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"Aie subside, and is boiled and eaten like potatoes, which it somewhat resembles in taste. Herodotus (2,92) states, that the Egyptians not only ate the root, 20ut made a sort of bread of the seed, which resembled that of the poppy. He adds, that there is a second species, the root of which is very grateful, either fresh or dried. The plant which was chiefly eaten by the ancient Egyptians, and which is so frequently carved on the ancient monuments, is supposed to be the nymphaea melumbo, or melumbum speciosum, the “sacred bean” of India, now found only in that country. Its seeds, which are about the size of a bean, have a delicate flavour resembling almonds, and its roots also are edible. The lotus of Homer, however, the fruits of which so much delighted the companions of Ulysses, is a very different plant, namely, the ziziphus lotus (rhamnus), or jujube, which bears a fruit the size of a sloe, with a large stone, and is one of the o!. which have been erroneously fixed on by learned commentators as the dudam (mandrakes) of the sacred writings. The papyrus, not less celebrated in ancient times than the lotus, and which is believed to have disappeared from the banks of the Nile, has been rediscovered in the cyperus papyrus of Linnaeus. The colocasum is still cultivated in Egypt for its large esculent roots. The banks of the river and the canals sometimes present coppices of acacia and mimosa, and there are groves of rose-laurel, willow, cassia, and other shrubs. Faioom contains impenetrable hedges of cactus, or Indian fig. But, though so rich in plants, Egypt is destitute of timber, and o the firewood is imported from Caramania. (Malte-Brun, Geogr., vol. 4, p. 38, seqq.—Modern Traveller (Egypt), p. 18, seqq.)
2. Animal Kingdom.
The animal kingdom of Egypt will not detain us long. The want of meadows prevents the multiplication of cattle. They must be kept in stables during the inundation. The Mamelukes used to keep a beautiful race of saddle-horses. Asses, mules, and camels appear here in all their vigour. There are also numerous herds of buffaloes. In Lower Egypt there are sheep of the Barbary breed. The large beasts of prey find in this country neither prey nor cover. Hence, though the jackal and hyena are common, the lion is but rarely seen in pursuit of the gazelles which traverse the deserts of the Thebaid. The crocodile and the hippopotamus, those primeval inhabitants of the Nile, seem to be banished from the Delta, but are still seen in Upper Egypt.—The islands adjoining the cataracts are sometimes found covered with crocodiles, which choose these places for depositing their eggs. The voracity of the hippopotamus has, by annihilating his means of support, greatly reduced the number of his race. Abdollatif, with some justice, denominates this ugly animal an enormous water-pig. It has been long known that the ichneumon is not tamed in Upper Egypt, as Buffon had believed. The ichneumon is the same animal which the ancients mention under that name, and which has never been found except in this country. It possesses a strong instinct of destruction, and, in searching for its prey, exterminates the young of many noxious reptiles. The eggs of crocodiles form its fayourite food; and in addition to this its favourite repast, it eagerly sucks the blood of every creature which it is able to overcome. Its body is about a foot and a half in length, and its tail is of nearly equal dimensions. Its general colour is a grayish brown ; but, when closely inspected, each hair is found annulated with a paler and a darker hue. Zoology has lately been enriched with several animalsbrought from Egypt, among which are the coluher haje, an animal figured in all the hieroglyphical tables as the emblem of Providence; and the coluber ripera, the true viper of the ancients. The Nile seems to contain some singular fishes hitherto unknown to systematic naturalists. Of this the
