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Sayce, A. H. (Archibald Henry) / History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 2 (of 12)
Produced by David Widger

[Illustration: Spines]

[Illustration: Cover]


By G. MASPERO, Honorable Doctor of Civil Laws, and Fellow of Queen's
College, Oxford; Member of the Institute and Professor at the College of

Edited by A. H. SAYCE, Professor of Assyriology, Oxford

Translated by M. L. McCLURE, Member of the Committee of the Egypt
Exploration Fund


Volume II., Part A.




[Illustration: Frontispiece]

[Illustration: Titlepage]




_The cemeteries of Gizeh and Saqqra: the Great Sphinx; the mastabas,
their chapel and its decoration, the statues of the double, the
sepulchral vault--Importance of the wall-paintings and texts of the
mastabas in determining the history of the Memphite dynasties._

_The king and the royal family--Double nature and titles of the
sovereign: his Horus-names, and the progressive formation of the
Pharaonic Protocol--Royal etiquette an actual divine worship; the
insignia and prophetic statues of Pharaoh, Pharaoh the mediator between
the gods and his subjects--Pharaoh in family life; his amusements, his
occupations, his cares--His harem: the women, the queen, her origin, her
duties to the king--His children: their position in the State; rivalry
among them during the old age and at the death of their father;
succession to the throne, consequent revolutions._

_The royal city: the palace and its occupants--The royal household and
its officers: Pharaoh's jesters, dwarfs, and magicians--The royal domain
and the slaves, the treasury and the establishments which provided for
its service: the buildings and places for the receipt of taxes--The
scribe, his education, his chances of promotion: the career of Amten,
his successive offices, the value of his personal property at his

_Egyptian feudalism: the status of the lords, their rights, their
amusements, their obligations to the sovereign--The influence of the
gods: gifts to the temples, and possessions in mortmain; the priesthood,
its hierarchy, and the method of recruiting its ranks--The military:
foreign mercenaries; native militia, their privileges, their training._

_The people of the towns--The slaves, men without a master--Workmen and
artisans; corporations: misery of handicraftsmen--Aspect of the towns:
houses, furniture, women in family life--Festivals; periodic markets,
bazaars: commerce by barter, the weighing of precious metals._

_The country people--The villages; serfs, free peasantry--Rural domains;
the survey, taxes; the bastinado, the corve--Administration of justice,
the relations between peasants and their lords; misery of the peasantry;
their resignation and natural cheerfulness; their improvidence; their
indifference to political revolutions._

[Illustration: 003.jpg PAGE IMAGE]


_The king, the queen, and the royal princes--Administration under
the Pharaohs--Feudalism and the Egyptian priesthood, the military--The
citizens and country people._

Between the Faym and the apex of the Delta, the Lybian range expands
and forms a vast and slightly undulating table-land, which runs parallel
to the Nile for nearly thirty leagues. The Great Sphinx Harmakhis has
mounted guard over its northern extremity ever since the time of the
Followers of Horus.

Illustration: Drawn by Boudier, from _La Description de
l'Egypte,_ A., vol. v. pl. 7. vignette, which is also by
Boudier, represents a man bewailing the dead, in the
attitude adopted at funerals by professional mourners of
both sexes; the right fist resting on the ground, while the
left hand scatters on the hair the dust which he has just
gathered up. The statue is in the Gzeh Museum.

Hewn out of the solid rock at the extreme margin of the
mountain-plateau, he seems to raise his head in order that he may be the
first to behold across the valley the rising of his father the Sun. Only
the general outline of the lion can now be traced in his weather-worn
body. The lower portion of the head-dress has fallen, so that the neck
appears too slender to support the weight of the head. The cannon-shot
of the fanatical Mamelukes has injured both the nose and beard, and
the red colouring which gave animation to his features has now almost
entirely disappeared. But in spite of this, even in its decay, it still
bears a commanding expression of strength and dignity. The eyes look
into the far-off distance with an intensity of deep thought, the lips
still smile, the whole face is pervaded with calmness and power. The
art that could conceive and hew this gigantic statue out of the
mountain-side, was an art in its maturity, master of itself and sure of
its effects. How many centuries were needed to bring it to this degree
of development and perfection!


