A BOOK OF THE BEGINNINGS
Travellers who have climbed and stood upon the summit of the Great Pyramid of Giza tell us how all that is most characteristic of Egypt is then and there in sight. To the south is the long necropolis of the desert, whose chief monuments are the pyramids of Abusir, Dashur, and Saqqara. That way lies the granite mountain flood-gate of the waters, which come winding along from the home of the hippopotami to leap down into the Nile-valley at last with a roar and a rush for the Mediterranean Sea. To the north there is desert also, pointed out by the ruined pyramid of Aburuash. To the west are the Libyan Hills and a limitless stretch of yellow sand. Again, there is a grey desert beyond the white line of Cairo, under the Mukattam Hills.
And through these sandy stony desert borders, Egypt runs alongside of its river in a double line of living green, the northward flowing waters and their meadowy margin broadening beneficently into the Delta. Underfoot is the Great Pyramid, still an inscrutable image of might and of mystery, strewn round with reliquary rubbish that every whirl of wind turns over as leaves in a book, revealing strange readings of the past; every chip and shard of the fragments not yet ground down to dusty nothing may possibly have their secret to tell.
The Great Pyramid is built at the northern end of the valley where it relatively overtops the first cataract, nearly 600 miles away to the south, and, as the eye of the whole picture, loftily [p.2] looks down on every part of the whole cultivated land of Egypt. It is built where the land comes to an apex like the shape of the pyramid itself lying flat and pointing south, and the alluvial soil of the Delta spreads out fanwise to the north. It is near to the centre of the land-surface of the globe. A Hermean fragment shows the earth figured as a woman in a recumbent position with arms uplifted towards heaven, and feet raised in the direction of the Great Bear. The geographical divisions are represented by her body, and Egypt is typified as the heart of all. They set the base of the Great Pyramid very near the heart of all, or about one mile 568 yards south of the thirtieth parallel of latitude.
There, in the stainless air, under the rainless azure, all is so clear that distance cannot be measured, and the remotest past stands up close to you, distinct in its monumental forms and features as it was thousands of years ago; the colour yet unfaded from its face, for every influence of nature (save man) has conspired to preserve the works of art, and make dead Egypt as it were the embalmed body of an early time eternized.
Once a year the deluge comes down from above, flowing from the lakes lying far away, large as inland seas, and transforms the dry land into a garden, making the sandy waste to blossom and bear the 'double-breasted bounteousness' of two harvests a year, with this new tide of life from the heart of Africa. Not only does the wilderness flush with colour, for the waters, which had been running of a dull green hue, are suddenly troubled and turned crimson. The red oxide of iron mixes with the liquid and gives it a gory gleam in the sunlight, making it run like a river of blood.
There is an antithesis to the inundation in another phenomenon almost as unique. This is found in the steady continuance of the north wind that blows back the waters and spreads their wealth over a larger surface of soil, and enables the boatman to sail up the river right against the descending current. Everything Egyptian is typical, and when we see how the people figured the Two Truths of mythology as the two factors of being, and how they personified breath and water, we shall more or less perceive the initiatory import of this wonderful arrangement of wind and tide, and its combination of descending and ascending motive power.
The Nile water is highly charged with ammonia and organic matter, which are deposited as manure. It is, for instance, three times as rich in fertilising matter, whether in suspension or in solution, as the Thames at Hampton Court.
The Great Mendes Stele says:—
'The entire wealth of the soil rests on the inundation of the Nile that brings its products.'
This bounty was spread out for all by [p.3] the breath of the beneficent wind. Num, Lord of the Inundation, is painted on the monument as the Green God, and the limit of the inundation was the measure of Egypt's greenness. The waters that brought the silt clothed the soil with that colour just so far as they were blown.
From the beginning Lower Egypt, the Delta, was a land literally rained down by the inundation as a gift of the gods. For the clouds arise from their several seas and sail off heavily-laden toward equatorial Africa, and there pour forth their weight of water during a rain of months on mountain slopes that drain into the fresh lakes until these are brimmed to bursting, and their northern outlet of birth is the Nile. The White Nile at first, until the Abyssinian highlands pour into it their rushing rivers of collected rain with force enough to float a mass of silt that is part of a future soil, the presence of which in the waters makes the Blue Nile; then the river becomes the turbid Red Nile of the inundation, and as it spreads out fan-wise towards the Mediterranean Sea, it drops that rich top-dressing of soil or the very fat of land and unctuous mud-manure, every year renewed and rained down by that phenomenal flood. We shall find the whole of the deluge legends of the world, and all the symbolical deluge language used in astronomical reckoning, are bound up inseparably with this fact of the inundation of Egypt. The universal mythical beginning with the waters, the genesis of creation and of man from the mud, are offspring of this birthplace and parentage. In no other part of earth under heaven can there be found the scenery of the inundation visibly creating the earth, as it is still extant in the land of marvel and mystery. Only in Egypt could such a phenomenon be observed as the periodic overflow of the river Nile, that not only fertilises the fields with its annual flood, but actually deposits the earth, and visibly realises that imagery of the mythical commencement of all creation, the beginning with the waters and the mud, preserved in so many of the myths.
According to Aulus Gellius, Egypt was named Aeria. The Egyptian Aur (later Aer) is the name of the river Hebrew Iar. Aeria is the land of the river, possibly with the further meaning of the pure, as ia means to wash, whiten, purify. Another name of Egypt is Tameri. Ta is to drop, heap, deposit, type; meri is the inundation, Tameri is land thus deposited. The vulgar English to ta is a child's word, and it means to deposit soil; also Ta-meri reads the gift of the inundation, the gift of the goddess Meri who has a dual form as Meri-Res (South) and Meri-Mehi (North). Egypt is also designated the Land of the Eye. The eye of the cow shedding an emblematic tear was a type of ta-ing.
It is also called Khemi, the land of the gum-tree, and the acacia [p.4] gum-tree supplied another symbol of shedding substance; or, of the kamai-plant, from which the Egyptians obtained a precious oil.
Khemi, Egypt, is personified as a female who wears on her head a sign which Wilkinson thought indicated 'cultivated land,' but it means the land created from the waters, determined by the sign of marshland or land recovered from the waters. The sign is the determinative of hat, chaos, or precommencement, and its true value may be found in the Cornish hatch, a dam.
Egypt is often called Kam, the Black Land, and kam does signify black; the name probably applied to the earliest inhabitants whose type is the kam or ham of the Hebrew writers. But kam is likewise to create, and this was the created land; visibly created like the gum from the tree by droppings. Kam is the root and has the value of the word chemistry, and the land of Kam was the result of Nature's chemistry, aided by the hatches or dams.
The Assyrians called Egypt Muzr. Muzau is source, an issue of water, a gathering or collecting. It is the Egyptian mes, the product of a river. Now it is important for the present purpose to wring the meaning out of Egyptian words, drop by drop, every one is portentous and symbolical. For example, mes means mass, cake, chaos, it is the product of the waters gathered, engendered, massed. The sign of this mass was the hieroglyphic cake, the Egyptian ideograph of land (Û). This cake of mesi was figured and eaten as their bread of the mass, a seed-cake too as the hieroglyphics reveal. And the cake is extant today in the wafer still called by the name of the Mass, as it was in Egypt. Mes, the product of the waters and the cake, is likewise the name for chaos, the chaos of all mythological beginning. Mes, then, the mass or product of the river when caked, is the primeval land, the pure land periodically produced from the waters, the land of Mesr, whether of black mud or red.
We find a word in Ethiopic similar to metzr meaning the earth, land, soil. Mazr, or mizr, is an Arabic name of red mud. There is, however, a mystical reason for this red applied to mud as a synonym of source or beginning.
These derivations of the names from Kam, the created land; mes, the product of the river; tameri, the soil and gift of the inundation, show that Lower Egypt was designated from the soil that was shed, dropped, wept, deposited by the inundation of the Nile, and that the natives were in various ways calling it the Alluvial Land.
But the Hebrew name of Egypt, Mitzraim, applies to both lands. For this we have to go farther than Lower Egypt, and mes, the product of a river, the mud of mythology.
We may rest assured, says Brugsch, that at the basis of the designations Muzur (Assyrian), Mizr (Arabic), Mitzraim (Hebrew), there lies an original form consisting of the three letters m r s, all [p.5] explanations of which have as yet been unsuccessful. His rendering of the meaning as Mazor, the fortified land, the present writer considers the most unsuccessful of all. Mest-ru and Mest-ur are the Egyptian equivalents for the Hebrew Mitzr, plural Mitzraim, and the word enters into the name of the Mestraean Princes of the Old Egyptian Chronicle. Mest (Eg.) is the birthplace, literally the lying-in chamber, the lair of the whelp; and ru is the gate, door, mouth of outlet; ur is the great, oldest, chief. Mest-ru is the outlet from the birthplace. In this sense the plural Mitzraim would denote the double land of the outlet from the inland birthplace.
There is a star 'Mizar' in the tail of the Great Bear, the typhonian type of the genetrix and the birthplace, whose name is that of Lower Egypt or Khebt. Mest (Eg.) is the tail, end, sexual part, the womb, and ur is the great, chief, primordial. Thus Mitzraim and Khebt are identical in the planisphere as a figure of the birthplace, found in Khebt or Mitzraim below. Mest-ur yields the chief and most ancient place of birth which is not to be limited to Lower Egypt.
It is certain, however, says Fuerst, that רצמ and רוצמ meant originally and chiefly the inhabitants, it is here that mest-ur has the superiority over Mest-ru. The ru in mest-ru adds little to the birthplace, whereas the compound mestur expresses both the eldest born and the oldest birthplace. The Hebrew צ represents a hieroglyphic tes which deposited a phonetic t and s, hence the permutation; mtzr is equated by mstr, and both modify into misr. In the same way the Hebrew Matzebah (הבצמ) renders the Egyptian Mastebah. Also, Mizraim is written Mestraim by Eupolemus. Khum, he says, was the father of the Ethiopians, and brother of Mestraim, the father of the Egyptians.
The name Egypt, Greek Aiguptos, is found in Egyptian as Khebt, the Kheb, a name of Lower Egypt. Khebt, Khept or Kheft means the lower, the hinder-part, the north, the place of emanation, the region of the Great Bear. The f, p and b are extant in Kuft, a town of Upper Egypt; in Coptos, that is Khept-her or Khept above, whence came the Caphtorim of the Hebrew writings, enumerated among the sons of Mitzraim, and Kheb, Lower Egypt.
The Samaritan Pentateuch renders Mitzraim by the name of Nephiq קיפנ which denotes the birth-land (ka) with the sense of issuing forth; Aramaic קפנ to go out. In Egyptian nefika would indicate the inner land of breath, expulsion, going out, or it might be the country of the sailors.
The land of Egypt was reborn annually as the product of the waters was added layer by layer to the soil. Three months inundation and nine months dry made up the year. The nine months [p.6] coincided with the human period of gestation, a fact most fruitful in suggestion, as everything seems to have designedly been in this birthplace of ideas. They dated their year from the first quickening heave of the river, coincident with the summer solstice and the heliacal rising of the Dog-star. The Nile not only taught them to look up to the heavens and observe and register there the time and tide of the seasons, but also how to deal with the water by means of dykes, locks, canals, and reservoirs, until their system of hydraulics grew a science, their agriculture an art, and they obtained such mastery over the waters as finally fitted them for issuing forth to conquer the seas and colonise the world.
The waters of Old Nile are a mirror which yet reflects the earliest imagery, made vital by the mind of man, as the symbols of his thought. A plant growing out of the waters is an ideograph of sha (á), a sign and image of primordial cause, and becoming, the substance born of, the end of one period and commencement of another, the emblem of rootage in the water, and breathing in the air, the type of the Two Truths of all Egypt's teaching, the two sources of existence ultimately called flesh and spirit, the blood source and breathing soul.
About the time when the Nile began to rise in Lower Egypt, there alighted in the land a remarkable bird of the heron kind which had two long feathers at the back of its head. This, the Ardea purpurea, was named by the Egyptians the bennu, from 'nu,' a periodic type, and 'ben,' splendid, supreme—literally, as the crest indicated, tiptop. It was their phoenix of the waters, the harbinger of re-arising life, and was adopted as an eschatological type of the resurrection. The planet Venus is called on the monuments the 'Star of Bennu Osiris,' that is of Osiris redivivus.
The beetle appeared on the Nile banks in the month previous to that of the inundation, the month of rebirth, Mesore, and formed its ark against the coming flood to save up and reproduce its seed in due season. This they made their symbol of the Creator by transformation, and type of the only-begotten son of the Father.
The inundation supplied them with the typical plough. To plough is to prepare the soil for seed. The inundation was the first preparer of the soil. The inundation is called Mer, and one sign of the Mer is a plough (L). This shows that when they had invented the primitive hand-plough of the hoe kind they named it after the water-plough, or preparer of the soil, and the Mer plough is a symbol of the running water.
The river likewise gave them their first lessons in political economy and the benefits of barter, by affording the readiest means of exchange. Its direction runs in that of longitude, or meridian, with all the products ranged on either side like stalls in a street; so close to the [p.7] waterway was the cultivated soil. It crossed through every degree of Egypt's latitude and became the commercial traveller of the whole land, carrying on their trade for the enrichment of all.
Generally speaking the monuments offer no direct clue to the origin of the people; they bring us face to face with nothing that tells of a beginning or constitutes the bridge over which we can pass to look for it in other lands. Like the goddess Neith, Egypt came from herself, and the fruit she bore was a civilisation, an art, a mythology, a typology, absolutely autochthonous.
