« PreviousContinue »
Pharbsethos1, Leontopolis*, Athribis*, the town of Isis4, Busiris6, Cynopolis6, Aphrodites7, Sais6, and Naucratis9, from which last some writers call that the Naucratitic Mouth, which is by others called the Heracleotic, and mention it instead10 of the Canopic Mouth, which is the next to it.
1 Called Harbait by the Arabs, and Farbait by the ancient Egyptians.
2 In the Delta. It was the capital of the nome of Leontopolites, and probably of late foundation, as no writer previous to Pliny mentions it. Its site is uncertain, but Thall-Essabouah, the "Hill of the Lion," has been suggested.
3 The chief town of the Athribitic nome in Lower Egypt. It stood on the eastern bank of the Tanitic branch of the Nile. This nome and town derived their name from the goddess Thriphis, whom the inscriptions there and at Panopolis designate as the " most great goddess." The ruins at Atrieb or Trieb, at the spot where the modern canal of Moueys turns off from the Nile, represent the ancient Athribis. They are very extensive, and among them are considerable remains of the Roman era.
4 This was situate near the city or town of Busiris in the Delta. The modern village of Bahbeyt is supposed to cover the ruins of the temple of Isis.
6 The modem Busyr or Abousir, where considerable ruins of the ancient city are still to be seen. It was the chief town of the nome of Busirites, and stood south of Sais, near the Phatnitic mouth, on the western bank of the Nile. This was also the name of a town in Middle Egypt, in the neighbourhood of Memphis, and represented by another village of the name of Abousir. Pliny, B. xxxvi. c. 16, speaks of the Catacombs in its vicinity.
6 The place of that name in the Delta is here meant.
7 Probably the town of that name, otherwise called Aphroditopolis, in the nome of Leontopolites.
3 The ruins of which are now called Sa-el-Hajjar. It was situate in the Delta, on the east side of the Canopic branch of the Nile. It was the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and contained the palace and burial-place of the Pharaohs. It was the chief seat of the worship of the Egyptian goddess Neith, also known as Sais. It gave its name to the nome of
9 It was situate in the Delta of Egypt and in the nome of Saites, on the eastern bank of the Canopic branch of the Nile. It Was a colony of the Milesians, founded probably in the reign of Amasis, about B.C. 550, and remained a pure Greek city. It was the only place in Egypt in which, in the time of the later Pharaohs, foreigners were permitted to settle and trade. In later times it was famous for the worship of Aphrodite or Venus, and rivalled Canopus in the dissoluteness of its manners.
10 Ptolemy the geographer does this.
CHAP. 12. (11.)—THE COASTS Oi? ABAEIA, SITUATE ON THfl EGtPTIAN SEA.
Beyond the Pelusiac Mouth is Arabia1, which extends to the Bed Sea, and joins the Arabia known by the surname of Happy2, so famous for its perfumes and its wealth. This3 is called Arabia of the Catabanes4, the Esbonitae6, and the Scenitse'; it is remarkable for its sterility, except in the parts where it joins up to Syria, and it has nothing remarkable in it except Mount Casius7. The Arabian nations of the Canchlaii6 join these on the east, and, on the south the Cedrei9, both of which peoples are adjoining to the Nabatari10. The two gulfs of the Red Sea, where it borders upon
1 Arabia Petrsea; that part of Arabia which immediately joins up to Egypt. 2 Called Arabia Felix to the present day.
* The part of Arabia which joins up to Egypt, Arabia Petrsea namely.
* Strabo places this people as far south as the mouth of the Red Sea, i.e. on the east of the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. Forster (in his ' Arabia,' vol. ii.) takes this name to be merely an inversion of Beni Kahtan, the great tribe which mainly peoples, at the present day, central and southern Arabia. •
* Probably the people of Esebon, the Heshbon of Scripture, spoken of by Jerome as being the city of Sihon, king of the Amorites.
6 The "tent-people," from the Greek Itkijv)), " a tent." This seems to have been a name common to the nomadic tribes of Arabia. Ammianus Marcellimis speaks of them as being the same as the Saraceni or Saracens.
7 The modern El Katieh or El Kas; which is the summit of a lofty range of sandstone hills on the borders of Egypt and Arabia Petrsea, immediately south of the Sirbonian Lake and the Mediterranean Sea. On its western side was the tomb of Pompey the Great.
s The same as the Amalekites of Scripture, according to Hardouin. Bochart thinks that they are the same as the Chavilsei, who are mentioned as dwelling in the vicinity of Babylon.
