Of the Empire of Egypt.

The Egyptians anciently boasted of a very great and lasting Empire under their Kings Ammon, Osiris, Bacchus, Sesostris, Hercules, Memnon, &c. reaching eastward to the Indies, and westward to the Atlantic Ocean; and out of vanity have made this monarchy some thousands of years older than the world: let us now try to rectify the Chronology of Egypt, by comparing the affairs of Egypt with the synchronizing affairs of the Greeks and Hebrews.

Bacchus the conqueror loved two women, Venus and Ariadne: Venus was the mistress of Anchises and Cinyras, and mother of Æneas, who all lived 'till the destruction of Troy; and the sons of Bacchus and Ariadne were Argonauts; as above: and therefore the great Bacchus flourished but one Generation before the Argonautic expedition. This Bacchus [1] was potent at sea, conquered eastward as far as India, returned in triumph, brought his army over the Hellespont; conquered Thrace, left music, dancing and poetry there; killed Lycurgus King of Thrace, and Pentheus the grandson of Cadmus; gave the King <192> dom of Lycurgus to Tharops; and one of his minstrells, called by the Greeks Calliope, to Oeagrus the son of Tharops; and of Oeagrus and Calliope was born Orpheus, who sailed with the Argonauts: this Bacchus was therefore contemporary to Sesostris; and both being Kings of Egypt, and potent at sea, and great conquerors, and carrying on their conquests into India and Thrace, they must be one and the same man.

The antient Greeks, who made the fables of the Gods, related that Io the daughter of Inachus was carried into Egypt, and there became the Egyptian Isis; and that Apis the son of Phoroneus after death became the God Serapis; and some said that Epaphus was the son of Io: Serapis and Epaphus are Osiris, and therefore Isis and Osiris, in the opinion of the ancient Greeks who made the fables of the Gods, were not above two or three Generations older than the Argonautic expedition. Dicæarchus, as he is cited by the scholiast upon Apollonius, [2] represents them two Generations older than Sesostris, saying that after Orus the son of Osiris and Isis, Reigned Sesonchosis. He seems to have followed the opinion of the people of Naxus, who made Bacchus two Generations older than Theseus, and for that end feigned two Minos's and two Ariadnes; for by the consent of all antiquity <193> Osiris and Bacchus were one and the same King of Egypt: this is affirmed by the Egyptians, as well as by the Greeks; and some of the antient Mythologists, as Eumolpus and Orpheus, [3] called Osiris by the names of Dionysus and Sirius. Osiris was King of all Egypt, and a great conqueror, and came over the Hellespont in the days of Triptolemus, and subdued Thrace, and there killed Lycurgus; and therefore his expedition falls in with that of the great Bacchus. Osiris, Bacchus and Sesostris lived about the same time, and by the relation of historians were all of them Kings of all Egypt, and Reigned at Thebes, and adorned that city, and were very potent by land and sea: all three were great conquerors, and carried on their conquests by land through Asia, as far as India: all three came over the Hellespont, and were there in danger of losing their army: all three conquered Thrace, and there put a stop to their victories, and returned back from thence into Egypt: all three left pillars with inscriptions in their conquests: and therefore all three must be one and the same King of Egypt; and this King can be no other than Sesac. All Egypt, including Thebais, Ethiopia and Libya, had no common King before the expulsion of the Shepherds who Reigned in the lower Egypt; no Conqueror of Syria, India, Asia minor <194> and Thrace, before Sesac; and the sacred history admits of no Egyptian conqueror of Palestine before this King.

Thymætes [4] who was contemporary to Orpheus, and wrote a poesy called Phrygia, of the actions of Bacchus in very old language and character, said that Bacchus had Libyan women in his army, amongst whom was Minerva a woman born in Libya, near the river Triton, and that Bacchus commanded the men and Minerva the women. Diodorus [5] calls her Myrina, and saith that she was Queen of the Amazons in Libya, and there conquered the Atlantides and Gorgons, and then made a league with Orus the son of Isis, sent to her by his father Osiris or Bacchus for that purpose, and passing through Egypt subdued the Arabians, and Syria and Cilicia, and came through Phrygia, viz. in the army of Bacchus, to the Mediterranean; but passing over into Europe, was slain with many of her women by the Thracians and Scythians, under the conduct of Sipylus a Scythian, and Mopsus a Thracian whom Lycurgus King of Thrace had banished. This was that Lycurgus who opposed the passage of Bacchus over the Hellespont, and was soon after conquered by him, and slain: but afterwards Bacchus met with a repulse from the Greeks, under the conduct of Perseus, who slew many of <195> his women, as Pausanias [6] relates, and was assisted by the Scythians and Thracians under the conduct of Sipylus and Mopsus; which repulses, together with a revolt of his brother Danaus in Egypt, put a stop to his victories: and in returning home he left part of his men in Colchis and at Mount Caucasus, under Æetes and Prometheus; and his women upon the river Thermodon near Colchis, under their new Queens Marthesia and Lampeto: for Diodorus [7] speaking of the Amazons who were seated at Thermodon, saith, that they dwelt originally in Libya, and there Reigned over the Atlantides, and invading their neighbours conquered as far as Europe: and Ammianus, [8] that the ancient Amazons breaking through many nations, attack'd the Athenians, and there receiving a great slaughter retired to Thermodon: and Justin, [9] that these Amazons had at first, he means at their first coming to Thermodon, two Queens who called themselves daughters of Mars; and that they conquered part of Europe, and some cities of Asia, viz. in the Reign of Minerva, and then sent back part of their army with a great booty, under their said new Queens; and that Marthesia being afterwards slain, was succeeded by her daughter Orithya, and she by Penthesilea; and that Theseus captivated and married Antiope the <196> sister of Orithya. Hercules made war upon the Amazons, and in the Reign of Orithya and Penthesilea they came to the Trojan war: whence the first wars of the Amazons in Europe and Asia, and their settling at Thermodon, were but one Generation before those actions of Hercules and Theseus, and but two before the Trojan war, and so fell in with the expedition of Sesostris: and since they warred in the days of Isis and her son Orus, and were a part of the army of Bacchus or Osiris, we have here a further argument for making Osiris and Bacchus contemporary to Sesostris, and all three one and the same King with Sesac.

The Greeks reckon Osiris and Bacchus to be sons of Jupiter, and the Egyptian name of Jupiter is Ammon. Manetho in his 11th and 12th Dynasties, as he is cited by Africanus and Eusebius, names these four Kings of Egypt, as reigning in order; Ammenemes, Gesongeses or Sesonchoris the son of Ammenemes, Ammenemes who was slain by his Eunuchs, and Sesostris who subdued all Asia and part of Europe: Gesongeses and Sesonchoris are corruptly written for Sesonchosis; and the two first of these four Kings, Ammenemes and Sesonchosis, are the same with the two last, Ammenemes and Sesostris, that is, with Ammon and Sesac; for Diodorus <197> saith [10] that Osiris built in Thebes a magnificent temple to his parents Jupiter and Juno, and two other temples to Jupiter, a larger to Jupiter Uranius, and a less to his father Jupiter Ammon who reigned in that city: and [11] Thymætes abovementioned, who was contemporary to Orpheus, wrote expresly that the father of Bacchus was Ammon, a King Reigning over part of Libya, that is, a King of Egypt Reigning over all that part of Libya, anciently called Ammonia. Stephanus [12] saith Πασα ἡ Λιβύη ὁύτως ἐκαλειτο ἀπὸ Ἄμμωνος. All Libya was anciently called Ammonia from Ammon: this is that King of Egypt from whom Thebes was called No-Ammon, and Ammon-no, the city of Ammon, and by the Greeks Diospolis, the city of Jupiter Ammon: Sesostris built it sumptuously, and called it by his father's name; and from the same King the [13] River called Ammon, the people called Ammonii, and the [14] promontory Ammonium in Arabia fælix had their names.

