the

     * This is the description which Ramses gave of the condition
     in which he found the Memnonium of Abydos. An examination of
     the inscriptions existing in the Theban temples which Seti
     I. had constructed, shows that it must have applied also to
     the appearance of certain portions of Qurneh, Luxor, and
     Karnak in the time of Ramses II.

Ramses took up the work where his father had relinquished it. At Luxor
there was not enough space to give to the hypostyle hall the extension
which the original plans proposed, and the great colonnade has an
unfinished appearance.

[Illustration: 230.jpg COLUMNS OF TEMPLE AT LUXOR]

The Nile, in one of its capricious floods, had carried away the land
upon which the architects had intended to erect the side aisles; and if
they wished to add to the existing structure a great court and a pylon,
without which no temple was considered complete, it was necessary to
turn the axis of the building towards the east.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

In their operations the architects came upon a beautiful little edifice
of rose granite, which had been either erected or restored by Thûtmosis
III. at a time when the town was an independent municipality and was
only beginning to extend its suburban dwellings to meet those of Karnak.
They took care to make no change in this structure, but set to work to
incorporate it into their final plans. It still stands at the north-west
corner of the court, and the elegance of its somewhat slender little
columns contrasts happily with the heaviness of the structure to which
it is attached. A portion of its portico is hidden by the brickwork of
the mosque of Abu'l Haggag: the part brought to light in the course of
the excavations contains between each row of columns a colossal statue
of Ramses II. We are accustomed to hear on all sides of the degeneracy
of the sculptor's art at this time, and of its having fallen into
irreparable neglect. Nothing can be further from the truth than this
sweeping statement. There are doubtless many statues and bas-reliefs of
this epoch which shock us by their crudity and ugliness, but these owed
their origin for the most part to provincial workshops which had been
at all times of mediocre repute, and where the artists did not receive
orders enough to enable them to correct by practice the defects of their
education. We find but few productions of the Theban school exhibiting
bad technique, and if we had only this one monument of Luxor from which
to form our opinion of its merits, it would be sufficient to prove that
the sculptors of Ramses II. were not a whit behind those of Harmham or
Seti I. Adroitness in cutting the granite or hard sandstone had in no
wise been lost, and the same may be said of the skill in bringing
out the contour and life-like action of the figure, and of the art of
infusing into the features and demeanour of the Pharaoh something of
the superhuman majesty with which the Egyptian people were accustomed to
invest their monarchs. If the statues of Ramses II. in the portico are
not perfect models of sculpture, they have many good points, and their
bold treatment makes them effectively decorative.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

Eight other statues of Ramses are arranged along the base of the
façade, and two obelisks--one of which has been at Paris for half a
century*--stood on either side of the entrance.

     * The colonnade and the little temple of Thûtmosis III. were
     concealed under the houses of the village; they were first
     brought to light in the excavations of 1884-86.

The whole structure lacks unity, and there is nothing corresponding to
it in this respect anywhere else in Egypt. The northern half does
not join on to the southern, but seems to belong to quite a distinct
structure, or the two parts might be regarded as having once formed
a single edifice which had become divided by an accident, which the
architect had endeavoured to unite together again by a line of columns
running between two walls. The masonry of the hypostyle hall at Karnak
was squared and dressed, but the walls had been left undecorated, as
was also the case with the majority of the shafts of the columns and the
surface of the architraves. Ramses covered the whole with a series of
sculptured and painted scenes which had a rich ornamental effect; he
then decorated the pylon, and inscribed on the outer wall to the south
the list of cities which he had captured. The temple of Amon then
assumed the aspect which it preserved henceforward for centuries. The
Ramessides and their successors occupied themselves in filling it with
furniture, and in taking steps for the repair of any damage that might
accrue to the hall or pillars; they had their cartouches or inscriptions
placed in vacant spaces, but they did not dare to modify its
arrangement. It was reserved for the Ethiopian and Greek Pharaohs, in
presence of the hypostyle and pylon of the XIXth dynasty, to conceive of
others on a still vaster scale.

[Illustration: 236.jpg PAINTINGS OF CHAIRS]

Ramses, having completed the funerary chapel of Seti at Qurneh upon the
left bank of the river, then began to think of preparing the edifice
destined for the cult of his "double"--that Eamesseum whose majestic
ruins still stand at a short distance to the north of the giants of
Amenôthes. Did these colossal statues stimulate his spirit of emulation
to do something yet more marvellous? He erected here, at any rate,
a still more colossal figure. The earthquake which shattered Memnon
brought it to the ground, and fragments of it still strew the soil where
they fell some nineteen centuries ago. There are so many of them that the
spectator would think himself in the middle of a granite quarry.*

     * The ear measures 3 feet 4 inches (feet ?) in length; the
          statue is 58 feet high from the top of the head to the
          sole of the foot, and the weight of the whole has been
          estimated at over a thousand tons.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato

The portions forming the breast, arms, and thighs are in detached
pieces, but they are still recognisable where they lie close to each
other. The head has lost nothing of its characteristic expression, and
its proportions are so enormous, that a man could sleep crouched up
in the hollow of one of its ears as if on a sofa. Behind the court
overlooked by this colossal statue lay a second court, surrounded by a
row of square pillars, each having a figure of Osiris attached to it.
The god is represented as a mummy, the swathings throwing the body and
limbs into relief.

[Illustration: 238.jpg THE RAMESSEUM]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato; the great
     blocks in the foreground are the fragments of the colossal
     statue of Ramses II.

His hands are freed from the bandages and are crossed on the breast, and
hold respectively the flail and crook; the smiling face is surmounted by
an enormous head-dress. The sanctuary with the buildings attached to
it has perished, but enormous brick structures extend round the ruins,
forming an enclosure of storehouses. Here the priests of the "double"
were accustomed to dwell with their wives and slaves, and here they
stored up the products of their domains--meat, vegetables, corn, fowls
dried or preserved in fat, and wines procured from all the vineyards of

These were merely the principal monuments put up by Ramses II. at Thebes
during the sixty-seven years of his rule. There would be no end to the
enumeration of his works if we were to mention all the other edifices
which he constructed in the necropolis or among the dwellings of the
living, all those which he restored, or those which he merely repaired
or inscribed with his cartouches. These are often cut over the name of
the original founder, and his usurpations of monuments are so numerous
that he might be justly accused of having striven to blot out the memory
of his predecessors, and of claiming for himself the entire work of the
whole line of Pharaohs. It would seem as if, in his opinion, the glory
of Egypt began with him, or at least with his father, and that no
victorious campaigns had been ever heard of before those which he
conducted against the Libyans and the Hittites.

The battle of Qodshû, with its attendant episodes--the flogging of the
spies, the assault upon the camp, the charge of the chariots, the flight
of the Syrians--is the favourite subject of his inscriptions; and the
poem of Pentaûîrît adds to the bas-reliefs a description worthy of the
acts represented. This epic reappears everywhere, in Nubia and in the
Said, at Abu Simbel, at Beît-Wally, at Derr, at Luxor, at Karnak, and
on the Eamesseum, and the same battle-scenes, with the same accompanying
texts, reappear in the Memnonium, whose half-ruined walls still crown
the necropolis of Abydos.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.

He had decided upon the erection of this latter monument at the very
beginning of his reign, and the artisans who had worked at the similar
structure of Seti I. were employed to cover its walls with admirable
bas-reliefs. Ramses also laid claim to have his own resting-place at
"the Cleft;" in this privilege he associated all the Pharaohs, from whom
he imagined himself to be descended, and the same list of their names,
which we find engraved in the chapel of his father, appears on his
building also. Some ruins, lying beyond Abydos, are too formless to do
more than indicate the site of some of his structures. He enlarged
the temple of Harshafîtû and that of Osiris at Heracleopolis, and, to
accomplish these works the more promptly, his workmen had recourse
for material to the royal towns of the IVth and XIIth dynasties; the
pyramids of Usirtasen II. and Snofrûi at Medûm suffered accordingly the
loss of the best part of their covering. He finished the mausoleum at
Memphis, and dedicated the statue which Seti had merely blocked out;
he then set to work to fill the city with buildings of his own
device--granite and sandstone chambers to the east of the Sacred Lake,*
monumental gateways to the south,** and before one of them a fine
colossal figure in granite.*** It lay not long ago at the bottom of a
hole among the palm trees, and was covered by the inundation every year;
it has now been so raised as to be safe from the waters. Ramses could
hardly infuse new life into all the provinces which had been devastated
years before by the Shepherd-kings; but Heliopolis,**** Bubastes,
Athribis, Patûmû, Mendis, Tell Moqdam, and all the cities of the eastern
corner of the Delta, constitute a museum of his monuments, every object
within them testifying to his activity.

     * Partly excavated and published by Mariette, and partly by
     M. de Morgan. This is probably the temple mentioned in the
     _Great Inscription of Abu Simbel_.

     ** These are probably those mentioned by Herodotus, when he
     says that Sesostris constructed a propylon in the temple of

     *** This is Abu-1-hôl of the Arabs.

     **** Ruins of the temple of Râ bear the cartouche of Ramses
     II. "Cleopatra's Needle," transported to Alexandria by one
     of the Ptolemies, had been set up by Ramses at Heliopolis;
     it is probably one of the four obelisks which the
     traditional Sesostris is said to have erected in that city,
     according to Pliny.

He colonised these towns with his prisoners, rebuilt them, and set to
work to rouse them from the torpor into which they had fallen after
their capture by Ahmosis. He made a third capital of Tanis, which
rivalled both Memphis and Thebes.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph brought back by

Before this it had been little more than a deserted ruin: he cleared
out the _débris_, brought a population to the place; rebuilt the temple,
enlarging it by aisles which extended its area threefold; and here he
enthroned, along with the local divinities, a triad, in which Amonrâ and
Sûtkhû sat side by side with his own deified "double." The ruined
walls, the overturned stelæ, the obelisks recumbent in the dust, and
the statues of his usurped predecessors, all bear his name. His colossal
figure of statuary sandstone, in a sitting attitude like that at the
Eamesseum, projected from the chief court, and seemed to look down upon
the confused ruin of his works.*

     * The fragments of the colossus were employed in the Græco-
     Roman period as building material, and used in the masonry
     of a boundary wall.

We do not know how many wives he had in his harem, but one of the lists
of his children which has come down to us enumerates, although mutilated
at the end, one hundred and eleven sons, while of his daughters we know
of fifty-five.*

     * The list of Abydos enumerates thirty-three of his sons and
     thirty-two of his daughters, that of Wady-Sebua one hundred
     and eleven of his sons and fifty-one of his daughters; both
     lists are mutilated. The remaining lists for the most part
     record only some of the children living at the time they
     were drawn up, at Derr, at the Eamesseum, and at Abu Simbel.

The majority of these were the offspring of mere concubines or foreign
princesses, and possessed but a secondary rank in comparison with
himself; but by his union with his sisters Nofrîtari Marîtmût and
Isîtnofrît, he had at least half a dozen sons and daughters who might
aspire to the throne. Death robbed him of several of these before
an opportunity was open to them to succeed him, and among them
Amenhikhopshûf, Amenhiunamif, and Ramses, who had distinguished
themselves in the campaign against the Khâti; and some of his
daughters--Bitanîti, Marîtamon, Nibîttaûi--by becoming his wives lost
their right to the throne. About the XXXth year of his reign, when he
was close upon sixty, he began to think of an associate, and his choice
rested on the eldest surviving son of his queen Isîtnofrît, who was
called Khâmoîsît. This prince was born before the succession of his
father, and had exhibited distinguished bravery under the walls of
Qodshu and at Ascalon. When he was still very young he had been invested
with the office of high priest of the Memphite Phtah, and thus had
secured to him the revenues of the possessions of the god, which were
the largest in all Egypt after those of the Theban Anion. He had a great
reputation for his knowledge of abstruse theological questions and of
the science of magic--a later age attributing to him the composition of
several books on magic giving directions for the invocation of spirits
belonging to this world and the world beyond. He became the hero also of
fantastic romances, in which it was related of him how, in consequence
of his having stolen from the mummy of an old wizard the books of
Thot, he became the victim of possession by a sort of lascivious and
sanguinary ghoul. Ramses relieved himself of the cares of state by
handing over to Khâmoîsîfc the government of the country, without,
however, conferring upon him the titles and insignia of royalty. The
chief concern of Khâmoîsît was to secure the scrupulous observance
of the divine laws. He celebrated at Silsilis the festivals of the
inundation; he presided at the commemoration of his father's apotheosis,
and at the funeral rites of the Apis who died in the XXXth year of the
king's reign. Before his time each sacred bull had its separate tomb
in a quarter of the Memphite Necropolis known to the Greeks as the
Serapeion. The tomb was a small cone-roofed building erected on a square
base, and containing only one chamber. Khâmoîsît substituted for this a
rock-tomb similar to those used by ordinary individuals. He had a tunnel
cut in the solid rock to a depth of about a hundred yards, and on either
side of this a chamber was prepared for each Apis on its death, the
masons closing up the wall after the installation of the mummy. His
regency had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century, when, the burden
of government becoming too much for him, he was succeeded in the LVth
year of Ramses by his younger brother Mînephtah, who was like himself
a son of Isîtnofrît.* Mînephtah acted, during the first twelve years of
his rule, for his father, who, having now almost attained the age of
a hundred, passed peacefully away at Thebes in the LXVIII year of his
reign, full of days and sated with glory.** He became the subject of
legend almost before he had closed his eyes upon the world.

     * Mînephtah was in the order of birth the thirteenth son of
     Ramses II.

     ** A passage on a stele of Ramses IV. formally attributes to
     him a reign of sixty-seven years. I procured at Koptos a
     stele of his year LXVI.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Mariette.

He had obtained brilliant successes during his life, and the scenes
describing them were depicted in scores of places. Popular fancy
believed everything which he had related of himself, and added to
this all that it knew of other kings, thus making him the Pharaoh of
Pharaohs--the embodiment of all preceding monarchs. Legend preferred to
recall him by the name Sesûsû, Sesûstûrî--a designation which had been
applied to him by his contemporaries, and he thus became better known to
moderns as Sesostris than by his proper name Ramses Mîamûn.*

     * This designation, which is met with at Medinet-Habu and in
     the Anmtasi Papyrus I., was shown by E. de Rougé to refer to
     Ramses II.; the various readings Sesû, Sesûsû, Sesûstûrî,
     explain the different forms Sesosis, Sesoosis, Sesostris.
     Wiedemann saw in this name the mention of a king of the
     XVIIIth dynasty not yet classified.

According to tradition, he was at first sent to Ethiopia with a fleet
of four hundred ships, by which he succeeded in conquering the coasts
of the Red Sea as far as the Indus. In later times several stelæ in the
cinnamon country were ascribed to him. He is credited after this with
having led into the east a great army, with which he conquered Syria,
Media, Persia, Bactriana, and India as far as the ocean; and with having
on his return journey through the deserts of Scythia reached the Don
[Tanais], where, on the shore of the Masotic Sea, he left a number of
his soldiers, whose descendants afterwards peopled Colchis. It was
even alleged that he had ventured into Europe, but that the lack of
provisions and the inclemency of the climate had prevented him from
advancing further than Thrace.

[Illustration: 246.jpg STATUE OF KHAMOISIT]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a statue in the British Museum.

He returned to Egypt after an absence of nine years, and after
having set up on his homeward journey statues and stelæ everywhere in
commemoration of his victories. Herodotus asserts that he himself had
seen several of these monuments in his travels in Syria and Ionia. Some
of these are of genuine Egyptian manufacture, and are to be attributed
to our Ramses; they are to be found near Tyre, and on the banks of the
Nahr el-Kelb, where they mark the frontier to which his empire extended
in this direction. Others have but little resemblance to Egyptian
monuments, and were really the work of the Asiatic peoples among whom
they were found. The two figures referred to long ago by Herodotus,
which have been discovered near Ninfi between Sardis and Smyrna, are
instances of the latter.

[Illustration: 247.jpg STELE OF THE NAHR EL-KELB]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

The shoes of the figures are turned up at the toe, and the head-dress
has more resemblance to the high hats of the people of Asia Minor
than to the double crown of Egypt, while the lower garment is striped
horizontally in place of vertically. The inscription, moreover, is in an
Asiatic form of writing, and has nothing Egyptian about it. Ramses
II. in his youth was the handsomest man of his time. He was tall and
straight; his figure was well moulded--the shoulders broad, the arms
full and vigorous, the legs muscular; the face was oval, with a firm and
smiling mouth, a thin aquiline nose, and large open eyes.

[Illustration: 248.jpg THE BAS-BELIEF OF NINFI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

[Illustration: 249.jpg THE COFFIN AND MUMMY OF RAMSES II]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken from the mummy
     itself, by Emil Brugsch-Bey.

There may be seen below the cartouche the lines of the official report
of inspection written during the XXIst dynasty. Old age and death did
not succeed in marring the face sufficiently to disfigure it. The coffin
containing his body is not the same as that in which his children placed
him on the day of his obsequies; it is another substituted for it by one
of the Ramessides, and the mask upon it has but a distant resemblance
to the face of the victorious Pharaoh. The mummy is thin, much shrunken,
and light; the bones are brittle, and the muscles atrophied, as one
would expect in the case of a man who had attained the age of a hundred;
but the figure is still tall and of perfect proportions.*

* Even after the coalescence of the vertebrae and the shrinkage produced
by mummification, the body of Ramses II. still measures over 5 feet 8

The head, which is bald on the top, is somewhat long, and small in
relation to the bulk of the body; there is but little hair on the
forehead, but at the back of the head it is thick, and in smooth stiff
locks, still preserving its white colour beneath the yellow balsams
of his last toilet. The forehead is low, the supra-orbital ridges
accentuated, the eyebrows thick, the eyes small and set close to the
nose, the temples hollow, the cheek-bones prominent; the ears, finely
moulded, stand out from the head, and are pierced, like those of a
woman, for the usual ornaments pendant from the lobe. A strong jaw and
square chin, together, with a large thick-lipped mouth, which reveals
through the black paste within it a few much-worn but sound teeth, make
up the features of the mummied king. His moustache and beard, which were
closely shaven in his lifetime, had grown somewhat in his last sickness
or after his death; the coarse and thick hairs in them, white like those
of the head and eyebrows, attain a length of two or three millimetres.
The skin shows an ochreous yellow colour under the black bituminous
plaster. The mask of the mummy, in fact, gives a fair idea of that of
the living king; the somewhat unintelligent expression, slightly brutish
perhaps, but haughty and firm of purpose, displays itself with an air
of royal majesty beneath the sombre materials used by the embalmer.
The disappearance of the old hero did not produce many changes in the
position of affairs in Egypt: Mînephtah from this time forth possessed
as Pharaoh the power which he had previously wielded as regent. He was
now no longer young. Born somewhere about the beginning of the reign of
Ramses II., he was now sixty, possibly seventy, years old; thus an old
man succeeded another old man at a moment when Egypt must have needed
more than ever an active and vigorous ruler. The danger to the country
did not on this occasion rise from the side of Asia, for the relations
of the Pharaoh with his Kharu subjects continued friendly, and, during a
famine which desolated Syria,* he sent wheat to his Hittite allies.

