Terrae Antiqvae

Templos Egipcios – Philae o Filé (Templo de Isis)

File es el nombre de una isla de Egipto, en el río Nilo, situada a 11 km. de Asuán.

Célebre por los templos erigidos durante los periodos ptolemaico y romano dedicados al culto a la diosa Isis que se propagó por todo el Mediterráneo, manteniéndose su veneración en el templo de File hasta que fue prohibido en tiempos de Justiniano I, el año 535 d.C.

Antes de que fuera sumergida en las aguas de la presa de Asuán, los templos de File fueron desmontados, trasladados y reconstruidos en el cercano islote de Agilkia.

Los templos forman parte del Museo al Aire Libre de Nubia y Asuán, declarado Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO en 1979 con el nombre de Monumentos de Nubia de Abu Simbel a File.

Templo dedicado a la diosa Isis procedente de File [editar]El conjunto del templo de Isis dispone de varias edificaciones:

El vestíbulo de Nectanebo I, con sillares de época de Taharqo
El templo de Arensnufis, divinidad meroítica. De tiempos de Ptolomeo IV Filópator y Arqamani, rey de Meroe.
Las columnatas de época de Augusto y Tiberio.
La capilla de Mandulis, divinidad nubia.
El templo dedicado a Imhotep, sabio divinizado de la época de Dyeser.
La puerta de tiempos de Ptolomeo II Filadelfo
El primer pilono, con los obeliscos de Ptolomeo VIII Evergetes.
El patio con el mammisi, de Ptolomeo VIII, terminado por Tiberio.
El templo de Isis, decorado en época de Ptolomeo II, terminado por Augusto y Tiberio.
El templo de Hathor, de Ptolomeo VI Filómetor y Ptolomeo VIII Evergetes.
Al oeste está la llamada puerta de Adriano, al pasar por la cual se llega a la capilla principal y al templo de la diosa Hathor, al este del templo de Isis. Los pilares están decorados con escenas de músicos, bailarines y dioses. Al suroeste está el quiosco de Trajano.

(2) Philae (Greek: Φιλαί) or Pilak or P'aaleq (Egyptian: remote place or the end or the angle island) or Arabic: Anas el Wagud, is an island in the Nile River and the previous site of an Ancient Egyptian temple complex in southern Egypt. The complex is now located on the nearby island of Agilika.


Philae is mentioned by numerous ancient writers, including Strabo (i. p. 40, xvii. pp. 803, 818, 820), Diodorus (i. 22), Ptolemy (iv. 5. § 74), Seneca (Quaest. Nat. iv. 1), Pliny the Elder (v. 9. s. 10), and was, as the plural name both in the Greek and Latin denotes, the appellation of two small islands situated in latitude 24° North, just above the cataract of Syene. Groskurd (Strab. vol. iii. p. 399) computes the distance between these islands and Syene at about 61.5 miles (99 km). Philae proper, although the smaller, is, from the numerous and picturesque ruins formerly there, the more interesting of the two. Prior to the inundation, it was not more than 1250 English feet, or rather less than a quarter of a mile, long, and about 400 feet broad. It is composed of Syenite stone: its sides are steep and perhaps escarped by the hand of man, and on their summits was built a lofty wall encompassing the island. For Philae, being accounted one of the burying-places of Osiris, was held in high reverence both by the Egyptians to the north and the Aethiopians to the south, and it was deemed profane for any but priests to dwell therein, and was accordingly sequestered and denominated the unapproachable (̓́αβατος, Plut. Is. et Osir. p, 359; Diod. i. 22). It was reported too that neither birds flew over it nor fish approached its shores. (Senec. Quaest. Nat. iv. 2.) These indeed were the traditions of a remote period; since in the time of the Macedonian kings of Egypt, Philae was so much resorted to, partly by pilgrims to the tomb of Osiris, partly by persons on secular errands, that the priests petitioned Ptolemy Physcon (170-117 BC) to prohibit public functionaries at least from coming thither and living at their expense. The obelisk on which this petition was engraved was brought into England by Mr. Bankes, and its hieroglyphics, compared with those of the Rosetta stone, threw great light upon the Egyptian phonetic alphabet. The islands of Philae were not, however, merely sacerdotal abodes; they were the centres of commerce also between Meroë and Memphis. For the rapids of the cataracts were at most seasons impracticable, and the commodities exchanged between Egypt and Aethiopia were reciprocally landed and re-embarked at Syene and Philae. The neighbouring granite-quarries attracted hither also a numerous population of miners and stonemasons; and, for the convenience of this traffic, a gallery or road was formed in the rocks along the east bank of the Nile, portions of which are still extant. Philae was also remarkable for the singular effects of light and shade resulting from its position near the Tropic of Cancer. As the sun approached its northern limit the shadows from the projecting cornices and mouldings of the temples sink lower and lower down the plain surfaces of the walls, until, the sun having reached its highest altitude, the vertical walls are overspread with dark shadows, forming a striking contrast with the fierce light which embathes all surrounding objects. (Ritter, Erdkunde, vol. i. p. 680, seq.)


