Page images

M. Legrain. Meanwhile the facts given above* will indicate the importance of the “find," and show what a mass of new material awaits investigation by the Egyptologist.

The Temple of Amen-ḥetep II. at Madamûd declawi, about 6 miles from Luxor, is well worth a visit.

On the West Bank of the river the following are the most interesting antiquities :

1. The Temple of Kûrna. This temple was built by Seti I. in memory of his father Rameses I. ; it was completed by Rameses II., by whom it was re-dedicated to the memory of his father Seti I. Two pylons stood before it, and joining them was an Avenue of Sphinxes. This temple was to all intents and purposes a cenotaph, and as such its position on the edge of the desert, at the entrance to a necropolis, is explained. In the temple were six columns, and on each side were several small chambers. The sculptures on the walls represent Rameses II. making offerings to the gods, among whom are Rameses I. and Seti I. According to an inscription there, it is said that Seti I. went to heaven and was united with the Sun-god before this temple was finished, and that Rameses II. made and fixed the doors, finished the building of the walls, and decorated the interior. The workmanship in certain parts of this temple recalls that of certain parts of Abydos; it is probable that the same artists were employed.

II. The Ramesseum. This temple, called also the Memnonium and the tomb of Osymandyas(Diodorus I., iv), was built by Rameses II., in honour of Amen-Ră. As at Ķûrna, two pylons stood in front of it. The first court had a single row of pillars on each side of

* See Legrain in Maspero's Recueil tom. xxvii, and a supplementary paper which is to appear in a forthcoming volume of the same work.

it; passing up a flight of steps, and through the second pylon, is a second court, having a double row of round columns on the east and west sides, and a row of pilasters, to which large figures of Rameses II. under the form of Osiris are attached, on the north and south sides. Before

[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small]

the second pylon stood a colossal statue of Rameses II., at least sixty feet high, which has been thrown down (by Canıbyses ?), turned over on its back, and mutilated. In the hall are twelve huge columns, arranged in two rows,

and thirty-six smaller ones arranged in six rows. On the interior face of the second pylon are sculptured scenes in the war of Rameses II. against the Kheta, which took place in the fifth year of his reign ; in them he is represented slaying the personal attendants of the prince of the Kheta. Elsewhere is the famous scene in which Rameses, having been forsaken by his army, is seen cutting his way through the enemy, and hurling them one after the other into the Orontes near Kadesh. The walls of the temple are ornamented with small battle scenes and reliefs representing the king making offerings to the gods of Thebes. On the ceiling of one of the chambers is an interesting astronomical piece on which the twelve Egyptian months are mentioned.

The following is the account of the Tomb of Osymandyas given by Diodorus :

“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 entered seven and forty of these sepulchres ; but in the reign of Ptolemy Lagus, there remained only seventeen, many of which were ruined and destroyed, when I myself came into those parts, which was in the hundred-and-eightieth Olympiad. And these things are not only reported by the Egyptian priests, out of their sacred records, but many of the Grecians, who travelled to Thebes in the time of Ptolemy Lagus, and wrote histories of Egypt (among whom was Hecateus), agree with what we have related. Of the first sepulchres (wherein they say the women of Jupiter were buried), that of king Osymandyas was ten furlongs in circuit; at the entrance of which they say, was a portico of various coloured marble, in length two hundred feet; and in height, five-and-forty cubits: thence going forward, you come into a four-square stone gallery, every square being four hundred feet, supported, instead of pillars, with beasts, each of one entire stone, sixteen cubits high, carved after the antique manner. The roof was entirely of stone ; each stone eight cubits broad, with an azure sky, bespangled with stars. Passing out of this peristylion, you enter into another portico, much like the former, but more curiously carved, and with more variety. At the entrance stand three statues, each of one entire stone, the workmanship of Memnon of Sienitas. One of these, made in a sitting posture, is the greatest in all Egypt, the measure of his foot exceeding seven cubits; the one standing on the right, and the other on the left, being his daughter and mother. This piece is not only commendable for its greatness, but admirable for its cut and workmanship, and the excellency of the stone. In so great a work there is not to be discerned the least flaw, or any other blemish. Upon it there is this inscription :-'I am Osymandyas, king of kings; if any would know how great I am, and where I lie, let him excel me in any of my works.'

“There was likewise at this second gate, another statue of his mother, by herself, of one stone, twenty cubits in height; upon her head were placed three crowns, to denote she was both the daughter, wife, and mother of a king. Near to this portico, they say there was another gallery or piazza, more remarkable than the former, in which were various sculptures, representing his wars with the Bactrians, who had revolted from him, against whom (it is said) he marched with four hundred thousand foot, and twenty thousand horse ; which army he divided into four bodies, and appointed his sons generals of the whole.

“In the first wall might be seen the king assaulting a bulwark, environed with the river, and fighting at the head of his men, each against some that make up against him, assisted by a lion, in a terrible manner ; which some affirm, is to be taken for a true and real lion, which the king bred up tame, which went along with him in all his wars, and by his great strength, ever put the enemy to fight. Others make this construction of it, that the king being a man of extraordinary courage and strength, he was willing to trumpet forth his own praises, setting forth the bravery of his own spirit, by the representation of a lion. In the second wall were carved the captives dragged after the king, represented without hands, etc. ; which was to signify that they were of effeminate spirits, and had no hands when they came to fight. The third wall represented all sorts of sculptures, and curious images, in which were set forth the king's sacrificing of oxen, and his triumphs in that war.

“In the middle of the peristylion, open to the air at the top, was reared an altar of shining marble, of excellent workmanship, and for largeness to be admired. In the last wall were two statues, each of one entire stone, seven-andtwenty cubits high : near to which, three passages opened out of the peristylion, into a stately room, supported with pillars like to a theatre for music; every side of the theatre was two hundred feet square. In this, there were many statues of wood, representing the pleaders and spectators, looking upon the judges that gave judgment. Of these, there were thirty carved upon one of the walls. In the middle sat the chief justice, with the image of truth lying about his neck, with his eyes closed, having many books lying before him. This signified that a judge ought not to take any bribes, but ought only to regard the truth and merits of the cause."

III. The Colossi.—These two interesting statues were set up in honour of Amenophis III., whom they represent ; they stood in front of the pylon of a calcareous stone temple which was built by this king; this has now entirely disappeared. They were hewn out of a hard grit-stone, and the top of each was about sixty feet above the ground ; originally each was monolithic. The statue on the north is the famous Colossus of Memnon, from which a sound

« PreviousContinue »