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BUSI´RIS

BUSI´RIS (Βούσιρις, Hdt. 1.59, 61,165; Strab. xvii. p.802; Plut. Is. et Osir. 30; Ptol. 4.5.51; Plin. Nat. 5.9. s. 11: Hierocl. p. 725; Steph. B. sub voce: Eth. Βουσιρίτης), the modern Busyr or Abousir, of which considerable ruins are still extant, was the chief town of the nome Busirites. in Egypt, and stood S. of Sais, near the Phatnitic mouth and on the western bank of the Nile. The town and nome of Busiris were allotted to the Hermotybian division of the Egyptian militia. It was regarded as one of the birthplaces of Osiris, as perhaps, etymologically, [p. 1.459]the name itself implies. The festival of Isis at Busiris came next in splendour and importance to that of Artemis at Bubastis in the Egyptian calendar. The temple of Isis, indeed, with the hamlet which sprang up around it, stood probably at a short distance without the walls of Busiris itself, for Pliny (5.10. s. 11) mentions “Isidis oppidum” in the neighbourhood of the town. The ruins of the temple are still visible, a little to the N. of Abousir, at the hamlet of Bahheyt. (Pococke, Travels, vol. i. p. 34; Minutoli, p. 304.)

Busiris was also the name of a town in Middle Egypt, in the neighbourhood of Memphis and the Great Pyramid. Its site is marked by the modern village of Abousir in that district. There are considerable catacombs near the ancient town (Pliny 36.12. s. 16): indeed to the S. of Busiris one great cemetery appears to have stretched over the plain. The Heptanomite Busiris was in fact a hamlet standing at one extremity of the necropolis of Memphis.

[W.B.D]

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