The lower part of Egypt being yearly overflowed by the Nile, was scarce inhabited before the invention of corn, which made it useful: and the King, who by this invention first peopled it and Reigned over it, perhaps the King of the city Mesir where Memphis was afterwards built, seems to have been worshipped by his sub <198> jects after death, in the ox or calf, for this benefaction: for this city stood in the most convenient place to people the lower Egypt, and from its being composed of two parts seated on each side of the river Nile, might give the name of Mizraim to its founder and people; unless you had rather refer the word to the double people, those above the Delta, and those within it: and this I take to be the state of the lower Egypt, 'till the Shepherds or Phœnicians who fled from Joshuah conquered it, and being afterwards conquered by the Ethiopians, fled into Afric and other places: for there was a tradition that some of them fled into Afric; and St. Austin [15] confirms this, by telling us that the common people of Afric being asked who they were, replied Chanani, that is, Canaanites. Interrogati rustici nostri, saith he, quid sint, Punice respondentes Chanani, corrupta scilicet voce sicut in talibus solet, quid aliud respondent quam Chanaanæi? Procopius also [16] tells us of two pillars in the west of Afric, with inscriptions signifying that the people were Canaanites who fled from Joshuah: and Eusebius [17] tells us, that these Canaanites flying from the sons of Israel, built Tripolis in Afric; and the Jerusalem Gemara, [18] that the Gergesites fled from Joshua, going into Afric: and Procopius relates their flight in this manner. <199> Ἐπεὶ δὲ ἡμας ὁ της ἱστορίας λόγος ἐνταυθ᾽ ἤγαγεν. ἐπάναγκες εἰπειν ἄνωθεν, ὅθεν τε τὰ Μαυρουσίων ἔθνη ἐς Λιβύην ἠλθε, καὶ ὅπως ὠικήσαντο. Ἐπειδὴ Ἑβραιοι εξ Αἰγύπτου ἀνεχώρησαν, καὶ ἄγχι των Παλαιστίνης ὁρίων ἐγενόντο. Μωσης μεν σοφὸς ἀνὴρ, ὃς ἀυτὸς της ὁδου ἡγήσατο, θνήσκει. διαδέχεται δὲ την ἡγεμονίαν Ἰησους ὁ του Ναυη παις. ὃς ἔς τε τὴν Παλαιστίνην τὸν λεὼν τουτον εἰσήγαγε. καὶ ἀρετὴν ἐν τωι πολέμωι κρείσσω ἣ κατα ἁνθρώπου φύσιν ἐπιδειξάμενος, τὴν χώραν ἔσχε. καὶ τὰ ἔθνη ἅπαντα καταστρεψάμενος, τὰς πόλεις εὐπετως παρεστήσατο, ἀνίκητος τε παντάπασιν ἔδοξεν εἰναι. τότε δὲ ἡ ἐπιθαλασσία χώρα, ἐκ Σιδωνος μέχρι των Αἰγύπτου ὁρίων, Φοινίκη ξύμπασα ὠνομαζετο. βασιλεὺς δὲ εἰς τὸ παλαιὸν ἐφειστήκει. ὥσπερ ἅπασιν ὡμολόγηται, ὃι Φοινίκων τὰ ἀρχαιότατα ἀνεγράψαντο. ἐνταυθ᾽ ὤκηντο ἔθνη πολυανθρωπότατα, Γεργεσαιοί τε καὶ Ἱεβουσαιοι, καὶ ἄλλα ἄττα ὀνόματα ἔχοντα, ὁις δὴ ἀυτὰ ἡ των Ἑβραίων ἱστορία καλει. ὁυτος ὁ λαὸς ἐπεὶ ἄμαχόν τι χρημα τὸν ἐπηλύτην στρατηγὸν εἰδον. ἐξ ἠθων των πατρίων ἐξαναστάντες, ἐπ᾽ Αἰγύπτον ὁμόρου ὀύσης ἐχώρησαν. ἔνθα χωρον ὀυδένα σφίσιν ἱκανὸν ἐνοικήσα <200> σθαι ἑυρόντες, ἐπεὶ ἐν Αἰγύπτω πολυανθρωπία ἐκ παλαιου ἠν. ἐς Λιβύην μέχρι στηλων των Ἡρακλέους ἔσχον. ἐνταυθα τε καὶ ἐς ἐμὲ τηι Φοίνικων φωνηι χρώμενοι ὤικηνται. Quando ad Mauros nos historia deduxit, congruens nos exponere unde orta gens in Africa sedes fixerit. Quo tempore egressi Ægypto Hebræi jam prope Palestinæ fines venerant, mortuus ibi Moses, vir sapiens, dux itineris. Successor imperii factus Jesus Navæ filius intra Palæstinam duxit popularium agmen; & virtute usus supra humanum modum, terram occupavit, gentibusque excisis urbes ditionis suæ fecit, & invicti famam tulit. Maritima ora quæ a Sidone ad Ægypti limitem extenditur, nomen habet Phœnices. Rex unus [Hebræis] imperabat ut omnes qui res Phœnicias scripsere consentiunt. In eo tractatu numerosæ gentes erant, Gergesæi, Jebusæi, quosque aliis nominibus Hebræorum annales memorant. Hi homines ut impares se venienti imperatori videre, derelicto patriæ solo ad finitimam primùm venere Ægyptum, sed ibi capacem tantæ multitudinis locum non reperientes, erat enim Ægyptus ab antiquo fœcunda populis, in Africam profecti, multis conditis urbibus, omnem eam Herculis columnas usque, obtinuerunt: ubi ad meam ætatem sermone Phœnicio utentes habitant. By the language and extreme poverty of the Moors, described also by Proco <201> pius, and by their being unacquainted with merchandise and sea-affairs, you may know that they were Canaanites originally, and peopled Afric before the Tyrian merchants came thither. These Canaanites coming from the East, pitched their tents in great numbers in the lower Egypt, in the Reign of Timaus, as [19] Manetho writes, and easily seized the country, and fortifying Pelusium, then called Abaris, they erected a Kingdom there, and Reigned long under their own Kings, Salatis, Bæon, Apachnas, Apophis, Janias, Assis, and others successively: and in the mean time the upper part of Egypt called Thebais, and according to [20] Herodotus, Ægyptus, and in Scripture the land of Pathros, was under other Kings, Reigning perhaps at Coptos, and Thebes, and This, and Syene, and [21] Pathros, and Elephantis, and Heracleopolis, and Mesir, and other great cities, 'till they conquered one another, or were conquered by the Ethiopians: for cities grew great in those days, by being the seats of Kingdoms: but at length one of these Kingdoms conquered the rest, and made a lasting war upon the Shepherds, and in the Reign of its King Misphragmuthosis, and his son Amosis, called also Tethmosis, Tuthmosis, and Thomosis, drove them out of Egypt, and made them fly into Afric and Syria, and other places, <202> and united all Egypt into one Monarchy; and under their next Kings, Ammon and Sesac, enlarged it into a great Empire. This conquering people worshipped not the Kings of the Shepherds whom they conquered and expelled, but [22] abolished their religion of sacrificing men, and after the manner of those ages Deified their own Kings, who founded their new Dominion, beginning the history of their Empire with the Reign and great acts of their Gods and Heroes: whence their Gods Ammon and Rhea, or Uranus and Titæa; Osiris and Isis; Orus and Bubaste; and their Secretary Thoth; and Generals Hercules and Pan; and Admiral Japetus, Neptune, or Typhon; were all of them Thebans, and flourished after the expulsion of the Shepherds. Homer places Thebes in Ethiopia, and the Ethiopians reported that [23] the Egyptians were a colony drawn out of them by Osiris, and that thence it came to pass that most of the laws of Egypt were the same with those of Ethiopia, and that the Egyptians learnt from the Ethiopians the custom of Deifying their Kings.

When Joseph entertained his brethren in Egypt, they did eat at a table by themselves, and he did eat at another table by himself; and the Egyptians who did eat with him were at another table, because the Egyptians might <203> not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that was an abomination to the Egyptians, Gen. xliii. 32. These Egyptians who did eat with Joseph were of the Court of Pharaoh; and therefore Pharaoh and his Court were at this time not Shepherds but genuine Egyptians; and these Egyptians abominated eating bread with the Hebrews, at one and the same table: and of these Egyptians and their fellow-subjects, it is said a little after, that every Shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians: Egypt at this time was therefore under the government of the genuine Egyptians, and not under that of the Shepherds.

After the descent of Jacob and his sons into Egypt, Joseph lived 70 years, and so long continued in favour with the Kings of Egypt: and 64 years after his death Moses was born: and between the death of Joseph and the birth of Moses, there arose up a new King over Egypt, which knew not Joseph, Exod. i. 8. But this King of Egypt was not one of the Shepherds; for he is called Pharaoh, Exod. i. 11, 22: and Moses told his successor, that if the people of Israel should sacrifice in the land of Egypt, they should sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and the Egyptians would stone them, Exod. viii. 26. that is, they should <204> sacrifice sheep or oxen, contrary to the religion of Egypt. The Shepherds therefore did not Reign over Egypt while Israel was there, but either were driven out of Egypt before Israel went down thither, or did not enter into Egypt 'till after Moses had brought Israel from thence: and the latter must be true, if they were driven out of Egypt a little before the building of the temple of Solomon, as Manetho affirms.

Diodorus [24] saith in his 40th book, that in Egypt there were formerly multitudes of strangers of several nations, who used foreign rites and ceremonies in worshipping the Gods, for which they were expelled Egypt; and under Danaus, Cadmus, and other skilful commanders, after great hardships, came into Greece, and other places; but the greatest part of them came into Judæa, not far from Egypt, a country then uninhabited and desert, being conducted thither by one Moses, a wise and valiant man, who after he had possest himself of the country, among other things built Jerusalem, and the Temple. Diodorus here mistakes the original of the Israelites, as Manetho had done before, confounding their flight into the wilderness under the conduct of Moses, with the flight of the Shepherds from Misphragmuthosis, and his son Amosis, into Phœnicia and Afric; and not know <205> ing that Judæa was inhabited by Canaanites, before the Israelites under Moses came thither: but however, he lets us know that the Shepherds were expelled Egypt by Amosis, a little before the building of Jerusalem and the Temple, and that after several hardships several of them came into Greece, and other places, under the conduct of Cadmus, and other Captains, but the most of them settled in Phœnicia next Egypt. We may reckon therefore that the expulsion of the Shepherds by the Kings of Thebais, was the occasion that the Philistims were so numerous in the days of Saul; and that so many men came in those times with colonies out of Egypt and Phœnicia into Greece; as Lelex, Inachus, Pelasgus, Æzeus, Cecrops, Ægialeus, Cadmus, Phænix, Membliarius, Alymnus, Abas, Erechtheus, Peteos, Phorbas, in the days of Eli, Samuel, Saul and David: some of them fled in the days of Eli, from Misphragmuthosis, who conquered part of the lower Egypt; others retired from his successor Amosis into Phœnicia, and Arabia Petræa, and there mixed with the old inhabitants; who not long after being conquered by David, fled from him and the Philistims by sea, under the conduct of Cadmus and other Captains, into Asia Minor, Greece, and Libya, to seek new seats, and there <206> built towns, erected Kingdoms, and set on foot the worship of the dead: and some of those who remained in Judæa might assist David and Solomon, in building Jerusalem and the Temple. Among the foreign rites used by the strangers in Egypt, in worshipping the Gods, was the sacrificing of men; for Amosis abolished that custom at Heliopolis: and therefore those strangers were Canaanites, such as fled from Joshua; for the Canaanites gave their seed, that is, their children, to Moloch, and burnt their sons and their daughters in the fire to their Gods, Deut. xii. 31. Manetho calls them Phœnician strangers.

After Amosis had expelled the Shepherds, and extended his dominion over all Egypt, his son and successor Ammenemes or Ammon, by much greater conquests laid the foundation of the Egyptian Empire: for by the assistance of his young son Sesostris, whom he brought up to hunting and other laborious exercises, he conquered Arabia, Troglodytica, and Libya: and from him all Libya was anciently called Ammonia: and after his death, in the temples erected to him at Thebes, and in Ammonia and at Meroe in Ethiopia, they set up Oracles to him, and made the people worship him as the God that acted in them: and these are the <207> oldest Oracles mentioned in history; the Greeks therein imitating the Egyptians: for the [25] Oracle at Dodona was the oldest in Greece, and was set up by an Egyptian woman, after the example of the Oracle of Jupiter Ammon at Thebes.

In the days of Ammon a body of the Edomites fled from David into Egypt, with their young King Hadad, as above; and carried thither their skill in navigation: and this seems to have given occasion to the Egyptians to build a fleet on the Red Sea near Coptos, and might ingratiate Hadad with Pharaoh: for the Midianites and Ishmaelites, who bordered upon the Red Sea, near Mount Horeb on the south-side of Edom, were merchants from the days of Jacob the Patriarch, Gen. xxxvii. 28, 36. and by their merchandise the Midianites abounded with gold in the days of Moses, Numb. xxxi. 50, 51, 52. and in the days of the Judges of Israel, because they were Ishmaelites, Judg. viii 24. The Ishmaelites therefore in those days grew rich by merchandise; they carried their merchandise on camels through Petra to Rhinocolura, and thence to Egypt: and this trafic at length came into the hands of David, by his conquering the Edomites, and gaining the ports of the Red Sea called Eloth and Ezion-Geber, as may <208> be understood by the 3000 talents of gold of Ophir, which David gave to the Temple, 1 Chron. xxix. 4. The Egyptians having the art of making linen-cloth, they began about this time to build long Ships with sails, in their port on those Seas near Coptos, and having learnt the skill of the Edomites, they began now to observe the positions of the Stars, and the length of the Solar Year, for enabling them to know the position of the Stars at any time, and to sail by them at all times, without sight of the shoar: and this gave a beginning to Astronomy and Navigation: for hitherto they had gone only by the shoar with oars, in round vessels of burden, first invented on that shallow sea by the posterity of Abraham; and in passing from island to island guided themselves by the sight of the islands in the day time, or by the sight of some of the Stars in the night. Their old year was the Lunisolar year, derived from Noah to all his posterity, 'till those days, and consisted of twelve months, each of thirty days, according to their calendar: and to the end of this calendar-year they now added five days, and thereby made up the Solar year of twelve months and five days, or 365 days.

The ancient Egyptians feigned [26] that Rhea lay secretly with Saturn, and Sol prayed that <209> she might bring forth neither in any month, nor in the year; and that Mercury playing at dice with Luna, overcame, and took from the Lunar year the 72d part of every day, and thereof composed five days, and added them to the year of 360 days, that she might bring forth in them; and that the Egyptians celebrated those days as the birth-days of Rhea's five children, Osiris, Orus senior, Typhon, Isis, and Nephthe the wife of Typhon: and therefore, according to the opinion of the ancient Egyptians, the five days were added to the Lunisolar calendar-year, in the Reign of Saturn and Rhea, the parents of Osiris, Isis, and Typhon; that is, in the Reign of Ammon and Titæa, the parents of the Titans; or in the latter half of the Reign of David, when those Titans were born, and by consequence soon after the flight of the Edomites from David into Egypt: but the Solstices not being yet settled, the beginning of this new year might not be fixed to the Vernal Equinox before the Reign of Amenophis the successor of Orus junior, the Son of Osiris and Isis.

