Philae Background, where is Philae temple?
The very small island of Philae, a bare 450 meters long and lower than 150 meters wide, captured the fantasy of numerous travelers to Egypt from early times. It was famed for its beauty and was known as the “ Pearl of Egypt ’. shops and win trees grew from the rich deposits that had collected in the crannies of the determinedness bedrock. Gracious Graeco- Roman temples and colonnades, alcoves, and sanctuaries rose proudly against the skyline. There was a sense of riddle. Not furtive, in violating secrets, so much as veiled mystification.
Philae temple history
The saintship of Philae during the Graeco- Roman period outrivalled numerous of the other cities of Egypt. It had come to the center of the cult of Isis, which was revived during the Saite period( 664- 525 BC). The Ptolemies, as formerly noted, sought to please the Egyptians by erecting temples to their most cherished gods and goddesses.
Ptolemy II( 285- 246 BC) started the construction of the main Temple of Isis. temple to her consort, Osiris, was erected on a bordering island, Bigeh( only a gate of which remains). Their son Horus, or Harendotus as he was called by the Ptolemies, had a temple of his own on Philae. Other structures on the island included a small temple to Imhotep, a builder of Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Sakkara, who was thereafter deified as a god of medicinal, and temples to two Nubian divinities Mandolis and Arhesnoter.
Isis and Osiris – Philae temple
Philae was positioned south of Aswan and, thus, rigorously belonged to Nubia. Isis was worshipped by Egyptians and Nubians likewise. Fantastic tales were told of her magical powers. It was believed that her knowledge of secret formulae had brought life back to her husband Osiris; that her spells had saved her son Horus from the bite of a toxic snake; and that she was the protectress of all who sought her. innumerous visitants came to the island, where the preachers, meetly sheathe in white vestments, claimed knowledge of the mystification.
With precisely rehearsed liturgies and the necessary symbolism, they drew crowds of faithful. If these visitants were lucky they could view the image of the goddess during the spring and autumn festivals in her honor.
This was when the death and resurrection of Osiris were legislated, in which Isis played a major role. It was Isis who set up the body of her husband that had been locked in a casket and cast on the Nile by his wicked family Set.
It was she who made the body total through her prayers. It was she who knew the secrets, the spells, and indeed the name of the Sun- god. Isis was the great goddess; she was formerly a mother- goddess, and magician. It was believed that her single gash, exfoliate for Osiris, caused the periodic flood tide, which brought life to the land.
The myth of Osiris and Isis had, by this time been enlarged and stretched numerous times. In one interpretation the pall containing the body of Osiris was swept out to the Nile and came to rest on the Phoenician seacoast where a tamarisk tree enclosed the entire pall in its box.
The king of Byblos, who demanded a strong mount for the roof of his palace, ordered the tree to be cut down. Were it not for the fact that the tree gave off a sweet-smelling odor, which spread across the Mediterranean, and reached Isis, she’d no way have been suitable to trace the body of her husband.
She set off for Byblos without detention and, disguised as a nanny, she took charge of the invigorated son of the king. When she eventually revealed who she was, and the reason for her being there, the king gave her the miraculous tree containing the pall, and she took the body of Osiris back to Egypt. This was when Set set up it, and cut it to pieces.
Formerly established on the islet of Philae, the preachers lost no time in laying claim to a fresh home over eighty kilometers lying to the south of Seheil islet. They set up an ancient tradition on which to predicate their claim.
In a forged necrology inscribed grandly on the jewels of Seheil, is a record of how a governor of Elephantine appealed to the pharaoh Djoser( builder of the Step Pyramid some,500 times before) because of his concern for the people following years of shortage.
Djoser responded by enquiring about the sources of the Nile and asked whether the governor knew which god controlled its waters. The governor instantly responded that it was Khnum of Elephantine but that he was angry because his temple had been allowed to fall to ruin.
Djoser forthwith issued a decree granting a Targe tract of land to Khnum and levying a duty on all those who lived on the yield of the river, fishers, and gunners likewise, for the benefit of the priests of Khnum. It was this land that the priests of Philae claimed had been granted to them by the Pharaoh Djoser, and for the same reason to put an end to the shortage that had been raging for seven long times. The levies on fishers forth with went to their benefit.
