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Esna is located about 33 miles south of Luxor. The town's Greek name was Latopolis and here fish where thought to embody the goddess Neith, who was sacred to the area.
Esna was increasingly important during the 18th dynasty due to Egypt's developing relationship with the Sudan.

There was a route established between Esna and Derr.
Later, the city slowly declined until it received renewed interest during the 26th Dynasty.
Later, under the Greeks and Romans, it became the capital of the Third Nome of Upper Egypt.
There is also a barrage just outside of town which was built in 1906. About 4 miles southwest of town is the Deir Manaos Wa al-Shuhada (Monastery of the Three Thousand Six Hundred Martyrs), who's 10th century church is said to be one of the most beautiful in Upper Egypt.

Perhaps this monastery is a lasting commemorative to Emperor Decius (249-51 AD) who degreed that all Christians would suffer death if they did not sacrifice to the pagan gods.
His cartouche was the last to be carved on the walls of the Temple of Khnum in Esna.
But the main attraction is the Temple of Khnum, which lies beneath the level of the houses in a pit.

Near the Temple of Khnum on the stone quay along the corniche are carved cartouches of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.


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