isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“The French and Prussian savants, as well as other Egyptologists, agree as to the emplacement, and identified its noble ruins. Moreover, they confirm the account given of it by the old historian. Herodotus says that he found therein 3,000 chambers; half subterranean and the other half above ground.

“The upper chambers”, he says, “I myself passed through and examined in detail. In the underground ones (which may exist till now, for all the archeologists know), the keepers of the building would not let me in, for they contain the sepulchres of the kings who built the Labyrinth, and also those of the sacred crocodiles. The upper chambers I saw and examined with my own eyes, and found them to excel all other human productions.”

In Rawlinson’s translation, Herodotus is made to say: “The passages through the houses and the varied windings of the paths across the courts, excited in me infinite admiration as I passed from the courts into the chambers, and from thence into colonnades, and from colonnades into other houses, and again into courts unseen before.

The roof was throughout of stone like the walls, and both were exquisitely carved all over with figures. Every court was surrounded with a colonnade, which was built of white stones, sculptured most exquisitely. At the corner of the Labyrinth stands a pyramid forty fathoms high, with large figures engraved on it, and it is entered by a vast subterranean passage.”

If such was the Labyrinth, when viewed by Herodotus, what, in such a case, was ancient Thebes, the city destroyed far earlier than the period of Psammeticus, who himself reigned 530 years after the destruction of Troy? We find that in his time Memphis was the capital, while of the glorious Thebes there remained but ruins. Now, if we, who are enabled to form our estimate only by the ruins of what was already ruins so many ages before our era, are stupified in their contemplation, what must have been the general aspect of Thebes in the days of its glory?

Karnak — temple, palace, ruins, or whatsoever the archeologists may term it — is now its only representative. But solitary and alone as it stands, fit emblem or majestic empire, as if forgotten by time in the onward march of the centuries, it testifies to the art and skill of the ancients. He must be indeed devoid of the spiritual perception of genius, who fails to feel as well as to see the intellectual grandeur of the race that planned and built it.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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