Saving Philae temple
The first Aswan Dam( El Khazan) was erected between 1898- 1902. This was when Philae was first threatened. muses and pens lamented its fortune but their words fell on deaf cognizance. Between 1907- 1912 the dam was heightened, and fears for the remains of all Nubia were raised.
The Egyptian Government set away finances to check, record, and, whenever possible, shovel the risked areas. At this time Philae was submerged for part of each year, from December to August. When it did emerge from the waters of the Nile, it appeared painfully shorn of its foliage. The graphic remains rose from black ground-laden soil with not a shrub nor tendril to break their barren appearance.
Between 1929- 34 the Aswan Dam was raised another ten meters, to a height of44.5 meters. Philae was now submersed for the utmost of the year. Only the high pylon of the temple of Isis, and the pavilion of Trajan, positioned at its loftiest point, could be seen.
Small boats could, with difficulty, passage beneath the great architraves. The central of the Tolty columns alone suggested at what architectural treasures lay beneath the water. Being constructed of sandstone, immersion caused no continuing damage. In fact, the monuments strengthened from contact with water. And the ground which packed against the reliefs, though stripping them of color, actually defended them.
The decision to make the High levee( Saad El Aali) in 1960 caused attention to be concentrated formerly again on the fate of Philae.
For now, with the constant high position of the water, the monuments would be completely inapproachable. also, the swirling currents from the High levee that was erected south of the islet and the Aswan Dam to the north would beget them irrecoverable detriment, if not bring about their total collapse.
Egypt launched a transnational appeal through UNESCO. Philae was brought into the spotlight. systems for saving the monuments were numerous and varied. All were studied. One design was to make a defensive levee on the west, cutting off the island from the main inflow of the swash and, theoretically, letting it rest in a lower-level lake of its own. This design was abandoned on the grounds that constant pumping out of water would be needed to keep the lake at a constant position.
The final decision was to strike the monuments andre-erect them on another islet Agilkai, slightly to the north of Philae.
An Italian constricting company was chosen to carry out the work. They started with the construction of a coffer levee in 1977. The water was also pumped out, and when the greyish-green blocks were exposed they were deconstructed, stone by precious stone( forty-seven thousand in number), gutted, treated, marked, and stored.
During the dismantling operations, numerous blocks of earlier monuments were set up to have been reused, especially in the foundations of the structures. For illustration, a pavilion courting from the 26th Dynasty during the reign of the caesar Psamtik II( 594- 588 BC) was set up disassembled, and reused on the western part of the islet.
Beneath the flagstones of the hypostyle hall of the temple of Isis, another temple, also dating from the 26th Dynasty, was brought to light. Nektanebos, the first sovereign of the last, zoth Dynasty( 387- 361 BC) had reused determinedness and sandstone blocks inscribed with the names of Amenhotep II, III, and Thutmose III for his own constructions on the island, but these had come from temples away since Herodotus made no citation of Philae when he visited Aswan in themed-filth century BC.
While dismembering operations continued, the Egyptian High Dam Company blasted,000 boxy meters of determinedness off the top of Agilkai island. They used some of this to enlarge part of the island to act the shape of Philae in order to contain the monuments without deformation.
The stones from the dismembered temples were also transported to their new home, and, in a record of thirty months, have been erected in an indeed more perfect condition than ahead, for numerous of the reused or fallen blocks that were located were used to reconstruct the original temples.
In March 1980, following an emotional public initial ceremonial, Philae was declared open to the public. guests may once again view the elegant colonnades, the celebrated pavilion, and the magnific Temple of Isis. Soon, when shops take root, the’ Pearl will once again fit the description of Amelia Edwards who wrote in1873/74” Seen from the position of a small boat, the islet, with its triumphs, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage.
Piled rocks frame it on either side, and grandiloquent mountains are near the distance. As the boat glides nearer between glistening boulders, those carved towers rise advanced and ever higher against the sky. They show no sign of ruin or of age. All looks solid, stately, and perfect. *
Description of Philae temple
The temple of Philae covers four major eras the last part of the Pharaonic period, the Ptolemaic period, the Roman epoch, and the Christian period. The principal monuments are the Temple of Isis( 1) and her son Horus( Harendotus)( 2), the beautiful Arch of Hadrian( 3), the Temple of Hathor( 4), and the Kiosk( 5), which is also known as Pharaoh’s Bed.
