Damietta (Arabic: دمياط Dumyāṭ ,
IPA: [domˈjɑːtˤ]; Coptic: ⲧⲁⲙⲓⲁϯ) also known as
Damiata, or Domyat, is a port and the capital of the Damietta
Governorate in Egypt, a former bishopric and present multiple Catholic
titular see. It is located at the
Damietta branch, a distributary of
the Nile, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the Mediterranean Sea,
about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Cairo.
2 Ecclesiastical history
2.1 Titular Latin see
2.2 Titular Melkite see
4 Main sights
5 Notable people
7 See also
9 External links
In Ancient Egypt, the city was known as Tamiat (Coptic:
ⲧⲁⲙⲓⲁϯ), but in the
Hellenistic period it was called
Tamiathis (Greek Ταμίαθις). Mentioned by the 6th-century
geographer Stephanus Byzantius, the town later became known as
Damiata and as Damietta, which probably derived from an ancient
Egyptian word "Damt" that means the ability, since
Damietta had the
ability to combine the salt water of the
Mediterranean Sea and the
fresh water of the
Nile in one place. Other historians note that the
city was called "Tam Heet" which means the city of the water or the
city of the running water. Another derivation of the name might be
"Tam Hēt", meaning city of North (Coptic: ⲡϯⲙⲉ ϧⲏⲧ).
Caliph Omar (579–644), the Arabs took the town and
successfully resisted the attempts by the
Byzantine Empire to recover
it, especially in 739, 821, 921 and 968. The Abbasids used
Siraf as entry ports to India and the
Tang Empire of China.
Damietta was an important naval base during
the Abbasid, Tulunid and Fatimid periods. This led to several attacks
by the Byzantine Empire, most notably the sack and destruction of the
city in May 853.
Damietta was again important in the 12th and 13th centuries during the
time of the Crusades. In 1169, a fleet from the Kingdom of Jerusalem,
with support from the Byzantine Empire, attacked the port, but it was
defeated by Saladin.
During preparations for the
Fifth Crusade in 1217, it was decided that
Damietta should be the focus of attack. Control of
control of the Nile, and from there the crusaders believed they would
be able to conquer Egypt. From
Egypt they could then attack Palestine
and recapture Jerusalem. When the port was besieged and occupied by
Frisian crusaders in 1219,
Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi arrived to peaceably
negotiate with the Muslim ruler. The siege devastated the
population of Damietta. In October 1218 reinforcements arrived
Papal Legate Pelagius with the English earls Ranulf of
Chester, Saer of Winchester and William Aubigny of Arundel, together
with Odonel Aubigny, Robert Fitzwalter, John Lacy of Chester, William
Harcourt and Oliver, the illegitimate son of King John. In 1221 the
Crusaders attempted to march to Cairo, but were destroyed by the
combination of nature and Muslim defences.
Damietta was also the object of the Seventh Crusade, led by Louis IX
of France. His fleet arrived there in 1249 and quickly captured the
fort, which he refused to hand over to the nominal king of Jerusalem,
to whom it had been promised during the Fifth Crusade. However,
having been taken prisoner with his army in April 1250, Louis was
obliged to surrender
Damietta as ransom.
Hearing that Louis was preparing a new crusade, the
Baibars, in view of the importance of the town to the Crusaders,
destroyed it in 1251 and rebuilt it with stronger fortifications a few
kilometres from the river in the early 1260s, making the mouth of the
Damietta impassable for ships.
Hellenistic Tamiathis became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the
Metropolitan see of Pelusium, the capital of the
Roman province of
Augustamnica Prima, to which Tamiathis belonged. Its bishop Heraclius
took part in the
Council of Ephesus
Council of Ephesus in 431. Helpidius was a signatory
of the decree of Patriarch
Gennadius of Constantinople
Gennadius of Constantinople against simony
in 459. Bassus was at the
Second Council of Constantinople
Second Council of Constantinople (553). In a
letter from Patriarch Michael I of
Alexandria read at the Photian
Council of Constantinople (879), mention is made of Zacharias of
Tamiathis, who had attended a synod that Michael had convened in
support of Photius. Later bishops too of Tamiathis are named in other
In 1249, when
Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France captured the town, it became for a
short time the seat of a
Latin Church bishop.
The Latin bishopric, no longer residential, is today listed by the
Catholic Church twice as a titular see under the names Tamiathis
(Latin) and Damiata (Curiate Italian), each at time of episcopal or
archiepiscopal]] rank, of the Latin and Melkite Catholic Churches,
for the Catholic Church, having been until the early 20th century an
important centre for that church.
Titular Latin see
The diocese was nominally restored in the 17th century when
established as Latin
Titular archbishopric of Tamiathis of the Romans
(Latin; Damiata in Curiate Italian) and had the following incumbents
of the intermediary (archiepiscopal) rank :
Bernardino Spada (later Cardinal) (1623.12.04 – 1626.01.19)
Cesare Facchinetti (1639.09.05 – 1672.11.14)
Neri Corsini (later Cardinal) (1652.08.12 – 1664.01.14)
Angelo Maria Ranuzzi (later Cardinal) (1668.04.30 – 1678.04.18)
Ercole Visconti (1678.07.18 – ?)