We see no sign of Egypt in embryo; of its inception, growth, development, birth, nothing is known. It has no visible line of descent, and so far as modern notions go, no offspring; it is without genesis or exodus.
When first seen Egypt is old and grey, at the head of a procession of life that is illimitably vast. It is as if it always had been. There it stands in awful ancientness, like its own pyramid in the dawn, its sphinx among the sands, or its palm amid the desert.
From the first, all is maturity. At an early monumental stage they possess the art of writing, a system of hieroglyphics, and the ideographs have passed into the form of phonetics, which means a space of time unspanable, a stage of advance not taken by the Chinese to this day.
The monuments testify that a most ancient and original civilisation is there; one that cannot be traced back on any line of its rootage to any other land. How ancient, none but an Egyptologist who is also an evolutionist dares to dream. At least twelve horizons will have to be lifted from the modern mind to let in the vistas of Egypt's prehistoric past. For this amazing apparition coming out of darkness on the edge of the desert is the head of an immense procession of life—issuing out of a past from which the track has been obliterated like footprints in the shifting wilderness of sand.
The life was lived, and bit by bit deposited the residual result. The tree rooted in the waste had to grow and lay hold of the earth day by day, year after year, for countless ages. Through the long long night they groped their way, their sole witnesses the watchers on the starry walls, who have kept their register yet to be read in the astral myths, for the heavens are Egypt's records of the past.
The immeasurable journey in the desert had to be made, and was made step by step through that immemorial solitude which lies behind it, as certainly as that the river has had to eat its own way for hundreds of thousands of years through the sandstone, the limestone, and the granite, in order that it might at last deposit the alluvial riches at the outlet, even though the stream of Egypt's long life has left no such visible register on earth as the waters of old Nile have engraved in gulf-like hieroglyphics upon the stony tablets of geological time. The might and majesty of Egypt repose upon a [p.8] past as real as the uplifting rock of the Great Pyramid, and the base, however hidden, must be in proportion to the building.
They are there, and that is nearly all that has been said; how or when they got there is unknown. These things are usually spoken of as if the Egyptians had done as we have, found them there. The further we can look back at Egypt the older it grows. Our acquaintance with it through the Romans and Greeks makes it modern. Also their own growth and shedding of the past kept on modernizing the myths, the religion, the types. It will often happen that a myth of Egyptian creation may be found in some distant part of the world in a form far older than has been retained in Egypt itself.
It is a law of evolution that the less developed type is the oldest in structure, reckoning from a beginning. This is so with races as with arts. The hieroglyphics are older than letters, they come next to the living gesture signs that preceded speech. But less developed stages are found out of Egypt than in it because Egypt went on growing and sloughing off signs of age, whilst the Maori, the Lap, the Papuan, the Fijian suffered arrest and consequent decadence. And the earlier myth may be recovered by aid of the arrested ruder form.
Fortunately the whole world is one wide whispering gallery for Egypt, and her voice may be heard on the other side of it at times more distinctly than in the place where it was uttered first. And looking round with faces turned from Egypt we shall find that language, the myths, symbols, and legendary lore of other lands, become a camera obscura for us to behold in part her unrecorded backward past. The mind of universal man is a mirror in which Egypt may be seen. We shall find the heavens are telling of her glory. Much of her pre-monumental and pre-monarchical past during which she was governed by the gods has to be reflected for us in these mirrors; the rest must be inferred. Vain is all effort to build a boundary wall as her historic starting-point with the debris of mythology.
The Stone Age of Egypt is visible in the stone knife continued to be used for the purpose of circumcision, and in the preparation of their mummies. The stone knife was a type persisting from the time of the stone implements. The workers in bronze, iron, and other metals did not go back to choose the flint weapon. The 'nuter' sign (Â) of the god is a stone axe or adze of the true Celt type.
The antiquity of Egypt may be said to have ended long before the classical antiquity of the moderns begins, and except in the memorials of myth and language it was pre-monumental. We know that when Egypt first comes in sight it is old and grey. Among the most ancient of the recipes preserved are prescriptions for dyeing the hair. There are several recipes for hair dye or washes found in the Ebers Papyrus, and one of these is ascribed to the lady Skheskh, mother of Teta, the first king on the monuments after Mena. [p.9] This is typical. They were old enough more than 6,000 years ago for leprosy to be the subject of profound concern. A manuscript of the time of Rameses II says:—
'This is the beginning of the collection of receipts for curing leprosy. It was discovered in a very ancient papyrus enclosed in a writing-case under the feet (of a statue) of the god Anubis, in the town of Sakhur, at the time of the reign of his majesty the defunct King Sapti,'
who was the fifth pharaoh of the first dynasty, in the list of Abydus.
Leprosy was indigenous to Egypt and Africa; it has even been conjectured that the white negroes were produced by it, as the albinos of the black race.
The most ancient portion known of the Ritual, getting on for 7,000 years old, shows that not only was the Egyptian mythology founded on the observation of natural phenomena at that time established, but the mythology had then passed into the final or eschatological phase, and a system of spiritual typology was already evolved from the primordial matter of mythology. The text of chapter 130 is said in the annotation to have been found in the reign of King Housap-ti, who, according to Déveria, was the Usaphais of Manetho, the fifth king of the first dynasty, and lived over 6,000 years since; at that time certain parts of the sacred book were discovered as antiquities of which the tradition had been lost. And this is the chapter of 'vivifying the soul for ever.'
The lunar myth with Taht as the word or logos, is at least as old as the monuments (it is indefinitely older), and we know from the Ritual that Sut was the announcer, the word, and represented the Two Truths before the time of Taht; Sut was the first form of Hermes the heaven-born.
From almost the remotest monumental times, dated by Bunsen as the seventh century after Mena, or according to the present reckoning nearly 4,000 years BC, they had already attained to the point of civilisation at which the sacrifice of human beings as offerings to the gods is superseded by that of animals. There is no doubt of the human victims once sacrificed, as the sacrificial stamp, with the victim bound and knife at the throat, still remains to attest the fact, as well as the ideographic kher, the human victim bound for slaughter (-); kher being one with kill.
There is a stone in the museum at Boulaq consecrated to the memory of a noteworthy transaction. We learn from it that in the time of Khufu of the fourth dynasty, and founder of the Great Pyramid, that the sphinx and its recently discovered temple not only existed already, but were then in a state of dilapidation, and [p.10] it is recorded in the inscription that he restored them. He built the temple of the Great Mother and replaced the divinities in her seat.
'The living Har-Sut* King Kufu, giver of life, he founded the house of Isis (Hest) dominating the pyramid near to the house of the sphinx. North-west of the house of Osiris the Lord of Rostau he built his pyramid near to the temple of that goddess, and near the temple of his royal daughter Hantsen. He made to his mother Athor, ruling the monument, the value as recorded on the tablet, he gave divine supplies to her, he built her temple of stone and once more created the divinities in her seat. The temple of the sphinx of Har-Makhu on the south of the house of Isis, ruler of the pyramid, and on the north of (that of) Osiris Lord of Rostau.' This was in a climate where, as Mariette observes, there is no reason why monuments should not last for a hundred thousand years, if left alone by man. The dilapidation and overthrowal may, to some extent, have been the work of man.
* 'Har-Sut.' I read the tie sign in this passage as 'Sut.' The name of Suti is several times written with the tie sign.
One of the loveliest things in all poetry is in Wordsworth's lines—
'And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.'
Yet this was anticipated by the father of King Pepi of the sixth dynasty in the Praise of Learning, who says to his son—
'Love letters as thy mother!
I make its [learning's] beauty go in thy face.'
And in another papyrus, some fifty-five centuries old, the wise sage and thorough artist, Ptah-hept, advises his reader to 'beware of producing crude thoughts; study till thy expression is matured.'
Bunsen tried to fix the place of Egypt in history with no clue to the origin and progress of its mythological phenomena; no grasp of the doctrine of evolution; no dream of the prehistoric relationship of Egypt to the rest of the world. The Egypt of the lists and dynasties is but the briefest span when compared with the time demanded for the development of its language, its myths, its hieroglyphics. Egypt as an empire with its few thousand years dating from Mena is but as yesterday, it only serves as the vestibule for us to the range of its pre-eval past. The monuments of 5,000 years do not relate a tithe of Egypt's history which is indirectly recorded in other ways. She is so ancient that we are shown nothing whatever of the process of formation in the creation of the earliest mythology. Their dynasties of deities are pre-monumental; their system is perfected when history begins. A glance at the list of [p.11] divinities paralleled in the present work will show the significance of this fact, and help to bring the hidden past of Egypt into sight. The traces of evolution and development are not to be expected upon monuments which begin with some of the finest art yet found. Evidence of the primeval nature of the people is not likely to he found contemporary with the perfection of their art. The ascent is out of sight, and the Stone Age of Egypt is buried beneath a hundred feet of Nile sediment, but the opponents of evolution gain nothing by the negative facts. Perfect art, language, and mythology did not alight readymade in the valley of the Nile; and if the ascent be not traceable here, neither is it elsewhere. There is not a vestige of proof that these were an importation from other lands.
Bunsen assumed that the roots of Egypt were in Asia, although the evidence for that origin has never been given. He speaks of religious records and monuments older than those of Egypt but does not name them. Also of Semitic roots (of language) found in the names of Egyptian gods, whereas no Egyptian roots are found in the names of Semite gods. He affirms that the Egyptian language clearly stands between the Semitic and Indo-Germanic, its forms and roots cannot be explained by either singly, but are evidently a combination of the two. Evidence will be adduced in this work such as will go some way to show that there is originally neither Semitic nor Indo-Germanic independently of the Egyptian or African parentage. Bunsen argued that the religion of Egypt was merely the mummy of the primal religion of Central Asia, its mythology the deposit of the oldest beliefs of mankind which once lived in primeval Asia, and were afterwards found petrified in the valley of the Nile. He has to get rid of the particular country, people, and language, by means of a vast catastrophe in which they sank from sight and left but a few floating fragments.
The foundations for such a theory are entirely mythical, and belong at last to the legends of the genesis, the primeval home in the Vendidad, and of the deluge, the typology of which subjects will be dealt with in the present work. The Asiatic origin of the Egyptians is necessary to support the delusive theory of the Indo-European migration of races and languages. But not a vestige of evidence has been adduced for the pre-existence of the Egyptian civilisation, art, hieroglyphics, in any other land before these are discovered ready-made in the valley of the Nile.
Brugsch observes, 'Whatever relations of kindred may be found always to exist between these great races of mankind, thus much may be regarded as certain, that the cradle of the Egyptian people must be sought in the interior of the Asiatic quarter of the world. In the earliest ages of humanity, far beyond all historical [p.12] remembrance, the Egyptians, for reasons unknown to us, left the soil of their primeval home, took their way towards the setting sun, and finally crossed that bridge of nations, the Isthmus of Suez, to find a new fatherland on the favoured banks of the holy Nile.' For these assumptions and assertions there is not a grain of evidence adduced or adducible. The only point of departure for such a wild goose chase as seeking the roots of Egypt in Asia is the fact that on the earliest monuments the ethnological type has changed vastly from what it was tens of thousands of years earlier. Egyptologists as a rule are not evolutionists, and Brugsch finds no difficulty in removing a race readymade bag and baggage in the old cataclysmal fashion. But where, he asks, 'is the modern Hir-Seshta to lift the veil which still hides the origin of these men of yore?' Where, indeed! The Egyptian language, he asserts, 'shows in no way any trace of a derivation and descent from the African families of speech.' He thinks the rude stone monuments of Ethiopia are but a clumsy imitation, an imperfect reproduction of a style of art originally Egyptian. He sees the stamp of antiquity not in primitive but in perfectly polished work. One might as well derive the knife, as a flake of flint, from a model formed in Sheffield steel. Egypt can only be understood by an evolutionist.
Jomard also considered that the monuments of Nubia are more modern than those of Thebes. But, for all who dare trust to the guidance of the laws of evolution, one of which shows us that the ruder the structure the more elementary and antique the art, may see the civilisation of Egypt descending the Nile in the Nubian and Ethiopian pyramids, which are as certainly prior to those of Egypt as Stonehenge is to Gothic architecture. That is, the type is earlier, no matter when last copied! Such types were not designed by the Egyptians of the monumental period who went back to re-conquer Ethiopia. They mark the height of attainment of the Egyptians before they came down into the Nile valley. Art does not go back in that way, nor is it a question of retrogression but of development. The Ethiopian would still be the older if the latest built, because the builders had advanced no farther, and would not be the result of the Egyptians or their imitators going back to the more primitive style. Compared with the Great Pyramid they are pre-monumental so to say, or pre-Egyptian as Egypt is known to us, which means they are yet earlier in type.
If the Egyptians were of Asiatic origin, how comes it that the camel has no place among the hieroglyphics? No representation of the camel is found on the monuments. It will be seen when we come to consider the origin and nature of the typology and hieroglyphics that this is almost an impossibility for any but an African people. The camel being a late importation into Egypt and other African [p.13] countries, will alone explain its absence from the pictures of an African people.
