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wit called Cleopa'tra's Needles, bear the name of this king. His military expeditions extended both to the north and south; inscriptions on his monuments declare that he took tribute from Nineveh, Hit (or Is), and Babylon.
B. C. 1400-1364.
148. His grandson, Thothmes IV, caused the carving of the great Sphinx near the Pyramids. Amunoph III, his successor, was a great and powerful monarch. He adorned the country by magnificent buildings, and improved its agriculture by the construction of tanks or reservoirs to regulate irrigation. The two Colossi near Thebes, one of which is known as the vocal Memnon, date from his reign; but the Amenophe'um, of which they were ornaments, is now in ruins. Amunoph maintained the warlike fame of his ancestors by expeditions into all the countries invaded by Thothmes III. He is styled upon his monuments, "Pacificator of Egypt and Tamer of the Libyan Shepherds." He built the gorgeous palace of Luxor, which he connected with the temple at Karnac by an avenue of a thousand sphinxes. He made a similar avenue also at Thebes, lined with colossal sitting statues of the cat-headed goddess Pasht (Bubastis).
149. B. C. 1364-1327. In the reign of Horus, his son, the nation was distracted by many claimants for the crown, most of whom were princes or princesses of the blood royal. Horus outlived his rivals and destroyed their monuments. He had successful foreign wars in Africa, and made additions to the palaces at Karnac and Luxor. With the next king, Rathotis (or Resitot), the Eighteenth Dynasty
B. C. 1327-1324.
150. B. C. 1324-1322. Rameses I, founder of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was descended from the first two kings of the eighteenth. His son, Seti, inherited all the national hatred toward the Syrian invaders, and "avenged the shame of Egypt on Asia." He reconquered Syria, which had revolted some forty years earlier, and carried his victorious arms as far as the borders of Cilicia and the banks of the Euphrates. He built the great Hall at Karnac - in which the whole Cathedral of Notre Dame, at Paris, could stand without touching either walls or ceiling—and his tomb is the most beautiful of all the sepulchers of the kings.
151. B. C. 1311-1245. Rameses II, the Great, reigned sixty-six years; and his achievements in war and peace fill a large space in the records of his time, in which fact and fiction are often intermingled by his flatterers. During his father's life-time, he began his military career by subduing both Libya and Arabia. His ambition being thus inflamed, he had no sooner succeeded to the throne than he resolved upon the conquest of the world. He provided for the security of his kingdom during his absence, by re-dividing the country into thirty-six nomes and appointing a governor for each. He then equipped an immense
FIGURE OF AMUNOPH III, NEAR THEBES.
Called by the Greeks the Vocal Memnon. It was 47 feet in height, or 53 feet including the pedestal.
To face I
army, which is said to have included 600,000 foot, 24,000 horse, and 27,000 war chariots. Having conquered Ethiopia, Rameses made a fleet of four hundred vessels, the first which any Egyptian king had possessed, and sailing down the Red Sea to the Arabian, continued his voyage as far as India. He returned only to make fresh preparations, and lead another great army eastward beyond the Ganges, and onward till he reached a new ocean. Columns were every-where erected recording the victories of the monarch, and lauding the courage or shaming the cowardice of those who had encountered him.
152. Returning from his Asiatic conquests, Rameses entered Europe and subdued the Thracians; then, after nine years absence, during which he had covered himself with the glory of innumerable easy victories, he reëntered Egypt. He brought with him a long train of captives, whom he intended to employ upon the architectural works which he had already projected. Among the most celebrated are the Rock Temples of Ipsambul, in Nubia, whose sides are covered with bas-reliefs representing the victories of Sesostris; the Ramesse'um, or Memnonium, at Thebes; and additions to the palace at Karnac. He built, also, a wall near the eastern frontier of Egypt, from Pelusium to Heliopolis, and, perhaps, even as far as Sye ́ne, to prevent future invasions from Arabia. More monuments exist of Rameses II than of any other Pharaoh; but the strength of the New Empire was exhausted by these extraordinary efforts in war and building. The king tormented both his subjects and his captives, using them merely as instruments of his passion for military and architectural display. It was this king who drove the Israelites to desperation by his inhuman oppressions, especially by commanding every male child to be drowned in the Nile. (Exodus i: 8-14, 22.)
