Earliest Egypt

A History of Egypt from the Earliest Times to the Persian Conquest (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905), Chapter III, pp. 25-50


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EARLIEST EGYPT 37

reality, and he at last steps forth into history to head the long line of Pharaohs, who have yet to pass us in review. It must have been a skilful warrior and a vigourous administrator, who thus gathered the resources of the Southern Kingdom so well in band that he was able to invade and conquer the Delta, and thus merge the two kingdoms into one nation, completing the long process of centralization which had been going on for many centuries. His native city was Thinis, an obscure place in the vicinity of Abydos, which was not near enough to the centre of his new kingdom to serve as his residence, and we can easily credit the narrative of Herodotus that he built a great dam, diverting the course of the Nile above the site of Memphis that he might gain room there for a city. This stronghold, perhaps not yet called Memphis, was probably known as the "White Wall," in reference of course to the White Kingdom, whose power it represented. If we may believe the tradition of Herodotus' time, it was from this place, situated so favourably on the border between the two kingdoms, that Menes probably governed the new nation which he had created. He carried his arms also southward against northern Nubia, which then ex-tended below the first cataract as far northward as the nome of Edfu. According to the tradition of Manetho, he was blessed with a long reign, and the memory of his great achievement was imperishable, as we have seen. He was buried in Upper Egypt, either at Abydos near his native Thinis, or some distance above it near the modern village of Negadeh, where a large brick tomb, probably his, still survives. In it and similar tombs of his successors at Abydos, written monuments of his reign have been found, and the reader may see in the accompanying illustration, even a piece of his royal adornments, bearing his name, which this ancient founder of the Egyptian state wore upon his person (Fig. 13).

The kings of this remote protodynastic age are no longer merely a series of names as but a few years since they still

1 Newberry-Garstang, History, 20 (from unpublished evidence?).



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