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As an insult to the priests and people of Thebes, he built a sandstone and granite temple at Thebes in honour of the god Harmachis. When Chut-en-aten's new town, Chut-aten, "the splendour of the sun's disk," was finished, his mother Thi came to live there; and here the king passed his life quietly with his mother, wife, and seven daughters. He died leaving no male issue, and each of the husbands of his daughters became king. In 1887 a number of important cuneiform tablets, which confirmed in a remarkable manner many facts connected with this period of Egyptian history, were found at Tell el-Amarna (see page 13). The tombs in the rocks near Tell el-Amarna are of considerable interest.
Gebel Abu Fadah.
Seventeen miles south of Haggi Kandil, 212 miles from Cairo, on the east side of the river, is the range of low mountains about twelve miles long known by this name. Towards the southern end of this range there are some crocodile mummy pits.
Manfalut, 2235 miles from Cairo, on the west bank of the Nile, occupies the site of an ancient Egyptian town; Leo Africanus says that the town was destroyed by the Romans, and adds that it was rebuilt under Muhammedan rule. In his time he says that huge columns and buildings inscribed with hieroglyphs were still visible. The Coptic name Manbalot, "place of the sack,"* is the original of its Arabic name to-day.
Asyut, 249^ miles from Cairo, is the capital of the province of the same name, and the seat of the InspectorGeneral of Upper Egypt; it stands on the site of the
* JU.<S. ft
ancient Egyptian city called —*— ^» ^> Q Sent, whence the Arabic name Siut or Asyut, and the Coptic CltOOTT. The Greeks called the city Lycopolis, or "wolf city," probably because the jackal-headed Anubis was worshipped there. Asyut is a large city, with spacious bazaars and fine mosques; it is famous for its red pottery and for its market, held every Sunday, to which wares from Arabia and Upper Egypt are brought. The American Missionaries have a large establishment, and the practical, useful education of the natives by these devoted men is carried on here, as well as at Cairo, on a large scale. The Arabic geographers described it as a town of considerable size, beauty, and importance, and before the abandonment of the Sudan by the Khedive, all caravans from that region stopped there. In the hills to the west of the town are a number of ancient Egyptian tombs, which date back as far as the XHIth dynasty. A large number have been destroyed during the present century for the sake of the limestone which forms the walls. When M. Denon stayed here he said that the number of hieroglyphic inscriptions which cover the tombs was so great that many months would be required to read, and many years to copy them. The disfigurement of the tombs dates from the time when the Christians took up their abode in them.
Fifteen miles farther south is the Coptic town of Abu Tig', the name of which appears to be derived from AnOGHKH, a "granary;" and 14^ miles beyond, 279 miles from Cairo, is Kau el-Kebir (the KCJUOT of the Copts), which marks the site of Antaeopolis, the capital of the Antaeopolite nome in Upper Egypt. The temple which formerly existed here was dedicated to Antaeus, the Libyan wrestler, who fought with Hercules. In the plain close by it was thought that the battle between Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, and Set or Typhon, the murderer of Osiris, took place; Typhon was overcome, and fled away in the form of a crocodile. In Christian times Antaeopolis was the seat of a bishop.
Tahtah, 291£ miles from Cairo, contains some interesting mosques, and is the home of a large number of Copts, in consequence of which, probably, the town is kept clean.*
S£hak (sohag), And The White And Red
Suhak, 3174 miles from Cairo, is the capital of the province of Girgeh; near it are the White and Red Monasteries.
The Der el-Abyad or "White Monastery," so-called because of the colour of the stone of which it is built, but better known by the name of Amba Shenudah, is situated on the west bank of the river near Suhak, 317^ miles from Cairo. "The peculiarity of this monastery is that the interior was once a magnificent basilica, while the exterior was built by the Empress Helena, in the ancient Egyptian style. The walls slope inwards towards the summit, where they are crowned with a deep overhanging cornice. The building is of an oblong shape, about 200 feet in length by 90 wide, very well built of fine blocks of stone; it has no windows outside larger than loopholes, and these are at a great height from the ground. Of these there are twenty on the south side and nine at the east end. The monastery stands at the foot of the hill, on the edge of the .Libyan desert, where the sand encroaches on the plain. . . .... The ancient doorway of red granite has been partially closed up." (Curzon, Monasteries of the Levant, p. 131.) There were formerly six gates; the single entrance now remaining is called the "mule gate," because when a certain heathen princess came riding on a mule to desecrate the church, the earth opened and swallowed her up. The walls enclose a space measuring about 240 feet by 133 feet. The convent was dedicated to Shenuti, a celebrated Coptic saint who lived in the fourth century
of our era.* Curzon says (pp. at., p. 132) "The
tall granite columns of the ancient church reared themselves like an avenue on either side of the desecrated nave, which is now open to the sky, and is used as a promenade for a
host of chickens The principal entrance was
formerly at the west end, where there is a small vestibule, immediately within the door of which, on the left hand, is a small chapel, perhaps the baptistery, about twenty-five feet long, and still in tolerable preservation. It is a splendid specimen of the richest Roman architecture of the latter empire, and is truly an imperial little room. The arched ceiling is of stone; and there are three beautifully ornamented niches on each side. The upper end is semicircular, and has been entirely covered with a profusion of sculpture in panels, cornices, and every kind of architectural enrichment. When it was entire, and covered with gilding, painting, or mosaic, it must have been most gorgeous. The altar on such a chapel as this was probably of gold, set full of gems; or if it was the bapistery, as I suppose, it most likely contained a bath of the most precious jasper, or of some of the more rare kinds of marble, for the immersion of the converted heathen, whose entrance into the church was not permitted until they had been purified with the waters of baptism in a building without the door of the house of God" (p. 135). The library once contained over a hundred parchment books, but these were destroyed by the Mamelukes when they last sacked the convent.
The Der el-Ahmar or "Red Monastery," so-called because of the red colour of the bricks of which it is built, was also built by the Empress Helena; it is smaller and
* Shenudah, Coptic ttjeitO"*"f" Shenuti, was born A.d. 333; he died at midday on July 2, A.d. 451.
better preserved than the White Monastery, and was dedicated to the Abba Besa, the disciple and friend of Shenuti. The pillars of both. churches were taken from Athribis, which lay close by; the orientation of neither church is exact, for their axes point between N.E. and N.E. by E. The ruined church of Armant near Thebes is built on the same model.
A few miles south of Suhak, on the east, bank of the river, lies the town of Ahmim, called Shmin or Chmim, OjJULirt, yQJULlXX, by the Copts, and Panopolis by the Greeks; Strabo and Leo Africanus say that it was one of the most ancient cities of Egypt. The ithyphallic god Amsu, identified by the Greeks with Pan, was worshipped here, and the town was famous for, its, linen weavers and stone
ancient days it had a large population of Copts, and large Coptic monasteries stood close by.
Menshiah, on the west bank of the river, 328^ miles from Cairo, stands on the site of a city which is said to have been the capital of the Panopolite noma; its Coptic name was Psoi, ^tOI. In the time of Shenuti the Blemmyes, a nomad warlike Ethiopian tribe, invaded Upper Egypt, and having acquired much booty, they returned to Psoi or Menshiah, and settled down there.
Girgeh, on the east bank of the river, 3415 miles from Cairo, has a large Christian population, and is said to occupy the site of the ancient This, whence sprang the first dynasty of historical Egyptian kings.