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Pharbaethus or Pharbaetus (Φαρβαϊθίτης), also known as Sheten or Šetennu, was an ancient town in the Nile Delta. It served as the capital of the nome of Pharbaethites/Lapt in Lower Egypt.[1][2]

Pharbaetus is referred to in a stele of the 7th century BC,[2] and described by Herodotus,[3] Strabo,[4] and Pliny.[5]

The Greco-Roman name of Pharbaetus comes from the Egyptian p 'the' + Hor abot, a popular name for Hor-mer (Horus of two eyes).[2] This name is reproduced under the form Karbeuthos in George of Cyprus.[6]

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

The original diocese was a suffragan of Leontopolis, in Augustamnica Secunda, Egypt.

There is a record of Bishop Arbetion at Nicæa in 325,[7] and Bishop Theodorus in 1086,[8] but it is possible that the latter was bishop of another Pharbætus situated further to the west, and which according to Vansleb was equally a Coptic see. John of Nikiu[9] relates that under the Emperor Phocas (602-10) the clerics of the province killed the Greek governor Theophilus.

It remains a Roman Catholic titular see under the name Pharbaetus.


  1. ^ Karl Baedeker, Egypt: handbook for travellers : part first, lower Egypt..., 1885 (2nd edition), p. 33. full text
  2. ^ a b c Eugène Revillout, "Acte de fondation d'une chapelle à Hor-Merti dans la ville de Pharbaetus", Revue Égyptologique, 2:1:32 (1881) full text
  3. ^ II, 166.
  4. ^ XVII, i, 20.
  5. ^ Natural History V, 9, 11.
  6. ^ "Descriptio orbis romani", ed. Gelzer, 706.
  7. ^ Gelzer, "Patrum nicænorum nomina", LX.
  8. ^ Renaudot, "Historia patriarcharum alexandrinorum", 458.
  9. ^ Chronicle, CV.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pharbætus". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.  The entry cites:
    • Heinrich Gelzer, Georgii Cyprii Descriptio orbis romani, 114-16;
    • ROUGÉ, Géographie ancienne de la Basse Egypte (Paris, 1891), 66-74;
    • Émile Amélineau, La Géographie de l'Egypte à l' époque copte (Paris, 1893), 330.