When the Edomites fled from David with their young King Hadad into Egypt, it is probable that they carried thither also the use of letters: for letters were then in use among the posterity of Abraham in Arabia Petræa, and <210> upon the borders of the Red Sea, the Law being written there by Moses in a book, and in tables of stone, long before: for Moses marrying the daughter of the prince of Midian, and dwelling with him forty years, learnt them among the Midianites: and Job, who lived [27] among their neighbours the Edomites, mentions the writing down of words, as there in use in his days, Job. xix. 23, 24. and there is no instance of letters for writing down sounds, being in use before the days of David, in any other nation besides the posterity of Abraham. The Egyptians ascribed this invention to Thoth, the secretary of Osiris; and therefore Letters began to be in use in Egypt in the days of Thoth, that is, a little after the flight of the Edomites from David, or about the time that Cadmus brought them into Europe.

Helladius [28] tells us, that a man called Oes, who appeared in the Red Sea with the tail of a fish, so they painted a sea-man, taught Astronomy and Letters: and Hyginus, [29] that Euhadnes, who came out of the Sea in Chaldæa, taught the Chaldæans Astrology the first of any man; he means Astronomy: and Alexander Polyhistor [30] tells us from Berosus, that Oannes taught the Chaldæans Letters, Mathematicks, Arts, Agriculture, Cohabitation in Cities, and the Construc <211> tion of Temples; and that several such men came thither successively. Oes, Euhadnes, and Oannes, seem to be the same name a little varied by corruption; and this name seems to have been given in common to several sea-men, who came thither from time to time, and by consequence were merchants, and frequented those seas with their merchandise, or else fled from their enemies: so that Letters, Astronomy, Architecture and Agriculture, came into Chaldæa by sea, and were carried thither by sea-men, who frequented the Persian Gulph, and came thither from time to time, after all those things were practised in other countries whence they came, and by consequence in the days of Ammon and Sesac, David and Solomon, and their successors, or not long before. The Chaldæans indeed made Oannes older than the flood of Xisuthrus, but the Egyptians made Osiris as old, and I make them contemporary.

The Red Sea had its name not from its colour, but from Edom and Erythra, the names of Esau, which signify that colour: and some [31] tell us, that King Erythra, meaning Esau, invented the vessels, rates, in which they navigated that Sea, and was buried in an island thereof near the Persian Gulph: whence it follows, that the Edomites navigated that Sea from <212> the days of Esau; and there is no need that the oldest Oannes should be older. There were boats upon rivers before, such as were the boats which carried the Patriarchs over Euphrates and Jordan, and the first nations over many other rivers, for peopling the earth, seeking new seats, and invading one another's territories: and after the example of such vessels, Ishhmael and Midian the sons of Abraham, and Esau his grandson, might build larger vessels to go to the islands upon the Red Sea, in searching for new seats, and by degrees learn to navigate that sea, as far as to the Persian Gulph: for ships were as old, even upon the Mediterranean, as the days of Jacob, Gen. xlix. 13. Judg. v. 17. but it is probable that the merchants of that sea were not forward to discover their Arts and Sciences, upon which their trade depended: it seems therefore that Letters and Astronomy, and the trade of Carpenters, were invented by the merchants of the Red Sea, for writing down their merchandise, and keeping their accounts, and guiding their ships in the night by the Stars, and building ships; and that they were propagated from Arabia Petræa into Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Asia minor, and Europe, much about one and the same time; the time in which David conquered and dispersed those merchants: <213> for we hear nothing of Letters before the days of David, except among the posterity of Abraham; nothing of Astronomy, before the Egyptians under Ammon and Sesac applied themselves to that study, except the Constellations mentioned by Job, who lived in Arabia Petræa among the merchants; nothing of the trade of Carpenters, or good Architecture, before Solomon sent to Hiram King of Tyre, to supply him with such Artificers, saying that there were none in Israel who could skill to hew timber like the Zidonians.

Diodorus [32] tells us, that the Egyptians sent many colonies out of Egypt into other countries; and that Belus, the son of Neptune and Libya, carried colonies thence into Babylonia, and seating himself on Euphrates, instituted priests free from taxes and publick expences, after the manner of Egypt, who were called Chaldæans, and who after the manner of Egypt, might observe the Stars: and Pausanias [33] tells us, that the Belus of the Babylonians had his name from Belus an Egyptian, the son of Libya: and Apollodorus; [34] that Belus the son of Neptune and Libya, and King of Egypt, was the father of Ægyptus and Danaus, that is, Ammon: he tells us also, that Busiris the son of Neptune and Lisianassa [Libyanassa] the daughter of Epaphus, <214> was King of Egypt; and Eusebius calls this King, Busiris the son of Neptune, and of Libya the daughter of Epaphus. By these things the later Egyptians seem to have made two Belus's, the one the father of Osiris, Isis, and Neptune, the other the son of Neptune, and father of Ægyptus and Danaus: and hence came the opinion of the people of Naxus, that there were two Minos's and two Ariadnes, the one two Generations older than the other; which we have confuted. The father of Ægyptus and Danaus was the father of Osiris, Isis, and Typhon; and Typhon was not the grandfather of Neptune, but Neptune himself.

Sesostris being brought up to hard labour by his father Ammon, warred first under his father, being the Hero or Hercules of the Egyptians during his father's Reign, and afterward their King: under his father, whilst he was very young, he invaded and conquered Troglodytica, and thereby secured the harbour of the Red Sea, near Coptos in Egypt; and then he invaded Ethiopia, and carried on his conquest southward, as far as to the region bearing cinnamon: and his father by the assistance of the Edomites having built a fleet on the Red Sea, he put to sea, and coasted Arabia Fælix, going to the Persian Gulph and beyond, and in those countries set <215> up Columns with inscriptions denoting his conquests; and particularly he set up a Pillar at Dira, a promontory in the straits of the Red Sea, next Ethiopia, and two Pillars in India, on the mountains near the mouth of the river Ganges; so [35] Dionysius:

Ἐνθά τε καὶ στηλαι, Θηβαιγενέος Διονύσου

Ἑστασιν πυμάτοιο παρὰ ‛ροον Ὠκεανοιο,

Ἰνδων ὑστατίοισιν ἐν ὀύρεσιν. ἔνθά τε Γάγγης

Λευκὸν ὕδορ Νυσσαιον ἐπὶ πλαταμωνα κυλίνδει.

Ubi etiamnum columnæ Thebis geniti Bacchi

Stant extremi juxta fluxum Oceani

Indorum ultimis in montibus: ubi & Ganges

Claram aquam Nyssæam ad planitiem devolvit.

After these things he invaded Libya, and fought the Africans with clubs, and thence is painted with a club in his hand: so [36] Hyginus; Afri & Ægyptii primum fustibus dimicaverunt, postea Belus Neptuni filius gladio belligeratus est, unde bellum dictum est: and after the conquest of Libya, by which Egypt was furnished with horses, and furnished Solomon and his friends; he prepared a fleet on the Mediterranean, and went on westward upon the coast of Afric, to search those countries, as far as to the Ocean and island Erythra or Gades in Spain; as Macro <216> bius [37] informs us from Panyasis and Pherecydes: and there he conquered Geryon, and at the mouth of the Straits set up the famous Pillars.

[38] Venit ad occasum mundique extrema Sesostris.

Then he returned through Spain and the southern coasts of France and Italy, with the cattel of Geryon, his fleet attending him by sea, and left in Sicily the Sicani, a people which he had brought from Spain: and after his father's death he built Temples to him in his conquests; whence it came to pass, that Jupiter Ammon was worshipped in Ammonia, and Ethiopia, and Arabia, and as far as India, according to the [39] Poet:

Quamvis Æthiopum populis, Arabumque beatis

Gentibus, atque Indis unus sit Jupiter Ammon.

The Arabians worshipped only two Gods, lus, otherwise called Ouranus, or Jupiter Uranius, and Bacchus; and these were Jupiter Ammon and Sesac, as above: and so also the people of Meroe above Egypt [40] worshipped no other Gods but Jupiter and Bacchus, and had an Oracle of Jupiter; and these two Gods were Jupiter Ammon and Osiris, according to the language of Egypt.

At length Sesostris, in the fifth year of Rehoboam, came out of Egypt with a great army <217> of Libyans, Troglodytes and Ethiopians, and spoiled the Temple, and reduced Judæa into servitude, and went on conquering, first eastward toward India, which he invaded, and then westward as far as Thrace: for God had given him the kingdoms of the countries, 2 Chron. xii. 2, 3, 8. In [41] this Expedition he spent nine years, setting up pillars with inscriptions in all his conquests, some of which remained in Syria 'till the days of Herodotus. He was accompanied with his son Orus, or Apollo, and with some singing women, called the Muses, one of which, called Calliope, was the mother of Orpheus an Argonaut: and the two tops of the mountain Parnassus, which were very high, were dedicated [42] the one to this Bacchus, and the other to his son Apollo: whence Lucan; [43]

Parnassus gemino petit æthera colle,

Mons Phæbo, Bromioque sacer.

In the fourteenth year of Rehoboam he returned back into Egypt, leaving Æetes in Colchis, and his nephew Prometheus at mount Caucasus, with part of his army, to defend his conquests from the Scythians. Apollonius [44] Rhodius and his scholiast tell us, that Sesonchosis King of all Egypt, that is Sesac, invading all Asia, and a great part of Europe, peopled many cities <218> which he took; and that Æa, the Metropolis of Colchis, remained stable ever since his days with the posterity of those Egyptians which he placed there, and that they preserved pillars or tables in which all the journies and the bounds of sea and land were described, for the use of them that were to go any whither: these tables therefore gave a beginning to Geography.

Sesostris upon his returning home [45] divided Egypt by measure amongst the Egyptians; and this gave a beginning to Surveying and Geometry: and [46] Jamblicus derives this division of Egypt, and beginning of Geometry, from the Age of the Gods of Egypt. Sesostris also [47] divided Egypt into 36 Nomes or Counties, and dug a canal from the Nile to the head city of every Nome, and with the earth dug out of it, he caused the ground of the city to be raised higher, and built a Temple in every city for the worship of the Nome, and in the Temples set up Oracles, some of which remained 'till the days of Herodotus: and by this means the Egyptians of every Nome were induced to worship the great men of the Kingdom, to whom the Nome, the City, and the Temple or Sepulchre of the God, was dedicated: for every Temple had its proper God, and modes of worship, and annual festivals, at which the <219> Council and People of the Nome met at certain times to sacrifice, and regulate the affairs of the Nome, and administer justice, and buy and sell; but Sesac and his Queen, by the names of Osiris and Isis, were worshipped in all Egypt: and because Sesac, to render the Nile more useful, dug channels from it to all the capital cities of Egypt; that river was consecrated to him, and he was called by its names, Ægyptus, Siris, Nilus. Dionysius [48] tells us, that the Nile was called Siris by the Ethiopians, and Nilus by the people of Siene. From the word Nahal, which signifies a torrent, that river was called Nilus; and Diodorus [49] tells us, that Nilus was that King who cut Egypt into canals, to make the river useful: in Scripture the river is called Schichor, or Sihor, and thence the Greeks formed the words Siris, Sirius, Ser-Apis, O-Siris; but Plutarch [50] tells us, that the syllable O, put before the word Siris by the Greeks, made it scarce intelligible to the Egyptians.

