Berenice

Berenice or Berenice Troglodytica (Greek: ), also known as Baranis and now known as Medinet-el Haras, is an ancient seaport of Egypt on the west coast of the Red Sea. It is situated about 825 km south of Suez and 260 km east of Aswan. It was founded or certainly converted from a village into a city, by Ptolemy II (285 BC—246 BC), who named it after his mother, Berenice I of Egypt. Troglodytica refers to the aboriginal people of the region, the “Troglodytai” or “cave dwellers”. Although the name is attested by several ancient writers, the more ancient Ptolemaic inscriptions read Trogodytai (which G.W.B. Huntingford has speculated could be related to the same root as Tuareg). It is possible that later copyists confused this name with the more common term Troglodytai. Built at the head of a gulf, the Sinus Immundus, or Foul Bay, of Strabo, it was sheltered on the north by Ras Benas (Lepte Extrema). A lofty range of mountains runs along this side of the African coast, and separates Berenice from the Nile Valley. The emerald mines of Zabara and Saket are in its neighbourhood. The harbour is indifferent, but was improved by art. Berenice stood upon a narrow rim of shore between the hills and the Red Sea. The harbor of Berenice was sheltered from the northeast wind by the island Ophiodes (, Strabo xvi. p. 770; Diod. iii. 39), which was rich in topazes.

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