|Arab Republic of Egypt
جمهورية مصر العربية
Gumhūriyyat Miṣr al-ʿArabiyyah
|Anthem: Bilady, Bilady, Bilady
(and largest city)
|Ethnic groups||99% Egyptians, 0.9% Nubians, 0.1% Greeks|
|-||Prime Minister||Ahmed Nazif|
|-||First Dynasty||c.3150 BC|
|-||Independence from the United Kingdom||28 February 1922|
|-||Republic declared||18 June 1953|
|-||National Day||23 July (to celebrate 23 July 1952)|
|-||Total||1,002,450 km2 (30th)
387,048 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||$443.430 billion (26th)|
|-||Per capita||$5,896 (101st)|
|GDP (nominal)||2008 estimate|
|-||Total||$162.617 billion (49th)|
|-||Per capita||$2,162 (117th)|
|Gini (1999–00)||34.5 (medium)|
|HDI (2007)||▲ 0.703 (123rd)|
|Currency||Egyptian pound (
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
|-||Summer (DST)||EEST (UTC+3)|
|Drives on the||right|
|1||Arabic (official), Egyptian Arabic (spoken)|
Egypt (pronounced /ˈiːdʒɪpt/ ( listen); Arabic: مصر Miṣr, pronounced [misˤɾ] ( listen); Egyptian Arabic: مصر Maṣr [ˈmɑsˤɾ]; Coptic: Ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, kīmi; Egyptian: Kemet), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Thereby, Egypt is a transcontinental country, and is considered to be a major power in North Africa, Mediterranean Region, African continent, Nile Basin, Islamic World and the Red Sea. Covering an area of about 1,010,000 square kilometers (390,000 sq mi), Egypt is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south and Libya to the west.
Egypt is one of the most populous countries in Africa and the Middle East. The great majority of its estimated 77.4 million live near the banks of the Nile River, in an area of about 40,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi), where the only arable agricultural land is found. The large areas of the Sahara Desert are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypt's residents live in urban areas, with the majority spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria and other major cities in the Nile Delta.
Egypt is famous for its ancient civilization and some of the world's most famous monuments, including the Giza pyramid complex and its Great Sphinx. The southern city of Luxor contains numerous ancient artifacts, such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings. Egypt is widely regarded as an important political and cultural nation of the Middle East.
Egypt possesses one of the most developed and diversified economies in the Middle East, with sectors such as tourism, agriculture, industry and service at almost equal rates in national production. Consequently, the Egyptian economy is rapidly developing, due in part to legislation aimed at luring investments, coupled with both internal and political stability, along with recent trade and market liberalization.
The ancient Egyptian name of the country is Kemet (km.t) [𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖], which means "black land", referring to the fertile black soils of the Nile flood plains, distinct from the deshret (dšṛt), or "red land" of the desert. The name is realized as kīmi and kīmə in the Coptic stage of the Egyptian language, and appeared in early Greek as Χημία (Khēmía). Another name was t3-mry "land of the riverbank". The names of Upper and Lower Egypt were Ta-Sheme'aw (t3-šmˁw) "sedgeland" and Ta-Mehew (t3 mḥw) "northland", respectively.
Miṣr, the Arabic and modern official name of Egypt (Egyptian Arabic: Maṣr), is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם (Mitzráyim), literally meaning "the two straits" (a reference to the dynastic separation of upper and lower Egypt). The word originally connoted "metropolis" or "civilization" and also means "country", or "frontier-land".
The English name Egypt was borrowed from Middle French Egypte, from Latin Aegyptus, from ancient Greek Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος), from earlier Linear B a-ku-pi-ti-yo. The adjective aigýpti-, aigýptios was borrowed into Coptic as gyptios, kyptios, and from there into Arabic as qubṭī, back formed into qubṭ, whence English Copt. The Greek forms were borrowed from Late Egyptian (Amarna) Hikuptah "Memphis", a corruption of the earlier Egyptian name Hwt-ka-Ptah (ḥwt-k3-ptḥ), meaning "home of the ka (soul) of Ptah", the name of a temple to the god Ptah at Memphis. Strabo attributed the word to a folk etymology in which Aígyptos (Αἴγυπτος) evolved as a compound from Aigaiou huptiōs (Aἰγαίου ὑπτίως), meaning "below the Aegean".
There is evidence of rock carvings along the Nile terraces and in the desert oases. In the 10th millennium BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishers replaced a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes and/or overgrazing around 8000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River where they developed a settled agricultural economy and more centralized society.
By about 6000 BC the Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badarian culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to Dynastic Egyptian civilization. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining somewhat culturally separate, but maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.
|tAwy ('Two Lands')
A unified kingdom was founded circa 3150 BC by King Menes, giving rise to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egyptians subsequently referred to their unified country as tawy [𓇾𓇾], meaning "two lands", and later kemet [𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖] (Coptic: kīmi), the "black land", a reference to the fertile black soil deposited by the Nile river. Egyptian culture flourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religion, arts, language and customs. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period, c.2700−2200 BC., famous for its many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza Pyramids.
The First Intermediate Period ushered in a time of political upheaval for about 150 years. Stronger Nile floods and stabilization of government, however, brought back renewed prosperity for the country in the Middle Kingdom c. 2040 BC, reaching a peak during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat III. A second period of disunity heralded the arrival of the first foreign ruling dynasty in Egypt, that of the Semitic Hyksos. The Hyksos invaders took over much of Lower Egypt around 1650 BC and founded a new capital at Avaris. They were driven out by an Upper Egyptian force led by Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty and relocated the capital from Memphis to Thebes.
The New Kingdom (c.1550−1070 BC) began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, marking the rise of Egypt as an international power that expanded during its greatest extension to an empire as far south as Tombos in Nubia, and included parts of the Levant in the east. This period is noted for some of the most well-known Pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti, Tutankhamun and Ramesses II. The first historically attested expression of monotheism came during this period in the form of Atenism. Frequent contacts with other nations brought new ideas to the New Kingdom. The country was later invaded and conquered by Libyans, Nubians and Assyrians, but native Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.
The Thirtieth Dynasty was the last native ruling dynasty during the Pharaonic epoch. It fell to the Persians in 343 BC after the last native Pharaoh, King Nectanebo II, was defeated in battle. Later, Egypt fell to the Greco–Macedonians and Romans, beginning over two thousand years of foreign rule. The last ruler from the Ptolemaic line was Cleopatra VII, who committed suicide with her lover Marc Antony, after Caesar Augustus had captured them.
Before Egypt became part of the Byzantine realm, Christianity had been brought by Saint Mark the Evangelist in the AD first century. Diocletian's reign marked the transition from the Roman to the Byzantine era in Egypt, when a great number of Egyptian Christians were persecuted. The New Testament had by then been translated into Egyptian. After the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, a distinct Egyptian Coptic Church was firmly established.
The Byzantines were able to regain control of the country after a brief Persian invasion early in the seventh century, until in AD 639, Egypt was absorbed into the Islamic Empire by the Muslim Arabs. When they defeated the Byzantine Armies in Egypt, with the help of some revolutionary Egyptians, the Arabs brought Sunni Islam to the country. Early in this period, Egyptians began to blend their new faith with indigenous beliefs and practices that had survived through Coptic Christianity that was expanded in Egypt by the Byzantines, giving rise to various Sufi orders that have flourished to this day. Muslim rulers nominated by the Islamic Caliphate remained in control of Egypt for the next six centuries, with Cairo as the seat of the Caliphate under the Fatimids. With the end of the Kurdish Ayyubid dynasty, the Mamluks, a Turco-Circassian military caste, took control about AD 1250. By late 13th century, Egypt linked the Red Sea, India, Malaya, and East Indies. The strategic positioning "assured importance in productive economy". They continued to govern the country until the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517, after which it became a province of the Ottoman Empire. The mid-14th-Century Black Death killed about 40% of the country's population. After the 15th century, the threat of military European Crusaders and Central Asian Mongols set the Egpytian system into decline. The defensive militarization challenged the civil society and economic institutions. The weakening of the economic system combined with the effects of Black Death left Egypt vulnerable to foreign invasion which can be seen with the Portuguese taking over their trade. Egypt suffered six famines between 1687 and 1731. The famine that afflicted Egypt in 1784 cost it roughly one-sixth of its population.
The brief French invasion of Egypt led by Napoleon Bonaparte began in 1798. The expulsion of the French in 1801 by Ottoman, Mamluk, and British forces was followed by four years of anarchy in which Ottomans, Mamluks, and Albanians who were nominally in the service of the Ottomans, wrestled for power. Out of this chaos, the commander of the Albanian regiment, Muhammad Ali (Kavalali Mehmed Ali Pasha) emerged as a dominant figure and in 1805 was acknowledged by the Sultan in Istanbul as his viceroy in Egypt; the title implied subordination to the Sultan but this was in fact a polite fiction: Ottoman power in Egypt was finished and Muhammad Ali, an ambitious and able leader, established a dynasty that was to rule Egypt (at first really and later as British puppets) until the revolution of 1952.
His primary focus was military: he annexed Northern Sudan (1820–1824), Syria (1833), and parts of Arabia and Anatolia; but in 1841 the European powers, fearful lest he topple the Ottoman Empire itself, checked him: he had to return most of his conquests to the Ottomans, but he kept the Sudan and his title to Egypt was made hereditary. A more lasting consequence of his military ambition is that it made him the moderniser of Egypt. Anxious to learn the military (and therefore industrial) techniques of the great powers he sent students to the West and invited training missions to Egypt. He built industries, a system of canals for irrigation and transport, and reformed the civil service.
For better or worse, the introduction in 1820 of long-staple cotton, the Egyptian variety of which became famous, transformed Egyptian agriculture into a cash-crop monoculture before the end of the century. The social effects of this were enormous: it led to the concentration of agriculture in the hands of large landowners, and, with the additional trigger of high cotton prices caused by the United States' civil war production drop, to a large influx of foreigners who began in earnest the exploitation of Egypt for international commodity production.
Muhammad Ali was succeeded briefly by his son Ibrahim (in September 1848), then by a grandson Abbas I (in November 1848), then by Said (in 1854), and Isma'il (in 1863). Abbas I was cautious. Said and Ismail were ambitious developers; unfortunately they spent beyond their means. The Suez Canal, built in partnership with the French, was completed in 1869. The expense of this and other projects had two effects: it led to enormous debt to European banks, and caused popular discontent because of the onerous taxation it necessitated. In 1875 Ismail was forced to sell Egypt's share in the canal to the British Government. Within three years this led to the imposition of British and French controllers who sat in the Egyptian cabinet, and, "with the financial power of the bondholders behind them, were the real power in the Government."
Local dissatisfaction with Ismail and with European intrusion led to the formation of the first nationalist groupings in 1879, with Ahmad Urabi a prominent figure. In 1882 he became head of a nationalist-dominated ministry committed to democratic reforms including parliamentary control of the budget. Fearing a diminishment of their control, Britain and France intervened militarily, bombarding Alexandria and crushing the Egyptian army at the battle of Tel el-Kebir. They reinstalled Ismail's son Tewfik as figurehead of a de facto British protectorate.
In 1914 the Protectorate was made official, and the title of the head of state, which had changed from pasha to khedive in 1867, was changed to sultan, to repudiate the vestigial suzerainty of the Ottoman sultan, who was backing the Central powers in World War I. Abbas II was deposed as khedive and replaced by his uncle, Hussein Kamel, as sultan.
In 1906, the Dinshaway Incident prompted many neutral Egyptians to join the nationalist movement. After the First World War, Saad Zaghlul and the Wafd Party led the Egyptian nationalist movement, gaining a majority at the local Legislative Assembly. When the British exiled Zaghlul and his associates to Malta on 8 March 1919, the country arose in its first modern revolution. Constant revolting by the Egyptian people throughout the country led Great Britain to issue a unilateral declaration of Egypt's independence on 22 February 1922.
The new Egyptian Government drafted and implemented a new constitution in 1923 based on a parliamentary representative system. Saad Zaghlul was popularly elected as Prime Minister of Egypt in 1924. In 1936 the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty was concluded. Continued instability in the Government due to remaining British control and increasing political involvement by the king led to the ousting of the monarchy and the dissolution of the parliament in a military coup d'état known as the 1952 Revolution. The officers, known as the Free Officers Movement, forced King Farouk to abdicate in support of his son Fuad.
On 18 June 1953, the Egyptian Republic was declared, with General Muhammad Naguib as the first President of the Republic. Naguib was forced to resign in 1954 by Gamal Abdel Nasser – the real architect of the 1952 movement – and was later put under house arrest. Nasser assumed power as President in June 1956. British forces completed their withdrawal from the occupied Suez Canal Zone on 13 June 1956. His nationalization of the Suez Canal on 26 July 1956 prompted the 1956 Suez Crisis.
Three years after the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel had invaded and occupied Sinai, Nasser died and was succeeded by Anwar Sadat. Sadat switched Egypt's Cold War allegiance from the Soviet Union to the United States, expelling Soviet advisors in 1972. He launched the Infitah economic reform policy, while violently clamping down on religious and secular opposition alike.
In 1973, Egypt, along with Syria, launched the October War, a surprise attack against the Israeli forces occupying the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. It was an attempt to liberate part of the Sinai territory Israel had captured 6 years earlier. Sadat hoped to seize some territory via military force, and then regain the rest of the peninsula by diplomacy. The conflict sparked an international crisis between the two world superpowers: the US and the USSR, both of whom intervened. Two UN-mandated ceasefires were needed to bring military operations to a halt. While the war ended with a military Israeli victory, it presented Sadat with a political victory that later allowed him to regain the Sinai in return for peace with Israel.
Sadat made a historic visit to Israel in 1977, which led to the 1979 peace treaty in exchange for the complete Israeli withdrawal from Sinai. Sadat's initiative sparked enormous controversy in the Arab world and led to Egypt's expulsion from the Arab League, but it was supported by the vast majority of Egyptians. A fundamentalist military soldier assassinated Sadat in Cairo in 1981. He was succeeded by the incumbent Hosni Mubarak. In 2003, the Egyptian Movement for Change, popularly known as Kefaya, was launched to seek a return to democracy and greater civil liberties.
The Nile Valley was home to one of the oldest cultures in the world, spanning three thousand years of continuous history. When Egypt fell under a series of foreign occupations after 343 BC, each left an indelible mark on the country's cultural landscape. Egyptian identity evolved in the span of this long period of occupation to accommodate, in principle, two new religions, Islam and Christianity; and a new language, Arabic, and its spoken descendant, Egyptian Arabic.
The degree to which Egyptians identify with each layer of Egypt's history in articulating a sense of collective identity can vary. Questions of identity came to fore in the last century as Egypt sought to free itself from foreign occupation for the first time in two thousand years. Three chief ideologies came to head: ethno-territorial Egyptian nationalism, secular Arab nationalism and pan-Arabism, and Islamism. Egyptian nationalism predates its Arab counterpart by many decades, having roots in the nineteenth century and becoming the dominant mode of expression of Egyptian anti-colonial activists and intellectuals until the early 20th century. Arab nationalism reached a peak under Nasser but was once again relegated under Sadat; meanwhile, the ideology espoused by Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood is present in small segments of the lower-middle strata of Egyptian society.
The work of early nineteenth-century scholar Rifa'a et-Tahtawi gave rise to the Egyptian Renaissance, marking the transition from Medieval to Early Modern Egypt. His work renewed interest in Egyptian antiquity and exposed Egyptian society to Enlightenment principles. Tahtawi co-founded with education reformer Ali Mubarak a native Egyptology school that looked for inspiration to medieval Egyptian scholars, such as Suyuti and Maqrizi, who themselves studied the history, language and antiquities of Egypt.
Egypt's renaissance peaked in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the work of people like Muhammad Abduh, Ahmed Lutfi el-Sayed, Muhammad Loutfi Goumah, Tawfiq el-Hakim, Louis Awad, Qasim Amin, Salama Moussa, Taha Hussein and Mahmoud Mokhtar. They forged a liberal path for Egypt expressed as a commitment to individual freedom, secularism and faith in science to bring progress.
Egypt has been a republic since 18 June 1953. President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has been the President of the Republic since 14 October 1981, following the assassination of President Mohammed Anwar El-Sadat. Mubarak is currently serving his fifth term in office (28 years). He is the leader of the ruling National Democratic Party. Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif was sworn in as Prime Minister on 9 July 2004, following the resignation of Dr. Atef Ebeid from his office.
Although power is ostensibly organized under a multi-party semi-presidential system, whereby the executive power is theoretically divided between the President and the Prime Minister, in practice it rests almost solely with the President who traditionally has been elected in single-candidate elections for more than fifty years. Egypt also holds regular multi-party parliamentary elections. The last presidential election, in which Mubarak won a fifth consecutive term, was held in September 2005.
In late February 2005, President Mubarak announced in a surprise television broadcast that he had ordered the reform of the country's presidential election law, paving the way for multi-candidate polls in the upcoming presidential election. For the first time since the 1952 movement, the Egyptian people had an apparent chance to elect a leader from a list of various candidates. The President said his initiative came "out of my full conviction of the need to consolidate efforts for more freedom and democracy." However, the new law placed draconian restrictions on the filing for presidential candidacies, designed to prevent well-known candidates such as Ayman Nour from standing against Mubarak, and paved the road for his easy re-election victory.
Concerns were once again expressed after the 2005 presidential elections about Government interference in the election process through fraud and vote-rigging, in addition to police brutality and violence by pro-Mubarak supporters against opposition demonstrators. After the election, Egypt imprisoned Nour, and the U.S. Government stated the "conviction of Mr. Nour, the runner-up in Egypt's 2005 presidential elections, calls into question Egypt's commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law."
As a result, most Egyptians are skeptical about the process of democratization and the role of the elections. Less than 25 percent of the country's 32 million registered voters (out of a population of more than 72 million) turned out for the 2005 elections. A proposed change to the constitution would limit the president to two seven-year terms in office.
Thirty-four constitutional changes voted on by parliament on 19 March 2007 prohibit parties from using religion as a basis for political activity; allow the drafting of a new anti-terrorism law to replace the emergency legislation in place since 1981, giving police wide powers of arrest and surveillance; give the president power to dissolve parliament; and end judicial monitoring of election. As opposition members of parliament withdrew from voting on the proposed changes, it was expected that the referendum would be boycotted by a great number of Egyptians in protest of what has been considered a breach of democratic practices.
Eventually it was reported that only 27% of the registered voters went to the polling stations under heavy police presence and tight political control of the ruling National Democratic Party. It was officially announced on 27 March 2007 that 75.9% of those who participated in the referendum approved of the constitutional amendments introduced by President Mubarak and was endorsed by opposition free parliament, thus allowing the introduction of laws that curb the activity of certain opposition elements, particularly Islamists.
The CIA World Factbook states that the legal system is based on Islamic and civil law (particularly Napoleonic codes); and that the judicial review takes place by a Supreme Court, which accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction only with reservations.
Egypt's foreign policy operates along moderate lines. Factors such as population size, historical events, military strength, diplomatic expertise and a strategic geographical position give Egypt extensive political influence in Africa and the Middle East. Cairo has been a crossroads of regional commerce and culture for centuries, and its intellectual and Islamic institutions are at the center of the region's social and cultural development.
The permanent Headquarters of the Arab League are located in Cairo and the Secretary General of the Arab League has traditionally been an Egyptian. Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa is the current Secretary General. The Arab League briefly moved from Egypt to Tunis in 1978, as a protest to the signing by Egypt of a peace treaty with Israel, but returned in 1989.
Egypt was the first Arab state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, with the signing of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty in 1979. Egypt has a major influence amongst other Arab states, and has historically played an important role as a mediator in resolving disputes between various Arab states, and in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
In the twenty-first century, Egypt has encountered a major problem with immigration, as millions of Africans attempt to enter Egypt fleeing poverty and war. Border control methods can be "harsh, sometimes lethal."
Each governorate has a capital, sometimes carrying the same name as the governorate.
In April 2008, Cairo and Giza were subdivided into 4 governorates, namely the governorates of Cairo, Giza, 6 October and Helwan. In 2009, the city of Luxor was declared an independent governorate.
The tables below list the governorates of Egypt in alphabetical order. The Upper governorates are those located south of Cairo, while the Lower governorates are the ones located in the Delta of the Nile north of Cairo.
At 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,660 sq mi), Egypt is the world's 38th-largest country. In terms of land area, it is approximately the same size as all of Central America, twice the size of Spain, four times the size of the United Kingdom, and the combined size of the US states of Texas and California.
Nevertheless, due to the aridity of Egypt's climate, population centres are concentrated along the narrow Nile Valley and Delta, meaning that approximately 99% of the population uses only about 5.5% of the total land area.
Egypt is bordered by Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. Egypt's important role in geopolitics stems from its strategic position: a transcontinental nation, it possesses a land bridge (the Isthmus of Suez) between Africa and Asia, which in turn is traversed by a navigable waterway (the Suez Canal) that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean via the Red Sea.
Apart from the Nile Valley, the majority of Egypt's landscape is a desert. The winds blowing can create sand dunes more than 100 feet (30 m) high. Egypt includes parts of the Sahara Desert and of the Libyan Desert. These deserts were referred to as the "red land" in ancient Egypt, and they protected the Kingdom of the Pharaohs from western threats.
Towns and cities include Alexandria, one of the greatest ancient cities, Aswan, Asyut, Cairo, the modern Egyptian capital, El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Giza, the site of the Pyramid of Khufu, Hurghada, Luxor, Kom Ombo, Port Safaga, Port Said, Sharm el Sheikh, Suez, where the Suez Canal is located, Zagazig, and Al-Minya. Oases include Bahariya, el Dakhla, Farafra, el Kharga and Siwa. Protectorates include Ras Mohamed National Park, Zaranik Protectorate and Siwa.
See Egyptian Protectorates for more information.
Egypt does not receive much rainfall except in the winter months. South of Cairo, rainfall averages only around 2 to 5 mm (0.1 to 0.2 in) per year and at intervals of many years. On a very thin strip of the northern coast the rainfall can be as high as 410 mm (16.1 in), with most of the rainfall between October and March. Snow falls on Sinai's mountains and some of the north coastal cities such as Damietta, Baltim, Sidi Barrany, etc. and rarely in Alexandria, frost is also known in mid-Sinai and mid-Egypt.
Temperatures average between 80 °F (27 °C) and 90 °F (32 °C) in summer, and up to 109 °F (43 °C) on the Red Sea coast. Temperatures average between 55 °F (13 °C) and 70 °F (21 °C) in winter. A steady wind from the northwest helps hold down the temperature near the Mediterranean coast. The Khamaseen is a wind that blows from the south in Egypt in spring, bringing sand and dust, and sometimes raises the temperature in the desert to more than 100 °F (38 °C).
Every year, a predictable flooding of the Nile replenishes Egypt's soil. This gives the country consistent harvest throughout the year. Many know this event as The Gift of the Nile.
The rise in sea levels due to global warming threatens Egypt's densely populated coastal strip and could have grave consequences for the country's economy, agriculture and industry. Combined with growing demographic pressures, a rise in sea levels could turn millions of Egyptians into environmental refugees by the end of the century, according to climate experts.
Egypt is the most populated country in the Middle East and the third most populous on the African continent, with an estimated 78,866,635 (July 2009 est.). The last 40 years have seen a rapid increase in population due to medical advances and massive increase in agricultural productivity, made by the Green Revolution. Egypt's population was estimated at only 3 million when Napoleon invaded the country in 1798.
Almost all the population is concentrated along the banks of the Nile (notably Cairo and Alexandria), in the Delta and near the Suez Canal. Approximately 90% of the population adheres to Islam and most of the remainder to Christianity, primarily the Coptic Orthodox denomination. Apart from religious affiliation, Egyptians can be divided demographically into those who live in the major urban centers and the fellahin or farmers of rural villages.
Egyptians are by far the largest ethnic group in Egypt at 91% of the total population. Ethnic minorities include the Abazas, Turks, Greeks, Bedouin Arab tribes living in the eastern deserts and the Sinai Peninsula, the Berber-speaking Siwis (Amazigh) of the Siwa Oasis, and the Nubian communities clustered along the Nile. There are also tribal communities of Beja concentrated in the south-eastern-most corner of the country, and a number of Dom clans mostly in the Nile Delta and Faiyum who are progressively becoming assimilated as urbanization increases.
Egypt also hosts an unknown number of refugees and asylum seekers, but they are estimated to be between 500,000 and 3 million. There are some 70,000 Palestinian refugees, and about 150,000 recently arrived Iraqi refugees, but the number of the largest group, the Sudanese, is contested. The once-vibrant Greek and Jewish communities in Egypt have virtually disappeared, with only a small number remaining in the country, but many Egyptian Jews visit on religious occasions and for tourism. Several important Jewish archaeological and historical sites are found in Cairo, Alexandria and other cities.
Several local and international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have for many years criticized Egypt's human rights record as poor. In 2005, President Hosni Mubarak faced unprecedented public criticism when he clamped down on democracy activists challenging his rule. Some of the most serious human rights violations, according to HRW's 2006 report on Egypt, are routine torture, arbitrary detentions and trials before military and state security courts.
Discriminatory personal status laws governing marriage, custody and inheritance which put women at a disadvantage have also been cited. Laws concerning Coptic Christians which place restrictions on church building and open worship have been recently eased, but major construction still requires Government approval, while sporadic attacks on Christians and churches continue. Intolerance of Bahá'ís and unorthodox Muslim sects, such as Sufis and Shi'a, also remains a problem.
The Egyptian legal system only recognizes three religions: Islam, Christianity and Judaism. When the Government moved to computerize identification cards, members of religious minorities, such as Bahá'ís, could not obtain identification documents. An Egyptian court ruled in early 2008 that members of other faiths can obtain identity cards without listing their faiths, and without becoming officially recognized. (For more on the status of religious minorities, see the Religion section.)
In 2005, the Freedom House rated political rights in Egypt as "6" (1 representing the most free and 7 the least free rating), civil liberties as "5" and gave it the freedom rating of "Not Free." It however noted that "Egypt witnessed its most transparent and competitive presidential and legislative elections in more than half a century and an increasingly unbridled public debate on the country's political future in 2005." For freedom of the press, Egypt was deemed "Partly Free" in 2008, ranking 124 out of the 196 countries surveyed.
In 2007, human rights group Amnesty International released a report criticizing Egypt for torture and illegal detention. The report alleges that Egypt has become an international center for torture, where other nations send suspects for interrogation, often as part of the War on Terror. The report calls on Egypt to bring its anti-terrorism laws into accordance with international human rights statutes and on other nations to stop sending their detainees to Egypt. Egypt's foreign ministry quickly issued a rebuttal to this report, claiming that it was inaccurate and unfair, as well as causing deep offense to the Egyptian Government.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) is one of the longest-standing bodies for the defence of human rights in Egypt. In 2003, the Government established the National Council for Human Rights, headquartered in Cairo and headed by former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali who directly reports to the President. The council has come under heavy criticism by local NGO activists, who contend it undermines human rights work in Egypt by serving as a propaganda tool for the Government to excuse its violations and to provide legitimacy to repressive laws such as the recently renewed Emergency Law. Egypt had announced in 2006 that it was in the process of abolishing the Emergency Law, but in March 2007 President Mubarak approved several constitutional amendments to include "an anti-terrorism clause that appears to enshrine sweeping police powers of arrest and surveillance", suggesting that the Emergency Law is here to stay for the long haul.
Egypt's economy depends mainly on agriculture, media, petroleum exports, and tourism; there are also more than three million Egyptians working abroad, mainly in Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf and Europe. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1970 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in the agriculture and ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population, limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress the economy.
The government has struggled to prepare the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investments in communications and physical infrastructure. Egypt has been receiving U.S. foreign aid (since 1979, an average of $2.2 billion per year) and is the third-largest recipient of such funds from the United States following the Iraq war. Its main revenues however come from tourism as well as traffic that goes through the Suez Canal.
Egypt has a developed energy market based on coal, oil, natural gas, and hydro power. Substantial coal deposits are in the north-east Sinai, and are mined at the rate of about 600,000 metric tons (590,000 LT; 660,000 ST) per year. Oil and gas are produced in the western desert regions, the Gulf of Suez, and the Nile Delta. Egypt has huge reserves of gas, estimated at 1,940 cubic kilometres, and LNG is exported to many countries.
Economic conditions have started to improve considerably after a period of stagnation from the adoption of more liberal economic policies by the Government, as well as increased revenues from tourism and a booming stock market. In its annual report, the IMF has rated Egypt as one of the top countries in the world undertaking economic reforms. Some major economic reforms taken by the new Government since 2003 include a dramatic slashing of customs and tariffs. A new taxation law implemented in 2005 decreased corporate taxes from 40% to the current 20%, resulting in a stated 100% increase in tax revenue by the year 2006.
FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) into Egypt has increased considerably in the past few years due to the recent economic liberalization measures taken by minister of investment Mahmoud Mohieddin, exceeding $6 billion in 2006.
Although one of the main obstacles still facing the Egyptian economy is the trickle down of the wealth to the average population, many Egyptians criticize their Government for higher prices of basic goods while their standards of living or purchasing power remains relatively stagnant. Often corruption is blamed by Egyptians as the main impediment to feeling the benefits of the newly attained wealth. The Government promises major reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, with a large portion of the sum paid for the newly acquired third mobile license ($3 billion) by Etisalat.
The best known examples of Egyptian companies that have expanded regionally and globally are the Orascom Group and Raya. The IT sector has been expanding rapidly in the past few years, with many new start-ups conducting outsourcing business to North America and Europe, operating with companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and other major corporations, as well as numerous SME's. Some of these companies are the Xceed Contact Center, Raya Contact Center, E Group Connections and C3 along with other start ups in that country. The sector has been stimulated by new Egyptian entrepreneurs trying to capitalize on their country's huge potential in the sector, as well as constant Government encouragement.
Egyptian media are highly influential both in Egypt and the Arab World, attributed to large audiences and increasing freedom from government control. Freedom of the media is guaranteed in the constitution; however, many laws still restrict this right. After the Egyptian presidential election of 2005, Ahmed Selim, office director for Information Minister Anas al-Fiqi, declared an era of a "free, transparent and independent Egyptian media."
Today, the Egyptian media is experiencing more freedom that wasn't available in the near past. Several Egyptian Talk shows, like (90 Minutes) and (Al- Ashera Masa'an), which operate on private channels, and even the state television programs such as (El-beit beitak) are criticizing the Government; this was banned before because the Government was controlling all television programs, but now the public is feeling the freedom that the Government allowed for media.
Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country with Islam as its state religion. Between 80% and 94% are identified as Muslim.  Almost the entire population of Muslims are Sunni. A significant number of Muslim Egyptians also follow native Sufi orders, and there is a minority of Shi'a.
There is a large minority of Christians in Egypt, who make up the remainder of the population (between 6% and 20%). Over 90% of Egyptian Christians belong to the native Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Other native Egyptian Christians are adherents of the Coptic Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of Egypt and various other Protestant denominations. Non-native Christian communities are largely found in the urban regions of Cairo and Alexandria.
There is also a small, but nonetheless historically significant, non-immigrant Bahá'í population of around 2000, and an even smaller community of Jews of about 200, then a tiny number of Egyptians who identify as atheist and agnostic. The non-Sunni, non-Coptic communities range in size from several hundreds to a few thousand.
According to the constitution of Egypt, any new legislation must at least implicitly agree with Islamic law; however, the constitution bans political parties with a religious agenda. Egypt hosts two major religious institutions. Al-Azhar University, founded in 970 A.D by the Fatimids as the first Islamic University in Egypt and the main Egyptian Church the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria established in the middle of the 1st century by Saint Mark.
Religion plays a central role in most Egyptians' lives, The Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) that is heard five times a day has the informal effect of regulating the pace of everything from business to media and entertainment. Cairo is famous for its numerous mosque minarets and is justifiably dubbed "the city of 1,000 minarets", with a significant number of church towers. This religious landscape has been marred by a history of religious extremism, recently witnessing a 2006 judgement of Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court, which made a clear legal distinction between "recognized religions" (i.e., Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) and all other religious beliefs. This ruling effectively delegitimizes and forbids practice of all but the three Abrahamic religions.
This judgment had made it necessary for non-Abrahamic religious communities to either commit perjury or be denied Egyptian identification cards (see Egyptian identification card controversy), until a 2008 Cairo court case ruled that unrecognized religious minorities may obtain birth certificates and identification documents, so long as they omit their religion on court documents.
In 2002, under the Mubarak Government, Coptic Christmas (January the 7th) was recognized as an official holiday, though Copts report being minimally represented in law enforcement, state security and public office, and of being discriminated against in the workforce on the basis of their religion. The Coptic community, as well as several human rights activists and intellectuals, maintain that the number of Christians occupying Government posts is not proportional to the number of Copts in Egypt.
Egyptian culture has six thousand years of recorded history. Ancient Egypt was among the earliest civilizations and for millennia, Egypt maintained a strikingly complex and stable culture that influenced later cultures of Europe, the Middle East and other African countries. After the Pharaonic era, Egypt itself came under the influence of Hellenism, Christianity, and Islamic culture. Today, many aspects of Egypt's ancient culture exist in interaction with newer elements, including the influence of modern Western culture, itself with roots in ancient Egypt.
Egypt's capital city, Cairo, is Africa's largest city and has been renowned for centuries as a center of learning, culture and commerce. Egypt has the highest number of Nobel Laureates in Africa and the Arab World. Some Egyptian born politicians were or are currently at the helm of major international organizations like Boutros Boutros-Ghali of the United Nations and Mohamed ElBaradei of the IAEA.
Egypt is a recognized cultural trend-setter of the Arabic-speaking world, and contemporary Arab culture is heavily influenced by Egyptian literature, music, film and television. Egypt gained a regional leadership role during the 1950s and 1960s, which gave a further enduring boost to the standing of Egyptian culture in the Arab world.
The Egyptians were one of the first major civilizations to codify design elements in art and architecture. The wall paintings done in the service of the Pharaohs followed a rigid code of visual rules and meanings. Egyptian civilization is renowned for its colossal pyramids, colonnades and monumental tombs. Well-known examples are the Pyramid of Djoser designed by ancient architect and engineer Imhotep, the Sphinx, and the temple of Abu Simbel. Modern and contemporary Egyptian art can be as diverse as any works in the world art scene, from the vernacular architecture of Hassan Fathy and Ramses Wissa Wassef, to Mahmoud Mokhtar's famous sculptures, to the distinctive Coptic iconography of Isaac Fanous.
The Cairo Opera House serves as the main performing arts venue in the Egyptian capital. Egypt's media and arts industry has flourished since the late nineteenth century, today with more than thirty satellite channels and over one hundred motion pictures produced each year. Cairo has long been known as the "Hollywood of the Middle East;" its annual film festival, the Cairo International Film Festival, has been rated as one of 11 festivals with a top class rating worldwide by the International Federation of Film Producers' Associations. To bolster its media industry further, especially with the keen competition from the Persian Gulf Arab States and Lebanon, a large media city was built. Some Egyptian-born actors, like Omar Sharif, have achieved worldwide fame.
Literature constitutes an important cultural element in the life of Egypt. Egyptian novelists and poets were among the first to experiment with modern styles of Arabic literature, and the forms they developed have been widely imitated throughout the Middle East. The first modern Egyptian novel Zaynab by Muhammad Husayn Haykal was published in 1913 in the Egyptian vernacular. Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz was the first Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Egyptian women writers include Nawal El Saadawi, well known for her feminist activism, and Alifa Rifaat who also writes about women and tradition.
Vernacular poetry is perhaps the most popular literary genre amongst Egyptians, represented by the works of Ahmed Fouad Negm (Fagumi), Salah Jaheen and Abdel Rahman el-AbnudiIn their belief, boats were used by the dead to accompany the sun around the world, as Heaven was referred to as “Upper Waters”. In Egyptian mythology, every night the serpentine god Apophis would attack the Sun Boat as it brought the sun (and as such order )back to the Kingdom in the morning. It is referred to as the “Boat of Millions” as all of the gods and all of the souls of the blessed dead may at one point or another be needed to defend or operate it.
Egyptian music is a rich mixture of indigenous, Mediterranean, African and Western elements. In antiquity, Egyptians were playing harps and flutes, including two indigenous instruments: the ney and the oud. Percussion and vocal music also became an important part of the local music tradition ever since. Contemporary Egyptian music traces its beginnings to the creative work of people such as Abdu-l Hamuli, Almaz and Mahmud Osman, who influenced the later work of Egyptian music giants such as Sayed Darwish, Umm Kulthum, Mohammed Abdel Wahab and Abdel Halim Hafez. From the 1970s onwards, Egyptian pop music has become increasingly important in Egyptian culture, while Egyptian folk music continues to be played during weddings and other festivities. Some of the most prominent contemporary Egyptian pop singers include Amr Diab and Mohamed Mounir.
Egypt is famous for its many festivals and religious carnivals, also known as mulid. They are usually associated with a particular Coptic or Sufi saint, but are often celebrated by all Egyptians irrespective of creed or religion. Ramadan has a special flavor in Egypt, celebrated with sounds, lights (local lanterns known as fawanees) and much flare that many Muslim tourists from the region flock to Egypt during Ramadan to witness the spectacle. The ancient spring festival of Sham en Nisim (Coptic: Ϭⲱⲙ‘ⲛⲛⲓⲥⲓⲙ shom en nisim) has been celebrated by Egyptians for thousands of years, typically between the Egyptian months of Paremoude (April) and Pashons (May), following Easter Sunday.
Egypt is one of the boldest countries in the middle east in the music industry. The next generation of the Egyptian music is considered to be the rise, as the music was disrupted by some foreign influences, bad admixing, and abused oriental styles. The new arising talents starting from the late 90's are taking over the rein now as they play many diffenet genres of many different cultures. Rock And Metal music are prevailing widely in Egypt now,as much as the oriental jazz and folk music are becoming well-known now to the Egyptian and non-Egyptian fans
Football is the Popular National Sport of Egypt. Egyptian Soccer clubs El Ahly, El Zamalek, Ismaily, El-Ittihad El-Iskandary and El Masry are the most popular teams and enjoy the reputation of long-time regional champions. The great rivalries keep the streets of Egypt energized as people fill the streets when their favorite team wins. The Cairo Derby is one of the fiercest derbies in Africa and the world, the BBC even picked it as one of the toughest 7 derbies in the world . Egypt is rich in soccer history as soccer has been around for over 100 years. The country is home to many African championships such as the Africa Cup of Nations. While, Egypt's national team has not qualified for the FIFA World Cup since 1990, the Egyptian team won the Africa Cup Of Nations an unprecedented seven times, including two times in a row in 1957 and 1959 and an unprecedented three times in a row in 2006, 2008, and 2010 setting a world record.
Squash and tennis are other popular sports in Egypt. The Egyptian squash team has been known for its fierce competition in international championships since the 1930s. Amr Shabana is Egypt's best player and the winner of the world open three times and the best player of 2006.
The Egyptian Handball team also holds another record; throughout the 34 times the African Handball Nations Championship was held, Egypt won first place five times (including 2008), five times second place, four times third place, and came in fourth place twice. The team won 6th and 7th places in 1995, 1997 at the World Men's Handball Championship, and twice won 6th place at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.
In 2007, Omar Samra joined Ben Stephens (England), Victoria James (Wales) and Greg Maud (South Africa) in putting together an expedition to climb Mount Everest from its South side. The Everest expedition began on 25 March 2007 and lasted for just over 9 weeks. On the 17th of May at precisely 9:49 am Nepal time, Omar became the first and youngest Egyptian to climb 8,850m Mount Everest. He also became the first Egyptian to climb Everest from its South face, the same route taken by Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing in 1953.
The Egyptian Armed forces have a combined troop strength of around 450,000 active personnel. According to the Israeli chair of the former Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Yuval Steinitz, the Egyptian Air Force has roughly the same number of modern warplanes as the Israeli Air Force and far more Western tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft batteries and warships than the IDF.
The Egyptian military has recently undergone massive military modernization mostly in their Air Force. Egypt is speculated by Israel to be the first country in the region with a spy satellite, EgyptSat 1, and is planning to launch 3 more satellites (DesertSat1, EgyptSat2, DesertSat2) over the next two years. In Israel, Egypt is considered to be the second strongest military power in the Middle East, behind Israel.
|Institute for Economics and Peace ||Global Peace Index||54 out of 144|
|United Nations Development Programme||Human Development Index||123 out of 182|
|Transparency International||Corruption Perceptions Index||111 out of 180|
|World Economic Forum||Global Competitiveness Report||70 out of 133|
|Libya||Mediterranean Sea|| Gaza
Israel • Jordan
|Libya||Red Sea • Saudi Arabia|
|Libya||Sudan||Sudan • Red Sea|
|Currency||Egyptian pound (EGP) (LE / £E)|
|Area||total: 1,001,450 km2
land: 995,450 km2
water: 6,000 km2
|Population||78,887,007(July 2006 est.)|
|Language||Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated people|
|Religion||Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%, Coptic Christian and other 10%|
|Time Zone||UTC +2|
Egypt (Arabic: مصر Misr / Másr; officially, the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: جمهوريّة مصر العربيّة Gomhuriat Masr Al-Arabiah)  is in north-eastern Africa with its capital located in its largest city, Cairo. Egypt also extends into Asia by virtue of holding the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is bordered by Israel and the Gaza Strip to the north-east, by Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the east (across the Red Sea), by Sudan to the south and by Libya to the west. The country is bounded by the Mediterranean and Red Seas (to the north and east respectively) and geographically dominated both by the Nile River and its fertile well-watered valley, and by the Eastern and Western deserts.
Egypt is perhaps best known as the home of the ancient Egyptian civilization, with its temples, hieroglyphs, mummies, and - visible above all - its pyramids. Less well-known is Egypt's medieval heritage, courtesy of Coptic Christianity and Islam - ancient churches, monasteries and mosques punctuate the Egyptian landscape. Egypt stimulates the imagination of western tourists like few other countries and is probably one of the most popular tourist destinations world-wide.
The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the the development of one of the world's great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose around 3200 B.C. and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next three millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 B.C., who in turn were replaced by the Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century and who ruled for the next six centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks, took control about 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest by Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important world transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of Egypt's government in 1882, but nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following World War II. The completion of the Aswan High Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honored place of the Nile River in agriculture and the ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress society. The government has struggled to prepare the economy for the new millennium through economic reform and massive investment in communications and physical infrastructure.
Egypt is largely a desert, an extension of the great Sahara Desert that bands North Africa. Save for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River, very little could survive here. As the ancient Greek philosopher Herodotus stated: "Egypt is the gift of the Nile".
Generally, dry and very hot summers with moderate winters - November through to March are definitely the most comfortable months for travel in Egypt. There is almost no rain in the Nile valley, so you won't need wet weather gear!
Banks, shops and businesses close for the following Egyptian National Holidays (civil, secular), and public transport may run only limited services:
The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is held after the end of Ramadan and may last several days. Exact dates depend on astronomical observations and may vary from country to country.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most important month in the Islamic Calendar for Muslims, the majority religion in Egypt. Commemorating the time when God revealed the Qur'an to Mohammed, during this holy month, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking or smoking until after sundown on each day. Although strict adherence to Ramadan is for Muslims only, some Muslims appreciate that non-Muslims do not take meals or smoke in public places. During Ramadan, many restaurants and cafes won't open until after sundown. Public transport is less frequent, shops close earlier before sunset and the pace of life (especially business) is generally slow.
As expected, exactly at sunset minute, the entire country quiets down and busy itself with the main meal of the day (iftar or breaking-fast) that are almost always done as social events in large groups of friends. Many richer people offer (Tables of the Gracious God موائد الرحمن ) in Cairo's streets that cater full-meals for free for the passers-by, the poorer ones or workers who couldn't leave their shifts at the time. Prayers become popular 'social' events that some like to enrich with special food treats before and after. An hour or two later, an astonishing springing to life of the cities takes place. Streets sometimes richly decorated for the whole month have continuous rush hours till very early in the morning. Some shops and cafes make the biggest chunk of their annual profit at this time of year. Costs of advertising on television and radio soars for this period and entertainment performances are at their peak.
Egypt consists of vast desert plateau interrupted by the Nile valley and delta, along with the Sinai peninsula. Portions of the Nile River valley are bounded by steep rocky cliffs, while the banks are relatively flat in other areas, allowing for agricultural production.
containing the northern Nile delta, and the Mediterranean coast; Cairo, Alexandria
the area along the Nile where the historical Upper and Lower kingdoms met
a string of amazing temple towns located on the southern stretch of the Nile
location of the Western Oases: five pockets of green, each with their own unique attractions
Luxury beach resorts, diving and marine life
Rugged and isolated peninsula, with fascinating relics of the past and great scuba diving
As a major tourist destination whose economy is dependent upon tourist money, Egypt is relatively easy to enter and/or obtain visas for if necessary. There are three types of Egyptian visa:
Entry visas may be obtained from Egyptian diplomatic and consular missions abroad or from the Entry Visa Department at the Travel Documents, Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). Non-Egyptian travelers are required to have a valid passport.
Citizens of many countries may obtain a visa on arrival at major points of entry; the fee is demanded on arrival and it is expensive to change money and then pay the fee. At airports, you must obtain these from a bank office before passport control, ostensibly to verify that the currency is real; however, you will have no problem obtaining one. Check with your nearest Egyptian Consular mission for more details concerning visa regulations applying to your citizenship. The fees for a single-entry visa are as follows:
Citizens of Bahrain, Guinea, South Korea, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen receive a 3 month visa on arrival. Citizens of Kuwait can obtain 6-month Residence Permit upon arrival. China and Malaysian citizens receive a 15 day visa on arrival. Citizens of China(only Hong Kong and Macau SAR) may have a 30 day visit without visa.
Citizens of the following countries are currently required to have a visa before arriving, which must be applied for through an Egyptian consulate or embassy outside of Egypt:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, China (People's Republic of; except Hong Kong and Macau), Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia (if you intend to stay for more than 15 days), Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries (except citizens of Guinea and Libya, who do not require visa).
Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border crossing at Taba or at Sharm el Sheikh airport can be exempted from a visa and granted a free fourteen day entry visa to visit the Aqaba coast of the Sinai peninsula, including Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab and St. Catherine's Monastery. Visitors wishing to leave the Sinai peninsula and to visit Cairo and other Egyptian cities are required to hold full Egyptian visas, although strictly speaking there is a small possibility no one will check for this unless you attempt to exit the country. These are not issued at the Taba border crossing and must be acquired in advance either in the country of residence, at the Egyptian consulate in Eilat or airport upon arrival. Visitors traveling on organized tours often may be able to have their visas issued at the border, but you should verify in advance with their travel agent or tour operator if this option is available to them. Those in possession of a residence permit in Egypt are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the country and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less.
Tourists visiting Sharm-el-Sheikh who are planning to undertake scuba diving outside local areas (i.e. Ras Mohammed) will need to obtain the tourist visa, because this technically means leaving the Sharm-el-Sheikh area and leads to the requirement for a visa. Officials on boats may check dive boats whilst on the waters so you are advised to obtain the visa beforehand: there may be fines involved for you and the boat captain if you are caught without the appropriate visa. Most reputable dive centers will ask to see your visa before allowing you on trips.
Egypt has peaceful relations with Israel, but the degree of friendliness varies, and with it, the direct connections betweeen the two countries. As of Dec. 2009, the direct air service between Cairo and Tel Aviv has been suspended for some years. Bus service seems to continue, as described below. In any case, verify the situation as you plan, and again at the last minute.
Egypt has several international airports:
A car ferry runs between Aqaba in Jordan and Nuweiba in the Sinai, tickets $70. The ferry departs at 13:00 according to its timetable, but you should expect delays of up to 40 minutes or more. A weekly ferry also runs between Wadi Halfa in Sudan and Aswan in Egypt. Ferry boats also between the Red Sea coast to ports in Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
Travelers can easily access Egypt by bus from Israel from the bus stations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. You will take a bus to Eilat where you can cross over the border into Taba and take a bus to Cairo or into the Sinai. The Jordanian state bus company, JETT, also operates a direct bus between Amman and Cairo which leaves at 03:00 from the JETT terminal in Amman and takes approximately 19 hours to reach Cairo. Generally, only two or three buses leave from Taba to the various destinations each day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon and sometimes one in the early evening. You should plan your arrival by bus in Eilat accordingly, and be prepared to spend the night in either Eilat or Taba if you will arrive in the evening. All foreigners must pay a 63LE tax at a small office after the bus leaves the station. Also, be aware that all of the routes by bus must by necessity cross Israel; keep this in mind if you plan on further to travel to Syria, Iran, Libya, or other countries which routinely deny entry to those with evidence of travel to Israel in their passports.
Gas is rather inexpensive in Egypt, prices are heavily subsidized, and they have recently fallen to under USD$1/gallon. If you decide to rent a car, you will not add significantly to the cost through gas. Car rental sites require you to be at least 21 years old. Driving in Egypt is very different than in a Western country and is not for the faint of heart; unless you really need this option it is just as easy and probably cheaper to travel by taxis and around the country by airplane, train, and/or bus. As you will see shortly after arrival, obedience of traffic laws is low and there are very few signs indicating road rules. You might also become a target for Egyptian police seeking a bribe, who will pick some trivial offense you have committed and which in reality you could not have avoided and remained on the road.
The state-owned company Egyptian National Railways  runs almost all trains in Egypt. The Cairo-Alexandria route is heavily traveled by train, with frequent service daily. Overnight trains are available for travel from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan, in Upper Egypt; these are run by a separate private company called Abela Egypt. On ENR trains, a First Class ticket costs only a few dollars more than a Second class ticket and you will find it much more pleasant and comfortable.
Train tickets can be bought at most major railway stations' booking offices once you are in Egypt, although a great deal of patience is often required. It also is advisable to purchase tickets in advance, since at peak travel times, trains may be fully booked. Except during busy holiday periods, it's not normally difficult to purchase 1st class tickets on the day of travel or the day before. To avoid complications, book as far ahead as possible.
Foreigners' travel is subject to security restrictions. Several websites report that foreigners are allowed to buy tickets only on selected trains. Some sites report that one can instead buy tickets direct from a conductor. The situation may change again
You may arrange train ticket purchases through a travel agency in Egypt, preferably at least the day before you intend to travel, but you will pay some commission to avoid the inevitable hassle of going to the rail station. Some travel agencies can arrange bookings ahead of time via e-mail, fax, or phone. If you choose to purchase tickets at the Ramses Station in Cairo, there are several booking windows (for example, one for each class and group of destinations), so check with locals (usually very helpful) that you are joining the right queue. The station sells tickets for Egyptian pounds, except for the deluxe Abela Egypt sleeper which must be paid in foreign currency (dollars, euros or pounds sterling).
First Class tickets are relatively cheap and a good choice, although Second Class will more than suffice for many. Travelers probably won't want to experience anything below Second Class (the condition and provision of toilets, for example, drops away quickly after this level). If you must travel at a lower class due to overbooking, look for the first opportunity to "upgrade" yourself into an empty seat - you may pay a small supplement when your ticket is checked, but it's worth it. Note that toilet facilities on Egyptian trains are at best rudimentary, even in first class. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare toiletries for long journeys.
Egypt has an extensive long-distance bus network, operated mostly by government-owned companies. Their names are Pullman, West Delta, Golden Arrow, Super Jet, East Delta, El Gouna, Upper Egypt Bus Co. Popular routes are operated by more than one company. Some bus companies allow you to book seats in advance; some sell spots based upon availability of seats.
Beware buying tickets from bus touts on the street or outside your hotel. The smaller companies are sometimes unlicensed and can cut corners with safety. There have been eight serious bus crashes involving foreign nationals since January 2006, in which over 100 people have been killed. If you are a passenger in a vehicle that is travelling at an unsafe speed you should firmly instruct the driver to slow down.
Road accidents are very common in Egypt, mainly due to poor roads, dangerous driving and non-enforcement of traffic laws. Police estimate that road accidents kill over 6,000 people in Egypt each year. This is twice the UK figure. Other estimates put the figure far higher.
In the cities, taxis are a cheap and convenient way of getting around. Although generally safe, taxis drive as erratically as all the other drivers, especially in Cairo, and you should note that sometimes fake taxis travel around. Make sure they have official markings on the dashboard or elsewhere; the taxis are always painted in special colors to identify them. In Cairo the taxis are painted black with white around the front and rear fenders, in Luxor they are blue and white, and in Alexandria yellow and black. In Cairo and Luxor it is often much more interesting to use the taxis and a good guidebook instead of traveling around in a tour bus.
Some of the taxis have meters, but they are calibrated using a law from the 1970s before the oil crisis and are never used. Since Jan 2009, in Sharm El Sheikh only, all airport taxis have meters fitted and they must be used. Generally the best way is to ask at your hotel or someone you know from Egypt for the prices from point-to-point. You could also ask a pedestrian or policemen for the correct price. The best way to hire a taxi is to stand on the side of the road and put out a hand. You will have no trouble attracting a taxi, especially if you are obviously a Westerner. Negotiate a price and destination before getting into the car. At the end of the journey, step out of the car and make sure you have everything with you before giving the driver the payment. If the driver shouts, it's probably OK, but if he steps out of the car you almost certainly paid too little. Prices can be highly variable but examples are 20 LE from central Cairo to Giza, 10 LE for a trip inside central Cairo and 5 LE for a short hop inside the city. Note that locals pay a fraction of these prices but rarely less than 5 LE; the local price in a taxi from Giza or Central Cairo to the airport is around 25-30 LE. Do not be tempted to give them more because of the economic situation; otherwise, ripping off foreigners will become more common and doing so generally tends to add to inflation. Note that the prices listed here are already slightly inflated to the level expected from tourists, not what Egyptians would normally pay. You can also hire taxis for whole days, for between 100-200 LE if going on longer excursions such as to Saqqara and Dashur from Cairo. Inside the town they are also more than happy to wait for you (often for a small extra charge, but ask the driver), even if you will be wandering around for a few hours.
Taxi drivers often speak enough English to negotiate price and destination, but only rarely more. Some speak more or less fluently and they will double as guides, announcing important places when you drive by them, but they can be hard to find. The drivers often expect to be paid a little extra for that; however, do not feel the need to pay for services that you have not asked for. If you find a good English-speaking driver, you may want to ask him for a card or a phone number, because they can often be available at any time and you will have a more reliable travel experience.
Very recently, a new line of taxis owned by private companies has been introduced in Cairo as a pilot project. They are all clean and air-conditioned. The drivers are formally dressed and can converse in at least one foreign language, usually English. These cabs stand out because of their bright yellow colors. They can be hailed on the street if they are free or hired from one of their stops (including one in Tahrir square in the center of downtown). These new cabs use current meters which count by the kilometer, which starts from 2.50 pounds. In general, they are marginally more expensive than the normal taxis; you can call 16516 in Cairo to hire a cab if you can't find them where you are looking.
A ferry running between the Red Sea resorts of Hurghada and Sharm-El-Sheikh is available with a journey time of 90 minutes for 400 LE.
The domestic air network is fairly extensive and covers most major towns in Egypt. The national carrier, EgyptAir , has the most regular services and is the easiest place to start looking before you go. They provide services from Cairo to quite a few towns and places of interest around the country, the most common being Luxor, Aswan Abu Simbel, Hurghada, Sharm el-Sheikh, Alexandria, Marsa Matruh and Kharga oasis.
The airlines previously employed two-tier pricing structure, which made fares more than four times more expensive for foreigners than locals. After the beginning of 2007, they changed to a system in which everyone pays the same fare regardless of nationality. Fares are still relatively cheap - for example a return day trip to Luxor is about $170. It is wise to book early as flights fill up quickly in the peak season. Local travel agencies have internet web pages and can sometimes squeeze you in last minute, but it is safest to book in advance. Travelers can also check prices and book flights on EgyptAir's website, but only with Visa or Mastercard. Online ticket sales close 72 hours in advance. Travel agencies can still make bookings. The national sales call center is unable to sell tickets over the phone, but directs you to a local travel agency; you can also ask your hotel staff about travel agencies nearby. EgyptAir has a large network of offices at strategic points around the country, which can sell you tickets.