I have now told you the original of the Nomes of Egypt, and of the Religions and Temples of the Nomes, and of the Cities built there by the Gods, and called by their names: whence Diodorus [51] tells us, that of all the Provinces of the World, there were in Egypt only many cities built by the ancient Gods, as by Jupi <220> ter, Sol, Hermes, Apollo, Pan, Eilithyia, and many others: and Lucian [52] an Assyrian, who had travelled into Phœnicia and Egypt, tells us, that the Temples of Egypt were very old, those in Phœnicia built by Cinyras as old, and those in Assyria almost as old as the former, but not altogether so old: which shews that the Monarchy of Assyria rose up after the Monarchy of Egypt, as is represented in Scripture; and that the Temples of Egypt then standing, were those built by Sesostris, about the same time that the Temples of Phœnicia and Cyprus were built by Cinyras, Benhadad, and Hiram. This was not the first original of Idolatry, but only the erecting of much more sumptuous Temples than formerly to the founders of new Kingdoms: for Temples at first were very small;

Jupiter angusta vix totus stabat in æde.

Ovid. Fast. l. 1.

Altars were at first erected without Temples, and this custom continued in Persia 'till after the days of Herodotus: in Phœnicia they had Altars with little houses for eating the sacrifices much earlier, and these they called High Places: such was the High Place where Samuel entertained Saul; such was the House of Dagon at Ashdod, into which the Philistims brought the Ark; and <221> the House of Baal, in which Jehu slew the Prophets of Baal; and such were the High Places of the Canaanites which Moses commanded Israel to destroy: he [53] commanded Israel to destroy the Altars, Images, High Places, and Groves of the Canaanites, but made no mention of their Temples, as he would have done had there been any in those days. I meet with no mention of sumptuous Temples before the days of Solomon: new Kingdoms begun then to build Sepulchres to their Founders in the form of sumptuous Temples; and such Temples Hiram built in Tyre, Sesac in all Egypt, and Benhadad in Damascus.

For when David [54] smote Hadad-Ezer King of Zobah, and slew the Syrians of Damascus who came to assist him, Rezon the son of Eliadah fled from his lord Hadad-Ezer, and gathered men unto him and became Captain over a band, and Reigned in Damascus, over Syria: he is called Hezion, 1 King. xv. 18. and his successors mentioned in history were Tabrimon, Hadad or Benhadad, Benhadad II. Hazael, Benhadad III. * * and Rezin the son of Tabeah. Syria became subject to Egypt in the days of Tabrimon, and recovered her liberty under Benhadad I; and in the days of Benhadad III, until the reign of the last Rezin, they became subject to Israel: <222> and in the ninth year of Hoshea King of Judah, Tiglath-pileser King of Assyria captivated the Syrians, and put an end to their Kingdom: now Josephus [55] tells us, that the Syrians 'till his days worshipped both Adar, that is Hadad or Benhadad, and his successor Hazael as Gods, for their benefactions, and for building Temples by which they adorned the city of Damascus: for, saith he, they daily celebrate solemnities in honour of these Kings, and boast their antiquity, not knowing that they are novel, and lived not above eleven hundred years ago. It seems these Kings built sumptuous Sepulchres for themselves, and were worshipped therein. Justin [56] calls the first of these two Kings Damascus, saying that the city had its name from him, and that the Syrians in honour of him worshipped his wife Arathes as a Goddess, using her Sepulchre for a Temple.

Another instance we have in the Kingdom of Byblus. In the [57] Reign of Minos King of Crete, when Rhadamanthus the brother of Minos carried colonies from Crete to the Greek islands, and gave the islands to his captains, he gave Lemnos to Thoas, or Theias, or Thoantes, the father of Hypsipyle, a Cretan worker in metals, and by consequence a disciple of the Idæi Dactyli, and perhaps a Phœnician: for the Idæi Dactyli, and Telchines, and Corybantes brought their Arts and <223> Sciences from Phœnicia: and [58] Suidas saith, that he was descended from Pharnaces King of Cyprus; Apollodorus, [59] that he was the son of Sandochus a Syrian; and Apollonius Rhodius, [60] that Hypsipyle gave Jason the purple cloak which the Graces made for Bacchus, who gave it to his son Thoas, the father of Hypsipyle, and King of Lemnos: Thoas married [61] Calycopis, the mother of Æneas, and daughter of Otreus King of Phrygia, and for his skill on the harp was called Cinyras, and was said to be exceedingly beloved by Apollo or Orus: the great Bacchus loved his wife, and being caught in bed with her in Phrygia appeased him with wine, and composed the matter by making him King of Byblus and Cyprus; and then came over the Hellespont with his army, and conquered Thrace: and to these things the poets allude, in feigning that Vulcan fell from heaven into Lemnos, and that Bacchus [62] appeased him with wine, and reduced him back into heaven: he fell from the heaven of the Cretan Gods, when he went from Crete to Lemnos to work in metals, and was reduced back into heaven when Bacchus made him King of Cyprus and Byblus: he Reigned there 'till a very great age, living to the times of the Trojan war, and becoming exceeding rich: and after the death of his wife <224> Calycopis, [63] he built Temples to her at Paphos and Amathus, in Cyprus; and at Byblus in Syria; and instituted Priests to her with Sacred Rites and lustful Orgia; whence she became the Dea Cypria, and the Dea Syria: and from Temples erected to her in these and other places, she was also called Paphia, Amathusia, Byblia, Cytherea Salaminia, Cnidia, Erycina, Idalia. Fama tradit a Cinyra sacratum vetustissimum Paphiæ Veneris templum, Deamque ipsam conceptam mari huc appulsam: Tacit. Hist. l. 2. c. 3. From her sailing from Phrygia to the island Cythera, and from thence to be Queen of Cyprus, she was said by the Cyprians, to be born of the froth of the sea, and was painted sailing upon a shell. Cinyras Deified also his son Gingris, by the name of Adonis; and for assisting the Egyptians with armour, it is probable that he himself was Deified by his friends the Egyptians, by the name of Baal-Canaan, or Vulcan: for Vulcan was celebrated principally by the Egyptians, and was a King according to Homer, and Reigned in Lemnos; and Cinyras was an inventor of arts, [64] and found out copper in Cyprus, and the smiths hammer, and anvil, and tongs, and laver; and imployed workmen in making armour, and other things of brass and iron, and was the only King celebrated in history for <225> working in metals, and was King of Lemnos, and the husband of Venus; all which are the characters of Vulcan: and the Egyptians about the time of the death of Cinyras, viz. in the Reign of their King Amenophis, built a very sumptuous Temple at Memphis to Vulcan, and near it a smaller Temple to Venus Hospita; not an Egyptian woman but a foreigner, not Helena but Vulcan's Venus: for [65] Herodotus tells us, that the region round about this Temple was inhabited by Tyrian Phœnicians, and that [66] Cambyses going into this Temple at Memphis, very much derided the statue of Vulcan for its littleness; For, saith he, this statue is most like those Gods which the Phœnicians call Patæci, and carry about in the fore-part of their Ships in the form of Pygmies: and [67] Bochart saith of this Venus Hospita, Phœniciam Venerem in Ægypto pro peregrina habitam.

As the Egyptians, Phœnicians and Syrians in those days Deified their Kings and Princes, so upon their coming into Asia minor and Greece, they taught those nations to do the like, as hath been shewed above. In those days the writing of the Thebans and Ethiopians was in hieroglyphicks; and this way of writing seems to have spread into the lower Egypt before the days of Moses: for thence came the worship of their Gods in the various shapes of Birds, Beasts, and <226> Fishes, forbidden in the second commandment. Now this emblematical way of writing gave occasion to the Thebans and Ethiopians, who in the days of Samuel, David, Solomon, and Rehoboam conquered Egypt, and the nations round about, and erected a great Empire, to represent and signify their conquering Kings and Princes, not by writing down their names, but by making various hieroglyphical figures; as by painting Ammon with Ram's horns, to signify the King who conquered Libya, a country abounding with sheep; his father Amosis with a Scithe, to signify that King who conquered the lower Egypt, a country abounding with corn; his son Osiris by an Ox, because he taught the conquered nations to plow with oxen; Bacchus with Bulls horns for the same reason, and with Grapes because he taught the nations to plant vines, and upon a Tiger because he subdued India; Orus the son of Osiris with a Harp, to signify the Prince who was eminently skilled on that instrument; Jupiter upon an Eagle to signify the sublimity of his dominion, and with a Thunderbolt to represent him a warrior; Venus in a Chariot drawn with two Doves, to represent her amorous and lustful; Neptune with a Trident, to signify the commander of a fleet composed of three squadrons; Ægeon, a Giant, <227> with 50 heads, and an hundred hands, to signify Neptune with his men in a ship of fifty oars; Thoth with a Dog's head and wings at his cap and feet, and a Caduceus writhen about with two Serpents, to signify a man of craft, and an embassador who reconciled two contending nations; Pan with a Pipe and the legs of a Goat, to signify a man delighted in piping and dancing; and Hercules with Pillars and a Club, because Sesostris set up pillars in all his conquests, and fought against the Libyans with clubs: this is that Hercules who, according to [68] Eudoxus, was slain by Typhon; and according to Ptolomæus [69] Hephæstion was called Nilus, and who conquered Geryon with his three sons in Spain, and set up the famous pillars at the mouth of the Straits: for Diodorus [70] mentioning three Hercules's, the Egyptian, the Tyrian, and the son of Alcmena, saith that the oldest flourished among the Egyptians, and having conquered a great part of the world, set up the pillars in Afric: and Vasæus, [71] that Osiris, called also Dionysius, came into Spain and conquered Geryon, and was the first who brought Idolatry into Spain. Strabo [72] tells us, that the Ethiopians called Megabars fought with clubs: and some of the Greeks [73] did so 'till the times of the Trojan war. Now from this hieroglyphical way of writing it came <228> to pass, that upon the division of Egypt into Nomes by Sesostris, the great men of the Kingdom to whom the Nomes were dedicated, were represented in their Sepulchers or Temples of the Nomes, by various hieroglyphicks; as by an Ox, a Cat, a Dog, a Cebus, a Goat, a Lyon, a Scarabæus, an Ichneumon, a Crocodile, an Hippopotamus, an Oxyrinchus, an Ibis, a Crow, a Hawk, a Leek, and were worshipped by the Nomes in the shape of these creatures.

The [74] Atlantides, a people upon mount Atlas conquered by the Egyptians in the Reign of Ammon, related that Uranus was their first King, and reduced them from a savage course of life, and caused them to dwell in towns and cities, and lay up and use the fruits of the earth, and that he reigned over a great part of the world, and by his wife Titæa had eighteen children, among which were Hyperion and Basilea the parents of Helius and Selene; that the brothers of Hyperion slew him, and drowned his son Helius, the Phaeton of the ancients, in the Nile, and divided his Kingdom amongst themselves; and the country bordering upon the Ocean fell to the lot of Atlas, from whom the people were called Atlantides. By Uranus or Jupiter Uranius, Hyperion, Basilea, Helius and Selene, I understand Jupiter Ammon, Osiris, Isis, Orus and Bubaste; <229> and by the sharing of the Kingdom of Hyperion amongst his brothers the Titans, I understand the division of the earth among the Gods mentioned in the Poem of Solon.

