Hermopolis Magna was without any doubt one of the most important cities of the ancient Egypt. Its Egyptian name, Khemenou , mean “the city of the Eight” in reference to the Ogdoade. The Greek name of Hermopolis comes from the god Hermes that the Greeks had associated to the guardian god of the city, Thot ( Djehouti as an Egyptian); divinity of wisdom and owner of the writing. Hermopolis is also known as an Egyptian under the name of Ounou in reference to the hase ensign of names.
It is in this city that was invented Hermopolitaine cosmogony: the Ogdoade, or the eight creative gods made up of Noun and Nounet, the paramount liquid, Kekou and Kekout, the darkness, Héhou and Héhet space and Amon and Amonet the hidden forms, as their names describe, gave rise to Re. The city today is visited little because there remain only some statues of baboon, animal of Thot, in front of the demolished temple and a museum in the open air gathering the few vestiges of all times found on the site. One can admire a beautiful hellenistic agora there.
The ruins of the principal temple dedicated to Thot date from the Nouvel Empire and consist of a pylon as well as remainders of rooms and course with columns. A temple of Amon existed in the principal enclosure. With the Low time and more particularly at the time of the ptolémaïque period then Roman, the city taken a new rise; the worship of Thot was then very popular and was assimilated by the Greeks to that of Hermes. Later the city became the seat of one évêché at the time Christian woman. Important vestiges of the forum and basilica of the Roman city remain as well as the layout of the main roads of which that which led to Antinoë rested by Hadrian at the 2nd century of the Christian era at the time of its voyage in Egypt.
Twelve kilometers more in the west, beyond Bahr Youssouf, begins the desert; it is there that the necropoles extend from Tounah el-Gebel.
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