Highlights of any visit to Egypt include famous archaeological sites from both Lower (North) and Upper (South) Egypt. The most famous are:
When you're done with touring the historical sites above, don't miss:
The official language of Egypt is the Egyptian dialect of Modern Arabic. Egyptian Arabic differs in that the letter jim is pronounced g instead of j. As Egypt was a British colony, most educated locals would have learnt English in school. Travelers are unlikely to encounter difficulties finding someone who speaks English, especially in tourist centers. Egyptians are eager to improve their English, and so offering a few new words or gently correcting their mistakes is appreciated.
Following usual rules of politeness, instead of simply starting a conversation with someone in English, ask "Do you speak English?". All the more better if you can do it in Arabic: inta/inti aarif il-inglezi? "Do you (male/female) know English?".
However, most Egyptians not only speak English but also can speak other languages, specially in touristic places. This is helpful for Arabic learner and in daily life.
Note that Egyptians in the southern villages and in Luxor and Aswan speak a different dialect from Cairenes. Furthermore, resources to learn this dialect are difficult to find. If you know Cairene Arabic, remember that ق is pronounced "gah" instead of "ah" and ج is pronounced "jeem" as in classical Arabic instead of "geem." This should be enough for you to communicate, although many words are still completely different.
The local currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP), which is divided into 100 piastres. The currency is often written as LE (short for French livre égyptienne) or by using the pound sign £. In Arabic the pound is called gunaih (جنيه), in turn derived from English "guinea", and piastres are known as qirsh (قرش). Foreign currencies can be exchanged at exchange offices or banks, so there is no need to resort to the dodgy street moneychangers. Many higher-end hotels price in dollars or euros and will gladly accept them as payment, although often at a premium rate over Egyptian pounds. ATMs are ubiquitous in the cities and probably the best option overall; they often offer the best rate and many foreign banks have branches in Egypt. Bank hours are Sunday through Thursday, 8:30AM until 2:00PM.
Banknotes are available in all denominations ranging from 200 pounds to the thoroughly useless 5 piastres, while coins were rather rare until new 50-piastre and 1-pound coins were introduced in the summer of 2006. Counterfeit or obsolete notes are not a major problem, but exchanging pounds outside the country can be difficult. American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted, but only bigger hotels or restaurants in Cairo and restaurants in tourist areas will readily accept credit cards as payment. Traveler's checks can be exchanged in any bank, but like all Egyptian bureaucracy could take some time.
Tips or baksheesh are an integral part of Egyptian culture. You are expected to tip pretty much everybody who does a service for you, and Egyptians will not hesitate to bluntly ask you for baksheesh. Keep a stack of small bills handy for tips — no change is given! Some general guidelines:
If you ask a stranger for directions, tips are not necessary and may even be considered offensive. Officials in uniform, such as police officers, should not be tipped, even though a good few will ask you. Remember that bribery is technically illegal, although if forced to provide one you can rest assured that nothing will happen to you. Last but not least, be aware that as a foreign tourist, you are seen by many as easy money and you should not let yourself be pressured into tipping for unnecessary or unrequested "services" like self-appointed tour guides latching on to you.
Egypt is a shopper's paradise - especially if you're interested in Egyptian-themed souvenirs and kitsch. However, there are also a number of high quality goods for sale, often at bargain prices. Some of the most popular purchases include:
When shopping in markets or dealing with street vendors, remember to haggle.
You will also find many western brands all around. There are many malls in Egypt, the most common being Citystars Mall, which is the largest entertainment center in the Middle East and Africa. You will find all the fast food restaurants you want such as Mcdonald's, KFC, Hardees, Pizza Hut, etc. Clothing brands such as Morgan, Calvin Klein, Levi's, Facconable, Givenchy, Esprit, and more.
Egypt can be a fantastic place to sample a unique range of food: not too spicy and well-flavoured with herbs. For a convenient selection of Egyptian cuisine and staple foods try the Felfela chain of restaurants in Cairo. Some visitors complain, however, that these have become almost too tourist-friendly and have abandoned some elements of authenticity.
As in many seaside countries, Egypt is full of fish restaurants and markets--so fish and seafood are must-try. Frequently, fish markets have some food stalls nearby where you can point at specific fish species to be cooked. Stalls typically have shared table, and locals are as frequent there as tourists.
Be aware that hygiene may not be of the highest standards, depending on the place. The number of tourists that suffer from some kind of parasite or bacterial infection is very high. Despite assurances to the contrary, exercise common sense and bring appropriate medications to deal with problems. "Antinal" is cheap, effective and available in every pharmacy. "Immodium" or similar products are prescription drugs only.
Although Antinal is very effective, sometimes when nothing else is, the elderly should check the brand name with their doctor before relying on it as it contains a high concentration of active ingredient that is not approved by the US FDA or the British regulatory pharmaceutical body.
Classic Egyptian dishes: The dish Ful Medames is one of the most common egyptian dishes; consists of fava beans (ful) slow-cooked in a copper pot (other types of metal pots don't produce the right type of flavor) that have been partially or entirely mashed. Olive oil is often an ingredient, and garlic is sometimes added. Ful medames is served with plenty of olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, garlic, and lemon juice, and typically eaten with Egyptian (baladi) bread or occasionally Levantine (shami) pita. Also sometimes seasoned with chili paste and tumeric.
One must try is the classic Falafel (known as Ta'miya in Egypt) which is deep-fried ground fava bean balls (but better known worldwide for the ground chickpea version typically found in other cuisines of the Middle Eastern region) that was believed to be invented by Egyptian bedouins. Usually served as fast food, or a snack.
Koshary is a famous dish ,which is usually a mixture of macaroni, lentils, rice, chickpeas and tomato sauce. Very popular amongst the locals and a must try for tourists. The gratinated variation is called Taagin.
Egyptian cuisine is quite similar to the cuisine of the Arabic-speaking countries in the Eastern Mediterranean. Dishes like stuffed vegetables and vine leafs, Shawarma-sandwiches are common in Egypt and the region.
Vegetarian Tourists Options:
Vegetarian tourists although have limited options for them to explore from but Falafel and Koshary are excellent choices for them.
Egypt is one of the most affordable countries for a European to try variety of fresh-grown exotic fruits. Guava, mango, watermelon, small melons, ishta are all widely available from fruit stalls, especially in locals-oriented non-tourist marketplaces.
See also Stay healthy:Fluids section for hygiene and related info.
Bottled water is available everywhere. The local brands (most common being Baraka, Siwa, Hayat) are just as good as expensive imported options which are also available: Nestle Pure Life, Evian, Dasani (bottled by Coca-Cola), and Aquafina (bottled by Pepsi). A note on the local brand Baraka: while it is perfectly safe to drink this brand of bottled water, some may notice a very slight baking soda aftertaste, due to the high mineral content of its deep well water source.
No matter where you buy bottled water from (even hotels are not entirely reliable), before accepting it check that there is a clear plastic seal on it and the neck ring is still attached to the cap by the breakable threads of plastic. It is common to collect empty but 'new' bottles and refill them with tap water which drinking a bottle of will make you ill. Not all brands have the clear plastic cover but all the good ones do.
Juices can be widely found in Egypt - kasab(sugar cane); erk soos (licorice); sobiia (white juice); tamr and some fresh fruit juices(almost found at same shop which offer all these kind of juices except erk soos may be which you can find another places).
Karkadae is also famous juice specially at Luxor and it is hibiscus tea which is drunk hot or cold but in Egypt it is preferred to drink it cold.Should mention also that hibiscus tea is known to lower blood pressure so be careful.
Egypt is a predominately Muslim nation and alcoholic drinks are forbidden (haram) for strictly observant Muslims. That said, Egyptians tend to adopt a relaxed and pragmatic view towards alcohol for non-Muslims and foreigners it is tolerated by the vast majority of Egyptians and consumed by a sizable number of them (including less strict Muslims - you may even be asked to "procure" drink for someone!) Alcoholic beverages and bottled drinks are readily available throughout the country (especially in larger towns and cities, as well as tourist centers). Please note, however, that public drunkenness (especially the loud and obnoxious variety) is definitely not appreciated - without caution, you may end up drying out in a police cell. Try to be a good ambassador: if you must get "tipsy", confine it to the hotel or very nearby! (It's actually quite rare to see drunken tourists, even in the most intense tourist areas...)
Stella (not artois) is a common beer in Egypt. Other local brands are available, most a with higher alcohol variant that have claimed levels of 8% or even 10%..
Egyptian laws towards alcohol are officially quite liberal compared to most Islamic countries, except for the month of Ramadan when alcohol is strictly forbidden. During Ramadan only holders of foreign passports are allowed to buy alcohol, by Egyptian law. However, the enforcement of this law is by no means consistent. In tourist areas like Luxor, alcohol is sold even during Ramadan, and those who look like foreigners will not be asked to show passports or other documentation.
During Ramadan alcohol is often sold only in Western-style hotels and pubs/restaurants catering especially to foreigners. A few days of the year, as the day of the full moon the month before Ramadan, alcohol is completely banned. Also some hotels and bars catering to foreigners will stop serving alcohol during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan - phone ahead to make sure alcohol is still being served in order to avoid disappointment.
Egypt has a full range of accommodation options, from basic backpacker hostels to five-star resorts. Most major hotel chains are represented in Cairo, Sharm el-Sheikh and Luxor at least. You can book most of your accomodation online or contact a local agent that can organise both accomodation and trips.
Other schools include the German University, the British University, the French University and the Canadian University.
Scams and hassle
Travelers often complain about being hassled and attempts at
scamming while in Egypt. While irritating, most of this is pretty
harmless stuff, like attempting to lure you into a local papyrus or
Egypt is generally a safe and friendly country to travel. Egyptians on the whole are very friendly - if you are in need of assistance they will generally try to help you as much as they are able.
Egyptian men will make compliments to women; do not take offense if they do this to you. Men shouldn't be worried, either; if they do this to your partner/daughter, it will be nothing more than a compliment, and hopefully won't go any further than that.
Terrorism is certainly the most spectacular safety concern, and the country's terrorist groups have an unpleasant record of specifically targeting Western tourists and the places they frequent. The most infamous attack was the one in 1997 in Luxor, which killed 62 people, but there has also been a series of bombings in the Sinai in 2004-2006 and one largely unsuccessful attempt in Cairo in 2005.
The most recent incident involving British nationals occurred on 24 April 2006 in the resort town of Dahab killing 23 people, and injuring more than 60 including three British nationals. On the evening of 22 February 2009, an explosion occurred near the Al Hussein Mosque in Cairo, killing one French national and injuring others. The Egyptian security forces remain on a high level of alert.
Realistically speaking, though, the odds of being affected by terrorism are minimal and most attacks have only succeeded in killing Egyptians, further increasing the revulsion the vast majority of Egyptians feel for the extremists. The government takes the issue very seriously and tourist sites are very heavily guarded. For example, if you take a taxi from Cairo to Alexandria, you will be stopped at a checkpoint before leaving Cairo. They will ask where you are going, and communicate with the checkpoint at Alexandria to make sure you reach your destination within a certain time period. The same goes for most trips into the desert, particularly in Upper Egypt. During different branches of your drive, you may be escorted by local police. They will travel to your destination with you, wait around until you are finished, and usually stay behind at one of the next checkpoints. The best example of this is when you travel from Aswan to Abu Simbel to visit the Temple of Ramses II. An armed tourism police will board your tourist bus and escort you until you arrived to Abu Simbel, and after your tour, he will ride on the same bus with you back to Aswan.
There are also many tourism police officers armed with AK-47s riding on camels patrolling the Giza plateau. They are there to ensure the safety of the tourists since the Pyramids are the crown jewels of all the Egyptian antiquities. Some tourists may find it exciting or even amusing to take pictures with these police officers on camel back; however, since they are all on patrol duty, it is not uncommon for them to verbally warn you not to pose next to them in order to take a picture with them.
Pickpocketing is a problem in Egypt's bigger cities, particularly Cairo. Many locals opt not to carry wallets at all, instead keeping their money in a clip in their pocket, and tourists would be wise to adopt this as well. On the upside, violent crime is rare, and you are highly unlikely to physically mugged or robbed. If, however, you do find yourself the victim of crime, you may get the support of local pedestrians by shouting "Harami" (Criminal) while chasing the person who robbed you.
Ensure that you drink plenty of water: Egypt has an extremely dry climate most of the year - a fact aggravated by high temperatures in the summer end of the year - and countless travelers each year experience the discomforts and dangers of dehydration. A sense of thirst is not enough to indicate danger - carry a water bottle and keep drinking! Not needing to urinate for a long period or passing very small amounts of dark yellow urine are signs of incipient dehydration.
Egyptian tap water is generally safe, although it does sometimes have an odd taste due to the high chlorine content added to make it so. It is not recommended for regular drinking, especially to very local differences in quality. Bottled mineral waters are widely available -- see Drink:Water section. Beware of the old scam, however, whereby vendors re-sell bottled water bottles, having refilled with another (perhaps dubious) source.... Always check the seal is unbroken before parting with your money (or drinking from it) and inform the tourist police if you catch anyone doing this....
Be a little wary with fruit juice, as some sellers may mix it with water. Milk should also be treated carefully as it may not be pasteurized.... Try only to buy milk from reputable shops. Hot beverages like tea and coffee should generally be OK, the water having been boiled in preparation, though it pays to be wary of ice as well.
Wear sunscreen, wear a sturdy hat and bring good sunglasses - it's bright out there!
In order to avoid contracting the rightly dreaded schistosomiasis parasite (also known as bilharzia), a flatworm that burrows through the skin, do not swim in the Nile or venture into any other Egyptian waterways, even if the locals are doing so. It is also a good idea not to walk in bare feet on freshly-watered lawns for the same reason.
Although the disease takes weeks to months to show its head, it's wise to seek medical attention locally if you think you've been exposed, as they are used to diagnosing and treating it, and it will cost you pennies rather than dollars. Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and fatigue, making the disease easy to mistake for (say) the flu or food poisoning, but the flatworm eggs can be identified with a stool test and the disease can usually be cured with a single dose of Praziquantel.
Outbreaks of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) in Egypt have led to 23 human fatalities since 2006. The last fatality was in December 2008.
Keep in mind that most Egyptian workers expect tips after performing a service, known as Baksheesh. This can be expected for something as little as pressing the button in the elevator. Many workers will even ask you to tip them before you get a chance. The typical tip for minor services is 50pt to 1 LE. Due to the general shortage of small change, you may be forced to give 5 LE to do simple things like use the bathroom. Just understand that this is part of the culture; the value of the baksheesh is very small to most westerners (USD$0.10 to $0.25) but makes up the a good portion of monthly income for many Egyptians.
Do not photograph people without their permission, and in areas frequented by tourists do not be surprised if a bit of baksheesh is requested. If you're male, don't be surprised if another male holds your hand or forearm or engages in some form of bodily contact - there's no taboo against men holding hands and unlike in the West, this behavior is not associated with homosexuality. In general, Egyptians are a lot more comfortable with less personal space than are most Westerners; however, pairs of Westerners should be cautious in engaging in same-sex contact. Normal contact is quite acceptable (shaking hands, pats on the shoulder, etc.) but holding hands could be mistaken in Westerners as a sign of homosexuality, which is quite taboo in Egypt. Smoking is very common and cigarettes are very cheap in Egypt.
Gamal Abdul Nasser, the first President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, and many others are considered national heroes in Egypt; you should say absolutely nothing that could be perceived as offensive or derogatory regarding him. Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak (the current President) are largely unpopular but it is probably better not to discuss politics unless your Egyptian acquaintance brings it up first. Tread carefully around such topics and let others guide the openness of the discussion. Many Egyptians have a different interpretation concerning ambiguous expresions such as freedom of speech and democracy. Likewise, don't bring up politics and other delicate issues impulsively. It is advisable not to discuss Israel even if tempted; do not speak loudly about it as it may attract unwanted attention, even if you are only talking about it as a travel destination.
Never discuss religion from an atheistic or similar point of view. Even highly educated Egyptians who studied abroad won't appreciate it and doors will close for you. Also be aware that the Islamic "call to prayer" happens five times daily and can be heard loudly almost anywhere you go. Just understand that most Egyptians are used to it and enjoy it as part of the cultural experience.
Take great care if you choose to drink, especially if you're from countries where heavy drinking is accepted. Even if you are used to it, you can't estimate the effects of the climate, even at night. The impact drunk people have on Egyptians is quite large and very negative. The best plan is just to abstain or limit yourself to one drink per meal while in Egypt; it will be cheaper too.
Egyptians are generally a conservative people and most are religious (roughly 85% Muslim and 15% Christian). Although they accommodate foreigners being dressed a lot more skimpily, it is prudent not dress provocatively, if only to avoid having people stare at you. It is best to wear pants or jeans instead of shorts as only tourists wear these. In modern nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and bars in Cairo, Alexandria and other tourist destinations you'll find the dress code to be much less restrictive. Official or social functions and smart restaurants usually require more formal wear.
At the Giza Pyramids and other such places during the hot summer months, short sleeve tops and even sleeveless tops are acceptable for women (especially when traveling with a tour group). Though you should carry a scarf or something to cover up more while traveling to/from the tourist destination. Also, it's perfectly acceptable for women to wear sandals during the summer, and you will even see some women with the hijab who have sandals on.
Women should cover their arms and legs if travelling alone, and covering your hair may help to keep away unwanted attention. Though as a foreigner, you may get plenty of attention no matter what you wear, mainly including people staring at you along with some verbal harassment which you can try to ignore. Egyptian women, even those who wear the full hijab, are often subjected to sexual harassment, including cat calls. You may find that completely covering up does not make a huge difference, with regards to harassment, versus wearing a top with shorter sleeves. In regards to harassment, it's also important how you act. Going out with a group of people is also helpful, and the best thing to do is ignore men who give you unwanted attention. They want to get some reaction out of you. Also, one sign of respect is to use the Arabic greeting, "Asalamualaikum" (means "hello, peace be upon you"), and the other person should reply "Walaikumasalam" ("peace be upon you"). That lets the person know you want respect, and nothing else.
Egypt has a reasonably modern telephone service including three GSM mobile service providers. The three mobile phone providers are Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat. Principal centers are located at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta. Roaming services are provided, although you should check with your service provider. Also, it is possible to purchase tourist mobile phone lines for the duration of your stay, which usually costs around 30 LE.
Internet access is easy to find and cheap. Most cities, such as Cairo and Luxor, and even smaller tourist sites, such as Edfu, boast a plethora of small internet cafés. The price per hour is usually 2-10 LE depending on the location/speed. In addition, an increasing number of coffee shops, restaurants, hotel lobbies and other locations now provide free wireless internet access. Free wi-fi (Mobilnil) is also available at modern coffee shops such as Cilantro and Costa Coffee, where you obtain access by getting a 2-hour "promotional" card from the waiter, and if you go into almost any McDonald's, you will have access to a free WiFi connection.
There are a number of options for washing clothes whilst travelling in Egypt:
By far the easiest, most practical - and not at all expensive - is to arrange for your hotel to have your washing done for you. By prior arrangement, clothes left on the bed or handed in at reception will be returned to you by evening freshly laundered and pressed.
Determined self-helpers can persist with hand-washing or finding one of the many "hole-in-the-wall" laundries where the staff will wash and press your clothes manually - a fascinating process in itself! Just be aware that your clothes will probably smell of cigarette smoke when returned...
Cairo possesses a few basic Western-style laundromats in areas where foreigners and tourists reside - they are virtually nonexistent elsewhere in the country. Some hotels in tourist towns like Luxor and Dahab offer a washing machine service in a back room - the machines are usually primitive affairs and you'll be left with the task of wringing and ironing your clothes yourself.
The moral of the tale?: Do yourself a favour, maximise your quality time in Egypt, and get the hotel to do your laundry for you!
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EGYPT, a country forming the N.E. extremity of Africa.i In the following account a division is made into (I.) Modern Egypt, and (II.) Ancient Egypt; but the history from the earliest times is given as a separate section (III.).
Section I. includes Geography, Economics, Government, Inhabitants, Finance and Army. Section II. is subdivided into:(A) Exploration and Research; (B) The Country in Ancient Times; (C) Religion; (D) Language and Writing; (E) Art and Archaeology; (F) Chronology. Section III. is divided into three main periods:(1) Ancient History; (2) the Mahommedan Period; (~) Modern History (from Mehemet Ali).
I. MODERN EGYPT
Boundaries and Areas.Egypt is bounded N. by the Mediterranean, S. by the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, N.E. by Palestine, E. by the Red Sea, W. by Tripoli and the Sahara. The western frontier is ill-defined. The boundary line between Tripoli and Egypt is usually taken to start from a point in the Gulf of Sollum and to run S. by E. so as to leave the oasis of Siwa to Egypt. South of Siwa the frontier, according to the Turkish firman of 1841, bends eastward, approaching the cultivated Nile-land near Wadi Halfa, i.e. the southern frontier. This southern frontier is fixed by agreement between Great Britain and Egypt at the 22 N. The N.E. frontier is an almost direct line drawn from Taba, near the head of the Gulf of Akaba, the eastern of the two gulfs into which the Red Sea divides, to the Mediterranean at Raf a ~n. 34 15 E. The peninsula of Sinai, geographically part of Asia, is thus included in the Egyptian dominions. The total area of the country is about 400,000 sq. m., or more than three times the size of the British Isles. Of this area ~-*ths is desert. Canals, roads, date plantations, &c., cover 1900 sq. m.; 2850 sq. m. are comprised in the surface of the Nile, marshes, lakes, &c. A line corresponding with the 30 N., drawn just S. of Cairo, divides the country into Lower aiid Upper Egypt, natural designations in common use, Lower Egypt being the Delta and Upper Egypt the Nile valley. By the Arabs Lower Egypt is called Er-Rif, the cultivated or fertile; Upper Egypt Es Said, the happy or fortunate. Another division of the country is into Lower, Middle and Upper Egypt, Middle Egypt in this classification being the district between Cairo and Assiut.
General Character.The distinguishing features of Egypt are the Nile and the desert. But for the river there would be nothing to differentiate the country from other parts of the Sahara. The Nile, however, has transformed the land through which it passes. Piercing the desert, and at its annual overflow depositing rich sediment brought from the Abyssinian highlands, the river has created the Delta and the fertile strip in Upper Egypt. This cultivable land is Egypt proper; to it alone is applicable the ancient name the black land. The Misr of the Arabs is restricted to the same territory. Beyond the Nile valley east and west stretch great deserts, containing here and there fertile oases. The general appearance of the country is remarkably uniform. The Delta is a level plain, richly cultivated, and varied alone by the lofty dark-brown mounds of ancient cities, and the villages set in groves of palm-trees, standing on mounds often, if not always, ancient. Groves of palm-trees are occasionally seen besides those around the villages, but other trees are rare., In Upper Egypt the Nile valley is very narrow and is bounded by mountains of no great height. They form the edge of the desert on either side of the valley, of which the bottom is level rock. The mountains rarely take the form of peaks. Sometimes they approach the river in bold promontories, and at others are divided by the dry beds of ancient watercourses. The bright green of the fields, the reddish-brown or dull green of the great river, contrasting with the bare yellow rocks, seen beneath a brilliant sun and a deep-blue sky, present views of great beauty. In form the landscape varies little and is not remarkable; in color its qualities are always splendid, and under a general uniformity show a continual variety.
i By the Greek and Roman geographers Egypt was usually assigned to Libya (Africa), but by some early writers the Nile was thought to mark the division between Libya and Asia. The name n~rIIrs in Hnmir us AIv,j,r,n~ hut s of douihtfuul nr;o-n The Coast Region.Egypt has a coast-line of over 600 m. on the Mediterranean and about 1200 m. on the Red Sea. The Mediterranean coast extends from the Gulf of Sollum on the west to Rafa on the east. From the gulf to the beginning of the Delta the coast is rock-bound, but slightly indented, and possesses no good harbourage. The cliffs attain in places a height of 1000 ft. They are the termination of a stony plateau, containing several small oases, which southward joins the more arid and uninhabitable wastes of the Libyan Desert. The Delta coast-line, composed of sandhills and, occasionally, limestone rocks, is low, with cape-like projections at the Nile mouths formed by the river silt. Two bays are thus formed, the western being the famous Bay of Aboukir. It is bounded W. by a point near the ancient Canopic mouth, eastward by the Rosetta mouth. Beyond the Delta eastward the coast is again barren and without harbours. It rises gradually southward, merging into the plateau of the Sinai peninsula. The Red Sea coast is everywhere mountainous. The mountains are the northern continuation of the Abyssinian table-land, and some of the peaks are over 6000 ft. above the sea. The highest peaks, going from north to south, are Jebels Gharib, Dukhan, Es Shayib, Fatira, Abu Tiur, Zubara and Hammada (Hamata). The coast has a general N.N.W. and S.S.E. trend, and, save for the two gulfs into which it is divided by the massif of Sinai, is not deeply indented. Where the frontier between Egypt and the Sudan reaches the sea is Ras Elba (see further Faa iEA).
The Nile Valley (see also NILE).Entering Egypt prcger, a little north of the Second Cataract, the Nile flows through a valley in sandstone beds of Cretaceous age as far as 25 N., and throughoui this part of its course the valley is extremely narrow, rarely exceeding 2 m. in width. At two points, namely, Kalabshathe valley here being only 170 yds. wide and the river over 100 ft. deepand Assuan (First Cataract), the course of the river is interrupted by outcrops of granites and other crystalline rocks, which have been uncovered by the, erosion of the overlying sandstone, and to-day form the mass of islands, with numerous small rapids, which are described not very accurately as cataracts; no good evidence exists in support of the view that they are the remains of a massive barrier, broken down and carried away by some sudden convulsion. From 25 N. northwards for 518 m. the valley is of the rift-valley type, a level depression in a limestone plateau, enclosed usually by steep cliffs, except where the tributary valleys drained into the main valley in early times, when there was a larger rainfall, and now carry off the occasional rainstorms that burst on the desert. The cliffs are highest between Esna and Kena, where they reach 1800 ft. above sea-level. The average width of the .cultivated land is about I0 m., of which the greater part lies on the left (western) bank of the river; and outside this is a belt, varying from a few hundred yards to 3 or 4 m., of stony and sandy ground, reaching up to the foot of the limestone cliffs, which rise in places to as much as 1000 ft. above the valley. This continues as far as 29 N., after which the hills that close in the valley become lower, and the higher plateaus lie at a distance of 10 or 15 m. back in the desert.
The Fayum.The fertile province of the Fayum, West of the Nile and separated from it by some 6 m. of desert, seems to owe its existence to movements similar to those which determined the valley itself. Lying in a basin sloping in a series of terraces from an altitude of 65 ft. above sea-level in the east to about 140 ft. below sea-level on the north-west, at the margin of the Birket-el-Kerun, this province is wholly irrigated by a canalized channel, the Bahr Yusuf, which, leaving the Nile at Derut esh Sherif in Upper Egypt, follows the western margin of the cultivation in the Nile valley, and at length enters the Fayum through a gap in the desert hills by the XIIth Dynasty pyramids of Lahun and Hawara (see FAYUM).
The Delta.About 30 N., where the city of Cairo stands, the hills which have hitherto run parallel with the Nile turn W.N.W. and E.N.E., and the triangular area between them is wholly deltaic. The Delta measures 100 m. from S. to N., having a width of 155 m. on the shore of the Mediterranean between Alexandria on the west and Port Said on the east. The low sandy shore of the Delta, slowly increasing by the annual deposit of silt by the river, is mostly a barren area of sand-hills and salty waste land. This is the region of the lagoons and marshes immediately behind the coast-line. Southwards the quality of the soil rapidly improves, and becomes the most fertile part of Egypt. This area is watered by the Damietta and the Rosetta branches of the Nile, and by a network of canals. The soil of the Delta is a dark grey fine sandy soil, becoming at times almost a stiff clay by reason of the fineness of its particles, which consist almost wholly of extremely small grains of quartz with a few other minerals, and often numerous flakes of mica. This deposit varies in thickness, as a rule, from 55 to 70 ft., at which depth it is underlain by a series of coarse and fine yellow quartz sands, with occasional pebbles, or even banks of gravel, while here and there thin beds of clay occur. These sand-beds are sharply distinguished by their color from the overlying Nile deposit, and are of considerable thickness. A boring made in 1886 for the Royal Society at Zagazig attained a depth of 375 ft. without reaching rock, and another, subsequently sunk near Lake Aboukir (close to Alexandria), reached a depth of 405 ft. with the same result. Numerous other borings to depths of 100 to 200 ft. have given similar results, showing the Nile deposit to rest generally on these yellow sands, which provide a rnnQl-2nt thnu,c41 not s yen! lsro-e cunnlv of annul w,2tp-r~ ~ 4k.
northern limits of the Delta this cannot, however, be depended on since the well water at these depths has proved on several occasion:
to be salt. The surface of the Delta is a wide alluvial plain slopinf gently towards the sea, and having an altitude of 29 ft. above it a its southern extremity. Its limits east and west are determined bi the higher ground of the deserts, to which the silt-laden waters 0 the Nile in flood time cannot reach. This silt consists largely o alumina (about 48%) and calcium carbonate (18%) with smalle quantities of silica, oxide of iron and carbon. Although the Nil, water is abundantly charged with alluvium, the annual deposit b1 the river, except under extraordinary circumstances, is smaller thai might be supposed. The mean ordinary rate of the increase of thi soil of Egypt is calculated as about 41/2 in. in a century.
The Lakes.The lagoons or lakes of the Delta, going from wesi to east, are Mareotis (Maritit), Edku, Burlus and Menzala. The lam separating them from the Mediterranean is nowhere more than 10 m wide. East of the Damietta mouth of the Nile this strip is in place not more than 200 yds. broad. All the lakes are shallow and thc water in them salt or brackish. Mareotis, which bounds Alexandria on the south side, varies considerably in A 3r B area according to the rise or fall Nile is low ____ _______
there is a wide expanse of marsh, when at its ~ ~ highest the lake covers ~ ~
about 100 sq. m. In ~
ancient times Mareotis e=-~-
was navigable and was joined by various canals - ~
to the Nile. The coun- ~~a- -~, _~tve~ ua try around was culti- r -
vated and produced ,the - ~
famous Mareotic wine - - ~Iamanhu The canals being neg lected, the lake de- - e creased in size, though ~ ~c~a ~. S
it was still of consider- s able area in the 15th -~: ~.. ~
and 16th centuries, and - .. -. .. ~. - .~ ~ ~.
was then noted for the .~ - .: .~ :..
value of its fisheries ~... -. .: -.. -.
When the French army 2 ~ ~ ... .. Sbtbi~
occupied Egypt in 1798, ~ L~~ :~
Mareotis was found to .s..8~rHodker: ~
be largely a sandy plain c -. ~t. Khat~t InApril 1801 the British ~f l~.. o.~i4~?.
army besieging Alexan-. ~ -~- -~---~~ ~. ~
dna cut through the ~ -, ~
land between Aboukir wadi e~ ~ ~ ~
and the lake, admitting ~ L, 5
the waters of the sea Pr into the ancient bed 3
of Mareotis and laying under water a large A3~ - 9 Longitude East 3
area then in cultiva tion. This precedent was twice imitated, first by the Turks in 1803 and a second time by the British in 1807. Mareotis has no outlet, and the water is kept at a uniform level by means of powerful pumps which neutralize the effect of the Nile flood. A western arm has been cut off from the lake by a dyke, and in this arm a thick crust of salt is formed each year after the evaporation of the flood water. Near the shores of the lake wild flowers grow in rich profusion. Like all the Delta lakes, Mareotis abounds in wild-fowl. North-east of Mareotis was Lake Aboukir, a small sheet of water, now dry, lying S.W. of Aboukir Bay. East of this reclaimed marsh and reaching to within 4 m. of the Rosetta branch of the Nile, lies Edku, 22 m. long and in places 16 wide, with an opening, supposed to be the ancient Canopic mouth of the Nile, into Aboukir Bay. Burlus Begins a little eastward of the Rosetta channel, and stretches bow-shaped for 64 m. Its greatest width is about 16 m. Adjoining it SE. is an expanse of sandy marsh. Several canals or canalized channels enter the lake. Opposite the spot where the Bahr-mit Yezir enters is an opening rnto the Mediterranean. Canal and opening indicate the course of the ancient Sebennytic branch of the Nile. Burlus is noted for its water-melons, which are yellow within and come into season after those grown on the banks of the Nile.
Menzala greatly exceeds the other Delta lakes in size, covering over 780 sq. m. It extends from very near the Damietta branch of the Nile to PortSaid. It receives the Waters of the canalized channels which were once the Tanitic, Mendesian and Pelusiac branches. The northern shore is separated from the sea by an extremely narrow strip of land, across which, when the Mediterranean is stormy and the lake full, the waters meet. Its average length is about 40 m., and its average breadth about 15. The depth is greater than that of the other lakes, and the water is salt, though mixed with fresh. It contains a large number of islands, and the whole lake abounds in reeds of various kinds., Of the islands Tennis (anciently Tennesus)
contains ruins of the Roman period. The lake suppoi-ts a considerable population of fishermen, who dwell in villages on the shore and islands and live upon the fish of the lake. The reeds are cover for waterfowl of various kinds, which the traveller sees in great numbers, and wild boars are found in the marshes to the south. The Suez Canal runs in a straight line for 20 m. along the eastern edge of the lake. That part of the lake east of where the canal was excavated is now marshy plain and the Tanitic and Pelusiac mouths of the Nile are dry. East of Menzala is the site of Serbonis, another driedup lake, which had the general characteristics of the Delta lagoons. In the Isthmus of Suez are Lake Timsa and the Great and Little Bitter Lakes, occupying part of the ancient bed of the Red Sea. All three were dry or marshy depressions previously to the cutting of the Suez Canal, at which time the waters of the Mediterranean and Red Sea were let into them (see SUEZ CANAL).
A chain of natron lakes (seven in number) lies in a valley in the western desert, 7oto 90 m. W.N.W. of Cairo. In the Fayum province farther south is the Birket-el-Kerun, a lake, lying below the level of the Nile, some 30 m. long and 5 wide at its broadest part. Kerun is all that is left of - C s - D the Lake of Mocris, an ___________________ ancient artificial sheet ______________________ iEngels 05:28, 24 Mar 2006 (PST)--- of water which played _____________________ _________ an important part in the irrigation schemel ~ - ~- of the Pharaohs. The _______________ water of el-Kerun is ___________ brackish, though de - -~--- 3/4 rived from the Nile, which has at all seasons _~ il amuchhighenlevel. It - -~ is bounded on the north - by the Libyan Desert above which rises a bold range of mountains; and a - it has a strange and pie illet d. ~ TAU8
a a ~ turesque wildness. Near m ii the lake are several sites air of ancient towns, and Sakr SaJihf~ the temple called Kasr It - - Engels-~ Karun, dating from ~j~1 ~i~i~ta Roman times, distin ~~ n guishes the most im ,.,u~r, h,ti~s, 2 portant of these.
a ib~IS South-west of the Fayum is the Wadi l. NILE DELTA Rayan a large and deep depression, utiliz _______ Scale. m:a,45o.000 able in modern schemes ~-,s cuopous - - .~ ~ 3 ~? for re-creating the, Lake y Re/mayo ~ ~_ of Moeris (q.v.).
GIza ~ O~i ~ .,.:..:~... 3O The Desert Plateaus.
Cap,tale afPrno,oe, From the southern PHwX~ V~ ROOd O.,.na ~ 3 borders of Egypt to *b.,sIi., Ramp, ,---.
pesew, HSIwan do~Set 8/ian VOO,S Solon the Delta in the north, the desert plateaus ex of Greenwich C - 1~ D tend on either side of Banspywaims, the Nile valley. The eastern region, between the Nile and the Red Sea, varies in width from 90 to 350 m. and is known in its northern part as the Arabian Desert. The western region has no natural barrier for many hqndreds of miles; it is part of the vast Sahara. On its eastern edge, a few miles west of Cairo, stand the great pyramids (q.v.) of Gizeh or Giza. North of Assuan it is called the Libyan Desert. In the north the desert plateaus are comparatively low, but from Cairo southwards they rise to 1000 and even 1500 ft. above sealevel. Formed mostly of horizontal strata of varying hardness, they present a series of terraces of minor plateaus, rising one above the other, and intersected by small ravines worn by the occasional rainstorms which burst in their neighborhood. The weathering of this desert area is probably faimly rapid, and the agents at work are principally the rapid heating and cooling of the rocks by day and night, and the erOsive action of sand-laden wind on the softer lnyers; these, aided by the occasional rain, are ceaselessly at work, and produce the successive plateaus, dotted with small isolated hills and cut up by valleys (wadis) which occasionally become deep ravines, thus foiming the principal type of scenery of these deserts. From this it will be seen that the desert in Egypt is mainly a rock desert, where the surface is formed of disintegrated rock, the finer particles of which have been carried away by the wind; and east of the Nile this is almost exclusively the case. Here the desert meets the line of mountains which runs parallel to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez. In the western desert, however, those large sand accumulations which are usually associated with a desert are met with. They occur as lines of dunes formed of rounded grains of quartz, and lie in the direction of the prevalent wind, usually being of small breadth as compared with their length; but in certain areas, such as that lying S.W. and ~V. of the oases of Farafra and Dakhla, these lines of dunes, lying parallel to each other and about half a mile anart. cover immense areas, rendering them ahsolutelv imnassable except in a direction parallel to the lines themselves. East of the oases of Baharia and Farafra is a very striking line of these sand dunes; rarely more than 3 miles wide, it extends almost continuously from Moghara in the north, passing along the west side of Kharga Oasis to a point near the Nile in the neighborhood of Abu Siinbelhaving thus a length of nearly 550 m. In the northern part of this desert the dunes lie about N.W.-S.E., but farther south incline more towards the meridian, becoming at last very nearly north and south.
Oases.In the western desert lie the five large oases of Egypt, namely, Siwa, Baharia, Farafra, Dakhla and Kharga or Great Oasis, occupying depressions in the plateau or, in the case of the last three, large indentations in the face of limestone escarpments which form the western versant of the Nile valley hills. Their fertility is due to a plentiful supply of water furnished by a sandstone bed 300 to 500 ft. below the surface, whence the water rises through natural fissures or artificial boreholes to the surface, and sometimes to several feet above it. These oases were known and occupied by the Egyptians as early as 1600 s.c., and Kharga (q.v.) rose to special importance at the time of the Persian occupation. Here, near the town of Kharga, the ancient Hebi, is a temple of Ammon built by Darius I., and in the same oasis are other ruins of the period of the Ptolemies and Caesars. The oasis of Siwa (Jupiter Ammon) is about 150 m. S. of the Mediterranean at the Gulf of Sollum and about 300 m. W. of the Nile (see SIwA). The other four oases lie parallel to and distant 100 to 150 m. from the Nile, between 25 and 29 N., Baharia being the most northerly and Kharga the most southerly.
Besides the oases the desert is remarkable for two other valleys. The first is that of the natron lakes already mentioned. It contains four monasteries, the remains of the famous anchorite settlement of Nitriae. South of the Wadi Natron, and parallel to it, is a sterile valley called the Bahr-bela-Ma, or River without Water.
The Sinai PeninsulaThe triangular-shaped Sinai peninsula has its base on the Mediterranean, the northern part being an arid plateau, the desert of Tih. The apex is occupied by a massif of crystalline rocks. The principal peaks rise over 8500 ft. Owing to the slight rainfall, and the rapid weathering of the rocks by the great range of teniperature, these hills rise steeply from the valleys at their feet as almost bare rock, supporting hardly any vegetation. In some of the valleys wells or rock-pools filled by rain occur, and furnish drinking-water to the few Arabs who wander in these hills (see also SINAI).
lGeologyJust as the Nile valley forms the chief geographical feature of Egypt, so the geology of the country is intimately related to it. The north and south direction of the river has been largely determined by faults, though the geologists of the Egyptian Survey are finding that the influence of faulting in determining physical outline has, in some cases, been overestimated. The oldest rocks, consisting of crystalline schists with numerous intrusions of granite, porphyry and diorite, occupy the eastern portion of the country between the Nilesouth of Assuan and the Red Sea. The intrusive rOcks predominate over the schists in extent of area covered. They furnished the chief material for the ancient monuments. At Assuan (Syene) the well-known syenite of Werner occurs. It is, however, a hornblende granite and does not possess the mineralogical composition of the syenites of modern petrology. Between Thebes and Khartum the western banks of the Nile are composed of Nubian Sandstone, which extends westward from the river to the edge of the great Libyan Desert, where it forms the bed rock. The age of this sandstone has given rise to much dispute. The upper part certainly belongs to the Cretaceous formation; the lower part has been considered to be of Karroo age by some geologists, while others regard the whole formation to be of Cretaceous age. In the Kharga Oasis the upper portion consists of variously colored unfossiliferous clays with intercalated bands of sandstone containing fossil silicified woods (Nicolia Aegyptiaca and A raucarioxylon Aegypticum). They are conformably overlain by clays and limestones with Exogyra Overwegi belonging to the Lower Danian, and these by clays and white chalk with Ananchytes ovata of the Upper Danian. In many instances the Tertiary formation, which occurs betweeii Esna and Cairo, unconformably overlies the Cretaceous, the Lower Eocene being absent. The fluvio-marine deposits of the Upper Eocene and Oligocene formations contain an interesting mammalian fauna, proving that the African continent formed a centre of radiation for the mammalia in early Tertiary times. Arsinoitherium is the precursor of the horned Ungulata; while Moeritherium and Palaeomastodon undoubtedly include the oldest known elephants. Miocene strata are absent in the southern Tertiary areas, but are present at Moghara and in the north. Marine Pliocene strata occur to the south of the pyramids of Giza and in the Fayum province, where, in addition, some gravel terraces, at a height of 500 ft. above sea-level, are attributed to the Pliocene period. The Lake of Moeris, as a large body of fresh water, appears to have come into existence in Pleistocene times. It is represented now by the brackish-water lake of the Birket-el-Kerun. The superficial sands of the deserts and the Nile mud form the chief recent formations. The Nile deposits its mud over the valley before reaching the sea, and consequently the Delta receives little additional material. At Memphis the alluvial deposits are over 50 ft. thick. The superficial sands of the desert region, derived in large part from the disintegration of the Nubian Sandstone, occupy the most extensive areas in the Libyan Desert. The other desert regions of Egypt are elevated stony plateaus, which are diversified by extensively excavated valleys and oases, and in which sand frequently plays quite a subordinate part. These regions present magnificent examples of dry erosion by wind-borne sand, which acts as a powerful sand blast etching away the rocks and producing most beautiful sculpturing. The rate of denudation in exposed positions is exceedingly rapid; while spots sheltered from the sand blast suffer a minimum of erosion, as shown by the preservation of ancient inscriptions. Many of the Egyptian rocks in the desert areas and at the cataracts are coated with a highly polished film, of almost microscopic thinness, consisting chiefly of oxides of iron and manganese with salts of magnesia and lime. It is supposed to be due to a chemical change within the rock and not to deposition on the surface.]
MineralsEgypt possesses considerable mineral wealth. In ancient times gold and precious stones were mined in the Red Sea hills. During the Moslem period mining was abandoned, and it was not until the beginning of the 20th century that renewed efforts were made to develop the mining industry. The salt obtained from Lake Mareotis at Meks, a western suburb of Alexandria, supplies the salt needed for the country, except a small quantity used for curing fish at Lake Menzala; while the lakes in the Wadi Natron, 45 m. N.W. of the pyramids of Giza, furnish carbonate of soda in large quantities. Alum is found in the western oases. Nitrates and phosphates are also found in various parts of the desert and are used as manures. The turquoise mines of Sinai, in the Wadi Maghara, are worked regularly by the Arabs of the peninsula, who sell the stones in Suez; while there are emerald mines at Jebel Zubara, south of Kosseir. Petroleum occurs at Jebel Zeit, on the west shore of the Gulf of Suez. Considerable veins of haematite of good quality occur both in the Red Sea hills and in Sinai. At Jebel ed-Dukhan are porphyry quarries, extensively worked under the Romans, and at Jebel el-Fatira are granite quarries. At El-Hammmat,on the old way from Coptos to Philoteras Portus, are the breccia verde quarries, worked from very early times, and having interesting hieroglyphic inscriptions. At the various mines, and on the routes to them and to the Red Sea, are some small temples and stations, ranging from the Pharaonic to the Roman period. The quarries of Syene (Assuan) are famous for extremely har~ and durable red granite (syenite), and have been worked since the days of the earliest Pharaohs. Large quantities of this syenite were used in building the Assuan dam (1898-1902). The cliffs bordering the Nile are largely quarried for limestone and sandstone.
Gold-mining recommenced in 1905 at Urn Rus, a short distance inland from the Red Sea and some 50 m. S. of Kosseir, where milling operations were started in March of that year. Another mine opened in 1905 was that of Urn Garaiat, E.N.E. of Korosko, and 65 m. distant from the Nile.
Climate.Part of Upper Egypt is within the tropics, but the greater part of the country is north of the Tropic of Cancer. Except a narrow belt on the north along the Mediterranean shore, Egypt lies in an almost rainless area, where the temperature is high by day and sinks quickly at night in consequence of the rapid radiation under the cloudless sky. The mean temperature at Alexandria and Port Said varies between 57 F. in January and 81 F. in July; while at Cairo, where the proximity of the desert begins to be felt, it is 53 F. in January, rising to 84 F. in July. January is the coldest month, when occasionally in the Nile valle~, and more frequently in the open desert, the temperature sinks to 32 F., or even a degree or two below. The mean maximum temperatures are 99 F. for Alexandria and 110 F. for Cairo. Farther south the range of temperature becomes greater as pure desert conditions are reached. Thus at Assuan the mean maximum is Ii8 F., the mean minimum 42 F. At Wadi HaIfa the figures in each case are one degree lower.
The relative humidity varies greatly. At Assuan the mean value for the year is only 38%, that for the summer being 29%, and for the winter 51%; while for Wadi Haifa the mean is 32%, and 20% and 42% are the mean values for summer and winter respectively. A white fog, dense and cold, sometimes rises from the Nile in the morning, but it is of short duration and rare occurrence. In Alexandria and on all the Mediterranean coast of Egypt rain falls abundantly in the winter months, amounting to 8 in. in the year; but southwards it rapidly decreases, and south of 31 N. little rain falls.
Records at Cairo show that the rainfall is very irregular, and is furnished by occasional storms rather than by any regular rainy season; still, most falls in the winter months, especially December and January, while, on the other hand, none has been recorded in June and July. The average annual rainfall does not exceed I 50 in. In the open desert rain falls even more rarely, but it is by no means unknown, and from time to time heavy storms burst, causing sudden floods in the narrow ravines, and drowning both men and animals These are more common in the mountainous region of the Sinai peninsula, where they are much dreaded by the Arabs. Snow is unknown Li the Nile valley, but on the mountains of Sinai and the Red Sea hills it is not uncommon, and a temperature of I8 F. at an altitude of 2000 ft. has been recorded in January.
The atmospheric pressure varies between a maximum in January and a minimum in July, the mean difference being about 029 in.
In a series of records extending over 14 years the mean pressure varied between 29.84 and 29.90 in.
The most striking meteorological factor in Egypt is the persistence of the north wind throughout the year, without which the climate would be very trying. It is this Etesian wind which enables sailing boats constantly to ascend the Nile, against its strong and rapid current. In December, January and February, at Cairo, the north wind slightly predominates, though those from the south and west often nearly equal it, but after this the north blows almost continuously for the rest of theyear. In MayandJunetheprevailing direction is north and north-north-east, and for July, August, September and October north and north-west. From the few observations that exist, it seems that farther south the southern winter winds decrease rapidly, becoming westerly, until at Assuan and Wadi Haifa the northerly winds are almost invariable throughout the year. The khamsin, hot sand-laden winds of the spring months, come invariably from the south. They are preceded by a rapid fall of the barometer for about a day, until a gradient from south to north is formed, then the wind commences to blow, at first gently, from the south-east; rapidly increasing in violence, it shifts through south to south-west, finally dropping about sunset. The same thing is repeated on the second and sometimes the third day, by which time the wind has worked round to the north again. During a khamsin the temperature is high and the air extremely dry, while the dust and sand carried by the wind form a thick yellow fog obscuring the sun. Another remarkable phenomenon is the zobaa, a lofty whirlwind of sand resembling a pillar, which moves with great velocity. The southern winds of-the summer months which occur in the low latitudes north of the equator are not felt much north of Khartum.
One of the most interesting phenomena of Egypt is the mirage, which is frequently seen both in the desert and in the waste tracts of uncultivated land near the Mediterranean; and it is often so truthful in its appearance that one finds it difficult to admit the illusion.
Flora.Egypt possesses neither forests nor woods arid, as practically the whole of the country which will support vegetation is devoted to agriculture, the flora is limited. The most important tree is the date-palm, which grows all over Egypt and in the oases. The lower branches being regularly cut, this tree grows high and assumes a much more elegant form than in its natural state. The dom-palrn is first seen a little north of 26 N., and extends southwards. The vine grows well, and in ancient times was largely cultivated for wine; oranges, lemons and pomegranates also abound. Mulberry trees are common in Lower Egypt. The sunt tree (Acacia nhlolica) grows everywhere, as well as the tamarisk and the sycamore. In the deserts haifa grass and several kinds of thorn bushes grow; and wherever rain or springs have moistened the ground, numerous wild flowers thrive. This is especially the case where there is also shade to protect them from the midday sun, as in some of the narrow ravines in the eastern desert and in the palm groves of the oases, where various ferns and flowers grow luxuriantly round the springs. Among many trees which have been imported, the lebbek (Albizzia lebbek), a thick-foliaged mimosa, thrives especially, and has been very largely employed. The weeping-willow, myrtle, elm, cypress and eucalyptus are also used in the gardens and plantations.
The most common of the fruits are dates, of which there are nearly thirty varieties, which are sold half-ripe, ripe, dried, and pressed in their fresh moist state in mats or skins. The pressed dates of Siwa are among the most esteemed. The Fayum is celebrated for its grapes, and chiefly supplies the market of Cairo. The most common grape is white, of which there is a small kind far superior to the ordinary sort. The black grapes are large, but comparatively tasteless. The vines are trailed on treiliswork, and form agreeable avenues in the gardens of Cairo. The best-known fruits, besides dates and grapes, are figs, sycamore-figs and pomegranates, apricots and peaches, oranges and citrons, lemons and limes, bananas, which are believed to be of the fruits of Paradise (being always in season), different kinds of melons (including some of aromatic flavour, and the refreshing water-melon), mulberries, Indian figs or prickly pears, the fruit of the lotus and olives. Among the more usual cultivated flowers are the rose (which has ever been a favorite among the Arabs), the jasmine, narcissus, lily, oleander, chrysanthemum, convolvulus, geranium, dahlia, basil, the henna plant (Lawsonia alba, or Egyptian privet, which is said to be a flower of Paradise), the helianthus and~the violet. Of wild flowers the most common are yellow daisies, poppies, irises, asphodels and ranunculuses. The Poinsettia puicherrima is a bushy tree with leaves of brilliant red.
Many kinds of reeds are found in Egypt, though they were formerly much more common. The famous byblus or papyrus no longer exists in the country, but other kinds of cyperi are found. The lotus, greatly prized for its flowers by the ancient inhabitants, is still found in the Delta, though never in the Nile itself. There are two varieties of this water-lily, one with white flowers, the other with blue.
Fauna.The chief quadrupeds are all domestic animals. Of these the camel and the ass are the most common. The ass, often a tall and handsome creature, is indigenous. When the camel was first introduced into Egypt is uncertainit is not pictured on the ancient monuments. Neither is the buffalo, which with the sheep is very numerous in Egypt. The horses are of indifferent breed, apparently of a type much inferior to that possessed by the ancient Egyptians. Wild animals are few. The principal are the hyena, jackal and fox. The wild boar is found in the Delta. Wolves are rare. Numerous gazelles inhabit the deserts. The ibex is found in the Sinaitic peninsula and the hills between the Nile and the Red Sea, and the mouflon, or maned sheep, is occasionally seen in the same regions. The desert hare is abundant in parts of the Fayum, and a wild cat, or lynx, frequents the marshy regions of the Delta. The ichneumon (Pharaohs rat) is common and often tame; the coney and jerboa are found in the eastern mountains. Bats are very numerous. The crocodile is no longer found in Egypt, nor the hippopotamus, in ancient days a frequenter of the Nile. The common or pariah dog is generally of sandy color; in Upper Egypt there is a breed of wiry rough-haired black dogs, noted for their fierceness. Among reptiles are several kinds of venomous snakesthe horned viper, the hooded snake and the echis. Lizards of many kinds are found, including the monitor. There are many varieties of beetle, including a number of species representing the scarabaeus of the ancients. Locusts are comparatively rare. The scorpion, whose sting is sometimes fatal, is common. There are many large and poisonous spiders and flies; fleas and mosquitoes abound. Fish are plentiful in the Nile, both scaled and without scales. The scaly fish include members of the carp and perch kind. The bayad, a scaleless fish commonly eaten, reaches sometimes 31/2 ft. in length. A somewhat rare fish is the Polypterus, which has thick bony scales and 16 to 18 long dorsal fins. The Tetrodon, or ball fish, is found in the Red Sea, as well as in the Nile.
Some 300 species of birds are found in Egypt, and one of the most striking features of a journey up the Nile is the abundance of bird life. Many of the species are sedentary, others are winter visitants, while others again simply pass through Egypt on their way to or from warmer or colder regions. Birds of prey are very numerous, including several varieties of eaglesthe osprey, the spotted, the golden and the imperial. Of vultures the black and white Egyptian variety (Neophron percnopterus) is most common. The griffon and the black vulture are also frequently seen. There are many kinds of kites, falcons and hawks, kestrel being numerous. The longlegged buzzard is found throughout Egypt, as are owls. The socalled Egyptian eagle owl (Bubo ascalaphus) is rather rare, but the barn owl is common. The kingfisher is found beside every watercourse, a black and white species (Ceryle rudis) being much more numerous than the common kingfisher. Pigeons and hoopoes abound in every village. There are various kinds of ploversthe blackheaded species (Pluvianus Aegyplius) is most numerous in Upper Egypt; the golden plover and the white-tailed species are found Chiefly in the Delta. The spurwing is supposed to be the bird mentioned by Herodotus as eating the parasites covering the inside of the mouth of the crocodile. Of game-birds the most plentiful are sandgrouse, quail (a bird of passage) and snipe. Red-legged and other partridges are found in the eastern desert and the Sinai hills. Of aquatic birds there is a great variety. Three species of pelican exist, including the large Dalmatian pelican. Storks, cranes, herons and spoonbills are common. The sacred ibis is not found in Egypt, but the buff-backed heron, the constant companion of the buffalo, is usually called an ibis. The glossy ibis is occasionally seen. The flamingo, common in the lakes of Lower Egypt, is not found on the Nile. Geese, duck and teal are abundant. The most common goose is the white-fronted variety; the Egyptian goose is more rare. Both varieties are depicted on the ancient monuments; the whitef rooted goose being commonly shown. Several birds of gorgeous plumage come north into Egypt in the spring, among others the golden oriole, the sun-bird, the roller and the blue-cheeked bee-eater.
Egypt as a Health Resort.The country is largely resorted to during the winter months by Europeans in search of health as well as pleasure. Upper Egypt is healthier than Lower Egypt, where, especially near the coast, malarial fevers and diseases of the respiratory organs are not uncommon. The, least healthy time of the year is the latter part of autumn, when the inundated soil is drying. In the desert, at a very short distance from the cultivable land, the climate is uniformly dry and unvaryingly healthy. The most suitable places for the residence of invalids are Helwan, where there are natural mineral springs, in the desert, 14 m. S. of Cairo, and Luxor and Assuan in Upper Egypt.
