Ancient Egypt eBook

George Rawlinson
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Ancient Egypt.
are said to have been “dearer to the king than anything else.”  His artists had instructions to make careful studies of the different objects, and to represent them faithfully on his monuments.  We see on these “water-lilies as high as trees, plants of a growth like cactuses, all sorts of trees and shrubs, leaves, flowers, and fruits, including melons and pomegranates; oxen and calves also figure, and among them a wonderful animal with three horns.  There are likewise herons, sparrow-hawks, geese, and doves.  All these objects appear gaily intermixed in the pictures, as suited the simple childlike conception of the artist."[18] An inscription tells the intention of the monarch.  “Here,” it runs, “are all sorts of plants and all sorts of flowers of the Holy Land, which the king discovered when he went to the land of Ruten to conquer it.  Thus says the king—­I swear by the sun, and I call to witness my father Ammon, that all is plain truth; there is no trace of deception in that which I relate.  What the splendid soil brings forth in the way of productions, I have had portrayed in these pictures, with the intention of offering them to my father Ammon, as a memorial for all times.”

Besides his army, Thothmes also maintained a naval force, and used it largely in his expeditions.  According to one writer, he placed a fleet on the Euphrates, and in an action which took place with the Assyrians, defeated and chased the enemy for a distance of between seven and eight miles.  He certainly upon some occasions made his attacks on Syria and Phoenicia from the sea; nor is it improbable that his maritime forces reduced Cyprus (which was conquered and held in a much less flourishing period by Amasis) and plundered the coast of Cilicia; but a judicious criticism will scarcely extend the voyages of his fleet, as has been done by another writer, to Crete, and the islands of the AEgean, the sea-boards of Greece and Asia Minor, the southern coast of Italy, Algeria, and the waters of the Euxine!  There is no evidence in the historical inscriptions of Thothmes of any such far-reaching expeditions.  The supposed evidence for them is in a song of victory, put into the mouth of the god, Ammon, and inscribed on one of the walls of the great temple of Karnak.  The song is interesting, but it scarcely bears out the deductions that have been drawn from it, as will appear from the subjoined translation.

(AMMON loquitur.)

    I came, and thou smotest the princes of Zahi;
    I scattered them under thy feet over all their lands;
    I made them regard thy Holiness as the blazing sun;
    Thou shinest in sight of them in my form.

    I came, and thou smotest them that dwell in Asia;
    Thou tookest captive the goat-herds of Ruten;
    I made them behold thy Holiness in thy royal adornments,
    As thou graspest thy weapons in the war-chariot.

    I came, and thou smotest the land of the East;
    Thou marchedst against the dwellers in the Holy Land;
    I made them behold thy Holiness as the star Canopus,
    Which sends forth its heat and disperses the dew.

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Ancient Egypt from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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