Mar 19: Ramble in old Egypt

Today, Herodotus, who, unlike some of the guys we get in here, I have heard of; but he's equally unread for all that. A lot of it is travelogue, like slides from his trip -- or he was trying to convince you of buying a vacation time-share:

It has twelve courts covered in, with gates facing one another, six upon the North side and six upon the South, joining on one to another, and the same wall surrounds them all outside; and there are in it two kinds of chambers, the one kind below the ground and the other above upon these, three thousand in number, of each kind fifteen hundred.
There then follows an account of the early kings of Egypt. It actually mixes in a lot of people and places, so it might well be called the Parade of Proper Names. Incidentally, as today is a very special anniversary and all, this might be a reassuring measure of human progress:
....as for Psammetichos, he was king over Egypt for four-and-fifty years, of which for thirty years save one he was sitting before Azotos, a great city of Syria, besieging it, until at last he took it.
Also this:
...Now whether the Hellenes have learnt this also from the Egyptians, I am not able to say for certain, since I see that the Thracians also and Scythians and Persians and Lydians and almost all the Barbarians esteem those of their citizens who learn the arts, and the descendants of them, as less honourable than the rest; while those who have got free from all practice of manual arts are accounted noble, and especially those who are devoted to war...
It's sort of like cable news now. There's also the Egyptian version of Vegas (which I guess is called "Luxor"):
...and in the sacred enclosure stand great obelisks of stone, and near them is a lake adorned with an edging of stone and fairly made in a circle, being in size, as it seemed to me, equal to that which is called the “Round Pool” in Delos. On this lake they perform by night the show of his [some god Herodotus won't name -- ed] sufferings, and this the Egyptians call Mysteries. Of these things I know more fully in detail how they take place, but I shall leave this unspoken...
So discreet, that Herodotus.

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