Imagens da página

deface the Pyramid, and betray the weakness and impotence of their efforts. This event happened in the year 593.

• However, if any one should behold the stones that have been taken down, he would think that the Pyramid must have been enitirely destroyed; but let him take a view of the Pyramid itself, and he will scarcely believe that it lias been at all injured: for a small part only of one of its sides is demolished. Perceiving the prodigious toil which they underwent in pulling down every single stone, I asked the superintendant of the masons, whether, if offered a thousand pieces of gold, on condition that they should replace any one stone in its proper and original position, they would be able to effect it ; he answered me, swearing by the living God, that, though they were offered double that sum, the thing would be impossible. ;

In pages 106, 107, &c. Abdollatiph describes the ruins of Ain Shems, the Beth-Shemesh of the Scriptures, the 'Heliopolis of the Greeks, and the modern Matarea. Of these ruins, jothing now remains worthy of notice but one single obelisk ; though, in the time of Abdollatiph, the place abounded with statues, idols, and hieroglyphical inseriptions, of various kinds.

The historian then proceeds to describe the well-known Pillar near Alexandria, vulgarly but improperly called Pompey's Pillar. The appellation by which he uniformly distinguishes it is uslub ages, the column of the pillars : but this denomi. nation, which is here used very frequently, the learned editor has not thought it necessary to translate ; contenting himself with expressing the Arabic words, whenever they recur, in Roman characters, thus, AMUD As SAWARIAM. In the notes, at least, we expected to have found this striking defect amply supplied by clear and copious illustrations, on a subject which pot only admits, but indispensably requires, the united aid of the antiquary and the philologer. Great, however, was our surprise, and our disappointment, on perusing the following note : :

Veniam mihi concedet, ut spero, candidus lector, si in præsentia de Amud Issawari verbum facere super sedeo ; cum mihi in animo sit, fusius et inucleaiius ea de re disputare, in alio quidem opere, post paucos menses prodituro.'.

The work which Dr. White here promised has indeed since made its appearance, under the title of Ægyptiaca ; and we have had the satisfaction of perusing it, with full conviction of the general truth of his hypothesis, as well as warm approbation of the candour, the acuteness, and the erudition with which it is supported. Yet still, in a classical edition like the present, we cannot but condemn the Professor's total and pertinacious silence on so interesting a topic; especially as it is probable that many of the readers of Abdollatiph, and parti


cularly many oriental scholars in other countries, may never have an opportunity of solving their doubts and gratifying their curiosity, by a perusal of the Ægyptiaca.

Few of those who have paid any attention to Oriental Literature are unacquainted with the opinion of the celebrated Michaelis on this subject, as delivered in bis translation and notes on Abulfeda's descriptiou of Egypt. Abulfeda, as well as Abdollatiph, and indeed every other Arabic author who has described the pillar, constantly calls it segund syns Amud Assawary. These words Michaelis supposed to signify, the pillar of Severus ; and on the authority of this passage of Abulfeda, thus translated, he ventured to establish a new hypothesis respecting the origin of the pillar, and contended that it must have been erected by the Senate of Alexandria in honour of the Emperor Severus. Dr. W. however, in the work to which we have referred, has satisfactorily proved that the translation of Michaelis is incorrect; by she wing that the Arabic article Jl, consistently with the plain rules and uniform usage of that language, can never be prefixed to a proper name; and that the Roman name Severus is never expressed in Arabic by the word slow either by Abulfeda, or by any other Arabic writer. On the contrary, this word is constantly written by Abulfeda, by Eutychius, and by Abulpharajus, either uslysu Sewâros, or congue Sawêros, or unglyne Sawáros, or cmilgyu Sawerianus ; the or s, being constantly employed in expressing those Roman names which terminate in us.