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a sketch by Lepsius. The
cornerstone at the top of the mastaba, at the extreme left
of the hieroglyphic frieze, had been loosened and thrown to
the ground by some explorer; the artist has restored it to
its original position.

In later times, a chapel of alabaster and rose granite was erected
alongside the god; temples were built here and there in the more
accessible places, and round these were grouped the tombs of the whole
country. The bodies of the common people, usually naked and uncoffined,
were thrust under the sand, at a depth of barely three feet from the
surface. Those of a better class rested in mean rectangular chambers,
hastily built of yellow bricks, and roofed with pointed vaulting.
No ornaments or treasures gladdened the deceased in his miserable
resting-place; a few vessels, however, of coarse pottery contained
the provisions left to nourish him during the period of his second

Some of the wealthy class had their tombs cut out of the mountain-side;
but the majority preferred an isolated tomb, a "mastaba,"* comprising a
chapel above ground, a shaft, and some subterranean vaults.

* "The Arabic word 'mastaba,' plur. 'masatib,' denotes the
stone bench or platform seen in the streets of Egyptian
towns in front of each shop. A carpet is spread on the
'mastaba,' and the customer sits upon it to transact his
business, usually side by side with the seller. In the
necropolis of Saqqra, there is a temple of gigantic
proportions in the shape of a 'mastaba.'The inhabitants of
the neighbourhood call it 'Mastabat-el-Faroun,' the seat of
Pharaoh, in the belief that anciently one of the Pharaohs
sat there to dispense justice. The Memphite tombs of the
Ancient Empire, which thickly cover the Saqqra plateau, are
more or less miniature copies of the 'Mastabat-el-
Faroun.'Hence the name of mastabas, which has always been
given to this kind of tomb, in the necropolis of Saqqra."

From a distance these chapels have the appearance of truncated pyramids,
varying in size according to the fortune or taste of the owner; there
are some which measure 30 to 40 ft. in height, with a faade 160 ft.
long, and a depth from back to front of some 80 ft., while others attain
only a height of some 10 ft. upon a base of 16 ft. square.*

* The mastaba of Sab is 175 ft. 9 in. long, by about 87 ft.
9 in. deep, but two of its sides have lost their facing;
that of Ranimait measures 171 ft. 3 in. by 84 ft. 6 in. on
the south front, and 100 ft. on the north front. On the
other hand, the mastaba of Pap is only 19 ft. 4 in. by 29
ft. long, and that of KMbiphtah 42 ft. 4 in. by 21 ft. 8

The walls slope uniformly towards one another, and usually have a smooth
surface; sometimes, however, their courses are set back one above the
other almost like steps.


Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by mil Brugsch-Bey,
taken in the course of the excavations begun in 1886, with
the funds furnished by a public subscription opened by the
_Journal des Dbats._

The brick mastabas were carefully cemented externally, and the layers
bound together internally by fine sand poured into the interstices.
Stone mastabas, on the contrary, present a regularity in the decoration
of their facings alone; in nine cases out of ten the core is built of
rough stone blocks, rudely cut into squares, cemented with gravel and
dried mud, or thrown together pell-mell without mortar of any kind. The
whole building should have been orientated according to rule, the four
sides to the four cardinal points, the greatest axis directed north and
south; but the masons seldom troubled themselves to find the true north,
and the orientation is usually incorrect.*

* Thus the axis of the tomb of Pirsen is 17 east of the
magnetic north. In some cases the divergence is only 1 or
2, more often it is 6, 7, 8, or 9, as can be easily
ascertained by consulting the work of Mariette.

