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An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians$

Edward William Lane

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9789774165603

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774165603.001.0001

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(p.543) Appendix F Editor Notes

(p.543) Appendix F Editor Notes

An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians
American University in Cairo Press

I. —Census.

THE following is a copy of the official return, issued by the Government, of the Census of Egypt taken in the years 1847–8. Although the number of inhabitants is nearly double that at which the best writers have estimated it, I am informed on authority which ought to be well acquainted with the facts, that the true amount of the population is considerably more than this return shews, that the country is now largely populated, and that the inhabitants of Cairo were estimated last year (1859) at 320,000.

Middle Egypt






Upper Egypt






























II. —Arabian Architecture.

THE excellence attained by the Arabs in architecture and decoration has been remarkable in every country subjected to their rule. The style has borne the same characteristics throughout the great Arabian Empire, flourishing most when that empire was dismembered; and there is no difficulty in identifying Arab art in Egypt as a centre, or in India on the one hand and Spain on the other. In Egypt it reached its highest excellence, and has been fortunate in leaving there numerous monuments to testify to it —monuments fast falling to decay, and of which few traces will in comparatively a short time remain. Its beginnings faintly seen in the edifices constructed by Christian architects for the early Khaleefehs, in the first rush of Muslim conquest, the art is almost lost for two centuries and a half; until in a mosque at Cairo, erected in the year of the Flight “263.”, it appears in its own strength, free from all imitation (though shewing adaptation) of other styles. The origin of this strongly‐marked art forms an old question, and one that has been variously answered; generally by a reference to a supposed Byzantine influence, to a vague idea of the early mosques of Arabia (respecting which almost nothing is known in Europe, at least in their earliest state), and to the religious influence of Mohammadanism, discountenancing all imitation of nature, while supposed to induce a love of the beautiful. All these, however, are mere theories, hitherto without the support of facts, either recorded by Arab historians, or deducible from the style of existing monuments; and it has long been an object of curiosity to search for any facts either to maintain or disprove them. This inquiry does not appear to be foreign to the scope of a work on the descendants of those admirable architects who have retained, though in a degraded state, their national art.

Native writers have hitherto been supposed to throw little light on this subject, yet their testimony, whenever found, must be held to be historically weighty, after we have made due deduction for ignorance or prejudice. They are not, however, altogether silent on the sources whence their art sprang, nor on the men (p.545) who executed some of the earliest, or the finest, buildings.1 El‐Maḳreezee, whose book on Egypt is the most complete topographical account in the language, although he is in general provokingly silent on these points, gives some facts and inferences of importance; Ibn‐Khaldoon, who stands at the head of Arab historians, and comes nearest to European notions of a philosophical historian, is very explicit on the origin of the art; and the scattered notices in the native monographs on the holy cities of Arabia throw a clear light on the early buildings of Mohammadans, which are of the more importance when we reflect that to these buildings, as exemplars, is commonly ascribed the plan of other better‐known edifices in the countries conquered by the Muslims.

The Arabs themselves, Ibn‐Khaldoon tells us (I translate his words almost literally), by reason of their desert life, and because their religion forbade prodigality and extravagance in building, were far from being acquainted with the arts; and ’Omar Ibn‐El‐Khaṭṭáb (the second Khaleefeh) enjoined them (when they asked his permission to build El‐Koofeh2 with stones, fire having occurred in the reeds with which they used before to build), and said to them, “Do it, but let not any one exceed three chambers, and make not the building high, but keep to the practice of the Prophet: so shall dominion remain with you.” Ibn‐Khaldoon further makes his meaning clear by contrasting Arab work with that of the ancient edifices of southern Arabia. He observes of those nations which had endured as nations for very long periods, as the Persians, and the Copts, and the Nabathæans, and the Greeks, and in like manner the first Arabs, those of ’Ád and Thamood, that, in consequence of their long continuance, the arts took firm root among them, and their buildings and temples were more in number and more lasting.3 The edifices of the primitive Arabs were built, as we now know, by a mixed race, composed of (p.546) Shemites (Joktanites, and not Arabs properly so called), and of Cushites, these latter being settlers in part from Africa and in part from Assyria: the Cushites were probably the principal architects, if we may judge from Semitic influence in Arabia, among the Jews, in Northern Africa, and elsewhere.4 The genuine Phœnician monuments also seem to be like those of the Cushites. The inference here drawn from race is one that is too often overlooked, but is rarely fallacious. In the present instance, the monuments left by this race are of the massive character of those of Cushite peoples.

But if Ibn‐Khaldoon's assertion respecting the ignorance of the Arabs be true, it ought to be borne out by facts; and I have found decisive testimony to its accuracy in the accounts of the mosques of Mekkeh and El‐Medeeneh, and of that of ’Amr in Egypt.

The Prophet's mosque at El‐Medeeneh was originally (as built by himself) very small, measuring 100 cubits in each direction, or, as some say, less. It was built of crude bricks, upon a foundation of stones three cubits high, the bricks being laid in alternate courses, lengthways and across,5 and was neither plastered nor embellished: it had a partly‐roofed court in the middle of it, the roof, which was supported on palm‐trunks for pillars, being composed of palm‐sticks plastered over. This mosque thus, in the rudest fashion, represents the type of the plan of most existing mosques. But the mosque of ’Amr in Egypt was an exception, and one which is the more curious because it has been entirely ignored by European theorists. Instead of this mosque exhibiting to us in its present state the condition of Arab art at the time of its foundation (that is, immediately on the conquest of Egypt, about the 20th year of the Flight), and proving the existence of the pointed arch in Arab buildings of that date, we find from El‐Maḳreezee that it has been enlarged and rebuilt many times, that the pointed arches (to which I shall presently return) are later than the period of its foundation, and that its first plan was not in accordance with that of the Prophet's mosque at El‐Medeeneh. The passage that settles this much‐controverted point is worth quoting entire:

“Aboo‐Sa’eed El‐Ḥimyeree says, ‘I have seen the mosque of ’Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ: its length was 50 cubits, with a width of 30 cubits. He made the road to surround it on every side; and he made to it two entrances in the northern side, and two entrances in the western side; and he who went out from it by the way of the Street of the Lamps found the eastern angle of the mosque to be over against the (p.547) western angle of the house of ’Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ. That was before there was taken from the house what was taken [to enlarge the mosque]. Its length from the Kibleh to the northern side was like the length of the house of ‘Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ. And its roof was very low,6 and there was no inner court to it; so, in summer‐time, the people used to sit in its outer court on every side.’” This curiously‐detailed account destroys the theory that this ancient mosque was a spacious building erected on the plan of an imaginary mosque at Mekkeh or El‐Medeeneh, with an open court in the centre surrounded by colonnades. Undoubtedly, it was one of those small meanly‐constructed crude brick buildings that mark the work of Semitic nations.7 —The Temple of Mekkeh was an ancient Arab sanctuary, and became the most sacred mosque of the Muslims. It is, therefore, important to ascertain, from native writers, what was its form and general style of architecture in historical times. From an Arab history of Mekkeh,8 I extract the following account of the precincts of the Kaạbeh, observing that the Kaạbeh itself, which was anciently a receptacle of heathen idols, &c., is a plain square building, measuring about 18 paces by 14, with a flat roof; that often as it has been rebuilt, the same general plan has always been followed in its reconstruction; and that no one has ever imagined any mosque to have been built in imitation of the Kaạbeh: it is on the open court surrounding the Kaạbeh, as a supposed type of the form of a mosque, that stress has been laid. —“The Kaạbeh had no houses around it until the time of Ḳuṣeí Ibn‐Kiláb (about A.D. 445), who ordered his people to build around it, and divided the adjacent parts.9 Thus the sacred mosque [the Kaạbeh and its precincts] remained until the appearance of El‐Islám, when the Muslims became numerous in the time of the Prince of the Faithful ’Omar Ibn‐El‐Khaṭṭáb, and the sacred mosque became too strait for them. In the year of the Flight 17, a great flood occurred, called the ‘flood of Umm‐Nahshal,’ which entered the (p.548) boundaries of Mekkeh by the way of the dyke now called El‐Med’á;10 and it entered the sacred mosque and displaced the Maḳám Ibráheem, and carried it away to a spot below Mekkeh: its place became obliterated. And it also carried away Umm‐Nahshal, the daughter of ’Obeydeh Ibn‐Sa’eed Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ Ibn‐Umeiyeh; and she died therein. Thereupon ’Omar, being written to and informed thereof, while in El‐Medeeneh, mounted and returned in alarm to Mekkeh, which he entered, performing the ’Omrah,11 in the month of Ramaḍán. . . . . El‐Azraḳee says, ‘The sacred mosque had no walls surrounding it, but only houses of Kureysh, which encompassed it on every side, save that between the houses were gates by which the people entered to the sacred mosque. Then in the time of the Prince of the Faithful ’Omar Ibn‐El‐Khaṭṭáb, the sacred mosque having become strait, he bought houses which were around the sacred mosque, and pulled them down, and made their site part of the mosque. But there remained houses, the owners of which refused to sell them; so ’Omar said to them, ‘Ye took up your abode in the precincts of the Kaạbeh, and the Kaạbeh did not take its place in your precincts.’ And the houses were valued, and their price was placed in the interior of the Kaạbeh. Then they were demolished, and their site was included in the mosque; and their owners demanded the price and it was given to them. And he ordered to build a low wall, surrounding the mosque, less than the stature of a man in height; and the lamps were placed upon it; and he made in it the gates as they were between the houses before they were demolished, placing them over against the former gates.”12

On the source from which the Arabs derived their architecture, Ibn‐Khaldoon, in continuation of the passage already quoted, says, “When they ceased to observe the strict precepts of their religion, and the disposition for dominion and luxurious living overcame them, the Arabs employed the Persian nation to serve them, and acquired from them the arts and architecture; and then they made lofty buildings. This was near to the end of the empire.” The ascription of Arab art to Persian instruction cannot be too carefully recollected; it explains many difficult points in the style, and deserves further elucidation. The origin of the Arab style may probably be traced to Sassanian as well as to Byzantine sources. Of the early architecture of Persia, our knowledge is insufficient; but some of the (p.549) characteristics of the style which was perfected by the kings of the Sassanian dynasty existed already in Persia. To the architecture of those kings the Arabs probably owed more than has been commonly supposed. Ibn‐Khaldoon's remark that the architecture arose with the decline of the empire is exactly borne ont by facts.

