In the year XXXIV. the Egyptians reappeared in Zahi. The people of Anaugasa having revolted, two of their towns were taken, a third surrendered, while the chiefs of the Lotanu hastened to meet their lord with their usual tribute. Advantage was taken of the encampment being at the foot of the Lebanon to procure wood for building purposes, such as beams and planks, masts and yards for vessels, which were all shipped by the Kefatiu at Byblos for exportation to the Delta. This expedition was, indeed, little more than a military march through the country. It would appear that the Syrians soon accustomed themselves to the presence of the Egyptians in their midst, and their obedience henceforward could be fairly relied on. We are unable to ascertain what were the circumstances or the intrigues which, in the year XXXV., led to a sudden outbreak among the tribes settled on the Euphrates and the Orontes. The King of Mitanni rallied round him the princes of Naharaim, and awaited the attack of the Egyptians near Aruna. Thutmosis displayed great personal courage, and the victory was at once decisive. We find mention of only ten prisoners, one hundred and eighty mares, and sixty chariots in the lists of the spoil. Anaugasa again revolted, and was subdued afresh in the year XXXVIII.; the Shausu rebelled in the year XXXIX., and the Lotanu or some of the tribes connected with them two years later. The campaign of the year XLII. proved more serious. Troubles had arisen in the neighbourhood of Arvad. Thutmosis, instead of following the usual caravan route, marched along the coast-road by way of Phoenicia. He destroyed Arka in the Lebanon and the surrounding strongholds, which were the haunts of robbers who lurked in the mountains; then turning to the northeast, he took Tunipa and extorted the usual tribute from the inhabitants of Naharaim. On the other hand, the Prince of Qodshu, trusting to the strength of his walled city, refused to do homage to the Pharaoh, and a deadly struggle took place under the ramparts, in which each side availed themselves of all the artifices which the strategic warfare of the times allowed. On a day when the assailants and besieged were about to come to close quarters, the Amorites let loose a mare among the chariotry of Thutmosis. The Egyptian horses threatened to become unmanageable, and had begun to break through the ranks, when Amenemhabi, an officer of the guard, leaped to the ground, and, running up to the creature, disembowelled it with a thrust of his sword; this done, he cut off its tail and presented it to the king. The besieged were eventually obliged to shut themselves within their newly built walls, hoping by this means to tire out the patience of their assailants; but a picked body of men, led by the same brave Amenemhabi who had killed the mare, succeeded in making a breach and forcing an entrance into the town. Even the numerous successful campaigns we have mentioned, form but a part, though indeed an important part, of the wars undertaken by Thutmosis to "fix his frontiers in the ends of the earth." Scarcely a year elapsed without the viceroy of Ethiopia having a conflict with one or other of the tribes of the Upper Nile; little merit as he might gain in triumphing over such foes, the spoil taken from them formed a considerable adjunct to the treasure collected in Syria, while the tributes from the people of Kush and the Uauaiu were paid with as great regularity as the taxes levied on the Egyptians themselves. It comprised gold both from the mines and from the rivers, feathers, oxen with curiously trained horns, giraffes, lions, leopards, and slaves of all ages. The distant regions explored by Hatshopsitu continued to pay a tribute at intervals. A fleet went to Puanit to fetch large cargoes of incense, and from time to time some Ilim chief would feel himself honoured by having one of his daughters accepted as an inmate of the harem of the great king. After the year XLII. we have no further records of the reign, but there is no reason to suppose that its closing years were less eventful or less prosperous than the earlier. Thutmosis III., when conscious of failing powers, may have delegated the direction of his armies to his sons or to his generals, but it is also quite possible that he kept the supreme command in his own hands to the end of his days. Even when old age approached and threatened to abate his vigour, he was upheld by the belief that his father Amon was ever at hand to guide him with his counsel and assist him in battle. "I give to thee, declared the god, the rebels that they may fall beneath thy sandals, that thou mayest crush the rebellious, for I grant to thee by decree the earth in its length and breadth. The tribes of the West and those of the East are under the place of thy countenance, and when thou goest up into all the strange lands with a joyous heart, there is none who will withstand Thy Majesty, for I am thy guide when thou treadest them underfoot. Thou hast crossed the water of the great curve of Naharaim* in thy strength and in thy power, and I have commanded thee to let them hear thy roaring which shall enter their dens, I have deprived their nostrils of the breath of life, I have granted to thee that thy deeds shall sink into their hearts, that my uraeus which is upon thy head may burn them, that it may bring prisoners in long files from the peoples of Qodi, that it may consume with its flame those who are in the marshes,** that it may cut off the heads of the Asiatics without one of them being able to escape from its clutch. I grant to thee that thy conquests may embrace all lands, that the urseus which shines upon my forehead may be thy vassal, so that in all the compass of the heaven there may not be one to rise against thee, but that the people may come bearing their tribute on their backs and bending before Thy Majesty according to my behest; I ordain that all aggressors arising in thy time shall fail before thee, their heart burning within them, their limbs trembling!"
* The Euphrates, in the great curve described by it across Naharaim, after issuing from the mountains of Cilicia.
** The meaning is doubtful. The word signifies pools, marshes, the provinces situated beyond Egyptian territory, and consequently the distant parts of the world -- those which are nearest the ocean which encircles the earth, and which was considered as fed by the stagnant waters of the celestial Nile, just as the extremities of Egypt were watered by those of the terrestrial Nile.
[Illustration: 006.jpg A PROCESSION OF ]
"I. -- I am come that I may grant unto thee to crush the great ones of Zahi, I throw them under thy feet across their mountains, -- I grant to thee that they shall see Thy Majesty as a lord of shining splendour when thou shinest before them in my likeness!
"II. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush those of the country of Asia, to break the heads of the people of Lotanu, -- I grant thee that they may see Thy Majesty, clothed in thy panoply, when thou seizest thy arms, in thy war-chariot.
"III. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the land of the East, and invade those who dwell in the provinces of Tonutir, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty as the comet which rains down the heat of its flame and sheds its dew.
"IV. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the land of the West, so that Kafiti and Cyprus shall be in fear of thee, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like the young bull, stout of heart, armed with horns which none may resist.
"V. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush those who are in their marshes, so that the countries of Mitanni may tremble for fear of thee, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like the crocodile, lord of terrors, in the midst of the water, which none can approach.
"VI. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush those who are in the isles, so that the people who live in the midst of the Very-Green may be reached by thy roaring, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like an avenger who stands on the back of his victim.
"VII. -- I am come, to grant that thou mayest crush the Tihonu, so that the isles of the Utanatiu may be in the power of thy souls, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like a spell-weaving lion, and that thou mayest make corpses of them in the midst of their own valleys.*
"VIII. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the ends of the earth, so that the circle which surrounds the ocean may be grasped in thy fist, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty as the sparrow-hawk, lord of the wing, who sees at a glance all that he desires.
"IX. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the peoples who are in their "duars," so that thou mayest bring the Hiru-shaitu into captivity, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like the jackal of the south, lord of swiftness, the runner who prowls through the two lands.
"X. -- I am come, to grant thee that thou mayest crush the nomads, so that the Nubians as far as the land of Pidit are in thy grasp, -- I grant that they may see Thy Majesty like unto thy two brothers Horus and Sit, whose arms I have joined in order to establish thy power."
* The name of the people associated with the Tihonu was read at first Tanau, and identified with the Danai of the Greeks. Chabas was inclined to read Utena, and Brugsch, Uthent, more correctly Utanatiu, utanati, the people of Uatanit. The juxtaposition of this name with that of the Libyans compels us to look towards the west for the site of this people: may we assign to them the Ionian Islands, or even those in the western Mediterranean.
The poem became celebrated. When Seti I., two centuries later, commanded the Poet Laureates of his court to celebrate his victories in verse, the latter, despairing of producing anything better, borrowed the finest strophes from this hymn to Thutmosis IIL, merely changing the name of the hero. The composition, unlike so many other triumphal inscriptions, is not a mere piece of official rhetoric, in which the poverty of the subject is concealed by a multitude of common-places whether historical or mythological. Egypt indeed ruled the world, either directly or through her vassals, and from the mountains of Abyssinia to those of Cilicia her armies held the nations in awe with the threat of the Pharaoh.
The conqueror, as a rule, did not retain any part of their territory. He confined himself to the appropriation of the revenue of certain domains for the benefit of his gods.* Amon of Karnak thus became possessor of seven Syrian towns which he owed to the generosity of the victorious Pharaohs.**
* The seven towns which Amon possessed in Syria are mentioned, in the time of Ramses III., in the list of the domains and revenues of the god.
** In the year XXIII., on his return from his first campaign, Thutmosis III. provided offerings, guaranteed from the three towns Anaugasa, Inuamu, and Hurnikaru, for his father Amonra.
Certain cities, like Tunipa, even begged for statues of Thutmosis for which they built a temple and instituted a cultus. Amon and his fellow-gods too were adored there, side by side with the sovereign the inhabitants had chosen to represent them here below.* These rites were at once a sign of servitude, and a proof of gratitude for services rendered, or privileges which had been confirmed. The princes of neighbouring regions repaired annually to these temples to renew their oaths of allegiance, and to bring their tributes "before the face of the king." Taking everything into account, the condition of the Pharaoh's subjects might have been a pleasant one, had they been able to accept their lot without any mental reservation. They retained their own laws, their dynasties, and their frontiers, and paid a tax only in proportion to their resources, while the hostages given were answerable for their obedience. These hostages were as a rule taken by Thutmosis from among the sons or the brothers of the enemy's chief. They were carried to Thebes, where a suitable establishment was assigned to them,** the younger members receiving an education which practically made them Egyptians.
* The statues of Thutmosis III. and of the gods of Egypt erected at Tunipa are mentioned in a letter from the inhabitants of that town to Amenothes III. Later, Ramses II., speaking of the two towns in the country of the Khati in which were two statues of His Majesty, mentions Tunipa as one of them.
** The various titles of the lists of Thutmosis III. at Thebes show us "the children of the Syrian chiefs conducted as prisoners" into the town of Suhanu, which is elsewhere mentioned as the depot, the prison of the temple of Anion. W. Max Mullcr was the first to remark the historical value of this indication, but without sufficiently insisting on it; the name indicates, perhaps, as he says, a great prison, but a prison like those where the princes of the family of the Ottoman sultans were confined by the reigning monarch -- a palace usually provided with all the comforts of Oriental life.
As soon as a vacancy occurred in the succession either in Syria or in Ethiopia, the Pharaoh would choose from among the members of the family whom he held in reserve, that prince on whose loyalty he could best count, and placed him upon the throne.* The method of procedure was not always successful, since these princes, whom one would have supposed from their training to have been the least likely to have asserted themselves against the man to whom they owed their elevation, often gave more trouble than others. The sense of the supreme power of Egypt, which had been inculcated in them during their exile, seemed to be weakened after their return to their native country, and to give place to a sense of their own importance. Their hearts misgave them as the time approached for them to send their own children as pledges to their suzerain, and also when called upon to transfer a considerable part of their revenue to his treasury. They found, moreover, among their own cities and kinsfolk, those who were adverse to the foreign yoke, and secretly urged their countrymen to revolt, or else competitors for the throne who took advantage of the popular discontent to pose as champions of national independence, and it was difficult for the vassal prince to counteract the intrigues of these adversaries without openly declaring himself hostile to his foreign master.**
* Among the Tel el-Amarna tablets there is a letter of a petty Syrian king, Adadnirari, whose father was enthroned after a fashion in Nukhassi by Thutmosis III.
** Thus, in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence, Zimrida, governor of Sidon, gives information to Amenothes III. on the intrigues which the notables of the town were concocting against Egyptian authority. Ribaddu relates in one of these despatches that the notables of Byblos and the women of his harem were urging him to revolt; later, a letter of Amunira to the King of Egypt informs us that Ribaddu had been driven from Byblos by his own brother.
A time quickly came when a vestige of fear alone constrained them to conceal their wish for liberty; the most trivial incident then sufficed to give them the necessary encouragement, and decided them to throw off the mask, a repulse or the report of a repulse suffered by the Egyptians, the news of a popular rising in some neighbouring state, the passing visit of a Chaldaean emissary who left behind him the hope of support and perhaps of subsidies from Babylon, and the unexpected arrival of a troop of mercenaries whose services might be hired for the occasion.* A rising of this sort usually brought about the most disastrous results. The native prince or the town itself could keep back the tribute and own allegiance to no one during the few months required to convince Pharaoh of their defection and to allow him to prepare the necessary means of vengeance; the advent of the Egyptians followed, and the work of repression was systematically set in hand. They destroyed the harvests, whether green or ready for the sickle, they cut down the palms and olive trees, they tore up the vines, seized on the flocks, dismantled the strongholds, and took the inhabitants prisoners.**
* Burnaburiash, King of Babylon, speaks of Syrian agents who had come to ask for support from his father, Kurigalzu, and adds that the latter had counselled submission. In one of the letters preserved in the British Museum, Aziru defends himself for having received an emissary of the King of the Khati.
** Cf. the raiding, for instance, of the regions of Arvad and of the Zahi by Thutmosis III., described in the Annals, 11.4, 5. We are still in possession of the threats which the messenger Khani made against the rebellious chief of a province of the Zahi -- possibly Aziru.
The rebellious prince had to deliver up his silver and gold, the contents of his palace, even his children,* and when he had finally obtained peace by means of endless sacrifices, he found himself a vassal as before, but with an empty treasury, a wasted country, and a decimated people.
* See, in the accounts of the campaigns of Thutmosis, the record of the spoils, as well as the mention of the children of the chiefs brought as prisoners into Egypt.
[Illustration: 015.jpg A SYRIAN TOWN AND ITS OUTSKIRTS AFTER AN EGYPTIAN ARMY HAD PASSED THROUGH IT]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Gayet.
In spite of all this, some head-strong native princes never relinquished the hope of freedom, and no sooner had they made good the breaches in their walls as far as they were able, than they entered once more on this unequal contest, though at the risk of bringing irreparable disaster on their country. The majority of them, after one such struggle, resigned themselves to the inevitable, and fulfilled their feudal obligations regularly. They paid their fixed contribution, furnished rations and stores to the army when passing through their territory, and informed the ministers at Thebes of any intrigues among their neighbours.* Years elapsed before they could so far forget the failure of their first attempt to regain independence, as to venture to make a second, and expose themselves to fresh reverses.
The administration of so vast an empire entailed but a small expenditure on the Egyptians, and required the offices of merely a few functionaries.** The garrisons which they kept up in foreign provinces lived on the country, and were composed mainly of light troops, archers, a certain proportion of heavy infantry, and a few minor detachments of chariotry dispersed among the principal fortresses.***
* We find in the Annals, in addition to the enumeration of the tributes, the mention of the foraging arrangements which the chiefs were compelled to make for the army on its passage. We find among the tablets letters from Aziru denouncing the intrigues of the Khati; letters also of Ribaddu pointing out the misdeeds of Abdashirti, and other communications of the same nature, which demonstrate the supervision exercised by the petty Syrian princes over each other.
** Under Thutmosis III. we have among others "Mir," or "Nasi situ mihatitu," "governors of the northern countries," the Thutii who became afterwards a hero of romance. The individuals who bore this title held a middle rank in the Egyptian hierarchy.
*** The archers -- pidatid, pidati, pidate -- and the chariotry quartered in Syria are often mentioned in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence. Steindorff has recognised the term -ddu auitu, meaning infantry, in the word ueu, uiu, of the Tel el-Amarna tablets.
The officers in command had orders to interfere as little as possible in local affairs, and to leave the natives to dispute or even to fight among themselves unhindered, so long as their quarrels did not threaten the security of the Pharaoh.* It was never part of the policy of Egypt to insist on her foreign subjects keeping an unbroken peace among themselves. If, theoretically, she did not recognise the right of private warfare, she at all events tolerated its practice. It mattered little to her whether some particular province passed out of the possession of a certain Eibaddu into that of a certain Aziru, or vice versa, so long as both Eibaddu and Aziru remained her faithful slaves. She never sought to repress their incessant quarrelling until such time as it threatened to take the form of an insurrection against her own power. Then alone did she throw off her neutrality; taking the side of one or other of the dissentients, she would grant him, as a pledge of help, ten, twenty, thirty, or even more archers.**
* A half at least of the Tel el-Amarna correspondence treats of provincial wars between the kings of towns and countries subject to Egypt -- wars of Abdashirti and his son Aziru against the cities of the Phoenician coast, wars of Abdikhiba, or Abdi-Tabba, King of Jerusalem, against the chiefs of the neighbouring cities.
