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that he found it already dead. (Diodorus Siculus, 1, 83.) When a house happened to be set on fire, the chief alarm of the Egyptians arose from the propensity of the cats to rush into the flames over the heads or between the legs of the spectators: if this catastrophe took place, it excited a general lamentation. At the death of a cat, every inmate of the house cut off his cyebrows, but at the funeral of a dog, he shaved his head and whole body. (Herod., 2,66.) The carcasses of all the cats were salted, and carried to Bubastus to be interred (Herod., 2, 67); and it is said that many Egyptians, arriving from warlike expeditions to foreigncountries, were known to bring with them dead cats and hawks, which they had met with accidentally, and had salted and prepared for sepulture with much pious grief and lamentation. (Diod. Suc., 1, 83.) In the extremity of famine, when they were driven by hunger to devour each other, the Egyptians were never accused of touching the sacred animals. Every nome in Iogypt paid a particular worship to the animal that was consecrated to its tutelar god ; but there were certain species which the whole nation held in great reverence. hese were the ox (vid. Apis), the dog, and the cat; the hawk and the ibis; and the fishes termed oxyrhynchus and lepidotus. (Strabo, 812.) In each nome the whole species of animals, to the worship of which it was dedicated, was held in great respect; but one favoured individual was selected to receive the adoration of the multitude, and supply the place of an image of the god. Perhaps this is not far from the sense in which Strabo distinguishes the sacred from the durine animals. Thus, in the nome of Arsinoë, where crocodiles were sacred, one of this species was kept in the temple and worshipped as a god. He was tamed and watched with great care by the priests, who called him “Suchos,” and he ate meat and cakes which were of. fered to him by strangers. (Strabo, 811.) In the same neighbourhood there was a pond appropriated to the feeding of crocodiles, with which it was filled, the Arsinoites carefully abstaining from hunting any of them. Sacred bulls were kept in several towns and villages, and nothing was spared that seemed to contribute to the enjoyment of these horned gods, which were pampered in the utmost luxury. Among insects, the cantharus, scarabaeus, or beetle, was very celebrated as an object of worship. Plutarch says it was an emblem of the sun; but Horapollo is more particular, and informs us that there were three species of sacred beetles, of which one was dedicated to the god of Heliopolis, or the Sun; another was sacred to the Moon ; and a third to Hermes or Thoth. The reasons he assigns for the consecration of this insect are derived from the notions entertained respecting its mode of reproduction and its habits, in which the Egyptians traced analogies to the movements of the heavenly bodies. It was believed that all these insects were of the male sex. The beetle was said to fecundate a round ball of earth, which it formed for the purpose. In this they saw a type of the sun, in the office of demiurgus, or as forming and fecundating the lower world. (Horapoll. Hieroglyph., 1, 10.—Plut, de Is. et Os., p. 355. — Porphyr., de Abstin., lib. 4.— Euseb., Prap. Evang., 3, 4.) Nor was the adoration of the Egyptians confined to animals merely. Many plants were regarded as mystical or sacred, and none more so than the lotus, of which mention has already been made, in the section that treats of the fertility of Egypt. In the lotus, or nymphaea nelumbo, which throws its flowcrs above the surface of the water, the Egyptians found an allusion to the sun rising from the surface of the ocean, and it is on the blossom of this plant that the infant Harpocrates is represented as reposing. The peach-tree was also sacred to Harpocrates; and to him the first fruits of lentils and other plants were of. fered, in the month Mesori. It is well known, too, that the Egyptians worshipped the onion. Plutarch refers
this superstition to a fancied relation between this plant and the moon. Leeks also, and various legumina, were held in similar veneration. (Minutius Fehr, p. 278.) The acacia and the heliotrope are said to have been among the number of those plants that were consecrated to the sun. (Compare Kircher's CEdipus, 3, 2.) The laurel was regarded as the most noble of all plants. We learn from Clemens Alexandrinus that there were thirty-six plants dedicated to the thirty-six genii, or decans, who presided over their portions of the twelve signs of the zodiac. (Prichard's Analysis of Egyptian Mythology, p. 301, seqq.)
