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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 Alexandria2 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."
'Piazzi Smyth, Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, vol. i., chap. xii., p. 323.