Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

the fame proportion. The only use the "Arabs now make of this temple, is to shut up their cattle in it. Our Author was obliged to take a hafty draught of this very antient and wellpreserved edifice, being not only in great pain from an abfeels formed by a fever, but likewise interrupted by the Arabs, who are extremely jealous of strangers visiting these ruins; for they take them for magicians, and their drawings for talismans. Not only in Egypt, but all over Africa *, where there are any ruins, the people imagine immense treasures are to be found, and as they care little for the most beautiful remains of antiquity themselves, they fuppose travellers have other views than merely to look at ruins, and that they mean to carry off something more than the appearances of things. From this place a species of money different from the parat, is made use of; the bourbe, twelve of which make a parat; and the sevillan, worth a hundred parats. Wood is not to be had here for money.---The people higher up are called Ababuda. They are a fort of rebels, against whom force must be continually employed, to make them obedient.

Edfu is the Apollinopolis of the antients, of which our Author has given a view. Here is an antient portal, extremely well preferved, which the Turks have turned into a citadel; and some pretend, that it was originally built for that purpose. The architecture is regular, and simple. There are three ranges of hieroglyphics on every fide, resembling infants, but of a Coloffal form, being larger than men: also the ruins of a temple of Apollo, the greateft part buried under ground; of the rest, the Arabs have made fome paultry dove-cotes.

After paffing nine or ten villages, the Author arrives at a place called Jabel, or Tshabel Efelfele, the mountain of the chain. The tradition is, that here the passage of the Nile was fhut up by a chain; and this feems to be confirmed by

the narrowness of the river, and the situation of the mountain to the east, and a rock on the west side of the Nile, which narrows here considerably; but immediately beyond this pass, it spreads again to its usual fize. The rock to the west is 15 feet high, with holes for the feet to ascend to the fummit, which is ten feet high, and to this the chain was fastened. Round about are a great number of grottos, charged with hieroglyphics. In one the Author found four human figures, of a common size, fitting; the two in the middle are men, with their arms across their breaft; the other two are women,' having each a man under her arm. I detest, and with reason,'

Sce Leo Africanus, palim,

says

says our Author, the, malice and superstition of the Turks

and Arabs, who have strangely defaced these figures'. On the side of these figures is a table of hieroglyphics, in bas relief, extremely well preserved, tho' of a fandy stone. It should seem to contain the epitaphs of those whole bodies are inclosed within that grotto, or cavern.

Passing by seven villages, the Author arrives at Komombi, where, hid by a mountain on one side, and by some miserable huts on the other, may be seen the principal monument of the antiquities of this place. It is an edifice supported by twenty-three fine columns, adorned with hieroglyphics. The ftones that cover it are of a prodigious fize: and it may be easily seen, that the architrave, which is now split in two, was of one single stone. . Under the cornice is the cartouch, or usual ornament for portals, finely wrought. All the stones are covered with hieroglyphics, in like manner as are the ruins of Medinet-Habu, described above. The columns are twenty-four feet in circumference, and higher than those of Medinet Habu. It is great pity this edifice cannot long fubfift: two fides only remain. The top is already covered with earth, and the columns, with the rest of the building, are three parts under-ground.

We are now come to the seventh part of this work, which contains Mr. Norden's travels from Effuaen to Deir, or Derri, the utmost extent of his voyage up the Nile, from whence he returned to Cairo,

The town of Essuaen, situate on the eastern side of the Nile, is not more considerable than other towns in Upper Egypt, only it has a fort, with an Aga; but it is more remarkable on account of its being the place where the first cataract ends, marked by rocks seen in the middle of the Nile, before they are approached. The captain of the bark, who was a Janissary, announced his arrival with the Franks on board, to the Aga; and, at the same time, preter ted him with letters from Osman Aga, Chief of the Janissaries at Cairo. Ibrahim (that was the Aga's name) received them with great civility, and wished them not to think of proceeding farther

the Nile: "You will be destroyed, faid he, you go not amongst men, but wild beasts. However, finding them resolved, he furnished them with letters, and for a certain con. fideration agreed on between them, sent his brother with them. This honest Aga had not a sheet of paper left to write his letters on, till they supplied him from the bark.

Our Author now visited a little island, known to the antients by the name of Elephantin, situate in the neighbourhood of

Efluaen,

up

Effuaen, and very near the west side of the Nile. The east part of the ille is hilly, and covered with ruins, almost undiftinguishable, but amongft the rest is seen an antient edifice; Itill standing, called the Temple of the Terpent* Knuphis; but to judge of it by appearance, it should feem no other than a sepulchral monument. It is surrounded with a kind of cloyfter, supported hy columns. At each of the four corners, is a solid wall. The whole building is covered with hieroglyphics, and seemingly of the most antient fort. The infide forms à grand apartment, leading into which are two large entrances, one north, the other fouth. In the middle, on the western fide, is a square table, without any infcription ; on which, perhaps, once stood a mummy, or an urn; this edifice meafures about eighty, by twenty; Danish feet. Near to this is a kind of pedestal, made of large blocks of white stone, covered with Greek infcriptions, which, our Author fays, he had not time to copy. From hence he went to the western fide, to take a view of the ruins of the antient Syene ; concerning which, see Strabo, Pliny, and others. There was scarce anything of consequence amongst these ruins : however our Author has given us a plan of them. Before they set sail, a Mohammedan