11. Erplanation of Animal Worship.
The origin of animal worship, and the reasons or motives which induced the Egyptians to represent their gods under such strange forms, cr to pay divine honours to irrational brutes, and even to the meanest objects in nature, is an inquiry which has occupied the attention of the learned in various times. Herodotus pretended to be in possession of more insormation on this subject than he chose to make public. It has been conjectured that he was desirous of concealing his ignorance under a cloak of mystery. The later Greek writers seem to have been more intent on offering excuses for the follies of the Egyptians, than on unfolding the real principles of their mythology; and we find various and contradictory opinions maintained with equal confidence. It appears, indeed, that the Egyptian priests themselves, in the time of the Ptolemies, and at the era of the Roman conquest, were by no means agreed on this subject. To endeavour to explain it by a reference to the metamorphoses which the gods underwent, when they fled from Typhon and sought concealment under the forms of animals, is to account for an absurdity by a fable. To go back, as some do, to the standards, or banners, borne by the different tribes or communities that formed the component parts of the earlier population, is to invert the order of ideas. A people may choose for a standard the representation of an object which they adore; but they will not be found to adore any particular object because they may have chosen it for a standard or banner. The opinion, on the other hand, which refers animal worship to the policy of kings, and to their seeking to divide their subjects by giving them different objects of religious veneration, is an awkward application of the system of Euhemerus, according to which all religions were nothing in effect but civil institutions, the offspring of skilful legislators. Fetichism has been anterior to all positive law. Favoured by the interests of a particular class, it has been enabled, it is true, to prolong itself during a state of civilization and by the force of authority ; but it must spring originally and freely from the very boscn cf barbarism. #. ly untenable is the position which supposes that the Egyptians were induced to pay divine honours to animals, out of gratitude for the benefits which they derived from them ; to the cow and the sheep, for the clothing and sustenance which they afford; to the dog, for his care in protecting their houses against thieves; to the ibis, for delivering their country from serpents; and to the ichneumon, for destroying the eggs of the crocodile. This conjecture is refuted by the wellknown fact, that a variety of animals which are of no apparent utility, and even several species which are noxious and destructive, and the natural enemies of mankind, received their appropriate honours, and were regarded with as much reverence as the more obviously useful members of the animal creation. The shrewmouse, the pike, the beetle, the crow, the hawk, the hippopotamus, can claim no particular regard for the benefits they are known to confer on the human race; still less can the crocodile, the lion, the wolf, or the venomous asp urge any such pretension. Yet wo have seen that all these creatures, and others of a sincliar description, were worshipped by the Egyptians with the most profound devotion; nay, mothers even rejoiced when their children were devoured by crocodiles. It may be farther observed, that some of those animals which afford us food and raiment, and which are, on that account, among the most serviceable, were rendered of little or no utility to the Egyptians on account of this very superstition. They regarded it as unlawful to kill oxen for the sake of food, and not only abstained from slaughtering the sheep, but likewise, under a variety of circumstances, from wearing any garment made of its wool, which was regarded as impure, and defiling the body that was clothed with it. These considerations seem to prove, that the adoration of animals among the Egyptians was not founded on the advantages which mankind derives from them. Another attempt at explaining this mystery, which receives greater countenance from the general character of the É.i. manners and superstition, is the conjecture of Lucian. (De Astrolog.