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under several names in Scripture. The Hebrew Niebuhr thinks that it lay to the north-west of name for it was Bethshemesh, or “house of the it, about four leagues from Cairo, in the way sun," which, or “city of the sun,” is the mean- Suez, where there is a heap of ruins, called Tel ing of all the names given to the place, except | el Jhúd, or Tourbet el Jhûd. As the land of that of Aven, or Bethaven, Ezek. xxx. 17, Hos. Goshen is also called “the land of Rameses,” we x. 5, which means “vanity,” or “ house of
may conclude, that the town of Rameses was in anity," a nick-name the Hebrews were accus- that district, and that it either gave or received tomed to apply to noted places of idolatrous wor- from it, its name. We may mention, that some ship. The Greek name of the place was Heli- authors conceive that Pithom and Rameses were opolis, by which name the Septuagint version the names of two kings of Egypt, but this is by renders it, a rendering that has not been dis- no means a well founded theory. puted. The city derived its name from the worship
“SIN," OR PELUSIUM. of the sun, to which a celebrated temple was here consecrated. It was a famous seat of the Egyp- In Arabic, the term “sin” signifies mud, and tian science and learning. Herodotus says,
that was therefore the same as Pelusium, from pelos, the Heliopolitans were reckoned the wisest of mud. By the prophet Ezekiel, who predicted its the Egyptians; and, according to Berosus, it overthrow, chap. xxx. 15, it is called “the was the city of Moses, which well accounts for strength of Egypt,” and by Suidas, the “key of his scriptural character, that he was learned in Egypt,” or, its strong barrier on the side of all the wisdom of the Egyptians,” Acts vii. 22. Syria and Arabia. But notwithstanding its It is certain that in the college of priests at this strength, according to the prediction of the proplace, Eudoxus, Plato, and Herodotus received phet, it is laid prostrate by the hand of time and their instruction in astronomy, philosophy, and the destroyer. history; and in all that learning of the Egyptians which sacred and profane writers concur in
PIBESETH, OR BUBASTUS. celebrating.
Very little is known of the history of Heli- By the Septuagint, Pibeseth is regarded as opolis. Josephus says, that it was given to the the famous city of Bubastis, on the Pelusian Israelites for a habitation when they first went branch of the Nile; whence this branch, which down into Egypt; but this is not mentioned in is the eastern, was indiscriminately called the Scripture. Its destruction was foretold by the Bubastic or the Pelusiac. The city derived its prophets, Jeremiah, chap. xliii. 13, and Ezekiel, name from a magnificent temple dedicated to the chap. xxx. 17; which predictions were probably goddess Bubastis, whom Herodotus identifies accomplished by Nebuchadnezzar.
with Diana. The site still bears the name of Heliopolis was situated in the Pelusiac branch Tel Bastah, but the great mass of ruins is someof the Nile, about five miles below the point of what more than half a mile west of the Tel, at the ancient Delta. Its form and size may be in- Chobrah and Heryeh. There is no edifice referred from the remaining mounds of the wall of maining. All is one scene of desolation, testifycircuit, from which it would appear to have been ing at once to its ancient splendour, and to the of an irregular shape, and in its extent not ex- truth of Holy Writ, which foretells its destruction. ceeding 3,750 by 2,870 feet. The houses stood on The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall the north side, covering a space of about 575,000 fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into feet; to the south of which stood the temple of captivity,” Ezek. xxx. 17. the sun.