For Solon having travelled into Egypt, and conversed with the Priests of Sais about their antiquities, wrote a Poem of what he had learnt, but did not finish it; [75] and this Poem fell into the hands of Plato, who relates out of it, that at the mouth of the Straits near Hercules's Pillars there was an Island called Atlantis, the people of which, nine thousand years before the days of Solon, reigned over Libya as far as Egypt, and over Europe as far as the Tyrrhene sea; and all this force collected into one body invaded Egypt and Greece, and whatever was contained within the Pillars of Hercules, but was resisted and stopt by the Athenians and other Greeks, and thereby the rest of the nations not yet conquered were preserved: he saith also that in those days the Gods, having finished their conquests, divided the whole earth amongst themselves, partly into larger, partly into smaller portions, and instituted Temples and Sacred Rites to themselves; and that the Island Atlantis fell to the lot of Neptune, who made his eldest son Atlas King of the whole Island, a part of which was called Gadir; and that in the <230> history of the said wars mention was made of Cecrops, Erechtheus, Erichthonius, and others before Theseus, and also of the women who warred with the men, and of the habit and statue of Minerva, the study of war in those days being common to men and women. By all these circumstances it is manifest that these Gods were the Dii magni majorum gentium, and lived between the age of Cecrops and Theseus; and that the wars which Sesostris with his brother Neptune made upon the nations by land and sea, and the resistance he met with in Greece, and the following invasion of Egypt by Neptune, are here described; and how the captains of Sesostris shared his conquests amongst themselves, as the captains of Alexander the great did his conquests long after, and instituting Temples and Priests and sacred Rites to themselves, caused the nations to worship them after death as Gods: and that the Island Gadir or Gades, with all Libya, fell to the lot of him who after death was Deified by the name of Neptune. The time therefore when these things were done is by Solon limited to the age of Neptune, the father of Atlas; for Homer tells us, that Ulysses presently after the Trojan war found Calypso the daughter of Atlas in the Ogygian Island, perhaps Gadir; and therefore it was but two Gene <231> rations before the Trojan war. This is that Neptune, who with Apollo or Orus fortified Troy with a wall, in the Reign of Laomedon the father of Priamus, and left many natural children in Greece, some of which were Argonauts, and others were contemporary to the Argonauts; and therefore he flourished but one Generation before the Argonautic expedition, and by consequence about 400 years before Solon went into Egypt: but the Priests of Egypt in those 400 years had magnified the stories and antiquity of their Gods so exceedingly, as to make them nine thousand years older than Solon, and the Island Atlantis bigger than all Afric and Asia together, and full of people; and because in the days of Solon this great Island did not appear, they pretended that it was sunk into the sea with all its people: thus great was the vanity of the Priests of Egypt in magnifying their antiquities.

The Cretans [76] affirmed that Neptune was the first man who set out a fleet, having obtained this Præfecture of his father Saturn; whence posterity reckoned things done in the sea to be under his government, and mariners honoured him with sacrifices: the invention of tall Ships with sails [77] is also ascribed to him. He was first worshipped in Africa, as Herodotus [78] affirms, and therefore <232> Reigned over that province: for his eldest son Atlas, who succeeded him, was not only Lord of the Island Atlantis, but also Reigned over a great part of Afric, giving his name to the people called Atlantii, and to the mountain Atlas, and the Atlantic Ocean. The [79] outmost parts of the earth and promontories, and whatever bordered upon the sea and was washed by it, the Egyptians called Neptys; and on the coasts of Marmorica and Cyrene, Bochart and Arius Montanus place the Naphthuhim, a people sprung from Mizraim, Gen. x. 13; and thence Neptune and his wife Neptys might have their names, the words Neptune, Neptys and Naphthuhim, signifying the King, Queen, and people of the sea-coasts. The Greeks tell us that Japetus was the father of Atlas, and Bochart derives Japetus and Neptune from the same original: he and his son Atlas are celebrated in the ancient fables for making war upon the Gods of Egypt; as when Lucian [80] saith that Corinth being full of fables, tells the fight of Sol and Neptune, that is, of Apollo and Python, or Orus and Typhon; and where Agatharcides [81] relates how the Gods of Egypt fled from the Giants, 'till the Titans came in and saved them by putting Neptune to flight; and where Hyginus [82] tells the war between the Gods of Ægypt, and the Titans commanded by Atlas.


The Titans are the posterity of Titæa, some of whom under Hercules assisted the Gods, others under Neptune and Atlas warred against them: for which reason, saith Plutarch, [83] the Priests of Egypt abominated the sea, and had Neptune in no honour. By Hercules, I understand here the general of the forces of Thebais and Ethiopia whom the Gods or great men of Egypt called to their assistance, against the Giants or great men of Libya, who had slain Osiris and invaded Egypt: for Diodorus [84] saith that when Osiris made his expedition over the world, he left his kinsman Hercules general of his forces over all his dominions, and Antæus governor of Libya and Ethiopia. Antæus Reigned over all Afric to the Atlantic Ocean, and built Tingis or Tangieres: Pindar [85] tells us that he Reigned at Irasa a town of Libya, where Cyrene was afterwards built: he invaded Egypt and Thebais; for he was beaten by Hercules and the Egyptians near Antæa or Antæopolis, a town of Thebais; and Diodorus [86] tells us that this town had its name from Antæus, whom Hercules slew in the days of Osiris. Hercules overthrew him several times, and every time he grew stronger by recruits from Libya, his mother earth; but Hercules intercepted his recruits, and at length slew him. In these wars Hercules took the Libyan world from Atlas, and <234> made Atlas pay tribute out of his golden orchard, the Kingdom of Afric. Antæus and Atlas were both of them sons of Neptune, both of them Reigned over all Libya and Afric, between Mount Atlas and the Mediterranean to the very Ocean; both of them invaded Egypt, and contended with Hercules in the wars of the Gods, and therefore they are but two names of one and the same man; and even the name Atlas in the oblique cases seems to have been compounded of the name Antæeus, and some other word, perhaps the word Atal, cursed, put before it: the invasion of Egypt by Antæus, Ovid hath relation unto, where he makes Hercules say,

Sævoque alimenta parentis Antæo eripui.

This war was at length composed by the intervention of Mercury, who in memory thereof was said to reconcile two contending serpents, by casting his Ambassador's rod between them: and thus much concerning the ancient state of Egypt, Libya, and Greece, described by Solon.

The mythology of the Cretans differed in some things from that of Egypt and Libya: for in the Cretan mythology, Cœlus and Terra, or Uranus and Titæa were the parents of Saturn and <235> Rhea, and Saturn and Rhea were the parents of Jupiter and Juno; and Hyperion, Japetus and the Titans were one Generation older than Jupiter; and Saturn was expelled his Kingdom and castrated by his son Jupiter: which fable hath no place in the mythology of Egypt.

During the Reign of Sesac, Jeroboam being in subjection to Egypt, set up the Gods of Egypt in Dan and Bethel; and Israel was without the true God, and without a teaching Priest and without law: and in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries; and nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity. 2 Chron. xv. 3, 5, 6. But in the fifth year of Asa the land of Judah became quiet from war, and from thence had quiet ten years; and Asa took away the altars of strange Gods, and brake down the Images, and built the fenced cities of Judah with walls and towers and gates and bars, having rest on every side, and got up an army of 580000 men, with which in the fifteenth year of his Reign he met Zerah the Ethiopian, who came out against him with an army of a thousand thousand Ethiopians and Libyans: the way of the Libyans was through Egypt, and therefore Zerah was <236> now Lord of Egypt: they fought at Mareshah near Gerar, between Egypt and Judæa, and Zerah was beaten, so that he could not recover himself: and from all this I seem to gather that Osiris was slain in the fifth year of Asa, and thereupon Egypt fell into civil wars, being invaded by the Libyans, and defended by the Ethiopians for a time; and after ten years more being invaded by the Ethiopians, who slew Orus the son and successor of Osiris, drowning him in the Nile, and seized his Kingdom. By these civil wars of Egypt, the land of Judah had rest ten years. Osiris or Sesostris reigned long, Manetho saith 48 years; and by this reckoning he began to Reign about the 17th year of Solomon; and Orus his son was drowned in the 15th year of Asa: for Pliny [87] tells us, Ægyptiorum bellis attrita est Æthiopia, vicissim imperitando serviendoque, clara & potens etiam usque ad Trojana bella Memnone regnante. Ethiopia, served Egypt 'till the death of Sesostris, and no longer; for Herodotus [88] tells us that he alone enjoyed the Empire of Ethiopia: then the Ethiopians became free, and after ten years became Lords of Egypt and Libya, under Zerah and Amenophis.

When Asa by his victory over Zerah became safe from Egypt, he assembled all the people, and they offered sacrifices out of the spoils, and <237> entered into a covenant upon oath to seek the Lord; and in lieu of the vessels taken away by Sesac, he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, Silver and Gold, and Vessels. 2 Chron. xv.

When Zerah was beaten, so that he could not recover himself, the people [89] of the lower Egypt revolted from the Ethiopians, and called in to their assistance two hundred thousand Jews and Canaanites; and under the conduct of one Osarsiphus, a Priest of Egypt, called Usorthon, Osorchon, Osorchor, and Hercules Ægyptius by Manetho, caused the Ethiopians now under Memnon to retire to Memphis: and there Memnon turned the river Nile into a new channel, built a bridge over it and fortified that pass, and then went back into Ethiopia: but after thirteen years, he and his young son Ramesses came down with an army from Ethiopia, conquered the lower Egypt, and drove out the Jews and Phœnicians; and this action the Egyptian writers and their followers call the second expulsion of the Shepherds, taking Osarsiphus for Moses.

Tithonus a beautiful youth, the elder brother of Priamus, went into Ethiopia, being carried thither among many captives by Sesostris: and the Greeks, before the days of Hesiod, feigned <238> that Memnon was his son: Memnon therefore, in the opinion of those ancient Greeks, was one Generation younger than Tithonus, and was born after the return of Sesostris into Egypt: suppose about 16 or 20 years after the death of Solomon. He is said to have lived very long, and so might die about 95 years after Solomon, as we reckoned above: his mother, called Cissia by Æschylus, in a statue erected to her in Egypt, [90] was represented as the daughter, the wife, and the mother of a King, and therefore he was the son of a King; which makes it probable that Zerah, whom he succeeded in the Kingdom of Ethiopia, was his father.

Historians [91] agree that Menes Reigned in Egypt next after the Gods, and turned the river into a new channel, and built a bridge over it, and built Memphis and the magnificent Temple of Vulcan: he built Memphis over-against the place where Grand Cairo now stands, called by the Arabian historians Mesir: he built only the body of the Temple of Vulcan, and his successors Ramesses or Rhampsinitus, Mæris, Asychis, and Psammiticus built the western, northern eastern, and southern portico's thereof: Psammiticus, who built the last portico of this Temple, Reigned three hundred years after the victory of Asa over Zerah, and it is not likely that this <239> Temple could be above three hundred years in building, or that any Menes could be King of all Egypt before the expulsion of the Shepherds. The last of the Gods of Egypt was Orus, with his mother Isis, and sister Bubaste, and secretary Thoth, and unkle Typhon; and the King who reigned next after all their deaths, and turned the river and built a bridge over it, and built Memphis and the Temple of Vulcan, was Memnon or Amenophis, called by the Egyptians Amenoph; and therefore he is Menes: for the names Amenoph, or Menoph, and Menes do not much differ; and from Amenoph the city Memphis built by Menes had its Egyptian names Moph, Noph, Menoph or Menuf, as it is still called by the Arabian historians: the necessity of fortifying this place against Osarsiphus gave occasion to the building of it.