Polyptere bichir, described by Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire (Annales du Muséum, vol. 1, p. 57), is a very remarkable example. That able naturalist observes, in general, that the birds of Egypt differ not much from those of Europe. He saw the Egyptian swan represented in all the temples of Upper Egypt, both in sculptures and . in coloured paintings, and entertains no doubt that this bird was the chenaloper (rulpanser) of Herodotus, to which the ancient Egyptians paid divine honours, and had even dedicated a town in Upper Egypt, called by the Greeks Chenoboscium. It is not peculiar to Egypt, but is found all over Africa, and almost all over }} rope. The Ibis, which was believed to be a destroyer of serpents, is, according to the observations of Cuvier, a sort of curlew, called at present Aboohannes. Grobert and §...'...H. have brought home mummies of this animal, which had been prepared and entombed with much superstitious care. (Mémoire sur l'Ilms, par M. Cuvier.—Malte-Brun, Geogr., vol. 4, p. 45, seqq.) 3. Name of Egypt. The name by which this country is known to Euroeans comes from the Greeks, some of whose writers inform us that it received this appellation from Ægyptus, son of Belus, having been previously called Acria. (Compare Eusebius, Chron., lib. 2, p. 284, cd. Man et Zohrab.) In the Hebrew Scriptures it is styled Mutsraim, and also Matsor, and harets Cham: of these names, however, the first is the cre micst cemmonly employed. The Arabians and other Orientals still know it by the name of Mesr or Mizr. According to general opinion, Egypt was called Matsram after the second son of Ham. Bochart, however, opposes this (Geogr. Sacr. 4, 24), and contends that the name of Mitsraim, being a dual form, in dict tes the two divisions of Egypt into Upper and Lower. Calmet (Dict., art. Misram) supposes that it denotes the people of the country rather than the father of the people. Josephus (Ant. Jud., 1, 6) cal's Egypt Mestra; the Septuagint translators, Mctsram ; Eusebius and Suidas, Mestrala. The Coptic name of Old Cairo is still Mistraim; the Syrians and Arabs call it Masra or Massera. The other appellation, Matsor, as given above, Bochart has clearly proved to mean a fortress; and, according to him, Egypt was so called, either frcm its being a region sortified by nature, or frcm the word tsor, which significs narrow, and which he thinks sus. ficiently descriptive of the valley of Upper Egypt. Sir W. Drummond (Origines, 2, 55) inclines to the first of these two ctymologics, because Diodorus Siculus (1, 30) and Strabo (S03) remark, that Egypt was a country cztremely difficult of access; i Fo speaking of the Upper Egypt, observes, that it seems not a little to excel other limited places in the kingdom, by a natural fortification (Öavpó777, ovatki) and by the beauty of the country. The third appellation mentioned above, namely, harets Cham, “the lard of Ham,” seems to have been the poetical name for Egypt among the Hebrews, and accordingly it cecurs only in the Psalms. It is a tradition, at least as old as the time of St. Jerome, that the land of Ham was so named after the son of Noah, (Quast. in Genesun.—Drummond's Origines, 2, 45, seqq.) There may, however, be reason to think, that the patriarch was named after the country where it is supposed he finally settled. In Hebrew, cham signifies “calidus;” and cham, “suscus,” “niger.” In Egyptian we find several words which are nearly the same both in sound and sense. Thus Auou, chmom, signifies “calor,” and Aape, chame, “miger.” The Egyptians always called their country Chemia or Chame, probably from the burned and black appearance of the soil. (Compare Plut., de Is. et Os., p. 364.— Shawe's Travels, fol. ed., p. 432–Calmet's }. art. Ham.) The name Aéria has a similar reference, and would seem to have been a translation of the ”ative
word, the primitive dip denoting obscurity, duskiness. Thus, the scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (I, 580) says, that Thessaly was called 'Hepia, according to one explanation, on account of the dark colour of its soil; and adds that Egypt was denominated 'Hepia for a similar reason. Bryant (6,149), who cites this pas- sage of the scholiast, represents it as a vulgar error; but his reasoning is, as usual, unsatisfactory. The etymology of the word Egypt has occupied the attention and baffled the ingenuity of many learned writers. The most common opinion is, that Aiyvitrog is composed of ala (for yaia), land, and yūrroc, or rather kóirroc, and that, consequently, Egypt signifies the land of Kopt, or the Koptic land. Others derive it from ala, and yūp, the black vulture, the colour of that bird (whence the Latin subculturius, “blackish") being, according to them, characteristic of the soil or its inhabitants. Mede conceives the primitive form to have been Aia Cupht, the land of Cuphti; while Bruce says, that Y Gypt, the name given to Egypt in Ethiopia, means the country of canals. Eusebius, who is supposed to have followed Manetho, the Egyptian historian, states, that Ramses, or Ramesses, who reigned in Egypt (according to Usher) B.C. 1577, was also called AEgyptus, and that he gave it his name, as has already been mentioned. (Euseb. Chron. 2, p. 284, ed. Mali ct Zohrab.)
