The Temple of Isis at Philae, with pylons and an enclosed court on the left and the inner building at right. Fourth to first century BC.
Egyptian temples were built for the official worship of the gods and in commemoration of the pharaohs in ancient Egypt and regions under Egyptian control. Temples were seen as houses for the gods or kings to whom they were dedicated. Within them, the Egyptians performed a variety of rituals, the central functions of Egyptian religion: giving offerings to the gods, reenacting their mythological interactions through festivals, and warding off the forces of chaos. These rituals were seen as necessary for the gods to continue to uphold maat, the divine order of the universe. Housing and caring for the gods were the obligations of pharaohs, who therefore dedicated prodigious resources to temple construction and maintenance. Out of necessity, pharaohs delegated most of their ritual duties to a host of priests, but most of the populace was excluded from direct participation in ceremonies and forbidden to enter a temple's most sacred areas. Nevertheless, a temple was an important religious site for all classes of Egyptians, who went there to pray, give offerings, and seek oracular guidance from the god dwelling within.
The most important part of the temple was the sanctuary, which typically contained a cult image, a statue of its god. The rooms outside the sanctuary grew larger and more elaborate over time, so that temples evolved from small shrines in late Prehistoric Egypt (late fourth millennium BC) to large stone edifices in the New Kingdom (c. 1550–1070 BC) and later. These edifices are among the largest and most enduring examples of ancient Egyptian architecture, with their elements arranged and decorated according to complex patterns of religious symbolism. Their typical design consisted of a series of enclosed halls, open courts, and entrance pylons aligned along the path used for festival processions. Beyond the temple proper was an outer wall enclosing a wide variety of secondary buildings. (Full article...)
Abu'l-Hasan Ali al-Adil ibn al-Sallar or al-Salar (Arabic: أبو ﺍﻟﺤﺴﻦ ﻋﻠﻲ ﺍﻟﻌﺎﺩﻝ ﺍﺑﻦ ﺍﻟﺴﻠﺎﺭ, romanized: Abu’l-Ḥasan ʿAlī al-ʿĀdil ibn al-Sallār; died 3 April 1154), usually known simply as Ibn al-Sal[l]ar, was a Fatimid commander and official, who served as the vizier of Caliphal-Zafir from 1149 to 1154. A capable and brave soldier, Ibn al-Sallar assumed senior gubernatorial positions, culminating in the governorship of Alexandria. From this position in 1149 he launched a revolt, along with his stepson Abbas ibn Abi al-Futuh. Defeating the army of the then vizier, Ibn Masal, he occupied Cairo and forced the young Caliph al-Zafir to appoint him vizier instead. A mutual disdain and hatred bound the two men thereafter, and the Caliph even conspired to have Ibn al-Sallar assassinated. During this tenure, Ibn al-Sallar restored order in the army and strove to halt Crusader attacks on Egypt, but with limited success. He was assassinated at the behest of his ambitious stepson Abbas, who succeeded him as vizier. (Full article...)
Laban rayeb is a type of curdled skim milk made in Lower Egypt. It may be drunk fresh or may be used to make areesh cheese, which in turn is used to make mish. There is evidence that it was made by the ancient Egyptians. (Full article...)
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