Fountain of Imbaba Picture

“Forward! Remember that from those monuments yonder forty centuries look down upon you.”
~ General Napoleon Bonaparte

The Battle of the Pyramids was fought on 21 July 1798, or 3 Thermidor, Year VI of the French Republic. This victory over the Mamelukes and their Ottoman overlords established Napoleon’s power base in Egypt. Sadly, nothing remains of the battlefield today – the village of Imbaba was engulfed by the city of Cairo. Still, it never hurts to give tourists more reason to visit! (And it’d serve as a nod to the Egyptologists out there…)

The creature decorating the base of the Fontaine d'Imbaba is called a sha, which was the totemic animal of Set, the god of foreigners, chaos, deserts, storms, and… impotence. (Apologies to HIM Josephine…) Set, like Napoleon, was viewed as a usurper, taking the throne from his brother Osiris. As a result, he is very demonized, even though he was one of the gods responsible for defending Ra on his nocturnal journey through the Underworld. The statue of Napoleon was 'borrowed' from Antoine-Jean Gros. Here, the General is seen pointing - literally, in this case - to the Pyramids of Giza, which were faintly visible on the horizon during the battle.

DISCLAIMER: Heavily 'inspired' by the Fontaine du Palmier in Paris.
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