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HERMONTHIS (Ἕρμωνθις, Steph. B. sub voce Strab. xvii. p.817; Aristid. Aegyptiae, p. 568; Hermunthis, It. Anton. p. 160; Plin. Nat. 5.9.11; Macrob. Saturn. 1.21), the modern Erment, was the chief town of the Hermonthite nome in the Thebaïd--“Thebaïs Superior” of the Itineraries. It stood about eight miles SW. of Thebes, and 24 NE. of Latopolis, in lat. 25° 10′ N. A little above Hermonthis the sandstone rocks which had confined the Nile like a wall disappear, and limestone hills succeed, leaving, especially on the western bank of the river, wider margins of cultivable land. In a plain of this expanding character, and on the left side of the Nile, stood Hermonthis. In the Pharaonic times it was celebrated for the worship of Isis, Osiris, and their son Horus. Its ruins still attest the magnificence of its buildings; but the Iseion, of which the remains are extant, was built in the reign of the last Cleopatra (B.C. 51--29), and the sculptures appear to allude to the birth of Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar, symbolised as that of the god Harphre, the son of Mandou and Ritho. Its astronomical ceiling is probably genethliacal, referring to the aspect of the heavens at the time of Caesarion's na. tivity. Adjacent to the temple are the vestiges of a tank, which probably served as a Nilometer, since its sides exhibit the grooves usual in such basins. Under the later Caesars, Hermonthis was the headquarters of the Legio IIda Valentiniana. (Champollion, L'Egypte, vol. i. p. 195.)


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.9
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