The diseases from which Egyptians suffer are very largely the result of insanitary surroundings. In this respect a great improvement has taken place since the British occupation in 1882. Plague, formerly one of the great scourges of the country, seems to have been stamped out, the last visitation having been in 1844, but cholera epidemics occasionally occur.i Cholera rarely extends south of Cairo. In 1848 it is believed that over 200,000 persons died from cholera, but later epidemics have been much less fatal. Smallpox is not uncommon, and skin diseases are numerous, but the two most prevalent diseases among the Egyptians are dysentery and ophthalmia. The objection entertained by many natives to entering hospitals or to altering their traditional methods of cure renders these diseases much more malignant and fatal than they would be in other circumstances. The government,however,enforces certain health regulations, and the sanitary service is under the direction of a European official.
i A vivid description of Cairo during the prevalence of plague in 1835 will be found in A. W. Kinglakes Eot hen.
Chief Towns.Cairo (q.v.) the capital,a city of Arab foundation, is built on the east bank of the Nile, about 12 m. above the point where the river divides, and in reference to its situation at the head of the Delta has been called by the Arabs the diamond stud in the handle of the fan of Egypt. It has a population (1907) of 654,476 and is the largest city in Africa. Next in importance of the cities of Egypt and the chief seaport is Alexandria (q.v.), pop. (with Ramleh) 370,009, on the shore of the Mediterranean at the western end of the Delta. Port Said (q.v.), pop. 49,884, at the eastern end of the Delta, and at the north entrance to the Suez Canal, is the second seaport. Between Ale~xandria and Port Said are the towns of Rosetta (q.v.), pop. 16,810, and Damietta (q.v.), pop. 29,354, each built a few miles above the mouth of the branch of the Nile of the same name. In the middle ages, when Alexandria was in decay, these two towns were busy ports; with the revival of Alexandria under Mehemet Ali and the foundation of Port Said (c. 1860), their trade declined. The other ports of Egypt are Suez (q.v.), ~ 18,347, at the south entrance of the canal, Kosseir (794) on the Red Sea, the seat of the trade carried on between Upper Egypt and Arabia, Mersa Matruh, near the Tripolitan frontier, and El-Arish, pop. 5897, on. the Mediterranean, near the frontier of Palestine, and a halting-place on the caravan route from Egypt to Syria. In the interior of the Delta are many flourishing towns, the largest being Tanta, pop. 54,437, which occupies a central position. Damanhur (38,752) lies on the railway between Tanta and Alexandria; Mansura (40,279) is on, the Damietta branch of the Nile, to the N.E. of Tanta; Zagazig (34,999) is the largest town in the Delta east of the Damietta branch; Bilbeis (f3,485) lies N.N.E. of Cairo, on the edge of the desert and in the ancient Land of Goshen. Ism~ilia (10,373) is situated midway on the Suez Canal. All these towns, which depend largely on the cotton industry, are separately noticed.
Other towns in Lower Egypt are: Mehallet el-Kubra, pop. 47,955, 16 m. by rail N.E. of Tanta, with manufactories of silk and cottons; Salihia (6100), E.N.E. of and terminus of a railway from Zagazig, on the edge of the desert south of Lake Menzala, and the starting-point of the caravans to Syria; Mataria (15,142) on Lake Menzala and headquarters of the fishing industry; Zifta (13,850) on the Damietta branch and the site of a barrage; Samant~4 (14,408), also on the Damietta branch, noted for its pottery, and Fua (14,515), where large quantities of tarbushes are made, on the Rosetta branch. Shibin el-Kom (21,576), 16 m. S.of Tanta, is a cotton centre, and Menuf (22,316), 8 m. S.W. of Shibin, in the fork between the branches of the Nile, is the chief town of a rich agricultural district. There are many other towns in the Delta with populations between io,ooo and 20,000.
In Upper Egypt the chief towns are nearly all in the narrow valley of the Nile. The exceptions are the towns in the oases comparatively unimportant, and those in the Fayum province. The capital of the Fayum, Medinet eI-Fayum, has a population (1907) of 37,320. The chief towns on the Nile, taking them in their order in ascending the river from Cairo, are Beni Suef, Minia, Assiut, Akhmim, Suhag, Girga, Kena, Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Assuan and Korosko. Beni Suef (23,357) is 77 m. from Cairo, by rail. It is on the west bank of the river, is the capital of a mudiria and a centre for the manufacture of woollen goods. Minia (27,221) is 77 m. by rail farther south. It is also the capital of a mudiria, has a considerable European colony, possesses a large sugar factory and some cotton mills. It is the starting-point of a road to the Baharia oasis. Assiut (qv.), pop. 39,442, is 235 m. S. of Cairo by rail, and is the most important commercial centre in Upper Egypt. At this point a barrage is built across the river. Suhag (17,514) is 56 m. by rail S. of Assiut and is the headquarters of Girga mudiria. The ancient and celebrated Coptic monasteries El Abiad (the white) and El Ahmar (the red) are 3 to 4 m. W. and NW. respectively of Suhag. A few miles above Suhag, on the opposite (east) side of the Nile is Akhmim (q.v.) or Ekhmim (23,795), where silk and cotton goods are made. Girga (q,v.), pop. 19,893, iS 22 m. S. by rail of Suhag, and on the same (the west) side of the river. It is noted for its pottery. Kena (qv.), pop. 20,069, is on the east bank of the Nile, 45 m. by rail from Assiut. It is the chief seat of the manufacture of the porous earthenware water-bottles used all over Egypt. Luxor (q.v.), pop. (with Karnak) 25,229, marks the site of Thebes. It is 418 m. from Cairo, and here the gauge of the railway is altered from broad to narrow. Esna (q.v.), pop. 19,103, is another place where pottery is made in large quantities. It is on the west bank of the Nile, 36 m. by rail S. of Luxor. Edfu (q.v.), ~ 19,262, is also on the west side of the river, 30 m. farther south. It is chiefly famous for its ancient temple. Assuan (q.v.), pop. 12,618, is at the foot of the First Cataract and 551 m. S. of Cairo by rail. Three miles farther south, at SheIla], the Egyptian railway terminates. Korosko, II8 m. by river above Assuan, is a small place notable as the northern terminus of the caravan route from the Sudan across the Nubian desert. Since the building of the railwaywhich starts 96 m. higher up, at Wadi Half ato Khartum, this route is little used, and Korosko has lost what importance it had.
Ancient Cities and Monuments.M any of the modern cities of Egypt are built on the sites of ancient cities, and they generally contain some monuments of the time of the Pharaohs, Greeks or Romans. The sites of other ancient cities now in complete ruin may be indicated. Memphis, the Pharaonic capital, was on the west bank of the Nile, some 14 m. above Cairo, and Heliopolis lay some 5 m. N.N.E. of Cairo. The pyramids of Giza or Gizeh, on the edge of the desert, 8 m. west of Cairo, are the largest of the many pyramids and other monuments, including the famous Sphinx, built in the neighborhood of Memphis. The site of Thebes has already been indicated. Syene stood near to where the town of Assuan now is; opposite, on an island in the Nile, are scanty ruins of the city of Elephantine, and a little above, on another island, is the temple of Pbilae. The ancient Coptos (Keft) is represen~thdby the village of Kuft, between Luxor and Kena. A few miles north of Kena is Dendera, with a famous temple. The ruins of Abydos, one of the oldest places in Egypt, are 8 m. S.W. of Balliana, a small town in Girga mudiria. The ruined temples of Abu Simbel are on the west side of the Nile, 56 m. above Korosko. On the Red Sea, south of Kosseir, are the ruins of Myos Hormos and Berenice. Of the ancient cities in the Delta there are remains, among others, of Sais, Iseum, Tanis, Bubastis, Onion, Sebennytus, Pithom, Pelusium, and of the Greek cities Naucratis and Daphnae. There are, besides the more ancient cities and monuments, a number of Coptic towns, monasteries and churches in almost every part of Egypt, dating from the early centuries of Christianity. The monasteries, or ders, are generally fort-like buildings and are often built in the desert. Tombs of Mahommedan saints are also numerous, and are often placed on the summit of the cliffs overlooking the Nile. The traveller in Egypt thus views, side by side with the activities of the present day, where occident and orient meet and clash, memorials of every race and civilization which has flourished in the valley of the Nile.
Trade Routes and CommunicationsIts geographical position gives Egypt command of one of the most important trade routes in the world. It is, as it were, the fort which commands the way from Europe to the East. This has been the case from time immemorial, and the provision, in 1869, of direct maritime communication between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, by the completion of the Suez Canal, ensured for the Egyptian route the supremacy in sea-borne traffic to Asia, which the discovery of the passage to India by way of the Cape of Good Hope had menaced for three and a half centuries. The Suez Canal is 87 m. long, 66 actual canal and 21 lakes. It has sufficient depth to allow vessels drawing 27 ft. of water to pass through. It is administered by a company whose headquarters are in Paris, and no part of its revenue reaches the Egyptian exchequer (see SUEZ CANAL). Besides the many steamship lines which use the Suez Canal, other steamers run direct from European ports to Alexandria. There is also a direct mail service between Suez and Port Sudan.
The chief means of internal communication are, in the Delta the railways, in Upper Egypt the railway and the river. The railways are of two kinds: (I) those state-owned and state-worked, (2) agricultural light railways owned and worked by private companies. Railway construction dates from 1852, when the line from Alexandria to Cairo was begun, by order of Abbas I. The state railways, unless otherwise indicated, have a gauge of 4 ft. 81/2 in. The main system is extremely simple. Trunk lines from Alexandria (via Damanhur and Tanta) and from Port Said (via Ismailia) traverse the Delta and join at Cairo. From Cairo the railway is continued south up the valley of the Nile and close to the river. At first it follows the west bank, crossing the stream at Nag Hamadi, 354 m. from Cairo, by an iron bridge 437 yds. long. Thence it continues on the east bank to Luxor, where the broad gauge ceases. From Luxor the lne continues on the standard African gauge (3 ft. 6 in.) to Shellal, 3 m. above Assuan and 685 m. from Alexandria. This main line service is supplemented by a steamer service on the Nile from Sheila! to Wadi Halfa, on the northern frontier of the AngloEgyptian Sudan, whence there is direct railway communication with Khartum and the Red Sea (see SUDAN).
Branch lines connect Cairo and Alexandria with Suez and with almost every town in the Delta. From Cairo to Suez via Ismailia is a distance of 16o m. Before the Suez Canal was opened passengers and goods were taken to Suez from Cairo by a railway 84 m. long which ran across the desert. This line, now disused, had itself superseded the overland route organized by Lieut. Thomas Waghorn, R.N., c. 1830, for the conveyance of passengers and mails to India. In Upper Egypt a line, 40 m. long, runs west from Wai~ta, a station 56 rn. S. of Cairo, to Abuksa in the Fayum mudiria. Another railway goes from Kharga Junction, a station on the main line 24 to. S. of Girga, to the oasis of Kharga. These lines are privately owned.
In the Delta the light railways supplement the ordinary lines and connect the villages with the towns and seaports. There are over 700 to. of these lines. The railway development of Egypt has not been very rapid. In 1880 944 m. of state lines were open; in 1900 the figure was 1393, and in 1905, 1688. For several years before 1904 the administration of the railways was carried on by an international or, mixed board for the security of foreign creditors. In the year named the railways came directly under the control of the Egyptian government, which during the next four years spent ~E.3,ooo,ooo on improving and developing the lines. In the five years 1902-1906 the capital value of the state railways increased from E.2o,383,000 to E.23,200,000 and the net earnings from E.I,o59,000 to E.I,475,000. The number of passengers carried in the same period ros from 121/8 to over 22 millions, and the weight of goods from slightly under 3,000,000 to nearly 6,750,000 tons. In 1906 the light railways carried nearly a million tons of goods and over 6,800,000 passengers.
Westward from Alexandria a railway, begun in 1904 by the khedive, Abbas II., runs parallel with the coast, and is intended to be continued to Tripoli. The line forms the eastern end of the great railway system which will eventually extend from Tangier to Alexandria.
The Nile is navigable throughout its course in Egypt, and is largely used as a means of cheap transit of heavy goods. Lock and bridge tolls were abolished in 1899 and 1901 respectively. As a result, river traffic greatly increased. Above Cairo the Nile is the favorite tourist route, while between Sheila! (Assuan) and the Sudan frontier it is the only means of communication. Among the craft using the river the dahabiya is a characteristic native sailing vessel, somewhat resembling a house-boat. From the Nile, caravan routes lead westward to the various oases and eastward to the Red Sea, the shortest (120 to.) and most used of the eastern routes being that from Kena to Kosseir. Roads suitable for wheeled vehicles are found in Lower Egypt, but the majority of the tracks are bridle-paths, goods being conveyed on the backs of donkeys, mules and camels.
Posts and Telegraphs.The Egyptian postal system is highly organized and efficient, and in striking contrast with its condition in 1870, when there were but nineteen post-offices in the country. All the branches of business transacted in European post-offices are carried on by the Egyptian service, Egypt being a member of the Postal Union. It was the first foreign country to establish a penny postage with Great Britain, the reduction from 21/2d. being made in I9~Y5. The inland letters and packages carried yearly exceed 20,000,000 and foreign letters (30% to England) number over 4,000,000. Over ~I7,ooO,0O0 passes yearly through the post. A feature of the service are the travelling post-offices, of which there are some 200.
All the important towns are connected by telegraph, the telegraphs being state-owned and worked by the railway administration. Egypt is also connected by cables and land-lines with the outside world. One land-line connects at El-Arish with the line through Syria and Asia Minor to Constantinople. Another line connects at Wadi Haifa with the Sudan system, affording direct telegraphic communication via Khartum and Gondokoro with Uganda and Mombasa. The Eastern Telegraph Company, by concessions, have telegraph lines across Egypt from Alexandria via Cairo to Suez, and from Port Said to Suez, connecting their cables to Europe and the East. The principal cables are from Alexandria to Malta, Gibraltar and Ergland; from Alexandria to Crete and Brindisi; from Suez f,., A.lsn ~ Ch~,-,,, ,~rn1 ~
The telephone is largely used in the big towns, and there is a trunk telephone line connecting Alexandria and Cairo.
Standard Time.The standard time adopted in Egypt is that of the longitude of Alexandria, 30 E., i.e. two hours earlier than Greenwich time. It thus corresponds with the standard time of British South Africa.
Agriculture and Land TenureThe chief industry of Egypt is agriculture. The proportions of the industry depend upon the area of land capable of cultivation. This again depends upon the fertilizing sediment brought down by the Nile and the measure in which lands beyond the natural reach of the flood water can be rendered productive by irrigation. By means of canals. basins, dams andbarrages, the Nile flood is now utilized to a greater extent than ever before (see IRRIGATION: Egypt). The result has been a great increase in the area of cultivated or cultivable land.
At the time of the French occupation of Egypt in 1798, it was found that the cultivable soil covered 4,429,400 acres, but the quantity actually under cultivation did not exceed 3,520,000 acres, or six-elevenths of the entire surface. Under improved conditions the area of cultivated land, or land in process of reclamation, had risen in 1906 to 5,750,000 acres, while another 500,000 acres of waste land awaited reclamation.
Throughout Egypt the cultivable soil does not present any very great difference, being always the deposit of the river; it contains, however, more sand near the river than at a distance from it. Towards the Mediterranean its quality is injured by the salt with which the air is impregnated, and therefore it is not so favorable to vegetation. Of the cultivated land, some threefourths is held, theoretically, in life tenancy. The state, as ultimate proprietor, imposes a tax which is the equivalent of rent. These lands are Kharaji lands, in distinction from the Ushuri or tithe-paying lands. The Ushuri lands were originally granted in fee, and are subject to a quit-rent. All tenants are under obligation to guard or repair the banks of the Nile in times of flood, or in any case of sudden emergency. Only to this extent does the corve now prevail. The land-tax is proportionate, i.e. land under perennial irrigation pays higher taxes than land not so irrigated (see below, Finance). The unit of land is the feddan, which equals I ~o3 acre. Out of 1,153,759 proprietors of land in 1905, 1,005,705 owned less than 5 feddans. The number of proprietors owning over 50 feddans was 12,475. The acreage held by the first class was 1,264,084, that by the second class, 2,356,602. Over 1,600,000 feddans were held in holdings of from 5 to sofeddans. The state domains cover over 240,000.1 eddans, and about 6oo,ooofeddans are owned by foreigners. The policy of the government is to maintain the small proprietors, and to do nothing tending to oust the native in favor of European landowners.
The kind of crops cultivated depends largely on whether the land is under perennial, flood or basin irrigation. Perennial irrigation is possible where there are canals which can be supplied with water all the year round from the Nile. This condition exists throughout the Delta and Middle Egypt, but only in parts of Upper Egypt. Altogether some 4,000,000 acres are under perennial irrigation. In these regions two and sometimes three crops can be harvested yearly. In places where perennial irrigation is impossible, the land is divided by rectangular dikes into basins. Into these basinswhich vary in area from 600 to 5o,ooo acreswater is led by shallow canals when the Nile is in flood. The water is let in about the middle of August and the basins are begun to be emptied about the 1st of October. The land under basin irrigation covers about 1,750,000 acres. In the basins only one crop can be grown in the year. This basin system is of immemorial use in Egypt, and it was not until the time of Mehemet Ali (c. 1820) that perennial irrigation began. High land near the banks of the Nile which cannot be reached by canals is irrigated by raising water from the Nile by steam-pumps, water-wheels (sakias) worked by buffalo s, or water-lifts (skadufs) worked by hand. There are several thousand steam-pumps and over 100,000 sakias 01 shaduji 111 Egypt. The feliah divides his land into little square plots by ridges of earth, and from the small canal which serves his hol~ ing he lets the water into each plot as needed. The same system i-,ht~inq on lsree ecttes (see further TuRmAv1oN~ FUiY~/L
There are three agricultural seasons: (I) summer (sefi), 1st of April to 3ist of July, when crops are grown only on land under perennial irrigation; (2) flood (Nih), 1st of August to 3oth of November; and (3) winter (shetwi), 1st of December to 31st of March. Cotton, sugar and rice are the chief summer crops; wheat, barley, flax an.d vegetables are chiefly winter crops; maize, millet and flood rice are Nih crops; millet and vegetables are also, but in a less degree, summer crops. The approximate areas under cultivation in the various seasons are, in summer, 2,050,000 acres; in flood, 1,500,000 acres; in winter, 4,300,000 acres. The double-cropped area is over, 2,000,000 acres. Although on the large farms iron ploughs, and threshing and grain-cleaning machines, have been introduced, the small cultivator prefers the simple native plough made of wood. Corn is threshed by a norag, a machine resembling a chair, which moves on small iron wheels or thin circular plates fixed to axle-trees, and is drawn in a circle by oxen.
Crops.Egypt is third among the cotton-producing countries of the world. Its production per acre is the greatest of any country but, owing to the restricted area available, the bulk raised is not more than one-tenth of that of the United States and about half that of India. Some 1,600,000 acres of land, five-sixths being in Lower Egypt, are devoted to cotton growing. The climate of Lower Egypt being very suitable to the growth of the plant, the cotton produced there is of excellent quality. The seed is sown at the end of February or beginning of March and the crop is picked in September and October. The cotton crop increased from 1,700,000 kantars in 1878 to 4,100,000 in 1890, had reached 5,434,000 in. I900, and was 6,750,000 in 1905. Its average value, 1897-1905, was over 14,000,000 a year. The cotton exported was valued in 1907 at E23,598,00ci, in 1908 at fE.17,o91,6I2.
While cotton is grown chiefly in the Delta, the sugar plantations, which cover about 10o,000 acres, are mainly in Upper Egypt. The canes are planted in March and are cut in the following January or February. Although since 1884 the production of sugar has largely increased, there has not been a corresponding increase in its value, owing to the low price obtained in the markets of the world. Beetroot is also grown to a limited extent for the manufacture of sugar. The sugar exported varied in annual value in the period 1884-1905 from 400,000 to 765,000.
Maize in Lower Egypt and millet (of which there are several varieties) in Upper Egypt are largely grown for home consumption, these grains forming a staple food of the peasantry. The stalk of the maize is also a very useful article. It is used in the building of the houses of the fellahin, as fuel, and, when green, as food for cattle. Wheat and barley are important crops, and some 2,000,000 acres are sown with them yearly. The barley in general is not of good quality, but the desert or Mariut barley, grown by the Bedouins in the coast region west of Alexandria, is highly prized for the making of beer. Beans and lentils are extensively sown, and form an important article of export. The annual value of the crops is over f3,000,000. Rice is largely grown in the northern part of the Delta, where the soil is very wet. Two kinds are cultivated: Sultani, a summer crop, and Sabaini, a flood crop. Sabaini is a favorite food of the fellahin, while Suhtani rice is largely exported. In the absence of grass, the chief green food for cattle and horses is clover, grown largely in the basin lands of Upper Egypt. To a less extent vetches are grown for the same purpose- -
Vegetables and Fruit.Vcgetables grow readily, and their cultivation is an important part of the work of the fellahin. The onion is grown in great quantities along the Nile banks in tipper Egypt, largely for export~ Among other vegetables commonly raised are tomatoes (the bulk of which are exported), potatoes (of poor quality), leeks, marrows, cucumbers, cauliflowers, lettuce, asparagus and spinach.
The common fruits are the date, orange, citron, fig, grape, apricot, peach and banana. Olives, melons, mulberries and strawberries are also grown, though not in very large numbers. The olive tree flourishes only in the Fayum and the oases. The Fayum also possesses extensive vineyards. The date is a valuable economic asset. There are some 6,000,000 date-palms in the country, 4,000,000 being in Upper Egypt. The fruit is one of the chief foods of the people. The value of the crop is about 1,500,000 a year.
Roses and DyesThere are fields of roses in the I ayum, which supply the market with rose-water. Of plants used for dyeing, the principal are bastard saffron, madder, woad and the indigo plant. The leaves of the henna plant are used to impart a bright red color to the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the nails of both hands and feet, of women and children, the hair of old ladies and the tails of horses. Indigo is very extensively employed to dye the A kantcfr equals 99 lfl.
shirts of the natives of the poorer classes, and is, when very dark, the color of mourning; therefore, women at funerals, and generall after a death, smear themselves with it.
Domestic A nimals.-The Egyptians are not particularly a pastora people, though the wealth of the Bedouin in the Eastern or Arabia ,i Desert consists in their camels, horses, sheep and goats. In the Niie valley the chief domestic animals are the camel, donkey, mule, ox, buffalo, sheep and goat. Horses are comparatively few, and are seldom seen outside the large towns, the camel and donkey being the principal beasts of burden. The cattle are short-horned, rather small and well formed. They are quiet in disposition, and much valued for agricultural labor by the people, who therefore very rarely slaughter them for meat. Buffaloes of an uncouth appearance and of a dark slaty color, strikingly contrasting with the neat cattle, abound in Egypt. They are very docile, and the little children of the villagers often ride them to or from the river. The buffaloes are largely employed for turning the sakias. Sheep (of which the greater number are black) and goats are abundant, and mutton is the ordinary butchers meat. The wool is coarse and short. Swine are very rarely kept, and then almost wholly for the European inhabitants, the Copts generally abstaining from eating their meat. Poultry is plentiful arid eggs form a considerable item in the exports. Pigeons are kept in every village and their flesh is a common article of food.
Fishing.The chief fishing-ground is Lake Menzala, where some 4000 persons are engaged in the industry, but fish abound in the Nile also, and are caught in large quantities along the coast of the Delta. The salting and curing of the fish is done chiefly at Mataria, on Lake Menzala, and at Damietta. Dried and salted fish eggs; called batarekh, command a ready market. The average annual value of the fisheries is about 200,000.
Canals.The irrigation canals, which are also navigab1~ by small craft, are of especial importance in a country where the rainfall is ver>~ slight. The Delta is intersected by numerous canals which derive their supply from four main channels. The Rayya Behera, known in its lower courses first as the Khatatba and afterwards as the Rosetta canal, follows the west bank of the Rosetta branch of the Nile and has numerous offshoots. The most important is the Mahmudia (so m. long) ,which connects Alexandria with the Rosetta branch, taking a similar direction to that of the ancient canalwhich it succeeded. This canal supplies Alexandria with fresh water.
The Rayya Menufia, or Menuf canal, connects the two branches of the Nile and supplies water to the large number of canals in the central part of the Delta. Following the right (eastern) bank of the Damietta branch is the Rayya Tewfiki, known below Benha as the Mansuria, and below Mansura as the Fareskur, canal. This canal has many branches. Farther east are other canals, of which the most remarkable occupy in part the beds of the Tanitic and Pelusiac branches. That following the old Tanitic channel is called the canal of Al-Moizz, the first Fatimite caliph who ruled in Egypt, having been dug by his orders, and the latter bears the name of the canal of Abu-l-Muneggi, a Jew who executed this work, under the caliph Al-Amir, in order to water the province called the Sharkia. From this circumstance this canal is also known as the Sharkawia. From a town on its bank it is called in its lower course the Shibini canal. The superfluous water from all the Delta canals is drained off, by bahrs (rivers) into the coast lakes. The Ismailia or Fresh-water canal branches from the Nile at Cairo and follows, in the main, the course of the canal which anciently joined the Nile and the Red Sea. It dates from Pharaonic times, having been begun by Sesostris, continued by Necho II. and by Darius Hystaspes, and at length finished by Ptolemy Philadelphus. This canal, having fallen into disrepair, was restored in the 7th century A.D. by the Arabs who conquered Egypt, but appears not long afterwards to have again become unserviceable. The existing canal was dug in 1863 to supply fresh water to the towns on the Suez Canal. Although designed for irrigation purposes, the Delta canals are also used for the transport of passengers and goods.
In Upper Egypt the most important canals are the Ibrahimia and the Bahr Yusuf (the River of Joseph). They are both on the west side of the Nile. The Ibrahimia takes its water from the Nile at Assiut, and runs south to below Beni Suef. It now supplies the Bahr Yusuf, which runs parallel with and west of the Ibrahirnia, until it diverges to supply the Fayuma distance of some 350 m. It leaves the Ibrahimia at Derut near its original point of departure from the Nile. Although the Joseph whence it takes its name is the celebrated Saladin, it is related that he merely repaired it, and it is not doubted to be of a much earlier period. Most probably it was executed under the Pharaohs. By some authorities it is believed to be a natural ,channel canalized. Besides supplying the canals of the Fayum with summer water, it fills many of the basins of~ Upper Egypt with water in flood time.
Manufactures and Native Industries.Although essentially an agricultural country, Egypt possesses several manufactures. In connection with the cotton industry there are a few mills where calico is made or oil crushed, and ginning-mills are numerous. In Upper Egypt there are a number of factories for sugar-crushing andrefining, and one or two towns of the Delta possess rice mills. Flour mills are found in every part of the country, the maize and other grains being ground for home consumption. Soap-making and leather-tanning are carried on, and there are breweries at Alexandria and Cairo. The manufacture of tobacco into cigarettes, carried on largely at Alexandria and Cairo, is another important industry. Native industries include the weaving of silk, woollen, linen and cotton goods, the hand-woven silk shawls and draperies being often rich and elegant. The silk looms are chiefly at Mehallet el-Kubra, Cairo and Damietta. The Egyptians are noted for the making of pottery of the commoner kinds, especially water-jars. There is at Cairo and in other towns a considerable industry in ornamental wood and metal work, inlaying with ivory and pearl, brass trays, copper vessels, gold and silver ornaments, &c. At Cairo and in the Fayum, attar of roses and other perfumes are manufactured. Boat-building is an important trade.
Comrnerce.The trade of Egypt has developed enormously since the British occupation in 1882 ensured to all classes of the community the enjoyment of the profit of their labor. The total value of the exterior trade increased in the 20 years 1882 to 1902 from 19,000,000 to 32,400,000. The wealth of Egypt lying in the cultivation of its soil, almost all the exports are agricultural produce, while the imports are mostly manufactured goods, minerals and hardware. The chief exports in order of importance are: raw cotton, cotton seed, sugar, beans, cigarettes, onions, rice and gumarabic. The gum is not of native produce, being in transit from the Sudan. Of less importance are the exports of hides and skins, eggs, wheat and other grains, wool, quails, lentils, dates and Sudan produce in transit. The principal articles imported are: cotton goods and other textiles, coal, iron and steel, timber, tobacco, machinery, flour, alcoholic liquors, petroleum, fruits, coffee and live animals. There is an ad vat orem duty of 8% on imports and of about I % on exports. Tobacco and precious stones and metals pay heavier duties. The tobacco is imported chiefly from Turkey and Greece, is made into cigarettes in Egypt, and in this form exported to the value of about 500,000 yearly.
In comparison with cotton, all other exports are of minor account. The cotton exported, of which Great Britain takes more than half, is worth over three-fourths of the total value of goods sent abroad. Next to cotton, sugar is the most important article exported. A large proportion of the sugar manufactured is, however, consumed in the country and does not figure in the trade returns. Of the imports the largest single item is cotton goods, nearly all being sent from England. Woollen goods come chiefly from England, Austria and Germany, silk goods from France. Large quantities of ready-made clothes and fezes are imported from Austria. Iron and steel goods, machinery, locomotives, &c., come chiefly from England, Belgium and Germany, coal from England, live stock from Turkey and the Red Sea ports, coffee from Brazil, timber from Russia, Turkey and Sweden.
A British consular report (No. 3121, annual series), issued in 1904, shows that in the period 1887-1902 the import trade of Egypt nearly doubled. In the same period the proportion of imports from the United Kingdom fell from 39.63 to 36.76%. Though the percentage decreased, the value of imports from Great Britain increased in the same period from 2,500,000 to 4,500,000. In addition to imports from the United Kingdom, British possessions took 6.0% of the import trade. Next to Great Britain, Turkey had the largest share of the import trade, but it had declined in the sixteen years from 19 to 15%. France about 10%, and Austria 6.72%, came next, but their import trade was declining, while that of Germany had risen from less than I to over 3%, and Belgium imports from 1.74 to 4.27%
In the same period (1887-1902) Egyptian exports to Great Britain decreased from 6325 to 52.30%, Germany and the United States showing each an increase of over 6o %. Exports to Germany had increased from 0~I3 to 6.75%, to the United States from o~26 to 6.70%. Exports to France had remained practically stationary at 8o%; those to Austria had dropped from 6.30 to 4.0%, to Russia from 9.11 to 8~43%.
For the quinquennial period 1901-1905, the average annual value of the exterior trade was:imports 17,787,296; exports 18,811,588; total 36,598,884. In 1907 the total value of the merchandise imported and exported, exclusive of transit, reexportation and specie, was ~E.54,I34,o0oconstituting a record trade return. The value of the imports was E.26,12I,ooo, of the exports fE.28,o13,ooo.
ShippingMore than 90% of the external trade passes through the port of Alexandria. Port Said, which in consequence of its position at the northern entrance of the Suez Canal has more frequent and regular communication with Europe, is increasing in importance and is the port where mails and passengers are landed. Over 3000 ships enter and clear harbour at Alexandria every year. The total tonnage entering the port increased in the five years 1901-1905 from 2,555,259 to 3,591,281. In the same period the percentage of British shipping, which before 1900 was nearly 50, varied from 40 to 45, No other nation had more than 12% of the tonnage, Italy, France, Austria and Turkey each having 9 to 12%. The tonnage of German ships increased in the five years mentioned from 3 to 7%. In number of steamships entering the harbour Great Britain is first, with some 800 yearly, or about 50% of all steamers entering. The sailing boats entering the harbour are almost entirely Turkish. They are vessels of small tonnage.
The transit trade with the East, which formerly passed overland through Egypt, has been diverted to the Suez Canal, the traffc through which has little to do with the trade or shipping of Egypt. The number of ships using the canal increased in the 20 years 1880 1900 from 2000 to 4000, while in the same period the tonnage rose from 4,300,000 to 14,000,000. In 1905 the figures were Number of ships that passed through the canal, 4116 (2484 being British and 600 German), net tonnage 13,134,105 (8,356,940 British and 2,113,484 German). Next to British and German the nationality of ships using the canal in order of importance is French, Dutch, Austrian, Italian and Russian. About 250,000 passengers (including some 40,000 pilgrims to Mecca) pass through the canal in a year (see further SUEZ).
Currency.Tbe monetary system in force dates from 1885, when through the efforts of Sir Edgar Vincent the currency was placed on a sound basis. The system is based on the single gold standard. The unit is a gold coin called a pound and equal to ~ os. 6d. in English currency. The Egyptian pound (~E.) is divided into 100 piastres, of which there are coins in silver of 20,10,5 and 2 piastres. One, 3/4, 3/4 and ~f piastre pieces are coined in nickel and 1ff and fff piastre pieces in bronze. The one piastre piece is worth a fraction over 24d. The fff of a piastre is popularly called a para and the native population generally reckon in paras. The legal piastre is called the piastre tariff (P.T.), to distinguish it from the 1/2 piastre, which in local usage in Cairo and Alexandria is called a piastre. Officially the 4 piastre is known as 5 milliemes, and so with the coins of lower denomination, the para being 3/4 millieme. The old terms his or purse (Soo piastres) and khazna or treasury (Iooo purses) are still occasionally used. Formerly European coins of all kinds were in general circulation, now the only foreign coins current are the English sovereign, the French 20 franc piece and the Turkish mejidie, a gold coin worth 18 shillings. For several years no Egyptian gold pieces have been coined. Egyptian silver money is minted at Birmingham, and nickel and bronze money at Vienna. Bank-notes, of the National Bank, are issued for LE. 100, fE.5o. E. so, E.5 and E. 1, and for 50 piastres. The notes are not legal tender, but are accepted by the government in payment of taxes.
The history of the currency reform in Egypt is interesting as affording a practical example of a system much discussed in connection with the currency question in India, namely, a gold standard without a gold coinage. The Egyptian pound is practically nonexistent, nearly all that were coined having been withdrawn from circulation. Their place has been taken by foreign gold, principally the English sovereign, which circulates at a value of 974 piastres. In practice the system works perfectly smoothly, the gold flowing in and out of the country through the agency of private banking establishments in proportion to the requirements of the circulation. It is, moreover, very economical for the government. As in most agricultural countries, there is a great expansion of the circulation in the autumn and winter months in order to move the crops, followed by a long period of contracted circulation throughout the rest of the year. Under the existing system the fluctuating requirements of the currency are met without the expense of alternately minting and melting down.
Weighis and Measures.The metrical system of weights and measures is in official but not in popular use, except in the foreign quarters of Cairo, Alexandria, &c. The most common Egyptian measures are the fitr, or space measured by the extension of the thumb and first finger; the shibr, or span; and the cubit (of three kinds 224, 25 and 263/4 in.). The measure of land is the feddan, equal to 1.03 acres, subdivided into 24 k-irats. The ardeb is equal to about 5 bushels, and is divided into 6 waybas, and each wayba into 24 rubas. The okieh equals 1.32 oz., the rotl .99 Iii, the oke 2~75 lb. the kantar (or 100 rotis or 36 okes) 99.04 lb.
Constitution and AdministrationEgypt is a tributary state of the Turkish empire, and is ruled by an hereditary prince with the style of khedive, a Persian title regarded as the equivalent of king. The succession to the throne is by primogeniture. The central administration is carried on by a council of ministers, appointed by the khedive, one of whom acts as prime minister. To these is added a British financial adviser, who attends all meetings of the council of ministers, but has not a vote; on the other hand, no financial decision may be taken without his consent. The ministries are those of the interior, finance, public works, justice, war, foreign affairs and public instruction,1 and in each of these are prepared the drafts of decrees, which are then submitted to the council of ministers for approval, and on being signed by the khedive become law. No important decision, however, has been taken since 1882 without the concurrence of the British minister plenipotentiary. With a few exceptions, laws cannot, owing to the Capitulations, be enforced against foreigners except with the consent of the powers.
While the council of ministers with the khedive forms the legislative authority, there are various representative bodies with strictly limited powers. The legislative council is a consultative body, partly elective, partly nominative. It examines the budget and all proposed administrative laws, but cannot initiate legislation, nor is the government bound to adopt its suggestions. The general assembly consists of the legislative council and the ministers of state, together with popularly elected members, who form a majority of the whole assembly. It has no legislative functions, but no fiew direct personal tax nor land tax can be imposed without its consent. It must meet at least once in every two years.
For purposes of local government the chief towns constitute governorships (moafzas), the rest of the country being divided into mudirias or provinces. The governors and mudirs (heads of provinces) are responsible to the ministry of the interior. The provinces are further divided into districts, each of which is under a mamur, who in his turn supervises and controls the omda, mayor or head-man, of each village in his district.
T~be governorships are: Cairo; Alexandria, which includes an area of 70 sq. m.; Suez Canal, including Port Said and Ismailia; Suez and El-Arish. Lower Egypt is divided into the provinces of: Behera, Gharbia, Menufia, Dakahlia, Kaliubia, Sharkia. The oasis of Siwa and the country to the Tripolitan. frontier are dependent on the province of Behera. Upper Egypt: Giza, Beth Suef, Fayum, Minia, Assiut, Girga, Kena, Assuan. The peninsula of Sinai is administered by the war office.
Justice.There are four judicial systems in Egypt: two applicable to Egyptian subjects only, one applicable to foreigners only, and one applicable to foreigners and, to a certain extent, natives also. This multiplicity of tribunals arises from the fact that, owing to the Capitulations, which apply to Egypt as part of the Turkish empire, foreigners are almost entirely exempt from the jurisdiction of the native courts. It will be convenient to state first the law as regards foreigners, and secondly the law which concerns Egyptians. Criminal jurisdiction over foreigners is exercised by the consuls of the fifteen powers possessing such right by treaty, according to the law of the country of the offender. These consular courts also judge civil cases between foreigners of the same nationality.
Jurisdiction in civil matters between natives and foreigners and between foreigners of different nationalities is no longer exercised by the consular courts. The grave abuse to which the consular system was subject led to the establishment, in February 1876, at the instance of Nubar Pasha and after eight years of negotiation, of International or Mixed Tribunals to supersede consular jurisdiction to the extent indicated. The Mixed Tribunals employ a code based on the Code Napoleon with such additions from Mahommedan law as are applicable. There are three tribunals of first instance, and an appeal court at Alexandria. These courts have both foreign and Egyptian judgesthe foreign judges forming the majority of the bench. In certain designated matters they enjoy criminal jurisdiction, inclu,ding, since 1900, offences against the bankruptcy laws. Cases have to be conducted in Arabic, French, Italian and English, English having been. admitted as a judicial language by khedivial decree of the 17th of April 1905. Besides their judicial duties, the courts practically exercise legislative functions, as no important law can be made applicable to Europeans without the consent of the powers, and the powers are mainly guided by the opinions of the judges of the Mixed Courts.
The judicial systems applicable solely to Egyptians are supervised by the ministry of justice, to which has been attached since 1890 a British judicial adviser. Two systems of laws are administered:(I) the Me/theme/is, (2) the Native Tribunals. The mehkemehs, or courts of the cadis, judge in all matters of personal status, such as marriage, inheritance and guardianship, and are guided in their decisions by the code of laws founded on the Koran. The grand cadi, who must belong to the sect of the Hanifis, sits at Cairo, and is aided by a council of Ulema or learned men. This council consists of the sheikh or religious chief of each of the four orthodox sects, the sheikh of the mosque of Azhar, who is of the sect of the Shafiis, the chief (nakib) of the Sherifs, or descendants of Mahomet, and others. The cadis are chosen from among the students at the Azhar university. (In the same manner, in matters of personal law, Copts and other non-Moslem Egyptians are, in general, subject to the jurisdiction of their own religious chiefs.)
For other than the purposes indicated, the native judicial system, both civil and criminal, was superseded in 1884 by tribunals administering a jurisprudence modelled on that of the French code. It is, in the words of Lord Cromer, in many respects ill adapted to meet the special needs of the country (Egypt, No. I, 1904, p. 33). The system was, on the advice of an Anglo-Indian official (Sir John Scott), modified and simplified in 1891, but its essential character remained unaltered. In 1904, however, more important modifications were introduced. Save on points of law, the right of appeal in criminal cases was abolished, and assize courts, whose judgments were final, established. At the same time the penal code was thoroughly revised, so that the Egyptian judges were for the first time provided with a sound working code (Ibid. p. 49). The native courts have both native and foreign judges. There are courts of summary jurisdiction presided over by one judge, central tribunals (or courts of first instance) with three judges, and a court of appeal at Cairo. A committee of judicial surveillance watches the working of the courts of first instance and the summary courts, and endeavours, by letters and discussions, to maintain purity and sound law. There is a procureur-gneral, who, with other duties, is entrusted with criminal prosecutions. His representatives are attached to each tribunal, and form the parquet under whose orders the police act in bringing criminals to justice. In the markak (district) tribunals, created in 1904 and presided over by magistrates with jurisdiction in cases of misdemeanour, the prosecution is, however, conducted directly by the police. Special Childrens Courts have been established for the trial of juvenile offenders.
The police service, which has been subject to frequent modification, was in 1895 put under the orders of the ministry of the interior, to which a British adviser and British inspectors are attached. The provincial police is under the direction of the local authorities, the mudirs or governors of provinces, and the mamurs or district officials; to the oindas, or village head-men, who are responsible for the good order of the villages, a limited criminal jurisdiction has been entrusted.
Religion.The great majority of the inhabitants are Mahommedans. In 1907 the Moslems numbered over ten millions, or 91.8% of the entire population. The Christians in the same year numbered 880,000, or 8% of the population. Of these the Coptic Orthodox church had some 667,000 adherents. Among other churches represented were the Greek Orthodox, the Armenian, Syrian and Maronite, the Roman Catholic and various Protestant bodies. The last-named numbered 37,000 (including 24,000 Copts). There were in 1907 over 38,000 Jews in Egypt.
The Mahommedans are Sunnites, professing the creed commonly termed orthodox, and are principally of the persuasion of the Shafiis, whose celebrated founder, the imam ash-Shafii, is buried in the great southern cemetery of Cairo. Many of them are, however, Hanijis (to which persuasion the Turks chiefly belong), and in parts of Lower, and almost universally in Upper, Egypt, Mdlikis. Among the Moslems the Sheikh-elIslam, appointed by the khedive from among the Ulema (learned class), exercises the highest religious and, in certain subjects, judicial authority. There is aso a grand cadi, nominated by the sultan of Turkey from among the Ulema of Stamboul. Valuable property is held by the Moslems in trust for thepromotion of religion and for charitable purposes, and is known as the Wakfs administration. The revenue derived is over 2 50,000 yearly.
The Coptic organization includes in Egypt three metropolitans and twelve bishops, under the headship of the patriarch of Alexandria. The minor orders are arch-priests, priests, archdeacons, deacons, readers and monks (see Coirrs: Coptic Church).
Educalion.Two different systems of education exist, one founded on native lines, the other European in character. Both systems are more or less fully controlled by the ministry of public instruction. The government has primary, secondary and technical schools, training colleges for teachers, and schools of agriculture, engineering, law, medicine and veterinary science. The government system, which dates back to a period before the British occupation, is designed to provide, in the main, a European education. In the primary schools Arabic is the medium of instruction, the use of English for that purpose being confined to lessons in that language itself. The school of law is divided into English and French sections according to the language in which the students study law. Besides the government primary and secondary schools, there are many other schools in the large towns owned by the Moslems, Copts, Hebrews, and by various missionary societies, and in which the education is on the same lines. A movement initiated among the leading Moslems led in 1908 to the establishment as a private enterprise of a national Egyptian university devoted to scientific, literary and philosophical studies. Political and religious subjects are excluded from the curriculum and no discrimination in regard to race or religion is allowed.
Education on native lines is given in kuttabs and in the Azhar university in Cairo. Kuttabs are schools attached to mosques, found in every village and in every quarter of the larger towns. In these schools the instruction given before the British occupation was very slight. All pupils were taught to recite portions of the Koran, and a proportion of the scholars learnt to read and write Arabic and a little simple arithmetic. Those pupils who succeeded in committing to memory the whole of the Koran were regarded as fiki (learned in Mahommedan law), and as such escaped liability to military conscription. The government has improved the education given in the kuttabs, and numbers of them have been taken under the direct control of the ministry of public instruction. In these latter schools an excellent elementary secular education is given, in addition to the instruction in the Koran, to which half the school hours are devoted. The number of pupils in 1905 was over 12,000 boys and 2000 girls. Grants-in-aid are given to other schools where a sufficiently good standard of instruction is maintained. No grant is made to any kuttab where any language other than Arabic is taught. In all there are over 10,000 kuttabs, attended by some 250,000 scholars. The number of pupils in private schools under government inspection was in 1898, the first year of the grant-in-aid system, 7536; in 1900, 12,315; in 1905, 145,691. The number of girls in attendance rose from 598 in 1898 to 997 in 1900 and~96II in 1905. The Copts have about 1000 primary schools, in which the teaching of Coptic is compulsory, a few industrial schools, and one college for higher instruction.
Cairo holds a prominent place as a seat of Moslem learning, and its university, the Azhar, is considered the first of the eastern world. Its professors teach grammatical inflexion and syntax, rhetoric, versification, logic, theology, the exposition of the Koran, the traditions of the Prophet, the complete science of jurisprudence, or rather of religious, moral, civil and criminal law, which is chiefly founded on the Koran and the traditions, together with arithmetic as far as it is useful in matters of law. Lectures are also given on algebra and on the calculations of the Mahommedan calendar, the times of prayer, &c. (E. W. Lane, Modern Egyptians). The students come from all parts of the Mahommedan world. They number about 8000, of whom some 2000 are resident. The students pay no fees, and the professors receive no salaries. The latter maintain themselves by private teaching and by copying manuscripts, and the former in the same manner, or by reciting the Koran. To meet the demand for better qualified judges for the Moslem courts a training college for cadis was established in 1907. Besides the subjects taught at the Azhar university, instruction is given in literature, mathematics and physical science. The necessity for a reorganization of the Azhar system itself being also recognized by the high Moslem dignitaries in Egypt, a law was passed in 1907 creating a superior board of control under the presidency of the Sheikh el-Azhar to supervise the proceedings of the university and other similar establishments. This attempt to reform the Azhar met, however, with so much opposition that in 1909 it was, for the time, abandoned.
In 1907, of the sedentary Egyptian population over seven years of age, some 12% of the Moslems could read and write, female literacy having increased 50% since 1897; 01 the foreign population over seven years of age 75% could read and write. Of the Coptic community about 50% can read and write.
Literature and the Press.Since the British occupation there has been a marked renaissance of Arabic learning and literature in Egypt. Societies formed for the encouragement of Arabic literature have brought to light important text~ bearing on Mahommedan history, antiquities and religion. Numbers of magazines and reviews are published in Arabic which cater both for the needs of the moment and the advancement of learning. Side by side with these literary organs there exists a vernacular press largely devoted to nationalist propaganda. Prominent among these papers is Al Lewa (The Standard), founded in 1900. Other papers of a similar character are Al Omma, Al Moayad and Al Gerida. The Mokattam represents the views of the more enlightened and conservative section of the native population. In Cairo and Alexandria there are also published several newspapers in English and French.
AuTiioRIrIEs.(a) General descriptions, geography, travel, &c.:
Description de IEgypte, 10 folio vols. and atlas of 10 vols. (Paris, 1809I 822), compiled by the scientific commiitsion sent to Egypt by Bonaparte; Clot Bey, Aperu giniral sur lEgypte, 2 vols. (Paris, 1840); Boinet Bey, Dictionnaire giographique de lEgypte (Cairo, 1899); Murrays and Baedekers handbooks and Guide Joanne; G. Ebers, Egypt, Descriptive, Historical and Picturesque, translated from the erman edition of 1879 by Clara Bell, new edition, 2 vols. (London, I887); Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, Modern Egypt and Thebes (2 vols., London, 1843); Lady Duff Gordon, Letters from Egypt, complete edition (London, 1902), an invaluable account of social conditions in the period 1862-1869; A. B. Edwards, A Thousand Miles up the Nile (2nd edition, London, n.d. ~1889]); Pharaohs, Fellahs and Explorers (London, 1892); H. W. Mardon, Geography of Egypt. .. (London, 1902), an excellent elementary text-book; D. G. Hogarth, The Nearer East (London, 1902), contains brief but suggestive chapters on Egypt; S. Lane Poole, Egypt (London, 1881); A. B. de Guerville, New Egypt, translated from the French (London, 1905); R. T. Kelly, Egypt Painted and Described (London, 1902). The best maps are those of the Survey Department, Cairo, on the scale of I: 50000 (1.3 In. to the mile).
(b) Administration: Sir John Bowrings Report on Egypt. .. to Lord Palmerston (London, I 840). shows the system obtaining at that period. For the study of the state of Egypt at the time of the British occupation, 1882, and the development of the country since, the most valuable documentsi are:
I. Official.The Reports on the Finances, Administration and Condition of Egypt, issued yearly since 1892 (the reports 1888-1891 were exclusively financial). Up to 1906 the reports were by Lord Cromer (Sir Evelyn Baring). They clearly picture the progress of the country. The following reports are specially valuable as exhibiting the difficulties which at the outset confronted the British administrators :Correspondence respecting the Reorganization of Egypt (1883); Reports by Mr Viltiers Stuart respecting Reorganization of Egypt (1883 and 1895); Despatch from Lord Duff erin forwarding the Decree constituting the New Political Institutions of Egypt (1883); Reports on the State of Egypt and the Progress of Administrative Reforms (1885); Reports by Sir H. D. Wolff on the Administration of Egypt (1887). Annual returns are published in Cairo in English or French by the various ministries, and British consular reports on the trade of Egypt and of Alexandria and of the tonnage and shipping of the Suez Canal are also issued yearly.
II. Non-official.Lord Cromer, Modern Egypt (2 vols., 1908), an authoritative record; Alfred (Lord) Milner, England in Egypt, first published in 1892, the story being brotight up to 1904 in the 11th edition; Sir A. Colvin, The Making of Modern Egypt (1906); J. Ward, Pyramids and Progress (1900); A. S. White, The Expansion of Egypt (1899); and F. W. Fuller, Egypt and the Hinterland (1901). See also the works cited in History, last section.
(c) Law: H. Lamba, De livolution de Ia condition juridique des Europiens en Egypte (Paris, 1896); J. H. Scott, The Law affecting Foreigners in Egypt. .. (Edinburgh, 1907); The Egyptian Codet (London, 1892).
(d) Irrigation, agriculture, geology, &c.: Despatch from Sir Evelyn Baring enclosing Report on the Condition of the Agricultural Population in Egypt (1888); Notes on Egyptian Crops (Cairo, 1896); Yaculi Artin Bey, La P,opriiti foncihre en Egypte (Bulak, 1885); Report on Perennial Irrigation and Flood Protection for Egypt, I vol. and atlas (Cairo, 1894). The reports (Egypt, No. 2, 1901, and Egypt, No. 2,
1904), by Sir William Garstin on irrigation projects on the Upper Nile are very valuable recordsnotably the 1904 report. W. Will- cocks, Egyptian Irrigation (2nd ed., 1899); H. G. Lyons, The Physiography of the River Nile and its Basin (Cairo, 1906); Leigh Canney, The Meteorology of Egypt and its Influence on Disease (1897).
Annual meteorological reports are issued by the Public Works Department, Cairo. The same department issues special irrigation reports. See for geology Carl von Zittel, Beitrage zur Geologie and Palaontologie der libyschen Whste (Cassel, 1883); Reports of the Geological Survey of Egypt (Cairo, 1900, at seq.).
(e) Natural history, anthropology, &c.: F. Pruner, Agyptens Naturgeschichte and Anthropologie (Erlangen, 1848); R. Hartmann, Naturgeschichtliche Skizze der Nillander (Berlin, 1866); Captain G. E. Shelley, Birds of Egypt (London, 1872). (F. R. C.)
I The place of publication is London unless otherwise stated.
The population enumerated at the census taken in April 1907 was 11,189,978. In these figures nomad Arabs or Bedouins, esticoated to number 97,381, are not included. The total population was thus returned at 11,287,359, or some 16% more than in 1897 when the inhabitants numbered 9,734,405. The figures for 1897 compared with 6,813,919 in 1882, an increase of 43.5% in fifteen years. Thus, during the first twenty-five years of the British occupation of the country the population increased by nearly 4,500,000. In 1800 the French estimated the population at no more than 2,460,000; the census of 1846 gave the figures at 4,476,440. From that year to 1882 the average annual increase was 1.25%. If the desert regions be excluded, the population of Egypt is extremely dense, being about 939 per sq. m. This figure may be compared with that of Belgium, the most densely populated country in Europe, 589 per sq. m., and with that of Bengal, 586, per sq. m. In parts of Menufia, a Delta province, the density rises to 1352 per sq. m., and in the Kena province of Upper Egypt to 1308.
The population is generally divisible into I The fellahin or peasantry and the native townsmen.
2. The Bedouins or nomad Arabs of the desert.
3. The Nuba, Nubians or Berberin, inhabitants of the Nile valley between Assuan and Dongola.
The first of these divisions - includes both the Moslem and Coptic inhabitants. The Bedouins, or the Arabs of the desert, are of two different classes: first, Arabic-speaking tribes who range the deserts as far south as 26 N.; secondly, the tribes inhabiting the desert from Kosseir to Suakin, namely the Hadendoa, Bisharin and the Ababda tribes. This group speak a language of their own, and are probably descendants of the Blemmyes, who occupied these parts in ancient times (see ARABS; BEDOUINS; HADEND0A; BISHA1t!N; &c.). The Nubas are of mixed negro and Arab blood. They are mainly agriculturists, though some are keen traders (see NUBIA).
Foreigners number over 150,000 and form i~% of the total population. They are chiefly Greeksof whom the majority live in AlexandriaItalians, British and French. Syrians and Levantines are numerous, and there is a colony of Persians. The Turkish element is not numerically stronga few thousands onlybut holds a high social position.
Of the total population, about 20% is urban. In addition. to the 97,000 pure nomads, there are half a million Bedouins described as semi-sedentaries, i.e. tent-dwelling Arabs, usually encamped in those parts of the desert adjoining the cultivated land. The rural classes are mainly engaged in agriculture, which occupies over 62% of the adults. The professional and trading classes form about 10% of the whole population, but 50% of the foreigners are engaged in trade. Of the total population the males exceed the females by some 46,000.
acteristics and customs common to the Moslem Egyptians Physical and particularly to those of the cities. In some respects character- the manner of life of the natives has been modified by lstics of contact with Europeans, and what follows depicts in the ~ general the habits of the people where little affected by Dl ails, western culture. With regard to physical characteristics the Egyptians are of full average height (the men are mostly 5 ft. 8 in. or 5 ft. 9 in), and both sexes are remarkably well proportioned and of strong physique. The Cairenes and the inhabitants of Lower Egypt generally have a clear complexion and soft skin of a light yellowisb color; those of Middle Egypt have a tawny skin, and the dwellers in Upper Egypt a deep bronze or brown complexion. The face of the men is of a fine oval, forehead prominent but seldom high, straight nose, eyes deep set, black and brilliant, mouth well formed, but with rather full lips, regular teeth beautifully made, and bea~rd usually black and curly but scanty. Moustaches are worn, while the head is shaved save for a small tuft (called shusheh) upon the crown. As to the women, from the age of about fourteen to that of eighteen or twenty, they are generally models of beauty in body and limbs; and in countenance most of them are pleasing, and many exceedingly lovely; but soon after they have attained their perfect growth, they rapidly decline. There are few Egyptian women over forty who retain either good looks or good figures.
rt.. t...~. .-.r ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~i ninth and tenth year: at the age ci fifteen or si,cteen they generally attain their highest degree of perfection. With regard to their complexions, the same remarks apply to them as to the men, with only this difference, that their faces, being generally veiled when they go abroad, are not quite so much tanned as those of the men. They are characterized, like the men, by a fine oval countenance, though in some instances it is rather broad. The eyes, with very few exceptions, are black, large and of a long almond-form, with long and beautiful lashes, and an exquisitely soft, bewitching expressioneyes more beautiful can hardly be conceived: their charming effect is much heightened by the concealment of the other features (however pleasing the latter may be), and is rendered still more striking by a practice universal among the females of the higher and middle classes, and very common among those of the lower orders, which is that of blackening the edge of the eyelids both above and below the eye, with a black powder called kohl (Lane, Modern Egyptians). Both sexes, but especially the women, tattoo several parts of the person, and the women stain their hands and feet with the red dye of the henna.
