« AnteriorContinuar »
μηδε υδωρ παρα την Ουρακινην οικείων. Mount Casius was itself 9ινωδης τις λοφος ακρωτηριαζων, ανυδρος : “ 'sharp sandy hillock, without water.” The next place beyond Ostracine was Rhinocolura; and as badly circumstanced as the former. It was surrounded with a morass of sea water; so that all their wells were tainted; and bad as their water seems to have been, there was even of this great scarcity.
Περιεχει μεν γαρ αυτην χωρα πληρης αλμυριδος" εντος δε τα τειχες ολιγον εσιν υδωρ εν φρεασι, και τετο διεφθαρμενον, XQv tavlenws Tņ Jeugel mixgov. This desert, which began at Pelusium and the Nile, reached in the way to Palestine as far as Gaza, which was situated on the edge of it-αυτη εςιν ερημος, Says
" the Apostle. And Arrian " observes of the same place; srxatn δε ωκειτο, ως επ’ Αιγυπτε εκ Φοινικης ιοντι, επι τη αρχή της Eenfes.
But Lakemacher is not contented with cursorily speaking of this part of the world. He goes so far as to describe it ; telling us what it was, and what it was not; as if he had been witness of its good
9 Josephus of the march of Titus says ; Προς το τε Κασιο Διο ξερω τρατοπεδευεται τη δε υτεραια κατα την Οστρακινην. έτος και ταθμος nu avudpos. De Bell. Jud. lib. 4. cap. 11.
Mela seems to think more favourably of this hill: but, I believe, without any reason. lib. 1. cap. 9.
10 Diodorus Siculus. lib. 1. pag. 38.
Exped. Alex. lib. 2.
ness, and had traversed it at his leisure. tractus ab ipså naturâ ad pecora alenda videbatur factus. Neque enim tot rivis, uti Delta, incisus erat abruptusque ; sed campis continuis lateque patentibus liberè evagandi palandique gregibus faciebat copiam. Quocirca illo potissimum delectatos fuisse pastores non est magnopere mirandum. It was a rich open country: in short, a perfect Arcadia. To this minute and whimsical description of a region that the author was totally unacquainted with, let me subjoin an account of the true nature of these parts ; and, as far as I can judge, of the very spot that has been above treated of, with some occurrences that happened there; as they are described by a modern traveller. 14 Baumgarten, a German nobleman, set out with a Caravan from Cairo to go to Syria, December the 6th, in the year 1507. He travelled five days; when he came towards the part of Arabia that lay between Damiata and Syria. “On the twelfth day about
sun-rising we came to a desolate and decayed
cottage ; where we stopped about two hours; " and then went on in our sandy journey towards " the sea. Not far from this cottage we saw above
ten thousand carcases of sheep, goats, asses, and “ other creatures lying on the ground, rotten and
13 Vol. 2. p. 320.
" half consumed: the noisom smell of which was
so unsufferable, that we were obliged to make " all the haste we could to get out of the reach of
The occasion of their lying there was thus. “ Admirald, one of the Sultan's chief ministers, “ having been sent into Judæa to raise a poll-tax, “ and finding it hard to get in the money, had “ driven away the poor people's cattle, with a de
sign to carry them to Cairo, and present them
to the Sultan. But as he was travelling through " that desert, where there was neither water nor
pasture, he lost them all.--After we had got
out of the reach of that stink, we came to a " certain bay.”
15 Sandys, the father of English
15 Baumgarten was at Cairo in the time of Tongobardin, the last of the Mamaluke kings, A. D. 1507. He was admitted to that prince's presence; and saw him with his thirty-five wives, in the midst of the highest luxury and gratification, maintaining that no life could be compared with his for true substantial happiness. A few years afterwards he was defeated by Selim the Turk, and hanged before his palace. The same person traversed this desert another way, in his journey to Mount Sinai; and shews, that it was of the same nature every where.
« Alcanica two miles from Cairo ; and stands in a sandy desert. On the “ eighth we entered the deserts. On the ninth we marched “ through a dreadful sandy desert, where nothing that was green
appeared ; not so much as briars or thorns.” We have the like account in Monconysii Iter ad montem Sinæ. 13. April. Ad hospitium vel diversorium. 14. Per desertum statim a diversorio incipiens. In like manner Neitscheizt, Iter ad Montem Sinæ.
travellers, went the same rout, and gives a similar account of it.
16 « On the east it [Egypt] is con“ fined with the Arabian deserts-We were to be
gin the worst of the journey. On the 10th of “ March we entered the main deserts a barren “ and desolate country, bearing neither grass nor
trees; save only here and there a few palms : no water that is sweet; all being a mere wilder
ness of sand.” This is the spot that Lakemacher terms terra pascuosa, pecoribusque alendis cum primis idonea : here he supposes a numerous people to have resided two centuries, where a Caravan could not subsist for a day. Sure this is overlooking the plainest evidence, and running counter to the most approved authorities. Yet the learned professor Joh. Math. Hasius subscribes this opinion; and, proceeding upon the same grounds, adds to the extravagancies largely. 17 He gives it as a
25 Junii. Cahiro mane iter inceptum—inde ad Suez merum sabulum. In short, the whole space from lower Egypt to Palestine and to the Red Sea was at all times a desert, taken in every direction. “ Toute l’Egypt est environnée de deserts et sablons." Davity, p. 273. Leo Africanus speaks to the same effect : and all antient writers agree that Arabia and the desert of Arabia commenced from the river of Pelusium, the extreme branch of the Nile eastward.
16 Sandys's Travels.
17 Johan. Math. Hasi Mathem. Profess. Wittemberg. Regni Davidici et Solomonis descriptio. Norimberg. 1739. In cap. 12.
reason for placing the Israelites in this particular situation, because they were in the vicinity of those very places about mount Casius, which are represented by Plutarch and other writers as uninhabitable. I have been pretty diffuse in my
confutation of Lakemacher's notions; as at the same time I obviate the opinion of all those who are of the same way of thinking; there being many of that class. Even the learned bishop Cumberland was of this opinion." “ It is probable that the country “ which Moses calls Goshen began hereabouts,
[near Pelusium] and ran southward between “ the Nile on its west side and the Red Sea on
part of its east :-the fittest place to maintain " their cattle.”
Mr. Sale has exhibited in his writings much oriental reading; and the world is certainly indebted to him on that head. Yet he has been too much led by fancy: and he very often determines a point peremptorily, that he has not sufficiently considered. He has a note upon this subject, which I will transcribe at large.
“ It is a wonder how the Septuagint came to place the land of Goshen in Arabia,
part 2. p. 175. among other reasons given, these are principal : Conditio regionis; fertilis enim est ob viciniam Nili, inque introitu Ægypti. In viciniâ sunt Migdol, Baalzephon, Lacus Sirbonis. Alia etiam non sine fructu videri possunt apud Lakemacherum, non sine laude citandum, in observationibus suis philologicis.
18 In Sanchoniath. p. 363 & 365.