« PreviousContinue »
Sethos is also represented routing the Canaanites. His victories over Canaan are recorded. "He desolates the land of Canaan," says one inscription. All these, I believe, are spoken of by Osborn, but what an advantage to find such a proof and illustration of Scripture as the whole history of his conquest presents! Here are shown the conquest of Sesonchis over Rehoboam. In the Palace Temple in the next picture Sethos is routing the .Zooi,-, an unknown nation; these are supposed to be the Canaanites. He next is routing the Syrians, and his triumphs are splendid; afterwards the Arvadites are routed. The additions of Ilameses the Great follow next.*
Passing from the obelisk to the propylon, we find on the walls of the hall, a representation of two ram-headed boats, with the sacred ark in procession. On the south side these sculptures are beautiful. After the battle scene on this side, the king and his prisoners are returning to the Nile, which is marked by crocodiles.
King Osiren is dragging prisoners before the Theban trinity. A hawk is hovering over a human sacrifice; and among the lists of the countries captured, are Mesopotamia, Bahrien, and Joudahmclek, kingdom of the Jews; a hero killing a chief with a spear, like Hector and Achilles. A people of Jewish physiognomy are storming a fort.
The story of Shishak is represented here, but only three captives bound to a stake remain ; we leave that to the '• proofs of Scripture-prophecy from the monuments." Among the names of places conquered, are Canaan, Megiddo, Kingdom of Judah, Valley of Hinnom, Petra, the dukes of Edom, Bethlehem, (Birch,) House of Millo, (1 Kings, ix. 15,) City of Hebron, (Num. xxx. 22,) also the names of the god Bel, (see 1 Kings xviii. 27,) Astarte, &c.
* See Grammaire Egyptienne, p. 511.
West Thebes.—Meilinet Ilabou.—The first small temple, and its histories.—The second larger temple—the Roman part.—The Christian church—palace— temple of Thothmes I. and Thothmes II.—Thothmes Mceris.—The palace residence of Rameses Meiamoum.
I Leave to the pages of Murray's Handbook, Gender's Egypt, Miss Murtineau, and the numerous writers who were my guides, the description of this beautiful ruin of Egyptian art; and those who would satisfy themselves by mathematical proof, I refer to Champollion's Grammaire and Dictionnaire for the translation of the inscriptions, names, and dates.
Thothmes I. was the original founder, and his temple remains. Thothmes II. and Thothmes III. continued the work; whose names and cartouches are still colored very distinctly, though the rooms are so low that you must stoop to enter. Built in the time of Joseph, you look upon this part with interest. Champollion, in his "Egypt under the Pharaohs," and his "Letters," has dwelt upon this part. The three courts of the magnificent palace erected by Rameses III., (the same, according to Diodorus, with Mendes or Mooris;) the historical bas-relief battle scenes; the portico, adytum—inner temple dedicated to Osiris; the Tank, and lion-headed statue of Isis; the splendid battle scenes, boat processions; priests recording offerings to the gods, and victims; the procession of the Ark; the chains of sacred "keys of the Nile;" the lion-attended
Rameses in battle; the lion hunt; the naval fight on the outside; the Birket Habou, or Lake of the Dead; the rubbishcovered ruins,—have all been described again and again. But where can one end the description of this fine temple, which has records of the Pharaohs,* Ptolemies, Caesars, and Christians? which latter covered the walls with mud, and erected a church, whose pillars still stand.
The architecture of Medinet Habou is so grand, the paintings so gorgeous, the colors so perfect, the battle scenes so distinct, the histories and monarchs so interesting, I could not but admire the temple. Turning to the north, we left the grand court where the Christian church stood, and ascended some steps standing on the top of the temple. What a stupendous view! Thebes stood before us, and we were in the most properly Theban structure. Shamy and Damy were to the northeast, in the middle of the plain; the lofty mountains in our rear; and the far distant ones, that towered to the east behind Karnac, bounded the unequalled view; and Nile, flowing on as she has ever flowed, giving wealth and luxuriance around.
Again, from our boat, moored on the west side, I gallop on these fine horses of Thebes, with our guide, over to Medinet Habou. I entered the palace of Medinet Habou.t The gods at the entrance are carved exquisitely out of the light brown stone. The Theban triad, Ammon. Mouth, Chons—Osiris, Anubis, all are there. I stood and gazed out of a window. What a scene! The figures so royal! There is a queen sitting before her husband, the king Osiren, who is coying with her;—a family picture of the Pharaohs. Here was the win
* Champollion's Grammaire, pp. 321, 329. t Ibid , pp. 251, 289, 290, 311, 366.