The dress of the men of the upper and middle classes who have not adopted European clothinga practice increasingly common consists of cotton drawers, and a cotton or silk shirt with very wide sleeves. Above these are generally worn a waistcoat without sleeves, and a long vest of silk, called e. kaftan, which has hanging sleeves, and reaches nearly to the ankles. The kaftan is confined by the girdle, which is a silk scarf, or cashmere or other woollen shawl. Over all is worn a long cloth robe, the gibbeh (or jibbeh) somewhat resembling the kaftan in shape, but having shorter sleeves, and being open in front. The dress of the lower orders is the shirt and drawers, and waistcoat, with an outer shirt of blue cotton or brown woollen stuff; some wear a kaftan. The head-dress is the red cloth fez or tarbush round which a turban is usually worn. Men who have otherwise adopted European costume retain the tarbush. Many professions and religions, &c., are distinguished by the shape and color of the turban, and various classes, and particularly servants, are marked by the form and color of their shoes; but the poor go usually barefoot. Many ladies of the upper classes now dress in European style, with certain modifications, such as the head-veil. Those who retain native costume wear a very full pair of silk trousers, bright colored stockings (usually pink), and a close-fitting vest with hanging sleeves and kirts, open down the front and at the sides, and long enough to turn up and fasten into the girdle, which is generally a cashmere shawl; a cloth jacket, richly embroidered with gold, and having short sleeves, is commonly worn over the vest. The hair in front is combed down over the fore. head and cut across in a straight line; behind it is divided into very many small plaits, which hang down the back, and are lengthened by silken cords, and often adorned with gold coins and ornaments. A small tarbush is worn on the back of the head, sometimes having a plate of gold fixed on the crown, and a handkerchief is tastefully bound round the temples. The women of the lower orders have trousers of printed or dyed cotton, and a close waistcoat. All wear the long and elegant head-veil. This is a simple breadth of muslin, which passes over the head and hangs down behind, one side, being drawn forward over the face in the presence of a man. A ladys veil is of white muslin, embroidered at the ends in gold and colors; that of a person of the lower class is simply dyed blue. In going abroad the ladies wear above their indoor dress a loose robe of colored silk without sleeves, and nearly open at the sides, and above it a large enveloping piece of black silk, which is brought over the head, and gathered round the person by the arms and hands on each side. A face-veil entirely conceals the features, except the eyes; it is a long and narrow piece of thick white muslin, reaching to a little below the knees. The women of the lower orders have the same out-door dress of different materials and color. Ladies use slippers of yellow morocco, and abroad, inner boots of the same material, above which they wear, in either case, thick shoes, having only toes. The poor wear red shoes, very like those of the men. The women, especially in Upper Egypt, not infrequently wear nose-rings.
Children, though often neglected, are not unkindly treated, and reverence for their parents and the aged is early inculcated. They are also well grounded in the leading doctrines of Islam. Boys are circumcised at the age of five or six years, when the boy is paraded, generally with a bridal procession, on a gaily caparisoned horse and dressed in womans clothes. Most parents send their boys to school where a knowledge of reading and writing Arabicthe common tongue of the Egyptiansis obtainable, and from the closing years of the 19th century a great desire for the education of girls has arisen (see Education).
It is deemed disreputable for a young man not to marry when he has attained a sufficient age; there are, therefore, few unmarried men. Girls, in like manner, marry very young, some at ten years of age, and few remain single beyond the age of sixteen; they are generally very prolific. The bridegroom never sees his future wife before the wedding night, a custom rendered more tolerable than it otherwise might be by the facility of divorce. A dowry is always given, and a simple marriage ceremony performed by afiki (a schoolmaster, or one who recites the Koran, properly one learned in fiqh, Mahommedan law) in the presence of two witnesses. The bndal of wroin k ,iitenrlpcl wth c~re~,t f,~stivitv and reioicine. a erandees wedding sometimes continuing eleven days and nights. On the last day, which should be that terminating with the eve of Friday, or of Monday, the bride is taken in procession to the bridegrooms house, accompanied by her female friends, and a band of musicians, jugglers, wrestlers, &c. As before stated, a boy about to be circumcised joins in such a procession, or, frequently, a succession of such boys. Though allowed by his religion four wives, most Egyptians are monogamists. A man may, however, possess any number of concubines, who, though objects of jealousy to the legal wife, are tolerated by her in consideration of her superior position and power over them, a power which she often uses with great tyranny; but certain privileges are possessed by concubines, especially if they have borne Sons to their master. A divorce is rendered obligatory by the simple words Thou art divorced. Repudiation may take place twice without being final, but if the husband repeats thrice Thou art divorced the separation is absolute. In that case the dowry must be returned to the wife.
Elaborate ceremonies are observed at funerals. Immediately on death the corpse is turned towards Mecca, and the women of the household, assisted by hired mourners, commence their peculiar wailing, while fikis recite portions of the Koran. The funeral takes place on the day of the death, if that happen in the morning; otherwise on the next day. The corpse, having been washed and shrouded, is placed in an open bier, covered with a cashmere shawl, in the case of a man; or in a closed bier, having a post in front, on which are placed feminine ornaments, in that of a woman or child. The funeral procession is headed by a number of poor, and generally blind, men, chanting the profession of the faith, followed by male friends of the deceased, and a party of schoolboys, also chanting, generally from a poem descriptive of the state of the soul after death. Then follows the bier, borne on the shoulders of friends, who are relieved by the passers-by, such an act being deemed highly meritorious. Behind come the women relatives and the hired wailers. On the way to the cemetery the corpse is generally carried to some revered mosque. Here the funeral service is performed by the imam, and the procession then proceeds to the tomb. In the burials of the rich, water and bread are distributed to the poor at the grave; and sometimes a buffalo or several buffaloes are slaughtered there, and the flesh given away. The tomb is a vault, surmounted by an oblong stone monument, with a stele at the head and feet; and a cupola, supported by four walls, covers the whole in the case of sheikhs tombs and those of the wealthy. During the night following the interment, called the Night of Desolation, or that of Solitude, the soul being believed to remain with the body that one night, fikis are engaged at the house of the deceased to recite various portions of the Koran, and, commonly, to repeat the first clause of the profession of the faith, There is no God but God, three thousand times. The women alone put on mourning attire, by dyeing their veils, shirts, &c., dark blue, with indigo; and they stain their hands, and smear the walls, with the same color. Everything in the house is also turned upside down. The latter customs are not, however, observed on the death of an old man. At certain periods after the burial, a khatmeh, or recitation of the whole of the Koran, is performed, and the tomb is visited by the women relations and friends of the deceased. The women of the peasants of Upper Egypt perform strange dances, &c., at funerals, which are regarded partly as relics of ancient Egyptian customs.
The harem system of appointing separate apartments to the women, and secluding them from the gaze of men, is observed in Egypt as in other Moslem countries, but less strictly. The women of an Egyptian household in which old customs are maintained never sit in the presence of the master, but attend him at his meals, and are treated in every respect as inferiors. The mother, however, forms a remarkable exception to this rule; in rare instances, also, a wife becomes a companion to her husband. On the other hand, if a pair of womens shoes are placed outside the door of the harem apartments, they are understood to signify that female visitors are within, and a man is sometimes thus excluded from the upper portion of his own house for many days. Ladies of the upper or middle classes lead a life of extreme inactivity, spending their time at the bath, which is the general place of gossip, or in receiving visits, embroidering, and the like, and in absolute dolce far niente. Both sexes are given to licentiousness.
The principal meals are breakfast, about an hour after sunrise; dinner, or the mid-day meal, at noon; and supper, which is the chief meal of the day, a little after sunset. Pastry, sweetmeats and fruit are highly esteemed. Coffee is taken at all hours, and is, with a pipe, presented at least once to each guest. Tobacco is the great luxury of the men of all classes in Egypt, who begin and end the day with it, and generally smoke all day with little intermission. Many women, also, especially among the rich, adopt the habit. The smoking of hashish, though illegal, is indulged in by considerable numbers of people. Men, who can afford to keep a horse, mule or ass are very seldom seen to walk. Ladies ride asses and sit astride. The poorer classes cannot fully observe the harem system, but the women are in general carefully veiled. Some of them keep small shops, and all fetch water, make fuel, and cook for their households. Domestic slavery lingers but is moribund. The majority of the slaves are negresses employed in household duties.
In social intercourse the Egyptians observe many forms of salu tation and much etiquette; they are very affable, and readily enter into conversation with strangers. Their courtesy and dignity of manner are very striking, and are combined with ease and a fluency of discourse. They have a remarkable quickness of apprehension, a ready wit, a retentive memory, combined, however, with religious pride and hypocrisy, and a disregard for the truth. Their common discourse is full of asseverations and expressions respecting sacred things. They entertain reverence for their Prophet; and the Koran is treated with the utmost respectnever, for example. being placed in a low situationand this is the case with everything they esteem holy. They are fatalists, and bear calamities with surprising resignation. Their filial piety and respect for the aged have been mentioned, and benevolence and charity are conspicuous in their character. Humanity to animals is another virtue, and cruelty is openly discountenanced in the streets. Their affability, cheerfulness and hospitality are remarkable, as well as frugality and temperance in food and drink, and honesty in the payment of debt. Their cupidity is mitigated by generosity; their natural indolence by the necessity, especially among the peasantry, to work hard to gain a livelihood. Egyptians, however, are as a rule suspicious of all not of their own creed and country. Murders and other grave crimes are rare, but petty larcenies are very common.
The amusements of the people are generally not of a violent kind, being in keeping with their sedentary habits and the beat of the climate. The bath is a favorite resort of both sexes and all classes. They are acquainted with chess, draughts, backgammon, and other games, among which is one peculiar to themselves, called Mankalah, and played with cuwries. Notwithstanding its condemnation by Mahomet, music is the most favorite recreation of the people; the songs of the boatmen, the religious chants, and the cries in the streets are all musical. There are male and female musical performers; the former are both instrumental and vocal, the latter (called Alrneh, p1. Awalsm) generally vocal. The Awglim are, as their name (learned) implies, generally accomplished women, and should not be confounded with the Ghawnzi, or dancing-girls. There are many kinds of musical instruments. The music, vocal and instrumental, is generally of little compass, and in the minor key; it is therefore plaintive, and strikes a European ear as somewhat monotonous, though often possessing a simple beauty, and the charm of antiquity, for there is little doubt that the favorite airs have been handed down from remote ages. The Ghawzi (sing. Ghzia) form a separate class, very similar to the gipsies. They intermarry among themselves only, and their women are professional dancers. Their performances are often objectionable and are so regarded by many Egyptians. They dance in public, at fairs and religious festivals, and at private festivities, but, it is said, not in respectable houses. Mehmet Au banished them to Esna, in Upper Egypt; and the few that remained in Cairo called themselves Awalim, to avoid punishment. Many of the dancing-girls of Cairo to-day are neither ~Awlim nor Ghawazi, but women of the very lowest class whose performances are both ungraceful and indecent. A most objectionable class of male dancers also exists, who imitate the dances of the Ghawazi, and dress in a kind of nondescript female attire. Not the least curiotis of the public performances are those of the serpent-charmers, who are generally Rifaia (Saadia) dervishes. Their power over serpents has been doubted, yet their performances remain unexplained; they, however, always extract the fangs of venomous serpents. Jugglers, rope-dancers and farce-players must also be mentioned. In the principal coffee-shops of Cairo are to be found reciters of romances, surrounded by iiiterested audiences.
The periodical public festivals are exceedingly interesting, but many of the remarkable observances connected with them are passing away. The first ten days of the Mahommedan year are held to be blessed, and especially the tenth; ~t~
and many curious practices are observed on these days, est Va s. particularly by the women. The tenth day, being the anniversary of the martyrdom of Hosain, the son of Ali and grandson of the Prophet, the mosque of the Hasanen at Cairo is thronged to excess, mostly by women. In the evening a procession goes to the mosque, the principal figure being a white horse with white trappings, upon which is seated a small boy, the horse and the lad, who represents Hosain, being smeared with blood. From the mosque the procession goes to a private house, where a mullah recites the story of the martyrdom. Following the order of the lunar year, the next festival is that of the Return of the Pilgrims, which is the occasion of great rejoicing, many having friends or relatives in the caravan. The Mahmal, a kind of covered litter, first originated by Queen Sheger-ed-Dur, is brought into the city in procession, though not with as much pomp as when it leaves with the pilgrims. These and other processions have lost much of their effect since the extinction of the Mamelukes, and the gradual disuse of gorgeous dress for the retainers of the,, officers of state. A regiment of regular infantry makes but a sorr substitute for the splendid cavalcade of former times. The Birt of the Prophet (Molid en-Nebi), which is celebrated in the beginning of the third month, is the greatest festival of the whole year. For nine days and nights Cairo has more the aspect of a fair than of a city keeping a religious festival. The chief ceremonies take place in some large open spot round which are erected the tents of the khedive, of great state officials, and of the dervishes. Next in time, and also in importance, is the Molid El-Hasanen, commemorative of the birth of Hosain, and lasting fifteen days and nights; and,at the same time is kept the Molid of al-Salib Ayyub, the last sovereign but two of the Ayyubite dynasty. In the seventh month occur the Molid of the sayyida Zenab, and the commemoration of the Miarag, or the Prophets miraculous journey to heaven. Early in the eighth month (Shabhn), the Molid of the imam Shfii is observed; and the night of the middle of that month has its peculiar customs, being held by the Moslems to be that on which the fate of all living is decided for the ensuing year. Then follows Ramadan, the month of abstinence, a severe trial to the faithful; and the Lesser Festival (Al-id as-~aghir), which commences Shawwl, is hailed by them with delight. A few days after, the Kiswa, or new covering for the Kaba at Mecca, is taken in procession from the citadel, where it is always manufactured, to the mosque of the Hasanhn to be completed; and, later, the caravan of pilgrims departs, when the grand procession of the Mahmal takes place. On the tenth day of the last month of the year the Great Festival (Al-id al-kabir), or that of the Sacrifice (commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim to slay his son Ismailaccording to the Arab legend), closes the calendar. The Lesser and Great Festivals are those known in Turkish as the Bairam.
The rise of the Nile is naturally the occasion of annual customs, some of which are doubtless relics of antiquity; these are observed according to the Coptic calendar. The commencement of the rise is commemorated on the night of the 11th of Bauna, the 17th of June, called that of the Drop (Lelet-en-Nukta), because a miraculous drop is then supposed to fall and cause the swelling of the river. The real rise begins at Cairo about the summer solstice, or a few days later, and early in July a crier in each district of the city begins to go his daily rounds, announcing, in a quaint chant, the increase of water in the nilometer of the island of Roda. When the river has risen 20 or 21 ft., he proclaims the Wefa en-Nil, Completion or Abundance of the Nile. On the following day the dam which closed the canal of Cairo was cut with much ceremony. The canal having been filled up in 1897 the ceremony has been much modified, but a brief description of what used to take place may be given. A pillar of earth before the dam is called the Bride of the Nile, and Arab historians relate that this was substituted, at the Moslem conquest, for a virgin whom it was the custom annually to sacrifice, to ensure a plentiful inundation. A large boat, gaily decked out, representing that in which the victim used to be conveyed, was anchored near, and a gun on board fired every quarter of an hour during the night. Rockets and other fireworks were also let off, but the best, strangely, after daybreak. The governor of Cairo attended the ceremony, with the cadi and, others, and gave the signal for the cutting of the dam. As soon as sufficient water had entered, boats ascended the canal to the city. The crier continues his daily rounds, with his former chant, excepting on the Coptic New Years Day, when the cry of the Wefh is repeated, until the Salib, or Discovery of the Cross, the 26th or 27th of September, at which period, the river having attained its greatest height, he concludes his annual employment with another chant, and presents to each house some limes and other fruit, and dry lumps of Nile mud.
The period of the hot winds, called the khamsin, that is, the fifties, is calculated from the day after the Coptic Easter, and terminates on the day of Pentecost, and the Moslems observe the Wednesday preceding this period, called Jobs Wednesday, as well as its first day, when many go into the country from Cairo, to smell the air. This day is hence called Shem en-Nesim, or the smelling of the zephyr. The Ulema observe the same custom on the first three days of the spring quarter.
Tombs of saints abound, one or more being found in every town and village; and no traveller up the Nile can fail to remark how every prominent hill has the sepulchre of its patron saint. The great saints of Egypt are the imam Ash-Shafii, founder of the persuasion called after him, the sayyid Abmad al-Baidawi, and the sayyid Ibrahim Ed-DesUki, both of whom were founders of orders of dervishes. Al-Bailawi, who lived in the 13th century A.D., is buried at the town of Tanta, in the Delta, and his tomb attracts many thousands of visitors at each of the three festivals held yearly in his honor; Ed-Deski is also much revered, and his festivals draw together, in like manner, great crowds to his birthplace, the town of Desk. But, besides the graves of her native saints, Egypt boasts of those of several members of the Prophets family, the tomb of the sayyida Zeyneb, daughter of Ali, that of the sayyida Sekeina, daughter of Hosain, and that of the sayyida Nefisa, great-granddaughter of Hasan, all of which are held in high veneration. The mosque of the Hasanhn (Or that of the two Hasans) is the most reverenced shrine in the country, and is believed to contain the head of Hosain. Many orders of Dervishes live in Egypt, the following being the most celebrated (1) the Rifhjh, and their sects the ~1lwhnia and Saadia; (2) the Qadiria (KShiria), or howling dervishes; (3) the Ahmedia, or followers of the sayyid Abmad alBaiJawi, and their sects the Beyumia (known by their long hair), Shinnawia, Sharawia and many others: and (4) the Baramia, or followers of the sayyid Ibrhim Ed-Deski. These are all presided over by a direct descendant of the caliph Abu Bekr, called the Sheikh El-Bekri. The Saadia are famous for charming and eating live serpents, &c., and the Ilwania for eating fire, glass, &c. The Egyptians firmly believe in the efficacy of charms, a belief associated with that in an omnipresent and over-ruling providence. Thus the doors of houses are inscribed with sentences from the Koran, or the like, to preserve from the evil eye, or avert the dangers of an unlucky threshold; similar inscriptions may be observed over most shqps, while almost every one carries some charm about his person. I he so-called sciences of magic, astrology and alchemy still flourish.
AUTiloRfTIEs.The standard authority for the Moslem Egyptians is E. W. Lanes Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, first published in 1836. The best edition is that of 1860, edited, with additions, by E. S. Poole. See also B. Saint-John, Village Life in Egypt (2 vols., 1852); 5. Lane Poole, Social Life in Egypt (1884); P. Arminjon, LEnseignement, Ia doctrine, ella vie dans les universits musulmanes dEgypte (Paris, 1907). For the language see J. S. Willmore, The Spoken Arabic of Egypt (2nd ed., London, 1905); Spitta Bey, Grammatik des arabischen Vulgardialektes von Agypten, Conies arabes modernes (Leiden, 1883). For statistical information consult the reports on the censuses of 1897 and 1907, published by the Ministry of the Interior, Cairo, in 1898 and 1909.
(E. S. P.; S. L.-P.; F. R. C.)
The important part which the financial arrangements have played in the political and social history of Egypt since the accession of Ismail Pasha in 1863 is shown in the section History of this article. Here it is proposed to trace the steps by which Egypt, after having been brought to a state of bankruptcy, passed through a period of great stress, and finafly attained prosperity atid a large measure of financial autonomy.
In 1862 the foreign debt of Egypt stood at 3,292,000. With the accession of Ismail (q.v.) there followed a period of wild extravagance and reckless borrowing accompanied by the extortion of every piastre possible from the fellahin. The real state of affairs was disclosed in the report of Mr Stephen Cave, a well-known banker, who was sent by the British government in December 1875 to inquire into the situation. The Cave report showed that Egypt suffered from the ignorance, dishonesty, waste and extravagance of the East and from the vast expense caused by hasty and inconsiderate endeavours to adopt the civilization of the West. The debtor and creditor account of the state from 1864 to 1875 showed receipts amounting to 148,215,000. Of thissumover~94,ooo,ooo had been obtained from revenue and nearly 4,000,000 by the sale of the khedives shares in the Suez Canal to Great Britain. The rest was credited to: loans 31,713,000, floating debt 18,243,000. The cash which reached the Egyptian treasury from the loans and floating debt was far less than the nominal amount of such loans, none of which cost the Egyptian government less than 12% per annum. When the expenditure during the same period was examined the extraordinary fact was disclosed that the sum raised by revenue was only three millions less than that spent on administration, tribute and public works, including a sum of 10,500,000, described as expenses of questionable utility or policy. The whole proceeds of the loans and floating debt had been absorbed in payment of interest and sinking funds, with the exception of 16,000,000 debited to the Suez Canal. In other words, Egypt was burdened with a debt of 91,000,000 funded or floatingfor which she had no return, for even from the Suez Canal she derived no revenue, owing to the sale of the khedives shares.
Soon after Mr Caves report appeared (March 1876), default took place on several of the loans. Nearly the whole of the debt, it should be stated, was held in England or France, and at the instance of French financiers the stoppage of payment was followed by a scheme to unify the debt. This scheme included the distribution of a bonus of 25% to holders of treasury bonds. These bonds had then reached a sum exceeding 20,000,000 and were held chiefly by French firms. The unification scheme was elaborated in a khedivial decree of the 7th of May 1876, but was rendered abortive by the opposition of the British bondholders. Its place was taken by another scheme drawn up by Mr (afterwards Lord) Goschen. and M. Joubert, who represented the British and French bondholders respectively. The details of this settlement, promulgated by decree of the I 7th of November 1876, need not be given, as it was superseded in 1880. One of the securities devised for the benefit of the bend holders in the abortive scheme of May 1876 was retained in the Goschen-Joubert settlement, and being continued in later settlements grew to be one of the most important institutions in Egypt. This security was the establishment of a Treasury of the Public Debt, known by its French title of Caisse de la Dette, and commonly spoken of simply as the Caisse. The duty of this body was to act as receivers of the revenues assigned to the service of the debt. To render their powers effective they were given the right to sue the Egyptian government in the Mixed Tribunals for any breach of engagement to the bondholders.
The Goschen-Joubert settlement was accompanied by guarantees against maladministration by the appointment of an Englishman and a Frenchman to superintend the The Law ofrevenue and expenditurethe Dual Control;
a- while a commission was appointed in 1878 to investigate the condition of the country. The settlement of 1880 was effected on the basis of the proposals made by this commission, and was embodied in the Law of Liquidation of July 1880after the deposition of Ismail. For the purposes of the new settlement the loans raised by Ismail on his private estates, those known as the Daira (i.e. administrations) and Domains loans, were brought into account. By the Law of Liquidation the floating debt was paid off, the whole debt being consolidated into four large loans, upon which the rate of interest was reduced to a figure which it was considered Egypt was able to bear. The Egyptian debt under this composition was:
Privileged debt 22,609,000
Unified debt 58,018,000
Daira Sanieh loan 9,513,000
Domains loan 8,500,000
The rate of interest was, on the Privileged debt and Domains loan, 5%; on the Unified debt and DaIra loan, 4%. Under this settlement the total annual charges on the country amounted to 4,500,000, about half the then revenue of Egypt. These charges included the services of the Privileged and Unified debts, the tribute to Turkey and the interest on the Suez Canal shares held by Great Britain, but excluded the interest on the Daira and Domains loans, expected to be defrayed by the revenues from the estates on which those loans were secured. The general revenue of Egypt was divided between the bondholders and the government, any surplus on the bondholders share being devoted to the redemption of the capital.
The 1880 settlement proved little more lasting than that of 1876. After a brief period of prosperity, the Arabi rising, the riots at Alexandria, and the events generally which led to the British occupation of Egypt in 1882, followed by the losses incurred in the Sudan in the effort to prevent it falling into the hands of the Mahdi, brought Egypt once more to the verge of financial disaster. The situation was an anomalous one. While the revenue assigned to the service of the debt was more than. sufficient for the payment of interest and the sinking fund was in full operation, the government found that their share of the revenue was altogether inadequate for the expenses of administration, and they were compelled to borrow on short loans at high rate of interest. Moreover, to make good the losses incurred at Alexandria, and to get money to pay the charges arising out of the Sudan War and the Arabi rebellion, a new loan was essential. On the initiative of Great, Britain a conference between the representatives of the great powers and Turkey was held in London, itnd resulted in the signing of a convention in March 1885. The terms agreed upon in this instrument, known as the London Convention, were embodied in a khedivial decree, which, with some modification in detail, remained for twenty years the organic law under which the finances of Egypt were administered.
The principle of dividing the revenue of the country between the Caisse, as representing the bondholders, and the government was maintained by the London Convention. The revenue assigned to the service of the debt, namely, that derived from the railway, telegraphs, port of Alexandria, customs (including tobacco) and from four of the provinces, remained as before. It was recognized, however, that the non-assigned revenue was insufficient to meet the necessary expenses of govern- Provisions ment, and a scale of administrative expenditure was of the drawn up. This was originally fixed at E.5,237,000,i London but subsequently other items were allowed, and ~onvenin. 1904, the last year in which the system described existed, it was E.6,300,600. The Caisse was authorized, after payment of the coupons on the debt, to make good out of their balance in hand the difference between the authorized expenditure and the non-assigned revenue. If a surplus remained to the Caisse after making good such deficit the surplus was to be divided equally between the Caisse and the government; the government to be free to spend its share as it pleased, while the Caisse had to devote its share to the reduction of the debt. This limitation of administrative expenditure was the cardinal feature and the leading defect of the convention. Those responsible for this arrangementthe most favorable for Egypt that Great Britain could securefailed to recognize the complete change likely to result from the British occupation of Egypt, and probably regarded that occupation as temporary. The system devised might have been justifiable as a check on a retrograde government, but was wholly inapplicable to a reforming government and a serious obstacle to the attainment of national prosperity. In practice administrative expenditure always exceeded the amount fixed by the convention. Any excess could, however, only be met out of the half-share of the eventual surplus reached in the manner described. Consequently, in order to meet new expenditure necessitated by the growing wants of a country in process of development, just double the amount of revenue had to be raised.
To return to the provisions of the London Convention. The convention left the permanent rate of interest on the debt, as fixed by the Law of Liquidation, unchanged, but to afford temporary relief to the Egyptian exchequer a reduction of 5% on the interest of the debt was granted for two years, on condition that if at the end of that period payment, including the arrears of the two years, was not resumed in full, another international commission was to be appointed to examine into the whole financial situation. Lastly, the convention empowered Egypt to raise a loan of nine millions, guaranteed by all the powers, at a rate of interest of 3%. For the service of this loanknown as the Guaranteed loanan annuity of 315,000 was provided in the Egyptian budget for interest and sinking fund. The 9,000,000 was sufficient to pay the Alexandria indemnities, to wipe out the deficits of the preceding years, to give the Egyptian treasury a working balance of LE 500,000 and thereby avoid the creation of a fresh floating debt, and to provide a million for new irrigation works. To the wise foresight which, at a moment when the country was sinking beneath a weight of debt, did not hesitate to add this million for expenditure on productive works, the present prosperity of Egypt is largely due.
The provisions of the London Convention did not exhaust the restrictions placed upon the Egyptian government in respect of financial autonomy. These restrictions were of two categories, (I) those independent of the London Convention, (2) those dependent upon that instrument. In the first category came (a) the prohibition. to raise a loan without the consent of the Porte. The right to raise loans had been granted to the khedive Ismail in 1873, but was taken away in 1879 by the firman appointing Tewfik khedive. (b) Next came the inability to levy taxes on foreigners without the consent of their respective governments. This last obligation was, in virtue of the Capitulations, applicable to Egypt as part of the Ottoman empire. The only exception, resulting from the Ottoman law under which foreigners are allowed to acquire and hold real property, is the land tax. (All taxes formerly paid by natives and not by foreigners have been abolished in Egypt, but the immunity described constitutes a most serious obstacle to the redistribution of the burden of taxation in a more equitable manner.)
I The figures of the debt are always given in sterling. The budget figures are in E. (pounds Egyptian), equal to 1, Os. 6d.
From the purely Egyptian point of view the most powerful restriction in this first category remains to be named. In 1883 the supervision exercised over the finances by French and British controllers was replaced by that of a British official called the financial adviser. The British government has declared that no financial decision shall be taken without his consent, a declaration never questioned by the Egyptian government. This restriction, therefore, is at the same time the chief safeguard for the purity of Egypts finances.
In the second category of restrictions, namely, those dependent on the London Convention, were the various commissions or boards known as Mixed Administrations and having relations of a quasi-independent character with the ministry of finance. Of these boards by far the most important was the Caisse. As first constituted it consisted of a French, an Austrian, and an Italian member; a British member was added in 1877 and a German and a Russian member in 1885. The revenue assigned to the debt charges was paid direct to the Caisse without passing through the ministry of finance. The assent of the Caisse (as well as that of the sultan) was necessary before any new loan could be issued, and in the course of a few years from its creation this body acquired very extensive powers. Besides the Caisse there was the Railway Board, which administered the railways, telegraphs and port of Alexandria for the benefit of the bondholders, and the DaIra and Domains commissions, which administered the estates mortgaged to the holders of those loans. Each of the three boards last named consisted of an Englishman, a Frenchman and an Egyptian.
During the two years that followed the signing of the London Convention, the financial policy of the Egyptian government was The race directed to placing the country in a position to resume against full payment of the interest on the debt in 1887, and bank- thereby to avoid the appointment of an international IuDY. commission. By the exercise of the most rigid economy in all branches this end was attained, though budgetary equilibrium was only secured by a variety of financial expedients, justified by the vital importance of saving Egypt from further international interference. By such means this additional complication was averted, but the struggle to put Egypt in a genuinely solvent position was by no means over. It was not until his report on the financial results of 1888 that Sir Evelyn Baring (afterwards Lord Cromer) was able to inform the British government that the situation was such that it would take a series of untoward events seriously to endanger the stability of Egyptian finance and the solvency of the Egyptian government. From this moment the corner was turned, and the era of financial prosperity commenced. The results of the labors of the preced-, ing six years began to manifest themselves with a rapidity which surprised the most sanguine observers. The principal feature of the successive Egyptian budgets of 1890-1894 was the fiscal relief afforded to the population. From 1894 onward more attention was paid than had hitherto been possible to the legitimate demands of the spending departments and to the prosecution of public works. Of these the most notable was the construction (1898-1902) of the Assuan dam, which by bringing more land under cultivation permanently increased the resources of the country and widened the area of taxation.
With the accumulating proofs of the financial stability of the country various changes were made in connection with the debt charges. With the consent of the powers a General Reserve funds. Reserve Fund was created by decree of the 12th of July 1888, into which was paid the Caisses half-share in the eventual surplus of revenue. This fund, primarily intended as a security for the bondholders, might be drawn upon for extraordinary expenditure with the consent of the commissioners of the Caisse. Large sums were so advanced for the purposes of drainage and irrigation and other public works, and in relief of taxation. The defect of this arrangement consisted in the necessity of obtaining the consent of the commissionersa consent sometimes withheld on purely political grounds. At the same time it is believed that but for the faculty given by the decree of 1888 to spend the General Reserve Fund on public works, the financial system elaborated by the London Convention would have broken down altogether. Between 1888 and 1904 about 10,000,000 was devoted from this fund to public works.
In June 1890 the assent of the powers was obtained to th conversion of the Preference (Privileged), Domains and Daira loans on the following conditions, imposed at the initiative of the French government:
1. The employment of the economies resulting from the conversion was to be the subject of future agreement with the powers.
2. The Daira loan was to be reimbursed at 85%, instead of 80%, as provided by the Law of Liquidation.
3. The sales of Domains and Daira lands were to be restricted to E.300,000 a year each, thus prolonging the period of liquidation of those estates.
The interest on the Preference stock was reduced from 5 to 31/2%, and on the Domains from 5 to 43/4%. As regards the Daira loan, there was no apparent reduction in the rate of interest, which remained at 4%, but the bondholders received 85 of the new stock for every 100 of the old. The capital of the debt was increased by 1,945,000 by these conversions, while the annual economy to the Egyptian government amounted at the time of the conversion to E.348,ooo. Further, an engagement was entered into that there should be no reimbursement of the loans till 905 for the Preference and Daira, and 1908 for the Domains. Byan arrangement concluded in June 1898,between the Egyptian government and a syndicate, the unsold balance of the DaIra estates was taken over by the syndicate in October 1905, for the amount of the debt remaining, when the Daira loan ceased to exist. The fund formed by theaccumulation of the economies resulting from the conversion of the Privileged, Daira and Domains loan was known as the Conversion Economies Fund. The fund could not be used for any purpose without the consent of the powers, and the money paid into it was invested by the Caisse in Egyptian stock. The fund therefore acted as a very expensive sinking fund, the market price of the stock purchased being above par. Up to 1904 the consent of the powers to the employment of this fund for any purpose of public utility was withheld. On the 31st of December01 that year the fund amounted to E.6,o31,000. It may be added that besides the General Reserve Fund and the Conversion Economies Fund, there existed another fund called the Special Reserve Fund. This was constituted in 1886 and was chiefly made up of the net savings of the Egyptian government on its share of the annual surpluses from revenue. Of the three funds this last-named was the only one at the absolute disposal of the government. The whole of the extraordinary expenditure of the Sudan campaigns of 1896-1898, with the exception of 800,000 granted by the British government, was paid out of this funda sum amounting in round figures to 1,500,000.
Notwithstanding all the hampering conditions stated, the prosperity of the country became more manifest each succeeding year. During the four years 1883-1886, both inclusive, An era of the aggregate deficit amounted to E.2,606,000. In .~,
1887 there was practical equilibrium in the budget,, in -
1888 there was a deficit of E. 53,000. In 1889 there was a surplus of E.2 18,000, and from that date onward every year has shown a surplus. In 1895 the surplus exceeded, for the first time, E.i,ooc,ooo. The growth of revenue was no less marked. In 1883the first complete year after the British occupationthe revenue was slightly under 9 millions. This sum was collected with difficulty. The revenue steadily rose until, in 1890, the figure of 10 millions was exceeded. In 1897 a figure of over If millions was attained. Continuing to rise with ever-increasing rapidity, a revenue of close on 12 millions was collected in 1901 and 1902, in spite of the fact that during the latter of these two years the Nile flood was one of the lowest on record. In 1903 the revenue amounted to 121/2 millions, and in 1904 the unprecedented figure of E.13,9o6,000 was reached.1 Yet during this perio4 the amount of direct taxation remitted reached E.I,90o,ooo a year. Arrears of land tax to the extent of E.I,245,000 were cancelled. In indirect taxation the salt tax had been reduced by 40%, the postal, railway and telegraph rates lowered, octroi duties and bridge and lock dues abolished. The only increase of taxation had been on tobacco, on which the duty was raised from P.T. 14 to P.T. 20 per kilogramme. At the same time the house duty, with the consent of the powers, had been imposed on European residents. The fact that during the period under review Egypt suffered very severely from the general fall in the price of commodities makes the prosperity of the country the more remarkable. Had it not been. for the great increase of production as the result of improved irrigation and the fiscal relief afforded to landowners, the agricultural depression would have impaired the financial situation. In this connection it should be stated that during 1899 the reassessment of the land tax, a much-needed reform, was seriously taken. in. hand. The existing assessment, made before the British occupation, had long been condemned by all competent authorities, but the inherent intricacies and difficulties of the problem had hitherto postponed a solution. After careful study and a preliminary examination of the land, a scheme was passed which has given satisfaction to the landowning community, and which distributes the tax equitably in proportion to the fertility of the soil. Thereassessmentwascompletedin 1907.
While the country thus prospered it also suffered greatly from the restrictions imposed by the system of international control.
The ~ This system produced a great disproportion. between of inter- the sums available for capital and those available for natioaai- administrative expenditure. Although the money for ~ public works could be obtained out of grants from the General Reserve Fund, there was no fund from which to provide a sufficient sum to keep those works in order. Moreover, to avoid having to pay half the amount received into the General Reserve Fund the government was compelled to keep certain. items of revenue and expenditure out of the accounts altogether a violation of the principles of sound finance. Then there was the glaring anomaly of allowing the Conversion Economies to accumulate at compound interest in the hands of the commissioners of the Caisse, instead of using the money for remunerative purposes. The net result of internationalism was to impose an. extra charge of about LI ,7 50,000 a year on the Egyptian treasury.
All these cumbersome restrictions were swept away by the khedivial decree of the 28th of November 1904, a decree which received the assent of the powers and was the result gains of the Anglo-French agreement of April 1904 (see finaicial History). The decree did not affect the inability liberty. of Egypt to tax foreigners without their consent nor remove the right of Turkey to veto the issue of new loans, but in other respects the financial changes made by it were of a radical character. The main effect was to give to the Egyptian government a free hand in the disposal of its own resources so long as the punctual payment of interest on the debt was assured. The plan devised by the London Convention of fixing a limit to administrative expenditure was abolished. The consent of the Caisse to the raising of a new loan was no longer required. The Caisse itself remained, but shorn of all political and administrative powers, its functions being strictly limited to receiving the assigned revenues and to ensuring the due payment of the coupon. The nature of the assigned revenue was altered, the land I tax being substituted for those previously assigned, that tax being chosen as it had a greater character of stability than any other source of revenue. By this means Egypt gained cornplete control of its railways, telegraphs, the port of Alexandria and the customs, and as a consequence the mixed administration known as the Railway Board ceased to exist. Moreover, it was provided that when the Caisse had received from the land tax the amount needed for the service of the debt, the balance of the tax was to be paid direct to the Egyptian treasury. The Conversion Economies Fund was also placed at the free disposal of the Egyptian government- The General Reserve Fund ceased to exist, but for the better security of the bondholders a reserve fund of Li,8oo,ooo was constituted and left in the hands of the Caisse to be used in the highly improbable event of the land tax being insufficient to meet the debt charges. Moreover, the Caisse started under the new arrangement with a cash balance of 1,250,000. The interest of the money lying in the hands of the Caisse goes towards meeting the debt charges and thus reduces the amount needed from the land tax. The bondholders gained a further material advantage by the consent of the Egyptian government to delay the conversion of the loans, which under previous arrangements they would have been free to do in 1905. It was agreed that there should be no conversion of the Guaranteed or Privileged debts before 1910 and no conversion of the Unified debt until 1912. Such were the chief provisions of the khedivial decree, and in 1905, for the first time, it was possible to draw up the Egyptian budget in accordance with the needs of the country and on perfectly sound principles.
In the system adopted in 1905 and since maintained, recurring and non-recurring expenditure were shown separately, the non-recurring expenditure being termed special. At the same time a new General Reserve Fund was created, made up chiefly of the surpluses of the old General Reserve, Special Reserve, and Conversion Economies funds. This new fund started with a capital of 13,376,000 and was replenished by the surpluses of subsequent years, by the interest earned by its temporary investment, and by the sums accruing by the liquidation of the Daira and Domains loans. During 1905 and 1906 about 3,000,000 was paid into the fund through the liquidation of the DaIra loan. From this fund, which had a balance of over 12,000,000 in 1906, is taken capital expenditure on remunerative public works in Egypt and the Sudan, and while the fund lasts the necessity for any new loan is avoided. The greater freedom of action attained as the result of the Anglo-French declaration of 1904 enabled the Egyptian government to advance simultaneously along the lines of fiscal reform and increased administrative expenditure. Thus in 1906 the salt monopoly was abolished at a cost to the revenue of 175,000, while the reduction of import duties on coal and other fuels, live-stock, &c., involved a further loss of 1I8,000, and an increase of over 1,000,000 in expenditure was budgeted for. The accounts for 5907 showed a total revenue of E.i6,368,000 and a total expenditure of E.14,28o,000, a surplus of E.2,o88,000. The annual growth of revenue for the previous five years averaged over ESoo,000. About one-third of the annual revenue is derived from the land tax; customs and tobacco duties yield about 3,000,000, and an equal or larger amount is received from railways and other revenue-earning departments. The chief items of ordinary expenditure are tribute and debt charges, the expenses of the civil administration, of the Egyptian army (between Soo,ooo and 600,000 yearly), of the revenue-earning departments and of pensions.
It will be convenient here to summarize the position of the Egyptian debt at the close of 1905, that is at the period immediately following the liquidation of the DaIra loan. In, a previous table it has been shown that under the Law of Liquidation of 1880 the total debt was L98,64o,000. In 1883, the first complete year after the British occupation, the capital of the debtthen exclusively held by the publicwas 96,457,000. In 1885 the Guaranteed loan, the nominal capital of which was f9,424,ooo, was issued, and in 1891 the debt reached its maximum figure of 106,802,000. At that period the charge for interest and sinking fund was 4,127,000. On the 31st of December 1905 the total capital of the debt was as follows:
Guarahteed 3% 7,849,000
Preference 33/4% 31,128,000
Unified 4% 55,972,000
Domains 43/4% 1,535,000
Total -. 96,484,000
The charge on account of interest and sinking fund was 3,709,000. Thus the capital of the debt in 1905 stood at almost the exact figure it did in 1883, although by borrowing and conversion operations nearly I7,000,000 had in the meantime~been added to the capital. This reduction was brought about by surplus revenue, and by the operation of the sinking fund in the case of the Guaranteed loan, while Is,729,000 had been wiped out by the sale of DaIra and Domains property. These figures do not, however, indicate fully the prosperity of the country, for although the nominal amount of the capital was practically identical in 1883 and 1905, in the latter year the Egyptian government or the Caisse held stock (bought with surplus revenue) to the value of 8,770,000. The amount of debt in the hands of the public was therefore only 87,714,000, that is to say 8,743,000 less than in 1883, while the interest charge to be borne by the taxpayer of Egypt was 3,378,000, being 890,000 less than in 1883. The charge amounts to about 40% of the national expenditure. On the other hand, Egypt is not now weighed down with a huge warlike expenditure. There is no navy to support, and the army costs but 7% of the total expenditure.
AuthoritiesA concise view of the financial situation in 1877 will be found in J. C. McCoans Egypt as it is (London n.d.). Mr Caves report is printed in an appendix. The subsequent history of Egyptian finance is told in the following blue-books, &c.: Cors-espondence respecting the State Domains of Egypt (1883); Statement of the Revenue and Expenditure of Egypt, together wilh a List of the Egyptian Bonds and the Charges for their Services (1885);
Reports on the Finances of Egypt, by the British agent, yearly from 1888; Convention. .. relative to the Finance of Egypt, signed at London, March i8, 1885; Khedivial decree of the 28th November 1904;
Compte gniral de la4ministration des finances, issued yearly at Cairo.
Consult also the works of Lord Cromer, Lord Milner, and Sir A.
Colvin cited under History, last section. (E. Go.; F. R. C.)
The Egyptian Army.
The fellah soldier has been aptly likened to a bicycle, which although incapable of standing up alone, is very useful while under the control of a skilful master. It is generally ~ believed that the successes gained in the time of the Pharaohs were due to foreign legions; and from Cambyses to Alexander, from the Ptolemies to Antony (Cleopatra), from Augustus to the 7th century, throughout the Arab period, and from Saladins dynasty down to the middle of the I3th century, the military power of Egypt was dependent on mercenaries. The Mamelukes (slaves), imported from the eastern borders of the Black Sea and then trained as soldiers, usurped the government of Egypt, and held it till 1517, when the Ottomans began to rule. This form of government, speaking generally, endured till the French invasion at the end of the 18th century. British and Turkish troops drove the French out after an occupation of two years, the British troops remaining till 1803. Then Mehemet Ali, a small tobacconist of Kavala, Macedonia, coming with Albanian mercenaries, made himself governor, and later (1811), by massacring the Mamelukes, became the actual master of the country, and after seven years war brought Arabia under Egypts rule. He subdued Nubia and Sennar in 182022; and then, requiring a larger army, he obtained instructors from France. To them were handed over 1000 Turks and Circassians to be trained as officers, who later took command of 30,000 Sudanese. These died so rapidly in Egypt from pneumonia1 that Mehemet Ali conscripted over 250,000 fellahin, and in so arbitrary a fashion. that many peasants mutilated themselves to avoid the much-dreaded service. The common practice was to place a small piece of nitrate of silver into the eye, which was then kept tightly bandaged till the sight was destroyed. Battalions were then formed of one-eyed men, and of soldiers who, having cut off their right-hand fingers, were made to shoot from the left shoulder. Every man who could not purchase exemption, with the exception of those living in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, on becoming 19 years old was liable nominally to 12 years service; but many men were kept for 30 or 40 years, in spite of constant appeals. Nevertheless the experiment succeeded. The docile, yet robust and hardy peasants, under their foreign leaders, gained an unbroken series of successes in the first Syrian. War; and after the bloody battle of Konia (1832), where the raw Turkish army was routed and the grand vizier taken prisoner, it was only European intervention which prevented the Egyptian general, Ibrahim Pasha, from marching unopposed to the Bosphorus. The defeat of the Turkish army at Nizib (Nezeeb or Nisib), in the second Syrian War (1839), showed that it was possible to obtain favorable military results with Egyptianswhen stiffened by foreigners and well commanded. Ibrahim, the hero of Konia, declared, however, that no native Egyptian ought to rise higher than the rank of sergeant; and in the Syrian campaigns nearly all the officers were Turks or Circassians, as were several non-commissioned officers. In the cavalry and artillery many of the privates were foreigners, numbers of the janissaries who escaped the massacre at Stamboul (1832) having joined Mehemet Alis army.
In the reign of Abbas, who succeeded Mehemet Ali, the Egyptian troops were driven from Nejd, and the Wahhabi state recovered its independence. The next viceroy, Said, began as an ardent soldier, but took to agriculture, and at his death (1863) 3000 men only were retained under arms. Ismail, on succeeding, immediately added 27,000 men, and in seven years was able to put 100,000 men, well equipped, in the field. He sent 10,000 men to help to suppress a rebellion in Crete, and conquered the greater part of the (Nile) Sudan; but an expedition of 11,000 men, sent to Abyssinia under Prince Hasan and Rateb Pasha, well equipped with guns and all essentials, was, in two successive disasters (1875 and 1876), practically destroyed. The education of Egyptians in continental cities had not produced the class of leaders who led the fellahin to victory at Konia.
Ismails exactions from the Egyptian peasantry reacted on the army, causing discontent; and when he was tottering on the throne he instigated military demonstrations against his own government, and, by thus sapping the foundations of discipline, assisted Arabis revolution; the result was the battle of Tell el-Kebir, the British occupation, and the disbandment of the army, which at that time in Egypt proper consisted of 18,000 men. Ismail had collected 500 field-guns, 200 Armstrong cannon., and had created factories of warlike and other stores. These latter were conducted extravagantly, and badly administered.
In January 1883, Major-General Sir Evelyn Wood, VC., was given 200,000, and directed to spend it in raising a fellahin force of 6ooo men for the defence of Egypt. He was assisted at first by 26 officers, amongst whom were two who later became successively sirdarsColonel F. Grenfell, commanding a brigade, and Lieutenant H. Kitchener, R.E., second in command of the cavalry regiment. There were four batteries, eight battalions, and a camel company. Each battalion. of the 1st infantry brigade had three British mounted officers, Turks and Egyptians holding the corresponding positions in the battalions of the 2nd Brigade. The sirdar selected these native officers from those of Arabis followers who had been the least prominent in the recent mutiny; non-commissioned officers who had been drill-instructors in the old army were recalled temporarily, but all the privates were conscripted from their villages. The earlier merciless practice had been in theory abolished by a decree based on the German system, published in 1880; but owing to defective organization, and internal disturbances induced by Khedive Ismails follies, the law had not been applied, and the 6000 recruits collected at Cairo in January 1883 represented the biggest and strongest peasants who could not purchase exemption by bribing the officials concerned. The difficulties experienced in applying the 1880 decree were great, but the perseverance of British officers gave the oppressed peasants, in 1885, an equitable law, which has been since improved by the decree of 1900. General considerations later caused the sirdar to allow exemption by payment of (Badalia) 20 before ballot. This tax, which is popular amongst the peasantry, produced in 1906 E.15o,00o, and over 250,000 in 1908. This is a marked indication of the increasing prosperity of the fellahin. A portion of the badalia is expended in the betterment of the soldiers position. He is no longer drafted into the police on completing his army service, but goes free at the end of five years with a gift of E.2o. The sirdar is allowed, moreover, to use 20,000 per annum of the badalia for the improvement of the education of the rank and file. As an experiment the police is now a voluntary service, except in Alexandria and Cairo, for which cities peasants are conscripted for the police under army conditions. The recruiting superintending committee, travelling through districts, supervise every ballot, and work under stringent rules which render systematic bribery difficult. The recruits who draw unlucky numbers at 19 years of age are seldom called up till they are 23, when they are summoned by name and escorted by a policeman to Cairo. To prevent substitution on the journey each recruit wears a string girdle sealed in lead. The periods of service are: with the colors, 5 years; in the reserve, 5 years, during which time they may be called up for police service, man~uvres, &c. The pay is E.3, 14s. per annum for all services, and the liberal scale of rations of meat, bread and rice remains as before in theory, but in practice the value of pay and food. received is greatly enhanced. So also with the pension and promotion regulations. They were in 1882 sufficiently liberal on paper, but had never been carried into effect.
The efforts of 48 American officers, who under Gen. C. P. Stone zealously served Ismail, had entirely failed to overcomeEgyptian venality and intrigue; and in spite of the military schools, with a ~omprdhens1ve syllabus, the only perceptible difference between the Egyptian officer and private in 1879 consisted, according to one of the Americans, in the fact that the first was the product of the harem, and the second of the field. Marshal Marmont, writing in 1839, mentions the capacity of the Egyptians for endurance; and it was tested In 1883, especially in the 2nd Brigade, since its officers (Turks and Egyptians), anxious to excel as drill-masters, worked their men not only from morn till eve, but also by lamplight in the corridors of the barracks. On the 31St March 1883, ten weeks after the arrival of the first draft of recruits, about 5600 men went through the ceremonial parade movements as practised by the British guards in Hyde Park, with unusual precision. The British officers had acquired the words of command in Turkish, as used in the old army, an attempt to substitute Egyptian words having failed owing to lack of crisp, sharp-sounding words. As the Egyptian brigadier, who had spent some years in Berlin, spoke German fluently, and it was also understood by the senior British officers, that language was used for all commands given by the sirdar on that special parade. The British drill-book, minus about onethird ~f the least serviceable movements, was translated by an English officer, and by 1900 every necessary British official book had been published in English and Arabic, except the new Recruiting Law (1885) and a manufacturing manual, for which French and Arabic editions are in use. The discipline of the old army had been regulated by a translation of part of the Code Napoleon, which was inadequate for an Eastern army, and the sirdar replaced it by the British Army Act of 1881, slightly modified, and printed in Arabic. -
The task undertaken by the small body of British officers was difficult. There was not one point in the former administration of the army acceptable to English gentlemen. That there had been no adequate auxiliary departments, without which an army cannot move or be efficient, was comparatively a minor difficulty. To succeed, it was essential that the fellah should be taught that discipline might be strict without being oppressive, that pay and rations would be fairly distributed, that brutal usage by superiors would be checked, that complaints would be thoroughly investigated, and impartial justice meted out to soldiers of all ranks. An epidemic of cholera in the summer of 1883 gave the British officers their first chance of acquiring the esteem and confidence of their men, and the opportunity was nobly utilized. While the patient fellah, resigned to the decrees Of the Almighty, saw the ruling Egyptian class hurry away from Cairo, he saw also those of his comrades who were stricken tenderly nursed, soothed in deaths struggles, and in many cases actually washed, laid out and interred by their new self-sacrificing and determined masters. The regeneration of the fellahin army dates from that epidemic.
When the Egyptian Army of the Delta ~was dispersed at Tell el-Kebir, the khedive had 40,000 troops in the Sudan, scattered from Massawa on the Red Sea to 1200 m. towards the west, and from Wadi Halfa, 1500 m. southward to Wadelai, near Albert Nyanza. These were composed of Turks, Albanians, Circassians and some Sudanese. Ten thousand fellahin, collected in March 1883, mainly from Arabis former forces, set out from Duem, 100 m. south of Khartum, in September 1883, under Hicks Pasha, a dauntless retired Indian Army officer, to vanquish the Mahdi. They disappeared in the deserts of Kordofan, where they were destroyed by the Mahdists about 50 m. south of El Obeid. In the wave of successful rebellion, except at Khartum, few of the Egyptian garrisons were killed when the posts fell, long residence and local family ties rendering easy their assimilation in the ranks of the Mahdists.
Baker Pasha, with about 4000 constabulary, who were old soldiers, attempted to relieve Tokar in February 1884. He was attacked by 1200 tribesmen and utterly routed, losing 4 Krupp guns, 2 machine guns and 3000 rifles. Only 1400 Egyptians escaped the slaughter.
The sirdar made an attempt to raise a battaliQn of Albanians, but the few men obtained mutinied when ordered to proceed to the Sudan, and it was deemed advisable, after the ringleaders had been executed, to abandon the idea, and rely on blacks to stiffen the fellahin. Then the 9th (Sudanese) Battalion was created for service at Suakin, and four others having been successively added, these (with one exceptionat Gedaref) have since borne the brunt of all the fighting which has been done by the khedivial troops. The Egyptian troops in the operations near Suakin behaved well; and there were many instances of personal gallantry by individual soldiers. In the autumn of 1884, when a British expedition went up the Nile to endeavour to relieve the heroic Gordon, besieged in Khartum, the Egyptians did remarkably good work on the line of communication from Assiut to Korti, a distance of 800 m., and the training and experience thus gained were of great value in all subsequent operations. Tb.e honesty and discipline of the fellah were shown to be undoubtedly of a high order. When the crews of the whale-boats were conveying stores, the forwarding officers tried to keep brandy and such like medical comforts from the European crews, coffee and tea from Canadian voyageurs and sugar from Kroo boys. The only immaculate carrier was the Egyptian. A large sum of specie having failed under British escort to reach Dongola, an equivalent sum was handed to an Egyptian lieutenant of six months service, with 10 men, and duly reached its destination.
Twelve years later the standard of honesty was unimpaired; and the British officers had imparted energy and activity into Egyptians of all ranks. The intelligent professional knowledge of the native officers, taught under British gentlemen, and the constant hard work cheerfully rendered by the fellah soldiers, were the main factors of the success achieved at Omdurman on the 2nd of September 1898. The large depots of stores at Assuan, Halfa and Dongola could only be cursorily supervised by British officers, and yet when the stores were received at the advance depot the losses were infinitesimal.
By nature the fellah is unwarlike. Born in the valley of a, great river, he resembles in many respects the Bengali, who exists under similar conditions; but the Egyptian Charader has proved capable of greater improvement. He is of Egypstronger in frame, and can undergo greater exertion. tian Singu]arly unemotional, he stood steady at Tell el- soldier.
Kebir after Arabi Pasha and all his officers, from general to subaltern, had fled, and gave way only when decimated by the British field artillery firing case shot. At El Teb, however, in 1884 he allowed himself to be slaughtered by tribesmen formerly despised, and only about one-fourth of the force under General Valentine Baker escaped. Baker Pashas force was termed constabulary, yet his men were all old soldiers, though new to their gallant leader and to the small band of their brave but strange British officers. Since that fatal day, however, many of the fellahin have shown they are capable of devoted condUct, and much has been done to raise in the soldiers a sense of selfrespect, and, in spite of centuries of oppression, of veracity. The barrack-square drill was smart under the old system, bUt there was no fire discipline, and all individuality was crushed. Now both are encouraged, and the men, receiving their full rations, are unsurpassable in endurance at work and in marching. All the troops present in the surprise fight when the Dervish force was destroyed at Firket in June 1896 had covered long distances, and one battalion (the 10th Sudanese) accomplished 90 m. within 72 hours, including the march back to railhead immediately after the action. The troops under Colonel Parsons, Royal Artillery, who beat the Dervishes at Gedaref, were so short of British officers that all orders were necessarily given in Arabic and carried to commanders of units by Arabs. While an Egyptian battalion was attacking in line, it was halted to repel a rush from the rear, and front and rear ranks were simultaneously engaged, firing in opposite directionsyet the fellahin were absolutely steady; they shot well and showed no signs of trepidation. On the other hand, neither was there any exultation after their victory. It has been aptly said the fellah would make an admirable soldier if he only wished to kill some one! The fellahin furnish three squadrons, five batteries, three garrison artillery companies and nine battalions.
