Obrazy na stronie
PDF

been denied him from his birth, and he ever aster spoke with ease. (Val. Mar. 1, 8, 4.—Aul. Gell. 5, 9.) AEgletes, a surname of Apollo as the god of day. (Alyāsīrnç, from alyān, “brightness.") In the legend given by Apollodorus (1,9, 26) respecting the island of Anaphe, the epithet AEgletes appears to point to Apollo as the darter of the lightning also (Apollo Fulgurator). Compare Heyne, ad Apollod. 1, 9, 26, not. crat. AEgobólus, an appellation given to Bacchus at Potnia in Boeotia, because he had substituted a goat in the place of a youth, who was annually sacrificed there. (als, and Bá220.) Compare Pausanias 9, 8, where Kuhn, however, proposes Alyosépov for Aiyo6óżov.—By AEgobolium, on the other hand, is meant a species of mystic purification. The catechumen was placed in a pit, covered with perforated boards, upon which a goat was sacrificed, so as to bathe him in the olood that flowed from it. Sometimes, for a goat, a bull or ram was substituted, and the ceremony was then called, in the first case, Taurobolium, in the second Criobolium. (Knight, Inquiry, &c., § 168.) AEGos Pot (Mos, i. e., the goat's river, called also AEgos Potamoi, and by the Latin writers AEgos Flumen, a small river in the Thracian Chersonese, and south of Callipolis, which apparently gave its name to a town or port situate at its mouth. (Herod. 9, 119. —Steph. Byz. s. v. Aiyêc IIorauot.) Mannert thinks, that the town just mentioned was the same with that called Cressa by Scylax (p. 28), and Cissa by Pliny (4,9). But consult Gail, ad Scyl. l.c. as regards the meaning of the phrase #vröc Aiyêg rotauoi, employed by Scylax. (Geogr. Gr. Min. 1, 439, ed. Gail.) At AEgos Potamos the Athenian fleet was totally defeated by the Spartan admiral Lysander, an event which completely destroyed the power of the former state, and finally led to the capture of Athens. (Xen. Hist. Gr. 2, 19.—Diod. Sic. 13, 105–Plut. Wit. Alcib Corn. Nep. Wit. Alcib.) The village of Galata probably stands on the site of the town or harbour. (Cramer's Ancient Greece, vol. 1, p. 330.) AEgos KGA., a Gallic nation, who served in the army of Attalus on one of his expeditions. He afterward assigned them a settlement along the Hellespont. (Polyb. 5, 77, seq.) Casaubon, in his Latin version of Polybius, has “AEgosages (sire it sunt Tectosages).” Schweighaeuser, misled by this conjecture, introduces Tekróa'ayac into the Greek text of the historian in place of Aiyêaayac, the common reading. In his annotations, however, he acknowledges his precipitancy. Compare the Historical and Geographical index to his edition of Polybius (vol. 8, pt. i., p. 198). in which he conjectures that 'Puyógayec, which occurs in another passage of Polybius (5, 53), ought to be written Alyödayee also. AEGys, a town of Laconia, on the borders of Arcadia, and contiguous to Belmina. (Polyb. 2, 54.) AEGypsus, or more correctly AEgyssus, a city of Moesia Inferior, in the region called Parva Scythia, and situate on the bank of the Danube, not far above its mouth. It is mentioned by Ovid o; er. Pont. 1, 8, 13). Near this place, according to D'Anville, Darius Hystaspis constructed his bridge over the Danube, in his expedition against the Scythians. (As regards the true reading, consult Cellarius, Geogr. 2, 468.) AEgyptil, the inhabitants of Egypt. Vid. AEgyptus. AEGyptium MARE, that part of the Mediterranean Sea which is on the coast of Egypt. . AEGyptus, I. a son of Belus, and brother of Danaus. He received from his parent the country of Arabia to rule over; but subsequently conquered the land of “the black-footed race” (Mežaparróðov), and gave it his name. AEgyptus was the father of 50 sons, and Danaus, to whom Libya had been assigned, of 50 daughters. Jealousy breaking out between Danaus and the sons of Ægyptus, who aimed at depriving him

of his dominions, the former fled with his 50 daughters, and settled eventually in Argolis. The sons of AEgyptus came, after some interval of time, to Argos, and entreated their uncle to bury in oblivion all enmity, and to give them their cousins in marriage. Danaus, retaining a perfect recollection of the injuries they had done him, and distrusting their promises, con

