Page images

it out in this manner, the rest by the infusion of drugs. Then with a sharp Ethiopian stone they make an incision in the side, and take out all the bowels; and having cleansed the abdomen and rinsed it with palm-wine, they next sprinkle it with pounded perfumes. Then having filled the belly with pure myrrh pounded, and cassia, and other perfumes, frankincense excepted, they sew it up again ; and when they have done this, they steep it in natrum, leaving it under for 70 days; for a longer time than this it is not lawful to steep it. At the expiration of the 70 days they wash the corpse, and wrap the whole body in bandages of faxen cloth, smearing it with gum, which the Egyptians commonly use instead of glue. After this the relations, having taken the body back again, make a wooden case in the shape of a man, and having made it, they enclose the body; and thus, having fastened it up, they store it in a sepulchral chainber,setting it upright against the wall. In this manner they prepare the bodies that are embalmed in the most expensive way.

“Those who, avoiding great expense, desire the middle way, they prepare in the following manner. When they have

Second method of enbalming.

| Really in the form of the god Osiris.

Compare tapixeter ó Aigúrtiogoúros uév ya-Aéyw 18tóv—Enpáraç Tòv Vekpòv EÚvdelTVOV Kai FruttóTIV étoihtato. Lucian, De Luctu, $ 21 (ed. Dindorf, Paris, 1867, p. 569).

Αιγύπτιοι δε τα έντερα εξελόντες ταριχεύουσιν αυτούς, και συν εαυτοίς υπέρ yns éxovoiv. Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrhoniarum Institutionum lib. III. cap. 24 (ed. J. A. Fabricius, Leipzig, 1718, p. 184).

Mortuos limo obliti plangunt : nec cremare aut fodere fas putant : verum arte medicatos intra penetralia collocant. Pomponius Mela, lib. I. cap. 9 (ed. Gronov., Leyden, 1;82, p. 62).

Aegyptia tellus
Claudit odorato post funus stantia saxo
Corpora, et a mensis exsanguem haud separat umbram.

Silius Italicus, Punicorum lib. XIII. II. 474-476

(ed. H. Occioni, Turin, 1889).

Balsama succo unguentaque mira feruntur
Tempus in aeternum sacrum servantia corpus.

Corippi, De laudibus Justini, lib. III.

II. 22-25 (ed. Antwerp, 1581, p. 4).


charged their syringes with oil made from cedar, they fill the abdomen of the corpse without making any incision or taking out the bowels, but inject it at the fundament; and having prevented the injection from escaping, they steep the body in natrum for the prescribed number of days, and on the last day they let out from the abdomen the oil of cedar which they had before injected, and it has such power that it brings away the intestines and vitals in a state of dissolution ; the natrum dissolves the flesh, and nothing of the body remains but the skin and the bones. When they have done this they return the body without any further operation.

“ The third method of embalming is this, which is used Third only for the poorer sort. Having thoroughly rinsed them

- of emabdomen in syrmæa, they steep it with natrum for 70 days, balming. and then deliver it to be carried away.”ı

According to Genesis 1. 3, the embalming of Jacob occupied 40 days, but the period of mourning was 70 days. From Egyptian documents it is known that the length of the period from the death of a man to his burial varied ; in one case the embalming occupied 16 days, the bandaging 35 Period of days, and the burial 70 days, i.e., 121 days in all. In a em

a balmment second case the embalming occupied 66 days, preparations varied in for burial 4 days, and the burial 26 days ; in all 96 days. len Elsewhere we are told that the embalming lasts 70 or 80 days, and the burial ten months.

The account given by Diodorus (I. 91) agrees with that Account of of Herodotus in many particulars, but some additional details in are given. According to it, if any man died, all his relatives dorus. and friends threw dust or mud on their heads, and went round about through the town uttering cries of grief as long as the body remained unburied ; during the interval between the death and the burial, they abstained from the use of baths and wine, they partook of no choice foods, and they put not on fine apparel. The methods of embalming were three in number; the most expensive, the less expensive, and the poorest of all. The first method cost one talent of silver, about Cost of


a body. i Cary's translation, pp. 126, 127. ? For the authorities see Wiedemann, Herodots Zweites Buch, p. 358.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

£250; the second twenty minæ, about £63; and the third cost very little indeed. The people who practise the art of embalming belong to a class of men in whose families this profession is hereditary, and they set down in writing a statement of the various methods of embalming practised by them and the cost of each, and ask the relatives of the dead man to decide upon the method to be adopted. When this · question has been settled, the embalmers take the body into their charge, and they hand it to those who are fully acquainted with the process of embalming. The first of these called the “scribe" (ypapuateus) makes a mark on the left side of the body, which is laid upon the ground, to indicate where the incision is to be made. Next, a man, called the “ripper up” (Tapao xuotńs), with an Ethiopian stone (λίθον Αιθιοπικον) makes a cut in the side lengthwise of the size indicated by the scribe. Having done this, he flees away in all haste, pursued by his assistants, who hurl after him pieces of stone and call down curses, that vengeance may come upon him for this crime ; for the Egyptians hold in abomination anyone who wounds or commits an act of violence upon the human body. The embalmers (Tapixeutal) are held in high honour, and are treated with much consideration, because they are friends of the priests, and are allowed to enter the sanctuary as if they were ceremonially pure. Having assembled around the body, one of them puts his hand into it through the cut that has been made, and draws out everything that he finds inside, with the exception of the heart and reins (lungs?); others clean the intestines, and wash them with palm-wine and balsams. Finally, having treated the body first with oil of cedar and other materials of this nature, and then with myrrh, cinnamon, and other sweetsmelling drugs and spices suitable for embalming purposes, they bring it into such a state of completeness, that the eye-lashes and eye-brows remain uninjured, and its form is so little changed that it is easy to recognize the features. The greater number of the Egyptians who keep the bodies of their ancestors in magnificent chambers, enjoy the sight of those who have been dead for several generations, and they secl great satisfaction in seeing the features and form of these


of em: Lalming.



bodies, and look upon them, to a certain extent, as contemporaries.

