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We must make some mention, too, however cursorily, of the Pyramids of Egypt, so many idle1 and frivolous pieces of ostentation of their resources, on the part of the monarchs of that country. Indeed, it is asserted by most persons, that the only motive for constructing them, was either a determination not to leave their treasures to their successors or to rivals that might be plotting to supplant them, or to prevent the lower classes from remaining unoccupied. There was great vanity displayed by these men in constructions of this description, and there are still the remains of many of them in an unfinished state. There is one to be seen in the Nome of Arsinoïtes;2 two in that of Memphites, not far from the Labyrinth, of which we shall shortly have to speak;3 and two in the place where Lake Mœris4 was excavated, an immense artificial piece of water, cited by the Egyptians among their wondrous and memorable works: the summits of the pyramids, it is said, are to be seen above the water.

The other three pyramids, the renown of which has filled the whole earth, and which are conspicuous from every quarter to persons navigating the river, are situate on the African5 side of it, upon a rocky sterile elevation. They lie between the city of Memphis and what we have mentioned6 as the Delta, within four miles of the river, and seven miles and a-half from Memphis, near a village known as Busiris, the people of which are in the habit of ascending them.

1 Ajasson thinks that they were intended as places of sepulture for the kings, but for the concealment, also, of their treasures.

2 See B. v. c. 9.

3 In Chapter 19 of this Book.

4 See B. v. c. 9. Herodotus says that these pyramids were built by King Mœris, in the middle of the lake, towering fifty paces above the surface of the water. Diodorus Siculus says that they were built by him in honour of himself and his wife.

5 Or left-hand side to those coming down the stream. He alludes to the three great Pyramids of Ghizeh, not far from Cairo. There are numerous other pyramids to be seen in Egypt.

6 In B. v. c. 9.

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