1 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 17


SiR,—History never " repeats itself "---exactly. But, mutatis mutandis, there are many cases on record of parallelism between past and present, arising from the existence of such " constants " among the conditioning factors as, e.g., the basic qualities of human nature and the influence of geography on political events! May I suggest that there are good reasons for expecting a very interesting parallel to be drawn on the, as yet, blank pages of history at no very distant date?

Somewhere about B.C. 1300 (I am writing without access to my books owing to " enemy action ") Rameses HI of the XXth Dynasty (not to be confused with "Ftameses the Great " of the XIXth, familiar to all tourists from his innumerable statues, large and small) found his Egypt about to be attacked from Lybia on the west and by "the peoples of the sea " from the north, via Syria, in the ancient equiva- lent of a " pincers movement." This Pharaoh was a great soldier, and he crushed that attempt at the conquest of his kingdom by first utterly routing the Lybians, who had advanced into the western Delta, and then, having secured his north-eastern frontier by land action, he completely defeated the " peoples of the sea " in the first recorded great naval battle, somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. The whole story is told in picture and hieroglyphics on the walls of the temple the Conqueror built in Western Thebes in commemoration of