'The origin of the word Nile,' says Brugsch, 'is not to be sought in the old Egyptian language, but as has been lately suggested with great probability, it is derived from the Semitic word Nahar or Nahal, which has the general signification of river.' So good an Egyptologist should have remembered that aur or aru (Eg.) is the river and that nai is the definite plural article the, which gives all the Egyptian significance to the river as the double stream, the two waters or waterer of the two lands north and south. Naiaru interchanges with Naialu, whence the Nile. But for this combination of nai (plural the) and aru, earlier Karu river, extant in Ethiopic as Nachal, for the Nile, the Semites would have had no such Nahar or Nahal.
Brugsch is the Semitizer of Egyptology. He finds a Semitic foundation for doctrines so ancient in Egypt itself as to be almost forgotten there; so long ago rejected and cast out as to have become the sign and symbol of all that was considered foreign to later Egypt. Nothing is older than the Great Mother and Child; and as Ta-Urt and Sut, the Great Bear and Dog-star, these were the gods of the Typhonians within the land long ages before they were reintroduced as the Semite Astarte and Bar-Sutekh. The same deities that were worshipped in Lower Egypt by the Hekshus and Palestino-Asiatic tribes were the divinities of pre-monumental Egypt and of the Shus-en-Har. Sut is called a Semitic divinity and he comes back with his ass as such. But he returns as an exile to the old country, not as a new creation.
The duad of the mother and child consecrated in Astarte and Sutekh and execrated as Sut-Typhon was superseded in monumental times by the men who worshipped the fatherhood as well, or instead of the son. But the myth of Isis's descent into the underworld in search of Osiris is that of the mother and son who became her consort, and identical with that of Ishtar and Tammuz or any other form of the duad consisting of mother and child. The disk-worship reintroduced by the Amenhepts, III and IV, was looked on as intolerable heresy by the Osirians and Ammonians; and yet their sun was the same god Har-Makhu of the two horizons, the god of the sphinx and of the pre-monumental Shus-en-Har, the Har of the double horizon; the Har who was earlier than Ra, and Sabean before the title became solar.
The goddess Anata appears in Egypt in the time of Rameses II as if from Syria, a goddess of the bow and spear; yet this was but a reintroduction of a most ancient divinity who had gone forth from Egypt to become the Anat and Anahita of the Chaldaio-Assyrian religions. She was Neith, the goddess with the bow and [p.14] arrows whose earliest name on the monuments is Anit. This name is written 'Anit-neb-her' in the time of the first dynasty.
The great directress of Amenti, half hippopotamus, half lion, who is portrayed in the scenes of the hades sitting at the fatal corner waiting wide-mouthed for the souls of the dead, is the degraded form in the Egyptian eschatology of the Great Mother who in the earlier mythology had been doubly-first in heaven in her twin starry types of the Great Bear and Sothis the Dog-star, the types of Sut-Typhon. The dog and hippopotamus in heaven still identify her when in hell as a victim of theology.
In Egypt this oldest form of the Great Mother had been reduced from the status of deity to that of demon, and her idols to that of dolls. Two painted wooden dolls used as children's toys are copied by Wilkinson. One of these reproduces the black negroid Isis with her veil or net thrown back. The other is a womb-shaped figure with the old typhonian genetrix, the Gestator, on it, with the tongue hanging out, but not enceinte, not Great, as in the worshipful images. Yet this old hippopotamus goddess was before Nupe, Isis, and Nephthys; hence we find they continued her type, and were imaged in her likeness. Not because she was hideous but primordial, the most ancient genetrix of the gods; and first mother of the sun, as Sut, who became her husband and his own father. She was the good Typhon, and Nephthys takes her place in Plutarch as consort of Typhon, and is found united to Sut. Her knot or noose is the earliest form of the ankh symbol of life (÷). Her numerous statuettes in the tombs where she accompanies the mummies of the dead, leaning over her emblematic tie as the image of brooding life, shows the goddess in her ancient role as the genetrix of mythology continued in the eschatological phase as the giver of rebirth. Hers is a figure so ancient that it belongs to a typology which preceded both eschatology and mythology, of an order that was set in heaven for use, not for worship; types of time and force, and not of beauty.
Again, Brugsch says 'the Semitic nations used to turn the face to the east, the quarter of the rising sun, and accordingly they called the east the "front side," the west the "hinder side," the south the "right," and the north the "left." In opposition to all this the ancient Egyptians regarded the western side as the right, the eastern as the left. Accordingly they turned their face to the south, which they called upwards (her) or forward, so that the north lay at their back, and hence its appellation of the lower (khar) or hinder (pehu) region. Now having regard to all this, the appellation of khar in the sense of "hinder land" could only have originated with such peoples as had their fixed abodes to the east of the land of khar (Phoenicia) that is, on the banks of the Euphrates. Thus Babel and its famous [p.15] tower appear unmistakably as the great centre whence the directions of the abodes of nations were estimated in the earliest antiquity.' But Brugsch does not have regard to 'all this;' only to one part of it. He does not touch bottom in the matter, and the inference is fallacious. He begins with the solar nomenclature which is not primary, but the latest of all. Just as it was with the Sabbath, which was Sabean first, the seventh day being that of Sut, before it became solar as Sunday. True, the Assyrians named the west Akharru, as the Egyptian akar is the mountain of the west, the entrance to the hinder place, but a far earlier people in the land, the Akkadians, called the east mer-kurra. What then becomes of the Semitic emanation and naming from the centre found in the biblical Babel? The Egyptian rule of perspective is positively based upon the right hand being the upper, and the left the lower. In the scenes of the Hades the blessed on the right hand are represented as those above, whilst the damned, those on the left hand, are down below. So that in facing the east, their upper land of the south was on the right hand, the lower on the left. In vain we talk of origin until Egypt has been fathomed. The question is whether Phoenicia was named Khal (Kar) the lower and hinder-part from the east or the south. The Egyptians employed both reckonings according to the Sabean or solar starting point. With them Apta was both equatorial and equinoctial. Kheft is the hinder-part in the west as well as in the north. This gives a hinder-part reckoning from the east and another reckoning from the south. The reckoning from south and north—Sothis and Great Bear—we call Sabean. With the Egyptians south and north were the front and back, the upper and lower heaven, and the lower as the kar or the Kheft was the hindward part to the south as the front. So in England we go up to the south and down to the north; people go up to London and down to the shires (or kars).* Brugsch assumes that Phoenicia was named Khal the west as the hinder-part to the east, and what is here maintained in opposition to his assumption is that Phoenicia is named from the south.
* Speaking of the lower world, the north, the Osirian says, 'I came like the sun through the gate of the lords of Khal'. He had come through the celestial Phoenicia, or kheft of the north.
The Egyptians called it Kefa or Kheft, their north and hinder-part, the lower of the two heavens and the region of the Great Bear (Khepsh) and it was so named as an extension of Lower Egypt, khebt, in still going farther northward. In Fijian Hifo is the name of the underworld or down below; the northern quarter entered at the west, whilst hey, in English Gipsy, is the hole or void. In the annals of Rameses III, Northern Palestine, Taha, is reckoned with the hinder-parts of the earth.
Here is another fact, although it does not concern the naming of [p.16] Khal as the lower land from either the south or east, it does apply to the position and age of the primeval namers. The Egyptians had a Sabean orientation still more ancient than either of these two. Time was when the right hand was also the east, ab, the right hand and the east side. On the other hand the west (sem) is the left side, semhi is the left hand, Assyrian samili, Hebrew samali. Now for the east to be on the right and the west on the left, the namers must face the north, and that this the region of the Great Bear was looked to as the great quarter, the birthplace of all beginning, is demonstrable. Those, then, who looked northward with the east on their right and the west on their left hand were naming with their backs to the south and not their faces; nor were their faces to the east. This mode of orienting was likewise the earliest with the Akkadians, who looked to the north as the front, the favourable quarter, the birthplace. They, like the dwellers in the equatorial regions, had seen the north was the starry turning point, and the quarter whence came the breath of life to the parched people of the southern lands. This accounts for the south being the Akkadian 'funereal point' and the hinder-part.
When the namers from the south had descended the Nile valley and made out their year, of which the Dog-star was the announcer, then they looked south as their front, and the west was on the right, the east on the left hand, hence we find ab for the left hand east. Thus the Egyptians have two orientations, one with the east on the right hand, one with the east on the left, and both of these precede the frontage in the east. Perhaps it was a reckoner by one of the first two methods who asserted that there were in Nineveh 'more than 120,000 persons who could not discern between their right hand and their left hand.'
The earliest wise men came from the south, not the east, and made their way north. With the Hebrews kam is a synonym of the south. Their south as kedar was the place of coming forth, and as negeb it is identical with the Egyptian goddess, Nekheb, who brought forth in the south, and was the opener in that region, as the Chaldean god Negab is the opener in the west.
Khent, the Egyptian name of the south, is the type-word for going back. Khent means to go back, going back, and going up, at the same time that khebt is the hinder-part and the place of going down. This may be said to be merely solar. But khent the southern land, the name for farthest south, which can now be traced as far as ganda (the U-ganda), means the inner land, the feminine abode, the birthplace, and the lake country. Brugsch and Bunsen have read from right to left that which was written from left to right.
Egypt, says Wilkinson, was certainly more Asiatic than African. But when? We have to do with the origin, not with the later appearances on the monuments after ages of miscegenation. It is true that a long gradation divides negroes from the Egyptians, [p.17] but the whole length of that gradation lies behind them in the coloured races of the dark land, and in no other. All the four colours, black, red, yellow, and white, meet upon the monuments, and they all blend in Egyptian types. The red men and the yellow are there as Egyptians, with the background of black out of which the modifications emerge. The problem of origin cannot be worked back again from white, yellow, or red to black, as it can forwards from black, with Egyptians for the twilight dawning out of darkness. The red skin similar to the complexion of the earliest men of the monuments is not an uncommon variety of the Africans. Bowdich asserts that a clear brownish-red is a complexion frequently found among the Ashanti although deep black is the prevailing colour. Dr. Morton, the American craniologist, recanting an earlier opinion says: 'I am compelled by a mass of irresistible evidence to modify the opinion expressed in the Crania Egyptiaca, namely, that the Egyptians were an Asiatic people. Seven years of additional investigation, together with greatly increased materials, have convinced me that they are neither Asiatics nor Europeans but aboriginal and indigenous inhabitants of the Nile or some contiguous region—peculiar in their physiognomy, isolated in their institutions, and forming one of the primordial centres of the human family.'
Professor Huxley has asserted that the aborigines of Egypt were of the same physical type as the original natives of Australia, for, he says, 'although the Egyptian has been modified by admixture, he still retains the dark skin, the black silky wavy hair, the long skull, the fleshy lips, and broadish alae of the nose which we know distinguished his remote ancestors, and which cause both him and them to approach the Australian and the Dasyu more nearly than they do any other form of mankind.'
A vocabulary of Maori and Egyptian words is given in this work such as will corroborate his statement with the testimony of another witness. This list of words by itself is sufficient to prove the primal identity of the Maori and Egyptian languages. The evidence from mythology is if possible still more conclusive and unique. A reply to Professor Huxley's declaration has been attempted by contrasting two Egyptian heads with two of an Australian type which would show the greatest unlikeness and asking where was the likeness?
But for aught known to the contrary this unity of Maori and Egyptian may be a thing of twenty thousand years ago. Not that the author has any certain data except that some of the Mangaian myths appear to him to date from the time when the sun was last in the same sign at the spring equinox as it is now, and that the equinox has since travelled once round the circle of precession, which means a period of twenty-six thousand years. And he does not doubt that on their line the ethnologists will ultimately demand [p.18] as great a length of time (probably five times as long) to account for the variations of race now apparent.
Professor Owen who replied to Professor Huxley is forced to admit that, 'The large, patent, indisputable facts of the successive sites of capitals of kings of the ancient race, from the first to the fourteenth dynasties, do not support any hypothesis of immigration; they are adverse to the Asiatic one by the Isthmus. They indicate rather, that Egypt herself, through her exceptionally favourable conditions for an easy and abundant sustenance of her inhabitants, had been the locality of the rise and progress of the earliest civilisation known in the world.'
It will be maintained in this book that the oldest mythology, religion, symbols, language, had their birthplace in Africa, that the primitive race of Kam came thence, and the civilisation attained in Egypt emanated from that country and spread over the world.
The most reasonable view on the evolutionary theory—and those who do not accept that have not yet begun to think, for lack of a starting point—is that the black race is the most ancient, and that Africa is the primordial home. It is not necessary to show that the first colonisers of India were negroes, but it is certain that the black Buddha of India was imaged in the negroid type. In the black negro god, whether called Buddha or Sut-Nahsi, we have a datum. They carry in their colour the proof of their origin. The people who first fashioned and worshipped the divine image in the negroid mould of humanity must according to all knowledge of human nature, have been negroes themselves. For the blackness is not merely mystical, the features and the hair of Buddha belong to the black race, and Nahsi is the negro name. The genetrix represented as the Dea Multimammae, the Diana of Ephesus, is found as a black figure, nor is the hue mystical only, for the features are as negroid as were those of the black Isis in Egypt.
We cannot have the name of Kam or Ham applied ethnologically without identifying the type as that of the black race.
True, the type on the earliest monuments had become liker to the later so-called Caucasian, but even the word Caucasian tells also of an origin in the Kaf or Kaffir. Philology will support ethnology in deriving from Africa, and not from Asia.
The type of the great sphinx, the age of which is unknown, but it must be of enormous antiquity, is African, not Aryan or Caucasian.
