صور الصفحة
PDF

is still called Marttimo. 2. The southernmost and nearest to Lilybaeum, is called, both by Ptolemy and Pliny, Akgusa (Aryowa); bnt the latter erroneously confounds it with Aethusa. It is the largest of the three, on which account its name was sometimes extended to the whole group (ai Koaovucwu Aiyovo-ai, Pol. i. 44); it is now called Favignana, and has a considerable population. 8. The northernmost and smallest of the group, nearly opposite to Drepanum, is called by Ptolemy Phorbantia (bopStunla), but is probably the same with the Bucixna of Pliny, a name erroneously supposed by Steph. B. (s. v. Bofatwci) to be that of a city of Siciiy. It is now called Levanzo. (Ptol. iii. 4. § 17 Plin. iii.8.s. 14; Smyth's Sicilg, pp.244—247.)

These islands derive an historical celebrity from the great naval victory obtained by G. Lutatius Catulus over the Carthaginians in B. c. 241, which put an end to the First Punic War. Hanno, the Carthaginian admiral, had previous to the battle taken up his station at the island of Hiera, and endeavoured to take advantage of a fair wind to run straight in to Drepanum, in order to relieve the army of Hamilcar Barca, then blockaded on Mount Eryx; but he was intercepted by Catulus, and compelled to engage on disadvantageous terms. The consequence was the complete defeat of the Carthaginian fleet, of which 50 ships were sunk, and 70 taken by the enemy, with nearly 10,000 prisoners. (Pol. L 60, 61; Diod. xxiv. Exc. H. p. 509; Liv. Epit. xix.; Oros.iv. 10; Flor. ii. 1; Eutrop. ii. 27; Corn. Nep. Hamilc. 1; Mela, ii. 7; SiL ltd. i. 61.)

The island of Aegusa has been supposed by many writers to be the one described by Homer in the Odyssey (ix. 116) as lying opposite to the land of the Cyclopes, and abounding in wild goats. But all such attempts to identify the localities described in the wanderings of Ulysses may be safely dismissed as untenable. '[E. H. B.]

AEGEIKA (Aiyupa: Eth. Ahyapirns, fern. Alyttparis), a town of Achaia, and one of the 12 Achaean cities, situated between Aegae and Pellene, is described by Polybius as opposite Mount Parnassus, situated upon hills strong and difficult of approach, seven stadia from the sea, and near a river. This river was probably the Crius, which flowed into the sea, a little to the W. of the town. According to Pausanias the upper city was 12 stadia from its port, and 72 stadia from the oracle of Heracles Buraicus. (Herod, i. 146; Strab. viii. p. 386; Pol. ii. 41, iv. 57; Pans. vii. 26. § 1; Plin. iv. 6.) Pausanias (/. c.) relates that Aegeira occupied the site of the Homeric Hypkbesia ('Tntpnirtn, JIM. 573, xv. 254; Strab. p.383: Eth.'titepriaitvs), and that it changed its name during the occupation of the country by the Ionians. He adds that the ancient name still continued in use. Hence we find that Icarus of Hyperesia was proclaimed victor in the 23rd Olympiad. (Paus. iv. 15. § 1.) On the decay of the neighbouring town of Aegae its inhabitants were transferred to Aegeira. (Strab. p. 386.) In the first year of the Social war (b. c. 220) Aegeira was surprised by a party of Aetolians, who had set sail from the opposite town of Oeantheia in Locris, but were driven out by the Aegiratans after they had obtained possession of the place. (Pol. iv. 57, 58.) The most important of the public buildings of Aegeira was a temple of Zens. It also contained a very ancient temple of Apollo, and temples of Artemis, of Aphrodite Urania, who was worshipped in the town above all other divinities, and of the

Syrian goddess. (Paus. vii.26.) The port of Aegeira Leake places at Mavra Litharia, i. e., the Black Bocks, to the left of which, on the summit of a hill, are some vestiges of an ancient city, which must have been Aegeira. At the distance of 40 stadia from Aegeira, through the mountains, there was a fortress called Phelloe (*fAAd,7), near ZaUiuli), abounding in springs of water. (Paus. vii. 26. § 10; Leake, Morea, vol. iii. p. 387, seq.)

AEGEIBUS. [aegiboessa.]