The doors face east, sometimes north or south, but never west. One of
these is but the semblance of a door, a high narrow niche, contrived
so as to face east, and decorated with grooves framing a carefully
walled-up entrance; this was for the use of the dead, and it was
believed that the ghost entered or left it at will. The door for the
use of the living, sometimes preceded by a portico, was almost always
characterized by great simplicity. Over it is a cylindrical tympanum,
or a smooth flagstone, bearing sometimes merely the name of the dead
person, sometimes his titles and descent, sometimes a prayer for his
welfare, and an enumeration of the days during which he was entitled to
receive the worship due to ancestors. They invoked on his behalf, and
almost always precisely in the same words, the "Great God," the Osiris
of Mendes, or else Anubis, dwelling in the Divine Palace, that burial
might be granted to him in Amentt, the land of the West, the very great
and very good, to him the vassal of the Great God; that he might walk
in the ways in which it is good to walk, he the vassal of the Great
God; that he might have offerings of bread, cakes, and drink, at the New
Year's Feast, at the feast of Thot, on the first day of the year, on the
feast of agat, at the great fire festival, at the procession of the
god Mn, at the feast of offerings, at the monthly and half-monthly
festivals, and every day.


Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph of the original monument
which is preserved in the Liverpool Museum; cf. Gatty,
_Catalogue of the Mayer Collection;_ I. Egyptian
Antiquities, No. 294, p. 45.

The chapel is usually small, and is almost lost in the great extent
of the building.* It generally consists merely of an oblong chamber,
approached by a rather short passage.**

* Thus the chapel of the mastaba of Sabu is only 14 ft. 4
in. long, by about 3 ft. 3 in. deep, and that of the tomb of
Phtahshopsis, 10 ft. 4 in. by 3 ft. 7 in.

** The mastaba of Tinti has four chambers, as has also that
of Assi-nkh; but these are exceptions, as may be
ascertained by consulting the work of Mariette. Most of
those which contain several rooms are ancient one-roomed
mastabas, which have been subsequently altered or enlarged;
this is the case with the mastabas of Shopsi and of
Ankhaftka. A few, however, were constructed from the outset
with all their apartments--that of Rnkhmai, with six
chambers and several niches; that of Khbiphtah, with three
chambers, niches, and doorway ornamented with two pillars;
that of Ti, with two chambers, a court surrounded with
pillars, a doorway, and long inscribed passages; and that of
Phtahhotp, with seven chambers, besides niches.


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Dhichen.

At the far end, and set back into the western wall, is a huge
quadrangular stele, at the foot of which is seen the table of offerings,
made of alabaster, granite or limestone placed flat upon the ground,
and sometimes two little obelisks or two altars, hollowed at the top to
receive the gifts mentioned in the inscription on the exterior of the
tomb. The general appearance is that of a rather low, narrow doorway,
too small to be a practicable entrance. The recess thus formed is almost
always left empty; sometimes, however, the piety of relatives placed
within it a statue of the deceased. Standing there, with shoulders
thrown back, head erect, and smiling face, the statue seems to step
forth to lead the double from its dark lodging where it lies embalmed,
to those glowing plains where he dwelt in freedom during his earthly
life: another moment, crossing the threshold, he must descend the few
steps leading into the public hall. On festivals and days of offering,
when the priest and family presented the banquet with the customary
rites, this great painted figure, in the act of advancing, and seen
by the light of flickering torches or smoking lamps, might well appear
endued with life. It was as if the dead ancestor himself stepped out of
the wall and mysteriously stood before his descendants to claim their
homage. The inscription on the lintel repeats once more the name and
rank of the dead. Faithful portraits of him and of other members of his
family figure in the bas-reliefs on the door-posts.

[Illustration: 010.jpg STELE IN THE FORM OF A DOOR]

The little scene at the far end represents him seated tranquilly at
table, with the details of the feast carefully recorded at his side,
from the first moment when water is brought to him for ablution, to that
when, all culinary skill being exhausted, he has but to return to his
dwelling, in a state of beatified satisfaction. The stele represented to
the visitor the door leading to the private apartments of the deceased;
the fact of its being walled up for ever showing that no living mortal
might cross its threshold. The inscription which covered its surface was
not a mere epitaph informing future generations who it was that reposed
beneath. It perpetuated the name and genealogy of the deceased, and
gave him a civil status, without which he could not have preserved his
personality in the world beyond; the nameless dead, like a living man
without a name, was reckoned as non-existing. Nor was this the only use
of the stele; the pictures and prayers inscribed upon it acted as so
many talismans for ensuring the continuous existence of the ancestor,
whose memory they recalled. They compelled the god therein invoked,
whether Osiris or the jackal Anubis, to act as mediator between the
living and the departed; they granted to the god the enjoyment of
sacrifices and those good things abundantly offered to the deities, and
by which they live, on condition that a share of them might first be
set aside for the deceased. By the divine favour, the soul or rather the
doubles of the bread, meat, and beverages passed into the other world,
and there refreshed the human double. It was not, however, necessary
that the offering should have a material existence, in order to be
effective; the first comer who should repeat aloud the name and the
formulas inscribed upon the stone, secured for the unknown occupant, by
this means alone, the immediate possession of all the things which he

