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ANTIQUITIES OF EGYPT.,

Publisho Febili9754, byJfPKnepon.

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WITH AN
ACCOUNT of whatever is most curious and rem

markable in that country.

AGYPT comprehended anciently, within E limits that were not of a very wide extent,

a * prodigious number of cities, and an e incredible multitude of inhabitants, It is bounded on the east by the Red-Sea and the Isthmus of Suez; on the south by Ethiopia, on the west by Libya, and on the north by the Meditera i ranean. · The Nile runs from south to north, thro* the whole country, about two hundred leagues in length. This country is inclosed on each side with a a ridge of mountains, which very often leave, between the foot of the hills and the river Nile, a tract of ground of not above half a day's journey in lengtht, and sometimes less..

* 'Tis related that under Amafis, there were twenty thousand inbabited cities in Egypt, Herod.

VOL. I.

Lib. 2. cap. 177.

+ A day's journey is 24 eaflerni, or 33 English milesoy B

On the west-side, the plain grows wider in some places, and extends to twenty-five or thirty leagues. The greatest breadth of Egypt is from Alexandria to Damiata, being about fifty leagues.

ANCIENT Egypt may be divided into three prin. cipal parts; Upper Egypt, otherwise called Thebais, which was the most southern part ; Middle Egypt, or Heptanomis, so callid from the seven Nomi or districts it contain'd; Lower Egypt which included what t? Greeks call Delta, and all the country as far

as the Red-Sea, and along the Mediterranean to RhiStrabo, - nocolura, or Mount Casius. Under Sefoftris, all Lib. 17. Egypt became one kingdom, and was divided into P: 787

thirty-six governments or Nomi; ten in Thebais, ten in Delta, and sixteen in the country between both.

The cities of Syene and Elephantina divided Egypt from Ethiopia ; and in the days of Augustus were as bounds to the Roman Empire. Claustra olim Romani Imperii, Tacit. Annal. Lib. 2. Cap. 61.

| C H A P. . . . . .

TH E B A I S.
ATHEBES, from whence Thebais had its name,

I might vie with the noblest cities in the uniHon ti verse. Its hundred gates celebrated by Homer, are i. v. 381. universally known; and acquir'd it the surname of

Hecatonpylos, to distinguish it froin another Thebes Svrab:Lib. lying in Bæotia. It was as large as populous ; and 17.9.816. according to history, could send out at once two

hundred chariots, and ten thousand fighting-men at Tacit. each of its gates. The Greeks and Romans have ceAnn. Lib. lebrated its magnificence and grandeur, though they 2. c. 60. beheld its ruins only, so august were the remains of this city.

. .. In Thebes, now call'd Sayd, have been discover'd not's tra- temples and palaces which are still almost entire, vels.: dornid with innumerable columns and statues, One

palace

palace especially is admir'd, the remains whereof seein to have existed purely to.eclipse the glory of the most pompoơs edifices. Four walks extending farther than the eye can see, and bounded on each side with sphinxes, compofed of materials as rare and extraordinary as their liże is remarkable; serve for avenues to four porticos, whose height is amazing to be. hold. Besides, they who give us the description of this wonderful edifice, had not time to go round it ; and are not sure that they saw above half : however, what they had a sight of, was astonishing. A hall, which in all appearance stood in the middle of this stately palace, was supported by an hundred and twenty pillars six fathoms round, of a proportionable heighth and intermix'd with obelisks, which so many ages have not been able to demolish, Painting had display'd all her art and magnificence in this edifice. The colours themselves, that is things which sooneft. feel the injury of time, ftill hold amidst the ruins of this wonderful structure, and preserve their beauty and lustre ; so happily could the Egyptians imprint a .. character of immortality on all their works. Strabo, Lib. 17. who was on the spot, describes a temple he saw in p. 8050 Egypt, very much resembling this I have been speaking of. .

The same author, describing the curiosities of p. 816, Thebais, speaks of a very famous statue of Memnon, the remains whereof he had seen. 'Tis said that this: ftatue, when the beams of the rising sun first fhone :: upon it in the morning, gave an articulate found *. And indeed Strabo himself was an ear-witness of this; but then he doubts whether the sound came from the ftatue.

ages have nother art and make it things w

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