     * A document preserved in the _Anastasi Papyrus III._ shows
     how regular the relations with Syria had become. It is the
     journal of a custom-house officer, or of a scribe placed at
     one of the frontier posts, who notes from day to day the
     letters, messengers, officers, and troops which passed from
     the 15th to the 25th of Pachons, in the IIIrd year of the

The nations, however, to the north and east, in Libya and in the
Mediterranean islands, had for some time past been in a restless
condition, which boded little good to the empires of the old world. The
Tirnihû, some of them tributaries from the XIIth, and others from the
first years of the XVIIIth dynasty, had always been troublesome, but
never really dangerous neighbours. From time to time it was necessary
to send light troops against them, who, sailing along the coast or
following the caravan routes, would enter their territory, force them
from their retreats, destroy their palm groves, carry off their cattle,
and place garrisons in the principal oases--even in Sîwah itself.
For more than a century, however, it would seem that more active and
numerically stronger populations had entered upon the stage. A current
of invasion, having its origin in the region of the Atlas, or possibly
even in Europe, was setting towards the Nile, forcing before it the
scattered tribes of the Sudan. Who were these invaders? Were they
connected with the race which had planted its dolmens over the plains of
the Maghreb? Whatever the answer to this question may be, we know that
a certain number of Berber tribes*--the Labû and Mashaûasha--who had
occupied a middle position between Egypt and the people behind them,
and who had only irregular communications with the Nile valley, were now
pushed to the front and forced to descend upon it.**

     * The nationality of these tribes is evidenced by the names
     of their chiefs, which recall exactly those of the
     Numidians--Massyla, Massinissa, Massiva.

     ** The Labû, Laûbû, Lobû, are mentioned for the first time
     under Ramses II.; these are the Libyans of classical
     geographers. The Mashaûasha answer to the Maxycs of
     Herodotus; they furnished mercenaries to the armies of
     Ramses II.

They were men tall of stature and large of limb, with fair skins, light
hair, and blue eyes; everything, in fact, indicating their northern
origin. They took pleasure in tattooing the skin, just as the Tuaregs
and Kabyles are now accustomed to do, and some, if not all, of them
practised circumcision, like a portion of the Egyptians and Semites. In
the arrangement of the hair, a curl fell upon the shoulder, while the
remainder was arranged in small frizzled locks. Their chiefs and braves
wore on their heads two flowering plumes. A loin-cloth, a wild-beast's
skin thrown over the back, a mantle, or rather a covering of woollen
or dyed cloth, fringed and ornamented with many-coloured needlework,
falling from the left shoulder with no attachment in front, so as to
leave the body unimpeded in walking,--these constituted the ordinary
costume of the people. Their arms were similar to those of the
Egyptians, consisting of the lance, the mace, the iron or copper dagger,
the boomerang, the bow and arrow, and the sling.

[Illustration: 253.jpg A LIBYAN]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

They also employed horses and chariots. Their bravery made them a foe
not to be despised, in spite of their ignorance of tactics and their
want of discipline. When they were afterwards formed into regiments and
conducted by experienced generals, they became the best auxiliary troops
which Egypt could boast of. The Labû from this time forward were the
most energetic of the tribes, and their chiefs prided themselves upon
possessing the leadership over all the other clans in this region of the

     * This was the case in the wars of Mînephtah and Ramses
     III., in which the Labû and their kings took the command of
     the confederate armies assembled against Egypt.

The Labû might very well have gained the mastery over the other
inhabitants of the desert at this period, who had become enfeebled
by the frequent defeats which they had sustained at the hands of the
Egyptians. At the moment when Mînephtah ascended the throne, their king,
Mâraîû, son of Didi, ruled over the immense territory lying between the
Fayûm and the two Syrtes: the Timihu, the Kahaka, and the Mashaûasha
rendered him the same obedience as his own people. A revolution had
thus occurred in Africa similar to that which had taken place a century
previously in Naharaim, when Sapalulu founded the Hittite empire. A
great kingdom rose into being where no state capable of disturbing
Egyptian control had existed before. The danger was serious. The
Hittites, separated from the Nile by the whole breadth of Kharu, could
not directly threaten any of the Egyptian cities; but the Libyans, lords
of the desert, were in contact with the Delta, and could in a few days
fall upon any point in the valley they chose. Mînephtah, therefore,
hastened to resist the assault of the westerns, as his father had
formerly done that of the easterns, and, strange as it may seem, he
found among the troops of his new enemies some of the adversaries with
whom the Egyptians had fought under the walls of Qodshû sixty years
before. The Shardana, Lycians, and others, having left the coasts of the
Delta and the Phoenician seaports owing to the vigilant watch kept by
the Egyptians over their waters, had betaken themselves to the Libyan
littoral, where they met with a favourable reception. Whether they had
settled in some places, and formed there those colonies of which a Greek
tradition of a recent age speaks, we cannot say. They certainly followed
the occupation of mercenary soldiers, and many of them hired out their
services to the native princes, while others were enrolled among the
troops of the King of the Khâti or of the Pharaoh himself. Mâraîû
brought with him Achæans, Shardana, Tûrsha, Shagalasha,* and Lycians
in considerable numbers when he resolved to begin the strife.** This was
not one of those conventional little wars which aimed at nothing further
than the imposition of the payment of a tribute upon the conquered, or
the conquest of one of their provinces. Mâraîû had nothing less in view
than the transport of his whole people into the Nile valley, to settle
permanently there as the Hyksôs had done before him.

     * The Shakalasha, Shagalasha, identified with the Sicilians
     by E. de Rougé, were a people of Asia Minor whose position
     there is approximately indicated by the site of the town
     Sagalassos, named after them.

     ** The _Inscription of Mînephtah_ distinguishes the Libyans
     of Mâraîû from "the people of the Sea."

He set out on his march towards the end of the IVth year of the
Pharaoh's reign, or the beginning of his Vth, surrounded by the elite
of his troops, "the first choice from among all the soldiers and all the
heroes in each land." The announcement of their approach spread terror
among the Egyptians. The peace which they had enjoyed for fifty years
had cooled their warlike ardour, and the machinery of their military
organisation had become somewhat rusty. The standing army had almost
melted away; the regiments of archers and charioteers were no longer
effective, and the neglected fortresses were not strong enough to
protect the frontier. As a consequence, the oases of Farafrah and of the
Natron lakes fell into the hands of the enemy at the first attack, and
the eastern provinces of the Delta became the possession of the invader
before any steps could be taken for their defence. Memphis, which
realised the imminent danger, broke out into open murmurs against the
negligent rulers who had given no heed to the country's ramparts, and
had allowed the garrisons of its fortresses to dwindle away. Fortunately
Syria remained quiet. The Khâti, in return for the aid afforded them
by Mînephtah during the famine, observed a friendly attitude, and
the Pharaoh was thus enabled to withdraw the troops from his Asiatic
provinces. He could with perfect security take the necessary measures
for ensuring "Heliopolis, the city of Tûmû," against surprise, "for
arming Memphis, the citadel of Phtah-Tonen, and for restoring all things
which were in disorder: he fortified Pibalîsît, in the neighbourhood of
the Shakana canal, on a branch of that of Heliopolis," and he rapidly
concentrated his forces behind these quickly organised lines.*

     * Chabas would identify Pibalîsît with Bubastis; I agree
     with Brugsch in placing it at Belbeîs.

Mâraîû, however, continued to advance; in the early months of the summer
he had crossed the Canopic branch of the Nile, and was now about to
encamp not far from the town of Pirici. When the king heard of this "he
became furious against them as a lion that fascinates its victim; he
called his officers together and addressed them: 'I am about to make you
hear the words of your master, and to teach you this: I am the sovereign
shepherd who feeds you; I pass my days in seeking out that which is
useful for you: I am your father; is there among you a father like me
who makes his children live? You are trembling like geese, you do not
know what is good to do: no one gives an answer to the enemy, and
our desolated land is abandoned to the incursions of all nations. The
barbarians harass the frontier, rebels violate it every day, every one
robs it, enemies devastate our seaports, they penetrate into the fields
of Egypt; if there is an arm of a river they halt there, they stay for
days, for months; they come as numerous as reptiles, and no one is able
to sweep them back, these wretches who love death and hate life, whose
hearts meditate the consummation of our ruin. Behold, they arrive with
their chief; they pass their time on the land which they attack in
filling their stomachs every day; this is the reason why they come to
the land of Egypt, to seek their sustenance, and their intention is to
install themselves there; mine is to catch them like fish upon their
bellies. Their chief is a dog, a poor devil, a madman; he shall never
sit down again in his place.'" He then announced that on the 14th of
Epiphi he would himself conduct the troops against the enemy.

These were brave words, but we may fancy the figure that this king of
more than sixty years of age would have presented in a chariot in the
middle of the fray, and his competence to lead an effective charge
against the enemy. On the other hand, his absence in such a critical
position of affairs would have endangered the _morale_ of his soldiers
and possibly compromised the issue of the battle. A dream settled the
whole question.*

     * Ed. Meyer sees in this nothing but a customary rhetorical
     expression, and thinks that the god spoke in order to
     encourage the king to defend himself vigorously.

While Mînephtah was asleep one night, he saw a gigantic figure of Phtah
standing before him, and forbidding him to advance. "'Stay,' cried
the god to him, while handing him the curved khopesh: 'put away
discouragement from thee!' His Majesty said to him: 'But what am I to do
then?' And Phtah answered him: 'Despatch thy infantry, and send before
it numerous chariots to the confines of the territory of Piriû.'"**

     * This name was read Pa-ari by E. de Rougé, Pa-ali by Lauth,
     and was transcribed Pa-ari-shop by Brugsch, who identified
     with Prosopitis. The orthography of the text at Athribis
     shows that we ought to read Piri, Pirû, Piriû; possibly the
     name is identical with that of larû which is mentioned in
     the Pyramid-texts.

The Pharaoh obeyed the command, and did not stir from his position.
Mâraîû had, in the mean time, arranged his attack for the 1st of Epiphi,
at the rising of the sun: it did not take place, however, until the 3rd.
"The archers of His Majesty made havoc of the barbarians for six
hours; they were cut off by the edge of the sword." When Mâraîû saw
the carnage, "he was afraid, his heart failed him; he betook himself
to flight as fast as his feet could bear him to save his life, so
successfully that his bow and arrows remained behind him in his
precipitation, as well as everything else he had upon him." His
treasure, his arms, his wife, together with the cattle which he had
brought with him for his use, became the prey of the conqueror; "he tore
out the feathers from his head-dress, and took flight with such of those
wretched Libyans as escaped the massacre, but the officers who had the
care of His Majesty's team of horses followed in their steps" and put
most of them to the sword. Mâraîû succeeded, however, in escaping in the
darkness, and regained his own country without water or provisions, and
almost without escort. The conquering troops returned to the camp laden
with booty, and driving before them asses carrying, as bloody tokens of
victory, quantities of hands and phalli cut from the dead bodies of the
slain. The bodies of six generals and of 6359 Libyan soldiers were found
upon the field of battle, together with 222 Shagalasha, 724 Tursha, and
some hundreds of Shardana and Achæans: several thousands of prisoners
passed in procession before the Pharaoh, and were distributed among such
of his soldiers as had distinguished themselves. These numbers show the
gravity of the danger from which Egypt had escaped: the announcement
of the victory filled the country with enthusiasm, all the more sincere
because of the reality of the panic which had preceded it. The fellahîn,
intoxicated with joy, addressed each other: "'Come, and let us go a long
distance on the road, for there is now no fear in the hearts of
men.'The fortified posts may at last be left; the citadels are now open;
messengers stand at the foot of the walls and wait in the shade for the
guard to awake after their siesta, to give them entrance. The military
police sleep on their accustomed rounds, and the people of the marshes
once more drive their herds to pasture without fear of raids, for there
are no longer marauders near at hand to cross the river; the cry of the
sentinels is heard no more in the night: 'Halt, thou that comest, thou
that comest under a name which is not thine own--sheer off!' and men no
longer exclaim on the following morning: 'Such or such a thing has been
stolen;' but the towns fall once more into their usual daily routine,
and he who works in the hope of the harvest, will nourish himself upon
that which he shall have reaped." The return from Memphis to Thebes was
a triumphal march.

[Illustration: 260.jpg STATUE OF MÎNEPHTAH]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Dévéria.

"He is very strong, Binrî Mînephtah," sang the court poets, "very
wise are his projects--his words have as beneficial effect as those of
Thot--everything which he does is completed to the end.--When he is like
a guide at the head of his armies--his voice penetrates the fortress
walls.--Very friendly to those who bow their backs--before Mîamun--his
valiant soldiers spare him who humbles himself--before his courage
and before his strength;--they fall upon the Libyans--they consume the
Syrian;--the Shardana whom thou hast brought back by thy
sword--make prisoners of their own tribes.--Very happy thy return to
Thebes--victorious! Thy chariot is drawn by hand--the conquered chiefs
march backwards before thee--whilst thou leadest them to thy venerable
father--Amon, husband of his mother." And the poets amuse themselves
with summoning Mâraîû to appear in Egypt, pursued as he was by his own
people and obliged to hide himself from them. "He is nothing any longer
but a beaten man, and has become a proverb among the Labû, and his
chiefs repeat to themselves: 'Nothing of the kind has occurred since the
time of Râ.' The old men say each one to his children: 'Misfortune
to the Labû! it is all over with them! No one can any longer pass
peacefully across the country; but the power of going out of our
land has been taken from us in a single day, and the Tihonu have been
withered up in a single year; Sûtkhû has ceased to be their chief, and
he devastates their "duars;" there is nothing left but to conceal one's
self, and one feels nowhere secure except in a fortress.'" The news of
the victory was carried throughout Asia, and served to discourage the
tendencies to revolt which were beginning to make themselves manifest
there. "The chiefs gave there their salutations of peace, and none among
the nomads raised his head after the crushing defeat of the Libyans;
Khâti is at peace, Canaan is a prisoner as far as the disaffected are
concerned, the inhabitant of Ascalon is led away, Gezer is carried into
captivity, Ianuâmîm is brought to nothing, the Israîlû are destroyed and
have no longer seed, Kharu is like a widow of the land of Egypt."*

     * This passage is taken from a stele discovered by Petrie in
     1896, on the site of the Amenophium at Thebes. The mention
     of the Israîlû immediately calls to mind the place-names
     Yushaph-îlu, Yakob-îlu, on lists of Thûtmosis III. which
     have been compared with the names Jacob and Joseph.

Mînephtah ought to have followed up his opportunity to the end, but he
had no such intention, and his inaction gave Mâraîû time to breathe.
Perhaps the effort which he had made had exhausted his resources,
perhaps old age prevented him from prosecuting his success; he was
content, in any case, to station bodies of pickets on the frontier,
and to fortify a few new positions to the east of the Delta. The Libyan
kingdom was now in the same position as that in which the Hittite had
been after the campaign of Seti I.: its power had been checked for the
moment, but it remained intact on the Egyptian frontier, awaiting its

Mînephtah lived for some time after this memorable year* and the number
of monuments which belong to this period show that he reigned in peace.
We can see that he carried out works in the same places as his father
before him; at Tanis as well as Thebes, in Nubia as well as in the
Delta. He worked the sandstone quarries for his building materials,
and continued the custom of celebrating the feasts of the inundation at
Silsileh. One at least of the stelae which he set up on the occasion of
these feasts is really a chapel, with its architraves and columns, and
still, excites the admiration of the traveller on account both of its
form and of its picturesque appearance.

     * The last known year of his reign is the year VIII. The
     lists of Manetho assign to him a reign of from twenty to
     forty years; Brugsch makes it out to have been thirty-four
     years, from 1300 to 1266 B.C., which is evidently too much,
     but we may attribute to him without risk of serious error a
     reign of about twenty years.

The last years of his life were troubled by the intrigues of princes who
aspired to the throne, and by the ambition of the ministers to whom he
was obliged to delegate his authority.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

One of the latter, a man of Semite origin, named Ben-Azana, of
Zor-bisana, who had assumed the appellation of his first patron,
ramsesûpirnirî, appears to have acted for him as regent. Mînephtah
was succeeded, apparently, by one of his sons, called Seti, after his
great-grandfather.* Seti II. had doubtless reached middle age at the
time of his accession, but his portraits represent him, nevertheless,
with the face and figure of a young man.** The expression in these is
gentle, refined, haughty, and somewhat melancholic. MU It is the type
of Seti I. and Ramses II., but enfeebled and, as it were, saddened. An
inscription of his second year attributes to him victories in Asia,***
but others of the same period indicate the existence of disturbances
similar to those which had troubled the last years of his father.

     * E. de Rougé introduced Amenmeses and Siphtah between
     Mînephtah and Seti II., and I had up to the present followed
     his example; I have come back to the position of Chabas,
     making Seti II. the immediate successor of Mînephtah, which
     is also the view of Brugsch, Wiedemann, and Ed. Meyer. The
     succession as it is now given does not seem to me to be free
     from difficulties; the solution generally adopted has only
     the merit of being preferable to that of E. de Rougé, which
     I previously supported.

     ** The last date known of his reign is the year II. which is
     found at Silsilis; Chabas was, nevertheless, of the opinion
     that he reigned a considerable time.

     *** The expressions employed in this document do not vary
     much from the usual protocol of all kings of this period.
     The triumphal chant of Seti II. preserved in the _Anastasi
     Papyrus IV_. is a copy of the triumphal chant of Mînephtah,
     which is in the same Papyrus.

[Illustration: 264.jpg STATUE OF SETI II.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.

These were occasioned by a certain Aiari, who was high priest of Phtah,
and who had usurped titles belonged ordinarily to the Pharaoh or his
eldest son, in the house of Sibû, "heir and hereditary prince of the two
lands." Seti died, it would seem, without having had time to finish his
tomb. We do not know whether he left any legitimate children, but two
sovereigns succeeded him who were not directly connected with him, but
were probably the grandsons of the Amenmesis and the Siphtah, whom we
meet with among the children of Ramses. The first of these was also
called Amenmesis,* and he held sway for several years over the whole of
Egypt, and over its foreign possessions.

     * Graffiti of this sovereign have been found at the second
     cataract. Certain expressions have induced E. de Rougé to
     believe that he, as well as Siphtah, came originally from
     Khibît in the Aphroditopolite nome. This was an allusion, as
     Chabas had seen, to the myth of Horus, similar to that
     relating to Thûtmosis III., and which we more usually meet
     with in the cases of those kings who were not marked out
     from their birth onwards for the throne.

[Illustration: 265.jpg SETI II.]

     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Émil Brugsch-Bey.

The second, who was named Siphtah-Mînephtah, ascended "the throne of his
father" thanks to the devotion of his minister Baî,* but in a greater
degree to his marriage with a certain princess called Tausirît. He
maintained himself in this position for at least six years, during which
he made an expedition into Ethiopia, and received in audience at
Thebes messengers from all foreign nations. He kept up so zealously the
appearance of universal dominion, that to judge from his inscriptions
he must have been the equal of the most powerful of his predecessors at

Egypt, nevertheless, was proceeding at a quick pace towards its
downfall. No sooner had this monarch disappeared than it began to break
up.** There were no doubt many claimants for the crown, but none of them
succeeded in disposing of the claims of his rivals, and anarchy reigned
supreme from one end of the Nile valley to the other. The land of Qîmît
began to drift away, and the people within it had no longer a sovereign,
and this, too, for many years, until other times came; for "the land of
Qîmît was in the hands of the princes ruling over the nomes, and they
put each other to death, both great and small.

     * Baî has left two inscriptions behind him, one at Silsilis
     and the other at Sehêl, and the titles he assumes on both
     monuments show the position he occupied at the Theban court
     during the reign of Siphtah-Mînephtah. Chabas thought that
     Baî had succeeded in maintaining his rights to the crown
     against the claims of Amenmesis.

     ** The little that we know about this period of anarchy has
     been obtained from the _Harris Papyrus_.

Other times came afterwards, during years of nothingness, in which
Arisu, a Syrian,* was chief among them, and the whole country paid
tribute before him; every one plotted with his neighbour to steal the
goods of others, and it was the same with regard to the gods as with
regard to men, offerings were no longer made in the temples."

