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raneously in the remoter parts, established themselves at Thebes, and, by degrees, drove out the invaders, we cannot prove that Africanus is in error, in composing his seventeenth dynasty of cotemporaneous Theban and Shepherd Kings, although he is manifestly wrong in separately placing this race of conquerors fifteenth, instead of seventeenth, on his list. The concurring testimony of Africanus, Eusebius, and Josephus, exhibits the number and names of the eighteenth dynasty of Manetho. Champollion has, by means of hieroglyphic monuments, deciphered the royal titles, prenomina, and epithets of the same monarchs, the last of whom was the father of the famous Sesostris; this distinguished family are, then, at last, brought within the limits of authentic history, and with them the warlike race, with whom their fathers strove for the rule of the country, and whom they finally expelled. The very date of the conquest by the Shepherd Kings can be ascertained. Syncellus, a Byzantine historian, by reference to authorities existing in his day, but now no longer extant, places it in the six hundredth year of the Sothic period, that terminated in the reign of Menophres, in the year 1322 A. C. This great revolution, therefore, took place 2182 A. C., or nearly 700 years before the Exodus, and 477 before the entrance of Jacob into Egypt.
We have still stronger evidence than this authority, which, if not supported by other circumstances, might be considered as resting upon a weak basis, that the Shepherd Kings were not the Israelites. Monuments, erected by the early kings of the 18th dynasty, are still extant: upon them they are represented combating and conquering a nation, that the historic evidence we have adduced, shows to be no other than these invaders. They are portrayed with red hair, blue eyes, and a physiognomy totally distinct from any of the descendants of Abraham, and are evidently of a race which has disappeared from the vicinity of Egypt. Among those nations that are noted in sacred history, we find none with whom they can be identified, except the Amalekites, a nation of great strength as late as the time of Saul, and which, having attained eminence as early as the days of Abraham, was certainly not descended from him, as the coincidence of names has led some to believe. This people is styled the first of nations, in the expressive language of Balaam ; but, in conformity with his prophecy, has perished for ever. We have, as a corroboration of our view of this matter, the direct testimony of Arabian historians, that the Amalekites conquered Egypt, and governed it for several generations.*
Another authority for the chronology of Egyptian history, is to be found in an old chronicle, the outline of which has alone come down to us in the work of Syncellus. At first sight, it
* See Universal History, vol. 2. p. 113, 119, and 184.
appears to pretend to an antiquity beyond all credit, the sum of its thirty dynasties being stated at 36,525 years. On examination, however, we discover this to be an astronomic period, obtained by multiplying the Sothic cycle of 1461 Egyptian years, by their lunar cycle of 25 years. To fill up this period, 30,000 years are ascribed to the reign of the Sun, 3984 to that of Saturn and the other twelve gods, and 217 to the reigns of the demigods; only 2324 are, therefore, left for the reigns of mortal kings; and this period ends fifteen years before the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great; the whole duration, therefore, of the Egyptian government, is not extended, by this chronicle, beyond 2674 A. C.
From the work of Manetho, this ancient chronicle, and other authorities extant in his day, Syncellus has compiled a series of 93 Egyptian Kings; of these the first of the Shepherd race is the 26th, and Rhameses, or Sesostris, the 47th; the duration of their reigns is altered by him to suit his own particular views; and we can therefore refer to it only for the order of succession.
Another authority, that may be merely mentioned, is Eratosthenes, who is said to have compiled a list of 96 Theban Kings, the names and reigns of the first 38 of whom have been preserved by Syncellus. These kings differ totally, in name, from those given by the other authors we have quoted. It has hence been imagined, by some, that the kings named by Syncellus reigned in Lower Egypt, cotemporaneously with those named by Eratosthenes as reigning at Thebes. The hieroglyphics deciphered by Champollion show this to be false ; and we are hence compelled to reject the authority of Eratosthenes altogether.
