Heliopolis (ancient)

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Heliopolis (Greek: Ἡλιούπολις, "City of the Sun" or "City of Helios"; Egyptian: ỉwnw; Arabic: عين شمس, Ain Shams, "Eye of the Sun") was one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt. Located in the apex of the Nile Delta, Heliopolis was the capital of the 13th Lower Egyptian nome.

Its name also refers to an unrelated modern suburb of Cairo (1–2 km to the East of Ancient Heliopolis), also known as مصر الجديدة, Masr al-Gidedah District (literally "New Egypt" in Arabic). The ancient city was located five miles (8 km) east of the Nile, north of the apex of the Delta. Heliopolis originally refers to an area that covers the areas of Ain Shams District (Share a common border with Modern Heliopolis District) , Al-Matariyyah District and Tel Al-Hisn.[1] In ancient times it was the principal seat of sun worship, thus its name, which means city of the sun in Greek.

Heliopolis contains the earliest temple obelisk still in its original position. The 68 ft (20.73 m) high red granite Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty is at Al-Matariyyah part of Heliopolis.[2] It is now in Al-Masalla area of Al-Matariyyah district near Ain Shams district (Heliopolis). It is 67 feet (20 m) tall and weighs 120 tons or 240,000 pounds.

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Etymology

The city's Egyptian name (𓉺𓏌𓊖 or 𓉺 in hieroglyphs[3], transliterated ỉwnw), is often transcribed as Iunu but was probably pronounced *Āwanu, literally '(Place of) Pillars'. It was often written in Greek as Ὂν On, and in biblical Hebrew as אן ʼOn or און ʼĀwen (or ʼÔn).

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