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goddess Thriphis. Extensive mounds and the basement of a temple
are found on its site at AUieb, and the character of the ruins indicates
their erection in the Macedonian era. The town had been embellished
by the old E^ptian kings, and a granite lion still exists bearing the
name of Rameses the Great.

To>ms i:. of the Delta proper.— TtlTuijim, the Sin of the Bible, stood \
E. of the Pelusiac arm about 2^ miles from the sea, and vras the key of
Egypt on this sfde. It is connected with several events in the history
of Egypt — particularly the advance of Sennacherib, king of Assyria ;
the defeat of the Egj^tians by Cambyses, in B.c. 525 ; the advance of
Phamabazus of Phrygia and Iphicrates the Athenian in 373 ; and the
several captures of it by Alexander the Great in 333, by Antiochua
j^iphanes in 178, by Marcus Antonius in 55, and by Augustus in 31.
The surrounding district produced lentilee * and flax.7 The Pelusiac
mputh, which was shallow even in classical'* times, was choked by

* The name in Egyptian form is OemnouH ** Gem the God.*'

* Sanctaque Bnbastis, variusqae coloribos Apis.— Ov. Met. ix. 690.

* Nee Pelu»iac<e ouram aspcmaberc lentis. — Viao. Oeorff. L 328.
Acdpe Niliaeum, Pelutia munera, lentem :

Vilior est aUca, carior ilia faba.— Mast. xlii. 0.
' £t Pelusiaco ftlom componere lino. — Sil. Ital. ill. 875.

* Qua dividni pars maxima Nili

In vada decnrrit Felntia septimus amnis. —Luc. riii. 465.
'Airb irpovroiiimv Xtvro^t^Lfi^tB^v
NciXov. -51«cn. Suppl, 3.


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272 EGYPT. Book III.

sand an early as the first cent, a.d., and the coast-line is now fiar
removed from the site of Pelusium, the modem Tinch, ¥ag<mnm,
the Bcriptnral Migdol, stood about 12 miles S. of Pelusium, on the
coast-road to Syria. Here Pharoah Necho is said to have defeated the
Syrians, about 608 b.c. HcroOpolii was near the. mouth of the Royal
Canal, and gave name to the W. arm of the Red Sea, though it did
not stand immediately on the coast. 'Its ruins are at Ahft-Ket/scfteuf,
It must have been a place of commercial importance. Heliopolif, the
Scriptural On and Beth-shemesh, stood on the verge of the eastern
desert, N.E. of Cercasorum, and near the right bank of Trajan's Canal.
It was a town of the highest antiquity, and the seat of a famous
university, which is said to have been visited by Solon, Thales, Plato,
and Eudoxus, and to have possessed the archives from which Manetho
constructed his history of the Egyptian dynasties. It was also visited
by- Alexander the Great, and it has acquired a special interest in
connection with sacred history, as the place where Mosea was probably
instructed in Egyptian science, and where Jeremiah wrote his Lamen- '
tations. The place was especially devoted to the worship of the Sim,
and the bull Mnevia was also honoured there. The remains at
Matarieh oonsist of a remarkable obelisk of the age of Osirtasen I.,
some fragments of sphinxes, a statue belonging to the temple of
the Sun, and the boundary-walls of brick, 3750 ft. long, by 2370.
Babj^lon, Baboul, stood on the right bank of the Nile, near the entrance
of the Great Canal, and probably owed its name and foundation to
some B.ibylonian followers of Cambyses in B.C. 525. Under Augustus
it was a place of some importance, and the head- quarters of three
legions. Anino<$ stood at the N. extremity of the W. gulf of the Red
Sea, and was one of the principal harbours of Egypt. It was named
after the sister of Ptolemy Philadelphus, and its revenues belonged to
her and the succeeding queens. Its position near the entrance of the
canal, and on the shore of a fine bay, insured it a share of the Indian
trade ; but its exposure to the S. wind, and the dangerous reefs in
approaching it, were serious checks to its prosperity. Its site is at
Ardscherud near Suez.

