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GEORG EBERS
II

AN EGYPTIAN
PRINCESS



THE HISTORICAL ROMANCES OF
GEORG EBERS



EGYPTIAN PRINCESS



Translated from the Ge
Eleanor Grove



ON AND COMPANY
London

nA




An Egyptian Princess.

Photogravure from a painting by Stchfl.



THE HISTORICAL ROMANCES OF
GEORG EBERS



AN

EGYPTIAN PRINCESS

VOLUME ONE



Translated from the German by
Eleanor Grove



D. APPLETON AND COMPANY
New York and London



COPYRIGHT, 1880,
BY WILLIAM S. GOTTSBERGER.



Authorized Edition.



PT
1^51

El IP Alt



TO

PROFESSOR RICHARD LEPSIUS
THE NINTH EDITION

OF THIS WORK
IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

BV

THE AUTHOR.



W1-1 A '

. / i ..'. JL *



PREFACE

TO THE SECOND GERMAN EDITION.



Aut prodesse volunt aut delectare poetae,
Aut simul et jucunda et idonea dicere vitae.
Horat. De artefoetica v. 333.

IT is now four years since this book first appeared
before the public, and I feel it my duty not to let a
second edition go forth into the world without a few
words of accompaniment. It hardly seems necessary
to assure my readers that I have endeavored to earn
for the following pages the title of a "corrected edi-
tion." An author is the father of his book, and what
father could see his child preparing to set out on a new
and dangerous road, even if it were not for the first
time, without endeavoring to supply him with every
good that it lay in his power to bestow, and to free him
from every fault or infirmity on which the world could
look unfavorably ? The assurance therefore that I have
repeatedly bestowed the greatest possible care on the
correction of my Egyptian Princess seems to me super-
fluous, but at the same time I think it advisable to men-
tion briefly where and in what manner I have found it
necessary to make these emendations. The notes have
been revised, altered, and enriched with all those results
of antiquarian research (more especially in reference to
the language and monuments of ancient Egypt) which
have come to our knowledge since the year 1864, and

An Egyptian Princess, I.



II PREFACE.

which my limited space allowed me to lay before a gen-
eral public. On the alteration of the text itself I en-
tered with caution, almost with timidity; for during four
years of constant effort as academical tutor, investiga-
tor and writer in those severe regions of study which
exclude the free exercise of imagination, the poetical
side of a man's nature may forfeit much to the critical ;
and thus, by attempting to remodel my tale entirely, I
might have incurred the danger of removing it from the
more genial sphere of literary work to which it properly
belongs. I have therefore contented myself with a care-
ful revision of the style, the omission of lengthy pas-
sages which might have diminished the interest of the
story to general readers, the insertion of a few charac-
teristic or explanatory additions, and the alteration of
the proper names. These last I have written not in
their Greek, but in their Latin forms, having been as-
sured by more than one fair reader that the names
Ibykus and Cyrus would have been greeted by them as
old acquaintances, whereas the " Ibykos " and " Kyros "
of the first edition looked so strange and learned, as to
be quite discouraging. Where however the German k
has the same worth as the Roman c I have adopted it in
preference. With respect to the Egyptian names and
those with which we have become acquainted through
the cuneiform inscriptions, I have chosen the forms
most adapted to our German modes of speech, and in
the present edition have placed those few explanations
which seemed to me indispensable to the right under-
standing of the text, at the foot of the page, instead of
among the less easily accessible notes at the end.*

* In this edition all the notes have been placed at the foot of the
pages containing the corresponding text. Note to American edition.



PREFACE. Ill

The fact that displeasure has been excited among
men of letters by this attempt to clothe the hardly-earned
results of severer studies in an imaginative form is even
clearer to me now than when I first sent this book be-
fore the public. In some points I agree with this judg-
ment, but that the act is kindly received, when a
scholar does not scorn to render the results of his in-
vestigations accessible to the largest number of the ed-
ucated class, in the form most generally interesting to
them, is proved by the rapid sale of the first large edition
of this work. I know at least of no better means than
those I have chosen, by which to instruct and suggest
thought to an extended circle of readers. Those who
read learned books evince in so doing a taste for such
studies; but it may easily chance that the following
pages, though taken up only for amusement, may ex-
cite a desire for more information, and even gain a dis-
ciple for the study of ancient history.

