He has always said Africans are simply incapable of ruling themselves for now. They need a dictator, and that's that. Indeed, he came to be seen as the personifi- cation of the country he ruled, in part because his image was seemingly everywhere. As the New York Times observed, "his face appears on coins and banknotes, on the walls of every shop and office, and on the bright cloth worn by the ululating [singing] women who are bused out to greet him at every staged stop on his itinerary. But in the aging Banda suffered a stroke, and some people of Malawi fi- nally began to speak out against his autocratic rule.
In the country's Roman Catholic Church issued a widely disseminated protest against the government's human rights abuses and its refusal to tolerate differing opin- ions. Scattered protests against Banda erupted across the nation, and these intensified when the president underwent brain surgery in Even Western nations that had previously supported the Banda government for its Cold War opposition to Communism began to question the regime after the fall of the Soviet Union and its Communist satellites in the late s.
By the early s these countries were cutting back on aid to Malawi in the face of its embarrassing human rights record. In June Banda capitulated to the pressure and held a national referen- dum. The people of Malawi decisively rejected one-party rule and called for new elections. A year later Banda was defeated in his bid to retain the presi- dency by Bakili Muluzi, the candidate of the United Democratic Front Party. Observers were relieved by Muluzi's victory, not only because he represented a fresh start for the nation, but also because Banda sometimes appeared inco- herent and confused during his campaign appearances.
Muluzi initially indicated that he was not interested in pursuing criminal charges against the aged Banda for some of his actions of earlier years, but a few months after he assumed office, he finally heeded his coun- trymen's calls and placed the ex-president under house arrest. In January Banda was charged with plotting to kill four political opponents during his days as president. After a controversial trial in which government prosecu- tors charged that the judge was unfairly favoring Banda, the ex-dictator was acquitted of the murder charges.
The government subsequently filed an ap- peal of the verdict. A few weeks later, in January , Banda offered a vague- ly worded apology to the people of Malawi for incidents that took place in the nation during his reign. If "pain and suffering" was caused by "those who worked in my government, or through false pretence in my name, or indeed unknowingly by me," then "I offer my sincere apolo- gies. In late January , Banda was charged with embezzling government funds during his time as president. He and his long- time companion Cecilia Kadzamira were placed under house arrest, where they will remain until the trial.
The first of these was with Margaret French, a woman he met during his days in London. Later, after assuming the presi- dency of Malawi, he became linked with Cecilia Tamanda Kadzamira, who served as his official "hostess" when he entertained guests. Who's Who in Africa: Leaders for the s, Short, Philip. Banda, Wiseman, John A. N7; June 1, , p. Al; May 20, , p. He changed to Haile Selassie, which means "Power of the Trinity," in , when he was named king of Ethiopia. Haile Selassie's father, Ras Makonnen, was an important figure in the Ethiopian government, serving as the governor of Harar Province and chief adviser to his cousin, Emperor Menelik II.
Haile Selassie's mother, Wayzoro Yashimabet, died while giving birth when he was only 18 months old. He was the only one of his parents' 11 children to survive to adulthood. Historical evidence of the kingdom, however, dates back only to the first century A. Many people in the surrounding areas were Muslims who practiced Islam, however, and religious disputes arose between them and the Christians of Axum. By the sixth century A. During the 13th century a family dynasty that claimed Solomon as an ances- tor emerged in the land, which was gradually becoming known as Ethiopia.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, when most other African nations were being taken over by European colonial powers, Ethiopia remained indepen- dent and under black African control. But the kingdom remained an unstable one until late in the 19th century, when Menelik II — a member of the clan that had long claimed Solomon as an ancestor — took control and established a strong monarchy.
At this time, Ethiopia was a poor but proud empire ruled by a constantly feuding group of kings, princes, and provincial governors de- scended from various prominent families. The members of this ruling class owned most of the land and enacted laws that prevented the peasant and working classes from gaining wealth or power.
Members of the lower classes generally lived in poverty as tenant farmers, servants, or slaves. During his rule, Menelik reunified the country by regaining possession of a number of small kingdoms that had split off from Ethiopia over the previous years, and he then expanded it by conquering territory to the south and east.
Menelik II was also credited with constructing Ethiopia's first railroad and es- tablishing its first modern schools and hospitals. His father, in ad- dition to serving in government, was the cousin and close friend and ally of Emperor Menelik II and was descended from royalty himself, as the great- grandson of the late King Sahle Selassie of Shoa. His father's first name, Ras, actually meant "prince," a title that was bestowed on him in Because Ras Makonnen was a prince and the governor of the influential Harar Province, he modeled his household and lifestyle after that of the emperor and his imperial court.
Indeed, the provincial governors wielded considerable indepen- dence in Menelik's kingdom, since the emperor relied on their armies for pro- tection and revenue-gathering. Despite his father's hectic schedule as a prominent governor, Haile Selassie still formed a close bond with him. Haile Selassie later became well-known for his emotional reserve and distance, but he revealed his feelings about his father in his autobiography, My Life and Ethiopia's Progress.
He always used to praise me for the work that I was doing and for my being obedient. His officers and men used to love me respectfully because they observed with admiration the affection which my father had for me," he wrote. He learned about Ethiopian traditions and the tenets of the Coptic Chnstian faith that his family followed, but he was also taught European history and ideas by private tutors. Ras Makonnen had traveled abroad, and he knew that training in the dominant culture of the time was es- sential if his son was ever to help lead Ethiopia into a larger role on the world stage, which was one of Makonnen's greatest desires.
In his autobiography, Haile Selassie later wrote that "my father had a strong desire to see the people get accustomed to the work of civilization which he had observed in Europe. Seeing how intelligent his son was and how much he was admired, Makonnen named Haile Selassie the commander of a local militia unit. This was a large step towards manhood for the teenager, as , it meant establishing his own household, complete with servants, soldiers, and slaves it was common for the ruling class to keep slaves in the country at that time.
Ras Makonnen died in , when Haile Selassie was Upon his father's death, Haile Selassie was sent to the imperial palace in the capital city of Addis Ababa to be taken care of by Emperor Menelik. However, Haile Selassie's presence in the palace touched off a time of great political rivalry and intrigue. Menelik's wife, Taitu, wished to keep her own family members in power. She recognized that Haile Selassie was one of her husband's fa- Biography Today Modem African Leaders vorites and that he posed a threat to her plan.
As a result, she saw to it that Haile Selassie was named governor of a distant Ethiopian province instead of the powerful Harar Province. This move slowed Haile Selassie's rise to power only temporarily. With Menelik in failing health and Taitu running the palace, Haile Selassie bided his time until In that year, aided by another powerful governor, he took control of Harar Province, where he proved to be a popular governor.
He built great loyalty among his father's former followers by ending the use of forced labor, granting peasants legal rights, and lowering taxes and land-use fees. As the months passed and Menelik's health deteriorated, Haile Selassie contin- ued to build his power base, waiting for the right time to make his move back to the imperial palace. When Menelik finally died of complications from a series of strokes in , his grandson Li Yasu an ally of Empress Taitu was named emperor, though he was never officially crowned. Yasu proved to be a weak mler.
His efforts to change the nation's religion from Coptic Christianity to Islam angered Coptic noblemen, and his stance against England and its allies during World War I led those nations to actively work against him. In , Yasu was removed from power and Menelik's daughter Zauditu was crowned empress. Haile Selassie was a powerful presence in the country by this time, but instead of trying to seize the throne by force, he continued to follow his strategy of reaching the crown through careful maneuvering.
Before Zauditu could as- cend the throne, Haile Selassie insisted on two conditions, both of which were agreed to: He was also made a ras, or prince, at that time. Haile Selassie's power continued to grow over the next 10 years. By using po- litical connections, intelligence, and savvy, he established a base that soon made him a more powerful figure at home and abroad than the empress.
Whereas the empress was conservative and desired little contact with the out- side world, Haile Selassie was a dynamic figure who sought to bring modern ideas to Ethiopia. After slowly replacing conservative members of the Council of Ministers with his own supporters, Haile Selassie began a program of mod- ernization in He introduced a bureaucratic style of government for the first time, based on code books and administrative regulations imported from Europe.
Shortly after that, he established the first regular court system in the country. The first printing press was brought to Ethiopia in , which re- sulted in publication of the nation's first newspaper. Electricity and automo- biles were brought in later that year for the benefit of the established nobility. Other improvements during this time of sweeping change included school construction, the introduction of telephone service, and the institution of a re- vamped prison and justice system.
In , against Empress Zauditu's wishes, Ethiopia became a member of the League of Nations, an organization formed after World War I to promote in- ternational cooperation and peace. To gain entrance to the League, Haile Selassie abolished slavery in Ethiopia in Also in that year, the increas- ingly powerful ras made his first trip abroad, taking an entourage that includ- ed lions and zebras to France, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, and Greece. Haile Selassie greatly impressed the European leaders that he visited, and as a re- sult, consultants and foreign aid were sent to Ethiopia to assist in the modern- ization efforts.
Upon his return from Europe, Haile Selassie continued to consolidate his power. He levied a tax on all imports to Ethiopia, which vastly increased his personal fortune. He used the money to finance the education of future lead- ers and reward members of the Ethiopian army for their loyalty to him. By , Haile Selassie was so powerful that he forced Zauditu to name him negus, or king it was at this point that he changed his name from Ras Tafari to Haile Selassie. This marked the beginning of the end for Zauditu.
In her estranged husband, Ras Gugsa Wolie, led an army against Haile Selassie in an attempt to overthrow him, but the attempt failed and Ras Gugsa was killed. Two days later, on April 2, , Zauditu herself died under very mys- terious circumstances. Haile Selassie's rise to power was now complete — he was named Emperor of Ethiopia. After formally taking power, Haile Selassie continued to lead efforts to modernize Ethiopia, establishing the nation's first constitution in All Ethiopians were proclaimed equal under the law, and a two-chamber parliament was created, although Haile Selassie retained the right to overturn any parliamentary decision.