sented to bestow his daughters upon them, and divided them accordingly by lot among the suitors. But on the wedding day he armed the hands of the brides with daggers, and enjoined upon them to slay in the night their unsuspecting bridegrooms. All but Hypermnestra obeyed the cruel order, while she, relenting, spared her husband Lynceus. Her father at first put her in close confinement, but afterward forgave her, and consented to her union with Lynceus. (Wid. Danaus, Danaides, &c. — Apollod. , 2, 1, 5., seqq.—Hygin. fab. 168, 170–Or. Heroid. 14, &c.)—II. An extensive country of Africa, bounded on the west by part of Marmarica and by the deserts of Libya, on the north by the Mediterranean, on the east by the Sinus Arabicus and a line drawn from Arsinoë to Rhinocolura, and on the south by Æthiopia. Egypt, properly so called, may be described as consisting of the long and narrow valley which follows the course of the Nile from Syene (or Assooan) to Cairo, near the site of the ancient Memphis. To the Nile, Egypt owes its existence as a habitable country, since, without the rich and fertilizing mud deposited by the river in its annual inundations, it would be a sandy desert. At three different places, previous to its entering Egypt, this noble stream is threatened to be interrupted in its course by a barrier of mountains, and at each place the barrier is surmounted. The second cataract, in Turkish Nubia, is the most violent and unnavigable. The third is at Syene, and introduces the Nile into Upper Egypt. From Syene to Cairo the river flows along a valley about eight miles broad, between two mountain ridges, one of which extends to the Red Sea, and the other terminates in the deserts of ancient Libya. The river occupies the middle of the valley as far as the strait called Jebel-el-Silsili. This space, about forty miles long, has very little arable land on its banks. It contains some islands, which, from their low level, easily admit of irrigation. At the mouth of the Jebel-el-Sulsili (Girard, Mem. sur l'Egypte, vol. 3, p. 13), the Nile runs along the right side of the valley, which in several places has the appearance of a steep line of rocks cut into peaks, while the ridge of the hills on the left side is always accessible by a slope of various acclivity. These last mountains begin near the town of Siodt, the ancient Lycopolis, and go down towards Faioom, the ancient Arsinoltic Nome, diverging gradually to the west, so that between them and the cultiwated valley there is a desert space, becoming gradually wider, and which in several places is bordered on the valley-side by a line of sandy downs lying nearly south and north. The mountains which confine the basin of the Nile in Upper Egypt are intersected by defiles, which on one side lead to the shores of the Red Sea, and on the other to the Oases. These narrow passes might be habitable, since the winter rains maintain for a time a degree of vegetation, and form springs which the Arabs use for themselves and their flocks. The strip of desert land which generally extends along each side of the valley, parallel to the course of the Nile (and which must not be confounded with the barren ocean of sand that lies on each side of Egypt), now contains two very distinct kinds of land; the one immediately at the bottom of the mountain, consists of sand and round pebbles; the other, composed of light drifting sand, covers an extent of ground formerly arable. If a section of the valley is made by a plane perpendicular to its direction, the surface will be observed to decline from the margins

of the river to the bottom of the hills, a circumstance 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 mučh widened on the west, has on that side an opening, through which a view is obtained of the fertile plains of Faioom. 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-él-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, 1 ear the ancient Ostium Bolbitinum, and the other to Jamietta, 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 Elko. 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 sarams, 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 pe. culiarity is satisfactorily explained by the absence of raln, Wol. 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 neighbour. ing 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 sandy waste. Assigning to Upper Egypt an average breadth of ten 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 population is estimated at about two millions and a half, 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 cultiva. tion, and yields a more scanty produce. The inunda ted lands, though they have successively borne one crop, and frequently two, year after year, without intermission, for more than 3000 years, still retain theim 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 *:::" of the Nile 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, but inade 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 nymphata melumbo, 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 slavour 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 many plants which have been erroneously fixed on by learned coinmentators 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 cac. tus, 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. 3s, seqq.—Modern Trareller (Egypt), p. 18, scqq.)

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, externinates 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 genera. 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 pper 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 ! 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 Aeria. (Compare Eusebius, Chron, lub. 2, p. 284, ed. Maii et Zohrab) In the Hebrew Scriptures it is styled Mitsnaim, 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 Micr. According to general opinion, Egypt was called Mitsnam after the second son of Ham. Bochart, however, opposes this (Geogr. Sacr. 4, 24), and contends that the name of Mits, aim, being a dual form, indicates the two divisions of Egypt into Upper and Lower. Calmet (Dict, art. Misraum) 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 sufficiently descriptive of the valley of Upper Egot. Sir W. Drummond (Origines, 2, 55) inclines to the first of these two etymologies, because Diodorus Siculus (1, 30) and Strabo (SU3) 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 (Öyvoormit ovato) 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.—1}rummond'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. It, 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 tuou, chmom, signifies “calor,” and xane, 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 Dict., art. Ham.) The name Aéria has a similar reference, and would seem to have been a translation of the native

word, the primitive &#p 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. Bryant (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 Alyvitrog is composed of aia (for yaia), land, and yūrroc, or rather kóTroc, and that, consequently, Egypt signifies the land of Kopt, or the Koptic land. Others derive it from ala, and yop, 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 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 Itainesses, 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 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, Philas, as far as Abydos, and contained ten districts, jurisdictions, or, as the Greeks called them, momes (Núuot. Herod, 2, 164). The Coptic word is Pthosch. (Champollion, l'Egypte 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. Then came the ten nomes of Lower Egypt, or 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 divis, ion was much older than the time of Sesostris (Champollion, l'Egypte, &c., 1, 7 l), 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 cominerce 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 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 Notuta. 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 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 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 Augustainnica.” 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 Al; "Troc, ; Apkaðta). 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 That's, including a small part of Æthiopia, 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 Ron. Itin. Amst., 1735, 4to.—Mannert, Geogr., 10, 1,303, 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, 82, 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 #7 artovo elvat Tptakootov sc. puptáčov), we must regard this number as the interpolation 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. (To deaturavroc Zaoi to utv ražatóvoast yeyovéval repi Irrakoaiac uvptačac, Kai kato huāg so oix #247rove elval [spiakootov]. Compare Wesseling, ad loc.—Mannert, 10, 2, 309, seqq.)

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 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 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 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 oiââtputes, 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 Kezavores, on which passage the scholast 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 sable 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 (r. 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:

[ocr errors]

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 (Nariguum 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. i. 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, oiroc de Tpoc to us?dyxpovc elva, kai Tpóxetasic totu, kai Zetto; tıyav Toiv arezoiv, # Adum 6t, Kai & Tottiao & Taokauo: avvearespanévoc, oix taevtéptöv omotiv airov eival. The expression, howevel, 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 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. Allian (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

« PoprzedniaDalej »