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Agatharchidas of Cnidos. It is combated by Diodorus Siculus, B. i., but
it is the opinion most generally received at the present day. See the
disquisition on the subject introduced in the Ninth book of Lucan’s

[3537] And that the high tide or inundation would be consequently
continuous as well.

[3538] The principal well for this purpose was called the “Nilometer,”
or “Gauge for the Nile.”

[3539] On this subject see Pliny, B. xviii. c. 47, and B. xxxvi. c. 11.

[3540] Seneca says that the Nile did not rise as usual in the tenth and
eleventh years of the reign of Cleopatra, and that the circumstance was
said to bode ruin to her and Antony.—Nat. Quæst. B. iv. c. 2.

[3541] He means dense clouds, productive of rain, not thin mists. See
what is said of the Borysthenes by our author, B. xxxi. c. 30.

[3542] Syene was a city of Upper Egypt, on the eastern bank of the Nile
just below the First Cataract, and was looked upon as the southern
frontier city of Egypt against Æthiopia. It was an important point in
the geography and astronomy of the ancients; for, lying just under the
tropic of Cancer, it was chosen as the place through which they drew
their chief parallel of latitude. The sun was vertical to Syene at the
time of the summer solstice, and a well was shown there where the face
of the sun was seen at noon at that time. Its present name is Assouan
or Ossouan.

[3543] If this word means the “Camp,” it does not appear to be known
what camp is meant. Most editions have “Cerastæ,” in which case it
would mean that at Syene the Cerastes or horned serpent is found.

[3544] One of these (if indeed Philæ did consist of more than a single
island, which seems doubtful) is now known as Djeziret-el-Birbe, the
“Island of the Temple.”

[3545] This island was seated just below the Lesser Cataract, opposite
Syene, and near the western bank of the Nile. At this point the river
becomes navigable downward to its mouths, and the traveller from
Meroë or Æthiopia enters Egypt Proper. The original name of this
island was “Ebo,” Eb being in the language of hieroglyphics the symbol
of the elephant and ivory. It was remarkable for its fertility and
verdure, and the Arabs of the present day designate the island as
Djesiret-el-Sag, or “the Blooming.”

[3546] This is a mistake of Pliny’s, for it was opposite to Syene.
Brotier thinks that Pliny intended to write ‘Philæ,’ but by mistake
inserted Syene.

[3547] Artemidorus, Juba, and Aristocreon.

[3548] They were probably made of papyrus, or else of hides, like the
British coracles.

[3549] The last king of the line of Psammetichus, B.C. 569. He
succeeded Apries, whom the Egyptians put to death. He died just before
the invasion by Cambyses, having displayed great abilities as a ruler.

[3550] There was the Greater Apollinopolis, the modern Edfoo, in the
Thebaid, on the western bank of the Nile, in lat. 25° north, about
thirteen miles below the lesser Cataract: its inhabitants were enemies
of the crocodile and its worshippers. The remains of two temples there
are considered second only to the temple of Denderah as specimens of
the sacred structures of Egypt. A Lesser Apollinopolis was in Upper
Egypt, on the western bank of the Nile, in lat. 27° north. Another
Lesser Apollinopolis was a town of the Thebaid in the Coptite Nome, in
lat. 26° north, situate between Thebes and Coptos. It was situate at
the present Kuss.

[3551] Its site is unknown. Hardouin suggests that it is the Eilethuia
of Ptolemy, the modern El-Kab.

[3552] “City of Jupiter,” the Greek name for Thebes, the No or No Ammon
of Scripture. It stood in the centre of the Thebaid, on both banks of
the Nile, above Coptos, and in the Nomos Coptites. Its ruins, which are
the most magnificent in the world, enclose within their site the four
villages of Carnac, Luxor, Medinet Abou, and Gournou.

