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also remarked on the banks of the Mississippi, the Po, Part of the Borysthenes, and some other rivers. Near Beni-soof, the valley of the Nile, already much widened on the west, has on that side an opening, through which a view is obtained of the fertile plains of Faicom. These plains form properly a sort of table-land, separated from the surrounding mountains on the north and west by a wide valley, of which a certain proportion, always laid under water, forms what the inhabitants call Birket-el-Karoon. (Vid. Moeris.) Near Cairo, the chains which limit the valley of the Nile diverge on both sides. The one, under the name of Jibbel-al-Nairon, runs northwest towards the Mediterranean: the other, called Jibbel-al-Attaka, runs straight east of Suez. In front of these chains a vast plain extends, composed of sands, covered with the mud of the Nile. At the place called Batu-el-Bahara, near the ancient Cercasorus, the river divides into two branches; the one of which flowing to Rosetta, I ear the ancient Ostium Bolbitinum, and the other to Damietta, the ancient Tamiathis, at the Ostium Phatreticum, contain between them the present Delta. But this triangular piece of insulated land was in former times much larger, being bounded on the east by the Pelusian branch, which is now choked up with sand or converted into marshy pools; while on the west it was bounded by the Canopic branch, which is now partly confounded with the canal of Alexandrea, and partly lost in Lake Etko. But the correspondence of the level of the surface with that of the present Delta, and its depression as compared with that of the adjoining desert, together with its greater verdure and fertility, still mark the limits of the ancient Delta, although irregular encroachments are made by shifting banks of drifting sand, which are at present on the increase. Egypt then, in general language, may be described as an immense valley or longitudinal basin, terminating in a Delta or triangular plain of alluvial formation; being altogether, from the heights of Syene to the shores of the Mediterranean, about 600 miles in length, and of various width. (Malte-Brun, Geogr. vol. 4, p. 21, seqq.) 1. Fertility of Egypt.
Almost the whole of the productive soil of Egypt consists of mud deposited by the Nile; and the Delta, as in all similar tracts of country, is entirely composed of alluvial earth and sand. To ascertain the depth of this bed, the French savans, who accompanied the military expedition into Egypt, sank several wells at distant intervals; and from their observations have been obtained the following results. First, that the surface of the soil, as already mentioned, descends more or less rapidly towards the foot of the hills, which is the reverse of what occurs in most valleys: secondly, that the depth of the bed of mud is unequal, being in general about five feet near the river, and increasing gradually as it recedes from it: thirdly, that beneath the mud there is a bed of sand similar to that always brought down by the river. The first-mentioned peculiarity is satisfactorily explained by the absence of rain, which, in other countries, washes down the soil from the hills, and, carrying it to the stream in the bottom of the valley, forms a basin, the sides of which have a concave surface; whereas, in Egypt, the soil is conveyed by the inundation from the river into the valley, and the deposites, therefore, will be greatest near its banks. The more rapid the current, also, the smaller will be the quantity of mud deposited. The bed of quartzose sand upon which it rests is about thirty-six feet in depth, and is superposed on the calcareous rock which forms the basis of the lower country. The waters of the river filter through this bed of sand, and springs are found as soon as the borer has reached any considerable depth. Ancient Egypt was remarkable for its fertility. The staple commodity
was its grain, the growth of which was so abundant as to afford at all times considerable supplies to the neighbouring countries, particularly Syria and Arabia; and in times of scarcity or famine, which were frequently felt in those countries, Egypt alone could save their numerous population from starving. Egypt, in fact, unlike every other country on the globe, brought forth its produce independent of the seasons and the skies; and while continued drought in the neighbouring countries brought one season of scarcity after another, the granaries of Egypt were full. Hence, too, Egypt became regarded as one of the granaries of Rome. (Aurel. Victor., Epit. c. 1.) The Rev. Mr. Jewett has given a striking example of the extraordinary fertility of the soil of Egypt. “I picked up at random,” says he, “a few stalks out of the thick cornfields. We counted the number of stalks which sprouted from single grains of seed; carefully pulling to pieces each root, in order to see that it was but one plant. The first had seven stalks; the next three; the next nine ; then eighteen; then fourteen. Each stalk would have been an ear.” Numerous canals served to carry the waters of the Nile to some of those parts which the inundation could not reach, while machinery was employed to convey the means of irrigation to others. Many of these canals still exist, many have long since disappeared, and not a sew tracts of sandy country have displayed themselves in modern times where formerly all was smiling and fertile. Nearly the whole extent from the southern confines to the neighbourhood of Thebes is one barren and sand waste. Assigning to Upper Egypt an average i. often miles, and allowing for the lateral valleys stretching out from the Delta, it is supposed that the portion of territory, at the present day, in Egypt, capable of cultivation, may amount to about 16,000 square miles, or, in round numbers, ten millions of acres. The total opulation is estimated at about two millions and a .