Page 327. " What befell the weakling youth lifting the dread goddess's veil at Sais? "

Sais was an ancient Egyptian town in the Western Nile Delta. The city's patron goddess was Neith, who the Greeks identified with Athena. Plutarch said the shrine in Sais carried the inscription "I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised."

Page 328. " The upper part, known as the Case, may be regarded as the great Heidelburgh Tun of the Sperm Whale. "

The Heidelberg Tun is an extremely large wine vat contained within the cellars of Heidelberg Castle in south-western Germany. There have been four such barrels in the history of Heidelberg; the present one has a capacity of approximately 220,000 litres (58,100 U.S. gallons) and was made in 1751. One hundred and thirty oak trees were reputedly used in its construction.

Page 333. " Such an enterprise would seem almost as hopeful as for Lavater to have scrutinised the wrinkles on the Rock of Gibraltar or for Gall to have mounted a ladder and manipulated the Dome of the Pantheon. "

Swiss pastor Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741 – 1801) was a promoter of physiognomy, the idea that a person's character or personality is reflected in their face. Phrenology, developed by German physician Franz Joseph Gall (1758 – 1828), was a form of physiognomy primarily focused on measurements of the human skull.

Page 334. " Few are the foreheads which like Shakespeare's or Melancthon's rise so high "

German theologian Philipp Melanchthon (1497 – 1560), along with Luther and Calvin, was a leader of the Protestant Reformation.

Page 335. " Champollion deciphered the wrinkled granite hieroglyphics. "

French classical scholar and philologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790 – 1832) published the first translation of the Rosetta Stone hieroglyphs in 1822.