Title: Cook's tourists' handbook for Egypt, the Nile, and the Desert. [Electronic Edition]

Author: Thomas Cook Ltd. [Corporate author]
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Place of publication: Houston, TX
Publication date: 2006
Identifier: TIMEA, CooEg1897
Availability: Publicly available via the Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA) through the following Creative Commons attribution license: “You are free: to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; to make derivative works; to make commercial use of the work. Under the following conditions: By Attribution. You must give the original author credit. For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the license terms of this work. Any of these conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder. Your fair use and other rights are in no way affected by the above.” (Status: unknown)
Part of a series: This text is part of the Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA), funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Fondren Library, and the Enriching Rice through Information Technology (ERIT) program sponsored by the Computer and Information Technology Institute (CITI), Rice University.
Note: Illustrations have been included from the print version.


File size or extent: viii, 383, 56 p. : folded maps ; 18 cm.
Place of publication: London
Publisher: T. Cook & Son
Publication date: 1897
Identifier: From the collection of Dr. Paula Sanders, Rice University
Description of the project: This electronic text is part of the Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA), developed by Rice University.
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The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. All electronic texts have been spell-checked and verified against printed text. Quotation marks have been retained. Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. No corrections or normalizations have been made, except that hyphenated, non-compound words that appear at the end of lines have been closed up to facilitate searching and retrieval. Footnotes have been moved to the end of the paragraph in which they are referenced. Images exist as archived TIFF images, one or more JPEG versions for general use, and thumbnail GIFs.
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Origin/composition of the text: 1897
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  • English (eng)
  • Greek (gre)
Text classification
Keywords: (Library of Congress Subject Headings)( Library of Congress Subject Headings )
  • Egypt -- Guidebooks
  • Sinai (Egypt) -- Guidebooks
Revision/change: September 2006
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Spellchecked, corrected tagging errors, verified and enhanced metadata.

Cook's tourists' handbook for Egypt, the Nile, and the Desert. [Electronic Edition]



In place of Khaki Drill, as Cotton and Linen Stifle the Skin.

Dr. JAEGER'S Co., Ltd.,
42, Conduit Street, New Bond Street, W.
telegrams:—“HIGHMOST, LONDON.”
WHOLESALE AND SHIPPING {95, Milton Street, London, E.C.
Telephone: 87, LONDON WALL.


Gift of
Mrs. Frances E. Weld

Coventry Street, Piccadilly, London, W.,
Goldsmiths, Jewellers,
and Silversmiths.






THE present volume is intended as a Handbook for Tourists,
and does not pretend to guide those who need a work to
assist them in elaborate research or scientific investigation.
So far as it has been deemed desirable to enter into minute
details, accuracy has been aimed at as the great essential;
but the object of this Handbook is rather to point out whatever
is most worthy of special notice, and to intensify and
fix general impressions, than to enter minutely into matters
of study for which the Tourist, as a rule, has little opportunity.
For the same reason, “Egyptology” has only been
touched upon when absolutely necessary to a rational comprehension
of the monuments described. In a separate
chapter, from p. 346 to p. 359, we have given a concise
account of some of the important results obtained from
recent explorations. Those who, as a result of their Tour,
are incited to make wider and deeper investigations, will
find no difficulty, on their return, in supplementing their
general impressions with profounder knowledge from the
pages of Wilkinson, Bunsen, Lane, Mariette, Maspero, Grébaut,
de Morgan, Naville, Petrie, Poole, Budge, and others.
The National Collection of Antiquities in Cairo has been
transferred from Boulak to Ghizeh, and, although unable to
give a complete catalogue of the contents of the Museum,

we have compiled from the most recent official catalogue a
pretty full summary (see p. 110).
Thanks to the extraordinary development of modern
travel, the Second Cataract of the Nile or the peaks of
Mount Sinai are no longer the shadowy and mysterious
goals of travel they once were. Year by year the tide of
Tourists to these and other Eastern localities increases; and
to assist these in their necessarily brief and rapid survey,
the present volume is prepared, which aims at being comprehensive
and accurate, though not tedious.
A number of works of travel and research have been
consulted, and these have been supplemented by personal
observations. Whenever it has occurred that a graphic
piece of description or suggestive note by some well-known
writer would add interest to any scene, by being read at the
locality to which it refers, it has been extracted and given
as a quotation in the following pages.
The Editor will be grateful for any information derived
from the personal observation of Tourists, which may serve
to correct errors or supply deficiencies in this Handbook.
Any communications on such subjects should be addressed
to Thos. Cook & Son, Ludgate Circus, London, E.C.





Season for Eastern Tours, I; Benefits of Associated Travel, I;
Money, 2; Customs, 3; Passports, 3; Dress, 4; Passenger's
Baggage Insurance, 4; Health, Diet, 5; Postage, 7; Backsheesh,
8; Travelling Arrangements of Thos. Cook & Son, 8;
Routes from London to the East, 10; Routes for Independent
Tours, 10; Routes for Personally Conducted Tours, 11;
Trains in Egypt, 12; Routes from America to the East, 12;
Nile Tours to the First and Second Cataracts, 13; Steamboats
and Dahabeahs, 13, 14; Trips to the Pyramids, 15;
Excursions from Cairo, 15
Daily Itinerary from Cairo to the First Cataract on the Nile 16–22
Daily Itinerary from First to Second Cataract on the Nile 23–27
Special Tickets for three or more Voyages 27
Tour to the Great Desert and Palestine 28
Geographical Features, 29; Geology, 30; Climate, 31; Natural
History and Productions, 32; Population, 36; Trade, Commerce,
&c, 38; Railways in Egypt, 38; Posts, Telegraphs,
Telephones, 41; Manners and Customs, 42; Mohammedanism
and its Customs, 45; Mosques, 48; History, 50;
Dynasties, 50; The Ancient Egyptians, 61; Bible Associations,
63; Administration of Justice, 69


Landing at, 70; Post-offices, 71; Cook's Office, 72; British
Consulate, 72; Telegraphs, 72; Churches, 72; Theatres, 73;
History, 74; Modern Alexandria, 77; Sights in Alexandria
and Environs, 80; Museum, 83
     I. By Road 86
     II. By Water 86
     III. By Rail 88
General Information, 96; Churches, 97; Festivals, 98; Theatres,
98; Principal Sights, 98; Sights in Environs, 99; History,
99; Modern Cairo, 100; Citadel, 103; Mosques, 106;
Museum at Ghizeh, 110 - 138; Arab Museum, 138; Amusements
and Festivals, 140; Dervishes, 140
The Pyramids of Ghizeh 141
The Sphinx 151
Old Cairo 153
Shoobra 155
Heliopolis 156
Sakkárah 159
Pyramid of Oonas 163
Bible Associations 167
  Embarkation, 169; Bedreshayn, 170; Helouan, 170; Benisoóef,
172; Bibbeh, 173; Semaloot, 174; Beni-Hassan, 177; Tel-el-Amarna,
182; Gebel-Aboufaydah, 183; Manfaloot, 183;
Assiout, 184; Abydos, 188; Denderah, 192
  History, 199; Theban Monuments, 202; Luxor and Karnak,


   Edfou, 229; Hágar Silsileh, 232; Kom-Omboo, 233;
Assouan, 233; Philae, 238
Philae, 238; Mahatta, 243; Nubia, 244; Táfah, 246;
Kalábsheh, 246; Korosko, 249; Aboo Simbel, 250;
Wády-Halfa, 254
   Medeeneh 259
   Arsinoë 260
   Lake Moeris 261
   Hawara 262
   Illahun 266
   Bubastis 267
   Zagazig 268
   Tel-el-Maskhuta 269
   Suez 270
   Ancient Canals, and Modern 272
   The Suez Canal 273–276
   Ismailia 279
   Port Said 284
   Damietta 290
   Tanis 295


CAIRO to SYRIA. By Mount Sinai, 'Akabah, and Petra 298
   Mount Serbál 306,309
   Rephidim 308
   Rás Sufsáfeh 310
   Jebel Moosa 315
   Jebel Katereena 317
   'Akabah 322
   Petra 325
   El Deir 327
   Mount Hor 329
   Nugb Sufah 332
   Kurmel 334
   Hebron 335
CAIRO TO SYRIA. By the Short Desert Route 335
   El Arish 335
   Gaza 336
PETRA TO HEBRON. By Kerak and the Dead Sea 336
   Busiereh 337
   Kerak 338
   Jebel Usdum 340
   Maon 341
SINAI TO HEBRON. By Beersheba 342
   Wilderness of the Wanderings 342
   Beersheba 344





ANY time from November to May may be selected. Travellers
who are intending to visit Palestine as well as Egypt,
cannot do better than select November, December, January,
or February for their Nile journey, and March, April, or May,
the most genial months of the year, for Palestine. If this is
inconvenient the months of October and November are considered
by many travellers to be very favourable for Palestine
travelling, in which case the Nile trip might be made on the
return journey in December.


Apart from the question of expense, travelling in the East,
either alone or with only one or two companions, is not desirable.
In Egypt, up the Nile, and through the Desert, the mode
of life, language, and customs of the country are altogether
different from anything to which the European traveller has
been accustomed; and there is no doubt that the pleasure of a
tour is enhanced by being associated with a party of friends or

acquaintances. Moreover, as a question of expense, it will
often happen that certain costs which would have to be borne
by a single traveller would not be any greater for a party.


Travellers are recommended to carry funds required whilst
travelling, in Circular Notes, issued by THOS. COOK & SON,
as these afford great security, and can be cashed readily.
Circular Notes are issued for sums of £20 and upwards (in
notes of £20, £10, and £5 each), and Letters of Credit for sums
of £100 and upwards.
Foreign Moneys can be obtained from the Head Office and
principal branches of THOS. COOK & SON, who, having branch
offices and correspondents in all parts of the East, are in a
position to offer special facilities to travellers for the arrangement
of all matters connected with Foreign Banking and
The Egyptian coinage, the basis of which is the Egyptian
pound, has been recently revised. The coins are—
  • 100, 50, 25 piastres in gold.
  •  20, 10, 5, 2, 1 piastres in silver.
  •   5, 2, 1, millièmes in nickel.
The Egyptian pound is divided into 100 piastres of 10 millièmes
each, or 1,000 millièmes, and is worth 20s. 6d., or nearly
26 fcs. The pound being divided into 100 piastres—a piastre
tariff is worth 2 1/2d. The piastre being divided into 10 millièmes
the millième is thus worth 1/4d.
  • £1 sterling = 97 1/2 P. T.
  • Napoleon, gold piece of 20 francs = 77 6/40 P.T.


  • Okieh = 1.3206 ounce.
  • Rottle = .99049 lb.
  • Oke = 2.7513 lbs.
  • Cantar or 100 Rottles or 36 Okes = 99.0492 lbs.


  • Inches.
  • Diraa Baladi (town) = 22.8350
  • Diraa Mimari for building, etc. = 29.5281
  • Kassabah = 3.88 yards = 139 7663


  • Feddan, the unit of measure for land = 333 1/3 sq. kassabahs
    = 1.03808 acre.
  • Square Pic.—This measure is generally used for the measuring
    of building sites, gardens, and other small plots of ground,
    and is equal to about 6 square feet and 7 inches.


  • The Ardeb is used as the unit in all transactions in grain,
    etc, and is equal to 5.44739 bushels.
  • The approximate weight of the Ardeb is as follows:—
    Wheat, 315 rottles; beans, 320 rottles; barley, 250 rottles;
    maize, 315 rottles; cotton seed, 270.


With Turkish visa, are absolutely necessary for visiting Turkish
dominions; and they are useful in order to procure admission
to certain places of interest, to obtain letters from the
Poste Restante, and to establish identity whenever required.
THOS. COOK & SON will obtain passports with the necessary
visas of foreign ambassadors or consuls. The total cost,
including visa of the Turkish Consul, is 8s. 6d.


The Custom House examination at Egyptian ports is somewhat
strict, but carried out with politeness. Cigars are liable
to a duty of 75 per cent. on their value. Fire arms are admitted
with difficulty, and the importation of cartridges is
prohibited. The exportation of antiquities is forbidden without
a special permit from the Antiquity department, and luggage is
liable to be examined when the traveller leaves the country.


It is always desirable in travelling to dispense with unnecessary
luggage, at the same time it is necessary to be well
supplied, especially if the journey is to be prolonged for months.
For gentlemen, light tweed suits, and a flannel suit, with a suit
of darker material for wearing on particular occasions, this
latter is of course not absolutely necessary, but when attending
divine service, or making any special visit, it is usual to wear
garments of this kind. Woollen stockings and strong boots,
flannel or cotton shirts, slippers, and light shoes, a mackintosh,
white umbrella lined with green, felt hats, or “helmets” with
puggeries. Ladies are recommended to take a good woollen
costume, not heavy; one or two of light texture; and a
serviceable dark silk.
Among the Miscellaneous Articles which it may be
found advantageous to take, may be mentioned, leather drinking-cup
and a pocket filter, leather straps, small strong writing
case, with writing materials, a ball of twine, a good serviceable
pocket-knife, green spectacles, or veil, if the eyes are at all
weak; needles, thread, tape, buttons, soap, pocket-compass,
and other similar articles which will suggest themselves to
every traveller. Any special “hobby” that the traveller may
have should be provided for before starting, such as sketching
blocks, botanical presses; provision should be made beforehand,
if the traveller intends to prosecute geological or entomological
researches, etc. A good field or opera-glass should
be taken.


Travellers using Tickets issued by THOS. COOK & SON can
have their Baggage insured on payment of a small premium.
The insurance covers all risk of the loss of Passengers' Baggage,
including fire, theft, and pilfering, whilst travelling by sea
and land, also whilst staying at hotels, or travelling between

hotels and railway stations, etc. Insurances can be effected for
amounts of £20 and upwards.
Jewellery to the value of £40, if not placed in Registered
Baggage, is covered by this insurance. Special insurance can
be effected for jewellery of greater value.
Full particulars can be obtained at any of the Offices of


CLIMATE, see pp. 31, 32.—RULES FOR HEALTH.—In Egypt,
one of the most healthy countries in the world, but few need
be followed. In winter it is quite unnecessary to make any
change in the way of living, for every one can eat and drink
what he is accustomed to in Europe. In summer, on the contrary,
it is better to be chary of wines or spirits, as they inflame
the blood and cause the great heat of the sun to be more
acutely felt. With some persons, fish, eggs, and unboiled milk
do not agree, but this is not often the case. Fruit and green
vegetables are strongly to be recommended; beef is seldom so
good as mutton. Most of the fish of the Nile are very poor,
the bultih and the chisher are the best. It is not desirable to
bathe in the Nile on account of dangerous under-currents. The
Turkish bath, to be had in Cairo or Alexandria, leaves a most
delightful sensation, but one must be careful of draughts, and
dress accordingly, especially in winter, after enjoying it.
The dry air and mild winter, which is like a fine English
spring, are peculiarly favourable to persons suffering from weakness
of the lungs. At night it is very cold, and one must
arrange accordingly. Fever seldom appears, dyspepsia,
diarrhœa, and dysentery are the chief illnesses to which
strangers are subject, and which they must guard against in
their diet, etc.
The most simple remedy for the first of these maladies is to
drink a glass of Nile water fasting. If this produces no relief,
abstain from wine at dinner. In obstinate cases take Epsom

salts, which may be had at the apothecaries' shops in Alexandria
and Cairo, under the name of sale amaro. *
DIARRHŒA may sometimes be guarded against by keeping
the abdomen warm; the usual remedies applied at home may
be resorted to here; concentrated tincture of camphor, arrowroot,
rice-water, etc., may be taken, while fruit, meat, and all
fatty substances should be abstained from.
HEADACHE is generally the result of exposure to the glaring
sun. A warm bath, and then cold compresses, are the best
remedies. It is always well in the East to protect the neck and
head with a good broad-brimmed hat and flowing puggerie, as
sunstrokes are not uncommon.
OPHTHALMIA is exceedingly prevalent in Egypt. Some consider
that it is produced by the fine-dust sand wafted from the
deserts and the glare of the sun. It is more probable, however,
that it is to be attributed to other causes, such as damp night
air in a dry climate, or by germs of the diseases conveyed to
the eyes by flies. It is most prevalent during the floods of
the Nile, and in places where the effluvium is offensive. The
first remedy to apply is constant washing of the eyes with Nile
water; if this is not successful, zinc lotion must be resorted to,
or a solution of nitrate of silver.
All travellers will do well to take special precautions to avoid
exposure to damp or cold night air.
If any MEDICINES are taken, the traveller should select
those to which he is accustomed. In addition it may be well
to call attention to the following:—
  • Quinine; the best thing for intermittent fever.
  • Zinc Eye-wash.
  • Lamplough's Pyretic Saline, or Eno's Fruit Salt.
  • A roll of Sticking Plaister.
  • A bottle of Dr. Collis Browne's Chlorodyne.
  • A pot of Cold-cream. Eau-de-Cologne, Brandy,
  • And any specialty that the traveller may be in the habit of
    using, such as Bunter's Nervine, for tooth-ache, etc.
* European p' ysicians may be found in Alexandria, Cairo, Suez, Port
Said, Luxor, Assouan, and on board COOK'S Nile steamers.


For Egypt, which is included in the General Postal Union,
mails are made up in London for Port Said, Alexandria, Cairo,
Suez, etc., via Brindisi, every Friday evening.
For Alexandria, Cairo, Port Said, Suez, etc., by French
packet, via Marseilles, every Tuesday night.
For Smyrna, via Constantinople, daily.
For Smyrna, via Marseilles, every Thursday evening.
For Jaffa and Syria (and Jerusalem if specially addressed),
by Austrian mail, via Brindisi, leaving London every Tuesday
morning (post letters on Monday).
Letters by Brindisi to Cairo and Alexandria take six days
in transit.
There are daily mails from Alexandria to Cairo, Suez,
Ismailia, and Port Said. Letters for Upper Egypt are forwarded
For the Syrian Coast and Palestine, the French mails take
from ten to twelve days.
To most of the above-named places letters can be registered
at a charge of 2d.
Money Orders are issued for Alexandria, Suez, Smyrna,
and Constantinople at the following rates—not exceeding £2,
sixpence; not exceeding £6, one shilling; not exceeding £10,
The Postage for letters within Egypt is 5 millièmes; to other
countries in the Postal Union, 10 millièmes; Foreign Post
Cards, 5 millièmes.
The times of despatching letters from Egypt will be best
ascertained in Egypt, etc., where they are posted. The departure
of Mails from Cairo, Alexandria, etc., via Brindisi, is
dependent on the arrival of the London Mails at Port Said from
Suez, special notices of which are given at the British Post
Offices. A weekly mail list is published and sent to THOS.
COOK & SON'S Offices and to the Hotels, showing days of
arrival and departure, with the latest time for posting, etc.

The Egyptian Post Office Guide, published twice yearly in
English, French, and Arabic, affords complete information as
to the postal service in Egypt.


Everywhere, from morning till night, the traveller will be
tormented with applications for backsheesh, which has been
called the alpha and omega of Eastern travel. It is the first
word an infant is taught to lisp; it will probably be the first
Arabic word the traveller will hear on arriving in Egypt, and
the last as he leaves it. The word simply means “a gift,” but
is applied generally to gratuity or fee, and is expected no less
by the naked children who swarm around the traveller when he
arrives in a village, than by the officials of many public institutions.
If each traveller would make it a rule never to give
backsheesh, except for some positive service rendered, worth
the sum given
, he would confer a boon upon the people and
upon future travellers. It should be remembered also that to
most applicants a piastre or two represents an enormous sum.


The Travelling Coupons issued by THOS. COOK & SON are
now so well known and universally used, that it is unnecessary
here to enter into particulars about them. Suffice it to say
that they have been found to be advantageous to all European
travellers, and in the East, where travelling is under greater
difficulties in every respect, their system is indispensable to
those who are unable to grapple with the obstacles presented by
not being acquainted with Oriental languages, and with having
to deal with dragomans and others, whose demands are invariably
THOS. COOK & SON have made such arrangements in the
East, that the most inexperienced travellers may avail themselves
of them without fear of not being able to get on as well
as in the beaten Continental routes. They issue tickets for

individuals, or for small or large parties, and every season they
organize parties who travel under the personal superintendence
of one of their admirable staff of conductors.
It will be only necessary here to indicate some of the
arrangements which they have successfully carried out in past
seasons, and will be improved as each fresh season ensues.
Every year they publish a pamphlet (price 6d.), giving details
of their Personally-Conducted and Independent Eastern Tours,
and to this the traveller is referred, as the cost of a tour varies
according to circumstances, and general arrangements are
liable to variation.
Any person or persons contemplating a Tour to Egypt, with
extension to Palestine and elsewhere or not, should make out
a programme, or name the places they wish to visit, and
THOS. COOK & SON will send them, without delay, a quotation
which will be as low as it is possible the journey can be
accomplished for with comfort.
HOTEL COUPONS are issued not only for the countries
passed through in reaching the East, but in the East also, and
at such a rate as to ensure economy with every comfort.
The advantages of taking Hotel Coupons may be briefly
summed up as follows:—
  • I. Time, expense, annoyance and ultimate dissatisfaction,
    are saved by going to a well-recommended Hotel.
  • II. It is a great drawback to pleasure to arrive in a
    Foreign town beset by porters, and commissionaires, and rabble,
    a perfect stranger, and without any definite idea where to go.
  • III. Letters from home or telegrams may be found upon
    arrival at the Hotel, or at the Offices of THOS. COOK & SON,
    thus saving trouble or expense in sending for them to the Post
  • IV. The charges are all fixed, thus obviating the chance of
    imposition, and the disagreeable task of having to drive a
    bargain at each stopping place.
  • V. The charges being fixed at the lowest sum to ensure
    good accommodation at one uniform rate, the tourist is enabled
    to count the cost of his tour before starting.
    VI. Travellers with coupons, bespeaking accommodation
    by letter or telegraph, are always provided for even in the
    busiest seasons if they inform the hotel-keeper that they have
these coupons are available, will be found at the end of this


In connection with Eastern Tours, the routes from London
may be classified under two heads, as follows:—


Individuals, in small or large parties, can be provided for
by any route they may select, either from London, Paris,
Brussels, Berlin, Switzerland, the South of France or Italy.
Travellers from any point can have tickets to travel when they
please and how they please, with hotel coupons for days, weeks,
or months.
Taking London as the starting-point for the East, the
following amongst other routes can be provided for:—
  • London to Paris, Dover, and Calais, Folkestone, and
    Boulogne, Newhaven, and Dieppe; London to Brussels, by
    Calais, Ostend, Antwerp, or Flushing.
  • Paris to Italy by Mont Cenis, St. Gotthard, or by Marseilles,
    Cannes, Nice, Mentone, and Genoa.
  • Paris to Italy by Geneva or Bale, through Switzerland and
    by any Alpine road.
  • Paris to Brussels, Cologne and up the Rhine to Heidelberg,
    Strasburg, Bale, and over the Splügen or St. Gotthard to
    Milan, or from the Rhine to Munich, and over the Brenner to
    Verona and through Italy.
  • Italy may be traversed in going out or in returning, and
    travellers may tarry as long as they like in any Italian city.
  • All steamers from France or Italy are available. From

    Marseilles the Messageries Maritimes may be taken to Alexandria.
    From Genoa, Leghorn, Naples, or Venice and Brindisi,
    the Rubattino steamers to either Alexandria or Port Said.
    From Marseilles, Venice, or Brindisi, the steamers of the
    Peninsular and Oriental line to Port Said. From Trieste and
    Brindisi, the Austrian Lloyds, which encompass the circle of
    the Levant.
  • On the Syrian Coast, a choice of Austrian, French, Russian,
    or Egyptian steamers is offered. Thus the entire steamboat
    accommodations of Italy, France, and the Levant are offered
    for selection, and tickets can also be issued to go through
    Algiers, Sicily, and other islands of the Mediterranean, in connection
    with Palestine, Egypt, the Nile and the Desert.
The long sea routes to Egypt are:—
  • From London by the Peninsular and Oriental, Orient, and
    British India Steamers.
  • From Liverpool by the Bibby, Moss, Anchor, City, Clan,
    Henderson, etc., lines.
  • From Manchester by the Prince Line.
  • From Southampton by the North German Lloyds.


For long tours, combining Egypt, Palestine, and Syria, the
usual course is to cross the English Channel by either the
Calais route (the shortest sea passage), or by Dieppe (the
shortest distance to Paris). From Paris direct to Turin by the
Mont Cenis Tunnel, and from Turin by Bologna and Ancona
to Brindisi or via Paris and Marseilles; thence by steamer to
Alexandria; after visiting Lower Egypt or going up the Nile,
cross the Land of Goshen to Ismailia, and thence on to Port
Said by the newly constructed narrow gauge railway; from
Port Said to Jaffa and land there; make the tour of Palestine,
etc., and re-embark on steamer at Beyrout for Constantinople;
thence to Athens, and complete the tour of the Mediterranean

and Adriatic by landing at Trieste; returning through Italy by
Venice, Milan, and Turin, and back to Paris and London.
Whilst this is the general course of the conductors, many
modifications, extensions, or abridgments may be made to suit
the convenience and meet the wishes of the travellers, but in
all cases of Personally-Conducted Tours it is necessary to
define the route the conductor will take, and those who keep
with him will fare the best, as all baggage, omnibus, and other
incidental charges are paid by him; but if any leave him, it is
not possible to control these expenses, and the travellers must
then take their own course and pay the extras. Tickets can be
provided for travelling by any line of railway or steamboat.


Between Port Said and Ismailia the Suez Canal Company's
light railway, carrying passengers, runs twice daily in each
direction, as per time table, connecting with Suez and Cairo.
Trains from Suez leave Ismailia for Cairo every day at 1.20
p.m. and 6.35 p.m., due in Cairo 5.35 p.m. and 10.30 p m.
Cook's representative meets every train, and will attend to the
passing of passengers' baggage through the customs, transport
of baggage from quay to railway station, etc., for an exclusive
fee of 2s. per passenger.
From Alexandria to Cairo three express trains run daily in
three hours and a half, ordinary trains about six hours.


All the very best routes are under the arrangements of THOS.
COOK & SON. There is not a line of steamships crossing the
Atlantic by which they do not secure passages, and from Liverpool,
Glasgow, and Southampton, etc., they have connection
with the best railroad service of the United Kingdom. They
can offer to American travellers Pullman cars by day or night,
or the better class of select compartment carriages.
If Americans wish to go to the East by the Western Route,
tickets can be issued either by San Francisco, Vancouver, Japan,

China, and India to Egypt, or by the route of New Zealand,
Australia, Ceylon, and India.
Tickets to return to America by the southern course of the
Atlantic, from Gibraltar direct to New York, without returning
through Europe, can be issued, or arrangements made for
visiting Scandinavia either before or after the Palestine tour.


In 1894 the Egyptian business of THOS. COOK & SON was
transferred to a Company registered as THOS. COOK & SON (EGYPT), LIMITED, but as the management of the Company's
business remains in the hands of THOS. COOK & SON there is
no change whatever in policy. The Nile Services, Time Tables,
and general arrangements are similar to those of recent seasons,
subject only to such alterations and ameliorations as experience
and circumstances may require.
Year by year the Nile is visited by travellers in constantly
increasing numbers, and a large proportion of such increase is
induced by the excellence of COOK'S service of Nile Steamers
and by the large variety of superior Dahabeahs. The First
Class Tourist Steamers are six in number, modern vessels built
in Scotland regardless of expense, fitted and furnished throughout
with every possible improvement both for the comfort of the
passengers and for the efficient navigation of the steamer.
For COOK'S Nile Mail Service four comfortable steamers
are affected, which, although somewhat smaller and not so
luxuriously fitted as the Tourist Steamers, offer admirable
facilities for visiting the Nile to those whose time is limited.
Five Paddle Steamers of the old type, two Steam Dahabeahs,
five Steam Launches, and fifteen Dahabeahs form a portion of
the Company's plant and property at Cairo.
COOK'S Steamer Service between the First and Second
Cataracts is carried on by First Class Tourist Steamers between
Philæ and Wadi-Halfa in connection with their Nile Service
from Cairo and Assouan.
At Luxor, invalids and others will find two well-managed
comfortable hotels, which THOS. COOK & SON have been
instrumental in completing. Both the Karnak Hotel and the
Luxor Hotel are suitably furnished, and the appliances for
visitors are in keeping with the climate. A qualified medical
gentleman, English nurses, an English lady housekeeper, and a
clergyman of the Church of England reside at Luxor during the
winter. A church for religious services, etc., has been erected
in the garden of the Luxor Hotel.
At Assouan, too, an hotel under the same management as
those at Luxor will be found, where travellers wishing to prolong
their stay at this delightful and health-giving place will find
every comfort. An English Doctor and Chaplain reside in the
hotel during the season.
COOK'S Steamer Service of each season begins in November,
and Nile trips may precede or follow trips to Palestine, as most
convenient to the travellers who wish to embrace the two
objects in one visit to the East. The trips by the regular First
Class Tourist Steamers to the First Cataract and back occupy
twenty days, and seven more are allowed for trips to the Second
Cataract. COOK'S Mail Steamers, leaving Cairo twice weekly,
enable those who wish to visit both the First and Second
Cataracts to do so in less time than the First Class Tourist
DAHABEAHS can be secured on the best terms for all who
desire them. Dragomans and other necessary servants and
food supplies are carefully selected and provided. The offices
of THOS. COOK & SON (EGYPT), LIMITED, at Cairo, near Shepheard's
Hotel, afford excellent facilities for the management
of this business. Early application at the offices of the Company
is necessary to secure the best boats and the best men.
The following is an epitome of COOK'S Nile Services;
for fuller particulars travellers are referred to the Pamphlet
Programme, containing plans of Steamers and Dahabeahs, etc.,
which is published in the month of August of each year:—
First Class Tourist Steamer from Cairo to First Cataract
and back (3 weeks), £50. Special First Class Tourist Steamer

from Cairo to the First Cataract and back (4 weeks), £65.
From Philæ to the Second Cataract and back, in connection
with the above (7 days), £23. COOK'S Nile Mail Steamers from
Cairo to Assouan and back (railway and steamer) (14 days), £27.
COOK'S Mail Steamer from Cairo to Luxor and back (Cairo to
Nagh Hamadi by rail) (8 days); £23. COOK'S Mail Steamer,
Cairo and Assouan and back to Cairo (all the way by steamer)
(19 days), £27. Steam Dahabeahs and Steamers for private
parties can be secured at moderate and inclusive charges on
application to Messrs. THOS. COOK & SON, in London or Cairo,
or any of their agencies.


During the Cairo season THOS. COOK & SON (EGYPT),
LIMITED, arrange excursions by steamer from Cairo up the
river to Bedrachin, for ancient Memphis, Sakkara, the Pyramid
of Oonas, Helouan, etc., and down the river to the Barrage.
These excursions or picnics will be advertised to leave Cairo
every Wednesday for Bedrachin, and every Saturday for the
Barrage during the season, and the fares will include all
travelling expenses from the time of leaving Cairo to the
return, visitors providing their own refreshments. Any families
or private parties requiring a steamer can arrange for one
at the Cairo Office of the Company on giving 48 hours'


constitute a feature of all Eastern Tours. Personally-Conducted
Tours always include a full week in Lower Egypt, with special
arrangements for carriage trip to the Pyramids of Ghizeh.
Having shown how to reach Egypt, it will be useful for the
traveller to have placed before him an itinerary of the Nile
Journey by Steamer.



The steamer starts punctually at 10.0 a.m. from near the
new iron bridge Kasr-el-Nil, leading to the Pyramids of Ghizeh,
and at noon arrives at Bedrachin, where donkeys, sent from
Cairo, will be waiting for the passengers. The site of ancient
Memphis is reached after half-an-hour's ride, then, according
to the state of the land, the summer or winter road will be
taken to the step pyramid of Sakkárah, Marriette's House, etc.
About two hours will be spent visiting the Serapeum; Mustaba
of Ti, and the Pyramid of Oonas (this pyramid having been
opened and cleared at the expense of THOS. COOK & SON),
and then return to the steamer, which leaves as soon as all are
on board, anchoring for the night probably at Ayat. (35 miles
from Cairo)


During the day the following places of interest will be
passed:—The dwarf Pyramid of Maydoom, called El Kedab,
or “the false pyramid”: Wasta, a village of some importance,
and the Railway Junction for the Fayoum; Benisooef, the chief
town of the province, and Maghaga, where the steamer usually
stops for the night. At Maghaga there is one of the largest
sugar manufactories in Upper Egypt; it is lighted by gas, and
presents a very strange and interesting scene. The sugar manufacturing
commences about the beginning of January. When
the sugar manufactory is not at work the steamer may proceed
further the same evening. (105 miles from Cairo)


Leave early in the morning, and before noon pass “Gebel-el-Tayr,”
on the top of which stands a Coptic Convent, the

inmates of which at one time used to plunge into the river
whenever a boat came in sight, and swimming towards it,
would dexterously catch hold of the small boat in tow, and
climb on deck to ask for backsheesh. This practice, however,
was put a stop to a few years ago by order of the Coptic
Minieh will be passed in the afternoon, where there is
another large sugar manufactory, employing about 2000 people.
There is also a large palace here belonging to the Viceroy.
Shortly after Beni-Hassan is reached, and passengers land to
visit the tombs, where one sees the first example of the Doric
and lotus column. The first to be visited is that of Speos
Artemedos, and then two of the most interesting of the rock
tombs, called Ameni Amenamah and Knum Hotep. Although
there are fifteen tombs altogether of generals and officers, these
two are the only ones of any interest. On the way to the
tombs the ruins of Beni-Hassan are passed, the villages having
been destroyed by order of Mohammed Ali, owing to the incorrigible
rascality and thieving propensities of the inhabitants,
who are not much better at the present day. Returning to
the steamer, the voyage is continued to Rodah that night.
(182 miles from Cairo.)


Leave early in the morning. In a few hours the mountain
“Gebel-aboo-faydah” is sighted, and Manfaloot, a town of
some importance, is passed, and a little later the steamer
reaches Assiout. (250 miles from Cairo.)


The morning is spent at Siout, or Assiout, the capital of
Upper Egypt, where the Inspector-General of Upper Egypt
resides. Donkeys are taken to the hills behind the town,
where a splendid view of the Nile Valley is obtained—the
tombs of the sacred wolf and Meri-ka-ra will be visited—
passing through the markets and bazaars on the way back to
the steamer. A very important market is held at Assiout, and

before the abolition of slavery it was the principal slave market;
but although this traffic no longer exists, it still offers much
that is of interest to the traveller.
The steamer will leave at noon, and stay for the night at
Maragha. (294 miles from Cairo.)


The steamer leaves early. Sohag and Girgeh are generally
passed before noon, and shortly after Bellianah, which is
the starting-point for visiting Abydus; but the visit to this
beautiful temple is better postponed until the return journey,
as the ruins are so grand and magnificent that they lose none
of their charm and novelty even after Karnak has been seen.
Therefore the steamer will proceed through the passes of Aboo
Shoosheh, stopping for the night at Dishneh. (388 miles from


Arrive at Keneh soon after breakfast. Donkeys will be in
readiness on the left bank of the river, opposite the town, to
take the passengers to the Temple of Denderah, about half-an-hour's
ride. This being the first monument of the kind met
with, the impression it produces is never to be forgotten. After
staying here for a couple of hours passengers will return to the
steamer, which will leave about 12 o'clock, arriving at Luxor
before sunset. (450 miles from Cairo.)


This will be devoted to the Theban Valley and the Tombs
of the Kings. Leave the steamer at 8.0 a.m., and cross the
river in boats. On the other side donkeys will be found waiting,
and after half-an-hour's ride the Temple of Koorneh is
reached—then another ride of forty minutes through the valley
Bab-el-Molook to the Tombs of the Kings, which are visited
in the following order:—No. 2, Tomb of Rameses IV.; No. 6,

Rameses IX.; No. 9, Rameses VI.; No. II, Rameses III.;
No. 17, Sethi 1., opened by Belzoni in 1816. Lunch will be
served in Tomb No. 18, and afterwards those who wish can go
over the Libyan Chain, commanding a glorious view of the
Nile Valley, etc., and descend near the Temple of Hatasoo,
called by the Arabs Dayr-el-Bahari (where important antiquities
were found in 1881, see p. 214) will be visited, passing on
the way back to the river the Rameseum and Memnonium.
Those who do not ascend the mountain return through the
valley, visiting on the way to the steamer the Rameseum, etc.;
crossing the river again, the steamer is reached about 4.30 p.m.


Leave the steamer at 9.0 a.m., and after half-an-hour's ride
reach Karnak, where three hours will be devoted to this most
important of Egyptian monuments, returning to the vessel for
lunch at 1.0 p.m.; and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon the Temple
and town of Luxor will be visited.


Leave the steamer at 8.0 or 8.30 a.m., cross the river again
and visit the Rameseum, Tomb No. 35, or Tomb of REKHMARA,
being one of the private tombs of Shayk Abd-el-Kooneh, thence
to the little Temple of Dayr-el-Medeeneh (the judgment hall
of Osiris), and the Temple of Medinet-Haboo, which was the
palace and great temple of Rameses III., containing also a
small temple of Thothmes III. Lunch will be taken at 12.0 in
the second hall of the great temple. On the way back to the
steamer, which is reached about 3.0 p.m., the sitting Colossi are


Leave Luxor early in the morning, arriving at Esneh in
about four and a-half hours. The Temple of Esneh, which is
distant only a few minutes from the river, is visited, then the
steamer proceeds for about four hours as far as Edfou, and

stays there for the night. The passengers will land and make
an excursion to the Temple, which is one of the most complete
and best preserved monuments in Egypt, giving the best idea
of the early Egyptian architecture. It is in the custody of a
Government officer, and beggars are not allowed to pester
visitors for backsheesh; but they are the more ravenous when
one emerges again from the stronghold. (515 miles from


Leave early in the morning, pass Gebel-el-Silsileh at about
9.0 a.m., proceed to Komombo, where half-an-hour will be spent.
Assouan, the present limit of Upper Egypt, and one of the
most important towns on the Nile, will be reached about
4 0 p.m., and the Island of Elephantine will be visited before
dinner, taking small boats to cross the river. (583 miles
from Cairo.)


To be spent at Assouan. Passengers visiting the tombs
recently opened, the town, bazaars, etc., as they please, making
their own plans.


After an early breakfast, donkeys and camels will be waiting
to convey the passengers to the granite quarries, Philæ, etc.
About twenty minutes' ride from the town on the hills to the
left are the celebrated granite quarries where the obelisks, etc.,
were procured, and where one may be seen partly quarried.
About an hour's ride across the Desert brings one to the river,
where a native boat is taken across to the Island of Philæ.
After exploring this enchanting island in every part and lunching
amid the pillars overlooking the Nile, passengers re-embark
at 1 o'clock, floating down the river for about half-an-hour, and
stop a little above the Cataract. Landing here, they reach, in
a few minutes, an eminence, whence the finest view of the
rapid is obtained, and the Nubian men and boys are seen

dexterously shooting the Cataract on logs of wood. They embark
again, and the boat proceeds across the river through small
rapids to the Nubian village of Mahatta, where the donkeys
will be waiting, and the return journey will be made by another
road, striking to the left of the village, and riding by the side of
the Nile, all the way down enjoying the most magnificent and
varied views of the wild scenery. As a rule, guides and donkey-boys
do not like to take this way back, but the interest it offers
is so great that on no account ought it to be abandoned.
[Passengers wishing to shoot the Cataract can do so—at
their own expense and risk—by making arrangements the day
before. The charge for a dahabeah for a party to shoot the
Cataract is from £8 to £12 sterling. The charge for shooting
the Cataract, in small boats, is 4s. each passenger, the minimum
number taken being six, and the arrangement can be made by
the Dragoman or Manager of the steamer.]


The steamer leaves Assouan very early in the morning, so
as to ensure arriving at Luxor by daylight the same evening.
All passengers who take any interest in the Egyptian antiquities
should not fail to visit the Tombs of Mechu, Ben, and
Se-Renpu, opened out by and at the expense of General Sir
Francis Grenfell, situated on the western side of Assouan.
They could be visited in the evening, but we strongly advise
that they should be seen before breakfast in the morning, when
the sun is shining straight into the tombs and shows out most
distinctly the colouring, hieroglyphs, etc. There is not time,
however, to allow of them being visited on the morning before
starting for Philæ, or on the morning before the departure of
the steamer from Assouan.


The morning will be spent at Luxor, giving those who wish
an opportunity of revisiting Karnak, etc.
The steamer leaves Luxor at mid-day, arriving at Keneh
between 3.0 and 4.0 p.m., where time is given for a ride to the
town, although there is very little to be seen there except the
manufacture of porous jugs and gargoulets for the filtering of
the Nile water. The donkey ride occupies about twenty minutes
in each direction, and the steamer will, as a rule, leave again
the same evening for Dishneh, so as to ensure arriving at
Bellianah in good time the following morning.


The steamer leaves Dishneh early in the morning for
Bellianah, where donkeys will be waiting for the passengers for
about a two hours' ride through the valley to Abydus. Luncheon
will be taken in the Temple of Sethi, after which a visit will be
paid to the Temple of Rameses II., Kom-es-Sultan, and the
Coptic Monastery.


Leave Bellianah early, and arrive at Assiout in the afternoon,
where the rest of the day can be spent revisiting the
bazaars, towns, etc.


Leave Assiout in the morning, and after lunch reach Rhoda,
where there is a large sugar manufactory, which, if at work,
will be visited. The steamer will then anchor for the night
near Gebel-el-Tayr.


Arrive at Cairo in the course of the evening, or early on the
following morning. If the steamer arrives at Cairo in the evening,
passengers need not leave the steamer until after breakfast
on the following day, unless they wish to do so.


With a view of meeting the requirements of those who are
desirous of visiting Abou-Simbel and the Second
Special Service by Steamer between.


in connection with their existing steamboat arrangements
between Cairo and Assouan, commencing with the Tourist
Steamer leaving Cairo, Tuesday, in the middle of November,
and leaving Shellal (Philæ) on the Monday week following, as
per time-table, during the Tourist Season, and as per the following

FIRST DAY (Monday).

Passengers booked for the Second Cataract will leave the
Tourist Steamer at Assouan at an hour that will be announced
by the Manager the previous evening, having carefully seen
that their luggage is all handed over to the Manager to be
forwarded to the steamer at Philæ.
They will accompany the whole party to Philæ, and embark
on the steamer, which will leave at 10.0 a.m., passing Dabod,
a small village on the western side of the river, where there
is the ruin of a temple commenced by the Ethiopian King,
Atachar Amen. The next place of interest passed is Kardash
or Gertàssee, where there is a portion of a ruined temple and
a quarry. About one hour after passing Kardash, the steamer
passes through one of the most interesting gorges of the Nile,
Bab-el-Kalabsheh, or Straits of Kalabsheh. For a distance of
four or five miles, the granite mountains enclose the river on
either side, offering at every curve varied views of grand and
wild scenery.
The steamer passes Kalabsheh on the upward voyage, and

will stay there on the way down. The ruins here are of considerable
size and beauty, and consist of the remains of two
temples; one, the largest temple in Nubia, must have been a
magnificent pile when perfect. In some chambers to which
access can be obtained, are paintings of the highest finish in
colours as vivid as on the day on which they were executed.
The steamer reaches Dendoor in the evening, when the Temple,
which is close to the bank, can be visited.

SECOND DAY (Tuesday).

The steamer will leave about 5.0 in the morning, from Dendoor,
passing Kirscheh on the western bank, arriving at Dakkeh,
where time will be allowed to visit the temple supposed to
have been built by the Ethiopian King Ergamun. The sculptures
and hieroglyphs are extremely good, and some of them
well preserved. After leaving Dakkeh, the steamer proceeds
to Saboa, or Wady Saboa, “The Valley of the Lions,” staying
there for the night.

THIRD DAY (Wednesday).

Leave Saboa early in the morning, arriving at Korosko
about 8.0 a.m., and staying there two hours for the ascent of
Awas-el-Guarany, or mountain of Korosko, recently made
easy of access by a good path leading to the summit, on which
a look-out tower has been erected. The summit of the mountain
is held sacred not only by the residents of the district, but
is a well-known place of pilgrimage, supposed to be the burial
place of the Saint from whom the mountain derives its name,
and on the summit will be found a considerable number of stellas
or small tablets, on which are recorded the visits of pilgrims,
not only from all parts of Egypt, but from distant regions, some
of the stellas recording the visits of several members of the
same family at different dates. The view from the summit is
very fine, commanding on one side the Nile valley and on the
other the Desert road, leading via Abu-Hamed to Khartoum.
After leaving Korosko the steamer stops at Åmada on the
western bank for about half-an-hour, where there is a small
temple, and then proceeds to Deer, the capital of Lower
Nubia, where time will be allowed for visiting the temple; and,
passing Ibrim and Toski, will stop for the night at Armenieh.

FOURTH DAY (Thursday).

The steamer leaves early in the morning, passing Aboo-Simbel
on the western bank, and, leaving the visit to that
temple until the return voyage, will arrive at Wády-Halfa early
in the afternoon.

FIFTH DAY (Friday).

Passengers who wish to visit Aboo-Seer must leave the
steamer at 7.0 a.m., crossing the river to the western side, where
donkeys or camels will be ready to convey them to the rock of
Aboo-Seer, where sufficient time will be given for the magnificent
view to be appreciated, provided permission can be
obtained from the authorities.
The passengers will leave the rock so as to return to the
steamer in time for it to leave Wády-Halfa at 12.0 noon, so as
to arrive early that evening at Aboo-Simbel. This being the
temple of greatest interest after Thebes, opportunity is given for
spending the night and a portion of the following day. Those
who are fortunate in arriving at Aboo-Simbel during the period
of a full moon will appreciate the night spent there, and time
will be given in the morning to inspect the temple and tombs.
This monument is the greatest attraction Nubia has to offer
to the antiquarian student. It is hewn out of the solid rock,
and is rendered specially imposing by four gigantic figures of
Rameses II., each 66 feet high. The temple is partly choked
with sand and somewhat difficult of access, but the interior well
repays the exertion. It is divided into four compartments, and
is 185 feet deep. The paintings and sculptures exceed in
beauty and grandeur any which the tourist has hitherto seen
on the Nile. The smaller temple, 84 feet in depth, is dedicated

to Athar; the façade is ornamented with six colossal statues of
Rameses, his wife and children. The small temple, conjectured
to have been the Priest's library, opened out 1874-5 by Mr.
McCallum and the late Miss Amelia B. Edwards, and which
contains hieroglyphs of great beauty and interest, should also
be visited.
During the early spring of 1892, Captain J. H. L. E. Johnstone,
R.E., with a detachment of a company of Royal
Engineers, carried out some important repairs to the rock
temple at Aboo-Simbel. They removed a large number of
overhanging masses of stone, which, had they fallen, must
have done great damage to the colossal statues; they repaired
the cornice and built up the side walls, and built two walls to
keep out the loose drift sand of the desert.

SIXTH DAY (Saturday).

The steamer will leave Aboo-Simbel at 10.0 a.m., calling for
a few minutes at Korosko, and proceeding as far as possible
that evening.


The steamer will leave early in the morning, continuing the
downward voyage, staying at Kalabsheh for two hours to visit
the temple, and arriving at Shellal about 4.0 p.m.

EIGHTH DAY (Monday).