The stele constitutes the essential part of the chapel and tomb. In many
cases it was the only inscribed portion, it alone being necessary to
ensure the identity and continuous existence of the dead man; often,
however, the sides of the chamber and passage were not left bare. When
time or the wealth of the owner permitted, they were covered with scenes
and writing, expressing at greater length the ideas summarized by the
figures and inscriptions of the stele.


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin taken from a "squeeze" taken from the
tomb of Ti. The domains are represented as women. The name
is written before each figure with the designation of the

Neither pictorial effect nor the caprice of the moment was permitted
to guide the artist in the choice of his subjects; all that he drew,
pictures or words, bad a magical purpose. Every individual who built for
himself an "eternal house," either attached to it a staff of priests
of the double, of inspectors, scribes, and slaves, or else made an
agreement with the priests of a neighbouring temple to serve the chapel
in perpetuity. Lands taken from his patrimony, which thus became the
"Domains of the Eternal House," rewarded them for their trouble, and
supplied them with meats, vegetables, fruits, liquors, linen and vessels
for sacrifice.


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Dumichen,
Besultate, vol. i. pl. 13.

In theory, these "liturgies" were perpetuated from year to year, until
the end of time; but in practice, after three or four generations, the
older ancestors were forsaken for those who had died more recently.
Notwithstanding the imprecations and threats of the donor against the
priests who should neglect their duty, or against those who should usurp
the funeral endowments, sooner or later there came a time when, forsaken
by all, the double was in danger of perishing for want of sustenance. In
order to ensure that the promised gifts, offered in substance on the day
of burial, should be maintained throughout the centuries, the relatives
not only depicted them upon the chapel walls, but represented in
addition the lands which produced them, and the labour which contributed
to their production. On one side we see ploughing, sowing, reaping, the
carrying of the corn, the storing of the grain, the fattening of the
poultry, and the driving of the cattle. A little further on, workmen of
all descriptions are engaged in their several trades: shoemakers ply
the awl, glassmakers blow through their tubes, metal founders watch over
their smelting-pots, carpenters hew down trees and build a ship; groups
of women weave or spin under the eye of a frowning taskmaster, who seems
impatient of their chatter. Did the double in his hunger desire meat? He
might choose from the pictures on the wall the animal that pleased him
best, whether kid, ox, or gazelle; he might follow the course of its
life, from its birth in the meadows to the slaughter-house and the
kitchen, and might satisfy his hunger with its flesh. The double saw
himself represented in the paintings as hunting, and to the hunt he
went; he was painted eating and drinking with his wife, and he ate and
drank with her; the pictured ploughing, harvesting, and gathering into
barns, thus became to him actual realities. In fine, this painted world
of men and things represented upon the wall was quickened by the same
life which animated the double, upon whom it all depended: the _picture_
of a meal or of a slave was perhaps that which best suited the _shade_
of guest or of master.

Even to-day, when we enter one of these decorated chapels, the idea of
death scarcely presents itself: we have rather the impression of being
in some old-world house, to which the master may at any moment return.
We see him portrayed everywhere upon the walls, followed by his
servants, and surrounded by everything which made his earthly life
enjoyable. One or two statues of him stand at the end of the room, in
constant readiness to undergo the "Opening of the Mouth" and to receive
offerings. Should these be accidentally removed, others, secreted in
a little chamber hidden in the thickness of the masonry, are there to
replace them. These inner chambers have rarely any external outlet,
though occasionally they are connected with the chapel by a small
opening, so narrow that it will hardly admit of a hand being passed
through it. Those who came to repeat prayers and burn incense at this
aperture were received by the dead in person. The statues were not mere
images, devoid of consciousness. Just as the double of a god could be
linked to an idol in the temple sanctuary in order to transform it into
a prophetic being, capable of speech and movement, so when the double of
a man was attached to the effigy of his earthly body, whether in stone,
metal, or wood, a real living person was created and was introduced into
the tomb. So strong was this conviction that the belief has lived on
through two changes of religion until the present day. The double still
haunts the statues with which he was associated in the past. As in
former times, he yet strikes with madness or death any who dare to
disturb is repose; and one can only be protected from him by breaking,
at the moment of discovery, the perfect statues which the vault
contains. The double is weakened or killed by the mutilation of these
his sustainers.*

