The Info List - Pelusium

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(Arabic: الفرما‎; Coptic: Ⲡⲉⲣⲉⲙⲟⲩⲛ or Ⲡⲉⲣⲉⲙⲟⲩⲏ), was an important city in the eastern extremes of Egypt's Nile
Delta, 30 km to the southeast of the modern Port Said,[1] becoming a Roman provincial capital and Metropolitan archbishopric, remaining a multiple Catholic titular see.


1 Location 2 Names 3 History 4 Roman military roads 5 Ecclesiastical history

5.1 Latin titular see 5.2 Melkite titular see

6 References 7 Sources and external links

Location[edit] Pelusium
lay between the seaboard and the marshes of the Nile
delta, about two and a half miles from the sea. The port was choked by sand as early as the first century BC, and the coastline has now advanced far beyond its ancient limits, so that the city, even in the third century AD, was at least four miles from the Mediterranean.[2] The principal product of the neighbouring lands was flax, and the linum Pelusiacum ( Pliny's Natural History
Pliny's Natural History
xix. 1. s. 3) was both abundant and of a very fine quality. Pelusium
was also known for being an early producer of beer, known as the Pelusian drink.[3] Pelusium stood as a border-fortress, a place of great strength, on the frontier, protecting Egypt
as regards to Syria
and the sea. Thus, from its position, it was directly exposed to attack by any invaders of Egypt; it was often besieged, and several important battles were fought around its walls. Names[edit] Pelusium
was the easternmost major city of Lower Egypt, situated upon the easternmost bank of the Nile, the Ostium Pelusiacum, to which it gave its name. The Roman name "Pelusium" was derived from the Greek name, and that from a translation of the Egyptian one.[citation needed] It was variously known as Sena and Per- Amun
[4] (Egyptian, Coptic: Ⲡⲉⲣⲉⲙⲟⲩⲛ Paramoun meaning House or Temple of the sun god Amun), Pelousion (Greek, Πηλούσιον), Sin (Chaldaic and Hebrew), Seyân (Aramaic), and Tell el-Farama (modern Egyptian Arabic). It was the Sin of the Hebrew Bible
Hebrew Bible
( Ezekiel
xxx. 15); and this word, as well as its Egyptian appellation, Peremoun or Peromi, and its Greek (πήλος[citation needed]) connote a city of the ooze or mud (cf. omi, Coptic, "mud").[2] History[edit] See also: Battle of Pelusium (525 BC)
Battle of Pelusium (525 BC)
and Battle of Pelusium
(343 BC) The following are the most notable events in the history of Pelusium :

