Daphnae - Encyclopedia




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DAPHNAE (Tahpanhes, Taphne; mod. Defenneh), an ancient fortress near the Syrian frontier of Egypt, on the Pelusian arm of the Nile. Here King Psammetichus established a garrison of foreign mercenaries, mostly Carians and Ionian Greeks (Herodotus ii. 154). After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar in 588 B.C., the Jewish fugitives, of whom Jeremiah was one, came to Tahpanhes. When Naucratis was given by Amasis II. the monopoly of Greek traffic, the Greeks were all removed from Daphnae, and the place never recovered its prosperity; in Herodotus's time the deserted remains of the docks and buildings were visible. The site was discovered by Prof. W. M. Flinders Petrie in 1886; the name "Castle of the Jew's Daughter" seems to preserve the tradition of the Jewish refugees. There is a massive fort and enclosure; the chief discovery was a large number of fragments of pottery, which are of great importance for the chronology of vase-painting, since they must belong to the time between Psammetichus and Amasis, i.e. the end of the 7th or the beginning of the 6th century B.C. They show the characteristics of Ionian art, but their shapes and other details testify to their local manufacture.

See W.M. F. Petrie, Tanis II., Nebesheh, and Defenneh (4th Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1888). (E. GR.).

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