There will be ample time in the morning, for those who wish
to revisit Philæ, the Cataracts, Assouan, etc.
Passengers will arrange with the Manager for a transfer from
the steamer to the tourist boat at Assouan, which leaves
early in the morning.
The fares include living on the steamers, all necessary travelling
expenses, donkeys, English saddles for ladies, boats to
cross the river when necessary, according to the Itinerary, as

well as boats for visiting Philæ and the Cataract, the services
of the dragomans and guides where necessary, and backsheesh
to guides, etc.
As a rule, COOK'S Tourist Steamers between Cairo and
Assouan start every alternate Tuesday from the middle of
November until the second week of December, and thence
every Tuesday until the middle of March, and an extra
Steamer in January and February. During November and
December, the Steamers are not so crowded as later on, and as
the temperature of these months is very delightful, early visitors
to Cairo may rely on an enjoyable voyage on the Nile at that
season. The Second Cataract Service usually commences in
connection with the Steamer from Cairo in the third week of
One or more Special Steamers run during the season,
allowing four weeks for the return voyage, and extra Steamers
run as required during the crowded season.
COOK'S Mail Steamers run three times a week: Monday,
Wednesday, and Saturday, from Nagh Hamadi (the present
(1897) terminus of the railway) to Assouan; and twice a week
from Cairo for Assouan calling at Nagh Hamadi. These Mail
Steamers afford an opportunity of visiting the most important
points of Upper Egypt with economy of time and money. See
Pamphlet Programme.


To meet the views of invalids and others who prefer to stay
on the Tourist Steamer for three or more voyages, rather than
live in Hotels at Cairo or Luxor, a special ticket has
been in operation during the past two or three seasons, on
the basis of one fare for the second and third voyages,
which has been much appreciated, and is still in operation.
Under this plan passengers can make three voyages on any of
the Tourist Steamers (except on the “Special” four weeks
steamer) for £100, which fare includes living on the steamers

during the time they are in port at Cairo under the ordinary
working arrangements. They can thus pass nine weeks on the
Nile for £100.
N B.—A Decree having been issued by H.H. the Khedive
of Egypt levying a tax of P.T. 100=205. 6d. on all travellers
on the Nile who wish to visit the Monuments, Temples, etc.,
in Upper Egypt, such tax to be devoted to the maintenance and
preservation of Monuments, Temples, etc., THOS. COOK &
SON (EGYPT), LIMITED, have to inform all travellers taking
tickets for their Steamers, that the various fares indicated in this
book do not include such tax, which will have to be paid by the
traveller at the Cairo Office of the Company before leaving for
the Nile voyage.


The general route is from Egypt to Sinai, Petra, Mount Hor,
and Palestine.
Forty to fifty days are required for the journey from Cairo
to Sinai, Petra, and by Mount Hor, to Hebron and Jerusalem.
Without attempting here to mark out the various routes that
may be taken, or to define exact itineraries, it may be said
generally and briefly that all necessary camp equipments for
Tours through the Desert can be supplied; and in every
engagement of this kind none but the most trustworthy dragomans
will be employed, who will do justice to the travellers. A
graduated scale of charges according to the number of party is
adopted, and engagements can be made for Desert travelling at
the Company's offices (see p. 360).

[Back to top]




EGYPT is bounded by the Mediterranean on the north; by
the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea on the east; and by
the great Libyan Desert on the west. To the south the
boundary of Egypt Proper is Dongola (1897). Formerly
the authority of Egypt was recognized as far south as Gondokoro
on the Equator, and as far west as Kordofan. The
rebellion in the Soudan under the so-called Mahdi reduced
the authority of Egypt to a shadow, and in January, 1884,
the Egyptian Government, under pressure from H.M.'s
Government, abandoned the whole of this vast territory,
and limited the dominions of the Khedivate to the confines
of Egypt Proper. In 1896, by the advice of H.M.'s
Government, an expedition of the Egyptian army, under
the command of Colonel Sir Herbert Kitchener, advanced
from Wády Halfa, and successfully occupied Dongola. An
Egyptian garrison is maintained at Suakin, while the
Italians are in possession of Massowah.
Egypt Proper is really the valley of the Nile, owing its
existence and fertility to that wonderful river. For administrative
purposes it is divided into Upper and Lower Egypt,
each consisting of seven provinces, as follows:—
Behera Chief town, Damanhour.
Menufieh Chief town, Chief town, Sheben-el-Kom.
Charkieh Chief town, Chief town, Zagazig.
Dakalieh Chief town, Chief town, Mansourah.
Garbieh Chief town, Tantah.
Galioubieh Chief town, Benha.
Ghizeh Chief town, Ghizeh.
Benisooef Chief town, Benisooef.
Fyoom Chief town, Medinet el-Fyoom.
Minieh Chief town, Minieh.
Assiout Chief town, Assiout.
Girgeh Chief town, Sohag.
Keneh Chief town, Keneh.
Esneh Chief town, Esneh.
With the exception of the Nile Valley and the Delta, the
country is mostly desert. There are a few oases in the
Western Desert, the largest of which is Séewah, formerly
Ammonium, where the Temple of Jupiter Ammon once
stood. This oasis has an area of about 20 square miles,
and is about ten days' journey from Cairo. Between
the Nile and Red Sea are mountains rising to a height of
6000 feet. Along the coast of the Mediterranean are
several lagoons, of which the principal are Lake Menzaleh,
50 miles; Lake Mareotis, 40 miles (p. 88); and Lake
Boorlos, 30 miles. About 50 miles south of Cairo are
the curious Natron Lakes which dry up in summer,
leaving a crust of natron, or carbonate of soda, on the
ground; also the most noted lake in Egypt, the Birket-el-Kurun,
about 30 miles in length and 2 1/2 broad, near which
is the site of Lake Maeris (see p. 261).


The geological features of Egypt are plainly marked.
There is the alluvial soil, covering Lower Egypt to the depth

of 30 or 40 feet, and clothing with fertility the long valley
of the Nile. This valley is enclosed by rocks of limestone
as far as Esneh. Of this stone the Pyramids of Ghizeh are
built, and stand upon one of the plateaux frequent in the
limestone districts. From Esneh to Assouan the mountains
are of sandstone, a durable, and yet easily worked, stone,
which was quarried to a large extent by the ancient Egyptians,
and furnished the materials for most of the great
temples, etc. Thebes was built of sandstone. At Assouan
comes a belt of granite, and from this region the stone was
brought for the obelisks, and colossal statues reared by the
ancient Egyptians, and also for the temples of the Delta,
where the effects of a damper climate had to be provided
against. Over the rocks, in many parts of Egypt, lie the
ever-shifting sands of the Desert. Breccia, porphyry, alabaster,
and emeralds are found at a few spots.


The Egyptian climate, although varying in different districts,
is, on the whole, more uniform than that of any other
country in the world. The large surface of water of the
Suez Canal, and the extensive irrigation works, which are
increasing yearly, have produced local disturbances of the
atmosphere, and contributed in some places to damper
winters and milder summers. Taking Cairo as the centre
of the tourist life, it may be stated that the mean annual
temperature is 70° F. The average summer temperature is
85° F., and the mean winter temperature is about 58° F.
The thermometer in Cairo often marks considerable and
sudden changes of temperature, which, although not dangerous
because of the dryness of the atmosphere, should
nevertheless be guarded against, especially at sunset. The

evenings and early mornings are invariably cool, especially
on the Nile, but the thermometer seldom falls below 40° F
in Cairo.
The summer extends from April to October, and
except during the Khamsin—a hot south wind in April and
May, at intervals during a period of fifty days—northerly
winds prevail. Winter extends from November to March,
and, with a few exceptional days, is a season affording
unsurpassed comfort to invalids and attractions to ordinary
The dry and salubrious climate of Egypt may be
thoroughly realized in Cairo, a city of Oriental character,
combined with modern innovations; but invalids requiring
complete rest for body and mind, will find the warm, pure,
bright, dry air of Luxor comforting during the day, and the
nights comparatively cool. (See p. 14.) Upper Egypt,
though hotter, is more healthy than the Delta. Lower
Egypt has rain occasionally in winter, but Upper Egypt is
an almost totally rainless district.
The average temperature of Lower Egypt ranges between
75° and 90° in summer and 45° and 60° in winter; and
that of Upper Egypt between 90° and 100° in summer and
60° and 70° in winter.
The plague was once a terrible scourge in Egypt, as in
other Eastern countries, but owing to the precautions taken
by the Government, it has not made its appearance since
1843 The last epidemics of cholera were in 1865, 1883,
and 1896.


The palm groves surrounding the Egyptian villages
are the nearest approach to anything like forest scenery in
Egypt, and the wild beasts are consequently few in number.

The principal species are the wolf, fox, jackal, hyaena,
ichneumon, jerboa, wild ass, and several varieties of
antelope, gazelle, ibex, wild cat. Camels, horses, asses,
buffaloes, oxen, goats, and sheep are the principal domestic
animals. The hippopotamus, once the most remarkable of
Egyptian animals, is now only seen in the more southern
districts of the Nile, in which locality the giraffe is also
occasionally met with.
Of vultures, which are common, there are three species;
one kind often measures as much as fifteen feet across the
wings. Eagles, falcons, hawks, buzzards, kites, crows, larks,
linnets, and sparrows are all found in Egypt. The ibis was
held sacred by the ancient Egyptians, and has given occasion
for several legends. Domestic pigeons and poultry
Of Egyptian reptiles there are several kinds, the most
famous is the celebrated crocodile of the Nile. This scaly
monster has abandoned the lower portions of the river, and
even in Upper Egypt is becoming more and more rare.
The smaller saurians, called monitors, are very abundant,
and are often pointed out as crocodiles to ingenuous visitors.
Lizards and tortoises may be seen in plenty, and small
turtles are found in the Cataracts. There are more than
twenty known species of snakes, of which seven are
Fish are plentiful in the Nile and in the Egyptian lakes,
and are much used as an article of food. The chief
varieties are the binny, or barbel; the latus, a species of
perch; the bayad, or siluris; the Chromis Nilotica, and the
Mormyrus Oxyrhynchus.
Amongst the insects of Egypt the Scarabeus sacer, so
infinitely reproduced in the ancient sculptures, etc., is one
of the most remarkable.
Locusts still, as of old, make themselves a dreadful
calamity at occasional seasons, and some of the insects
recorded amongst the Mosaic plagues are still most unpleasantly
numerous in the Egyptian land.
Amongst the trees and plants of Egypt many European
varieties flourish. Date palms, doom palms, sycamores,
tamarisks, acacias, etc., are the most noticeable. The lotus,
or water-lily of the Nile, conspicuous in the ornamentation
of the old temples and tombs, and used for making a sort of
bread now, as in the days of Herodotus, is a noticeable
object in the Delta, when the Nile is at full height. The
papyrus, from whose delicate white pith the ancients made
paper, has become scarce, and according to some extinct.
There are very doubtful rumours of its existence in some
out-of-the-way spots.*
* “The lotus and papyrus,” says Dr. Samuel Manning, in his
Land of the Pharaohs, “were formerly the most common of its
products, insomuch that they formed the symbols of Upper and Lower
Egypt. The papyrus was used not only for making paper, to which it
gave its name, but for the construction of boats, baskets, and innumerable
other articles; as in the Upper Jordan Valley, where it still
grows abundantly, even cottages were built with it. No religious
service, no state ceremonial, no domestic festival is found without the
lotus-flower. It forms part of every offering to the gods. The guests
at a banquet all held one in their hands. It is, perhaps, the object of
all others most constantly represented on the monuments. Yet both
the lotus and papyrus have disappeared from Egypt. No trace of either
can be found. Unaccountable as is the disappearance of these plants,
it was yet foretold by the Prophet Isaiah, as a part of the Divine judgment
upon Egypt: 'The brooks of defence shall be emptied and
dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither. The paper reeds by the
brooks … and everything sown by the brooks, shall wither, be
driven away, and be no more' (Isa. xix. 6, 7). The phrase, 'brooks
of defence,' in this passage, has greatly perplexed commentators.
Brooks, in the proper sense of the term, there are none in Egypt.
Of course the reference is to the canals with which the country
is intersected. But, why 'brooks of defence'? It has been commonly
supposed that they were constructed simply for irrigation. But
it affords a striking illustration of the minute accuracy of Scripture
phraseology, to find that they served the further purpose of guarding
the land against the raids of the Bedouin horsemen, who then, as
now, infested the Desert, and whose depredations were checked by
these canals.”
The vegetable productions of Egypt depend so completely
upon the annual inundation of the country by the
waters of the Nile, that it may be well here to give an
account of that phenomenon.
It is this inundation which annually renews the richness
of the Egyptian soil by depositing upon the land a coating
of mud, thus rendering the use of any other manure entirely
unnecessary. In some parts agriculture is most carefully
and laboriously attended to, and artificial irrigation kept up
in the intervals between the inundations.
The rise of the Nile can be seen at Gondokooroo, lat. 5°,
in February, at Khartoom in March, at Dongola in May,
and commences in Egypt about the end of June. It
reaches its greatest height towards the end of September,
remaining for about fifteen days at about 24 ft. above the
low water level, after which a gradual subsidence takes
place. If it rises to 30 ft., great damage ensues; if less
than 18 ft., famine results in many parts. The following
description of this remarkable phenomenon is from Osburn's
Monumental History of Egypt:—
“Perhaps there is not in nature a more exhilarating
sight, or one more strongly exciting to confidence in God,
than the rise of the Nile. Day by day and night by night
its turbid tide sweeps onward majestically over the parched

sands of the waste, howling wilderness. Almost hourly, as
we slowly ascended it before the Etesian wind, we heard
the thundering fall of some mud-bank, and saw by the rush
of all animated Nature to the spot, that the Nile had overleaped
another obstruction, and that its boundary waters
were diffusing life and joy through another desert. There
are few impressions I have ever received, upon the remembrance
of which I dwell with more pleasure, than that of
seeing the first burst of the Nile into one of the channels of
its annual overflow. All Nature shouts for joy. The men,
the children, the buffaloes gambol in its refreshing waters,
the broad waves sparkle with shoals of fish, and fowls of
every wing flutter over them in clouds. The moment the
sand becomes moistened by the approach of the fertilizing
waters, it is literally alive with insects innumerable.”
Immediately after the inundation wheat, barley, beans,
peas, lentils, vetches, lupins, clover, flax, lettuce, hemp,
coriander, poppies, tobacco, water-melons, and cucumbers
are sown, and in about four months or less are harvested.
In the summer season artificial irrigation is used for the
following crops—doura, maize, onions, henna, sugar-cane,
cotton, coffee, indigo, and madder.
Much fruit is produced in Egypt. Besides the grapes,
which are abundant, the following are also common—dates,
pomegranates, figs, apricots, peaches, oranges, lemons,
citrons, bananas, mulberries, and olives.


The population of Egypt Proper under the last census
taken, was found to be about 6,800,000. By far the
greater number of these are descendants of the original
inhabitants, who, though largely intermixed with other

races, have maintained the same type as is pourtrayed on
the ruins of thousands of years ago. Among these the
Copts (probably derived from the Greek Aiguptos), numbering
some 800,000, are those who, having embraced
Christianity during the Byzantine period, remained faithful
to their religion and intermingled less with their Arab conquerors.
The Coptic community furnish the greater number
of clerks and accountants in Government offices and commercial
establishments. Some of the Arab conquerors
again held themselves, to a certain extent, aloof from the
conquered race, and their descendants are to be found
among the Nomad Bedouin tribes which are to be found
on the desert fringes of cultivation, the number of whom
it is difficult to estimate, but probably they total about
300,000 in Egypt Proper. They are, however, more and
more abandoning their nomadic habits, and entering into
the urban and rural population. The fellaheen, or tillers
of the soil, forming the vast majority, are the descendants
of those who adopted the Moslem faith of the conquerors
and intermingled with them. In addition to these are the
Berbers from Nubia, the negroes from the Soudan, and the
mixed races formed by their admixture; the Turks, who
are supposed to number some 15,000—all these are called
Rayahs, and are subject to the local Government.
The European population, which has increased very
largely in recent years, is about 92,000, of whom about
38,000 are Greeks, 18,000 Italians, 16,000 French (including
protegés), 7,000 English (including Maltese and Indians),
9,000 Austrians and Germans, and the remainder of other
nationalities. These are in criminal matters subject only
to their respective consulates, and in commercial and civil
actions to the international tribunals.
Midway between the Rayahs and Europeans are the

Levantines, some of whom are Rayahs, and others who
enjoy consular protection from one or other of the powers.
They include Syrians, Armenians, Jews, and descendants of
Europeans who have almost lost their nationality. The
Jews number about 10,000, and include bankers, merchants,
money changers, and bric à-brac vendors.


Egypt is essentially an agricultural country. The total
value of the exports for 1895 was £13,280,728.
The chief article of export is cotton. Cotton and sugar
are increasing productions. Wheat, cotton seed, rice, beans,
onions, peas, barley, lentils, and quails are exported in considerable
The imports for 1895 amounted to £8,605,059. The
chief articles are cotton goods, silks, woven goods, tobacco,
machinery, coal, wood, iron, clothing, wine, animals, etc.
There was, until the Soudan rebellion, a considerable
caravan trade with the interior of Africa, and when the
military operations beyond Dongola are concluded, a large
revival in trade with the Soudan may be expected.
There are hardly any manufactories except of coarse
goods of local consumption, and this to a very limited
extent. There is a considerable industry in the artificial
hatching of eggs.


The first railway was opened in Egypt between Alexandria
and Cairo in 1855, the celebrated Stephenson being
the engineer. A continuation from Cairo to Suez followed,
but this has since been abandoned, and a more direct route
from Alexandria, via Benha and Zagazig, connects the

Mediterranean with the Red Sea. This line is the same as
that to Cairo, as far as Benha, where it branches off to
Zagazig, Ismailia, and Suez, following the course of the
Fresh-Water Canal which conveys the Nile water to
Ismailia and Suez, and also supplies Port Said.
Three of the bridges over the Nile on the Cairo-Alexandria
line have been recently widened to double the line,
and the fourth is now being similarly treated.
As will be seen by reference to the map, the Delta is
now a network of railways, as well as of canals. From
Tantah, on the main line, east to Mahallet Roh, two junctions
branch, one north to Zifta and the other south to
Dessook, with a further branch on the Dessook line to Kafr
Chirk. Another branch south from Tantah is to Achmoun.
On the opposite side of the Nile to Talkah, en route to
Damietta, one of the mouths of the Nile, is the important
town of Mansourah, which is connected with Talkah by a
new swing iron railway bridge. Another line connects
Mansourah with Zagazig, about half way between which
places a branch line leads to Salieh. Other lines connect
Dessook and Zifta with the main system; indeed it may be
said that all towns and important villages are now in touch
with the railway system.
From Teh el Baroud on the main line from Alexandria,
the Upper Egypt Railway to Nagh Hamadi (the present
terminus) runs along the west bank of the Nile; a handsome
iron bridge spans the river at Embabah, so as to make
connection from the principal station at Cairo, thus passenger
trains are enabled to start from Cairo for Upper Egypt
instead of from Boulac Dacrour, as previously. An extension
of the Upper Egypt line was opened last year to Nagh
Hamadi, a distance of 347 miles from Cairo, and further
extensions towards Assouan are in progress.
From Wasta, on the Upper Egypt line, there is a branch
to and through the Fyoom on to Abouxsa, while again
there is a side branch from Fyoom to Serroures.
Alexandria, Aboukir, Rosetta, the Barrage, Mit Berah,
Cherbine, Menouf, Rahmanieh, Matarieh, Helouan, etc.,
are also served by railway; the total of roads open being
about 1100 miles, exclusive of sidings. A handsome new
terminal station has recently been constructed in Cairo.
The railway receipts for 1895 were £1,794,976. Some
9,500,000 passengers were carried, and 2,444,000 tons of
All these form part of the Government Railway Service
of Egypt, under the control of a board consisting of an
Englishman, Frenchman, and native; the proceeds are
hypothecated to the payment of the Privileged Debt.
Short railway lines round the First Cataract at Assouan,
and the Second Cataract above Wady Halfa, these are
managed by the military authorities, and used principally
for their requirements.
There is also a short line of railway from Cairo to
Helouan (see p. 170), giving a service almost hourly, the
journey occupying from 30 to 50 minutes.
For the convenience of the public, and for that of their
own employés, and to replace the service of steam launches
by which traffic had been previously carried on, the Suez
Canal Company, in the year 1894, opened a tramway or
light railway line, which runs alongside the Canal between
Port Said and Ismailia, the total distance being 50 miles.
The carriages provided are in every respect suitable, and in
fact comfortable, containing lavatories. There are two trains
daily, morning and evening, running in each direction, in conjunction
with the expresses to and from Cairo and Suez, the
journey occupying about eight hours between Port Said and

Cairo, including time for refreshments at Ismailia. Passengers
can obtain through tickets from Port Said to Cairo, or
vice versa, by this route, and also have their baggage registered
through at any of the offices of THOS. COOK & SON (EGYPT), LIMITED.
A small line of railway belonging to an English Limited
Company runs from Alexandria through Ramleh to San


The Post Office is one of the best managed administrations
in Egypt. At one time nearly every European
country had its own Post Office at Alexandria and Cairo,
but that system has, with one exception, been done away
with, and both the external and internal service is performed
by the Egyptian Post Office. Letters to and from Egypt
and Europe can be dispatched via Alexandria or Port Said
to Brindisi, Naples, Marseilles, or Constantinople, there
being a weekly mail by some routes, fortnightly by others.
Egypt is a member of the Postal Union, and the postage
between it and the other countries of the Union is 2 1/2 d., or
I piastre the 1/2 oz. for letters, and 1/2d., or 8 paras the 2 oz.
for book-packets; and for post-cards I1/4d. or 1/2 piastre single,
2 1/2d. or I piastre double, or reply card. The postal communication
in Egypt itself, is extending yearly.
There are two Telegraph Systems in Egypt, one belonging
to the Eastern Telegraph Company, the other to the
Egyptian Government. By the Eastern Telegraph Company's
service messages can be sent all over the world, but not to
Egyptian territory. The Egyptian Government telegraph is
in operation throughout the whole of Egyptian territory, and
extends over more than 2,700 miles, reaching southwards

as far as Wády-Halfa; northwards it goes as far as Gaza.
Messages can be sent by it to and from all the principal
towns in the Delta, the Fyoom, and Upper Egypt. Between
most of the stations telegrams can be sent in English, French
or Italian, but at some of the smaller ones Arabic must be
The Telephone Company of Egypt is in operation
in Alexandria, Port Said, Zagazig, Mansûrah, Cairo,
Helouan, Assiout, and other of the large towns.


The houses of the upper classes in Egypt usually enclose
a courtyard and fountain. The reception-room has a
paved portion lower than the rest, where guests leave their
slippers before ascending to the deween, or divan, with its
cushions. The harem, or private apartments of the master
and his wives and children, is usually the upper story.
There are no special rooms for sleeping in. Any room, or
even the roof of the house, is utilized for the purpose, and
the beds are stowed away in cupboards in the day-time.
The outer Dress of a respectable Egyptian who has not
surrendered himself to Frank fashions consists of a long
striped gown or chooftan, a white or coloured belt, and a
cloth coat. On the head is a tight-fitting cap, then a tasselled
cap of red cloth, round which is twisted a cashmere shawl as
a turban. The turban is much reverenced; it has its own
special resting-place in great houses; and it would seem that
a crowd has been known first to rescue the turban and then
assist the owner, when both have been “spilt” together off a
donkey. Green turbans mark the shereefs, or descendants of
the Prophet; the Copts, Jews, etc., have to keep to dark
colours. The Syrian turban may be known by its much
greater breadth.
The dress of the women consists of wide trousers drawn
in at the waist and below the knees. Then a long chooftan,
with hanging sleeves, laced from the girdle to the bosom.
A loose shawl round the waist, and a loose coat something
like that worn by the men, completes the costume. The
head-dress is a close-fitting cap, with a handkerchief tied
round it. Those who can afford it wear also the ekoors, or
crown of gold. The head-veil of muslin, ornamented with
gold and coloured silk, reaches from the back of the head
to the ground. The hair is cut away over the forehead,
but at each side hangs the side-lock which Egyptian ladies
take hold of when they swear. Out-of-doors, the person is
further enveloped in a huge gown, and the face-veil, reaching
from below the eyes to the feet, is put on. The eyelids
are usually tinged with khol, a practice of high antiquity in
Egypt, as proved by implements found in the tombs.
A well-to-do Egyptian keeps a sackcka, or water-carrier,
who takes rank as upper servant, and attends the ladies in
their walks or drives; a sais , or groom, who not only
attends to the stables, but also runs before or beside his
master's carriage; a bow'wab, or porter, responsible for the
street-door, and always there; and the several black slaves
for various duties as required.
Egyptians rise early, and take a cup of coffee and a
pipe, breakfasting at noon on bread, eggs, butter, cheese,
stewed beans, clouted cream, etc. Dinner is usually a
private meal, taken in the harem. The chief meal of the
day is supper, and is the meal at which guests are usually
received. Washing of hands and saying of grace always
precedes and follows a meal. The food is usually eaten
with the ringers, and it is a great mark of civility and kindness
for a host to pick out a nice morsel and put it in a
guest's mouth.
“The manner of eating with the fingers, as practised in
Egypt and many other Eastern countries,” says Mr. Lane,
“is more delicate than may be imagined by Europeans who
have not witnessed it, or heard it correctly described.
Each person breaks off a small piece of bread, dips it in
the dish, and then conveys it to his mouth, together with a
small portion of the meat or other contents of the dish.
The piece of bread is generally doubled together, so as to
enclose the morsel of meat, etc., and only the thumb and
first and second fingers are commonly used.”
Courteousness and hospitality are common in Egypt.
Free converse ensues at once on chance meetings with
strangers. The pipe which a person is smoking is offered
as a matter-of-course act of politeness, and even the shopkeeper
taking a meal will ask his customer to partake.
It is an error to suppose that Egyptian women live in
prison-like seclusion. They are less under restraint in
Egypt than in any other Mohammedan country, and go
out freely so long as the face is kept veiled. Muslim law
forbids a woman's face to be seen by men, except only by
husbands, fathers, or sons. A stranger, entering a small
house, where there is no reception-room, shouts out destoor (permission), or something similar, to give females time to
veil or retire.
The Egyptian ladies smoke nearly as much as the men,
use cosmetics and perfumes abundantly, and are chiefly
occupied in the care of their children, and in needlework
and embroidery. Visiting, gossiping, and story-telling
occupy much of their time. In going abroad they usually
ride on asses, attended by a servant, and it is considered
etiquette to turn away the head on meeting them.
Men may marry four wives if they like–one is generally
thought sufficient; but not to marry at all is disreputable.

Marriage is a bargain, a matter of dowry and purchase.
The wedding is a time of great festivity and ceremonial
—attended, when means allow, with music and dancing,
illuminations, processions, etc.
The Amusements of the Egyptians are limited in
number and variety. Chess, draughts, and other sedentary
games are popular. The coffee-houses are a great attraction,
where the Oriental seems never weary of sipping coffee,
smoking, and listening to music or story-telling.
The Bath, with whose complicated ablutions and shampooings
Englishmen have been to some extent familiarized
in their own country, is a great institution in Oriental lands.
It is a recreative enjoyment, as well as a salutary and
health-giving process.
It is strange that Egypt has no ruins of a theatre, as in
other nations where Grecian manners for a time were dominant.
Perhaps its amusements were always al fresco, as
mostly at the present day. There are many public performers,
wandering comedians, who act a rude farce; male
and female musicians; female singers, or Almeh; reciters
of romances; the public female dancers, or Ghawizee,
whose improper performances are, as a matter of fact,
under Government prohibition; jugglers, serpent-charmers,
fortune-tellers, and magicians, whose skilil seems, indeed,
very remarkable. All these assist in breaking the monotony
of Eastern life.
The Theatres of Egypt are noticed in the accounts of
Alexandria (p. 73) and Cairo (p. 98).


The religion of Mohammed, or El Islam, as it is termed
by the faithful, is based on two fundamental principles,
“There is but one God, and Mohamed is His Prophet.”
The Mohammedans in Egypt are divided into four sects,
differing on minor points, but all acknowledging each other
as orthodox in important matters.
Mohammedans believe that God sent six great prophets
into the world, viz., Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus,
and Mohamed. Of these they consider Mohamed as the
last and greatest. They hold that each of these prophets
represented the will of God for a certain dispensation, each
in turn being superseded. Therefore the Jews, they acknowledge,
were true believers in the time from Moses to
Jesus. They deny the existing versions of the books of
Moses, Psalms, Gospels, etc., to be authentic. Only the
Kur án has come down unaltered from its first composition.
Muslims accept the doctrines of the immortality of the
soul and future rewards and punishments, and do not deny
that women have souls. The more enlightened among them
receive, in a figurative sense, the poetical descriptions of
the joys of heaven contained in the Kur án. Admission to
Paradise is asserted to be won, not by merit, but by the
mercy of God, and also by His absolute decree. Predestination,
however, is differently taught by different schools of
Mohammedans, as by different schools of Christians; all
Muslims, however, hold that there are some elected to
eternal happiness, called welees.
“Influenced by their belief in predestination,” says Mr.
Lane, “the men display, in times of distressing uncertainty,
an exemplary patience, and, after any afflicting event, a
remarkable degree of resignation and fortitude, approaching
nearly to apathy, generally exhibiting their sorrow only by a
sigh, and the exclamation, ‘God is bountiful!'”
The Muslim officers of religion attached to the Mosques
are, first, the Warden (Na' sir), who is the trustee of all the
endowments of the Mosque, and appoints all the other

officers. Two ministers (Imaums) are employed to keep
up the Mohammedan services. The Kateeb publicly prays
and preaches on Fridays (the Mohammedan Sabbath); the
Ra'tib recites certain prayers at stated times daily. The
call to these prayers is chanted from the galleries of the
minarets by officials called Muezzins.
Prayer, almsgiving, fasting and pilgrimage, and also
frequent purifications by washing are scrupulously enjoined
upon the followers of Mohamed.
Prayer must always be preceded by washing, as from a
person not clean prayer is not accepted. The dress should
also be clean, and it is proper to cover the ground with a
piece of carpet.
On entering a Mosque, the Muslim leaves his shoes with
the door-keeper (bow wab), performs his ablutions at the
tank, if not already purified, and then, turning towards
Mecca, goes through his various orisons and prostrations.
On their Sabbath-day Mohammedans may transact
worldly affairs in the intervals of prayer. On that day the
reading-chair and pulpit are brought into use. Portions of
the Kur-án are read or recited, and a sermon preached by
an Imaum, who sits on the top step of the pulpit stairs.
Almsgiving is the second duty of Muslim faith. Certain
alms are compulsory, others voluntary, but highly meritorious.
The third duty, fasting, is chiefly in the month of
Ramadán, when with cruel severity the practice is carried
out from sunrise to sunset. The fourth great duty is the
pilgrimage to Mecca and Mount Arafát, which all good
Mohammedans should accomplish once in their lives.
The Caravan of Pilgrims bound for Mecca starts
from Cairo annually with great display of ceremonial and
rejoicing (p. 140). For the principal Muslim Festivals,
see pp. 98 and 140.


are the buildings, as before mentioned, in which the Muslim
rites of worship are conducted. Some of the principal are
described in the account of Cairo (p. 107). The first Mosque
was built at Medina, Mohamed assisting in the work with
his own hands. It was situated in a graveyard, planted with
date-trees, and was a square, capacious structure, with brick
and earthen walls, the trunks of the palms forming columns
to support the roof, and a thatch of palm-leaves covering
the whole. It had three doors. A portion of the edifice was
given to the houseless poor. Here Mohamed was buried.
The first building was long ago replaced by a larger edifice,
but it is still called Mesjid en nebi (“The Mosque of the
Prophet”), and has been the model for all Muslim temples
throughout the world. But the Arabian simple elegance
became in Spain highly ornate, in Turkey florid, in India
effeminate. The cupola and minaret became adopted in
Mosque building about a century after the Hegira, and
gradually the Saracenic style of architecture predominated
throughout the Muslim world. The chief Egyptian Mosques
are Saracenic.
Islamism is an enemy to plastic art; in the Mosques
are found no pictures, no statues, no representations of
living creatures. Inscriptions from the Kur-án, a single
reading-chair, a pulpit, and numerous praying mats, are all
that adorns the interior of these immense edifices. Most
of the Mosques have considerable endowments in connection
with them, for purposes of education, piety, or benevolence.
Although the Mosques contain almost nothing in them
except the worshippers, and none of the paintings or sculpture
so common in European cathedrals, yet it must be

admitted that the Muslim artist does all he can to attain
elegance of form and harmony of colour, without infringing
his religious scruple. The subject is well commented on in
the following passage from Mr. Ruskin's Stones of
“It was contrary to the religion of the Arab to introduce
any animal form into his ornament; but although all the
radiance of colour, all the refinements of proportion, and all
the intricacies of geometrical design were open to him, he
could not produce any noble work without an abstraction of
the forms of leafage, to be used in his capitals, and made
the ground plan of his chased ornaments. But I have above
noted that colouring is an entirely distinct and independent
art; and in the ‘Seven Lamps' we saw that this art had
most power when practised in arrangements of simple geometrical
form; the Arab, therefore, lay under no disadvantage
in colouring, and he had all the noble elements of
constructive and proportional beauty at his command; he
might not imitate the sea-shell, but he could build the dome.
The imitation of radiance by the variegated voussoir, the
expression of the sweep of the desert by the barred red line
upon the wall, the starred inshedding of light through his
vaulted roof, and all the endless fantasy of abstract line, were
still in the power of his ardent and fantastic spirit. Much
he achieved; and yet, in the effort of his over-taxed invention,
restrained from its proper food, he made his architecture
a glittering vacillation of undisciplined enchantment,
and left the lustre of its edifices to wither like a startling
dream, whose beauty we may indeed feel, and whose instruction
we may receive, but must smile at its inconsistency,
and mourn over its evanescence.”


The earliest record of living man which can be dignified
with the name of History is to be found in Egypt. Geological
research proves, indeed, the existence of man at a
period much more remote, but nothing has come down to
us which throws any light upon the history of what are
hence known as the Pre-historic races.
In Egypt, on the contrary, we are able to trace with
approximate certainty the almost continuous record of a
people to a date 5004 years before Christ.*
The history of these 7000 years may conveniently be
divided into ten parts—
Ancient Empire B.C. 5004 — B.C. 3064
Middle Empire B.C. 3064 — B.C. 1703
New Empire B.C. 1703 — B.C. 525
Persian Domination B.C. 525 — B.C. 323
Ptolemaic Period B.C. 323 — B.C. 30
Roman Domination B.C. 30 — A.D. 395
Byzantine Period A.D. 395 — A.D. 638
Arab Period A.D. 638 — A.D. 1517
Turkish Domination A.D. 1517 — A.D. 1798
Modern Period A.D. 1798 — A.D. 1896
Of these we propose to give a necessarily very brief

Ancient Empire, B.C. 5004 — B.C. 3064.

  • Ist Dynasty.—Mena—called the first earthly King of
    Egypt—is at all events the first of whom we have any
    record. He was probably a prince of a royal family then
    reigning at This or Thinis, near Abydus, and was the
    founder of Memphis. Among his successors, Hesepti

    (Ouenephes)* is said to have written anatomical works, and
    was possibly the builder of the Step Pyramid of Sakkárah.
  • 2nd Dynasty.—During the reign of Kakaoo (Kaiechos)
    the worship of Apis was established at Memphis, and of
    Mnevis at On (Heliopolis).
  • 3rd Dynasty.—Tefa (Tosorthros) studied medicine—and
    the calendar is said to have been regulated—the year of
    365 days—
  • (4th Dynasty) reigned at Memphis, which had taken
    precedence over the more ancient city of This. Snefroo,
    founder of the dynasty, is the first whose name
    appears on the monuments, and he was for long revered as
    a god. Khufu (Cheops), Chafra (Chephren), and Menkaura
    (Mycernius), were the builders of the three great
    pyramids at Ghizeh. Sculpture and the fine arts reached
    a perfection which the Egyptians never again attained.
  • 5th Dynasty.—Roenooser (Rathoura) the use of the
    double cartouche dates from this king. Tatkhara (Tancheres) was probably the King in the time of Tih, whose
    tomb is at Sakkárah. Oonas (Obnos) built the truncated
    pyramid at Sakkárah.
  • 6th Dynasty.—Teta, Pepi I., Pepi II., and Nitokris,
    are the names of rulers under this dynasty, who seem to
    have been powerful.
  • 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Dynasties.—We know little or
    nothing of these dynasties, which probably held power contemporaneously
    in different parts of the Delta. Those
    ruling in the Delta probably had to repel invasions of
    Semitic tribes from Asia, and this would have enabled the
    Egyptians to the south to start a rival monarchy at Thebes,
    which now appears first as a seat of rule.
* We give the Egyptian names from the hieroglyphs, adding the
Greek form in brackets.

Middle Empire, B.C. 3064—B.C. 1703.

  • 11th Dynasty. *—This dynasty is found reigning at
    Thebes, and to have raised the reputation of Egypt.
    Enentef and Mentuhotep are names which frequently occur
    among the rulers; and one Sankhara seems to have been
    the first to send expeditions to Ophir and the shores of
  • 12th Dynasty. — Amenemha (Ammenemes) brought
    Egypt to a high pitch of prosperity. Usertesen I. (Sesonchosis),
    Amenemha II. and Usertesen II. (Sesostris),
    extended the territory and greatly increased the renown of
    Egypt. Usertesen III. (Lachares) conquered the negroes,
    and left memorials of his victories at Semneh, beyond the
    Second Cataract; and Amenemha III. (Ameres) paid particular
    attention to the irrigation of the country, built dykes,
    canals, and reservoirs, including Lake Maeris in the Fyoom,
    near which he built the Labyrinth and Pyramids. During
    this period the sceptres of Upper and Lower Egypt were
    united, and the N.E. frontier of the kingdom fortified, to
    withstand the Semitic tribes who applied for admission into
    Egypt. These tribes were afterwards known as Hyksos
    (from hyk, a king, and sos, a shepherd), or shepherd kings,
    and gradually acquired sway in the Delta.
  • 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th Dynasties.—Struggles
    between the Egyptians and the Hyksos would seem to
    occupy the entire period from B.C. 2851 to B.C. 1703. The
    13th Dynasty reigned at Thebes, the 14th at Khois, near
    Sais. The 15th, 16th, and 17th were Shepherd Kings, or
    * The 11th Dynasty is frequently included in the ancient monarchy.
    As it marks the transfer of Empire to
    Thebes, we think it more accurate
    to consider it as the beginning of the Middle Empire, and in 30
    doing we are following in the steps of Mariette.

    foreigners, who, however, respected the customs of the
    Egyptians; and probably during this period arrived Joseph
    and his brethren. A rebellion against the Shepherd Kings
    was, however, at last successful. Ra Sekenen Ra, the leader
    of it, was killed; but his son, Aahmes, founded the 18th

New Empire, B.C. 1703—B.C. 525.

  • 18th Dynasty, B.C. 1703 — 1462. — Aahmes (Amosis)
    having gained his throne by war, he and his successors
    were compelled, as a matter of precaution, to find employment
    for their soldiery. Hence began with this dynasty
    an active foreign policy. Amenhotep (Amenophis I.)
    extended the boundaries of Egypt, while Tutmes (Thothmosis)
    I. made war in Syria. Tutmes II. and his sister,
    Hatasou, who reigned first with him and then solely, sent
    expeditions into Arabia, and perhaps at this time Egypt
    reached its greatest material prosperity. Tutmes III. was
    still more celebrated for his conquests, and Egypt, according
    to the hieroglyphs, “placed her frontiers where she pleased.”
    Amenhotep III. followed in the footsteps of his ancestors,
    and the famous Colossi at Thebes are monuments to his
    glory; but Amenhotep IV. descended from a Semitic
    mother, attempted a change in the religion, which, however, was restored by Horemheb (Horus).
  • 19th Dynasty, B.C. 1462—1288. — Seti I. undertook
    several campaigns against the Hittites and other tribes,
    erected the Memnonium, and made a canal between the
    Red Sea and the Nile. His son, Rameses II., was the
    most celebrated of Egyptian monarchs, and his reign was
    distinguished by innumerable victories, recorded in the
    Theban ruins. He was probably the Pharaoh of the persecution

    who “knew not Joseph,” and his son, Merenptah,
    who succeeded him, the Pharaoh of the Exodus.
  • 20th Dynasty, B.C. 1288—1110.—Rameses III. was the
    first and only celebrated king of this dynasty—the last of
    the warrior kings of Egypt—who endeavoured to surpass
    his predecessors in the magnificence of his buildings. His
    successors, also called Rameses, seem gradually to have
    come under the domination of the priesthood. The Trojan
    war probably took place about this period.
  • 21st Dynasty, B.C. 1110—980—The Priest Kings now
    ruled from Tanis. Without strength to coerce, they tried to
    conciliate. A daughter of one of them was married to
    Solomon (1 Kings iii. 1; ix. 16; x. 28.)
  • 22nd Dynasty, B.C. 980—810.—Reigned at Pibart (Pi
    Beseth of the Bible, Bubastis of the Greeks). Shishak,
    who assisted Jeroboam against Rehoboam, who conquered
    Jerusalem, and whose daughter Jeroboam married, was of
    this dynasty (1 Kings xiv. 25—28; 2 Chron. xii. 2, 3).
    Osorkon (Osorthon), Zerah of the Bible, invaded Palestine,
    but was defeated by Asa (2 Chron. xiv. 9; xvi. 8).
  • 23rd Dynasty, B.C. 810—721.—An obscure dynasty
    reigning at Tanis, defeated by Piankhi, King of Ethiopia,
    who captured Memphis, but returned to his own country.
  • 24th Dynasty, B.C. 721—715.—Reigned at Sais. New
    legislation failed to arrest the decline of the Empire, which
    fell into the hands of the Ethiopians.
  • 25th Dynasty, B.C. 715—665—ETHIOPIANS.—Shabako
    (Sabacon) conquered Upper Egypt, and reigned at Thebes.
    Shabataka (Sebichos), So of the Bible, tried to assist Hezekiah,
    but was defeated by Sennacherib (2 Kings xvii. 4).
    Taharka (Tearco) allied himself with Phaenicia and Cyprus
    against Assyria, but was defeated in Egypt by Esarhaddon
    (2 Kings xix. 9). Assyrians then plundered Thebes, and

    divided the kingdom among twenty princes. After Esarhaddon's
    death Taharka rebelled, but was defeated and
    driven out of Egypt by Sardanapalus. Nut Amen led a
    more successful revolt, capturing Memphis and winning back
    all Lower Egypt, but was defeated at last by Sardanapalus.
    On the decline of the power of Assyria, after the death of
    Sardanapalus, the country was governed by twelve princelets,
    one of whom, however—Psammetik—assisted by
    Ionian and Carian mercenaries, succeeded in seizing the
    throne, and married the legitimate heir of the Ethiopian
  • 26th Dynasty, B.C. 665—525.—Psamtik (Psammetic)
    ruled from Sais, and endeavoured to consolidate his empire
    by favouring Greeks and other foreigners. He attacked the
    wealthy Phaenician seaports, but was stoutly opposed by
    the Philistines. Nekau (Nechos) paid more attention to
    domestic welfare than military glory. The Cape of Good
    Hope first circumnavigated (Herodotus iv. 42). Nekau
    attempted to join by canal the Nile and Red Sea, but was
    deterred by the oracle that it would only benefit strangers.
    He marched against Assyria, defeated Josiah, King of
    Judah, the Assyrian ally, but was himself defeated by
    Nebuchadnezzar, losing Syria and Palestine (2 Kings xxiii.)
    Uahbra (Hophra of the Bible) attacked the Babylonians,
    marched to the relief of Jerusalem when Zedekiah was
    besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, and subsequently received as
    guest the exiled King of Judah. Aahmes (Amasis), his
    general, having revolted against him, was crowned king,
    and reigned equitably with the assistance of foreign mercenaries;
    but Cambyses attacked Egypt, overthrew Psamtik:
    III., son of Aahmes, and added Egypt to the Persian

Persian Domination, B.C. 525—B.C. 323.

  • 27th Dynasty, B.C. 525—406.—The Persian rule was,
    on the whole, prosperous to Egypt. Cambyses, indeed,
    suppressed a revolt with considerable severity, and in a fit
    of madness outraged the religion of the country; but
    Darius established new commercial routes from Koptos to
    the Red Sea, and from Assiout and Abydus to the Soudan,
    and arranged the coinage. Herodotus travelled in Egypt
    during the reign of Artaxerxes I. During the reign of
    Darius II. Egypt recovered independence, under Amyrteus
    (28th Dynasty, B.C. 406—399), again under Mendes (29th
    , B.C. 399—378), and a third time under Nectanebo
    (30th Dynasty, B.C. 378—340); but the Persians again
    conquered the country, and held it as the 31st Dynasty (B.C. 340—332) until, with the rest of the Persian dominions,
    it passed into the hands of the Great Alexander.

Ptolemaic Period, B.C. 323—B.C. 30.

  • 32nd Dynasty, B.C. 332—305.—Alexander founded the
    city of Alexandria, and shortly after his death Egypt fell
    into the hands of the Ptolemies, who established the 33rd
    (B.C. 305—30). Under the early Ptolemies,
    Alexandria became the capital, and the intellectual centre
    of the civilised world. To this period we owe the translation
    of the Septuagint and the collection of the Homeric
    epics. Under the later Ptolemies Egypt again declined,
    and the folly of Cleopatra, “conqueror of the conquerors
    of the world,” reduced Egypt to a province of the Roman

Roman Domination, B.C. 30—A.D. 395.

  • 34th Dynasty.—Egypt was governed by a Prefect as a

    province of Rome during the whole of this peroid. The
    central event was the introduction of Christianity, and the
    history of Egypt is the history of the Christian Church.

Byzantine Period, A.D. 395—638.

  • On the partition of the Roman Empire, after the death
    of Theodosius, Egypt became part of the Eastern Empire.
    During this period flourished Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria.
    The Persians invaded Egypt in 619, but were expelled by
    Heraclius, after ten years of moderate rule.

Arab Period, A.D. 638—1517.

  • Amr, General of Kalif Omar, conquered Egypt, founded
    the city of Fostat, near Cairo, and introduced the religion
    of Mohamed.
  • A.D. 661—744.—The Ommiade Dynasty succeeded.
    Constantinople was besieged by the Arabs without success.
    Abd el Malek (A.D. 684) completed the conquest of the
    north of Africa. Abd el Azeez made a nilometer at
    Helwan, near Cairo; El Welad built another at Roda.
    First Arab coinage struck.
  • A.D. 749—868.—The Abbaside Dynasty was founded by
    Aboo l'Abbas, governing from Bagdad. To this dynasty
    belonged Haroun el Rasheed, of “The Arabian Nights.”
    El Mamoon, who opened the Great Pyramid, and caused
    translations of Greek authors to be made, and El Mottawukkul,
    who built the existing nilometer at Roda.
  • A.D. 868—906.—Ahmed ibn Tooloon founded the
    Tooloonide Dynasty; declared himself independent of the
    Khaliphs. Added the suburb of Kataea to Fostat.
  • A.D. 906—936.—The Abbaside Dynasty recovered their
    authority, for thirty years.
  • A.D. 936—969.—The Akhsheed Dynasty usurped the
    government of Egypt.
  • A.D. 969—1171.—The Fatemite Dynasty, ruling at Tunis,
    sent Gowher, who conquered Egypt, and built Masr el
    Kahira (Cairo). Of this dynasty was El Hakim, who
    founded the sect of the Druses. The Turks attacked
    Egypt but were repulsed, owing to intrigues for the office
    of Vizier. Kurdish troops, under the command of Salah
    ed Deen (Saladin), entered Egypt and established
  • A.D. 1171—1250.—The Ayoubite Dynasty.—From Salah
    ed Deen originated the first capitulations to the Christians.
    The Crusaders entered Egypt, took Damietta, but were
    defeated at Mansourah in 1219. In 1239, Louis IX. (St.
    Louis) again captured Damietta, but was taken prisoner at
    Mansourah while marching on Cairo, and only released on
    the payment of 400,000 pieces of gold.
  • A.D. 1250—1382.—Baharite Memlook Dynasty.—The
    Memlooks, originally slaves, imported for the defence of
    the rulers, seized the power; they were patrons of art, and
    during this dynasty were built the Mosques Kalaoon,
    Sultan Hassan, and others of the finest specimens of
    Saracenic art.
  • A.D. 1382—1517.—Circassian Memlook Dynasty.—During
    this period were built the Mosques El Moaiyud, Kait Beyr,
    and El Ghori, the latter by the penultimate ruler who was
    defeated and slain by the Turks near Aleppo. His nephew
    and successor, Tonan, was beaten by the Turks, and hanged
    at the Zuweyleh Gate of Cairo, and Egypt became a
    Turkish Pashalic.