** Abimilki (Abisharri) demands on one occasion from the King of Egypt ten men to defend Tyre, on another occasion twenty; the town of Gula requisitioned thirty or forty to guard it. Delattre thinks that these are rhetorical expressions answering to a general word, just as if we should say "a handful of men"; the difference of value in the figures is to me a proof of their reality.
No doubt the discipline and personal courage of these veterans exercised a certain influence on the turn of events, but they were after all a mere handful of men, and their individual action in the combat would scarcely ever have been sufficient to decide the result; the actual importance of their support, in spite of their numerical inferiority, lay in the moral weight they brought to the side on which they fought, since they represented the whole army of the Pharaoh which lay behind them, and their presence in a camp always ensured final success. The vanquished party had the right of appeal to the sovereign, through whom he might obtain a mitigation of the lot which his successful adversary had prepared for him; it was to the interest of Egypt to keep the balance of power as evenly as possible between the various states which looked to her, and when she prevented one or other of the princes from completely crushing his rivals, she was minimising the danger which might soon arise from the vassal whom she had allowed to extend his territory at the expense of others.
These relations gave rise to a perpetual exchange of letters and petitions between the court of Thebes and the northern and southern provinces, in which all the petty kings of Africa and Asia, of whatever colour or race, set forth, either openly or covertly, their ambitions and their fears, imploring a favour or begging for a subsidy, revealing the real or suspected intrigues of their fellow-chiefs, and while loudly proclaiming their own loyalty, denouncing the perfidy and the secret projects of their neighbours. As the Ethiopian peoples did not, apparently, possess an alphabet of their own, half of the correspondence which concerned them was carried on in Egyptian, and written on papyrus. In Syria, however, where Babylonian civilization maintained itself in spite of its conquest by Thutmosis, cuneiform writing was still employed, and tablets of dried clay.* It had, therefore, been found necessary to establish in the Pharaoh's palace a department for this service, in which the scribes should be competent to decipher the Chaldaean character. Dictionaries and easy mythological texts had been procured for their instruction, by means of which they had learned the meaning of words and the construction of sentences. Having once mastered the mechanism of the syllabary, they set to work to translate the despatches, marking on the back of each the date and the place from whence it came, and if necessary making a draft of the reply.** In these the Pharaoh does not appear, as a rule, to have insisted on the endless titles which we find so lavishly used in his inscriptions, but the shortened protocol employed shows that the theory of his divinity was as fully acknowledged by strangers as it was by his own subjects. They greet him as their sun, the god before whom they prostrate themselves seven times seven, while they are his slaves, his dogs, and the dust beneath his feet.***
* A discovery made by the fellahin, in 1887, at Tel el- Arnarna, in the rums of the palace of Khuniaton, brought to light a portion of the correspondence between Asiatic monarchs, whether vassals or independent of Egypt, with the officers of Amenothes III. and IV., and with these Pharaohs themselves.
** Several of these registrations are still to be read on the backs of the tablets at Berlin, London, and Gizeh.
***The protocols of the letters of Abdashirti may be taken as an example, or those of Abimilki to Pharaoh, sometimes there is a development of the protocol which assumes panegyrical features similar to those met with in Egypt.
The runners to whom these documents were entrusted, and who delivered them with their own hand, were not, as a rule, persons of any consideration; but for missions of grave importance "the king's messengers" were employed, whose functions in time became extended to a remarkable degree. Those who were restricted to a limited sphere of activity were called "the king's messengers for the regions of the south," or "the king's messengers for the regions of the north," according to their proficiency in the idiom and customs of Africa or of Asia. Others were deemed capable of undertaking missions wherever they might be required, and were, therefore, designated by the bold title of "the king's messengers for all lands." In this case extended powers were conferred upon them, and they were permitted to cut short the disputes between two cities in some province they had to inspect, to excuse from tribute, to receive presents and hostages, and even princesses destined for the harem of the Pharaoh, and also to grant the support of troops to such as could give adequate reason for seeking it.* Their tasks were always of a delicate and not infrequently of a perilous nature, and constantly exposed them to the danger of being robbed by highwaymen or maltreated by some insubordinate vassal, at times even running the risk of mutilation or assassination by the way.**
* The Tel el-Amarna correspondence shows the messengers in the time of Amenothes III. and IV. as receiving tribute, as bringing an army to the succour of a chief in difficulties, as threatening with the anger of the Pharaoh the princes oL doubtful loyalty, as giving to a faithful vassal compliments and honours from his suzerain, as charged with the
** A letter of Ribaddu, in the time of Amenothes III., represents a royal messenger as blockaded in By bios by the rebels.
They were obliged to brave the dangers of the forests of Lebanon and of the Taurus, the solitudes of Mesopotamia, the marshes of Chaldoa, the voyages to Puanit and Asia Minor. Some took their way towards Assyria and Babylon, while others embarked at Tyre or Sidon for the islands of the AEgean Archipelago.* The endurance of all these officers, whether governors or messengers, their courage, their tact, the ready wit they were obliged to summon to help them out of the difficulties into which their calling frequently brought them, all tended to enlist the public sympathy in their favour.**
* We hear from the tablets of several messengers to Babylon, and the Mitanni, Rasi, Mani, Khamassi. The royal messenger Thutii, who governed the countries of the north, speaks of having satisfied the heart of the king in "the isles which are in the midst of the sea." This was not, as some think, a case of hyperbole, for the messengers could embark on Phoenician vessels; they had a less distance to cover in order to reach the AEgean than the royal messenger of Queen Hatshopsitu had before arriving at the country of the Somalis and the "Ladders of Incense."
** The hero of the Anastasi Papyrus, No.1, with whom Chabas made us acquainted in his Voyage d'un Egyptien, is probably a type of the "messenger" or the time of Ramses II.; in any case, his itinerary and adventures are natural to a "royal messenger" compelled to traverse Syria alone.
Many of them achieved a reputation, and were made the heroes of popular romance. More than three centuries after it was still related how one of them, by name Thutii, had reduced and humbled Jaffa, whose chief had refused to come to terms. Thutii set about his task by feigning to throw off his allegiance to Thutmosis III., and withdrew from the Egyptian service, having first stolen the great magic wand of his lord; he then invited the rebellious chief into his camp, under pretence of showing him this formidable talisman, and killed him after they had drunk together. The cunning envoy then packed five hundred of his soldiers into jars, and caused them to be carried on the backs of asses before the gates of the town, where he made the herald of the murdered prince proclaim that the Egyptians had been defeated, and that the pack train which accompanied him contained the spoil, among which was Thutii himself. The officer in charge of the city gate was deceived by this harangue, the asses were admitted within the walls, where the soldiers quitted their jars, massacred the garrison, and made themselves masters of the town. The tale is, in the main, the story of Ali Baba and the forty thieves.
The frontier was continually shifting, and Thutmosis III., like Thutmosis I., vainly endeavoured to give it a fixed character by erecting stelas along the banks of the Euphrates, at those points where he contended it had run formerly. While Kharu and Phoenicia were completely in the hands of the conqueror, his suzerainty became more uncertain as it extended northwards in the direction of the Taurus. Beyond Qodshu, it could only be maintained by means of constant supervision, and in Naharaim its duration was coextensive with the sojourn of the conqueror in the locality during his campaign, for it vanished of itself as soon as he had set out on his return to Africa. It will be thus seen that, on the continent of Asia, Egypt possessed a nucleus of territories, so far securely under her rule that they might be actually reckoned as provinces; beyond this immediate domain there was a zone of waning influence, whose area varied with each reign, and even under one king depended largely on the activity which he personally displayed.
This was always the case when the rulers of Egypt attempted to carry their supremacy beyond the isthmus; whether under the Ptolemies or the native kings, the distance to which her influence extended was always practically the same, and the teaching of history enables us to note its limits on the map with relative accuracy.*
* The development of the Egyptian navy enabled the Ptolemies to exercise authority over the coasts of Asia Minor and of Thrace, but this extension of their power beyond the indicated limits only hastened the exhaustion of their empire. This instance, like that of Mehemet Ali, thus confirms the position taken up in the text.
The coast towns, which were in maritime communication with the ports of the Delta, submitted to the Egyptian yoke more readily than those of the interior. But this submission could not be reckoned on beyond Berytus, on the banks of the Lykos, though occasionally it stretched a little further north as far as Byblos and Arvad; even then it did not extend inland, and the curve marking its limits traverses Coele-Syria from north-west to south-east, terminating at Mount Hermon. Damascus, securely entrenched behind Anti-Lebanon, almost always lay outside this limit. The rulers of Egypt generally succeeded without much difficulty in keeping possession of the countries lying to the south of this line; it demanded merely a slight effort, and this could be furnished for several centuries without encroaching seriously on the resources of the country, or endangering its prosperity. When, however, some province ventured to break away from the control of Egypt, the whole mechanism of the government was put into operation to provide soldiers and the necessary means for an expedition. Each stage of the advance beyond the frontier demanded a greater expenditure of energy, which, with prolonged distances, would naturally become exhausted. The expedition would scarcely have reached the Taurus or the Euphrates, before the force of circumstances would bring about its recall homewards, leaving but a slight bond of vassalage between the recently subdued countries and the conqueror, which would speedily be cast off or give place to relations dictated by interest or courtesy. Thutmosis III. had to submit to this sort of necessary law; a further extension of territory had hardly been gained when his dominion began to shrink within the frontiers that appeared to have been prescribed by nature for an empire like that of Egypt. Kharu and Phoenicia proper paid him their tithes with due regularity; the cities of the Amurru and of Zahi, of Damascus, Qodshu, Hamath, and even of Tunipa, lying on the outskirts of these two subject nations, formed an ill-defined borderland, kept in a state of perpetual disturbance by the secret intrigues or open rebellions of the native princes. The kings of Alasia, Naharaim, and Mitanni preserved their independence in spite of repeated reverses, and they treated with the conqueror on equal terms.*
* The difference of tone between the letters of these kings and those of the other princes, as well as the consequences arising from it, has been clearly defined by Delattre.
The tone of their letters to the Pharaoh, the polite formulas with which they addressed him, the special protocol which the Egyptian ministry had drawn up for their reply, all differ widely from those which we see in the despatches coming from commanders of garrisons or actual vassals. In the former it is no longer a slave or a feudatory addressing his master and awaiting his orders, but equals holding courteous communication with each other, the brother of Alasia or of Mitanni with his brother of Egypt. They inform him of their good health, and then, before entering on business, they express their good wishes for himself, his wives, his sons, the lords of his court, his brave soldiers, and for his horses. They were careful never to forget that with a single word their correspondent could let loose upon them a whirlwind of chariots and archers without number, but the respect they felt for his formidable power never degenerated into a fear which would humiliate them before him with their faces in the dust.
This interchange of diplomatic compliments was called for by a variety of exigencies, such as incidents arising on the frontier, secret intrigues, personal alliances, and questions of general politics. The kings of Mesopotamia and of Northern Syria, even those of Assyria and Chaldaea, who were preserved by distance from the dangers of a direct invasion, were in constant fear of an unexpected war, and heartily desired the downfall of Egypt; they endeavoured meanwhile to occupy the Pharaoh so fully at home that he had no leisure to attack them. Even if they did not venture to give open encouragement to the disposition in his subjects to revolt, they at least experienced no scruple in hiring emissaries who secretly fanned the flame of discontent. The Pharaoh, aroused to indignation by such plotting, reminded them of their former oaths and treaties. The king in question would thereupon deny everything, would speak of his tried friendship, and recall the fact that he had refused to help a rebel against his beloved brother.* These protestations of innocence were usually accompanied by presents, and produced a twofold effect. They soothed the anger of the offended party, and suggested not only a courteous answer, but the sending of still more valuable gifts. Oriental etiquette, even in those early times, demanded that the present of a less rich or powerful friend should place the recipient under the obligation of sending back a gift of still greater worth. Every one, therefore, whether great or little, was obliged to regulate his liberality according to the estimation in which he held himself, or to the opinion which others formed of him, and a personage of such opulence as the King of Egypt was constrained by the laws of common civility to display an almost boundless generosity: was he not free to work the mines of the Divine Land or the diggings of the Upper Nile; and as for gold, "was it not as the dust of his country"?**
* See the letter of Amenothes III. to Kallimmasin of Babylon, where the King of Egypt complains of the inimical designs which the Babylonian messengers had planned against him, and of the intrigues they had connected on their return to their own country; see also the letter from Burnaburiash to Amenothes IV., in which he defends himself from the accusation of having plotted against the King of Egypt at any time, and recalls the circumstance that his father Kurigalzu had refused to encourage the rebellion of one of the Syrian tribes, subjects of Amenothes III.
** See the letter of Dushratta, King of Mitanni, to the Pharaoh Amenothes IV.
He would have desired nothing better than to exhibit such liberality, had not the repeated calls on his purse at last constrained him to parsimony; he would have been ruined, and Egypt with him, had he given all that was expected of him. Except in a few extraordinary cases, the gifts sent never realised the expectations of the recipients; for instance, when twenty or thirty pounds of precious metal were looked for, the amount despatched would be merely two or three. The indignation of these disappointed beggars and their recriminations were then most amusing: "From the time when my father and thine entered into friendly relations, they loaded each other with presents, and never waited to be asked to exchange amenities;* and now my brother sends me two minas of gold as a gift! Send me abundance of gold, as much as thy father sent, and even, for so it must be, more than thy father."** Pretexts were never wanting to give reasonable weight to such demands: one correspondent had begun to build a temple or a palace in one of his capitals,*** another was reserving his fairest daughter for the Pharaoh, and he gave him to understand that anything he might receive would help to complete the bride's trousseau.****
* Burnaburiash complains that the king's messengers had only brought him on one occasion two minas of gold, on another occasion twenty minas; moreover, that the quality of the metal was so bad that hardly five minas of pure gold could be extracted from it.
** Literally, "and they would never make each other a fair request." The meaning I propose is doubtful, but it appears to be required by the context. The letter from which this passage was taken is from Burnaburiash, King of Babylon, to Amenothes IV.
*** This is the pretext advanced by Burnaburiash in the letter just cited.
**** This seems to have been the motive in a somewhat embarrassing letter which Dushratta, King of Mitanni, wrote to the Pharaoh Amenothes III. on the occasion of his fixing the dowry of his daughter.
The princesses thus sent from Babylon or Mitanni to the court of Thebes enjoyed on their arrival a more honourable welcome, and were assigned a more exalted rank than those who came from Kharu and Phoenicia. As a matter of fact, they were not hostages given over to the conqueror to be disposed of at will, but queens who were united in legal marriage to an ally.* Once admitted to the Pharaoh's court, they retained their full rights as his wife, as well as their own fortune and mode of life. Some would bring to their betrothed chests of jewels, utensils, and stuffs, the enumeration of which would cover both sides of a large tablet; others would arrive escorted by several hundred slaves or matrons as personal attendants.** A few of them preserved their original name,*** many assumed an Egyptian designation,**** and so far adapted themselves to the costumes, manners, and language of their adopted country, that they dropped all intercourse with their native land, and became regular Egyptians.
* The daughter of the King of the Khati, wife of Ramses IL, was treated, as we see from the monuments, with as much honour as would have been accorded to Egyptian princesses of pure blood.
** Gilukhipa, who was sent to Egypt to become the wife of Amenothes III., took with her a company of three hundred and seventy women for her service. She was a daughter of Sutarna, King of Mitanni, and is mentioned several times in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence.
*** For example, Gilukhipa, whose name is transcribed Kilagipa in Egyptian, and another princess of Mitanni, niece of Gilukhipa, called Tadu-khipa, daughter of Dushratta and wife of Amenothes IV.
**** The prince of the Khati's daughter who married Ramses II. is an example; we know her only by her Egyptian name Maitnofiruri. The wife of Ramses III. added to the Egyptian name of Isis her original name, Humazarati.
