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CHENOBO´SCIA

CHENOBO´SCIA or CHENOBO´SCIUM (Χηνοβοσκία, Ptol. 4.5.72; Steph. B. sub voce Itin. Anton. p. 166; Χηνοβοσκίον, Not. Imp.: Eth. Χηνοβοσκιάτης), or the Goose-pens, was a district of the Thebaid in Egypt, on the eastern side of the Nile, 40 miles NW. of Coptos, and in lat. 26° 3′ N. It lay nearly opposite the cities of Diospolis Parva, and Lepidôton Polis, and contained a city, or hamlet, also denominated Chenoboscia. The name of the Goose-pen indicates the purpose to which this tract of water-meadows was appropriated, although, indeed, a geographer cited by Stephanus Byz. (s. v.) denies the existence of goose-pastures at Chenoboscia, and says that, on the contrary, the meadows served as a pen, or preserve of crocodiles. But when it is remembered that the goose was a favourite viand of the Egyptian priests (Hdt. 2.37), that the bird was sacred to Isis, and is frequently depicted on the monumental records of Egyptian domestic life (Rosellini, M. C. iv., lxix., &c. &c.), and that its quills were used in writing, it seems not unlikely that some districts in the Nile Valley should have been appropriated to the rearing of geese.

[W.B.D]

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