Sivut kuvina

between Sesostris and the gods. It celebrates the feats of arms of Sesostris in Africa, Asia, and Europe ; describing his victories over the inhabitants of Ethiopia, Syria, Arabia, Ionia, Scythia, and Bactria. These great achievements, it further informs us, were completed in the ninth year of his reign. Nor is there wanting confirmation in abundance on the walls of the temples of the exact truth of the narration contained in this extraordinary manuscript. The vast design on the walls of the cave of Ipsambul in Nubia relates the exploits of Sesostris in Mesopotamia, the Scripture name of

which, Naharaim,

is frequently repeated in the hiero

glyphic inscription that explains the picture.

The annexed plate is a composition from the part of this great picture which represents the attack of the Egyptian chariots

upon those of the Syrians. It is merely rendered intelligible by the aid of modern perspective: the costumes, the positions, and the groups, are all exact copies from the original. Much spirit and fire may be observed in the design of these reliefs ; but in the mechanical part of the execution, the monuments of the period are certainly inferior to those of an earlier date.

We take this opportunity of remarking, that the horse was only used in ancient Egypt for warlike purposes, yoked in the chariot. The art of riding the horse would appear by the monuments to have been unknown there in early times. It was probably of Scythian origin.

On the external wall of the palace at Luxor, we have also the details of the conquests of Sesostris to the north of Syria, in the vast regions which were included in ancient geography under the general name of Scythia. The hieroglyphic

name of this region is also composed of the same consonants, TOP. His exploits in Ethiopia, called after its Scripture designation, Cush, w were likewise once included in the same series of designs.

We can even verify the fact, that he caused tablets to be sculptured recording his exploits in the countries through which he passed. Such a tablet, bearing the hieroglyphic name of Sesostris, has been copied by Mr. Bonomi at Nahar el Kelb, near Beyroot, in Syria, and has been published in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature, vol. iii.

part 1.

The Greek historians also relate, that on his return from this expedition, he adorned Thebes and Memphis with temples and palaces, far surpassing in magnificence those of any other Pharaoh that either preceded or followed him, and that he also built a temple in every city of Egypt to their respective tutelary deities. The reader must not here be detained with the detail of the vast mass of monumental evidence, which establishes this historical fact beyond the possibility of doubt.* Suffice it to say that, both at Thebes and Memphis, the proofs of the splendour of the reign of Sesostris far surpass, in number and magnificence, those of any of his predecessors or successors.

This is also observable, in a large proportion of the other cities of Egypt and Nubia.

The annexed engraving represents a very common device on the propyla of temples erected by this monarch in Nubia. It represents the young Sesostris suckled by Isis, the protecting goddess of that country. The inscription reads,

* A superb collection of engravings from monuments erected by this monarch, will be found in Rosellini's great work, “I monumenti dell Egitto," M.R. plates 75 to 117.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Religious Tract Society, 56 Paternoster Row 1841

“The discourse of Isis the lady of Nubia ; we give thee recurrence of festivals” (length of days) “ with my milk pure life shall pass into thy members.”

The protection of the gods over the founders of the temples, and their participation in the nature of the divinities, were denoted by this device.

The Greek historians relate, that Sesostris did not allow a single Egyptian to be employed upon any of the public works he executed, but imposed this drudgery upon the prisoners of war whom he had taken. * The interesting relief from the tomb of Reksharé, has already shown us that such had been the practice with his predecessors in Egypt. Moreover, all representations of battles on the temples are concluded by a scene of triumph, in which the conqueror is represented dragging to the feet of the sanguinary demons, who as gods, sat upon the throne of God in the temples of Egypt, long lines of captives, whose physiognomies and

[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]
« EdellinenJatka »