THIS point of view admirably represents the striking situation of one of the largest of the temples of Nubia. Its noble elevation above the river, the two magnificent terraces and steps by which the entrance is approached, the grand range of mountains by which the scene is backed, the rich groves of palms and acacias in front, and even the mud houses of the population here, add to the striking grandeur of the Temple and the picturesque character of the whole scene.

    The present Temple was begun in the reign of Augustus, and though several succeeding emperors contributed towards its completion, yet it was left unfinished. Wilkinson thinks that it was built on the site of an older edifice, as a little chapel at the north-east corner is anterior to the building of the Temple – probably of the time of Tothmes III., whose name can be traced on a granite statue which is still lying on the quay or terrace before the entrance; and many of the blocks with which this Temple has been built have evidently been previously appropriated in such a structure.

    There are two walls of circuit which are joined to the propylon, and the whole presents a magnificent mass, which incloses the court, the portico, and the naos; the latter is divided into three successive chambers. The mountain, at the extremity, has been cut away to afford space for the Temple. The sculptures are of a low order. There are numerous ex-voto inscriptions, chiefly to Mandouli the ancient deity of Talmis. One of the most interesting is in Greek, by Silco, king of the Nubadæ and of all the Ethiopians, – one of those sovereigns on the frontier of the Roman states who, by treaty with Dioclesian, protected it from the enemies of the Empire.



        Roberts’s Journal.                              Wilkinson’s Egypt.