     * The name of this individual was deciphered by Chabas;
     Lauth, and after him Krall, were inclined to read it as Ket,
     Ketesh, in order to identify it with the Ketes of Diodorus
     Siculus. A form of the name Arisai in the Bible may be its
     original, or that of Arish which is found in Phoenician,
     especially Punic, inscriptions.

This was in truth the revenge of the feudal system upon Pharaoh. The
barons, kept in check by Ahmosis and Amenôthes I., restricted by the
successors of these sovereigns to the position of simple officers of the
king, profited by the general laxity to recover as many as possible of
their ancient privileges. For half a century and more, fortune had given
them as masters only aged princes, not capable of maintaining continuous
vigilance and firmness. The invasions of the peoples of the sea, the
rivalry of the claimants to the throne, and the intrigues of ministers
had, one after the other, served to break the bonds which fettered them,
and in one generation they were able to regain that liberty of action
of which they had been deprived for centuries. To this state of
things Egypt had been drifting from the earliest times. Unity could be
maintained only by a continuous effort, and once this became relaxed,
the ties which bound the whole country together were soon broken. There
was another danger threatening the country beside that arising from
the weakening of the hands of the sovereign, and the turbulence of the
barons. For some three centuries the Theban Pharaohs were accustomed to
bring into the country after each victorious campaign many thousands of
captives. The number of foreigners around them had, therefore, increased
in a striking manner. The majority of these strangers either died
without issue, or their posterity became assimilated to the indigenous
inhabitants. In many places, however, they had accumulated in such
proportions that they were able to retain among themselves the
remembrance of their origin, their religion, and their customs, and with
these the natural desire to leave the country of their exile for their
former fatherland. As long as a strict watch was kept over them they
remained peaceful subjects, but as soon as this vigilance was relaxed
rebellion was likely to break out, especially amongst those who worked
in the quarries. Traditions of the Greek period contain certain romantic
episodes in the history of these captives. Some Babylonian prisoners
brought back by Sesostris, these traditions tell us, unable to endure
any longer the fatiguing work to which they were condemned, broke out
into open revolt.

[Illustration: 268.jpg AMENMESIS]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after a picture in Rosellini.

They made themselves masters of a position almost opposite Memphis, and
commanding the river, and held their ground there with such obstinacy
that it was found necessary to give up to them the province which they
occupied: they built here a town, which they afterwards called Babylon.
A similar legend attributes the building of the neighbouring village of
Troîû to captives from Troy.*

The scattered barbarian tribes of the Delta, whether Hebrews or the
remnant of the ïïyksôs, had endured there a miserable lot ever since the
accession of the Ramessides. The rebuilding of the cities which had
been destroyed there during the wars with the Hyksôs had restricted the
extent of territory on which they could pasture their herds. Ramses II.
treated them as slaves of the treasury,** and the Hebrews were not long
under his rule before they began to look back with regret on the time of
the monarchs "who knew Joseph."**

     * The name Babylon comes probably from _Banbonu, Barbonu,
     Babonu_--a term which, under the form _Hât-Banbonu,_ served
     to designate a quarter of Heliopolis, or rather a suburban
     village of that city. Troja was, as we have seen, the
     ancient city of Troîû, now Tûrah, celebrated for its
     quarries of fine limestone. The narratives collected by the
     historians whom Diodorus consulted were products of the
     Saite period, and intended to explain to Greeks the
     existence on Egyptian territory of names recalling those of
     Babylon in Chaldæa and of Homeric Troy.

     ** A very ancient tradition identifies Ramses II. with the
     Pharaoh "who knew not Joseph" (_Exod._ i. 8). Recent
     excavations showing that the great works in the east of the
     Delta began under this king, or under Seti II. at the
     earliest, confirm in a general way the accuracy of the
     traditional view: I have, therefore, accepted it in part,
     and placed the Exodus after the death of Ramses II. Other
     authorities place it further back, and Lieblein in 1863 was
     inclined to put it under Amenôthes III.

The Egyptians set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their
burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses.
But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.
And they were "grieved because of the children of Israel."* A secondary
version of the same narrative gives a more detailed account of their
condition: "They made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar
and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field."** The
unfortunate slaves awaited only an opportunity to escape from the
cruelty of their persecutors.

     * _Exod_. i. 11, 12. Excavations made by Naville have
     brought to light near Tel el-Maskhutah the ruins of one of
     the towns which the Hebrews of the Alexandrine period
     identified with the cities constructed by their ancestors in
     Egypt: the town excavated by Naville is Pitûmû, and
     consequently the Pithom of the Biblical account, and at the
     same time also the Succoth of Exod. xii. 37, xiii. 20, the
     first station of the Bnê-Israel after leaving Ramses.

     ** _Exod,_ i. 13, 14.

The national traditions of the Hebrews inform us that the king, in
displeasure at seeing them increase so mightily notwithstanding his
repression, commanded the midwives to strangle henceforward their male
children at their birth. A woman of the house of Levi, after having
concealed her infant for three months, put him in an ark of bulrushes
and consigned him to the Nile, at a place where the daughter of Pharaoh
was accustomed to bathe. The princess on perceiving the child had
compassion on him, adopted him, called him Moses--saved from the
waters--and had him instructed in all the knowledge of the Egyptians.
Moses had already attained forty years of age, when he one day
encountered an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, and slew him in his anger,
shortly afterwards fleeing into the land of Midian. Here he found an
asylum, and Jethro the priest gave him one of his daughters in marriage.
After forty years of exile, God, appearing to him in a burning bush,
sent him to deliver His people. The old Pharaoh was dead, but Moses and
his brother Aaron betook themselves to the court of the new Pharaoh, and
demanded from him permission for the Hebrews to sacrifice in the desert
of Arabia. They obtained it, as we know, only after the infliction
of the ten plagues, and after the firstborn of the Egyptians had been
stricken.* The emigrants started from Ramses; as they were pursued by a
body of troops, the Sea parted its waters to give them passage over the
dry ground, and closing up afterwards on the Egyptian hosts, overwhelmed
them to a man. Thereupon Moses and the children of Israel sang this song
unto Jahveh, saying: "Jahveh is my strength and song--and He has become
my salvation.--This is my God, and I will praise Him,--my father's God,
and I will exalt Him.--The Lord is a man of war,--and Jahveh is His
name.--Pharaoh's chariots and his hosts hath He cast into the sea,
--and his chosen captains are sunk in the sea of weeds.--The deeps cover
them--they went down into the depths like a stone.... The enemy said: 'I
will pursue, I will overtake--I will divide the spoil--my lust shall
be satiated upon them--I will draw my sword--my hand shall destroy
them.'--Thou didst blow with Thy wind--the sea covered them--they sank
as lead in the mighty waters."**

     * _Exod._ ii.-xiii. I have limited myself here to a summary
     of the Biblical narrative, without entering into a criticism
     of the text, which I leave to others.

     ** _Exod._ xv. 1-10 (R.V.)

From this narrative we see that the Hebrews, or at least those of them
who dwelt in the Delta, made their escape from their oppressors, and
took refuge in the solitudes of Arabia. According to the opinion of
accredited historians, this Exodus took place in the reign of Mînephtah,
and the evidence of the triumphal inscription, lately discovered by
Prof. Petrie, seems to confirm this view, in relating that the people of
Israîlû were destroyed, and had no longer a seed. The context indicates
pretty clearly that these ill-treated Israîlû were then somewhere south
of Syria, possibly in the neighbourhood of Ascalon and Glezer. If it is
the Biblical Israelites who are here mentioned for the first time on an
Egyptian monument, one might suppose that they had just quitted the land
of slavery to begin their wanderings through the desert. Although the
peoples of the sea and the Libyans did not succeed in reaching their
settlements in the land of Goshen, the Israelites must have profited
both by the disorder into which the Egyptians were thrown by the
invaders, and by the consequent withdrawal to Memphis of the troops
previously stationed on the east of the Delta, to break away from their
servitude and cross the frontier. If, on the other hand, the Israîlû of
Mînephtah are regarded as a tribe still dwelling among the mountains of
Canaan, while the greater part of the race had emigrated to the banks
of the Nile, there is no need to seek long after Mînephtah for a date
suiting the circumstances of the Exodus. The years following the reign
of Seti II. offer favourable conditions for such a dangerous enterprise:
the break-up of the monarchy, the discords of the barons, the revolts
among the captives, and the supremacy of a Semite over the other chiefs,
must have minimised the risk. We can readily understand how, in the
midst of national disorders, a tribe of foreigners weary of its lot
might escape from its settlements and betake itself towards Asia without
meeting with strenous opposition from the Pharaoh, who would naturally
be too much preoccupied with his own pressing necessities to trouble
himself much over the escape of a band of serfs.

Having crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites pursued their course to
the north-east on the usual road leading into Syria, and then turning
towards the south, at length arrived at Sinai. It was a moment when
the nations of Asia were stirring. To proceed straight to Canaan by
the beaten track would have been to run the risk of encountering their
moving hordes, or of jostling against the Egyptian troops, who still
garrisoned the strongholds of the She-phelah. The fugitives had,
therefore, to shun the great military roads if they were to avoid coming
into murderous conflict with the barbarians, or running into the teeth
of Pharaoh's pursuing army. The desert offered an appropriate asylum to
people of nomadic inclinations like themselves; they betook themselves
to it as if by instinct, and spent there a wandering life for several

     * This explanation of the wanderings of the Israelites has
     been doubted by most historians: it has a cogency, once we
     admit the reality of the sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus.

The traditions collected in their sacred books described at length their
marches and their halting-places, the great sufferings they endured, and
the striking miracles which God performed on their behalf.*

     * The itinerary of the Hebrew people through the desert
     contains a very small number of names which were not
     actually in use. They represent possibly either the stations
     at which the caravans of the merchants put up, or the
     localities where the Bedawin and their herds were accustomed
     to sojourn. The majority of them cannot be identified, but
     enough can still be made out to give us a general idea of
     the march of the emigrants.

Moses conducted them through all these experiences, continually troubled
by their murmurings and seditions, but always ready to help them out of
the difficulties into which they were led, on every occasion, by their
want of faith. He taught them, under God's direction, how to correct the
bitterness of brackish waters by applying to them the wood of a certain
tree.* When they began to look back with regret to the "flesh-pots
of Egypt" and the abundance of food there, another signal miracle was
performed for them. "At even the quails came up and covered the camp,
and in the morning the dew lay round about the host; and when the dew
that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay
a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when
the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, 'What is it?
'for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, 'It is the
bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.'"**

     * _Exod._ xv. 23-25. The station Marah, "the bitter waters,"
     is identified by modern tradition with Ain Howarah. There is
     a similar way of rendering waters potable still in use among
     the Bedawin of these regions.

     ** _Exod._ xvi. 13-15.

"And the house of Israel called the name thereof 'manna: 'and it was
like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made
with honey."* "And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years,
until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna until they
came unto the borders of the land of Canaan."** Further on, at Eephidim,
the water failed: Moses struck the rocks at Horeb, and a spring gushed
out.*** The Amalekites, in the meantime, began to oppose their
passage; and one might naturally doubt the power of a rabble of slaves,
unaccustomed to war, to break through such an obstacle. Joshua was made
their general, "and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the
hill: and it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel
prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But
Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and
he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the
one side, and the other on the other side, and his hands were steady
until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his
people with the edge of the sword."****

     * _Exod._ xvi. 31. Prom early times the manna of the Hebrews
     had been identified with the mann-es-sama, "the gift of
     heaven," of the Arabs, which exudes in small quantities from
     the leaves of the tamarisk after being pricked by insects:
     the question, however, is still under discussion whether
     another species of vegetable manna may not be meant.

     ** _Exod._ xvi. 35.

     *** _Exod._ xvii. 1-7. There is a general agreement as to
     the identification of Rephidim with the Wady Peîrân, the
     village of Pharan of the Græco-Roman geographers.

     **** Exod. xvii. 8-13.

Three months after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt they
encamped at the foot of Sinai, and "the Lord called unto Moses out of
the mountain, saying, 'Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and
tell the children of Israel: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians,
and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now
therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then
ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me from among all peoples: for all
the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an
holy nation.' The people answered together and said, 'All that the Lord
hath spoken we will do.' And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Lo, I come unto
thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee,
and may also believe thee for ever.'" "On the third day, when it was
morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the
mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people
that were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people
out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the
mountain. And Mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the Lord
descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke
of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of
the trumpet waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him
by a voice."*

     * _Exod._ xix. 3-6, 9, 16-19.

Then followed the giving of the supreme law, the conditions of the
covenant which the Lord Himself deigned to promulgate directly to His
people. It was engraved on two tables of stone, and contained, in ten
concise statements, the commandments which the Creator of the Universe
imposed upon the people of His choice.

"I. I am Jahveh, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. Thou shalt
have none other gods before Me.

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, etc.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of Jahveh thy God in vain.

IV. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.

V. Honour thy father and thy mother.

VI. Thou shalt do no murder.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shalt not steal.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

X. Thou shalt not covet."*

     * We have two forms of the Decalogue--one in _Exod._ xx. 2-
     17, and the other in _Deut._ v. 6-18.

"And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the
voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw
it, they trembled, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, 'Speak
thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest
we die.'"* God gave His commandments to Moses in instalments as the
circumstances required them: on one occasion the rites of sacrifice,
the details of the sacerdotal vestments, the mode of consecrating the
priests, the composition of the oil and the incense for the altar; later
on, the observance of the three annual festivals, and the orders as to
absolute rest on the seventh day, as to the distinctions between clean
and unclean animals, as to drink, as to the purification of women, and
lawful and unlawful marriages.**

     * _Exod._ xx. 18, 19.

     ** This legislation and the history of the circumstances on
     which it was promulgated are contained in four of the books
     of the Pentateuch, viz. _Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and
     Deuteronomy_. Any one of the numerous text-books published
     in Germany will be found to contain an analysis of these
     books, and the prevalent opinions as to the date of the
     documents which it [the Hexateuch] contains. I confine
     myself here and afterwards only to such results as may fitly
     be used in a general history.

The people waited from week to week until Jahveh had completed the
revelation of His commands, and in their impatience broke the new law
more than once. On one occasion, when "Moses delayed to come out of the
mount," they believed themselves abandoned by heaven, and obliged Aaron,
the high priest, to make for them a golden calf, before which they
offered burnt offerings. The sojourn of the people at the foot of Sinai
lasted eleven months. At the end of this period they set out once more
on their slow marches to the Promised Land, guided during the day by
a cloud, and during the night by a pillar of fire, which moved before
them. This is a general summary of what we find in the sacred writings.

The Israelites, when they set out from Egypt, were not yet a nation.
They were but a confused horde, flying with their herds from their
pursuers; with no resources, badly armed, and unfit to sustain the
attack of regular troops. After leaving Sinai, they wandered for some
time among the solitudes of Arabia Petraea in search of some uninhabited
country where they could fix their tents, and at length settled on
the borders of Idumaea, in the mountainous region surrounding
Kadesh-Barnea.* Kadesh had from ancient times a reputation for sanctity
among the Bedawin of the neighbourhood: it rejoiced in the possession
of a wonderful well--the Well of Judgment--to which visits were made
for the purpose of worship, and for obtaining the "judgment" of God. The
country is a poor one, arid and burnt up, but it contains wells which
never fail, and wadys suitable for the culture of wheat and for the
rearing of cattle. The tribe which became possessed of a region in
which there was a perennial supply of water was fortunate indeed, and
a fragment of the psalmody of Israel at the time of their sojourn here
still echoes in a measure the transports of joy which the people gave
way to at the discovery of a new spring: "Spring up, O well; sing ye
unto it: the well which the princes digged, which the nobles of the
people delved with the sceptre and with their staves."**

     * The site of Kadesh-Barnea appears to have been fixed with
     certainty at Ain-Qadis by C. Trumbull.

     ** _Numb._ xxi. 17, 18. The context makes it certain that
     this song was sung at Beer, beyond the Arnon, in the land of
     Moab. It has long been recognised that it had a special
     reference, and that it refers to an incident in the
     wanderings of the people through the desert.

The wanderers took possession of this region after some successful
brushes with the enemy, and settled there, without being further
troubled by their neighbours or by their former masters. The Egyptians,
indeed, absorbed in their civil discords, or in wars with foreign
nations, soon forgot their escaped slaves, and never troubled themselves
for centuries over what had become of the poor wretches, until in the
reign of the Ptolemies, when they had learned from the Bible something
of the people of God, they began to seek in their own annals for traces
of their sojourn in Egypt and of their departure from the country. A
new version of the Exodus was the result, in which Hebrew tradition was
clumsily blended with the materials of a semi-historical romance, of
which Amenôthes III. was the hero. His minister and namesake, Amenôthes,
son of Hâpû, left ineffaceable impressions on the minds of the
inhabitants of Thebes: he not only erected the colossal figures in the
Amenophium, but he constructed the chapel at Deîr el-Medineh, which was
afterwards restored in Ptolemaic times, and where he continued to be
worshipped as long as the Egyptian religion lasted. Profound knowledge
of the mysteries of magic were attributed to him, as in later times to
Prince Khâmoîsît, son of Ramses II. On this subject he wrote certain
works which maintained their reputation for more than a thousand years
after his death,* and all that was known about him marked him out for
the important part he came to play in those romantic stories so popular
among the Egyptians.

     * One of these books, which is mentioned in several
     religious texts, is preserved in the _Louvre Papyrus_.

