isis unveiled: chapter xiv (ancient mysteries)

“The art of making linen and fine fabrics is also proved to have been one of their branches of knowledge, for the Bible speaks of it. Joseph was presented by Pharoah with a vesture of fine linen, a golden chain, and many more things. The linen of Egypt was famous throughout the world. The mummies are all wrapped in it and the linen is beautifully preserved.

Pliny speaks of a certain garment sent 600 B.C., by King Amasis to Lindus, every single thread of which was composed of 360 minor threads twisted together. Herodotus gives us (book i.), in his account of Isis and the Mysteries performed in her honor, an idea of the beauty and “admirable softness of the linen worn by the priests.” The latter wore shoes made of papyrus and garments of fine linen, because this goddess first taught the use of it; and thus, besides being called Isiaci, or priests of Isis, they were also known as Linigera, or the “linen-wearing”.

This linen was spun and dyed in those brilliant and gorgeous colors, the secret of which is likewise now among the lost arts. On the mummies we often find the most beautiful embroidery and bead-work ornamenting their shirts; several of such can be seen in the museum of Bulak (Cairo), and are unsurpassable in beauty; the designs are exquisite, and the labor seems immense. The elaborate and so much vaunted Gobelins tapestry, is but a gross production when compared with some of the embroidery of the ancient Egyptians.

H. P. Blavatsky

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