From p. 116, to p. 138. Abdollatiph is occupied in describing the ruins of Memphis, the antient capital of Egypt; and in reflections naturally arising from the objects there presented to his consideration. The name by which he distinguishes Memphis is that of Godül leo antient Mesr; and his de. scription fixes beyond dispute the situation of this city, the very ruins of which (such is the instability of all human grandeur,) have long since disappeared. We shall quote Dr. White's note on this passage, because it contains an additional proof that the situation of Memphis is improperly fixed by the authors of the ancient universal history, and that it is rightly placed by D'Anville, Bishop Pococke, and Major Rennell. The proof to which we allude is deduced from Macrizi, an inedited Arabic writer of great authority on the subject of Egypt. The whole note runs thus:

De situ Memphis antiqua discep!atio vexatissima diu exercuit eruditos; Atque adhuc incerlos tenet. Quam non sit mearum virium, rei, adeo


grand, tuins of beyond

proof than ote on this paince disappeare instability of is, city, the

tibus sententiis, et veterum monumentorum obscuritate perplexæ omnem dubi. tationem eximere, et singula hujusce argumenti ad liquiilum perduxere, satis scio : putaverim tamen verba Abdollatiphi recte perpensa, nonnihil momenuti habitura ad rem constituendam. Estque urbs hæc (inquit) in tal-Giza gaulo supra Fostatam." Impriris notandem est AlGizam non oppidi sed tractus vel rcgionis, esse nomen : quo unico in sensu a Nostro usurpatur; cum oppidum illud recentiorem originem h-buerit. Paulo sapra Fostacam”: Nihil certius quam verbis illis dari situm Fostatá superiorem, id est, Meridici propiorem. Porro locuin luculentissimum ex Macrisio temperare mih: non possum quin adducam, preseriim cum is scriptor diligentissimus certe et eruditissimus perpaucorum manibas tractatus, in Bibliothecaruam tenebris ferme delitescat.

كانت هذه المدينة

وملوكها : ذكر مدينة منف في غربي النبل على مسافة اثني عشر مېلا من مدينة

مصر بعد الطوفان فسطاط مصر وي اول مدينة عمرت بارض


دار المملكة بعد مدينة امسوس

.a, si • De Urbe Memphi, et Regibus ejus. Sita fuit hæc Urbs in parte Nili occidentali, duodecim millibus passuum ab urbe Fostat Mesr (kodie, Old Cairo). Prima fuit quæ in terra Ægypti incolebatur post Diluvium, sedesque imperii evasit post civitatem Amsus, de qua supra dictum est. Macrisii Hist. Egypii, Codex Bodl. Marsh. 149. p. 154.'

The mention of antient Mesr, or Memphis, in its state of ruin and desertion, naturally leads Abdollatipli into reflections on its former grandeur, when it was the habitation of the Pharaohs, and the metropolis of the einpire ; and hence he is led to trace concisely, but clearly, the principal revolutions of Egypr. Among these, he records particularly the conquest and desolation of that country, by Na uchodonosor, for the space if forty years; and thus most unexpectedly do we find in a Mohammeian author, who certainly had no superstitious reverence for the Jewish or Christian prophecies, and indeed probably no knowledge whatever of their contents, a new and unequivocal testimony to the exact accomplishment of the prediction of Ezekiel, chap. xxix. ver. 9, 10, 11, 12. 19. “ And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste, and they shall know that I am the Lord; because he hath said, the river is mine, and I bave made it. Behold, therefore, I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene, even unto the border of Æthispia. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited FORTY YEARS. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the couniries that are desolate, und her cities, among the cities that are laid waste, shall be desolate FORTY YEARS, &c. Behold I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take her multituule, and take her spoil, and take her proy; and it shall be the pages of his army." We cannot but lamert that this observation, and others of a similar nature, which in times like the present inore especially appear to us so important, should have entirely escaped the attention of the editor : for surely he who once so happily illustrated the excellence and truth of Cliristianity, by contrasting it with the imposture of Mohammed, might have wielded with peculiar propriety and force those weapons, which even a Mobammedan historian not unfrequently supplies for the defence of our most holy faith.


