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Annual Annual
Maximum. Minimum.

October. In the month of June the water is clear and Sinai and the Red Sea Hills it is not uncommon, and a temperacarries practically no suspended matter, but by August it

ture of 18° F. at an altitude of 2000 feet has been recorded in

January is full of dark red-brown sediment brought down by the

The atmospheric pressure varies between a maximum in January Blue Nile and the Atbara from the plateaux of Abyssinia, and

and a minimum in July, the mean difference being about 0.29 is estimated to be then carrying 8 cubic yards per second ; inch. The following are the mean values for Cairo for the years

by September this has been reduced to half the amount,
and then diminishes rapidly. On the island of Elephantine
at Assuan is the well-known Nilometer, dating from ancient


Pressure. Year.



Pressure. Egyptian times, and altered and extended in Roman times,


Inches. while the remains of other ancient Nilometers exist at Philæ, Edfu, and Esna, together with inscriptions recording about

1885. 70.3 29.84 1892.

70.3 29.89 forty high Niles in the XXVth Dynasty, recently discovered

1886 . 69.6 29.86 1893 68.4 29.89

1887 . 70.6 29.87 1894. 69.2 29.87 on a quay wall of the temple of Karnak. The data furnished

1888. 71.6 29.87 1895 69.5 29.87 by these give about 41 inches per century as the rate at

1889 720 29.88 1896 69.5 29.87 which the Nile is silting up its bed north of the First

1890 71.5 29.84 1897 68.5 29.90 Cataract.


71.4 29.88 1898 68.7 29.88 Climate.-Except a narrow belt on the north alor the Mediterranean shore, Egypt lies in an almost rainless area, where the The most striking meteorological factor in Egypt is the pertemperature is high by day and sinks quickly at night in sistence of the north wind throughout the year, without which the consequence of the rapid radiation under the cloudless sky. The climate would be very trying. In December, January, and mean temperature at Alexandria and Port Said varies between

February, at Cairo, the north wind slightly predominates, though 57° F. in January and 81° F. in July ; while at Cairo, where the those from the south and west often nearly equal it, but after this proximity of the desert begins to be felt, it is 53° F. in January, the north blows almost continuously throughout the year. In rising to 84° F. in July. January is the coldest month, when occa May and June the prevailing direction is north and north-northsionally in the Nile Valley, and more frequently in the open desert, east, and for July, August, September, and October north and norththe temperature sinks to 32° F., or even a degree or two below.

From the few observations that exist, it seems that farther The mean maximum temperatures are 99° F. for Alexandria and south these southern winter winds decrease rapidly, becoming 110° F. for Cairo. Farther south the range of temperature be westerly, until at Assuan and Wadi Halfa the northerly winds are comes greater as pure desert conditions are reached.

almost invariable throughout the year. The Khamsin, or hot

sand-laden winds of the spring months, come invariably from the Mean Temperature.

south. They are preceded by a rapid fall of the barometer for about a day, until a gradient from south to north is formed,

then the wind commences to blow, at first gently, from the southJanuary. July.

east; rapidly increasing in violence, it shifts through south to south-west, finally dropping about sunset. The same thing is

repeated on the second and sometimes the third day, by which Assuan

62 93

80 iis 42 time the wind has worked round to the north again. During Wadi Halfa

93 79

117 41 a Khamsin the temperature is high and the air extremely dry, Khartum . 71 93


while the dust and sand carried by the wind form a thick yellow fog obscuring the sun. The southern winds of the summer months

which occur in the low latitudes north of the equator are not felt The relative humidity vari greatly. At Assuan the mean

much north of Khartum. value for the year is only 38 per cent., that for the summer being

Minerals. — The minerals of Egypt which are worked at present 29 per cent. and for the winter 51 per cent. ; while for Wadi Halfa are very few. The salines at Meks, near Alexandria, supply all the the mean is 32 per cent., and 20 per cent. and 42 per cent, are the

salt needed for the country, except a small quantity used for curing mean values for summer and winter respectively. In Alexandria

fish at Lake Menzaleh ; while the lakes in the Wadi Natron, 45 miles and on all the Mediterranean coast of Egypt rain falls abundantly

north-west of the pyramids of Gizeh, furnish carbonate of soda in in the winter months, amounting to 8 inches in the year ; but

large quantities. The alum of the Western Oases is no longer southwards it rapidly decreases, and south of latitude 31° N. but worked, on account of the cost of transport. The turquoise mines little falls.

