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The Project Gutenberg EBook of History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 11 (of 12), by S. Rappoport This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or reuse it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at Title: History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 11 (of 12) Author: S. Rappoport Release Date: December 17, 2005 [EBook #17331] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO88591 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK HISTORY OF EGYPT *** Produced by David Widger HISTORY OF EGYPT From 330 B.C. to the Present Time By S. RAPPOPORT, Doctor of Philosophy, Basel; Member of the Ecole Langues Orientales, Paris; Russian, German, French Orientalist and Philologist
VOL. XI. Containing over Twelve Hundred Colored Plates and Illustrations THE GROLIER SOCIETY PUBLISHERS, LONDON [Illustration: Spines] [Illustration: Cover] [Illustration: Frontispiece] Dam at Aswan [Illustration: 001.jpg PAGE IMAGE] [Illustration: 002.jpg PAGE IMAGE] THE ROMAN, CHRISTIAN, AND ARABIC PERIODS _THE ROMAN ADMINISTRATION IN EGYPTTHE RISE OF CHRISTIANITYTHE ARIAN CONTROVERSYTHE GROWTH OF MONASTICISMTHE DECLINE OF ALEXANDRIATHE ARAB INVASION AND THE SPREAD OF MUHAMMEDANISMTHE ARAB DYNASTIES._ _Augustus remodels the government of EgyptA new calendar introducedEgypt surveyedDissension between Jews and Greeks at AlexandriaStrabo's visitThe Egyptian religion at RomeWise administration of TiberiusThe rise of the TherapeutLake Mris destroyedThe origin of ChemistryThe fable of the PhoenixChristianity introducedFiscal reforms under GalbaVespasian in EgyptFall of JerusalemThe Nile Canal restoredHadrian's voyage up the NileDeath of AntinousChristians and GnosticsAstrology and
AstronomyRoman roads in EgyptCommerce and SportsThe Growth of ChristianitySeverus visits EgyptThe massacre of the AlexandriansAmmonius Saccas and the Alexandrian PlatonistsThe School of OrigenRise of ControversyDecline of CommerceZenobia in SyriaGrowing importance of the ArabsRevolt and recapture of AlexandriaPersecution of the Christians under DiocletianIntroduction of the Manichean heresy._ _Constantine the Great convertedPrivileges of the clergyDogmatic disputesCouncil of Nica and the first Nicene CreedAthanasian and Arian controversiesFounding of ConstantinopleDecline of AlexandriaImperial appointments in the ChurchReligious riotsTriumphs of AthanasiusPersecution by Bishop George of CappadociaEarly mission workDevelopment of the monastic systemText of the BibleThe monks and military serviceSaracenic encroachmentsTheodosius overthrows PaganismDestruction of the Great LibraryPagan and Christian literatureStory of HypatiaThe Arabs defeat the RomansThe Koptic New TestamentEgypt separated from RomeThe Council of ChalcedonPaganism restored in Upper EgyptThe HenoticonThe writings of HieroclesRelations with PersiaInroads of the ArabsJustinian's fiscal reformsCoinage restoredThe Persians enter Egypt. The Life of MuhammedAmr conquers EgyptThe legend of Omar and the Great LibraryThe founding of FosttThe Christians taxedMuhammedan oppression in EgyptThe Ommayad and Abbasid dynastiesCaliph Harun erRashidTurkish bodyguardsRise of the Tulunite DynastyOffice of Prince of PrincesReign of Muhammed elIkshidWar with ByzantiumFatimite CaliphsThe Ismailians and MahdismReign of MustanssirTurkish RapacityEnd of the Fatimite Rule._ [Illustration: 003.jpg PAGE IMAGE] CHAPTER IEGYPT UNDER THE ROMAN EMPIRE
_The Roman dominion on the Nile: Settlement of the Egyptian frontiers: Religious developments: Rebellions._ Augustus began his reign in Egypt in B.C. 30 by ordering all the statues of Antony, of which there were more than fifty ornamenting the various public buildings of the city, to be broken to pieces; and it is said he had the meanness to receive a bribe of one thousand talents from Archibus, a friend of Cleopatra, that the queen's statues might be left standing. It seems to have been part of his kingcraft to give the offices of greatest trust to men of low birth, who were at the same time well aware that they owed their employments to their seeming want of ambition. Thus the government of Egypt, the greatest and richest of the provinces, was given to Cornelius Gallus. Before the fall of the republic the senate had given the command of the provinces to members of their own body only; and therefore Augustus, not wishing to alter the law, obtained from the senate for himself all those governments which he meant to give to men of lower rank. By