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The harbour and the two breakwaters which protect it are remarkable pieces of work; the breakwater on the east is about one mile, and that on the west is about one and fiveeighths of a mile in length, and is being lengthened yearly to protect the harbour from the mud-carrying current which always flows from the west, and would block up the canal but for the breakwater. Near the western breakwater is the lighthouse, about 165 feet high ; the electric light is used in it, and can be seen for a distance of twenty miles. The port is called Sa'id in honour of Sa'id Pasha. The fresh water used is brought in iron pipes laid along the western side of the canal from Isma'iliya. The choice fell upon this spot for the Mediterranean end of the canal because water sufficiently deep for ocean-going ships was found within two miles of the shore. The total length of the canal, including the buoyed channel at the Suez end, is about one hundred miles.
CAIRO TO SUEZ.
On the line between Cairo and Suez the following important places are passed :—
I. Shibin el-Kanatir, the stopping place for those who wish to visit the 'Jewish Hill' or Tell el-Yahudiyyeh, where Onia, the high priest of the Jews, built a temple by the permission of Ptolemy Philometor, in which the Egyptian Jews might worship. The site of the town was occupied in very early times by a temple and other buildings which were set up by Rameses II. and Rameses III.; a large number of the tiles which formed parts of the walls of these splendid works are preserved in the British Museum.
II. Zak&zik, the capital of the Sherkiyeh province, is a town of about 40,000 inhabitants; the railway station stands about one mile from the mounds which mark the site of the famous old city of Bubastis,* or Tell Basta. The chief article of commerce here is cotton. Not far from Zakazik flows the Fresh-water Canal from Cairo to Suez, which in many places exactly follows the route of the old canal which was dug during the XIXth dynasty.
Bubastis, Bubastus, or Tell Basta (the Pibeseth=" House of Bast" of Ezekiel xxx. 17), was the capital of the Bubastites nome in the Delta, and was situated on the eastern side of the Pelusiac arm of the Nile. The city was dedicated to the goddess Bast, the animal sacred to whom was the cat, and was famous for having given a dynasty of kings (the XXIInd) to Egypt. To the south of the city were the lands which Psammetichus I. gave to his Ionian and Carian mercenaries, and on the north side was the canal which Nekau (Necho) dug between the Nile and the Red Sea. The city was captured by the Persians B.C. 352, and the walls, the entire circuit of which was three miles, were dismantled. Recent excavations have shown beyond doubt that the place was inhabited during the earliest dynasties, and that many great kings of Egypt delighted to build temples there. The following description of the town and the festival celebrated there will be found of interest: "Here is a temple of Bubastis deserving of mention. Other temples are larger and more magnificent, but none more beautiful than this. The goddess Bubastis is the same as the Greek Diana. Her temple stands in an island surrounded on all sides by water, except at the entrance passage. Two separate canals lead from the Nile to the entrance, which diverging to the right and left, surround the temple. They are about 100 feet broad, and planted with trees. The vestibule is 60 feet high, and ornamented with very fine figures six
* From the hieroglyphic ^^J^Pa-Basf, Coptic TlOT^^cf"; it was the metropolis of the 18th nome of Lower Egypt, "where the soul of Isis lived in [the form] of Bast."
cubits in height. The temple stands in the centre of the town, and in walking round the place you look down upon it on every side, in consequence of the foundations of the houses having been elevated, and the temple still continuing on its original level. The sacred enclosure is encompassed by a wall, on which a'great number of figures are sculptured; and within it is a grove, planted round the shrine of the temple, with trees of a considerable height. In the shrine is the statue of the goddess. The sacred enclosure is 600 feet in length by the same in breadth. The street which corresponds with the entrance of the temple crosses the public square, goes to the east, and leads to the temple of Mercury: it is about 1,800 feet long and 400 feet wide, paved and planted on each side with large trees."* The goddess Bast who was worshipped there is represented as having the head of a lioness or cat. She wore a disk, with a uraeus, and carried the sceptre | or J. She was the female counterpart of Ptah, and was one of the triad of Memphis. Properly
'Lady of Heaven,' and 'The great lady, beloved of Ptah.' f The nature of the ceremony on the way to Bubastis, says Herodotus, J is this :—" They go by water, and numerous boats are crowded with persons of both sexes. During the voyage several women strike cymbals and tambourines; some men play the flute; the rest singing and clapping their hands. As they pass near a town, they bring the boat
* Herodotus, ii. 137, 138, translated by Wilkinson, "Ancient Egyptians," iii. p. 35.
t She is a form of Hathor, and as wife of Ptah, was the mother of Nefer-Atmu and I-em-hetep. She was the personification of the power of light and of the burning heat of the sun; it was her duty to destroy the demons of night, mist and cloud, who fought against the sun.
t Book II. 60.
speaking her name is Sechet
She is called close to the bank. Some of the women continue to sing and strike cymbals; others cry out as long as they can, and utter reproaches against the people of the town, who begin to dance, while the former pull up their clothes before them in a scoffing manner. The same is repeated at every town they pass upon the river. Arrived at Bubastis, they celebrate the festival, sacrificing a great number of victims; and on that occasion a greater consumption of wine takes place than during the whole of the year; for according to the accounts of the people themselves, no less than 700,000 persons of both sexes are present, besides children."
The fertile country round about Zakazik is probably a part of the Goshen of the Bible.
III. Abu Hammad, where the Arabian desert begins.
IV. Tell el-Kebir, a wretched village, now made famous by the victory of Lord Wolseley over 'Arabi Pasha in 1882.
V. Mahsamah, which stands on the site of a town built by Rameses II. Near this place is Tell el-Maskhuta, which some have identified with the Pithom which the Israelites built for the king of Egypt who oppressed them.
VI. Isma'iliya (see p. 107).
VII. Nefisheh. Here the fresh water canal divides into two parts, the one going on to Suez, and the other to Isma'iliya.
Cairo (from the Arabic Kahira, 'the Victorious,' because the planet Kahir or Mars was visible on the night of the foundation of the city) is situated on the right or eastern bank of the Nile, about ten miles south of the division of the Nile into the Rosetta and Damietta branches. It is called in Arabic Masr *: it is the largest city in Africa, and its population must be now about half a million souls. Josephus says that the fortress of the Babylon of Egypt, which stood on the spot occupied by old Cairo or Fostat, was founded by the Babylonian mercenary soldiers of Cambyses, B.C. 525; Diodorus says that it was founded by Assyrian captives in the time of Rameses II., and Ctesias is inclined to think that it was built in the time of Semiramis. The opinions of the two last mentioned writers are valuable in one respect, for they show that it was believed in their time that Babylon of Egypt was a very ancient foundation. During the reign of Augustus it was the headquarters of one of the legions that garrisoned Egypt, and remains of the town and fortress which these legionaries occupied are still to be seen a little to the north of Fostat. The word Fostat f means a 'tent,' and the place is so called from the tent of 'Amr ibn el-'Asi, which was pitched there when he besieged Egypt, A.d. 638, and to which he returned after his capture of Alexandria. Around his tent lived a large number of his followers, and
* Masr is a form of the old name Misrl (Hebrew Misraim), by which it is called in the cuneiform tablets, B.c. 1550.
t Arab. UIU...1, another form of \*\M,i, = Byzantine Greek