There are now no ruins of ancient buildings, unless the mounds be considered
TAHAHPANES, TAHPANES, OR HANES. such, but there are still existing many fragments of the materials employed in their con- This city was the same as the Daphnæ Pelustruction. An obelisk still stands entire upon siacæ, noticed by Herodotus. The prophet Jethe spot, which, from its great antiquity, has re- remiah resided here in his exile, Jer. xliii. 8. ceived much attention from the learned. In the Isaiah abridged it to Hanes, Isa. xxx. 4. The adjoining villages, there are many fragments of former, while there, under a significant type, preantiquity, which have evidently been removed dicted the conquest of Egypt by the Babylonians, from thence, and one standing in its immediate which prediction was verified by Nebuchadnezzar. vicinity bears the name of Matarieh, signifying “ fresh water ;" which name is taken from a spring of excellent water, supposed to be the
" the fountain of the sun of ancient The name igda signifies “a tower,” and days.
may have been common to several places distinguished by objects of that kind. There appears, indeed, from Scripture, to have been two
cities of that name in ancient times. Thus the Pithom and Rameses are mentioned, Exod. i. prophet Jeremiah represents one as belonging to 11, as having been built by the Hebrews, for the Egypt Proper, see chap. xlvi. 14; and in the Egyptian monarch under whom they were op- neighbourhood of Tahpanes, or Daphnæ. This pressed, for “treasure” or store cities. Authors favours the supposition of its being the present vary in their opinions concerning the sites of Migdol; and Bochart observes on this text, that Pithom and Rameses. Benjamin of Tudela, in we find the places named exactly in the order of the twelfth century, was informed by the Jews the distance from Judea: first, Migdol, or Magthat the latter was the same as Heliopolis; but dolus ; secondly, Tahpanhes, or Daphnæ; thirdly,
PITHOM AND RAMESES.
Noph, or Memphis; and, lastly, the district of metropolis of the country, it would appear that Pathros, or Thebais. We may presume this city Noph, or Memphis, was the great city of the to have been that which Herodotus mentions Pharaohs with which the Old Testament Hebrews under that name, and which the itinerary of An- were best acquainted, and to which there are the toninus reckons a little to the south of the Delta, most frequent references in Scripture, from the about twelve miles from Pelusium. But this time that good old Israel went down into Egypt was too far distant from the Red Sea to be in to the days of the prophet Jeremiah. At the the route of the Israelites when departing from former date, it was, probably, the capital of that Egypt; and therefore we may conclude that part of Egypt with which the Hebrews were most there was a second Migdol in Lower Egypt, to- familiar; and at the latter, it still remained as the wards the Red Sea, and at which the Israelites metropolis, notwithstanding that, since the reign encamped. See Exod. xiv. 2.
of Psammetichus, the kings of Egypt had made
Sais the usual seat of their residence.
The wealth and the glory of Memphis are
spoken of by most ancient writers; but concerning Memphis was the renowned capital of Lower the details little or nothing is recorded ; and Noph Egypt. On what site it stood, however, has been is so utterly waste, according to the prediction of much disputed. Dr. Shaw, and others, contend the prophet, Jer. xlvi. 19, that the deficiency that it must be sought at Ghizeh, nearly oppo- cannot be supplied from existing remains, as at site to Old Cairo; but other eminent travellers | Thebes. Its magnificent temples are, however, and geographers, comparing the statements in mentioned, particularly those of Apis and Vulcan; ancient authors with existing appearances and and Diodorus describes the city as about 150 traditions, have fixed its position with greater stades, or between seventeen and eighteen miles, probability considerably more to the south, near in circumference. There are, moreover, remains the village of Metrahenny, on the western bank of a different and not less striking kind, which of the Nile. On this spot there are indications denote its ancient grandeur. These are the pyraof extensive ruins in the form of mounds, chan- mids; for the situation of Memphis, regarded as nels, and blocks of granite, many of which are near Metrahenny, is central with respect to covered with sculptures and hieroglyphics, and these far-famed structures, being as it were in the which are considered, in the locality, to form the midst of them; and it is to be observed, that remains of Menf, or Memphis, the royal seat of ancient historians usually considered the pyramids the Pharaohs.