# which would give about 156 to every square mile, Nearly one half of this territory, it is supposed, is either periodically inundated, or capable of artificial irrigation. The remaining part requires a more laborious cultivation, and yields a more scanty produce. The inundated lands, though they have successively borne one crop, and frequently two, year after year, without intermission, for more than 3000 years, still retain their ancient fertility, without any perceptible impoverishment, and without any farther tillage than the adventitious top-dressing of black, slimy mould by the overflowing of the river. Where the inundation does not reach, the crops are very scanty; wheat does not yield above five or six for one ; but for maize and millet the soil is particularly adapted, and these, with rice, lentils, and pulse, constitute the principal food of nine tenths of the inhabitants, allowing the exportation of the greater part of the wheat produced. Taking, then, into consideration the quantity of land once arable, which is now covered with sand, the double harvest, and, of some productions, more than semi-annual crops, the smaller quantity of food which is requisite to sustain life in southern latitudes, and the extent to which the more barren soil was formerly rendered available by the cultivation of the olive, the fig-tree, the vine, and the date-palm, we shall no longer be at a loss to account for the immense fertility and populousness of ancient Egypt, a country said to have contained in former days 7,500,000 souls.-One of the most celebrated productions of Egypt is the lotus. The plant usually so denominated is a species of water-lily (nymphaea lotus), called by the Arabs nuphar, which, on the disappearance of the inundation, covers all the canals and pools with its broad round leaves, amid which the flowers, in the form of cups of bright white or azure, expand on the surface, and have a most elegant appearance, Sonnini says, that its roots form a tubercle, which is gathered when the waters of the Nile subside, and is boiled and eaten like potatoes, which it somewhat resembles in taste. erodotus
(2,92) states, that the Egyptians not only ate the root, but made a sort of bread of the seed, which resembled that of the poppy. He adds, that there is a second ecies, 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 nelumbo, or melumbium 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 . 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 many plants which have been erroneously fixed on by learned commentators as the dudaim (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 colocasium 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 all 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 o: 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 booffrom 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 favourite 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 animals brought from Egypt, among which are the coluber haje, an animal figured in all the hieroglyphical tables as the emblem of Providence; and the coluber vipera, 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 (culpanser) 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 Europe. 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 Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire have brought home mummies of this animal, which had been prepared and entombed with much superstitious care. (Mémoire sur l'Ibis, par M. Cuvier—Malte-Brun, Geogr., vol. 4, p. 45, seqq.)
3. Name of Egypt.
The name by which this country is known to Europeans comes from the Greeks, some of whose writers inform us that it received this appellation from AEgyptus, son of Belus, having been previously called Aéria. (Compare Eusebius, Chron., lib. 2, p. 284, ed. Maii et Zohrab.) In the Hebrew Scriptures it is styled Mits raim, and also Matsor, and harets Cham : of these names, however, the first is the one most commonly employed. The Arabians and other Orientals still know it by the name of Mesr or Mizr. According to general opinion, Egypt was called Mitsraim 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, indicates the two divisions of Egypt into Upper and Lower. Calmet (Dict., art. Misraim) supposes, that it denotes the people of the country rather than the father of the people. Josephus (Ant. Jud. 1, 6) calls Egypt Mestra; the Septuagint translators, Metsraim; Eusebius and Suidas, Mestraia. 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 from its being a region fortified by nature, or from the word tsor, which signifies 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 etymologies, because Diodorus Siculus (1, 30) and Strabo (803) remark, that Egypt was a country extremely difficult of access; and Diodorus, speaking of the Upper Egypt, observes, that it seems not a little to excel other limited places in the kingdom, by a natural fortification (8xvpórmru ovauxã) and by the beauty of the country. The third appellation mentioned above, namely, harets Cham, “the land of Ham,” seems to have been the poetical name for Egypt among the Hebrews, and accordingly it occurs 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 Genesin.—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. Iu. Hebrew, cham signifies “calidus;” and chom, “fuscus,” “niger.” In Egyptian we find several words which are nearly the same both in sound and sense. Thus xuou, chmom, signifies “calor,” and xaue, chame, “niger.” 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 Dict., art. Ham.) The name Aéria has a similar reference, and would seem to have been a translation of the native
