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mitichus, since he had not a bowl, having taken off his helmet, which was of brass, held it out and made the libation. All the other kings were in the habit of wearing helmets, and at that time had them on. Psammitichus therefore, without any sinister intention, held out his helmet: but they having taken into consideration what was done by Psammitichus, and the oracle that had foretold to them, “that whoever among them should offer a libation from a brazen bowl, should be sole king of Egypt;” calling to mind the oracle, they did not think it right to put him to death, since upon examination they found that he had done it by no premeditated design. But they determined to banish him to the marshes, having divested him of the greatest part of his power; and they forbade him to leave the marshes, or have any intercourse with the rest of Egypt. 152. This Psammitichus, who had before fled from Sabacon the Ethiopian, who had killed his father Neco—having at that time fled into Syria, the Egyptians, who belong to the Saitic district, brought back when the Ethiopian withdrew in consequence of the vision in a dream.” And afterwards, having been made king, he was a second time constrained' by the eleven kings to go into exile among the marshes on account of the helmet. Knowing, then, that he had been exceedingly injured by them, he entertained the design of avenging himself on his persecutors; and when he sent to the city of Buto to consult the oracle of Latona, where is the truest oracle that the Egyptians have, an answer came, “that vengeance would come from the sea, when men of brass should appear.” He, however, was very incredulous” that men of brass would come to assist him. But when no long time had elapsed, stress of weather compelled some Ionians and Carians, who had sailed out for the purpose of piracy, to bear away to Egypt; and when they had disembarked and were clad in brazen armour, an Egyptian, who had never before seen men clad in brass, went to the marshes to Psammitichus, and told him that men of brass, having arrived from the sea, were ravaging the plains. He perceiving that the oracle was accomplished, treated these Ionians and Carians in a friendly manner, and having promised them great things, persuaded them to join with him: and when he had succeeded in persuading them, he thus, with the
* See II. 139. Literally, “it befel him.”
help of such Egyptians as were well affected to him, and with these allies, overcame the other kings. 153. Psammitichus, having made himself master of all Egypt, constructed the portico to Vulcan's temple at Memphis, that faces the south wind; and he built a court for Apis, in which he is fed whenever he appears, opposite the portico, surrounded by a colonnade, and full of sculptured figures; and instead of pillars, statues twelve cubits high are placed under the piazza. Apis, in the language of the Greeks, means Epaphus. 154. To the Ionians, and those who with them had assisted him, Psammitichus gave lands opposite each other, with the Nile flowing between ; to these lands was given the name of Camps. And besides these lands he gave them all that he had promised; and he moreover put Egyptian children under their care, to be instructed in the Greek language; and from those who learnt the language the present interpreters in Egypt are descended. The Ionians and the Carians continued for a long time to inhabit these lands, and they are situated near the sea, a little below the city of Bubastis, on that which is called the Pelusiac mouth of the Nile; these, in after-time, king Amasis removed and settled at Memphis, making them his body-guard against the Egyptians. From the time of the settlement of these people in Egypt, we Greeks have had such constant communication with them, that we are accurately informed of all that has happened in Egypt, beginning from the reign of Psammitichus to the present time. These were the first people of a different language who settled in Egypt. The docks for their ships, and the ruins of their buildings, were to be seen in my time in the places from which they were removed. Thus then Psammitichus became master of Egypt. 155. Of the oracle that is in Egypt, I have already made frequent mention ;” and I shall now give an account of it, as well deserving notice. This oracle in Egypt is a temple sacred to Latona, situated in a large city, near that which is called the Sebennytic mouth of the Nile, as one sails upwards from the sea. The name of this city, where the oracle is, is Buto, as I have already mentioned. There is also in this Buto a precinct sacred to Apollo and Diana: and the temple of Latona, in which the oracle is, is spacious, and has a portico ten * See II. 83, 133, 152.