In the time of the revolt of the lower Egypt under Osarsiphus, and the retirement of Amenophis into Ethiopia, Egypt being then in the greatest distraction, the Greeks built the ship Argo, and sent in it the flower of Greece to Æetes in Colchis, and to many other Princes on the coasts of the Euxine and Mediterranean seas; and this ship was built after the pattern of an Egyptian ship with fifty oars, in which Danaus with his fifty daughters a few years before fled <240> from Egypt into Greece and was the first long ship with sails built by the Greeks: and such an improvement of navigation, with a design to send the flower of Greece to many Princes upon the sea-coasts of the Euxine and Mediterranean seas, was too great an undertaking to be set on foot, without the concurrence of the Princes and States of Greece, and perhaps the approbation of the Amphictyonic Council; for it was done by the dictate of the Oracle. This Council met every half year upon state-affairs for the welfare of Greece, and therefore knew of this expedition, and might send the Argonauts upon an embassy to the said Princes; and for concealing their design might make the fable of the golden fleece, in relation to the ship of Phrixus whose ensign was a golden ram: and probably their design was to notify the distraction of Egypt, and the invasion thereof by the Ethiopians and Israelites, to the said Princes, and to persuade them to take that opportunity to revolt from Egypt, and set up for themselves, and make a league with the Greeks: for the Argonauts went through [92] the Kingdom of Colchis by land to the Armenians, and through Armenia to the Medes; which could not have been done if they had not made friendship with the nations through which they passed: they visited also Laomedon <241> King of the Trojans, Phineus King of the Thracians, Cyzicus King of the Doliones, Lycus King of the Mariandyni, the coasts of Mysia and Taurica Chersonesus, the nations upon the Tanais, the people about Byzantium, and the coasts of Epirus, Corsica, Melita, Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, and Gallia upon the Mediterranean; and from thence they [93] crossed the sea to Afric, and there conferred with Euripylus King of Cyrene: and [94] Strabo tells us that in Armenia and Media, and the neighbouring places, there were frequent monuments of the expedition of Jason; as also about Sinope, and its sea-coasts; the Propontis and the Hellespont, and in the Mediterranean: and a message by the flower of Greece to so many nations could be on no other account than state-policy; these nations had been invaded by the Egyptians, but after this expedition we hear no more of their continuing in subjection to Egypt.

The [95] Egyptians originally lived on the fruits of the earth, and fared hardly, and abstained from animals, and therefore abominated Shepherds: Menes taught them to adorn their beds and tables with rich furniture and carpets, and brought in amongst them a sumptuous, delicious and voluptuous way of life: and about a hundred years after his death, Gnephacthus one of his <242> successors cursed him for it, and to reduce the luxury of Egypt, caused the curse to be entered in the Temple of Jupiter at Thebes; and by this curse the honour of Menes was diminished among the Egyptians.

The Kings of Egypt who expelled the Shepherds and succeeded them, Reigned I think first at Coptos, and then at Thebes, and then at Memphis. At Coptos I place Misphragmuthosis and Amosis or Thomosis who expelled the Shepherds, and abolished their custom of sacrificing men, and extended the Coptic language, and the name of Αια Κόπτου, Ægyptus, to the conquest. Then Thebes became the Royal City of Ammon, and from him was called No-Ammon, and his conquest on the west of Egypt was called Ammonia. After him, in the same city of Thebes, Reigned Osiris, Orus, Menes or Amenophis, and Ramesses: but Memphis and her miracles were not yet celebrated in Greece; for Homer celebrates Thebes as in its glory in his days, and makes no mention of Memphis. After Menes had built Memphis, Mœris the successor of Ramesses adorned it, and made it the seat of the Kingdom, and this was almost two Generations after the Trojan war. Cinyras, the Vulcan who married Venus, and under the Kings of Egypt Reigned over Cyprus and part of Phœnicia, and made armour for those <243> Kings, lived 'till the times of the Trojan war: and upon his death Menes or Memnon might Deify him, and found the famous Temple of Vulcan in that city for his worship, but not live to finish it. In a plain [96] not far from Memphis are many small Pyramids, said to be built by Venephes or Enephes; and I suspect that Venephes and Enephes have been corruptly written for Menephes or Amenophis, the letters AM being almost worn out in some old manuscript: for after the example of these Pyramids, the following Kings, Mœris and his successors, built others much larger. The plain in which they were built was the burying-place of that city, as appears by the Mummies there found; and therefore the Pyramids were the sepulchral monuments of the Kings and Princes of that city: and by these and such like works the city grew famous soon after the days of Homer; who therefore flourished in the Reign of Ramesses.

Herodotus [97] is the oldest historian now extant who wrote of the antiquities of Egypt, and had what he wrote from the Priests of that country: and Diodorus, who wrote almost 400 years after him, and had his relations also from the Priests of Egypt, placed many nameless Kings between those whom Herodotus placed in continual <244> succession. The Priests of Egypt had therefore, between the days of Herodotus and Diodorus, out of vanity, very much increased the number of their Kings: and what they did after the days of Herodotus, they began to do before his days; for he tells us that they recited to him out of their books, the names of 330 Kings who Reigned after Menes, but did nothing memorable, except Nitocris and Mœris the last of them: all these Reigned at Thebes, 'till Mœris translated the seat of the Empire from Thebes to Memphis. After Mœris he reckons Sesostris, Pheron, Proteus, Rhampsinitus, Cheops, Cephren, Mycerinus, Asychis, Anysis, Sabacon, Anysis again, Sethon, twelve contemporary Kings, Psammitichus, Nechus, Psammis, Apries, Amasis, and Psammenitus. The Egyptians had before the days of Solon made their monarchy 9000 years old, and now they reckon'd to Herodotus a succession of 330 Kings Reigning so many Generations, that is about 11000 years, before Sesostris: but the Kings who Reigned long before Sesostris might Reign over several little Kingdoms in several parts of Egypt, before the rise of their Monarchy; and by consequence before the days of Eli and Samuel, and so are not under our consideration: and these names may have been multiplied by corruption; and some of them, as Athothes or Thoth, the <245> secretary of Osiris; Tosorthrus or Æsculapius a Physician who invented building with square stones; and Thuor or Polybus the husband of Alcandra, were only Princes of Egypt. If with Herodotus we omit the names of those Kings who did nothing memorable, and consider only those whose actions are recorded, and who left splendid monuments of their having Reigned over Egypt, such as were Temples, Statues, Pyramids, Obelisks, and Palaces dedicated or ascribed to them, these Kings reduced into good order will give us all or almost all the Kings of Egypt, from the days of the expulsion of the Shepherds and founding of the Monarchy, downwards to the conquest of Egypt by Cambyses: for Sesostris Reigned in the Age of the Gods of Egypt, being Deified by the names of Osiris, Hercules and Bacchus, as above; and therefore Menes, Nitocris, and Mœris are to be placed after him; Menes and his son Ramesses Reigned next after the Gods, and therefore Nitocris and Mœris Reigned after Ramesses: Mœris is set down immediately before Cheops, three times in the Dynastys of the Kings of Egypt composed by Eratosthenes, and once in the Dynasties of Manetho; and in the same Dynasties Nitocris is set after the builders of the three great Pyramids, and according to Herodotus her <246> brother Reigned before her, and was slain, and she revenged his death; and according to Syncellus she built the third great Pyramid; and the builders of the Pyramids Reigned at Memphis, and by consequence after Mœris. Now from these things I gather that the Kings of Egypt mentioned by Herodotus ought to be placed in this order; Sesostris, Pheron, Proteus, Menes, Rhampsinitus, Mœris, Cheops, Cephren, Mycerinus, Nitocris, Asychis, Anysis, Sabacon, Anysis again, Sethon, twelve contemporary Kings, Psammitichus, Nechus, Psammis, Apries, Amasis, Psammenitus.

Pheron is by Herodotus said to be the son and successor of Sesostris. He was Deified by the name of Orus.

Proteus Reigned in the lower Egypt when Paris sailed thither; that is at the end of the Trojan war, according to [98] Herodotus: and at that time Amenophis was King of Egypt and Ethiopia: but in his absence Proteus might be governor of some part of the lower Egypt under him; for Homer places Proteus upon the sea-coasts, and makes him a sea God, and calls him the servant of Neptune; and Herodotus saith that he rose up from among the common people, and that Proteus was his name translated into Greek, and this name in Greek signifies only <247> a Prince or President. He succeeded Pheron, and was succeeded by Rhampsinitus according to Herodotus; and so was contemporary to Amenophis.

Amenophis Reigned next after Orus and Isis the last of the Gods; he Reigned at first over all Egypt, and then over Memphis and the upper parts of Egypt; and by conquering Osarsiphus, who had revolted from him, became King of all Egypt again, about 51 years after the death of Solomon. He built Memphis and ordered the worship of the Gods of Egypt, and built a Palace at Abydus, and the Memnonia at This and Susa, and the magnificent Temple of Vulcan in Memphis; the building with square stones being found out before by Tosorthrus, the Æsculapius of Egypt: he is by corruption of his name called Menes, Mines, Minæus, Mineus, Minies, Mnevis, Enephes, Venephes, Phamenophis, Osymanthyas, Osimandes, Ismandes, Imandes, Memnon, Arminon.

Amenophis was succeeded by his son, called by Herodotus, Rhampsinitus, and by others Ramses, Ramises, Rameses, Ramesses, [99] Ramestes, Rhampses, Remphis. Upon an Obelisk erected by this King in Heliopolis, and sent to Rome by the Emperor Constantius, was an inscription, interpreted by Hermapion an Egyptian Priest, expressing that the King was long lived, and Reigned over a great part of the earth: and Strabo, [100] an eye-wit <248> ness, tells us, that in the monuments of the Kings of Egypt, above the Memnonium were inscriptions upon Obelisks, expressing the riches of the Kings, and their Reigning as far as Scythia, Bactria, India and Ionia: and Tacitus [101] tells us from an inscription seen at Thebes by Cæsar Germanicus, and interpreted to him by the Egyptian Priests, that this King Ramesses had an army of 700000 men, and Reigned over Libya, Ethiopia, Media, Persia, Bactria, Scythia, Armenia, Cappadocia, Bithynia, and Lycia; whence the Monarchy of Assyria was not yet risen. This King was very covetous, and a great collector of taxes, and one of the richest of all the Kings of Egypt, and built the western portico of the Temple of Vulcan.

Mœris inheriting the riches of Ramesses, built the northern portico of that Temple more sumptuously, and made the Lake of Mœris, with two great Pyramids of brick in the midst of it: and for preserving the division of Egypt into equal shares amongst the soldiers, this King wrote a book of surveying, which gave a beginning to Geometry. He is called also Maris, Myris, Meres, Marres, Smarres; and more corruptly, by changing Μ into Α, Τ, Β, Σ, ΥΧ, Λ, &c. Ayres, Tyris, Byires, Soris, Uchoreus, Lachares, Labaris, &c.


Diodorus [102] places Uchoreus between Osymanduas and Myris, that is between Amenophis and ris, and saith that he built Memphis, and fortified it to admiration with a mighty rampart of earth, and a broad and deep trench, which was filled with the water of the Nile, and made there a vast and deep Lake for receiving the water of the Nile in the time of its overflowing, and built palaces in the city; and that this place was so commodiously seated that most of the Kings who Reigned after him preferred it before Thebes, and removed the Court from thence to this place, so that the magnificence of Thebes from that time began to decrease, and that of Memphis to increase, 'till Alexander King of Macedon built Alexandria. These great works of Uchoreus and those of Mœris favour of one and the same genius, and were certainly done by one and the same King, distinguished into two by a corruption of the name as above; for this Lake of Uchoreus was certainly the same with that of Mœris.

