Mendes

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Mendes (Μένδης), the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian city of Djedet, also known in Ancient Egypt as Per-Banebdjedet ("The Domain of the Ram Lord of Djedet") and Anpet, is known today as Tell El-Ruba (Arabic: تل الربع‎).

The city is located in the eastern Nile delta (30°57′30″N 31°30′57″E / 30.95833°N 31.51583°E / 30.95833; 31.51583) and was the capital of the 16th Lower Egyptian nome of Kha, until it was replaced by Thmuis in Greco-Roman Egypt. The two cities are only several hundred meters apart. During the 29th dynasty, Mendes was also the capital of Ancient Egypt, which lies on the Mendesian branch of the Nile (now silted up), about 35 km east of al-Mansurah.

Contents

History

Mendes was a famous city in ancient times, attracting notice of most ancient geographers and historians, including Herodotus (ii. 42, 46. 166), Diodorus (i. 84), Strabo (xvii. p. 802), Mela (i. 9 § 9), Pliny the Elder (v. 10. s. 12), Ptolemy (iv. 5. § 51), and Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v.). The city was the capital of the Mendesian nome, situated at the point where the Mendesian arm of the Nile (Μενδήσιον στόμα, Scylax, p. 43; Ptol. iv, 5. § 10; Mendesium ostium, Pliny, Mela, ll. cc.) flows into the lake of Tanis. Archaeological evidence attests to the existence of the town at least as far back as the Naqada II period. Under the first Pharaohs, Mendes quickly became a strong seat of provincial government and remained so throughout the Ancient Egyptian period. In Classical times, the nome it governed was one of the nomes assigned to that division of the native army which was called the Calasires, and the city was celebrated for the manufacture of a perfume designated as the Mendesium unguentum. (Plin. xiii. 1. s. 2.) Mendes, however, declined early, and disappears in the first century AD; since both Ptolemy (l. c.) and P. Aelius Aristides (iii. p. 160) mention Thmuis as the only town of note in the Mendesian nome. From its position at the junction of the river and the lake, it was probably encroached upon by their waters, after the canals fell into neglect under the Macedonian kings, and when they were repaired by Augustus (Sueton. Aug. 18, 63) Thmuis had attracted its trade and population.

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