Turkish Domination, A.D. 1517—1798.

  • The history of Egypt under the Turks is the history of
    petty squabbles between continually changing governors:
  • the Memlooks gradually regained power, and the allegiance
    to the Porte was merely nominal. In 1771, Ali Bey declared
    Egypt independent, but was shortly afterwards killed by his
    own son-in-law, Abu Dabad, who demanded ratification of
    his authority from the Sultan. Upon his death, two
    Memlooks, Murad and Ibrahim, seem to have shared the
    government of Egypt till the French invasion.

Modern Period, A.D. 1798—1896.

  • The following are the principal events of the last 100 years:—
    • 1798.—Invasion and conquest of Egypt by Napoleon.
    • 1801.—French expelled by English, under Abercombie,
      succeeded by General Hutchison.
    • 1806.—Mohammed Ali becomes Governor.
    • 1807.—English invasion of Egypt under General Fraser,
      repulsed at Rosetta by Egyptians.
    • 1811.—Massacre of the Memlooks by Mohammed Ali.
    • 1816.—Discoveries of Belzoni.
    • 1820.—Alexandria connected with the Nile by Mahmoudieh
    • 1829.—First Egyptian newspaper published.
    • 1831.—Mohammed Ali revolts from Turkey, and invades
    • 1834.—Cholera.
    • 1835.—Plague.
    • 1839.—Mohammed Ali claims hereditary possession of
      Egypt and Syria.
    • 1840.—Egyptians defeated by British at Beyrout.
    • 1841.—Dispute with Turkey adjusted. Mohammed
      Ali becomes Viceroy of Egypt—secured to
      his family.

    • 1848.—Mohammed Ali becomes incapable of governing,
      and is succeeded by his son Ibrahim, who
      dies in two months, and is succeeded by
      Abbas Pasha.
    • 1851.—Death of Mohammed Ali.
    • 1854.—Death of Abbas Pasha, succeeded by Said Pasha.
    • 1863.—Death of Said Pasha, succeeded by Ismail Pasha.
    • 1865.—Cholera.
    • 1868.—Ismail receives title of Khedive.
    • 1869.— Suez Canal opened, November 19th.
    • 1875.—England purchases Suez Canal shares.
    • 1877.—Establishment of dual control of England and
    • 1879.—Deposition of Ismail by the Porte on the demand
      of the European Governments; accession of Tewfik I.
    • 1881.—Commencement of military disturbances in
      Cairo, and the so-called National Movement,
      with Arabi Pasha as leader and head of the
    • 1882.—Revolt headed by Arabi Pasha. Massacre of
      Europeans (June 11); bombardment of
      Alexandria (July 11); landing of British
      troops (August 13); battle of Tel-el-Kebir
      (September 13); Mission of Lord Dufferin
    • 1883.—Cholera; increase of revolt in Soudan.
    • 1884.—Egypt undertakes to abandon Soudan; Mission
      of General Gordon to Khartoum; Expedition
      of General Graham to Suakim; Expedition
      for relief of General Gordon at Khartoum;
      victory and death of General Earle at
    • 1885.—Murder of Gordon at Khartoum, January 27th,
      and the abandonment of the Soudan; Mission
      of Sir Henry Wolff to Constantinople and
      Cairo; first Turkish Convention.
    • 1886.—Negociation with Turkey in reference to Egypt.
    • 1887.—Second Anglo-Turkish Convention agreed to,
      but ratification refused by the Porte.
    • 1888. to 1896. The English occupation continued, but the number
      of English troops reduced; great financial
      and administrative reforms carried out under
      the advice and guidance of English officials;
      taxes reduced, irrigation extended, education
      improved, finances flourishing and confidence
      restored; Tewfik, son of Ismail, died suddenly
      at Helouan, January, 1892, succeeded
      by his eldest son, Abbas II.; in the summer
      of 1896 an army composed of several
      thousand Egyptian soldiers, and the North
      Staffordshire Regiment, under the command
      of Colonel Sir Herbert Kitchener (now Major-General),
      the Sirdar, advanced by river and rail
      to Dongola, occupying the town and province
      after a feeble resistance by the Dervishes.


have left in the records inscribed on their monuments an imperishable
memorial of their manners and customs, modes of
life, and social condition at various epochs. A high state of
civilization, great wealth, ceaseless industry, and a fully
organized state of society are clearly set forth, Modern discovery
has proved, moreover, that the ancient Egyptians were
proficient in many of the arts and sciences, well skilled in
various manufactures, and successful in the pursuits of
agriculture. The processes of weaving and dyeing, the

working of metals, the production of porcelain, glass and
mosaics were all familiar to them.
The architecture of ancient Egypt was more characterized
by massive grandeur and durability than that of any other
nation. In his Illustrated Handbook of Architecture, Mr.
Fergusson thus refers to the practice of this art by the
“Taken altogether, perhaps it may be safely asserted
that the Egyptians were the most essentially a building
people of all those we are acquainted with. The Greeks,
it is true, surpassed them in refinement and beauty of
detail, and in the class of sculpture with which they
ornamented their buildings, and the Gothic architects far
excelled them in constructive cleverness; but besides
these, no other style can be put in competition with them.
At the same time, neither Grecian nor Gothic architects
understood more perfectly all the gradations of art, and
the exact character that should be given to every form and
every detail. They understood also better than any other
nation how to use sculpture in combination with architecture,
and to make their colossi and avenues of sphinxes
group themselves into parts of one great design, and at the
same time to use historical paintings, fading by insensible
degrees into hieroglyphics on the one hand and into sculpture
on the other, linking the whole together with the
highest class of phonetic utterance and with the most
brilliant colouring, thus harmonizing all these arts into one
great whole unsurpassed by anything the world has ever
seen during the thirty centuries that have elapsed since
the brilliant days of the great kingdom of the Pharaohs.”
The Egyptians were a very devout people. Originally
they believed in one eternal God. Gradually this belief
became symbolized, and then the symbols became idols till

Polytheism overspread the whole land. To merely enumerate
the gods of the Egyptian Pantheon would be a tedious
task. Many of the cities or provinces had their special
groups of deities. Osiris and Isis were worshipped throughout
the land. Ammon was the special divinity of Thebes;
Ptah was the chief God of Memphis, and symbolized the
creative principle. As the system developed, immense
crowds of gods and goddesses came into vogue; all kinds
of animals, plants, abstract principles, etc., became deified.
A future state of rewards and punishments was taught in
the religion of Egypt.
The government of ancient Egypt was a monarchy
limited by law, and the rights of certain privileged classes,
chiefly the soldiers and priests. The laws were mostly wise
and very strict.
It should be remembered that the ancient Egyptians
were of Asiatic and not African origin. When negroes are
represented on the monuments they are distinctly characterized.
But there is no doubt that the Egyptians, by
intermarriage with native races, had become considerably
Africanized, and had a much darker complexion than is
usually seen in Asian races.


The land of Egypt is of course rendered specially memorable
to every believer in the inspired volume, as being the
scene of the captivity of the Israelites, and the events connected
therewith, as detailed in the last fourteen chapters
of the Book of Exodus; also of that marvellous deliverance,
accompanied by miracles, set forth in the first fourteen
chapters of the Book of Exodus. A portion of the New
Testament narrative is also connected with this country, for

to Egypt the Holy Family fled from the wrath of Herod
(Matt. ii. 13—20).
The earliest scriptural event recorded in connection
with Egypt is the journey of Abraham to that country at
the time of a famine in Canaan (Gen. xii. 10—20). The
annual inundation of the Nile would often plentifully supply
Egypt when other countries were suffering from scarcity of
The wonderful history of Joseph commences in Gen.
xxxvii. The events of the next 500 years need no recounting
here. The high office to which Joseph succeeded in
the land, the settlement of the Israelites in Goshen, and the
change in their treatment under the new dynasty that knew
not Joseph, and their escape from cruel thraldom by a
series of miracles—all this is, of course, familiar to every
traveller in Egypt, and the Bible itself will be the best handbook
from which to refresh his memory on these important
historical associations.
Between the Egyptians and Jews a frequent intercourse
seems to have been maintained. In Deut. xxiii. 7 the
Israelites were told, “Thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian,
because thou wast a stranger in his land.” From i Kings
iii. i we learn that “Solomon made affinity with Pharaoh,
King of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought
her into the city of David.” Solomon also received
assistance from the same monarch in subduing the
Canaanites (i Kings ix. 19). There is reason to believe
that intermarriage with the Egyptians was permitted to the
Shishak, or Sheshonk, of the twenty-second dynasty
(reigning in Bubastis), sheltered Jeroboam, and also invaded
Judah, taking from Jerusalem the treasures and shields of
gold (i Kings xiv. 25, 26).
Egypt is in several passages alluded to as a source from
which were introduced idolatrous practices into Israel, also as
a power upon which the Jews often sinfully depended for
aid instead of only trusting in Divine protection. See
especially the denunciation of Jeremiah against the rebellious
band who followed Johanan the son of Kareah. “The
sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land
of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye are afraid, shall follow
close after you there in Egypt, and there shall ye die”
(Jer. xlii., xliii.). Not long after Nebuchadnezzar invaded
Egypt, and slew all the Jews who had taken refuge there,
without distinction as to age or sex.
The death of King Josiah, when fighting with Pharaoh-Necho,
at Megiddo, is narrated in 2 Kings xxiii.
The prophecies concerning Egypt in the pages of Isaiah,
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc., are very numerous. The following
may be specially noted:—Isaiah xix., xx., xlv. 14; Jeremiah
xliii. 8—13, xliv. 30, xlvi.; Ezekiel xxix.—xxxii.;
Joel iii. 19; Zech. x., xi. In many particulars, as regards
the actual condition of the country, and the remains of past
greatness, the intelligent traveller cannot fail to see how
much is literally fulfilled.
“Pharaoh-Hophra fell a victim,” says W. Osburn, in
his Antiquities of Egypt, “to the conqueror Cambyses the
Persian, who devastated Egypt from the Mediterranean to
the Cataracts, and reduced her from the rank of queen of
the world's civilization to the basest of kingdoms, never
again to rise to an independent nation, and to be no more
the confidence of the house of Israel, bringing their iniquity
to remembrance (Ezek. xxix. 16), but to be a mere province,
first of Persia, then of the empire of Ptolemy, and lastly of
“These calamities of Egypt were foretold by the Prophets

Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and the course of history
has shown how exactly they received their accomplishment.
But in the midst of these denunciations, the benefits
which God's people had formerly received from Egypt, and
the friendship which she afterwards manifested towards them,
seem never to be forgotten by Him who in wrath remembers
mercy. The prophetic doom that consigns other idolatrous
nations to utter destruction frowns upon them as the blackness
of darkness. But the 'swift cloud' on which the
Lord rideth when He cometh unto Egypt (Isa. xix. i), is
sometimes irradiated by a gleam of hope. The kings and
the armies of all the nations that were about to be overthrown
were entombed in one vast sepulchral cave, according
to the bold figure of Ezekiel (chap. xxxv.). There lay
Asshur and all her company; there was Elam and all her
multitude; there was Mesech, Tubal, and Edom, and the
princes of the North, all of them, and all the Zidonians.
But though the command went forth to the multitude of
Egypt also, 'Go down and be thou laid with the uncircumcised'
(ver. 19), yet it is likewise declared that in this,
his dreary dwelling-place, Pharaoh should see the desolation
that was around him, and 'be comforted over all his
multitude, even Pharaoh and all his army slain by the
sword, saith the Lord God' (ver. 31). We may probably
find the fulfilment of this sublime prophecy in the circumstance
that the deep sufferings that now for more than
2000 years have overwhelmed Egypt have not extinguished
her national identity, and blotted her out from the face of
the earth, the fate which has befallen all the other kingdom
which the prediction enumerates. Though the prey
of every spoiler, though trampled to the very dust, she still
remains Egypt, and still affords shelter to a miserable
remnant that is descended from her ancient inhabitants.
“In Matt. ii. 13—15 is found the brief narrative of the
circumstances which fulfilled the prophecy. 'Out of Egypt
have I called my Son,' when the infant Saviour was guarded
from the malice of evil men by his watchful parents, and
brought back to his native land when Herod was dead.
“Although the 'Burden of Egypt,' as set forth by Isaiah
(chap. xix.) is in great part a picture of calamity and desolation,
yet it may be remembered with comfort by any who
mourn over the present state of the land of Egypt, that it
concludes thus:—'In that day shall Israel be the third with
Egypt, and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the
land, whom the Lord of Hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed
be Egypt, my people, and Assyria the work of my hands,
and Israel mine inheritance.'”
In addition to the historical and prophetical allusions to
Egypt above referred to, the Bible has abundant allusions
to Egyptian matters. The land is a fertile one, as described
in Gen. xiii. 10, and “the cucumbers, and the melons, and
the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic,” are abundant now
as when Israel longed for them (Numb. xi. 5). Egyptian
irrigation is accurately described in Deut. xi. 10, a land
“where thou sowest thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot
as a garden of herbs.”
Of the commerce of ancient Egypt we get a glimpse
when, in Gen. xxxvii. 25, Joseph's brethren encounter the
Ishmaelites with their “camels bearing spicery and balm
and myrrh.” In i Kings x. 28, 29, Solomon is found
buying horses and chariots and linen yarn, and in Ezekiel
xxvii. 7, the “fine linen with broidered work from Egypt,”
is spoken of as one of the luxuries of Tyre.
The learning of the Magi was celebrated through all the
adjacent countries. In Gen. xli. 8, Exodus vii. ii, i Kings
iv. 30, and Acts vii. 22, this Egyptian wisdom is referred to.

Some interesting references to the Egyptian priests, the
king's property in the land, the practice of embalmment,
the Egyptian abhorrence of shepherds, etc, will be noticed
in perusing the narrative of the Israelitish sojourn in
Many interesting references to Egypt of a more general
character will be found in the Psalms and in other parts of
the Scriptures. The story of Israel in Egypt, so full of
typical events, and of moral lessons for all ages of the
world, is referred to again and again in the sacred writings,
and will be perused with interest by the traveller in that
ancient land. Everywhere, too, he will see how the
predictions, made in far-off ages of the world, have literally
come true; and the land which was once noted above all
others for its wisdom and prosperity, has sunk to be the
“basest of kingdoms.” And he will see, too, how the
judgments pronounced have been carried out to the letter;
and this will aid him, perchance, to believe that prophecies
unfulfilled are even now in process of accomplishment.
One remarkable passage, which minutely describes
the destruction to befall certain specified towns and
districts, will be read with interest as the sites of former
grandeur are visited:—
“Thus, saith the Lord, I will destroy the idols, and I
will cause their images to cease out of Noph ( Memphis ,
p. 159); and there shall be no more a prince of the land
of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.
And I will make Pathros (a district of Thebes extending
from the Delta on the north to Philae on the south
) desolate,
and will set fire in Zoan ( Tanis), and will execute
Judgments in “No' ( Thebes , p. 202). And I will pour my
fury upon Sin (Pelusium
), the strength of Egypt; and

I will cut off the multitude of 'No.' The young men of
Aven ( Heliopolis , p. 156) and of Pi-beseth (Buhastis) shall
fall by the sword," etc. (Ezek. xxx. 13—17.) Other interesting
allusions will be found at Ps. lxxviii. 12, lxxxi. 5 ;
Zech. x. 10 ; Ezek. xxix.—xxxii. ; Joel iii. 19, etc., etc.
In 1876, as the result of an international commission,
the mixed tribunals were appointed for the trial of all cases
between foreigners of different nationalities, and natives and
foreigners. There are two courts—one of First Instance, at
Alexandria, Cairo, and Mansurah, and one of Appeal at
Alexandria. In the Courts of First Instance no case can be
decided by less than five judges, three Europeans and two
Natives ; and in the Court of Appeal by not less than eight
judges, five Europeans and three Natives. The system of
law administered is based on the Code Napoleon. The languages
employed are French, Italian, and Arabic. The
Hon. Mr. Justice Scott, formerly Judge in the Court of
Appeal at Alexandria, and afterwards Judge at Bombay,
proposed a scheme of reform, in 1890, for the better working
of the Native Tribunals which was accepted, and Mr.
Justice Scott (now Sir John Scott) was appointed Judicial
Adviser to the Egyptian Government. The several Consular
Courts still continue to have jurisdiction in criminal
and civil causes between foreigners of the same nationality.
For the administration of justice among the Natives
there are two systems—first, the Native Tribunals, with a
code founded on the Code Napoleon with some modifications ;
and, secondly, the Kadi's Court, dealing with questions
of marriage, inheritance, etc. The justice administered
by the Kadi is founded on the Koran.

[Back to top]



(Hotels—See Appendix).

Cook's Office—Place Mohammed Ali.

On approaching Alexandria from the sea, the earliest
object seen is the Lighthouse, then Pompey's Pillar, first
descried as a speck on the horizon, and gradually assuming
the appearance of a tall column against the sky. The
coast is so low that little else can be seen till the town is
neared. Numerous windmills next rise into view, then the
Khedive's palace (Ras-et-Téen) and some other buildings,
with long rows of white houses, and gleaming sandbanks
gradually come into sight. The approach to the harbour is
very roundabout, passing along the breakwater formed of
about 20,000 immense blocks of concrete, each block
weighing about twenty tons.


As soon as the steamer is safely moored at the quay it
is boarded by specimens of every nation, people, and
tongue (with the Arab element largely prevailing), to take
possession of the strangers and their baggage. Passengers

booked under the arrangements of THOS. COOK AND SON have only to look out for the representatives of the
firm, who meet every steamer to convey the passengers and
luggage ashore and through the Custom House free of
charge. Let the tourist place himself immediately in
charge of THOS. COOK AND SON'S Interpreter or the
commissionaire belonging to the hotel he has decided to
stay at.


The Egyptian General Post-Office is situated in
Gracechurch Street, or Rue de l'Eglise Anglaise, and
is for the transmission and delivery of correspondence
to and from all parts of the world. Egypt is
in the Postal Union, and the rate to countries
forming a part of it is a piastre tariff (about 21/2d.)
for 15 grammes (about 1/2 oz.). Post-cards half a
piastre (about 1 1/4d.); and Reply Post-cards one
piastre (2 1/2d.) (see p. 41.)
The Postage for letters within Egypt is 5 millièmes, or half
a piastre tariff for 15 grammes (1/2 oz.).
The Mails from England are by Austrian Mail—Sunday;
by French mail—Tuesday; by English mail—
Thursday. They are all most regular, bringing
advices from London up to the previous Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday evenings, respectively.
Mails to England are made up for French mail every
Friday afternoon; for Italian mail every Thursday
morning; for Austrian mail every Saturday afternoon;
for Khedivial mail every Friday morning;
for English mail early in each week according to

notice, depending upon arrival of Indian mails,
via Port Said.
There is also a French Post-office, at which French
postage stamps must be employed, but it is not


Place Mohammed Ali.


Boulevard de Ramleh. Consul-General, and Judge of
the Consular Court, Sir CHARLES A. COOKSON,
K.C.M.G., C.B.


The Eastern Telegraph Company, Rue du Télégraphe.
Telegrams can be sent to all parts of the
The Egyptian Government Telegraphs, in the
Khedivial Bourse, also take messages at similar
rates via Constantinople, but are not recommended, except for internal telegraphy, where it
is obligatory. Rate to interior, 20 millièmes
(about 5d.) for eight words, and 5 millièmes for
every additional two words.
The Telephone Exchange is in St. Mark's Buildings.


St. Mark's Church (Church of England), in the Place
Mohammed Ali. Sundays, 11.o a.m. and 3.0 p.m.
St. Andrew's Church (Established Church of Scotland).
Sundays, 8.30 a.m. (in Arabic); 11.0 a.m.
(in English); and at the Seaman's Chapel, Bethel
Ship, 7.0 p.m.
Roman Catholic Church, St. Catherine, Place de
All Saints' Church (Church of England), Ramleh,
nearest station being Bulkeley. Sundays, 11.0 a.m.
Churches belonging to various other denominations
and nationalities will be readily found on enquiry.


Zizinia Theatre, Rosetta Gate Road. French plays
and Italian operas.
Rossini Theatre, Café Paradiso.
Alhambra Theatre. Operettas, ballets, etc.
Politeama. Various. Café Pyramides.
There are several inferior places of amusement in various
parts of the town.


The Cercle Khedivial. Guests are admitted if introduced
by a Member.
The Mohammed Ali.


Arsenal, p. 83.
Catacombs, p. 83.
Cleopatra, Baths of, p. 83.
Hospital of the Kaiserswerth Deaconesses, p. 83.
Museum, p. 83.
Palace of Ras-et-Teen (an order required), p. 83.
Pompey's Pillar, p. 80.
Ramleh (by railway), p. 84.
Ruins of Forts—Ras-et-Teen, Adda, Pharos, p. 83.
Soldiers' and Sailors' Institute, p. 83.


Alexandria stands on the spot where tradition located
the abode of the ever-changing Proteus, whose marvellous
transformations were so often celebrated by the poets and
argued about by the sages of ancient times.
During the reigns of the Pharaohs, the commerce of
Egypt was almost exclusively eastward by caravan. As a
jealously guarded intercourse with Phaenicians and other
Mediterranean nations increased, Naucratis, at the Canopic
mouth of the Nile, was for a time the only foreign emporium
permitted. But at some early date a Greek colony became
settled at Rhacôtis.
Alexander the Great, flushed with the conquest of Syria
and Egypt was, in 332 B.C., on his way towards the Temple
of Jupiter Ammon, when, on reaching Rhacôtis, he is said
to have noticed the exceeding suitability of the site, with its
two harbours, for building a great city, which should be the
capital of Eastern commerce. He commissioned Dinocrates,
the architect, to build such a city, and so Ancient
Alexandria came into being.
After the death of Alexander, and the partition of his
vast empire, Alexandria became the chief city of the Macedonian
dynasty of the Ptolemies, who lavished their wealth
in improving and adorning their capital. When Cleopatra,
“serpent of old Nile,” yielded name and fame, and life and
empire to the Roman invader, Egypt was soon subdued,

and Alexandria became, under the Caesars, the second city
of the Roman Empire, and the granary of Rome, celebrated
at once for its wealth and commerce, art and learning,
luxury and refinement.
Ancient Alexandria, the city in which St. Mark preached
the Gospel, bequeathed nothing but its ruins and its name
to the modern city. It is said to have been fifteen miles
in circumference, containing in its most populous days no
less than 600,000 inhabitants. Of its streets and theatres,
and walls and gates and temples scarcely a vestige remains.
The Pharos (on the site of which the lighthouse now
stands) was one of the seven wonders of the world; a lofty
building of white marble, with an exterior winding gallery,
up which horses and chariots could ascend to the summit.
Ptolemy Philadelphus, who built the tower, also constructed
the Heptastadium, or famous causeway connecting the
city with the then island of Pharos. The Museum was
founded by Ptolemy Soter. With its schools are inseparably
linked the names of Euclid and Hipparchus, Origen
and Athanasius, and many another scientific student or
polemic disputant—not forgetting Hypatia, who has won a
second immortality in the pages of Kingsley's marvellous
story. Here also was the famous Library, collected at
enormous cost, and utterly destroyed by the Romans in
taking the city. In this Library was placed the celebrated
Septuagint translation of the Scriptures made by
order of Ptolemy Philadelphus. The Serapeum , or
Serapeion, scene of sanguinary struggles between Pagans
and Christians when the old system was dying hard,
had also a splendid library, much pillaged in Roman
times, and finally destroyed under the Caliph Omar. The
Caesareum has left a remnant of its greatness in the
so-called Cleopatra's Needles. Many other buildings

might be enumerated, but as the tourist would look in
vain for any sign of their former existence, this brief
description will suffice to give some notion of the former
grandeur of Alexandria.
When, in 640 A.D., Amer, the general of the Caliph
Omar, subdued Egypt, Alexandria had considerably declined,
but was still a great city. “I have taken the great
city of the West,” he says, in writing to the Caliph. “It is
impossible for me to enumerate the variety of its richness
and beauty, and I shall content myself with observing that
it contains 4000 palaces, 400 baths, 400 theatres or places
of amusement, 12,000 shops for the sale of vegetables, and
40,000 tributary Jews.”
Passing over a dozen centuries, during which Alexandria
had gradually declined under the successive rule of the
Caliphs, Sultans, and Memlooks, we find the city at the
time of the French invasion had become small, poverty-stricken,
and insignificant.
During the present century a vast change has taken
“When Mohamed Ali rose to power” (1804), says the
author of The Crescent and the Cross, “his clear intellect at
once comprehended the importance of the ancient emporium.
Alexandria was then become a mere harbour for
pirates—the desert and the sea were gradually encroaching
on its boundaries. But the Pasha ordered the desert to
bring forth corn and the sea to retire; and the mandate
of this Eastern Canute was no idle word; it acted like an
incantation to the old Egyptian spirit of great works. Up
rose a stately city containing 60,000 inhabitants, and as
suddenly yawned the canal, which was to connect the new
city with the Nile, and enable it to fulfil its destinies of
becoming the emporium of three-quarters of the globe.”
The successors of Mohammed Ali have continued to
improve the city and foster its commerce. The development
of steam communication with India by the Overland
Route did much to restore the ancient importance of Alexandria
as a gateway to the East.
Alexandria is mentioned once or twice in the New
Testament. Alexandrian Jews were conspicuous amongst
those who compassed the death of Stephen, It was a ship
sailing from Alexandria to Italy in which St. Paul suffered
shipwreck (Acts xxvi. 6), and it was in another Alexandrian
vessel, the Castor and Pollux, that the journey was completed
from Melita to Puteoli (Acts xxviii. 11).


contains a population of about 240 000, of whom three-fourths
are native Egyptians of every kind, and the remainder
a strange medley of Moors, Arabs, adventurers
from all the Levantine shores, and a few thousand merchants,
etc., from the nations of Western Europe. Each
nation has its consul, having a criminal jurisdiction over all
persons of his own nationality—an arrangement from which
trouble and disorder frequently arises.
Modern Alexandria is chiefly built on the isthmus now
connecting the mainland with what was once the Island of
Pharos, and also on the island itself, where the principal
public buildings are situated. The Frankish quarter is the
handsomest portion of the city, and more nearly occupies
the site of the ancient town. The Great Square (more
correctly the Place Mohammed Ali) is the headquarters of
European life and business. The chief banks, hotels, and
merchants' offices are situated north and west of the
square; the Rue Chérif Pasha leads to the handsome

Boulevard Rosetta and the Rosetta Road; northward from
the Great Square the Rue Ras-et-Teen winds past the
Governor's Palace to the Arsenal (p. 83) and the Palace of
Ras-et-Teen (p. 83). There are two harbours. The
Eastern Harbour, or New Port, is much exposed, and was,
in days of Mohammedan exclusiveness, the only harbour
permitted to foreign vessels; it is now only used by fishing
boats. The Western, or Eunostus Harbour, now called the
Old Port, is a well-protected and commodious harbour,
with breakwater, mole, jetty, lighthouses, and spacious
quays, and crowded with the merchant ships of every
nation. The harbour entrance is lighted at night.
The general aspect of the city is a strange mingling of
European and Oriental. The shops are much the same as
in any European city, the names of the streets being affixed
in French. The side streets, especially of the Arab
quarter, wear more of an Eastern aspect, but the influence
of the stranger is everywhere visible. A day or two will probably
suffice for the tourist to see all that he wants to see in
Alexandria. A carriage for the day, at a cost of sixteen
shillings, will take him round to everything of importance.
The views of street life seen in the transit are intensely
“Interesting as the sights of Alexandria are, there is so
strong an admixture of European manners, customs, and
habits with the Eastern, and this is so strikingly apparent
everywhere and in everything, that the traveller does
not need to be told he can here form no true idea of
an Eastern city. For that he must wait till he gets to
Cairo. But he will find in the bazaars of Alexandria
the most motley collection of all nations, kindreds, peoples
and tongues that can be gathered together. An Eastern
bazaar must be seen to be believed; that at Alexandria

does not seem real; it is hard to divest one's mind of the
thought that it is a great carnival, a mammoth masquerade,
got up for the occasion. It is a vast crowd, a stupendous
noise, a new sensation.
“A Babel of many tongues, a blaze of curious costumes
—these are the first things of which you are conscious;
then you stand for a time to see the ceaseless crowd pass
you, and you single out the various nationalities. Those
men with the ringlets are Syrian Jews; those bedizened
horsemen are Turks; those high-capped and black-habited
men are Copts; those youths enjoying themselves within
an inch of their lives are English midshipmen; that curious
being in a white dress like a ballet-dancer's, and legs tied
up with strings, is an Albanian; those blackies are Nubians.
There are French dandies, Italian beauties, Hindoo monstrosities,
Bedouin brigands, women in trousers, men in
petticoats, Parthians, Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers
in Mesopotamia and in India, in Cappadocia, in
Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia—every nation
under the sun seems to have sent forth its representative to
Alexandria. Now comes a string of camels, and the surging
crowds jostle among the vendors of fruit and cooked
mysteries; then there is a shout, and adventurous donkey-boys
are urging on their beasts, burdened with bundles of
veiled beauty. Now music is heard, and a crowd collects
round a wandering minstrel, soon to be dispersed, as a
‘runner' cries out for room for the carriage of a grandee.
And, amid all the uproar, those grim old Turks sit cross-legged
on the carpets of their divans, or the daïs of their
stalls, and smoke their narghilies, and sip their coffee, as
though they were in profound solitude.”—(E. H.)


Pompey's Pillar.—The name of this celebrated
column is misleading. It has nothing whatever to do with
the Pompey of history, who was never in Alexandria, and
who only got so far as Pelusium, where he was assassinated.
It was erected by Pompey, a Roman prefect, in honour
of Diocletian, A.D. 302, and once had on it a statue
of Diocletian, or perhaps of his horse (whose stumbling
was the signal for the Christian persecution to be
stayed). Standing as it does on the loftiest site in the
ancient city, it was probably a portion of the Serapeum.
“On the highest point of Rhacôtis, Ptolemy Philadelphus
placed the statue of Serapis, and around it grew the Acropolis
of the Greek town. The cult of the god, Osiris-Apis
Serapis, died hard in the city of Alexandria. Long after
the religion of the Cross had driven the idolaters from the
rest of the town, those who still resisted it found their
refuge here. Here was their Library, greater in number at
least than that which had been already burnt. Here mixed
the philosophies of Egypt and of Greece, hurling their
Parthian shafts at their victorious foe. And when “the
pious indignation of Theophilus” could no longer restrain
itself at the furious raging of the heathen, it was here that
he pursued them; it was their temple which they turned
into a fortress, and found a horrible alternation to their
sufferings in torturing their Christian prisoners at the foot
of the statue of their god. Nothing else remains of the
arched portico, the hundred steps which led to it, the
stately halls, or the marvellous statues. Through two thousand
years the column had looked down upon the struggles
of rival creeds and rival empires. Greek and Roman,
Turk and Arab, Infidel and Christian, Jew and Moslem,

have each struggled at its feet; and in the city of Alexander,
where Caesar and Bonaparte triumphed, it remains
the one memorial which survives the British occupation.”—
From Pharaoh to Fellah, by Moberly Bell.
The capital and pedestal are of more modern and
inferior workmanship. The total height is 100 feet.
The Mohammedan Cemetery is very near Pompey's
Pillar. It is a wilderness of stones, without fence, or
rail, or anything of the sort, to seclude it from the common
roadway. Many of the stones have a turban roughly carved
on the top; some are painted green, showing that the
deceased in his day made the pilgrimage to Mecca, or was
a descendant of the Prophet. “A group of women,” says
one visitor to this spot, “were sitting round an open grave,
rocking themselves to and fro, and wailing for the dead.
We had no need to draw near to hear the lamentations they
made, for the low mournful dirge with which they began
soon increased to a loud howl, and this continued nearly all
the time we remained in the neighbourhood; but it scarcely
impressed us with solemnity, certainly not with any desire
to shed sympathetic tears; for as these women are paid so
much for the job, and are constantly at it, it was a dead
certainty that they felt but little the ceremony in which they
were engaged.” There is a characteristic filthy Egyptian
village overlooking the cemetery.
Cleopatra's Needles formerly stood on the coast
near the Alexandria and Ramleh railway station. One
which had been long buried in the sand was given by
Mohamed Ali to the English, and now stands on the
Thames Embankment. The other was presented by Ismail
to the American Government, and adorns the Central Park
at New York. The inscriptions show that both were made
during the reign of Thothmes III., about B.C. 1600, and that

Rameses II., 250 years later, added lines of inscriptions
recording his titles of honour and greatness.
On the banks of the Mahmoodeah Canal are the
residences of some of the grandees of Alexandria—large,
cool houses, standing in parched and dusty grounds. This
canal was formed by Mohammed Ali in 1819-20. A quarter
of a million of men were forced to aid in its construction,
and there was an awful sacrifice of human life by sickness
and privation before it was completed. It is cut from
Alexandria to Atfeh, on the Rosetta branch of the Nile.
On the right bank, near Alexandria, is the fashionable promenade
of the city. Close at hand are the beautiful
gardens of the Viceroy, which are open to the public. A
band plays on Sundays and Fridays. Here streams of
water flow, and everything looks beautifully fresh, green,
and novel. The visitor is surrounded by many kinds of
trees—orange, lemon, citron, pepper, and castor-oil; and
the flowers and shrubs are luxuriant, and of great variety.
The site where once stood the Mosque of 1001
will, of course, remind the visitor of the 1001
nights of Arabian story. It is said to have occupied the
site of the old Church of St. Mark, which commemorated
the scene of the Evangelist's martyrdom. In the Mosque
of St. Athanasius
, so named from a pre-existent church,
was found the sarcophagus now in the British Museum,
once known as “the Tomb of Iskander,” but evidently of
Pharaohnic origin.
The Convents and Churches of Alexandria offer nothing
of importance to detain the visitor. The Coptic Convent
of St. Mark
does not contain the body of the Evangelist,
as pretended. That was taken to Venice in the ninth century.
The Greek Church is neither ancient nor handsome.
Some relics of St. Catherine are shown here. The

Latin Church and the other ecclesiastical edifices of
Alexandria are devoid of general interest.
There are several interesting Schools, Hospitals, and
similar institutions in Alexandria. There is the Naval
School, the School of Les Frères de l'École Chrètienne,
with 600 pupils, and some other denominational establishments.
Amongst the hospitals, that of the Deaconesses of
Kaiserswerth is exceedingly interesting, and well worthy of
support. The Soldiers' and Sailors' Institute is a popular
and flourishing institution.
The Catacombs are about three miles from the Great
Square. They can be visited either by land or by sea. They
are of great extent, and the interior decoration is of good
and elegant workmanship.
The so-called Baths of Cleopatra can be inspected
on returning by land to the city. They are simply some
excavations at the edge of the shore, and were probably
ancient tombs.
At the western extremity of the Peninsular of Ras-et-Teen
(once Island of Pharos) are the Arsenal, Palace of the Viceroy, the Eunostus Point, with its lighthouse, and
the forts destroyed by the British fleet in 1882. The
Palace can be inspected, for which a permit (easily obtained)
is necessary. The view from the balcony, the surrounding
gardens, the Carrara marble staircase, and the circular
audience chamber, are the chief attractions.


With the sanction and assistance of M. de Morgan,
Director of the National Egyptian Collections of Antiquities
in Cairo, the Alexandria Municipal Commission in the
year 1892 established the Alexandria Museum, which will,
doubtless, prove of much value from an Egyptological point

of view, and a great attraction to residents and visitors in
the commercial Capital of Egypt. All objects of antiquity
belonging to the Graeco-Roman period that were in the
possession of the Ghizeh Museum authorities have been
handed over to the Alexandria Museum. The Municipal
Commission will be allowed to make searches in any part
of Egypt for Greek or Roman antiquities, so that, in fact,
the Alexandria Museum will become the recognized Graeco-Roman Museum of Egypt. The curator is Dr. Botti.

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This is a series of suburban villages on the Mediterranean
coast, four miles east of Alexandria, the residence of the
greater part of the well-to-do inhabitants. It may be
reached by the Government line to Rosetta, but a short
English line starting from the Boulevard de Ramleh is more
convenient (trains every hour). It is also a pleasant drive
along a fair road.
By the English line the first station reached is Chatby,
then Sidi Gabir, near Mustapha Pasha, so called from a
great-uncle of the Khedive, who had a palace here. Ismail
Pasha, grandfather of the present Khedive, Abbas II., in
coming into the property built a large palace here, employing
for the purpose the stones from the Roman Camp, on
the spot where the partisans of Antony were defeated by
Augustus, B.C. 30. The palace is now used by the English
military, and soldiers are quartered in the barracks. On
the same spot, the English, under Sir Ralph Abercrombie,
defeated the French in 1801, and near to the station may
be seen the mosque into which the English General was
carried when he received his death wound. A mile further
on is Bulkeley Station, and a few hundred yards on again,
Fleming Station, both quarters being largely inhabited by

the English colony. To the south of this line may be seen
Gun Hill, where the English held their advanced posts
against Arabi in 1882. Yet a few hundred yards, and we
pass the stations of Bacos (native village), Seffer (palm
groves), Schutz (Greek colony), and reach the terminus at
San Stefano, at which are extensive buildings serving as
café, hotel, restaurant, music hall, and swimming baths.
About a mile beyond San Stefano Tewfik Pasha built himself
a villa, or summer palace. At Fleming Station there is
a good hotel, the Miramar, and a very good pension (Mrs.
Wilson's), and at Schutz Station is the Hotel Plaisance. At
Montazah, between Ramleh and Aboukir, the present
Khedive has built himself a villa.

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The railway takes us past Ramleh (see above), the site
of the ancient Canopus (a watering place of infamous
notoriety in Ptolemaic times). Aboukir Bay, the scene of
Nelson's victory over the French under Admiral Brueys
(Battle of the Nile), and along the sea coast to Rosetta.
Rosetta , dating from the ninth century, was once a
very important place. It has declined as Alexandria has
risen, and now contains 16,000 inhabitants, being about
half its population at the commencement of the present century.
It is a healthy and well-built town, with very pleasant
environs. Here was found in 1799, by a French officer
called Boussard, the famous Rosetta Stone, with an inscription
in three languages, Greek, hieroglyphic, and demotic,
which first led to the decipherment of the hieroglyphics of
Egypt. The stone is preserved in the British Museum.
From Rosetta it is 150 miles by the Nile to Cairo,
passing Atfeh at the mouth of the Mahmoodeah Canal.

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I. By Road.

The traveller can proceed to Cairo either by road, by
water, or by rail; the latter being, of course, the principal
tourist route.
By Road (110 miles) the course is in proximity to the
Mahmoodeah Canal to Damanhoor, and thence across the
plain to Zowyet-el Bahr. From Zowyet-el Bahr the traveller
may cross the Nile, and continue by way of Menoof to
Cairo, or follow the western bank of the Nile to Embábeh,
and then cross the Nile to Boulák and Cairo.
Embábeh is the site of the Battle of the Pyramids.

II. By Water.

By Water the route is by the Mahmoodeah Canal to
Atfeh, and thence up the Nile to Cairo, a journey of nearly
180 miles.
This route offers few attractions, and is little used by
tourists. The Mahmoodeah Canal (see p. 82) is 48 miles
in length and about 90 feet broad. The suburban villas of
Alexandria are soon left behind, and then there is a dreary
journey past Birket and other inconsiderable places to
Atfeh, on the Rosetta branch of the Nile. To this village
sportsmen often repair during the season for the snipe
shooting in the neighbourhood.
From Atfeh the up-river course to Cairo passes Fouah ,
a notable town in mediaeval times, and several other small
Dessook is noted for the Festival of Sheikh Ibraheem ed
Dessookee, second only to him of Tantah amongst Egyptian
saints. Passing Ramaneah, the mounds that once were
Sais , the capital of Egypt just before the Persian invasion,

are seen. Excavations have been made, but not even plan
or position of anything can be determined—all is utter
ruin—burnt bricks and rubbish and fragments of sculpture
scarcely worth naming, are all that remain of the city whose
splendid temples and obelisks are commemorated by Herodotus.
Here, once a year, all Egypt flocked to keep the
Festival of Burning Lamps, when every house was illuminated
outside with lamps that burned till daybreak. Here
also were shown the “mysteries” representing the sufferings
of Osiris, strongly reminding us of the “Passion Plays” of
latter ages.
Before reaching Cairo we pass under the Barrage. This great work was designed in the time of Mohamed
Ali, by French engineers—Linant and Mougel—to hold up
the waters of the river at High Nile, and distribute them
with more equality during the Low Nile. It spans both
branches of the river, the breadth of the Damietta arm at
this point being 588 yards, and of the Rosetta arm 503.
The number of arches is 72 and 62 respectively, having a
span of 16 feet each. Very shortly after its completion it
was condemned by the French themselves as useless, owing
to its insecure foundations, and for more than twenty
years it was nothing but an impediment to navigation. In
1883, however, Col. Scott Moncrieff (now Sir Colin), Chief
of the Irrigation Department, came to the conclusion, after
careful examination, that the work might be partially
utilised even in its actual condition, and that not impracticable
repairs would enable it to answer the purpose
originally intended. Sir Colin's predictions have been
amply realized. The original structure has been successfully
strengthened, and the ingenious conception of the
French engineer has become of practical utility under
English direction.
The Barrage can easily be visited from Cairo by steam
launch, on application to THOS. COOK & SON (EGYPT),
LIMITED, or by railway.
Cairo (see p. 96).