When, after several years, an ambassador arrived with greetings from their father or brother, he would be puzzled by the changed appearance of these ladies, and would almost doubt their identity: indeed, those only who had been about them in childhood were in such cases able to recognise them.* These princesses all adopted the gods of their husbands,** though without necessarily renouncing their own. From time to time their parents would send them, with much pomp, a statue of one of their national divinities -- Ishtar, for example -- which, accompanied by native priests, would remain for some months at the court.***
* This was the case with the daughter of Kallimmasin, King of Babylon, married to Amenothes III.; her father's ambassador did not recognise her.
** The daughter of the King of the Khati, wife of Ramses II., is represented in an attitude of worship before her deified husband and two Egyptian gods.
*** Dushratta of Mitanni, sending a statue of Ishtar to his daughter, wife of Amenothes III., reminds her that the same statue had already made the voyage to Egypt in the time of his father Sutarna.
The children of these queens ranked next in order to those whose mothers belonged to the solar race, but nothing prevented them marrying their brothers or sisters of pure descent, and being eventually raised to the throne. The members of their families who remained in Asia were naturally proud of these bonds of close affinity with the Pharaoh, and they rarely missed an opportunity of reminding him in their letters that they stood to him in the relationship of brother-in-law, or one of his fathers-in-law; their vanity stood them in good stead, since it afforded them another claim on the favours which they were perpetually asking of him.*
* Dushratta of Mitanni never loses an opportunity of calling Aoienothes III., husband of his sister Gilukhipa, and of one of his daughters, "akhiya," my brother, and "khatani-ya," my son-in-law.
These foreign wives had often to interfere in some of the contentions which were bound to arise between two States whose subjects were in constant intercourse with one another. Invasions or provincial wars may have affected or even temporarily suspended the passage to and from of caravans between the countries of the Tigris and those of the Nile; but as soon as peace was re-established, even though it were the insecure peace of those distant ages, the desert traffic was again resumed and carried on with renewed vigour. The Egyptian traders who penetrated into regions beyond the Euphrates, carried with them, and almost unconsciously disseminated along the whole extent of their route, the numberless products of Egyptian industry, hitherto but little known outside their own country, and rendered expensive owing to the difficulty of transmission or the greed of the merchants. The Syrians now saw for the first time in great quantities, objects which had been known to them hitherto merely through the few rare specimens which made their way across the frontier: arms, stuffs, metal implements, household utensils -- in fine, all the objects which ministered to daily needs or to luxury. These were now offered to them at reasonable prices, either by the hawkers who accompanied the army or by the soldiers themselves, always ready, as soldiers are, to part with their possessions in order to procure a few extra pleasures in the intervals of fighting.
[Illustration: 031.jpg THE LOTANU AND THE GOLDSMITHS'WORK CONSTITUTING THEIR TRIBUTE]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger. The scene here reproduced occurs in most of the Theban tombs of the XVIIII. dynasty.
On the other hand, whole convoys of spoil were despatched to Egypt after every successful campaign, and their contents were distributed in varying proportions among all classes of society, from the militiaman belonging to some feudal contingent, who received, as a reward of his valour, some half-dozen necklaces or bracelets, to the great lord of ancient family or the Crown Prince, who carried off waggon-loads of booty in their train. These distributions must have stimulated a passion for all Syrian goods, and as the spoil was insufficient to satisfy the increasing demands of the consumer, the waning commerce which had been carried on from early times was once more revived and extended, till every route, whether by land or water, between Thebes, Memphis, and the Asiatic cities, was thronged by those engaged in its pursuit. It would take too long to enumerate the various objects of merchandise brought in almost daily to the marts on the Nile by Phoenician vessels or the owners of caravans. They comprised slaves destined for the workshop or the harem,* Hittite bulls and stallions, horses from Singar, oxen from Alasia, rare and curious animals such as elephants from Nii, and brown bears from the Lebanon,** smoked and salted fish, live birds of many-coloured plumage, goldsmiths'work*** and precious stones, of which lapis-lazuli was the chief.
* Syrian slaves are mentioned along with Ethiopian in the Anastasi Papyrus, No.1, and there is mention in the Tel el-Amarna correspondence of Hittite slaves whom Dushratta of Mitanni brought to Amenothes III., and of other presents of the same kind made by the King of Alasia as a testimony of his grateful homage.
** The elephant and the bear are represented on the tomb of liakhmiri among the articles of tribute brought into Egypt.
*** The Annals of Thutmosis III. make a record in each campaign of the importation of gold and silver vases, objects in lapis-lazuli and crystal, or of blocks of the same materials; the Theban tombs of this period afford examples of the vases and blocks brought by the Syrians. The Tel el-Amarna letters also mention vessels of gold or blocks of precious stone sent as presents or as objects of exchange to the Pharaoh by the King of Babylon, by the King of Mitanni, by the King of the Hittites, and by other princes. The lapis-lazuli of Babylon, which probably came from Persia, was that which was most prized by the Egyptians on account of the golden sparks in it, which enhanced the blue colour; this is, perhaps, the Uknu of the cuneiform inscriptions, which has been read for a long time as "crystal."
[Illustration: 032b.jpg PAINTED TABLETS IN THE HALL OF HARPS]
Wood for building or for ornamental work -- pine,cypress, yew, cedar, and oak,* musical instruments,** helmets, leathern jerkins covered with metal scales, weapons of bronze and iron,*** chariots,**** dyed and embroidered stuffs,^ perfumes,^^ dried cakes, oil, wines of Kharu, liqueurs from Alasia, Khati, Singar, Naharaim, Amurru, and beer from Qodi.^^^
* Building and ornamental woods are often mentioned in the inscriptions of Thutmosis III. A scene at Karnak represents Seti I. causing building-wood to be cut in the region of the Lebanon. A letter of the King of Alasia speaks of
** Some stringed instruments of music, and two or three kinds of flutes and flageolets, are designated in Egyptian by names borrowed from some Semitic tongue -- a fact which proves that they were imported; the wooden framework of the harp, decorated with sculptured heads of Astarto, figures among the objects coming from Syria in the temple of the Theban Anion.
*** Several names of arms borrowed from some Semitic dialect have been noticed in the texts of this period. The objects as well as the words must have been imported into Egypt, e.g. the quiver, the sword and javelins used by the charioteers. Cuirasses and leathern jerkins are mentioned in the inscriptions of Thutmosis III.
**** Chariots plated with gold and silver figure frequently among the spoils of Thutmosis III.: the Anastasi Papyrus, No.1, contains a detailed description of Syrian chariots -- Markabuti -- with a reference to the localities whore certain parts of them were made; -- the country of the Amurru, that of Aupa, the town of Pahira. The Tel el-Amarna correspondence mentions very frequently chariots sent to the Pharaoh by the King of Babylon, either as presents or to be sold in Egypt; others sent by the King of Alasia and by the King of Mitanni.
^ Some linen, cotton, or woollen stuffs are mentioned in the Anastasi Papyrus, No.4, and elsewhere as coming from Syria. The Egyptian love of white linen always prevented their estimating highly the coloured and brocaded stuffs of Asia; and one sees nowhere, in the representations, any examples of stuffs of such origin, except on furniture or in ships equipped with something of the kind in the form of sails.
^^ The perfumed oils of Syria are mentioned in a general way in the Anastasi Papyrus, No.1; the King of Alasia speaks of essences which he is sending to Amenothes III.; the King of Mitanni refers to bottles of oil which he is forwarding to Gilukhipa and to Tii.
^^^ A list of cakes of Syrian origin is found in the Anastasi Papyrus, No.1; also a reference to balsamic oils from Naharaim, and to various oils which had arrived in the ports of the Delta, to the wines of Syria, to palm wine and various liqueurs manufactured in Alasia, in Singar, among the Khati, Amorites, and the people of. Tikhisa; finally, to the beer of Qodi.
[Illustration: 034.jpg. THE BEAR AND ELEPHANT BROUGHT AS TRIBUTE IN THE TOMB OF RAKHMIRI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of Prisse d'Avennes' sketch.
On arriving at the frontier, whether by sea or by land, the majority of these objects had to pay the custom dues which were rigorously collected by the officers of the Pharaoh. This, no doubt, was a reprisal tariff, since independent sovereigns, such as those of Mitanni, Assyria, and Babylon, were accustomed to impose a similar duty on all the products of Egypt. The latter, indeed, supplied more than she received, for many articles which reached her in their raw condition were, by means of native industry, worked up and exported as ornaments, vases, and highly decorated weapons, which, in the course of international traffic, were dispersed to all four corners of the earth. The merchants of Babylon and Assyria had little to fear as long as they kept within the domains of their own sovereign or in those of the Pharaoh; but no sooner did they venture within the borders of those turbulent states which separated the two great powers, than they were exposed to dangers at every turn. Safe-conducts were of little use if they had not taken the additional precaution of providing a strong escort and carefully guarding their caravan, for the Shausu concealed in the depths of the Lebanon or the needy sheikhs of Kharu could never resist the temptation to rob the passing traveller.*
* The scribe who in the reign of Ramses II. composed the Travels of an Egyptian, speaks in several places of marauding tribes and robbers, who infested the roads followed by the hero. The Tel el-Amarna correspondence contains a letter from the King of Alasia, who exculpates himself from being implicated in the harsh treatment certain Egyptians had received in passing through his territory; and another letter in which the King of Babylon complains that Chaldoan merchants had been robbed at Khinnatun, in Galilee, by the Prince of Akku (Acre) and his accomplices: one of them had his feet cut off, and the other was still a prisoner in Akku, and Burnaburiash demands from Amenothes IV. the death of the guilty persons.
The victims complained to their king, who felt no hesitation in passing on their woes to the sovereign under whose rule the pillagers were supposed to live. He demanded their punishment, but his request was not always granted, owing to the difficulties of finding out and seizing the offenders. An indemnity, however, could be obtained which would nearly compensate the merchants for the loss sustained. In many cases justice had but little to do with the negotiations, in which self-interest was the chief motive; but repeated refusals would have discouraged traders, and by lessening the facilities of transit, have diminished the revenue which the state drew from its foreign commerce.
The question became a more delicate one when it concerned the rights of subjects residing out of their native country. Foreigners, as a rule, were well received in Egypt; the whole country was open to them; they could marry, they could acquire houses and lands, they enjoyed permission to follow their own religion unhindered, they were eligible for public honours, and more than one of the officers of the crown whose tombs we see at Thebes were themselves Syrians, or born of Syrian parents on the banks of the Nile.*
* In a letter from the King of Alasia, there is question of a merchant who had died in Egypt. Among other monuments proving the presence of Syrians about the Pharaoh, is the stele of Ben-Azana, of the town of Zairabizana, surnamed Ramses-Empiri: he was surrounded with Semites like himself.
Hence, those who settled in Egypt without any intention of returning to their own country enjoyed all the advantages possessed by the natives, whereas those who took up a merely temporary abode there were more limited in their privileges. They were granted the permission to hold property in the country, and also the right to buy and sell there, but they were not allowed to transmit their possessions at will, and if by chance they died on Egyptian soil, their goods lapsed as a forfeit to the crown. The heirs remaining in the native country of the dead man, who were ruined by this confiscation, sometimes petitioned the king to interfere in their favour with a view of obtaining restitution. If the Pharaoh consented to waive his right of forfeiture, and made over the confiscated objects or their equivalent to the relatives of the deceased, it was solely by an act of mercy, and as an example to foreign governments to treat Egyptians with a like clemency should they chance to proffer a similar request.*
* All this seems to result from a letter in which the King of Alasia demands from Amenothes III. the restitution of the goods of one of his subjects who had died in Egypt; the tone of the letter is that of one asking a favour, and on the supposition that the King of Egypt had a right to keep the property of a foreigner dying on his territory.
It is also not improbable that the sovereigns themselves had a personal interest in more than one commercial undertaking, and that they were the partners, or, at any rate, interested in the enterprises, of many of their subjects, so that any loss sustained by one of the latter would eventually fall upon themselves. They had, in fact, reserved to themselves the privilege of carrying on several lucrative industries, and of disposing of the products to foreign buyers, either to those who purchased them out and out, or else through the medium of agents, to whom they intrusted certain quantities of the goods for warehousing. The King of Babylon, taking advantage of the fashion which prompted the Egyptians to acquire objects of Chaldaean goldsmiths' and cabinet-makers' art, caused ingots of gold to be sent to him by the Pharaoh, which he returned worked up into vases, ornaments, household utensils, and plated chariots. He further fixed the value of all such objects, and took a considerable commission for having acted as intermediary in the transaction.* In Alasia, which was the land of metals, the king appears to have held a monopoly of the bronze. Whether he smelted it in the country, or received it from more distant regions ready prepared, we cannot say, but he claimed and retained for himself the payment for all that the Pharaoh deigned to order of him.**
* Letter of Burnaburiash to Amenothes IV.
** Letter from the King of Alasia to Amenothes III., where, whilst pretending to have nothing else in view than making a present to his royal brother, he proposes to make an exchange of some bronze for the products of Egypt,
From such instances we can well understand the jealous, watch which these sovereigns exercised, lest any individual connected with corporations of workmen should leave the kingdom and establish himself in another country without special permission. Any emigrant who opened a workshop and initiated his new compatriots in the technique or professional secrets of his craft, was regarded by the authorities as the most dangerous of all evil-doers. By thus introducing his trade into a rival state, he deprived his own people of a good customer, and thus rendered himself liable to the penalties inflicted on those who were guilty of treason. His savings were confiscated, his house razed to the ground, and his whole family -- parents, wives, and children -- treated as partakers in his crime. As for himself, if justice succeeded in overtaking him, he was punished with death, or at least with mutilation, such as the loss of eyes and ears, or amputation of the feet. This severity did not prevent the frequent occurrence of such cases, and it was found necessary to deal with them by the insertion of a special extradition clause in treaties of peace and other alliances. The two contracting parties decided against conceding the right of habitation to skilled workmen who should take refuge with either party on the territory of the other, and they agreed to seize such workmen forthwith, and mutually restore them, but under the express condition that neither they nor any of their belongings should incur any penalty for the desertion of their country. It would be curious to know if all the arrangements agreed to by the kings of those times were sanctioned, as in the above instance, by properly drawn up agreements. Certain expressions occur in their correspondence which seem to prove that this was the case, and that the relations between them, of which we can catch traces, resulted not merely from a state of things which, according to their ideas, did not necessitate any diplomatic sanction, but from conventions agreed to after some war, or entered on without any previous struggle, when there was no question at issue between the two states.*
* The treaty of Ramses II. with the King of the Khati, the only one which has come down to us, was a renewal of other treaties effected one after the other between the fathers and grandfathers of the two contracting sovereigns. Some of the Tel el-Amarna letters probably refer to treaties of this kind; e.g. that of Burnaburiash of Babylon, who says that since the time of Karaindash there had been an exchange of ambassadors and friendship between the sovereigns of Chaldoa and of Egypt, and also that of Dushratta of Mitanni, who reminds Queen Tii of the secret negotiations which had taken place between him and Amenothes III.
When once the Syrian conquest had been effected, Egypt gave permanency to its results by means of a series of international decrees, which officially established the constitution of her empire, and brought about her concerted action with the Asiatic powers.
[Illustration: 040.jpg THE MUMMY OF THUTMOSIS III.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph taken by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
She already occupied an important position among them, when Thutmosis III. died, on the last day of Phamenoth, in the IVth year of his reign.* He was buried, probably, at Deir el-Bahari, in the family tomb wherein the most illustrious members of his house had been laid to rest since the time of Thutmosis I. His mummy was not securely hidden away, for towards the close of the XXth dynasty it was torn out of the coffin by robbers, who stripped it and rifled it of the jewels with which it was covered, injuring it in their haste to carry away the spoil. It was subsequently re-interred, and has remained undisturbed until the present day; but before re-burial some renovation of the wrappings was necessary, and as portions of the body had become loose, the restorers, in order to give the mummy the necessary firmness, compressed it between four oar-shaped slips of wood, painted white, and placed, three inside the wrappings and one outside, under the bands which confined the winding-sheet.