of Sinai, in the Wadi Moghara, are worked regularly by the Arabs of

the peninsula, who sell the stones in Suez ; while the emerald mines Rainfall.

of Jebel Zubara, south of Kosseir, have been recently examined, to see if they could be profitably worked. Petroleum occurs at Jebel Zeit, on the west shore of the Gulf of Suez, but up to the present attempts to obtain it in any quantity have not proved successful.

Considerable veins of hæmatite of good quality occur both in the Alexandria

Red Sea Hills and in Sinai, but difficulty of transport and want of 8.1

fuel render them unimportant, Port Said


Flora.—Since practically the whole of the country which will Ismailia

2.1 Suez.

support vegetable life is under cultivation, the flora of Egypt is 1:1

limited. Besides the industrial crops cultivated throughout the

country, the most important tree is the date palm, which grows all Recent records at Cairo show that the rainfall is very irregular,

over Egypt and in the Oases. The dom palm is first seen a little and is furnished by occasional storms rather than by any regular

north of latitude 26° N., and extends southwards. The vine grows rainy season ; still, most falls in the winter months, especially

well, and in ancient times was largely cultivated for wine ; oranges, December and January, while, on the other hand, none has been

lemons, and pomegranates also abound. The sunt tree (Acacia recorded in June and July.

Nilotica) grows everywhere, as well as the tamarisk and the syca

In the deserts several kinds of thorn bushes grow; and

wherever rain or springs have moistened the ground, numerous wild Rainfall in Cairo in Inches.

flowers thrive. This is especially the case where there is also shade to protect them from the midday sun, as in some of the narrow ravines in the eastern desert and in the palm groves of the oases,

where various ferns and flowers grow luxuriantly round the springs. Inches 0.86 1.73 0.61 2.15 1.600:27 1:30 0.66 1.70 | 1:43

of late years new avenues and gardens have been extensively planted, especially near the towns; and among many trees which

have been imported, the “lebbek” (Albizzia Lebbek) thrives especiIn the open desert rain falls even more rarely, but it is by no ally, and has been very largely employed. means unknown, and from time to time heavy storms hurst, causing Fauna.- Besides the ordinary domestic animals, the camel, horse, sudden floods in the narrow ravines, and often drowning both men donkey, goat, sheep, cow, water buffalo, &c., there are few wild and animals. These are more common in the mountainous region animals. The principal are the hyæna, al, and fox ; numerous of the Sinai Peninsula, where they are much dreaded by the Arabs. gazelles in the deserts; the ibex in Sinai and the Red Sea Hills; and Snow is unknown in the Nile Valley, but on the mountains of rarely the moufflon, or maned sheep, is met. The crocodile is never

S. III. – 87



Inches per




1888. 1889.




1893. 1894. 1895.






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now seen in Egypt. Birds are fairly nunierous, and include eagles, vultures, kites, owls, as well as several kinds of plover; sand grouse and pigeons are abundant, the latter being kept for their dung, which is used as manure. Quails arrive from the north about September, and return in the spring, passing through Egypt in February and March. Aquatic birds are very numerous-pelicans, storks, cranes, herons, geese, and duck.

Area and Population.— The total area of Egypt proper, including the Oases in the Libyan Desert, the regions between the Nile and the Red Sea, and El-Arish in Syria, but excluding the Sudan, is about 400,000 square miles ; but the cultivated and settled area, that is, the Nile Valley and Delta, covers only 12,980 square miles. Canals, roads, date plantations, &c., cover 1900 square miles ; 2850 square miles are comprised in the surface of the Nile, marshes, lakes, and desert. The population is generally divisible into

(1) The fellahin, or the peasant population of the Nile Valley ;
(2) The Beduin, or nomad Arabs of the desert ;
(3) The Nuba or Berberin, inhabitants of the Nile Valley

between Assuan and Dongola. The first of these includes both the Moslem and Coptic inhabitants, who have probably changed but little since ancient Egyptian times, in spite of their conquest at different periods by various nations, each of whom has left but little mark on the inhabitants, except the change of religion.