Besides the Persians, the Arabs were indebted to the Copts for assistance in building; and it has been remarked by Mr. Lane, in this work (p. 547), that in the present day there are many architects, builders, and carpenters, among the Copts, all of whom are generally esteemed more skilful than Muslims, as they are also neater in their work. When the Kaạbeh was rebuilt by the tribe of ḳureysh, in the youth of Moḥammad (and it is a tradition that the Prophet himself assisted as a labourer in the work), we read that “there was in Mekkeh a Copt who knew the art of sawing wood and planing it; and he agreed with them [Ḳureysh] to make for them the roof of the Kaạbeh, and Báḳoom was to help him.” So says Ibn‐Is‐ḥáḳ, in the Kitáb‐el‐lạlám, &c., before quoted, in which it is also stated (on the authority of the sheykh Mohammad Eṣ‐Ṣáliḥee, in his Seereh, or Life of Moḥammad), that the sea cast up a vessel upon the shore of Juddah (now called Jeddah) belonging to a Greek merchant, named Báḳoom, who was a carpenter and builder; Ḳureysh bought the wood of the ship, and took the Greek with them to Mekkeh, and employed him to make of the wood of the ship a roof for the Kaạbeh. (El‐Uinawee says that the ship was carrying marble and wood and iron to a church which the Persians had burnt in Abyssinia). In the Life of Moḥammad, entitled “Es‐Seereh el‐Ḥalabeeyeh” (M.S.), Báḳoom is said to have been one of the Greek merchants, a builder; and after inserting many contradictory opinions respecting this Báḳoom and a certain Copt, it is added that the more prevalent opinion is that Báḳoom, the Greek, was a carpenter as well as a builder, and that he rebuilt the Kaạbeh, and assisted a Copt, also by some named Báḳoom, who made the roof. Ḳureysh told Báḳoom, the Greek, to build the Kaạbeh according to the building of churches [meaning in respect of masonry, not in respect of plan]. The disputes of Muslim writers about this builder of the Kaạbeh, while they leave uncertain the immaterial point as to which of two foreigners executed the work, establish the important fact that it was necessary to get foreign help for so simple an edifice as the square, unornamented, Kaạbeh, and that the help was obtained from a Copt or a Greek or both.

So again, El‐Maḳreezee is unusually explicit about a pulpit said to have been placed in his mosque by ’Amr, or by ’Abd‐El‐’Azeez Ibn‐Mar wán (one of the viceroys of Egypt), which was taken from one of the Christian Churches of El‐Fuṣṭáṭ; or, according to some, he says, it was given to ’Abd‐Allah Ibn‐Saạd Ibn‐Abee‐Sarḥ (p.550) (another viceroy) by a king of Nubia, who sent with it his carpenter to fix it, and the name of this carpenter was Buḳṭur (a Copt), of the people of Dendarah. In Cairo, the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon13 (to which I shall recur) is also recorded to have been built by a Copt,14 and this edifice is highly curious as an example of a building, erected in A.D. 876, of which the arches are all pointed, and which contains the first forms of the scroll‐work and geometrical ornament of the style of the Arabs that was afterwards brought to such high perfection. But the most remarkable record of the employment of Copts by Muslims is in conjunction with Byzantines; and must be next mentioned. “When a state consists of Bedawees, at the first,” says Ibn‐Khaldoon, “they stand in need of the people of other countries in the affair of building. And thus it happened to El‐Weleed, the son of ’Abd‐El‐Melik,” who sent to the king of the Greeks (the emperor of Constantinople) for assistance to build the mosque at Jerusalem, his own mosque at Damascus, and the two holy places in Arabia, and asking for workmen and mosaics (Fuseyfisà).15 The historian of El‐Medeeneh (Es‐Sumhoodee) gives the following account of this rebuilding of the Prophet's mosque. “When El‐Weleed purposed rebuilding the mosque, he wrote to the king of the Greeks, informing him of his intention, and that he was in want of workmen and materials for mosaics. Whereupon he sent to him loads of those materials, and between twenty and thirty workmen; or, as some say, ten workmen; or, as others say, forty Greeks and forty Copts.16 When El‐Weleed came to El‐Medeeneh on pilgrimage, and saw the mosque, he said, ‘How different is our building from yours!’ Abán answered, ‘We have built after the manner of mosques, and you have built after the manner of churches.’” The contrast between El‐Weleed's building in Syria and the mosque built at (p.551) El‐Medeeneh shews that the Copts and Greeks constructed there a building very different from the Byzantine building of El‐Weleed at Damascus, and points to the commencement of the adaptation of foreign materials to form a new style. At the same time, we have evidence, in the mention of mosaics,17 that the Byzantine style of decoration was in some degree followed, and that the workmen at first carried with them their foreign art.

The Muslim conquerors of Egypt entered a country full of churches and convents, which might be converted into mosques, and would certainly afford examples of architecture for their imitation. After the overthrow of the Copts by El‐Ma‐moon, about the year of the Flight 216, the Muslims converted a number of Christian churches into mosques, making the entrance the niche for the direction of prayer. In the first half of the ninth century of the Flight, I find El‐Maḳreezee enumerates 125 churches and 83 convents (including those in the Oases and the Eastern Desert); mostly in Maṣr el‐Ateeḳah and the Upper Country, besides the sites of many that were ruined. It appears, from the historian's account, that anciently the Christian foundations in Egypt were exceedingly numerous and flourishing; but that in his time, owing to the severe persecutions of the Muslims, they had fallen to a very low condition, and many had altogether perished. The present state of these buildings forms a subject for a curious inquiry; and such an inquiry would doubtless yield interesting archæological and historical results. There cannot have been wanting Coptic builders and artificers, nor can the Muslims have avoided the transference of many features of Christian art to their own edifices. The influence of the Copts on the Egyptians is marked in many ways: they use the Coptic (as well as their own) calendar, and are familiar with the months and the seasons of that people; they celebrate several of the festivals of the Copts; and their usual charm against ’efreets in the bath‐rooms (places supposed to be always haunted) is the sign of the cross above the doorway. If the Arabs have obtained art from the Byzantines, or Persians, or Tatars, they as surely have from the Copts. Difficult features in their art will be explained and understood on this supposition; and even surer is it that the careful handiwork of the Copts was called into requisition by their conquerors: the Arabs never having excelled in neat or accurate workmanship.

The influence of Byzantium on the art of the Arabs cannot be doubted. It was at first the direct use of Byzantine workmen, and afterwards the gradual (p.552) adaptation of portions of their architecture to a new style. But whence the Greeks of the Eastern Empire obtained many. of the features of their art, and especially some of those adapted by the Arabs, remains at present an unsolved question. It is probable that the influence of Persia had affected them before it reached the Arabs, and that the characteristics referred to were Persian in origin;18 just as the same influence more strongly affected the Arabs afterwards. The only persons who, at this day, in Cairo, can execute the scroll‐work of the old Arabesque decoration, are the Greek tailors. Their work in embroidery preserves the style of the art, though more elaborated and græcized.

The practice of eastern monarchs has always been to carry with them craftsmen from one conquered country to another; besides the number of proselytes to El‐Islám, of these classes, in the ranks of their armies. A notable instance occurred on the conquest of Egypt by the Turks, and one which explains the rapid decay of the arts in that country since that period. The Sulṭán Seleem II. took away with him to Constantinople (according to El‐Gabartee, in his Modern History of Egypt,) so many masters of crafts from Cairo that more than fifty manual arts ceased to be practised (see above, page 308).

