Ancient Egypt eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Ancient Egypt.
provoked by a weak people.  And the Cushites certainly advanced in prowess and in military vigour as time went on.  They formed the most important portion of the Egyptian troops for some centuries; at a later period they conquered Egypt, and were the dominant power for a hundred years; still further on, they defied the might of Persia when Egypt succumbed to it.  Aahmes, in contracting his marriage with the Ethiopian princess, to whom he gave the name of Nefertari-Aahmes—­or “the good companion of Aahmes”—­was, we may be tolerably sure, bent on obtaining a contingent of those stalwart troops whose modern representatives are either the Blacks of the Soudan or the Gallas of the highlands of Abyssinia.  The “Shepherds” thus yielded to a combination of the North with the South, of the Egyptians with the Ethiopians, such as in later times, on more than one occasion, drove the Assyrians out of the country.



[16] “Manuel d’Histoire Ancienne de l’Orient,” vol. i. p. 368.



Thothmes I. was the grandson of the Aahmes who drove out the Hyksos.  He had thus hereditary claims to valour and military distinction.  The Ethiopian blood which flowed in his veins through his grandmother, Nefertari-Aahmes, may have given him an additional touch of audacity, and certainly showed itself in his countenance, where the short depressed nose and the unduly thick lips are of the Cushite rather than of the Egyptian type.  His father, Amen-hotep I., was a somewhat undistinguished prince; so that here, as so often, where superior talent runs in a family, it seems to have skipped a generation, and to have leapt from the grand-sire to the grandson.  Thothmes began his military career by an invasion of the countries upon the Upper Nile, which were still in an unsettled state, notwithstanding the campaigns which had been carried on, and the victories which had been gained in them, during the two preceding reigns, by King Aahmes, and by the generals of Amen-hotep.  He placed a flotilla of ships upon the Nile above the Second Cataract, and supporting it with his land forces on either side of the river, advanced from Semneh, the boundary established by Usurtasen III., which is in lat. 21 deg. 50’ to Tombos, in lat. 19 deg., conquering the tribes, Nubian and Cushite, as he proceeded, and from time to time distinguishing himself in personal combats with his enemies.  On one occasion, we are told, “his majesty became more furious than a panther,” and placing an arrow on his bowstring, directed it against the Nubian chief so surely that it struck him, and remained fixed in his knee, whereupon the chief “fell fainting down before the royal diadem.”  He was at once seized and made a prisoner; his followers were defeated and dispersed; and he himself, together with

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Ancient Egypt from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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