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[German Version]

In Egyptian and Coptic, the Nile is the “River” par excellence (Egyp. *ỉatraw, *ỉa/oʾre, Coptic yoor etc.; borrowed as Heb. יְאֹר/yĕʾōr) or the “Great River” (Egyp. ỉatraw ‘aɜ, Coptic yero etc.); the plural with prefixed article (*ne-y[e]r/lo:w etc.) may have entered Greek as Νεῖλος/Neílos, originally denoting the seven branches of the Nile in its delta.

With a length of some 6,800 km, the Nile is one of the longest rivers on earth; its final navigable stretch extends some 1,100 km between Aswān and the Mediterranean, Egypt’s riverine oasis. On the upper Nile, be…

Cite this page
Schenkel, Wolfgang, “Nile”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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