4. Divisions of Egypt.
In the time of the Pharaohs, Egypt was divided into the Thebais, Middle, and Lower Egypt. The Thebais extended from Syene, or, more correctly speaking, Philas, as far as Abydos, and contained ten districts, jurisdictions, or, as the Greeks called them, nomes (Náuot. Herod. 2, 164). The Coptic word is Pthosch. (Champollion, l'Egypte sous les Pharaons, 1, 66.) To these succeeded the sixteen nomes of Middle Egypt (Strabo, 787), reaching to Cercasorus, where the Nile began to branch off. Then came the ten nomes of Lower Égypt, pr the Delta, extending to the sea. The whole number of nomes then was thirty-sir, and this arrangement is said by Diodorus Siculus (1, 50) to have been introduced by Sesostris (Sethosis-Ramesses) previous to his departure on his expedition into Asia, in order that, by means of the governors placed over each of these nomes, his kingdom might be the better governed during his absence, and justice more carefully administered. It is more than probable, however, that this division was much older than the time of Sesostris (Champollion, l'Egypte, &c., 1,71), and the account given by Strabo, respecting the halls of the labyrinth, would seem to confirm this. The geographer informs us, that the halls of this structure coincided with the number of the nomes, and the building would seem to have occupied a central position with respect to these various districts, having eighteen nomes to the north, and as many to the south, and thus answering a civil as well as a religious purpose. (Ritter, Erdkunde, 2d ed., 1, 704.) Under the dynasty of the Ptolemies the number of the nomes became enlarged, partly by reason of the new and improved state of things in that quarter of Egypt where Alexandrea was situated, partly by the addition of the Oases to Egypt, and partly also by the alterations which an active commerce had produced along the borders of the Arabian Gulf. A change also took place, about this same period, in the three main divisions of the land. Lower Egypt now no longer confined itself to the limits of the ło. but had its extent enlarged by an addition of some of the neighbouring nomes. 3. like manner, Upper Egypt, or the Thebais, received a portion of what had formerly been included within the limits of Middle Egypt, so that eventually but seven nomes remained to this last-mentioned section of country, which therefore received the name of Heptanomis. (Mannert, Geogr., 10, 1,303.)
Under the Roman dominion, Thebais alone was regarded as a separate division of the country; all the rest of the land obtained no farther division than that produced by its nomes. Hence Pliny (5. 9), after mentioning eleven nomes as forming the district of Thebais, speaks of the country around Pelusium as consisting of four others, and then, without any other division, enumerates thirty nomes in the rest of Egypt. At this time, then, the nomes had increased to 45. They became still farther increased, at a subsequent period, by various subdivisions of the older ones. Hence we find Ptolemy enumerating still more nomes than Pliny, while he omits the mention of others recorded by the latter, which probably existed no longer in his own days. At a still later period we hear little more of the nomes. A new division of the country took place under the Eastern empire. An imperial Prefect exercised sway over not only Egypt, but also Libya as far as Cyrene, while a Comes Militaris had charge of the forces. The power of the latter extended over all Egypt as far as Ethiopia, but a Dur, who was dependant on him, exercised particular control over the Thebais. This arrangement seems to have been introduced in the time of the Emperor Theodosius, as appears from the language of the Notitia. From this time, the whole of Middle Egypt, previously named Heptanomis, bore the name of Arcadia, in honour of Arcadius, eldest son of Theodosius. A new province had also arisen a considerable time before this, named Augustamnica, from its lying chiefly along the Nile. It comprised the eastern half of the Delta, together with a portion of Arabia as far as the Arabian Gulf, and also the cities on the Mediterranean coast as far as the Syrian frontier. Its capital was Pelusium. The name of this province is mentioned by the ecclesiastical writers as early as the time of Constantine, and it occurs also in the history of Ammianus Marcellinus (22, 16). About the time of Justinian, in the sixth century, the position of the various archbishop