AEGIAE or AEGAEAE (Aryfu, Paus. iii. 21. § 5 ; Alycuai, Strab. p. 364: Limni), a town of Laconia, at the distance of 30 stadia from Gythinm, supposed to be the same as the Homeric Augeiae. (Airytiol, II. ii. 583; comp. Steph. B. ».c.) It possessed a temple and lake of Neptune. Its site is placed by the French Commission at Limni, so called from an extensive marsh in the valley of the eastern branch of the river of Pasauvd. (Leake, Peloponnetiaca, p. 170.)

AEGIALEIA, AEGIALUS. [achaia.]

AE'GIDA, a town of Istria, mentioned only by Pliny iii. 19. s. 23), which appears to have been in his time a place of little importance; but from an inscription cited by Cluverius (Ital. p. 210) it appears that it was restored by the emperor Justin II. who bestowed on it the name of Jus-nNopolis. This inscription is preserved at Capo <TIstria, now a considerable town, sitnated on a small island joined to the mainland by a causeway which appears to have been termed Aeoidis InSula, and was probably the site of the Aegida at Pliny. "[E. H. B.]

AE'GILA (jh A1yi\a), a town of Laconia with a temple of Demeter, of uncertain site, but placed by Leake on the gulf of Skutdri. (Paus. iv. 17. § 1; Leake, Morea, vol. i. p. 278.)

AEGI'LIA (Ai'7iA?«). 1. Or Aegilus (^ AT71A05, Theocr. L 147: Eth. AryiAisifj), a demus in Attica belonging to the tribe Antiochis, situated on the western coast between Lamptra and Sphettus. It was celebrated for its figs. (AiyiAtStr lo^di'*, Athen. p. 652, e.; Theocr. £ c.) It is placed by Leake at Tzure'la, the site of a ruined village on the shore, at the foot of Mt. Elymbo. (Strab. p. 398: Harpocrat., Steph. B. «. v. ; Leake, Demi, p. 61.)

2. Or Aegileia (Aryi'Aeia), a small island off the western coast of Euboea, and near the town of Styra, to which it belonged. Here the Persians left the captive Eretrians, before they crossed over to Marathon, B. c. 490'. (Herod, vi. 101, 107.)

3. Or Aegila ( fyiAa: Cerigotto), a small island between Cythera and Crete. (Plut. CUom, 31; Steph. B. t.v.; Plin. iv. 12. s. 19.)

AEGILIPS. [ithaca.]

AEGIMU'RUS (Arylpopot: Zowamour or Zembra), a lofty island, surrounded by dangerous cliffs, off the coast of Africa, at the mouth of the gulph of Carthage. (Liv. xxx. 24; Strab. pp. 123, 277, 834.) Pliny calls it Aegimori Arae (v. 7); and there is no doubt that it is the same as the Arae of Virgil (Aen. i. 108). [P. S.]

AEGI'NA (AFyiva: Eth. Alytrirnis, Aegineta, Aeginensis, fem. Aiyivrrrn: Adj. Alyivahs, AlyirvTikov, Aegineticus: Eghina^w island in the Saronic gnlf, surrounded by Attica, Mcgaris, and Epidaurus, from each of which it was distant about 100 stadia. (Strab. p. 375) It contains about 41 square EnglUh miles, and is said by Strabo (i. c.) to be 180 stadia in circumference. In shape it is an irregular triangle. Its western half consists of a plain, which, though (tony, is well cultivated with com, but the remainder rf the island is mountainous and unproductive. A magnificent conical hill now called Mt. St. Eliot, or Om (Sp»s, L e. the mountain), occupies the whole of the southern part of the island, and is the most remarkable among the natural features of Aegina. There is another mountain, much inferior in size, on the north-eastern side. It is surrounded by numerous rocks and shallows, which render it difficult and hazardous of approach, as Pausaiuas (ii. 29. § 6) has correctly observed.

