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Gods, Demons, Dragons

The Egyptian Arabian remains virtually unaltered since the beginning of history. The oldest documentation of the Arabian horse was a fine carving uncovered in a cave in Turkey. It depicts a leaping, fine-headed horse of pure Arabian type, its mane flowing and tail carried high. Scientific data places this at 8000 B.C.E.

The Battle of Kadesh.
Painting on Papyrus Plant from Egypt
The Battle of Kadesh.

The Battle of Kadesh.

Evidence of the domestication of horses emerged in Syria, dating 2000 BC. In an excavation, halters adorned the bones of horses and horses in artistic drawings. In 1330 AD, the first pedigrees recorded, referred to the Arabian by name, although there was no mention of strains or types. As time went on, early travelers questioned the crossing of apparently different breeds by the people of the Desert. These were not, in fact, different breeds but strains, or families, of the same breed. These strains gather their names from the important tribes who bred them.

The Pharaoh Thotmose III (1504-1450 BC) and his son Amenophis, could not be overtaken in races, in large scale military use of the horses of Egypt.

Ramses II credits his horses for saving his life in battle against the Hittites. His own words reflect his devotion and appreciation for their valor as he proclaimed, Henceforth their food shall be given them before me each day when I am in my palace. . .

The Pharaoh Piankhi (751 BC) grieved when learning that a rebellious Egyptian King had left his stable in total chaos and cried, I swear, as Ra loves me..... it is more grievous in my heart that my horses have suffered hunger, than any evil deed that thou hast done, in prosecution of thy desire. We can easily see from our first documentation of the horse in Egypt, how they had already established themselves as an animal of the greatest importance.

They were loved, admired, and cherished by the noblest of men and the desert nomad. As history progresses and the Prophet Mohammed established his teaching out of the desert, he taught that every man shall love his horse.

Eyptian Horse Warriors.
Two Egyptian Horse Warriors
A a Bedouin and a Mameluke

Bedouin warriors when mounted on their finest Arabian steed, proved to be invincible as Islam's power spread throughout the civilized world. Egypt was submerged in this Arab tide. The extraordinary horsemen, the Mamelukes, swept over Egypt.

Their ruler, Ahmad Ibn Tuleu, (1193-1250) built palatial gardens and a magnificent hippodrome to house his collection of the choicest Arabian horses. Saladin's horses, who prevented Richard the Lion Heart from conquering Egypt, were hailed by Sir Walter Scott. He writes in The Talisman: They spurned the sand from behind them -- they seemed to devour the desert before them -- miles flew away with minutes, yet their strength seemed unabated . . .

The straight Egyptian Arabian horse reaches back to the mares and stallions of Viceroy Mohammed Ali and his grandson Abbas Pasha I (who was assassinated in 1854). Authentic and pure; they came in unbroken line from Bedouin tribes in the Arabian deserts.

Abbas I, Egypt, Anon Eng.
Abbas I, Egypt
Anonymous. English.

Some horses were added to European collections; others remained in Egypt with Ali Pasha Sherif, a relative with a passion for the finest of desert-bred horses. With the dispersal of his magnificent stud, the horses moved into many hands, among them those of Lady Anne Blunt, whose journeys in search of desert horses are legendary.

King-maker of the East, the Arabian horse altered human history and reshaped the face of the world. Harnessing horse to chariot, the Pharaohs of the Nile Valley dazzled a world far beyond their own borders. The horses were represented on seal rings and stone pillars; in tombs and temples from Egyptian hieroglyphics to sacred scriptures.

Thou shallst fly without wings and conquer without swords. ~ The Qur’an.

In the early 19th century, the ruling families of Egypt gathered the finest horses from the deserts of Arabia and brought them to the land of the Pyramids. This extraordinary collection, unrivaled since the time of King Solomon, became the foundation for the modern-day Egyptian Arabian.

Egyptian Chariot Races in Marysville 1867.Between 1895 and the mid-1980’s, some of the finest Arabians to be found along the Nile were exported to the United States. Those individuals and their desert ancestors form the nucleus of the Egyptian Arabian bloodlines in present-day North America.