Panoramic view at the Philae TempleThe most conspicuous feature of both islands was their architectural wealth. Monuments of very various eras, extending from the Pharaohs to the Caesars, occupy nearly their whole area. The principal structures, however, lay at the south end of the smaller island. The most ancient were the remains of a temple of Athor (Aphrodite), built in the reign of Nectanebus. The other ruins date for the most part from the Ptolemaic times, more especially with the reigns of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Ptolemy Epiphanes, and Ptolemy Philometor (282-145 BC), with many traces of Roman work as recent in Philae, dedicated to Ammon-Osiris, was approached from the river through a double colonnade. In front of the propyla were two colossal lions in granite, behind which stood a pair of obelisks, each 44 feet high. The propyla were pyramidal in form and colossal in dimensions. One stood between the dromos and pronaos, another between the pronaos and the portico, while a smaller one led into the sekos or adytum. At each corner of the adyturn stood a monolithal shrine, the cage of a sacred hawk. Of these shrines one is now in the Louvre, the other in the Museum at Florence. Right left of the entrance into the principal court are small temples or rather chapels, one of which, dedicated to Athor, is covered with sculptures representing the birth of Ptolemy Philometor, under the figure of the god Horus. The story of Osiris is everywhere represented on the walls of this temple, and two of its inner chambers are particularly rich in symbolic imagery. Upon the two great propyla are Greek inscriptions intersected and partially destroyed by Egyptian figures cut across them. The inscriptions belong to the Macedonian era, and are of earlier date than the sculptures, which were probably inserted during that interval of renaissance for the native religion which followed the extinction of the Greek dynasty in Egypt. (30 BC) The monuments in both islands indeed attested, beyond any others in the Nile-valley, the survival of pure Egyptian art centuries after the last of the Pharaohs had ceased to reign. Great pains have been taken to mutilate the sculptures of this temple. The work of demolition is attributable, in the first instance, to the zeal of the early Christians, and afterwards to the policy of the Iconoclasts, who curried favour for themselves with the Byzantine court by the destruction of heathen as well as Christian images.

The soil of Philae was carefully prepared for the reception of its buildings – being levelled where it was uneven, and supported by masonry where it was crumbling or insecure. For example, the western wall of the Great Temple, and the corresponding wall of the dromos, were supported by very strong foundations, built below the pre-inundation level of the water, and rested on the granite which in this region forms the bed of the Nile. Here and there steps were hewn out from the wall to facilitate the communication between the temple and the river.

At the southern extremity of the dromos of the Great Temple was a smaller temple, apparently dedicated to Isis; at least the few columns that remained of it are surmounted with the head of that goddess. Its portico consisted of twelve columns, four in front and three deep. Their capitals represented various forms and combinations of the palm branch, the dhoum-leaf, and the lotus-flower. These, as well as the sculptures on the columns, the ceilings, and the walls, were painted with the most vivid colors, which, owing to the dryness of the climate, have lost little of their original brilliance.


Pharaonic era

The ancient Egyptian name of the smaller island is Philak, or boundary. As their southern frontier, the Pharaohs of Egypt kept there a strong garrison, and, for the same reason, it was a barrack also Macedonian and Roman soldiers in their turn.