rics and bishoprics, all subject to the patriarchate of
Alexandrea, gave rise to a new distribution of provin. ces. The territory of Alexandrea, with the western portion of the Delta in the vicinity of the Ostium Canopicum, was called “The First Egypt,” and the more eastern part, as far as the Ostium Phatneticum, was termed “The Second Egypt.” The northeastern quarter of the Delta, on the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, together with the eastern tract as far as the Arabian Gulf, received the appellation of “The First Augustamnica,” and had Pelusium for its capital. The inner part of the western Delta, as far as the Ostium Phatneticum, was named “The Second Augustamnica.” Its capital was Leontopolis. Thus the Delta, with the country immediately adjacent, embraced four small provinces. Middle Egypt still retained a large part of its previous extent, under the name of Middle Egypt or Arcadia (Méam Aiyvirroc, , 'Apkaðia). Memphis belonged to it as the northernmost state ; but it was by this time greatly sunk in importance, and Oxyrynchus had succeeded it as the metropolis. Amid all these changes, the Thebais was continually regarded as a separate district. It now received new accessions from the north, and a double appellation arose. The northern and smaller portion, which had originally formed a part of Middle Egypt, was called “The First Thebais.” To it was appended the Oasis Magna, and its metropolis was Antaeopolis. The southern regions as far as Phila and Thatis, including a small part of Ethiopia, formed “The Second Thebais.” Its capital was Coptos. It seems unnecessary to pursue the subsequent changes that gradually ensued, especially as they are of no peculiar io. either in point of history or geography. (Compare Hierocles, Synekdemos; in Wesseling's Rom. Itin., Amst., 1735, 4to.—Mannert, Geogr., 10, 1,305, seqq.) AEGYPTUS.
5. Population of Egypt.
Diodorus Siculus (1,31) states, on the authority of the ancient Egyptian records, that the land contained, in the time of the Pharaohs, more than 18,000 cities and villages. The same writer informs us, that, in the time of the first Ptolemy, the number was above 30,000. In this latter statement, however, there is an evident exaggeration. Theocritus (Idyll. 17, 82, seqq ) assigns to #. Philadelphus the sovereignty over 33,333 cities. In this also there is exaggeration, but not of so offensive a character as in the former case, since the sway of Philadelphus did, in fact, extend over other countries besides Egypt; such as Syria, Phoenicia, Cyprus, Pamphylia, Caria, &c. Pomponius Mela (1, 9), and Pliny (5, 9), who frequently copies him, confine themselves with good reason to a more moderate number. According to them, the Egyptians occupied, in the time of Amasis, 20,000 cities. This number is borrowed from Herodotus (2,77), and may be made to correspond with that first given from Diodorus Siculus, if we take into consideration that Amasis had extended his sway over Cyrenaica also, and that this may serve to swell the number as given by Herodotus, Mela, and Pliny, leaving about 18,000 for Egypt itself. Diodorus Siculus (l.c.) gives the ancient population of the country as seven millions, an estimate which does not appear excessive, when compared with that of other lands. The number would seem to have been somewhat increased during the reign of the Ptolemies, and to have continued so under the Roman sway, since we find Josephus (Bell. Jud. 2, 16) estimating the population of Egypt, in the time of Vespasian, at 7,500,000, without counting that of Alexandrea, which, according to Diodorus (17, 52), was 300,000, exclusive of slaves. When we read, however, in the same Diodorus (1, 31), that in his days the inhabitants of Egypt amounted to “not less than three millions” (oik 2.47 Tovc rivat 7ptakoaiav sc. so we must regard this number as the interpoation of a scribe, and must consider Diodorus as merely wishing to convey this idea, that, in more ancient times, the population was said to have been seven millions, and that in his own days it was not inferior to this. (Toi 38 at utavroc Zaoû to utv Tazalóv paat yeyovéval Tepi £TTaxodiac paptačac, Kai kat" judg 08 oik &árTovs tival [spuanodiov]. Compare Wesseling, ad
loc.—Mannert, 10, 2, 309, sco.)
