PHILAE , an islet in theNile above the First
See also:Cataract, of
See also:great beauty and
See also:interest, but since the completion of the
See also:dam in 1902 submerged except for a few months yearly during High Nile (
See also:July to
See also:October), when the
See also:water is allowed to run freely through the sluices of the Assuan dam . Philae is the nearest
See also:island to the point where the
See also:desert road from Assuan rejoins the
See also:river south of the cataract . It marks also the end of the cataract region . Below it the channel is broad and straight with rocky granite islands to the west . The name in
See also:Egyptian was Pilak, " the
See also:angle (?) island ": the
See also:call it Anas el Wagud, after the hero of a romantic
See also:tale in the Arabian Nights . Ancient graffiti abound in all this
See also:district, and on Bigeh, a larger island adjoining Philae, there was a
See also:temple as early as the reign of Tethmosis III . The name of
See also:Amasis II . (57o-J35 B.C.) is said to have been found at Philae, and it is possible that there were still older buildings which have been swallowed up in later constructions . About 350 B.C . Nekhtnebf, the last of the native
See also:kings of
See also:Egypt, built a temple to
See also:Isis, most of which was destroyed by floods .
See also:Ptolemy Philadelphus reconstructed some of this
See also:work and began a large temple which Ptolemy Euergetes I. completed, but the decoration, carried on under later
See also:Ptolemies and Caesars, was never finished . The temple of Isis was the chief sanctuary of the Dodecaschoenus, the portion of
See also:Nubia generally held by the Ptolemies and Romans .
The little island won great favour as a religious resort. not only for the Egyptians and the Ethiopians and others who frequented the border district and themarket of Assuan, but also for Greek and
See also:Roman visitors . One temple or
See also:chapel after another sprang up upon it dedicated to various gods, including the Nubian Mandulis . Ergamenes (Arkamane),
See also:king of Ethiopia, shared with the Ptolemies in the
See also:building . Besidesthe temple of Isis with its
See also:birth-temple in the first
See also:court, there were smaller temples or shrines of Arsenuphis, Mandulis, Imuthes,
See also:Hathor, Harendotes (a
See also:form of Horns) and
See also:Augustus (in the Roman
See also:style), besides unnamed ones . There were also monumental gateways, and the island was protected by a
See also:stone quay all
See also:round with the necessary staircases, &c., and a Nilometer . The most beautiful of all the buildings is an unfinished kiosque inscribed by Trajan, well known under the name of "
See also:Bed." Graffiti of pilgrims to the
See also:shrine of Isis are dated as
See also:late as the end of the 5th century A.D . The decree of
See also:Theodosius (A.D . 378) which suppressed
See also:pagan worship in the
See also:empire was of little effect in the extreme south . In A.D . 453 Maximinus, the general of the emperor
See also:Marcian, after inflicting a severe defeat on the Nobatae and Blemmyes who were settled in Lower Nubia, and thence raided Upper Egypt, made peace on terms which included permission for these
See also:heathen tribes to visit the temple and even to
See also:borrow the image of Isis on certain occasions . It was not till the reign of Justinian, A.D . 527-565, that the temple of Philae was finally closed, and the idols taken to Constantinople .
Remains ofChristian churches were disclosed by the thorough exploration carried out in 1895-1896 in view of the Barrage
See also:scheme, under the direction of Captain
See also:Lyons . The accumulations of rubbish on the island were cleared away and the walls and
See also:foundations of the stone buildings were all repaired and strengthened before the dam was completed . The
See also:annual flooding now appears to be actually beneficial to the stonework, by removing the disintegrating salts and incrustations . The tops of most of the buildings and the whole nucleus of the temple of Isis to the
See also:floor remained all the
See also:year round above the water level until the dam was raised another 26 ft.—a work begun in 19o7—when the temples were entirely submerged except during July-October . But the beauty of the island and its ruins and palm trees, the joy of travellers and artists, is almost gone . See H . G . Lyons, A
See also:Report on the Island and Temples of Philae (Cairo, 1896), with numerous plans and photographs; a seco,:d report, A Report on the Temples of Philae (1908), deals with the
See also:condition of the ruins as affected by the immersions occasioned by the filling of the Assuan dam;
See also:Baedeker's Egypt; and on the effects of the submersion, &c., reports in Annales du service
See also:des antiquites, vols. iv. v . (F . LL .
PHILARET [THEODORE NIKITICH ROIIANOV] (? 1553–163...
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