The well-educated Egyptian officer, with his natural aptitude for figures, does subordinate regimental routine carefully, and works well when supervised by men of stronger character. The ordinary Egyptian is not self-reliant or energetic by nature, and, like most Eastern people, finds it difficult to be impartial where duty and family or other personal relations are in the balance. The black soldier has, on the other hand, many of the finest fighting qualities. This was observed by British officers, from the time of the preliminary operations about Kosha and at the action near Ginnis in December 1885 down to the brilliant operations in the pursuit of the Mahdists on the Blue Nile after the action of Gedaref (subsequent to the battle of Omdurman), and the fighting in Kordofan in 1899, which resulted in the death of the khalifa and his amirs.
Black soldiers served in the army of Mehemet Ali, but their fighting value was not then duly appreciated. Prior to the death of the khalifa, many of his soldiers deserted to join their brethren who had been captured by the sirdars troops, during the gradual advance up the Nile. After 1899 many more enlisted: the greater number were Shilluks and Dinkas coming from the country between Fashoda and the equatorial provinces, but a proportion came from the western borders of the Sudan, and some from Wadai and Bornu. Many were absolute savages, difficult to control, wayward and thoughtless like children. Sudanese are very excitable and apt to get out of hand; unlike the fellahs they are not fond of drill, and are slow to acquire it; but their dash, pugnacious instincts and desire to close with an enemy, are valuable military qualities. The Sudanese, moreover, shoot better than the fellahin, whose eyesight is often defective. The Sudanese captain can seldom read or write, and is therefore in the hands of the Egyptian-born company quartermastersergeant as regards pay and clothing accounts. He is slow, and as a rule has little knowledge of drill. Nevertheless he is selfreliant, much respected by his men, and can be trusted in. the field to carry out any orders received from his British officer. The most efficient companies in the Sudanese battalions are apparently those in. which the captain is a black and the lieutenants are Egyptians.
In 1908 the Egyptian army, with a total establishment of 18,000, consisted of three squadrons of cavalry (one composed of Sudanese) each numbering 116 men; four batteries of field artillery and a Maxim battery, horses and mules being used, with a total strength of 1257 of all ranks; the camel corps, 626 of all ranks (fellahin and Sudanese); and nine fellahin and si-x Sudanese infantry battalions, 10,631 of all ranks. Every battalion receives two additional companies on mobilization and takes the field with six companies.
There are seven gunboats on the Nile.
The medical department (reorganized in 1883 by Surgeon-Major J. G. Rogers at the time of the cholera epidemic) controls in peace fourteen station hospitals, and in war furnishes a mobile field hospital to each brigade. There are also veterinary station hospitals. The supply department controls mills at Tura, Halfa and Khartum.
The stringent system of selecting British officers, originated by the first sirdar in 1883, is shown by the fact that of the 24 employed in creating the army, 14 rose to be generals. The competition for employment in the army is still severe. In 1908 there were 140 British warrant and non-commissioned officers. Four of the fellahin battalions were officered by Orientals; in the other five, British officers commanded. Seven officers were employed with the artillery, six with the camel corps. Each of the Sudanese battalions had fotir British officers, and each squadron of cavalry one. Twelve medical and two veterinary officers are also employed departmentally, as well as officers acting as directors of supply, &c. Since the assumption of command by the third sirdar, Colonel (afterwards Lord) Kitchener, the ordnance, supply and engineer services have been separately administered, and a financial secretary is charged with the duty of preparing the budget, making contracts, &c. The total annual expenditure is 500,000.
The reorganized military school system under British control, for supplying officers, dates from 1887. The course lasts for about two years, and two hundred students can be accommodated. After the reconquest of the Sudan one-fourth of the cadets in the military school of Cairo were Sudanese. Later, however, the Sudanese cadets were transferred to a branch school at Khartum.
The army raised by the first sirdar in January 1883 was highly commended for its work on the line of communication in 1884-1885, and its artillery and camelry distinguished themselves in the action at Kirbekan in February 1885. Colonel Sir Francis Grenfell succeeded General Sir Evelyn Wood in March 1885, and while under his command the army continued to improve, and fought successful actions at Gemaiza, Argin, Toski and Tokar. At Toski the Dervish force was nearly annihilated. In March 1892 Colonel Kitchener succeeded General Sir Francis Grenfell, and four years later began his successful reconquest of the Sudan. In June 1896, owing to the indefatigable exertions of Major Wingate, a perfected system of secret intelligence enabled the sirdar to bring an overwhelming force of 6 to 1 against the Dervish outpost at Firket and destroy it. In September 1896 a skirmish at Hafir, with similarly successful tactics, gave the British commander the possession of Dongola. On the 7th of August 1897 Colonel Hunter surprised and annihilated a weak Dervish garrison at Abu Hamed, to which place, by the 31st of October 1897, a railway had been laid across the Nubian desert from Wadi Haifa, a distance of 230 m., the record construction of 5300 yds surveyed, embanked and laid in one day having been attained. On the 26th of December 1897 the Italian troops handed over Kassala to Colonel Parsons, RA. On the 8th of April 1898 a British division, with the Egyptian army, destroyed the Dervish force under the amir Mahmud Ahmed, on the Atbara river. On the 2nd of September the khalifa attacked the British-Egyptian troops at Kerreri (near Omdurman), and being routed, his men dispersed; Khartum was occupied, and on the i9th of September the Egyptian flag was rehoisted at Fashoda. On the 22nd of September 1898 Gedaref was taken from the amir Ahmed Fedil by Colonel Parsons, and on the 26th of December the army of Ahmed Fedil was finally defeated and dispersed, near Roseires. The khalifas army, reduced to an insignificant number, after several unsuccessful engagements withdrew to the west of the Nile, where it was attacked, on the 24th of November 1899, after a forced march by Colonel Wingate, and annihilated. The khalifa himself was killed; while the victor, who had joined the Egyptian army in 1883 as aide-de-camp to the first sirdar, in December I 899 became the fourth sirdar, as Major-General Sir F. R. Wingate, K.C.B., K.C.M.~., D.S.O., &c. (E. Wo.)
II. ANCIENT EGYPT
A. Exploration and Research.Owing to its early development of a high civilization with written records, its wealth, and its preservative climate, Egypt is the country which most amply repays archaeological research. It is especially those long ages, during which Egypt was an independent centre of culture and government, before its absorption in the Persian empire in the 6th century B.C., that make the most powerful appeal to the imagination and can often justify this appeal by the splendour of the monuments representing them. Later, however, the history of Hellenism, the provincial history of the Roman empire, the rise of Christianity and the triumph of Islam successively receive brilliant illustration in Egypt.
As early as the I 7th century travellers began to bring home specimens of ancient Egyptian handiwork: a valuable stele from Sakkara of the beginning of the Old Kingdom was presented to the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford in 1683. In the following century the Englishman R. Pococke (1704-1765), the Dane F. L. Norden (f 7081742), both travelling in 1737, and others later, planned, described or figured Egyptian ruins in a primitive way and identified many of the sites with cities named in classical authors. Napoleons great military expedition in 1798 was accompanied by a scientific commission including artists and archaeologists, the results of whose labors fill several of the magnificent volumes of the, Description de lEgypte. The antiquities collected by the expedition, including the famous Rosetta stone, were ceded to the British government at the capitulation of Alexandria, in 1801. Thereafter Mehemet Ali threw Egypt freely open to Europeans, and a busy traffic in antiquities began, chiefly through the agency of the consuls of different powers. From the year 1820 onwards the growth of the European collections was rapid, and Champollions decipherments (see below, Language, and Writing) of the hieroglyphic inscriptions, dating from 1821, added fresh impetus to the fashion of collecting, in spite of doubts as to their trustworthiness. In 1827 a combined expedition led by Champollion and Rosellini was despatched by the governments of France and Tuscany, and accomplished a great deal of valuable work in copying scenes and inscriptions. But the greatest of such expeditions was that of Lepsius, under the auspices of the Prussian government, in 1842-1845. Its labors embraced not only Egypt and Nubia (as far as Khartum) but also the Egyptian monuments in Sinai and Syria; its immense harvest of material is of the highest value, the new device of taking paper impressions or squeezes giving Lepsius a great advantage over his predecessors, similar to that which was later conferred by the photographic camera.
A new period was opened in Egyptian exploration in 1858 when Mariette was appointed director of archaeological works In Egypt, his duties being to safeguard the monuments and prevent their exploitation by dealers. As early as 1835 Mehemet Ali had given orders for a museum to be formed; little however, was accomplished before the whole of the resulting collection was given away to the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1855. Mariette, who was appointed by the viceroy Said Pasha at the instance of the French government, succeeded in making his office effective and permanent, in spite of political intrigues and the whims of an Oriental ruler; he also secured a building on the island of Bulak (Bulaq) for a viceregal museum in which the results of his explorations could be permanently housed. Supported by the French interest, the established character of this work as a department of the Egyptian government (which also claims the ancient sites) has been fully recognized since the British occupation. The Service of Antiquities now boasts a large annual budget and employs a number of European and native officialsa director, curators of the museum, European inspectors and native sub-inspectors of provinces (at Luxor for Upper Egypt and Nubia, at Assiut for Middle Egypt and the Fayum, at Mansura for Lower Egypt, besides a European official in charge of the government excavations at Memphis). The museum, no lc5nger the property of an individual, was ren~oved in 1889 from the small building at Bulak to a disused palace at Giza, and since 1902 has been established at Kasr-en-Nil, Cairo, in a special building, of ample size and safe from fire and flood. In the year 1881 the directorship of the museum was temporarily undertaken. by Prof. Maspero, who resumed it in 1899. The admirably conducted Archaeological Survey of the portion of Nubia threatened by the raising of the Assuan dam is in the charge of another departmentthe Survey department, directed for many years up to 1909 by Captain H. G. Lyons. Non-official agencies (supported by voluntary contributions) for exploration in Egypt comprise the Egypt Exploration Fund, started in London in 1881, with its two branches, viz, the Archaeological Survey (1890) for copying and publishing the monuments above ground, and the Graeco-Roman Branch (1897), well known through the brilliant work in Greek papyri of B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt; and the separate Research Account founded by Professor W. M. Flinders Petrie in London (University College) ~n 1896, and since 1905 called the British School of Archaeology in Egypt (see especially MEMPnIS). The Mission archeologique fran4aise au Caire, established as a school by the French government in 1881, was re-organized in 1901 on a lavish scale under the title Institut francais darchologie orientale du Caire, and domiciled with printing-press and library in a fine building near the museum. As the result of an excellent bargain, it was afterwards removed to the Munira palace in the south-east part of the city. An archaeologist is attached to the German general consulate to look after the interests of German museums, and is director of the German Institute of Archaeology. The Orient-Gesellschaft (German Orient-Society) has worked in Egypt since 1901 with brilliant results. Excavations and explorations are also conducted annually by the agents of universities and museums in England, America and Germany, and by private explorers, concessions being granted generally on the terms that the Egyptian government shall retain half of the antiquities discovered, while the other half remains for the finders.
The era of scientific excavation began with Flinders Petries work at Tanis in 1883. Previous explorers kept scientific aims in view, but the idea of scientific archaeology was not realized by them. The procedure in scientific excavation is directed to collecting and interpreting all the information that can he obtained from the excavation as to the history and nature of the site explored, be it town, temple, house, cemetery or individual grave, wasting no evidence that results from it touching the endless problems which scientific archaeology affordswhether in regard to arts and crafts, manners and customs, language, history or beliefs. This is a totally different thing from mere hunting for inscriptions, statues or other portable objects which will present a greater or less value in themselves even when torn from their context. Such may, of course, form the greater part of the harvest and working material of a scientific excavator; their presence is most welcome to him, but their complete absence need be no bar to his attainment of important historical results. The absence of scientific excavation in Egypt was deplored by the Scottish archaeologist Alexander Henry Rhind (1833-1863), as early as 1862. Since Flinders Petrie began, the general level of research has gradually risen, and, while much is shamefully bad and destructive, there is a certain proportion that fully realizes the requirements of scientific archaeology.
Antiquities, Sites, &c.The remains for archaeological investigation in Egypt may be roughly classified as material and literary: to the latter belong the texts on papyri and the inscriptions, to the former the sites of ancient towns with the temples, fortifications and houses; remains of roads, canals, quarries and other matters falling within the domain of ancient topography; the larger monuments, as obelisks, statues, stelae, &c.; and finally the small antiquitiesutensils, clothes, weapons, amulets, &c. Where moisture can reach the antiquities their preservation is no better in Egypt than it would have been in other countries; for this reason all the papyri in the Delta have perished unless they happen to have been charred by fire. A terrible pest is a kind of termite which is locally abundant and has probably visited most parts of Egypt at one time or another, destroying all dead vegetable or animal material in the soil that was not specially protected.
In Lower Egypt the cities built of crude brick were very numerous, especially after the 7th century B.C., but owing to the value of stone very few of their monuments have escaped destruction: even the mounds of rubbish which marked their sites furnish a valuable manure for the fields and in consequence are rapidly disappearing. Granite and other hard stones, having but a limited use (for millstones and the like), have the best chance of survival. At Bubastis, Tanis, Bebbeit (Iseum) and Heliopolis considerable stone remains have been discovered. In the north of the Delta wherever salt marshes have prevented cultivation in modern times, the mounds, such as those of Pelusium, still stand to their full height, and the more important are covered with ruins of brick structures of Byzantine and Arab date.
Middle and Upper Egypt were less busy and prosperous in the later ages than Lower Egypt. There was consequently somewhat less consumption of the old stone-work. Moreover, in many places equally good material could be obtained without much difficulty from the cliffs on both sides of the Nile. Yet even the buried portions of limestone buildings have seldom been permitted to survive on the cultivated land; the Nubian sandstone of Upper Egypt was of comparatively little value, and, generally speaking, buildings in that material have fallen into decay rather than been destroyed by quarrying.
Starting from Cairo and going southward we have first the great pyramid-field, with the necropolis of Memphis as its centre; stretching from Abfl Rosh on the north to Lisht on the south, it is followed by the pyramid group of Dahshur, the more isolated pyramids of Medum and Illahun, and that of Hawgra in the Fayum. On the east bank are the limestone quarries of Turra arid Masara opposite Memphis. South of the Fayum on the western. border of the desert are the tombs of Deshgsha, Meir and Assiflt, and on the east bank those of Beni Hasan, the rockcut temple of Speos Artemidos, the tombs of El Bersha and Sheikh Said, the tonibs and stelae of El Amarna with the alabaster quarries of ,Hanub in the desert behind them, and the tombs of Deir el Gebrgwi. Beyond Assit are the tombs of Dronka and Rifa, the temples of Abydos and Dendera, and the tombs, &c., at AkhmIm and Kasr es Saiyad. Farther south are the stupendous ruins of Thebes on both sides of the river, the temple of Esna, the ruins and tombs of El Kab, the temple of Edfu, the quarries of Silsila and the temple of Ombos, followed by the inscribed rocks of the First Cataract, the tombs and quarries of Assuan and the temples of Philae.
In Nubia, owing to the poverty of the country and its scanty population, the proportion of monuments surviving is infinitely greater than in Egypt. Here are the temples of Debfld, the temple and quarries of Kertassi, the temples of Kalabsha, Bet el Wali, Dendr, Gerf Husn, Dakka, Maharaka, Es-Seba, Amgda and Derr, the grottos of Elles ya, the tombs of Aniba, the temple of Ibrim, the great rock-temples of Abu-Simbel, the temples at Jebel Adda and Wadi Halfa, the forts and temples of Semna, the temples of Amgra (Meroitic) and Soleb. Beyond are the Ethiopian temples and pyramids of Jebel Barkal and the other pyramids of Napata at Tangassi, &c., the still later pyramids of Meroe at Begerawia, and the temples of Mesauwart and Naga reaching to within 50 m. of Khartm.
Outside the Nile valley on the west are temples- in the Great and Little Oases and the Oasis of Ammon: on the east quarries and stelae on the Hammamat road to the Red Sea, and mines and other remains at Wadi Maghara and SerbIt el Khgdim in the Sinai peninsula. In Syria there are tablets of conquest on the rocks at the mouth of the Nahr el Keib.
Of the collections of Egyptian antiquities in public museums, those of the British Museum, Leiden, Berlin, the Louvre, Turin were already very important in the first half of the i9th century, also in a less degree those of Florence, Bologna and the Vatican. Most of these have since been greatly increased and many others have been created. By far the largest collection in the world is that at Cairo. In America the museums and universities of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York have collections of greater or less interest. Besides these the museums of Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and Oxford are noteworthy in Great Britain for their Egyptian antiquities, as are those of St Petersburg, Vienna, Marseilles, Munich, Copenhagen, Palcrmo and Athens; there are also collections in most of the British colonies. Private collections are numerous.
Literary Records.In estimating the sources of information regarding pre-Christlan Egypt, the native sources, first opened to us by Champollion, are infinitely the most important. With very few exceptions they are contemporary with the events which they record. Of the composition of history and the description of their own manners and customs by the Egyptians for posterity, few traces have reached our day. Consequently the information derived from their monuments, in spite of their great abundance, is of a fortuitous character. For one early papyrus that survives, many millions must have perished. If the journals of accounts, the letters and business documents, had come down to us en masse, they would no doubt have yielded to research the history and life of Egypt day by day; but those that now represent a thousand years of the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom together would not half fill an ordinary muniment chest. A larger proportion of the records on stone have survived, but that an event should be inscribed on stone depends on a variety of circumstances and not necessarily on its importance. There may seem to be a great abundance of Egyptian monuments, but they have to cover an enormous space of time, and even in the periods which are best represented, gravestones recording the names of private persons with a prayer or two are scarcely material for history. A scrap of annals has been found extending from the earliest times to the Vth Dynasty, as well as a very fragmentary list of kings reaching nearly to the end of the Middle Kingdom, to help out the scattered data of the other monuments. As to manners and customs, although we possess no systematic descriptions of them from a native source-, the native artists and scribes have presented us with exceptionally rich materials in the painted and sculptured scenes of the tombs from the Old and Middle Kingdoms and the New Empire. For the Deltaic dynasties these sources fail absolutely, the scenes being then either purely religious or conventional imitations of the earlier ones.
Fortunately the native records are largely supplemented by others: valuable information comes from cuneiform literature, belonging to two widely separated periods. The first group is contemporary with the XVIIIth and XIXth Dynasties and consists in the first place of the Tell ci .Amarna tablets with others related to them, containing the reports of governors of the Syrian possessions of Egypt, and the correspondence of the kings of Babylon, Assur, Mitanni and Khntti (the Hittites) with the Pharaohs. The sequel to this is furnished by Winckler~ discovery of documents relating to Rameses II. of the XIXth Dynasty in the Hittite capital at Boghaz Keui (see also HITTITES and PTERIA). The other group comprises the annals and in~ scriptions of the Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Assur-bani-pal, recording their invasions of Egypt under the XXVth Dynasty. There are also a few references to Egypt of later date down to the reign of Darius. In Hebrew literature the Pentateuch, the historical books and the prophets alike contain scanty but precious information regarding Egypt. Aramaic papyri written principally by Jews of the Persian period (5th century B.C.) have been found at Syene and Memphis.
Of all the external sources the literary accounts written in Greek are the most valuable. They comprise fragments of the native historian Manetho, the descriptions of Egypt in Herodotus and Diodorus, the geographical accounts of Strabo and Ptolemy, the treatise of Plutarch on Isis and Osiris and other monographs or scattered notices of less importance. Our knowledge of the history of Alexanders conquest, of the Ptolemies and of the Roman occupation is almost entirely derived from Greek sources, and in fact almost the same might be said of the history of Egypt as far back as the beginning of the XXVIth Dynasty. The non-literary Greek remains in papyri and inscriptions which are being found in great abundance throw a flood of light on life in Egypt and the administration of the country from the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus to the Arab conquest. On the other hand, papyri and inscriptions in Latin are of the greatest rarity, and the literary remains in that language are of small ifnportance for Egypt.
Arabic literature appears to ,be entirely barren of authentic information regarding the earlier condition of the country. Two centuries of unchallenged Christianity had broken almost completely the traditions of paganism, even if the Moslems had been willing to consider them, either in their fanciful accounts of the origins of cities, &c., or elsewhere.
B. The Country in Ancient Times.The native name of Egypt was KCmi (KM.T), clearly meaning the black land, Egypt being so called from the blackness of its alluvial soil (cf. Plut. Dc Is. et Os. cap. 33): in poetical inscriptions Kmi is often opposed to Toshri, the red land, referring to the sandy deserts around, which however, would probably be included in the term Kmi in its widest sense. Egypt is called in Hebrew Mizraim, ~:-ig~, possibly a dual form describing the country in reference to its two great natural and historical divisions of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt: but Mizraim (poetically sometimes Mazor) often means Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt being named Pathros, the south land. In Assyrian the name was Mu~ri, Mien: in Arabic it is Milr, y~.a, pronounced Ma~r in the vulg~mr dialect of Egypt. These names are certainly of Semitic origin and perhaps derive from the Assyrian with the meaning frontier-land (see MIzRAIM). Wincklers theory of a separate Mu~ri immediately south of Palestine is now generally rejected (see, for instance, Ed. Meyer, Die Israeliten und ihre Nachbarstamme, 455). The Greek Aiyinrron (Aegyptus) occurs as early as Homer; in the Odyssey it is the name of the Nile (masc.) as well as of the country (fem.): later it was confined to the country. Its origin is very obscure (see Pietschmann in Pauly-Wissowa, Realencyclopadie, s.v. Aigyptos). Brugschs derivation from Hakeptah, a name of the northern capital, Memphis, though attractive, is i~inconfirmed.
Egypt normally included the whole of the Nile valley from the First Cataract to the sea; pure Egyptians, however, formed the population of Lower Nubia above the Cataract in prehistori.c times; at some periods also the land was divided into separate kingdoms, while at others Egypt stretched southward into Nubia, and it generally claimed the neighboring Libyan deserts and oases on the west and the Arabian deserts on the east to the shore of the Red Sea, with Sinai and the Mediterranean coast as far as Rhinocorura (El Arish). The physical features in ancient times were essentially the same as at the present day. The bed of the .Nile was lower: it appears to have risen by its own deposits at a rate of about 4 in. in a century. In the north of the Delta, however, there was a sinking of the land, in consequence of which the accumulations on some of the ancient sites there extend below the present sea-level. On the other hand at the south end of the Suez canal the land niay have risen bodily, since the head of the Gulf of Suez has been cut off by a bank of rock from the Bitter lakes, which were probably joined to it in former days. The banks of the Nile and the islands in it are subject to gradual but constant alterationindeed, several ancient sites have been much eroded or ~destroyedand the main volume of the stream may in course of time be diverted into what has previously been a secondasy channel. According to the classical writers, the mouths or branches of the Nile in the Delta were five in number (seven including two that were artificial): now there are only two. In Upper Egypt the main stream tended as now to flow along the eastern edge of the valley, while to the west was a parallel stream corresponding to the Bahr Yusuf. From the latter a canal or branch led to the Lake of Moeris, which, until the 3rd century B.C., filled the deep, depression of the Fayum, but is now represented only by the strongly brackish waters of the Birket el~KerUn, left in the deepest part. The area of alluvial land has probably not changed greatly in historic times. The principal changes that have occurred are due to the grip which civilization has taken upon the land in the course of thousands of years, often weakening but now firmer than. ever. In. early days no doubt the soil was cultivated in patches, but gradually a great system of canals was organized under the control of the central government, both for irrigation and for transport. The wild flora of the alluvial valley was probably always restricted and eventually was reduced almost to the weeds of cultivation, when every acre of soil, at one period of the year dnder water, and at another roasted under the burning heat of a semi-tropical sun, was carefully tilled. The acacia abounded on the borders of the valley, but the groves were gradually cut down for the use of the carpenter and the charcoal-burner. The desert was full of wild life, the balance of nature being preserved by the carnivorous animals preying on the herbivorous; trees watered by soakage from the Nile protected the undergrowth and encouraged occasional rainfall. But this balance was upset by the early introduction of the goat and later of the camel, which destroyed the sapling trees, while the grown ones fell to the axe of the woodcutter. Thus in all probability the Egyptian. deserts have become far poorer in. animals and trees than they were in primitive times. Much of Lower Egypt was left in a wilder state than Upper Egypt. The marshy lands in the north were the resort of fishermen and fowlers, and the papyrus, the cultivation of which was a regular industry, protected an abundance of wild life. The abandonment of papyrus culture in the 8th century A.D, the neglect of the canals, and the inroads of the sea, have converted much of that country into barren salt marsh, which only years of draining and washing can restore to fertility.
The rich alluvial deposits of the Nile which respond so readily to the efforts of the cultivator ensured the wealth of the country. Moulded into brick, without burning, this black clay also supplied the common wants of the builder, and even the palaces of the greatest kings were constructed of crude brick. For more lasting and ambitious work in temples and tombs the materials could be obtained from the rocks and deserts of the Nile valley. The chief of these was limestone of varying degrees of fineness, composing the cliffs which lined the valley from the apex of the Delta to the neighborhood of El Kab; the best quality was obtained on the east side opposite Memphis from the quarries of Turra and Masgra. From El Kb southward its place was taken by Libyan sandstone, soft and easily worked, but unsuitable for fine sculpture. These two were the ordinary building stones. In the limestone was found the flint or chert used for weapons and instruments in early times. For alabaster the principal quarry was that of Hanub in the desert 10 m. behind El Amarna, but it was obtained elsewhere in the limestone region, including a spot near Alexandria. A hard and fine-grained quartzite sandstone was quarried at Jebel Ahmar behind Heliopolis, and basalt was found thence along the eastern edge of the Delta to near the Wadi Tumilat. Red granite was obtained from the First Cataract, breccia and diorite were quarried from very early times in the Wadi Hammamat, on the road from Coptos to the Red Sea, and porphyry was brought, chiefly in Roman times but also in the prehistoric age, from the same region at Jebel Dokhn.
Egypt was poor in metals. Gold was obtained chiefly from Nubia: iron was found in small quantities in the country and at one time was worked in the neighborhood of Assugn. Some copper was obtained in Sinai. Of stones that were accounted precious Sinai produced turquoise and the Egyptian deserts garnet, carnelian and jasper.
The native supply of wood for industrial purposes was exceedingly bad: there was no native wood long enough and straight enough to be used in joiners work or sculpture without fitting and patching: palm trees were abundant, and if the trees could be spared, their split stems could be used for roofing. For boatbuilding papyrus stems and acacia wood were employed, and for the best work cedar-wood was imported from Lebanon.
Egypt was isolated by the deserts and the sea. The Nile valley afforded a passage by ship or on foot into Nubia, where, however, little wealth was to be sought, though gold and rarities from the Sudan, such as ivory and ebony, came that way and an armed raid could yield a good spoil in slaves and cattle. The poverty-stricken and barbarous Nubians were strong and courageous, and gladly served in Egypt as mercenary soldiers and police. Through the oases also ran paths to the Sudan by which the raw merchandise of the southern countries could be brought to Egypt. Eastward, roads led through the Arabian mountains to the Red Sea, whence ships made voyages to the incense-bearing land of Puoni (Punt) on the Somali coast of Africa, rich also in gold and ivory. Themines of Sinai could be reached either by sea or by land along the route of the Exodus. The roads to Syria skirted the east border of the Delta and then followed the coast from near Pelusium through El Arish and Gaza. A secondary road branched off through the Wadi Tumilat, whence the ways ran northwards to Syria and southwards to Sinai. On the Libyan side the oasis of SIwa could be reached from the Lake of Moeris or from Terrana (Terenuthis), or by the coast route which also led to the Cyrenaica. The Egyptians had some traffic on the Mediterranean from very remote times, especially with Byblus in Phoenicia, the port for cedar-wood.
Of the populations surrounding Egypt the negroes (Nehsi) in the south (Cush) were the lowest in the scale of civilization:~ the people of Puoni and of Libya (the Tehen, &c.) were pale in color and superior to the negroes, but still show no sign of a high culture. The Syrians and the ,Keftiu, the latter now identified with the Cretans and other representatives of the Aegean civilization, are the only peoples who by their elaborate clothing and artistic products reveal themselves upon the ancient Egyptian monuments as the equals in culture of the Egyptian nation.
The Egyptians seem to have applied no distinctive name to themselves in early times: they called themselves proudly rmi (RMTW), i.e. simply men, people, while the despised races around them, collectively IjSWT, desert-peoples, were distinguished by special appellations. The races of mankind, including the Egyptians, were often called the Nine Archers. Ultimately the Egyptians, when their insularity disappeared under the successive dominations of Ethiopia, Assyria and Persia, described themselves as rem-n-Ki.ni, men of Egypt. Whence the population of Egypt as we trace it in prehistoric and historic times came, is not certain. The early civilizatio1~
of Egypt shows remarkable coincidences with that of Babylonia, the language is of a Semitic type, the religion may well be a compound of a lower African and a higher Asiatic order of ideas. According to the evidence of the mummies, the Egyptians were of slender build, with dark hair and of Caucasian type. Dr Elliott Smith, who has examined thousands pf skeletons and mummies of all periods, finds that the prehistoric population of Upper Egypt, a branch of the North African-MediterraneanArabian race, changed with the advent of the dynasties to a stronger type, better developed than before in skull and muscle. This was apparently due to admixture with the Lower Egyptians, who themselves had been affected by Syrian immigration. Thereafter little further change is observable, although the rich lands of Egypt must have attracted foreigners from all parts. The Egyptian artists of the New Empire assigned distinctive types of feature as well as of dress to the different races with which they came into contact, Hittites, Syrians, Libyans, Bedouins, negroes, &c.
The people of Egypt were not naturally fierce or cruel. Intellectually, too, they were somewhat sluggish, careless and unbusinesslike. In the mass they were a body of patient laborers, tilling a rich soil, and hating all foreign lands and ways. The wealth of their country gave scope for ability within the population and also attracted it from outside: it enabled the kings to organize great monumental enterprises as well as to arm irresistible raids upon the inferior tribes around. Urged on by necessity and opportunity, the Egyptians possessed sufficient enterprise and originating power to keep ahead of their neighbors in. most departments of civilization, until the more warlike empires of Assyria and Persia overwhelmed them and the keener intellects of the Greeks outshone them in almost every department. The debt of civilization to Egypt as a pioneer must be considerable, above all perhaps in religious thought. The moral ideals of its nameless teachers were high from an early date: their conception. of an after-life was exceedingly vivid: the piety of the Egyptians in the later days was a matter of wonder and scoffing to their contemporaries; it is generally agreed that certain features in the development of Christianity are to be traced to Egypt as their birthplace and nidus.
For researches into the ethnography of Egypt and the neighboring countries, see W. Max Muller, Asien und Europa nach den alkig. Inschriften (Leipzig, 1893), Egyptological Researches (Washington, 1906); for measurements of Egyptian skulls, Miss Fawcett in Biometrika (1902); A. Thomson and D. Randall-Maclver, The Ancient Races of the Thebaid (Oxford, 1905) (cf. criticisms in Man, 1905; and for comparisons with modern measurements, C. S. Myers, Journ. Anthropological Institute, 1905, 80). W. Fhnders Petrie has collected and discussed a series of facial types shown in prehiltoric and early Egyptian sculpture, Journal Anthropological Institute, 1901, 248. For Elliott Smiths results see The Cairo Scientific Journal, No. 30, vol. iii., March 1909.
DivisionsIn ancient times Egypt was divided into two regions, representing the kingdoms that existed before Menes. Lower Egypt, comprising the Delta and its borders, formed the North Land, To-meh, and reached up the valley to lnclude Memphis and its province or nome, while the remainder of the Egyptian Nile valley was the South, Shema (~MWEngels).
The south, if only as the abode of the sun, always had the precedence over the north in Egypt, and the west over the east. Later the two regions were known respectively as P-to-rbs (Pathros), the south land, and P-to-meh, the north land. In practical administration this historic distinction was sometimes observed, at others ignored, but in religious tradition it had a firm hold. In Roman times a different system marked off a third region, namely Middle Egypt, from the point of the Delta southward. Theoretically, as its name Heptanomis implies, this division contained seven nomes, actually from the Hermopolite on the south to the Memphite on the north (excluding the Arsinoite according to the papyri). Some tendency to this existed earlier. Egypt to the south of the Heptanomis war the Thebais, called P-tesh-en-Ne, the province of Thebes, as early as the XXVIth Dynasty. The Thebais was much under the influence of the Ethiopian kingdom, and was separated politically in the troubled times of the XXIIIrd Dynasty, though the old division into Upper and Lower Egypt was resumed in the XXVIth Dynasty. If Upper and Lower Egypt represented ancient kingdoms, the nomes have been thought to carry on the traditions of tribal settlements. They are found in inscriptions as early as the end of ~he IIIrd Dynasty, and the very name of Thth, and that of another very ancient god, are derived from those of two contiguous nomes in Lower Egypt. The names are written by special emblems placed on standards, such as an ibis ~ a jackal ~ a hare ~, a feathered crown ~ a sistrum a blade ~, &c., suggesting tribal badges. Some nomes having a common badge but distinguished as nearer or further, i.e northern or southern, have simply been split, as they are contiguous: in one case, however, corresponding eastern and western Harpoon nomes are widely separated on opposite sides of the Delta. In a few cases, such as the West, the Beginning of the East, it is obvious that the names are derived solely from their geographical situation. It is quite possible that the divisions are geographical in the main, but it seems likely that there were also religious, tribal and other historical reasons for them. How their boundaries were determined is not certain: in Upper Egypt in many cases a single nome embraced both sides of the river. The number and nomenclature of the nomes were never absolutely fixed. In temples of Ptolemaic and Roman age the full series is figured presenting their tribute to the god, and this series approximately agrees with the scattered data of early monuments. The normal number of the nomes in the sacred lists appears to be 42, of which 22 belonged to Upper Egypt and 20 to Lower Egypt. In reality again these nome-divisions were treated with considerable freedom, being split or reunited and their boundaries readjusted. Each nome had its metropolis, normally the seat of a governor or nomarch and the centre of its religious observances. During the New Empire, except at the beginning, the nomes seem to have been almost entirely ignored: under the Deltaic dynasties (except of course in the traditions of the sacred writing) they were named after the metropolis, as the province (tosh) of Busiris, the province of Sais, &c.: hence the Greek names Bownptr,ls vojs~, &c. The Arsinoite nome was added by the Ptolemies after the draining of the Lake of Moeris (qv.), and in the later Ptolemaic and the Roman times many changes and additions to the list must have been made. In Christian texts the provinces appear to have been very numerous.
See H. Brugsch, Geographische Inschriflen altagyptischer Denkmater (3 vols., Leipzig, I 8571860), and for the nomes on monuments of the Old Kingdom, N. de G. Davies, Mastaba of Pta/ilietep and Akhethetep (London, I9oI), p. 24 et sqq.
King and Government .T he government of Egypt was monarchical. The king (for titles see PHARAOH) was the head of the hierarchy: he was himself divine and is often styled the good god, and was the proper mediator between gods and men. He was also the dispenser of office, confirmer of hereditary titles and estates and the fountain of justice. Oaths were generally sworn by the life of the king. The king wore special head- dresses and costumes, including the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt (often united ~), and the cobra upon his forehead. Females were admitted to the succession, but very few instances occur before the Cleopatras. The most notable Pharaonic queen in her own right was Hatshepsut in the XVIIIth Dynasty, but her reign was ignored by the later rulers even of her own family. A certain NitOcris of about the Vilith Dynasty and Scmiophris of the XIIth Dynasty are in the lists, but are quite obscure. Yet inheritance through the female line was fully recognized, and marriage with the heiress princess was sought by usurpers to legitimate the claims of their offspring.
Often, especially in the XIIth Dynasty, the king associated his heir on the throne with him to ensure the succession.
From time to time feudal conditions prevailed: the great landowners and local princes had establishments of their own on the model of the royal court, and were with difficulty kept in order by the monarch. In rare cases during the Middle Kingdom (inscriptions in the tomb of Ameni at Beth Hasan, graffiti in the quarries of Hanub) documents were dated in the years of reign of these feudatory nobles. Under the Empire all power was again centralized in the hands of the Pharaoh. The apportionment of duties amongst the swarm of officials varied from age to age, as did their titles. Members of the royal family generally held high office. Under the Empire Egypt was administered by a vast bureaucracy, at the head of which, responsible to the king, was the vizier, or sometimes two viziers, one for Upper Egypt, the other for Lower Egypt (in which case the former, stationed at Thebes, had the precedence)., The duties of the viIier and the procedure in his court are detailed in a long inscription which is repeated in three tombs of the XVIIIth Dynasty at Thebes (Breasted, Records, ii. 663 et seqq.). The strictest impartiality was enjoined upon him, and he was advised to hold aloof from the people in order to preserve his authority. The office of vizier was by no means a sinecure. All the business of the country was overlooked by himtreasury, taxation, army, law-courts, expeditions of every kind. Egypt was the vast estate of Pharaoh, and the vizier was the steward of it.
Army.The youth of Egypt was liable to be called upon for service in the field under the local chiefs. Their training consisted of gymnastic and warlike exercises which developed strength and discipline that would be as useful in executing public works and in dragging large monuments as in strictly military service. They were armed in separate companies with bows and arrows, spears, daggers and shields, and the officers carried battle-axes and maces. The army, commanded in chief by Una under the VIth Dynasty for raids in Sinai or Palestine, comprised levies from every part of Egypt and from Nubia, each under its own leader. Under the New Empire, when Egypt was almost a military stte, the army was a more specialized institution, the art of war in siege and strategy had developed, divisions were formed with special standards, there were regiments armed with battle-axes and scimitars, and chariots formed an essential part of the host. Egyptian cavalry are not represented upon the monuments, and we hear little of such at any time. Herodotus divides the army into two classes, the Calasiries and the Hermotybies; these names, although he was not aware of it, mean respectively horse- and foot-soldiers, but it is possible that the former name was only traditional and had characterized those who fought from chariots, a mode of warfare that was obsolete in Herodotuss own day: as a matter of fact both classes are said to have served on. the warships of Xerxes fleet.
Arms and ArmourFrom the contents of graves and other remains, and the sculptured and painted scenes, an approximate idea can be obtained of the weapons of the Egyptians at all periods from the prehistoric age onwards. Only a few points are here noted. Stone mace-heads are found in the earliest cemeteries, together with flint implements that may be the heads of lances, &c, and thin leaf-shaped daggers of bronze. Stone arrow-heads are common on the surface of the desert. Thin bronze arrow-heads appear at an early date; under the Empire they are stouter and furnished with a tang, and later still, towards the Greek period, they are socketed (often three-sided), or, if of iron, ~til1 tanged. The wooden club, a somewhat primitive weapon, seems to have been considered characteristic of foreigners from very early times, and, in scenes dating from the Middle Kingdom, belong principally to the levies from the surrounding barbarians. The dagger grew longer and stouter, but the sword made its appearance late, probably first in the hands of the Sherdana (Sardinian?), mercenaries of the time of Rameses II. A peculiar scimitar, khofrsh ~, is characteristic of the Empire. Slings are first heard of in Egyptian warfare in the 8th century B.C. The chariot was dOubtless introduced with the horse in the Hyksos period; several examples have been discovered in the tombs of the New Kingdom. Shields were covered with ox-hide and furnished with round sighting-holes above the middle. Cuirasses of bronze scales were worn by the kings and other leaders. The linen corslets of the Egyptian soldiery at a later time were famous, and were adopted by the Persian army. According to the paintings of the Middle Kingdom in the tombs of Beni Hasan, the battlements of brick fortresses were attacked and wrenched away with long and massive spears. No siege engines are depicted, even in the time of the Empire,, and the absence of original representations after the XXth Dynasty renders it difficult to judge the advances made in the art of war during the first half of the last millennium Bc. The inscription of Pankhi, however, proves that in the 8th century approaches and towers were raised against the walls of besieged cities Priesthood.The priesthood was in a great degree hereditary, though perhaps not essentially so. In each temple the priests were divided into four orders (until Ptolemy Euergetes added a fifth), each of which served in turn. for a lunar month under the chief priest or prophet. They received shares of the annual revenues of the temple in kind, consisting of linen, oil, flesh, bread, vegetables, wine, beer, &c. The divine servants or prophets had residences assigned them in the temple area In late times the priests were always shaven, and paid the greatest attention to cleanliness and ceremonial purity already implied in their ancient name. Fish and beans then were abhorred by them. Among the priests were the most learned men of Egypt, but probably many were illiterate. For the Hellenistic period see W. Otto, Priester und Tempel im hellenistic/-zen Agypten (Leipzig, 1905 folL).
For ancient Egyptian life and civilization in all departments, the principal work is Ad. Erman, Life in Ancient Egypt, translated by H. M. Tirard (London, 1894), (the original Agypten und agyptisches Leben in, Altertum, 2 vols., was published in 1885 at Tubingen); G. Maspero, Life in Ancient Egypt and Assyria, translated by A. P. Morton (London, 1892), (Lectures historiques, Paris, 1890); also J. G. Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, new ed. by S. Birch (3 vols., London, 1878). The annual Archaeological Reports of the Egypt Explbration Fund contain summaries of the work done each year in the several departments of research.
Of the innumerable publications of Egyptian monuments, scenes and inscriptions, C. R. Lepsius, Denkmdler aus Agypten und Athiopien (Berlin, 1849-1859), and Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of the Egypt Exploration Fund, may be specified. For antiquities in museums there is the sumptuous Catalogue general des anhiquitis gyptiennes du muse de Caire; for excavations the Memoirs of the Egypt Exploration Fund, of the Research Account, of the British School of Archaeology, of the Liverpool School of Archaeology, of the Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, of the I-Iearst Egyptian Expedition, of the Theodore M. Davis excavations (Tombs of the Kings).
Trade and Money.There is little evidence to show how buying and selling were carried on in ancient Egypt. A unique scene in a tomb of the IVth Dynasty, however, shows men and women exchanging commodities against each otherfish, fish-hooks, fans, necklaces, &c. Probably this was a market in the open air such as is held weekly at the present time in every considerable village. Rings of metal, gold, silver and bronze played some part in exchange, and from the Hyksos period onwards formed the usual standards by which articles of all kinds might be valued. In the XVIIIth Dynasty the value of meat, &c., was reckoned in gold; somewhat later copper seems the commonest standard, and under the Deltaic dynasties silver. But barter must have prevailed much longer. The precious metals were kept in the temples under the tutelage of the deities. During the XXVth and XXVIth Dynasties silver of the treasury of Harshafe (at Heracleopolis Magna) was commonly prescribed in contracts, and in the reign of Darius we hear of silver of the treasury of Ptah (at Memphis). Aryandes, satrap of Egypt, is said by Herodotus to have been punished by Darius for coining money of equal fineness with that of the king in Persia: thus coinage had then begun in Egypt. But the early coins that have been found there are mainly Greek, and especially Athenian, and it was not until the introduction of a regular currency in the three metals under the Ptolemies that much use was made of coined money.
Corn was the staple produce of Egypt and may have been exported regularly, and especially when there was famine in other countries. In the Tell el-Amarna letters the friendly kings ask Pharaoh for much gold. Papyrus rolls and fine linen were good merchandise in Phoenicia in the 10th century B.C. From the earliest times Egypt was dependent on. foreign countries to supply its wants in some degree. Vessels were fashioned in foreign stone as early as the 1st Dynasty. All silver must have been imported, and all copper except a little that the Pharaohs obtained from the mines of Sinai. Cedar wood was brought from the forests of Lebanon, ivory, leopard skins and gold from the south, all kinds of spices and ingredients of incense from Somaliland and Arabia, fine linen and beautifully worked vessels from Syria and the islands. Such supplies might be obtained by forcible raiding or as tribute of conquered countries, or perhaps as the free offerings of simple savages awed by the arrival of ships and civilized well-armed crews, or again by royal missions in which rich gifts on both sides were exchanged, or lastly by private trading. For deciding how large a share was due to trade, there is almost no evidence. But there are records of expeditions sent out by the king to obtain the rarities of different countries, and the hero of the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor was upon this quest. Egyptian objects of the age of the XVIIIth Dynasty are found in the Greek islands and on the mainland among remains of the Mycenaean epoch, and on the other hand the products of the workshops of Crete and other centres of that culture are found in Egypt and are figured as tribute of the Keftiu in the tomb-paintings, though we have no information of any war with or conquest of that people. It must be a case of trade rather than tribute here and in like instances. According to the papyrus of Unamun at the end of the weak XXth Dynastypaymentforcedarwasinsisted on by the king of Byblus from the Egyptian commissioner, and proofs were shown to him of payment having been made even in the more glorious times of Egypt. Trade both internal and external must have been largely in the hands of foreigners. It is impossible to say at what period Phoenician traffic by sea with Egypt began, but it existed as early as the IIIrd Dynasty. In the time of Herodotus much wine was imported from Syria and Greece. Amasis II. (c. 570 B.C.) established Naucratis as the centre of Greek trade in Egypt. Financial transactions by Jews settled at the southern extremity of Egypt, at Assuan, are found as early as the reign of Artaxerxes.
Hunting, Fishing, &c.In the desert hunting was carried on by hunters with bows and arrows, dogs and nets to check the game. Here in ancient times were found the oryx, addax, ibex, gazelle, bubale, ostrich, hyena and porcupine, more rarely the wild ox and wild sheep (0. tragelaphus). All of these were considered fit for the table. The lion, leopard and jackal were not eaten. Pigeons and other birds were caught in traps, and quails were netted in the fields and on the sea-shore. In the papyrus marshes the hippopotamus was slain with harpoons, the wild boar, too, was probably hunted, and the sportsman brought down wild-fowl with the boomerang, or speared or angled for fish. Enormous quantities of wild-fowl of many sorts were taken in clap-nets, to be preserved in jars with salt. Fish were taken sometimes in hand-nets, butthe professional fishermen with their draw-nets caught them in shoals. The fishing industry was of great importance: the annual catch in the Lake of Moeris and its canal formed an important part of the Egyptian revenue. The fish of the Nile, which were of many kinds (including mullets, &c., which came up from the sea), were split and dried in the sun: others were salted and so preserved. A supply of sea fish would be obtained off the coast of the Delta and at the mouth of the Lake Serbonis.
Farming, Horticulture, &c.The wealth of Egypt lay in its agriculture. The regular inundations, the ease of irrigating the rich alluvial flats, and the great heat of the sun in a cloudless sky, while limiting the natural ~ora, gave immense opportunities to the industrious farmer. The normal rise of the Nile was sixteen cubits at the island of Roda, and two cubits more or less caused a failure of the harvest. In the paintings we see gardens irrigated by handbuckets and shad ufs; the latter (buckets hung on a lever-pole) were probably the usual means of raising water for the fields in ancient times, and still are common in Egypt and Nubia, although water-wheels have been known. since the Ptolemaic age, if not earlier. Probably a certain amount of cultivation was possible all the year round, and there was perhaps a succession of harvests; but there was a pause after the main harvests were gathered in by the end of April, and from then till June was the period in which taxes were collected and loans were repaid. Under the Ptolemaic rgime the records show a great variety of crops, wheat and barley being probably the largest (see B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, Tebtunis Papyri, i. 560; J. P. Mahaffy and J. G. Smyly, Petrie Papyri, iii. p. 205). Earlier the bOti, in Greek bXOpa (spelt? or durra?) was the main crop, and earlier again inferior varieties of wheat and barley took the lead, with boti apparently in the second place. The bread was mainly made of boti, the beer of barley. There were green crops such as clover, and lentils, peas, beans, radishes, onions, lettuces (as a vegetable and for oil), castor oil and flax were grown. The principal fruit trees were the date palm, useful also for its wood and fibre, the pomegranate, fig and fig-sycamore. The vine was much cultivated in early times, and the vintage is a subject frequently depicted. Later the wine of the Mareotic region. near Alexandria was celebrated even amongst Roman epicures. Papyrus, which grew wild in the marshes, was also cultivated, at least in the later ages: its stems were used for boat-building, and according to the classical authors for rope-making, as well as for the famous writing material. About the 8th century A.D. paper drove the latter out of use, and the papyrus plant quickly became extinct. The Indian lotus described by Herodotus il found in deposits of the Roman age. Native lotuses, blue and white, were much used for decoration. in. garlands, &c., also the chrysanthemum and the corn-flower.
See chapters on plant remains by Newberry in W. M. F. Petrie, Hawara, Biahmu, and Arsinee (London, 1889); Kahun, Gurob and Hawara (1890); V. Loret, La Flore pharaonique (2nd ed., Paris, 1892), and the authorities there cited.
Domestic Animals and Birds.The farmer kept up a large stock of animals: in the houses there were pets and in the temples sacred creatures of many kinds. Goats browsed on. the trees and herbage at the edge of the desert. Sheep of a peculiar breed with horizontal twisted horns and hairy coat are figured on. the earliest monuments: a more valuable variety, woolly with curved horns, made its appearance in the Middle Kingdom and pushed out the older form: sheep were driven into the ploughed fields to break the clods and trample in the seed. The oxen were long-horned, short-horned and polled. They drew the plough, trampled the corn sheaves round the circular threshing floor, and were sometimes employed to drag heavy weights. The pig is rarely figured and was less and less tolerated as the Egyptians grew in ceremonial purity. A variety of wild animals caught in the chase were kept alive and fed for slaughter. Geese and ducks of different sorts were bred in countless numbers by the farmers, also pigeons and quails, and in the early ages cranes. The domestic fowl was un.known in. Egypt before the Deltaic dynasties, but Diodorus in the first century B.C. describes how its eggs were hatched artificially, as they are at the present day. Bee-keeping, too, must have been a considerable industry, though dates furnished a supply of sweetening material.
The farm lands were generally held at a rent from an overlord, who might according to times and circumstances be the king, a feudal prince, or a temple-corporation. The stock also might be similarly held, or might belong to the farmers. The ordinary beast of burden, even in the desert, was the ass. The horse seems to have been introduced with the chariot during the Hyksos period. It is thought that the camel is shown in rude figures of the earliest age, but it is scarcely traceable again before the XXVIth Dynasty. In the Ptolernaic period it was used for desert transport and gradually became common. Strange to say, it is only very rarely that men are depicted riding on animals, and never before the New Kingdom.
The dog was of many varieties as early as the XIIth Dynasty, when the greyhound and turnspit and other well-marked forms are seen. The cat was sometimes trained by the sportsman to catch birds. Monkeys were commonly kept as pets. The sacred beasts in the various temples, tame as far as possible, were of almost every conceivable variety, from the vulture to the swallow or the goose, from the lion to the shrew-mouse, from the hippopotamus to the sheep and the monkey, from the crocodile to the tortoise and the cobra, from the carp to the eel; the scorpion and the scarab beetle were perhaps the strangest in this strange company of deities.
For agriculture see J. J. Tylor and F. LI. Griffith, The Tomb of Paheri at El Kab, in the XIth Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund. Together with hunting and fishing it is illustrated in many of the Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of the same society. See also Lortet and M. C. Gaillard, La Faune momifie de lancienne Egypte (Lyons, 1905).
Law.No code of Egyptian laws has come down to us. Diodorus names a series of Egyptian kings who were law-givers, ending with Amasis (Ahmosi II.) and Darius. Frequent reference is made in inscriptions to customs andlawswhich were traditional, and perhaps had been codified in the sacred books. From time to time regulations on special points were issued by royal decree:
a fragment of such a decree, directed by Horemheb of theXVIIIth Dynasty against oppression of the peasantry by officials and prescribing penalties, is preserved on a stela in the temple of Karnak, and enactments of Ptolemy Philadelphus and Euergetes II. are known from papyri. In the Ptolemaic age matters arising out of native contracts were decided according to native law by)saoKptrat, while travelling courts of xpnuarurrai representing the king settled litigation on Greek contracts and most other disputes. Affairs were decided in accordance with the code of the country, rijs xd-,pac vjsot, the Greek code, Ii-oXtnKOi vbuoi, modelled, it would seem, on Athenian law or royal decrees, ~rpoisrhyuara. Native law was still quoted in Roman times, but the significance of the expression remains to be ascertained. In ancient Egypt petitions were sent to the king or the great feudal landowners in whose territory the petitioner or his adversary dwelt or the injury was committed: courts were composed of royal or feudal officials, or in the New Kingdom of officials or responsible citizens. The right of appeal to the king probably existed at all times. The statement of the case and the evidence were frequently ordered to be put in writing. the evidence was supported by oath: in criminal cases, such as the harem conspiracy against Rameses III., torture of the accused was resorted to to extract evidence, the bastinado being applied on the hands and the feet. Penalties in the New Kingdom were death (by starvation or self-inflicted), fines, beating with a certain number of blows so as to open a specified number of wounds on as, many different parts of the body (e.g. five wounds, i.e. on hands, feet and back?), also cutting off the nose with banishment to Nubia or the Syrian frontier., In the times of the OldKingdom decapitation was in use, and a decree exists of the Middle Kingdom degrading a nomarch of Coptos and his family for ever from his office and from the priesthood on account of services to a rival pretender.
As to legal instruments: contracts agreed to in public or before witnesses and written on papyrus are found as early as the Middle Kingdom and perhaps belong to all historic times, but are very scarce until the XXVth Dynasty. Two wills exist on papyrus of the XIIth Dynasty, but they are isolated, and such are not again found among native documents, though they occur in Greek in the Ptolemaic age. The virtual will of a high priest of Ammon under the XXIInd Dynasty is put in the form of a decree of the god himself. -
From the time of the XXVth Dynasty there is a great increase in written documents of a legal character, sales, loans, &c., apparently due to a change in law and custom; but after the reign of Darius I. there is again almost a complete cessation until the reign of Alexander, probably only because of the disturbed condition of the country. Under Ptolemy Philadelphus Greek documents begin to be numerous: under Euergetes II. (Physcon) demotic contracts are particularly abundant, but they cease entirely after the first century of Roman rule.
Marriage contracts are not found earlier than the XXVIth Dynasty. Women had full powers of inheritance (though not of dealing with their property), and succession through the mother was of importance. In the royal line there are almost certain instances of the marriage of a brother with an heiress-sister in Pharaonic times: this was perhaps helped by the analogy of Osiris and Isis: in the Ptolemaic dynasty it was an established custom, and one of the stories of Khamois, written in the Ptolemaic age, assumes its frequency at a very remote date. It would be no surprise to find examples of the practice in other ranks also at an early period, as it certainly was prevalent in the Hellenistic age, but as yet it is very difficult to prove its occurrence. The native contracts with the wife gave to her child all the husbands property, and divorce or separation was provided for, entailing forfeiture of the dowry. The native law of Roman times allowed a man to take his daughter away from her husband if the last quarrelled with him.
Slavery is traceable from an early date. Private ownership of slaves, captured in war and given by the king to their captor or otherwise, is certainly seen at the beginning of the XVIIIth Dynasty. Sales of slaves occur in the XXVth Dynasty, and contracts of servitude are found in the XXVIth Dynasty and in the reign of Darius, appearing as if the consent of the slave was then required. Presumably at this late period there were eunuchs in Egypt, though adequate evidence of their existence there is not yet forthcoming. They must have originated among a more cruel people. That circumcision (though perhaps not till puberty) was regularly practised is proved by the mummies (agreeing with the testimony of Herodotus and the indications of the early tomb sculptures) until an edict of Hadrian forbade it: after that, only priests were circumcised.
See A. H. Gardiner, The Inscription of Mes (from Sethes Untersuchungen zur Geschichte und Altertumskunde Agyptens, iv.); J. H. Breasted, Ancient Records, Egypt, passim, esp. i. 190, 535 et seqq., 773, ii. 54, 671, iii. 45, 367, iv. 416, 499, 795; F. Ll. Griffith, Catalogue of the John Rylands Demotic Papyri; B. P. Grenfell and J. P. Mahaffy, Revenue Laws of Philadelphus (Oxford, 1896); B. P. Grenfell and A. S. Hunt, Tebtunis Papyri, part i. (London, 1902); Bouchh-Leclercq, Histoire des Lagides, tome iv. (Paris, 1907).
