History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 2 (of 12)
by G. Maspero
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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 France

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.







The cemeteries of Gizeh and Saqqara: 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 death.

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 corvee—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.


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 Fayum 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 Gizeh 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 existence.

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 Saqqara, there is a temple of gigantic proportions in the shape of a 'mastaba.'The inhabitants of the neighbourhood call it 'Mastabat-el-Faraoun,' 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 Saqqara plateau, are more or less miniature copies of the 'Mastabat-el- Faraoun.'Hence the name of mastabas, which has always been given to this kind of tomb, in the necropolis of Saqqara."

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 facade 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 Sabu 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 Papu is only 19 ft. 4 in. by 29 ft. long, and that of KMbiuphtah 42 ft. 4 in. by 21 ft. 8 in.

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 Emil 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 Debats.

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 Pirsenu is 17 deg. east of the magnetic north. In some cases the divergence is only 1 deg. or 2 deg., more often it is 6 deg., 7 deg., 8 deg., or 9 deg., 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 Amentit, 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 Uagait, at the great fire festival, at the procession of the god Minu, 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 Phtahshopsisu, 10 ft. 4 in. by 3 ft. 7 in.

** The mastaba of Tinti has four chambers, as has also that of Assi-onkhu; 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 Ankhaftuka. A few, however, were constructed from the outset with all their apartments—that of Raonkhumai, with six chambers and several niches; that of Khabiuphtah, 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 Phtahhotpu, with seven chambers, besides niches.

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

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.

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 enumerated.

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 landowner.

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 Gizeh 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 Etudes de Mythologie et Archeologie Egyptiennes, 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 Gizeh they follow a symmetrical plan, and line the sides of regular roads; at Saqqara 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 Ra through the intervening kings, the successors of the gods who ruled the two worlds. His father before him was "Son of Ra," as was also his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, and so through all his ancestors, until from "son of Ra" to "son of Ra" they at last reached Ra 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 Ra, 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, Usirkaf, Sahuri, and Kakiu, were children born to Ra, lord of Sakhibu, by Ruditdidit, 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.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Gay et. The king is Amenothes 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 Mut.

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 Ra," 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, Uznasit 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—"Khafri," his rising is Ra; "Men-kauhoru," the doubles of Horus last for ever; "Usirkeri," the double of Ra is omnipotent. Sometimes the sentence is shortened, and the name of the god is understood: as for instance, "Usirkaf," his double is omnipotent; "Snofmi," he has made me good; "Khufiii," he has protected me, are put for the names "Usirkeri," "Ptahsnofrui," "Khnumkhufui," with the suppression of Ra, Phtah, and Khnurnu.

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 Ra in his journey, and over which Pharaoh, because he is a son of Ra, exercises his rule. When the names of Teti or Snofrui, 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—"Horu nib-maifc," Horus master of Truth; "Horu miri-toui," Horus friend of both lands; "Horu nibkhauu," Horus master of the risings; "Horu maziti," 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 chief.

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 facade 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.

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 Gizeh; it reads "Horu usir-Haiti," 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, "Miriri," or that the latter experienced for him, "Mirniri," or else it indicates the stability of the doubles of Ra, "Tatkeri," their goodness, "Nofirkeri," 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.

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 Nofirkeri," sometimes before it, as in [—] "Nofirkeri Papi." 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 eternity.

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 Harmhabit 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, "Pirui-Aui," the Double Palace, "Pruiti," 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 "Honuf" 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 Rouge.

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 Ra, 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.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from the engraving in Prisse d'Avennes, Recherches sur les legendes royales et l'epoque du regne de Schai ou Scherai, in the Revue Archeologique, 1st series, vol. ii. p. 467. The original is now preserved in the Bibliotheque 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 Sit, "Children of Euin," who, sooner or later, would be overtaken by punishment.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Insinger. The picture represents Khamhait presenting the superintendents of storehouses to Tutankhamon, 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 pshent. The viper or uraeus, in metal or gilded wood, which rose from his forehead, was imbued with a mysterious life, which made it a means of executing his vengeance and accomplishing his secret purposes. It was supposed to vomit flames and to destroy those who should dare to attack its master in battle. The supernatural virtues which it communicated to the crown, made it an enchanted thing which no one could resist. Lastly, Pharaoh had his temples where his enthroned statue, animated by one of his doubles, received worship, prophesied, and fulfilled all the functions of a Divine Being, both during his life, and after he had rejoined in the tomb his ancestors the gods, who existed before him and who now reposed impassively within the depths of their pyramids.**

* This identification, suggested by Champollion, is, from force of custom, still adhered to, in nearly all works on Egyptology. But we know from ancient evidence that the cucupha was a bird, perhaps a hoopoe; the sceptre of the gods, moreover, is really surmounted by the head of a quadruped having a pointed snout and long retreating ears, and belonging to the greyhound, jackal, or jerboa species.

** This method of distinguishing deceased kings is met with as far back as the "Song of the Harpist," which the Egyptians of the Ramesside period attributed to the founder of the XIth dynasty. The first known instance of a temple raised by an Egyptian king to his double is that of Amenothes III.

