“The Colossi of Memnon” These two isolated statues in Luxor, Egypt embody the ruins of an ancient funerary temple, but why are they called “Memnon”?
Two statues of “The Colossi of Memnon ” in Luxor, Egypt
Two large, giant statues that have been established for thousands of years to the right of the road leading to the tombs of the dead in the Valley of the Kings and Queens. The “Colossi of Memnon” is all that remains of the temple commemorating the pharaoh (Amenhotep III), and the height of the statue reaches 21.90 meters.
The Colossi of Memnon belong to King Amenhotep III, as it was overseen by the famous architect Amenhotep Ibn Habu, and in the past there was an ancient funerary temple of King Amenhotep III, and nothing remains of it except the two statues, each with a height of about 21.90 meters, and they are considered part of the tourist attractions for foreigners who enjoy Luxor and its monuments.
The two statues embody King Amenhotep III, who is sitting on the throne with a low cushion, placing his hands on his feet and above him the royal crown. To the right of his legs there is a small statue of his wife, Queen Tiye, and to his left is a small statue of his mother. On both sides of the throne, there is an inscription representing the Nile god. The sedge plant and the lotus (the Delta and Upper Egypt) are linked as the symbols of each of them, as a sign of the unification of the country.
What is the Greek myth behind their name?
The reason for naming the two statues “Memnon” is due to a Greek myth, which says that when the two statues were cracked in ancient times in the era of the Greeks, especially the left statue, sounds were issued from them as if they were sad singing due to the passage of air through those cracks.
That is why the Greeks called the two statues “Memnon”, after the legendary hero called “Memnon”, who was killed by Achilles, the legendary Greek hero, in the Trojan War. According to the legend, “Eos”, the mother of “Memnon”, the goddess of dawn, asked the god “Zeus”, the largest of the Greek gods, to distinguish her son from the rest of mankind, so “Memnon” appeared to her at dawn through this sound, and his mother cried when he heard his voice, and her tears were dew drops.
The myth of the statues of Memnon and the phenomenon of the sound coming out of the northern statue spread, and the site attracted visitors from the Greeks, Romans, and other inhabitants of the ancient world, the most famous of whom was the Roman Emperor “Hadrian” and his wife. The sounds from the statue stopped after its restoration around 200 AD