Science.The Egyptians sought little after knowledge for its own sake: they might indulge in religious speculation, but their science was no more than the knowledge of practical methods. Undoubtedly the Egyptians acquired great skillinthe application of simple means to the fulfilment of the most difficult tasks. But the books that have come down. to us prove how greatly their written. theoretical knowledge fell short of their practical accomplishment. The explanation of the fact may partly be that the mechanical and other discoveries of the most ingenious minds among them, when not in constant requisition by later generations, were misunderstood or forgotten, and even in other cases were preserved only as rules of thumb by the craftsmen and experts, who would jealously hide them as secrets of trade. Men of genius were not wanting in the long history of Egypt; two doctors, Imhotp (Imuthes), the architect of Zoser, in the, Ilird Dynasty, and Amenophis (Amenhotp), son of Hap, the wise scribe under Amenophis III. in the XVIIIth, eventually received the honors of deification; and Hardadf under Cheops of the IVth Dynasty was little behind these two in the estimation of posterity. Such men, who, capable in every field, designed the Great Pyramids and bestowed the highest monumental fame on their masters, must surely have had an insight into scientific principles that would hardly be credited to the Egyptians from the written documents alone.
Mat hematics.T he Egyptian notation for whole numbers was decimal, each power of 10 up to 100,000 being represented by a different figure, on much the same principle as the Roman numerals. Fractions except * were all primary, i.e. with the numerator unity: in order to express such an idea as ~ the Egyptians were obliged to reduce it to a series of primary fractions through double fractions 1~+~1rt~r+1~w+ 1~ 4(1+
~ t is operation was performed in the head, only the result being written down, and to facilitate it tables were drawn up of the division of 2 by odd numbers. With integers, besides adding and subtracting, it was easy to double and to multiply by 10:
multiplying and dividing by 5 and finding the 13/4 value were also among the fundamental instruments of calculation, and all multiplication proceeded by repetitions of these processes with addition, e.g. 9X7 = (9 X 2 X 2) + (9 X 2) +9. Division was accomplished by multiplying the divisor until the dividend was reached; the answer being the number of times the divisor was so multi- I plied. Weights and measures proceeded generally on. either a decimal or a doubling system or a combination of the two. Apart from a few calculations and accounts, practically all the materials for our knowledge of Egyptian mathematics before the Hellenistic period date from the Middle Kingdom.
The principal text is the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus in the British Museum, written under a Hyksos king c. 1600 B.C.; unfortunately it is full of gross errors. Its contents fall roughly into the following scheme, but the main headings are not shown in the original:
I. Arithmetic.A. rabies and rule to facilitate the employment of fractions.
(a) Table of the divisions of 2 by odd numbers from 3 to 99 (e.g. 2-i-If =l+~11), see above.
(b) Conversions of compound fractions (e.g. ~ 3/4 + ifs), with rule for finding ~ of a fraction.
B. The bread calculationa division by 10 of the units I to 9.
C. Completing calculations.
(a) Adding multiples of a fraction to produce a more convenient fraction (perhaps connected with the use of palms and cubits in decoration in a proportion based on the number 8).
(b) Finding the difference between a given fraction and a given whole number.
D. Ahei or mass -problems (of the form x+~=a, to find the ahe x).
E. Tooun- problems (tooun, rising, seems to be the difference between the shares of two sets of persons dividing an amount between them ona lower and a higher scale).
II. Geometry.A. Measurement of volume (amounts of grain in cylindrical and rectangular spaces of different dimensions and vice versa).
B. Measurement of area (areas of square, circular, triangular, &c., fields).
C. Proportions of pyramids and other monuments with sloping sides.
III. Miscellaneous problems (and tables) such as are met with in bread-making, beer-making, food of live-stock, &c. &c.
The method of estimating the area of irregular fields and the cubic contents of granaries, &c., is very faulty. It would be inter- esting to find material of later date, such as Pythagoras is reported to have studied.
See A. Eisenlohr, Em mathematisches Handbuch der alten Agypter (Leipzig, 1877); F. LI. Griffith, The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus in Proceedings of the Soc. of Biblical Archaeology, Nov. 1891, March, May and June 1894.
Astronomy.The brilliant skies of day and night in Egypt favored the development of astronomy. A papyrus of the Roman period in the British Museum attributes the invention of horoscopes to the Egyptians, but no early instance is known. Professor Petrie has indeed suggested, chiefly on chronological grounds, that a table of stars on the ceiling of the Ramesseum temple and another in the tomb of Rameses VI. (repeated in that of Rameses IX. without alteration) were horoscopes of Rameses II. and VL; but Mahlers interpretation of the tables on which this would rest appears to be false. Astronomy played a considerable part in religious matters for fixing the dates of festivals and determining the hours of the night. The titles of several temple books are preserved recording the movements and phases of the sun, moon and stars. The rising of Sothis (Sirius) at the beginning of the inundation was a particularly important point to fix in the yearly calendar (see below, Chronology). The primitive clock1 of the temple timekeeper (horoscopus), consisting of a d~poX&ytov ,cai ~/,soLpuot (Clemens Alex. Strom., vi. 4.35), has been identified with two 1 Clepsydras inscribed in hieroglyphic are found soon after the Macedonian conquest.
inscribed objects in the Berlin Museum; these are a palm branch with a sight-slit in the broader end, and a short handle from which a plummet line was hung. The former was held close to the eye, the latter in the other hand, perhaps at arms length. From the above-mentioned tables of culmination in the tombs of Rameses VI. and IX. it seems that for fixing the hours of the night a man seated on the ground faced the horoscopus in such a position that the line of observation of the Pole-star passed over the middle of his head. On the different days of the year each hour was determined by a fixed star culminating or nearly culminating in it, and the position of these stars at the time is given in the tables as in the centre, on the left eye, on the right shoulder, &c. According to the texts, in founding or rebuilding temples the north axis was determined by the same apparatus, and we may condude that it was the usual one for astronomical observations. It is conceivable that in ingenious and careful hands it might give results of - a high degree of accuracy.
See L. Borchardt, Em altagyptisches astronomisches 1 nstrumentin Zeitschrzft fr agyptische Sprache, xxxvii. (1899), p. f 0; Ed. Meyer, Agyptische Chronologie, p. 36. Besides the sun and moon, five planets, thirty-six dekans, and constellations to which animal and other forms are given, appear in the early astronomical texts and paintings. The zodiacal signs were not introduced till the Ptolemaic period. See H. Brugsch, Die Agyptologie (Leipzig, 1891), pp. 315 et seqq., for a full account of all these.
Medicine.Except that splints are sometimes found on the limbs of bodies of all periods, at present nothing is known, from texts or otherwise, of the existence of Egyptian surgery or dentistry. For historical pathology the examination of mummies and skeletons is yielding good results. There is little sign of the existence of gout or of syphilitic diseases until late times (see MUMMY). A nunTher of papyri have been discovered containing medical prescriptions. The earliest are of the XIIth Dynasty from KahUn, one being veterinary, the other gynaecological. The finest non-religious papyrus known, the Ebers Papyrus, is a vast collection of receipts. One section, giving us some of the mysteries of the physician, shows how lamentably crude were his notions of the constitution of the body. It teaches little more than that the pulse is felt in every part of the body, that there are vessels leading from the heart to the eyes, ears, nose and all the other members, and that the breath entering the nose goes to the heart and the lungs. The prescriptions are for a great variety of ailments and afflictionsdiseases of the eye and the stomach, sores and broken bones, to make the hair grow, to keep away snakes, fleas, &c. Purgatives and diuretics are particularly numerous, and the medicines take the form of pillules, draughts, liniments, fumigations, &c. The prescriptions are often fanciful and may thus bear some absurd relation to the disease to be cured, but generally they would be to some extent effective. Their action was assisted by spells, for general use in the preparation or application, or for special diseases. In most cases several ingredients are prescribed together: when the amounts are indicated it is by measure not by weight, and evidently no very potent drugs were employed, for the smallest measure specified is equal to about half of a cubic inch. Little has yet been accomplished in identifying the diseases and the substances named in the medical papyri.
See G. A. Reisner, The Hearst Medical Papyrus (Leipzig, 1905),
(XVIIIth Dynasty), and for a great magical text of the Roman period (3rd century A.D.) with some prescriptions, F. Li. Griffith and H. Thompson, The Demotic Magical Papyrus of London and Leiden (London, 1904).
Literature.The vast mass of writing which has come down to us from the ancient Egyptians comprises documents of almost every conceivable kind, business documents and correspondence, legal documents, memorial inscriptions, historical, scientific, didactic, magical and religious literature; also tales and lyrics and other compositions in poetical language. Most of these classes are dealt with in this article under special headings. In addition there should be mentioned the abundant explanatory inscriptions attached to wall-scenes as a secondary element in those compositions. As early as the Middle Kingdom, papyri are found containing classified lists of words, titles, names of cities, &c., and of nomes with their capitals, festivals, deities and sacred things, calendars, &c.
To a great extent the standard works in all classes date from an early age, not later than the Middle Kingdom, and subsequent works of religion and learning like the later additions were largely written in the same style. Several books of proverbs or instructions were put in circulation during the Middle Kingdom. Kagemni and Ptahhotp of the Old Kingdom were nominally or really the instructors in manners: King Amenemhe I. laid down the principles of conduct in government for his son Senwosri I., preaching on the text of beneficence rewarded by treachery; Kheti points out in detail to his schoolboy son Pepi the advantages enjoyed by scribes and the miseries of all other careers. Some of these ,books are known only in copies of the New Kingdom. The instructions of Ani to his son Khenshotp are of later date. In demotic the most notable of such works is a papyrus of the first century A.D. at Leiden.
A number of Egyptian tales are known, dating from the Middle Kingdom and later. Some are so sober and realistic as to make it doubtful whether they are not true biographies and narratives of actual events. Such are the story of Sinhi, a fugitive to Syria in the reign of Sesostris enwosri] I., and perhaps the narrative of Unamun of his expedition in quest of cedar wood for the bark of the Theban Ammon in the XXIst Dynasty. Others are highly imaginative or with miraculous incidents, like the story of the Predestined Prince and the story of the Two Brothers, which begins with a pleasing picture of the industrious farmer, and, in demotic of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods, two stories of the learned Sethon Khamois, sonofRameses II. and high priest of Ptah, with his rather tragical experiences at the hands of magicians. The stories of the Middle Kingdom were in choice diction, large portions of them being rhetorical or poetical compositions attributed to the principal characters. The story of Sinuhi is of this description and was much read during the New Kingdom. Another, of the Eloquent Peasant whose ass had been stolen, was only a framework to the rhetoric of endless petitions. The tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor in the Red Sea was a piece of simpler writing, not unpicturesque, of the marvellous type of a Sindbad story. If all these are deficient in literary merit, they are deeply interesting as revelations of primitive mind and manners. Of New Kingdom tales, the story of the Two Brothers is frankly in the simplest speech of everyday life, while others are more stilted. The demotic stories of Khamois are simple, but the Rape of InarOs Cuirass (at Vienna) is told in a stiff and high-flown style.
In general it may be said of Egyptian literary compositions that apart from their interest as anthropological documents they possess no merit which would entitle them to survive. They are more or less touched by artificiality, but so far as we are able to appreciate them at present they very seldom attain to any degree of literary beauty. Most of the compositions in the literary language, whether old or archaistic, are in a stilted style and often with parallelisms of phrase like those of Hebrew poetry. Simple prose narrative is here quite exceptional. Some few hymns contain stanzas of ten lines, each line with a break in the middle. There is no sign of rhyming in Egyptian poetry, and the rhythm is not yet recognizable owing to our ignorance of the ancient vocalization. In old Egyptian tales the narrative portions are frequently in prose; New Egyptian and demotic contain as a rule little else. Hymns exist in both of these later forms of the language, and a few love songs in Late Egyptian.
See W. M. F. Petrie, Egyptian Tales (2 vols., London, 1895); G. Maspero, Les Cont~s populaires de lEgy pie ancienne (3rd edition, Paris, 1906); W. Max Muller, Die Liebespoesie der alien Agypter (Leipzig, 1899). (F. LL. G.)
C. Religion.1. Introductory.Copious as are the sources of information from which our knowledge of the Egyptian religion is drawn, there is nevertheless no aspect of the ancient civilization of Egypt that we really so little understand. While the youth of Egyptological research is in part responsible for this, the reason lies still more in the nature of the religion itself and the character of the testimony bearing upon it. For a true appreciation of the chaotic polytheism that reveals itself even in the earliesttexts it would be necessary to be able to trace its development, stage by stage, out of a number of naive primitive cults; but the period of growth lies behind recorded history, and we are here reduced to hypotheses and a posleriori reconstructions. The same criticism applies, no doubt, to other religions, like those of Greece and Rome. In Egypt, however, the difficulty is much aggravated by the poor quality of the evidence. The religious books are textually very corrupt, one-sided in their subjectmatter, and distributed over a period of more than two thousand years. The greatest defect of all is their relative silence with regard to the myths. For the story of Isis and Osiris we have indeed the late treatise ascribed to Plutarch, and a few fragments of other myths may be culled from earlier native sources. But in general the tales that passed current about the gods are referred to only in mysterious and recondite allusions; as Herodotus for his own times explicitly testifies, a reticence in such matters seems to have been encouraged by the priests. Thus with regard to Egyptian theology we are very imperfectly informed, and the account that is here given of it must be looked upon as merely provisional. The actual practices of the cult, both funerary and divine, are better known, and we are tolerably familiar with the doctrines as to the future state of the dead. There is good material, too, for the study of Egyptian magic, though this branch has been somewhat neglected hitherto.
2. Main Sources.(a) The Pyramid texts, a vast collection of incantations inscribed on the inner walls of five royal tombs of the Vth and VIth Dynasties at Sakkgra, discovered and first published by Maspero. Much of these texts is of extreme antiquity; one incantation at least has been proved to belong to an age anterior to the unification of the Northern and Southern kingdoms. Later copies also exist, but possess little independent critical value. The subject-matter is funerary, i.e. it deals with the fate of the dead king in the next life. Some chapters describe the manner in which he passes from earth to heaven and becomes a star in the firmament, others deal with the food and drink necessary for his continued existence after death, and others again with the royal prerogatives which he hopes still to enjoy; many are directed against the bites of snakes and stings of scorpions. It is possible that these incantations were recited as part of the funerary ritual, but there is no doubt that their mere presence in the tombs was supposed to be magically effective for the welfare of the dead. Originally these texts had an application to the king alone, but before the beginning of the XIIth Dynasty private individuals had begun to employ them on their own behalf. They seem to be relatively free from textual corruption, but the vocabulary still occasions much difficulty to the translator.
(b) The Book of the Dead is the somewhat inappropriate name applied to a large similar collection of texts of various dates, certain chapters of which show a tendency to become welded together into a book of fixed content and uniform order. A number of chapters contained in the later recensions are already found on the sarcophagi of the Middle Kingdom, together with a host of funereal texts not usually reckoned as belonging to the Book of the Dead; these have been published by Lepsius and Lacau. The above-mentioned nucleus, combined with other chapters of more recent origin, is found in the papyri of the XVIIIthXXth Dynasties, and forms the so-called Theban recension, which has been edited by Naville man important work. Here already more or less rigid groups of chapters may be noted, but individual manuscripts differ greatly in what they include and exclude. In the Saite period a sort of standard edition was drawn up, consisting of 165 chapters in a fixed order and with a common title the book of going forth in the day; this recension was published by Lepsius in 1842 from a Turin papyrus Like the Pyramid texts, the Book of the Dead served a funerary purpose, but its contents are far more heterogeneous; besides chapters enabling the dead man to assume what shape he will, or to issue triumphant from the last judgment, there are lists of gates to be passed and demons to be encountered in the nether world, formulae such as are inscribed on sepulchral figures and amulets, and even hymns to the sun-god. These texts are for the most part excessively corrupt, and despite the translations of Pierret, Renouf and Budge, much labor must yet be expended upon them before they can rank as a first-rate source.
(c) The texts of the Tombs of the Kings at Thebes (XVIIIth XXth Dyn.) consist of a series of theological books compiled at an uncertain date; they have been edited by Naville and Lefbure. The chief of these, extant in a longer and a shorter version, is called The book of that which is in the Nether World (familiarly known as the Am Dual) and deals with the journey of the sun during the twelve hours of the night. The Book of Gates treats of the same topic from a more theological standpoint. The Litanies of the Sun contain the acclamations with which the sun-god Re was greeted, when at eventide his bark reached the entrance of the nether world. Another treatise relates the destruction of mankind, and the circumstances that led to the creation of the heavens in the form of a cow.
(d) Among the later religious books one or two deserve a special mention, such as The Overthrowing of Apophis, the serpent enemy of the sun-god; The Lamentations of Isis and Nephthys over their murdered brother Osiris; The Book of Breathings, a favorite book among the later Theban priests. Several of these books were used in the ritual of feast days, but all have received a secondary funerary employment, and are therefore found buried with the dead in their tombs.
(e) TJ1e Ritual texts have survived only in copies not earlier than the New Kingdom. The temple ritual employed in the daily cult is ifiustrated by the scenes depicted on the inner walls of the great temples: the formulae recited during the performance of the ceremonies are recorded at length in the temple of Seti I. (XIXth Dyn.) at Abydos, as well as in some later papyri in Berlin. The whole material has been. collected and studied by Moret. The funerary ritual is known from texts in the Theban tombs (XVIIIthXXth Dyn.) and papyri and sarcophagi of later date; older versions are contained in the Pyramid texts and The Book of the Dead. Schiaparelli has done much towards gathering together this scattered material. The ritual observed during the process of embalmment is preserved in late papyri in Paris and Cairo published by Maspero.
(J) The magical documents have been comparatively little studied, in spite of their great in.terest. They deal for the most part with the hearing of diseases, the bites of snakes and scorpions, &c., but incidentally cast many sidelights on the mythology and superstitious beliefs. The best-known of these books is the Papyrus Harris published by F. J. Chabas, but other papyri of as great or greater importance are to be found in the Leiden, Turin and other collections. A curious book published by A. Erman contains spells to be used by mothers for the protection of their children. A papyrus in London contains a calendar of lucky and unlucky days. A late class of stelae, of which the be,st specimen has been published by Golenischeff, consists of spells of various kinds originally intended for the use of the living, but later employed for funerary purposes.
(g) Under the heading Miscellaneous we must mention a number of sources of great value: the grave-stones, or stelae, especially those from Abydos, which throw much light on funerary beliefs; the great Papyrus Harris, the longest of all papyri, which enumerates the gifts of Rameses III. (XXth Dyn.) to the various temples of Egypt; the hymns to the gods preserved in Cairo and Leiden papyri; and the inscriptions of the Ptolemaic temples (Dendera, Edfu, &c.), which teem with good religious material. Nor can any attempt here be made to summarize the remaining native Egyptian sources, literary and archaeological, that deserve notice.
(h) Among the classical writers, Plutarch in his treatise Concerning Isis and Os iris is the most important. Diodorus also is useful. Herodotus, owing to his religious awe and dread of divulging sacred mysteries, is only a second-rate source.
3. The GodsThe end of the pre-dynastic period, in which we dimly descry a number of independent tribes in constant warfare with one another, was marked by the rise of a united Egyptian state with a single Pharaonic ruler at its head. The era of peace thus inaugurated brought with it a rapid progress in all branches of civilization; and there soon emerged not only a national art and a condition of material prosperity shared by the entire land in common, but also a state religion, which gathered up the ancient tribal cults and floating cosmical conceptions, and combining them as best it could, imposed them on the people as a whole. By the time that the Pyramid texts were put into writing, doubtless long before the Vth Dynasty, this religion had assumed a stereotyped appearance that clung to it for ever afterwards. But the multitude of the deities and the variety of the myths that it strove to incorporate prevented the development of a uniform theological system, and the heterogeneous origin of the religion remained irretrievably stamped upon its face. Written records were few at the time when the pantheon was built up, so that the process of construction cannot be followed historically from stage to stage; but it is possible by arguing backwards from the later facts to discern the main tendencies at work, and the principal elementary cults that served as the materials.
The gods of the pre-dynastic period may be divided into two chief groups, the tribal or local divinities and the cosmic or~ explanatory deities. At the beginning each tribe had Ciassifiits own particular god, who in essence was nothing cation of but the articulate expression of the inner cohesion and Pre of the outward independence of the tribe itself, but who outwardly manifested himself in the form of some animal or took up his abode in some fetish of wood or stone. In times of peace this visible emblem of the gods presence was housed in a rude shrine, but in war-time it was taken thence and carried into the battlefield on a standard. We find such divine standards ~ often depicted on the earliest monuments, and among the symbols placed upon them may be detected the images of many deities destined to play an important part in the later national pantheon, such as the falcon Horus, the wolf Wepwawet (Ophois) ~ the goddess Neith, symbolized -~r~.by a shield transfixed with arrows, and the god Mm ~r, the nature of whose fetish is obscure. In course of time the tribes became localized in particular districts, under the influence of a growing central authority, and their gods then passed from tribal into local deities. Hence it came about that the provincial districts or nomes, as they were called, often derived their pames from the gods of tribes that settled in them, these names being hieroglyphically written with the sign for district surmounted by standards of the type above described, e.g. ~ the nome of the dog Anubis, the 17th or Cynopolite nome of Upper Egypt. In this way a large number of deities came to enjoy special reverence in restricted territories, eg. the ram Khnum in Elephautine, the jerboa or okapi (?) Seth in Ombos, the ibis Thoth in Hermopolis Magna, and of the gods named above, Horus in Hieraconpolis, Wepwawet in Assiut, Neith in Sais, and Mm in Coptos. As towns and villages gradually sprang up, they too adopted as their patron some one or other of the original tribal gods, so that these came to have different seats of worship all over Egypt. For this reason it is often hard to tell where the primitive cult-centre of a particular deity is to be sought; thus Horus seems equally at home both at Buto in the Delta and at Hieraconpolis in Upper Egypt,, and the earliest worship of Seth appears to have been claimed no less by Tanis in the north than by Ombos in the south. The effect of the localization of gods in many different places was to give them a double aspect; so, for instance, Khnum the god of Elephantine could in one minute be regarded as identical with)n as entirely separate beings. In order that there might be the ambiguity as to what divinity was meant, it became usual, insi Ipeaking of any local deity, to specify the place of which he rea s lord. The tendency to create new forms of a god by wit tituting his worship in new local centres persisted through- god the whole course of Egyptian history, unhindered by the in i)osite tendency which made national out of local gods. Some sub the cosmic gods, like the sun-god Re of Heliopolis and of of rmonthis, early acquired a local in addition to their cosmic this ect. my n the innermost principle of their existence, as patrons and wit tectors of restricted communities, the primitive tribal gods and not differ from one another. But externally they were dis- the ~uishable by the various shapes that their worshippers ascribed tog hem; and there can be little doubt that even in the beginning still h had his own special attributes and particular mythical cry its. These, however, may have borne little resemblance to C later conceptions of the same gods with which we are made Egl siliar by the Pyramid texts. Thus we have no means of cral ertaining what the earliest people of Sais thought about their clof Ldess Neith, though her fetish would seem to point to her sev ~like nature. Nor are we much wiser in respect of those duc nitive tribal gods that are represented on the oldest monu- his ats in animal form. For though we may be sure that the shape Nib fn animal was that in which these gods were literally visible dea Lheir worshippers, yet it is impossible to tell whether some war living animal was chosen to be the earthly tenement of the, to :y, or whether he revealed himself in every individual of a in i ties, or whether merely the cult-image was roughly hewn into cor~ shape of an animal. Not too much weight must be attached Eg) ater evidence on this point; for the New Kingdom and still foui re the Graeco-Roman period witnessed a strange recrudescence aco upposed primitive cults, to which they gave a form that may po~ nay not have been historically exact. In some places whole as I ses of animals came to be deemed sacred. Thus at Bubastis, up ~re the cat-headed Bast (TJbasti) was worshipped, vast ceme- strt es of mummified cats have been found; and elsewhere or, ilar funerary cults were accorded to crocodiles, lizards, ibises Th(~many other animals. In Elephantine Khnum was supposed falL)ecome incarnate in a ram, at whose death the divinity left as I i and took up his abode in another. So too the bull of Apis frol dack animal with white spots) was during its lifetime regarded tra(reincarnation of Ptah, the local god of Memphis, and similarly not Mnevis and Bacis bulls were accounted to be the living in s Es of Etom of Heliopolis and of Re of Hermonthis respec- cen ly; these latter cults are certainly secondary, for Ptah of 1 iself was never, either early or late, depicted otherwise than 0th iuman form, as a mummy or as a dwarf; and Etom and Re Hoi but different names of the sun-god. The form of a snake, dyn ibuted to many local goddesses, especially in later times of I Meresger of the Theban necropolis), was borrowed from trib very ancient deity Outo (Buto); the semblance of a snake the ame so characteristic of female divinities that even the prir d goddess was written with the hieroglyph of a snake. loca ier animal shajies particularly affected by goddesses were this se of a lioness (Sakhmi, Pakhe) or a cow (Hathor, Isis). The flex nitive animal gods are not to be confused with the animal not ns ascribed to many cosmic deities; thus when the sun-god Osii was pictured as a scarabaeus, or dung-beetle, rolling its ball Isis lung behind it, this was certainly mere poetical imagery. and else a cosmic god might assume an animal shape through ave milation with some tribal god, as when Re was identified in I Es Horus and therefore depicted as a falcon. god Vitli the advance of civilization and the transfOrmation of the chit al gods into national divinities, the beliefs held about them the ft have become less crude. At a very early date the anthropo- so-c phizing tendency caused the animal deities to be represented coni Es human bodies, though as a rule they retained their animal the ds; so in the case of Seth as early as the lind Dynasty. Hot other gods carry their primitive fetishes in their hands (like calb gods began to acquire human personalities. In a few ances this may have come about by the emphasizing of a ly primitive trait; as when the wolf Ophois, in consonance I the predatory nature of that animal, developed into a of war. In other cases the transitional steps are shrouded nystery; we do not know, for example, why the ibis Thoth 1equently became the patron of the fine arts, the inventor ~riting, and the scribe of the gods. But the main factor in evolutionary process was undoubtedly the formation of hs, which brought gods of independent origin into relation ii one another, and thus imbued them with human passions virtues. Here dim historic recoijections often~ determined features of the story, and in one famous legend that knits ~ther a group of gods all seemingly local in origin we can faintly trace how the tale arose, was added to, and finally tallized in a coherent form.
sins was a wise and beneficent king, who reclaimed the ptians from savagery, gave them laws and taught them bandits. The prosperous reign of Osiri1 was brought to a premature e by the machinations of his wicked brother Seth, who with nty-two fellow-conspirators invited him to a banquet,:in~ Id him to enter a cunningly-wrought coffin made exactly to measure, then shut down the lid and cast the chest into the. Isis, the faithful wife of Osiris, set forth in search of her 1 husbands body, and after long and adventure-fraught derings, succeeded in recovering it and bringing it back ~gypt. Then while she was absent visiting her sop Horus he city of Buto, Seth once more gained possession of the se, cut it into fourteen pieces, and scattered them all over pt. But Isis collected the fragments, and wherever one was id, buried it with due honor; or, according to a different iunt, she joined the limbs together by virtue of her magical ers, and the slain Osiris, thus resurrected, henceforth reigned :ing of the dead in the nether world. When Horus grew ie set out to avenge his fathers murder, and after terrible ggles finally conquered and dispossessed his wicked uncle; is another version relates, the combatants were separated by th, and Egypt divided between them, the northern part ng to Horus and the southern to Seth. Such is the story old by Plutarch, with certain additions and modifications i older native sources. There existed, however, a very ancient ition according towhichHorus and Seth were hostile brothers, nephew and uncle; and many considerations may be urged ipport of the thesis which regards their struggles as reminis:es of wars between two prominent tribes or confederations ribes, one of which worshipped the falcon Horus while the r had the okapi (?) Seth as its patron and champion. The ustribes were the victors, and it was from them that the astic line sprang; hence the Pharaoh always bore the name onus, and represented in his own hallowed person the ancient 11 deity. Of Osiris we can only state that he was originally local god of Busiris, whatever further characteristics he iitively possessed being quite obscure. Isis was perhaps the 1 goddess of Buto, a town not far distant from Busiris; geographical proximity would suffice to explain her conon with Osiris in the tale. A legend now arose, we know how or why, which made Seth the brother and murderer of is; and this led to a fusion of the Horus-Seth and the SethOsiris moe-ifs. The relationships had now to be readjusted, the most popular view recognized Horus as the son and iger of Osiris. The more ancient account survived, however, he myth that Osiris, Horus, Seth, Isis and Nephthys (a less who plays but a minor part in the Osiris cycle) were all Iren of the earth-god Keb and the sky-goddess Nut, born on five consecutive days added on at the end of the year (the flied epagomenal days). Later generations reconciled these radictions by assuming the existence of two Horuses, one, brother of Osiris, Seth and Isis, being named Haroeris, i.e. as the elder, while the other, the child of Isis and Osinis, was d Harpocrates, i.e. Horus the child.
- and universal speculative bent which seeks, and never Mn ~~ fails to find, an explanation of the facts of the external god world. Behind the great natural phen.omena that they 0th ceived all around them, the Egyptians, like other primitive cha :, postulated the existence of divine wills not dissimilar the dnd to their own, though vastly superior in power. Chief the rng these cosmic deities was the sun-god Re, whose supremacy V ned predestined under the cloudless sky of Egypt. The whc 1st conceptions represented Re as sailing across the heavens ran: ship called Manzet, the bark of the dawn; at sunset bro stepped aboard another vessel named Mesenktet, the Res k of the dusk, which bore him back from west to east fror ing the night. Later theories symbolized Re in many whc erent ways. For some he was identical with Horus, and then phil was falcon-headed and was called Hor-akhti, the Horus of of t horizons. Others pictured him to themselves as a tiny exc Lnt in the early dawn, as full-grown at noon, and as an infirm of man in the evening. When the sky was imagined as a cow, whc was a calf born anew every morning. The moon was a male son :y, who likewise fared across the heavens in a boat; hence (X~ was often. named Chons, the sailor. The ibis-god Thoth was early identified with the moon. The stars and planets as e likevvise gods. Among them the bright star Sirius was any I in special esteem; it was a goddess Sothis (Sopde), often be 1tified by the Egyptians with Isis. The constellations that and ned unceasingly to speed across the sky were named the and er-resting ones, and the circumpolar stars, which never ing beneath the horizon, were known as the imperishables. Eg~ icerning earth and sky there were many different opinions. F ae thought that the sky was a goddess Nut, whom the god cepi w held aloof from her husband Keb the earth, on whose back At 1 plants and trees grew. Others believed in a celestial ocean, und sonified under the name of Nun, over which the heavenly myl ies sailed in boats. At a later date ~the sky was held to be a relif (Hathor) whose four feet stood firm upon the soil; or else flue ast face, in which the right eye was the sun and the left eye to t moon. Alongside these fanciful conceptions there existed fatl~ sore sober view, according to which the earth was a long lege ,l plain, and the sky an iron roof supported by the tops of thai intains or by four pillars TflJ at the cardinal points. ~
teath the ground lay a dark and mysterious region, now con- obs~ red as an inverse heaven (Nenet), now as a vast series of pail ems whose gates were guarded by demons. This nether his -ld was known as the Duat (Dat, Ti), and through it passed in t sun on his journey during the hours of night; here too, as nim sy thought, dwelt the dead and their king Osiris. That great nim ural feature of Egypt, the Nile, was of course one of the gods; mer name was Hapi, and as a sign of his fecundity he had long and dulous breasts like a woman. In contradistinction to the the al gods, it rarely happened that the cosmic deities enjoyed the :ult. But there are a few important exceptions: Re in for iopolis (here identified with a local god Etom) and in Her- of I ithis; Hathor at Dendera and elsewhere. Certain of the carri al gods early became identified with cosmic divinities, and inst latter thus became the objects of a cult; so, for instance, in t Horus of Edfu was a sun-god, and Thoth in Hermopolis as gna was held to be the moon. whc Ln extensiOn of the principle that created the cosmic gods A e rise to a large number of minor deities and demons. Day riva or and night, the year, the seasons, eternity, and many to I ~s similar conceptions were each represented by a god by or goddess of their own, who nevertheless possessed cult but a shadowy and doubtful existence. Human the ~ihutes like Taste, Knowledge, Joy and so forth were likewise eve:
~onified, no less than. abstract ideas such as Fate, Destiny to I others; rather more clearly defined than the rest was Maat, aspi goddess of Truth and Right, who was fabled to be the daughter pop ~e and may even have had a cult. Certain gods were purely par ctional, that is to say, they appeared at special times to and khonit, the goddess who attended every child-bed; Tait, the less of weaving. Numberless semi-divine beings had no r purpose than to fill,out the myths, as, for instance, the tering apes that greeted the sun-god Re as he rose above eastern horizon, and the demons who opened the gates of nether world at the approach of the setting sun.
re take this opportunity of mentioning sundry other divinities were later introduced to swell the already overcrowded :s of the pantheon. Contact with ,foreign lands ight with it several new deities, Baal, Anat and ~ieph from Syria, and the misshapen dwarf Bes r such order as can be discerned in the mythological conions of the Egyptians the priesthood was largely responsible. very early date the theological school of Heliopolis Irtook the task of systematizing the gods and the hs, and it is mainly to them that is due the Egyptian tions. ion as we find it in the Pyramid texts. Their inice is particularly conspicuous in the prominent place accorded ie sun-god Re, and in the creation-legend that made him the er of gods and men. First of all living things was Re; rid told how he arose as a naked babe from a lotus-flower floated on the primeval ocean Nun. Others held the view he crept from an egg that lay on a hill in the midst of a lake d Desdes; and a third, more barbarous, tale related his :ene act of self-procreation. Re became the father of the of gods Show and Tefnut (Tphenis), who emanated from lpittle. They again gave birth to Keb and Nut, from whom ieir turn sprang Osiris and Seth, Isis and Nephthys. These gods were together known as the great Ennead or cycle of A second series of nine deities, with Horus as its first iber, was invented at the same time or not long afterwards, was called the Lesser Ennead. In later times the theory of Ennead became very popular and was adopted by most of local priesthoods, who substituted their own favorite god Re, sometimes retaining and sometimes changing the names he other eight deities. Thus locally many different gods e to be viewed as the creators of the world. Only in two tnces, however, did a local god ever obtain wide acceptance se capacity of demiurge: Ptah of Memphis, who was famed n artist and master-builder, and Khnum of Elephantine, was said to have moulded mankind on the potters wheel.
Is that of Re. His worship does not seem to have been due :eliopolitan influence, and may possibly have been propagated ,ctive missionary effort. It is apparently through the funeral that Osiris so early took a firm hold on the imagination of people; for at a very ancient date he was identified with y dead king, and it needed but a slight extension of this idea iakehim into a king of the dead. In later times the moral ct of his tale was doubtless the main cause of its continued alarity; Osiris was named Onnophris, the good Being excellence, and Seth was contrasted with him as the author the root of all evil. Still the Egyptians themselves seem to have been somewhat at a loss to account for the great veneration that they paid to Osiris. Successive theories interpreted him as the god of the earth, as the god of the Nile, as a god of vegetation, as a moon-god and as a sun-god; and nearly every one of these theories has been claimed to be the primitive truth by some scholar or another.
Nowhere is the conservatism of the Egyptians more clearly displayed than in the tenacity with which they clung to the old forms of the theology, such as -we have essayed to describe. Neither the influx of new deities nor the diligence of the priestly authors and commentators availed to break down the cast-iron traditions with which the compilers of the Pyramid texts were already familiar. It is true that with the displacement of the capital town certain local deities attained a degree of power that, superficially regarded, seems to alter the entire perspective of the religion. Thus Ammon, originally the obscure local god of Thebes, was raised by the Theban monarchs of the XIIth and of the XVIIIth to XXIst Dynasties to a predominant position never equalled by any other divinity; and, by similar means, Suchos of the Fayum, IJbasti of Bubastis, and Neith of Sais, each enjoyed for a short space of time a consideration that no other cause would have secured to them. But precisely the example of Ammon proves the hopelessness of any attempt to change .the time-honored religious creed; his priests identified him with the sun-god Re, whose cult-centre was thus merely transferred a few hundred miles to the South. Nor could even the violent religious revolution of Akhenaton (Amenophis iv.), of which we shall later have occasion to speak, sweep away for ever beliefs that had persisted for so many generations.
But if the facts of the religion, broadly viewed, never underwent a change, the interpretation of those facts did so in no small degree. The religious books were for the most part written in archaic language, which was only imperfectly understood by the priests of later times; and hence great scope was given to them to exercise their ingenuity as commentators. By the time of the XVIIIth Dynasty some early chapters of the Book of the Dead had been provided with a triple commentary. Unfortunately the methods pursued were as little reasonable as those adopted by the medieval Jewish Rabbis; instead of the context being studied as a whole, with a view to the recovery of its literal sense, each single verse was considered separately, and explained as an allusion to some obscure myth or as embodying some mystical meaning. Thus so far from simplifying or really elucidating the religion, these priestly labors tended rather to confuse one legend with another and to efface the personality of individual gods. The ease with which one god could be identified with another is perhaps the most striking characteristic of later Egyptian theology. There are but few of the greater deities who were not at some time or another identified with the solar god Re. His fusion with Horus and Etom has already been noted; further we find an Ammon-Re, a Sobk-Re, a Khnum-Re; and Month, Onouris, Show and Osiris are all described as possessing the attributes of the sun. Ptah was early assimilated to the sepulchral gods Sokaris and Osiris. Pairs of deities whose personalities are often blended or interchanged are Hathor and Nut, Sakhmi and Pakhe, Seth and Apophis. So too in Abydos, his later home, Osiris was identified with Khante-Amentiu (Khentamenti, Khentamenthes), the chief of those who are in the West, a name that was given to a vaguely-conceived but widely-venerated divinity ruler of the dead. Many factors helped in the process of assimilation. The unity of the state was largely influential in bringing about the suppression of local differences of belief. The less important priesthoods were glad to enhance the reputation of the deity they served by identifying him with some more important god. And the mystical bent of the Egyptians found satisfaction in the multiplicity of forms that their gods could assume; among the favorite epithets which the hymns apply to divinities are such as mysterious of shapes, multiple of faces.
The goal towards which these tendencies verged was monotheism; and though this goal was only once, and then quite ephemerally, reached, still the monotheistic idea was at most periods, so to speak, in the air. Sometimes the qualities common to all the gods were abstracted, and the resultant notion spoiten of as the god. At other times, and especially in the hymns addressed to some divinity, all other gods were momentarily forgotten, and he was eulogized tendci,~y. as the only one, the supreme, and so forth.
Or else several of the chief deities were consciously combined and regarded as different emanations or aspects of a Sole Being; thus a Ramesside hymn begins with the words Three are all the gods, Ammon, Re and Ptah, and then it is shown how these three gods, each in his own particular way, gave expression and effect to a single divine purpose.
For a brief period at the end of the XVIIIth Dynasty a real monotheism, as exclusive as that of Judaism or of Islam, was adopted as the state religion of Egypt. The young Akh Pharaoh Amenophis IV. seems to have been fired by ton~ genuine fanatical enthusiasm, though political motives, as well as doctrinal considerations, may have prompted him in the planning of his religious revolution (see also History). The Theban god Ammon-Re was then supreme, and the evergrowing power of his priesthood may well have inflamed the jealousy of their Heliopolitan rivals. Amenophis began his reign in Thebes as an adherent of the traditional faith, but after a few years he abandoned that town and built a new capital for his god Aton 200 m. farther north, at a place now called El Amarna. The new deity was a personification of the suns disk. The name Re was suppressed, as too intimately associated with that of Ammon; and Ammon, together with all the other gods, was put to the ban. Amenophis even changed his own name, of which the name of Ammon formed an element, to Akhenaton, the brilliancy of the Aton, and the capital was called Khitaton, The Horizon of the Aton. The new dogmas were known as the Teaching, and their tenets, as revealed in the poems composed in honor of the Aton, breathe the purest and most exalted monotheistic spirit. The movement had, no doubt, met with serious opposition ftom the very start, and the reaction soon set in. The immediate successors of Akhenaton strove to follow in his footsteps, but the conservative nature of Egypt quickly asserted itself. Not sixty years after the accession of Akhenaton, his city was abandoned, its rulers branded as heretics, and the old religion restored in Thebes as completely as if the Aton. had never existed.
Having thus failed to become rational, Egyptian theology took refuge in learning. The need for a more spiritual and intellectual interpretation of the pantheon still remained, and gave rise to a number of theological sciences. The names of the gods and the places of their worship were catalogued and classified, and manuals were devoted to the topography of mythological regions. Much ingenuity was expended on the development of a history of the gods, the groundwork of which had been laid in much earlier times. Re was not only the creator of the world, but he was also the first king of Egypt. He was followed on the throne by the other eight members of his Ennead, then by the lesser Ennead and by other gods, and finally by the so-called worshippers of Horus. The latter were not wholly mythical personages, though they were regarded as demigods (Manetho calls them the dead, P~Kves); they have been shown to be none other than the dim rulers of the predynastic age. The Pharaohs of the historic period were thus divine, not only by virtue of their connection with Horus (see above), but also as descendants of Re; and the king of Egypt was called the good god during his lifetime, and the great god after his death. The later religious literature is much taken up with the mythical and semi-mythical dynasties of kings, and the priests compiled, with many newly-invented details, the chronicles of the wars they were supposed to have waged.
In a similar nianner, the ethical and allegorical methods of interpretation came into much greater prominence towards the end of the New Kingdom. The Osirian legend, as we have already seen, was early accepted as symbolizing the conflict between good and evil. So too the victories of Re over the serpent named Apophis were more or less clearly understood as a simile of the antithetical nature of light and darkness. In. one text at least as ancient as the XVIIIth Dynasty(the copy that we have dates only from the Ethiopian period) an ingenious attempt Later is made to represent Ptah as the source of all life:
eve 09- from Rim, it is said, emanated Horus as heart or mind and Thoth as tongue, and through the conjoint action of these two, the mind conceiving the design and the tongue uttering the creative command, all gods and men and beasts obtained their being. Of this kind of speculation much more must have existed than has reached us. It is doubtless such explanations as these that the Greeks had in view when they praised the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians; and ,in the classical period similar semi-philosophical interpretations altogether supplanted, among the learned at least, the naive literal beliefs of earlier times. Plutarch in his treatise on Isis and Osiris well exemplifies this standpoint: for him every god and every rite is symbolic of some natural or moral truth.
- The final stages of the Egyptian religion are marked by a renewed popularity of all its more barbarous ~Iements. Despairing, as it would seem, of discovering the higher wisdom that the more philosophic of the priests supposed that religion to conceal, the simpler-minded sought to work out their own salvation by restoring the worship of the gods to its most primitive forms. Hence came the fanatical revival of animal-worship which led to feud and bloodshed between neighboring townsa feature of Egyptian religion that at once amused and scandalized contemporary Greek and Latin authors (Plut. De Iside, 72; Juv. xv.
~ Nevertheless Egyptian cults, and particularly those of Serapis and Isis, found welcome acceptance on European soil; and the shrines of Egyptian deities were established in all the great cities of the Roman Empire. Serapis was a god imported by the first Ptolemy from Sinope on the Black Sea, who soon lost his own identity by assimilation with Osiris-Apis, the bull revered in Memphis. Far down into the Roman age the worship of Serapis persisted and flourished, and it was only when the Serapeum of Alexandria was razed to the ground by order of Theodosius the Great (A.D. 391) that the death-blow of the old Egyptian religion was struck.
Notes are here added on some divinities who have received inadequate or no attention in the preceding pages. For information as to Ammon, Anubis, Apis, Bes, Bubastis, Buto, Isis and Thoth, reference must be made to the special articles on these gods.
ARSAPHES, in Egyptian Harsha,fe, he who is upon his lake, the ram-headed god of Heracleopolis Magna, gained an ephemeral importance during the IXth Dynasty, which arose from his town. Outwardly, he resembles Khnum. Little is known about him, and he is seldom mentioned. The burial-place of his priests in later times was in 1904 discovered at Abusir el Meleq.
CH0N5, he who travels by boat, perhaps originally a mere epithet of the moon-god Ioh or Thoth, is chiefly familiar as the third member of the Theban triad. As such he is represented as a youthful god, wearing a skull-cap surmounted by the moon. His cult was revived and became popular in Ptolemaic times. A curious story about the sending of his statue to Mesopotamia to heal a daughter of the king of Bakhtan is related upon a stele that purports to date from the Ramesside period: it has been proved to be a pious fraud invented by the priests not earlier than the Greek period.
HATHOR, whose name means house of Horus, was at all times a very important deity. She is depicted as a cow, or with a broad human countenance, the cows ears just showing from under a massive wig. Probably at first a goddess of the sky, she is early mentioned in connection with Re. Later she was often identified with Isis, and her name was used to designate foreign goddesses like those of Puoni and Byblus. Unlike most cosmic deities, she was worshipped in many localities, chief among which was Dendera, where her magnificent temple, of Ptolemaic date, still stands. The seven Hathors is a name given to certain fairies, who appeared shortly after the birth of an infant, and predicted his future.
KHNTJM or KHNOUM, a ram-headed god, whose principal place of worship was the island of Elephantine (there associated with Satis and Anukis), but also revered elsewhere, e.g. together with Nebtu in Esna. He enjoyed great repute as a creator, and was supposed to use the potters wheel for the purpose. In this capacity he is sometimes accompanied by the frog-headed goddess Heket.
MONTH, a hawk-headed god of the Thebaid: in Thebes itself his cult was superseded by that of Ammon, but it persisted in Hermonthis. He was often given the solar attributes, and was credited as a great warrior.
MIN, the god of Coptos and Panopolis (Akhmim), seems to have been early looked upon as a deity of the harvest and crops. His cult dates from the earliest times. Represented as ithyphallic, with two tall plumes on his head, the right arm upraised and bearing a scourge. In old times he is identified with Horus: later Ammon was confused with him, and depicted in his image.
NECHBET (Nekhbi, Nekhebi), the vulture-goddess of El Kab, called Eileithyia by the Greeks. She gained an ascendancy as patroness of the south at the time when the two kingdoms were striving for the mastery. It is as such, in opposition to Buto the goddess of the north, that she is most often named on the monuments.
NEfrH, the very ancient and important goddess of Sais, the Greek Athene. On the earliest monuments she is represented by a shield transfixed by arrows. Later she wears the crown of Lower Egypt, and carries in her hands a bow and arrows, a sign of her warlike character. In the XXVlth Dynasty, when a line of Pharaohs sprang from Sais, she regained a prominent position, and was given many cosmogonic attributes, including the title of mother of Re.
NEPHTHYS, the sister of Osiris and wife of Seth, daughter of Keb and Nut, plays a considerable rfile in the Osiris story. She sided with Isis and aided her to bring Osiris back to life. Isis and Nephthys are often mentioned together as protectresses of the dead.
ONouRIs, Egyptian En-hun, sky-bearer, the god of Thinis. Later identified with Shu (Show), who holds heaven and earth apart.
PTAH, the Hephaestus of the Greeks, a demiurgic and creative god, special patron of hand-workers and artisans. Worshipped in Memphis, he perhaps owed his importance more to the political prominence of that town than to anything else. He was early identified with an ancient but obscure god Tenen, and further with the sepulchral deity Sokaris. He is represented either as a closely inshrouded figure whose protruding hands grasp a composite sceptre, the whole standing on a pedestal within a shrine; or else as a misshapen dwarf.
SAKHMI, a lion-headed goddess of war and strife, whose name dgnifies the mighty. She was worshipped at Latopolis (Esna), but ilso at a late date as a member of the Memphite triad, with Ptah Is husband and Neferteni (Iphthimis) as son: often, too, confounded with Ubasti.
SETB (Egyptian Set, Stb or StI), by the Greeks called Typhon, was depicted as an animal that has been compared with the jerboa by some, and with t e okapi by others, but which the Egyptians themselves occasionally conceived to be nothing but a sadly drawn ass. In historic times his cult was celebrated at Tanis Ind Ombos. He regained a certain prestige as god of the Hyksos rulers, and two Pharaohs of the XIXth Dynasty derived their name Sethos (Seti) from him. But, generally speaking, he was abominated IS a power of evil, and his figure was often obliterated on the monuments. He is named in similes as a great warrior, and as such and son of Nut he is identified with the Syrian Baal.
4. The Divine Cult.In the midst of every town rose the temple of the local god, a stately building of stone, strongly :ontrasting with the mud and plaster houses in which even the wealthiest Egyptians dwelt. It was called the house of the god 1,,i~ j~ ~), and in it the deity was supposed to reside, attended ~y his servants (1 ~) the priests. There was indeed a certain justification for this contention, even when a contrary theory vssigned to the divinity a place in the sky, as in the case of the ,unar divinity Thoth; for in the inmost sanctuary stood a statue)f the god, which served as his representative for the purposes)f the cult. Originally each temple was dedicated to one god)nly; but it early became usual to associate with him a mate of the opposite sex, besides a third deity who might be represented lither as a second wife or as a child. As examples of such triads, vs they are called, may be mentioned that of Thebes, consisting if Ammon, Mut and Chons, father, mother and child; and as :ypical of the other kind, where a god was accompanied by two ~oddesses, that of Elephantine, consisting of Khnum, Satis and 5tnukis. The needs of the god were much the same as those)f mortals; no more than they could he dispense with food and Irink, clothes for his apparel, ointment for his limbs, and music tnd dancing to rejoice his heart. The only difference Was that he divine statue was half-consciously recognized as a lifeless hing that required carefully regulated rites and ceremonies to ~nabIe it to enjoy the good things offered to it. Early every norning the officiating priest proceeded to the holy of holies, tfter the preliminaries of purification had cleansed him from my miasma that might interfere with the efficacy of the rites. ormulae all the while, he broke the seal upon the door of the hrine, loosed the bolts. and at last stood lace to face with the god. Th~re rollowed a series of prostrations and adorations, culminating in the offering of a small image of Maat, the goddess of Truth. This seems to have been the psychological moment of the entire service: hitherto the statue had been at best a god in posse; now the symbolical act placed him in possession of all his faculties, he was a god in. truth, and could participate like any mortal in the food and luxuries that his servants put before him. The daily ceremony closed with ablutions, anointings and a bountiful feast of bread, geese, beer and oxen; having taken his fill of these, the god returned to his shrine until the next morning, when the ritual was renewed. The words that accompanied the manual gestures are, in the rituals that have come down to us, wholly dominated by the myth of Osiris:
it is often hard to discern much connection between the acts and the formulae recited, but the main thought is clearly that the priest represents Horus, the pious son of the dead divinity Osiris. That this conception is very old is proved by the fact that even in the Pyramid texts the eye of Horus is a synonym for all offerings: an ancient tale. ,of which only shreds have reached us related how Seth had torn the eye of Horus from him, though not before he himself had suffered a still more serious mutilation; and by some rnea1~s, we know not how, the restoration of the eye was instrumental in bringing about ,the vindication of Osiris. As to the manual rites of the daily cult, all that can here be said is that incense, purifications and anointings with various Oils played a large part; the sacrifices consisted chiefly of slaughtered oxen and geese; burnt offerings were a very late innovation.
At an early date the rites practised in the various temples were conformed to a common pattern. This holds good not only for the daily ritual, but also for many festivals that were celebrated on the same day throughout the whole length, of the land. Such were the calendrical feasts, called ~ the beginnings of the seasons, and including, for example, the monthly and halfmonthly festivals, that of the New Year and that of the rising of Sirius (Sothis). But there were also local feast days like th,at of Neith in Sais (Hdt. ii. 62) or that of Ammon in southern Opi (Luxor). These doubtless had a more individual character, and often celebrated some incident supposed to have occurred in the lifetime of the gad. Sometimes, as in the case of the feast of Osiris in Abydos, a veritable drama would be enacted, in which the whole history of the god, his sufferings and final triumph were represented in mimic form. At other times the ceremonial was more mysterious and symbolical, as in the feast of the raising of the Ded-column when a column of the kind was drawn by cords into an upright position. But the most common feature of these holy days was the procession of the god, when he was carried on the shoulders of the priests in his divine boat far beyond the precincts of his temple; sometimes, indeed, even to another town, where he paid a visit to the god of the place. These occasions were public holidays, and passed amid great rejoicings. The climax was reached when at a given- moment the curtains of the shrine placed on the boat were withdrawn, and the god was revealed to the eyes of the awe-struck multitude. Music and dancing formed part of the festival rites.
As with the rites and ceremonies, so also the temples were early modelled upon a common type. Lofty enclosure walls, Temples adorned with scenes from the victorious campaigns of the Pharaoh, shut off the sacred buildings from the surrounding streets. A small gateway between two massive towers or pylons gave admittance to a spacious forecourt open to the sky, into which the people were allowed to enter at least on feast days. Farther on, separated from the forecourt by smaller though still massive pylons, lay a hypostyle hall, so called from its covered colonnades; this hall was used for all kinds of processions. Behind the hypostyle hall, to which a second similar one might or might not be added, came the holy of holies, a dark narrow chamber where the god dwelt; none but the priests were admitted to it. All around lay the storehouses that contained the treasures of the god and the appurtenances of the aivine ritual. The temples of the earliest times were of course far more primitive than this: from the pictures that are all that is now left to indicate their nature, they seem to have been little more than huts or sheds in which the image of the god was kept. One temple of a type different from that above described has survived at Abusir, where it has been excavated by German explorers. It was a splendid edifice dedicated to the sun-god Re by a king of the Vth Dynasty, and was probably a close copy of the famous temple of Heliopolis. The most conspicuous feature was a huge obelisk on a broad superstructure 11: the obelisk always remained closely connected with the solar worship, and probably took the place of the innermost shrine and statue of other temples. The greater part of the sanctuary was left uncovered, as best befitted a dwelling-place of the sun. Outside its walls there was a huge brick model of the solar bark in which the god daily traversed the heavens.
As the power of the Pharaohs increased, the maintenance of the cult became one of the most important affairs of state. The most illustrious m~narchs prided themselves no less on the buildings they raised in honor of the gods than on the successful wars they waged: indeed the wars won a religious significance through the gradual elevation of the god of the capital to god of the nation, and a large part of the spoils was considered the rightful perquisite of the latter. Countless were the riches that the kings heaped upon the gods in the hope of being requited with long life and prosperity on the throne of the living. It became the theory that the temples were the gifts of the Pharaoh to his fathers the gods, and therefore in the scenes of the cult that adorn the inner walls it is always he who is depicted as performing the ceremonies. As a matter of fact the priesthoods were much more independent than was allowed to appear. Successive grants of land placed no small ~ of portion of the entire country in their hands, and the priests.
administration of the temple estates gave employment to a large number of officials and serfs. In the New Kingdom the might of the Theban god Ammon gradually became a serious tuenace to the throne: in the reign of Rameses III. he could boast of more than 80,000 dependants, and more than 400,000 cattle. It is not surprising that a few generations later the high priests of~ Ammon supplanted the Pharaohs altogether and founded a dynasty of their own.
