The birth and antecedents of Harmhabi, his youth, his enthronement -- The final triumph of Amon and his priests -- Harmhabi infuses order into the government: his wars against the Ethiopians and Asiatics -- The Khati, their civilization, religion; their political and military constitution; the extension of their empire towards the north -- The countries and populations of Asia Minor; commercial routes between the Euphrates and the AEgean Sea -- The treaty concluded between Harmhabi and Sapalulu.
Ramses I. and the uncertainties as to his origin -- Seti I. and the campaign against Syria in the 1st year of his reign; the re-establishment of the Egyptian empire -- Working of the gold-mines at Etai -- The monuments constructed by Seti I. in Nubia, at Karnak, Luxor, and Abydos -- The valley of the kings and tomb of Seti I. at Thebes.
Ramses II., his infancy, his association in the Government, his debut in Ethiopia: he builds a residence in the Delta -- His campaign against the Khati in the 5th year of his reign -- The talcing of Qodshu, the victory of Ramses II. and the truce established with Khatusaru: the poem of Pentauirit -- His treaty with the Khati in the 21st year of his reign: the balance of power in Syria: the marriage of Ramses II. with a Hittite princess -- Public works: the Speos at Abu-Simbel; Luxor, Karnak, the Eamesseum, the monuments in the Delta -- The regency of Khamoisit and Minephtah, the legend of Sesostris, the coffin and mummy of Ramses II.
Minephtah -- The kingdom of Libya, the people of the sea -- The first invasion of Libya: the Egyptian victory at Piriu; the triumph of Minephtah -- Seti II., Amenmeses, Siphtah-Minephtah -- The foreign captives in Egypt; the Exodus of the Hebrews and their march to Sinai -- An Egyptian romance of the Exodus: Amenophis, son of Pa-apis.
[Illustration: 117.jpg Page Image]
The XIXth dynasty: Harmhabi -- The Hittite empire in Syria and in Asia Minor -- Seti I. and Ramses II. -- The people of the sea: Minephtah and the Israelite Exodus.
While none of these ephemeral Pharaohs left behind them a, either legitimate or illegitimate, son there was no lack of princesses, any of which, having on her accession to the throne to choose a consort after her own heart, might thus become the founder of a new dynasty. By such a chance alliance Harmhabi, who was himself descended from Thutmosis III., was raised to the kingly office.* His mother, Mutnozmit, was of the royal line, and one of the most beautiful statues in the Gizeh Museum probably represents her. The body is mutilated, but the head is charming in its intelligent and animated expression, in its full eyes and somewhat large, but finely modelled, mouth. The material of the statue is a finegrained limestone, and its milky whiteness tends to soften the malign character of her look and smile. It is possible that Mutnozmit was the daughter of Amenothes III. by his marriage with one of his sisters: it was from her, at any rate, and not from his great-grandfather, that Harmhabi derived his indisputable claims to royalty.**
* A fragment of an inscription at Karnak calls Thutmosis III. "the father of his fathers." Champollion called him Hornemnob, Rosellini, Hor-hemheb, Hor-em-hbai, and both identified him with the Horos of Manetho, hence the custom among Egyptologists for a long time to designate him by the name Horus. Deveria was the first to show that the name corresponded with the Armais of the lists of Manetho, and, in fact, Armais is the Greek transcription of the group Harmhabi in the bilingual texts of the Ptolemaic period.
** Mutnozmit was at first considered the daughter and successor of Harmhabi, or his wife. Birch showed that the monuments did not confirm these hypotheses, and he was inclined to think that she was Harmhabi's mother. As far as I can see for the present, it is the only solution which agrees with the evidence on the principal monument which has made known her existence.
He was born, probably, in the last years of Amenothes, when Tii was the exclusive favourite of the sovereign; but it was alleged later on, when Harmhabi had emerged from obscurity, that Amon, destining him for the throne, had condescended to become his father by Mutnozmit -- a customary procedure with the god when his race on earth threatened to become debased.* It was he who had rocked the newly born infant to sleep, and, while Harsiesis was strengthening his limbs with protective amulets, had spread over the child's skin the freshness and brilliance which are the peculiar privilege of the immortals. While still in the nursery, the great and the insignificant alike prostrated themselves before Harmhabi, making him liberal offerings. Every one recognised in him, even when still a lad and incapable of reflection, the carriage and complexion of a god, and Horus of Cynopolis was accustomed to follow his steps, knowing that the time of his advancement was near. After having called the attention of the Egyptians to Harmhabi, Amon was anxious, in fact, to hasten the coming of the day when he might confer upon him supreme rank, and for this purpose inclined the heart of the reigning Pharaoh towards him. Ai proclaimed him his heir over the whole land.**
* All that we know of the youth of Harmhabi is contained in the texts on a group preserved in the Turin Museum, and pointed out by Champollion, translated and published subsequently by Birch and by Brugsch. The first lines of the inscription seem to me to contain an account of the union of Amon with the queen, analogous to those at Deir el-Bahari treating of the birth of Hatshopsitu, and to those at Luxor bearing upon Amenothes III. (cf. vol. iv. pp.342, 343; and p.51 of the present volume), and to prove for certain that Harmhabi's mother was a princess of the royal line by right.
** The king is not named in the inscription. It cannot have been Amenothes IV., for an individual of the importance of Harmhabi, living alongside this king, would at least have had a tomb begun for him at. Tel el-Amarna. We may hesitate between Ai and Tutankhamon; but the inscription seems to say definitely that Harmhabi succeeded directly to the king under whom he had held important offices for many years, and this compels us to fix upon Ai, who, as we have said at p.108, et seq., of the present volume, was, to all
He never gave cause for any dissatisfaction when called to court, and when he was asked questions by the monarch he replied always in fit terms, in such words as were calculated to produce serenity, and thus gained for himself a reputation as the incarnation of wisdom, all his plans and intentions appearing to have been conceived by Thot the Ibis himself. For many years he held a place of confidence with the sovereign. The nobles, from the moment he appeared at the gate of the palace, bowed their backs before him; the barbaric chiefs from the north or south stretched out their arms as soon as they approached him, and gave him the adoration they would bestow upon a god. His favourite residence was Memphis, his preference for it arising from his having possibly been born there, or from its having been assigned to him for his abode. Here he constructed for himself a magnificent tomb, the bas-reliefs of which exhibit him as already king, with the sceptre in his hand and the uraaus on his brow, while the adjoining cartouche does not as yet contain his name.*
* This part of the account is based upon, a study of a certain number of texts and representations all coming from Harmhabi's tomb at Saqqarah, and now scattered among the various museums -- at Gizeh, Leyden, London, and Alexandria. Birch was the first to assign those monuments to the Pharaoh Harmhabi, supposing at the same time that he had been dethroned by Ramses I., and had lived at Memphis in an intermediate position between that of a prince and that of a private individual; this opinion was adopted by Ed. Meyer, rejected by Wiedemann and by myself. After full examination, I think the Harmhabi of the tomb at Saqqarah and the Pharaoh Harmhabi are one and the same person; Harmhabi, sufficiently high placed to warrant his wearing the uraius, but not high enough to have his name inscribed in a cartouche, must have had his tomb constructed at Saqqarah, as Ai and possibly Ramses I. had theirs built for them at Tel el-Amarna.
He was the mighty of the mighty, the great among the great, the general of generals, the messenger who ran to convey orders to the people of Asia and Ethiopia, the indispensable companion in council or on the field of battle,* at the time when Horus of Cynopolis resolved to seat him upon his eternal throne. Ai no longer occupied it. Horus took Harmhabi with him to Thebes, escorted him thither amid expressions of general joy, and led him to Amon in order that the god might bestow upon him the right to reign. The reception took place in the temple of Luxor, which served as a kind of private chapel for the descendants of Amenothes. Amon rejoiced to see Harmhabi, the heir of the two worlds; he took him with him to the royal palace, introduced him into the apartments of his august daughter, Mutnozmit; then, after she had recognised her child and had pressed him to her bosom, all the gods broke out into acclamations, and their cries ascended up to heaven.**
* The fragments of the tomb preserved at Leyden show him leading to the Pharaoh Asiatics and Ethiopians, burthened with tribute. The expressions and titles given above are borrowed from the fragments at Gizeh.
** Owing to a gap, the text cannot be accurately translated at this point. The reading can be made out that Amon "betook himself to the palace, placing the prince before him, as far as the sanctuary of his (Amon's) daughter, the very august...; she poured water on his hands, she embraced the beauties (of the prince), she placed herself before him." It will be seen that the name of the daughter of Amon is wanting, and Birch thought that a terrestrial princess whom Harmhabi had married was in question, Miifcnozmit, according to Brugsch. If the reference is not to a goddess, who along with Amon took part in the ceremonies, but to Mutnozmit, we must come to the conclusion that she, as heir and queen by birth, must have ceded her rights by some ritual to her son before he could be crowned.
"Behold, Amon arrives with his son before him, at the palace, in order to put upon his head the diadem, and to prolong the length of his life! We install him, therefore, in his office, we give to him the insignia of Ea, we pray Amon for him whom he has brought as our protector: may he as king have the festivals of Ea and the years of Horus; may he accomplish his good pleasure in Thebes, in Heliopolis, in Memphis, and may he add to the veneration with which these cities are invested." And they immediately decided that the new Pharaoh should be called Horus-sturdy-bull, mighty in wise projects, lord of the Vulture and of the very marvellous Urseus in Thebes, the conquering Horus who takes pleasure in the truth, and who maintains the two lands, the lord of the south and north, Sozir Khopiruri chosen of Ea, the offspring of the Sun, Harmhabi Miamun, giver of life. The cortege came afterwards to the palace, the king walking before Amon: there the god embraced his son, placed the diadems upon his head, delivered to him the rule of the whole world, over foreign populations as well as those of Egypt, inasmuch as he possessed this power as the sovereign of the universe.
This is the customary subject of the records of enthronement. Pharaoh is the son of a god, chosen by his father, from among all those who might have a claim to it, to occupy for a time the throne of Horus; and as he became king only by a divine decree, he had publicly to express, at the moment of his elevation, his debt of gratitude to, and his boundless respect for, the deity, who had made him what he was. In this case, however, the protocol embodied something more than the traditional formality, and its hackneyed phrases borrowed a special meaning from the circumstances of the moment. Amon, who had been insulted and proscribed by Khuniatonu, had not fully recovered his prestige under the rule of the immediate successors of his enemy.
[Illustration: 123.jpg THE FIRST PYLON OF HARMHABI AT KARNAK]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken by Beato.
They had restored to him his privileges and his worship, they had become reconciled to him, and avowed themselves his faithful ones, but all this was as much an act of political necessity as a matter of religion: they still continued to tolerate, if not to favour, the rival doctrinal system, and the temple of the hateful Disk still dishonoured by its vicinity the sanctuary of Karnak. Harmhabi, on the other hand, was devoted to Amon, who had moulded him in embryo, and had trained him from his birth to worship none but him. Harmhabi's triumph marked the end of the evil days, and inaugurated a new era, in which Amon saw himself again master of Thebes and of the world. Immediately after his enthronement Harmhabi rivalled the first Amen-othes in his zeal for the interests of his divine father: he overturned the obelisks of Atonu and the building before which they stood; then, that no trace of them might remain, he worked up the stones into the masonry of two pylons, which he set up upon the site, to the south of the gates of Thutmosis III. They remained concealed in the new fabric for centuries, but in the year 27 B.C. a great earthquake brought them abruptly to light. We find everywhere among the ruins, at the foot of the dislocated gates, or at the bases of the headless colossal figures, heaps of blocks detached from the structure, on which can be made out remnants of prayers addressed to the Disk, scenes of worship, and cartouches of Amenofches IV., Ai, and Tutankhamon. The work begun by Harmhabi at Thebes was continued with unabated zeal through the length of the whole river-valley. "He restored the sanctuaries from the marshes of Athu even to Nubia; he repaired their sculptures so that they were better than before, not to speak of the fine things he did in them, rejoicing the eyes of Ra. That which he had found injured he put into its original condition, erecting a hundred statues, carefully formed of valuable stone, for every one which was lacking. He inspected the ruined towns of the gods in the land, and made them such as they had been in the time of the first Ennead, and he allotted to them estates and offerings for every day, as well as a set of sacred vessels entirely of gold and silver; he settled priests in them, bookmen, carefully chosen soldiers, and assigned to them fields, cattle, all the necessary material to make prayers to Ra every morning." These measures were inspired by consideration for the ancient deities; but he added to them others, which tended to secure the welfare of the people and the stability of the government. Up to this time the officials and the Egyptian soldiers had displayed a tendency to oppress the fellahin, without taking into consideration the injury to the treasury occasioned by their rapacity. Constant supervision was the only means of restraining them, for even the best-served Pharaohs, Thutmosis, and Amenothes III. themselves, were obliged to have frequent recourse to the rigour of the law to keep the scandalous depredations of the officials within bounds.*
* Harmhabi refers to the edicts of Thutmosis III.
The religious disputes of the preceding years, in enfeebling the authority of the central power, had given a free hand to these oppressors. The scribes and tax-collectors were accustomed to exact contributions for the public service from the ships, whether laden or not, of those who were in a small way of business, and once they had laid their hands upon them, they did not readily let them go. The poor fellow falling into their clutches lost his cargo, and he was at his wits' end to know how to deliver at the royal storehouses the various wares with which he calculated to pay his taxes. No sooner had the Court arrived at some place than the servants scoured the neighbourhood, confiscating the land produce, and seizing upon slaves, under pretence that they were acting for the king, while they had only their personal ends in view. Soldiers appropriated all the hides of animals with the object, doubtless, of making from them leather jackets and helmets, or of duplicating their shields, with the result that when the treasury made its claim for leather, none was to be found. It was hardly possible, moreover, to bring the culprits to justice, for the chief men of the towns and villages, the prophets, and all those who ought to have looked after the interests of the taxpayer, took money from the criminals for protecting them from justice, and compelled the innocent victims also to purchase their protection. Harmhabi, who was continually looking for opportunities to put down injustice and to punish deceit, at length decided to pro-mulgate a very severe edict against the magistrates and the double-dealing officials: any of them who was found to have neglected his duty was to have his nose cut off, and was to be sent into perpetual exile to Zalu, on the eastern frontier. His commands, faithfully carried out, soon produced a salutary effect, and as he would on no account relax the severity of the sentence, exactions were no longer heard of, to the advantage of the revenue of the State. On the last day of each month the gates of his palace were open to every one.
[Illustration: 127.jpg AMENOTHES IV. FROM A FRAGMENT USED AGAIN BY HARMHABI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Prisse d'Avennes.
Any one on giving his name to the guard could enter the court of honour, where he would find food in abundance to satisfy his hunger while he was awaiting an audience. The king all the while was seated in the sight of all at the tribune, whence he would throw among his faithful friends necklaces and bracelets of gold: he inquired into complaints one after another, heard every case, announced his judgments in brief words, and dismissed his subjects, who went away proud and happy at having had their affairs dealt with by the sovereign himself.*
* All these details are taken from a stele discovered in 1882. The text is so mutilated that it is impossible to give a literal rendering of it in all its parts, but the sense is sufficiently clear to warrant our rilling up the whole with considerable certainty.
The portraits of Harmhabi which have come down to us give us the impression of a character at once energetic and agreeable. The most beautiful of these is little more than a fragment broken off a black granite statue. Its mournful expression is not pleasing to the spectator, and at the first view alienates his sympathy. The face, which is still youthful, breathes an air of melancholy, an expression which is somewhat rare among the Pharaohs of the best period: the thin and straight nose is well set on the face, the elongated eyes have somewhat heavy lids; the large, fleshy lips, slightly contracted at the corners of the mouth, are cut with a sharpness that gives them singular vigour, and the firm and finely modelled chin loses little of its form from the false beard depending from it. Every detail is treated with such freedom that one would think the sculptor must have had some soft material to work upon, rather than a rock almost hard enough to defy the chisel; the command over it is so complete that the difficulty of the work is forgotten in the perfection of the result. The dreamy expression of his face, however, did not prevent Harmhabi from displaying beyond Egypt, as within it, singular activity.
[Illustration: 128.jpg HARMHABI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a Autograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
Although Egypt had never given up its claims to dominion over the whole river-valley, as far as the plains of Sennar, yet since the time of Amenothes III. no sovereign had condescended, it would I appear, to conduct in person the expeditions directed against the tribes of! the Upper Nile. Harmhabi was anxious to revive the custom which imposed upon the Pharaohs the obligation to make their first essay in arms in Ethiopia, as Horus, son of Isis, had done of yore, and he seized the pretext of the occurrence of certain raids there to lead a body of troops himself into the heart of the country.
[Illustration: 129.jpg THE VAULTED PASSAGE OF THE ROCK-TOMB AT GEBEL SILSILEH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
He had just ordered at this time the construction of the two southern pylons at Karnak, and there was great activity in the quarries of Silsileh. A commemorative chapel also was in course of excavation here in the sandstone rock, and he had dedicated it to his father, Amon-Ba of Thebes, coupling with him the local divinities, Hapi the Nile, and Sobku the patron of Ombos. The sanctuary is excavated somewhat deeply into the hillside, and the dark rooms within it are decorated with the usual scenes of worship, but the vaulted approach to them displays upon its western wall the victory of the king. We see here a figure receiving from Amon the assurance of a long and happy life, and another letting fly his arrows at a host of fleeing enemies; Ethiopians raise their heads to him in suppliant gesture; soldiers march past with their captives; above one of the doors we see twelve military leaders marching and carrying the king aloft upon their shoulders, while a group of priests and nobles salute him, offering incense.*
* The significance of the monument was pointed out first by Champollion. The series of races conquered was represented at Karnak on the internal face of one of the pylons built by Harmhabi; it appears to have been "usurped" by Ramses II.
At this period Egyptian ships were ploughing the Red Sea, and their captains were renewing official relations with Puanit. Somali chiefs were paying visits to the palace, as in the time of Thutmosis III. The wars of Amon had, in fact, begun again. The god, having suffered neglect for half a century, had a greater need than ever of gold and silver to fill his coffers; he required masons for his buildings, slaves and cattle for his farms, perfumed essences and incense for his daily rites. His resources had gradually become exhausted, and his treasury would soon be empty if he did not employ the usual means to replenish it. He incited Harmhabi to proceed against the countries from which, in olden times he had enriched himself -- to the south in the first place, and then, having decreed victory there, and having naturally taken for himself the greater part of the spoils, he turned his attention to Asia.
[Illustration: 131.jpg THE TRIUMPH OP HARMHABI IN THE SANCTUARY OF GEBEL SILSILEH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Daniel Heron. The black spots are due to the torches of the fellahin of the neighbourhood who have visited the rock tomb in bygone years.
In the latter campaign the Egyptian troops took once more the route through Coele-Syria, and if the expedition experienced here more difficulties than on the banks of the Upper Nile, it was, nevertheless, brought to an equally triumphant conclusion. Those of their adversaries who had offered an obstinate resistance were transported into other lands, and the rebel cities were either razed to the ground or given to the flames: the inhabitants having taken refuge in the mountains, where they were in danger of perishing from hunger, made supplications for peace, which was granted to them on the usual conditions of doing homage and paying tribute.*
* These details are taken from the fragment of an
We do not exactly know how far he penetrated into the country; the list of the towns and nations over which he boasts of having triumphed contains, along with names unknown to us, some already famous or soon to become so -- Arvad, Pibukhu, the Khati, and possibly Alasia. The Haui-Nibu themselves must have felt the effects of the campaign, for several of their chiefs associated, doubtless, with the Phoenicians, presented themselves before the Pharaoh at Thebes. Egypt was maintaining, therefore, its ascendency, or at least appearing to maintain it in those regions where the kings of the XVIIIth dynasty had ruled after the campaigns of Thutmosis I., Thutmosis III., and Amenothes II. Its influence, nevertheless, was not so undisputed as in former days; not that the Egyptian soldiers were less valiant, but owing to the fact that another power had risen up alongside them whose armies were strong enough to encounter them on the field of battle and to obtain a victory over them.
Beyond Naharaim, in the deep recesses of the Amanus and Taurus, there had lived, for no one knows how many centuries, the rude and warlike tribes of the Khati, related not so, much to the Semites of the Syrian plain as to the populations of doubtful race and language who occupied the upper basins of the Halys and Euphrates.* The Chaldaean conquest had barely touched them; the Egyptian campaign had not more effect, and Thutmosis III. himself, after having crossed their frontiers and sacked several of their towns, made no serious pretence to reckon them among his subjects. Their chiefs were accustomed, like their neighbours, to use, for correspondence with other countries, the cuneiform mode of writing; they had among them, therefore, for this purpose, a host of scribes, interpreters, and official registrars of events, such as we find to have accompanied the sovereigns of Assyria and Babylon.** These chiefs were accustomed to send from time to time a present to the Pharaoh, which the latter was pleased to regard as a tribute,*** or they would offer, perhaps, one of their daughters in marriage to the king at Thebes, and after the marriage show themselves anxious to maintain good faith with their son-in-law.
* Halevy asserts that the Khati were Semites, and bases his assertion on materials of the Assyrian period. Thes Khati, absorbed in Syria by the Semites, with whom they were blended, appear to have been by origin a non-Semitic people.
** A letter from the King of the Khati to the Pharaoh Amenothes IV. is written in cuneiform writing and in a Semitic language. It has been thought that other documents, drawn up in a non-Semitic language and coming from Mitanni and Arzapi, contain a dialect of the Hittite speech or that language itself. A "writer of books," attached to the person of the Hittite King Khatusaru, is named amongst the dead found on the field of battle at Qodshu.
*** It is thus perhaps we must understand the mention of tribute from the Khati in the Annals of Thutmosis III., 1.26, in the year XXXIII., also in the year XL. One of the Tel el-Amarna letters refers to presents of this kind, which the King of Khati addresses to Amenothes IV. to celebrate his enthronement, and to ask him to maintain with himself the traditional good relations of their two families.
They had, moreover, commercial relations with Egypt, and furnished it with cattle, chariots, and those splendid Cappadocian horses whose breed was celebrated down to the Greek period.* They were already, indeed, people of consideration; their territory was so extensive that the contemporaries of Thutmosis III. called them the Greater Khati; and the epithet "vile," which the chancellors of the Pharaohs added to their name, only shows by its virulence the impression which they had produced upon the mind of their adversaries.**
* The horses of the Khati were called abari, strong, vigorous, as also their bulls. The King of Alasia, while offering to Amenothes III. a profitable speculation, advises him to have nothing to do with the King of the Khati or with the King of Sangar, and thus furnishes proof that the Egyptians held constant commercial relations with the Khati.
** M. de Rouge suggested that Khati "the Little" was the name of the Hittites of Hebron. The expression, "Khati the Great," has been compared with that of Khanirabbat, "Khani the Great," which in the Assyrian texts would seem to designate a part of Cappadocia, in which the province of Miliddi occurs, and the identification of the two has found an ardent defender in W. Max Millier. Until further light is thrown upon it, the most probable reading of the word is not Khani-rabat, but Khani-galbat. The name Khani-Galbat is possibly preserved in Julbat, which the Arab geographers applied in the Middle Ages to a province situated in Lesser Armenia.