6. Complexion and Physical Structure of the Egyptians.
A few remarks relative to the physical character of this singular people, may form no uninteresting prelude to their national history. There are two sources of information respecting the physical character of the ancient Egyptians. These are, first, the descriptions of their persons lo to be met with in the ancient writers; and, secondly, the numerous remains of paintings and sculptures, as well as of human bodies, preserved among the ruins of ancient Egypt. It is not easy to reconcile the evidence derived from these different quarters. The principal data from which a judgment is to be formed are as follows: 1. Accounts given by the ancients. If we were to judge from the remarks in some passages of the ancient writers alone, we should perhaps be led to the opinion that the Egyptians were a woolly-haired and black people, like the negroes of Guinea. There is a well-known passage of Herodotus (2, 104), which has often been cited to this purpose. The authority of this historian is of the more weight, as he had travelled in Egypt, and was, therefore, well acquainted, from his own observation, with the appearance of the people; and it is well known that he is in general very accurate and faithful in relating the facts and describing the objects which fell undo personal observation. In his account
of the people of Colchis, he says, that they were a colony of Egyptians, and he supports his opinion by this argument, that they were utodyapoeg Kai oižóTp(xec, or, “black in complexion, and woolly-haired.” These are exactly the words used in the description of undoubted negroes. The same Colchians, it may be
observed, are mentioned by Pindar (Pyth. 4, 377).
as being black, with the epithet of Kežauvøtto, on which passage the scholiast observes, that the Colchians were black, and that their dusky hue was attributed to their descent from the Egyptians, who were of the same complexion. Herodotus, in another place (2, 57), alludes to the complexion of the Egyptians, as if it was very strongly marked, and, indeed, as if they were quite black. After relating the fable of the foundation of the Dodonean oracle by a black pigeon, which had fled from Thebes in Egypt, and uttered its prophecies from the oaks at Dodona, he adds his conjecture respecting the true meaning of the tale. He supposes the oracle to have been instituted by a female captive from the Thebaid, who was enigmatically described as a bird, and subjoins, that, “by representing the bird as black, they marked that the woman was an Egyptian.” Some other writers have left us expressions equally strong. Æschylus, in the Supplices (p. 722, seqq.), mentions, the crew of an Egyptian bark, as seen from an eminence on shore. The person who espies them concludes them to be Egyptians from their black complexion :
There are other passages in ancient writers, in which the Egyptians are mentioned as a swarthy people, which ... with equal propriety be applied to a perfect black, or to a brown or dusky Nubian. We have, in one of the dialogues of Lucian (Navigium seu Wota-vol. 8, 157, ed. Bup.), a ludicrous description of a young Egyptian, who is represented as *f; ing to the crew of a trading vessel at the Piraeus. It is said of him, that, “besides being black, he had projecting lips, and was very slender in the legs, and that i. hair and the curls bushed up behind marked him to be of servile rank. The words of the original are, oiroc & Tpoc to us?syapovc cival, Kai Tpóxet?.6c *qTi, Kai Zetto, dyav Toiv oke?oiv, . . . . . . # Köpin dé, kai čc Toitíaw & T26Maplog ovvediteupapévog, oilk & ev(optów omatv airów cival. The expression, however, which is here applied to the hair, seems rather to agree with the description of the bushy curls worn by the Nouba, than with the woolly heads of negroes. Mr. Legh, in speaking of the Barabras, near Syene, says, §, hair of the men is sometimes frizzled at the sides, and stiffencil with grease, so as perfectly to resemble the extraordinary projection on the head of the Sphinx. But the make of the limbs corresponds with the negro.” (Legh's Travels in Egypt, p. 98.) In another physical peculiarity the Egyptian race is described as resembling the negro. A.lian (Hist. Anim. 7, 12) informs us, that the Egyptians used to boast that their women, immediately after they were delivered, could rise from their beds, and go about their domestic labour. Some of these passages are very strongly expressed, as if the Egyptians were negroes; and yet it must be confessed, that if o really were such, it is singular we do not find more frequent allusion to the fact. The Hebrews were a fair people, fairer at least than the Arabs. Yet, in all the intercourse they had with Egypt, we never find in the sacred history the least intimation that the Egyptians were negroes; not even on the remarkable occasion of the marriage of Solomon with the daughter of Phoraoh. Were a modern historian to record the nuptials of a European monarch with the daughter of a negro king, such a circumstance would surely find its plaço. And since Egypt was so closely connected, first with