While the constitution was seen as a positive step, it never did achieve the level of reform that it might have; the traditional ruling classes continued to control the country even after its passage. Rastafarianism The impact of Haile Selassie's rise to power was felt far beyond the borders of Ethiopia. Members of some black communities around the world came to see Haile Selassie as a figure to be worshiped as a god.
This was particularly true in Jamaica, where in the black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey had prophesied that a black messiah would be crowned in Africa. After Haile Selassie was made emperor, some Jamaicans came to view Haile Selassie as Biography Today Modem African Leaders the future king of all blacks throughout the world, and a new religion was founded to worship him Followers of the religion called themselves Rasta- anans a reference to Haile Selassie's original name, Ras Tafari. Members of the cult, who believed that white religions and black cultures were incompati- ble, held that blacks needed to abandon Western cultures for the lands of their ancestors.
Rastafarians also believe that Haile Selassie's death in the s merely signaled that he had moved on to a higher plane of existence. Unable to withstand the assault, Haile Selassie was forced to flee to Europe in This was the first step in the spread of ascism that would lead to World War II.
Haile Selassie subsequently made an impassioned plea for international help at the League of Nations on June 30, Indeed, the League ai ed to come to Ethiopia's aid or to condemn Italy, causing member coun- hies to lose confidence in the organization, and it quickly collapsed. Haile Selassie knew that the League's inaction would only encourage aggression by other nations down the road. As he left the stage, Haile Selassie was heard to say: It is us today.
It will be you tomorrow. In , with the help of the Allied Powers, the Italians were defeated and Haile Selassie returned to Ethiopia, where he resumed leadership of the country and also continued his modernization efforts. In , he reformed the government, making it more centralized. In , he created the first in- come tax, which met with some resistance but was implemented nationwide. Other areas of reform included improved health care, a modernized infra- structure, increased foreign trade, and improved education, including the founding of the nation's first college— Haile Selassie I University— in Still, many Ethiopians did not benefit from Haile Selassie's initiatives.
Thousands of Ethiopian families from the peasant and working classes lived in grinding poverty, and they sometimes felt that their emperor paid little at- tention to the difficult circumstances in which they lived. The constitution expanded the powers of parliament on paper, but in fact the emperor retained almost complete control. In the country's first general election in , members of the dominant landholder class won al- most every seat in parliament.
This angered many younger Ethiopians and progressives, who wanted to see real reforms enacted to improve conditions for the lower classes. In , university students and members of the Imperial Guard staged a coup attempt, seizing control of Addis Ababa. They demanded that true democracy be installed and that more serious attempts be made to end the horrible poverty that plagued much of the nation. The coup was quickly put down and its leaders executed.
The attempted takeover made Haile Selassie more cautious and ended many of his attempts at reform; it also led many Ethiopians to look at his sometimes iron-handed rule with a greater sense of anger and frustration. Feeling his power within his own country slipping away, Haile Selassie turned his attention to foreign affairs.
He continued his role as a leading African spokesman in Europe, but he also began taking a far more active role in pan- African politics — issues concerning all of the countries on the African conti- nent. On May 22, , Haile Selassie led a conference that saw the formation of the Organization of African Unity; he was rewarded for his efforts when the headquarters of the organization was located in Addis Ababa. He contin- ued to exercise his increased power in Africa by acting as a mediator in dis- putes between Morocco and Algeria, Ghana and Guinea, and the different factions involved in the bloody Nigerian civil war.
During this time period, he was viewed throughout the world as the elder statesman of all of Africa. This increasing presence in international politics did nothing to help his status in Ethiopia, however, and his power started to unravel in Widespread opposition to tax laws passed in which were viewed as his last gasp at- tempts at modernization turned into bloody conflict in , when 23 stu- dents were killed at a protest in December.
Haile Selassie made the situation worse by appearing indifferent to the conflicts and to growing charges that his government was corrupt. From until he traveled abroad, ignoring the forces that were gathering against him. In and , drought conditions triggered an enormous famine that swept the Ethiopian countryside, killing tens of thousands of people.
At the same time, a rise in oil prices depleted national accounts and Western nations cut back on foreign aid to distance themselves from the Haile Selassie regime, which was increasingly seen as ineffective and corrupt. Money became scarce and the government was forced to institute harsh restrictions on spending. This, move backfired when many junior army officers, angeled at their terrible living conditions, forced Haile Selassie to grant thfem increases in pay. Made brave by their successful fight for pay raises, the ju- nior officers began to jail older, high-ranking army officers and members of Haile Selassie's government, executing some leaders.
Haile Selassie died on August 27, , while under house arrest. Ethiopian authorities say that he died in his sleep, though there were rumors that foul play had been involved. He was buried without ceremony in an unmarked grave underneath an office occupied by Mengistu, who succeeded Haile Selassie as ruler of Ethiopia. In , his body was exhumed so that he could be buried in the presence of his family.
A formal burial ceremony was held on July 23, , marking the th anniversary of Haile Selassie's birth. Today, despite the tight control that he kept on power during his reign, Haile Selassie is remembered as a mythic figure in African politics who took great steps to- ward modernizing Ethiopia. Mengistu's rise to power marked the end of the monarchy style of govern- ment that had held sway in Ethiopia for so many centuries.
Mengistu installed a brutal military dictatorship that stayed in place until , when a new con- stitution was adopted that called for a return to civilian government. But power remained in the hands of Mengistu and his military allies until , when rebels from Ethiopia's Eritrea and Tigre regions defeated him. In Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia; a year later Ethiopia adopted a new constitution, and in the country held its first multiparty parliamen- tary elections.
The election was won by the Ethiopian People's Democratic Revolutionary Front, whose leaders had led the revolt against Mengistu in In , 46 members of Mengistu's government were put on trial on charges of genocide the systematic murder of members of a certain religious, political, or cultural group. They faced the death penalty if convicted. The trial, which experienced frequent postponements and delays, continued into Though the people of Ethiopia are still among the poorest in the world, there is hope that they will soon benefit from democracy.
Little is known of his first wife, with whom he had one child. Threatened by Haile Selassie's growing power, Yasu forced him to leave his first wife in order to marry Yasu's niece, Woizero Menen. Yasu thought that bringing Haile Selassie into the family would neu- tralize his power, but the move backfired and caused Haile Selassie to fight even harder to become emperor. They re- mained together until her death in and had six children: When Haile Selassie's oldest son and heir to the throne, Asfa Wusen, died in , it appeared that the family dynasty that had traced its roots back to King Solomon had come to an end.
African Biographical Dictionary, Clapham, Christopher. The Lion of Judah: Ethiopia, juvenile Lockot, Hans Wilhelm. The Conquering Lion, Negash, Askale. Haile Selassie, Rake, Alan. A6 New Yorker, Dec. Hassan is descended from a royal family that began ruling the Sherifian Empire, as Morocco was formerly known, more than years ago. He is the 21st sover- 47 Biography Today Modem African Leaders eign of the Alaouite dynasty and a 35th-generation descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, founder of the Islam religion. The name "Moulay" signifies his relation to Muhammad.
At first European involve- ment in African affairs was largely limited to trade, as powerful companies hailing from Great Britain, France, and Belgium established trading centers all along Africa s coast. They were joined by traders, engineers, laborers and other workers employed by European companies determined to harvest the continent's natural resources and raw materials. This influx of foreigners accelerated after Europe's most powerful nations got together and parceled out various sections of Africa among them- selves.
At first, the growing European presence in Africa did not cause that much alarm. The push to harvest the continent's raw materials had spurred a tremendous growth in its industrial infrastructure, as European govern- ments rushed to establish colonies to operate and support the railroads, min- ing operations, shipping harbors, factories, and plantations that were sprout- ing up all across Africa. During this time, Britain, France, Spain, and Belgium used the colonies to formally establish control over the continent.
As a result, they tried to change the Africans' way of life, substitut- ing their own social customs, languages, and religious beliefs for the ones that 48 HASSAN II the African natives had been practicing for generations. The Europeans also erected governments and legal systems that ensured that they would maintain political and economic power over the Africans. They took Africa's land and natural resources for themselves, accumulating great wealth in the process, but they shared little of this wealth with Africans.
Diseases that had previously decimated tribes were controlled with the help of European medical knowledge, and millions of African boys and girls were taught how to read and write in Christian missionary schools. By the time that Hassan II was born, the people of Morocco had been involved in a long struggle for independence from European powers. Hassan's ancestors had ruled the region as sultans since the 17th century, but by the beginning of the 20th century the power of the Sherifian Empire, as their rule was known, was waning.
During the early part of the century both France and Spain began to wield enormous influence over the country, and the native Moroccans found that even though their country was supposedly independent, they could not make any meaningful economic, social, or political changes to their nation without the approval of French and Spanish officials. This situation deeply an- gered the people of Morocco, but their wishes for true independence were ig- nored.
In the nominal leader of the Moroccan people, Sultan Abd al- Hafidh, signed a treaty that gave France official control of one portion of the country. The terms of the treaty also granted Spain control of the northern part of the country. During the s, though, it became clear that some Moroccans would not accept French rule. Several revolts against the French erupted during this time. Each rebellion failed, but the unrest worried the French, who were de- termined to keep Morocco as a protectorate dependent province of France. As sultan of Morocco, he wielded more power than any other native of the country.
But while the French permitted Hassan's father to rule in local and religious matters, they continued to hold ultimate power. As time passed, though, international de- velopments gave Mohammad V an opportunity to make his strongest bid for independence yet. As a result, France agreed to grant Morocco its inde- pendence in exchange for its cooperation during the war.
In , Hassan's father, along with other Moroccan leaders, established the Istiqlal Party to promote Moroccan independence. The monarchy, represented by Moham- med V, became the symbol of the independence movement. By the end of the war in , however, it had become clear that the French would not keep their word. Tired of waiting and of broken promises, Hassan's father openly defied the French and demanded Moroccan independence on August 20, The French accused the sultan of organizing a revolution and sent the family into exile.