Considering our scanty knowledge of the domestic
life of the Greeks and Persians before the Persian war
of Egyptian manners we know more even the most
severe scholar could scarcely dispense with the assist-
ance of his imagination, when attempting to describe
private life among the civilized nations of the sixth cen-
tury before Christ. He would however escape all dan-
ger of those anachronisms to which the author of such
a work as I have undertaken must be hopelessly liable.
With attention and industry, errors of an external char-
acter may be avoided, but if I had chosen to hold my-
self free from all consideration of the times in which I
and my readers have come into the world, and the
modes of thought at present existing among us, and
had attempted to depict nothing but the purely ancient



IV PREFACE.

characteristics of the men and their times, I should have
become unintelligible to many of my readers, uninter-
esting to all, and have entirely failed in my original ob-
ject. My characters will therefore look like Persians,
Egyptians, &c., but in their language, even more than
in their actions, the German narrator will be perceptible,
not always superior to the sentimentality of his day,
but a native of the world in the nineteenth century
after the appearance of that heavenly Master, whose
teaching left so deep an impression on human thought
and feeling.

The Persians and Greeks, being by descent related
to ourselves, present fewer difficulties in this respect
than the Egyptians, whose dwelling-place on the fruitful
islands won by the Nile from the Desert, completely
isolated them from the rest of the world.

To Professor Lepsius, who suggested to me that a
tale confined entirely to Egypt and the Egyptians might
become wearisome, I owe many thanks; and following
his hint, have so arranged the materials supplied by
Herodotus as to introduce my reader first into a Greek
circle. Here he will feel in a measure at home, and in-
deed will entirely sympathize with them on one impor-
tant point, viz. : in their ideas on the Beautiful and on
Art. Through this Hellenic portico he reaches Egypt,
from thence passes on to Persia and returns finally to
the Nile. It has been my desire that the three nations
should attract him equally, and I have therefore not
centred the entire interest of the plot in one hero, but
have endeavored to exhibit each nation in its individual
character, by means of a fitting representative. The
Egyptian Princess has given her name to the book,
only because the weal and woe of all my other char-



PREFACE. V

acters were decided by her fate, and she must therefore
be regarded as the central point of the whole.

In describing Amasis I have followed the excellent
description of Herodotus, which has been confirmed by
a picture discovered on an ancient monument. Hero-
dotus has been my guide too in the leading features of
Cambyses' character; indeed as he was born only forty
or fifty years after the events related, his history forms
the basis of my romance.

" Father of history " though he be, I have not fol-
lowed him blindly, but, especially in the development
of my characters, have chosen those paths which the
principles of psychology have enabled me to lay down
for myself, and have never omitted consulting those
hieroglyphic and cuneiform inscriptions which have been
already deciphered. In most cases these confirm the
statements of Herodotus.

I have caused Bartja's murder to take place after
the conquest of Egypt, because I cannot agree with the
usually received translation of the Behistun inscription.
This reads as follows : " One named Cambujiya, son of
Curu, of our family, was king here formerly and had a
brother named Bartiya, of the same father and the same
mother as Cambujiya. Thereupon Cambujiya killed that
Bartiya." In a book intended for general readers, it
would not be well to enter into a discussion as to niceties
of language, but even the uninitiated will see that
the word " thereupon " has no sense in this connection.
In every other point the inscription agrees with Hero-
dotus' narrative, and I believe it possible to bring it
into agreement with that of Darius on this last as well;
but reserve my proofs for another time and place.

It has not been ascertained from whence Herodotus



VI PREFACE.

has taken the name Smerdis which he gives to Bartja
and Gaumata. The latter occurs again, though in a
mutilated form, in Justin.

My reasons for making Phanes an Athenian will be
found in Note 90. Vol. i. This coercion of an authen-
ticated fact might have been avoided in the first edi-
tion, but could not now be altered without important
changes in the entire text. The means I have adopted
in my endeavor to make Nitetis as young as possible
need a more serious apology; as, notwithstanding He-
rodotus' account of the mildness of Amasis' rule, it is
improbable that King Hophra should have been alive
twenty years after his fall. Even this however is not
impossible, for it can be proved that his descendants
were not persecuted by Amasis.

