Asyut (Arabic: أسيوط Asyūṭ pronounced [ʔɑsˈjuːtˤ], Coptic: ⲥⲓⲟⲟⲩⲧ) is the capital of the modern Asyut Governorate in Egypt and a Coptic Catholic bishopric; the ancient city of the same name is situated nearby. The modern city is located at 27°11′00″N 31°10′00″E / 27.18333°N 31.16667°E / 27.18333; 31.16667, while the ancient city is located at 27°10′00″N 31°08′00″E / 27.16667°N 31.13333°E / 27.16667; 31.13333.
Names and Etymology
The name of the city is derived from early Egyptian Zawty (Z3JW.TJ) (late Egyptian, Səyáwt) adopted into the Coptic as Syowt ⲥⲓⲟⲟⲩⲧ. In Graeco-Roman Egypt, it was called Lycopolis or Lykopolis (Greek: Λυκόπολις, "ἡ Λύκων πόλις"), ('wolf city') Lycon, or Lyco.
Ancient Asyut was the capital of the Thirteenth Nome of Upper Egypt (Lycopolites Nome) around 3100 BCE. It was located on the western bank of the Nile. The two most prominent gods of the Ancient Egyptian Asyut were Anubis and Wepwawet, both funerary deities.
During the First Intermediate Period, the rulers of "Zawty" (Khety I, Tefibi, and Khety II) were supporters of the Herakleopolitan kings, of whose domain the Nome formed the southern limits. The conflict between this Nome and the southern Nomes under the rule of the Eleventh dynasty ended with the victory of Thebes and the decline of Asyut's importance.