It has been observed that the form of the mosque was of gradual development; climate, and not religion, or a supposed imitation of the holy places of Arabia, appears to have been the cause of the open interior court surrounded by porticoes. These porticoes date early; the simplest form was that which covered the place of prayer, and necessity rather than choice caused its adoption. Thus the Prophet's mosque consisted, at first, of a court walled in, with a covered portion next the niche, the roof being supported on palm‐trunks. ’Osmán is said to have built porticoes to the Temple of Mekkeh, in the year of the Flight 26; and this is the earliest recorded instance of this feature of a mosque. They were perhaps in imitation of the covered portion of the Prophet's mosque, or suggested by the same reason,—a shelter from the sun,—in each case, while, at Mekkeh, they naturally followed the form of the enclosure of the mosque. But El‐Azraḳee says that Ibn‐Ez‐Zubeyr found the Temple with only a wall surrounding it, which would bring the date of the porticoes down at least to A.H. 64. They were built to afford shade to the people, according to that author. The entire passage from Ḳutb‐ed‐Deen (I quote from the Kitáb el‐Iạlám) is, however, as follows: —“In the year 26, Osmán came from El‐Medeeneh. . . . . and gave orders to enlarge the sacred (p.553) mosque. He also bought houses around the mosque and pulled them down, and he included their site in that of the mosque. . . . . . And he built the mosque and the porticoes, and he was the first who made the porticoes. ’Abd‐Allah Ibn‐Ez‐Zubeyr,’ says El‐Azraḳee, ‘also added to the mosque, buying houses which he included in its site. Then ’Abd‐El‐Melik Ibn‐Marwán, though he did not enlarge it, yet raised its walls, and roofed it with ság,19 and repaired it beautifully. . . ... He gave orders to put upon the capital of every column fifty mitkáls of gold. . . . . . He [El‐Azraḳee] says, also, that El‐Weleed Ibn‐’Abd‐El‐Melik repaired the sacred mosque, and undid the work of ’Abd‐El‐Melik, and rebuilt it firmly. He used, when he made mosques, to decorate them. He was the first who transported the marble pillars; and he roofed it with decorated ság, and made upon the capitals of the columns plates of gold, and surrounded the mosque with marble, and made to the mosque canopies [or awnings].” Though the mosque of ’Amr was at first a covered building, we cannot doubt that, when a court‐yard was added to it, porticoes formed a portion of the plan: this mosque now contains a forest of columns.

None of the early mosques possessed minarets; they were added from time to time after their foundation, though not at a long interval. The Prophet's muëddin used to chant the call to prayer from the entrance of the mosque, and this was the practice of the first Muslims; but I find, in the Khiṭaṭ, that the Khaleefeh El‐Moạtaṣim commanded that the muëddins of the mosque of ’Amr should be made to chant the call outside the maḳṣoorah; and that, before that, they used to chant the call within it. The minarets of El‐Medeeneh, and that of the mosque of Kubà, (founded by Moḥammad on his Flight, and before he entered El‐Medeeneh,) were built by ’Omar Ibn‐’Abd‐El‐’Azeez, who was appointed governor of Mekkeh, El‐Medeeneh, and Et‐Táïf, in the year 87; and the first to the mosque of ’Amr, in the year 53; but Mo’áwiyeh (about A.H. 53) added four towers for the adán at the four corners of the mosque; “he was the first who made them in it; there was none before that” (El‐Maḳreezee). It is impossible to ascertain the forms of these minarets, which we can only know certainly to have been elevations from which the call to prayer might be heard from afar; but they are the earliest I have found mentioned in the works of the Arabs. Some curious examples of minarets in Egypt are mentioned below.

The pulpit did not exist, except as an insignificant elevation, in the Prophet's mosque, and ’Omar ordered the demolition of one which ’Amr had set up in his mosque in Egypt. Each successor of Moḥammad descended one step of the pulpit of El‐Medeeneh, in token of his humility, until ’Alee, the fourth Khaleefeh, said. (p.554) “Shall we descend into the bowels of the earth?” and boldly stood on the platform, or that which was Moḥammad's station. The preachers, or khaṭeebs, in the mosques (not being Khaleefehs) stand on the top step, next below the platform. In the year 161, El‐Mahdee ordered that the height of pulpits should be reduced to that of the Prophet's; but this was four steps only, and they have since been much raised.20

The maḳṣoorah, or partition that divides the place of prayer from the rest of the mosque (not to be confounded with the “maḳṣoorah.” surrounding the tomb in a sepulchral mosque), is perhaps a modern addition; but a “maḳṣoorah.” for the Imám existed in the time of ’Osmán, if indeed it was not then first adopted; for El‐Maḳreezee, citing the History of El‐Medeeneh, tells us that “the first who made a “maḳṣoorah.” of crude bricks was ’Osmán, in which were apertures for the people to see the Imám; and ’Omar Ibn‐’Abd‐El‐’Azeez made it of ság. The crude brick partition we may suppose to have been the earliest example, and ’Osmán probably constructed it for his personal safety, in dread of the death by assassination which he actually met. The “maḳṣoorah.” for the Khaleefeh, or for a king in a royal mosque, was thenceforward adopted.

The earliest use of the pointed arch throughout any building belongs, in the present state of our knowledge, to the Arabs in Egypt; and in that country, preeminently, it has marked their best architecture.21 That a mosque should have been built in the year of the Flight 263, or 876 of our era, in which all the arches are pointed, appears to be decisive evidence of their having first adopted it in any important manner. This mosque, the earliest authentic Arab building in Egypt, has been preserved unaltered to the present day, and is therefore, unlike the often‐rebuilt mosque of ’Amr, a safe example. The origin of the pointed arch, like that of the arch itself, is merely a curious point of archaeological research; and isolated instances of it in older buildings do not affect the fact that the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon is the earliest known instance of pointed architecture as a general characteristic of any building. But it is noteworthy that this building was constructed by a Copt Christian.

There is, however, another building in the environs of Cairo, older than the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, which may present an earlier example of consistent pointed arches. The following particulars respecting the Nilometer of the island of Er‐Róḍah, the building referred to, I obtain from Mr. Lane's MS. notes. I give them almost in his own words, with his deductions from them, which are (p.555) particularly valuable. —Usámeh Ibn‐Zeyd El‐Tanookhee, in the khiláfeh of El‐Weleed, built the first Nilometer (miḳyás) of Er‐Róḍah. This was washed down by the river, or, as some say, was pulled down by order of the Khaleefeh El‐Mamoon, about the beginning of the third century of the Flight; but that which replaced it was not finished by him; under the Khaleefeh El‐Mutawekkil it was completed, in the beginning of 247 (A.D. 861). “This is the building now existing” (says El‐Is‐ḥáḳee, in his history, which he brought down to A.H. 1032). In the year 259, Ibn‐Ṭooloon went to inspect it and gave orders for repairing it; which was done; 1000 deenárs were expended on’ it: the Khaleefeh El‐Mustaṣir is also said to have caused some trifling repairs to be done to it. But it has undergone very slight alterations since the time of El‐Mutawekkil: upon this point, the historians El‐Maḳreezee, Es‐Suyootee, and El‐Is‐ḥáḳee, agree. The interior of the building is about 18 feet square, and contains on each of its sides a recess, about six feet wide and three deep, surmounted by a pointed arch. Over each of these arches is an inscription of one short line, in old Koofee characters; and a similar inscription, a little above these, surrounds the apartment or well. They are passages from the ḳur‐án, and contain no date. It is, however, almost certain that they are not of a later period than that of the completion of the building by El‐Mutawekkil, and though it has been repaired since that time, it has not been since rebuilt. Ibn‐Ṭooloon repaired it twelve years afterwards, and in confirmation of the age of the inscriptions, it may be stated that they are of the same kind of character as those of the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon; while in the following century, a different kind of writing was introduced. It appears, therefore, that the pointed arches of the Nilometer are about 16 years older than those of the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, that is, 861 of our era, though their date cannot be so clearly proved. They were, probably, constructed by the same architect.22

The pointed arches in the “right side‐wall.” of the mosque of ’Amr (above which are smaller arches, alternately round and pentroof), are at least half a century later than the foundation of the mosque, and even this date is very uncertain from the numerous alterations which the building has since undergone. All isolated instances of Arab pointed arches, earlier than the time of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, or (which is nearly the same date) that of the Nilometer of Er‐Róḍah,23 are of very (p.556) little value; and still earlier examples are to be found in Christian buildings in Egypt, before the Arab conquest, as well as in ancient buildings in Egypt and elsewhere. The researches of Sir Gardner Wilkinson24 indicate the gradual adoption of this form of arch to have commenced in early Christian times, and Mr. Fergusson25 mentions its occurrence in the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem. But the persecutions endured by the Christians during the first two centuries and a half of the Flight, and the absence of any remains of important Arab buildings during the same time, have occasioned a break in the history of both Christian and Mohammadan art, which has brought down our knowledge of the general adoption of the pointed arch, and of the first truly Arabian architecture, to 861 or 876 A.D. (247 or 263 A.H.). It is most probable, however, that in that period of conquest, persecution, and proselytism, the arts made slow progress.

The adoption in Europe of pointed architecture is a question entirely beyond the limits of this note. In the East, as I have said, its general adoption must date from the foundation of the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, or from that of the Nilometer. In Egypt, it has since been always one of the strongest characteristics of the style, where that style most flourished; and in other Mohammadan countries, it accompanies other evidences of the purest taste. Generally (though not always) it is, in Egypt, slightly of the horse‐shoe form, but in many examples the trace of the return at the base of the archivolt is very slight: the round horse‐shoe arch is rare.

The mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, besides marking the adoption of the pointed arch, is remarkable as presenting the art of the Arabs in an independent form. Here the geometrical and scroll‐ornament is first found, and found, too, with characteristics far separated from any other known ornament. The scroll‐work may possibly be traced to Byzantine work, but in this building it has assumed an entirely distinct character. It is the ornament which thenceforth was gradually perfected; and its stages may be traced, in the mosques and other edifices of Cairo, through every form of its development. But in this, its first example, it is elementary and rude, and therefore all the more remarkable. Its continuity is not strongly marked; its forms are almost devoid of grace. In later and more fully developed examples, each portion may be continuously traced to its root —constituting one of the most beautiful features of the art—and its forms are symmetrically perfect.26 The geometrical work, on the other hand, without being as intricate, is as fine in this mosque as in any later. It may be assumed, as Mr. Lane has remarked (p.557) to me, that it owes its origin to the elaborate panelled wood‐work so common in Egypt and Syria, and this again (as he has said in this work, page 14,) to the necessities of a hot climate, in which small panels of wood are required to withstand the warping and shrinkage inevitable to the material. All the ornament in this mosque is in stucco, and is cut by hand; not cast from moulds, like that of the Alhambra. The artistic difference is plainly seen in the hand‐work, in which there is none of the hard formality of castings. The building itself is of burnt brick,27 and so solidly constructed that it has now for nearly a thousand years withstood the ravages of time; and, though suffered to fall into gradual decay, is still entire, and even in its decorative portions almost perfect. Its form is that of a square court, surrounded by arcades of pointed arches with a very slight return. Over the niche is a small cupola, probably, though not certainly, of the same date as the building. I am aware of only one other instance of this feature, in Egypt: it is that in the sepulchral mosque of Barḳooḳ, founded A.H. 814. It is almost needless to search for the oldest instance of the dome in Arab architecture: it was undoubtedly borrowed from the Christians: but it may be worth noting that El‐Makreezee relates that a church existed in his time at Moosheh, near Asyoot, the capital of Upper Egypt, with three domes, the height of each of which was about eighty cubits (?), all of them being built of white stone, and said to date from the time of Constantine the Great.

In their domes, the Arabs adopted, and improved on, the constructional expedient For vaulting over the space beneath, and passing from a square apartment to the circle of the dome, used by both Byzantines and Persians. For want of a better name, this bracketing‐work has been called “pendentive.” The Church of St. Sophia, at Constantinople, presents fine examples of its Byzantine form; but in later edifices of that style, constructional difficulties seem to have confined the architects to small domes. The buildings of the Sassanian dynasty also contain pendentives.28 But the origin of this architectural feature is evidently far simpler than any to be sought for in the exigencies of domical construction, or the (p.558) developed and elaborate examples hitherto adduced. It must be traced to the transition from a square to a circle by the rude process shewn in the annexed woodcut, which represents part of the interior of a tumulus discovered at Kertch, and described in the “Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature,” (vol. vi. p. 100, plate V.) which, if of late date, is of very early style, like the tomb of Alyattes, and the so‐called treasury of Atreus. The Arabs, with their peculiar faculty for cutting away all superfluous material, naturally arched the over‐lapping stones that filled up the angles of the building; and, by using pointed arches, overcame the difficulty of the Byzantine architects, to which I have alluded. The pendentive was speedily adopted by the Arabs in Egypt in a great variety of shapes, and for almost every conceivable architectural and ornamental purpose: to effect the transition from the recessed windows to the outer plane of a building; and to vault, in a similar manner, the great porches of mosques, which form so grand a characteristic of the style. The simple circle placed on a square to support a dome, was elaborated by an intermediate octagon, and the angles of the square were then filled in as in the woodcut inserted in the next page, taken from a sketch that I made in the great southern cemetery of Cairo, which shews well the facility with which a simple form was beautifully elaborated. All the more simple wood‐work of dwelling‐houses

Appendix F Editor Notes

(p.559) is fashioned in a variety of curious patterns of the same character. The pendentive, in fact, strongly marks the Arab fashion of cutting off angles and useless material, always in a pleasing and constructively advantageous manner.

I have said that the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon is the most ancient Muslim edifice of known date in Egypt, and that the two centuries and a half that had elapsed since the conquest of that country by the Arabs left no sure stepping‐stones by which to trace the gradual advance of the art which in that mosque suddenly appears as an independent style. Another gap followed, of which no architectural examples remain. The next period of Egyptian art is that of the Fáṭimee Khaleefehs. During the century that had elapsed, much progress had been made. The great mosque El‐Azhar, founded by the first ruler of that line, contains few portions of the original structure; numerous repairs and rebuildings have effaced the first plan, and the ancient niche now stands isolated among the columns of the place of prayer.29 But the mosque of El‐Ḥákim, though in a ruined state, preserves enough to shew this progress, and to shew too that the typical forms found in the work of Ibn‐Ṭooloon had been preserved and developed. The style had gained strength in boldness and symmetry. The Fáṭimee dynasty left other remarkable mosques in Cairo, besides sepulchral buildings in the southern cemetery of that city; bearing the same characteristics, and generally, 1 believe, of brick, plastered. The three fine gates of El‐Ḳáhireh, built during the rule of this dynasty, are noteworthy as the work of three Greek brothers. They contain features quite foreign to the art, while displaying some of its best characteristics; and deserve to be remembered as examples of what the Arabs have obtained from strangers. (p.560)

Appendix F Editor Notes

The buildings of the succeeding dynasty, which was founded by the renowned Ṣaláḥed‐Deen, are not numerous; nor remarkable, with some good exceptions, except for massive strength. It was under the first dynasty of Memlook (Turkish) Sulṭáns that the art attained to perfection; and it very gradually declined under the second (or Circassian) dynasty. In considering these periods of history, it is necessary to remember that the kings, who were originally slaves, probably brought with them no art‐knowledge from their native countries. But the Turkish slaves came of a tomb‐building race, and, as there is evidence to shew, this national trait took root in Egypt.30 El‐Maḳreezee affords a weightier reason for the introduction of many new features into Arab art about this time. Genghis Khán was desolating Western Asia, and driving whole populations before him. “At the time of Genghis Khán,” says El‐Maḳreezee, “many Easterns came to Egypt [A.H. 656]; and after this, in the time of the third reign of Moḥammad Ibn‐Ḳalaoon, the suburbs south of El‐Ḳáhireh were chiefly built, and increased greatly [A.H. 711].” Ibn‐Ḳala‐oon was one of the great builders of those days; some of the edifices he founded are among the best examples of Arabian art; but his mosque within the upper circuit of the Citadel is as curiously strange to that art. The minarets are strikingly Tatar, in form like the minárs of northern India, and covered with glazed tiles.31 They are unique in Cairo. The dome‐shaped termination of (p.561) those minarets, however, which has been compared to a darweesh's conical cap, is found in a few other instances. It is found in the mosque of El‐Ḥákim, which was partially ruined by an earthquake in the year 702; the tops of the minarets were then thrown down, and were rebuilt by Beybars El‐Gáshnekeer, an Emeer who usurped the throne of Ibn‐Ḳala‐oon. The collegiate mosque of this Emeer presents the like peculiarity, as do some others of this, or a rather later, period. The historical evidence sets at rest the European notion that this is the more ancient form of the minaret. In Egypt, at least, it cannot be proved to be earlier than the commoner form.

In modern times, the buildings of Cairo are painted in alternate horizontal stripes of lime‐wash and red ochre. This was an ancient practice, and one which, there can be no doubt, was borrowed from the Roman construction of alternate courses of stone and brick. An example of this the Arabs had at Egyptian Babylon, before which ’Amr pitched his tent and founded his city and mosque. That old Roman fortress, now called Ḳaṣr‐esh‐Shemạ, would have given the invaders a ready example to follow. That the colour was a constructive feature may be learned from a study of the mosques of Cairo; especially those in the cemeteries, where the effect is produced by the use of stone of different colours, without the help of red ochre. The use of colour by the Arabs in Egypt was, in their best time, very simple and sparing: red, black, and gold on ultramarine, formed the principal, almost the only, architectural coloured decoration; with the addition of white, and sometimes yellow, in the mosaic pavements and dados. Green marks the decay of the style; and the profuse colouring of the Alhambra is altogether foreign to the true art.

The connection of Arab and Gothic architecture is a subject that would yield most interesting results. The modern fashion of assuming everything Mohammadan to be of true Arabian art has misled art‐critics; . and the undue importance that has been given to the degraded style of the Alhambra (which is to mosques of the best Cairo time as late Perpendicular is to early English and Decorated Gothic), and to the bastard edifices of Mohammadan India, —because something is known about these and next to nothing of the true art—has induced the most erroneous conclusions. The more the buildings of Cairo are studied, the more clearly, I think, will the connection of the architects of that country with those of southern Europe be established. In the streets of that quaint old city, one is constantly in presence of strong Gothic affinities, let alone pointed arches of Gothic proportions, triple lights, &c. The topographical work of El‐Maḳreezee is of the utmost value in helping to a correct judgment of dates, and sometimes mentions the very architects. Like all things Eastern, the art is not rapidly changeable, and it (p.562) is far more difficult there than in Europe to fix approximately the date of an edifice. There is one gateway —it is that of a mosque in the main thoroughfare of the city—that has often puzzled theorists, and has only been accounted for by the supposition that a Gothic architect constructed it in Cairo. Its history, as given by El‐Maḳreezee, is highly curious; testifying to the accuracy of the historian, shewing the manner in which these buildings were erected, and presenting an example of direct adoption of Gothic work. The gateway in question is of clustered columns, and is probably of transition Norman, or one of its kindred styles. The historian's account is as follows: —“The Medreseh en‐Náṣireeyeh is adjacent to the ḳubbeh el‐Manṣooreeyeh, on the eastern [meaning, north‐eastern,] side. It was begun by El‐Melik el‐’Ádil Zeyn‐ed‐Deen Ketbughà, and it rose to about the height of the gilded border on its exterior: then he was deposed. And El‐Melik en‐Náṣir Moḥammad Ibn‐Ḳala‐oon gave orders to complete it in the year 098, and it was completed in the year 703. It is one of the grandest of the buildings of El‐Ḳáhireh, and its gateway is one of the most admirable of what the hands of man have made; for it is of white marble, novel in style, surpassing in workmanship; and it was transported to El‐Ḳáhireh from the city of’Akkà [St. Jean d’Acre]. For El‐Melik el‐Ashraf Khaleel Ibn‐Ḳala‐oon, when he took ’Akkà by storm, in the year 609, ordered the Emeer ’Alam‐ed‐Deen Senger Esh‐Shugá’ee to demolish its walls and destroy its churches. And he found this gateway at the entrance of one of the churches of ’Akkà,; it being of marble, its bases, and jambs, and columns all conjoined one with another [i.e. clustered]: so he conveyed the whole to El‐Ḳàhireh.”