--cd. Bip., vol. 5, p. 218.) This writer pretends, that the sacred animals were only types or emblems of the asterisms, or of those imaginary figures or groups into which the ancients had, at a very early period, distributed the stars; distinguishing them by the names of living creatures and other terrestrial objects. According to Lucian, the worshippers of the bull Apis adored a living image of the celestial Taurus; and Anubis represented the Dog-star or the constellation of Sirius. This hypothesis has received more attention than any other among modern writers. Dupuis has made it the basis of a very ingenious attempt to explain the mythologue of Isis and Osiris, and several other fables of antiquity, which this author resolves into astronomical figments, or figurative accounts of certain changes in the positions of the heavenly bodies. (Origine de tous les Cultes, 2, 270, seqq., ed. 1822.) The hypothesis of Lucian, however, will not endure the test of a rigid scrutiny. For if we examine the constellations of the most ancient spheres, we find but few coincidences between the zodia or celestial images, and that extentive catalogue of brute creatures which were adored as divinities on the banks of the Nile. Where, for example, shall we discover the ibis, the cat, the hippopotamus, or the crocodile ! Besides, if we could trace the whose series of deified brutes in the heavens, it would still remain doubtful, whether the Egyptian animals were consecrated subsequently to the formation of the sphere, as types or images of the constellations; or the stars distributed into groups, and these groups named with reference to the quadrupeds, birds, and fishes that were already regarded as sacred. There are, indeed, many circumstances which might render the latter alternative the more probable. But the relation between the animals of the sphere and those of the Egyptian temples are by far too limited to warrant any such speculation; and Lucian, moreover, is an author who is by no means deserving of much credit on a subject of this nature. Porphyry, in his conjectures, approaches nearer the truth. The divinity, according to him, embraces all beings; he resides, therefore, in animals also, and man adores him wherever he is found. In other words, the worship of animals was intimately connected, according to this writer, with the doctrine of emanation. (Porphyr. de Abstincrutia, 4, 9.-Compare Eusebius, Praep. #. 3, 4.) This explanation, however, does not go far enough. It takes no notice of that peculiar combination by which the worship of animals is made to assume a regular form, and to continue itself long after man has placed the deity far above the limits of physical existence.—The discovery of a mode of worship among certain savage tribes in our own days, perfectly analogous to the system of animal adoration which prevailed among the Egyptians, furnishes us with a certain clew amid these conflicting hypotheses, and that clew is Fetichism. We
perceive, remarks Heeren (Ideen, vol. 2, p. 664), the worship of animals from Ethiopia to Senegal, among nations completely uncivilized. Why, then, seek for a different origin among the Egyptians ? Place among the African negroes of the present day corporations of priests arrived at the knowledge of the movement of the heavenly bodies, and preserving in their sanctuary this branch of human science screened from the curiosity of the uninitiated and profane. These sacerdotal corporations will never seek to change the objects of vulgar adoration; on the contrary, they will consecrate the worship that is paid them, and will give that worship more of pomp and regularity. They will seek, above all, to make the intervention of the sacerdotal caste a necessary requisite in every ceremony; they will then attach, in a mystic sense, these material objects of worship to their hidden science; and the result will be a system of religion precisely similar to that of Egypt, with Fetichism for its basis, the worship of the heavenly bodies for its outward characteristic, and within, a science founded on astronomy, and by the operations of which the setichs, that serve as gods for the people, become merely symbols for the priests. It was thus that the priests of Meroë, in sending forth their sacerdotal colonies, carefully observed the rule of attaching to themselves the natives among whom they chanced to come, by adopting a part of their external worship, and by assigning to the animals which these natives adored a place in the temples erected by them, which thence became the common sanctuaries and the centres of religion for all, . To invert the order to which we have just alluded is a palpable error. What had been for a long time acknowledged for a sign or symbol, could not, on a sudden, be transformed into a god; but it is easy to conceive how that which passes for a god with the mass of the people may become an allegory or emblem with a more enlightened caste. Apis, for example, owed to certain spots, at first fortuitous, afterward renewed by art, the honour of being one of the signs of the zodiac. The salacity of the goat made it a type of the great productive power in nature. The cat was indebted to its glossy fur, and the ibis to its equivocal colour, which appeared, as it were, something intermediate between the night and the day, for being symbols of the moon; the falcon became one of the year, and the scarabaeus of the sun. The case was the same with trees and plants, fetichs no less highly revered than animals. The leaves of the palm, the longevity of which tree seemed a special privilege from on high, adorned the couches of the priests, because this tree, putting forth branches every month, marks the renewal of the lunar cycle. (Diod. Suc., 1, 34.