* The legends still current about the pyramids of Gzeh
furnish some good examples of this kind of superstition.
"The guardian of the Eastern pyramid was an idol... who had
both eyes open, and was seated on a throne, having a sort of
halberd near it, on which, if any one fixed his eye, he
heard a fearful noise, which struck terror to his heart, and
caused the death of the hearer. There was a spirit appointed
to wait on each guardian, who departed not from before
him." The keeping of the other two pyramids was in like
manner entrusted to a statue, assisted by a spirit. I have
collected a certain number of tales resembling that of
Mourtadi in the _tudes de Mythologie et Archologie
gyptiennes,_ vol. i. p. 77, et seq.

The statues furnish in their modelling a more correct idea of the
deceased than his mummy, disfigured as it was by the work of the
embalmers; they were also less easily destroyed, and any number could
be made at will. Hence arose the really incredible number of statues
sometimes hidden away in the same tomb. These sustainers or imperishable
bodies of the double were multiplied so as to insure for him a practical
immortality; and the care with which they were shut into a secure
hiding-place, increased their chances of preservation. All the same, no
precaution was neglected that could save a mummy from destruction. The
shaft leading to it descended to a mean depth of forty to fifty feet,
but sometimes it reached, and even exceeded, a hundred feet. Running
horizontally from it is a passage so low as to prevent a man standing
upright in it, which leads to the sepulchral chamber properly so called,
hewn out of the solid rock and devoid of all ornament; the sarcophagus,
whether of fine limestone, rose-granite, or black basalt, does not
always bear the name and titles of the deceased. The servants who
deposited the body in it placed beside it on the dusty floor the
quarters of the ox, previously slaughtered in the chapel, as well as
phials of perfume, and large vases of red pottery containing muddy
water; after which they walled up the entrance to the passage and filled
the shaft with chips of stone intermingled with earth and gravel. The
whole, being well watered, soon hardened into a compact mass, which
protected the vault and its master from desecration.

During the course of centuries, the ever-increasing number of tombs at
length formed an almost uninterrupted chain of burying-places on the
table-land. At Gzeh they follow a symmetrical plan, and line the sides
of regular roads; at Saqqra they are scattered about on the surface
of the ground, in some places sparsely, in others huddled confusedly
together. Everywhere the tombs are rich in inscriptions, statues, and
painted or sculptured scenes, each revealing some characteristic custom,
or some detail of contemporary civilization. From the womb, as it were,
of these cemeteries, the Egypt of the Memphite dynasties gradually takes
new life, and reappears in the full daylight of history. Nobles and
fellahs, soldiers and priests, scribes and craftsmen,--the whole nation
lives anew before us; each with his manners, his dress, his daily round
of occupation and pleasures. It is a perfect picture, and although in
places the drawing is defaced and the colour dimmed, yet these may be
restored with no great difficulty, and with almost absolute certainty.
The king stands out boldly in the foreground, and his tall figure towers
over all else. He so completely transcends his surroundings, that at
first sight one may well ask if he does not represent a god rather than
a man; and, as a matter of fact, he is a god to his subjects. They call
him "the good god," "the great god," and connect him with R through the
intervening kings, the successors of the gods who ruled the two worlds.
His father before him was "Son of R," as was also his grandfather, and
his great-grandfather, and so through all his ancestors, until from
"son of R" to "son of R" they at last reached R himself. Sometimes
an adventurer of unknown antecedents is abruptly inserted in the series,
and we might imagine that he would interrupt the succession of the solar
line; but on closer examination we always find that either the intruder
is connected with the god by a genealogy hitherto unsuspected, or that
he is even more closely related to him than his predecessors, inasmuch
as R, having secretly descended upon the earth, had begotten him by a
mortal mother in order to rejuvenate the race.*

* A legend, preserved for us in the Westcar Papyrus (Erman's
edition, pl. ix. 11. 5-11, pl. x. 1. 5, et seq.), maintains
that the first three kings of the Vth dynasty, sirkaf,
Sahr, and Kaki, were children born to R, lord of
Sakhb, by Rdtdidt, wife of a priest attached to the
temple of that town.

