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Tatius : though the passage is very much depraved. The purport of it, as it stands corrected, is this. The general Charmidas ordered his men to encamp at a particular place. " The situation of the village,” says the author, “ was this.
“ was this. The river " Nile descends from Thebes ;” (which for distinction's sake, he calls Egyptian Thebes) “and runs
single and undivided as far as Memphis, and for a little way below. The place where the grand
stream of the river ends, that is, where it is first « divided into separate branches, is called Cerca
suros. At this point it is broken ; and of one ~ stream it form's three. Two of them run down " on each sidé upon the extremities of the country: " but the other, the centre stream, runs through " the land, and in its passage divides lower os
As long as the Nile ran in a single channel, which was above four hundred miles, it was inhábited both on the Arabian and Libyan side; having all the way a ridge of mountains to the east and to the west, which were a security to the natives. A few miles below Memphis, just where lower Egypt commenced, the mountains 19 of Arabia
19 Herodotus speaks of the whole ridge of hills in the singular number, and calls it the mountain of Arabia, lib. 2. cap. 8.
ceased; reaching no farther downward to the north, though eastward they extended to the Red Sea. The last city on this side the river was Aphroditopolis, the capital of a nome it gave name to. What other places occur below, such as Latopolis, (which was the antient Babylon), together with Scena Mandra, Scena Veteranorum, Vicus Judæorum, seem to have been never of any great repute, and generally deserted. And when they were occupied, it was chiefly by foreigners, who obtained leave of the princes of Egypt to take up their habitation within them. Some of them were only Tabernacula, booths for the security of cattle during the inundation of the Nile. However, as these parts were separated from the body of Egypt; the Jews, who during the captivity and afterwards betook themselves to this country, thought it no despicable spot to settle in. They accordingly got permission to rebuild some of the places that had been long in ruins : and the hill, that was opposite to Babylon, is still called Jibel Jeheusi ; retaining their name to this day. These towns were situated nearly in a line with the uppermost point of Delta. Babylon in particular was opposite to that point, where the Nile first divided; and likewise opposite to the Pyramids on the Libyan side of the river. Beyond these there were no places of abode downward ; excepting perhaps one called Thou. This may be
proved from the Itinerary of 20 Antoninus. For having given an account of all the cities on the Arabian side of the Nile; as soon as he has specified Babylon, Heliou, Vicus Judæorum, Thou ; he, as it were at a leap, passes at once to Heroopolis, and the towns on the Red Sea : which were nearly in the same parallel as the others. So that there was certainly neither province nor city below these mentioned, to the east of the great Pelusiac branch. All that way, as I have before shewn, was a desert to the borders of Palestine.
The same inference may be made from Ptolemy ; who, omitting some of the places mentioned in the Itinerary, takes notice but of three towns in Arabia, I mean so low as Delta, between the Nile and. the Red Sea; 21Εν μεθορια Αραβιας και Αφροδιτοπολεως, Βαβυλων, Ηλιοπολις, and then, at a great
21 Geogr. lib. 4.
M. P. XX.
distance, 'Howwe molis. The reason of this difference between the two writers seems to arise from hence. Ptolemy is describing the chief cities of the earth, and takes notice of them only: the other is giving an account of roads, and the places to be passed through in going from one country to another. He therefore takes in all; not only cities and towns, but sabpos, hydreumata, lapides, tabernacula, places both inhabited and otherwise, together with the distances between them. He omits nothing that can be looked upon as a landmark. In the main point they agree: neither of them placing either nome or city in Arabia, to the east of lower Egypt; which is what I wanted to prove. For as to Sile and Thaubazium, mentioned in another part of the Itinerary; they were very obscure places, and probably named and distinguished for landmarks, or for the sake of water; such as Agerud, Agiuz, and Hospitium filii Saïd mentioned by modern travellers and in the Nubian geographer. Many places are referred to in the Itinerary without names, consequently not towns, nor habitations ; such as contra Psellos, contra Talmas, contra Lato, &c.; spots of ground to be passed over, that could not be described but by places they were opposite to. There is no reason to think that Sile or Thaubazium were inhabited; for they occur no where else : and the author his self does not set them down in his list of Arabian cities. And if it should be found that there were some inhabitants, it
would not affect my argument. For I would not be thought to contend, that there was not a straggling town or two scattered in the range of the country, like Palmyra in the desert: though I do not know that there were any; nor do I think that the nature of the country would admit of it. All that I insist upon is, that there were no nomes, nor places of any repute : particularly, that the provinces of Delta, generally referred to Arabia, were within the precincts of the Nile, and in the best of Egypt.
These were the provinces of Phacusa, Bubastus and Heliopolis; three of the most remarkable
As I have taken some pains to shew where they were not situated, it is time to relieve the reader, and to determine where they were. They were all contiguous to each other, and towards the summit of lower Egypt. I have been obliged to be thus particular in my proof; because Heliopolis is almost by every writer placed to the east of the Nile ; and the neighbouring provinces are transposed with it. It is well known that the country called Delta was termed so from the resemblance it bore to the Greek letter of that name.
It is a large triangle; whose sides are included by the Pelusiac and Canobic branches of the Nile, and its basis is formed by the sea. “ As you proceed upwards," says Herodotus, “ from the sea through " the middle of Egypt, the country may be es