Sir William Smith William Latham Bevan.

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reigns of Vespasian and Trajan.

'llie Memnoniam at Tbebed during the Inuodation. (FYom Wilkinson.)

§ 14. Three of the Oases were closely connected with Egypt.
Oaiii Magna, El-Khargeh, or as it was sometimes simply termed
" Oasis," lies in the latitude of Thebes. It is 80 miles long, by
about 9 broad ; and is bounded by a high calcareous ridge. None
of the monuments on it reach back to the Pharaonic era, the
principal buildings bespeaking the Macedonian or even the Konaan
period. It was a place of exile for political offenders, and for
Christian fugitives. U was visited by Cambyses on his expedition
against the Ammonians. The great temple, 142 ft. by 63, and
about 30 in height, was dediciited to Ammon ; the other remains
are a remarkable necropolis, and a palace of the Roman era. Oaiii
Panra, El-Dakkel^ lies N. of Oasis Magna, from which it was
separated by a high ridge, and contains several warm springs. It
has a temple and tombs of the Ptolemaic era. Under the Romans
it was celebrated for its wheat ; now its chief productions are dates,
and other fruits. Ammonium, El-Siwahj was about 20 days'
journey distant from Thebes, from which point it was most easily
accessible, though it was also approached from ParaBtonium. This
Oasis is about 6 miles long, by 3 broad, well irrigated by water
springs (one of which " the Fountain of the Sun," was particularly
celebrated for the apparent coldness of its water), and remarkably
fertile in dates, pomegranates, and other fruits, which were largely
exported. The oasis derived, however, its chief celebrity fi-om the


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280 EGYPT. Book HI

temple ^ and oracle of Jupiter Ammon, which ranked with those of
Delphi and Dodona, and was visited by Alexander the Great. The
ruins of the temple exist at Ummebeda, and probably belong to the
Persian era of Egyptian history. The walls were covered with
hieroglyphics, and the colours still remain in some places. The
soil of the oasis is strongly impregnated with salt.

Ifistortj of Egifpt — The history of Egypt may be divided into four
periods, viz. — the Pharaonic, down to b.c. 525 ; the Persian, from 525
to 332 ; the Macedonian or Hellenic, from 332 to 30 ; and the Roman
from B c 30 to A.D. 640.

1. The first of these, the Pharaonic, may be divided into three
portions : — the old monarchy, extending from the foundation of the
kingdom to the invasion of the Hyksos ; the middle, from the entrance
to the expulsion of the Hyksos ; and the new, from the re establish-
ment of the native monarchy by Amosis to the Persian conquest.

(1.) The Old Monarchy. — Memphis was the most ancient capital, the
foundation of which is ascribed to Menes, the first mortal king of
Egypt. The names of the kings, divided into dynasties, are handed
down in the lists of Manetho,* and are also known from the works
which they executed. The most memorable epoch in the historr of
the Old Monarchy is that of the Pyramid kings, placed in Manetho's
fourth dynasty. Their names are found upon these monuments : the
builder of the great pyramid is called Suphis by Manetho, Cheops by
Herodotus, and Khufu, or Shufu, in an inscription upon the pyramid.
The erection of the second pyramid is attriouted by Herodotus and
Diodorus to Chephren; and upon the neighbotuing tombs has been
read the name of Khafra, or Shafre. The builder of the third pyramid
is named Mycerinus by Herodotus and Diodorus; and in this very
pyramid a coffin has been found bearing the name Menkttra, The most
powerful kings of the Old Monarchy were those of Manetho*s 12tb
dynasty : to this period are assigned the construction of the Lake of
Moeris and the Labyrinth.

\2.) The Middle M<march'j,—Oi this period we only know that a
nomadic horde for several centuries occupied and made Egypt tri*
butary; that their capital was Memphis; that in the Sethroite nome
they constructed an inunense earth-camp, which they called Abaris;
that at a certain period of their occupation two independent kingdoms

* Ventum erat ad templnm, Libycia qaod gentibos anam
Inculti Qaramantes habent : stat corniger illio
Jupiter, ut memorant, sed non aut Ailmlna Tibrans,
Aut similis noetro, sed tortis c(Hn^bus Ammon.
Non illic LibycflB posuerunt ditia gentes
Templa, nee Eois splendent donaria gemmis.
Quamvis ^thiopnm popnlis, Arabumqae beatis
Gentibus, atqne Indis nnus sit Jupiter Ammon,
Pauper adboc Dens est, nullis violata per sBvum
Dlvitiis delubra tenens : mommqne prionun
Nnmen Eomano templum defendit ab anro. — Lvc. ix. 911.