* Dr. Mahler has, with great precision, fixed the date of the accession of Thutmosis III, as the 20th of March, 1503, and that of his death as the 14th of February, 1449 b.c. I do not think that the data furnished to Dr. Mahler by Brugsch will admit of such exact conclusions being drawn from them, and I should fix the fifty-four years of the reign of Thutmosis III. in a less decided manner, between 1550 and 1490 b.c., allowing, as I have said before, for an error of half a century more or less in the dates which go back to the time of the second Theban empire.
[Illustration: 041.jpg HEAD OF THE MUMMY OF THUTMOSIS III.]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph lent by M. Grebaut, taken by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
Happily the face, which had been plastered over with pitch at the time of embalming, did not suffer at all from this rough treatment, and appeared intact when the protecting mask was removed. Its appearance does not answer to our ideal of the conqueror. His statues, though not representing him as a type of manly beauty, yet give him refined, intelligent features, but a comparison with the mummy shows that the artists have idealised their model. The forehead is abnormally low, the eyes deeply sunk, the jaw heavy, the lips thick, and the cheek-bones extremely prominent; the whole recalling the physiognomy of Thutmosis II., though with a greater show of energy. Thutmosis III. is a fellah of the old stock, squat, thickset, vulgar in character and expression, but not lacking in firmness and vigour.* Amenothes II., who succeeded him, must have closely resembled him, if we may trust his official portraits. He was the son of a princess of the blood, Hatshopsitu II., daughter of the great Hatshopsitu,** and consequently he came into his inheritance with stronger claims to it than any other Pharaoh since the time of Amenothes I. Possibly his father may have associated him with himself on the throne as soon as the young prince attained his majority;*** at any rate, his accession aroused no appreciable opposition in the country, and if any difficulties were made, they must have come from outside.
* The restored remains allow us to estimate the height at about 5 ft.3 in.
** His parentage is proved by the pictures preserved in the tomb of his foster-father, where he is represented in company with the royal mother, Maritri. Hatshopsitu.
*** It is thus that Wiedemann explains his presence by the side of Thutmosis III. on certain bas-reliefs in the temple of Amada.
It is always a dangerous moment in the existence of a newly formed empire when its founder having passed away, and the conquered people not having yet become accustomed to a subject condition, they are called upon to submit to a successor of whom they know little or nothing. It is always problematical whether the new sovereign will display as great activity and be as successful as the old one; whether he will be capable of turning to good account the armies which his predecessor commanded with such skill, and led so bravely against the enemy; whether, again, he will have sufficient tact to estimate correctly the burden of taxation which each province is capable of bearing, and to lighten it when there is a risk of its becoming too heavy. If he does not show from the first that it is his purpose to maintain his patrimony intact at all costs, or if his officers, no longer controlled by a strong hand, betray any indecision in command, his subjects will become unruly, and the change of monarch will soon furnish a pretext for widespread rebellion. The beginning of the reign of Amenothes II. was marked by a revolt of the Libyans inhabiting the Theban Oasis, but this rising was soon put down by that Amenemhabi who had so distinguished himself under Thutmosis.* Soon after, fresh troubles broke out in different parts of Syria, in Galilee, in the country of the Amurru, and among the peoples of Naharaim. The king's prompt action, however, prevented their resulting in a general war.** He marched in person against the malcontents, reduced the town of Shamshiaduma, fell upon the Lamnaniu, and attacked their chief, slaying him with his own hand, and carrying off numbers of captives.
* Brugsch and Wiedemann place this expedition at the time when Amenothes IL was either hereditary prince or associated with his father the inscription of Amenemhabi places it explicitly after the death of Thutmosis III., and this evidence outweighs every other consideration until further discoveries are made.
** The campaigns of Amenothes II. were related on a granite stele, which was placed against the second of the southern pylons at Karnak. The date of this monument is almost certainly the year II.; there is strong evidence in favour of this, if it is compared with the inscription of Amada, where Amenothes II. relates that in the year III. he sacrificed the prisoners whom he had taken in the country of Tikhisa.
[Illustration: 044.jpg AMENOTHES II., FROM THE STATUE AT TURIN]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin.
He crossed the Orontes on the 26th of Pachons, in the year II., and seeing some mounted troops in the distance, rushed upon them and overthrew them; they proved to be the advanced guard of the enemy's force, which he encountered shortly afterwards and routed, collecting in the pursuit considerable booty. He finally reached Naharaim, where he experienced in the main but a feeble resistance. Nii surrendered without resistance on the 10th of Epiphi, and its inhabitants, both men and women, with censers in their hands, assembled on the walls and prostrated themselves before the conqueror. At Akaiti, where the partisans of the Egyptian government had suffered persecution from a considerable section of the natives, order was at once reestablished as soon as the king's approach was made known. No doubt the rapidity of his marches and the vigour of his attacks, while putting an end to the hostile attitude of the smaller vassal states, were effectual in inducing the sovereigns of Alasia, of Mitanni,* and of the Hittites to renew with Amenothes the friendly relations which they had established with his father.**
* Amenothes II. mentions tribute from Mitanni on one of the columns which he decorated at Karnak, in the Hall of the Caryatides, close to the pillars finished by his
** The cartouches on the pedestal of the throne of Amenothes IL, in the tomb of one of his officers at Sheikh-Abd-el- Qurneh, represent -- together with the inhabitants of the Oasis, Libya, and Kush -- the Kefatiu, the people of Naharaim, and the Upper Lotanu, that is to say, the entire dominion of Thutmosis III., besides the people of Manus, probably Mallos, in the Cilician plain.
This one campaign, which lasted three or four months, secured a lasting peace in the north, but in the south a disturbance again broke out among the Barbarians of the Upper Nile. Amenothes suppressed it, and, in order to prevent a repetition of it, was guilty of an act of cruel severity quite in accordance with the manners of the time. He had taken prisoner seven chiefs in the country of Tikhisa, and had brought them, chained, in triumph to Thebes, on the forecastle of his ship. He sacrificed six of them himself before Amon, and exposed their heads and hands on the facade of the temple of Karnak; the seventh was subjected to a similar fate at Napata at the beginning of his third year, and thenceforth the sheikhs of Kush thought twice before defying the authority of the Pharaoh.*
* In an inscription in the temple of Amada, it is there said that the king offered this sacrifice on his return from his first expedition into Asia, and for this reason I have connected the facts thus related with those known to us through the stele of Karnak.
Amenothes'reign was a short one, lasting ten years at most, and the end of it seems to have been darkened by the open or secret rivalries which the question of the succession usually stirred up among the kings' sons. The king had daughters only by his marriage with one of his full sisters, who like himself possessed all the rights of sovereignty; those of his sons who did not die young were the children of princesses of inferior rank or of concubines, and it was a subject of anxiety among these princes which of them would be chosen to inherit the crown and be united in marriage with the king's heiresses, Khuit and Mutemuau.
[Illustration: 046.jpg THE GREAT SPHINX AND THE CHAPEL OF THUTMOSIS IV.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph taken in 1887 by Emil Brugsch-Bey
[Illustration: 047.jpg THE SIMOOM. SPHINX AND PYRAMIDS AT GIZEH]
One of his sons, named Thutmosis, who resided at the "White Wall," was in the habit of betaking himself frequently to the Libyan desert to practise with the javelin, or to pursue the hunt of lions and gazelles in his chariot. On these occasions it was his pleasure to preserve the strictest incognito, and he was accompanied by two discreet servants only. One day, when chance had brought him into the neighbourhood of the Great Pyramid, he lay down for his accustomed siesta in the shade cast by the Sphinx, the miraculous image of Khopri the most powerful, the god to whom all men in Memphis and the neighbouring towns raised adoring hands filled with offerings. The gigantic statue was at that time more than half buried, and its head alone was seen above the sand. As soon as the prince was asleep it spoke gently to him, as a father to his son: "Behold me, gaze on me, O my son Thutmosis, for I, thy father Harmakhis-Khopri-Tumu, grant thee sovereignty over the two countries, in both the South and the North, and thou shalt wear both the white and the red crown on the throne of Sibu, the sovereign, possessing the earth in its length and breadth; the flashing eye of the lord of all shall cause to rain on thee the possessions of Egypt, vast tribute from all foreign countries, and a long life for, many years as one chosen by the Sun, for my countenance is thine, my heart is thine, no other than thyself is mine! Nor am I covered by the sand of the mountain on which I rest, and have given thee this prize that thou mayest do for me what my heart desires, for I know that thou art my son, my defender; draw nigh, I am with thee, I am thy well-beloved father." The prince understood that the god promised him the kingdom on condition of his swearing to clear the sand from the statue. He was, in fact, chosen to be the husband of the queens, and immediately after his accession he fulfilled his oath; he removed the sand, built a chapel between the paws, and erected against the breast of the statue a stele of red granite, on which he related his adventure. His reign was as short as that of Amenothes, and his campaigns both in Asia and Ethiopia were unimportant.*
* The latest date of his reign at present known is that of the year VII., on the rocks of Konosso, and on a stele of Sarbut el-Khadim. There is an allusion to his wars against the Ethiopians in an inscription of Amada, and to his campaigns against the peoples of the North and South on the stele of Nofirhait.
[Illustration: 050.jpg THE STELE OF THE SPHINX OF GIZER]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch-Bey.
He had succeeded to an empire so firmly established from Naharaim to Kari,* that, apparently, no rebellion could disturb its peace. One of the two heiress-princesses, Kuit, the daughter, sister, and wife of a king, had no living male offspring, but her companion Mutemuau had at least one son, named Amenothes. In his case, again, the noble birth of the mother atoned for the defects of the paternal origin. Moreover, according to tradition, Amon-Ka himself had intervened to renew the blood of his descendants: he appeared in the person of Thutmosis IV., and under this guise became the father of the heir of the Pharaohs.**
* The peoples of Naharaim and of Northern Syria are represented bringing him tribute, in a tomb at Sheikh-Abd- el-Qurneh. The inscription published by Mariette, speaks of the first expedition of Thutmosis IV. to the land of [Naharai]na, and of the gifts which he lavished on this occasion on the temple of Anion.
** It was at first thought that Mutemuau was an Ethiopian, afterwards that she was a Syrian, who had changed her name on arriving at the court of her husband. The manner in which she is represented at Luxor, and in all the texts where she figures, proves not only that she was of Egyptian race, but that she was the daughter of Amenothes II., and born of the marriage of that prince with one of his sisters, who was herself an hereditary princess.
Like Queen Ahmasis in the bas-reliefs of Deir el-Bahari, Mutemuau is shown on those of Luxor in the arms of her divine lover, and subsequently greeted by him with the title of mother; in another bas-relief we see the queen led to her couch by the goddesses who preside over the birth of children; her son Amenothes, on coming into the world with his double, is placed in the hands of the two Niles, to receive the nourishment and the education meet for the children of the gods. He profited fully by them, for he remained in power forty years, and his reign was one of the most prosperous ever witnessed by Egypt during the Theban dynasties.
[Illustration: 052.jpg QUEEN MUTEMUAU.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Daniel Heron.
Amenothes III. had spent but little of his time in war. He had undertaken the usual raids in the South against the and the tribes of the Upper Nile. In his fifth year, a general defection of the sheikhs obliged him to invade the province of Abhait, near Semneh, which he devastated at the head of the troops collected by Mari-ifi mosu, the Prince of Kush; the punishment was salutary, the booty considerable, and a lengthy peace was re-established. The object of his rare expeditions into Naharaim was not so much to add new provinces to his empire, as to prevent disturbances in the old ones. The kings of Alasia, of the Khati, of Mitanni, of Singar,* of Assyria, and of Babylon did not dare to provoke so powerful a neighbour.**
* Amenothes entitles himself on a scarabaeus "he who takes prisoner the country of Singar;" no other document has yet been discovered to show whether this is hyperbole, or whether he really reached this distant region.
** The lists of the time of Amenothes III. contain the names of Phoenicia, Naharaim, Singar, Qodshu, Tunipa, Patina, Carchomish, and Assur; that is to say, of all the subject or allied nations mentioned in the correspondence of Tel el- Amarna. Certain episodes of these expeditions had been engraved on the exterior face of the pylon constructed by the king for the temple of Amon at Karnak; at the present time they are concealed by the wall at the lower end of the Hypostyle Hall. The tribute of the Lotanu was represented on the tomb of Hui, at Sheikh-Abd-el-Qurneh.
[Illustration: 052b.jpg Amenothes III. Colossal Head in the British Museum]
The remembrance of the victories of Thutmosis III. was still fresh in their memories, and, even had their hands been free, would have made them cautious in dealing with his great-grandson; but they were incessantly engaged in internecine quarrels, and had recourse to Pharaoh merely to enlist his support, or at any rate make sure of his neutrality, and prevent him from joining their adversaries.
[Illustration: 053.jpg AMENOTHES III. FROM THE TOMB OF KHAMHAIT]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Daniel Heron.
Whatever might have been the nature of their private sentiments, they professed to be anxious to maintain, for their mutual interests, the relations with Egypt entered on half a century before, and as the surest method of attaining their object was by a good marriage, they would each seek an Egyptian wife for himself, or would offer Amenothes a princess of one of their own royal families. The Egyptian king was, however, firm in refusing to bestow a princess of the solar blood even on the most powerful of the foreign kings; his pride rebelled at the thought that she might one day be consigned to a place among the inferior wives or concubines, but he gladly accepted, and even sought for wives for himself, from among the Syrian and Chaldaean princesses. Kallimmasin of Babylon gave Amenothes first his sister, and when age had deprived this princess of her beauty, then his daughter Irtabi in marriage.*
* Letter from Amenothes III. to Kallimmasin, concerning a sister of the latter, who was married to the King of Egypt, but of whom there are no further records remaining at Babylon, and also one of his daughters whom Amenothes had demanded in marriage; and letters from Kallimmasin, consenting to bestow his daughter Irtabi on the Pharaoh, and proposing to give to Amenothes whichever one he might choose of the daughters of his house.
Sutarna of Mitanni had in the same way given the Pharaoh his daughter Gilukhipa; indeed, most of the kings of that period had one or two relations in the harem at Thebes. This connexion usually proved a support to Asiatic sovereigns, such alliances being a safeguard against the rivalries of their brothers or cousins. At times, however, they were the means of exposing them to serious dangers. When Sutarna died he was succeeded by his son Dushratta, but a numerous party put forward another prince, named Artassumara, who was probably Gilukhipa's brother, on the mother's side;* a Hittite king of the name of Pirkhi espoused the cause of the pretender, and a civil war broke out.
* Her exact relationship is not explicitly expressed, but is implied in the facts, for there seems no reason why Gilukhipa should have taken the part of one brother rather than another, unless Artassumara had been nearer to her than Dushratta; that is to say, her brother on the mother's side as well as on the father's.
Dushratta was victorious, and caused his brother to be strangled, but was not without anxiety as to the consequences which might follow this execution should Gilukhipa desire to avenge the victim, and to this end stir up the anger of the suzerain against him. Dushratta, therefore, wrote a humble epistle, showing that he had received provocation, and that he had found it necessary to strike a decisive blow to save his own life; the tablet was accompanied by various presents to the royal pair, comprising horses, slaves, jewels, and perfumes. Gilukhipa, however, bore Dushratta no ill-will, and the latter's anxieties were allayed. The so-called expeditions of Amenothes to the Syrian provinces must constantly have been merely visits of inspection, during which amusements, and especially the chase, occupied nearly as important a place as war and politics. Amenothes III. took to heart that pre-eminently royal duty of ridding the country of wild beasts, and fulfilled it more conscientiously than any of his predecessors. He had killed 112 lions during the first ten years of his reign, and as it was an exploit of which he was remarkably proud, he perpetuated the memory of it in a special inscription, which he caused to be engraved on numbers of large scarabs of fine green enamel. Egypt prospered under his peaceful government, and if the king made no great efforts to extend her frontiers, he spared no pains to enrich the country by developing industry and agriculture, and also endeavoured to perfect the military organisation which had rendered the conquest of the East so easy a matter.
A census, undertaken by his minister Amenothes, the son of Hapi, ensured a more correct assessment of the taxes, and a regular scheme of recruiting for the army.
[Illustration: 056.jpg SCARAB OF THE HUNT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the photograph published in Mariette.