III. By Rail.

By Rail from Alexandria to Cairo the distance is 131
miles, and is got over by the ordinary trains in six hours;
by the express, thrice daily, in 3 hours 20—30 minutes.
The railway was constructed in 1855.
The first-class carriages, by ordinary trains, only differ
from ordinary carriages in England by having a double
top, painted white, allowing a free passage of air. In the
express trains a continental form of carriage with small
compartments, many of them with lavatory accommodation,
has been adopted. Fares, as per local time-table.
Soon after leaving Alexandria, Lake Mareotis ,
whose waters once washed the city walls, is skirted to the
right. Early in the year the waters are abundant and the
lake appears of vast extent, but it is very shallow, as may
be seen by birds standing in it a mile or two off. As the
summer advances the waters diminish, and there is a broad
expanse of ugly and miasmatic swamp. Thousands of
birds are seen on the shores of the lake—ducks, pelicans,
and every description of waterfowl; and from time to time,
as the approach of a train disturbs them, they fly up in
clouds, presenting a most tempting appearance to the
sportsman. Whilst passing the lake there is a good view
to the left of the villas on the Mahmoodeah Canal, with
Pompey's Pillar and other well-known objects in the background.
A little beyond Ramleh we pass the earthwork erected

by Arabi to resist the English, after his precipitate retreat
from Alexandria, in July, 1882.
As Alexandria is speedily left behind, the tourist finds
himself brought more and more into contact with scenes
thoroughly Eastern.
“At one place,” says Mr. Hodder, “we saw a large
Bedouin encampment, with the low, flat-topped tents of
coarse camel's hair, the same in pattern and style as they
doubtless were when the world was in its infancy. Round
about were horses, camels, mules, and dromedaries, while
the sons of the desert in their picturesque dresses watched,
in graceful attitudes, the passing of the train. Some stood
leaning on their guns, others lay on the ground smoking the
chibouk or narghili, while a group of naked children raised
a cheer as hearty as our street Arabs can raise on holidays.
Lovers of antiquity expatiate much on the impressions made
on their minds as they stand before some architectual work
of a remote period, and truly there are many emotions to be
stirred when coming in contact with some famous memorials
of a dead past; but to my mind there is something infinitely
more impressive in gazing upon such a scene as I have just
described. The past living in the present, unaltered
though millenniums have rolled away, and great tides of
civilizing change have passed over all other phases of life.
And to see this from a railway train adds a new force to its
Kafr Douar is the first station, at which few strangers
alight unless bent on shooting in the vicinity. The halts
at the various stations on the line are very amusing. Motley
groups assail the train, intent on selling sugar canes, oranges,
mandarins, “Turkish delight,” or other light refreshments
to the travellers. Some of the crowd are arrayed in costumes
extravagant in their profuseness, many in costumes

so limited that it is a compliment to call them costumes
at all.
At Aboo Hommoos the Mahmoodeah Canal is left
and the railway proceeds to Damanhoor. This is a large
town, with some cotton factories. There are a few good
houses, but most of the habitations are only of earth or dried
bricks. Indeed, the poorest part of the town may be described
as a huge mud-heap, with a number of holes in it,
which are the doors leading into the separate burrows forming
the homes of the people. Some graceful tufts of palms
in the vicinity and a few white minarets glistening in the
sun, serve to relieve the monotony, and give a picturesque
aspect to the scene.
It was near Damanhoor that Napoleon so narrowly
escaped being taken prisoner by the Memlooks in 1798, and
made the celebrated remark about not being fated to become
a prisoner of the Memlooks, but “prisonnier des
Anglais, à la bonne heure!
The next station is Tel-el-Baroot, the nearest station
from which to visit the site of the Greek city of Naukratis,
discovered by Mr. Flinders Petrie, in the winter of 1884,
close to the village of Nebireh, on the canal which ran from
Memphis to the mouth of the Nile. In 1885, further discoveries
by Mr. Petrie and Mr. Gardner, established the
fact that Naukratis was founded by Greek colonists in the
seventh century B.C., in the reign of Psammeticus I., who
had his capital at Sais on the Nile, 15 miles east of
Naukratis. The Temples of Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hera,
and the Panhellenion have been identified. A portion of
the cemetery has been found. An enormous collection of
pottery has been secured, some of the vases showing the
earliest Ionic writing yet known. Early Greek coins, lumps
of silver, a variety of iron tools and other metal articles,

together with many interesting stelè, are all valuable results
of this important discovery.
After passing Tel-el-Baroot, the Rosetta branch of
the Nile is crossed at Kafr-Zayat by an iron bridge,
which opens to allow large vessels to pass. It was here
that the great-uncle of the present Khedive was drowned
in 1856, a year after the railway was opened, and before
the present bridge was constructed. Achmet Pasha, who
was then the heir to the Viceroyalty, was returning to
Cairo from Alexandria, and the ferry bridge was out of
its place; so that, as the train came along, it plunged into
the Nile.
The tourist is now in the Delta of Egypt. The
country is marvellously fertile, and cotton plantations, and
sugar fields, and grain of every kind abound. The soil
is the rich mud deposited by the Nile, and the divisions
of the land are not, as in most places, made by hedges
or walls, but by innumerable little canals, running like a
network of silver threads over the vast plain. Paul Lenoir,
in Artists in Egypt, thus describes the scene:—
“A whistle, almost European in its prolonged shrillness,
started us off again, and the aspect of the country changing
rapidly, we felt that we were getting into the heart of Egypt,
into the cultivated lands which form its inexhaustible wealth.
It was at the epoch when the grain is green, and it had a
singular effect upon us to cross those great steppes of herbage
which we had not believed could exist out of Holland.
White herons, looking in the distance like pieces of paper
strewn about at random, formed an odd sort of interruption
to the general one of this agricultural fertility.
“Very few palm-trees, innumerable irrigation works, and
an horizon invariably green, it was quite irritating. … Our
attention was, however, happily diverted by the infinite

variety of birds which seemed to accompany the train.
Ducks, hawks, and eagles succeeded each other without
interruption. The countless little watercourses which intersect
these lands are covered with birds of every description,
and innumerable animals of various kinds, who seem to live
together on the best possible terms, notwithstanding the
difference in their size and habits. Beautiful little sac sacs
(lapwings) fly about like butterflies, while enormous cranes
pull the feathers out of their own necks with slow patience.
The dromedaries and buffaloes, which constantly meet each
other on the road parallel to the railway, look on tranquilly
as the trains pass, with the impassible serenity of Normandy
cows, not to be disturbed by steam whistles or
The tourist will be interested in watching the various
industries of the people, as seen from the railway. Watering
the land seems to be one of the chief, and this is done
by the most old-fashioned appliances. The shadoof and the
sakieh are both seen in frequent operation; and as these
are notable Egyptian institutions, which will everywhere
meet the traveller's eye as long as he journeys in the land,
it would be better once for all to describe them.
The shadoof is the arrangement most in vogue. It consists
of a long pole, made heavy at one end, and resting on a
pivot, at the other end a bucket, or large water-tight basket,
which is lowered to the water and filled, and, as the heavy
end of the pole goes down, turns out its contents into a little
gutter, whence it is worked by the foot into the appointed
channels. Sometimes this is superseded by the sakieh, which
is a water-mill of cogged-wheels, turned by a buffalo, or
perchance a camel, each revolution of the wheel working up
a series of earthen pitchers, which empty themselves into a
trough or pool. More primitive still is the practice, in frequent

use, of raising the water without any mechanical contrivance.
Two men stand in the stream or canal with a
waterproof basket between them, which they swing as regularly
as clockwork, and throw the water on to the bank,
where another stands ready to divert it into its proper place.
It was in contrast to this style of work that it was said in
Scripture that the land which the Israelites should possess
“is not as the land of Egypt, where thou sowedst thy seed,
and wateredst it with thy foot, but is a land of hills and
valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven”
(Deut. xi. 10-12).
Not less interesting is it to watch the ploughing with
the quaint old plough, with which everyone is familiar in
illustrated scriptural books; and not infrequently it is drawn
by camel and buffalo, “unequally yoked” together.
Tantah is a large town, boasting the finest station
passed on the journey. Here the ordinary train waits
twenty minutes, and a fair table d'hote lunch or dinner is
served for 5 fr., or 4s. Branch lines run from this place
to Dessook (pp. 39, 86), 46 1/2 miles to Shebeen-el-Kom, 18 1/2
miles, to Damietta, by Talkah (near Mansourah), 72 miles
(p. 39), and to Zifté, by Mahallet Roh junction, 33 1/2
Tantah is celebrated for its fêtes or festivals. They are
held in January, April, and August, lasting eight days on
each occasion. These observances are in honour of the
Seyyid Ahmed el-Bedawee, a Muslim saint, invested with
divine power, to whom an invocation in the midst of impending
accident or catastrophe is guaranteed to bring
strength to the faithful. These fêtes, which are attended by
two or three hundred thousand people, are the most interesting
to be seen in Egypt. Every phase of Egyptian life
may be seen here, and the revelries are enjoyed by all classes

of society, from the Khedive, who has a palace here for the
purpose, down to the poorest fellah.
At Birket-es-Sab a large canal, the Bahr Shibin, is
crossed by another handsome bridge. The palace of Abbas
Pasha is seen, and then Benha is reached. Here the
train crosses the Damietta branch, and we leave the Delta.
This is a junction for either Mansourah or Ismailia, both via Zagazig. Benha is a decayed town, once noted for its
honey, afterwards, for a time, an important seat of the
cotton trade, now transferred to Zagazig. Close at hand
are the ruins of Athristis, of Greek, Roman, and early
Egyptian interest, but with nothing to show now but cinders
and rubbish. The Barrage is about 3 miles distant from
Tookh station is passed, and the first sight of the
Pyramids is soon obtained. The next station is Kalioob.
The blazing Desert and the Libyan hills are seen, the
Pyramids, as it were, seem to grow on the traveller; every
mile of nearer approach increases his wonder at their enormous
Looking out of the windows on the left, the Mokattam
hills and the minarets of the city are visible; and after
passing some of the most charming scenery of the whole
route, the terminus of the railway is reached at Cairo.
Before the train stops at the platform it is surrounded
by Arabs, clamorous for the passengers' luggage; but passengers
are advised not to allow anybody to touch an
article of luggage, except COOK'S representative, or a commissionaire
from one of the hotels.
To the traveller who has not determined in his mind at
which hotel he will stay in Cairo, the following list of
Hotels at which COOK'S Coupons are accepted may be of

  • Shepheard's Hotel,
  • Ghezireh Palace Hotel,
  • New Hotel,
  • Continental Hotel,
  • Hotel du Nil,
  • Villa Victoria,
  • Hotel Royal,
  • Hotel Khedivial,
  • Hotel d'Angleterre,
and, at the foot of the Pyramids, the
  • Mena House Hotel.
Hotel charges in Cairo are, as a rule, arranged in this
wise: so much a day must be paid for bed-room, breakfast,
luncheon, and dinner; and the traveller who takes only one
meal or two, or all the meals but not the bed-room
accommodation, has to pay the full tariff notwithstanding.
Cairo (p. 96).

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(Hotels—see p. 95.)

Cook's Office, near Shepheard's Hotel.

British Agency.
British Agent, Consul-General, and Minister Plenipotentiary—Lord
K.C.S.I., C.I.E.
Secretaries of Embassy in 1896, JAMES KENNETH RODD, Esq., C.M.G.; Count DE SALIS; the Hon.
Consulate.—The British Consulate is in the Sharia Maghraby.
RALPH BORG, Esq., C.M.G., Consul (1896).
Post Office.—The Egyptian Post Office is on the southeast
side of Esbekeeyah. Mails for Europe are
made up generally 12 hours earlier and deliveries
5 hours later than from Alexandria. Letters and
Telegrams may be sent from the offices which are
found in all the principal hotels.
Egyptian Telegraph Offices.—Sharia Boulak.
For local telegrams, P.T. 2 per 8 words, and 5 millièmes
for every additional two words.
Eastern Telegraph Company's Offices.—Shariael-Manakh.
For telegrams to all parts of the world.
Egyptian Telephone Company's Offices and
, 19, Atfet Sidi, Abd-el-Hak.
Carriages.—The actual tariff per hour is as follows:—
Carriage with two seats (hantour) P.T.6.
Carriage with four seats (arabeeyah) P.T.8.
By the day, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. P.T.60.


But it is generally necessary to pay a little more.
There are special rates for Excursions, which may
be ascertained at the hotels.
Donkeys.—Short rides, sixpence; by the day, two or
three shillings, more if required to go some distance
from the town.
Cafés.—Egyptian, and numerous others, chiefly in the
Esbekeeyah Quarter and the principal streets.
Clubs.—Khedivial, Ismailia Quarter. Turf, in the Sharia-el-Magrabi.


English Church, near the Esbekeeyah, behind the
New Hotel, on the road to Boulak.
German Lutheran Church, in which also the services
of the Presbyterian Church are conducted by
the American Mission, is very near the English
New Presbyterian Church, attached to the American
Mission, in the Esbekeeyah.
Roman Catholic Church, near the Mooskee.
Coptic Cathedral, near the Boulevard Clot Bey.
Greek Church, near the Mooskee.


Physicians.—Dr. Hess, a Swiss, who speaks English
fluently; Dr. Wildt, a German, who speaks English and
French; Dr. Bentley (House Doctor, Mena Hotel).
Surgeons.—W. Davis, M.R.C.S.; H. Milton, M.R.C.S.;
A. W. Murison, M.B.; F. M. Sandwith, M.R.C.S.;
Kenneth M. Scott, F.R.C.S.; H. Keating, M.R.C.S.
Ophthalmic Surgeons.—Kenneth M. Scott, F.R.C.S.;
Dr. Simons; Dr. von Herff.
Dentists.—Waller Bey; Mr. Elsner; Mr. Warne Kross.
The addresses may be obtained at the hotels.


Opera House, in the Esbekeeyah (p. 101).
Also a Small Theatre in the Esbekeeyah Gardens.
Cafés Chantants.
Sports (p. 165).

(See p. 140.)

Departure of the Pilgrims for Mecca, 25th of Showál (10th
Return of the Pilgrims, 27th of Saffer [about] (2nd month).
Greater Festival (Bairam), 10th, 11th, and 12th of Zul-hag
(12th month).
Lesser Festival (Little Bairam), early in the month of
Showál (10th month).
Festival of the Cutting of the Canal (Khalig), August 10th
Birthday of Mohammed, beginning of Rebea-el-Owwal
(3rd month).
Various other fêtes of Muslim Saints, etc.


Bazaars (p. 102).
Whirling and Howling Dervishes (p. 140).
Joseph's Well (p. 106).
Mosque of Mohammed Ali (p. 105).
Mosques, principal (p. 106).
Museum at Ghizeh. Open daily, except on Mondays, from
9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (p. 110). Free on Tuesdays;
other days, 5 P.T. entrance.
Arab Museum. Daily, except Fridays, with order, 5 P.T.
entrance; free on Tuesdays (p. 138).
Public Library at Darb-el-Gamameez. Free. Open daily,
except on Fridays (p. 108).
Citadel (p. 103).
Schools, etc. (p. 109).
Tombs and Cemeteries (p. 105).
Walls of the City; ascend at the Báb-el-Nasr (p. 101).


Barrage, the (p. 87).
Heliopolis, Obelisk of (pp. 156—158).
Helouan (p. 170).
Memphis, Ruins of (p. 160).
Mosque of Amer (p. 153).
Nilometer, the (p. 154).
Old Cairo (p. 153).
Petrified Forest, the (p. 164).
Pyramids of Ghizeh (pp. 141—151).
Pyramids of Sakkárah (p. 159).
Tombs of the Memlooks (p. 164).
Virgin's Tree, the (p. 156).


At or near the present site of Cairo a city has existed
from time immemorial. Bablioun, said to have been a
colony from Babylon, built on the site of a yet more
ancient Latopolis, existed here in the time of Alexander
the Great. In the same vicinity we read of the Egyptian
town of Loui-Tkeshrómi, and at a later date of the Arab
towns of El Maks and El Kuttaëea. When Amer-ebn-el-As,
the victorious general of the Caliph Omar, subdued
Egypt, he built on the site of his camp a city
called Fostát (from Fostát, a tent). The suburb of old
Cairo marks the site of Fostát and the western part of
In the tenth century the Fatimites, who had been
ruling at Kayrawan, in the state now known as Tunis,
invaded Egypt, and Djauhar or Gowher, their general,
built a city as a capital for the new dynasty. It took five
years in building, was erected with all due astrological
observances, and placed under the protection of the planet
Kahir or Mars. Hence the new town was named El-Káhira
(the victorious), known to Europeans as Cairo.
Saladin, in 1176, replaced the original brick walls of
Káhira with stone ones, considerably extended the city,
built the Citadel (p. 103) and Aqueduct (p. 106), and permitted
Christians to settle in the city. Hence originated
the Frank Quarter of Mooskee. At the downfall of the
Memlook rulers in 1517, and transfer of the Caliphate,
Cairo became simply the capital of a Turkish province.
Nothing of particular importance occurred till the
capture of the city by the French, after the Battle of the
Pyramids. The army of Napoleon entered the city in
July, 1798. A few months afterwards 300 French were
massacred in a revolt. Napoleon suppressed the revolt
with his usual relentless severity, and took more than ten-fold
vengeance, more than 4000 insurgents being slain. The
French occupancy was of short duration. In the troublous
time that succeeded, as described in our chapter on the
History of Egypt, Mohammed Ali rose to power. Under
that prince and his successors Cairo has increased and
flourished, and now ranks, next to Constantinople, as the
second city of the Muslim world.


is situated about twenty miles from the Delta on the east
bank of the Nile, and contains a population of about

400,000. Less exclusively Oriental than Damascus, and
far less European than Alexandria, it possesses a character
of its own; and at every step the traveller is entertained by
the aspect of the streets he passes through, and the wonderful
medley of human life pouring along the (mostly narrow)
thoroughfares. Cairo, however, is still the city of Arabian
Nights, and all who are well up in those veracious chronicles
will find themselves perpetually localizing the scenes
and individualizing the characters of which Scheherazade
chattered so well and to such good purpose.
Cairo, as already stated, is a walled town, and possesses
71 gates; but the town has so increased since Saladin built
the walls, that many of the gates are far in the city. The
most important gates are the Báb-el-Fotooh, or Gate of
Victory; the Báb-el Nasr, or Gate of Conquest; and the
Báb-el-Tooloon. By a staircase at the Báb el-Nasr, the
visitor can ascend the wall, and walk along it to the Báb-el-Fotooh.
There are large open spaces in Cairo, where outdoor
Cairene life can be very advantageously studied. The
Esbekeeyah, the Rumeyleh, and the Karameidan, etc.
The Karameidan close by the Citadel, is now
known as the Place Mohammed Ali. It is about three furlongs
in length, and is the great market for camels and
donkeys. The Rumeyleh, from which the Mecca
Pilgrimage starts, is close by.
The Esbekeeyah is the most important public place
in Cairo, adjacent to several public or official buildings—
the Opera House, the Palace, and the chief banks and
hotels. There is a large garden in the centre, surrounded
by a fine avenue, with alleys of trees radiating from the
centre. Santi's restaurant is famous for déjeuners and
dinners. During the evening the open-air cafés are well

patronized, but European residents of the better class are
seldom seen in the garden.
The Mooskee is a fine street running from the Esbekeeyah
through the very heart of the city. It forms the
Frank Quarter, and is well provided with shops. At places
there are covered galleries.
Near the Mooskee are numerous Bazaars, which are
amongst the chief curiosities of Cairo, the most important
for purchases being the Khan-el-Khalil. Many of them
have specialties; for instance, cloth, porcelain, and glass-work
should be sought for in the bazaar Kams-Awi; coffee
and tobacco in the Gemanieh; arms in the Souk el-Sélah.
There is one curious bazaar, where boots and shoes and
slippers are almost the only articles on sale. At the
Lerongèh, horse harness and the wonderful embroidered
leather are to be procured. The finest of all is the Bazaar
Turc, ablaze with jewellery, gold work, and precious stones.
There are a few other important streets in Cairo, such
as the Boulevard Abdul Aziz, the Boulevard Mohammed Ali,
the Boulevard Clot Bey, and the road to Boulak; but the
old city mostly consists of an immense number of narrow
tortuous lanes and passages, the houses frequently overhanging
the way till they nearly meet overhead, and apparently
closing in before and behind.
The Public Baths are mostly richly decorated brick
edifices; they are very numerous, the chief are El-Tumba-lee,
Hammam-Yesbak, El Moeyed, El Soukerièh.
In each quarter there is a public fountain and drinking
place for cattle. Some of the more ancient are very interesting
specimens of old Moslem erections. The fountain
usually has a portico, arch, columns, etc., and also a first
floor, generally used as a free school. Of these fountains
there are more than 300 in Cairo.
Abdin, the Palace generally inhabited by the
Khedive during winter, was rebuilt after being destroyed
by fire in 1891, and presents nothing worthy of admiration
on the outside. Inside there are some handsome rooms,
with good views from the windows. This Palace is now
used for State receptions.


The Citadel, or El Kaláh, is like a little walled town
enclosed in a larger one. It is said to occupy the site of
the Acropolis of Ancient Bablioun. The Boulevard Mohamed
Ali leads direct from the Esbekeeyah to the Citadel.
It is built on the flank of a hill overlooking the town,
though it is now itself commanded by the fort on Mount
Mokattam, built by Mohamed Ali when Khoorshid Pasha
held the town against him.
There are two entrances to the Citadel. One is by the
magnificent specimen of Saracenic architecture known as
the Bab-el-Azab. This gate is in the form of an elliptical
arch, with two enormous brickwork towers, built in
alternate bands of red and white. Hence a narrow
winding path leads to the highest part of the Citadel.
In this defile the slaughter of the Memlooks took place
in 1811. Only one escaped by leaping his horse from
the terrace on the eastern platform called La Saut du
Mohamed Ali had been much alarmed by the plots of
the Memlooks against his authority, and resolved on the
total annihilation of the order. To compass this, he summoned
the Memlook Beys to Cairo, for purposes of consultation
and festivity.
“The Beys came, mounted on their finest horses, in
magnificent uniforms, forming the most superb cavalry in

the world. After a very flattering reception from the Pasha,
they were requested to parade in the court of the Citadel.
They entered the fortification unsuspectingly; the portcullis
fell behind the last of the proud procession. A moment's
glance revealed to them their doom. They dashed forwards.
In vain; before, behind, around them, nothing was visible
but black, pitiless walls and barred windows; the only
opening was towards the bright blue sky; even that was
soon darkened by their funeral pile of smoke, as volley after
volley flashed from a thousand muskets behind the ramparts
upon their defenceless and devoted band. Startling and
fearfully sudden as was their death, they met it as became
their fearless character—some with arms crossed upon their
mailed bosoms, and turbaned heads devoutly bowed in
prayer; some with flashing swords and fierce curses, alike
unavailing against their dastard and ruthless foe. All that
chivalrous and splendid throng, save one, sank rapidly
beneath the deadly fire into a red and writhing mass—
that one was Emin Bey. He spurred his charger over a
heap of his slaughtered comrades, and sprang upon the
battlements. It was a dizzy height, but the next moment
he was in the air; another, and he was disengaging himself
from his crushed and dying horse, amidst a shower of
bullets. He escaped, and found shelter in the sanctuary
of a Mosque, and ultimately in the deserts of the Thebaid.”
It is well to add that doubts have been thrown on this
account of the escape of Emin Bey, it being alleged that
he was not in Cairo.
On this occasion, 450 of the Memlooks, with their
leader, Ibrahim Bey, were killed in the Citadel, and nearly
800 more in the city.
The Citadel is built in three portions, each having

its walls and towers. The fortifications were commenced
by Saladin in 1166, the materials being brought
from some small demolished Pyramids at Ghizeh.
This prince also built a Mosque and a Palace here,
which were, however, destroyed by an explosion of gun-powder
in 1823. New ones were erected by Mohamed Ali.
The Mosque of Mohamed Ali was built in 1829,
after the Constantinopolitan model; so that, although of
very costly materials, it is less interesting than the Saracenic
Mosques of Cairo. Its ceiling is a vast cupola, surrounded
by four demi-cupolas, and four small domes at the corners.
There are two elongated minarets, a spacious court, and
pretty cloister. The whole of the interior is lined with
Oriental alabaster, except the upper part of the columns,
which are painted to imitate that material. The decorations
of the interior are not in first-rate taste; the lanterns and
lustres have a tawdry effect.
On the left of the entry a golden grill encloses the tomb
of Mohamed Ali, with the lamps perpetually burning. In
the court there is a pavilion in the gallery facing the Fountain
of Ablutions, containing a clock presented to Mohamed
Ali by Louis Philippe. From above this pavilion there is a
splendid prospect of Cairo and Lower Egypt, which some
have asserted to be the finest view in the world. At the
foot of the Citadel, stretching northward, lies Cairo, with its
innumerable domes and minarets; beyond stretches the
verdant Delta. On the right are seen the Tombs of the
Memlooks, and the Obelisk of Heliopolis; on the left are
Old Cairo and the well-wooded Island of Roda, more domes
and minarets and palaces, the grand Aqueduct, and the river
Nile, and beyond these the Pyramids of Ghizeh and Sakkárah
and the Great Desert of Libya. Turning to the
south, Mount Mokattam is seen, with its rugged steeps, its

quarries, and its ruins. Anyone staying at Cairo should
endeavour to see this view at least two or three times at
different periods of the day.
Joseph's Well is another of the curiosities of the
Citadel. It has nothing to do with the Patriarch, as popularly
asserted, but owes its origin to Saladin, whose Arabic
name was Youssoof (Joseph), and was sunk for the military
necessities of the fortress. According to another account,
Saladin utilized an ancient Egyptian well discovered by him
in sinking for foundations. It is fifteen feet in diameter,
and reaches the Nile level at a depth of 290 feet. A winding
staircase conducts to the bottom, where the donkeys
are seen at work raising the water to the top by means of
an endless chain, with vessels attached to it. There is also
an Aqueduct, bringing Nile water from Old Cairo to the
In addition to the above-mentioned buildings, the Citadel
contains a Mint, Military School, Printing Office, Cannon
Foundry, Manufactory of Small Arms, etc.
On the Old Cairo side of the hill, below the Citadel,
there is a miserable-looking house, which is asserted to be
the house where the Virgin took refuge at the time of the
Massacre at Bethlehem. There is an underground chapel
connected with the house, in which a number of ragged
children are instructed by monks.


The Mosques of Cairo are in number between 400 and
500. Many of them are in a very ruinous condition. There
is no difficulty about admission to the most celebrated, on
payment of a small fee.
For information as to the general arrangements of

Mosques, their officials, services, etc., see p. 46 in the
The oldest Mosque in Cairo is that of Tooloon. It was
built by Ahmed Ebn Touloon, a century before Gowher
built Cairo (p. 153), and stood outside the city till Saladin
included it within his walls. It took three years in building,
at a cost of £72,000. It is a copy of the Kaaba at Mecca,
and a true type of the earliest Mosques. At one time there
was a College in this building, with nine Professors. The
Mosque stands on a hill, which Muslim tradition asserts is
the hill on which the ark rested after the flood, and subsequently
the spot where Abraham was about to offer Ishmael
(not Isaac) when a ram was sent to be offered instead. At
the present day, this once beautiful building is in a most
deplorable state.
There are several of the Mosques which the tourist will
do well to visit if his time allows. The Mosque El Azhar,
or Splendid, is very fine, and is the chief University of the
Mohammedan world. The number of students ranges from
10,000 to 12,000. An interesting account of the University
may be found in Dor Bey's book, “L'Instruction Publique
in Egypte.” It was founded by Gowher, in 970 A.D. The
Mosque El Hakim was built by the Fatimite Caliph of
that name, who asserted a divine mission, and founded the
still existent sect of the Druses. The minarets of this
Mosque were fortified during the French occupancy. In
this Mosque the Museum of Arab Antiquities is located
until a suitable building can be provided. At the Mosque of
Berkook a beautifully illuminated Kur-án, written by the
Princess Fatima, is shown. The Mosque of Sultan Hassan,
dating from 1357, is, perhaps, the finest in the city.
The architecture is graceful and elegant, and the ornamentation
superb. It cost £600 a day for three years to rear this

building, and it is asserted that the architect's hands were
cut off by the Sultan's command to keep the edifice unique.
On the tomb of the founder is a large copy of the Ku-rán.
The Mosque of Sultan Kaloon; the Sharawee; the
Modiud, commonly called the Red Mosque; the picturesque
El Ghoree, with its beautiful inlaid work in the
interior; the Mosque of the Seyyideh Zeyneb, and
very many others offer their attractions to those who wish
to see more of Muslim religious architecture and observances.
The Churches in Cairo present no particular attraction
for mere sightseers. The Coptic Church of El Moalláke
(the Suspended) is curious. It is so-called from its
being at a considerable height above the ground, and
approached by a flight of stairs.
The Palaces of Cairo, all of which are modern, are
numerous. The Palace of Gezeereh, now an hotel, stands
on an island formed by a branch of the Nile, and was built
by Ismail Pasha. The Empress Eugénie and the Emperor
of Austria have been entertained here. The ball-room,
reception-rooms, hall, and staircase are very fine. There
are some pretty gardens, and a capital collection of African
birds and beasts. The Palace of Ghizeh was also built by
Ismail Pasha near the village of the same name, 2 1/2 miles
from Cairo. The priceless collection of antiquities at the
Boulak Museum were removed to the Palace of Ghizeh in
1889, and the new museum was opened to the public on
January 12th, 1890 (p. 110). The Palace of Abdin is used
for State receptions (p. 103.)
There is a Public Library in a building at the Darb-el-Gammameez,
beside the Ministry of Public Instruction.
Here is a fine collection of books in all languages, including
the principal works that were formerly in the libraries

of the Mosques. Free use of the library is permitted on
every day except Friday.
The Schools of Cairo are numerous, and education has
received a new impulse under the late and present Khedive.
Besides the Free Schools at the Fountains, before alluded
to (p. 102), there are government schools, both civil and
military. In the former the pupils pass through a well-graduated
course of general study, including foreign languages,
and then into some special branch, such as law,
medicine, etc. The School for the Blind, established by the
late Khedive (Tewfik), and situated in the Murgusheh Street
is well worth a visit. In addition to the above, most
religious denominations in Cairo have their own schools.
There are Philanthropic Institutions in Cairo
which many will derive pleasure from visiting. The American
Mission and the European Hospitals are worthy of attention.
Especially attractive are the Schools, founded by the late
Miss Whately, where the visitor will find a goodly company
of bright, intelligent boys and girls, able to speak with ease
and fluency in English, and to show specimens of work which
an English schoolboy or schoolgirl would not blush to own.
Private hospitals and Nursing Societies are carried on
under capable management, particulars of which can be
obtained from Dr. Murison or Dr. Sandwith.
Railway Stations. The principal station (rebuilt
in 1894) for Alexandria, Ismailia, Suez, and the whole of the
Delta, and the adjacent new departure station for Upper
Egypt, are to the north of the Ismailia Canal. The Abbassieh
Station, for Abbassieh, Kubbèh, Matarieh, etc., is on
the south side of the Ismailia Canal; and the Helouan
Station is in the south part of the city by the Square of


Open daily during the winter season, except on Fridays,
from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.; admission, 5 piastres, except
Tuesday, which is a free day. There are no restrictions as
to copying, and extra facilities are gratuitously afforded to
students on application.
This remarkable collection, founded in 1858 by Mariette
Bey at Boulak, was removed to Ghizeh in January, 1890.
Mariette died on the 17th January, 1882. He was succeeded
as Director by M. Maspero, who was succeeded by
M. Grébaut, who has in turn been succeeded by M. de
Morgan, all of whom have carried out much remarkable
work, ably seconded by the learned Conservator of the
Museum, M. E. Brugsch Bey.
The national collection of Egyptian antiquities at Ghizeh
surpasses every other collection in the world, by reason of
the number of monuments it contains, which were made
during the first six dynasties, and by reason of the fact that
the places from which the greater number of the antiquities
come are well ascertained. The collections of scarabs
is less complete and historically valuable than those in the
collections of various European museums. Although the
present building at Ghizeh, in which the antiquities are
located, is far preferable in many ways to their former
resting-place at Boulak, it is generally felt that such a priceless
collection should be arranged and protected in some
specially built fire-proof building, and with this object in
view it has been decided by the Egyptian Government that
as soon as the finances are available, a New Museum shall
be built in a more central position on the Cairo side of
the Nile.
It is impossible in these pages to give a completely
scientific description of the splendid collection at Ghizeh,
but visitors will find in each room a written account of the
most valuable and interesting monuments, and an Official
Catalogue was published in 1895-96, from which we have
compiled a summary of the principal objects displayed.
The Museum is in the Palace of Ghizeh, close to the
Nile, about 2 1/2 miles from Cairo. Passing the massive gates
on entering the Garden are seen—
6008. Red granite Sphinx , inscribed with the cartouches of
Rameses II.; excavated by Mariette at Tanis in the
Marble sarcophagus on a pedestal of masonry, containing
the body of F. A. F. Mariette, the founder of the
Egyptian Museum at Boulak; the sphinxes round about
it come from the Serapeum.
Among the most interesting of the antiquities in the
Museum are:—

ROOM I.—Monuments of the first Six Dynasties.

  • 261. Table of offerings of the scribe Setu, sculptured with
    grapes, bread, chickens, etc., in relief; the hollow for holding
    the libations offered is divided into a series of cubits to
    represent the height of the water in the Nilometer at
    Memphis. VIth dynasty. From Dashur.
  • 1. Black granite statue of a priest kneeling. A remarkable
    example of early work, probably before the IVth dynasty.
    From Sakkarah.
  • 2. Panels of wood for inlaying upon the false doors of the tomb
    of Hesi-Ra; they are splendid examples of the delicate
    and accurate work executed by Egyptian carvers in wood
    during the IVth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 962. Round, white alabaster table of offerings made for Khuhetep-heres,
    prophet of the goddess Maat of Nekhen.
    Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 3. Layer of clay and plaster painted in water colours, with a
    scene in which geese are represented walking along. This
    fragile object was brought from a ruined mastaba at Medum
    by M. Vassali, and dates probably from the IVth dynasty.
  • 6. Double statue of Ra-hetep and his wife Nefert, “a royal
    connection,” found in a mastaba near the Pyramid of
    Medum, which is generally thought to have been built by
    Seneferu the first king of the IVth dynasty.
  • 13. Stele, in the form of a false door, from the tomb of Shera,
    a priest who lived during the reign of Sent, the fifth king
    of the IInd dynasty, about B.C. 4000. A stele of this Shera
    is preserved in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford.
    From Sakkarah.

ROOM II.—Monuments of Dynasties IV.-VI.

  • 17. Limestone statue of Ra-nefer, a priest with shaven head.
    Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 18. Limestone statue of Ra-nefer, a priest wearing a wig.
    These two statues are generally admitted to be the best
    examples of the work of the Vth dynasty, and they exhibit
    an amount of skill in sculpture which was never surpassed
    at any subsequent period in the history of Egyptian art.
    From Sakkarah.
  • 19. Wooden statue of a man, originally covered with a thin
    layer of plaster and painted; the feet are restored. His
    hair is cut short, his eyes are formed of pieces of quartz
    set in bronzed lids, each having a piece of bright metal
    driven through it to hold it in position and to give the rock-crystal
    pupil in front of it an animated appearance; he
    wears an apron only, and holds in one hand an unpeeled
    stick. This statue is commonly known by the name of
    Shekh-el-Beled, or “Shekh of the Village,” because of
    the likeness which it was thought to bear to a native

    shekh at Sakkarah by Mariette's workmen when they
    found it in the tomb of the man in whose honour it was
    made. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 21. Statue of Atep, a master of funereal ceremonies.
  • 23, 28. Stelae of Ra-en-kau. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 35. Upper part of a wooden statue of a female which was
    found in the tomb with the Shekh-el-Beled. (No 19.)

ROOM III.—Monuments of Dynasties IV.-VI.

  • 33. Diorite statue of Mycerinus, builder of the third pyramid
    at Ghizeh, IVth dynasty, B.C. 3633.
  • 37. Alabaster statue of a king, name unknown.
  • 38. Alabaster statue of Men-kau-Heru, Vth dynasty, B.C.
  • 39. Red granite statue of User-en-ka, Vth dynasty, B.C. 3433.
  • 41. Alabaster statue of Khephren, builder of the second
    pyramid at Ghizeh, IVth dynasty, B.C. 3666.
    From Mit-Rahineh.
  • 42. Green basalt statue of Khephren, IVth dynasty B.C. 3666.
    Found in a well in the temple at Ghizeh.
  • 49. Limestone slab from the tomb of Una, a high official who
    served under the kings Teta, Pepi I., and Mer-en-Ra,
    of the VIth dynasty, about B.C. 3300-3233. Una was a
    man of humble birth, and began life in the royal service as
    a “crown bearer”; he was next made overseer of the
    workmen, and was soon after sent to Turrah to bring back
    a block of stone for the sarcophagus of the king. He was
    then made governor of the troops, and was set at the head
    of an expedition against the Aamu and the Herusha. On
    five different occasions did Una wage war successfully
    against Egypt's foes. The inscription is of the greatest
    importance for the history of the period, and is interesting
    as showing that a man of very humble birth could attain to
    the highest dignities at the Egyptian court.
    From Abydos.
  • 55. Black granite stele of User. From Karnak.

ROOM IV.—Stelae, etc., of Dynasties IV.-VI.

  • In this room are arranged stelae found at Ghizeh and
  • 62. In the centre of the room is a seated limestone statue of
    Heken, a lady belonging to the royal family.

ROOM V.—Statues, etc., of Dynasties IV.-VI.

  • 64. Green diorite statue of Khephren, the builder of the
    second Pyramid at Ghizeh. This full-sized portrait statue
    of the king is one of the most remarkable pieces of
    Egyptian sculpture extant.
    Found in a well in the granite temple at Ghizeh.
  • 65. Limestone stele from the tomb of Ankheftka; see
    Room VII., No. 86. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 70. Limestone stele of Ptah-hetep. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 74. Granite sarcophagus of Heru-baf, a descendant or relative
    of Cheops. IVth dynasty. From Ghizeh.
    926. Red granite seated statue of Ma-nefer, a scribe.
    Vth dynasty. From Ghizeh.
    The seated statues of the scribes near the door are
    good examples of the work of this period.

ROOM VI.—Stelae of Dynasties IV.-VI.

  • In this room are arranged stelae and statues found at
    Ghizeh and Sakkarah.

ROOM VII.—Statues, etc., of Dynasties IV.-VI.

  • 77. Limestone statue of Ti. Found in her tomb.
    Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 78. Statue of the dwarf Khnum-hetep. IVth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 79. Limestone statue of Nefer. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 1033. Limestone statue of Seten-Maat. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 82. Limestone bas-relief on which the high official Apa, seated
    in a chair, making a tour of inspection of his farm is
    depicted. At the table Apa is accompanied by his wife
    Senbet and daughter Pepi-ankh nes. VIth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 83. Limestone slab, sculptured with scenes in which are depicted
    the threshing and winnowing of wheat, the baking of bread,
    the carving of a statue, glass blowing and working in gold.
  • 85. Limestone group of three figures. The decoration of the
    woman is curious and worthy of note.
  • 88. Limestone figures of a man and woman kneading dough.
    IVth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
    All the small statues exhibited in the wall-cases of this
    room are worth careful study.

ROOM VIII.—Bas-reliefs, etc., from Ghizeh and

  • 95. Wooden statue of Tep-em-ankh. Vth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
    Among the bas-reliefs should be noticed:—quarrel of
    boatmen; servants making bread and bottling wine; flocks
    crossing a river or canal; bulls being led to slaughter; ape
    biting a man's leg; pasturing of flocks, etc.; cleaning and
    grinding of corn (Nos. 91, 92, 93, 94).
    All these are from Sakkarah.

ROOM IX.—Sarcophagi, Wooden Objects, etc.

  • 96. Red granite sarcophagus of Khufu-Ankh, a priest of
    Isis, and “Clerk of the Works.”
  • 97. Red granite sarcophagus of the royal son Ka-em-sekhem.
    IVth dynasty.
  • 99. Stele of Sebu, a minister of art education under King
  • 103. Models of granaries. From Akhmim (Panopolis).
  • 104. Model of a house. From Akhmim (Panopolis).
  • 6229. Small ivory statue. Vth dynasty. From Ghizeh.
  • 6235. Model of a boat for carrying the dead. From Akhmim.

ROOM X.—Royal Mummies, etc.

  • 106. Mummy of king Mentu-em-sa-f. VIth dynasty. Found in a pyramid at Sakkarah, 1881.
  • 107. Fragments of the mummy of King Unas. Vth dynasty. Found in his pyramid at Sakkarah.
  • 109. Portion of the tomb of Tesher (reconstructed).
    VIth dynasty. From Dahshur.

ROOMS XI.-XIII.—Stelae, etc., belonging to
Dynasties IV.-XI., from Upper Egypt.

  • In these rooms are arranged a number of stelae chiefly
    from Abydos, Akhmim and Thebes. The stelae from each
    place have their special characteristics, and afford most
    valuable information for dating the period of each step in
    the development of the decoration of the funereal stele
    from its oldest and simplest to its full and final form.

ROOMS XIV.-XVI.—Stelae, Royal Statues,
Hyksos Monuments.

  • 112. Stele of Antef IV., sculptured with a figure of his son,
    and five dogs. XIth dynasty. From Thebes.
  • 113. Bas-relief in which king Mentu-hetep is represented
    slaying the Sati (Asiatics), the Tahennu (Lybians), and
    other peoples.
  • 114. Tomb of Heru-hetep. XIth dynasty.
  • 115. Mummy of Ament, priestess of Hathor. The body of
    the deceased is in the attitude in which it was when overtaken
    by death. The necklaces and rings which were upon
    it are exhibited in Room LXX, case E.
  • 116, 117. Outer and inner coffins of Ament, priestess of Hathor.
  • 118. Stele of Men-khau-Ra; the king adoring the god
    Amsu. XIVth dynasty. From Abydos.
  • 122. Granite seated statue of Nefert, wife of Usertsen I.
    XIIth dynasty. From Tanis.
  • 125. Grey granite bust of a colossal statue of a king usurped
    by Meneptah. Middle Empire. From Alexandria.
  • 128. Granite statue of Sebek-em-sa-f. XIIIth dynasty. From Abydos.
  • 129. Statue of King I-an-Ra, excavated at Zakazik in 1888
    by M. Naville. XIVth or XVth dynasty.
  • 130. Alabaster table of offerings made for the Princess Neferu-Ptah.
    From the Pyramid of Hawara.
  • 132. Two figures making offerings of water-fowl, fish, and
    flowers. This interesting monument is supposed to be
    the work of the period of the “Shepherd Kings,” although
    the cartouche of Pa-seb-kha-nut is found upon it.
  • 133. Black granite table of offerings dedicated to the temple
    at Tanis by Apepa. XVIIth dynasty. From Tanis.
  • 134. Black granite Sphinx excavated at Tanis by Mariette in
    1863. The face of this remarkable monument has given
    rise to much discussion. Mariette believed it to have been
    made by the so-called Hyksos, or “Shepherd Kings,” and
    saw in the strange features of the face, and short, thickset
    lion's body, a proof of their Asiatic origin.
  • 135. Head of a sphinx, similar to No. 107, inscribed with the
    name of Meneptah. This object is older than the time
    of the king whose name it bears.
  • 137. Grey granite head of a king. From the Fayyum.
  • 140 Limestone sarcophagus of Tagi.
    XIth dynasty. From Thebes.

ROOM XVII.—Rectangular Wooden Sarcophagi
of the XIth and XIIth Dynasties.

  • 142. Wooden sarcophagus of Kheper-ka.
  • 143. Alabaster table of offerings bearing the cartouches of
    Usertsen I. Found near the Pyramid of Medum.
ROOM XVIII.—Panels of a Sarcophagus of the
Middle Empire.

ROOM XIX.—Sarcophagi from Akhmim and Stelae
from Abydos.
ROOMS XX. and XXI.—Sarcophagi, Stelae, etc.

  • 144. Black granite sphinx inscribed with the name of Sebekhetep
    III. XIIIth dynasty.

ROOM XXII.—Stelae, etc.

  • 145. Fragment of a limestone bas-relief inscribed with the
    name of Rameses II. The hieroglyphics are painted
    blue, and the figures of the gods are decorated with gold.
    XIXth dynasty. From Abydos.
  • 146, 147. Red granite fore-arms of a colossus.
    XIXth dynasty. From Luxor.
  • 148. Colossal red granite scarab.

ROOM XXIII.—Stelae, Reliefs, etc.

  • 149. Limestone bas-relief in which Amenophis IV. is represented
    making an offering to the solar disk.
    XVIIIth dynasty. From Tell-el-Amarna.
  • 153. Red granite seated figures of the god Harmachis and
    his beloved, Rameses II.
    Excavated at Memphis by M. de Morgan in 1892.
  • 154. Red granite statue of a man carrying offerings.
    From Karnak.


  • 155. Colossal red granite model of the sacred boat of Ptah.
    A remarkably fine object.
    Excavated at Memphis by M. de Morgan in 1892.

ROOM XXV.—Stelae from Ethiopia, etc.

  • 160. Red granite Stele of Piankhi, King of Ethiopia, about
    B.C. 750. From Gebel Barkal.
  • 161. Grey granite Stele of Heru-se-atef, King of Ethiopia,
    about B.C. 580, dated in the 35th year of his reign.
    162. Grey granite Stele of the Dream. The text here
    inscribed records that an Ethiopian king, whose name
    is read provisionally Nut-meri-Amen, and who reigned
    B.C. 650, had a dream one night in which two snakes
    appeared to him, one on his right hand and the other on
    his left. When he awoke he called upon his magicians
    to explain it, and they informed him that the snakes portended
    that he should be lord of the lands of the North
    and South. From Gebel Barkal.
  • 163. Grey granite Stele of the Coronation. From Gebel Barkal.
  • 164. Black granite head of Tirhakah, King of Ethiopia.
    XXVth dynasty; about B.C. 693.
  • 165. Red granite Stele of the Excommunication.
  • 166. Black granite head of a colossal statue of Rameses II. From Luxor.
  • 167. Group inscribed with the name of Meneptah.
  • 168. Limestone stele of Rameses IV. From Abydos.
  • 169, 171, 172. Bas-reliefs from the tomb of Ptah-mai. XVIIIth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 174. Alabaster statue of Amenartas, daughter of Kashta,
    sister of Shabaka, wife of Piankhi, and mother of Shep-en-apt,
    the wife of Psammetichus I. A very beautiful piece of
    sculpture. XXVth dynasty. From Karnak.


  • 177. Granite bust of Rameses IV.
    XXth dynasty. From Bubastis.
  • 178. Granite dog-headed are from the foundations of the
    obelisk of Luxor. XIXth dynasty.
  • 179. Seated group, brother and sister. Fine work.
    XIXth dynasty. From Memphis.
  • 180. Alabaster shaft of a column from the temple of Rameses III.
    at Tell-el-Yahudiyyeh.
  • 182. Grey granite pillar inscribed on its four faces with scenes
    representing Rameses II. making offerings to Amen and
    184. Limestone stele inscribed with a prayer of Rameses IV.
    to the gods of Abydos.
  • 185, 186. Two sandstone colossal statues of Ptah, one of the
    primeval gods of Egypt. Discovered by M. de Morgan in
    the temple of Ptah of Memphis, 1892.
  • 192. Red granite bust of Thothmes III.
    XVIIIth dynasty. From Karnak.
  • 193. Limestone stele of Amen-mes.
    XVIIIth dynasty. From Sakkarah.
  • 196. Grey granite colossal statue usurped by Rameses II.
    XII.-XVth dynasty. From Tanis.
  • 200. Black granite shrine, containing a figure of Ptah-Mes,
    a priest who lived in the reign of Thothmes III.
  • 202. Red granite statue of Thothmes III. From Karnak.
  • 205. Limestone statue of a scribe, seated, reading from a roll
    of papyrus spread out upon his knees.
  • 210. Grey granite statue of the lion-headed goddess Sekhet
    who represented the destructive heat of the sun; this
    monument bears the name of Amenophis III.
    From the temple of Mut at Karnak
  • 213. Black granite stele inscribed with a poetical account of
    the victories of Thothmes III. XVIIIth dynasty.
  • 214. Black granite seated statue of Thothmes III. XVIIIth dynasty.

ROOM XXVII.—The Tablet of Sakkarah, Stelae, etc.

  • 218. The Tablet of Sakkarah was found by Mariette in
    the tomb of a high official named Tanurei, at Sakkarah,
    in 1861. It is a precious document, for it contained, when
    complete, the names of fifty-six kings; this list agrees
    tolerably well with that on the Tablet of Abydos, but there
    are many omissions.

COURTYARD XXVIII.—Sphinxes and Colossal Statues.

  • 221, 222. Red granite sphinxes inscribed with the names and
    titles of Thothmes III. XVIIIth dynasty. From Karnak.
    223. Colossal statue of Usertsen I. From Abydos.
  • 224. Red granite statue usurped by Rameses II. From Tanis.
  • 225. Red granite statue usurped by Rameses II.
    From Abukir.
  • 226. Black granite seated statue of a king, usurped by
    Rameses II. XIVth dynasty. From Tanis.

GALLERY XXIX.—Bas-reliefs of the XVIIIth and
XXth Dynasties.

  • 228, 229. Limestone slabs from the tomb of Heru-em-heb.
    XIXth dynasty. From Sakkarah.


  • 231. Painted limestone statue of Mut-nefert, the mother of
    Thothmes II.
  • 232. Limestone funereal box made for the lady Ta-maut.
    XVIIIth dynasty. Excavated by M. de Morgan at
    Memphis in 1892.
  • 237. The donkey of the Queen of Punt.

ROOM XXXI.—Monuments of the Saite Period.

  • 241. Granite sarcophagus inscribed with the cartouches of
    Psammetichus II. From Damanhur.
  • 243. Red granite slab inscribed with the cartouches of Anput.
  • 245. Black granite shrine inscribed with the name of Shabaka,
    King of Ethiopia. From the Temple of Esneh.
  • 246. Red granite bas-relief inscribed with the cartouches of
    Nectanebus I. From Bubastis.
  • 249. Black granite shrine inscribed with the cartouches of
    Nectanebus II. XXXth dynasty.


  • 253. Black granite shrine inscribed with the name of Nectanebus
  • 256. Sandstone bas-relief inscribed with the cartouche of Queen
    Nitocris. XXVIth dynasty. From Karnak.
    257. Sandstone cornice inscribed with the cartouches of Queens
    Shep-en-ap and Amenartas. XXVIth dynasty.

ROOM XXXIII.—Stelae from Sakkarah, Heliopolis,
Abydos, etc.

  • 261. Sandstone shrine inscribed with the cartouches of Psammetichus
    I., Shep-en-ap, and Nitocris; for the green basalt
    statue of the goddess Thoueris, which was found in it, see
    Room XXXII.
  • 262. Basalt statue of the god Osiris. XXVIth dynasty.

ROOM XXXIV.—Stelae, chiefly from Abydos.
ROOM XXXV.—Antiquities of late Periods.

  • 271. Fragment of a granite obelisk set up in honour of Amen-Ra
    at Napata in Nubia by the Ethiopian king Atalnarsa.


  • 278. “Stele of Pithom.” Excavated at Tell el-Maskhuta by
    M. Naville.
  • 283. Black granite stele dated in the seventh year of Alexander
    II., son of Alexander the Great, and set up by Ptolemy
  • 284. Limestone stele of the Ram of Mendes.

ROOM XXXVII.—Monuments inscribed in Demotic.
ROOM XXXVIII.—Stelae from about B.C. 100 to
A.D. 300.
ROOM XXXIX.—Graeco-Roman Antiquities.

  • 290. White limestone stele generally known as the “Stele of
    Canopus.” It is inscribed in hieroglyphics, Demotic, and
    Greek, with a decree made at Canopus by the priesthood
    assembled there from all parts of Egypt, in honour of
    Ptolemy III., Euergetes I.
    291. White limestone stele of Canopus (duplicate). A third
    copy of the decree is in the Louvre at Paris.
  • 303. Black granite “Stele of Menshiah,” inscribed with the name
    of the Emperor Trajan.
  • 306. White marble head of Jupiter Olympus.
    From Crocodilopolis.
  • 308. Red granite colossal statue of a Macedonian king.
    From Karnak.