The Egyptians themselves never got rid of the thick nose, the full lip, the flat foot, and weak calf of the nigritian type, and these were not additions to any form of the Caucasian race. The nigritian elements are primary, and survive all modifications of the old Egyptians made in the lower land. The single Horus-lock, the rut, worn as a divine sign by the Child-Horus in Egypt, is a [p.19] distinguishing characteristic of the African people, among whom were the Libyans who shaved the left side of the head, except the single lock that remained drooping down. This was the emblem of Horus the child, continued as the type of childhood from those children of the human race, the Africans. Yet the Egyptians held the Libyans in contempt because they had not advanced to the status of the circumcised, and they inflicted the rite upon their conquered enemies in death, by excising the Karunata.
The African custom of children going undressed until they attained the age of puberty, was also continued by the Egyptians. Princesses went as naked as commoners; royalty being no exception to the rule. At that age the children assumed the Horus-lock at the left side of the head as the sign of puberty and posterity.
The Egyptians were pre-eminent as anointers. They anointed the living and the dead, the persons of their priests and kings, the statues of their gods; anointing with unguents being an ordinary mode of welcome to guests on visiting the houses of friends. This glorifying by means of grease is essentially an African custom. Among some of the dark tribes fat was the grand distinction of the rich man. According to Peter Kolb, who wrote a century and a half ago, the wealthier the Hottentot the more fat and butter he used in anointing himself and family. A man's social status was measured by the luxury of butter and fat on his body. This glory of grease was only a grosser and more primitive form of Egyptian anointing.
The custom of saluting a superior by going down on the knees and striking the earth with the head is not limited to Africa, but is widely spread in that land. The king of the Brass people never spoke to the king of the Ibos without acknowledging his inferiority by going down on his knees and striking his head against the ground. On the lower Niger, as a mark of supreme homage, the people prostrated themselves and struck their foreheads against the earth. The coast negroes are accustomed to fall on their knees before a superior and kiss the earth three times. It is etiquette at Eboe for the chief people to kneel on the ground and kiss it thrice as the king goes by. In the Congo region prostration on the knees to kiss the earth is a mode of paying homage. The custom is Egyptian, and was designated 'senta,' for respect, compliment, congratulation, to pay homage; the word signifies literally, by breathing the ground.
Of the Congos, Bastian says, 'When they spoke to a superior they might have sat as models to the Egyptian priests when making the representations on the temple walls, so striking is the likeness between what is there depicted and what actually takes place here.' Theirs were the primitive sketches, the Egyptians finished the pictures.
The oldest and most peculiar images in the ideographs point backward toward the equatorial land of the hippopotamus, rhinoceros, giraffe, ostrich, camelopard, ibis, various cranes, the serau, or goat-kind of sheep, the khebsh and oryx, the rock snake and great serpent of the Libyan desert, the cobra, the octocyon, a small primitive fox-like dog of South Africa, which has forty-eight teeth, the fox-like type of Anup, the fenekh, a type of Sut; the caracal lynx and spotted hyena, the kaf-monkey, or clicking cynocephalus, that typified the word, speech, and language on the monuments, which is now found in Upper Senegal—as the old home of the aborigines.
The symbolism of Egypt represented in the hieroglyphics has its still earlier phase extant amongst the Bushmen, whose rock-pictures testify to their skill as hieroglyphists, and show that they must have been draughtsmen from time immemorial.
But, beyond this art, just as they have prehuman clicks assigned to the animals, so they have a system of typology of the most primitive nature; one in which the animals, reptiles, birds and insects are themselves the living, talking types, by the aid of which the earliest men of our race would seem to have thinged their thoughts in the birthplace of typology. In the fables of the Bushmen, the hieroglyphics are the living things that enact the representations. These point to an art that must have been extant long ages on ages before the likenesses of the animals, birds, and insects could be sculptured in stone or pictured in colours on the papyrus and the walls of the tombs and temples of Egypt, or drawn on the rocks by the Bushmen, Hottentots, and Kaffirs.
It was confidently declared by Seely that the cobra capella, or hooded snake, was unknown to Africa, and that as it appeared amongst the hieroglyphics, these must have been adopted by the Egyptians from some country where the cobra was native. Seely was wrong; the cobra is African also. The latest testimony is that of Commander Cameron who walked across Africa, and who records the fact of snakes not being numerous and the 'greater portion are not venomous, but the cobra capella exists and is much dreaded.'
The Egyptians marked the solstices as being in the horizon. The solstices, says Lepsius, 'were always considered as in the horizon, and the vernal equinox as up in the sky.' There is reason to think this may be the result of astronomical observation made in the equatorial lands. When at the equator the poles of the heaven are both on the horizon, and the north polestar would furnish there a fixed point of beginning which answers to the starting-point in the north; this would be retained after they had migrated into higher latitudes and the pole of the heaven had risen thirty degrees. The mythology of Egypt as shown in the Ritual, obviously originated in a land of lakes, the lake being and continuing to a late time to be the typical [p.21] great water which dominated after they were aware of the existence of seas. The water, or rather mud of source is a lake of primordial matter placed in the north. Another hint may be derived from the fact that aru is the river in Egyptian, and the anterior form of the word, karu, is the lake or pond.
No geological formation on the whole surface of this earth could have been better adapted for the purpose of taking the nomads as they drifted down from the Ethiopic highlands, into the valley that embraced them, to hold them fast, and keep them there hemmed in by deserts and mountains with no outlet except for sailors, and compressed them until the disintegrating tendencies of the nomadic life had spent their dispersing force and gave them the shaping squeeze of birth that moulded them into civilised men. Divinest foresight could have found no fitter cradle for the youthful race, no more quickening birthplace for the early mind of man, no mouthpiece more adapted, for utterance to the whole world. It was literally a cradle by reason of the narrow limits. Seven hundred miles in length, by seven wide, fruitful and fertile for man and beast. Life was easy there from the first.
'They gather in the fruits of the earth with less labour than other people, for they have not the toil of breaking up the soil with the plough, nor of hoeing, nor of any other work which all other men must labour at to obtain a crop of corn; but when the river has come of its own accord and irrigated their fields, and having irrigated them subsided, then each man sows his own land and turns swine into it, and when the seed has been trodden in by the swine, he waits for harvest time.' But the land was a fixed quantity on the surface, however much it increased in depth, and the supply of food was therefore limited by boundaries, as stern as Egypt's double ranges of limestone and sandstone hills. Lane calculated the extent of land cultivated at 5,500 square geographical miles, or rather more than one square degree and a half. And this appears to be a fair estimate in round numbers, of its modern limits.
Such a valley would soon become as crowded with life as the womb of a twin-bearing woman in the ninth month, and as certain to expel the overplus of human energy. It was as if they had gradually descended from the highlands of Africa with a slow glacier-like motion and such a squeeze for it in the valley below as should launch them from the land altogether and make them take to the waters. There was the waterway prepared to teach them how to swim, and float, and sail, offering a ready mode of transit and exit and when overcrowded at home, free carriage into other lands. The hint was taken and acted upon. Diodorus Siculus declares that the Egyptians claimed to have sent out colonies over the whole world in times of the [p.22] remotest antiquity. They affirmed that they had not only taught the Babylonians astronomy, but that Belus and his subjects were a colony that went out of Egypt. This is supported by Genesis in the generations of Noah. By substituting Egypt for the mythical ark we obtain a real starting point from which the human race goes forth, and can even utilise the Hebrew list of names.
Diodorus Siculus was greatly impressed with the assertions of the priests respecting the numerous emigrations including the colonies of Babylon and Greece, and the Jewish exodus, but they named so many in divers parts of the world that he shrank from recording them upon hearsay and word of mouth, which is a pity, as they may have been speaking the truth. He tells us they had sacred books transmitted to them from ancient times, in which the historical accounts were recorded and kept and then handed on to their successors.
In the Inscription of Una belonging to the sixth dynasty, we find the earliest known mention of the Nahsi (negroes) who were at that remote period dominated by Egypt, and conscribed for her armies. In this, one of the oldest historical documents, the negroes from Nam, the negroes from Aruam, the negroes from Uaua (Nubia), the negroes from Kau, the negroes from the land of Tatam are enumerated as being in the Egyptian army. Una, the governor of the south, and superintendent of the dock, tells us how the pharaoh commanded him to sail to some locality far south to fetch a white stone sarcophagus from a place named as the abode of the rhinoceros. This is recorded as a great feat.
'It came thence, brought in the great boat of the inner palace with its cover, a door, two jambs, and a pedestal (or basin). Never before was the like done by any servant.' The place named Rumakhu, or Abhat, is an unknown locality. But the performance is considered unparalleled.
The Egyptians literally moved mountains and shaped them in human likeness of titanic majesty. 'I dragged as hills great monuments (for statues) of alabaster (for carving) giving them life in the making' says Rameses III, he who built a wall 850 feet in depth, 60 feet below ground, and 90 feet above. They carried blocks of syenite by land and water, weighing 900 tons. It was said by Champollion that the cathedral of Notre Dame might be placed in one of the halls of the temple at Karnak as a small central ornament; so vast was the scale of their operations. They painted in imperishable colours; cut leather with our knife of the leather-cutters; wove with the same shuttles; used what is with us the latest form of blowpipe, for the whitesmith. It is the height of absurdity or the profoundest ignorance to suppose they did not build ships and launch navies. The oar-blade or paddle, called the kherp, is the emblem of [p.23] all that is first and foremost, excellent and surpassing, the sceptre of majesty, the sign of rule. Thus, to paddle and steer are synonymous with sovereignty. Shipbuilding yards were extant and are shown to be busy in the time of the pyramid builders. And here is Una, the great sailor, superintendent of the dock, going so far south that the geographical locality is out of sight. But the name shows it was the land of the hippopotamus or rhinoceros.
At this time, then, ships of war were built in the south, of considerable dimensions, over 105 feet long, together with the uskhs or broad ships in which the armies of Egypt, composed of enrolled Ethiopians and negroes, were floated down the river to fight her battles against those on the land.
The crumbling shell of Egypt's past proves it to have been as crowded with life as a fossil formation. But the shell did not merely shed a life that became extinct in the place of its birth. It was a human hive rather, that swarmed periodically; and the swarms went forth and settled in many parts of the world, leaving the proofs in language, myths, and in one far-off place, the hieroglyphics; in other lands the religious rites, the superstitions, the symbolical customs and ceremonies are the hieroglyphics still extant amongst races by whom they are no longer read, but which can be read as Egyptian. The parent recognises her offspring when the children have lost all memory of their origin and birthplace.
As Karl Vogt says, 'Our civilisation came not from Asia, but from Africa, and Heer has proved that the cultivated plants in the Swiss lake villages are of African, and to a great extent, of Egyptian origin.' According to Logan, the pre-Aryan civilisation of southern India had a partially Egyptian character. The oldest races, he asserts, were of a variable African type who spoke languages allied to the African.
Egypt, and not India is the common cradle of all we have in common, east, west, north, and south, all round the world. The language, beliefs, rites, laws and customs went out to India, but did not return thence by means of the apocryphal Aryan migrations. The Indian affinity with our European folklore and fairyology is neither first nor final, it is but the affinity of a collateral relationship. Egypt supplied the parent source, the inventive mind, the propagating migratory power. In Egypt alone, we shall find the roots of the vast tree, whose boughs and branches have extended to a worldwide reach.
The greatest difficulty in creation is the beginning, not the finishing, and to the despised black race we have at length to turn for the birth of language, the beginnings of all human creation, and, as the Arabic saying puts it, let us 'honour the first although the followers do better.'
Among the Ethiopians of many thousand years ago there lived and [p.24] laboured the unknown humanisers of our race who formulated the first knowledge of natural facts gathered from the heavens above and the earth beneath, and the waters of the wonderful river which talked to them as with a voice from out the infinite, and who twined the earliest sacred ties of the family-fold to create cohesion and strength and purity of life; men of the dark and despised race, the black blood-royal, that fed the red, yellow, and white races, and got the skin somewhat blanched in Egypt; the men who had dwelt in the Nile valley, and by the fountains of its waters in the highlands above so long in unknown ages past, that the negroid type of form and complexion had modified into the primitive Egyptian; so long, that in this race the conical head of the gorillidae had time to grow and bulge into the frontal region and climb into the human, crown, until Egypt at length produced and sent forth her long-heads, the melanochroid type found in divers parts of the world. Blackness in the beginning did not depend on, and was not derived merely from, the climatic conditions; these modify, but did not create. Once the black race is extinct it can never be repeated by climature. Its colour was the result of origin from the animal prototype, and not only from nearness to the sun. On the oldest known monuments the Egyptians portray themselves as a dusky race, neither negroid nor Caucasian. Livingstone found the likeness of these in the typical negro of Central Africa, or rather he affirms that the typical negro found in Central Africa is to be seen in the ancient Egyptians, not in the native of the west coast.
It is possible that the first intellectual beginnings of the race and of the Egyptians themselves were about the sources of the Nile.
The link between the African and Chinese is yet living in the Hottentot, not to say, on the other side, between man and the ape. Casalis observes:—
'The yellow colour of the Hottentot, his high cheek-bones, half-shut eyes, so wide apart, and set obliquely in his head, his lanky limbs, place him in close connection with the Mongolian race.'
And he has the ape's eyes, the negro's woolly hair, and a body that is like the missing link for its anatomy.
The Bushman, as described by Lichtenstein, presents the 'true physiognomy of the small blue ape of Kaffraria. What gives the more verity to such a comparison was the vivacity of his eyes and the flexibility of his eyebrows; even his nostrils and the corners of his mouth, nay, his very ears, moved involuntarily.'
