The native name of Egypt was Khem, the black land. The name came not so much from the color of the soil as the hue of the inhabitants. Egypt was called the "Gift of the Nile," because Lower Egypt was formed out of soil brought down by the mighty river. Without the Nile, Egypt would be but a desert. The ancient peoples seemed to know more about the sources of the Nile than later nations. In our age Livingston explored the branches of the White and Blue Nile far into the highlands of the equator. The land through the ages has been raised by the deposits left by each annual overflow. Failure of the river to rise means drouth and famine. At the time of overflow Egypt is a vast sea with her cities on the tops, of continuous natural mounds. Numerous canals traverse the country connecting the natural channels. Egypt was inhabited in ancient days by two races or two distinct divisions of one race. Ancient records all testify that the ruling class in those times was the Ethiopian. They founded the powerful priest caste. "This priesthood included the judges, physicians, astrologers, architects--in a word they united within themselves all the highest culture and the most distinguished offices of the land." (Biblical Literature.)
Calumet testifies, that from ancient accounts and from all recent research, culture and civilization spread into Egypt from the south and especially from Meroe. Egypt, ruled at first by several contemporary kings, was finally united into one great kingdom. A priesthood seemed to have governed the land. The head of the state was a priest. The sacred books of the Hindu speak of an "Old Race," that came down from Upper Egypt and peopled the delta. They mentioned the Mountains of the Moon and the Nile flowing through Barabra. Herodotus says in his Second Book, "They say that in the time of Menes all Egypt except the district of Thebes was a morass, and that no part of the land now existing below Lake Myris was then above water. To this place from the sea is seven days passage up the river." Diodorus Siculus says in Book Three, "The Ethiopians say that the Egyptians are a colony drawn out of them by Osiris; and that Egypt was formerly no part of the continent; but a sea at the beginning of the world, and that it was afterwards made land by the river Nile."
This testimony is corroborated by geology. Rennel after scientific investigation says, "The configuration and composition of the low lands of Egypt leave no room to doubt that the sea once washed the base of the rocks on which the pyramids of Memphis stand; the present base of which is, reached by the inundations of the Nile at an elevation of seventy or eighty feet above the Mediterranean." How remote, must be the period when Egypt was not the gift of the Nile. Renan
declares that Egypt had no infancy because, its first colonists had been civilized in Ethiopia.
Sayce thinks Egypt did not begin with Menes, that when Abraham went down in Egypt 4000 years ago, the origin and meaning of the Sphinx was lost in mystery.
The Sphinx and the pyramids were symbols of some form of religion of the Old Race. Baldwin quotes from Diodorus Siculus, "The laws, customs, religious observances and letters of the ancient Egyptians closely resembled the Ethiopians, the colony still observing the customs of their ancestors." Egyptians in later days affirmed, that they and their civilization came from the black tribes of Punt. Some scholars seek to derive Egyptian civilization from some Oriental source. There is evidence that the culture of Egypt was not developed in Egypt from their traditions and their earliest remains. It did not come from the north or east but must have been imported from the south for as Budge affirms, Egyptians had all the characteristics of an African race. Sergi shows that the discoveries of Flinders Petrie and De Morgan prove that prehistoric Egypt was not influenced by any Oriental civilization.
The primitive people of Egypt, as revealed by archaeology, dressed in skins and used rude stone implements of the stone age men. They lived in mud and reed buts and hunted wild animals. We do not And any such rude beginnings for the race of the Soudan. From these people of Punt, came Cushite colonists bearing to the children of Mizraim
knowledge of copper, bronze, cereals, oxen, sheep, goats, and brickmaking. The historic Egyptian rose probably from the union of the aborigines and the invaders. Sayce says that the ancient Egyptians had the elongated type of skull. With the intermixture of later times the heads of the Egyptians have widened. The race of today has returned to the aboriginal mud hut on the bank of the Nile. In the days of Egyptian supremacy the cranial formation was Ethiopian. James Henry Breasted, world famous archaeologist, discovered in Egypt the studio of an Egyptian sculptor of 1400 B. C. It was called the house of the chief sculptor Thutmos. All the portraits were remarkable in that they were unmistakably African.
The early population of Thebes was Nubian. The reign of Menes was no nearer our time than 4000 B. C. One of the temple records call him a Theban. Thebes was settled from Meroe. Menes had been a priest of Upper Egypt, the older of the two countries. He made a change in the channel of the Nile. Many ages of civilization had preceded him. Bunsen believed that the time preceeding Menes was greater than since. Lepius says, "Under the Fourth Dynasty, six thousand years ago, the nation had approached the highest development at which we find her, of which the ruins still bear witness. The admirable system of monumental writings showed its highest perfection in the oldest ruins. This certainly indicated a long previous development." This was the age when Egypt was under domination
of the Ethiopians. The farther back we go the more perfect the art and the purer the ideals. The ancient temples were almost covered with inscriptions. So universal was education that even workmen wrote upon the stones.
