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 Crocodilopolis - aka Arsinoe

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PostSubject: Crocodilopolis - aka Arsinoe   Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:14 pm

Crocodilopolis
Crocodilopolis
or Krokodilopolis or Ptolemais Euergetis or Arsinoe (Greek: Ἀρσινόη)
was an ancient city in the Heptanomis,0 Egypt, the capital of
Arsinoites nome, on the western bank of the Nile, between the river and
the Lake Moeris, southwest of Memphis, in lat. 29° N. Its native
Ancient Egyptian name was Shedyet.
In
the Pharaonic era the city was the most significant center for the cult
of Sobek, a crocodile-god. In consequence, the Greeks named it
Crocodilopolis, "Crocodile City", from the particular reverence paid by
its inhabitants to crocodiles. The city worshipped a "sacred"
crocodile, named "Petsuchos", that was embellished with gold and gems.
The crocodile lived in a special temple, with sand, a pond and food.
When the Petsuchos died, it was replaced by another. After the city
passed into the hands of the Ptolemies, the city was renamed Ptolemais
Euergetis. The city was renamed Arsinoe by Ptolemy Philadelphus to
honor Arsinoe II of Egypt, his sister and wife, during the 3rd century
BCE. The region in which Crocodilopolis stood – the modern Fayyum – was
the most fertile in Egypt. Besides corn and the usual cereals and
vegetables of the Nile valley, it abounded in dates, figs, roses, and
its vineyards and gardens rivalled those in the vicinity of Alexandria.
Here too the olive was cultivated.
The Arsinoite nome was bounded to the west by Lake Moeris (modern
Birkat el Qārūn) watered by the Canal of Joseph (Bahr Yusuf), and
contained various pyramids, the necropolis of Crocodilopolis, and a
celebrated labyrinth. Extensive mounds of ruins at Al Fayyum
(Madīnet-el-Faiyūm), or el-Fares, represent the site of Crocodopolis,
but no remains of any remarkable antiquity, except a few sculptured
blocks, have hitherto been found there. In the later periods of the
Roman Empire, Arsinoe, as it was then called, was annexed to the
department of Arcadia Ægypti, and became the chief town of an episcopal
see.
Shortly after the renaming, Samaritans were found there. It
eventually became a flourishing center of Christian life, but in 642
the Miaphysite Copts surrendered the city to Amru, the Arab lieutenant
of Muhammad. The region is celebrated for the discovery (1877-78) of a
great many papyrus manuscripts, some of which are important to the
earliest Christian history of Egypt; they are described in the Hellenic
section of the reports of the Egypt Exploration Fund. The current city
has several Coptic churches and Islamic mosques, and some
manufactories, especially of woollen stuffs. Its trade in rosewater and
nitre or saltpeter, is considerable. The city remains a titular see of
the Roman Catholic Church.
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PostSubject: Crocodilopolis - aka Arsinoe   Sun Dec 20, 2009 10:18 pm

Crocodilopolis?!?




Copyright ©️ EgyptHasItAll.com
Crocodilopolis ….yes it’s a real place you can
visit, and I won’t keep you guessing, it was the official head-quarters
for a crocodile worship cult! The city of Crocodilopolis was located on the western bank of the Nile, southwest of Memphis in Egypt. During ancient time it was known by the name of Shedet and was the center of worship for the Egyptian water-god Sobek, or the crocodile god. It was the Greeks that dubbed it “Crocodile City”, or “Crocodilopolis”, but over time it has been given many names.

Its Greek name was Krokodilopolis but when the city passed into Ptolemy hands in the 3rd century BC, it was renamed Ptolemais Euergetis and then renamed again by Ptolemy Philadelphus II to Arsinoe in honor of his wife and sister Arsineo II of Egypt, and during its heyday it had a population of more than 100,000. In modern time, its Arabic name is now Medinet El-Fayoum.

Life in Crocodilopolis has always rotated around Lake Moeris which was in the thin ridge that separated the city from the Nile Valley. During the Middle Kingdom it gained prominence when the oasis swamp of Fayoum
was drained, creating a new fertile province. The level of the lake was
artificially regulated, and large monuments were built around its
shore, although the level of the lake was lower than in the past but
still higher than today. In the 12th Dynasty the city became the
capital of Egypt.

Crocodilopolis may not have become a major city and
may not have had any major political standing in the area, but it was
located in the most fertile region in Egypt, which made it a haven for farmers growing vegetables, corn, roses, vineyards and olives.

The protective deity of the whole of the lake area was the crocodile headed god Sobek (Suchos) and his sacred animal was the crocodile of course! The people of Crocodilopolis worshiped a manifestation of Sobek through a sacred crocodile named “Petsuchos” (or “son of Sobek”).The
crocodile lived in a special temple, with sand, a pond and food, and
was embellished with gold and jewels and had special priests to serve
his food. When the Petsuchos died the body would be mummified and given a special burial, and replaced by another promptly.

Beside the lake where the sacred crocodile was kept, was the principle temple, dedicated to the cult of Sobek. During the 12th dynasty the temple already existed but was rebuilt by Ramses II. Sadly what currently remains of Crocodilopolis is no more than several mounds of ruins, a few column bases here and there and a stone obelisk erected by Senusret I during the 12th Dynasty and a few sculptured blocks. Between 1877 and 1878 a great number of papyrus manuscripts were discovered, some of which are important to the earliest Christian history of Egypt.

Fayoum may not attract visitors on account of Crocodilopolis but on account of its waterwheels, there are approximately 200 of these great waterwheels located throughout the oasis. The Seven Waterwheels, which are Fayoum’s landmark and the main attraction to the area, are surrounded by mangos, palms and willows. Fayoum remains one of the most fertile banks on the Egyptian Nile.
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