After the example of the two brick Pyramids made by Mœris, the three next Kings, Cheops, Cephren and Mycerinus built the three great Pyramids at Memphis; and therefore Reigned in that city. Cheops shut up the Temples of the Nomes, and prohibited the worship of the Gods <250> of Egypt, designing no doubt to have been worshipped himself after death: he is called also Chembis, Chemmis, Chemnis, Phiops, Apathus, Apappus, Suphis, Saophis, Syphoas, Syphaosis, Soiphis, Syphuris, Anoiphis, Anoisis: he built the biggest of the three great Pyramids which stand together; and his brother Cephren or Cerpheres built the second, and his son Mycerinus founded the third: this last King was celebrated for clemency and justice; he shut up the dead body of his daughter in a hollow ox, and caused her to be worshipped daily with odours: he is called also Cheres, Cherinus, Bicheres, Moscheres, Mencheres. He died before the third Pyramid was finished, and his sister and successor Nitocris finished it.

Then Reigned Asychis, who built the eastern portico of the Temple of Vulcan very splendidly, and among the small Pyramids a large Pyramid of brick, made of mud dug out of the Lake of Mœris: and these are the Kings who Reigned at Memphis, and spent their time in adorning that city, until the Ethiopians and the Assyrians and others revolted, and Egypt lost all her dominion abroad, and became again divided into several small Kingdoms.

One of those Kingdoms was I think at Memphis, under Gnephactus, and his son and successor <251> Bocchoris. Africanus calls Bocchoris a Saite; but Sais at this time had other Kings: Gnephactus, otherwise called Neochabis and Technatis, cursed Menes for his luxury, and caused the curse to be entered in the Temple of Jupiter at Thebes; and therefore Reigned over Thebais: and Bocchoris sent in a wild bull upon the God Mnevis which was worshipped at Heliopolis. Another of those Kingdoms was at Anysis, or Hanes, Isa. xxx. 4. under its King Anysis or Amosis; a third was at Sais, under Stephanathis, Nechepsos, and Nechus; and a fourth was at Tanis or Zoan, under Petubastes, Osorchon and Psammis: and Egypt being weakened by this division, was invaded and conquered by the Ethiopians under Sabacon, who slew Bocchoris and Nechus, and made Anysis fly. The Olympiads began in the Reign of Petubastes, and the Æra of Nabonassar in the 22d year of the Reign of Bocchoris, according to Africanus; and therefore the division of Egypt into many Kingdoms began before the Olympiads, but not above the length of two Kings Reigns before them.

After the study of Astronomy was set on foot for the use of navigation, and the Egyptians by the Heliacal Risings and Settings of the Stars had determined the length of the Solar year of 365 days, and by other observations had fixed <252> the Solstices, and formed the fixt Stars into Asterisms, all which was done in the Reign of Ammon, Sesac, Orus, and Memnon; it may be presumed that they continued to observe the motions of the Planets; for they called them after the names of their Gods; and Nechepsos or Nicepsos King of Sais, by the assistance of Petosiris a Priest of Egypt, invented Astrology, grounding it upon the aspects of the Planets, and the qualities of the men and women to whom they were dedicated: and in the beginning of the Reign of Nabonassar King of Babylon, about which time the Ethiopians under Sabacon invaded Egypt, those Egyptians who fled from him to Babylon, carried thither the Egyptian year of 365 days, and the study of Astronomy and Astrology, and founded the Æra of Nabonassar; dating it from the first year of that King's Reign, which was the 22d year of Bocchoris as above, and beginning the year on the same day with the Egyptians for the sake of their calculations. So Diodorus [103]: they say that the Chaldæans in Babylon, being Colonies of the Egyptians, became famous for Astrology, having learnt it from the Priests of Egypt: and Hestiæus, who wrote an history of Egypt, speaking of a disaster of the invaded Egyptians, saith [104] that the Priests who survived this disaster, <253> taking with them the Sacra of Jupiter Enyalius, came to Sennaar in Babylonia. From the 15th year of Asa, in which Zerah was beaten, and Menes or Amenophis began his Reign, to the beginning of the Æra of Nabonassar, were 200 years; and this interval of time allows room for about nine or ten Reigns of Kings, at about twenty years to a Reign one with another; and so many Reigns there were, according to the account set down above out of Herodotus; and therefore that account, as it is the oldest, and was received by Herodotus from the Priests of Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis, three principal cities of Egypt, agrees also with the course of nature, and leaves no room for the Reigns of the many nameless Kings which we have omitted. These omitted Kings Reigned before Mœris, and by consequence at Thebes; for Mœris translated the seat of the Empire from Thebes to Memphis: they Reigned after Ramesses; for Ramesses was the son and successor of Menes, who Reigned next after the Gods. Now Menes built the body of the Temple of Vulcan, Ramesses the first portico, and Mœris the second portico thereof; but the Egyptians, for making their Gods and Kingdom look ancient, have inserted between the builders of the first and second portico of this Temple, three hundred and thirty Kings of <254> Thebes, and supposed that these Kings Reigned eleven thousand years; as if any Temple could stand so long. This being a manifest fiction, we have corrected it, by omitting those interposed Kings, who did nothing, and placing Mœris the builder of the second portico, next after Ramesses the builder of the first.

In the Dynasties of Manetho; Sevechus is made the successor of Sabacon, being his son; and perhaps he is the Sethon of Herodotus, who became Priest of Vulcan, and neglected military discipline: for Sabacon is that So or Sua with whom Hoshea King of Israel conspired against the Assyrians, in the fourth year of Hezekiah, Anno Nabonass. 24. Herodotus tells us twice or thrice, that Sabacon after a long Reign of fifty years relinquished Egypt voluntarily, and that Anysis who fled from him, returned and Reigned again in the lower Egypt after him, or rather with him: and that Sethon Reigned after Sabacon, and went to Pelusium against the army of Sennacherib, and was relieved with a great multitude of mice, which eat the bow-strings of the Assyrians; in memory of which the statue of Sethon, seen by Herodotus, [105] was made with a Mouse in its hand. A Mouse was the Egyptian symbol of destruction, and the Mouse in the hand of Sethon signifies only that he overcame <255> the Assyrians with a great destruction. The Scriptures inform us, that when Sennacherib invaded Judæa and besieged Lachish and Libnah, which was in the 14th year of Hezekiah, Anno Nabonass. 34. the King of Judah trusted upon Pharaoh King of Egypt, that is upon Sethon, and that Tirhakah King of Ethiopia came out also to fight against Sennacherib, 2 King. xviii. 21. & xix. 9. which makes it probable, that when Sennacherib heard of the Kings of Egypt and Ethiopia coming against him, he went from Libnah towards Pelusium to oppose them, and was there surprized and set upon in the night by them both, and routed with as great a slaughter as if the bow-strings of the Assyrians had been eaten by mice. Some think that the Assyrians were smitten by lightning, or by a fiery wind which sometimes comes from the southern parts of Chaldæa. After this victory Tirhakah succeeding Sethon, carried his arms westward through Libya and Afric to the mouth of the Straits: but Herodotus tells us, that the Priests of Egypt reckoned Sethon the last King of Egypt, who Reigned before the division of Egypt into twelve contemporary Kingdoms, and by consequence before the invasion of Egypt by the Assyrians.


For Asserhadon King of Assyria, in the 68th year of Nabonassar, after he had Reigned about thirty years over Assyria, invaded the Kingdom of Babylon, and then carried into captivity many people from Babylon, and Cuthah, and Ava, and Hamath, and Sepharvaim, placing them in the Regions of Samaria and Damascus: and from thence they carried into Babylonia and Assyria the remainder of the people of Israel and Syria, which had been left there by Tiglath-pileser. This captivity was 65 years after the first year of Ahaz, Isa. vii. 1, 8. & 2. King. xv. 37. & xvi. 5. and by consequence in the twentieth year of Manasseh, Anno Nabonass. 69. and then Tartan was sent by Asserhadon with an army against Ashdod or Azoth, a town at that time subject to Judæa, 2 Chron. xxvi. 6. and took it, Isa. xx. 1: and this post being secured, the Assyrians beat the Jews, and captivated Manasseh, and subdued Judæa: and in these wars, Isaiah was saw'd asunder by the command of Manasseh, for prophesying against him. Then the Assyrians invaded and subdued Egypt and Ethiopia, and carried the Egyptians and Ethiopians into captivity, and thereby put an end to the Reign of the Ethiopians over Egypt, Isa. vii. 18. & viii. 7. & x. 11, 12, & <257> xix. 23. & xx. 4. In this war the city No-Ammon or Thebes, which had hitherto continued in a flourishing condition, was miserably wasted and led into captivity, as is described by Nahum, chap. iii. ver. 8, 9, 10; for Nahum wrote after the last invasion of Judæa by the Assyrians, chap. i. ver. 15; and therefore describes this captivity as fresh in memory: and this and other following invasions of Egypt under Nebuchadnezzar and Cambyses, put an end to the glory of that city. Asserhadon Reigned over the Egyptians and Ethiopians three years, Isa. xx. 3, 4. that is until his death, which was in the year of Nabonassar 81, and therefore invaded Egypt, and put an end to the Reign of the Ethiopians over the Egyptians, in the year of Nabonassar 78; so that the Ethiopians under Sabacon, and his successors Sethon and Tirhakah, Reigned over Egypt about 80 years: Herodotus allots 50 years to Sabacon, and Africanus fourteen years to Sethon, and eighteen to Tirhakah.

The division of Egypt into more Kingdoms than one, both before and after the Reign of the Ethiopians, and the conquest of the Egyptians by Asserhadon, the prophet Isaiah [106] seems to allude unto in these words: I will set, saith <258> he, the Egyptians against the Egyptians, and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour, city against city, and Kingdom against Kingdom, and the Spirit of Egypt shall fail.-- And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel Lord [viz. Asserhadon] and a fierce King shall Reign over them.-- Surely the Princes of Zoan [Tanis] are fools, the counsel of the wise Councellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how long say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the ancient Kings.-- The Princes of Zoan are be come fools: the Princes of Noph [Memphis] are deceived,-- even they that were the stay of the tribes thereof.-- In that day there shall be a high-way out of Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve the Assyrians.

After the death of Asserhadon, Egypt remained subject to twelve contemporary Kings, who revolted from the Assyrians, and Reigned together fifteen years; including I think the three years of Asserhadon, because the Egyptians do not reckon him among their Kings. They [107] built the Labyrinth adjoining to the Lake of Mœris, which was a very magnificent structure, with twelve Halls in it, for their Palaces: and then Psammitichus, who was one of the twelve, conquered all the rest. He built the <259> last Portico of the Temple of Vulcan, founded by Menes about 260 years before, and Reigned 54 years, including the fifteen years of his Reign with the twelve Kings. Then Reigned Nechaoh or Nechus, 17 years; Psammis six years; Vaphres, Apries, Eraphius, or Hophra, 25 years; Amasis 44 years; and Psammenitus six months, according to Herodotus. Egypt was subdued by Nebuchadnezzar in the last year but one of Hophra, Anno Nabonass. 178, and remained in subjection to Babylon forty years, Jer. xliv. 30. & Ezek. xxix. 12, 13, 14, 17, 19. that is, almost all the Reign of Amasis, a plebeian set over Egypt by the conqueror: the forty years ended with the death of Cyrus; for he Reigned over Egypt and Ethiopia, according to Xenophon. At that time therefore those nations recovered their liberty; but after four or five years more they were invaded and conquered by Cambyses, Anno Nabonass. 223 or 224, and have almost ever since remained in servitude, as was predicted by the Prophets.