The royal family first went to the French island of Corsica, and then to the island nation of Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa. At this time, young Hassan became his father's trusted secretary and began to play an im- portant role in the monarchy's affairs. Contrary to what the French believed would happen, getting rid of Hassan's father only intensified the Moroccan calls for independence. During and , the people engaged in riots and a group known as the National Liberation Army began a guerrilla war against the French.
Desperate to re- store order to their unruly province, the French permitted Hassan's family to return to Morocco in When the people of France elected a new govern- ment that year, Hassan traveled to Paris to negotiate with the new leaders. They agreed to allow Hassan's father to form his own government at the end of , and they formally granted Morocco its independence on March 2, Spain gave up its control over the northern part of the country a month later. In Mohammad V changed his own title from sultan to king and took steps toward establishing a constitutional monarchy a type of govern- ment that is led by a king, or monarch, but also includes a cabinet and elected legislature.
To provide Hassan with the religious train- ing required of an Islamic leader, his father established a Koranic school with- in the walls of the palace. When Hassan was ready to begin his secondary education, his father founded the Imperial College in Rabat. The students at the school included Hassan's brothers and sisters, as well as a select group of Moroccans. The Imperial College curriculum was wide-ranging and included Arabic literature, Islamic theology, history, French, and English. Hassan's favorite subjects were history and literature.
He received his law degree from the university in During his school years, the future king also trained with the French navy and served aboard the battleship Jeanne d'Arc. As a highly educated young man from a wealthy and prominent family, he was closely watched by the press and fre- quently became the subject of tabloid gossip.
Morocco was considered a hot vacation spot for the rich and famous, and Hassan gained a reputation as a playboy who enjoyed visiting nightclubs, flying airplanes, and racing horses. In his government activities, however, he also showed a more serious, stu- dious side of his nature that did not attract the attention of the press.
- Sé más modesto y menos superficial (Spanish Edition).
- The Two Moons of Rehnor Novella Collection I.
Hassan acted as his father's chief deputy and was appointed to organize the Royal Armed Forces. As commander in chief, one of his first duties was to stop the rebellions that were taking place in various parts of the kingdom. These rebellions were organized by groups of citizens who wanted to elimi- nate the monarchy and establish a democratic government in Morocco.
By , Hassan had modernized the army and doubled its size. He convinced former guerrillas to join the army and also negotiated with Berber tribesmen, who sent 5, men for military service. When the army was not defending the kingdom, Hassan employed the soldiers on projects such as building irri- gation canals. In , when a huge earthquake devastated the city of Agadir, Hassan personally directed the army's rescue operations.
King Hassan II In , after his father died unexpectedly following minor surgery, Hassan became the new king of Morocco. His succession was a departure from Moroccan tradition. Under the rules of the Sherifian Empire, succession was not based upon birth. Rather, the new king was chosen by Muslim religious leaders. But Hassan's father had changed the rules following Moroccan inde- pendence and named his eldest son as the heir to the throne. Hassan was devastated by the loss of his father, but he realized how impor- tant it was for him to immediately begin taking over the duties of the monar- chy.
Despite his experience as commander in chief and one of his father's trusted advisers, many people focused on his playboy image and doubted 51 Biography Today Modem African Leaders whether he had what it took to rule the country. At his coronation, the new king tried to calm Moroccans' fears about his character by saying, "The man you knew as Prince Moulay Hassan no longer exists.
One of his first acts as king was to create a democratic constitution — guaranteeing freedom of speech, the press, and religion — which was ratified in The constitution also established a two-chamber legislature, though ultimate power remained with the king, who could dismiss the government at any time and veto any legislation. This was not the type of democracy many Moroccans had fought to achieve, and some of those who had once viewed the monarchy as a symbol of independence now wanted it gone. Hassan had no intention of allowing his monarchy to be overthrown.
He had seen it occur in previous years in both Egypt and Libya, and he was prepared to use any means necessary to retain his throne. When his political party failed to gain a majority in the legislature, Hassan arrested opposition leaders and accused them of plotting to overthrow the government. One of the most prominent members of the opposition, Mehdi Ben Barka, escaped to Europe. In a bizarre plot, Hassan's state security force arranged with the French secret service to have Ben Barka lured out of hiding and brought to Paris, where he was tortured and killed.
In the French trial that followed, Hassan refused to cooperate or to send his conspirators to France. This inci- dent, along with others that followed, caused some international observers to criticize the human-rights policies of Hassan's government. During this time, however, Hassan also worked to improve conditions in Morocco.
He began a program of public works to build roads, drain swamps, plant trees, build schools, and educate children. Though he admitted that eco- nomic conditions were less than ideal, the king expressed confidence that his programs would make a difference. We must free ourselves from the ex- isting atrophy and stagnation by modernizing our methods and mobilizing the people, who represent our precious capital. At the peak of his popu- larity, Hassan exercised his power to suspend parliament. He then declared a state of emergency and controlled all political activity himself until In , Hassan once again wrote a new constitution and allowed multiparty elections.
The opposition party boycotted the elections, however, because the king retained ultimate power under the new constitution. Though of his guests were killed in the fighting that followed, Hassan escaped harm by hiding in a bathroom until loyal troops put down the rebellion. A year later, Hassan survived another attack on his life when rebel pilots from the Moroccan air force tried to shoot down his royal jet as it returned from France. The jet was damaged, but it managed to land safely.
When the rene- gade pilots came back to bomb the jet as it sat on the runway, Hassan spoke to them over the radio, saying "Stop firing. The tyrant is dead. Hassan dealt with the plots on his life severely. The alleged leader of the opposition, General Mohammed Oufkir, was said to have committed suicide, and many of the other conspirators were executed. The king also placed Oufkir' s rela- tives, including his wife and children, under house arrest for many years.
Ironically, the two assassination attempts actually heightened Hassan's stature among many Moroccans. Controversial Figure in International Affairs In , Hassan made a dramatic move to unite the people of Morocco be- hind a common cause. Claiming that the Spanish Sahara — which extends down the Atlantic Coast from the southern border of Morocco — had histori- cally been Moroccan territory, Hassan called upon his subjects to help him re- claim the area.
On November 6, , about , Moroccans answered his call and marched into the Spanish protectorate, claiming property and estab- lishing settlements throughout the region. Faced with such a large occupying force, Spain soon renounced its claims on the territory. But the local inhabi- tants of the area, which became known as the Western Sahara, did not want to be annexed by Morocco and fought against Hassan and his forces. Though Hassan's actions were condemned by the United Nations, he managed to turn the war into a popular rallying cry for the Moroccan people.
Twenty years later, Moroccan forces still occupied the Western Sahara and the origi- nal occupants of the region still opposed the king and his policies. In , the United Nations brought the two sides together, hoping to negotiate a settle- ment to the long conflict. Over the years, Hassan's actions in the Western Sahara and elsewhere have made him a controversial figure in the international community. Known as an educated and often charming man, the king has proved adept at making friends abroad.
He has also shown a talent for adjusting his policies and pub- lic statements to please a wide variety of interest groups at different times. Many Western leaders praised him for his stance against communism and his attempts to instill democratic principles in Morocco, while they also criticized his human rights record and his support of Middle Eastern terrorist groups. At the league's summit that year, he convinced the other Arab leaders to establish a set of conditions that would lead them to recognize the existence of Israel.
Though in this instance Hassan aided the Middle East peace process, in the past he had supported the continuing hostilities most Arab nations waged against Israel. In , Hassan became one of the few Arab heads of state to meet with the Israeli prime minister, Shimon Peres. This action created an uproar in the Middle East and even led some shocked Arab leaders to accuse the king of treason. Hassan dismissed his critics by stating that they lacked the courage to make either war or peace with Israel.
However, the controversy did cause him to step down from his post as secre- tary-general of the Arab League. Another example of Hassan's ability to walk a political tightrope occurred during the Persian Gulf War, which saw a coalition of American-led United Nations forces come to the aid of the tiny, oil-rich nation of Kuwait when it was invaded by neighboring Iraq. Hassan pleased Western leaders when he sent a token group of 1, Moroccan soldiers to support the coali- tion forces in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, however, Hassan sent humanitarian aid — such as food, clothing, and medical supplies to the people of Iraq and called the notorious Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein his dear Arab brother.
By the time the war ended, Hassan had managed to both maintain his ties with Iraq and gain the appreciation of Western powers, many of whom responded by forgiving some of his foreign debt. The elaborate monument, which was built over a lagoon near the Atlantic Ocean and features a glass floor, was completed in using funds donated by Moroccan citizens. In , Hassan took another of his occasional steps toward democracy when he approved a new Moroccan constitution.
Under the new constitution, human rights are guaranteed, the parliament has more power, and the prime minister is allowed to appoint the cabinet. Hassan made this commitment to improve Morocco s human-rights record, in part, because he recognized that many countries have begun to tie foreign aid to human rights. Though Hassan's government has released many political prisoners in recent years, international observers claimed that Morocco still needed to improve the way it treated citizens who did not support the king. In fact, a report by the human-rights organization Amnesty International cited more than 1, cases of torture, disappearance, and imprisonment without trial in Morocco.
Despite the problems his country faces, Hassan remains popular among many of the people of Morocco. Some citizens admire the prominent position he has attained in world politics, while others simply find him charming. In any case, the critics who predicted that he would not be able to remain in power have been proved wrong. As of , in fact, Hassan was the longest-reigning monarch in Africa. The few he couldn't co-opt or coerce, he put in jail or worse, or they went into exile.
Hassan' s eldest son, Sidi Mohammed, has been designated as the heir to the throne. Hassan and his family spend time at each of their 11 castles, many of which feature beautiful, hole golf courses that were designed especially for the king by an American architect.
King of Morocco, Reich, Bernard. The Commander of the Faithful: Destiny of a Dynasty: Both parents were immigrants from Malawi. Kenneth was the youngest of eight children, three of whom died in infancy. As a young child, Kenneth was nicknamed "Bichizya" unexpected 57 Biography Today Modem African Leaders one ; until Hellen learned that she was pregnant with him, she and her hus- band had assumed that they were done having children. This in- flux of foreigners accelerated after Europe's most powerful nations got together and parceled out vanous sections of Africa among themselves.
