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Memphis(mĕm`fĭs), ancient city of Egypt, capital of the Old Kingdom (c.3100–c.2258 B.C.), at the apex of the Nile delta and 12 mi (18 km) from Cairo. It was reputedly founded by MenesMenes
, fl. 3200 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the first dynasty, the first Egyptian ruler for whom there are historical records. According to tradition, he seems to have united the southern and northern kingdoms and to have settled on a new capital, later known as Memphis.
..... Click the link for more information. , the first king of united Egypt. Its god was PtahPtah
, in Egyptian religion, great god of Memphis. He was one of the important gods of ancient Egypt and, according to Memphite theology, created the universe through the thought of his heart and the utterance of his tongue.
..... Click the link for more information. . The temple of Ptah, the palace of ApriesApries
, king of ancient Egypt (588–569 B.C.), of the XXVI dynasty; successor of Psamtik II. Apries sought to recover Syria and Palestine. He attacked Tyre and Sidon but failed (586 B.C.) to relieve the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
..... Click the link for more information. , and two huge statues of Ramses IIRamses II
, Rameses II,
or Ramesses II
, d. 1225 B.C., king of ancient Egypt, of the XIX dynasty. The son of Seti I, Ramses was not the heir to the throne but usurped it from his brother. He reigned for 67 years (1292–1225 B.C.).
..... Click the link for more information. are among the most important monuments found at the site. The necropolis of SakkaraSakkara
, necropolis (burial place) of ancient Memphis, Egypt, 3 mi (5 km) from the Nile and on the border of the Libyan desert. Djoser (Zoser) had his famous step-pyramid, a precursor of the familiar straight-sided pyramid, built there in the III dynasty,
..... Click the link for more information. , near Memphis, was a favorite burial place for pharaohs of the Old Kingdom. A line of pyramids begins near the necropolis, extending for 20 mi (32 km) to GizaGiza,
, or Al Jizah
, city (1990 est. pop. 2,680,500), capital of Giza governorate, N Egypt, surburb of Cairo. It is a manufacturing and agricultural trade center. Products include textiles, cigarettes, and apparel.
..... Click the link for more information. . Memphis remained important during the long dominance by ThebesThebes
, city of ancient Egypt. Luxor and Karnak now occupy parts of its site. The city developed at a very early date from a number of small villages, particularly one around modern Luxor (then called Epet), but remained relatively obscure until the rise of the Theban family
..... Click the link for more information. and became the seat of the Persian satraps (525 B.C.). Second only to AlexandriaAlexandria,
Arabic Al Iskandariyah, city (1996 pop. 3,328,196), N Egypt, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is at the western extremity of the Nile River delta, situated on a narrow isthmus between the sea and Lake Mareotis (Maryut).
..... Click the link for more information. under the Ptolemies and under Rome, it finally declined with the founding of nearby Fustat by the Arabs, and its ruins were largely removed for building in the new city and, later, in CairoCairo
, Arab. Al Qahirah, city (1996 pop. 6,789,479), capital of Egypt and the Cairo governorate, NE Egypt, a port on the Nile River near the head of its delta, at the boundary of ancient Upper and Lower Egypt.
..... Click the link for more information. .
Memphis(mĕm`fĭs), city (1990 pop. 610,337), seat of Shelby co., SW Tenn., on the Fourth, or Lower, Chickasaw Bluff above the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Wolf River; inc. 1826. A river port with excellent anchorages on the Wolf, Memphis is the largest city in the state, a port of entry, a rail and air distribution center, and a leading hardwood lumber, cotton, and livestock market. Its wide variety of manufactures includes textiles, consumer goods, paints, and automotive parts. A number of corporations have national headquarters in the city. Trans-Mississippi bridges connect Memphis with Arkansas.
De SotoDe Soto, Hernando
, c.1500–1542, Spanish explorer. After serving under Pedro Arias de Ávila in Central America and under Francisco Pizarro in Peru, the dashing young conquistador was made governor of Cuba by Emperor Charles V, with the right to conquer Florida
..... Click the link for more information. is said to have crossed the Mississippi near the site of Memphis. The area was strategically important during the time of the British, French, and Spanish rivalries in the 18th cent. A U.S. fort was erected in 1797. The city was established (1819) by Andrew Jackson, Marcus Winchester, and John Overton. In the Civil War it fell, on June 6, 1862, to a Union force led by the elder Charles Henry Davis. Severe yellow-fever epidemics occurred in the 1870s, and thousands died. So many people fled the city that its charter had to be surrendered (1879); it was not restored until 1891. E. H. "Boss" CrumpCrump, Edward Hull,
1876–1954, American politician, Democratic boss of Tennessee, b. near Holly Springs, Miss. At first (1905–9) a municipal administrator in Memphis, Tenn.
