網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

not a representation of Memnon *, but of Phamenophis, a native of their country ; " and I have heard persons affirm,” continues Paulanias, “ that it is the statue of Sesostris which Cambyses broke afunder; “ and now as much of it as extends from the head to the middle of the “ body is thrown down : the remainder is still sitting, and sounds every “ day at the rising of the sun. Its sound is most like the bursting of a “ string on the harp or lyre."

The intelligent and accurate Strabo has recorded his own visit (in a more early age) to this ftatue, in company with his friend Ælius Gallus, and a military train. He declares that he heard the miraculous sound, but intimates a doubt whether it really proceeded from the base, from the fragment of the figure, or from the artifice of persons who formed a busy circle round it t. Strabo does not affign any name to the statue in question ; but calls the scene where it was placed the Memnonium. “ Here,” he says, “ are two colossal figures, each of a single stone, " and near to each other. One is preserved ; the upper part of the “ other has fallen, and, as they say, by an earthquake."

The sagacious geographer expresses, in very strong terms, his unwillingness to believe that the surprising found he heard could be the spontaneous production of the stone itself I.

A respectable traveller of our own country, the learned, faithful, and elaborate Pococke, has laboured to gratify curiosity concerning this

* Αλλα γας Μεμνονα οι Θηβαιοι λεγsσι, Φαμενωφα δε ειναι των εγχωρίων, και τατο αγαλμα ην ηκοσα δε ηδη και Σισωσιν φαμενων ειναι τετο το αγαλμα, ο Καμβυσης διεκοψε, και νυν oπoσoν εκ κεφαλης ες μεσον σωμα ην απερριμμενον το δε λοιπον καθηται τε και ανα πασαν ημεραν αισχοντος ηλιο βοα, και τον ήχον μαλισα εικασει τις xolagas n aupas payabons xofonso PAUSANIAS, p. 101. edit. Kụhnii.

+ Καγω δε παρων επι των τοπων, μετα Γαλλα Αιλιο, και το πλήθος των συνοντων αυτω φιλων τε και στρατιωτων, περι ωραν πρωτην ηκοσα τα ψοφε, ειτε δε απο της βασεως, ειτε απο το κολοσσυ, ειτ' επιτηδες των κυκλω, και περι την βασιν ιδρυμενων τινος ποιησαντος τον ψοφοι, εκ εχω δισχυρισασθαι.

STRABO, lib. xvii. p. 1171. edit. 1707. 1 Δια γας το αδηλον της αιτιας, παν μαλλον επερχεται πιςευειν, η το εκ των λιθων ατω τεταγμένων εκπεμπεσθαι TOY nxor,

this celebrated image, by a very minute description, illustrated by engravings: yet with every advantage that erudition and a survey of the fragment could afford him, he is obliged to leave the subject still involved in considerable darkness; for among the various statues that he examined in this interesting scene, (the ruins of Thebes,) he found that two of them had pretensions to be regarded as the miraculous image *; and of these he has given the following circumstantial account:

“ In the second court (of the temple) are remains of two statues of “ black granite. That to the west, which is fitting, measured, from " the hand to the elbow, five feet; thence to the shoulder four. The « head is three feet and a half long, and the ear is one foot in length. « The statue to the east is three feet five inches long in the foot. At a “ distance from it is the head with the cap. It is three feet fix inches “ long, and behind it is the ornament of the dome-leaf. Some persons " have thought that one of these is the statue of Memnon. From the " temple I went to the statues, which I shall call the colossal statues of “ Memnon. They are towards Medinet-Habou. I spent above half “ a day at these statues. They are of a very particular sort of porous, “ hard granite, such as I never saw before. It most resembles the “ eagle-stone.

“ The statues look to the south-south-east, and are on a pedestal or “ plinth, entirely plain. That to the north is thirty feet long and

• Mr. de Caylus has distinguished the statue of remote antiquity from that of a later time in the following remark on Ægyptian antiquities:

“Il ne faut pas confondre la statue de Memnon, dont parle Pline, avec celle qui subsiste, et " qui a inspiré une si grande curiosité aux voyageurs anciens et modernes; non seulement “ cette dernière est colossale, mais elle est de granite. D'ailleurs elle étoit antique à l'egard de “ Pline, puisqu'elle étoit placée de son tems dans l'endroit qu'elle occupe aujourdhui, c'est-à“ dire, hors de la ville de Thèbes, assez près des tombeaux des anciens rois d'Ægypte, et « qu'elle avoit été élevée avant la conquête, que les Perses firent de ce pays; tandis que la statue " de bajalte que Pline presente comme un objet beaucoup moins considérable, étoit consacrée “ dans un temple de Sérapis, dont le culte n'a été introduit en Ægypce que sous les Pto. "lémées." Antiquités de M. de CAYLUS, tom. v. p. 13.

