Coordinates: 31°24′16″N 30°24′59″E / 31.40444°N 30.41639°E / 31.40444; 30.41639
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Clockwise from top:
Rashid Corniche, dome of the St. Mark Church, a street in the old town, Abbasi Mosque, and fishing.
Location in Beheira Governorate
Location in Beheira Governorate
Rosetta is located in Nile Delta
Location in Egypt
Rosetta is located in Egypt
Rosetta (Egypt)
Coordinates: 31°24′16″N 30°24′59″E / 31.40444°N 30.41639°E / 31.40444; 30.41639
 • Total196.6 km2 (75.9 sq mi)
Elevation2 m (7 ft)
 • Total301,795
 • Density1,500/km2 (4,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)

Rosetta (/rˈzɛtə/ roh-ZET)[a] or Rashid (Arabic: رشيد, romanizedRašīd, IPA: [ɾɑˈʃiːd]; Coptic: ϯⲣⲁϣⲓⲧ, romanized: ti-Rashit)[b] is a port city of the Nile Delta, 65 km (40 mi) east of Alexandria, in Egypt's Beheira governorate. The Rosetta Stone was discovered there in 1799.

Founded around the 9th century on site of the ancient town Bolbitine, Rosetta boomed with the decline of Alexandria following the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517, only to wane in importance after Alexandria's revival. During the 19th century, it was a popular British tourist destination, known for its Ottoman mansions, citrus groves and relative cleanliness.


The name of the town most likely comes from an Arabic name Rašīd (meaning "guide")[3] and was transcribed and corrupted in numerous ways – the name Rexi was used by the Crusaders in Middle Ages[4] and Rosetta or Rosette ("little rose" in Italian and French respectively) was used by the French at the time of Napoleon Bonaparte's campaign in Egypt. The latter lent its name to the Rosetta Stone (French: Pierre de Rosette), which was found by French soldiers at the nearby Fort Julien in 1799.

Some scholars believe that there is no evidence that the city's name comes from Egyptian, and the Coptic form ϯⲣⲁϣⲓⲧ is just a late transcription of the Arabic name.[3] Some argue that it could be derived from Ancient Egyptian: rꜣ-šdı͗, lit.'dug up mouth (of the Nile)' and that the name is ancient.[5]


In Antiquity Bolbitine was celebrated for its manufactory of chariots.[6]

Iban Haqal mentioned it and said that it is a city on the Nile, close to the salt sea from a crater known as Ashtum (Ancient Greek: Στόμα "mouth, estuary").[3] Also mentioned in the Al-Mushtaq excursion, it was described as a civilized city with a market, merchants and workers, and it has farms, yields, wheat and barley, and it has many good words, and it has many palm trees and wet fruits, and it has whales and fish species from the salty sea and many indigo fish.

Despite the similarity of Rashid and Damietta in their geographical and administrative position throughout the ages and as an important coastal city, Rashid did not play a clear, influential role compared to Damietta's role in the beginnings of Arab Islamic rule, especially for Rashid's proximity to the location of Alexandria, which is the first coastal city in Egypt and primarily affected Rashid and its position. Likewise, the agricultural area in Rashid is very limited, and the spread of sand formations to the west of the city and its urbanization has a greater impact on the city and its agriculture; As a result, Rashid was deserted several times by its residents and they took refuge in Fuwwah, in the south.[7]

What is now known today as Rosetta was an Umayyad stronghold in 749, when it was sacked during the Bashmuric Revolt.[8] In the 850s, the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil ordered a fort to be built on the site of the Ptolemaic city of Bolbitine, and the medieval city grew around this fort.[4]

Following the establishment of the Fatimid state in 969, and the establishment of the city of Cairo as the new capital of the country, foreign trade was active that was no longer limited to Alexandria only. Rather, Rashid and Damietta participated in it, especially in the beginnings of the Fatimid state, which made urbanism restart.[9]

In the era of the Ayyubid state, neighboring Alexandria witnessed extensive commercial activity as a result of the concessions granted by the Ayyubids to Italian merchants, and before the Bay of Alexandria was re-cleared in 1013 in the Fatimid era by order of Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, which contributed to linking Alexandria to the city of Fuwwah, south of Rashid and overlooking the Nile. And from it to Cairo and the rest of the cities of Egypt, and this led to the flourishing of the commercial activity of Fuwwah, which affected the movement of trade Rashid, so that in the era of the Mamluks Fuwwah became the base of the trade networks in the region.[10]

