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LYCO´POLIS ( Λύκων πόλις, Ptol. 4.5.63; Steph. B. sub voce Strab. xvii. p.813 Lycon. Plin. Nat. 5.9. s. 11; Lyco, Itin. Anton. p. 157: Eth. Λυκοπολῖτης), the name of two cities in Aegypt.


In the Thebaid, the capital of the nome Lycopolites, SE. of Hermopolis, in lat. 27° 10′ 14” N.: the modern El Syout. It was seated on the western bank of the Nile. The shield of a king named Recamai, who reigned in Upper Egypt, probably during the shepherd dynasty in the Lower Country, has been discovered here. (Rosellini, Mon. Civ. 1.81.) Lycopolis has no remarkable ruins, but in the excavated chambers of the adjacent rocks are found mummies of wolves, confirming the origin of its name, as well as a tradition preserved by Diodorus (2.88; comp. Ael. NA 10.28), to the effect that an Aethiopian army, invading Aegypt, was repelled beyond the city of Elephantine. by herds of wolves. Osiris was worshipped under the symbol of a wolf at Lycopolis: he having, according to a myth, come from the shades under that form, to aid Isis and Horus in their combat with Typhon. (Champollion, Descript. de l'Egypte, vol. i. p. 276; Jollois, Egypte, vol. ii. ch. 13.)


The Deltaic Lycopolis (Λυκούπολις, Strab. xvii. p.802; Steph. B. sub voce was an inconsiderable town in the Sebennytic nome, in the neighbourhood of Mendes, and, from its appellation, apparently founded by a colony of Osirian priests from Upper Egypt. The Deltaic Lycopolis was the birthplace of the Neo-Platonic philosopher Plotinus, A.D. 205. (Suidas, p. 3015.) [W.B.D]

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.9
    • Aelian, De Natura Animalium, 10.28
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 4.5
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