The Beduin, or the Arabs of the desert, are of two different classes : first, the Arabic-speaking tribes, who have probably immigrated from Arabia and Syria, and who occupy the deserts as far south as latitude 26° N.; secondly, the tribes who occupy the desert from Kosseir to Suakin, namely, the Hadendoa, Bisharin and the Ababda tribes, who speak a language of their own, and are probably the descendants of the Blemmyes, who occupied these parts in ancient times.

The population according to the census of 1897 was 9,734,405, compared with 6,813,919 in 1882, being an increase of 43.5 per cent. in 15 years. In the two following tables are given the numbers for Upper and Lower Egypt, as well as the number of foreigners resident in the country ; while in others are given the division by sex and mode of life, taken from the census of 1897 :

Egypt is divided into 6 governorships and 14 provinces, of which 6 belong to Lower Egypt and 8 to Upper Egypt.

The governorships are : Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, Suez Canal, Suez, El-Arish.

Lower Egypt includes the provinces of: Behera, Gharbieh, Menufieh, Dakahlieh, Kaliubieh, Charkieh.

Upper Egypt: Gizeh, Beni Suef, Fayum, Minia, Assiut, Girgeh, Keneh, Assuan.

The following tables give the population of each governorship and province, with the number of persons per square mile in each :

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1 Without Arabs, who were included in the figures for 1897. Government and Administration. The Central Government consists of the Khedive, together with a Council of six Ministers of State, under the presidency of a Prime Minister. To these is added the British Financial Adviser, who attends all meetings of the Council of Ministers, but has not a vote; on the other hand, no financial decision may be taken without his consent. The Ministries are those of the Interior, Finance, Public Works, Justice, War, and Public Instruction, and in each of these are prepared the drafts of decrees, which are then submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, and on being signed by the Khedive become law. The control of the different parts of the country is carried on by governors of the governorships, and mudirs of the provinces, each of whom is under the Ministry of the Interior. The provinces are further divided into districts, each of which is under a mamur, who in his turn supervises and controls the omda, or head-man, of each village in his district.

Justice.—In Egypt there are four judicial systems :-(1) the Mekhemehs or courts of the religious law, concerned

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mainly with questions affecting the personal status of El-Azhar attracts students to the number of nearly 8000, of Mahommedans; (2) the Mixed Courts, instituted in 1875, whom some 2000 are resident, from all parts of the Mahomdealing with civil actions between persons of different medan world. Including this and the 3 training colleges, nationalities, and to some extent with criminal offences of there are 26 higher or professional schools, with 486 foreigners; (3) the Consular Courts, where foreigners teachers and 12,706 students. In 1897, of the sedentary accused of crime are tried; (4) the Native Courts, for Egyptian population over seven years of age, there could civil actions between natives or crimes by natives. The read and write in Lower Egypt 7 per cent., in Upper Native Courts, instituted 1884–89, with both foreign Egypt, 4:07 per cent., in all Egypt, 5-8 per cent.; of the and native judges, now consist of 6 courts of first in- foreign population over seven years of age in all Egypt, stance, an appeal court at Cairo, and 42 summary 74 per cent. could read and write. courts for cases of moderate importance. With special reference to these tribunals a British judicial adviser was

Agriculture.—The total area of land, either cultivated, under

reclamation, or which may later be reclaimed, is 6,250,000 acres, appointed in 1891. A committee of judicial surveillance

of which 4,690,000 pay full taxes, and 1,060,000 are in course of watches the working of the courts of first instance and the reclamation, paying a proportional tax. The remaining 500,000 summary courts, and endeavours, by letters and discussions, acres are still waste land. The most important crops are those to maintain purity and sound law. There is a Procureur

of cotton and sugar.

The seasons for agriculture are-
Général, who, with other duties, is entrusted with criminal
prosecutions. His representatives are attached to each

Summer, from 1st April to 1st August.
1st August

1st December. tribunal, and form the “parquet” under whose orders the

Winter, 1st December ,, 1st April. police act in bringing criminals to justice. The police service, which has been subject to frequent modification, was

The approximate area and average yield in each season is as

follows:in 1895 put under the orders of the Ministry of the Interior, to which a British adviser and British in

Area in Acres. spectors are attached. The provincial police is under the direction of the local authorities, the mudirs or governors of provinces, and the mamurs or district officials;



15,177,500 to the omdas or village headmen, who are responsible for Flood


6,870,000 the good order of the villages, a limited criminal jurisdic Winter


17,013,000 tion has been entrusted.