—Plan., 13, 17.) The lotus, known also as a sacred plant to the people of India, the cradle of Brahma (Maurice, Hist. of Indost. 1,60), as well as that of Harpocrates; the persea, brought from Ethiopia by a sacerdotal colony (Diod. Suc., l.c.—Schol. in Nicandr. Therapeut., p. 764); the amoglossum, whose seven sides recall to mind the seven planets; and which was styled, on this account, the glory of the skies (Kircher, QEd. Ægypt., 3, 2); the onion, whose pellicles were thought to resemble so many concentric spheres, and which was therefore viewed as a vegetable image of the universe, always different and yet always the same, and where each part served as the representative of the whole; all these became so many symbols having more or less connexion with astronomical science. In them the people beheld the objects of ancient adoration, and the priests characteristics that enabled them to mark out and perpetuate their scientific discoveries. To these elements of worship was added, without doubt, the influence of localities, that at one time disturbed by partial differences the uniformity which the sacred caste were desirous of establishing, and at another associated with the rites, that had reference to the general principles of astronomical science, certain practices which resulted merely from o of situation. Hence, on the one hand, the
iversity of animals adored by the communities of Egypt. Had these been merely pure symbols, would the priests, who sought to impart a uniform character to their institutions, have ever introduced them 1 These varieties in the objects of worship are only to be explained by the yielding, on the part of a sacerdotal order, to the antecedent habits of the people. (Vogel, Rel, der Æg., p. 97, scqq.) Hence, too, on the other hand, those numerous allegories, heaped up together without being connected by any common bond, and forming, if the expression be allowed, so many layers of fable Apis, for example, at first the manitou-prototype of his kind, afterward the depository of the soul of Osiris, is found to have a third meaning, which holds a middle place between the other two. He is the symbol of the Nile, the fertilizing stream of Egypt; and while his colour, the spots of white on his front, and the duration of his existence, which could not exceed twenty-five years, have a reference to astronomy, the festival of his reappearance was celebrated on the day when the river begins to rise. The result, then, of what we have here advanced, is simply this : The animal-worship of the Egyptians originated in fetichism. The sacerdotal caste, in allowing it to remain unmolested, arrayed it in a more imposing garb, and, while they permitted the mass of the people to indulge in this gross and humiliating species of adoration, reserved for themselves a secret and visionary system of pantheism or emanation. (Constant, de la Religion, 3, 62, seqq.—Prichard's Analysis of Egyptian Mythology, p. 330, seqq.)
12. Egyptian Castes.
Among the institutions of Egypt, none was more important in its influence on the character of the nation, than the division of the people into tribes or families, who were obliged by the laws and superstitions of the country to follow, without deviation, the professions and habits of their forefathers. Such an instituion could not fail of impressing the idea of abject servility on the lower classes; and, by removing in a great measure the motive of emulation, it must have created, in all, an apathy and indifference to improvement in their particular profession. Wherever the system of castes has existed, it has produced a remarkably permanent and uniform character in the nation ; as in the example furnished by the natives of Hindustan. These people agree in almost every point with the description given of them by Megasthenes, who visited the court of an Indian king soon after the conquest of the East by the Macedonians. We have no very accurate and circumstantial account of the castes into which the Egyptian people were divided, and of the particular customs of each. It appears, indeed, that innovations on the old civil and religious constitution of Egypt had begun to be introduced as early as the time of Psammetichus, when the ancient aversion of the people to foreigners was first overcome. The various conflicts which the nation underwent, between that era and the time when Herodotus visited Egypt, could not fail to break down many of the fences which ancient priestcraft had established for maintaining the influence of superstition. Herodotus is the earliest writer who mentions the castes or hereditary classes of the Egyptians, and his account appears to be the result of his personal observation only. Had this historian understood the native language of the people; had he been able to read the books of Hermes, in which the old sacerdotal institutions were contained, we might have expected from him as correct and ample a description of the distribution of the castes in Egypt, as that which modern writers have gained in India from the code of Menu, respecting the orders and subdivisions of the community in Hindustan. Diodorus, who had more favourable
