Silver gelatin on
23.5 x 29.5 cm
Epigraphic Survey, Oriental Institute,
University of Chicago
of Horus at Edfu.
The granite statue of the falcon god Horus of
Edfu stands in the court of Edfu Temple at the entrance to the pronaos.
The well-preserved Ptolemaic temple of Horus was established during the
reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes I (246-222 B.C.) on the site of earlier
temple constructions and worked on later by Ptolemy X Alexander I (107-88
B.C.) and Ptolemy XII Auletes (Neos Dionysos, 80-69/8 B.C.). Edfu (in
hieroglyphs Db, in Coptic ETBO, from which the modern name derives) stood
on the southern border of Egypt at the beginning of recorded Egyptian
history. Its original situation as a frontier settlement is reflected in
the cultic name of the city, Bhd.t, meaning "place of the throne." The
chief deity of the city was Horus Bhd.ty, "Horus of Edfu," commonly
represented as a falcon, or as a human figure with the head of a falcon.
This local Horus was believed to have come to Edfu from Nubia in the
south. In later times the ancient Greeks equated Horus with their god
Apollo, and called the city Apollinopolis megalé, "Great City-of-Apollo."