Its religious importance is attested by the number of its great shrines dating from those times; as for its wealth and size, while, as stated above, few remains of the actual buildings of that period survive, we still have abundant records describing their character, their size and their position.
The god of Atha was a form of Horus (Apollo) as the sun-god; his most characteristic representation is as the disk of the sun with outspread wings, so often seen over the doors of shrines, at the top of stelae, &c. In the temple, where he is often figured as a falconheaded man, he is associated with Hathor of Dendera and the child Harsemteus.
The conclusions arrived at by earlier writers are combated by Joseph Bedier in the first volume, "Le Cycle de Guillaume d'Orange" (1908), of his Legendes epiques, in which he constructs a theory that the cycle of Guillaume d'Orange grew up round the various shrines on the pilgrim route to Saint Gilles of Provence and Saint James of Compostella - that the chansons de geste were, in fact, the product of 11th and 12th century trouveres, exploiting local ecclesiastical traditions, and were not developed from earlier poems dating back perhaps to the lifetime of Guillaume of Toulouse, the saint of Gellone.
In an encyclical of 553,1 where he condemns those "who share with Nestorians in belief and prayer, and take their breadofferings to their shrines and receive communion from them, as if from the ministers of the oblations of the Paulicians."
Cyrus now claimed to be the legitimate successor of the ancient Babylonian kings and the avenger of Bel-Merodach, who was wrathful at the impiety of Nabonidus in removing the images of the local gods from their ancestral shrines to his capital Babylon.