orgyao in height. But of all the things I saw there, I will describe that which occasioned most astonishment. There is in this enclosure a temple of Latona made from one stone, both in height and length; and each wall is equal to them ;" each of these measures forty cubits: for the roof, another stone is laid over it, having a cornice four cubits deep.” 156. This temple, then, is the most wonderful thing that I saw about this precinct : next to it, is the island called Chemmis, situated in a deep and broad lake near the precinct in Buto. This is said by the Egyptians to be a floating island, but I myself saw it neither floating nor moving, and I was astonished when I heard that there really was a floating island. In this, then, is a spacious temple of Apollo, and in it three altars are placed; and there grow in it great numbers of palms, and many other trees, both such as produce fruit, and such as do not. The Egyptians, when they affirm that it floats, add the following story: they say that in this island, which before did not float, Latona, who was one of the eight primary deities, dwelling in Buto, where this oracle of hers now is, received Apollo as a deposit from the hands of Isis, and saved him, by concealing him in this, which is now called the floating island, when Typhon arrived, searching every where, and hoping to find the son of Osiris. For they say that Apollo and Diana are the offspring of Bacchus and Isis, and that Latona was their nurse and preserver: in the language of Egypt, Apollo is called Orus; Ceres, Isis; and Diana, Bubastis. Now, from this account, and no other, Æschylus, the son of Euphorion, alone among the earlier poets, derived the tradition that I will mention; for he made Diana to be the daughter of Ceres. On this account they say that the island was made to float. Such is the account they give. 157. Psammitichus reigned in Egypt fifty-four years ; during twenty-nine of which he sat down before and besieged Azotus, a large city of Syria, until he took it. This Azotus, of all the cities we know of, held out against a siege the longest period. 158. Neco was son of Psammitichus, and became king of Egypt: he first set about the canal that leads to the Red Sea, which Darius the Persian afterwards completed. Its length is a voyage of four days, and in width it was dug so that two triremes might sail rowed abreast. The water is drawn into it from the Nile, and it enters it a little above the city Bubastis, passes near the Arabian city Patumos, and reaches to the Red Sea. The parts of the Egyptian plain that lie towards Arabia were dug first ; above this plain is situated the mountain that stretches towards Memphis, in which are the quarries. Along the base of this mountain therefore the canal is carried lengthways from the west to the east, and then it stretches to the defiles, passing from the mountain towards the meridian and the south inward, as far as the Arabian Gulf. But in the part where is the shortest and most direct passage from the northern sea to the southern, which is the same as that called the Red Sea, namely, from Mount Casius, that separates Egypt from Syria, from this point the distance is a thousand stades to the Arabian Gulf: this, then, is the most direct way; but the canal is very much longer, in that it is more winding, in the digging of which one hundred and twenty thousand Egyptians perished in the reign of Neco. Now, Neco stopped digging it in the middle of the work, the following oracle having caused an impediment, “that he was working for a barbarian;” for the Egyptians call all men barbarians who do not speak the same language as themselves. 159. But Neco, having put a stop to his excavation, turned his attention to military affairs; and triremes were constructed, some on the northern sea, and others in the Arabian Gulf, or the Red Sea, of which the docks are still to be seen. These he used as he had occasion; and Neco, having come to an engagement with the Syrians on land at Magdolus, conquered them, and after the battle took Cadytis, which is a large city in Syria. The garments he wore during these actions he consecrated to Apollo, having sent them to Branchidae of the Milesians. Afterwards, having reigned sixteen years in all, he died and left the kingdom to his son, Psammis. 160. While this Psammis was reigning over Egypt, ambassadors arrived from the Eleans, boasting that they had established the Olympian games under the most just and excellent regulations in the world, and believing that not even
* That is to say, its external surface forms a perfect cube.
* This is usually translated “having a projecting roof to the extent of four cubits;” but see Letronne's remark in Baehr. Cary's Lezicon, trapwpoqis.
the Egyptians, the wisest of mankind, could invent any thing . surpassing them. When the Eleans, having arrived in Egypt, mentioned for what purpose they had come, this king thereupon summoned those who were reputed to be the wisest among the Egyptians; and the Egyptians, having met together, heard the Eleans relate what was settled for them to do with regard to the games; and they, having mentioned every thing, said, they had come to inquire “whether the Egyptians could invent any thing more equitable.” And they, having consulted together, asked the Eleans whether their own citizens were permitted to enter the lists; they said that they and all other Grecians, who wished, were allowed to contend; but the Egyptians replied, “that in making such enactments they had totally deviated from the rules of justice, for that they could not contrive so as not to favour a citizen of their own to the prejudice of a stranger. But if they really wished to make just enactments, and had come into Egypt for this purpose, they advised them to establish games for foreign candidates, and to allow no Elean to enter the lists.” Such was the suggestion that the Egyptians made to the Eleans. 161. When Psammis had reigned only six years over Egypt, and made an expedition into Ethiopia, and shortly afterwards died, Apries his son succeeded to the kingdom. He, next to his
do grandfather Psammitichus, enjoyed greater prosperity than . any of the former kings, during a reign of five and twenty
years, in which period he marched an army against Sidon, and engaged the Tyrian by sea. But when it was destined for him to meet with adversity, it happened on an occasion, which I shall narrate more fully in my Libyan history," and briefly in this place. For Apries, having sent an army against the Cyrenaeans, met with a signal defeat; but the Egyptians, complaining of this, revolted from him, suspecting that Apries had designedly sent them to certain ruin, in order that they might be destroyed, and he might govern the rest of the Egyptians with greater security; both those that returned and the friends of those who perished, being very indignant at this, openly revolted against him. 162. Apries, having heard of this, sent Amasis to appease them by persuasion. But when he, having come to them, was endeavouring to restrain them, as he was urging them to desist from their enterprise, one of the Egyptians standing behind him placed a * See B. IV. chap. 159. M