as pertaining to Memphis. Other monuments We have seen, in the article Thebes, that Mem- marking the city itself, save that of the mounds, phis superseded that city as the capital of Egypt. a few fragments of granite, some substruction, To explain this, we would observe, that Egyptian and a colossal statue of Ramases II., there are traditions, as preserved by the Greek historians, none; so completely has the prediction of its and confirmed by modern research, state, that desolation been accomplished. This desolation is Upper Egypt was the first settled and brought the more remarkable when we consider that the under cultivation. From thence colonies pro- glory of Memphis was only impaired by the ceeded into Middle and Lower Egypt, which devastations of the Persians, and that when became the parents of other colonies, till the eclipsed by Alexandria it continued to be the whole was settled. The principal of these colo- second city of Egypt, as recorded by Strabo, and nies, it would appear, soon assumed or acquired that about as late as the time of our Saviour. the character of independent states or kingdoms, The Arabian geographer, Abulfeda, notices, ineach with its own metropolis; and Memphis deed, in the fourteenth century, the extensive seems to have been the earliest of those settle- remains of Menf, as still evincing the ancient ments below the Thebais, as the seat of such a importance of that renowned city. But these state or kingdom. According to Herodotus, it appear to have been employed in the erection of was founded by Menes, the first king of Egypt, the more modern cities which have arisen in that who turned the channel of the river, and built the part of Egypt where Memphis stood; or to have city in the ancient bed, where the strait between been gradually covered by the encroaching sands the Arabian and Libyan mountains is narrowest. of the desert, or the alluvions of the Nile, so that This statement, in the opinion of many travellers, nothing now remains of all its glory but that is corroborated by the actual appearance of the described. river at the spot where, according to this historian, the stream was “dyked off;" namely, at 100 stades, or about twelve miles, above Memphis
. Syene was the most southern city of the Herodotus thought that the valley above Memphis, Thebais, bordering on Nubia. By the prophet where it widens, was once a bay of the sea, but | Ezekiel, the whole extent of Egypt, from north to was gradually raised by the alluvions of the Nile, south, is described as “from the tower of Syene which also in his opinion formed the Delta. This even unto the border of Ethiopia,” Ezek. xxix. opinion seems to have been formed by a mistake 10 ; xxx. 6. Migdol, which is incorrectly renas to the meaning of a passage in Homer ; but it dered “ tower" in our version, and which should would confirm the supposition that the Mediter- be preserved as the proper name of the town near ranean was once much higher than at present, the Red Sea, as noticed before, was in the north and that it was lowered by the disruption of the of Egypt, while Syene was its southern frontier. straits of Gibraltar.
The cataracts of the Nile, which occur above this At what time Memphis became the paramount place, and the difficult navigation of the river, form metropolis of Egypt, it would be difficult to state; a natural boundary line; so that Syene, now called but as the capital of Lower Egypt, and as the Assouan, has always been considered the frontier
town of Egypt in this direction. Strictly speak- | the obelisks, the palace of the Ptolemies, the cha ing, the boundary is formed by the mighty terraces theatre, and various temples once stood. There of that peculiar reddish granite called syenite, were two ports; one bounded by the north-east which, shaped into peaks, stretch across the bed part of the city, and the Heptastadium, called the of the Nile, and from which the Egyptians great port, and the other called Eunostus, or obtained the stone so frequently employed by “ safe return." This latter also contained a eig them in their obelisks and colossal statues. small port, called Kibotos, or “the chest,” be the
The town of Syene retained its importance for cause the entrance could be completely closed. many ages. This is certified by the ruins of No traces of this can now be discovered. A works and buildings reared by the Pharaohs, the canal, uniting the lake with port Eunostus, terPtolemies, the Romans, and the Arabians, which minated in or near port Kibotos, and was nearly I are still seen on and around the site of the old the south-west limit of the city. There was also town. The town Assouan, which succeeded it, a canal from the lake to the town of Canopus,cor so closely adjoins the old town on the north, that situated near the mouth of the western branch of the northern wall of the latter forms the southern the Nile, by means of which the city was supwall of the former. The scenery in this part is plied with river water, which was kept in cisvery striking. Madox, in his “ Excursions in the terns. These, it would appear, were very nuHoly Land, Egypt, etc.,” thus describes it : “ The