With reference to the fleeing away of the paraschistes it is difficult to understand what Diodorus had in his mind. A little further on he says that the embalmers were great friends of the priests, and as this was certainly the case, the man who performed the operation probably merely fulfilled a religious obligation in fleeing away, and had very little to fear. In some particulars Diodorus appears to have been mis- State.

auf ments of informed, and in any case the knowledge he possessed of D mummies could hardly have been at first hand. He lived too not wholly late (about B.C. 40) to know what the well-made Theban worthy. mummies were like, and his experience therefore would only have familiarized him with the Egypto-Roman mummies, in which the limbs were bandaged separately, and the contour of their faces, somewhat blunted, was to be seen through the thin and tightly drawn bandages which covered the face. A good example of a mummy made about this date is that of the lady Mut-em-Mennu, which is preserved in the British Museum, No. 6704; in this mummy the features of the face can be clearly distinguished underneath the bandages.

A curious idea about the fate of the intestines taken from Fate of the the body obtained among certain Greek writers. Plutarch 1 intestin says, in two places, that when the Egyptians have taken them out of the body of the dead man, they show them to the sun as the cause of the faults which he had committed, and then throw them into the river, while the body, having been cleansed, is embalmed. Porphyry? gives the same account at


1 Οι τον νεκρόν ανατέμνοντες έδειξαν τώ ηλίω, είτ' αυτά μεν εις τον ποταμών katéSalov, toù al lov objatos 18n kadapou yeyovótos éttuédovrai. Plutarch, VII. Sap. Conv., XVI., ed. Didot, p. 188. Cf. also ʼETEi kal@s cixev, bottep Αιγύπτιοι των νεκρών την κοιλίαν εξελόντες και προς τον ήλιον ανασχίζοντες ékBallovoiv, ás alriav árávrwv wv ó üv@pwnos ñuaptev. Plutarch, De Carnium Esu, Oratio Posterior, ed. Didot, p. 1219.

? Εκείνο μέντοι ου παραπεμπτέον, ότι τους αποθανόντας των ευ γεγονότων όταν ταριχεύωσιν, ιδία την κοιλίαν εξελόντες και εις κιβωτόν ενθέντες μετά των άλλων, ών διαπράττονται υπέρ του νεκρού, και την κιβωτόν κρατούντες προς τον ήλιον μαρτύρονται, ενός των υπέρ του νεκρού ποιουμένου λόγον των ταριχευτών.

greater length, and adds that the intestines were placed in a box; he also gives the formula which the embalmers used when showing the intestines to the sun, and says that it was translated by Ekphantos into Greck out of his own language, which was presumably Egyptian. The address to the sun and the other gods who are supposed to bestow life upon man, the petition to them to grant an abode to the deceased with the everlasting gods, and the confession by the deceased that he had worshipped, with reverence, the gods of his fathers from his youth up, that he had honoured his parents, that he had neither killed nor injured any man, all these have a sound about them of having been written by some one who had a knowledge of the “Negative Confession” in the 125th chapter of the Book of the Dead. On the other hand it is difficult to imagine any Greek acquainted with the manners and customs of the Egyptians making the statement that they threw the intestines into the river, for when they were not placed in jars separate from the body, they were mummified and placed between the legs or arms, and bandaged up with the body, and the future welfare of the body in the nether-world

depended entirely upon its having every member complete. General An examination of Egyptian mummies will show that the

165 accounts given by Herodotus and Diodorus are generally ments of correct, for mummies both with and without ventral incisions Hercdotus

are found, and some are preserved by means of balsams and Diodorus.

gums, and others by bitumen and natrum. The skulls of mummies which exist by hundreds in caves and pits at

correctness of state


"Εστι δε και ο λόγος, ον ηρμήνευσεν "Έκφαντος εκ της πατρίου διαλέκτου, τοιούτος. Ω δέσποτα ήλιε, και θεοι πάντες οι τήν ζωήν τους ανθρώποις δόντες, προσδέξασθέ με και παράδοτε τοις άϊδίοις θεοίς σύνοικον. Εγώ γάρ τους θεούς, ούς οι γονείς μοι παρέδειξαν, ευσεβών διετέλουν όσον χρόνον εν τω εκείνω αιώνι τον βίον είχον, τούς τε το σώμα μου γεννήσαντας ετίμων αεί· τών τε άλλων ανθρώπων και ούτε απέκτεινα, ούτε παρακαταθήκην απεστέρησα, ούτε άλλο ουδέν ανήκε στον διεπραξάμην. Ει δέ τι άρα κατά τον εμαυτού βίον ήμαρτον ή φαγών ή πιών ων μη θεμιτόν ήν, ου δί έμαυτόν ήμαρτον, αλλά διά ταύτα (δείξας την Kißwtòr, ev in ń yuotip ^v). Porphyry, De Abstinentia, lib. IV., 10, ed. Didot, p. 75.

1 Wilkinson reads “ Euphantus” (Ancient Egyptians, iii. 479). : Wiedemann (Ilerodots Zweites Buch, p. 354) adds oudéra in brackets.

« PreviousContinue »