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extreme antiquity and originality. It seems that the old Egyptian word for the mouth of a reservoir, which Lake Moeris undoubtedly was, is ra-hunt or /a-hunt. Hence one of the names of the lake was “Hunt.” The temple of the mouth of the reservoir would be rapero-hunt, or la-fe-lo-hunt. From lapero/hunt we get to laperint, and then, by easy stages, to “labyrinth.” It is more likely, however, to have been the combination from which Illahoon is derived—the terminations lo-hunt and la-hunt not being very dissimilar, the addition of the Arabic article el forming the word. In allusion to Lake Moeris, over which we were now looking, Herodotus says: “Wonderful as is the Labyrinth, the work called the Lake of Moeris, which is close by the Labyrinth, is still more astonishing.” Strabo says of it :— “Owing to its size and depth, it is capable of receiving the superabundance of water during the inundation without overflowing the habitations and crops; but later, when the water subsides, and after the lake has given up its excess through one of its two mouths, both it and the canal retain water enough for purposes of irrigation. This is accomplished by natural means, but at both ends of the canal there are also lock-gates by means of which the engineers can regulate the influx and efflux of the water.” These lock-gates—which, according to Diodorus, cost 4, 1 1,250 every time they were opened—are, no doubt, the great stone dikes and sluices mentioned later by Aboolfeda at Illahoon, which regulated the quantity admitted into the Fayoum; and it seems not improbable that the modern Illahoon, with its pyramid, was the site of the ancient town of Ptolemais. The Greeks believed that Lake Moeris was constructed by a king of the same name; but it is proved that no such king existed, and that they invented the king from the Egyptian word “mere,” which exactly corresponds to our word “mere.” Until within a comparatively recent period, the Birket el Kurán was popularly supposed to have been the ancient Lake Moeris; but as we know that the great object of Lake Moeris was to act as a reservoir for the waters which fertilised the Fayoum, and that it was constructed as a triumph of engineering skill by Amenemhat III., it becomes absolutely impossible to identify it with the Lake of the Horn, which is two hundred feet below the level of Lake Moeris and the country it was intended to irrigate, and is evidently a natural sheet of water fed by springs: but even if it were not, it is at all events a natural depression, which it would require no genius to fill with water. Moreover, Herodotus, speaking of the Labyrinth, says: “It was a little above Lake Moeris, opposite Crocodilopolis.” Now the Lake of the Horn is fifteen miles from the site of Crocodilopolis, but the dikes which testify to the existence of some vast ancient reservoir are in the immediate vicinity of the latter. According to the estimate of Linant Bey, to whom is due the discovery of the site of the Labyrinth and the position of Lake Moeris, this sheet of water must have been about sixty miles in circumference, and with an average depth of twenty feet. Pomponius Mela says that it was navigated by large vessels which conveyed the produce of the Fayoum to other parts of Egypt. The Pyramid and Labyrinth were situated at the point where the river entered it, and the vast expanse of green over which the eye wanders between the Pyramid and Medinet was formerly covered by its waters. Wherever the natural formation of the country did not restrain them, immense dikes were built, which must have been in some places thirty feet high, and which, to judge by the traces that exist on the north and west sides, must have been about thirty miles long, with an average breadth of one hundred and fifty feet—a work on a scale which would have appalled engineers not accustomed to build pyramids. Linant Bey calculates that this reservoir must have irrigated a superficies of 600,000 acres, as, besides feeding the Fayoum, he believes that its waters were carried down into the province of Gizeh, and so ultimately into the old Canopic branch of the Nile at Mariout. Nor can one wonder that an artificial lake of such great extent should have seemed a prodigy of engineering skill to the ancients. In addition to its great utility as a fertilising agent, it was invested with a character of sanctity which gave it a wide celebrity. The sacred crocodile, which was carefully tended and petted in its waters, was an object of the deepest veneration to the inhabitants of the Arsinoite Nome, who treated it with the most marked respect, and kept it at considerable expense, while a most elaborate cuisine provided it with dainties. “Geese, fish, and various fresh meats,” says Sir Gardner Wilkinson, “were dressed purposely for it; they ornamented its head with ear-rings, its feet with bracelets, and its neck with necklaces of gold and artificial stones; it was rendered perfectly tame by kind treatment; and after death its body was embalmed in a most sumptuous manner.” It was rather unfortunate for the crocodile and his worshippers that the inhabitants of the adjoining Heracleopolitan Nome worshipped the ichneumon, the bitter enemy of the crocodile, which, it is reported, waged war upon him by the original device of crawling down his throat when he was asleep, and feeding upon his intestines. The antipathy between the crocodile and the ichneumon, in consequence of this unfair mode of proceeding, seems to have extended to the worshippers of the two animals, which led, during the reign of the Romans, to disputes that terminated in blood

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