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BERENICE or Pernicide Portum (Madinet el-Haras) Egypt.

An ancient port on the W coast of the Red Sea 959 km SE of Cairo, noted by Strabo (16.1.5; 17.1.45) and by Pliny (6.23.103). Founded by Ptolemy II Philadelphos (275 B.C.) and named for his mother, it was a transit station for goods from Arabia and India. These goods were corfveyed by camel caravan N to Leucus Limen (present Quseir), then W towards Coptos (Justinianopolis, present Qift). Along the road, guards were posted and water provided since it was a military road where taxes were collected. The port itself was provided with a fortification to protect the city against piracy. In the center of the city a small temple was dedicated to the god Khem by the emperor Tiberius. Offerings were also presented to the goddess of the emerald mines. At a nearby mine site, Sakait, a temple hewn from living rock was dedicated to Serapis and Isis.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

M. Kammerer, La Mer Rouge . . . (= Mem. Soc. R. Géographie d'Égypte, Vol. XV,7; J. G. Wilkinson, Topography of Thebes (1835) 418; M. G. Daressy, “Bérénice et El Abraq,” ASAE 22, 169-81; Porter & Moss, Top. Bibl., VII. Nubia, the Deserts . . . (1951) 326; D. Meredith, “Berenice Trogloditica,” JEA 43 (1957) 56- 70MPI

S. SHENOUDA

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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.23
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