" seventeen broad. The pedestal of the other is thirty-three feet long " and nineteen wide, and they are about thirty feet apart. That to the “ fouth is of one stone. The statue to the north has been broken off “ at the middle, above the arms, that lie on the hams, and it has been “ built up with five tiers of stones--one to the top of the clinch of the “ elbow, another almost half way up the arm, one to the arm-pits, " the fourth to the neck, and the fifth, the head and neck of one stone. “ The other tiers have two stones in front, except that the middle tier “ has three; and there are two stones in the thickness of the statue. “ The feet are broken a quarter off from the toes : but as I did not “ take a particular draught of the parts of the statue that are maimed, I “ thought it better to give it entire from the drawing and observations “ I did make. I found the height, from the bottom of the foot to the “ top of the knee, to be about nineteen feet ; from the bottom of the “ foot to the ankle, two feet six inches ; to the top of the instep, four “ feet; the foot is five feet broad, and the leg is four feet deep. The “ ornament behind the head seemed to be the dome-leaf, as I have it " on a statue of Harpocrates. At the side of the legs are two reliefs, " and one between the legs, of the natural height, but much defaced. “ Between the former and the great statue are hieroglyphics. The pe“ destal of the imperfect ftatue is cracked across, at the distance of " about ten feet from the back part. There are also some flaws and “ cracks in the other statue; but it is of one stone, which I dare posi“ tively affirm, and in which I could not be mistaken, having been “ twice at the statues. I spent half a day there, and took down in my “ notes an account of every stone of which the upper part of the other " is built. On the pedestal of the imperfect statue is a Greek epigram; “ and on the insteps and legs, for about eight feet high, are several in“ scriptions in Greek and Latin; some being epigrams in honour of " Memnon; others, the greater part, testimonies of those who heard

“ the sound ; and some also in unknown characters. All the inscrip“ tions are ill cut, and in bad language, both on account of the hard-“ ness of the stone, and the ignorance of the people, who probably “ made money by cutting these inscriptions for those that came to hear “ the sound. I copied them with all the exactness I could ; though “ many of them were very difficult to be understood, and I was not en“ tirely undisturbed while I was doing it.”

Thus far I have transcribed the industrious and accurate Pococke, because his mensuration affords a satisfactory idea of Ægyptian sculpture. I omit his discussion of the arguments concerning the point, which of the two statues he has mentioned is the real Memnon, because some ideas suggested by a later and more lively traveller of France have led me to believe that the report of Pausanias was perfectly true, and that the marvellous statue was never intended to represent the prince of Æthiopia. How it acquired the name of Memnon we shall gradually discover.

M. Savary, in his elegant, amusing Letters on Ægypt, has compared such reliques of Thebes as he could investigate himself, with the descriptions of this magnificent scenery that are to be found in ancient authors, particularly Diodorus Siculus and Strabo, by whose assistance he endeavours to throw new light on this miraculous image. He falls, however, into an evident mistake, in saying that Strabo calls it the Statue of Memnon. That illustrious and accurate geographer only says, after naming a place, which he calls Merevovov, a word that may signify the Temple, or perhaps merely the monuments of Memnon, that it contained two colossal statues, which he proceeds to describe in the manner I have already mentioned. But the ingenious French traveller, borrowing, perhaps, a hint from Strabo *, though he does not intimate

. * Ει δ' ως φασιν ο Μεμνων υπο των Αιγυπτιων Ισμανδης λεγεται, και ο λαβυρινθος Μεμνονειον αν ειη και τα αυτα yox, ) Xa Ta ! ACudw, xu Ta ty oncause you gag exa acryET46 TIVO Meu VOVELK. STRABO, P. 1167..

that he did, has ventured to bestow on the broken Coloffus, commonly called the statue of Memnon, the name of Olymanduas; as he conceives that the dimensions of the figure, and the scene around it, fufficiently answer to the magnificent description by which Diodorus has commemorated the tomb of that Ægyptian monarch, whose title Pococke bestows on another colossal figure. M. Savary goés still farther in his probable conjecture, and imagines that Cambyses was tempted to break the stupendous image by the inscription which it bore, according to the narrative of the Greek historian; which inscription the French traveller translates in the following words : " Je suis Ofiman“ duè, roi des rois. Si l'on veut savoir combien je suis grand, et " où je repose, que l'on detruise quelqu'un de ces ouvrages*."“ I am Osymanduas, the king of kings. If any one wishes to know “ how great I am, and where I repose, let him conquer some of my “ works.” The word vizatw (literally, “ let him conquer,"') is rendered by the English traveller, “let him surpass;” by the French traveller, “ let “ him destroy.” The latter, in his interpretation of this superb inscription, seems to reduce it to a level with the pleasant, mysterious epitaph in Gil Blas : “A qui esta encerrada el alma del licenciado Pedro Garcias ;"' and to suppose that it was designed to lead fome ingenious interpreter to the happy discovery of a latent treasure. Though I presume to rally the accomplished traveller of France for his subtle construction, I am still particularly inclined to credit the conje&ure of M. Savary concerning the proper title of this celebrated colossal figure, because it tends to confirm another conjecture by which I would account for the manner in which it acquired the very different name of Memnon. Diodorus Siculus, in describing the tomb of Olymanduas, and the colossal ftatues with which it was adorned, declares that these statues were the work of

* Βασιλευς Βασιλεων Οσυμανδύας ειμι· ει δε τις ειδεναι βαλεται πηλικος ειμι, και πε κειμαι, νικατω τι των εμων spywe. DIODORUS SICULUS.

« 上一頁繼續 »