Canopus, Or Canobus, a city of Egypt, in lat. 31° N., 15 m. N. E. of Alexandria, at the mouth of the W. branch of the Nile, which was thence called the Canobic branch. In the times of the Pharaohs it was an important city, and the chief port of Egypt, but it was ruined by the growth of Alexandria. It contained a temple of Zeus Canobus, and a famous and much frequented shrine and oracle of Serapis. It was a great resort of foreigners, especially of Greeks, and was notorious for its dissolute morals. Traces of its ruins are visible a few miles from Aboukir. The Greeks had a legend that the city derived its name from Canobus, the pilot of Menelaus, who on the return from Troy was bitten by a snake and died, and was buried there. But it probably derived its name from Canobus, an Egyptian god, which was represented in the shape of a jar with human head. Such a figure is frequently found on the coins of the city, and was doubtless symbolical of some deity; but there is great uncertainty about his true appellation, as some critics maintain that Serapis was the. chief god worshipped at Canopus. The jar god is mentioned by only one ancient writer, Rufinus, who wrote in the 4th century and is not considered good authority.