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and ADWT&TT Xwea. Great mistakes have ensued from not rightly understanding the meaning of these terms: for they are always relative to the true situation of the country, and the course of the river; which descends from the higher lands to the lower, till it loses itself in the sea. Deltą therefore, that was situated among the branches of the Nile, was esteemed the lowest of all. Καλειται σε κοινως η περι τ8τος τ8ς ποταμές χώρα κατω. .
It is observable that, from the confines of Ethiopia downward, Egypt is for a long way very narrow; being bounded on each side with mountains, between which the river descends : and, according to the determination of most geographers of antiquity, it separates Africa from Asia ; and inore particularly Lybia froin Arabia, Here was the general boundary of the two great continents. This however is greatly disapproved of by Herodotus. He objects to the decision of those people, who attribute part of Egypt to one country, and part to another. He therefore varies in some degree from this disposition ; and makes Egypt itself the boundary between the regions that it borders upon. The country by this means is intermediate, and ascribed to neither. 'Ov.
* Ptol. Geogr. Edit. Bertij. lib. 4.
9 Lib. 2. cap. 17. This is the opinion of Herodotus ; but he is not followed in it: επερχέλαι δε ο Νειλος, εσεαν αληθυη, ου μονον το Δελτα, αλλα και το Λιβυκε τελεγομενε χωρια ειναι, και τα Αραβια ενιαχη.
γαρ δη ο Νειλος γε εσι κατα τετον τον λογον και την Ασιην εριζων τη Λιβυη ---Βρισμα δε Ασιη και Λιβυη οιδαμεν εδεν εoν ορθω λογω, ει μη τες Αιγυπτιων ερες. Whether Herodotus was aware that any ill consequences would arise from the other way of proceeding, I know not; but it is certain some obscurity has ensued.
As long as the river was single, it might well serve to determine the countries on each side : but, when it was branched out into many streams, it became difficult to say to which part of the world the intermediate provinces were to be assigned. Therefore some have referred them to Lybia, others to Arabia, without any just reason to determine them : which has induced many people to alter their true position; and to transfer them in their maps to those countries, imagining that such was their situation. But this, being only a matter of reference, should not have affected the real order and disposition of those states.
How Egypt was situated and bounded, we are very clearly informed by Leo Africanus: Ægyptus, clarissima regio, ab occidente desertis Barca, Libya, ac Numidia clauditur; ab oriente desertis, quæ Ægypto et Mari Rubro interjucent. The account of Strabo is agreeable to the foregoing :
Αιγυπτος-απο μεν των αρκτων αλιμενω παραλια και
Herod. lib. 2. cap. 19.
Αιγυπτος ομερος τη Λιβυη. lib. 2. cap.65. 10 Vol. 2. p. 1174. Kas is certainly wanting“ with deserts
πελαγει τω Αιγυπτια Φραρεμενη απο δε της εω και της εσπερας, ερημους (και) ορεσι, τοις τε Διβυκους και τους Αραβιους, ώσπερ εφαμεν.
The whole extent of this country from north to south was computed to be about six hundred miles : and consisted, as I before observed, of three principal divisions; and those subdivided into smaller provinces, called by the Greeks Nonos, brut by the natives Tabir. The number of them has been computed to have been thirty-six; η Θηβαϊς, δεκα δ' ή εν τω Δελτα, εκκαιδεκα δ' η μεταξυ. 12 Diodorus makes the same distribution. But of this we can have no certainty, on account of the disagreenient that is found among writers upon this subject, who add and diminish too arbitrarily. Pliny takes notice of this inconsistency, and mentions some particulars. 13. Quidam ex his aliqua nomina permutant, et substituunt alios nomos, ut Heroopoliten, Crocodilopoliten. In short, wherever there was a city, the Grecians added a nome;
12 Tmn de
“ and with mountains.” The lower parts were bounded with deserts, the upper with mountains. Without this the force and precision of the writer is lost. 1 Strabo. vol. 2. p. 1195.