Man, as far as his body was concerned, and god in virtue of his soul and its attributes, the Pharaoh, in right of this double nature, acted as a constant mediator between heaven and earth. He alone was fit to transmit the prayers of men to his fathers and his brethren the gods. Just as the head of a family was in his household the priest par excellence of the gods of that family,—just as the chief of a nome was in his nome the priest par excellence in regard to the gods of the nome,—so was Pharaoh the priest par excellence of the gods of all Egypt, who were his special deities. He accompanied their images in solemn processions; he poured out before them the wine and mystic milk, recited the formulas in their hearing, seized the bull who was the victim with a lasso and slaughtered it according to the rite consecrated by ancient tradition. Private individuals had recourse to his intercession, when they asked some favour from on high; as, however, it was impossible for every sacrifice to pass actually through his hands, the celebrating priest proclaimed at the beginning of each ceremony that it was the king who made the offering—Sutni di hotpu—he and none other, to Osiris, Phtah, and Ka-Harmakhis, so that they might grant to the faithful who implored the object of their desires, and, the declaration being accepted in lieu of the act, the king was thus regarded as really officiating on every occasion for his subjects.*

*I do not agree with Prof. Ed. Meyer, or with Prof. Erman, who imagine that this was the first instance of the practice, and that it had been introduced into Nubia before its adoption on Egyptian soil. Under the Ancient Empire we meet with more than one functionary who styles himself, in some cases during his master's lifetime, in others shortly after his death, "Prophet of Horus who lives in the palace," or "Prophet of Kheops," "Prophet of Sondi," "Prophet of Kheops, of Mykerinos, of Usirkaf," or "of other sovereigns."

He thus maintained daily intercourse with the gods, and they, on their part, did not neglect any occasion of communicating with him. They appeared to him in dreams to foretell his future, to command him to restore a monument which was threatened with ruin, to advise him to set out to war, to forbid him risking his life in the thick of the fight.*

* Among other examples, the texts mention the dream in which Thutmosis IV., while still a royal prince, received from Phra-Harmakhis orders to unearth the Great Sphinx, the dream in which Phtah forbids Minephtah to take part in the battle against the peoples of the sea, that by which Tonuatamon, King of Napata, is persuaded to undertake the conquest of Egypt. Herodotus had already made us familiar with the dreams of Sabaco and of the high priest Sethos.

Communication by prophetic dreams was not, however, the method usually selected by the gods: they employed as interpreters of their wishes the priests and the statues in the temples. The king entered the chapel where the statue was kept, and performed in its presence the invocatory rites, and questioned it upon the subject which occupied his mind. The priest replied under direct inspiration from on high, and the dialogue thus entered upon might last a long time. Interminable discourses, whose records cover the walls of the Theban temples, inform us what the Pharaoh said on such occasions, and in what emphatic tones the gods replied. Sometimes the animated statues raised their voices in the darkness of the sanctuary and themselves announced their will; more frequently they were content to indicate it by a gesture. When they were consulted on some particular subject and returned no sign, it was their way of signifying their disapprobation. If, on the other hand, they significantly bowed their head, once or twice, the subject was an acceptable one, and they approved it. No state affair was settled without asking their advice, and without their giving it in one way or another.

The monuments, which throw full light on the supernatural character of the Pharaohs in general, tell us but little of the individual disposition of any king in particular, or of their everyday life. When by chance we come into closer intimacy for a moment with the sovereign, he is revealed to us as being less divine and majestic than we might have been led to believe, had we judged him only by his impassive expression and by the pomp with which he was surrounded in public. Not that he ever quite laid aside his grandeur; even in his home life, in his chamber or his garden, during those hours when he felt himself withdrawn from public gaze, those highest in rank might never forget when they approached him that he was a god. He showed himself to be a kind father, a good-natured husband,* ready to dally with his wives and caress them on the cheek as they offered him a flower, or moved a piece upon the draught-board.

* As a literary example of what the conduct of a king was like in his family circle, we may quote the description of King Minibphtah, in the story of Satni-Khamois. The pictures of the tombs at Tel-el-Amarna show us the intimate terms on which King Khuniaton lived with his wife and daughters, both big and little.

He took an interest in those who waited on him, allowed them certain breaches of etiquette when he was pleased with them, and was indulgent to their little failings. If they had just returned from foreign lands, a little countrified after a lengthy exile from the court, he would break out into pleasantries over their embarrassment and their unfashionable costume,—kingly pleasantries which excited the forced mirth of the bystanders, but which soon fell flat and had no meaning for those outside the palace. The Pharaoh was fond of laughing and drinking; indeed, if we may believe evil tongues, he took so much at times as to incapacitate him for business. The chase was not always a pleasure to him, hunting in the desert, at least, where the lions evinced a provoking tendency to show as little respect for the divinity of the prince as for his mortal subjects; but, like the chiefs of old, he felt it a duty to his people to destroy wild beasts, and he ended by counting the slain in hundreds, however short his reign might be.*

*Amenothes III. had killed as many as a hundred and two lions during the first ten years of his reign.

A considerable part of his time was taken up in war—in the east, against the Libyans in the regions of the Oasis; in the Nile Valley to the south of Aswan against the Nubians; on the Isthmus of Suez and in the Sinaitic Peninsula against the Bedouin; frequently also in a civil war against some ambitious noble or some turbulent member of his own family. He travelled frequently from south to north, and from north to south, leaving in every possible place marked traces of his visits—on the rocks of Elephantine and of the first cataract, on those of Silsilis or of El-Kab, and he appeared to his vassals as Tumu himself arisen among them to repress injustice and disorder. He restored or enlarged the monuments, regulated equitably the assessment of taxes and charges, settled or dismissed the lawsuits between one town and another concerning the appropriation of the water, or the possession of certain territories, distributed fiefs which had fallen vacant, among his faithful servants, and granted pensions to be paid out of the royal revenues.*

* These details are not found on the historical monuments, but are furnished to us by the description given in "The Book of Knowledge of what there is in the other world" of the course of the sun across the domain of the hours of night; the god is there described as a Pharaoh passing through his kingdom, and all that he does for his vassals, the dead, is identical with what Pharaoh was accustomed to do for his subjects, the living.

