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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38 A HISTORY OF EGYPT

were. As a group at least, we know much of their life and its surroundings ; although we shall never be able to discern them as possessed of distinguishable personality. They blend together without distinction as children of their age. The outward insignia which all alike employed were now accommodated to the united kingdom. The king's favourite title was "Horus," by which he identified himself as the successor of the great god, who had once ruled over the kingdom. Everywhere, on royal documents, seals and the like, appeared the Horus-hawk as the symbol of royalty. He was mounted upon a rectangle representing the facade of a building, probably the king's palace, within which was written the king's official name. The other or personal name of the ruler was preceded by the bee of the North and the plant of the southern king, to indicate that he had now absorbed both titles ; while with these two symbols there often appeared also Nekhbet, the vulture-goddess of El Kab, the southern capital, side by side with Buto, the serpent-goddess of the northern capital. On the sculptures of the time, the protecting vulture hovers with outspread wings over the head of the king (Fig. 19), but as he felt himself still as primarily king of Upper Egypt, it was not until later that he wore the serpent of the North, the sacred urmus upon his forehead. Similarly Set sometimes appears with Horns, preceding the king's personal name, the two gods thus representing the North and the South, dividing the land between them in accordance with the myth which we shall later have occasion to discuss. The monarch wore the crown of either kingdom, and he is often spoken of as the "double lord." Thus his dominion over a united Egypt was constantly proclaimed. We see the king on ceremonious occasions appearing in some state, preceded by four standard-bearers and accompanied by his chancellor, personal attendants, or a scribe, and two fan-bearers. He wore the white crown of Upper or the red crown of Lower Egypt, or even a curious combination of the crowns of both kingdoms, and a simple garment suspended by a strap over one



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