Of the less important towns in the Delta we may notice from N. to
S. — Menel&iis, named after a brother of Ptolemy Lagus, between
Alexandria and Hermopolis, on the Canopic artu — iffAm^mphiff,
''Lower Memphis,*^ on tne E. shore of Lake Mareotis, a place of
some strength from the nature of the approaches— Kareaf S. of Lake
Mareotis, one of the chief fortresses ou the side of Libya, where
Amasis defeated Pharoah Apries — BolhitXne, Bosetta, on the Bol-
bitic branch of the Nile, the site of the famous Rosetta stone, in
which the beneficent acts of Ptolemy Epiphanee are recorded— Bato,
Kem-Kasir, on the Sebennytic arm, celebrated for its monolithite
temple and oracle of the goddess Buto — ^and TamiathiB, at the moulh
of the Phatnitic arm ; its modem representative Damietta occupies a
site about 5 miles higher up the river.

§ 12. Heptanomis was the central district of Egypt, and contained,
as its name implies, 7 nomes ; • it extended from Cercasorum in the
N. to Hermopolis in the S. Under the emperor Arcadius it

* More than seven nomes were oocosionally assigned to Middle Egypt ; Strabo
assigns sixteen, and Ptolemy adds an eighth, the Arsinoite.


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received the name of Arcadia. The width of the valley fluctuates ;
near Hermopolis it is contracted on the E. side of the river, and
tolerably broad on theW. Lower down, the hills diverge still more
to the W., and embrace the district of Arsinoe, returning to the
river on the N. side of it. Below this it again expands until it
attains, near Cercasorum, almost the breadth of the ])elta. This
district comprised the greatest works of Egyptian art — the Pyramids,
the Labyrinth, and the artificial district formed by the canal of
Bahr-Jusuf, It is also remarkable for its quarries and rock-
grottoes ; of the first we may notice the Alabastrites E. of Hermo-
polis ; the quarries of veined alabaster 9 miles to the N., chiefly
used for sarcophagi ; and the quarries E. of Memphis, whence they
obtained the stone for casing the Pyramids. The most remarkable
grottoes were those of Specs Artemidos, Beni-ffassaUy and of
Koum-d-Ahmar more to the N. The towns were ntimerous and
important: Memphis, the earliest metropolis of Egypt, and the
capital of one of the nomes, stood near the N. boundary ; while the
following towns from N. to S. represented the capitals of the other
six nomes — Arsinoe, Hcracleopolis, Aphroditopolis, Oxyrynchus,
and Hermopolis.

^..."Kemj^l^^he Noph of Scripture, stood on the W. bank of the Nile,
M5 liiiluB tSTof Cercasorum. Its origin was ascribed to Menes, and it
was the first capital of the whole of Egypt. The site of the town was
originally a marsh, formed by a southerly bifurcation of the ^'il^
Meuee diverted the branch into the main stream, by means of an
embankment. The town was some 15 miles in circumference, much
of the area being, however, occupied bv gardens, and by the soldiers'
quarters, named the ** "White Castle.' The soil was extremely pro-
ductive, and ancient writers dilate upon its green meadows, its canals
covered with lotus-flowers, its vast trees, its roses, and its wine. Its
position was highly favourable. The Arabian and Libyan hills con-
verge here for the last time, and it could thus command the trade of
the valley of the Nile. It was centrally placed as regards Upper
Egypt and the Delta., and sufficiently near the border to have com-
munication with Syria and Qreece. It was quite the Pantheon of
Egypt, and possessed temples of I sis,* Proteus, Apis, Serapis, the Sun,
the Cabeiri, and particularly of Pthah, or Hephsestus. It was visited
by Solon, Hecatseus, Thales, Herodotus, Strabo, and Diodorus Sicu-
lus. Its site is at Mitranieh^ and its remains consist of blocks of

> The Egyptian name signified ** the place of good."
* Te canit, atqne suum pubes miratur Osirim

Barbara, Memphiton plangere docta bovem. — ^Tibull. i. 7, 27.
Nea fuge linigene Memphitica templa JuTcnoie. — Or. Art. Am, i. 77.
Hie quoque deceptua Memphitica templa ftrequeniat,

Assidet et cathedris moMta Jnvenca tuiit. — Mart. ii. 14.
Barbara Pyramidum sileat miracnla Memphis. — ^Mart. de Spect. i. 1.
Regia pyramidum, Cassar, miracula ride :
Jam tacet Eoum barbara Memphis opus. — Id. JSpig. viii. 86.