At length he re-entered Memphis, or one of his usual residences, where fresh labours awaited him. He gave audience daily to all, whether high or low, who were, or believed that they were, wronged by some official, and who came to appeal to the justice of the master against the injustice of his servant. If he quitted the palace when the cause had been heard, to take boat or to go to the temple, he was not left undisturbed, but petitions and supplications assailed him by the way. In addition to this, there were the daily sacrifices, the despatch of current affairs, the ceremonies which demanded the presence of the Pharaoh, and the reception of nobles or foreign envoys. One would think that in the midst of so many occupations he would never feel time hang heavy on his hands. He was, however, a prey to that profound ennui which most Oriental monarchs feel so keenly, and which neither the cares nor the pleasures of ordinary life could dispel. Like the Sultans of the "Arabian Nights," the Pharaohs were accustomed to have marvellous tales related to them, or they assembled their councillors to ask them to suggest some fresh amusement: a happy thought would sometimes strike one of them, as in the case of him who aroused the interest of Snofrui by recommending him to have his boat manned by young girls barely clad in large-meshed network.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin.

All his pastimes were not so playful. The Egyptians by nature were not cruel, and we have very few records either in history or tradition of bloodthirsty Pharaohs; but the life of an ordinary individual was of so little value in their eyes, that they never hesitated to sacrifice it, even for a caprice. A sorcerer had no sooner boasted before Kheops of being able to raise the dead, than the king proposed that he should try the experiment on a prisoner whose head was to be forthwith cut off. The anger of Pharaoh was quickly excited, and once aroused, became an all-consuming fire; the Egyptians were wont to say, in describing its intensity, "His Majesty became as furious as a panther." The wild beast often revealed itself in the half-civilized man.

The royal family was very numerous. The women were principally chosen from the relatives of court officials of high rank, or from the daughters of the great feudal lords; there were, however, many strangers among them, daughters or sisters of petty Libyan, Nubian, or Asiatic kings; they were brought into Pharaoh's house as hostages for the submission of their respective peoples. They did not all enjoy the same treatment or consideration, and their original position decided their status in the harem, unless the amorous caprice of their master should otherwise decide. Most of them remained merely concubines for life, others were raised to the rank of "royal spouses," and at least one received the title and privileges of "great spouse," or queen. This was rarely accorded to a stranger, but almost always to a princess born in the purple, a daughter of Ra, if possible a sister of the Pharaoh, and who, inheriting in the same degree and in equal proportion the flesh and blood of the Sun-god, had, more than others, the right to share the bed and throne of her brother.*

* It would seem that Queen Mirisonkhu, wife of Khephren, was the daughter of Kheops, and consequently her husband's sister.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, after Lepsius. The king is Amenothes III. (XVIIIth. dynasty).

She had her own house, and a train of servants and followers as large as those of the king; while the women of inferior rank were more or less shut up in the parts of the palace assigned to them, she came and went at pleasure, and appeared in public with or without her husband. The preamble of official documents in which she is mentioned, solemnly recognizes her as the living follower of Horus, the associate of the Lord of the Vulture and the Uraeus, the very gentle, the very praiseworthy, she who sees her Horus, or Horus and Sit, face to face. Her union with the god-king rendered her a goddess, and entailed upon her the fulfilment of all the duties which a goddess owed to a god. They were varied and important. The woman, indeed, was supposed to combine in herself more completely than a man the qualities necessary for the exercise of magic, whether legitimate or otherwise: she saw and heard that which the eyes and ears of man could not perceive; her voice, being more flexible and piercing, was heard at greater distances; she was by nature mistress of the art of summoning or banishing invisible beings. While Pharaoh was engaged in sacrificing, the queen, by her incantations, protected him from malignant deities, whose interest it was to divert the attention of the celebrant from holy things: she put them to flight by the sound of prayer and sistrum, she poured libations and offered perfumes and flowers. In processions she walked behind her husband, gave audience with him, governed for him while he was engaged in foreign wars, or during his progresses through his kingdom: such was the work of Isis while her brother Osiris was conquering the world. Widowhood did not always entirely disqualify her. If she belonged to the solar race, and the new sovereign was a minor, she acted as regent by hereditary right, and retained the authority for some years longer.*

* The best-known of these queen regencies is that which occurred during the minority of Thutmosis III., about the middle of the XVIIIth dynasty. Queen Tuau also appears to have acted as regent for her son Ramses II. during his first Syrian campaigns.

It occasionally happened that she had no posterity, or that the child of another woman inherited the crown. In that case there was no law or custom to prevent a young and beautiful widow from wedding the son, and thus regaining her rank as Queen by a marriage with the successor of her deceased husband. It was in this manner that, during the earlier part of the IVth dynasty, the Princess Mirtittefsi ingratiated herself successively in the favour of Snofrui and Kheops.* Such a case did not often arise, and a queen who had once quitted the throne had but little chance of again ascending it. Her titles, her duties, her supremacy over the rest of the family, passed to a younger rival: formerly she had been the active companion of the king, she now became only the nominal spouse of the god,** and her office came to an end when the god, of whom she had been the goddess, quitting his body, departed heavenward to rejoin his father the Sun on the far-distant horizon.