On a Stela in the Leyden Museum I have discov-
ered that a certain Psamtik, a member of the fallen
dynasty, lived till the iyth year of Amasis' reign, and
died at the age of seventy-five.

Lastly let me be permitted to say a word or two
in reference to Rhodopis. That she must have been a
remarkable woman is evident from the passage in He-
rodotus quoted in Notes 10, and 14, Vol. i., and from
the accounts given by many other writers. Her name,
"the rosy-cheeked one," tells us that she was beautiful,
and her amiability and charm of manner are expressly
praised by Herodotus. How richly she was endowed
with gifts and graces may be gathered too from the
manner in which tradition and fairy lore have endeav-
ored to render her name immortal. By many she is
said to have built the most beautiful of the Pyramids,
the Pyramid of Mycerinus or Menkera. One tale
related of her and reported by Strabo and ^Elian prob-



PREFACE. VII

ably gave rise to our oldest and most beautiful fairy-
tale, Cinderella; another is near akin to the Loreley
legend. An eagle, according to ^Elian the wind, in
Strabo's tale, bore away Rhodopis' slippers while she
was bathing in the Nile, and laid them at the feet of
the king, when seated on his throne of justice in the
open market. The little slippers so enchanted him that
he did not rest until he had discovered their owner and
made her his queen.

The second legend tells us how a wonderfully beau-
tiful naked woman could be seen sitting on the summit
of one of the pyramids (ut in una ex pyramidibus); and
how she drove the wanderers in the desert mad through
her exceeding loveliness.

Moore borrowed this legend and introduces it in
the following verse:

"Fair Rhodope, as story tells
The bright unearthly nymph, who dwells
'Mid sunless gold and jewels hid,
The lady of the Pyramid."

Fabulous as these stories sound, they still prove
that Rhodopis must have been no ordinary woman.
Some scholars would place her on a level with the
beautiful and heroic Queen Nitokris, spoken of by Julius
Africanus, Eusebius and others, and whose name, (sig-
nifying the victorious Neith) has been found on the
monuments, applied to a queen of the sixth dynasty.
This is a bold conjecture; it adds however to the im-
portance of our heroine; and without doubt many tra-
ditions referring to the one have been transferred to the
other, and vice versa. Herodotus lived so short a
time after Rhodopis, and tells so many exact particu-
lars of her private life that it is impossible she should



VIII PREFACE.

have been a mere creation of fiction. The letter of
Darius, given at the end of Vol. II., is intended to
identify the Greek Rhodopis with the mythical builder
of the Pyramid. I would also mention here that she is
called Doricha by Sappho. This may have been her
name before she received the title of the "rosy-cheeked
one."

I must apologize for the torrent of verse that ap-
pears in the love-scenes between Sappho and Bartja;
it is also incumbent upon me to say a few words about
the love-scenes themselves, which I have altered very
slightly in the new edition, though they have been more
severely criticised than any other portion of the work.

First I will confess that the lines describing the happy
love of a handsome young couple to whom I had my-
self become warmly attached, flowed from my pen in-
voluntarily, even against my will (I intended to write
a novel in prose) in the quiet night, by the eternal Nile,
among the palms and roses. The first love-scene has
a story of its own to me. I wrote it in half an hour,
almost unconsciously. It may be read in my book that
the Persians always reflected in the morning, when
sober, upon the resolutions formed the night before,
while drunk. When I examined in the sunshine what
had come into existence by lamplight, I grew doubtful
of its merits, and was on the point of destroying the
love-scenes altogether, when my dear friend Julius
Hammer, the author of " Schau in Dich, und Schau um
Dich," too early summoned to the other world by death,
stayed my hand. Their form was also approved by
others, and I tell myself that the poetical expression of
love is very similar in all lands and ages, while lovers'
conversations and modes of intercourse vary according



PREFACE. IX

to time and place. Besides, I have to deal with one of
those by no means rare cases, where poetry can ap-
proach nearer the truth than prudent, watchful prose.
Many of my honored critics have censured these scenes;
others, among whom are some whose opinion I specially
value, have lavished the kindest praise upon them.
Among these gentlemen I will mention A. Stahr, C. V.
Holtei, M. Hartmann, E. Hoefer, W. Wolfsohn, C.
Leemans, Professor Veth of Amsterdam, etc. Yet I will
not conceal the fact that some, whose opinion has
great weight, have asked: "Did the ancients know
anything of love, in our sense of the word? Is not
romantic love, as we know it, a result of Christianity ? "
The following sentence, which stands at the head of
the preface to my first edition, will prove that I had
not ignored this question when I began my task.

