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Euterpe   


and saved him by hiding him in what is now called the floating island.
Typhon meanwhile was searching everywhere in hopes of finding the
child of Osiris." (According to the Egyptians, Apollo and Diana are
the children of Bacchus and Isis, while Latona is their nurse and
their preserver. They call Apollo, in their language, Horus; Ceres
they call Isis; Diana, Bubastis. From this Egyptian tradition, and
from no other, it must have been that Aeschylus, the son of Euphorion,
took the idea, which is found in none of the earlier poets, of
making Diana the daughter of Ceres.) The island, therefore, in
consequence of this event, was first made to float. Such at least is
the account which the Egyptians give.
Psammetichus ruled Egypt for fifty-four years, during
twenty-nine of which he pressed the siege of Azotus without
intermission, till finally he took the place. Azotus is a great town
in Syria. Of all the cities that we know, none ever stood so long a
siege.
Psammetichus left a son called Necos, who succeeded him upon the
throne. This prince was the first to attempt the construction of the
canal to the Red Sea- a work completed afterwards by Darius the
Persian- the length of which is four days' journey, and the width such
as to admit of two triremes being rowed along it abreast. The water is
derived from the Nile, which the canal leaves a little above the
city of Bubastis, near Patumus, the Arabian town, being continued
thence until it joins the Red Sea. At first it is carried along the
Arabian side of the Egyptian plain, as far as the chain of hills
opposite Memphis, whereby the plain is bounded, and in which lie the
great stone quarries; here it skirts the base of the hills running
in a direction from west to east, after which it turns and enters a
narrow pass, trending southwards from this point until it enters the
Arabian Gulf. From the northern sea to that which is called the
southern or Erythraean, the shortest and quickest passage, which is
from Mount Casius, the boundary between Egypt and Syria, to the Gulf
of Arabia, is a distance of exactly one thousand furlongs. But the way
by the canal is very much longer on account of the crookedness of
its course. A hundred and twenty thousand of the Egyptians, employed
upon the work in the reign of Necos, lost their lives in making the
excavation. He at length desisted from his undertaking, in consequence
of an oracle which warned him "that he was labouring for the
barbarian." The Egyptians call by the name of barbarians all such as
speak a language different from their own.
Necos, when he gave up the construction of the canal, turned all
his thoughts to war, and set to work to build a fleet of triremes,
some intended for service in the northern sea, and some for the
navigation of the Erythraean. These last were built in the Arabian
Gulf where the dry docks in which they lay are still visible. These
fleets he employed wherever he had occasion, while he also made war by
land upon the Syrians and defeated them in a pitched battle at
Magdolus, after which he made himself master of Cadytis, a large
city of Syria. The dress which he wore on these occasions he sent to
Branchidae in Milesia, as an offering to Apollo. After having
reigned in all sixteen years, Necos died, and at his death
bequeathed the throne to his son Psammis.
In the reign of Psammis, ambassadors from Elis arrived in Egypt,
boasting that their arrangements for the conduct of the Olympic
Games were the best and fairest that could be devised, and fancying
that not even the Egyptians, who surpassed all other nations in
wisdom, could add anything to their perfection. When these persons
reached Egypt, and explained the reason of their visit, the king
summoned an assembly of all the wisest of the Egyptians. They met, and
the Eleans having given them a full account of all their rules and
regulations with respect to the contests said that they had come to
Egypt for the express purpose of learning whether the Egyptians
could improve the fairness of their regulations in any particular. The
Egyptians considered awhile and then made inquiry, "If they allowed

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