These peoples, along with the region's original Bantu-speaking tribes, ruled the land until the 19th century, when European explorers discov- ered the area. Scottish adventurer David Livingstone was the first to arrive. He visited Zambia in , and he later discovered Victoria Falls during his travels there. By the late s the territory was under the control of the British South Africa Company of financier and trader Cecil Rhodes, who managed to sign treaties with many of its tribal leaders.
These treaties benefited the company tremendously; conversely, they started the African natives' long slide into po- litical powerlessness. In Great Britain's government assumed control of Northern Rhodesia. By the late s the discovery of huge copper deposits in the territory led many European colonists to settle there. Many African natives went to work in the copper mines that sprang up across the country, but they saw little of the wealth that the mining boom produced.
By frustrated miners had formed a nationalist movement that called for the country's independence from European control. Activists in Northern Rhodesia protested the creation of the federation not only be- cause they perceived it as an obstacle to independence, but also because they hated the white minority- controlled government of Southern Rhodesia. His father's skillful work as a teacher and Presbyterian minister made him a Biography Today Modem African Leaders leader of the rural Lubwa community, and young Kaunda enjoyed being the son of such a highly regarded figure.
His father died when Kenneth was only eight years old, though. David Kaunda' s death made life more diffi cult for the family, but as writer John Hatch noted, Kenneth and his brothers and sisters "helped their mother to maintain the family life, which entailed working in the house and on the lands, carrying water for domestic needs from the near- est well two miles away — grinding the millet, gathering firewood, washing cooking pots and clothes, building grain bins or chicken huts. As Kenneth grew older, he became very interested in soccer known as foot- ball in Africa and music. His love for soccer led him to spend many hours running around the dusty fields of his home district, but he also enjoyed play- ing the guitar, and he played whenever he was able to borrow an instrument.
It soon became his favorite occupation to play tunes picked up by miners on the Copper Belt and brought back to the village," wrote Hatch. Later he was to buy a guitar, his constant companion through many vicissitudes for over 30 years. Classes were held outdoors, and the lack of books or writing utensils made it necessary for the students to write their lessons in the sand at their feet.
After a few years Kaunda was promoted to the next level of schooling, where he performed very well. The missionaries who operated the schools encouraged him, for they desperately needed addi- tional teachers, and he was one of the most promising of their students. In Kaunda began studying at the Lubwa Training School, an institution that provided instruction to prospective teachers.
He studied there for two years, whereupon he left his home for the first time to take classes at the Munali Secondary School. His mathematics improved and, although disappointed to find that history was confined to a South African context, this subject and English literature were always a joy to him. When he found that he could continue his beloved foot- ball and add athletics to it, he really felt that Munali offered him a full life.
One teacher's tales of life in South Africa particularly bothered him. In South Africa, a tiny white minority had ruled the nation's black majority for several decades, making separation of the races official government policy.
- Earth to Hell: Journey to Wudang Bk 1 (Journey to Wudang Trilogy)?
Blacks were forced to live in miserable conditions of poverty in all-black homelands, with inadequate food, housing, medical care, and edu- cation. Forbidden to own land and barred from many occupations, they were required to carry permits at all times to travel to white areas to find work. Blacks had no political rights in South Africa, no right to vote, and no legal means to effect change. As Kaunda learned about the situation in South Africa, he began to wonder what he might do to change the situation in his own homeland. Soon after his return, the year-old Kaunda was named boarding master at the mission school.
He was self-conscious about his standing among his fellow teachers, who were much older, but he performed well, and in he was made headmaster principal of the school. Two years later he married a local woman, and they soon started a family. In he left Lubwa to take a teaching job at a mission school in Southern Rhodesia. But as with South Africa, the laws of Southern Rhodesia relegated blacks to lives of social, political, and economic inferiority. Southern Rhodesia's mistreatment of its black population deeply shook and angered Kaunda, and his experiences there further solidified his growing nationalist views.
In Kaunda returned to Northern Rhodesia, where he became a welfare officer. He soon moved on to a headmaster's position at the school in the city of Mufulira. During his time at Mufulira he joined a teacher's association called the Chinsali African Welfare Association. This was a significant move, because welfare associations grew to become an important part of the push for independence in Northern Rhodesia.
Hatch observed that in joining the association, Kaunda "became a member of one of the major pre-nationalist streams. Before long he was participating in discussions on issues affecting the welfare of Africans throughout the area, associating with resolutions sent to the District Commissioners or to the mission. By — the year in which Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland were joined together in a white-ruled federation — Kaunda had been appointed ANC sec- retary-general for Northern Rhodesia.
This imposition has only been possible because the imperialists count on the strength of the British troops which they are ruthlessly using in crushing down the national aspirations of the colonial peoples. They have only managed to shelve the inevitable racial strife in central Africa. Serious trouble lies ahead. The imposition of Federation has made this trouble more certain than ever. Throughout the remainder of the s Kaunda worked to secure greater rights for his African countrymen.
In he broke ranks with the ANC in a dispute over organization strategy and established a new group, the Zambia Africa National Congress. Before long Kaunda's organization had an estimat- ed 60,, followers who heeded their leader's calls for nonviolent re- sistance to federation rule.
Kaunda's belief in peaceful resistance was due in large part to his admiration for Mohandas Gandhi, the Indian spiritual leader whose campaign of peaceful disobedience led Great Britain to grant India its independence in , and who had begun his political activism in South Africa in the s. In Kaunda was arrested once again for his organizing activities, which the authorities said were illegal. The government banned the Zambia Africa National Congress and exiled Kaunda to a remote area of the country.
A short time after that they imprisoned him in Southern Rhodesia. Conditions at the prison were not terrible, but Kaunda nonetheless endured periods of severe illness during his stay there. Kaunda was released from prison in January He was greeted by African natives who were furious with the results of federation elections that had taken place a few months before.
Those elections had further concentrated power in the hands of a few whites at the expense of the black majority it provided 22 seats in the legislature for 70, white settlers and only eight seats for more than three million Africans. This group soon became hugely popular among the native population, even though it was banned in several sections of the country. By Kaunda and other nationalists had launched an intensive campaign of peaceful strikes and acts of civil disobedience.
The actions crippled the country. In March Great Britain offered a constitution that would give blacks greater legislative power in Northern Rhodesia. After the elections, which took place in October , UNIP and the ANC formed a coalition that gave them the majority of legislative seats in the country's parliament. In the spring of Great Britain announced that the country could secede from the federation if it wished to do so.
Within a year both Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia had left the union, effectively ending the federation's existence. Several months later the coun- ties name was officially changed to Zambia and it became a commonwealth. This meant that while the country was self-ruling, it would also remained po- litically allied to Great Britain. The independence that the natives had sought for so long had finally been won. President of Zambia Kaunda got off to a fast start as Zambia's president, although he had to deal with a separatist religious movement in the country within months of assum- ing office.
A religious sect called the Lumpa Church refused to recognize the new government's authority, and its members barricaded themselves in iso- lated villages. Kaunda reacted swiftly to this threat by outlawing the church, destroying the troublesome enclaves, and jailing the church's leader. After dealing with this crisis, he turned his attention to economic and social affairs.
Mindful of the poor state of education and health care in Zambia, Kaunda in- stituted a series of reforms that dramatically improved both areas. The coun- try' s economy thrived throughout his first years in office, too, bolstered by the high price of copper, Zambia's major export.
But his decision to place agricul- ture and industry under the control of the central government proved deadly to the economy when copper prices fell. Starved for income, the Zambian economy dried up more with each passing year. Rural areas of the country proved unable to rise above subsistence farming, while Zambia's cities sagged under the weight of inflation, food shortages, and unreliable electrical and water service. Zambia s poor relations with the white-controlled government of neighboring Southern Rhodesia, with whom it shared transportation and hydroelectric resources, only added to the economy's problems.
Some people criticized the authoritarian nature of Kaunda's government as well. In he outlawed all opposition political parties and announced that Zambia would be a one-party state.
He made this change because of his con- cern that bickering among Zambia's many political and ethnic factions was hurting the country, and he thought that the creation of a single-party system would provide some unity. But critics said that it was an unwise move that could lead to a dictatorship.
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These concerns proved well-founded over the years, for Kaunda came to assume great control over many aspects of the country, from its military to its news services and educational institutions. Yet supporters noted that Kaunda was a kind ruler in many respects. His deep re- ligious faith guided him in many of his decisions, and even those who ques- tioned the wisdom of his policies admitted that he always tried to act in the best interests of the Zambian people and the inhabitants of the greater African continent.
Year after year, he worked to gain greater rights for the oppressed black majority of that country. He even allowed members of the outlawed South African branch of the African National Congress to establish headquarters near his home. His decision to harbor these rebels against South Africa's white-controlled gov- ernment placed him in significant danger from the South African military, but Kaunda felt that their proximity to his compound served as a potent symbol of his support for their efforts.
In the black majority in Southern Rhodesia finally assumed control of the government. Zambia's relationship with its southern neighbor — which was renamed Zimbabwe by the new government — improved considerably over the next few years as a result, but Zambia's economy remained crippled. By food shortages were common across much of the nation, and in a coup was attempted against the president.
In June of that year, an army offi- cer announced over the radio that Kaunda's government had been deposed. Richard Joseph noted that after the announcement was made, "thousands of Zambians poured into the streets to celebrate. Although the coup attempt quickly fizzled, it sent an unmistakable signal: In Kaunda finally relented, announcing that other political parties would be allowed and that nationwide elections for a new government would be held.
Later that year, Kaunda and his UNIP party were defeated in the elec- tions by the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, which gained of the parliament's seats. Kaunda accepted the results of the election and retired, turning the presiden- cy of Zambia over to Frederick Chiluba, a trade union leader. Many interna- tional observers noted that the transition marked one of the few times that an African leader had peacefully given up his position in the post-colonial era.