εις έξ και τριακονία μερη διελων [Σεσοωσις.] lib. 1. pag. 35.
13 Nat, Hist. lib. 5. cap. 9. •. 14 Strabo nientions nomes that never existed. He has one near the Red Sea called the Phagroriopolitan, which was quite imaginary.
which very much confused and encumbered the geography of those parts. Hence
Hence Epiphanius, speaking of the word vouos, does not hesitate to define it in this manner και την περιχωρον της τυχεσης πολιος onaives: "S “ it was the environs of every city.” At which rate, as Egypt is said to have once had."6 thirty thousand cities; it should follow, that there were so many nomes.
The river that waters the whole country is the Nile ; which is single for some hundreds of miles downwards, running in one direction : or, if it be at any time separated by the interposition of an island, the streams unite again soon; and it proceeds in its usual channel. But when it arrives at the extremity of lower Egypt, called by the Greeks Delta, where stood the city Cercasora ; it is divided into two very considerable branches, which inclose all the country below, and never unite again. They are called the Canobic and Pelusiac branches ; and are the extreme of all others into which the river is divided. At the same time that this separation is made, the river still keeps on his course dowoward; having a sufficient supply of water to fill the Sebennitic channel, which forms
"s In like manner Cyrill. Alexandr. tells us, that among the Egyptians a nome was a city, and the country about it, with the dependent villages. Nομος έκανη πολις και αι τσεριοικιδες αυτης, και ai un'auty awuam. In Esaiam, cap. 19.
16 See Theocritus. Idyll. 17.
one of the most considerable mouths of the Nile. For this we have the testimony of Herodotus; who in his accounts of these parts is more particular and intelligible, and far more to be depended on than any other writer. 17 ο
δη Νειλος αρξαμενος εκ των Καταδεσων, ρεει, μεσην Αιγυπτον σχιζων, ες θαλασσαν. Μεχρι μεν νυν Κερκασωρε πολιος ρεει εις εων και Νειλος το δε απο ταυτης της πολιος σχιζεται τριφασιας οδους. Και η μεν προς ηω τρεπεται, το καλεεται Πηλεσιον σομα" η δε έτερη των οδων προς εσπερην εχει τετο δε Κανωβικον σομα κεκληται· η δε δη ιθεα των οδων τω Νειλω εςι ηδε. Ανωθεν φερομενος, ες το οξυ τε Δελτα απικνεεται το δε απο τετε, σχιζων μεσον το Δελτα ες θαλασσαν εξιει, ατε ελαχισης μοιρην το υδατος παρεχομενος ταυτην, ουτε ηχισα ενομασης το καλεεται Σεβεννυτικον σομα. Agreeable to this is the description of the Nile, as we find it in 18 Achilles
17 Lib. 2. cap. 17.
μεν Θηβης των Αιγυπτιων, και εσιν ες τοσατον ρεων ακρι Μεμφεως, και εσυ μικρον κατω κερας. Συρος ονομα τη κωμη προς το τελει το μεγαλε ρευματος. Εντευθεν δε περιρρηγνυλαι τη γη, και εξ ενος πολαμε γιγνονται τρεις,
μεν εκατερωθεν λελυμενοι, ο δε εις και την γην εις το σχημα τα Λελτα ποιων. Achill. Tatius. lib. 4. It wants a great deal of amendment: Instead of και εςι μικρον κατω κερας Συρος ονομα τη κωμη,
read και ες τι μικρον κατω Κερκασυρος ονομω τη κωμη, and for oδε εις και την γην εις το σχημα το Δελτα τοιων,
read δδε εις κατα την γην εισιει, το σχισμα το Δελτα ποι8ν. The two extreme branches inclosed the land, and the centre or Sebennytic ran through and divided it. The latter part is an iimitation of Herodotus, -σχιζων μεσον το Δελτα ες θαλασσαν εξιει.