Marco Antonio Ansidei (later Cardinal) (1724.06.12 – 1726.12.16)
Raffaele Cosimo De Girolami (later Cardinal) (1728.03.08 –
Paul Alpheran de Bussan,
Sovereign Military Order of Malta
Sovereign Military Order of Malta (O.B.E.)
(1746.09.19 – 1757.04.20)
Vincenzo Maria de Francisco e Galletti,
Dominican Order (O.P.)
(1757.12.19 – 1769.07.19)
Conventual Franciscans (O.F.M. Conv.)
(1769.12.18 – 1777.12.21)
Bartolomeo Pacca (later Cardinal) (1785.09.26 – 1801.02.23)
Giovanni Francesco Compagnoni Marefoschi (1816.04.29 – 1820.09.17)
Giovanni Giacomo Sinibaldi (1821.08.13 – 1843.01.27) (later
Vincenzo Gioacchino Pecci (later Pope Leo XIII) (1843.01.27 –
Diego Planeta (1850.01.07 – 1858.06.05)
Luigi Oreglia di Santo Stefano
Luigi Oreglia di Santo Stefano (later Cardinal) (1866.05.04 –
Eugène-Louis-Marie Lion, O.P. (1874.03.13 – 1883.08.08)
Missionaries of the Precious Blood
Missionaries of the Precious Blood (C.PP.S.)
(1885.03.23 – 1886.11.01)
Ignazio Persico (德斯馬曾), O.F.M. Cap. (later Cardinal)
(1887.03.14 – 1893.01.16)
Andrea Aiuti (later Cardinal) (1893.06.12 – 1903.06.22)
Edoardo Carlo Gastone Pöttickh de Pettenegg,
Teutonic Order (O.T.)
(1904.11.14 – 1918.10.01)
Sebastião Leite de Vasconcellos (1919.12.15 – 1923.01.29)
Luigi Pellizzo (1923.03.24 – 1936.08.14)
Demoted in 1925 as Titular bishopric, it is vacant since decades,
having had the following incumbents, all of the episcopal (lowest)
Guglielmo Grassi (1937.01.13 – 1954.09.14)
Eugenio Beitia Aldazabal (1954.10.30 – 1962.01.27)
Scalabrinians (C.S.) (1962.02.10 – 1962.05.23)
Antonio Cece (1962.08.06 – 1966.03.31)
Titular Melkite see
Established in 1900 as
Titular bishopric of Damiata of the Melkite
Greeks (Italian; Latin Tamiathis), suppressed in 1935, after a single
incumbent of this episcopal (lowest) rank :
Titular Bishop Paul-Raphaël Abi-Mourad (1900.07.02 – 1935.08.08)
Restored in 1961 as Titular archbishopric, it has had the following
incumbents of the archiepiscopal (intermediary) rank :
Titular Archbishop Antonio Farage (1961.03.07 – 1963.11.09)
Titular Archbishop Nicolas Hajj (1965.07.30 – 1984.11.03)
Titular Archbishop Joseph Jules Zerey (2001.06.22 – ...),
Jerusalem of the Greek-Melkites (Palestine)
Damietta is very famous for its furniture industry. In addition to the
Egyptian market, its furniture is sold in Arab countries, Africa,
Europe, US, and almost all over the world. Today, there is a canal
connecting it to the Nile, which has made it an important port once
again. Containers are transported through the new
Damietta Port. The
Damietta governorate has a population of about 1,093,580 (2006). It
SEGAS LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) plant, which will
ultimately have a capacity of 9.6 million ton/year through two trains.
The plant is owned by Segas, a joint venture of the Spanish utility
Unión Fenosa (40%), Italian oil company
Eni (40%) and the Egyptian
companies EGAS and EGPC (10% each). The plant is unusual since it
is not supplied from a dedicated field, but is supplied with gas from
the Egyptian grid. As of 2010[update], EMethanex, the Egyptian
Methanex Corporation a Canadian owned company, was
building a 3600 MTPD methanol plant.
Damietta also has a notable
furniture and woodworking industries and is also noted for its White
Domiati cheese and other dairy products and
Egyptian desserts. It is also a fishing port.
Amr Ibn Al-a'as Mosque (Al-Fateh), the second mosque to be built in
Egypt and Africa by the Arabs after entering Egypt. It has been
converted to a church twice during occupation by the crusaders and
Louis IX of France's son
John Tristan, Count of Valois was baptized by
a legate of the Pope in this mosque.
Al-Bahr Mosque, dating to the Ottoman rule era.
Al-Hadidy Mosque in Faraskour, 200 years old.
Al-Maainy Mosque, dating to the reign of Al-Naser Mohammed Ibn
Al-Matbuly Mosque, dating to the
Al-Radwaniya Mosque, dating to the
Urabi fort (Tabiet Orabi) in Ezbet al-Borg
Tabiet Ahmed Urabi, ruins of
Damietta Fort at Ezbet El-Borg.
The Old Bridge Elkobri Elqadeem, dating to the early 20th century.
