domingo, 17 de enero de 2016


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Now, "Pa-Tum" means the House, or Abode, of Tum; "Pa" being the Egyptian word for house, or abode. Thus, the temple gave its name to the city, just as "Pa-Bast "–the Abode of Bast–gave its name to the city which the Greeks called Bubastis. But as the Greeks, according to the Greek method of transcription, rendered "Pa" by "Bu," and "Bast" by "Bastis," so the Hebrews, according to the Hebrew method of transcription, rendered "Pa" by "Pi," and "Bast" by "Beseth." thus it is as "Pi-Beseth" that we read of Bubastis in the Bible. And so, in like manner, the Hebrews changed "Pa" into "Pi," and "Tum" into "Thom," when dealing with "Pa-Tum," of which they made "Pi-Thom." Accordingly, it is of this very store-fort, "Pa-Tum," that we read in the passage which I have already quoted from the first chapter of Exodus "And they built for Pharaoh treasure-cities, Pi-Thom and Raamses." [Page 46]  So, although Lepsius was mistaken in identifying Tell-el-Maskhûtah with "Raamses," he was not so very far wrong after all. The place was not "Raamses," but it was "Pithom."
But this town had also a secular name–Sukut. Now "Pa-Tum of Sukut" had been known to Egyptologists for many years in certain geographical lists of temples and local festivals sculptured on the walls of various temples in Upper Egypt; and Dr. Brugsch, our greatest authority on ancient Egyptian topography, had long ago identified it with "Pithom of Succoth." But till M. Naville excavated Tell-el-Maskhûtah, Pithom of Succoth was but a name and a theory. Now Pithom is a fact, and Sukut is a fact; and when it is remembered that the departing Hebrews "journeyed from Raamses to Succoth" on their way to Etham and Pihahiroth, it at once becomes evident that we have not only found one of the "treasure-cities" built by their hands, but that we have identified the district in which that great mixed multitude first halted to rest by the way. Identifying this district, we also identify the route of the Exodus. We know, in fact, that they went out by way of Wady Tûmilât in the direction of the modern town of Ismaïlia, a few miles north of the old Bitter Lakes which, according to the majority of geologists, now occupy what was originally the head of the Gulf of Suez. They crossed, in all probability, near Shalûf; but for clearer insight into this matter we must wait for further explorations and "more light."
But our "treasure-city" had yet another name–a name by which it was known in later times, under the Ptolemies and under the Romans; and this more recent name was Heroöpolis. A rude graffito, scratched apparently by a Roman soldier, on one of the uprights of a limestone door-way, when the place had been converted into a Roman camp, gives us this name under the form of "Ero Castra"; and it is as "Heroöpolis" that we read of Pithom in the Septuagint translation, where it is said, in the forty-sixth chapter of Genesis, that Joseph "made ready his chariot, and went up to [Page 47] 

This magnificent colossal statue is one of a pair which yet lie prostrate in the ruins of the great Temple of Tanis. It represents a king of whom history has preserved no record, and who would be unknown but for these twin memorials. The statues, if raised from the ground, would sit twelve feet high without counting the plinths. The modelling and anatomy are admirable, and the polished surfaces are as lustrous to this day as when first executed.

Heroöpolis to meet Jacob his father." this, however, was a verbal anachronism on the part of the Septuagint; for there was neither a Pithom nor a Heroöpolis in the time of Joseph, but only a "Land of Goshen," as correctly given in the Hebrew original. The anachronism is, however, valuable, since it shows that Pithom was already known as Heroöpolis in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus. (13) As for the historical tablet of Ptolemy Philadelphus, it is of great importance. [Page 48]  It records how this king "rebuilt the Abode of Tum," and how one of his generals "captured elephants for his Majesty" on the east coast of Africa, and brought them hither in transport ships by way of the canal. That canal was the ancient Pharaonic canal, the bed of which is yet distinctly traceable, following the same direction as the present Sweet-water Canal in the Wady Tûmilât. This tablet also mentions a place called "Pikerehet," beyond Pithom and nearer to the Red Sea, which seems to be identical with Pihahiroth, where the Israelites encamped between Migdol and the sea. The mounds of Maskhûtah, as shown in our illustration, may be described as a series of undulating sand hillocks. In the distance is seen the little railway station, now disused; and here and there a dark pit excavated in the middle distance marks one of the store-chambers, or cellars, opened by M. Naville. Not only these cellars, but also the great wall of circuit twenty-four feet in thickness, were probably the work of the oppressed Hebrews.
These subterraneous store-chambers, magazines, granaries, or whatever it may please us to call them, are solidly built square chambers of various sizes, divided by massive partition walls about ten feet in thickness, without doors or any kind of communication, evidently destined to be filled and emptied from the top by means of trap-doors and ladders. Except the corner occupied by the temple, the whole area of the great walled enclosure is honey-combed with these cellars.
They are, as I have said, well and solidly built. The bricks are large, and are made of Nile mud pressed in a wooden mould and dried in the sun. Also they are bedded in with mortar, which is not common, the ordinary method being to bed them with mud, which dries immediately, and holds almost as tenaciously as mortar. And this reminds us that Pharaoh's overseers "made the children of Israel to serve with rigor, and made their lives bitter with hard bondage in mortar and in brick." We remember all the details of that pitiful story–how the straw became exhausted; how the [Page 49]  poor souls were driven forth to gather in stubble for mixing with their clay; and yet how they were required to give in as large a tale of bricks at the end of each day's work as if the straw had been duly provided.

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