Children swarmed in the palace, as in the houses of private individuals: in spite of the number who died in infancy, they were reckoned by tens, sometimes by the hundred, and more than one Pharaoh must have been puzzled to remember exactly the number and names of his offspring.***

* M. de Rouge was the first to bring this fact to light in his Becherches sur les monuments qu'on peut attribuer aux six premieres dynasties de Manethon, pp. 36-38. Mirtittefsi also lived in the harem of Khephren, but the title which connects her with this king—Amahhit, the vassal—proves that she was then merely a nominal wife; she was probably by that time, as M. de Rouge says, of too advanced an age to remain the favourite of a third Pharaoh.

** The title of "divine spouse" is not, so far as we know at present, met with prior to the XVIIIth dynasty. It was given to the wife of a living monarch, and was retained by her after his death; the divinity to whom it referred was no other than the king himself.

*** This was probably so in the case of the Pharaoh Ramses II., more than one hundred and fifty of whose children, boys and girls, are known to us, and who certainly had others besides of whom we know nothing.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a bas-relief in the temple of Ibsambul: Nofritari shakes behind Ramses II. two sistra, on which are representations of the head of Hathor.

The origin and rank of their mothers greatly influenced the condition of the children. No doubt the divine blood which they took from a common father raised them all above the vulgar herd but those connected with the solar line on the maternal side occupied a decidedly much higher position than the rest: as long as one of these was living, none of his less nobly-born brothers might aspire to the crown.*

* Proof of this fact is furnished us, in so far as the XVIIIth dynasty is concerned, by the history of the immediate successors of Thutmosis I., the Pharaohs Thutmosis IL, Thutmosis III., Queen Hatshopsitu, Queen Mutnofrit, and Isis, concubine of Thutmosis IL and mother of Thutmosis III.

Those princesses who did not attain to the rank of queen by marriage, were given in early youth to some well-to-do relative, or to some courtier of high descent whom Pharaoh wished to honour; they filled the office of priestesses to the goddesses Nit or Hathor, and bore in their households titles which they transmitted to their children, with such rights to the crown as belonged to them. The most favoured of the princes married an heiress rich in fiefs, settled on her domain, and founded a race of feudal lords. Most of the royal sons remained at court, at first in their father's service and subsequently in that of their brothers' or nephews': the most difficult and best remunerated functions of the administration were assigned to them, the superintendence of public works, the important offices of the priesthood, the command of the army. It could have been no easy matter to manage without friction this multitude of relations and connections, past and present queens, sisters, concubines, uncles, brothers, cousins, nephews, sons and grandsons of kings who crowded the harem and the palace. The women contended among themselves for the affection of the master, on behalf of themselves or their children. The children were jealous of one another, and had often no bond of union except a common hatred for the son whom the chances of birth had destined to be their ruler. As long as he was full of vigour and energy, Pharaoh maintained order in his family; but when his advancing years and failing strength betokened an approaching change in the succession, competition showed itself more openly, and intrigue thickened around him or around his nearest heirs. Sometimes, indeed, he took precautions to prevent an outbreak and its disastrous consequences, by solemnly associating with himself in the royal power the son he had chosen to succeed him: Egypt in this case had to obey two masters, the younger of whom attended to the more active duties of royalty, such as progresses through the country, the conducting of military expeditions, the hunting of wild beasts, and the administration of justice; while the other preferred to confine himself to the role of adviser or benevolent counsellor. Even this precaution, however, was insufficient to prevent disasters. The women of the seraglio, encouraged from without by their relations or friends, plotted secretly for the removal of the irksome sovereign.* Those princes who had been deprived by their father's decision of any legitimate hope of reigning, concealed their discontent to no purpose; they were arrested on the first suspicion of disloyalty, and were massacred wholesale; their only chance of escaping summary execution was either by rebellion** or by taking refuge with some independent tribe of Libya or of the desert of Sinai.

* The passage of the Uni inscription, in which mention is made of a lawsuit carried on against Queen Amitsi, probably refers to some harem conspiracy. The celebrated lawsuit, some details of which are preserved for us in a papyrus of Turin, gives us some information in regard to a conspiracy which was hatched in the harem against Ramses II.

** A passage in the "Instructions of Amenemhait" describes in somewhat obscure terms an attack on the palace by conspirators, and the wars which followed their undertaking.

Did we but know the details of the internal history of Egypt, it would appear to us as stormy and as bloody as that of other Oriental empires: intrigues of the harem, conspiracies in the palace, murders of heirs-apparent, divisions and rebellions in the royal family, were the almost inevitable accompaniment of every accession to the Egyptian throne.

The earliest dynasties had their origin in the "White Wall," but the Pharaohs hardly ever made this town their residence, and it would be incorrect to say that they considered it as their capital; each king chose for himself in the Memphite or Letopolite nome, between the entrance to the Fayuni and the apex of the Delta, a special residence, where he dwelt with his court, and from whence he governed Egypt. Such a multitude as formed his court needed not an ordinary palace, but an entire city. A brick wall, surmounted by battlements, formed a square or rectangular enclosure around it, and was of sufficient thickness and height not only to defy a popular insurrection or the surprises of marauding Bedouin, but to resist for a long time a regular siege. At the extreme end of one of its facades, was a single tall and narrow opening, closed by a wooden door supported on bronze hinges, and surmounted with a row of pointed metal ornaments; this opened into a long narrow passage between the external wall and a partition wall of equal strength; at the end of the passage in the angle was a second door, sometimes leading into a second passage, but more often opening into a large courtyard, where the dwelling-houses were somewhat crowded together: assailants ran the risk of being annihilated in the passage before reaching the centre of the place.* The royal residence could be immediately distinguished by the projecting balconies on its facade, from which, as from a tribune, Pharaoh could watch the evolutions of his guard, the stately approach of foreign envoys, Egyptian nobles seeking audience, or such officials as he desired to reward for their services. They advanced from the far end of the court, stopped before the balcony, and after prostrating themselves stood up, bowed their heads, wrung and twisted their hands, now quickly, now slowly, in a rhythmical manner, and rendered worship to their master, chanting his praises, before receiving the necklaces and jewels of gold which he presented to them by his chamberlains, or which he himself deigned to fling to them.**

