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dynasties that Egypt obtained her greatest splendour, and of these monarchs Ramses-Sesostris obtained the most celebrity. Herodotus relates that sailing with his fleet from the Arabian gulph, or Red Sea, Sesostris subdued the people dwelling on the coasts of the Erythraean Sea, until he came to a sea which was no longer navigable on account of the shallows. On his return to Egypt he levied a mighty army, with which he made an expedition by land, subduing all the nations that came in his way, till at length he crossed from Asia into Europe, where he conquered the Thracians and Scythians. In all the countries which he subdued he erected stelae, on which he inscribed his own name and those of his country, and how he had conquered the people by his might. The history of Sesostris is related more at length by Diodorus. According to his account the father of Sesostris ordered all the male children who were born on the same day as his son to be educated along with him and trained in martial exercises, that they might prove brave warriors and faithful companions to him in his future conquest of the world. As soon as they were grown up the monarch sent them, along with his son, with an army into Arabia, which they conquered, and next into the western parts of Africa, which they also subdued. As soon as Sesostris had ascended the throne, he divided all Egypt into thirty-six nomes or provinces, and appointed a governor over each, and then began to make preparations for the conquest of the world. He is said to have raised an army of 600,000 foot, 24,000 horse, and 27,000 war-chariots, and likewise to have caused a fleet of 400 ships to be built and equipped on the Red Sea. After first subduing Ethiopia, he conquered all Asia, even beyond the Ganges, and extended his conquests further than those of Alexander the Great: he then crossed over into Europe, where he subdued the Thracians ; and eventually returned to Egypt, after an absence of nine years. On arriving at Pelusium he was nearly destroyed by the treachery of his brother Armais, whom "he had left regent in his absence, and who attempted to burn him with his wife and children. The countless captives whom he brought back with him he employed in public works, many of which are specified both by Diodorus and Herodotus. Thus he is said to have surrounded many of his cities with high mounds, to protect them from the inundations of the Nile, traces of which are still visible ; and also to have dug numerous canals to irrigate the country. He further erected splendid monuments in different parts of Egypt, in token of gratitude to the gods for the victories he had gained. Many of the great works of Egypt, the authors of which were unknown, are ascribed to this king. Thus he was said by the Egyptian priests to have built a wall on the east side of Egypt, from Pelusium to Helio-polis, according to Diodorus (i. 57 X but which appears to have been continued as far as Syene, and many traces of which may still be seen. Sesostris is said by Manetho to have reigned sixty-six years, and we find on monuments the sixty-second year of his reign. He is reported to have put an end to his own life in consequence of becoming blind. (Herod, ii. 102—111 ; Diod. i. 53—59 ; Strab. xv. p. 686, xvi. pp. 769, 790 ; Joseph, c. Apion. i. 15 ; Tac. Ann. ii. 59 j Plin. //. N. vi. 29. s. 33,34, xxxiii. 15, xxxvi. 9. s. 14.) Although the Egyptian priests evidently exagge-
rated the exploits of Ramses-Sesostris, and probably attributed to him the achievements of many successive monarchs, yet it is evident, from the numerous monuments bearing his name still extant in Egypt, that he was a great warrior, and had extended his conquests far beyond the boundaries of Egypt. His conquest of Ethiopia is attested by his numerous monuments found in that country, and memorials of him still exist throughout the whole of Egypt, from the mouth of the Nile to the south of Nubia. In the remains of his palace-temple at Thebes we see his victories and conquests represented on the walls, and we can still trace there some of the nations of Africa and Asia whom he subdued. We have, moreover, another striking corroboration of the Asiatic conquests of this monarch, as well as of the trustworthiness of that prince of travellers, Herodotus. The latter writer relates that most of the stelae which Sesostris set up in the countries he conquered, were no longer extant in his time, but that he had himself seen those in Palestine of Syria, with the inscriptions upon them. He also adds that he had seen in Ionia two figures (t^ttoz) of the same king, cut in the rock ; one on the road from Ephesus to Phocaea, and another on the road from Sardis to Smyrna. Now it so happens that one of the stelae which Herodotus saw in Syria has been discovered in modern times on the side of the road leading to Beirut (the ancient Berytus), near the mouth of the river Lycus ; and though the hieroglyphics are much effaced, we can still decipher the name of Ramses. The monument, too, which Herodotus saw on the road from Sardis to Smyrna, has likewise been discovered near Nymphi, the ancient Nymphaeum ; and although some modern critics maintain that the latter is a Scythian monument, we can hardly believe that Herodotus could have been mistaken in the point. (Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians^ vol. i. p. 98 ; Lepsius, in Anal. dell. Instit. di Corrisp. Archeol. vol. x. p. 12 ; Classical Museum, vol. i. pp. 82, 231, where a drawing is given of the monument near Nymphi.)
The name of Sesostris is not found on monuments, and it was probably a popular surname given to the great hero of the nineteenth dynasty, and borrowed from Sesostris, one of the renowned kings of the twelfth dynasty, or perhaps from Se-sorthus, a king of the third dynasty. It appears from Manetho, that Ramses-Sesostris was also called Sethosis, which Bunsen maintains ought to be read Se-sothis, and that its meaning is the son of Sethos or Seti. (Bunsen, Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgeschiclite, vol. iii. pp. 97—114.)
SESTIA GENS, originally patrician, afterwards plebeian also. This name is frequently confounded with that of Sextius, and the two names may originally have been the same ; but the ancient writers evidently regard them as two distinct names, and they are accordingly so given in this work [sextia gens]. The only member of the gens who obtained the consulship under the republic, was P. Sestius Capitolinus Vaticanus in b. c. 452, who was also decemvir in the next year ; and no other person of this name appears on the consular Fasti except L. Sestius, who was consul suffectus in b. c. 23. Coins of the Sestia gens are extant, of which some specimens are given below.
SESTIUS. 1. P. sestius capitolinus