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Βερενίκη, Strab. xvi. p.770, xvii. p. 815; Plin. Nat. 6.23, 26, 29, 33; Steph. B. sub voce Arrian. Peripl. M. Rub.; Itin. Antonin. p. 173f.; Epiphan. Haeres. 66.1: Eth. Βερενικεύς [p. 1.392]and Βερενικιάδης, fem. Βερενίκεια), a city upon the Red Sea, was founded, or certainly converted from a village into a city, by Ptolemy II. Philadelphus, and named in honour of his mother, the daughter of Ptolemy Lagus and Antigone. It stood about lat. 23° 56′ N., and about long. 35° 34′ E., and being in the same parallel with Syene, was accordingly on the equinoctial line. Berenice, as modern surveys (Moresby and Carless, 1830--3) have ascertained, stood nearly at the bottom of the Sinus Immundus, or Foul Bay. A lofty range of mountains runs along this side of the African coast, and separates Berenice from Egypt. The emerald mines are in its neighbourhood. The harbour is indifferent, but was improved by art. Berenice stood upon a narrow rim of shore between the hills and the Red Sea. Its prosperity after the third century B.C. was owing in great measure to three causes: the favour of the Macedonian kings, its safe anchorage, and its being a terminus of the great road from Coptos, which rendered Berenice and Myos Hormos the two principal emporia of the trade between Aethiopia and Egypt on the one hand, and Syria and India on the other. The distance between Coptos and Berenice was 258 Roman miles, or eleven days' journey. The wells and halting places of the caravans are enumerated by Pliny (6.23. s. 26), and in the Itineraries (Antonin. p. 172f.). Belzoni (Travels, vol. ii. p. 35) found traces of several of these stations. Under the empire Berenice formed a district in itself, with its peculiar prefect, who was entitled “Praefectus Berenicidis,” or P. montis Berenicidis. (Orelli, Inscr. Lat. no. 3880, f.) The harbour of Berenice was sheltered from the NE. wind by the island Ophiodes (Ὀφιώδης νήδος, Strab. xvi. p.770; Diod. 3.39), which was rich in topazes. A small temple of sandstone and soft calcareous stone, in the Egyptian style, has been discovered at Berenice. It is 102 feet long, and 43 wide. A portion of its walls is sculptured with well-executed basso relieves, of Greek workmanship, and hieroglyphics also occasionally occur on the walls. Belzoni confirmed D'Anville's original opinion of the true site of Berenice (Mémoires sur l'Egypte Ancienne), and says that the city measured 1,600 feet from N. to S., and 2,000 from E. to W. He estimates the ancient population at 10,000. (Researches, vol. ii. p. 73.)


PANCHRYSOS, a city near Sabae in the Regio Troglodytica, and on the W. coast of the Red Sea, between the 20th and 21st degrees of N. latitude. It obtained the appellation of “all-golden” (Πάνχρυσος, Steph. B. sub voce p. 164, s.v. Strab. 16.771) from its vicinity to the gold mines of Jebel Allaki or Ollaki, from which the ancient Egyptians drew their principal supplies of that metal, and in the working of which they employed criminals and prisoners of war. (Plin. Nat. 6.34.)


EPIDEIRES (ἐπὶ Δειρῆς, Steph. B. sub voce Strab. xvi. pp. 769, 773; Mela, 3.8; Plin. Nat. 6.34; Ptol. 8.16.12), or Berenice upon the Neck of Land, was a town on the W. shore of the Red Sea, near the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its position on a sandy spit or promontory of land was the cause of its distinctive appellation. Some authorities, however, attribute the name to the neighbourhood of a more considerable town named Deira; but the situation of the latter is unknown. [W.B.D]

hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (6):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.23
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.33
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.34
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.26
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.29
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 3.39
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