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Sebennytos is located in Egypt
Shown within Egypt
Alternative nameSebennytus
LocationGharbia Governorate, Egypt
Coordinates30°58?00.0?N 31°15?00.0?E / 30.966667°N 31.250000°E / 30.966667; 31.250000
in hieroglyphs
Detail of Mehit at Walters Art Museum

Sebennytos or Sebennytus (Arabic: ‎, romanizedSamann?d, Coptic: ? and [3] also in late Coptic ? and ?[2], Greek: ? and ,[4][2] or ? ,[5]Egyptian: ?b-(n)-n?r, probably pronounced */?cab'na:car/ in Old Egyptian, */?c?b'nu:t?/ or */?c?b?n'nu:t?/ in Late Egyptian[6]), was an ancient city of Lower Egypt, located on the now-silted up Sebennytic branch of the Nile in the Delta. Sebennytos was the capital of Lower Egypt's twelfth nome (the Sebennyte nome). Sebennytos was also the seat of the Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt (380-343 BCE).[7][8][9][10]


Sebennytos lies nearly due east of Sais on the 31st parallel north. Nearby during the Thirtieth Dynasty, on the same banks of this branch of the Nile, was Behbeit El Hagar.[11]

Sebennytos was from ancient times a place of some importance, and standing on a peninsula, between a lake ( , Lake Burullus) and the Nile, was favorably situated for trade and intercourse with Lower Egypt and Memphis. The neglect of the canals, however, and the elevation of the alluvial soil have nearly obliterated its site.[12]


Sebennytos is perhaps best known as the hometown of Manetho, a historian and chronicler from the Ptolemaic era, c. 3rd century BC. Sebennytos was also the hometown of Nectanebo II, and he was its last ruler.[13]

A temple dedicated to the local god Anhur, or Anhur-Shu, and his lioness goddess mate Mehit, once existed at this location but is now reduced to ruins. A fragment to where kings would have made offerings to Anhur and his wife, is on display at the Walters Art Museum.[14]

In 1843, John Gardner Wilkinson described it as a place of some size, with the usual bazaars of the large towns of Egypt, and famous for its pottery, which are sent to Cairo.[15]

In religious traditions

In a Coptic tradition, Sebennytos is part of the route of the Holy Family during the flight into Egypt narrated in the Gospel of Matthew (2:13-23).[16]

See also


  1. ^ Wallis Budge, E. A. (1920). An Egyptian hieroglyphic dictionary: with an index of English words, king list and geological list with indexes, list of hieroglyphic characters, coptic and semitic alphabets, etc. Vol II. John Murray. p. 1059.
  2. ^ a b c Gauthier, Henri (1929). Dictionnaire des Noms Géographiques Contenus dans les Textes Hiéroglyphiques Vol .6. p. 74.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ptolemy iv. 5. § 50, Stephanus of Byzantium
  5. ^ Strabo xvii. p. 802
  6. ^ Loprieno, Antonio (1995) Ancient Egyptian: A Linguistic Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-44384-9, p. 34
  7. ^ Gray, Leon (2010). The New Cultural Atlas of Egypt. Marshall Cavendish. p. 143. ISBN 9780761478775.
  8. ^ Peck, Harry Thurston (1898). Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898). Harper and Brothers.
  9. ^ Smith, William (1858). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. Retrieved 2020.
  10. ^ Cooper, William Ricketts (1876). An Archaic Dictionary: Biographical, Historical, and Mythological: From the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Etruscan Monuments and Papyri. S. Bagster and Sons. p. 496.
  11. ^ Wilkinson, John Gardner (2013). Modern Egypt and Thebes. Cambridge University Press. p. 412. ISBN 978-1-108-06509-2.
  12. ^ Champollion, Jean-François. l'Egypte, vol. ii. p. 191.
  13. ^ Bill Manley, The Seventy Great Mysteries of Ancient Egypt" Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2003. p.101
  14. ^ Watterson, Barbara (2003). Gods of Ancient Egypt. History Press. p. 41. ISBN 978-0-7524-9502-6.
  15. ^ Wilkinson, John Gardner (1843). Modern Egypt and Thebes: Being a Description of Egypt, Including the Information Required for Travellers in that Country. John Murray. p. 432.
  16. ^ "The Holy Family at Meniet Samanoud". Tour Egypt. Archived from the original on 12 September 2016. Retrieved 2016.
Preceded by
Capital of Egypt
380 - 332 BC
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 30°58?N 31°15?E / 30.967°N 31.250°E / 30.967; 31.250

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