..... Click the link for more information. ruled Memphis from 1909 until his political hold was broken after 1948.
The city is the seat of the Univ. of Memphis, the Univ. of Tennessee Medical Units, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Rhodes College, Christian Brothers Univ., Le Moyne–Owen College, the Memphis Academy of Arts, Southern College of Optometry, and a technical institute. It has a natural history museum, a planetarium, an art gallery, a metalwork museum, a notable park system, botanical gardens, a zoo, an aquarium, a coliseum, a speedway, and Autozone Park, where minor league baseball games attract many to a resurgent downtown area. The National Basketball Association's Grizzlies play in FedExForum. The Mid-South Fairgrounds and the Memphis Cook Convention Center, which has sponsored major traveling art exhibits, are there. An annual week-long cotton carnival is held, and postseason college football games are played there each year.
A number of antebellum homes in the city have been restored. Memphis is associated with the development of early rock-and-roll and the blues, and Graceland, the former home of Elvis PresleyPresley, Elvis
(Elvis Aaron Presley), 1935–77, American popular singer, b. Tupelo, Miss. Exposed to gospel music from childhood, Presley began playing guitar before his adolescence.
..... Click the link for more information. , is one of the nation's largest tourist attractions. Beale St., another popular site, was made famous by W. C. HandyHandy, W. C.
(William Christopher Handy), 1873–1958, American songwriter and band leader, b. Florence, Ala. Largely self-taught, Handy began his career as a cornet player in a minstrel show in 1896, and later organized various small bands.
..... Click the link for more information. , the blues composer, and has been extensively restored. The National Civil Rights Museum is in the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. The Pyramid, a 32-story glass-encased building, dominates the riverfront area. Nearby on a sandbar is Mud Island, a 52-acre amusement park.
See P. R. Coppock, Memphis Memoirs (1980); R. Biles, Memphis in the Great Depression (1986).
(Greek; Egyptian, Men-nofer, after a “pyramid town”founded by the pharaoh Pepi I; originally known as White Walls, after the fortress beside which the city was founded), an ancient Egyptian city founded at the beginning of the third millennium B.C. on the border between Upper and Lower Egypt on the left bank of the Nile; located southwest of Cairo near the villages of Al Badrashayn and Mit Rahinah.
Memphis was an important religious, political, cultural, and artisan center of Egypt as well as the capital of the Old Kingdom (28th to 23rd centuries B.C.). With the rise of Alexandria (founded 332-331 B.C.) in Hellenistic times, Memphis lost its former importance. The ruins of a temple to the god Ptah (third millennium B.C.), a sphinx from the New Kingdom, two colossuses of Rameses II (late 14th century to mid-13th century B.C.), and the Serapeum have been preserved. The necropolises of Memphis, with pyramids and tombs of the kings and nobles, are located near present-day Giza (Gizeh), Saqqara, Abu Sir, and Dahshur.
REFERENCESBadawi, A. Memphis als zweite Landeshauptstadt im Neuen Reich. Cairo, 1948.
Junker, H. Die politische Lehre von Memphis. Berlin, 1941.
Anthes, R. Mit Rahineh (1955). Philadelphia, 1959.
a city in the southern USA, in the state of Tennessee. A port on the left bank of the Mississippi River, near the point where the Wolf River flows into it. Population, 623,500, with the suburban zone on the right bank of the Mississippi (in Arkansas)—770,100 (1970); about two-fifths of the population are Negroes.
Memphis is one of the most important economic centers in the South. About 60,000 workers are employed in the manufacturing industry. The leading brar ches of industry in Memphis are agricultural machinery, the production of structural elements, electrical engineering instruments, automobile construction (assembly and the production of trailers), and woodworking. Memphis is an important trading cer.ter and a major transportation junction. Cargoes of petroleum and cotton predominate in the city’s freight turnover (6-7 million tons a year).