The Temple of Edfu is an ancient Egyptian temple located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu. It is the second largest temple in Egypt after Karnak and one of the best preserved. The temple, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, was built in the Ptolemaic period between 237 and 57 BCE. The inscriptions on its walls provide important information on language, myth and religion during the Greco-Roman period in ancient Egypt. They are translated by the german Edfu-Project. Edfu was one of several temples built during the Ptolemaic period, including Dendera, Esna, Kom Ombo and Philae. Its size reflects the relative prosperity of the time. Construction began in 237 BCE during the reign of Ptolemy III and completed in 57 BCE under Ptolemy XII. It was built on the site of an earlier, smaller temple also dedicated to Horus, although the previous structure was oriented east-west rather than north-south as in the present site. A ruined pylon lies just to the east of the current temple; inscriptional evidence has been found indicating a building program under New Kingdom rulers Ramesses I, Seti I and Ramesses II. The temple of Edfu fell into disuse as a religious monument following Theodosius I's edict banning non-Christian worship within the Roman Empire in 391 CE. As elsewhere, many of the temple's carved reliefs were razed by followers of the Christian faith which came to dominate Egypt.
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