For this development a consensus of cumulative evidence demands a prehistoric past indefinitely remote, but not to be gauged or guessed at as a period less than tens of thousands of years; and this evidence, consisting of facts instead of the recital of them, is more [p.25] trustworthy than that which has been tampered with by the composers of history. It is difficult, however, to get any time-gauge of Egypt's existence by the ordinary method, nor are those concerned to fight for a little time more or less, who are solely in search after truth which is eternal.
In our researches we shall find that at the remotest vanishing points of the decaying races we continually come upon the passing presence of Egypt, diminishing on the horizon in the far-off distance from the world she once engirdled round with language and laws, rites and customs, mythology and religion. Wheresoever the explorers dig deepest, in Akkad, Karchemish, Palestine, Greece, or Italy they discover Egypt.* And the final conclusion seems inevitable, that the universal parent of language, of symbolism, of early forms of law, of art and science, is Egypt, and that this fact is destined to be established along every line of research.
* 'Another remarkable fact became the subject of discussion, and we await with some interest the fuller details which the report will supply. Professor Lieblein, of Christiana, noticed the Egyptian antiquities which had been disinterred in Sardinia, and Signor Fabiani exhibited specimens of others found in a tomb at Rome, under the wall of Servius TuIlus. The remains were chiefly Egyptian divinities. It was argued by Fabiani that the site of Rome must have been occupied at a date anterior to the well-known era of "Urbs Condita." Phoenician remains were also found, supporting the hypothesis that there must have been an Egyptian and Phoenician influence in the prehistoric Italian civilisation.'
If we find that each road leads back to Egypt, we may safely infer that every road proceeded from Egypt.
In the very morning of the times these men emerged from out the darkness of a prehistoric and pre-eval past from one centre to bear the origins to the ends of the earth. The scattered fragments still remain, whereby they can be traced more or less along each radiating line to prove the common model, the common kinship, and the common centre. As Sir William Drummond observes, if in crossing the desert you find the spring of a watch in one place, an index in another, and pieces of a broken dial-plate in a third, you will scarcely doubt that somebody in the desert had once the whole watch. So is it here. And when the watch is reconstructed it will be found to have been of Egyptian workmanship. Hitherto we have never looked beyond the Phoenicians or Etruscans for a great seafaring colonising people of the past. But they were Egyptians, not Phoenicians, who were the pioneers of the foreworld whose footprints are indelible wherever they once trod, and of a size to fit no foot that followed after. Only a few ruins of majestic greatness may be left above ground, and these are widely scattered, but they all show the one primeval impression that had no secondary likeness. And there remain the imperishable proofs that live for ever in the myths and the fossils of language, which constitute the geology of prehistoric humanity.
An opponent of the doctrine of evolution recently wrote of the mythical serpent—'There is an Aryan, there is a Semitic, there is a Turanian, there is an African serpent, and who but an evolutionist would dare to say that all these conceptions came from one and the same original source, and that they are all held together by one traditional chain?' No one. But, if the doctrine of development be true, none but an evolutionist will ever get to the origin of anything. And so surely as evolution is true in the development of our earth, so surely is it true for all that has been developed on the earth. The unity of the human race is fast being established, and the present attempt is directed towards establishing the unity of mythology and symbolism, the serpent included. The serpent is but one of a number of types that have the same current value the world over, because, as will be maintained throughout this work, they had one origin in common.
The hare is accounted unclean by Kaffir, Egyptian, Hebrew and Briton alike, because each of these was once in possession of that system of typology in which the hare (un) was a sign of periodicity, especially in a certain feminine phase called by the name of the hare.
There is an Egyptian, there is a Maori, there is a Hebrew, there is an English, there is an Akkadian mythology, and none but an evolutionist would dream that these have one primary source still extant. Yet this is probable, and the present writer is about to adduce evidence in proof. But then he is among those who think that one of the supreme truths made known to our day and generation is that creative cause is evolutionary everywhere and for ever. Not mindless evolution; evolution without the initial force of purpose, evolution without increase of purpose in the accumulative course; evolution without the fulfilment of purpose as the result of all, is simply inconceivable.
The world is old enough and time has existed long enough for the widest divergencies to have been made from one common centre of mankind, and the proofs of a unity of origin are plentiful enough. What has been wanted is the common centre of the primeval unity. This, it is now suggested, will be found in Africa as the womb of the human race, with Egypt for the outlet into all the world.
Parent of all men give me grace
Our unity from first to trace,
And show the map through all the maze
Of winding, wandering, widening ways
A shattered looking-glass replace
With wholeness to reflect Thy face,
And help establish for the race
The oneness that shall crown their days.
The Egyptians identify themselves on the monuments as the Rut. A pictorial representation is found on the tomb of Seti I of four races of people arranged in groups of four men each. These are the Nahsi (negroes); the Hemu, men of a light brown hue, with blue eyes, and hair in a bag; the Tamahu, who are fair as Europeans; and the Rut, who are Egyptians.
These are typical groups, not meant merely for conquered races, as may be gathered from the signification of their names. The Tamahu are light-complexioned people. In Egyptian, tama means people, and created. Hu is white, light, ivory. The Tamahu are the 'Created white' people. Na is black, ink. Neh, a blackbird. Su is the person, or birth. The Nahsu one black born, or, in Egyptian phrase, black from the egg (su). Hem is the rudder, to paddle, fish; hemi, to steer. The Hemu thus indicated are the sailors, seafarers, the people of the isles. The Isles of the Gentiles might be rendered in Egyptian by the isles of the Amu or Hemu. The hieroglyphic hem is the sign of a water frontier.
The word 'rut' has various meanings, all significant when applied to the Egyptians by themselves. Rut is to retain the form, be carved in stone, a footstool, or a pair of feet, cause to do, plant, grow, repeat. One hieroglyphic sign of 'rut' is an implement for pegging down and making fast in the earth, to retain animals in one spot. This is symbolic of the Rut as the people who dwelt where they first laid hold and made fast to the earth. These are the Egyptians themselves. They claim to be the root of the race of men or the Rut, the Men, knowing of no other point of departure, and being so ancient they have forgotten that their complexion was at one time black. The word passed into Sanskrit as reta, produced from the seed, and their likeness was the lotus, which contains the seed within itself, and retains the name of the Rut or Reta.
The name of the ruti went out into other lands as that of the Ruten, upper and lower, and the Ludim; it had become a typical name of race, long-lineage and enduring life in the Assyrian Palatu (pa is the Egyptian masculine article the), the Latins, the various Luds, the Lithuanians, and others who fastened themselves firmly and took root elsewhere. The Egyptians were and are the true rut, the one primordial people who first took conscious hold of the earth and retained a knowledge of the fact. The land of Egypt is the footstool, rut; the people were the feet (rut) on which the human being first arose erect to attain its full stature. Incidentally however we learn that the Egyptians recognised the black race to be the first of created men. The people of Ra are born of the great one who is in the heavens; the Rut are born of his eye in their persons of superior men. He also created the Aamu and the Tamahu; further he has comforted himself with a multitude who came from him in the shape of negroes, but it is expressly said, 'Horus has created them and he [p.28] defends their souls.' This may be followed mythologically. Har is older than Ra; his type goes back to Sut-Har, and Sut-Nub the negro god who created the Nahsi.
It has been overlooked that the Egyptians do possibly tell us something of their own origin beyond the Ruti of the monuments. We learn from Syncellus and Eusebius that among the Egyptians there was a certain tablet called the Old Chronicle, containing thirty dynasties in 113 descents, during the long period of 36,525 years.
'The first series of princes was that of the Auritae, the second was that of the Mestraeans, the third of the Egyptians.' The first divine name in the series is one that is earlier than the sun, given through the Greek as Hephaestus, to whom no time is assigned, because this deity was apparent both by night and day. This contains matter of great moment not yet read nor readable until we have seen more of Egypt's mythology. The present point is that the Auritae princes coincide with the reign of Hephaestus as the beginning.
The Auritae are of course the Ruti of monumental Egypt, the typical name of the race of men par excellence. But the prefixed au will add something to our knowledge of the pre-monumental Rut. Au in Egyptian means the oldest, the primordial. The word au is the Egyptian 'was,' and the Au-rut means the race that was, the first and oldest race of men. Au is a modified form of af. Both au and af signify born of. The name of Africa is derived from this root af or au. The tongue of Egypt tells us that Af-rui-ka is the inner land, born of, literally the birthplace. They knew of no other. Thus the Auritae were the Af-ritae, people of the birthplace in Africa. But af in Egyptian has a still earlier form in kaf, and the Afritae become the primordial Kaf-ritae. The Kaffirs have preserved the primal shape of the word signifying the first, the embryotic, aboriginal root-race of men. The Kaffirs likewise keep the true African colour of the original Ruti or race. There is a sort of pre-Darwinianism in this root kaf, the name of the Kaffir and the Kafritae of Egypt. The kaf is the symbolical monkey, the cynocephalus. It is apparent from the drawing of the nose of the figures of Ta-urt that the kaf enters into her compound character with the hippopotamus and crocodile. Not that the Kaffirs and Kafritae named themselves from the ape or as the ape-like, or as the beings evolved from the ape. But they were the first, and the name signifies the first; and when the primitive men had advanced and took other names, the prior name was left to the primordial men, the pre-men, so to say, and it remained with the ape and the aborigine. This will help to explain the ape-men and monkey-men of various tribes [p.29] who retained the earlier status in their names which mixed up the pre-men and apes. So the Assyrian name of the monkey, udumu, is identical with the Hebrew name Adam for man.
The laws of language prove that the Auritae, the first princes of this long line of descent given at 36,525 years, were Kaf-ritae and the laws of evolution prove the primal race, so far as we can get back, to be the black people. The kaf is the black, dog-headed, almost human monkey. Ape and kaf are named as the first preceding man, and there was no other name known for the first than kaf; ap, au or ap. The kaf-ruti name has the same relation to the Ruti of the monuments that the ape, the pre-man, has to man. On another line of modification and development the name Kafruti becomes Karuti, found on the monuments as Karut, natives, autochthones, indigenous inhabitants, also applied to masons, and workers in stone. The Karuti, it is suggested, became the Kaldi and the Keltae.
Maspero thinks the Egyptians had lost the remembrance of their origin. But for the people who were the recorders and chronologers of mankind that is good evidence of their having no foreign origin to forget; the Ruti were the race. The Auritae were the oldest race. The Karuti were the natives, inhabitants, indigenes, aborigines, and there was nothing more to be said. They had sloughed the black skin of the Nahsi and repudiated it, as we have denied the ape. Nevertheless, they came out of it as we do from the ape without remembering the fact, which has to be recollected in evidence, 'The first series of the princes was that of the Auritae, the second was that of the Mestraeans, the third of the Egyptians.' This is a perfect panorama of the descent geographical and ethnological.
By aid of the Auritae (kafruti) name we ascend to the source whence the race that always was (au) had descended. In Egyptian, mest means the birthplace, the lying-in chamber, to whelp, be born. Mest as the black is the name of kohl or stibium. Ru is the gate or gorge of outlet: ruan the gorge of a valley.
The Mestraeans are the people of the outlet of the birthplace in the stage next to the Auritae. The Egyptian mest, to be born, whelped, answers to the Hebrew אצמ, to become apparent, to exist, the very first form of to be, the parallel with Au. And the Mestraeans are the people of the gorge, the place of outlet, the same that we derived from Mitzraim as the dual land of the outlet from the birthplace, and as mest means stibium, the Mestraeans were apparently black. It is in Egyptian alone that mes for birth is the equivalent of mest, and mes-ru the outlet of birth of mestru, whence Mestraean. Now one of the Hindu names of Egypt is Misra-Sthan. But the Sanskrit misra, mixing, does not contain the primary meaning, and the word is supposed to be taken from a lost root which it is here suggested may be the Egyptian mes, generation and birth; the sense of mixing [p.30] applies to generating. Also, רצמ, a strait, has a likeness to mest-ru, the road or strait, issuing from the birthplace.
In the Old Chronicle the Mestraeans are placed midway, corresponding to the meaning of mest-ruan the outlet from the place of birth, the human lair, mestruan the gorge from the birthplace, and the mestru (mitzr) we may identify with the country below the first cataract, because at Khartoum and Aswan the inundation was born. Kart signifies the child, um to perceive, and it was there the birth of the child was first perceived. This adds another sense to the words mestruan and mitzraim as the birthplace of the inundation.
'Aswan,' says Mariette, 'always takes the traveller by surprise. We seem to be quite in a new world—Egypt finishes; another country begins. The inhabitants of Khartoum especially are remarkable by their grand mien, their black skin, and their finely formed heads, that remind one of the best types of northern races.' Here it may be seen that with a skin as black, although more lustrous with light, as that of any negro of the west coast, the African in Nubia at times attained a type of face, and a sculpture of form as noble and refined as any of the white skins of all the vaunted Caucasian and Aryan races. The line of the Mestraeans may have begun hereabouts, leaving the Auritae higher up in the old dark land where the pre-lingual beings clicked away, in equatorial Africa for many a myriad of years; so long ago that the primeval race can only be known by its radiants and its rootage, and not by any stem extant—so long ago that the Hottentot, the west coast negro, the Nubian and Egyptian are but concentrations of form and colour along the lines diverging from a centre out of sight in the far land of the Auritae. Herodotus says the oracle of Amen pronounced all those who drank the water of the Nile and dwelt north of Elephantine to be Egyptians. They were so in later times when Egypt was both upper and lower, but the name of Khebt (for Egypt) belongs especially to the lower land in the north.