Chronology as we have computed it, makes no allowance for the many ages through which Egypt must have passed to have reached the high stage of culture which she had obtained at the dawn of recorded history. The chronology of Berosos, Mantheo, and the Hindu sages, include ages of which other races possess no history and seem incomprehensible to us. These were Cushite races, the first men, and bring over a record of ages preceeding the Deluge. Their chronology is backed by the findings of science, which has shown that the earth is older than the puny period allowed by Usher's Chronology. The Bible says that a thousand years with our God is as a day. Examination of prehistoric culture, reveals bat the rich languages, complex systems of religion, and astounding architectural achievements, which appear when the curtain of history was lifted, are proof that the earth is older than we perceive.
The priests of Sais said to Solon, "You Greeks are novices in all the knowledge of antiquity. You are ignorant of what passed here or among yourselves in the days of old. The history of eight thousand years is deposited in our sacred books, but we can ascend to much higher antiquity and tell you what our fathers have done for nine thousand years. I mean their institutions, their
laws, and their brilliant accomplishments." Baldwin points out that neither Solon nor Plato thought this improbable. The Greeks could tell nothing of their progenitors and but little of the Pelasgian race that preceded them in Hellenic lands. "There can be no doubt," says Baldwin, "that the Egyptians preserved old records of the early period of their history extending beyond Menes." This knowledge was lost to our times by the destruction of the Alexandrian library and the fanatical zeal which destroyed all pagan manuscripts.
Again the significant questions arise, why were the Greeks so ignorant as to their ancestors, and why did Egypt hold the knowledge of earlier Hellenic life? It must have been that the historic Greeks were but emigrants into Hellenic lands; that in prehistoric ages had been filled with the rich culture of another race Akin to the Egyptians. That the deluge did not reach this portion of the human race, may be the reason why Ethiopia was able to introduce civilization to the other races. All of the races of the earth have their traditions of a universal deluge but the African. They may have brought over to us the knowledge of the arts and wisdom of the ante-diluvian world.. Reclus also declares, "All the marvels of Egypt were not tire work of the Retu. Neither Usher's. chronology nor the little country Phoenicia can suffice to explain that mighty and widespread influence of the Cushite race in human affairs, whose traces are visible from Farther India to Norway."
Egypt falls into natural divisions, Lower and Upper. Lower Egypt stretches from the Mediterranean to the limit of the Delta. Upper Egypt extends six hundred miles south of the Delta to the first cataract. The broad plains of the Delta and the comparatively narrow valley higher up, make up the divisions of Egypt. In the primitive days Upper Egypt was wholly Ethiopian. Bunsen says that the early monuments reveal the primitive Egyptian, with head low and elongated, the forehead not amply developed, the nose short, thick, the lips full and large, the chin short and receding. In those days the rulers of Egypt were wholly Ethiopian. Look at authentic plates of early Egyptian Pharaohs, they are undeniably Cushite. The Great Sphinx, emblematic of an earlier king, is the full featured Ethiopian type. Look at the astounding countenance of Cheops. The counterpart of such a face can only be found among Ethiopians today. He is a perfect representation of the Cushite Ethiopian race, that cast such giant shadows on time's dawn.
The Delta is a rich cultivated plain, which travelers describe as dotted with lofty mounds, under which lie buried cities. Here and there on the mounds are villages in groves of palm, where they may be above the flood waters of the Nile. Dews as well as rains are more copious toward the sea. At Alexandria, after sunset, clothes exposed to the dew become soaked as if it had rained. When rain falls in Lower Egypt there is general rejoicing. The people assemble in the streets and sing. From the middle of spring one
sees nothing but grey dusty soil full of cracks and chasms. At the time of the autumnal equinox, the whole country presents an immeasurable surface of reddish yellow water out of which rises date trees and villages. After the water retreats, we may see only black and slimy mud. In winter nature puts on all her splendor. Egypt is then a beautiful garden, a verdant meadow, sown with fields of waving grain.
Upper Egypt is a rich narrow valley hemmed in by mountains. It has a clear dry climate and is much healthier than Lower Egypt. The atmosphere has a brilliance, which is almost intolerable, and the torrid sun is unrelieved by any shade. This is all right for the races that can bear great heat. Rain rarely ever falls up the Nile valley. Because of this scarcity of moisture, agriculture depends upon canals much below the level of the land. Their greatest need lies in proper machines by which the water may be lifted. This extreme difference in Upper and Lower Egypt accounts for the physical difference in the two race types of the land. The bronzed hues are in the Delta but the black hues are under the brazen skies of Upper Egypt. In the Delta many diseases are prevalent, due to the weakness and poverty of the people and the insufficient food because of the exploitation of a rapacious government. The plague and dissentry cause many deaths. In Upper Egypt all is different. Disease is not prevalent and the natives are comely, kindly and thrifty.
The Egyptian in general is simple, cheerful and
hospitable. These are genuine African traits. The fellahs are a quiet, contented, submissive race. Amrou says, that they have always been toiling for others never for themselves. The love of the fellah for his native Egypt is deep and absorbing. Remove him and he perishes. He would rather die than revolt. The whole family fortune is lavished upon diadems and necklaces of true or false gems. They have no other wealth. The Egyptian was made for peace, not for war, though his patriotism is intense, he has no spirit for conquest. The miseries of soldiers is a favorite subject for satire with Egyptian literary men. At the first rumor of war, half the tribe takes refuge in the mountains, until the recruiting agents are gone. The armies of ancient Egypt were led and very largely manned in the days of her supremacy by the Ethiopian element, which today is much more warlike than the fellah. Egyptians make themselves cripples to escape military service. This would also lead us to decide that it was the Old Race, not these, who extended themselves over so great an area of the ancient world.
