, Diod. 1.18
; Ptol. 4.5.72
; Πανῶν τόλις
, Strab. xvii. p.813
; Πανὸς πόλις
,, Steph. B. sub voce
sometimes simply Πανός
, Hierocl. p. 731; It. Anton. p. 166: Eth. Πανοπολίτης
), the Greek equivalent of the Aegyptian appellative Chemmis or Chemmo (Hdt. 2.91
, seq.; Diodor. l.c.
), was a very ancient city of the Thebaid, lat. 26° 40′ N. [CHEMMIS
Panopolis was dedicated to Chem or Pan, one of the first Octad of the Aegyptian divinities, or, according to a later theory, to the Panes and Satyri generally of Upper Aegypt. (Plut. Is. et Osir.
100.14.) Stephanus of Byzantium describes the Chem or Pan of this city as an Ithyphallic god, the same whose representation occurs so frequently among the sculptures of Thebes. His face was human, like that of Ammon; his head-dress, like that of Ammon, consisted of lone straight feathers, and over the fingers of his right hand, which is lifted up, is suspended a scourge; the body, like that of Ammon also, including the left arm, is swathed in bandages.
An inscription on the Kosseir road is the ground for supposing that Chem and Pan were the same deity; and that Chemmis and Panopolis were respectively the Aegyptian and Greek names for the same city is inferrd from Diodorus (l.c.
) Panopolis stood on the right bank of the Nile, and was the capital of the Nomos Panopolites.
According to Strabo (l.c.
) it was inhabited principally by stonemasons and linen-weavers; and Agathias (iv. p. 133) says that it was the birthplace of the poet Nonnus A.D. 410. Although a principal site of Panic worship, Panopolis was celebrated for its temple of Perseus. From Herodotus (6.53
) we know that the Dorian chieftains deduced their origin from Perseus through Aegypt.
It is difficult to say which of the native Aegyptian gods was represented by Perseus. From the root of the word--Πέρθω,
to burn--it is probable, however, that he is the same with the fire-god Hephaistos or Phtah. The Panopolite temple of Perseus was rectangular, and surrounded by a wall around which was a plantation of palm-trees.
At the entrance of the enclosure were two lofty gateways of stone, and upon these were placed colossal statues in human form. Within the adytum was a statue of Perseus, and there also was laid up his sandal, two cubits long.
The priests of Panopolis asserted that Perseus occasionally visited his temple, and that his epiphanies were always the omens of an abundant harvest to Aegypt.
The sandals of Perseus are described by Hesiod (Sent. Here.
220), and their deposition in the shrine implied that, having left his abode for a season, he was traversing the land to bless it with especial fertility.
The modern name of Panopolis is Akhmim,
an evident corruption of Chemmis.
The ruins, in respect of its ancient splendour, are inconsiderable.
It is probable, indeed, that Panopolis, like Abydos and other of the older cities of Upper Aegypt, declined in prosperity as Thebes rose to metropolitan importance. (Champollion, l'Egypte,
vol. i. p. 267; Pococke, Travels,
p. 115; Minutoli, p. 243.)