Religion.—The religion of the country is essentially Moslem, and its adherents far outnumber those of all other

The crops cultivated in the different seasons are as follows :creeds. The Christians are mostly of the Orthodox Greek

Upper Egypt. Church. Jews are not very numerous, and are mostly found in the towns. In the following table, under the

Crop. heading Orthodox are included Orthodox Copts, Orthodox Greeks, Greek Orthodox Syrians, and Orthodox Armenians ;

Acres. while with the Catholics are included Roman Catholics, Summer


75,000 1,200,000 Coptic Catholics, Syrian Catholics, Maronites, and


110,000 1,100,000 Armenian Catholics :

Vegetables, &c. 15,000 150,000

12,500 127,500 Sorghum .

160,000 960,000 Creed. Lower Egypt.


Upper Egypt.

5,200,000 1,040,000 Sorghum.

510,000 2,040,000 Rice

20,000 80,000 Winter. Wheat

600,000 3,000,000 Mahommed


500,000 2,145,000 5,407,794 95:3 3,569,908 88.0

Clover 8,977,702 92:2

500,000 2,000,000 Barley

250,000 875,000 Lentils

140,000 420,000 Christians


1,000 8,000 Orthodox . 174,516 3.0 471,259 11.6 645,775 6.6


15,000 Catholic

150,000 56,660 1.0 4,391 61,051

Vetches Protestant 11,901

115,000 290,000 12,508 3








Per cent.

Per cent.

Per cent.





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Flood .

Education.- Under the Ministry of Public Instruction there is now a graduated system of teaching, commencing with the “kuttabs ” or village schools attached to mosques, passing on to the primary and secondary schools, and finally the two technical schools, and the schools of agriculture, medicine, and law. Besides these there are nine missionary and other schools of all grades. In 1898 there were in all 9702 kuttabs, with 14,700 teachers for the 183,470 pupils who attend them ; but only a few of these, at present about 100, are under Government inspection and receive the grant in aid to which it entitles them. In the rest the education given is of small value. There were 240 higher grade primary schools, and 28 secondary schools, besides 3 training colleges for teachers. The University of

Vegetables, &c.
Vegetables, &c.

Acres. 1,500,000 | 10,500,000

4,000 40,000 70,000 700,000 100,000 400,000 2,200,000 440,000 900,000 3,150,000

80,000 120,000 600,000 2,700,000 330,000 660,000 955,000 3,395,000 180,000 630,000 70,000 700,000 4,000 40,000


Double cropped area=1,363,000 acres.

The following table gives the cotton and sugar crops for twenty The value of the leading exports and imports of Egypt in 1900 years :

is shown in the following table :

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1 In 1897 the cotton tissues imported amounted to £E.1,798,600 ; and in 1900 to £E.1,987,095. In the cotton season of 1896–97 the quantity of raw cotton exported was 5,177,495 cantars, valued at £E.10,088,838; in 1897–98, 5,764,636 cantars, valued at £E.9,040,150; in 1898-99, 6,001,222 cantars, valued at £E.11,598,222 ; and in 1899-1900, 4,868,596 cantars, valued at £E.13,039,003.

The land is everywhere subdivided into extremely small plots, each of which is often owned by the members of a family, each having a share. Out of 767,260 proprietors of land in 1897, 611,074 owned less than 5 acres. Cattle and farm animals, including horses and camels, number 1,669,000.

The only fisheries of importance are those of Lake Menzaleh, which produce a net revenue of about £E. 60,000 annually.

Commerce.-Since 1875 the commerce has increased rapidly. Great Britain is the largest importer and exporter, and next come France, Turkey, Russia, Austria, and the United States, though the trade of Germany and Belgium is also rapidly increasing.