A Roman writer says, “ Nearly all
DIE river is rocky here, and the navigation, by night Alexandria was undermined, and furnished with ler at least, dangerous. At the pass of Assouan subterranean aqueducts, to convey the Nile bu ruin and devastation reign around. This pass, water to private houses, where, after a short which nature has so well fortified, seems ill treated time, it became purified.” Traces of such are by man. Hardly any thing was to be seen but now found on the site of ancient Alexandria. the vast remains of the old town of Syene, with The city of Alexandria was divided into five mud-built walls and hovels on every side. Rocks, quarters, but neither the limits nor the names of the forming islands, were in the middle of the stream, each can be assigned. The court end, or Bruupon which shrubs were growing. The scene chion, comprised the part between the Lochias, altogether was wild and forlorn. In the distance the site of the obelisks, and the eastern or Roappear high mountains, or masses of stone, with setta gate. This part contained also the museum. trees, corn, and grass of great height, extending the part called Rhacotis, which bordered on TO to the water's edge.” The removal of the town port Eunostus, contained the great temple of is said to have occurred A. D. 1403, in conse- Serapis, which, after the establishment of Chrisquence of a plague, which destroyed 21,000 of its tianity, was a grievous offence to the Christians, inhabitants, from which fact the reader may and as such was destroyed by Theophilus, the discern the ancient and also the comparatively patriarch of Alexandria, A.D. 390, by permission modern importance of the town.
of the emperor Theodosius.
The city of Alexandria was embellished by the th Ptolemies with the spoils of the more ancient Th
towns of Egypt, and it continued to receive acThis renowned city of Egypt owed its origin cessions and improvements for several centuries. to Alexander the Great, who, during his visit to At one period of time, it was the rival of Rome FE that country, (about B.C. 332,) gave orders for its in magnitude, and the greatest commercial city to erection, betwen the sea and the Mareotic Lake. of the earth. Like Tyre of old, it was the point ih The architect was Dinocrates, a Macedonian. of exchange for the eastern and western world. A large part of it was contained within the pre- Diodorus, who visited the city just before the sent walls, which are chiefly the work of the downfal of the empire of the Ptolemies, says, Arabs. One main street, about four miles in that it contained, according to the registers, more | length, ran through the city from the eastern than 300,000 free citizens. extremity to the Necropolis, or city of the The remains of Old Alexandria are surrounded dead,” at the western, and this was intersected by a double wall, flanked with lofty towers. by another main street, about one mile and a They are an almost shapeless mass of rubbish, in quarter in length, running nearly north, in a which are discerned fragments of broken codirection from the Mareotic Lake. This was lumns, pieces of wall, cisterns choked up with to obtain the benefit of ventilation from the north earth, pieces of pottery, glass, etc. There are winds. The main land and the isle of Pharos five gateways or entrances into this enclosure. was connected by a dyke, called the Heptastadium, Of the two granite obelisks, called Cleopatra's in which there was a passage for vessels, from Needles, one is still standing; the other is lying one port to the other at each end. Over these prostrate on the ground. These obelisks formed passages there were bridges, probably of great the entrance to the palace of Cesar, as it is called, height, since we are told that water was con- though it is most probable they were removed veyed along this dyke to the island of Pharos. from some of the ancient cities of Egypt thither. On the rocks occupied by the present Pharos, Near these obelisks is part of a tower, called, a magnificent light-house was constructed by “ The Tower of the Romans.” About the cenSostratus of Cnidus, in the reign of Ptolemy tre of the enclosure stands the mosque of St. Philadelphus, the height of which, report says, Athanasius, on the site of a Christian church was 400 feet. The point opposite to the Pharos erected by this patriarch during the fourth cenwas called Lochias, and as this point was pro- tury. In this mosque the beautiful SARCOPHAlonged towards the Pharos along some rocks, it Gus, of Egyptian breccia, which is now in the received the name of Acro-Lochias, or the British Museum, was discovered. The cisterns, “ Point of Lochias." Between this point and mentioned for keeping Nile water, are still in a
great measure preserved; they consist of vaulted present day, the city that bears its name no
ABY'bos terior there is a great number of chambers and passages, which, judging from the style in which Aby'dos was a city of Upper Egypt, the rethey are cut in the rock, are of Greek origin. mains of which are found near two villages, ElThis monument was doubtless intended for a kherbeh and Harabat, about six miles from the king.