Whole tribes of slaves were brought into the country by means of the border raids which were always taking place, and their opportune arrival helped to fill up the vacancies which repeated wars had caused among the rural and urban population; such a strong impetus to agriculture was also given by this importation, that when, towards the middle of the reign, the minister Khamhaifc presented the tax-gathers at court, he was able to boast that he had stored in the State granaries a larger quantity of corn than had been gathered in for thirty years. The traffic carried on between Asia and the Delta by means of both Egyptian and foreign ships was controlled by customhouses erected at the mouths of the Nile, the coast being protected by cruising vessels against the attacks of pirates. The fortresses of the isthmus and of the Libyan border, having been restored or rebuilt, constituted a check on the turbulence of the nomad tribes, while garrisons posted at intervals at the entrance to the Wadys leading to the desert restrained the plunderers scattered between the Nile and the Red Sea, and between the chain of Oases and the unexplored regions of the Sahara.* Egypt was at once the most powerful as well as the most prosperous kingdom in the world, being able to command more labour and more precious metals for the embellishment of her towns and the construction of her monuments than any other.
All this information is gathered from the inscription on the statue of Amenothes, the son of Hapi.
Public works had been carried on briskly under Thutmosis III. and his successors. The taste for building, thwarted at first by the necessity of financial reforms, and then by that of defraying the heavy expenses incurred through the expulsion of the Hyksos and the earlier foreign wars, had free scope as soon as spoil from the Syrian victories began to pour in year by year. While the treasure seized from the enemy provided the money, the majority of the prisoners were used as workmen, so that temples, palaces, and citadels began to rise as if by magic from one end of the valley to the other.*
* For this use of prisoners of war, cf. the picture from the tomb of Rakhmiri on p.58 of the present work, in which most of the earlier Egyptologists believed they recognised the Hebrews, condemned by Pharaoh to build the cities of Ramses and Pithom in the Delta.
Nubia, divided into provinces, formed merely an extension of the ancient feudal Egypt -- at any rate as far as the neighbourhood of the Tacazzeh -- though the Egyptian religion had here assumed a peculiar character.
[Illustration: 058.jpg A GANG Of SYRIAN PRISONERS MAKING BRICK FOR THE TEMPLE OF AMON]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the chromolithograph in Lepsius.
The conquest of Nubia having been almost entirely the work of the Theban dynasties, the Theban triad, Amon, Maut, and Montu, and their immediate followers were paramount in this region, while in the north, in witness of the ancient Elephantinite colonisation, we find Khnumu of the cataract being worshipped, in connexion with Didun, father of the indigenous Nubians. The worship of Amon had been the means of introducing that of Ea and of Horus, and Osiris as lord of the dead, while Phtah, Sokhit, Atumu, and the Memphite and Heliopolitan gods were worshipped only in isolated parts of the province. A being, however, of less exalted rank shared with the lords of heaven the favour of the people. This was the Pharaoh, who as the son of Amon was foreordained to receive divine honours, sometimes figuring, as at Bohani, as the third member of a triad, at other times as head of the Ennead. Usirtasen III. had had his chapels at Semneh and at Kummeh, they were restored by Thutmosis III., who claimed a share of the worship offered in them, and whose son, Amenothes II., also assumed the symbols and functions of divinity.
[Illustration: 059.jpg ONE OF THE RAMS OF AMENOTHES III]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Mons. de Mertens.
Amenothes I. was venerated in the province of Kari, and Amenothes III., when founding the fortress Hait-Khammait* in the neighbourhood of a Nubian village, on a spot now known as Soleb, built a temple there, of which he himself was the protecting genius.**
* The name signifies literally "the Citadel of Khammait," and it is formed, as Lepsius recognised from the first, from the name of the Sparrow-hawk Khammait, "Mait rising as Goddess," which Amenothes had assumed on his accession.
** Lepsius recognised the nature of the divinity worshipped in this temple; the deified statue of the king, "his living statue on earth," which represented the god of the temple, is there named "Nibmauri, lord of Nubia." Thutmosis III. had already worked at Soleb.
The edifice was of considerable size, and the columns and walls remaining reveal an art as perfect as that shown in the best monuments at Thebes. It was approached by an avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, while colossal statues of lions and hawks, the sacred animals of the district, adorned the building. The sovereign condescended to preside in person at its dedication on one of his journeys to the southern part of his empire, and the mutilated pictures still visible on the facade show the order and detail of the ceremony observed on this occasion. The king, with the crown upon his head, stood before the centre gate, accompanied by the queen and his minister Amenothes, the son of Hapi, who was better acquainted than any other man of his time with the mysteries of the ritual.*
* On Amenothes, the son of Hapi, see p.56 of the present volume; it will be seen in the following chapter, in connection with the Egyptian accounts of the Exodus, what tradition made of him.
The king then struck the door twelve times with his mace of white stone, and when the approach to the first hall was opened, he repeated the operation at the threshold of the sanctuary previous to entering and placing his statue there. He deposited it on the painted and gilded wooden platform on which the gods were exhibited on feast-days, and enthroned beside it the other images which were thenceforth to constitute the local Ennead, after which he kindled the sacred fire before them. The queen, with the priests and nobles, all bearing torches, then passed through the halls, stopping from time to time to perform acts of purification, or to recite formulas to dispel evil spirits and pernicious influences; finally, a triumphal procession was formed, and the whole cortege returned to the palace, where a banquet brought the day's festivities to a close.* It was Amenothes III. himself, or rather one of his statues animated by his double, who occupied the chief place in the new building. Indeed, wherever we come across a temple in Nubia dedicated to a king, we find the homage of the inhabitants always offered to the image of the founder, which spoke to them in oracles. All the southern part of the country beyond the second cataract is full of traces of Amenothes, and the evidence of the veneration shown to him would lead us to conclude that he played an important part in the organisation of the country. Sedeinga possessed a small temple under the patronage of his wife Tii. The ruins of a sanctuary which he dedicated to Anion, the Sun-god, have been discovered at Gebel-Barkal; Amenothes seems to have been the first to perceive the advantages offered by the site, and to have endeavoured to transform the barbarian village of Napata into a large Egyptian city. Some of the monuments with which he adorned Soleb were transported, in later times, to Gebel-Barkal, among them some rams and lions of rare beauty. They lie at rest with their paws crossed, the head erect, and their expression suggesting both power and repose.** As we descend the Nile, traces of the work of this king are less frequent, and their place is taken by those of his predecessors, as at Sai, at Semneh, at Wady Haifa, at Amada, at Ibrim, and at Dakkeh. Distant traces of Amenothes again appear in the neighbourhood of the first cataract, and in the island of Elephantine, which he endeavoured to restore to its ancient splendour.
* Thus the small temple of Sarrah, to the north of Wady Haifa, is dedicated to "the living statue of Ramses II. in the land of Nubia," a statue to which his Majesty gave the name of "Usirmari Zosir-Shafi."
** One of the rams was removed from Gebel-Barkal by Lepsius, and is now in the Berlin Museum, as well as the pedestal of one of the hawks. Prisse has shown that these two monuments originally adorned the temple of Soleb, and that they were afterwards transported to Napata by an Ethiopian king, who engraved his name on the pedestal of one of them.
[Illustration: 062.jpg ONE OF THE LIONS OF GEBEL-BARKAL]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from one of the two lions of Gebel- Barkal in the British Museum
Two of the small buildings which he there dedicated to Khnumu, the local god, were still in existence at the beginning of the present century. That least damaged, on the south side of the island, consisted of a single chamber nearly forty feet in length. The sandstone walls, terminating in a curved cornice, rested on a hollow substructure raised rather more than six feet above the ground, and surrounded by a breast-high parapet. A portico ran round the building, having seven square pillars on each of its two sides, while at each end stood two columns having lotus-shaped capitals; a flight of ten or twelve steps between two walls of the same height as the basement, projected in front, and afforded access to the cella. The two columns of the facade were further apart than those at the opposite end of the building, and showed a glimpse of a richly decorated door, while a second door opened under the peristyle at the further extremity. The walls were covered with the half-brutish profile of the good Khnumu, and those of his two companions, Anukit and Satit, the spirits of stormy waters. The treatment of these figures was broad and simple, the style free, light, and graceful, the colouring soft; and the harmonious beauty of the whole is unsurpassed by anything at Thebes itself. It was, in fact, a kind of oratory, built on a scale to suit the capacities of a decaying town, but the design was so delicately conceived in its miniature proportions that nothing more graceful can be imagined.*
* Amenothes II. erected some small obelisks at Elephantine, one of which is at present in England. The two buildings of Amenothes III. at Elephantine were still in existence at the beginning of the present century. They have been described and drawn by French scholars; between 1822 and 1825 they were destroyed, and the materials used for building barracks and magazines at Syene.
Ancient Egypt and its feudal cities, Ombos, Edfu,* Nekhabit, Esneh,** Medamot,*** Coptos,**** Denderah, Abydos, Memphis,^ and Heliopolis, profited largely by the generosity of the Pharaohs.
* The works undertaken by Thutmosis III. in the temple of Edfu are mentioned in an inscription of the Ptolemaic period; some portions are still to be seen among the ruins of the town.
** An inscription of the Roman period attributes the rebuilding of the great temple of Esneh to Thutmosis III. Grebaut discovered some fragments of it in the quay of the modern town.
*** Amenothes II. appears to have built the existing temple.
**** The temple of Hathor was built by Thutmosis III. Some fragments found in the Ptolemaic masonry bear the cartouche of Thutmosis IV.
^ Amenothes II. certainly carried on works at Memphis, for he opened a new quarry at Turah, in the year IV. Amenothes III. also worked limestone quarries, and built at Saqqarah the earliest chapels of the Serapeum which are at present known to us.
Since the close of the XIIth dynasty these cities had depended entirely on their own resources, and their public buildings were either in ruins, or quite inadequate to the needs of the population, but now gold from Syria and Kush furnished them with the means of restoration. The Delta itself shared in this architectural revival, but it had suffered too severely under the struggle between the Theban kings and the Shepherds to recover itself as quickly as the remainder of the country. All effort was concentrated on those of its nomes which lay on the Eastern frontier, or which were crossed by the Pharaohs in their journeys into Asia, such as the Bubastite and Athribite nomes; the rest remained sunk in their ancient torpor.*
* Mariette and E. de Rouge, attribute this torpor, at least as far as Tanis is concerned, to the aversion felt by the Pharaohs of Egyptian blood for the Hyksos capital, and for the provinces where the invaders had formerly established themselves in large numbers.
Beyond the Red Sea the mines were actively worked, and even the oases of the Libyan desert took part in the national revival, and buildings rose in their midst of a size proportionate to their slender revenues. Thebes naturally came in for the largest share of the spoils of war. Although her kings had become the rulers of the world, they had not, like the Pharaohs of the XIIth and XIIIth dynasties, forsaken her for some more illustrious city: here they had their ordinary residence as well as their seat of government, hither they returned after each campaign to celebrate their victory, and hither they sent the prisoners and the spoil which they had reserved for their own royal use. In the course of one or two generations Thebes had spread in every direction, and had enclosed within her circuit the neighbouring villages of Ashiru, the fief of Maiit, and Apit-risifc, the southern Thebes, which lay at the confluence of the Nile with one of the largest of the canals which watered the plain. The monuments in these two new quarters of the town were unworthy of the city of which they now formed part, and Amenothes III. consequently bestowed much pains on improving them. He entirely rebuilt the sanctuary of Maut, enlarged the sacred lake, and collected within one of the courts of the temple several hundred statues in black granite of the Memphite divinity, the lioness-headed Sokhit, whom he identified with his Theban goddess. The statues were crowded together so closely that they were in actual contact with each other in places, and must have presented something of the appearance of a regiment drawn up in battle array. The succeeding Pharaohs soon came to look upon this temple as a kind of storehouse, whence they might provide themselves with ready-made figures to decorate their buildings either at Thebes or in other royal cities. About a hundred of them, however, still remain, most of them without feet, arms, or head; some over-turned on the ground, others considerably out of the perpendicular, from the earth having given way beneath them, and a small number only still perfect and in situ.
[Illustration: 065.jpg THE TEMPLE AT ELEPHANTINE, AS IT WAS IN 1799]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the Description de l'Egypte, Ant., vol. i p.35. A good restoration of it, made from the statements in the Description, is to be found in Pekrot-Cuipiez, Histoire de l'Art dans l'Antiquite, vol. i. pp.402, 403.
[Illustration: 066.jpg THE GREAT COURT OF THE TEMPLE OF LUXOR DURING THE INUNDATION]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.
[Illustration: 067.jpg PART OF THE AVENUE OF RAMS, BETWEEN THE TEMPLES OF AMON AND MAUT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato.
At Luxor Amenothes demolished the small temple with which the sovereigns of the XIIth and XIIIth dynasties had been satisfied, and replaced it by a structure which is still one of the finest yet remaining of the times of the Pharaohs. The naos rose sheer above the waters of the Nile, indeed its cornices projected over the river, and a staircase at the south side allowed the priests and devotees to embark directly from the rear of the building. The sanctuary was a single chamber, with an opening on its side, but so completely shut out from the daylight by the long dark hall at whose extremity it was placed as to be in perpetual obscurity. It was flanked by narrow, dimly lightly chambers, and was approached through a pronaos with four rows of columns, a vast court surrounded with porticoes occupying the foreground. At the present time the thick walls which enclosed the entire building are nearly level with the ground, half the ceilings have crumbled away, air and light penetrate into every nook, and during the inundation the water flowing into the courts, transformed them until recently into lakes, whither the flocks and herds of the village resorted in the heat of the day to bathe or quench their thirst. Pictures of mysterious events never meant for the public gaze now display their secrets in the light of the sun, and reveal to the eyes of the profane the supernatural events which preceded the birth of the king. On the northern side an avenue of sphinxes and crio-sphinxes led to the gates of old Thebes. At present most of these creatures are buried under the ruins of the modern town, or covered by the earth which overlies the ancient road; but a few are still visible, broken and shapeless from barbarous usage, and hardly retaining any traces of the inscriptions in which Amenothes claimed them boastingly as his work.
[Illustration: 069.jpg THE PYLONS OF THUTMOSIS III. AND HARMHABI AT KAKNAK]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Beato.
Triumphal processions passing along this route from Luxor to Karnak would at length reach the great court before the temple of Amon, or, by turning a little to the right after passing the temple of Maut, would arrive in front of the southern facade, near the two gilded obelisks whose splendour once rejoiced the heart of the famous Hatshopsitu. Thutmosis III. was also determined on his part to spare no expense to make the temple of his god of proportions suitable to the patron of so vast an empire. Not only did he complete those portions which his predecessors had merely sketched out, but on the south side towards Ashiru he also built a long row of pylons, now half ruined, on which he engraved, according to custom, the list of nations and cities which he had subdued in Asia and Africa. To the east of the temple he rebuilt some ancient structures, the largest of which served as a halting-place for processions, and he enclosed the whole with a stone rampart. The outline of the sacred lake, on which the mystic boats were launched on the nights of festivals, was also made more symmetrical, and its margin edged with masonry.
[Illustration: 070.jpg SACRED LAKE AKD THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE TEMPLE OF KARNAK.]
Drawn by Boucher, from a photograph by Boato: the building near the centre of the picture is the covered walk
By these alterations the harmonious proportion between the main buildings and the facade had been destroyed, and the exterior wall was now too wide for the pylon at the entrance. Amenothes III. remedied this defect by erecting in front a fourth pylon, which was loftier, larger, and in all respects more worthy to stand before the enlarged temple. Its walls were partially covered with battle-scenes, which informed all beholders of the glory of the conqueror.*
* Portions of the military bas-reliefs which covered the exterior face of the pylon are still to be seen through the gaps in the wall at the end of the great Hall of Pillars built by Seti I. and Ramses II.
