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As far as Edfu (Appollinopolis Magna) the valley is rather narrow, rarely as much as two or three miles wide. Besides a few short notices, the epitome contains nothing but names and figures showing the duration of each reign and dynasty. We cannot enter here upon even a cursory analysis, much less a discussion, of the various systems of Egyptian chronology. Evidently, in some cases the lack of information on some periods, which must have been very momentous ones in the political life of Egypt, should be attributed to the disappearance of monuments of an historical character, or to the fact that such monuments have not yet been discovered; it is very likely, however, that in many cases no historical evidence was ever handed down to posterity.
From Napata the Nile continues for a while in the southwest direction which it follows from Abu-Hamed, but soon assumes is ordinary sinuous course to the north, describing two great principle curves one to the west down to Wâdi Halfa, just below the second cataract, Soleb being the westernmost point, then another to the east as far as Assiût (Lycopolis), Assuân forming its apex, or easternmost point. Judging from that epitome, the work of Manetho was divided into three parts, the first of which contained the reigns of the gods and demi-gods (omitted in the African recension) and eleven dynasties of human kings; the second, eight dynasties of such kings; the third, twelve (the last one added after Manetho's death). Although their interest lies chiefly in another direction, yet we may glean from them occasional chronological data for the times during which these two writers lived. Accession of Menes and beginning of the dynasties 3400-2980 B. We know little or nothing of the peoples they battled with, nor can we detect the political reasons which brought about the rise and fall of the several dynasties.
The cataract, however, has lost much of its grandeur since the building of the great dam which now regulates the supply for the irrigation of the country in time of low water. (For further details on Manetho and his work see the preface of C. 69-99.) In the next place should be mentioned a list of so-called Theban kings handed down by Erotosthenes of Cyrene (third century B. It seems to be a translation of some Egyptian royal list similar to the Table of Karnak [see C. The following chronological table up to the Twenty-sixth Dynasty is condensed from the excellent work of Professor J. Such traditions, until confirmed by the monuments, or at any rate purified of their legendary elements by comparison with them, must of course be kept in abeyance.
From Assuân to Edfu (about 48 miles) the banks are so high that even in the annual inundation they are above the level of high water, and consequently remain barren. Müller in the Didot edition of the second volume of "Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum", and E. Müller in the Didot edition of Heroditus (Fragmenta chronographica, p. For the present the royal names are almost all that we can regard as certain for several of the dynasties.
Near Edfu the sandstone is replaced by nummulitic limestones (Eocene) of the Tertiary period, which form the bulk of the Libyan desert and a considerable portion of the Arabian desert as well. Occasionally the Egyptians resorted to counter-raids on the Syrian territory, as in the case of the Amus and Hirûshaitus under Pepi I, but, the punishment inflicted, they invariably returned to their line of defense.
The Libyan Desert is a level, or almost level, table-land averaging 1000 feet above the sea. The seat of government during the first period was several times shifted from one city to another.
As soon as the river enters this plain its waters divide into several streams which separately wind their way to the sea and make it a garden of incredible fertility. C.), may have occasionally extended their raids as far as the Mediterranean Sea, but it does not seem that they ever established their rule in a permanent way.
Its strata are gently inclined to the northwest, so that the highest level is in the south, near Luxor, where the oldest (lower Eocene) strata appear, and valleys (Bibân-el-Molûk) take the place of the cliffs, undoubtedly for the same reason as in the Arabian desert (see below). This radical change had the advantage of brining Nubia within closer range, and it may have contributed substantially to the conquest of that province; but it weakened the northern border, which was now too far from the center of political life.
East of the Nile the limestone formation originally presented much the same appearance as in the Libyan counterpart. The pharaohs of the Thirteenth Dynasty (most of whom were called Sebek-hotep or Nofir-hotep), without abandoning Thebes, seemed to have paid more attention than their predecessors to the cities of the Delta, where at Tanis in particular they occasionally resided, and it was from Xois (Sakha), a city of Lower Egypt that the next following (Fourteenth) dynasty arose.
Near Edfu the valley widens out and becomes wider still in the neighbourhood of Esneh (Latopolis). Such is the case for the first two dynasties, which until about 1888 A. were considered by most scholars as entirely mythical.
At Luxor (part of Thebæ) it again narrows for a few miles, but after that it maintains a respectable breadth, averaging between twelve and fifteen miles. Their tombs, however, have since been discovered at Ûmm-el-Ga'âb, near Abydos, in the territory of the ancient This (Thinis), and the names of Menes, Zer, Usaphais, and Miebis have already been found. Distances by water are somewhat greater owing to the winding course of the river. Such data in themselves have no chronological value, as the phases of the moon return to the same positions on the calendar every nineteen years; taken, however, in conjunction with other data, they can help us to determine more precisely the chronology of some events (Breasted, op. Unfortunately, the first of these last two monuments is broken into many fragments and otherwise mutilated, while the second is but a fragment of a much larger stone. Still we must mention here the of the Egyptian priest Manetho of Sebennytus, third century B. Of this work we have: (a) Some fragments which, preserved by Josephus (Contra Apion, I, xiv, xv, xx), were used by Eusebius in his "Præparatio Evangelica" and the first book of his "Chronicon"; (b) by an epitome which has reached us in two recensions; one of these recensions (the better of the two) was used by Julius Africanus, and the other by Eusebius in their respective chronicles; both have been preserved by Georgius Syncellus (eighth-ninth century) in his . Jerome and an Armenian version of the Eusebian recension, while fragments of the recension of Julius Africanus are to be found in the so-called "Excerpta Barbara". Such is the case, for instance, for the first five dynasties, of which all we can say is that they must have ruled successively over the whole land of Egypt and that their kings must have been conquerors as well as builders.