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Pelusium

(506 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt | Syria | Zenobia | | Diadochi and Epigoni | Alexander | Commerce | Pilgrimage | Rome | Rome | Egypt (Πηλούσιον/ Pēloúsion; Latin Pelusium). City at the far northeastern corner of the Nile delta (southeast of Port Said), Egyptian Sjn, earlier Snw, 'fortification', from Ptolemiac times also known as P-Pr-jr-Jmn, Coptic ΠΕΡΕΜΟΥΝ, modern Tall al-Faramā. The Greek name P. probably originated from a popular etymological derivation of the Egyptian sjn, 'clay' = Greek pēlós (cf. Str. 17,1,21). Based on the city's name…

Amasis

(240 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
(Ἀμασις; Ámasis). Greek form of the name of two Egyptian kings. [German version] [1] Generally Amosis or Ahmose Generally Amosis or Ahmose, c. 1540/30-1515/05 BC, founder of the 18th dynasty and of the New Kingdom. He completes the expulsion of the  Hyksos, conquers their capital city, Auaris, as well as southern Palestine and Lower Nubia [1. 45-47; 3]. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) [German version] [2] Egyptian king Egyptian Jḥ-msw, 5th ruler of the 26th dynasty (570-526 BC), overthrows his predecessor  Apries, when the latter sends him out to quell a mutin…

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 (…

Anysis

(65 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] According to Hdt. 2,137-40, a blind king of a city of the same name, during whose reign the Ethiopians, under S(h)abako, conquered Egypt. Not historically verifiable; this is probably a reminder of the continuing existence of independent rulers in the Delta during the rule of the Nubian kings (25th dynasty). Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography A. B. Lloyd, Herodotus, Book II, Commentary 99-182, 1988, 90-92.

Rosetta Stone

(137 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] Part of a granite tablet discovered in 1799 by French soldiers near the settlement of Rosetta (el-Rashid) on the Egyptian Mediterranean coast (now in the British Museum in London), bearing text in three languages. The inscription is a decree regarding the cult of the ruling monarch in the Egyptian temples, passed by a priestly synod in Memphis on 27 March, 196 BC, on the occasion of the coronation of Ptolemaeus [I 8] V Epiphanes and meant to be displayed in all of the country's te…

Leuke Akte

(78 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Λευκὴ ἀκτή; Leukḕ aktḗ). ‘White cape’ on the Libyan coast of Egypt, near the small Catabathmus, modern Ras al-Abja (on the Ras al-Kanais, c. 60 km east of Marsa Matruh), mentioned in e.g. Str. 10,489; 17,799; Ptol. 4,5,3. According to POxy. XI,1380,45, Isis was venerated at Leuke Akte as Aphrodite, Muchis and Eseremphis. There was also an oracle sanctuary of Apollo ( Horus). Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography H. Kees, s.v. L.A., RE 12, 2261.

Demons

(2,953 words)

Author(s): Maul, Stefan (Heidelberg) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Macuch, Maria (Berlin) | Johnston, Sarah Iles (Princeton)
[German version] I. Mesopotamia Mesopotamia did not develop a generic term for demons. A large number of immortal beings was known that each had their own name and acted as servants of the gods and as enemies or helpers of humans. They did not have cults of their own. Since demons were only able to exercise their limited powers, which manifested themselves in physical and psychological illnesses, with the approval of the gods, they were part of the existing world order. Thus, in the Babylonian tale …

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…

Letopolis

(223 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Λητοῦς πόλις; Lētoûs pólis). City at the south-western tip of the Nile delta, Egyptian ( S) ḫm, modern Ausim (north-west of Kairo), main city of the 2nd Lower Egyptian district. The main god of L. was the falcon-shaped god of heaven ( M) ḫntj-jrtj, who loses and regains his eyes at sunrise and sunset (sun and moon) and thereby symbolizes the daily cycle of the sun. Later he was identified with Haroeris. The sacred animals of the God of L. were mainly the ichneumon and the shrew-mouse (numerous bronze figures are extant,…

Paraetonium

(80 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Christianity | Limes (Παραιτόνιον; Paraitónion). Port c. 300 km west of Alexandria [1], modern Marsā Maṭrūḥ, the point of departure of the road to the oasis of Siwa (Ammoneion), also called ἡ Ἀμμωνία/ hē Ammōnía (Str. 17,799). P. was important as a port and for border security during the Ptolemaic and Roman periods; during the New Kingdom, there was a fortress close to modern Umm ar-Raḫam. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)

Healing deities, healing cults

(2,358 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Heeßel, Nils (Heidelberg) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] I. Introduction The healing of illness is, in principle, within the province of any deity or hero in possession of superhuman powers of assistance. But in the reality of cult practice, the healing function came to be concentrated in certain deities and heroes whose powers were particularly strong [1]. Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) Bibliography 1 W. A. Jayne, The Healing Gods of Ancient Civilizations, 1925. [German version] II. Mesopotamia and Syria In Mesopotamia, a series of deities were associated with healing powers through names, epithets, and ref…

