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The Origin and Significance of the Great Pyramid, by C. Staniland Wake, [1882], at

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MASOUDI, who died in the year 967 A.D., professes to relate the Coptic tradition, which says, "that Surid * Ben Shaluk Ben Sermuni Ben Termidun Ben Tedresan Ben Sal, one of the kings of Egypt before the Flood, built the two great pyramids; and notwithstanding they were subsequently named after a person called Shed-dad Ben Ad, that they were not built by the Adites, who could not conquer Egypt, on account of the powers which the Egyptians possessed by means of enchantment; that the reason for

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building the Pyramids was the following dream, which happened to Surid three hundred years previous to the Flood. It appeared to him, that the earth was overthrown, and that the inhabitants were laid prostrate upon it; that the stars wandered confusedly from their courses, and clashed together with a tremendous noise. The king, although greatly affected by this vision, did not disclose it to any person, but was conscious that some great event was about to take place." Soon afterwards the king had another vision, which so much alarmed him that he repaired to the Temple of the Sun, "where, with great lamentations, he prostrated himself in the dust. Early in the morning he assembled the chief priests from all the Nomes of Egypt, a hundred and thirty in number. No other persons were admitted to this assembly, when he related his first and his second vision. The interpretation was declared to announce, 'that some great event would take place.'" The high-priest, whose name was Philimon, or Iklimon, related a dream which he had had a year before, in which the firmament descended till it overshadowed him and the king like a vault as they sat upon the tower of Amasis. "The king then directed the astrologers to ascertain, by taking the altitude,

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whether the stars foretold any great catastrophe, and the result announced an approaching deluge. * The king ordered them to inquire, whether or not this calamity would befal Egypt; and they answered, Yes, the flood will overwhelm the land, and destroy a large portion of it for some years. He ordered them to inquire if the earth would again become fruitful, or if it would continue to be covered with water. They answered that its former fertility would return. The king demanded what would then happen. He was informed that a stranger would invade the country, kill the inhabitants, and seize upon their property; and that afterwards a deformed people, coming from beyond the Nile, would take possession of the kingdom, upon which the king ordered the Pyramids to be built, and the predictions of the priests to be inscribed upon columns, and upon the large stones belonging to them; and he placed within them his treasures, and all his valuable property, together with the bodies of his ancestors. He also ordered the priests to deposit within them written accounts of their wisdom and acquirements in the different arts

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and sciences. * Subterraneous channels were also constructed to convey to them the waters of the Nile. He filled the passages with talismans, with wonderful things and idols, and with the writings of the priests, containing all manner of wisdom, the names and properties of medical plants, and the sciences of arithmetic and geometry, that they might remain as records, for the benefit of those who would afterwards comprehend them." After describing the construction of the three pyramids, Masoudi, says, "In the eastern (Great) Pyramid were inscribed the heavenly spheres, and figures representing the stars and planets in the forms in which they were worshipped. The king also deposited the instruments and the thuribula with which his forefathers had sacrificed to the stars, and also their writings; likewise, the position of the stars and their circles, together with the history and chronicles of time past, of that which is to come, and of every future event which would take place in Egypt. He placed there, also, coloured basins (for lustration and sacrificial purposes),

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with pure water, and other matters." After referring to the deposit of the bodies of the priests in the coloured (Third) Pyramid, Masoudi describes the guardians assigned by the king to each pyramid. "The guardian of the eastern pyramid was an idol of speckled granite, standing upright, with a weapon like a spear in his hand; a serpent was wreathed round his head, which seized upon and strangled whoever approached, by twisting round his neck, when it again returned to its former position upon the idol. . . . When everything was finished, he caused the Pyramids to be haunted with living spirits; and offered up sacrifices to prevent the intrusion of strangers, and of all persons excepting those who by their conduct were worthy of admission." The author then says, that, according to the Coptic account, the following passage was inscribed, in Arabic, upon the Pyramids: I, Surid the King, have built these Pyramids, and have finished them in sixty-one years. Let him, who comes after me, and imagines himself a king like me, attempt to destroy them in six hundred. To destroy is easier than to build. I have clothed them with silk: let him try to cover them with mats." *





98:* Surid may be the same as Suphis or Cheops, as in a papyrus said to have been found in the monastery of Abou-Hormeis, Surid is said to have been buried in the eastern (Great) Pyramid, his brother Haukith in the western, and his nephew Karwars in the smaller pyramid. (Vyse, "Operations," etc., vol. ii. p. 332.)—Surid appears to be given in the list of Manetho, under the name of Sôris, as the first king of the fourth dynasty. This king is, however, treated by M. Lenormant as non-historical. (Sec List of the Kings of Egypt, "Histoire Ancienne de l’Orient," tom. ii. p. 430), and he refers to Khoufou (Suphis) the tablet at the mouth of the ancient mine at Sinai, which English Egyptologists ascribe to Soris (Shuré). The name of this king is also said to have been found in the tombs near Ghizeh, and in the quarry marks of the northern pyramid of Abou-Seir, which is, therefore, thought to be his tomb. (Sir J. G. 'Wilkinson, in Rawlinson's "Herodotus," vol. ii. p. 344, 346).

100:* According to Makrizi, fire was to proceed from the sign Leo, and to consume the world.

101:* Masoudi says that all these marvellous things were placed within the Pyramids; whilst Makrizi, on the authority of Usted Ibrahim, particularises the subterraneous passages as the depositories. On the margin of one of Makrizi's MSS., we read that the inscriptions of the priests were on the ceilings, roofs, etc., of the subterraneous passages.

102:* Col. Vyse, "Operations," etc., Vol. ii. p. 322 seq.