opportunities of information, and who seems to have made a very diligent use of them, may be supposed to be more accurate, in what refers to the internal policy of this nation, than Herodotus. Strabo has mentioned, in a very summary manner, the division of the E tians into classes. He distinguishes the two higher ranks, namely, the sacerdotal and the military classes, and includes all the remainder of the community under the designation of the agricultural class, to whom he assigns the employments of agriculture and the arts. i. subdivides this latter class. After distinguishing from it the sacerdotal and military orders, he observes, that the remainder of the community is distributed into three divisions, which he terms Herdsmen, Agriculturists, and Artificers, or men who laboured at trades. Herodotus very nearly agrees in his enumeration with that of Diodorus. His names for the different classes are as follows: 1. Priests, or the sacerdotal class. 2. Warriors, or the military class. 3. Concherds. 4. Swineherds. 5. Traders. 6. Interpreters. 7. Pilots. In this catalogue the third and fourth classes are plainly subdivisions of the third of Diodorus, whom that writer includes under the general title of herdsmen. The caste of interpreters, as well as that of pilots, must have comprised a very small number of men, since the Egyptians had little intercourse with foreigners, and, until the time of the Greek dynasty, their navigation was principally confined to sailing up and down the Nile. The pilots were probably a tribe of the same class with the artificers or labouring artisans of Diodorus. The traders of Herodotus must be the same class who are called agriculturists by Diodorus. Thus, by comparing the different accounts, we are enabled to arrange the several branches of the Egyptian community into the following classes. 1. The Sacerdotal order. 2. The Military. 3. The Herdsmen. 4. The Agricultural and Commercial class. 5. The Artificers, or labouring artisans. The employments of all these classes were hereditary, and no man was allowed by the law to enjo in any occupation different from that in which he
ad been educated by his parents. It was accounted an honourable distinction to belong either to the sacerdotal or the military class. The other orders were considered greatly inferior in dignity, and no Egyptian could mount the throne who was not descended from the priesthood or the soldiery. (Prichard's Analysis of Egyptian Mythology, p. 373, seqq.) After death, however, no grade was regarded, and every good soul was supposed to become united to that essence from which it derived its origin. (Wilkinson, Manners and Customs, &c., 1, 245.)
13. Egyptian Priesthood.
The inquiry respecting the sacerdotal caste of Egypt is rendered a difficult one principally on the following account, because the writers, from whose statements we obtain our information, lived in an age when the Egyptian priesthood had already suffered many and important alterations, and had been deprived of a large portion of their former consideration and influence. Each successive revolution in the state must have had a direct bearing upon them, or, rather, they must have been the first with whom it came in contact. Their political influence, therefore, must have been gradually diminished, and their sphere of action circumscribed. Under the Persian sway, in particular, their power must have been reduced to within but narrow limits, and our only wonder is, when we consider the strong hostility displayed by these conquerors towards the sacerdotal or ruling caste, that it did not fall entirely to the ground. Herodotus then, and still more the writers from whom Diodorus Siculus has received his information on this subject, saw merely the shadow of that extensive power and influence which the priests of Egypt had formerly possessed. And yet, even in the statements which we obtain from this quarter, traces may easily be found of what the Egyptian hierarchy once was ; so that from these, when taken together, we are enabled to form a tolerably accurate idea of the earlier power which this remarkable order had enjoyed. The sacerdotal caste was spread over the whole of Egypt; their chief places of abode, however, were the great cities, which, at one time or other, had been the capitals of the land, or else had held a high rank among the other Egyptian cities. These were Thebes, Memphis, Sais, Heliopolis, &c. Here, too, were the chief temples, which are so often mentioned in the accounts of Herodotus and other writers. Every Egyptian priest had to belong to the service of some particular deity, or, in other words, to be attached to some temple. The number of priests for any deity was never determined; nor could it indeed have