Sennacherib, king of Assyria, 720-715 BC, in the reign of Sethos the Aethiopian (25th dynasty) advanced from Kingdom of Judah
Kingdom of Judah
upon Pelusium, but retired without fighting from before its walls (Isaiah, xxxi. 8; Herodotus
ii. 141 ; Strabo
xiii. p. 604). His retreat was ascribed to the favor of Hephaestos
towards Sethos, his priest. In the night, while the Assyrians slept, a host of field-mice gnawed the bow-strings and shield-straps of the Assyrians, who fled, and many of them were slain in their flight by the Egyptians. Herodotus
saw in the temple of Hephaestos
at Memphis, a record of this victory of the Egyptians, viz. a statue of Sethos holding a mouse in his hand. The story probably rests on the fact that in the symbolism of Egypt
the mouse implied destruction. (Compare Horapolis Hieroglyph. i. 50; Claudius Aelianus, De Natura Animalium vi. 41.) The decisive battle which transferred the throne of the Pharaohs to Cambyses II, king of the Persians, was fought near Pelusium
in 525 BC. The fields around were strewn with the bones of the combatants when Herodotus
visited. He noted that the skulls of the Egyptians
were distinguishable from those of the Persians by their superior hardness, a fact confirmed he said by the mummies. He ascribed this to the Egyptians' shaving their heads from infancy, and to the Persians covering them up with folds of cloth or linen. ( Herodotus
ii. 10, seq.); however, according to legend, Pelusium
fell without a fight, by the simple expedient of having the invading army drive cats (sacred to the local goddess Bast) before them. As Cambyses advanced at once to Memphis, Pelusium
probably surrendered itself immediately after the battle. (Polyaen. Stratag. vii. 9.) In 373 BC, Pharnabazus, satrap of Phrygia, and Iphicrates, the commander of the Athenian armament, appeared before Pelusium, but retired without attacking it, Nectanebo I, king of Egypt, having added to its former defences by laying the neighboring lands under water, and blocking up the navigable channels of the Nile
by embankments. ( Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
xv. 42; Cornelius Nepos, Iphicrates c. 5.) Pelusium
was attacked and taken by the Persians, 343 BC (344 BC ?). The city contained at the time a garrison of 5,000 Greek mercenaries under the command of Philophron. At first, owing to the rashness of the Thebans in the Persian service, the defenders had the advantage. But the Egyptian king Nectanebo II
Nectanebo II
hastily venturing on a pitched battle, his troops were cut to pieces, and Pelusium surrendered to the Theban general Lacrates on honorable conditions. ( Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
xvi. 43.) In 333 BC, Pelusium
opened its gates to Alexander the Great, who placed a garrison in it under the command of one of those officers entitled Companions of the King. (Arrian, Exp. Alex. iii. 1, seq.; Quintus Curtius iv. 33.) In 173 BC, Antiochus Epiphanes
Antiochus Epiphanes
utterly defeated the troops of Ptolemy Philometor under the walls of Pelusium, which he took and retained after he had retired from the rest of Egypt. ( Polybius
Legat. § 82; Hieronym. in Daniel. xi.) On the fall of the Syrian kingdom, however, if not earlier, Pelusium
had been restored to the Ptolemies. In 55 BC, again belonging to Egypt, Mark Antony, as cavalry general to the Roman proconsul Gabinius, defeated the Egyptian army, and made himself master of the city. Ptolemy Auletes, in whose behalf the Romans invaded Egypt
at this time, wished to put the Pelusians to the sword; but his intention was thwarted by Mark Anthony. (Plut. Anton. c. 3; Valerius Max. ix. 1.) In 48 BC, Pompey
was murdered in Pelusium. In 30 BC, more than half a year after his victory at Actium, Augustus appeared before Pelusium, and was admitted by its governor Seleucus within its walls. In 501 AD, Pelusium
suffered greatly from the Persian invasion of Egypt
(Eutychius, Annal.). In 541 AD, the Plague of Justinian
Plague of Justinian
was first reported and began to spread across the Byzantine Empire. In 639, Pelusium
offered a protracted, though, in the end, an ineffectual resistance to the arms of Amr ibn al-As. As on former occasions, the surrender of the key of the Delta, was nearly equivalent to the subjugation of Egypt
itself. In ca. 870, Pelusium
is mentioned as a major port in the trade network of the Radhanite
merchants. In 1117, Baldwin I of Jerusalem
Baldwin I of Jerusalem
razed the city to the ground, but died shortly afterwards of food poisoning after eating a plateful of the local fish.

The khalifs who ruled Pelusium
following the Crusades, however, generally neglected the harbors, and from that period Pelusium, which had long been on the decline, almost disappeared from history. Roman military roads[edit] Of the six military roads formed or adopted by the Romans in Egypt, the following are mentioned in the Itinerarium of Antoninus as connected with Pelusium:

From Memphis to Pelusium. This road joined the great road from Pselcis in Nubia
at Babylon, nearly opposite Memphis, and coincided with it as far as Scenae Veteranorum. The two roads, viz. that from Pselcis
to Scenae Veteranorum, which turned off to the east at Heliopolis, and that from Memphis to Pelusium, connected the latter city with the capital of Lower Egypt, Trajan's canal, and Arsinoe, near Suez, on the Sinus Heroopolites (Gulf of Suez). From Acca to Alexandria, ran along the Mediterranean
sea from Raphia to Pelusium.

