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Cercasorus

(52 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Κερκάσωρος, Κερκέσουρα; Kerkásōros, Kerkésoura). Town in Lower Egypt where, according to Hdt. 2,15; 2,17, the Nile divides into the branches of Pelusium and Canobus, according to Str. 17,806 situated on the west bank opposite Heliopolis, perhaps the Egyptian Ḥwt-šd-bd. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography F. Gomaà, s.v. Hutsched-abed, LÄ 3, 89-90.

Obelisk

(319 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (ὀβελίσκος/ obelískos, Latin obeliscus). Slender column of square cross-section tapering upwards with a pyramid shaped top, Egyptian tḫn, in the Graeco-Roman period also bnbn. In Egypt, obelisks have been connected with the sun cult since the earliest times (Sun god). Their concrete function and significance, however, is unknown. Royal obelisks outside temples and sanctuaries to the sun are attested from the 5th Dynasty (2450-2300 BC). In the New Kingdom they were often erected in pairs in front of the …

Memphis

(717 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Achaemenids | Egypt | Caesar | Zenobia | | Diadochi and Epigoni | Alexander | Commerce | Pilgrimage | Aegean Koine | Egypt City in Egypt, situated on the west bank of the Nile about 30 km south of the apex of the Delta. The name M. (Greek. Μέμφις; assyr. Mempi) derived from the name of the pyramid town of king Pepi I. (around 2300), Egyptian Mn-nfr-( Pjpj). The older name, ‘White Wall’ (Egyptian Jnb-ḥḏ; leúkon teíchos/λευκὸν τεῖχος in Hdt. 3,91 and Thuc. 1,104), probably referring to the particularly well-fortified cen…

Dendara

(124 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Jwnt[- t-nṯrt], Greek Τεντυρα; Tentura), city in Upper Egypt, located on the west bank of the Nile opposite today's Qena, capital of the 6th Upper Egyptian nome. From earliest times, D. was an important centre, and especially significant from the Old Kingdom to the early Middle Kingdom. Details of a large number of the nome's strategoi from the Ptolemaic and Roman periods have been preserved on their monuments. The most important deity was the goddess of love, Hathor. Her sanctuary, dating from the Old Kingdom, was extended …

Sebritai, Sembritai

(108 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Σε(μ)βρῖται/ Se(m)brîtai). According to Str. 16,4,8 and 17,1,2 the term ('foreigners') for (allegedly 240,000) Egyptian soldiers who under Psammetichus [1] I (664-610 BC) deserted from their garrison in Elephantine (cf. Hdt. 2,30 and Diod. Sic. 1,67) and settled in Sudan. As for the precise location of this settlement the sources conflict (cf. apart from Str. also Plin. HN 6,191 ff.; Ptol. 4,20 ff.). The historicity of Herodotus's account can not be confirmed from Egyptian sources…

Psammetichus

(583 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
(Ψαμμήτιχος; Psammḗtichos). Greek form of the name of several Egyptian rulers of Libyan origin, Egyptian Psmṯk. [German version] [1] P. I Egyptian king 1st king of the 26th Dynasty (664-610 BC), son of Necho [1] I, initially a vassal of the Assyrians, to whom he fled from a Nubian attack (Hdt. 2,152). After the Assyrians expelled the Nubians, he made himself ruler of the whole of Lower Egypt until c. 657, probably with the help of Greek and Carian (Cares) mercenaries (Hdt. 2,151 f.). P. entered into an alliance with Gyges [1] of Lydia and was soon able to free…

Calasiris

(38 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Καλάσιρις; Kalásiris).The priest C. is one of the main figures in  Heliodorus' [8] novel Aithiopiká. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography H. Kees, s.v. Kalasiris, RE 10, 1547  A.B. Lloyd, Herodotus, Book II, vol. 2, 1976, 342.

Faiyum

(185 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] Large oasis c. 80 km south-west of Cairo with a lake in the north. Name from Egyptian p-jm (‘the sea’, older names ts̄, ‘lake land’ and š-rsj, ‘southern lake’, Greek ἡ λίμνη ( hē límnē) or Κροκοδιλοπολίτης νομός ( Krokodilopolítēs nomós), from 256/5 onwards Ἀρσινοίτης νομός/ Arsionoḯtēs nomós). The capital city Šdjt ( Arsinoe [III 2]) is mentioned early but it was not until the 12th Dynasty that F. was developed through dam construction, especially under Amenemhet III ( c. 1853-1808) who was still considered a local hero in Roman times. The chief god wa…

Sais

(285 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Σάϊς/ Sáïs). City in the western delta of the Rosetta branch of the Nile, Egyptian Zw, capital city of the 5th administrative district of Lower Egypt, the modern (village of) Ṣā l-Hạǧar. As the main cult centre of the goddess Neith, S. was already important in the 1st half of the 3rd millennium. Politically, however, it did not come to the fore until the 1st millennium BC, when the Libyan rulers residing there attempted to expand their area of power beginning c. 730. Initially repelled by the Nubians, their successors Necho [1] I and Psammetichus [1] I in th…

Sebennytus

(164 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Education / Culture (Σεβεννῦτος/ Sebennŷtos). Town in the central Nile Delta, on the Damiette arm of the Nile, Egyptian Ṯb-nṯr, Assyrian Ṣabnūti, modern Samannūd. As a city (its name was also used to denote the 12th district of Lower Egypt) S. is not recorded before the 8th century BC - as the residence of local Libyan princes. In the second half of the 1st millennium BC it became one of the most important towns of the Delta. The kings of the 30th dynasty (380-342)…

