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A titular see of Thebais Prima, suffragan of Antinoe, in Egypt. The native name was Khmounoun; in Coptic, Chmoun. It is today the village of Ashmounein on the left bank of the Nile, about four miles southwest of Rôda (a station on the Cairo-Thebes railway, 180 miles from Cairo). Khmounoun dates from a very remote antiquity, and at a very early period was an important religious centre. It worshipped a moon-god Thoth (Hermes), ibis or baboon, attended by four pairs of deities, whence the name Khmounoun (the eight). It played an important part from the sixth to the eleventh dynasties; and later became the chief town of the nome of Hermopolis. To the west of the village is the Ibeum, or burial place of the animals sacred to Thoth; at the foot of Gebel-el-Bershêh is the necropolis of the local rulers. Palladius (Hist. Laus., lii) records a tradition to the effect that the Holy Family came to Hermopolis. St. Colluthus suffered martyrdom there under Maximian and Diocletian. For a time, also, St. Athanasius lived there. Lequien (Oriens Christianus, II, 595) mentions eight bishops; and the place is still a see for the Monophysite Copts. In 1895 it was re-established by Leo XIII for the Coptic Catholics, but the titular lives at Minieh.
SMITH, Dict, of Greek and Roman Geogr., s.v.; JULLIEN, L'Egypte, Souvenirs bibliques et Chrétiens (Lille, 1891), 247.
APA citation. (1910). Hermopolis Magna. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07289a.htm
MLA citation. "Hermopolis Magna." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 7. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07289a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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