[3553] Its hieroglyphical name was Kobto, and its site is now occupied
by the modern town of Kouft or Keft. It was situate in lat. 26°
north, on the right bank of the Nile, about a mile from its banks.
As a halting place or rather watering-place for the caravans, it was
enriched by the commerce between Libya and Egypt on the one hand, and
Arabia and India and Egypt on the other, the latter being carried
on through the port of Berenice on the Red Sea, founded by Ptolemy
Philadelphus, B.C. 266. In the seventh century of the Christian era, it
bore for some time the name of Justinianopolis. There are a few remains
of Roman buildings to be seen on its site.

[3554] Also called Aphrodite or Aphroditopolis. Of this name there
were several towns or cities in ancient Egypt. In Lower Egypt there
was Atarbechis, thus named, and a town mentioned by Strabo in the
nome of Leontopolites. In the Heptanomis or Middle Egypt there was
the place, the ruins of which are called Aftyeh, on the east side of
the Nile, and the capital of the nome of Aphroditopolites. In Upper
Egypt or the Thebais there was the present Tachta, on the west side of
the Nile, between Ptolemais and Panopolis, capital of another nome of
Aphroditopolites, and that one the ruins of which are now called Deir,
on the west bank of the Nile, higher up than the former, and, like it,
some distance from the river. It was situate in the nome Hermonthites.

[3555] Another Diospolis. Great Diospolis is mentioned in the preceding

[3556] Or Tentyra. The modern Dendera of the Arabs, called Dendôri or
Hidendôri by the ancient Egyptians.

[3557] In ancient times called This, and in Coptic Ebôt, the ruins of
which are now known as Arábat-el-Matfoon. It was the chief town of the
Nomos Thinites, and was situate in lat. 26° 10′ north and long. 32° 3′
east. In the Thebaid it ranked next to Thebes itself. Here according to
general belief was the burial-place of Osiris. In the time of Strabo it
had sunk into a mere village. Its ruins, though nearly buried in the
sand, are very extensive. There is, however, some uncertainty as to the
exact identity of This with Abydus.

[3558] The ruins of these places are still to be seen at Abydus.

[3559] He calls the whole of the country on the western bank of the
Nile by this name.

[3560] Called Absou or Absaï by the Arabs, and Psoë by the ancient
Egyptians. It has been suggested that it was the same place as This,
more generally identified with Abydus.

[3561] Its site is now called Ekhmin or Akhmin by the Arabs, Khmim
being its ancient Egyptian name. It was the chief town of the nome of
Panopolites, and the deity Phthah was worshipped there under the form
of Priapus.

[3562] Another Aphroditopolis, the present Tachta, mentioned above, in
Note[3554] in the last page. Pliny distinguishes it from that now called
Deir, mentioned above.

[3563] Now known as Es-Siout.

[3564] Or Hermopolis—the modern Esh-moon or Ash-mounion, on the eastern
bank of the Nile, in lat. 27° 54′ north. It was the capital of the
Hermopolite nome in the Heptanomis. It was a place of great opulence
and densely populated. The deities Typhon and Thoth were principally
worshipped at this place. The latter, the inventor of the pen and
letters, nearly corresponded with the Hermes of the Greeks (the Mercury
of the Romans), from which the Hellenized name of the place. Its ruins
are very extensive.

[3565] This town was no doubt connected with the alabaster quarries
of Mount Alabasternus, now Mount St. Anthony, and the hill of
Alabastrites, now the Côteau Hessan.

[3566] Or Cynopolis, the chief place of the Cynopolite nome. The
Dog-headed deity Anubis was worshipped here. The modern Samallus
occupies its site. This place was in the Heptanomis, but there were
several other towns of the same name, one of which was situate in the
Delta or Lower Egypt.

[3567] In C. 9, when speaking of the nome of Heracleopolites; of which
nome, this place, called Heracleopolis, was the capital. It was situate
at the entrance of the valley of the Fayoum, on an island formed by
the Nile and a canal. After Memphis and Heliopolis it was probably the
most important city north of the Thebaid. It furnished two dynasties of
kings to Egypt. The ichneumon was worshipped here, from which it may be
inferred that the people were hostile to the crocodile. Its ruins are
inconsiderable; the village of Anasieh covers part of them.