" It has often been remarked that in Cicero's letters
and those of Pliny the younger there are unmistakeable
indications of sympathy with the more sentimental feel-
ing of modern days. I find in them tones of deep ten-
derness only, such as have arisen and will arise from
sad and aching hearts in every land and every age."

A. v. HUMBOLDT. Cosmos II. p. 19.

This opinion of our great scholar is one with which
I cheerfully coincide and would refer my readers to the
fact that love-stories were written before the Christian
era: the Amor and Psyche of Apuleius for instance.
Indeed love in all its forms was familiar to the ancients.
Where can we find a more beautiful expression of ardent
passion than glows in Sappho's songs? or of patient
faithful constancy than in Homer's Penelope? Could
there be a more beautiful picture of the union of two



X PREFACE.

loving hearts, even beyond the grave, than Xenophon
has preserved for us in his account of Panthea and
Abradatas? or the story of Sabinus the Gaul and his
wife, told in the history of Vespasian ? Is there any-
where a sweeter legend than that of the Halcyons, the
ice-birds, who love one another so tenderly that when
the male becomes enfeebled by age, his mate carries
him on her outspread wings whithersoever he will; and
the gods, desiring to reward such faithful love, cause
the sun to shine more kindly, and still the winds and
waves on the " Halcyon days" during which these birds
are building their nest and brooding over their young?
There can surely have been no lack of romantic love in
days when a used-up man of the world, like Antony,
could desire in his will that wherever he died his body
might be laid by the side of his beloved Cleopatra: nor
of the chivalry of love when Berenice's beautiful hair
was placed as a constellation in the heavens. Neither
can we believe that devotion in the cause of love could
be wanting when a whole nation was ready to wage a
fierce and obstinate war for the sake of one beautiful
woman. The Greeks had an insult to revenge, but the
Trojans fought for the possession of Helen. Even the
old men of Ilium were ready " to suffer long for such a
woman."* And finally is not the whole question an-
swered in Theocritus' unparalleled poem, "the Sorce-
ress?" We see the poor love-lorn girl and her old
woman-servant, Thestylis, cowering over the fire above
which the bird supposed to possess the power of bring-
ing back the faithless Delphis is sitting in his wheel.
Simcetha has learnt many spells and charms from an

itokvv



PREPACK. XI

Assyrian, and she tries them all. The distant roar of
the waves, the smoke rising from the fire, the dogs
howling in the street, the tortured fluttering bird, the
old woman, the broken-hearted girl and her awful
spells, all join in forming a night scene the effect of
which is heightened by the calm cold moonshine. The
old woman leaves the girl, who at once ceases to weave
her spells, allows her pent-up tears to have their way,
and looking up to Selene the moon, the lovers' silent
confidante, pours out her whole story: how when she
first saw the beautiful Delphis her heart had glowed
with love, she had seen nothing more of the train of
youths who followed him, " and," (thus sadly the poet
makes her speak)

"how I gained my home
I knew not ; some strange fever wasted me.
Ten days and nights I lay upon my bed.
O tell me, mistress Moon, whence came my love! " *

"Then" (she continues) when Delphis at last
crossed her threshold:

"I

" Became all cold like snow, and from my brow
Brake the damp dewdrops : utterance I had none,
Not e'en such utterance as a babe may make
That babbles to its mother in its dreams ;
But all my fair frame stiffened into wax,
O tell me mistress Moon, whence came my love ! " *

Whence came her love ? thence, whence it comes to
us now. The love of the creature to its Creator, of
man to God, is the grand and yet gracious gift of
Christianity. Christ's command to love our neighbor
called into existence not only the conception of philan-
thropy, but of humanity itself, an idea unknown to the

* Translation by C. S. Calverley.