The Pharaoh in whose good graces he lived had a desire, we are informed,
to behold the gods, after the example of his ancestor Horus. The son of
Hâpû, or Pa-Apis, informed him that he could not succeed in his design
until he had expelled from the country all the lepers and unclean
persons who contaminated it. Acting on this information, he brought
together all those who suffered from physical defects, and confined
them, to the number of eighty thousand, in the quarries of Tûrah. There
were priests among them, and the gods became wrathful at the treatment
to which their servants were exposed; the soothsayer, therefore, fearing
the divine anger, predicted that certain people would shortly arise who,
forming an alliance with the Unclean, would, together with them, hold
sway in Egypt for thirteen years. He then committed suicide, but the
king nevertheless had compassion on the outcasts, and granted to them,
for their exclusive use, the town of Avaris, which had been deserted
since the time of Ahmosis. The outcasts formed themselves into a nation
under the rule of a Heliopolitan priest called Osarsyph, or Moses,
who gave them laws, mobilised them, and joined his forces with the
descendants of the Shepherds at Jerusalem. The Pharaoh Amenôphis, taken
by surprise at this revolt, and remembering the words of his minister
Amenôthes, took flight into Ethiopia. The shepherds, in league with the
Unclean, burned the towns, sacked the temples, and broke in pieces the
statues of the gods: they forced the Egyptian priests to slaughter even
their sacred animals, to cut them up and cook them for their foes, who
ate them derisively in their accustomed feasts. Amenôphis returned from
Ethiopia, together with his son Ramses, at the end of thirteen years,
defeated the enemy, driving them back into Syria, where the remainder of
them became later on the Jewish nation.*

     * A list of the Pharaohs after Aï, as far as it is possible
     to make them out, is here given:

[Illustration: 281.jpg Table]

This is but a romance, in which a very little history is mingled with a
great deal of fable: the scribes as well as the people were acquainted
with the fact that Egypt had been in danger of dissolution at the time
when the Hebrews left the banks of the Nile, but they were ignorant
of the details, of the precise date and of the name of the reigning
Pharaoh. A certain similarity in sound suggested to them the idea
of assimilating the prince whom the Chroniclers called Menepthes or
Amenepthes with Amen-ôthes, i.e. Amenophis III.; and they gave to the
Pharaoh of the XIXth dynasty the minister who had served under a king of
the XVIIIth: they metamorphosed at the same time the Hebrews into lepers
allied with the Shepherds. From this strange combination there resulted
a narrative which at once fell in with the tastes of the lovers of the
marvellous, and was a sufficient substitute for the truth which had
long since been forgotten. As in the case of the Egyptians of the Greek
period, we can see only through a fog what took place after the deaths
of Mînephtah and Seti II. We know only for certain that the chiefs of
the nomes were in perpetual strife with each other, and that a foreign
power was dominant in the country as in the time of Apôphis. The days of
the empire would have Harmhabî himself belonged to the XVIIIth dynasty,
for he modelled the form of his cartouches on those of the Ahmesside
Pharaohs: the XIXth dynasty began only, in all probability, with Ramses
I., but the course of the history has compelled me to separate Harmhabî
from his predecessors. Not knowing the length of the reigns, we cannot
determine the total duration of the dynasty: we shall not, however, be
far wrong in assigning to it a length of 130 years or thereabouts, i.e.
from 1350 to somewhere near 1220 B.C. been numbered if a deliverer had
not promptly made his appearance. The direct line of Ramses II. was
extinct, but his innumerable sons by innumerable concubines had left a
posterity out of which some at least might have the requisite ability
and zeal, if not to save the empire, at least to lengthen its duration,
and once more give to Thebes days of glorious prosperity. Egypt had set
out some five centuries before this for the conquest of the world, and
fortune had at first smiled upon her enterprise. Thûtmosis I., Thûtmosis
III., and the several Pharaohs bearing the name of Amenôthes had marched
with their armies from the upper waters of the Nile to the banks of the
Euphrates, and no power had been able to withstand them. New nations,
however, soon rose up to oppose her, and the Hittites in Asia and the
Libyans of the Sudan together curbed her ambition. Neither the triumphs
of Ramses II. nor the victory of Mînephtah had been able to restore her
prestige, or the lands of which her rivals had robbed her beyond her
ancient frontier. Now her own territory itself was threatened, and her
own well-being was in question; she was compelled to consider, not
how to rule other tribes, great or small, but how to keep her own
possessions intact and independent: in short, her very existence was at



_Nalthtâsît and Ramses III.: the decline of the military spirit in
Egypt--The reorganisation of the army and fleet by Ramses--The second
Libyan invasion--The Asiatic peoples, the Pulasati, the Zakleala, and
the Tyrseni: their incursions into Syria and their defeat--The campaign
of the year XL and the fall of the Libyan kingdom--Cruising on the Red
Sea--The buildings at Medinet-Habû--The conspiracy of Pentaûîrît--The
mummy of Ramses III._

_The sons and immediate successors of Ramses III.--Thebes and the
Egyptian population: the transformation of the people and of the great
lords: the feudal system from being military becomes religious--The
wealth of precious metals, jewellery, furniture, costume--Literary
education, and the influence of the Semitic language on the Egyptian:
romantic stories, the historical novel, fables, caricatures and satires,
collections of maxims and moral dialogues, love-poems._

[Illustration: 287.jpg Page Image]


_Ramses III.--The Theban city under the Ramessides--Manners and

As in a former crisis, Egypt once more owed her salvation to a scion
of the old Theban race. A descendant of Seti I. or Ramses II., named
Nakhtûsît, rallied round him the forces of the southern nomes, and
succeeded, though not without difficulty, in dispossessing the Syrian
Arisû. "When he arose, he was like Sûtkhû, providing for all the
necessities of the country which, for feebleness, could not stand,
killing the rebels which were in the Delta, purifying the great throne
of Egypt; he was regent of the two lands in the place of Tûmû, setting
himself to reorganise that which had been overthrown, to such good
purpose, that each one recognised as brethren those who had been
separated from him as by a wall for so long a time, strengthening
the temples by pious gifts, so that the traditional rites could be
celebrated at the divine cycles."*

     * The exact relationship between Nakhtûsît and Ramses II. is
     not known; he was probably the grandson or great-grandson of
     that sovereign, though Ed. Meyer thinks he was perhaps the
     son of Seti II. The name should be read either Nakhîtsît,
     with the singular of the first word composing it, or
     Nakhîtûsît, Nakhtûsît, with the plural, as in the analogous
     name of the king of the XXXth dynasty, Nectanebo.

Many were the difficulties that he had to encounter before he could
restore to his country that peace and wealth which she had enjoyed under
the long reign of Sesostris. It seems probable that his advancing years
made him feel unequal to the task, or that he desired to guard against
the possibility of disturbances in the event of his sudden death; at
all events, he associated with himself on the throne his eldest son
Ramses--not, however, as a Pharaoh who had full rights to the crown,
like the coadjutors of the Amenemhâîts and Usirtasens, but as a prince
invested with extraordinary powers, after the example of the sons of the
Pharaohs Thûtmosis and Seti I. Ramses recalls with pride, towards the
close of his life, how his father "had promoted him to the dignity of
heir-presumptive to the throne of Sibû," and how he had been acclaimed
as "the supreme head of Qimît for the administration of the whole earth
united together."* This constituted the rise of a new dynasty on the
ruins of the old--the last, however, which was able to retain the
supremacy of Egypt over the Oriental world. We are unable to ascertain
how long this double reign lasted.

     * The only certain monument that we as yet possess of this
     double reign is a large stele cut on the rock behind

[Illustration: 289.jpg NAKHTÛSÎT.]

Nakhtûsît, fully occupied by enemies within the country, had no leisure
either to build or to restore any monuments;* on his death, as no tomb
had been prepared for him, his mummy was buried in that of the usurper
Siphtah and the Queen Tausirît.

     * Wiedemann attributes to him the construction of one of the
     doors of the temple of Mût at Karnak; it would appear that
     there is a confusion in his notes between the prenomen of
     this sovereign and that of Seti II., who actually did
     decorate one of the doorways of that temple. Nakhûsît must
     have also worked on the temple of Phtah at Memphis. His
     cartouche is met with on a statue originally dedicated by a
     Pharaoh of the XIIth dynasty, discovered at Tell-Nebêsheh.

He was soon forgotten, and but few traces of his services survived him;
his name was subsequently removed from the official list of the kings,
while others not so deserving as he--as, for instance, Siphtah-Minephtah
and Amenmesis--were honourably inscribed in it. The memory of his son
overshadowed his own, and the series of the legitimate kings who formed
the XXth dynasty did not include him. Ramses III. took for his hero his
namesake, Ramses the Great, and endeavoured to rival him in everything.
This spirit of imitation was at times the means of leading him to commit
somewhat puerile acts, as, for example, when he copied certain
triumphal inscriptions word for word, merely changing the dates and
the cartouches,* or when he assumed the prenomen of Usirmârî, and
distributed among his male children the names and dignities of the sons
of Sesostris. We see, moreover, at his court another high priest of
Phtah at Memphis bearing the name of Khâmoîsît, and Marîtûmû, another
supreme pontiff of Râ in Heliopolis. However, this ambition to resemble
his ancestor at once instigated him to noble deeds, and gave him the
necessary determination to accomplish them.

     * Thus the great decree of Phtah-Totûnen, carved by Ramses
     II. in the year XXXV. on the rocks of Abu Simbel, was copied
     by Ramses III. at Medinet-Habû in the year XII.

He began by restoring order in the administration of affairs; "he
established truth, crushed error, purified the temple from all crime,"
and made his authority felt not only in the length and breadth of the
Nile valley, but in what was still left of the Asiatic provinces.
The disturbances of the preceding years had weakened the prestige of
Amon-Râ, and the king's supremacy would have been seriously endangered,
had any one arisen in Syria of sufficient energy to take advantage of
the existing state of affairs. But since the death of Khâtusaru, the
power of the Khâti had considerably declined, and they retained their
position merely through their former prestige; they were in as much need
of peace, or even more so, than the Egyptians, for the same discords
which had harassed the reigns of Seti II. and his successors had
doubtless brought trouble to their own sovereigns. They had made no
serious efforts to extend their dominion over any of those countries
which had been the objects of the cupidity of their forefathers, while
the peoples of Kharu and Phoenicia, thrown back on their own resources,
had not ventured to take up arms against the Pharaoh. The yoke lay
lightly upon them, and in no way hampered their internal liberty; they
governed as they liked, they exchanged one prince or chief for another,
they waged petty wars as of old, without, as a rule, exposing themselves
to interference from the Egyptian troops occupying the country, or from
the "royal messengers." These vassal provinces had probably ceased to
pay tribute, or had done so irregularly, during the years of anarchy
following the death of Siphtah, but they had taken no concerted action,
nor attempted any revolt, so that when Ramses III. ascended the throne
he was spared the trouble of reconquering them. He had merely to claim
allegiance to have it at once rendered him--an allegiance which included
the populations in the neighbourhood of Qodshû and on the banks of the
Nahr el-Kelb. The empire, which had threatened to fall to pieces amid
the civil wars, and which would indeed have succumbed had they continued
a few years longer, again revived now that an energetic prince had been
found to resume the direction of affairs, and to weld together those
elements which had been on the point of disintegration.

One state alone appeared to regret the revival of the Imperial power;
this was the kingdom of Libya. It had continued to increase in size
since the days of Mînephtah, and its population had been swelled by the
annexation of several strange tribes inhabiting the vast area of the
Sahara. One of these, the Mashaûasha, acquired the ascendency among
these desert races owing to their numbers and valour, and together with
the other tribes--the Sabati, the Kaiakasha, the Shaîû, the Hasa, the
Bikana, and the Qahaka*--formed a confederacy, which now threatened
Egypt on the west. This federation was conducted by Didi, Mashaknû,
and Mâraîû, all children of that Mâraîû who had led the first Libyan
invasion, and also by Zamarû and Zaûtmarû, two princes of less important
tribes.** Their combined forces had attacked Egypt for the second time
during the years of anarchy, and had gained possession one after another
of all the towns in the west of the Delta, from the neighbourhood of
Memphis to the town of Qarbîna: the Canopic branch of the Nile now
formed the limit of their dominion, and they often crossed it to
devastate the central provinces.***

     * This enumeration is furnished by the summary of the
     campaigns of Ramses III. in _The Great Harris Papyrus_. The
     Sabati of this text are probably identical with the people
     of the Sapudiu or Spudi (Asbytse), mentioned on one of the
     pylons of Medinet-Habû.

     ** The relationship is nowhere stated, but it is thought to
     be probable from the names of Didi and Mâraîû, repeated in
     both series of inscriptions.

     *** The town of Qarbîna has been identified with the Canopus
     of the Greeks, and also with the modern Korbani; and the
     district of Gautu, which adjoined it, with the territory of
     the modern town of Edkô. Spiegel-berg throws doubt on the
     identification of Qarbu or Qarbîna, with Canopus. Révillout
     prefers to connect Qarbîna with Heracleopolis Parva in Lower

Nakhtûsîti had been unable to drive them out, and Ramses had not
ventured on the task immediately after his accession. The military
institutions of the country had become totally disorganised after the
death of Mînephtah, and that part of the community responsible for
furnishing the army with recruits had been so weakened by the late
troubles, that they were in a worse condition than before the first
Libyan invasion. The losses they had suffered since Egypt began its
foreign conquests had not been repaired by the introduction of fresh
elements, and the hope of spoil was now insufficient to induce members
of the upper classes to enter the army. There was no difficulty in
filling the ranks from the fellahîn, but the middle class and the
aristocracy, accustomed to ease and wealth, no longer came forward in
large numbers, and disdained the military profession. It was the fashion
in the schools to contrast the calling of a scribe with that of a
foot-soldier or a charioteer, and to make as merry over the discomforts
of a military occupation as it had formerly been the fashion to extol
its glory and profitableness. These scholastic exercises represented the
future officer dragged as a child to the barracks, "the side-lock over
his ear.--He is beaten and his sides are covered with scars,--he is
beaten and his two eyebrows are marked with wounds,--he is beaten and
his head is broken by a badly aimed blow; he is stretched on the ground"
for the slightest fault, "and blows fall on him as on a papyrus,--and
he is broken by the stick." His education finished, he is sent away to
a distance, to Syria or Ethiopia, and fresh troubles overtake him. "His
victuals and his supply of water are about his neck like the burden of
an ass,--and his neck and throat suffer like those of an ass,--so that
the joints of his spine are broken.--He drinks putrid water, keeping
perpetual guard the while." His fatigues soon tell upon his health
and vigour: "Should he reach the enemy,--he is like a bird which
trembles.--Should he return to Egypt,--he is like a piece of old
worm-eaten wood.--He is sick and must lie down, he is carried on an
ass,--while thieves steal his linen,--and his slaves escape." The
charioteer is not spared either. He, doubtless, has a moment of
vain-glory and of flattered vanity when he receives, according to
regulations, a new chariot and two horses, with which he drives at a
gallop before his parents and his fellow-villagers; but once having
joined his regiment, he is perhaps worse off than the foot-soldier.
"He is thrown to the ground among thorns:--a scorpion wounds him in
the foot, and his heel is pierced by its sting.--When his kit is
examined,--his misery is at its height." No sooner has the fact been
notified that his arms are in a bad condition, or that some article has
disappeared, than "he is stretched on the ground--and overpowered with
blows from a stick." This decline of the warlike spirit in all classes
of society had entailed serious modifications in the organisation of
both army and navy. The native element no longer predominated in most
battalions and on the majority of vessels, as it had done under the
XVIIIth dynasty; it still furnished those formidable companies of
archers--the terror of both Africans and Asiatics--and also the most
important part, if not the whole, of the chariotry, but the main body
of the infantry was composed almost exclusively of mercenaries,
particularly of the Shardana and the Qahaka. Ramses began his reforms
by rebuilding the fleet, which, in a country like Egypt, was always
an artificial creation, liable to fall into decay, unless a strong
and persistent effort were made to keep it in an efficient condition.
Shipbuilding had made considerable progress in the last few centuries,
perhaps from the impulse received through Phoenicia, and the vessels
turned out of the dockyards were far superior to those constructed under
Hâtshopsîtû. The general outlines of the hull remained the same, but
the stem and stern were finer, and not so high out of the water; the
bow ended, moreover, in a lion's head of metal, which rose above
the cut-water. A wooden structure running between the forecastle and
quarter-deck protected the rowers during the fight, their heads alone
being exposed. The mast had only one curved yard, to which the sail was
fastened; this was run up from the deck by halyards when the sailors
wanted to make sail, and thus differed from the Egyptian arrangement,
where the sail was fastened to a fixed upper yard. At least half of the
crews consisted of Libyan prisoners, who were branded with a hot iron
like cattle, to prevent desertion; the remaining half was drawn from
the Syrian or Asiatic coast, or else were natives of Egypt. In order
to bring the army into better condition, Ramses revived the system of
classes, which empowered him to compel all Egyptians of unmixed race to
take personal service, while he hired mercenaries from Libya, Phoenicia,
Asia Minor, and wherever he could get them, and divided them into
regular regiments, according to their extraction and the arms that they
bore. In the field, the archers always headed the column, to meet the
advance of the foe with their arrows; they were followed by the Egyptian
lancers--the Shardana and the Tyrseni with their short spears and heavy
bronze swords--while a corps of veterans, armed with heavy maces,
brought up the rear.* In an engagement, these various troops formed
three lines of infantry disposed one behind the other--the light brigade
in front to engage the adversary, the swordsmen and lancers who were to
come into close quarters with the foe, and the mace-bearers in reserve,
ready to advance on any threatened point, or to await the critical
moment when their intervention would decide the victory: as in the times
of Thûtmosis and Ramses II. the chariotry covered the two wings.

     * This is the order of march represented during the Syrian
     campaign, as gathered from the arrangement observed in the
     pictures at Medinet-Habu.

It was well for Ramses that on ascending the throne he had devoted
himself to the task of recruiting the Egyptian army, and of personally
and carefully superintending the instruction and equipment of his men;
for it was thanks to these precautions that, when the confederated
Libyans attacked the country about the Vth year of his reign, he was
enabled to repulse them with complete success. "Didi, Mashaknû, Maraîû,
together with Zamarû and Zaûtmarû, had strongly urged them to
attack Egypt and to carry fire before them from one end of it to the
other."--"Their warriors confided to each other in their counsels,
and their hearts were full: 'We will be drunk!' and their princes said
within their breasts: 'We will fill our hearts with violence!' But their
plans were overthrown, thwarted, broken against the heart of the god,
and the prayer of their chief, which their lips repeated, was
not granted by the god." They met the Egyptians at a place called
"Kamsisû-Khasfi-Timihû" ("Ramses repulses the Timihû"), but their attack
was broken by the latter, who were ably led and displayed considerable
valour. "They bleated like goats surprised by a bull who stamps its
foot, who pushes forward its horn and shakes the mountains, charging
whoever seeks to annoy it." They fled afar, howling with fear, and
many of them, in endeavouring to escape their pursuers, perished in the
canals. "It is," said they, "the breaking of our spines which threatens
us in the land of Egypt, and its lord destroys our souls for ever and
ever. Woe be upon them! for they have seen their dances changed into
carnage, Sokhît is behind them, fear weighs upon them. We march no
longer upon roads where we can walk, but we run across fields, all the
fields! And their soldiers did not even need to measure arms with us in
the struggle! Pharaoh alone was our destruction, a fire against us every
time that he willed it, and no sooner did we approach than the flame
curled round us, and no water could quench it on us." The victory was a
brilliant one; the victors counted 12,535 of the enemy killed,* and
many more who surrendered at discretion. The latter were formed into
a brigade, and were distributed throughout the valley of the Nile in
military settlements. They submitted to their fate with that resignation
which we know to have been a characteristic of the vanquished at that

     * The number of the dead is calculated from that of the
     hands and phalli brought in by the soldiers after the
     victory, the heaps of which are represented at Medinet-Habu.

They regarded their defeat as a judgment from God against which there
was no appeal; when their fate had been once pronounced, nothing
remained to the condemned except to submit to it humbly, and to
accommodate themselves to the master to whom they were now bound by a
decree from on high. The prisoners of one day became on the next the
devoted soldiers of the prince against whom they had formerly fought
resolutely, and they were employed against their own tribes, their
employers having no fear of their deserting to the other side during
the engagement. They were lodged in the barracks at Thebes, or in the
provinces under the feudal lords and governors of the Pharaoh, and
were encouraged to retain their savage customs and warlike spirit. They
intermarried either with the fellahîn or with women of their own tribes,
and were reinforced at intervals by fresh prisoners or volunteers.
Drafted principally into the Delta and the cities of Middle Egypt, they
thus ended by constituting a semi-foreign population, destined by nature
and training to the calling of arms, and forming a sort of warrior
caste, differing widely from the militia of former times, and known for
many generations by their national name of Mashaûasha. As early as the
XIIth dynasty, the Pharaohs had, in a similar way, imported the Mazaîû
from Nubia, and had used them as a military police; Ramses III. now
resolved to naturalise the Libyans for much the same purpose. His
victory did not bear the immediate fruits that we might have expected
from his own account of it; the memory of the exploits of Ramses II.
haunted him, and, stimulated by the example of his ancestor at Qodshû,
he doubtless desired to have the sole credit of the victory over the
Libyans. He certainly did overcome their kings, and arrested their
invasion; we may go so far as to allow that he wrested from them the
provinces which they had occupied on the left bank of the Canopic
branch, from Marea to the Natron Lakes, but he did not conquer them,
and their power still remained as formidable as ever. He had gained a
respite at the point of the sword, but he had not delivered Egypt from
their future attacks.

