|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 6, 1998|
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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
City of Egypt on the Nile delta (area 5).
Naucratis was a Greek trading colony in the Nile delta, initially founded by Milesians (settlers from the city of Miletus, in Ionia) toward the beginning of the XXVIth dynasty, in the time of Psammetichus I (664-610). King Amasis of Egypt (570-526) gave the city its automony, which made it a Greek city (the only one) in Egypt, and the monopoly of marine trade in Egypt (Herodotus' Histories, II, 178-179). The city was the site of several temples to Greek gods, but it also had a temple to Egyptian gods Ammon and Theuth (identified by the Greeks with Zeus and Hermes, respectively). Plato mentions this city as the origin of the story of Theuth and the invention of writing that Socrates tells Phædrus at the end of the dialogue that bears his name (Phædrus, 274c-275b), a story probably made up by Plato, as Phædrus is quick to suggest at the end.