* No plan or exact drawing of any of the palaces of the Ancient Empire has come down to us, but, as Erman has very justly pointed out, the signs found in contemporary inscriptions give us a good general idea of them. The doors which lead from one of the hours of the night to another, in the "Book of the Other World," show us the double passage leading to the courtyard. The hieroglyph [—] gives us the name Uoskhit (literally, the broad [place]) of the courtyard on to which the passage opened, at the end of which the palace and royal judgment-seat (or, in the other world, the tribunal of Osiris, the court of the double truth) were situated.

** The ceremonial of these receptions is not represented on any monuments with which we are at present acquainted, prior to the XVIIIth dynasty.

It is difficult for us to catch a glimpse of the detail of the internal arrangements: we find, however, mention made of large halls "resembling the hall of Atumu in the heavens," whither the king repaired to deal with state affairs in council, to dispense justice and sometimes also to preside at state banquets. Long rows of tall columns, carved out of rare woods and painted with bright colours, supported the roofs of these chambers, which were entered by doors inlaid with gold and silver, and incrusted with malachite or lapis-lazuli.*

* This is the description of the palace of Amon built by Ramses III. Ramses II. was seated in one of these halls, on a throne of gold, when he deliberated with his councillors in regard to the construction of a cistern in the desert for the miners who were going to the gold-mines of Akiti. The room in which the king stopped, after leaving his apartments, for the purpose of putting on his ceremonial dress and receiving the homage of his ministers, appears to me to have been called during the Ancient Empire "Pi-dait" —"The House of Adoration," the house in which the king was worshipped, as in temples of the Ptolemaic epoch, was that in which the statue of the god, on leaving the sanctuary, was dressed and worshipped by the faithful. Sinuhit, under the XIIth dynasty, was granted an audience in the "Hall of Electrum."

The private apartments, the "akhonuiti," were entirely separate, but they communicated with the queen's dwelling and with the harem of the wives of inferior rank. The "royal children" occupied a quarter to themselves, under the care of their tutors; they had their own houses and a train of servants proportionate to their rank, age, and the fortune of their mother's family. The nobles who had appointments at court and the royal domestics lived in the palace itself, but the offices of the different functionaries, the storehouses for their provisions, the dwellings of their employes, formed distinct quarters outside the palace, grouped around narrow courts, and communicating with each other by a labyrinth of lanes or covered passages. The entire building was constructed of wood or bricks, less frequently of roughly dressed stone, badly built, and wanting in solidity. The ancient Pharaohs were no more inclined than the Sultans of later days to occupy palaces in which their predecessors had lived and died. Each king desired to possess a habitation after his own heart, one which would not be haunted by the memory, or perchance the double, of another sovereign. These royal mansions, hastily erected, hastily filled with occupants, were vacated and fell into ruin with no less rapidity: they grew old with their master, or even more rapidly than he, and his disappearance almost always entailed their ruin. In the neighbourhood of Memphis many of these palaces might be seen, which their short-lived masters had built for eternity, an eternity which did not last longer than the lives of their builders.*

Nothing could present a greater variety than the population of these ephemeral cities in the climax of their splendour. We have first the people who immediately surrounded the Pharaoh,** the retainers of the palace and of the harem, whose highly complex degrees of rank are revealed to us on the monuments.*** His person was, as it were, minutely subdivided into departments, each requiring its attendants and their appointed chiefs.

* The song of the harp-player on the tomb of King Antuf contains an allusion to these ruined palaces: "The gods [kings] who were of yore, and who repose in their tombs, mummies and manes, all buried alike in their pyramids, when castles are built they no longer have a place in them; see, thus it is done with them! I have heard the poems in praise of Imhotpu and of Hardidif which are sung in the songs, and yet, see, where are their places to-day? their walls are destroyed, their places no more, as though they have never existed!"

** They are designated by the general terms of Shonitiu, the "people of the circle," and Qonbitiu, the "people of the corner." These words are found in religious inscriptions referring to the staff of the temples, and denote the attendants or court of each god; they are used to distinguish the notables of a town or borough, the sheikhs, who enjoyed the right to superintend local administration and dispense justice.

*** The Egyptian scribes had endeavoured to draw up an hierarchical list of these offices. At present we possess the remains of two lists of this description. One of these, preserved in the "Hood Papyrus" in the British Museum, has been published and translated by Maspero, in Etudes Egyptiennes, vol. ii. pp. 1-66; another and more complete copy, discovered in 1890, is in the possession of M. Golenischeff. The other list, also in the British Museum, was published by Prof. Petrie in a memoir of The Egypt Exploration Fund ; in this latter the names and titles are intermingled with various other matter. To these two works may be added the lists of professions and trades to be found passim on the monuments, and which have been commented on by Brugsch.