[3568] The capital of the nome of Arsinoïtes, seated on the western
bank of the Nile, between the river and Lake Mœris, south-west of
Memphis, in lat. 29° north. It was called under the Pharaohs, “the City
of Crocodiles,” from the reverence paid by the people to that animal.
Its ruins are to be seen at Medinet-el-Fayoom or El-Fares.

[3569] Its magnificent ruins, known by the name of Menf and Metrabenny,
are to be seen about ten miles above the pyramids of Gizeh.

[3570] This lay beyond Lake Mœris, or Birket-el-Keroun, at a short
distance from the city of Arsinoë. It had 3000 apartments, 1500 of
which were underground. The accounts given by modern travellers of its
supposed ruins do not agree with what we have learned from the ancients
respecting its architecture and site. The purposes for which it was
built are unknown. Its supposed site is called Havara.

[3571] If this is not an abbreviation or corruption for Crocodilon, as
Hardouin suggests, it may probably mean the “town of Rams,” from the
worship perhaps of that animal there.

[3572] Heliopolis or Rameses. In Scripture it is called by the names of
On and No—Gen. xli. 45 and Ezek. xxx. 15. It stood on the eastern side
of the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, near the right bank of the Great Canal
which connected the river with the Red Sea, and close adjoining to
the present overland route for travellers to India. It was one of the
most ancient of the Egyptian cities; here the father-in-law of Joseph
exercised the office of high-priest, and here the prophet Jeremiah is
supposed to have written his Book of Lamentations. Its priests were the
great depositaries of the theological and historical learning of Egypt.
Solon, Thales, and Plato were reputed each to have visited its schools.
According to Macrobius, Baalbec, the Syrian City of the Sun, was a
colony from this place. It was the capital of the nome Heliopolites,
and paid worship to the sun and the bull Mnevis, the rival of Apis.
From Josephus we learn that after the dispersion and fall of the tribes
of Judah and Israel, great numbers of the Jews took refuge at this
place, forming almost one-half of its population. The ruins, which
were extremely magnificent, occupied in the twelfth century an area
nearly three miles in extent. Pliny speaks of the great obelisk there,
which is still standing. (See B. xxxvi. c. 9.) The village of Matarieh
occupies a part of its site, and besides the obelisk of red granite,
there are a few remains of the Temple of the Sun.

[3573] Now called Birk-el-Mariout.

[3574] Or Dinocrates. He was the architect of the new temple of Diana
at Ephesus, which was built after the destruction of the former one
by Herostratus. It was this architect who formed a design for cutting
Mount Athos into a statue of Alexander, with a city in the right hand
and a reservoir of the mountain streams in the left.

[3575] Holland seems to think that the word “laxitate” applies to

[3576] The _chlamys_ was a scarf or cloak worn over the shoulders, and
especially used by military persons of high rank. It did not reach
lower than the knees, and was open in front, covering only the neck,
back, and shoulders.

[3577] Its real dimensions were something less than 300 stadia, or
thirty geographical miles long, and rather more than 150 stadia wide.

[3578] Or “Pseudostomata.” These were crossed in small boats, as they
were not navigable for ships of burden.

[3579] In the Pharaonic times Canopus was the capital of the nome of
Menelaïtes, and the principal harbour of the Delta. It probably owed
its name to the god Canobus, a pitcher full of holes, with a human
head, which was worshipped here with peculiar pomp. It was remarkable
for the number of its festivals and the general dissoluteness of its
morals. Traces of its ruins are to be seen about three miles from the
modern Aboukir.

[3580] Corresponding to the modern Raschid or Rosetta. It is supposed
that this place was noted for its manufactory of chariots.