Their type of face distinguishes them clearly from the nations conterminous with them on the south. The Egyptian draughtsmen represented them as squat and short in stature, though vigorous, strong-limbed, and with broad and full shoulders in youth, but as inclined frequently to obesity in old age. The head is long and heavy, the forehead flattened, the chin moderate in size, the nose prominent, the eyebrows and cheeks projecting, the eyes small, oblique, and deep-set, the mouth fleshy, and usually framed in by two deep wrinkles; the flesh colour is a yellowish or reddish white, but clearer than that of the Phoenicians or the Amurru.
[Illustration: 135.jpg THREE HEADS OF HITTITE SOLDIERS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
Their ordinary costume consisted, sometimes of a shirt with short sleeves, sometimes of a sort of loin-cloth, more or less ample according to the rank of the individual wearing it, and bound round the waist by a belt. To these they added a scanty mantle, red or blue, fringed like that of the Chaldaeans, which they passed over the left shoulder and brought back under the right, so as to leave the latter exposed. They wore shoes with thick soles, turning up distinctly at the toes,* and they encased their hands in gloves, reaching halfway up the arm.
* This characteristic is found on the majority of the monuments which the peoples of Asia Minor have left to us, and it is one of the most striking indications of the northern origin of the Khati. The Egyptian artists and modern draughtsmen have often neglected it, and the majority of them have represented the Khati without shoes.
They shaved off both moustache and beard, but gave free growth to their hair, which they divided into two or three locks, and allowed to fall upon their backs and breasts. The king's head-dress, which was distinctive of royalty, was a tall pointed hat, resembling to some extent the white crown of the Pharaohs. The dress of the people, taken all together, was of better and thicker material than that of the Syrians or Egyptians. The mountains and elevated plateaus which they inhabited were subject to extraordinary vicissitudes of heat and cold. If the summer burnt up everything, the winter reigned here with an extreme rigour, and dragged on for months: clothing and footgear had to be seen to, if the snow and the icy winds of December were to be resisted. The character of their towns, and the domestic life of their nobles and the common people, can only be guessed at. Some, at least, of the peasants must have sheltered themselves in villages half underground, similar to those which are still to be found in this region. The town-folk and the nobles had adopted for the most part the Chaldaean or Egyptian manners and customs in use among the Semites of Syria. As to their religion, they reverenced a number of secondary deities who had their abode in the tempest, in the clouds, the sea, the rivers, the springs, the mountains, and the forests. Above this crowd there were several sovereign divinities of the thunder or the air, sun-gods and moon-gods, of which the chief was called Khati, and was considered to be the father of the nation. They ascribed to all their deities a warlike and savage character. The Egyptians pictured some of them as a kind of Ra,* others as representing Sit, or rather Sutkhu, that patron of the Hyksos which was identified by them with Sit: every town had its tutelary heroes, of whom they were accustomed to speak as if of its Sutkhu -- Sutkhu of Paliqa, Sutkhu of Khissapa, Sutkhu of Sarsu, Sutkhu of Salpina. The goddesses in their eyes also became Astartes, and this one fact suggests that these deities were, like their Phoenician and Canaanite sisters, of a double nature -- in one aspect chaste, fierce, and warlike, and in another lascivious and pacific. One god was called Mauru, another Targu, others Qaui and Khepa.**
* The Cilician inscriptions of the Graeco-Roman period reveal the existence in this region of a god, Rho, Rhos. Did this god exist among the Khati, and did the similarity of the pronunciation of it to that of the god Ra suggest to the Egyptians the existence of a similar god among these people, or did they simply translate into their language the name of the Hittite god representing the sun?
** The names Mauru and Qaui are deduced from the forms Maurusaru and Qauisaru, which were borne by the Khati: Qaui was probably the eponymous hero of the Qui people, as Khati was of the Khati. Tarku and Tisubu appear to me to be contained in the names Targanunasa, Targazatas, and Tartisubu; Tisubu is probably the Tessupas mentioned in the letter from Dushratta written in Mitannian, and identical with the Tushupu of another letter from the same king, and in a despatch from Tarkondaraush. Targu, Targa, Targanu, resemble the god Tarkhu, which is known to us from the proper names of these regions preserved in attributes covered by each of these divine names, and as to the forms with which they were invested.
[Illustration: 138.jpg A HITTITE KING.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a picture in Lepsius.
Tishubu, the Ramman of the Assyrians, was doubtless lord of the tempest and of the atmosphere; Shausbe answered to Shala and to Ishtar the queen of love;* but we are frequently in ignorance as to the Assyrian and Greek inscriptions. Kheba, Khepa, Khipa, is said to be a denomination of Ramman; we find it in the names of the princesses Tadu-khipa, Gilu-khipa, Puu-khipa.
The majority of them, both male and female, were of gigantic stature, and were arrayed in the vesture of earthly kings and queens: they brandished their arms, displayed the insignia of their authority, such as a flower or bunch of grapes, and while receiving the offerings of the people were seated on a chair before an altar, or stood each on the animal representing him -- such as a lion, a stag, or wild goat. The temples of their towns have disappeared, but they could never have been, it would seem, either-large or magnificent: the favourite places of worship were the tops of mountains, in the vicinity of springs, or the depths of mysterious grottoes, where the deity revealed himself to his priests, and received the faithful at the solemn festivals celebrated several times a year.*
* The association of Tushupu, Tessupas, Tisubu, with Rammanu is made out from an Assyrian tablet published by Bezold: it was reserved for Say ce and Jensen to determine the nature of the god. Shausbe has been identified with Ishtar or Shala by Jensen.
We know as little about their political organisation as about their religion.* We may believe, however, that it was feudal in character, and that every clan had its hereditary chief and its proper gods: the clans collectively rendered obedience to a common king, whose effective authority depended upon his character and age.**
* The religious cities and the festivals of the Greek epoch are described by Strabo; these festivals were very ancient, and their institution, if not the method of celebrating them, may go back to the time of the Hittite empire.
** The description of the battle of Qodshu in the time of Ramses II. shows us the King of the Khati surrounded by his vassals. The evidence of the existence of a similar feudal organisation from the time of the XVIIIth dynasty is furnished by a letter of Dushratta, King of Mitanni, where he relates to Amenothes IV. the revolt of his brother Artassumara, and speaks of the help which one of the neighbouring chiefs, Pirkhi, and all the Khati had given to the rebel.
The various contingents which the sovereign could collect together and lead would, if he were an incapable general, be of little avail against the well-officered and veteran troops of Egypt. Still they were not to be despised, and contained the elements of an excellent army, superior both in quality and quantity to any which Syria had ever been able to put into the field. The infantry consisted of a limited number of archers or slingers. They had usually neither shield nor cuirass, but merely, in the way of protective armour, a padded head-dress, ornamented with a tuft. The bulk of the army carried short lances and broad-bladed choppers, or more generally, short thin-handled swords with flat two-edged blades, very broad at the base and terminating in a point.
[Illustration: 140.jpg A HITTITE CHARIOT WITH ITS THREE OCCUPANTS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Champollion.
Their mode of attack was in close phalanxes, whose shock must have been hard to bear, for the soldiers forming them were in part at least recruited from among the strong and hardy mountaineers of the Taurus. The chariotry comprised the nobles and the elite of the army, but it was differently constituted from that of the Egyptians, and employed other tactics.
The Hittite chariots were heavier, and the framework, instead of being a mere skeleton, was pannelled on the sides, the contour at the top being sometimes quite square, at other times rudely curved. It was bound together in the front by two disks of metal, and strengthened by strips of copper or bronze, which were sometimes plated with silver or gold. There were no quiver-cases as in Egyptian chariots, for the Hittite charioteers rarely resorted to the bow and arrow. The occupants of a chariot were three in number -- the driver; the shield-bearer, whose office it was to protect his companions by means of a shield, sometimes of a round form, with a segment taken out on each side, and sometimes square; and finally, the warrior, with his sword and lance. The Hittite princes whom fortune had brought into relations with Thutmosis III. and Amenothes II. were not able to avail themselves properly of the latent forces around them. It was owing probably to the feebleness of their character or to the turbulence of their barons that we must ascribe the poor part they played in the revolutions of the Eastern world at this time. The establishment of a strong military power on their southern frontier was certain, moreover, to be anything but pleasing to them; if they preferred not to risk everything by entering into a great struggle with the invaders, they could, without compromising themselves too much, harass them with sudden attacks, and intrigue in an underhand way against them to their own profit. Pharaoh's generals were accustomed to punish, one after the other, these bands of invading tribes, and the sculptors duly recorded their names on a pylon at Thebes among those of the conquered nations, but these disasters had little effect in restraining the Hittites. They continued, in spite of them, to march southward, and the letters from the Egyptian governors record their progress year after year. They had a hand in all the plots which were being hatched among the Syrians, and all the disaffected who wished to be free from foreign oppression -- such as Abdashirti and his son Aziru -- addressed themselves to them for help in the way of chariots and men.*
* Aziru defends himself in one of his letters against the accusation of having received four messengers from the King of the Khati, while he refused to receive those from Egypt. The complicity of Aziru with the Khati is denounced in an appeal from the inhabitants of Tunipa. In a mutilated letter, an unknown person calls attention to the
Even inthe time of Amenofches III. they had endeavoured to reap profit from the discords of Mitanni, and had asserted their supremacy over it. Dushratta, however, was able to defeat one of their chiefs. Repulsed on this side, they fell back upon that part of Naharaim lying between the Euphrates and Orontes, and made themselves masters of one town after another in spite of the despairing appeals of the conquered to the Theban king. From the accession of Khuniatonu, they set to work to annex the countries of Nukhassi, Nii, Tunipa, and Zinzauru: they looked with covetous eyes upon Phoenicia, and were already menacing Coele-Syria. The religious confusion in Egypt under Tutankhamon and Ai left them a free field for their ambitions, and when Harmhabi ventured to cross to the east of the isthmus, he found them definitely installed in the region stretching from the Mediterranean and the Lebanon to the Euphrates. Their then reigning prince, Sapalulu, appeared to have been the founder of a new dynasty: he united the forces of the country in a solid body, and was within a little of making a single state out of all Northern Syria.*
* Sapalulu has the same name as that wo meet with later on in the country of Patin, in the time of Salmanasar III., viz. Sapalulme. It is known to us only from a treaty with the Khati, which makes him coeval with Ramses I.: it was with him probably that Harmhabi had to deal in his Syrian campaigns. The limit of his empire towards the south is gathered in a measure from what we know of the wars of Seti I. with the Khati.
All Naharaim had submitted to him: Zahi, Alasia, and the Amurru had passed under his government from that of the Pharaohs; Carchemish, Tunipa, Nii, Hamath, figured among his royal cities, and Qodshu was the defence of his southern frontier. His progress towards the east was not less considerable. Mitanni, Arzapi, and the principalities of the Euphrates as far as the Balikh, possibly even to the Khabur,* paid him homage: beyond this, Assyria and Chaldaea barred his way. Here, as on his other frontiers, fortune brought him face to face with the most formidable powers of the Asiatic world.
* The text of the poem of Pentauirit mentions, among the countries confederate with the Khati, all Naharaim; that is to say, the country on either side of the Euphrates, embracing Mitanni and the principalities named in the Amarna correspondence, and in addition some provinces whose sites have not yet been discovered, but which may be placed without much risk of error to the north of the Taurus.
The latter prince was obliged to capture Qodshu, and to conquer the people of the Lebanon. Had he sufficient forces at his disposal to triumph over them, or only enough to hold his ground? Both hypotheses could have been answered in the affirmative if each one of these great powers, confiding in its own resources, had attacked him separately. The Amorites, the people of Zahi, Alasia, and Naharaim, together with recruits from Hittite tribes, would then have put him in a position to resist, and even to carry off victory with a high hand in the final struggle. But an alliance between Assyria or Babylon and Thebes was always possible. There had been such things before, in the time of Thut-mosis IV. and in that of Amenothes III., but they were lukewarm agreements, and their effect was not much to boast of, for the two parties to the covenant had then no common enemy to deal with, and their mutual interests were not, therefore, bound up with their united action. The circumstances were very different now. The rapid growth of a nascent kingdom, the restless spirit of its people, its trespasses on domains in which the older powers had been accustomed to hold the upper hand, -- did not all this tend to transform the convention, more commercial than military, with which up to this time they had been content, into an offensive and defensive treaty? If they decided to act in concert, how could Sapalulu or his successors, seeing that he was obliged to defend himself on two frontiers at the same moment, muster sufficient resources to withstand the double assault? The Hittites, as we know them more especially from the hieroglyphic inscriptions, might be regarded as the lords only of Northern Syria, and their power be measured merely by the extent of territory which they occupied to the south of the Taurus and on the two banks of the Middle Euphrates. But this does not by any means represent the real facts. This was but the half of their empire; the rest extended to the westward and northward, beyond the mountains into that region, known afterwards as Asia Minor, in which Egyptian tradition had from ancient times confused some twenty nations under the common vague epithet of Haui-nibu. Official language still employed it as a convenient and comprehensive term, but the voyages of the Phoenicians and the travels of the "Royal Messengers," as well as, probably, the maritime commerce of the merchants of the Delta, had taught the scribes for more than a century and a half to make distinctions among these nations which they had previously summed up in one. The Lufeu* were to be found there, as well as the Danauna,** the Shardana,*** and others besides, who lay behind one another on the coast. Of the second line of populations behind the region of the coast tribes, we have up to the present no means of knowing anything with certainty. Asia Minor, furthermore, is divided into two regions, so distinctly separated by nature as well as by races that one would be almost inclined to regard them as two countries foreign to each other.
* The Luku, Luka, are mentioned in the Amarna correspondence under the form Lukki as pirates and highway robbers. The identity of these people with the Lycians I hold as well established.
** The Danauna are mentioned along with the Luku in the Amarna correspondence. The termination, -auna, -ana of this word appears to be the ending in -aon found in Asiatic names like Lykaon by the side of Lykos, Kataon by the side of Ketis and Kat-patuka; while the form of the name Danaos is preserved in Greek legend, Danaon is found only on Oriental monuments. The Danauna came "from their islands," that is to say, from the coasts of Asia Minor, or from Greece, the term not being pressed too literally, as the Egyptians were inclined to call all distant lands situated to the north beyond the Mediterranean Sea "islands."
*** E. de Rouge and Chabas were inclined to identify the Shardana with the Sardes and the island of Sardinia. Unger made them out to be the Khartanoi of Libya, and was followed by Brugsch. W. Max Mueller revived the hypotheses of De Rouge and Chabas, and saw in them bands from the Italian island. I am still persuaded, as I was twenty-five years ago, that they were Asiatics -- the Maeonian tribe which gave its name to Sardis. The Serdani or Shardana are mentioned as serving in the Egyptian Army in the Tel el-Amarna tablets.
In its centre it consists of a well-defined undulating plain, having a gentle slope towards the Black Sea, and of the shape of a kind of convex trapezium, clearly bounded towards the north by the highlands of Pontus, and on the south by the tortuous chain of the Taurus. A line of low hills fringes the country on the west, from the Olympus of Mysia to the Taurus of Pisidia. Towards the east it is bounded by broken chains of mountains of unequal height, to which the name Anti-Taurus is not very appropriately applied. An immense volcanic cone, Mount Argseus, looks down from a height of some 13,000 feet over the wide isthmus which connects the country with the lands of the Euphrates. This volcano is now extinct, but it still preserved in old days something of its languishing energy, throwing out flames at intervals above the sacred forests which clothed its slopes. The rivers having their sources in the region just described, have not all succeeded in piercing the obstacles which separate them from the sea, but the Pyramus and the Sarus find their way into the Mediterranean and the Iris, Halys and Sangarios into the Euxine. The others flow into the lowlands, forming meres, marshes, and lakes of fluctuating extent. The largest of these lakes, called Tatta, is salt, and its superficial extent varies with the season. In brief, the plateau of this region is nothing but an extension of the highlands of Central Asia, and has the same vegetation, fauna, and climate, the same extremes of temperature, the same aridity, and the same wretched and poverty-stricken character as the latter. The maritime portions are of an entirely different aspect.
[Illustration: 146.jpg Map]
The western coast which stretches into the AEgean is furrowed by deep valleys, opening out as they reach the sea, and the rivers -- the Caicus, the Hermos, the Cayster, and Meander -- which flow through them are effective makers of soil, bringing down with them, as they do, a continual supply of alluvium, which, deposited at their mouths, causes the land to encroach there upon the sea. The littoral is penetrated here and there by deep creeks, and is fringed with beautiful islands -- Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Cos, Rhodes -- of which the majority are near enough to the continent to act as defences of the seaboard, and to guard the mouths of the rivers, while they are far enough away to be secure from the effects of any violent disturbances which might arise in the mainland. The Cyclades, distributed in two lines, are scattered, as it were, at hazard between Asia and Europe, like great blocks which have fallen around the piers of a broken bridge. The passage from one to the other is an easy matter, and owing to them, the sea rather serves to bring together the two continents than to divide them. Two groups of heights, imperfectly connected with the central plateau, tower above the AEgean slope -- wooded Ida on the north, veiled in cloud, rich in the flocks and herds upon its sides, and in the metals within its bosom; and on the south, the volcanic bastions of Lycia, where tradition was wont to place the fire-breathing Chimaera. A rocky and irregularly broken coast stretches to the west of Lycia, in a line almost parallel with the Taurus, through which, at intervals, torrents leaping from the heights make their way into the sea. At the extreme eastern point of the coast, almost at the angle where the Cilician littoral meets that of Syria, the Pyramus and the Sarus have brought down between them sufficient material to form an alluvial plain, which the classical geographers designated by the name of the Level Cilicia, to distinguish it from the rough region of the interior, Gilicia Trachea.
The populations dwelling in this peninsula belong to very varied races. On the south and south-west certain Semites had found an abode -- the mysterious inhabitants of Solyma, and especially the Phoenicians in their scattered trading-stations. On the north-east, beside the Khati, distributed throughout the valleys of the Anti-Taurus, between the Euphrates and Mount Argseus, there were tribes allied to the Khati* -- possibly at this time the Tabal and the Mushka -- and, on the shores of the Black Sea, those workers in metal, which, following the Greeks, we may call, for want of a better designation, the Chalybes.
* A certain number of these tribes or of their towns are to be found in the list contained in the treaty of Ramses II. with the Khati.
We are at a loss to know the distribution of tribes in the centre and in the north-west, but the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, we may rest assured, never formed an ethnographical frontier. The continents on either side of them appear at this point to form the banks of a river, or the two slopes of a single valley, whose bottom lies buried beneath the waters. The barbarians of the Balkans had forced their way across at several points. Dardanians were to be encountered in the neighbourhood of Mount Ida, as well as on the banks of the Axios, from early times, and the Kebrenes of Macedonia had colonised a district of the Troad near Ilion, while the great nation of the Mysians had issued, like them, from the European populations of the Hebrus and the Strymon. The hero Dardanos, according to legend, had at first founded, under the auspices of the Idasan Zeus, the town of Dardania; and afterwards a portion of his progeny followed the course of the Scamander, and entrenched themselves upon a precipitous hill, from the top of which they could look far and wide over the plain and sea. The most ancient Ilion, at first a village, abandoned on more than one occasion in the course of centuries, was rebuilt and transformed, earlier than the XVth century before Christ, into an important citadel, the capital of a warlike and prosperous kingdom. The ruins on the spot prove the existence of a primitive civilization analogous to that of the islands of the Archipelago before the arrival of the Phoenician navigators. We find that among both, at the outset, flint and bone, clay, baked and unbaked, formed the only materials for their utensils and furniture; metals were afterwards introduced, and we can trace their progressive employment to the gradual exclusion of the older implements. These ancient Trojans used copper, and we encounter only rarely a kind of bronze, in which the proportion of tin was too slight to give the requisite hardness to the alloy, and we find still fewer examples of iron and lead. They were fairly adroit workers in silver, electrum, and especially in gold. The amulets, cups, necklaces, and jewellery discovered in their tombs or in the ruins of their houses, are sometimes of a not ungraceful form. Their pottery was made by hand, and was not painted or varnished, but they often gave to it a fine lustre by means of a stone-polisher. Other peoples of uncertain origin, but who had attained a civilization as advanced as that of the Trojans, were the Maeonians, the Leleges, and the Carians who had their abode to the south of Troy and of the Mysians. The Maeonians held sway in the fertile valleys of the Hermos, Cayster, and Maaander. They were divided into several branches, such as the Lydians, the Tyrseni, the Torrhebi, and the Shardana, but their most ancient traditions looked back with pride to a flourishing state to which, as they alleged, they had all belonged long ago on the slopes of Mount Sipylos, between the valley of the Hermos and the Gulf of Smyrna. The traditional capital of this kingdom was Magnesia, the most ancient of cities, the residence of Tantalus, the father of Niobe and the Pelopidae. The Leleges rise up before us from many points at the same time, but always connected with the most ancient memories of Greece and Asia. The majority of the strongholds on the Trojan coast belonged to them -- such as Antandros and Gargara -- and Pedasos on the Satniois boasted of having been one of their colonies, while several other towns of the same name, but very distant from each other, enable us to form some idea of the extent of their migrations.*
* According to the scholiast on Nicander, the word "Pedasos" signified "mountain," probably in the language of the Leleges. We know up to the present of four Pedasi, or Pedasa: the first in Messenia, which later on took the name of Methone; the second in the Troad, on the banks of the Satniois; the third in the neighbourhood of Cyzicus; and the fourth in Caria.
In the time of Strabo, ruined tombs and deserted sites of cities were shown in Caria which the natives regarded as Lelegia -- that is, abode of the Leleges. The Carians were dominant in the southern angle of the peninsula and in the AEgean Islands; and the Lycians lay next them on the east, and were sometimes confounded with them. One of the most powerful tribes of the Carians, the Tremilse, were in the eyes of the Greeks hardly to be separated from the mountainous district which they knew as Lycia proper; while other tribes extended as far as the Halys. A district of the Troad, to the south of Mount Ida, was called Lycia, and there was a Lycaonia on both sides of the Middle Taurus; while Attica had its Lycia, and Crete its Lycians. These three nations -- the Lycians, Carians, and Leleges -- were so entangled together from their origin, that no one would venture now to trace the lines of demarcation between them, and we are often obliged to apply to them collectively what can be appropriately ascribed to only one.
How far the Hittite power extended in the first years of its expansion we have now hardly the means of knowing. It would appear that it took within its scope, on the south-west, the Cilician plain, and the undulating region bordering on it -- that of Qodi: the prince of the latter district, if not his vassal, was at least the colleague of the King of the Khati, and he acted in concert with him in peace as well as in war.*
* The country of Qidi, Qadi, Qodi, has been connected by Chabas with Galilee, and Brugsch adopted the identification. W. Max Mueller identified it with Phoenicia. I think the name served to designate the Cilician coast and plain from the mouth of the Orontes, and the country which was known in the Graeco-Roman period by the name Ketis and Kataonia.