been subjected to any regulations on this head, since priesthood was hereditary in families, and these must have been more or less numerous according to circumstances. Not only was the priestly caste hereditary in its nature, but also the priesthoods of individual deities. The sons, for example, of the priests of Vulcan at Memphis, could not enter as members into the sacerdotal college at Heliopolis; nor could the offspring of the priests of Heliopolis belong to the college of Memphis. Strange as this regulation may appear, it was nevertheless a natural one. Each temple had extensive portions of land attached to it, the revenues of which, belonging as they did to those whose forefathers had erected the temple, were received by the priests as matters of hereditary right, and made those who tilled these lands be regarded as their dependants or subjects. Hence, as both the templelands and revenues were inherited, the sacerdotal colleges had of consequence to be kept distinct. The priesthood, moreover, of each temple was carefully . They had a high-priest over them, whose office was likewise hereditary. It need hardly be remarked, that there must have been gradations also among the various high-priests, and that those of Thebes, Memphis, and the other chief cities of the country, must have stood at the head of the order. These were, in a certain sense, a species of hereditary princes, who stood by the side of the monarchs, and enjoyed almost equal privileges Their Egyptian title was Piromis, which Herodotus translates by kazoo kāyat)6¢, i.e., “noble and good,” and which points not so much to moral excellence as to nobility of origin. (Compare Welker, Theognidis Reliquide, p. xxiv.) Their statues were placed in the temples. Whenever they are mentioned in the history of the country, they appear as the first persons in the state, even in the Mosaic age. When Joseph was to be elevated to power, he had to connect himself by marriage with the sacerdotal caste, and was united to the daughter of the high-priest at On, or Heliopolis. The organization of the inferior priesthood was different probably in different cities, according to the situation and wants of the surrounding country. They formed not only the ruling caste, and supplied from their number all the of. fices of government, but were in possession likewise of all the learning and knowledge of the land, and the exercise of this last had always immediate reference to the wants of the adjacent population. We must banish the idea, then, that the priests of Egypt were merely the ministers of religion, or that religious observances constituted their principal employment. They were, on the contrary, judges also, physicians, astronomers, architects; in a word, they had charge of every department that was in any way connected with learning and science. It appears, from the whole tenour of Egyptian history, that each of the great cities of the land possessed originally one chief temple, which, in process of time, became the head temple of the surrounding district, and the deity worshipped in it the
local patron or deity of the adjacent country The priests of Memphis were always styled (according to the momenclature of the Greeks) priests of Vulcan; those of Thebes, priests of the Theban Jove; those of Sais, priests of the Sun, &c. These head-temples mark the first settlement of the sacerdotal colonies as they gradually descended the valley of the Nile. The number of deities to whom temples were erected, in Upper Egypt at least, seem to have been always very limited. In this quarter we hear merely of the temples of Ammon, Osiris, Isis, and Typhon. In Middle and Lower Egypt, the number appears to have been gradually enlarged.—The next subject of inquiry has reference to the revenues of the sacerdotal order Herc also we must dismiss the too common opinion, that the priests of Egypt were a class supported by the monarch or the state. They were, on the contrary, the principal landholders of the country, and, besides them, the right of holding lands was enjoyed only by the king and the military caste. Changes, of course, must have ensued amid the various political revolutions to which the state has been subject, in this important branch of the sacerdotal power, yet none of such a nature as materially to affect the right itself; and hence we find that a large, if not the largest and fairest portion of the lands of Egypt, remained always in the hands of the priests. To each temple, as has already been remarked, were attached extensive domains, the common possession of the whole fraternity, and their original place of settlement. These lands were let out for a moderate sum, and the revenue derived from them went to the common treasury of tho temple, over which a superintendent, or treasurer, was placed, who was also a member of the sacerdotal body. From this treasury were supplied the wants of the various families that composed the sacred college. They had also a common table in their respective temples, which was daily provided with all the good things, not excepting imported wines, that their rules allowed