[Illustration: 299.jpg one of the Libyan chiefs VANQUISHED BY RAMSES

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Champollion.

He might perhaps have been tempted to follow up his success and assume
the offensive, had not affairs in Asia at this juncture demanded the
whole of his attention. The movement of great masses of European tribes
in a southerly and easterly direction was beginning to be felt by the
inhabitants of the Balkans, who were forced to set out in a double
stream of emigration--one crossing the Bosphorus and the Propontis
towards the centre of Asia Minor, while the other made for what was
later known as Greece Proper, by way of the passes over Olympus and
Pindus. The nations who had hitherto inhabited these regions, now found
themselves thrust forward by the pressure of invading hordes, and were
constrained to move towards the south and east by every avenue which
presented itself. It was probably the irruption of the Phrygians into
the high table-land which gave rise to the general exodus of these
various nations--the Pulasati, the Zakkala, the Shagalasha, the Danauna,
and the Uashasha--some of whom had already made their way into Syria and
taken part in campaigns there, while others had as yet never measured
strength with the Egyptians. The main body of these migrating tribes
chose the overland route, keeping within easy distance of the coast,
from Pamphylia as far as the confines of Naharaim.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Champollion.

They were accompanied by their families, who must have been mercilessly
jolted in the ox-drawn square waggons with solid wheels in which they
travelled. The body of the vehicle was built either of roughly squared
planks, or else of something resembling wicker-work. The round axletree
was kept in its place by means of a rude pin, and four oxen were
harnessed abreast to the whole structure. The children wore no clothes,
and had, for the most part, their hair tied into a tuft on the top of
their heads; the women affected a closely fitting cap, and were wrapped
in large blue or red garments drawn close to the body.* The men's attire
varied according to the tribe to which they belonged. The Pulasati
undoubtedly held the chief place; they were both soldiers and sailors,
and we must recognise in them the foremost of those tribes known to the
Greeks of classical times as the Oarians, who infested the coasts of
Asia Minor as well as those of Greece and the Ægean islands.**

     * These details are taken from the battle-scenes at Medinet-

     ** The Pulasati have been connected with the Philistines by
     Champollion, and subsequently by the early English
     Egyptologists, who thought they recognised in them the
     inhabitants of the Shephelah. Chabas was the first to
     identify them with the Pelasgi; Unger and Brugsch prefer to
     attribute to them a Libyan origin, but the latter finally
     returns to the Pelasgic and Philistine hypothesis. They were
     without doubt the Philistines, but in their migratory state,
     before they settled on the coast of Palestine.

[Illustration: 301.jpg PULASATI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

Crete was at this time the seat of a maritime empire, whose chiefs were
perpetually cruising the seas and harassing the civilized states of
the Eastern Mediterranean. These sea-rovers had grown wealthy through
piracy, and contact with the merchants of Syria and Egypt had awakened
in them a taste for a certain luxury and refinement, of which we find
no traces in the remains of their civilization anterior to this period.
Some of the symbols in the inscriptions found on their monuments recall
certain of the Egyptian characters, while others present an original
aspect and seem to be of Ægean origin. We find in them, arranged in
juxtaposition, signs representing flowers, birds, fish, quadrupeds
of various kinds, members of the human body, and boats and household
implements. From the little which is known of this script we are
inclined to derive it from a similar source to that which has furnished
those we meet with in several parts of Asia Minor and Northern Syria.
It would appear that in ancient times, somewhere in the centre of the
Peninsula--but under what influence or during what period we know not--a
syllabary was developed, of which varieties were handed on from tribe
to tribe, spreading on the one side to the Hittites, Cilicians, and
the peoples on the borders of Syria and Egypt, and on the other to the
Trojans, to the people of the Cyclades, and into Crete and Greece. It
is easy to distinguish the Pulasati by the felt helmet which they wore
fastened under the chin by two straps and surmounted by a crest of
feathers. The upper part of their bodies was covered by bands of leather
or some thick material, below which hung a simple loin-cloth, while
their feet were bare or shod with short sandals. They carried each a
round buckler with two handles, and the stout bronze sword common to
the northern races, suspended by a cross belt passing over the left
shoulder, and were further armed with two daggers and two javelins.
They hurled the latter from a short distance while attacking, and then
drawing their sword or daggers, fell upon the enemy; we find among them
a few chariots of the Hittite type, each manned by a driver and two
fighting men. The Tyrseni appear to have been the most numerous after
the Pulasati, next to whom came the Zakkala. The latter are thought to
have been a branch of the Siculo-Pelasgi whom Greek tradition represents
as scattered at this period among the Cyclades and along the coast of
the Hellespont;* they wore a casque surmounted with plumes like that
of the Pulasati. The Tyrseni may be distinguished by their feathered
head-dress, but the Shaga-lasha affected a long ample woollen cap
falling on the neck behind, an article of apparel which is still worn by
the sailors of the Archipelago; otherwise they were equipped in much the
same manner as their allies. The other members of the confederation,
the Shardana, the Danauna, and the Nashasha, each furnished an
inconsiderable contingent, and, taken all together, formed but a small
item of the united force.**

     * The Zakkara, or Zakkala, have been identified with the
     Teucrians by Lauth, Chabas, and Fr. Lenormant, with the
     Zygritse of Libya by linger and Brugsch, who subsequently
     returned to the Teucrian hypothesis; W. Max Millier regards
     them as an Asiatic nation probably of the Lydian family. The
     identification with the Siculo-Pelasgi of the Ægean Sea was
     proposed by Maspero.

     ** The form of the word shows that it is of Asiatic origin,
     Uasasos, Uassos, which refers us to Caria or Lycia.

Their fleet sailed along the coast and kept within sight of the force on
land. The squadrons depicted on the monuments are without doubt those of
the two peoples, the Pulasati and Zakkala. Their ships resembled in many
respects those of Egypt, except in the fact that they had no cut-water.
The bow and stern rose up straight like the neck of a goose or swan; two
structures for fighting purposes were erected above the dock, while a
rail running round the sides of the vessel protected the bodies of the
rowers. An upper yard curved in shape hung from the single mast, which
terminated in a top for the look-out during a battle. The upper yard was
not made to lower, and the top-men managed the sail in the same manner
as the Egyptian sailors. The resemblance between this fleet and that
of Ramses is easily explained. The dwellers on the Ægean, owing to
the knowledge they had acquired of the Phoenician galleys, which
were accustomed to cruise annually in their waters, became experts in

[Illustration: 304.jpg A SIHAGALASHA CHIEF]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie.

They copied the lines of the Phoenician craft, imitated the rigging, and
learned to manoeuvre their vessels so well, both on ordinary occasions
and in a battle, that they could now oppose to the skilled eastern
navigators ships as well fitted out and commanded by captains as
experienced as those of Egypt or Asia.

There had been a general movement among all these peoples at the very
time when Ramses was repelling the attack of the Libyans; "the isles had
quivered, and had vomited forth their people at once."*

     * This campaign is mentioned in the inscription of Medinet-
     Habu. We find some information about the war in the _Great
     Harris Papyrus_, also in the inscription of Medinet-Habu
     which describes the campaign of the year V., and in other
     shorter texts of the same temple.

They were subjected to one of those irresistible impulses such as had
driven the Shepherds into Egypt; or again, in later times, had carried
away the Cimmerians and the Scyths to the pillage of Asia Minor: "no
country could hold out against their arms, neither Khâti, nor Qodi, nor
Carchemish, nor Arvad, nor Alasia, without being brought to nothing."
The ancient kingdoms of Sapalulu and Khâtusaru, already tottering,
crumbled to pieces under the shock, and were broken up into their
primitive elements. The barbarians, unable to carry the towns by
assault, and too impatient to resort to a lengthened siege, spread
over the valley of the Orontes, burning and devastating the country
everywhere. Having reached the frontiers of the empire, in the country
of the Amorites, they came to a halt, and constructing an entrenched
camp, installed within it their women and the booty they had acquired.
Some of their predatory bands, having ravaged the Bekâa, ended by
attacking the subjects of the Pharaoh himself, and their chiefs dreamed
of an invasion of Egypt. Ramses, informed of their design by the
despatches of his officers and vassals, resolved to prevent its
accomplishment. He summoned his troops together, both indigenous
and mercenary, in his own person looked after their armament and
commissariat, and in the VIIIth year of his reign crossed the frontier
near Zalu. He advanced by forced marches to meet the enemy, whom
he encountered somewhere in Southern Syria, on the borders of the
Shephelah,* and after a stubbornly contested campaign obtained the
victory. He carried off from the field, in addition to the treasures of
the confederate tribes, some of the chariots which had been used for the
transport of their families. The survivors made their way hastily to the
north-west, in the direction of the sea, in order to receive the support
of their navy, but the king followed them step by step.

     * No site is given for these battles. E. de Rougé placed the
     theatre of war in Syria, and his opinion was accepted by
     Brugsch. Chabas referred it to the mouth of the Nile near
     Pelusium, and his authority has prevailed up to the present.
     The remarks of W. Max Müller have brought me back to the
     opinion of the earlier Egyptologists; but I differ from him
     in looking for the locality further south, and not to the
     mouth of Nahr el-Kelb as the site of the naval battle. It
     seems to me that the fact that the Zakkala were prisoners at
     Dor, and the Pulasati in the Shephelah, is enough to assign
     the campaign to the regions I have mentioned in the text.

It is recorded that he occupied himself with lion-hunting _en route_
after the example of the victors of the XVIIIth dynasty, and that he
killed three of these animals in the long grass on one occasion on the
banks of some river. He rejoined his ships, probably at Jaffa, and made
straight for the enemy. The latter were encamped on the level shore, at
the head of a bay wide enough to offer to their ships a commodious
space for naval evolutions--possibly the mouth of the Belos, in the
neighbourhood of Magadîl. The king drove their foot-soldiers into the
water at the same moment that his admirals attacked the combined fleet
of the Pulasati and Zakkala.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

Some of the Ægean galleys were capsized and sank when the Egyptian
vessels rammed them with their sharp stems, and the crews, in
endeavouring to escape to land by swimming, were picked off by the
arrows of the archers of the guard who were commanded by Ramses and his
sons; they perished in the waves, or only escaped through the compassion
of the victors. "I had fortified," said the Pharaoh, "my frontier at
Zahi; I had drawn up before these people my generals, my provincial
governors, the vassal princes, and the best of my soldiers. The mouths
of the river seemed to be a mighty rampart of galleys, barques, and
vessels of all kinds, equipped from the bow to the stern with valiant
armed men. The infantry, the flower of Egypt, were as lions roaring
on the mountains; the charioteers, selected from among the most rapid
warriors, had for their captains only officers confident in themselves;
the horses quivered in all their limbs, and were burning to trample the
nations underfoot. As for me, I was like the warlike Montû: I stood up
before them and they saw the vigour of my arms. I, King Ramses, I was as
a hero who is conscious of his valour, and who stretches his hands over
the people in the day of battle. Those who have violated my frontier
will never more garner harvests from this earth: the period of their
soul has been fixed for ever. My forces were drawn up before them on
the 'Very Green,' a devouring flame approached them at the river mouth,
annihilation embraced them on every side. Those who were on the strand
I laid low on the seashore, slaughtered like victims of the butcher.
I made their vessels to capsize, and their riches fell into the sea."
Those who had not fallen in the fight were caught, as it were, in
the cast of a net. A rapid cruiser of the fleet carried the Egyptian
standard along the coast as far as the regions of the Orontes and
Saros. The land troops, on the other hand, following on the heels of the
defeated enemy, pushed through Coele-Syria, and in their first burst of
zeal succeeded in reaching the plains of the Euphrates. A century had
elapsed since a Pharaoh had planted his standard in this region, and the
country must have seemed as novel to the soldiers of Ramses III. as to
those of his predecessor Thûtmosis.

[Illustration: 308.jpg THE DEFEAT OF THE PEOPLES OF THE SEA]

The Khâti were still its masters; and all enfeebled as they were by
the ravages of the invading barbarians, were nevertheless not slow in
preparing to resist their ancient enemies. The majority of the citadels
shut their gates in the face of Ramses, who, wishing to lose no time,
did not attempt to besiege them: he treated their territory with the
usual severity, devastating their open towns, destroying their harvests,
breaking down their fruit trees, and cutting away their forests. He was
able, moreover, without arresting his march, to carry by assault several
of their fortified towns, Alaza among the number, the destruction of
which is represented in the scenes of his victories. The spoils were
considerable, and came very opportunely to reward the soldiers or to
provide funds for the erection of monuments. The last battalion of
troops, however, had hardly recrossed the isthmus when Lotanû became
again its own master, and Egyptian rule was once more limited to its
traditional provinces of Kharû and Phoenicia. The King of the Khâti
appears among the prisoners whom the Pharaoh is represented as bringing
to his father Amon; Carchemish, Tunipa, Khalabu, Katna, Pabukhu, Arvad,
Mitanni, Mannus, Asi, and a score of other famous towns of this period
appear in the list of the subjugated nations, recalling the triumphs
of Thûtmosis III. and Amenothes II. Ramses did not allow himself to
be deceived into thinking that his success was final. He accepted the
protestations of obedience which were spontaneously offered him, but he
undertook no further expedition of importance either to restrain or to
provoke his enemies: the restricted rule which satisfied his exemplar
Ramses II. ought, he thought, to be sufficient for his own ambition.

Egypt breathed freely once more on the announcement of the victory;
henceforward she was "as a bed without anguish." "Let each woman now go
to and fro according to her will," cried the sovereign, in describing
the campaign, "her ornaments upon her, and directing her steps to any
place she likes!" And in order to provide still further guarantees of
public security, he converted his Asiatic captives, as he previously
had his African prisoners, into a bulwark against the barbarians, and
a safeguard of the frontier. The war must, doubtless, have decimated
Southern Syria; and he planted along its coast what remained of the
defeated tribes--the Philistines in the Shephelah, and the Zakkala on
the borders of the great oak forest stretching from Oarmel to Dor.*

     * It is in this region that we find henceforward the Hebrews
     in contact with the Philistines: at the end of the XXIst
     Egyptian dynasty a scribe makes Dor a town of the Zakkala.

Watch-towers were erected for the supervision of this region, and for
rallying-points in case of internal revolts or attacks from without. One
of these, the Migdol of Ramses III., was erected, not far from the scene
of the decisive battle, on the spot where the spoils had been divided.
This living barrier, so to speak, stood between the Nile valley and the
dangers which threatened it from Asia, and it was not long before
its value was put to the proof. The Libyans, who had been saved from
destruction by the diversion created in their favour on the eastern side
of the empire, having now recovered their courage, set about collecting
their hordes together for a fresh invasion. They returned to the attack
in the XIth year of Ramses, under the leadership of Kapur, a prince of
the Mashauasha.*

     * The second campaign against the Libyans is known to us
     from the inscriptions of the year XI. at Medinet-Habu.


     Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato. The first
     prisoner on the left is the Prince of the Khâti (cf. the cut
     on p. 318 of the present work), the second is the Prince of
     the Amâuru [Amoritos], the third the Prince of the Zakkala,
     the fourth that of the Shardana, the fifth that of the
     Shakalasha (see the cut on p. 304 of this work), and the
     sixth that of the Tursha [Tyrseni].

Their soul had said to them for the second time that "they would end
their lives in the nomes of Egypt, that they would till its valleys and
its plains as their own land." The issue did not correspond with their
intentions. "Death fell upon them within Egypt, for they had hastened
with their feet to the furnace which consumes corruption, under the
fire of the valour of the king who rages like Baal from the heights of
heaven. All his limbs are invested with victorious strength; with his
right hand he lays hold of the multitudes, his left extends to those who
are against him, like a cloud of arrows directed upon them to destroy
them, and his sword cuts like that of Montû. Kapur, who had come to
demand homage, blind with fear, threw down his arms, and his troops did
the same. He sent up to heaven a suppliant cry, and his son [Mashashalu]
arrested his foot and his hand; for, behold, there rises beside him the
god who knows what he has in his heart: His Majesty falls upon their
heads as a mountain of granite and crushes them, the earth drinks up
their blood as if it had been water...; their army was slaughtered,
slaughtered their soldiers," near a fortress situated on the borders
of the desert called the "Castle of Usirmarî-Miamon." They were seized,
"they were stricken, their arms bound, like geese piled up in the bottom
of a boat, under the feet of His Majesty."* The fugitives were pursued
at the sword's point from the _Castle of Usirmarî-Miamon_ to the _Castle
of the Sands_, a distance of over thirty miles.**

     * The name of the son of Kapur, Mashashalu, Masesyla, which
     is wanting in this inscription, is supplied from a parallel

     * The Castle of Usirmarî-Miamon was "on the mountain of the
     horn of the world," which induces me to believe that we must
     seek its site on the borders of the Libyan desert. The royal
     title entering into its name being liable to change with
     every reign, it is possible that we have an earlier
     reference to this stronghold in a mutilated passage of the
     Athribis Stele, which relates to the campaigns of Mînephtah;
     it must have commanded one of the most frequented routes
     leading to the oasis of Amon.


     From a photograph by Beato.

Two thousand and seventy-five Libyans were left upon the ground that
day, two thousand and fifty-two perished in other engagements, while
two thousand and thirty-two, both male and female, were made prisoners.
These were almost irreparable losses for a people of necessarily small
numbers, and if we add the number of those who had succumbed in the
disaster of six years before, we can readily realise how discouraged
the invaders must have been, and how little likely they were to try the
fortune of war once more. Their power dwindled and vanished almost as
quickly as it had arisen; the provisional cohesion given to their forces
by a few ambitious chiefs broke up after their repeated defeats, and
the rudiments of an empire which had struck terror into the Pharaohs,
resolved itself into its primitive elements, a number of tribes
scattered over the desert. They were driven back beyond the Libyan
mountains; fortresses* guarded the routes they had previously followed,
and they were obliged henceforward to renounce any hope of an invasion
_en masse_, and to content themselves with a few raiding expeditions
into the fertile plain of the Delta, where they had formerly found a
transitory halting-place. Counter-raids organised by the local troops
or by the mercenaries who garrisoned the principal towns in the
neighbourhood of Memphis--Hermopolis and Thinisl--inflicted punishment
upon them when they became too audacious. Their tribes, henceforward,
as far as Egypt was concerned, formed a kind of reserve from which the
Pharaoh could raise soldiers every year, and draw sufficient materials
to bring his army up to fighting strength when internal revolt or an
invasion from without called for military activity.

     * _The Great Harris Papyrus_ speaks of fortifications
     erected in the towns of Anhûri-Shû, possibly Thinis, and of
     Thot, possibly Hermopolis, in order to repel the tribes of
     the Tihonu who were ceaselessly harassing the frontier.

[Illustration: 318.jpg THE PRINCE OF THE KHATI]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken at Medinet-

The campaign of the XIth year brought to an end the great military
expeditions of Ramses III. Henceforward he never took the lead in any
more serious military enterprise than that of repressing the Bedawin of
Seîr for acts of brigandage,* or the Ethiopians for some similar
reason. He confined his attention to the maintenance of commercial and
industrial relations with manufacturing countries, and with the
markets of Asia and Africa. He strengthened the garrisons of Sinai, and
encouraged the working of the ancient mines in that region. He sent a
colony of quarry-men and of smelters to the land of Atika, in order to
work the veins of silver which were alleged to exist there.**

     *The Sâîrû of the Egyptian texts have been identified with
     the Bedawin of Seîr.