* Manetho was an Egyptian priest who lived under the Ptolemies in the 3rd
century b.c, and wrote in Greek a history of Egypt, In which he divided the kings
into thirty dynasties. The work itself is lost, but the lists of dynasties have been
preeerved by the Christian writers.


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Chap. XV. HISTORY. 281

were formed in Egypt, one in the Thebaid, which held intimate rela-
tions with Ethiopia; another at Xois, among the marshes of the Nile;
and that, finally, the Egyptians regained their independence, and ex-
pelled the Hyksos, who thereupon retired into Palestine.

(3.) The New Monarchy extends from the commencement of the 18th
to the end of the 3()th dynasty. The kingdom was consolidated by
Amosis, who succeeded in expelling the Hyksos, and thus prepared the
way for the foreign expeditions * which his successors carried on in Asia
and Africa, extending from Mesopotamia in the former to Ethiopia in
the latter continent. The glorious era of Egyptian history was under
the 19th dynasty, when Sethi I., B.C. 1322, and his grandson, Rameses
the Great, B.C. 1311, both of whom represent the Sesostris of the Greek
historians, carried their arms over the whole of Western Asia and
southwards into Souddn, and amassed vast treasures, which were ex-
pended on public works. Rameses originated the project of connecting
the Red Sea with the Nile. He is further known as the builder of the
rock temples of Aboo^mhely as well as of temples at Napata, Tanis,
Thebes, Memphis, and other places. Under the later kings of the
19th dynasty the power of Egypt faded: the 20th and 21st dynasties
achieved nothing worthy of record ; but with the 22nd we enter upon a
period that is interesting from its associations with Biblical history,
the first of this dynasty, Sheshonk I. (Sesonchi8\ b.c. 990, being the
Shishak who invaded Judtea- in Rehoboam's reign and pillaged the
temple (I Kings xiv. 25): the extent of his rule is marked by the forces
he commanded, consisting of Libyans, Sukkiims (who are supposed to
be the Troglodytes from the western shores of the Red Sea), and Ethi-
opians (2 Chron. xii. 3). In the reign of Osorkon I. the expedition of
Zerah, the Ethiopian, took place (2 Chron. xiv. 9); this expedition is
nowhere else noticed, and it appears almost unavoidable that we
should identify Zerah with Osorkon. The 25th dynasty consisted of
Ethiopians, the two first of whom, Sabaco and Sebichus, ruled over
the whole of Egypt, while the third, Taracus, >vns restricted to Upper
Egypt. The second of these monarchs is the So with whom Hoahea,

* We find in inscriptions the names of foreign nations snbdued by the Egyptian
monarchs. Of these the most important are : Ntuhi, ondoubtedly the negroes ;
the name survives in Nasamones = NasM Amun^ ** negroes of Ammon ;** Cuah^
an in Scripture, the Greek Ethiopia : Shtuo^ the general name of the Arabs :
Palishta, the Philistines, who were connected with the Egyptians by descent, as
is implied in the name Caphthor, mentioned in the Bible as the primitive seat of
the Philistines (Jer. xlrii. 4 ; Am. ix. 7) : Khita, or ShetOj Hittites, to whom
belonged the fortress of Ateth, or Kadesh, perhaps Ashteroth-Kamaim : Shair&'
tanot supposed to be the Sharutinians who lived near Antioch : Thkhari^ a people
whose rcsidanoe is unknown, represented as wearing helmets similar to those in
the sculptures of Persepolis : Jiebo^ a nation probably flrom the nonhem part of
Assyria : Pountf probably dwelling on the borders of Arabia : Shari (compare
Scriptural Shur), a tribe of Northern Arabia : Rot-n-no^ probably in Northern
Syria; the name may be connected with Aradus: Natwayn, undoubtedly the
Naharaim of Scripture (Mesopotamia), with the town Ninum (Nineveh) : SMnar^
the Scriptural Shinar, Babylonia: Toersha^ Mashotuh (Moschi !), and Kufa^ Asiatic
races whose residences have not been identified : Asmaori (Samaria 7) : Lemanont
a Syrian tribe about Lebanon : Kanana^ the Canaanites : lastly, Hykfot^ with
regard to whom great doubt exists ; the name is of Arabian origin, and may
signify either ** Shepherd kings" or "Arab kings;'* but whether they were
Canaanites, Arabians, or PhiUstines, is not agreed.


