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Cynopolis (Greek for "city of the dog")[1] was the name for two ancient Egyptian cities.

Cynopolis superior[edit]

Cynopolis, the Greek name for the ancient Egyptian town Hardai [2] in the seventeenth nome of Upper Egypt, it was home to the cult of Anubis.[3] A burial ground for dogs is found on the opposite Nile bank near Hamatha. Rivalries between neighbouring cities are reported: according to Plutarch (De Iside, 72) when an inhabitant of Cynopolis ate an Oxyrhynchos fish the people of Oxyrhynchos started attacking dogs in revenge which resulted in a little civil war.[4]

According to Ptolemy the town was situated on an island in the river.[5] The modern settlement identified with Cynopolis is el Kays.[6] The nome of Cynopolis extended to both banks of the Nile.[7]

Cynopolis was destroyed by the vice-roy of Nubia Pinehesy during the reign of Ramses XI, and the survivors were enslaved.[8]

Cynopolis inferior[edit]

There was a second Cynopolis, referred to as Cynopolis Inferior or Cynum,[9] which was located in the Busirite nome in the Nile delta,[10][11] modern Meniet ebn Kasib.[12] Both Cynopolis superior and Cynopolis inferior were bishoprics in Christian times.[13]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Room, op.cit., p.102
  2. ^ Edwards et al.,op.cit., p.631
  3. ^ Helck, op.cit., p.113
  4. ^ Sayce et al., op.cit., p.77
  5. ^ Lane, op.cit., p.31
  6. ^ Lane, op.cit., p.27
  7. ^ Lane, op.cit., p.248
  8. ^ Edwards, op.cit., p.631
  9. ^ Wiltsch, op.cit., p.184
  10. ^ Bingham, op.cit., p.356
  11. ^ Müller, op.cit., p.786
  12. ^ Hardouin, op.cit., p.464
  13. ^ Wiltsch, op.cit., pp.184f.


  • Adrian Room, Placenames Of The World: Origins and Meanings of the Names for 6,600 Countries, Cities, Territories, Natural Features and Historic Sites, McFarland & Company 2006
  • I. E. S. Edwards et al. The Cambridge ancient history, Cambridge University Press
  • Michael Rice, Swifter Than the Arrow: The Golden Hunting Hounds of Ancient Egypt, I.B.Tauris 2000
  • Wolfgang Helck, Die altägyptischen Gaue, L. Reichert 1974
  • Edward William Lane, Description of Egypt: Notes and Views in Egypt and Nubia, American Univ. in Cairo Press 2000, ISBN 977-424-525-3. The text was written in the 1830s.
  • Archibald Henry Sayce, Gaston Maspero, M. L. McClure, L. W. King, H. R. Hall, History of Egypt, Chaldea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, The Grolier Society 1904
  • Joseph Bingham, The Antiquities of the Christian Church Part 1, Kessinger Publishing 2005
  • Jean Hardouin, Ange Augustin Thomas Pihan Delaforest eds., Historiae naturalis libri XXXVII By the Elder Pliny, N.E. Lemaire 1828
  • Karl Otfried Müller, Strabonis Geographicorum tabulae XV by Strabo, Editore Ambrosio Firmin

Didot 1877

  • Johann Elieser Theodor Wiltsch, Handbuch der kirchlichen Geographie Statistik von den Zeiten der Apostel bis zu dem Anfange des sechszehnten Jahrhunderts