     ** This is the Gebel-Ataka of our day. All this district is
     imperfectly explored, but we know that it contains mines and
     quarries some of which were worked as late as in the time of
     the Mameluk Sultans.

He launched a fleet on the Red Sea, and sent it to the countries of
fragrant spices. "The captains of the sailors were there, together with
the chiefs of the _corvée_ and accountants, to provide provision" for
the people of the Divine Lands "from the innumerable products of Egypt;
and these products were counted by myriads. Sailing through the great
sea of Qodi, they arrived at Pûântt without mishap, and there collected
cargoes for their galleys and ships, consisting of all the unknown
marvels of Tonûtir, as well as considerable quantities of the perfumes
of Pûâtîn, which they stowed on board by tens of thousands without
number. The sons of the princes of Tonûtir came themselves into Qîmit
with their tributes. They reached the region of Coptos safe and sound,
and disembarked there in peace with their riches." It was somewhere
about Sau and Tuau that the merchants and royal officers landed,
following the example of the expeditions of the XIIth and XVIIIth
dynasties. Here they organised caravans of asses and slaves, which
taking the shortest route across the mountain--that of the valley of
Rahanû--carried the precious commodities to Coptos, whence they were
transferred to boats and distributed along the river. The erection
of public buildings, which had been interrupted since the time of
Mînephtah, began again with renewed activity. The captives in the recent
victories furnished the requisite labour, while the mines, the voyages
to the Somali coast, and the tributes of vassals provided the necessary
money. Syria was not lost sight of in this resumption of peaceful
occupations. The overthrow of the Khâti secured Egyptian rule in this
region, and promised a long tranquillity within its borders. One temple
at least was erected in the country--that of Pa-kanâna--where the
princes of Kharu were to assemble to offer worship to the Pharaoh, and
to pay each one his quota of the general tribute. The Pulasati were
employed to protect the caravan routes, and a vast reservoir was
erected near Aîna to provide a store of water for the irrigation of the
neighbouring country. The Delta absorbed the greater part of the royal
subsidies; it had suffered so much from the Libyan incursions, that the
majority of the towns within it had fallen into a condition as
miserable as that in which they were at the time of the expulsion of the
Shepherds. Heliopolis, Bubastis, Thmuis, Amû, and Tanis still preserved
some remains of the buildings which had already been erected in them
by Ramses; he constructed also, at the place at present called Tel
el-Yahûdîyeh, a royal palace of limestone, granite, and alabaster, of
which the type is unique amongst all the structures hitherto discovered.
Its walls and columns were not ornamented with the usual sculptures
incised in stone, but the whole of the decorations--scenes as well
as inscriptions--consisted of plaques of enamelled terra-cotta set
in cement. The forms of men and animals and the lines of hieroglyphs,
standing out in slight relief from a glazed and warm-coloured
background, constitute an immense mosaic-work of many hues. The few
remains of the work show great purity of design and an extraordinary
delicacy of tone.

[Illustration: 320.jpg SIGNS, ARMS AND INSTRUMENTS]

All the knowledge of the Egyptian painters, and all the technical skill
of their artificers in ceramic, must have been employed to compose such
harmoniously balanced decorations, with their free handling of line and
colour, and their thousands of rosettes, squares, stars, and buttons of
varicoloured pastes.*

     * This temple has been known since the beginning of the
     nineteenth century, and the Louvre is in possession of some
     fragments from it which came from Salt's collection; it was
     rediscovered in 1870, and some portions of it were
     transferred by Mariette to the Boulaq Museum. The remainder
     was destroyed by the fellahîn, at the instigation of the
     enlightened amateurs of Cairo, and fragments of it have
     passed into various private collections. The decoration has
     been attributed to Chaldoan influence, but it is a work
     purely Egyptian, both in style and in technique.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.

The difficulties to overcome were so appalling, that when the marvellous
work was once accomplished, no subsequent attempt was made to construct
a second like it: all the remaining structures of Ramses III., whether
at Memphis, in the neighbourhood of Abydos, or at Karnak, were in the
conventional style of the Pharaohs. He determined, nevertheless, to give
to the exterior of the Memnonium, which he built near Medinet-Habu for
the worship of himself, the proportions and appearance of an Asiatic
"Migdol," influenced probably by his remembrance of similar structures
which he had seen during his Syrian campaign. The chapel itself is of
the ordinary type, with its gigantic pylons, its courts surrounded by
columns--each supporting a colossal Osirian statue--its hypostyle
hall, and its mysterious cells for the deposit of spoils taken from the
peoples of the sea and the cities of Asia. His tomb was concealed at a
distant spot in the Biban-el-Moluk, and we see depicted on its walls the
same scenes that we find in the last resting-place of Seti I. or Ramses
II., and in addition to them, in a series of supplementary chambers, the
arms of the sovereign, his standards, his treasure, his kitchen, and the
preparation of offerings which were to be made to him. His sarcophagus,
cut out of an enormous block of granite, was brought for sale to Europe
at the beginning of this century, and Cambridge obtained possession of
its cover, while the Louvre secured the receptacle itself.

These were years of profound tranquillity. The Pharaoh intended that
absolute order should reign throughout his realm, and that justice
should be dispensed impartially within it.

[Illustration: 322.jpg THE FIRST PYLON OF THE TEMPLE]

There were to be no more exactions, no more crying iniquities: whoever
was discovered oppressing the people, no matter whether he were court
official or feudal lord--was instantly deprived of his functions,
and replaced by an administrator of tried integrity. Ramses boasts,
moreover, in an idyllic manner, of having planted trees everywhere, and
of having built arbours wherein the people might sit in the shade in the
open air; while women might go to and fro where they would in security,
no one daring to insult them on the way. The Shardanian and Libyan
mercenaries were restricted to the castles which they garrisoned, and
were subjected to such a severe discipline that no one had any cause of
complaint against these armed barbarians settled in the heart of Egypt.
"I have," continues the king, "lifted up every miserable one out of his
misfortune, I have granted life to him, I have saved him from the mighty
who were oppressing him, and have secured rest for every one in his own
town." The details of the description are exaggerated, but the general
import of it is true. Egypt had recovered the peace and prosperity of
which it had been deprived for at least half a century, that is, since
the death of Mînephtah. The king, however, was not in such a happy
condition as his people, and court intrigues embittered the later years
of his life. One of his sons, whose name is unknown to us, but who is
designated in the official records by the nickname of Pentaûîrît, formed
a conspiracy against him. His mother, Tîi, who was a woman of secondary
rank, took it into her head to secure the crown for him, to the
detriment of the children of Queen Isît. An extensive plot was hatched
in which scribes, officers of the guard, priests, and officials in
high place, both natives and foreigners, were involved. A resort to
the supernatural was at first attempted, and the superintendent of the
Herds, a certain Panhûibaûnû, who was deeply versed in magic, undertook
to cast a spell upon the Pharaoh, if he could only procure certain
conjuring books of which he was not possessed. These were found to be
in the royal library. He managed to introduce himself under cover of the
night into the harem, where he manufactured certain waxen figures, of
which some were to excite the hate of his wives against their husband,
while others would cause him to waste away and finally perish. A traitor
betrayed several of the conspirators, who, being subjected to the
torture, informed upon others, and these at length brought the matter
home to Pentaûîrît and his immediate accomplices. All were brought
before a commission of twelve members, summoned expressly to try the
case, and the result was the condemnation and execution of six women and
some forty men. The extreme penalty of the Egyptian code was reserved
for Pentaûîrît, and for the most culpable,--"they died of themselves,"
and the meaning of this phrase is indicated, I believe, by the
appearance of one of the mummies disinterred at Deîr el-Baharî.* The
coffin in which it was placed was very plain, painted white and without
inscription; the customary removal of entrails had not been effected,
but the body was covered with a thick layer of natron, which was applied
even to the skin itself and secured by wrappings.

     * The translations by Dévéria, Lepage-Renouf, and Erman
     agree in making it a case of judicial suicide: there was
     left to the condemned a choice of his mode of death, in
     order to avoid the scandal of a public execution. It is also
     possible to make it a condemnation to death in person, which
     did not allow of the substitution of a proxy willing, for a
     payment to his family, to undergo death in place of the
     condemned; but, unfortunately, no other text is to be found
     supporting the existence of such a practice in Egypt.

It makes one's flesh creep to look at it: the hands and feet are tied
by strong bands, and are curled up as if under an intolerable pain;
the abdomen is drawn up, the stomach projects like a ball, the chest is
contracted, the head is thrown back, the face is contorted in a hideous
grimace, the retracted lips expose the teeth, and the mouth is open as
if to give utterance to a last despairing cry. The conviction is
borne in upon us that the man was invested while still alive with the
wrappings of the dead. Is this the mummy of Pentaûîrît, or of some
other prince as culpable as he was, and condemned to this frightful
punishment? In order to prevent the recurrence of such wicked plots,
Pharaoh resolved to share his throne with that one of his sons who had
most right to it. In the XXXIInd year of his reign he called together
his military and civil chiefs, the generals of the foreign mercenaries,
the Shardana, the priests, and the nobles of the court, and presented
to them, according to custom, his heir-designate, who was also called
Ramses. He placed the double crown upon his brow, and seated him beside
himself upon the throne of Horus. This was an occasion for the Pharaoh
to bring to remembrance all the great exploits he had performed during
his reign--his triumphs over the Libyans and over the peoples of the
sea, and the riches he had lavished upon the gods: at the end of the
enumeration he exhorted those who were present to observe the same
fidelity towards the son which they had observed towards the father, and
to serve the new sovereign as valiantly as they had served himself.

[Illustration: 327.jpg THE MUMMY OF RAMSES III.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a, photograph by Emil Brugsch-

The joint reign lasted for only four years. Ramses III. was not
much over sixty years of age when he died. He was still vigorous and
muscular, but he had become stout and heavy. The fatty matter of the
body having been dissolved by the natron in the process of embalming,
the skin distended during life has gathered up into enormous loose
folds, especially about the nape of the neck, under the chin, on the
hips, and at the articulations of the limbs. The closely shaven head and
cheeks present no trace of hair or beard. The forehead, although neither
broad nor high, is better proportioned than that of Ramses II.; the
supra-orbital ridges are less accentuated than his, the cheek-bones not
so prominent, the nose not so arched, and the chin and jaw less massive.
The eyes were perhaps larger, but no opinion can be offered on this
point, for the eyelids have been cut away, and the cleared-out cavities
have been filled with rags. The ears do not stand out so far from the
head as those of Ramses II., but they have been pierced for ear-rings.
The mouth, large by nature, has been still further widened in the
process of embalming, owing to the awkwardness of the operator, who
has cut into the cheeks at the side. The thin lips allow the white and
regular teeth to be seen; the first molar on the right has been either
broken in half, or has worn away more rapidly than the rest. Ramses III.
seems, on the whole, to have been a sort of reduced copy, a little
more delicate in make, of Ramses II.; his face shows more subtlety
of expression and intelligence, though less nobility than that of the
latter, while his figure is not so upright, his shoulders not so
broad, and his general muscular vigour less. What has been said of
his personality may be extended to his reign; it was evidently and
designedly an imitation of the reign of Ramses IL, but fell short of its
model owing to the insufficiency of his resources in men and money. If
Ramses III. did not succeed in becoming one of the most powerful of the
Theban Pharaohs, it was not for lack of energy or ability; the depressed
condition of Egypt at the time limited the success of his endeavours and
caused them to fall short of his intentions. The work accomplished by
him was not on this account less glorious. At his accession Egypt was
in a wretched state, invaded on the west, threatened by a flood
of barbarians on the east, without an army or a fleet, and with no
resources in the treasury. In fifteen years he had disposed of his
inconvenient neighbours, organised an army, constructed a fleet,
re-established his authority abroad, and settled the administration
at home on so firm a basis, that the country owed the peace which it
enjoyed for several centuries to the institutions and prestige which
he had given it. His associate in the government, Ramses IV., barely
survived him. Then followed a series of _rois fainéants_ bearing the
name of Ramses, but in an order not yet clearly determined. It is
generally assumed that Ramses V., brother of Ramses III., succeeded
Ramses IV. by supplanting his nephews--who, however, appear to have
soon re-established their claim to the throne, and to have followed each
other in rapid succession as Ramses VI., Ramses VIL, Ramses VIII., and
Maritûmû.* Others endeavour to make out that Ramses V. was the son of
Ramses IV., and that the prince called Ramses VI. never succeeded to the
throne at all. At any rate, his son, who is styled Ramses VIL, but who
is asserted by some to have been a son of Ramses III., is considered to
have succeeded Ramses V., and to have become the ancestor from whom the
later Ramessides traced their descent.**

     * The order of the Ramessides was first made out by
     Champollion the younger and by Rosellini. Bunsen and Lepsius
     reckon in it thirteen kings; E. de Rougé puts the number at
     fifteen or sixteen; Maspero makes the number to be twelve,
     which was reduced still further by Setho. Erman thinks that
     Ramses IX. and Ramses X. were also possibly sons of Ramses
     III.; he consequently declines to recognise King Maritûmû as
     a son of that sovereign, as Brugsch would make out.

     * The monuments of these later Ramessides are so rare and so
     doubtful that I cannot yet see my way to a solution of the
     questions which they raise.

The short reigns of these Pharaohs were marked by no events which would
cast lustre on their names; one might say that they had nothing else to
do than to enjoy peacefully the riches accumulated by their forefather.
Ramses IV. was anxious to profit by the commercial relations which
had been again established between Egypt and Puanît, and, in order to
facilitate the transit between Coptos and Kosseir, founded a station,
and a temple dedicated to Isis, in the mountain of Bakhni; by this
route, we learn, more than eight thousand men had passed under the
auspices of the high priest of Amon, Nakh-tû-ramses. This is the only
undertaking of public utility which we can attribute to any of these
kings. As we see them in their statues and portraits, they are heavy
and squat and without refinement, with protruding eyes, thick lips,
flattened and commonplace noses, round and expressionless faces. Their
work was confined to the engraving of their cartouches on the blank
spaces of the temples at Karnak and Medinet-Habu, and the addition of a
few stones to the buildings at Memphis, Abydos, and Heliopolis. Whatever
energy and means they possessed were expended on the construction of
their magnificent tombs.

[Illustration: 331.jpg A RAMSES OF THE XXth DYNASTY]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-
     Bey. This is the Ramses VI. of the series now generally

These may still be seen in the Biban el-Moluk, and no visitor can
refrain from admiring them for their magnitude and decoration. As to
funerary chapels, owing to the shortness of the reigns of these kings,
there was not time to construct them, and they therefore made up for
this want by appropriating the chapel of their father, which was at
Medinet-Habu, and it was here consequently that their worship was
maintained. The last of the sons of Ramses III. was succeeded by another
and equally ephemeral Ramses; after whom came Ramses X. and Ramses XI.,
who re-established the tradition of more lasting reigns. There was
now no need of expeditions against Kharu or Libya, for these enfeebled
countries no longer disputed, from the force of custom, the authority of
Egypt. From time to time an embassy from these countries would arrive at
Thebes, bringing presents, which were pompously recorded as representing
so much tribute.* If it is true that a people which has no history
is happy, then Egypt ought to be reckoned as more fortunate under the
feebler descendants of Ramses III. than it had ever been under the most
famous Pharaohs.

     * The mention of a tribute, for instance, in the time of
     Ramses IV. from the Lotanu.

Thebes continued to be the favourite royal residence. Here in its temple
the kings were crowned, and in its palaces they passed the greater part
of their lives, and here in its valley of sepulchres they were laid
to rest when their reigns and lives were ended. The small city of the
beginning of the XVIIIth dynasty had long encroached upon the plain, and
was now transformed into an immense town, with magnificent monuments,
and a motley population, having absorbed in its extension the villages
of Ashirû,* and Madit, and even the southern Apît, which we now call
Luxor. But their walls could still be seen, rising up in the middle of
modern constructions, a memorial of the heroic ages, when the power of
the Theban princes was trembling in the balance, and when conflicts with
the neighbouring barons or with the legitimate king were on the point of
breaking out at every moment.**

     * The village of Ashirû was situated to the south of the
     temple of Karnak, close to the temple of Mût. Its ruins,
     containing the statues of Sokhît collected by Amenôthes III.,
     extend around the remains marked X in Mariette's plan.

     * These are the walls which are generally regarded as
     marking the sacred enclosure of the temples: an examination
     of the ruins of Thebes shows us that, during the XXth and
     XXIst dynasties, brick-built houses lay against these walls
     both on the inner and outer sides, so that they must have
     been half hidden by buildings, as are the ancient walls of
     Paris at the present day.

The inhabitants of Apît retained their walls, which coincided almost
exactly with the boundary of Nsîttauî, the great sanctuary of Amon;
Ashirû sheltered behind its ramparts the temple of Mût, while Apît-rîsît
clustered around a building consecrated by Amenôthes III. to his divine
father, the lord of Thebes. Within the boundary walls of Thebes extended
whole suburbs, more or less densely populated and prosperous, through
which ran avenues of sphinxes connecting together the three chief
boroughs of which the sovereign city was composed. On every side might
have been seen the same collections of low grey huts, separated from
each other by some muddy pool where the cattle were wont to drink
and the women to draw water; long streets lined with high houses,
irregularly shaped open spaces, bazaars, gardens, courtyards, and
shabby-looking palaces which, while presenting a plain and unadorned
exterior, contained within them the refinements of luxury and the
comforts of wealth. The population did not exceed a hundred thousand
souls,* reckoning a large proportion of foreigners attracted hither by
commerce or held as slaves.

     * Letronne, after having shown that we have no authentic
     ancient document giving us the population, fixes it at
     200,000 souls. My estimate, which is, if anything,
     exaggerated, is based on the comparison of the area of
     ancient Thebes and that of such modern towns as Shit, Girgeh
     and Qina, whose populations are known for the last fifty
     years from the census.

[Illustration: 334.jpg MAP: THEBES IN THE XXTH DYNASTY]

The court of the Pharaoh drew to the city numerous provincials, who,
coming thither to seek their fortune, took up their abode there,
planting in the capital of Southern Egypt types from the north and
the centre of the country, as well as from Nubia and the Oases; such a
continuous infusion of foreign material into the ancient Theban stock
gave rise to families of a highly mixed character, in which all the
various races of Egypt were blended in the most capricious fashion. In
every twenty officers, and in the same number of ordinary officials,
about half would be either Syrians, or recently naturalised Nubians, or
the descendants of both, and among the citizens such names as Pakhari
the Syrian, Palamnanî the native of the Lebanon, Pinahsî the negro,
Palasiaî the Alasian, preserved the indications of foreign origin.*
A similar mixture of races was found in other cities, and Memphis,
Bubastis, Tanis, and Siût must have presented as striking an aspect
in this respect as Thebes.** At Memphis there were regular colonies of
Phoenician, Canaanite, and Amorite merchants sufficiently prosperous
to have temples there to their national gods, and influential enough to
gain adherents to their religion from the indigenous inhabitants. They
worshipped Baal, Anîti. Baal-Zaphuna, and Ashtoreth, side by side with
Phtah, Nofîrtûmû, and Sokhit,*** and this condition of things at Memphis
was possibly paralleled elsewhere--as at Tanis and Bubastis.

     * Among the forty-three individuals compromised in the
     conspiracy against Ramses III. whose names have been
     examined by Dévéria, nine are foreigners, chiefly Semites,
     and were so recognised by the Egyptians themselves--Adiram,
     Balmahara, Garapusa, lunîni the Libyan, Paiarisalama,
     possibly the Jerusalemite, Nanaiu, possibly the Ninevite,
     Palulca the Lycian, Qadendena, and Uarana or Naramu.

