Page 0044



searches, though Baron Bunsen stoutly maintains that the Lepsian date ought to be reduced to the year 3643 B. C. a difference of 243 years.

The system of Lepsius may be regarded as approximately established; and the following table will, therefore, present the best that is now known of the twenty-six Egyptian dynasties from the accession of Menes to the conquest of the country by the Persians:

B. C. 3892 3639

III IV Memphis 3338 3124 v " 2840

OLD EMPIRE VI VII VIII Elephantine . . . Memphis .... 2744
2592 2522

IX x Heracleopolis 2674* 2565* XI Thebes 2423 XII " 2380 XIII " 2136

MIDDLE EMPIRE XIV XV XVI XVII Xois ...... (The Hyksos) .
2167** 2101 1842 1684

XVIII Thebes 1591 XIX " 1443 XX " 1269 XXI Tanis 1091 XXII Bubastis 961

NEW EMPIRE XXIII Tanis ...... 787

XXIV Sais 729 XXV XXVI (The Ethiopians). Sais 716 685 XXVII (The Persians) 525

*Dynasties IX, and X., reigning at Heracleopolis, antedated somewhat the contemporaneous Dynasties VII. and VIII., reigning at Memphis. **Dynasty XIV., in like manner, antedates Dynasty XIII, at Thebes.

The civil and political history of Egypt begins with the reign of MENES,1 founder of the First Dynasty. He was a native of This, the modern Abydos, in Upper Egypt. To him belongs the distinction of having brought under one dominion the several Egyptian states. Selecting with great wisdom a site on the lower Nile, a short distance above the divergence into the Delta, he constructed a dam, turned the course of the river to the east, and in the district thus reclaimed laid the foundations of MEMPHIS, the most splendid city of Egypt. Here he established his capital; here was built the temple of Ptah; and here the 1 In Egyptian, Mena. first recorded triumphs of Egyptian civilization were achieved.

On the north and west of the city, Menes directed artificial lakes to be constructed as a part of the defenses of his metropolis. On the south side a huge dyke was thrown up as a protection against inundations of the river. The treasures of the government were established in the city; the laws were revised, and the methods of administration perfected by the king and his counselors. After a long reign of sixty-two years, Menes lost his life in a battle with a hippopotamus, and was enrolled by his countrymen among the gods of Egypt.

Menes was succeeded on the throne by ATETA,1 to whom is attributed the building of the citadel and palace of Memphis. He is reputed to have been a physician and writer of works on anatomy, fragments of which have survived to the present day.

The third monarch was KENKENES, of whom no traditions are preserved. The fourth was UENEPHES, in whose reign occurred the first famine recorded in Egyptian history. To him is attributed the building of the pyramid of Kochome, the oldest, perhaps, of all these marvelous structures. During the reign of SEMENPSES, the seventh king of the First Dynasty, a great plague is said to have occurred, and many accompanying portents are mentioned in the traditions of the time. The fact of a plague and a famine at an epoch so remote as the earliest dynasty is sufficient proof that the country was already old and thickly peopled.

The accession of BUTAN 2 marks the beginning of Dynasty II. During the reign of this monarch an earthquake is said to have opened a great chasm, swallowing up many people near the city of Bubastis, in Lower Egypt. The successor of Butan was KAKAN, 3 who is celebrated for having introduced the worship of the bull Apis at Memphis, the calf Mnevis at Heliopolis, and the sacred goat at Mendes. The reign of the next king, BAINNUTER, 4 was distinguished by the passage of a law making woman, equally with man, eligible to the crown of Egypt. During the reign of NEPHERCHERES. The seventh sovereign

1 In Greek, Athotis.

3 In Greek, Kaiechos.

2 In Greek, Boethos.

4 In Greek, Binothris.