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ANTINOÖPOLIS (Sheikh-'Ibada) Egypt.

A city 286 km S of Cairo on the E bank of the Nile, opposite Hermopolis Magna. Also called Antinoë, Antenon, Adrianopolis, Besantinopolis and, in Arabic documents, Antina, it was founded by Hadrian in memory of his beloved Antinoös, whose suicide by drowning in the Nile took place not far from here in A.D. 130. The city was built either on the ruins of the ancient Besa, sacred to the god Bes, or at Nefrusi, where the goddess Hathor was worshiped. The new settlement was colonized by Greeks brought from other cities, especially from the Faiyhûm, to whom were given the right of Conubium (the right to marry an Egyptian woman without forfeiting Greek privileges). The city flourished under Diodetian (A.D. 286) when it became the capital of the whole Thebaid nome. In the reign of Valens (A.D. 364-78), it became a bishopric with one Orthodox bishop and one Monophysite bishop. The earliest finds date to the New Kingdom (1567-1085 B.C.). Among Greek and Roman monuments still standing at the beginning of the 19th c., a theater, many temples, a triumphal arch, two streets with double colonnades, a circus, and a hippodrome. At present little is left abovi ground: the blocks of stone were rebuilt into the new sugar factories at El-Rodah.


A. Gayet, “L'Exploration des nécropoles gréco-byzantine d'Antinoè,” Ann. Mus. Guimet, 30.2 (1902) pl. XX; id., Antinoè et Les Sculptures des Thais et Serapion (1902); Descr. de l'Égypte Ant. IV (1818) 209ffI; E. Breccia & A. Adriani, “The Funeral Chapel of Theodosia,” Orientalia 36,2 (1967) 193f; S. Donadoni in W. Helck & E. Otto, Lexikon der Ägyptologie I, 3 (1973) 323-25.


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