His toilet alone gave employment to a score of different trades. There were royal barbers, who had the privilege of shaving his head and chin; hairdressers who made, curled, and put on his black or blue wigs and adjusted the diadems to them; there were manicurists who pared and polished his nails, perfumers who prepared the scented oils and pomades for the anointing of his body, the kohl for blackening his eyelids, the rouge for spreading on his lips and cheeks. His wardrobe required a whole troop of shoemakers, belt-makers, and tailors, some of whom had the care of stuffs in the piece, others presided over the body-linen, while others took charge of his garments, comprising long or short, transparent or thick petticoats, fitting tightly to the hips or cut with ample fulness, draped mantles and flowing pelisses. Side by side with these officials, the laundresses plied their trade, which was an important one among a people devoted to white, and in whose estimation want of cleanliness in dress entailed religious impurity. Like the fellahin of the present time, they took their linen daily to wash in the river; they rinsed, starched, smoothed, and pleated it without intermission to supply the incessant demands of Pharaoh and his family.*

* The "royal laundrymen" and their chiefs are mentioned in the Conte des deux freres under the XIXth dynasty, as well as their laundries on the banks of the Nile.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin from a squeeze taken at Saqqara in 1878 by Mariette

The task of those set over the jewels was no easy one, when we consider the enormous variety of necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings, and sceptres of rich workmanship which ceremonial costume required for particular times and occasions. The guardianship of the crowns almost approached to the dignity of the priesthood; for was not the uraeus, which ornamented each one, a living goddess? The queen required numerous waiting-women, and the same ample number of attendants were to be encountered in the establishments of the other ladies of the harem. Troops of musicians, singers, dancers, and almehs whiled away the tedious hours, supplemented by buffoons and dwarfs. The great Egyptian lords evinced a curious liking for these unfortunate beings, and amused themselves by getting together the ugliest and most deformed creatures. They are often represented on the tombs beside their masters in company with his pet dog, or a gazelle, or with a monkey which they sometimes hold in leash, or sometimes are engaged in teasing. Sometimes the Pharaoh bestowed his friendship on his dwarfs, and confided to them occupations in his household. One of them, Khnumhotpu, died superintendent of the royal linen. The staff of servants required for supplying the table exceeded all the others in number. It could scarcely be otherwise if we consider that the master had to provide food, not only for his regular servants,* but for all those of his employes and subjects whose business brought them to the royal residence: even those poor wretches who came to complain to him of some more or less imaginary grievance were fed at his expense while awaiting his judicial verdict. Head-cooks, butlers, pantlers, pastrycooks, fishmongers, game or fruit dealers—if all enumerated, would be endless. The bakers who baked the ordinary bread were not to be confounded with those who manufactured biscuits. The makers of pancakes and dough-nuts took precedence of the cake-bakers, and those who concocted delicate fruit preserves ranked higher than the common dryer of dates.

* Even after death they remained inscribed on the registers of the palace, and had rations served out to them every day as funeral offerings.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a photograph by Emil Brugsch- Bey; the original is at Gizeh

If one had held a post in the royal household, however low the occupation, it was something to be proud of all one's life, and after death to boast of in one's epitaph. The chiefs to whom this army of servants rendered obedience at times rose from the ranks; on some occasion their master had noticed them in the crowd, and had transferred them, some by a single promotion, others by slow degrees, to the highest offices of the state. Many among them, however, belonged to old families, and held positions in the palace which their fathers and grandfathers had occupied before them, some were members of the provincial nobility, distant descendants of former royal princes and princesses, more or less nearly related to the reigning sovereign.*

* It was the former who, I believe, formed the class of rokhu suton so often mentioned on the monuments. This title is generally supposed to have been a mark of relationship with the royal family. M. de Rouge proved long ago that this was not so, and that functionaries might bear this title even though they were not blood relations of the Pharaohs. It seems to me to have been used to indicate a class of courtiers whom the king condescended to "know" (rokhu) directly, without the intermediary of a chamberlain, the "persons known by the king;" the others were only his "friends" (samiru).

