Ancient Egypt Wiki
Ancient Egyptian: Per-Hapy-en-Iunu
Location Cairo (Misr el-Qadima)
Coordinates 30°0′22″N 31°13′47″E
Region Lower Egypt
Nome Heqa-Andju
Main deities Hapi

Babylon (Coptic: Ⲃⲁⲃⲩⲗⲱⲛ), or Per-Hapy-en-Iunu in ancient Egyptian (transliteration: pr-ḥpy-n-ỉwnw, meaning: "House of Hapi in Heliopolis"), was a fortress on the east bank of the Nile near the start of the Nile Delta in Lower Egypt. It was governed under Heqa-Andju, the thirteenth nome of Lower Egypt. The site of the ancient fortress is located in the Cairo district Misr el-Qadima (also known as Old Cairo).


Original structure[]

According to the ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, the fortress of Babylon goes back to the nineteenth century BC, to the reign of the legendary Pharaoh Sesostris of the 12th Dynasty. After defeating the Babylonians, Sesostris took prisoners of war back to Egypt as slaves. These Babylonian prisoners rebelled and built fortifications to defend the area where they resided, which from then on was named Babylon. However, according to the seventh century Coptic historian John, bishop of Nikiou, the fortress was built by Nebuchadnezzar the Great, king of Babylon, when he occupied Egypt in the second half of the sixth century BC.[1]

The ancient Jewish historian Josephus, with greater probability, attributes its construction to some Babylonian followers of Cambyses II of the 27th Dynasty.

Roman Period[]

Under Emperor Augustus the Deltaic Babylon became a town of some importance, as it functioned as the headquarters of the three legions that ensured the obedience of Egypt. In the Notitia Imperii, Babylon is mentioned as the quarters of Legio XIII Gemina.[2] The fortifications of Babylon were later enlarged under emperors; Trajan, Diocletian, and Arcadius.

See also[]


  1. "The Fortress of Babylon". Memphis Tours.
  2. Antonine Itinerary.