At no .period did the priests form a caste that was quite distinctly separated from the laity. In early times the feudal lords were themselves the chief priests of the local temples. Under them stood a number of subordinate priests, both professional and lay. Among the former were the kher-heb, a learned man entrusted with the conduct of the ceremonies, and the divine fathers, whose functions are obscure. The lay priests were divided into four classes that undertook the management of the temple in alternate months; their collective name was the hour-priesthood. Perhaps it was to them that the often recurring title oueb, the pure, should properly be restricted, though strict rules as to personal purity, dress and diet were demanded of all priests. The personnel of the temple was completed by various subordinate officials, doorkeepers, attendantsand slaves. In. the New Kingdom the leading priests were more frequently mere clerics than theretofore, though for instance the high priest of Ammon was often at the same time the vizier of southern Egypt. In some places the highest priests bore special names, such as the Ouer maa, the Great Seer, of Re in Heliopolis, or the Khorp himet, chief artificer, of the Memphite Ptah. Women could also hold priestly rank, though apparently in early times only in the service of goddesses; priestess of Hathor is a frequent title of well-born ladies in the Old Kingdom. At a later date many wealthy dames held the office of musicians (shemat) in the various temples. In the service of the Theban Ammon two priestesses called the Adorer of the God and the Wife of the God occupied very influential positions, and towards the Saite period it was by no means unusual for the king to secure these offices for his daughters and so to strengthen his own royal title. -
5. The Dead and their Cult.While the worship of the gods tended more and more to become a monoply of the state and the priests, and provided no adequate outlet for the religious cravings of the people themselves, this deficiency was amply supplied by the care which they bestowed upon their dead:
the Egyptians stand alone among the nations of the world in the elaborate precautions which they took to secure their own welfare beyond the tomb. The belief in immortality, or perhaps rather the incapacity to grasp the notion of complete annihilation,, is traceable from the very ear]iest times: the simplest graves of the prehistoric period, when the corpses were committed to the earth in sheepskins and reed mats, seldom lack at least a few poor vases or articles of toilet for use in the hereafter. In proportion as the prosperity of the land increased, and the advance of civilization afforded the technical means, so did these primitive burials give place to a more lavish funereal equipment. Tombs of brick with a single chamber were succeeded by tombs of stone with several chambers, until they really merited the name of houses of eternity that the Egyptians gave to them. The conception of the tomb as the residence of the dead is the fundamental notion that underlies all the ritual observahces in connection with the dead, just as the idea of the temple as the dwelling-place of the god is the basis of the divine cult. The parallelism between the attitude of the Egyptians towards the dead and their attitude towards the gods is so striking that it ought never to be lost sight of: nothing can illustrate it better than the manner in which the Osirian doctrines came to permeate both kinds of cult.
The general scheme of Egyptian tombs remained the same throughout the whole of the dynastic period, thoughthere were Tombs, many variations of detail. By preference they were built in the Western desert, the Amente, near the place where the sun was seen to go to rest, and which seemed the natural entrance to the nether world. A deep pit led down. to the sepulchral chamber where the dead man was deposited amid the funereal furniture destined for his use; and no device was neglected that might enable him to rest here undisturbed. This aim is particularly conspicuous in the pyramids, the gigantic tombs which the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom constructed for themselves: the passages that lead to the burial chamber were barred at intervals by vast granite blocks, and the narrow opening that gave access to them was hidden from view beneath the stone casing of the pyramid sides. Quite separate from this part of the tomb lay the rooms employed for the cult of the dead: their walls were often adorned with pictures from the earthly life of the deceased, which it was hoped he might still continue to enjoy after death. The innermost chamber was the chapel proper: on its western side was sculptured an imitation door for the dead man to pass through, when he wished to participate in the offerings brought by pious relatives. It was of course only the few who could afford elaborate tombs of the kind: the poor had to make shift with an unpretentious grave, in which the corpse was placed enveloped only by a few rags or enclosed in a rough wooden coffin.
The utmost care was taken to preserve the body itself from decay. Before the time of the Middle Kingdom it became usual for the rich to have their bodies embalmed. The intestines were removed and placed in four vases (the burial, so-called Canopic jars) in which they were supposed to enjoy the protection of the four sons of Horus, the man-headed Mesti, the ape-headed Hapi, the jackal Duamutef and the falcon Kebhsenuf. The corpse was treated with natron and asphalt, and wound in a copious swathing of linen bandage, with a mask of linen and stucco on the face. The mummy thus prepared was then laid on its side like a sleeper, the head supported by a head-rest, in a sarcophagus of wood or stone. The operations in connection with the mummy grow more and more elaborate towards the end of the Pharaonic period:
already in the New Kingdom the wealthiest persons had their mummies laid in several coffins, each of which was gaudily painted with mythological scenes and inscriptions. The costliest process of embalmment lasted no less than seventy days. Many superstitious rites had to be observed in the course of the process:
a late book has preserved to us the magical formulae that were repeated by the wise kher-heb priest (who in the necropolis performed the functions of taricheutes, embalmer), as each bandage was applied.
A large number of utensils, articles of furniture and the like were placed in the burial-chamber for the use of the deadjars, weapons, mirrors, and even chairs, musical instruments and wigs. In the early times statuettes of servants, representing them as engaged in their various functions (brewers, bakers, &c.), were included for the same purpose; they were supposed to perform their menial functions for their deceased lord in the future life. In the Middle Kingdom these are gradually replaced by small models of the mummy itself, and the belief arose that when their owner was called upon to perform any distasteful work in the nether world, they would answer to his name and do the task for him. The later us/zebti-figures, little statuettes of wood, stone or faience, of which several hundreds are often found in a single tomb, are confused survivals of both of the earlier classes of statuettes. Still more important than all such funereal objects are the books that were placed in the grave for the use of the dead: in the pyramids they are written on the walls of the sepulchral chamber and the passages leading to it; in the Middle Kingdom usually inscribed on the inner sides of the sarcophagus; in later times contained in rolls of papyrus. The Pyramid texts and the Book of the Dead are the most important of these, and teach us much about the dangers and needs that attended the dead man beyond the tomb, and about the manner in which it was thought ,they could be counteracted.
The burial ceremony itself must have been an imposing spectacle. In many cases the mummy had to be conveyed across the Nile, and boats were gaily decked out for this purpose. On the western bank a stately procession conducted the deceased to his last resting-phce. At the door of the tomb the final ceremonies were performed; they demanded a considerable number of actors, chief among whom were the sem-priest and the lrher-heb priest. It was a veritable drama that was here enacted, and recalled in its incidents the story of Osiris, the divine proto type of all successive generations of the Egyptian dead.
However carefully the preliminary rites of embalmment and burial might have been performed, however sumptuous the tomb wherein the dead man reposed, he was never- The soul. theless almost entirely at the mercy of the living for his welfare in the other world: he was as dependent on a continued cult on the part of the surviving members of his family as the gods were dependent on the constant attendance of their priests. That portion of a mans individuality which required, even after death, food and drink, and the satisfaction of sensuous needs, was called by the Egyptians the ka, and represented in hieroglyphs by the uplifted hands U. This ka was supposed to be born together with the person to whom it belonged, and on the very rare occasions when it is depicted, wears his exact semblance. The conception of this psychical entity is too vaguely formulated by the Egyptians and too foreign to modern thought to admit of exact translation: of the many renderings that have been proposed, perhaps double is the most suitable. At all events the ha has to be distinguished from the soul, the bai (in hieroglyphs~or~), which was of more tangible nature, and might be descried hovering around the tomb in the form of a bird or in some other shape; for it was thought that the soul might assume what shape it would, if the funerary rites had been duly attended to. The gods had their ha and bai, and the forms attributed to the latter are surprising; thus we read that the soul of the sky Nun is Re, that of Osiris the Goat of Mendes, the souls of Sobk are crocodiles, and those of all the gods are makes; similarly the soul of Ptah was thought to dwell in the Apis bull, so that each successive Apis was during its lifetime the reincarnation of the god. Other parts of a mans being to which at given moments and in particular contexts the Egyptians assigned a certain degree of separate existence are the ~
ran, the shadow ~ ~, Ithaibet, and the corpse khal.
It was, however, the ha alone to which the cult of the dead was directly addressed. This cult was a positive duty binding on the children of a dead man, and doubtless as a rule discharged by them with some regularity and conscientiousness; at least, on feast-days offerings would be brought to the tomb, and the ceremonies of purification and opening the mouth of the deceased would be enacted. But there could be little guarantee that later generations would perpetuate the cult. It therefore became usual under the Old Kingdom for the wealthiest persons to make testamentary dispositions by which certain other persons agreed for a consideration to observe the required rites at stated periods:
they received the name of servants of the ha, and stood in the same relation to the deceased as the priests to the gods. Or again, contracts might be made with a neighboring temple, the priesthood of which bound itself to reserve for the contracting party some portion of the offerings that had already been used for the divine cult. There is probably a superstitious reason for the preference shown by the dead for offerings of this kind; no wish is commoner than that one may receive bread and beer that had gone up on to the altar of the local god, or with which the god had been sated; something of the divine sanctity still clung about such offerings and made them particularly desirable. In spite of all the precautions they took and the contracts they made, the Egyptians could never quite rid themselves of the dread that their tombs might decay and their cult be neglected; and they sought therefore to obtain by prayers and threats what they feared they might lose altogether. The occasional visitor to the tomb is reminded by its inscriptions of the many virtues of the dead man while he yet lived, and is charged, if he be come with empty hands, at least to pronounce the funerary formula; it will indeed cost him nothing but the breath of his mouth ! Against the would-be desecrator the wrath of the gods is invoked: with him shall the great god reckon there where a reckoning is made.
The funerary customs that have been described are meaningless except on the supposition that the tomb was the regular dwelling-place of the dead. But just as the Egyptians found no contradiction between. the view of the temple as the residence of the god and the conception of him as a cosmic deity, so too they often attributed to the dead a continued existence quite apart from the tomb. According to a widely-spread doctrine of great age the deceased Egyptian was translated to the heavens, where he lived on in the form of a star. This theme is elaborated with great detail in the Pyramid texts, where it is the dead king to whom this destiny is promised. It was perhaps only a restricted aristocracy who could aspire to such high honor: the ikh, or glorified being, who has his place in the sky seems often to hold an intermediate position between the gods and the rank and file of the dead. But in a few early passages the required qualification appears to be rather moral integrity than exalted station. The life of the dead man in the sky is variously envisaged in different texts: at one moment he is spoken of as accompanying the sun-god in his celestial bark, at another as a mighty king more powerful than Re himself; the crudest fancy of all pictures him as a hunter who catches the stars and gods, and cooks and eats them. According to another conception. that persisted in the imagination of the Egyptians longer than. any of the ideas just mentioned, the home of the dead in the heavens was a fertile region not very different form Egypt itself, intersected by canals and abounding in corn and fruit; this place was called the Sokhet Earu or field of Reeds.
Even in the oldest texts these beliefs are blended inextricably with the Osirian doctrines. It is not so much as king of the dead that Osiris here appears, but every deceased Egyptian was regarded as himself an Osiris, as having undergone all the indignities inificted upon the god, but finally triumphant over the powers of death and evil impersonated by Seth. This notion became so popular, that beside it all other views of the dead sink into insignificance; it permeates the funerary cult in all its stages, and from the Middle Kingdom onwards the dead man is regularly called the Osiris so-~d-so, just as though he were completely identical with the god. One incident of the tale of Osiris acquired a deep ethical meaning in connection with the dead. It was related how Seth had brought an accusation against Osiris in the great judgment hail of Heliopolis, and how the latter, helped by the skilful speaker Thoth, had emerged from the ordeal acquitted and triumphant. The belief gradually grew up that every dead man would have to face a similar trial before he could be admitted to a life of bliss in the other world. A wellknown vignette in the Book of the Dead depicts the scene. In a shrine sits Osiris, the ruler and judge of the dead, accompanied by forty-two assessors; and before him stands the balance on which the heart of the deceased man is to be weighed against Truth; Thoth stands behind and registers the result. The words that accompany this picture are still more remarkable:
they form a long negative confession, in which the dead man declares that he has sinned neither against man nor against the gods. Not all the sins named are equally heinous according to modern conceptions; many of them deal with petty offences against religious usages that seem to us but trifling. But it is clear that by the time this chapter was penned it was believed that no man could attain to happiness in the hereafter if he had not been upright, just and charitable in his earthly existence. The date at which these conceptions became general is not quite certain, but it can hardly be later than the Middle Kingdom, when the dead man has the epithet justified appended to his name in the inscriptions of his tomb.
It was but a natural wish on. the part of the Egyptians that they should desire to place their tombs near the traditional burying-place of Osiris. By the time of the XIItb Dynasty it was thought that this lay in Abydos, the town where the kings of the earliest times had been interred. But it was only in a few cases that such a wish could be literally fulfilled. It therefore became customary for those who possessed the means to dedicate at least a tombstone in the neighborhood of the staircase of the great god, as the sacred spot was called. And those who had found occasion to visit Abydos in. their lifetime took pleasure in recalling the part that they had there taken. in the ceremonies of Osiris. Such pilgrims doubtless believed that the pious act would stand to their credit when the day of death arrived.
6. Magic.Among the rites that were celebrated in the temples or before the statues of the dead were many the mystical meaning of which was but imperfectly understood, though their efficacy was never doubted. Symbolical or imitative acts, accompanied by spoken formulae of set form and obscure content, accomplished, by some peculiar virtues of their own, results that were beyond the power of human hands and brain.. The priests and certain wise men were the depositaries of this mysterious but highly useful art, that was called hik or magic; and one of the chief differences between gods and men was the superior degree in which the former were endowed with magical powers. It was but natural that the Egyptians should wish to employ magic for their own benefit or self-gratification, and since religion put no veto on the practice so long as it was exercised within legal bounds, it was put to a widespread use among them. When magicians made figures of wax representing men whom they desired to injure, this was of course an illegal act like any Dther, and the law stepped in to prevent it: one papyrus that has been preserved records the judicial proceedings taken in 1uch a case in connection with the harem conspiracy against Rameses III.
One of the chief purposes for which magic was employed was ~o avert diseases. Among the Egyptians, as in other lands, ,llnesses were supposed to be due to evil spirits or the ghosts of lead men who had taken up their abode in the body of the fufferer, and they could only be driven thence by charms and;pells. But out of these primitive notions arose a real medical science: when the ailment could be located and its nature roughly determined, a more materialistic view was taken of it; and many herbs and drugs that were originally used for some superstitious reason, when once they had been found to be actually effective, easily lost their magical significance and were looked upon as natural specifics. It is extremely hard to draw any fixed line in Egypt between magic and medicine; but it is curious to note that simple diagnoses and prescriptions were employed for the more curable diseases, while magical formulae and amulets are reserved for those that are harder to cope with, such as the bites of snakes and the stings of scorpions.
The formulae recited for such purposes are not purely cabalistic, though inasmuch as mystery is of the very essence of magic, foreign words and outlandish names occur in them by preference. Often the magician relates some mythical case where a god had been afflicted with a disease similar to that of the patient, but had finally recovered: a number of such tales were told of Horus, who was usually healed by some device of his mother Isis, she being accounted as a great enchantress. The mere recitation of such similar cases with their happy issue was supposed to be magically effective; for almost unlimited power was supposed to be inherent in mere words. Often the demon is directly invoked, and commanded to come forth. At other times the gods are threatened with privations or even destruction if they refuse to aid the magician: the Egyptians seem to have found little impiety in such a use of the divine name, though to us it would seem the utmost degree of ptofanity when, for instance, a magician declares that ifhis spell prove ineffective, he will cast fire into Mendes and burn up Osiris.
The verbal spells were always accompanied by some manual performance, the tying of magical knots or the preparation of an amulet. In these acts particular significance was attached to certain numbers: a sevenfold knot, for example, was more efficacious than others. Often the formula was written on a strip of rag or a scrap of papyrus and tied round the neck of the person for whom it was intended. Beads and all kinds of amulets could be infused with magical power so as to be potent phylacteries to those who wore them.
In conclusion, it must be emphasized that in Egypt magic stands in no contrast or opposition to religion, at least as long as it was legitimately used. The religious rites and ceremonies are full of it. When a pretence was made of opening, with an iron instrument, the mouth of the divine statue, to the accompaniment of recited formulae, this can hardly be termed anything but magic. Similarly, the potency attributed to ushebli-figures and the copies of the Book of the Dead deposited in the tombs is magical in quality. What has been considered under this heading, however, is the use that the same principles of magic were put to by men in their own practical life and for their own advantage.
AUTHORITIE5.An excellent list of books and articles on the various topics connected with Egyptian Religion will be found in H. 0. Langes article on the subject in P.D. Chantepie de la Saussaye, Lehrbuch der Retigionsgeschichte (Tubingen, 1905), vol. i. pp. 172-
245. Among general works may be especially recommended A. Erman, Die agyptische Religion (Berlin, 1905); and chapters 2 and 3 in G. Maspero, Ilistoire ancienne des peuples de lOrient, les origines, vol. i. (Paris, 1895). (A. H. G.)
D. Egyptian Language and Writing. Decipherment. Although attempts were made to read Egyptian hieroglyphs so far back as the 17th century, no promise of success appeared until the discovery of the Rosetta stone in 1799 by the French engineers attached to Napoleons expedition to Egypt. This tablet was inscribed with three versions, in hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek, of a long decree of the Egyptian priests in honor of Ptolemy V., Epiphanes and his wife Cleopatra. The Greek and demotic versions were still almost perfect, but most of the hieroglyphic text had been broken away with the top of the tablet; portions of about half of the lines remained, but no single line was complete. In 1802 J. D. Akerblad, a Swedish orientalist attached to the embassy in Paris, identified the proper names of persons which occurred in the demotic text, being guided to them by the position of their equivalents in the Greek. These names, all of them foreign, were written in an alphabet of a limited number of characters, and were therefore analysed with comparative ease.
The hieroglyphic text upon the Rosetta stone was toO fragmentary to furnish of itself the key to the decipherment. But the study of this with the other scanty monuments and imperfect copies of inscriptions that were available enabled the celebrated physicist Thomas Young (1773-1829) to make a beginning. In an article completed in 1819 and printed (over the initials I. J.) in the supplement to the 4th, 5th and 6th editions of the Encyclopaedia (vol. iv., 1824), he published a brief account of Egyptian research, with five plates containing the rudiments of an Egyptian vocabulary. It appears thatYoung rould place the hieroglyphic, demotic and Greek texts of the Rosetta stone very correctly parallel; but he could not accurately break up the Egyptian sentences into words, much less :ould he attribute to the words their proper sounds. Yet he recognized correctly the names of Apis and Re, with many groups for words such as assembly, good, name, and of the later periods with some accuracy, and his comprehension of demotic was considerable. Champollion outdistanced all his competitors from the first, and had practically nothing to thank them for except material to work on, and too often that had been intentionally withheld from him. In. eleven years he broke ground in all directions; if the ordinary span of life had been allowed him, with twenty or thirty more years of labor he might have brought order into the chaos of different ages and styles of languageand writing; but, as it was, the task of co-ordination. remained to be done by others. For one year, before his illness incapacitated him, Champollion held a professorship in Paris; but of his pupils and fellow-workers, F. P. Salvolini, insincere and self-seeking, died young, and Ippolito Rosellini (1800-1843) showed little original power. From 1832 to 1837 there was a pause in the march of Egyptology, and it seemed as if the young science might be overwhelmed by the storm of doubts and detraction that was poured upon it by the enemies of Champollion. Then, however, Lepsius in Germany and Samuel Birch in England took up the thread where the master had dropped it, and E. de Rouge, H. Brugsch, Francois Joseph Chabas and a number of lesser lights quickly followed. Brugsch (q.v.) was the author of a hieroglyphic and demotic dictionary which still holds the field, and from time to time carried forward the study of demotic by a giants stride. De Rouge (d. 1872) in France was a brilliant translator of hieroglyphic texts and the author of an important grammatical work. Chabas (1817-1882) especially addressed himself to the reading of the hieratic textt of the New Kingdom. By such labors after forty years the results attained by Champollion in decipherment were entirely superseded. Yet, while the values of the signs were for the most part well ascertained, and the meanings of most works fixed with some degree of accuracy, few grammatical rules had as yet been established, the varieties of the language at different periods had not been. defined, and the origins of the hieroglyphs and of their values had not been investigated beyond the most obvious points. At this time a rare translator of Egyptian texts in all branches was arising in. G. Maspero (q.v.), while E. Revillout addressed himself with success to the task of interpreting the legal documents of demotic which had been almost entirely neglected for thirty years. But the honor of inaugurating an epoch marked by greater precision belongs to Germany. The study of Coptic had begun in Europe early in the I7th century, and reached a high level in the work of the Dane Georg Zoega (1755-1809) at the end of the 18th century. In 1835, too late for Champollion. to use it, Amadeo Peyron (1785-1870) of Turin published a Coptic lexicon of great merit which is still standard, though far from satisfying the needs of scholars of the present day. In 1880 Ludwig Stern (Koptische Grammatik) admirably classified the grammatical forms of Coptic. The much more difficult task of recovering the grammar of Egyptian has occupied thirty years of special study by Adolf Erman and his school at Berlin, and has now reached an advanced stage. The greater part of Egyptian texts after the Middle Kingdom having been written in. what was even then practically a dead language, as dead as Latin was to the medieval monks in Italy who wrote and spoke it, Erman selected for special investigation those texts which really represented the growth of the language at different p~riods, and, as he passed from one epoch to another, compared and consolidated his results.
The Neuagyptische Grammatik (1880) dealt with texts written in the vulgar dialect of the New Kingdom (Dyns. XVIII. to XX.). Next followed, in the Zeitschrift fr gyptische Sprache und Alterlhumskunde, studies on the Old Kingdom inscription of Una, and the Middle Kingdom contracts of Assiut, as well as on an Old Coptic text of the 3rd century AD. At this point a papyrus of stories written in the popular language of the Middle Kingdom provided Erman with a stepping-stone from Old Egyptian to the Late Egyptian of the Neuagyptische Grammatik, and gave the connections that would bind solidly together the whole structtire of Egyptian grammar (see Sprache des Papyrus Westcar, 1889). The very archaic pyramid texts enabled him to sketch the grammar of the earliest known form of Egyptian (Zeitschrift d. Deutsch. Morgeni. Gesellschaft, 1892), and in I894 he was able to write a little manual of Egyptian for beginners (Agyplische Grammatik, 2nd ed., 1902), centring on the language of the standard inscriptions of the Middle and New Kingdoms, but accompanying the main sketch with references to earlier and later forms. Of the work of Ermans pupils we may mention G Steindorifs ~ttle Koptische Grammatik (1894, ed 1904), improving greatly on Sterns standard work in regard to phonology and the relationship of Coptic forms to Egyptian, and K. Sethes Das Agyptische Verbum (1899). The latter is an extensive monograph on the verb in Egyptian and Coptic by a brilliant and laborious philologist. Owing to the very imperfect notation of sound in the writing, the highly important subject ,of the verbal roots and verbal forms was perhaps the obscurest branch of Egyptian grammar when Sethe first attacked it in 1895. The subject has been reviewed by Erman, Die Flexion des dgyptischen Verbums in the Sitzngsberlchte of the Berlin Academy, 1900. The Berlin school, having settled the main lines of the grammar, next turned its attention to lexicography. It has devised a scheme, founded on that for the Latin Thesaurus of the Berlin Academy, which almost mechanically sorts the whole number of occurrences of every word in any text examined. Scholars in England, America and Denmark, as well as in Germany, have taken part in this great enterprise, and though the completion of it may be far off, the collections of classified material already made are very valuable for consultation.i At present Egyptologists depend on Heinrich Brugschs admirable but somewhat antiquated Wrterbuch and on Levis useful but entirely uncritical Vocabolario. Though demotic has not yet received serious attention at Berlin, the influence of that great school has made itself felt amongst demotists, especially in Switzerland, Germany, America and England. The death of Heinrich Brugsch in 1895 was a very severe blow to demotie studies; but it must be admitted that his brilliant gifts lay in other directions than exact grammatical analysis. Apart from their philological interest, as giving the history of a remarkable language during a period of several thousand years, the grammatical studies of the last quarter of the I9th century and afterwards are beginning to bear fruit in regard to the exact interpretation of historical documents on Egyptian monuments and papyri. Not long ago the supposed meaning of these was extracted chiefly by brilliant guessing, and the published translations of even the best scholars could carry no guarantee of more than approximate exactitude, where the sense depended at all on correct recognition of the syntax. Now the translator proceeds in Egyptian with some of the sureness with which he would deal with Latin or Greek. The meaning of many words may be still unknown, and many constructions are still obscure; but at least he can distinguish fairly between a correct text and a corrupt text. Egyptian writing lent itself only too easily to misunderstanding, and the writings of one period were but half intelligible to the learned scribes of another. The mistaken readings of the old inscriptions by the priests at Abydos (Table of Abydos), when attempting to record the names of the kings of the 1st Dynasty on the walls of the temple of Seti I., are now admitted on all sides; and no palaeographer, whether his field be Greek, Latin, Arabic, Persian or any other class of MSS., will be surprised to hear that the Egyptian papyri and inscriptions abound in corruptions and mistakes. The translator of to-day can, if he wishes, mark where certainty ends and mere conjecture begins, and it is to be hoped that advkntage will be taken more widely of this new power. The Egyptologist who has long lived in the realm of conjecture is too prone to consider any feries of guesses good enough to serve as a translation, and forgets to insert the notes of interrogation which would warn workers in other fields from implicit trust.
Language and WritingThe history of the Egyptian language is evidenced by documents extending over a very long range of time. They begin with the primitive inscriptions of the 1st Dynasty (not later than 3300 B.C.) and end with the latest Coptic compositions of about the v4th century AD. The bulk of the hieroglyphic inscriptions are written in a more or less artificial literary language; but in business documents, letters, popular tales, &c., the scribes often adhered closely to the living form of the tongue, and thus reveal its progressive changes.
The stages of the language are now distinguished as follows: Old Egyplian.This is properly the language of the Old Kingdom. In it we have(a) the recently discovered inscriptions of the 1st Dynasty, too brief and concise to throw much light on the language of that time; and the great collections of spells and ritual texts found inscribed in the Pyramids of the Vth and VIth Dynasties, which must even then have been of high antiquity, though they contain later additions made in the same style. (b) A few historical texts and an abundance of short inscriptions representing the language of the IVth, Vth and VIth Dynasties. The ordinary literary language of the later monuments is modelled on Old Egyptian. It is often much affected by contemporary speech, but preserves in the main the characteristics of the language of the Old Kingdom.
Middle and Late Egyptian.These represent the vulgar speech of the Middle and New Kingdoms respectively. The former is found chiefly in tales, letters, &c., written in hieratic on papyri of the XIIIth Dynasty to the end of the Middle Kingdom; also in some inscriptions of the XVIIIth Dynasty. Late Egyptian is seen in hieratic papyri of the XVIIIth to the XXIst Dynasties. The spelling of Late Egyptian is very extraordinary, full of false etymologies, otiose signs, &c., the old orthography being quite unable to adapt itself neatly to the profoundly modified language; nevertheless, this clumsy spelling is exp1~essive, and the very mistakes are instructive as to the pronunciation.
Demotic.Demotic Egyptian seems to represent approximately the vulgar speech of the Saite ~period, and is written in. the demotic character, which may be traced back to the XXVIth Dynasty, if not to a still earlier time. With progressive changes, this form of the language is found in documents reaching down to the fall of Paganism in the 4th century AD. Under the later Ptolemies and the Roman rule documents in Greek are more abundant than in demotic, and the language of the ruling classes must have begun to penetrate the masses deeply.
Coptic.This, in the main, represents the popular language of early Christian Egypt from the 3rd to perhaps the 10th century AD., when the growth of Coptic as a literary language must ,have ceased. The Greek alphabet, reinforced by a few signs borrowed from demotic, rendered the spoken tongue so accurately that four distinct, though closely allied, dialects are readily distinguishable in Coptic MSS.; ample remains are found of renderings of the Scriptures into all these dialects. The distinctions between the dialects consist largely in pronunciation, but extend also to the vocabulary, word-formation and syntax. Such interchanges are found as 1 for r, 6 (k, ch) for ~ (dj), final i for final e, a for e, a for o. Early in the 2nd century AD., pagan Egyptians, or perhaps foreigners settled in Egypt, essayed, as yet unskilfully, to write the native language in Greek letters. This Old Coptic, as it is termed, was still almost entirely free from Greek loanwords, and its strong archaisms are doubtless accounted for by the literary language, even in its most vulgar forms, having moved more slowly than the speech of the people. Christian Coptic, though probably at first contemporary with some documents of Old Coptic, contrasts strongly with the latter. The monks whose task it was to perfect the adaptation of the alphabet to the dialects of Egypt and translate the Scriptures out of the Greek, flung away all pagan traditions. It is clear that the basis which they chose for the new literature was the simplest language of daily life in the monasteries, charged as it was with expressions taken from Greek, pre-eminently the language of patristic Christianity. There is evidence that the amount of stress on syllables, and the consequent length of vowels, varied greatly in spoken Coptic, and that the variation gave much trouble to the scribes; the early Christian writers must have taken as a model for each dialect the deliberate speech of grave elders or preachers, and so secured a uniform system of accentuation. The remains of Old Coptic, though very instructive in their marked peculiarities, are as yet too few for definite classification. The main divisions of Christian Coptic as recognized and named at present are: Sahidic (formerly called Theban), spoken in the upper Thebais; Akhmimic, in the neighborhood of Akhmim, but driven out by Sahidic about the 5th century; Fayumic, in the Fayum (formerly named wrongly Bashmuric, from a province of the Delta); Bohairic, the dialect of the coast district (formerly named Memphite), spoken in the north-western Delta. Coptic, much alloyed with Arabic, was spoken in Upper Egypt as late as the 15th century, but it has long been a dead language. Sahidic and Bohairic are the most important In the temple of- Philae, where the worship of Isis was permitted to continue till the reign of Justinian, Brugsch found demotic inscriptions with dates to the end of the 5th century.
The Arabic dialects, which gradually displaced Coptic as Mahominedanism supplanted Christianity, adopted but few words 3f the old native stock.
dialects, each of these having left abundant remains; the former spread over the Whole of Upper Egypt, and the latter since the 14th century has been the language of the sacred books of Christianity throughout the country, owing to the hierarchical importance of Alexandria and the influence of the ancient monasteries established in the north-western desert.
The above stages of the Egyptian language are not defined with absolute clearness. Progress is seen from dynasty to dynasty or from century to century. New Egyptian shades off almost imperceptibly into demotic, and it may be hoped that gaps which now exist in the development will be filled by further discovery.
Coptic is the only stage of the language in which the spelling gives a clear idea of the pronunciation. It is therefore the mainstay of the scholar in investigating or restoring the word~ forms of the ancient language. Greek transcriptions of Egyptian names and words are valuable as evidence fOr the vocalization of Egyptian. Such are found from the 6th century n.c. in the inscription of Abu Simbel, from the 5th in Herodotus, &c., and abound in Ptolemaic and later documents from the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. onwards. At first sight they may seem inaccurate, but on closer examination the Graecizing is seen to follow definite rules, especially in the Ptolemaic period. A few cuneiform transcriptions, reaching as far back as the XVIIIth Dynasty, give valuable hints as to how Egyptian was pronounced in the 15th century B.C. Coptic itself is of course quite inadequate to enable us to restore Old Egyptian. In it the Old Egyptian verbal forms are mostly replaced by periphrases; though the strong roots are often preserved entire, the weaker con9onants and the ~ have- largely or entirely disappeared, so that the language appears as one of biliteral rather than triliteral roots. Coptic is strongly impregnated with Greek words adopted late; moreover, a certain number of Semitic loan-words flowed into Egyptian at all ages, and especially from the 16th century B.C. onwards, displacing earlier words. It is only by the most careful scrutiny, or the exercise of the most piercing insight, that the imperfectly spelled Egyptian has been made to yield up one grammatical secret after another in the light brought to bear upon it from Coptic. Demotic grammar ought soon to be thoroughly comprehensible in its forms, and the study of Late Egyptian should not stand far behind that of demotic. On the other hand, Middle Egyptian, and still mote Old Egyptian, which is separated from Middle Egyptian by a wide gap, will perhaps always be to us little more than consonantal skeletons, the flesh and blood of their vocalization being for the most part irretrievably lost.
In common with the Semitic languages, the Berber languages of North Africa, and the Cushite languages of North-East Africa, Egyptian of all periods possesses grammatical gender,- expressing masculine and feminine. Singularly few language groups have this peculiarity; and our own great Indo-European group, which possesses it, is distinguished from those above mentioned by having the neuter gender in addition. The characteristic triliteral roots of all the Semitic languages seemed to separate them widely from others; but certain traits have caused the Egyptian, Berber and Cushite groups to be classed together as three subfamilies of a Hamitic group, remotely related to the Semitic. The biliteral character of Coptic, and the biliteralism which was believed to exist in Egyptian, led philologists to suspect that Egyptian might be a surviving witness to that far-off stage of the Semitic languages when triliteral roots had not yet been formed from presumed original biliterals; Sethes investigations, however, prove that the Coptic biliterals are themselves derived from Old Egyptian triliterals, and that the triliteral roots enormously preponderated in Egyptian of the earliest known form; that view is, therefore, no longer tenable. Many remarkable In the articles referring to matters of Egyptology in this edition, Graecized forms of Old Egyptian names, where they exist, are commonly employed; in other cases names are rendered by their actual equivalents in Coptic or by analogous forms. Failing all such means, recourse is had to the usual conventional renderings of hieroglyphic spelling, a more precise transcription of the consonants in the latter being sometimes added.
resemblances have been observed in the grammatical structure of the Berber and Cushite groups with Semitic (cf. H. Zimmern, Vergleichende Grammatik d. semitischen Sprachen, Berlin, 1898, especially pronouns and verbs); but the relationship must be very distant, and there are no ancient documents that can take back the history of any one of those languages more than a few centuries. Their connection with Semitic and Egyptian, therefore, remains at present an obscure though probable hypothesis. On the other hand, Egyptian is certainly related to Semitic. Even before the triliterality of Old Egyptian was recognized, Erman showed that the so-called pseudoparticiple had been really in meaning and in form a precise analogue of the Semitic perfect, though its original employment was almost obsolete in the time of the earliest known texts. Triliteralism is considered the most essential and most peculiar feature of Semitic. But there are, besides, many other resemblances in structure between the Semitic languages and Egyptian, so that, although the two vocabularies present few points of clear contact, there is reason to believe-that Egyptian was originally a characteristic member of the Semitic family of languages. See Erman, Das Verhltnis d. agyptischen zu d. semitischen Sprachen (Zeitschrift d. deutschen morgenl. Gesellschaft, 1892); Zimmern, Vergi. Gram., 1898; Erman, Flexion d. ggyptischen Verbuins (Silzungsbericlzte d. Ben. Akad., 1900). The Egyptians proper are not, and so far as we can. tell never were, Semitic in physical feature. As a possible explanation of the facts, Erman supposes that a horde of conquering Semites, like the Arabs of a later day, imposed their language on the country, but disappeared, being weakened by the climate or absorbed by the native population. The latter acquired the Semitic language imperfectly from their conquerors; they expressed the verbal conjugations by periphrases, mispronounced the consonants, and so changed greatly, the appearance of the vocabulary, which also would certainly contain a large proportion of native nonSemitic roots. Strong consonants gave place to weak consonants (as t.3 has done to), in the modern Arabic of Egypt), and then the weak consonants disappearing altogether produced biliterals from the triliterals. Much of this must have taken place, according to the theory, in the prehistoric period; but the loss of weak consonants, of y, and of one of two repeated consonants, and the development of periphrastic conjugations continued to the end. The typical Coptic root thus became biliteral rather than triliteral, and the verb, by means of periphrases, developed tenses of remarkable precision. Such verbal resemblances as exist between Coptic and Semitic are largely due to late exchanges with Semitic neighbors.
The following sketch of the Egyptian language, mainly in its earliest form, which dates from some three or four thousand years si.c., is founded upon Ermans works. It will serve to contrast with Coptic grammar on the one hand and Semitic grammar on the other.
Tna EGYPTIAN ALPHABET
=1; so conventionally transcribed since it unites two values, being sometimes y but often s (especially at the beginning of words), and from the earliest times used in a manner corresponding to the Arabic hamza, to indicate a prosthetic vowel. Often lost.
~ and are frequently employed for y.
= (s); easily lost or changes to y.
.._....a = (ft); lost in Coptic. This rare sound, well known in Semitic, occurs also in Berber and Cushite languages.
=w; often changes to y.
~=r; often lost, or changes to y. r and 1 are distinguished in later demotic and in Coptic.
m=hl ~- distinction lost in Coptic.
o h; in Coptic ~iy (sh) orJ~ (kh) correspond to it.
~ =h; generally written with~(L) in the Old Kingdom, but *~ corresponds to kh in Coptic.
=s } distinction lost at the end of the Old Kingdom.
~ =q; Coptic K.
=kl Coptic K;or(V~,X, according to dialect. Zt~ =gf Coptic K; or 6.
~ =t; often lost at the end of words.
~~t (0); often changes to t, otherwise Coptic T; or ~, 6. ~=d; in Coptic reduced to t.
=~ (1); often changes to d, Coptic 7; otherwise in CopticZ.
Egyptian roots consist of consonants and semi-consonants only, the inflexion being effected by internal vowel-change and the addition of consonants or vowels at the beginning or end. The Egyptian system of writing, as opposed to the Coptic, showed only the consonantal skeletons of words: it could not record internal vowel-changes; and semi-consonants, even when radicals, were often omitted in writing.
Sing. I. c. Lw (?)laterwl. P1. I. C- n. Du.
2. m. kw. 2. C. La. 2. C. ~ny.
3. m. *fy, surviving only 3. m. Lu, early lost, 3. c. .fny.
in a special except as verbal form, suffix.
f. .fy. f. ~ surviving as 3. C.
From these are derived the suffixes, which are shortened forms attached to nouns to express the possessor, and to verbs to express the subject. In the latter case the verb was probably in the participle, so that .f~nitt-Ln, they hear, is literally hearing are they. The singular suffixes are: (1) c.-L; (2) m. -k, f. -t; (3) m. -f, f. -L;the dual and plural have no special forms.
Another series of absolute pronouns is: (2) m. lull, ~w; f. lmt, lm; (3) m. fwt, Lw; f. itt, ft. Of these twi, tint, &c., are &mphatic forms.
Many of the above absolute pronouns were almost obsolete even in the Old Kingdom. In ordinary texts some survive, especially as objects of verbs, namely, wL, tw, tn, 1w, at. The suffixes of all numbers and persons except the dual were in full use throughout, to Coptic; an, however, giving way to a new suffix, -w, which developed first in the New Kingdom.
Another absolute pronoun of the first person is ink, .JtOK, like Heb. ~is. It is associated with a series for the second and third persons: nt-k, nt-l, nt-f, nt-in, &c.; but from their history, use and form, it seems probable that the last are of later formation, and are not to be connected with the Semitic pronouns (chiefly of the 2nd person) resembling them.
DEMONSTRATIVE PRONO UNS
There are several series based on m. p; f. t; p1. ii; but n as a plural seems later than the other two. From them are developed a weak demonstrative to which possessive suffixes can be attached, producing the definite and possessive articles (p, t~, n, the, py-f, his, py-s her, &c.) of Middle Egyptian and the later languageS
Two genders, m. (ending w, or nothing), f. (ending I). Three numbers: singular, dual (m. wL, f. U, gradually became obsolete), plural (m. w; f. uS). No case-endings are recognizable, but construct formsto judge by Copticwere in use. Masculine and feminine nouns of instrument or material are formed from verbal roots by prefixing m; e.g. m~sdm-t, stibium, from sdm, paint the eye. Substantives and adjectives are formed from substantives and l~repositions by the addition of y in the masculine; e.g. nS, city, nt.y, belonging to a city, citizen; ~1r, upon, ~iry (f. ~1r.i; - pl. ~ir.w), upper. This is not unlike the Semitic ,nsbe ending iy, ay (e.g. Ar. beled, city, beledi, belonging to a city). Adjectives follow the nouns they qualify.
1, w; 2, .fn; 3, /ImI; 4, fdw; 5, dw; 6, sls (or Sw.?); 7, sfii; 8, llmn; 9, ps~ 10, ml. 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 (?) resemble Semitic numerals. 20 and 30 (mb) had special names; 40-90 were named as if plurals of the units 4-9, as in Semitic. 100, fat; 1000, ~,; 10,000, zb; 100,000, lifnw.
The forms observable in hieroglyphic writing lead to the following classification: STRONG VERBS. Biliteral - - Often showing traces of an original 111. inf.; in early times very rare.
Triliteral - - Very numerous.
- ~Generallyformedbyreduplication. Ouadriliteral In Late Egyptian they were no ~ longer inflected, and were con~uinqueliteral jugated with the help of fry, I. do.
WEAK VERBS. II. geminatae. Properly triliterals, but, with the 2nd or 3rd radical alike, these coalesced in many forms where no vowel intervened, and gave the word the appearance of a biliteraL
111. gem.... Rare.
In. inf. - - Numerous. In. w, and In. I were unified early. Some very common verbs, do, give, come, bring are irregular.
Iv. inf. -. - Partly derived from adjectival formations in y, from nouns and infinitives:e.g. t~ip, inf. tlpt; adj. tIpty; verb (4 lit.), tIpty.
Many verbs with weak consonantsIy, 1W, II. inf. (m~w]t), and those with sare particularly difficult to trace accurately, owing to defective writing.
It seems that all the above classes may be divided into two main groups, according to the form of the infinitive :with masculine infinitive the strong triliteral type, and with feminine infinitive the type of the III. inf. The former group includes all except In. inf., IV. inf., and the causative of the biiterals, which belong to the second group.
It is probable that the verb had a special form denoting condition, as in Arabic. There was a causative form prefixing t, and ti-aces of forms resembling Piel and Niphal are observed. Some roots are reduplicated wholly or in part with a frequentative meaning, and there are traces of gemination of radicals.
Pseudo-Participle.In very early texts this is the past indicative, but more commonly it is used in sentences such as, gm-n-f wi 11 kwl, he found me I stood, i.e. he found me standing. The indicative use was soon given up and the pseudo-participle was employed only as predicate, especially indicating a state; e.g. nlrt hell, the goddess goes; lw-k wdtl, thou art prosperous. The endings were almost entirely lost in New Egyptian. For early times they stand thus: Sing. 3. masc. I, late w. Dual wU. P1. w.
fem. IL. tllw II.
2. masc. II tlwny.
I. c. kwi. wyn.
The pseudo-participle seems, by its inflexion, to have been the perfect of the original Semitic conjugation. The simplest form being that of the 3rd person, it is best arranged like the corresponding tense in Semitic grammars, beginning with that person. There is no trace of the Semitic imperfect in Egyptian. The ordinary conjugation is formed quite differently. The verbal stem is here followed by the subject-suffix or substantivetdm-f, he hears; t~mw itu, the king hears. It is varied by the addition of particles, &c., n, In, ~lr, tw, thus: i~m-f, he hears; .idm-w-f, he is heard (p1. tdm-LI-in, they are heard); t~m-tw-f, he is heard; tdm-n-f, he heard Ldm-n-tw-f, he was heard; also, tdm-ln-f, t~m-11r-f, -fdm-k,-f. Each form has special uses, generally difficult to define. .fdm-f seems rather to be imperfect, tdin-n-f perfect, and generally to express the past. Later, tdm-f is ordinarily expressed by periphrases; but by the loss of n, t~m-n-f became itself sdm-f, which is the ordinary past in demotic. Cnptic preserves Ldm-f forms of many verbs in its causative (e.g. T~tU!)O(j cause him to live, from Egyptian dltn1/2-f), and, in its periphrastic conjugation, the same forms of wn, be, and Iry, do. With fdm-f (tedmo-f) was a more emphatic form (esdomef), at any rate in the weak verbs.
The above, with the relative forms mentioned below, are supposed by Erman to be derived from the participle, which is placed first for emphasis: thus, t~mw tIn, hearing is the king; 1dm-f, for fdm-fy, hearing he is. This Egyptian paraphrase of Semitic is just like the Irish paraphrase of English, It is hearing he is.
The imperative shows no ending in the singular; in the plural It has y. and later w; cf. Semitic imperative.
The infinite is of special importance on account of its being preserved very fully in Coptic. It is generally of masculine form, but feminine in III. inf. (as in Semitic), and in causatives of biliterals.
There are relative forms of Ldm-f and 1dm-n-f, respectively Ldmw-f (masc.), t~m.I-n-f (fern.), &c. They are used when the relative is the object of the relative sentence, or has any other position than the subject. Thus tdm.t-f may mean she whom he hears, she who~se praises] he hears, she reigned in different countries forming a compact and not very large areaperhaps from South Arabia to Asia Minor, and from Persia to Crete and Egypt. Whether they all sprang from one common I stock of picture-writing we shall perhaps never know, nor can we as yet trace the influence which one great system may have had on another, owing to the poverty of documents from most of the countries concerned.
It is certain that in Egypt from the IVth Dynasty onwards the mode of writing was essentially the same as that which was extinguished by the fall of paganism in the 4th century A.D. Its elements in the hieroglyphic form are pictorial, but each hieroglyph had one or more well-defined functions, fixed by convention in such a manner that the Egyptian language was expressed in writing word by word. Although a picture sign may at times have embarrassed the skilled native reader by offering a choice of fixed values or functions, it was never intended to convey merely an idea, so as to leave to him the task of putting the idea into his own words. How far this holds good for the period before the IVth Dynasty, it is difficult to say. The known inscriptions of the earlier times are so brief and so limited in range that the system on which they were written cannot yet be fully investigated. As far back as the 1st Dynasty, phonograms (see below) were in full use. But the spelling then was very concise: it is possible that some of the slighter words, such as prepositions, were omitted in the writing, and were intended to be supplied from the context. As a whole, we gain the Impression that a really distinct and more primitive stage of hieroglyphic writing by a substantially vaguer notation of words lay not far behind the time of the 1st Dynasty.
The employment of the signs are of three kinds: any given sign represents either (I) a whole word or root; or (2) a sound as part of a word; or (3) pictorially defines the meaning of a word the sound of which has already been given by a sign or group of signs preceding.
The number of phonograms is very restricted, but some signs have all these powers. For instance, ~ is the conventional picture of a draughtboard (shown in plan) with the draughtsmen (shown in elevation) on its edge :this sign (I) signifies the root mn, set, firm; or (2) in the group ~ represents the same sound as part of the root mn~, good; or (~) added to the group sni (thus:
~ ~ shows that the meaning intended is draughtboard, or draughts, and not any of the other meanings of sni. Thus signs, according to their employment, are said to be (I) wordsigns, (2) phonograms, or (3) determinatives.
Word-signs.The word-sign value of a sign is, in the first place, the name of the object it represents, or of some material, or quality, or action, or idea suggested by it. Thus ~ is lir, face; ,a vase of ointment, is mrii.t, ointment; ~ is wdb, turn, Much investigation is still required to establish the origins of the values of the signs; in some cases the connection between the pictures and the primary values seems to be curiously remote. Probably all the signs in the hieroglyphic signary can be employed in their primary sense. The secondary value expresses the consonantal root of the name or other primary value, and any, or almost any, derivative from that root: as when ~ a mat with a cake upon it, is not only litp, an offering-mat, but also hip in the sense of conciliation, peace, rest, setting (of the sun), with many derivatives. In the third place, some signs may be transferred to express another root having the same consonants as the first: thus ~, the ear, by a play upon words can express not only .f4m, hear, but also fdm, paint the eyes.
Phonograms.Only a limited number of signs are found with this use, but they are of the greatest importance. By searching throughout the whole mass of normal inscriptions, earlier than the periods of Greek and Roman rule when great liberties were taken with the writing, probably no more than one hundred different phonograms can be found. The number of those commonly employed in good writing is between seventy and eighty. The most important phonopams are the uniliieral or alphabetic signs, twenty-four in number in th~ Old Kingdom and without any homophones: later these were increased by homophones to thirty. Of biliteral phonogramseach expressing a combination of two consonantsthere were about fifty commonly used: some fifteen or twenty were rarely used. As Egyptian roots seldom exceeded three letters, there was no need for triliteral phonograms to spell them. There is, however, one triliteral phonogram, the eagle,~, tyw, or tiu (?), used for the plural ending of adjectives in y formed from words ending in t (whether radical or the feminine ending).
The phonetic values of the signs are derived from their word-sign values and consist usually of the bare root, though there are rare examples of the retention of a flexional ending; they often ignore also the weaker consonants of the root, and on the same principle reduce a repeated consonant to a single one, as when the hoe ~, tinn, has the phonetic value bn. The history of some of the alphabetic signs is still very obscure but a sufficient number of them have been explained to make it nearly certain that the values of all were obtained on the same principles.i Some of the ancient words from which the phonetic values were derived probably fell very early into disuse, and may, never be discoverable in the texts that have come down to us. The following are among those most easily explained reed flower, valueyand 5; from ~ ~ y, reed.
(It seems as if the two values y and s were obtained by choosing first one and then the other of the two semi-consonants composing the name. They are much confused, and a conventional symbol 1
has to be adopted for rendering ~.)
fl, forearm,, value, (i,); from, (y), hand.
~, mouth, value r; from ~, r, mouth.
~ belly and teats, value b; from I hi, belly.
(The feminine ending is here, as usual, neglected.)
~j, tank, valuel; from ~ I, tank.
slope of earth value q; ,, ~N ~ q,, slope, or brickwork, ~ ~ height.
(The doubled weak consonant is here neglected.)
~, hand, value d; from ~ ~, d.t, hand.
cobra, value I; from ~ It, cobra.
For some, alphabetic signs more than one likely origin might be found, while for others, again, no clear evidence of origin is yet forthcoming.
It has already been explained that the writing expresses only consonants. In the Graeco- Roman period various imperfect attempts were made to render the vowels in foreign names and words by the semi - vowels as also by _~, the consonant y which __~ originally represented having been reduced in speech by that time to the power of s, only. Thus, HroXucuoi is spelt Ptwrmys, Antoninus, Ntnynws or Intnyns, &c. &c. Much earlier, throughout the New Kingdom, a special syllabic orthography, in which the alphabetic signs for the consonants are generally replaced by groups or single signs having the value of a consonant followed by a semi-vowel, was used for foreign names and words, e.g.
0, ~ ~fl ~
n~u, chariot, was written ~ ~ II @ ft LI
.__~_~Ll I ~~l U1-.~--r~~
in Coptic &pe6tiJo~T.
LrurI, tower, was written - ~ ~ L,~ If ~ ~ Coptic ~6~ro~
harp, was Written ~ ~
rim, Hamath, was written ~ ~
According to W. Max Muller (Asien und Europa, 1893, chap. v.), this represents an endeavour to express the vocalization; but, if so, it was carried out with very little system. In practice, the semivowels are generally negligible. This method of writing can be traced back into the Middle Kingdom, if not beyond, and it greatly affected the spelling of native words in New Egyptian and demotic.
Determinatives.Most signs can on occasion be used as determinatives, but those that are very commonly employed as phonograms or as secondary word-signs are seldom employed as determinatives; and when they are so used they are often somewhat differentiated. Certain generic determinatives are ,very common, e.g.: ,t~; of motion.
1~, ~; of acts involving force.
i It seems that acrophony (giving to a sign the value of the first letter of its name) was indulged in only by priests of the latest age, inventing fantastic modes of writing their vain repetitions on the temple walls.
of a person or a mans name.
~ of buildings.
of inhabited places.
~ of foreign countries.
club; of foreigners.
~i; of all actions of the moutheating and speaking, likewise ~jj silence and hunger.
w~ rrpple-lines; of liquid.
hide; of animals, also leather, &c.
of plants and fibres.
Q; of flesh.
~ a sealed papyrus-roll; of books, teaching, law, and of abstract ideas generally.
In the earliest inscriptions the use of determinatives is restricted to the ~, ~, &c., after proper names, but it developed immensely later, so that few words beyond th,e particles were written without them in the normal style after the Old Kingdom.
Some few signs ideographic of a group of ideas are made to express particular words belonging to that group by the aid of phonograms which point out the special meaning. In such cases the ideogram is not merely a determinative nor yet quite a wofd - sign.
Thusj ~.__J1 Semite, ~
Libyan, &c., but cannot stand by itself for the name of any particular foreign people. So also in monogram ~ is Im go, -~ is conduct.
Orlhography.The most primitive form of spelling in the hieroglyphic system would be by one sign for each word, and the monumeets of the 1st Dynasty show a decided tendency to this mode. Examples of it in later times are preserved in the royal cartouches, for here the monumental style demanded special consciseness. Thus, for instance, the name of Tethmosis IILMNFJPRRis spelled (o e~e~m (as R is the name of the sun-god, with customary deference to the deity it is written first though pronounced last). A number of common wordsprepositions, &c.with only one consonant are spelled by single alphabetic signs in ordinary writing. Word-signs used singly for the names of objects are generally marked with I in classical writing, as ~, ib, heart, lir, face, &c.
But the use of bare word-signs is not common. Flexional consonants are almost always marked by phonograms, except in very early times; as when the feminine word z.t, cobra, is spelled ~ Also, if a sign had more than one value, a phonogram would be added to indicate which of its values was intended:
thus in is iw, he, but in it is itn, king. Further, owing to the vast number of signs employed, to prevent confusion of one with another in rapid writing they were generally provided with phonetic complements, a group being less easily misread than a single letter. E.g. *~, wz, command, is regularly written~ ~ ~,wz(w);butj, liz, white, is written ~ ~ 111(z). This practice had the advantage also of distinguishing determinatives from phonograms. Thus the root or syllable un is regularly written ~ ~to avoid confusion with the detcrminative~. Redundance in writing is the rule; for instance, b is often spelled J ~ ~
(b)b(,). Biliteral phonograms are very rare as phonetic complements, nor are two biliteral phonograms employed together in writing the radicals of a word.
- Spelling of words purely in phonetic or even alphabetic characters is not uncommon, the determinative being generally added. Thus in the pyramidal texts we find 1/2pr, become, written in one copy of a text, in another ~ Such variant spellings are very important for fixing the readings of word-signs. It is noteworthy that though words were so freely spelled in alphabetic characters, especially in the time of the Old Kingdom, no advance was ever made towards excluding the cumbersome word-signs and biliteral phonograms, which, by a judicious use of determinatives, might well have been rendered quite superfluous.
Abbreviations.We find -~ ~ strictly n1/2 .f standing for the ceremonial viva! nh wz, mb. Life, Prosperity and Health, and in course of time =~i was used in accounts instead of ,f)~% dm1, total.
Monograms are frequent and are found from the earliest times. Thus ~ fl~ mentioned above are monograms, the association Df and J~l having no pictorial meaning. AnOther common monogram is ~, i.e. and for Ikt-I.Irw Hathor. A word-sign may be compounded with its phonetic complement, 111 white, or with its determinative, as 1/21 silver.
The table on the opposite page shows the uses of a few of the commoner signs.
The decorative value of hieroglyphic was fully appreciated in Egypt. The aim of the artist-scribe was to arrange his variously aped characters into square groups, and this could be done in great measure by taking advantage of the different ways in which many words could be spelt. Thus ifs could be written ~, lisy ~
T H I ~.WWS
~is-f ~, hi-n-f V. But some words in the classical writing Ait~.~
were intractable from this point of view. It is obvious that the alpha~etic signs played a very important part in the formation of the ~roups, and many words could only be written in alphabetic signs. A great advance was therefore made when several homophones were introduced into the alphabet in the Middle and New Kingdoms, partly as the result of the wearing away of old phonetic distinctions, ~iving the choice between ..-. and 11, ~ and ~ ~ and and ~, ~ and f~. In later times the number of ~iomophones in use increased greatly throughout the different :lasses, the tendency being much helped by the habit of fanciful writing; but few of these homophones found their way into the :ursive script. Occasionally a scribe of the old times indulged us fancy in ~ sportive oi~ mystetious writing, either inventing new signs or employing old ones in unusual meanings. Short;portive inscriptions are found in tombs of the XIIth Dynasty; iome groups are so written cursively in early medical papyri, I nd certain religious inscriptions in the royal tombs of the~ ~(IXth and XXth Dynasties are in secret writing. Fanciful writing abotmnds on the temples of the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.
