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appearance was at once beautiful and noble, full of modesty and yet full also of dignity.' Josephus says that there was no one, however careless about a child's looks, who was not struck with astonishment at his loveliness on first beholding him. As he passed along the streets many of those whom he met would turn their heads to look after him, and labouring men would forget their occupations and stand to gaze. He is also said to have been remarkably tall for his age, full of spirit, strong, and capable of enduring hard work. As for his intelligence, it was extraordinary, and showed itself in every subject to which his attention was turned. The general feeling was that there was something more than human about the boy ; and while the Hebrews took courage and selt hope revive in their breasts through the promise of future greatness which they discovered in him, the Egyptians generally looked upon him with an eye of suspicion, as one whom they had reason to dread, should he grow to manhood. “ Vit. Mosis," p. 83.
I "Ant. Jud." l. 9, f. &
The phydoal training of Moses—Egyptian athletic games, Early instruc
tion-Reading and writing-Egyptian writing involved a training in art-Arithmetic~Music and rhythm-Later instruction-University of Heliopolis-Subjects of the University course-Geometry-Literaturo -Astronomy-Law-Medicine-Philosophy of Symbolism-Position of Moses among the students.
It would seem that in Egypt, as in most civilized countries, education was regarded as including a course of training, both for the mind, and also for the body. The Egyptians had a variety of games, of which a considerable number were gymnastic or athletic. One of the chief of these was wrestling. The monuments depict wrestlers in all manner of attitudes, preparing to engage, taking their first hold, intertwined, clutching at each other's arms and legs, one forcing the other to the ground, both on the ground, yet still continuing the struggle.“ The two combatants,” says Sir Gardner Wilkinson, “generally approached each other, holding their arms in an inclined position before the body; and each endeavoured to seize his adversary in the manner best suited to his mode of attack. It was allowable to take hold of any part of the body, the head, neck, or legs; and the struggle was frequently continued on the ground, after one or both had fallen ; a mode of wrestling common also to the Greeks, by whom it was denominated Anaclinopalé. I do not find that they had the same sign of acknowledging their defeat in this game as the Greeks, which was by holding up a finger in
token of submission ; it was probably done by the Egyptians with a word.”
Another exercise was fighting with single-sticks. The left arm was defended by a sort of shield strapped round it from the wrist to the elbow, and could thus be used to turn off or intercept blows. The right hand had the protection of a basket or guard, projecting over the knuckles. The sticks employed were somewhat short, not more than about thirty inches in length. The combatants had no defence for the head, beyond the wig ordinarily worn by men of the well-to-do classes ; but it was perhaps a law of the game that neither combatant should strike at the head of his adversary.
The game of ball, so much practised by the Romans, was also a favourite amusement in Egypt, especially among females. It consisted, however, so far as appears, simply in tossing the ball and catching it, the Egyptians having nothing that resembled fives, or rackets, or tennis, or hockey. On this subject Sir G. Wilkinson tells us that "the game of ball was not confined to children, or to either sex, though the mere amusement of throwing and catching it appears to have been considered more particularly adapted to females. They had different methods of playing. Sometimes a person unsuccessful in catching the ball was obliged to suffer another to ride on her back, who continued to enjoy this post until she also inissed it—the ball being thrown by an opposite party, mounted in the same manner, and placed at a certain distance, according to the space previously fixed by the players. . . . Sometimes they showed their skill in catching three or more balls in succession, the hands occasionally crossed over the breast; and the more simple mode of throwing it up to a height and catching it, known to the Greeks as urania, was common in Egypt. They had also the game described by Homer as having been played by Halius and Laodamas before Alcinoüs, in which one party threw the ball as high as he could, and the other, leaping up, caught it on its fall, before his feet again touched the ground." 3
A game, in which strength and dexterity were about equally balanced, was one wherein two opponents contended in throwing knives or daggers, so as to remain fixed in a block of hard
: "Ancient Egyptians," edition of 1878 ; vol. ii. pp. 72, 73.
wood; the contention being which of the two could strike nearest to the centre, or to the edge, as agreed beforehand. One, where strength alone was tested, consisted in lifting heavy bags of sand, and swinging them at arms' length over the head. The person who could swing the heaviest bag was the victor.