this legal fiction, these equestrian prefects were answerable for their conduct to nobody but the emperor on a petition, and they could not be sued at law before the senate for their misdeeds. But he made an exception in the case of Egypt. While on the one hand in that province he gave to the prefect's edicts the force of law, on the other he allowed him to be cited before the senate, though appointed by himself. The power thus given to the senate they never ventured to use, and the prefect of Egypt was never punished or removed but by the emperor. Under the prefect was the chief justice of the province, who heard himself, or by deputy, all causes except those which were reserved for the decision of the emperor in person. These last were decided by a second judge, or in modern language a chancellor, as they were too numerous and too trifling to be taken to Rome. Under these judges were numerous freedmen of the emperor, and clerks entrusted with affairs of greater and less weight. Of the native magistrates the chief were the keeper of the records, the police judge, the prefect of the night, and the _Exegetes_, or interpreter of the Egyptian law, who was allowed to wear a purple robe like a Roman magistrate. But these Egyptian magistrates were never treated as citizens; they were barbarians, little better than slaves, and only raised to the rank of the emperor's freedmen.
Augustus showed not a little jealousy in the rest of the laws by which his new province was to be governed. While other conquered cities usually had a senate or municipal form of government granted to them, no city in Egypt was allowed that privilege, which, by teaching the citizens the art of governing themselves and the advantages of union, might have made them less at the mercy of their masters. He not only gave the command of the kingdom to a man below the rank of a senator, but ordered that no senator should even be allowed to set foot in Egypt without leave from himself; and centuries later, when the weakness of the country had led the emperors to soften some of the other stern laws of Augustus, this was still strictly enforced. Among other changes then brought in by the Romans was the use of a fixed year in all civil reckonings. The Egyptians, for all the common purposes of life, called the day of the heliacal rising of the dogstar, about our 18th of July, their new year's day, and the husbandman marked it with religious ceremonies as the time when the Nile began to overflow; while for all civil purposes, and dates of kings' reigns, they used a year of three hundred and sixtyfive days, which, of course, had a movable new year's day. But by the orders of Augustus all public deeds were henceforth dated by the new year of three hundred and sixtyfive days and a quarter, which was named, after Julius Csar, the Julian year. The years from B.C. 24 were made to begin on the 29th of August, the day on which the movable new year's day then happened to fall, and were numbered from the year following the last of Cleopatra, as from the first year of the reign of Augustus. But notwithstanding the many advantages of the Julian year, which was used throughout Europe for sixteen centuries, till its faultiness was pointed out by Pope Gregory XIII., the Egyptian astronomers and mathematicians distrusted it from the first, and chose to stick to their old year, in which there could be no mistake about its length. Thus there were at the same time three years and three new year's days in use in Egypt: one about the 18th of July, used by the common people; one on the 29th of August, used by order of the emperor; and one movable, used by the astronomers. By the conquest of Egypt, Augustus was also able to extend another of the plans of his late uncle. Julius Csar, whose powerful mind found all sciences within its grasp, had ordered a survey to be taken of the whole
