In Vol. I, page 7, I allow mimosas to grow among other plants in Rhodopis’ garden. I have found them in all the descriptions of the Nile valley, and afterwards often enjoyed the delicious perfume of the golden yellow flowers in the gardens of Alexandria and Cairo. I now learn that this very mimosa (Acacia farnesiana) originates in tropical America, and was undoubtedly unknown in ancient Egypt. The bananas, which I mentioned in Vol. I, p. 64, among other Egyptian plants, were first introduced into the Nile valley from India by the Arabs. The botanical errors occurring in the last volume I was able to correct. Helm’s admirable work on “Cultivated Plants and Domestic Animals” had taught me to notice such things. Theophrastus, a native of Asia Minor, gives the first description of a citron, and this proves that he probably saw the so-called paradise-apple, but not our citron, which I am therefore not permitted to mention among the plants cultivated in ancient Lydia. Palms and birches are both found in Asia Minor; but I permitted them to grow side by side, thereby committing an offense against the geographical possibility of vegetable existence. The birch, in this locality, flourishes in the mountainous region, the palm, according to Griesbach (Vegetation of the Earth, Vol. I, p. 319) only appears on the southern coast of the peninsula. The latter errors, as I previously mentioned, will be corrected in the new edition. I shall of course owe special thanks to any one who may call my attention to similar mistakes.
Leipzig, March 5, 1877
PREFACE TO THE NINTH GERMAN EDITION.
I have nothing to add to the ninth edition of “An Egyptian Princess” except that it has been thoroughly revised. My sincere thanks are due to Dr. August Steitz of Frankfort on the Main, who has travelled through Egypt and Asia Minor, for a series of admirable notes, which he kindly placed at my disposal. He will find that they have not remained unused.
Leipzig, November 13,
AN EGYPTIAN PRINCESS.
By Georg Ebers
The Nile had overflowed its bed. The luxuriant corn-fields and blooming gardens on its shores were lost beneath a boundless waste of waters; and only the gigantic temples and palaces of its cities, (protected from the force of the water by dikes), and the tops of the tall palm-trees and acacias could be seen above its surface. The branches of the sycamores and plane-trees drooped and floated on the waves, but the boughs of the tall silver poplars strained upward, as if anxious to avoid the watery world beneath. The full-moon had risen; her soft light fell on the