HELIOPOLIS , one of the most
See also:ancient cities of
See also:Egypt, met with in the Bible under its native name On . It stood 5 M . E. of the Nile at the
See also:apex of the
See also:Delta . It was the
See also:principal seat of
See also:sun-worship, and in historic times its importance was entirely religious . There appear to have been two forms of the sun-
See also:god at Heliopolis in the New Kingdom—namely, Ra-Harakht, or Re`-Harmakhis, falcon-headed, and Etom, human-headed; the former was the sun in his
See also:day strength, the latter the evening sun . A sacred bull was worshipped here under the name Mnevis (Eg . Mreu), and was especially connected with Etom . The sun-god Re' (see EGYPT: Religion) was especially the royal god, the ancestor of all the Pharaohs, who therefore held the
See also:temple of Heliopolis in
See also:honour . Each
See also:dynasty might give the first place to the god of its residence—Ptah of
See also:Memphis, Ammon of
See also:Neith of
See also:Bubastis of Bubastis, but all alike honoured Re` . His temple became in a
See also:special degree a depository for royal records, and
See also:Herodotus states that the priests of Heliopolis were the best informed in matters of
See also:history of all the Egyptians . The
See also:schools of philosophy and astronomy are said to have been frequented by
See also:Plato and other Greek philosophers;
See also:Strabo, however, found them deserted, and the
See also:town itself almost uninhabited, although priests were still there, and cicerones for the curious traveller . The
See also:Ptolemies probably took little
See also:interest in their "
See also:father " Re', and Alexandria had eclipsed the learning of Heliopolis; thus with the withdrawal of royal favour Heliopolis quickly dwindled, and the students of native lore deserted it for other temples supported by a wealthy population of pious citizens .
See also:Roman times obelisks were taken from its temples to adorn the
See also:northern cities of the Delta, and even across the Mediterranean to Rome . Finally the growth of Fostat and Cairo, only 6 m. to the S.W., caused the ruins to be ransacked for
See also:building materials . The site was known to the
See also:Arabs as `A yin esh shems, " the fountain of the sun," more recently as Tel Hisn . It has now been brought for the most
See also:part under cultivation, but the ancient city walls of crude
See also:brick are to be seen in the
See also:fields on all sides, and the position of the great temple is marked by an obelisk still
See also:standing (the earliest known, being one of a pair set up by Senwosri I., the second
See also:king of the Twelfth Dynasty) and a few granite blocks bearing the name of Rameses II . See Strabo xvii. cap . 1 . 27-28;
See also:Baedeker's Egypt . (F . Li ..
HELIOMETER (from Gr. iXtos, sun, and p.Erpov, a mea...
HELIOSTAT (from Gr. rtXtor, the sun, vrares, fixed,...
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