It embraced also the upper basin of the Pyramos and its affluents, as well as the regions situated between the Euphrates and the Halys, but its frontier in this direction was continually fluctuating, and our researches fail to follow it. It is somewhat probable that it extended considerably towards the west and north-west in the direction of the AEgean Sea. The forests and escarpments of Lycaonia, and the desolate steppes of the central plateau, have always presented a barrier difficult to surmount by any invader from the east. If the Khati at that period attacked it in front, or by a flank movement, the assault must rather have been of the nature of a hurried reconnaissance, or of a raid, than of a methodically conducted campaign.*
* The idea of a Hittite empire extending over almost all Asia Minor was advanced by Sayce.
They must have preferred to obtain possession of the valleys of the Thermodon and the Iris, which were rich in mineral wealth, and from which they could have secured an inexhaustible revenue. The extraction and working of metals in this region had attracted thither from time immemorial merchants from neighbouring and distant countries -- at first from the south to supply the needs of Syria, Chaldaea, and Egypt, then from the west for the necessities of the countries on the AEgean. The roads, which, starting from the archipelago on the one hand, or the Euphrates on the other, met at this point, fell naturally into one, and thus formed a continuous route, along which the caravans of commerce, as well as warlike expeditions, might henceforward pass. Starting from the cultivated regions of Maeonia, the road proceeded up the valley of the Hermos from west to east; then, scaling the heights of the central plateau and taking a direction more and more to the north-east, it reached the fords of the Halys. Crossing this river twice -- for the first time at a point about two-thirds the length of its course, and for the second at a short distance from its source -- it made an abrupt turn towards the Taurus, and joined, at Melitene, the routes leading to the Upper Tigris, to Nisibis, to Singara, and to Old Assur, and connecting further down beyond the mountainous region, under the walls of Carchemish, with the roads which led to the Nile and to the river-side cities on the Persian Gulf.*
* The very early existence of this road, which partly coincides with the royal route of the Persian Achemenids, was proved by Kiepert.
There were other and shorter routes, if we think only of the number of miles, from the Hermos in Pisidia or Lycaonia, across the central steppe and through the Cilician Gates, to the meeting of the ways at Carchemish; but they led through wretched regions, without industries, almost without tillage, and inhospitable alike to man and beast, and they were ventured on only by those who aimed at trafficking among the populations who lived in their neighbourhood. The Khati, from the time even when they were enclosed among the fastnesses of the Taurus, had within their control the most important section of the great land route which served to maintain regular relations between the ancient kingdoms of the east and the rising states of the AEgean, and whosoever would pass through their country had to pay them toll. The conquest of Naharaim, in giving them control of a new section, placed almost at their discretion the whole traffic between Chaldaea and Egypt. From the time of Thutmosis III. caravans employed in this traffic accomplished the greater part of their journey in territories depending upon Babylon, Assyria, or Memphis, and enjoyed thus a relative security; the terror of the Pharaoh protected the travellers even when they were no longer in his domains, and he saved them from the flagrant exactions made upon them by princes who called themselves his brothers, or were actually his vassals. But the time had now come when merchants had to encounter, between Qodshu and the banks of the Khabur, a sovereign owing no allegiance to any one, and who would tolerate no foreign interference in his territory. From the outbreak of hostilities with the Khati, Egypt could communicate with the cities of the Lower Euphrates only by the Wadys of the Arabian Desert, which were always dangerous and difficult for large convoys; and its commercial relations with Chaldaea were practically brought thus to a standstill, and, as a consequence, the manufactures which fed this trade being reduced to a limited production, the fiscal receipts arising from it experienced a sensible diminution. When peace was restored, matters fell again into their old groove, with certain reservations to the Khati of some common privileges: Egypt, which had formerly possessed these to her own advantage, now bore the burden of them, and the indirect tribute which she paid in this manner to her rivals furnished them with arms to fight her in case she should endeavour to free herself from the imposition. All the semi-barbaric peoples of the peninsula of Asia Minor were of an adventurous and warlike temperament. They were always willing to set out on an expedition, under the leadership of some chief of noble family or renowned for valour; sometimes by sea in their light craft, which would bring them unexpectedly to the nearest point of the Syrian coast, sometimes by land in companies of foot-soldiers and charioteers. They were frequently fortunate enough to secure plenty of booty, and return with it to their homes safe and sound; but as frequently they would meet with reverses by falling into some ambuscade: in such a case their conqueror would not put them to the sword or sell them as slaves, but would promptly incorporate them into his army, thus making his captives into his soldiers. The King of the Khati was able to make use of them without difficulty, for his empire was conterminous on the west and north with some of their native lands, and he had often whole regiments of them in his army -- Mysians, Lycians, people of Augarit,* of Ilion,** and of Pedasos.***
* The country of Augarit, Ugarit, is mentioned on several occasions in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence. The name has been wrongly associated with Caria; it has been placed by W. Max Miiller well within Naharaim, to the east of the Orontes, between Khalybon (Aleppo) and Apamoea, the writer confusing it with Akaiti, named in the campaign of Amenothes II. I am not sure about the site, but its association in the Amarna letters with Gugu and Khanigalbat inclines me to place it beyond the northern slopes of the Taurus, possibly on the banks of the Halys or of the Upper Euphrates.
** The name of this people was read Eiuna by Champollion, who identified it with the Ionians; this reading and identification were adopted by Lenormant and by W. Max Mueller. Chabas hesitates between Eiuna and Maiuna, Ionia and Moonia and Brugsch read it Malunna. The reading Iriuna, Iliuna, seems to me the only possible one, and the
*** Owing to its association with the Dardanians, Mysians, and Ilion, I think it answers to the Pedasos on the Satniois near Troy.
The revenue of the provinces taken from Egypt, and the products of his tolls, furnished him with abundance of means for obtaining recruits from among them.*
All these things contributed to make the power of the Khati so considerable, that Harmhabi, when he had once tested it, judged it prudent not to join issues with them. He concluded with Sapalulu a treaty of peace and friendship, which, leaving the two powers in possession respectively of the territory each then occupied, gave legal sanction to the extension of the sphere of the Khati at the expense of Egypt.** Syria continued to consist of two almost equal parts, stretching from Byblos to the sources of the Jordan and Damascus: the northern portion, formerly tributary to Egypt, became a Hittite possession; while the southern, consisting of Phoenicia and Canaan,*** which the Pharaoh had held for a long time with a more effective authority, and had more fully occupied, was retained for Egypt.
* E. de Rouge and the Egyptologists who followed him thought at first that the troops designated in the Egyptian texts as Lycians, Mysians, Dardanians, were the national armies of these nations, each one commanded by its king, who had hastened from Asia Minor to succour their ally the King of the Khati. I now think that those were bands of adventurers, consisting of soldiers belonging to these nations, who came to put themselves at the service of civilized monarchs, as the Oarians, Ionians, and the Greeks of various cities did later on: the individuals whom the texts mention as their princes were not the kings of these nations, but the warrior chiefs to which each band gave obedience.
** It is not certain that Harmhabi was the Pharaoh with whom Sapalulu entered into treaty, and it might be insisted with some reason that Ramses I. was the party to it on the side of Egypt; but this hypothesis is rendered less probable by the fact of the extremely short reign of the latter Pharaoh. I am inclined to think, as W. Max Miiller has supposed, that the passage in the Treaty of Ramses II. with the Prince of the Khati, which speaks of a treaty concluded with Sapalulu, looks back to the time of Ramses II.'s
*** This follows from the situation of the two empires, as indicated in the account of the campaign of Seti I. in his first year. The king, after having defeated the nomads of the Arabian desert, passed on without further fighting into the country of the Amurru and the regions of the Lebanon, which fact seems to imply the submission of Kharu. W. Max Miiller was the first to* discern clearly this part of the history of Egyptian conquest; he appears, however, to have circumscribed somewhat too strictly the dominion of Harmhabi in assigning Carmel as its limit. The list of the nations of the north who yielded, or are alleged to have yielded, submission to Harmhabi, were traced on the first pylon of this monarch at Karnak, and on its adjoining walls. Among others, the names of the Khati and of Arvad are to be read there.
This could have been but a provisional arrangement: if Thebes had not altogether renounced the hope of repossessing some day the lost conquests of Thutmosis III., the Khati, drawn by the same instinct which had urged them to cross their frontiers towards the south, were not likely to be content with less than the expulsion of the Egyptians from Syria, and the absorption of the whole country into the Hittite dominion. Peace was maintained during Harmhabi's lifetime. We know nothing of Egyptian affairs during the last years of his reign. His rule may have come to an end owing to some court intrigue, or he may have had no male heir to follow him.* Ramses, who succeeded him, did not belong to the royal line, or was only remotely connected with it.**
* It would appear, from an Ostracon in the British Museum, that the year XXI. follows after the year VII. of Harmhabi's reign; it is possible that the year XXI. may belong to one of Harmhabi's successors, Seti I. or Ramses II., for example.
** The efforts to connect Ramses I. with a family of Semitic origin, possibly the Shepherd-kings themselves, have not been successful. Everything goes to prove that the Ramses family was, and considered itself to be, of Egyptian origin. Brugsch and Ed. Meyer were inclined to see in Ramses I. a younger brother of Harmhabi. This hypothesis has nothing either for Or against it up to the present.
He was already an old man when he ascended the throne, and we ought perhaps to identify him with one or other of the Ramses who flourished under the last Pharaohs of the XVIIIth dynasty, perhaps the one who governed Thebes under Khuniatonu, or another, who began but never finished his tomb in the hillside above Tel el-Amarna, in the burying-place of the worshippers of the Disk.
[Illustration: 160.jpg RAMSES I.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch in Rosellini.
He had held important offices under Harmhabi,* and had obtained in marriage for his son Seti the hand of Tuia, who, of all the royal family, possessed the strongest rights to the crown.**
* This Tel el-Amarna Ramses is, perhaps, identical with the Theban one: he may have followed his master to his new capital, and have had a tomb dug for himself there, which he subsequently abandoned, on the death of Khuniatonu, in order to return to Thebes with Tutankhamon and Ai.
** The fact that the marriage was celebrated under the auspices of Harmhabi, and that, consequently, Ramses must have occupied an important position at the court of that prince, is proved by the appearance of Ramses II., son of Tuia, as early as the first year of Seti, among the ranks of the combatants in the war carried on by that prince against the Tihonu; even granting that he was then ten years old, we are forced to admit that he must have been born before his grandfather came to the throne. There is in the Vatican a statue of Tuia; other statues have been discovered at San.
Ramses reigned only six or seven years, and associated Seti with himself in the government from his second year. He undertook a short military expedition into Ethiopia, and perhaps a raid into Syria; and we find remains of his monuments in Nubia, at Bohani near Wady Haifa, and at Thebes, in the temple of Amon.*
* He began the great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak; E. de Rouge thinks that the idea of building this was first conceived under the XVIIIth dynasty.
He displayed little activity, his advanced age preventing him from entering on any serious undertaking: but his accession nevertheless marks an important date in the history of Egypt. Although Harmhabi was distantly connected with the line of the Ahmessides, it is difficult at the present day to know what position to assign him in the Pharaonic lists: while some regard him as the last of the XVIIIth dynasty, others prefer to place him at the head of the XIXth. No such hesitation, however, exists with regard to Ramses I., who was undoubtedly the founder of a new family. The old familiar names of Thutmosis and Amenothes henceforward disappear from the royal lists, and are replaced by others, such as Seti, Minephtah, and, especially, Ramses, which now figure in them for the first time. The princes who bore these names showed themselves worthy successors of those who had raised Egypt to the zenith of her power; like them they were successful on the battle-field, and like them they devoted the best of the spoil to building innumerable monuments. No sooner had Seti celebrated his father's obsequies, than he assembled his army and set out for war.
It would appear that Southern Syria was then in open revolt. "Word had been brought to His Majesty: 'The vile Shausu have plotted rebellion; the chiefs of their tribes, assembled in one place on the confines of Kharu, have been smitten with blindness and with the spirit of violence; every one cutteth his neighbour's throat."* It was imperative to send succour to the few tribes who remained faithful, to prevent them from succumbing to the repeated attacks of the insurgents. Seti crossed the frontier at Zalu, but instead of pursuing his way along the coast, he marched due east in order to attack the Shausu in the very heart of the desert. The road ran through wide wadys, tolerably well supplied with water, and the length of the stages necessarily depended on the distances between the wells. This route was one frequented in early times, and its security was ensured by a number of fortresses and isolated towers built along it, such as "The House of the Lion " -- ta ait pa mau -- near the pool of the same name, the Migdol of the springs of Huzina, the fortress of Uazit, the Tower of the Brave, and the Migdol of Seti at the pools of Absakaba. The Bedawin, disconcerted by the rapidity of this movement, offered no serious resistance. Their flocks were carried off, their trees cut down, their harvests destroyed, and they surrendered their strongholds at discretion. Pushing on from one halting-place to another, the conqueror soon reached Babbiti, and finally Pakanana.**
* The pictures of this campaign and the inscriptions which explain them were engraved by Seti I., on the outside of the north wall of the great hypostyle hall at Karnak.
** The site of Pakanana has, with much probability, been fixed at El-Kenan or Khurbet-Kanaan, to the south of Hebron. Brugsch had previously taken this name to indicate the country of Canaan, but Chabas rightly contested this view. W. Max Millier took up the matter afresh: he perceived that we have here an allusion to the first town encountered by Seti I. in the country of Canaan to the south-west of Raphia, the name of which is not mentioned by the Egyptian sculptor; it seems to me that this name should be Pakanana, and that the town bore the same name as the country.
The latter town occupied a splendid position on the slope of a rocky hill, close to a small lake, and defended the approaches to the vale of Hebron. It surrendered at the first attack, and by its fall the Egyptians became possessed of one of the richest provinces in the southern part of Kharu. This result having been achieved, Seti took the caravan road to his left, on the further side of Gaza, and pushed forward at full speed towards the Hittite frontier.
[Illustration: 163.jpg THE RETURN OF THE NORTH WALL OF THE HYPOSTYLE HALL AT KARNAK, WHERE SETI I. REPRESENTS SOME EPISODES IN HIS FIRST CAMPAIGN]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph, by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
It was probably unprotected by any troops, and the Hittite king was absent in some other part of his empire. Seti pillaged the Amurru, seized Ianuamu and Qodshu by a sudden attack, marched in an oblique direction towards the Mediterranean, forcing the inhabitants of the Lebanon to cut timber from their mountains for the additions which he was premeditating in the temple of the Theban Amon, and finally returned by the coast road, receiving, as he passed through their territory, the homage of the Phoenicians. His entry into Egypt was celebrated by solemn festivities. The nobles, priests, and princes of both south and north hastened to meet him at the bridge of Zalu, and welcomed, with their chants, both the king and the troops of captives whom he was bringing back for the service of his father Amon at Karnak. The delight of his subjects was but natural, since for many years the Egyptians bad not witnessed such a triumph, and they no doubt believed that the prosperous era of Thutmosis III. was about to return, and that the wealth of Naharaim would once more flow into Thebes as of old. Their illusion was short-lived, for this initial victory was followed by no other. Maurusaru, King of the Khati, and subsequently his son Mautallu, withstood the Pharaoh with such resolution that he was forced to treat with them. A new alliance was concluded on the same conditions as the old one, and the boundaries of the two kingdoms remained the same as under Harmhabi, a proof that neither sovereign had gained any advantage over his rival. Hence the campaign did not in any way restore Egyptian supremacy, as had been hoped at the moment; it merely served to strengthen her authority in those provinces which the Khati had failed to take from Egypt. The Phoenicians of Tyre and Sidon had too many commercial interests on the banks of the Nile to dream of breaking the slender tie which held them to the Pharaoh, since independence, or submission to another sovereign, might have ruined their trade. The Kharu and the Bedawin, vanquished wherever they had ventured to oppose the Pharaoh's troops, were less than ever capable of throwing off the Egyptian yoke. Syria fell back into its former state. The local princes once more resumed their intrigues and quarrels, varied at intervals by appeals to their suzerain for justice or succour. The "Royal Messengers" appeared from time to time with their escorts of archers and chariots to claim tribute, levy taxes, to make peace between quarrelsome vassals, or, if the case required it, to supersede some insubordinate chief by a governor of undoubted loyalty; in fine, the entire administration of the empire was a continuation of that of the preceding century. The peoples of Kush meanwhile had remained quiet during the campaign in Syria, and on the western frontier the Tihonu had suffered so severe a defeat that they were not likely to recover from it for some time.* The bands of pirates, Shardana and others, who infested the Delta, were hunted down, and the prisoners taken from among them were incorporated into the royal guard.**
* This war is represented at Karnak, and Ramses II. figures there among the children of Seti I.
** We gather this from passages in the inscriptions from the year V. onwards, in which Ramses II. boasts that he has a number of Shardana prisoners in his guard; Rouge was, perhaps, mistaken in magnifying these piratical raids into a war of invasion.
[Illustration: 166.jpg REPRESENTATION OF SETI I. VANQUISHING THE LIBYANS AND ASIATICS ON THE WALLS, KARNAK]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Ernil Brugsch-Bey.
Seti, however, does not appear to have had a confirmed taste for war. He showed energy when occasion required it, and he knew how to lead his soldiers, as the expedition of his first year amply proved; but when the necessity was over, he remained on the defensive, and made no further attempt at conquest. By his own choice he was "the jackal who prowls about the country to protect it," rather than "the wizard lion marauding abroad by hidden paths,"* and Egypt enjoyed a profound peace in consequence of his ceaseless vigilance.
* These phrases are taken direct from the inscriptions of Seti I.
A peaceful policy of this kind did not, of course, produce the amount of spoil and the endless relays of captives which had enabled his predecessors to raise temples and live in great luxury without overburdening their subjects with taxes. Seti was, therefore, the more anxious to do all in his power to develop the internal wealth of the country. The mining colonies of the Sinaitic Peninsula had never ceased working since operations had been resumed there under Hatshopsitu and Thutmosis III., but the output had lessened during the troubles under the heretic kings. Seti sent inspectors thither, and endeavoured to stimulate the workmen to their former activity, but apparently with no great success. We are not able to ascertain if he continued the revival of trade with Puanit inaugurated by Harmhabi; but at any rate he concentrated his attention on the regions bordering the Red Sea and the gold-mines which they contained. Those of Btbai, which had been worked as early as the XIIth dynasty, did not yield as much as they had done formerly; not that they were exhausted, but owing to the lack of water in their neighbourhood and along the routes leading to them, they were nearly deserted. It was well known that they contained great wealth, but operations could not be carried on, as the workmen were in danger of dying of thirst. Seti despatched engineers to the spot to explore the surrounding wadys, to clear the ancient cisterns or cut others, and to establish victualling stations at regular intervals for the use of merchants supplying the gangs of miners with commodities. These stations generally consisted of square or rectangular enclosures, built of stones without mortar, and capable of resisting a prolonged attack. The entrance was by a narrow doorway of stone slabs, and in the interior were a few huts and one or two reservoirs for catching rain or storing the water of neighbouring springs. Sometimes a chapel was built close at hand, consecrated to the divinities of the desert, or to their compeers, Minu of Coptos, Horus, Maut, or Isis. One of these, founded by Seti, still exists near the modern town of Redesieh, at the entrance to one of the valleys which furrow this gold region.
[Illustration: 168.jpg A FORTIFIED STATION ON THE ROUTE BETWEEN THE NILE AND THE RED SEA.
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by M. de Bock
It is built against, and partly excavated in, a wall of rock, the face of which has been roughly squared, and it is entered through a four-columned portico, giving access to two dark chambers, whose walls are covered with scenes of adoration and a lengthy inscription. In this latter the sovereign relates how, in the IXth year of his reign, he was moved to inspect the roads of the desert; he completed the work in honour of Amon-Ra, of Phtah of Memphis, and of Harmakhis, and he states that travellers were at a loss to express their gratitude and thanks for what he had done. "They repeated from mouth to mouth: 'May Amon give him an endless existence, and may he prolong for him the length of eternity! O ye gods of fountains, attribute to him your life, for he has rendered back to us accessible roads, and he has opened that which was closed to us. Henceforth we can take our way in peace, and reach our destination alive; now that the difficult paths are open and the road has become good, gold can be brought back, as our lord and master has commanded.'" Plans were drawn on papyrus of the configuration of the district, of the beds of precious metal, and of the position of the stations.
[Illustration: 169.jpg THE TEMPLE OF SETI I. AT REDESIEH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Golenischeff.
One of these plans has come down to us, in which the districts are coloured bright red, the mountains dull ochre, the roads dotted over with footmarks to show the direction to be taken, while the superscriptions give the local names, and inform us that the map represents the Bukhni mountain and a fortress and stele of Seti. The whole thing is executed in a rough and naive manner, with an almost childish minuteness which provokes a smile; we should, however, not despise it, for it is the oldest map in the world.
[Illustration: 170.jpg FRAGMENT OF THE MAP OF THE GOLD-MINES]
Facsimile by Faucher-Gudin of coloured chalk-drawing by Chabas.
The gold extracted from these regions, together with that brought from Ethiopia, and, better still, the regular payment of taxes and custom-house duties, went to make up for the lack of foreign spoil all the more opportunely, for, although the sovereign did not share the military enthusiasm of Thutmosis III., he had inherited from him the passion for expensive temple-building.
[Illustration: 171.jpg THE THREE STANDING COLUMNS OF THE TEMPLE OF SESEBI]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger.
He did not neglect Nubia in this respect, but repaired several of the monuments at which the XVIIIth dynasty had worked -- among others, Kalabsheh, Dakkeh, and Amada, besides founding a temple at Sesebi, of which three columns are still standing.*
* In Lepsius's time there were still four columns standing; Insinger shows us only three.
The outline of these columns is not graceful, and the decoration of them is very poor, for art degenerated rapidly in these distant provinces of the empire, and only succeeded in maintaining its vigour and spirit in the immediate neighbourhood of the Pharaoh, as at Abydos, Memphis, and above all at Thebes. Seti's predecessor Ramses, desirous of obliterating all traces of the misfortunes lately brought about by the changes effected by the heretic kings, had contemplated building at Karnak, in front of the pylon of Amenothes III., an enormous hall for the ceremonies connected with the cult of Amon, where the immense numbers of priests and worshippers at festival times could be accommodated without inconvenience. It devolved on Seti to carry out what had been merely an ambitious dream of his father's.*
* The great hypostyle hall was cleared and the columns were strengthened in the winter of 1895-6, as far, at least, as it was possible to carry out the work of restoration without imperilling the stability of the whole.
We long to know who was the architect possessed of such confidence in his powers that he ventured to design, and was able to carry out, this almost superhuman undertaking. His name would be held up to almost universal admiration beside those of the greatest masters that we are familiar with, for no one in Greece or Italy has left us any work which surpasses it, or which with such simple means could produce a similar impression of boldness and immensity. It is almost impossible to convey by words to those who have not seen it, the impression which it makes on the spectator. Failing description, the dimensions speak for themselves. The hall measures one hundred and sixty-two feet in length, by three hundred and twenty-five in breadth. A row of twelve columns, the largest ever placed inside a building, runs up the centre, having capitals in the form of inverted bells.
[Illustration: 173 AN AVENUE OF ONE OF THE AISLES OF THE HYPOSTYLE HALL AT KARNAK]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
One hundred and twenty-two columns with lotiform capitals fill the aisles, in rows of nine each. The roof of the central bay is seventy-four feet above the ground, and the cornice of the two towers rises sixty-three feet higher. The building was dimly lighted from the roof of the central colonnade by means of stone gratings, through which the air and the sun's rays entered sparingly. The daylight, as it penetrated into the hall, was rendered more and more obscure by the rows of columns; indeed, at the further end a perpetual twilight must have reigned, pierced by narrow shafts of light falling from the ventilation holes which were placed at intervals in the roof.