During the Seventh Crusade, Louis IX of France briefly occupied the town in 1249.[11] Following the destruction of Damietta during the crusade, Al-Zahir Baybars built it again in 1250. However, due to the huge costs of protecting it with strong walls and an impenetrable castle, he built a fortress in 1262 to monitor any possible upcoming invasion. During the reign of Al-Nasir Muhammad, the Gulf of Alexandria was re-excavated, so the commercial movement flourished more in Alexandria and was uttered so much that it became the mouth of Egypt's most important commercial city after Cairo. This had a more negative impact on Rashid, to the point that Abu al-Fidaa noted in the thirteenth century that the city was smaller than his mouth.[12]

Rashid contributed to the launching of the naval campaigns during Sultan Barbsay reign to invade the island of Cyprus and bring it under Egyptian control in 1426. Rashid also suffered from the attacks of the Christian knights who lived on the island of Rhodes during the reign of the sultan Sayf ad-Din Jaqmaq. Sultan Jaqamq sent a large garrison to protect Rashid's beach. and ordered its reinforcement in the following years. Then the throne came to Qaitbay and renewed the Rashid Towers in 1479 and renewed the castle, which was named after him so far, and built a wall to protect the city from raids. Generally, Rashid had a defensive role with a little commercial role.[13]

Under the Mamelukes, the city became an important commercial center, and remained so throughout Ottoman rule, until the eventual resurgence of the importance of Alexandria following the construction of the Mahmoudiyah canal in 1820.[citation needed] Rosetta witnessed the defeat of the British Fraser campaign, on 19 September 1807.


The city is located 65 km (40 mi) east of Alexandria, in Egypt's Beheira governorate.


Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as hot desert (BWh), but blowing winds from the Mediterranean Sea greatly moderate the temperatures, typical to the Egypt's north coast, making its summers moderately hot and humid, with winters that are mild and moderately wet when sleet and hail are also common.[citation needed]

Rafah, Alexandria, Abu Qir, Rosetta, Baltim, Kafr el-Dawwar and Mersa Matruh are the wettest places in Egypt.

Climate data for Rosetta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 18.8
Daily mean °C (°F) 14.5
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 10.2
Average precipitation mm (inches) 50


The population of Rosetta has increased since the 1980s, as follows:

  • 1983: 36,711 (approximate)
  • 1986: 51,789
  • 1996: 58,432



  1. ^ French: Rosette, IPA: [ʁozɛt].
  2. ^ Ancient Greek: Βολβιτίνη, romanizedBolbitinē.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Rashīd (Markaz, Egypt) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location". Retrieved 17 March 2023.
  2. ^ James Talboys Wheeler, The geography of Herodotus, 1854, p. 363
  3. ^ a b c Peust, Carsten (2010). Die Toponyme vorarabischen Ursprungs im modernen Ägypte. Göttingen. p. 75.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  4. ^ a b Forster, E. M. (2021). Alexandria: A History and a Guide. Prabhat Prakashan.
  5. ^ Engsheden, Âke (15 August 2023). Ancient Place-Names in the Governorate of Kafr el-Sheikh. Leuven: Peeters. p. 16. ISBN 9789042941755.
  6. ^ "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), BOLBIT´INE". Retrieved 5 October 2022.
  7. ^ محمد طاهر الصادق ومحمد حسام إسماعيل، مرجع سابق، صـ: 39.
  8. ^ Mounir Megally (1991), "Bashmuric Revolts", in Aziz Suryal Atiya (ed.), The Coptic Encyclopedia, vol. 2, New York: Macmillan Publishers, cols. 349b–351b.
  9. ^ شهاب الدين أبي عبد الله ياقوت بن عبد الله الحموي، معجم البلدان: الجزء الثالث، دار الفكر، بيروت، صـ: 45.
  10. ^ سعيد عبد الفناح عاشور، مصر في العصور الوسطى، ـــــ، القاهرة، 1970، صـ: 404.
  11. ^ Peter Jackson, The Seventh Crusade, 1244–1254: Sources and Documents, Volume 16 of Crusade Texts in Translation, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009, p. 72
  12. ^ نقولا يوسف، دمياط منذ أقدم العصور، الاتحاد القومي بدمياط، دمياط، 1959، صـ: 159
  13. ^ جمال الدين أبي المحاسن يوسف بن تغري بردي الأتابكي، النجوم الزاهرة في ملوك مصر والقاهرة: الجزء 15، الهيئة العامة لقصور الثقافة، القاهرة، صـ: 334.
  14. ^ "Climate: Rosetta – Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table". Retrieved 13 August 2013.


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