9 The position which Pliny assigns to this nation would correspond with the northern part of the modern district of the Hedjaz. Forster identifies them with the Cauraitse, or Cadraitse of Arrian, and the Darrse of Ptolemy, tracing their origin to the Cedar or Kedar, the son of Ishmael, mentioned in Genesis xxv. 13, and represented by the modern Harb nation and the modern town of Kedeyre. See Psalm cxx. 5: "Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!"
w An Arabian people, said to have descended from the eldest son of Ishmael, who had their original abodes in the north-western part of the Arabian peninsula, east and south-east of the Moabites and Edomites. Extending their territory, we find the Nabatsei of Greek and Roman history occupying nearly the whole of Arabia Petrsea, along the northeast coast of the R#d Sea, on both sides of the iElanitic Gulf, and on the Egypt, are called the Heroopolifcic1 and the J51anitic2. Between the two towns of ^Elana3 and Q-aza4 upon our sea6, there is a distance of 150 miles. Agrippa says that Arsinoe8, a town on the Bed Sea, is, by way of the desert, 125 miles from Pelusium. How different the characteristics impressed by nature upon two places separated by so small a distance!
CHAP. 13. (12.)—STEIA.
Next to these countries Syria occupies the coast, once the greatest of lands, and distinguished by many names; for the part which joins up to Arabia was formerly called Palaestina, Judaea, Ccele7, and Phoenice. The country in the interior was called Damascena, and that further on and more to the south, Babylonia. The part that lies between the Euphrates
Idumsean mountains, where they had their capital, Petra, hewn out of the rock. • Now the Bahr-el-Soueys, or Gulf of Suez.
3 The Bahr-el-Akabah, or Gulf of Akabah.
3 Now Akabah, an Idumsean town of Arabia Petrsea, situate at the head of the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, which was called after this town "iElaniticus Sinus." It was annexed to the kingdom of Judah, with the other cities of Idumsea, by David, 2 Sam. viii. 14, and was one of the harbours on the Bed Sea from which the ships of Solomon sailed for Ophir. See 1 Kings ix. 26 and 2 Chron. viii. 17. It was a place of commercial importance under the Romans and the head-quarters of the Tenth Legion. A fortress now occupies its site.
4 Its site is now known as Guzzah. It was the last city on the southwest frontier of Palestine, and from the earliest times was a strongly fortified place. It was taken from the Philistines by the Jews more than onee, but as often retaken. It was also taken by Cyrus the Great and Alexander, and afterwards by Ptolemy Lagus, who destroyed it. It afterwards recovered, and was again destroyed by Alexander Jannseus, B.C. 96, after which, it was rebuilt by Gabinius and ultimately united to the Roman province of Syria. In A.d. 65 it was again destroyed, but was rebuilt, and finally fell into the hands of the Arabs, in A.d. 634.
'Meaning the Mediterranean. 6 The present Suez. See B. vi. c. 33.
1 Or the "Hollow" Syria. This was properly the name given, after the Macedonian conquest, to the great valley between the two great ranges of Mount Lebanon, in the south of Syria, bordering upon Phoenicia on the west, and Palestine on the south. In the wars between the Ptolemies and the Seleucidse, the name was applied to the whole of the southern portion of Syria, which became subject for some time to the kings of Egypt; but under the Romans, it was confined to Coclesyria proper with the district east of Anti-Libanus, about Damascus, and a portion of Palestine east of Jordan.
and the Tigris was called Mesopotamia, that beyond Taurus Sophene, and that on this side of the same chain Comagene. Beyond Armenia was the country of Adiabene, anciently called Assyria, and at the part where it joins up to Cilicia, it was called Antiochia. Its length, between Cilicia and Arabia1, is 470 miles, and its breadth, from Seleucia Pieria* to Zeugma', a town on the Euphrates, 175. Those who make a still more minute division of this country will have it that Phoenice is surrounded by Syria, and that first comes the maritime coast of Syria, part of which is Idumsea and Judsea, after that Phoenice, and then Syria. The whole of the tract of sea that lies in front of these shores is called the Phoenician Sea. The Phoenician people enjoy the glory of having been the inventors of letters4, and the first discoverers of the sciences of astronomy, navigation, and the art of war.