The result of this inquiry into the origin and rise of Arabian art is very simple. It sets at rest the question of the Arabs having possessed any but the rudest native art. An essentially unartistic Semitic nation, they overran countries abounding in the remains of decaying styles, and used the craftsmen of those countries to build their mosques and palaces; at first adopting the old art, and afterwards engrafting many of its features into a new style of their own. The earliest Arab buildings were predominantly Byzantine, and that style always continued to exercise a strong influence; but soon one more markedly Oriental was added to it, and to the halfformed Arabian art then springing up. This was the Persian or Sassanian; and to it must, I think, be traced much of the elegance of the Arabian, and a great proportion of its ornament. A later Tatar element, in Egypt, I believe I have also shewn to have been added. It must be distinctly borne in mind that the Arab style has a distinct individuality; and, taking the Egyptian as the typical (as it was certainly the highest) form, it is one that must rank among the purest of all times and countries. To what extent the Arabs themselves worked in its development is at (p.563) present doubtful, and will probably always remain so. They have never excelled in handicrafts. Their workmen were commonly Copts, Greeks, and Persians; and though they must have learnt from these peoples, they appear never to have been able to dispense altogether with their services. The taste that directed their admirable works—whence it arose and how it was fostered —forms a more subtle question: unless their architects as well as their workmen were foreigners,32 we must ascribe it to the Arabs themselves; and it would then form a remarkable example of a nation, naturally tasteless, acquiring a perception of beauty of form, symmetry of proportion, and generally of the highest qualities of architectural and decorative excellence, which has never been surpassed.

III. —History of the Mosque of ‘Amr.33 (Abstracted from El‐Maḥreezee's Historical and Topographical Account of Egypt.)

THE mosque was built, after the occupation of Alexandria, in the year of the Flight, 21.34 —Aboo‐Sa’eed El‐Ḥimyeree says, I have seen the mosque of ’Amr Ibn‐El‐Áṣ its length was 50 cubits, with a width of 30 cubits.35 And he made the road to surround it on every side. And he made to it two entrances, facing the house of ’Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ. He also made to it two entrances in the northern side, and two entrances in the western side; and he who went out from it by the way of the Street of the Lamps found the eastern angle of the mosque to be over against the western angle of the house of’Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ. That was before there was taken from the house what was taken [to enlarge the mosque]. Its length from the ḳibleh to the northern side was like the length of the house of ’Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ. (p.564) And its roof was very low, and there was no inner court to it; so, in summer time, the people used to sit in its outer court on every side.

The first who added to it was Meslemeh Ibn‐Mukhallad El‐Anṣáree, in the year 53. He added to it on its eastern side, of that which adjoins the house of ’Amr, and on its northern side; but he made no new addition to it on the southern,36 nor on the western, side. He made a “raḥabeh” [an exterior court] on the north of it, and the people resorted thither in the summer; he also plastered it, and ornamented its lower walls, and its roof; for the mosque of ’Amr [i. e., that built by ’Amr] was neither plastered nor embellished. He ordered the building of the minaret of the mosque [of ’Amr?] which is in El‐Fusṭát. —It is said that Mo’áwiyeh ordered the building of the towers for the adán; and Meslemeh made for the congregational mosque four towers at its four corners; he was the first who made them in it: there was none before that.

In the year 79, ’Abd‐El‐’Azeez Ibn‐Marwán pulled it [the mosque] down, and added to it on the western side, and enclosed in it the court that was on the northern side; but on the eastern side, he could not find space to enlarge it: so says El‐Ḳuḍá’ee; but El‐Kindee says that he enlarged it on all its four sides.—’Abd‐Allah Ibn‐’Abd‐El Melik ordered the raising of the roof, which was low, in the year 89.

In the beginning of the year 92, by order of El‐Weleed, El‐Ḳurrah Ibn‐Shureyḳ, the governor of Egypt, pulled it down, and began to build it in Shaạbán of that year, completing it in Ramaḍán, 93. The enlargement of Ḳurrah was on the southern and eastern sides, and he took part of the house of ’Amr and of his son, and enclosed it in the mosque, with the road which was between them and the mosque.—Ḳurrah made the recessed niche which is called the mihráb of ’Amr, because it is in the direction of the niche of the old mosque which ‘Amr built.37 The ḳibleh of the old mosque was at the gilt pillars in the row of táboots [wooden chests] at this day: these are four pillars, two facing two, and Ḳurrah gilt their capitals: there were no gilt pillars in the mosque except them. In the days of Ḳurrah the mosque had not a niche save this niche. Hut as to the central niche, existing at this day, it is called the niche of’Omar Ibn‐Marwán, and perhaps he (p.565) made it in the walls after Ḳurrah. Some have said that Ḳurrah made these two niches.—And the mosque had four entrances made to it; they are the four entrances now existing on its eastern side: and on its western side, four entrances; and on its northern side, three entrances.

In the year 133, Ṣáliḥ Ibn‐’Alee added four columns at the back part, and it is said that he enclosed in the mosque the house of Zubeyr Ibn‐El‐’Owwám; the fifth entrance of the eastern entrances of the mosque at this day is of this addition: he built also the fore part of the mosque by the first entrance.—In the year 175, Moosà lbn‐’Eesà added to it the court at its back part, which is half the court known as that of Aboo‐Eiyoob.

In the year 211, by order of ’Abd‐Allah Ibn‐Ṭáhir, an addition equal to it [the mosque] was made on its western side: this addition was the great niche and what is on the western side of it as far as the addition of El‐Kházin, &c.38 ’Eesá Ibn‐Yezeed completed the addition of Ibn‐Ṭáhir. The measure of the mosque, without the two additions, amounted, completely, to 190 (architect's) cubits in length, and 150 cubits in width.39 The court of El‐Ḥárith is the northern court of the addition of El‐Kházin: it was built, in the year 237, by El‐Ḥárith, and he ordered the building of the court contiguous to the Mint. The addition of Aboo‐Eiyoob was in the remainder of the court called the court of Aboo‐Eiyoob. The niche ascribed to Aboo‐Eiyoob is the western one of this addition: it was built in the year 258.

A fire occurred in the back part of the mosque, and it was repaired; this addition being made in the days of Aḥmad Ibn‐Ṭooloon; and in the night of Friday, the 20th of Safar, 275, a fire occurred in the mosque and destroyed from beyond three arches from Báb Isráeel to the court of El‐Ḥárith: in it was destroyed the greater part of the addition of Ibn‐Ṭáhir, and a portico. It was repaired by order of Khumáraweyh in the above‐named year: 6,100 deenárs were expended on it.

El‐Kházin added one portico, from the Mint, which is the portico with a niche and two windows adjoining the court of El‐Ḥárith: its size is 9 cubits. It was commenced in Regeb, 357, and finished at the close of Ramaḍán, 358. —In 387, the; mosque was re‐whitewashed, and much of the fesfesà40 that was in the porticoes was removed, and its place whitewashed: five tablets were engraved and gilt and set up over the five eastern entrances; and they are what are over them now. (p.566)

El‐Ḥákim ordered the construction of the two porticoes which are (says El‐Ḳuḍá’ee) in the court of the mosque. El‐Mustanṣir bi‐lláh also ordered an addition to be made to the maḳṣoorah on its eastern and western sides.41 In the year 445 the minaret which is in the space between the minaret of ’Orfah and the great minaret was built.

In the year 564, the Franks under Amaury besieged El‐Ḳáhireh, and the city of Miṣr was burnt and remained burning for 54 days; and the mosque became dilapidated. In 568, Ṣaláḥ‐ed‐Deen repaired it, restored its ṣadr [the upper end, next to the ḳibleh] and the great niche, and made various additions in it. In 666 the northern wall and the ten arches were reconstructed, and in 687 the mosque was again repaired.

In the earthquake in the year 702, the mosque became dilapidated. The Emeer Silár was appointed to repair it, and he entrusted it to his scribe Bedr‐ed‐Deen Ibn‐Khaṭṭáb. He pulled down the northern boundary from the steps of the roof to the entrance of the northern and eastern addition, and rebuilt it. He made two new doors to the northern and western addition; and attached to each pillar of the last row, facing the wall that he pulled down, another pillar to strengthen it. He added to the roof of the western addition two porticoes.42

After this the mosque and its arches became dilapidated, and it was near to fall; and the chief of the merchants of Egypt repaired the mosque: he pulled down the ṣadr altogether, between the great niche and the inner court, in length and breadth; and rebuilt it; and repaired the walls and roof. This work was concluded in the year 804.