Souk Al-Hesba, the old town centre, dating to the Abbasi rule era.
Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn Musa Al-Damiri, (1344–1405), writer on
canon law and natural history
Refaat Al-Gammal (Raafat el-Haggan), Egyptian spy
Aisha Abd al-Rahman
Aisha Abd al-Rahman (Bent Al Shatea), journalist and Muslim
Latifa al-Zayyat, activist and writer
Professor Abdel Rahman Badawi, professor of philosophy
St. Sidhom Bishay, Coptic martyr
Rifaat El-Fanagily, football player
Mohamed Fahim ElGindy, who established and developed the furniture
industry during 20th century in Damietta
Rifaat el-Mahgoub, former Head of the Egyptian Parliament and a member
of the ruling National Democratic Party
Besheer El-Tabei, football player
Mohammed Hassan El-Zayyat, former minister of foreign affairs.
Farag Foda, secular writer shot to death in his office on 8 June 1992
by two Islamic fundamentalists from the
Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya group.
Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist
Yusuf Idris, writer & psychiatrist
Zaki Naguib Mahmoud, writer and philosopher
Ali Moustafa Mosharafa, physicist and contributor to the theory of
Farouk Shousha, poet; previously head of Egyptian Radio (El Soaraa
Egypt football team captain
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as
hot desert (BWh), but blowing winds from the
Mediterranean Sea greatly
moderate the temperatures, typical to the Egypt's north coast, making
its summers moderately hot and humid while its winters mild and
moderately wet when sleet and hail are also common.
Port Said, Kosseir, Ras El Bar, Baltim,
the least temperature variation in Egypt.
Climate data for Damietta, Egypt
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Caphutkia ancient name of
Damietta in Aramaic & Jewish literature.
^ Smith, Sir William (1857). Dictionary of Greek and Roman geography.
Little, Brown and Co. p. 1086. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ a b c d e Siméon Vailhé, "Damietta" in The Catholic Encyclopedia
(New York 1908)
^ "The city of Damietta". Ask Aladdin. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
^ Donkin, Robin A (2003). Between East and West: The Moluccas and the
Traffic in Spices Up to the Arrival of Europeans. Diane Publishing
Company. ISBN 0-87169-248-1.
^ Dillon, Charles Raymond (30 April 2005). Templar Knights And the
Crusades. iUniverse. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-595-34946-3.
Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Claster, Jill N. (1 October 2009). Sacred Violence: The European
Crusades to the Middle East, 1095-1396. University of Toronto Press.
p. 181. ISBN 978-1-4426-0060-7. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Bradbury, Jim (1992). The Medieval Siege. Boydell Press.
p. 197. ISBN 978-0-85115-357-5. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Armstrong, Regis J.; Hellmann, J. A. Wayne; Short, William J. (1
April 2000). Francis of Assisi: Early Documents. New City Press.
p. 265. ISBN 978-1-56548-112-1. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Remfry, P.M., (1997). Buckenham Castles, 'The Aubignys and the Fifth
Crusade, 1218 to 1221'. ISBN 1-899376-05-4[not in citation given]
^ Vauchez, André; Dobson, Richard Barrie; Lapidge, Michael (2000).
Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. Editions du Cerf. p. 392.
ISBN 978-1-57958-282-1. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Russell, William (1837). The History of Modern Europe: with an
Account of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: And a View of the
Progress of Society from the Rise of the Modern Kingdoms to the Peace
of Paris, in 1763; in a Series of Letters from a Nobleman to His Son.
Longman, Rees, & Company. p. 280. Retrieved 30 May
^ Houtsma, M. Th (31 December 1987). E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia
of Islam, 1913-1936. BRILL. p. 911. ISBN 978-90-04-08265-6.
Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus
digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 589-592
^ Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico ecclesiastica, Vol.
72 (Venice 1855), p. 236
^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013
ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 879
^ MEED. Economic East Economic Digest, Limited. April 2008.
p. 187. Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ The Petroleum Economist. Petroleum Press Bureau. 2008. p. 20.
Retrieved 30 May 2012.
^ "Halayeb". eArabic Market. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
^ "Islamic Medical Manuscripts: Bio-Bibliographies - B, C, and D".
^ "Climate: Dumiat - Climate graph, Temperature graph, Climate table".
climate-data.org. Retrieved 13 August 2013.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Damietta.
GCatholic - Latin titular see with incumbent biography links
GCatholic - Melkite titular see with incumbent biography links
Governorates capitals of Egypt
Beni Suef (Beni Suef)
Kafr El Sheikh
Kafr El Sheikh (Kafr El Sheikh)
Matrouh (Mersa Matrouh)
New Valley (Kharga)
North Sinai (Arish)
Port Said (Port Said)
Red Sea (Hurghada)
South Sinai (El Tor)
Egyptian cities and towns by population
1,000,000 and more
Shubra El Kheima
El Mahalla El Kubra
6th of October
Kafr El Dawwar
Kafr El Sheikh
New Borg El Arab
Shibin El Kom
Sharm El Sheikh
Coordinates: 31°25′N 31°49′E / 31.417°N 31.817°E /