[3581] The town of Sebennys or Sebennytum, now Samannoud, gave name to
one of the nomes, and the Sebennytic Mouth of the Nile.

[3582] Or the Pathinetic or Bucolic Mouth, said to be the same as the
modern Damietta Mouth.

[3583] The capital of the Mendesian nome, called by the Arabs Ochmoun.
This mouth is now known as the Deibeh Mouth.

[3584] Now called Szan or Tzan. The Tanitic Mouth, which is sometimes
called the Saitic, is at the present day called Omm-Faredjé.

[3585] Its ruins are to be seen at the modern Tineh. This city in early
times had the name of Abaris. It was situate on the eastern side of
the most easterly mouth of the Nile, which, after it, was called the
Pelusiac Mouth, about two miles from the sea, in the midst of morasses.
Being the frontier city towards Syria and Arabia it was strongly
fortified. It was the birth-place of Ptolemy the geographer.

[3586] Butos or Buto stood on the Sebennytic arm of the Nile near its
mouth, on the southern shores of the Butic Lake. It was the chief seat
of the worship of the goddess Buto, whom the Greeks identified with
Leto or Latona. The modern Kem Kasir occupies its site.

[3587] Called Harbait by the Arabs, and Farbait by the ancient

[3588] In the Delta. It was the capital of the nome of Leontopolites,
and probably of late foundation, as no writer previous to Pliny
mentions it. Its site is uncertain, but Thall-Essabouah, the “Hill of
the Lion,” has been suggested.

[3589] The chief town of the Athribitic nome in Lower Egypt. It
stood on the eastern bank of the Tanitic branch of the Nile. This
nome and town derived their name from the goddess Thriphis, whom the
inscriptions there and at Panopolis designate as the “most great
goddess.” The ruins at Atrieb or Trieb, at the spot where the modern
canal of Moueys turns off from the Nile, represent the ancient
Athribis. They are very extensive, and among them are considerable
remains of the Roman era.

[3590] This was situate near the city or town of Busiris in the Delta.
The modern village of Bahbeyt is supposed to cover the ruins of the
temple of Isis.

[3591] The modern Busyr or Abousir, where considerable ruins of the
ancient city are still to be seen. It was the chief town of the nome of
Busirites, and stood south of Sais, near the Phatnitic mouth, on the
western bank of the Nile. This was also the name of a town in Middle
Egypt, in the neighbourhood of Memphis, and represented by another
village of the name of Abousir. Pliny, B. xxxvi. c. 16, speaks of the
Catacombs in its vicinity.

[3592] The place of that name in the Delta is here meant.

[3593] Probably the town of that name, otherwise called Aphroditopolis,
in the nome of Leontopolites.

[3594] The ruins of which are now called Sa-el-Hajjar. It was situate
in the Delta, on the east side of the Canopic branch of the Nile. It
was the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and contained the palace and
burial-place of the Pharaohs. It was the chief seat of the worship of
the Egyptian goddess Neith, also known as Sais. It gave its name to the
nome of Saïtes.

[3595] It was situate in the Delta of Egypt and in the nome of Saïtes,
on the eastern bank of the Canopic branch of the Nile. It was a colony
of the Milesians, founded probably in the reign of Amasis, about B.C.
550, and remained a pure Greek city. It was the only place in Egypt in
which, in the time of the later Pharaohs, foreigners were permitted
to settle and trade. In later times it was famous for the worship of
Aphrodite or Venus, and rivalled Canopus in the dissoluteness of its

[3596] Ptolemy the geographer does this.

[3597] Arabia Petræa; that part of Arabia which immediately joins up to

[3598] Called Arabia Felix to the present day.

[3599] The part of Arabia which joins up to Egypt, Arabia Petræa namely.

[3600] Strabo places this people as far south as the mouth of the Red
Sea, _i. e._ on the east of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. Forster (in
his ‘Arabia,’ vol. ii.) takes this name to be merely an inversion of
Beni Kahtan, the great tribe which mainly peoples, at the present day,
central and southern Arabia.