[Illustration: 174.jpg THE GRATINGS OF THE CENTRAL COLONNADE IN THE HYPOSTYLE HALL AT KARNAK]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato. In the background, on the right, may be seen a column which for several centuries has been retained in a half-fallen position by the weight of its architrave.
The whole building now lies open to the sky, and the sunshine which floods it, pitilessly reveals the mutilations which it has suffered in the course of ages; but the general effect, though less mysterious, is none the less overwhelming. It is the only monument in which the first coup d'oil surpasses the expectations of the spectator instead of disappointing him. The size is immense, and we realise its immensity the more fully as we search our memory in vain to find anything with which to compare it. Seti may have entertained the project of building a replica of this hall in Southern Thebes. Amenothes III. had left his temple at Luxor unfinished. The sanctuary and its surrounding buildings were used for purposes of worship, but the court of the customary pylon was wanting, and merely a thin wall concealed the mysteries from the sight of the vulgar. Seti resolved to extend the building in a northerly direction, without interfering with the thin screen which had satisfied his predecessors. Starting from the entrance in this wall, he planned an avenue of giant columns rivalling those of Karnak, which he destined to become the central colonnade of a hypostyle hall as vast as that of the sister temple. Either money or time was lacking to carry out his intention. He died before the aisles on either side were even begun. At Abydos, however, he was more successful. We do not know the reason of Seti's particular affection for this town; it is possible that his family held some fief there, or it may be that he desired to show the peculiar estimation in which he held its local god, and intended, by the homage that he lavished on him, to cause the fact to be forgotten that he bore the name of Sit the accursed.
[Illustration: 176.jpg ONE OF THE COLONNADES OF THE HYPOSTYLE HALL IN THE TEMPLE OF SETI I. AT ABYDOS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
The king selected a favourable site for his temple to the south of the town, on the slope of a sandhill bordering the canal, and he marked out in the hardened soil a ground plan of considerable originality. The building was approached through two pylons, the remains of which are now hidden under the houses of Aarabat el-Madfuneh.
[Illustration: 176b.jpg THE FACADE OF THE TEMPLE OF SETI]
A fairly large courtyard, bordered by two crumbling walls, lies between the second pylon and the temple facade, which was composed of a portico resting on square pillars. Passing between these, we reach two halls supported by-columns of graceful outline, beyond which are eight chapels arranged in a line, side by side, in front of two chambers built in to the hillside, and destined for the reception of Osiris. The holy of holies in ordinary temples is surrounded by chambers of lesser importance, but here it is concealed behind them. The building-material mainly employed here was the white limestone of Turah, but of a most beautiful quality, which lent itself to the execution of bas-reliefs of great delicacy, perhaps the finest in ancient Egypt. The artists who carved and painted them belonged to the Theban school, and while their subjects betray a remarkable similarity to those of the monuments dedicated by Amenothes III., the execution surpasses them in freedom and perfection of modelling; we can, in fact, trace in them the influence of the artists who furnished the drawings for the scenes at Tel el-Amarna. They have represented the gods and goddesses with the same type of profile as that of the king -- a type of face of much purity and gentleness, with its aquiline nose, its decided mouth, almond-shaped eyes, and melancholy smile. When the decoration of the temple was completed, Seti regarded the building as too small for its divine inmate, and accordingly added to it a new wing, which he built along the whole length of the southern wall; but he was unable to finish it completely. Several parts of it are lined with religious representations, but in others the subjects have been merely sketched out in black ink with corrections in red, while elsewhere the walls are bare, except for a few inscriptions, scribbled over them after an interval of twenty centuries by the monks who turned the temple chambers into a convent. This new wing was connected with the second hypostyle hall of the original building by a passage, on one of the walls of which is a list of seventy-five royal names, representing the ancestors of the sovereign traced back to Mini. The whole temple must be regarded as a vast funerary chapel, and no one who has studied the religion of Egypt can entertain a doubt as to its purpose. Abydos was the place where the dead assembled before passing into the other world. It was here, at the mouth of the "Cleft," that they received the provisions and offerings of their relatives and friends who remained on this earth. As the dead flocked hither from all quarters of the world, they collected round the tomb of Osiris, and there waited till the moment came to embark on the Boat of the Sun. Seti did not wish his soul to associate with those of the common crowd of his vassals, and prepared this temple for himself, as a separate resting-place, close to the mouth of Hades. After having dwelt within it for a short time subsequent to his funeral, his soul could repair thither whenever it desired, certain of always finding within it the incense and the nourishment of which it stood in need.
Thebes possessed this king's actual tomb. The chapel was at Qurnah, a little to the north of the group of pyramids in which the Pharaohs of the XIth dynasty lay side by side with those of the XIIIth and XVIIth. Ramses had begun to build it, and Seti continued the work, dedicating it to the cult of his father and of himself. Its pylon has altogether disappeared, but the facade with lotus-bud columns is nearly perfect, together with several of the chambers in front of the sanctuary. The decoration is as carefully carried out and the execution as delicate as that in the work at Abydos; we are tempted to believe from one or two examples of it that the same hands have worked at both buildings.
[Illustration: 181.jpg THE TEMPLE OF QURNAH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
The rock-cut tomb is some distance away up in the mountain, but not in the same ravine as that in which Amenothes III., Ai, and probably Tutankhamon and Harmhabi, are buried.*
* There are, in fact, close to those of Ai and Amenothes III., three other tombs, two at least of which have been decorated with paintings, now completely obliterated, and which may have served as the burying-places of Tutankhamon and Harmhabi: the earlier Egyptologists believed them to have been dug by the first kings of the XVIIIth dynasty.
There then existed, behind the rock amphitheatre of Deir el-Bahari, a kind of enclosed basin, which could be reached from the plain only by dangerous paths above the temple of Hatshopsitu. This basin is divided into two parts, one of which runs in a south-easterly direction, while the other trends to the south-west, and is subdivided into minor branches. To the east rises a barren peak, the outline of which is not unlike that of the step-pyramid of Saqqara, reproduced on a colossal scale. No spot could be more appropriate to serve as a cemetery for a family of kings. The difficulty of reaching it and of conveying thither the heavy accessories and of providing for the endless processions of the Pharaonic funerals, prevented any attempt being made to cut tombs in it during the Ancient and Middle Empires. About the beginning of the XIXth dynasty, however, some engineers, in search of suitable burial sites, at length noticed that this basin was only separated from the wady issuing to the north of Qurnah by a rocky barrier barely five hundred cubits in width. This presented no formidable obstacle to such skilful engineers as the Egyptians. They cut a trench into the living rock some fifty or sixty cubits in depth, at the bottom of which they tunnelled a narrow passage giving access to the valley.*
* French scholars recognised from the beginning of this century that the passage in question had been made by human agency. I attribute the execution of this work to Ramses I., as I believe Harmhabi to have been buried in the eastern valley, near Amenothes III.
It is not known whether this herculean work was accomplished during the reign of Harnhabi or in that of Ramses I. The latter was the first of the Pharaohs to honour the spot by his presence. His tomb is simple, almost coarse in its workmanship, and comprises a gentle inclined passage, a vault and a sarcophagus of rough stone. That of Seti, on the contrary, is a veritable palace, extending to a distance of 325 feet into the mountain-side. It is entered by a wide and lofty door, which opens on to a staircase of twenty-seven steps, leading to an inclined corridor; other staircases of shallow steps follow with their landings; then come successively a hypostyle hall, and, at the extreme end, a vaulted chamber, all of which are decorated with mysterious scenes and covered with inscriptions. This is, however, but the first storey, containing the antechambers of the dead, but not their living-rooms. A passage and steps, concealed under a slab to the left of the hall, lead to the real vault, which held the mummy and its funerary furniture. As we penetrate further and further by the light of torches into this subterranean abode, we see that the walls are covered with pictures and formulae, setting forth the voyages of the soul through the twelve hours of the night, its trials, its judgment, its reception by the departed, and its apotheosis -- all depicted on the rock with the same perfection as that which characterises the bas-reliefs on the finest slabs of Turah stone at Qurnah and Abydos. A gallery leading out of the last of these chambers extends a few feet further and then stops abruptly; the engineers had contemplated the excavation of a third storey to the tomb, when the death of their master obliged them to suspend their task. The king's sarcophagus consists of a block of alabaster, hollowed out, polished, and carved with figures and hieroglyphs, with all the minuteness which we associate with the cutting of a gem.
[Illustration: 184.jpg ONE OF THE PILLARS OF THE TOMB OF SETI I.]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger, taken in 1884.
It contained a wooden coffin, shaped to the human figure and painted white, the features picked out in black, and enamel eyes inserted in a mounting of bronze. The mummy is that of a thin elderly man, well preserved; the face was covered by a mask made of linen smeared with pitch, but when this was raised by means of a chisel, the fine kingly head was exposed to view. It was a masterpiece of the art of the embalmer, and the expression of the face was that of one who had only a few hours previously breathed his last. Death had slightly drawn the nostrils and contracted the lips, the pressure of the bandages had flattened the nose a little, and the skin was darkened by the pitch; but a calm and gentle smile still played over the mouth, and the half-opened eyelids allowed a glimpse to be seen from under their lashes of an apparently moist and glistening line, -- the reflection from the white porcelain eyes let in to the orbit at the time of burial.
Seti had had several children by his wife Tuia, and the eldest had already reached manhood when his father ascended the throne, for he had accompanied him on his Syrian campaign. The young prince died, however, soon after his return, and his right to the crown devolved on his younger brother, who, like his grandfather, bore the name of Ramses. The prince was still very young,* but Seti did not on that account delay enthroning with great pomp this son who had a better right to the throne than himself.
* The history of the youth and the accession of Ramses II. is known to us from the narrative given by himself in the temple of Seti I. at Abydos. The bulk of the narrative is confirmed by the evidence of the Kuban inscription, especially as to the extreme youth of Ramses at the time when he was first associated with the crown.
"From the time that I was in the egg," Ramses writes later on, "the great ones sniffed the earth before me; when I attained to the rank of eldest son and heir upon the throne of Sibu, I dealt with affairs, I commanded as chief the foot-soldiers and the chariots. My father having appeared before the people, when I was but a very little boy in his arms, said to me: 'I shall have him crowned king, that I may see him in all his splendour while I am still on this earth!' The nobles of the court having drawn near to place the pschent upon my head: 'Place the diadem upon his forehead!' said he." As Ramses increased in years, Seti delighted to confer upon him, one after the other, the principal attributes of power; "while he was still upon this earth, regulating everything in the land, defending its frontiers, and watching over the welfare of its inhabitants, he cried: 'Let him reign!' because of the love he had for me." Seti also chose for him wives, beautiful "as are those of his palace," and he gave him in marriage his sisters Nofritari II. Mimut and Isitnofrit, who, like Ramses himself, had claims to the throne. Ramses was allowed to attend the State councils at the age of ten; he commanded armies, and he administered justice under the direction of his father and his viziers. Seti, however, although making use of his son's youth and activity, did not in any sense retire in his favour; if he permitted Ramses to adopt the insignia of royalty -- the cartouches, the pschent, the bulbous-shaped helmet, and the various sceptres -- he still remained to the day of his death the principal State official, and he reckoned all the years of this dual sovereignty as those of his sole reign.*
* Brugsoh is wrong in reckoning the reign of Ramses II. from the time of his association in the crown; the great inscription of Abydos, which has been translated by Brugsch himself, dates events which immediately followed the death of Seti I. as belonging to the first year of Ramses II.
Ramses repulsed the incursions of the Tihonu, and put to the sword such of their hordes as had ventured to invade Egyptian territory. He exercised the functions of viceroy of Ethiopia, and had on several occasions to chastise the pillaging . We see him at Beit-Wally and at Abu Simbel charging them in his chariot: in vain they flee in confusion before him; their flight, however swift, cannot save them from captivity and destruction.
[Illustration: 187.jpg RAMSES II. PUTS THE TO FLIGHT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
He was engaged in Ethiopia when the death of Seti recalled him to Thebes.*
* We do not know how long Seti I. reigned; the last date is that of his IXth year at Redesieh and at Aswan, and that of the year XXVII. sometimes attributed to him belongs to one of the later Ramessides. I had at first supposed his reign to have been a long one, merely on the evidence afforded by Manetho's lists, but the presence of Ramses II. as a stripling, in the campaign of Seti's 1st year, forces us to limit its duration to fifteen or twenty years at most, possibly to only twelve or fifteen.
He at once returned to the capital, celebrated the king's funeral obsequies with suitable pomp, and after keeping the festival of Amon, set out for the north in order to make his authority felt in that part of his domains. He stopped on his way at Abydos to give the necessary orders for completing the decoration of the principal chambers of the resting-place built by his father, and chose a site some 320 feet to the north-west of it for a similar Memnonium for himself. He granted cultivated fields and meadows in the Thinite name for the maintenance of these two mausolea, founded a college of priests and soothsayers in connexion with them, for which he provided endowments, and also assigned them considerable fiefs in all parts of the valley of the Nile. The Delta next occupied his attention. The increasing importance of the Syrian provinces in the eyes of Egypt, the growth of the Hittite monarchy, and the migrations of the peoples of the Mediterranean, had obliged the last princes of the preceding dynasty to reside more frequently at Memphis than Amenothes I. or Thutmosis III. had done. Amenothes III. had set to work to restore certain cities which had been abandoned since the days of the Shepherds, and Bubastis, Athribis, and perhaps Tanis, had, thanks to his efforts, revived from their decayed condition. The Pharaohs, indeed, felt that at Thebes they were too far removed from the battle-fields of Asia; distance made it difficult for them to counteract the intrigues in which their vassals in Kharu and the lords of Naharaim were perpetually implicated, and a revolt which might have been easily anticipated or crushed had they been advised of it within a few days, gained time to increase and extend during the interval occupied by the couriers in travelling to and from the capital. Ramses felt the importance of possessing a town close to the Isthmus where he could reside in security, and he therefore built close to Zalu, in a fertile and healthy locality, a stronghold to which he gave his own name,* and of which the poets of the time have left us an enthusiastic description. "It extends," they say, "between Zahi and Egypt -- and is filled with provisions and victuals. -- It resembles Hermonthis, -- it is strong like Memphis, -- and the sun rises -- and sets in it -- so that men quit their villages and establish themselves in its territory." -- "The dwellers on the coasts bring conger eels and fish in homage, -- they pay it the tribute of their marshes. -- The inhabitants don their festal garments every day, -- perfumed oil is on their heads and new wigs; -- they stand at their doors, their hands full of bunches of flowers, -- green branches from the village of Pihathor, -- garlands of Pahuru, -- on the day when Pharaoh makes his entry. -- Joy then reigns and spreads, and nothing can stay it, -- O Usirmari-sotpuniri, thou who art Montu in the two lands, -- Ramses-Miamun, the god." The town acted as an advance post, from whence the king could keep watch against all intriguing adversaries, -- whether on the banks of the Orontes or the coast of the Mediterranean.
* An allusion to the foundation of this residence occurs in an inscription at Abu Simbel, dated in his XXVth year.
Nothing appeared for the moment to threaten the peace of the empire. The Asiatic vassals had raised no disturbance on hearing of the king's accession, and Mautallu continued to observe the conditions of the treaty which he had signed with Seti. Two military expeditions undertaken beyond the isthmus in the IInd and IVth years of the new sovereign were accomplished almost without fighting. He repressed by the way the marauding Shausu, and on reaching the Nahr el-Kelb, which then formed the northern frontier of his empire, he inscribed at the turn of the road, on the rocks which overhang the mouth of the river, two triumphal stelae in which he related his successes.* Towards the end of his IVth year a rebellion broke out among the Khati, which caused a rupture of relations between the two kingdoms and led to some irregular fighting. Khatusaru, a younger brother of Maurusaru, murdered the latter and made himself king in his stead.** It is not certain whether the Egyptians took up arms against him, or whether he judged it wise to oppose them in order to divert the attention of his subjects from his crime.
* The stelae are all in a very bad condition; in the last of them the date is no longer legible.
** In the Treaty of Harrises II. with the Prince of Khati, the writer is content to use a discreet euphemism, and states that Mautallu succumbed "to his destiny." The name of the Prince of the Khati is found later on under the form Khatusharu, in that of a chief defeated by Tiglath-pileser I. in the country of Kummukh, though this name has generally been read Khatukhi.
At all events, he convoked his Syrian vassals and collected his mercenaries; the whole of Naharaim, Khalupu, Carchemish, and Arvad sent their quota, while bands of Dardanians, Mysians, Trojans, and Lycians, together with the people of Pedasos and Girgasha,* furnished further contingents, drawn from an area extending from the most distant coasts of the Mediterranean to the mountains of Cilicia. Ramses, informed of the enemy's movement by his generals and the governors of places on the frontier, resolved to anticipate the attack. He assembled an army almost as incongruous in its component elements as that of his adversary: besides Egyptians of unmixed race, divided into four corps bearing the names of Amon, Phtah, Harmakhis and Sutkhu, it contained Ethiopian auxiliaries, Libyans, Mazaiu, and Shardana.**
* The name of this nation is written Karkisha, Kalkisha, or Kashkisha, by one of those changes of sh into r-l which occur so frequently in Assyro-Chaldaean before a dental; the two different spellings seem to show that the writers of the inscriptions bearing on this war had before them a list of the allies of Khatusaru, written in cuneiform characters. If we may identify the nation with the Kashki or Kashku of the Assyrian texts, the ancestors of the people of Colchis of classical times, the termination -isha of the Egyptian word would be the inflexion -ash or -ush of the Eastern- Asiatic tongues which we find in so many race-names, e.g. Adaush, Saradaush, Ammaush. Rouge and Brugsch identified them with the Girgashites of the Bible. Brugsch, adopting the spelling Kashki, endeavoured to connect them with Casiotis; later on he identified them with the people of Gergis in Troas. Ramsay recognises in them the Kisldsos of Cilicia.
** In the account of the campaign the Shardana only are mentioned; but we learn from a list in the Anastasi Papyrus I, that the army of Ramses II. included, in ordinary circumstances, in addition to the Shardana, a contingent of Mashauasha, Kahaka, and other Libyan and mercenaries.
When preparations were completed, the force crossed the canal at Zalu, on the 9th of Payni in his Vth year, marched rapidly across Canaan till they reached the valley of the Litany, along which they took their way, and then followed up that of the Orontes. They encamped for a few days at Shabtuna, to the south-west of Qodshu,* in the midst of the Amorite country, sending out scouts and endeavouring to discover the position of the enemy, of whose movements they possessed but vague information.
* Shabtuna had been placed on the Nahr es-Sebta, on the site now occupied by Kalaat el-Hosn, a conjecture approved by Mariette; it was more probably a town situated in the plain, to the south of Bahr el-Kades, a little to the south-west of Tell Keby Mindoh which represents Qodshu, and close to some forests which at that time covered the slopes of Lebanon, and, extending as they did to the bottom of the valley, concealed the position of the Khati from the Egyptians.
Khatusaru lay concealed in the wooded valleys of the Lebanon; he was kept well posted by his spies, and only waited an opportunity to take the field; as an occasion did not immediately present itself, he had recourse to a ruse with which the generals of the time were familiar. Ramses, at length uneasy at not falling in with the enemy, advanced to the south of Shabtuna, where he endeavoured to obtain information from two Bedawin. "Our brethren," said they, "who are the chiefs of the tribes united under the vile Prince of Khati, send us to give information to your Majesty: We desire to serve the Pharaoh. We are deserting the vile Prince of the Khati; he is close to Khalupu (Aleppo), to the north of the city of Tunipa, whither he has rapidly retired from fear of the Pharaoh." This story had every appearance of probability; and the distance -- Khalupu was at least forty leagues away -- explained why the reconnoitring parties of the Egyptians had not fallen in with any of the enemy. The Pharaoh, with this information, could not decide whether to lay siege to Qodshu and wait until the Hittites were forced to succour the town, or to push on towards the Euphrates and there seek the engagement which his adversary seemed anxious to avoid.
[Illustration: 193.jpg THE SHARDANA GUARD OF RAMSES II.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
He chose the latter of the two alternatives. He sent forward the legions of Anion, Phra, Phtah, and Sutkhu, which constituted the main body of his troops, and prepared to follow them with his household chariotry. At the very moment when this division was being effected, the Hittites, who had been represented by the spies as being far distant, were secretly massing their forces to the north-east of Qodshu, ready to make an attack upon the Pharaoh's flank as soon as he should set out on his march towards Khalupu. The enemy had considerable forces at their disposal, and on the day of the engagement they placed 18,000 to 20,000 picked soldiers in the field.* Besides a well-disciplined infantry, they possessed 2500 to 3000 chariots, containing, as was the Asiatic custom, three men in each.**
* An army corps is reckoned as containing 9000 men on the wall scenes at Luxor, and 8000 at the Eamesseum; the 3000 chariots were manned by 9000 men. In allowing four to five thousand men for the rest of the soldiers engaged, we are not likely to be far wrong, and shall thus obtain the modest total mentioned in the text, contrary to the opinion current among historians.
* The mercenaries are included in these figures, as is shown by the reckoning of the Lycian, Dardanian, and Pedasian chiefs who were in command of the chariots during the charges against Ramses II.
The Egyptian camp was not entirely broken up, when the scouts brought in two spies whom they had seized -- Asiatics in long blue robes arranged diagonally over one shoulder, leaving the other bare. The king, who was seated on his throne delivering his final commands, ordered them to be beaten till the truth should be extracted from them. They at last confessed that they had been despatched to watch the departure of the Egyptians, and admitted that the enemy was concealed in ambush behind the town. Ramses hastily called a council of war and laid the situation before his generals, not without severely reprimanding them for the bad organisation of the intelligence department. The officers excused themselves as best they could, and threw the blame on the provincial governors, who had not been able to discover what was going on. The king cut short these useless recriminations, sent swift messengers to recall the divisions which had started early that morning, and gave orders that all those remaining in camp should hold themselves in readiness to attack. The council were still deliberating when news was brought that the Hittites were in sight.
[Illustration: 195.jpg TWO HITTITE SPIES BEATEN BY THE EGYPTIAN SOLDIERS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the picture in the temple at Abu Simbel.
Their first onslaught was so violent that they threw down one side of the camp wall, and penetrated into the enclosure. Ramses charged them at the head of his household troops. Eight times he engaged the chariotry which threatened to surround him, and each time he broke their ranks. Once he found himself alone with Manna, his shield-bearer, in the midst of a knot of warriors who were bent on his destruction, and he escaped solely by his coolness and bravery. The tame lion which accompanied him on his expeditions did terrible work by his side, and felled many an Asiatic with his teeth and claws.*
* The lion is represented and named in the battle-scenes at Abu Simbel, at Dorr, and at Luxor, where we see it in camp on the eve of the battle, with its two front paws tied, and its keeper threatening it.
[Illustration: 196.jpg THE EGYPTIAN CAMP AND THE COUNCIL OF WAR ON THE MORNING OF THE BATTLE OF QODSHU]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato of the west front of the Eamesseum.