The exterior commerce, comprising imports and exports of all kinds of merchandise and of specie, is given at the following figures since 1880:

The receipts from tobacco were : in 1896, £E.1,006,526 ; in 1897, £E.1,044,780 ; in 1898, £E.1,080,669 ; in 1899, £E.1,068,497.

Of the total imports in 1899 the value of £E.9,945,165, and of the exports the value of £E.15,068,722, passed through the port of Alexandria.

Shipping and Navigation. — The following tables show the nationality and tonnage of vessels arriving and clearing at Alexandria. Great facilities have been afforded to steamers since the completion of the docks, wharves, and quays; and in order still further to facilitate navigation the Government have constructed a new pass, 300 feet wide, to enable vessels, which have often been delayed off the port during stormy weather, to make a direct run into harbour. The new pass, 30 feet deep, was opened to navigation in July 1894.

Arrivals and clearances of commercial vessels at Alexandria in

five years :

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Suez Canal.—The following table shows the number and gross Of late years lines of light agricultural railways have been tonnage of vessels of all nationalities that passed through the Canal opened by private companies in the Delta and in the Fayum. In in 1898:

connexion with these lines there are 164 miles of telegraphs and

310 miles of telephones. Country.

Gross Tonnage.

Telegraphs and Posts.-The telegraphs belonging to the Egyptian Government were, at the end of 1900, of a total length of 2106

miles, the length of the wire being 9440 miles. The Government Great Britain.


8,691,093 have given concessions to a telephone company for urban telephone Germany


lines. The Eastern Telegraph Company, also by concessions, have France


891,642 telegraph lines across Egypt from Alexandria via Cairo to Suez, Holland .


and from Port Said to Suez, connecting their cables to England Austria-Hungary


300,251 and India. Number of telegrams, 2,994,332 in 1899, not includJapan


261,602 ing telegrams sent by the Eastern Telegraph Company. Receipts, Russia


243,381 £E.54,448 ; expenditure, £E.44,000. In 1900 the number of teleSpain

232,358 grams was 3,288,662. Italy


There are 313 post offices in the towns of Egypt, 160 travelling Norway

109,709 offices, and 414

localities where the rural post has been established. Turkey


83,541 The Egyptian Post Office now transacts all the services which exist Denmark


30,228 in the post offices of other countries forming the Postal Union. Egypt


The following table gives the number of letters, post-cards, China

6,181 newspapers, &c., despatched through the Egyptian Post Office in America.

3,162 the year 1898 : Greece


1,941 Rumania



Abroad. Sweden


1,021 Portugal



Letters and post-cards 12,260,000 2,473,000 Argentine Republic 451

14,733,000 Newspapers

7,100,000 940,000 8,040,000 Parcels

274,000 289,800 563,800 Total



19,634,000 3,702,800 23,336,800 In 1899 the British ships numbered 2310, with a tonnage of 9,046,031 ; and the German 387, with a tonnage of 1,492,657.

In 1899 these totals had arisen to : inland, 20,758,000 ; abroad, The number and gross tonnage of vessels that have passed through 3,903,700 ; total, 24,661,700. Receipts (1899), £E. 129,874 ; expenthe Suez Canal, and the gross receipts of the company, were as diture, £E.108,198. follow during the twenty years after 1880 :

Post-office orders and remittances through the post office (1898)

numbered 563,800, and amounted to the value of £E.16,437,000; No. of Vessels. Gross Tonnage.


in 1899, post-office orders and remittances numbered 598,500, and amounted to a value of £E.17,437,000.

Thirty per cent. of the total foreign correspondence was with 1880 2026 4,344,519

1,593,620 Great Britain. 1890 3389 9,719,130 2,679,360

DIoney. -Egyptian money is minted at the Berlin Mint. The 1895 3131 11,833,637


nominal value of the coinage (including re-coinage) from 1887 to 1896 3409 12,039,859


1900 was :1897 2986 11,123,403


Silver. Nickel.

Total. 12,962,632

3,411,791 1899 3607 13,815,992 3,652,751

Piastres. Piastres. Piastres. Piastres. Piastres.

1887-1900. 5,202,400 190,584,769 22,080,289 611,779 218,479,237 The number of passengers who went through the Canal in 1899 was 221,317 as against 219,671 in 1898, and 191,224 in 1897.