Ibn‐El‐Mutowwag says, The number of the entrances is thirteen: of these, on the southern side, is Báb ez‐Zeyzalakht; on the northern, are three entrances; on the eastern, five; and on the western, four. The number of its columns is 378; and of its minarets, five.

[So far El‐Maḳreezee. It is said that the last repairs were made to this mosque by Murád Bey, about 50 or 60 years ago; and that all the arches which the pillars support, and the roof, were then constructed. The building is about 350 feet square. The outside walls are of brick. The interior court is surrounded by porticoes, of which the columns are six deep on the side next Mekkeh; three deep, on the right; four deep, on the left; and only a single row on the side in which is the (p.567) entrance. The two niches mentioned by El‐Maḳreezee still exist: the central or great niche, and a smaller one much to the left, or towards the north‐eastern angle of the mosque.]

IV. —On the Increase of the Nile‐Deposit.

IN the first chapter of this work, Mr. Lane has mentioned the great annual phenomenon of Egypt, the rise of its fertilizer the Nile, and the consequent inundation of almost the whole cultivable land and deposit of the alluvial soil held in suspension in the water. The description of the ordinary labours of agriculture also required a special reference to the inundation (page 328 seqq.), and the account of the ceremonies observed yearly in connection with the rise of the Nile forms almost a whole chapter (the Twenty‐sixth). Since the account of the ‘Modern Egyptians’ was written, the scientific aspect of the subject (which is indeed foreign to an account of manners and customs) has assumed special importance. The secular increase had been vaguely estimated by several learned men, commencing with those attached to the French expedition under Napoleon; but some uncertainty had always been felt respecting the rate of this increase in early ages, and the matter was virtually undetermined. Neither was the average depth ascertained, although the sediment itself had been examined geologically and chymically. This, which is the scientific side of the question, had been thus generally explored; but on the literary or historical side, the establishment of any synchronism between the surface of the deposit at any past period, and a known date of the inhabitants of Egypt, had been fruitlessly attempted. This difcult subject was lately reopened by Mr. Leonard Horner, who by a series of so‐called scientific investigations (not conducted by himself), sought to determine the rate of the increase of the deposit by the aid of history as well as science, and then to apply a scale thus obtained to the early existence of man in Egypt. His results, such as they are, were eagerly accepted by the late Baron Bunsen, for they fitted his elastic chronology with sufficient accuracy, and they were formally adopted in the third volume of his ‘Egypt's Place.’ The assumed facts were well put and crushingly refuted, in a review of the latter work which appeared in the ‘Quarterly Review,’ for April 1859 (No. 210). I cannot do better than insert some extracts from the review, before making any additional comments. Mr. Horner's method was to endeavour, by boring the plain formed by the Nile, to obtain the actual depth of the alluvial sediment, as well as the nature of the deposit, &c., and to connect with these any indications of secular strata, or historical footprints represented by fragments of brick, pottery, or other objects of man's handiwork, as well as known (p.568) monuments. The results were communicated to the Royal Society in two papers, printed in the ‘Philosophical Transactions.’ The reviewer states the case sought to be established by Mr. Horner as follows:—

“Mr. Horner infers, from finding a piece of pottery in the Nile sediment, and at a certain depth below the surface of the soil, that man existed in Egypt more than 11, 000 years before the Christian era; and not merely existed, but had advanced in civilization so far as to know and practise the art of forming vessels of clay, and hardening them by fire. Mr. Horner arrives at this conclusion in the following manner. Taking the colossal statue of Rameses II., in the area of the ancient Memphis, as the basis of his calculation, he found the depth of the Nile sediment, from the present surface of the ground to the upper level of the platform upon which the statue had stood, to be 9 feet 4 inches. Then adopting the date of Lepsius for the reign of Rameses II, (B.C. 1394 —1328), and supposing the statue to have been erected in 1361, Mr. Horner obtains, between that time and 1854 —the date of his excavations —a period of 3215 years for the accumulation of 9 feet 4 inches of sediment; and accordingly he concludes that the mean rate of increase has been, within a small fraction, 3 inches in a century. Hence, says Mr. Horner, ‘it gives for the lowest part deposited an age of 10,285 years before the middle of the reign of Rameses II., 11,616 years before Christ, and 13,500 years before 1854.’

“M. Bunsen, after quoting Mr. Horner's words, adds: —

“‘The operation performed, and the result obtained, are historical, not geological. The soil which has been penetrated is exclusively historical soil, coeval with mankind, and underlies a monument, the date of which can be fixed with all desirable certainty. It is a soil accumulated at the same spot, by the same uninterrupted, regular, infallible agency of that river, which, like the whole country through which it flows, is a perfect chronometer. It is an agency evidently undisturbed by any other agency during these more than a hundred centuries, by flood or by deluge, by elevation or by depression. The fertilizing sediment is found in its place throughout. Under these circumstances it would seem reasonable to suppose that there is no material difference in the rate of secular increase; but that if there be any, the lower strata would require an inch or half an inch less to represent the growth of a century.’—vol. iii. Preface, p. xxvi.

“Now the first question which naturally arises is, can we depend upon the accuracy of the facts as thus stated? Mr. Horner is both a sound geologist and a man of honour, and he certainly would not intentionally deceive us; but, unfortunately, his testimony in this case is of little or no value, as he is not an independent witness, but simply a reporter of the observations of others. If he had been (p.569) personally present, and had seen with his own eyes the boring‐instrument bring up from a depth of thirty‐nine feet of Nile‐deposit, a piece of pottery, we should have had the testimony of a trustworthy and competent witness; but his mere belief of the alleged fact, without personal observation, is of no value whatever in a scientific point of view. Before accepting such a statement as an undoubted fact, we should require information upon many points, as to which we are at present entirely in the dark. We know nothing of the credibility or competency of the person or persons who made the discovery; but we do know that, in all such cases, whatever is wanted is always found. If a gentleman in this country has the misfortune to fancy that he has coal or copper on his estate, and directs borings to be made, the instrument almost invariably brings up the desired specimen, though the practical geologist is aware, from the nature of the strata, that the existence of either copper or coal is a physical impossibility. So notoriously is this the case, that all who have had experience in these matters attach no importance to such specimens, unless the alleged discoverer is a scientific observer, of whose character and competency there can be no question. When, therefore, Mr. Horner gave special instructions to his agents to attend to the following point, among others:—‘If any fragments of human art be found in the soils passed through; and, unless they be brick or other rude material, to preserve them’—our experience of similar excavations would lead us to expect that such fragments of human art would be sure to be forthcoming. But, even if this be not the case, and the pieces of pottery were actually found in the places indicated, there are several circumstances which render Mr. Horner's inference respecting their extreme antiquity extremely doubtful.

“If we adopt a date of the first colonization of the country consistent with the chronology of the Septuagint, and admit the correctness of Mr. Horner's estimate of the mean rate of the increase of the alluvial soil, we may fairly calculate that at that time the general surface of the plain of Memphis was at least thirteen feet below its present level, and that the bed of the Nile was in the same place much more than twenty‐six feet below its banks —that is, much more than thirty‐nine feet below the general surface of the plain; for the bed of the river rises at the same rate as the bordering land, and is in this part of Egypt at least twenty‐six feet below the land in most of the shallower parts. Now according to an ancient tradition,43 Menes (that is, one of the earliest kings of Egypt), when he founded Memphis, is related to have diverted the course of the Nile eastwards, by a dam about 100 stadia (about twelve, miles) south of the city, and thus to have dried up the old bed. (p.570) If so, many years must have elapsed before the old bed became filled up by the annual deposits of the inundation; and the piece of pottery may have been dropped into it long after the time of this early king, for we do not know the course of the old bed, and the statue may stand upon it. Or the piece of pottery may have fallen into one of the fissures into which the dry land is rent in summer, and which are so deep that many of them cannot be fathomed even by a palmbranch. Or, at the spot where the statue stood, there may have been formerly one of the innumerable wells or pits, from which water was raised by means of earthen pots.

“Again, we know from the testimony of Makrîzî that, less than a thousand years ago, the Nile flowed close by the present western limits of Cairo, from which it is now separated by a plain extending to the width of more than a mile. In this plain, therefore, one might now dig to the depth of twenty feet or more, and then find plenty of fragments of pottery and other remains less than a thousand years old! Natural changes in the course of the Nile similar to that which we have here mentioned, and some of them, doubtless, much greater, have taken place in almost every part of its passage through Egypt.

“Thus far we have adapted our remarks to Mr. Horner's estimate of the mean rate of the increase of the alluvial soil. But this estimate is founded upon a grave mistake, that is, upon the assumption that the upper surface of the platform, on which the colossal statue stood, was scarcely higher than the general surface of the plain. The temple which contained the colossal statue was one of the buildings of Memphis; and according to Mr. Horner's assumption, it is a necessary consequence that both the city and the temple must have been for many days in every year, to the depth of some feet, under the surface of the inundation! This is quite incredible, and we may therefore feel certain that the Nile‐deposit did not begin to accumulate at the base of the statue till Memphis had fallen into ruins about the fifth century of our era.

