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p. 49, 1. 4 (from bottom), for of read to.
p. 103 (note, col. 2), 1. 10 (from bottom), for horvorgegangen read hervorgegangen.
Characteristics of Egyptian Heathenism.
Οὐ μόνον δὲ τούτου [Οσίριδος] οἱ ἱερεῖς λέγουσιν, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων θεῶν, ὅσοι μὴ ἀγέννητοι, μηδ ̓ ἄφθαρτοι, τὰ μὲν σώματα παρ' αὐτοῖς κεῖσθαι καμόντα καὶ θεραπεύεσθαι, τὰς δὲ ψυχὰς ἐν οὐρανῷ λάμπειν ἄστρα, καὶ καλεῖσθαι κύνα μὲν τὴν Ἴσιδος ὑφ ̓ ̔Ελλήνων, ὑπ ̓ Αἰγυπτίων δὲ Σῶθιν, Ωρίωνα δὲ τὴν Ὥρου, τὴν δὲ Τυφῶνος, ἄρκτον. εἰς δὲ τὰς τροφὰς τῶν τιμωμένων ζώων, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλους συντεταγμένα τελεῖν, μόνους δὲ μὴ δι· δόναι τοὺς Θηβαΐδα κατοικοῦντας, ὡς θνητὸν θεὸν οὐδένα νομίζοντας, ἀλλὰ ὃν καλοῦσιν αὐτοὶ Κνήφ, ἀγέννητον ὄντα καὶ ἀθάνατον.
EUDOXUS in Plutarch, De Iside et Osiride, c. XXI.
ON resuming this investigation into the distinctive CHAP. phases of religious thought among the dominant nations of antiquity, the reader will be next invited of ancient to a sphere whose influence on the early march of Egypt. civilisation it were difficult to overstate. The Valley of the Nile had ever since the oldest Pharaohs been the border-land, or point of confluence, where the African was brought into direct communication with his Asiatic brother, and the East was intermingling with the West. As one of the succession of luminous centres, which, emerging here and there amid the dimness of primeval history, are traceable from the Mediterranean to the utmost bounds of Eastern Asia, Egypt, in some branches of her sacred institutions, will be found to have remarkable traits in common with the Aryan conquerors' of
1 See Mr Kenrick's Ancient Egypt, I. 105 sq., Lond. 1850, where after handling the subject very fairly, he concludes that there has been some connexion between the civilisation of Egypt and India, while the nations
C. A. E. IV.
themselves have as much claim to be
CHAP. the Panjáb; while her monuments, alike in area I. and in massive grandeur, will remind us also of those primitive ages when the Mayan architect was rearing kindred structures' near the rivers of the New World.
ion with the
But full as such analogies may be of interesting neighbour speculation, in reference to the ultimate extraction ing coun- of the human family from one common stock, our present business is to mark the place and character of Egypt during the historic period, and as standing in more intimate relations to the people of her own immediate neighbourhood. The reputation for superior knowledge once enjoyed by all the children of the East country' was believed to be the special heritage of the Egyptian priests (cf. 1 Kings iv. 30). Their cloisters were the recognised abode of art, of science, of religious mystery. Assyrian sculptors learned at Memphis what with greater or with less precision they have reproduced at Nineveh. The sons of Abraham, who like himself went down in search of shelter from a grievous famine, were constrained by closer contact with Egyptian modes of life to throw aside their old nomadic habits; and at length when they returned victorious to the land of promise, the great host was marshalled by a captain, who had grown to manhood in the court of Pharaoh, and was 'learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians' (Acts vii. 22). Thither also in the dawn of western civilisation came the young philosophers of Hellas2, panting
far less guarded in his phraseology:
Asia) is as groundless as it is absurd.' 1 Part III. p. 134.
"The evidence on this point is all collected in Lepsius, Chronol. der Aegypter, 'Einl.' pp. 41 sq.
for some deep and transcendental lore, or listen- CHAP. ing with the eagerness and awe of children to the stories which had long been whispered in the learned circles of On, of Thebes, of Memphis; so that he who is desirous of understanding the precise development of human thought, alike in Western Asia and in Europe, in Athens, Rome, or even (some would tell us) in Jerusalem itself, must take up his position at this fountain-head of wisdom, and from thence survey the parting of the mighty stream as it flows forth into contiguous regions'.
Now the scholar of the present age has many Advantages fresh facilities for the successful carrying out of the inquirer such investigations. The recovery of the hiero- of the preglyphic character has given, and is still giving every year, a new complexion to the ancient history of the Valley of the Nile. We can no longer speak of Egypt barely as the 'land of ruins,' or the birthplace of insoluble enigmas; her true title is the land of sculptured monuments,—of monuments again made vocal to the ear of science, and from which their secret must ere long be wrested more completely by the ardent pupils of Champollion. Favoured by the excellence of the material, and the singular purity and dryness of the climate, the co
Uhlemann scarcely overrates the influence of Egypt, when, after sketching its position in the ancient world, and its relation both to Greeks and Hebrews, he adds (Thoth, oder die Wissenschaften der alten Aegypter, p. 6, Göttingen, 1855): 'Aegypten muss als ursprüngliche Quelle alles dessen betrachtet werden, was in späterer Zeit an diesen beiden und anderen von denselben abhängigen
Völkern bewundert und angestaunt
2 Egyptian archæology and his-
Variety of monuments.
CHAP. lossal tombs and temples, to say nothing of those minor works of art dug out of the sepulchral chambers, have preserved a rich variety of inscriptions, more or less decypherable, and more or less conducing to an accurate knowledge of the past. 'There was not a wall, a platform, a pillar, an architrave, a frieze, or even a door-post, in an Egyptian temple, which was not covered within, without, and on every available surface, with pictures in relief, and with hieroglyphic texts explaining those reliefs. There is not one of these reliefs that is not history: some of them actually representing the conquests of foreign nations; others, the offerings and devotional exercises of the monarch by whom the temple or the portion of the temple on which the relief stood, had been constructed... There was no colossus too great, and no amulet too small, to be inscribed with the name of its owner, and some account of the occasion on which it was executed'.' Sanguine We can easily understand that when the power of Egyptology, reading these inscriptions began to be recovered, men would turn with fresh enthusiasm to the study of Egyptian antiquities. Here, at least, they seemed to argue, we are building on a definite and stable basis. Our materials are no more of doubtful age and questionable reputation. The mind and spirit of that ancient world, with which we long to hold communion, left its impress deeply graven on the face of pyramids which tower, as they have towered for ages, high above the sandy flats of the adjoining desert. There, accordingly, if ever, we may hope to find the master-clue which is to guide
1 Osburn, Monumental History of Egypt, 1. 195, substantially from Lepsius, as above, pp. 36, 37.