Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects and Curiosities of Art (Vol. 3 of 3).
by Sethosis Rameses, B.C. 1900.  By means of lakes and canals, the town, though built on an artificial eminence, communicated with the Nile, and during the flourishing ages of the Egyptian monarchy, the priests and scholars acquired and taught the elements of learning within the precincts of its temples.  At the time of Strabo who visited this town about A. D. 45, the apartments were still shown in which, four centuries before, Eudoxus and Plato had labored to learn the philosophy of Egypt.  Here Joseph and Mary are said to have rested with our Saviour.  A miserable village, called Metarea, now stands on the site of this once magnificent city.  Near the village is the Pillar of On, a famous obelisk, supposed to be the oldest monument of the kind existing.  Its height is 671/2 feet, and its breadth at the base 6 feet.  It is one single shaft of reddish granite (Sienite), and hieroglyphical characters are rudely sculptured upon it.

MEMPHIS.

The very situation of this famous ancient city of Egypt had long been a subject of learned dispute, till it was accurately ascertained by the French expedition to Egypt.  Numerous heaps of rubbish, of blocks of granite covered with hieroglyphics and sculptures, of colossal fragments, scattered over a space three or four leagues in circumference, marks its site, a few miles south of Metarea or Heliopolis, at a village called Moniet-Rahinet.  According to Herodotus, the foundation of Memphis was ascribed to Menes, the first king of Egypt.  It was a large, rich, and splendid city, and the second capital of Egypt.  Among its buildings were several magnificent temples, as those of Phtha, Osiris, Serapis, etc.; its palaces were also remarkable.  In Strabo’s time, it was next to Alexandria in size and population.  Edrisi, who visited Memphis in the 12th century, thus describes its remains then existing:  “Notwithstanding the vast extent of this city, the remote period at which it was built, the attempts made by various nations to destroy it and to obliterate every trace of it, by removing the materials of which it was constructed, combined with the decay of 4,000 years, there are yet in it works so wonderful as to confound the reflecting, and such as the most eloquent could not adequately describe.”  Among the works specified by him, are a monolithic temple of granite, thirteen and a half feet high, twelve long, and seven broad, entirely covered, within and without, with inscriptions; and colossal statues of great beauty, one of which was forty-five feet high, carved out of a single block of red granite.  These ruins then extended about nine miles in every direction.

LAKE MOERIS.

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