Page:The Religion of Ancient Egypt.djvu/52

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EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION.



Royal Lists and their Verification by the Monuments.

The first kind of monuments which I have described is useful as furnishing the highest ascertainable monumental year of a reign; the second kind enables us besides to determine the order of succession of reigns. Both these kinds of monuments are contemporaneous with the persons and events mentioned upon them. But besides these, there are monuments giving long lists of sovereigns, all of whom cannot have been contemporaneous. Such are the famous tablets of Abydos, that of Saqâra,[1] the chamber of Karnak, and some others. The royal hieratic canon of Turin (which is unfortunately in so mutilated a condition as practically to be of little use, and which enumerates many kings and gives the lengths of their reigns) is a document of the same historical character, at least from the point of view from which I am now looking at the matter.[2] In the chamber of Karnak, Tehutimes III. is represented as making an offering to sixty-one of his royal prede-

  1. Mariette, "La table de Saqqarah," in the Revue Archeologique, 1864, II. 169.
  2. It differs from the rest in "being a professedly historical document. The others may rather be compared to lists of saints in Catholic litanies. That royal names should occur in this way in the prayers of private persons, as in the tablet of Saqāra, is not wonderful, when we learn from the Book of the Dead (ch. 136, b. 14) that the pious dead are in the company of the kings of the North and of the South.