N 3


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274 EGYPT. Book 111.

granite, a Uu^ coloraus of Barneses II., broken obelisks, columns, and
statues, spread over ma^y hundred acres of ground. Memphis was
the seat of the ard, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 8th dynasties. The Shepherd
Kings retained it as the seat of civil government. The house of Ramoses,
the 18th dynasty, though they made Thebes their capital, paid great
attention to Memphis. Under the 25th dynasty it again became the
seat of a native government. It suffered severely from the Persians
imder Cambyses. In the reign of Artazerxes I. the Persians took
refuge here after their defeat by Inarus, and were besieged fur a year.
After the expulsion of Nectanebus II. it sunk to the position of a
provincial city, and in Strabo's time a large portion was in ruins.
I^ear Memphis at a place now called Oeezeh, are the three celebrated
Pyramids ; the largest, attributed by Herodotus to Cheops, was
originally 756 ft. square at its base, and 48* > ft. hi^h ; it covert about
the same space as l2ncoln's Inn Fields ; its dimensions are now reduced
to 732 ft. square, and 460 ft. high. The second, attributed to
Chephren, was formerly 707 ft. square, and 454 ft. high ; its dimen-
sions now being 690 and 446. The third, attributed to Myoerinus,
whose coffin has been found there, was 354 ft. square, and 218 high ;
these are now reduced to 333 and 203. On the S. of this are three
small pyraioids, one of which has the name of Mencheres (Mycerinus)
inscribed upon it. Another cluster of three also stands £. of the
great pyramid. The object for which they were built is uncertain :
they probably served for tombs, and their uniform position, facing the
cardinal points, makes it probable that they were used for astronomical
purposes. About 200 ft. N. of the second pyramid is the Sphinx, cut
out of the solid rock ; it bears the name of Thothmes IV. of the 18th
dynasty, and appears to have been an object of divine worship.
Andno^, otherwise called CrooodilopoUf , from the divine honours here
paid to the crocodile, stood S.W. of Memphis, between the river and
Lake Morris. The surrounding region was the most fertile in Egypt,
and produced, in addition to grain of all soi'ts, dates, figs, roses, and
olives. Near it were the necropolis of crocodiles, and the celebrated
Labyrinth.' Its ruins are at Medmet-el-Fyoum. HerAdaopoUf Xagn*,
Anasiehf was situated at the entrance of the valley of the Fywm, and
was the royal residence of the 9th and 10th dynasties. The ichneu-
mon was worshipped there. OxyiTnehns derived its name fh>m the
worship of a fish of the sturgeon species. A Roman mint existed
there m the age of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. Some broken
columns and cornices at Bekneaeh mark the site of the tovm. Hemo-
polif Magna, Kshmom, stood on the borders of Upper Egypt, and was
a place of resort and opulence. A little S. was the castle, at which
the river boats paid toll. On the opposite side of the river was the
necropolis, at the well-known grottoes of Beni Hassan, The god Thoth,
or Mercury, was worshipped at Hermopolis. The portico of his
temple still exists, and consists of a double row of pillars, six in each.
Anttnottpolii, nearly opposite Hermopolis, was built by the emperor
Hadrian, a.d. 122, in memory of Antinous, to whom divine honours
were paid. The ruins at Enseneh attest its former magnificence.
We may further notioe briefly — ^Aoanthns, Dashour, about 14 miles S.

* The Labyrinth was a ttadlum is length, and had twelre courts, six ficing
the N., and six the S. The duunbers in it contained the monomtnts of the
kings who built it, and the mununies of the erocodiles.


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Chap. XV. THEBAIS. 276

of Memphis, the fteat of a temple of Osiria, enclosed with a hedge of
acanthuses— OynopollB, SamafluSf S. of Oxyrynchus, and so named
from the worship of the dog-headed deity Anubis — ^Hilupolis, near
Heracleopolis Magna, built on an island in the Nile — and Aphrodito-
polis, Atfyehj a considerable town, a short distance from the E. bank
of the river.