  • The monuments exhibited in these rooms illustrate the
    work of the Egyptian Christians or Copts.


  • In five cases in this room are exhibited Graeco-Roman
    terra-cotta figures of Harpocrates, Bes, Aphrodite, Isis,
    Serapis, etc.; moulds for casting figures; lamps, pieces of
    glass, etc.

ROOM XLIV.— Mummies, from Akhmim, the
Fayyum, etc.

  • 334. Mummy with portrait painted upon linen.
  • 325. Mummy with portrait painted upon wood.
  • 337. Mummy, with portrait, from the Fayyum. Third century
  • 350. Glazed faience “mummy label.”
  • 355. Mummy of Artemidora From the Fayyum.
  • 359. Fine gilded mummy mask inlaid with enamel.
    From Meir.
    All the mummies in this room are of interest.

ROOM XLV.—Graeco-Roman Antiquities.

  • 363. Black granite inscribed slabs from the temple of Coptos.
  • 395. Wooden sarcophagus ornamented with some curious
GALLERY XLVI.—Coptic Linen Work.
  • Here are exhibited Coptic inscriptions upon papyrus,
    leather, wood, terra-cotta, etc.; bronze lamps, candlesticks,
    censers, basins, cymbals and other objects employed in
    Coptic churches; bottles bearing upon them figures of Saint
    Mina; and many small objects of Coptic work.


  • This room contains Coptic pottery and inscriptions, and
    three remarkable Coptic mummies.


  • 431. Wooden coffin with an inscription in the Himyaritic character.
    The Tell el-Amarna Tablets exhibited in this room
    are a portion of a collection of about 320 documents which
    were found at Tell el-Amarna , the site of the town built by
    Khu-en-aten, or Amenophis IV., which is situated about
    180 miles south of Memphis. The Berlin Museum acquired
    160, a large number being fragments, the British Museum
    82, and the Ghizeh Museum 55. These documents were
    probably written between the years B.C. 1500-1450.
    The Tell el-Amarna tablets supply entirely new information
    concerning the political relations which existed between
    the kings of Egypt and the kings of Western Asia,
    and prove that an important trade between the two countries
    existed from very early times. They also supply facts concerning
    treaties, alliances, religious ceremonies, etc., which
    cannot be derived from any other source, and they give
    us for the first time the names of Artatama, Artashumara,
    and Tushratta, kings of Mitani (the Mathen of the Egyptian
    inscriptions), and of Kallimma Sin, King of Karaduniyash.
    The dialect in which these inscriptions are written
    has a close affinity to the language of the Old Testament.
  • 436. Table of offerings with Meroitic inscription.
  • 441, 442. Phaenician and Aramean papyri.
    443. Terra-cotta cylinders of Nebuchadnezzar II., King of
    Babylon, B.C. 605-562.
  • 445. The Lord's Prayer in Syriac.

ROOM L.—Weights, Measures, etc.

  • 446. Alabaster vase, of the capacity of 21 hin, inscribed with
    the cartouches of Thothmes III.
  • 447. Grey granite weight of 300 uten, in the form of a calf's
    head; the cartouches are those of Seti I.
  • 449-451. Squares and plumb-line from the tomb of Sennetchem.
    XXth dynasty. From Thebes.
  • 455. Goldsmith's scales.
    In Case B are masons' and carpenters' mallets, models
    of houses, a window-screen, etc.
  • 467. Painted wooden door from the tomb of Sennetchem.


  • The cases in this room contain fine examples of glazed
    faiencefrom Tell el-Yahudiyyeh; bricks stamped with
    royal names; a collection of bronzes from Sais, etc.


  • The cases in this room contain wooden beds, chairs,
    stools, and boxes; plaques inlaid with ivory; granite,
    limestone, and faience legs of beds, or couches; a pillow;
    wooden spindles and distaffs; hanks of thread, cushions,

ROOM LIII.—Chairs, Stools, and other Furniture.

  • This room contains a large number of thin slices of limestone,
    upon which are traced, in black and red, curious and
    interesting designs of royal personages, gods, animals, etc.
ROOM LV.—Sculptors' Models, Terra-cotta
Moulds, etc.
ROOM LVI.—Inscribed Ostraka, etc.

ROOM LVIII.—Inscribed Papyri.

  • 587. Papyrus of Herub, a priestess of Mut, daughter of Painetchem
    and Auset-em-khebit.
    XXIst dynasty. From Der el-Bahari.
  • 589. Copy of a work written by a scribe called Ani, who gives
    his son Khensu-hetep advice as to judicious behaviour in
    all the varied scenes of life.
    This work has much in common with the Maxims of
    Ptah-hetep and the Book of Proverbs.
  • 590. Papyrus inscribed with a treatise on the geography of the
    Fayyum and of the country round about. The concluding
    part is in the possession of a Mr. Hood, residing in England.
    Greek period. From Der el-Medineh.
    In the wall cases are exhibited the Egyptian scribes'
    palettes of wood, ivory, limestone, etc., and specimens of
    the reeds and colours with which they wrote.

ROOM LVIII.—Funereal Objects.

  • In this room are exhibited:—Network for placing upon
    mummies; painted and gilded masks for mummies;
    hypocephali in terra-cotta, bronze and cartonnage, the
    object of which, by means of the texts inscribed upon them,
    was to preserve some heat in the body until the day of the
    resurrection; linen shrouds inscribed with funereal scenes;
    pads for the feet of the dead; sandals; wooden figures of
    the god Osiris in which papyri were deposited; pectorals
    in the form of pylons, in which scarabs are embedded
    between figures of the goddesses Isis and Nephthys; symbolic
    eyes or utchats, green basalt scarabs inscribed with
    Chapter 30B of the Book of the Dead, etc.


  • In Case A are arranged a fine collection of small sepulchral
    figures called in Egyptian ushabtiu. They are made
    of stone, alabaster, wood, glazed faience, and are in the

    form of the god Osiris, who here is represented in the form
    of a mummy. They were placed in the tomb to do certain
    agricultural works for the deceased, who was supposed to
    be condemned to sow the fields, to fill the canals with water,
    and to carry sand from the West to the East. They are
    usually inscribed with the VIth Chapter of the Book of
    the Dead.
    In Case D is an interesting collection of wooden tablets,
    pillows, etc.
    Case G contains a collection of sets of limestone and
    alabaster “Canopic Jars.”


  • Here are arranged funereal figures from the “find” of
    the priests of Amen at Der el-Bahari (see pp. 133—135).
ROOM LXI.—Funereal Figures, Canopic Vases, etc.

ROOM LXII.—Papyri.

  • 683. Fragment of a Book of the Dead written for Mapui.
  • 684. Papyrus of Tchet-Khonsu-auf-ankh.
    From Der el-Bahari.
  • 686. Papyrus of the Princess Nesi-Khonsu, inscribed in fine
    hieratic characters. From Der el-Bahari.
  • 687. Papyrus of Queen Maat-ka-Ra. From Der el-Bahari.


  • 688. Green basalt slab of Tirhaka.
  • 694. Blue glazed faience sistrum, inscribed with the cartouche
    of Darius.
  • 698. Limestone figure of Amenophis I. Fine work.
    From Medinet-Habu.
  • 700. Four alabaster vases found with the mummy of Queen
    Aah-hetep. XVIIIth dynasty.
  • 701a. Stele of Hophra, with Carian (?) inscription.
  • 710. Blue glazed faience ushabti figure of Rameses IV.
    716. Ushabti figure of Nectanebus I.
  • 717. Ushabti figure of Nectanebus II.
  • 721. Bronze lion, inscribed with the name of Hophra.
  • 738. Papyrus of Pi-netchem.
  • 740. Blue paste scarab, inscribed with the cartouches of Hophra.
  • 742. Steatite scarab, made to celebrate the marriage of Amenophis
    III. with the Mesopotamian lady Thi.
  • 742a. Steatite scarab, recording the slaughter by Amenophis III.
    of 102 lions during the first ten years of his reign.
  • 743. Blue paste scarab inscribed with the name of Nekau
    (Necho). XXVIth dynasty.
  • 744. Bronze axe-head, inscribed with the cartouches of Kames,
    a king of the XVIIth dynasty; it is set in a horn handle.
    In this room are also exhibited a series of amulets, the
    principal of which are as follows: –
  • 1. The Buckle or Tie, made of some red stone, the
    colour of which was intended to represent the blood of Isis,
    was placed on the neck of the mummy, which it was supposed
    to protect. It was often inscribed with the 156th
    chapter of the Book of the Dead.
  • 2. The Tet, which had sometimes plumes, disk, and horns
    attached to it, was also placed on the neck of the mummy,
    and was often inscribed with the 155th chapter of the
    Book of the Dead.
  • 3. The Vulture was placed upon the neck of the mummy on
    the day of the funeral, and brought with it the protection of
    the “mother” Isis.
  • 4. The Collar was placed upon the neck of the mummy on
    the day of the funeral.
  • 5. The Papyrus Sceptre was placed upon the neck of the
    mummy, and typified the green youth which it was hoped
    the deceased would enjoy in the nether world.
  • 6. The Pillow, usually made of haematite, was generally inscribed
    with the 166th chapter of the Book of the Dead.
  • 7. The Heart represented the “soul of Khepera.”
    8. The Ankh represented “Life.”
  • 9. The Utchat, or Symbolic Eye, typified “good health and
  • 10. The Nefer represented “good-luck.”
  • 11. The Sam represented “union.”
  • 12. The Menat represented “virility.”
  • 13. The Neha represented “protection.”
  • 14. The Serpent's Head was placed in mummies to prevent
    their being devoured by worms.
  • 15. The Frog represented “fertility” and “abundance.”
  • 16. The Stairs, the meaning of which is unknown to me.
  • 17. The Fingers, index and medius, found inside mummies,
    represented the two fingers which the god Horus stretched
    out to help the deceased up the ladder to heaven.


  • Here are exhibited tables of offerings; models of boats and
    rowers (see particularly No. 760, a boat with a sail); boxes
    for ushabtiu figures; mummies of animals sacred to the
    gods;* models of funereal bread in terra-cotta, etc.
    ROOM LXVI.—Vessels in alabaster, bronze, etc.
    ROOM LXVII.—Weapons and Tools.
    ROOM LXVIII.—Pottery, etc.
    ROOM LXIX.—Articles of Clothing.
    In this room are exhibited bronze mirrors, musical instruments,
    draught boards, dolls, necklaces of precious stones, vases
    of coloured glass, statuettes of fine work, spoons, perfume
    boxes, a broken ivory figure from a tomb of the Vth dynasty
    (No. 912), fans, etc.
* The principal animals sacred to the gods were the ape to Thoth,
the hippopotamus to Thoueris, the cow to Hathor, the lion to Horus,
the sphinx to Harmachis, the bull to Apis or Mnevis, the ram to
Amen- Ra, the cat to Bast, the jacka to Anubis, the hare to Osiris,
the sow to Set, the crocodile to Sebek, the vulture to Mut, the hawk
to Horus, the ibis to Thoth, the scorpion to Serqet, and the beetle to
  • 922. Collection of silver vases found among the ruins of
    The jewellery of Aah-hetep, the wife of Seqenen-Ra, mother
    of Kames. and grandmother of Amasis I., the first king of
    the XVIIIth dynasty, was found in the coffin of that
    queen by the fellahin at Drah abu'l-Nekka in 1860.
    Among the most beautiful objects of this find are:-
  • 943. Gold bracelet, inlaid with lapis-lazuli, upon which Amasis I.
    is shown kneeling between Seb and other gods.
  • 944. Gold head-dress, inlaid with precious stones, inscribed with
    the name of Amasis I.
  • 945. Gold chain, terminated at each end by a goose's head;
    from the chain hangs a scarab made of gold and blue
  • 948. Part of a fan made of wood covered with gold, upon which
    Kames is shown making an offering to Khonsu.
  • 949. Mirror of Aah-hetep set in an ebony handle
  • 950. Cedar haft of an axe, plated with gold, into which a bronze
    axe, also plated with gold, inscribed with the cartouche of
    Amasis I., has been fastened with gold wire.
  • 951. Gold dagger, inscribed with the cartouche of Amasis I. (?),
    and gold sheath inlaid with lapis-lazuli and other precious
  • 953. Gold pectoral, inlaid with precious stones, upon which
    Amasis I. is represented standing in a sacred bark between
    the gods Amen and Ra, who pour water upon him.
  • 955. Gold model of the sacred bark of the dead, in the
    centre of which is seated Amasis I. The rowers are
    made of silver, the body of the chariot of wood, and the
    wheels of bronze.
  • 956. Silver bark and seven men found with the jewellery of
  • 958. Bronze dagger, set in a silver handle in the form of a
  • 962. Gold necklace.
  • 963. Gold bracelet inlaid with lapis-lazuli, carnelian, and other
    precious stones.
    963A. Gold bracelet inlaid with lapis-lazuli, carnelian, and
    other precious stones, inscribed with the prenomen of
    Amasis I.
  • 965. Bronze head of a lion inscribed with the prenomen of
    Amasis I.
  • 966. Nine small gold and silver axes.
  • 967. Gold chain and three flies.
  • 982. Gold figure of Ptah.
  • 983. Gold figure of Amen.
    All the other ornaments in this case are worth careful

ROOM LXXI.—Scarabs, Amulets, etc

  • Scarab or scarabaeus (from the Greek σκάραβος) is the
    name given by Egyptologists to the myriads of models of
    a certain beetle, which are found in mummies and tombs
    and in the ruins of temples and other buildings in Egypt,
    and in other countries, the inhabitants of which, from a
    remote period, had intercourse with the Egyptians.
    The Egyptians called the scarabaeus Khepera, and the
    god represented by this insect also Khepera. The god
    Khepera was supposed to be the “father of the gods,” and
    the creator of all things in heaven and earth; he made
    himself out of matter which he himself had made. He
    was identified with the rising sun and thus typified resurrection.
    Scarabs may be divided into three classes:—1.
    Funereal scarabs; 2. Scarabs worn for ornament; 3. Historical
    scarabs. Of funereal scarabs the greater number
    found measure from half an inch to two inches, and are
    made of steatite glazed green, or blue, or brown; granite,
    basalt, jasper, amethyst, lapis-lazuli, carnelian, and glass.
    The flat base of the scarab was used by the Egyptians for
    engraving with names of gods, kings, priests, officials,
    private persons, monograms, and devices. Scarabs were
    set in rings and worn on the fingers by the dead or living,
    or were wrapped up in the linen bandages with which the
    mummy was swathed, and placed over the heart. The

    best class of funereal scarabs were made of a fine, hard,
    green basalt, which, when the instructions of the rubric
    concerning them in the Book of the Dead were carried
    out, were set in a gold border, and hung from the neck by
    a fine gold wire. Such scarabs are sometimes joined to a
    heart on which is inscribed, “life, stability, and protection.”
    Funereal scarabs were also set in pectorals, and
    were in this case ornamented with figures of the deceased
    adoring Osiris. Scarabs of all kinds were kept in stock by
    the Egyptian undertaker, and spaces were left blank in the
    inscriptions to add the names of the persons for whom
    they were bought. Scarabs worn for ornament
    exist in many thousands. By an easy transition, the custom
    of placing scarabs on the bodies of the dead passed to
    the living, and men and women wore the scarab probably
    as a silent act of homage to the creator of the world, who
    was not only the god of the dead but of the living also.
    Historical scarabs appear to be limited to a series of
    four, which were made during the reign of Amenophis
    . to commemorate certain historical events, viz., 1. The
    slaughter of 102 lions by Amenophis during the first ten years
    of his reign. 2. A description of the boundaries of the
    Egyptian Empire, and the names of the parents of Queen
    Thi. 3. The arrival of Thi and Gilukhipa in Egypt, together
    with 317 women. 4. The construction of a lake in
    honour of Queen Thi.

ROOM LXXII.—Figures of the Gods and of
Animals sacred to them.

  • 1006. Black granite vase in the shape of a heart, dedicated to
    the god Thoth by Hophra.
  • 1007. Bronze figure of a goddess.
  • 1008. Bronze lepidotus fish.
    In the standard and wall cases are arranged a very fine
    collection of figures of the gods of Egypt, and of the
    animals, birds, and reptiles, sacred to them. These interesting
    objects are made of glazed faience, hard stone,
    bronze, glass, etc., and among them are some splendid

    specimens of excellent designs and workmanship. Figures
    of gods are found among the ruins of houses, and in tombs
    and temples.
  • 1015. Bronze statues of the goddess Sekhet. From Saïs.
  • 1016. Green basalt figure of the goddess Ta-urt (Thoueris),
    in the form of a hippopotamus; this is one of the finest
    examples of the work of the period.
  • 1017. Green basalt table of offerings inscribed with the name of
    Psammetichus, an official. XXVIth dynasty.
  • 1018. Green basalt seated statue of Osiris, judge of the dead.
    XXVIth dynasty.
  • 1019. Green basalt seated statue of Isis, wife of Osiris.
    XXVIth dynasty.
  • 1020. Green basalt statue of a cow, sacred to Hathor, the
    goddess of Amentet or the underworld, in front of which
    stands the official Psammeticnus, in whose honour this
    beautiful group was made. XXVIth dynasty.
    ROOM LXXIII.—Collection of Egyptian Plants,
    Seeds, etc., classified and arranged by
    Dr. Schweinfurth.


  • In this room M. de Morgan himself intends to arrange a
    mineralogical collection.

GALLERIES LXXV.—Sarcophagi of the XXVIth dynasty.
ROOM LXXVI.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1135. Cartonnage of Pameshon, high priest of Amen.
  • 1136. Case inscribed with the name of Khonsu-em-heb,
    “divine father” and scribe of the estates of Amen-Ra at

ROOM LXXVII.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1137, 1138. Coffins of children.
  • 1140. Coffin of Ankhes-nesit, a lady in the college of Amen-Ra
    at Thebes.
  • 1141. Coffin of Tanneferef, a “divine father” of Amen.

ROOM LXXVIII.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1142. Coffin of Nesi-neb-taui, a lady in the college of Amen-Ra
    at Thebes

ROOM LXXIX.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1144. Coffin of Peta-Amen, a “divine father” and priest of
    the highest rank.
  • 1145. Coffin of Tirpu, a lady in the college of Amen-Ra.
  • 1146. Coffin of Ankh-f-en-Mut, a “divine father,” which originally
    belonged to a lady whose name still stands upon it.
  • 1147. Coffin of Ankh-f-en-Mut, a priest of Mut, and scribe of
    the estates of Amen, and priest of the Queen Aah-hetep.
  • 1148a and b. Covers of coffins of Peta-Amen, a scribe of the
    granaries of Amen-Ra.

ROOM LXXX.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1150. Cover of a coffin of Pa-khare, surnamed Kha-nefer-Amen,
    a “divine father.”
  • 1151a and b. Coffins of Nesesta-pen-her-tahat, fourth prophet
    of Amen.
  • 1152. Coffin of Peta-Amen, an official of Amen, Mut and

ROOM LXXXI.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1153. Coffin of Ankh-f-en-Khonsu, chief of the metal-workers of
  • 1154. Coffin of Nes-pa-nefer-hra, a “divine father” of Amen
    and Mut.
  • 1155. Cartonnage of Amen-nut-nekhtu, a metal-worker of Amen.
  • 1156. Cartonnage of Mert-Amen, a lady in the college of Amen-Ra.
  • 1158. Coffin of Nesi-Amen-apt, a high-priest of Amen, director
    of the offerings in the chamber of Anubis, etc.
    ROOM LXXXII.—Priests of Amen.
  • 1160. Coffin of Peta-Amen, a priest who held many high offices
    at Thebes.
  • 1161. Coffin of Masha-sebeket, a lady attached to the service
    of Amen-Ra, Mut, Hathor and Khonsu.
  • 1162. Coffin of Pennest-taui, a scribe of the estates of Amen.
  • 1163. Coffin of Ta-nefer, a “divine father” of the goddess Maat.
  • 1164. Cartonnage of Khorsu-en-renp, a priest, “divine father,”
    and scribe.
  • 1165. Coffin of Nesi-pa-her-an, a “divine father” of Amen and

ROOM LXXXIII.—Priests of Amen.

  • 1166. Coffin of Ta-nefer, third prophet of Amen-Ra, prophet of
    Mentu and Khnum, superintendent of the “flocks of the
    sun,” etc.
  • 1167a and b. Cartonnage and coffin of Maat-ka-Ra, a lady of
    the college of Amen.
  • 1168. Coffin of Heru, prophet of Amen-Ra, Hathor, Khonsu,
    Anubis, etc.
  • 1169. Coffin of Katsheshni, daughter of the first prophet of Amen.
  • 1170. Coffin of Men-kheper-Ra, son of Tcha-nefer, third prophet
    of Amen.
  • 1171. Coffin of Herub, second prophetess of the goddess Mut,
    etc., daughter of Men-Kheper-Ra and Auset-em-khebit.

ROOM LXXXIV.—The Der el-Bahari Mummies 3.
(See also p. 214.)

  • 1174. Coffin and mummy of Seqenen-Ra. This king wa;
    killed in battle.

XVIIITH DYNASTY, B.C. 1700-1400.

  • 1172. Cartonnage mummy-case, inscribed with the name of
    Aahmes-nefert-ari, wife of Amasis I.
  • 1173. Mummy-case of Queen Aah-hetep, wife of Amenophis I.
  • 1175. Mummy and coffin of Amasis I.
  • 1176. Mummy and coffin of Se-Amen, son of Amasis I.
  • 1177. Mummy and coffin of Amenophis I.
  • 1178, 1188a. Coffin and mummy of Thothmes II.
  • 1179, 1188. Coffin of Thothmes III. The mummy of this
    king when brought up from the pit at Der el-Bahari was
    found to be in a very bad condition, and examination

    showed that it had been broken in three places in ancient
    times. The large scarab which was laid over the heart
    when the body of the king was being mummified is now
    in the British Museum.

XIXTH DYNASTY, B.C. 1400-1200.

  • 1180. Coffin and mummy of Seti I., father of Rameses II.
  • 1181. Coffin and mummy of Rameses II.

XXTH DYNASTY, B.C. 1200-1100.

  • 1182. Mummy of Rameses III, found in the coffin of Queen

XXIST DYNASTY, B.C. 1100-1000.

  • 1183. Coffin of Pinetchem I.
  • 1184. Coffin of Queen Auset-em-khebit, the daughter of
    Masahertha. The mummy is that of Nessu (or Nesi)
  • 1185. Coffin of Set-Amen, daughter of Amasis I.
  • 1187, 1190. Coffins of Masahertha, high priest of Amen, and
    son of Pinetchem 11.
  • 1189. Coffins of Tchet-Ptah-auf-ankh, priest and “divine
    father” of Amen-Ra.
  • 1191. Outer coffin of Auset-em-khebit.
  • 1192. Outer coffin of Maat-ka-Ra (see No. 1198).
  • 1193. Coffin and mummy of Nebseni, a scribe, the son of Paheri-ab
    and Tamesu.
  • 1194. An excellent reproduction of the leather canopy of Ausetem-khebit
    by E. Brugsch Bey and M. Bouriant.
  • 1195. Coffin of Netchemet, mother of the priest-king, “Her-Heru,
    the son of Amen.”
  • 1196. Coffin of Nessu-Khensu.
  • 1198. Coffin and mummies of Queen Maat-ka-Ra, daughter of
    Pa-seb-kha-nut, and her infant daughter Mut-em-hat. It
    is thought that the queen died in giving birth to her
  • 1199. Coffins of Nesi-ta-neb-asher, daughter of Nesi-Khensu,
    and priestess of Amen.
  • 1206. Box containing the wig of Princess Auset-em-khebit.
  • 1212. Oars found with the mummy of Thothmes III.
  • 1214. Coffin of Pi-netchem Il., son of Auset-em-khebit.
  • 1216. Coffin, which originally belonged to Thothmes I., and
    mummy of Pi-netchem I.
  • 1217. Gilded cover of the outer coffin of Queen Auset-em-khebit.
    Case E. Cover of the coffin of Thothmes I.
    Case F. Cover of the coffin of Masahertha.
  • 1225. Wooden plaque inscribed in hieratic with the assurances
    of the god Amen concerning the welfare of the Princess
    Nesi-Khonsu. A duplicate of this plaque is preserved in
    the British Museum.
    Case H. Cover of the coffin of Maat-ka-Ra.
    Case I. Cover of the coffin of Nesi-Khonsu.
    Case K. Cover of the outer coffin of Nesi-ta-neb-asher.
    Case L. Cover of the coffin of Amenophis I.
  • 1236. Cover of the coffin of Queen Hent-taui.
  • 1237. Coffin of Rameses II.
  • 1238. Mummy of Auset-em-khebit.
    Case O. Cover of the coffin of Rameses II.

ROOMS LXXXV. and LXXXVI.—Mummies of
the Priests of Amen.

  • On the landing of the staircase leading to Room
    LXXXVII., is:
  • 1251. Gilded cover of the coffin of Aah-hetep I., the queen
    whose jewellery is exhibited in Room No. LXX.


  • 1252. Gilded coffin of Heru-se-Auset, prophet of Horus of
  • 1253. Coffin of Auset, mother of Sen-netchem
  • 1254. Funereal sledge of Khonsu, found in the coffin of Sennetchem.
  • 1258. Coffin of Amenartas.
  • 1259. Funereal sledge of Sen-netchem.
  • 1260. Coffin of Sen-netchem. From Der el-Medineh.
  • 1261. Mummy of a woman. Greek period.
  • 1264, 1265. Portraits painted upon wax laid [upon pieces of
    wood, which were fastened by bandages over the faces of
    mummies. From the Fayyum.
  • 1266. Portrait painted on a mummy wrapping.
  • 1272. Painted wooden mummy-bier.
    The other coffins exhibited in this room are worthy of
    careful examination.


  • 1278. Granite sarcophagus of Queen Nitocris.
    From Der el-Medineh.
  • 1280. Grey granite sarcophagus inscribed with the name of
  • 1281—1284. Sarcophagi of the Greek period.
  • 1285. Grey granite sarcophagus of Ankh-Hapi.
    From Sakkarah.
  • 1286. Limestone sarcophagus of Tche-hra.
  • 1299, 1300. Grey granite sarcophagi of two brothers, each of
    whom was called Tchaho.
  • 1302a and b. Basalt sarcophagus of Heru-em-heb.
  • 1304. Black granite sarcophagus of Un-nefer.
  • 1305. Grey basalt sarcophagus of I-em-hetep, a priest.
  • 1308. Grey basalt sarcophagus of Bataita, mother of the
    brothers Tchaho.


This is situated in a portion of the old and now ruined
Mosque el Hakim. It is under the direction of Franz
Pasha and Artin Pasha. An order to visit it any day but
Friday can be obtained through the Consulate or Ministry
of Wakhfs.
Entering a passage, we turn into the first door on
the left and enter Room No. 1, containing Greek and
Roman remains, large stone vases covered with scroll
patterns, two slender shafts which were formerly in a

Mosque, some specimens of Kufic character, and some
inscriptions cut on the undressed curved surface of hard
black stones.
Room No. 2 Contains fine brass lanterns, two lamp-stands
of perforated brass from the Mosque Kalaoun,
lampstands of copper and brass, specimens of Arab
engraving, some old coloured glass windows, and some
fine brass candlesticks.
Room No. 3 Contains a perfectly unique collection of
the beautiful glass Saracenic lamps, mostly taken from the
Mosque Sultan Hassan. It is believed these were made in
Venice, under the direction of Arab designers. Nothing
can surpass the grace of the forms and the beauty of the
Room No. 4 Contains lamp tables of inlaid ivory and
ebony, a large Koran chest of similar workmanship, divided
into thirty compartments to hold the thirty chapters of
the Koran. A niche from the Mosque of Rakayah, others
from the Mosque el Ayhar, and Mosque Sitte Nefishe, a
curious bowl cut out of stone from the Mosque el Kalaoun,
and some tiles of rich deep blue.
Room No. 5 Contains a fine old wooden lock plated with
silver, a reading desk, and some fine lanterns.
Room No. 6 (Crossing the passage). A large black
glazed water jar and some more tiles.
Room No. 7. Three very fine lamps, and some excellent
specimens of the woodwork called Mushrebeeyah.
Returning down the passage, some very fine old doors
are well worth examination. A pair from the Mosque el
Goru, and another from the Mosque of Salah Ayoub are
among the finest; but a pair from the old bazaar of Damietta
surpass even these.


The chief place of public amusement in Cairo is
the Opera House on the Esbekeeyah, where Italian
opera or French plays are performed from November
to March. There is also an open-air theatre on the
There are several Cairene Festivals of great interest
in the course of the year (p. 98). The Departure of
the Pilgrims for Mecca, carrying the Kiswet-en-Nebbee,
or new lining for the Káaba or Temple at Mecca, is a very
important festival. The Kiswet is of rich silk, with gold
embroidery. The Return of the Pilgrims is also
observed with some ceremony. The Eed-el-Kebeer, or
Greater Festival, commences on the day of the Sacrifice
by the Pilgrims at Mecca, and commemorates the offering
by Abraham of a ram instead of (as Mohammedans say)
Ishmael. For three days there is plenty of gun-firing,
feasting and music, and various amusements. At the
Eed-es-Sugheiyer, or Lesser Festival, merriment and
rejoicing are still more in the ascendant. The Birthday
of Mohammed
is a great fête. The rejoicings are kept
up for a week. The Cutting of the Old Canal (Khalig)
is performed annually by the Governor of Cairo with military
pomp, a sort of fair being held near the mouth of the
Canal on the day of the ceremony. This operation is
performed about the middle of August, as soon as the
Nile has risen sufficiently high to flood the Canal and its


The Dervishes are a devout order of Islamism tolerated
rather than encouraged by the most orthodox. They are

divided into various rites, but all their religious exercises
consist chiefly in the performance of Zikrs, or acts of devotion.
These, again, are of numerous kinds, but without
entering into a long explanation it will be interesting for
the tourist to attend two—a whirling Zikr and a howling
Zikr. These take place on Friday at two separate mosques,
but, if necessary, they can both be visited on the same
day. To do this it is necessary to leave the hotel after an
early lunch, say, at 1 p.m., and drive to the Whirlers at
Mosque Tekiyet el Maulawiyeh. Christians must not go
above into the gallery, but descend the steps and enter
from below. The so-called whirl is performed in a round
enclosed space by men dressed in long flowing robes and a
cone-shaped fez. The movement is graceful, the two arms
outstretched, the right palm turned upwards (receiving
blessing), the left palm downwards (bestowing it). After
about twenty minutes here, the tourist who desires to see
the howlers must leave early before the conclusion and
drive to the Gamr Kasr-el-Ain. Here the scene is extraordinary,
but painful rather than graceful. By a violent
swaying movement of the head and body, accompanied by
long-drawn breaths and guttural ejaculations of “Allah,”
the Dervishes excite themselves almost to frenzy, and sometimes
at the conclusion drop down in epileptic fits.


The journey to the foot of the Pyramids can now
be performed in carriages in an hour and a half, or by coach
which starts from Cook's office, along a good road, constructed
by the Khedive for the use of the Prince of Wales
and party in 1868. The former donkey route, owing to

collections of water from the annual inundations, was more
than twice as long a journey.
The route is through the new quarter of Cairo, called
Ismaileeyah, to the bridge known as the Kasr-el-Nil.
Hence the road leads under a long avenue of acacias, with
rows of towering palms, past a mud village of Arabs, and
the Ghizeh Museum, to
Ghizeh, once a fortified place, a city of busy markets,
gay palaces, and gorgeous mosques. But the glory has
departed, and scattered ruins tell of former greatness.
From Ghizeh the road runs straight to the Pyramids on
a broad, firm embankment, crossing the bright green cultivated
land annually flooded by the fertilizing Nile waters. On the right and left the half-naked peasants are seen
working on the land, with their primitive implements,
irrigating, ploughing, etc., after a fashion already described
(p. 92). At length the visitor passes beyond the line of
vegetation, and leaches the great ocean of desert, on
the shore of which stand in desolation the colossal Pyramids.
At the foot of the Pyramids is situated the Mena
House Hotel,
a charming establishment much frequented
by those in search of health, the air of the desert being very
pure and bracing. English Doctor and Chaplain in residence.
Upon a rocky plateau of limestone, about forty feet
above the surrounding plain, are situated the three Great
Pyramids, several smaller ones, many ancient tombs, and
the colossal Sphinx.
From the vast immensity of the desert landscape, and
the absence of objects for comparison, the Pyramids seem
scarcely larger on approaching them than when seen two or
three miles off; but when actually reached, a sense of their
immensity comes over the mind with almost appalling

effect. The best way to get an idea of their immense
magnitude, as Zincke points out, is to stand in the centre
of one side and look up to the summit. “The eye thus
travels over all the courses of stone from the very bottom
to the apex, which appears literally to pierce the blue vault
above. This way of looking at the Great Pyramid, perhaps,
is a way which exaggerates to the eye its magnitude unfairly
—makes it look Alpine in height, while it produces the
strange effect just noticed.”
Sir Gardner Wilkinson gives the dimensions of the
Great Pyramid , or Pyramid of Cheops, as follows:—
Base-line, formerly 765 feet, present 732 feet.
Perpendicular height, formerly 480 feet, present 460
Area, formerly 571, 536 square feet, present 535, 824.
Probably most will be familiar with the oft-repeated
statements that the area of the Great Pyramid is equal to
that of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and that it is about sixty feet
higher than the cross of St. Paul's Cathedral.
The usual process in Egyptian Pyramid building seems
to have been to leave a nucleus of solid rock, and enclose
it in a series of steps, formed of huge blocks of stone.
Fresh series of steps were added to the outside, till the
requisite dimensions were obtained. Then the steps were
filled up with smooth polished stone, covered with sculptures
and inscriptions. The interior chambers and passages
were then used on the occasion of the sepulture of the
illustrious builder, and the entrance hermetically sealed.
From most of the Pyramids the outer polished stones have
been removed, to furnish materials for the edifices of the
Mohammedan epoch. So that now there remains in most
cases the series of colossal steps up which visitors climb to
the summit. Anciently each Pyramid had a temple near

the base, in which divine honours were paid to the deified
monarch for whom the pile was reared.
To ascend and visit the interior of the Great Pyramid a
payment of two shillings from each tourist has to be made to
the Sheikh of the Pyramids, and for this he is bound to
furnish the assistance of two or, if desired, three strong
muscular Arabs. The usual plan is to have an Arab on
each side; if the exigencies of the case require, an extra
Arab or two pull in front and push behind. Some travellers
make a point of getting up without aid, but the consequent
exhaustion is scarcely worth the glory of having
accomplished the task. It should be remembered also
that a high wind renders the ascent peculiarly toilsome,
if not dangerous, and a clear sky is needed for the enjoyment
of the view.
At the summit of the Pyramid is a platform about
thirty feet square, from which a fine view is obtained.
“There is something unutterably impressive,” says a recent
visitor, “steals over one's mind as one stands upon the top
of that wonderful monument of ancient greatness and
power. The long line of vegetation that separates the
fruitful valley of the Nile from the arid desert can be traced
and defined as distinctly, as far as the eye can reach, as the
coast line of Devon and Cornwall can be traced by anyone
who stands on the Eddystone Lighthouse. Along the line
of this sea of sand, stretching into the far distance, a number
of minor Pyramids are seen, past old Cairo, and the
site of Heliopolis, ‘the City of the Sun,' the city called On
in the 45th verse of the 4ist chapter of Genesis. Yonder
stands modern Cairo, with its domes and minarets, and
veiled and turbaned population of 121,000 Mohammedans
and 60,000 Copts, the representatives of ancient Egyptian
Christianity. There sweeps the broad, majestic old Nile

that the ancient and idolatrous people of this land worshipped
as a god. And can we wonder that they worshipped
the river; for did it not periodically spread its
fructifying arms, and fill their valleys with abundance, so
that their country became the granary of the world, and, in
the darkness of their idolatry and superstition, they could
not look from ‘nature up to nature's God'? Visions of
ages pass before the mind's eye; cities flourish and decay;
palaces, obelisks, temples, towers, and tombs alike crumble
into dust. Mighty kings and rulers, and great men whose
praise fame sounded with her loudest blast; but the echoes
have died away into silence, and old Time with faded
memory has forgotten their names—they too pass before
us. Another vision rises before the mind—a band of
Ishmaelitish traders, with their long line of ‘camels bearing
spices, balm, and myrrh,'come into the land, and, exchanging
their spices for corn, they return, leaving a young
man as a slave behind; and then a procession passes along
of ten young men, not with camels, but with asses; they
return, and come again with their families, carrying a
silvery-haired patriarch in their midst, and they settle
down in that fruitful valley near to that place on our right,
and within sight of that Pyramid. And now a dense
population grows up, a mixture of strange people is seen;
acts of cruelty and suffering are wrought, and the groans
of an enslaved people rise on every hand. But from
yonder Island of Roda, by the side of which sweeps that
ancient river, there rises amidst this chorus of sorrowful
groans the wail of a helpless infant lying in his ark of bulrushes,
who shall lead forth these bondmen from their
prison-house. And now the day of deliverance dawns;
the purposes of God are being accomplished, pride is
being humbled, prophecy is being fulfilled, and the sounds

of fleeing fugitives and chasing armies; fill the air; then a
space of silence, succeeded by the noise, of meeting waters
and the death-shrieks of drowning thousands. And now
the wail of that infant has changed into the strong voice of
that mighty leader; and the groans of those slaves have
changed into that song of triumph, ‘I will sing unto the
Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and the
rider He hath thrown into the sea.' And now visions of
Persian hordes, Macedonian armies, Roman legions, and
turbaned Turks pass along; the tramp of mighty armies
beats upon the ear, the roar of a thousand battles thrills
the soul; the prophecy is fulfilled. ‘There shall be no
more a prince in Egypt, neither shall it exalt itself any more
above the nations; for I will diminish them, that they shall
no more rule over the nations,' and thus the vision from
the Pyramid vanishes; one's poetic dream ends at the
sound of ‘backsheesh,' spoken in an undertone by the
squatting Arabs who are by our side, and who dream of
nothing but ‘backsheesh.'”
The Interior of the Great Pyramid was forcibly opened
to view by the Caliph-el-Mamoon, a thousand years ago,
in 820 A.D. He was the son of the well-known friend of our
schooldays, Haroun-el-Raschid, and was incited by the hope
of discovering treasure. The passage made by his workmen
through the solid masonry, and leading to the true entrance
to the Pyramid, is now choked up with rubbish.
At the present day the visitor enters at about forty feet
from the base of the northern side, and descends by a
massive vaulted gallery to a subterranean chamber,
347 feet from the entrance, and about 90 feet below the base
of the Pyramid. This chamber measures 46 feet by 27 feet,
and is about II feet in height. Mariette Bey argues that
the builders of the Pyramid intended this chamber to be

mistaken for the principal chamber of the Pyramid, and so
serve to conceal the real resting-place of the royal mummy.
At rather more than sixty feet from the entrance, an
upward passage, once carefully closed with an immense
block of stone, leads towards the centre of the Pyramid.
At a distance of 125 feet, it reaches what is called the
Great Gallery. At this point is the opening to what is called the Well,
191 feet deep (communicating with the subterranean
chamber above described), which was probably used for
communication with various parts by the workmen in construction
the Pyramid.
Before ascending the Great Gallery, a horizontal passage
is seen, 110 feet in length, leading to a chamber 18 feet
by 17 feet, and 20 feet high, known as the Queen's
Mariette Bey supposes that the entrance to
the Great Gallery was once hermetically sealed; so that if
successful in reaching the chamber now under notice,
explorers might be led to suppose that the whole secret of
the Pyramid was revealed.
But the Great Gallery, 151 feet long, 7 feet wide, and
28 feet high, with a surface of smooth polished stone, leads
upwards to a vestibule once closed with immense granite
Beyond is the King's Chamber, the chief chamber
of the Pyramid, 34 feet 3 inches in length, 17 feet I inch
broad, and 19 feet I inch in height. It contains the remains
of a lidless sarcophagus of red granite. If the mummy of
King Cheops ever rested in it, and the Pyramid was really
built to guard that mummy, it cannot be said that the idea
has been successfully worked out. The Pyramid is there,
but the great king's remains have disappeared—how or
when, none can say.
Piazzi Smith, and others who unite in his views, assert
that the so-called sarcophagus is really a “coffer,” designed
to perpetuate a standard measure of capacity to all time,
and exactly equivalent to the laver of the Hebrews, or four
quarters of English measure.
Above the King's Chamber are two or three other
rooms, apparently only constructed to lessen the immense
weight of the upper part of the Pyramid.
What the Pyramids really were intended for, and who
built them, are questions over which there has been an
immense amount of argument and conjecture. Egyptologists
are generally agreed that they are royal tombs, reared
by successive stages, as above described, in the lifetime of
the monarch, and at his death cased over with polished
stone, and closed up. The Great Pyramid is assigned to
Cheops by Herodotus, who tells a long story about the
making of the causeway for the transfer of materials in
ten years, and the building of the Pyramid in twenty more,
100,000 men being employed, and relieved at intervals of
three months. Diodorus, Pliny, and others tell similar
stories, but all written record of the Great Pyramid is, to
say the least, doubtful. Cheops is considered to be identical
with Shoofoo, third monarch of the fourth dynasty, who
reigned over Egypt between twenty-four and forty-two centuries
before the Christian era. The visitor must remember
that the different schools of Egyptologists differ at least
twenty centuries from each other in their chronological
Baron Bunsen claims for Egypt at least 6700 years of
civilized and well-governed prosperity before the building of
the Pyramids in the fourth Manetho dynasty. But Mr. Piazzi
Smith believes that the Great Pyramid was the first reared
of Egyptian monuments, built immediately after the immigration

into Egypt from the plains of Shinar, by Divine
Revelation for special objects. He considers the date of its
erection was 2170 B.C., when the Pleiades were exactly
pointed at by the entrance passage. Those who are interested
in seeing this theory very ingeniously worked out,
and the alleged relationship of the measurements of the
Pyramid to certain properties of the circle, the diurnal
revolution of the earth, and the standards of measure,
weight, and capacity in various nations, should read Mr.
Piazzi Smith's work, Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid .
Mariette Bey, in his Itineraire de la Haute Egypte, asserts
that the Pyramids are tombs, and nothing more, and in no
case existing elsewhere than in a Necropolis.
The Second Pyramid is assigned by Herodotus to
Cephrenes, the brother of Cheops. Cephrenes is considered
identical with the Shafra whose name is often found on
monuments. This Pyramid is 447 feet high, and has a base
line of 690 feet. This Pyramid is very difficult to ascend,
as towards the top the ancient polished casing still exists.
If the visitor cares to see the feat, one of the Arabs will
run down from the top of the Great Pyramid, and across to
the Second, and ascend to its summit, all in less than ten
minutes, for a trifling gratuity. The interior gallery and
chamber of this Pyramid were discovered by Belzoni in
1816, but had been previously opened by Sultan Othman
six centuries before.
The Third Pyramid, that of Mycerinus, is only 203
feet in height, its base line being 333 feet. A wooden
mummy case and mummy from this Pyramid are now in
the British Museum. A sarcophagus, also found here, was
lost at sea with the vessel that was transporting it. The
ancient story of the fair Egyptian princess, who was said to
have reared this Pyramid with the fortunes of her lovers,

and whose voluptuous life was celebrated by Sappho, and
also the story of Rhodope, related by Strabo, are, of course,
not to be taken as historic truth. Rhodope was a beautiful
Greek girl, who, whilst bathing in the Nile, attracted the
very birds of the air with her beauty. An eagle flew away
with one of her slippers, but let it fall over Memphis. It
was seen by Pharaoh, the owner was sought out, and, as
the story goes, she became Queen of Egypt, and was buried
in this Pyramid.
There are several smaller Pyramids, of no special interest
to the ordinary traveller, on the same rocky plateau above
described (see p. 142). There is also a very ancient Pyramid
at Abooroásh, about five miles north of the Great Pyramid,
which, from its elevated site, affords a fine view of the
Ghizeh Pyramids. At Abooséer, between Ghizeh and
Sakkárah, there are four Pyramids, which do not, however,
offer any special attractions to invite a visit.
In the vicinity of the Pyramids of Ghizeh are many
tombs belonging to the ancient Memphian Necropolis.
Some of these are chambers excavated in the solid rock;
others are buildings erected on the surface, with deep pits
leading to the subterranean sepulchres in which the mummies
were deposited. The upper chamber, commonly called
the Mastabah, is usually adorned with pictures of immense
historic value, as illustrating the private life of the ancient
Egyptians. The best specimens of tombs of the Ancient
Empire are, however, to be found at Sakkárah.
The Causeways by which the materials were brought
for the construction of the First and Third Pyramids still
exist, though in diminished proportions. That leading to
the Great Pyramid is 85 feet in height and 32 feet broad.
It was by these causeways the smooth stones forming the
outer casing of the Pyramids were retransported by the

Caliphs and Sultans in order to erect their Mosques and
We extract from Dean Stanley's Sinai and Palestine the
following graphic description of the Pyramids as they were
in their glory:—” The smooth casing of part of the top of
the Second Pyramid, and the magnificent granite blocks
which form the lower stages of the Third, serve to show
what they must have been all from top to bottom; the First
and Second brilliant white or yellow limestone, smooth
from top to bottom, instead of those rude disjointed masses
which their stripped sides now present, the Third, all glowing
with the red granite from the First Cataract. As it is,
they have the barbarous look of Stonehenge; but then they
must have shone with the polish of an age already rich in
civilization, and that the more remarkable when it is remembered
that these granite blocks which furnish the outside of
the Third and the inside of the First, must have come all
the way from the First Cataract. It also seems, from
Herodotus and others, that these smooth outsides were
covered with sculptures. Then you must build up or
uncover the massive tombs, now broken or choked with
sand, so as to restore the aspect of vast streets of tombs,
like those on the Appian Way, out of which the Great
Pyramid would rise, like a cathedral above smaller churches.
Lastly, you must enclose the two other Pyramids with stone
precincts and gigantic gateways; and, above all, you must
restore the Sphinx, as he was in the days of his glory.”


About a quarter of a mile from the Great Pyramid
stands that colossal mystery, the Sphinx,
“Staring right on, with calm eternal eyes,”
and called by the Arabs, “Aboo-el-hó1,” the Father of

Terror or Immensity. The Sphinx, as an emblem of sovereign
power—intellect joined with strength—is common
enough among the monuments of Egypt, but, as regards
magnitude of proportion, this Sphinx stands unique, and is
the Sphinx. Its body is the natural rock, here and there
adapted by a little carving or the addition of masonry, and
is 140 feet in length. The paws, 50 feet in length, are
built up of huge hewn stones. The head is carved out of
the solid rock, and measures 30 feet from brow to chin, and
14 feet across. Its features are now hopelessly mutilated,
but are said to have once worn “an expression of the softest
beauty and most winning grace.” From a sanctuary between
the lion-like paws of this colossal image, sacrifices
were offered to the divinity it was supposed to represent.
The Sphinx is of immense antiquity. It was at one time
ascribed to Thothmes IV. (of the eighteenth dynasty), but
subsequent research has removed its origin many ages
further back. When Cheops or Shoofoo reared the Great
Pyramid, the Sphinx was in existence. This is proved by
the stone discovered by Mariette Bey, now in the Ghizeh
“Laugh and mock if you will at the worship of stone
idols,” says Kinglake, “but mark ye this, ye breakers of
images, that in one regard the stone idol bears awful semblance
of deity— unchangeableness in the midst of change
—the same seeing will and intent, for ever and ever inexorable.
Upon ancient dynasties of Ethiopian and Egyptian
kings, upon Greek and Roman, upon Arab and Ottoman
conquerors; upon Napoleon, dreaming of an Eastern
empire; upon battle and pestilence; upon the ceaseless
misery of the Egyptian race; upon keen-eyed travellers,
upon Herodotus yesterday and Warburton to day, upon all
and more this unworldly Sphinx has watched, and watched

like a providence, with the same earnest eyes and the same
sad tranquil mien; and we shall die and Islam shall wither
away, and still that sleepless rock will lie watching and
watching the works of a new busy race with those same sad
earnest eyes, and the same tranquil mien everlasting. You
dare not mock at the Sphinx.”