Progress had been no less marked on the left bank of the river. As long as Thebes had been merely a small provincial town, its cemeteries had covered but a moderate area, including the sandy plain and low mounds opposite Karnak and the valley of Deir el-Bahari beyond; but now that the city had more than doubled its extent, the space required for the dead was proportionately greater. The tombs of private persons began to spread towards the south, and soon reached the slopes of the Assassif, the hill of Sheikh-Abd-el-Qurnah and the district of Qurnet-Murrai -- in fact, all that part which the people of the country called the "Brow" of Thebes. On the borders of the cultivated land a row of chapels and mastabas with pyramidal roofs sheltered the remains of the princes and princesses of the royal family. The Pharaohs themselves were buried either separately under their respective brick pyramids or in groups in a temple, as was the case with the first three Thutmosis and Hatshopsitu at Deir el-Bahari. Amenothes II. and Thutmosis IV. could doubtless have found room in this crowded necropolis,* although the space was becoming limited, but the pride of the Pharaohs began to rebel against this promiscuous burial side by side with their subjects. Amenothes III. sought for a site, therefore, where he would have ample room to display his magnificence, far from the vulgar crowd, and found what he desired at the farther end of the valley which opens out behind the village of Qurnah. Here, an hour's journey from the bank of the Nile, he cut for himself a magnificent rock-tomb with galleries, halls, and deep pits, the walls being decorated with representations of the Voyage of the Sun through the regions which he traverses during the twelve hours of his nocturnal course.
* The generally received opinion is that these sovereigns of the XVIIIth dynasty were buried in the Biban el-Moluk, but I have made several examinations of this valley, and cannot think that this was the case. On the contrary, the scattered notices in the fragments of papyrus preserved at Turin seem to me to indicate that Amenothes II. and Thutmosis IV. must have been buried in the neighbourhood of the Assassif or of Deir el-Bahari.
A sarcophagus of red granite received his mummy, and Ushabti's of extraordinary dimensions and admirable workmanship mounted guard around him, so as to release him from the corvee in the fields of Ialu. The chapel usually attached to such tombs is not to be found in the neighbourhood. As the road to the funeral valley was a difficult one, and as it would be unreasonable to condemn an entire priesthood to live in solitude, the king decided to separate the component parts which had hitherto been united in every tomb since the Memphite period, and to place the vault for the mummy and the passages leading to it some distance away in the mountains, while the necessary buildings for the cultus of the statue and the accommodation of the priests were transferred to the plain, and were built at the southern extremity of the lands which were at that time held by private persons. The divine character of Amenothes, ascribed to him on account of his solar origin and the co-operation of Amon-Ra at his birth, was, owing to this separation of the funerary constituents, brought into further prominence. When once the body which he had animated while on earth was removed and hidden from sight, the people soon became accustomed to think only of his Double enthroned in the recesses of the sanctuary: seeing him receive there the same honours as the gods themselves, they came naturally to regard him as a deity himself.
[Illustration: 073.jpg THE TWO COLOSSI OF MEMNON IN THE PLAIN OF THEBES]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Beato. The "Vocal Statue of Memon" is that on the right-hand side of the illustration.
The arrangement of his temple differed in no way from those in which Amon, Maut, and Montu were worshipped, while it surpassed in size and splendour most of the sanctuaries dedicated to the patron gods of the chief towns of the nomes. It contained, moreover, colossal statues, objects which are never found associated with the heavenly gods. Several of these figures have been broken to pieces, and only a few scattered fragments of them remain, but two of them still maintain their positions on each side of the entrance, with their faces towards the east. They are each formed of a single block of red breccia from Syene,* and are fifty-three feet high, but the more northerly one was shattered in the earthquake which completed the ruin of Thebes in the year 27 B.C. The upper part toppled over with the shock, and was dashed to pieces on the floor of the court, while the lower half remained in its place. Soon after the disaster it began to be rumoured that sounds like those produced by the breaking of a harp-string proceeded from the pedestal at sunrise, whereupon travellers flocked to witness the miracle, and legend soon began to take possession of the giant who spoke in this marvellous way. In vain did the Egyptians of the neighbourhood declare that the statue represented the Pharaoh Amenothes; the Greeks refused to believe them, and forthwith recognised in the colossus an image of Memnon the Ethiopian, son of Tithonus and Aurora, slain by their own Achilles beneath the walls of Troy -- maintaining that the music heard every morning was the clear and harmonious voice of the hero saluting his mother.
* It is often asserted that they are made of rose granite, but Jollois and Devilliers describe them as being of "a species of sandstone breccia, composed of a mass of agate flint, conglomerated together by a remarkably hard cement. This material, being very dense and of a heterogeneous composition, presents to the sculptor perhaps greater difficulties than even granite."
Towards the middle of the second century of our era, Hadrian undertook a journey to Upper Egypt, and heard the wonderful song; sixty years later, Septimus Severus restored the statue by the employment of courses of stones, which were so arranged as to form a rough representation of a human head and shoulders. His piety, however, was not rewarded as he expected, for Memnon became silent, and his oracle fell into oblivion. The temple no longer exists, and a few ridges alone mark the spot where it rose; but the two colossi remain at their post, in the same condition in which they were left by the Roman Caesar: the features are quite obliterated, and the legs and the supporting female figures on either side are scored all over with Greek and Latin inscriptions expressing the appreciation of ancient tourists. Although the statues tower high above the fields of corn and bersim which surround them, our first view of them, owing to the scale of proportion observed in their construction, so different from that to which we are accustomed, gives us the impression that they are smaller than they really are, and it is only when we stand close to one of them and notice the insignificant appearance of the crowd of sightseers clustered on its pedestal that we realize the immensity of the colossi.
The descendants of Ahmosis had by their energy won for Thebes not only the supremacy over the peoples of Egypt and of the known world, but had also secured for the Theban deities pre-eminence over all their rivals. The booty collected both in Syria and Ethiopia went to enrich the god Amon as much as it did the kings themselves; every victory brought him the tenth part of the spoil gathered on the field of battle, of the tribute levied on vassals, and of the prisoners taken as slaves. When Thutmosis IIL, after having reduced Megiddo, organised a systematic plundering of the surrounding country, it was for the benefit of Amon-Ea that he reaped the fields and sent their harvest into Egypt; if during his journeys he collected useful plants or rare animals, it was that he might dispose of them in the groves or gardens of Amon as well as in his own, and he never retained for his personal use the whole of what he won by arms, but always reserved some portion for the sacred treasury.
[Illustration: 076.jpg A PARTY OF TOURISTS AT THE FOOT OF THE VOCAL STATUE OF MEMNOK]
Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger.
His successors acted in a similar manner, and in the reigns of Amenothes II., Thut-mosis IV., and Amenothes III., the patrimony of the Theban priesthood continued to increase. The Pharaohs, perpetually called upon as they were to recompense one or other of their servants, were never able to retain for long their share of the spoils of war. Gold and silver, lands, jewels, and slaves passed as quickly out of their hands as they had fallen into them, and although then fortune was continually having additions made to it in every fresh campaign, yet the increase was rarely in proportion to the trouble expended. The god, on the contrary, received what he got for all time, and gave back nothing in return: fresh accumulations of precious metals were continually being added to his store, his meadows were enriched by the addition of vineyards, and with his palm forests he combined fish-ponds full of fish; he added farms and villages to those he already possessed, and each reign saw the list of his possessions increase. He had his own labourers, his own tradespeople, his own fishermen, soldiers, and scribes, and, presiding over all these, a learned hierarchy of divines, priests, and prophets, who administered everything. This immense domain, which was a kind of State within the State, was ruled over by a single high priest, chosen by the sovereign from among the prophets. He was the irresponsible head of it, and his spiritual ambition had increased step by step with the extension of his material resources. As the human Pharaoh showed himself entitled to homage from the lords of the earth, the priests came at length to the conclusion that Amon had a right to the allegiance of the lords of heaven, and that he was the Supreme Being, in respect of whom the others were of little or no account, and as he was the only god who was everywhere victorious, he came at length to be regarded by them as the only god in existence. It was impossible that the kings could see this rapid development of sacerdotal power without anxiety, and with all their devotion to the patron of their city, solicitude for their own authority compelled them to seek elsewhere for another divinity, whose influence might in some degree counterbalance that of Amon. The only one who could vie with him at Thebes, either for the antiquity of his worship or for the rank which he occupied in the public esteem, was the Sun-lord of Heliopolis, head of the first Ennead. Thutmosis IV. owed his crown to him, and 'displayed his gratitude in clearing away the sand from the Sphinx, in which the spirit of Harmakhis was considered to dwell; and Amenothes III., although claiming to be the son of Amon himself, inherited the disposition shown by Thutmosis in favour of the Heliopolitan religions, but instead of attaching himself to the forms most venerated by theologians, he bestowed his affection on a more popular deity -- Atonu, the fiery disk. He may have been influenced in his choice by private reasons. Like his predecessors, he had taken, while still very young, wives from among his own family, but neither these reasonable ties, nor his numerous diplomatic alliances with foreign princesses, were enough for him. From the very beginning of his reign he had loved a maiden who was not of the blood of the Pharaohs, Tii, the daughter of Iuia and his wife Tuia.*
* For the last thirty years Queen Tii has been the subject of many hypotheses and of much confusion. The scarabasi engraved under Amenothes III. say explicitly that she was the daughter of two personages, Iuia and Tuia, but these names are not accompanied by any of the signs which are characteristic of foreign names, and were considered Egyptian by contemporaries. Hincks was the first who seems to have believed her to be a Syrian; he compares her father's name with that of Levi, and attributes the religious revolution which followed to the influence of her foreign education. This theory has continued to predominate; some prefer a Libyan origin to the Asiatic one, and latterly there has been an attempt to recognise in Tii one of the princesses of Mitanni mentioned in the correspondence of Tel el-Amarna. As long ago as 1877, I showed that Tii was an Egyptian of middle rank, probably of Heliopolitan origin.
Connexions of this kind had been frequently formed by his ancestors, but the Egyptian women of inferior rank whom they had brought into their harems had always remained in the background, and if the sons of these concubines were ever fortunate enough to come to the throne, it was in default of heirs of pure blood. Amenothes III. married Tii, gave her for her dowry the town of Zalu in Lower Egypt, and raised her to the position of queen, in spite of her low extraction. She busied herself in the affairs of State, took precedence of the princesses of the solar family, and appeared at her husband's side in public ceremonies, and was so figured on the monuments. If, as there is reason to believe, she was born near Heliopolis, it is easy to understand how her influence may have led Amenothes to pay special honour to a Heliopolitan divinity. He had built, at an early period of his reign, a sanctuary to Atonu at Memphis, and in the Xth year he constructed for him a chapel at Thebes itself,* to the south of the last pylon of ihutmosis III., and endowed this deity with property at the expense of Anion.
* This temple seems to have been raised on the site of the building which is usually attributed to Amenothes II. and Amenothes III. The blocks bearing the name of Amenothes II. had been used previously, like most of those which bear the cartouches of Amenothes III. The temple of Atonu, which was demolished by Harmhabi or one of the Ramses, was
[Illustration: 079.jpg MARRIAGE SCARABAEUS]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph of the scarabaeus preserved at Gizeh.
He had several sons;* but the one who succeeded him, and who, like him, was named Amenothes, was the most paradoxical of all the Egyptian sovereigns of ancient times.**
* One of them, Thutmosis, was high priest of Phtah, and we possess several monuments erected by him in the temple of Memphis; another, Tutonkhamon, subsequently became king. He also had several daughters by Tii -- Sitamon.
** The absence of any cartouches of Amenothes IV. or his successors in the table of Abydos prevented Champollion and Rosellini from classifying these sovereigns with any precision. Nestor L'hote tried to recognise in the first of them, whom he called Bakhen-Balchnan, a king belonging to the very ancient dynasties, perhaps the Hyksos Apakhnan, but Lepsius and Hincks showed that he must be placed between Amenothes III. and Harmhabi, that he was first called Amenothes like his father, but that he afterwards took the name of Baknaten, which is now read Khunaten or Khuniaton. His singular aspect made it difficult to decide at first whether a man or a woman was represented. Mariette, while pronouncing him to be a man, thought that he had perhaps been taken prisoner in the Sudan and mutilated, which would have explained his effeminate appearance, almost like that of an eunuch. Recent attempts have been made to prove that Amenothes IV. and Khuniaton were two distinct persons, or that Khuniaton was a queen; but they have hitherto been rejected by Egyptologists.
He made up for the inferiority of his birth on account of the plebeian origin of his mother Tii,* by his marriage with Nofrititi, a princess of the pure solar race.** Tii, long accustomed to the management of affairs, exerted her influence over him even more than she had done over her husband. Without officially assuming the rank, she certainly for several years possessed the power, of regent, and gave a definite Oriental impress to her son's religious policy. No outward changes were made at first; Amenothes, although showing his preference for Heliopolis by inscribing in his protocol the title of prophet of Harmakhis, which he may, however, have borne before his accession, maintained his residence at Thebes, as his father had done before him, continued to sacrifice to the Theban divinities, and to follow the ancient paths and the conventional practices.***
* The filiation of Amenothes IV. and Tii has given rise to more than one controversy. The Egyptian texts do not define it explicitly, and the title borne by Tii has been
** Nofrititi, the wife of Amenothes IV., like all the princesses of that time, has been supposed to be of Syrian origin, and to have changed her name on her arrival in Egypt. The place which she holds beside her husband is the same as that which belongs to legitimate queens, like Nofritari, Ahmosis, and Hatshopsitu, and the example of these princesses is enough to show us what was her real position; she was most probably a daughter of one of the princesses of the solar blood, perhaps of one of the sisters of Amenothes III., and Amenothes IV. married her so as to obtain through her the rights which were wanting to him through his mother Tii.
*** The tomb of Ramses, governor of Thebes and priest of Mait, shows us in one part of it the king, still faithful to his name of Amenothes, paying homage to the god Amon, lord of Karnak, while everywhere else the worship of Atonu predominates. The cartouches on the tomb of Pari, read by Bouriant Akhopiruri, and by Scheil more correctly
He either built a temple to the Theban god, or enlarged the one which his father had constructed at Karnak, and even opened new quarries at Syene and Silsileh for providing granite and sandstone for the adornment of this monument. His devotion to the invincible Disk, however, soon began to assert itself, and rendered more and more irksome to him the religious observances which he had constrained himself to follow. There was nothing and no one to hinder him from giving free course to his inclinations, and the nobles and priests were too well trained in obedience to venture to censure anything he might do, even were it to result in putting the whole population into motion, from Elephantine to the sea-coast, to prepare for the intruded deity a dwelling which should eclipse in magnificence the splendour of the great temple. A few of those around him had become converted of their own accord to his favourite worship, but these formed a very small minority. Thebes had belonged to Amon so long that the king could never hope to bring it to regard Atonu as anything but a being of inferior rank. Each city belonged to some god, to whom was attributed its origin, its development, and its prosperity, and whom it could not forsake without renouncing its very existence. If Thebes became separated from Amon it would be Thebes no longer, and of this Amenothes was so well aware that he never attempted to induce it to renounce its patron. His residence among surroundings which he detested at length became so intolerable, that he resolved to leave the place and create a new capital elsewhere. The choice of a new abode would have presented no difficulty to him had he been able to make up his mind to relegate Atonu to the second rank of divinities; Memphis, Heracleopolis, Siut, Khmunu, and, in fact, all the towns of the valley would have deemed themselves fortunate in securing the inheritance of their rival, but not one of them would be false to its convictions or accept the degradation of its own divine founder, whether Phtah, Harshafitu, Anubis, or Thot. A newly promoted god demanded a new city; Amenothes, therefore, made selection of a broad plain extending on the right bank of the Nile, in the eastern part of the Hermopolitan nome, to which he removed with all his court about the fourth or fifth year of his reign.*
* The last date with the name of Amenothes is that of the year V., on a papyrus from the Payilm; elsewhere we find from the year VI. the name of Khuniaton, by the side of monuments with the cartouche of Amenothes; we may conclude from this that the foundation of the town dates from the year IV. or V. at the latest, when the prince, having renounced the worship of Amon, left Thebes that he might be able to celebrate freely that of Atonu.
He found here several obscure villages without any historical or religious traditions, and but thinly populated; Amenothes chose one of them, the Et-Tel of the present day, and built there a palace for himself and a temple for his god. The temple, like that of Ea at Heliopolis, was named Hait-Banbonu, the Mansion of the Obelisk. It covered an immense area, of which the sanctuary, however, occupied an inconsiderable part; it was flanked by brick storehouses, and the whole was surrounded by a thick wall. The remains show that the temple was built of white limestone, of fine quality, but that it was almost devoid of ornament, for there was no time to cover it with the usual decorations.*
* The opinion of Brugsch, that the arrangement of the various parts differed from that of other temples, and was the effect of foreign influence, has not been borne out by the excavations of Prof. Petrie, the little which he has brought to light being entirely of Egyptian character. The temple is represented on the tomb of the high priest Mariri.