Notwithstanding its small extent Aegina was one ef the most celebrated islands in Greece, both in the mythical and historical period. It is said to have been originally called Oenone or Oenopia, and to have received the name of Aegina from Aegina, the daughter of the river-god Asopua, who was carried to the island by Zeus, and there bore him a son Aeacns. It was further related that at this time Aegina was uninhabited, and that Zeus changed the ants (nvp#r*wr) of the island into men, the Myrmidones, over whum Aeacns ruled (Paus.ii. 29. §2.; Apollod.iii. 12. § 6; Of. Met vii. 472, seq.) Some modem writers suppose that this legend contains a mythical account of the colonization of the island, and that the latter received colonists from Phlius on the Asopus and from Phthia in Thessaly, the seat of the Myrmidons. Aeacos was regarded as the tutelary deity of Aegina, but bis sons abandoned the island, Telamon going to Salamis, and Peleus to Phthia. All that we can saf-iy infer from these legends is that the original inhabitants of Aegina were Achaeans. It was afterwards taken possession of by Dorians from Epidaurus, who introduced into the island the Doric customs and dialect. (Herod, viii. 46; Pans. ii. 29. § 5.) Together with Epidaurus and other cities on the mainland it became subject to Pheidon, tyrant of Argos, about B. c 748. It is usually stated on the authority of Ephorus (Strab. p. 376), that silver money was first coined in Aegina by Pheidon, and we know that the name of Aeginetan was given to one ef the two scales of weights and measures current throughout Greece, the other being the Euboic. There seems, however, good reason for believing with Mr. Grote that what Pheidon did was done in Argos and nowhere else; and that the name of Aeginetan was given to his coinage and scale, not from the place where they first originated, but from the people whose commercial activity tended to make them most generally known. (Grote, Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 432.) At an early period Aegina became a place of great commercial importance, and gradually acquired a powerful navy. As early as B. C. 563, in the reign of Amasis, the Aeginetans established a looting for its merchants at Kaucratis in Egypt, and thereerectedatempleof Zeus. (Hercd.ii. 178.) With the increase of power came the desire of political independence; and they renounced the authority of the Epidaurians, to whom they had hitherto been subject. (Herod, v. 83.) So powerful did they become that about the year 500 they held the empire of the sea. According to the testimony of Aristotle (Athen. p. 272), the island contained 470,000 slaves; but this number is quite incredible, although we may admit that Aegina contained a great population. At the time of their prosperity the Aeginetans founded various colonies, such as Cydonia in Crete, and another in Umbria. (Strab. p. 376.) The government was in the hands of an aristocracy. Its citizens became wealthy by commerce, and gave great encouragement to the arts. In fact, for the half

century before the Persian wars and for a few years afterwards, Aegina was the chief seat of Greek art, and gave its name to a school, the most eminent artists of which were Callon, Anaxagoras, Glaucias, Simon, and Onatas, of whom an account is given in the Diet, of Biogr.

The Aeginetans were at the height of their power when the Thebans applied to them for aid in their war against the Athenians about B. c. 505. Their request was readily granted, since there had been an ancient feud between the Aeginetans and Athenians. The Aeginetans sent their powerful fleet to ravage the coast of Attica, and did great damage to the latter country, since the Athenians had not yet any fleet to resist them. This war was continued with some interruptions down to the invasion of Greece by Xerxes. (Herod, v.81, seq., vi. 86,seq.; Thnc.i.41.) The Aeginetans fought with 30 ships at the battle of Salamis (b. C. 480), and were admitted to have distinguished themselves above all the other Greeks by their bravery. (Herod, viii. 46, 93.) From this time their power declined. In 460 the Athenians defeated them in a great naval battle, and laid siege to their principal town, which after a long defence surrendered in 456. The Aeginetans now became a part of the Athenian empire, and were compelled to destroy their walls, deliver up their ships of war, and pay an annual tribute. (Thuc i. 105. 108.) This humiliation of their ancient enemies did not, however, satisfy the Athenians, who feared the proximity of such discontented subjects. Pericles was accustomed to call Aegina the eye-sore of the Peiraeus {yi Xiifxij Tov Tlapcutus, Arist. Jthet. iii. 10.; comp. Cic. de Off. iii. H)i and accordingly on the breaking out of the Peloponnesian war in 431, the Athenians expelled the whole population from the island, and filled their place with Athenian settlers. The expelled inhabitants were settled by the Lacedaemonians at Thyrea. They were subsequently collected by Lysander after the battle of Aegospotami (404), and restored to their own country, but they never recovered their former state of prosperity. (Thuc. ii. 27; Plut. Per. 34; Xen. Bell ii. 2. § 9; Strab. p. 375.) Sulpicius, in his celebrated letter to Cicero, enumerates Aegina among the examples of fallen greatness {ad Fam. iv. 5).