The Egyptians, the people of Khebt come last, they dwelt in the Delta. Three stages are here distinctly marked. The place of the Auritae above the cataracts. That of the Mestraeans in the Ruan, the gorge of the valley, and the Egyptians in Khebt or lower Egypt, called the Delta, and the name of the Delta, Ter-ta, also shows the descent from above, for ter (del) in Egyptian means the extreme limit, the foot, that which ends and completes the whole, and ta is the land.
The Auritae of this passage, then, are not gods nor are the Mestraeans demigods, as they have been misrendered. Bunsen assumed that the chronicle was fictitious, and asserted that the number of 36,525 years represents the great year of the world. It does nothing of the kind. [p.31] The only great year of the world is that of precession—25,868 solar years, and the twenty-five Sothiac cycles (25Í1461) or 36,525 years do not make any great year whatever. When we read in the Syncellus that 'Manetho, the high priest of the Egyptian idols, wrote a fabulous work on Sothis under Philadelphus;' that means a book containing what the man uninstructed except in biblical chronology considered mythological, not necessarily a forgery of time-reckonings, for he denied their chronological nature in toto.
Iamblichus, in his work on the Mysteries, mentions the number of 36,500 books assigned to Taht, and this agrees very nearly with the number of years given in the Old Chronicle. This also is denounced by Bunsen as being nothing more than the year of the world in twenty-five Sothiac cycles. The question of interest here is whether these twenty-five Sothiac cycles had been observed and registered; if so, the records were sure to be entitled the Books of Taht, the earliest forms of which were columns called stelae the figure of these is yet extant in our flat round-topped gravestones. Syncellus describes Manetho as having declared that certain of these stelae still existing in the Syriadic land were his authorities. They were engraved in hieroglyphics and in the sacred tongue, and 'after the flood' they were transcribed into Greek in hieroglyphical characters.
These columns, or stelae, in the Syriadic land are referred to by Josephus. He ascribes them to Seth, and says they were erected to record the peculiar sort of wisdom which concerns the heavenly bodies, that is as chronological tablets, because Adam had predicted that the world was to be at one time destroyed by fire, at another by flood. Plato, in the opening of his Timaeus, refers to these so-called antediluvian columns, or stelae, of the Syriadic land. They are likewise mentioned in the Fragments of Hermes in Stobaeus.The Syriadic land has been accepted unquestioningly as the land of Syria. This in Egyptian is Karua. But there is Karua north and Karua south, and the country of the stelae is the southern Karua, the Ethiopic country. Now here is a fact unknown to the Greeks, Christians, or Josephus, and one sure not to be recorded by Manetho. We learn from a statement in the Book of the Dead that Taht, the recorder of the gods, was otherwise Sut, who had preceded Taht in the character of the scribe. How this was so remains to be unravelled. Enough for the present to say that it was so, and to refer here to the fact that the stelae assigned to Taht by Manetho are ascribed to Sut by Josephus; both describing them as standing in the Syriadic land, which we identify with Karua in the south. The Karuans are extant on the monuments as a black people. In both accounts we find the flood. But the monuments of the chronologers of mankind know nothing of the Noachian deluge. The flood of Egypt is the inundation of the Nile. And these antediluvian stelae in the Karuan land before the flood we [p.32] take to have stood in the Karuan country above the cataracts and the land made by the inundation. The account thus rendered is that a vast pre-monumental period of the Egyptians was represented by the princes of the Auritae, the ancient and original race under the divine reign of Hephaestus before the time of Ra, and that the stelae upon which the time was inscribed were set up in the Karuan land beyond the cataracts or the flood, and that as the old dark people came down into the lower parts of the Nile valley to be known as the children of Ham, the Black, Mizraim, Kush, and Phut, and the still later Egyptus, they inscribed the same facts on the papyrus in what has been misinterpreted to be the tongue of the Achaean Greeks. Syriadic, then is Karuadic, and we have to look for the Karua south, the land of Sut-Anubis, who was earlier than Taht as the divine registrar. Some of the inscriptions of the time of Tahtmes III designate the country of Karu or Kalu, in the far south, as the southern boundary.
Brugsch considers this to be the ancient Koloe, which, according to Ptolemy, was situated on the fourth degree, fifteen minutes, of north latitude, in those countries. Ka (Eg.) is an interior region or it may be high land, and rua is the outlet, the place of exit. Karua is also an Egyptian name for a lake, so that the name might mean the lake country.
It is noticeable that the true country of the stelae and the rock inscriptions is sharply defined by the first cataract. In the route from Aswan to Philae the rock inscriptions abound on all sides. Schayl, a small island in the cataract, is covered with such records, some of which have yielded a clue to historical facts, as it was obviously intended they should do, for the name in Egyptian, read Skha-rui, signifies the island of the writings or inscriptions. One cannot but suppose the rocks in the upper country may still preserve some memorials of the remoter past. The account appears to mean that the stelae were erected in the time of Sut-Anubis, the first registrar of the gods, and the contents were afterwards transcribed in hieroglyphics and preserved in the Hermean writings assigned to Taht.
The Egyptians, says Horapollo, depict three water-pots and neither more nor less, because, according to them, there is a triple cause of the inundation. One of these causes, he tells us, is the rain which prevails in Southern Africa. He further observes, they make the water-pot like a heart having a tongue, because the heart is the ruling member of the body as the Nile is of Egypt, and they call it the producer of existence. The tongue, as he calls it, of the three vases, is the sign of the pouring out the libation; there are two tongues or volumes of water answering to the blue and red Nile, and these issue from the three vases, the triple heart. The vases are three, and we may now fairly infer that this triple symbol with its dual stream, was intended to connect the source of the Nile with the [p.33] three great lakes in equatorial Africa. It has been rediscovered that the river is fed by two of them, and Tanganyika may easily have been classed with the system. The fact of their existence was known already to the travellers and mapmakers of some centuries ago; the maps of the Arabs in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; the Portuguese of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and the Dutch map of the seventeenth century; show that at least three great lakes were known. It now becomes probable that the triple source and fountainhead of the Nile was known to the Egyptians many thousand years since, and that the fact is stereotyped in the triple ideograph of the inundation.
Professor Oppert assures us from his standpoint, that in all cases we may take for granted that the date of 11,512 BC, given in his version of the Berosian chronology, reposes on a real historical tradition, and that the two periods, the Chaldean moon period and the Sothiac period (whether it was Egyptian or not) have the same origin. Professor Oppert, by mathematical calculation, fixes the date of a double phenomenon which struck the sight of men, consisting in an eclipse and in an apparition of Sirius, on Tuesday, 27th April, Julian, or the 28th January, Gregorian. But as at this epoch Sirius was not visible to Northern or Middle Egypt, on account of the equinoctial precession, civilization must start from a more southern point. This, to say the truth, adds Professor Oppert, is a mere hypothesis, and he trusts that further investigation will either confirm or deny this special view of his.
It is now about to be claimed that civilization did start from a more southern point than Mid-Egypt.
For Egyptian, Hebrew, and Greek, there was nothing visible beyond Egypt but the background of blackness in Africa, the land of Ham, the source from which she was fed in secret by tributaries that flowed as stealthily as the hidden fountains of the Nile.
The Hebrew scriptures, among their other fragments of ancient lore, are very emphatic in deriving the line of Mitzraim from ham or kam, the black type coupled with Kush, another form of the black. They give no countenance to the theory of Asiatic origin for the Egyptians. In the biblical account of the generations of Noah, Mitzraim is the son of Ham, i.e., of Kam, the black race. Thus Ham occupies the place of the Auritae princes of the old chronicle at the head of the Egyptians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. This account, preserved in the tenth chapter of Genesis, could only have been kept by the black race, the 'blameless Ethiopians' and Egyptians as contemporaries of the early time, and recorded in the Hermean books, fragments of which are found in the Hebrew writings.
'Egypt, mother of men, and first born of mortals,' the learned Apollonius Rhodius in the Argonautics, calls that country. In the [p.34] time of Xerxes, Hippys of Rhegium designated the Egyptians the most ancient of all nations. 'For my part,' says Herodotus, 'I am not of opinion that the Egyptians commenced their existence with the country called the Delta, but that they always were since men have been; and that as the soil gradually increased many of them remained in their former abodes and many came lower down. For anciently Thebes was called Egypt.' He also tells us that the Egyptians, before the reign of Psammetichus, considered themselves to be the most ancient of mankind.
We see, by the Greek report, the Egyptians knew that Egypt was once all sea or water. Herodotus says the whole of Egypt (except the province of Thebes) was an extended marsh. No part of that which is now situate beyond the Lake Moeris was to be seen, the distance between which lake and the sea is a journey of seven days.
Plutarch also says Egypt was at one time sea. Diodorus Siculus affirms that in primitive times, that which was Egypt when he wrote, was said to have been not a country, but one universal sea.
A persistent Greek tradition asserts that the primitive abode of the Egyptians was in Ethiopia, and mention is made of an ancient city of Meroe, from which issued a priesthood who were the founders of the Egyptian civilisation. Meroe, or in Egyptian Muru, means the maternal outlet, therefore the birthplace, which was typified by the Mount Muru. The modernised form of Muru or Meroe, is Balua.
Ba-rua (Eg.) also yields the place of outlet. And this place may be pursued according to the African naming up to the Rua mountains and the outlets of the lakes. The Hebrew tradition manifestly derives the Egyptians from above and not from lower Egypt. 'I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return (into) the land of Pathros; into the land of their habitation.'
Puthrus (סורתפ) is obviously derived from the Egyptian, in which rus is the south, southern. Pet is the name of the crib or birthplace. Puth (Heb.) denotes the opening, the place of birth. Put and Apt (Eg.) interchange, Apt or Aft being the abode and the name of the goddess, the oldest Great Mother. Pet or peth is the earlier beth, and pathros is the birthplace in the south. 'Patoris' is the south country (Upper Egypt). In the Hebrew writings Ethiopia, Kush, and Zaba are convertible terms for the same country, the Egypt beyond Egypt. Zaba, the firstborn son of Kush, is mentioned with Kush and Mitzraim, and the Zabians are coupled with Kush. The inhabitants of Meroe were called Zabaim. 'The Zabeans from the wilderness.'
Zaba, the modified form of Khaba (or Kheft), including the ancient Meroe, has been understood to mean the northern half of Ethiopia. [p.35] The Ethiopians are called וק־וק from the reduplicated pih, וקוק (belonging to הוק), a people of great might or double power. Kefa (Eg.) means force, puissance, potency. Khefti or Khepti, is a reduplicated kef equivalent to key-key, and Kep-Kep is an Egyptian name of Nubia.
In Egyptian kheb, kheft, or khepsh, is the north, as the hindward part, the front being the south. The khepsh, equivalent of the Hebrew שוכ (Kvsh), is the hieroglyphic hinder-part, and the name of the Great Bear, as the constellation of the north.
If the reader will think for a moment of the sight presented by the revolving Great Bear to those who watched it in equatorial lands, he will realise what an arresting image of the north this must have been with its settings and risings in that quarter to a people who did not know the earth was round.
In the title of Psalms 7 mention is made of the Dibrai of Kush, and dabar (רבד) signifies the hinder-part; it is the exact equivalent for the Egyptian khepsh. Zaba, as a name of Ethiopia, is the modified Kheba or Kefa. Also in Egyptian khefti, the north, the goddess of the north, was worn down to uati or uti, and in the time of the Middle Empire a hieroglyphic u passed into an e. Thus we have Eti-opia, Uti-opia, Khefti-opia, and opia from api is the first, the ancestral land. Cassiopoeia, the Lady of the Seat, is the Queen of Ethiopia or Kush, and her name, derived from khus, to found, or earlier khepsh (שוכ) the seat, denotes the queen of the 'opia' or 'apia' in the north. Thus interpreted, Ethiopia is the first, the ancestral seat, in the north.
This may be followed out. Ethiopia is claimed for the birthplace; khab means to give birth to; khef is the one born of, the place we come out of; af and au mean born of, and uti signifies to emit, emane, go or come out of and opia or apia is the ancestral land. The diphthong Æ represents an earlier au and yet earlier af, hence Æthiopia is Aftiopia or Kheftiopia. Yr Aipht is still the Welsh name of Egypt.
In the celestial north was the mythical birthplace where the Great Mother Ta-urt, the goddess of the Great Bear and Seven Stars, was represented as the bringer-forth from the waters in the shape of a hippopotamus, and when Kush, or Ethiopia, was named as the north, the hinder-part, literally the hinder thigh, as a sign of the birthplace, it must have been by a people who were still farther south, as from no other direction can the naming be applied. Kush, Zaba, or Ethiopia, was once the north land to a people that dwelt above. The name would not be given by a people ascending the Valley of the Nile and going due south. Whereas the name, once given high above Egypt, can be followed down to Coptus, thence to Khebt in Lower Egypt, and then to Kheft, the Egyptian name of Phoenicia. The birthplace was in the north, and the Egyptians identified that with Ethiopia. [p.36] A typical title of the repa, prince, or heir-apparent to the throne of Ra, was Prince of Ethiopia.