[Illustration: 084.jpg Map]
The palace was built of brick; it was approached by a colossal gateway, and contained vast halls, interspersed with small apartments for the accommodation of the household, and storehouses for the necessary provisions, besides gardens which had been hastily planted with rare shrubs and sycamores. Fragments of furniture and of the roughest of the utensils contained in the different chambers are still unearthed from among the heaps of rubbish, and the cellars especially are full of potsherds and cracked jars, on which we can still see written an indication of the reign and the year when the wine they once contained was made. Altars of massive masonry rose in the midst of the courts, on which the king or one of his ministers heaped offerings and burnt incense morning, noon, and evening, in honour of the three decisive moments in the life of Atonu.*
* Naville discovered at Deir el-Bahari a similar altar, nearly intact. No other example was before known in any of the ruined towns or temples, and no one had any idea of the dimensions to which these altars, attained.
A few painted and gilded columns supported the roofs of the principal apartments in which the Pharaoh held his audiences, but elsewhere the walls and pillars were coated with cream-coloured stucco or whitewash, on which scenes of private life were depicted in colours. The pavement, like the walls, was also decorated. In one of the halls which seems to have belonged to the harem, there is still to be seen distinctly the picture of a rectangular piece of water containing fish and lotus-flowers in full bloom; the edge is adorned with water-plants and flowering shrubs, among which birds fly and calves graze and gambol; on the right and left were depicted rows of stands laden with fruit, while at each end of the room were seen the grinning faces of a gang of and Syrian prisoners, separated from each other by gigantic arches. The tone of colouring is bright and cheerful, and the animals are treated with great freedom and facility. The Pharaoh, had collected about him several of the best artists then to be found at Thebes, placing them under the direction of Bauki, the chief of the corporation of sculptors,* and probably others subsequently joined these from provincial studios.
* Bauki belonged to a family of artists, and his father Mani had filled before him the post of chief of the sculptors. The part played by these personages was first defined by Brugsch, with perhaps some exaggeration of their artistic merit and originality of talent.
Work for them was not lacking, for houses had to be built for all the courtiers and government officials who had been obliged to follow the king, and in a few years a large town had sprung up, which was called Khuitatonu, or the "Horizon of the Disk." It was built on a regular plan, with straight streets and open spaces, and divided into two separate quarters, interspersed with orchards and shady trellises. Workmen soon began to flock to the new city -- metal-founders, glass-founders, weavers; in fine, all who followed any trade indispensable to the luxury of a capital. The king appropriated a territory for it from the ancient nome of the Hare, thus compelling the god Thot to contribute to the fortune of Atonu; he fixed its limits by means of stelae placed in the mountains, from Gebel-Tunah to Deshluit on the west, and from Sheikh-Said to El-Hauata on the eastern bank;* it was a new nome improvised for the divine parvenu.
* We know at present of fourteen of these stelae. A certain number must still remain to be discovered on both banks of the Nile.
[Illustration: 082.jpg THE DECORATED PAVEMENT OF THE PALACE]
Atonu was one of the forms of the Sun, and perhaps the most material one of all those devised by the Egyptians. He was defined as "the good god who rejoices in truth, the lord of the solar course, the lord of the disk, the lord of heaven, the lord of earth, the living disk which lights up the two worlds, the living Harmakhis who rises on the horizon bearing his name of Shu, which is disk, the eternal infuser of life." His priests exercised the same functions as those of Heliopolis, and his high priest was called "Oirimau," like the high priest of Ra in Aunu. This functionary was a certain Marirl, upon whom the king showered his favours, and he was for some time the chief authority in the State after the Pharaoh himself. Atonu was represented sometimes by the ordinary figure of Horus,* sometimes by the solar disk, but a disk whose rays were prolonged towards the earth, like so many arms ready to lay hold with their little hands of the offerings of the faithful, or to distribute to mortals the crux ansata, the symbol of life. The other gods, except Amon, were sharers with humanity in his benefits. Atonu proscribed him, and tolerated him only at Thebes; he required, moreover, that the name of Amon should be effaced wherever it occurred, but he respected Ra and Horus and Harmakhis -- all, in fact, but Amon: he was content with being regarded as their king, and he strove rather to become their chief than their destroyer.**
* It was probably this form of Horus which had, in the temple at Thebes, the statue called "the red image of Atonu in Paatoml."
** Prisse d'Avennes has found at Karnak, on fragments of the temple, the names of other divinities than Atonu worshipped by Khuniatonu.
His nature, moreover, had nothing in it of the mysterious or ambiguous; he was the glorious torch which gave light to humanity, and which was seen every day to flame in the heavens without ever losing its brilliance or becoming weaker. When he hides himself "the world rests in darkness, like those dead who lie in their rock-tombs, with their heads swathed, their nostrils stuffed up, their eyes sightless, and whose whole property might be stolen from them, even that which they have under their head, without their knowing it; the lion issues from his lair, the serpent roams ready to bite, it is as obscure as in a dark room, the earth is silent whilst he who creates everything dwells in his horizon." He has hardly arisen when "Egypt becomes festal, one awakens, one rises on one's feet; when thou hast caused men to clothe themselves, they adore thee with outstretched hands, and the whole earth attends to its work, the animals betake themselves to their herbage, trees and green crops abound, birds fly to their marshy thickets with wings outstretched in adoration of thy double, the cattle skip, all the birds which were in their nests shake themselves when thou risest for them; the boats come and go, for every way is open at thy appearance, the fish of the river leap before thee as soon as thy rays descend upon the ocean." It is not without reason that all living things thus rejoice at his advent; all of them owe their existence to him, for "he creates the female germ, he gives virility to men, and furnishes life to the infant in its mother's womb; he calms and stills its weeping, he nourishes it in the maternal womb, giving forth the breathings which animate all that he creates, and when the infant escapes from the womb on the day of its birth, thou openest his mouth for speech, and thou satisfiest his necessities. When the chick is in the egg, a cackle in a stone, thou givest to it air while within to keep it alive; when thou hast caused it to be developed in the egg to the point of being able to break it, it goes forth proclaiming its existence by its cackling, and walks on its feet from the moment of its leaving the egg." Atonu presides over the universe and arranges within it the lot of human beings, both Egyptians and foreigners. The celestial Nile springs up in Hades far away in the north; he makes its current run down to earth, and spreads its waters over the fields during the inundation in order to nourish his creatures. He rules the seasons, winter and summer; he constructed the far-off sky in order to display himself therein, and to look down upon his works below. From the moment that he reveals himself there, "cities, towns, tribes, routes, rivers -- all eyes are lifted to him, for he is the disk of the day upon the earth."* The sanctuary in which he is invoked contains only his divine shadow;** for he himself never leaves the firmament.
* These extracts are taken from the hymns of Tel el-Amarna.
** In one of the tombs at Tel el-Amarna the king is depicted leading his mother Tii to the temple of Atonu in order to see "the Shadow of Ra," and it was thought with some reason that "the Shadow of Ra" was one of the names of the temple. I think that this designation applied also to the statue or symbol of the god; the shadow of a god was attached to the statue in the same manner as the "double," and transformed it into an animated body.
His worship assumes none of the severe and gloomy forms of the Theban cults: songs resound therein, and hymns accompanied by the harp or flute; bread, cakes, vegetables, fruits, and flowers are associated with his rites, and only on very rare occasions one of those bloody sacrifices in which the other gods delight. The king made himself supreme pontiff of Atonu, and took precedence of the high priest. He himself celebrated the rites at the altar of the god, and we see him there standing erect, his hands outstretched, offering incense and invoking blessings from on high.* Like the Caliph Hakim of a later age, he formed a school to propagate his new doctrines, and preached them before his courtiers: if they wished to please him, they had to accept his teaching, and show that they had profited by it. The renunciation of the traditional religious observances of the solar house involved also the rejection of such personal names as implied an ardent devotion to the banished god; in place of Amenothes, "he to whom Amon is united," the king assumed after a time the name of Khuniatonu, "the Glory of the Disk," and all the members of his family, as well as his adherents at court, whose appellations involved the name of the same god, soon followed his example. The proscription of Amon extended to inscriptions, so that while his name or figure, wherever either could be got at, was chiselled out, the vulture, the emblem of Mut, which expressed the idea of mother, was also avoided.**
* The altar on which the king stands upright is one of those cubes of masonry of which Naville discovered such a fine example in the temple of Hatshopsitu at Deir el-Bahari.
** We find, however, some instances where the draughtsman, either from custom or design, had used the vulture to express the word mailt, "the mother," without troubling himself to think whether it answered to the name of the goddess.
The king would have nothing about him to suggest to eye or ear the remembrance of the gods or doctrines of Thebes. It would consequently have been fatal to them and their pretensions to the primacy of Egypt if the reign of the young king had continued as long as might naturally have been expected. After having been for nearly two centuries almost the national head of Africa, Amon was degraded by a single blow to the secondary rank and languishing existence in which he had lived before the expulsion of the Hyksos. He had surrendered his sceptre as king of heaven and earth, not to any of his rivals who in old times had enjoyed the highest rank, but to an individual of a lower order, a sort of demigod, while he himself had thus become merely a local deity, confined to the corner of the Said in which he had had his origin. There was not even left to him the peaceful possession of this restricted domain, for he was obliged to act as host to the enemy who had deposed him: the temple of Atonu was erected at the door of his own sanctuary, and without leaving their courts the priests of Amon could hear at the hours of worship the chants intoned by hundreds of heretics in the temple of the Disk. Amon's priests saw, moreover, the royal gifts flowing into other treasuries, and the gold of Syria and Ethiopia no longer came into their hands. Should they stifle their complaints, and bow to this insulting oppression, or should they raise a protest against the action which had condemned them to obscurity and a restricted existence? If they had given indications of resistance, they would have been obliged to submit to prompt repression, but we see no sign of this. The bulk of the people -- clerical as well as lay -- accepted the deposition with complacency, and the nobles hastened to offer their adherence to that which afterwards became the official confession of faith of the Lord King.* The lord of Thebes itself, a certain Ramses, bowed his head to the new cult, and the bas-reliefs of his tomb display to our eyes the proofs of his apostasy: on the right-hand side Amon is the only subject of his devotion, while on the left he declares himself an adherent of Atonu. Religious formularies, divine appellations, the representations of the costume, expression, and demeanour of the figures are at issue with each other in the scenes on the two sides of the door, and if we were to trust to appearances only, one would think that the two pictures belonged to two separate reigns, and were concerned with two individuals strangers to each other.**
* The political character of this reaction against the growing power of the high priests and the town of Amon was pointed out for the first time by Masporo in 1878. Ed. Meyer and Tiele blond with the political idea a monotheistic conception which does not seem to me to be fully justified, at least at present, by anything in the materials we possess.
** His tomb was discovered in 1878 by Villiers-Stuart.
The rupture between the past and the present was so complete, in fact, that the sovereign was obliged to change, if not his face and expression, at least the mode in which they were represented.
[Illustration: 095.jpg THE MASK OF KIHUNIATONU]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie. Petrie thinks that the monument discovered by him, which is of fine plaster, is a cast of the dead king, executed possibly to enable the sculptors to make Ushabtu, "Respondents," for him.
The name and personality of an Egyptian were so closely allied that interference with one implied interference with the other. Khuniatonu could not continue to be such as he was when Amenothes, and, in fact, their respective portraits differ from each other to that degree that there is some doubt at moments as to their identity. Amenothes is hardly to be distinguished from his father: he has the same regular and somewhat heavy features, the same idealised body and conventional shape as those which we find in the orthodox Pharaohs. Khuniatonu affects a long and narrow head, conical at the top, with a retreating forehead, a large aquiline and pointed nose, a small mouth, an enormous chin projecting in front, the whole being supported by a long, thin neck.
His shoulders are narrow, with little display of muscle, but his breasts are so full, his abdomen so prominent, and his hips so large, that one would think they belonged to a woman. Etiquette required the attendants upon the king, and those who aspired to his favour, to be portrayed in the bas-reliefs of temples or tombs in all points, both as regards face and demeanour, like the king himself. Hence it is that the majority of his contemporaries, after having borne the likeness of Amenothes, came to adopt, without a break, that of Khuniatonu. The scenes at Tel el-Amarna contain, therefore, nothing but angular profiles, pointed skulls, ample breasts, flowing figures, and swelling stomachs. The outline of these is one that lends itself readily to caricature, and the artists have exaggerated the various details with the intention, it may be, of rendering the representations grotesque. There was nothing ridiculous, however, in the king, their model, and several of his statues attribute to him a languid, almost valetudinarian grace, which is by no means lacking in dignity.
[Illustration: 096.jpg AMENOTHES IV., FROM THE STATUETTE IN THE LOUVRE.]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a drawing by Petrie.
[Illustration: 097.jpg Page Image]
He was a good and affectionate man, and was passionately fond of his wife, Nofrititi, associating her with himself in his sovereign acts. If he set out to visit the temple, she followed him in a chariot; if he was about to reward one of his faithful subjects, she stood beside him and helped to distribute the golden necklaces. She joined him in his prayers to the Solar Disk; she ministered to him in domestic life, when, having broken away from the worries of his public duties, he sought relaxation in his harem; and their union was so tender, that we find her on one occasion, at least, seated in a coaxing attitude on her husband's knees -- a unique instance of such affection among all the representations on the monuments of Egypt.
[Illustration: 098.jpg KHUNIATONU AND HIS WIFE REWARDING ONE OF THE GREAT OFFICERS OF THE COURT]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
They had six daughters, whom they brought up to live with them on terms of the closest intimacy: they accompanied their father and mother everywhere, and are exhibited as playing around the throne while their parents are engaged in performing the duties of their office. The gentleness and gaiety of the king were reflected in the life of his subjects: all the scenes which they have left us consist entirely of processions, cavalcades, banquets, and entertainments. Khuniatonu was prodigal in the gifts of gold and the eulogies which he bestowed on Mariri, the chief priest: the people dance around him while he is receiving from the king the just recompense of his activity. When Huia, who came back from Syria in the XIIth year of the king's reign, brought solemnly before him the tribute he had collected, the king, borne in his jolting palanquin on the shoulders of his officers, proceeded to the temple to return thanks to his god, to the accompaniment of chants and the waving of the great fans. When the divine father Ai had married the governess of one of the king's daughters, the whole city gave itself up to enjoyment, and wine flowed freely during the wedding feast. Notwithstanding the frequent festivals, the king found time to watch jealously over the ordinary progress of government and foreign affairs. The architects, too, were not allowed to stand idle, and without taking into account the repairs of existing buildings, had plenty to do in constructing edifices in honour of Atonu in the principal towns of the Nile valley, at Memphis, Heliopolis, Hermopolis, Hermonthis, and in the Fayum. The provinces in Ethiopia remained practically in the same condition as in the time of Amenothes III.;* Kush was pacified, notwithstanding the raids which the tribes of the desert were accustomed to make from time to time, only to receive on each occasion rigorous chastisement from the king's viceroy.
* The name and the figure of Khuniatonu are met with on the gate of the temple of Soleb, and he received in his XIIth year the tributes of Kush, as well as those of Syria.
The sudden degradation of Amon had not brought about any coldness between the Pharaoh and his princely allies in Asia. The aged Amenothes had, towards the end of his reign, asked the hand of Dushratta's daughter in marriage, and the Mitannian king, highly flattered by the request, saw his opportunity and took advantage of it in the interest of his treasury. He discussed the amount of the dowry, demanded a considerable sum of gold, and when the affair had been finally arranged to his satisfaction, he despatched the princess to the banks of the Nile. On her arrival she found her affianced husband was dead, or, at all events, dying. Amenothes IV., however, stepped into his father's place, and inherited his bride with his crown.
[Illustration: 100.jpg THE DOOR OF A TOMB AT TEL EL-AMARNA]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger.