Grecian affairs when under the Ptolemies, and afterward with the rest of Europe when it had become a Roman province, it is very singular, on the supposition that this nation was so remarkably different from the rest of mankind, that we have no allusion to it. We seldom find the Egyptians spoken of as a very peculiar race of men. These circumstances induce us to hesitate in explaining the expressions of the ancients in that very strong sense in which they at first strike us. –2. The second class of data, from which we may form a judgment on this subject, are Paintings in Temples, and other remains. If we may judge of the complexion of the Egyptians from the numerous paintings found in the recesses of temples, and in the tombs of the kings in Upper Egypt, in which the colours are preserved in a very fresh state, we must conclude that the general complexion of this people was a chocolate, or a red copper colour. This may be seen in the coloured figures given by Belzoni, and in numerous plates in the splendid “Description de l'Egypte.” This red colour is evidently intended to represent the complexion of the people, and is not put on in the want of a lighter paint or flesh colour: for when the limbs or bodies are represented as seen through a thin veil, the tint used resembles the complexion of Europeans. The same shade might have been generally adopted if a darker one had not been preferred, as more truly representing the natural complexion of the Egyptian race. (Compare Belzoni's Remarks, p. 239.) Female figures are sometimes distinguished by a yellow or tawny colour, and hence it is probable that the shade of complexion was lighter in those who were protected from the sun. A very curious circumstance in the paintings found in Egyptian temples remains to be noticed. Besides the red figures, which are evidently meant to represent the Egyptians, there are other figures which are of a black colour. Sometimes these represent captives or slaves, perhaps from the negro
countries; but there are also paintings of a very dif
ferent kind, which occur chiefly in Upper Egypt, and particularly on the confines of Egypt and Ethiopia. In these the black and the red figures hold a singular relation to each other. Both have the Egyptian costume,
and the habits of priests, while the black figures are
represented as conferring on the red the instruments and symbols of the sacerdotal office. “This singular representation,” says Mr. Hamilton, “which is often repeated in all the Egyptian temples, but only here at Philae and at Elephantine with this distinction of colour, may very naturally be supposed to commemorate the transmission of religious fables and the social institutions from the tawny Ethiopians to the comparatively fair Egyptians.” It consists of three priests, two of whom, with black faces and hands, are represented as pouring from two jars strings of alternate sceptres of Osiris and cruces ansata over the head of another whose face is red. There are other paintings which seem to be nearly of the same purport. In the temple of Philae, the sculptures frequently depict two persons who equally represent the characters and symbols of Osiris, and two persons equally answering to those of Isis; but in both cases one is invariably much older than the other, and appears to be the superior divinity. Mr. Hamilton conjectures that such figures represent the communication of religious rites from Ethiopia to Egypt, and the inferiority of the Egyptian Osiris. In these delineations there is a very marked and positive distinction between the black figures and those of fairer complexion; the former are most frequent y conferring the symbols of divinity and sovereignty on the other. Besides these paintings described by Mr. Hamilton, there are frequent repetitions of a very singular representation, of which different examples may be seen in the beautiful plates of the “Description de l'Egypte.” In these it is plain, that the idea meant to be conveyed can be nothing else than
this, that the red Egyptians were connected by kind; d, and were, in fact, the descendants of a black race, I rebably the Ethiopian. (Compare plate 92 of the work just alluded to, and also plates 84 and 86.) In the sche volume of the “Description de l'Egypte” is a pate representing a painting at Eilithyia. Numerous figures of the people are seen. It is remarkable that their hair is black and curled. “Les cheveux noirs et frises, sans etre court et crépus comme ceux des Negres.” This is probably a correct account of the hair of the Egyptian race.—3. The third class of data for the present investigation is obtained from the form of the scull. In reference to the form of the scull among the ancient Egyptians, and their osteological characters in general, there is no want of information. The innumerable mummies, in which the whole nation may be said to have remained entire to modern times, afford sufficient means of ascertaining the true form of the race and all its varieties. Blumenbach, who has collected much information on everything relating to the history of mummies, in his excellent “Beyträge zur Naturgeschichte,” concludes with a remark that the Egyptian race, in his opinion, contains three varieties. These are, first, the Ethiopian form; secondly,