For the next few years he lived quietly, caring for his wife Betty, who had suf- fered a stroke, and reading the Bible. His life was a simple one during this time, for he had not accumulated great wealth during his presidency there have been reports, however, that other members of his family did use their social position to amass wealth unfairly.
In Kaunda reemerged as an outspoken critic of Chiluba's government, which was struggling in its efforts to improve Zambia's economy. Twice that year he was arrested for addressing public rallies without appropriate autho- rization, and at one point the Zambian government even talked about deport- Biography Today Modem African Leaders ERIC ing him as an illegal alien since his parents had been immigrants from Malawi. By Kaunda had regained some of the popularity that he had enjoyed during the height of his presidency. He made plans to run for the presidency in that year's elections, but the government banned him from running by passing a law that barred any candidate whose parents were not natives of Zambia.
Chiluba easily won re-election as a result, but analysts say that his government's treatment of Kaunda tainted his victory. They remain to- gether, although Betty suffered a stroke in the early s. He continues to pursue his life-long interests in the guitar and soccer, and he also enjoys checkers, table tennis, and gardening. Letters to Colin M.
Morris from Kenneth D. There are, however, many short legends in the Egyptian remains, which have more or less of interest, and show that the people was not altogether devoid of imagination, though their imagination was far from lively. Seb, for instance, once upon a time, took the form of a goose, and laid the mundane egg, and hatched it.
Thoth once wrote a wonderful book, full of wisdom and science, which told of everything concerning the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and the four-footed beasts of the earth. He who knew a single page of the book could charm the heaven, the earth, the great abyss, the mountains, and the seas. Thoth took the work and enclosed it in a box of gold, and the box of gold he placed within a box of silver, and the silver box within a box of ivory and ebony, and that again within a box of bronze; and the bronze box he enclosed within a box of brass, and the brass box within a box of iron; and the box, thus guarded, he threw into the Nile at Coptos.
But a priest discovered the whereabouts of the book, and sold the knowledge to a young noble for a hundred pieces of silver, and the young noble with great trouble fished the book up. But the possession of the book brought him not good but evil. He lost his wife; he lost his child; he became entangled in a disgraceful intrigue. He was glad to part with the book. But the next possessor was not more fortunate; the book brought him no luck. The quest after unlawful knowledge involved all who sought it in calamity.
Another myth had for its subject the proposed destruction of mankind by Ra, the Sun-god. Ra had succeeded Phthah as king of Egypt, and had reigned for a long term of years in peace, contented with his subjects and they with him. But a time came when they grew headstrong and unruly; they uttered words against Ra; they plotted evil things; they grievously offended him.
So Ra called the council of the gods together and asked them to advise him what he should do. They said mankind must be destroyed, and committed the task of destruction to Athor and Sekhet, who proceeded to smite the men over the whole land. But now fear came upon mankind; and the men of Elephantine made haste, and extracted the juice from the best of their fruits, and mingled it with human blood, and filled seven thousand jars, and brought them as an offering to the offended god.
Ra drank and was content, and ordered the liquor that remained in the jars to be poured out; and, lo! It would require another Euhemerus to find any groundwork of history in these narratives. We must turn away from the "shadow-land" which the Egyptians called the time of the gods on earth, if we would find trace of the real doings of men in the Nile valley, and put before our readers actual human beings in the place of airy phantoms.
He was the first to master the Lower country, and thus to unite under a single sceptre the "two Egypts"—the long narrow Nile valley and the broad Delta plain. Having placed on his head the double crown which thenceforth symbolized dominion over both tracts, his first thought was that a new capital was needed. Egypt could not, he felt, be ruled conveniently from the latitude of Thebes, or from any site in the Upper country; it required a capital which should abut on both regions, and so command both.
Nature pointed out one only fit locality, the junction of the plain with the vale—"the balance of the two regions," as the Egyptians called it; the place where the narrow "Upper Country" terminates, and Egypt opens out into the wide smiling plain that thence spreads itself on every side to the sea. Hence there would be easy access to both regions; both would be, in a way, commanded; here, too, was a readily defensible position, one assailable only in front. Experience has shown that the instinct of the first founder was right, or that his political and strategic foresight was extraordinary.
Though circumstances, once and again, transferred the seat of government to Thebes or Alexandria, yet such removals were short-lived. The force of geographic fact was too strong to be permanently overcome, and after a few centuries power gravitated back to the centre pointed out by nature. If we may believe the tradition, there was, when the idea of building the new capital arose, a difficulty in obtaining a site in all respects advantageous. The Nile, before debouching upon the plain, hugged for many miles the base of the Libyan hills, and was thus on the wrong side of the valley.
It was wanted on the other side, in order to be a water-bulwark against an Asiatic invader. The founder, therefore, before building his city, undertook a gigantic work. He raised a great embankment across the natural course of the river; and, forcing it from its bed, made it enter a new channel and run midway down the valley, or, if anything, rather towards its eastern side. He thus obtained the bulwark against invasion that he required, and he had an ample site for his capital between the new channel of the stream and the foot of the western hills.
Ancient Egypt, George Rawlinson
It is undoubtedly strange to hear of such a work being constructed at the very dawn of history, by a population that was just becoming a people. But in Egypt precocity is the rule—a Minerva starts full-grown from the head of Jove. The pyramids themselves cannot be placed very long after the supposed reign of Menes; and the engineering skill implied in the pyramids is simply of a piece with that attributed to the founder of Memphis. In ancient times a city was nothing without a temple; and the capital city of the most religious people in the world could not by any possibility lack that centre of civic life which its chief temple always was to every ancient town.
Philosophy must settle the question how it came to pass that religious ideas were in ancient times so universally prevalent and so strongly pronounced. History is only bound to note the fact. Coeval, then, with the foundation of the city of Menes was, according to the tradition, the erection of a great temple to Phthah—"the Revealer," the Divine artificer, by whom the world and man were created, and the hidden thought of the remote Supreme Being was made manifest to His creatures, Phthah's temple lay within the town, and was originally a naos or "cell," a single building probably not unlike that between the Sphinx's paws at Ghizeh, situated within a temenos , or "sacred enclosure," watered from the river, and no doubt planted with trees.
Like the medieval cathedrals, the building grew with the lapse of centuries, great kings continually adding new structures to the main edifice, and enriching it with statuary and painting. Herodotus saw it in its full glory, and calls it "a vast edifice, very worthy of commemoration. One broken colossus of the Great Ramesses, till very recently prostrate, and a few nondescript fragments, alone continue on the spot, to attest to moderns the position of that antique fane, which the Egyptians themselves regarded as the oldest in their land.
The new city received from its founder the name of Men-nefer—"the Good Abode. Few capitals have been more favourably placed. It was inevitable that when the old town went to ruins, a new one should spring up in its stead. Memphis still exists, in a certain sense, in the glories of the modern Cairo, which occupies an adjacent site, and is composed largely of the same materials. The Egyptians knew no more of their first king than that he turned the course of the Nile, founded Memphis, built the nucleus of the great temple of Phthah, and "was devoured by a hippopotamus.
Probably the old Egyptian writer whom he followed meant that M'na at last fell a victim to Taourt, the Goddess of Evil, to whom the hippopotamus was sacred, and who was herself figured as a hippopotamus erect. This would be merely equivalent to relating that he succumbed to death. Manetho gave him a reign of sixty-two years. The question is asked by the modern critics, who will take nothing on trust, "Have we in Menes a real Egyptian, a being of flesh and blood, one who truly lived, breathed, fought, built, ruled, and at last died? Or are we still dealing with a phantom, as much as when we spoke of Seb, and Thoth, and Osiris, and Set, and Horus?
The Egyptians believed in Menes as a man; they placed him at the head of their dynastic lists; but they had no contemporary monument to show inscribed with his name. A name like that of Menes is found at the beginning of things in so many nations, that on that account alone the word would be suspicious; in Greece it is Minos, in Phrygia Manis, in Lydia Manes, in India Menu, in Germany Mannus. And again, the name of the founder is so like that of the city which he founded, that another suspicion arises—Have we not here one of the many instances of a personal name made out of a local one, as Nin or Ninus from Nineveh Ninua , Romulus from Roma, and the like?
Probably we shall do best to acquiesce in the judgment of Dr. The city was, however, a reality, the embankment was a reality, the temple of Phthah was a reality, and the founding of a kingdom in Egypt, which included both the Upper and the Lower country some considerable time before the date of Abraham, was a reality, which the sternest criticism need not—nay, cannot—doubt.
All antiquity attests that the valley of the Nile was one of the first seats of civilization. Abraham found a settled government established there when he visited the country, and a consecutive series of monuments carries the date of the first civilization at least as far back as B. If the great Menes, then, notwithstanding all that we are told of his doings, be a mere shadowy personage, little more than magni nominis umbra , what shall we say of his twenty or thirty successors of the first, second, and third dynasties?
What but that they are shadows of shadows? The native monuments of the early Ramesside period about B. The kings, if they were kings, have left no history—we can only by conjecture attach to them any particular buildings, we can give no account of their actions, we can assign no chronology to their reigns.
They are of no more importance in the "story of Egypt" than the Alban kings in the "story of Rome. The first living, breathing, acting, flesh-and-blood personage, whom so-called histories of Egypt present to us, is a certain Sneferu, or Seneferu, whom the Egyptians seem to have regarded as the first monarch of their fourth dynasty. Sneferu—called by Manetho, we know not why, Soris—has left us a representation of himself, and an inscription.
On the rocks of Wady Magharah, in the Sinaitic peninsula, may be seen to this day an incised tablet representing the monarch in the act of smiting an enemy, whom he holds by the hair of his head, with a mace. The action is apparently emblematic, for at the side we see the words Ta satu , "Smiter of the nations;" and it is a fair explanation of the tablet, that its intention was to signify that the Pharaoh in question had reduced to subjection the tribes which in his time inhabited the Sinaitic regions. The motive of the attack was not mere lust of conquest, but rather the desire of gain.