“These considerations, and many others which we might urge, tend to show that Mr. Horner's pottery is no more likely than M. Bunsen's chronology, to compel us to abandon our faith in the old Hebrew records. But one fact, mentioned by Mr. Horner himself, settles the question. He tells us that ‘fragments of burnt brick and of pottery have been found at even greater depths [than thirty‐nine feet] in localities near the banks of the river,’ and that in the boring at Sigiul, ‘fragments of burnt brick and pottery were found in the sediment brought up from between the fortieth and fiftieth foot from the surface.’ Now, if a coin of Trajan or Diocletian had been discovered in these spots, even Mr. Horner would have been obliged to admit that he had made a fatal mistake in his conclusions; but a piece (p.571) of burnt brick found beneath the soil tells the same tale that a Roman coin would tell under the same circumstances. Mr. Horner and M. Bunsen have, we believe, never been in Egypt; and we therefore take the liberty to inform them that there is not a single known structure of burnt brick from one end of Egypt to the other, earlier than the period of the Roman dominion. These ‘fragments of burnt brick,’ therefore, have been deposited after the Christian era, and, instead of establishing the existence of man in Egypt more than 13,000 years, supply a convincing proof of the worthlessness of Mr. Horner's theory.”

If Mr. Horner had confined himself to the purely scientific question, the depth, &c., of the plain of Egypt in various sections, his results, supposing them to be trustworthy, would have been a contribution to the literature of the subject, and would have given important help to any really historical facts hereafter to be obtained. As it is, his papers exhibit the enormous mistake of forming inductions from false or insufficient data—an instance equalled only by the result obtained from supposed astronomical facts by the French savans at Esnè, by which that temple was proved to have been built 3000 years before Christ; the truth being that it was erected by Greek and Roman rulers.44

Mr. Horner's so‐called historical facts being worthless, we may be asked what prospect there is of trustworthy evidence that may establish a synchronism between science and history. The chance appears remote, indeed; such evidence can only be obtained by the patient and laborious method indispensable in all investigations of this character —for the historical proofs must be as rigorously accurate as the scientific. So difficult a problem cannot be hoped to be solved in a single investigation, and by mere guesses.

It has been remarked in the ‘Quarterly Review ’that Mr. Horner's deductions from the level of the site on which stood the statue of Rameses II. suppose inevitably that the site was some feet under water for many days in each inundation when the statue was originally placed there. Allowance must be made for the ancient Egyptians’ building their temples (not to speak of their towns) above the reach of the annual inundation —just as the modern Egyptians, notwithstanding all their ignorance of science, their carelessness, and their fatalism, are careful in this matter. Not only must this allowance be made (and to what extent should it be made?), but we have the further allowance required by artificial dykes and dams, for the construction of which the ancient Egyptians were famous. How far Memphis, for instance, was artificially drained (a difficult operation in the porous (p.572) Nile‐sediment) cannot now be ascertained; but it is highly probable (for the tradition referred to by the reviewer has nothing in it incredible, and there is nothing to disprove it,) that it was built where the river had formerly flowed, after the stream had been diverted by the dam of Menes.

Nilometers may perhaps, when they are carefully compared, afford some materials for this inquiry. At present they are singularly barren of interest. There are important exceptions, however, such as the measurements on the face of the rock at Semneh, above the second cataract, which, if they prove nothing else, prove the rupture of a great barrier across the river lower down, at some period after the twentieth century B.C. To this class of natural occurrences many so‐called facts, already put forth or to be hereafter discovered, must be referred. Descending the Nile, at Kaláb'sheh such a barrier may (though there are no facts to prove it) have existed in ancient times. At Aswán, lower down the stream, the cataracts may once have been greater than they now are; and Seneca's story45 of the deafness of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, by reason of the roar of the falls, may after all be partially true. Lastly, at Gebel es‐Silsileh (Silsilis), undoubtedly a rocky barrier like that indicated by the records at Semneh once existed and in like manner disappeared: Sir Gardner Wilkinson believes this to be the place so indicated. The effect of so sudden or great an alteration as any of those required by the level of the upper river, I must leave the geologists to tell.

Changes in the course of the river form another class of facts of a very curious nature. In numerous parts of the course of the Nile through the valley of Egypt, large tracts of land have been eaten away by the stream, and this operation is now daily going on. At Girgeh and Manfaloot, it threatens to destroy those towns at no distant period: the temple of Ḳáw el‐Kebeereh (Antæopolis) has almost disappeared; and at Kóm Umboo (Ombos), one of the temples for which that place was famous has been thus washed away; and the other, more distant from the shore, may perhaps follow.

The most remarkable instance of the formation of new land has been already referred to: it is that of the plain which lies between Cairo and its port, Booláḳ. It may be taken as a fair example of the manner in which large tracts of land in Egypt have been rapidly formed, setting at nought the minute calculations respecting the general annual rise of the surface of the inundated land, and defying the explorations of boring‐machines. How many historical sites have been thus formed, it is of course impossible to guess. The plain of Memphis very probably was so formed, as well as that of Thebes. Of what value would be a piece of pottery (p.573) brought up by boring in a tract of this origin? The facts respecting the plain of Cairo, briefly referred to by the Quarterly reviewer, are historically proved, and rest on indisputable testimony. The Nile formerly flowed by the walls of Ḳaṣr esh‐Shemạ and the Mosque of ’Amr, at Maṣr el‐’Ateeḳah, which are now a little more than a quarter of a mile distant from the bank. It continued to bend eastwards, being bounded by the quarter of El‐Looḳ, and the town of El‐Maḳs (the site of the present Coptic quarter of Cairo), and thence, after a wide reach eastward, flowed to the village of Minyet es‐Seereg, a little east of Shubrà. It thus flowed close by the western suburbs and gardens of Cairo, from which it is now from half a mile to a mile distant. From El‐Maḳreezee we learn that, towards the close of the Fáṭimee dynasty, a large vessel, called El‐Feel, (“the Elephant,”) was wrecked in the Nile near El‐Maḳs, and remained there; and the accumulation of sand and mud thus occasioned soon formed a large and fertile island. In the year of the Flight 570 (A. D. 1174—5), the channel east of this island ceased to exist, and thenceforward the river gradually retired from El‐Maḳs, forming, by the deposit of soil during the successive seasons of the inundation, the wide plain of Booláḳ. The course of this part of the river has very little altered since the commencement of the eighth century of the Flight. The plain, therefore, was formed within about 200 years. It is in some parts a mile and a half wide, and at least seven miles long; it is of the level of the surrounding country; and, if its date and origin were unknown, it might be assumed by any theorizer to have required 10,000 years for its deposit. Doubtless it contains many pieces of brick and fragments of pottery as important and ancient as those brought up by Mr. Horner's boringmachine at Memphis.46 (p.574)


(1) . Architects, however, are rarely mentioned; and it seems probable, as my friend Mr. Wild has suggested to me, that the execution of the works was generally intrusted to overseers. These were sometimes military or civil servants of the government; sometimes ḳáḍees, and the like; who employed under them skilled workmen in each required trade. Thus, after an earthquake in the year of the Flight 702, the Emeer Rukn‐ed‐Deen Beybars El‐Gáshnekeer was appointed to repair the great dilapidations occasioned by the earthquake in the mosque of El‐Ḥákim; the Emeer Silár, to the like office at the Azhar; and the Emeer Seyf‐ed‐Deen Bektemer El‐Jókendár, to the mosque of Eṣ‐Ṣáliḥ; “and they repaired the buildings, and restored what had been ruined of them;” while the Emeer Silár, above named, who was also charged with the repair of the mosque of ‘Amr, “entrusted it to his scribe Bedred‐Deen Ibn‐Khaṭṭáb” (El‐Maḳreezee's ‘Khiṭaṭ,’ Accounts of the Mosques of ‘Amr and the Azhar). If the architects and decorators were often Copts, as will be shewn to be highly probable, the reason of the suppression of their names is at once apparent. In the most remarkable building in Cairo, however, the mosque of Ṭooloon, the architect is admitted to have been a Christian Copt.

(2) . El‐Koofeh is the town on the Euphrates commonly written by us “Kufah” and “Cufa.”

(3) . I. part ii. pp. 231‐2. For these early Arabs, see art ARABIA in Dr. Smith's ‘Dictionary of the Bible.’

(4) . The Jews were not architects. Even the Temple was built for Solomon by the Phœnician workmen of Hiram.

(5) . That is to say, in what we call “Flemish bond.”

(6) . So, too, on the authority of Aboo‐’Omar El–Kindee, cited by El‐Maḳreezee.

(7) . The successive alterations, enlargements, and repairs, to which this building has been subjected, will be found in an abstract of El‐Maḳreezee's account of the mosque, appended to this note. It will there be seen that no vestige of any early portion of the mosque earlier than the second century of the Flight—can be reasonably supposed to exist.—It is an error to suppose that ‘Amr converted a church into a mosque. The statement of El‐Idreesee to that effect, upon which European writers have relied, is refuted by every Arab author whose work I have consulted.

(8) . Kitáb el‐Iạlám fee biná el‐Mesjid el‐Ḥarám, a MS. abridgment of Ḳutb‐ed‐Deen's History by his nephew. The larger work, and also that by El‐Azraḳee, together with extracts from the histories of ElFákihee, El‐Fásee, and lbn‐Ḍhuheyreh, have been published by the German Oriental Society of Leipzic. I have compared the abstract above inserted with the larger work, and have examined all the works mentioned. References to them will be found below.

(9) . Ḳuṣé1 was the first of the tribe of Ḳureysh who rebuilt the Kaạbeh; and he made its roof of the wood of the dóm‐tree, and of palm‐sticks. (Kitáb el‐Iạlám.)

