« PreviousContinue »
Having for some years felt the insufficiency of the information given by Dragomans to travellers on the Nile, and finding with one or two striking exceptions how limited is their knowledge of facts relating to the history of the antiquities in Upper Egypt, Messrs. Thos. Cook and Son have arranged with Dr. E. A. Wallis Budge to compile the following pages, which they have much pleasure in presenting to every passenger under their Nile arrangements on their Tourist Steamers and Dahabîyahs. In this way passengers will no longer be liable to be misled (unintentionally) by Dragomans, but will be able at their leisure to prepare themselves for what they have to see, and thus by an agreeable study add to the interest with which their visits to the various places are made.
PREFACE TO THE TENTH
The short descriptions given in the present work of the principal Egyptian monuments on each side of the Nile were first drawn up in accordance with suggestions made by my friend the late Mr. J. M. Cook in 1886; they are not in any way intended to form a “Guide to Egypt.” They were written for the use of those travellers who have very few weeks to spend in Egypt, and who wish to carry away from that country some of the more important facts connected with the fast-perishing remains of one of the most interesting and ancient civilizations that has been developed on the face of the earth. They have been, however, added to considerably, and modified in the light of modern discoveries in Egypt.
Those who are able to make a stay of two or three months in the country, and to visit sites in the Delta which are off the beaten track, and Mount Sinai, and to journey up the Nile beyond Khartům so far south as Gondokoro, will find the Egyptian remains, both ancient and modern, more fully treated in the " Handbook for Egypt and the Sûdân,” which I have written for Messrs. Thos. Cook and Son, and of which a second edition has just appeared. Fxperience has shown that the greater number of travellers in Egypt are more interested in the remains and civilization of the ancient Egyptians than in the history of Egypt under the rule of the Persians, Ptoleinies, Romans, Arabs, and Turks. It is for this reason that no attempt has been made to describe, otherwise than in the briefest manner possible, its history under these foreign rulers, and only such facts connected with them as are absolutely necessary for a general understanding of its monuments have been inserted. In addition to such descriptions, a few chapters have been added on the history of the country during the rule of the Pharaohs, and on its people, and their buildings, their religion, and their methods of writing. The lists of hieroglyphic characters and their phonetic values, printed on pp. 221–227, will, it is hoped, be useful to those who may wish to spell out the royal names on tombs, and temples, and the commoner words which occur in the inscriptions.
In transcribing Arabic names of places, the system in general use throughout Europe has been employed, but well-known names like “Cairo,” “ Luxor," etc., have not been altered. Similarly, the ordinary wellknown forms of Egyptian proper names such as " Rameses,” “ Amenophis,” “Hophra,” etc., have been used in preference to the more correct transcriptions, “Rā-messu,” “ Amen-ḥetep,” and “ Uaḥ-ab-Rā.”
The dates assigned to the Egyptian kings are those of the late Dr. Heinrich Brugsch, whọ based his calcu
lations on the assumption that the average duration of a generation was thirty-three years. Hence it will be readily understood that the date assigned to Rameses II. (B.C. 1333), for instance, is only approximately correct. In recent years many attempts have been made to reduce the length of the historic period of Egypt, and to prove that the reigns of the historic kings of Egypt were considerably antedated by the early Egyptologists. Recent excavations, however, have shown that the dynastic Egyptians and their predynastic ancestors occupied the Nile Valley for many thousands of years, and even if Manetho's list of kings were to be proved incorrect in every particular, and the total years of the reigns of the dynastic kings to be reduced by 1500 years, the great antiquity of Egyptian civilization is a fact which cannot be gainsaid.
In the last four editions of “The Nile,” considerable alterations and additions have been made. As a result of recent excavations many of the articles have been entirely re-written, and a brief description of the antiquities between Wâdî Halfah and Kharțûm has been included. Special care has been taken to insert adequate descriptions of the brilliant discoveries which have recently been made at Thebes by Prof. Naville, M. George Legrain, and Mr. Theodore M. Davis. A brief account of the progress of the development of the Sûdân under British auspices has also been added, together with the principal facts of the past and present history of the country. So much
general interest has been aroused in the Copts and Muḥammadans, that additional chapters on the religious history of these peoples have been added. In deference to many suggestions, the summary of the events which have taken place in Egypt under British influence has been considerably amplified, and the short chapter on “ British Financial Policy in Egypt” (pp. 128–136) will prove to what excellent purpose Lord Cromer and his colleagues have toiled in that land. The notes on the history and development of the idea of the Mahdî among the Muhammadans, will, it is hoped, explain to the reader, who has not found time to examine into the Arabic sources, how religious fanaticism, and the natural love of mysticism, acting on the minds of people who have been the victims of a long course of systematic misgovernment and oppression, have overthrown kings and deluged whole countries with blood.
In compiling certain sections of this work for facts and figures I have quoted frequently from Lord Cromer's masterly Despatches, and from the reports and works of Sir William Garstin, K.C.M.G., Captain H. G. Lyons, R.E., Lieut.-Colonel Count Gleichen, C.V.O., D.S.O., and other officials in the service of the Egyptian Government. The works of Sir F. R. Wingate, K.C.B., etc., Sir Rudolf von Slatin Pâshâ, K.C.B., Father Ohrwalder, and Mr. Charles Royle have supplied many facts concerning Mahdiism and the reconquest of the Sûdân, and from Edward Lane's “Modern Egyptians” I have reproduced much