§ 13. Theb&is was the most southerly division of Egypt, ex-
tending from Hermopolis Magna in the N. to Syene in the S., and
at certain periods beyond the latter town to Hiera Sycamina. It
was divided into 10 nomes, though occasionally a greater number is
given. The cultivable soil between Syene and Lato()olis is a
narrow strip of alluvial deposit, skirting the banks of the Nile,
and bounded by steep walls of sandstone. These are succeeded
below Latopolis by limestone rocks, which continue to the head of
the Delta. The valley expands into plains at Latopolis and Thebes,
but below these points it contracts to a narrow gorge. The soil w^as
remarkably fertile, though the ordinary fall of rain was very small.
The population was probably of a purer Egyptian stamp than that
of the Delta. The towns were very numerous, and attained the
highest importance in early times. Among them Thebes stands
foremost as the metropolis of Upper Egypt, and the seat of the
most magnificent temples and palaces of Egj^pt. Coptos held high
rank under the Ptolemies as the entrepot of Indian commerce.
Among the more remarkable objects of art we may notice the
temples of ApolUnopolis Magna, the temples of Athor and Isis at
Tentyra, the canal of Jusuf commencing at Diospolis Parva, the
necropolis of Abydos, the sepulchral chambers at Lycopolis, and the
superb portico of Hermopolis Magna. The chief supply of stone
was obtained from the sandstone quarries of Silsilis, below Ombos.

PfcvUlon of Bamam IIL at Theba. (From Wilkinson.)

Digitized by VjOOQ IC

EGYPT. Book 111-

^he No-Ammon of the Bible, and the DiospoliB Magna of the
I and Romans, stood on both sides of the Nile, at a point where
the hills on each side recede from the river, leaving a plain some 12
miles wide from £. to W., and about the same in length from N. to S.
The population chiefly lived on the £. bank ; on the W. were the
temples,* with their avenues of sphinxes, and the necropolis. The site
is now partly occupied by four villages — L*ixor and Kamak on the E.
bank, Qom-neh and Medinet Aboo on the W. The western portion,
which was named Pathyris, as being under the protection of Athor, and
wafc the " Libyan Suburb " of the Ptolemaic age, contained the following
buildings : — the Menephthium, or temple and palace of Setei-Meneph>
thah ; the Memnonium/ or Ramesium, occupying a succession of
terraces at the base of the hills, containing the colossal statue of
Rameses,^ and numerous chambers adorned with hieroglvphics ; the
Amenophium, or temple of Amunoph III., the Memnon of the Greeks,
and near it the colossal statues Tama and Chama, rising to a height of
<>0 ft. above the plain, the most easterly of which was the celebrated
vocal Memnon ' ; the Thothmesium, a temple erected by several
sovereigns of the name of Thothmes ; and the southern Ramesium,
adorned with sculptures relating to Rameees IV. The necropolis
extends for 5 miles along the Libyan liills, the most interesting
portion being that which contains the Royal Sepulchres. On the E.
side of the river the most conspicuous objects are : — at Luxor, the
obelisk of Rameses IIL, the fel!ow to which stands in the Phce de la
Concoi-de at Pnt-is ; two monolithal statues of the same monarch ; a
coui't, with a double portal and colonnades attached ; and at Kat-nak the
palace of the kings, containing the great court, the great hall, 329 ft.
long, by 175 broad, and 80 high, and other chambers, one of which has
the gr^ Kamak Tablet sculptured upon it. The quarters of Kamak
and Luxor were connected by an avenue of androsphinxes. These
various buildings were erected at vastly diflTerent periods, commencing
with Sesortasen L, and descending through the Amunophs, Rameses,
and Thothmes, down to the time of the Ptolemies, and even the Roman
emperors. The period of the eminence of Thebes commenced with

i The name is derired from the Coptic Ap, ** head,** which with the article
became Tape : the more correct form of the name is therefore Thebe, as given by

AlywrCaus, i$i wkttvra j^totf iv Kriixara M^rot,

Ac ^ ciCttT^fiwAot 9i^if iitiKiaxoi V kp htianiv

'A>^p«f cfotxi'tvvt, ow twotvu' Kol ox«<r^— Hon. 77. ix. 881.