So that no part of their private property was required for their immediate support. For that they possessed private property is not only apparent from the circumstance of their marrying and having families, but it is also expressly asserted by Herodotus. From all that has been said, then, it follows that the sacerdotal famiiies of Egypt were the richest and most distinguished in the land, and that the whole order formed, in fact, a highly privileged nobility. The priests of Egypt were distinguished for great cleanliness of person and peculiarity of attire. It cannot be doubted but that the nature of the climate and the character of the country exercised a great influence, not only on these points, but also on their general mode of life, though, independent of this, they would seem to have been well aware how important agents general cleanliness and frequent ablutions become in producing and establishing the blessings of health, both in individuals and communities. Hence the conspicuous example of external cleanliness which they made a point of showing the lower orders. They wore garments of linen, not, as some think, of fine cotton (Schmidt, de Sacerdotubus AEgypt., p.26), freshwashed, taking particular care to have them always clean. They shaved all parts of their body once in three days. They wore shoes made of byblus, bathed themselves twice in cold water by day and twice by night, and entirely rejected the use of woollen garments. (Heeren's Ideen, 2, 2, 125, seqq)
14. Motives for Embalming Bodies.
It has often been observed that the practice of embalming the dead, and preserving them with so much care and in so costly a manner, seems to indicate some peculiarity in the opinions ofthe Egyptian philosophers respecting the fate of the soul. On this subject wo
have no precise and satisfactory information. The an
cient writers have left us only a few hints, more or less obscure, which scarcely afford anything beyond a mere foundation for conjectures. The }. de Goguet, relying on a statement of Servius, supposes that the Igyptians embalmed their dead for the sake of maintaining the connexion between the soul and the body, and preventing the former from transmigrating. (Origin of Laws, &c., vol. 3, p. 68, Eng. transl.) According to the Egyptian doctrine of transmigration, as explained by Herodotus (2, 127), the soul of a man passed through the bodies of living creatures, and returned to inhabit a human form at the expiration of three thousand years The cycle, however, does not commence until the body begins to perish, and the second human habitation of the soul is a new one The pains and torments, therefore, of passing through this cycle of three thousand years, and through animals innumerable, might be reserved for those whose actions in life did not entitle them to be made into mummies, and whose bodies would therefore be exposed to decay. In a second trial in the world, the unfortunate penitent might avoid his former errors. Hence, say the advocates for this opinion, the body of a father or ancestor was often given as a pledge or security, and it was one that was valued more highly than any other. It was the most sacred of all the obligations which a man could bind himself by, and the recovery of the pledge, by performing the stipulated condition, was an indispensable duty. (Long's Ancient Geogr., p. 61.) Others have imagined, that the views with which the Egyptians embalmed their dead bodies were more akin to those which rendered the Grecks and Romans so anxious to perform the usual rites of sepulture to their departed warriors, namely, an idea that these solemnities expedited the journey of the soul to the apointed region, where it was to receive judgment for its former deeds, and to have its future doom fixed accordingly. This, they maintain, is implied by the praycr, said to have been uttered by the embalmers in the name of the deceased, entreating the divine powers to receive his soul into the regions of the gods. (Porphyr., de Abstinent., 4, 10–Prichard's Analysis of Egyptian Mythology, p. 200.) Perhaps, however, the practice of embalming in Egypt was the result more of necessity than of choice, and, like many other of the customs of the land, may have been identified by the priests with the national religion, in qrder to ensure its continuance The rites of sepulture in Egypt grew out of circumstances peculiar to that country. The scarcity of fuel precluded the use of the funeral pile; the rocks which bounded the valley denied a grave; and the sands of the deserts afforded no protection from outrage by wild beasts; while the valley, regularly inundated, forbade it to be used as a charnel-house, under penalty of pestilence to the living. Hence grew the use of antiseptic substances, in which the nation became so skilled, as to render the bodies of their dead inaccessible to the ordinary process of decay.
