The Egyptian Secrets Library
a collection of conventional and unconventional Egyptology.
The Egyptian Secrets Library presents a selection of first person stories and art from early visitors to the Nile Valley, people who saw the monuments as the ancients left them. Their words and often spectacular engravings evoke much of the spirit of that time. Additionaly, some valuable reference materal has been included. Much of this materal has been edited for brevity and clarity, the original intent of the writers has been preserved.
Conventional Egyptology divides the over 3000 years of (known) Egyptian ancient history into dynasties and the rules of individual Pharaohs.
Pharaoh (King) List Page 1 - Pre-history through the 17th dynasty.
Pharaoh (King) List Page 2 - The New Kingdom through the Greek occupation.
Hector Horeau created these daguerrotypes in 1841. These two overviews of the monuments of Egypt were very popular in the 19th century.
"La Mort De Philae"a book by Pierre Loti, published in 1924
The author, a French ship's officer who spent much time in Egypt, is interested in the feel of the places he visits. He wonders at the spectacular scale and age of the monuments, yet is also at awe of the small things, the colors remaining on temple walls after so many centuries, the statues of the lion goddess sitting silently by a lake.
Here, too is the Egypt of today - sturdy peasants going about their daily lives, a quiet cruse up the Nile in a native sailboat.
He seeks respite from the clamor of Western civilization, sometimes he finds it, often it is interrupted by the encroaching "modernization" of the country. And around the corner, it seems forever, the patrons of Thomas Cook LTD, purveyors of world travel with "no surprises".
This edition, prepared for AscendingPassage.com, includes some of the original 1924 engravings from the first edition of the book, additional breathtaking art by the Scotsman David Roberts and etchings commissioned by Napoleon during his expedition to Egypt in 1798-9 and published as "la Description de l'Egypte".
"La Mort De Philae:"
CH. 01: night-time with the Pyramids and Sphinx.
CH. 02: the Citadel of Cairo.
CH. 03: Cairo's Mosques.
CH. 04: a night-time visit to the Egyptian Museum's Mummies.
CH. 05: the el Hazar College of Islam.
CH. 06: the Serapeum: Tombs of the sacred Apis bulls.
CH. 07: the Tombs of the Caliphs.
CH. 08: visiting an ancient Coptic Church.
CH. 09: some thoughts on traditional Egyptian life.
CH. 10: temples and tourists at Abydos in upper Egypt.
CH. 11: A sail boat trip up the Nile.
CH. 12: the beautiful Hathor Temple at Dendera.
CH. 13: Luxor.
CH. 14: Karnac at Sunset.
CH. 15: Karnac at Night.
CH. 16: Karnac by Day.
CH. 17: the Valley of the Kings burial ground of Pharaohs.
CH. 18: the Lion Goddess Sekhet-Sekhmet.
CH. 19: End of the tourist trail: Aswan.
CH. 20: The tragic loss of the Great Temple at Philae from which the book takes its name.
"The Spell of Egypt" (excerpts)
a book by Robert Hichens, published in 1911.
"The Spell of Egypt" was written about the same time as "La Morte de Philae" and covers many of the same places. Quite likely one author read the work of the other, most likely Monsieur Loti, who decided he could do it better. Mr. Hichens' work often lacks the passion of "la Morte", but fortunately several sections cover regions either lightly noted by M. Loti or not mentioned by him. It is perhaps comforting to suppose that concerning these places M. Loti felt he could not add to the work of Mr. Hichens, and indeed in these sections Hichens is at his best.
"The Spell of Egypt:"
CH. 9: The Colossi of Memnon - Guardians of the West side of the Nile at Thebes.
CH. 11: The Ramesseum - The great temple of Rameses II.
CH. 12: The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir-el-Bahari, one of the most beautiful buildings ever built.
CH. 14: The Temple at Edfu a place of deep peace.
A chapter from "Egyptian Myth and Legend"
by Donald Mackenzie (1907) Akhenaten and Nefertiti - the Amarna revolution.
"The Tomb of Seti I"
excerpts from Giovanni Belzoni, published in 1820.
Many believe the tomb of Seti I contains the finest relief art of any New Kingdom tomb. It was discovered in 1817 by Giovanni Belzoni, a former circus strong man and monk who left quite a mark on Egyptology. It was Belzoni who carried off the giant head of Ramesses that now resides in the British Museum, and who forced his way into Chephren's Pyramid.
Yet Belzoni was not merely a treasure hunter. This account of his discovery of the tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings shows a fairly careful documentation of his find as well as his sheer awe of the beauty of the tomb's art and of the competence of the Ancient Egyptian artists.
The discovery and exploration of the tomb of Seti I
What Belzoni learned of Artist techniques in the Tomb of Seti I.
"Beauty Secrets of Egyptian Queens"
A series of engravings of New Kingdom Queens dressed in the most beautiful gowns and ornaments that Egypt had to offer.
Queens' Egyptian Beauty Secrets
"Travels in Nubia"
excerpts from a book by John Lewis Burckhardt, published in 1819
Nubia is the name given the upper (southern) reaches of the Nile in Egypt and Sudan, beginning more or less at Aswan. This book, then, is the story of an early exploration of sites that now are mostly below Lake Nasser - the lake formed by the construction of dams in the Aswan region, first in 1902 and then a much higher dam in the mid 1960's. Many of the temples described here were moved to higher ground but others were lost.