Diodorus tells of an annual Ethiopian festival at which the statues of the gods of Egypt, who were represented by Jupiter and Juno, were carried into the Ethiopian land, and then after a certain time of sojourn there they were brought back again to Egypt. Eustathius on Homer, says the Ethiopians used to fetch the images of Zeus and other gods from the temple at Thebes, and with these they went about at a certain period in Libya and celebrated a splendid feast of twelve gods. This was going back to the ancient birthplace, the backward Khebt; and the carriage of the later divinities to the old home, to celebrate a festival of the twelve gods, looks like a typical conquest of the earlier domain of the old mother Khebt, the hippopotamus goddess who brought them forth. On this journey they were not following the celestial north, that lay directly opposite. The Libyans, be it remembered, wore the Horus-lock of the repa, the Prince of Ethiopia, from whom perhaps they derived their name.
A rock tablet in the neighbourhood of the town of Aswan proclaims to the traveller that to Tahtmes II (1600 BC), came the Asiatics and the Kushite An, the nomads, 'his frontier to the south is at the summit of the world, and his frontier north at the farthest end of Asia,' which places the southern limit of the land at the equator. This range southward was no doubt attained in the backward ascent from the lower lands after the Egyptians had become civilised there.
Under the rule of Tahtmes III the southern boundary of the land was designated Apta, the horn-point or tiptop of the land, the farthest point to the south. This apta was a type name for the extremity of the land, and means, equal, or equatorial land. Also ap is first ancestral, aboriginal, and divine. Apta describes the land (ta) or type of all that is initial, primordial, first in being, place, or person. Apt or aft is the birthplace, the bringer-forth, the genetrix of the gods and the equatorial land; the horn-point of the world is known and named in Egyptian as Apta. Apt and khebt are two forms of the same word, as the name of the birthplace and the bringer-forth.
It may seem like considering the matter too curiously, and yet it would not be without warrant from phonetic law if we were to see in apta the modification of khepta as the secondary naming from the north, or, with the frontage reversed, to the primal naming of the north as khebt, when that quarter was the front, and the namers were looking north. Ethiopia includes both apta and khepta, and the Great Mother, who was hippopotamus in front and crocodile behind, was both Apt and Khept. Khept also modifies into sebt. The ka sign of the crocodile's tail is a later sa. Sebt (Sothis) passes into Sut, the name of the south. Thus sebt and apt are both later forms of khept. The hinder-part as the birthplace was first of all [p.37] the region of the Great Bear that brought forth in the north. Then in the solar imagery the Egyptians depicted the heaven by the figure of a woman, whose body arched over the earth and rested on the hands and feet. In this position she brought forth the sun, animal-fashion, at the place of the hinder thigh (khepsh), and her face was the front, the south. Egyptian shows that the north, as the lower, hinder, the nightside, the lowermost, the dark part, was the first named, and the modification of the k into h reflects this fact, corresponding to Khept and Apt; kak is darkness, and the deity of the dark; heh and hui denote the light; khekh signifies the invisible of being; heh the visibly manifested. Kar is the lower, har the upper. Khept and hut are tail and head. Khar is the first Horus, the child, immature and mortal (Harpocrates). Har is the second, perfected, immortal.
The word kam is not a primary formation, and in Hebrew the vau of a prior spelling is preserved. The word for kam or ham in Eupolemus is written םוח (kvm), as in Hebrew chush is written שוכ (chvsh). Kvm is extant in Egyptian as khebm or kheb-ma. The fuller form of the word is also indicated by kâm, i.e., kfm to create, whence the Kamite was the created race. One reduced form occurs in kâm (kfm) for the black stone, obsidian, determined by the crocodile's tail. And this carries us beyond the land of the inundation to that of the hippopotamus, whose name is Khebma, the Mother of the Waters, typified by the water-cow. Khab is the name of the black hippopotamus in the Namaqa Hottentot. Khab permutes with kam in Hebrew for black. And the permutation probably depends on the word kvm or kbm dividing in twain to posit two forms.*
* So the Gothic kvimat shows the earlier form of come. The Welsh cwm implies a prior cfm. So the hieroglyphic 'peh' bifurcates into the p and h of the Setshuana and other languages. This 'yin,' found in Hebrew, may show the connecting-link between the Egyptian kef, the hand, a figure of 5, and the supposed original Aryan word quem-quem, for no.5. Kef, kep and kem permute, as is now suggested, on account of a form in kafm, still found in םוח and in khebma. This abrades in quem and khamesh for no. 5. Taking khem as the equivalent of kef the hand, khemt (khemti) for no. 10 (Eg.) is the two hands (∩). Khemsha (Eg.) would read hand the first, or one hand, and khemt two hands. This is at a depth, however, that philology cannot bottom. It belongs to a primitive system of typology. For example, the first hand was the creative matrix, the khep in Egyptian. The old Khebma is the paunchy pot-bellied hippopotamus-goddess, and the Hebrew שמח for no. 5, the hand, also means the paunch, and paunch, or panch, is the type-word for hand and no. 5 in other groups of languages.
Kam, then, has to be sought in kheb-ma, the place of Kheb, or the Mother Kheb.
This takes us back to Ethiopia, the land of Kush or Kvsh, which, in the form of Khepsh, is still the name of the Great Bear, or Hippopotamus. The land of the black Khab, the black Kaf, and the black Kaffir, the Kafruti, the black race of Kvm, Kvsh, and Kvt, the children of Ta-urt, the typhonian genetrix. Etymologically we [p.38] have the gradation of sounds from the f in Kaf, to the p in Coptus, the b in Khebt. Also we find the later Egyptians calling uncivilised and ignorant men the Khem-Rut. If we read this with a v we recover the Khvm-ruti as the equivalent of Kafruti, the Auritae, the Karti, Kaldi, Keltae, and the final Ruti. It is noticeable that the Lapps call themselves the Sabme people, which is the word khabma or םוח in a later stage. The Japanese likewise claim to have descended from the Kami or Kafmi.
Egyptian monumental history begins with the name of Mena or Menes. The chronology made out by different Egyptologists is variously recorded thus:—
|Bunsen||. . . . . . .||3623 BC|
|Lepsius||. . . . . . .||3892 "|
|Lauth||. . . . . . .||4157 "|
|Brugsch.||. . . . . . .||4455 "|
|Unger||. . . . . . .||5613 "|
|Boeckh||. . . . . . .||5702 "|
Brugsch makes use of the latest data, and also of the investigations of Lieblein into the pedigree of twenty-five court architects; he concludes that the year 4455 BC is about the nearest approximation that can be made to a correct date for the era of Mena. And, as nearly as can be calculated, the spring equinox first occurred in the sign of the Bull, 4560 BC.
The clue is worth following. The present writer refuses to be entangled in the maze and lost in the labyrinth of the dynastic lists. It may be there was no monarch of the name of Mena. No contemporary monument of his time has ever been found, nothing inscribed with his name, nothing is known to have been made, in the time of Mena. Tradition ascribes to him a dyke which still exists in the neighbourhood of Cairo. Personally, however, the writer does not doubt the existence of Mena, only if the man were removed the era would still remain. That era has been made out to be nearly coincident with the time when the colure of the spring equinox entered the sign of the Bull. The name of Mena is identical with that of the Bull Mnevis or Men-Apis, of Heliopolis, the celestial birthplace of the sun.
This apparently perilous subject of the mythological astronomy is only introduced here with the view of making Mena, the admitted head of a dynasty, a connecting link with the divine dynasties which also are astronomically dated, but have been assumed to be fabulous. It is certain that the dynasty of Mena coincides with the establishment of an Osirian myth that is for ever connected with the sun in the sign of the Bull by means of the legend relating to the death of Osiris when the sun was in Scorpio, and the bull and the scorpion [p.39] were the two equinoctial signs, showing that the bull of Mena and Osiris are one and the same. Now in the Egyptian zodiac the crocodile is in Scorpioi (so to say) that is, it occupies the whole three decans of that sign, and it was under the Osirian dynasty of deities that the crocodile was transformed into an image of evil and a symbol of Typho to be trampled under foot. This does not in the least destroy the personality of Mena, because the pharaohs of Egypt were assimilated to the divinity, and monuments were raised and temples built to their own 'name' in honour of the deity whose name they bore. The divine, not the human, was the object of the worship. In the present instance it is the divine, the solar Mena or bull that makes it possible to account for the various Menas in different countries, and gives us a common starting-point for the Manu who was the lawgiver in India, Minos, who was lawgiver in Greece, Menw, who was the lawgiver to the Cymry, and Mena, who was lawgiver to Egypt. The law first given in each case was that of time and period. Mena, as the bull who in Egyptian mythology (as Khem) is the bull of the mother, is one with the Minos whose wife was Pasiphaë, and this gives a natural interpretation to her passion for the bull. Mena is the head of the Thinite dynasty reigning at Memphis, and Thinis is in Upper Egypt. May not Tini and the Thinites derive their name in the same way from the new point of departure in the bull? The highest functionaries of the blood-royal were distinguished by the style of Princes of Tini.
Ten is the division, the place of the Tennu or equinoctial eclipses, and also means to fill up, complete, terminate, and determine.
The district in which Memphis stood was called Sekhet-Ra, the field of the sun. Mena is accredited with having built Memphis, and one of its names is Makha-ta, the land of the scales; or as Makha equally applies to the equinox, from which the zodiacal scales were named, this may be equinoctial, and as the name of Mena is that of the bull Mnevis, there is nothing incredible in supposing that Mena of Makha-ta represents the sun (or vernal colure) in the sign of the Bull. The Arab name of Tel-Monf for Memphis points to its being Men-pa, the House (or sign) of the Bull. King Teta, who follows the name of Mena, built the pyramid of the bull at Ka-khema, the town or shrine of the bull. It is probable that this step-pyramid of Saqqara was the common grave or shrine of the dead bulls, to judge from its bones of bulls and the inscriptions relating to the royal Apis, the bull of that time being the representative of the sun instead of the later pharaoh. The builder of the bull pyramid would enable us, if need were, to do without the human Mena. In Egyptian symbolry the celestial is primordial and continually contains the clue to the terrestrial; the earthly is but the image of the heavenly. Thus the time of Mena is none the less real, and is all the more verifiable if astronomically dated. In Egypt the only fixed or definite [p.40] era was astronomical. All the reports show that prior to the period identified with the name of Mena the Egyptians reckoned vast lengths of time as 'reigns' of some kind, sacred to monarchs left without human name, because representative of the divinities, and beyond these was the direct dominion of the gods. These last reigns are mythical, but not therefore fabulous in the modern sense. The truth is that a great deal of history and mythology have to change places with each other; the history has to be resolved into myth, whilst the myths will be found to contain the only history. The ancient fables were veiled facts, and when we can get no further records on the earth, it is in the heavens we must seek for the Egyptian chronology. It is the astronomical mythology solely that will reveal to us what the Egyptians and other nations meant by dynasties of deities and the development of series and succession in their rule. It was by astronomical numbers that the Chaldeans reckoned the age of their sacred books.
'In Egypt, if anywhere,' says Diodorus, 'the most accurate observations of the positions and movements of the stars have been made. Of each of these they have records extending over an incredible series of years. They have also accurately observed the courses and positions of the planets, and can truly predict eclipses of the sun and moon.' Diogenes Laërtius states that they possessed observations of 373 solar eclipses and 832 lunar; these were probably total or almost total.
The Egyptians spanned spaces so vast that nothing short of astronomical cycles could be the measure and record of time and period for them. Plato, who spent some thirteen years in Egypt trying to get into the penetralia of their knowledge, reports that they had divine hymns or songs worthy of the deity which were held in round numbers to be 10,000 years old. He tells us that he does not speak figuratively, but that they are real and credible figures. The authorship of these was assigned to the great mother Isis. These figures are not to be utilised forthwith or straightway; that can only be done by going round to work, when we shall see that such hymns probably dated from the time when the sun was in the sign of Virgo (Isis) at the spring equinox. When Plato wrote, the colure of the vernal equinox was coincident with the sign of Aries, and the time was just over 10,000 years since it left the sign of Virgo.
Previous to the reign of Mena, the Papyrus of Turin, and other documents assign a period of 5,613 years to twenty-three reigns. These of course are not mortal reigns. They are identified with the Shus-en-Har, the followers, servants, or worshippers of Horus. A period of 13,420 years is also assigned to the Shus-en-Har.
Nineteen han are likewise mentioned. The han is a cycle, and [p.41] these were probably cycles of Anup or Sothis, the, Dog-star, whose period was 1,461 years, nineteen of which make a total of 27,759 years. Two dynasties of gods and demigods were collected from the temple records and rectified by Lepsius from the various Greek chronological writers; these begin with Ptah (Hephaistos) and end with 'Bitus.' Of these—
|Ptah||reigned (in years)||9,000|
After this, says Eusebius, 'came a series of reigns down to Bytis during 13,900 years;' meaning the above list ending with Horus. It is clear that Bitus has no business to be in the list of divine rulers. Nor is it necessary to assume with Bunsen that 13,900 years of reigns imply hero-worship in the modern sense. These like the preceding may have been astronomical cycles, but measured also by the reigns of sacerdotal kings, as according to Iamblichus. Bytis was a prophet of Ammon at Thebes, instead of divine names. According to Eusebius, Manetho had computed a total period of 24,900 years. Such numbers need not be rejected because they do not offer the direct means of correlating and reading them. They are quoted merely as mental eye-openers in the hope that by and by we may see a little farther and more clearly.
