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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Art & Architecture


opment, we can identify only two with certainty : Miebis and Usephais; but we have contemporary monuments from twelve of the eighteen kings who ruled during this period. The first difficulty which confronted them was the reconciliation of the Northern Kingdom and its complete fusion with the larger nation. We have seen how, in administration, the two kingdoms remained distinct, and hinted that the union was a merely personal bond. The kings on ascending the throne celebrated a feast called "Union of the Two Lands,'" by which the first year of each king's reign was characterized and named. This union, thus shown to be so fresh in their minds, could not at first be made effectual. The North rebelled again and again. King Narmer, who probably lived near the beginning of the dynastic age, was obliged to punish the rebellious Libyan nomes in the western Delta. He took captives to the number of "one hundred and twenty thousand," which deed must have involved the deportation of a whole district, whence he also plundered no less than "one million four hundred and twenty thousand small, and four hundred thousand large cattle." In the temple at Hieraconpolis he left a magnificent slate palette (Fig. 19) accompanied by a ceremonial mace-head, both of which bear scenes commemorating his victory. Later king Neterimu smote the northern cities of Shemre and "House of the North.72 As late as the Third Dynasty a war with the North gave king Khasekhem occasion to name a year of his reign the "Year of Fighting and Smiting the North," a war in which he took captive "forty seven thousand two hundred and nine rebels." He likewise commemorated his victory in the temple of Horns at Hieraconpolis, dedicating there a great alabaster vase3 bearing his name and that of the triumphant year, besides two remarkable statues' (Figs. 20–21) of him-self, inscribed with the number of the captives. The later mythology attributed a lasting reconciliation of the two kingdoms to Osiris.'

I, 140. 21, 124. 'Hierac. I, p1. XXXVI—VIII.

* Ibid.. pl. XXXIX—XLI. 5 Louvre Stela C. 2.

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