Johann Ludwig Burckhardt (1784-1817), was born in Switzerland. He lived for many years in the Middle East, passing himself as a Moslem. He is credited with the discovery of Petra (Jordan) in 1812 and was the first Christian to visit Medina (Saudi Arabia) in modern times. He received funding from the African Association, a British exploration society.
The scholars who prepared "la Description de l'Egypte" did not record the sites above Philae, but the loss of their art is more than made up with the gain of François Chrétien Gau who continued the work upstream. David Roberts also continued as far south as Abu Simbel and we present a number of his works here, as well as several other artists and a few photographs.
The Temple at Dabod
CH. 02: Kardassy Qertassi Temple- relic of a small masterpiece.
CH. 03: Taffa Temple
CH. 04: The Temple of Beit el Wali
CH. 05: The great Temple of Kalabsha
CH. 06: Dendur (Dandour) Temple - now in New York City.
CH. 07: The Lost Temple at Gerf Hussein
CH. 08: el Dakke Temple
CH. 09: The small Wady Meharakka temple
CH. 10: El Seboua Lion Temple
CH. 11: Hassaya Amada Temple
CH. 12: el Derr Temple east
CH. 13: The small rock-cut el Lessiya Temple
CH. 14-A: The beautiful temple at Abu Simbel of Queen Nefertari
CH. 14-B: The great temple at Abu Simbel of Pharaoh Rameses
CH. 15: A few traces of Amara West Temple
CH. 16: The little Samne Temple
CH. 17: Ruins of Soleb Temple
by Hector Horeau, 1841
The Pyramids of Meroe
As the 3000 year Pharaohic civilization of Egypt was reaching its end, far in the south there arose a kingdom in what was then called Kush, in modern Sudan. Their religion and culture were strongly influenced by Egypt, and they built pyramids - the last known pyramids to be constructed on the African continent. So here on the opposite end of the Nile, separated by millennia, came the last flowering of the Egyptian root. And here, in Meroe, some final secrets are hidden.
Kush at Gebel Barkal
The Pyramids of Meroe
The earliest certain mention of Atlantis, at least by that name, is in the works of the Greek Plato, about 400 BC. Plato received the story from Solon, a relative of his who learned it in Egypt. "Critias" is a readable and short essay, giving the basics of the legend. Plato's Critias Excerpts.
"Timaeus" is an unfinished story of the great war between pre-historic Athens and Atlantis, sadly all we have is a tedious description of the lost island nation, Atlantis: Plato's Timaeus Excerpts
"The Osirion at Abydos"
The 1904 papers detailing the discovery and excavation of the mysterious:
Osirion at Abydos by Petrie and Murray.
The Monuments of Abydos by Sir William Flinders Petrie is a 1911 overview of this important ancient city.
"The Wisdom of the Egyptians"
by Brian Brown, published in 1923
Perhaps this is a Masonic text. The book is uneven, sometimes showing great insight, sometimes not, as if it were the work of several authors. This AscendingPassage.com edition contains the original plates plus additional illustrations from "la Description de l'Egypte" and by David Roberts.
"The Wisdom of the Egyptians"
Chapter 1: History of Ancient Egypt.
A quick, interesting, look at the theories held in 1923 regarding the origin of the Egyptian people and pre-dynastic Egypt, then a description of the first portion of the New Kingdom, oddly with no mention of the time between. Note that the dates given are often not in agreement with present-day archaeology.
Chapter 2: Religion of Ancient Egypt.
The gods and beliefs of Ancient Egypt, with the many contradictions. An excellent overview.
Chapter 3: Three Ancient Egyptian Books.
Two books of proverbs and one of adventure, from the earliest era of known history. Not of interest to the casual reader.
Chapter 4: The Egyptian Book of the Dead.
Some selections from this ancient important work. Includes passages on shapeshifting.
Chapter 5: Hermes Trismegistus "The Virgin of the World".
The "Kore Kosmou" a history of the Universe, probably written about the fifth century BC. Wide reaching, some insight here, but not likely to be of great interest to the general reader.
Chapter 6: Egyptian Magick.
Amulets and talismans - and a bit on how they work. With original illustrations.
Chapter 7: "The Vision of Hermes Trismegistus".
This is an ancient text of great power and vision. Recommended to the spiritual seeker.
Chapter 8: "The Story of the Book of Thoth".
A folk tale of minor interest.
A very extensive bibliography follows the chapter.
The Ascending Passage Directory:
Home page - Introduction: Ascending Passage Home Page
Alternative Egyptian Mysteries and Science
An overview of Ancient Egyptian sites and history: Exploring Egypt
The Pyramids and Sphinx: Giza
Giant Stone works of the Egyptians: Mysteries in Stone
The Symbolist interpretation of Egyptian spirituality: Schwaller de Lubicz
Searching for the secret essence of Egyptian spirituality: Sacred Science
The biggest mystery - where did the wisdom and technology come from? Hints of Atlantis
Our sister site looks at the Pyramid Age of Egypt, discusses each major pyramid and examines the deepest mystery of archeology - the sudden rise of Egyptian civilization in the third millennium BCE.
many more engravings, too!
The companion website:
explores lost secret knowledge and ignored history from regions beyond Egypt.