     ** An examination of the stelæ of Abydos shows the extent of
     foreign influence in this city in the middle of the
     XVIIIth dynasty.

     *** These gods are mentioned in the preamble of a letter
     written on the _verso_ of the _Sallier Papyrus_. From the
     mode in which they are introduced we may rightly infer that
     they had, like the Egyptian gods who are mentioned with
     them, their chapels at Memphis. A place in Memphis is called
     "the district called the district of the Khâtiû" is an
     inscription of the IIIth year of Aï, and shows that Hittites
     were there by the side of Canaanites.

This blending of races was probably not so extensive in the country
districts, except in places where mercenaries were employed as
garrisons; but Sudanese or Hittite slaves, brought back by the soldiers
of the ranks, had introduced Ethiopian and Asiatic elements into many a
family of the fellahîn.*

     * One of the letters in the Great Bologna Papyrus treats of
     a Syrian slave, employed as a cultivator at Hermopolis, who
     had run away from his master.

We have only to examine in any of our museums the statues of the
Memphite and Theban periods respectively, to see the contrast between
the individuals represented in them as far as regards stature and
appearance. Some members of the courts of the Ramessides stand out as
genuine Semites notwithstanding the disguise of their Egyptian names;
and in the times of Kheops and Ûsirtasen they would have been regarded
as barbarians. Many of them exhibit on their faces a blending of the
distinctive features of one or other of the predominant Oriental races
of the time. Additional evidence of a mixture of races is forthcoming
when we examine with an unbiased mind the mummies of the period, and
the complexity of the new elements introduced among the people by the
political movements of the later centuries is thus strongly confirmed.
The new-comers had all been absorbed and assimilated by the country, but
the generations which arose from this continual cross-breeding, while
representing externally the Egyptians of older epochs, in manners,
language, and religion, were at bottom something different, and
the difference became the more accentuated as the foreign elements
increased. The people were thus gradually divested of the character
which had distinguished them before the conquest of Syria; the
dispositions and defects imported from without counteracted to such
an extent their own native dispositions and defects that all marks of
individuality were effaced and nullified. The race tended to become more
and more what it long continued to be afterwards,--a lifeless and inert
mass, without individual energy--endowed, it is true, with patience,
endurance, cheerfulness of temperament, and good nature, but with little
power of self-government, and thus forced to submit to foreign masters
who made use of it and oppressed it without pity.

The upper classes had degenerated as much as the masses. The feudal
nobles who had expelled the Shepherds, and carried the frontiers of
the empire to the banks of the Euphrates, seemed to have expended their
energies in the effort, and to have almost ceased to exist. As long as
Egypt was restricted to the Nile valley, there was no such disproportion
between the power of the Pharaoh and that of his feudatories as to
prevent the latter from maintaining their privileges beside, and, when
occasion arose, even against the monarch. The conquest of Asia, while it
compelled them either to take up arms themselves or to send their
troops to a distance, accustomed them and their soldiers to a passive
obedience. The maintenance of a strict discipline in the army was the
first condition of successful campaigning at great distances from the
mother country and in the midst of hostile people, and the unquestioning
respect which they had to pay to the orders of their general prepared
them for abject submission to the will of their sovereign. To their
bravery, moveover, they owed not only money and slaves, but also
necklaces and bracelets of honour, and distinctions and offices in
the Pharaonic administration. The king, in addition, neglected no
opportunity for securing their devotion to himself. He gave to them
in marriage his sisters, his daughters, his cousins, and any of the
princesses whom he was not compelled by law to make his own wives. He
selected from their harems nursing-mothers for his own sons, and this
choice established between him and them a foster relationship, which
was as binding among the Egyptians and other Oriental peoples as one of
blood. It was not even necessary for the establishment of this relation
that the foster-mother's connexion with the Pharaoh's son should be
durable or even effective: the woman had only to offer her breast to
the child for a moment, and this symbol was quite enough to make her his
nurse--his true _monâît_. This fictitious fosterage was carried so far,
that it was even made use of in the case of youths and persons of mature
age. When an Egyptian woman wished to adopt an adult, the law prescribed
that she should offer him the breast, and from that moment he became her
son. A similar ceremony was prescribed in the case of men who wished to
assume the quality of male nurse--_monâî_--or even, indeed, of female
nurse--_monâît_--like that of their wives; according to which they were
to place, it would seem, the end of one of their fingers in the mouth
of the child.* Once this affinity was established, the fidelity of these
feudal lords was established beyond question; and their official duties
to the sovereign were not considered as accomplished when they had
fulfilled their military obligations, for they continued to serve him in
the palace as they had served him on the field. Wherever the necessities
of the government called them--at Memphis, at Ramses, or elsewhere--they
assembled around the Pharaoh; like him they had their palaces at Thebes,
and when they died they were anxious to be buried there beside him.**

     * These symbolical modes of adoption were first pointed out
     by Maspero. Legend has given examples of them: as, for
     instance, where Isis fosters the child of Malkander, King of
     Byblos, by inserting the tip of her finger in its mouth.

     ** The tomb of a prince of Tobûî, the lesser Aphroditopolis,
     was discovered at Thebes by Maspero. The rock-out tombs of
     two Thinite princes were noted in the same necropolis. These
     two were of the time of Thûtmosis III. I have remarked in
     tombs not yet made public the mention of princes of El-Kab,
     who played an important part about the person of the
     Pharaohs down to the beginning of the XXth dynasty.

Many of the old houses had become extinct, while others, owing to
marriages, were absorbed into the royal family; the fiefs conceded to
the relations or favourites of the Pharaoh continued to exist, indeed,
as of old, but the ancient distrustful and turbulent feudality had given
place to an aristocracy of courtiers, who lived oftener in attendance on
the monarch than on their own estates, and whose authority continued to
diminish to the profit of the absolute rule of the king. There would
be nothing astonishing in the "count" becoming nothing more than a
governor, hereditary or otherwise, in Thebes itself; he could hardly be
anything higher in the capital of the empire.* But the same restriction
of authority was evidenced in all the provinces: the recruiting of
soldiers, the receipt of taxes, most of the offices associated with the
civil or military administration, became more and more affairs of the
State, and passed from the hands of the feudal lord into those of the
functionaries of the Crown. The few barons who still lived on their
estates, while they were thus dispossessed of the greater part of their
prerogatives, obtained some compensation, on the other hand, on the side
of religion. From early times they had been by birth the heads of the
local cults, and their protocol had contained, together with those
titles which justified their possession of the temporalities of the
nome, others which attributed to them spiritual supremacy. The sacred
character with which they were invested became more and more prominent
in proportion as their political influence became curtailed, and we find
scions of the old warlike families or representatives of a new lineage
at Thinis, at Akhmîm,** in the nome of Baalû, at Hierâconpolis,***
at El-Kab,**** and in every place where we have information from the
monuments as to their position, bestowing more concern upon their
sacerdotal than on their other duties.

     * Rakhmirî and his son Manakhpirsonbû were both "counts "of
     Thebes under Thûtmosis III., and there is nothing to show
     that there was any other person among them invested with the
     same functions and belonging to a different family.

     ** For example, the tomb of Anhûrimôsû, high priest of
     Anhuri-Shû and prince of Thinis, under Mînephtah, where the
     sacerdotal character is almost exclusively prominent. The
     same is the case with the tombs of the princes of Akhmîm in
     the time of Khûniatonû and his successors: the few still
     existing in 1884-5 have not been published. The stelæ
     belonging to them are at Paris and Berlin.

     *** Horimôsû, Prince of Hierâconpolis under Thûtmosis III.,
     is, above everything else, a prophet of the local Horus.

     **** The princes of El-Kab during the XIXth and XXth
     dynasties were, before everything, priests of Nekhabit, as
     appears from an examination of their tombs, which, lying in
     a side valley, far away from the tomb of Pihirî, are rarely

This transfiguration of the functions of the barons, which had been
completed under the XIXth and XXth dynasties, corresponded with a
more general movement by which the Pharaohs themselves were driven to
accentuate their official position as high priests, and to assign to
their sons sacerdotal functions in relation to the principal deities.
This rekindling of religious fervour would not, doubtless, have
restrained military zeal in case of war;* but if it did not tend to
suppress entirely individual bravery, it discouraged the taste for arms
and for the bold adventures which had characterised the old feudality.

     * The sons of Ramses II., Khâmoîsît and Marîtùmû, were bravo
     warriors in spite of their being high priests of Phtah at
     Memphis, and of Râ at Heliopolis.

The duties of sacrificing, of offering prayer, of celebrating the sacred
rites according to the prescribed forms, and rendering due homage to the
gods in the manner they demanded, were of such an exactingly scrupulous
and complex character that the Pharaohs and the lords of earlier times
had to assign them to men specially fitted for, and appointed to, the
task; now that they had assumed these absorbing functions themselves,
they were obliged to delegate to others an increasingly greater
proportion of their civil and military duties. Thus, while the king
and his great vassals were devoutly occupying themselves in matters of
worship and theology, generals by profession were relieving them of
the care of commanding their armies; and as these individuals were
frequently the chiefs of Ethiopian, Asiatic, and especially of Libyan
bands, military authority, and, with it, predominant influence in the
State were quickly passing into the hands of the barbarians. A sort of
aristocracy of veterans, notably of Shardana or Mashauasha, entirely
devoted to arms, grew up and increased gradually side by side with the
ancient noble families, now by preference devoted to the priesthood.*

     * This military aristocracy was fully developed in the XXIst
     and XXIInd dynasties, but it began to take shape after
     Ramses III. had planted the Shardana and Qahaka in certain
     towns as garrisons.

The barons, whether of ancient or modern lineage, were possessed of
immense wealth, especially those of priestly families. The tribute and
spoil of Asia and Africa, when once it had reached Egypt, hardly ever
left it: they were distributed among the population in proportion to the
position occupied by the recipients in the social scale. The commanders
of the troops, the attendants on the king, the administrators of the
palace and temples, absorbed the greater part, but the distribution
was carried down to the private soldier and his relations in town or
country, who received some of the crumbs. When we remember for a moment
the four centuries and more during which Egypt had been reaping the
fruits of her foreign conquest, we cannot think without amazement of
the quantities of gold and other precious metals which must have been
brought in divers forms into the valley of the Nile.* Every fresh
expedition made additions to these riches, and one is at a loss to know
whence in the intervals between two defeats the conquered could procure
so much wealth, and why the sources were never exhausted nor became
impoverished. This flow of metals had an influence upon commercial
transactions, for although trade was still mainly carried on by barter,
the mode of operation was becoming changed appreciably. In exchanging
commodities, frequent use was now made of rings and ingots of a certain
prescribed weight in _tabonû_; and it became more and more the custom
to pay for goods by a certain number of _tabonû_ of gold, silver, or
copper, rather than by other commodities: it was the practice even
to note down in invoices or in the official receipts, alongside the
products or manufactured articles with which payments were made, the
value of the same in weighed metal.**

     * The quantity of gold in ingots or rings, mentioned in the
     _Annals of Tkutmosis III._, represents altogether a weight
     of nearly a ton and a quarter, or in value some £140,000 of
     our money. And this is far from being the whole of the metal
     obtained from the enemy, for a large portion of the
     inscription has disappeared, and the unrecorded amount might
     be taken, without much risk of error, at as much as that of
     which we have evidence--say, some two and a half tons,
     which Thûtmosis had received or brought back between the
     years XXIII. and XLII. of his reign--an estimation rather
     under than over the reality. These figures, moreover, take
     no account of the vessels and statues, or of the furniture
     and arms plated with gold. Silver was not received in such
     large quantities, but it was of great value, and the like
     may be said of copper and lead.

     * The facts justifying this position were observed and put
     together for the first time by Chabas: a translation is
     given in his memoir of a register of the XXth or XXIst
     dynasty, which gives the price of butcher's meat, both in
     gold and silver, at this date. Fresh examples have been
     since collected by Spiegelberg, who has succeeded in drawing
     up a kind of tariff for the period between the XVIIIth and
     XXth dynasties.

This custom, although not yet widely extended, placed at the disposal
of trade enormous masses of metal, which were preserved in the form of
ingots or bricks, except the portion which went to the manufacture of
rings, jewellery, or valuable vessels.*

     * There are depicted on the monuments bags or heaps of gold
     dust, ingots in the shape of bricks, rings, and vases,
     arranged alongside each other.

The general prosperity encouraged a passion for goldsmith's work, and
the use of bracelets, necklaces, and chains became common among classes
of the people who were not previously accustomed to wear them. There was
henceforward no scribe or merchant, however poor he might be, who had
not his seal made of gold or silver, or at any rate of copper gilt. The
stone was sometimes fixed, but frequently arranged so as to turn round
on a pivot; while among people of superior rank it had some emblem
or device upon it, such as a scorpion, a sparrow-hawk, a lion, or
a cynocephalous monkey. Chains occupied the same position among the
ornaments of Egyptian women as rings among men; they were indispensable
decorations. Examples of silver chains are known of some five feet
in length, while others do not exceed two to three inches. There are
specimens in gold of all sizes, single, double, and triple, with large
or small links, some thick and heavy, while others are as slight and
flexible as the finest Venetian lace. The poorest peasant woman, alike
with the lady of the court, could boast of the possession of a chain,
and she must have been in dire poverty who had not some other ornament
in her jewel-case. The jewellery of Queen Âhhotpû shows to what degree
of excellence the work of the Egyptian goldsmiths had attained at the
time of the expulsion of the Nyksôs: they had not only preserved the
good traditions of the best workmen of the XIIth dynasty, but they had
perfected the technical details, and had learned to combine form and
colour with a greater skill. The pectorals of Prince Khâmoîsît and the
Lord Psaru,now in the Louvre, but which were originally placed in the
tomb of the Apis in the time of Ramses II., are splendid examples.

[Illustration: 345.jpg PECTORAL OF RAMSES II.]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the jewel in the Louvre.

The most common form of these represents in miniature the front of a
temple with a moulded or flat border, surmounted by a curved cornice.
In one of them, which was doubtless a present from the king himself, the
cartouche, containing the first name of the Pharaoh-Usirmari, appears
just below the frieze, and serves as a centre for the design within the
frame. The wings of the ram-headed sparrow-hawk, the emblem of Amonrâ,
are so displayed as to support it, while a large urseus and a vulture
beneath embracing both the sparrow-hawk and the cartouche with outspread
wings give the idea of divine protection. Two _didû_, each of them
filling one of the lower corners, symbolise duration. The framework of
the design is made up of divisions marked out in gold, and filled either
with coloured enamels or pieces of polished stone. The general effect is
one of elegance, refinement, and harmony, the three principal elements
of the design becoming enlarged from the top downwards in a deftly
adjusted gradation. The dead-gold of the cartouche in the upper centre
is set off below by the brightly variegated and slightly undulating band
of colours of the sparrow-hawk, while the urseus and vulture, associated
together with one pair of wings, envelope the upper portions in a
half-circle of enamels, of which the shades pass from red through
green to a dull blue, with a freedom of handling and a skill in the
manipulation of colour which do honour to the artist. It was not his
fault if there is still an element of stiffness in the appearance of the
pectoral as a whole, for the form which religious tradition had imposed
upon the jewel was so rigid that no artifice could completely get over
this defect. It is a type which arose out of the same mental concepts
as had given birth to Egyptian architecture and sculpture--monumental in
character, and appearing often as if designed for colossal rather than
ordinary beings. The dimensions, too overpowering for the decoration of
normal men or women, would find an appropriate place only on the breasts
of gigantic statues: the enormous size of the stone figures to which
alone they are adapted would relieve them, and show them in their proper
proportions. The artists of the second Theban empire tried all they
could, however, to get rid of the square framework in which the sacred
bird is enclosed, and we find examples among the pectorals in the Louvre
of the sparrow-hawk only with curved wings, or of the ram-headed hawk
with the wings extended; but in both of them there is displayed the same
brilliancy, the same purity of line, as in the square-shaped jewels,
while the design, freed from the trammels of the hampering enamelled
frame, takes on a more graceful form, and becomes more suitable for
personal decoration.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a jewel in the Louvre.

The ram's head in the second case excels in the beauty of its
workmanship anything to be found elsewhere in the museums of Europe or
Egypt. It is of the finest gold, but its value does not depend upon the
precious material: the ancient engraver knew how to model it with a bold
and free hand, and he has managed to invest it with as much dignity
as if he had been carving his subject in heroic size out of a block of
granite or limestone. It is not an example of pure industrial art, but
of an art for which a designation is lacking. Other examples, although
more carefully executed and of more costly materials, do not approach it
in value: such, for instance, are the earrings of Ramses XII. at
Gîzeh, which are made up of an ostentatious combination of disks,
filigree-work, chains, beads, and hanging figures of the urseus.

To get an idea of the character of the plate on the royal sideboards, we
must have recourse to the sculptures in the temples, or to the paintings
on the tombs: the engraved gold or silver centrepieces, dishes, bowls,
cups, and amphoras, if valued by weight only, were too precious to
escape the avarice of the impoverished generations which followed the
era of Theban prosperity. In the fabrication of these we can trace
foreign influences, but not to the extent of a predominance over native
art: even if the subject to be dealt with by the artist happened to be a
Phoenician god or an Asiatic prisoner, he was not content with slavishly
copying his model; he translated it and interpreted it, so as to give it
an Egyptian character.

The household furniture was in keeping with these precious objects.
Beds and armchairs in valuable woods, inlaid with ivory, carved, gilt,
painted in subdued and bright colours, upholstered with mattresses
and cushions of many-hued Asiatic stuffs, or of home-made materials,
fashioned after Chaldæan patterns, were in use among the well-to-do,
while people of moderate means had to be content with old-fashioned
furniture of the ancient regime.

[Illustration: 348.jpg DECORATED ARMCHAIR]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of these objects in the
     tomb of Ramses III.

The Theban dwelling-house was indeed more sumptuously furnished than the
earliest Memphite, but we find the same general arrangements in both,
which provided, in addition to quarters for the masters, a similar
number of rooms intended for the slaves, for granaries, storehouses, and
stables. While the outward decoration of life was subject to change,
the inward element remained unaltered. Costume was a more complex
matter than in former times: the dresses and lower garments were more
gauffered, had more embroidery and stripes; the wigs were larger and
longer, and rose up in capricious arrangements of curls and plaits.

[Illustration: 349.jpg EGYPTIAN WIG]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by M. de Mertens.

The use of the chariot had now become a matter of daily custom, and
the number of domestics, already formidable, was increased by fresh
additions in the shape of coachmen, grooms, and _saises_, who ran before
their master to clear a way for the horses through the crowded streets
of the city.*

     * The pictures at Tel el-Amarna exhibit the king, queen, and
     princesses driving in their chariots with escorts of
     soldiers and runners. We often find in the tomb-paintings
     the chariot and coachman of some dignitary, waiting while
     their master inspects a field or a workshop, or while he is
     making a visit to the palace for some reward.

As material, existence became more complex, intellectual life partook of
the same movement, and, without deviating much from the lines prescribed
for it by the learned and the scribes of the Memphite age, literature
had become in the mean time larger, more complicated, more exacting,
and more difficult to grapple with and to master. It had its classical
authors, whose writings were committed to memory and taught in the
schools. These were truly masterpieces, for if some felt that they
understood and enjoyed them, others found them almost beyond their
comprehension, and complained bitterly of their obscurity. The later
writers followed them pretty closely, in taking pains, on the one hand
to express fresh ideas in the forms consecrated by approved and ancient
usage, or when they failed to find adequate vehicles to convey new
thoughts, resorting in their lack of imagination to the foreigner for the
requisite expressions. The necessity of knowing at least superficially,
something of the dialect and writings of Asia compelled the Egyptian
scribes to study to some degree the literature of Phonecia and of

[Illustration: 350.jpg Page Image with Furniture]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from photographs of the objects in
     the Museums of Berlin and Gîzeh.