the “Hindus-artige,” or a figure resembling the Hin
dus; and, thirdly, the “Berber-ahnliche,” or, more properly, Berberin-ahnliche, a form similar to that of the Berbers or Berberins. It must be observed, however, that Blumenbach has been led to adopt this opinion, not so much from the mummies he has examined, as from the remains of ancient arts and from historical testimonies. As far as their osteological characters are concerned, it does not appear that the Egyptians differed very materially from Europeans. They certainly had not the character of the scull which belonged to the negroes in the western parts of Africa; and if any approximation to the negro scull existed among them, it must have been rare and in no great degree. Sommering has described the heads of four mummies seen by him; two of them differed in nothing from the European formation; the third had only one African character, viz., that of a larger space marked out for the temporal muscle; the characters of the fourth are not particularized. Mr. Lawrence, in whose work (Lectures on Physiology, p. 299, Am. ed.) the above evidence of Sommering is cited, has collected a variety of statements respecting the form of the head in the mummies deposited in the museums and other collections in several countries. He observes, that in the mummies of females seen by Dénon, in those from the Theban catacombs engraved in the great French work, and in several sculls and casts in the possession of Dr. Leach, the osteological character is entirely European; lastly, he adduces the strong evidence of Cuvier, who says, that he has examined in Paris, and in the various collections of Europe, more than fifty heads of mummies, and that not one among them presented the characters of the negro or Hottenoot. (Lawrence's Lectures, p. 301.-Observations sur le cadarre de la Venus Hottentotte, par M. Cuvier, Mem. du Museum d'Hist. Natur., 3, 173, seqq.) It could therefore be only in the features, as far as they depend on the soft part, that the Egyptians bore any considerable resemblance to the negro. And the same thing might probably be affirmed of several other nations, who must be reckoned among the native Africans. Particularly it might be asserted of the Berberins or Nubians already mentioned, and of some tribes of Abyssinians. A similar remark might be made of the Copts. In neither of these races is it at all probable that the scull would exhibit any characteristic of the negro. It is here, then, that we are to look for the nearest representatives of the ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians, and particularly to the Copts, who are descended from the former, and to the copper-coloured races resembling the Berberins or Nubians. Dénor
makes mention of the resemblance which the Copts bear to the human figures painted or sculptured among the ruins of ancient Egypt. He adds the following remarks. “As to the character of the human figure, as the Egyptians borrowed nothing from other nations, they could only copy from their own, which is rather delicate than fine. The female forms, however, resembled the figures of beautiful women of the present day; round and voluptuous; a small nose, the eyes long, half shut, and turned up at the outer angle like those of all persons whose sight is habitually fatigued by the burning heat of the sun or the dazzling whiteness of snow; the cheeks round and rather thick, the lips full, the mouth large, but cheerful and smiling; displaying, in short, the African character, of which the negro is the exaggerated picture, though perhaps the original type.” The visages carved and painted on the heads of the sarcophagi may be * to give an idea of an ... countenance. In these there is a certain roundness and flatness of the features, and the whole countenance, which strongly resembles the description of the Copts, and in some degree that of the Berberins. The colour of these visages is the red coppery hue of the last-mentioned people, and is nearly the same, though not always so dark, as that of the figures painted in the temples and catacombs. The most puzzling circumstance in this comparison refers to the hair. The Copts are said to have frizzled or somewhat crisp, though not woolly, hair. The old Egyptians, as well as the Ethiopians, are termed by the Greeks of 267ptrec. But the hair found in mummies is generally, if not always, in flowing ringlets, as long and as smooth as that of any European. Its colour, which is often brown, may depend on art, or the substance used in embalming. But the texture is different from what we should expect it to be, either from the statements of ancient writers, or from the description of the races now existing in the same countries. – Conclusion. From what has been adduced, we may consider it as tolerably well proved, that the Egyptians and Ethiopians were natives of the same race, whose abodes, from the earliest periods of history, were the regions bordering on the Nile. These nations were not negroes, such as the negroes of Guinea, though they bore some resemblance to that description of men, at least when compared with the people of Europe. This resemblance, however, did