Daphnae: see Tahpanhes.
Daphnae (Tahpanhes, Taphne; mod. Defenneh) was an ancient fortress near the Syrian frontier of Egypt, on the Pelusian arm of the Nile.

King Psammetichus established a garrison of foreign mercenaries at Daphnae, mostly Carians and Ionian Greeks (Herodotus ii. 154). After the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadrezzar II in 588 BC, the Jewish fugitives, of whom Jeremiah was one, came to Tahpanhes.

When Naucratis was given the monopoly of Greek traffic by Amasis II, the Greeks were all removed from Daphnae and its prosperity never returned; in Herodotus's time the deserted remains of the docks and buildings were visible.

The site was discovered by Prof. WM Flinders Petrie in 1886; the name "Castle of the Jew's Daughter" seems to preserve the tradition of the Jewish refugees. There is a massive fort and enclosure; the chief discovery was a large number of fragments of pottery, which are of great importance for the chronology of vase-painting, since they must belong to the time between Psammetichus and Amasis, i.e. the end of the 7th or the beginning of the 6th century BC. They show the characteristics of Ionian art, but their shapes and other details testify to their local manufacture.


  • WMF Petrie, "Tanis II., Nebesheh, and Defenneh" (the Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund, 1888).

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