The chief town in the island was also called Aegina, and was situated on the north-western side. A description of the public buildings of the city is given by Pausanias (ii. 29, 30). Of these the most important was the Aeaceium (Ai'dxftov), or shrine of Aeacus, a quadrangular inclosure built of white marble, in the most conspicuous part of the city. There was a theatre near the shore as large as that of Epidaurus, behind it a stadium, and likewise numerous temples. The city contained two harbours: the principal one was near the temple of Aphrodite; the other, called the secret harbour, was near the theatre. The site of the ancient city is marked by numerous remains, though consisting for the most part only of foundations of walls and scattered blocks of stone. Near the shore are two Doric columns of the most elegant form. To the S. of these columns is an oval port, sheltered by two ancient moles, which leave only a narrow passage in the middle, between the remains of towers, which stood on either side of the entrance. In the same direction we find another oval port, twice as large as the former, the entrance of which is protected in the same manner by ancient walls or moles, 15 or 20 feet thick. The latter of these ports seems to have been the large harbour,

D

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

and there are casts from them in the British 3 The subject of the eastern pediment appears to be the expedition of the Aeacidae or Aeginetan heroes against Troy under the guidance of Athena: that of the western probably represents the contest of the Greeks and Trojans over the body of Patroclus. Till comparatively a late period it was considered that tins temple was that of Zeus Panhelleniue, which Aeacus was said to have dedicated to this god. (Pans. ii. 30. §§ 3, 4.) But in 1826 Stackelberg, in his work on the temple of Phigalia, started the hypothesis, that the temple, of which we have been speaking, was in reality the temple of Athena, mentioned by Herodotus (iii. 59); and that the temple of Zeus Panhellenius was situated on the lofty mountain in the S. of the island. (Stackelberg, JJer Apollotempel zu Bassae in Arcadien, Bom, 1S26.) This opinion has been adopted by several German writers and also by Dr. Wordsworth, but has been ably combated by Leake. It would require more space than our limits will allow to enter into this controversy; and wo must therefore content ourselves with referring our readers, who wish for information on the subject, to the works of Wordsworth and Leake quoted at the end of this article. This temple was probably erected in the sixth century B. C, and apparently before n. c 563, since we have already seen that about this time the Aeginetans built at Naucratis a temple to Zeus, which we may reasonably conclude was in imitation of the great temple in their own island.

[graphic][ocr errors][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][graphic]

COINS OF AEGIXA.

AEGFXirM (Aly'iviav: FAh. Atyivitvs, Aeginirasis: Stagus), a town of the Tymphaei in Thessaly, a? described by Livy as a place of great strength and nearly impregnable (Liv. xxxii. 15). It is frequently mentioned in the Roman wars in Greece. It was given up to plunder by L. Aemilius Paulus for having refused to open its gates after the battle of Pylna. It was here that Caesar in Ids march from Aphonia effected a junction with Domitius. It occupied the site of the modern StagtU, a town at a short distance from the Pencils. At this place Leake found an inscription, in which Aeginium is mentioned. Its situation, fortified on two sides by perpendicular rocks, accords with Livy's account of its position. (Strab. p. 327; Liv. xxxii. 15, xxxvi. 13, xliv. 46, xlv. 27; Caes. B. C. iii. 79; Leake, Korthem Greece, vol. i. p. 421, seq.) AEGIPLANCTUS. [megaris.] AEGIROESSA (AxVpoWa), a city which Herodotus (i. 149) enumerates among the 11 cities of Aeolis; but nothing is known of iU Forbiger conjectures that the historian may mean Aegeirus {Myftpo*}, in the island of Lesbos. [G. L.]

AEGISfeUS or AEGYPSUS (hXyiaw, Hierocl. p. 637; AfyffTos, Procop. 4, 7; Aegypsus, Ov.), a town in Moesia, near the mouth the Danube. It is mentioned by Ovid as having been taken from the king of Thrace, at that time under the protection of Rome, by a sudden incursion of the Getae, and recovered by Vitellius, who was in command of a Roman army in that quarter. Ovid celebrates the valour displayed by his friend Vestalis upon the occasion. (Ep. ex Ponto, i. 8. 13, iv.7.21.) [H.W.] AEGITHALLUS (A*V0aAAo!, Diod.; KiylthXot, Zonar.; Aly'iBapos, PtoL) a promontory on the W. coast of Sicily, near Lilybaeum, which was occupied and fortified by the Koman consul L. Junius daring the First Punic War (b. C. 249), with a riew to support the operations against Lilybaeum, but was recovered by the Carthaginian general Carthalo, and occupied with a strong garrison. Diulorus ttUs us it was called in his time Acellum, but it

is evidently the same with the AlytOapos &Kpa of Ptolemy, which he places between Drepannm and Lilybaeum; and is probably the headland now called Capo S. Teodoro, which is immediately opposite to the island of Bun-one. (Diod. xxiv. Exc. II. p. 50; Zonar. riiL 15: PtoL iii. 4. § 4; Cluver. SictL p. 248.) [E. H. B.]