The Wady Magharah contained mines of copper and of turquoise, which the Egyptians desired to work; and for this purpose it was necessary to hold the country by a set of military posts, in order that the miners might pursue their labours without molestation. Some ruins of the fortifications are still to be seen; and the mines themselves, now exhausted, pierce the sides of the rocks, and bear in many places traces of hieroglyphical inscriptions The remains of temples show that the expatriated colonists were not left without the consolations of religion, while a deep well indicates the care that was taken to supply their temporal needs.
Thousands of stone arrow-heads give evidence of the presence of a strong garrison, and make us acquainted with the weapon which they found most effectual against their enemies. Later ages give him the title of "the beneficent king," so that he would seem to have been a really unselfish and kindly sovereign. His form, however, only just emerges from the mists of the period to be again concealed from our view, and we vainly ask ourselves what exactly were the benefits that he conferred on Egypt, so as to attain his high reputation.
Still, the monuments of his time are sufficient to tell us something of the Egypt of his day, and of the amount and character of the civilization so early attained by the Egyptian people. Besides his own tablet in the Wady Magharah, there are in the neighbourhood of the pyramids of Ghizeh a number of tombs which belong to the officials of his court and the members of his family. These tombs contain both sculptures and inscriptions, and throw considerable light on the condition of the country.
In the first place, it is apparent that the style of writing has been invented which is called hieroglyphical, and which has the appearance of a picture writing, though it is almost as absolutely phonetic as any other. Setting apart a certain small number of "determinatives," each sign stands for a sound—the greater part for those elementary sounds which we express by letters. An eagle is a , a leg and foot b , a horned serpent f , a hand t , an owl m , a chicken u , and the like.
It is true that there are signs which express a compound sound, a whole word, even a word of two syllables. A bowl or basin represents the sound of neb , a hatchet that of neter , a guitar that of nefer , a crescent that of aah , and so on. Secondly, it is clear that artistic power is considerable. In the human forms there is less merit, but still they are fairly well proportioned and have spirit. No rudeness or want of finish attaches either to the writing or to the drawing of Sneferu's time; the artists do not attempt much, but what they attempt they accomplish.
Next, we may notice the character of the tombs. Already the tomb was more important than the house; and while every habitation constructed for the living men of the time has utterly perished, scores of the dwellings assigned to the departed still exist, many in an excellent condition. They are stone buildings resembling small houses, each with its door of entrance, but with no windows, and forming internally a small chamber generally decorated with sculptures.
The walls slope at an angle of seventy-five or eighty degrees externally, but in the interior are perpendicular. The roof is composed of large flat stones. Strictly speaking, the chambers are not actual tombs, but mortuary chapels. The embalmed body of the deceased, encased in its wooden coffin Gen. The chamber was used by the relations for sacred rites, sacrificial feasts, and the like, held in honour of the deceased, especially on the anniversary of his death and entrance into Amenti.
The early Egyptians indulged, like the Chinese, in a worship of ancestors. The members of a family met from time to time in the sepulchral chamber of their father, or their grandfather, and went through various ceremonies, sang hymns, poured libations, and made offerings, which were regarded as pleasing to the departed, and which secured their protection and help to such of their descendants as took part in the pious practices. Sometimes a tomb was more pretentious than those above described. There is an edifice at Meydoum, improperly termed a pyramid, which is thought to be older than Sneferu, and was probably erected by one of the "shadowy kings" who preceded him on the throne.
It is built of a compact limestone, which must have been brought from some distance. The first stage has a height a little short of seventy feet; the next exceeds thirty-two feet; the third is a little over twenty-two feet. It is possible that originally there were more stages, and probable that the present highest stage has in part crumbled away; so that we may fairly reckon the original height to have been between a hundred and forty and a hundred and fifty feet The monument is generally regarded as a tomb, from its situation in the Memphian necropolis and its remote resemblance to the pyramids; but as yet it has not been penetrated, and consequently has not been proved to have been sepulchral.
A construction, which has even a greater appearance of antiquity than the Meydoum tower, exists at Saccarah. The core of his building was composed of rubble, but this was protected on every side by a thick casing of limestone roughly hewn, and apparently quarried on the spot. The sepulchral intention of the construction is unquestionable. It covered a spacious chamber excavated in the rock, whereon the monument was built, which, when first discovered, contained a sarcophagus and was lined with slabs of granite. Carefully concealed passages connected the chamber with the outer world, and allowed of its being entered by those in possession of the "secrets of the prison-house.
If we pass from the architecture of the period to its social condition, we remark that grades of society already existed, and were as pronounced as in later times. The kings were already deities, and treated with superstitious regard. The state-officials were a highly privileged class, generally more or less connected with the royal family. The land was partly owned by the king Gen. The "lower orders" were of very little account. They were at the beck and call of the landed aristocracy in the country districts, of the state-officials in the towns.
Above all, the monarch had the right of impressing them into his service whenever he pleased, and employing them in the "great works" by which he strove to perpetuate his name. There prevailed, however, a great simplicity of manners. The dress of the upper classes was wonderfully plain and unpretending, presenting little variety and scarcely any ornament.
The grandee wore, indeed, an elaborate wig, it being imperative on all men to shave the head for the sake of cleanliness. But otherwise, his costume was of the simplest and the scantiest. Ordinarily, when he was employed in the common duties of life, a short tunic, probably of white linen, reaching from the waist to a little above the knee, was his sole garment.
His arms, chest, legs, even his feet, were naked; for sandals, not to speak of stockings or shoes, were unknown. The only decoration which he wore was a chain or riband round the neck, to which was suspended an ornament like a locket—probably an amulet. In his right hand he carried a long staff or wand, either for the purpose of belabouring his inferiors, or else to use it as a walking-stick.
On special occasions he made, however, a more elaborate toilet. Doffing his linen tunic, he clothed himself in a single, somewhat scanty, robe, which reached from the neck to the ankles; and having exchanged his chain and locket for a broad collar, and adorned his wrists with bracelets, he was ready to pay visits or to receive company. He had no carriage, so far as appears, not even a palanquin; no horse to ride, nor even a mule or a donkey.
The great men of the East rode, in later times, on "white asses" Judges v. Women, who in most civilized countries claim to themselves far more elaboration in dress and variety of ornament than men, were content, in the Egypt of which we are here speaking, with a costume, and a personal decoration, scarcely less simple than that of their husbands. The Egyptian materfamilias of the time wore her hair long, and gathered into three masses, one behind the head, and the other two in front of either shoulder.
Like her spouse, she had but a single garment—a short gown or petticoat reaching from just below the breasts to half way down the calf of the leg, and supported by two broad straps passed over the two shoulders. She exposed her arms and bosom to sight, and her feet were bare, like her husband's. Her only ornaments were bracelets. There was no seclusion of women at any time among the ancient Egyptians. The figure of the wife on the early monuments constantly accompanies that of her husband.
She is his associate in all his occupations. Her subordination is indicated by her representation being on an unduly smaller scale, and by her ordinary position, which is behind the figure of her "lord and master. There is no appearance of her having been either a drudge or a plaything. She was regarded as man's true "helpmate," shared his thoughts, ruled his family, and during their early years had the charge of his children. Polygamy was unknown in Egypt during the primitive period; even the kings had then but one wife.
Sneferu's wife was a certain Mertitefs, who bore him a son, Nefer-mat, and after his death became the wife of his successor. Women were entombed with as much care, and almost with as much pomp, as men. Their right to ascend the throne is said to have been asserted by one of the kings who preceded Sneferu; and from time to time women actually exercised in Egypt the royal authority. It is difficult for a European, or an American, who has not visited Egypt, to realize the conception of a Great Pyramid.
The pyramidal form has gone entirely out of use as an architectural type of monumental perfection; nay, even as an architectural embellishment. It maintained an honourable position in architecture from its first discovery to the time of the Maccabee kings 1 Mac. In the New World it was found existent by the early discoverers, and then held a high place in the regards of the native race which had reached the furthest towards civilization; but Spanish bigotry looked with horror on everything that stood connected with an idolatrous religion, and the pyramids of Mexico were first wantonly injured, and then allowed to fall into such a state of decay, that their original form is by some questioned.
A visit to the plains of Teotihuacan will not convey to the mind which is a blank on the subject the true conception of a great pyramid. It requires a pilgrimage to Ghizeh or Saccarah, or a lively and well-instructed imagination, to enable a man to call up before his mind's eye the true form and appearance and impressiveness of such a structure. Lord Houghton endeavoured to give expression to the feelings of one who sees for the first time these wondrous, these incomprehensible creations in the following lines:. The Egyptian idea of a pyramid was that of a structure on a square base, with four inclining sides, each one of which should be an equilateral triangle, all meeting in a point at the top.
The structure might be solid, and in that case might be either of hewn stone throughout, or consist of a mass of rubble merely held together by an external casing of stone; or it might contain chambers and passages, in which case the employment of rubble was scarcely possible. It has been demonstrated by actual excavation, that all the great pyramids of Egypt were of the latter character that they were built for the express purpose of containing chambers and passages, and of preserving those chambers and passages intact.
They required, therefore, to be, and in most cases are, of a good construction throughout. There are from sixty to seventy pyramids in Egypt, chiefly in the neighbourhood of Memphis. Some of them are nearly perfect, some more or less in ruins, but most of them still preserving their ancient shape, when seen from afar. Two of them greatly exceed all the others in their dimensions, and are appropriately designated as "the Great Pyramid" and "the Second Pyramid.
Still, the three seem, all of them, to deserve description, and to challenge a place in "the story of Egypt," which has never yet been told without some account of the marvels of each of them. The smallest of the three was a square of three hundred and fifty-four feet each way, and had a height of two hundred and eighteen feet.
It covered an area of two acres, three roods, and twenty-one poles, or about that of an ordinary London square. The cubic contents amounted to above nine million feet of solid masonry, and are calculated to have weighed , tons. The height was not very impressive. Two hundred and twenty feet is an altitude attained by the towers of many churches, and the "Pyramid of the Sun" at Teotihua can did not fall much short of it; but the mass was immense, the masonry was excellent, and the ingenuity shown in the construction was great.