If things came to the worst, a marriage with some princess would soon
legitimise, if not the usurper himself, at least his descendants, and
thus firmly re-establish the succession.

[Illustration: 021.jpg THE BIRTH OF A KING AND HIS DOUBLE]

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Gay et. The
king is Amenthes III., whose conception and birth are
represented in the temple of Luxor, with the same wealth of
details that we should have expected, had he been a son of
the god Amon and the goddess Mt.

The Pharaohs, therefore, are blood-relations of the Sun-god, some
through their father, others through their mother, directly begotten
by the God, and their souls as well as their bodies have a supernatural
origin; each soul being a double detached from Horus, the successor of
Osiris, and the first to reign alone over Egypt. This divine double
is infused into the royal infant at birth, in the same manner as the
ordinary double is incarnate in common mortals. It always remained
concealed, and seemed to lie dormant in those princes whom destiny did
not call upon to reign, but it awoke to full self-consciousness in those
who ascended the throne at the moment of their accession. From that time
to the hour of their death, and beyond it, all that they possessed of
ordinary humanity was completely effaced; they were from henceforth
only "the sons of R," the Horus, dwelling upon earth, who, during his
sojourn here below, renews the blessings of Horus, son of Isis. Their
complex nature was revealed at the outset in the form and arrangement of
their names. Among the Egyptians the choice of a name was not a matter
of indifference; not only did men and beasts, but even inanimate
objects, require one or more names, and it may be said that no person or
thing in the world could attain to complete existence until the name
had been conferred. The most ancient names were often only a short word,
which denoted some moral or physical quality, as Titi the Runner, Mini
the Lasting, Qonqeni the Crusher, Sondi the Formidable, Uznast the
Flowery-tongued. They consisted also of short sentences, by which
the royal child confessed his faith in the power of the gods, and his
participation in the acts of the Sun's life--"Khfr," his rising is
R; "Men-kahor," the doubles of Horus last for ever; "Usirker," the
double of R is omnipotent. Sometimes the sentence is shortened, and the
name of the god is understood: as for instance, "sirkaf," his double is
omnipotent; "Snofmi," he has made me good; "Khfi," he has protected
me, are put for the names "Usirker," "Ptahsnofri," "Khnmkhfi," with
the suppression of R, Phtah, and Khnrn.

[Illustration: 023.jpg PAGE IMAGE]

The name having once, as it were, taken possession of a man on his
entrance into life, never leaves him either in this world or the next;
the prince who had been called Unas or Assi at the moment of his birth,
retained this name even after death, so long as his mummy existed, and
his double was not annihilated.

{Hieroglyphics indicated by [--], see the page images in
the HTML file}

When the Egyptians wished to denote that a person or thing was in a
certain place, they inserted their names within the picture of the place
in question. Thus the name of Teti is written inside a picture of Teti's
castle, the result being the compound hieroglyph [--] Again, when the
son of a king became king in his turn, they enclose his ordinary name
in the long flat-bottomed frame [--] which we call a cartouche;
the elliptical part [--] of which is a kind of plan of the world, a
representation of those regions passed over by R in his journey, and
over which Pharaoh, because he is a son of R, exercises his rule.
When the names of Teti or Snofri, following the group [----] which
respectively express sovereignty over the two halves of Egypt, the
South and the North, the whole expression describing exactly the visible
person of Pharaoh during his abode among mortals. But this first name
chosen for the child did not include the whole man; it left without
appropriate designation the double of Horus, which was revealed in
the prince at the moment of accession. The double therefore received a
special title, which is always constructed on a uniform plan: first the
picture [--] hawk-god, who desired to leave to his descendants a portion
of his soul, then a simple or compound epithet, specifying that virtue
of Horus which the Pharaoh wished particularly to possess--"Hor
nb-mfc," Horus master of Truth; "Hor miri-toi," Horus friend of
both lands; "Hor nbkh," Horus master of the risings; "Horu mazti,"
Horus who crushes his enemies.


