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Map of the Roman Empire - Heliopolis
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Ancient Heliopolis (in Syria): Ba'albek was the Greek name which means City of the Sun. Heliopolis was one of the oldest cities and most famous of ancient Egypt, It bore an oracle of Apollo and a famous Temple of the Sun. In Roman times Heliopolis consisted mainly of Arabs. It was located in the apex of the Nile Delta. According to Berosus, this was the city of Moses.
Heliopolis (Ἡλιούπολις). A famous city of Egypt, situated a little to the east of the apex of the Delta, not far from modern Cairo. In Hebrew it is styled On or Aun. In the Septuagint it is called Heliopolis, or City of the Sun; in Jeremiah (xliii. 13), Beth Shemim—i. e. domus solis. Herodotus also mentions it by this name, and speaks of its inhabitants as being the wisest and most ingenious of all the Egyptians (ii. 3). According to Berosus, this was the city of Moses. It was also a place of resort for all the Greeks who visited Egypt for instruction. Hither came Herodotus, Plato, Eudoxus, and others, and secured much of the learning which they afterwards disseminated among their own countrymen. Plato, in particular, resided here three years. Manetho (q.v.), the historian, was also here as a priest. The city was built, according to Strabo, on a long, artificial mound of earth, so as to be out of reach of the inundations of the Nile. It had an oracle of Apollo and a famous Temple of the Sun. In this temple was fed and adored the sacred ox Mnevis, as Apis was at Memphis. This city was laid waste with fire and sword by Cambyses, and its chapter of priests all slaughtered. Strabo saw it in a deserted state and shorn of all its splendour. Heliopolis was famed also for its fountain of excellent water, which still remains, and gave rise to the subsequent Arabic name of the place, Ain Shems, or the Fountain of the Sun. The modern name is Matareieh, or cool water. A solitary obelisk of red granite is all that remains at the present day of this once celebrated place; and the two obelisks known as “Cleopatra 's Needles” were originally brought from Heliopolis to Alexandria.
Maps are essential for any serious study, they help students of Roman history understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in historical sources.
Heliopolis (Greek: Ἡλίου πόλις or Ἡλιούπολις), meaning sun-city, also
known as عين شمس, Ain Shams (literally "Eye of the Sun or Center of the Sun" in
Arabic or a slight Change of its Hieroglyphic name "Oon" or "Iunu"), 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.
Heliopolis was well known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, being noted by most major geographers of the period, including: Ptolemy, iv. 5. § 54; Herodotus, ii. 3, 7, 59; Strabo, xvii. p. 805; Diodorus, i. 84, v. 57; Arrian, Exp. Alex. iii. 1; Aelian, H. A. vi. 58, xii. 7; Plutarch, Solon. 26, Is. et Osir. 33; Diogenes Laertius, xviii. 8. § 6; Josephus, Ant. Jud. xiii. 3, C. Apion. i. 26; Cicero, De Natura Deorum iii. 21; Pliny the Elder, v. 9. § 11; Tacitus, Ann. vi. 28; Pomponius Mela, iii. 8. The city also merits attention by the Byzantine geographer Stephanus of Byzantium, s. v. Ἡλίουπόλις.
Alexander the Great, on his march from Pelusium to Memphis, halted at this city (Arrian, iii. 1); and, according to Macrobius (Saturn. i. 23), Baalbek, or the Syrian Heliopolis, was a priest-colony from its Egyptian namesake.
The temple of Ra was said to have been, to a special degree, a depository for royal records, and Herodotus states that the priests of Heliopolis were the best informed in matters of history of all the Egyptians. Heliopolis flourished as a seat of learning during the Greek period; the schools of philosophy and astronomy are claimed to have been frequented by Orpheus, Homer, Pythagoras, Plato, Solon, and other Greek philosophers. From Ichonuphys, who was lecturing there in 308 BC, and who numbered Eudoxus among his pupils, the Greek mathematician learned the true length of the year and month, upon which he formed his octaeterid, or period of eight years or ninety-nine months. Ptolemy II had Manethon, the chief priest of Heliopolis, collect his history of the ancient kings of Egypt from its archives. The later Ptolemies probably took little interest in their "father" Ra, 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. By the 1st century BC, in fact, Strabo found the temples deserted, and the town itself almost uninhabited, although priests were still present.
In Roman times Heliopolis belonged to the Augustamnica province. Its population probably contained a considerable Arabic element. (Plin. vi. 34.) In Roman times obelisks were taken from its temples to adorn the northern cities of the Delta, and even across the Mediterranean to Rome, including the famed Cleopatra's Needle that now resides on the Thames embankment, London (this obelisk was part of a pair, the other being located in Central Park, New York). Finally the growth of Fustat and Cairo, only 6 miles (9.7 km) to the southwest, caused the ruins to be ransacked for building materials. The site was known to the Arabs as ˁAyn Šams ("the well of the sun"), more recently as ˁArab al-Ḥiṣn. It has now been brought for the most part under cultivation, but the ancient city walls of crude brick are to be seen in the fields on all sides, and the position of the great temple is marked by an obelisk still standing (the earliest known, being one of a pair set up by Senusret I, the second king of the Twelfth Dynasty) and a few granite blocks bearing the name of Ramesses II.
Egyptian and Greco-Roman mythology said that the phoenix, after rising from the ashes of its predecessor, would bring the ashes to the altar of the sun god in Heliopolis. - Wikipedia
Map of the Roman Empire - Places