AEGrilUM (Aryfrior), a town in Aetolia Epictetus, on the borders of Locris, situated in the midst of mountains, about 80 stadia from the sea. Here Demosthenes was defeated by the Aetolians, B.O. 426. Leake places it near Vamakora, where he found the remains of an ancient city. (Thuc. iii. 97; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 617.)

AE'GIUM (AFywr, KXyuov, Athen. p. 606: Eth. Alyitvi, Aegiensis: Vostitzd), a town of Achaia, and one of the 12 Achaean cities, was situated upon the coast W. of the river iSeliuus 30 stadia from Phypae, and 40 stadia from Heiice. It stood between two promontories in the comer of a bay, whuh formed the best harbour in Achaia next to that of Patrae. It is said to have been formed out of an union of 7 or 8 villages. It is mentioned in the Homeric catalogue; and, after the destruction of the neighbouring city of Heiice by an earthquake, in B. c. 373 [heucej, it obtained the territory of tho latter, and thus became the chief city of Achaia. From this time Aegium was chosen as the place of meeting for the League, and it retained this distinction, on the revival of the League, till Philopoenien carried a law that the meeting might be held in any of the towns of the confederacy. Even under the Soman empire the Achaeans were allowed to keep up the form of their periodical meetings at Aegium, just as the Ampliietyons were permitted to meet at Thermopylae and Delphi. (Paus. vii. 24. § 4.) The meetings were held in a grove near the sea, called Homagyrium or Jlomarium, sacred to Zeus Homagyrius or Homarius ('Ofiayvpiov, 'OpAptov; in Strab. pp. 385, 387, 'OuAptov should be read instead of 'Apvapiov and i Ivdpiov), Close to this grove was a temple of Demeter Panchaea. The words Homagyrium, "assembly," and Homarwm, 11 union," * have reference to those meetings, though in later times they were explained as indicating the spot where Agamemnon assembled the Grecian chieftains before the Trojan War. There were several other temples and public buildings at Aegium, of which an account is given by Pausanias. (Horn. //. ii. 574; Hennl. i. 145; Pol. ii. 41, v. 93; Strab. pp. 337, 385, seq.; Paus. vii. 23, 24; Liv. xxxviii. 30; Pun. iv. 6.) Vostitza, which occupies the site of the ancient Aegium, is a place of some importance. It derives its name from the gardens by which it is surrounded (from fJoVra, /wtovi, garden). It stands on a hill, terminating towards the sea in a cliff about 50 feet high. There is a remarkable opening in the cliff, originally perhaps artificial, which leads from the

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small]

town to the ordinary place of embarkation. A great part of the town was destroyed by an earthqu.-ike in 1819, of which an account is given under Heucb. The principal remains of the ancient town have been lately discovered on a hill to the E. of Vostitza. There are also several fragments of architecture and sculpture, inserted in the walls of the houses at Vostitza. (Leake, Morea, vol. iii. p. 185, scq.; Curtius, Peloponnesos, vol. i. p. 459, seq.)

AEGOSPOTAMI (Al-yoi norauol, Aegos flumen, Pomp. Mel. ii. 2; Plin. ii. 59: Eth. AlyoirwoTajilrns), L e. the Goat-River, a stream in the Chersouesus, with, at one time, a town of the same name upon it. It was here that the famous defeat of the Athenian fleet by Lysander took place, B. C. 405, which put a close to the Peloponnesian war. There seems, however, to have been no town there at this time, for it is mentioned as a great error on the part of the Athenian generals, that they remained at a station where they had no town at hand to supply a market for provisions. (Plut. Ale. 36; Diod. xiii. 105; Strab. p. 287; comp. Grote, Hitt. of Greece, vol. viii. p. 293.) In later times there must have been a town there, as the geographers especially mention it (Steph. Byz. t. t\), and there are coins of it extant, [II. W.]