They had been sought out to be the companions of his education and of his pastimes, while he was still living an obscure life in the "House of the Children;" he had grown up with them and had kept them about his person as his "sole friends" and counsellors. He lavished titles and offices upon them by the dozen, according to the confidence he felt in their capacity or to the amount of faithfulness with which he credited them. A few of the most favoured were called "Masters of the Secret of the Royal House;" they knew all the innermost recesses of the palace, all the passwords needed in going from one part of it to another, the place where the royal treasures were kept, and the modes of access to it. Several of them were "Masters of the Secret of all the Royal Words," and had authority over the high courtiers of the palace, which gave them the power of banishing whom they pleased from the person of the sovereign. Upon others devolved the task of arranging his amusements; they rejoiced the heart of his Majesty by pleasant songs, while the chiefs of the sailors and soldiers kept watch over his safety. To these active services were attached honorary privileges which were highly esteemed, such as the right to retain their sandals in the palace, while the general crowd of courtiers could only enter unshod; that of kissing the knees and not the feet of the "good god," and that of wearing the panther's skin. Among those who enjoyed these distinctions were the physicians of the king, chaplains, and men of the roll—"khri-habi." The latter did not confine themselves to the task of guiding Pharaoh through the intricacies of ritual, nor to that of prompting him with the necessary formulas needed to make the sacrifice efficacious; they were styled "Masters of the Secrets of Heaven," those who see what is in the firmament, on the earth and in Hades, those who know all the charms of the soothsayers, prophets, or magicians. The laws relating to the government of the seasons and the stars presented no mysteries to them, neither were they ignorant of the months, days, or hours propitious to the undertakings of everyday life or the starting out on an expedition, nor of those times during which any action was dangerous. They drew their inspirations from the books of magic written by Thot, which taught them the art of interpreting dreams or of curing the sick, or of invoking and obliging the gods to assist them, and of arresting or hastening the progress of the sun on the celestial ocean. Some are mentioned as being able to divide the waters at their will, and to cause them to return to their natural place, merely by means of a short formula. An image of a man or animal made by them out of enchanted wax, was imbued with life at their command, and became an irresistible instrument of their wrath. Popular stories reveal them to us at work. "Is it true," said Kheops to one of them, "that thou canst replace a head which has been cut off?" On his admitting that he could do so, Pharaoh immediately desired to test his power. "Bring me a prisoner from prison and let him be slain." The magician, at this proposal, exclaimed: "Nay, nay, not a man, sire my master; do not command that this sin should be committed; a fine animal will suffice!" A goose was brought, "its head was cut off and the body was placed on the right side, and the head of the goose on the left side of the hall: he recited what he recited from his book of magic, the goose began to hop forward, the head moved on to it, and, when both were united, the goose began to cackle. A pelican was produced, and underwent the same process. His Majesty then caused a bull to be brought forward, and its head was smitten to the ground: the magician recited what he recited from his book of magic, the bull at once arose, and he replaced on it what had fallen to the earth." The great lords themselves deigned to become initiated into the occult sciences, and were invested with these formidable powers. A prince who practised magic would enjoy amongst us nowadays but small esteem: in Egypt sorcery was not considered incompatible with royalty, and the magicians of Pharaoh often took Pharaoh himself as their pupil.*

Such were the king's household, the people about his person, and those attached to the service of his family. His capital sheltered a still greater number of officials and functionaries who were charged with the administration of his fortune—that is to say, what he possessed in Egypt.** In theory it was always supposed that the whole of the soil belonged to him, but that he and his predecessors had diverted and parcelled off such an amount of it for the benefit of their favourites, or for the hereditary lords, that only half of the actual territory remained under his immediate control. He governed most of the nomes of the Delta in person:*** beyond the Fayum, he merely retained isolated lands, enclosed in the middle of feudal principalities and often at considerable distance from each other.

* We know the reputation, extending even to the classical writers of antiquity, of the Pharaohs Nechepso and Nectanebo for their skill in magic. Arab writers have, moreover, collected a number of traditions concerning the marvels which the sorcerers of Egypt were in the habit of performing; as an instance, I may quote the description given by Makrizi of one of their meetings, which is probably taken from some earlier writer.

** They were frequently distinguished from their provincial or manorial colleagues by the addition of the word khonu to their titles, a term which indicates, in a general manner, the royal residence. They formed what we should nowadays call the departmental staff of the public officers, and might be deputed to act, at least temporarily, in the provinces, or in the service of one of the feudal princes, without thereby losing their status as functionaries of the khonu or central administration.

*** This seems, at any rate, an obvious inference from the almost total absence of feudal titles on the most ancient monuments of the Delta. Erman, who was struck by this fact, attributed it to a different degree of civilization in the two halves of Egypt; I attribute it to a difference in government. Feudal titles naturally predominate in the South, royal administrative titles in the North.

The extent of the royal domain varied with different dynasties, and even from reign to reign: if it sometimes decreased, owing to too frequently repeated concessions,* its losses were generally amply compensated by the confiscation of certain fiefs, or by their lapsing to the crown. The domain was always of sufficient extent to oblige the Pharaoh to confide the larger portion of it to officials of various kinds, and to farm merely a small remainder of the "royal slaves:" in the latter case, he reserved for himself all the profits, but at the expense of all the annoyance and all the outlay; in the former case, he obtained without any risk the annual dues, the amount of which was fixed on the spot, according to the resources of the nome.

* We find, at different periods, persons who call themselves masters of new domains or strongholds—Pahurnofir, under the IIIrd dynasty; several princes of Hermopolis, under the VIth and VIIth; Khnumhotpu at the begining of the XIIth. In connection with the last named, we shall have occasion, later on, to show in what manner and with what rapidity one of these great new fiefs was formed.

In order to understand the manner in which the government of Egypt was conducted, we should never forget that the world was still ignorant of the use of money, and that gold, silver, and copper, however abundant we may suppose them to have been, were mere articles of exchange, like the most common products of Egyptian soil. Pharaoh was not then, as the State is with us, a treasurer who calculates the total of his receipts and expenses in ready money, banks his revenue in specie occupying but little space, and settles his accounts from the same source. His fiscal receipts were in kind, and it was in kind that he remunerated his servants for their labour: cattle, cereals, fermented drinks, oils, stuffs, common or precious metals,—"all that the heavens give, all that the earth produces, all that the Nile brings from its mysterious sources,"* —constituted the coinage in which his subjects paid him their contributions, and which he passed on to his vassals by way of salary.

* This was the most usual formula for the offering on the funerary stelo, and sums up more completely than any other the nature of the tax paid to the gods by the living, and consequently the nature of that paid to the king; here, as elsewhere, the domain of the gods is modelled on that of the Pharaohs.

