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Nile

The Nile issues forth from Lake Victoria on the equator and flows northward nearly 2,500 miles (4,167 km.) to the Mediterranean. Of this, the northernmost 500 miles can be said to be in Egypt, from Aswan northward. The “White” Nile rises as above at the equator and has a fairly even flow northward till it is joined by the “Blue” Nile at modern Khartoum in the Sudan. This stream and the other affluents that join the Nile from the east, rise in the mountains of Ethiopia and are fed by the torrential rains of the springtime. They fluctuate greatly and provide the annual inundation that for thousands of years has flooded and fertilized lower Egypt. The ancient mythological belief was that the goddess Isis annually shed a tear into the upper Nile, thus causing the flood that is so great a blessing that Egypt has been called, from the time of Herodotus onward, “the Gift of the Nile.” Near the end of June the water at Cairo and onward takes on a greenish tinge and an unpleasant taste becau