west bank of the Nile, N. lat. 26° 12'. The chief The history of this city is very remarkable. building which still remains is nearly covered From B.C. 323 to B.C. 30, when it fell into the with sand, but the interior is in good preservahands of the Romans, it was the residence of tion. This edifice is constructed of limestone the Greek kings of Egypt, the resort of com- and sandstone. It is said that arches are found merce, and of many foreign nations, especially in the interior, similar to those of brick which Jews, and it was also the centre of the scientific Belzoni describes at Thebes. The numerous knowledge of that day. Of the five wards into apartments in this building, and the style of dewhich this city was divided, two were entirely coration, show that Abydos was once a place of occupied by Jews, and they had, besides, resid- importance. Some conjecture that it was a royal ences dispersed in the other quarters. They residence. When Strabo visited Egypt, about enjoyed, as will be seen in the history of that the commencement of the Christian era, Abydos period, full civil privileges, and had a prefect or was a mere village; but he learned that the great governor of their own. Alexandria sustained building was called Memnoneion, or palace of much damage in the campaigns of Julius Cesar, Memnon, and that tradition assigned to Abydos B.C. 48. From B.C. 30, to the Arab conquest a rank in ancient times next to Thebes. There under Omar, A.D. 640, who, it is said, found was a canal leading to the city from the river; forty thousand Jews paying tribute there, Alex- but besides this communication with the main andria was still a flourishing city under the stream, Abydos had the advantage of standing on Roman, and afterwards under the eastern em- the large canal running northward, which is pire. The Christian religion was early adopted known by the name of the Bahr Youssuf. there, and it became one of the strong-holds of On an interior wall of a building at Abydos, the true faith. Clemens, Origen, Athanasius, not belonging to the great edifice, a kind of taand others of equal note in the Christian church, blet, or genealogy of the early kings of Egypt, flourished at Alexandria. In 969, the Fatemite which is generally called the table of Abydos, caliphs seized on Egypt, and built New Cairo, was discovered. This tablet consists of three from which time Alexandria declined still more, compartments lying horizontally one above anand sunk to the rank of a secondary city. The other; and each compartment has been divided discovery of the route round the Cape of Good into twenty-six rectangles, so that the whole once Hope, A.D. 1497, tended still further to diminish contained seventy-eight rectangles. Each of the importance of Alexandria ; so that at the these rectangles contains an elliptical ring, or
cartouche, such as may be seen on the Egyptian by low mountains, distant from it about three monuments in the British Museum ; and each miles, where a well called the Fons Tadnos supcartouche contains various figures, which are ge- plied the town and ships with water. nerally supposed to indicate the names or titles was more capacious than those of Berenice and of sovereigns. The lowest of the three com- Philoteras ; and though exposed to the winds, it partments contains, in the nineteen rectangles was secure against the force of a tempestuous which are complete, the title and name of Ra- sea. Several roads united at the gates of the meses the Great; the same prænomen, or title, town, from Berenice and Philoteras on the south, and name, having each, probably, been repeated Arsinoe on the north, and from Coptos on the thirteen times in the whole twenty-six rectangles, west ; and stations supplied those who passed to of which seven are erased. Deducting these and from the Nile with water and other necestwenty-six, there remain in the other two com- saries. partments fifty-two rectangles. The fifty-first ** Many other ports,” says Mr. Wilkinson, and fifty-second contain the title and name of a “the Portus Multi of Pliny, occur along the Rameses, who may be a predecessor of Rameses coast, particularly between Berenice and Kosthe Great. The cartouches preceding these are sayr;* but though they all have landmarks to thought to be the titles of kings: this is very guide boats in approaching their rocky entrances, probable, for the forty-seventh is the same as none of them have any remains of a tower, or that on the great colossal statue at Thebes, and the vestiges of habitations." They teach the on the entire colossal statue in the British Mu- beholder the important lesson, that nothing on seum, which is Amenophis 11. in Manetho's ca- earth is enduring; and that talogue.