Such, then, are the scanty materials for Egyptian history, that have come down to our day,—discrepant in themselves, obscure in their indications, loaded and rendered suspicious by the fables of priests, and the attempts of an humbled and conquered nation to exaggerate the importance and antiquity of their forefathers. We have, by the sure and unquestionable methods of astronomy, fixed the earliest date, to which, by their own showing, the antiquity of the settlement of Egypt can be carried back, and thus made use of their own evidence to strip them of their exaggerated pretensions. We have next, by means of the authorities quoted by Champollion Figeac, fixed the date of the conquest of Egypt by the Shepherd Kings, and proved that they were not the Israelites, but earlier than the days of Abraham, the progenitor of that people. This race held the government of Egypt at the time that he visited it, but was expelled before the time of Joseph. We bere see the remarkable fact explained, that the King of Egypt, in Abraham's days, should have received him with cordiality, although a shepherd, while the brethren of Joseph were an abomination to the Egyptians, for that very reason.
To connect, compare, and verify these scanty and often contradictory materials, Champollion has had recourse to monuments of different descriptions, recently removed from Egypt, and deposited in the museums of Europe, or still existing in the former country, and of which copies have been furnished by recent travellers. The most remarkable of these is the Table of Abydos, first discovered and copied by Mr. Salt, but whose discovery is also claimed by Caillaud. This series of sculptures appears to represent the genealogy of the great Sesostris. The examination of this curious document, by Champollion, has resulted in the full confirmation of the veracity of Manetho in relation to his 18th dynasty. The number of reigns, and many of the names, given in the extracts made from his chronicle, by Eusebius, Africanus, and Josephus, from Amosis to Sesostris, are found identically repeated on this remarkable monument. Some of the names have, however, been found to vary from those given by Manetho, but not in such a way as to impair the confidence in his veracity, arising from the other coincidences. Indeed, such was the varicty of epithets and titles attributed to each of them, that the proper name appears, in many cases, to have been lost under their accumulation; and the sovereign has become known to posterity only by some of these agnomina. From this arises much of the uncertainty of the history of this period. The identity of the persons even of some of the most remarkable of the Kings can hardly be detected in the Greek of Herodotus and Diodorus, while it becomes entirely hidden when they are compared with the dynasties of Manetho. In this table, Champollion has succeeded in identifying the famous names of Moris, Memnon, or Amenophis, and, finally, Sesostris; their succession is clearly shown, while the length of their reigns is given within reasonable limits of accuracy, in the several extracts from Manetho, of which we have spoken. Could the date of the accession of Sesostris be ascertained, as we may consider that of the conquest by the Shepherd Kings to be determined from the chronology of Syncellus, the duration of these two dynasties, the last of which corresponds with the most flourishing period of Egyptian history, will be determined, and the precise place they are to hold in the scale of time. We ventured, in a former Number, to suggest, upon the authority of the extract in Josephus, that Sesostris was the successor of the Pharaoh under whose reign the Exodus of the Israelites took place. This we have since found to be completely established by Champollion Figeac, in a paper appended to the second letter of the younger Champollion to the Duke de Blacas d'Aulps. This determination is founded upon the length of reigns given by Josephus, and the date assigned to the beginning of that
Sothic cycle which terminated in the year 138 A. D. This cycle is said to have commenced in the reign of Menophres. Champollion Figeac has identified him with the third king in succession from Sesostris. By applying the length of the intervening reigns, it will appear that the date of the accession of this famous monarch could not have been earlier than 1466 A. C., nor later than 1523. Having restricted it to these limits, within which the Exodus occurred, we are warranted in employing, for the purpose of obtaining precision, the collateral testimony of Manetho, as given in Josephus, and to place the close of the reign of his father and predecessor in the year 1495 A. C., the year of the Exodus, according to our determination ; and his own succession, after an interregnum of thirteen years, in 1482 A. C. The national vanity of the Egyptians led them to hide the terrible judgment to