In page 134, this Arabian author quotes a long and curious passage from the work of Aristotle on the Parts of Animals; and Dr. White, in his Note, has very judiciously remarked an extraordinary coincidence between two great writers of distant ages and nations : the same passage of the Greek Phi. losopher having been quoted with nearly the same view, and for a similar purpose, by Stillingfleet, in his Origines -Sacra, vol. ii. p. 270. (Oxford edition.)

Abdollatiph (p. 158.) mentions Busir, or Abousir, or Abouzire, (for they are only different modes of spelling the same word,) ia a passage which Dr. W. has thus translated. Invenimus auteni juxta Busiram Pyramides multas, quarum unam dirutam, maxima tamen parte integram, cum mensliravissemus a basi, observavimus non minorem eam fuisse, quam sint Pyramides duæ Al Giza.' Now the manner in which the author speaks of Busir in this passage, and in pages 89 and 156, convinces us that Pococke's version in p. 89 is incorrect, and that juxta Busiram should be substituted for in Busira. Moreover, as Abdollatiph, in page 156, clearly states Busir to be in the neighbourhood of the Catacombs, agreeably to the express testimony of two modern travellers, Paul Lucas and Hasselquist; and as in this passage he adds also another determinate and distinct mark of locality, namely its proximity to the great ruinech Southern Pyramid; (which is unquestionably the same that is marked Q in Plate XVIII. of Bp. Pococke's Travels ;) we have satisfactory grounds for correcting the site of Busir, as laid down in the Maps of D'Anville and Rennell : who, misled probably by a passage in Pliny, have placed Busir several miles too far to the northward, nearer to the Pyramids of Giza thàn to those of Saccara. As it is highly important to rectify the errors of writers of such eminence, we are somewhat surprised that these circumstances are not pointed out by the editor in his notes.

cally me by the riPriety and Pliciry,

. In the first chapter of his second book, the author (as we have before stated) treats of the Rise of the Nile, the causes of its increase, and the laws by which it appears to be regu. lated. The momentous importance of this subject to the wel fare of Egypt clearly appears from the second and third chapters; in which Abdollatiph details with great minuteness the melancholy history of a famine, occasioned by a failure in the usual increase of the Nile, which occurred during his own residence in Egypt. The same cause, indeed, in this extraordinary country, has in every age produced similar effects; and the narrative of Abdollatiph cannot fail to recall the attention of the serious reader to that farine recorded in the Book of Genesis, which, under the direction of Divine Providence, prepared the way for such stupendous events, by inducing the Patriarch Jacob and his sons to take up their residence in Egypt. When we recollect that the produce of the land is here always p:cportioned to the overflowing of the Nile, we cannot but remark with what matchless simplicity, and at the same time with what strict propriety and truth, the scene of Pharaoh's dream is laid by the river, while both the fat and lean kine are emphatically represented as coming up out of it, and feeding on its banks.-And Pharnch said unto Joseph, in my dream, bebold I stood upon the bank of the river. And behold, ihere came up out of the river seven kine, fat-fleshed, and well.favoured, and they fed in a meadow. And behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor, and very ill-favoured, and lean-fleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt fir badness. And the lean and the ill-favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine. And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten thean; but they were still ill favoured as at the beginning. So I awoke. And I jaw in my dream, and behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good. And behold seven ears withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them. And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears.-- And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, the dream of Pharaoh is one; God bath shewed Pharaoh what he is alout to do. The seven good kine are seven years ; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill-favoured kine, that come up after them, are seven years; and the seven empty cars, blasted with the east wind, shall be seven years of famine.

The famine, and the pestilence which ensued, of which Aba dollatiph has so forcibly described the direful effects, were accompanied with peculiar horrors; and history, whether sacred or profane, no where exhibits to our view a more dreadful picture of calamities and crimes. The narrative of the present author bears every internal mark and character of truth; and the judicious critic will not hesitate a moment in admitting


« AnteriorContinuar »