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feeble to defend themselves. Such an expedition, however, would scarcely have been attempted without some previous intercourse between the countries. The priests of one nation might have learned their secrets, in part, at least, from those of the other; or both, as is more probable, may have been instructed from a common source. There may even have been, for a time, a continued communication from one priesthood to the other, although it must have suffered from interruptions which would finally put an end to it altogether. But the very name of Sesostris, and the achievements recorded of him as a single man, point to differences too great to admit of any close relations between the institutions which gave rise to them and those which were established by the Brahmins. One race may bear resemblance to many other races under nearly similar circumstances of origin and development; but it is because the human body and mind are everywhere formed according to principles so similar as to lead to similar results among different nations, be they ever so widely separated. The institutions of India, in the immovable and unmixed character of the hierocracy they established, have deserved the precedence in our inquiry; but Egypt, whose people were regarded of old" as the most ancient of the universe, will always be considered as the peculiar land of antiquity. It seems especially to date its origin from the cloud-land into which the eye of man can never penetrate. Its civilization was supposed to have come from the South,” and to have been spread through different settlements in the valley of the Nile. Coming with stranger priests, as is most probable, or with stranger warriors, it was, at all events, derived from abroad, and was diffused amongst various states, in part already existing, in part formed by the new comers. The priests were regarded as the founders of religion and law; and the warriors, who may or may not have accompanied them, as the instruments of conquest, the servants, in fact, of the civilization to which the priests alone were thoroughly admitted in the beginning. The superstition of an early race, and the force by which the victory would be gained, in case superstition failed, were at the foundation of the Egyptian institutions. The earliest chiefs, or kings, undoubtedly taken from the priests, were afterwards, perhaps in the beginning, considered to be divine in character or in authority. As the divided states were united and reduced to more moderate numbers, the power of the warriors, by whose victories the union, however imperfect, may have been accomplished, would become more prominent, so that their voices would be heard in the election of their monarch. Many years, which we cannot now number, must have elapsed before the kings were chosen directly from the warriors; and even then the choice would be restricted to the most eminent men of the order thus climbing to the royal power, which the priests, under the claim of gods, had
4 Aristot., Pol., VII. 9.5.
hitherto monopolized. A great name, Menes, is recorded as “the first of men” who reigned over Egypt," and he may have been thus described because he was the first of the warriors who came to be king. He is supposed to have been the founder of the unity in which the multiplied states of Egypt were combined in one great nation under their inherited institutions." But the materials for the foundation which Menes completed had been prepared through centuries of an earlier civilization. Though he was a warrior, the chief of some unknown and successful revolution, the priests could not have been overthrown. They would still remain at the head of the progress which had been made amongst themselves; and their knowledge still seemed indispensable to the security of the newly established empire. They became the interpreters of religion and the ministers of law; their laws, indeed, remained, for the most part, unchanged; while the power they possessed in virtue of science, the only science yet existing, would be altogether undisturbed. The authority of superstition was not to be shaken off; and the kings were submissive to the deities of the priests, if not to the priests themselves. Besides, the monarchy was, at first, elective; dependent chiefly upon the suffrages of the priesthood, and entirely subjected to the forms which it belonged to the priesthood to prescribe. In time, however, the royal power became hereditary" and independent; but it never rose superior to the power which preceded it, — not, at least, until the peculiar institutions of Egypt were changed by strangers and conquerors. Neither the original civilization nor the succeeding monarchy was established without cruel and repeated contests. The frame of the Egyptian does not appear to have been fit for bearing arms; but the history of all antiquity, if it could be revived, would bear witness to warfare so universal, that no nation, no generation even, would be found to have lived in unbroken peace. The early tribes of Egypt had their struggles amongst themselves; and the strangers, priests or warriors, no sooner conquered the native races than they turned their arms against one another. The shepherd kings, or Hyksos, as they are uncertainly named,” broke in from the East; the Ethiopians from the South; and many series, as it were, of conflicts and victories ensued, before the single throne of Sesostris, the liberator as much as the conqueror, was established. Under him, at last, the country was free, for a season, from invaders and from internal wars. In this sketch of various and long continued warfare we have the main outlines of Egyptian history. The shades of the earlier time are so profound, so accumulated, century upon century, that no learning appears capable of throwing light upon much more than a phantom roll of kings, at whose head, as already mentioned, stands the name of Menes. Other names, as little known as his, succeed, grouped into masses by ancient and modern chronologers, but restored to simple outlines, not to the full proportions that may have once belonged to them. The Old Empire, begun by Menes, was continued under eight-and-thirty sovereigns, whose reigns are now supposed to have extended over a period of nearly eleven centuries. Next followed the Middle Empire, during the course of which a race of foreign kings appears to have ruled at Memphis, while the Egyptian sovereigns, fifty-three in succession, kept possession of Thebes. The duration of this divided empire is supposed to have been a little more than nine hundred years. It was succeeded by the New Empire, founded by the expulsion of the stranger, and the restoration of the native princes. Near the beginning of this later period, the name of Sesostris stands as that of the liberator, the king, and the conqueror; near its close, many centuries afterwards, is that of Amasis, under whom the independence of Egypt was extinguished by the conquests of Cambyses, the Persian king. The most striking features in the Egyptian institutions belong to the New Empire; and as we have already investigated the character of a hierocracy in India, we can turn at once from the early ages of hierocracy in Egypt to the
6 Herod., II. 4.
7 “Menes created in the Egyptians a sense of their national unity distinct from all other nations, as Charlemagne did in the Germanic tribes.” Bunsen, Egypt's Place
in Univ. Hist, Vol. I. p. 444, Eng. translation. If he did so, it was a great work; for perhaps no nation, except the Jews, ever had so much unity as the Egyptians.
8 See Pastoret, Hist. de la Lé- in Cory's Collection of Anc. Fraggislation, Tom. II. ch. 6. ments, p. 170. 9 See the fragment of Manetho