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Leontopolis

Titular archiepiscopal see of Augustamnica Secunda

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Leontopolis, a titular archiepiscopal see of Augustamnica Secunda. Strabo (XVII, 1, 19, 20) places it near Mendete and Diospolis, and says (XVII, 1, 40) that the inhabitants worshipped a lion, whence the name of the town. In reality, the name comes from norm, who according to Egyptian mythology changed himself into a lion (Naville, “Textes relatifs au mythe d’Horus”, XVIII, 2). Ptolemy (IV, 5, 22) also mentions the nome and the metropolis of Leontopolis. The geographers Hierocles, George of Cyprus, and others call that locality Aeorrroi, reserving the name of Leontopolis for a town in the province of Aegypta Prima; similarly in the signatures of bishops collected by Le Quien (Oriens Christianus, II, 553) Leonto is always found. Leonto is the modern Tell Mokdam on the right bank of the Nile (Damietta branch), near the railway from Cairo to Damietta which follows the left bank of the river. At Tell Mokdam may be seen the remains of a temple of Osorkon II. The other Leontopolis was situated near Heliopolis or Mataryeh. Here in the reign of Ptolemy Philometor, the Jewish high priest Onias built a temple to Jahveh, afterwards closed by Vespasian. Callinice in Syria was called Leontopolis, also a town in Isauria (Le Quien, Oriens Christianus”, II, 1021) not yet recognized.

S. VALHI


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