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282 EGYPT. Book III.

king of Ibrael, made a treaty (2 Kings xvii. 4), in whoee reign Egypt
came into collision with Assyria. Taracus, the Tirhakah of Scripture,
succeeded So in the rule of the Thebaid, while native princes governed
Lower Egvpt. The Assyrian war was continued in his reign, and the
sieges of Libnah and Lachish by Sennacherib, which took place in each
of the two expeditions noticed in Scripture (2 Kings xviii. 13, 17), had
reference to the Egyptian rather than the Jewish campaign. It was pro-
bably during the reign of Tirhakah that the dudecarchy prevailed in
Lower Egypt: these twelve contemporaneous rulers were probably the
heads of the nomes. The Ethiopian dynasty in Upper and the dode-
oarchy in Lower Egypt were followed by the re-establishment of a
native dynasty in the person of Psammetichus I., B.C. 671. He intro-
duced Greek auxiliaries into his army, to the great dissatisfaction of
the native troops, who seceded in a body, and settled to the south of
Meroe. The long siege of Azotus, stat-ed at twenty-nine years (Her. ii.
157), and the threatened invasion of the Scythians, were two chief
events of his reign. His son Neco, or Necho, B.o. 617, made a vain
attempt to regain the supremacy which. Egypt had onc« enjoyed over
Western Asia: he defeated Joeiah at Megiddo (2 Kings xxiii. 29), but was
himself utterly defeated by Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish (Jer. xlvi. 2).
Psammetichus IL, or Psammis, b.c. 601, passed an uneventful reign of six
years, and was succeeded by Apries, the Pbaraoh-Hophra of the Bible,
D.O. 595, the king with whom Zedekiah^ king of Judah, entered into
alliance. He was successful in the early part of his reign, capturing
Gaza and Sidon, and obliging the Chaldcean army to retire from Jeru-
salem; but his attempt on Cyrene was a failure, and terminated in the
revolt of his troops, and his own deposition and death : it would appear
from some passages in the Bible (Is. xix. 2; Jer. xliii. 10, xliv. 1, 30)
that Nebuchadnezzar undertook an expedition into Egypt. Amasis,
B.C. 570, who deposed and succeeded Necho, cultivated friendly rela-
tions with the Greeks, and gave them Naucratis as an emporium: his
works of art, particularly the monuments at Sais, were numerous and
splendid. Psammenitus came to the throne just as Cambyses reached
iie frontier of Egypt, b.C. 525. He was defeated at Pelusium, and
afterwards besieged and captured at Memphis; and from this time
Egnrpt formed an integral part of the Persian empire.

II. The Persian Era, — The 27th dynasty consisted of eight Persian
kings, who were satraps of the Persian emperor. The cliief events
during this period were the two revolts in 488 and 456, the first of
which delayed the second invasion of Greece. The 28th dynasty con-
tains only one name, Amvrteeus the Saite, Who reigned over the whole
land, and whose sarcophagus is preserved in the British Museum.
The 29th contained four, and the 30th three kings, the last of whom,
Nectanebud II. , was dethroned by the generals of E)arius Ochus.