not extend to the shape of the scull, in any reat degree at least, or in the majority of instances. t perhaps only depended on a complexion and physiognomy similar to those of the Copts and Nubians. These races partake, in a certain degree, of the African countenance. The hair in the Ethiopians and Egyptians must sometimes have been of a more crisp or bushy kind than that which is often found in mummies; for such is the case in respect to the Copts, and the description of the Egyptians by all ancient writers obliges us to adopt this conclusion. In complexion it seems probable that the race was a counterpart of the Foulahs, in the west of Africa, nearly in the same latitude. The blacker Foulahs resemble in complexion the darkest people of the Nile; they are of a deep brown or mahogany colour. The fairest of the Foulahs are not darker than the Copts, or even than some Europeans. Other instances of as great a variety may be found among the African nations, within the limits of one race, as in the Bishuane Kaffers, who are of a clear brown colour, while the Kafsers of Natal on the coast are of a jet black. From some remarks of Diodorus and Plutarch, it would appear that the birth of fair, and even red-haired individuals occasionally happened in the Egyptian race. Both these writers say, that Typhon was orvågóc, or red-haired ; the former adds that a few of the native Egyptians were of that appearance: 37tyovo Tuvâc. (Diod. Sic., 1, 88.—Plut., de Is... et Os., p. 363.−
The question that now presents itself, is one of a singularly interesting character. Whence arose the arts and civilization of Egypt Were they indigenous, or did they come to her as the gift of another land 1 Everything seems to countenance the idea that civilization came gradually down the valley of the Nile, from the borders of Ethiopia to the shores of the Mediterranean. It would appear, that when the arts of civilized life were first introduced into Upper Egypt, the lower section of this country formed merely a vast morass or gulf of the sea, and that they followed in their progressive development the course of the stream. (Compare Horodotus, 2, 4.—Id. abid. 5–1d. bid. 11, seqq.—Diod. Suc. 1, 34; and the memoirs of Girard, Andréossy, &c., in the Description de l'Egypte. Compare also the remarks in the present volume under the article Delta.) Monuments, tradition, analogies of every kind, are here in accordance with natural probabilities. There was a period when the names of Ethiopia and Egypt were confounded together, when the two nations were thought to form but a single people. (Compare the proofs of this assertion, as collected and discussed by Creuzer, Commentat. Herodot., p. 178, seqq., in opposition to Champollion the younger; and also the remarks in the present volume, under the articles AEthiopia and Meroë.) In all the recitals and legends of the earliest antiquity, the Egyptians are associated with the Ethiopians, and to the latter is assigned a distinguished character for wisdom, knowledge, and piety, which testifies to their priority in the order of civilization. (Compare Heeren, Ideen, 2, 1, 314, 405, &c.) We see also the common traditions of the two nations referring to Meroë the origin of most of the cities of Upper Egypt, and, among others, of Thebes. It is to Meroë, its ancient metropolis, that Thebes attaches itself, when, for the purpose of extending their commercial interests, they send a colony to found, in the midst of the deserts, a new city of Ammon. (Herod. 2, 42.—Duod. Sic. 2, 3.) The same institutions, a similar religion, language, and mode of writing, together with manners most strongly resembling one another, attest the primitive connexion that subsisted between these three sacred cities, though so widely apart. It appears, then, that a sacred caste, established from a remote period on the borders of the Nile, in the island, or, rather, peninsula formed by the Astapus and Astaboras, sent forth gradually its sacerdotal colonies, carrying with them agriculture and the first arts of civilized life, along the regions to the north, and that these, proceeding slowly onward, passed eventually the cataract of Syene, and entered upon the valley of Egypt. Placing commerce under the safeguard of religion, and subjugating the inhabitants of the regions to which they came, more by the benefits they conferred than by any exercise of force, these strangers became at last the controlling power of the land, and laid the foundation of that brilliant character in the annals of civilization which has *}. for Egypt so imperishable a name. (Compare Heeren, Ideen, 2, 1, 363, seqq.—Id, ibid. 2, 532, seqq.—Goerres, Mythengeschichte, 2, 331, seqq. — Creuzer, Commentat. Herodot., p. 178, seqq.—Id. Symbolik, par Guignaut, 1, 2,778, seqq.) But whence came the civilization of Meroë 1—This question will be considered in a different article. (Wid. Meroë.)
8. Egyptian History.
The Egyptians, like the Hindus and Persians, had allegorical traditions among them respecting the introduction of agriculture and the first beginnings of civilization in their count Such were the Songs of Isis, whose high antiquity is attested by Plato (ile Leg.