Philae, an island of the Nile in Upper Egypt, 5 m. S. of Asswan, in lat. 24° 1' 34" N., Ion. 32° 54' 16" E. Its Egyptian name is Pilak, Ailak, or Manlek, "the place of the frontier." The Arabs call it Jeziret el-Birbeh. It lies between the S. extremity of the island of Elephantine and the E. bank of the river, is a quarter of a mile long and about 500 ft. broad, and is covered with picturesque ruins of temples, mostly of the times of the Ptolemies, with additions by the Roman emperors. These are principally at the S. end of the island. The chief temple is that of Isis. The earliest name found in the ruins is that of Nectanebo II., of the 30th dynasty. Phila? is celebrated for the grandeur of the surrounding scenery, especially when seen from the top cf the propyheon tower, begun by Ptolemy Philadelphus, completed by his successors, and adorned with sculptures by the early Roman emperors. In front of the temple is the chapel of AEsculapius, and to the east and south are small temples of Athor.
Temple of Isis.