Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Now I know why I prefer to write about Upper Egypt.  I have several commitments for the next Edition of Egyptological (which is why I have been quiet here) including a brief article for publication on 1st April.  I ought to have know that was not propitious.

I thought to write an article about the city of Hermopolis Parva in the Delta.  Only where is it? Wikipedia identifies it confidently as the capital of both the 7th and 15th nomes.  Margaret Bunson in her Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egypt places it on three "tells", without recognising that one of these is tens of miles from the others.   Worse, writers since Greek times have been confusing Hermopolis Magna with Hermopolis Parva, often confusingly referring only to "Hermopolis". 

Having spent an evening, I also don't know the age of the city.  Some texts insist it was Ptolemaic only.  Others have it founded by Ramses II in the New Kingdom.  Others reasonably suggest that as one of the two chief cult centres of Thoth it as an important site in the Middle Kingdom and one text seemed to push it back into the Old Kingdom.

There is a huge need for a definitive article: I may write it but it wasn't the quick article I was hoping for with a 1st April deadline.  I may look to write something on the Nubian Pharaohs instead.


Anonymous said...

I would suggest trusting the more recent scholarly works above all other sources you have at hand; it would be the safest

MarkH said...

The reference to the 7th Nome appears to be an error, as the chief city of that province is Diospolis Parva (AKA Hiu, Hu, Hut, Hut-Sekhen)
(26°01' N 32°17'E)excavated by Petrie:

MarkH said...

Hermopolis Magna was ancient Khnum the capital of the 15th Nome, now Al-Ashmunin
So H. Parva is not that city either

Hermopolis Parva seems to be fairly securely located at modern Damanhour
"A titular see of Ægyptus Prima, suffragan of Alexandria. Its ancient name, Dimanhoru or Tema-en-Hor, signifies the town of Horus. The Copts call it Tuininhor, and the Arabs, Damanhur. Situated on the canal uniting Lake Mareotis (Mariout) to the Canopic branch of the Nile, it has no history and no ruins." (@the Catholic Encyclopedia)

Anonymous said...

Hermopolis Parva is near Damanhour.

You are talking about another Hermopolis (sometimes also called H. Parva) that was on three tells near El Bakliya (mainly Telll el Nakus/Kom el Naqus) - it was the capital of the 15th nome. The local Thoth temple was at least dyn 26 but the earliest find there are from Ramses II era.

Kate Phizackerley said...

The one certainty seems to be that H Parva was near modern Damanhour. Most writers agree on that. That is where I started (with Damanhour). It's just the more one researches the more tenous it gets.

I'm no longer even sure that Wikiepedia is right to connect Dimanhorou and Hermopolis Parva. I think I need to go looking for a good Delta text.

Thanks fo tall the input.

Anonymous said...

Dieter Arnold: "Temples of the Last Pharaohs," p. 20 (map) places Hermopolis Parva on the eastern side of the Damietta Branch in the Delta, with the nearest settlement Tel Baqlije.


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