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seemed a profanation to portray the august beings of another world with human features. Excellent as the Egyptian sculptors were, their skill was not equal to making attractive so grotesque a coterie of gods as these. Horus, with the hawk's head and sometimes a hawk's wings; Anubis, with the lean head of a jackal; Thoth, with the long, thin beak of the ibis; Khnum, with the face and horns of a ram; Hathor, in the guise of a cow, — all these fall far short of our modern ideas of godlike beauty and can never compare with the glorious conception which later Greece gave of her gods and goddesses. Zeus might, at his amorous need, turn himself into the form of some beast, but the Greek artist would never portray him as half man and half brute. Egypt, however, came to represent all her gods in that way, and very awful some of them appear.
Various forms of special crowns were employed by the sculptors to go with each god, as well as numerous forms of headgear to be used by earthly monarchs, a discussion of which would be out of place here. Certain common symbols must, however, receive at least a word. On every hand one meets the well-known sign of the sun between two outspread horizontal wings, often brilliantly colored- an appropriate symbol of the sun-god. And as, next to the sun, the hawk is the most familiar object in the Egyp
tian sky, it was natural that the men of old time should conceive of the sun as winging his way across the heavens like these birds which shrilled their flight in circles high above his head. The “key of life" borne by various gods, and the "scourge of authority” which is the common attribute of Osiris, are likely to be found in the hands of any deity carved on the temple walls. Of the various crowns, the only one likely to be recognized readily at first sight by the non-technical beholder is that dual headdress indicative of the “two lands," Upper and Lower Egypt – which is accurately, but flippantly, described as a representation of a very stout bottle of mineral water reposing in a coal hod.
The whole matter of Egyptian theology may not be summed up in a word, and the generalities of today may be upset by the discoveries and theories of to-morrow. Nevertheless, passing over the long list of cognate divinities with their functions and symbols as being quite beyond the scope of this writing and wholly needless for the average voyager in Egypt, one may hope to grasp a few of the genuinely essential things. And in general it is enough to say that, under various names, Egypt worshiped the power of the sun and identified the chief of her gods therewith; that the chief end of man was to insure, as far as in him lay the power, the preservation of
his body and the hope of a glorious resurrection; and that of the gods, apart from the sun-deity, the most important appear to have been those whose functions relate to judgments to be passed beyond
lso incommensurate with the length of time CHAPTER VI. THE HISTORY OF EGYPT
HE immense extent of the history of Egypt is
which the average tourist has at his disposal that at first sight it presents an array of monumental discouragements. The ordinary mind is incapable of making a study of the records in which the Egyptologist delights. Moreover it is to most of us utterly unfamiliar ground. The annals of Greece and Rome we have met at close quarters in our school days; and while we generally manage to forget the details with discouraging speed on emerging from school and college, the names of emperors and battles are at least familiar and lend to our later travels in classic countries a form of lively interest which needs only a little historical refurbishing.
With Egypt it is not so. Most of us venture into that mysterious land with no knowledge of its past save what has clung to us from our early experiences
in Sunday School. The name of Pharaoh is likely to suggest a single personage rather than a line of kings. We recall the tales of Abraham and Joseph; our minds then make a wild leap to the exploits of Moses; and having done with him, there remains little but a shadowy acquaintance with the mere names of Rameses, Ptolemy, and Cleopatra. Of the relations of these several dim figures to the times we have little or no idea. They have entered but casually into our scheme of education. Our notions of the country itself are based, in many instances, on the psychological effect produced by a certain color on the maps of our childish geographies.
The problem before us now, therefore, is to fit ourselves for a voyage up the Nile, which may at best consume but a month or two among ruins that have a story of long ages to tell. And it is with the idea of laying down some definite and essential landmarks of history for the general guidance of the uninitiated visitor that this chapter is written. In so small a compass little can be set down but the most commandingly salient points; and as usual the great object is to omit, rather than to include, to the end that the reader may find a few points from which to take his reckoning and not be confused by a long list of names and dates. As a matter of fact, the history of Egypt is not unlike a prodigious range of mountains, enor