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Karanis, often called Kom Ushim, is a set of ruins located in the Fayoum, approximately fifty miles south east of Cairo in Egypt. Karanis — meaning the Lord's Town — was one of the largest Greco-Roman cities in the Fayoum. Founded in the third century BC, probably by Ptolemy II Philadelphus, originally inhabited by the mercenaries of his army. With a population of some 3,000 people, it continued to prosper for about seven centuries. Its decline began during the fourth and fifth centuries AD.

Two Brothers

In the second century BC, two brothers fought. One brother, Aetis, left Karanis. Travelling widely as a mercenary, he later settled. The line of Aetis 'of Karanis' continued to this very day, locating primarily in Europe during the tenth and eleventh centurues AD. Over time the family name came to be known as Karanasi or Karasani, both corruptions of Karanis. During the seventeenth century AD this family became seated in what is now Croatia. From this line came Varasin Karasani.

Back in the second century BC, the other brother remained in Karanis. His line also continued, though never easily. It was as if some grace had left the line. In the fifth century AD the family left Karanis, although the family name was retained. By the ninth century the family was located in and around Constantinople. By the fourteenth century is was located in Rome. A dwindling of this line commenced in the seventeenth century.

In the early nineteenth century the only known members of this family were located in London. During the early twentieth century the family moved to Paris, and during World War One to Cairo — thus coming almost full circle after almost than two thousand years. From this line came Raith Karanis.

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