“Al-Maqrizi on the Pyramids” was translated and webbed up because “ancient astronaut” types claim that the book has stuff about aliens in it. But it’s much more interesting as a record of human interest in ancient Egyptian stuff.
For example, this beautiful poem:
“The Qadi Fakhr El-Din Abd el-Wahab El-Masrime recited verses about the pyramids he had composed in 655 (1257-1258 CE) and which are excellent:
The construction of the pyramids is like a preacher
Who affects the heart without using a word.
There comes to my mind a good word. Ancient:
“Where is the one who raised the pyramids?”
These are high mountains and are almost
Higher above the ground than Saturn.
If Khosroes had had their sides for a throne,
He would have preferred that throne to his portico.
They have passed through the heat and cold of time
For a very long time, and have felt nothing of those two things,
Neither the scorching sun, nor the wind that
Blows, nor the torrent which flows.
Was it a pious man who raised them as testimony to his piety,
Building the Pyramids for one of his idols?
Or is it the work of a man who believed in the return of the soul
To the body after leaving it?
Did he build them for his treasures and his corpse
As a tomb to protect them from the Flood?
Or are these observatories for the planets
Selected by learned observers because of the excellence of the place?
Or are they the description of planetary calculations,
Such as those once done by the Persians and the Greeks?
Or do we have etched on their faces
A science that seeks to understand the mind?
In the heart that sees them, the need to know what their writing means
Arises as a desire biting at the fingertips.
Heh… that kinda says it all. We’re lucky to live in a time when you can learn how to read hieroglyphs and understand ancient Egyptian.
Via Roger Pearse.