Thebes (Theebz), a celebrated Egyptian city, formerly capital of Upper Egypt; called by the Egyptians Tuabu, by the Hebrews No-Amon, by the Greeks ThebAe. It lies in the broadest section of the Nile valley, in 26° N. lat., at a spot where the desert on the W. sheers away to the Libyan mountains, leaving a broad plain, partly cultivated, on which stand the famous twin statues, one of which is known as the 'vocal Memnon,' and behind them the temples grouped about Kurna and Medinet-Habu. The Nile divides this western part or Necropolis of Thebes from the extensive ruins now known by the names of the villages Luxor (el-Uksur, 'the palaces') and Karnak which stand on the E. bank, with the low Arabian hills for a background. At the Persian conquest (525 B.C.) Cambyses got nearly £2,000,000 from the city, and destroyed many of its noblest monuments. The foundation of Alexandria still further injured it; and in Strabo's time Thebes was only a cluster of small villages. Its temples, tombs, and ruins were visited by many Greek and Roman travellers, including the Emperor Hadrian. A considerable Christian population lived there under the later empire; but at the Arab invasion the inhabitants fled to Esne. Thebes is now inhabited only by Fellahin, a few officials, and visitors to the three hotels at Luxor. The Thebaid, the territory of Thebes, was a favourite retreat for Christian hermits.
Thebes, the principal city of Bœ;otia in ancient Greece, situated on the slopes of Mount Teumessus, and between two streams, the Dirce and the Ismenus, about 44 miles NW. of Athens. Destroyed by Alexander (336), Thebes was in 316 rebuilt by Cassander (whose walls were traced by E. Fabricius in 1888). It was plundered by Sulla, and in Strabo's time was a miserable village. During the 11th and 12th centuries it revived through its silk manufacture, but under the Turks again declined, though its modern representative, Thiva, had a pop. of 4000 at the time of its destruction by earthquake in April 1894. See E. Fabricius, Theben (1891).