Because of mistreatment the Egyptian of today resorts to fraud, trickery, and subterfuge, that is easily detected. Nubians are frank and honest. We have every reason to see why the nature of the Egyptian can be no better. Niebhur says, "When we reflect that Egypt has been successively subdued by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabians, and Turks, and has enjoyed no interval of tranquility or freedom but has been
constantly oppressed and pillaged, we need not be surprised that agriculture has been ruined or that her cities have declined. The population is decreasing and the inhabitants of this fertile country are miserably poor. The exactions of the government leave him nothing remaining to lay out in the improvement or culture of his land, and many unhappy restraints render it impossible for him to engage in any lucrative occupation. They are reduced to a small number compared to the Arabs who have poured like a flood over the country." The mass of Egyptians live in a mere hut or heap of clods dug out of a neighboring ditch. A few cakes of durrah suffice to nourish him. 1
Reclus says, "The Retu still greatly resemble their fathers, in spite of interminglings, the Copts are still known as the people of Pharaoh. Under the Ptolemies they must have been greatly mixed. The Copts concentrate chiefly in Upper Egypt. They possess whole villages to themselves. In the towns they are artizans, money changers, and employers. They marry later than other Egyptians and regard more the family ties and their children. The old Coptic language, key to the hieroglyphics, is no longer spoken anywhere. Since the seventeenth century, Arabic is the general language throughout Egypt, simply the language imposed upon them by conquerors. Scribes and notaries are found among the Copts. They constitute the lower official class, and are
decidedly voracious and more corrupt than the Turkish officials themselves. Copts are somewhat darker than Arabs. Their hair is of a soft wooly texture, their noses short and their lips wide. They are supposed to be the direct descendants of the Pharaohs and are about one sixteenth of the population of Egypt. Reclus thinks they do but little credit to those ancient sovereigns. (Africa, Vol. I, Reclus.)
Modern research is leading us to the belief that culture was spread in Egypt from the south, especially from Meroe. The country was first ruled over by contemporary kings, who were at war with each other. At last the common difficulties in harnessing the Nile united them under Menes 5500 years B. C. For a thousand years the capital remained at Memphis. This was the Old Kingdom, the period of the Pyramid builders. Sayce found the shape of the skulls subsequent to the Sixth Dynasty different from those that preceded it. This was a period of absolute decadence and must represent the domination of some other race in which time the monuments are silent as to any true achievement. It must have been during this silent period that Ethiopia turned from continued colonization in Egypt to send her swarms westward into the European continent and spread out into that broad band of nations that extended from India to Spain and in whom Huxley said there was a common origin. Sayce tells us in Ancient Empires that with the passing of the Old Empire the religion of Egypt
became gloomy and that in art the light-hearted freedom of the Ethiopian was gone.
2400 to 2000 B. C. was the beginning of the, Middle Kingdom. This period is represented by the rise of Thebes, with its magnificent temples and its introduction of mysteries. A new deity Amen-Ra, god of Thebes presides. It had been thought that Amen was not one of the gods of Egypt until this 11th Dynasty, but when the pyramids of the 5th and 6th Dynasties were opened Amen was there. The Pharaohs claimed to be literal and lineally descended from Amen-Ra. This was implicitly believed by their subjects. Let us seek to trace who Amen-Ra was. He was originally the god of Ethiopia. Amen-Ra was Cush, the son of Ham from whom the Cushites sprang. He was not one of the oldest deities of Egypt because he was preceeded by the gods of the ages of Noah (Saturn) and Ham. About the time of the rise of Thebes his name from his worldwide conquests must have been entered into the cycle of gods; for Africans deified their dead kings. Undoubtedly descendants of the great Cush sat upon the throne of Egypt This is why his name and form appear in the 11th Dynasty and its line of kings assumed his name.
His became the predominent shrine of Egypt and its enrichment became the chief object of the Pharaohs. Amen or Cush was recognized by Egypt as its chief god. All the mummery of the world which tries to resolve the gods of old into anything else presents the height of folly. The ancients looked upon Zeus, Apollo and
[paragraph continues] Osiris as persons. Amen-Ra was the Zeus of Greece, that was why they said the gods banqueted with the Ethiopians. He was the Jupiter of Rome. Zeus was king of kings because he was chief ruler in Ethiopia and over the lesser kings in his wide domains stretching from India to farther Norway. Horus, Apollo, Belus and Nimrod his son, were recognized and worshipped by all Cushite colonies. In the sculptures the Negro types of Africa are the assistants at the festivals in Amen's honor. He, himself, was of the same ancestry. In the later chapters of the Egyptian ritual his name is in the language of the Negroes of Punt.
75:1 Niebhur's Travels, Vol. 1, p. 104.