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Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/20

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[Jan.
Some conjectures on the progress of


of Egypt, and her ancient ports, as Philoteras (Wilkinson's M. and C. ch. III.) might, in this sense account for the Hindu analogies ; nay, the passage* in George Syncellus upon the 40th king in his list, Amenophthis ("who is the Vocal Stone. The Ethiopians came from the Indus, and settled in Egypt ;") would go with many who adopted Heeren's view as proof positive, in the absence of a thoroughly critical examination of the records, historical, traditional, and chronological, of the ancient kingdoms of Egypt.

It so happened that in 1846, a position was put forth in a treatise on military history, published anonymously and obscurely enough by me in Calcutta, maintaining the Egyptians, to have been the original instructors and civilizers of Europe. This idea combated the view taken of them as respects the peculiar "impress of their locality," and was entertained after mature reflection upon consideration that their monuments show them to have been great and mighty conquerors, that they also bore testimony to their progress in art and science, and that art goes forth with arms, the study of which is one of the first historical characteristics with an energetic and enterprising people. After quoting Saxe'sf well-known comment on discipline, it was observed — " the nations of antiquity who derived their military system directly from Egypt, imbibed this great principle together with the rules of practice which their leaders, or their founders carried away from the land, which was truly the focus of all western civilization. These

  • " I have represented the Egyptians as an aboriginal people of Africa, and as

descended from the same race as the present inhabitants of Nubia. This race insensibly spread itself by colonies along the valley of the Nile into Lower Egypt. I have confined this assertion, however, to the superior castes of priests and. warriors ; since it appears, according to the relations of the Egyptians themselves, that it was a sacerdotal caste, emigrated from Meroe, which, by the aid of its reli- gion and superior intelligence, founded a dominion over the Nomad tribes, the pri- mitive inhabitants of Egypt. Such is also the opinion of Rosellini, although he does not mention Meroe, but only cites the generic name of Ethiopia. I shall show, a little further on, that Champollion also held the same opinion, which is still further strengthened by the statements of other travellers quoted in my work." Heeren's Res. Vol. V. Appendix XI. Sec. I.

f The statements of this Byzantine chronologer, with those of his predecessors Theophilus, Panodorus, and Anianus, are critically examined by Bunsen in his "Egypt's Place." B. I. Sec. II. D. E. P. G.—H. T.