of the Roman provinces, and the length of all the roads to be measured for the use of the taxgatherers and of the army; and Augustus was now able to add Egypt to the survey. Polyclitus was employed on this southern portion of the empire; and, after thirtytwo years from its beginning by Julius, the measurement of nearly the whole known world was finished and reported to the senate. At Alexandria Augustus was visited by Herod, who hastened to beg of him those portions of his kingdom which Antony had given to Cleopatra. Augustus received him as a friend; gave him back the territory which Antony had taken from him, and added the province of Samaria and the free cities on the coast. He also gave to him the body of four hundred Gauls, who formed part of the Egyptian army and had been Cleopatra's bodyguard. He thus removed from Alexandria the last remains of the Gallic mercenaries, of whom the Ptolemies had usually had a troop in their service. [Illustration: 007.jpg PLAN OF ALEXANDRIA] Augustus visited the royal burialplace to see the body of Alexander, and devoutly added a golden crown and a garland of flowers to the other ornaments on the sarcophagus of the Macedonian. But he would take no pains to please either the Alexandrians or Egyptians; he despised them both. When asked if he would not like to see the Alexandrian monarchs lying in their mummycases in the same tomb, he answered: "No, I came to see the king, not dead men," His contempt for Cleopatra and her father made him forget the great qualities of Ptolemy Soter. So when he was at Memphis he refused to humour the national prejudice of two thousand years' standing by visiting the bull Apis. Of the former conquerors, Cambyses had stabbed the sacred bull, Alexander had sacrificed to it; had Augustus had the violent temper of either, he would have copied Cambyses. The Egyptians always found the treatment of the sacred bull a foretaste of what they were themselves to receive from their sovereigns. The Greeks of Alexandria, who had for some time past very unwillingly yielded to the Jews the right of citizenship, now urged upon Augustus that it should no longer be granted. Augustus, however, had received great services from the Jews, and at once refused the prayer; and he set up in Alexandria an inscription granting to the Jews the full privileges
of Macedonians, which they claimed and had hitherto enjoyed under the Ptolemies. They were allowed their own magistrates and courts of justice, with the free exercise of their own religion; and soon afterwards, when their high priest died, they were allowed as usual to choose his successor. The Greek Jews of Alexandria were indeed very important, both from their numbers and their learning; they spread over Syria and Asia Minor: they had a synagogue in Jerusalem in common with the Jews of Cyrene and Libya; and we find that one of the chief teachers of Christianity after the apostles was Apollos, the Alexandrian, who preached the new religion in Ephesus, in Corinth, and in Crete. On his return to Rome, Augustus carried with him the whole of the royal treasure; and though perhaps there might have been less gold and silver than usual in the palace of the Ptolemies, still it was so large a sum that when, upon the establishment of peace over all the world, the rate of interest upon loans fell in Rome, and the price of land rose, the change was thought to have been caused by the money from Alexandria. At the same time were carried away the valuable jewels, furniture, and ornaments, which had been handed down from father to son, with the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. These were drawn in waggons through the streets of Rome in triumph; and with them were shown in chains to the wondering crowd Alexander Helius and Cleopatra Selene, the children of Cleopatra and Antony. Augustus threatened a severe punishment to the Alexandrians in the building of a new capital. Only four miles from the Canopic or eastern gate of Alexandria he laid out the plan of his new city of Meopolis, on the spot where he had routed Mark Antony's forces. Here he began several large temples, and removed to them the public sacrifices and the priesthood from the temples of Alexandria. But the work was carried no farther, and soon abandoned; and the only change made by it in Alexandria was that the temple of Serapis and the other temples were for a time deserted. The rest of the world had long been used to see their finest works of art carried away by their conquerors; and the Egyptians soon learned that, if any of the monuments of which they were so justly proud were to be left to them, it would only be because they were too heavy to be moved by the Roman engineers. Beside many other smaller Egyptian works,