which this interregnum was owing. Instead of admitting the destruction of their obstinate monarch and his host in the waters of the Red Sea, they represent him as taking shipping upon it for Ethiopia, and abandoning his kingdom to his enemies. These enemies, however, were not the Israelites. It appears, that upon, or immediately after the Exodus, their ancient oppressors, the Shepherds, or Hykschos, who had, although driven out of the valley of Egypt, never ceased to wage war with its inhabitants, and had never removed to any great distance from its borders, took advantage of the distressed condition of the country, to make an inroad, by which the young Sesostris was driven beyond the Cataracts. -Thirteen years elapsed before he succeeded in entirely expelling them, and recovering the whole of his hereditary empire. In this long and arduous struggle, we see the cause of his subsequent victories:—an army constantly on foot, and engaged in perpetual hostilities, must have acquired such military skill and discipline, as to be irresistible, when opposed only by the luxurious inhabitants of the eastern empires. When we consider the rapidity of the conquests of Alexander, we need not hesitate to credit the exploits of Sesostris. Eight years were employed by him in his expedition, and on his return, he found the government of Egypt usurped by his brother Armais, the Danaus of the Greeks. This last, flying from the consequences of his treason, carried the arts of the Egyptians into Greece. Eight years before the arrival of Danaus in Argos, Cadmus, probably to escape the arms of Sesostris, came from Phenicia into Greece, bringing with him letters. Thus then we see, in this remarkable era, one of the most important passages in the history of mankind illustrated: by the introduction of arts and letters into Greece, there to be improved and cultivated to the utmost degree of perfection; by the colonization of India by the soldiers and priests left there by Sesostris;* and, finally, by
* The books of the Hindoos still speak of the Nile, Egypt, and the early his.
the Exodus of the Israelites, to conquer and possess, after 40 years of painful pilgrimage, the land, promised more that 400 years before to their great progenitor, there to keep alive the knowledge of the true God, and preserve the succession of his oracles until the fulness of time, when, by his Messiah, he was to be manifested to the Gentiles.
Cadmus is represented, by the Greek historians, as of Egyptian origin, and even nearly related to Sesostris himself. We conceive this, however, to have arisen from their being both represented as of divine origin. Be this as it may, the letters introduced by Cadmus were not Egyptian, but Phenician, and originally identical in name, and probably in figure, with the Hebrew characters. In the names of the Greek letters, we find the link that carries back our alphabetic writing to an origin similar to that of the phonetic characters of hieroglyphic writing. We still, in the Hebrew letters, with but two exceptions, find the names of physical objects, whose first simple sound is that to be expressed by the literal character, and in their form a resemblance, as close as that existing in the Demotic alphabet of the Egyptians, to the visible form of the physical object. It is, in truth, an application of the same principle to a different language, accompanied by the restriction, that but one symbol was retained for each simple sound. In the discovery of Champollion, then, we not only find an opening to important historic researches, but the decision of the long-disputed question of the origin of alphabetic writing
The name of the great benefactor to whom our race is indebted for this inestimable gift, has penetrated to us through the mists of antiquity, and has received divine honours from nations most widely distributed--the evidence of their generous but mistaken gratitude. Under the several names of Thoth, Taut, Theutath, Hermes, and Mercury, Athothis, the second king of Egypt, the son of Menes, held different ranks from the very highest in the mythology of Egypt, Phenicia, Greece, Rome, Germany, Gaul, and Britain ; and was venerated as the inventor of numbers, geometry, astronomy, and letters. If in times of ignorance, the elevation of the creature to the homage due only to the Creator, can admit of excuse, there is no case that admits of such palliation as this, the promotion of one of the greatest mortal benefactors of our species to the honours of a divinity.
Among the kings of the eighteenth dynasty, who would have been cotemporary with the residence of the children of Israel in Egypt, is one whose name, as deciphered by Champol
tory of that country, and soldiers of the sacerdotal caste, recognised in the sculptures of the temple of Denderah, their own sacred symbols, during the expedition of General Baird to aid in expelling the French from Egypt.