THIS view is taken across the large and magnificent peristyle court of the Temple, which forms an oblong square between the lofty pylons and the pronaos. Two of those columms are seen which occupy both sides of the court and the end towards the entrance within the propylon; eleven of these columms range on each side of the court, and five on each side of the entrance; these support a gallery which leads on either side to the pronaos. But the magnificent object in this view is the portico of the Temple, which presents a façade of six columns, behind each of these are two other rows, forming a pronaos of eighteen columns, nowhere surpassed for exquisite beauty. Those on either side of the centre have their capitals composed from the lotus, those of the middle columns of the date-palm, with its clustered fruit below its elegant pinnate leaf, and those at each end a composite of the fan-like doum, or Theban palm-tree; thus only three varieties of these, uniformly placed, are seen in this beautiful façade. There are walls intercolumniated, but their bases are buried in the sand. On either side, attached to the centre columns, are jambs, without a lintel, having coved cornices that rise to within a diameter of the columns of the fillets of the capitals. These jambs have a bold torus round their borders, and are covered with hieroglyphics, thus forming a grand gateway to the pronaos; but the sand, which has inundated the Temple, has risen to the cornice of the jambs, and within the pronaos almost to the capitals of the columns, and concealed all the walls, except one, between them.

    Over the entrance, on the frieze or broad moulding of the entablature of the pronaos, is the globe with the serpent and wings, and on each side rows of scarabei, long-tailed baboons standing erect, worshippers, and men bearing offerings. This moulding is continued down the side of the façade. In the bold coved cornice above this frieze, and above the other winged globe, is one still larger, with hieroglyphics carved on either side, composed of the sacred hawk, cartouches, and globes, with drooped instead of extended wings; these alternate to the extremity of the cornice. The friezes within have rows of the figures of Isis sitting.

    The sand, which has filled the pronaos, has rendered the cella and chambers of the Temple inaccesible; if this could be removed some interesting dicoveries might be made, and the bases of the columns, long protected by the sand and rubbish, would exhibit a portico scarcely surpassed in Egypt.

    In striking contrast with the magnificence of the ruins are the wretched mud huts of the inhabitants of Edfou, as they are seen perched up above the cornice: such a foundation for such a superstructure shew “to what base uses things may come at least.” Their miserable dwellings are stuck on every accesible place in and about the Temple; and over the sanctuary is a populous village, where the bleating of kids, the crowing of cocks, and the cries of children, are utterly out of character with their strange locality.


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