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Ramesses

(1,111 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
Name of eleven pharaohs, Egyptian R-msj-sw (“Re (the sun god) is the one who gave him birth”), vocalized Rīamašeša in Babylonian, rendered in Greek by Ῥαμέσσης and the like. [German version] [1] R. I Dynasty founder (Throne name Mn-pḥtj-R). The founder of the 19th dynasty ( c. 1292-1290 BC) came from a non-royal family (from the eastern Delta?) and was a high-ranking officer before he was named as vizier and heir to the throne by his predecessor Haremhab. His son Sethos I was probably immediately designated as his successor. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) [German version] [2] R. II Egy…

Sirbonis

(72 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Σιρβωνὶς λίμνη/ Sirbōnís límnē). Coastal lake east of Pelusium on the northeastern border of Egypt, separated from the Mediterranean by only a narrow strip of land, west of Mount Casium. According to Strabo, it was 200 stadia long, 50 stadia wide and rather deep (16,2,32; 16,2,42). The lake was claimed to be dangerous due to marshiness (cf. Diod. Sic. 1,30; 16,46) and to seaquakes (Str. 16,2,26). Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)

Neith

(268 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Νηίθ; äg. Njt.t (?)). Egyptian goddess with her main cult site at Sais in the western Nile delta. With regard to monuments as well as to personal names, N. was the most prominent goddess of the Early Period (1st half of 3rd millennium BC). Later, especially during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom, she receded in comparison to other divinities; from the 26th Dynasty on, however, when Sais became the royal residence, she regained pre-eminent importance. Originally, N. may have been…

Athribis

(87 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Egyptian Ḥwt-[t]-ṛj-jb, Arabic Tall Atrı̄b). Capital city of the 10th Lower Egyptian district, in the southern central delta. Main god Chentechtai in older times honoured as a crocodile, in the New Kingdom mostly as a falcon. A. gains additional significance in the New Kingdom. In the 9th-7th cents. BC it forms with  Heliopolis an independent principality. Ammianus Marcellinus (22,16) counts it as one of the most important cities of Egypt. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography P. Vernus, Athribis, Bibliothèque d'études coptes 74, 1978 LÄ 1, 519-24.

Buto

(229 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] City in the west delta to the north of Sais in the 6th region of Lower Egypt; actually a twin city which, in older sources, only appears in the names of its parts Pe and Dep. The name B. has its origins in the Egyptian Prw dyt, house of Wśdy (Uto), who, in the form of a snake, is the national and crown goddess of Lower Egypt and who, together with  Horus, is the most important local deity. B. was already settled in prehistoric times and was apparently an important centre. Archaeological finds and epigraphic reports about B., ho…

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…

Myecphorites

(60 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Μυεκφορίτης; Myekphorítēs). Egyptian district, mentioned only in Hdt. 2,166, located on an ‘island’ (surrounded by arms of the Nile or canals) across from Bubastis and inhabited by Calasirieis. The etymology of the name is unclear, it may mean the 20th district of lower Egypt. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography A.B. Lloyd, Herodotus, Book II, Comm. 99-182, 1988, 195.

Kalasirieis

(126 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Καλασιριεῖς; Kalasirieîs). Along with the hermotybies, the Kalasirieis were one of the two classes in the Egyptian caste of warriors (μάχιμοι), instituted, according to Diod. Sic. 1,94, by a king Σεσόωσις/ Sesóōsis (Sheshonk I ?). According to Hdt. 2,166, they were up to 250,000 men strong and lived in Thebes and in certain towns in the Nile Delta. The Egyptian term krj-š (the meaning is uncertain) is attested from the 20th Dynasty on, a corresponding group with military and police functions is attested from the 26th Dynasty until the beginning of Roman rule. Jansen-Wink…