The soldiers, fired by the king's example, stood their ground resolutely during the long hours of the afternoon; at length, as night was drawing on, the legions of Phra and Sutkhu, who had hastily retraced their steps, arrived on the scene of action. A large body of Khafci, who were hemmed in in that part of the camp which they had taken in the morning, were at once killed or made prisoners, not a man of them escaping. Khatusaru, disconcerted by this sudden reinforcement of the enemy, beat a retreat, and nightfall suspended the struggle. It was recommenced at dawn the following morning with unabated fury, and terminated in the rout of the confederates. Garbatusa, the shield-bearer of the Hittite prince, the generals in command of his infantry and chariotry, and Khalupsaru, the "writer of books," fell during the action. The chariots, driven back to the Orontes, rushed into the river in the hope of fording it, but in so doing many lives were lost. Mazraima, the Prince of Khati's brother, reached the opposite bank in safety, but the Chief of Tonisa was drowned, and the lord of Khalupu was dragged out of the water more dead than alive, and had to be held head downwards to disgorge the water he had swallowed before he could be restored to consciousness.
[Illustration: 198.jpg THE GARRISON OF QODSHU ISSUING FORTH TO HELP THE PRINCE OF KHATI.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Benedite.
Khatusaru himself was on the point of perishing, when the troops which had been shut up in Qodshu, together with the inhabitants, made a general sortie; the Egyptians were for a moment held in check, and the fugitives meanwhile were able to enter the town. Either there was insufficient provision for so many mouths, or the enemy had lost all heart from the disaster; at any rate, further resistance appeared useless. The next morning Khatusaru sent to propose a truce or peace to the victorious Pharaoh. The Egyptians had probably suffered at least as much as their adversaries, and perhaps regarded the eventuality of a siege with no small distaste; Ramses, therefore, accepted the offers made to him and prepared to return to Egypt. The fame of his exploits had gone before him, and he himself was not a little proud of the energy he had displayed on the day of battle. His predecessors had always shown themselves to be skilful generals and brave soldiers, but none of them had ever before borne, or all but borne, single-handed the brunt of an attack. Ramses loaded his shield-bearer Manna with rewards for having stood by him in the hour of danger, and ordered abundant provender and sumptuous harness for the good horses -- "Strength-in-Thebaid" and "Nurit the satisfied" -- who had drawn his chariot.*
* A gold ring in the Louvre bears in relief on its bezel two little horses; which are probably "Strength-in-Thebaid"and "Nurit satisfied."
He determined that the most characteristic episodes of the campaign -- the beating of the spies, the surprise of the camp, the king's repeated charges, the arrival of his veterans, the flight of the Syrians, and the surrender of Qodshu -- should be represented on the walls and pylons of the temples. A poem in rhymed strophes in every case accompanies these records of his glory, whether at Luxor, at the Eamesseum, at the Memnonium of Abydos, or in the heart of Nubia at Abu Simbel. The author of the poem must have been present during the campaign, or must have had the account of it from the lips of his sovereign, for his work bears no traces of the coldness of official reports, and a warlike strain runs through it from one end to the other, so as still to invest it with life after a lapse of more than thirty centuries.*
* The author is unknown: Pentaur, or rather Pentauirit, to whom E. de Rouge attributed the poem, is merely the transcriber of the copy we possess on papyrus.
But little pains are bestowed on the introduction, and the poet does not give free vent to his enthusiasm until the moment when he describes his hero, left almost alone, charging the enemy in the sight of his followers. The Pharaoh was surrounded by two thousand five hundred chariots, and his retreat was cut off by the warriors of the "perverse" Khati and of the other nations who accompanied them -- the peoples of Arvad, Mysia, and Pedasos; each of their chariots contained three men, and the ranks were so serried that they formed but one dense mass. "No other prince was with me, no general officers, no one in command of the archers or chariots. My foot-soldiers deserted me, my charioteers fled before the foe, and not one of them stood firm beside me to fight against them." Then said His Majesty: "Who art thou, then, my father Amon? A father who forgets his son? Or have I committed aught against thee? Have I not marched and halted according to thy command? When he does not violate thy orders, the lord of Egypt is indeed great, and he overthrows the barbarians in his path! What are these Asiatics to thy heart? Amon will humiliate those who know not the god. Have I not consecrated innumerable offerings to thee? Filling thy holy dwelling-place with my prisoners, I build thee a temple for millions of years, I lavish all my goods on thy storehouses, I offer thee the whole world to enrich thy domains.... A miserable fate indeed awaits him who sets himself against thy will, but happy is he who finds favour with thee by deeds done for thee with a loving heart. I invoke thee, O my father Amon! Here am I in the midst of people so numerous that it cannot be known who are the nations joined together against me, and I am alone among them, none other is with me. My many soldiers have forsaken me, none of my charioteers looked towards me when I called them, not one of them heard my voice when I cried to them. But I find that Amon is more to me than a million soldiers, than a hundred thousand charioteers, than a myriad of brothers or young sons, joined all together, for the number of men is as nothing, Amon is greater than all of them. Each time I have accomplished these things, Amon, by the counsel of thy mouth, as I do not transgress thy orders, I rendered thee glory even to the ends of the earth." So calm an invocation in the thick of the battle would appear misplaced in the mouth of an ordinary man, but Pharaoh was a god, and the son of a god, and his actions and speeches cannot be measured by the same standard as that of a common mortal. He was possessed by the religious spirit in the hour of danger, and while his body continued to fight, his soul took wing to the throne of Amon. He contemplates the lord of heaven face to face, reminds him of the benefits which he had received from him, and summons him to his aid with an imperiousness which betrays the sense of his own divine origin. The expected help was not delayed. "While the voice resounds in Hermonthis, Amon arises at my behest, he stretches out his hand to me, and I cry out with joy when he hails me from behind: 'Face to face with thee, face to face with thee, Ramses Miamun, I am with thee! It is I, thy father! My hand is with thee, and I am worth more to thee than hundreds of thousands. I am the strong one who loves valour; I have beheld in thee a courageous heart, and my heart is satisfied; my will is about to be accomplished!' I am like Montu; from the right I shoot with the dart, from the left I seize the enemy. I am like Baal in his hour, before them; I have encountered two thousand five hundred chariots, and as soon as I am in their midst, they are overthrown before my mares. Not one of all these people has found a hand wherewith to fight; their hearts sink within their breasts, fear paralyses their limbs; they know not how to throw their darts, they have no strength to hold their lances. I precipitate them into the water like as the crocodile plunges therein; they are prostrate face to the earth, one upon the other, and I slay in the midst of them, for I have willed that not one should look behind him, nor that one should return; he who falls rises not again." This sudden descent of the god has, even at the present day, an effect upon the reader, prepared though he is by his education to consider it as a literary artifice; but on the Egyptian, brought up to regard Amon with boundless reverence, its influence was irresistible. The Prince of the Khati, repulsed at the very moment when he was certain of victory, "recoiled with terror. He sends against the enemy the various chiefs, followed by their chariots and skilled warriors, -- the chiefs of Arvad, Lycia, and Ilion, the leaders of the Lycians and Dardanians, the lords of Carchemish, of the Girgashites, and of Khalupu; these allies of the Khati, all together, comprised three thousand chariots." Their efforts, however, were in vain. "I fell upon them like Montu, my hand devoured them in the space of a moment, in the midst of them I hewed down and slew. They said one to another: 'This is no man who is amongst us; it is Sutkhu the great warrior, it is Baal incarnate! These are not human actions which he accomplishes: alone, by himself, he repulses hundreds of thousands, without leaders or men. Up, let us flee before him, let us seek to save our lives, and let us breathe again!'" When at last, towards evening, the army again rallies round the king, and finds the enemy completely defeated, the men hang their heads with mingled shame and admiration as the Pharaoh reproaches them: "What will the whole earth say when it is known that you left me alone, and without any to succour me? that not a prince, not a charioteer, not a captain of archers, was found to place his hand in mine? I fought, I repulsed millions of people by myself alone. 'Victory-in-Thebes' and 'Nurit satisfied' were my glorious horses; it was they that I found under my hand when I was alone in the midst of the quaking foe. I myself will cause them to take their food before me, each day, when I shall be in my palace, for I was with them when I was in the midst of the enemy, along with the Prince Manna my shield-bearer, and with the officers of my house who accompanied me, and who are my witnesses for the combat; these are those whom I was with. I have returned after a victorious struggle, and I have smitten with my sword the assembled multitudes."
The ordeal was a terrible one for the Khati; but when the first moment of defeat was over, they again took courage and resumed the campaign. This single effort had not exhausted their resources, and they rapidly filled up the gaps which had been made in their ranks. The plains of Naharaim and the mountains of Cilicia supplied them with fresh chariots and foot-soldiers in the place of those they had lost, and bands of mercenaries were furnished from the table-lands of Asia Minor, so that when Ramses II. reappeared in Syria, he found himself confronted by a completely fresh army. Khatusaru, having profited by experience, did not again attempt a general engagement, but contented himself with disputing step by step the upper valleys of the Litany and Orontes. Meantime his emissaries spread themselves over Phoenicia and Kharu, sowing the seeds of rebellion, often only too successfully. In the king's VIIIth year there was a general rising in Galilee, and its towns -- Galaput in the hill-country of Bit-Aniti, Merorn, Shalama, Dapur, and Anamaim* -- had to be reduced one after another.
* Episodes from this war are represented at Karnak. The list of the towns taken, now much mutilated, comprised twenty- four names, which proves the importance of the revolt.
Dapur was the hardest to carry. It crowned the top of a rocky eminence, and was protected by a double wall, which followed the irregularities of the hillside. It formed a rallying-point for a large force, which had to be overcome in the open country before the investment of the town could be attempted. The siege was at last brought to a conclusion, after a series of skirmishes, and the town taken by scaling, four Egyptian princes having been employed in conducting the attack. In the Pharaoh's IXth year a revolt broke out on the Egyptian frontier, in the Shephelah, and the king placed himself at the head of his troops to crush it. Ascalon, in which the peasantry and their families had found, as they hoped, a safe refuge, opened its gates to the Pharaoh, and its fall brought about the submission of several neighbouring places. This, it appears, was the first time since the beginning of the conquests in Syria that the inhabitants of these regions attempted to take up arms, and we may well ask what could have induced them thus to renounce their ancient loyalty. Their defection reduced Egypt for the moment almost to her natural frontiers. Peace had scarcely been resumed when war again broke out with fresh violence in Coele-Syria, and one year it reached even to Naharaim, and raged around Tunipa as in the days of Thutmosis III. "Pharaoh assembled his foot-soldiers and chariots, and he commanded his foot-soldiers and his chariots to attack the perverse Khati who were in the neighbourhood of Tunipa, and he put on his armour and mounted his chariot, and he waged battle against the town of the perverse Khati at the head of his foot-soldiers and his chariots, covered with his armour;" the fortress, however, did not yield till the second attack. Ramses carried his arms still further afield, and with such results, that, to judge merely from the triumphal lists engraved on the walls of the temple of Karnak, the inhabitants on the banks of the Euphrates, those in Carchemish, Mitanni, Singar, Assyria, and Mannus found themselves once more at the mercy of the Egyptian battalions. These victories, however brilliant, were not decisive; if after any one of them the princes of Assyria and Singar may have sent presents to the Pharaoh, the Hittites, on the other hand, did not consider themselves beaten, and it was only after fifteen campaigns that they were at length sufficiently subdued to propose a treaty. At last, in the Egyptian king's XXIst year, on the 21st of the month Tybi, when the Pharaoh, then residing in his good town of Anakhitu, was returning from the temple where he had been offering prayers to his father Amon-Ea, to Harmakhis of Heliopolis, to Phtah, and to Sutkhu the valiant son of Nuit, Eamses, one of the "messengers" who filled the office of lieutenant for the king in Asia, arrived at the palace and presented to him Tartisubu, who was authorised to make peace with Egypt in the name of Khatusaru.* Tartisubu carried in his hand a tablet of silver, on which his master had prescribed the conditions which appeared to him just and equitable. A short preamble recalling the alliances made between the ancestors of both parties, was followed by a declaration of friendship, and a reciprocal obligation to avoid in future all grounds of hostility.
* The treaty of Ramses II. with the Prince of the Khati was sculptured at Karnak.
Not only was a perpetual truce declared between both peoples, but they agreed to help each other at the first demand. "Should some enemy march against the countries subject to the great King of Egypt, and should he send to the great Prince of the Khati, saying: 'Come, bring me forces against them,' the great Prince of the Khati shall do as he is asked by the great King of Egypt, and the great Prince of the Khati shall destroy his enemies. And if the great Prince of the Khati shall prefer not to come himself, he shall send his archers and his chariots to the great King of Egypt to destroy his enemies." A similar clause ensured aid in return from Ramses to Khatusaru, "his brother," while two articles couched in identical terms made provision against the possibility of any town or tribe dependent on either of the two sovereigns withdrawing its allegiance and placing it in the hands of the other party. In this case the Egyptians as well as the Hittites engaged not to receive, or at least not to accept, such offers, but to refer them at once to the legitimate lord. The whole treaty was placed under the guarantee of the gods both, of Egypt and of the Khati, whose names were given at length: "Whoever shall fail to observe the stipulations, let the thousand gods of Khati and the thousand gods of Egypt strike his house, his land, and his servants. But he who shall observe the stipulations engraved on the tablet of silver, whether he belong to the Hittite people or whether he belong to the people of Egypt, as he has not neglected them, may the thousand gods of Khati and the thousand gods of Egypt give him health, and grant that he may prosper, himself, the people of his house, and also his land and his servants." The treaty itself ends by a description of the plaque of silver on which it was engraved. It was, in fact, a facsimile in metal of one of those clay tablets on which the Chaldaeans inscribed their contracts. The preliminary articles occupied the upper part in closely written lines of cuneiform characters, while in the middle, in a space left free for the purpose, was the impress of two seals, that of the Prince of the Khati and of his wife Puukhipa. Khatusaru was represented on them as standing upright in the arms of Sutkhu, while around the two figures ran the inscription, "Seal of Sutkhu, the sovereign of heaven." Puukhipa leaned on the breast of a god, the patron of her native town of Aranna in Qaauadana, and the legend stated that this was the seal of the Sun of the town of Aranna, the regent of the earth. The text of the treaty was continued beneath, and probably extended to the other side of the tablet. The original draft had terminated after the description of the seals, but, to satisfy the Pharaoh, certain additional articles were appended for the protection of the commerce and industry of the two countries, for the prevention of the emigration of artisans, and for ensuring that steps taken against them should be more effectual and less cruel. Any criminal attempting to evade the laws of his country, and taking refuge in that of the other party to the agreement, was to be expelled without delay and consigned to the officers of his lord; any fugitive not a criminal, any subject carried off or detained by force, any able artisan quitting either territory to take up permanent residence in the other, was to be conducted to the frontier, but his act of folly was not to expose him to judicial condemnation. "He who shall thus act, his fault shall not be brought up against him; his house shall not be touched, nor his wife, nor his children; he shall not have his throat cut, nor shall his eyes be touched, nor his mouth, nor his feet; no criminal accusation shall be made against him."
This treaty is the most ancient of all those of which the text has come down to us; its principal conditions were -- perfect equality and reciprocity between the contracting sovereigns, an offensive and defensive alliance, and the extradition of criminals and refugees. The original was drawn up in Chaldaean script by the scribes of Khatusaru, probably on the model of former conventions between the Pharaohs and the Asiatic courts, and to this the Egyptian ministers had added a few clauses relative to the pardon of emigrants delivered up by one or other of the contracting parties. When, therefore, Tartisubu arrived in the city of Eamses, the acceptance of the treaty was merely a matter of form, and peace was virtually concluded. It did not confer on the conqueror the advantages which we might have expected from his successful campaigns: it enjoined, on the contrary, the definite renunciation of those countries, Mitanni, Naharaim, Alasia, and Amurru, over which Thutmosis III. and his immediate successors had formerly exercised an effective sovereignty. Sixteen years of victories had left matters in the same state as they were after the expedition of Harmhabi, and, like his predecessor, Ramses was able to retain merely those Asiatic provinces which were within the immediate influence of Egypt, such as the Phoenician coast proper, Kharu, Persea beyond Jordan, the oases of the Arabian desert, and the peninsula of Sinai.*
* The Anastasi Papyrus I. mentions a place called Zaru of Sesostris, in the neighbourhood of Aleppo, in a part of Syria which was not in Egyptian territory: the frontier in this locality must have passed between Arvad and Byblos on the coast, and between Qodshu and Hazor from Merom inland. Egyptian rule on the other side of the Jordan seems to be proved by the monument discovered a few years ago in the Hauran, and known under the name of the "Stone of Job" by the Bedawin of the neighbourhood.
This apparently unsatisfactory result, after such supreme efforts, was, however, upon closer examination, not so disappointing. For more than half a century at least, since the Hittite kingdom had been developed and established under the impulse given to it by Sapalulu, everything had been in its favour. The campaign of Seti had opposed merely a passing obstacle to its expansion, and had not succeeded in discouraging its ambitions, for its rulers still nursed the hope of being able one day to conquer Syria as far as the isthmus. The check received at Qodshu, the abortive attempts to foment rebellion in Galilee and the Shephelah, the obstinate persistence with which Ramses and his army returned year after year to the attack, the presence of the enemy at Tunipa, on the banks of the Euphrates, and in the provinces then forming the very centre of the Hittite kingdom -- in short, all the incidents of this long struggle -- at length convinced Khatusaru that he was powerless to extend his rule in this direction at the expense of Egypt. Moreover, we have no knowledge of the events which occupied him on the other frontiers of his kingdom, where he may have been engaged at the same time in a conflict with Assyria, or in repelling an incursion of the tribes on the Black Sea. The treaty with Pharaoh, if made in good faith and likely to be lasting, would protect the southern extremities of his kingdom, and allow of his removing the main body of his forces to the north and east in case of attack from either of these quarters. The security which such an alliance would ensure made it, therefore, worth his while to sue for peace, even if the Egyptians should construe his overtures as an acknowledgment of exhausted supplies or of inferiority of strength. Ramses doubtless took it as such, and openly displayed on the walls at Karnak and in the Eamesseum a copy of the treaty so flattering to his pride, but the indomitable resistance which he had encountered had doubtless given rise to reflections resembling those of Khatusaru, and he had come to realise that it was his own interest not to lightly forego the good will of the Khati. Egypt had neighbours in Africa who were troublesome though not dangerous: the Timihu, the Tihonu, the Mashuasha, the of Kush and of Puanit, might be a continual source of annoyance and disturbance, even though they were incapable of disturbing her supremacy. The coast of the Delta, it is true, was exposed to the piracy of northern nations, but up to that time this had been merely a local trouble, easy to meet if not to obviate altogether. The only real danger was on the Asiatic side, arising from empires of ancient constitution like Chaldaea, or from hordes who, arriving at irregular intervals from the north, and carrying all before them, threatened, after the example of the Hyksos, to enter the Delta. The Hittite kingdom acted as a kind of buffer between the Nile valley and these nations, both civilized and barbarous; it was a strongly armed force on the route of the invaders, and would henceforth serve as a protecting barrier, through which if the enemy were able to pass it would only be with his strength broken or weakened by a previous encounter. The sovereigns loyally observed the peace which they had sworn to each other, and in his XXXIVth year the marriage of Ramses with the eldest daughter of Khatusaru strengthened their friendly relations.
[Illustration: 214.jpg KHATUSARU, PRINCE OF KHATI, AND HIS DAUGHTER]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the plate in Lepsius; the triad worshipped by Khatusaru and his daughter is composed of Ramses II., seated between Amon-Ra and Phtah-Totunen.
Pharaoh was not a little proud of this union, and he has left us a naive record of the manner in which it came about. The inscription is engraved on the face of the rock at Abu Simbel in Nubia; and Ramses begins by boasting, in a heroic strain, of his own energy and exploits, of the fear with which his victories inspired the whole world, and of the anxiety of the Syrian kinglets to fulfil his least wishes. The Prince of the Khati had sent him sumptuous presents at every opportunity, and, not knowing how further to make himself agreeable to the Pharaoh, had finally addressed the great lords of his court, and reminded them how their country had formerly been ruined by war, how their master Sutkhu had taken part against them, and how they had been delivered from their ills by the clemency of the Sun of Egypt. "Let us therefore take our goods, and placing my eldest daughter at the head of them, let us repair to the domains of the great god, so that the King Sesostris may recognise us." He accordingly did as he had proposed, and the embassy set out with gold and silver, valuable horses, and an escort of soldiers, together with cattle and provisions to supply them with food by the way. When they reached the borders of Kharu, the governor wrote immediately to the Pharaoh as follows: "Here is the Prince of the Khati, who brings his eldest daughter with a number of presents of every kind; and now this princess and the chief of the country of the Khati, after having crossed many mountains and undertaken a difficult journey from distant parts, have arrived at the frontiers of His Majesty. May we be instructed how we ought to act with regard to them." The king was then in residence at Ramses. When the news reached him, he officially expressed his great joy at the event, since it was a thing unheard of in the annals of the country that so powerful a prince should go to such personal inconvenience in order to marry his daughter to an ally. The Pharaoh, therefore, despatched his nobles and an army to receive them, but he was careful to conceal the anxiety which he felt all the while, and, according to custom, took counsel of his patron god Sutkhu: "Who are these people who come with a message at this time to the country of Zahi?" The oracle, however, reassured him as to their intentions, and he thereupon hastened to prepare for their proper reception. The embassy made a triumphal entry into the city, the princess at its head, escorted by the Egyptian troops told off for the purpose, together with the foot-soldiers and charioteers of the Khati, comprising the flower of their army and militia. A solemn festival was held in their honour, in which food and drink were served without stint, and was concluded by the celebration of the marriage in the presence of the Egyptian lords and of the princes of the whole earth.*
* The fact of the marriage is known to us by the decree of Phtah Totunen at Abu Simbel in the XXXVth year of the king's reign. The account of it in the text is taken from the stele at Abu Simbel. The last lines are so mutilated that I have been obliged to paraphrase them. The stele of the Princess of Bakhtan has preserved the romantic version of this marriage, such as was current about the Saite period. The King of the Khati must have taken advantage of the
Ramses, unwilling to relegate a princess of such noble birth to the companionship of his ordinary concubines, granted her the title of queen, as if she were of solar blood, and with the cartouche gave her the new name of Uirimaunofiruri -- "She who sees the beauties of the Sun." She figures henceforth in the ceremonies and on the monuments in the place usually occupied by women of Egyptian race only, and these unusual honours may have compensated, in the eyes of the young princess, for the disproportion in age between herself and a veteran more than sixty years old. The friendly relations between the two courts became so intimate that the Pharaoh invited his father-in-law to visit him in his own country. "The great Prince of Khati informed the Prince of Qodi: 'Prepare thyself that we may go down into Egypt. The word of the king has gone forth, let us obey Sesostris. He gives the breath of life to those who love him; hence all the earth loves him, and Khati forms but one with him.'" They were received with pomp at Ramses-Anakhitu, and perhaps at Thebes. It was with a mixture of joy and astonishment that Egypt beheld her bitterest foe become her most faithful ally, "and the men of Qimit having but one heart with the chiefs of the Khati, a thing which had not happened since the ages of Pa."