[3601] Probably the people of Esebon, the Heshbon of Scripture, spoken
of by Jerome as being the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites.

[3602] The “tent-people,” from the Greek σκηνὴ, “a tent.” This seems
to have been a name common to the nomadic tribes of Arabia. Ammianus
Marcellinus speaks of them as being the same as the Saraceni or

[3603] The modern El Katieh or El Kas; which is the summit of a lofty
range of sandstone hills on the borders of Egypt and Arabia Petræa,
immediately south of the Sirbonian Lake and the Mediterranean Sea. On
its western side was the tomb of Pompey the Great.

[3604] The same as the Amalekites of Scripture, according to Hardouin.
Bochart thinks that they are the same as the Chavilæi, who are
mentioned as dwelling in the vicinity of Babylon.

[3605] The position which Pliny assigns to this nation would correspond
with the northern part of the modern district of the Hedjaz. Forster
identifies them with the Cauraitæ, or Cadraitæ of Arrian, and the Darræ
of Ptolemy, tracing their origin to the Cedar or Kedar, the son of
Ishmael, mentioned in Genesis xxv. 13, and represented by the modern
Harb nation and the modern town of Kedeyre. See Psalm cxx. 5: “Woe is
me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!”

[3606] An Arabian people, said to have descended from the eldest son
of Ishmael, who had their original abodes in the north-western part
of the Arabian peninsula, east and south-east of the Moabites and
Edomites. Extending their territory, we find the Nabatæi of Greek and
Roman history occupying nearly the whole of Arabia Petræa, along the
north-east coast of the Red Sea, on both sides of the Ælanitic Gulf,
and on the Idumæan mountains, where they had their capital, Petra, hewn
out of the rock.

[3607] Now the Bahr-el-Soueys, or Gulf of Suez.

[3608] The Bahr-el-Akabah, or Gulf of Akabah.

[3609] Now Akabah, an Idumæan town of Arabia Petræa, situate at the
head of the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, which was called after this
town “Ælaniticus Sinus.” It was annexed to the kingdom of Judah, with
the other cities of Idumæa, by David, 2 Sam. viii. 14, and was one of
the harbours on the Red Sea from which the ships of Solomon sailed for
Ophir. See 1 Kings ix. 26 and 2 Chron. viii. 17. It was a place of
commercial importance under the Romans and the head-quarters of the
Tenth Legion. A fortress now occupies its site.

[3610] Its site is now known as Guzzah. It was the last city on the
south-west frontier of Palestine, and from the earliest times was a
strongly fortified place. It was taken from the Philistines by the Jews
more than once, but as often retaken. It was also taken by Cyrus the
Great and Alexander, and afterwards by Ptolemy Lagus, who destroyed it.
It afterwards recovered, and was again destroyed by Alexander Jannæus,
B.C. 96, after which, it was rebuilt by Gabinius and ultimately united
to the Roman province of Syria. In A.D. 65 it was again destroyed, but
was rebuilt, and finally fell into the hands of the Arabs, in A.D. 634.

[3611] Meaning the Mediterranean.

[3612] The present Suez. See B. vi. c. 33.

[3613] Or the “Hollow” Syria. This was properly the name given, after
the Macedonian conquest, to the great valley between the two great
ranges of Mount Lebanon, in the south of Syria, bordering upon Phœnicia
on the west, and Palestine on the south. In the wars between the
Ptolemies and the Seleucidæ, the name was applied to the whole of the
southern portion of Syria, which became subject for some time to the
kings of Egypt; but under the Romans, it was confined to Cœlesyria
proper with the district east of Anti-Libanus, about Damascus, and a
portion of Palestine east of Jordan.

[3614] Or Ostracine, the northern point of Arabia.