"He builds too low, who builds below the skies."
The ruins of Tentyra are supposed to be those scribed by Strabo under the name of Acathartus.
seen at Amara, about a mile from the river ErBelzoni describes the place which he takes to be
It stood in the midst of a large plain, the site of Berenice as being a little south of the and seems to have been between three and four parallel of 24', in which D’Anville concurs. miles in compass. The ruins of two ancient Ptolemy gives the latitude of Berenice at 23 buildings are still to be seen there. The inha50%, which is also the latitude of Syene. The bitants of this city were famous for their enmity town, according to Belzoni, measured 1,600 feet to the crocodile, which they endeavoured to defrom north to south, and 2,000 from east to west. stroy by all the means in their power. They A small temple of Serapis, built of soft calcareous even waged war with the worshippers of that and sand stone, in the Egyptian style of archi- animal, especially with the people of Ombos. tecture, is 102 feet long, and 43 wide. A part of To this circumstance Juvenal alludes in one of the wall which was uncovered by digging was
his satires. He says, sculptured with well executed figures in basso- “Ombus and Tentyr, neighbouring towns, of late relievo, in the Egyptian style; on the wall hiero
Broke into outrage of deep fester'd hate.
A grudge in both, time out of mind, begun glyphics were also discovered.
And mutually bequeathed from sire to son: The town of Berenice was built or restored by Religious spite and pious spleen bred first Ptolemy Philadelphus, who called it after the This quarrel, which so long the bigots nursed.
Each called the other's god a senseless stock, name of his mother, the wife of Lagus, or Soter.
His own, divine; though from the self-same block The town was very extensive, and though the One carver framed them, differing but in shape; harbour was neither deep nor spacious, its posi- A serpent this resembling, that an ape.”—Tate's Juvenal. | tion in a receding gulf tended greatly to the At Rome, the Tentyrites were employed to take safety of the vessels lying within it, or anchored the crocodiles with nets out of the ponds, where in the bay. A road led thence direct to Coptos, they were kept as a curiosity, and to show furnished with the usual stations, or hydreumas ; them to the people, which they did without reand another, which also went to the emerald ceiving the least harm. Some have supposed mines, joined, or rather crossed it, from A polli- that this people possessed a natural ascendency nopolis
Magna. When Strabo visited Egypt, the over the crocodile ; but Seneca more justly asMyos Hormos seems to have superseded Bere- cribes their power over it to their temerity in nice; but the latter, in the later age of Pliny, facing and attacking this dangerous creature. was again preferred to its rival. From both Their power over the crocodile is attested by these ports the goods were taken on camels, by one of the marbles of the Townley Collection in an almost level road across the desert to Coptos, the British Museum, which is usually explained and thence distributed over different parts of to represent an Egyptian tumbler exercising his Egypt. In the time of the Ptolemies and Cesars, feats on the back of a tame crocodile. those suited for exportation to Europe went down the river to the city of Alexandria, where
APOLLINOPOLIS. they were sold to merchants who resorted to that city at a stated season.
This city is thought to have been situated where the town of Edfou (on the left bank of
the Nile, in 25° N. lat.) now stands. There are MYOS HORMOS.
still the ruins of a magnificent temple here, The Myos Hormos, called also Aphrodite, and, according to Agatharchides, the Port of Venus,
• Myos Hormos ceded its place to this town, which was
afterwards called Philoteras, and was resorted to after the stood in latitude 27° 22', upon a flat coast, backed Arab conquest.