[graphic][merged small]

AEGO'STHENA (t4 AlyoVfav: Eth. A170o-Dtci'TTji: Ghermano), a town in Megaris, on the Alcyonian or Corinthian gulf, at the foot of Mount Cithaeron, and on the borders of Boeotia. It possessed a temple of the seer Melampus. Between Aegosthena and Creusis, the port-town of Boeotia, there was no passage along the shore except a path on the mountain's side. The Lacedaemonians under Cleombrotus, in marching from Creusis to Aegosthena along this road in the winter of B. c. 379—378, were overtaken by a violent tempest ; and such was the force of the wind, that the shields of the soldiers were wrested from their hands, and many of the asses that carried the burthens were blown over the precipices into the sea. It was by this road that the Lacedaemonians retreated after their defeat at Leuctra in 371. There was a sweet wine grown at Aegosthena. (Paus. i. 44. § 4, seq.; Xen. UelL v. 4. §§ 16—18, vi. 4. §§ 25—26 ; Athen. p. 440.; Steph. B. s. v.; Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 405.)

AEGU'SA. [aegates.]

AEGYPSUS. [aegissks.]

AEGYPTUS (h MyvTtTos: Eth. Al-yi/irrioi, Acgyptius). I. Names and boundaries of Egypt. Egypt, properly so called, is that portion of the vulley of the Mile which lies between lat. 24° 3' and tat. 31° 37' N., or between the islands of Philae and Elephantine, and the Mediterranean Sea. In the language of '.he earliest inhabitants it was entitled Chehi, or the Black Earth; by the Hebrews it was called Mizkaim; by the Arabians Mesr (comp. Mfo-rpij, Joseph. Antiq. i. 1); by

the Greeks r) Afyirrros; and by the Copts ElyKebit, or inundated land. The boundaries of

Egypt have in all ages been nearly the same,

to the S., Aethiopia; to the E., the Arabian Gtilf, the Stony Arabia, Idumaca, and the southwestern frontier of Palestine; to the N., the Mediterranean Sea; and to the W., the Libyan desert. Homer (Oii. iv. 477) calls the Kile itself i Ktyvmos; nor is the appellation misapplied. For the Valley of Egypt is emphatically the "Gift of the Nile," without whose fertilising waters the tract from Syene to Cercasornm would only be a deep furrow in the sandy and gravelly desert running parallel with the Red Sea.

An account of the Nile is given elsewhere. [Nn.ua.] Here it is sufficient to remark that the valley which it irrigates is generally, except in the Delta or Lower Egypt, a narrow strip of alluvia deposit, occupying less than half the space between the Arabian mountains and the Libyan desert. The average breadth of this valley from one of these barriers to the other, as far as lat. 30° N., is about 7 miles; while that of the cultivable land, depending upon the overflow of the river, scarcely exceeds 5 J miles. Between Cairo in Lower and Edfoo (Apollinopolis Magna) in Upper Egypt the extreme breadth is about 11 miles: the narrowest part, including the river itself, is about 2 miles. But northward, between Edfoo and Assouan (Syene), the valley contracts so much that, in places, there is scarcely any soil on either side of the river, and the granite or limestone springs up from its banks a mural entrenchment. The whole area of the valley between Syene and the bifurcation of the Nile at Cercasornm contains about 2255 square miles, exclusive of the district of Fayoom (Arsinoe, Moeris), which comprises about 340. The Delta itself is estimated at 1976 square miles between the main branches of the river — the modern Damietta and Rosetta arms. But both E. and W. of this tract stretches a considerable level of irrigated land, which, including the Delta, embraces about 4500 square miles. The length of Egypt from Syene to the Mediterranean is about 526 miles. The total surface of modern Egypt is somewhat larger than that of the country in ancient times, since, in spite of a less regular system of irrigation, the inundations of the Nile have increased since the eras of the Pharaohs and the Ptolemies.

Egypt, in its general configuration, is a long rock-bound valley, terminating in a deep bay, and resembling in form an inverted Greek upsilon [xj* Its geological structure is tripartite. The Nilevalley shelves down to the Mediterranean in a series of steps, consisting of sandy or gravelly plateaus, separated by granite or limestone ridges, which the river cuts diagonally. From Syene to Edfoo granite or rod sandstone prevails: at Edfoo limestone succeeds; until in lat. 30° 10' the rocks diverge NE. and NW., and the alluvial Delta fills up an embayed triangle, whose apex is at Cercasorum, and w hose base is the sea.

The political and physical divisions of Egypt so nearly coincide that we may treat of them under one head. From Syene to Cercasorum the whole of the Nile-valley was denominated Upper Egypt: with the fork of the river Lower Egypt began. This was indeed a natural division between the primitive and the alluvial regions: and the distinction was recognised from the earliest times by different monumental symbols — natural and

« السابقةمتابعة »