August 15, 2013

The Temple of Hathor

The Temple of Hathor
To the right of the temple of Isis, is a large, circular castor-oil presser. The oil was used for medicinal purposes. The Temple of Hathor (4) has lively and charming representations, as befitted the goddess of love and joy. The columns are decorated with flute- players and with representations of the laughing dwarf-deity Bes, playing a tambourine and a harp. Apes play the lyre, priests carry an antelope, and Bes dances.

Temple of Hathor
Elsewhere in Egypt, the early Christians were escaping from Roman persecution (page 201). They were abandoning their worldly possessions and fleeing to the desert. But here, on the island of Philae, a spirit of light-hearted joy prevailed.

Temple of Hathor
The Kiosk (Pharaoh’s Bed)
The Kiosk of Trajan (5) is rectangular in shape and surrounded by fourteen columns with floral capitals. These support blocks that carry the architraves and cornice. The blocks were undoubtedly planned to be carved into sistrum capitals, but they were left unfinished, as were other parts of the structure. The emperor T raj an (AD 98-117) is depicted burning incense in front of Osiris and Isis and offering wine to Isis and Horus.

Temple of Hathor
This is possibly the most graceful of the many elegant buildings on the island, and the one for which Philae is most remembered.

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