From these sources they had borrowed certain formulae and incantation,
medical recipes, and devout legends, in which the deities of Assyria
and especially Astartê played the chief part. They appropriated in
this manner a certain number of words and phrases with which they were
accustomed to interlard their discourses and writings. They thought it
polite to call a door no longer by the word _ro_, but the term _tira_,
and to accompany themselves no longer with the harp _bordt_, but with
the same instrument under its new name _kinnôr_, and to make the _salâm_
in saluting the sovereign in place of crying before him, _aaû_. They
were thorough-going Semiticisers; but one is less offended by their
affectation when one considers that the number of captives in the
country, and the intermarriages with Canaanite women, had familiarised a
portion of the community from childhood with the sounds and ideas of the
languages from which the scribes were accustomed to borrow unblushingly.
This artifice, if it served to infuse an appearance of originality into
their writings, had no influence upon their method of composition. Their
poetical ideal remained what it had been in the time of their ancestors,
but seeing that we are now unable to determine the characteristic
cadence of sentences or the mental attitude which marked each generation
of literary men, it is often difficult for us to find out the qualities
in their writings which gave them popularity. A complete library of one
of the learned in the Ramesside period must have contained a strange
mixture of works, embracing, in addition to books of devotion, which
were indispensable to those who were solicitous about their souls,*
collections of hymns, romances, war and love songs, moral and
philosophical treatises, letters, and legal documents.

     * There are found in the rubrics of many religious books,
     for example that dealing with the unseen world, promises of
     health and prosperity to the soul which, "while still on
     earth," had read and learned them. A similar formula appears
     at the end of several important chapters of the _Book of the

It would have been similar in character to the literary-possessions of
an Egyptian of the Memphite period,* but the language in which it was
written would not have been so stiff and dry, but would have flowed more
easily, and been more sustained and better balanced.

     * The composition of these libraries may be gathered from
     the collections of papyri which have turned up from time to
     time, and have been sold by the Arabs to Europeans buyers;
     e.g. the Sallier Collection, the Anastasi Collections, and
     that of Harris. They have found their way eventually into
     the British Museum or the Museum at Leyden, and have been
     published in the _Select Papyri_ of the former, or in the
     _Monuments Égyptiens_ of the latter.

The great odes to the deities which we find in the Theban _papyri_ are
better fitted, perhaps, than the profane compositions of the period,
to give us an idea of the advance which Egyptian genius had made in the
width and richness of its modes of expression, while still maintaining
almost the same dead-level of idea which had characterised it from the
outset. Among these, one dedicated to Harmakhis, the sovereign sun, is
no longer restricted to a bare enumeration of the acts and virtues of
the "Disk," but ventures to treat of his daily course and his final
triumphs in terms which might have been used in describing the
victorious campaigns or the apotheosis of a Pharaoh. It begins with his
awakening, at the moment when he has torn himself away from the embraces
of night. Standing upright in the cabin of the divine bark, "the fair
boat of millions of years," with the coils of the serpent Mihni around
him, he glides in silence on the eternal current of the celestial
waters, guided and protected by those battalions of secondary deities
with whose odd forms the monuments have made us familiar. "Heaven is
in delight, the earth is in joy, gods and men are making festival, to
render glory to Phrâ-Harmakhis, when they see him arise in his bark,
having overturned his enemies in his own time!" They accompany him from
hour to hour, they fight the good fight with him against Apopi, they
shout aloud as he inflicts each fresh wound upon the monster: they
do not even abandon him when the west has swallowed him up in its
darkness.* Some parts of the hymn remind us, in the definiteness of
the imagery and in the abundance of detail, of a portion of the poem
of Pentaûîrît, or one of those inscriptions of Ramses III. wherein he
celebrates the defeat of hordes of Asiatics or Libyans.

     * The remains of Egyptian romantic literature have been
     collected and translated into French by Maspero, and
     subsequently into English by Flinders Petrie.

The Egyptians took a delight in listening to stories. They preferred
tales which dealt with the marvellous and excited their imagination,
introducing speaking animals, gods in disguise, ghosts and magic. One
of them tells of a king who was distressed because he had no heir, and
had no sooner obtained the favour he desired from the gods, than the
Seven Hathors, the mistresses of Fate, destroyed his happiness by
predicting that the child would meet with his death by a serpent, a dog,
or a crocodile. Efforts were made to provide against such a fatality by
shutting him up in a tower; but no sooner had he grown to man's estate,
than he procured himself a dog, went off to wander through the world,
and married the daughter of the Prince of Naharaim. His fate meets him
first under the form of a serpent, which is killed by his wife; he is
next assailed by a crocodile, and the dog kills the crocodile, but as
the oracles must be fulfilled, the brute turns and despatches his master
without further consideration. Another story describes two brothers,
Anûpû and Bitiû, who live happily together on their farm till the wife
of the elder falls in love with the younger, and on his repulsing her
advances, she accuses him to her husband of having offered her violence.
The virtue of the younger brother would not have availed him much,
had not his animals warned him of danger, and had not Phrâ-Harmakhis
surrounded him at the critical moment with a stream teeming with
crocodiles. He mutilates himself to prove his innocence, and announces
that henceforth he will lead a mysterious existence far from mankind; he
will retire to the Valley of the Acacia, place his heart on the topmost
flower of the tree, and no one will be able with impunity to steal it
from him. The gods, however, who frequent this earth take pity on his
loneliness, and create for him a wife of such beauty that the Nile falls
in love with her, and steals a lock of her hair, which is carried by its
waters down into Egypt. Pharaoh finds the lock, and, intoxicated by
its scent, commands his people to go in quest of the owner. Having
discovered the lady, Pharaoh marries her, and ascertaining from her
who she is, he sends men to cut down the Acacia, but no sooner has the
flower touched the earth, than Bitiû droops and dies. The elder brother
is made immediately acquainted with the fact by means of various
prodigies. The wine poured out to him becomes troubled, his beer leaves
a deposit. He seizes his shoes and staff and sets out to find the heart.

After a search of seven years he discovers it, and reviving it in a vase
of water, he puts it into the mouth of the corpse, which at once returns
to life. Bitiû, from this moment, seeks only to be revenged. He changes
himself into the bull Apis, and, on being led to court, he reproaches
the queen with the crime she has committed against him. The queen causes
his throat to be cut; two drops of his blood fall in front of the gate
of the palace, and produce in the night two splendid "Persea" trees,
which renew the accusation in a loud voice. The queen has them cut down,
but a chip from one of them flies into her mouth, and ere long she gives
birth to a child who is none other than a reincarnation of Bitiû. When
the child succeeds to the Pharaoh, he assembles his council, reveals
himself to them, and punishes with death her who was first his wife
and subsequently his mother. The hero moves throughout the tale without
exhibiting any surprise at the strange incidents in which he takes
part, and, as a matter of fact, they did not seriously outrage the
probabilities of contemporary life. In every town sorcerers could be
found who knew how to transform themselves into animals or raise
the dead to life: we have seen how the accomplices of Pentaûîrît had
recourse to spells in order to gain admission to the royal palace when
they desired to rid themselves of Ramses III. The most extravagant
romances differed from real life merely in collecting within a dozen
pages more miracles than were customarily supposed to take place in the
same number of years; it was merely the multiplicity of events, and
not the events themselves, that gave to the narrative its romantic and
improbable character. The rank of the heroes alone raised the tale
out of the region of ordinary life; they are always the sons of kings,
Syrian princes, or Pharaohs; sometimes we come across a vague and
undefined Pharaoh, who figures under the title of Pîrûîâûi or Prûîti,
but more often it is a well-known and illustrious Pharaoh who is
mentioned by name. It is related how, one day, Kheops, suffering from
_ennui_ within his palace, assembled his sons in the hope of learning
from them something which he did not already know. They described to him
one after another the prodigies performed by celebrated magicians under
Kanibri and Snofrûi; and at length Mykerinos assured him that there
was a certain Didi, living then not far from Meîdum, who was capable of
repeating all the marvels done by former wizards. Most of the Egyptian
sovereigns were, in the same way, subjects of more or less wonderful
legends--Sesostris, Amenôthes III., Thûfcmosis III., Amenemhâît I.,
Khîti, Sahûrî, Usirkaf, and Kakiû. These stories were put into literary
shape by the learned, recited by public story-tellers, and received by
the people as authentic history; they finally filtered into the writings
of the chroniclers, who, in introducing them into the annals, filled
up with their extraordinary details the lacunæ of authentic tradition.
Sometimes the narrative assumed a briefer form, and became an apologue.
In one of them the members of the body were supposed to have combined
against the head, and disputed its supremacy before a jury; the parties
all pleaded their cause in turn, and judgment was given in due form.*

     * This version of the _Fable of the Members and the Stomach_
     was discovered upon a schoolboy's tablet at Turin.

Animals also had their place in this universal comedy. The passions or
the weaknesses of humanity were attributed to them, and the narrator
makes the lion, rat, or jackal to utter sentiments from which he draws
some short practical moral. La Fontaine had predecessors on the banks of
the Nile of whose existence he little dreamed.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.

As La Fontaine found an illustrator in Granville, so, too, in Egypt
the draughtsman brought his reed to the aid of the fabulist, and by his
cleverly executed sketches gave greater point to the sarcasm of story
than mere words could have conveyed. Where the author had briefly
mentioned that the jackal and the cat had cunningly forced their
services on the animals whom they wished to devour at their leisure, the
artist would depict the jackal and the cat equipped as peasants, with
wallets on their backs, and sticks over their shoulders, marching behind
a troup of gazelles or a flock of fat geese: it was easy to foretell the
fate of their unfortunate charges. Elsewhere it is an ox who brings
up before his master a cat who has cheated him, and his proverbial
stupidity would incline us to think that he will end by being punished
himself for the misdeeds of which he had accused the other. Puss's sly
and artful expression, the ass-headed and important-looking judge, with
the wand and costume of a high and mighty dignitary, give pungency to
the story, and recall the daily scenes at the judgment-seat of the lord
of Thebes. In another place we see a donkey, a lion, a crocodile, and a
monkey giving an instrumental and vocal concert.

[Illustration: 358.jpg THE CAT BEFORE ITS JUDGE]

     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.

A lion and a gazelle play a game of chess. A cat of fashion, with a
flower in her hair, has a disagreement with a goose: they have come to
blows, and the excitable puss, who fears she will come off worst in the
struggle, falls backwards in a fright. The draughtsmen having once found
vent for their satire, stopped at nothing, and even royalty itself did
not escape their attacks. While the writers of the day made fun of the
military calling, both in prose and verse, the caricaturists parodied
the combats and triumphal scenes of the Ramses or Thutmosis of the
day depicted on the walls of the pylons. The Pharaoh of all the rats,
perched upon a chariot drawn by dogs, bravely charges an army of cats;
standing in the heroic attitude of a conqueror, he pierces them with
his darts, while his horses tread the fallen underfoot; his legions
meanwhile in advance of him attack a fort defended by tomcats, with the
same ardour that the Egyptian battalions would display in assaulting a
Syrian stronghold.


     Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius.

This treatment of ethics did not prevent the Egyptian writers from
giving way to their natural inclinations, and composing large volumes
on this subject after the manner of Kaqîmni or Phtahhotpû. One of their
books, in which the aged Ani inscribes his Instructions to his son,
Khonshotpû, is compiled in the form of a dialogue, and contains the
usual commonplaces upon virtue, temperance, piety, the respect due to
parents from children, or to the great ones of this world from
their inferiors. The language in which it is written is ingenious,
picturesque, and at times eloquent; the work explains much that is
obscure in Egyptian life, and upon which the monuments have thrown no
light. "Beware of the woman who goes out surreptitiously in her town, do
not follow her or any like her, do not expose thyself to the experience
of what it costs a man to face an Ocean of which the bounds are
unknown.* The wife whose husband is far from home sends thee letters,
and invites thee to come to her daily when she has no witnesses; if
she succeeds in entangling thee in her net, it is a crime which is
punishable by death as soon as it is known, even if no wicked act has
taken place, for men will commit every sort of crime when under this
temptation alone."

     * I have been obliged to paraphrase the sentence
     considerably to render it intelligible to the modern reader.
     The Egyptian text says briefly: "Do not know the man who
     braves the water of the Ocean whose bounds are unknown."_To
     know the man_ means here _know the state of the man_ who
     does an action.

"Be not quarrelsome in breweries, for fear that thou mayest be denounced
forthwith for words which have proceeded from thy mouth, and of having
spoken that of which thou art no longer conscious. Thou fallest,
thy members helpless, and no one holds out a hand to thee, but thy
boon-companions around thee say: 'Away with the drunkard!' Thou art
wanted for some business, and thou art found rolling on the ground like
an infant." In speaking of what a man owes to his mother, Ani waxes
eloquent: "When she bore thee as all have to bear, she had in thee a
heavy burden without being able to call on thee to share it. When thou
wert born, after thy months were fulfilled, she placed herself under a
yoke in earnest, her breast was in thy mouth for three years; in spite
of the increasing dirtiness of thy habits, her heart felt no disgust,
and she never said: 'What is that I do here?' When thou didst go to
school to be instructed in writing, she followed thee every day with
bread and beer from thy house. Now thou art a full-grown man, thou hast
taken a wife, thou hast provided thyself with a house; bear always in
mind the pains of thy birth and the care for thy education that thy
mother lavished on thee, that her anger may not rise up against thee,
and that she lift not her hands to God, for he will hear her complaint!"
The whole of the book does not rise to this level, but we find in it
several maxims which appear to be popular proverbs, as for instance: "He
who hates idleness will come without being called;" "A good walker comes
to his journey's end without needing to hasten;" or, "The ox which
goes at the head of the flock and leads the others to pasture is but an
animal like his fellows." Towards the end, the son Khonshotpû, weary of
such a lengthy exhortation to wisdom, interrupts his father roughly:
"Do not everlastingly speak of thy merits, I have heard enough of thy
deeds;" whereupon Ani resignedly restrains himself from further speech,
and a final parable gives us the motive of his resignation: "This is the
likeness of the man who knows the strength of his arm. The nursling who
is in the arms of his mother cares only for being suckled; but no sooner
has he found his mouth than he cries: 'Give me bread!'"

It is, perhaps, difficult for us to imagine an Egyptian in love
repeating madrigals to his mistress,* for we cannot easily realise that
the hard and blackened bodies we see in our museums have once been men
and women loving and beloved in their own day.

     * The remains of Egyptian amatory literature have been
     collected, translated, and commentated on by Maspero. They
     have been preserved in two papyri, one of which is at Turin,
     the other in the British Museum. The first of these appears
     to be a sort of dialogue in which the trees of a garden
     boast one after another of the beauty of a woman, and
     discourse of the love-scenes which took place under their

The feeling which they entertained one for another had none of the
reticence or delicacy of our love: they went straight to the point, and
the language in which, they expressed themselves is sometimes too coarse
for our taste. The manners and customs of daily life among the Egyptians
tended to blunt in them the feelings of modesty and refinement to which
our civilization has accustomed us. Their children went about without
clothes, or, at any rate, wore none until the age of puberty. Owing to
the climate, both men and women left the upper part of the body more or
less uncovered, or wore fabrics of a transparent nature. In the towns,
the servants who moved about their masters or his guests had merely
a narrow loin-cloth tied round their hips; while in the country, the
peasants dispensed with even this covering, and the women tucked up
their garments when at work so as to move more freely. The religious
teaching and the ceremonies connected with their worship drew the
attention of the faithful to the unveiled human form of their gods, and
the hieroglyphs themselves contained pictures which shock our sense of
propriety. Hence it came about that the young girl who was demanded in
marriage had no idea, like the maiden of to-day, of the vague delights
of an ideal union. The physical side was impressed upon her mind,
and she was well aware of the full meaning of her consent. Her lover,
separated from her by her disapproving parents, thus expresses the grief
which overwhelms him: "I desire to lie down in my chamber,--for I am
sick on thy account,--and the neighbours come to visit me.--Ah! if my
sister but came with them,--she would show the physicians what ailed
me,--for she knows my sickness!" Even while he thus complains, he sees
her in his imagination, and his spirit visits the places she frequents:
"The villa of my sister,--(a pool is before the house),--the door opens
suddenly,--and my sister passes out in wrath.--Ah! why am I not the
porter,--that she might give me her orders!--I should at least hear
her voice, even were she angry,--and I, like a little boy, full of fear
before her!" Meantime the young girl sighs in vain for "her brother, the
beloved of her heart," and all that charmed her before has now ceased to
please her. "I went to prepare my snare, my cage and the covert for
my trap--for all the birds of Puânît alight upon Egypt, redolent with
perfume;--he who flies foremost of the flock is attracted by my worm,
bringing odours from Puânît,--its claws full of incense.--But my heart
is with thee, and desires that we should trap them together,--I with
thee, alone, and that thou shouldest be able to hear the sad cry of
my perfumed bird,--there near to me, close to me, I will make ready
my trap,--O my beautiful friend, thou who goest to the field of the
well-beloved!" The latter, however, is slow to appear, the day passes
away, the evening comes on: "The cry of the goose resounds--which is
caught by the worm-bait,--but thy love removes me far from the bird, and
I am unable to deliver myself from it; I will carry off my net, and what
shall I say to my mother,--when I shall have returned to her?--Every day
I come back laden with spoil,--but to-day I have not been able to set
my trap,--for thy love makes me its prisoner!" "The goose flies away,
alights,--it has greeted the barns with its cry;--the flock of birds
increases on the river, but I leave them alone and think only of thy
love,--for my heart is bound to thy heart--and I cannot tear myself
away from thy beauty." Her mother probably gave her a scolding, but she
hardly minds it, and in the retirement of her chamber never wearies
of thinking of her brother, and of passionately crying for him: "O my
beautiful friend! I yearn to be with thee as thy wife--and that thou
shouldest go whither thou wishest with thine arm upon my arm,--for then
I will repeat to my heart, which is in thy breast, my supplications.--If
my great brother does not come to-night,--I am as those who lie in the
tomb--for thou, art thou not health and life,--he who transfers the joys
of thy health to my heart which seeks thee?" The hours pass away and
he does not come, and already "the voice of the turtle-dove speaks,--it
says: 'Behold, the dawn is here, alas! what is to become of me?' Thou,
thou art the bird, thou callest me,--and I find my brother in his
chamber,--and my heart is rejoiced to see him!--I will never go away
again, my hand will remain in thy hand,--and when I wander forth, I will
go with thee into the most beautiful places,--happy in that he makes me
the foremost of women--and that he does not break my heart." We should
like to quote the whole of it, but the text is mutilated, and we are
unable to fill in the blanks. It is, nevertheless, one of those products
of the Egyptian mind which it would have been easy for us to appreciate
from beginning to end, without effort and almost without explanation.
The passion in it finds expression in such sincere and simple language
as to render rhetorical ornament needless, and one can trace in it,
therefore, nothing of the artificial colouring which would limit it to
a particular place or time. It translates a universal sentiment into the
common language of humanity, and the hieroglyphic groups need only to be
put into the corresponding words of any modern tongue to bring home
to the reader their full force and intensity. We might compare it with
those popular songs which are now being collected in our provinces
before the peasantry have forgotten them altogether: the artlessness of
some of the expressions, the boldness of the imagery, the awkwardness
and somewhat abrupt character of some of the passages, communicate to
both that wild charm which we miss in the most perfect specimens of our
modern love-poets.


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