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Coptos (kŏpˈtəs, –tŏs) [key] or Coptus kŏpˈtəs, ancient city of Egypt, on the right bank of the Nile, c.27 mi (43 km) N of modern Luxor. Remains of the Temple of Min, patron god of Coptos, have been found there as well as relics from the time of Ramses II and Thutmose III. The town was of importance in Hellenistic times, when it was the terminus of a caravan route to Berenice on the Red Sea. It was built up by Augustus, fell to the Blemmyes in the 3d cent. A.D., and was almost destroyed by Diocletian in A.D. 292. The present-day village of Qift is on the site.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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