Egyption History & Travel - 2010

different ways after Greeks and Romans began to be tourists in the area and testified to hearing the “song.” Some said it was more like a “pounding sound,” others thought it was more “screechy” and some even said it sounded like a broken lyre being played. At any rate, because of the sound occurring only in the dawn hours and usually on in February and March, the Greek and Roman tourists like Pliny and Herodotus named it Memnon since his name means “ruler of the dawn.” In later years, the Romans tried to repair the broken statue with a different kind of sandstone and then the song disappeared totally. Many speculators feel that the weight of the sandstone repairs stopped the noise created by the earlier rock contracting and expanding. At any rate, Amenhotep and Memnon are both silent sentinels to the glory that was this Pharaoh's temple complex.

The Third Intermediate Period (1069-525 BC)

This period was another of those times in the long history of Egypt when it went into decline and was nearly subsumed by other cultures. It was a time when too much power apparently went to the priests and the Pharaohs were undermined. There was great division politically and geographically as the formerly united Egypt fell into petty kingdoms and satraps with no one Pharaoh able to bring back control under one government. Former enemies of Egypt took advantage of this weakness and invaded the country with impunity. The Nubians got revenge for all the years they were conquered and subjugated by invading from the south and taking over territories formerly under the control of a united Egypt. As Egypt declined in every way and especially in international reputation, the power and influence of Assyria became stronger and it too invaded Egyptian territories and conquered. Continuing civil wars among the weakened Pharaohs further sapped the country of its strength and vitality. And finally the Assyrians asserted full control and Egypt was ruled by client kings appointed by the Assyrians. During this long period, there were some lengthy times of peace and some prosperity but Egypt was not a dominant and self- directed nation during this whole Third Intermediate Period. Like the Nile itself, Egypt's history seems written in periods of great flux and inundation of fertile and life-giving waters and then an ebbing back into aridity and sterility after the great bloom of growth.


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