The Entrance to the islet( a) was firstly constructed by Nektanebos, the first monarch of the last Dynasty; it was designed with fourteen columns and two sandstone obelisks on the river front.
Unfortunately, a particularly high flood tide swept the structure down soon after it was completed, and it lay in ruin until Ptolemy II had it restored; some of the columns were reconstructed. These have double centrals; the lower corridor are decorated with different flowery forms and the upper bear heads of Hathor. The screen walls between the columns, culminated with concave cornices bearing rows of uraeus serpents, show Nektanebos making immolations to the divinities.
We now stand on the threshold of Philae. Before us a great external Court( b) opens up. This leads to the Temple of Isis about one hundred metres ahead. The court is adjoined by colonnades. On the right only half a dozen of the planned sixteen columns were completed; also to the right are the temples of Arhesnofer( d), Mandolis( e) and Imhotep( f).
To the left wing, the thirty- two columns of the galilee follow the reinforcement line. No two centrals are likewise. The shafts show Tiberius making immolations to the Egyptian gods. The ceiling is decorated with stars and flying predators. The representations are all finely executed and substantially well saved. For illustration, between the first two columns( c), above the window, Nero is depicted offering two eyes to Horus, Isis and” The Lord of the Two Lands’.
Isis Temple Complex – Philae temple
The huge Entrance Pylon(P. 1) lies ahead. It’s eighteen metres high and forty- five metres wide. Each of the two halls is decorated with potent numbers of Neos Dionysos, Ptolemy XII, depicted as pharaoh and wearing the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt. He clasps adversaries by the hair and raises his club above their heads to smite them in the presence of Egypt’s best- loved divinities Isis and Nephthys, Horus and Hathor. therefore did the Ptolemaic kings give themselves credit for suppressing Egypt’s traditional adversaries and honouring original traditions.
Two determinedness lions guard the entrance; they’re of late Roman times and reflect intricate influence. On the lintel of the gateway between the two halls of the pylon is a representation of the caesar Nektanebos I in a dancing station in front of Osiris, Isis, Khnum and Hathor. important of the quality and austerity of the godly caesar as the important and unobtainable’ Son of the Sun- god’, was lost during the Late Period when representations tended to show informal stations.
Passing through the gateway, we come to the Great Court( g). To the right is a colonnade and priests’ residence. To the left wing is the Birth House( which may also be approached from a doorway at the centre of the left- hand palace of the entrance pylon.
The Birth House is an elegant little structure. The entrance veranda has a roof supported by four columns and is followed by three chambers, one behind the other. Around three sides of the structure runs a galilee with flowery Centrals surmounted with sistrum Centrals and Hathor heads. The reliefs throughout the structure relate to the birth of Horus, son of Isis, and his growth to masculinity to retaliate his father’s death. All are in a fine state of preservation.
The first chamber isn’t decorated. In the alternative, some antique defensive divinities are depicted among the papyrus shops where Horus was born.
In the third chamber is a scene( on the hinder wall near the bottom) showing Isis giving birth to her son in the morasses of the Delta. With her are Amon- Ra, and Thoth. Behind Amon- Ra is the serpent goddess of Lower Egypt and the god of wisdom. Behind Thoth are the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt and the god of reason. Above this scene, Horus, as a hawk, stands among the papyrus shops culminated with the Double Crown.
On the left-hand wall, the standing child Horus suckles at the bone of Isis. Ptolemy IX( Euergetes II) hands two glasses to Hathor, who places her hands in blessing on the head of the child.
The colonnade girding the Birth House is fully decorated. The scene on the morning of the right-hand galilee shows the immature Horus, raw, but wearing the Double Crown. He’s with his mother Isis before the serpent goddess of Buto, who plays the harp to them.
Augustus stands behind the serpent goddess carrying a vase. The relief of a cow in the morasses that are depicted above the vase indicates the decoration within it.
Returning to the Great Court( g) we approach the Alternate Pylon(P. 2) which is lower in size than the entrance pylon and isn’t aligned with it. To the right( 1) is a large determinedness block inscribed by the Kushite pharaoh Taharka( 730 BC), which is thus the foremost piece of work on the islet. Constructed into the base of the right-hand palace, is a large gemstone. It’s inscribed with the textbook about the tithe on fishers. Beyond lies the Isis temple proper.
