ations, also soothsayers, hence the advisers of mature people, judges of the dead, to whom their will and their knowledge guaranteed immortality. They not only performed the minute ceremonies of religion for the gods and the pharaohs, but they healed the sick as physicians, they influenced the course of public works as engineers, and also politics as astrologers, but above all they knew their own country and its neighbors.
In Egyptian history the first place is occupied by the relations which existed between the priests and the pharaohs. Most frequently the pharaoh laid rich offerings before the gods and built temples. Then he lived long, and his name, with his images cut out on monuments, passed from generation to generation, full of glory. But many pharaohs reigned for a short period only, and of some not merely the deeds, but the names disappeared from record. A couple of times it happened that a dynasty fell, and straightway the cap of the pharaohs, encircled with a serpent, was taken by a priest.<