Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Thebes. 1. Thebes (the "hundred-gated" city of the Greek poet), now in ruins, was once the capital of Upper Egypt, and is still a place of interest to the antiquary and the ethnologist. It is situated in lat. 26° N., in the broadest part of the Nile Valley, upon a broad and cultivated plain. Besides many temples, it contains the "vocal" Memnon and another statue of great interest. The remains of Luxor and Karnak stand opposite Thebes on the eastern side of the Nile. Some of the buildings are said to date from 2500 B.C., and the city's most flourishing period was from 1600 to 1100 B.C., when it took the place of Memphis as capital. Its central position gave it safety. In 1100 Memphis again became the capital, in the 6th century B.C. Cambyses plundered it, and at a later period it was injured by the rise of Alexandria. In early Christian times its remoteness made it a favourite abode of Christians, and the monks and hermits of the Thebaid were numerous. Of the principal temples one has a statue of the founder, 60 feet high; there are two temples of Amenoph. III., a terraced temple of Queen Hatasu, near which some valuable mummies were found; a great temple of Rameses III., with paintings illustrating victories, etc., 17 tombs of the queens, tombs of kings. The temples and other remains at Luxor and Karnak are equally interesting. Charles Kingsley utilises the Thebaid in the early part of Hypatia.

2. Thebes, the ancient capital of Boeotia in Greece, was between the Dirce and Ismenus, 44 miles N.W. of Athens. Its Akropolis was called Cadmeia from Cadmus, whom tradition declared to be the founder of the city. Dionysus, Hercules, Amphion, and Tiresias were born here, and it was here that the Greek tragedians found material for the plays that centred aronnd the story of OEdipus. Owing to a quarrel with Athens, Thebes sided with the Spartans in the Peloponnesian War, but afterwards repented, and withdrew from the alliance. The victories of Epaminondas at Leuctra (371 B.C.) and Mantinea (362 B.C.) gave Thebes a temporary supremacy, but the defeat of Chaeronea (338 B.C.) was the beginning of their downfall. A1ter the death of Philip of Macedon the Thebans tried to regain their independence, but Alexander destroyed the city, and sold the inhabitants as slaves.