Old Cairo represents the city of the victorious Amer,
built in 638 A.D., and then called Fostát (see p. 99). It
was superseded by the new Fatimite city built by Gowher
in 974 A.D. In 1168 A.D., in order to prevent the Christians
from becoming masters of Old Cairo, it was burnt by
the Saracens, and ever since mounds of rubbish have
covered the greater part of the site of the ancient city.
There are still some objects of great interest in Old
Cairo. Amongst these the Mosque of Amer, or Amrou,
is pre-eminent. It was founded by the General whose name
it bears in 642, and is modelled after the Kaaba at Mecca.
The visitor enters by an immense oblong court, the east
end of which is a gallery with rows of columns, enclosing
the sanctuary, with the maubar, or chair of the preacher;
the khateb, or tribunal of prayer; and the mehrab, or niche
towards Mecca. The north and south sides of the court
are bounded by two piazzas, with two rows of columns.
The whole building is in a very dilapidated condition, and
several portions, especially the minarets, are evidently of
later date than the original edifice, being probably the additions
and restorations made by Sultans Kalaón and Baybérs.
The columns are 249 in number, chiefly monoliths of
granite, porphyry, and ciproline. These columns were in
most cases brought from the ruins of Memphis; those with
Corinthian columns were probably from Heliopolis. This

important monument of Arabian art is now abandoned to
desolation. The last Viceroy projected its restoration, and
it is said that the present Khedive intends to carry out his
predecessor's plans when circumstances permit.
Formerly the entire Kur-án was inscribed in letters of
gold on the walls of this Mosque. The fountain in the
centre was embowered in trees; fair gardens filled the area
of the court, and the long galleries were lit by 1500 lamps
suspended between the columns. The edifice was known to
the Arabs as “The Crown of Mosques,” and still, though
abandoned, is held in great veneration. Here at the
Khedive's invitation, the ministers of all religions tolerated
in Cairo assemble jointly to invoke the favour of heaven
whenever a tardy rising of the Nile threatens Egypt with
dearth and calamity.
The other attractions of Old Cairo are the remains of the
Roman Fortress of Babylon, and several enclosed and often
fortified convents called Dayrs, including small towns in
their boundaries, and frequently ancient Greek and Coptic
churches of very great interest to those who can spare time
for their examination. The Roman fortress just named,
forms one of these dayrs, with four or five churches. The
Church of Aboo Sirgeh is over the subterranean Church of
Sitt Mariam, in which are shown two niches, said to have
been the resting places of Joseph and Mary and the child
Jesus during the flight into Egypt.
Opposite Old Cairo is the pleasant island of Roda,
with groves and gardens, at one time a favourite place of
resort from Cairo. Here it is traditionally asserted that
Moses was found amongst the bulrushes by Pharaoh's
daughter. From Roda there are interesting views of the
Nile and its banks, and the motley, scene of busy life at
the ferry. The celebrated Nilometer is on the south of

the island, consisting of a graduated column marking the
gradual rise of the Nile as the time of the annual inundation
draws near. The 16th cubit is called the Sultan's Water, as
the land tax is not levied unless this height is attained.
From 18 to 22 cubits is called a good Nile; a greater height
would do great mischief.
The erection of this Nilometer is ascribed to the Caliph
el-Mamoon, but earlier arrangements for measuring the rise
of the river existed long before. Deodorus and Herodotus
both refer to the practice.


To visit the palace and gardens at Shoobra, an order
from the Khedive's Chamberlain must be obtained, by
application through the Consulate.
The broad road to Shoobra, shaded with rows of acacias,
was a favourite promenade with the wealthier inhabitants of
Cairo, but has been supplanted by the drive to Gezeereh.
The road lies through a beautiful shady avenue of sycamore
and acacia trees.
The palace of Shoobra has nothing particular to distinguish
it from other Oriental palaces, but the gardens are
very pretty; orange, lemon, citron, and pepper trees abound,
and among the flowers the odours are intoxicating and the
colours dazzling. But the chief attraction is the Summer
Palace, having in the centre a large open basin, quite a
miniature lake, surrounded by a covered corridor of Carrara
marble. In the midst of the lake is a marble island, supported
on the backs of crocodiles. Everywhere there are
elegant lounges spread abroad, and everywhere fountains
are sending forth their plashing waters. Coming from the
glare and heat of the sun into the midst of this paradise of
waters is like realizing a fairy tale. In the four corners of

the corridors are divans elegantly fitted up with costly furniture
and massive curtains and hangings, the Turkish and
European styles being blended with considerable effect.
The drawing-room is gold and white satin; the ladies' room
green satin and velvet; the billiard-room is a study on
account of the elegance of its details, every cue being of
wood inlaid with costly materials, and of a curious device.


From Cairo to the site of Heliopolis is a five miles' drive,
for the most part shaded by plane trees and sycamores, and
affording pleasing scenery. The last part of the drive is
amongst broad meadows and cornfields, where flocks of the
white ibis are seen hovering.
The. busy military station of Abbaseeyah, where Abbas
Pasha hid himself in constant dread of assassination; and
the plain where Selim extinguished the Memlook dynasty
in 1517, and where also Kleber defeated the Turks in
1800, are passed on the way; also the so-called Virgin's
Tree, a sycamore, under which it is said the Holy Family
This is really a magnificent tree, in itself worth the excursion
from Cairo to see. It is railed round to preserve
it from the hacking and carving of visitors. As a compromise,
a knife is kept and lent to any who burn to cut
their names somewhere, so that it may be done on the
The village of Matareeah marks the site of the gardens
to which Cleopatra transplanted the balsams of Judea,
* This Coptic miraculous tree is repudiated by the Roman Catholic Pères Cordeliers, who say that the real tree died in 1659, and that they
have its last fragments in their convent at

which produced the celebrated Balm of Gilead. These
gardens were long famous for this precious drug.
Here also is the Miraculous Fountain, which is
alleged once to have been salt, but has been soft and excellent
ever since the Virgin Mary bathed her infant in its
At a short distance from Matareeah is all that is left of
“In Heliopolis, the Oxford of Old Egypt, stood the
great Temple of the Sun. Here the beautiful and the wise
studied love and logic 4000 years ago. Here Joseph was
married to the fair Asenath. Here Plato and Herodotus
pursued philosophy and history; and here the darkness that
veiled the great sacrifice on Calvary was observed by the
heathen astronomer, Dionysius the Areopagite.”
In addition to the mention of On (or Heliopolis) in
Gen. xli. 45, as being the place where Poti-pherah (whose
daughter Asenath was married to Joseph) was priest—some
other notices occur in the Scriptures. In Jer. xliii. 13, this
city is called Beth-shemesh, a term of similar meaning to
Heliopolis, City of the Sun. The passage referred to is,
“He shall break all the images of Beth-shemesh that is in
the land of Egypt, and the house of the gods of the Egyptians
shall He burn with fire.” In Ezek. xxx. 17, the place
is called Aven, and the destruction of its young men by the
sword foretold. Josephus says that On was the city given
for a residence to the family of Jacob on their first arrival
in Egypt.
North-east of Heliopolis are the ruins, of Aboo-Kesheyd,
where are three figures cut on the granite rock—one a
king, and the others divinities. This is thought by some to
represent all that is left of Rameses, the treasure city built
by the Israelites (Gen. xlvii. 11; Exod. i. 11; Num. xxxiii. 2).
Heliopolis, the Egyptian An, and Hebrew On, was also
called Ra, the City of the Sun, an appellation which its
Greek name has perpetuated. Already existing under the
ancient Empire, and flourishing long after as a great sacerdotal
city, to whose colleges Greek philosophers came to
learn wisdom from Egyptian priests, the story of its decadence
is unknown. Strabo came here, and found only ruins
and desert. To-day all that remains of Heliopolis is the
enclosure of the Temple and the wonderful Obelisk.
Within the enclosure referred to are ruins of houses, but
these are not the remains of the ancient city. They show
how in the Christian era a Coptic settlement used the walls
of the ancient Temple as an enclosure for a new town.
Heliopolis itself has disappeared to its very foundation, but
doubtless if the stones of Cairo could speak, they could
reveal wondrous tales of life in the City of the Sun forty
centuries ago.
The celebrated Obelisk is a monolith, and the most
ancient of the obelisks of Egypt. It bears the name Osirtasen
I., the founder of the twelfth dynasty, and stands
68 feet in height above the pavement. In the time of the
Arab historian, Abd-el Lateef, a second obelisk lay on the
ground, broken in two pieces, but of this no vestige now
One might think that a monument like the Obelisk of
Heliopolis, that was old when Abraham came down to
Egypt—that must often have been seen by Joseph, and in
after years by the Israelitish bondsmen as they lifted their
eyes from their weary toil—might be spared by travelling
Vandals. But even here a party of English ladies and
gentlemen (?) have been seen hacking at its base with a
large sledge hammer, hailing with delight the pieces that
fell, which they scrambled to steal.


Sakkárah, and the site of ancient Memphis en route may be visited by the Upper Egyptian Railway, to Bedreshayn,
and thence by donkeys (sometimes brought on in
the train or sent forward over night) to Sakkárah. It can
be visited from Bedreshayn by passengers on the Nile
steamers (p. 170).
The most agreeable way of visiting Sakkárah for those
who are not going up the Nile by steamer, is to take passage
by one of COOK'S steam launches, which, during the season,
run specially from Cairo to Bedreshayn and back, once or
twice a week, to enable travellers to visit Sakkárah.
“The history of Memphis,” says Mariette Bey, “is to
a great extent the history of Heliopolis. Moreover, we find
here an aid that Heliopolis has denied us. The Necropolises
of Memphis (the Pyramids, Abouseer, Sakkárah,
and Dashoór) are still in being, and instruct us concerning
the history of this city during the diverse periods of its
existence. Already founded under the most ancient kings
who succeeded to the throne of Menes, flourishing under
the great pyramid-building fourth dynasty, and also under
the fifth and sixth, neglected and abandoned under the
eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth dynasties, Memphis, like
Egypt itself, arose to new life when the kings of the
eighteenth dynasty succeeded in clearing the soil of Egypt
of its invaders. Taken and re-taken by turns, under
Assyrian, Ethiopian, and Persian dynasties, Memphis still
preserved, under the Greeks, a portion of its ancient
splendour, although when Strabo came, it was already
deserted. But the time was approaching when of Memphis
nothing but ruins should remain, and when the sombre
menaces of Jeremiah should be fulfilled to the letter: “O

daughter of Egypt, make ready that which can serve thee
in thy captivity, because Memphis shall become a desert;
she shall be forsaken and become uninhabitable.” Long
mounds where only the date-palm flourishes, here and there
a fragment of wall, a shaft of a broken column, some mutilated
statues half-buried in the soil or prostrate in the mud,
such is, in fact, all that remains to our day of the city that
for ages exercised so vast an influence over the affairs of the
Memphis, except in Hosea ix. 6, is called in the Scriptures
Moph or Noph, probably contractions of one of the
Egyptian names of the city Men-Nefru (Pyramid-city). It
was the capital of Lower Egypt at the time of the patriarchs.
The declaration of Jeremiah (xlvi. 19), that “Noph shall
be waste and desolate, without an inhabitant,” has been
most literally fulfilled. The “princes of Noph,” are mentioned
in Isaiah xix. 13, and in Jer. ii. 16, xlvi 14; and in
Ezek. xxx. 16, are further allusions to this city. After its
capture by the Saracens in the seventh century, the predicted
judgment of God on Memphian idolatry and corruption
became fulfilled, and almost every trace of its former
magnificence disappeared.
The objects now to be seen on the site of Memphis are—
The Lake of the Temple of Phtah (Vulcan).
The Colossal Statue of Rameses II. was discovered
here by Caviglia, and presented by Mohamed Ali
to the British Museum on condition of its being taken
to England. Until lately it lay in a ditch covered by water
during the winter; but since the British occupation, the
Royal Engineers, under the direction of Major Bagshot,
have employed funds furnished by private subscriptions to
raising the statue, and it is now lying on its back under a
wooden building erected for protection, in charge of a

guardian. Some of the subscribers seem anxious that it
should be taken to England, while others propose that it
should be re-erected on the spot. It is probably one of
the statues mentioned by Herodotus and Diodorus as
erected by “Sesostris” in front of the Temple of Phtah.
Another has been discovered at a short distance beyond.
Proceeding from Mitrahenny (Memphis), the visitor
soon arrives at Sakkárah. Here there is the most
important Necropolis of Memphis, with tombs ranging
from the time of the ancient Empire to the time of the
The tombs generally consist of an exterior building, a
well needing ropes for its descent, and a subterranean
chamber for the mummy. In this last chamber the mummy
is so placed as to be immediately under the centre of the
upper chamber, in which the relatives were accustomed
to meet on certain occasions. The tombs of the Ancient
Empire are especially interesting, displaying the deceased
in all the circumstances of his daily life—probably as representing
eternity as a continuation of home enjoyments.
“An austere set of chocolate-brown men were the
builders of these tombs; for their pictures of themselves
are numerous and have kept admirably, showing their
features to have been something between modern European
and Asiatic. Their clothing not very abundant, seldom,
indeed, not more than a kilt of white linen cloth, and not
always that, though there is generally a necklace of blue
and white glass beads, and invariably there is a wig—a huge
black, moppy, furry black wig; for the wig was truly a great
institution of the Egyptian land in its earliest days.”—
(Piazzi Smith.)
Under later dynasties, the character of the pictures on
the walls of the entrance-chambers changed. Mystic representations

of the soul's passage to eternity, its judgment,
and future state, are figured. The all-pervading power of
the king and the priesthood becomes increasingly manifest,
and a whole pantheon of gods come upon the scene.
But tourists who desire to become acquainted with the
details of Egyptian tombs must refer to the many learned
works written on the subject. The chief special objects of
attraction at Sakkárah are the Serapeum, the Pyramids, the
Tombs of Tih, and the Tomb of Phtah-hotep.
The Serapeum is the Temple of the Tomb of the
Divine Bulls of Apis, described by Strabo. It has been
entirely excavated, but is now mostly re-covered with sand.
The part seen is the burying-place of the sacred bulls from
650 B.C. to 50 B.C. Living, the sacred bull was worshipped
in a magnificent temple at Memphis, dead, he was buried in
vaults at Sakkárah, and worshipped in a chapel built over
him, and it is this series of chapels which formed the
Serapeum. This remarkable place was excavated in 1850
by Mariette. He found the avenue of sphinxes, eleven
statues of Greek philosophers, and the vaults in which the
sacred bulls were buried. In the portion of the Apis
Mausoleum visible, twenty-four granite sarcophagi still
remain in position, each measuring 13 by 8 by 12 feet. On
the walls were found thousands of dated stelae, which gave
accurate chronological data for the history of Egypt. The
Apis tombs had been rifled in ancient times, and only two
of them contained any relics when Mariette opened them
The Pyramids of Sakkara are eleven in number.
The largest is built in stages, and is thought to be the
oldest in Egypt, dating from the reign of Ouenephes, the
fourth king of the first dynasty. It is 190 ft. in height, and
contains a number of chambers and passages in which

about thirty mummies were found. One of the adjacent
Pyramids is truncated, and is called by the Arabs Mastabatel-Pharaon,
the throne of Pharaoh. A little to the north
of the Great Pyramid are the pits where the mummies of
the sacred ibis are preserved in earthenware pots. The
mummies are now mostly dust.
The Tomb of Tih and the Tomb of Phtah-hotep
are the two best examples for the tourist to examine of the
ancient Empire tombs previously described.
The Tomb of Tih lies to the N.E. of the Apis Mausoleum,
and was built during the fifth dynasty, B.C. 3500.
Tih held several high offices under Kings Kakah and
User-en-Ra. He was a royal councillor, superintendent of
works, held priestly rank as prophet. The Tomb of Tih is
nearly covered with sand, but can be entered, and the walls
are covered with beautiful sculptures and brilliant paintings.
The scenes depicted relate the history of Tih's life—
showing him overlooking the various operations of estates
and farms, and engaging in hunting and fishing expeditions.


The excavations, made at the sole expense of Messrs.
THOS. COOK & SON, in 1882, have proved that which
was only previously suspected, that it was the tomb of
King Oonas, last of the fifth dynasty.
The excavation was commenced in February, 1881, and
soon discovered the Death Chamber where there were still
evident the traces of robbers who had last entered the Pyramid
in the time of Caliph Mamoon (A.D. 820). The thieves
had evidently been searching for a treasure which they had
not found—the lid had been violently taken off the sarcophagus
and had fallen near the entrance, a hole had been
made in the flooring stones, the mummy had been smashed

to pieces, and the only remains of the body were the right
arm, a tibia, pieces of the skull and of the ribs. Part of
the cloth was still lying about in bundles, remains of ox
bones from the last sacrifice, a paint pot, and a plumb line
were also found.


In the neighbourhood of Cairo, if time allows, several
interesting spots may be visited besides those we have
described. There are the Tombs of the Memlooks,
about a mile from Cairo, beautiful examples of Saracenic
mausoleums, now almost entirely given over to wild dogs
and outcast Arabs. The Petrified Forest is about five
miles further from the city—a desert space covered with
fragments of sycamore and palm, apparently turned to
stone. It is worth while, if it can be managed, to extend
this trip to the summit of the Mokattam Mountains,
where much more of the petrified wood will be seen—some
of it in the actual position it occupied in growing. This
petrified timber has no connection with any living vegetation
of Egypt at the present day.
It may not be uninteresting to some readers if a portion
of a letter written to the Editor were inserted here, bearing
upon the pleasures of Cairo life, and the beneficial effect
of the climate on health.
“I was given up at home, or I never should have come
here. As you know, I was a martyr to almost everything,
and everybody kindly prophesied that I should 'go off in a
rapid consumption.' But twice I spent a month here, and
twice I returned home—as I heard it whispered, 'to die.'
But I am here now, for my third winter, and I have no
doubt that, as the improvement in my whole system and
constitution is so unmistakable, I shall not return here

again. I never tire of Cairo. I could sit for a month, or
six months, for the matter of that, in the verandah of
Shepheard's Hotel, and never get weary of the quaint sights
and sounds. And as for the excursions in the environs—
well, I thought I knew them the first winter I was here. I
thought I knew all and everything concerning them the
second winter; but now they come to me with almost a
greater freshness than they did at first. … If you
want to give good advice to any fellow overworked—to
those with 'a mind diseased,' to those weak from bronchial
affections, to those who suffer from 'nerves' —tell them to
come to Cairo, where they can be amused without fatigue,
invigorated without effort, and cured without physic.”—
(A. L. D.)


Since the occupation of Egypt by regiments of the
British Army, sports and outdoor games have increased
yearly. Beyond the Kasr-en-Nil bridge the Ghezireh
Sporting Club maintain well-kept grounds, where golf,
lawn- tennis, cricket, football, and polo are played.
Gymkhana and Race Meetings take place frequently
during the winter. Military bands play at the grounds
and other places several times during the week. Visitors
may become members of the club on payment of £2.

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The Nile.

The Nile, called by the Romans Nilus, and by the
Greeks Νεῖλος, from υήα ἰλὺς (new mud), is the renowned
river of Egypt, so celebrated in ancient story, and whose
mysterious source has so long been a magnet of attraction
to adventurous souls.
The Nile is formed by the junction, at about 15° North
of the Equator, of the Bahr-el-Azrek (anc. Astapus), or Blue
River, and the Bahr-el-Abiad, or White River. The sources
of the former were visited by Paez in 1618, and subsequently
by Bruce.
The Bahr-el-Abiad is the true Nile, though not the
branch which supplies the “new mud,” which, by gradual
deposit, has formed so large a part of the land of Egypt.
Of the explorations in connection with the Bahr-el-Abiad
by Grant, Speke, and Baker, etc., it is unnecessary here to
The united stream receives its last tributary, the Tacazzé,
in latitude 17° North, near the town of Addamer, and then
flows on 1,350 miles, without a single affluent, to the sea—a
fact, as Humboldt points out, without a parallel in the
physical geography of the world.
At Abn Hamed, what is called the Great Bend of the
Nile occurs, the river flowing thence in a westerly course to
Edab, in Dongola, through a narrow valley. Lower Nubia


W. & A.K. Johnston. Edinburgh & London.

is entered by the river at Hannek, miscalled the Third
Cataract, in latitude 19° 40'. The Second Cataract is that
of Wady-Halfa (p. 255).
The Nile enters Egypt at Philæ (p. 238), near which is
the First Cataract (p. 237), that of Assouan, which many
travellers make the boundary of their Egyptian explorations.
From this point, the Nile is generally a tranquil, winding
river, giving life to a strip of land often not more than ten
miles wide, hemmed in by scorching deserts and barren
mountains, yet glowing with beauty and fertility, and
replete with the most magnificent ruins on the face of the
Anciently, the Nile reached the sea by seven mouths;
all are now closed except those of Rosetta and Damietta.
The western (Rosetta) mouth is 1,800 feet wide, and about
five feet deep in dry seasons; the eastern mouth is only
half as wide, but is generally two or three feet deeper. The
Delta of the Nile commences a little N. of Cairo, about 90
miles from the sea, and is about 85 miles wide at its
broadest part.
The Annual Rise and subsidence of the waters of the
Nile has been already alluded to (p. 35).
The greatest breadth of the Nile is about 2,000 feet,
and its average current about three miles per hour. From
Assouan to Cairo, 583 miles, the banks are completely
covered with all sorts of corn and vegetables raised by the
ceaseless industry of the inhabitants.


The river Nile is frequently mentioned in Scripture by
various descriptive names, as the river, the flood, etc. It is
sometimes called Sihor, meaning the black or turbid river.
In the margin of this stream floated the fragile ark wherein

the babe Moses lay—its waters were turned into blood when
Pharaoh's heart was hardened—and by its banks the infant
Saviour may have dwelt. Ezekiel denounces Pharaoh as
“the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers”
(chap. xxix. 3). The “flood of Egypt,” or annual inundation,
is alluded to in Amos viii. 8, also ix. 5, and in Jer.
xlvi. 7, 8.
Formerly, as previously mentioned, the Nile flowed to
the sea by seven mouths. Of these, five are dried up, and
the only exit now for the waters of the river is by the
artificially-constructed openings by Damietta and Rosetta
(p. 167). Most literally, then, is the prophecy of Isaiah
fulfilled, “The Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the
Egyptian Sea, and with His mighty wind shall He shake His
hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams,
and make men go over dryshod.”
The land of Goshen, so often mentioned in the latter
part of Genesis and earlier chapters of Exodus, is difficult
of identification, but was probably to the eastward of the
Nile Delta. The so-called Jews' Hills, north-east of Cairo,
have no connection with the Israelitish sojourn. “These
mounds,” says Dr. Robinson, “can only be referred back
to the period of the Ptolemies, in the centuries immediately
before the Christian era,” when great numbers of Jews resorted
to Egypt, and erected a temple at Leontopolis.


Invalids and families wishing to pass the whole winter
on the Nile will doubtless prefer to make the Nile trip
in one of those dahabeahs, so generally associated with
Egyptian travel, and about which so much has been
written. Indeed, in many books describing the Nile tour,

quite as much is said about the dahabeah, and what happened
on board it, as about the mighty river and its
renowned shores. THOS. COOK & SON have a large choice
of new and improved dahabeahs of various sizes.
The majority of tourists will, undoubtedly, prefer to
make the trip in one of COOK'S new steamers (see pp. 13 to
15). The saving in expense is very great. As regards
time, the duration of the voyage by dahabeah is uncertain,
but by the weekly first-class tourist steamer from Cairo to
the First Cataract and back occupies twenty days, or the
voyage can be made by COOK'S mail steamer in eleven days,
including the stays of seven days at Luxor and Assouan,
which are usually included in the fare. Other advantages
connected with making the trip by steam are, that you go
on at a uniform rate, independently of wind or stream; you
are never becalmed, it is a public conveyance, and every
passenger can be as independent as he pleases, or the vessel
can be chartered for a private party by paying fifteen first-class
fares; all charges are strictly inclusive, and no bargaining
is necessary; but little travelling is done by night, so that
practically every inch of the route can be examined; punctuality
is observed in all departures and arrivals, and there
is no previous delay for selection, contract, etc.; most of
the attractions of the Nile are visited on the up journey,
while the interest is fresh; arrangements are made for the
receipt of letters and telegrams.
After leaving the place of embarkation at the
Kasr-en-Nil, the steamer soon glides past Old Cairo, and
Roda and the Nilometer (p. 154). Not far from Old Cairo,
the fine Mosque of Attar-en-Nebbee, which is said to perpetuate
the name of Athor, the Egyptian Venus, is seen on
a projecting rock. The Pyramids of Ghizeh, Sakkárah, and
Dashoór are successively passed on the western shore. On

the east, Toora Másara is passed, with the immense quarries
from which were taken the stone casings for the Pyramids.
Looking back, the lofty citadel of Cairo, and its white
mosque, remain conspicuous objects for a considerable
Bedreshayn (15 miles from Cairo) is a Railway
Station. Memphis (p. 159), the Serapeum (p. 162), the
Pyramids of Sakkárah (p. 162), can now be visited whilst
the steamer halts, if not previously seen by excursion from
Cairo (pp. 159—164). The steamers arrive about noon,
and donkeys are sent from Cairo to be in readiness for the
passengers. The site of ancient Memphis is reached after
about half-an-hour's ride, then will be taken about an hour's
ride to the step pyramid of Sakkárah, Mariette Bey's
house, etc. The necessary time will be allowed for visiting
the Serapeum, and the tomb of Tih, one of the most interesting
tombs on the Nile, whence the donkeys are again
taken to the Pyramid of Oonas (this pyramid having been
opened and cleared at the expense of THOS. COOK & SON),
and then the donkeys are remounted for the ride of about
an hour to the steamer (p. 163).
Helouan (E.) marks the site of a Nilometer of older
date (say some) than that at Roda; some of its columns
still remain. Here also are some sulphur springs, around
which a watering-place, frequented both by Europeans
and Egyptians, has sprung up. These springs were of great
repute in ancient times. To them it is supposed King
Amenophis sent “the leprous and other cureless persons,
in order to separate them from the rest of the Egyptians.”
For a long period these springs had fallen into disuse, but
it has recently become the fashion for visitors and residents
of Cairo to resort there. The springs have been found

especially beneficial in various forms of disease to which
residents in so hot a climate are subject.
The late Khedive Tewfik built himself a small palace, to
which he made frequent visits. Two hotels and an annually
increasing number of detached villas have been built, some
of which may be hired furnished or unfurnished. The
Bath-houses are in good order, and special arrangements
are made for ladies. A short railway connects Cairo with
Helouan, the station in Cairo being near the Bab-el-Louk.
Trains run hourly, and the time occupied on the journey is
from thirty to fifty minutes (p. 109).
Rigga (W.) is about four miles from the curious object
conspicuous for some time from the steamer, and called by
the Arabs Karem-el-Kedab, or False Pyramid, from the idea
that the base was a rock, instead of the whole being built
up, as is really the case. It is probably an unfinished
Pyramid, commenced by Senefroo, the monarch who preceded
Cheops, and shows great regularity and even beauty
of construction, so far as the work has gone. Adjacent to
this Pyramid is a Necropolis of the same high antiquity.
In one of the tombs were discovered, in 1872, the two
beautiful statues exhibited in the Salle des Bijoux at the
Ghizeh Museum.
The scenery through which the steamer is now passing
is very pleasing—an agreeable mingling of verdant crops
and palm groves. Water-fowl are abundant on the sand-banks.
“The scenery is simple and grand,” says the author of
Under Egyptian Palms. “Each day unrolls to you a
panorama of wide, waving fields, green with corn and
maize, and sugar-cane, rich and golden with the yellow-blossoming
cotton, tobacco, and lupin, and wooded with

mimosa and date—a broad belt of verdure, where, like to
islands in a sunny sea, little clustering villages uprise, clear
of the summer inundations, and mosques sheltered with
thickets of palm; a pastoral country where the sound of
murmuring water comes to you at every turn, and creaking,
oxen-turned sakies are hidden under ever-spreading sycamores;
where, in open meadow or thick wood shade by
the water's edge, half-naked men and women halt in their
lazy working, and stare at you; and, lastly, where, on either
bank of this calm-flowing river, colossal ruins and silent
cities of the dead confront you with memories of a lost
empire, and solemn temples here and there are mirrored in
the stream.”
Atfeeyah (E.) is near the site of ancient Aphroditopolis,
or city of Athor, the Venus of Egypt. There are no
remains; only mounds tell of the long-perished city.
Zowyeh (E., 55 miles from Cairo) is near the site of
ancient Iseum.
Wasta (W.) is a Railway Station, and is the junction
for the branch line through the Copt-peopled Fyoóm to
Medeenet-el-Fyoóm, a town built with the remains of
ancient Arsinoë—fine columns grotesquely mixed with
rough brickwork. Near Medeeneh are the site of
Arsinoë (ancient Crocodilopolis), the site of the artificial
Lake Maeris, and the remains of the celebrated Labyrinth,
described by Herodotus as surpassing the Pyramids
(p. 260).
Benisooef (W., 73 miles from Cairo). Railway
Station. This is the capital of the province of the same
name, one of the most productive provinces of Egypt. The
town has a population of about 10,000. There is a post-office
and telegraph-office, some factories of woollen and
linen, and a bazaar. The latter is a wretched little affair,

with shops like cupboards. The scene on the shore is
animated and picturesque, boats of various kinds cluster at
the margin of the stream; people of all ages are clamouring
or bargaining, children playing, picturesque old men in
white dresses lean on their staves and watch the crowd;
girls come down and fill their water-jars, and gracefully
poise them on their heads as they walk away; dogs, goats,
poultry, cows, horses, camels, and buffaloes add to the noise
and excitement of the scene. Passing on from Benisooéf,
numerous chimneys of the Khedive's sugar factories become
conspicuous from time to time.
Isment (W.) Here are the quarries from which the
beautiful veined marble for the mosque of Mohamed Ali
was obtained.
Bibbeh (W.) Railway Station. Here is a Coptic
convent, where St. George has procured favour for the
inmates in past times by being described as a Muslim
saint under the name of El Bibbáwee; the two creeds seem
to have got on comfortably together by this arrangement,
and Mohamedans still visit the convent and recite prayers
before the picture, which has thus had to do double duty.
Feshun (W., 92 miles from Cairo). Railway Station.
Malateeah (W.), and other villages are passed. The
Gebel Sheykh Embárak is seen for some time before
reaching it, and has been compared to a giant blocking the
path. It is a large table-mountain, with broken surface—
one of the cliffs closely resembles a ruined castle.
Maghágha (W., 106 miles from Cairo). Railway
Station. Here are some sugar factories belonging to the
Government, and a branch railway for bringing the sugarcane
into the town. Aquatic birds in swarms abound on
the sandbanks south of the town. The Hágar-es-Salám, or
Rock of Welfare, is passed; it derives its name from the

current belief of the boatmen that they cannot call a Nile
voyage prosperous until they have passed this stone on their
way back.
On both banks, though somewhat monotonous in general
appearance, are various remains of ancient towns. Near
Aboo Girgeh, on the west bank, is Béhnesa, representing
the ancient Oxyrinchus, City of Fish Worshippers. Béhnesa
was a notable place in Arab and Memlook times, and
had a wonderful legendary warrior-saint, one et-Takroory.
Mounds and grottoes, in various directions from Aboo
Girgeh, mark the sites of ancient Cynopolis, “City of Dogs,”
and other old-world places. Near Sheykh Fodl, on the E.
shore, are remains of temples, and tombs with dog-mummies,
Golósaneh, or Kalouseneh (W., 134 miles from
Cairo), is threatened with destruction by the action of the
Nile waters. It is, as usual, a mud-built village with a
beautiful palm grove.
Semaloot, with its minaret conspicuously rising from
its palm grove, is seen on the west shore.
The lofty precipices of Gebel-el-Tayr soon present
themselves on the eastern shore. This mountain, towering
some hundred feet in height, consists of a long range of
cliffs, singularly broken, and full of rifts and chasms, rising
perpendicularly from the east side of the river for four
miles. It is said to derive its name, which means Mountain
of the Birds, from the circumstance of the birds meeting
there annually and imprisoning one of their number till
their next visit. Why they do this is not explained.
The mountain is better known from its Coptic Convent of Sitteh Mariam-el-Adra (our Lady Mary the Virgin),
often called the Convent of the Pulley. It is, in reality,
like many of the Coptic Dayrs, a village of priests and wives,

and families and connections, surrounding a church, and all
walled in for protection from the Bedouins. There is a
well-hole in the rocks, up which the Convent on the summit
can be reached from the water's edge. Down this perpendicular
tunnel the monks used to come swarming as the
steamer was seen approaching, swim to the vessel's side,
climb on deck, and solicit alms on the grounds of a common
Christianity, but the custom is now prohibited by order of
the Patriarch.
Mr. Curzon, in his Monasteries of the Levant , gives an
amusing account of his ascent up the tunnel, or funnel, to
the Convent. Following the abbot, “whom I saw striding
and sprawling in the attitude of a spread eagle above my
head, my slippers soon fell off upon the head of a man
under me, whom, on looking down, I saw to be the reis,
or captain of my boat, whose immense turban formed the
whole of his costume. At least twenty men were scrambling
and puffing underneath him—arms and legs stretched out
in all manner of attitudes—the procession being led by the
unrobed ecclesiastics. Having climbed up about 120 feet,
we emerged, in a fine perspiration, upon a narrow ledge of
the rock in front of the precipice, which had an unpleasant
slope towards the Nile.” Hence, after some more climbing
and scrambling, the summit was gained.
The Convent is of great antiquity, originally of Roman
workmanship in the time of the Empress Helena, to whom
the erection of the church is ascribed. The church, says
Curzon, “is half a catacomb or cave, and one of the
earliest Christian buildings which has preserved its originality.”
It is in the form of a Latin Basilica. From the
terrace on the roof there are extensive views of a very
striking character.
Continuing the Nile journey, some remains of the Gisr-el-Agoos

are seen a few miles beyond the Convent. This
wall was probably a similar construction to the Picts' Wall
between England and Scotland, built to prevent the incursions
of wild tribes into the cultivated region. Diodorus
says that Sesostris built such a wall from Pelusium to
Heliopolis. Several portions of the Gisr-el-Agoos are seen
at different points of the journey; at one place the Arab
tradition runs that it was built by an Egyptian Queen to
guard her son from the crocodiles.
Téhneh (E.), and Táha (W.), and numerous mounds,
grottoes, and other remains of ancient towns, etc., are passed
rapidly by, and then Minieh is reached, 156 miles from
Cairo. This is the capital of an extensive province; there
are post and telegraph offices, and a Sunday market. “It
is considered decidedly the prettiest-looking town on the
Nile,” says Bartlett; “there is an old white tomb under a
sycamore at one end of the place, and the range of buildings
along the water, interspersed with date-groves, has a very
pleasing effect; many of the edifices are large, respectable,
and very clean, and the interior of the town is somewhat
better than usual, boasting even of a bath. The view from
Minieh is also very beautiful.”
Minieh contains several mosques, in one of which are
columns of Roman workmanship; there are also numerous
baths. At a little distance various handsome buildings
are seen, apparently intermingled with the surrounding
groves of date-palm; there is also a fine palace belonging to
the Khedive, built on a beautiful site. The sugar factories
at this town, five in number, are unrivalled in the world for
their substantial character and perfection of appliances; the
chimneys tower to a height of 200 feet. Here, also, in
spite of Mohamedan law, is annually produced several
thousand gallons of rum.
Passing Sooádee (E.), with its sugar plantations and a few
grottoes and mounds, the steamer next reaches Zowyet-el-Myiteén
(E.), where is the cemetery of Minieh, to which
the dead are ferried with funeral rites, strongly reminding
the eye-witness of scenes pictured on the ancient tombs.
The custom of burying the dead on the opposite side of
the river to the city in which they dwelt, is of very high
antiquity in Egypt. Kom Ahmar (E.), Metáhara (E.), and
Sharára (W.) are next passed, each with interesting caves
or grottoes, etc., for the inspection of the leisurely traveller.
Beni-Hassan is 171 miles from Cairo. From hence
to Manfaloot, especial care must be taken to guard against
the thieving propensities of the inhabitants. Some years ago
Ibrahim Pasha destroyed the villages of Beni-Hassan to
cure the inhabitants of stealing, but it seems they are still
The Rock Tombs of Beni-Hassan, about half-an hour's
ride from the river, are justly celebrated for the light they
shed on the manners and customs of ancient Egypt. They
are excavated in the rocks above the Nile Valley, are exceedingly
ancient, and from the resemblance in the style of their
porticoes to the Grecian Doric, are unique in Egypt. The
Northern tombs are the most interesting. The interior is
marked by elegant simplicity of architecture, a low wood
ceiling is supported by a central avenue of Doric columns.
Sir Gardner Wilkinson suggests that they were copied from
the stone arches of yet earlier constructions. This, however,
is reversing the general idea of the cavern suggesting the
arched roof.
The inside walls of these tombs are covered with
coloured pictures in inexhaustible variety, representing the
daily life of Egypt nearly five thousand years ago. The
most northern tomb is that of Améni-Amenemha, the

next is that of Noom-hotep, both governors of the province
of Sah. In the latter tomb is a picture that was thought
might represent the arrival of Joseph's brethren, and
attempts have been made to identify Noom-hotep with the
patriarch Joseph. But there is evidence that the tombs
were excavated long before his time, under the Usertsens of
the twelfth dynasty.
The tombs, numbering in all thirty-nine, are placed in a
line, extending along the face of the cliff. The principal
tombs are entered by large doorways hewn in the rock, and
form spacious rooms supported by columns. Much of the
wall surface is covered with paintings and inscriptions which
are yearly becoming dilapidated and faded, so that many of
the scenes are scarcely to be distinguished. The Committee
of the Egypt Exploration Fund, anxious to preserve
a record of what remains, sent out, in 1890-91, Mr. Naville,
Mr. Newberry, Mr. Fraser, and Mr. Blackden, an artist, to
make plans, tracings of paintings, and coloured copies of
the most interesting scenes. This has been done in six out
of the eight painted tombs, and Mr. Naville has published
a volume with full explanations of the scenes, translations
of hieroglyphic texts, drawings, photographs, etc.
“The famous grottoes of Beni-Hassan,” says Hopley,
“are a terrace of tombs high on the shelving Arabian ridge,
overlooking a two miles' breadth of fertile land between
mountain and river. In these, as in some vast gallery—
hall after hall painted in graphic wall picturings, and glowing
in yet unfaded tints—you may wander at will and study
the familiar every-day life of men who walked the land
before the days of Joseph. In these mansions of the dead—
eternal abodes, àiwvlovs oïkovs as the ancients called them
—mimic men and women are wrestling, fishing, ploughing,
and reaping, trapping birds, giving dinner-parties, being

flogged, cutting their toe-nails, treading the wine-press,
dancing, playing the harp, weaving linen, playing at catch
ball, being shaved by the barber, playing at draughts.
Verily, there is nothing new under the sun. What say you
to an elderly lady robed in a dress having three flounces.
And then there are stranger things than that! Yes, the old,
old story of human life is there, told as in a picture book.
Though seen through a gap of four thousand years, the eye
moistens over it still. Here are life's festive scenes and
revels—the wine cup and the garland; and here its scenes
of sorrow—mourners are weeping over their dead. Nothing
is lacking. And so, by the mystic sympathy—that touch of
nature which links man with man—you reach out a hand
across the ages, and feel the throbbings of a humanity kindred
with your own.” All persons of true taste and feeling will
be disgusted by finding these precious memorials disfigured
by the carving of the ignoble names of modern visitors.
In the Southern tombs the architecture more closely
resembles that of the temples, where the lotus and papyrus
have suggested shapes for column and capital.
The Speos Artemidos lies in a valley towards the
east. It is an excavation in the rock dedicated to Pasht,
the Egyptian Diana, commenced by Thothmes III., and
carried on by Sethi, father of Rameses the Great, but never
completed. There are some interesting sculptures and
Sheykh Timay (E.) has catacombs and quarries, and
some slight remains of the Girs-el-Agoos (p. 176) are seen
on the hills. A considerable change in the situation of the
bed of the Nile is evident here.
On the low wooded shore to the east, close under the
mountain, at the southern end of the former channel of the
Nile, are the ruins of Antinoë, or Antinopolis. Some

fragments of a Roman theatre and hippodrome are amongst
the chief remains. It was a Roman rather than Egyptian
city, owing its foundation to the Emperor Hadrian, who,
when visiting Egypt, was accompanied by his beautiful
favourite, Antinoüs, whose effigy in marble is so familiar an
object in museums of antiquities. The Egyptian oracles
had declared that only by sacrificing what was most dear
to him, could the Emperor ensure his prosperity and the
welfare of his empire. To secure this boon for his master,
Antinoüs drowned himself in the Nile near Beza. In
memory of his devoted friend, Hadrian built Antinopolis,
according to some, on the site of Ansina, the city of
Pharaoh's magicians.
In the persecution of Diocletian many Christian
martyrs perished here, and the ancient tombs in the adjacent
rocks are full of signs of Christian use as places of
worship and sepulture. Antinoë was the metropolis of
Upper Egypt previous to the Saracenic invasion. There
are no monuments, only a few ruins, the limestone having
been carried away and utilized elsewhere.
At Roda (W.), a Railway Station, 182 miles from Cairo,
is a palace of the Khedive's, and a large sugar factory,
employing several hundred persons. The Coptic village of
Byadeeyah (W.), Medeeneh (E.), with numerous Christian
tombs and painted chapels of very ancient date, are next
passed. In one Egyptian grotto, near Ed Dayr en Nakhl (E.), is a picture showing the Transport of a Colossus on a sledge, dragged with ropes, illustrating the ancient
method of dealing with these huge monuments. Probably
many tourists will call to mind one of the many copies of
this picture in books on Egypt, the two hundred men
toiling at the ropes, the huge statue on the sledge, the
man on the pedestal easing the passage of the sledge with

oil, and the man on the statue beating time that all may
pull together; doubtless, all is quite familiar, and the tourist,
as he steams past Ed Dayr, may be interested in remembering that the original is underground behind that village.
Raramoon (W.) is near the site of the ancient Shmoun,
called by the Greeks Hermopolis Magna, as being dedicated
to Thoth, the Egyptian Hermes. The remains cover four
miles of ground. Ibeum, where the ibis mummies from Hermopolis
were buried, was at the foot of the Libyan hills.
After passing Daroot Oshmoon (W.), Mellarvee (W.),
Isbuyda (E.), the next place of interest is Hadji Kandeel,
on the east bank of the river, about five miles from
the ruins of the city built by Chut-en-aten, now called
Tel-el-Amarna. Chut-en-aten, or Amenophis IV.; of the
eighteenth dynasty (1500 B.C.), was the son of Amenophis
III., by a Mesopotamian princess, called Thi, who came from
the land of Mitanni. When the young prince, Amenophis IV.
grew up, it was found that he had conceived a rooted dislike
to the worship of Amen-Ra̅, the king of the gods, and great
lord of Thebes, and that he preferred the worship of the disk
of the sun to that of Amen-Ra̅; as a sign of his opinions he
called himself “beloved of the sun's disk,” instead of the
usual and time-honoured “beloved of Amen.” The native
Egyptian priesthood disliked the foreign queen, and the
sight of her son with his protruding chin, thick lips, and
other characteristic features of the negro race, found no
favour in their sight; that such a man should openly
despise the worship of Amen-Ra̅ was a thing intolerable to
the priesthood, and angry words and acts were, on their
part, the result. In answer to their objections, the king
ordered the name of Amen-Ra̅ to be chiselled out of all
the monuments, even from his father's names. Rebellion
then broke out, and Chut-en-aten thought it best to leave

Thebes, and to found a new city for himself at a place
between Memphis and Thebes, now called Tel-el-Amarna. In 1887 a number of important cuneiform tablets, which
confirmed in a remarkable manner many facts connected
with this period of Egyptian history, were found at Tel-el-Amarna.
The correspondence and despatches from kings
of Babylon, Mesopotamia, and Phoenicia were found, and
large portions of them are now preserved in the museums
of London and Berlin.
The tombs in the rocks near Tel-el-Amarna are of considerable
interest. About 1 1/2 miles from the landing-place,
on the road to the northern tombs, are the painted pavements,
now enclosed in a modern building (key with
guardian). They belonged to three halls in the palace of
Chut-en-aten (1400 B.C.) which extended far to the south and
west of them. One floor is in almost perfect condition of
colouring. The highly natural style of the drawing of plants
and animals was due to the new art introduced by the
idealist king, Khuenaten; but it soon perished, and the
same level was not again reached until modern art. Notice
particularly the sedges, etc., in the long line of plants in the
inner room. These remarkable paintings were discovered
in Mr. Flinders Petrie's excavations of 1892.
Leaving Hadji Kandeel, the next places passed are
Howarte (E.), Daróot esh Sheréef (W.), near which the Bahr
, or Canal Joseph, leaves the Nile and runs along at
the foot of the Libyan hills past Behnesa to the Fyoóm, and
the Christian town of Ed Dayr-el-Kossayr (E.). During this
portion of the journey the first wild specimens of the Theban
Palm, or dôm-tree, will be seen. The whole district teems
with Egyptian grottoes and ruins; all the hills along the
eastern shore are full of square holes, marking deserted tombs.
Passing Jephsean on the west, the tremendous: ocks of

