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68 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

 

deeds and heroic enterprises. Art except the art of copying expires, and architecture languishes. Of King Ramses XII. a quaint legend is recited, how, having married the daughter of the king of Bachtan, and her sister being sick unto death, the father besought Ramses to send him some priest or god of Egypt who should be able to save the life of his child. Whereupon the Pharaoh dispatched up the river in a fleet of boats an image of the moon-god Chunsu, before whom the evil spirit that possessed the maiden was banished and sent to his own place. So great was the covetous ecstasy of the king of Bachtan that for three years and more he would not permit the effigy of the moon-god to be returned to the sender. Finally, he himself was seized with an illness, and thereupon, being in alarm, he hastened to send back Chunsu to his place in the temple at Karnak.

This epoch in Egyptian history is marked for the presence of foreign influences in the civil affairs of the kingdom. The Pharaohs now generally chose in marriage princesses from distant courts. Foreign settlements became common in Egypt. A Semite colony was established at Bubastis. The presence of Semitic names Assyrian, Babylonian, Phoenician gave token of constant intercommunication between the Egyptians and the nations of the East. Several kings of Dynasty XXII., reigning at Bubastis, bore names indicative of foreign descent. Of this sort was SHESHANK 1., the Shishak of the Bibical narrative, who founded the Twentysecond Dynasty.

Meanwhile the influence and power of the religious order had increased as the national spirit expired, insomuch that Dynasty XXI., reigning at Tanis in Lower Egypt, was a dynasty of priests. They appeared in public clad in the sacerdotal robes worn by the ministers of Amun-Ra. It was PSIUEN-SAN, one of this priestly line, who gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon. But the dynasty was distinguished by no important enterprise.

The daughter of the last king of this House was married to OSORKON, son of Sheshank. The latter became a partisan in the struggles between Judah and Israel. To him fled Jeroboam, escaping from the wrath of Solomon. Later in his reign, after the revolt of the Ten

Tribes, he made war on Rehoboam, and despoiled his temple and palace. In one of the inscriptions at EI-Karnak is given a list of a hundred and thirty towns and districts which were taken by Sheshankon his expedition through Syria. After his return an important modification was made in the constitution of the empire, by which the office of high-priest of Amun-Ra was made hereditary in the king's family.

The process of disintegration was now everywhere apparent. The employment of Libyan mercenaries in the army in preference to the native soldiery increased the tendency to decay. A number of semi-independent principalities arose In different parts of Egypt. No Pharaoh seemed able to maintain the unity of the nation. A lethargy, like that which preceded the invasion of the Hyksos, paralyzed both king and people.

The Twenty-third Dynasty, with capital at Tanis, held the throne of Lower Egypt for a brief and inglorious period. At length TAFNEKHT, prince of Sai's, leading Pharaoh of Dynasty XXIV., rallied his powers and revived, in some measure, the waning energies of the empire. But the princes ruling in some of the Egyptian provinces, in alliance with the priest-king of Napata, called in the aid of the Ethiopians, who were already in the ascendant in Upper Egypt as far north as Thebes, overthrew Tafnekht, and established Dynasty XXV., called the Ethiopian. The capital was nominally at Thebes. PIANKHI, the priest-king under whose leadership the revolution had been accomplished, himself a descendant of the Theban house, was established on the throne. But Egypt was really ruled from Ethiopia; and in the next reign the logic of events was recognized by giving the seat of the Pharaohs to KASHTA, a native Ethiopian, who had married a princess of Thebes.

Meanwhile, the claims of the Saite House were maintained by BOKENRANF, son ofTafnekht, who seized the occasion of the Ethi- opian usurpation to raise a revolt in Lower Egypt. But the insurrection was only temporarily successful. For a short time he held the throne, but the Ethiopian powers were rallied by SHABAK and led against Lower Egypt in a victorious campaign. Sai's, the