The half-century following the conclusion of this alliance was a period of world-wide prosperity. Syria was once more able to breathe freely, her commerce being under the combined protection of the two powers who shared her territory. Not only caravans, but isolated travellers, were able to pass through the country from north to south without incurring any risks beyond those occasioned by an untrustworthy guide or a few highwaymen. It became in time a common task in the schools of Thebes to describe the typical Syrian tour of some soldier or functionary, and we still possess one of these imaginative stories in which the scribe takes his hero from Qodshu across the Lebanon to Byblos, Berytus, Tyre, and Sidon, "the fish" of which latter place "are more numerous than the grains of sand;" he then makes him cross Galilee and the forest of oaks to Jaffa, climb the mountains of the Dead Sea, and following the maritime route by Raphia, reach Pelusium. The Egyptian galleys thronged the Phoenician ports, while those of Phoenicia visited Egypt. The latter drew so little water that they had no difficulty in coming up the Nile, and the paintings in one of the tombs represent them at the moment of their reaching Thebes. The hull of these vessels was similar to that of the Nile boats, but the bow and stern were terminated by structures which rose at right angles, and respectively gave support to a sort of small platform. Upon this the pilot maintained his position by one of those wondrous feats of equilibrium of which the Orientals were masters.
[Illustration: 218.jpg PHOENICIAN BOATS LANDING AT THEBES]
Drawn by Boudier, from the photograph published by Daressy.
An open rail ran round the sides of the vessel, so as to prevent goods stowed upon the deck from falling into the sea when the vessel lurched. Voyages to Puanit were undertaken more frequently in quest of incense and precious metals. The working of the mines of Akiti had been the source of considerable outlay at the beginning of the reign. The measures taken by Seti to render the approaches to them practicable at all seasons had not produced the desired results; as far back as the IIIrd year of Ramses the overseers of the south had been forced to acknowledge that the managers of the convoys could no longer use any of the cisterns which had been hewn and built at such great expense. "Half of them die of thirst, together with their asses, for they have no means of carrying a sufficient number of skins of water to last during the journey there and back." The friends and officers whose advice had been called in, did not doubt for a moment that the king would be willing to complete the work which his father had merely initiated. "If thou sayest to the water, 'Come upon the mountain,' the heavenly waters will spring out at the word of thy mouth, for thou art Ra incarnate, Khopri visibly created, thou art the living image of thy father Tumu, the Heliopolitan." -- "If thou thyself sayest to thy father the Nile, father of the gods," added the Viceroy of Ethiopia, "'Raise the water up to the mountain,' he will do all that thou hast said, for so it has been with all thy projects which have been accomplished in our presence, of which the like has never been heard, even in the songs of the poets." The cisterns and wells were thereupon put into such a condition that the transport of gold was rendered easy for years to come. The war with the Khati had not suspended building and other works of public utility; and now, owing to the establishment of peace, the sovereign was able to devote himself entirely to them. He deepened the canal at Zalu; he repaired the walls and the fortified places which protected the frontier on the side of the Sinaitic Peninsula, and he built or enlarged the strongholds along the Nile at those points most frequently threatened by the incursions of nomad tribes. Ramses was the royal builder par excellence, and we may say without fear of contradiction that, from the second cataract to the mouths of the Nile, there is scarcely an edifice on whose ruins we do not find his name. In Nubia, where the desert approaches close to the Nile, he confined himself to cutting in the solid rock the monuments which, for want of space, he could not build in the open. The idea of the cave-temple must have occurred very early to the Egyptians; they were accustomed to house their dead in the mountain-side, why then should they not house their gods in the same manner? The oldest forms of speos, those near to Beni-Hasan, at Deir el-Bahari, at Bl-Kab, and at Gebel Silsileh, however, do not date further back than the time of the XVIIIth dynasty. All the forms of architectural plan observed in isolated temples were utilised by Ramses and applied to rock-cut buildings with more or less modification, according to the nature of the stratum in which he had to work. Where space permitted, a part only of the temple was cut in the rock, and the approaches to it were built in the open air with blocks brought to the spot, so that the completed speos became only in part a grotto -- a hemi-speos of varied construction. It was in this manner that the architects of Ramses arranged the court and pylon at Beit-Wally, the hypostyle hall, rectangular court and pylon at Gerf-Hossein, and the avenue of sphinxes at Wady es-Sebuah, where the entrance to the avenue was guarded by two statues overlooking the river. The pylon at Gerf-Hossein has been demolished, and merely a few traces of the foundations appear here and there above the soil, but a portion of the portico which surrounded the court is still standing, together with its massive architraves and statues, which stand with their backs against the pillars.
[Illustration: 221.jpg THE PROJECTING COLUMNS OF THE SPEOS OF GERF-HOSSEIN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
The sanctuary itself comprised an antechamber, supported by two columns and flanked by two oblong recesses; this led into the Holy of Holies, which was a narrow niche with a low ceiling, placed between two lateral chapels. A hall, nearly square in shape, connected these mysterious chambers with the propylaea, which were open to the sky and faced with Osiride caryatides.
[Illustration: 221.jpg THE CARYATIDES OF GERF-HOSSEIN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger and Daniel Heron.
These appear to keep rigid and solemn watch over the approaches to the tabernacle, and their faces, half hidden in the shadow, still present such a stern appearance that the semi-barbaric Nubians of the neighbouring villages believe them to be possessed by implacable genii. They are supposed to move from their places during the hours of night, and the fire which flashes from their eyes destroys or fascinates whoever is rash enough to watch them.
Other kings before Ramses had constructed buildings in these spots, and their memory would naturally become associated with his in the future; he wished, therefore, to find a site where he would be without a rival, and to this end he transformed the cliff at Abu Simbel into a monument of his greatness. The rocks here project into the Nile and form a gigantic conical promontory, the face of which was covered with triumphal stelae, on which the sailors or troops going up or down the river could spell out as they passed the praises of the king and his exploits. A few feet of shore on the northern side, covered with dry and knotty bushes, affords in winter a landing-place for tourists. At the spot where the beach ends near the point of the promontory, sit four colossi, with their feet nearly touching the water, their backs leaning against a sloping wall of rock, which takes the likeness of a pylon. A band of hieroglyphs runs above their heads underneath the usual cornice, over which again is a row of crouching cynocephali looking straight before them, their hands resting upon their knees, and above this line of sacred images rises the steep and naked rock. One of the colossi is broken, and the bust of the statue, which must have been detached by some great shock, has fallen to the ground; the others rise to the height of 63 feet, and appear to look across the Nile as if watching the wadys leading to the gold-mines.
[Illustration 224.jpg THE TWO COLOSSI OF ABU SIMBEL TO THE SOUTH OF THE DOORWAY]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger and Daniel Heron.
The pschent crown surmounts their foreheads, and the two ends of the head-dress fall behind their ears; their features are of a noble type, calm and serious; the nose slightly aquiline, the under lip projecting above a square, but rather heavy, chin. Of such a type we may picture Ramses, after the conclusion of the peace with the Khati, in the full vigour of his manhood and at the height of his power.
[Illustration: 225.jpg THE INTERIOR OF THE SPEOS OF ABU SIMBEL]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger and Daniel Heron.
The doorway of the temple is in the centre of the facade, and rises nearly to a level with the elbows of the colossi; above the lintel, and facing the river, stands a figure of the god Ra, represented with a human body and the head of a sparrow-hawk, while two images of the king in profile, one on each side of the god, offer him a figure of Truth. The first hall, 130 feet long by 58 feet broad, takes the place of the court surrounded by a colonnade which in other temples usually follows the pylon. Her eight Osiride figures, standing against as many square pillars, appear to support the weight of the superincumbent rock. Their profile catches the light as it enters through the open doorway, and in the early morning, when the rising sun casts a ruddy ray over their features, their faces become marvellously life-like. We are almost tempted to think that a smile plays over their lips as the first beams touch them. The remaining chambers consist of a hypostyle hall nearly square in shape, the sanctuary itself being between two smaller apartments, and of eight subterranean chambers excavated at a lower level than the rest of the temple. The whole measures 178 feet from the threshold to the far end of the Holy of Holies. The walls are covered with bas-reliefs in which the Pharaoh has vividly depicted the wars which he carried on in the four corners of his kingdom; here we see raids against the , there the war with the Khati, and further on an encounter with some Libyan tribe. Ramses, flushed by the heat of victory, is seen attacking two Timihu chiefs: one has already fallen to the ground and is being trodden underfoot; the other, after vainly letting fly his arrows, is about to perish from a blow of the conqueror.
[Illustration: 228.jpg THE FACE OF THE ROCK AT ABU SIMGEL]
His knees give way beneath him, his head falls heavily backwards, and the features are contracted in his death-agony. Pharaoh with his left hand has seized him by the arm, while with his right he points his lance against his enemy's breast, and is about to pierce him through the heart. As a rule, this type of bas-relief is executed with a conventional grace which leaves the spectator unmoved, and free to consider the scene merely from its historical point of view, forgetful of the artist.
[Illustration: 229.jpg RAMSES II. PIERCES a Libyan chief with his lance]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Mons. do Bock.
An examination of most of the other wall-decorations of the speos will furnish several examples of this type: we see Ramses with a suitable gesture brandishing his weapon above a group of prisoners, and the composition furnishes us with a fair example of official sculpture, correct, conventional, but devoid of interest. Here, on the contrary, the drawing is so full of energy that it carries the imagination hack to the time and scene of those far-off battles.
[Illustration: 230.jpg RAMSES II. STRIKES A GROUP OF PRISONERS]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger.
The indistinct light in which it is seen helps the illusion, and we almost forget that it is a picture we are beholding, and not the action itself as it took place some three thousand years ago. A small speos, situated at some hundred feet further north, is decorated with standing colossi of smaller size, four of which represent Ramses, and two of them his wife, Isit Nofritari. This speos possesses neither peristyle nor crypt, and the chapels are placed at the two extremities of the transverse passage, instead of being in a parallel line with the sanctuary; on the other hand, the hypostyle hall rests on six pillars with Hathor-headed capitals of fine proportions.
[Illustration: 231.jpg THE FACADE OF THE LITTLE SPEOS OF HAUTHOR AT ABU SIMBEL]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the plates in Champollion.
A third excavated grotto of modest dimensions served as an accessory chamber to the two others. An inexhaustible stream of yellow sand poured over the great temple from the summit of the cliff, and partially covered it every year. No sooner were the efforts to remove it relaxed, than it spreads into the chambers, concealing the feet of the colossi, and slowly creeping upwards to their knees, breasts, and necks; at the beginning of this century they were entirely hidden. In spite of all that was done to divert it, it ceaselessly reappeared, and in a few summers regained all the ground which had been previously cleared. It would seem as if the desert, powerless to destroy the work of the conqueror, was seeking nevertheless to hide it from the admiration of posterity.*
* The English engineers have succeeded in barring out the sand, and have prevented it from pouring over the cliff any more. -- Ed.
Seti had worked indefatigably at Thebes, but the shortness of his reign prevented him from completing the buildings he had begun there. There existed everywhere, at Luxor, at Karnak, and on the left bank of the Nile, the remains of his unfinished works; sanctuaries partially roofed in, porticoes incomplete, columns raised to merely half their height, halls as yet imperfect with blank walls, here and there covered with only the outlines in red and black ink of their future bas-reliefs, and statues hardly blocked out, or awaiting the final touch of the polisher.*
* This is the description which Ramses gave of the condition in which he found the Memnonium of Abydos. An examination of the inscriptions existing in the Theban temples which Seti I. had constructed, shows that it must have applied also to the appearance of certain portions of Qurneh, Luxor, and Karnak in the time of Ramses II.
Ramses took up the work where his father had relinquished it. At Luxor there was not enough space to give to the hypostyle hall the extension which the original plans proposed, and the great colonnade has an unfinished appearance.
[Illustration: 230.jpg COLUMNS OF TEMPLE AT LUXOR]
The Nile, in one of its capricious floods, had carried away the land upon which the architects had intended to erect the side aisles; and if they wished to add to the existing structure a great court and a pylon, without which no temple was considered complete, it was necessary to turn the axis of the building towards the east.
[Illustration: 233.jpg THE CHAPEL OF THUTMOSIS III. AND ONE OF THE PYLONS OF RAMSES II. AT LUXOR]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
In their operations the architects came upon a beautiful little edifice of rose granite, which had been either erected or restored by Thutmosis III. at a time when the town was an independent municipality and was only beginning to extend its suburban dwellings to meet those of Karnak. They took care to make no change in this structure, but set to work to incorporate it into their final plans. It still stands at the north-west corner of the court, and the elegance of its somewhat slender little columns contrasts happily with the heaviness of the structure to which it is attached. A portion of its portico is hidden by the brickwork of the mosque of Abu'l Haggag: the part brought to light in the course of the excavations contains between each row of columns a colossal statue of Ramses II. We are accustomed to hear on all sides of the degeneracy of the sculptor's art at this time, and of its having fallen into irreparable neglect. Nothing can be further from the truth than this sweeping statement. There are doubtless many statues and bas-reliefs of this epoch which shock us by their crudity and ugliness, but these owed their origin for the most part to provincial workshops which had been at all times of mediocre repute, and where the artists did not receive orders enough to enable them to correct by practice the defects of their education. We find but few productions of the Theban school exhibiting bad technique, and if we had only this one monument of Luxor from which to form our opinion of its merits, it would be sufficient to prove that the sculptors of Ramses II. were not a whit behind those of Harmham or Seti I. Adroitness in cutting the granite or hard sandstone had in no wise been lost, and the same may be said of the skill in bringing out the contour and life-like action of the figure, and of the art of infusing into the features and demeanour of the Pharaoh something of the superhuman majesty with which the Egyptian people were accustomed to invest their monarchs. If the statues of Ramses II. in the portico are not perfect models of sculpture, they have many good points, and their bold treatment makes them effectively decorative.
[Illustration: 235.jpg THE COLONNADE OF SETI I. AND THE THREE COLOSSAL STATUES OF RAMSES II. AT LUXOR]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
Eight other statues of Ramses are arranged along the base of the facade, and two obelisks -- one of which has been at Paris for half a century* -- stood on either side of the entrance.
* The colonnade and the little temple of Thutmosis III. were concealed under the houses of the village; they were first brought to light in the excavations of 1884-86.
The whole structure lacks unity, and there is nothing corresponding to it in this respect anywhere else in Egypt. The northern half does not join on to the southern, but seems to belong to quite a distinct structure, or the two parts might be regarded as having once formed a single edifice which had become divided by an accident, which the architect had endeavoured to unite together again by a line of columns running between two walls. The masonry of the hypostyle hall at Karnak was squared and dressed, but the walls had been left undecorated, as was also the case with the majority of the shafts of the columns and the surface of the architraves. Ramses covered the whole with a series of sculptured and painted scenes which had a rich ornamental effect; he then decorated the pylon, and inscribed on the outer wall to the south the list of cities which he had captured. The temple of Amon then assumed the aspect which it preserved henceforward for centuries. The Ramessides and their successors occupied themselves in filling it with furniture, and in taking steps for the repair of any damage that might accrue to the hall or pillars; they had their cartouches or inscriptions placed in vacant spaces, but they did not dare to modify its arrangement. It was reserved for the Ethiopian and Greek Pharaohs, in presence of the hypostyle and pylon of the XIXth dynasty, to conceive of others on a still vaster scale.
[Illustration: 236.jpg PAINTINGS OF CHAIRS]
Ramses, having completed the funerary chapel of Seti at Qurneh upon the left bank of the river, then began to think of preparing the edifice destined for the cult of his "double" -- that Eamesseum whose majestic ruins still stand at a short distance to the north of the giants of Amenothes. Did these colossal statues stimulate his spirit of emulation to do something yet more marvellous? He erected here, at any rate, a still more colossal figure. The earthquake which shattered Memnon brought it to the ground, and fragments of it still strew the soil where they fell some nineteen centuries ago. There are so many of them that the spectator would think himself in the middle of a granite quarry.*
* The ear measures 3 feet 4 inches (feet ?) in length; the statue is 58 feet high from the top of the head to the sole of the foot, and the weight of the whole has been estimated at over a thousand tons.
[Illustration: 237.jpg THE REMAINS OF THE COLOSSAL STATUE OF RAMSES II. AT THE RAMESSEUM]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato
The portions forming the breast, arms, and thighs are in detached pieces, but they are still recognisable where they lie close to each other. The head has lost nothing of its characteristic expression, and its proportions are so enormous, that a man could sleep crouched up in the hollow of one of its ears as if on a sofa. Behind the court overlooked by this colossal statue lay a second court, surrounded by a row of square pillars, each having a figure of Osiris attached to it. The god is represented as a mummy, the swathings throwing the body and limbs into relief.
[Illustration: 238.jpg THE RAMESSEUM]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato; the great blocks in the foreground are the fragments of the colossal statue of Ramses II.
His hands are freed from the bandages and are crossed on the breast, and hold respectively the flail and crook; the smiling face is surmounted by an enormous head-dress. The sanctuary with the buildings attached to it has perished, but enormous brick structures extend round the ruins, forming an enclosure of storehouses. Here the priests of the "double" were accustomed to dwell with their wives and slaves, and here they stored up the products of their domains -- meat, vegetables, corn, fowls dried or preserved in fat, and wines procured from all the vineyards of Egypt.
These were merely the principal monuments put up by Ramses II. at Thebes during the sixty-seven years of his rule. There would be no end to the enumeration of his works if we were to mention all the other edifices which he constructed in the necropolis or among the dwellings of the living, all those which he restored, or those which he merely repaired or inscribed with his cartouches. These are often cut over the name of the original founder, and his usurpations of monuments are so numerous that he might be justly accused of having striven to blot out the memory of his predecessors, and of claiming for himself the entire work of the whole line of Pharaohs. It would seem as if, in his opinion, the glory of Egypt began with him, or at least with his father, and that no victorious campaigns had been ever heard of before those which he conducted against the Libyans and the Hittites.
The battle of Qodshu, with its attendant episodes -- the flogging of the spies, the assault upon the camp, the charge of the chariots, the flight of the Syrians -- is the favourite subject of his inscriptions; and the poem of Pentauirit adds to the bas-reliefs a description worthy of the acts represented. This epic reappears everywhere, in Nubia and in the Said, at Abu Simbel, at Beit-Wally, at Derr, at Luxor, at Karnak, and on the Eamesseum, and the same battle-scenes, with the same accompanying texts, reappear in the Memnonium, whose half-ruined walls still crown the necropolis of Abydos.
[Illustration: 240.jpg THE RUINS OF THE MEMNONIUM OF RAMSES II. AT ABYDOS]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
He had decided upon the erection of this latter monument at the very beginning of his reign, and the artisans who had worked at the similar structure of Seti I. were employed to cover its walls with admirable bas-reliefs. Ramses also laid claim to have his own resting-place at "the Cleft;" in this privilege he associated all the Pharaohs, from whom he imagined himself to be descended, and the same list of their names, which we find engraved in the chapel of his father, appears on his building also. Some ruins, lying beyond Abydos, are too formless to do more than indicate the site of some of his structures. He enlarged the temple of Harshafitu and that of Osiris at Heracleopolis, and, to accomplish these works the more promptly, his workmen had recourse for material to the royal towns of the IVth and XIIth dynasties; the pyramids of Usirtasen II. and Snofrui at Medum suffered accordingly the loss of the best part of their covering. He finished the mausoleum at Memphis, and dedicated the statue which Seti had merely blocked out; he then set to work to fill the city with buildings of his own device -- granite and sandstone chambers to the east of the Sacred Lake,* monumental gateways to the south,** and before one of them a fine colossal figure in granite.*** It lay not long ago at the bottom of a hole among the palm trees, and was covered by the inundation every year; it has now been so raised as to be safe from the waters. Ramses could hardly infuse new life into all the provinces which had been devastated years before by the Shepherd-kings; but Heliopolis,**** Bubastes, Athribis, Patumu, Mendis, Tell Moqdam, and all the cities of the eastern corner of the Delta, constitute a museum of his monuments, every object within them testifying to his activity.
* Partly excavated and published by Mariette, and partly by M. de Morgan. This is probably the temple mentioned in the Great Inscription of Abu Simbel.
** These are probably those mentioned by Herodotus, when he says that Sesostris constructed a propylon in the temple of Hephaistos.
*** This is Abu-1-hol of the Arabs.
**** Ruins of the temple of Ra bear the cartouche of Ramses II. "Cleopatra's Needle," transported to Alexandria by one of the Ptolemies, had been set up by Ramses at Heliopolis; it is probably one of the four obelisks which the
He colonised these towns with his prisoners, rebuilt them, and set to work to rouse them from the torpor into which they had fallen after their capture by Ahmosis. He made a third capital of Tanis, which rivalled both Memphis and Thebes.
[Illustration: 242.jpg THE COLOSSAL STATUE OF RAMSES II. AT MITRAHINEH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph brought back by Benedite.
Before this it had been little more than a deserted ruin: he cleared out the debris, brought a population to the place; rebuilt the temple, enlarging it by aisles which extended its area threefold; and here he enthroned, along with the local divinities, a triad, in which Amonra and Sutkhu sat side by side with his own deified "double." The ruined walls, the overturned stelae, the obelisks recumbent in the dust, and the statues of his usurped predecessors, all bear his name. His colossal figure of statuary sandstone, in a sitting attitude like that at the Eamesseum, projected from the chief court, and seemed to look down upon the confused ruin of his works.*
* The fragments of the colossus were employed in the Graeco- Roman period as building material, and used in the masonry of a boundary wall.
We do not know how many wives he had in his harem, but one of the lists of his children which has come down to us enumerates, although mutilated at the end, one hundred and eleven sons, while of his daughters we know of fifty-five.*
* The list of Abydos enumerates thirty-three of his sons and thirty-two of his daughters, that of Wady-Sebua one hundred and eleven of his sons and fifty-one of his daughters; both lists are mutilated. The remaining lists for the most part record only some of the children living at the time they were drawn up, at Derr, at the Eamesseum, and at Abu Simbel.
