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Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/19

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1850.]
3
Bràhminical Conquerors of India.


habits, almost identical with those that constituted the painted records of the extinct people, — we may with justice speculate upon an earlier time that saw the common origin of both.

It was in making some cursory enquiry into the early military history of nations, that I gradually accustomed my mind to admit the possible truth of a speculation, which I had inclined towards some years previously, regarding the eastern tributaries (recognizable as such by the animals and offerings they bring) represented in the Egyptian kings' tombs of the eighteenth dynasty.* The early mythic fable of the Indian expedition of the Egyptian Bacchus; the history of Ramaf with its Bacchic character which so struck Bishop Heber, when first he saw it represented in action, J — the visible affinities of custom, the similarity of religious types, the painted caves rivalling the graphic picture-records of Egypt, — all stimulate a dweller in India, at all inter- ested in searching for the material of history, to approximate to some idea of the point of annexation, at which the Egyptian and the Indian element in it give evidence of union. But it has been exceedingly difficult to devise up to this time the direction, in which that possibility of union is to be looked for. The opinion that " there is no other people of the ancient world whose form and fashion bear so strongly the impress of locality as the Egyptian ; or who is bound to his country by so many ties, or who so identified it with himself," § — was all which had distributed itself very largely : its learned and sagacious pro- pounder maintained as late as the year 1826 1| that the dominant Egyptian castes, were descended from an aboriginal African people, with a curious disregard of the internal evidence of their institution as pointing to a different origin : and the idea of a maritime intercourse with India, founded on the known facts as to the external commerce

  • Wilkinson's Manners and Customs, Vol. I. in loc.

f An old Egyptian word. "Pyramid is according to him (Tgnazio di Rossi) Param, 'the high.' The root ram for high, similar with the Semitic, is assured; rama for high seems also to have warrant. The pronounciation of the article is as with the pi-romis of Herodotus for pe-rdmi, the man." Bunsen's ./Egypt's Place.Book II. Sec. VI. (a note is appended to this in the original with a cloud of philological authorities). — H. T.

% Heber's Journal in loc.

§ Heeren's Researches, Vol. V. ch. 1.

Bunsen's Egypt's Place. B. I. Sect. III. B. VII.