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Miss A. B. Atchison and Miss Jeanette Gordon, and was opened to receive boarders and day pupils on 24th February, 1905
The old School was situated in the town, on the road leading to the Railway Station, and was managed for many years by Mrs. Murch, but the development of the town and the increased and urgent demand for female education induced the authorities of the Mission to acquire a new and larger site, and to erect the present building. The School contained in 1905 about 52 boarders, and some 256 day pupils, and there is every prospect that in the near future these numbers will be increased considerably. The natives in the villages round about Luxor greatly appreciate the School, and the influence of the commonsense education which their children receive in it is already making itself felt in the families to which they belong, and is tending to promote their intellectual development.
Ancient Thebes stood on both sides of the Nile, and was
generally called in hieroglyphics 1. Uast ; that part of the
city which was situated on the east bank of the river, and included the temples of Karnak and Luxor, appears to have been called a
Coptic T & ME and the name Thebes have been derived. The cuneiform inscriptions and Hebrew Scriptures call it No (Ezek. xxx. 14) and No-Amon † (Nahum iii. 8), and the Greek and Roman writers Diospolis Magna. When or by whom Thebes was founded it is impossible to say. Diodorus says that it is the most ancient city of Egypt; some say that, like Memphis, it was founded by Menes, and others, that it was a colony from Memphis.
It is improbable that Thebes is, as Diodorus says, the oldest city in Egypt, but there is no doubt that it is one of the oldest cities of that country,
The proof of this statement is supplied by the results of the spendid excavations which have been made during the last few years by M. George Legrain. During the course of his work M. Legrain has discovered that the temple of Karnak of the XVIIIth dynasty stood upon the remains of one of the XIth and XIIth dynasties, and that this in turn covered the site of a temple which existed under the SECOND DYNASTY, and it will surprise no one if subsequently he proves that the temple of the IInd dynasty stood upon the ruins of a sanctuary of some god who was worshipped there in the Predynastic Period. In short, M. Legrain has added nearly 2,000 years to the life-history of the city of Thebes. It is certain, however, that it did not become a city of the first importance until after the decay of Memphis, and as the progress of Egyptian civilization was, in the Dynastic Period, from north to south, this is only what was to be expected. The spot on
which ancient Thebes stood is so admirably adapted for the site of a great city, that it would have been impossible for the Egyptians to overlook it. The mountains on the east and west side of the river sweep away from it, and leave a broad plain on each bank of several square miles in extent. It has been calculated that modern Paris could stand on this space of ground. We have, unfortunately, no Egyptian description of Thebes, or any statement as to its size; it may, however, be assumed from the remains of its buildings which still exist, that the descriptions of the city as given by Strabo and Diodorus are on the whole trustworthy. The fame of the greatness of Thebes had reached the Greeks of Homer's age, and its “hundred gates” and 20,000 war chariots are referred to in Iliad IX, 381. The city must have reached its highest point of splendour during the rule of the XVIIIth and XIXth dynasties over Egypt, and as little by little the local god Amen-Rā became the great god of all Egypt, his dwelling-place Thebes also gained in importance and splendour. The city suffered severely at the hands of Cambyses, who left nothing in it unburnt that fire would consume.