CHAP. 14. IDOTOiA, PAL.ESTINA, A1TD SAMAEIA.
On leaving Pelusium we come to the Camp of Chabriass, Mount Casius6, the temple of Jupiter Casius, and the tomb of Pompeius Magnus. Ostracine7, at a distance of sixty-five miles from Pelusium, is the frontier town of Ara
1 Or Ostracine, the northern point of Arabia.
2 This was a great fortress of Syria founded by Seleucus B.C. 300, at the foot of Mount Pieria and overhanging the Mediterranean, four miles north of the Orontes and twelve miles west of Antioch. It had fallen entirely to decay in the sixth century of our era. There are considerable ruins of its harbour and mole, its walls and necropolis. They bear the name of Seleukeh or Kepse.
3 From the Greek Ztvypa, "a junction;" built by Seleucus Nicator on the borders of Commagene and Cyrrhestice, on the west bank of the Euphrates, where the river had been crossed by a bridge of boats constructed by Alexander the Great. The modem Rumkaleh is supposed to occupy its site.
4 On this subject see B. vii. c. 57. The invention of letters and the first cultivation of the science of astronomy have been claimed for the Egyptians and other nations. The Tyrians were probably the first who applied the science of astronomy to the purposes of navigation. There is little doubt that warfare must have been studied as an art long before the existence of the Phoenician nation.
* Strabo places this between Mount Casius and Pelusium.
6 See C. 12 of the present Book. Chabrias the Athenian aided Nectanebus II. against his revolted subjects.
7 Its ruins are to be seen on the present Ras Straki.
bia. (13.) After this, at the point where the Sirbonian Lake1 becomes visible, Idumsea and Palsestina begin. This lake, which some writers have made to be 150 miles in circumference, Herodotus has placed at the foot of Mount Casius; it is now an inconsiderable fen. The towns are Rhinocolura2, and, in the interior, Rhaphea3, Gaza, and, still more inland, Anthedon4: there is also Mount Argaris6. Proceeding along the coast we come to the region of Samaria; Ascalo6, a free town, Azotus7, the two Jamnise8, one of them in the in
1 Now called the Sabakat Bardowal. It lay on the coast of Egypt, east of Mount Casius, and it is not improbable that the boundary-line between Egypt and Palsestina or Idumsea ran through the middle of its waters. It was strongly impregnated with asphaltus. A connection formerly existed between it and the Mediterranean, but this being stopped up, it gradually grew smaller by evaporation and is now nearly dry.
2 The present Kulat-el-Arich or El Arish, situate at the mouth of the brook El-Arish, called by the Scriptures the " river of Egypt." Its name signifies in Greek, "cutting off of noses," and is probably derived from the fact of its having been the place of exile for criminals who had been so mutilated, under the iEthiopian kings of Egypt. Poinsinet suggests however that the name means the "town of the circumcised."
3 The place on its site is still called Refah, but it was really situate on the coast. Gaza has been already mentioned in a Note to C. 12, p. 423.
4 Anthedon was on the coast of Palestine, although Pliny says to the contrary. It was situate about three miles to the south-west of Gaza, and was destroyed by Alexander Jannseus. In the time of Julian it was addicted to the worship of Astarte, the Syrian Venus. According to Dupinet the present name of its site is Daron.
6 Brotier says that this is the same as the Mount Gerizim of Scripture, but that was situate in Samaria, a considerable distance from the southern coast of Palsestina. Pliny is the only author that mentions it.
6 The Ascalon of Scripture, one of the five cities of the Philistines, situate on the coast of the Mediterranean, between Gaza and Jamnia. In early times it was the seat of the worship of Derceto, a fish with a woman's head. The ruins, which still bear the name of Askulan, are very extensive, and indicative of great strength. The shalot or scallion was originally a native of this place, and thence derived its name.
7 The Ashdod of Scripture. It was one of the five cities of the Philistines and the chief seat of the worship of Dagon. Herodotus states that it stood a siege of twenty-nine years from Psammetichus, king of Egypt. It was afterwards taken and retaken several times. It was situate between Ascalon and Jamnia, and its site is indicated by the modern village of Esdad, but no ruins of the ancient city are visible.
6 One of these was a city of the Philistines, assigned to the tribe of Judah in the fifteenth Chapter of Joshua, 45, according to the Septuagiiit version, but omitted in the Hebrew, which only mentions it in