153. In the great hall of Abydus, or This, Rameses is represented as offering sacrifice to fifty-two kings of his own race, he himself, in a glorified form, being of the number. The sculpture is explained by an inscription: "A libation to the Lords of the West, by the offerings of their son, the king Rameses, in his abode." The reply of the royal divinities is as follows: "The speech of the Lords of the West, to their son the Creator and Avenger, the Lord of the World, the Sun who conquers in truth. We ourselves elevate our arms to receive thy offerings, and all other good and pure things in thy palace. We are renewed and perpetuated in the paintings of thy house," etc.
154. The son of Rameses II, Menephthah, or Amenephthes, was the Pharaoh of the Exodus. The escaping Israelites passed along the bank of the canal made by the Great King, and thus were supplied with water for their multitude both of men and beasts. By the dates always found upon Egyptian buildings, we learn that architectural labors ceased for twenty years; and this contrast to the former activity affords an interesting
coincidence with the Scriptural narrative. Josephus, * also, quotes from Manetho a tradition, that the son of the great Rameses was overthrown by a revolt, under Osarsiph (Moses), of a race of lepers who had been grievously oppressed by him; and that he fled into Ethiopia with his son, then only five years old, who, thirteen years later, recovered the kingdom as Sethos II. To express their contempt for their former captives, the Egyptian historians always refer to the Israelites as lepers. With Seti, or Sethos II, the house of the great Rameses became extinct.
155. B. C. 1219. Rameses III, the first of the Twentieth Dynasty, maintained extensive wars, both by sea and land. His four sons all bore his name and came successively to the throne, but there are no great events to signalize their reigns. Six or seven kings of the same name followed, and the family ended about B. C. 1085.
156. During this period Egypt rapidly declined, as well in intellectual as military power. Her foreign enterprises ceased; no additions were made to the magnificent buildings of former ages; and sculpture and painting, instead of deriving new life from the study of Nature, were compelled to copy the old set forms or confine themselves to dull and meaningless imitations.
157. The Twenty-first Dynasty was a priestly race, whose capital was 'Ta'nis, or Zo'an, in Lower Egypt, but who were supreme throughout the country. They wore sacerdotal robes, and called themselves High Priests of Amun. One of them gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon. (1 Kings iii: 1; ix: 16.) The seven kings of this dynasty had usually short reigns, marked by few events. B. C. 1085-990.
158. B. C. 993–972. Sheshonk, or Shishak, the founder of the Twentysecond Dynasty, revived the military power of the nation. He married the daughter of Pisham II, the last king of the Tanite race, and took upon himself, also, the title of High Priest of Amun, but beyond this there are no signs of priesthood in this line. Bubastis, in the Delta, was the seat of his government. It was to him that Jerobo ́am fled when plotting to make himself king of Israel; and Shishak afterward made an expedition against Judæa for the purpose of confirming Jeroboam on his throne. He plundered Jerusalem and received the submission of Rehoboam. Osorkon II, the fourth king of this dynasty, and an Ethiopian
B. C. 972.
B. C. 956-933.
prince, was probably the Zerah of Scripture, who invaded Syria, and was defeated by Asa, king of Judah, in the battle of Mareshah. (2 Chron. xiv: 9–14.)
*Josephus was a Jewish historian, born A. D. 37, the son of a priest, and descended by his mother's side from the same royal family with the Herods. His greatest work is his "Jewish Antiquities," in twenty books. The history begins at the Creation of the World, and ends A. D. 66, with the Revolt of the Jews against the Romans.