This ferpent is often mentioned by antient authors, under the name of Cueph, and is called ó ayodos Saow, or good genius, not only by the old Greeks, but in many infcriptions on the Abracas, as may be seen in Mountfaucon's Antiquiries. Cnepb seems to be the fame with the Arabic Conapba, covered, protected, whence allo the word crmopy. These Divini proteétores on the Abracas are fre. quently called Δεξιαι δυναμεις, fortunate powers, allo IΑΩ and ΑΔΩNAI, the Hebrew names of God, Jehovah, and Adonai, which fig. nifies Lord. The' ureal image on these pieces, which are sometimes metal, fometimes tone, vis a large serpent; and on others a monster, having the head of a cock, and tail of a serpent, both fymbols of Asculapius, with the body of a man, holding a whip in one hand, as the depeller of evils, and a shield in the other, as an emblem of prote&tion, which is the Ggnification of the oriental word, Cneph. And perhaps the word Abracas is derived from Abarac, benedizit, and the celebrated eastern charm, Abracadabra, from the same word compounded with Bara, which signifies fanavit, as well as creavit, with the particle 878, or be inserted betu een. Dio. genes Laertius, in his eighth book, menuions a priest of Memphis, called "goveposo 9X in the Coptic, is the same with a cow in the Greek, and vape is cycles i fo that in the Egyptian language, iinojhi is the good genius. But the words Tasz

and AANNAI being certainly Hebrew, and are coplatce of the Hebrews, we have given the 'Hebrew interpretation allo of Creph Let our learned Readers derermire as shey plenie

faint

[ocr errors]

faint touched the coffers, and the men, with a crooked stick, which he held in his hand, blefling them after his manner; but coming to a dog, who had not been used to look upon the touch of a stick as a benediction, he flew at the saint, who then uttered curses as plenteously as he had bestowed his bles. sings a moment before : but two Sevillans appeased him.

In passing through a plain of sand, between Efluaen and the Cataract, our Author discovered a very large comitery, filled with stones, every one of which had an inscription, but in what language, the Jew valet, who could read Turkish and Arabic, did not know. The tradition of the country is, that they are the tombs of the Mamalukes, who were killed when the Calif entered Egypt. Which is not very probable. Such monuments are seldom raised in honour of a conquered people. It is great pity our Author did not copy some of the characters; if they are Coptic, that is a language still understood: and whatever the characters are, if there is but a sufficient quantity giveni, a good Orientalist, and a good decypherer, will interpret them. One reason, however, we have to sufpect these characters not to be Coptic, is, that the resemblance between the Coptic and the Greek, is fuch, as that our Author would, in all probability, have called them Greek, if they had been Coptic.

Before we leave the cataract, it is proper to inform our Readers, that the fall was no more than four feet, at the time Mr. Norden took his survey of it, and about thirty feet in extent.

Gieferet el Heif is the Phile of the antients, situate at fome distance from the eastern banks of the Nile, and near to another island, that is much larger, but desert, and covered with rocks of granite. The rocky shores of the first-mentioned island, are wrought into the form of a wall; and many colonades, and other grand monuments of antiquity, are found in the place: of which three views were taken from on board the bark. The first represents the island, such as it appears to view upon quitting the first cataract; and here a port or citadel is seen, resembling that described among the antiquities at Edfu: tho' this of El Heiff is better preserved. The hieroglyphies are of the same size in both places, but of different forms; fome fit, and have mitres on their heads; others are erect, with weapons in their hands. There are some works like bastions, which appear to be in good condition.

The wall being broke down in some parts, discovers the columns, which appear to be many, and of good workmanship. On this fidc are seen, upon the granite rock, many hieroglyphics, wrought

nearly

nearly in the same manner as those seen at Efuaen. The fecond view is taken from the east : the third from the south. On our Author's return, he went on shore on this ifland, and entered a magnificent temple of Isis, a most noble monument, and almost entire. There is a view of this building, in which are distinguished the principal entrance, the interior court, the fecond entrance, the vestibule, the bafle-cour, divers chambers ; and the outward court. From hence he went into another temple, much less than the former, but of extraordinary taste and beauty. He fupposes it to be the temple mentioned by Strabo, lib.xir. There were other temples, and from the fairs remaining, he supposed there must be subterraneous apartments ; but the passages were all choaked with filth and ruins, and he had not time to examine them. However, he has given us a sheet of columns and capitals, which are very beautiful. I did not quit this island,' says our Author, but with great regret. One day would have been sufficient for taking defigns of a great number of hieroglyphics, which would have cleared up the story and worship of Ilis. But my inclina• tions were forced to yield to prudence.' 27 At Deboude is a long and large edifice, built of square stones, and closed, except in the front; to which is a grand portal, and apertures, like windows, on each side, formed by four columns. On the top of the edifice is a plain cornice, and under it, as also at the four angles, is a moulding * , common to Egyptian buildings. This ediħce is surrounded by a high wall, much damaged, particularly towards the portal. Opposite are three portals in a row, which seem to form a passage leading to a canal forty fect wide, now ruined, and full of fand; the sides of which were lined with a thick wall, made of large blocks of stone. Within the principal edifice are columns that seem antiently to have belonged to a temple.

At Hindau, our Author faw four or five columns, and (for the space of a quarter of a league) walls, and foundations, of severäl'magnificent buildings. At Sahdaeb, he found another antient edifice : and near Teffa, some other remains, of which he has given us a sketch. At Sherk Abohuer, he saw an antient ftone quay along the Nile, about gun fhot distance to the north of the town; the stones were wrought in the form of prisms, and so closely joined, that no interstices could be discovered. At some distance, are five or fix huts, built of ftones, covered with hieroglyphics, wrought by a good hand, but never paint

[ocr errors]

* Th's moulding is femi-circular, and is called by architects, an Alragal, Tondino, or, when larger, Ballone.

ed.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »