The Egyptian Secrets Library.


The Temple of Hermonthis

Hermonthis by David Roberts, 1839

Hermonthis also known as Armant, Erment and many other variations, is a temple complex located only 12 miles (20 km) south of Thebes. Hermonthis was home to the god Montu, master of untamed power. Generals of the Egyptian army were called the "Sons of Montu".

From La Description de lEgypte, 1809

Wall art from Hermonthis
from La Description de lEgypte 1809

The temple became important in the Middle Kingdom as the center of the Buchis bull cult. Like the Apis of Memphis the Buchis bulls had certain markings.

The temple thrived through the New Kingdom and, in the Greek Period was famously added to by Cleopatra.



Cleopatra by T Thomas By her early teens, Cleopatra was deeply involved in the politics of Egypt, then ruled by her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes. It was a difficult time as the effects of repeated civil war in the Roman Empire shook Egypt again and again.

Cleopatra, properly known as Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, was in a powerful struggle for what remained of Egypt's independence, and often for her own life, over the entirety of her reign. Yet she took time from her dangerous alliances to build a birth hall and a sacred lake at Hermonthis. It is the rectangular building in these pictures. Perhaps she was able to find a little peace there.

(Left) Cleopatra by T. Thomas

The location of Hermonthis was too valuable. In the late 19th century a sugar cane mill was built at the site of Hermonthis, destroying all that can be seen in these old images. Like Cleopatra, Hermonthis was doomed by forces larger than herself.

Cleopatra on the terraces of Philae by Frederic Bridgman 1896

(Left) Plan of Cleopatra's Temple
from La Description de l'Egypte, 1809
(Right) Map of Hermontis by Vivian Denon 1808

There is a small square lake to the east of the Temple.
Engraving by Vivian Denon, 1808

(both images) Hermonthis / Armant
engravings from La Description de l'Egypte, 1809

Re-creation of Cleopatra's Temple and Hermonthis,
from La Description de l'Egypte, 1809

from Kom Ombo.

"For knowledge ...
you should know that peace is an indispensable condition
of getting it."

Her-Bak, by Isha Schwaller

Cleopatra, based on art at Denderah
by Samuel Manning, 1875.

wings of the Sun.

Countless beautiful 19th century images of ancient Egypt
and 75 pages of architecture, art and secrets
are linked from the library page:

The Egyptian Secrets Library

Grand Nile Tour