The Reigns of Psammitichus, Nechus, Psammis, Apries, Amasis, and Psammenitus, set down by Herodotus, amount unto 14612 years: and so many years there were from the 78th year of Nabonassar, in which the dominion of the Ethi <260> opians over Egypt came to an end, unto the 224th year of Nabonassar, in which Cambyses invaded Egypt, and put an end to that Kingdom: which is an argument that Herodotus was circumspect and faithful in his narrations, and has given us a good account of the antiquities of Egypt, so far as the Priests of Egypt at Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis, and the Carians and Ionians inhabiting Egypt, were then able to inform him: for he consulted them all; and the Cares and Ionians had been in Egypt from the time of the Reign of the twelve contemporary Kings.

Pliny [108] tells us, that the Egyptian Obelisks were of a sort of stone dug near Syene in Thebais, and that the first Obelisk was made by Mitres, who Reigned in Heliopolis; that is, by Mephres the predecessor of Misphragmuthosis; and that afterwards other Kings made others: Sochis, that is Sesochis, or Sesac, four, each of 48 cubits in length; Ramises, that is Ramesses, two; Smarres, that is Mœris, one of 48 cubits in length; Eraphius, or Hophra, one of 48; and Nectabis, or Nectenabis, one of 80. Mephres therefore extended his dominion over all the upper Egypt, from Syene to Heliopolis, and after him, Misphragmuthosis and Amosis, Reigned <261> Ammon and Sesac, who erected the first great Empire in the world: and these four, Amosis, Ammon, Sesac, and Orus, Reigned in the four ages of the great Gods of Egypt; and Amenophis was the Menes who Reigned next after them: he was succeeded by Ramesses, and ris, and some time after by Hophra.

Diodorus [109] recites the same Kings of Egypt with Herodotus, but in a more confused order, and repeats some of them twice, or oftener, under various names, and omits others: his Kings are these; Jupiter Ammon and Juno, Osiris and Isis, Horus, Menes, Busiris I, Busiris II, Osymanduas, Uchoreus, Myris, Sesoosis I, Sesoosis II, Amasis, Actisanes, Mendes or Marrus, Proteus, Remphis, Chembis, Cephren, Mycerinus or Cherinus, Gnephacthus, Bocchoris, Sabacon, twelve contemporary Kings, Psammitichus, * * Apries, Amasis. Here I take Sesoosis I, and Sesoosis II, Busiris I, and Busiris II, to be the same Kings with Osiris and Orus: also Osymanduas to be the same with Amenophis or Menes: also Amasis, and Actisanes, an Ethiopian who conquered him, to be the same with Anysis and Sabacon in Herodotus: and Uchoreus, Mendes, Marrus, and Myris, to be only several names of one and the same King. Whence the <262> catalogue of Diodorus will be reduced to this: Jupiter Ammon and Juno; Osiris, Busiris or Sesoosis, and Isis; Horus, Busiris II, or Sesoosis II; Menes, or Osymanduas; Proteus; Remphis or Ramesses; Uchoreus, Mendes, Marrus, or Myris; Chembis or Cheops; Cephren; Mycerinus; * * Gnephacthus; Bocchoris; Amasis, or Anysis; Actisanes, or Sabacon; * twelve contemporary Kings; Psammitichus; * * Apries; Amasis: to which, if in their proper places you add Nitocris, Asychis, Sethon, Nechus, and Psammis, you will have the catalogue of Herodotus.

The Dynasties of Manetho and Eratosthenes seem to be filled with many such names of Kings as Herodotus omitted: when it shall be made appear that any of them Reigned in Egypt after the expulsion of the Shepherds, and were different from the Kings described above, they may be inserted in their proper places.

Egypt was conquered by the Ethiopians under Sabacon, about the beginning of the Æra of Nabonassar, or perhaps three or four years before, that is, about three hundred years before Herodotus wrote his history; and about eighty years after that conquest, it was conquered again by the Assyrians under Asserhadon: and <263> the history of Egypt set down by Herodotus from the time of this last conquest, is right both as to the number, and order, and names of the Kings, and as to the length of their Reigns: and therein he is now followed by historians, being the only author who hath given us so good a history of Egypt, for that interval of time. If his history of the earlier times be less accurate, it was because the archives of Egypt had suffered much during the Reign of the Ethiopians and Assyrians: and it is not likely that the Priests of Egypt, who lived two or three hundred years after the days of Herodotus, could mend the matter: on the contrary, after Cambyses had carried away the records of Egypt, the Priests were daily feigning new Kings, to make their Gods and nation look ancient; as is manifest by comparing Herodotus with Diodorus Siculus, and both of them with what Plato relates out of the Poem of Solon: which Poem makes the wars of the great Gods of Egypt against the Greeks, to have been in the days of Cecrops, Erechtheus and Erichthonius, and a little before those of Theseus; these Gods at that time instituting Temples and Sacred Rites to themselves. I have therefore chosen to rely up <264> on the stories related to Herodotus by the Priests of Egypt in those days, and corrected by the Poem of Solon, so as to make these Gods of Egypt no older than Cecrops and Erechtheus, and their successor Menes no older than Theseus and Memnon, and the Temple of Vulcan not above 280 years in building: rather than to correct Herodotus by Manetho, Eratosthenes, Diodorus, and others, who lived after the Priests of Egypt had corrupted their Antiquities much more than they had done in the days of Herodotus.

[1] Vide Hermippum apud Athenæum, l. I.

[2] Argonaut. l. 4. v. 272.

[3] Diodor. l. 1. p. 7.

[4] Apud Diodorum l. 3. p. 140.

[5] Diodor. l. 3. p. 131. 132.

[6] Pausan. l. 2. c. 20. p. 155.

[7] Diodor. l. 3. p. 130 & Schol. Apollonii. l. 2.

[8] Ammian: l. 22. c. 8.

[9] Justin. l. 2. c. 4.

[10] Diodor. l. 1. p. 9.

[11] Apud Diodor. l. 3. p. 141.

[12] Step. in Ἀμμώνια.

[13] Plin. l. 6. c. 28.

[14] Ptol. l. 6. c. 7.

[15] D. Augustin. in exposit. epist. ad Rom. sub initio.

[16] Procop. de bello Vandal. l. 2. c. 10.

[17] Chron. l. 1. p. 11.

[18] Gemar. ad tit. Shebijth. cap. 6.

[19] Manetho apud Josephum cont. Appion. l. 1. p. 1039.

[20] Herod. l. 2.

[21] Jerem. xliv. 1. Ezek. xxix. 14.

[22] Manetho apud Porphyrium περὶ ἁποχης l. 1. sect. 55. Et. Euseb. Prep. l. 4. c. 16. p. 155.

[23] Diodor. l. 3. p. 101.

[24] Diodor. apud Photium in Biblioth.

[25] Herod. l. 2.

[26] Plutarch. de Iside. p. 355. Diodor. l. 1. p. 9.

[27] Augustin. de Civ. Dei. l. 18. c. 47.

[28] Apud Photium, c. 279.

[29] Fab. 274.

[30] Apud Euseb. Chron.

[31] Plin. l. 6. c. 23, 28. & l. 7. c. 56.

[32] Diodor. l. 1. p. 17.

[33] Pausan. l. 4. c. 23.

[34] Apollodor. l. 2. c. 1.

[35] Dionys. in Perie. v. 623.

[36] Fab. 275.

[37] Saturnal. l. 5. c. 21.

[38] Lucan. l. 10.

[39] Lucan. l. 9.

[40] Herod. l. 1.

[41] Diodor. l. 1. p. 35. Herod. l. 2 c. 102, 103, 106.

[42] Pausan. l. 10. Suidas in Παρνάσιοι.

[43] Lucan l. 5.

[44] Argonaut. l. 4. v. 272.

[45] Herod. l. 2. c. 109.

[46] In vita Pythag. c. 29.

[47] Diodor. l. 1. p. 36

[48] Dionys. de situ Orbis.

[49] Diodor. l. 1. p. 39.

[50] Plutarch. de Iside & Osiride.

[51] Diodor. l. 1. p. 8.

[52] Lucian. de Dea Syria

[53] Exod. xxxiv. 13. Num. xxxiii. 52. Deut. vii. 5. & xii. 3.

[54] 2 Sam. viii. 10. & 1 King. xi. 23.

[55] Antiq l. 9. c. 2.

[56] Justin. l. 36.

[57] Diodor. l. 5. p. 238.

[58] Suidas in Σαρδαναπάλος.

[59] Apollod. l. 3.

[60] Argonaut. l. 4. v. 424. & l. 1. v. 621.

[61] Homer Odyss. Θ. v. 268. 292. & Hymn. 1. & 2. in Venerem. & Hesiod. Theogon. v. 192.

[62] Pausan. l. 1. c. 20.

[63] Clem. Al. Admon. ad Gent. p. 10. Apollodor. l. 3. c. 13. Pindar. Pyth. Ode 2. Hesych. in Κινυράδαι. Steph. in Αμαθους. Strabo. l. 16. p. 755.

[64] Clem. Al. Admon. ad Gent. p. 21. Plin. l. 7. c. 56.

[65] Herod. l. 2.

[66] Herod. l. 3. c. 37.

[67] Bochart. Canaan. l. 1. c. 4.

[68] Apud Athenæum l. 9. p. 392.

[69] Ptol. l. 2.

[70] Diod. l. 3. p. 145.

[71] Vas. Chron. Hisp. c. 10.

[72] Strabo l. 16. p. 776.

[73] Homer.

[74] Diodor. l. 3. p.132, 133

[75] Plato in Timæo. & Critia.

[76] Apud Diodor. l. 5. p. 233.

[77] Pamphus apud Pausan. l. 7. c. 21.

[78] Herod. l. 2. c. 50.

[79] Plutarch in Iside.

[80] Lucian de Saltatione.

[81] Agatharc. apud Photium.

[82] Hygin. Fab. 150.

[83] Plutarch. in Iside.

[84] Diodor. l. 1. p. 10.

[85] Pindar. Pyth. Ode 9.

[86] Diodor. l. 1. p. 12.

[87] Plin. l. 6. c. 29.

[88] Herod. l. 2. c. 110.

[89] Manetho apud Josephum cont. Apion. p. 1052, 1053.

[90] Diodor. l. 1. p. 31.

[91] Herod. l. 2.

[92] Strabo. l. 1. p. 48.

[93] Pindar. Pyth. Ode 4.

[94] Strabo. l. 1. p. 21, 45, 46.

[95] Diodor. l. 1. p. 29.

[96] Manetho

[97] Herod. l. 2

[98] Herod. l. 2.

[99] Ammian. l. 17. c. 4.

[100] Strabo. l. 17. p. 817.

[101] Annal. l. 2. c. 60.

[102] Diodor. l. 1. p. 32.

[103] Diodor. l. 1. p. 51.

[104] Joseph. Ant. l. 1. c. 4.

[105] Heordot. l. 2. c. 141.

[106] Isa. xix. 2, 4, 11, 13, 23.

[107] Herod. l. 2. c. 148, &c.

[108] Plin. l. 36. c. 8. 9.

[109] Diodor. l. 1 p. 29, &c.

© 2021 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC