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to Edfû, where the temple was known to be vastly more worth while.
We reached the landing of Edfû shortly after lunch, and were greeted as usual by almost the entire population, en masse. To these we surrendered at discretion, took beasts, and cantered away through the considerable village-raising an enormous cloud of dust. The temple we knew could not be far away, for its pylons towered over the intervening roofs and were visible from the river as we drew in. And in the course of a few moments we came suddenly upon it- a glorious great shrine, sacred to Horus, and by far the finest temple we have yet had opportunity to examine. As a matter of fact, it is almost as perfect as if recently built, and dates, as do all these better preserved buildings of the district, only from the time of the Ptolemies, though occupying a site hallowed by many centuries of religious use before their day.
We approached it from the rear, skirting along the outer girdle wall as massive as that of a fortress, and as perfect as one could desire. Freed from the accummulations of earth after many centuries of burial, the temple of Horus to-day is so complete in every part that it could be used for worship without the addition of a single stone.
To Horus we needed by this time no introduction, being well acquainted with the falcon-headed god,
son of Isis and Osiris, and we were in consequence fully prepared for his grotesque images which were everywhere, inside and out.
The temple of Edfû is entirely encircled by a massive girdle wall which towers to a great height and effectually prevents any view from without. Its orientation is almost exactly north and south. The main entrance is at the southern end, and is graced by an enormous pylon of the best type — two huge pyramidal towers with a gate between them. Within there is the usual vast open court, surrounded by a colonnade and paved with a great stone flagging. This court, with the depth of the great pylon, serves to make up nearly half the temple inclosure.
Close behind comes the temple proper, entrance being had through an imposing portico, very deep, and supported by a dozen massive columns, while its front is closed by the usual balustrade extending to half the height of the frontal pillars. An enormous stone falcon stands guard by the door. Then follows the inevitable hypostyle hall, and beyond it the sacred apartments, quite as we saw them at Dendera, with the sanctuary, or Holy of Holies, in the very heart of the building, shielded from all profane eyes. To this innermost recess of the building none but the high priest — the king - might penetrate, and the reliefs show him receiving the key from the hands of the god.
The little inner shrine which stands in the sanctuary is said to have survived from the pre-Ptolemaic temple on this same spot.
The wealth of picture-writing as usual defies any but the energetic student. It relates, as always, to the service of the gods of Edfû by an array of later monarchs, who are represented as zealously doing all things needful to salvation, under the approving eyes of the deities of the place. Not the least interesting by any means are those which are to be seen on the outside of the temple wall in the narrow open corridor that intervenes between the main building and the encircling outer structure. In these Horus and the Pharaoh are struggling with enemies of Egypt, typified as hippopotami, who are having a sad time of it; for Horus is a mighty hunter and knows well how to wield both javelin and net.
I did not ascend the main pylon because of the heat and fatigue of the day; but those who did gave glowing accounts of the view to be had from those lofty eminences, not only over the temple below, but the Valley of the Nile. Most of us were amply content with the inspection of the vast and splendidly preserved building, as trim and fit as if it had not stood for two millenniums on this quiet spot, and apparently quite unharmed by its long submersion in the débris of centuries. Edfd, like Esneh and Den