These, and other games of a similar character, were among the ordinary amusements of children and youths in Egypt, and were regarded as at once promoting health by the exercise of the body and refreshing the mind by pleasant entertainment. Moses would naturally be required to take his part in such exercises, and that he did so is implied by Philo, who says that he soon conceived a distaste for such amusements,' and showed himself superior to them, preferring more serious occupations. It may be doubted, however, whether Philo, in thus writing, is not rather following out his own views of how the perfect man ought to act in his youth, than delivering to us any Egyptian or Jewish tradition on the subject. Philo's leanings are towards asceticism, and he would fain persuade us that the great lawgiver of his nation held the same views ; but it is at least doubtful whether he had any trustworthy authority for his statements. Moses is likely to have been of a serious turn as boy and youth; but his Egyptian instructors would regard the training of the body as scarcely less necessary than the training of the mind, and would see that he passed through the ordinary course of gymnastic exercises, and that his bodily vigour was as well developed as that of any of his contemporaries.
Parallel, even with the earliest physical training, would be a certain amount of instruction, directed to the development of the intellect. Like other children, Moses had to begin by learning to read and write. In Egypt these accomplishments were not very easy of acquirement. The Egyptians had at the time two forms of writing, one known to the Greeks as the hieroglyphic, and the other as the hieratic. In the hieroglyphic, articulate sounds were represented by pictures of objects, which expressed, sometimes letters, sometimes syllables, sometimes whole words, occasionally ideas. The number of the signs used was very large, probably not less than a thousand. Several of them expressed more than one sound, while one and the same sound was sometimes expressed by several symbols. To learn the Egyptian alphabet was nearly as difficult as to
Vit. Mosis," p. 83.
learn the Chinese, and must have occupied many months, if not years. To read, it was necessary to know, not only what articulations each symbol had, but which of them was appropriate in the connection in which each symbol occurred. Writing was still more difficult ; for as all the signs were objects, it was necessary, in order to write, to be able to draw a vast variety of objects with distinctness and accuracy. Among the most ordinary characters were the eagle, which expressed a; the owl, which expressed m; the chicken, which expressed u; the duck, which expressed sa; the hawk, which expressed har; and the vulture, which expressed mut. Hieroglyphic writing, to be intelligible, had to mark unmistakably which bird was meant, out of these many; and indeed there were others also in the hieroglyphic list, as the swallow and the ibis. Animals had to be drawn with equal frequency, as the lion, the wild-goat, the ox, the crocodile, the jackal, the hare. It has been well observed by Mr. R. S. Poole, that to write Egyptian required "a training in art.”. Some training of the kind was requisite
: in all cases, but, in the case of those who were receiving the best education, much more was necessary; for they were expected to "draw beautifully,” depicting each bird, and animal, and insect, and flower, with a firm sure hand, rapidly and artistically. Nor was the other form of writing known to the Egyptians in the age of Moses much easier of acquisition. The hieratic was a cursive writing based on the hieroglyphic, and scarcely to be learnt or read apart from it. Whether a knowledge of it was included in the general scheme of a liberal education, is unknown to us. But even if it were, the student's burthen would not have been much lightened, for the hieratic forms are not less numerous than the hieroglyphic, and in many cases so closely resemble each other as to lead to infinite difficulty and confusion.
it is said that, about the time of Moses, another language besides Egyptian was taught to students. “ The documents of the scribes of that age not only show by their accurate transliteration of Semitic words that the writers had a mastery of the foreign sounds they wrote ; but more than this, it was the fashion at this time to introduce Semitic words into the Egyptian language." As all educated Romans in the days of Cicero learnt Greek, and all Russians in the time of Alexander I. were
· R. Stuart Poole, “Cities of Egypt," p. 141.
· Ibid. p. 142