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Osiris, in Egyptian history, comes to us as a myth. Prince Coh, the well-beloved Ozil, is a tangible reality; the author having in his possession his charred heart, part of which was analyzed, on September 25, 1880, by the late Professor Charles O. Thompson, at the request of Mr. Stephen Salisbury, now president of the "American Antiquarian Society," of Worcester, Mass. Besides, the author has also in his possession the very weapon with which the murder was committed. (Plate LXIII.)
From all antiquity the Egyptian Sphinx has been a riddle, that has remained unsolved to our day. (Plate LXIV.) It is still, as Bunsen says, the enigma of history. "The name most conspicuous on the tablet in the temple between the paws of this wonderful statue is that of Armais." According to Osburn, it was the work of King Khafra; but he is still in doubt about it, for he adds: "On the other hand, the great enigma of the bearded giant Sphinx still remains unsolved. When and by whom was the colossal statue erected, and what was its signification? We are accustomed to regard the Sphinx in Egypt as a portrait of the king, and generally, indeed, as that of a particular king whose features it is said to represent." In hieroglyphic written character, the sphinx is called Neb, “the lord." 4
But Richard Lepsius 5 remarks: "King Khafra was named in the inscription, but it does not seem reasonable thence to conclude that Khafra first caused the lion to be executed, as
Aug. Le Plongeon, Sacred Mysteries, certificate of analysis by Prof. Charles O. Thompson, pp. 84-85.
Bunsen, Egypt's Place in Universal History, vol. ii., p. 388.
'Osburn, Monumental History of Egypt, vol. ii., p. 319.
R. Lepsius, Letters from Egypt, Ethiopia, and the Peninsula of Sinai,
Horner's translation, p. 66.
another inscription teaches us King Khafra had already seen the monster, or, in other words, says that before him the statue already existed, the work of another Pharaoh. The names of Thotmes IV., of Rameses II., as well as that of Khafra, are inscribed on the base."
Plinius, the first author who ever mentioned the Sphinx, refers to it as the tomb of Amasis.1
Its age is unknown. De Rougé, in his "Six Premières Dynasties," supposes it to be as old as the fourth dynasty; but it is probably coetaneous with, if not anterior to, the pyramids. As to its significance, Clement of Alexandria simply tells us that it was the emblem of the "union of force with prudence or wisdom; "that is, of physical and intellectual power, supposed attributes of Egyptian kings.
Without pretending to emulate Edipus, we may be permitted to call attention to certain striking analogies existing between the Egyptian Sphinx and the leopard with human head that crowned Prince Coh's mausoleum. In order to better understand these analogies, it will be necessary to consider not only the meaning of the names of the Sphinx, but also its position relative to the horizon and to the edifices by which it is surrounded.
It is placed exactly in front, and to the east, of the second pyramid, overlooking the Nile toward the rising sun. It represents a crouching lion, or may be a leopard, with a human head, hewn out of the solid rock. Piazzi Smyth tells us that "about the head and face, though nowhere else, there is much of the original statuary surface still, occasionally, painted dull red.”
Plinius, Hist. Nat., xxxvi. 17.
2 Clement of Alexandria, Strom. v.
Piazzi Smyth, Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, vol. i., chap. xii.,