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from an illustration in Arundale-
Bonomi-Birch's _Gallery of Antiquities from the British
Museum,_ pl. 31. The king thus represented is Thutmosis II.
of the XVIIIth dynasty; the spear, surmounted by a man's
head, which the double holds in his hand, probably recalls
the human victims formerly sacrificed at the burial of a

The variable part of these terms is usually written in an oblong
rectangle, terminated at the lower end by a number of lines portraying
in a summary way the faade of a monument, in the centre of which a
bolted door may sometimes be distinguished: this is the representation
of the chapel where the double will one day rest, and the closed door is
the portal of the tomb.* The stereotyped part of the names and titles,
which is represented by the figure of the god, is placed outside the
rectangle, sometimes by the side of it, sometimes upon its top: the hawk
is, in fact, free by nature, and could nowhere remain imprisoned against
his will.

* This is what is usually known as the "Banner Name;"
indeed, it was for some time believed that this sign
represented a piece of stuff, ornamented at the bottom by
embroidery or fringe, and bearing on the upper part the
title of a king. Wilkinson thought that this "square title,"
as he called it, represented a house. The real meaning of
the expression was determined by Professor Flinders Petrie
and by myself.

This artless preamble was not enough to satisfy the love of precision
which is the essential characteristic of the Egyptians. When they wished
to represent the double in his sepulchral chamber, they left out of
consideration the period in his existence during which he had presided
over the earthly destinies of the sovereign, in order to render them
similar to those of Horus, from whom the double proceeded.

[Illustration: 026.jpg Page Image]

They, therefore, withdrew him from the tomb which should have been his
lot, and there was substituted for the ordinary sparrow-hawk one of
those groups which symbolize sovereignty over the two countries of the
Nile--the coiled urasus of the North, and the vulture of the South,
[--]; there was then finally added a second sparrow-hawk, the golden
sparrow-hawk, [--], the triumphant sparrow-hawk which had delivered
Egypt from Typhon. The soul of Snofrai, which is called, as a surviving
double, [--], "Horus master of Truth," is, as a living double, entitled
"[--]" "[--]" the Lord of the Vulture and of the "Urous," master of
Truth, and Horus triumphant.*

* The Ka, or double name, represented in this illustration
is that of the Pharaoh Khephren, the builder of the second
of the great pyramids at Gzeh; it reads "Horu usir-Hti,"
Horus powerful of heart.

On the other hand, the royal prince, when he put on the diadem,
received, from the moment of his advancement to the highest rank, such
an increase of dignity, that his birth-name--even when framed in a
cartouche and enhanced with brilliant epithets--was no longer able to
fully represent him. This exaltation of his person was therefore marked
by a new designation. As he was the living flesh of the sun, so his
surname always makes allusion to some point in his relations with his
father, and proclaims the love which he felt for the latter, "Mirir,"
or that the latter experienced for him, "Mirnir," or else it indicates
the stability of the doubles of R, "Tatker," their goodness,
"Nofirker," or some other of their sovereign virtues. Several Pharaohs
of the IVth dynasty had already dignified themselves by these surnames;
those of the VIth were the first to incorporate them regularly into the
royal preamble.

[Illustration: 027.jpg PAGE IMAGE]

There was some hesitation at first as to the position the surname ought
to occupy, and it was sometimes placed after the birth-name, as in "Papi
Nofirker," sometimes before it, as in [--] "Nofirker Pap." It was
finally decided to place it at the beginning, preceded by the group [--]
"King of Upper and Lower Egypt," which expresses in its fullest extent
the power granted by the gods to the Pharaoh alone; the other, or
birth-name, came after it, accompanied by the words [--]. "Son of the
Sun." There were inscribed, either before or above these two solar names
--which are exclusively applied to the visible and living body of the
master--the two names of the sparrow-hawk, which belonged especially to
the soul; first, that of the double in the tomb, and then that of the
double while still incarnate. Four terms seemed thus necessary to the
Egyptians in order to define accurately the Pharaoh, both in time and in

