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A´THRIBIS, A´THLIBIS (Hdt. 2.166; Ptol. 4.5. § § 41, 51; Plin. Nat. 5.9. s. 11; Steph. Byz. s. v. Ἄθλιβις, Ἀθάρραβις: Eth.Ἀθριβίτης or Eth. Ἀθλιβίτης), the chief town of the Athribite nome, in Lower Egypt. It stood upon the eastern bank of the Tanitic branch of the Nile, and near the angle where that branch diverges from the main stream. Ammianus Marcellinus reckons Athribis among the most considerable cities of the Delta, in the 4th century of our era (22.16.6). It seems to have been of sufficient importance to give the name Athribiticus Fluvius to the upper portion of the Tanitic arm of the Nile. It was one of the military nomes assigned to the Calasirian militia under the Pharaohs. Under the Christian Emperors, Athribis belonged to the province of Augustamnica Secunda.

The Athribite nome and its capital derived their name from the goddess Thriphis, whom inscriptions both at Athribis and Panopolis denominate “the most great goddess.” Thriphis is associated in worship with Amun Khem, one of the first quaternion of deities in Egyptian mythology; but no representation of her has been at present identified. Wilkinson (Manners and Customs, &c., vol. iv. p. 265) supposes Athribis to have been one of the lion-headed goddesses, whose special names have not been ascertained.

The ruins of Atrieb or Trieb, at the point where the modern canal of Moueys turns off from the Nile, represent the ancient Athribis. They consist of extensive mounds and basements, besides which are the remains of a temple, 200 feet long, and 175 broad, dedicated to the goddess Thriphis (Coptic Athrébi). The monks of the White Monastery, about half a mile to the north of these ruins, are traditionally acquainted with the name of Attrib, although their usual designation of these ruins is Medeenet Ashaysh. An inscription on one of the fallen architraves of the temple bears the date of the ninth year of Tiberius, and contains also the name of his wife Julia, the daughter of Augustus. On the opposite face of the same block are found ovals, including the names of Tiberius Claudius and Caesar Germanicus: and in another part of the temple is an oval of Ptolemy XII., the eldest son of Ptolemy Auletes (B.C. 51--48). About half a mile from Athribis are the quarries from which the stone used in building the temple was brought; and below the quarries are some small grotto tombs, the lintels of whose doors are partially preserved. Upon one of these lintels is a Greek inscription, importing that it was the “sepulchre of Hermeius, son of Archibius.” He had not, however, been interred after the Egyptian fashion, since his tomb contained the deposit of calcined bones. Vestiges also are found in two broad paved causeways of the two main streets of Athribis, which crossed each other at right angles, and probably divided the town into four main quarters. The causeways and the ruins generally indicate that the town was greatly enlarged and beautified under the Macedonian dynasty. (Champollion, l'Egypte, vol. ii. p. 48; Wilkinson, Egypt and Thebes, p. 393.)


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.166
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.9
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 4.5
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