« ZurückWeiter »
CIVIL HISTORY, ANTIQUITIES, ARTS, RELIGION, LITERA-
TURE, AND NATURAL HISTORY.
BY THE REV. MICHAEL RUSSELL, LL.D.,
" Palestine, or the Holy Land," &c.
ILLUSTRATED BY A MAP, AND SEVERAL ENGRAVINGS.
PIIBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS,
NO. 82 CLIFF-STREET.
There is no country in the world more interesting to the antiquary and scholar than that which was known to the ancients as Ethiopia above Egypt," the Nubia and Abyssinia of the present day. It was universally regarded by the poets and philosophers of Greece as the cradle of those arts which at a later period covered the kingdom of the Pharaohs with so many wonderful monuments, as also of those religious rites which, after being slightly modified by the priests of Thebes, were adopted by the ancestors of Homer and Virgil as the basis of their mythology. A description of this remarkable nation, therefore, became a necessary supplement to the “ View of Ancient and Modern Egypt," which has been some time before the public.*
In tracing the connexion of the primitive people who dwelt on the Upper Nile, with the inhabitants of Arabia and of the remoter east, I have availed myself of the latest information that could be derived from Continental authors, as well as from the volumes of such of our own travellers as have ascended above the Second Cataract. The work of Heeren
* [No. XXIII. of the Family Library.]
on the Politics, Intercourse, and Trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians, possesses considerable value, not less on account of the ingenious views which it unfolds, than for the happy application of ancient literature to the illustration and embellishment of the main hypothesis.
The reader will be surprised at the extent and magnificence of the architectural remains of Nubia, which, in some instances, have been found to rival, and, in others, even to surpass the more celebrated buildings of Egypt. It will no longer be denied by any one who has seen the splendid work of Gau, that the pattern or type of those stupendous erections, which continue to excite the admiration of the tourist at Karnac, Luxor, and Ghizeh, may be detected in the numerous monuments still visible between the site of the famed Meroë and the falls of Es Souan. The more learned among professional artists are now nearly unanimous in the opinion that the principles of architecture, as well as of religious belief, have descended from Ethiopia to Egypt; receiving improvement in their progress downward, till at length their triumph was completed at Diospolis, in the palace of Osymandias and the temple of Jupiter Ammon.
The late expedition of Ishmael Pasha into Sennaar and the other countries bounded by the two great branches of the Nile has added materially to our topographical knowledge of that portion of Africa,-one of the least frequented by Europeans. Cailliaud, English, and Linant have supplied to the geographer some important notices relative to the