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Pharaohs who had succeeded "the unfortunate Timaus, unable to withstand the barbarians, retired into the Thebaide, and became even tributaries of these usurpers. Issuing from their retreat, as they acquired strength, they ventured, with various success, to attack the Hyk-shos, and after a period of 260 years the Pharaoh Misphragmouthosis, having killed an immense number of these barbarians, drove the remainder of them to their last shelter, the town of Aouaris. This was the frontier town towards Assyria, which the Hyk-shos had fortified, and its very name exhibits another proof of the hatred of the Egyptians towards these barbarians. Aouaris, in fact, is a composition of two Coptic words, oua and iri, which signify to give a curse, to give a malediction. But this is not the only appellation by which it was designated; we find it occasionally called Thatiphoou, which means “the dwelling of Typhon,” or “ Typhonia,” from having been the residence of the Hyk-shos, whom the Egyptians compared to Typhon, the author of all evil.
The victorious Pharaoh, however, did not leave them long unmolested, and his son and successor, named Thoutmosis, now master of the whole of Egypt, brought up so large a force against them, that the Hyk-shos, unable to oppose him, left the country and retired into Syria, about the year 1822 before Christ, and the Pharaoh Thoutmosis, for having delivered his country from the tyranny
of these barbarians, became the chief of the eighteenth dynasty. It is, indeed, gratifying, after the lapse of hundreds, nay, thousands of years, to find authentic monuments, which establish so many historical facts, of which some have been controverted, others denied. Further discoveries will, no doubt, afford to our posterity, if not to ourselves, the means of ascertaining what we still require to know, and supply the loss of the work of Manetho. M. Champollion has, in fact, made some valuable discoveries, and these, I have no doubt, are the harbingers of still greater ones. He has already, in his portfolio, copies of inscriptions, which are of an invaluable importance, to establish the chromology of Egypt. Among these, there is a copy of the chronological part of an inscription at Alexandria, which ascertains the chronology of the last of the Saites, of the twenty-sixth dynasty. He has also copies of the hieroglyphic inscriptions engraved on the rocks, on the road to Cosseir, which give the express duration of the reigns of the kings of the Persian dynasty; and on his return to Thebes, he expects an immense harvest of historical facts. These are his words: “Since I have been running through Thebes for the space of four days, I have already collected important documents.” I think I have already mentioned that in inspecting at Aix, the collection of MSS. of M. Sallier,
he has discovered two papyri, containing “ the history, expeditions, and victories of Sesostris." The MSS. are said to bear the date of the ninth year of the reign of this prince; and the events recorded in them seem to agree perfectly with those engraved on the wall of the tomb of this prince, opened by Belzoni at Ibsamboul.
Indeed, if the hope of an important discovery can possibly be entertained, it is in the prosecution of the plan imagined and begun by this indefatigable traveller; and that is, by digging under the ruins of Thebes, and searching under mountains of sand, for the lost treasures of ancient learning. It is in the abode of the Hierophantes, in the secret repositories of their ruined temples, in the subterraneous passages, which served as a security to the priesthood, that we may indulge the hope of hereafter obtaining materials that will enlarge our knowledge concerning the sacred hieroglypical language of the Egyptians, and these may lead us to important conclusions. From the little, the very little I have been able to collect about the mysteries of Isis, and of the doctrines which they inculcated, I have no doubt that much, if not the whole of the knowledge of the ancient Greek philosophers was derived from Memphis and from Thebes.
It has even been asserted, and I have every reason to believe the assertion, that what now seems a production of our times, the excavated way under the Thames, which seems to baffle our
skill, or to exceed our strength, has been practised by the Egyptians at a time of the most distant antiquity. Underneath their great capitals, Memphis and Thebes, and underneath their principal nomes, stretched far and wide the secret subterraneous passages, which, without a movement being seen or known by the people, placed all the temples, and the mighty capitals of Egypt, under the access and control of those among the priesthood, to whom their winding maze was known. The assemblage of all these avenues, or labyrinths, seems to have terminated in three points; and, though they diverged apparently to an endless inextricable maze, yet when the master-key was known, this seeming intricacy was found regulated by the nicest geometrical skill, and most correct precision. These three important points, or centres, are still in existence, though blocked up by mountains of rubbish and sand. If we are rightly informed, they are to be sought in the Memnonian plain of the Thebaide temple of the mysteries; near the sacred lake of Moeris, and the labyrinth of the lower districts; and lastly in the pyramids which are, as it were, the heart of Memphis, occupying the middle and the important central points. Had Belzoni continued his excavations in this last abode of man, we might, perhaps, by this time be in possession of some valuable document, that would open to us the road to this knowledge: but he gave up the task, and, like all other travellers, directed his attention and his efforts to the ruins of Karmak and Lugsor, and to the tombs of the short-lived race of some of the Pharaohs. I am aware, that many learned men have held, and do still hold, a contrary opinion, on the ground that in the inscriptions already decyphered, there is no other mention made besides the Egyptian pantheon, which, no doubt, in the corrupt state in which it has reached us, is sufficiently absurd. But if we consider the nature of these inscriptions, which, numerous as they are, all belong to the votive or sepulchral kind, it will appear, that this severity of judgment, upon the learning of the Egyptian priests, is rather premature. We know that the Egyptians were idolaters; we know that their idolatry, in later times, was of the most degrading kind, and, therefore, we must expect, in these public monuments of their public worship, the representation of the same doctrines which disgraced their creed. It is not, therefore, among these monuments that we can hope to discover the philosophy or the knowledge of the priesthood. If this knowledge was ever put into writing, for which we have the authority of many ancient writers, it must have been written in the sacred language, and in the sacred characters kept concealed by the priests, whose very existence depended on the secrecy of their doctrine. The seal of secrecy under which some of their doctrines were revealed to the initiated in the mysteries of Isis, the great trials to which the aspirants were exposed, before they were admitted to these myste