Djebel, or Gebel Aboufaydah, are reached. These
extend ten or twelve miles along the eastern shore of the
Nile. Far up among the clefts of these grand cliffs are
seen the caverns where dwelt the celebrated ascetics of
Upper Egypt, and where Athanasius for a time sought
shelter. Innumerable tombs line the terraces of these
rocks. Strong winds are often experienced here.
Passing El Hareib (E.), with its ancient repositories of
dog and cat mummies, Koosayah, site of ancient Chusis,
the City of the Sacred Cow, symbolizing the Egyptian
Venus, the Dayr-el-Bukkara (E.), and various ruins, the
cool green reaches of Manfaloot are entered. The first
sight of the town is very pleasing. A sudden bend of the
river brings into full view its fretted domes and crested-minarets,
palm trees and mingled mass of buildings. Picturesque
terraces and gardens line the water-side. Part of
the town has been washed away by the Nile, but measures
have been recently taken to prevent further damage. It is
the capital of a province and residence of a governor, and
contains a public bath and bazaar, and numerous mosques.
On Sundays a market is held here.
On the eastern side of the Nile, at the top of the rocks
of the Gebel Aboufaydah, are the celebrated Crocodile
Mummy Pits of Maabdeh.
These reptiles were here
in thousands. Much difficulty and some danger has been
experienced in visiting these caverns. Caution is requisite
in visiting them, as some lives have been lost by suffocation in these caverns, and there is not now anything to be
seen to repay for a long and toilsome journey.
Beni Ali (W.) is the starting-point of the desert tract to
the oasis of Dákhleh. Near Wady Booa (E.) are some
painted grottoes, a Roman fortress, and a Convent of Maria
Boktee, dating from the time of Diocletian. Steaming along

the now winding river, Mungabat, or Mankabát, “place of
post,” is passed, and Assiout is reached, 250 miles from Cairo.
Assiout , the Coptic Siôout, is the successor of the
ancient Lycopolis, City of Wolves, a place devoted to the
worship of those animals, of which only a few mounds and
buried foundations remain. Assiout (pop. 31,000) is the
capital of Upper Egypt, and residence of the governor,
249 1/2 miles from Cairo by water, 229 miles by rail. It is a
considerable town, with some fine mosques, bazaars, baths,
post and telegraph offices, etc. The city lies more than a
mile from the river, near the foot of the mountain, and is
really on an island formed by a branch of the river. The
latter is crossed by an arched stone bridge, beyond which
commences the ascent of the mountain filled with tombs
and grottoes. On approaching the town, fifteen minarets
can be counted rising from amongst the groves of palm and
acacia. A government college and schools, belonging to
the American Mission, are well worth visiting.
El Hamra , on the Nile bank, is the port of Assiout.
From hence to the city there is a beautiful curving road
raised a few feet above the plain, as the latter is under
water at the time of the annual inundation. The bazaars
of this city are very good; the private houses better than
in most Egyptian towns. There is a considerable trade in
linen, cloth, earthenware, woollens, and opium. The pipe
bowls of Assiout are the best in the East, and large numbers
are sent to the bazaars at Cairo and elsewhere.
The mountain behind the city should be visited. The
view is very fine, comprising “about a hundred miles of the
valley of the Nile — a vast level panorama, bounded by the
chains of the Arabian and Libyan hills, diversified by every
shade of green, and watered by the Nile.” The innumerable
tombs, of which the Stabl Autar is the principal, are

interesting from their Egyptian remains, and also from their
Christian associations, as being tenanted by monks and
hermits at a time when society seemed so hopelessly rotten
that almost all “the salt of the earth” was in voluntary
exile in the deserts and caves of Africa and Syria.
“From the top of the ridge,” says the Rev. W. Dale,
“the view is indeed very striking. The height is about four
hundred feet, perhaps a little more. About two miles
further north the ridge ends, and from that point we could
see, as far as the eye could reach, the yellow brown sand of
the Libyan desert, following the thin strip of green on the
edge of the Nile. Just here the cultivated land for a considerable
distance northward did not look more than a
mile and a half or two miles in breadth, and it was like a
long green ribbon following the course of the river, with
the yellow desert beyond. On the eastern bank the line of
green is much thinner, up to this point the fertile strip
between the Nile and the Arabian desert has scarcely ever
been more than a mile broad, and for many miles the limestone
rocks of the desert have come right down to the river.
It was impossible not to remember the famous passage in
Ezekiel, ‘These waters issue out towards the East country,
and go down into the desert.… and everything shall
live whither the river cometh.
At Assiout a large canal leads the water during the inundation
into the Bahr Yusuf, and supplies the Fyoom with
Amongst the places next passed in journeying up the
Nile, are the following:— El Wasta (E.)—on site of Contra
Lycopolis; Guttéea (W.), with acacia trees in plenty; El
, with more acacias, “a whole realm of trees, a
billowy bank of golden green on which the sunbeams sleep
at noon, … and populous with doves, hoopoes, and birds

of every bright plumage.” These trees are considered to
represent one of the classic groves of Acanthus. Sherg
(E.), Abooteg (W.), Sidfeh (W.), Kooskam (W.),
El Bedareh (E.), Rainneh (E.), Gow (E.), Gow-el-Gharbeeyah (W.), where, in 1865, an insurrection was put down
summarily by a good deal of shooting and hanging, and the
destruction of several neighbouring villages.
Near Gow (E.) are the ruins of Antaeopolis. In the
early part of last century, columns, etc., of great interest
were standing. Now there is little more than a confused
heap of stones. The whole village of Gow was carried
away in 1823 by the waters of the Nile.
The western mountains take a wide sweep from Gow to
Tahtah, enclosing a rich and well-cultivated plain.
Passing Mishte (W.), Shabeka (W.), and other unimportant
places, Tahtah (pop. 3000) is seen at some distance
inland, with mounds of ancient Hesopis. Corn and cattle
are important products of this neighbourhood.
Opposite Tahtah projects the Gebel Sheykh Hereédee,
traditionally said to be inhabited by a serpent gifted with
the power of healing all kinds of diseases; there are some
interesting caves. Benoweet (W.), Itfoo (W.), (ancient
Aphroditopolis), and Souhág (W.), are next passed.
Souhág, the capital of the province of Girgeh. A
large canal at this place conducts the Nile water to the
interior. Souhág is the place from which to visit the White
and Red Monasteries.
The White Monastery has been placed, from prudential
motives, under the protection of the Muslim Saint Abou
Shenoodeh. It has been ruined and sacked several times,
lastly in 1812, by the Memlooks, who, however, could not
injure the immense walls. The interior was once a grand
basilica. The exterior was built in the Egyptian style, by

the Empress Helena, at the edge of the Libyan desert,
where it stands desolate and alone amongst the sand. The
Red Monastery is, perhaps, the more ancient of the two.
Ekhmeem (E.) is a tolerably well-built town of wide
streets, and has a considerable corn and poultry trade.
Coarse cottons, especially the fringed shawls of the Nile
boatmen, are manufactured here; also earthenware. The
town contains several mosques, a Coptic monastery, and a
Franciscan hospice of refuge for persecuted Christians. The
remains of two temples in the vicinity and some other ruins
were part of ancient Panopolis. Of this city, some have asserted
it to be the oldest in Egypt, assigning its foundation
to “Ekhmeem, son of Misraim, the offspring of Cush, the
son of Ham.” Nestorius died at Ekhmeem in the fifth century.
In 1884, Maspero discovered some thousands of mummies
at Ekhmeem, but not any of very great historic value.
Mensheeyah (W.), 318 miles from Cairo, has an ancient
stone quay. There is an excellent market. Here is produced
the celebrated sweetmeat “Mensheeyeh-el-Neideh.”
The cemetery is extensive and curious, and the dead are
brought to it from a considerable distance round, as it is
above the level of the inundation. Ptolemaïs Hermii was
the ancient Egyptian city once existing in this neighbourhood.
The Nile is now skirted for some distance on the east
bank by the hills called the Gebel Tookh. Ayserat, noted
for turkeys, is passed on the west bank.
Girgeh (E.), named from its monastery of St. George,
is a dirty, uninteresting place. The church is half-buried
underground, formed of stone from the old ruins. It contains
a handsome screen of fretted woodwork, a wooden
communion-table (stone altars being forbidden by the
Alexandrian Church), and some early MS. Liturgies, Coptic
Scriptures, etc.
Bellianeh (W.) This is the point from which to visit
the magnificent ruins of Abydos.
Abydos is reached by a journey of six miles across
the plains, on donkeys, to the edge of the desert. Its most
ancient name was Thinis, or This, famous as the birthplace
of Menes, and reputed burial-place of Osiris, and second
only to Thebes amongst the cities of Upper Egypt.
The visitor to Abydos finds four principal objects of
attraction—the Temple of Sethi, the New Tablet of Abydos,
the Temple of Rameses, and the Necropolis.
The Temple of Sethi, called by Strabo the Memnonium,
and so celebrated for its magnificent decoration,
was built by Sethi I., father of Rameses II. As in all the
work undertaken by order of Sethi, the art displayed wins
universal admiration, unlike the sculptures of the reign of
Rameses, which are not first rate, and, indeed, are often
negligently executed.
“The bas reliefs are the most beautiful in Egypt,” says
Viscountess Strangford; “indeed, there is nothing equal to
them in Egyptian art, except the paintings in the tomb of
this same King Sethi at Thebes. In earlier periods art was
far more naturalistic; but what we may call Egyptian art
proper was, in the reign of Sethi, the most perfect of all. It is
beautiful, vivid, and highly picturesque, although completely
subject to the arbitrary rules imposed by the priests on the
artists, in accordance with the elaborate theocratic system of
government that extended through all the minutiae of life.”
This temple was dedicated to seven gods, and has seven
vaulted naves lying east and west, ending in seven sanctuaries,
and communicating with two immense halls running
north and south. There are also some other smaller
chambers. Everywhere are highly-finished sculptures and
The roof of this temple is the only one of its kind in
Egypt. Immense stones were laid, not on their faces, but
on their sides, across from one architrave to the other; then
an arch was cut through this mass of stone, and adorned
with hieroglyphics and sculptures.
M. Mariette, by whose excavations these wonderful
buildings have been largely brought to light from the
sand which enveloped them, points out that from the presence
everywhere of Sethi and Rameses together in the
various pictures, the temple was built while the one as king
and the other as prince, were associated together. In the
long passage-like chamber to the south of the Great Hall,
are scenes representing the Dedication of the Temple. The
presentation of offerings to Ammon, Horus, and Osiris is
represented in the first, second, and fourth tablets on the
east wall, and to a grand galaxy of 130 deities on the third.
On the west wall are also four tablets, the third of which is
the important New Tablet of Abydos. Sethi, the king,
and Rameses, the prince, are here shown, one making the
offering of fire, and the other reading the sacred hymn,
before the cartouches* of seventy-six kings from Menes,
the founder of the kingdom, to Sethi, then reigning. These
seventy-six monarchs were doubtless those more particularly
connected with Abydos. The value to Egyptologists of this
monumental record is beyond question.
In the seven vaulted naves, the pictures represent the
successive ceremonies performed by the king in worshipping
there—unveiling the statue of the god, offering incense,
recovering the statue, etc., etc.
Of the Temple of Rameses II. (sometimes called
* The cartouches, sometimes called ovals or shields, are the elliptical
frames enclosing groups of signs symbolical of royal names.

the Temple of Osiris), built by that monarch when himself
on the throne, little remains but a portion of the outer
walls. Hence was taken the mutilated Tablet of Abydos,
now in the British Museum, considered to be a copy of the
new tablet above described.
Continuing still in a north direction,” says M. Mariette,
in his Itinéraire, “we reach a large, crude brick enclosure.
Here stood Thinis, the cradle of Egyptian monarchy,
and the place where was situated the tomb of Osiris — a
sanctuary as venerated by the ancient Egyptians as the
Holy Sepulchre by Christians. In this enclosure is a
mound called the Kom-es-Sultan, formed of the débris of
myriads of tombs through successive ages. M. Mariette
hopes to find, through the excavations now in progress, the
tomb of Osiris beneath this mound. “The rich and
powerful of the Egyptians,” says Plutarch, “are desirous
of being buried at Abydos, in order to be, as it were, in the
same grave with Osiris himself.” It is conjectured that it
is the graves of these worthies that have gradually formed
the mound just described.
The Necropolis, from which a large proportion of the
stelae in the Ghizeh Museum, and many other objects were
derived, is so completely altered and overturned as to
present little of interest to the general visitor. The tombs
are chiefly of the sixth dynasty (3700 B.C.), the twelfth
dynasty (3000 B.C.), and the thirteenth dynasty (2800 B.C.).
Those of the latter epoch are mostly in the form of a
pyramid of crude brick, the interior being hollowed out into
a cupola. But amongst the earliest tombs (sixth dynasty)
in this Necropolis, a vaulted roof with a true arch, with
bricks specially formed for its construction, is not unfrequent.
Farshoot (368 miles from Cairo) contains another of the

Khedive's sugar factories. This district is inhabited by
descendants of the once powerful Howára Arabs.
From Girgeh to Keneh the scenery is in many parts
very fine. Theban palms, dates, and acacias are abundant;
Indian corn, sugar-cane, and various leguminous herbs, are
flourishing luxuriantly over the fertile land that delights the
eye with its perpetual greenness. Numerous small places
are passed—amongst them Bajoora (W.), How (W.),
anciently Diospolis Parva), Kasr es Syád, the ancient
Chenoboscion, formerly celebrated for its geese, and now
the largest depôt of turkeys on the Nile, Dishneh (W.), and
Fow (E.).
Keneh (405 1/2 miles from Cairo) is an important place
on the east bank of the Nile; ancient Coenopolis occupied
the site. It has long been noted for its dates and its
dancing girls, also for its manufacture of porous jugs and
filtering bottles. It is interesting to watch the process of
making these articles by hand with extreme rapidity.
There is a three days' desert route from Keneh to
Kosseir on the shore of the Red Sea, which was formerly
the highway of commerce between Egypt and Arabia.
Within recent years it was proposed to make a railway
between Keneh and Kosseir. Mr. Nicour, who completed
the survey of the country, found no serious difficulty for the
construction of the line, and reported that with a small
expense Kosseir might be made available for vessels of any
tonnage. He also states that an abundant water supply
could be provided for 40,000 inhabitants at Kosseir by the
erection of a barrage on the neighbouring hills, which would
enable a reservoir to be formed capable of containing about
3,000,000 cubic mètres of rain water.
The Government, the Public Debt Commission, and
the Railway Board sent delegates to examine on the spot

the advisability of making the projected line, and to report
on the financial prospects of the scheme.
It is estimated that the expenditure that it would be
necessary to incur in the construction of the line, in the
harbour works at Kosseir, and in making arrangements for
the storage of water in the neighbourhood of the town,
would amount to about £600,000.
Nearly opposite Keneh, on the west bank of the Nile,
stands the celebrated Temple of Denderah.
This beautiful, well-preserved ruin dates from the period
when Egyptian architecture, under the Ptolemies and Caesars,
had greatly declined from its ancient grandeur, and shows
a considerable admixture of Greek and Roman with
Egyptian ideas. Like all the Egyptian temples, it stands in
the midst of a vast enclosure formed of crude bricks, and
completely shutting out the sights and sounds of the outer
This temple was commenced under Ptolemy XII., its
construction was completed under Tiberius, and its
decoration under Nero; so that this edifice was being
constructed whilst our Saviour was dwelling in Jerusalem.
The immense profusion of inscriptions, bas-reliefs, etc.,
with which the walls are covered, will forcibly strike the
attention—ceilings, walls, portals, basements are all ornamented
in this way. In many of these pictures the subject
is the same—the royal founder adoring the divinities of the
temple—others show the ceremonies observed by the king
in connection with this adoration. “Nothing can be more
rich,” says Warburton, “than the carvings and hieroglyphics
that adorn the massive pillars crowned with heads of Isis.
The ceilings are covered with the celebrated astronomical
paintings; and the next most popular representation

throughout this edifice seems to be that of serpents; these
appear in every variety of form and attitude—some are
walking on human legs, and some spinning erect upon their
tails like corkscrews, while they present strange offerings
to deities equally preposterous.”
The great hall, or portico, with its twenty-four columns,
is first entered. The two side entrances were for priests and
attendants. The main entrances are used by the king
alone. At this portal the monarch presented himself, in long
robe, sceptre in hand, and with sandalled feet; on entering
he is recognized by the gods as King of High and Low
Egypt—first receiving purification from Thoth and Horus,
and then the two crowns from Wat'i and Suvan. Then
Maut of Thebes and Toom of Heliopolis take the king by
the hand and lead him into the presence of the goddess
Athor. Such is the story, as shown in the surrounding
pictures, symbolising the preparatory ceremonies performed
by the king in this great hall before passing into the temple
proper. The ceiling has a representation of the zodiac,
once imagined to be ancient Egyptian, but now proved to
date from Ptolemaic times.
The learned author of the Itinéraire gives details of the
uses of the numerous chambers of the temple. To one
group of rooms he assigns the assembling of the priests and
preparation for the festivals; these latter, of which a sort of
calendar is given on the walls of the second hall, consisted
chiefly of grand processions which circulated through the
temple, mounted to the terraces, and redescended to perform
certain rites in the exterior enclosure. In this group
also were chambers for the preparation or consecration of
the offerings, the guardianship of the sacred emblems, and
the preparation of the sacred oils and essences, also the
treasury and depôt for vestments.
Another group consists of the chapel court, two halls
and a staircase on the north side, and two halls and a stair
case on the south side, and the little temple on the terraced
roof; this assemblage of rooms was especially dedicated to
the feast of the New Year, regulated by the appearance of
Sirius. The details of this grand ceremonial are pictured
on the walls of the two staircases.
The remaining chambers, those farthest to the west,
formed the most sacred portion of the edifice. Into the
small chamber at the extreme west of the axis of the building
the king alone could enter; there, in profound secrecy,
was preserved the mysterious emblem of the worship of
Athor the Life-giver, the golden sistrum. The adjacent
chambers were consecrated to the worship of Isis, Osiris,
Pasht, Horus, etc. In the walls of the temple are concealed
crypts, wherein the most valuable gold statues and
other sacred treasures were stored. On the terrace, or roof
of the building, is a small temple dedicated to Osiris.
“The temple,” accordingly, “was not, like our churches,
a place of assembly for the faithful. One finds in it neither
habitations for priests nor places of initiation, and no traces
of divination or the consultation of oracles, and there is no
reason to imagine that beyond the king and priests anything
like a public congregation was admitted. The temple
is a place of depôt, preparation, and consecration. In the
interior certain festivals are celebrated, processions organized,
and the objects of worship stored. And, if all was sombre,
if in these halls and chambers, where there is no indication
of torches having been used, almost darkness must have
prevailed, the mystery of the ceremonies was thereby only
enhanced.……As to the principal festivals, of which
the temple was the centre, they consisted chiefly of processions,
which expanded outside in the full light of the sun to

the very limits of the grand enclosure, whose crude brick
walls were indeed the true limits of the temple. In the
temple (taken in its more limited sense) were lodged the
gods; there the sacred vestments were put on and all preparations
made. It was a sort of sacristy where the king
and priests alone penetrated. In the enclosure, on the
contrary, the long processions developed, and even, if the
public were not admitted, there is reason to believe that
certain initiates were present.”
The Temple of Denderah, though dating from comparatively
later times, serves from its completeness to give a
good idea of the general arrangements of the older Pharaonic
temples. But in the decorations of the edifice an
amount of symbolism is evident, which was doubtless due
to the influence of the Platonists of Alexandria, who were
seeking to combine Greek philosophy with the old Egyptian
The view from the roof of the temple is very fine; the
cultivated land, the desert, the glistening Nile, and the
chain of hills that stretch away towards the shores of the
Red Sea. Numerous Coptic and Arabic habitations now
cluster round the temple and enclosure. To realize Denderah
as it was, the visitor must imagine all these swept
away and the sacred edifice standing in isolated majesty in
the midst of the vast area, compassed about with the high
sombre walls of brick that ensured the silence and solitude
required for the mystic ceremonies of the old Egyptian faith.
“On the ceiling of the great portico,” observes Mr.
Sharpe, “is the well-known zodiac which our antiquaries
once thought was of great antiquity, but the sign of the
scales in the zodiac might alone have taught them that it
could not be older than the reign of Augustus, who gave
that name to the group of stars which before formed the

spreading claws of the scorpion. We cannot but admire
the zeal of the Egyptians by whom this work was then
finished. They were treated as slaves by their Greek
fellow-countrymen; they, the fallen descendants of the
conquering kings of Thebes, had every third year their
houses ransacked in search of arms; the Romans only
drained the province of its wealth, and the temple had,
perhaps, never been heard of by the Emperor, who could
have been little aware that the most lasting monument of
his reign was being raised in the distant province of Egypt.”
There are a few other remains of temples, etc., in the
vicinity appertaining to the ancient town of Tentyris, or
Tentyra (modern Denderah). The Tentyrites nursed a
standing enmity to crocodiles, and were accordingly often
engaged in savage and bloodthirsty feuds with the inhabitants
of Ombos, by whom those animals were worshipped.
Leaving Keneh, the steamer next passes Benoot (E.),
and Ballás (W.), where the Ballásee jars are made, which
the women pose so gracefully on their heads when fetching
water from the Nile. The tourist may, perhaps, encounter
a large raft or two formed of these jars fastened together, in
transit to the markets of the large cities.
Ten miles from Keneh, Kobt, or Koft, the ancient
Coptos is reached. It has some Egyptian remains, but is
now associated with Roman times, from which most of its
ruined walls and towers date. It was long the headquarters
of Egyptian Christianity, and probably gave its name to
the modern Copts. Until Diocletian wreaked his fury on
the city, for the rebellion of its inhabitants against his
authority, Coptos was the great emporium of Egypt's trade
with the East. From Berenice, on the Red Sea, the merchants
came by a well-beaten tract to Coptos, from whence
the riches of the far East were floated down the Nile

to Alexandria. Near the town is a narrow pass leading
to the chain of ravines through which this ancient pathway
of commerce was kept up. This route was also used for
soldiers travelling from the Red Sea to the Nile and the
Soudan in connection with the military operations of 1896.
The vegetation in this district is very luxuriant. Fine crops
of sugar-cane and Indian corn cover the fertile plain by the
river side.
Esh Shúrafa (E.), Koos (E.), anciently Apollinopolis
Parva, and, in the fourteenth century, second only to Fostát
amongst Egyptian cities; Nagádeh (W., 428 miles from
Cairo), with its ancient convents dating from the days of the
Empress Helena, is a quaint and picturesque old town,
situated at one of the finest points of view on the Nile;
Medamôt (E.), with ruins of a Ptolemaic temple, and fragments
of far older edifices are all passed, and then the ruins
of Karnak begin to appear in sight.

(Hotels—see Appendix.)

At the village of Luxor is the anchoring place where the
steamer remains while tourists explore the glories of Thebes.
The Temple of Luxor, close to the bank of the river, has
recently been cleared out, and is now of considerable interest
to Egyptologists and archaeologists. Similar work is now
being done at the Temples of Karnak.
Ancient Thebes occupied the whole plain now seen on
each side of the Nile, but it was on the east bank that the
chief portion of the city was situated, the western side being
principally occupied by temples and palaces, and the tombs
of the dead. The city was never enclosed by walls, and
Homer's “hundred gates” is suggested to have meant the
portals of the palaces and temples, if it meant anything.

But it is more consistent with the context to accept it
simply as poetical imagery.*
Thebes has always marvellously impressed the mind and
imagination of travellers by its extent and the vastness of
its monuments. There are temples whose front elevation
was nearly a mile in length, fragments of colossal statues of
dimension truly enormous, colonnades that rose to over
seventy feet in height. Not only do these ruins extend
over the whole breadth of the Nile Valley, but on the sides
of the surrounding mountains ancient remains lie in heaps,
whilst tombs, still in good preservation, cover the western
plain and stretch far out into the desert. “It appeared to
me,” said Belzoni, “like entering a city of the giants, who,
after a long conflict, had been all destroyed, leaving the
ruins of their vast temples as the only proofs of their
The plain of Thebes is thus described by Heeren:—
“The whole valley of the Nile in Upper Egypt offers no
spot so fit for the foundation of a large capital. The
mountain chains—the Libyan on the western, and the other,
usually called the Arabian, on the eastern side—retire here
to such a distance on either side of the river that they leave
a spacious plain on both banks, whose breadth, from west
to east, amounts to about three leagues and a half, and the
length, from north to south, is about the same. ….
Towards the north, this plain is again closed in by the near
approach of the mountain chain to the river; towards the
“Not all proud Thebes' unrivalled walls contain
The world's great Empress on the Egyptian plain,
That spreads her conquests o'er a thousand states,
And pours her heroes through a hundred gates,
Two hundred horsemen, and two hundred cars,
From each wide portal issuing to the wars.”

south, on the contrary, where the western chain continues
distant from the river, it remains open. The plain, therefore,
on which Thebes was built, though limited in extent,
was yet sufficient to contain one of the largest cities of the
earth. According to Strabo, there is no doubt but that the
ancient city covered the whole plain. Thebes, therefore,
was built on the two banks of the Nile, without being connected,
so far as we know, by means of a bridge.”


The exact origin of Thebes, like that of Memphis, is
involved in obscurity. It was after the decline of This, or
Abydos, that Thebes rose to be the capital of Upper Egypt.
Two or three kings had reigned here before Abraham
entered the Delta. The first great kingly name in Theban
history is that of Osirtasen I. “He was,” says Bartlett,
“the builder of the older and smaller part of the Temple
of Karnak, which served as the nucleus around which his
successors grouped other and more colossal additions.
This early Theban monarchy was, in fact, a religious community,
in which the palace was a temple, the people
worshippers at the gate, and the monarch the chief priest.
The dynasty of Osirtasen was terminated by the conquest
of Upper Egypt by the Memphian kings who built the
Thebes, like the other cities of Egypt, was, for a time,
subject to the Shepherd Kings, till Amosis of Thebes
expelled that alien race, and Upper Egypt began to rise
to its highest degree of power and glory. The temple
at Karnak received important additions from Amunoph,
Thothmes, and the beautiful Queen Nitocris. Under
Thothmes III., lord of seventeen tributary nations, as

displayed in the sculptures, the magnificence of Karnak
greatly increased. Monarch after monarch whom it were
needless to name here took a pride in adding to the glory
of the Theban temples and palaces. Rameses II., of
whom we have heard at Abydos, did much memorable
work here also, as will be pointed out in describing the
monuments. A few kings of lesser note succeeded, and
then Rameses III., builder of the temple of Medéenet-Haboo,
finished the record of Theban power and splendour.
Weak kings succeeded; foreign possessions slipped
from their grasp; and Thebes became merely a vassal
province to the new dynasties of Bubastis and Tanis, in the
Delta. Its fall is as obscure as its origin.
When the dynasties of Lower Egypt were terminated
by Persian conquest, the great General Cambyses marched
southward to conquer Ethiopia. Turned back from the
intended exploit by famine, and irritated by the loss in the
desert sands of 50,000 men whom he had sent to conquer
the oases, he madly wreaked his vengeance on Thebes.
After burning and destroying the temples and palaces, he
plundered the tombs, and left the city in a ruined condition,
from which, however, it largely recovered. Theban commerce
was utterly lost by the rapid growth of Alexandria
under the Ptolemies. These princes made some considerable
additions to the temples, etc.; in these additions
the influence of Greek art is, of course, very perceptible.
“The reign of Ptolemy Lathyrus,” says the author just
quoted, “is remarkable for the rebellion of Thebes, and
for the final consummation of her ruin. It had long been
falling in trade and wealth, and had lost its superiority in
arms; but its temples, like so many citadels, its obelisks,
its colossal statues, and the tombs of its great kings, yet
remained, and with them the memory of its bygone glory.

The Thebans had borne for two centuries and a half,
under their Greek masters, political servitude, heavy taxes,
habitual annoyance, and occasional cruelty. Under the
government of Cleopatra Cocce the measure of their injuries
overflowed, and, taking advantage of the revolutions in
Alexandria, a large part of Upper Egypt rose in rebellion.
When Lathyrus returned to Egypt Thebes refused obedience.
For three years the brave Copts, intrenched within
their temples, every one of which was a castle, withstood
his armies; but the bows, the hatchets, and the chariots
could do little against Greek arms; while the overthrow of
the massive temple walls and the utter ruin of the city
prove how slowly they yielded to greater skill and numbers,
and mark the conquerors' distrust lest the temples should
again be so made use of. … The wide acres of Theban
ruin prove alike the greatness of the city and the force with
which it was overthrown; and this is the last time that
Egyptian Thebes is met with in the pages of history. The
habitations of the city were swept away, but the temples,
miles apart, form the nuclei of different scattered hamlets,
whose inhabitants till the plain once covered with the
living millions of the ancient city. The Christians, under
the Greek Emperors, raised their puny structures amidst
the colossal courts of Medeenet-Haboo,* but fled on the
conquest by the Arabs, whose degenerate successors make
their habitations amongst the tombs of Goorna, and gain a
precarious subsistence by rifling their contents, and
dragging from their repositories the mummied remains of
their tenants.
“But the ruined temples still stand to call forth the
* The Hon. R. Curzon, in his Monasteries of the Levant , gives a
curious account of a night visit to a tomb to inspect the MSS. once
belonging to the Theban monastery.

wonder of the traveller. They have seen the whole portion
of time, of which history keeps the reckoning, roll before
them; they have seen kingdoms and nations rise and fall —
the Babylonians, the Jews, the Persians, the Greeks, and
the Romans. They have seen the childhood of all that we
call ancient, and they seem likely to stand to tell their tale
to those who will hereafter call us the ancients.”
Under the name of No, or No-Ammon, Thebes is
several times referred to by the sacred writers. “I will
punish the multitude of No,” is the denunciation of Jeremiah
(xlvi. 25). “I will execute judgments in No.” …
“I will cut off the multitude of No.” … “No shall be
rent asunder,” are part of the burden of Ezekiel in the
14th, 15th, and 16th verses of chap. xxx. In Nahum iii. 8,
the prophet Nahum, addressing Nineveh, asks, “Art thou
better than populous No, that was situate among the rivers,
that had the waters round about it, whose rampart was the
sea, and her wall was from the sea?” See also following
verses. How' severely No, or Thebes, has been “rent
asunder,” and suffered from judgments of various kinds,
must be apparent to every observer.
In Jer. xlvi., the phrase, “multitude of No,” should be
“Ammon of No,” referring to the divinity Ammon-ra, worshipped
in this city.


The principal monuments of Thebes are, on the western
bank of the Nile, the Temple of Koorneh, the Temple of
the Dayr-el-Bahari, the Rameseum (commonly called the
Memnonium), the Temple of the Dayr-el-Medeeneh, the
Temple of Medeenet-Haboo, the Necropolises of Drah
Abo'lnegga and El Assasseef, and farther in the desert the
Tombs of the Kings, in the desolate valley of Bab-el-Molook.

On the eastern bank are situated the Temples of
Luxor and Karnak.
The Temple of Koorneh is situated at the entrance
of the gorge leading to Bab-el-Molook. It was reared to
the memory of Rameses I. by his son Sethi, and is indeed
a cenotaph; it belongs to the same era as the temple at
Abydos (p. 188), and is similar in the style and finish of its
artistic decorations. Entering by the central portal into the
Hall of the Six Columns and penetrating to the third
chamber on the right, there is an admirable head of Sethi,
scarcely yielding the palm to the finest of those on the walls
of Abydos. When Sethi died the temple was incomplete,
and it was finished by his son Rameses II., who consecrated
it to the memory of his father as well as to Rameses I., to
whom it was originally dedicated.
The Tombs of the Kings are in the desolate valley
of Bab-el-Molook, which has been called the St. Denis of
the nineteenth and twentieth dynasties. In an adjacent
valley, not generally visited, lie the monarchs of the eighteenth
All the tombs in this valley are excavated in the solid
rock, and were originally so built up and covered over as to
afford no trace of the spot where the royal mummy was
deposited. Twenty-five tombs have been opened—not all
kings, however, princes and public functionaries are amongst
them, three of these tombs should be visited.
The Tomb of Sethi I. (No. 17, commonly called
Belzoni's tomb) is the most magnificent, grand, and profusely
adorned with sculptures. Belzoni found it had been
already opened when he discovered it half a century ago;
but every bas-relief was then perfect, and every painting as
fresh as on the day of its production. Now, through the
ravages of antiquity-vendors and unscrupulous travellers,

an immense amount of disgraceful mutilation has been
effected, and an irreparable wrong done to science.
As soon as the visitor steps into this tomb he finds
himself, as it were, in a new world; no longer does he
behold the scenes of domestic and rural life, so pleasingly
pourtrayed at Sakkárah and Beni-hassan: all is fantastic
and chimerical; the gods are present in strange forms,
long serpents glide here and there, the judgment of the
soul and its admission to happiness are pictured forth,
and inscriptions run along the walls which are hymns to the
divinity supposed to be uttered by the spirit of the dead.
A beautiful alabaster sarcophagus was found by Belzoni
in this tomb; it is now in Sir John Soane's museum in
The visitor to this tomb descends by a staircase to a
passage, then by a second staircase to an oblong chamber
twelve feet by fourteen, where Belzoni found a deep pit
apparently placed to mislead explorers—this pit has been
filled up. Breaking through the walls of this chamber, where
the pit was discovered, a hall was reached about twenty-five
feet square, with its walls and four supporting columns
covered with beautiful sculptures. Through a second hall,
two more passages, and a small chamber, the grand hall,
twenty-seven feet square, and supported by six columns, is
reached; beyond this is a vaulted chamber from which the
sarcophagus, above alluded to, was taken. There is an
enclosed passage extending 150 feet further into the solid
rock, on arriving at the end of which the visitor is 470 feet
from the entrance horizontally, and 180 feet lower perpendicularly.
The Tomb of Rameses III. (No. II), commonly
called Bruce's Tomb, is much inferior in its artistic work to
that of Sethi.
Towards the middle of the tomb are the chambers which
chiefly merit attention. Very varied scenes are represented,
amongst others, the famous harpists may be noticed, of
which so many copies have been made.
This tomb received its common name from the traveller
Bruce, who was the first to make it known to Europeans.
There was once a sarcophagus of red granite in the principal
chamber of this tomb, of which the lid is now at Cambridge
and the other portion at the Louvre.
Greek graffiti are found in the tomb we are describing,
as in many others; these show that they were visited by
strangers in the Ptolemaic era, and were probably those
from which the royal mummies had been taken and dispersed
by Cambyses.
The Tomb of Sethi II. (No. 15) is distinguished by
figures in high relief at the entrance.
The Tomb of Rameses IV. (No. 2) is distinguished
by its high ceiling and slight inclination, so that it could be
easily visited on horseback; at the end of the tomb the
granite sarcophagus of colossal proportions is still in its place.
Tomb of Rameses VI. (No. 9) is 243 feet in length,
and is remarkable for the astronomical representations on
its ceiling. In Ptolemaic times, for some unknown reason,
this tomb, as is shown by the Greek inscriptions, was called
the Tomb of Memnon.
Tomb of Rameses IX. (No. 6) contains very striking
pictures representing the idea of resurrection after death.
From Bab-el-Molook tourists can return by either of
two or three routes. There is one interesting route over
the mountain chain which should be taken if possible. The
finest view in Egypt will be seen, and a better idea of the
general plan of Thebes will be obtained than is procurable
from any other point.
The Rameseum or Memnonium. The proper
appellation of this wonderful edifice, without a rival in Egypt
for elegant sculpture and symmetrical architecture, is the
Rameseum. It was built by Rameses II., whose cartouche
appears on each of the walls, to perpetuate his own memory,
in fact, to serve as his own cenotaph, and be the lasting
memorial of his greatness' and glory.
In front of the first court are two pylons, more or less
demolished. One of these structures (the West) looks as
if it only remained standing by a miracle of equilibrium,
but as it is described in the same way by the French savant
four score years ago, its immediate fall need not perhaps
be expected. Both the towers are adorned with sculptures
representing battle scenes, etc., from the campaign of
Rameses, otherwise known as Sesostris. The king is
represented in these scenes as fighting in the thick of the
combat and changing expected defeat to victory by deeds
of personal valour.
Entering the large court, against the columns surrounding
it are seen large figures of Rameses, with the attributes
of Osiris. In this court once sat, with hands reposing on
the knees in Egyptian fashion, the most gigantic statue ever
carved in Egypt from a solid block of granite. It measured
17 met. 50 cent. in height, and is calculated to have weighed
887 tons.
“By some extraordinary catastrophe this granite statue
of Rameses has been thrown down, and the Arabs have
scooped their millstones out of his face; but you can see
what he was, the largest statue in the world. Far and wide
his enormous head must have been seen—eyes, nose, and
ears. Far and wide you must have seen his hands resting
on his elephantine knees. You sit on his breast and look
at the Osiride statues which support the portico of the

temple, and they seem pigmies before him. Nothing that
now exists in the world can give any notion of what the
effect must have been when he was erect. Nero towering
above the Colosseum may have been something like it; but
he was of brass, and Rameses of solid granite. Rameses
also was resting in awful majesty after the conquest of the
whole known world. No one who entered the temple could
have thought of anything else but that stupendous being
who had thus raised himself up above the whole world of
gods and men.”—Dr. Stanley (Sinai and Palestine).
Numerous scenes from the history of the wars of Sesostris
are sculptured on the walls of this court—chiefly battles
with the Khetas on the banks of the Orontes. In other
parts of the temple there are religious scenes representing
Rameses worshipping the Theban gods; long lists of princes
and princesses of the royal family, and an astronomical
picture of some note which reveals the date of the building
1322 B.C. The hall conducting to the ceremonial chambers
of the edifice has graceful columns, with capitals of opening
The Colossi, both representing Amunoph III., once
stood before the pylon of the temple of that monarch—a
temple which has disappeared to the very foundations.
They once with their pedestals stood sixty feet above the
sand, but the deposition of vegetable soil round their base
has taken a few feet from their apparent altitude.
The northernmost of these statues was long known as
the vocal Memnon, and was celebrated for the musical
sounds said to issue from it when the first rays of morning
fell on the statue. Strange to say, this only happened after
the statue had been partially destroyed by an earthquake,
and ceased after it had been roughly repaired by rebuilding
the upper portion with sandstone, as seen to this day. Some

philosophers assign these sounds to expansion of fissured
portions under the influence of the sun's rays. Others say
that a priest hid himself in the interior and struck the bell-sounding
stone still existing in the lap of the statue. In
his Nile Notes of a Howadjii, Curtis thus refers to the
“Looking into the morning mists of history and poetry,
we find that Homer mentions Memnon as a son of Aurora
and Titho, King of Ethiopia, and brother of Priam, the most
beautiful of warriors, who hastened with myriads of men to
assist uncle Priam against the Greeks. Achilles slew Memnon
under the walls of Troy, and the morning after his
death, as Aurora put aside the darkness and looked vaguely
and wan along the world, the first level look that touched
the lips of the hitherto silent statue on the plain, evoked
mysterious music. There were birds too, Memnonides, who
arose from out the funeral pyre of Memnon, and as he
burned, fought fiercely in the air, so that more than half
fell offerings to his manes. Every year they return to renew
the combat, and every year with low wailings they dip their
wings in the river water and carefully cleanse the statue.
Dew-diamonded cobwebs, fascinating fable, O! history!”
The mysterious music was heard, or heard of, by poets,
historians, and emperors. Strabo says he heard it, but the
statue was then broken, and the historian was doubtful as to
whether the sound came from the statue or from some one
in the crowd. This is the first mention of the phenomenon.
For two hundred years the music was heard by many.
Hadrian heard it. Severus repaired the statue and
the mysterious melody ceased.
There are remains of other colossi and somewhat
smaller statues not far from the principal ones just described.
The so-called Temple of Medeenet-Haboo consists
of the ruins of two temples, one of Thothmes III., and
another of Rameses III. In these ruins, under the Empire,
a Coptic cathedral was found, and around it clustered a
Coptic village, called Medeenet-Haboo. Hence the name
generally given to the ruins.
The Temple of Thothmes III. is the smaller of
the two. The court (80 ft. by 125 ft.), by the flowered
capitals of its columns and the style of its sculptures and
hieroglyphics, belongs to the Roman epoch. It also bears
the names of Titus, Adrian, Antoninus, etc.
Beyond this court, which is a Ptolemaic addition, is
another smaller court, with cartouches of Tirhakeh (twenty-fifth
dynasty), and Nectanebo (thirtieth dynasty). The
Temple itself is more ancient still, being erected and
adorned by Thothmes II. and Thothmes III.
The Temple of Rameses III. was erected by him
in the immediate vicinity of the smaller edifice just described.
This grand building is of great historical importance,
and by its style and general effect and variety of
decoration, makes a profound and lasting impression on all
The edifice consists of a Palace and a Temple,
separated by a court, forming together a structure second
only to Karnak in grandeur of architecture and gorgeousness
of decoration—a labyrinth of immense courts, innumerable
pillars, and superb colonnades. Many parts are
still perfect, but all around, columns bright and vivid with
every colour of the rainbow lie scattered in countless
The Palace, though probably intended as a grand
monument of military architecture rather than as an actual
habitation, has all the characteristics of a royal residence.
The main part of the edifice consists of two immense
pyramidal towers. The exterior architecture merits careful
study, but it is in the interior decoration that the chief
interest of the palace centres. Here Rameses III. is seen
at home in the bosom of his family. One lady offers him
flowers; in another picture he is caressing a favourite; in
a third he is invited by a lady to a game at draughts.
In a building of such importance, Rameses was not
likely to omit to display himself as the great conqueror.
At the entry gate, he is shown presenting his prisoners
to the gods, and in these prisoners are very cleverly portrayed
specimens of all the races inhabiting Western Asia,
Libya, and Soudan, in the thirteenth century before the
Christian era. Similar pictures, with the ethnological
characteristics of the various races most carefully rendered,
are met with on various portions of the walls, and in the
inner courts of this palatial pile.
The Temple to the north of the Palace is approached
by a doorway, or pylon, between the two towers. Over this
doorway are sculptures commemorating the victorious
enterprises of Rameses against the Libyans and their allies.
On the northern facade of this pylon is a sculpture representing
the king receiving the falchion of vengeance from
Ammon-Armachis, who thus addresses the monarch, “I
turn my face toward the north, and I will that Phoenicia be
under thy feet; I will that the nations that acknowledge
not Egypt, bring thee their gold, their silver, and their
precious stones.… I turn my face toward the east
and I will that Arabia provide thee perfumes and essences,
rare woods, and all its products,” etc.
The court now entered, measuring 110 ft. by 135 ft., is
remarkable for the enormous Osiride columns, seven in
number, adorning one of its sides, and revealing the

funereal character of this monumental pile; for these
statues are those of the king himself, with the attributes of
Osiris. On the other side of the court are eight elegant
columns, with papyrus capitals. After examining, from this
point of view, the various tableaux on the surrounding
walls, commemorating the warlike achievements of the king,
the visitor passes through the granite portals of the second
pylon, which is surrounded by a row of apes, emblems of
Thoth, into the finest inner court found in any of the
Egyptian temples.
This splendid area measures 123 ft. by 133 ft., and its
height to the cornice is nearly 40 ft. Corridors covered
with sculptures brilliantly coloured surround the four sides,
in front of which is an inner peristyle, supported on the
north and south by Osiride pillars, and on the east and
west by massive columns with capitals representing the
flower of the lotus closed. In the centre of the court are
remains of columns once forming part of the Christian
cathedral erected here when Medeenet-Haboo was a Coptic
The tableaux covering the corridors of this court are
of great interest. The lower register chiefly consists of
battle scenes—the upper register are chiefly a series of
representations of the ceremonies attendant on the dedication
of this palace-temple of Rameses.
The western portion of the building was till recently
completely buried in Coptic ruins. Considerable labour
has been expended, with but little result beyond the discovery
of broken columns, empty chambers, religious inscriptions
of no special interest, and about a thousand
mutilated statuettes of Osiris.
Before leaving the glorious pile of Medeenet-Haboo,
there remains to notice the remarkable series of historical

tableaux on the exterior north wall of the temple. These
are ten in number, as follows, representing the expedition
of Rameses against the Libyans, in the ninth year of his
  • 1. Departure of the King and his army.
  • 2. Grand victory with fearful carnage; the King fighting
    in person.
  • 3. Prisoners brought to the King by the generals.
  • 4. The King haranguing his generals.
  • 5. Troops defiling to renew the war. Encomiums on the
    King, and thanksgiving to the gods, in hieroglyphics.
  • 6. Victory. Heaps of slain. The camp surprised.
    Women and children in flight.
  • 7. March through a country infested by lions. One slain
    and another wounded by the King.
  • 8. The only known Egyptian representation of a naval
  • 9. Halt on the march towards Egypt. Hands of the slain
    counted. Prisoners defile. The King harangues
    his generals.
  • 10. Return to Thebes, and thanksgiving to the gods.
To sum up this brief description of the palace-temple of
Medeenet-Haboo, the whole edifice was evidently designed
as a lasting monument of the life and achievements of
Rameses III. It is his autobiography in stone. All available
genius and skill were enlisted for the perpetuation of
one idea—and that idea was Rameses III.
In the vicinity of Medeenet-Haboo, are a small Ptolemaic
temple, the site of the lake called Birket Aboo, and
a small Roman temple with the names of Adrian and Antoninus
The Dayr-el-Medeenet, so called from its having
been utilized by the early Christians, is a small temple built

by Ptolemy Philopater, and situate between the Colossi and
Medeenet-Haboo. From the sculptures it is conjectured
that the edifice was of a funereal character. The western
chamber, especially, would appear to be specially dedicated
to Osiris as the judge of departed souls.
The façade of this temple is very elegant, and constructed
in a style of which there is no better preserved
example in Egypt. There is a curious open window in the
south (paroi) of one of the interior chambers which merits
careful study.
Dayr-el-Bahari. This temple was built by Queen
Hatasoo, the sister and wife of Thothmes II., B.C. 1600.
The finest marble limestone was used in its construction,
and its architect seems to have been an able man called
Senmut, who was honoured with the friendship of the queen,
and promoted by her to be chief clerk of the works. Before
the temple was an avenue of sandstone sphinxes and two
obelisks. It was built in stages on the side of a hill, and
its courts were connected by means of flights of steps.
As early as the XXIInd dynasty the temple had fallen into
disuse, and soon after this time its chambers appear to have
been used for sepulchres. The wall sculptures are beautiful
specimens of art, and depict the return of Egyptian soldiers
from some military expedition, and the scenes which took
place during the expedition which the queen organized and
sent off to Punt. This latter expedition was most successful,
and returned to Egypt laden with things the “like of which
had never before been seen in that land.” The prince of
Punt came to Egypt with a large following, and became a
vassal of Ha̅tshepset.
A remarkable discovery of royal mummies was made in
1881, the following account of which will be found deeply


In the summer of the year 1871 an Arab, a native of
Kûrnah, discovered a large tomb filled with coffins heaped
one upon the other. On the greater number of them were
visible the cartouche and other signs which indicated that
the inhabitants of the coffins were royal personages. The
native who was so fortunate as to have chanced upon this
remarkable “find,” was sufficiently skilled in his trade of
antiquity hunter to know what a valuable discovery he had
made; his joy must, however, have been turned into mourning,
when it became evident that he would need the help of
many men even to move some of the large royal coffins
which he saw before him, and that he could not keep
the knowledge of such treasures locked up in his own
breast. He revealed his secret to his two brothers and
to one of his sons, and they proceeded to spoil the
coffins of ushabti figures, papyri, scarabs and other
antiquities which could be taken away easily and concealed
in their abbas (ample outer garments) as they returned
to their houses. These precious objects were for
several winters sold to chance tourists on the Nile, and the
lucky possessors of this mine of wealth replenished their
stores from time to time by visits made at night to the tomb.
As soon as the objects thus sold reached Europe, it was at
* A minute and detailed account of this discovery is given by
Maspero in “Les Momies Royales de Déïr-el-Bahari” (Fasc. I.,
t. IV., of the Mémoires of the French Archaeological Mission at
Ushabti figures made of stone, green or blue glazed Egyptian
porcelain, wood, &c., were deposited in the tombs with the dead, and
were supposed to perform for them any field labours which might be
decreed for them by Osiris, the king of the under-world, and judge of
the dead.

once suspected that a “find” of more than ordinary
importance had been made. An English officer, called
Campbell, showed M. Maspero a hieratic Book of the Dead
written for Pi-net'em; M. de Saulcy sent him photographs
of the hieroglyphic papyrus of Net'emet; M. Mariette
bought at Suez a papyrus written for the Queen Hent-taiu,
and Rogers Bey exhibited at Paris a wooden tablet
upon which was written a hieratic text relating to the
ushabti figures which were to be buried with the Princess
Nesi-Chensu. All these interesting and most valuable
objects proved that the natives of Thebes had succeeded
in unearthing a veritable “Cave of Treasures,” and
M. Maspero, the Director of the Bulak Museum, straightway
determined to visit Upper Egypt with a view of
discovering whence came all these antiquities. Three men
were implicated, whose names were learnt by M. Maspero
from the inquiries which he made of tourists who purchased
In 1881 he proceeded to Thebes, and began his investigations
by causing one of the dealers, 'Abd-er-Rasûl Ahmad,
to be arrested by the police, and an official inquiry into the
matter was ordered by the Mudîr of Keneh. In spite of
threats and persuasion, and many odd tortures, the accused
denied any knowledge of the place whence the antiquities
came. The evidence of the witnesses who were called to
testify to the character of the accused, tended to show that
he was a man of amiable disposition, who would never
dream of pillaging a tomb, much less do it. Finally, after
two months' imprisonment, he was provisionally set at
liberty. The accused then began to discuss with his partners
in the secret what plans they should adopt, and how they
should act in the future. Some of them thought that all
trouble was over when 'Abd-er-Rasûl Ahmad was set at

liberty, but others thought, and they were right, that the
trial would be recommenced in the winter. Fortunately for
students of Egyptology, differences of opinion broke out
between the parties soon after, and 'Abd-er-Rasûl Ahmad
soon perceived that his brothers were determined to turn
King's evidence at a favourable opportunity. To prevent
their saving themselves at his expense, he quietly travelled
to Keneh, and there confessed to the Mudîr that he was
able to reveal the place where the coffins and papyri were
found. Telegrams were sent to Cairo announcing the
confession of 'Abd-er-Rasûl Ahmad, and when his statements
had been verified, despatches containing fuller
particulars were sent to Cairo from Keneh. It was decided
that a small expedition to Thebes should at once be made
to take possession of and bring to Cairo the antiquities
which were to be revealed to the world by 'Abd-er-Rasûl
Ahmad, and the charge of bringing this work to a successful
issue was placed in the hands of M. Emil Brugsch.
Although the season was summer, and the heat very great,
the start for Thebes was made on July 1. At Keneh M.
Brugsch found a number of papyri and other valuable
antiquities which 'Abd-er-Rasûl had sent there as an earnest
of the truth of his promise to reveal the hidden treasures.
A week later M. Brugsch and his companions were shown
the shaft of the tomb, which was most carefully hidden in
the north-west part of the natural circle which opens to the
south of the valley of Dayr-el-Bahari, in the little row of
hills which separates the Bibân-el-Mulûk from the Theban
plain. According to M. Maspero,* the royal mummies
were removed here from their tombs in the Bibân-el-Mulûk
by Aauputh, the son of Shashanq, about B.C. 966, to prevent
* Histoire Ancienne des Peuples de L'Orient, 4feme ed., p. 360.

them being destroyed by the thieves, who were sufficiently
numerous and powerful to defy the government of the day.
The pit which led to the tomb was about forty feet deep,
and the passage, of irregular level, which led to the tomb
was about 220 feet long; at the end of this passage was a
nearly rectangular chamber about twenty-five feet long,
which was found to be literally filled with coffins, mummies,
funereal furniture, boxes, ushabti figures, Canopic jars,*
bronze vases, etc., etc. A large number of men were
at once employed to exhume these objects, and for eight
and forty hours M. Brugsch and Ahmad Effendi Kamal
stood at the mouth of the pit watching the things brought
up. The heavy coffins were carried on the shoulders of
men to the river, and in less than two weeks everything had
been sent over the river to Luxor. A few days after this
the whole collection of mummies of kings and royal personages
was placed upon an Egyptian Government steamer
and taken to the Museum at Bulak.
When the mummies of the ancient kings of Egypt
arrived at Cairo, it was found that the Bulak Museum was
too small to contain them, and before they could be exposed
to the inspection of the world, it was necessary for
additional rooms to be built. Finally, however, M. Maspero
had glass cases made, and, with the help of some cabinets
borrowed from his private residence, attached to the
* The principal intestines of a deceased person were placed in four
jars, which were placed in his tomb under the bier; the jars were
dedicated to the four children of Horus, who were called Amset, Hapi,
Tuamautef and Qebhsenuf. The name “Canopic” is given to them
by those who follow the opinion of some ancient writers that
the pilot of Menelaus, who is said to have been buried at Canopus,
in Egypt, was worshipped there under the form of a jar with small
feet, a thin neck, a swollen body, and a round back.