HieroglyphicThe main division is into monumental or epigraphic nieroglyphs and written hieroglyphs. The former may be rendered ny the sculptor or the painter in stone, on wood, &c., with great lelicacy of detail, or may be simply sunk or painted in outline. When finely rendered they are of great value to the student investigating the origins of their values. No other system of writing Dears upon its face so clearly the history of its development as the Egyptian; yet even in this a vast amount of work is still required ~o detect, and disentangle the details. Monumental hieroglyphic lid not cease till the 3rd century A.D. (Temple of Esna). The written nieroglyphs, formed by the scribe with the reed pen on papyrus, eather, wooden tablets, &c., have their outlines more or less abbreyitted, producing eventually the cursive scripts hieratic and demotmc. The written hieroglyphs were employed at all periods, especially or religious texts, Hieratic.A kind of cursive hieroglyphic or hieratic writing is ound even in the 1st Dynasty. In the Middle Kingdom it is well Sign. Description. Name. W~c1-sign - Phonetic ,~) child hrd (khrod)
face hr thor) br ~bri -~~- eye ir.t (yori.t) Ir ~ mouth r (ro) r r _..~ forearm .(ei)
~ arm with nbt be strong nbt stick man with n~lt be strong n~t jj stick ~ lungs and sm; sm~
threshing- sp.t sp floor o sun (I) r sun (2) hrw day ~ chamber, pr pr house flat land t t.
~ equipment ~ knife di di characterized, and in its most cursive form seems hardly to retain any definable trace of the original hieroglyphic pictures. The style varies much at different periods.
Demotic.Widely varying degrees of cursiveness are at all periods observable in hieratic; but, about the XXVLth Dynasty, which inaugurated a great commercial era, there was something like a definite parting between the uncial hieratic and the most cursive form afterwards known as demotic. The employment of hieratic was thenceforth almost confined to the copying of religious and other traditional texts on papyrus, while demotic was used not only for all business but also for writing literary and even religious texts in the popular language. By the time of the XXVth Dynasty the cursive of the conservative Thebais had become very obscure. A better form from Lower Egypt drove this out completely in the time of Ainasis II. and is the true demotic. Before the Macedonian conquest the cursive ligatures of the old de1notic gave birth to new symbols which were carefully and distinctly formed, and a little later an epigraphic variety was engraved on stone, as in the case of the Rosetta stone itself. One of the most char-~
Det&minative acteristic distinctions of later demotic is the Value. minuteness of the writing.
Hieroglyphic is normally written from right youth to left, the signs facing to the commencement of the line; hieratic and demotic follow the same direction. But monumental hieroglyphic may also be written from left to right, and is constantly so arranged for purposes of sym see &c. metry, e.g. the inscriptions on the two jambs of a door are frequently turned in opposite directions; the same is frequently done with acti 1, ,i the short inscriptions scattered over a scene on o an amongst the figures, in order to distinguish one or armj label from another.
violent action In modern founts of type, the hieroglyphic signs are made to run from left to right, in violent action order, to facilitate the setting where European text is mixed with the Egyptian. The table on next page shows them in their more cor rect position, in order to display more clearly their relation to the hieratic and demotic equivalents.
heart Clement of Alexandria states that in the Egyptian schools the pupils were first taught the epistolographic style of writing (i.e. demotic), secondly the hieratic employed by the sacred scribes, and finally the hieroevil, worthless- glyphic (Strom. v. 657). It is doubtful ness, smallness whether they classified the signs of the huge hieroglyphic syllabary with any strictness.
The only native work on the writing that has come to light as yet is a fragmentary papyrus of Roman date which has a table in parallel bite, &c. columns of hieroglyphic signs, with their hieratic equivalents and words written in hieratic de d ~ scribing them or giving their values or mean- woo ree ings. The list appears to have comprised about 460 signs, including most of those that occur commonly in hieratic. They are to some (I) sun extent classified. The bee ~j~7 heads the list (2) division of Dit~
time as a royal sign, and is followed by figures of nobles and other human figures in various atti tudes, more or less grouped among themselves, (boundless hori- animals, reptiles and fishes, scorpion, animals zon, eternity again, twenty-four alphabetic characters, parts or the human body carefully arranged from to J~, thirty-two in number, parts of animals, celestial signs, terrestrial signs, vases. The arrangement down to this point is far from strict, and beyond it is almost impossible to describe concisely, though there is still a rough grouping of characters according to resemblance of form, nature or meaning. It is a curious fact that not a single bird is visible on the fragments, and the trees and plants, which might easily have been collected in a tillage compact and well-defined section, are widely scattered. Why the alphabetic characters are introduced where they are is a puzzle; the order of these is: ~ U ~. (?) ~c-i (?)
~1 (?) i- (?) J ~ (?)
cut, prick, cut tinginstrument z:~(?)~ ~ 0 ~
Three others, ~ and ~ had already occurred amongst the fish and reptiles. There seems to be no logical aim in this arrangement of the alphabetic characters and the series is incomplete. Very probably the Egyptians never constructed a really systematic list of hieroglyphs. In modern lists the signs are classified according to the nature of the objects they depict, as human figures, plants, vessels, instruments, &c. Fiorapollons Flieroglyphica may be cited as a native work, but its author, if really an Egyptian, had no knowledge of good writing. His production consists of two elaborate complementary lists: the one describing sign-pictures and giving their meanings, the other cataloguing ideas in order to show how they could be expressed in hieroglyphic. Each seems to us to be made up of curious but perverted reminiscences eked out by invention; but they might someday prove to represent more truly the usages of mystics and magicians in designing amulets, &c., at a time approaching the middle ages.
Demotic. Hieratic. Hi eni, who.. .
Perso (Pharaoh). /1~) 1)j1~ iKe-) (lid y~, father.. - ....:L~ ~
nkh, live --
ekh, know .. 7_I~ ~
ahe, stand -- c4.
eine, carry ..
ms (phon.).. .
s (alph.). ... ,.~. ,j~
s (aiph.). ... 1 4/
m (aiph.).. -)
n(alph.). - -
The early scribes outfit, often carried slung over his shoulder, is seen in the hieroglyph ~. It consisted of frayed reed pens or brushes, a small pot of water, and a palette with two circular cavities in which black and red ink were placed, made of finely powdered color solidified with gum. In business and literary documents red ink was used for contrast, especially in headings; in demotic, however, it is very rarely seen. The pen became finer in course of time, enabling the scribe to write very small. The split reed of the Greek penman was occasionally adopted by the late demotic scribes.
Egypt had long been bilingual when, in papyri of the 2nd century AD,, we begin to find transcripts of the Egyptian language into Greek letters, the latter reinforced by a few signs borrowed from the demotic alphabet: so written we have a magical text and a horoscope, probably made by foreigners or for their use. The infinite superiority of the Greek alphabet with its full notation of vowels was readily seen, but piety and custom as yet barred the way to its full adoption. The triumph of Christianity banished the old system once and for all; even at the beginning of the 4th century the native Egyptian script scarcely survived north of the Nubian frontier at Philae; a little later it finally expired. The following eight signs, however, had been taken over from demotic by the Copts:
~i9 =1, from ~ y;, dem. ~ ~.
Pj =h, probably from liw (or~~ Il;), dem. 9.
~ (Boh.) = ~, from lI~, dem. ~
~ (Akhm.) =~, from~ ~ ~y, ~t, dem. ~. I
q =1 from ~ f, dem. ,/ *
6 = & from ~ k (or 1~), dem. ~, 6.
X =~, from ~d;(or ~.j t;),dem. I......
=ti, from dy-I, dem. ~
For oriins of hieroglyphs, see Petries Medum (1892); F. LI. Griffith, 2 Collection of Hieroglyphs (1898); N. de G. Davies, The ~rogIyphic. Maskiba of Ptah,hetep and Akhethetep, pt. m. (1900);
M. A. Murray, Saqqara nty Maslabas (London, 1905);
// __ also Petrie and Griffith, Two Hieroglyphic Papyrifrom ~ Tanis (London, 1889) (native Per~o ~nfr 1mw, nb sign-list); G. Mller, Hiera Izsche Palaographie (Leipzig, 909); Griffith, Catalogue of ~ Ltf Demotic Papyri in the J.
r Rylands Colleclion (Man chester, 1909). (F. LL. G.)
O t ~nl~ E. Art and Archaeology.
In the following sections .~, a general history of the o 4 characteristics of Ancient Egyptian art is first given, L....~. showing the variation of periods and essentials of o style; and this is followed ft by an account of the use made of material products, (U ms of the tools and instru ments employed, and of the monuments. For further details see also the separate topographical headings (for JJ excavations, &c.), and the general articles on the m various arts and art id... materials (for references to Egypt); also PYRAMIDS;
___________ MUMMY, &c.
The wide and complex subject of Egyptian art will be treated here in six periods: Prehistoric, Early Kings, Pyramid Kings, XIIth Dynasty, XVIIIth-XXth Dynasties, XXVIth Dynasty and later. In each age will be considered the (A) statuary, (B) reliefs, (C) painting.
Prehistoric.The earliest civilized population of Egypt was highly skilled in mechanical accuracy and regularity, but had little sense of organic forms. They kept the unfinished treatment of the limbs and extremities which is so characteristic of most barbaric art; and the action was more considered than the form.
(A) In the round there are in the earlier graves female figures of two races, the Bushman type and European, both probably representing servants or slaves. These have the legs always united, sloping to a point without feet (Plate I. fig. I); the arms are Qnly stumps. The face has a beaky nose and some indication of eyes. Upon the surface is coloring; red for the Bushman, with black whisker though female; white for the European type, with black tattoo patterns. Other female figures are modelled in a paste, upon a stick, and the black hair is sometimes made separately to fit on as a wig over the red head, showing that wigs were then used. Male figures are generally only heads in the earlier times. Tusks with carved heads (Plate I. figs. 2, 3) are the earliest, beginning at S.D. (sequence date) 33; 1 heads)fl the top of combs are found, from S.D. 42 to the close of such :ombs in the fifties. All of these heads show a high forehead and a pointed beard; and such expression as may be discovered is grave but not savage. In later times whole figures of ivory, itone and clay are found, with the legs united, and the arms usually joined to the body. A favorite way of indicating the eyes was by drilling two holes and inserting a white shell bead n each. The figures of animals (Plate I. figs. 4, 5) are quite as rude as the human figures: they only summarily indicate the mature, and often hardly express the genus. They are most usual on combs and pins; but sacred animals are also found. The lion is the most usual (Plate I. fig. 7), but the legs are roughly marked, if at all: the leonine air is given, but the attitude i~ more distinct than the form. The hawk (Plate I. fig. 6) is modelled in block without any legs. The slate palettes in the form of animals are even more summary, and continuaily degraded until they lost all trace of their origin. There are also curious figures of animals chipped in flint, which show som~, character, but no detail.
(B) Reliefs with animal figures belong to the later part of t~hc prehistoric age. The relief is low, and the form hatched ac1~oss with lines (Plate I. fig. 8), a style copied from drawing. Thete is more animation than in the round figures. At the close of this age the fashion of long processions of animals ppears (Plate I. fig. 9); some character is shown in these, but no sense of action.
(C) Drawing is found from the earliest civilization, done in white slip on red vases. Figures of men are very rare (Plate I. fig. 10); they have the body triangular, the waist being very narrow; the legs are two lines linked by a zigzag, as if to expr~ss that they move to and fro. The usual figures are goats sand hippopotami; always having the body covered with cross lines to express the connection of the outlines (Plate I. fig. II). This technique is in every way closely akin to that of the modern Kabyle. An entirely different mode is common at a later time when designs were painted in thin red color on a light brown ware. The subjects of the earlier of these examples are imitations of cordage, of marbling, and of basket-work; later there are rows of men and animals, and ships (Plate I. figs. 12, 13), with various minor signs. The figures are never cross-hatched as in earlier drawing, but always filled in altogether. The fact that the ships have oars and not sails makes it probable that they were rather for the sea than. for Nile traffic, and a starfish among the motives on such pottery also points to the sea connection. The ujterior meaning of the decoration is probably religious and funereal, but the objects which are figured must have been familiar.
For this whole period see Jean Capart, Debuts de tart en Egypte (1904; trans. Primitive Art in Ancient Egypt).
The Early Kings.The dynastic race wrought an entire transformation in the art of Egypt; in place of the clumsy and undetailed representations, there suddenly appears~highly artistic work, full of character, action and anatomical detail.
(A) The earliest statues of this ,age are the colossi of the god Mm from Coptos; that they belong to the artistic race is evident from the spirited reliefs upon. them (see below, B), but the figures were very rude, the legs and arms being joined all in the mass. The main example of this early art is a limestone head of a king (Plate I. figs. 5, 16), which is a direct study from life, to serve as a model. For the accuracy of the facial curves, and the grasp of character and type, it is equal to any later work; and in its entire absence of conventions and its pnre naturalism there is no later sculpture so good: as Prof. A. Michaelis says, it renders the race type with astounding keenness, and shows an excellent power of observation in the exact representation of the eyes. By the portrait, it is probably gf King Narmer or some king related to him, that is, about the beginning of the 1st Dynasty. The ivory statuette of an aged king (Plate I. fig. 4) is probably slightly later. It shows the same subtle sense of character, and is unsurpassed in its reality. Many ivory figures of men, women and animals -are known from Nekhen (Hieraconpolis) and Abydos; and they all show the same school of work, simple, dignified, observant, and with ~an air which places them on a higher plane of truthfulness and precision than later art. There is none of the mannerism of a long tradition, but a nobility pervades them which has no self-consciousness. The lower class of work of this age is shown by great numbers - of glazed pottery figures both human and animal. Later in the lind Dynasty, the head of Khasekhem (Plate I. fig. 17),shows the beginning of convention, but yet has a delicacy about the mouth which surpasses later works.
(B) Reliefs abound at this age, and include the most important evidences of the development of the art. The earliest examples are those of animals (Plate II. fig. 18) and shells on,the colossi of Coptos. They show a keen sense of form, and the stags head, which is probably the earliest, already bears an artistic feeling *holly different to that of any of the prehistoric works (P.K. iii. iv,). - The taryings 011, slate palettes appear to begin with work crudely accurate and forceful, the heavy limbs being ridged with tendons and muscles (Plate II. fig. 19), but there is more proportion, with the same massive strength (Plate II. fig. 20). Soon after, with a leap, the artist produced the first pure work of art that is known (Plate II. fig. 2t), a design for its own sake without the tie of symbolism or history. The group of two longnecked gazelles facing a palm tree is of extraordinary refinement, and shows the, artistic consciousness in every part; the symmetric rendering of the palm tree, reduced to fit the scale of the animals, the dainty grace of the smooth gazelles contrasted with the rugged stem, the delicacy of the long flowing curves and the fine indications of the joints, all show a sense of design which has rarely been equalled in the ceaseless repetitions of the tree and supporters motive during every age since. Passing the various palettes with hunting scenes and animals (Plate II. fig. 22), we come to the great histOrical carving of King Narmer (Plate II. fig. 23). Here the anatomy has reached its limits for such work; the precision of the muscles on the inner and outer sides of the leg, of the uniform grip in the left arm, and the tense muscle upholding the right arm, prove that the artist knew that part of his work perfectly. The large ceremonial mace-heads recording the Sed festivals of the king Narmer and another, belong also to this school; but owing to their smaller size they have not such artistic detail. With them were found many reliefs in ivory, on tusks, wands and cylinders. The main motive in these is a long procession of animals (Plate II. figs. 24, 25) often grotesquely crowded; but there is much observation shown and the figures are expressive. No drawing of this age has survived.
The Pyramid Kings.A different ideal appears in the pyramid times; in place of the naturalism of the earlier work there is more regularity, some convention, and the sense of a school in the style. The prevailing feeling is a noble spaciousness both in scale and in form, an equanimity based upon knowledge and character, a grandeur of conception expressed by severely simple execution, There is nothing superfluous, nothing common, nothing trivial. The smallest as well as the largest work seems complete, inevitable, immutable, without limitations of time2 or labor or thoughL
(A) The statuette of Khufu or Cheops (Plate III. fig. 29) though only a minute figure in ivory, shows the character of immense energy and will; the face is an astonishing portrait to be expressed in a quarter of an inch. The life-size statue of Khafrfl or Chephren (Plate III. fig. 30) is a majestic work, serene and powerful; carved in hard diorite, yet unhesitating in execution. The muscular detail is full, but yet kept in harmony with the massive style of the figure. The private persons have entirely different treatment according to the character of their position. In place of the awful dignity of the kings there is the placid high-bred Princess Nofri (Plate II. fig. 27, Plate III. fig. 31), the calm conscientious dignitary Hemset (Plate III. fig. 32), the bustling, active, middle-class official, Ka-aper (Plate II. fig. 28, Plate III. fig. 33), and the kneeling figure of a servitor. The differences of character are very skilfully rendered in all the sculpture of this age. The whole figures are stiff in the earlier time, as the figure of Nes; then square and massive, but true in form, as Rahotp and Nofri (Plate II. fig. 27); and afterwards easier and less monumental, as Ka-aper (Plate II. fig. 28). The skill in beaten copper work is shown by the portrait of the Prince Mer-en-ra (Plate III. fig. 35).
(B) The reliefs are quite equal to the statuary. The wooden panels of Hesi (Plate II. fig. 26) show the archaic style of great detail, with a bold, stark vigour of attitude. Later work is abundant in the tomb-sculptures of this age, with a fulness of variety and detail which makes them the most interesting of all branches of the art. The general effect cannot be judged without a large scene, but the figures of two men and an ox (Plate III. fig. 37) show the freshness and vigour of the style, which is even higher than this in some examples. The clear, noble spacing of the surface work is well shown by a group of offerings and inscribed titles (Plate III. fig. 36).
(C) Flat drawings of this age are rare. Some fine examples, such as the geese from Mdflm, show that such work kept pace with the reliefs; but most of the fresco-work has perished, and there are few instances of line drawing.
The XIIth Dynasty.This age overlaps the previous in its style. The end of the last age was in the very degraded tomb work of the early XIth Dynasty.
(A) The new style begins with the royal statues, which it seems we must attribute to the foreign kings from whom the XIIth Dynasty was descended. These statues were later appropriated by the Hyksos, and so came to be called by their name, which is a misnomer. The type of face (Plate III. fig. 38) is thick-featured, full of force, with powerful masses of facial muscle covering the skull. The style is very vigorous and impassioned, without any trace of relenting towards conventional work. The surfaces are not in the least subdued by a general breadth of style, as in the last period; but, on the contrary, revel in the full detail of variety. There is perhaps no age where nature is so little controlled by convention in either the living character or its sculptured expression. One of these kings might well be the founder of the IXth Dynasty, Achthoes (Kheti), who did much injury to all the inhabitants, Khuther Taurus the tyrant; the expression is that of a Chlodwig or an Alboin. From this type evidently descended the milder and more civilized kings of the XIIth Dynasty, the resemblance being so strong that the fierce figures have even been identified with that dynasty by some. A good example is that of the statue of Amenemhat (Amenemh) Ill. (Plate III. fig. 39). The style of the XIIth Dynasty may be summed up as clean, highly-finished work, strong in facial detail; but with neither the grandeur of the IVth nor the vivacity of the XVIIIth Dynasty. This passed in the XIIIth Dynasty into a graceful but weak manner, as in the statues of Sebkhotp (Sebek-hotep) III. and Neferhotp. -
(B) The relief work shows most clearly the rise of the new style. In the middle of the XIth Dynasty an entirely fresh treatment appears; the Old Kingdom work had died out in very bad sunk-reliefs, the fresh style (Plate III. fig. 41) was a low relief with sharp edges above the field. It was full of delicate variety in the surfaces, and of elaborated close-packed lines of hair and ornaments. By the time of the early XIIth Dynasty, this reached a perfection of refinement in the detail of facial curves, with an ostentatiously low relief (P.K. ix. i.), rather on the lines of modern French work; but the whole with clean, firm outlines, severely restrained in the expression, and without any trace of emotion. It is the work of a school, in which high training took the place of the reliance on nature. Sunk relief was also well used, as by Senusert (Senwosri) I. (Plate III. fig. 40). There was a steady decline during the XIIth Dynasty and onward, but the same tone was followed.
(C) In some tombs painting only was used, and it followed the general character of the relief treatment, being more rigid, detailed, and scholastic than the older style.
The XVIIItlz-XXth Dynasties.The obvious, not to say superficial, character of this age has rendered it one of the most popular in Egyptian art. The older breadth, fulness, and vigour have vanished, those great qualities which stamp the immortal works of early times. The difference is much like that between the Parthenon and the Niobids, or between Jacopo Avanzi and Caracci. In this change is the whole difference between the art of character and the art of emotion; and though the emotional side is the more popular, ul needing less thought to understand it, yet the unfailing canon is that in every age and land the true quality of art is proportionate to the expression of character as apart from transient emotion. This may perhaps apply to other arts as well as to sculpture and painting. If we accept frankly the emotional nature of this age, we may admire its graceful outlines, its vivacious manner, its romantic style, with an occasional sauciness which is amusing and attractive. It revelled in rich detail, and close masses of lines, as in wigs and ribbed dresses. It sported with a seductive Syrian type of face, especially under Amenophis (Amenhotep) III.; but we find the anatomy giving way to mere smoothness of surface, for the sake of contrast with the masses of detail. The romantic element increased, solemn funereal statues show husband and wife hand in hand; and it culminated under Akhenaton, who is seen kissing his wife in the chariot, or dancing her on his knee. An overwhelming naturalism swamped the older reserves of Egyptian art, and the expression of the postures, actions and familiarities of daily life, or the instantaneous attitudes of animals, became the dernier cri of fashion. It was all charming and wonderful, but it was the end,nothing could come after it. The XIXth Dynasty, at its best under Seti I., could only excel in high finish of smoothness and graceful curves; life, character, meaning, had vanished. And soon after, under Rameses II., mere mechanical copying, hard lifeless routine of stone-cutting, regardless of truth and of nature, dominated the whole.
(A) In sculpture there is a certain baldness of style at first, as in the Amenophis I. at Turin or Mutnefert at Cairo. More fulness and richness of character succeeded, as in Tahutmes (Tethmosis) III. and Ameriophis III. (Plate IV. fig. 42, British Museum). And the feeling of the age finds greater scope in private statues, many of which have a personal fascination about them, as in the seated figures at Cairo and Florence, and the freer work in wood, of which the ebony negress (Plate IV. fig. 45) is the best example. The burst of naturalism under Akhenaton resulted in some marvellous portraiture, of which the fragment of a queens head (Plate IV. fig. 43) is perhaps the most brilliant instance; the fidelity in the delicate curves of the nose and around the mouth is enhanced by the touch of artistic convention in the facing of the lips. The only work of ability in the XIXth Dynasty is the black granite figure (Plate IV. fig. 44) of Rameses II. at Turin. The ordinary statuary of his reign is painfully stiff and poor, and there is no later work in the period worth notice.
(B) The reliefs of the early XVIIIth Dynasty are closely like the scenes of the tombs in the pyramid age, but soon carving was superseded by the cheaper painting, and but few tombs in relief are known. The temples were the principal places for reliefs; and they steadily deteriorate from the first great example, Deir el Bahri (see ARCHITECTURE: Egyptian), down to the late Ramessides. The portraiture is strong and clear-cut (Plate IV. fig. 46), but somewhat mechanical and without muscular detail:
the sameness is rather more than is probable. There is a good deal of repetition for mere effect, even in the fine work of Khaem-hat (Plate IV. fig. 47), under Amenophis III. That the artists were conscious of their poverty of thought is shown by some precise imitations of the style of early monuments. On reaching the age of Akhenaton, the peculiar style of that school is obvious in every relief; the older conventions were deserted, and, for good or for bad, a new start from nature was attempted. After that the smooth finish of the Seti reliefs at Abydos (Plate IV. fig. 48) shows no life or observation; and only occasionally the artist triumphed over the stone-worker, as in the portrait of Bantanta at Memphis, which is precisely like another head of her found in Sinai. The innumerable reliefs of the XIXthXXth Dynasty temples are only of historic interest, and are all despicable in comparison with earlier works.
(C) Painting was the art most congenial to this age; the lightness of touch, abundance of incident, and even comedy, of the scenes are familiar in the frescoes in the British Museum. And under Akhenaton this was pervaded by an entire naturalism of posture, as seen in the two little princesses (Plate IV. fig. 49). Drawing continued to be the strong point of the art after the more laborious sculpture had lost all vitality. The tomb of Seti shows exquisitely firm line drawing; and the heads of four races (Plate IV. fig. 50), Western, Syrian, and two Negro, here show the unfailing line-work which has never been matched in later times- The artist habitually drew the long lines of whole limbs without a single hesitation or revoke; and the drawing of a tumbling girl (Plate IV. fig. 51) shows how credibly such contortions could be represented. The comic papyri of the XXth Dynasty have also a very strong sense of character, even through coarse drawing and some childish combinations.
- The subsequent centuries show continuous decline, and in whatever branch we compare the work, we see that each dynasty was poorer than that which preceded it. The XXVIth Dynasty is often looked on as a renaissance; but when we compare similar work we see that it was poorer than the XXIInd, as that was poorer than the XIXth. The alabaster statue of Amenardus of the XXVth is faulty in pose, and perfunctory in modelling; the resemblance between this and the head of her nephew Tirhaka is perhaps the best evidence of truthful work. After this there was a strong archaistic fashion, much like that under Hadrian; in both cases it may have arrested decay, but it did not lift the art up again. The work of this age can always be detected by the faulty jointing (Plate IV. fig. 52) and muscular treatment. The elements are right enough, but there was not the vital sense to combine them properly. Hence the monstrous protuberances (Plate IV. fig. 53) on relief figures of this age; a fault which the Greek fell into in his decline, as shown in. the Farnese Hercules.
Portraiture, with its limited demand on imagination and lack of ideals, w ~s the form of art which flourished latest. The Saitic heads in basalt show a school of close observation, with fair power of rendering the personal character; and even in Roman times there still were provincial artists who could model a face very truthfully, as is shown in one case in. which the stucco head (Plate IV. fig. 54) from a coffin is here superposed on the view of the actual skull to show the accuracy of the work. The school of portrait-painting belongs entirely to Greek art, and is therefore not touched upon here. (See Edgar, Catalogue of Graeco-Egypt-ian Coffins, 48 plates, for this subject.)
Lastly we must recognize the different schools of Egyptian sculpture which are as distinct as those of recent painting. The black-granite school in every age is the finest; its seat we do not know, but its vitality and finish always exceed those of contemporary works. The limestone school was probably the next best, to judge from the reliefs, but hardly any statues of this school have survived; it probably was seated at Memphis. The quartzite work from Jebel Ahmar near Cairo stands next, as often very fine design is found in this hard material. The red granite school of Assuan comes lower, the work being usually clumsy and with unfinished corners and details. And the lowest of all was the sandstone school of Silsila, which is always the worst. Broadly speaking, the Lower Egyptian was much better than the Upper Egyptian; a conclusion also evident in the art of the tombs done on the spot. But the secret of the black granite school, and its excellence, is the main problem unsolved in the history of the art. (W. M. F. P.)
Tools and Material Products.
Tools (see illustrations I to 11i).The history of tools is a very large subject which needs to be studied for all countries; the various details of form are too numerous to specify here, but the general outline of tools used in Egypt may be briefly stated under general and special types. The general include tools for striking, slicing and scraping; the special tools are for fighting, hunting, agriculture, building and thread-work.
Striking ToolsThe wooden mallet of club form (I) was used in the VIth and XIIth Dynasties; of the modern masons form (2) ~n. the XIIth and XVIIIth. The stone mace head was a sharp-edged disk (3), in the prehistoric from 3140 sequence date; of the pear shape (4) from S.D. 42, which was actually in use till the IVth Dynasty, and represented down to Roman time. The metal or stone hammer with a long handle was unknown till Greek or Roman times; but, for beating out metal, hemispherical stones (5) were held in the hand, and swung at arms length overhead. Spherical hard stone hammers (6) were held in the hand for dressing down granite. The axe was at the close of the prehistoric age a square slab of copper (7) with one sharp edge; small projecting tails then appeared at each end of the back (8), and increased until the long tail for lashing on to the handle is more than half the length of the axe in an iron one of Roman (?) age (13). Flint axes were made in imitation of metal in the XIIth Dynasty (9). Battle-axes with rounded outline started as merely a sharp edge of metal (io) inserted along a stick (10, if); they become semicircular (12) by the VIth Dynasty, lengthen to double their width in the XIIth, and then thin out to a waist in the middle by the XVIIIth Dynasty. Flint hoes (14) are common down to the XIIth Dynasty. Small copper hoes (Is) with a hollow socket are probably of about the XXIInd Dynasty. Long iron picks (16), like those of moderp navvies, were made by Greeks in the XXVIth Dynasty.
Slicing Tools.The knife was originally a flint saw (17), havint minute teeth; it must have been used for cutting up animals, fresh or dried, as the teeth break away on soft wood. The doubleedged straight flint knife dates from S.D. 3 2-45. The singleedged knife (18) is from 3365. The flint knives of the time of Menes are finely curved (19), with a handle-notch; by the end of the lInd Dynasty they were much coarser (20) and almost straight in. the back. In the XIth-XIIth Dynasty they were quite straight in the back (21), and without any hanlle-notch. The copper knives are all one-edged with straight back (22) down to the XVIIIth Dynasty, when two-edged symmetrical knives (23) become usual. Long thin one-edged knives of iron begin about 800 B.C. Various forms of one-edged iron knives, straight (24) and curved (25), belong to Roman times. A cuttingout knife, for slicing through textiles, began double-edged (26) in the 1st Dynasty, and went through many single-edged forms (27-29) until it died out in the XXth Dynasty (Man, 1901, 123). A small knife hinged on a pointed backing of copper (31) seems to have been made for hair curlin.g and toilet purposes. Razors (30) are known of the XIIth Dynasty, and became common in the XVIIIth. A curious blade of copper (32), straight sided, and sharpened at both ends, belongs to the close of the prehistoric age. Shears are only known of Roman age and appear to have been an Italian invention: there is a type in Egypt with one blade detachable, so that each can be sharpened apart. Chisels of bronze began of very small size (33) at S.D. 38, and reached a full size at the close of the prehistoric age. In historic times the chisels are about I X3/4, X6 to Sin, long (34). Small chisels set in wooden handles are found (35) of the XIIth and XVIIIth Dynasties. Ferrules first appear in the Assyrian iron of the 7th century B.C. The rise of stone work led to great importance of heavy chisels (36) for trimming limestone and Nubian sandstone; such chisels ate usually round rods about 3/4 in. thick and 6 in. long. The cutting edge was about ~ in. wide for flaking tools (36), which were not kept sharp, and I in. wide for facing tools (3~) which had a good edge. In Greek times the iron chisels are shorter and merge into wedges (39). The socketed or mortising chisel (38) is unknown till the Italian bronze of the 8th century s.c., and the Naucratis iron of the 6th century. Adzes begin in S.D. 56, as plain slips of copper (40) 4 to 6 in. long, about I wide and 3/4th thick. The square end was rounded in the early dynastic times, and went through a series of changes down to the XIXth Dynasty. Adzes of iron are probably of Greek times. A fine instance of a handle about 4 ft. long is represented in the IlIrd Dynasty (P.M. XI.). The adze (41) was used not only for woodwork but also for dressing limestone.
Scraping ToolsFlint scrapers are found from S.D. 40 and onward. The rectangular scraper (42) began in S.D. 63, and continued into the lInd Dynasty: the flake with rounded ends (43) was used from the 1st to the IVth Dynasty (P. Ab. i. xiv., xv.). Round scrapers were also made (44). Flint scrapers were used in dressing down limestone sculpture in the IIIrd Dynasty. Rasps of conical form (45), made of a sheet of bronze punched and coiled round, were common in the XVI1Ith Dynasty, apparently as personal objects, possibly used for rasping dried bread. In the Assyrian iron tools of the 7th century B.C. the long straight rasp (46) is exactly of the modern type. The saw is first found as a notched bronze knife of the IHrd Dynasty. Larger toothed saws (47) are often represented in thelVth-VIth Dynasty, as used by carpenters. There are no dated specimens till the Assyrian iron saws (48) of the 7th century B.C. Drills were of flint (49) for hard material and bead-making, of bronze for woodwork. In the Assyrian tools iron drifis are of slightly twisted scoop form (so), and of centre-bit type with two scraping edges (51). In Roman times the modern V drill (52) is usual. The drill was worked by a stock with a loose cap (53), rotated by a drill bow, in the XIIth to Roman dynasties. The pump drill with cords twisted round it was in Roman use. The bow drill (56) was used as a fire drill to rotate wood (55) on wood (57); and the cap (54) for such use was of hard stone with a highly polished hollow. The drill brace appears to have been used by Assyrians in the 7th century B.C. Piercers of bronze tapering (58), to enlarge holes in leather, &c., were common in all ages.
Fighting Weapons.The battle-axe has been described above with axes. The flint-dagger (59) is found from S.D. 40-56. A very finely made copper dagger (60) with deep midrib is dated to between 55 and 60 S.D. Copper daggers with parallel ribbing (61) down the middle are common in the XIth-XIVth Dynasties; and in the XVIIIth-XXth Dynasties they are often shown in scenes and on figures. The falchion with a curved blade (62) belongs to the XVIIIth-XXth Dynasty. The rapier (63) or lengthened dagger is rarely found, and is prisbably of prehistoric Greek origin. The sword is of Greek and Roman age, always double-edged and of iron. The spear is not commonly found in Egypt, until the Greek age, but it is represented from the XIth Dynasty onward; it belonged to the Semitic people (L.D. ii. 133). The bow was always of wood, in one piece in the prehistoric and early times, also of two horns in the 1st Dynasty; but the compound bow of horn is rarely found, only as an importation, in the XVIIIth Dynasty. The arrow-heads of flint (64-66) and of bone (6869) were pointed, and also square-ended (67) for hunting (P.R.T. ii. vi.; vii. A., 7; xxxiv.). The copper arrowheads appear in the XIXth Dynasty, of blade form with tang (70); the triangular form (72), and leaf form with socket (71), are of the XXVIth Dynasty. Triangular iron arrows with tang are of the same age. Tangs show that the shaft was a reed, sockets show that it was of wood. Many early arrows (XIIth) have only hard wood points of conical form. The sling is rarely shown in the XIXth-XXth Dynasties; and the only known example is probably of the XXVIth.
Hunting Weapons.The forked lance of flint was at first wide with stTght hollow (73) from S.D. 32-43; then the hollow became a V notch (74) in 38 S.D. and onward. The lance was fixed in a wooden shaft for throwing, and held in by a checkcord from flying too far if it missed the animal (P.N. LXXIII.). The harpoon for fishing was at first of bone (75), and was imitated in copper (76, 77) from S.D. 36 onwards. The boomerang or throw-stick (78) was used from the 1st to the XXIInd Dynasty, and probably later. Fish-hooks of copper (79-82) are found from the 1st Dynasty to Roman times. A trap for animals legs, formed by splints of palm stick radiating round a central hole, is figured in S.D. 60, and one was found of probably the XXth Dynasty. Fishing nets were common in all historic times, and the lead sinkers (83) and stone sinkers (84) are often found under the XVIIIth-XXth Dyiiasties.
Agricultural Tools.The hoe of wood (85) is the main tool from the late prehistoric time, and many have been found of the XVIIIth Dynasty. With the handle lengthened (86) and turned forward, this became the plough (87 is the hieroglyph, 88 the drawing, of a plough); this was always sloping, and never the upright post of the Italic type. The rake of wood (89) ~5 usual in the XIIth and XVIIIth Dynasties. The fork (90), used for tossing straw, was common in the Old Kingdom, but none has been found. The sickle was of wood (92), with flints (91) inserted, apparently a copy of the ox-jaw and teeth. The notched flints for it are common from the 1st to the XVIIIth Dynasty. In Roman times the same principle was followed, by making an iron sickle with a deep groove, in which was inserted the cutting blade of steel (P.E. XXIX.). Shovel-boards, to hold in right (93) or left hand for scraping up the grain in winnowing, are usual in the XVIIIth Dynasty, and are figured in use in the Old Kingdom Pruning knives with curved blades (94) are Italic, and were made of iron by the Romans. Corn grinders were flat oval stones, with a smaller one lying cross-ways (95), and slid from end to end. Such were used from the Old Kingdom down to late times. In the Roman period a larger stone was used, with a rectangular slab (96) sliding on it, in which a long trough held the grain and let it slip out below for grinding. The quern with rotary motion is late Roman, ,and still used by Arabs. The large circular millstones of Roman age worked by horse-power are usually made from slices of granite columns.
Building Tools.The adze described above was used for dressing blocks of limestone. The brick-mould was an open frame, with one side prolonged into a handle (9l~l, exactly as the modern mould. The plasterers floats (98) were entirely cut out of wood. The mud rake for mixing mortar is rather narrower than the modern form. The square (99) and plummet (100,101) have remained unchanged since the XIXth Dynasty. For dressing flat surfaces three wooden pegs (102) of equal length were used; a string was stretched between the tops of two, and the third peg was set on the point to be tested and tried against the string.
Thread-Work.Stone spindle whorls (103) are common in the prehistoric age; wooden ones were usual, of a cylindrical form (104) ~n the XIIth, and conical (105) in the XVIIIth Dynasty. The thread was secured by a spiral notch in the stick. In. Roman times an iron hook on the top held the thread (106) as in modern spindles. Needles of copper were made in the prehistoric, as early as S.D. 48, and very delicate ones by S.D. 71. Gold needles are found of the 1st Dynasty. Fine ones of bronze are common in the XVIIIth Dynasty, and some with two eyes at right angles, one above the other, to carry two different threads. The copper bodkin is found in S.D. 70. Netters are common, of rib bones, pointed (107); the thread was wound round them. Long netting needles were probably brought in by the dynastic people as they figure in the hieroglyphs. Finely-made ones are found in the XVIIIth Dynasty and later. Reels were also commonly used for net making, of pottery (108) or even pebbles (1o9)withagroove chipped around. The flint vase-grinders were used in the early dynasties (110), and also sandstone grinders for hollowing larger vases (III).
Stone-Work.In. the prehistoric ages stone building was unknown, but many varieties of stones were used for carving into vases, amulets and ornaments. The stone vases were at first of cylindrical forms, with a foot, and ears for hanging. These are worked in brown basalt, syenite, porphyry, alabaster and limestone. In the second prehistoric civilization barrelshaped vases became usual; and to the former materials were added slate, grey limestone and breccia. Serpentine appears later, and diorite towards the close of the prehistoric ages. Flat dishes were used in earlier times; gradually deeper forms appear, and lastly the deep bowl with turned-in edge belongs to the close of the prehistoric time and continued common in the earlier dynasties (P.D.P. 19). This stone-work was usually formed on the outside with rotary motion, but sometimes the vase was rotated upon the grinder (Q. H. 17). The interior was ground out by cutters (figs. 110,111) fixed in the end of a stick and revolved with a weight on the top, as shown in scenes on the tombs of the Vth Dynasty. The cutters were sometimes flints of a crescent shape (P. Ab. ii. liii. 24), but more usually grinders blocks of quartzite sandstone (26-34), and occasionally Df diorite (Q. H. xxxii. lxii.). These blocks were fed with sand and water to give the bite on the stone (P. Ab. i. 26). The Dutsides of the vases were entirely wrought by handwork, with the polishing lines crossing diagonally. Probably the first lorming was done by chipping and hammer-dressing, as in later times; the final facing of the hard stones was doubtless by sieans of emery in block or powder, as emery grinding blocks tre found.
In the early dynasties the hard stones were still worked, md the 1st dynasty was the most splendid age for vases, bowls, md dishes of the finest stones. The royal tombs have preserved mn enormous quantity of fragments, from which five hundred varied forms have been drawn (P.R.T. ii. xlvi.-liii. 6). The materials are quartz crystal, basalt, porphyry, syenite, granite, volcanic ash, various metamorphics, serpentine, slate, dolomite marble, alabaster, many colored marbles, saccharine marble, grey and white limestones. The most splendid vase is one from Nekhen (Hieraconpolis), of syenite, 2 ft. across and 16 in. high, hollowed so as to be marvellously light and highly polished (Q. H. xxxvii). Another branch of stone-work, surface carving, was early developed by the artistic dynastic race. The great palettes of slate covered with elaborate reliefs are probably all of the pre-Menite kings; the most advanced of them having the figure of Narmer, who preceded Menes. Other carving full of detail is on the great mace-heads of Narmer and the Scorpion king, where scenes of ceremonials are minutely engraved in relief. In the 1st Dynasty the large tombstones of the kings are of bold work, but the smaller stones of private graves vary much in the style, many being very coarse. All of this work was by hammer-dressing and scraping. The scrapers seem to have always been of copper.
The earliest use of stone in buildings is in the tomb of King Den (1st Dynasty), where some large flat blocks of red granite seem to have been part of the construction. The oldest stone chamber known is that of Khasekhemui (end of the lInd Dynasty). This is of blocks of limestone whose faces follow the natural cleavages, and only dressed where needful; part is hammer-dressed, but most of the surfaces are adze-dressed. The adze was of stone, probably flint, and had a short handle (P.R.T. ii. 13). The same king also wrought granite with inscriptions in. relief. In the close of the Ilird Dynasty a great impetus was given to stone-work, and the grandest period of refined masonry is at the beginning of the IVth Dynasty under Cheops. The tombs of Mdflm under Snefru are built with immense blocks of limestone of 20 arid 33 tons weight. The dressing of the face between. the hieroglyphs was done partly with copper and partly with flint scrapers (P.M. 27). The most splendid masonry is that of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. The blocks of granite for the roofing are 56 in number, of an average weight of 54 tons each. These were cut from the water-worn rocks at the Cataractthe soundest source for large masses, as any incipient flaws are well exposed by wear. The blocks were quarried by cleavage; a groove was run along the line intended, and about 2 ft. apart holes about 4 in. wide were jumped downward from it in the intended plane; this prevented a skew fracture (PT. 93). In shallower masses a groove was run, and then holes, apparently for wedges, were sunk deeper in the course of it; whether wetted wood was used for the expansive force is not known, but it is probable, as no signs are visible of crushing the granite by hard wedges. The facing of the cloven surfaces was done by hammer-dressing, using rounded masses of quartzose hornstone, held in the hand without any handle. In order to get a hold for moving the blocks without bruising the edges, projecting lumps or bosses were left on the faces, about 6 or 8 in. across and I or 2 in. thick. After the block was in place the boss was struck off and the surface dressed and polished (P.T. 78, 82). In the pyramid of Cheops the blocks were all faced before building; but the later granite temple of Chephren and the pyramid of Mycerinus (Menkaura, Menkeure) show a system of building with an excess of a few inches left rough on the outer surface, which was dressed away when in position (P.T. ITO, 132).
The flatness of faces of stone or rock (both granite and limestone) was tested by placing a true-plane trial plate, smeared with red ochre, against the dressed surface, as in modern engineer. ing. The contact being thus reddened showed where the face had to be further dressed away; and this process was continued until the ochre touched points not more than an inch apart all over the joint faces, many square feet in area. On stones too large for facing-plates a diagonal draft was run, so as to avoid any wind in the plane (P.T. 83).
The cutting of granite was not only by cleavage and hammer dressing, but also by cutting with harder materials than quartz ~,ch as emery. Long saws of copper were fed with emery powder, and used to saw out blocks as much as 7~ ft. long (P.T. Plate XIV.). In other cases the very deep scores in. the sides of the saw-cut suggest that fixed cutting points were inserted in the copper saws; and this would be parallel to the saw-cuts in the very hard limestone of the Palace of Tiryns, in. which a ieee of a copper saw has been broken, and where may be yet found large chips of emery, too long and coarse to serve as a powder, but suited for fixed teeth. A similar method was common for circular holes, which were cut by a tube, either with powder or fixed teeth. These tubular drills were used from the IVth Dynasty down to late times, in all materials from alabaster up to carnelian. The resulting cores are more regular than those of modern rock-drilling.
Limestone in the Great Pyramid, as elsewhere, was dressed by chopping it with an adze, a tool used from prehistoric to Roman times for all soft stones and wood. This method was carried on up to the point of getting contact with the facingplate at every inch of the surface; the cuts cross in various directions. For removing rock in reducing a surface to a level, or in quarrying, cuts were made with a pick, forming straight trenches, and the blocks were then broken out between these. In quarrying the cuts are generally 4 or 5 in. wide, just enough for the workmans arm to reach in; for cutting away rock the grooves are 20 in. wide, enough to stand in, and the squares of rock about 9 ft. wide between the grooves (P.T. 100). The accuracy of the workmanship in the IVth Dynasty is astonishing. The base of the pyramid of Snefru had an average variation of 6 in. on 5765 and 10 of squareness. But, immediately after, Cheops improved on this with a variation of less than 6 in. on 9069 in. and 12 of direction. Chephren fell off, having I~5 error on 8475, and 33 of variation.; and Mycerinus (Menkeur) had 3 in. erroron 4154 and I50 variation of direction (P.M. 6; P.T. 39, 97, in). Of perhaps later date the two south pyramids of Dahshur show errors of 37 on 7459 and II on 2065 in., and variation of direction of 4 and 10 (P.S. 28, 30). The above smallest error of only I in. 16,000 in lineal measure, and I in 17,000 of angular measure, is that of the rock-cutting for the foundation of Khufu, and the masonry itself (now destroyed) was doubtless more accurate. The error of flatness of the joints from a straight line and a true square is but thth in. on 75 in. length; and the error of level is only ~-,sth in. along a course, or about 10 on a long length (P.T. 44). We have entered thus fully on the details of this period, as it is the finest age f~r workmanship in every respect. But in the XIIth Dynasty the granite sarcophagus of Senwosri II. is perhaps the finest single piece of cutting yet known; the surfaces of the granite are all dullground, the errors from straight lines and parallelism are only about -r*~th inch (P. I, 3).
In later work we may note that copper scrapers were used for facing the limestone work in the VIth, the XIIth and the XVIIIth Dynasties. In the latter age granite surfaces were ground, hieroglyphs were chipped out and polished by copper tools fed with emery; outlines were graved by a thick sheet of copper held in the hand, and sawed to and fro with emery. Corners of signs and intersections of lines were first fixed by minute tube-drill holes, into which the hand tool butted, so that it should not slip over the outer surface.
The marking out of work was done by fine black lines; and supplemental lines at a fixed distance from the true one were put in to guard against obliteration in course of working (P.T. 92); similarly in building a brick pyramid the axis was marked, and there were supplemental marks two cubits to one side (P.K. 14). When cutting a passage in the rock a rough driftway was first made, the roof was smoothed, a red axis line was drawn along it, and then the sides were cut parallel to the axis. Fo~r setting out a mastaba with sloping sides, on an irregular foundation at different levels, hollow corner walls were built outside the place of each corner; the distances of the faces at the above-ground level were marked on the inner faces of the walls; the above-ground level was also marked; then sloping lines at the intended angle of the face were drawn downward from the ground-level measures, and each face was set out so as to MALLETS - 2
____ 8 9
HOES ~14 KI
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METAL H 2~~ CUTTING
KNIVES 1 -ouT
~ K N IV ES
34 85 36 37 38
~< ~J 13
~iDZ ESfj~ ~1-~41.
49 - 58
FIGHTING .1~ 1
60 61 62 63 68 H
L 64Q k~~
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AGRICULTURE all 10 92
97 c 103 p104
LIJIIIIJ~ WORK L ~I
II II ~ 79 80 81 82 83 8~
The objects are drawn to a scale - of -4. unless otherwise described.
______________ 99 101
106 A7 108 GRINDING 111
lie in the plane thus defined by two traces at the ends (P.M.
Metal-Work.Copper was wrought into pins, a couple of inches long, with loop heads, as early as the oldest prehistoric graves, before the use of weaving, and while pottery was scarcely developed. The use of harpoons and small chisels of copper next arose, then broad flaying knives, needles and adzes, lastly the axe when the metal was commoner. On these prehistoric tools, when in fine condition, the original highly-polished surface remains. It shows no trace of grinding lines or attrition, nor yet of the blows of a hammer. Probably it was thus highly finished by beating between polished stone hammers which were almost flat on the face. Most likely the forms of the tools were cast to begin with, and then finished and polished by fine hammering. A series of moulds for casting in the XIIth Dynasty show that the forms were carved out in thick pieces of pottery, and then lined with fine ashy clay. The mould was single, so that one side of the tool was the open face of metal. As early as the pyramid times solid casting by cire perdue was already used for figures: but the copper statues of Pepi and his son seem, by their thinness and the piecing together of the parts, to have been entirely hammered out. The portraiture in such hammer work is amazingly life-like. By the time of the XIIth Dynasty, and perhaps earlier, cire perdue casting over an ash core became usual. This was carried out most skilfully, the metal being often not 1~th in. thick, and the core truly centred in the mould. Casting bronze over iron rods was also done, to gain more stiffness for thin parts.
In gold work the earliest jewelry, that of King Zer of the 1st Dynasty, shows a perfect mastery of working hollow balls with minute threading holes, and of soldering with no trace of excess nor difference of color. Thin wire was hammered out, but there is no ancient instance of drawn wire. Castings were not trimmed by filing or grinding, but by small chisels and hammering (P.R.T. ii. 17). IntheXllthDynastythe soldering of the thin cells for the cloisonnee inlaid pectorals, on to the base plate, is a marvellous piece of delicacy; every cell has to be perfectly true in form, and yet all soldered, apparently simultaneously, as the heat could not be applied to successive portions (M.D. i.). Such work was kept up in the XVIIIth and XXVIth Dynasties. There is nothing distinctive in later jewelry different from Greek and Roman work elsewhere.
Glaze and Glass.From almost the beginning of the prehistoric age there are glazed pottery beads found in the graves: and glazing on amulets of quartz or other stones begins in the middle of the prehistoric. Apparently then glazing went together with the working of the copper ores, and probably accidental slags in the smelting gave the first idea of using glaze intentionally. The development of glazing at the beginning of the dynasties was sudden and effective. Large tiles, a foot in length, were glazed completely all over, and used to line the walls of rooms; they were retained in place by deep dovetails and ties of copper wire. Figures of glazed ware became abundant; a kind of visiting card was made with the figure of a man and his titles to present in temples which he visited; and glazed ornaments and toggles for fastening dresses were common (P. Ab. ii.). Further, besides thus using glaze on a large scale, differently colored glazes were used, and even fused together. A piece of a large tile, and part of a glazed vase, have the royal titles and name of Menes, originally in violet inlay in green glaze. There was no further advance in the art until the great variety of colors came into use about 4000 years later. In the XIIth Dynasty a very thin smooth glaze was used, which became rather thicker in the XVIIIth. The most brilliant age of glazes was under Amenophis III. and his son Akhenaton. Various colors were used; beside the old green and blue, there were purple, violet, red, yellow and white. And a profusion of forms is shown by the moulds and actual examples, for necklaces, decorations, inlay in stone and applied reliefs on vases. Under Seti II. cartouches of the king in violet and white glaze are common; and under Rameses III. there were vases with relief figures, with painted figures, and tiles with colored reliefs of captives of many races. The latter development of glazing was in thin delicate apple-green ware with low relief designs. which seem to have originated under Greek influence at Naucratis. The Roman glaze is thick and coarse, but usually of a brilliant Prussian blue, with dark purple and apple-green; and high reliefs of wreaths, and sometimes figures, are common.
Though glaze begins so early, the use of the glassy matter by itself does not occur till the XVIIIth Dynasty; the earlier reputed examples are of stone or frit. The first glass is black and white under Tethmosis (Tahutmes) III. It was not fused at a high point, but kept in a pasty state when working. The main use of it was for small vases; these were formed upon a core of sandy paste, which was modelled on a copper rod, the rod being the core for the neck. Round this core threads of glass were wound of various colors; the whole could be reset in the furnace to soften it for nsoulding the foGt or neck, or attaching handles, or dragging the surface into various patterns. The colors under later kings were as varied as those of the glazes. Glass was also wheel-cut in patterns and shapes under Akhenaton. In later times the main work was in mosaics of extreme delicacy. Glass rods were piled together to form a pattern in cross-section. The whole was then heated until it perfectly adhered, and the mass was drawn out lengthways so as to render the design far more minute, and to increase the total length for cutting up. The rod was then sliced across, and the pieces used for inlaying. Another use of colored glass was for cutting in the shapes of hieroglyphs for inlaying in wooden. coffins to form inscriptions. Glass amulets were also commonly placed upon Ptolemaic mummies. Blown glass vessels are not known until late Greek and Roman times, when they were of much the same manufacture as glass elsewhere. The supposed figures of glass-blowers in early scenes are really those of smiths, blowing their fires by means of reeds tipped with clay. The variegated glass beads belonging to Italy were greatly used in Egypt in Roman times, and are like those found elsewhere. A distinctively late Egyptian use of glass was for weights and vase-stamps, to receive an impress stating the amount of the weight or measure. The vase-stamps often state the name of the contents (always seeds or fruits), probably not to show what was in them, but to show for what kind of seed the vessel was a true measure. These measure stamps bear names dating them from A.D. 680 to about 950. The large weights of ounces and pounds are disks or cuboid blocks; they are dated from 720 to 785 for the lesser, and to A.D. 915 for larger, weights~ The greater number are, however, small weights for testing gold and silver coins of later caliphs from A.D. 952 to 1171. The system was not, however, Arab, as there are a few Roman vasestamps and weights. Of other medieval glass may be noted the splendid glass vases for lamps, with Arab inscriptions fused in colors on the outsides. No enamelling was ever done by Egyptians, and the few rare examples are all of Roman age due to foreign work.
The manufacture of glass is shown by examples in the XVIIIth Dynasty. The blue or green color was made by fritting together silica, lime, alkaline carbonate and copper carbonate; the latter varied from 3% in delicate blues to 20% in deep purple.blues. The silica was needed quite pure from iron, in order to get the rich blues, and was obtained from calcined quartz pebbles; ordinary sand will only make a green frit. These materials were heated in pans in the furnace so as to combine in a pasty, half-fused condition. The colored frit thus Formed was used as paint in a wet state, and also used to dissolve Ln glass or to fuse over a surface in glazing. The brown tints often seen in glazed objects are almost always the result of the decomposition of green glazes containing iron. The blue glazes, on the other hand, fade into white. The essential coloring materials are, for blue, copper; green, copper and iron; purple, cobalt; red, haematite; white, tin. An entirely clear colorless glass was made in the XVIIIth Dynasty, but colored glass was mainly used. After fusing a panful of colored glass, it was sampled by taking pinches out with tongs; when perfectly combined it was left to cool in the pan, as with modern optical glass. When cold the pan was chipped away, and the cake of glass broken up into convenient pieces, free of sediment and of scum. A broken lump would then be heated to softness in the furnace; rolled out under a bar of metal, held diagonally across the roll; and when reduced to a rod of a quarter of an inch thick, it was heated and pulled out into even rods about an eighth of an inch thick. These were used to wind round glass vases, to form lips, handles, &c.; and to twist together for spiral patterns. Glass tube was similarly drawn out. Beads were made by winding thin threads of glass on copper wires, and the greater contraction of the copper freed the bead when cold. The coiling of beads can always be detected by ~i) the little tails left at the ends, (2) the streaks, (~) the bubbles, seen with a magnifier. Roman glass beads are always drawn out, and nicked off hot, with striation Iengthways; except the large opaque variegated beads which are coiled. Modern Venetian beads are similarly coiled. In the XXIIIrd Dynasty beads of a rich transparent Prussian blue glass were made, until the XXVIth. About the same time the eyed beads, with white and brown eyes in a blue mass, also came in (P~A. 25-27, Plate XIII.).
Pottery (see fig. 112) .The earliest style of pottery is entirely hand made, without any rotary motion; the form being built up with a flat stick inside and the hand outside, and finally scraped and burnished in a vertical direction. The necks of vases were the first part finished with rotation, at the middle and close of the prehistoric age. Fully turned forms occur in the 1st Dynasty; but as late as the XIIth Dynasty the lower part of small vases is usually trimmed with a knife. In the earlier part of the prehistoric age there was a soft brown ware with haematite facing, highly burnished. This was burnt mouth-down in the oven., and the ashes on the ground reduced the red haematite to black magnetic oxide of iron; some traces of carbonyl in the ash helped to rearrange the magnetite as a brilliant mirror-like surface of intense black. The lower range of jars in the oven had then black tops, while the upper ranges were entirely red. A favorite decoration was by lines of white clay slip, in crossing patterns, figures of animals, and, rarely, men. This is exactly of the modern Kabyle style in