Greco-Roman era

The island temple at Philae was constructed over a three-century period, by the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty and the Roman Principate. The principal deity of the temple complex was Isis, but other temples and shrines were dedicated to her son Horus and the goddess Hathor. In Ptolemaic times Hathor was associated with Isis, who was in turn associated with the Greek goddess Aphrodite. For centuries the temple complex was the holiest site for Isis worshippers. The temple was officially closed down in the 6th century A.D. by the Byzantine emperor Justinian. It was the last pagan temple to exist in the Mediterranean world. Philae was a seat of the Christian religion as well as of the ancient Egyptian faith. Ruins of a Christian church were still discovered, and more than one adytum bore traces of having been made to serve at different eras the purposes of a chapel of Osiris and of Christ. The Philae temple was converted into a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary, until that was closed by Muslim invaders in the 7th century.


The island of Philae attracted much attention in the nineteenth century. In the 1820s, Joseph Bonomi the Younger, a British Egyptologist and museum curator visited the island. So did Amelia Edwards, a British novelist in 1873–1874|4.

The approach by water is quite the most beautiful. Seen from the level of a small boat, the island, with its palms, its colonnades, its pylons, seems to rise out of the river like a mirage. Piled rocks frame it on either side, and the purple mountains close up the distance. As the boat glides nearer between glistening boulders, those sculptured towers rise higher and even higher against the sky. They show no sign of ruin or age. All looks solid, stately, perfect. One forgets for the moment that anything is changed. If a sound of antique chanting were to be borne along the quiet air – if a procession of white-robed priests bearing aloft the veiled ark of the God, were to come sweeping round between the palms and pylons – we should not think it strange.

These visits were only a sampling of the great interest that Victorian-era Britain had for Egypt. Soon, tourism to Philae became common.


Aswan Low DamIn 1902, the Aswan Low Dam was completed on the Nile River by the British. This threatened many ancient landmarks, including the temple complex of Philae, with being submerged. The dam was heightened twice, from 1907–12 and from 1929–34, and the island of Philae was nearly always flooded. In fact, the complex was not underwater only when the dam's sluices were open, from July to October.

It was postulated that the temples be relocated, piece by piece, to nearby islands, such as Bigeh or Elephantine. However, the temples' foundations and other architectural supporting structures were strengthened instead. Although the buildings were physically secure, the island's attractive vegetation and the colors of the temples' reliefs were washed away. Also, the bricks of the Philae temples soon became encrusted with silt and other debris carried by the Nile.

Rescue project

By 1960, UNESCO had decided to move many of the endangered sites along to Nile to safer ground. Philae's temple complex was moved, piece by piece, to Agilkai, 550 meters away, where it was reassembled and remains today. That project lasted from 1977 to 1980.


Prior to the inundation, a little west of Philae lay a larger island, anciently called Snem or Senmut, but now Beghé. It is very precipitous, and from its most elevated peak affords a fine view of the Nile, from its smooth surface south of the islands to its plunge over the shelves of rock that form the First Cataract. Philae, Beghé, and another lesser island. divided the river into four principal streams, and north of them it took a rapid turn to the west and then to the north, where the cataract begins. Beghé, like Philae, was a holy island; its and rocks are inscribed with the names and titles of Amenhotep III (Amunoph III), Rameses the Great, Psammetichus, Apries, and Amasis, together with memorials of the Macedonian and Roman rulers of Egypt. Its principal ruins consisted of the propylon and two columns of a temple, which was apparently of small dimensions, but of elegant proportions. Near them were the fragments of two colossal granite statues, and also an excellent piece of masonry of much later date, having the aspect of an arch belonging to some Greek church or Saracen mosque.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography by William Smith (1857).

Fuente: Wikipedia

1 comentario

Helena R Eros Hace. -

Claro, clásico, conciso, directo, desde la invitación de Horus hasta la formación de la gente bajo los arcos, con la muestra de las diferentes columnas prologados, todos, por el autor de la edición de fotos.
Imagino que cada maestr@ tendrá un orden; pero lo general, y hay planos de ello en Trajano, es clásico.