two of the large obelisks, which even now ornament Rome, were carried away by Augustus, that of Thutmosis IV., which stands in the Piazza del Popolo, and that of Psammetichus, on Monte Citorio. Cornelius Gallus, the prefect of Egypt, seems either to have misunderstood, or soon forgotten, the terms of his appointment. He set up statues of himself in the cities of Egypt, and, copying the kings of the country, he carved his name and deeds upon the pyramids. On this Augustus recalled him, and he killed himself to avoid punishment. The emperor's wish to check the tyranny of the prefects and taxgatherers was strongly marked in the case of the champion fightingcock. The Alexandrians bred these birds with great care, and eagerly watched their battles in the theatre. A powerful cock, that had hitherto slain all its rivals and always strutted over the table unconquered, had gained a great name in the city; and this bird, Eros, a taxgatherer, roasted and ate. Augustus, on hearing of this insult to the people, sent for the man, and, on his owning what he had done, ordered him to be crucified. Three legions and nine cohorts were found force enough to keep this great kingdom in quiet obedience to their new masters; and when Heroopolis revolted, and afterwards when a rebellion broke out in the Thebaid against the Roman taxgatherers, these risings were easily crushed. The spirit of the nation, both of the Greeks and Egyptians, seems to have been wholly broken; and Petronius, who succeeded Cornelius Gallus, found no difficulty in putting down a rising of the Alexandrians. The canals, through which the overflowing waters of the Nile were carried to the more distant fields, were, of course, each year more or less blocked up by the same mud which made the fields fruitful; and the clearing of these canals was one of the greatest boons that the monarch could bestow upon the tillers of the soil. This had often been neglected by the less powerful and less prudent kings of Egypt, in whose reigns the husbandman believed that Heaven in its displeasure withheld part of the wishedfor overflow; but Petronius employed the leisure of his soldiers on this wise and benevolent work. In order better to understand the rise of the Nile, to fix the amount of the landtax, and more fairly to regulate the overflow through the canals, the Nilometer on the Island of Elephantine was at this time made.
[Illustration: 011.jpg THE NILOMETER AT ELEPHANTINE] It was under lius Gallus, the third prefect, that Egypt was visited by Strabo, the most careful and judicious of all the ancient travellers. He had come to study mathematics, astronomy, and geography in the museum, under the successors of Euclid, Eratosthenes, and Hipparchus. He accompanied the prefect in a march to Syn (Aswan), the border town, and he has left us a valuable account of the state of the country at that time. Alexandria was the chief object that engaged his attention. Its two harbours held more ships than were to be seen in any other port in the world, and its export trade was thought greater than that of all Italy. The docks on each side of the causeway, and the ship canal, from the harbour of Eunostus to the Mareotic Lake, were full of bustle and activity. The palace or citadel on the promontory of Lochias on one side of the great harbour was as striking an object as the lighthouse on the other. The temples and palaces covered a space of ground equal to more than onefourth part of the city, and the suburbs reached even beyond the Mareotic Lake. Among the chief buildings were the Soma, which held the bodies of Alexander and of the Ptolemies; the court of justice; the museum of philosophy, which had been rebuilt since the burning by Csar's soldiers; the exchange, crowded with merchants, the temple of Neptune, and Mark Antony's fortress, called the Timonium, on a point of land which jutted into the harbour; the Csarium, or new palace; and the great temple of Serapis, which was on the western side of the city, and was the largest and most ornamented of all these buildings. Farther off was the beautiful gymnasium for wrestlers and boxers, with its porticoes of a stadium in length, where the citizens used to meet in public assembly. From the top of the temple of Pan, which rose like a sugarloaf in the middle of the city, and was mounted by a winding staircase, the whole of this remarkable capital might be seen spread out before the eye. On the east of the city was the circus, for chariot races, and on the west lay the public gardens and pale green palmgroves, and the Necropolis ornamenting the roadside with tombs for miles along the seashore. Other tombs were in the catacombs underground on the same side of the city. The banks of the Mareotic Lake were fringed with vineyards, which bore the famed wine of the same name, and which formed a pleasant contrast with the burning whiteness of the desert beyond. The canal from the lake to the Nile marked its course through the plain by the greater freshness of the green along its banks.