Museum, he succeeded in exhibiting, in a comparatively
suitable way, the mummies in which such world-wide
interest had been taken. Soon after the arrival of the
mummies at Bulak, M. Brugsch opened the mummy of
Thothmes III., when it was found that the Arabs had
attacked it and plundered whatever was valuable upon it.
In 1883 the mummy of Queen Mes-Hent-Themehu, emitted
unpleasant odours, and by M. Maspero's orders it was unrolled.
In 1885 the mummy of Queen Ahmes Nefertári
was unrolled by him, and as it putrified rapidly and stank,
it had to be buried. Finally, when M. Maspero found that
the mummy of Seqenen-Ra was also decaying, he decided
to unroll the whole collection, and Rameses II, was the
first of the great kings whose features were shown again to
the world after a lapse of 3,200 years.
Such are the outlines of the history of one of the
greatest discoveries ever made in Egypt. It will ever be
regretted by the Egyptologist that this remarkable collection
of mummies was not discovered by some person who could
have used for the benefit of scholars the precious information
which this “find” would have yielded, before so
many of its objects were scattered; as it is, however, it
would be difficult to over-estimate its historical value.
The following is a list of the names of the principal kings
and royal personages which were found on coffins at Dayr-el-Bahari
and of their mummies:—

XVIIth Dynasty, B.C. 1700.

  • King Seqenen-Ra, coffin and mummy.
  • Nurse of Queen Nefertári Raa, coffin only. This coffin
    contained the mummy of a queen whose name is read

XVIIIth Dynasty, B.C. 1700-1400.

  • King Ahmes (Amasis I.), coffin and mummy.
    Queen Ahmes Nefertári, coffin.
    King Amenhetep I., coffin and mummy.
    The Prince Se-Amen, coffin and mummy.
    The Princess Set-Amen, coffin and mummy.
    The Scribe Senu, chief of the house of Nefertári,
  • Royal wife Set ka-mes, mummy.
  • Royal daughter Meshentthemhu, coffin and mummy.
  • Royal mother Aah-hetep, coffin.
  • King Thothmes I., coffin usurped by Pi-net'em.
  • King Thothmes II., coffin and mummy.
  • King Thothmes III., coffin and mummy.
  • Coffin and mummy of an unknown person.

XIXth Dynasty, B.C. 1400—1200.

  • King Rameses I., part of coffin.
  • King Seti I., coffin and mummy.
  • King Rameses II., coffin and mummy.

XXth Dynasty, B.C. 1200 — 1100.

  • King Rameses III., mummy found in the coffin of

XXIst Dynasty, B C. 1100—1000.

  • Royal mother Net'emet.
  • High-priest of Amen, Masahertha, coffin and mummy.
  • High-priest of Amen, Pai-net'em III., coffin and
  • Priest of Amen, T'et-Ptah-auf-anch, coffin and mummy.
  • Scribe Nebseni, coffin and mummy.
    Queen Mat-ka-Ra, coffin and mummy.
  • Princess Uast-em-chebit, coffin and mummy.
  • Princess Nesi-Chensu.
The Tombs of the Kings, called in Arabic
Bibân-el-Mulûk, are hewn out of the living rock in a valley,
which is reached by passing the temple at Kûrnah; it
is situated about three or four miles from the river.
This valley contains the tombs of the kings of the XIXth
and XXth dynasties, and is generally known as the Eastern
Valley; a smaller valley, the Western, contains the tombs
of the last kings of the XVIIIth dynasty. These tombs
consist of long inclined planes with a number of chambers
or halls receding into the mountain sometimes to a
distance of 500 feet. Strabo gives the number of these
royal tombs as forty, seventeen of which were open in the
time of Ptolemy Lagus; in 1835 twenty-one were known,
but the labours of M. Mariette were successful in bringing
four more to light. The most important of these tombs
No. 17. Tomb of Seti I., B.C. 1366, commonly called
“Belzoni's Tomb,” because it was discovered by that brave
traveller in the early part of this century; it had already
been rifled, but the beautiful alabaster sarcophagus, which
is now preserved in the Soane Museum in London, was
still lying in its chamber at the bottom of the tomb. The
inscriptions and scenes sculptured on the walls form parts of
the Dayr-el-Bahari.
In February, 1891, another large rock-tomb was discovered
eastward of the temple of Dayr-el-Bahari, containing
one hundred and sixty mummies of priests and
dignitaries of the XIXth, XXth, and XXIst dynasties, also,
a great number of statuettes, papyri, funeral offerings,

baskets of flowers, and several sarcophagi adorned with
religious scenes. It is probable that all these were hastily
removed from their original tombs to preserve them from
spoliation. The contents of the tomb were carefully
packed and sent to Cairo, and are now safely housed in the
Museum at Ghizeh.
The Necropolis of Thebes, in coming from Luxor,
lies beyond the Temple of Koorneh, to the left of the road
leading to the Bab-el-Molook.
The first portion of the cemetery reached—that of
Drah Aboo'l Negga—contains little to attract the
tourist's attention. It is undoubtedly the most ancient
necropolis in Thebes, containing tombs of the XIth,
XVIIth, and early XVIIIth dynasties. Hence was taken
the coffin of Queen Aah-Hotep, now in the Boulak Museum.
The Necropolis of Assasseef, farther south, contains
tombs of the XIXth, XXIInd, and XXVIth dynasties.
One immense excavated tomb in this cemetery occupies
over an acre of ground.
The Tombs of Sheykh Abd-el-Koorneh are still
farther south from Assasseef. Here the tombs are cut into
the mountain side. No. 35 is the most interesting, as its
sculptures have yielded an immense amount of information
as to the manners and customs of the ancient Egyptians.
Other adjacent tombs can be explored under the advice and
direction of the guides, if time allows. The tombs of
Koornet Murraee, and other collections of sepulchres,
lie farther in the same direction, whilst more to the west is
the Valley of the Queens, where, in strict propriety, those
royal ladies are buried by themselves. This valley is of
little interest, except to the student of hieroglyphics.
The remains of Thebes, on the eastern bank of the Nile,

will next be described. These consist almost exclusively of
the temples and avenues of Luxor and Karnak.
Luxor is a capital approach to Karnak. Courts, and
columns, and statues, and ruins are mingled up in splendid
confusion. The Temple of Luxor is every year becoming
more interesting. Until very recently a large portion of
the buildings connected in ancient days with the temple
were quite buried by the accumulated rubbish and earth
upon which a large number of houses stood. During the
last ten years excavations have been made by the Egyptian
Government, and some interesting results have been
obtained. Among the antiquities thus brought to light
may be mentioned a fine granite statue of Rameses II.,
the existence of which was never imagined. The temple
of Luxor was built on an irregular plan caused by following
the course of the river, out of the waters of which its
walls, on one side, rose; it was founded by Amenophis III.,
about B.C. 1500. About forty years after, Heru-em-heb
added the great colonnade, and as the name of Seti I.,
B.C. 1366, occurs in places, it is probable that he executed
some repairs to the temple. His son, Rameses II.,
B.C. 1333, set up two obelisks, together with the colossi and
the large pylon; the large court, nearly 200 feet square,
behind the pylon, was surrounded by a double row of
columns. The Obelisk now standing there records the
names, titles, etc., of Rameses II., and stands about 82 feet
high; it is one of the finest specimens of sculpture known.
Its fellow obelisk stands in the Place de la Concorde,
After the burning and sacking of this temple by the
Persians, some slight repairs, and rebuilding of certain
chambers, were carried out by some of the Ptolemies, the
name of one of whom (Philopator) is found inscribed on

the temple. Certain parts of the temple appear to have
been used by the Copts as a church, for the ancient sculptures
have been plastered over and painted with figures of
saints, etc.
Luxor (450 miles from Cairo) is a market-town of
about 2000 inhabitants, deriving its name from the Arabic
name of the place, El-Kusur, which means, “the palaces.”
On market days the town presents an animated sight,
being crowded with people from the surrounding villages,
there being no market dues. There are two excellent
hotels at Luxor, called the Karnak Hotel and the Luxor,
both under the able management of Mr. Pagnon, a former
representative of THOS. COOK & SON in Cairo. These
hotels are not only frequented by Nile travellers in COOK'S steamers, but by visitors and invalids, who remain during
the winter season in the unequalled climate of Luxor, some
for scientific purposes, others in search of health. The
Luxor Hotel grounds are spacious and shaded, adjoining
a farm cultivated to supply visitors with dairy produce,
poultry, sheep, and bullocks. A qualified medical gentleman,
a clergyman of the Church of England, and an English
lady housekeeper reside in the hotel during winter.
Through the Egyptian Postal Department, letters are
delivered at the Luxor Hotels regularly three times a week,
and letters can be posted for Cairo, Europe, America, etc.,
with equal frequency.
Telegrams are received and forwarded regularly by
English-speaking telegraph clerks, thus insuring communication
between Luxor and any part of the globe, the post
and telegraph office being in the Hotel grounds.
A great trade is carried on in Luxor in antiquities, more
or less genuine, and extreme caution is necessary in purchasing

these, even from vendors of official position and
undoubted respectability.
The road from Luxor to Karnak lies over a cultivated
plain, sprinkled with scanty remnants of the ancient city.
“We rode,” says the author of The Crescent and the Cross,
“along a wide plain covered with coarse grass, and varied
by some gloomy little lakes and acacia shrubs, when, at the
end of an hour, our guide reigned in his horse, and pointed
with his spear towards the south. There lay Karnak
darkening a whole horizon with portals, and pyramids, and
palaces. We passed under a noble archway, and entered a
long avenue of sphinxes; all their heads were broken off,
but their pedestals remained unmoved since the time of
Joseph. It must have been a noble sight in the palmy days
of Thebes—that avenue of two hundred enormous statues,
terminated by that temple. Yet this was only one of many;
at least seven others, with similar porticoes and archways,
led from this stupendous edifice. We rode through half-a-mile
of sphinxes, and then arrived at the temple, the splendour
of which no words can describe.*
“A glorious portal opened into a vast court, crowded
with a perfect forest of the most magnificent columns,
thirty-six feet in circumference, covered with hieroglyphics,
and surmounted by capitals—all of different patterns and
richly painted. No two persons agree on the number of
these apparently countless columns—some make it amount
to 134, others to 160; the central ones measure 66 feet in
height, exclusive of the pedestals and abacus. Endless it
would be to enter into details of this marvellous pile; suffice
it to say that the temple is about one mile and three quarters
* The writer must be mistaken in his time and distance. Karnak
is only half-an-hour's walk from Luxor.

in circumference, the walls eighty feet high and twenty-five
feet thick at the base.”
The visitor enters the temple by the enormous propylon,
370 feet in breadth, and with one tower standing 140 feet
in height; this tower can be ascended, and a good view of
the plan of the ruins obtained. Through a court surrounded
by corridors, and with a small temple built by
Rameses III., another immense propylon is reached with
statues of Rameses III. in red granite, and the Grand Hall
is then entered, whose columns are alluded to in the extract
given above. The most ancient cartouches in this hall are
those of Sethi I. (1450 B.C.), but there is reason to infer
that Sethi was not the constructor of this hall, but that to
Amunoph III. is due the honour of its erection. Originally,
the hall was completely roofed in—daylight only came in by
the grilled windows, of which traces are still visible; th
hall would therefore be pervaded, as M. Mariette points out,
by a sort of “dim religious light,” very favourable to the
general effect by softening the crudity of the paintings on
the columns and ceilings.
Through another propylon, much dilapidated, a narrow
court running across the building is entered; here once
stood two obelisks of red granite, only one is now standing.
The names of Thothmes I. and Rameses II. are inscribed.
A smaller propylon conducts to a court surrounded by
Osiride pillars,* in which is standing the largest obelisk
known, being ninety-two feet in height and eight feet square,
a fellow obelisk is no longer standing; the one seen in situ is the obelisk of the celebrated Queen Regent Hatasoo, who
played an important part in the history of the eighteenth
* By this term is described the columns frequent in Egyptian
architecture, in which a figure of Osiris is “adossé” (as the French
say) to the column.

dynasty. From an inscription on the obelisk we learn that
it was surmounted by a small pyramid of pure gold, that the
whole column was gilded from top to bottom, and that the
time spent in erecting the column in this place, including
its transportation from the quarries of Assouan, was only
seven months.
Beyond this court the ruined sanctuary, and various
other chambers, the columns of Osirtasen I. (3064 B.C.),
marking the oldest portion of the edifice, the columnar hall
of Thothmes III., the Hall of Ancestors, and some other
chambers, etc., can be visited.
The bas-reliefs on the exterior wall of the Great Hall
demand notice.
On the North Wall are the most valuable records of the
reign of Sethi in existence; they represent the wars of that
monarch against the Assyrians, Armenians of the desert,
etc. In one extraordinary symbolical scene the king, with
numerous arms, seizes his enemies by the hair and proceeds
to immolate them before the God of Thebes.
On the South Wall, commencing near the gateway at the
western end, are sculptures commemorating the victories of
Shishak. On a projecting wall farther east is written in
hieroglyphics the famous poem of “Pen-ta-our,” in which
the story of a feat of arms of Rameses II. in his wars against
the Khetas is handed down to posterity. Near this is a
copy of a treaty of peace concluded by the same great
monarch, also some battle pieces commemorating his
Of course it would be impossible to pretend really to
catalogue the curiosities and marvels of Karnak. All that
can be done by the rapid tourist is to get correct general
impressions and fill in the details at leisure. The author
last quoted says, “From the desert or the river, from within

or from without, by sunshine or by moonlight—however
you contemplate Karnak—appears the very aspect in which
it shows to most advantage. And when this was all perfect,
when its avenues opened in vistas upon the noble temples
and palaces of Sesostris, upon Gournou, Medeenet-Haboo,
and Luxor; when its courts were paced by gorgeous priestly
pageants, and busy life swarmed on a river flowing between
banks of palaces, like those of Venice magnified a hundred-fold—when
all this was in its prime, no wonder that its
fame spread even over the barbarian world, and found immortality
in Homer's song.
“For many a day after I had seen it, and even to
this hour, glimpses of Thebes mingle with my reveries
and blend them with my dreams, as if that vision had
daguerreotyped itself upon the brain and left its impress
there for ever.”


The first place to notice, after leaving Luxor, is Erment (W.), where more sugar making is going forward on a very
extensive scale; here are some ruins of the town of Hermonthis,
consisting chiefly of a small Ptolemaic temple
containing what is considered the authentic portrait of
Cleopatra. Tuot (E.), the Gebelayen Ridge (W.), Mutaneh (W.), another sugar factory, and Tofnées (W.), site of
ancient Aphroditopolis, offer nothing specially worthy of
Esneh (35 miles from Luxor, pop. 9,000) is a place of
considerable trade, with bazaars and a well stocked market;
it is considered the most healthy town in Egypt, and has
been called “the most picturesque and amusing city on the
Upper Nile.” It stands on mounds, the accumulated heaps
of the ancient city of Latopolis. Any person wishing to

purchase an Egyptian donkey should remember that Esneh
is the best place on the river at which to do so.
Near Esneh is the palace built by Mohamed Ali, standing
in beautiful grounds. That prince, when staying here,
in 1842, had the portico of the Temple of Esneh in the
middle of the town cleared from the rubbish, etc., which
enveloped it. It is supposed that the remainder of the
temple is under the adjacent houses. The portico, or
entrance-hall, which is the only portion visible, contains
twenty-four columns, nineteen feet in circumference and
sixty-five feet high, the capitals being imitations of the
doom palm, vine, papyrus, etc. There is some reason for
believing that the inner temple, not yet explored, dates from
the time of Thothmes III., but the façade and columns of
this portico are of the Roman epoch. Several cartouches
of the Caesars are seen—Claudius, Domitian, Commodus,
Caracalla, etc. The sculptures in relief representing princes
making offerings to the deities, and the hieroglyphics, are
very poorly executed—in these arts Egypt rapidly declined
under Greek and Roman influence. The columns and
capitals are very graceful—for in architecture, which was
less trammelled by traditional conventionalities and
priestly rules, Greek grace and freedom asserted its
Above Esneh, game on the river becomes increasingly
plentiful—pelicans abound. The sandstone region is soon
entered, and the appearance of the hills totally changes.
They slope away from the banks, leaving the sides and
banks covered with immense boulders. The strip of habitable
country becomes narrower, and cultivation becomes
more arduous and precarious.
Passing El Helleh (E.) and the mounds of Kom Ayr (W.), the last Pyramid within the limits of Egypt is seen,

that of El Koôla (W.); it is a limestone structure about
sixty feet square, and is now in a very ruinous condition—
what remains is under forty feet in height. El Kom-el-Ahmar (W.) is the site of Hieraconopolis, the City of the
Hawks, dating from the time of Osirtasen I.
El Kab (E., 52 miles from Luxor) is celebrated for its
grottoes and other remains of the ancient City of Eileithyias,
the City of Lucina; these grottoes are covered with paintings
in colours still vivid—there are excellent delineations of
scenes of domestic life, agricultural labour and sports,
banquets, fishing, fowling, and funeral processions. The
domestic life and rural economy of the ancient Egyptians
can be well studied here. There are also two or three
temples; one built by Rameses II., another of Ptolemaic
origin, consecrated to Lucinia by Euergates II., with some
additions by Cleopatra; and a third dedicated to the same
goddess by Amunoph III., the decorative pictures in the
latter temple are good. Natron (sub-carbonate of soda),
an Egyptian article of commerce, is found in the vicinity.
Eileithyias was a fortress guarding the entrance of a
gorge from which wild Arab tribes used to descend upon
the Nile Valley. Remains of ramparts, dating from the
Ancient Empire, are still visible
Edfou (W.) is a short distance from the river side.
In the middle of the village of Edfou stands its noted
In general plan and arrangement this temple is very
similar to that at Denderah, and the uses to which the
various portions of the building were applied would seem
to have been the same. But the temple at Edfou is the
most perfect specimen of an Egyptian temple extant—more
complete even than that at Denderah. The magnificent
pylon and wall of enclosure are quite unique.
Not many years ago the modern village of Edfou
covered the whole of the temple except the propylon; even
the terraces of the roof were concealed by houses, and the
interior was choked with rubbish to the very ceilings. Now,
thanks to the energetic labours carried on by Mariette Bey,
under the authority of the Khedive, the temple, in all its
completeness, is accessible to the visitor.
The entire length of this magnificent temple is 450
feet; the propylon is nearly 250 feet in breadth; the
Towers are 115 feet in height, and can be ascended by
250 steps; from the summit there is a fine view of the
Nile Valley. It is best to make this ascent before entering
the temple, as in that way a good general idea is obtained
of the arrangement of the building before examining its
details more minutely. These lofty towers, forming a
monumental entry to the temple, seen at a great distance,
used to be adorned with immense flags. In the façade may
be noticed the apertures in which the masts supporting
these banners were inserted.
The Temple of Edfou was founded by Ptolemy IV.
(Philopator), the sanctuary and adjoining chambers being
the work of that prince; the decoration of the central halls
is due to Ptolemy VI. (Philometer); succeeding princes of
the same house continued the work of construction and
decoration till the reign of Ptolemy XIII. (Dionysius), who
constructed, or, at least, decorated the pylon. The temple
was dedicated to Hor-Hat and his mother Athor, the
Egyptian Venus. In the inscriptions Hor-Hat is described
as “lord of the heavens, son of Osiris, king of the kings of
Lower and Upper Egypt, master of gods and goddesses.”
Very interesting sculptures and inscriptions abound in
this temple: some display the warlike achievements of the
Ptolemies; many are of the usual religious character. From

some have been derived valuable geographical facts as to
Ancient Egypt. There are some curious inscriptions on
the basement of the exterior of great importance; they
describe in detail the various chambers of this temple
giving the dimensions, so that a means for accurately comparing
ancient and modern measures is thus afforded. The
name of the architect is given as Ei-em-hotep Oer-si-Phtah
(Imouthes, grandson of Phtah). Another inscription states
that, with interruptions from war, the building took ninety-five
years to complete; this must refer to the actual construction
of the building—as, from the names of kings
mentioned above, the buildings and decorations were not
finished in less than 170 years.
The Great Court is first entered, about 140 feet by
150 feet, and surrounded on three sides by thirty-two
dissimilar columns. The Pronaos, next entered, stretches
across the building, and contains immense pillars covered
with hieroglyphics. The Adytum contains twelve peculiar
columns bulging excessively at the centre; on each side
are four small rooms—one has a staircase leading to the
terrace. Several other courts and chambers are visited,
and at the extreme end of the building is the Naos, or
sanctuary. The place of deposit of the sacred emblem was
not, as at Denderah, a niche in the wall, but the grey
granite monolith now lying in one corner of the apartment;
this was the repository of the sacred hawk, emblem of Hor-Hat;
the monolith was made by Nectanebo I., of the
thirtieth dynasty, for an older temple to which the present
edifice succeeded. There is an exquisite little chapel,
covered with very perfect bas-reliefs on the north side of
the building; this sanctuary was connected with the New
Year Ceremonies.
There is a small and very dilapidated temple, built by

Ptolemy Physcon, close at hand. West of Edfou are marshes
where wild geese congregate.
Leaving Edfou, we pass the ruins of the fortified Arabian
town of Booáyb (on the E.), also the village of Silweh on
the same side. On the west bank the ravine of Shut-el-Rágel
is passed, in which some discoveries of value to
Egyptologists have been made. On the same side, farther
on, are the hills Gebel Aboo Ghabah, in passing which gusty
weather is often encountered.
Hágar-Silsileh, or Gebel Silsileh, the Mountain
of the Chain, is 92 miles from Luxor. Arab tradition
affirms that, at this point, the navigation of the river was
stopped by a jealous king, who stretched a chain across the
narrow channel, which is little more than a thousand feet
broad at this point. On both sides of the river are quarries
from which the ancient kings procured the materials for
many of the Nile valley cities and monuments. The ancient
Silsilis stood on the east bank. The quarries and grottoes
on the west bank are the most interesting; the principal
grotto contains a much-admired tableau of a goddess suckling
the infant Horus; the Triumph of Horus, the last king
of the eighteenth dynasty, is represented in another striking
Speaking of the quarries of Hágar-Silsileh, Dr. Olin
says, “The mountain, for an extent of several miles, is cut
into yawning chasms and high threatening precipices, that,
in their dimensions and variety of forms, mimic the sublime
workmanship of nature. As the stone immediately on this
bank of the river was porous, and less adapted to architectural
purposes, passages were cut through these useless
masses into the heart of the mountain. I did not measure
these avenues, but am sure that several of them are nearly
half a mile in length, by fifty or sixty feet wide, and eighty

deep. Many large masses remain as they were left by the
workmen, and all the processes of quarrying are plainly
Kom-Omboo (E.) presents an interesting relic
doomed to destruction, for the Nile is gradually undermining
all that is left of the double temple where the
principle of light, under the form of Horus, and the principle
of darkness, under the form of the Crocodile God
Sebek, were worshipped by the Ombites. Here was the
tank where the sacred crocodile bathed, and the brick
terrace where he took his daily “constitutional.” This
edifice, reared by Greek princes, successors of Alexander,
bears the names of various Ptolemies.
The distance from Omboo to Assouan is only 26 miles;
after a few hours' journey, hills rise towards the south
crowned with forts; a green island is seen dividing the river
into two parts; to the left several white houses glitter in the
midst of an oasis of date-palms. Assouan seems to stand
at the end of the Nile, as the eye, looking forward, vainly
seeks an opening for the river's course.
Assouan astonishes the traveller,” says M. Mariette;
“one is tempted to think oneself in a new world; Egyptians,
Turks, Barabras, half-naked Bicharis, and Negroes of every
kind mingle here; the inhabitants of Khartoom are especially
striking by their grand mien, black faces, and their
fine heads, reminding one of the best types of northern
races; to complete the picture, the merchandise consists of
exotic gums, elephants' teeth, and the skins of beasts; in
the midst of the crowd circulate the hawkers, no longer
dealing in antiquities, but in clubs of ebony, pikes, lances,
and arrows, whose iron points are said to be poisoned.”
Assouan contains about 9,000 inhabitants. It is 583
miles from Cairo, and 730 from the coast of the Mediterranean.

It is a well-built town, and a walk through the
bazaar is very interesting, and the scene on the quay is
usually very lively.
At Assouan will be found a most comfortable hotel
also under the management of M. Pagnon, in whose hands
are the hotels at Luxor. This hotel has only been opened
for a few years, but the experiment of building it has
proved to be amply justified as an ever-increasing number
of tourists make more or less prolonged stays there. The
desert air is most clear and bracing, there being practically
no cultivation in the district. Horse or donkey riding
across the desert to Shellal, opposite the island of Philæ,
or boating on the Nile, provide healthful and pleasant
relaxation. An English medical gentleman resides in the
hotel during the tourist season.
Assouan was formerly known as Syene. Few traces of
its early Egyptian history are recognizable. From the granite
quarries of the neighbourhood, the obelisks and other monoliths
of the cities of Upper Egypt were procured. In one
quarry there is a monolith eighty feet long with one side
still adhering to its native rocks. A Ptolemaic temple has
been recently discovered. But though Syene was a notable
garrison town in Greek and Roman times, even of that
epoch scarcely anything remains. The ruins of Assouan,
and also in the adjacent island of Elephantine, are mostly
Syene was celebrated amongst Greek and Roman geographers
and philosophers as being a place where, at the
summer solstice, the sun shone perpendicularly, and some
of the measurements of the earth, by Eratosthenes and
others, were based on this supposed fact Modern observation
proves either that these philosophers were wrong in
their facts, or else that the position of the earth, and consequently,

the boundary of the tropics, has altered since
their time. Juvenal lived at Syene for a time, being
banished hither by the Emperor Domitian.
In the prophecies of the downfall of Egypt the Prophet
speaks of the “tower of Syene” as marking the southern
limit of the kingdom—thus, “from Migdol to Syene” was
a similar expression to the customary Hebrew phrase, “from
Dan to Beersheba.” (See Ezek. xxix. 10 and xxx. 6, taking
the marginal reading in both cases.)
In the vicinity of Assouan may be seen several remains
of Saracenic walls, and numerous tombs of sheikhs and
Nearly opposite Assouan, and a little below Elephantine,
General Sir Francis Grenfell has recently discovered, and
caused to be excavated, three tombs. One was built for a
hereditary Prince Mechu, a member of the highest council
of Egypt, probably during the fourth dynasty. Another is
the tomb of a Prince Bent, or Ben, hereditary prince chancellor,
chief councillor to King Ra Neger Ka, of the sixth
dynasty. The third is the tomb of Serenpu, one of the
great rulers of Elephantine during the twelfth dynasty.
The Island of Elephantine faces Assouan. One
of its Arabic names signifies “Island of Flowers.” Whilst
at Assouan the Egyptian element predominates in the population,
at Elephantine the traveller finds himself surrounded
by Nubians.
“The Nubians,” says Bartlett, “are tall and slender in
person—far less massive in build than the Theban Arabs.
There is something of elegance in their general appearance,
and the cast of their features is rather intellectual. They
are of a soft dusky black or bronze tint, with a very fine
skin, and they delight to oil their bodies, and to load their
sable ringlets with unguents anything but odoriferous to the

European nose. Their women have often elicited the rapturous
remarks of travellers, in whose eyes they move about
like so many sable Venuses, realizing the description of our
Mother Eve, as being, when ' unadorned, adorned the most,'
their sole costume, in this serene and glowing climate, being
an apron round the middle, and somewhat of the slenderest,
too, composed of loose thongs of leather, decorated with
small shells.” (This refers to young girls only.)
Elephantine is now a picturesque island of mingled palm
groves and mounds of ruins, with very few remains of its
former importance and grandeur. Pharaohnic, Persian,
Greek, Roman splendour—all is gone. About eighty years
ago, when the Egyptian Commission visited the island, there
was a half-demolished edifice, called the Temple of the
North, and another admirably proportioned building called
the Temple of the South, built by Amunoph III. The
stone of these two temples was used by the Governor of
Assouan, in 1822, to build a palace, and all that remains
now is a badly-executed statue of Osiris, bearing the name
of Menephthah (son of Rameses II.), of the nineteenth
dynasty. This forms a part of the façade of Amunoph's
temple. A nilometer that once stood here has almost
totally gone. A quay of Roman origin, built up with remains
of numberless more ancient edifices, and a granite
portal with cartouches of Alexander III. still remain; and
this is about all there is to show for the hundreds and
hundreds of years during which in Elephantine “men
reigned and women loved, and kings and priests and princes
lived and died, till the change came, and time trod on them
and crushed the palaces, and the avenging angel swept his
wing over them, and their very dust went away on the wind
Elephantine lay in the Nile, and other nations took the
place of Egypt in the roll of time. There is, perhaps, no

place in Egypt that, could it have a voice, would utter more
strange and splendid histories of men and kings than this
“Elephantine lies in the river,” says W. C. Prime,
“from the foot of the cataract stretching down in front of
Assouan about a mile, and is nearly half-a-mile in breadth.
Its surface is a mass of ruins, shapeless and hideous. Ruin
sits triumphant here. Not even the ploughshare of ancient
history, which has run over so many ruins, could prevail
here to penetrate the mass. A small part of the island is
cultivated, but a large portion still remains in the condition
I have described, and so will remain so long as the world
stands. Fragments of statues, a gateway of the time of the
mighty son of Philip, an altar whose fire was long ago
extinguished in the blood of its worshippers: these and
similar relics remain; but nothing to indicate the shape,
extent, or date of any of the buildings that formerly covered
the island.”
The First Cataract of the Nile is about six miles
above Assouan. Ancient travellers and geographers speak
of the noise as being so prodigious as to deafen those within
ear-shot. If this was ever the case it is very different now.
The cataracts are simply rapids produced by the waters of
the river dashing through a wild profusion of scattered
rocks. In fact, the two chains of primitive mountains, between
which the Nile flows, cross the bed of the river at
this point, and impede its course by forming innumerable
rocky points or islands. These rocks, in grotesque shapes
and wild disorder, with the absence of cultivation beside
the scene, and the rush of the struggling waters, combine to
make up a scene of savage desolation, about four miles in
The Ascent or Descent of the Cataract in a

dahabeah can be effected by those who think the excitement
rather than the pleasure of the undertaking worth the
expense. It is an interesting process to watch from the
adjacent rocks, and it is also very amusing to see the Nubian
boys threading the rapids on logs of wood. (For Descent
of Cataract, see p. 243.)
From Assouan to Philæ the scenery is of a wildness
almost unearthly; Miss Martineau calls it “fantastic and
impish.” The land route is viâ the granite quarries to what
used to be the convent of the Austrian Mission, or by
railway to Shellal, where boat is taken for the island. At
other times, when the Nile is less high and less rapid, the
road skirting the river is taken to the village of Shellal.
This is the most picturesque route when practicable. It is
better to take the quarry route going and the river side in
In going from Assouan to Philæ, abundant examples
are seen of the ancient Egyptian custom of leaving monumental
inscriptions and tableaux to mark their progress
through certain places. In several of these a simple name
is carved in hieroglyphics on the rocks, in other places the
individual who wished to commemorate his journey is represented
in sculpture adoring the gods of the cataract.
Some of these are memorials of generals or princes commemorating their expeditions. The little island of Seháyl
in the cataract is covered with these souvenirs, and from
them many historical facts, now universally accepted, have
been discovered.
A few words will suffice for the history of Philæ. Its
most ancient monuments only date from a little prior to the
foundation of Alexandria, as no name earlier than that of
Nectanebo II. has been found on the island. The dozen or
so of columns appertaining to a small temple at the southern

extremity of the island, are a memorial of the king just
named, and in the great Ptolemaic temple, to be presently
described, the great gate of the propylon also bears the
name of Nectanebo, and is probably a relic of some earlier
pile. Under the Ptolemies and Emperors the island became
covered with religious edifices From inscriptions on these
it is evident that Philæ was the last stronghold of the ancient
faith. Sixty years after Theodosius had by edict abolished
the Egyptian religion, Isis and Osiris were worshipped here,
and families of Egyptian priests had their dwelling place in
the island. Even under the reign of the Emperor Marcian,
this state of things continued, and to Philæ, as to a Sacred
Island, the scattered votaries of the ancient gods of Egypt
turned with loving eyes.
The Egyptian deities were mostly worshipped in Triads.
The three to whom Philæ was dedicated were Osiris, Isis,
and Horus. Osiris was the first of Egyptian gods, and the
future judge of the dead, chiefly revered for his manifestation
as incarnate god, his being sacrificed to Typhon, the
evil principle, and his resurrection. All these themes are
set forth in the sculptures of the sacred isle. In the name
of Osiris, the dead who passed the judgment were absolved
from sin and obtained eternal felicity. Isis, consort of
Osiris, was the first and loveliest of Egyptian goddesses,
and symbolized the earth, or matter; whilst Osiris, her
spouse, represented the creative principle. Horus, the
child of these two, was the avenger of his father and the
conqueror of the serpentine Typhon. Bearing these myths
in his mind, the visitor will understand many of the sculptures
at Philæ.
The principal ruins on the island are those of the great
Temple of Isis, founded by Ptolemy II., or Philadelphus,
and comprising various additions made by later

monarchs, especially Ptolemy III. and Euergates. On the
exterior walls are many sculptures dating from the reigns
of the Roman Emperors, Augustus, Tiberius, Domitian,
Trajan, etc.
The temple, and other buildings in connection with
it, must once have covered the greater part of the island,
around which ran a smooth stone quay. Only portions of
the quay now remain, and desolate gaps, with piles of broken
stones intervene between the portions of the temple still
remaining. There is a great want of uniformity in the plan
of the temple, which appears to disgust some visitors and
enchant others. Some have complained that “the effect
is sadly spoiled by the perverse irregularity and unsymmetrical
arrangement of all Egyptian architecture, which is
nowhere shown more broadly than at Philæ.” Fergusson,
taking an opposite view, says, “No Gothic architect in his
wildest moments ever played so freely with his lines and
dimensions, and none, it must be added, ever produced
anything so beautifully picturesque as this. It contains all
the play of light and shade, all the variety of Gothic art,
with the massiveness and grandeur of the Egyptian style, and
as it is still tolerably entire, and retains much of its colour,
there is no building out of Thebes that gives so favourable
an impression of Egyptian art as this. It is true it is far
less sublime than many, but hardly one can be quoted as
more beautiful.”
The temple is approached by a colonnade commencing
at the southern end of the island, and principally erected by
Tiberius; the line of columns following the curves of the
shore. Many of the columns were never completed, the
capitals being still uncarved. Passing mounds of ruins and
fragments of an enormous lion, the massive propylon is
reached (60 feet high and 120 broad). Figures of the God

Nilus, and emblems of various Egyptian towns are sculptured
on the walls. Under the principal entrance is an
inscription recording the advance of the French General
Dessaix and his troops to this point, when in pursuit of the
Beyond the propylon, the court is reached, with a chapel
to the left, dedicated to Horus, on the outer wall of which
is a copy of the inscription on the famous Rosetta stone,
but without the Greek version. The corridor on the
opposite side of the court is richly ornamented. Another
pylon is passed, on which are sculptures representing the
king slaying hostile nations. The portico, which is next
reached, sometimes called the “ten-columned court,” is by
some considered the gem of Philæ. It is of great beauty.
The colours in this hall, and some of the adjacent rooms,
are of marvellous freshness. The capitals are of vivid blue
and green, picked out with red, crimson, and orange. The
roof is bright blue, with golden stars, and there is an orb
with wings, elaborately delineated, representing the sun.
Several other chambers, and an adytum, with its monolithic
shrine and walls, covered with mythological hieroglyphics,
are next visited. On the western side is a small temple of
the god of the Nile. The decorations comprise lotus,
papyrus, and other water plants, neatly executed. Near the
top of the staircase leading to the terrace, is a small room
containing interesting sculptures describing the death and
resurrection of Osiris. These inner portions of the temple
beyond the portico are in thick darkness, and of course
artificial lights must be carried to explore them. Near the
adytum, or sanctuary, are some small dark rooms, to which
a staircase leads from the front of that chamber. “They have
the appearance,” says Wilkinson, “of being intended either
for concealing the sacred treasures of the temple, or for

some artifice connected with superstition, and, perhaps, for
the punishment of those who offended the majesty of the
The whole area of the ancient temple was 435 feet long
by 135 broad, according to some measurements, but it is
difficult to say how much of the surrounding ruins were
adjuncts of the temple or separate structures.
In after times, when the Christians were in the ascendant
in Nubia, the sculptures were defaced with hammers and
the paintings daubed with mud. In 577 A.D. the interior of
the temple became, under Bishop Theodorus, the church of
St. Stephen, and at a yet later period a Coptic church was
built up out of the ruins.
Taken as a whole the ruined Temple of Isis at Philae is
an elegant example of the lighter architecture of the Ptolemaic
era, and does not present the aspect of colossal
grandeur seen in the Theban ruins.
There is a staircase leading to the top of the propylon.
The view is very fine, and has been thus described:—
“Beneath lies the verdant and flowery islet, strewn with
marble wrought into every beautiful form known to ancient
art; over that pile of prostrate pillars, a grove of palms is
waving; from between the columns of yon small temple,
the acacia's foliage seems to gush and its blossoms stream.
Round all the island flows the clear, bright river, and opposite
lies the old Temple of Osiris, now called Pharaoh's
Bed. Beyond the river are gleams of green, shooting across
drifts of desert sands, palms, rocks, villages, and wastes; and
over all, darkly encircling this paradise, rises the rugged
chain of the Hemaceuta, or golden mountains.”
Of other ruins on the island of Philae, the principal are
as follows:—
Temple of Esculapius, in front of the Temple of
Isis, near the beginning of the eastern corridor.
Temple of Athor, the Egyptian Venus, built by
A small Temple of Athor, built by Nectanebo I.,
near the southern end of the corridor.
The so-called Pharaoh's Bed, on the east of the
island, a Ptolemaic edifice.
An arched gate and staircase, connected with the
landing-place, fragments of a Roman wall, and portions of
the quay that once surrounded the island, with various
isolated portions of ancient edifices, are also to be seen.
In addition there are some brick ruins of the Christian
A small Christian Temple has recently been discovered
and cleared out, to the north of the Great Temple.
The adjacent island of Biggeh affords fine views of
Philae, especially from the rocks at the southern extremity.
On the island are portions of ruins of small Egyptian temples,
Christian churches, and Mohammedan mosques.
Mahatta is a village on the east bank of the Nile,
between Philae and the Cataract, where those wishing to
make the Descent of the Cataract can arrange to do
so, but, like the ascent, it is, to most, more interesting to
watch from the shore than to experience. At Mahatta, also,
dahabeahs for the journey to the Second Cataract can be
procured by those who prefer that mode of travel. For the
arrangements made for proceeding by steamer to the Second
Cataract at Wády-Halfa (see p. 23).


NUBIA in its widest sense comprehends the Egyptian
dependency, bounded north by Upper Egypt, south by
Abyssinia, east by the Red Sea, and west by the Sahara;
properly speaking, the name only applies to the more
northern portion of this territory, along the Valley of the
Nile from the southern limit of Egypt to the southern
boundary of Dongola. The first portion, for about seventy
miles, is the Wády-el-Kunúz, then follows the Wády Nubah
to the Second Cataract. In this part of the valley the
average width is about a quarter of a mile. A glaring reddish
desert, studded with black, pointed rocks, and with
narrow strips of green and palm trees by the side, make up
scenery which is more beautiful and diversified than in
Egypt. The climate is even more perfect than north of
The inhabitants are a handsome mulatto race, of dark
brown complexion, bold, frank, and cheerful. In manners
they are more simple and less corrupt than their neighbours
in the Egyptian portion of the Nile Valley; they are in great
request as porters and domestic servants in the cities of
Egypt. The population of the whole country does not probably
exceed 150,000.
The inhabitants are very poor, the date palm is their
great resource; they irrigate their land with sakias, whose

creaking is ceaselessly heard throughout Nubia; the castor-oil
plant is largely grown, and rudely extracted—with
this oil the Nubians lubricate their skins and saturate their
The district south of Egypt is in the Bible spoken of as
Cush, a term frequently translated as Ethiopia in our version.
The natives were evidently black, as Jeremiah (xiii. 23) asks
“Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” Isaiah (xlv. 14)
speaks of the inhabitants as “men of stature.” From the
first verse of the twelfth chapter of Numbers we find that
the marriage of Moses with a Cushite woman was the occasion
of murmuring on the part of Aaron and Miriam. In
Psalm lxviii. 31, Isaiah xviii. 50, Jeremiah xlvi. 9, xliii. 3,
are other references to this district or its inhabitants.


Leaving Assouan (as described at p. 238) the steamer
for the Second Cataract is taken at Philae, and passes
on its way towards the south. Philae is soon left behind,
and the onward course is between low granite mountains
that hem in the river on both sides, leaving only a
narrow cultivated strip; tombs are frequent, especially on
the western bank. The sakias are everywhere, each paying
a tax of 200 piastres to the Government.
At Dabôd (W.) are the ruins of a temple of Isis, built
by Atachar-Amen, king of Ethiopia, about the time of
Ptolemy Philadelphus.
Before arriving at Gertássee the scenery of the river is
very fine—granite rocks and verdant banks, and occasional
villages and palm groves are picturesquely mingled.
At Kardash, or Gertássee (W.) are a few columns of a
ruined temple, beautifully situated on the rocks, unlike most
Egyptian temples, which are generally on the level plain.

There is a quarry near at hand, with many inscriptions
and busts, etc., chiefly of the times of the Roman
Táfah (W.). Here are the remains of two temples.
The gazelle is said to be occasionally met with in the desert
ravines of the neighbourhood.
A little to the south of Táfah the “Gates of Kalábsheh,”
or El Bab, are passed; this is a narrow part of the river
where the adjacent mountains bend inward on both sides of
the river and confine its channel between huge cliffs; a
number of slight rapids are formed here by the rocks.
At Kalabsheh (W.), whose inhabitants have long been
noted for their fierce courage, are the ruins of the largest of
the Nubian temples; the steps which formerly led up to it
from the river are gone, though the parapets remain; hence
a paved area, another flight of steps, and a stone causeway,
lead to the grand terrace on which the ruins stand; this
terrace is ascended by a third flight of steps, and the front
of the propylon is before the visitor.
The propylon—112 feet long, 60 feet high, and 20 feet
thick—was never completed, and looks like a bare wall;
the usual ornamented doorway conducts to a dromos
covered with broken columns, and cornices, and blocks of
stone; the pronaos has twelve columns, with elegant capitals
of palm and vine leaves; the adytum, hall and various
other rooms can be explored, and are covered with sculptures
not in the best style of Egyptian art. This temple
dates from the time of Augustus—the extensive ruins excite
wonder, for it seems as if the edifice was overthrown before
its completion. Some of the additions date from the reigns
of Caligula, Trajan and Severus.
At Bayt-el-Welly (W.) is a smaller temple dedicated to
Amunre, Kneph, and Anoúkê by Rameses II. The victories

of that monarch are sculptured on the exterior; inside
also there are much admirable painting and sculpture,
the colouring of which is very fresh and vivid; on each
side of the hall of entrance is a recess containing three
sitting deities. “It is, however, on the outside approach
to this hall,” says the Rev. A. M. Smith, “that I found the
objects which interested me most, cons