, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 The Temple of Hermopolis at Minya, 1813 | Walking Through Egypt ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

May 9, 2012

The Temple of Hermopolis at Minya, 1813 | Walking Through Egypt

The Temple of Hermopolis at Minya, 1813
James Silk Buckingham

Temple of Hermopolis
Returning to the boat, we continued our course on the Nile, landing at Minieh, a populous and flourishing town on the western bank, and thence onward to the ruins of Antinoe, on the eastern: a city built by the Roman Emperor Adrian, and so called after his favourite, the beautiful Antinous, who was drowned in the Nile. I passed a whole day within these ruins, which have all the grandeur of Roman times, the architecture being chiefly Corinthian; and the number of edifices, colonnades, and partially dilapidated public structures that still remain, make up a scene of great beauty, though in desolation.

On the following day I visited the first Egyptian architectural monument to be seen on ascending the Nile, namely, the portico of the Temple of Hermopolis. It was like passing from St Paul’s Cathedral to Westminster Abbey; the former well calculated to excite admiration for its noble proportions and fine architectural effect, but the latter inspiring feelings of awe and devotion, amid the ‘dim religious light’ of its coloured glass, lofty aisles, and fretted roof.

A single paragraph from my journal of that day will express this more fully:
When I dismounted and approached its gigantic columns, I know not whether their colossal size, their rich invention, or their exquisite finish attracted my regard more strongly; but this I perfectly remember that while lost amidst the commingled feelings which the pillared portico of this massive pile inspired, regretting the lost language of its inscriptive figures, and admiring the happiest union of pure simplicity, luxuriant ornament, and everlasting strength, I felt, beneath its aweinspiring roof, a sensation of humility and devotion, which Antinoe, with all its beauties of the picturesque, or all the sadness of its desolating ruins, had not the power to create.


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