Tachos

(159 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Ταχώς, in Manethon Τεώς/ Teṓs; Egyptian Ḏd.ḥr). Second king of the Egyptian 30th Dynasty,  c. 362-360 BC (calculations differ by up to two years), son of his predecessor Nectanebus [1] I and his co-regent during the last three years of his reign (from c. 365). T. tried to exploit the collapse of Persian power in western Asia, and in c. 360 BC, he led a campaign to Syria, with a great number of Greek mercenaries under the Spartan king Agesilaus [2] and a fleet under the Athenian Chabrias. During this campaign, T.'s brother Tjahapimu, who …

Ombi

(207 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
(Ὄμβοι; Ómboi). Two towns in Egypt. Their names are derived from Egyptian nbw, 'gold', possibly indicating that they were points of departure for the search for gold in the neighbouring desert regions. [German version] [1] Town in the 5th nome of Upper Egypt Egyptian Nbwt, town in the 5th nome of Upper Egypt, close to modern Ṭūḫ. Cult town of the god Seth, of whose temple little remains. As a result of the vilification of Seth, the town lost its importance after the New Kingdom. Juv. 15,33f. mentions a dispute between the residents of O. …

Ibis

(221 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
(Egyptian hbj > Greek ἶβις; îbis). [German version] I. Egypt The ibis was considered a sacred bird (Hdt. 2, 65; 67; 75 and other ancient writers) in Egypt, where three species were found. Above all, the ‘Sacred ibis’ ( Threskiornis aethiopicus) was worshipped as the holy animal of  Thot, god of the moon and writing, and often represented. Ibis burials are known starting in the New Kingdom; in the Late Period, there were breeding colonies and animal cemeteries with mummified ibises everywhere in Egypt, particularly extensive in the chief cult centres of Thot. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) B…

Cat

(565 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Hünemörder, Christian (Hamburg)
[German version] I. Egypt and the Near East The cat was particularly significant in Egypt where there is evidence of it being kept as a pet from the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC at the latest; the period of its domestication, however, stretched far into the 1st millennium. The Egyptian cat used to be regarded as the precursor of the European domestic cat, but today it is assumed that the origin of the latter was the Near East: it was first mentioned in Mesopotamia [1] in the 17th cent. BC as a wil…

Egypt

(3,211 words)

Author(s): Seidlmayer, Stephan Johannes (Berlin) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] A. Introduction The country on the Nile from the 1st Cataract to the Mediterranean, Egyptian km.t, ‘the Black (Land)’, Greek Αἴγυπτος ( Aígyptos). The division of Egyptian history into ‘kingdoms’, ‘intermediate periods’ (periods of unified and divided states) and ‘dynasties’ essentially derives via Manetho from Egyptian annalists. The absolute chronology, which is based on contemporary information on dates, lists of kings and astronomical calculations, is only (more or less) firm for the late period an…

Philadelphia

(469 words)

Author(s): Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Tomaschitz, Kurt (Vienna) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
(Φιλαδέλφεια/ Philadélpheia). [German version] [1] Lydian town founded by Seleucus I This item can be found on the following maps: Christianity | Education / Culture Lydian town founded by Seleucus I (cf. SEG 35, 1985, 1170 [2. 180139; 3. no. 20]) or by Attalus [5] II Philadelphos (who definitely gave the town its name). It lay at the northeast foot of Mt. Tmolus in the fertile valley of the river Cogamis (cf. the coins in HN 655, present-day Alaşehir Çayı), a southern tributary of the Hermus, in southern Catacecaumene [1] on the …

Stele

(787 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg) | Neudecker, Richard (Rome)
[German version] I. Near East and Egypt Stelae are standing stone slabs with reliefs or inscriptions on one or more sides; in Egypt wooden stelae also survive. In early Mesopotamia their shape can be natural, elsewhere they usually have rounded tops, less often squared tops. From the end of the 4th millennium BC, funeral stelae were used in Egypt at or in tombs (or cenotaphs) as cult places. In the 1st millennium, funeral stelae (mostly wooden) were also placed in the burial chamber: they bear images (…
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