15 Arts and Manufactures of the Egyptians.
The topics on which we intend here to touch, derive no small degree of elucidation from the paintings discovered in the tombs of Egypt Weaving appears to have been the employment of a large majority of the nation. According to Herodotus (2, 35), it was an occupation of the men, and, therefore, not merely a domestic employment, but a business carried on also in large establishments or manufactories. The process of weaving is frequently the subject of Egyptian paintings . It is depicted in the most pleasing manner in the drawing given by Minutoli (pl. 24, 2) from the tombs of Beni Hassan. The loom is here of very simple construction, and is fastened to four props or supports driven into the ground. The finished part of the work is checkered green and yellow, the byssus being generally dyed before weaving. Even as early
as the time of Moses, this class of Manufactures had attained a very great perfection (Goguct, Origin of Laws, &c., vol. 2, p. 86, seqq.); and, at a still more distant period, the time of Joseph (Genesis, 45, 22), fine vestments were among the articles most usually bestowed as presents. We have no necessity, how. ever, to go back to these authorities; the monuments speak a language that cannot be misunderstood Both in the plates accompanying the great French work on Egypt, as well as the drawings obtained by Belzoni from the tombs of the kings at Thebes, and those given by Minutoli, we see these vestments in all their gay colours, and of various degrees of fineness. Scme are so fine that the limbs appear through them. (Compare, in particular, the vestment of the king, as given in the Descriptuon de l'Egypt, Planches, vol. 2, pl. 31, and Belzoni's plates.) Others, on the contrary, are of a thicker texture. The kings and warriors commonly wear short garments; the agricultural and working classes, merely a kind of white apron. The priests have long vestments, sometimes white, at other times with white and red stripes; sometimes adorned with stars, at other times with slowers, and again glittering with all the colours of the East. Whether silk vestments can be found among them remains still undecided. (Heeren's Ideen, vol. 2, pt. 2, p. 368, seqq) The Egyptians, from a most remote era, were celcbrated for their manufacture of linen. The quantity, indeed, that was manufactured and used in Egypt was truly surprising ; and, independently of that made up into articles of dress, the great abundance used for enveloping the mummies, both of men and animals, show how large a supply must have been kept ready for the constant i. at home, as well as for that of the foreign market. That the bandages employed in wrapping the dead are of linen, and not, as some have imagined, of cotton, has been ascertained by the most satisfactory tests. (Wilkinson, vol. 3, p. 115.) That the skill of the Egyptians in the application of colours kept pace with that displayed in the art of o is evident from what has already been remarked. We find among them all colours; white, yellow, red, blue, green, and black. What the colouring materials themselves were, how far they were obtained from Egypt, or to what extent they were brought from †. and India, cannot be clearly determined. That the Tyrians had a share in these will appear more than probable, when we call to mind that they were permitted to have an establishment or factory at Memphis. Pliny (35,42) extols the beautiful o of the Egyptians, and the testimony of all modern travellers is in full accordance with his statements. The Egyptians mixed their paint with water, and it is probable that a little portion of gum was sometimes added, to render it more tenacious and adhesive. In most instances we find red, green, and blue adopted ; a union which, for all subjects and in all parts of Egypt, was a particular favourite When black was introduced, yellow was added to counteract or harmonize with it; and, in like manner, they sought for every hue its congenial companion. The following analysis of Egyptian colours, that were brought by Wilkinson from Thebes, is given by Dr. Ure. “The colours are green, blue, red, black, yellow, and white. 1. The green pigment, scraped from the painting in distemper, resists the solvent action of muriatic acid, but becomes thereby of a brilliant blue colour, in consequence of the abstraction of a small portion of yellow ochreous matter. The residuary blue powder has a sandy texture; and, when viewed in the microscope, is seen to consist of small particles of blue glass. On fusing this vitreous matter with potash, digesting the compound in diluted muriatic acid, and treating the solution with water of ammonia in excess, the presence of copper becomes manifest. A certain portion of precipitate fell, which, being dissolved in muriatic acid and tested, proved to