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Besides this story of the rearing of the children, I also heard other things at Memphis in conversation with the priests of Hephaestus;Identified by the Greeks with the Egyptian Ptah. and I visited Thebes and Heliopolis, too, for this very purpose, because I wished to know if the people of those places would tell me the same story as the priests at Memphis; for the people of Heliopolis are said to be the most learned of the Egyptians. Now, such stories as I heard about the gods I am not ready h. and I visited Thebes and Heliopolis, too, for this very purpose, because I wished to know if the people of those places would tell me the same story as the priests at Memphis; for the people of Heliopolis are said to be the most learned of the Egyptians. Now, such stories as I heard about the gods I am not ready to relate, except their names, for I believe that all men are equally knowledgeable about them; and I shall say about them what I am constrained to say by the course of my history.
By this reckoning, then, the seaboard of Egypt will be four hundred and fifty miles in length. Inland from the sea as far as Heliopolis, Egypt is a wide land, all flat and watery and marshy. From the sea up to Heliopolis is a journey about as long as the way from the altar of the twelve gods at Athens to the temple of Olympian ZeHeliopolis is a journey about as long as the way from the altar of the twelve gods at Athens to the temple of Olympian Zeus at Pisa. If a reckoning is made, only a little difference of length, not more than two miles, will be found between these two journeys; for the journey from Athens to Pisa is two miles short of two hundred, which is the number of miles between the sea and Heliopolis. ar of the twelve gods at Athens to the temple of Olympian Zeus at Pisa. If a reckoning is made, only a little difference of length, not more than two miles, will be found between these two journeys; for the journey from Athens to Pisa is two miles short of two hundred, which is the number of miles between the sea and Heliopolis.
Beyond and above Heliopolis, Egypt is a narrow land. For it is bounded on the one side by the mountains of Arabia, which run north to south, always running south towards the sea called the Red Sea. In these mountains are the quarries that were hewn out for making the pyramids at Memphis. This way, then, the mountains run, and end in the places of which I have spoken; their greatest width from east to west, as I learned by inquiry, is a two months' journey, and their easternmost boundaries yield
Such are these mountains. On the side of Libya, Egypt is bounded by another range of rocky mountains among which are the pyramids; these are all covered with sand, and run in the same direction as those Arabian hills that run southward.
Beyond Heliopolis, there is no great distance—in Egypt, that is:w(s ei)=nai ai)gu/ptou; so much of the Nile valley being outside Egypt. But it is possible that the words may mean “no great distance, for Egypt,” i.e. no great distance relatively to the size of th<
From Heliopolis to Thebes is nine days' journey by river, and the distance is six hundred and eight miles, or eighty-one schoeni. This, then, is a full statement of all the distances in Egypt: the seaboard is four hundred and fifty miles long; and I will now declare the distance inland from the sea to Thebes : it is seven hundred and sixty-five miles. And between Thebes and the city called Elephantine there are two hundred and twenty-five miles.
The Egyptians hold solemn assemblies not once a year, but often. The principal one of these and the most enthusiastically celebrated is that in honor of Artemis at the town of BubastisBubastis in the Delta, the “city of Pasht,” where the cat-headed goddess Pasht (identified by Herodotus with Artemis) was worshipped. , and the next is that in honor of Isis at Busiris. This town is in the middle of the Egyptian Delta, and there is in it a very great temple of Isis, who is Demeter in the Greek language. The third greatest festival is at Saïs in honor of Athena; the fourth is the festival of the sun at Heliopolis, the fifth of Leto at Buto, and the sixth of Ares at Paprem
When the people go to Heliopolis and Buto, they offer sacrifice only. At Papremis sacrifice is offered and rites performed just as elsewhere; but when the sun is setting, a few of the priests hover about the image, while most of them go and stand in the entrance to the temple with clubs of wood in their hands; others, more than a thousand men fulfilling vows, who also carry wooden clubs, stand in a mass opposite. The image of the god, in a little gilded wooden shrine, they carry away on the day before this to another sacred building. The few who are left with the image draw a four-wheeled wagon conveying the shrine and the image that is in the shrine; the others stand in the space before the doors and do not let them enter, while the vow-keepers, taking the side of the god, strike them, who defend themselves. A fierce fight with clubs breaks out there, and they are hit on their heads, and many, I expect, even die from their wounds; although the Egyptians said that nobody dies. The nat
There is another sacred bird, too, whose name is phoenix. I myself have never seen it, only pictures of it; for the bird seldom comes into Egypt: once in five hundred years, as the people of Heliopolis say. It is said that the phoenix comes when his father dies. If the picture truly shows his size and appearance, his plumage is partly golden and partly red. He is most like an eagle in shape and size. What they say this bird manages to do is incredible to me. Flying from Arabia to the temple of the sun, they say, he conveys his father encased in myrrh and buries him at the temple of the Sun. This is how he conveys him: he first molds an egg of myrrh as heavy as he can carry, then tries lifting it, and when he has tried it, he then hollows out the egg and puts his father into it, and plasters over with more myrrh the hollow of the egg into which he has put his father, which is the same in weight with his father lying in it, and he conveys him encased to the temple of the Sun in Egypt. T