Sunk in the rock from which the pyramid rose, was a series of sepulchral chambers. One, the largest, almost directly under the apex of the pyramid, was empty. In another, which had an arched roof, constructed in the most careful and elaborate way, was found the sarcophagus of the king, Men-kau-ra, to whom tradition assigned the building, formed of a single mass of blue-black basalt, exquisitely polished and beautifully carved, externally eight feet long, three feet high, and three feet broad, internally six feet by two.
In the sarcophagus was the wooden coffin of the monarch, and on the lid of the coffin was his name. The chambers were connected by two long passages with the open air; and another passage had, apparently, been used for the same purpose before the pyramid attained its ultimate size. The tomb-chamber, though carved in the rock, had been paved and lined with slabs of solid stone, which were fastened to the native rock by iron cramps. The weight of the sarcophagus which it contained, now unhappily lost, was three tons. The "Second Pyramid," which stands to the north-east of the Third, at the distance of about two hundred and seventy yards, was a square of seven hundred and seven feet each way, and thus covered an area of almost eleven acres and a half, or nearly double that of the greatest building which Rome ever produced—the Coliseum.
The cubic contents are estimated at 71,, feet; and their weight is calculated at 5,, tons. Numbers of this vast amount convey but little idea of the reality to an ordinary reader, and require to be made intelligible by comparisons. Suppose, then, a solidly built stone house, with walls a foot thick, twenty feet of frontage, and thirty feet of depth from front to back; let the walls be twenty-four feet high and have a foundation of six feet; throw in party-walls to one-third the extent of the main walls—and the result will be a building containing four thousand cubic feet of masonry.
Let there be a town of eighteen thousand such houses, suited to be the abode of a hundred thousand inhabitants—then pull these houses to pieces, and pile them up into a heap to a height exceeding that of the spire of the Cathedral of Vienna, and you will have a rough representation of the "Second Pyramid of Ghizeh. Again, suppose that a single man can quarry a ton of stone in a week, then it would have required above twenty thousand to be employed constantly for five years in order to obtain the material for the pyramid; and if the blocks were required to be large, the number employed and the time occupied would have had to be greater.
The internal construction of the "Second Pyramid" is less elaborate than that of the Third, but not very different. Two passages lead from the outer air to a sepulchral chamber almost exactly under the apex of the pyramid, and exactly at its base, one of them commencing about fifty feet from the base midway in the north side, and the other commencing a little outside the base, in the pavement at the foot of the pyramid.
The second passage was wholly in the rock. The sepulchral chamber was carved mainly out of the solid rock below the pyramid, but was roofed in by some of the basement stones, which were sloped at an angle. The chamber measured forty-six feet in length and sixteen feet in breadth; its height in the centre was twenty-two feet. It contained a plain granite sarcophagus, without inscription of any kind, eight feet and a half in length, three feet and a half in breadth, and in depth three feet.
GEORGE RAWLINSON, M.A.
There was no coffin in the sarcophagus at the time of its discovery, and no inscription on any part of the pyramid or of its contents. The tradition, however, which ascribed it to the immediate predecessor of Men-kau-ra, may be accepted as sufficient evidence of its author. Come we now to the "Great Pyramid," "which is still," says Lenormant, "at least in respect of its mass, the most prodigious of all human constructions ," The "Great Pyramid," or "First Pyramid of Ghizeh," as it is indifferently termed, is situated almost due north-east of the "Second Pyramid," at the distance of about two hundred yards.
The length of each side at the base was originally seven hundred and sixty-four feet, or fifty-seven feet more than that of the sides of the "Second Pyramid. In height it thus exceeded Strasburg Cathedral by above six feet, St. Peter's at Rome by above thirty feet, St. Stephen's at Vienna by fifty feet St. Paul's, London, by a hundred and twenty feet, and the Capitol at Washington by nearly two hundred feet.
Its area was thirteen acres, one rood, and twenty-two poles, or nearly two acres more than the area of the "Second Pyramid. Its cubic contents would build a city of twenty-two thousand such houses as were above described, and laid in a line of cubic squares would reach a distance of nearly seventeen thousand miles, or girdle two-thirds of the earth's circumference at the equator.
Herodotus says that its construction required the continuous labour of a hundred thousand men for the space of twenty years, and moderns do not regard the estimate as exaggerated. The "Great Pyramid" presents, moreover, many other marvels besides its size. First, there is the massiveness of the blocks of which it is composed. The basement stones are in many cases thirty feet long by five feet high, and four or five wide: The granite blocks which roof over the upper sepulchral chamber are nearly nineteen feet long, by two broad and from three to four deep.
The relieving stones above the same chamber, and those of the entrance passage, are almost equally massive. Generally the external blocks are of a size with which modern builders scarcely ever venture to deal, though the massiveness diminishes as the pyramid is ascended. The bulk of the interior is, however, of comparatively small stones; but even these are carefully hewn and squared, so as to fit together compactly.
Further, there are the passages, the long gallery, the ventilation shafts, and the sepulchral chambers all of them remarkable, and some of them simply astonishing. The "Great Pyramid" guards three chambers. One lies deep in the rock, about a hundred and twenty feet beneath the natural surface of the ground, and is placed almost directly below the apex of the structure.
It measures forty-six feet by twenty-seven, and is eleven feet high. The access to it is by a long and narrow passage which commences in the north side of the pyramid, about seventy feet above the original base, and descends for forty yards through the masonry, and then for seventy more in the same line through the solid rock, when it changes its direction, becoming horizontal for nine yards, and so entering the chamber itself. The two other chambers are reached by an ascending passage, which branches off from the descending one at the distance of about thirty yards from the entrance, and mounts up through the heart of the pyramid for rather more than forty yards, when it divides into two.
A low horizontal gallery, a hundred and ten feet long, leads to a chamber which has been called "the Queen's"—a room about nineteen feet long by seventeen broad, roofed in with sloping blocks, and having a height of twenty feet in the centre. Another longer and much loftier gallery continues on for a hundred and fifty feet in the line of the ascending passage, and is then connected by a short horizontal passage with the upper-most or "King's Chamber. The construction of this chamber—the very kernel of the whole building—is exceedingly remarkable.
It is a room of thirty-four feet in length, with a width of seventeen feet, and a height of nineteen, composed wholly of granite blocks of great size, beautifully polished, and fitted together with great care. The construction of the roof is particularly admirable. First, the chamber is covered in with nine huge blocks, each nearly nineteen feet long and four feet wide, which are laid side by side upon the walls so as to form a complete ceiling. Then above these blocks is a low chamber similarly covered in, and this is repeated four times; after which there is a fifth opening, triangular, and roofed in by a set of huge sloping blocks, which meet at the apex and support each other.
The object is to relieve the chamber from any superincumbent weight, and prevent it from being crushed in by the mass of material above it; and this object has been so completely attained that still, at the expiration of above forty centuries, the entire chamber, with its elaborate roof, remains intact, without crack or settlement of any kind.
Further, from the great chamber are carried two ventilation-shafts, or air-passages, northwards and southwards, which open on the outer surface of the pyramid, and are respectively two hundred and thirty-three and one hundred and ninety-four feet long. These passages are square, or nearly so, and have a diameter varying between six and nine inches. They give a continual supply of pure air to the chamber, and keep it dry at all seasons. The Great Gallery is also of curious construction. The side walls are formed of seven layers of stone, each projecting a few inches over that below it.
The gallery thus gradually contracts towards the top, which has a width of four feet only, and is covered in with stones that reach across it, and rest on the walls at either side. The exact object of so lofty a gallery has not been ascertained; but it must have helped to keep the air of the interior pure and sweet, by increasing the space through which it had to circulate. The "Pyramid Builders," or kings who constructed the three monuments that have now been described, were, according to a unanimous tradition, three consecutive monarchs, whose native names are read as Khufu, Shafra, and Menkaura.
These kings belonged to Manetho's fourth dynasty; and Khufu, the first of the three, seems to have been the immediate successor of Sneferu. Theorists have delighted to indulge in speculations as to the objects which the builders had in view when they raised such magnificent constructions. One holds that the Great Pyramid, at any rate, was built to embody cosmic discoveries, as the exact length of the earth's diameter and circumference, the length of an arc of the meridian, and the true unit of measure. Another believes the great work of Khufu to have been an observatory, and the ventilating passages to have been designed for "telescopes," through which observations were to be made upon the sun and stars; but it has not yet been shown that there is any valid foundation for these fancies, which have been spun with much art out of the delicate fabric of their propounders' brains.
The one hard fact which rests upon abundant evidence is this—the pyramids were built for tombs, to contain the mummies of deceased Egyptians. The chambers in their interiors, at the time of their discovery, held within them sarcophagi, and in one instance the sarcophagus had within it a coffin. The coffin had an inscription upon it, which showed that it had once contained the body of a king. If anything more is necessary, we may add that every pyramid in Egypt—and there are, as he have said, more than sixty of them—was built for the same purpose, and that they all occupy sites in the great necropolis, or burial-ground opposite Memphis, where the inhabitants are known to have laid their dead.
The marvel is, how Khufu came suddenly to have so magnificent a thought as that of constructing an edifice double the height of any previously existing, covering five times the area, and containing ten times the mass. Architecture does not generally proceed by "leaps and bounds;" but here was a case of a sudden extraordinary advance, such as we shall find it difficult to parallel elsewhere. An attempt has been made to solve the mystery by the supposition that all pyramids were gradual accretions, and that their size marks simply the length of a king's reign, each monarch making his sepulchral chamber, with a small pyramid above it, in his first year, and as his reign went on, adding each year an outer coating; so that the number of these coatings tells the length of his reign, as the age of a tree is known from the number of its annual rings.
In this case there would have been nothing ideally great in the conception of Khufu—he would simply have happened to erect the biggest pyramid because he happened to have the longest reign; but, except in the case of the "Third Pyramid," there is a unity of design in the structures which implies that the architect had conceived the whole structure in his mind from the first. The lengths of the several parts are proportioned one to another. In the "Great Pyramid," the main chamber would not have needed the five relieving chambers above it unless it was known that it would have to be pressed down by a superincumbent mass, such as actually lies upon it.