See also SUDAN. Canals.—The canals, being designed specially for perennial or AUTHORITIES.-OFFICIAL. Administration : Correspondence reflood irrigation, are only partially used for communication, since specting the Reorganization of Egypt. London, 1883.-Reports by the Nile serves for this purpose through the country. In the Mír Villiers Stuart respecting Reorganization of Egypt. London, Delta, however, the large canals, Raya Behera, Raya Menufieh, 1883 and 1895.Despatch from Lord Dufferin forwarding the Bahr Shebin, Mahmudieh Canal, Raya Tewfiqieh, and the Ismailieh Decree constituting the New Political Institutions of Egypt. LonCanal, are largely used to reach parts of the Delta which would don, 1883. - Reports on the State of Egypt and the Progress of otherwise be far from water transport.

Administrative Reforms. London, 1885. - Reports by Sir H. D. Roads.-Until quite recently there were no roads laid out and Wolff on the Administration of Egypt. London, 1887.- Annual maintained as such, except in the immediate neighbourhood of Reports by Lord Cromer on the Finances, Administration, and Conthe large towns, and the only communication was by the footpaths dition of Egypt, and the Progress of Reforms. London.—Agriculacross the cultivation. Now, however, agricultural roads are ture: Despatch from Sir Evelyn Baring enclosing Report on the being constructed in most of the provinces, and 1268 miles are open, Condition of the Agricultural Population in Egypt. London, 1888. 324 miles having been constructed in Upper Egypt, and 944 in --Notes on Egyptian Crops. Cairo, 1896. —Dictionnaire géographLower Egypt, up to the end of 1899.

ique de l'Égypte. Par Boinet Bey. Cairo, 1899. Finance : Railways.-On 1st January 1901 there were in Egypt 1393 miles Correspondence respecting the State Domains of Egypt. London, of railways belonging to and worked by the State, and 670 miles of 1883. - Statement of the Revenue and Expenditure of Egypt, together light agricultural railways belonging to private companies (see with a List of the Egyptian Bonds and the Charges for their Services. below): in all, 2063 miles ; 1403 miles being in the Delta, and London, 1885. Reports on the Finances of Egypt. London, 1888– 660 miles in Upper Egypt, exclusive of the military railway in 1895.-Convention between the Governments of Great Britain, Gerthe Sudan.

many, Austria-Hungary, France, Italy, Russia, and Turkey, relaThe following table shows since 1880 the length of line of the tive to the Finance of Egypt, signed at London, March 18, 1885. State railways, the number of passengers and the weight of goods London, 1885.—Compte Général de l'Administration des Finances. carried, and the net receipts :

Annual. Cairo.- Report (Official) on Perennial Irrigation and

Flood Protection for Egypt. 1 vol. and atlas. Cairo, 1894.—Report Number of

on the Nile and Country between Dongola, Suakin, Kassala, and Goods carried. Passengers.

Net Receipts.

Omdurman. 2nd ed. London, 1898. Report of Public Works

Ministry (annual): -Report of the Judicial Adviser, 1898–99, 1900.

Cairo. - Statistical Tables, dsinistry of Finance, 1900. Cairo. 1880

944 3,086,478 1,143,312 750,134 Nox-OFFICIAL.-AUBIN. Les Anglais aux Indes et en Égypte. 1890

961 4,696,286 1,721,492 798,418 Paris, 1899.-BOURGUET. La France et l'Angleterre en Égypte. 1895

1098 9,518,000 2,398,000 994,000 Paris, 1897.—BUTCHER. The Story of the Church of Egypt. 2 1896 1143 9,854,000 2,498,000 1,033,000

vols. London, 1897. — BRODERICK (Miss) and SAYCE (Prof.). 1897

1166 10,742,546 2,796,096 1,123,360 Handbook for Egypt (Murray's). 1 vol. London, 1900.-Brown. 1898

1214 11,312,400 2,786,780 1,114,033 Fayim and Lake Nocris. 1 vol. London, 1892.-History of 1899 1393 11,284,284 3,055,897 1,161,636 the Barrage. Cairo, 1896.-H. BRUGSCH BEY. Histoire d'Égypte.

2nd ed. Leipzig, 1875. Eng. trans. 1888. 1 vol.—CAMERON.






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