(10) . So called because the Ḳaạbeh was there originally first seen by persons approaching, and prayer there offered up was expected to be answered.

(11) . The ‘Omrah is a religious visit to the sacred places of Mekkeh, at any period of the year, with the performance of such of the ceremonies of the pilgrimage as are performed at Mekkeh itself.

(12) . “Omar was the first who made walls [of enclosure] to the sacred mosque, as Ḳutb‐cd‐Deen (page 78) expressly says.

(13) . Vulgarly called Gáme’ Ṭeyloon, “the mosque of Ṭeyloon.”

(14) . After the plan of the mosque of Sá‐marrá, says El‐Maḳreezee; not after the plan of the Temple of Mekkeh, as has been asserted.

(15) . Fuseyfisá signifies, according to the lexicographers, the same as Kharaz, (i.e. little pieces of coloured stone, glass, &c), put together, and set upon the inner surfaces of walls, in such a manner as to resemble painting: mostly made, or used, by the people of Syria; also written Fesfesá. (See also Quatremêre, ‘Notices et Extraits,’ 459 and 632, and his ‘Hist, des Sultan's Mamelukes,’ ii., part 1,266, seq.) It cannot be doubted to be the well‐known glass mosaic of the Byzantines.—Fuseyfisá were used in Arabia shortly before the time of El‐Weleed, above referred to. Abrahah, a usurping king of ElYemen, obtained them from Constantinople for a magnificent church which he built in his capital, San’á, A.D. 537‐570). This, and the mention of the ship carrying marble, &c., in the account of the rebuilding of the Kaạbah by ḳuṣć1, afford evidences of the source from which the old Arabs obtained their architecture, while they shew how slow was the formation of any national style before the conquests of the Muslims.

(16) . These numbers are variously given in different works. It is a characteristic of the Semitic mind to corrupt numbers and dates.

(17) . This use of Byzantine mosaic is mentioned twice by Ibn‐Khaldoon, and several times by EsSumhoodee, who also says that about the same time the mosque of Ḳubá was rebuilt, and in like manner decorated, by the governor of El‐Medeench under El‐weleed.

(18) . The condition of art in Persia in the times before this influence is a subject for further inquiry; but it does not materially affect the point at issue, which is only to ascertain what use the Arabs made of foreign materials, whether brought directly from Persia or from Byzantium.

(19) . Ság is believed to be the Indian, or Oriental, plane‐tree; or the Indian plantain‐tree; or the teak‐free.

(20) . So, indeed, says El‐Maḳreezee.

(21) . I have purposely not referred above to the mosque El‐Aḳsá in the Haram enclosure at Jerusalem. It is said to contain pointed arches; but we know too little of this building to allow of much stress being laid on it. See Fergusson's ‘Handbook of Architecture.’ 2nd ed. p. 379 seqq.

(22) . Remains of an ancient Nilometer existed, in the time of El‐Maḳreezee, in the Deyr el‐Benát, in the Ḳaṣr esh‐Shemạ; “which was the Nilometer before El‐lslám.” One also existed at Ḥulwán, a little above Memphis, on the opposite shore of the Nile.

(23) . There are, I believe, some curious arches in two old mosques above Philæ, on the eastern bank of the Nile: they are ascribed to the Prophet's muëddin, who certainly never was there; for after the Prophet's death he went to Syria, and there he remained until he died, at Damascus.

(24) . ‘On Colour and Taste,’ pp. 290‐296. ‘Architecture of Ancient Egypt,’ pp. 17, 71.

(25) . ‘Handbook of Architecture,’ pp. 294, 379, 598, 815.

(26) . Careful drawings of this ornament have been published in the “Grammar of Ornament,” from the collection of Mr. James Wild. See especially the series from the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, plate xxxi.

(27) . El‐Maḳreezee says that the architect adopted the square brick pillars which support the arches surrounding the court, as being more durable than stone columns.

(28) . In India, early bracketing, very similar to the pendentives already mentioned, is found in buildings at old Delhi; and a later fine example, in a mosque at Beejapoor. The Indian development seems to be an offshoot only, and not to be connected in any way with the origin of pendentives. The plasterwork of the Alhambra was derived from the wooden, as well as the stone and plaster, examples of Epypt. It is hardly necessary to refute a theory, which has nevertheless found an advocate, that pendentives were originally a merely ornamental feature derived from the Gothic dog‐tooth ornament; resting, as this theory does, on a comparison of pendentives of very late date, and of Constantinople workmanship.

(29) . The Azhar was the first mosque founded in El‐ḳáhireh; it was commenced in Jumáda‐l‐Oolá 359, and completed in Ramaḍán 361. Its roof. like that of the mosque of ‘Amr, was originally low, and was afterwards raised a cubit. The mosque was repaired by four of the Fáṭimee Khaleefehs, and by Beybars: again in 702, after the earthquake; in 725; and in 761. The great minaret was built by El‐Ghooree early in the tenth century of the Flight. The whole mosque was repaired and considerably altered by a Turkish governor, in 1004. The Azhar has been. since its foundation, the principal congregational mosque of Cairo, with the exception of two periods—the first, from the date of the mosque of El‐Ḥákim, who transferred the chief prayers to his own mosque, where the Khaleefeh preached; the second from the accession of Ṣaláḥ‐ed‐Deen to that of Beybars, when the sermon was discontinued in the Azhar, because, according to some, it is prohibited to preach two Friday sermons in one town,

(30) . In contravention of Moḥammad's directions that “tombs should be low, and built only of crude bricks.” (See above, page 253, foot‐note.)

(31) . I also find it mentioned by El‐Maḳreezee that the two minarets of the mosque of ḳooṣoon, in Cairo, were built by a builder from Tooreez [Tebreez?], like the minaret which Khowájá ‘Alee Sháh, the Wezeer of the Sulṭán Aboo‐Sa’eed, had made in his mosque in the city of Tooreez.

(32) . Some of the architects I have shewn to have been foreigners: the most remarkable one, the builder of the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon, was a Copt; and three brothers, Greeks, constructed the three grand gates of El‐Ḳáhireh.

(33) . This abstract of El‐Maḳreezee's historical description of the mosque of ‘Amr, although written in a somewhat detailed and confused manner, is of importance in an archæological and artistic point of view, and will, I think, be acceptable to students of the subject, while dissipating theories too hastily formed respecting this the oldest Muslim foundation in Egypt and perhaps in the East.

(34) . “Ibn‐Lahee’ah says, ‘I have heard our sheykhs say that there was not to the mosque of ‘Amr a recessed niche: and I know not whether Meslemeh built it, or ‘Abd‐El‐’Azeez.’ The first who made the niche was Ḳurrah Ibn‐Shureyḳ. El‐Wáḳidee says, ‘Moḥammad Ibn‐Hilál told mo that the first who constructed a recessed niche was ‘Omar lbn‐’Abd‐El‐’Azeez when he built the mosque of the Prophet.’” [I have inserted this note from El‐Maḳreezee, because there is a recessed niche in the mosque of ‘Amr commonly ascribed to him.]

(35) . So also according to El‐Leyth Ibn‐Saạd, cited by Es‐Suyooṭee, in his work on Egypt entitled the Ḥosn el‐Muḥáḍarah, M.S.

(36) . The southern side, or that of the ḳibleh, is the side which we should call the eastern; the reader must therefore bear in mind, throughout this abstract, that the points of the compass are named after the Arab manner.

(37) . The ḳibleh of ‘Amr Ibn‐El‐’Áṣ was the same in direction as that adopted, in Egypt, by the Companions of Moḥammad. El‐Maḳreezee (Account of the Mihrábs of Egypt) tells us that this is not true to the direction of Mekkeh. It is found in the mosques of El‐Geezeh, Alexandria, ḳooṣ, &c. A second ḳibleh is that of the mosque of Ṭooloon. A third is that of the Azhar, which EI‐Maḳreezee states is in the true direction. This is followed by the other mosques of El‐ḳáhireh (or Cairo). There are other variations of the ḳibleh which it is needless to specify.

(38) . “The place of the tent of ‘Amr is said by some to be where are the pulpit and the niche.”

(39) . “It is said that the measure of the mosque of Ibn‐Ṭooloon is the same as that, except the portieoes that surround it on its three sides.”

(40) . Or Fuseyfisá: see above, page 581, foot‐note.

(41) . “Maḳṣoorahs were first made in mosques in the days of Mo’áwiyeh Ibn‐Abee‐Sufyán, in the year 44; and perhaps Ḳurrah when he built the mosque in Miṣr made the maḳṣoorah” [So says ElMaḳreezee in this place; but see above, page 584.]

(42) . “He destroyed outside Miṣr and in the two ḳaráfehs a number of mosques, and took their columns to marble with them the inner court of the mosque.”

(43) . See Herod. ii. 99.

(44) . ‘Description de I’Égypte,’ 2nd. ed. viii. p. 357 seqq. (Recherches sur les bas‐reliefs astronomiques des Égyptiens par MM. Jollois et Devilliers.)

(45) . Nat. Quæst. iv. 2.

(46) . The account of the formation of the plain of Cario I have condensed from Mrs. Poole's ‘Englishwoman in Egypt;’ a work which, besides containing a large amount of valuale information from Mr. Lane's MS. notes—on the climate, topography, and history of Egypt—forms, in its description of the manners and customs of the women of that country, a valuable companion to the ‘Modern Egyptians.’