[3615] This was a great fortress of Syria founded by Seleucus B.C. 300,
at the foot of Mount Pieria and overhanging the Mediterranean, four
miles north of the Orontes and twelve miles west of Antioch. It had
fallen entirely to decay in the sixth century of our era. There are
considerable ruins of its harbour and mole, its walls and necropolis.
They bear the name of Seleukeh or Kepse.

[3616] From the Greek ζεῦγμα, “a junction;” built by Seleucus Nicator
on the borders of Commagene and Cyrrhestice, on the west bank of the
Euphrates, where the river had been crossed by a bridge of boats
constructed by Alexander the Great. The modern Rumkaleh is supposed to
occupy its site.

[3617] On this subject see B. vii. c. 57. The invention of letters and
the first cultivation of the science of astronomy have been claimed for
the Egyptians and other nations. The Tyrians were probably the first
who applied the science of astronomy to the purposes of navigation.
There is little doubt that warfare must have been studied as an art
long before the existence of the Phœnician nation.

[3618] Strabo places this between Mount Casius and Pelusium.

[3619] See C. 12 of the present Book. Chabrias the Athenian aided
Nectanebus II. against his revolted subjects.

[3620] Its ruins are to be seen on the present Ras Straki.

[3621] Now called the Sabakat Bardowal. It lay on the coast of Egypt,
east of Mount Casius, and it is not improbable that the boundary-line
between Egypt and Palæstina or Idumæa ran through the middle of its
waters. It was strongly impregnated with asphaltus. A connection
formerly existed between it and the Mediterranean, but this being
stopped up, it gradually grew smaller by evaporation and is now nearly

[3622] The present Kulat-el-Arich or El Arish, situate at the mouth
of the brook El-Arish, called by the Scriptures the “river of Egypt.”
Its name signifies in Greek, “cutting off of noses,” and is probably
derived from the fact of its having been the place of exile for
criminals who had been so mutilated, under the Æthiopian kings of
Egypt. Poinsinet suggests however that the name means the “town of the

[3623] The place on its site is still called Refah, but it was really
situate on the coast. Gaza has been already mentioned in a Note [3610]
to C. 12, p. 423.

[3624] Anthedon was on the coast of Palestine, although Pliny says to
the contrary. It was situate about three miles to the south-west of
Gaza, and was destroyed by Alexander Jannæus. In the time of Julian it
was addicted to the worship of Astarte, the Syrian Venus. According to
Dupinet the present name of its site is Daron.

[3625] Brotier says that this is the same as the Mount Gerizim of
Scripture, but that was situate in Samaria, a considerable distance
from the southern coast of Palæstina. Pliny is the only author that
mentions it.

[3626] The Ascalon of Scripture, one of the five cities of the
Philistines, situate on the coast of the Mediterranean, between Gaza
and Jamnia. In early times it was the seat of the worship of Derceto,
a fish with a woman’s head. The ruins, which still bear the name of
Askulân, are very extensive, and indicative of great strength. The
shalot or scallion was originally a native of this place, and thence
derived its name.

[3627] The Ashdod of Scripture. It was one of the five cities of the
Philistines and the chief seat of the worship of Dagon. Herodotus
states that it stood a siege of twenty-nine years from Psammetichus,
king of Egypt. It was afterwards taken and retaken several times. It
was situate between Ascalon and Jamnia, and its site is indicated by
the modern village of Esdad, but no ruins of the ancient city are

[3628] One of these was a city of the Philistines, assigned to the
tribe of Judah in the fifteenth Chapter of Joshua, 45, according to the
Septuagint version, but omitted in the Hebrew, which only mentions it
in 2 Chron. xxvi. 6 (where it is called Jabneh in the English version),
as one of the cities of the Philistines taken and destroyed by King
Uzziah. The place of this name that lay in the interior, is probably
the one spoken of by Josephus as in that part of the tribe of Judah
occupied by the children of Dan, as also in the 1 Maccabees, x. 69-71.

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