Ecclesiastical history[edit] Pelusium
is named (as "Sin, the strength of Egypt") in the Biblical book of Ezekiel, chapter 30:15. Pelusium
became the seat of a Christian bishop at an early stage. Its bishop Dorotheus took part in the First Council of Nicaea
First Council of Nicaea
in 325. In 335, Marcus was exiled because of his support for Athanasius of Alexandria. His replacement Pancratius, an exponent of Arianism, was at the second Council of Sirmium in 351. Several of the succeeding known bishops of Pelusium
were also considered heretical by the orthodox. As the capital of the Roman province
Roman province
of Augustamnica Prima, Pelusium
was ecclesiastically the metropolitan see of the province.[5][6] Pelusium
is still the seat of a metropolitan bishopric of the modern-day Eastern Orthodox Church. Isidore of Pelusium
Isidore of Pelusium
(d. c.450), who was born in Alexandria, became an ascetic and settled on a mountain near Pelusium, in the tradition of the Desert Fathers. Pelusium
is today listed by the Catholic Church
Catholic Church
as a Metropolitan titular archbishopric both in the Latin Church
Latin Church
and the Eastern Catholic Melkite Catholic Church.[7] Latin titular see[edit] In the nineteenth century, the diocese was nominally restored as a Metropolitan titular archbishopric Pelusium
of the Romans. It is vacant since decades, having had the following incumbents, of the highest rank with a single episcopal (lowest rank) exception :

Joseph Sadoc Alemany
Joseph Sadoc Alemany
y Conill, Dominican Order
Dominican Order
(O.P.) (1885.03.20 – 1888.04.14) Guido Corbelli, Order of Observant Friars Minor
Friars Minor
(O.F.M. Obs.) (1888.03.08 – 1896.06.22) Giovanni Nepomuceno Glavina (1896.12.03 – 1899.11) Alphonse-Martin Larue (1899.12.14 – 1903.05.01) Theodor Kohn (1904.06.10 – 1915.12.03) Titular Bishop John Francis Regis Canevin
Regis Canevin
(1921.01.09 – 1927.03.22) Plácido Ángel Rey de Lemos, Friars Minor
Friars Minor
(O.F.M.) (1927.07.30 – 1941.02.12) José Ignacio López Umaña (1942.03.15 – 1943.11.13) Patrick Mary O'Donnell (1948.11.08 – 1965.04.10)

Melkite titular see[edit] Since its twentieth century establishment as Metropolitan titular archbishopric, Pelusium
of the (Greek) Melkites has had the following incumbents, all of this highest rank :

Pierre Kamel Medawar, Society of Missionaries of Saint Paul (M.S.P.) (1943.03.13 – 1985.04.27) Isidore Battikha, Basilian Aleppian Order (B.A.) (992.08.25 – 2006.02.09) Georges Bakar (2006.02.09 – ...), Protosyncellus
of Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan of the Greek-Melkites (Egypt)


^ Talbert, Richard J. A., ed. (15 September 2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. pp. 70, 74. ISBN 978-0-691-03169-9.  ^ a b  Donne, William Bodham (1857). "Pelusium". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 2. London: John Murray. pp. 572–573.  ^ Diderot, Denis. "l'Encyclopedie: Beer".  (University of Michigan translation project) ^ Grzymski, Krzysztof A. (1997). "Pelusium: Gateway to Egypt". Pelusium: Gateway to Egypt.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 531-534 ^ Klaas A. Worp, A Checklist of Bishops in Byzantine Egypt
(A.D. 325 - c. 750), in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 100 (1994) 283-318 ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 951

Sources and external links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Donne, William Bodham (1857). "Pelusium". In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. 2. London: John Murray. pp. 572–573. 

has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Pelusium.

"Pelusium: Gateway to Egypt". archaeology.org.   Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Pelusium". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  GCatholic - Latin titular see with incumbent bio links GCatholic - Melkite titular see with i