Herodotus says 'from the first king to this priest of Vulcan (Ptah) who last reigned (Sethon) were 341 generations of men; and during these generations, there were the same number of priests and kings. Now 300 generations are equal to 10,000 years, and the forty-one remaining generations make 1,340 years. Thus they said, in 11,340 years, no god had assumed the form of a man; neither had such a thing happened before or afterwards in the time of the remaining kings of Egypt. During this time they related that the sun had four times risen out of his usual quarter, and that he had twice risen where he now sets, and twice set where he now rises.' Again, he remarks, 'Hercules is one of the ancient gods of the Egyptians; and, as they say themselves, it was 17,000 years before the reign of [p.42] Amasis, when the number of their gods was increased from eight to twelve, of whom Hercules was accounted one.' That is they reckoned 17,000 years of time during which the eight original great deities were at the head of the Egyptian religion. Then four others were added. Still earlier, before the creation of Taht, lord of the eighth region, were the seven great gods as reckoned by the Chaldeans, and the great mother of all who is synonymous with the number seven, and who was personified as the goddess of the Great Bear. Whatsoever truth there may be in the statement, there are no phenomenal data known to the present writer by which the assertion of Herodotus, can be interpreted except those of the circle of the equinoctial precession. In no other circle or cycle does the sun ever rise at one time in the quarter it sets in at another. He therefore holds that the Egyptian priests did verily claim to have made chronological observations during a period, in round numbers, of 52,000 years. The explanation that the priests were referring in any wise to the Sothiac cycle, a period of 1,461 years, must be rejected as not only inadequate but perfectly puerile. The speaking stones, the pictured papyri and written rolls, are all antedated by the celestial chronology of the divine dynasties, and if the present conjecture should prove correct it will drop from above the keystone into the almost completed arch of Egyptology.
My suggestion is that the divine dynasties founded on the cycles of astronomical time, were continued by the era of Mena. And there is evidence to support it in the table of Abydos.
Tinis is the name of the great city of Abydos, and the name of Mena heads the first Thinite dynasty. Now the new table of Abydos, discovered eleven years ago, in a corridor of the temple of Seti I, at Harabat-el-Madfouneh, gives a succession of sixty-five kings from Mena, the founder of the line, down to the last reign of the Twelfth Dynasty. If we take the accepted average of human life as about three generations to the century, this succession of sixty-five monarchs will extend over a period of 2,166 years, leaving a fractional remainder. Brugsch thus assigns to them a period of 65×100/3 = 2,166 years. This is as near to the length of time during which the equinox remains in a single sign as need be, that time being 2,155 years. And this is the table of Abydos, of the Thinites, and of Mena.
Also the table comes to an end with a break so abrupt, an interregnum of some kind so marked, that it leaves us staring into a chasm, which is at present without a bridge, and we have to leap or scramble from the twelfth dynasty to the eighteenth.
In further illustration of this interregnum, Mariette has pointed out that the old Egyptian proper names of persons in the eleventh and twelfth dynasties recur in the same forms on the monuments of [p.43] the early part of the eighteenth dynasty, and the forms of the coffins are so alike as to be undistinguishable. Now the eleventh and twelfth are Diospolitan dynasties, and so is the eighteenth. After an interregnum of five dynasties the Diospolitans resume, and continue, as it were, where they left off.
Meanwhile the thirteenth dynasty introduces Sebek-Ra.
It is noticeable that towards the end of the twelfth dynasty Egyptian names compounded with Sebek become increasingly frequent. Sut-Apet, i.e. Sut-Typhon, is the name of the mother of Mentu-Si, on a funeral stele of the twelfth dynasty, whilst two of his sons are named Amenemha and Usertasen, and whereas these names appear on the monuments of this dynasty, names compounded with Amen and Osiris are never found in the Thirteenth Dynasty. Mariette concludes from this that the later of the two families must have been the enemy of the more ancient one, the memory even of which it proscribed. It was religious enmity. Sebek had taken the place of Osiris and Amen. The thirteenth may be called the Sebek dynasty. It is that in which the pharaohs are assimilated to the god Sebek-Ra.
In the list of scutcheons given by Brugsch in his Histoire d'Égypte, and in Bunsen's list, the last monarch of the twelfth dynasty is Sebek-nefer-Ra. According to Brugsch she was the sister of the last king of the dynasty, Amenemhat IV, and an heiress through whom the succession went by marriage to a new race, the Sebekhepts or servants of Sebek. Possibly the name of this queen conveys the information that she was the continuer (nefer) of Sebek as the ram-headed sun-god Ra, whereas he had previously been the crocodile-god of the Fayum, or country of the lake. Whether she is out of place here and should be the first of the thirteenth dynasty matters little. She marks the end of the twelfth, and is the first known royal Sebek on all the monuments, and the next dynasty is full of them; it is, in short, the Sebek dynasty.
Brugsch gives the genealogical table of a distinguished family related to some members of the thirteenth dynasty in which the name of Sebek, in the male and female titles, occurs eighteen times. And the first mother of the king is named Aaht-abu, the house (literally the womb) of the lamb. The ram when young is the lamb, and the ram of the zodiac was represented by the Persians as a lamb. Now the old Sebek or Khebek was the crocodile-headed god of darkness, whose name of Khebek modifies into Kek, the Suchos of the Greeks. And he was resuscitated in a new form as the ram-headed god, found at Ombos and Selseleh. The ram's horns identify him with the Ram of the zodiac, [p.44] and it is in strict accordance with this new character of Kronus that he should be styled the 'youngest of the gods.' The ram-headed crocodile god then we take to be the divine head of the Sebek dynasties, and this will enable us to interpret the fabulous end of Mena, who, according to the tradition and in the language of symbolism, was said to have been seized and devoured by the crocodile; or the hippopotamus, another type of Typhon. The crocodile was Sebek, whose reign, as the ram-headed god, began when that of the celestial Bull (Mena) with its sixty-three monarchs of the table of Abydos, came to an end.
The introduction of Sebek as the ram-headed Ra implies a religious revolution. The capital of Shat, called by the Greeks Crocodilopolis in the district of the lake Moeris, identifies the typhonian nature of the old Sebek, with whom the Osirians were at enmity. In the list of nomes the province of Lake Moeris was struck out as being hostile to Osiris. In the Manethonian lists the names of the kings of the thirteenth dynasty are passed over in silence. Their typhonian tendencies will account for this neglect by the scribe who was too strongly Osirian and anti-typhonian to register the names of these servants of Sebek or Satan. Still the Typhonians also kept the chronology. Everything in Egypt being typical, the name of the temple of Harabat-el-Madfouneh, the set or sunken Harabat in which the table was found, will now yield up its meaning. It was the set or sunken abode of Har. Whatever sign the equinoctial colure was in there was the place of manifestation of the son, har, on the horizon, during 2,155 years. When this left the Bull of Mena for the ram of Sebek the abode and birthplace was changed in heaven, whilst on earth Thebes took the place of Abydos, and the record of the celestial reign was left in the sunken abode. The Egyptians built on celestial foundations. They made the temple the centre of their city. The dead were held in the heart of the living, and their place of preservation was the earliest sanctuary. The tomb of one life was the womb of the next. The meskhen, or place of new birth for the sun in heaven, furnished the type of burial and rebirth below. Thus, when the sun was annually reborn in the Bull, the bull city of Memphis was built as the representative place of resurrection; Abtu having become the sunken and superseded place of birth and rebirth. The sign of the Twins is possibly implied in the name of Abydos. Apt is a name of the pool of the twin truths, abtu is the double holy house of Anubis. It is the name of a dual place of beginnings which the Twins were when the colure was in that sign. Indeed, in an ancient Egyptian zodiaci the Twins are represented as a double Anubis; this identifies one Abtu with that sign. Moreover, the god Shu (Anhar), who, in his dual character, forms the Twins of the zodiac, was the divinity presiding over Abydos.
Nor is this all. It is especially manifest that there is a parallel representation of the ram-headed deity, adopted about the same time, as the Amen-ra of Thebes, in whom Num and Khem, the old gods, were merged in setting up an image of the one god, the Amen of the hymn in which he is celebrated as the 'one in his works, single among the gods,' the 'one maker of existences,' the 'one alone with many hands,' the 'one alone without peer.' Moreover, Amenemhat I, 2,466 BC (12th dynasty), was the founder of the temple of Amen at Thebes, as the especial shrine prepared for the ram-headed god of the orthodox caste.
Osiris was the great god of the dynasty of the celestial Bull, who was succeeded by the ram-headed Amen of one cult and Sebek of the other. Brugsch has called attention to the remarkable zeal with which the kings of the twelfth dynasty, one of whom, Usertasen I had himself represented standing as Osiris, set themselves to maintain the cult of Osiris and his temple at Abydos.
The fullest testimony to this fact is supplied by a monumental stone found but the other day in the cemetery of Abydos, and now in the museum at Boulaq, containing 163 inscriptions. This shows how a certain Sehept-ab-ra, who lived under the reigns of Usertasen III and Amenemhat III, was commissioner, and commanded to attend to the service of the mysteries, the secret things and places in the temple of Abydos; to regulate the feasts of the god and to build or rebuild the holy temple-bark and cover it with painted figures.
The next king Amenemhat IV was the last of the twelfth dynasty. Thirteen years only are assigned by Brugsch to both reigns of the brother and sister, Amenemhat IV and Sebek-nefer-Ra. May we not see in these instructions the preparation for the end of the divine reign, the regulation and adjustment of astronomical time and the change of the double-seated solar bark from the sign of the Bull to that of the Ram? This suggestion is strengthened by the words assigned to him. He says, 'I say a great thing; listen! I will teach you the nature of eternity.' The Egyptian eternity was aeonian, and he had been the timekeeper of its cycles and master of its mysteries, the builder of the ark of the eternal; who was now to rebuild it and cover it with fresh figures.
Nothing can be more probable than that the particular ram-headed representations of the deity were especially adopted as Amen and as Sebek-Ra about the time that the vernal equinox entered the sign of the Ram, and that this time coincides with the end of the twelfth dynasty, giving the exact date of 2,410 BC, and the date of 4,565 BC for the commencement of the era of Mena.
In his list of the pharaohs and their epochs, founded on the list of kings in the table of Abydos and on the regnal years actually proved, [p.46] Brugsch gives the date of 4,400 BC for Mena and 2,266 for Amenemhat IV, the last king of the twelfth dynasty, or a total of 2,134 years for the twelve dynasties; within twenty years of the time required in the celestial reckoning!
The monuments do not come down to the time of the entrance of the vernal colure into the sign of Pisces, but the Gnostics brought on the imagery, and on one of the Greco-Egyptian gnostic seals in the British Museum there is a figure of the young sun-god Horus, with the solar disk on his head carrying the fish as his latest type. He stands on the crocodile, and this illustration of the manifestor as Ichthus, with the fish above and crocodile beneath, corroborates the view that the crocodile-god, with the ram's head, had represented the sun in the sign of the Ram.
The same sequence is illustrated by the types of sacrifice. The fish is now the sacrificial type, and has been ever since the equinox occurred in the Fishes. Before that the type was the Ram or the Lamb. Earlier still it was the Bull; amongst the primitive races we can get back to the Twins as the typical sacrifice, and each of these types corresponds to the solar sign, and to time kept in the astronomical chronicles.
Also, the Egyptian month Choiak begins in the Alexandrian year, on November 27th; and in the calendar of lucky and unlucky days in the Fourth Sallier Papyrus it is said to be unlucky to eat fish on the 28th day of the month Choiak, because on that date—our Christmas Day—the gods of Tattu assumed the form of a fish, or in other words the sun entered the sign of Pisces, at which time the equinoctial colure must accordingly have been in the sign of the Twins.
The importance of this sequence and of the identification of Mena's era with the divine dynasties, and the consequent link established with the backward past, will become more apparent when we come to consider the cycle of the equinoctial precession, or the great year of the world which began when the vernal colure left the sign of Aries for that of Pisces nearly 28,000 years ago, and ended when it re-entered the sign of the Fishes 255 BC.*
In this sketch of Egypt the outlines are drawn in accordance with the intended filling in. The treatment will serve to show the extended and inclusive sense in which the name of 'Egypt' has often to be interpreted in these pages as the outlet from the African centre. We have now to turn and follow the track of the migrations into the north, called by the Hebrew writer the Isles of the Gevi or Gevim.
In Hebrew, gev (וג) is the back or hinder-part, identical with the Egyptian Khef; and the children of Khef, the Ethiopic genetrix, are designated the Gentiles who went northward and carried with them the primordial name of the birthplace in the celestial north. The race of Japheth (תפי) are none other than the race of Kheft, whom we shall find in Britain as the Great Mother Kêd.
* This is the date given by Cassini and Sir William Drummond, and adopted by the present writer on data kindly furnished by the Astronomer-Royal and the [p.47] calculations of an eminent mathematician. The following is the official reply to my question as to when the vernal equinox coincided with the fixed point supplied by the first star (the last in the backward movement) in the Ram constellation:—
ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH, LONDON, S.E.,
July 23rd, 1877.
It appears from our computation, that the vernal equinox passed through the star y Arietis about BC 400, subject to an uncertainty of three or four years, or perhaps more. The uncertainty of observations at that epoch might easily produce an apparent error of thirty or forty years in the observed date of such a conjunction.
I am, dear Sir,
W. H. M CHRISTIE.
GERALD MASSEY, ESQ.
This page last updated: 08/04/2014