Esna

(194 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Old Egytpian Jwnyt, later ( T)- Snj). Place in Upper Egypt, c. 60 km south of Luxor on the western bank of the Nile. Named in Greek λάτων (πόλις) after the latus fish, much venerated in cult practice. Today's city E. stands on the old settlement, therefore only the temple (9 m beneath today's level) is accessible. The first reference to E. comes from the 1st intermediate period; E. did not become significant, however, until the New Kingdom as the departure point for a caravan route to Nubi…

Tutankhamun

(166 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] Egyptian king of the Eighteenth Dynasty, c. 1333-1323 BC, Egyptian Twt-nḫ-Jmn ('Living Image of Amun'), throne name Nb-ḫprw-R, who ascended the throne while still a child. T. was the son of a king (presumably Amenophis [4] IV = Amenhotep IV); T. married a daughter of Amenophis IV and Nefertiti). The restoration of the old cults (primarily that of Amun) begun by his predecessor Smenkhkare was continued under T., and the religious policies of Amenophis [4] IV were abandoned completely. During the …

Schoinos

(117 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (σχοῖνος/ schoînos, 'rush, reed'), Egyptian measure of length, which according to Hdt. 2,6 corresponds to 60 stadia (Stadion [1]), but according to Str. 17,1,24 and 4, it varied (depending on geographic location) between 30 and 120 stadia. The Egyptian equivalent jtrw represents the distance over which a towing team was able to tow a boat. With local variations, the average is assumed to be 10.5 km. The name schoinos is based on an etymological misinterpretation: through sound change, the Egyptian jtrw assimilated with the word for (i.a.) 'reed' ( jrw). Jansen-Winke…

Lepidotonpolis

(84 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Λεπιδότων πόλις; Lepidótōn pólis). Town in upper Egypt, modern Nagʿ el-Mescheich opposite Girga, Egyptian probably Bḥdt-jtt, with remains of a temple of Ramesses II and the rock tomb of a high priest. The chief god was the lioness Mḥjt; but the lepidotus fish was also worshipped here (cf. Hdt. 2,72; Str. 17,812; confirmed by the find of a naos filled with fish bronzes). Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography F. Gomaà, s.v. Mescheich, LÄ 4, 107 H. Kees, s.v. L., RE 12, 2066f.

Onuphis

(71 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Ὄνουφις; Ónouphis). Town in Lower Egypt and the nome named after it (Ὀνουφίτης), first referred to in Hdt. 2,166 as a settlement area of the Calasirieis, later mentioned by ancient geographers (Plin. HN 4,49; Ptol. Geog. 4,5,22 among others) and in a Coptic list of bishops; presumably in the central Delta near modern Maḥallat Minūf. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography A.B. Lloyd, Herodotus, Book II, Commentary 99-182, 1988, 193-4.

Tanis

(249 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
(Τάνις; Tánis). [German version] [1] City in the northeast of the Nile Delta This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt City in the northeast of the Nile Delta, Egyptian Ḏn.t, Biblical Zoan, modern (Tell) San el-Hagar, the largest ruin mound in Egypt (177 ha, 30 m high). T. was founded as a residence in place of the abandoned Pi-Ramesses ( c. 20 km to the south) at the beginning of the 21st Dynasty ( c. 1070 BC). Sculptures and other stone from Pi-Ramesses (some of which had already been re-used there) were used for the construction of T. This older building…

Sabacon

(191 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Σαβάκων/ Sabákōn). First king of the 25th (Nubian) dynasty, Egyptian Šbk­, brother and successor of Pi(anch)i (Pije). In the traditional chronology, his minimally 15-year reign is estimated at c. 716/5 to 702/1 BC. However, since a recently published Assyrian inscription indicates that his successor Sebichus was already king in 706 [1], S. must have ascended the throne in 720 at the latest. In the 2nd year of his reign, S. conquered Egypt and according to Manetho [1] had his adversary Bokchoris burnt ali…

Nitriae

(114 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Νιτρίαι/ Nitríai). Settlement on the western edge of the Nile delta around 15km to the south of Damanhūr, modern Gabal Barng. The area around N. produced natron. Since Ptolemaic times it is documented in Greek sources (e.g. Str. 17,803; Steph. Byz. s.v. Ν.; Pall. Laus. 7,1 and others). In the 2nd cent. BC it had a Jewish synagogue. Around AD 315, the Coptic abbot Apa Amoun founded a Christian hermitic community in this region, which flourished in the 4th-5th cents. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography 1 A. Bernand, Le delta égyptien d'après les textes grecs…

Lyconpolis

(260 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (λύκων πόλις; lýkōn pólis, ‘wolfs' town’). City on the western bank of the Nile c. 400 km upstream from Cairo, modern Asyūṭ, Egyptian swtj (‘guard’), Assyrian siāutu, capital city of the 13th district of upper Egypt. Because of its position at a narrow stretch of the river, it formed the border of upper Egypt proper and was therefore (and as the point of departure of a caravan road to the western oases) of particular strategic importance. In the 1st Intermediate Period ( c. 2190-1990 BC) it was the main bulwark against the expansion of the Theban rulers northw…

Thutmosis

(397 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
Name of four Pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty, Egyptian Ḏḥwtj-msjw ('Thot is born'). Their chronology is uncertain, as the lengths of the reigns of T. I and II are unknown and T. III's ascent of the throne has been astronomically dated to 1504, 1490 or (most credibly) 1479 BC. [German version] [1] T. I Throne name -ḫpr-k-R, third king of the 18th Dynasty, c. 1496-1482 (only three regnal years are safely attested). T. undertook campaigns to Nubia and Syria as far as the Euphrates, during which the first conflicts with Mittani occured.  He was the first Phar…
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