The " one hundred gates'* of the poet were not (as we should naturally suppose)

entrances through the walls of the town, but the propylna of temples. Thebes

does not appear even to have been surrounded by a wall.

' The word Memnonium appears to be a Greek corruption of Mlamun, attached

to the name of Rameses II., and hence applied to the buildings erected by that

monarch at Thebes and Abydos.

• The weight of this gigantic sUtne has been estimated at 887 tons 5} owt.

* The statue of Memnon was firactured by an earthquake before Strabo*s time :
Juvenal refers to its condition : —

Dimidio magic« resonant uU Memnone chordae.— &i<. xr. 9.

The statue was said to utter a metalUc sound a little after sunrise ; this was no
doubt phMluoed by a deception of the priests : in the lap of the statue is a stone
which, when struck, emits a metallic sound.


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•the 18th dynasty, when the Hyksos were expelled from Lower Egypt,
and continued tor nearly 8 centimes, from 1600 to 800. Its decline
may be attributed to the rise of Memphis, and to the gradual increase of
communication with the Greeks and other foriaigners. In the Persian
era it ceased to hold rank as a metropolis. Its chief buildmgs were
destroyed by Cambyses. It suffered severely after its capture by
Ptolemy Lathyrus in b.c. 86 ; but it continued to exist until the
irruption of the Saracens, and was a considerable place in the 4th cent.
A.D. I^opoliB, E*Syout, was S.E. of Hermopolis, and was so named
from the worship of Osiris under the form of a wolf : in the adjacent
rocks are chambers containing mummies of wolves. Ihii, or Ab^dns,
on the Bohr- Yusnf about 1\ miles W. of the Nile, was the birth-place
of Menes, and the burial- place of Osiris, and ranked next to Thebes
itself in point of importance. It had sunk before Strabo's time. The
ruins at Arahat-el-Malfoon consist of a large pile called the ** Palace of
Memnon," erected by Rameses II. of the 18th dynasty ; and a temple
of Osiris, built by Rameses the Great ; the celebrated Tablet of Abydos,
now in the British Museum, was discovered here in 1818 ; it contidraB a
list of Egyptian kings prior to Rameses the Great. Tentjhra stood
about 38 miles N. of Thebes, and probably derived its name from the
goddess Athor, or Venus, Thy-n-Athor, meaning the " abode of Athor."
Its inhabitants abhorred the crocodile, and hence arose sanguinary
conflicts with th6 inhabitants of Ombos, one of which Juvenal seems
to have witnessed.^ The remains of the town at Denderah are striking,
though of a late period of Egyptian art. The chief buildings are— the
temple of Athor, the portico of which has on its ceiling the so-called
" Zodiac," which, however, is probably a mythological subject, executed
in A.D. 35 ; the chapel of Isis ; and the Typhonium, so named ftom. the
representations of the Typhon on its walls. The inscriptions range
from the time of the later Ptolemies to Antoninus, the names of the
Csesars from Tiberius to Antoninns being most frequent. Hannonthis,
Ermentt stood 8 miles S.W. of Thebes, and was celebrated for -the
worship of Isis, Osiris, and their son Horus. Its ruins show its former
magnificence : the chief building, the Iseum, was erected by Cleopatra
(b.0. 51-29), to commemorate the birth of her son Csesarion. Latopolifl,
Emeh, derived its name from the large fish lato, imder which form
the goddess Neith was worshipped. Its temple was magnificent; but
the jamb of a gateway is the only relic of the original structure ; the
other remains belong to the Macedonian and Roman eras, the names of
Ptolemy Euergetes and Epiphanes, of Vespasian, and Geta, appearing
in the sculptures. ApoUiiiopoliB Xagn* stood about 13 miles below
the Lesser Cataract, and became under the Romans the seat of a bishop's
see, and the head-quarters of the Legio II. Tr^jana. The remains at
Edfoo consist of two magnificent temples ; the larger one founded by
Ptolemy Philometor, and dedicated to Noum, 424 ft. long, by 145
wide, and having a gateway 50 ft. high ; the lesser one founded by

Inter finitimoB \e\xui atqae antiqaa simiiltaa,

Imraortale odium, et nonquam sonabile vulnuB

Ardet adhuc Coptos et Tentfra. Summiu utrimque

Inde UkroT rulgo, quod numina vicinomm

Odit uterque locus, cum solos oredat habendos

Esse deos, quos ipse oolit — Juv. xv. 85.