The majority of these were the offspring of mere concubines or foreign princesses, and possessed but a secondary rank in comparison with himself; but by his union with his sisters Nofritari Maritmut and Isitnofrit, he had at least half a dozen sons and daughters who might aspire to the throne. Death robbed him of several of these before an opportunity was open to them to succeed him, and among them Amenhikhopshuf, Amenhiunamif, and Ramses, who had distinguished themselves in the campaign against the Khati; and some of his daughters -- Bitaniti, Maritamon, Nibittaui -- by becoming his wives lost their right to the throne. About the XXXth year of his reign, when he was close upon sixty, he began to think of an associate, and his choice rested on the eldest surviving son of his queen Isitnofrit, who was called Khamoisit. This prince was born before the succession of his father, and had exhibited distinguished bravery under the walls of Qodshu and at Ascalon. When he was still very young he had been invested with the office of high priest of the Memphite Phtah, and thus had secured to him the revenues of the possessions of the god, which were the largest in all Egypt after those of the Theban Anion. He had a great reputation for his knowledge of abstruse theological questions and of the science of magic -- a later age attributing to him the composition of several books on magic giving directions for the invocation of spirits belonging to this world and the world beyond. He became the hero also of fantastic romances, in which it was related of him how, in consequence of his having stolen from the mummy of an old wizard the books of Thot, he became the victim of possession by a sort of lascivious and sanguinary ghoul. Ramses relieved himself of the cares of state by handing over to Khamoisifc the government of the country, without, however, conferring upon him the titles and insignia of royalty. The chief concern of Khamoisit was to secure the scrupulous observance of the divine laws. He celebrated at Silsilis the festivals of the inundation; he presided at the commemoration of his father's apotheosis, and at the funeral rites of the Apis who died in the XXXth year of the king's reign. Before his time each sacred bull had its separate tomb in a quarter of the Memphite Necropolis known to the Greeks as the Serapeion. The tomb was a small cone-roofed building erected on a square base, and containing only one chamber. Khamoisit substituted for this a rock-tomb similar to those used by ordinary individuals. He had a tunnel cut in the solid rock to a depth of about a hundred yards, and on either side of this a chamber was prepared for each Apis on its death, the masons closing up the wall after the installation of the mummy. His regency had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century, when, the burden of government becoming too much for him, he was succeeded in the LVth year of Ramses by his younger brother Minephtah, who was like himself a son of Isitnofrit.* Minephtah acted, during the first twelve years of his rule, for his father, who, having now almost attained the age of a hundred, passed peacefully away at Thebes in the LXVIII year of his reign, full of days and sated with glory.** He became the subject of legend almost before he had closed his eyes upon the world.
* Minephtah was in the order of birth the thirteenth son of Ramses II.
** A passage on a stele of Ramses IV. formally attributes to him a reign of sixty-seven years. I procured at Koptos a stele of his year LXVI.
[Illustration: 245.jpg THE CHAPEL OF THE APIS OF AMEKOTHES III.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Mariette.
He had obtained brilliant successes during his life, and the scenes describing them were depicted in scores of places. Popular fancy believed everything which he had related of himself, and added to this all that it knew of other kings, thus making him the Pharaoh of Pharaohs -- the embodiment of all preceding monarchs. Legend preferred to recall him by the name Sesusu, Sesusturi -- a designation which had been applied to him by his contemporaries, and he thus became better known to moderns as Sesostris than by his proper name Ramses Miamun.*
* This designation, which is met with at Medinet-Habu and in the Anmtasi Papyrus I., was shown by E. de Rouge to refer to Ramses II.; the various readings Sesu, Sesusu, Sesusturi, explain the different forms Sesosis, Sesoosis, Sesostris. Wiedemann saw in this name the mention of a king of the XVIIIth dynasty not yet classified.
According to tradition, he was at first sent to Ethiopia with a fleet of four hundred ships, by which he succeeded in conquering the coasts of the Red Sea as far as the Indus. In later times several stelae in the cinnamon country were ascribed to him. He is credited after this with having led into the east a great army, with which he conquered Syria, Media, Persia, Bactriana, and India as far as the ocean; and with having on his return journey through the deserts of Scythia reached the Don [Tanais], where, on the shore of the Masotic Sea, he left a number of his soldiers, whose descendants afterwards peopled Colchis. It was even alleged that he had ventured into Europe, but that the lack of provisions and the inclemency of the climate had prevented him from advancing further than Thrace.
[Illustration: 246.jpg STATUE OF KHAMOISIT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a statue in the British Museum.
He returned to Egypt after an absence of nine years, and after having set up on his homeward journey statues and stelae everywhere in commemoration of his victories. Herodotus asserts that he himself had seen several of these monuments in his travels in Syria and Ionia. Some of these are of genuine Egyptian manufacture, and are to be attributed to our Ramses; they are to be found near Tyre, and on the banks of the Nahr el-Kelb, where they mark the frontier to which his empire extended in this direction. Others have but little resemblance to Egyptian monuments, and were really the work of the Asiatic peoples among whom they were found. The two figures referred to long ago by Herodotus, which have been discovered near Ninfi between Sardis and Smyrna, are instances of the latter.
[Illustration: 247.jpg STELE OF THE NAHR EL-KELB]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.
The shoes of the figures are turned up at the toe, and the head-dress has more resemblance to the high hats of the people of Asia Minor than to the double crown of Egypt, while the lower garment is striped horizontally in place of vertically. The inscription, moreover, is in an Asiatic form of writing, and has nothing Egyptian about it. Ramses II. in his youth was the handsomest man of his time. He was tall and straight; his figure was well moulded -- the shoulders broad, the arms full and vigorous, the legs muscular; the face was oval, with a firm and smiling mouth, a thin aquiline nose, and large open eyes.
[Illustration: 248.jpg THE BAS-BELIEF OF NINFI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.
[Illustration: 249.jpg THE COFFIN AND MUMMY OF RAMSES II]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph taken from the mummy itself, by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
There may be seen below the cartouche the lines of the official report of inspection written during the XXIst dynasty. Old age and death did not succeed in marring the face sufficiently to disfigure it. The coffin containing his body is not the same as that in which his children placed him on the day of his obsequies; it is another substituted for it by one of the Ramessides, and the mask upon it has but a distant resemblance to the face of the victorious Pharaoh. The mummy is thin, much shrunken, and light; the bones are brittle, and the muscles atrophied, as one would expect in the case of a man who had attained the age of a hundred; but the figure is still tall and of perfect proportions.*
* Even after the coalescence of the vertebrae and the shrinkage produced by mummification, the body of Ramses II. still measures over 5 feet 8 inches.
The head, which is bald on the top, is somewhat long, and small in relation to the bulk of the body; there is but little hair on the forehead, but at the back of the head it is thick, and in smooth stiff locks, still preserving its white colour beneath the yellow balsams of his last toilet. The forehead is low, the supra-orbital ridges accentuated, the eyebrows thick, the eyes small and set close to the nose, the temples hollow, the cheek-bones prominent; the ears, finely moulded, stand out from the head, and are pierced, like those of a woman, for the usual ornaments pendant from the lobe. A strong jaw and square chin, together, with a large thick-lipped mouth, which reveals through the black paste within it a few much-worn but sound teeth, make up the features of the mummied king. His moustache and beard, which were closely shaven in his lifetime, had grown somewhat in his last sickness or after his death; the coarse and thick hairs in them, white like those of the head and eyebrows, attain a length of two or three millimetres. The skin shows an ochreous yellow colour under the black bituminous plaster. The mask of the mummy, in fact, gives a fair idea of that of the living king; the somewhat unintelligent expression, slightly brutish perhaps, but haughty and firm of purpose, displays itself with an air of royal majesty beneath the sombre materials used by the embalmer. The disappearance of the old hero did not produce many changes in the position of affairs in Egypt: Minephtah from this time forth possessed as Pharaoh the power which he had previously wielded as regent. He was now no longer young. Born somewhere about the beginning of the reign of Ramses II., he was now sixty, possibly seventy, years old; thus an old man succeeded another old man at a moment when Egypt must have needed more than ever an active and vigorous ruler. The danger to the country did not on this occasion rise from the side of Asia, for the relations of the Pharaoh with his Kharu subjects continued friendly, and, during a famine which desolated Syria,* he sent wheat to his Hittite allies.
* A document preserved in the Anastasi Papyrus III. shows how regular the relations with Syria had become. It is the journal of a custom-house officer, or of a scribe placed at one of the frontier posts, who notes from day to day the letters, messengers, officers, and troops which passed from the 15th to the 25th of Pachons, in the IIIrd year of the reign.
The nations, however, to the north and east, in Libya and in the Mediterranean islands, had for some time past been in a restless condition, which boded little good to the empires of the old world. The Tirnihu, some of them tributaries from the XIIth, and others from the first years of the XVIIIth dynasty, had always been troublesome, but never really dangerous neighbours. From time to time it was necessary to send light troops against them, who, sailing along the coast or following the caravan routes, would enter their territory, force them from their retreats, destroy their palm groves, carry off their cattle, and place garrisons in the principal oases -- even in Siwah itself. For more than a century, however, it would seem that more active and numerically stronger populations had entered upon the stage. A current of invasion, having its origin in the region of the Atlas, or possibly even in Europe, was setting towards the Nile, forcing before it the scattered tribes of the Sudan. Who were these invaders? Were they connected with the race which had planted its dolmens over the plains of the Maghreb? Whatever the answer to this question may be, we know that a certain number of Berber tribes* -- the Labu and Mashauasha -- who had occupied a middle position between Egypt and the people behind them, and who had only irregular communications with the Nile valley, were now pushed to the front and forced to descend upon it.**
* The nationality of these tribes is evidenced by the names of their chiefs, which recall exactly those of the
** The Labu, Laubu, Lobu, are mentioned for the first time under Ramses II.; these are the Libyans of classical geographers. The Mashauasha answer to the Maxycs of Herodotus; they furnished mercenaries to the armies of Ramses II.
They were men tall of stature and large of limb, with fair skins, light hair, and blue eyes; everything, in fact, indicating their northern origin. They took pleasure in tattooing the skin, just as the Tuaregs and Kabyles are now accustomed to do, and some, if not all, of them practised circumcision, like a portion of the Egyptians and Semites. In the arrangement of the hair, a curl fell upon the shoulder, while the remainder was arranged in small frizzled locks. Their chiefs and braves wore on their heads two flowering plumes. A loin-cloth, a wild-beast's skin thrown over the back, a mantle, or rather a covering of woollen or dyed cloth, fringed and ornamented with many-coloured needlework, falling from the left shoulder with no attachment in front, so as to leave the body unimpeded in walking, -- these constituted the ordinary costume of the people. Their arms were similar to those of the Egyptians, consisting of the lance, the mace, the iron or copper dagger, the boomerang, the bow and arrow, and the sling.
[Illustration: 253.jpg A LIBYAN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.
They also employed horses and chariots. Their bravery made them a foe not to be despised, in spite of their ignorance of tactics and their want of discipline. When they were afterwards formed into regiments and conducted by experienced generals, they became the best auxiliary troops which Egypt could boast of. The Labu from this time forward were the most energetic of the tribes, and their chiefs prided themselves upon possessing the leadership over all the other clans in this region of the world.*
* This was the case in the wars of Minephtah and Ramses III., in which the Labu and their kings took the command of the confederate armies assembled against Egypt.
The Labu might very well have gained the mastery over the other inhabitants of the desert at this period, who had become enfeebled by the frequent defeats which they had sustained at the hands of the Egyptians. At the moment when Minephtah ascended the throne, their king, Maraiu, son of Didi, ruled over the immense territory lying between the Fayum and the two Syrtes: the Timihu, the Kahaka, and the Mashauasha rendered him the same obedience as his own people. A revolution had thus occurred in Africa similar to that which had taken place a century previously in Naharaim, when Sapalulu founded the Hittite empire. A great kingdom rose into being where no state capable of disturbing Egyptian control had existed before. The danger was serious. The Hittites, separated from the Nile by the whole breadth of Kharu, could not directly threaten any of the Egyptian cities; but the Libyans, lords of the desert, were in contact with the Delta, and could in a few days fall upon any point in the valley they chose. Minephtah, therefore, hastened to resist the assault of the westerns, as his father had formerly done that of the easterns, and, strange as it may seem, he found among the troops of his new enemies some of the adversaries with whom the Egyptians had fought under the walls of Qodshu sixty years before. The Shardana, Lycians, and others, having left the coasts of the Delta and the Phoenician seaports owing to the vigilant watch kept by the Egyptians over their waters, had betaken themselves to the Libyan littoral, where they met with a favourable reception. Whether they had settled in some places, and formed there those colonies of which a Greek tradition of a recent age speaks, we cannot say. They certainly followed the occupation of mercenary soldiers, and many of them hired out their services to the native princes, while others were enrolled among the troops of the King of the Khati or of the Pharaoh himself. Maraiu brought with him Achaeans, Shardana, Tursha, Shagalasha,* and Lycians in considerable numbers when he resolved to begin the strife.** This was not one of those conventional little wars which aimed at nothing further than the imposition of the payment of a tribute upon the conquered, or the conquest of one of their provinces. Maraiu had nothing less in view than the transport of his whole people into the Nile valley, to settle permanently there as the Hyksos had done before him.
* The Shakalasha, Shagalasha, identified with the Sicilians by E. de Rouge, were a people of Asia Minor whose position there is approximately indicated by the site of the town Sagalassos, named after them.
** The Inscription of Minephtah distinguishes the Libyans of Maraiu from "the people of the Sea."
He set out on his march towards the end of the IVth year of the Pharaoh's reign, or the beginning of his Vth, surrounded by the elite of his troops, "the first choice from among all the soldiers and all the heroes in each land." The announcement of their approach spread terror among the Egyptians. The peace which they had enjoyed for fifty years had cooled their warlike ardour, and the machinery of their military organisation had become somewhat rusty. The standing army had almost melted away; the regiments of archers and charioteers were no longer effective, and the neglected fortresses were not strong enough to protect the frontier. As a consequence, the oases of Farafrah and of the Natron lakes fell into the hands of the enemy at the first attack, and the eastern provinces of the Delta became the possession of the invader before any steps could be taken for their defence. Memphis, which realised the imminent danger, broke out into open murmurs against the negligent rulers who had given no heed to the country's ramparts, and had allowed the garrisons of its fortresses to dwindle away. Fortunately Syria remained quiet. The Khati, in return for the aid afforded them by Minephtah during the famine, observed a friendly attitude, and the Pharaoh was thus enabled to withdraw the troops from his Asiatic provinces. He could with perfect security take the necessary measures for ensuring "Heliopolis, the city of Tumu," against surprise, "for arming Memphis, the citadel of Phtah-Tonen, and for restoring all things which were in disorder: he fortified Pibalisit, in the neighbourhood of the Shakana canal, on a branch of that of Heliopolis," and he rapidly concentrated his forces behind these quickly organised lines.*
* Chabas would identify Pibalisit with Bubastis; I agree with Brugsch in placing it at Belbeis.
Maraiu, however, continued to advance; in the early months of the summer he had crossed the Canopic branch of the Nile, and was now about to encamp not far from the town of Pirici. When the king heard of this "he became furious against them as a lion that fascinates its victim; he called his officers together and addressed them: 'I am about to make you hear the words of your master, and to teach you this: I am the sovereign shepherd who feeds you; I pass my days in seeking out that which is useful for you: I am your father; is there among you a father like me who makes his children live? You are trembling like geese, you do not know what is good to do: no one gives an answer to the enemy, and our desolated land is abandoned to the incursions of all nations. The barbarians harass the frontier, rebels violate it every day, every one robs it, enemies devastate our seaports, they penetrate into the fields of Egypt; if there is an arm of a river they halt there, they stay for days, for months; they come as numerous as reptiles, and no one is able to sweep them back, these wretches who love death and hate life, whose hearts meditate the consummation of our ruin. Behold, they arrive with their chief; they pass their time on the land which they attack in filling their stomachs every day; this is the reason why they come to the land of Egypt, to seek their sustenance, and their intention is to install themselves there; mine is to catch them like fish upon their bellies. Their chief is a dog, a poor devil, a madman; he shall never sit down again in his place.'" He then announced that on the 14th of Epiphi he would himself conduct the troops against the enemy.
These were brave words, but we may fancy the figure that this king of more than sixty years of age would have presented in a chariot in the middle of the fray, and his competence to lead an effective charge against the enemy. On the other hand, his absence in such a critical position of affairs would have endangered the morale of his soldiers and possibly compromised the issue of the battle. A dream settled the whole question.*
* Ed. Meyer sees in this nothing but a customary rhetorical expression, and thinks that the god spoke in order to encourage the king to defend himself vigorously.
While Minephtah was asleep one night, he saw a gigantic figure of Phtah standing before him, and forbidding him to advance. "'Stay,' cried the god to him, while handing him the curved khopesh: 'put away discouragement from thee!' His Majesty said to him: 'But what am I to do then?' And Phtah answered him: 'Despatch thy infantry, and send before it numerous chariots to the confines of the territory of Piriu.'"**
* This name was read Pa-ari by E. de Rouge, Pa-ali by Lauth, and was transcribed Pa-ari-shop by Brugsch, who identified with Prosopitis. The orthography of the text at Athribis shows that we ought to read Piri, Piru, Piriu; possibly the name is identical with that of laru which is mentioned in the Pyramid-texts.
The Pharaoh obeyed the command, and did not stir from his position. Maraiu had, in the mean time, arranged his attack for the 1st of Epiphi, at the rising of the sun: it did not take place, however, until the 3rd. "The archers of His Majesty made havoc of the barbarians for six hours; they were cut off by the edge of the sword." When Maraiu saw the carnage, "he was afraid, his heart failed him; he betook himself to flight as fast as his feet could bear him to save his life, so successfully that his bow and arrows remained behind him in his precipitation, as well as everything else he had upon him." His treasure, his arms, his wife, together with the cattle which he had brought with him for his use, became the prey of the conqueror; "he tore out the feathers from his head-dress, and took flight with such of those wretched Libyans as escaped the massacre, but the officers who had the care of His Majesty's team of horses followed in their steps" and put most of them to the sword. Maraiu succeeded, however, in escaping in the darkness, and regained his own country without water or provisions, and almost without escort. The conquering troops returned to the camp laden with booty, and driving before them asses carrying, as bloody tokens of victory, quantities of hands and phalli cut from the dead bodies of the slain. The bodies of six generals and of 6359 Libyan soldiers were found upon the field of battle, together with 222 Shagalasha, 724 Tursha, and some hundreds of Shardana and Achaeans: several thousands of prisoners passed in procession before the Pharaoh, and were distributed among such of his soldiers as had distinguished themselves. These numbers show the gravity of the danger from which Egypt had escaped: the announcement of the victory filled the country with enthusiasm, all the more sincere because of the reality of the panic which had preceded it. The fellahin, intoxicated with joy, addressed each other: "'Come, and let us go a long distance on the road, for there is now no fear in the hearts of men.'The fortified posts may at last be left; the citadels are now open; messengers stand at the foot of the walls and wait in the shade for the guard to awake after their siesta, to give them entrance. The military police sleep on their accustomed rounds, and the people of the marshes once more drive their herds to pasture without fear of raids, for there are no longer marauders near at hand to cross the river; the cry of the sentinels is heard no more in the night: 'Halt, thou that comest, thou that comest under a name which is not thine own -- sheer off!' and men no longer exclaim on the following morning: 'Such or such a thing has been stolen;' but the towns fall once more into their usual daily routine, and he who works in the hope of the harvest, will nourish himself upon that which he shall have reaped." The return from Memphis to Thebes was a triumphal march.
[Illustration: 260.jpg STATUE OF MINEPHTAH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Deveria.
"He is very strong, Binri Minephtah," sang the court poets, "very wise are his projects -- his words have as beneficial effect as those of Thot -- everything which he does is completed to the end. -- When he is like a guide at the head of his armies -- his voice penetrates the fortress walls. -- Very friendly to those who bow their backs -- before Miamun -- his valiant soldiers spare him who humbles himself -- before his courage and before his strength; -- they fall upon the Libyans -- they consume the Syrian; -- the Shardana whom thou hast brought back by thy sword -- make prisoners of their own tribes. -- Very happy thy return to Thebes -- victorious! Thy chariot is drawn by hand -- the conquered chiefs march backwards before thee -- whilst thou leadest them to thy venerable father -- Amon, husband of his mother." And the poets amuse themselves with summoning Maraiu to appear in Egypt, pursued as he was by his own people and obliged to hide himself from them. "He is nothing any longer but a beaten man, and has become a proverb among the Labu, and his chiefs repeat to themselves: 'Nothing of the kind has occurred since the time of Ra.' The old men say each one to his children: 'Misfortune to the Labu! it is all over with them! No one can any longer pass peacefully across the country; but the power of going out of our land has been taken from us in a single day, and the Tihonu have been withered up in a single year; Sutkhu has ceased to be their chief, and he devastates their "duars;" there is nothing left but to conceal one's self, and one feels nowhere secure except in a fortress.'" The news of the victory was carried throughout Asia, and served to discourage the tendencies to revolt which were beginning to make themselves manifest there. "The chiefs gave there their salutations of peace, and none among the nomads raised his head after the crushing defeat of the Libyans; Khati is at peace, Canaan is a prisoner as far as the disaffected are concerned, the inhabitant of Ascalon is led away, Gezer is carried into captivity, Ianuamim is brought to nothing, the Israilu are destroyed and have no longer seed, Kharu is like a widow of the land of Egypt."*
* This passage is taken from a stele discovered by Petrie in 1896, on the site of the Amenophium at Thebes. The mention of the Israilu immediately calls to mind the place-names Yushaph-ilu, Yakob-ilu, on lists of Thutmosis III. which have been compared with the names Jacob and Joseph.
Minephtah ought to have followed up his opportunity to the end, but he had no such intention, and his inaction gave Maraiu time to breathe. Perhaps the effort which he had made had exhausted his resources, perhaps old age prevented him from prosecuting his success; he was content, in any case, to station bodies of pickets on the frontier, and to fortify a few new positions to the east of the Delta. The Libyan kingdom was now in the same position as that in which the Hittite had been after the campaign of Seti I.: its power had been checked for the moment, but it remained intact on the Egyptian frontier, awaiting its opportunity.
Minephtah lived for some time after this memorable year* and the number of monuments which belong to this period show that he reigned in peace. We can see that he carried out works in the same places as his father before him; at Tanis as well as Thebes, in Nubia as well as in the Delta. He worked the sandstone quarries for his building materials, and continued the custom of celebrating the feasts of the inundation at Silsileh. One at least of the stelae which he set up on the occasion of these feasts is really a chapel, with its architraves and columns, and still, excites the admiration of the traveller on account both of its form and of its picturesque appearance.
* The last known year of his reign is the year VIII. The lists of Manetho assign to him a reign of from twenty to forty years; Brugsch makes it out to have been thirty-four years, from 1300 to 1266 B.C., which is evidently too much, but we may attribute to him without risk of serious error a reign of about twenty years.
The last years of his life were troubled by the intrigues of princes who aspired to the throne, and by the ambition of the ministers to whom he was obliged to delegate his authority.
[Illustration: 263.jpg THE CHAPELS OF RAMSES II. AND MINEPHTAH AT SISILEH]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
One of the latter, a man of Semite origin, named Ben-Azana, of Zor-bisana, who had assumed the appellation of his first patron, ramsesupirniri, appears to have acted for him as regent. Minephtah was succeeded, apparently, by one of his sons, called Seti, after his great-grandfather.* Seti II. had doubtless reached middle age at the time of his accession, but his portraits represent him, nevertheless, with the face and figure of a young man.** The expression in these is gentle, refined, haughty, and somewhat melancholic. MU It is the type of Seti I. and Ramses II., but enfeebled and, as it were, saddened. An inscription of his second year attributes to him victories in Asia,*** but others of the same period indicate the existence of disturbances similar to those which had troubled the last years of his father.
* E. de Rouge introduced Amenmeses and Siphtah between Minephtah and Seti II., and I had up to the present followed his example; I have come back to the position of Chabas, making Seti II. the immediate successor of Minephtah, which is also the view of Brugsch, Wiedemann, and Ed. Meyer. The succession as it is now given does not seem to me to be free from difficulties; the solution generally adopted has only the merit of being preferable to that of E. de Rouge, which I previously supported.
** The last date known of his reign is the year II. which is found at Silsilis; Chabas was, nevertheless, of the opinion that he reigned a considerable time.
*** The expressions employed in this document do not vary much from the usual protocol of all kings of this period. The triumphal chant of Seti II. preserved in the Anastasi Papyrus IV. is a copy of the triumphal chant of Minephtah, which is in the same Papyrus.
[Illustration: 264.jpg STATUE OF SETI II.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph.
These were occasioned by a certain Aiari, who was high priest of Phtah, and who had usurped titles belonged ordinarily to the Pharaoh or his eldest son, in the house of Sibu, "heir and hereditary prince of the two lands." Seti died, it would seem, without having had time to finish his tomb. We do not know whether he left any legitimate children, but two sovereigns succeeded him who were not directly connected with him, but were probably the grandsons of the Amenmesis and the Siphtah, whom we meet with among the children of Ramses. The first of these was also called Amenmesis,* and he held sway for several years over the whole of Egypt, and over its foreign possessions.
* Graffiti of this sovereign have been found at the second cataract. Certain expressions have induced E. de Rouge to believe that he, as well as Siphtah, came originally from Khibit in the Aphroditopolite nome. This was an allusion, as Chabas had seen, to the myth of Horus, similar to that relating to Thutmosis III., and which we more usually meet with in the cases of those kings who were not marked out from their birth onwards for the throne.
[Illustration: 265.jpg SETI II.]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
The second, who was named Siphtah-Minephtah, ascended "the throne of his father" thanks to the devotion of his minister Bai,* but in a greater degree to his marriage with a certain princess called Tausirit. He maintained himself in this position for at least six years, during which he made an expedition into Ethiopia, and received in audience at Thebes messengers from all foreign nations. He kept up so zealously the appearance of universal dominion, that to judge from his inscriptions he must have been the equal of the most powerful of his predecessors at Thebes.
Egypt, nevertheless, was proceeding at a quick pace towards its downfall. No sooner had this monarch disappeared than it began to break up.** There were no doubt many claimants for the crown, but none of them succeeded in disposing of the claims of his rivals, and anarchy reigned supreme from one end of the Nile valley to the other. The land of Qimit began to drift away, and the people within it had no longer a sovereign, and this, too, for many years, until other times came; for "the land of Qimit was in the hands of the princes ruling over the nomes, and they put each other to death, both great and small.
* Bai has left two inscriptions behind him, one at Silsilis and the other at Sehel, and the titles he assumes on both monuments show the position he occupied at the Theban court during the reign of Siphtah-Minephtah. Chabas thought that Bai had succeeded in maintaining his rights to the crown against the claims of Amenmesis.
** The little that we know about this period of anarchy has been obtained from the Harris Papyrus.
Other times came afterwards, during years of nothingness, in which Arisu, a Syrian,* was chief among them, and the whole country paid tribute before him; every one plotted with his neighbour to steal the goods of others, and it was the same with regard to the gods as with regard to men, offerings were no longer made in the temples."
* The name of this individual was deciphered by Chabas; Lauth, and after him Krall, were inclined to read it as Ket, Ketesh, in order to identify it with the Ketes of Diodorus Siculus. A form of the name Arisai in the Bible may be its original, or that of Arish which is found in Phoenician, especially Punic, inscriptions.
This was in truth the revenge of the feudal system upon Pharaoh. The barons, kept in check by Ahmosis and Amenothes I., restricted by the successors of these sovereigns to the position of simple officers of the king, profited by the general laxity to recover as many as possible of their ancient privileges. For half a century and more, fortune had given them as masters only aged princes, not capable of maintaining continuous vigilance and firmness. The invasions of the peoples of the sea, the rivalry of the claimants to the throne, and the intrigues of ministers had, one after the other, served to break the bonds which fettered them, and in one generation they were able to regain that liberty of action of which they had been deprived for centuries. To this state of things Egypt had been drifting from the earliest times. Unity could be maintained only by a continuous effort, and once this became relaxed, the ties which bound the whole country together were soon broken. There was another danger threatening the country beside that arising from the weakening of the hands of the sovereign, and the turbulence of the barons. For some three centuries the Theban Pharaohs were accustomed to bring into the country after each victorious campaign many thousands of captives. The number of foreigners around them had, therefore, increased in a striking manner. The majority of these strangers either died without issue, or their posterity became assimilated to the indigenous inhabitants. In many places, however, they had accumulated in such proportions that they were able to retain among themselves the remembrance of their origin, their religion, and their customs, and with these the natural desire to leave the country of their exile for their former fatherland. As long as a strict watch was kept over them they remained peaceful subjects, but as soon as this vigilance was relaxed rebellion was likely to break out, especially amongst those who worked in the quarries. Traditions of the Greek period contain certain romantic episodes in the history of these captives. Some Babylonian prisoners brought back by Sesostris, these traditions tell us, unable to endure any longer the fatiguing work to which they were condemned, broke out into open revolt.
[Illustration: 268.jpg AMENMESIS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after a picture in Rosellini.
They made themselves masters of a position almost opposite Memphis, and commanding the river, and held their ground there with such obstinacy that it was found necessary to give up to them the province which they occupied: they built here a town, which they afterwards called Babylon. A similar legend attributes the building of the neighbouring village of Troiu to captives from Troy.*
The scattered barbarian tribes of the Delta, whether Hebrews or the remnant of the iiyksos, had endured there a miserable lot ever since the accession of the Ramessides. The rebuilding of the cities which had been destroyed there during the wars with the Hyksos had restricted the extent of territory on which they could pasture their herds. Ramses II. treated them as slaves of the treasury,** and the Hebrews were not long under his rule before they began to look back with regret on the time of the monarchs "who knew Joseph."**
* The name Babylon comes probably from Banbonu, Barbonu, Babonu -- a term which, under the form Hat-Banbonu, served to designate a quarter of Heliopolis, or rather a suburban village of that city. Troja was, as we have seen, the ancient city of Troiu, now Turah, celebrated for its quarries of fine limestone. The narratives collected by the historians whom Diodorus consulted were products of the Saite period, and intended to explain to Greeks the existence on Egyptian territory of names recalling those of Babylon in Chaldaea and of Homeric Troy.
** A very ancient tradition identifies Ramses II. with the Pharaoh "who knew not Joseph" (Exod. i.8). Recent excavations showing that the great works in the east of the Delta began under this king, or under Seti II. at the earliest, confirm in a general way the accuracy of the traditional view: I have, therefore, accepted it in part, and placed the Exodus after the death of Ramses II. Other authorities place it further back, and Lieblein in 1863 was inclined to put it under Amenothes III.
The Egyptians set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were "grieved because of the children of Israel."* A secondary version of the same narrative gives a more detailed account of their condition: "They made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field."** The unfortunate slaves awaited only an opportunity to escape from the cruelty of their persecutors.
* Exod. i.11, 12. Excavations made by Naville have brought to light near Tel el-Maskhutah the ruins of one of the towns which the Hebrews of the Alexandrine period identified with the cities constructed by their ancestors in Egypt: the town excavated by Naville is Pitumu, and consequently the Pithom of the Biblical account, and at the same time also the Succoth of Exod. xii.37, xiii.20, the first station of the Bne-Israel after leaving Ramses.
** Exod, i.13, 14.
The national traditions of the Hebrews inform us that the king, in displeasure at seeing them increase so mightily notwithstanding his repression, commanded the midwives to strangle henceforward their male children at their birth. A woman of the house of Levi, after having concealed her infant for three months, put him in an ark of bulrushes and consigned him to the Nile, at a place where the daughter of Pharaoh was accustomed to bathe. The princess on perceiving the child had compassion on him, adopted him, called him Moses -- saved from the waters -- and had him instructed in all the knowledge of the Egyptians. Moses had already attained forty years of age, when he one day encountered an Egyptian smiting a Hebrew, and slew him in his anger, shortly afterwards fleeing into the land of Midian. Here he found an asylum, and Jethro the priest gave him one of his daughters in marriage. After forty years of exile, God, appearing to him in a burning bush, sent him to deliver His people. The old Pharaoh was dead, but Moses and his brother Aaron betook themselves to the court of the new Pharaoh, and demanded from him permission for the Hebrews to sacrifice in the desert of Arabia. They obtained it, as we know, only after the infliction of the ten plagues, and after the firstborn of the Egyptians had been stricken.* The emigrants started from Ramses; as they were pursued by a body of troops, the Sea parted its waters to give them passage over the dry ground, and closing up afterwards on the Egyptian hosts, overwhelmed them to a man. Thereupon Moses and the children of Israel sang this song unto Jahveh, saying: "Jahveh is my strength and song -- and He has become my salvation. -- This is my God, and I will praise Him, -- my father's God, and I will exalt Him. -- The Lord is a man of war, -- and Jahveh is His name. -- Pharaoh's chariots and his hosts hath He cast into the sea, -- and his chosen captains are sunk in the sea of weeds. -- The deeps cover them -- they went down into the depths like a stone.... The enemy said: 'I will pursue, I will overtake -- I will divide the spoil -- my lust shall be satiated upon them -- I will draw my sword -- my hand shall destroy them.' -- Thou didst blow with Thy wind -- the sea covered them -- they sank as lead in the mighty waters."**
* Exod. ii.-xiii. I have limited myself here to a summary of the Biblical narrative, without entering into a criticism of the text, which I leave to others.
** Exod. xv.1-10 (R.V.)
From this narrative we see that the Hebrews, or at least those of them who dwelt in the Delta, made their escape from their oppressors, and took refuge in the solitudes of Arabia. According to the opinion of accredited historians, this Exodus took place in the reign of Minephtah, and the evidence of the triumphal inscription, lately discovered by Prof. Petrie, seems to confirm this view, in relating that the people of Israilu were destroyed, and had no longer a seed. The context indicates pretty clearly that these ill-treated Israilu were then somewhere south of Syria, possibly in the neighbourhood of Ascalon and Glezer. If it is the Biblical Israelites who are here mentioned for the first time on an Egyptian monument, one might suppose that they had just quitted the land of slavery to begin their wanderings through the desert. Although the peoples of the sea and the Libyans did not succeed in reaching their settlements in the land of Goshen, the Israelites must have profited both by the disorder into which the Egyptians were thrown by the invaders, and by the consequent withdrawal to Memphis of the troops previously stationed on the east of the Delta, to break away from their servitude and cross the frontier. If, on the other hand, the Israilu of Minephtah are regarded as a tribe still dwelling among the mountains of Canaan, while the greater part of the race had emigrated to the banks of the Nile, there is no need to seek long after Minephtah for a date suiting the circumstances of the Exodus. The years following the reign of Seti II. offer favourable conditions for such a dangerous enterprise: the break-up of the monarchy, the discords of the barons, the revolts among the captives, and the supremacy of a Semite over the other chiefs, must have minimised the risk. We can readily understand how, in the midst of national disorders, a tribe of foreigners weary of its lot might escape from its settlements and betake itself towards Asia without meeting with strenous opposition from the Pharaoh, who would naturally be too much preoccupied with his own pressing necessities to trouble himself much over the escape of a band of serfs.
Having crossed the Red Sea, the Israelites pursued their course to the north-east on the usual road leading into Syria, and then turning towards the south, at length arrived at Sinai. It was a moment when the nations of Asia were stirring. To proceed straight to Canaan by the beaten track would have been to run the risk of encountering their moving hordes, or of jostling against the Egyptian troops, who still garrisoned the strongholds of the She-phelah. The fugitives had, therefore, to shun the great military roads if they were to avoid coming into murderous conflict with the barbarians, or running into the teeth of Pharaoh's pursuing army. The desert offered an appropriate asylum to people of nomadic inclinations like themselves; they betook themselves to it as if by instinct, and spent there a wandering life for several generations.*
* This explanation of the wanderings of the Israelites has been doubted by most historians: it has a cogency, once we admit the reality of the sojourn in Egypt and the Exodus.
The traditions collected in their sacred books described at length their marches and their halting-places, the great sufferings they endured, and the striking miracles which God performed on their behalf.*
* The itinerary of the Hebrew people through the desert contains a very small number of names which were not actually in use. They represent possibly either the stations at which the caravans of the merchants put up, or the localities where the Bedawin and their herds were accustomed to sojourn. The majority of them cannot be identified, but enough can still be made out to give us a general idea of the march of the emigrants.
Moses conducted them through all these experiences, continually troubled by their murmurings and seditions, but always ready to help them out of the difficulties into which they were led, on every occasion, by their want of faith. He taught them, under God's direction, how to correct the bitterness of brackish waters by applying to them the wood of a certain tree.* When they began to look back with regret to the "flesh-pots of Egypt" and the abundance of food there, another signal miracle was performed for them. "At even the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning the dew lay round about the host; and when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, 'What is it? 'for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, 'It is the bread which the Lord hath given you to eat.'"**
* Exod. xv.23-25. The station Marah, "the bitter waters," is identified by modern tradition with Ain Howarah. There is a similar way of rendering waters potable still in use among the Bedawin of these regions.
** Exod. xvi.13-15.
"And the house of Israel called the name thereof 'manna: 'and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey."* "And the children of Israel did eat the manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat the manna until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan."** Further on, at Eephidim, the water failed: Moses struck the rocks at Horeb, and a spring gushed out.*** The Amalekites, in the meantime, began to oppose their passage; and one might naturally doubt the power of a rabble of slaves, unaccustomed to war, to break through such an obstacle. Joshua was made their general, "and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill: and it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed, and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side, and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword."****
* Exod. xvi.31. Prom early times the manna of the Hebrews had been identified with the mann-es-sama, "the gift of heaven," of the Arabs, which exudes in small quantities from the leaves of the tamarisk after being pricked by insects: the question, however, is still under discussion whether another species of vegetable manna may not be meant.
** Exod. xvi.35.
*** Exod. xvii.1-7. There is a general agreement as to the identification of Rephidim with the Wady Peiran, the village of Pharan of the Graeco-Roman geographers.
**** Exod. xvii.8-13.
Three months after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt they encamped at the foot of Sinai, and "the Lord called unto Moses out of the mountain, saying, 'Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto Myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me from among all peoples: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.' The people answered together and said, 'All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.' And the Lord said unto Moses, 'Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and may also believe thee for ever.'" "On the third day, when it was morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of a trumpet exceeding loud; and all the people that were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the nether part of the mountain. And Mount Sinai was altogether on smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice."*
* Exod. xix.3-6, 9, 16-19.
Then followed the giving of the supreme law, the conditions of the covenant which the Lord Himself deigned to promulgate directly to His people. It was engraved on two tables of stone, and contained, in ten concise statements, the commandments which the Creator of the Universe imposed upon the people of His choice.
"I. I am Jahveh, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. Thou shalt have none other gods before Me.
II. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, etc.
III. Thou shalt not take the name of Jahveh thy God in vain.
IV. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.
V. Honour thy father and thy mother.
VI. Thou shalt do no murder.
VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII. Thou shalt not steal.
IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
X. Thou shalt not covet."*
* We have two forms of the Decalogue -- one in Exod. xx.2- 17, and the other in Deut. v.6-18.
"And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they trembled, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, 'Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.'"* God gave His commandments to Moses in instalments as the circumstances required them: on one occasion the rites of sacrifice, the details of the sacerdotal vestments, the mode of consecrating the priests, the composition of the oil and the incense for the altar; later on, the observance of the three annual festivals, and the orders as to absolute rest on the seventh day, as to the distinctions between clean and unclean animals, as to drink, as to the purification of women, and lawful and unlawful marriages.**
* Exod. xx.18, 19.
** This legislation and the history of the circumstances on which it was promulgated are contained in four of the books of the Pentateuch, viz. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Any one of the numerous text-books published in Germany will be found to contain an analysis of these books, and the prevalent opinions as to the date of the documents which it [the Hexateuch] contains. I confine myself here and afterwards only to such results as may fitly be used in a general history.
The people waited from week to week until Jahveh had completed the revelation of His commands, and in their impatience broke the new law more than once. On one occasion, when "Moses delayed to come out of the mount," they believed themselves abandoned by heaven, and obliged Aaron, the high priest, to make for them a golden calf, before which they offered burnt offerings. The sojourn of the people at the foot of Sinai lasted eleven months. At the end of this period they set out once more on their slow marches to the Promised Land, guided during the day by a cloud, and during the night by a pillar of fire, which moved before them. This is a general summary of what we find in the sacred writings.
The Israelites, when they set out from Egypt, were not yet a nation. They were but a confused horde, flying with their herds from their pursuers; with no resources, badly armed, and unfit to sustain the attack of regular troops. After leaving Sinai, they wandered for some time among the solitudes of Arabia Petraea in search of some uninhabited country where they could fix their tents, and at length settled on the borders of Idumaea, in the mountainous region surrounding Kadesh-Barnea.* Kadesh had from ancient times a reputation for sanctity among the Bedawin of the neighbourhood: it rejoiced in the possession of a wonderful well -- the Well of Judgment -- to which visits were made for the purpose of worship, and for obtaining the "judgment" of God. The country is a poor one, arid and burnt up, but it contains wells which never fail, and wadys suitable for the culture of wheat and for the rearing of cattle. The tribe which became possessed of a region in which there was a perennial supply of water was fortunate indeed, and a fragment of the psalmody of Israel at the time of their sojourn here still echoes in a measure the transports of joy which the people gave way to at the discovery of a new spring: "Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it: the well which the princes digged, which the nobles of the people delved with the sceptre and with their staves."**
* The site of Kadesh-Barnea appears to have been fixed with certainty at Ain-Qadis by C. Trumbull.
** Numb. xxi.17, 18. The context makes it certain that this song was sung at Beer, beyond the Arnon, in the land of Moab. It has long been recognised that it had a special reference, and that it refers to an incident in the wanderings of the people through the desert.
The wanderers took possession of this region after some successful brushes with the enemy, and settled there, without being further troubled by their neighbours or by their former masters. The Egyptians, indeed, absorbed in their civil discords, or in wars with foreign nations, soon forgot their escaped slaves, and never troubled themselves for centuries over what had become of the poor wretches, until in the reign of the Ptolemies, when they had learned from the Bible something of the people of God, they began to seek in their own annals for traces of their sojourn in Egypt and of their departure from the country. A new version of the Exodus was the result, in which Hebrew tradition was clumsily blended with the materials of a semi-historical romance, of which Amenothes III. was the hero. His minister and namesake, Amenothes, son of Hapu, left ineffaceable impressions on the minds of the inhabitants of Thebes: he not only erected the colossal figures in the Amenophium, but he constructed the chapel at Deir el-Medineh, which was afterwards restored in Ptolemaic times, and where he continued to be worshipped as long as the Egyptian religion lasted. Profound knowledge of the mysteries of magic were attributed to him, as in later times to Prince Khamoisit, son of Ramses II. On this subject he wrote certain works which maintained their reputation for more than a thousand years after his death,* and all that was known about him marked him out for the important part he came to play in those romantic stories so popular among the Egyptians.
* One of these books, which is mentioned in several religious texts, is preserved in the Louvre Papyrus.
The Pharaoh in whose good graces he lived had a desire, we are informed, to behold the gods, after the example of his ancestor Horus. The son of Hapu, or Pa-Apis, informed him that he could not succeed in his design until he had expelled from the country all the lepers and unclean persons who contaminated it. Acting on this information, he brought together all those who suffered from physical defects, and confined them, to the number of eighty thousand, in the quarries of Turah. There were priests among them, and the gods became wrathful at the treatment to which their servants were exposed; the soothsayer, therefore, fearing the divine anger, predicted that certain people would shortly arise who, forming an alliance with the Unclean, would, together with them, hold sway in Egypt for thirteen years. He then committed suicide, but the king nevertheless had compassion on the outcasts, and granted to them, for their exclusive use, the town of Avaris, which had been deserted since the time of Ahmosis. The outcasts formed themselves into a nation under the rule of a Heliopolitan priest called Osarsyph, or Moses, who gave them laws, mobilised them, and joined his forces with the descendants of the Shepherds at Jerusalem. The Pharaoh Amenophis, taken by surprise at this revolt, and remembering the words of his minister Amenothes, took flight into Ethiopia. The shepherds, in league with the Unclean, burned the towns, sacked the temples, and broke in pieces the statues of the gods: they forced the Egyptian priests to slaughter even their sacred animals, to cut them up and cook them for their foes, who ate them derisively in their accustomed feasts. Amenophis returned from Ethiopia, together with his son Ramses, at the end of thirteen years, defeated the enemy, driving them back into Syria, where the remainder of them became later on the Jewish nation.*
* A list of the Pharaohs after Ai, as far as it is possible to make them out, is here given:
[Illustration: 281.jpg Table]
This is but a romance, in which a very little history is mingled with a great deal of fable: the scribes as well as the people were acquainted with the fact that Egypt had been in danger of dissolution at the time when the Hebrews left the banks of the Nile, but they were ignorant of the details, of the precise date and of the name of the reigning Pharaoh. A certain similarity in sound suggested to them the idea of assimilating the prince whom the Chroniclers called Menepthes or Amenepthes with Amen-othes, i.e. Amenophis III.; and they gave to the Pharaoh of the XIXth dynasty the minister who had served under a king of the XVIIIth: they metamorphosed at the same time the Hebrews into lepers allied with the Shepherds. From this strange combination there resulted a narrative which at once fell in with the tastes of the lovers of the marvellous, and was a sufficient substitute for the truth which had long since been forgotten. As in the case of the Egyptians of the Greek period, we can see only through a fog what took place after the deaths of Minephtah and Seti II. We know only for certain that the chiefs of the nomes were in perpetual strife with each other, and that a foreign power was dominant in the country as in the time of Apophis. The days of the empire would have Harmhabi himself belonged to the XVIIIth dynasty, for he modelled the form of his cartouches on those of the Ahmesside Pharaohs: the XIXth dynasty began only, in all probability, with Ramses I., but the course of the history has compelled me to separate Harmhabi from his predecessors. Not knowing the length of the reigns, we cannot determine the total duration of the dynasty: we shall not, however, be far wrong in assigning to it a length of 130 years or thereabouts, i.e. from 1350 to somewhere near 1220 B.C. been numbered if a deliverer had not promptly made his appearance. The direct line of Ramses II. was extinct, but his innumerable sons by innumerable concubines had left a posterity out of which some at least might have the requisite ability and zeal, if not to save the empire, at least to lengthen its duration, and once more give to Thebes days of glorious prosperity. Egypt had set out some five centuries before this for the conquest of the world, and fortune had at first smiled upon her enterprise. Thutmosis I., Thutmosis III., and the several Pharaohs bearing the name of Amenothes had marched with their armies from the upper waters of the Nile to the banks of the Euphrates, and no power had been able to withstand them. New nations, however, soon rose up to oppose her, and the Hittites in Asia and the Libyans of the Sudan together curbed her ambition. Neither the triumphs of Ramses II. nor the victory of Minephtah had been able to restore her prestige, or the lands of which her rivals had robbed her beyond her ancient frontier. Now her own territory itself was threatened, and her own well-being was in question; she was compelled to consider, not how to rule other tribes, great or small, but how to keep her own possessions intact and independent: in short, her very existence was at stake.