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UITGEVER > Mercatorfonds
9789061539315 9789061539315_01
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ISBN: 9789061539315 (HB - E)

From time immemorial, the ancient and mysterious Egyptian city of Heliopolis has fuelled the collective imagination of both East and West. But this 4,500-year-old city, located at the head of the Nile Delta, is more than just the stuff of dreams. Port of call for travellers in Antiquity, place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages, and cradle of a complete new town founded at the beginning of the 20th century by captain of industry Édouard Empain, Heliopolis is now part of Cairo. Its present-day originality and dynamism derive from the dialogue between cultures of which it is an expression, making it one of the most remarkable districts of this great metropolis. Iunu, the ancient Heliopolis, capital of the thirteenth nome (territorial division) of Lower Egypt, was the theological centre of the greatest sun temple of pharaonic times. Sited slightly north of the modern-day suburb that bears its name, Heliopolis was mentioned by Greek and Roman authors like Strabo, Diodorus of Sicily and Herodotus, and from medieval times by travellers from both East and West. Westerners, accepting the tradition that the Holy Family sojourned at Materieh (al-Matarayah, in the vicinity of the ancient city) during their flight into Egypt, adopted it as a place of pilgrimage.

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