Terga fiigs celeri preestantibu5 omnibus instant

Qui vleina colunt umbrosso Tentyra palmn. — la, xv. 76.


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278 EGYPT. Book IU.

Ptolemy Physcon. Antaopolii, on the E. or right bank of the riyer,
was 80 named from the worship of Antieus, introduced from Libya.
The phdn adjacent to it was the traditional scene of the combat
between Isis and Typhon. Under the Christian emperors it was an
episcopal see. Chenunis, or as it was later called, Panopolis (the
Greek Pan representing the Egyptian Chem) was celebrated for the
worship of Pan, and alw> of Perseus, who was said occasionally to visit
the place. The modem name Ekhmim is a corrupted form of Chemmis.
Coptof, JCovft, stood about a mile from the river, and whs the spot
where the route for Berenice on the Red Sea left the valley of the
Nile. Subsequently to b.c. 266, when Berenice was built, it was a
prosperous and busy place, and remained so down to the latest period
of the Roman Empire. Qmbi was about 30 miles N. of Syene, and
was devoted to the worship of the crocodile-headed god Sevak. The
remains of two fine temples still exist, mainly of the Ptolemaic age,
with a few specimens of an earlier date : the larger one was a kind of
Pantheon, the smaller was sacred ta^^t»<rihey stand on a hill, and
present an imposing appearance. /4!fineX^i48«ou<m, was the most
southerly town of E^rpt, and HtntrivWi a pffrinfniln immediately below
the Great Falls. The granite quarries about it produced the fine
stones out of which the colossal statues and obelisks of Egypt were
cut. Syene > was important both as a military and commercial post.
^ Opposite Syene is the small island of Bephantfnft, which commanded
the navigation of the river from the S. : it was thus regarded as the
key of the Thebaid, and hence was garrisoned by the successive owners
of Egypt, whether Egyptians, Persians, Macedonians, or Romans. Its
fertility and verdure present a strong contrast to the sterility that
surroimds it. The most striking remains on it are a temple of Kneph
built by Amenoph III., and the Nilometer. About 6| miles above
Syene were the two snudl islands of FbilflB ; ^ the lesser one, to which
the name was more particularly applied, was reputed the burial-
place of Osiris, and hence regarded as specially sacred. Both islands
abound in temples and monuments, erected for the most part by tho
Ptolemies. The chief temple, dedicated to Ammon Osiris, was at the
S. end of the small island, and was approached from the river through
a double colonnade ; the walls are covered with sculptures repre-
senting the history of Osiris. The Pharoahs kept a strong garrison on
the island. Philao was also the seat of a Chiistian Church.

On the coast of the Red Sea there were two ports of consequence—
Mjot-HormM and Berenice, founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus for the
puiposes of the Indian and South African trade. The first was
probably so named from the pearl-mussel found there ( ** Harbour of

* Its position, very nearly under the tropic of Cancer, is frequently noticed
by Lucan.

Calida mediua mihi cognitiu axis
JEgypto, atque umbras nuaquam flectente Syene.— ii. 587.
Nam quia ad exustam Canero torrente Syenen

Ibit, vlii. 851.

Cancroque snam torrente Syenen,
Imploratns adest. x. 234.

* It was the place to which Juvenal was banished.

* Qua dirimnnt Arabum popolis iEgyptia mra
Regni claustra Phils. I<vo. x. 812.


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Chap. XV. OASES. 279

the Mussel" \ the second after the mother of Philadelphus. They
stood respectively at 27° and 23° 56' N. lat. The more southerly
position of Berenice rendered it ultimately the most prosperous of the
two places. It stood on a small bay at the extremity of a deep gulf,
named Sinus Immundus. Myos-Hormos seems to have declined in the

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