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APOLLINO´POLIS (Ἀπόλλωνος πόλις: Eth. Ἀπολλωνοπολίτης), the name of several cities in Egypt.--


APOLLINOPOLIS MAGNA (πόλις μεγάλη Ἀπόλλωνος, Strab. xvii. p.817; Agartharch. p. 22; Plin. Nat. 5.9. s. 11; Plut. Is. et Osir. 50; Ael. NA 10.2; Ptol. 4.5.70; Ἀπολλωνία, Steph. Byzant. s.v. Ἀπολλωνιάς, Hierocl. p. 732; It. Ant. p. 160, 174; Not. Imp. Orient. 100.143. Apollonos Superioris [urbs]), the modern Edfoo, was a city of the Thebaid, on the western bank of the Nile, in Lat. 25° N., and about thirteen miles below the lesser Cataract. Ptolemy (l.c.) assigns Apollinopolis to the Hermonthite nome, but it was more commonly regarded as the capital town of the nome Apollopolites. Under the Roman emperors it was the seat of a Bishop's see, and the head-quarters of the Legio II. Trajana. Its inhabitants were enemies of the crocodile and its worshippers.

Both the ancient city and the modern hamlet, however, derived their principal reputation from two temples, which are considered second only to the Temple of Denderah as specimens of the sacred structures of Egypt. The modem Edfoo is contained within the courts, or built upon the platform of the principal of the two temples at Apollinopolis. The larger temple is in good preservation, but is partially buried by the sand, by heaps of rubbish, and by the modern town. The smaller temple, sometimes, but improperly, called a Typhonium, is apparently an appendage of the latter, and its sculptures represent the birth and education of the youthful deity, Horus, whose parents Noum, or Kneph and Athor, were worshipped in the larger edifice. The principal temple is dedicated to Noum, whose symbol is the disc of the sun, supported by two asps and the extended wings of a vulture. Its sculptures represent (Rosellini, Monum. del Culto, p. 240, tav. xxxviii.) the progress of the Sun, Phre-Hor-Hat, Lord of Heaven, moving in his bark (Bari) through the circle of the Hours. The local name of the district round Apollinopolis was Hat, and Noum was styled Hor-hat-kah, or Horus, the tutelary genius of the land of Hat. This deity forms also at Apollinopolis a triad with the goddess Athor and Hor-Senet. The members of the triad are youthful gods, pointing their finger towards their mouths, and before the discovery of the hieroglyphic character were regarded as figures of Harpocrates.

The entrance into the larger temple of Apollinopolis is a gateway (πυλών) 50 feet high, flanked by two converging wings (πτερά) in the form of truncated pyramids, rising to 107 feet. The wings contain ten stories, are pierced by round loop-holes for the admission of light, and probably served as chambers or dormitories for the priests and servitors of the temple. From the jambs of the door project two blocks of stone, which were intended, as Ddnon supposes, to support the heads of two colossal figures. This propylaeon leads into a large square, surrounded by a colonnade roofed with squared granite, and on the opposite side is a pronaos or portico, 53 feet in height, and having a triple row of columns, six in each row, with variously and gracefully foliaged capitals. The temple is 145 feet wide, and 424 feet long from the entrance to the opposite end. Every part of the walls is covered with hieroglyphics, and the main court ascends gradually to the pronaos by broad steps. The whole area of the building was surrounded by a wall 20 feet high, of great thickness. Like so many of the Egyptian temples, that of Apollinopolis was capable of being employed as a fortress. It stood about a third of a mile from the river. The sculptures, although carefully and indeed beautifully executed, are of the Ptolemaic era, the earliest portion [p. 1.160]of the temple having been erected by Ptolemy Philometor B.C. 181.

The temple of Apollinopolis, as a sample of Egyptian sacred architecture, is minutely described in the Penny Cyclopedia, art. Edfu, and in the 1st volume of British Museum, Egyptian Antiquities, where also will be found a ground plan of it. See also Belzoni, and Wilkinson's Egypt and Thebes, pp. 435--438.


APOLLINOPOLIS PARVA (Ἀπόλλωνος μικρά, Steph. B. sub voce Ἀπόλλων μικρός, Hierocl. p. 731; Apollonos minoris [urbs], It. Anton. p. 158), was a town in Upper Egypt, in Lat. 27° N., upon the western bank of the Nile. It stood between Hypsela and Lycopolis, and belonged to the Hypseliote nome.


APOLLINOPOLIS PARVA (Ἀπόλλωνος πόλις μικρά, Ptol. 4.5.70; Ἀπόλλωνος πόλις, Strab. xvii. p.815; Apollonos Vicus, It. Anton. p. 165), was a town of the Thebaid, in the Coptite Nome, in Lat. 26° N., situated between Thebes and Coptos. It stood on the eastern bank of the Nile, and carried on an active trade with Berenice and Myos Hormos, on the Red Sea. Apollinopolis Parva was 22 miles distant from Thebes, and is the modern Kuss. It corresponds, probably, to the Maximianopolis of the later emperors.


APOLLINOPOLIS (Steph. B. sub voce Plin. Nat. 6.35), was a town of the Megabari, in eastern Aethiopia.


APOLLONOS HYDREIUM (Plin. Nat. 6.26; It. Anton.), stood upon the high road from Coptos, in the Thebaid, to Berenice on the Red Sea, and was a watering station for the caravans in their transit between those cities. [W.B.D]

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.9
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.26
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 6.35
    • Aelian, De Natura Animalium, 10.2
    • Claudius Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, 4.5
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