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OTHER CITIES IN EGYPT,
THE SITUATION OF ZOAN.
I HAVE mentioned, that lower Egypt was called Delta ; being similar to the Greek letter of that
Each of its extremes was graced with a city, which in its time was of great repute. At the eastern angle stood 'Pelusium, 20 stadia from the sea, upon the brink of the Arabian desert: from whence it was separated by a stream, which it gave name to. Here was the general entrance into Egypt for those, who came from Syria and Palestine : and it was particularly fortified, to prevent any irruption from that quarter. At the other extreme to the west was the famous city Alerandria, built by the son of Philip, after his conquest of this country. It was for many ages the great emporium of the world; carrying on a most extensive commerce, of which it was itself the center. During the reigns of the Ptolemies, it was the seat of royal residence; till that family became extinct, and Egypt was made tributary to the Romans.
" Pelusium was called Sin by the Hebrews, but by the natives both Sin and Tin. It signified the black sediment and soilage of the river, as well as the mud of the sea. The city received its name from Peles, a chief of the Caphtorim, who settled in this part of Egypt; but migrated very early into Canaan. From Peles Sin was formed the Pelusium of the Greeks; and from Peles Tin was derived the Philistim of the Hebrews, and the Palestina of other nations. This people are alluded to Amos. 9. v. 7. and Jeremiah. 47. v. 4.. It is observable, that the word Tin had in many languages the same signification, which it had in Egypt: and most names, in whose composition it is found, have some relation to mud and moisture; and denote something foul and morassy. Hence among the Grechs, Tevyn, xaJudpos Totong 1
These two cities were at the extremes of the basis. At the top or vertical angle was the city Cercasora ; of which I have treated at large. Between Alexandria and Pelusium lay many places of note; whose situation has been tolerably well defined: yet, I know not how, very great mistakes have arisen, where they were least to be expected. The city Saïs, one of the most celebrated in Egypt, and particularly famous for the worship of the goddess Isis, has by writers been strangely misplaced,
ποταμιος πηλος : Ηesychius. Τεναγη, διαβροχοι, καθυγροι τοποι, και anawon wirayn: Suidas : it signified moist, and marshy places. One would almost imagine, that the name of the river Tine, and Tinedale were of the same etymology. See Cambden's Britan. vol. 2. pag. 1073.
together with the nome, that it gave name to. Here was the mystical statue of the goddess before mentioned, which is supposed to have been an emblem of divine wisdom, with this remarkable inscription; * Εγω ειμι παν το γεγονος, και ον, και εσομενον" και τον εμον πεπλον ουδεις σω θνητος απεκαλυψεν. The true situation of this place may be made evident from its vicinity to others. Alexandria I have spoken of, as at the extreme part of lower Egypt to the west. Not far from hence was the Canobic branch of the Nile, and a city upon it of the same name: and from the mouth of this river some chuse to make Delta commence; excluding Alexandria, that lay beyond it, from being a part of the triangle. 3 Eιτα το Κανωδικον σομα, και η αρχη τα Δελτα. This was the most celebrated branch of the Nile, and what was chiefly navigated. The first city in passing up the stream was Canobus ; the next was Naucratis. Herodotus mentions them both in this light: “ες μεν γε Μεμφιν εκ Ναυκρατιος αναπλωοντι: and, ες δε Ναυκρατιν απο θαλασσης και Καναβε δια πεδιον πλεων: : intimating, that as people sailed up the Canobic branch from the sea, they arrived first at Canobus, and next at Naucratis, in their way to Memphis. They were therefore both on the same arm of the
* Plutarch de Iside et Osiride.
4 Lib. 2. pag. 147. VOL. VI,
Nile; both seaports, and not far from the mouth of the river. In the vicinity of Naucratis was the city Saïs, and its nome, situated to the east. They are mentioned in conjunction by 'Pliny, as neighbouring places : but are more particularly described by ° Strabo ; επι τω ποταμω Ναυκρατις απο δε τα ποταμε δισχοινον διεχουσα η Σαϊς. Ptolemy speaks to the same purpose: 7 Σαϊτης νομος, και μητροπολις Σαϊς, και προς το μεγαλω ποταμω απο δυσμων Ναυκρατις πολις. . The city Naucratis was to the west of Sais; and upon the branch, that was called the great river, by which they meant the Canobic. This disposition is agreeable to the accounts of other writers; and is particularly confirmed by the Notitia Ecclesiæ, as is observed by Cellarius : * In quá [notitiá] Saïs prime Ægypti Provinciæ, quæ proxima Alerandriæ est, ascribitur. Saïs then was in the lower part of Delta, in the vicinity of Canobus and Naucratis; but nearer to the latter, dio gouvos AT&X85G : that is, according to the greater schænus, 15 miles to the east of it; according to the less, about half that distance. The situation of the other principal cities, that lay towards the basis of Egypt, may be known from the rout of Titus, when he marched
5 Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. 5. cap. 11. 6 Lib. 17. pag. 1155. 7 Geogr. lib. 4. cap. 5. & Cellarü Agyptus. pag. 18. 9 Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. 4. cap. 11.
towards Palestine and Judea. He set out from Alexandria to Nicopolis; 'and from thence passed by water to Thmuis : and from Thmuis he went to Tanis. The next place, that he halted at was Heracleopolis parva, the antient Sethron; and from thence proceeded to Pelusium. The author of the Itinerary enumerates more places in this interval; and at the same time gives their several distances, beginning from the east.
In another place, describing the rout from Pelusium northward towards Memphis, he makes the first stage to be at Daphne, which was the antient Taphuanes of the Scriptures, and lay from Pelusium 16 M. P.
This abundantly shows, that Tanis and Taphaanes as well as Pelusium were different cities: their situation being too well determined 10 admit of any doubt. Tahpanhes, as it is sometimes