The new king's relations with other foreign princes were no less friendly; the chief of the Khati (Hittites) complimented him on his accession, the King of Alasia wrote to him to express his earnest desire for a continuance of peace between the two states. Burnaburiash of Babylon had, it is true, hoped to obtain an Egyptian princess in marriage for his son, and being disappointed, had endeavoured to pick a quarrel over the value of the presents which had been sent him, together with the notice of the accession of the new sovereign. But his kingdom lay too far away to make his ill-will of much consequence, and his complaints passed unheeded. In Coele-Syria and Phoenicia the situation remained unchanged. The vassal cities were in a perpetual state of disturbance, though not more so than in the past. Aziru, son of Abdashirti, chief of the country of the Amorites, had always, even during the lifetime of Amenothes III., been the most turbulent of vassals. The smaller states of the Orontes and of the coast about Arvad had been laid waste by his repeated incursions and troubled by his intrigues. He had taken and pillaged twenty towns, among which were Simyra, Sini, Irqata, and Qodshu, and he was already threatening Byblos, Berytus, and Sidon. It was useless to complain of him, for he always managed to exculpate himself to the royal messengers. Khai, Dudu, Amenemaupit had in turn all pronounced him innocent. Pharaoh himself, after citing him to appear in Egypt to give an explanation of his conduct, had allowed himself to be won over by his fair speaking, and had dismissed him uncondemned. Other princes, who lacked his cleverness and power, tried to imitate him, and from north to south the whole of Syria could only be compared to some great arena, in which fighting was continually carried on between one tribe or town and another -- Tyre against Sidon, Sidon against Byblos, Jerusalem against Lachish. All of them appealed to Khuniatonu, and endeavoured to enlist him on their side. Their despatches arrived by scores, and the perusal of them at the present day would lead us to imagine that Egypt had all but lost her supremacy. The Egyptian ministers, however, were entirely unmoved by them, and continued to refuse material support to any of the numerous rivals, except in a few rare cases, where a too prolonged indifference would have provoked an open revolt in some part of the country.
Khuniatonu died young, about the XVIIIth year of his reign.* He was buried in the depths of a ravine in the mountain-side to the east of the town, and his tomb remained unknown till within the last few years. Although one of his daughters who died before her father had been interred there, the place seems to have been entirely unprepared for the reception of the king's body. The funeral chamber and the passages are scarcely even rough-hewn, and the reception halls show a mere commencement of decoration.** The other tombs of the locality are divided into two groups, separated by the ravine reserved for the burying-place of the royal house. The noble families possessed each their own tomb on the slopes of the hillside; the common people were laid to rest in pits lower down, almost on the level of the plain. The cutting and decoration of all these tombs had been entrusted to a company of contractors, who had executed them according to two or three stereotyped plans, without any variation, except in size. Nearly all the walls are bare, or present but few inscriptions; those tombs only are completed whose occupants died before the Pharaoh.
* The length of Khuniatonu's reign was fixed by Griffith with almost absolute certainty by means of the dates written in ink on the jars of wine and preserves found in the ruins of the palace.
** The tomb has been found, as I anticipated, in the ravine which separates the northern after the southern group of burying-places. The Arabs opened it in 1891, and Grebaut has since completely excavated it. The scenes depicted in it are connected with the death and funeral of the Princess Maqitatonu.
[Illustration: 103.jpg INTERIOR OF A TOMB AT TEL EL-AMARNA]
Drawn by Boudier, after a photograph by Insinger.
The facades of the tombs are cut in the rock, and contain, for the most part, but one door, the jambs of which are covered on both sides by several lines of hieroglyphs; and it is just possible to distinguish traces of the adoration of the radiant Disk on the lintels, together with the cartouches containing the names of the king and god. The chapel is a large rectangular chamber, from one end of which opens the inclined passage leading to the coffin. The roof is sometimes supported by columns, having capitals decorated with designs of flowers or of geese hung from the abacus by their feet with their heads turned upwards.
The religious teaching at Tel el-Amarna presents no difference in the main from that which prevailed in other parts of Egypt.* The Double of Osiris was supposed to reside in the tomb, or else to take wing to heaven and embark with Atonu, as elsewhere he would embark with Ea. The same funerary furniture is needed for the deceased as in other local cults -- ornaments of vitreous paste, amulets, and Ushabtiu, or "Respondents," to labour for the dead man in the fields of Ialu. Those of Khuniatonu were, like those of Amenothes III., actual statuettes in granite of admirable workmanship. The dead who reached the divine abode, retained the same rank in life that they had possessed here below, and in order to ensure the enjoyment of it, they related, or caused to be depicted in their tombs, the events of their earthly career.
* The peculiar treatment of the two extremities of the sign for the sky, which surmounts the great scene on the tomb of Ahmosis, shows that there had been no change in the ideas concerning the two horizons or the divine tree found in them: the aspirations for the soul of Mariri, the high priest of Atonu, or for that of the sculptor Bauku, are the same as those usually found, and the formula on the funerary stelae differs only in the name of the god from that on the ordinary stelae of the same kind.
A citizen of Khuitatonu would naturally represent the manners and customs of his native town, and this would account for the local colouring of the scenes in which we see him taking part.
They bear no resemblance to the traditional pictures of the buildings and gardens of Thebes with which we are familiar; we have instead the palaces, colonnades, and pylons of the rising city, its courts planted with sycomores, its treasuries, and its storehouses. The sun's disk hovers above and darts its prehensile rays over every object; its hands present the crux ansata to the nostrils of the various members of the family, they touch caressingly the queen and her daughters, they handle the offerings of bread and cakes, they extend even into the government warehouses to pilfer or to bless. Throughout all these scenes Khuniatonu and the ladies of his harem seem to be ubiquitous: here he visits one of the officers, there he repairs to the temple for the dedication of its sanctuary. His chariot, followed at a little distance by that of the princesses, makes its way peaceably through the streets. The police of the city and the soldiers of the guard, whether Egyptians or foreigners, run before him and clear a path among the crowd, the high priest Mariri stands at the gate to receive him, and the ceremony is brought to a close by a distribution of gold necklaces or rings, while the populace dance with delight before the sovereign. Meantime the slaves have cooked the repast, the dancers and musicians within their chambers have rehearsed for the evening's festival, and the inmates of the house carry on animated dialogues during their meal. The style and the technique of these wall-paintings differ in no way from those in the necropolis of the preceding period, and there can be no doubt that the artists who decorated these monuments were trained in the schools of Thebes. Their drawing is often very refined, and there is great freedom in their composition; the perspective of some of the bas-reliefs almost comes up to our own, and the movement of animated crowds is indicated with perfect accuracy. It is, however, not safe to conclude from these examples that the artists who executed them would have developed Egyptian art in a new direction, had not subsequent events caused a reaction against the worship of Atonu and his followers.
[Illustration: 104.jpg PROFILE OF HEAD OF MUMMY (THEBES TOMBS.)]
[Illustration: 106.jpg TWO OF THE DAUGHTERS OF KHUHI ATONU]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Petrie.
Although the tombs in which they worked differ from the generality of Egyptian burying-places, their originality does not arise from any effort, either conscious or otherwise, to break through the ordinary routine of the art of the time; it is rather the result of the extraordinary appearance of the sovereign whose features they were called on to portray, and the novelty of several of the subjects which they had to treat. That artist among them who first gave concrete form to the ideas circulated by the priests of Atonu, and drew the model cartoons, evidently possessed a master-hand, and was endowed with undeniable originality and power. No other Egyptian draughtsman ever expressed a child's grace as he did, and the portraits which he sketched of the daughters of Khuniatonu playing undressed at their mother's side, are examples of a reserved and delicate grace. But these models, when once composed and finished even to the smallest details, were entrusted for execution to workmen of mediocre powers, who were recruited not only from Thebes, but from the neighbouring cities of Hermopolis and Siut. These estimable people, with a praiseworthy patience, traced bit by bit the cartoons confided to them, omitting or adding individuals or groups according to the extent of the wall-space they had to cover, or to the number of relatives and servants whom the proprietor of the tomb desired should share in his future happiness. The style of these draughtsmen betrays the influence of the second-rate schools in which they had learned their craft, and the clumsiness of their work would often repel us, were it not that the interest of the episodes portrayed redeems it in the eyes of the Egyptologist.
Khuniatonu left no son to succeed him; two of his sons-in-law successively occupied the throne -- Saakeri, who had married his eldest daughter Maritatonu, and Tutankhamon, the husband of Ankhnasaton. The first had been associated in the sovereignty by his father-in-law;* he showed himself a zealous partisan of the "Disk," and he continued to reside in the new capital during the few years of his sole reign.** The second son-in-law was a son of Amenothes III., probably by a concubine. He returned to the religion of Amon, and his wife, abjuring the creed of her father, changed her name from Ankhnasaton to that of Ankhnasamon. Her husband abandoned Khuitatonu*** at the end of two or three years, and after his departure the town fell into decadence as quickly as it had arisen. The streets were unfrequented, the palaces and temples stood empty, the tombs remained unfinished and unoccupied, and its patron god returned to his former state, and was relegated to the third or fourth rank in the Egyptian Pantheon.
* He and his wife are represented by the side of Khuniatonu, with the protocol and the attributes of royalty. Petrie assigns to this double reign those minor objects on which the king's prenomen Ankhkhopiruri is followed by the epithet beloved of Uanira, which formed part of the name of Khuniatonu.
** Petrie thinks, on the testimony of the lists of Manetho, which give twelve years to Akenkheres, daughter of Horos, that Saakeri reigned twelve years, and only two or three years as sole monarch without his father-in-law. I think these two or three years a probable maximum length of his reign, whatever may be the value we should here assign to the lists of Manetho.
*** Petrie, judging from the number of minor objects which he has found in his excavations at Tel el-Amarna, believes that he can fix the length of Tutankhamon's sojourn at Khuitatonu at six years, and that of his whole reign at nine years.
The town struggled for a short time against its adverse fate, which was no doubt retarded owing to the various industries founded in it by Khuniatonu, the manufactories of enamel and coloured glass requiring the presence of many workmen; but the latter emigrated ere long to Thebes or the neighbouring city of Hermopolis, and the "Horizon of Atonu" disappeared from the list of nomes, leaving of what might have been the capital of the Egyptian empire, merely a mound of crumbling bricks with two or three fellahin villages scattered on the eastern bank of the Nile.*
* Petrie thinks that the temples and palaces were
Thebes, whose influence and population had meanwhile never lessened, resumed her supremacy undisturbed. If, out of respect for the past, Tutankhamon continued the decoration of the temple of Atonu at Karnak, he placed in every other locality the name and figure of Amon; a little stucco spread over the parts which had been mutilated, enabled the outlines to be restored to their original purity, and the alteration was rendered invisible by a few coats of colour. Tutankhamon was succeeded by the divine father Ai, whom Khuniatonu had assigned as husband to one of his relatives named Tii, so called after the widow of Amenothes III. Ai laboured no less diligently than his predecessor to keep up the traditions which had been temporarily interrupted. He had been a faithful worshipper of the Disk, and had given orders for the construction of two funerary chapels for himself in the mountain-side above Tel el-Amarna, the paintings in which indicate a complete adherence to the faith of the reigning king. But on becoming Pharaoh, he was proportionally zealous in his submission to the gods of Thebes, and in order to mark more fully his return to the ancient belief, he chose for his royal burying-place a site close to that in which rested the body of Amenothes III.*
* The first tomb seems to have been dug before his marriage, at the time when he had no definite ambitions; the second was prepared for him and his wife Tii.
His sarcophagus, a large oblong of carved rose granite, still lies open and broken on the spot.
[Illustration: 111.jpg SARCOPHAGUS OF THE PHARAOH AI]
Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after the drawing of Prisse d'Avenues.
Figures of goddesses stand at the four angles and extend their winged arms along its sides, as if to embrace the mummy of the sovereign. Tutankhamon and Ai were obeyed from one end of Egypt to the other, from Napata to the shores of the Mediterranean. The peoples of Syria raised no disturbances during their reigns, and paid their accustomed tribute regularly;* if their rule was short, it was at least happy. It would appear, however, that after their deaths, troubles arose in the state. The lists of Manetho give two or three princes -- Rathotis, Khebres, and Akherres -- whose names are not found on the monuments.** It is possible that we ought not to regard them as historical personages, but merely as heroes of popular romance, of the same type as those introduced so freely into the history of the preceding dynasties by the chroniclers of the Saite and Greek periods. They were, perhaps, merely short-lived pretenders who were overthrown one by the other before either had succeeded in establishing himself on the seat of Horus. Be that as it may, the XVIIIth dynasty drew to its close amid strife and quarreling, without our being able to discover the cause of its overthrow, or the name of the last of its sovereigns.***
* Tutankhamon receives the tribute of the Kushites as well as that of the Syrians; Ai is represented at Shataui in Nubia as accompanied by Pauiru, the prince of Kush.
** Wiedemann has collected six royal names which, with much hesitation, he places about this time.
*** The list of kings who make up the XVIIIth dynasty can be established with certainty, with the exception of the order of the three last sovereigns who succeed Khuniatonu. It is here given in its authentic form, as the monuments have permitted us to reconstruct it, and in its Greek form as it is found in the lists of Manetho:
[Illustration: 112.jpg Table]
Manetho's list, as we have it, is a very ill-made extract, wherein the official kings are mixed up with the legitimate queens, as well as, at least towards the end, with persons of doubtful authenticity. Several kings, between Khuniatonu and Harmhabi, are sometimes added at the end of the list; some of these I think, belonged to previous dynasties, e.g. Teti to the VIth, Rahotpu to the XVIIth; several are heroes of romance, as Mernebphtah or Merkhopirphtah, while the names of the others are either variants from the cartouche names of known princes, or else are nicknames, such as was Sesu, Sesturi for Ramses II. Dr. Mahler believes that he can fix, within a few days, the date of the kings of whom the list is composed, from Ahmosis I. to Ai. I hold to the approximate date which I have given in vol. iv. p.153 of this History, and I give the years 1600 to 1350 as the period of the dynasty, with a possible error of about fifty years, more or less.
Scarcely half a century had elapsed between the moment when the XVIII's dynasty reached the height of its power under Amenothes III. and that of its downfall. It is impossible to introduce with impunity changes of any kind into the constitution or working of so complicated a machine as an empire founded on conquest. When the parts of the mechanism have been once put together and set in motion, and have become accustomed to work harmoniously at a proper pace, interference with it must not be attempted except to replace such parts as are broken or worn out, by others exactly like them. To make alterations while the machine is in motion, or to introduce new combinations, however ingenious, into any part of the original plan, might produce an accident or a breakage of the gearing when perhaps it would be least expected. When the devout Khuniatonu exchanged one city and one god for another, he thought that he was merely transposing equivalents, and that the safety of the commonwealth was not concerned in the operation. Whether it was Amon or Atonu who presided over the destinies of his people, or whether Thebes or Tel el-Amarna were the centre of impulse, was, in his opinion, merely a question of internal arrangement which could not affect the economy of the whole. But events soon showed that he was mistaken in his calculations. It is probable that if, on the expulsion of the Hyksos, the earlier princes of the dynasty had attempted an alteration in the national religion, or had moved the capital to any other city they might select, the remainder of the kingdom would not have been affected by the change. But after several centuries of faithful adherence to Amon in his city of Thebes, the governing power would find it no easy matter to accomplish such a resolution. During three centuries the dynasty had become wedded to the city and to its patron deity, and the locality had become so closely associated with the dynasty, that any blow aimed at the god could not fail to destroy the dynasty with it; indeed, had the experiment of Khuniatonu been prolonged beyond a few years, it might have entailed the ruin of the whole country. All who came into contact with Egypt, or were under her rule, whether Asiatics or Africans, were quick to detect any change in her administration, and to remark a falling away from the traditional systems of the times of Thutmosis III. and Amenothes II. The successors of the heretic king had the sense to perceive at once the first symptoms of disorder, and to refrain from persevering in his errors; but however quick they were to undo his work, they could not foresee its serious consequences. His immediate followers were powerless to maintain their dynasty, and their posterity had to make way for a family who had not incurred the hatred of Amon, or rather that of his priests. If those who followed them were able by their tact and energy to set Egypt on her feet again, they were at the same time unable to restore her former prosperity or her boundless confidence in herself.
[Illustration: 114.jpg Tailpiece]