Divination

(6,021 words)

Author(s): Maul, Stefan (Heidelberg) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Haas, Volkert (Berlin) | Niehr, Herbert (Tübingen) | Wiesehöfer, Josef (Kiel) | Et al.
[German version] I. Mesopotamia While attention in old Egyptian culture was largely centred on existence after death, the concerns of Mesopotamia were almost exclusively with the present. A significant part of the cultural energy of ancient Mesopotamia was devoted to keeping human actions in harmony with the divine, so as to ward off such misfortunes as natural catastrophes, war, sickness and premature death. As such, heavy responsibility rested on the ruler as mediator between the world of gods and that of men. In Mesopotamia everything which is and happens was seen as a man…

Neapolis

(2,079 words)

Author(s): von Bredow, Iris (Bietigheim-Bissingen) | Muggia, Anna (Pavia) | Meyer, Ernst (Zürich) | Kaletsch, Hans (Regensburg) | Olshausen, Eckart (Stuttgart) | Et al.
(Νέα πόλις/ Néa pólis, Νεάπολις/ Neápolis, ‘New City’). [German version] [1] Town on the northern coast of the Aegean This item can be found on the following maps: | Macedonia, Macedones | Moesi, Moesia Town on the northern coast of the Aegean to the west of the mouth of the Nestus river, across from the island of Thasos, modern Kavalla (Str. 7a,1,36; Ps.-Scyl. 67), probably a Thasian colony but the exact period of foundation is unknown. Early in the 6th cent. BC, autonomous silver coinage modelled on that of Eretria [1] (HN 196…

Arsinoe

(1,871 words)

Author(s): Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) | Harder, Ruth Elisabeth (Zürich) | Ameling, Walter (Jena) | Bieberstein, Klaus (Fribourg) | Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Et al.
(Ἀρσινόη; Arsinóē). I. Myth [German version] [I 1] Daughter of Leukippos Daughter of Leucippus, sister of the Leucippids, who were abducted by the Dioscuri, she was the mother by Apollo of the Messenian Asclepius (Hes. fr. 50; Apollod. 3,117f.; Paus. 2,26,7; 4,3,2). In Sparta A. had a shrine (Paus. 3,12,8); on the agora of Messene there was an A. spring (Paus. 4,31,6), in the Messenian Asclepieum there was, amongst other things, a painting of A. (Paus. 4,31,11f.). The relationship of the Messenian to the …

Xois

(172 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] (Ξοίς; Xoís). Egyptian city in the northwestern Nile Delta, Egyptian ( pr-) Ḫsww, chief town of the Sixth District of Lower Egypt. Parts of the ancient settlement are beneath modern Saḫā; no others are extant. There are no archaeological remains from the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC and few textual references; most of the finds are from the Hellenistic and Roman periods. According to a dubious piece of information in Manetho [1] (FGrH 609 F 2,10), the 14th Dynasty ( c. 1650 BC) is supposed to originate from X. During the troubles at the end of the 19th Dynasty ( c. 1200 BC), th…

Bubastis

(119 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] This item can be found on the following maps: Egypt (Egyptian Pr-Bstt, Arabic Tell Basta). Town in the south-eastern delta of the Tanis arm of the Nile. Its primary deity was Bastet, originally a lion goddess, later particularly worshipped as a cat. Her festival is described in Hdt. 2,60. Temple structures are evident from as early as the Old Kingdom, but B. only gained significance with the 22nd dynasty, when it -- alongside Tanis -- became the residence of the Libyan kings. No later than the…

Bokchoris

(92 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin)
[German version] King in Lower Egypt ( c. 720-715 BC), Egyptian Bk-n-rn.f, second and last ruler of the 24th dynasty. He was dethroned by the Nubian king, Shabako, who conquered the whole of Egypt around 715 BC and, according to  Manetho, had B. burned alive. B.'s reign has very little contemporary attestation. All the greater, then, is his fame in later Egyptian and ancient tradition, which regarded him as a sage and a great legislator. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) Bibliography Th. Schneider, Lex. der Pharaonen, 1994, 93f. LÄ 1, 846 RE 3, 66f.

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…

Curse

(1,191 words)

Author(s): Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (Berlin) | Krebernik, Manfred (Munich) | Koch, Heidemarie (Marburg) | Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient, Egypt, Old Testament In the ancient Orient, the curse is considered to be a magically effective utterance by which the speaker destroys enemies or objects of their sphere, excludes them from the community or at the very least reduces their vitality. How effective this is depends upon the status of the speaker, the social context and the use of set phrases. There is no evidence of colloquial curses in the Near East and hardly any from Egypt. In the Near East set curse phrases are preserved from the mid 3rd millennium onward i…
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