III, The Uellenic Era. — ^This commences with the conquest of Egypt
by Alexander the Great (b.c. 332). On the dissolution of the Mace-
donian empire in b23, Egypt fell into the hands of Ptolemy Soter, the
founder of the dynasty of the Lagidse. The early kings of this dynasty
were engaged in frequent contests with the kingA of Syria. Soter him-
self (323-283) conquered Phoenicia and Coele-Syria ; Philadelphus (283-
247) secured peace oy giving these provinces as the maiTiage- portion of
Berenice, the wife of Antiochus Theus; Euergetes (247-222) took up
arms to revenge the death of Berenice, and reduced the Syrian pro-
vinces to the confines of Bactria and India; Philopator (222-205) de-


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Chap. XV. HISTORY. 283

feated Antioohua the Qreat at Raphia, and thus regained the disputed
possessions which had previously been conquered by the Syrians ; but
under Epiphanes (205-181) they were finally lost, and the attempt to
regain them under Philometor (181-146) ended in the total defeat of
the Egyptians at Pelusium in 170. The succeeding reigns of Euer-
getee II. (146.117), Lathyrus (117-107, and again 89-81), Alexander I.
and Cleopatra (107-90), and Auletes (80-51), are chiefly notorious for
the profligacy of the successive sovereigns and the frequent insurrec-
tions of the Alexandrians. The disputes that prevailed opened the
door for the interference of the Romans, and the last of these kings
was restored to his throne by A. Qabinius, proconsul of Syria. In the
reign of his successors, Ptolemy and Cleopatra, the Alexandrian war
arose, in which Csesar took the part of Cleopatra, and Ptolemy perished
in 47. Cleopatra thenceforward reigned in conjunction with another
brother : her eventful life was terminated by her own hand in 3( >, and
the dynasty of the two Ptolemies ended. As to the inteiiial state of
Egypt under the Hellenic monarchs, it was on the whole pro<)perous.
Commerce was fostered not only by the foundation of Alexandria, but
subsequently by the opening of the Indian trade through the Red Sea
by Philadelphus ; literature flourished greatly at Alexandria ; even the
old Egyptian edifices came in for a share of royal patronage, and many
of the temples were either restored or enlarged.

IV. The Boman Era.— For a long period Egypt eiyoyed peace and
prosperity under the Roman emperors, who treated it generally with
consideration, and aided in the maintenance of the religious edifices.
In the reign of Aurelius a serious rebellion occun'ed (a.d. 171-175);
in 269 the country was for a few months occupied by Zenobia, queen
of Palmyra; and thenceforward troublous times set in through the
resistance offered to Auralian in 272, Probus in 276, and Diocletian
in 285. The religious disputes of the Arians and Athanasians form
prominent topics in the history of this period ; and the extent to which
monasticism prevailed on the banks of the Nile exercised a prejudicial
influence on the country. In a.d. 379 Paganism was denounced by an
imperial edict, and all the temples were overthrown. The only subse-
quent events were the subjugation of E^ypt by Persia in a.d. 618 ; and
its conquest by Amron, the general of the Khaliph Omar, in 640.

TheBotawand VkdnltyofPhllA. (From Wiikiiuon.)


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II. — .Ethiopia.

§ 15. Ethiopia, in its strictly territorial sense/ was bounded on
the N. by Egypt, on the W. by the Libyan Desert, on the S.* by the
Abyssinian highlands, and on the E. by the ludiAn Ocean and the
Red Sea, from Prom. Prasum in the S. to Prom. Bazium in the N.
It embraces Nubia, Sennaar, Kordo/an, and northern Abyssinia,
It is for the most part a mountainous country, rising gradually to-
wards the S. Water is abundant there, and the country seems to
have been famed for its fertility in ancient times. In addition to
various kinds of agricultural produce, it ^jossessed some articles of
great commercial value, jiarticularly gold, ebony, and ivory.

Name. The Greeks derived " Ethiopia" from edf6«, and ^, accord-
ing to which it would betoken the land of the dark-complexioned. It
is probable, however, that it was a Grsecized form of E(fu)$fi, the name
by which the Egyptians described it.