Moreover, how is it possible to conceive that in the later years of a decrepid monarch, the whole of an enormous pyramid could be coated over with huge blocks—and the blocks are largest at the external surface—the work requiring to be pushed each year with more vigour, as becoming each year greater and more difficult? Again, what shall we say of the external finish? Each pyramid was finally smoothed down to a uniform sloping surface. This alone must have been a work of years.
Did a pyramid builder leave it to his successor to finish his pyramid? It is at least doubtful whether any pyramid at all would ever have been finished had he done so. We must hold, therefore, that Khufu did suddenly conceive a design without a parallel—did require his architect to construct him a tomb, which should put to shame all previous monuments, and should with difficulty be surpassed, or even equalled. He must have possessed much elevation of thought, and an intense ambition, together with inordinate selfishness, an overweening pride, and entire callousness to the sufferings of others, before he could have approved the plan which his master-builder set before him.
That plan, including the employment of huge blocks of stone, their conveyance to the top of a hill a hundred feet high, and their emplacement, in some cases, at a further elevation of above feet, involved, under the circumstances of the time, such an amount of human suffering, that no king who had any regard for the happiness of his subjects could have consented to it.
Khufu must have forced his subjects to labour for a long term of years—twenty, according to Herodotus—at a servile work which was wholly unproductive, and was carried on amid their sighs and groans for no object but his own glorification, and the supposed safe custody of his remains. Shafra must have done nearly the same. Hence an evil repute attached to the pyramid builders, whose names were handed down to posterity as those of evil-minded and impious kings, who neglected the service of the gods to gratify their own vanity, and, so long as they could exalt themselves, did not care how much they oppressed their people.
There was not even the poor apology for their conduct that their oppression fell on slaves, or foreigners, or prisoners of war. Egypt was not yet a conquering power; prisoners of war were few, slaves not very common. The labourers whom the pyramid builders employed were their own free subjects whom they impressed into the heavy service. It is by a just Nemesis that the kings have in a great measure failed to secure the ends at which they aimed, and in hope of which they steeled their hearts against their subjects' cries. They have indeed handed down their names to a remote age: They are world-famous, or rather world-infamous.
But that preservation of their corporeal frame which they especially sought, is exactly what they have missed attaining. Still, whatever gloomy associations attach to the pyramids in respect of the sufferings caused by their erection, as monuments they must always challenge a certain amount of admiration. A great authority declares: The immense blocks of granite brought from Syene, a distance of five hundred miles, polished like glass, and so fitted that the joints can scarcely be detected!
Nothing can be more wonderful than the extraordinary amount of knowledge displayed in the construction of the discharging chambers over the roof of the principal apartment, in the alignment of the sloping galleries, in the provision of the ventilating shafts, and in all the wonderful contrivances of the structure. All these, too, are carried out with such precision that, notwithstanding the immense superincumbent weight, no settlement in any part can be detected to an appreciable fraction of an inch.
Nothing more perfect mechanically has ever been erected since that time. The architectural effect of the two greatest of the pyramids is certainly magnificent. They do not greatly impress the beholder at first sight, for a pyramid, by the very law of its formation, never looks as large as it is—it slopes away from the eye in every direction, and eludes rather than courts observation.
But as the spectator gazes, as he prolongs his examination and inspection, the pyramids gain upon him, their impressiveness increases. By the vastness of their mass, by the impression of solidity and durability which they produce, partly also, perhaps, by the symmetry and harmony of their lines and their perfect simplicity and freedom from ornament, they convey to the beholder a sense of grandeur and majesty, they produce within him a feeling of astonishment and awe, such as is scarcely caused by any other of the erections of man.
In all ages travellers have felt and expressed the warmest admiration for them. They impressed Herodotus as no works that he had seen elsewhere, except, perhaps, the Babylonian. They astonished Germanicus, familiar as he was with the great constructions of Rome. They furnished Napoleon with the telling phrase, "Soldiers, forty centuries look down upon you from the top of the pyramids.
Moderns have doubted whether they could really be the work of human hands. If they possess only one of the elements of architectural excellence, they possess that element to so great an extent that in respect of it they are unsurpassed, and probably unsurpassable. These remarks apply especially to the first and second pyramids. The "Third" is not a work of any very extraordinary grandeur. The bulk is not greater than that of the chief pyramid of Saccarah, which has never attracted much attention; and the height did not greatly exceed that of the chief Mexican temple-mound.
Moreover, the stones of which the pyramid was composed are not excessively massive. The monument aimed at being beautiful rather than grand. It was coated for half its height with blocks of pink granite from Syene, bevelled at the edges, which remain still in place on two sides of the structure. The entrance to it, on the north side, was conspicuous, and seems to have had a metal ornamentation let into the stone.
The sepulchral chamber was beautifully lined and roofed, and the sarcophagus was exquisitively carved. Menkaura, the constructor, was not regarded as a tyrant, or an oppressor, but as a mild and religious monarch, whom the gods ill-used by giving him too short a reign. His religious temper is indicated by the inscription on the coffin which contained his remains: She renders thee divine by destroying all thy enemies, O King Menkaura, living eternally.
The fashion of burying in pyramids continued to the close of Manetho's sixth dynasty, but no later monarchs rivalled the great works of Khufu and Shafra. The tombs of their successors were monuments of a moderate size, involving no oppression of the people, but perhaps rather improving their condition by causing a rise in the rate of wages. Certainly, the native remains of the period give a cheerful representation of the condition of all classes.
The nation for the most part enjoys peace, and applies itself to production. The wealth of the nobles increases, and the position of their dependents is improved. Slaves were few, and there was ample employment for the labouring classes. We do not see the stick at work upon the backs of the labourers in the sculptures of the time; they seem to accomplish their various tasks with alacrity and gaiety of heart.
They plough, and hoe, and reap; drive cattle or asses; winnow and store corn; gather grapes and tread them, singing in chorus as they tread; cluster round the winepress or the threshingfloor, on which the animals tramp out the grain; gather lotuses; save cattle from the inundation; engage in fowling or fishing; and do all with an apparent readiness and cheerfulness which seems indicative of real content.
There may have been a darker side to the picture, and undoubtedly was while Khufu and Shafra held the throne; but kings of a morose and cruel temper seem to have been the exception, rather than the rule, in Egypt; and the moral code, which required kindness to be shown to dependents, seems, at this period at any rate, to have had a hold upon the consciences, and to have influenced the conduct, of the mass of the people. An occasional raid upon the negroes of the South, or chastisement of the nomades of the East, secured her interests in those quarters, and prevented her warlike virtues from dying out through lack of use.
But otherwise tranquillity was undisturbed, and the energies of the nation were directed to increasing its material prosperity, and to progress in the arts. Among the marvels of Egypt perhaps the Sphinx is second to none.
taathe and the creature of the stone the taathe stories book 1 Manual
The mysterious being with the head of a man and the body of a lion is not at all uncommon in Egyptian architectural adornment, but the one placed before the Second Pyramid the Pyramid of Shafra , and supposed to be contemporary with it, astonishes the observer by its gigantic proportions. It measures more than one hundred feet in length, and was partially carved from the rocks of the Lybian hills. Between its out-stretched feet there stands a chapel, uncovered in , three walls of which are formed by tablets bearing inscriptions indicative of its use and origin.
A small temple behind the great Sphinx, probably also built by Shafra, is formed of great blocks of the hardest red granite, brought from the neighbourhood of Syene and fitted to each other with a nicety astonishing to modern architects, who are unable to imagine what tools could have proved equal to the difficult achievement. Mysterious passages pierce the great Sphinx and connect it with the Second Pyramid, three hundred feet west of it. In the face of this mystery all questions are vain, and yet every visitor adds new queries to those that others have asked before him.
Hitherto Egypt had been ruled from a site at the junction of the narrow Nile valley with the broad plain of the Delta—a site sufficiently represented by the modern Cairo. But now there was a shift of the seat of power. There is reason to believe that something like a disruption of Egypt into separate kingdoms took place, and that for a while several distinct dynasties bore sway in different parts of the country. Disruption was naturally accompanied by weakness and decline. The old order ceased, and opportunity was offered for some new order—some new power—to assert itself.
The site on which it arose was one three hundred and fifty miles distant from the ancient capital, or four hundred and more by the river. The mountains on either side of the river recede, as though by common consent, and leave between themselves and the river's bank a broad amphitheatre, which in each case is a rich green plain—an alluvium of the most productive character—dotted with dom and date palms, sometimes growing single, sometimes collected into clumps or groves.
On the western side the Libyan range gathers itself up into a single considerable peak, which has an elevation of twelve hundred feet. On the east the desert-wall maintains its usual level character, but is pierced by valleys conducting to the coast of the Red Sea. The situation was one favourable for commerce. It lay so far from the court that it acquired a character of its own—a special cast of religion, manners, speech, nomenclature, mode of writing, and the like—which helped to detach it from Lower or Northern Egypt more even than its isola tion.
Still, it was not until the northern kingdom sank into decay from internal weakness and exhaustion, and disintegration supervened in the Delta and elsewhere, that Thebes resolved to assert herself and claim independent sovereignty. Apparently, she achieved her purpose without having recourse to arms. The kingdoms of the north were content to let her go. They recognized their own weakness, and allowed the nascent power to develop itself unchecked and unhindered.
The first known Theban monarch is a certain Antef or Enantef, whose coffin was discovered in the year by some Arabs near Qurnah, to the west of Thebes. The mummy bore the royal diadem, and the epigraph on the lid of the coffin declared the body which it contained to be that of "Antef, king of the two Egypts. Antef s rule may possibly have reached to Elephantine on the one hand, but is not likely to have extended much beyond Coptos on the other. He was a local chieftain posing as a great sovereign, but probably with no intention to deceive either his own contemporaries or posterity.