One room, a few feet square, and, if need be, one safe, would easily contain the entire revenue of one of our modern empires: the largest of our emporiums would not always have sufficed to hold the mass of incongruous objects which represented the returns of a single Egyptian province. As the products in which the tax was paid took various forms, it was necessary to have an infinite variety of special agents and suitable places to receive it; herdsmen and sheds for the oxen, measurers and granaries for the grain, butlers and cellarers for the wine, beer, and oils. The product of the tax, while awaiting redistribution, could only be kept from deteriorating in value by incessant labour, in which a score of different classes of clerks and workmen in the service of the treasury all took part, according to their trades. If the tax were received in oxen, it was led to pasturage, or at times, when a murrain threatened to destroy it, to the slaughter-house and the currier; if it were in corn, it was bolted, ground to flour, and made into bread and pastry; if it were in stuffs, it was washed, ironed, and folded, to be retailed as garments or in the piece. The royal treasury partook of the character of the farm, the warehouse, and the manufactory.

Each of the departments which helped to swell its contents, occupied within the palace enclosure a building, or group of buildings, which was called its "house," or, as we should say, its storehouse.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a chromolithograph in Lepsius, Denhm., ii. 96.

There was the "White Storehouse," where the stuffs and jewels were kept, and at times the wine; the "Storehouse of the Oxen," the "Gold Storehouse," the "Storehouse for Preserved Fruits," the "Storehouse for Grain," the "Storehouse for Liquors," and ten other storehouses of the application of which we are not always sure. In the "Storehouse of Weapons" (or Armoury) were ranged thousands of clubs, maces, pikes, daggers, bows, and bundles of arrows, which Pharaoh distributed to his recruits whenever a war forced him to call out his army, and which were again warehoused after the campaign. The "storehouses" were further subdivided into rooms or store-chambers,* each reserved for its own category of objects.

* Ait, Ai. Lefebure has collected a number of passages in which these storehouses are mentioned, in his notes Sur differents mots et noms Egyptiens. In many of the cases which he quotes, and in which he recognizes an office of the State, I believe reference to be made to a trade: many of the ari ait-afu, "people of the store-chambers for meat," were probably butchers; many of the ari ait-hiqItu, "people of the store-chamber for beer," were probably keepers of drink-shops, trading on their own account in the town of Abydos, and not employes attached to the exchequer of Pharaoh or of the ruler of Thinis.

It would be difficult to enumerate the number of store-chambers in the outbuildings of the "Storehouse of Provisions"—store-chambers for butcher's meat, for fruits, for beer, bread, and wine, in which were deposited as much of each article of food as would be required by the court for some days, or at most for a few weeks. They were brought there from the larger storehouses, the wines from vaults, the oxen from their stalls, the corn from the granaries. The latter were vast brick-built receptacles, ten or more in a row, circular in shape and surmounted by cupolas, but having no communication with each other. They had only two openings, one at the top for pouring in the grain, another on the ground level for drawing it out; a notice posted up outside, often on the shutter which closed the chamber, indicated the character and quantity of the cereals within. For the security and management of these, there were employed troops of porters, store-keepers, accountants, "primates" who superintended the works, record-keepers, and directors. Great nobles coveted the administration of the "storehouses," and even the sons of kings did not think it derogatory to their dignity to be entitled "Directors of the Granaries," or "Directors of the Armoury." There was no law against pluralists, and more than one of them boasts on his tomb of having held simultaneously five or six offices. These storehouses participated like all the other dependencies of the crown, in that duality which characterized the person of the Pharaoh. They would be called in common parlance, the Storehouse or the Double White Storehouse, the Storehouse or the Double Gold Storehouse, the Double Warehouse, the Double Granary.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from a scene on the tomb of Amoni at Beni-Hasan. On the right, near the door, is a heap of grain, from which the measurer fills his measure in order to empty it into the sack which one of the porters holds open. In the centre is a train of slaves ascending the stairs which lead to the loft above the granaries; one of them empties his sack into a hole above the granary in the presence of the overseer. The inscriptions in ink on the outer wall of the receptacles, which have already been filled, indicate the number of measures which each one of them contains.

The large towns, as well as the capital, possessed their double storehouses and their store-chambers, into which were gathered the products of the neighbourhood, but where a complete staff of employes was not always required: in such towns we meet with "localities" in which the commodities were housed merely temporarily. The least perishable part of the provincial dues was forwarded by boat to the royal residence,* and swelled the central treasury.

* The boats employed for this purpose formed a flotilla, and their commanders constituted a regularly organized transport corps, who are frequently to be found represented on the monuments of the New Empire, carrying tribute to the residence of the king or of the prince, whose retainers they were.

The remainder was used on the spot for paying workman's wages, and for the needs of the Administration. We see from the inscriptions, that the staffs of officials who administered affairs in the provinces was similar to that in the royal city. Starting from the top, and going down to the bottom of the scale, each functionary supervised those beneath him, while, as a body, they were all responsible for their depot. Any irregularity in the entries entailed the bastinado; peculators were punished by imprisonment, mutilation, or death, according to the gravity of the offence. Those whom illness or old age rendered unfit for work, were pensioned for the remainder of their life.

Drawn by Faucher-Gudin, from Lepsius, Denkm., iii. 95. The illustration is taken from one of the tombs at Tel el- Amarna. The storehouse consists of four blocks, isolated by two avenues planted with trees, which intersect each other in the form of a cross. Behind the entrance gate, in a small courtyard, is a kiosque, in which the master sat for the purpose of receiving the stores or of superintending their distribution; two arms of the cross are lined by porticoes, under which are the entrances to the "chambers" (dit) for the stores, which are filled with jars of wine, linen- chests, dried fish, and other articles.

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