May 7, 1874, California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences

Arabian Horses

We believe there is neither an Arabian horse or an immediate descendant of an Arabian now on the turf. The only thorough trial of imported Egyptian horses has been made by the celebrated breaker, Keene Richards, His first importation was in 1862, a mare, raised by the Tarabrone tribe in Arabia Petra, and by two of the Anayza tribe.

The blood of all these could be traced back for generations. Afterward, Mr. Richards brought over Aacylowe and Faysal, and two others one of which traced his stock back three hundred years. Many of these have produced promising colts, but none of their descendants here as yet made a name. The Galveston News states that there is a fine breed of Arab horses on the farm of Dr. Tevis, formerly an associate of Mr. Richards, in Fort Bend County. Maryland has lately acquired one of the finest Arabian stallions that ever crossed the ocean. The horse was presented to Colonel Jenifer, of the Egyptian army, by Khedive.

(Much was said a few years since about introducing "Arabian Horses" into the United States and several fine animals were imported for that purpose, but by the following facts we find in the Baltimore American, there are but few Arabians now known. Ed F.)

June 2, 1877, Pacific Appeal, California

Origin of the Horse

We must go to Scripture to learn the origin and early history of the horse. We can trace him through the sacred volume to Egypt at a very early period, which raises the presumption that he was indigenous to Africa. Contemporaneous history and the logic of events point to that continent as the source of his origin or native land. When Joseph sojourned with Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, they exchanged horses for corn with the Egyptian cultivators of the soil, to provide against famine that threatened to depopulate the surrounding country.

The Horse.

When the Israelites went over to the land of Canaan, we are informed by Holy Writ that the Canaanites "went out to fight against Israel with horses and chariots very many." Solomon procured his cavalry horses from Egypt, which implies that they existed in these Oriental countries long before the Christian era. It is the logical conclusion from the early records of the horse, that he ran wild in the plains of Africa, where he was taken up and domesticated, and finally spread over the more settled parts of Asia.

The equine species were taken from a wild, roving state in their native land, domesticated, and then spread over Europe, and from Europe they were brought to America. The first horses landed on this continent were in 1493, brought over by Columbus in his second voyage to the Islands. There have been found no fossil remains of the horse to indicate that he existed on this continent previous to the voyage by Columbus. The first of the equine race imported into the United States were landed in Florida in 1525. They consisted of a cargo of forty-two in number, consigned to Cabecca de Vaca. It is doubtful whether any of these survived to perpetuate their race. The wild horses that roam over the pampas of the South, or herd on the prairies of the North, are probably descendants of those cavalry chargers used for mounted exploring, and abandoned by De Soto and other adventurers who turned them loose after they had completed their discoveries reinforced by those escaped in the battles of the Spanish with the aborigines at Mexico. The abundance of food and a mild climate would cause these escaped animals to multiply and increase to vast numbers in the wild state.

In 1608, M. L. Escabot, a French lawyer, settled in Acadia, introduced the Norman horse into Canada, from which descended the present French pony. In 1609 there were landed at Jamestown, Virginia, six English mares and one horse, together with cattle, sheep and swine. In 1625 the Dutch West India Company imported horses into New York, probably of the Flanders breed; and in 1629 horses and mares were imported from England into Massachusetts. These importations laid the foundation of the horse in America. These have been recruited and bred with choice importations from Europe, and even from Asia and Africa. Quite a number of Barbs and Arabians, and an occasional Turkish horse, have been imported. These have been generally stallions, and have been crossed with our half-bred mares with great success. It has been the custom of eminent breeders, when their stock has begun to degenerate and run down, to resort to a new supply of the old blood from which they sprang. It has been found to regenerate and improve the breed.

Arabians from the camera of Johnny Johnston.

The Arabian steeds of the first class are pure-bred animals. Their pedigrees are attested by their chiefs from the birth of the foal, preserved and handed down from father to son for many generations. It is the opinion of Oriental travelers that the Arabian pedigrees can be traced back in regular succession for five hundred years. The Arabian horsemen will give a pedigree running back to the stud of Mahomet the prophet, without a flaw in the escutcheon. There is a tradition that the prophet, being desirous of selecting mares for his stud, had a number of them that had been used as chargers kept up for two days without water. At the end of that time, when mad with thirst, they were set at liberty, and at the moment when they were close to the water his trumpet sounded a war charge, which had such an effect upon five of them that they abandoned the water and galloped to the spot where they expected to meet the still greater excitement of war. These five were therefore selected to form the foundation of his stud, and from them it is supposed that the race called Kochalina are descended. It took the high-bred steeds of three nationalities, Arabia, Barbary and Turkey, to constitute the present thoroughbreds. They are the most valuable of their species, because they combine the best blood of the most distinguished horses in the world.

