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Colossi of Memnon


Colossi of Memnon
On a large plain that stretches around Thebes between the Nile and the Valley of the Kings, you can see the remains of the monumental alley that led to the temple of Amenophis III.

Temple, unfortunately, disappeared, and what remains, known as the "Colossi of Memnon". These are two giant statues of the 20-meter height, only one leg of which are 2 m long and 1 m thickness. Carved from solid blocks of sandstone, they depict the pharaoh sitting on the throne, whose hands are on his knees. Southern Colossus, although very damaged, seems to have suffered less than the other, about which legends. Perhaps, in 27 BC. e. a powerful earthquake severely damaged most of the Theban buildings and brought down the upper part of the colossus to the waist. However, some historians believe that this act of vandalism king Cambyses, and it seems more plausible for the reason that Egypt has never been a country of earthquakes.

It has been observed that every morning at sunrise statue emits inarticulate, twang, which some travelers hear a sad, but a harmonic melody. It is a strange phenomenon, confirmed by such famous historians as Strabo, Pausanias, Tacitus, Lucian, and Philostratus, has led the Greek poets to compose a beautiful legend. They argued that "the singing stone" is Memnon, the mythical son of Aurora and Tithonus - the king of Egypt and Ethiopia. Sent by his father to help the Trojans, besieged the Greek army, Memnon famous killing in battle Antilochus, son of Nestor; and he, in turn, was killed by vengeful hands of Achilles. Aurora in tears begged almighty Jupiter resurrect her son at least for a moment in the day. So, every morning, when Aurora rays caressing his son, he says his inconsolable mother lingering plaintive moan ... This is a touching poetic legend, but this phenomenon actually has a completely natural basis. The sounds arise from the vibrations occurring on the fracture surface of the heat of the first sunlight on the night cooled stone.

This explanation is supported by scientific history. Indeed, until Strabo no historian speaks of the "voice" of the Colossus of Memnon, and those who witnessed it, seen the colossus in the time between its destruction and subsequent restoration under Septimius Severus (193-221 gg. BC. E.).

For many centuries on the legs of the Colossus were scratched numerous and sometimes curious inscriptions. One of them reads: "Know, O One, you who reigns over the waters that Memnon was still alive and that warmed the mother of fire, it produces a clear voice at the foot of the Libyan mountains in Egypt, where the Nile divides into two prekrasnovratnye Thebes; while you, Achilles, once insatiable in battle, are now silent on the plain of Troy, and in the mountains of Thessaly."

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