word, the primitive àp denoting obscurity, duskiness. Thus, the scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (1,580) 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. #. (6, 149), who cites this passage 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 Alyvirror is composed of ala (for yaia), land, and yūrroc, or rather kówroc, and that, consequently, Egypt signifies the land of Kopt, or the Koptic land. Others derive it from ala, and yo, 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 Cuphti, the land of Cuphti; while Bruce says, that Y Gypt, the name o 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. Maii et 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, Philar, as far as Abydos, and contained ten districts, jurisdictions, or, as the Greeks called them, nomes (Nóuot. Herod. 2, 164). The Coptic word is Pthosch. (Champollion, TEgypte sous les Pharaons, 1,66.) To these succeeded the sirteen nomes of Middle Egypt (Strabo, 787), reaching to Cercasorus, where the Nile began to branch off. en came the ten nomes of Lower Egypt, or the Delta, extending to the sea. The whole number of nomes then was thirty-six, 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, to 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.) #. 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 Delta, but had its extent enlarged by an addition of some of the neighbouring nomes. In 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 Duz, 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 honor of Arcadius, eldest son of Theodosius. A new province also had arisen a considerable time before this, named Augustamnica, from its lying chiefly along the Nile. It comprised the eastern . 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 archbishoprics and bishoprics, all subject to the patriarchate of Alexandrea, gave rise to a new distribution of provinces. 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
art of its previous extent, under the name of Middle
gypt or Arcadia (Mégn Alyvittoo, h ’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 Philae and Thatis, including a small part of AEthiopia, 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 importance either in point of history or geography. (Compare Hierocles, Synekdemos; in Wesseling's Rom. Itin., Amst., 1735, 4to.—Mannert, Geogr., 10, o 305, seqq.)
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, S2, seqq.) assigns to Ptolemy 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 Zürtovo clvat Tptakootov sc.
pusióov), we must regard this number as the interpoation of a scribe, and inust 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 & a sustavtoc Zaoi Tô uév Tazagóv Øaat yeyovéval mospi & Trakoaiac uvptačac, Kai kats' judg 68 o'r Aarrove elval [speakoaiov]. Compare Wesseling, ad loc.—Mannert, 10, 2, 309, seqq.)
6. Complexiom 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 incidentally 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 disferent 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 sell under his 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 uezayapoeg kai ovačTptxec, or, “black in complexion, and woolly-haired.” These are exactly the words used in the description of umdoubted negroes. The same Colchians, it may be observed, are mentioned by Pindar (Pyth. 4, 377) as being black, with the epithet of KežatvöTec, on which passage the scholiast observes, that the Col
chians were black, and that their dusky hue was at
tributed 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 markcd, 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 con
jecture 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 de
scribed 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 expres
sions equally strong. AEschylus, in the Supplices
(r. 722, seqq.), mentions the crew of an Egyptian
bark, as seen from an eminence on shore. The per
son 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 might 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 (Naviglum seu Wota.-vol. 8, 157, ed. Bip.), a ludicrous description of a young Egyptian, who is represented as belonging to the crew of a trading vessel at the Piraeus. § is said of him, that, “besides being black, he had projecting lips, and was very slender in the legs, and that his hair and the curls bushed up behind marked him to be of servile rank.” The words of the original are, oùroc de Tpóg to us24yApovc cival, Kai Tpół: tasic tatu, kai Actros ūyav Toiv akeWolv, . . . . . . # kópon dé, Kai & Toitíow 6 Tââkauo: avveastelpauávoc, oix Acutéptóv Ømauv airóv fival. 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, “The hair of the men is sometimes frizzled at the sides, and stiffened 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. AElian (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 they 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 Pharaoh. 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 place. 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 . 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. H 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 lates in the splendid “Description de l'Egypte.” #. 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 ticed. 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 ne countries; but there are also paintings of a very different 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 frequently 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 kindred, and were, in fact, the descendants of a black race, prob. ably the Ethiopian. (Compare plate 92 of the work just alluded to, and also plates 84 and 86.) In the same volume of the “Description de l'Egypte” is a plate 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 frisés, sans étre 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 "...; 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-āhnliche,” or, more properly, Berberin-āhnliche, 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
o among them, it must have been rare and in no great
degree. Sömmering 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 Sömmering 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 Hot. tentot. (Lawrence's Lectures, p. 301,–Observations sur le cadavre de la Venus Hottentotte, par M. Curier, Mem du Museum d’Hist. Nat, 3, it?, scqq.) It could therefore be only in the features, as far as they depend on the soft, parts, 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. Dénon