The origin of the trotting horse can be traced to thorough-bred stallions, crossed upon French, English or Spanish mares. The highbred mare crossed with cold-blooded stallions, possessing the trotting instinct, will often produce trotters. The Morgan breed of trotters excelled through the line of Sherman Morgan, whose dam, it is stated, was a Spanish Barb. They number such worthies as Black Hawk, Ethan Allen, Gen. Knox, Gamors, Lady Maud and many others known to fame.

The Hambletonians are of English descent. They have a world-wide reputation for speed, secured to the founder of the family, by such scions as Geo. Wilkes, Jay Gould, Volunteer, Dexter, Nettie, and the renowned Goldsmith Maid, who is a granddaughter of the old Hero of Chester. The Bashaws, on the male side, are of oriental origin. They are represented by Andrew Jackson, Geo. M. Patchen, American Girl, Lucy, Hopeful, and a host of worthy descendants. The Pilots descended from a pacing French stallion crossed with a high-bred mare. They number in their catalogue of flyers at least nine in the second remove from the founder that have trotted in 2:30 or better.

The Narragansett pacer was imported from Andalusia, in Spain, by Gov. Robeson, of Rhode Island. They were bred extensively in New England, to supply the demand in Cuba for easy riding, fleet-footed saddle horses. When the foreign demand ceased they were neglected and amalgamated with other breeds. They have had much to do in making fast trotters. Blue Bull, the pacer, has sired no less than five colts that have beaten 2:80, and Legal Tender, the sire of Red Cloud, has nearly as many representatives of the same class. Columbus, a French pacing stallion, was the founder of a family of trotters. There are seven of his immediate descendants six grandsons, and four great-grandsons in the 2:30 class. The dam of Smuggler was a pacer. He was by Blanco, by Iron's Cadmus, the sire of Pocahontas, the fastest pacer of her day. Live Stock Journal

September 20, 1891, San Francisco Call, San Francisco, California

Antiquity of Civilization.

We cannot but be struck with the immense antiquity of civilization in Western Asia, whence, as a center, trade, art and literature spread westward io the Greeks and Italians, and eastward to India and China. The monuments show us that at least as early as 2500 B.C.E. distinct civilizations existed in Chaldea, in Syria and in Egypt. It is true that the early date which has been assigned to Menes by scholars who reckon thirty years as the average reign of an Egyptian monarch (whereas the dated reigns often do not exceed five or six) rests on no secure basis, and extravagant estimates, based on equally unsafe deductions, have been offered by some of our cuneiform scholars), who would carry back Akkadian civilization to 4000 B.C.E.; but these extravagancies do not discredit the facts which are deduced from better data, and which show that even earlier than the period usually assigned as the time when the pastoral Hebrew patriarchs found their way along the Euphrates and through Syria to Egypt, there were organized states, walled towns, chariots and horses, riches of gold and silver, bronze and iron, of corn, wine and oil, not only among the Akkadians and in Egypt, but also in Phoenicia and in Palestine. The Edinburgh Review.

Ancient Egypt Online Egypt.

A New English Version
Stephen Mitchell
Gilgamesh is considered one of the masterpieces of world literature; this version translator by the acclaimed author of the Tao Te Ching and the Bhagavad Gita. Inscribed on stone tablets a thousand years before the Iliad and the Bible and found in fragments, Gilgamesh describes the journey of the king of the city of Uruk in what is now Iraq. At the start, Gilgamesh is a young giant with gigantic wealth, power and beauty—and a boundless arrogance that leads him to oppress his people. As an answer to their pleas, the gods create Enkidu to be a double for Gilgamesh, a second self. Learning of this huge, wild man who runs with the animals, Gilgamesh dispatches a priestess to find him and tame him by seducing him. Making love with the priestess awakens Enkidu's consciousness of his true identity as a human being rather than as an animal. Enkidu is taken to the city and to Gilgamesh, who falls in love with him as a soul mate.