Long centuries were needed before this subtle analysis of the royal
person, and the learned graduation of the formulas which corresponded to
it, could transform the Nome chief, become by conquest suzerain over all
other chiefs and king of all Egypt, into a living god here below, the
all-powerful son and successor of the gods; but the divine concept of
royalty, once implanted in the mind, quickly produced its inevitable
consequences. From the moment that the Pharaoh became god upon earth,
the gods of heaven, his fathers or his brothers, and the goddesses
recognized him as their son, and, according to the ceremonial imposed
by custom in such cases, consecrated his adoption by offering him the
breast to suck, as they would have done to their own child.


Drawn by Boudier, from a photograph by Insinger. The
original is in the great speos of Silsilis. The king here
represented is Harmhabt of the XVIIIth dynasty; cf.
Champollion, _Monuments de l'Egypt et de la Nubie,_ pl.
cix., No. 3; Rosellini, _Monumenti Storici,_ pl. xliv. 5;
Lepsius, Denkm., iii. 121 b.

Ordinary mortals spoke of him only in symbolic words, designating him by
some periphrasis: Pharaoh, "Piri-Ai," the Double Palace, "Prti," the
Sublime Porte, His Majesty,* the Sun of the two lands, Horus master of
the palace, or, less ceremoniously, by the indeterminate pronoun "One."

* The title "Honf" is translated by the same authors,
sometimes as "His Majesty," sometimes as "His Holiness." The
reasons for translating it "His Majesty," as was originally
proposed by Champollion, and afterwards generally adopted,
have been given last of all by E. de Roug.

The greater number of these terms is always accompanied by a wish
addressed to the sovereign for his "life," "health," and "strength," the
initial signs of which are written after all his titles. He accepts all
this graciously, and even on his own initiative, swears by his own life,
or by the favour of R, but he forbids his subjects to imitate him: for
them it is a sin, punishable in this world and in the next, to adjure
the person of the sovereign, except in the case in which a magistrate
requires from them a judicial oath.

[Illustration: 029.jpg THE CUCUPHA-HEADED SCEPTRE.]

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the engraving in Prisse
d'Avennes, _Recherches sur les lgendes royales et l'poque
du rgne de Schai ou Schera,_ in the _Revue Archologique_,
1st series, vol. ii. p. 467. The original is now preserved
in the Bibliothque Nationale, to which it was presented by
Prisse d'Avennes. It is of glazed earthenware, of very
delicate and careful workmanship.

He is approached, moreover, as a god is approached, with downcast eyes,
and head or back bent; they "sniff the earth" before him, they veil their
faces with both hands to shut out the splendour of his appearance; they
chant a devout form of adoration before submitting to him a petition.
No one is free from this obligation: his ministers themselves, and the
great ones of his kingdom, cannot deliberate with him on matters of
state, without inaugurating the proceeding by a sort of solemn service
in his honour, and reciting to him at length a eulogy of his divinity.
They did not, indeed, openly exalt him above the other gods, but these
were rather too numerous to share heaven among them, whilst he alone
rules over the "Entire Circuit of the Sun," and the whole earth, its
mountains and plains, are in subjection under his sandalled feet.
People, no doubt, might be met with who did not obey him, but these
were rebels, adherents of St, "Children of Euin," who, sooner or later,
would be overtaken by punishment.


Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger. The
picture represents Khmhat presenting the superintendents
of storehouses to Ttnkhamon, of the XVIIIth dynasty.

While hoping that his fictitious claim to universal dominion would be
realized, the king adopted, in addition to the simple costume of the old
chiefs, the long or short petticoat, the jackal's tail, the turned-up
sandals, and the insignia of the supreme gods,--the ankh, the crook, the
flail, and the sceptre tipped with the head of a jerboa or a hare, which
we misname the cucupha-headed sceptre.* He put on the many-coloured
diadems of the gods, the head-dresses covered with feathers, the white
and the red crowns either separately or combined so as to form the

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Library mainpage -> Sayce, A. H. (Archibald Henry) -> History of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 2 (of 12)