In the distance were the new buildings of Augustus' city of Nicopolis. The arts of Greece and the wealth of Egypt had united to adorn the capital of the Ptolemies. Heliopolis, the ancient seat of Egyptian learning, had never been wholly repaired since its siege by Cambyses, and was then almost a deserted city. Its schools were empty, its teachers silent; but the houses in which Plato and his friend Eudoxus were said to have dwelt and studied were pointed out to the traveller, to warm his love of knowledge and encourage him in the pursuit of virtue. Memphis was the second city in Egypt, while Thebes and Abydos, the former capitals, had fallen to the size and rank of villages. At Memphis Strabo saw the bullfights in the circus, and was allowed to look at the bull Apis through a window of his stable. At Crocodilopolis he saw the sacred crocodile caught on the banks of the lake and fed with cakes and wine. Ptolemais, which was at first only an encampment of Greek soldiers, had risen under the sovereigns to whom it owed its name to be the largest city in the Thebaid, and scarcely less than Memphis. It was built wholly by the Greeks, and, like Alexandria, it was under Greek laws, while the other cities in Egypt were under Egyptian laws and magistrates. It was situated between Panopolis and Abydos; but, while the temples of Thebes, which were built so many centuries earlier, are still standing in awful grandeur, scarcely a trace of this Greek city can be found in the villages of El Menshieh and Girgeh (Cerkasoros), which now stand on the spot. Strabo and the Roman generals did not forget to visit the broken colossal statue of Amenhthes, near Thebes, which sent forth its musical sounds every morning, as the sun, rising over the Arabian hills, first shone upon its face; but this inquiring traveller could not make up his mind whether the music came from the statue, or the base, or the people around it. He ended his tour with watching the sunshine at the bottom of the astronomical well at Syn, which, on the longest day, is exactly under the sun's northern edge, and with admiring the skill of the boatmen who shot down the cataracts in their wicker boats, for the amusement of the Roman generals. In the earlier periods of Egyptian history Ethiopia was peopled, or, at least, governed, by a race of men, whom, as they spoke the same language and worshipped the same gods as their neighbours of Upper Egypt, we must call the Kopts. But the Arabs, under the name of Troglodyte, and other tribes, had made an early settlement on the African side of the Red Sea. So numerous were they in Upper Egypt that in the time of Strabo half the
population of the city of Koptos were Arabs; they were the cameldrivers and carriers for the Theban merchants in the trade across the desert. Some of the conquests of Ramses had been over that nation in southern Ethiopia, and the Arab power must have further risen after the defeat of the Ethiopians by Euergetes I. Ethiopia in the time of Augustus was held by Arabs; a race who thought peace a state of disgraceful idleness, and war the only employment worthy of men; and who made frequent hasty inroads into Nubia, and sometimes into Egypt. They fought for plunder, not for conquest, and usually retreated as quickly as they came, with such booty as they laid their hands on. To use words which were proverbial while the Nile swarmed with crocodiles, "They did as the dogs do, they drank and ran away;" and the Romans found it necessary to place a body of troops near the cataracts of Syn to stop their marching northward and laying waste the Thebaid. While the larger part of the Roman legions was withdrawn into Arabia on an unsuccessful quest for treasure, a body of thirty thousand of these men, whom we may call either Arabs, from their blood and language, or Ethiopians, from their country, marched northward into Egypt, and overpowered the three Roman cohorts at Elephantine, Syn, and Philas. Badly armed and badly trained, they were led on by the generals of Candace, Queen of Napata, to the fourth cataract. They were, however, easily driven back when Gallus led against them an army of ten thousand men, and drove them to Ethiopian Pselchis, now remaining as the modern village of Dakkeh. There he defeated them again, and took the city by storm. From Pselchis he marched across the Nubian desert two hundred and fifty miles to Premnis, on the northerly bend of the river, and then made himself master of Napata, the capital. A guard was at the moment left in the country to check any future inroads; but the Romans made no attempts to hold it. [Illustration: 016.jpg ON THE EDGE OF THE DESERT] Of the state of the Ethiopie Arabs under Queen Candace we learn but little from this hasty inroad; but some of the tribes must have been very far from the barbarians that, from their ignorance of the arts of war, the Romans judged them to be. Those nearest to the Egyptian frontiers, the Troglodyte and Blemmyes, were unsettled, wandering, and plundering; but the inhabitants of Mero were of a more civilised race. The Jews had settled in southern Ethiopia in large numbers, and for a long time; Solomon's trade had made them acquainted with Adule and
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