The Pyramid Builder
Cheops, the Pharaoh Behind the Great Pyramid
Author Christine El-Mahdy is a widely renowned Egyptologist whose interest in the subject started as a child (she taught herself to read hieroglyphics aged nine). She has worked in the Egyptian departments of Bolton Museum and Liverpool University Museum and, in 1988, she founded the British Centre for Egyptian Studies which she now runs. She has previously written three internationally bestselling books on ancient Egypt.

Encyclopedia of Goddesses and HeroinesGoddesses and Heroines.
Patricia Monaghan
Goddesses and Heroines.
Previously published as a two-volume set in 2009, this revised paperback edition contains more than 1,000 entries on goddesses and heroines from around the world. The material is divided into geographic sections: “Africa,” “Eastern Mediterranean,” “Asia and Oceania,” “Europe,” and “The Americas.” Europe is treated with the most granularity, with roughly 140 pages divided into eight subsections. The sections and subsections open with a few pages of introduction, followed by entries for each individual goddess or heroine, arranged alphabetically within each region. Entries range from a scant paragraph to nearly a page in length. Each entry has at least one source text, but a significant portion have several (more than 10 in some cases). These sources are listed in a bibliography, which lists for each region both primary sources (indicating “in translation” and “oral” when applicable) and “other sources.” Author Monaghan was a pioneer in contemporary women’s spirituality, and her perspective here has the flavor of radical feminism, where goddesses have been lost to the repressive patriarchy. ~ Booklist

Literary Fiction

Gospel According to Yeshuas Cat.
The Gospel According to Yeshua's Cat
C. L. Francisco, PhD
From the Author: Although nothing can compare with the excitement of diving into a new research project, I've always chosen fiction for my downtime reading. My favorites are fantasy, science fiction, and mystery, although I have an inexplicable weakness for several books by Elizabeth Goudge. Fiction sneaks up on me, gets under my guard, and touches my heart in a way that non-fiction just can't. It opens up new possibilities and sets me dreaming. Books that have been life-changing for me have always been fiction, most noticeably books by C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams. That's probably why I chose to write a book like Yeshua's Cat.

Amelia Peabody's Egypt.
Amelia Peabody's Egypt: A CompendiumAmelia Peabodys Egypt.
Elizabeth Peters

Crocodile on the Sandbank.
Crocodile on the Sandbank
(Amelia Peabody, Book 1)
A Mystery Novel set along the Nile.
Author Elizabeth PetersEgypt. is a New York Times best-selling novelist. She also earned a Ph.D. in Egyptology at the University of Chicago, thus the setting of much of this 19-book series: Egypt and the antiquities along the River Nile. Set during the late 1800s the tales start when British Amelia Peabody travels to Egypt to quench her thirst for history.

Tomb of the Golden Bird.
Later works, such as Tomb of the Golden BirdTomb of the Golden Bird., have Amelia travelling to Palestine where an English adventurer is planning to excavate Jerusalem's Temple Mount in search of the Ark of the Covenant. Her writing is brilliant and hysterically, ascerbically humorous, which seems somewhat unusual in books including tomb robbers and murderers.

Palace Walk: The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz.Egypt.
Palace Walk
The Cairo Trilogy, Volume 1
The Cairo Trilogy..
Written by the Noble Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk is the first book in his Cairo Trilogy. Palace Walk is about a merchant living in Cairo, who makes his family follow strict religious social rules while he breaks all of them himself. If you are planning on visiting Egypt, start here.


The Project

Maritime Nations, Ships, Sea Captains, Merchants, Merchandise, Ship Passengers and VIPs sailing into San Francisco during the 1800s.



Merchant Shipping

Merchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.  
History of Merchant Shipping and Ancient CommerceMerchant Shipping and Ancient Commerce.
W. S. Lindsay

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Sources: As noted on entries and through research centers including National Archives, San Bruno, California; CDNC: California Digital Newspaper Collection; San Francisco Main Library History Collection; and Maritime Museums and Collections in Australia, China, Denmark, England, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Wales, Norway, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, etc.

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