The Temple of Isis comprises a bitsy open court(), a hypostyle hall( k), an anante-chamber( 1), and a sanctuary( m). The walls have fine reliefs of the Ptolemaic kings and Roman emperors repeating traditional, and by now familiar if not kindly
wearisome ritual scenes relating to immolations to the Egyptian gods, staking out the temple and consecrating the sacred area.
The Hypostyle Hall( k), which is separated from the court by screen walls between the first row of columns, is adorned with colored relief from the lower to the upper rung of the wall, across the ceiling, and from the shaft to the capital. The columns and central give a good illustration of the style, decoration, and coloring of the Graeco-Roman period when lower regard was paid to natural colors. For illustration, the blue caricatures of the triumphs stand out kindly
garishly from the light-green win outgrowths on the center of the columns.
This hall was converted into a church in the Christian Period when the wall reliefs were covered with stucco and painted. Christian crosses were chiseled on the walls and on some of the columns. In Act, 1Greek necrology on the right-hand side of the doorway leading to the ante-chamber( 1) records the good work of destruction of idolater reliefs!) carried out by Bishop Theodorus in the reign of Justinian, in the fifth-century announcement.
The sanctuary( m) has two bitsy windows and a pedestal on which the sacred barge bearing the statue of Isis stood. This pedestal was installed by Ptolemy III( Euergetes 1) and his wife Berenice. girding the sanctuary are the usual clerkly chambers and lockers.
Above the sanctuary is the Osiris Chambers, which are approached from a stairway to the left wing of the temple( n) but are presently closed to guests. In these chambers, intriguing reliefs relate to the death of Osiris and his revitalization.
Among the scenes is Osiris among the doormats where his body came to rest; the body lying on a pall being supplicated over by the jackal-headed Anubis along with Isis and her family Nephthys; Isis and Nephthys spreading their wings beside the pall as Osiris regains his powers. It’s to similar graphic descriptions of ancient Egyptian traditions by the Ptolemies that we owe much of our interpretation of ancient Egyptian mythology.
To the left wing of the stairway( n) is a doorway leading out of the Temple of Isis. A road leads to the temple of Horus( Harendotus), son of Isis( 2), and Hadrian’s Gateway( 3).
The ultimate contains the notorious relief relating to the source of the Nile on the right-hand wall, in the alternate row from the top. It shows blocks of gravestone heaped one upon the other and standing on the top is a vulture( representing Upper Egypt) and a jingoist( representing Lower Egypt), beneath the jewels is an indirect chamber which is outlined by the silhouettes of a serpent, within which Hapi, the Nile- god, crouches. He clasps a vessel in each hand, ready, at the appointed time, to pour the water from the eternal ocean’ to earth in his urns.
The Temple of Hathor – Philae temple
To the right of the temple of Isis, is a large, indirect castor-oil presser. The oil was used for medicinal purposes. The Temple of Hathor( 4) has lively and fascinating representations, as beseemed
the goddess of love and joy. The columns are decorated with flute players and with representations of the laughing dwarf- deity Bes, playing tambourine and a harp. Hams play the lyre, priests carry an antelope and Bes balls.
Away in Egypt, the early Christians were escaping from Roman persecution. They were abandoning their worldly effects and fleeing to the desert. But then, on the islet of Philae, a spirit of light-hearted joy prevailed.
The Kiosk – Philae temple
The Kiosk of Trajan( 5) is blockish in shape and girdled by fourteen columns with flowery capitals. These support blocks carry the architraves and cornice. The blocks were really planned to be sculpted into sistrum centrals, but they were left untreated, as were another corridor of the structure.
The emperor Trajan( announcement 98- 117) is depicted burning incense in front of Osiris and Isis and offering wine to Isis and Horus. This is conceivably the most graceful of the numerous elegant structures on the islet, and the bone for which Philae is most remembered.
There is a sound and light show at Philae Temple, like at all of the other major ancient attractions in Egypt, but Philae’s is generally thought to be the most impressive of these often overblown affairs. The ambiance of the island’s ruins bathed in floodlighting is hard to describe adequately, but this is definitely a recommended way to spend an evening.