XII PREFACE.

heathen world, where love had been at widest limited to
their native town and country. The love of man and
wife has without doubt been purified and transfigured
by Christianity; still it is possible that a Greek may have
loved as tenderly and longingly as a Christian. The
more ardent glow of passion at least cannot be denied
to the ancients. And did not their love find vent in the
same expressions as our own ? Who does not know the
charming roundelay :

" Drink the glad wine with me,
With me spend youth's gay hours;
Or a sighing lover be,
Or crown thy brow with flowers.
When I am merry and mad,
Merry and mad be you;
When I am sober and sad,
Be sad and sober too ! " *

written however by no poet of modern days, but
by Praxilla, in the fifth century before Christ. Who
would guess either that Moore's little song was modelled
on one written even earlier than the date of our story ?

"As o'er her loom the Lesbian maid
In love-sick languor hung her head.
Unknowing where her fingers stray'd,
She weeping turned away and said,
' Oh, my sweet mother, 'tis in vain,
I cannot weave as once I wove ;
So wilder'd is my heart and brain
With thinking of that youth I love.' "

If my space allowed I could add much more on this
subject, but will permit myself only one remark in con-
clusion. Lovers delighted in nature then as now; the
moon was their chosen confidante, and I know of no
modern poem in which the mysterious charm of a summer

* Translated by Dean Milman.



PREFACE. XIII

night and the magic beauty which lies on flowers, trees
and fountains in those silent hours when the world is
asleep, is more exquisitely described than in the following
verses, also by Sappho, at the reading of which we seem
forced to breathe more slowly, "kiihl bis an's Herz
hinan."

"Planets, that around the beauteous moon
Attendant wait, cast into shade
Their ineffectual lustres, soon
As she, in full-orb'd majesty array 'd,
Her silver radiance pours
Upon this world of ours." *

and:

"Thro" orchard plots with fragrance crown'd,
The clear cold fountain murm'ring flows;
And forest leaves, with rustling sound,
Invite to soft repose." *

The foregoing remarks seemed to me due to those
who consider a love such as that of Sappho and Bartja
to have been impossible among the ancients. Unques-
tionably it was much rarer then than in these days:
indeed I confess to having sketched my pair of lovers
in somewhat bright colors. But may I not be allowed,
at least once, to claim the poet's freedom ?

How seldom I have availed myself of this freedom
will be evident from the notes included in each volume.
They seemed to me necessary, partly in order to explain
the names and illustrate the circumstances mentioned in
the text, and partly to vindicate the writer in the eyes
of the learned. I trust they may not prove discourag-
ing to any, as the text will be found easily readable
without reference to the explanations.

Jena, November 28, 1868.

GEORG EBERS, DR.

* Translated by J. H. Merivale.



PREFACE

TO THE FOURTH GERMAN EDITION.



Two years and a half after the appearance of the
third edition of "An Egyptian Princess," a fourth was
needed. I returned long since from the journey to the
Nile, for which I was preparing while correcting the
proof-sheets of the third edition, and on which I can
look back with special satisfaction. During my resi-
dence in Egypt, in 1872-73, a lucky accident enabled
me to make many new discoveries; among them one
treasure of incomparable value, the great hieratic man-
uscript, which bears my name. Its publication has just
been completed, and it is now in the library of the
Leipzig University.

The Papyrus Ebers, the second in size and the best
preserved of all the ancient Egyptian manuscripts which
have come into our possession, was written in the i6th
century B. C., and contains on no pages the hermetic
book upon the medicines of the ancient Egyptians,
known also to the Alexandrine Greeks. The god Thoth
(Hermes) is called "the guide" of physicians, and the
various writings and treatises of which the work is com-
posed are revelations from him. In this venerable scroll
diagnoses are made and remedies suggested for the in-
ternal and external diseases of most portions of the
human body. With the drugs prescribed are numbers,
according to which they are weighed with weights and



PREFACE, XV

measured with hollow measures, and accompanying
the prescriptions are noted the pious axioms to be
repeated by the physician, while compounding and
giving them to the patient. On the second line of the '
first page of our manuscript, it is stated that it came
from Sais. A large portion of this work is devoted to
the visual organs. On the twentieth line of the fifty-
fifth page begins the book on the eyes, which fills eight
large pages. We were formerly compelled to draw from
Greek and Roman authors what we knew about the
remedies used for diseases of the eye among the ancient
Egyptians. The portion of the Papyrus Ebers just
mentioned is now the only Egyptian source from whence



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