§ 16. The mountain-ranges of this vast district were but imper-
fectly known. A lofty chain skirts the sea-coast, and shuts out the
interior from easy access to the sea. On the W. a range, named
jSthiopid Montes, forms the natural limit on the side of the desert.
Far away to the S. were the Lunss Montet, reputed to contain the
sources of the Nile. The sea-coast was tolerably well known from
the visits of merchants. The Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb are not
noticed under any specific name. Two bays only are described, viz. :
Adulleni Sinni, AnnesJey Bay, in the Red Sea ; and Avalltes SiiL
somewhat S. of the Straits. Of the promontories we may notice —
Baiium, Ras-eUNaschef, nearly in the parallel of Syene ; Arom&ta,
C. QuardafiU, the most easterly point of Africa ; and Praaum. C.
Delgado, in the extreme S. The positions of others that are
noticed on the shores of the Indian Ocean, such as Zingus. Koti
Cknmui and Bhaptam»,are not well ascertained. The chief river is
the Nile, which has been already described as dividing into two
branches in this part of its course, to one of which (probably the
Blue Nile) the name of Ast&pni was given, and which also receives,
near Meroe, an important tributary, now named the Tacazze, and
probably formerly the AstabCras. The lakes, in which the Nile was

* The name JBthiopia was sometimes osed in a broader sense to signify aU the
inhabitants of interior Africa, and in this case the inhabitants of .ISthiopia proper
were distinguished as the Ethiopians beyond Egypt. We have already (p. 19)
referred to the mythical Ethiopians.

' Ethiopia was the most southerly land known to the ancients : hence Lucan
describes it as —

Ethiopuraque solum quod non premeretur ab ulla
Signifcri regione poll, nisi poplite lapse ^

Ultima curvati procederet ungula Tauri. — ^iii. 253.


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Chap. XV. ' INHABITANTS. 286

reputed to have its sources, fell within the limita of Ethiopia : in
addition to these we have to notice the lake Coloo» or PiebQa, Dem'
hea, through which the Astapus flows.

§ 17. The inhabitants of this vast region were a mixture of
Arabian and Libyan races with the genuine Ethiopians. They
were divided into a number of tribes, designated according to their
diet or employment, such as the Rhizophagi, " root-eaters,** Acrido-
phagi, " locust-eaters," &c. The residences of these tribes are un-
certain, with the exception of the following four : — The Blammyei
and Vegabari. between the Red Sea and the Astaboras ; the lethjo-
ph&gi, " fish-eaters,** on the coast of the Red Sea, N. of the Bay of
Adule; and the Troglodytn, *' cave-dwellors,** in the mountains
skirting the Red Sea, S. of Egypt. The Xaoroliii, " long-lived,**
bad a settled residence, but its locality cannot be considered as known.
The Sembrlttt are deserving of notice, as being in all probability the
descendants of the Automoli, noticed by Herodotus (ii. 30) as the
war-caste of Egypt, who deserted in the reign of Psammetichus,
B.C 658. The Sembritae appear to have lived on the Astapus, not
far from Auxume, which has been derived .by some from the Egyp-
tian name of the caste ** Asmach.** The HuImb' originally lived on
the western bank of the Nile, S. of Meroe, in Kordofan : they were
the water-carriers and caravan-guides engaged in the trade between
Egypt and Inner Africa, and derived their name from the gdd
(" noub *' in Egyptian) imported from Kordofan. Originally they
were isolated tribes, but in the 3rd cent. a.d. they were consolidated,
and in the reign of Diocletian (about a.d. 300) were transferred by
the Romans to the Nile, as a barrier against the Blemmyes : they
thus gave to that district the name of Nubia^ which it still retains.
The country may he considered as divided into the following dis-
tricts ; — Dodeoaaohcemit) in the N., extending for 12 schoeni (as its
name implies) from Phike to Pscelcis : by the Romans it was an-
nexed to Egypt ; Ethiopia Proper, or the kingdom of Meroe, which
extended southwards from Pscelcis to the junction of the Blue and
White Niles ; Bagid Auzomit&mm, between the upper course of the
Blue Nile and the Red Sea, nearly coextensive with Abyssinia;
and Barbaria or Aniiia, Ajan, the coast-district from the promontory
of Aromata to that of Rhaptimi : the latter name, according to
Ptolemy, applied more particularly to the interior. The southern
portion of Meroc) was named the '* Isle,** as being bounded on three

* Hit eirnul, inmitem testAntes eorpore solem,
ExnsU Tenere Nuba. Non nrea cateis.
Nee loiioa riget ferro, nee tenditur wreus ;
Tempora mnltiplici mos est defendere lino,
Et lino manire latus, soeleraUqtie raoeis
Spicala dirigere, et femiin infiunare veneno.— Sil. Ital. iU. 268.


