BOOK I - The Library of History

Bibliotheca historica
The first five books

Page 22



The First way of Living of the Egyptians: Gods and Demy-Gods their Reigns in Egypt. The antient Kings of Egypt, Menis, &c. Their several Works. Thebes built by Busiris. The stately Sepulchers, Oblisks and Temples there. A Description of Osimanduas's Sepulcher. Memphis built by Uchoreus. Meris's Lake. Sesostris or Sesoosis his famous Expedition, and great Works.

THE First Book of Diodorus is divided into Two Parts by reason of the Greatness of it; the First whereof is as a Preface to the whole Work, and in which an Account is given of what the Egyptians say concerning the Beginning of the World, of the first Creation of the Universe, and of those Gods that built Cities in Egypt, and call'd them after their own Names; of the First Men, and their antient way of Living; of the Worship of the Gods, and the building of Temples by the Egyptians. Moreover of the Situation of Egypt, and what strange things are related of Nile; the Causes of its Inundation, and the various Opinions of Philosophers and Historians concerning it: Wherein likewise is set down the Confutations of the several Writers. In this we shall handle and go through those matters that have a dependance upon the former.

After we have distinctly set forth the antient way of Living among the Egyptians, we shall then begin with their first Kings, and declare the Acts of every one of them successively down to Amasis.

They say the Egyptians in antient Times fed upon nothing but Roots and Herbs, and Colewort Leaves, which grew in the Fens and Bogs, having first try'd the Taste of them: But above all and most commonly, they fed upon the Herb call'd Agrostis, because it was sweeter than any other, and was very nourishing to Mens Bodies: And it's very certain, that the Cattel much covet it, and grow very fat with it. At this Day therefore Superstitious Persons in memory of its usefulness when they Sacrifice to the Gods, they worship them with their Hands full of this Herb: For they conceive Man from the frame of his Nature and frothy Constitution, to be a watery Creature, something resembling the Fenny and Marish Ground, and that he hath more need of moist than of dry Food. They say the Egyptians afterwards fell to another Course of Diet, and that was eating of Fish, wherewith they were plentifully supply'd by the River, especially after the Inundation; when it was return'd within its former Bounds: And they eat likewise the Flesh of some Cattel, and cloath'd themselves with their Skins. That they

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