Herodotus appears never to have visited Thebes, and the account he gives of it is not satisfactory; the account of Diodorus, who saw it about B.C. 57, is as follows: "Afterwards reigned Busiris, and eight of his posterity after him ; the last of which (of the same name with the first) built that great city which the Egyptians call Diospolis, the Greeks Thebes; it was in circuit 140 stades (about twelve miles), adorned with stately public buildings, magnificent temples, and rich donations and revenues to admiration ; and he built all the private houses, some four, some five stories high. And to sum up all in a word, he made it not only the most beautiful and stateliest city of Egypt, but of all others in the world. The fame therefore of the riches and grandeur of this city was so noised abroad in every place, that the poet Homer takes notice of it. ... Although there are some that say it had not a hundred gates; but that there were many large porches to the temples, whence the city was called Hecatompylus, a hundred gates, for many gates : yet that it was certain they had in it 20,000 chariots of war; for there were a hundred stables all along the river from Memphis to Thebes towards Lybia, each of which was capable to hold two hundred horses, the marks and signs of which are visible at this day. And we have it related, that not only this king, but the succeeding princes from time to time, made it their business to beautify this city; for that there was no city under the sun so adorned with so many and stately monuments of gold, silver, and ivory, and multitudes of colossi and obelisks, cut out of one entire stone. For there were there four temples built, for beauty and greatness to be admired, the most ancient of which was in circuit thirteen furlongs (about one and a half miles), and five and forty cubits high, and had a wall twentyfour feet broad. The ornaments of this temple were suitable to its magnificence, both for cost and workmanship. The fabric hath continued to our time, but the silver and the gold, and ornaments of ivory and precious stones were carried away by the Persians when Cambyses burnt the temples of Egypt. . . . There, they say, are the wonderful sepulchres of the ancient kings, which for state and grandeur far exceed all that posterity can attain unto at this day. The Egyptian priests say that in their sacred registers there are 47 of these sepulchres; but in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus there remained only 17, many of which were ruined and destroyed when I myself came into those parts." (Bk. I., chaps. 45, 46, Booth's translation, pp. 23, 24.) Strabo, who visited Thebes about B.C. 24, says :
:-“Next to the city of Apollo is Thebes, now called Diospolis, 'with her hundred gates, through each of which issue 200 men, with horses and chariots,' according to Homer, who mentions also its wealth ; 'not all the wealth the palaces of Egyptian Thebes contain.' Other writers use the same language, and consider Thebes as the metropolis of Egypt. Vestiges of its magnitude still exist, which extend 80 stadia (about nine miles) in length. There are a great number of temples, many of which Cambyses mutilated. The spot is at present occupied by villages. One part of it, in which is the city, lies in Arabia ; another is in the country on the other side of the river, where is the Memnonium. Here are two colossal figures near one another, each consisting of a single stone. One is entire; the upper parts of the other, from the chair, are fallen down, the effect, it is said, of an earthquake. It is believed that once a day a noise as of a slight blow issues from the part of the statue which remains in the seat and on its base. When I was at those places with Ælius Gallus, and numerous friends and soldiers about him, I heard a noise at the first hour (of the day), but whether proceeding from the base or from the colossus, or produced on purpose by some of those standing around the base, I cannot confidently assert. For from the uncertainty of the cause, I am disposed to believe anything rather than that stones disposed in that manner could send forth sound. Above the Memnonium are tombs of kings in caves, and hewn out of the stone, about forty in number; they are executed with singular skill, and are worthy of notice. Among the tombs are obelisks with inscriptions, denoting the wealth of the kings of that time, and the extent of their empire, as reaching to the Scythians, Bactrians, Indians, and the present Ionia ; the amount of tribute also, and the number of soldiers, which composed an army of about a million of men. The priests there are said to be, for the most part, astronomers and philosophers. The former compute the days, not by the moon, but by the sun, introducing into the twelve months, of thirty days each, five days every year. But in order to complete the whole year, because there is (annually) an excess of a part of a day, they form a period from out of whole days and whole years, the supernumerary portions of which in that period, when collected together, amount to a day. They ascribe to Mercury (Thoth) all knowledge of this kind. To Jupiter, whom they worship above all other deities, a virgin of the greatest beauty and of the most illustrious family (such persons the Greeks call pallades) is dedicated ”.
(Bk. XVII, chap. I, sec. 46, translated by Falconer.)
The principal objects of interest on the East or right Bank of the river are :
I. The Temple of Luxor. Compared with Karnak the temple of Luxor is not of the greatest importance, and until recent years the greater part of its courts and chambers was buried by the accumulated rubbish and mud upon which a large number of houses stood. The excavation of