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of its sides by rivers, viz. : the Nile on the W., the Astapus or
Blipe NUe on the S., and the Astaboras on the N.E. It was
hounded on the £. hy the Abyssinian highlands, and on the W. of
the Nile was the desert of Bahiouda. This district was rich^ in
productions of every kind — ^minerals, animals, and vegetables ; and .
its fertility, combined with its central position, led to the high
prosperity which it attained.

§ 18. The towns of -Ethiopia, with which we are acquainted
through the Greek historians and geographers, may be distinguished
into two classes : the genuine ^Ethiopian towns, which were chiefly
situated in the valley of the Nile ; and the Greek emporia on the
shores of the Red Sea. The latter belong to the period of the Ptole-
mies, and include Ptolcmfiis-Theron, Adule, Arsinoe, and Berenice
Epideires. From these an active trade was carried on, not only with
the interior, but with Arabia, Western India, and Ceylon. These
towns flourished until the Saracen invasion in the 7th cent. a.d. Of
the ^Ethiopian towns, the southern capital Meroe was undoubtedly
the first in importance. The remains of temples and pyramids prove
the existence of numerous towns in the same district. Nap&ta*
comes next, and as the northern capital of -Ethiopia was even more
important in relation to Egypt. Numerous important to^^^ls were
erected by the Pharoahs between Nap&ta and the Egyptian frontier,
the history of which is lost, but the ruins remain, testifying to the
former grandeur of the temples :• these are found at Dendoor^ a short
distance S. of Talmis ; at Derr : at Ahoosimbal or Ipsamhol (perhaps
the ancient Aboccis), about two days' journey below the Second
Cataract ; at Semneh, above the Great Cataract, a place probably in-
tended to guard the NQe ; at Soleb, below the Third Cataract ; and at
numerous other places. Subsequently to the fall of Merog, Auxume
rose to importance as a seat. both of art and of commerce. Most of
the towns of the interior were entrep6ts for the Central African
trade : to this circumstance MeroS, Auxume, and Napttta owed their
wealth. Some of the towns in Dodecaschoenus were border-fortresses,
and are hence noticed in connexion with the campaigns of Petronius.

* Late tibi gurgite rupto

Ambitor algris Meroe fecunda colonis,
L»ta oomis ebeni : qusD, quamris orbore molta
Frondeat, opotatem nulla sibl mitigat umbra :
Linea tarn rectum mnndi ferit ilia Leonem. — Lvc. x. S02.

* The pyramids and templea near Oehel-eUBirkel are supposed to mark ito site ;
while the thirty-five pyramids of Nouri stand eight miles higher up.

* These temples were chiefly built by the Egyptian monarehs : the temple of
the Sun at Derr^ and the richly sculptured temples at Ahootmhel are of tlie date
of Rameses the Great. At Hauaia is a temple bearing the sign-manual of
Thothmes III. These buildings probably surriyed to a late age, and were
beautified or enlarged at rarious eras : at Dendoor^ for instance, there axe re-
mains of the Augustan age.


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Chap. XV. TOWKS. 287

(1.) In Dodeea$6h<Bnu8.—t9ladM stood on the left bank of the Nile,
about five days' journey S. of Philse. The ruins of it at KcUdbsdie are
highly interesting, consisting of a rock-temple dedicated to Manduls,
with bas-reliefs and beauti&l sculptures. This temple was originally
built by Amunoph II., was rebuilt by one of the Ptolemies, and repaired
in the reigns of Augustus, Caligula, and Trajan. A fao-simile of these
sculptures stands in the British Museum. A curious Greek inscription
of Silco, probably one of the kings of the Nubss who protected the
Roman frontier, has been found there. Another temple of great interest
belongs to the Pharaonio era. Pselds, on the left bank of the Nile at
Dakkeh, was one of the strongholds which Petronius took from the

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