190 Route 17- MELAWI EL-'AKi.SH. From Cairo
rhus, a species of Mormyrus (Arab. Mizdeh), was held in such high honour
here, that the inhabitants refused to eat any fish caught by a hook, lest
the hook might previously have injured an Oxyrynchus. In the neigh¬
bouring town of Cynopolis (p. 195) the dog was held in equal honour,
and Plutarch relates how a 'very pretty quarrel', the settlement of which
required the intervention of the Tlomans, arose between the two towns,
owing to the facts that the citizens of each had killed and dined on the
sacred animals of the other. On the introduction of Christianity Oxy-
rynchos became a veritable town of monks. In the town itself were 12
churches and all round it convent jostled convent. In the 5th cent, the
diocese of Oxyrynchos is said to have contained 10,000 monks and 12,000
nuns. In the Mameluke period it was still of some importance, but it has
since steadily declined. Extensive excavations undertaken here in 1897 by
Grenfell yielded large quantities of Greek, Coptic, and Arabic papyri, —
From Behnesa a desert-route leads in 4 days to the 'small oasis' of
Bahriyeh (p. 195)
Beyond (129 M.) Matdi a handsome bridge crosses a canal. 134 M.
Kolosaneh (Kolosna), with a large grove of palms. — 138 M.
Samallut is a district capital (ca. 7000 inhab ), with a handsome
railway-station, sugar-factories, palms, and fields of clover. On the
E. bank rises the massive Gebel et-Ter (p. 195), forming a pictur¬
esque background for the numerous sails on the Nile. Extensive
cotton-fields are passed, then sugar-plantations, and rich vegetation.
— 144 M. Etsa.
154 M. Minyeh (53/4 hrs. from Cairo ; see p. 196). The train
halts here for 10 minutes.
Excuesion to Benihasan, 15 M. (see p. 196). The traveller hires an
ass. ferries to the right bank of the Nile, and ascends the river via Zdwiyet
el-Melin (p. 196) and Kdm el-Ahmar (p. 196). Instead of returning to Min¬
yeh, he should continue to follow the right bank of the Nile to the
(10]/2 M.) Ruins of Aniinoupolis, now Shekh 'Abddeh (p. 201) and cross the
river thence to R6da (p. 190). This is a long but interesting day's journey.
On the bank of the Nile rises a lofty grove of palms. The luxur¬
iant vegetation includes the cactus, the banyan (ficus Iudica), and
the vine. To the E. appear the hills of Zawiyet el-Metin and Kom
el-Ahmar (p. 196), with a she;kh's tomb at the farther end. Beyond
some luxuriant clover-fields a low rugged range of hills is seen on
the left, and a wide plain on the right. — 161 M. Mansafis. —
From (166^2 M.) AbuKerkds we obtain a view of Benihasan (p. 196),
the tombs of which may be visited from this point also. Thence
the line traverses sugar-plantations and acacia woods close to the
Nile. — 170 M. Etlidem.
177 M. Roda is the station for Aniinoupolis (p. 201) and Her-
mopolis (p. 201).
Immediately beyond Roda the mountains on the E. bank recede
farther from the river. During the sugar-cane harvest, in the begin¬
ning of February, this region presents a busy scene. — 183 M.
Melawi el-'Arish (Mallaoui), a town with 15,500 inhab., has a
frequented market on Sundays. In the vicinity are many large
palms. To the left we have a view of the E. range of hills, in which
are the tombs of El-Bersheh (p. 201) aud Shekh Sa'id (p. 203). To
the right of the railway is a canal.