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exhaustive examination of the island to be made by Captain H. G. Lyons, R.E., whose labours prove that, contrary to the general practice of the ancient Egyptian architects, the foundations of all the main buildings go down to the bedrock, and that consequently there is nearly as great a depth of masonry below the ground as there is above it. In the course of his excavations Captain Lyons discovered a trilingual inscription in hieroglyphics, Greek, and Latin, recording the suppression of a revolt mentioned in Strabo (xvii., i, § 53) by Cornelius Gallus, the first prefect of the country in the reign of Augustus Cæsar. The principal buildings on the island are :

1. The Temple of Nectanebus II., the last native king of Egypt, which was dedicated to Isis, the lady of Philæ ; it contained 14 columns with double capitals, but few of them now remain. The columns were joined by stone walls, on which were reliefs, in which Nectanebus is depicted making offerings to the gods of Philæ. The southern part of the temple either fell into the river, or was removed when the quay wall was built across the south end of the island, cutting off the remainder of the court, and leaving only the front portion to mark the place of the original temple. The present building rests on a course of blocks which formed part of an earlier wall, and the cartouches prove that it was repaired by Ptolemy II. Philadelphus.

2. The Temple of Ari-hes-nefer, Ari-ḥes-nefer was the son of Rā and Bast, and this temple was dedicated to him by Ptolemy IV.; it was restored or repaired by Ptolemy V., the Nubian king Ergamenes, and the Emperor Tiberius, all of whom are represented in the reliefs on the walls. The present building stands upon the site of an older temple, and part of it was turned into a church by the Copts; a number of the stone blocks from

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its walls were used in the building of some Coptic houses which stood near.

3. The Temple of l-em-hetep, which was finished in the reign of Ptolemy V. Epiphanes. In later times, when the east colonnade was built against it, a forecourt was added, with a narrow chamber on the east side of it; and in still later times the Copts lived in some portions of it.

4. The Temple of Hathor, which was dedicated to this goddess by Ptolemy VII. Philometor, and Ptolemy IX. Euergetes II. The forecourt was added in Roman times, and it contained columns with Hathor-headed capitals. The Copts destroyed the forecourt and built a church of the stones of which it was made. On the south side are the ruins of houses which were built before the temple was destroyed. Over the door of the one remaining room of the temple is a dedicatory inscription of Ptolemy IX. in Greek.

5. The Gateway of Hadrian. This gateway stands on a portion of the enclosing wall of the Temple of Isis, on the western side, and was connected with the temple by two parallel walls, which were added at a later time. On the lintels are reliefs in which the Emperor Hadrian is depicted standing before a number of the gods of Philæ, and inside the gateway is a scene representing Marcus Aurelius, who must have repaired the gateway, making offerings to Isis and Osiris.

6. The Temple of Cæsar Augustus, which was built about A.D. 12, and is thought to have been destroyed by an earthquake in Coptic times. In the centre of the paved court in front of it were found in the north-west and southwest corners the two halves of a stele which was inscribed in hieroglyphics and in Greek and Latin, with the record of a revolt against the Romans, which was suppressed by Cornelius Gallus about s.c. 22. The temple was built of sandstone, with granite columns and pedestals, and diorite

capitals, and was dedicated to the Emperor by the people of Philæ and of that part of Nubia which was under the rule of the Romans.

7. The Temple of Isis The buildings of this edifice consist of:- 1. A pylon, decorated with reliefs of Nectanebus II., Ptolemy VII., Ptolemy IX., and Ptolemy XII. Neos Dionysos; 2. A court containing the Manmisi and a colonnade, and decorated with reliefs of Ptolemy IX., Ptolemy XIII., and of the Emperors Augustus and Tiberius; 3. A second pylon, ornamented with reliefs by Ptolemy IX. and Ptolemy XIII. (at the foot of the right tower a portion of granite bed-rock projects, and the inscription upon it records the dedication of certain lands to the temple by Ptolemy VII.); 4. A temple which consists of the usual court, hypostyle hall, and shrine. In the various parts of this temple are the names of Ptolemy II., Ptolemy III., Ptolemy IX., and the Emperor Antoninus. Of special interest is the Osiris Chamber, wherein are reliefs referring to ceremonies which were connected with the death and resurrection of Osiris. The texts on the outside of this group of buildings mention the names of the Emperors Tiberius and Augustus.

8. The Temple of Heru-netch-tef-f, which consisted of a court, having four columns on the eastern face, and a large chamber in which stood the shrine, with a narrow passage running round it. It was built on a part of the old surrounding wall of the Temple of Isis, and the greater number of its stones were removed by the Copts, who built a church with them.

9. The Nilometer. The doorway leading to the Nilometer is in the old surrounding wall of the temple, and the hinge and the jamb can still be seen. Three scales are cut in the walls, two on the north wall, and one on the south ; the oldest is probably the vertical line chiselled on

the face of the north wall, showing whole cubits only, which are marked by horizontal lines. The average length of the cubit in each portion of the scale except the second is about ·520 metre. In the second scale on the north wall the cubit is divided into 7 palms, and each palm into 4 digits ; two of the cubits are marked by Demotic numerals. The third scale, which is on the south wall, is in a perfect state of preservation ; the mean length of the 17 cubits marked is '535 metre. Over the 16th cubit is cut the sign

+ ankh, i.e., “life.” This sign probably indicates that when the waters of the inundation rose to the height marked by it, there would be abundance and prosperity in the land. The river level of the tops of scales Nos. 1, 2, and 3 are 99.654, 99.890, and 99.990 metres respectively, and the river level of the present time is 99-200 metres; therefore Captain H. G. Lyons, R.E., who made these measurements, concludes that there is very little difference between the flood level of to-day and that of about 2000 years ago.

10. The “Kiosk,” or “ Pharaoh's Bed,” which is one of the most graceful objects on the island, and that by which Philæ is often best remembered; the building appears to be unfinished. Its date is, perhaps, indicated by the reliefs in which the Emperor Trajan is depicted making offerings to Isis and Horus, and standing in the presence of Isis and Osiris.




The country which is entered on leaving Philæ is generally known by the name of Nubia; the latter name has been derived by some from nub, the Egyptian word for gold, because in ancient days much gold was brought into Egypt from that land. In the hieroglyphics Nubia, or “ Ethiopia," is generally called my Kesh (the Cush of the Bible) and Ms Ta-kenset; from the latter name the Arabic El-Kenûs is derived. It is known that, as far back as the VIth dynasty, the Egyptians sent to this country for certain kinds of wood, and that all the chief tribes that lived round about Korosko hastened to help the Egyptian officers Una and Her-khuf in the missions which they undertook for King Pepi 1. It seems pretty certain too, if we may trust their words, that the whole country was made to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Egyptian king.

From the VIIth to the XIth dynasty nothing is known of the relations which existed between the two countries, but in the time of Usertsen I., the second king of the XIIth dynasty, an expedition was undertaken by the Egyptians for the purpose of fixing the boundaries of the two countries, and we know from a stele set up at Wâdî Halfa by this king, that his rule extended so far south as this place. Two reigns later the inhabitants of Nubia or Ethiopia had become so troublesome, that Usertsen III. found it necessary to build fortresses at Semna and Kumma, south of the Second Cataract, and to make stringent laws forbidding the passage of any negro ship without permission.

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