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The lake Mœris, by its magnitude and depth, is able to sustain the superabundance of water which flows into it at the time of the rise of the river, without overflowing the inhabited and cultivated parts of the country. On the decrease of the water of the river, it distributes the excess by the same canal at each of the mouths; and both the lake and the canal preserve a remainder, which is used for irrigation. These are the natural and independent properties of the lake, but in addition, on both mouths of the canal are placed locks, by which the engineers store up and distribute the water which enters or issues from the canal.

We have here also the Labyrinth, a work equal to the Pyramids, and adjoining to it the tomb of the king who constructed the Labyrinth.1 After proceeding beyond the first entrance of the canal about 30 or 40 stadia, there is a table-shaped plain, with a village and a large palace composed of as many palaces as there were formerly nomes. There are an equal number of aulæ, surrounded by pillars, and contiguous to one another, all in one line and forming one building, like a long wall having the aulæ in front of it. The entrances into the aulæ are opposite to the wall. In front of the entrances there are long and numerous covered ways, with winding passages communicating with each other, so that no stranger could find his way into the aulæ or out of them without a guide. The (most) surprising circumstance is that the roofs of these dwellings consist of a single stone each, and that the covered ways through their whole range were roofed in the same manner with single slabs of stone of extraordinary size, without the intermixture of timber or of any other material. On ascending the roof,—which is not of great height for it consists only of a single story,—there may be seen a stone- field, thus composed of stones. Descending again and looking2 into the aulæ, these may be seen in a line supported by twenty-seven pillars, each consisting of a single stone. The walls also are constructed of stones not inferior in size to these.

At the end of this building, which occupies more than a stadium, is the tomb, which is a quadrangular pyramid, each side of which is about four plethra in length, and of equal height. The name of the person buried there is Imandes.3 They built, it is said, this number of aulæ, because it was the custom for all the nomes to assemble there together according to their rank, with their own priests and priestesses, for the purpose of performing sacrifices and making offerings to the gods, and of administering justice in matters of great importance. Each of the nomes was conducted to the aula appointed for it.

1 Herod. ii. 148; Diod. i. 66. See below, § 42.

2 The translator adopts Kramer's suggestion, of reading εἰσβλέποντα for ἐκπίπτοντα.

3 The founder, according to Diodorus Siculus, was Mendes or Marrus. B. i 61.

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